Title: No One Is To Blame
Author: ElleThom 
Written: March 2006
Category: MSR, Pre-XF, AU...maybe
Rating: Pg To Nc-17
Spoilers: Screw it its all up for  grabs
Disclaimer: I know.  You know.  I know, you know.  You know I know you know.  You know I  know you know...oh hell where was I again?
Feedback:  Just call me Audrey II and feed me.  too_spooky_4u@yahoo.com

Summary: A what if with a twist

Author's Notes: Not song fic, though I do tend to drop them in liberally.  This is my third fic, but
the first posted here.  I can take it, don't hold back.

I dig my toes into the sand
The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds
Strewn across a blue blanket
I lean against the wind
Pretend that I am weightless
And in this moment I am happy


Dana Scully trotted through the streets of the small New England town, for the moment not even remotely concerned with the name.  They had lived in so many through her short fourteen years of life, what was the point?  Dad could rant and swear that this was the last move, but they all knew better, even her mother couldn't believe that dream any longer.

She knew she should be at home, helping to unpack and make the house nice and homey for her dad's arrival in a couple of days, but she had snuck out of the house, opting instead to take her chances against the strange town and its inhabitants than to have to watch her belongings go into yet another temporary home.

This was not the first time in her young life that she had vowed on not moving as an adult.  The slightly overweight redhead angrily walked through the small cobblestone streets that others less practical would have deemed as quaint, her destination had been plotted out on the map she clutched in her hands.

She could smell the beach a mile before she had finally come upon it.  Its scent wafted on the dusky late summer air, pulling her closer and closer to its waiting arms.  The thick fog made visibility almost impossible, but Dana Scully knew she could find the ocean blindfolded.  Grey clouds overhead threatened a rainy day, and though she usually could care less what the weather was, she noted sadly that she would not be able to see the sun rise over the ocean.

Legs were burning from the two mile walk that her husky frame was not accustomed to, her hair whipped about from the fierce breezes rising off of the sea, she had finally reached the beach.  There was no one around, the gulls made their lonely cries and she inhaled deeply the scent of the ocean.

She walked across the chilly sand in sandaled feet, closing the gap between her and the water's edge.  She had prayed to find it, but never dreamed that even in the increment weather it could be this beautiful.  Dana absently removed her sandals, digging her toes into the chilly morning sand, wiggling then in the cool granules.  The wind blew her short stocky body, and for a moment, she was weightless to the mighty power of it, feeling as if the gusts may blow her across the sea and land her.

Anywhere but here.

I lay my head unto the sand
The sky resembles a backlit canopy,
With holes punched in it
I'm counting UFO's
I signal them with my lighter
And in this moment I am happy


Fox Mulder lay his long lean body on the bare sand, relishing in the small amount of pain that the grains offered him.  Sweats whipped around his body, letting his mind wander around absently.  This was his favorite place to run to, usually after one of his too vigorous early morning runs he would land here until the sun came up, just waiting for his body to slow down.

Most of the time, he spent just looking up into the fading night sky.  Wondering where she was, or what she was doing now.  He often found himself thinking of her here, but here was the one place where thoughts of his long missing sister were not sad ones.  At the beach, Mulder allowed himself to imagine what she would look like now, how she would sound, if she would still be tormenting him.

Yeah, he smiled, she would.

He stretched his long frame out, feeling each muscle begin to settle back down and soften.  His mother would not be up yet, she often passed out after taking too many of her pills, sleeping off her stupor until well after he had left the house for school.  He looked at his watch and promised himself to leave to go check in on her in ten minutes.

Sometimes, if he really felt down, he would imagine that Samantha was asleep at home, that he had simply dashed out for a run and left his mom and sister asleep in the house.  Reality usually caught up with him before he even left the beach.  He would climb the stairs of the house, still praying silently, and yet knowing what he would find as he opened the door to the house he shared with only his mother.

Mulder put his hands behind his head, staring up at the clouds that swirled over him, fog so thick he could not see the redhead bounding toward him.

Dana felt the wind picking her up more than she was comfortable with, a great gust knocked her back a few feet, and her ass connected with something soft and vocal.

"Hey," the body gasped.

"OOf" she managed trying to get up from her precarious position.

"Is that your final answer?" It was definitely a male voice, looking down, Dana found herself searching the deepest hazel eyes she had ever seen. "Sorry." She managed finally rolling off of the lanky form.

"S'ok" the boy grinned. "Glad I could be here to break your fall, hate for you to have landed on all that hard sand." He rose to his feet extending a hand to the plumpish redhead that had seemingly fell out of the sky.

She accepted his assistance, and once to her feet bean to dust sand out of her hair. "Thank you."

He smiled at her again; her eyes were the same color as the ocean he noted.  She was obviously younger than him, but something in her eyes seemed so much older, so much more subdued than the wildness lurking in his. "Not a problem, I needed a wake up call anyway.  Fox Mulder." He offered.

"Hi Fox, I'm Dana Scully." She wondered why he winced at hearing his name.

"Yeah, hmm about that." He began trying to sound nonchalant. "No one actually calls me Fox, at least no one that wants to have me respond." He grinned that grin at her again.

"Your parents?" she asked in disbelief.

"Them too, "but this was not as cocky an answer as before.

"Ok...Mulder. Thank you for letting me land on you." She snickered.

He smiled as if to say any time, and before she realized it she was smiling back. "It is so peaceful here." He mused out loud.

"Quiet," she agreed looking out over the raging ocean.

"Not quiet," he corrected her mindlessly, "Quiet is not always good.  This is nice and...serene." He glanced back over to her for a second.

"Uh huh," she agreed drawing her shirt around her a little tighter against the wild wind.

Without even thinking, he removed his sweatshirt and handed it to her, trying not to be offended when she pretended to ignore his gesture.  They didn't speak for a long time, just sat on the beach side by side looking out at the view in front of them.

He smiled down at the short red haired girl, wondering what she was doing out there at that time of morning. "You new around here aren't you?" He felt a strange compulsion to talk to her, and yet he knew she would not be receptive to it.

Dana nodded and offered no more than that. "I need to get home before my brother narks me out." She walked off leaving Mulder alone on the beach.

The walk home was breathtaking, she ran over his face in her mind, then admonishing herself for being so damn girly.  Fix Mulder was a good looking guy, and not the kind to go all ga-ga over a fat redhead she reminded herself as she always did when seeing a good looking guy.

She managed to slip into her house unnoticed, they sun had finally managed to break through just as she climbed the stairs to her room shared with Missy, still littered with boxes and baskets to be put away later that day.  Sleep had hijacked her before she even realized she was in bed.

If the redhead noticed anyone following her, she didn't make it known, he hung back at a comfortable distance, making sure she arrived home in the early morning safe.  He noted her residence, memorizing her address before jogging the three blocks home to his house.

It wasn't as if he were stalking her, but something about the short girl's nature gave him the impression had he asked to see her home she would have belted him.  Definitely not a good thing this early in the morning, he mused slipping into the back door of the Mulder residence.

Home, most people he knew found it a refuge, a place to hide away from all the bad the world had to offer, but for Fox Mulder home was the crux of his escape.  The worst part of his home was the silence, before he lost Samantha; the house was full of sounds, girly screaming, and friends in and out of the house.  There had never been a funeral or service for Samantha, instead they had turned the house into a crypt, dark and sullen and cold.  There were no more happy sounds in this house, in fact there were never any sounds at all.

Mulder dragged himself into the shower, allowing the hot water to dredge his body, the redhead, Dana, she was something so different.  Her hair radiated such fire it made her look as if she were on fire.  He had followed her home, just to make sure she was all right, just to make sure she made it home in one piece.

Just to make sure no UFOs decided to take off with her.

"Get UP Dana," Missy yelled poking her little sister in the back in an attempt to get her out of bed.  It was the first day of school, and while Missy was a freshman in college and could care less what time Dana hauled her ass out of bed, she had been charged with the difficult task of making sure she was at least awake.

"I'm not going Missy, leave me alone." Dana whined, putting the pillow over her head.

"Ok, fine." Missy relented. "I'll just send Mom up to get you..." Dana threw back the covers and placed her feet onto the floor.   She hated when her mom was used against her, not wanting to disappoint either of them more so than fear.  She shuffled over to her closet, grabbed her dark clothes and fought for a spot in the bathroom.

She's figured out
All her doubts are someone else's point of view
Waking up this time
To smash the silence with the brick of self control

Are you wrapped up in a world
That's been planned out for you
Are you feeling like a social tool

Without a use
Scream at me
Until my ears bleed
I'm taking heed
Just for you

Green Day

Breman Academy loomed ahead of her in the distance, the school year had already started and Dana Scully would already be a month behind in her schoolwork.  She had to be the only one that went here, Bill and Missy were already out of high school, and Charlie still attended grammar school.

Dana was flying solo on this one.

She marched to the ominous double doors of the gothic looking building, its four stories towering forebodingly over the impeccably kept lawn.  She stood for a second, drawing in a deep breath and gathering her strength.  So often she reached into her mind to hear her father's voice, he gently reassured her and she used these words to enter.

The school had the feel and smell of old money, the children walking these halls were children of long held privileges, and she in last years' fashions.  The halls were immense, wooden planks covered the floors, polished to a high shine.  This was definitely nothing like the other public schools she had been to.  Dana had earned her education in a slew of places, but this school was something entirely different.

This school was way out of her league.

Dana made her way to the office on the first floor; she had to get her classes for the semester.  The lady behind the desk smiled and handed her a print out of what she had to take.  "Welcome to Breman Academy." She smiled through false teeth.

Dana snorted a reply, grabbed her schedule and headed toward first period.

Chemical Calculus was so easy she couldn't stand it.  She had more fun eyeing the gawking students who were lost in the simple equations.  She smiled at the three 'perfect' girls in one of the front row who began to sweat openly when Mr. Richards mentioned the upcoming test.

History was next, not so much her cup of tea, but necessary for the early graduation she had been gunning for.  Western civilization was not as boring as psychology, and Dana hated psychology.

She usually tried to plug into the back row, staying out of the fray of onlookers trying to get a feel for the new girl.  She really hated being the new girl.  History was not as easy as Calc, but she liked the teacher, Ms. Graff, a young blonde who smiled easily and told off color historical tales.

Her third period class was her hands down best subject, the placement tests she took before enrolling into the school placed her in third year biology, something very few freshmen had accomplished.  She had been ready for stares and looks when she entered the classroom at third period, what she was not prepared for was who.

He smiled and waved at her patting the empty stool next to him.  Cautiously, after scanning the room to see if there were any other empty seats, she grudgingly sat next to the boy from the beach.

"Hi." He offered, gracing her with a lopsided grin.

"So, what, you don't have a lab partner?" she asked

"Nah, they say I am incorrigible." He grinned.

"Mr. Mulder," Mr. Graves began, sauntering over to their lab table. "I hope Ms. Scully here can help you pass Biology this time." He snickered as if happy to see the young man fail again. "She is quite a science whiz."

Mulder looked at Dana as if he had never met her before.  After Mr. Graves returned to his desk, Mulder grabbed her hand, in his and smiled. "Marry Me." He teased.

"Oh brother."

She ended up spending the entire lab period trying to explain ATP and the electron transport system to him.  Every time she thought he was getting it, he would ask her to go slower.  They were right, he was incorrigible. "Mulder," she began "How are you going to graduate if you can't pass biology?" she laughed.

"Ah, ya see.." he hemmed. "I was hoping this short redhead that landed on me the other day would take pity on a poor kid, maybe help me out, maybe a little extra study time.,."

"Short?  Mulder I have better things to do with my time than try to pull your butt through Biology." She whined.

"Please," he begged offering her a look that she had only seen on puppy dogs trying desperately to get an extra treat.  It was a look few were impervious to.

"I don't know..." she wanted to, she wanted to so very badly, but she knew better than to get herself into a situation where she would get to know him, she knew the feelings she had began having after their meeting on the beach would just get worse.  Something she could not afford.

He grabbed her schedule off of her side of the table. "Ah ha!" he screamed like a mad scientist. "You have psychology, you are so in luck."

"Who says I need help in Psych?  I may be very good in it you never know."

"Is that why you have the skull and cross bones drawn next to the class?" he asked pointing to her little sketch of death.  He laughed as her short little arms tried to steal back her schedule.  They were laughing so hard and loud they did not notice that the class had stopped being taught and had watched them.

"Mr. Mulder, Ms. Scully, I would hate to have to separate the two of you, but in case you were too busy to notice, I am trying to teach a class here." Mr. Graves had a stern yet playful look on his face.

"Sorry," the two offered almost simultaneously ducking their heads in mock shame, all the while smiling broadly.

"So will you?" he whispered.

"Mulder..." She placated, damn he was throwing her that look again. "I have a really full schedule here, I am not sure if I have the time for charity work."

"Ouch.  You wound me Dana..."

"Hmm, yeah I don't know if I am exactly comfortable with you calling me that..." She was trying so hard not to crack up.

He eyed her quizzically, "Really?" he asked, giving her a sidelong glance.

"Either I call you Fox, or..."

"All right Scully, I get the point." He threw his hands up; no way was she going to call him Fox, No Way. "So is this a yes?"

"Ok, Fine whatever, but I pick the times and locations, and you help me out with psychology when I need it, no matter what else, got it?"

"Aww, you mean if there is a Knicks game on I have to help you study?" he whined in disbelief.

"Especially if there is a Knicks game." She smiled reminding herself to get the Knicks schedule, oh yeah he was going to pay.

He had to have fourth period lunch, she silently noted as they sat down together at a table in the far corner of the too formal cafeteria.  Balancing both of their lunches on a tray, he guided her to his usual spot.

"So, where are you from?" he asked as they attacked the day's special.

"I think the easier question to answer would be where am I not from?" she mused out loud.

"Circus folk?" he asked with his usual I am teasing smile.

"No, Mulder I am not a Carney."

"Too bad, I was going to ask to see your scars.  I should have known anyway, your teeth are too perfect.  So I am guessing Military, right?"

"Your powers of deduction astound me." She monotones, sarcasm dripping off of every syllable.

"What's that like anyway?  I always thought it would be fun to wake up in a different place every few months." Anywhere but home, he silently added.

"It sucks eggs Mulder.  Every time I get comfortable in one place, we have to move.  I hate it." She stabbed at the salad she had chosen for lunch, taking out her aggression on the hapless lettuce.

"Sorry, I..."

"Hey Spooky," A tall brunette with long legs purred as she strolled up to him.

"Dianna, I have told you not to call me that." He tossed over to her without even looking at her.

"Aww come on Spooky, everyone calls you that, what you don't want your new little friend to know about your little-issues." She came to stand behind Dana, "And isn't she a bit young to be indoctrinated into the Halls of Spook?" she asked eyeing her three friends that had gathered around them.  Dana recognized them as the upperclassman from her Chem. Cal class, the confused ones prone to sweating.

"What business is it of yours Dianna?" Mulder shot. "Don't you have a small animal somewhere to go devour." He asked turning back to Scully. "You have to excuse her, when God was handing out brains, she thought he said brains and ran."

"Fox," she purred his unwelcome moniker "This is why I dumped you in the first place, anything I may have done with you was out of pity anyway." She had leaned into his ear, purring sanguinely. "Everyone knows you are nuts."

What happened next happened so fast it would have surprised Dana, except she was the one having caused it.  The soda can in her hand that she had been shaking since Dianna and her friends showed up at the table came to life when she opened it right by the hovering Dianna. "Oops," Dana sang too sweetly, "My bad."

Dianna's cashmere sweater now ruined from the explosion of Diet Coke. "You stupid Bi-"

Dana jumped out of her seat so fast, it knocked over. "Anytime, anywhere Dianna, "she yelled, not realizing the entire cafeteria was watching. "I'll mop the floor with you.  Just me and you Princess." Her breath came fast, heavy and ragged.  One look into the sea blue eyes and something there made Dianna and her friends back off.

"We'll get back to you Tubby." She shot over her shoulder as they left.

"Wow," Mulder said rubbing his temples. "That was surreal.  Remind me never to piss you off."

"Ex girlfriend?" Scully asked gathering her things before the bell rang.

"Your powers of deduction astound me." He threw back at her in the same tone she had.

"Man, Mulder, I am surprised there is any part of you left..."

"Where did you learn all that anyway?" he asked marveling at the little pint sized spitfire.

"I have two brothers." She offered. "Any questions?"

An odd looked traveled over his face before he would smile, Scully was not sure but it may have been something sad. "No," he answered solemnly.

She almost asked him what was wrong, but the look on his face told her there was more to it than could be explained between classes.

He waited for her outside of the giant double doors.  Dana Scully was something he had never known before, raw strength, raw fortitude.  She didn't take crap from anyone, and wasn't afraid of anything.  In her eyes he saw answers to a million questions.

"Hey," he waved her over as she strolled out of the building,

"You waiting for me?" she asked eyebrow cocked and loaded.

"I thought I would make sure Dianna and her friends hadn't decided to try and kill you in sixth period study hall." He didn't want to tell her he felt compelled to look out for her, after all she had stood up for him, there was something to be said for that, no one had ever done that before, no one.

"Uh Huh." She ducked.

"And, I thought we could have one of our study sessions, maybe at your house?" he asked.

"I don't know Mulder; my house can be a real mad house."

"My house isn't such a good idea..." he trailed off without offering anything else.

They walked the mile to the Scully residence, fall had begun to make its appearance robbing the trees of their green foliage and causing rainfalls of brown and gold leaves. "Hey Scully, can we stop at my house first?  There is something I have to do, it's only three blocks from your..."

"Mulder, how do you know where I live?" she asked, suddenly feeling uncomfortable.

Mulder shifted his feet, not sure how to go on from here, he had accidentally spilled a few more beans that what he had meant to. "I er..." he looked down at the pavement.

"You followed me from the beach didn't you?" she asked in disbelief.

"Scully, I just wanted to make sure you got home safe." He tried to explain, but the look on her face made him wish he had never met her that day. "I'm sorry." It was more a question than a statement; at that point he would have said anything to not be on the wrong end of her ire.

"Uh huh." She conceded following him to his house.  It was a large old home with a widow's watch on the top.  She marveled at the beauty of it, stood in the driveway gaping.

"If only it were this nice on the inside," he snapped as if reading her mind. "Can you wait here?  I'd let you come in but..." He stepped into the back door after she nodded her agreement.

Dana silently wondered what the big mystery was with this guy; there was something there, always a sadness behind those beautiful eyes, even when he was laughing.  She hadn't known him long, but she knew she could trust him, however, she doubted he trusted her.

He came out with his book bag and a handful of goodies. "Here," he said handing her three chocolate chip cookies, which undoubtedly came from a bag.

"Thanks," she offered taking the cookies and grinning. "Your mom doesn't cook huh?  Or is she one of those career women?" Again the sad look across his face that she could not catch.

"Something like that." He answered vaguely.

The Scully household was nothing like he was prepared for.  There were kids and friends and in and out.  The front lawn was strewn with an assortment of kid paraphernalia, bikes, skateboards, and the odd action figure.

"Wow, it looks like Toys R Us exploded in your yard." Mulder remarked taking it all in.

"Yeah that's Charlie, my younger brother." She smiled opening the front door. "Mom, I brought a friend home to study, ok?" she motioned for him to follow her in.

Maggie Scully had assumed that Dana would usher in a gawky teenaged girl with glasses and long braids, so seeing the tall older boy standing next to her fourteen year old daughter was a bit of a shock, but she covered it well. "Hello." She smiled.

"Mom, this is my lab partner, Fox Mulder,"

"Hi Mrs. Scully." He held out his hand to shake hers.

"Is he helping you with your class Dana?" she asked, as the two exchanged looks.

"Actually Mrs. Scully," Mulder began looking down again. "I am the one receiving the pity here," she smiled at his obvious discomfort. "This is my second attempt at this class, and if I don't pass I think I may end up on a milk carton." He grinned, though not as broadly as usual.

"You two can study in the dining room." Maggie offered. "I'll bring you in a snack in a few minutes."

"Wow," Mulder offered shaking his head in disbelief. "Your house is so noisy." He smiled.

"I warned you that here may not be such a good place to study..." she began cracking open her brand new Biology book.

"No Scully, noise is good; my house is so quiet I can't stand it.""

"Mulder, before we get started can I ask you a question?"

"Scully, after what you did to Dianna today, I am pretty sure you can ask me anything. "He smiled opening his rarely used Biology book.

"What is the deal at your house?  I mean I know that you and I don't know each other real well, but..."

"My sister went missing five years ago, and things have been weird there since." He said, not looking up from his book.

"Mulder," she felt tears welling up in her eyes. "I am so sorry, they never found her?"

"No," He didn't raise his head and she could tell that he wanted to change the subject.  Fortunately Maggie entered with a tray of cookies and milk. "Home Made? Mulder asked a little too hopeful.

"Why, yes Fox." Maggie answered a little taken aback.  This kid doesn't get taken care of, she thought to herself. This kid does the care taking.  She smiled at his reverent deportment of her cookies; it was nice to have someone appreciate what you did.  She found herself starting to like this kid.

They sat studying for three hours, Dana began to feel like she was getting through to him, and she learned something about Fox Mulder that she envied.  He had a photographic memory, if he saw it, he remembered it.  How he failed the first time she didn't understand. "Mulder, I have to ask, you have a photographic memory, right?"

"Yeah," he answered blushing, it was a little trick he tried to keep hidden.

"How did you fail this class the first time?" she asked in complete bewilderment.

He got that look on his face again, this time it sent shivers up her spine. "I missed a lot of days last semester of school.  I was...sick a lot." He tried to offer her a smile but it came out all wrong, it came out as a grimace.

"Fox," Maggie poked her head out of the kitchen. "Would you like to stay for dinner?" She had hoped he would say yes, she figured the poor guy needed a real meal.

Mulder looked at the clock on the opposite wall and made a face of absolute horror. "No I can't Mrs. Scully, as much as I would like to, I can't." He clumsily grabbed his things together and shoved them into his bag. "I have to go now," he mumbled.

"Ok," Scully offered trying to make things lighter. "But tomorrow we study Psychology, deal?" she asked

"Yeah Scully, right after Basketball practice I will be here ok?  See you in class tomorrow." He was out the door and running at a fast clip.

"Strange kid." Missy offered watching Mulder run down the street.

"Not strange, he just has a lot of family issues." Maggie piped in. "Let's clean up for dinner ok?  Dana go find your brothers, please."

I'm not superstitious I have no doubt
That there's a reason how things turn out
While things are changing from day to day
I'll keep this feeling with me all the way
And I want you to know that you're on my mind
Every day, all of the time
So keep on walking that road and I'll follow
Keep on calling my name I'll be there
And if a mirror should break
It's easy to take
Deep down I know that you care
But I'm not superstitious.


  If anyone would have commented to the two teenagers that they spent too much time together, they would not deny it.  They walked to school together, ate lunch together, and walked back to the Scully residence for after school study sessions and chocolate chip cookies, which Mrs. Scully baked incessantly.  Mrs. Scully had also begun to serve dinner a half hour earlier, just to accommodate Fox Mulder's Cinderella act promptly at six.  He had begun to spend so much time there; Maggie Scully had even put him on the chore rotation, to no one's great surprise.  He had been adopted into the fold, and no one seemed to mind.

  His Biology grades were better, thanks to Dana, she had made sure to keep him focused during study times, and even incorporating sports into the lessons to ensure his attention and retention.  When she quizzed him on Biology, she usually had him out in front of the hoop on their garage, every time she asked him a question; she shot him the ball to make a basket.

Weekends were their favorite times, the first weekend they spent together Fox Mulder was introduced to Captain Scully.  He had appeared on their doorstep early that first Saturday since meeting Dana, asking if she wanted to go for a run. "Why? We being chased? "she asked half seriously.

"No, its good for you, you know...running gets the heart pumping, c'mon Scully." He smirked.

"Why don't you come in for breakfast?  There is someone here you should meet." She grabbed him by the arm before he could even answer.

"So this is the infamous Fox Mulder?" Captain Scully asked clapping the young man on the back-hard.

"I don't know about infamous Sir," he managed after the hearty greeting.

"Well, my wife and daughter can't stop talking about you." He grinned at the blushing teen.

"Ahab," Scully blanched. "God you make it sound like we are picking out China patterns."

"Awww, Scully, you didn't tell him about the baby either huh?" Mulder grinned

They all sat down to a huge breakfast, to which Scully and Mulder were nominated for dish detail. "I gotta stop showing up here," he muttered as Maggie Scully tied an apron around his middle.  Bill shot him a "better you than me" look as he grabbed the basketball and challenged Mulder to a game when he was done. 

A few hundred dishes and a dozen water fights later, Maggie finally shooed Fox and Dana out of her kitchen, declaring that she could have canoed in the puddles they left on her floor. The afternoon was filled with the kind of magic that carefree children create on Saturdays, basketball and B-movies, laughter and friendly besting.  Mulder fit in so well in the Scully household, anyone driving by would guess he was a Scully.

"You're having fun huh?" Scully asked a reclining, albeit sweaty Mulder.

"You have no idea," he muttered, swigging down fresh iced tea. "Don't ever forget how lucky you are." He spoke watching Charlie and Bill fight over what to watch on TV. "What I wouldn't give..."

She knew he often got sad, that this melancholy would fade after a little while, "You sure you can't stay late tonight?  I think Ahab likes you, he said something about playing you in a game of Chess." She smiled.

"I wish I could Scully." He said honestly, "But I have to..." he looked at the clock in the living room, again the sad look crossed his face. "I have to go."

He touched her hand before leaving, as if considering for a moment something, and then at the last minute he rose, thanked Mr. and Mrs. Scully for their hospitality and turned to leave.

"See you tomorrow Fox." Mr. Scully nodded. "You owe me a game of Chess."

"Maybe you'll come to church with us tomorrow?  We would love to have you." Maggie offered.

"No Ma'am, I don't think so, but I will come by for that game Sir," he smiled and left.

"That is a hell of a kid there Dana," Captain Scully announced as he sat next to his youngest daughter on the couch. "What's the story with his family?" he asked having picked up on the tension.

"His sister went missing five years ago." She half whispered so that no one else would hear. "His family never got over it.  I get the impression there is more to it there though Dad." She spoke wistfully.

"Well, he sure seems to be stuck on you Dana." Her father grinned at his daughter.

"Dad, I told you we are just friends, he is my lab partner." She smiled, drawing her legs to her chin.

"I hear he spends a lot of time here..."Mr. Scully drawled.

"Yeah, we are study buddies, plus his house is...complicated..." she wasn't sure how to explain it.

"Uh Huh," Mr. Scully offered, not believing his daughter, he saw the look on that boy's face, hell he had had the same look a few times in his life, but only once that mattered. "Well, even though he is three years older than you, just know Dana, that your mother and I approve." He smiled at his blushing daughter.

"Oh Brother," she mumbled.

Fox Mulder sat in his room, stretched out on his double bed listening to his stereo and thinking.  There was a time that his thoughts here in his room would be of Samantha, but for the last week, a certain redhead had been invading his thoughts more and more, and no matter what he did, he could not exorcise her from them. No matter how many times he reminded himself of her age, he came back to the incident in the cafeteria, maybe he was under the spell of a little hero worship.  She had stormed his life and was holding his depression hostage.  He found himself making up excuses on a Saturday to be there at her house, and he had only known her for a week.  He knew she could be trusted, implicitly; he had no reason to feel ashamed about his life, not with her.  He decided to answer all of her questions from now on.  It was just time to let someone in.  They had accepted him, and they were good people, maybe he was good too, maybe.

Captain Scully finally got his Chess game with Mulder, the next day he arrived an hour before they sat down for Sunday dinner.  Dana mumbled something about Mulder's stomach keeping excellent time.  Missy had arrived home from college the day before, having finally decided to move into the dorms.  The entire family sat together at the table, listening to the Captains sea tales. "So Fox, have you given any thought to where you will be attending college?" Mr. Scully asked offhandedly.

"I have a few prospects Sir, but they all hinge upon your daughter's teaching abilities." He grinned.

"Any of them you are taking seriously?" Maggie pursued.

"Not yet, Ma'am," he muttered.  He did not want to go into where he had decided on, not this way.

Scully and Mulder sat in the front swing, quietly going over Psychology before her first quiz in the morning.  The rest of the Scully's left for the ice cream parlor, promising to bring them something back.  He hadn't lied; Mulder was a bona fide whiz at Psych.

"I really have fun here Scully," he mused.

"I know, its hard at home isn't it?" She wasn't sure how far to push it, he had always brushed her off when she got too close.

"Yeah," he agreed sheepishly. "Mom doesn't do much Scully; she has had a hard time dealing with losing Sam." He rubbed his face in his hands, trying not to cry. "It's all my fault Scully, I lost her," he insisted, pounding his fist against the swing. "Mom and Dad said I had to watch her, to keep her safe."

Scully absently rubbed his back, not sure how to comfort him, he was right, she thanked God every day for her family, even when Charlie had gotten into her feminine apparatus, she still was glad at having him around to yell at. He leaned into her, and she brought his head down to her shoulder. This simple act between friends gave Mulder a release, he cried, soft sobs held back for so long.  He cried for his sister, he cried for his mother, but mostly he cried for the family he had been cheated out of.  She quietly rocked him, hand gently smoothing his hair as she felt his tears fall upon her neck.  The cool afternoon and the soft rocking soon worked its magic on the two, and they found themselves asleep, arms wrapped around each other.

  "Don't you dare bother them Charlie." Maggie hissed at her youngest child, there were few tones that ever came from Mrs. Scully that could be scary, this was definitely one of them, the young boy ran off in the opposite direction in search of a friend to torment.

  "Just friends my Aunt Fannie." Captain Scully muttered humorously. "Maggie let me ask you a question, does that look like two friends to you?" he asked hooking a thumb toward the two teens on the front porch swing.

  "Bill, I am not getting into the middle of this one," she muttered shaking her head and heading off into the kitchen to put up their ice cream.

 "I'm just saying, Mags," he stated and smirked. "That those two are as cute as me and you." He smiled grabbing his wife around her middle.

  "Oh would you stop, sides Bill," Maggie looked serious for a minute. "Maybe Dana is too young, that boy is so serious." She mused.

  "Aww Maggie." He smiled. "I trust Dana, she will always make the right choices, she is too much like her old man."

  When she awoke it was just getting dark, and the only sign of Mulder was his jacket tucked around her.  She rose off the swing, wrapping the coat around her against the chilly night air.

  "He had to go Danes." Bill tossed to her not even turning from the game. "He said he'd see you tomorrow at school, "

  Dana nodded and climbed the stairs to her room, inhaling his scent from the jacket she wore.  She wasn't sure if it were a dream or not, but she remembered a soft kiss on her forehead. **

  School had become a way to break up the weekends.  Dana found herself looking forward to their morning and afternoon walks.  Mulder often brought her coffee and a donut; she became more dependent on him than she had wanted to.  He in turn found that the days passed more sweetly with her gentle voice at his side.  He spent every weekend with her and the Scully's, it was the only thing holding him together, and somehow they all knew it, somehow the words never had to be spoken.

  "Mulder, what the hell are you talking about?" she fumed.

  "You mean to tell me you have never thought of the fact that JFK was murdered by not Lee Harvey Oswald, but a Government conspiracy that goes far deeper than you or I or the average American could ever fathom?" he winded.

  "No Mulder, I have never once considered that a possibility, nor do I believe in aliens or a shadow government, and I happen to fully believe that we did walk on the moon."

  "Oh Scully, you have so much to learn..." he shook his head in anguish.

  "Well, I've learned why they call you Spooky," she grinned, and from anyone else it would have been an insult, from her....

  Mulder was not ready for the birthday he received that year, the Scully's had gone all out, and even Captain Scully had made it home for the surprise party.  Though it was only the Scully family, that in and of itself was a gathering, and they welcomed him into the house with smiles and presents.  Maggie had decided to do it on a Saturday, when Mulder could spend the whole day.  She had made him a cake and a batch of his favorite cookies.

  "I have a present for you." Dana whispered into his ear when no one was looking. "But I will give it to you later when no one is around."

  "OO Scully..." he waggled his eyebrows lewdly at her, even the punch in the arm was worth hearing her laugh at his tawdry joke. "Hey behave yourself Scully; I'm eighteen now that officially makes you jailbait."

  He got a book, a new basketball jersey from Bill and Missy, a handmade card from Charlie, but Captain Scully had them all beat.

  He handed the young man a stack of papers, documents some hand written, none signed personally. "I hear you are into this sort of thing, I spent last week twisting arms to get my shipmates to write down their accounts of weird naval stories." He winked at Mulder. "But you never got these from me."

  "Got what, Sir?" he said with a reverence in his voice that surprised them all.

  "Dad, you shouldn't encourage him," Dana warned.

  After everyone had gone off to their separate thing for the day, Scully dragged Mulder up to her room.  It was his first foray into the realm of Dana; he was surprised at how un-girlie it was.  There were no pinks or purple, no unicorns or heartthrobs.  His Scully was all business.

  She handed him a small box, the kind from the five and dime. "I can't accept this." He said flatly, wishing he could.

  The hurt on her face was more than he could stand. "Why?" she asked trying to keep it together.

  "Scully, It's a beautiful gesture, and I feel really awkward right now..," he muttered holding up the small cross that she had saved her allowance for.

  "Fine" she snatched the cross from his hand, shoving it back in the cardboard box. "I just thought a little faith after all you have been through might be somehow comforting." She sniffed.

  He sat down next to her on the bed, "Scully, forget the fact that I am half Jewish," he began holding her hand. "I don't believe in God." He explained.

  She looked at him dumbfounded, not sure how to respond to this new bit of Mulder knowledge.  He was like one of those Rubik's cubes, you could solve one side, maybe two, and on a good day if you tried really hard, you could even get four of the sides figured out.  But you were never ever gonna solve this puzzle, never, no matter how much you banged your head against the wall cursed and pleaded, and in the end, you'll end up in the nut house from trying. "So what Mulder, you believe in aliens, but not in the Almighty?" she asked confused.

  "Hey, I never said it was a perfect credence." He smiled hugging her close, felt good to feel her body against his.  Too good.  He took the box into his hands. "On second thought Dana," he said using her first name. "I will accept this, "he smiled fingering the tiny gold cross again. "Because my best friend loves me so much she even cares about my immortal soul."

  He hugged her closer, realizing he had the perfect place for this gift, knew exactly where to keep it where it would always be honored.

  "Sometimes Mulder," she breathed as he held her close, "Sometimes faith is the only thing that can get us through.  Sometimes it is all we have to cling to."

  "I do have faith Scully," he whispered into her ear, "I have faith in you, that's all I need." **

  Dana waited for Mulder to come by her house for their early morning walk; she had waited so long that Maggie had to give her a ride to school.

  "Maybe he is sick Dana." Maggie tried to reassure her.

  "Yeah, but he could have called and let me know, it's kinda rude," she huffed.

  School wasn't the same without him there, and though she had other friends her age, none of them were as fun as Mulder, they all seemed worried about such trite teenage angst, none of them spent their days contemplating government conspiracies.  She even got flippant looks from Dianna and her clique. Yeah, she thought Come on Dianna, piss me off right now, I may not know where to stop.

  She went straight to Mulder's house after school, and though she knew he would be upset at her being there, she went anyway.  She was pissed, but the worry she felt at his absence was more than a little unsettling.

  He came to the door, and she had tried to mask the horror in her face, but did a piss poor job of it. "Mulder," she squeaked. "What the hell happened to you, were you in a car accident?" she asked.  His face was swollen and bruised in large patches, his arm stiff and close to his side.

  A slight nod was all he managed;

  "Your jaw is wired shut huh?" she grinned, "I think I could get used to this..." she giggled.

  He stood in the doorway, debating whether or not to let her in, he knew his dad would be gone til late tonight, and Mom was upstairs passed out.

  "I brought your homework, maybe we could study here, just this once.." she was dying to see his house, his room.

  He gestured her in with his good arm, closing the door behind them.  The first thing that struck her was the darkness, then the quiet.  The idea of being in a giant tomb sent shivers down her spine.  The only sound came from a large grandfather clock in the far corner of some room somewhere, the harsh ticking reminding her of an Edgar Allen Poe tale, about something dead and buried and still the heart beating.

  He placed his hand in the small of her back, gently leading her to the stairs and up to his room.  As they climbed the stairs, she tried to picture in her mind what his room would be like, what to expect from the enigma that was her best friend.

  The first thing she noticed was the poster, a UFO hovering in mid air, with giant words across the bottom that proclaimed: "I Want To Believe."  She moved over to it, stepping over endless piles of clothes and books and...

  "Mulder," she clipped evenly "Please move your porn collection before I turn back around." She heard his slow shuffling, and by the time she had turned to join him on the bed, the magazines were shoved under the bed.

  "They're not mine." His quickly penned note informed her.

  "Uh Huh," she nodded after reading it.

  He brought his hand to her back as they sat together in the comfortable silence they had grown accustomed to. "So what happened to you Mulder?" she asked finally.

  His scribbled note assured her that after the proper care the car would ride again.

  "How long are you silent for?" she asked almost hopeful.  She didn't buy the deal with the car accident; she didn't see any evidence on his face that screamed car accident.  She knew pushing him into a confession would only make him close down, one of the many things they had in common.  She had other ways of making him talk.

  "Three weeks." He scribbled. "I have to suck my meals, and that does suck, do you know how hard it is to get ribs through a straw?" he wrote.

  She gave him a pouty little sorry look before smiling at his glare. "I think you need some caretaking here Mister." She huffed, rising and beginning to pick up his room.  He grabbed her and shook his head. "Yes" she stood her ground.

  He watched in awe as she made herself busy in his room, ignoring the piles under the bed, but refusing to add to them.  She noticed the doll on his bed, an old Raggedy Anne, anyone else she would have teased mercilessly, but seeing the gold cross on the doll, she knew whose it was, he had placed her gift on his most sacred of belongings, and somehow that was more precious to her than his wearing it.

  By six o'clock, she had finished his room and made him a bowl of soup.  She gently leaned over and placed a soft kiss on his forehead, patting his cheek she left promising to be back tomorrow after school.

  And as he watched her walk home in the still quiet of the softening night, he was sure he was falling in love with her.

I'm not sure of anyone
But I've got plans
I'm not asking for everything
But sure I could use a hand
Get a little anxious sometimes
You'll be gone and I'll be left
Get a little nervous sometimes
It'll be my cue and I'll forget my

Dashboard Confessional

She had come to his house every day, caring for him, and like a saint who could read minds, she was gone again by six in the evening.  She usually brought something home made from the kitchen of Maggie Scully, often heating it up in the kitchen without even turning on any lights.  She would bring it up to him in the small tray she found in the kitchen, and make sure he finished the entire meal.  She took care of him, doting on him and making sure he did not fall behind in any of his classes.

They spent most of the time curled up together on his bed, she held him in the silence, as they would listen to music, or watch TV.  His room was a trove of hidden treasures; there were things there from all over.  Alien lighters, models of cars and planes, and even an h scale train set in the far corner.  She found something interesting to ask him about every day.

"Mulder, why don't you ever talk about your parents?  I mean I have been here every day for the last two weeks and I have never heard nor seen them."

The sad face crossed over his features at her query, he had known sooner or later she would want to know what all the mystery was about, but he wasn't ready to divulge the hideous nature of his home life.  Then again, he probably never would be. "My father works for the State Department, and he is gone a lot, so I take care of my mother." He wrote. "My mother takes a lot of medication and it makes her kind of out of it." That was the nicest way he could explain his mother's pill fetish, and he somehow knew that Scully caught its true meaning.  She could always understand him, even when he couldn't understand himself.

"So, your parents are still together?" she asked.

"In a sense, but I don't think they have had a marriage for years now." The tone in his eyes screamed back off, but Dana plodded on.

"Because of Sam?"

"Sort of, there are other things too Scully." Please, his eyes begged, Please let it go.

She did, for now.

The day he met her at the door, she knew he could talk, the words, though unspoken, hung around his mouth just waiting for her to pull them out of the air.

"Thank you," he smiled in a hoarse raspy voice.

Dana took him home that day, Maggie and Charlie had missed him, and since the bruises on his face had healed, he would not cause such a fuss around the Scully household.  They fell right back into the routine, afternoons and weekends.

Thanksgiving, the Scully family had wanted to invite the Mulders over for the holiday. "I don't think that is such a good idea Scully." He mentioned to Scully on the walk to school one crisp fall day. "I don't really think my mom even knows what day it is," he admitted.

"Oh Mulder," she sighed. "I am sorry." They decided a little white lie to Maggie would suffice, they would tell them that his parents were going out of town for the week, and that he would be glad to spend the holiday there with them.

It was the first time he remembered looking forward to a holiday since Sam had disappeared, he knew he would have to tell Scully where he was going for college, he knew the longer he put it off, the worse it would be when he finally told her.  Somehow, he could not bring himself to ruin her that way, she was everything to him.

Thanksgiving Day, Mulder showed up early, bearing an actual pan of food.

"Whatcha got there Mulder?" Missy asked in a skeptical tone.

Mulder slid back the aluminum foil to reveal a pan of something with noodles. "What is that?" Missy and Dana asked in unison.

"My grandmother's recipe" he offered, smiling. "Noodle Koogle."  He looked at the stunned faces of the two girls. "It's a dessert." He offered trying to explain. "It's a Jewish thing." He said finally.

"Did you make this?" Maggie Scully asked in awe of the young man.

Mulder's ears went red as he nodded. "I figured I couldn't just show up here without bringing anything, I don't know if you've noticed this or not Mrs. Scully, but I really do eat like a horse."

"Fox," Maggie teased, "No, you have the appetite of a bird." Maggie tried to suppress giggles.

"Yeah," Dana mused. "A pterodactyl."

They had to admit, the sweet noodles was actually something delicious, there was nothing for Mulder to take home, Bill and Charlie had fought over the remains of the pan.  Mulder smiled at how they had enjoyed his creation; there were many things that Mulder had learned to cook over the years, mostly out of necessity.  It was the kind of gathering that Mulder had promised himself he would attend every holiday some day as an older and wiser man.

Dana went to his basketball games every week; they had gone to the first one right after he had healed from his accident.  He was so good on the court, tall and sure of himself, Dana found herself wishing he could find that same confidence when he wasn't competing with others.  He is his own worst competition, she mused to herself as he waved to her from his position.

Mulder and Scully walked home after that first game, he had the look of someone with the weight of the world on his shoulders.  She knew there was something bothering him, but she was afraid to ask, there were so many things left unsaid between them, so many unspoken secrets between kindred spirits.

"What's wrong Mulder?" she asked finally finding the words.

 He stopped in front of a streetlight in the late fall night. "I don't want this to end Scully." He answered wistfully.

"What to end Mulder?" she asked drawing closer to him.  In the last four months she had grown closer to this person than she had to anyone in her life, and though only fourteen and a half, she knew she loved him.  She could never tell him, and never would either, he had only a few months before he left for college, and though he had not mentioned to her where, Scully had the feeling it was somewhere far off, and probably at the crux of his melancholy mood this night.

He placed his arm around her waist, hugging her close. "I don't want this night to end, this school year, this-us." He breathed afraid of what he had said, and what she would take from it.  Her smile softened his fears.

"I know what you mean Mulder," she sighed." I keep thinking about your graduation, and I know you are going to go to college, I just feel like you are afraid to tell me where."

His Scully, so damn intuitive, for someone who did not believe in ESP, she sure had it down. "I have been accepted Scully. I am going to go to Oxford."

She couldn't believe what he had just uttered, her face drained of color and her eyes flashed intense blue. "That's in England Mulder." She managed. "Why so far away?"

"I need to get away from a life that I can't lead anymore Scully, and no that has nothing to do with you.  As a matter of fact, if you and your family had moved here a year earlier, I would have happily attended the junior college, just to be able to come home to you...and your mom's pot roast." She snickered, it was famed Mulder's love for Maggie's pot roast, and she always gave him a big chunk, insisting he ask for seconds when he wanted it.

He always did.

"I don't know how to react to losing my best friend." Dana had begun to try to put on that brave face, but the mask was still a little crooked.  She knew why he wanted to leave, his home was nothing like the one she had grown up in, there was little sound and less love, of course he had to get out, of course he had to run.

"You're not going to lose me Scully, "he reassured her, if she only knew he mused. "You may even have to beat me off you." he grinned lewdly at her, eliciting yet another raised eyebrow.

"Mulder, I am serious, you are going to be an ocean away, I hate to admit this, but I have kinda gotten used to having you around, I may find myself even missing you-to an extent." She wasn't exactly comfortable admitting the depth of her feelings, at least not yet.

"You have nothing to worry about; besides, we have at least eight months before I have to go.  Let's enjoy this ok?" he asked resting his head onto her hair, inhaling deeply her scent of honeysuckle and green apples. "I don't want to spend the rest of our time together with my leaving hanging over our heads, get it?"

"Is this where we promise to write each other every day, and that nothing is going to change, we will always remain close...yadda yadda yadda." She wasn't crying yet, but one more promise from him and she would burst into tears.

He smiled down at her. "Have you seen Star Wars yet?" he asked out of the blue.

"No, you know I don't like Science Fiction movies, and that one looks cheesier than my mom's Tuna Casserole." She laughed.

"Aww come on Scully, it's playing at the theatre on the square, we could go to the matinee tomorrow, I'll even treat..."

"Fox William Mulder, are you asking me out on an actual date?" she asked heart racing, try to play cool here Dana, she chided herself.

His face broadened into a smile, "What if I am?" he asked shyly.

She answered with a soft smile "I think I can sit through a couple of hours of lasers and death rays, besides, that Mark Hamill is a real cutie." She smirked.

"Ouch Scully, Ouch." He smiled.

The movie wasn't much for Dana to remember, Mulder seemed to enjoy pointing out important scenes for her, and she tried to seem interested, but she had a hard time watching the screen with him so close to her.

"What did you think of it Scully?" he asked as they left the theatre.

"Mulder, explain to me again why Darth Vader wants to create the Death Star?  I mean give me a break, what would be so great about ruling the universe?  If you ask me, it's more trouble than what it is worth." She knew she was poking him, but she couldn't help it, it was just fun. "And another thing, that whole THE FORCE thing, come on Mulder, first you tell me that you are an Atheist, then you go all ga- ga over a movie with such obvious religious overtones..."

Mulder looked down at the girl standing alongside him.  She was never more beautiful than when she was trying to prove him wrong. "Again, not a perfect credence Scully."

 And as they strolled past the small five and dime, Mulder reached for her hand, and she let him catch it.

Feel a little sorry sometimes
You're not here when I am writing
Feels a little awkward sometimes
You won't talk, but we're not fighting
You hold on to your secrets
And I'm not privy to what is on your mind
But I can't help but feel tired
So tired So tired So tired

Dashboard Confessional

Maggie Scully watched her daughter walk up the front walk holding the hand of the boy she had welcomed in her home as one of her own.  They seemed so natural together, and her keen Mother's eyes detected something different in the way they acted toward each other, something decidedly not just friendly.

Their favorite spot was in the swing on the now enclosed front porch, even when the weather had gone from chilly to downright bitter, the two teens would grab three blankets and curl up together, sometimes talking, but mostly arguing.  Often Mulder would just sit holding her daughter as they looked up at the darkening sky, just as now, Maggie could hear him explaining some vast mystery of the stars to Dana, as she in turn listened intently.

Her husband was insistent on her staying out of this, Bill Scully Sr. figured the two would either burn out, or eventually tie the knot. "Either way," he had written in one of his many letters. "It's good for Dana's self esteem Mags, let her have this one."

She did, grudgingly admitting that of all the boys her youngest daughter could have brought home, Fox Mulder was probably the pick of the litter.

"Fox," she asked the young man seated next to her daughter. "What are you doing for Christmas this year? I just thought that, well we really enjoyed having you over for Thanksgiving, and even though we are going out of town to visit family, I thought maybe you would like to come with." She smiled at the gaping face Dana wore.

"Wow," Mulder returned, not sure how to take this.  To be invited to the Scully home for Thanksgiving was one thing, but traveling with the pack meant something different altogether. "Can I get back to you on that one Mrs. Scully?" he asked

"Sure, but Dana's aunt and uncle are already aware and would love to have you." She came over to sit next to the swing that the two occupied "We just don't want you spending Christmas alone Fox," Maggie offered calmly. "And we all love you here so much." She put her hand on his arm and rose to go into the kitchen.

"Mulder, you ok?" Dana asked him, noting the silence that befell her usually talkative best friend.

"I want to go so badly Scully..." he began wistfully. "But I have to take care of my mom." He looked like he would cry.

"Mulder, at some point you have to let go, I mean you are leaving for college soon.  Who are you going to get to look in on her at that point?"

"I know Scully, but..." he shook his head with tears in his eyes. "If I am not there he will take it out on..." he stopped suddenly, looking like he had gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

"Mulder," Scully gawked "Are you saying that your father..." she couldn't even bring herself to say the words out loud.

He rose quickly, trying to escape the conversation she was sure to have out with him. "I have to go." He ducked.

"Funny," she began with a glare on her face he had learned meant to tread softly. "How you have to leave when things get touchy."

"Scully..." he warned softly.

"Whatever Mulder." She relented and walked upstairs without a good bye.

   I drove up to Hillside Manor
   Sometime after two am
   And I talked a little while
   about the year
   I guess the winter makes
   you laugh a little slower
   Makes you talk a little lower
   About the things you could not
   show her
   And it's been a long December
   And there's reason to believe
   Maybe this year will be
   better than the last
   I can't remember all the times
   I tried to tell myself to hold
   To these moments as they pass
   And it's one more day up in the
   And it's one more night in
   You think you might come to

Think you should.

-----Counting Crows

Mulder didn't know what to do about her, he had let her in so far, and she was still on the outside poking, trying to wiggle her way in further.  He wasn't keeping her out in some stupid macho attempt to be the big strong hero, he knew he wasn't that.  He didn't keep the information about his life from her in some vain attempt to save face; Mulder didn't hold much of any self esteem in the first place.  He wasn't afraid of his family issues chasing her off; he knew that if she decided to run, it would be better for her overall.

He was simply trying to keep her safe.  The more she knew about his family, the more danger she was in, and though he had very little knowledge of what his father actually did for the State Department, he knew enough to be careful.

He had never expected to care for Dana Scully so deeply, nor her family.  The Scully clan had become something of an Achilles heel for him, he could rarely tell them no, and even then he felt like he was letting the team down, if he wasn't so in love with Dana Scully he would have wished to be born into that family.

Maybe marrying into it is good enough he mused, but that was something that was a long way off, even though he knew where this was all heading, he just had a few things to accomplish first.

Like finding Samantha.

They had loaded up the two cars, Christmas gifts and suitcases, Dana had broke the news to her mother that Mulder would not be joining them, Mulder had made himself a ghost for the last week, and no one but Dana knew why.

"Are you two fighting Dana?" Charlie had asked missing his Basketball buddy. "Whatever it is just say yes, then he can come over again." Things were so simple at nine, and maybe things should have been simple at fourteen, but that was for people who weren't in love with Fox Mulder.

"Charlie, we are not fighting, and it's not that easy. "She sighed. "Mulder will be back after Christmas, ok?" she ruffled her little brother's hair before gathering together Mulder's gifts from the family and heading off to his house.

"Hi " she smiled when he popped his head out of the front door as she came around the corner.  He was watching for me, she mused to herself, feeling her cheeks get red at the thought.

"Hi yourself." He smiled back, hazel eyes twinkling at her.

"Where've you been Mulder?  The pong game hasn't been used in a week, Mom's threatening to fling it out the window." She smiled.

"Yeah, well I figured you guys needed space to get your things together to go out to California." He mumbled. "And maybe you needed a break from all of the Mulder drama."

"Mulder," she shook her head. "Being in love with you should involve hazard pay." She laughed, and then realized what she had said out loud.

"Scully?" Mulder's face so easy to read he could have been 74 point print. "I hope that isn't a joke, cause if it isn't you don't need to pull any of those presents out of that bag..." he grabbed her shoulders, holding her close. "I think I love you too Dana Scully," he cried into her hair.

They stood on his steps, holding each other, neither one wanting to break the magic.  She had accidentally told him she loved him, and as he held her close, she realized none of it was an accident at all.  His hands searched her face, and finding her chin, he lifted her mouth enough for his lips to reach.

She was rendered breathless in his kiss, found colors swirling behind her eyes as his mouth deepened its hold over hers as her hands went to his waist, she felt her knees begin to give out, and just as she was sure she was going to topple down the stairs, he was there, holding onto her, like she knew he always would be.

California possesses a beauty and serenity that few people would associate with the state, but in the low canyons and rolling hills there was a quiet desolation that evoked feelings within her of freedom and longing.  She had always enjoyed their trips out here, she had even spent a summer out in Fresno with her aunt and uncle one year, falling in love with the contradictory nature of the Californian topography, canyons and ocean, valleys and hills urban scrawl and rural sprawls. This vacation was different however, this vacation was miserable, she missed Mulder every day, they had agreed not to open their gifts to each other until they could be together, and she was dying to see what was in the three boxes of differing sizes.  She had only got him one gift, but she knew it would be perfect, she had taken a lot of time to think of this gift; wanting to be sure it would send the right message to him.  Not that the message needed to be inferred any longer.

He called her at six in the morning on Christmas Day, in truth he had held out as long as he could, Mulder missed her so badly he thought he was going to snap.  They talked for an hour, before everyone else awoke to begin the festivities.  He promised to call her again later, and Dana found herself wishing it was already later.

 "You haven't opened my presents yet have you?" he asked with a warning tone in his voice. "Cause Santa has no room on his lap for naughty little girls..." he chuckled "Mulder!" she admonished. "No dirty talk on Christmas, not all of us are godless heathens." "Hey," he pouted. "I miss you Dana." She knew that he was letting out real emotions when he threw out her first name, they had always referred to each other on a last name basis, and though she found it breathtakingly sexy to hear him use her first name, she still could not bring herself to call him Fox. "I miss you too Mulder, I'll be home in three days ok?" she comforted him. "We'll have our Christmas then, I promise." "Hey Scully," he purred in a voice she was quite sure she could get used to. "Don't forget to bring the mistletoe." **

He never called again that vacation.  She had waited up till two in the morning, long after the rest of the family had sacked out.  Dana cursed herself for having to be here, she began to worry about him, and a quick stolen phone call to his home yielded no answer.

She awoke the next morning begging to make another call, with a smile her uncle Dan agreed, but there was no point, the phone still went unanswered.

"I'm sure he is fine Dana," Missy tried to comfort her sister, but even she was worrying, Fox was so headlong for her sister, she didn't doubt some great Greek tragedy prevented him from sitting on the phone waiting to call her again.

She spent the next three days in a complete fugue, not being able to get a hold of Mulder and being stuck in California sent her into a fit of depression.  She even caught herself nibbling on her fingernails, something she had not done in years.  The plane ride home dragged on for hours, and when the car parked in front of the Scully residence, her father waved her away as she ran breathlessly for Mulder's house.

A more than middle aged woman opened the door when she knocked; it took her a few moments to realize who it was. "Mrs. Mulder?" she asked "Can I help you?" she asked in such a far away voice, Scully wasn't sure she was talking to her at all. "I came to see Mul-Fox, is he home?" she asked trying to see around the taller woman, trying to see if Mulder was lurking in the back. "No," she answered simply. "Are you one of his little friends from school?" she asked, again with the weird disconnected tone. "Yeah, look where is Mul- Fox?" she asked becoming both irritated and frantic, a bad combination for any Scully, bad things happen.

Mrs. Mulder finally met the girl's gaze, "He's still in the hospital, he has been there since Christmas." She stepped back into the house and made to shut the door.

"I don't understand Mrs. Mulder." Dana fumed, sticking her foot in the door casually. "Hospital? Why?  Which one?"

Teena Mulder regarded the tiny redhead on her front porch for a moment longer, smiled and then shut the door, Dana had seen something in the clearly not right woman's eyes that made her move her foot-quickly.

"Ahab!!" she called barging into her house gasping and upset. "I need your help Daddy." She cried as he held her.

"Dana, what's wrong?" he tried to calm his daughter down, but she was incensed.

"He's gone, and I need help finding him Daddy, please." She gasped between sobs.

"Ok," he soothed her, "Ok we will find him, just calm down and try to tell me everything you know, ok?" xxxxxxxx

Captain William Scully made five phone calls before he got the information that his daughter needed, Fox Mulder was in a hospital in Maryland, not responding to stimulus, and he had five broken ribs, a crushed clavicle and a severe concussion that he had not awakened from.  They feared some swelling on his brain, and the doctors contemplated exploratory surgery to find the source of it.  The broken ribs had collapsed his right lung, and he was intibated for a day, now extabated he seemed un-responsive.

She held it together the entire ride to the hospital, as her father explained all the things she could expect to see when she entered his room.  He also went over to her his prognosis, that he had some major injuries to get over, but overall he would be all right, at least physically.

"What happened to him?" she asked finally.

Bill Scully eyed his daughter, he wasn't sure how to tell her, or even if he should. "There was an incident on Christmas Dana; the cops had to be called to Fox's house..."

"Oh God, his dad did this to him..." she blanched.

"You knew about all of this Dana?" he asked incredulously.

"No, I had an idea, but Mulder always got so closed mouthed about his home life.." she trailed off, not exactly comfortable discussing it with her father.

They drove in silence, and upon parking in the hospital parking lot, Dana broke into a run and went full tilt till she reached Mulder's room.

Even though her father had spent most of the hour long ride preparing her for the shock of seeing her best friend in the hospital, none of this was near what she was ready for.  His long frame lay dormant, hidden by the hospital thermal blankets.  Monitors beeped incoherent rhythms and there were wires traveling off of his body.

A nasal canella improved his oxygen intake, and he had bandages over a good portion of his upper body, including the coronal part of his head. She eased up to the side of his bed, drawing a chair with her. "Hey" she offered to the still boy in the bed, taking his good hand into hers and gently kissing it. "Mulder, you have to get up, ok?  I really want to open my presents and the suspense is killing me." She sniffed.

He didn't respond, and yet somehow she knew he could hear her. "C'mon Mulder, get up, we got stuff to do before you leave for college.  You can't spend the next eight months ignoring me; I couldn't have been that bad a kisser." She laughed.

Smiling, she pulled something out of her pocket that she had been holding onto since she talked to him on the phone, "Look what I brought Mulder?" she asked holding the mistletoe above his head.  Producing a tack from her pocket, she hung the mistletoe above his head on the wall.

"Ok," she smiled down at him patting down his unruly hair as she spoke. "So I am here now, waiting, just waiting for you to open those gorgeous hazel eyes of yours.  The mistletoe is waiting too," Grinning one of Mulder's lewd grins, Dana sat back down in the chair, and laying her head down on the bed next to him she went to sleep, still clutching his hand.

Captain Scully looked in on his daughter before leaving for home, it was pointless to awaken her and insist she come home, he had friends here that would ensure her quiet repose and look in on her, he softly walked to his youngest daughter, kissed her cheek and leaving her a note and money on his bedside, he turned and left.

It was a hot summer night and the beach was burning
There was fog crawling over the sand
When I listen to your heart I hear the whole world turning
I see the shooting stars falling through your trembling
You were licking your lips and your lips were shining
I was dying just to ask for a taste
We were lying together in a silver lining
By the light of the moon there was not another moment to waste
And you hold me so close that my knees grew weak
And my soul is flying high above the ground
I'm trying to speak but no matter what I do
I just can't seem to make any sound

Meat Loaf

"Dana," her mother called form across the bridge of sleep.

"Dana you have to get up, you need to come home, at least for a few hours ok?" Maggie gently rubbed her daughter's back, she had let Bill leave her up at the hospital for two days, but Maggie worried that Dana was not caring for herself. "Mom," she breathed, shaking off the haze of sleep. "I have to stay here I have to be here when he wakes up..." They had gone in yesterday to relieve some of the swelling in Mulder's brain, they weren't positive he would awaken soon.

"Dana, you are not taking care of yourself, when was the last time you even ate?" she noted her daughters haggard appearance and her worn too long clothes. "I will bring you back after ten hours, deal?" she knew Dana needed to be here, but she needed to care for Dana.

Reluctantly, Dana kissed Mulder on the cheek and told his idle form that she would return in the morning.  If he heard her, he made no response to it.  She looked back over her shoulder at the boy lying still in the hospital bed, and said a silent prayer for him to awaken.

She went over to the Mulder house on a mission. There were a few things she wanted to retrieve form there to bring back to the hospital with her.  While Maggie believed her to be upstairs sleeping, Dana slipped out of the patio door of her house and padded off to Mulder's in the cool still frosty winter night.

She walked with a purpose, during the time she had nursed him after his last run in with Bill Mulder, Mulder had shown her the hidden key, if ever he could not get to the door she had an in.

A little breaking and entering was good for the soul, she mused.  Quietly with extreme caution, she removed the key from its place, only mildly afraid of walking in on Bill Mulder himself.  Praying silently, she crept into the front door, stealing into his room and retrieving his prized possessions, including her present to him, Samantha's doll, and the cross she'd given him.

Pocketing a few more items she made her way out the house, not wanting to run the risk of even running into either of Mulder's 'parents'.

Maggie had gladly taken her daughter back to the hospital in Baltimore, Dana was a wreck at home, she had not slept and barely shoveled down a bowl of chili, what was once her favorite meal.  Maggie bid Dana good luck and barring a phone call, promised she would return to collect her tomorrow.

She smelled the smoke before she even made it to his room, which she could not understand, Mulder did not smoke, and they rarely let anyone smoke in a hospital.  The middle aged man sat in her chair, by Mulder's bed, smoking.

"Ms. Scully, I had hoped that we would finally meet, but I had wished under much better circumstances." He drew in a long drag off the cigarette in his hand.

"I don't think you should be smoking in here, Mr. Mulder," she fumed

He chuckled at her improper recognition. "I'm not Mr. Mulder," he defended, drawing yet another long puff before extinguishing it in the ashtray.

"Then who are you?" Dana was getting really tired of this game.

"A family friend, I am glad I got to meet you Ms. Scully, I have heard so many good things from you." He smiled.

"From whom?" she asked unbelievingly.

"My dear, I am an associate of Mr. Mulder, and what we do for the government well let's just say I deal in knowledge.  You have quite the scientific mind; I look forward to observing your career." He smiled at her again. "I am sure we will hear nothing but great things from you." He looked back down at the boy on the bed. "This is a shame."

Dana softened at the perceived concern in the man's voice. "Yeah," she agreed, trying to mask her emotions.

"I can assure you of two things Ms. Scully>" he offered to her as she drew in closer to her. "One, this will never happen again, Mr. Mulder and his actions have been dealt with, this is something that will never be repeated."

"Thank You." She meant it, something about this man emitted power and influence, it made Scully wonder about what line of work Mr. Mulder was really in. "And the second thing?" she asked like a child promised an ice cream cone.

The mysterious man reached into his pocket and lit a second Morely. "He will awaken shortly Dana." He looked into her deep blue eyes, searching them. "Fox finally got lucky in his short miserable life, he is fortunate to have you and your family.  You all care so deeply for him.  I hope you two can remain-close. I do have a request for you my dear, just a small one for the favor I have done."

"Ok," she offered flatly, not sure if this man could be real.

"Don't tell Mulder I was here, he is not very fond of the work his father does, and I am afraid that my presence may upset him in his state.  I realize the two of you base your-friendship on complete honesty, but I am a powerful ally Dana, if there ever comes a time you need an alliance, you'll know how to contact me." He smiled down at the young girl before rising out of his seat and leaving.

Scully ran to the door, but only caught the tail of his trench coat as he disappeared around the corner.  She watched the fabric flap around the wall before it followed its owner into the brightly lit hall.  She had stood with the door open far longer than she had realized.

"Scully," the voice made her whip around at lightning speed.

"Mulder," she cried reaching his side in seconds flat. "Oh my God you are awake!" She touched his face, his hair wanted to touch every inch of him just to believe.

"Didja miss me?" he grinned as she buried her face into his neck. "Hey Scully, you been smoking?"

"So, what did I get for Christmas Scully?" he asked after the doctor's had examined him thoroughly, they satin his room. He in the bed sitting up, she at his side, in the uncomfortable hospital chair.

She handed him the small box that held his present, shaking it he eyed her with a small smile. "Not another cross, right?" he asked half jokingly.

"Don't push it Mulder." She warned with a grin.

"Oh Scully," he gasped as he removed the framed photo from its box.  Maggie had snapped a picture of the two on one of the nights they had curled up in the parch swing; a chilly afternoon found both of them spooned up together.

"At first," she began a little embarrassed by how much he actually like the gift. "I was going to get you some of those Star Wars action figures you like so much..."

"This is much better!" he exclaimed, glancing up at the mistletoe. "And I think it's about time to break that thing in."

"Uh uh, not until I open my gifts Mulder." She decided to attack the biggest one first, unceremoniously ripping the paper to shreds to get to the present within.  He had given her his basketball jacket, the one she always stole anyway. "I figured this way is easier." He grinned. "I'm always afraid you'll roll me for it one night." Ok, so she scared him a little, hell half the school was afraid to piss her off.

She opened the middle one next, not sure what to expect, laughing when she realized it was the same picture, only in a different frame. "My mother must have had a good laugh on this one." Scully grinned.

"Great minds Scully," he glowered.

It was the last gift that took her breath away and made her realize how deep his love for her went, how utterly unfathomable they had delved into love with no end in sight, jumping into a pool that seemingly had no bottom.  He was beet red as she opened the present, heart racing afraid of how she would react to something so personal, so meaningful. "I don't know what to say Mulder," she cracked, tears streaming as he held her hand and placed the tiny ring on it.

"It used to be Samantha's, she could never fit it." He smiled. "It actually came from my grandmother, I want you to have it, I want you to let it mean whatever you feel safe with letting it mean.  The stones reminded me of your eyes.  The first time we met, that was the first thing I remember seeing of you."

She sat staring at the delicate gold ring set with three small diamonds, with two sapphires between them, the bluest clearest sapphires she had ever seen. "It's so beautiful; to say thank you seems so insufficient." She was crying, and for the first time in her life she did not care who saw.

"Say you will Scully, say that from this moment on its me and you, no matter what, no matter how far away we are apart, say its me and you. I know I am leaving, and I don't expect you to put your life on hold for me, but say some day, when we are older and wiser, say our roads will run along together, and we are not only to meet at a crossing.  Say that we will always be here for each other, that someday is a definite, and not an if." He needed her to say it. "Say we will Scully, please?"

Her face was red and puffy from the tears shed, "Mulder," she said

"No," he answered shaking his head "Since the day I met you Dana, I have known two things, one when you make up your mind that is it.  And two, you have made my life so much better than what it was.  My life has started to make sense.  When Samantha was taken, everyone told me I was nuts to believe that she was abducted by aliens, and though you didn't agree with me Scully, you never once called me crazy.  Granted I did get the eyebrow...but you offered me theories, you ground me Dana, when I am flying off into the wild and unfettered, you ground me." His eyes pleaded "please Dana, say you believe..."

"You took the words right out of my mouth..," she answered, as they finally managed to break in the mistletoe.

He stood in the Auditorium of the Breman Academy, gold gown with matching cap.  Mulder looked out at the faces in the crowd, scanning to find the ones that had come for him.  His own mother and father had not come to see him walk across the stage, his mother still in rehab, his father just missing.  Yet, almost an entire row was taken up by the family that fate had given him.  All in all, he was luckier than he ever could have imagined.  He had people who loved and cared for him, acceptance into the college of his choice, and an amazing girlfriend, albeit a little younger than him.

He smiled as he walked across the stage; the entire row of his family rose to their feet and whooped like Indians, raising the corners of his mouth into a grin that few could mistake.

The summer passed in warm glows and long days spent with Scully.  They went to the beach a lot, they had both decided to get as much as they could out of their time together, she spent more and more time at his house, which he rambled around alone now.  They spent July Fourth almost setting fire to Mulder's back yard, and as they ran around dumping water on Mulder's attempts at pyrotechnics, the two teens laughed and knew that this was only the beginning of a life of crazy times together.  Mulder had a habit of getting into trouble, and Dana would have to-often with brute force-drag his ass out of the fire.  Once at the beach, Mulder almost got them into a major fight with some bikers, promising the burly men she would take him home for a sound beating, they were allowed to leave.

"See that Mulder," she grinned as they walked back through the streets of the small town. "You can't live without me, who is gonna save your ass in England?"

"Guess I will have to be friendlier with the natives, "he smirked. "Or cram you into one of my trunks." He grinned. "That would actually solve several problems..." Mulder ducked as Scully swatted at him, he had gotten faster, but she still nailed him right in the back of the head.

Scully became more melancholy as the days turned to August, realizing that the time with him could be counted in hours, she found any and every reason to be near him, and he her.  They walked their favorite paths together, familiar and worn in their plodding.  "Scully," he began one afternoon a week before he left. "I don't want you to be so sad.  I feel like this is all my fault, I should never have pursued this."

"No, Mulder." She insisted "This is the one part of this whole situation that is right.  Don't ever doubt that." She turned to face him, grabbing his hands, "I love you," she said simply, letting the near Fall wind blow in the space between them.

They spent the next day together in Mulder's room, boxing and packing and sorting.  He had no plan to take everything to England, but he had wanted her to have a few things for safe keeping.

"Mulder, I can't keep this." She stated as he held out Samantha's doll to her.

"Well, I certainly can't take it to school with me, even for a Psyche major its too Jungian " he smiled at his joke.

She took the doll home with her, along with two other large boxes of Mulder crap.  These were things that she had wanted from his room, things that smelled of him, and reminded her of his face.  She envied him; he would have so much to keep him busy, to not miss her.  What did she have here?  High School.  Scully had decided not only was she going to go for an early graduation, she thought maybe she would at least apply to Oxford, who knows.

But the money, which made her ask Mulder a sensitive question. "Mulder, how are you paying for this?" she asked the next day as they sat in his room finishing up the last of the packing.

"Oh, yeah, that," he hemmed. "Well, there is this trust fund that I have had since, well birth actually. " he grinned at her, not sure how much to divulge.

"Man, some people are just born lucky." She quipped.

"No Scully, the only thing that makes me lucky is you, which reminds me...I have been given special permission to keep you out late on Tuesday, want to go on a date with me?  Before you answer, this one is special, and I am trying to make up for the whole prom fiasco." He had been given permission special because his flight left Wednesday afternoon.

The Prom Fiasco was something that was still a sore subject between the two friends, Mulder had dumped an entire plate of hot nachos all over her dress, this before they even reached the school. It was Mulder's infamous appetite that had lead them to the taco stand before the dance, he had complained of the bird food they would try to feed them at Prom, claiming he was on the verge of dying from starvation, she relented.  They ended up spending the night dancing on the beach in the headlights of the car that Scully's father had let Mulder drive.  Secretly, Scully felt it was a hundred times better than what the prom could have offered, and there was more than just a small part of her that believed that Mulder may have done it on purpose.  They dined on Chinese take out and held each other as the stars twinkled just for them.

"A date Mulder?  I am not going to see Star Wars again, you have dragged me off to that movie ten times already, I have given in so far out of sheer duty, but enough is enough." She smirked.

"No, this is a real date, you know like normal people?  Surely you know what one of those is?" he leered at her suggestively.

"Mulder, you ever give me that look again and I'll make sure you are infertile." She smiled. "And yes, I will go out with you, like you had to ask." Xx

He actually picked her up from her house in a car he rented, well technically Bill Mulder rented it, at least his credit card did.  He handed her a dozen red roses at the door, smiling at her reaction.  He was dressed in a suit and led her out to the car, even opened the door for her. "You ready for this Dana?" he asked her "And I figured tonight, just tonight, we could use first names?"

"Fox," she offered trying really hard not to laugh.

"Never mind Scully,"

He took her to a restaurant in Baltimore, having asked her mother what her favorite food is, he made reservations at an upscale Italian Restaurant.

"Mulder, have you seen the prices in here?" She asked with one eyebrow cocked. "Or are you planning to do a dine and ditch?"

"No dine and ditch here Scully," he laughed "Order whatever it's all on me tonight, well kind of. " He flashed her the credit card, the one she assumed paid for the car.

They giggled at the older people in the restaurant, who seemed to all enjoy watching the handsome young couple enjoying their night out.

"So, Scully," he began, wanting to learn things about her he did not know yet, wanting this to be a memorable night. "Have you given any thought to what you want to be when you grow up? "

"Yeah I haven't even thought that far into the future, I know what my dad wants me to be." She mused looking into her wine glass filled with sparkling water. "He wants me to follow in his footsteps."

"A doctor huh?  Well that would be good, you know I am prone to getting scrapes and things, it would be good to have a doctor around..." he smiled.

"Don't go canceling your HMO just yet Foxy Boy," she grinned. "I don't think that is my path.  I mean, do you know what your path is Mulder?  Honestly do any of us know?" she didn't mean to sound so existential, but she was getting tired of her parents and teachers nagging her about her future plans.

"Actually Scully, I know exactly what I want out of life." He looked at her fixedly. "I am going to pursue my degree in Psychology, probably to a master's and then I plan to find my sister." He offered.

"Do you really think you could find her Mulder?" She asked trying to sound supportive, now was not the time for one of their infamous arguments, he would be on his way to England in less than twenty four hours.

"I think I can find answers Scully, even if I can't find her, I think I can find the answers, which may lead to her.  I have to try Scully, she is my only sister." He looked away trying to change the subject.

They ate in silence for a time, eyeing each other mischievously, and sharing meals without words spoken between them.

As Mulder paid the check, Scully made her way to the lady's room, meeting him in the car.

"Where to now?" she asked adjusting her dress, it was sticky even for late August.  The heat had made her uncomfortable in the cotton knit dress she had chosen to wear.

"I thought we could drive around for a while, and maybe end up where we met?"

The soft rock station played softly in the background as the two danced barefoot in the sand, neither one wanting to end the night.  He held her close, inhaling her scent, imprinting it on his soul.  Her head rested on his chest, listening to his heartbeat as she followed his gentle lead.

"I gotta take you home soon Scully..."he said finally. "It's just after midnight, I promised Mr. Scully your coach would turn back into a pumpkin at twelve Cinderella"

"I know," she sniffed, trying to memorize this night second by second

They continued their slow dance under the full moon as the oceans tide roared along to the music....

"Do you know what time it is young lady?" Maggie was not one to raise her voice, but to have your fifteen year old daughter come home at four in the morning warranted some anger.

"I know Mom, ground me, ok?" Scully asked, tears in her voice.. "Cause he's leaving tomorrow and it doesn't matter anyway.  "She ran up to her room and slammed the door.

Mr. Scully drove Fox to the airport; his luggage had been sent along by airport transport the day before.  Fox and Dana sat clutching onto each other in the back seat; no words were spoken between the two, as if goodbye would be too final and too real.  He felt bad for his daughter, she would be in a lot of pain for a while after this, but he knew she had the strength to suck it up and tough it out.  These two were the real thing.

They trudged hand in hand through the terminal, heads down, words hanging in the air.  When he got to his gate and checked in, Scully hung back as he made nice nice with the flight attendant behind the counter, trying to seem disinterested, and possibly just beginning to feel a little pissed off.

He walked over to her waving his boarding pass, carry on slung over his shoulder. "I am all set." He began. "My flight leaves in ten minutes..." he held her then, scooped her into a death grip.  She debated giving him an ultimatum, but knowing he would choose her, she opted not to, she had always hated girls that did that, and this was too important, for him, for them.  This was Mulder's future, which in turn was her future.

They sat there, in the hard plastic chairs of the waiting area, clinging onto each other for dear life when his flight was called over the intercom, she refused to let go. "Dana," he breathed deeply, "Its time."

"I know," she cried, "But I am not ready." She did relent as he kissed her mouth, deeply and with intent, the kiss went on longer than any other they had ever shared.  His mouth claimed hers entirely, hands scooping her hair as he pressed into her.

"I have to do this." He breathed, breaking the kiss. "I have to go now, tell me you love me."

"You love me," she repeated with a small smile

"Yeah, you love me too." He smiled kissing her hands, "I want to claim this one moment when I get back for Christmas ok?  We can pick up right here, right where we left off, go it?" He kissed her finger that bore her ring on it. "Don't forget Dana." He smiled and hurried down the hallway to his plane, and then he was gone.

She cried for a week straight.

Just a little Green
Like the color when the Spring is born
There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow.
Just a little Green
Like the nights when the northern lights perform
There'll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there'll be sorrow

Joni Mitchell

Dana had cried til she was sure there were no more tears possible, that her ducts had simply given up and closed up shop.  When his first letter arrived, a day after she saw him on the plane, she cried harder.  He had sent it out to her three days before he even left, wanting to make sure his first letter got to her right when she needed it.

God, why did he have to be so freaking sweet?  She wanted so bad to hate him, hadn't he abandoned her?  Loved her and then left her?

Come on Dana, you guys are as close to engaged as your gonna get without a hall and a date.

She knew he loved her, but the pain of losing him to college was too much, she stayed in bed that first week, cramming chocolate and mallow mars down her throat in mass quantities.  Her mother and father were beside themselves, they were not sure how to handle this pain she was dealing with.  They hoped she would snap out of it, and they prayed she would get through it.

Funny what things can drag you out of your own head kicking and screaming.

It was the second Saturday without him, only fifteen days after he left on the plane. She had sat in her room, box of Kleenex at her feet with tiny rolled balls of paper tears stretched out around the room.  She sat staring out of her window, as if any minute his lanky form would stroll up to the basketball hoop and poke Bill Jr. into a game, or pick up Charlie and make to stuff him into the hoop.  She wasn't the only one in the house missing the spooky teen, somehow, Fox Mulder had wormed his way into the house, he had become imprinted on the very walls, his voice as present as the stairs.

Charlie came bounding into her room in that way that only nine year olds can. "Hey Dana Dane." He sang as he flopped onto her bed.

"Charlie, one: don't call me that, and two, what are you doing in my room without knocking I might add." She reached over and snatched the doll away from her younger brother before he got the chance to grab it.

"I know you miss him Dana, he will be back, remember you told me on Christmas?"  He smiled at his own brilliance. "He always comes back for you Dana." Charlie got up and ran outside to chase after the ice cream man.  The words didn't mean much to the nine year old, he was just trying to get his big sister to not be so grouchy, but Dana realized something in his words.

The little shit was right.

"Order Up!" Scully shouted as she threw the food onto Styrofoam containers, it wasn't as if she really needed a job, her parents were aghast when she came home clutching the hideous uniform.

"Mom, I need this, I can't be here all the time its too much..." she tried to explain to them, surprisingly Ahab needed more convincing than Maggie, she knew all about being without the man you love, and rattling around a house that has everything of him there, except him.  It was agreed that as long as she maintained her same gpa, she could continue to work.  Maggie convinced her husband she would quit as soon as she worked thorough the sadnesses.

They finally relented, and happily Dana Scully became the newest crew member at McDonald's.  In truth, she hating the job, she hated the smells the food, and her idiot co workers.  Mostly she hated the customers, they were so demanding and smug in their requests, she tried to ignore as many as she could, which earned her a permanent slot on the grill.  Mulder's letters came like clock work, even from across the ocean he was a workaholic, she knew when to expect his letters, and his love for her never faltered.  She wrote him back often, locking herself in her room til all hours of the night to pen to him the perfect words that flew around in her heart.  He wrote of the beauty of England, he wrote of trips with friends to the British countryside, and professors with accents so think he almost needed a translator.  Mulder had taken the train to nearby Austria, but refused to go to France, writing in his letter that was the one place he would wait and go with her, so they could see it together for the first time.

She knew he was having more fun than he wanted to admit to her, and that was fine, she worried about all the sophisticated female students he attended school with., Scully never doubted his loyalty, but guys had hormone issues, even paranoid guys who trusted no one.

She still dragged herself off to work each day she was scheduled, not wanting to be around the house to be gogged at and doted upon, not wanting to be in a house that reminded her of him.

The flu bug hit the Scully household in late October, but it hit none harder than Dana.  Everyone was down for a week, forcing Dr. Scully to not return for his monthly check in home.

"If you don't stop pushing yourself Dana, you are never going to get over this bug." Her mother warned as she watched her youngest daughter's constant green complexion.

"I am not pushing myself Mom." She insisted, dragging out her books to study for an hour before she had to go to work.

"Dana, maybe this job is too much too soon..." but the words died in her throat, Maggie knew that look well, Dana was so much like her father, stubborn and harder on herself than anyone. "All right Dana, just do me a favor, cut back for a while just until you get over this." Maggie pleaded.

"Sure, fine whatever." Dana dismissed. Her mother's request, long enough to run off into the bathroom.

"Hey Scully," he sang on the phone, "You doing ok?  Your mom says you been sick." He had worried about her every day since leaving,

"I'm fine Mulder." Dana was so happy to hear from him, she did not want to dwell on anything negative. "How do you like it over there?" she asked trying not to sound too interrogative.

"Its ok, but..." he drawled. "Would have been a lot better if you'd just crawled into one of my trunks..." he chuckled

"Mulder," she warned suppressing giggles herself.

"Aww Scully, you know you would have fit."  She could picture that pouty little lip of his just dying to be kissed.

"Are you still coming home for Christmas?" she asked hoping it didn't sound too pitiful.

"I may have a better idea Scully, and believe it or not, your parents are all for it."

He paced the terminal at Heathrow airport, absently checking his watch every three minutes.  Of course the plane was late, he had made it through this long, and of course he would have to wait longer than he thought originally.

Life could be so damn mean sometimes.

His Scully was on her way to England to spend two weeks with him for Christmas, he had convinced her parents to let her come to him, they were happy to send off their youngest daughter half an ocean away just to be with him..  The Scully's were not well-off, so Mulder assured them that if they could purchase the round trip air fare, he would happily pay for everything else.

Her flight came an hour later, by then Mulder was ready to run off onto the tarmac and drag her off the plane himself, instead he waited solemnly as she mad her way through the hall. "Scully!" he yelled over the crowd of people.

She ran to him breathlessly, almost stumbling over a few small children and some luggage.  They held on to each other as if this were the last time.  He kissed her mouth and she searched his eyes.

"I have missed you terribly," he breathed into her hair, trying not to cry.

"Don't do that, "she begged him, wiping a tear brimming in the corners of his eyes threatening to fall. "If you start then I'll start, next thing you know the animals are being gathered in twos." She smiled.

"See Scully," he smiled, "We picked up right where we left off."

Hand in Hand, they made their way through the terminal, Mulder hailed a cab and they made for London.

For their first night, he had rented a motel in a cheap section of town.  "I figured we would stay in hostiles as much as we can," he grinned," But this was the best I could do tonight."

They lay together, he held her close as they dared not sleep, neither one wanting to waste one precious second together

She laid her head on his chest, listening for the gentle rise and fall of his chest,

"Where do you want to go first?" he asked her drawing her closer to him.

"Hmm," she thought for a time, "I'd like to see Paris Mulder, and since we are only a train ride away..."

"Done," he conceded.

Years from now, each one would look back on their two weeks with an awe that many hold for a time in their life where they were not only at the pinnacle of their youth, but they were at their most free.  Mulder led her across Europe, showing her all the sights that the continent had for them.

If he didn't notice her slight weight gain, he did notice her lag, she was slower than usual, often as they hiked across country sides; she would have to stop to catch her breath. "You ok Scully?" he asked too many times.

"I'm fine," she would answer too quickly.

The last day they arrived back in London for her to return home. "I don't want to leave," she sniffed holding onto his hand.

"I will be home in three months ok?" he asked kissing her again.

It wasn't three months but five, turned out he stayed on in England through the spring holiday, and though he tried to get Dana to come out again, she flatly refused.  No reason given, no excuses needed, she simply told him no.

Even after offering to pay for the entire trip, he enlisted the help of Maggie who said she would try. "Why won't you go out there Dana?" she asked her daughter a few days later. "Is it because of your weight?" Her daughter had ballooned over the4 last few months, no one felt quite comfortable mentioning to her, Dana had become distant and far off of late.

Instead of a verbal response, Dana offered her a glare that meant to back off, "Well Dana, you can either face your issues, or continue to stuff them, but I would think that you would have jumped at the chance to go see him again."

How could she explain to anyone what she was feeling, what was going on, there were so many things she could not face herself, she hated what she had become, hated the way she looked and felt.

School had become miserable, she was keeping up with her classes, but the other students had picked up on her weight gain and it became one of the biggest fodder topics for the rumor mill..  She stayed alone as often as she could, even opting to not have a partner for AP Biology.

Too painful.

When things got too bad that spring, as the school year drew to a close, she found herself at the beach more and more, trying to solve the endless mysteries that rattled around in her head.

The sea was so beautiful and Mulder had been right, it was not quiet, never quiet.  In fact the ocean had a lot to say, and she would sit for hours on end listening to its opinions.

Since turning sixteen, she had procured her driver's license, after one quick lesson from Maggie she had it down pat, and now, license in hand, keys in the other, she loaded herself into the car to go and pick him up from the airport.  He was not expecting her, Bill was going to drive her out there, but Maggie relented at Dana's request she had found herself giving into the sad girl more and more over the past few months.

She maneuvered her way through traffic, trying to find the strength to do what she had been putting off too long.  It had been hard for her the last few months, not admitting to herself what was going on was one thing, but hiding it had become something entirely different.  This was the true reason she did not pack her bags and go running off for England two months ago,

He had noticed something last time she saw him, he had noticed her girth and her slow moving, but still he did not guess, secretly she had wished he would have, that she would tell her best friend this one thing that would affect them both forever.  But he was the last person she could tell, so she carried her secret around in sweatshirts and loose fitting pants, not daring to even let anyone try to get near her

It was time to tell.

He was seated on the curb of the pick up rounder, his bags strewn around him, when he saw the car his face lit up as he stood to run towards the vehicle.  When he noted who was driving he stopped dead in his tracks.

"Scully?" he asked more than a little surprised, :"You're mobile!" he grinned as she popped the trunk and motioned for him to load

"What, Mulder, you seemed surprised that I can drive?  And no you are not driving home I am, you think cause you are the guy you should be driving?" she didn't mean to snap, but she was not in the mood for all the playful teasing not today.

"No," he shot back a little more angrily than he meant, "I just never thought your little feet could reach the pedals."

They drove along in a very tense silence, night had fallen on the long drive back home and she had to tell him before they got home, he had to know.

"Mulder," she began trying to find the right words. "I have to tell you something, and I know it is going to really piss you off, I am not exactly thrilled myself."

Uh oh he thought, here it comes she is finally wising up and now she is going to dump me, he thought to himself as he felt the tears in his eyes begin.  Cautiously he glanced over at the tiny red head, other than having gained a few pounds she was still the same, but he did notice she was no longer wearing the ring. "Just come out and say it Scully<" he muttered looking out the window at the dead night.

She sighed, gathering her strength, trying to find the last pocket of dignity in her oversized pants. "I'm-"

"WHAT IS THAT??" He screamed as the wheels of the tires screeched and the world went black.

Born with the moon in Cancer
Choose her a name she will answer to
Call her Green and the winters cannot fade her
Call her Green for the children who've made her
Little Green, be a gypsy dancer

Joni Mitchell

Dana Scully awoke in the bed of a hospital, disoriented and scared.  The last memory she had was of driving Mulder home and trying to find the right words to tell him that she was pregnant, due any day.  As she rose from the bed, her body sent off to her a warning signal. Something here was different, something was not quite right.

"Mulder?" she asked as she anchored her body with her arms.

"Shh, Dana its ok.." her mother's voice calm and quiet, but just a hair this side of worried.

"Where is he Mom," She asked fearing the worst, "Where is Mulder?"

Her mother looked deep into the blue eyes before her, "He's fine Dana, it's you we were worried about..."

"I need to see him," she insisted, making to get up again..

"You can't," her mother said flatly, a tone in her voice that Scully had never heard before. "He is busy answering questions, and I have a few of my own Dana."

"I know you are mad mom, please don't be mad, this was an accident, I didn't mean for any of this to happen..."

"Dana," her mother snapped. "All of that is fine and well Dana, but the police want to know where is the baby?"

Why you look so sad?
The tears are in your eyes
Come on and talk to me now.
Don't be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
Cause I've seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
And you don't know what to do,
Nothing you confess,
Could make me love you less
I'll stand by you

The Pretenders

Fox Mulder sat in the small room at the police station, his third cup of coffee sat in front of him still untouched. They all had questions, not realizing he was as much in the dark here as they were.

Not only did he just discover he was a father, but also the father of a now missing newborn.

He sat plucking invisible lent off of his jeans, not knowing what else to do to keep busy. He wanted so badly to be angry at Scully right now, he even toyed with the idea of never speaking to her again, but that would be cutting off his nose to spite his face.  He could no more live without her than he could without oxygen.  And yet and still, she had lied to him, had kept their baby from him, why?

The fat cop in the sweaty brown uniform came over to the table he sat at. "Can I leave now, I have to see if Dana is ok,"  Mulder stated as authoritatively as possible

The cop grinned at him lewdly, "Haven't you done enough there big guy?" the cop leered.

"I am gonna pretend I didn't hear that, but one more comment and I am gonna lawyer up, now I want to go see my girlfriend."

"Uh huh," the cop offered, still leering at the teen. "You can just sit right there, I couldn't release you if I wanted to." He grinned at the young man's discomfort "The Feds has been called in on this one, and they requested you sit tight until they get here."

"Can I at least call over to the hospital please, she was hurt pretty bad in that car wreck." He hadn't answered any of their questions; he needed to talk to Scully first, needed some answers of his own.

The cop relented as Mulder dialed the number the cop gave him. The cheery operator put him through to Scully's room.  His voice caught in his throat at the sound of Maggie's voice. "Mrs. Scully." He cracked, suddenly afraid of whatever conversation was about to take place.

"Yes," she clipped not wanting Dana to know who was on the phone. "She is fine."

"Is she awake Mrs. Scully?" he pressed.

"Yes, she is," she answered again, curtly.

Mulder was starting to get a headache. He had realized she assumed that he had also known all along.  It was not his place to explain, Dana made that decision, let her calm her mother down. "Mrs. Scully, I don't want to get into a thing on the phone, as soon as I am done here, I will be at the hospital."

"Ok," she sighed, and Mulder could hear the weariness in her voice, yeah this was a mess.

"Mom," Dana asked from her bed, "Was that Mulder, can I talk to him?" she began to try to get up again.

"Yes Dana, that was Fox, he is still at the police station, he said he will be here when he is done." She tried to be as evenly tempered about this as her nature would allow, but there were just too many issues here to start addressing one at a time.

Scully saw the sadness in her mother's face, and felt horrid that she had been the root of that pain.  "Mom," she began trying to find the right words. "Mulder didn't know I wouldn't tell him either.  He just thought I was fat and you know what?  He loved me anyway." She smiled. "He had faith in me, as did everyone else and I totally blew it; this is all my fault," she breathed, feeling a relief at telling. "Mom this is such a mess, I tried to tell him in the car on the way home, he needed to know."

"So you two were..."

Just then a doctor entered the room, informing them that Dana needed to be examined, alone.  Maggie kissed her daughter and left to go call home to let everyone know Dana was fine...for the most part.

The young man from the FBI entered the police station, looking all business in his suit and tie.  He stood a hair shorter than Mulder, with owlish glasses and prematurely thinning hair.  His square jaw was set firm as he eyed the young man. "Mr. Mulder," he began, flashing his badge as he went on. "My name is Special Agent Walter Skinner, I was sent here to talk to you about an incident that occurred here late last night."

Mulder eyed the stolid man, barely looking older than himself, but carrying so much authority. "What do you want to know?  Cause whatever questions you have, times that by about a hundred and we will be about even." He evened.

Agent Skinner was in no mood for playing patty cake with the scruffy possible infanticidal maniac. "Can you please tell me what went on last night as you rode in the car with a..." he looked over his hastily scribbled notes on his pad. "Dana Scully is she your girlfriend?" he asked.

"That's kinda personal Sir, don't you think?" Mulder smirked, hoping the cat and mouse irritates the agent enough to send him on his way.

"Mr. Mulder," Agent Skinner chose his words carefully and in a decisively even tone. "I don' think you realize the gravity of the situation that you are in here.  They are looking at the two of you as the possible suspects, now you tell me your side and maybe we can go out and find the real perp." He was trying to play friend with the kid, noting that he seemed an intelligent teen; after all attending Oxford is one step up on attending Harvard.

Skinner's words made Mulder cringe, to add to the earlier list, he was now baby killer extraordinaire. "Why look at us?" he asked as if he himself could not figure it out.

"Because you two were the last ones to see the infant..."

"We never saw the baby Sir," Mulder began accidentally. "Look, I know how this is going to sound, but I have a little experience in extreme possibilities." He smirked, "If I tell you what I saw you won't believe me anyway, so what does it matter.  Just leave Scully out of this, she was knocked out when the car got hit."

Walter Skinner sat down across from the teen at the table, writing pad out in front of him, "Are you willing to answer a few questions?" he asked.

"Am I under arrest?" Mulder retorted.

"Not now," Skinner answered truthfully, "And I am not even going to read you your rights at this point Mr. Mulder, this is just a friendly conversation." he gave the boy an honest smile.

"Yeah, a little fishing expedition, right Skin man?" Mulder found that the longer he kept his sense of humor, the longer his temper lasted.

Though taken aback at the teen's humor, skinner plodded on. "Can you tell me what happened last night." He began,

"My version?" Mulder asked to clarify.

"Yes," Skinner gestured, "Your version."

"Scully and I had been driving a while, she had just picked me up, I came home for summer yesterday." It seemed like an eternity ago to him now. "She was driving; I had told her that her little feet wouldn't reach the pedals." A small smile crossed the boy's face. "Did I tell you she is really short?"

"No," Skinner interjected.

" Yeah, and she had the most beautiful sea blue eyes, with this amazing red hair." Mulder offered the man a sad look of apology, he had rambled on about Scully again.  While at school, the nerdy friends of his had grown sick of hearing about how wonderful his hot girlfriend was, and how he was the luckiest geek to ever walk the face of the planet. "Anyway, she and I aren't talking for a while, cause there is this thing hanging in the air, and you know she is trying to tell me she is pregnant.  She is driving along, and there in the middle of the road is this bright light." He ducks his head; all of this is just too familiar.

"A bright light, in the middle of the road, uh huh." Skinner scribbles in his pad as Mulder goes on.

"Anyway, I yell loud and the sound of my voice must have freaked her out cause she swerved the car, the wheels were squealing, and..." Mulder trailed off here, not sure if he can go on. I should have insisted on driving, Mulder cursed himself.

Skinner pricked up his ears, he had to hear the rest of this one, he made a notation on the pad to have both of them checked for drugs and alcohol.  Wouldn't be the first time he had run into a thing like this.

"She is lying in the car, her body half in and out, and I crawl out to try to get to her, that's when I figured out what was wrong with her, I could not squeeze her out of the car through the open window." His voice cracked here, "Her stomach got stuck..." Skinner didn't know what to do, the teen was crying openly in front of him, and the best he could do was offer him his fresh handkerchief from under his shirt sleeve.

Mulder had completely lost it, he could not go on with the interview, Skinner left him there for a few minutes, giving the boy a chance to get his emotions in check.

The rain was coming hard now, the bright light in the road cast crazy lights across the wet pavement, the car had completely flipped over, Mulder crawled through his open window, not sure how long he had been out for, but knowing it could have been a long time on this deserted back road in Rhode Island.

Wet pavement grinds against his knees as he claws his way towards Dana, she is laying with her head lolled to one side, and given the gravitational skew of the vehicle, for an instant Mulder almost dreads she is dead.  He tries to awaken her, but she is unresponsive,

"Scully," he calls to her, not sure how long before the thing in the road decides to take notice of the two. "Scully you have to get up, please we gotta get outta here." He pleads feverishly. Giving up on any help from the still redhead, he gingerly begins to try and excavate her from the upturned car.  He holds her around the armpits, tugging gently but firmly as he tries to rescue here. "Ugh Scully you Have gained weight," he says out loud, and as he tugs her through the window, she is stuck.  He reaches down to see what has caught in the window, when he realizes she will not fit through the window.

"Oh My God!!" he screamed as he touched the rounded middle of his girlfriend. "Is this what you were trying to tell me Scully?" he screamed in anguish, rain soaked clothes clinging to his stiff angry body. "Why didn't you tell me?" he yelled to her as if she could hear. "Why didn't you tell me?" One more gentle tug and he almost has her free, but then...

Skinner plopped a fresh steaming cup of coffee in front of the young man, clearing his throat to get his attention. "I was just resting my eyes Mom, I swear..." Mulder grinned.

"Ready to go on Mr. Mulder?" Skinner asked readjusting himself into the stiff wooden chair.

Mulder raised his head from of the table, looking at the man that insisted he relive this terrible moment in his life, second only to another day, back in 1974....

"So you got her out of the car before it blew?" Skinner asked, playing clickety- click with his pen.  Nice nervous habit there Skin Man, Mulder noted, this agent was the picture of calm repose, but something about Mulder's story was getting to him...

"She was lying on the ground; I had just figured out that she was very pregnant, then...

The light began to come closer, or maybe just got bigger, Mulder wasn't sure.  He had gotten Scully off to the side of the road, making her as comfortable as possible.  He was trying to decide how to get them out of this, she had taken a nasty blow to the head, and moving her anymore would risk further injury.

They came out of the light, and though he could not make out their shapes, they descended upon the couple, pain came to Mulder, and darkness chased after.

"So there were men that took you two." Skinner tried to sound as passive as possible.

"I don't know, all I remember is that when I woke up, Scully and I were in the back of an ambulance, on our way to the hospital."  He looked past Skinner, off into the far distance, "I had a nasty bump on my head, and Scully was no longer pregnant. "He looked as if he was going to cry again, so Skinner decided to change the direction of his questioning. "Ca you describe these men?"

Mulder shook his head, "No," he admitted. "They came towards us with the light behind them, so any recognition was impossible..." he mused for a minute. "Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials?" Mulder asked the agent in all seriousness.

"I don't see how any of that would have any bearing on this case Mr. Mulder, and I would like to stay focused here..."

"You will Sir," Mulder added darkly.

He ran up the stairs rather than wait for the elevator, Skinner had had enough questions for him for the time being, deciding to give the poor kid a break and let him go see his girlfriend.

Mulder burst through the door of Scully's room, the look on her face at seeing him could have written a thousand page novel. "Mulder," she managed.  Mrs. Scully looked at the two, nodding she excused herself to go find a hot steaming cup of coffee.

"Hey," he smiled. "How are you feeling?" he asked sitting down next to her on the bed.

"Like an idiot, like the world's biggest loser..." she sniffed.

"Don't," he took her hand, "Self hatred is my gig, remember?"

"I wanted to tell you but..."

"I know, you didn't want to hold me back, or ruin my life, or any f that bullshit.  But what about Dana, what about her life?"

Scully looked down at her hands as they twisted the blanket between her fingers. "I had a hard time accepting it Mulder, I mean we..."

"I know," he looked away not sure what to say.

"And now it's missing," she was starting to want to cry, needing to cry. "And I never saw it, or held it, or even know if it were a boy or girl..."

"They'll find it Scully." He reassured her.

"Will they?  And if they do will it be alive..." she let it go then, as he held her she let go, crying gut wracking sobs of loss and pain.  "They think we did it you know," she saidafter a time.

"Yeah, I just had a little pow-wow with an actual G-Man, and I am thoroughly not impressed." He grinned down at her.

"Oh Mulder I am so sorry I dragged you into all of this."

He gave her an odd look, one that she could not read until he spoke. "It takes two to tangle you know Scully," he replied.

"Mulder, I am the one who equivocated and vacillated here.  I hid my pregnancy from everyone including myself.  I couldn't accept the fact that the great and perfect Dana Scully screwed up." She sniffed.

"You're not Superwoman you know. "He offered. "And you did not screw up alone."

"Tell that one to my family, they see me as some sort of super genius, and now I didn't just fall off of that pedestal, I freaking leapt, both feet first." She soured her expression before going on. "Mulder, what happened out there, I need to know..."

He drew a ragged breath not wanting to go into this with her, not because he had just had the same conversation with Agent Skinner, but because he knew how she would react, he knew she would be unbelieving. "I don't think this is the time to go over this Scully, let's let the experts look for the baby ok?" he smiled at her then, "Hey did you ever get around to deciding on what you were going to do with him or her anyway?"

"I still don't know Mulder, I need to go to college, but, I don't know.  Besides, right at this moment it is all a moot point." She inhaled deeply before going on, she had to get the truth out of him, he was evading her now, and she had ways of making him talk. "Mulder, what happened out there." It was more a statement than a question.

"Scully..." he warned.

"Mulder, talk." She ordered.

He began to tell her of trying to get her out of the car, of how he discovered her secret.  When he got to the bright light and the men her face cast into a dark mask of horror.

"No," she said simply, no emotion in her voice. "Please stop there Mulder, no..."

"You wanted to know Scully." Mulder ranted. "You poked and prodded til I told you and now you are mad at me for hearing the truth?"

This was too much, "Mulder, get out." She raged. "Get out of here now, I don't want to see you til you can tell me what really happened."

"That is what really happened, if you can't deal with that then that is not my problem..." he grabbed his coat and headed out of the door. "Call me when you are ready to talk, I'll be at home." He stormed out slamming the door behind him.

After he left, she threw aside the covers, she had to get out of there, running was something that Dana Scully knew well, not the type that Mulder did, not the physical act of charging all of your emotions into a fast jog around the block.  This was running from your very soul, this was a means for her to escape into where ever the pain did not exist.  Shuddering from sheer emotions, she found the clothes her mother had brought her, and solemnly got dressed.

Special Agent Walter Skinner met Mulder at the elevators in the hospital. "I was just on my way to go speak with Ms. Scully, get her version of events, is she up for it?" he asked still trying to play friend role.

"Yeah she is probably not really receptive to going over all of that right now Agent Skinner." The kid looked like he just got run over by a Mack truck.

"What is going on here Mr. Mulder?  I have to go do my job, is she going to cooperate? " he just wanted to get his side of this investigation in bed, wanted to put and end to this.

"Look she has been through a lot in the last twenty four hours; do we have to do this now?" Mulder railed.

"Do you want your child found Mr. Mulder?  Because in the loss of a newborn every second counts, and the time I am wasting here arguing with you is time I can't get information out of Ms. Scully that can be related back to command central. "Skinner eyed the young man, so much in love with this girl. "I feel for the two of you, I could not imagine what you are going through."

"Do you have children Agent Skinner?" Mulder asked.

"No," he mused, "I am not even married..."

"Look, Agent Skinner, the girl in there is sixteen years old and really fragile right now. She just admitted to everyone in her life that she got pregnant, had a baby and lost it.  There is no way these questions can help right now.  I want the baby found as much as anyone, but not at the expense of her health." He was pleading for her, he knew the questions this man would ask Scully would fry her in her present state.

"I have no choice Mr. Mulder, I have to do my job." He brushed passed the young man and headed for the room of Dana Scully.

Mulder ran to catch up to him as he knocked then entered the room.  The only occupant was Maggie Scully, "She took off." Maggie answered their silent questions. "She is gone, what happened here Fox?  Again I trusted you, and for what?  First you get her pregnant, then you hurt her to the point where she has to run." Maggie's voice had reached an octave that both men were sure had been rarely reached by her.

"Mrs. Scully, please..." He stammered, not sure if he could handle her anger towards him.  She had been the closest thing to a real mother that he had had in a long time

"Don't Mrs. Scully me Fox," she raved. "The three of us will finish this conversation later, you, I and Mr. Scully.  Right now I have to go find my daughter." She blew past him at a fast clip, heading out to try to find Dana.

Mulder knew exactly where she went; he knew he would not have to look for her at all.

If you're mad, get mad
Don't hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now
Hey, why you gotta hide it?
I get angry too
Well I'm a lot like you
When you're standing at the crossroads
And don't know which path to choose
Let me come along
Cause even if you're wrong
I'll stand by you

The Pretenders

She stood at the precipice where the ocean became sand, and sand became ocean, her feet wet from the tide rolling.  She had hitchhiked her way here, knowing that there was no one to come and bring her here, and walking was too far.  She no longer cared about her own safety.  Early spring chill in the air had found the beach empty, just the way she liked it, just the way she needed it to be.

She had made it to the beach where this had all began, that morning she had sought the solace of its quiet solitude, now she listened to hear the roar of it in her voice so she would hear nothing else.  Her father was coming home tomorrow, emergency leave her mother told her.  She could not deal with the disappointed looks from her family she knew she would soon have to face, but Ahab was the worth, Ahab would be the hardest glare to stand and face.

She moved back away from the water's edge, finding the closeness to it too tempting, that's a coward's way out, and she refused to meet that end.  She was gathering that strength she had always found inherent within her, she was gathering that fortitude that had survived her through the last sixteen years.

His idea of what happened so cheapened her baby's life, and what did he care anyway?  He didn't feel it growing inside of him; he wasn't here to face the fat girl taunts and jokes.  He didn't have to endure the snickers as she walked the halls of high school.

She had faced it all on her own, had the strength of her own convictions.  She still couldn't believe he had the balls to try that spooky shit on her about the baby.  If that is the way he chose to deal with it, then fine, doesn't mean she has to listen to it.

She wasn't sure how long she had say on the beach, cross legged hugging her knees, just staring off into the raging waters of the Atlantic, but the boy behind her came softly to her side and matched her pose.  For a time they spoke no words, too much grief between them, too many hurtful words that hung in the air too close to be hurled at each other.

Neither one acknowledged the other's presence for a long time, each just staring off into the sea finding their own meaning in its loud thunderous words.  They pretended the other wasn't there, not so much out of anger or sadness, but a silent need of each to deal with their own feelings alone for a time, to come to grips with the internal torment before it surfaced externally.

 She had known he would find her, just as he had known just where to look.  They were of one soul forced to reside in two separate bodies, bags of meat and water that in one night, had yearned to become one, out of sheer need and loneliness.  Here on this beach as they stood at the brink of separation, they had called out for each other, in a way that only souls could cry, and joined as one.  It was the single solitary night where all of their control had gone out the window.

"I don't regret that night Mulder," she said in a hushed hoarse whisper that was nearly drowned out by the roar of the ocean in front of them.

"Me either." He admitted, how could he.

His arm made its way around her back, as she out of sheer habit, leaned into him and cried.  He held her tightly as they both shared tears, mingling into each others, and rolling off into the sand to become one with the ocean again.

And it goes round in circles
One night is lovely the next is brutal
And you and me are in way over our heads with this one
Its hard to admit it
You hold me and I can feel you
We hurt but we smile
I promise that I'll make it back
When the summer has warmed me a while
You go on ahead honey
You have a good time there
You make me feel funny
I'm no ordinary lover or a friend
I believe we have things to do
I believe in myself and I believe in you
I believe when I sleep you are near to me
When you sleep I am near to you

Liz Phair

Agent Walter Skinner, barely out of Quantico, and the jungles of Vietnam shook his head as he sat in the cheap motel room transcribing the report given by Fox Mulder.  He could not change what the young man had attested to, all he could do was write it down verbatim, and wait for the snickers around the water cooler.

That's the last thing I need right now, he shook his head at the thought of what Agent Blevins would say, not to mention a few of his section chiefs.  "Out chasing ghosts Skinner?" Blevins asked over the phone after hearing what Skinner had so far on the case.

"That's not funny Blevins." Skinner rang, "I need you to do some checking on these two teens here, something here is not quite right, there is a bad smell and I think I have stepped in something." He toned.

Blevins took the information and promised him some info by the next morning.  After hanging up the phone, Skinner removed his glasses, rubbed his eyes and made off for the scene of the accident.

The man leaned back into his leather chair, smugly dangling a pencil from his long fingers.  He looked over to his long time associate and sighed, he hated when people he had come to rely on suddenly developed a conscious. "Bill, you know we can't do that." He insisted.

"This is wrong, and you know it." The irate man railed, rising out of his chair.

"This is for the good of mankind, for the good of our planet. " He answered lighting a cigarette and reveling in its sweet smoky taste. "You can't renege on this Bill, fun is fun and done is done."

Bill Mulder paced the space in front of the man's desk; he was beside himself at the hearing of the success of their plan. "This is not fair..." he whined.

"They can have more children Bill, and I am almost sure they will.  We need this one, not just you and I , or the people in this building.  The proverbial collective we, as in the whole world.  I wouldn't return them that baby even if I wanted to.  You knew the risks, and you knew the benefits." He inhaled deeply of his cigarette, finding comfort in its familiarity.

"Yeah," Bill Mulder spat, "Benefits bah." He swatted at objects on Spender's desk. "Remind me why I did this again you sick bastard."

Spender <for now> dashed his ash pointedly before speaking. "The benefits my old friend, are well known to you.  They both attend college for free, even post secondary.  They are covered under our nets, nothing will happen to them as long as they don't go poking their noses where it doesn't belong.."

"I can't speak for the girl, but Fox, he is relentless." Bill sat shaking his head. "Can you protect them forever?  Eventually the truth is gonna spill out of this place like salt from an overturned shaker."

"You let me worry about that, and know that the baby is in good hands," he smiled and lit another Morely. "That Dana Scully, we were so lucky that she moved here." He smiled. "The DNA is perfect, from both we could not have planned this better." He smiled.

"You just make sure no one else finds out about what they are, especially.." he trailed off making a gesture pointing up.  It had been a long standing tradition not to mention them by name, for fear of somehow evoking them into existence, or at least another haphazard visit.

"Yes, Bill." Spender smiled as his old friend left his office. "I have a fondness for the two of them myself; they will be worthy opponents some day."

"We have to go back to your house at some point Scully," Mulder tried to get through to her about going home, knowing her mother must be frantic.

"Mulder," she began, "I can't do this, Ahab is going to be home tomorrow, I don't know if I have the strength for all of this."

"Scully, did you and I make the decision to have sex?" he asked bluntly.

Blushing she nodded. "Yes."

"Then you have the strength to do this." He held her close, not having let her go even as they watched the last dying rays of late fade from the sky. "Sides, it is getting too cold to be out here."

Dana Scully snuggled deeper into the arms of the boy she loved. "Can't we just stay out here?" she asked unwilling to face anyone or anything.

"Oh, yeah sure we can pitch a tent and live out here if you want." He went on sarcastically. "Hell let's not stop there, we can start our own cult, pitch a few hundred tents out here have a real tent city going on.  Long as you could handle all the women ogling me." He winked

"Mulder," she swatted at him, and for a moment, a fleeting moment it felt just as it had before.

"First order of business, we have to go to your house, and I think I have to face your family with you." He wasn't more scared when Sam had been taken. This was frightening on a whole different level.  He had to go face the family that had taken him in when he had no one.  He had taken advantage of Dana, he was older, he should have known better.  Now he had to face the glares, and the responsibility.

"Scully, if we find the baby..." he wasn't sure how to do this, and was even less sure he wanted to.

"Don't you dare, Fox Mulder." She blared cutting him off. "You are not going to marry me, not now. "

Her candor caught him off guard; again she could read him like a freaking fortune cookie. "Scully, what do you want then?"

She turned to face the gorgeous hazel eyes "I want to find our baby, and then I want to decide what to do from there.  You don't owe me anything here Mulder.  And I don't mean that in the false pride way that many girls would say that. "She stopped, drawing a breath in. "I mean that I have no expectations here, yes I expect you to help me, I don't expect you to leave school and try to step up to the plate or anything drastic." She was prepared to handle this on her own, even if her parents would not help.

"So you want to keep it then?" he asked surprised at his own sense of relief. "I told you Scully I have some money.." he grinned. "You could move to England, or I could move back here."

"Stop," she fumed. "This is what I was trying to avoid. Let me ask you a question Mulder, how many of your friends there have a child?"

Mulder didn't know how to answer that one, he knew she had a point to all this, but was afraid to see the final destination of her line of questioning.

"You are not going to stop or alter any way your plans. Mulder, you were doing great in school, don't blow that over something that..  You need to return to school, to finish what you started Mulder.  I can't let this thing ruin both of our lives, and why should it?  You had no idea, no clue what was going on here.  I had the options, I made the choices.  Please, go back to school at the end of this summer and put all of this behind you."

"Oh how very much a martyr you are." He fumed. "It's as much my responsibility as yours Scully." He threw his hands up in the air. "Part of accepting responsibility is accepting that you are responsible as much as the other person." He was so angry he wasn't sure if he was making sense. "Why are you pushing me away?  I did this too Dana, I lost a baby too," his tone changed here, became more solemn. "I lost him too."

"Him?" she eyed him lightly, "What makes you think it was a him?"

"'It' sounds so...sad you know?" Mulder needed to find some sort of peace with this, not knowing where it was going to come from.

"Yeah, I bet she has your eyes." Scully dreamed out loud. "And maybe a brunette, I noticed you like brunettes..." she smirked.

"What's it like Scully?  I mean you know the whole gestating thing..."

She offered him a sad and far away smile, glancing briefly at the dark ocean. "Its like this feeling in you constantly, that there is another side of you.  When I was about six months into it, a pregnant woman came into work, she eyed me funny, then took me aside and asked me how far along I was.  I denied it to her, but she smiled and asked me to make sure I went to see a doctor.  I didn't, I refused to admit it to myself that I was pregnant.  But every now and then..." she looked into his eyes again, feeling very sorry for herself, and sorry for what she had done. "When I first felt it move, I thought I was gonna miscarry.  I thought to myself, oh great this is perfect."

"So," he eyed her cautiously ."You were hoping to miscarry?"

"I don't know what I was hoping for Mulder, I was in a situation that I could not understand, even still I don't get it, it kind of feels like I got thrown into someone else's life, or nightmare."

They rose hand in hand, walking toward the home of Dana Scully, toward accountability, pushing themselves onward to find redemption after the fall they had taken.

Agent Skinner walked around the wreckage that had still lay across State Road 14.  The car had caught fire not long after impact with the light pole.  He was lucky to get her out, Skinner mused as he examined the scene.  Local police had come through and gathered as much as they could for evidence, taken pictures, and combed the area for any signs of the body of a newborn, or a fresh grave.

He walked around the field along the road, carefully eyeing every small object, scanning for anything that did not belong there.

There were scorch marks that did not fit the pattern of the burning car, upon the road and in the field.  Skinner made a note have an expert come out and examine the burns, for now he collected small samples of the scorched areas into his evidence bags.  He was so engrossed into what he was doing and the mystery of it that he did not notice the state trooper sedan that pulled in behind his g-car.

"Agent Skinner?" the trooper hollered out of the window, Skinner smiled at how informal so many of these local law enforcements were.

"Yes," he knew he had met this particular trooper before, but could not remember his name.

"You got a call here from a Agent Blevins, he says its important, made me come out here so he could be patched through on the radio."

Skinner seated himself into the passenger seat of the large car while the trooper radioed base for them to patch the call through.

"Agent Skinner?" the voice over the radio blared, coming scratchy and almost foreign.

"Blevins?  What the hell is so important?" he was a little put off having to have a conversation involving a case over such an unsecured line.

"Skinner, man this is some wacky shit." Blevins was as unprofessional as the local pork, he missed his true calling. "Your two kids I did a background on.  The girl came up clean, she is just your average all American fresh faced teen.  But this Mulder kid...oh shit!"

Skinner's patience was wearing thin, Blevins had a flare for the dramatic, and usually he was an ok Agent, but sometimes..."Just give it to me Blevins." He wanted the facts, just like Joe Friday.

"This kid had a sister, and back in '74, at the age of eight, she went missing, never found.  He was the last one with her too.  She was taken right out of their house while he was baby sitting her. "

Skinner had to check himself to maintain his cool professional demeanor, he did not want to react to this information in front of locals. "They never found her?"

"Not so much as a bloody nightgown.  The search was finally called off after six months.  This kid's father is some kind of big mucky-muck in the State Department.  Walt, you wanna tread lightly on this one, the stink here may get too thick to navigate." Blevins paused here before going on, mostly to suppress extremely unprofessional giggles. "When the cops took the kids report on what happened, guess what he blamed it on?"

Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials Agent Skinner?

"Little green men?" he asked feeling his mouth go dry.

"Bingo." Blevins chirped.

They entered Scully's house to find that Dr. Scully had made it home early; he sat on the couch next to his obviously distraught wife.  The rest of the Scully children, having only been told of a car accident, were sent off for the day and told to keep Charlie busy.

The two, still holding hands, approached the opposite couch and sat down, nervously.

"First off, I want to tell you Dana, that I love you." Her father smiled at her, just glad that she was still alive, albeit not untouched.

"I love you too Daddy," Scully squeaked, suddenly feeling five years old.

"This is all a mess you two, and I am not going to pretend to have all the answers, nor do I intend to sit here and grill you on the particulars.  I just have five simple questions, no more no less got it?"

Mulder could see where Scully got it from.

"Question one, what do you two intend to do with the baby if and when it is found?"

Mulder and Scully looked at each other not sure who should answer. "I had wanted to keep him Ahab." Mulder smiled at her use of him rather than it.

"Question Two." He went on. "How are you two planning on doing this?"

Again there were looks exchanged between the two teens, again it was Scully who spoke. "Dad, we haven't gone over all the particulars yet, there has been so much tied to this, so many things that have happened.."

"This brings me to question three.  Are you two planning on getting married."

The collective simultaneous no shocked both Maggie and Bill Scully, neither one of them had expected both to agree so readily.

"Well, at least the two of you have thought about something in all of this." He didn't mean to sound so upset, but if this is the maddest he is allowed to get, then Biull Scully figured he was doing very well.

Bill Scully had ticked off finger four, and was ready to go into what the new rules were to be when the front doorbell rang.  Maggie Scully happily withdrew herself from the room to run and answer it.

She walked back in with Walter Skinner, a look on the agent's face that meant business, extreme business.

"Ms. Scully," he spoke with no emotion or tone in his voice. "I need to ask you a few questions. "He eyed the two teens sitting so closely on the couch, he knew what he had walked in on, the angry father on the opposite chair was a dead give away, but this could not be avoided. "And I am glad to see you here too Mr. Mulder, you have a lot of questions to answer, much involving the disappearance of first your sister, and now your newborn.  What we want to know is why are there so many similarities between the two, not the least of which involve your being the only conscious person for both."

He waved away the words the teen boy tried to speak. "Save it Mulder," he answered the glares. "You are in a boatload up to your ass if you excuse my French.

You are calm and reposed
Watch your beauty unfold
How I like the skin stretched over your bones
Spring keeps you ever close
You are second hand smoke
You are so fragile and thin
Standing trial for your sins
Holding onto yourself the best you can
You are the smell before rain
You are the blood in my veins

Brand New

Fox Mulder shifted uncomfortably in the hard wooden chair of the police station.  He had been there not twenty four hours ago, yet the 'friendly conversation' then had shifted into something decidedly unfriendly.

Skinner stood in military pose, hands clasped behind his back; he didn't know what to make of this case, this kid especially.  The whole mess stank to high heaven, and yet Skinner believed this kid was telling the truth, or at the very least believed what he was telling was the truth.  Special Agent Walter Skinner was one of those people blessed with a natural bullshit meter, and his was not going off here.

"Like I told you the first time Sir, I didn't see their faces." Mulder insisted again, getting frustrated at the constant repetition of the information.

"Just like you didn't see who took Samantha either right?  You know Mr. Mulder you are either the unluckiest kid in the world, or the cleverest psychopath I have ever met." Skinner plopped down into the seat opposite the dark haired boy. "Either way, we need to get some answers here and quick, because otherwise they are not just going to pin the baby's murder on you, they may just close a case that has remained unsolved for the last seven years."

Mulder blanched at the insinuation. "I would never hurt Samantha..."

"Then we need to know what happened to the baby Mulder, how did your girlfriend feel about being pregnant?  It's my understanding that she hid her pregnancy from everyone, even you."

"Leave her out of this!" he raged slamming his fist on the table. "She is innocent, I know I was there."

"Yeah and we know how stellar your word is Mulder." Skinner hated having to play hardball on this kid, the boy cared for his girlfriend so fiercely that he made Skinner long for a love like that, someone he could believe in no matter what the cost.

"Scully did not-no-would not have hurt that baby.  She loved him cause he was ours."

"He?" Skinner eyed the boy skeptically. "You stated that neither you nor Dana got to see the baby."

"I am not going to go through this calling my child an it, maybe the he is wistful thinking. " He grinned. "In any case Scully had decided to keep him anyway. "

Skinner plugged away at the papers in front of him, "Ok, so you and Dana Scully have decided to keep the baby, but it's a moot point Mr. Mulder if that baby is dead."

The look of horror on Mulder's face solidified Skinner's belief of the boy's innocence. "I refuse to believe that, I know my baby is alive somewhere.."

"Calm down Mr. Mulder, we sill still look for him.  Just relax. "He had not expected the boy to get so worked up. "I have to go question Ms. Scully now." He rose to leave the room. "I'll be back in a while to finish this."

Mulder gave the agent a pleading look. "Go easy on her please; she is kinda fragile right now."

As far as Walter Skinner could tell, Dana Katherine Scully was anything but fragile.  The short sixteen-year-old held a quiet strength that he could not help but admire.

"Ms. Scully, thank you for taking the time to speak with me, I will try to make this as brief and painless as possible."

She sighed before speaking. "I just want to find my baby, she needs me." Skinner grinned a little at how polarized these two were on the possible sex of their missing infant.  It was obvious she believed it to be a girl.

"Tell me what you remember of the night of the accident.  Any small detail that you think would not mean anything it may make a big difference, so try to be as accurate and specific as you can be."

"We had just come from the airport, I had picked Mulder up around six that evening, he had flown into Boston so it was a long drive." She began.

She had debated on when would be a good time to tell him, not knowing if he had noticed her weight gain, she had refused to get out of the car, not wanting him to see her before she got the chance to tell. She could tell he was hurt that she had not hugged him, and in true Mulder fashion, had opted to pout in the passenger seat and take full blame for what ever was going on.  They rode along in silence, which was unusual for them, something was hanging in the air between them, and Scully got the impression Mulder thought she was going to dump him.

"Mulder, I have something to tell you and it's probably going to piss you off, I know I am not exactly thrilled myself..."

She notes Mulder's crest fallen expression, how he seems to be bracing for impact. "Just come out and say it Scully," he demands not even looking at her longer than a few seconds.

He notices she isn't wearing her ring, the ring that means so much and so little at the same time, not quite an engagement, but yet something so much deeper than that, a bond that would go to the ends of the earth.  She knows he notices the lack of her ring; she could not fit it any longer, but could not tell him that without telling him first what he needed to know.

"Mulder, I'm..."

But his screams cut her off in mid sentence, he is screaming at the unnaturalness of what he sees in the road.  No there was nothing she saw but headlights of an oncoming truck, nothing spectacular, she had been so distracted that she had not realized the car had drifted onto the other side of the road.

"That's all I remember Agent Skinner, I awoke in the hospital, dazed and not pregnant." She sniffed at the memory of her panic at not knowing where her baby was.

Agent Skinner wrote down her words before going on. "You do know that Mulder has stated on the record that the lights in the road were not that of an oncoming truck, but something more sinister."

Damn it Mulder, she fumed inwardly, he had to go dragging their baby through all of this shit, and for what?  All the alien and conspiracy was only going to serve to slow down the search and drag their names through the mud. "Well, that is where we disagree Agent Skinner, I did not see any lights in the sky or little green men or anything like that.  I think Mulder has seen Close Encounters once too often." She smirked.

"Do you believe Mulder capable of hurting your baby?" he asked.

"Sir," she began in an evenly pitched tone that though held little emotion made her beliefs easily known. "I seriously doubt that Mulder is capable of hurting anyone, or anything."

"He was in the hospital a lot Ms. Scully, any ideas as to why?" he was driving at something here, something he had already known but wanted to see how deep her loyalty went.

She inhaled deeply, "I have only known him to be in the hospital once Sir," she answered being as vague as possible.

"Would you happen to know what sent him to the hospital that time?" Skinner was not going to let this one go.

"From what I understand, there was an incident at his house on Christmas."

Skinner flew over to her a file that contained Mulder's medical records. "Actually Ms Scully, it is a wonder this kid is still alive.  He has been in a hospital fifteen times in the last five years, and those are the ones we could find.  Your friend Mulder apparently has a side job as a punching bag.  Broken arms, broken ribs, concussions, , bruises, contusions, He even had a broken tibia two years ago."

Scully flinched at the photos of Mulder's past injuries that Skinner flayed across the table. "This kid has had a hard life Ms. Scully, and it is in my experience that kids who get beat up become adults that beat up."

She wanted to cry, but held it together, drawing yet again on that strength she had in spades. "Not Mulder, Sir," she answered shaking her head. "If you knew him you would know he is nothing like that."

"Yeah, he ever goes after you Scully?" he asked

She flashed him a look that someday would probably stop serial killers dead in their tracks. "As I mentioned before Sir, Mulder is incapable of hurting anyone or anything.  He does not have it in him."

"Ok, what about the baby, how did you feel about being pregnant?" she wanted so badly to shut down here, to not go into the very private details of her pregnancy with this stranger, but to get her and Mulder out of the light, she had to be honest and forthcoming with information.  She had to tell.

"I was not sure about how I felt about it, I removed myself from the situation, refused to deal with it." She ducked her head not wanting to meet the agent's glare. "Mulder had left for school, he did not know until that night.  I had wanted to be the one to tell him, but he found out on his own after I was knocked out."

"You two spent Christmas together in England right?  How did he not notice your pregnancy, you were what, five months along at that point?"

She nodded in agreement, "Yeah but I have always been a little, pudgy." She offered him a small smile. "He just assumed the depression of being without him made me stuff my face, it's what everyone assumed."

Skinner jotted notes in his pad before going on. "So why hide it Ms Scully?  I am going to assume you refused medical attention as well."

Again the stiff nod as she pushed around the photos on the table. "I hid it because I screwed up Agent Skinner.  Mulder and I only had sex once, I know that is going to be hard for you to believe, and I am only telling you this to try to clear the air here.  It was the night before he left for school.  This was the last thing either of us expected, and I didn't know what to do.  I was alone."

Skinner felt for the girl in the chair across from him, even relating such personal details about her life that were obviously painful for her to speak of to anyone, she still maintained her strength, most adults when confronted in this situation would break down and cry, blubbering and flipping on whoever just to get out of the situation.  Not Dana Scully, it just wasn't her way. Skinner thanked her for her time and promised that the FBI would do all within its power to find her baby and bring it home to her.

"When are you going to release Mulder?" she asked rising out of the chair.

"Mulder has bigger problems Ms. Scully, this situation has shined a light on an earlier case he was involved in..."

"Samantha," she saidsimply. "He had nothing to do with that, I told you he would not hurt a fly." She fumed. "Why are you trying to pin that one on him now after all this time?"

"Because in both cases he has claimed that someone's disappearance close to him was the work of extraterrestrials." Skinner held the door open for the young girl. "he has a lot to answer for, Ms. Scully."

He had seen her to the front of the station, thanking her father for bringing her in.  As he turned back around and headed toward the back where the station housed the interrogation rooms, he caught a hint of cigarette smoke.  As he passed the room he just left with Dana Scully, he noticed a man seated at the table eyeing the photos and smoking a cigarette.

"Can I help you?" Agent Skinner inquired to the smoking man in interrogation room 2.

"No," he answered, "But I am here to help you Agent Skinner." The man purred dashing his ash onto the floor.

"Excuse me?" he inquired yet again.

"This Mulder case you are on, I can tell you, you are never going to find that child that is missing." He offered. "You are an ambitious man Agent Skinner, so I am going to offer you an out here. Let this one go, walk away and don't look back.  The Federal dogs have already been called off of this one, the only person left sifting through anything is you." He pointed his cigarette at the young agent.

"What do you mean?  That baby has only been missing for one day, how could you rescind the search that early?" He had assumed this man was someone from the local office.

"It's a dead issue Mr. Skinner, no one cares if those two teens get that baby back.  The trails have already been erased, Dana Scully never was pregnant as far as anyone around here cares." He lit another Morely before going on. "Let the boy go, he has enough to deal with. " The man pointed to the pictures of Mulder's accidents. "Besides, if you swear to your loyalties to the FBI on this one, I'll see you an AD before your thirty-fifth birthday."

"I think you have the wrong man here, I am not willing to overturn the truth in the name of personal gain, agent..."

"You don't believe they did it any more than they did it. "He offered to the confused agent. "If you pursue this, she will get off, but because of his history they will peg both disappearances on him, he will be found guilty without a body being found." The man with the cigarette in his hand pointed to the photos on the table in front of him. "It would be a shame after all this boy survived to be put to death innocently."

Agent Skinner could not argue this logic, he knew they were looking at Mulder solely; he could not let the poor kid go down for something that he knew he did not do. "If I back away from this, they will go free?" he asked. "What about the baby, where is it?"

"I don't have all the answers," the man lied "I am a just interested in seeing justice done here. And yes, they will both walk away from this one, unscathed." He dashed yet another cigarette under the heel of his nondescript shoe. "Walk away Skinner, and let it be."

And so he did.

If it makes you less sad, I will
die by your hand
Hope you find out what you want
I already know what I am
And if it makes you less sad
We'll start talking again
You can tell me how vile
I already know that I am
I'll grow old start acting my age
It'll be a brand new day
In a life that you hate
A crown of gold
A heart that's harder than stone
And it hurts a whole lot
But its missed when its gone Call me a safe bet, I'm, betting
I'm not
Glad that you can forgive
Only hoping as time goes, you can

Brand New

She found out the next day when Mulder showed up at her door, dragged looking and pale. "We need to talk." He informed her brushing past her and into the living room of the Scully house.

"They let you go!" she smiled. "Thank God, man Mulder that Skinner is a hard number." She smirked.

He didn't answer her, staring instead at his big hands and long fingers. "They all left Scully, pulled up stakes and left town. My dad came by last night, told me they gave up the search and its over."

"What?" Scully's face now matched Mulder's in pallor. "Why?"

"The baby's been buried Scully, I don't mean physically. It's as if you never had him..." he squeaked trying to fight tears.

"So the FBI just gave up? They can't get away with this, there is no way..." she began to pace the floor trying to figure out options.

"They already altered your medical records Scully, you had a miscarriage, nothing more." He buried his face into his hands.

She didn't know what to say, didn't know what to do from here. She had looked forward to raising her baby, had anticipated the day they brought his or her little bundled face to the front door for her to fawn over. Now here sat Mulder, informing her that it was never going to happen. "Why?" She asked again feeling like and inquisitive four year old.

Mulder drew a ragged breath before going on. "I don't know but I think somehow this has to do with my family Scully, the way the baby disappeared, its too much like Sam," he was holding back tears.

"Mulder you ever think they called off the search because of all the UFO bull shit you been passing around?" she was beyond angry now, Sam disappearing into a spaceship was one thing, but this was her baby he was trying to put into some whacked out version of some bad sci-fi movie.

"Scully..." he drawled.

"No Mulder I am serious, this is bull shit pure and simple, and I don't think I want to be around it anymore. All you have done is offer these half crazed ramblings on possibilities of what may have happened, based on what Mulder? No one else has seen what you claim to have seen, no one is around to cohobate your tall tales, and yet you keep it going."

"What are you saying Scully?" he asked not sure he could handle the words that he knew were next.

"I am saying I have been through enough here Mulder, I think you need to leave, I think I have had my fill of this whole fucking mess." She held the door open for him as he slumped out of the door.

It's cold as a tomb
And it's dark in your room
As I sneak to your bed
To pour salt in your wounds
So call it quits'
Or get a grip
You said you wanted a solution
Or just wanted to be missed
Call me a safe bet
I'm betting I'm not
Glad that you can forgive
Only hoping as time goes, you can

Brand New

He had called and come by, but no one in the Scully household would allow him to see her, they had formed a unified front against him, and he figured there was good reason for it. He left for England before the July Fourth holiday, fearing being haunted by memories of last Fourth of July where he and Scully had tried to set fire to his back yard. He took a cab to the airport, wishing it was the little redhead driving.

He was glad to be going back to England, the small town held too much Scully in every grain of it. Mulder decided to never set foot on American soil again before graduation.

For her part, Dana Scully did her best to forget the Fox Mulder part of her life, she did not return to school the next year, taking a GED instead and applying for a college in California, to which not only did she gain acceptance, but surprisingly full scholarship for, including a stipend. "I don't understand Ahab," she mused reading the letter for the millionth time. "I didn't even apply for any scholarships."

"Well Dana," Dr. Scully laughed ruffling the girl's hair. "The Lord works in mysterious ways."

And so, at the tender age of sixteen, Dana Scully packed up her meager things and went off to college that fall. If she thought about Fox Mulder at all, it was to remind herself of absolute control, and what the lack of it could lead to. She never dated, never sought comfort in the arms of anyone. Her solace came from books, and facts and figures and science. She knew that science could hold absolute truths, undeniable facts that could not be swayed. She spent five years in college, graduating at the age of twenty one, and taking no breathing space before signing in for medical school. Keeping herself busy was just one of the perks of her newly driven nature, she had a lot to prove, that the screw up she had once been was long dead and buried along with whatever truth about her baby there was.

And yet, every so often she would find herself making her way to the nearby coast of the Pacific ocean, standing on the beach, she would close her eyes and listen to the murmurs of the rolling waves, wondering if they offered any answers to the secrets that had become her life. She could stand there in the late fall, breezes whipping through her red locks, and remember, a lost boy who broke her fall, a boy who held her close as she discovered the mysteries of love and pain. She imagined him stealing up behind her while she stood there, as he had done so often. She could almost feel his strong arms around her holding her close as they tried to unravel the mysteries together.

If it makes you less sad,
I'll move out of this state
You can keep to yourself
I'll keep out of your way
If it makes you less sad
I'll take your pictures all down
Every picture you hate
I will paint myself out

Brand New

Fox Mulder withdrew into himself, having lost the one person that truly believed in him, friends noticed a different student that returned to Oxford England, he was a mess. Often spending entire weekends holed up in the school library hiding in the stacks of ancient texts. He didn't attempt to socialize anymore, but drew into himself and locked the door up tight. Phoebe saw him a mile away, he was an emotional vulnerable wreck, just looking for someone to cling to, trying desperately to forget Dana Scully.

He hated the girl to be honest, even her accent made him cringe, but at least he wasn't alone. Even with all the little games she played that he had to keep reminding himself to ignore, it was easier to have sex with her when she reminded him nothing of Scully.

His graduation from college was a far cry from high school graduation. He wandered the ancient halls of the Oxford auditorium alone, even graduating Magna Cum Laude did not elicit a response from his parents. He walked across the stage in silence, accepted his diploma and quietly strolled off for his apartment off campus to pack up his things.

It was time to go home, time to return to America.

We were born before the wind
Are so younger than the sun
And the bonnie boat was one
As we sailed into the mystic
Hark now hear that sailors cry
Smell the sea, feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic

Van Morrison

In any life there are crossroads, a point where one comes to the bifurcation and tells themselves definitively, "I will go this way, and I shall never have the chance to backtrack again." We all know these moments when they advance upon us, some agonize over the decision, taking days to come to a final resolution, and some bound to the first decision that feels good, or at least feels good at that moment. Fox Mulder reached that point in his life for the third time when he met Diana Frowley

Fox Mulder met the leggy brunette while at Quantico, shortly after graduating with his Master's degree in Psychology. Diana was everything that he had sought in a mate, she was smart, sexy and most importantly she believed. She helped him work through a lot of his past, she listened to him without prejudice, and she listened to him without interjecting any doubts or alternate theories. But mostly, she listened to him. And yet, there was still that part of him that refused to let her in completely. Oh she had her long leg in the door, further than any other had gotten through; all save for particular redhead. Mulder trusted her, loved her and found himself ready to plan a future with her.

While working VCU, he stumbled upon a section of the Behavioral sciences department at the Bureau, so innocuous it was housed in the basement. Diana was happy to spend her lunches with him pouring over the unexplained files. He even let her call him Fox. She was there, pushing him forward to finding the truth, the truth about Sam, the truth about his past, and the truth about himself. It was her idea to proceed with a permanent assignment to these files, they approached their AD, proposal in hand, and ready for action.

The FBI only relented on a temporary basis, and on the acceptance that Mulder's talents be at the ready whenever the FBI needed him for real investigations. He readily agreed and they moved into the basement. They spent their days together, exploring the mysteries housed in the endless procession of unexplained cases in the file cabinets, and they spent their nights exploring the endless mysteries of each other. Diana understood his need to find the truth, his sister had gone missing she knew the whole story about Samantha, yet she was in the dark when it came to the other part of his life.

The truth about that hit her full in the face soon after they were married, he had not told her of all that had went on back in 1980, and she never knew to ask. It wasn't a shock that he kept something from her; Fox was a puzzle that always had the last piece missing. It was however a shock to learn how deep those feelings in him still ran, how open the wound still was. Diana Mulder had stumbled over a large box in the back of Fox's closet; she had gone over to his apartment to pack up the last of his belongings to move to her place. The thing about her husband was the fact that he liked to put things off, especially things that required more back power than brain power. It was one of the things about him that she had accepted the day she took his name.

She had left work before lunch, Fox seated at his desk, long legs propped up as he read over some case they would be off on in a few days. In a lot of ways she doubted he even noticed she had left, there were times when he was just this side of obsessed, but wasn't that part of his charm? He was on a mission, and she wanted to be there every step of the way. She had started in the kitchen, throwing most of the things into the goodwill stack, too afraid of what had once grown on the dishes. Finally she reached the bedroom, taking great care to pack his clothes and personal belongings so as to not forget one single thing.

The last thing she got to was the closet, God it was a mess, clothes and books and papers flowed out of the space in droves, as if themselves trying to escape the clutter of the area. She began first by pulling everything out of the closet and stacking it around the room. She had not planned on sorting, but upon surveying the mess, she knew it was the only way to even start to make sense of the disaster.

She idly spent hours learning little things about her new husband from the items she packed out of his closet. She stopped long enough to inhale deeply his rugby shirt that she was sure had not been washed since making the flight over from Oxford, it still had his scent on it, claiming every thread in its soft worn fibers.

The box in the back of the closet was one of those cardboard crate deals, and looked out of place in the man's closet; it looked as something a woman had packed for him. She carefully opened the top off of the box and began her rummage of the items. The first thing that caught her attention was a photo of a very young Fox Mulder, seated on a porch swing holding a young girl with red hair. They were snuggled together closely, the person had stolen a picture of the two as they slept together huddled against each other, and Diana smiled at the looks upon their faces. She traced the lines of the young man, so happy and focused on this one girl, Diana could not remember a point where he had that look for her.

The next item in the box was an envelope stuffed with ticket stubs, she examined the tickets long enough to discover they were all for the same movie. Ten pairs of tickets to see Star Wars, Diana assumed with the girl from the photo. Again this was uncharacteristic of her husband; he never saved anything sentimentally, except those damn files. She placed the tickets back in the envelope and dug deeper.

The raggedy Anne doll was a guess, she assumed it to be Sam's, but it seemed out of place here in this box, this seemed to be a lover's treasures, something you keep to remember someone. The gold cross around the neck of the doll seemed out of place, not for the box but for Fox, a staunch Atheist since she had met him. She held the tiny cross and let it dangle from its thin chain, wondering the story behind it. She had also found in the box, his old high school jacket, other pictures of a large family and he placed in the center of them. There were even pictures from his high school graduation with these people, all fawning over him in his cap and gown.

The worst part of what she found though were the letters, apparently the girl from the photo had a name- Dana Scully, she wrote to him often, shedding her heart out to her husband in words she would never use to describe him. This Dana Scully referred to him as Mulder, and spoke of endless summer days at the beach, dancing in the moonlight and burning down his back yard. She ranted and raved on about how much she missed him, and how much she loved him. She told of long days without him, and lonely nights longing for him, of a family that really missed him, an older brother that wanted to settle up on the basketball court, an older sister who needed his advice on guys, and a younger brother who was running wild without his crazy ideas of things to keep busy. She even poked at him asking if he had gone to Stonehenge and found any aliens.

Even though it was past, Diana felt a pang of jealousy fill her heart as she sat reading over the dozens of girlishly scripted letters. Letters that ended abruptly after April of that year, letters that never picked up again the next school year. She carefully replaced the letters back into the careful chronological order that she had found them in. And as she was replacing the letters at the bottom of the box next to the dried roses and the ancient baby blue corsage, she found one last letter, though in a different script than before, somehow older and more mature; and the envelope in which it came held one more surprise, a tiny ring with three diamonds across and two sapphires between them.

She actually cried as she read the words penned to the young boy from the photo.

I need to return this to you; I have sent it along with a few other things I no longer have any use for. I hope they reach you at the correct address, my mother swears this is where you reside now..

I wanted-needed you to know that I do not blame you Mulder; I know that this had nothing to do with your quest, but you have to understand, you embody a sense of lack of control for me, and I can no longer afford to be without a clear mind and a rational head. What went on between us that Spring, well let's just move on from it, and go on in our own paths, ok?

My mother sent me your letter, and I am very happy for you, though I am sorry I will not be available to attend the ceremony I hope she gives you the happiness's you need in life, and I hope she is as dedicated to your quest as you need her to be. I am sending you back this ring now Mulder, please give it to her, and offer her the same appeal that you once offered to me upon its delivery; it was a very moving and touching gift.

In our lives, we have roads, just like that Robert Frost poem you taught to me years ago, two roads diverged in a yellow wood...and I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference. Take the one less traveled Mulder, give her everything, Show her all of your mysteries, don't hold it all in and blame yourself for every little thing that goes wrong. Our roads were just at a crossing, and though we both wanted more, fate had other plans for our lives, so that they were never to run that parallel path we both longed for. Don't hold that against yourself Mulder, don't let your quests consume you, learn to let some things go, learn to love and be loved again.


Diana was blubbering like a fool by the time Fox arrived into his old bedroom. "So you found it huh?" he asked taking the last note out of her hands and replacing it into the box with the other things.

"Why didn't you ever tell me about her Fox?" she asked wiping tears away with her handkerchief.

"Nothing to tell," he dismissed placing the lid back on the top of the box and carting it out into the living room. "She was my first real love Diana, everyone has that, it's the same old story, boy meets girl, girl dumps boy yadda yadda yadda. "He smiled at his use of one of Scully's favorite sayings.

"But there was so much love there Fox, then that last letter..." she sniffed not sure why this mattered.

"Yeah well," he finished clearing the lump in his throat, "So what do we do about dinner?"

And when that fog horn blows
I will be coming home
And when that fog horn blows
I wanna hear it; I don't have to fear it
And I wanna rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float
Into the mystic

Van Morrison

Dana Scully had formed a hell of a reputation, not necessarily the kind she would be happy to put onto her resume, but the kind that she was proud of none the less. No one got through her line of defenses, no one.

Many tried; there had even been one poor unfortunate soul who stood under her dorm window serenading her, only to find himself drenched in cheap perfume. One had sent her flowers and candy on Valentine's Day, only to discover his gifts on display atop the cadavers in anatomy lab the next day.

She made her point clear, and all through medical school they all got it, stay away from the Ice Queen, or she will make you regret it.

She had so carefully constructed her rigid self control, had so cautiously built up those walls of snow and protection, that when Daniel Waterston came along with his ice pick, she was a little dumbfounded. It was his maturity and absolute dissemblance to Fox Mulder that drew her to him. He was order, he was structure, he was control, and yet in all of this she found a willingness to lose control all over again. Daniel was married, and that alone was not only a sin against her faith, but a sin against her nature.

She found that if she did not leave the situation, she would end up ruining a marriage just to make herself happy. Just as those two roads were converging, and Dana agonized over which road to follow, she found herself falling into a fugue, a longing for something more out of life than what she had chosen. She began to wonder for what might have been, what if the baby had not gone missing, where would she and Mulder be right now? She had begun to see the road again, only there were more forks in it than a Denny's restaurant.

She had received his letter to her from her mother, he had told of how he missed her, and still loved her. He apologized again for what happened that spring, wishing things could have come out differently. Then he in soft words and softer penmanship told her of his impending nuptials, how he wished for her to attend as an honored guest. She was surprised at how much his marriage affected her, how much she had wished to be the one walking down the aisle with him, remembering the thwarted proposal he had tried to utter to her so many years ago when they were both too young to know any better.

She was locked into bitter combat with herself, as she allowed Daniel into her heart, and into her bed, she fought with the idea of where she truly belonged, finding it hard to fathom her place beneath the well respected, albeit adulterous Dr. Daniel Waterston. She began to realize the things that were egging in her mind were things that she had never found closure to. Mulder, the baby, the life she never got to see. These things raged inside her head almost constantly screaming at her for resolution. She was prepared to go on in her life, dealing with the voice in her soul and putting it aside-until the day she left her residency, the second day of her OB rotation.

Daniel had lead them around on rounds, pointing out this and that and asking his endless rapid fire questions. She used to love to be teachers pet here, showing off her vast knowledge and skill and showing up the mostly male students. Daniel made a point to ask her the particularly hard questions, just so that no one could figure out they were involved, and she in turn had to be better than the rest, had to be one hundred and ten percent at all times, at all costs.

She had entered the small labor room expecting to see the usual, expecting to find an expectant couple waiting for their child to come into the world. What she found so shook her and brought back so many painful memories that she could no longer be the same person she had carefully constructed for so long, the contents of that room and its events held answers to the questions that had begun to stack up in her mind over the last two years.

The girl could not have been more than fifteen years old, red hair plastered against the pillow of her bed as she twisted and turned in sheer agony. She was alone in the room, no one there with her to hold her hand and wipe away her tears. "I'm Dr. Scully," Dana announced to the young girl, "How are you feeling?"

"It hurts," the girl whimpered, "It hurts so bad, make it stop..."

"Is there anyone here with you? Can I call someone?" The girl did not answer merely slumped back into the bed after the contraction ended, panting and crying. Dana stayed with the girl, forsaking her other patients, she stayed with her as she pushed and pushed and labored under the duress that her too young body was not prepared for. It was hours that the young girl-Stephanie Moore form her records, lay in agony. As Dana delivered her the small baby to her the young girl's face brightened, she held out her young pale arms to hold onto her prize, and why not she had earned it, had made it through labor and had so quickly forgot the pain and anguish. That was life in a nutshell.

"You have been here the whole time? Dr. Scully we have needed your assistance elsewhere..." Daniel raged, hands thrust deep into his lab coat pockets. "You can't tell me you have sat in here with this one all day? That's a nurse's job."

"I'm outta here Daniel, "she clipped evenly, taking off her stiff white coat and thrusting it at the surprised man. Scully exited the labor room, brushed past the still bitching Dr. Waterston, and kept walking.

She never looked back.

What do you do when its falling apart
When you knew it was gone from the very start
When you close your eyes, do you dream about me?
A girl in love with a gleam in her eye
I was a younger boy all dressed in white
Were older now, but do you still dream about me?

Night Ranger

Fox Mulder sat in is basement office, no longer a partner, and now flying solo. He had to give her credit, she hung on longer than most would have expected, himself included. She probably would still be there, checking his flight plans, typing up his reports and shelving his files had he not sent her away, divorce papers in hand. She probably would still be there if she had not insisted on going behind his back and checking things out, poking her elegant nose where it did not belong, making deals with Satan when he wasn't looking.

Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not all out to get you.

It had all started the day they had to go to Quantico to get autopsy results on a victim, the day they strolled the halls of their first meeting, enthralled in the joys of being together, working together, living together. They could not get enough of it, at least until the past jumped up and bit them both squarely on the ass.

He saw her first, as they came around the corner of the medical wing of Quantico, having some inane married couple discussion like who was going to pick up the dry cleaning, or which one left the cap off of the tooth paste. She laughed at one of his characteristically wry jokes, and as they turned the corner, the short redhead came into full view. She stood staring at Mulder, no words coming from her mouth, but one could see she was not surprised to see him there.

"Agent Mulder," it came out all saccharine and smiles. And for an instant, the woman standing in front of him was sixteen years old, smiling up at him, the building melted into a beach, and he had to suppress the urge to grab her hand and dash off into the waves.

Mulder did not reply, merely allowed some stupid guttural sound to emit from his mouth, which hung open as if waiting for the proverbial fly to come and land. He had not laid eyes upon Dana Scully in eleven years; it was all he could do to remember the rings around his finger.

"Agent Scully," he choked after a time, too long a time.

"Not quite yet sir," she offered. "But I will graduate soon." She walked away from him leaving Mulder to gawk after her.

"So, that is the infamous Dana Scully," Diana huffed not sure what she should say.

"Leave it alone Diana," Mulder warned the brunette next to him.

"I would have thought she would Be taller." She smirked glaring at her husband. "Or at least a little thinner"

Mulder chose to ignore her further prodding, instead allowing memories of the best two years of his life to come flooding in. She was here, in the Bureau, he had so many questions, needed to know what she was doing there. He had maintained a sort of friendship with Maggie Scully; she had insisted that he not disappear from her life. None of the other Scully children knew of what had happened, only that the car crash dispute led to the eventual break up of the two teens. Mr. Scully never quite forgave him, but Maggie Scully's love knew no bounds.

She had kept him apprised of Dana's progress, her milestones, and had even been the one to prod him into sending Dana the letter. She knew his marriage to Diana would never last, but had sent her gift and best wishes along none the less. She never liked the way things had ended between the two; they had endured the grief both of them separately and alone, rather than clinging to each other in the shared knowledge of what they had survived.

Diana took it upon herself to begin a campaign to dig up what ever she could about this tiny woman that Mulder found himself rendered speechless around. She had learned most of the story, and when she got to the unofficial medical records of Dana Scully, she thought she had it all figured out. Dana had a miscarriage right around the time the letters had stopped; it was not a far stretch of the imagination to figure out what had happened.

Mulder had no idea of her prodding, ever since their accidental meeting with the young woman, Mulder had become much as how she had first found him, quiet, reserved, withdrawn, more and more he worked late, as if driving himself harder would work her out of his system. In truth, seeing Scully reminded Mulder of why he was there in the basement, searching for answers for Samantha, searching for answers for Scully.

What Diana Mulder could not wrap her brain around, was the fact that Fox William Mulder still loved this woman, more than life itself. Oh she knew how it went with first love, you never quite get over it, and the more harrowing the break up, the more the love tends to dangle in the air with all the still unspoken words left between two lovers. She only had half the story, and armed with that half truth was not armed at all. Some part of her drove home the idea that there was more to this, that these two kept distance for far more than just an unplanned and unfinished pregnancy. What she did not get that her own husband would happily have given up every file in that cramped stuffy little office just to have Dana by his side, just to have her near him again.

Diana, having hit a brick wall both with her husband and the paper trail turned to the only person she knew who had answers to questions that no one would ever think to ask, the only person with access to every question that ever could be asked. She made her contact and went to see the man with the cigarette fetish, went to go strike a deal with the devil.

I guess I don't know what I'm thinking
Come off a hard night of drinking
And you come closer to me
I need a soul to bleed on
It could have been done in a different kinda way
But that ain't you; you play tough when you play
It's over now; I bet you still think about me

Night ranger

Damn that felt good. She smirked as she walked off from the happy couple. He had no idea she had left medical school to join the FBI, he just stood there with those beautiful hazel eyes dripping and searching her frame. She had felt those eyes on her, had reached into his soul and spoke to him in the way they once did as children. She knew the bond was still there, and she knew he felt it too. Dana knew all that calm cool control would come in handy from here on out, if she and Mulder were to ever have to work the same case for any reason, she would have to be all professionalism and pretend that they had only known each other professionally. She knew she could handle him in small doses; little bites of Mulder would not affect her in any great huge way. Anything more and she knew she could not be held responsible for her actions-blood could spill.

She had joined the FBI a month after leaving Dr. Waterston gaping after her, they were happy to jump through any hoop to have the well trained doctor come and be one of their best and brightest. She relished in the attention, and reveled in the wooing, not telling them that she did not need too much arm twisting to come to work there, it just seemed like the best place to start once she began to want answers to the questions that Stephanie Moore's small body and brave fight had awakened in her.

Dana Scully excelled in her courses at Quantico, just as she had in everything. She loved the feeling of her side arm at her hip, finding that in an odd sort of way it reminded her of being pregnant, that added solid weight hanging off of part of her body, so present, so there. She was tough, for her size or anyone else's size, nothing stopped her, and nothing made this tiny powder keg flinch. The men in training all wanted to go up against her, wanting to prove that this female could be bested by their brute strength, and it was always that brute self conceit that she capitalized upon, taking them down time after time.

She enjoyed turning the guys to complete jelly, but only on the battlefield, she still never dated, Daniel having been too close for her comfort, and Mulder...well that was another subject altogether.

She never considered herself lonely, she enjoyed her solitude, too many people knowing too much about her made Dana nervous, and she found it safer that she kept a healthy distance from everyone else, especially the males.

Dana spent her weekends either studying rules and regulations, or at the firing range. She had little time for anything that did not involve improving her chances at the FBI, ambition and drive became her best friends. She had started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, revenge would be so sweet.

Dana Scully was on a mission herself, and though she did not realize her method of operation, soon after completing her training at Quantico, it was made clear to her. She had planned on proving Mulder a fraud; she had planned on somehow bringing him down a few notches off of his high and mighty windmill. Dana Scully was not sure how to accomplish this, she knew her scientific background was a good start, and having heard all the stories about Spooky and the basement infuriated her further into her plans. What she did not know was that she was not alone in her quest, and that an old acquaintance would elicit her help surreptitiously-they both had the same desired outcome, though for differing reasons.

She had betrayed him, asking questions of his past to his sworn enemy, and making silent deals that were revealed to him in secret an anonymous memo. Diana had sought answers to questions that he was not ready to give her, in time maybe he would have opened up to her; but the chance had been made for him when she appeared at the office armed with a past he did not want unburied.

"Fox," she began shakily, "Why can't you trust me?"

He pushed her into the desk chair, hard. Not wanting to have this conversation but knowing it was time. "What did you do Diana?" he demanded, hands gripping the arm rests of the chair she reclined in.

She stared into the eyes of the man she loved, his once twinkling, playful eyes burned with fire, and the flame thrower was aimed pointedly at her. "How could you?" she asked trying to show how upset she herself felt.

"People." He began in such an evened brusque tone, that she flinched. "Who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Now, what did you do?"

Diana Mulder would look back on this day often cringing at the memory of it; this was the first and only time she was ever truly afraid of Fox. He had a dark side everyone in the Hoover building knew it, but she knew only his gentleness, his sweet reverie. Here, as he towered over her seated form interrogating her to the nature of her betrayal, Diana honestly felt afraid. "I wanted to know, to know what had gone on,"

"You had no right Diana, you had no right to go and do this, things were fine between us, we could have gone on like this..."he gestured around the small office.

"He says he can get you your baby, says he knows who has it. " She blubbered.

Fox Mulder stopped everything breathing, seeing, thinking, fuming, for ten seconds even his heart froze, for ten seconds he did absolutely nothing, "And you believed him? How much did it cost you Diana? How much of your soul did you pay for whatever lies he had to spill?"

She did not answer, rather stared up at him with plaintive eyes, pleading him for his forgiveness. "Fox, I did for you, for us, we can raise"

Mulder picked up the desk caddy and sent it into orbit around the office. He yelled, primal and without a care if it rattled the very foundations of the Hoover building. "Get out!" he roared

She grabbed her things off the hook, and stormed out of the office for the last time.

He had gone at his lunch break to a lawyer and filed for divorce, as if he needed much more of a reason once he had seen Scully. Seeing her had driven back into the forefront all the old feelings and pains. Why had she come here, to torment him, to rub his nose in it like a bad boy? He had to admit to himself how wonderful it had been to be so close to her again, he had even quietly sat in on her graduation form Quantico. He smiled as he watched her accept her certificate, so proud he thought his chest would explode.

He sat in his office only a few months after the finalization of his divorce, having moved out of their apartment and finding his own digs in Georgetown. Diana had begged him to rethink this, and he had found himself almost wanting to, he loved her in his way, and the prospect of being alone for the rest of his life was a scary one. But she was beyond forgiving, and he had accepted this.

He had a routine, and he smiled at the thought of having won the X-Files in the divorce, she had left the Bureau anyway, not being able to even face him after what she had done. He had wanted a clean break from Diana, trust was everything to him, if he could not trust her, then he had no use for her.

There had been talk of sending him a new partner, but Mulder knew it was just to have someone looking over his shoulder, someone to send little notes and reports back up the food chain to keep a tally on what he was up to down there. He neither wanted nor needed a partner, he hated the idea of having to train and break in some green cadet with no idea of anything other than which shops gave free coffee and donuts to law enforcement.

He silently hoped it would be someone who would believe.

I remember when you learned about love
In the back of a Chevrolet
No good for an old memory
To mean so much today
When you close your eyes
Do you dream about me?
When you close your eyes
Do you dream about me?
I bet you still dream about me

Night Ranger

"Yes Sir," she lied to the room full of bureaucrats, "I am familiar with his work, he had sort of a reputation at Quantico. They called him Spooky..." oh yeah, I'll play your game you little buttoned down bastards, just let me at 'em, I'll debunk him so far I am sure I can even prove he stole the Limburg baby.

Unknown to her, while Blevins seemed to have a short memory, there was one man present who knew of her, remembered a tiny frightened wisp of a girl who stood at the bedside of the Spooky one, waiting desperately for him to wake up.. She had seen his face before but could not place his features due to his love of hanging in the shadows.

The man idly watched the proceedings, he did not doubt her skepticism, nor her abilities, knowing well that a woman scorned is hell on heels; he did not doubt she could remain objective, perhaps even being the most objective person to send down into the basement. Fox Mulder was a handsome man, capable of turning his charms onto women and having them follow him into things they normally would not. The man had watched him charm his way with women, often using his good looks to gain access into places he should not have gotten into. Here was the one woman who had seen the dog and pony show he had to offer, here was the one woman who would be impervious to his charms, and she had proven herself impervious for the past twelve years.

He needed someone to keep Mulder out of the way, someone that would report back to him on exactly what he was up to down there, how close he was to the truth. Mulder's drive at the absurd caused one too many problems for him, and though he was not the kind of man to keep a promise to anyone, Mulder's life was guaranteed due to means above and beyond his control. Even he had people to answer to. The man in the corner bit back the urge to smoke a cigarette, no reason to give her all of the knowledge all at once. He smiled as she rose to go down and meet her new partner.

I remember when I held you so tight
And we danced the night away
When the moon hits this wide eyed kid
I need you so much today
When you close your eyes
Do you dream about me?
When you close your eyes
Do you dream about me?

Night Ranger

He was dumbfounded, they had told him who his partner would be just four hours before she stormed his office, and he used those hours to peruse her file for the millionth time. She was more than capable to aid in the investigations down here, and more than qualified to be in the passenger's seat as they searched for the truth.

But Dana Scully was not a believer, Dana Scully was as much of a skeptic as you were going to find. This begged a question, why are they sending her down here? His rational mind assured himself that she was sent for her scientific background; a degree in Physics, and three years of medical school was nothing to sneeze at. But his rational mind only covered ten percent of his cognitive thought processes, his rational mind rarely if ever took the driver's seat and followed directions, his paranoia ran too deep.

He tried to pretend to be busy as he heard her even heel clicks ticking down the dark lonely hallway, feeling his heart rate increase with every tick. He had already decided how to play this one, and he knew she would act the same way.

"No one down here but the FBI's most unwanted..." he offered to the knock at the door, trying yet again to impress that young girl that used to fall asleep so gently in the crook of his arm...

"Hello Agent Mulder," she purred. "I was sent down here, I am your new partner." She knew he knew, he knew she knew, and yet the dance went on. She smiled at seeing him in his glasses; they had been a constant when he was a teenager, and a definite turn on in the adult version.

"Oh, how nice to suddenly be so highly regarded." Damn she looked good.

"Actually, Agent Mulder, I look forward to working with you." She wasn't lying; it would be fun to torment him for the next few months as she debunked his life's work, took away from him the thing he clung to so reverently. She noted silently the lack of wedding rings on his finger now realizing that he had a failed marriage under his belt.

"That's funny" he smiled smugly, "I was under the impression you were sent down here to spy on me." He flashed her a smile that could only mean come out and play.

She gave him back a 'you have got to be kidding me' smirk, before coming to wander around the office that she was to share with Fox Mulder, breaker of falls. She smiled at the poster that hung behind his shaggy brown head, wondering if it was the same one from his room from so long ago; a small nod from him assured her it was. The office on a whole was a mess, and she could not help but be reminded of the first time she walked into the boy's room fourteen years ago.

His little boy ardor surfaced as he rushed her off to the wilds of Oregon, and while neither one of them brought up the past, it hung in the air like jello, thick and congealed and waiting to be jiggled. He tried to beguile her with his wit and seemingly endless rolls of useless knowledge. She ignored him as much as she could, yet found herself smiling at his antics more than once. The plane ride was a long one, and she dismissed her relinquishments to his humor as simple flight anxiety, Dana Scully truly disliked flying.

The case was a bust, and other than running into his motel room in a panic, the only memorable thing was Mulder swearing to have seen things that he could not back up, as usual. They talked in the motel room, he once again told her of his missing sister, as if she didn't know, but for some reason the two felt a need to start at square one, to not acknowledge their past together, yet it was the reason she felt safe enough to rush to his room in nothing more than a robe in the first place. She knew he would protect her, even with all the distance and time, he was her constant, and she his.

This was going to be a long assignment she mused.

I'm not sure of anyone
But I've got plans
I'm not asking for everything
But sure I could use a hand
Get a little anxious sometimes
You'll be gone and I'll be left behind
Get a little nervous sometimes
It'll be my cue and I'll forget my lines
Get a little lost look
As I'm staring from the corner of my eye
Never really mastered disinterest

Dashboard Confessional

The months came and went; Scully found that while she was not wide-eyed and completely enthralled with Fox Mulder she had to admit, she was impressed. He knew his stuff, he knew what he knew and he knew it well. Every now and again, as they sat in their office, Mulder would throw her a look, the very same from the beach from so long ago, the same look that lead her down the path she walked now. She would ignore it, often taking the first opportunity to leave for a time, until her breath would catch in her chest and she would break down in the silent solitude of the stall in the ladies room.

He still got to her, and she could not put off her feelings forever, even the toughest armor eventually could be breached. Eventually.

Dana Scully began to fear for her career that first year, it wasn't the snickers she got as her heels chipped through the Bull pen, or the fact that the entire Hoover Building had begun to refer to her as Mrs. Spooky. No none of these things affected her it was the things that Mulder had began to drag out in front of her-things that shook her scientific foundation to its very pragmatic core. She prided herself on her insistence on facts and figures, evidence that was tangible and could be seen. Yet, in that first year he had shown her a side of reality that she could have otherwise done without knowing about, giant fluke worms, murderous cloned twins, and not to mention their impromptu trip off to Puerto Rico.

Her mother had found the whole thing funny, no hysterical. Maggie would often call her at her office just to hear Mulder answer the phone, swearing she called just to ask her daughter some innocuous question. Scully knew better, Scully realized that somewhere in the back of her mother's completely bland conversations lurked a matchmaker and her mother could be so relentless.

There were times she found she had to remind herself why she was there, her mission was simple, send back her messages to Blevins and make sure they were all kept apprised of what was really going on in the basement of the Hoover building. She smiled at his jokes, and dodged his innuendos yet she could not run from the inescapable, she was starting to understand why he was here, if not agree with it, she knew she would never see things his way. She found him to be so driven and sure of himself, she remembered back to a day she had wished he would find confidence in himself, his confidence was here, in the files in this dingy office. Fox Mulder was sure of one thing- his quest for the truth, and Dana Scully was not sure she could be responsible for taking that away from him.

He was there for her when Ahab died; he held her close as the facade cracked into tiny pieces. It felt so good to be so close to him; reminding her of a past she had done all she could to put distance between. He didn't speak, he didn't want to, his grief was so pungent, as they stood together in the doorway of his apartment; she leaned into him trying to draw that strength again, but finding the well empty.

No one had an issue with him attending the funeral, and he cried there as the rain fell, behind everyone else and characteristically out of sight, he cried unabashedly and unashamed of the tears he shed for a man who had been more of a father to him than he had ever had the pleasure to know. Dana eyed his tears with a mixture of emotions; she never once doubted the honesty of his sadness at the passing of her father. Bill Scully had been there for Mulder when he needed a male role model, what she doubted however was the scope of Mulder's knowledge as to how the loss of his first grandchild really affected her father.

But what she could not face, not even to herself, was her mysterious disappearance for three months.

When AD Walter Skinner found himself over the two agents that resided in the X-Files, it wasn't until he saw the two names side by side that he put it together. He had heard stories of the two of them separately, yet it was not until one of their reports passed his desk, with both signatures at the bottom of the contradictory report that he realized he knew these two.

The shocked look on his face surprised his secretary as he read and re read the report that had made its way to his desk; it was like sitting in on that interrogation from years ago. Mulder believed, and Scully doubted. He grinned that some things were loathe to never change, and he wondered if these two were still together, if they had any idea the affect their love for each other from so long ago had on him.

Shortly after leaving the two of them back in 1980, he finally married his long time girlfriend, craving the kind of love that he had witnessed in these two. It was their love for each other that made him believe in love itself, after having seen so much horror and gruesome behavior in Vietnam, he wasn't sure that he could see loving one person for an eternity- until nineteen year old boy sat across from him agonizing over a tiny redhead. He knew that he would have to have a meeting with them a meet and greet with these two agents from his newly acquired division. He made the phone call and requested their presence

Their first meeting with the new AD over their division was a shock for all three adults seated in the office. Scully made herself overly interested in her new shade of nail polish as Mulder shifted around and had a sudden need to look down at his brown g-shoes, splitting his time between wise cracks and flashbacks of a dirty dingy interrogation room on the east coast. They both felt as if they had been called into the principal's office.

"Agents" Skinner began, not sure how to broach this one, but having decided to keep it professional and contemporary-for now. "I expect nothing but professionalism from my subordinates.."

"Mindless drones Sir?" Mulder offered, reminding Skinner of the young boy with the smart mouth.

Skinner drew across the desk a little further, "Yes Agent Mulder," he sang in a voice he usually reserved for kindergarteners. "Mindless drones." The rest of that first meeting went on pretty much the same, Skinner attempting to lay down the law, and Mulder interjecting his, though witty, less than necessary attempts at humor. Agent Scully viewed the whole meeting with an eyebrow twitching at almost everything Mulder would say. Skinner kept waiting for her to lean over and swat the back of his head.

Skinner knew the two of them were going to require a lot of adult supervision, and reminded himself to keep an extra bottle of Tylenol in his desk drawer-just in case.

I can't see how
The way that you leave me hollow
Makes us close
I must be out of touch
I won't ask you
To give up on the things that seem
to keep you gone
But I could be gone too
Feel a little sorry sometimes
You're not here when I am writing
Feels a little awkward sometimes
You won't talk but we're not fighting
You hold on to your secrets
And I'm not privy to what is on your mind
But I can't help but feel tired

Dashboard Confessional

She was gone, he had lost her again, only this time it wasn't because of anything he did, this time it was what he didn't do. All that was left of her was her gold cross and a frantically elongated message on his answering machine.

He needed her; in the few months they had been together he had found her vast knowledge more than helpful, it was an absolute necessity to have around. She was the soft voice of reason in his ear, a conscious that he never knew he needed. Diana had agreed with everything he did, she never questioned any of his crazy theories or offered any other explanations that could not have come out of his own mouth. Diana was the eternal yes man.

Scully was different.

Mulder had come to not only find Scully irreplaceable, but completely beyond reproach, she offered him a glimpse into that life he had always wondered about, and their time together in the basement would remind him of a form of marriage. He would sit at his desk as she ranted and raved and he would muse to himself that this would have been what it would be like if she had only said yes on the beach.


Maybe instead of arguing about the possibilities of aliens and conspiracies, they could have been in a four bedroom two bath colonial arguing over mortgages and groundings. She would have been a great mom, he mused more than once that first year. She takes such good care of things.

But they were careful; they were so cautious and took such care to not tread around old wounds that were not healed for either of them. She would often look at him and catch a look across her face that spoke of the past, and he catching that glare would smile and offer some cheap innuendo. They had a routine, and though his psychological mind knew repression was a bad thing, he also knew it worked for them, and gave them a way to deal with the pain that seeing each other every day dredged out.

And yet that pain was what drove them harder every day, forced them into finding answers to questions, he needed to know, and Scully was more than along for the ride-in a lot of unspoken ways, she was the reason for the drive.

Her disappearance rendered him physically ill; they had pulled them off of the x-files, separating them to opposite ends of the FBI. Even passing in the halls of the Hoover building had become a dangerous liaison Mulder had found that their search, though never openly discussed to be for their baby, had become the only reason for them to be in that office. He ranted about searching for Samantha, and she nodded and agreed and succumbed, but they both knew why they were there, yet Samantha was the only name that could be uttered, the other had no name.

In all that time he never challenged her honesty or integrity, Dana Scully was the one person he could trust, the one person who was there. Mulder had no idea of how loathe Scully had found him so often, how she still blamed him for the losses they had shared. .

Mulder was allowed back downstairs, ironically after they had silenced half of the team that once resided there; he went on, poking through files and searching for something that would lead him to them. He stalked the halls of the basement and his apartment as a ghost, a man simply there going through the motions of life.

He had sex with the vampire just to feel, to try and see if he could still feel. She was nothing to him, nothing more than a tortured soul like himself who needed another human being to feel against them. They sought proof, proof of life, proof of existence, and Mulder for a second in the eyes of this girl was reminded of Phoebe, and how she had showed up in his office, taunting Scully as if daring her to react. For

Scully, reacted only neither one of them could tell. Scully found herself full of emotions that she could neither qualify nor quantify. Seeing Mulder with Phoebe Green erupted an entire shelf of feelings she was not ready to deal with. Scully tried to play friend, though she never lost her motivation to destroy Mulder, and his antics with Phoebe further fed that drive.

Mulder wondered every minute of every day where she was, if she was safe and unharmed. He agonized over catching Duane Barry, but not before the spaceship had taken off with his partner. AS if she would ever believe she had been abducted by a spaceship, explain away this one Scully, he mused often wondering if he would ever get the chance to poke her and say 'I told you so."

When he found her in that hospital, barely clinging to life and struggling to hold on, he almost broke into a million pieces right there. She was unresponsive and close to death. HE had been ready to deal with the Devil himself just to get her well again, and in that instance he understood why Diana did what she did, and yet had he not traded Samantha for her? Even a clone copy would have been fine, but why did he give her up for Scully?

He sat by her bedside as she allowed the machines to live for her.

There was very little of anything that Dana Scully was aware of as she sat in the boat adrift in the river of her mind. She wondered if this was truly it, if the life path that she had chosen had led to this one solitary moment where she could shirk off the mortal coil and seek the higher plain. Her father guided her back to the physical, told her that her work was not over. He offered forgiveness' and reassured her of his pride in her accomplishments.

He also assured her that her baby was still alive, somewhere.

And I could have done so many things baby
If I could only stop my mind
From wondering what I left behind
And from worrying about this wasted time
You know love has come and gone
And the years keep rushing on
I remember what you told me
Last time you went out on your own
Sometimes to keep it together
You got to leave it alone

So you can get on with your search baby
And I can get on with mine
And maybe someday we will find
That it wasn't really wasted time.

The Eagles

The game had started innocently enough, the second year after finding herself in the basement office, long after her return from the great beyond, long after she aimed her weapon and fired on her partner It did feel good to shoot him, even though it wasn't fatal.

It was soon after Missy was killed, in her apartment where her sister had been found, Scully had began to find a desire to bring some things out into the light of day. The chickens needed to come home to roost.

Dana had realized how close she was to losing the only tangible connection she had left of her baby, the only person that was there for both its loss, and its conception. He was in the habit of ditching her, Mulder was adept at disappearing acts, and turning up in a mess of trouble that she had to drag him out of. He was missing for over a week, and though in some small way she found a sense of smug humor in it, she found it made her face things in the mirror. Damn history repeating and it didn't help that Mulder had barely matured any since then. He still liked to piss people off, and had a natural propensity for sticking his nose into things that got him shot at.

They had been sitting in the office, throwing looks back and forth across the room, a common affect over the long afternoons that found them cooped up together in the cramped room. Mulder had often marveled on how an entire paper could be written on the level of repression and suppression that went on in their lives on a daily basis. He wanted so badly to talk to her about it, but after two and a half years together, he was wan to run the risk of losing her in the office. So when she initiated an exchange on the forbidden, he had a reaction akin to getting the psychological wind knocked out of him.

"Mulder," she began from her vantage point across the desk, hanging over the file cabinet that she would not have reached the top of without her heels. She idly thumbed through a file about alien abductions, reminding her of what she had possibly lived through.

He returned her utterance of his name with an expectant glare; he sat waiting for some completely innocent discussion of where to have lunch, or how long before their next meeting with Skinner.

"You ever think about what she would have been..." She trailed off as if suddenly realizing what she had said.

"All the time Scully," he returned, tears forming in his eyes.

"Sometimes Mulder," she went on, looking off into space, not wishing to meet his stare. "Sometimes I wonder what if, who would I be right now Mulder? Would I still be here, or would I be one of those soccer moms driving a mini van and yelling at my obnoxiously immature husband."

Mulder, taken aback at her sudden delve into the existential, took a few extra seconds to respond. "Is that a proposal Scully?" he asked with a grin trying to evade where the conversation was leading off to.

She raised her head to the drop ceiling, sighing heavily and rubbing her temples out of sheer exaggeration. "Mulder, we have evaded this discussion for too long, why can't we ever mention her?" Scully had hit a brick wall; losing Missy had put her into such a state as to at least this one night, hash things out.

Mulder leaned back into his desk chair, hands folded over his lap, he had needed this as much as she did, but yet the wounds had not quite healed. "Scully, we know why the two of us are down here, we know why they drag us out of this office every time we get too close to answers that both of us are searching for." He leaned his head back and placed two fingers into the corners of his hazel eyes. "If anything Scully, you would have to say that losing him has pushed us both over the edge. I never wanted this for your life, for mine either for that matter. I had a lot of time to deal with the facts of my life, my obsessions. Maybe you should walk away now before it consumes you the way it's dragged me under."

"Oh how very much a martyr you are..." she fumed throwing his own words back into his face. "You think every day I don't consider walking outta here and never looking back? You don't think that I would love to go back and take the road more traveled Mulder? It's hard as hell to be in here every day, pretending that she never happened. Hell, even Skinner is in on it." She had moved in closer to Mulder, hands placed upon the top of the desk. "Look at all that we have lost here Mulder," she blew. "The baby, our sisters, any chance of a real career in the Bureau, it's all gone Mulder, and for what, who would have taken a newborn anyway? Or for that matter, who would have stolen your sister or killed mine? But the truth is, I need to know, I need to know where my child is, our child. I mean every April 29 I order a frigging birthday cake, and I buy a present. I sit on my couch and try to figure out what the fuck." She paced back and forth in front of the lone desk.

"So I take the cake, smash in the parts that I don't eat, rip the present open and start tearing it up. "She inhaled before going on. "I hate that day Mulder; I hate everything about that day. God I wish I had let Bill pick you up..."

He sat listening to her diatribe, staring into the sea blue eyes that held so much of his soul. "Scully, don't do this..."

"Oh and Mr. 'I have a master's degree in Psychology' wants to go throwing things back under the rug. Don't you know what repression is Mulder? Didn't you ever learn about the giant white elephant in the middle of the room? Because that's what we have here Mulder, a big giant ass Elephant, fat and bloated with THE TRUTH. Or did they not teach that in England?" she was on a roll and he was going to get the full load.

"She would have been sixteen this year Mulder, the same age I was when she was born..."

"Scully, I don't think we are ready to deal..." he had risen from the desk, it wasn't that he didn't want to talk about the child they had lost, he wanted to more than anything, and all of his important degrees screamed for recompense in the matter. Mulder was afraid that dragging out the fat bloated elephant would send Scully running for California again.

Scully shot him a look before continuing that made his blood flow backwards. "I am ready to discuss it." She raged openly and uncharacteristically. "I want this out in the open Mulder. Do you really think we are going to ever find her? Or at least any sort of answers as to what really went on that night? I have stuck around here for three years Mulder, damn near four years of my life I have invested in this search. You sit and shed tears over Samantha, and I feel for you, I really do especially since I lost Missy. But the truth here is that I am here for one reason and one reason only." Her small stature had seemed to elongate with every syllable she uttered, and Mulder was struck at how big her presence truly was.

He cringed under her glare, he knew this was coming, had felt it building up steam ever since she had awakened in the hospital after returning from her abduction. He knew that once he had walked into that empty hospital room and found her sitting alone by Missy's empty bed, he had known the break would come. Mulder was not ready; the wounds still fresh to him, more so than the loss of Samantha. He had begun to wonder if he would ever be allowed to love something or someone without loss being attached to it like an anchor.

"Do you know why I left medical school Mulder?" her voice had suddenly taken on a gentle cadence, almost forcing him to lean over the desk to hear her. She went on after he shook his head.

"I was on an OB rotation for my residency, we had to go through a different rotation every few weeks. I walked into this room expecting to see a happy couple, instead I find a fifteen year old girl in the midst of hard labor. She was scared and alone, and in more pain than I had ever seen anyone in my life." Scully drew a ragged breath before going on. "Stephanie Moore, I will never forget her. She fought the good fight, alone. No one was there with her through her ordeal. I came and helped her that day, I watched her struggle at her most triumphant moment."

"That fifteen-year-old girl taught me more about life and fight than I thought existed. I had to know then Mulder." Scully swatted at tears that threatened to brew. "I have a right to know."

Mulder did not dare interrupt her, part of him wanted to run from the office and slam the door on this part of his life, and yet he knew this had to go on.

"Mulder, I never got to see her, she doesn't even have a name..." Scully was not crying, but her eyes twitched from the strain of holding back tears for so long.

"I was always partial to the name Scott." Mulder smiled trying to ease some of the tension that had gathered in the office.

Scully returned his comment with a sad smile. "That name reminds me of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I always thought Gretchen would be nice..."

"Gretchen?" Mulder made a mock sour face. "Yeah Scully, just ensure her career as a porn star..."

"Yeah you would know about that wouldn't you?" she smirked

"You wound me Scully."

It was a game they played when the tension go to be too much, sometimes on the long drives between cases, Mulder would shoot out a name out of the blue, if only to watch Scully make a face that spoke of Lemons. The psychologist in him knew this was something good, that even though the conversation in the basement never got the final closure that Scully had been driving at, they were on their way to healing.

Scully had begun to slip into the real passenger's seat, she still refused to accept most of the cases that got thrown at her, but while she could not believe in the files, she did stat to believe in Fox Mulder again.

So when Bill stumbled across a letter written to Maggie from his father about the situation, Dana found herself defending Fox Mulder.

"How could you let this happen?" he raged, spittle flying at her in his anger.

"Bill, you don't know the whole story..." Maggie interjected trying to calm her son down.

"No Mom, we trusted this kid. I trusted him and this is what I get in return?" Bill paced back and forth in the living room of his mother's house.

"Bill Scully, you ought to let this thing go, its been sixteen years since it all happened, and none of you knew of it-"

"Yeah, well I know about it now Mom."

"Let it go Bill." Dana answered flatly, not wanting to have her life drudged before the entire family, especially this one part that was so painful. "Its gone Bill, the baby is a teenager now."

"How could you work with him like that Dana? He took advantage of an underage kid..."

"Bill it wasn't just him, we both had sex." She smiled at his flinch at her choice of words. "I am a grown woman now Bill, and who I decide to work with is my call."

"I'm going to kill him Danes, he ever steps foot in this house again and so help me God I will pull my service revolver-"

You will do no such thing William Scully." Maggie admonished. "And if you don't let it go now you can leave this house and not come back until you have removed that chip off of you r shoulder."

"So you choose him over your own flesh and blood Mom?" Bill stormed up the stairs like a five year old deprived of cookies, he may have got the last word in, but Maggie still got her point across, he dropped the subject.

It wasn't easy to face Bill and Charlie once she found that they knew about her past. While Bill felt the need to blame Mulder and rage incessantly over Dana's lack of self control, Charlie was her biggest fan. "Dana, shit happens." That was all he had to offer on the subject, and characteristic of Charlie, it was short and right to the point.

"Esmeralda," Scully shot, biting the sides of her mouth to stifle the smile that was trying to break free.

"Elvis," Mulder returned straight faced.

"Oh god Mulder, you sure your parents didn't take any heavy drugs back in the day?" she reeled.

"What's wrong with Elvis? I think it is a perfectly natural name, better than Fox that's for sure." He rifled through the paperwork in front of him, Mulder had a custom of rambling thorough paperwork in a confused manner, at some point, usually two hours into his play, Scully would walk over, wordlessly snatch the paperwork and finish it.

"Mulder," she began, wondering how long she should let him stumble over the paperwork before she swooped in and 'rescued' him. "Bill knows."

The look of horror on Mulder's face would have been comical, had it not been warranted. "He gonna show up here?"

Dana shook her head "No, but I would steer clear of any Scully gathering until the new Millennium at least." She smiled as the color slowly returned to his face.

"How bad was it when he found out?"

"Let's just say that he wants to ensure that it never happens again..."

"So now that's two Scully's that have threatened to emasculate me," he shook his head in disbelief. "I gotta get my passport renewed."

"Hey, at least I stopped sending back the reports." She smiled, figuring it was the best way to break subject.

"So you were sent down here to spy on me?" he couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"Hey, I said I stopped Mulder." She defended.

He glared at her not sure how to handle the fact that she had betrayed him, form Diana it was different, he had always suspected she was capable of it, under the right circumstances and given a better offer. Dana was different; there was so much history between the two of them. Of all people he had expected her to not sell him out, he had expected her to if not believe; at least have faith in him. He started to think she had none.

Fox Mulder was used to being lonely, even as a husband, he still felt alone. He spent the time not in his office at work; at home in front of the television idly flipping channels, most of the time he found he just let the TV watch him.

He himself had a routine for the dates in his life he wanted to forget, drinking was a good way to mask the feelings that tried to surface on November 27th and April 29th. Mulder hated alcohol, hated the taste of it, but those two dates found him plastered beyond all recognition. April 29 was an unofficial holiday in the X-Files division of the FBI, Skinner never expected either one in the office on those days, even in the middle of a case they would find field work to do to keep busy and away from each other. Though they never officially called in sick on that day, it was always a sort of unspoken day of mourning.

Two people who carried around the same pain chose to face that pain singularly and alone, even the trust that they shared in each other could not broach that pain. Even though Scully had long given up her drive to put Mulder in his place, she still celebrated that day alone.

There had been one year, the last one as a matter of fact, that Mulder had come to her apartment, stood outside her door, wanting so bad to knock, but didn't. He stood there for an hour, just needing to be near to the only other person that would understand the pain he dealt with. And yet he knew that there were things he could not drag out in front of Scully, emotions that he was not sure either of them could yet handle.

And as he walked away from her apartment that night, he felt the same stirrings of feelings he had once had as he watched the tiny redhead walk away from his house after caring for him.

"You have something I need." The creepy cancerous man-thing hissed advancing upon her Scully blanched as she realized in complete horror what he was insinuating. Scully replayed the scene over in her head ad nauseum the entire drive back to DC.

"You ok Scully?" Mulder asked noting her melancholy.

"I'm fine Mulder." She insisted. She had decided to push the thoughts out of her head not wanting to have more to deal with and definitely not wanting her partner to know what she feared.

Mulder knew when she was fine, she was never fine. If the word got thrown in to the conversation, the loose translation was 'something is bugging me, but I am not going to tell you what until I am good and damn ready to talk about it, and if you push me you're going to get your ass kicked."

So he erred on the side of caution and let it drop.

When my life has passed me by
I'll lay around and wonder why
You were always there for me
One way
In the eyes of a passerby
I'll look around for another try
And fade away

Sugar Ray

Scully sat at the bedside of the dying woman, chatting with her made her realize that her turn was next, that this whole time she had been living on was borrowed, not her own but that of those that had orchestrated her cancer in the first place.

She found her strength to tell her mother, which had been so easy to tell her, compared to telling Mulder.

Of course he doubted her dying, wasn't that his job, to doubt everything she believed in as she had doubted his beliefs. He held her, close as they both succumbed to emotions that rampaged through them, so many twisted not quite handled emotions. He drew her into him, as if his arms could fend off this attack as they had before. But Mulder could not deny the inescapable, that Scully's own body had mounted this assault, and he could no more fend off this visage than to turn back time and marry this woman he loved.

Scully had at first accepted the cancer, not as a death sentence so much as a new path her life had been dragged onto. For the first few days she had not even thought of it as leading to death, even though the evidence of its eventuality made itself more than obvious. The journal she had began keeping was addressed to Mulder, but her analytical mind knew better. She had wanted; needed some way to talk to the child she was never allowed to know. That in some way addressing it to Mulder ensured its delivery to the intended reader of the document in the event of her death.

She knew that eventually he would find her.

Mulder had run off to go dash at whatever windmill held her cure, and Scully found herself thankful for this rather than annoyed. His belief in her survival was something she really found comforting, as if his drives and convictions drove her on. As if the ideas of Mulders crazy theories all directed just for her survival was something to cling to, something for her to wrap all of her convictions into and...believe.

Was it? Was he what she clung to? Scully inhabited that hospital room alone, her mother dallied in and out always there always a show of her own strength. But what was her strength? What kept Dana Katherine Scully purveyor of facts and logic sane? She had faced so much in the last half of her life, why?

When the world was closing in around her, and the life that she had chosen had become small and unattainable, it was Mulder that she clung to,

Some say
Better things will come our way
No matter what they try to say
You were always there for me
Some way
When the sun begins to shine
I hear a song from another time
And fade away

Sugar Ray

He did not like the idea of her being out on cases while trying to battle her own body to stay alive.. The frequent nose bleeds she experienced were more than just a little disturbing for him. The horror on her face as him being witness to her demise was more than he could stand. They had began to spend more and more time together, and Mulder was reminded of the waning days before he left for England, how they had tried to spend as much time together as possible, needing to be near each other as much as they could before fate wedged them apart. He tried to take care of her as much as she would allow, he even popped over to her apartment at least twice a week on the guise of case work always bearing some sort of food he would insist she eat.

The thing that struck Mulder was the fact that she was allowing all this close contact with him, as if in her weakened condition she had neither the strength or will to fight him off. Truthfully, she thrived off of his attention, and she relished in the fact that they had made4 real headway in their friendship. They had come a long way from the angry adults tolerating each other's presence day in and day out. The two people who once repressed every single emotion in front of each other began to give way to the natural progression of their lives, and something long since dropped from their relationship had begun to burrow into it yet again. He refused to bring up any subject of their past, or of anything about the child they both still desperately cherished. He merely stayed on the sidelines as her friend as much as she would allow him to.

Once again, it was Scully who floored him with her push of the subject; Mulder had decided that if she brought it up, he would not try to fend it off. It didn't take a psychologist to note that people faced with their own mortality felt a need to set things straight in their life.

"Mulder," she sighed from his lap, her head resting there after they had consumed an entire large pizza, with Mulder having eaten the bulk of it.

He hummed an answer to her inquisition, all the while stroking her flame red hair and losing himself in the complexity of it.

"I need to talk about what went on, I need to ask you for a few favors. I need Mulder a few assurances from you, and knowing our past and all I know I need not ask them but..."

He mentally braced himself for what was coming and drummed his fingers onto her back in a manner that told her to go ahead.

"When you find her." He loved that she had said when and not if, she had so much faith in finding her. In a way, they had both believed that one day he or she would just come waltzing through the door of the office. "When you find her Mulder, tell her about me."

"You'll be around to tell her yourself Scully." He insisted.

"Mulder I mean it, I intend to fight with all that I have in me, but my...dying will be better accepted by me." A shaky breath came from her lips as she went on. "I wish that I had told you sooner Mulder, I have never forgiven myself for that."

"Scully, leave it. You were sixteen years old, barely able to handle what was going on. No one, I mean NO ONE blames you Scully." He needed her to know that. "If anything this all leads back to me Scully, if this had happened with anyone else, you would be holding your child instead of fighting cancer." He was near tears himself now, God it felt good to get all of this out in the open. "My family has a genetic marker for alien abduction."

"Mulder..." she rose up off his lap to face him. "I don't want to go into that part of it, laying blame is pointless now. I just need to admit that it happened. That Fox William Mulder and Dana Katherine Scully once had a child, that is now of legal age." She was struck by that, their child would be eighteen now. Eighteen years old.

Mulder was struck by this, he knew that the child would be eighteen, but it never dawned on him that eighteen years had come and gone since then. "I'm...wow eighteen years." He realized how long of a time that was.

Scully grabbed his hand at the notice of the dejected look on his face. "Mulder stop blaming yourself, jeez.." she shook her head out of sheer frustration. "This is pointless, I was trying to find some closure for me, for both of us but I guess there are things in this that you have not dealt with yet."

"I could not save him." He said simply from behind a thick voice. "I could not save him, I just laid there as they did whatever to you and him." He was choked up now, and it was time to let it all out. "I wanted him too Scully. Even when I found out while I was trying to get you out of the car I wanted him so badly."

It was Scully's turn to be stunned, "Mulder?" she had never imagined that he was offering anything more than out of a sense of duty or honor.

"Yeah, I was ready to give it all up Scully, school my future everything just to have him...and you." He looked into the sea blue eyes that reminded him of a night long ago, a night on a beach that the two of them were forever transformed by.

She slid her arms around him pressing her head into his chest. "I wish things could have been different for us Mulder." She admitted. "Yeah," he managed from under tears. "Me too."

"We have so much history Mulder, so much between us. Everyone in the Hoover Building thinks we're having a torrid affair.." "Hey it's not from lack of trying on my part..." Mulder grinned, even though he had to duck after uttering it.

"You are truly my best friend Mulder." She went on trying to ignore his leer.

"And you mine Scully, "he held her closer to him and sighed.

"Where are we going Mulder?" She asked, they were in the middle of a case and she was feeling the nasty after affects of the chemo treatments.

"Don't you trust me Scully?" He did not want to tell her the fear he had that they would never stand on a beach together again, that he was so afraid of truly losing her he needed to do this, needed to go to where it all began.

They parked in front of the entrance, and as they walked hand in hand onto the sand, hundreds of memories flooded both agents' senses.

The soft rock music station blared from the car, as the two danced barefoot in the sand, neither one wanting to end the night. He held her close inhaling her scent, imprinting it on his soul. Her head rested on his chest listening to his heart beat as she followed his gentle lead.

"I gotta take you home soon Scully..." He said finally. "It's just after midnight and I promised Dr. Scully your coach would turn back into a pumpkin at twelve Cinderella."

"I know." she sniffed trying to memorize this night second by second.

They continued their slow dance under the moonlights as the ocean's tide roared along to the music.

He gently rubbed her bare back softly up and down as they swayed to a soft Eagles' tune. Instinctively, she began to rub his back in response; their touches were gentle at first, soft roamings.

"Mulder..." she began searching his eyes for an answer. She raised her head to offer him a kiss, not the usually chaste kisses they shared, nor was this kiss like the gentle petting and necking that they had shared in their many make out sessions.

This one was different.

Mulder wasn't sure how to take this, he wanted her so very badly, needed to be with her in a way he was not sure if she was ready for. He looked into her eyes, trying to find if she meant what he thought.

"Scully," he breathed huskily, placing his hands on the sides of her face. He drew into her a deep kiss, one screaming from his very soul, one that spoke louder than the ring that rested on her finger. "You don't have to do this, I love you and..."

"I need this Mulder, I need to feel. No matter what happens to us from here, I want to know for all times that you were here first."

He gently laid her onto the beach as they continued the fervent kissing of each other's skin. In the hot sand they found a solace there for each other. "Are you sure?" he whispered into her ear, desperate for the right answer, which she gave him with a small yet firm nod of her head.

They held hands like the teens that once haunted this beach. She laughed as Mulder dropped to his knees in the sand and began to build one of his infamous sand ships.

She began to help him as they listened for the new news that the ocean had to impart on them, wisdom and knowledge were in its roars that afternoon, and something else.


His mouth was on fire with the need of her, his mind had gone to mush fifteen minutes ago, and he was working off of sheer instinct. He wants to touch every part of her every inch of the ivory skin that invaded every single one of his dreams.

She answered each kiss with a matched one for him, allowing the moment to rule her and not caring about anything else. She could feel his urgency for her, and she fed off of it, needing to give to him the same desperate feelings of love and utter devotion.

His hands worked through her dress, finding the soft mounds of skin underneath, he gently felt them as he continued kissing her, knowing that this was something that was meant to be.

Her breath caught at the feeling of his hands in her dress, gliding over nipples that no one had ever touched before. She shuddered at his touch, he stopped momentarily afraid that he had done something wrong. When he found only pleasure in her glassed over eyes, he went on.

Mulder could hear Scully's heart as it beat madly at his touch. He knew he would have to be careful with her, that this was her first time and it would be different for her than it had been for him.

Gently he worked her dress up to her middle, kissing her abdomen and gently placing his mouth on her breasts. He relished in her soft moans as he touched her most intimate skin, she began to thrash her legs as he rubbed her to climax, crying out his name to no one on the empty beach.

He positioned himself above her, kissing her mouth in long succulent sips. "Before this goes on Scully, I want you to know that I love you and that I am in love with you. I don't want to do this if you don't."

"Mulder, you are my everything." She offered, cheeks still rosy from the assault from his fingers.

It was all the clearance he needed, he clamped down onto her mouth as he gently slightly entered the love of his life. He wrapped his arms around her, noting she was ok after the initial shock he went on.

The feeling was intense, she felt a joining, a union with this soul that she had never felt with anyone. Feeling him inside her was more than she could bear, she wanted to cry out, first in pain, and then in pleasure. She wrapped her legs around his as they continued there mad rhythm. He confessed his love of her over and over again, and she held onto him with all the force and need of a girl in love.

He felt himself building and knew it was going to happen. For a split second he thought to pull out of her before too late, but a split second later it was too late.

They stood on the beach, facing the ocean. Scully watched the gulls dive and rise off of the late afternoon incoming tide. Mulder came up behind her and slipped his strong arms around her waist, holding her weakened body up just as when they first kissed, just like she knew he always would.

Scully leaned into him, not speaking they chose to continue to listen to the now wild murmurings of the waves as they cascaded onto the sandy ridge.

"Thank you." She offered holding onto his arms

"For what?" he asked a little confused.

"For all the times at the beach, for today, for yesterday, for loving me when I was a kid." She smiled.

"Aw shucks Ma'am." He teased. "Tweren't nuthin."

Just close your eyes and I'll take you there
This place is warm without a care
We'll take a dip in the deep blue sea
I go to leave but you reach for me

Sugar Ray

That was the night he had dropped her off at home, and found he was under surveillance, the night the dead body wound up in his apartment.

He held the cure in his hands, after making his deals and begging, and even catching Skinner trying to do his own wheeling and dealing, he had the cure in his hands, and big brother Bill was not having any part of it. It was Scully who finally made the choice she believed him, and accepted his prize.

She had defended him, as the senate investigation pummeled her endlessly with questions she could not give truthful answers to; they had placed her in jail, in her condition. Mulder was agog at how much she had come to be an integral part of his life, and he had tried to imagine his life without her, and in true Mulder form, refused to accept it.

He passed most of the time sitting in the chairs outside of her hospital room, afraid to face her hallowed looking features, how her body had begun its descent and was dwindling away into nothing.

What a dream I had
Pressed in organdy
Clothed in crinoline
Of smoky burgundy
Softer than the rain

Simon and Garfunkel

She had made it through the cancer, his cure that he nearly sold his soul for worked, she was alive. So to thank him for all he had done, she opted to leave for Christmas, had sped off again for California. Typical.

He hated when she left for the holidays, as if the idea of spending Christmas with him would be so repugnant as to need to run off for the safe comfort of her family

They could have been a family, once.

He sat in his apartment, having spent the greater part of December 23 speeding towards complete blitzo. The Lone Gunmen were nice enough to invite him over for one of Frohike's concoctions, and it sounded like the best offer he had had all week. Hell, it was the only one.

Scully was gone and he missed her and it was as simple as that.

"Mom, I believe that Melissa had a child." She had followed all the clues, had chased after the trail that had been laid out in front of her. Not sure how this would all end, or if it had any meaning other than her own cracked mental state having just gotten through cancer.

Her whole family doubted her, and there in the living room of her oldest brother as they all circled around their own skepticism; she was stunned at how she felt like Mulder right then. Her entire world was against her, did not understand what she was trying to prove. Had she not gone off ditching her whole family in the search of this truth? Had she not gone on merely the words of her long dead sister to lead her off into the unknown?

Ah damn it, she mentally chided herself. I have been around Mulder way too long.

And yet, realizing she had become in herself that which she rebuked in her partner, she still drove on, she still had to find the answers to this truth.

"Mulder," she breathed into the phone, trying desperately to maintain as much composure as she could. It was all too much and smacked of something familiar, something that had haunted her for the past nineteen years.

"What's wrong Scully?" he didn't like the sound in her voice, even over the phone he could see condensation forming around the hard ice of her armor.

"I need you to come out here; I need a favor from you." She wasn't sure how to go about this, wasn't sure how to broach this subject to him. But she knew he would come, she knew he would be on the next plane out to San Diego.

Oh God, he thought. It's the cancer. "Is everything ok?"

Scully proceeded to spin a tale to him, one of mysterious phone calls and a little girl, a little girl that DNA tests revealed as Scully's "I'll be there in a few hours." He hung up the phone without giving his opinion. He knew this was going to lead to heartache, something Scully could not handle after everything she had been through.

He made one phone call before heading off to catch his flight. He played a hunch and wanted to see if it was the right one.

"Danny? Yeah hey, I need you to do me a favor, you got those samples that Agent Scully sent out?"

I wandered empty streets down
Past the shop displays
I heard Cathedral bells
Dripping down the alleyways
As I walked on

Simon and Garfunkel

When Fox Mulder entered the room the vision that lay before him made his heart stop for an entire beat. Seeing Scully sitting and playing with this little girl did something to him, he wanted to turn around and run, top speed away from there. It felt wrong, somehow the whole scene felt off kilter for him. The reminder of the baby had little to do with his initial apprehension of this scene. There was a fundamental errant nature in seeing Scully interacting with a child that was nothing more than a genetic experiment. She was there sitting on the floor playing dolls with a lab rat.

He walked over to the two after being spotted by Scully, too late to make an escape. She introduced him to the little blonde girl, who smiled at his Mr. Potato Head impression that once made Samantha squeal with mad giggles.

"Why didn't you call me sooner?" Mulder was pissed, beyond pissed. The phone call he received from his partner was the last thing he had expected, he never dreamed she would find any of the genetic children that were being created. A little advance warning on what was going on would have been nice here. He was hurt that Scully had opted to keep him in the dark for as long as it took before she needed him to ride up on his white horse. Typical.

Scully ducked her head a little as if ashamed to admit that she had hesitated in calling him; that she had consciously not wanted to call him until she needed him. "I wasn't sure Mulder."

He then launched into a tirade against the whole idea of her adopting Emily that she would never have thought he would. Mulder was convinced that this miracle was nothing more than an accidental finding of some thing that was going to destroy her emotionally. He was convinced that she had stumbled into a situation she should just walk away from. Scully's ire at his soliloquy held in check, she was not one for displaying her emotions openly, yet noted all of his snide comments to be hurled back at him later.

"Why are you so against this Mulder? Why are you trying to throw water on this for me? I thought you of all people would see this for the miracle that it is." Scully needed him to see things from her vantage point, just this one time.

"I would be onboard with this Scully if you were not going to get hurt out of all of this." His words froze her; he told her the truth, leaving nothing out.

"That does not mean that this is the same thing Mulder." He had asked her to think where this child came from, to try and figure out what had lead to her creation. He asked of her questions that not only she could not answer but did not want to answer. "Mulder, why can't you just accept this as the miracle she is? You the one with the extreme possibilities, what is so hard about accepting my love for this one little girl, this one little miracle."

"Some miracles were not meant to be Scully, she was not meant to be."

After court, they drove back to her brother's house on base. Bill had relented to his staying there only to keep Maggie happy, but he had a little discussion with Mulder on his own.

Bill stood in his kitchen, arms folded and alone. He had called Mulder into the kitchen for a private discussion. "I don't agree with any of this Mr. Mulder." He offered to the man he had once considered a friend.

"Bill, I am not here to try and get you r sister in any kind of trouble if that is what you are hedging at."

Bill sneered at Mulder's choice of vernacular. "Yeah and that better not ever happen again either. I know all about what you did to her Mulder, and if you touch her again so help me-"

"William Scully Junior that is enough." Tara walked over to her husband, belly pointing at the guilty party. "Leave it alone Bill," she demanded. "Now, take me upstairs I need help getting into bed. "She threw an apologetic look at Mulder who returned it with a look of complete and total gratitude, he watched the very pregnant woman ascend the stairs with husband in tow, a pang of jealousy gripped his heart. Here was Bill, and Tara, anxiously expecting this joyous new chapter in their lives. There were no government conspiracies tied to their baby, no network of lies or chicanery. They were simply two people who loved each other enough to mix their DNA and see what happened with it- good or bad.

Scully soon followed upstairs; apparently it took quite a few people quite a long time to get Tara into bed these days. He was in the midst of musing when his phone rang.

"Mulder," he answered.

"Mulder, its Danny, listen I got the results back and you were right it is a match."

"Thanks Danny." He hung up his phone and felt the tears brimming in his eyes, threatening to fall.

And when you ran to me,
Your cheeks blushed with the night
We ran through frosted fields
Of Juniper and lamplight
I held your hand

Simon and Garfunkel

The mysterious phone call lead them to the Children's home, they found Emily there, raging with fever. Mulder wasn't expecting the parental feelings that assaulted him as he carried the sick little girl down to the car. He held her close feeling her hot clammy skin against his stubbly face. He had to remind himself that this was nothing more than a clone of who she really was. This girl that he held was merely a carbon copy of their daughter, like the one that he had traded of Samantha.

Scully would never get that.

Scully would never accept the idea that Emily was the clone of their long missing child. Mulder knew now that they had had a girl.

Even in his stolid demeanor, he still felt himself giving over to the emotions that this child erupted in him, and though he did not let the emotions float to the surface, he knew he would be dealing with 1980 all over again.

Scully focused on trying to cure Emily, placing all of her faith in science and medicine she believed that there was cure somewhere that lay in all of the sciences she clung to for so long. She had no idea of the viciousness with which Mulder had attached himself to this one. She had no idea how much over the edge he was going. Emily grew worse with each passing hour, and Scully knew a time would come where she would have to let her go.

He wasn't there when she died, and in a lot of ways Mulder was grateful for that, the detachment helped him to deal with her death much better. He could hold the little girl at arm's length and tell himself that she was merely a clone.

But his heart still broke into a million pieces.

Scully had chased him out of the room, had in fact thrown up huge brick walls that screamed STAY OUT. She had informed him, though wordlessly, that this was none of his business; that what was going on in that hospital room, was between her, Emily and her almighty. He relented, but only after making sure she could read the look of hurt in his eyes.

Mulder had not told Scully of the connection to this girl. He was wan to do so, knowing that she may not take or even accept the truth. That somehow their daughter had been used for the furthering of some sick extraterrestrial agenda. Mulder wondered how many tests they subjected her to, what kind of life did their daughter have as a lab rat. He sat in the hall and watched his partner climb into bed with the comatose child, popping endless sunflower seeds as he viewed her grief from a distance. It hurt that she would not allow him in, that they could not grieve together and find some solace in each other. This was routine, the two of them faced with some horrible event, and Scully forcing him out of it. They hid in the background, holding each other at a distance, only watching the pain, never sharing it.

Scully held her daughter's hand, gently caressing her tiny fingers and humming a sweet nameless tune that fell on ears that could not hear. She wanted to remember this moment forever, she had not been there for conception, or birth, but here, here she was at the last significant moment in this life. Here she was at the apex of the crossing over into that spiritual plane. Scully watched as the little girl's life began to slow down, as her breathing became more labored and uneven.

Tears fell slowly and awkwardly to the clean white hospital sheet, she knew this could take hours, but she was prepared to be here for the exact moment Emily left.

Mulder hung in the background as the girl coded, watched as the doctor's came in and pronounced the little girl's life over. He cried alone as they began to remove the IVs and wires from her. He cried alone as they covered her tiny little face with a white sheet. He recalled the night not too long ago when he held her, carrying her out into the car to get to the hospital. All the emotions came back to him in a flood.

Scully emerged and informed him of her death, as if he did not know. She dropped her news, and left quickly, not giving him so much as a smile to try and comfort him. She had effectively cut him off emotionally, and there was little he could do to stop this fast moving train. He realized at that moment that the Ice Queen was not merely an FBI myth.

And when I awoke
And felt you warm and near
I kissed your honey hair
With my grateful tears
Oh I love you girl
Oh I love you.

Simon and Garfunkel

She would not even let him help with the arrangements. He had wanted to tell her so bad, but the right time never seemed to come at that time, there was so much grief and pain. Scully would ever be reminded of her daughter's death in the significance that the time and date and hospital exactly matched the birth of her nephew. The irony of this was not lost on Mulder, and had he not been in so much pain he would have briefly considered reincarnation. But Mulder was not all right, he was not fine and it would be a long time before he would ever be fine again.

Scully was working off of sheer instinct; she made calls and arrangements without even realizing what was going on. She had closed Mulder off the three days between Emily's death and her funeral. He stayed in his motel room contemplating what to do next. He had picked dup the phone a dozen times that night to try and tell her to come over, that he had something important to tell her. But he would lose his nerve, and eventually he threw the phone across the room out of frustration.

He almost didn't hear the knock at the door some hours later, he had turned on a basketball game to drown out the thoughts in his head, and the whiskey he sucked down alone had dulled his sense of hearing enough to omit a marching band storming through the motel room.

She stood there, face almost as red as her hair, eyes bulging from her tears, he lead her to the bed and they sat together, crying softly into each other's arms. "God Mulder," she whimpered. "Who did I piss off? I mean this is like what happened before only somehow this is fucking me up worse."

"I know Scully, but before you go on, I have to tell you something." He rose and went to his briefcase, placing the results that Danny had faxed over to him on her lap.

"Oh my God." She drew in a hard ragged breath before going on. "Are these right?"

"Yeah," he nodded sadly, "She was mine too. Scully, I have a theory..."

But Scully was way ahead of him, had gone from point A to point C, completely bypassing B altogether. "She's a clone of..."

Mulder simply nodded, sitting down next to her and laying his head on her tiny shoulder. "Yeah." He sighed. "Congratulations Scully, it's a girl, you were right all along."

Scully glared bleary eyed at the results in front of her, it was as if some great cosmic joke had just been played on her, as if the cosmos had opened its great big mouth and had the biggest guffaw at her expense. "Mulder, this child was only two, who would do this?"

"I wish I knew Scully, but I never wanted you to get hurt in all of this."

"Well too late Mulder, guess what? I'm hurt, not just hurt, I feel like I just relived 1980. I thought being here with Emily was going to be therapeutic, and when she began to die, I had hoped to find some kind of closure on all of what I had been through, but you know what Mulder?" she asked turning her ire onto the only other person in the room.

He tried to keep his face unreadable, knowing that any emotion on his exterior would be used against him later.

"I wanted her. So what if she was a clone, I wanted her. " she rose to leave, crossed the room and slammed the door in silence on her way out.

The empty casket was just more proof, more to prove that there was an intricate web of lies and deceit, which their daughter was at the center of. Mulder had turned as she opened the crypt, and Scully noted not for the first time how many weaknesses Mulder had, that there were many things about his nature that she had found less than perfect.

Mulder tried to pretend he had turned to give her privacy, in truth he was not ready to look upon the face of his dead little girl, and if Scully saw that as weak, then so be it.

They took the first flight back to DC, not wanting to spend another hour in San Diego agonizing over what to do other than spin their wheels. They walked around the basement as two people who barely knew each other, each internalizing their anger and depression. Scully withdrew into herself, cutting Mulder out entirely, and Mulder in turn took solace in the things he knew well-he had began to spend a lot of time at the porn shows, something he had not down in years, but it was the only way he could deal. He began to feel himself sinking into some sort of cavern of emotions that he did not see an end to. They greeted each other in the mornings, worked their cases, and bid farewell in the evening. Scully had pretended that Mulder did not exist, and Mulder began to pretend that it did not bother him. They were ghosts in human flesh, passing before each other and going through the motions of life. Neither one of them seemed to care about much, Scully had begun to seek refuge in her church and spirituality; and in that Mulder felt a little jealousy. She had some belief to cling to, some thing that she could at least try to seek answers from, or at the very least surcease of sorrow. All he had was smut, debauchery and filth that he reveled in as his religion, he had nothing to believe in, the one thing that he did believe in had effectively cast him aside and shut him out. Mulder had been excommunicated from the church of Scully, and he wandered the streets of Washington as a shell of the once cocky arrogant man he had once been.

The case she had accepted from Father McCue was nothing like she had ever seen. The girls were so twisted and helpless, and so innocent in their deaths.

She had yet again hesitated in calling Mulder, knowing that religious cases were considered all bunk to him. She had gone as long as she could solo, but in the end, she needed her conscience.

His skepticism was alarming to her, why could he believe in the most out there theories, the most bizarre conspiracies, and yet a little faith in something religious, he considered heresy.

Her damn faith, the only thing about Scully he found weak, how with all of her intelligence and adherence to facts could she go so vulnerable in the face of a few statues and signs? And she called him gullible

He found himself in the role of trying to rein her in, he hated feeling like he had to lead her, be her voice of reason. She was getting too far engrossed into this case and he was not sure how to keep her objective. This was usually Scully's department.

"I saw her Mulder." She whimpered to him

"Saw who?" he asked in disbelief

"Emily, she was here, she wanted me to let her go." She felt tears coming, and didn't know how to keep them in check.

"I think you need to walk away from this one Scully." He knew she would hate him for saying that, and she would not take the advice, but he had to try.

The look she gave him told him of how together she truly was, that even though she was seeing images of the dead clone everywhere, inherently she was fine.

Looking back at me
I see that I never really got it right
I never stopped to think of you
I'm always wrapped up in
Things I cannot win
You are the antidote that gets me by
Something strong like a drug that gets
me high
What I really meant to say
Is I'm sorry for the way I am
Never meant to be so cold
Never meant to be so cold


She stood staring at the lanky man in front of her, his eyes so full of emotion, begging for her to let him in. "Mulder I can't deal with this right now." She stammered. It had been a long case, now over she just wanted to forget, to let the healing process take its natural course.

"That's just it Scully," he said forcing his way into her apartment. "You were the one that made me start to deal with this in the first place." He slumped onto her couch, head lolling back over the edge of the frilly seat.

"I don't see how you can put this one on me..."

"Scully I have been trying to dodge the subject for years. No one knows about our little secret, except for a few, and it seems that they are dying off slowly but surely."

"Mulder it has been a long day and all I want to do is crawl into a hot shower and sleep this case off."


"Excuse me?" she could not believe what he was doing; here he was in her apartment telling her what he was not going to do.

"I said no Scully; each time you needed to bring this out I did it, even against my better judgment, now I am asking you for the same considerations."

She crossed to the plump chair across from where Mulder sat, primly tucking her hands into her sides. "Fine Mulder," she retorted as if conferring with a small child. "What do you want to discuss about this?"

HE ignored her snide smug demeanor, needing this he flamed onward. "I hurt Scully." He offered to her, "And I think I am starting to not be able to do this anymore."

"Do what anymore Mulder?"

"Go on like this, you shutting me out, me pretending to not care. This is all killing me Scully."

"So what do you want Mulder?" she had allowed her voice to take on a softer note, a more sweet tone in her words.

"I want to stop spinning my wheels,, I want to stop dashing after ghosts. I want to believe Scully." Mulder had begun to feel the tears in his voice, but he refused to allow himself to cry, he was not going to give her the satisfaction.

"How much of this do we have to drag out Mulder? She is gone, twice. It's like you said, she was a miracle that was never meant to be." It felt good to throw that back in his face...real good.

"As much as it takes, as much as we have to until you and I aren't walking around like two fucking strangers who don't know what to say to each other." They were shouting at each other, and yet neither one seemed to notice.

"We are never going to see this one the same way Mulder you and I both know what really went on that night, you and I both know what really happened."

He froze; staring at her he froze and looked into the sea blue eyes. "Scully, we can't agree on that, we never could. Remember, it's why you sent me away that summer."

"I sent you away because you remind me of what I lost, just like now you are reminding me of Emily." It had become the unofficial agreed upon name.

Mulder tried to grab hold of something, anything, but finding nothing to fling at the opposite wall in Scully's fastidious home, he raged. "You sent me away because you couldn't deal Scully, you sent me away because you are a selfish bitch. I wanted to marry you, I still do." He stopped there, seeing the disbelief in her eyes was too much, Mulder rose hunched over Scully's seated form and kissed her.

Too stunned to evade the kiss, Scully felt her body give into it, leaning into this breathless remnant from a childhood that she tried to wash away. Her body began to react before she even realized he had seized her lips, and her hands instinctively flew to his shoulders.

He felt her body melt into is, this is good he thought this is so damn good, too good. Mulder wanted to feel her body pressed against his for all eternity, and just when he was ready to plead for just that, she shoved him away, forcefully and with malice and intent. "Get out Mulder," she murmured. "Get out of here now." Scully had felt that resolve melting, the ice was starting to crack, and she dido not like it one little bit.

He stood still hunched over her, shock dripping from his expression. "Scully..." he pleaded.

She shook her head, "No Mulder." She insisted. "I'm not going to fall into this with you again. " Scully stood and walked over to the door, holding it open for him. "Please leave."

"You'd rather hurt alone Scully?" he raged not caring who could hear the conversation that was now spilling over into her hallway. "You would rather sit up in here in your Ice Palace, and pretend that no one else feels what you feel? I feel Scully." He was really angry now. Swaying and swaggering with each word like a drunken Irishman. "I feel Scully, what about that is so hard to understand?" he slammed his fist against the door jamb as he hurled himself out into the hall.

Grateful for his being gone, she slammed the door.

Cold to you I'm sorry bout all the lies
Maybe in a different light
You can see me stand on my own again
Cause now I can see that
You are the antidote that got me by
Something strong like a drug that got me


The office situation was not working, they barely spoke to each other and when they did it was edged in ice and arsenic. But the big blow up that had been ruminating around the surface finally popped like the pimple on the ass of anger.

"Mulder quit throwing pencils." She had had enough of hearing the constant soft thunk thunk thunk sound every few minutes.

He had chosen to pretend not to hear her, continuing his mad stabbing of their ceiling.

"Mulder..." she warned.

"Oh I'm sorry I guess I am not allowed to have ANY fun." He fumed.

"Give me a break Mulder." She looked at the calendar on his desk. "Hmmm its not that time of the month again is it?"

"God Scully, I would have thought you would come up with something a little more original that THAT." He was still piercing the ceiling, only at a faster clip.

"Mulder I have a piercing headache and the sound of those pencils is really starting to piss me off."

He continued his foray, as she rose from her seat, leaned over, and yanked away his box of pencils, to which he reached into his bottom drawer and produced a new full box.

"Mulder, I have a lot of work to do..."

"So do it." He said to the ceiling as he attempted to dot the I in FBI

"I can't with that noise, maybe you should try it, and it's called work... or is that against your religion? Oh I forgot you have none." This was getting ugly fast.

Mulder did not offer her his customary hurt look, this was different, blood would be spilled. "I am sure those of us who choose to sleep in on Sundays appreciate the need for tact from those we work with."

"Oh, and you respect my beliefs? This is always about what you believe in, what you want to find."

"Scully, I would be happy to show you respect, as soon as you show me some."

"What the hell does that mean Mulder," she said grabbing the ringing phone and hurling it near him. "And answer your god damn phone I am not the office girl here." The phone slipped out of her grasp and landed with a plastic crash again the hard cement of the basement floor, ceasing its reverie.

"So now you are throwing things at me Scully?" he asked rising from his seat.

"Mulder, what is the point of my being here, it has become painfully obvious that we cannot work together anymore, not under these circumstances." She had begun throwing files onto the floor to accentuate her point.

"Obviously," he agreed flinging pencils like darts, and slipping on the odd file.

They're shouting could be heard from the hallway, it had risen to a fearful crescendo, culminating into threats of a standoff. He had ventured down to the basement after his phone call went onto speaker and heard everything that had been hurled between the two. Skinner entered the DMZ not sure what had begun all of this, he stepped through the mess precariously not sure if the two agents had realized he had come down into their basement. "My office. Now" he monotoned; enjoying the shocked expressions of his two favorite agents. "And hang up your damn phone for god sakes."

He eyed the two from across his desk, it did not take Skinner long to decide what to do. "I have known the two of you for a very long time." He began, "And even though we never discuss our first meeting, I know that has affected the basis of our relationship, both professionally and otherwise."

The two agents shifted uncomfortably at the mention of their past, not quite ready to discuss it with their boss.

"Don't look so worried you two; I am still the only one in the building who knows." He dragged a sheet of paper out of his top drawer and passed it over to the two agents.

"Sir?" Mulder asked after reading over the memo, shifting his legs in mock discomfort. "I think I am coming down with something..."

"Save it Mulder, what I walked in on down there was a serious breakdown in the communication process of my two agents, I can't make you two go to couples therapy," Skinner was holding it in as best he could. "But I can, as your superior order you two to Team Builders." He announced the death sentence as if it were a week at the Pillsbury Bake Off.

"Sir I don't think we need this, Agent Mulder and I have been under an extreme amount of duress lately and I think that we were just blowing off a little steam."

"Agent Scully, I don't want to hear it, and you apologize for Mulder way too much, so either you go to this seminar, or you clean the office." He was desperate, after losing the love of his life, he made it his personal duty to keep these to together, love vicariously through them. He gave them the info and warned them against trying to ditch.

"This is your fault Scully." Mulder fumed as they gathered in front of the Chevron Station Sunday morning waiting for their ride.

"My fault? Mulder who was the one that started all of this, and I don't feel like going into this again."

"I rest my case," he muttered. In a lot of ways he was grateful for the arguing, at least they were talking in a way, and the anger from her meant that in some way she still cared. "And who threw the phone?" he jabbed.

Scully merely huffed and moved to face the opposite direction as the car they wren waiting for pulled into the lot.

I never really wanted you to see
The screwed up side of me that I keep
Locked inside of me so deep
It always seems to get to me
I never really wanted you to go
So many things you should have known
I guess for me you just know
Never meant to be so cold


They clung to each other in the darkness, she sang to him and he laughed at the song she sung. "Scully," he asked sleepily. "Why didn't you marry me?" he sounded so pitiful. "Why did you run off to California and leave me when I needed you."

She sighed heavily, given the situation she decided to be as honest and non catty as possible. "I was scared Mulder, "she admitted. He seemed to accept that answer as her truth, and why not, it was she was terrified of him, of what she felt for him, then and now. He slept easily as she cradled his head in her lap, and having him this close with out having to listen to him argue back was good , she realized a lot that night as she watched for Moth men that could come out of the night.

She still loved him

She was still in love with him.

She had to learn to forgive herself for what went on, all of it.

She stood outside of his apartment door; having nearly lost him in the forest had her dealing with mortality all over again. IT was time to set things to rights, or at the very least set down some long overdue game rules.

"I think you are right Scully, we should hold off of anything until we have some answers. They could haul us off of the X-Files if they think we are involved, or were involved." He was finally happy now, finally ready to accept the way things had gone between the two of them.

She smiled that he was seeing things logically for once. "So no more wild fights involving phones?" she asked playfully.

"Agreed, but I have one request." He stared at her with a look on his face she had only seen once before, somewhere on a hot sticky night on a beach as they danced close.

"What?" she asked a little hesitantly.

"When we find her, we can move on to you and me?" he asked not sure how this would be taken.

"I may be amenable to that Mulder, providing you can behave yourself..." Scully smiled

"I don't know Scully; I don't think you can keep your hands off of me..."

"Dream on G-Man."

Who is the one that makes you happy
Or maybe
Who is the one always on your mind
And who is the reason you're living for
Who is the reason for
Your smile


They marked the days in smiles, arguments, and absolute trust. Neither one of them forgot about Emily, she was as present as Mulder's poster or Scully's skepticism.

When the office burned down, it was a punch to the gut that neither one of them expected. Scully had already been reeling from the re-emergence of Diana Fowley, Mulder's ex. He had shown signs of holding her to an absolute truth that was once reserved exclusively for Scully.

Dana Scully briefly considered shooting her, especially after finding the two of them holding hands and sharing a moment in the psych hospital, but knowing Mulder as she did, he would have told her to put the gun away and stop solving all of her problems with violence.

Scully had scarcely dealt with her newly self actualized feelings for Mulder when the possibility of losing him hit her square in the face. She had found herself feeling scared for the first time in her life. Even when she had her life in danger, Dana Scully still was not afraid, did not allow herself to slip into fear mode. For one she knew she always had back up, and even then she knew she could handle the adrenaline that coursed through her veins in the face of danger. Fear was something that she never allowed to take the driver's seat; it just was not in the lead.

This was different, this was personal.

It was her gig to shut Mulder out, and he was not allowed to turn the tables, it was against the obvious rules that she had set down. Damn him

Mulder relished in Scully's fear, even though she had not admitted her jealousy to him, he knew what she was doing, every passive aggressive comment, and even offering to hole up at his apartment without being asked, She was trying to stake her territory, so sue him for enjoying being the one pursued. He knew which one Gibson had alluded to, knew because it was from his mind.

He was thinking about Scully, and he always had.

Regardless of how he had felt about Diana or had wanted to feel for Diana, the truth was that Scully was the mother of his child, and the only mother he wanted for any of his children.

He had just wanted to see her twist for a while, that and schmooze Diana enough to get on her good side, so what if he used his charm to get what he wanted, it worked, pissing Scully off was just an added and unforeseen perk.

She had always held all the cards, while she could turn her emotions off and close up shop for the season, he was aware that she knew well how he felt, and allowed him to hurt from it, allowed him to pine for her in the wee small hours of the night, sipping on his pain and nursing his long sore wounds.

Mulder refused all others, and he knew she did too, they were obsessed with their work, but they were also obsessed with each other.

Everyone needs somebody
And you know
Everybody needs someone
And I guess it's true
Everybody needs a special kind of
And you're the only one
I'm dreaming of
You mean the world to me
You are my only


"I love you" his face twinkled with the realization of what he had admitted to her, he was ready for what would come next, good or bad he had to let her know how he felt. He found a huge weight being removed from his chest, as if the telling of this significant thing had freed him more so than he had thought. This thing he knew, above all else and above all others, it was this thing that he could say he understood and found tangible- Scully.

Scorching with anticipation for her to speak, waiting to hear if he would rejoice or lay back down with yet another Scully induced broken heart. Dream or not, that Scully there made him want more in reality.

"Oh brother." Was all she could manage, knowing that he was heavily medicated and not responsible for his actions. But she could not deny to herself how much she had wanted him to be speaking from the heart.

He knew she wanted to tell him, Mulder knew how she felt, even if Scully was not sure of her own feelings, Mulder was, and he made it his mission to find their daughter in the hopes that they could focus on each other that they could fall in love the right way.

"Mulder, what are you doing out there? We are supposed to be doing background checks." Even if they were two hundred million miles away from each other and on coconut phones, Mulder would still be able to tell how truly pissed off his partner was. He had ditched her once again, but this time he had a really really good reason. Or so he thought.

"There was a case here Scully, a baby disappeared."

"I'm sure the local authorities can handle this Mulder." She hated sounding like a nagging wife, but that is what he typically reduced her to.

"Scully, this one is different, this one is too much like-"he stopped mid sentence, it was what he had caught wind of in this case that led him to retrieve the file out of Spender's round file.

"Mulder this is not the same." She was almost ready to climb through the phone and ring her partner's adorable neck.

"Scully, I need to follow this, and I need you to cover me out there. This is for both of us." He needed to find out if this had anything to do with the loss of Emily, that this pre-partum baby abduction had anything by way of a clue leading him to-Emily.

His disappointment at the truth in no way hindered his drive for justice for the lost baby, finding a need to solve this mystery as much as he needed to solve his own.

He smiled as they snuggled into his leather couch, snow falling outside of his apartment in white sheets of cotton. They hunkered close together in rapt attendance of the presents that they had exchanged with each other. Mulder marveled at her twinkling smile, attacking her present like a fourth grader.

She finally spent a Christmas with him, and for that he could say that yes, there really was a Santa Claus.

I feel so lonely and I know
I'm not the only one
To carry on this way
I love you so much
I lose track of time
Lose track of the days


There she went again, showing up in their lives and turning everything on its ear, and still he believed her, and still he chose her of Scully over and over again.

What the hell was that about?

Scully was to the point of walking away, of saying to hell with Mulder and the quests, he could have his long legged ex wife and all of her bull

Fuck it.

Mulder would not listen to her, and she had no way to come off as anything other than a jealous-what? Ex girlfriend? Ex lover?

She stood at his door, after Spender had left the Bureau, offering his position on the X- files to them, practically demanding that they take the office again. She was happy, wanted to share this moment with Mulder, wanted to celebrate, maybe even hash some things out. See, Diana had once again done her disappearing act, and as she stood in front of Mulder's door, bottle of wine in hand, she was ready to gloat, and to 'help' him pick up the pieces.

Smiling, she knocked on his door, knowing that she would win, knowing that in the end, given the final countdown, it would be her and Mulder, just as they had pledged in that hospital room over twenty years before, barely children, they had sworn to each other to always be there, to always be with one another. Even through Diana, and the loss of their baby, they knew inherently that it was always the two of them-always.

He ushered her in, without even a word or gesture, Mulder let his eyes speak for him; something he knew drove Scully absolutely crazy. He knew she loved his eyes, and he played off of that as much as he could.

She went right for the couch and dug herself in, familiar with their friendship and comfortable in his surroundings, he found himself slipping in right next to her, glued to the spot near her as a moth to a flame. He had no free will when it came to this woman, and he did not want to find it suddenly either.

"Mulder," she began a little wary of where the conversation would go. "I'm sorry about Diana."

"What's there to be sorry about Scully?" he asked with the same glint in his smile, the very one that she remembered the day she stood up to another ex girlfriend of his with the same name. "You keep me honest Scully, I know that whole thing with Diana was hard for you, and I am sorry but you have to understand that I had to play along with her for a time, I know she knows about Emily."

Mulder's admission struck her hard, square in the face and right between the eyes. "You were playing her." She sighed.

"And you," he admitted further. "I had to seem to be on her side, do you get that?" he asked, needed her to see what he had done, for her.

She nodded solemnly, understanding Mulder's cat and mouse game, finally getting what he had done and why. "Did she come forward with anything?" Scully did not mean to sound so hopeful, but she needed to know.

"No," he dipped his head down in shame. "I had so much hope to finally get to the truth on that one single thing. The only thing I managed to uncover was how seriously fucked up my DNA is."

Scully listened as Mulder told her, everything about how his father had been not his father at all. She wanted to cry for him, to discover such ugliness in your past was sickening, and that the roots of the conspiracy went so much deeper than anyone could dig out. "He was there." She spoke suddenly as Mulder sat silent from exposing his deepest secrets.

"Who, what?" he asked confused.

"CSM, he was there when we were kids and I found you in the hospital, it was him I think that saved you." She had never spoke of things from before, not in this way. The two old friends had long learned to gloss over that time in their lives and only refer to the things that were necessary, the things that drove them further on.

Mulder stared at her in complete and utter horror. "And you never bothered to mention it to me?" he asked flabbergasted.

"Well it's not as if we go over all of our history on a regular basis Mulder." She defended.

"Granted, but that is the kind of thing I think we should have discussed. What did he say to you?"

"Nothing really, merely assured me that you would awake soon, and that you would never be..." she looked into his eyes as she trailed off, not sure how to explain the rest.

Mulder nodded and looked away from Scully, not wanting her to see the distaste crawl over his expression, distaste not for her, but for himself, for the blood that he now knew coursed through him.

"It doesn't mean anything Mulder, you are who you are, not what your DNA makes you up to be." She was trying to reassure him.

"This from a medical doctor." He sneered, still not looking into her eyes.

"Mulder," she plaintively reached for his hand, he pulled away. "Don't shut me out, you have to let someone in."

Mulder snorted at her words, words he himself had pleaded to her.

"When I left medical school, I was on an OB rotation; I had everything figured out in my life, at least up until that point." She drew a ragged breath and went on. "Mulder I had to find what was important within me, not from anywhere else." She was trying to explain something to him, something so fundamental she was sure even his analytical mind would catch, even in its beaten state.

He did nod in understanding, Mulder got what she was saying, and he was more than grateful to have her here with him, finally.

They clung to each other for a time longer than either one noted, and when she felt Mulder's body give over to the solemn tomb of sleep, she gently disentangled herself from his strong arms, covered him and slipped out for home.

You're the one that makes me happy
Oh baby you're the one always on my mind
And I guess it's true
You are my reason, my one and only
That I've been living for Why can't forever be?
Forever and nothing more


Home never really felt like home to Dana Scully. Her things were there, and her rent was due every first of the month, but still it never felt like home. Something was always missing, something tall and paranoid.

She had her routine down. Walk in the door, kick off the shoes, drop the keys on the small table to be found easily later, and hit the play button on the answering machine.

The first two messages were from her mother and a telemarketer, nothing spectacular, almost expected.

It was the third message that made her knees give way from under her, buckling and landing Dana Scully crumpled onto the floor in a heap, dragging herself across her living room to her answering machine.

"Umm....Hi you don't know me but....I don't know how to say this. Did you give birth to a daughter April 29 1980?" I think I am her, and I have been looking for you for a while."

Dear Mother Dear Father
What is this hell you have put me through?
Believer, Deceiver
Day in Day out live my life through you
Pushed onto me what's wrong or right
Hidden from this thing that they call



They drove along in silence, the excitement hovering in the air. She had found them, and that alone attested at least to half of her parentage.

Mulder would turn to glance at the woman at his side, anxious to read her face for some emotion that would be safe to bring up his fears. What if this was another Emily? What if this was another in a long line of errant sources that would eventually hang them out to dry. He had taken the precaution of telling the only other person he could think of where they were off to, and for what reason. So just in case things went bad, Skinner would know where to go looking for the bodies.

Mulder not only admired Scully's faith, he envied it, and she was so sure that this was their daughter. The girl had left her number, and Scully had called him before calling the girl.

She had been in Alexandria the whole time, having been raised in the DC area for the last seventeen years of her life. Scully had agreed to meet her at a restaurant that the two agents knew well, had often gone there for lunch.

"Are you nervous?" he asked Scully, trying to make any form of small talk as they eased into the parking lot of the diner. He smiled at her silent nod. "Me too," he offered.

They walked into the diner, each looking around to find the girl they had come to see. "There she is." Mulder nodded towards what could best be described as a taller brunette version of Scully. With his hand resting in the gentle small of her back, Mulder led Scully over to the booth of the Hazel-eyed woman.

"Wow," the girl smiled. "I never thought you would bring a date." Scully smiled to herself, yet another Mulder trait- always a joke.

"Actually," Scully began as they seated themselves across from her. "This is Fox Mulder." She smiled at the look exchanged between the two. "Fox Mulder, this is Kyrie Sloane."

Father and daughter examined each other from across the fake wood table, searching each other for similar features. "At least you didn't get the Mulder nose." He smiled.

"So you two are still together?" she asked, trying not to sound too upset.

Scully and Mulder eyed each other as if trying to find the right words to explain their friendship. "We're partners." Scully offered.

"Well, obviously," Kyrie gave them a smile that Mulder had only seen on one other person.

"No, not like that." Scully spoke too fast. "I mean at work."

"Is that how you two met?" Kyrie looked from one to the other, desperate for answers, for truths.

Again the two agents passed looks between each other, this time Mulder spoke. "What do you know about us?" he asked in his usual interrogatory manner.

"The adoption agency said that you two were young when you had me, and the records show that you were, 16 Ms. Scully, and that You, Mr. Mulder, were 19."

"Adoption agency?" Scully managed through a cloud of disbelief. "What adoption agency?"

"Yeah, the one that placed me with the Sloanes. The records list you two as having kept me til I was two, then turning me over for adoption. So what happened? Did you get bored with me, or was I in the way of all the fun?" Kyrie had the eyebrow up, a characteristic that did not go unnoticed by Mulder, Oh yeah, he mused, that's a Scully.

"Two years?" Scully was desperately trying to make sense of all of this, trying to understand what Kyrie was implying.

"Yeah, anyway you wanted to know what I know and that is it, your names, ages when I was born, and how old I was when you got rid of me." Kyrie folded her arms in anticipation of their ire.

Silence sat at the table, right between the three, until finally Mulder spoke up. "We did not get rid of you, Kyrie."

"Uh huh." Mulder noted she spoke the infamous Scully phrase with almost perfect execution.

"Mulder is right Kyrie,. I don't know what you have been told but most of it is a lie. We never agreed to put you up for adoption; in fact we have been looking for you for almost twenty years."

Kyrie glared at the two agents, and while Scully found her expression unreadable, Mulder could tell at one hundred paces what the look on Kyrie's face meant. It was the same look he got every time the word extraterrestrial got thrown around in the basement.

"Kyrie, I know this is hard to believe and I know every adoptive parent says the same thing, or something like it but we are really telling the truth here." Scully leaned forward trying to gain Kyrie's trust.

"I want to believe you," she began, eliciting a smirk from Mulder. "But if I was abducted or kidnapped, wouldn't there be proof? I mean wouldn't there be some kind of trail or police investigation?"

"There was." Mulder interjected. "But for whatever reason it was ended only a few days after you disappeared.."

"Right," Kyrie nodded, "And you have spent your entire lives since then looking for me is that it? Tell me, what do you two do for a living anyway? You said you were partners, business partners? Cause I don't see how the average person could have enough time in their lives to work, manage a personal life, and look for a long lost daughter."

Simultaneously, as if on cue, Mulder and Scully reached into their coats and produced their FBI badges, waving them in front of the young woman as if to answer all of her questions. "Wow," was all she could manage.

"Yeah," Mulder added in his usual deadpan voice "Wow."

Kyrie gaped at the two of them for an elongated moment. "So you two didn't give me up?"

Mulder and Scully shook their heads in the negative.

"And you have been using your federal resources to try to find me?"

Again both agent heads moved, though in the affirmative this time.

"Wow." Kyrie shook her head trying to take all of this in. "So, what do you two do over there? I mean when you are not looking for me," She grinned, trying to turn things to a lighter topic.

They knew this was coming, "we uh," Scully began clearing her throat.

"We investigate unsolved cases for the Bureau." Mulder rescued.

"You mean like cold cases?" Kyrie asked sipping her diet soda.

"Something like that." Scully smiled.

"Something like what? I mean don't mince words here, I was just asking a question then you two go all J Edgar on me. Geez."

"X-Files." Mulder spat out not wanting to begin his relationship with his daughter on the same lies he had been raised on. "We investigate unsolvable cases. Strange phenomena, lights in the sky..."

"Little grey men?" Kyrie asked, suddenly turning white.

Scully threw Mulder an 'oh shit' look, "Yeah, they are grey, but most people don't know that unless..."

"You've seen them haven't you Kyrie?" Great, Mulder thought, now my kid is an X-File.

Kyrie suddenly found her ice cubes more interesting than looking into the tall man that was her biological father. "So what if I have,"

Mulder came around the table to sit next to Kyrie. "I am not trying to scare you here kiddo, but we deal with this kind of thing every day. Scully here was abducted for three months a few years back."

"Mulder that was never proven..." But Mulder waved away her argument.

"Kyrie, why don't you come back to our office, we can take our lunch to go."

It was against everything she had promised herself, but Kyrie found her head nodding as they got up and made their way to the Hoover building.

Dear Mother Dear Father
Every thought I think you disapprove
Curator, dictator
Always censoring my every move
No guarantees its life as is
But damn you for not giving me my chance


"The basement?" Kyrie asked as they got off the elevator. "They keep you two in the basement? What are they afraid of putting you out into polite society?"

Scully was again struck at how much Kyrie's sense of humor mimicked Mulder's. "Yeah, they don't like us much around here." She smirked. "Mostly because Mulder has a way of pissing people off."

"You wound me Scully." He smiled as he unlocked the door to the office.

"You guys work down here? So how come there is only one desk and one name plate?"

Mulder cleared his throat as Scully nudged his ribs. "We are working on that." He offered the young girl.

"So how did you two meet anyway?" Kyrie had positioned herself into Mulder's seat, behind his desk.

"She landed on me." Mulder piped, ducking the Scully glare.

"What?" Kyrie asked once again raising her eyebrow.

Scully went on to explain their first meeting, only stopping long enough to allow Mulder to interject his theory of events, which she promptly shot down.

"God and you two have been married how long?" Kyrie asked leaning her head back against the chair.

"We're not." Mulder insisted

"What?" Kyrie asked in disbelief, bringing her long legs down from the top of the desk. "But I thought you two..."

"Nope, we were only together once." Scully blushed.

"Wow," Kyrie shook her head. "It just seems like you two are so familiar with one another. I had almost hoped that I had a sibling somewhere."

"Sorry," they said together.

"So only once huh, was it that bad?" Kyrie grinned.

It was Mulder's turn to blush; he looked down at his hands before answering. "We just never really found the time, after we lost you, we kinda went our separate ways, and ..." he trailed.

"We were angry with each other for a long time, and then we ended up working together. We had to work on forgiveness, and I think we finally have it down." Scully tussled Mulder's hair in a rare show of affection, sitting there the three of them felt so natural and right that she could not help it.

"You blamed each other, so how did I get lost anyway?" Kyrie had begun to thumb through loose files that had been left on top of Mulder's desk.

Again the two agents told the story to Kyrie, in that shared dialect that made the young woman wonder how they kept off of each other for so long. Kyrie tried to keep up, and open minded but when Mulder came to the part about his sister her ears perked up. "What?" she asked for about the millionth time that day. "Your sister was abducted by aliens?" oh brother she mused great now I really believe I am crazy, and I have the genetic proof of my insanity sitting right across from me sporting a hideous tie.

"I don't want to go into this." Scully rose and walked out of the office, her heels clicking as she left.

"Mr. Mulder," Kyrie asked hesitantly.

"Just Mulder is fine Kyrie." He offered to the young woman.

"Who would steal me for two years and then stick me in an adoption agency. I mean the whole thing seems so far fetched. To what end would my being taken from you two serve? You were just a couple of teens that made one bad decision." She had wanted to pose this question for a while, but had waited til Ms. Scully left he room, Kyrie got the impression she busted this Mulder's balls on a regular basis.

"There are answers to those questions Kyrie, and I have seen things that would lead me to give answers that are those of extreme possibilities."

"Like the little grey men?"

"Kyrie, where have you seen them?"

Kyrie looked Mulder in the eyes. "They have taken me before too." She whispered. "I hate them, they have done things to me since I could remember."

Mulder reached across the desk to hold the hand of the daughter he had only seen in his dreams. "S'ok Kyrie, I know all of this is a lot to deal with all at once."

"That's just it Mulder." Kyrie sniffed. "I have been dealing with this for a long time now. Nothing you have said or will say will surprise me at this point. But I think that partner of yours may not feel the same way."

"Welcome to the X-Files Kyrie." Mulder smiled.

In the empire of the senses
You're the queen of all you survey
All the cities all the nations
Everything that falls your way
There is a deeper wave than this
That you don't understand
There is a deeper wave than this
Tugging at your hand


He had decided to go find Scully; she had gone ten minutes ago after he mentioned something to Kyrie about Samantha and her disappearance. "Can you hang out for a while here Kyrie?" he asked popping another sunflower seed. "I have to go find Scully; I think she may have fallen in."

He rose and exited the office after Kyrie agreed, nodding her acceptance of being left to fly solo. Secretly she was happy for the alone time in the small yet somehow comforting office. She took the time to wander around the room, picking up pictures or reading hastily tacked headlines. "I have just crossed over into the Twilight Zone." She smirked fingering the post it notes and odd photos.

Smiling, feeling that she had gotten a good interpretation of her surroundings, Kyrie dropped into the desk chair usually housed by Mulder and begun her search of the lone desk.

She came across the pencils accidentally, having leaned the chair back to a near break leg position; Kyrie stared up at the pencils stuck into the ceiling.

"Our tax dollars hard at work." she quirked, absently roaming through the desk until she came across the stash of finely sharpened implements.

Every ripple on the ocean
Every leaf on every tree
Every sand dune in the desert
Every parting of the sea
There is a deeper wave than this
Swelling in the world
There is a deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl


He had waited for her outside of the Ladies bathroom, it was the same one she had often retreated to have a good silent cry, barely used for its proximity to the realms of Spooky; he knew Scully would go there for her private loss of emotional control.

"You stalking me?" she asked half jokingly.

"What is up with you Scully? I had to leave Kyrie in there alone to come see if you had taken off for California again." He hadn't intended to go directly for the jugular, but that is what she brought out in him.

Scully began to clip ahead of him until they found a quiet corner to argue in. "I just don't see why you have to bring out all that Spooky crap in front of her, we just found her and you are trying to run her off." She folded her arms and took the long used skeptical stance.

"I'm not scaring her off Scully, if you noticed you are the only one that ran, but then you are good at that aren't you?"

She looked as if to slap him, but a flicker of a long ago argument on the vineyard halted her hand into a flinch. "Mulder," she began after getting her emotions under control. "I just got her back, can we please find out what her favorite color is before we find out how many times she'd been abducted?"

Mulder understood that, she wanted to enjoy having a daughter before filing her away into one of the cabinets downstairs. He nodded and pulled her into a hug. "She is something huh?" he asked with a glint of pride.

"Yeah, she is." Scully agreed nodding into his chest.

"Ok, no spooky talk today, today we learn about our daughter." Just saying it made him want to smile and jump in the air.

They walked down the hall to the stairs, he with his hand on her back, and she leaning into him, just a little more than usual.

Feel it rising in the cities
Feel it sweeping over land
Over borders over frontiers
Nothing will its power stand
There is no deeper wave than this
Rising in the world
There is no deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl

Skinner had tried to wait as long as he could to find out how things had gone at their lunch. Kim was nice enough to inform him of Mulder and Scully's return to the Hoover building and the AD decided to pop in downstairs for an update. Secretly he felt like he was being left out of the loop on this one, he had a right to know, he had been the hero twenty years ago.

He stepped into the office without knocking, getting the impression that no one was there he had planned on leaving a covert note pinned to the poster, a gentle reminder to keep him informed of pertinent information. Skinner was not prepared for the vision that greeted him instead of the empty office.

She was seated where Mulder usually rested, pencils lined up in front of her, and poised in mid fling. "I'm sorry," he stumbled at the young woman. "I was looking for Agents Mulder and Scully." He stopped in mid sentence, as she had in mid pencil throw. "Do I know you?" he asked.

She shook her head and continued to glare at the bald man, not sure how to explain her existence in a governmental office. Not that being where she did not belong was exactly foreign to her. "No," she finally answered. "They stepped away for a minute, something about examining crop mutilations or investigating cow circles...or something like that." She smirked and it was here that Skinner realized he did know her; it was here that he realized he was speaking with the amalgamation of his two favori8te agents. Only Mulder had a perverse sense of humor like that, and those eyes were Mulder shaded Scully orbs.

"Hey," she quipped. "Take a picture it will last longer."

Skinner had not realized he was staring, and again he had to smile. Oh yeah there was another Mulder wandering loose. "Sorry Miss. You just remind me of someone."

Kyrie must have gotten this one because she returned his smile and cocked her head. "Yeah, I am sure. I'm Kyrie Sloane." She smiled leaning into the handshake she offered to him.

"AD Skinner. " Skinner shook the girl's hand happily, honored to meet the myth, and happy to find a closure to a case that bothered him for over twenty years.

"So, do you work down here too?" Kyrie mindlessly rocked in the chair back and forth, she had always been accused of having an overabundance of mostly nervous energy.

"No, I am the Assistant Director I oversee this division.."

"Oh, you are the supervisor." Kyrie smiled

"Yeah, I guess I am."

"How do you let them get away with all of this?" she asked motioning around the office, "I mean don't get me wrong, but aren't there real investigations out there?"

Skinner grinned, he just came face to face with the Scully side of this girl, and he could not help but smirk. "There is room in the FBI for all things Miss Sloane, and Mulder and Scully do provide a needed service around here-hard as that is to believe."

Kyrie bit down on the end of the pencil she had previously planned to rejoin with its brethren, as if contemplating this. "So they must have a pretty busy existence, I mean those two don't seem to have any other life than this."

"Their work does keep them busy, but most of it was looking for you. "He admitted.

"So you would agree they are obsessed with their work, maybe a little too obsessed."

Skinner sighed here, not sure how to continue, he realized he was facing the Mulder interrogation genes now and knew from experience to tread lightly, she may possess Scully's love for weapons. "They were obsessed with finding you Miss Sloane; they needed to find you before they could move on in their lives. Yes maybe they are to the point of obsession, and forsaking everything, their careers, their sanity, and even any personal lives. "

"So are you married or does the FBI discourage that in all of their employees."

"Yeah I guess you met your- Mulder and Scully huh?" Skinner smiled stuffing his hands into his pockets. "No I am married and actually in a lot of ways I can thank these two down here for that." He smiled feeling oddly comfortable talking with this young woman.

"Really?" she asked in almost an incredulous tone. "Don't tell me you took love advice from those two? I don't think those two have been on a date since, well at least two presidents ago."

"Well, let's say I have known of you for quite some time, and I am the only one here that knows of you Kyrie." Skinner was not sure how much she knew about her disappearance.

"Ok, now you are gonna go all Spy vs. Spy on me, you guys do they teach a class here on how to evade questioning?" she spun around in Mulder's chair hard and fast as if to accentuate her irritation.

"That's not really the-"

Mulder and Scully entered the office, a little quieter and more stony faced than usual. "SO," Mulder began nodding toward Kyrie. "I see you two have met." He glanced over to Skinner long enough to grace him with a see I told you so look.

Kyrie smiled at the reappearance of the couple, quirking her mouth as she answered. "Yeah, we are getting along famously."

Mulder slid onto the desk as Scully leaned up against the file cabinet, "Kyrie." Scully began after clearing her throat. "We wanted to ask you a few questions if that's all right."

"Sure, but don't I get a phone call first?" Mulder flashed Scully a smile that spoke volumes.

"We just want to know how all this happened, you have to understand Kyrie, your disappearance really screwed us up for a long time, and your finding us is well, awfully fortuitous." Mulder was trying to sugar coat things, but what he really wanted to say was turn around and let me get a good look at the back of your neck Sweety.

"Ok, shoot." Kyrie was obviously not offended by the tone their meeting had taken on, after having rummaged around their office, she got the distinct impression that these two were a little paranoid. "First off I want to get the name of the adoption agency that handled your placement; you said you got information from them, about us. I would like to go and see what they know." Mulder fiddled around for a pen and pad a paper.

"Beacon Hope, but they aren't going to be of much help, I got everything that they have." She smiled.

"Well, that's why they put the 'I' in FBI Kyrie." Mulder smirked before continuing in his best Commander Klink voice. "Vee have vays of making them tock."

"I have everything Mulder, I can assure you; I went through the files myself..."

Scully Skinner and Mulder exchanged looks before Scully spoke. "They let you go through the files?"

"Not officially," Kyrie retorted, now it's my turn to go all J Edgar she silently snickered.

Scully flashed Mulder a glare that was both accusatory and expectant. "Yeah, ok I get that." She smiled at the young woman.

"What about your parents Kyrie, your adopted parents where are they?"

Kyrie ducked her head, examining her lap. "When I was thirteen years old, I came home from school to an empty house, now mind you that was not a completely unusual event. My parents were both busy people. Mom taught high school, and well Dad had a full time job as Underwear Inspector, but somewhere in-between he managed to run a car dealership." she sighed before going on. "Anyway, I get home, and you know I hang out and its getting late, and they are not home yet. So I figure, ok they went out, or whatever. No biggie."

Mulder could sense that Kyrie was building up to something, some awful crescendo that was both painful and shocking, the air was thick with it as she spoke. "If you don't want to talk about it its ok Kyrie." The psychologist in him spoke.

"Well anyway," she went on without acknowledging Mulder's empathy. "So I get up the next morning, you know and I ran into my Mom's room, I wanted to ask for some Mall money, nothing major you know a couple of twenties or something like that."

Oh God. Mulder raved internally. She found them

"There were three bodies in my parents' bedroom, my dad and a woman were sprawled in the bed, and my mother was crumpled onto the floor. It was obvious at least to me what had happened, Mom walked in on yet another one of Dad's 'endeavors," probably surprised them in the middle of some afternoon delight from the looks of it. She snapped, killed them then killed herself."

The office was so quiet you could here the servers in the next room over whirring as they fielded the inter office traffic. They had no idea what to say to this girl that had obviously seen something that seasoned agents would have lost it on.

Scully finally found some words to say. "I'm so sorry you had to live through that Kyrie, have you seen anyone about it?"

"Oh well yeah, social services made me do the whole therapy two step, but by the time I was sixteen I was ready to change that tune. So with the help of what my parents left me and a lawyer that social services steered me to, I got my emancipation, went off on my own. "

Mulder was struck at the sheer independence of the girl, that she had inherited Scully's sense of self sufficiency really floored him. "So you have lived on your own since you were sixteen?"

"Yeah and that is when I started searching I didn't even know I was adopted until after their death, and it was completely accidental that I found out. So I began to work backwards, got my original birth certificate with all the names crossed off, and had to go from there."

"So it took you almost four years to find us? Mulder asked almost disappointed

Kyrie cast a sidelong glance at Mulder. "Ok, let's remember I don't; have the resources of the entire vast network of the federal government, I was a sixteen year old kid barely able to drive and I had to keep the lights on, the rent paid and the fish fed."

"Sorry," Mulder grumbled.

Scully was not so easily put off. "How did you find us anyway Kyrie?"

"Finding the adoption agency was easy, they were listed on the adoption papers I found while cleaning out my parents house. See when you become a ward of the state, and there are no relatives to step up and help, they close everything off until you reach of age, the government takes over the estate until you are legally able to do so." She smiled at the wayward looks the three were giving to her. "So I went to Beacon Hope, and they were not really forthcoming with information, said that I had to be eighteen to get that. After I told them to go to hell they told me to get out and come back in two years, preferably without the chip on my shoulder."

They all laughed there, "So what happened then?" Scully asked trying to move the girl along.

"We-ell, I'm not the most patient person in the world, and living in a state run group home for three years had taught me a few things-things that usually one wouldn't pick up until after doing life in a penitentiary.."

"You broke in didn't you?" Mulder asked, while Scully and Skinner noted that they could almost detect a hint of fatherly pride in his query.

"I ain't saying nothing without a lawyer present," she smiled. "But once I had your names I figured it had to be easy to find a guy named Fox, I mean come on how many of you are there out there? Unfortunately, there were no Fox Mulders or F. Mulders in the phone book, or any other data bases I had access to. "

Mulder silently kicked himself for listing his phone under M. F. Luder for so long, could have saved the poor kid a lot of lonely holidays.

"And Dana Scully and D. Scully were all unlisted. It wasn't until I did a internet search to see if your names were listed anywhere. That's when I came across the Dana Scully on the Scully family website."

It was something her aunt had started years ago, Maureen Scully had begun to poke through the family tree and name all the vines. Little did she know what this genealogical act would shake free from the branches. And though for professional reasons she had declined to have her picture on the website, there were other pictures of family there, along with a generalized idea of her location.

"Once I discovered that you lived in the DC area, I knew I was on to something, I had a point of origin. The pictures of people on that website looked too...familiar. Especially a Melissa Scully."

All the bloodshed, all the anger
All the weapons all the greed
All the armies all the missiles
All the symbols of our fear
There is a deeper wave than this
Rising in the world
There is a deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl


Mulder had to admit, his daughter was tough, not in the gun toting kick your ass way that Scully held the trophy for, although Mulder was sure that Kyrie had that down too. Kyrie was tough in a way that living alone with no one to have your back would make you. She had spent three years in a group home run by social services, three years of watching your back even in your sleep, learning the streets and culturing that hard edge that covered every inch of her.

She was also beautiful, long brown hair, legs that went on forever, and her eyes were the perfect culmination of his and Scully's.

He thought she was perfect.

Scully hovered over the young girl, after their little meeting in the office; Scully could not manage to pull herself away from her. Forget the fact that Kyrie had cared for herself when no one else seemingly cared for her, forget the strength that dripped out of every pore of this girl, Scully felt a maternal need to shelter her, to protect her from all that she had already seen.

They hung out in the basement, long after Skinner had excised himself muttering something about being one of the only people in the office that had real work to do.

"He seems nice,"

Mulder and Scully nodded at this. "We've known him a long time, he was there when you went missing, and he helped to look for you." Mulder smiled at the memory of a younger if not hairier Skinner. "Really? Does that get in the way of your professionalism?"

"It did at first; we did not know if we could trust him, we didn't know whose side he was on."

Kyrie nodded as if she understood, though she only comprehended on a small level. "So, I guess I should get going, I have kept you away from your cushy government jobs for far too long today." She rose and lifted her arms in the air, stretching in a way that reminded Mulder so much of Scully he was almost knocked backwards.

Scully could not hide her displeasure at the mention of Kyrie taking her leave. "There is so much we have to talk about Kyrie. Where do you go to school? What's your major? What kind of music do you like? Are you dating..."

"Georgetown, Sociology, Elvis is king, and no I don't have the time. Anyway we have each other now, and I don't see any of us going anywhere." She threw an arm around Scully. "You can't get rid of me again so quickly, Scully."

Scully looked like a woman about to break, something Mulder was not used to seeing in her, he was accustomed to the strong stolid woman who hid every emotion other than wit and fortification. "Elvis huh? Ever been to Graceland?"

"So, what did you think Scully?" they had camped out on Scully's couch, armed with too much take out and a B-movie.

"I think I don't like the idea of her being so alone." She insisted.

Mulder nodded but pushed the conversation. "What do you think of her Scully?"

Scully sighed before she answered. "She is so much like you in so many ways..."

"I noticed she was a lot like you."

Scully nodded at this and nudged in a little closer to Mulder. "Wow," she said in mock exaltation of Kyrie.

"Yeah I never thought we would be sitting here discussing our daughter." He added.

"And she has had such a rough life..."

"It's made her stronger Scully. I think, I think she could give you a good run for your money." He oofed at the elbow the remark earned him.

Scully nodded in agreement and sighed. "I wish we had the last twenty years with her." She dreamed aloud

Mulder shook his head. "Somehow we need to find out how this all happened Scully. Someone needs to pay for her. She deserved a real family, not the Movie of the Week one she has been living. Although looking at us I don't know if we would have been able to give her too much better."

"That's not true Mulder, I happen to believe you would have made a great Dad." She admitted. "I think Kyrie would have been one lucky, if not spoiled, little lady."

Mulder smiled at Scully's observations, yeah he would have spoiled her, and maybe she would have had those siblings she longed for.

"I have to tell Mom I found her. I want them to meet." Scully rose and ran for the phone, Mulder listened as Scully gushed her good news across the phone lines.

Kyrie kicked her shoes across the living room floor before dashing a few flakes into her fish tank. She hopped into her recliner with a huff and clicked through a few channels before resting on an old episode of Star trek. A black cat landed in her lap.

"Hey Spooky," she smiled at the purring beast. "Have I got a story for you kid."

For his part, the black cat dug deep into her lap, clawing at her faded jeans and growling his welcome home.

At the still point of destruction
At the center of the fury
All the angels
All the devils
All around us
Can't you see?
There is a deeper wave than this
Rising in the land
There is a deeper wave than this
Nothing will its power stand.


"He's in the psych ward?" Kyrie could not believe what Scully had informed her of, sure Mulder was a little nutty, and she had learned over the past couple of months how deep his paranoia went, but the psyche ward? "Scully, I know Mulder can be a little eccentric but...geez did you really have to have him committed?"

"It's something neurological Kyrie, I have to go to Africa, I have to help fix him, I need you to..." Scully wasn't sure how to ask this, they were not exactly a family, but over the last few months dinners and phone conversations between the three of them had become regular and often. Kyrie had often turned up for impromptu pizza and movie nights, and had even accompanied them to a Knicks game.

"What, anything." She smiled as if she really needed to say it.

"I know finals are coming up and I don't want to get in the way of that but I have no one else to ask. Can you kind of keep an eye on him there? I mean go by as often as time permits and --just let him know he's not alone." It sounded so pathetic, any other family a request like this would not have to be made, shifts would have been dolled out graciously. However, this was no ordinary family.

Kyrie had come to enjoy their girl talks, and she was starting to feel like matchmaker for her own parents. These two could keep a shrink in business for years. Mulder and Scully were as confused as the two lost teenagers she imagined they were twenty years ago. In a lot of ways they never left that beach. "Scully, you never have to ask."

She never stopped to think the oddity of calling her biological parents by their last names, it seemed to be the one thing that made sense, and though they still called her Kyrie, she did not feel left out in the name game. They had begun to open up to her, began to tell her of all the things that they had seen and the choices that had led to her existence. The prom fiasco, the night of the big date, they had left nothing out, for better or worse, even the mild insanity that Scully had fallen into before her birth. They had even all gone to see the new Star Wars movie, something any other person her age would be mortified to accompany her parents to, but again, this was no typical family. She laughed at the stories of how often Mulder had dragged Scully off to see the original, and how she had come to enjoy all of the Series, on some odd nostalgic level.

Kyrie had grown to understand things and had found herself spending more time down in the basement, reading their files and trying to unravel her own mysteries. She poured over cases that had been signed off on, and cases that had yet to be examined. But when she got to the Emily files, things took an odd turn. Things began to really go ape shit.

She realized why Mulder was so damn paranoid, and in that same split second she wondered why everyone else in the world wasn't.

Kyrie made her way to the hospital, reaching Mulder's room and looking through the glass, Skinner smiled as he exited the room and she slipped in quietly.

"Hey Mulder," she smiled to the seemingly catatonic man in the bed. "You must have really pissed Scully off this time, what'd she do smack you over the head too hard? That would be my guess. Man you gotta work on your bobbing and weaving."

She had half expected him to respond in that way she had gotten used to, the same fuck you attitude that she had been accused of sporting ever since-well ever since birth.

She pulled her chair closer to his bed and settled in for the night, having brought Shakespeare for company. She had leaned into the back of the chair and began reading Hamlet out loud.

So much of the title character reminded her of Mulder, driven and purposed yet plunging toward madness with the sheer weight of his obsession for reprisal. Even to the point of driving his beloved into madness right along with him.

Oh yeah, she mused, remind me to thank the gene faeries for their bestowments.

When she reached the scene of Hamlet driving off Ophelia and impeaching her to go off to a nunnery, or marry a fool she was reminded of Scully, pointing Mulder out of her house and sending him out into the world without her, mostly because he held to his beliefs.

"I know you probably can't hear me Mulder, but what the hell I guess loving to hear the sound of your own voice is a family trait so I am going to talk and you have no choice but to listen." She held Mulder's hand and continued.

"I don't blame either of you for what happened. I don't think I ever told you that, and I probably should have but well anyway. I am so happy to have found the two of you, All of my life I felt like an outsider, like I had no permanent place on this planet. When I met the two of you I was a little...disappointed at first. I guess I always imagined my biological parents to be rich and perfect, you know no flaws. And then I get presented with these two people that damn you guys have issues."

She smiled at her own insights. "I guess what I am trying to say is that I love you guys, and I know you did your best to move heaven and earth to find me. I have been reading over some of those files of yours, and I gotta tell ya, when you wake up Mulder me and you have got to have a nice long chat. I'd talk to Scully, but I've seen how she tears into you, I would hate to see what she really can do with that Sig."

From deep within a silent Mulder heard everything, in his state he also understood everything. He wanted to grab her and scream how much he loved her too, and how much her mother scared him to, but in the end he just laid there. Motionless.

Sighing, she continued to read to the catatonic man.

I say love is the seventh wave
I say love is the seventh wave
I say love is the seventh wave
I say love is the seventh wave....


"Excuse me? But I don't think you ought to be in here." The brunette looked at the young woman holding the book, not sure who the hell she was or why she had chosen to play nurse maid at the bedside of the man she loved.

Kyrie eyed the woman, giving her a scant consideration before going on. "Tell you what," she began grinning. "You leave the room, turn around and come back in and we can start this conversation over again without all the cattitude. "

Diana Fowley glared at the little whip, deciding whether to call security up to remove her, or partake in the pleasure of it herself. "You need to leave." She hissed acidly.

"And you need a new cosmetic surgeon; I'm not going anywhere, my mother asked for me to be here."

It took Diana all of about 6.87 seconds to realize what had gone on, she was back, and she was mouthy. "So, now you are Agent Scully's little lackey? "She asked drawing the words out in sweet sticky bites.

Kyrie had no idea who this woman was or claimed to be, she briefly considered giving the tall woman a good solid black eye that she could cover with all the expensive make up she wore, or accentuate with the tacky suit. "Well, if you will excuse me I have to get back to reading to my father."

"I know who you are Miss Sloane, I have known of you for quite some time. "

"Well good for you, nice to see that the Special Education tax dollars are going to good use..."

Diana chose to ignore the snide remark, choosing instead to continue on. "...and I still don't know what you are doing here."

Kyrie had once gone up against three large boys, she was fourteen and had made the mistake of sneaking out of the group home to snake a smoke alone. In the midst of her next to last drag, she was beset upon by three of the larger boys form the male side of the group home. They never got what they came after from her, but they did not walk away empty handed either. This woman with the nasty remarks was gonna get the end of that story, the one that led to stitches and reconstructive surgery. "I think I just told you I am reading to my father."

"I wouldn't put too much stock into that one." Diana added smirking evilly "No telling how many guys took a walk on that beach."

All right that's it! It happened so fast that Kyrie had to readjust so as not to land on Mulder's catatonic form. She grabbed Diana around the neck, getting the taller woman into a headlock that would have impressed Hulk Hogan. She reared around and held the agent against the wall of her father's hospital room.

Kyrie tightened her grip of the woman before speaking through clenched teeth. "Back off lady, I don't know who you are, but one more comment about my parentage and the only evidence of you is gonna be the smear left across this wall." Kyrie jammed Diana up against the wall harder as if to accentuate her point. "So why don't you try to be a little nicer to people instead of being such a-"

"Kyrie!" Skinner had walked in to find Kyrie in the midst of committed a possibly federal offense. She had an almost feral grip of the woman, and her eyes they spoke of the things she dreamed of removing from the federal agent. How many times had he seen that look before? How many times had he found Mulder in the exact same position?

Too many to mention.

Kyrie, on the hearing of her name felt the human side of her began to seep back to the surface. She didn't want to be reminded of her humanity, but Skinner's interruption had broken the spell. Too late to rip her apart, Kyrie let her go.

"Go home Kyrie." Skinner said sternly, but still holding his glare on Diana.

Wordlessly, Kyrie packed her things together into her leather backpack and stormed out of the room.

"Nice kid," Diana smirked straightening her suit. "She takes after Agent Scully quite a little bit."

Skinner sidled up to the woman so that they were nearly nose to nose, almost as if ready to pass a kiss between two lovers, but his face was not one of passion and sensual intent, his sneer covered every jagged angle of his features, his eyes were of ice as he spoke to her. "What the hell did you say to her?" he hissed between clenched teeth.

"Me? Are you new here? Did you not see how she had me pinned?"

Her innocence was a sham and he knew it, but too tired from the intense struggles of watching Mulder diminish into insanity, he let it drop. He had bigger fish to fry.

Mulder had seen and heard the whole thing, not with any of the senses that anyone else would have been able to relate to, no he had had a panoramic view of the whole scene from an angle housed in the Twilight zone.

That's my girl, he screamed from within.

Maggie Scully was reminded of an incident from six years ago, an incident where her daughter had walked over to her house in nothing more than her stocking feet. As she opened the door to find the grandchild she had always thought was lost forever, she was hit by how much Kyrie was like her mother.

"Maggie..." she began lip quivering as all of her strength tried to hold onto the emotions that raged inside of her. Kyrie had no one lese at that moment, and after having Mulder and Scully a phone call away she was not so sure she could go back to the lonely tough woman that had made it through the first twenty years of life.

Maggie ushered the girl in and made her a cup of tea. She would not push the issue, only silently rejoicing at the trust the girl had in her from only meeting a few months ago. Maggie Scully bustled around the kitchen as the girl wandered around the living room examining the large number of family photos.

"They love each other, right?" Kyrie asked when Maggie came in with the tray.

"Yes," she said simply falling onto the couch as the girl continued her survey of the room.

"Then how come all this Maggie? Why the years alone? I don't get it." Kyrie had come her on a whim, not sure of what to do and not having anywhere else to go she came to the only link she had...Maggie.

Maggie Scully sighed, "Fox and Dana have been through a lot Kyrie."

"Yeah I know, teenagers, fell in love, yadda yadda yadda. What I don't get is how they have been together so long without being together. They must be, robotic."

Maggie smiled no DNA test necessary here. "Kyrie they are complex people with complex drives."

Kyrie came to sit next to Maggie, nestling into her for comfort. "Tell me a story about them Maggie, I mean when they were kids. I feel like I have known them all my life, and yet..."

Yeah, Maggie mused, I get that.

"I remember the first time Dana brought him home." She began in almost a wistful tone. She knew Kyrie was struggling with Mulder being in the hospital, with no clear idea of what was wrong with him or if he would get better. "Here was my tiny little daughter, barely in high school and she brings home this gangly boy in glasses with unruly hair. "

Kyrie settled in and listened, needing this more than she needed the air she took into her lungs. "When did you guess they were in love?" she knew she seemed like a little girl sitting in her grandmother's house asking for stories about her parents.

"A week after he started coming around." She smiled. "But I think they were in love from the beginning."

"I feel responsible, if it weren't for me they would have had a much happier life, they would have been together the right way."

Maggie hugged the young woman close to her, cradling her almost. "No Kyrie, don't blame yourself, they lost you because of things that had nothing to do with you or them. This was no one's fault. They made their choices Kyrie, and I think they made the right ones. They needed to find you and that was the focus of their lives."

This seemed to help the girl, but Maggie knew that she still blamed herself for them, for their losses. She rose form the couch and came back with an album tucked under her arm. "Maybe this will help you Kyrie." She pressed the book into the girl's hands and scooted in next to her again.

Kyrie began to thumb through the photos of her parents, pictures of them happy and smiling. Fox and Dana curled up together on a porch swing, Fox and Dana shooting each other with water pistols. It just went on and on and she found a new sadness, a new sense of loss she had never felt before, even at the death of her adopted parents.

She had been robbed of a really good life with really fun parents, the kind of people that would have taken her trick or treating dressed up in costumes themselves; the kind of parents that would have rewarded every small victory with a hug and encouragement, and every small milestone with silly jokes and irreverent acts of craziness.

Some one had to pay.

She ended up staying over at Maggie's having fallen asleep on her couch, Kyrie was never one to have trouble sleeping, when the time cam and her body gave in she simply relented to it. It was nice to wake up in Maggie's house, surrounded by photos of where she had come from.

She had just recently discovered these two lost souls that had brought her into the world, and now Kyrie realized the real possibility of losing Mulder, and it hurt like hell

"Your daughter is a menace to society," Diana to the still man.

Mulder simply stared blankly into the eyes of the evil woman. He could not blame her for being angry, for one she had just gotten her ass kicked by a kid, and for another, he had chased her off all those years ago.

"Well, at least she tells you that is your kid, I don't buy it but..." Diana leaned over and caressed Mulder's arm as she spoke, and for the first time Mulder wished he could move, just so he could get away from her.

He stood there in his baseball cap and bandage covered head, looking mildly ridiculous. "...my victory cap," he smiled jauntily, happy to see her, happy to be alive and relatively normal again.

She returned his smile, and as they talked she felt the years melting away again in the odd manner that happened whenever they were together alone. He had whispered sacred words to her, how she was his touchstone, the only tangible thing he could hold onto.

"Mulder, what went on in there? I mean you said you lived this life and saw things.."

"I saw a life I thought I had once wanted, but there was no..." he trailed off not sure how to explain this to her. "You weren't; there, Kyrie wasn't there..."

Scully grasped Mulder tightly into her arms, inhaling his scent, and thanking God that he had survived yet again and come back to her.

"Scully, there is no life without you," he no longer cared to hide things that had built up in him for over half his life.

She smiled at his admission, knowing that the love between them would only bubble for so long, a soul was going to boil over, their love would smash through it all, insisting upon its existence.

They stayed that way clinging desperately to each other, needing to hold onto the other half. "Scully..." Mulder mouthed as they relented into their hold. "We still have to..."

"I know." She sniffed inhaling his scent, wishing for so much more than what they could have at that moment.


"Kyrie, why Hamlet?" he had been wanting to ask her the meaning of her choice of reading material since he had awakened form his stupor, ever since Scully had yet again saved him.

Kyrie's smile widened as she spoke. "Oh I don't know, ghosts, murderous plots, conspiracies, madness, it just seemed to scream your name. The only thing missing were the aliens."

"Well, we know about your little run in with the late Diana Fowley..." Scully began; it was her turn to hold the faint note of pride in her voice.

"Hey you are lucky I didn't off her myself." Kyrie shrugged and feigned interest in an open file on the desk. "Who is she anyway, or who was she I should say."

Mulder wasn't sure how to react "She was-my first wife." He stammered realizing that Kyrie and Scully were there.

Kyrie blew hard and considered this for a moment. "Damn, you two...are there any other skeletons that we need to get out in the open?"

Scully threw Mulder a chastising look, "You don't smoke do you?" Mulder asked the young woman.

"No, why?" Kyrie asked losing interest in the game.

"No reason" they both answered.

The small family sat in the office, though they presented themselves as all business, Scully finally relented to Mulder's interview of Kyrie, arguing that her memories may hold the key to finding Sam. "Kyrie, you had once said that you had been taken before, what can you tell us about that experience?" He had been trying to keep a professional distance from the interview, knowing full well how this was going to affect all of them.

Kyrie twisted a little in her seat, every since the first time she had walked into the K-Files office, she had claimed Mulder's chair for her own. "I don't remember a whole lot guys, and I don't know how much help I can be; the first time I remember anything I could not have been too old...maybe four or five. See I thought I was having a dream, cause I woke up and Santa Clause was sitting on my bed."

Mulder nodded, it was not uncommon for child abductees to have hallucinations of cherished childhood figures in their room. It was theorized by many in the UFO community that they came in guise to supplicate the children into not screaming for their parents. "Did he say anything to you?" Mulder asked.

Kyrie shook her head, and then nodded. "Well, he spoke inside my head. Told me not to freak out, everything was cool. You know the basic pay no attention to the man behind the curtain speech."

Mulder smiled her encouragement to continue.

"Anyway, I remember this light, and then I woke up in my bed and it was morning."

"Would you be willing to be hypnotized Kyrie?" Mulder asked as Scully tired not to look too unnerved.

"And some blood work too..." Scully interjected.

"On one condition," Kyrie grinned evilly.

Mulder and Scully exchanged looks "What Kyrie?" Scully pressed.

"Tell me again why we are doing this?" Scully asked as she toed a spot on the passenger side of Mulder's car.

"In the interest of the truth Scully," he returned twinkling at her. She looked beautiful in a blue dress, he was not accustomed to seeing her in anything other than muted genteel colors and it was nice to see her in a dress that was less businesslike. "Nice dress by the way, you look beautiful."

"Much like this date, the dress was also Kyrie's idea. Mulder I don't; want to be the one to break the news to you but I think your daughter is playing matchmaker."

"My daughter?" He grinned "Now she's my daughter, but when she had Diana in a Buckwheat death grip she was your daughter right?"

They parked at the Italian restaurant that Kyrie had steered them to Mulder came around to the passengers side and helped her out of the car. "Couldn't we just say we went in and had a fantabulous time?" It wasn't that Scully did not want to be there with him, but the idea of being out in public on a date was a little overwhelming.

"As tempting as a drive-thru date sounds, Kyrie in the classic Mulder way has sent us to an eatery where there are spies to check in on us."

"She didn't." Scully breathed.

"Oh yes she did." They were seated at a small table in the back of the elegant restaurant candlelight lit the area and cast an eerie glow over the couple. A small blonde woman greeted them as she approached their table.

"Hi," she squeaked in poorly hidden girlish glee "You must be Kyrie's folks. She looks just like you." The woman added looking at Scully. "My name is Sheila and I will serve you tonight, per the request of Kyrie." She flashed them a knowing smile before running off to get them their drinks.

Scully eyed Mulder with a look that would have frozen hell in one blink.

"What can I say Scully, conspiracies are a family trait." He smirked.

"You're Dad is yummy Kyr," Sheila had sneaked off into the kitchen to make her half hourly report to her roommate.

"Hose it off Sheila; he is too old for you." Kyrie smiled. "So are they enjoying themselves?"

Sheila popped her head around the corner eyeing the couple struggling over the menus. "I guess, they are arguing over what to order for appetizers."

"I have an idea, Sheila."

"Mulder, I don't see how you could even remotely quantify the idea of aliens having visited this planet for the last twenty centuries or so. I mean where do you get this stuff? I keep waiting for the day you drag me off to Groom Lake to go train spotting."

"Scully, haven't you ever seen the paintings from the fourteenth century? Or all the Mayan art that has suspiciously advanced technological blueprints. I mean my God Scully even Jimmy Carter himself admitted to having seen a UFO."

"Oh there is a stunning example of believability Mulder..."

"Excuse me," Sheila smiled, they were so into their arguing that they did not notice the waitress appear with a bottle of rather expensive wine. "Kyrie sent this over for you, said it was part of the deal."

Scully blushed, she knew Kyrie was aware of Scully's weakness with alcohol, and briefly wondered if Kyrie had herself inherited it.

"How do you know Kyrie?" Mulder asked trying to alive some of Scully's embarrassment.

"She's my roommate." The girl smiled as she twisted the corkscrew into the wine, shaking her head at Mulder when he motioned to take over the job.

"So you two are close?"

Sheila, having finally won her wrestling match with the bottle nodded. "About as close as Kyrie lets anyone get, she used to be such a mess, nightmares, bad attitude, but every since she found you guys she's been almost-pleasant. I tell you up until a few months ago I was ready to move out. She used to go into these rages, smashed my entire nativity village last year. She freaking hates Christmas."

"Really?" Mulder asked a little disturbed, yet needing to know more.

Sheila nodded, "Yeah but she has been really good now, even goes out every now and then, I mean other than school and work. She can be intense sometimes, and when she was still looking for you guys she well got a little obsessed." Sheila smiled and left to go tend to her other guests.

"Wow," Scully mouthed running her fingers through her hair.

"Yeah, I had no idea... I mean I know she has had a rough time but."

The violinist began to play a solo sultry tune, and despite herself and her surroundings, Scully found herself absently swaying to the music, finding the wine they had sipped on had began to work its magic on her. So heavily engrossed into the tune, she had not noticed Mulder rise from his seat and extend his hand to her.

"Mozart's violin concerto..." Scully whispered into the chest of the man she clung to as he gently danced her in small even steps.

"Mm Hmm." Mulder agreed more out of habit than anything, he was too busy being lulled into sweet bliss by the feel of her tiny frame against hers. In that sweet instance the entire place melted, and they were those two kids on the beach, he had to get her home before curfew, a curfew they blew right past.

Scully could hear the punch of Mulder's heart where her head rested, he smelled so damn good. A million different thoughts trailed through her as she gave into the sweet melodic rhythms that their bodies moved to. It was almost sexual, and it left both of them longing for so much more.

"Scully...." He didn't know if it was the wine or the memories that flooded through him, but suddenly he no longer cared. He knew he was going to kiss her, knew he had to kiss her had to create some kind of bond with her right there on the floor in front of a room full of people he needed to feel those lips again.

To his surprise she edged her mouth closer tipping her head back to receive the sweet prize he had to offer her, she closed her eyes and marked this moment, giving her entire existence to it.

"So how are things going over there now?" Kyrie asked excitedly.

Sheila laughed at her friends exuberance, the thing about Kyrie was once she glommed onto something, she didn't let it go til it went her way. "Wish you could see this one girl." Sheila snickered. "These two, man its making me understand your insanity better. One minute they are arguing about Jimmy Carter and UFO's. The next thing I know these two are on the dance floor here putting on a show that even cable wouldn't show in prime time."

"See I knew those two just needed a little shove in the right direction." Kyrie wanted to do an end zone dance, and she would have if it was not her shift at the nursing home; the elderly residents' wouldn't understand why the young CNA was doing the cabbage patch in the middle of dining room.

"Shove, hell, forget that from the looks of things here these two LEAPT"."

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every wrung
And may you stay forever young

Bob Dylan

She had to get them to see, to see what she saw every time she stood in between them, every time she sat next to them, every time she was even in the same room as them. Their love for each other was a tangible ignitable heat that consumed those around them. Kyrie finally understood what Skinner meant the first time she met him; they exuded love and forced those around them to seek out that same kind of feeling for another human being. To fill the lonely spaces within this human existence and find the missing pegs that seal them up with the perfect fit. She wanted this for them so very badly, that all she could do was pine for it.

The date had gone so well, she knew they ended up back at Scully's apartment, knew they had danced in the still silence of that place, close together adhering to one another like a kid in her favorite pair of worn sneakers.

It wasn't until the truth was learned about Samantha that things began to take on a life of their own.

They had wandered around their familiar haunts, and nursed familiar wounds. Mulder and Scully were but ghosts themselves. "You guys don't talk much do you?" She had asked Scully as they sat in the outdoor bistro waiting for Mulder to show for lunch.

Scully smiled over to her daughter, not sure where she was going with this new line of questioning. "I'm sorry?" she asked as if she did not understand the question.

Kyrie flashed her a look that Scully had seen at least three hundred and forty four times-it was the same look Mulder shot every time she tried to go all rational on him. The oh c'mon you know this is getting old look. "Scully, you guys spend more time together than I do with my Math book, and that is saying something." She smiled. Kyrie had no love of math and no knack for it whatsoever. The more time she spent studying, the worse it became. What Scully could not understand was that the girl really understood the theory of math, could quote the formulas and theorems verbatim. But Kyrie could not fundamentally figure out that 1 plus 1 was two.

Scully examined her nail polish again before speaking. "This is starting to become a routine here Kyrie. "

"Routine Or not, I don't see what the big problem is here, you two have known each other like forever, and you have been through everything...cancer, supposed death, losing me. I mean what else do the two of you need to survive to realize what the rest of us see every second we stand near you?" Mercifully, Scully's phone rang in the midst of her vehemence of no impropriety.

"Scully, it's me." Mulder barked.

"Where are you?" Scully asked trying to not sound like a harpy. "We had a meeting set for lunch; our guest is getting a little...aggressive."

"Hey!" Kyrie feigned shock and bemusement.

"Something important came up, something...Big. "

"What?" Scully asked leaning forward absently trying to guess where he would drag her off to this time.

"This Amber Lynne LaPierre case, I need to go out to California."

"Mulder, Skinner is pissed." She waited for him to answer, but he just laid there with that same blank look on his face. Scully knew what he thought this all lead to, and realized that her partner, her friend was once again being lead on yet another wild goose chase.

"Mulder, I know what you are doing here; you think this is going to lead to Samantha."

He would not answer her, still the blank look raging across his face, still the incessant hunt for what was not there. No matter how hard she pushed, Mulder pushed back harder, her usual arguments fell on not deaf ears, but the ears of a completely focused man, he had taken off with this one, and was not going to let it go until the end of the line was in front of them.

"When we were looking for Kyrie, you knew there was a purpose to it Scully," he finally spit out. "You were personally invested..."

"Mulder, I swear to God if you finish that statement I am going to kick your ass. How can you say that-to me?? Who has been here for the last seven years Mulder? They don't just ostracize you. They do call me Mrs. Spooky." Her voice had taken on a bizarre cadence, almost a rant but one that could end in a hail of gunfire.

He glared into her blue eyes, knowing that he had crossed a sort of line here. There had been so much just in the past twenty-four hours, so much to take in, turn over in his mind and turn into something viable. "I'm just saying Scully, your end of the crusade is done, you found your holy grail, let me find mine."

That was the one thing she hated about Mulder, his first response to every tough situation was to push everyone away and ditch her. That was his shtick.

"You know Mulder, one day you are going to realize how much you have needed me guarding your back all these years and you are gonna feel like the biggest ass for saying all those things to me." She turned to leave the motel room. "Call me when the pity party is over, I'll come by and help you clean up."

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see their light surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young

Bob Dylan

She had been there, every answer to every question he had had about her had been answered. Mulder had found his end of the line.

He had wandered out onto that field, the air misty from the chilly night. In the stillness he heard a faint giggle, not quite sure if he had heard it, he moved on. A chill ran up his back, the very same chill he got the night Scully had called him from her apartment, rapidly spilling forth another truth they had long sought out.

Mulder advanced cautiously, yet something her drove him on, reading Sam's diary had really messed with his head, worse than he had admitted to his partner. He had found in those words a dawning, a realization that the sister he loved more than life itself was gone. Somehow he knew.

Shaking, he walked along the field, inhaling the scent of the clear crisp night. From nowhere, faces and bodies appeared, children playing ball, skipping rope, eternally living out a childhood on the ethereal plane that the humans in their existence had robbed them of.

Amber Lynne smiled up at him, playing a small game of I See You with the child; she winked and giggled silently before running off to join a game with the others. It was all too much, if he had not seen it himself he would have doubted, would have gone on...

She ran to him, green eyed and long brown hair whipping behind her. She hugged him, close, for an instant he was too shocked to do anything other than accept the hug, but then he squeezed, wanting the one instance to stretch out for all eternity. He hugged her close, feeling her thin arms lovingly hold him back. He had dreamed of this time for so long, and even though he knew she was long dead, it was a closure he could live with, could go on to live with- now.

Fox William Mulder left the field knowing that his sister was, happy, loved and forever young. What more could anyone want out of any life?

He said goodbye to the final vestige of his given family, and went home to embrace his chosen one.

He stood outside her door; they had returned home from California only hours ago, he needed to see her, needed to connect with the one person who had been there through it all.

He had raised his arm to knock when the door opened.

"Come on in Mulder," she whispered taking his hand in hers and leading him to the couch. She had opened her door to go to his place, having driven herself mad with trying to decide whether or not to go. Though she was happy to see him at her door, Scully was not surprised.

They still had that connection.

He slumped into a seated position that held a million words yet to be dragged from his mouth. "I want..." he began, not sure if the words were right, if they would be all she needed to hear.

She held onto his hand, tight enough for the fingers that dangled from under her grip to turn a lovely shade of purple, but neither one seemed to mind. Scully had waited for this, had anticipated the conversation that they were now in the midst of. She opted to let him do the talking, let him unload, he had just had his life's work finished last night, an act Scully equated to Albert Einstein finding that unified equation that summed up all of the universe.

Mulder drew in a deep ragged breath, "I can't do this yet Scully...." He wanted her so very badly, but there was something going on within him, something he wasn't sure had reached its apex yet. He wanted to saddle up and ride off into the sunset with her and Kyrie, but inside he felt a jumble of emotions, so tangled and twisted he had no clue where one began and the other ended. He had wanted this for so long, finding Samantha, finding Kyrie, and now the pressure of what was inevitable hit him square in the face.

Scully glared at him; releasing his hand she rose, walked over to the door, and stood wordlessly.

"Scully," he begged, the words not needed. "Please try to..."

A nod of her head and a hand raise was all that transpired, she walked back over to him, held his face in her hands much like Samantha had only hours ago. "When the time is right we will both know it Mulder." But Scully was having a hard time keeping the disappointment out of her voice. So long since that walk on the beach, Scully had needed to feel those hard granules underneath her toes again. "Kyrie said something to me that made a lot of sense; it was the day you left for California, when you were supposed to meet us for lunch."

"What is that, Scully? " He asked, honestly intrigued, Kyrie was one to always shoot from the hip and speak from the gut.

"She said we never talk, and she's right Mulder, we don't ever talk."

"We talk all the time, Scully..."

"Work, cases, theories all of that crap Mulder, but we never really talk."

"If I remember correctly Scully, we have had more than at least one serious discussion, and at least one or two major blow ups." He smiled remembering a wayward phone that almost nailed him in the crotch.

"Mulder, we have spent the last seven years chasing after people in our lives who went missing, now that we have that closure, where do we go from here? And I don't mean just me and you; I mean our careers, goals for the future..."

Mulder sighed, rubbing her back as he spoke. "I want so much for the future Scully, but I want this to be done the right way. There was too much that went wrong between us before." He stuttered

A slender if short finger pressed against his lips halted any further analysis from him, she shook her head as if to accentuate the point of not tonight. Not tonight would they hash this out between them, as much as she wanted to, he needed time to deal with the blows that fate had dealt him in the last week: finding out the truth about Samantha, losing his mother. There were too many pains for one man to get through

Tonight, she would just be an old friend with nothing more to offer than a wet shoulder and an empty couch.

He smiled and sank down into her, they curled up onto the couch and slept encircled in each other.

"She was supposed to meet me to go shopping. Where the hell is she?" Kyrie was starting to worry, and things did not go well when she could not get answers.

"I'm sure she's fine Kyrie." Mulder lied, he in fact had no idea where his little redhead had disappeared to, but the worry was not something he needed to share with the already emotional fragile woman on the other end of the phone.

"Uh Huh." She offered in her usual non committal disbelieving tone. "Just find her Mulder, ok?" She was aware of how pitiful she sounded, and found herself not caring.

He had tracked her long enough to know she had gone off with that fucking prick that smoked too much. "I will find her ok Kyrie? Please this is not as big a deal as you are trying to make this. I'm sure she is fine."

For her part, Kyrie was starting to realize how dangerous their lives really were. She had known so little about them and their work in so many ways. Even having read the files had not prepared her for the constant danger that these two seemed to seek out on a daily basis. "You guys are going to be the first documented cases of parents giving the offspring grey hairs."

Dana Scully had tried not to cringe the entire drive out to wherever the fuck he was taking her. She had only agreed on the off chance that he held answers to the questions he had offered to her.

She smirked at having once again found herself in the Mulder role here, she had ditched him to chase after a questionable informant. Oh man, he is never gonna let me live this one down. She mused to herself trying not to show her smirk to the man seated next to her.

"He's quite a mess without you around Ms. Scully." He had said it while still looking out of the window, so she pretended no to hear him, only acknowledging the comment with a small exhalation of breath.

"There are answers other than the ones I promised Ms. Scully." He began after his initial pop psychologist act. "I'm sure you have often wondered about the elusive Kyrie."

Her first initial reaction was to stop the car and put a bullet through his sick tobacco scented head, she gripped the wheel tighter trying to maintain some sort of composure in all of it. "What the hell did you do you-"

"Easy Dana," He grinned humorlessly. "Remember she was returned to you unharmed."

"Unharmed my ass you fucking son of a bitch, what the hell did you do?"

"You and Mulder possess a certain, genetic proclivity that my associated found irresistible. We had not planned on you two getting involved, but when it happened by accident, it was all too perfect." He really wanted a cigarette, but remembering a promise, he merely inhaled deeply instead. "Her DNA proved to be quite invaluable. Once they had finished their tests, she was placed with a family that would take care of her..."

"What proclivity is that?" she asked as if she did not know.

He blew in exasperation, and in that instance she was sickeningly reminded of Mulder, funny how genes worked. "The black oil Dana, the coming plague, surely you knew all of this. Even as teens you two possessed the necessary DNA to fend this onslaught. We needed Kyrie to research the mingling of your DNA. She is as immune as the two of you." He smiled thickly. "And quite a young woman I might add."

"You are such a bastard." She wanted to crash the car into the nearest pile on, even if she never survived the impact, knowing his life ended along with it was suitable final recompense.

CSM clucked his tongue before continuing, a sound that yet again made Scully remember not to cringe. "Come now Dana, you two would never be the people you are now had you settled for the picket fence and diaper service. Surely you know that this loss is what placed the two of you into the careers you are in now."

"But we were never allowed to make that decision for ourselves now were we? No, you and your cronies decided that you knew what was best for us and dealt the cards we were forced to play."

"You were properly compensated for your services, you were paid for your services to your country in spades my dear. " His reptilian smile as he paused now made her forget not to cringe; she could feel the flesh crawling over every inch of her body. "You never paid a dime for any school you attended, and the monthly stipend checks and scholarships always seemed to come up when you needed them."

Her horror was astounding; her child had been traded for her education, paid for in blood, her own blood. She knew she was going to be sick. She absently patted her shirt for the tape and mike making sure she had gotten all this to send off to her partner.

"Over the years it became necessary for us to -revisit-her DNA periodically, you should be proud Agent Scully." He smiled

"So you played her as a lab rat for most of her life, I find that repugnant." She reached for her weapon, tugging the safety free.

He drew silent again really wishing for a Morely. "Besides Ms. Scully, you would know I would not let any harm come to my only grandchild."

"You got played Scully," he was embarrassed for her, but he was also embarrassed for himself, how many times had he been on the receiving end of that speech from her. But it was her job to point out the obvious. It was her gig to tell him how he had screwed up, not the other way around.

"There has to be something on that disk Mulder, there has to be." She was adamant in her insistence, not because she believed that he would not lie to her, which was what he did, lie. No, if there was nothing on that tape, then there was another more insidious reason why he wanted her to go with him. She felt her stomach twisting with the words she spoke.

"Scully, its ok." But in the back of his mind, nothing was ok, and nothing was going to be ok. Hadn't he divorced Diana for the exact same thing? What was the difference here?

She clung to him long after the gunmen had packed up their gear and headed out. She made him her confessor that night, and he listened and felt a wall coming up around his heart.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the wind of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young

Bob Dylan

"Hey kiddo," Mulder chirped over the phone.

"Hey Mulder, what's up?" She wasn't sure why Mulder sounded so happy over the phone, but Kyrie silently prayed it wasn't something manic.

"Do you know what day it is today?" Mulder asked.

Kyrie silently ticked through a mental calendar, knowing she had a pretty good memory, she was sure that there was no birthday or anniversary she had missed. "All right Mulder, I give what day is it today?" Kyrie did not even try to hide the smile in her voice.

"It's Take Your Daughter to Work Day! Do you have a passport?"

Intrigued she decided to play along. "Yeah, I do. I was supposed to go to England for a semester abroad but then you had your little breakdown...."

"Well, at least I can pay that one back, how would you like to go to England with me for a couple of days? I have to go investigate a couple of crop circles."

Of course she could not say no.

"So why isn't Scully going with you?" she asked after the plane had taken off.

Mulder shifted around in his seat as if he were suffering from a bout with hemorrhoids, "She, uh, had things to do this weekend and ...

"She told you to go to hell didn't she?" Kyrie asked still thumbing through the in flight magazine.

"Well, not in those words but....guess my slide show didn't wow her. "he grinned, though not with much humor.

"What is going on Mulder, ever since she went missing a few weeks ago you two have been really short with each other. I feel like the kid living with divorcing parents, are you guys gonna start throwing things at each other next?"

"No, that was a couple of years back; you would have appreciated where she tried to stick the phone." He gave an honest smile at her look of utter bewilderment. "Things have been kind of weird for us; we had uh...decided to wait til we got answers on things before we explored our feelings. Now that we found Sam, and you found us, it's almost as if we-I am scared of the unknown variant here Kyrie." He admitted. "Now it's like we just tolerate each other. She didn't come because we had this big disagreement. "

Kyrie nodded, closing the magazine and placing it back in its tray. "What are you so afraid of Mulder?"

"Scully, happiness, I-- don't know..."He had stopped abruptly, too abruptly.

"Mulder, is there something that this is really about? Cause from what I've seen you two are literally perfect for each other. There are a lot of us around that think you two have been married the last seven years, you just never got around to making it official."

Mulder grinned, "Yeah, well it has felt that way for quite some time too. " Mulder leaned back into his seat, holding his daughter's offered hand, he went to sleep.

England was beautiful; Kyrie never in a million years would have thought to be walking along the British countryside, never. "So where is our first stop Mulder?" she asked in her best Scully imitation.

Mulder barely heard her, the incessant stammer of a trillion voices filled his head for only a few seconds, then it was gone, leaving only pain and blinding light.

He awoke in an English hospital. "Scully?" he asked the form seated next to his bed.

"Wrong." Kyrie smiled.

Mulder smiled at her snappish attitude, she was so like him in so many ways, choosing humor to deal with yet another trip a hospital to sit by her father's bed. "Too bad Diana is gone; you could have done a re-enactment of it for me." She smiled.

"What's going on here Mulder, the doctors were all sunshine and roses til they got you medical records faxed over form back home, and then everyone went all..."

"...J Edgar on you, yeah I know. There are things that you wouldn't understand Kyrie." He attempted.

"Try me." She pressed her face closer to his as if to push home the idea of closeness, as if proximity could define trust.

"I'm not well Kyrie, and before I go any further I need a promise from you. Scully is not to know any of this, swear to me Kyrie."

Against everything she believed, everything she wanted she nodded" On a few conditions..." she smirked.

"You missed your true calling kid, you know I could talk to someone at work, maybe get you in on a few hostage negotiations..." the shared laugh that followed felt good, damn good. "What are the new terms Kyrie?" he asked staring up at the wall as if in disinterest, but really trying to determine if Kyrie held any genes that may or may not have skipped a generation.

Settling onto his bed, Kyrie leaned onto him for a hug; she rose again to sitting and went on. "One, I think you should tell her, and before you open that mouth and argue me down, I know you won't at least not until you are ready. Truthfully, I would not tell Scully anyway, in a lot of ways it is not my place."

Mulder gazed into the hazel eyes of his daughter, finding in them so many truths and so much beauty that in that instant he wanted to break and cry. "I assume there are more." He finally cracked. "You did make the statement plural."

"I said I wouldn't tell her anyway Mulder, but well this is more of a request then." She paused as if gathering her strength to ask for this that he may balk at, may tell her to go to hell. "You need someone to go with you for these treatments right? I mean you can go alone, but what is the point of that Mulder? We spent enough time away from each other. I can swing it at work to get the time off when you need me. Please don't say no."

"I wouldn't have it any other way Kyrie."

They had chosen to leave for home after a night; Mulder had wanted to take her somewhere that was special to him, a remnant of his days at Oxford. "Mulder, need I remind you that I have not yet reached my twenty-first birthday?" she poked as they entered the Grizzly Grail.

"Kyrie, this is England, if you are old enough to reach the bar you are old enough to drink." He grinned.

She sat and let the atmosphere sink in; it was your classic English pub, replete with heads of animals dangling off the walls, dart boards, trophies, and pictures. Dozens and dozens of photos everywhere, most of them were of sporting events, and it was to these that Mulder drifted to. "Hey Kyrie c'mere. " he waved to her excitedly.

She brought her vision in close to the photo he was pointing to. The young man in the photo was in the midst of scoring some great victory and the look of concentration and determination could only have been Fox Mulder. "Wow" she offered truly impressed.

"I can't believe it's still here." He laughed. "We won that day, came here and got so drunk they had to close the bar, we all just sort of crashed here that night. The entire team and a whole lot more people, we just sort of took over that night." He pointed to another photo of what looked like dozens of college students passed out all over the very same bar they were standing in. "That's me on the bar, they let me sleep there cause I had the winning goal. " He beamed.


"Huh? Oh yeah Rugby, that's what I played at Oxford." As they sat at the bar plowing through bottomless draughts of Guinness, Mulder regaled his daughter with endless tales of his life at Oxford. She listened in rapt awe of him, though in the back of her mind, she could not help but feel that this was a desperate attempt to bond with her before it was too late.

She had decided not to push about his deteriorating health, and took the night for what it was, family bonding, Mulder style.

"Screw it Kyrie," Mulder added yawning after getting off the phone, "we'll catch a cab to the airport and sleep it off on the flight home." They stood at the door of the bar, holding each other up. "You hold your liquor a lot better than your mother." He smiled as she tried to hold him up as he did the same.

"Guess I got my drinking talents from you." She smiled back, words slurring as they piled into the cab. "Oh I got you something from the guy at the bar." She giggled digging through her backpack.

He plopped the beige hat onto his head after having read the front. "Stonehenge Rocks huh?" he smiled ruffling the young woman's too long mahogany hair. "I wish we had the time to go there before we had to head home Kyrie. I would love to be able to take you to one of my favorite spots on the planet. I took Scully there once." He smiled remembering standing in the center of the formation, holding her tight as they laughed in their youth and energy, realizing that Kyrie had been there before.

"You know Scully, some people believe that this ring holds the answers to the mysteries of the universe." He added, noting he said a lot of things to try and impress her.

Scully smiled and turned circles in the center of the stones. "Yeah" She grinned trying hard not to look too impressed at his seemingly endless vast knowledge. "But no aliens, huh Mulder?"

She stops spinning and falls to the ground giggling madly, "Thank you for coming out here Scully-Dana." He looks at her and right there he knows, knows he's going to ask her to marry him, felt like the luckiest man on the planet to have found his true soul mate before he could even vote. "I love you." He uttered the sacred words out of his mouth is going to say afterwards.

They lay together, side by side, holding hands and viewing the sky from the center of the great stone structure. "What do you want for the future Scully?" he asked decided to try to get near the subject.

"I don't know Mulder, I want to go to school, but we have had that discussion before haven't we?" she smiled over to him rubbing her hand up and down his arm.

Sighing, he went on, feeling this was something he had to tell her, had wanted to since the day he woke up at the hospital. "Scully, do you remember last Christmas? When you found me in the hospital after you had got home from California?"

"MMMHmmmm," she agreed snuggling into him a little deeper.

"I never told you what happened. See, my Dad and I didn't get along too well..."

She raised her head and stopped him, "Mulder I know about it ok? When my dad and I were trying to find you, the police told us what happened."

"No, that's not just it Scully." He rose to sitting to look into the sea blue eyes that chased away every single bad dream. "I have to tell you, he came after me that night. I had just got off the phone with you and he came after me. But you know what Dana?" he looked into her eyes and Scully could see the wildness there, the absolute lack of fear.

"Tell me Mulder," she asked holding onto him for support.

Mulder sighed and held her tightly. "He is an angry man Scully. I don't tell you these things for any other reason than to explain to you how I feel. When he came after me that night, something was different. Usually I just kind of I don't know fall into it, do you understand what I mean?"

Scully nodded, though she could understand it, she did not quite get it.

"Dana you have changed me, for the better. I had strength that night Scully, I stood up for myself. When he came at me, the first thing I thought was what would Scully do? I remembered that thing you did the first day we were at school together."

Scully could not believe what she was hearing. He had gotten strength from her, had drawn on her fortitude to right a wrong in his own life. If he had only known how much of a screw up she really was, he would not feel the same way.

"Scully, I want to marry you," he blurted, not caring what words fell.

Scully only stared at him with the expression of one who had just got hit with a baseball squarely between the eyes.

They both broke out into laughter and Mulder pretended that he had been kidding, that he had only been joking.

But he had been as serious as he had ever been in his nineteen years of life.

"We can go there next Take Our Daughter to Work Day Mulder," she smiled slumping against the window of the cab. But Mulder did not answer that, he refused to believe there would be a next time.

Much like Samantha, he had realized he was reaching his end of the line.

Do you remember a time?
You and I were fine
Hiding under the apple tree
There was no one but you and me
We would hide from passing cars
And we would count the summer stars
We were better then
(When you went away)
Than we've ever been before
(You said you'd be)
You came back to me
(Coming up my front porch)
After walking out my door
(Just to see me)

Taking Back Sunday

"Mulder you are going to have to forgive her you know, you can't hold one bad decision over her head for the rest of your lives." Kyrie made like she was disinterested in the entire conversation, maybe it was the alcohol talking, but she had taken the long plane ride to DC as an opportunity to hold a captive candid conversation.

Mulder looked down at his long legs tucked uncomfortably into coach accommodations. "I don't understand what you mean Kyrie." He lied.

Kyrie found herself sighing heavily, and repressing the urge to put Mulder in a half nelson. "Mulder, ever since she took off with that guy..."

"The smoking man," he blurted.

"...you have not been right with each other. You know I don't get the two of you, it's like you enjoy being tormented. I mean at first I thought it was kinda cute, then a little annoying. Now I think the two of you could really benefit from some seriously intensive talk therapy."

"You sound like Skinner," he mused shifting his weight so as to be leaning away from his daughter, a subconscious attempt to steer away from the conversation.

"Mulder the two of you have been through so much, what is so hard about forgiving her this one thing?"

"I divorced Diana for the exact same reason." He stated flatly. "She had gone to him to get information about my past-about you. I doubt he even could answer what had happened, and I did not want to be indebted to him for the information."

"Who is this man anyway? And how can you and Scully allow him to control so much of your lives, both personally and professionally."

Mulder rubbed his hands over his face, not wanting to go into this with her, not wanting to dredge up things she was better off not knowing. "It's a long story Kyrie, but suffice to say that he worked with my father at the State Department." He offered her a grim smile as if to ask for a reprieve from the conversation. Unfortunately, much like Mulder Kyrie was one to let anything go until she had gotten down to the very end of it.

"So, this Cigarette guy, he has caused problems for the two of you in the past?"

"You have no idea." He smirked at her before continuing, "She knew how he is, knew he could not be trusted in the least, and yet, there she was, off for a weekend away." He did realize he was beginning to sound like a jealous high-schooler.

"Damn it Mulder, Scully is so in love with you, she told me about the Baseball lesson. Now I want you to think about something, do you think she is the kind of woman that doesn't know how to play the game?"

"I agree Kyrie, but the fact is she broke my trust, and this was not the first time she has done that."

"What about all the times you have ditched her, trust is a two way street Mulder, and you know what she did she did to try to help in your quest." Kyrie found herself becoming more and more agitated with Mulder. "Mulder...Dad, forgiveness is one of the hardest things we as humans must do. Do you think it was easy for me to forgive the two of you? I spent four years believing that you guys just got rid of me. But I took the time to listen, to try and see things from your point of view. You are so self-righteous you think that everyone is on the same level as you, but we are all only human Mulder."

Mulder placed his hand over that of his daughter's. "Kyrie," he smiled kissing her forehead. "Someday, if you ever decide to crawl out of that shell of yours, you are going to find the right guy, and have children, and I sincerely hope they are all like you."

She had given him a lot to think about, and once the plane touched down at Dulles airport, he hugged Kyrie and promised to call her once he got home. He grabbed his overnight bag and went to go find Scully.

Kyrie watched him walk away, she had learned a lot about the man who offered to her half of his DNA, more than she had ever learned about anyone over the course of one weekend. His fragility and constant self defacement never ceased to amaze her, and she felt a pang of fear at the prospect of losing him in her life, enough so that she made a decision, one that would follow the path of two other women in Mulder's life. Stopping at the small store in the concourse, she purchased an iced tea and a pack of Morely's.

"Hey, who ordered the babe?" Frohike took one look at the young woman standing on their doorstep and had sincerely wished he was the one who had placed that order.

Langley glanced over at the screen and smiled. "Not me, not my type, too stringy. Hey Byers does she remind you of someone?"

Craning his neck, Byers looked at the monitor; the young woman was getting impatient and had rang the bell for a third time tapping her foot in the interim. "Yeah, but..."

"Anyone going to answer the door, or is there a Red Dwarf marathon on that I don't know about?" she spoke directly into the camera.

The front door opened and the three men inside all ogled the young woman. "Do we know you Miss..." Byers asked shakily.

Kyrie shook her brown head and cocked a smile at the trio that was more than just vaguely familiar, it was downright spooky. "No, but we have common friends." She smiled. "I have heard about the three of you for almost a year, and I need your help."

"Listen lady, I don't know who you are but if you think we are just going..." Frohike was cut off by the young woman pushing her way through into the building.

"Jesus," she raged. "Scully said you guys were paranoid but this is even extreme for Mulder."

The three looked at each other before speaking. "You know them?" Byers stammered. "Did they send you here?"

"Not exactly, they don't know I'm here, but as I said before I need your help." She found herself examining the rooms in the same way she had once marveled at her first trip into a certain basement.

"Whoa, whoa hold on a second, how do we even know you are friends of theirs, and no offense little lady but we are gonna need your name, your occupation, and a quick survey of the back of your neck." Langley nudged Frohike into consciousness; he had gone all goofy at Kyrie's long legs.

Kyrie leaned her head forward, letting her long hair drop down her face, turning she exposed her neck. "If this is foreplay for you guys its no wonder none of you ever have dates." She smirked. "My name is Kyrie Sloane, and my parents are friends of yours."

"No way," Langley breathed.

"Fucking no way," Frohike stammered.

"They never mentioned anything about you, they would have told us." Byers insisted

"Mulder and Scully don't have a kid; they don't even have a relationship." Langley objected.

"Don't remind me, those two...damn." She tossed her hair back and clasped in back into a scrunchi. "Listen, I don't have a lot of time, so let's dispense with the pleasantries; I can at least prove I know them, and since there is not enough time for a DNA test, ask me anything."

The three were not sure how to continue here. "Why don't we call them...?" Byers ever level-headed offered, as he reached for the phone.

"Wrong answer guys, this is a private matter, and has little to do with the dynamic duo." She shuffled over to the three of them and sighed heavily before moving on. "Byers, Scully says you still owe her twenty bucks. "She smiled at the shocked looks on their faces. "Yeah I know about that and I know about how Mulder got those night vision goggles. And your little trip to Las Vegas, you know the three of you are lucky Scully didn't kill you." She eyed the trio with the infamous eyebrow. "You three ought to be ashamed of yourselves."

Frohike grinned at the pacing woman. "Hey, I had to at least try, Scully is a fine piece of work, come to think of it, and you look just like her only younger and..."

"Frohike, Scully has already warned me about you. And I think Mulder would love to know how you are lusting after his daughter..."

"Fair enough Miss Sloane." Byers offered. "Say we believe you, what is it you want from us?"

Kyrie plopped into a chair. "I need to know what you guys know about this Cigarette guy, I need a way to contact him."

You would call me on the phone
Before you even got home
And without me by your side
You said you were all alone
Give me one more chance
To prove myself to you
All the little things that I long to do.

Taking Back Sunday

"Yeah but Scully, a married man?" Mulder could not believe his ears, just when you think you know someone...

"Mulder, we all do things in our lives we may not exactly have been proud of. You yourself holed up with Phoebe Green, and let us not forget the ever enchanting Diana Fowley..."

"All right I get it," He grinned. They had taken up residence on his couch, snuggled close together they had talked of their weekends, she had told him about her meeting Daniel again after all this time, and he told her most of his trip with Kyrie.

"Mulder, you got our daughter drunk?" she asked half seriously.

"Hey, much like a certain trip to a certain ball field with a certain person, I got the impression that was not her first time. She holds her liquor a lot better than a certain redhead I know." He smiled down at her and put his arm around her.

"Wow, I go away for a weekend and your whole life changes.. ." he spoke in amazement, mostly to throw something light into the conversation.

She smiled as they talked, listening to his voice reminded her of a porch swing, and how the gentle motion coupled with the sweet monotone of his voice would work in cahoots to put her to sleep.

Mulder knew she was tired, but as he looked at her face, he remembered how many times she had fallen asleep in his arms exactly like this. His perfect memory reminded him of the number, 712. 712 times she had curled up on him in this way; most of those times had been on a certain rickety wood swing that once occupied the porch of the previous Scully home. Mulder made a mental note to find out what ever happened to that certain favored piece of lawn furniture.

It felt so right to have her there, and as he pulled the blanket around her, he thought about what she had just said. How everything lead up to this point. Their lives were like a bad soap, they had played and been played, and now all he wanted was to be able to curl up with her and live the rest of their lives. Lazily, he traced a long slender finger over her gently sleeping face, debating to either leave her on the couch or carry her into his room to sleep more comfortably.

Suddenly, Mulder was assaulted by feelings he had long since given up on, feelings that he had allowed to shrivel up wither and die out of shear necessity. This hunger for Scully ran far deeper than anything carnal his countless videos could conjure up, this was something entirely different-this was primal. A chaste kiss to her forehead yielded a soft murmur from lips he idolized. Kyrie had been right, he had to forgive her, and there seemed no better time than now.

What if every choice led up to this very moment and there had been signs along the way? Mulder had received a C in philosophy; the touchy feely crap was just a little much for his perfectly analytical mind. But these small words formed together in his mind now to create a tangibly living idea. There was a large sign here, sleeping on his couch, he would not be missing this one.

"...Mulder?" she mumbled as he carried her to the bedroom.

"Shh." He insisted, placing her into his bed.

"Please." He heard as he turned to go sleep on the couch. "Please stay." He knew it had been Scully's voice, but the plea was so foreign to come from her lips that for an instance he wanted to check the back of her neck.

Mulder slipped off his shoes and slid between the cool sheets. The rain that had threatened all evening had finally begun to fall. As he spooned in behind her, Scully turned to face him. "Hi," she smiled tenderly.

"Hi," He grinned back tracing patterns along her relaxed face. Before either of them realized it, way before another second had slipped off into eternity, their lips met, sweet intoxicating breaths mingled together to form a brand new scent, one feral and thick, and yet somehow oceanic. Passion did not happen all at once, yet curled up between them as sweet memories blended into a new dazzling reality.

Their hands trailed each other, blazing new trails; Mulder found himself sinking into her flesh as he nuzzled her neck. Gingerly, he pealed back her shirt, dropping it effortlessly onto the floor beside the bed. No words passed between them, there were none necessary. Mulder slid his fingers across her nipples, relishing the shudder this soft act produced in Scully; he bent over and gently began to suckle.

Scully held her hands around his head, enjoying the soft texture of his hair, her breathing had become ragged in anticipation of what was to happen here tonight, there was no going back, no derailing this train that had a single track. She wanted this more than she had ever imagined. Her hands began to trail underneath his shirt as he continued his soft deportment of her breasts. As she raked her nails against his bare flesh, Mulder could feel all the blood in his body rush to one spot. He fought with himself to maintain a pace here, the first time they had been together went too fast, he would not repeat that here, this was twenty two years in the making.

Her breathing had taken on a cadence that was making it ever increasingly difficult for him to ignore what was going on halfway down his body, he hungrily kissed her lip, sucking it in and nibbling as she fumbled for breath. Scully had managed to pull his shirt off and even in his state Mulder admired her restraint for he was ready to rip her skirt off. Instead he managed to slip it off easily tossing it to land onto his recently discarded jeans. Suddenly their hands were everywhere at once; the feel of their nearly naked bodies touching skin to skin heightened the electrical current that had begun to build in the room.

Mulder began to bite at her neck, small little nips that caused Scully to black out from the sheer pleasure of it. She in turn, between fits of near unconsciousness had begun to dig her nails into Mulder's flesh, nearly drawing blood. Mulder slinked one hand into her soft silky center, twirling the moist curls before continuing his foray into the glorious caverns that hid there. At the feel of his touch Scully uttered a sound that could only have come from the part of our minds that never knew the light of urbane thought, her guttural emission sent waves of pleasure through Mulder, instinctively, he began to gyrate along with the rhythm his fingers ground.

She came as the thunder began to rage against the windows, Mulder's apartment shook with the force and intensity of the thunder as Scully shook with wave after wave of orgasm. In her mind in the split second eternity of her orgasm, she imagined that the whole world shook, had rocked right off of its foundations and was tumbling down around her, and she found for the first time that she did not care.

Mulder planted his mouth onto her as he thumbed her underwear off. Scully found complete and utter exposure to Mulder almost enough to send her off into another shaking fit, but as Mulder slid over her she found her composure enough to return his blistering kisses. His hands glided over the satin smoothness of her thighs, sheer silk beneath his hungered hands.

Scully wrapped her legs around Mulder's waist as if trying to draw him in, Mulder had decided to draw this out as long as he could, he gently but ardently rubbed his swollen head against Scully's sweet nub. Scully had begun to buck and rock, pleading for release in incomprehensible jabbering that Mulder alone could understand.

He followed her rocking motion, holding out his own needs as long as he could without sinking into madness. He kissed her questions, and she fired back answers, the same millions of answers he had seen in her eyes that first school day together. She was finally his and nothing would come between them.

With her insistent grinding and clawing, Mulder slipped into her and felt his body shift, there had been something in life missing for so long, that when it came back he almost passed out. He had to remember to maintain a rhythm, for he was content to slide into her and stay, hiding under her softness til the world ended.

Entering Dana Scully was coming home.

The rhythm they created became in tune with the growing intensity of the storm that rattled the rafters of the small apartment. Each flash of lightening brought Scully closer to the edge of complete and total bliss. Their grunting and utterances had a rhythm a language forged of the two lovers' absolute need and desire of each other. They had promised to be there forever, had sworn an allegiance that culminated into this very night, growling low rumblings that heightened into howling drowning out the thunder.

The wind pelted the window next to the bed with sheets and ribbons of rain, Mulder and Scully climbed higher and higher, the soft howls they shared would have put the roar of the sea to shame, and as they tumbled through their climax, they clung to each other in the desperate need to hold on to the moment forever. Sweat, hot and sticky ran from Mulder onto Scully, as she gently rubbed his back in soft circles of satiety.

And as the two drifted off to sleep, they both could swear they heard a lone seagull cry out.

"You can't just call this guy up Kyrie, there are rituals, incantations, blood sacrifices..." Langley insisted.

"Oh come on now, he can't be that bad. This man is flesh and bone guys." The Gunmen had spent the past three hours getting her up to speed on the inner workings of the Smoking Man, and they found Kyrie in possession of more than one of her parents' not so lovely traits.

"This man has dealt in secrets for some time Miss Sloane; you can't pick up the phone and contact him." Byers dug into his Chinese take out with fervor.

"Why do you need this anyway? I don't think Mulder or Scully would exactly be thrilled at your decision to contact their arch nemesis." Langley affirmed.

"All right Lord Man Hammer, this isn't a comic book." She smiled. "Seriously guys, I have my reasons for needing this. You have to trust me here, I would not do anything to hurt them...I love them they gave me life." She through that in for effect, and it usually worked to play the sad little girl act. "From all that I have heard of this man, he is in possession of advanced sciences, things that can make the impossible probable. And right now, the improbable is what I need. Please don't ask me to tell you what this is about, it would mean me breaking a promise to someone that has become very close to me, someone I find I cannot live without."

"Miss Sloane," Byers began.

"Kyrie, please." She smiled at the almost handsome man.

His gentle blush was noticed by all in the room. "We uh were wondering if you could um tell us exactly how..."

"What's the story Doll?" Frohike finished.

Kyrie twisted around in her chair grinning a lop sided smile." Oh, I'll tell ya, on one condition..."

(When you went away)
Would you trade the cold?
(You said you'd be)
So that I can hold you
(Coming up my front porch)
Make it all go away
(Just to see me)
But my heart is breaking
(When you went away)
Do you feel it aching?
(You said you'd be)
As my tears are running
(Coming up my front porch)
For what used to be
(Just to see me)

Taking Back Sunday

The time on Mulder's alarm clock read 11:21, she had not intended to be there this late. A heaviness lie across her middle, realizing that Mulder had lain half of his body across her in his sleep, either possessively or protectively, it still made getting out of bed difficult. Scully gently slid out from his charge, silently rummaging his already messy bedroom for her discarded clothes. She wasn't sure why she felt like she had to go, but lying next to Mulder had made her crave for so much more than what she knew she could ever have with this man.

She dressed in his small bathroom, his scent still heavy on her; she took a second to inhale deeply before heading for the front door. He had not stirred since she got out of bed, but as she dug around searching for her keys, she noticed his hand in the air.

"Looking for these?" he asked in a husky sleep ridden voice, dangling her keys in his raised hand.

"I, um yeah." Scully was not sure why she felt as if she had just gotten busted for speeding by officer Friendly, but she stared at her prone partner with a deer in headlight look.

"Stay." He pleaded, both with his mouth and with his eyes as he held the blankets open for her to come back to bed. "Promise I won't bite, well at least nothing I haven't bitten already." He grinned.

Scully kicked her shoes off and slid back into bed next to her true partner.

The meeting had been set up, though not by the gunman, in the end they went through channels larger than themselves. They called Skinner, both for help and confirmation of the girl's identity.

He was none too happy with the girl's request, even insisting upon knowing why she needed to contact him. "It is a matter of life and death Sir. I can't tell you any more than that." Skinner did not like the cloak and dagger manner of her approach, but knew that she could be trusted. What he did not like was that when the meeting was agreed upon, Kyrie was informed to come alone.

"I can't let you do this Kyrie, Mulder and Scully will kill me if anything happens to you. This man and his associated are extremely dangerous. "Skinner knew it was no better than trying to reason with Mulder himself, but he had to at least try. "Making a deal with him is like selling your soul Kyrie. There is no win in this one."

"I know all about him, and the reprehensible things he has done, but if all the things that the X-Files and Lone Gunman have said are true, then he can help." She had not told anyone what her purpose was; she had made a promise to Mulder and had intended to keep it. "I will feel worse if I don't at least try Sir. I wish I could tell you what it is about, but if you knew you would be driving me there yourself."

Skinner did drive her to the spot, a typically abandoned warehouse. She looked so vulnerable standing there in the pre dawn air like Anne of Green Gables waiting to be picked up at the train station. But this was no kindly grandfather coming to greet her. Without Kyrie's knowledge, he had planned to wait in a nearby location with the Lone Gunman around with binoculars.

Out of the shadows he stepped, not so sure footed as he had been before, the illness he himself had contracted was slowly eating away his health. The acrid stench of thousands of cartons of cigarettes trailed behind him. "Miss Sloane," he smiled at her from behind his reptile grin. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"

"Save it Smokey." She uttered with a spine of steel. "I'm only here because I need something that only you can give me. Mulder is sick and I would rather owe Satan a lung than to lose him."

If I could fall into the sky
Do you think time would pass us by?
Cause you know I'd walk
A thousand miles
If I could just see you

Vanessa Carlton

"Careful young lady," he smirked between puffs. "A lung is just what I may extract from you." He grinned with that same acid smile that made Kyrie want to rush home and sit under her shower for a month.

"You got a better chance at getting a blow job from me than getting my lung, and I don't do old and ugly" she fired back.

"Ms. Sloane, I assure you that incest is not on my list of naughty deeds."

"What the hell does that mean?" Kyrie felt her skin begin to crawl in a hundred different directions at once.

He drew an extra-long drag from the cigarette.

They found themselves in the midst of the early morning fog. He eyed the young woman from across the open expanse. "I don't know what you have been told Ms. Sloane, but I assure you these claims of my magnificence have been greatly overestimated.

Kyrie looked at the man across from her with a look of disbelief. "Your lips they say no, but your lies they say yes yes yes."

He took an elongated draw from his cigarette, exhaling with great consternation. "I can see you have managed to inherit your father's sense of bad taste. But I am afraid there is little I can do to help here Kyrie." he smiled before lighting another cigarette. "Shame, all that time without them, and now to lose Mulder, what will you do." The sympathetic words came out without any sympathy at all; they had an edge to them that spoke of malice and intent.

"What did you do you sick fuck." she railed.

"Temper temper Kyrie, I may be able to help you after all, that is for a small favor in return."

His smile had become number five on her list of least favorite things, number five with a bullet.

"So, what happened?" Kyrie asked, she was in Scully's apartment sipping coffee, and found that she was unable to sit in the same room with either of her parents without developing a shake. Things had to be done, and she knew this was going to break their hearts.

"Nothing, the procedures didn't take, we weren't able to conceive." The pain in Scully's voice was clear and radiant.

"I don't get it, you two will have another kid together, but you aren't willing to be together?"

Scully sipped her tea and smiled, "Well," she offered without giving herself away. "The whole point is moot, we aren't pregnant."

Kyrie absently rubbed her back, feeling her pain. Scully had wanted a child to raise, to actually see from birth to college. Though the young woman was fond of the idea of them having children together, she could not help but feel a tiny pang of something that her father would recognize as the stirrings of sibling rivalry. "You two can always adopt." she offered from experience

"So, what time is your graduation anyway?" Scully needed to change the subject, her inability to produce another child hurt her more than her stolid nature would allow anyone to know, and yet all those around her knew: and it sickened her to be the center of their pity.

She let it go, if there was one thing that Kyrie was familiar with in Scully, it was the brick wall, the one that was placed between Scully and any conversation she chose to not have. Kyrie silently thanked fate that she had received Mulder's way of dealing with things, tell a joke and shame the devil.

Kyrie's graduation had to go down as one of her most treasured days, not because of the accomplishments; she knew that her education was merely at its infancy. It was the fact that her entire family was there, uncles and their families as well as Skinner, the gunmen and her parents. When she accepted her diploma Summa Cum Laude, she could feel the pride from them overtake her.

They had began their affair so stealthily, and yet here they were three months later, still not able to get enough of each other, and still sneaking around like teenagers. Mulder believed that the clandestine nature of their relationship may have added to the fervor of their lovemaking, but it was their bond that benefited.

Scully and Mulder found any and every excuse to end up at each other's apartments; they had traded drawers and room in closets. Scully had begun to see a light at the end of the tunnel, that this life had a purpose and hers was Mulder, and in some sad way Mulder had began to except his death, even had talked to Kyrie on their long drives to Raleigh North Carolina on how to broach it to her.

"I have to tell her Kyrie." he insisted with his fist into the dashboard.

She turned from the steering wheel to offer him a knowing smile. "Ladies and Gentlemen the charade is over; let me introduce you to the former queen of Denial..."

"Not everything is a joke you know Kyrie." he added.

Sighing she patted his thigh. "I wish this was." she looked away before going on. "Besides Mulder, the doctors are starting to feel a little optimistic, you have responded to some of these treatments."

"She has a right to know Kyrie; I think I am going to tell her soon."

"Why didn't you tell her to begin with? She is your best friend, I mean I would have thought telling her before the in vitro would have been good. Suppose they had taken, she would have been facing motherhood not realizing that she would be a single mother."

"Man, there are days when I can literally close my eyes and hear Scully..."

"Mulder I am serious, not everything is a joke."

"Touché," he applauded. "I didn't tell her because I didn't want her to go through what i went through when she had cancer."

"You know she hates it when you decide her life for her."

"Yeah well, this sort of decided everything for all of us. Maybe it was providence that the in vitro didn't take. She deserves to have a normal life."

"Mulder the only normal life she ever wanted is with you."

"I'm dying Kyrie; I won't be able to give her anything more than a grave to visit."

Kyrie slammed on the breaks in the middle of the road, not caring that the deserted highway could have been filled with a massive pile up. "You gave her me." she almost cried.

Mulder grabbed his daughter and held her close. "I am so sorry, it never dawned on me how this is affecting you Kyrie..."

"Of course, you never think anyone cares about you. I care Mulder, Scully cares. We are a family."

"Kyrie," he tentatively spoke, feeling an odd nostalgia for a beach and a frail redhead. "I need to know you will take care of her..."

"Well Duh Mulder." She smiled. "But I think you will be around to do that yourself." These rides with Mulder had become her favorite part of the week, though they began to feel Scully getting a little jealous at the amount of time they were spending together. Even during their four week forced vacation, Mulder had made time for these trips, he had to.

"I have something I need to give you, it is sort of...special." he grinned.

"Uh oh, Mulder I don't think Scully appreciated a year of Sports Illustrated, and I know I wouldn't..."

"Hey, it's the gift that keeps on giving." he smirked in mock pain. "No, this is different." His voice had taken on a weird tone; serious on Mulder was a scary thing. He dug into his pocket and handed her the ring.

"Wow," she turned the ring over and over in her hands, "It's beautiful." It was, small and set with five delicate stones, three diamonds and two sapphires.

Mulder shifted in his seat. He still couldn't believe he let her do the driving, though she was taller than Scully. "It was your great grandmother's then Sam's..." he cleared his throat before going on. "I gave it to your mother once, a long time ago."

"Re-gifting?" she smiled

"No, she de-gifted so technically..." he smiled. "Anyway, I want you to have this, it has been owned by most of the women in my life, and it seems right for you to have it now."

"I wish...I wish the In vitro had worked, I would have liked to leave her something more than fish with a death wish."

"Never give up on a miracle Mulder." she smiled throwing his words back at him.

Making my way down town
Walking fast faces pass
And I'm homebound
Staring blankly ahead
Just making my way
Making my way
Through the crowd
And I still need you
And I still miss you

Vanessa Carlton

She had driven all night, the phone call she had received had made her blood run ice cold, she had to get there. Skinner was the one to call her, had phoned her right after he had left Bellefluer for DC. She had begun to beat herself up; things had finally begun to make sense.

The fucking asshole with the smoking fetish had one simple small request, something that she could do for the assistance she needed. All she had to do was make sure Billy Miles would call the FBI again, and make sure they went out there. It was simple enough; she had made a trip out there, under the guise of a well needed vacation.

He was so easy to convince, being recently divorced and lonely and not for the first time she thanked her parents for their attractive genes, if not the paranoid fear of intimacy ones she fought with daily.

You got played Kyrie, plain and simple.

She drove at a break neck speed, trying to make it in from Chilmark to where Dana was, Georgetown Hospital. Skinner had been elusive over the phone, had been so damn evasive about all she knew was that her mother was in the hospital this time, and she had no idea as to why, only that she had to drive out immediately.

She had no idea where Mulder was, but later she would find out that neither did anyone else.

By the time she got to the hospital, Skinner had been there and left on the auspices of work at the Bureau. Kyrie stepped into her mother's room, not sure what to expect, afraid that the cancer was yet again eating at her. "Scully?" she asked tepidly.

"Kyrie," Scully was so glad to have her there, some tangible form of Mulder, some piece of him there. "I am so glad to see you." she gushed uncharacteristically.

Now Kyrie knew something was seriously rotten in the state of Denmark, and she fought the urge to look around for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. "What is going on Scully? Why are you in the hospital and why isn't Mulder here pissing off the staff?"

This earned an honest smile from Scully, as she patted the side of the bed for her daughter to sit down closer. "Come here and sit by me Kyrie,"

Kyrie had a bad feeling, like the feeling you got when a tornado was in the air, her Spidey senses were tingling. "What's up?" she asked.

Sighing deeply, Scully sent up a silent prayer for strength to tell Kyrie her bad news, and will to tell her the good. "Kyrie, Mulder is missing."

The young woman's face went pale; it was no secret that she had developed a case of being a Daddy's girl, that she and Mulder possessed a bond that Scully had become a little envious of. "What do you mean he is missing Scully?"

Scully told her as much of what she knew, and Kyrie felt her heart began to beat so erratically she was glad she was already in a hospital. "This is bad." she added simply. "A space ship?"

Scully nodded and rubbed the young woman's arm. "We'll find him Kyrie."

But Kyrie couldn't hear anything but the accusations that went off wild in her head. He had set her up and she had killed her father. She rose and rushed out of the hospital, ignoring Scully's pleas to return, that she had to tell her something else.

I don't want to let you know
I drown in your memory
I don't want to let this go
I don't

Vanessa Carlton

She could not go home, Scully had called around looking for her daughter, but much like her father, when she didn't want to be found, she wasn't going to be found. Scully felt the weight of the last three days hit her; she had just gotten out of the hospital and was feeling the stress already, something very not good for her newly acquired condition.


She found a newness in all things, she drove differently, walked differently, everything now was different, the thing that she had wanted, had prayed for, had been given to her, and right when she would need it the most.

She needed him to know so badly, her heart ached to share this with him, just as when they were younger, and she had not been able to share the exact same thing. Scully needed to tell her best friend this one thing that would change their lives forever. She agonized to tell him, only yet again he was not there.

No, Scully chided herself; this was not Mulder's fault. He had not opted to get on that ship

She decided that blame and anger would not rule her life as it had Mulder's as it seemingly was Kyrie's now. Kyrie had taken it hard, had in fact what Scully could best describe a classic Mulder response: run, blame yourself, and kill.

Worrying about her daughter was pointless, and Scully knew that Kyrie would calm down enough to seek her out to talk, and then she could at least share her news with her. Kyrie was finally going to have the sibling she wanted for so long.

Though the whys and how's were a bit frightening. Scully knew the In vitro treatments had not worked, and that her chances of getting pregnant the natural way were none and none. So how? How had this miracle come to be?

She was in front of Apartment 42 before she even realized where she was. She let herself in and made her way around the messy apartment. It felt almost comforting to be here, near his things that held his scent and his essence. She ran her hands along things, just to touch things that he had most recently touched. The tears had begun to threaten as she crossed the living room into his bedroom. Here was the worse, there were memories here, they had made love in his bed so many times in the last three months it was no wonder she was pregnant.

She picked up a dress shirt he had carelessly left on the bed; he was not one for order. Mulder was chaos incarnate, a walking danger zone, but that was the very vortex of his charm and allure. A walking enigma of cocky self doubt that was sexier than had a right to be.

She held his shirt to her, inhaling his strong masculine scent, for a second she expected to feel him come up behind her

half expected him to place rapid fire kisses along the nape of her neck while pawing her down onto the bed. She shuddered at the ghost of the feelings that ran across her mind. His echoed touch here was too close to the real thing.

Before she realized what she was doing, she crawled onto his bed, still clutching the shirt close to her as she assumed fetal position.

As if to further torment herself she felt her mind going back to the day she had asked him for a favor, something that he had once given so freely she had to ask to give again. XxX

Mulder dove for the last piece of pizza in the box, as if Scully would really have gone for it. They had just finished watching The Day The Earth Stood Still, one of Mulder's favorites. Scully stretched out across his couch, her head in his lap.

"Scully, I get the distinct impression that you are attempting to lull me into a false sense of security before going in for the kill." he smiled down at her.

"What do you mean Mulder? A friend can't come over with Hawaiian Pizza and her best friend's favorite movie without having an ulterior motive?" she had learned much from Mulder, not the least of which is feigned innocence

"Scully..." he insists.

"Sure, fine whatever, maybe I do have more than just dinner and a movie in mind." she offers Mulder a leer that even he is impressed at. "But my intentions and motives are all completely ultraistic, I swear." she offers him a smile and reaches her hand up to run through his hair.

"So, my favorite movie and my favorite pizza are all just to get me in bed? Scully c'mon I think we both know that wasn't necessary." he smiles. "What is going on?"

She sighs and sits up, not sure how to ask this. She had gone over in her mind a dozen times how to ask, how to get this out and into the open. "When you gave me my ova..."

"You're not still mad are you?" he asked a little worried.

"What? Mad that you held my reproductive choices hostage on the off chance that I would find someone to father my children whose last name was not Mulder?" she spat, but the smile on her face belied her tone. "No Mulder, I got over it. Now are you gonna let me finish?"

"Sure," he smiled scooting closer to her.

"Mulder, I took the ova to a specialist, he says that there is a good chance that they can be made viable..."

"That's' great Scully!" He smiled

"The thing is Mulder, they uhm...they are older and have to be used soon."

"Ok," Mulder wasn't sure where all this was leading to, he knew that Scully wanted a family more than anything and that this may be her last chance to have one. "So you may be pregnant sooner than later...Oh." It had dawned on him like someone had come and dumped a bucket of cold water on him. "Oh," he reiterated.

Scully could have driven a truck into the living room, parked right next to his head and blew the horn and Mulder would not have noticed. He had a look on his face like someone "Mulder..."

"So, you want to go for round two huh?" He grinned sheepishly.

"Well, I figured that our last project together turned out so beautifully."

Mulder sighed, rose off the couch and paced. "I don't know about this Scully," he began


"Can I have a day to think on this?" he asked so earnestly she almost wanted to cry. "Please don't take this as anything more than me needing to consider this Scully. This is a major change in our lives"

She nodded and gathered her coat. "I think I better go home and give you time to think." It did hurt that he was not as initially excited about the idea as she was, but at least he had not flat out said no. "So tomorrow then?" she asks almost pitifully.

He nods. "Yeah, I'll come by your place after work. Scully, I can tell you that there is no one else I would chose to mix my DNA with." He grinned again, always a joke Mulder.

"Yeah, yeah yeah."Scully smiles and grabs her keys from his hand. "Mulder, if you don't want this, I'll understand. It is all a lot at once."

He smiled, grabbing her close he kissed her forehead. "Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow. " he smiled. "Now, go home so I can think."

And he had, Scully smiled remembering how he had shown up at her apartment, how he had agreed to this new thing between them.

And how when it hadn't worked he told her to never give up on a miracle.

She felt herself falling again, sinking into Mulder's oversized bed, he was gone and no one knew where he was. The loneliness didn't scare her, nor did the idea of facing parenthood alone. What scared her more than anything in the world was to never be able to set eyes upon his face again, to never feel his hand at the small of her back.

You know its times like these
That I think of you and I wonder
If you ever think of me
Everything's so wrong
And I don't belong
Living in your precious memory
Cause I need you
And I miss you

Vanessa Carlton

The apartment was never going to be the same, and she was sure that this would be the final straw for her long suffering roommate. Kyrie had laid a path of destruction through the apartment that would have made a hurricane take notice. She stood in the midst of the carnage, breathing hard and heavy with her fists clenched into tight balls of anger and haltered.

She wanted to tear the entire world down, and her apartment seemed like a good start. Why was she compelled to lose everything in her life that she cared about?

Sheila would forgive, she was good at that.

Kyrie could not stand to be there in that pit any longer, slamming the front door open she headed off to the one place that she would not destroy, the one place she could be close to him.

When she felt the bed move, initially she thought Mulder had come home and crawled into bed next to her. In her dream state she reached over for the other person in the bed. "Mulder." she breathed in her sleep.

"Mom," the young woman pleaded, they grabbed for each other, crying together they clung tight as if life itself were necessitated upon it.

The sun had begun to sink in the small window by the time they awoke. They had cried each other to sleep, holding on to each other for strength. "Kyrie," Scully began stroking her hair, the same color as Mulder's. "There is something I have to tell you." Kyrie's eyes flew open, turning them onto Scully she waited with baited wreath for the second punch to the gut of the day. "Please don't say cancer." she begged. "Please."

Scully shook her head, smiling at the millionth reminder of Mulder. "No, Kyrie, I am not sick, well, nothing that won't be cured in about seven months."

Kyrie could not wrap her brain around the concept, could not understand. "What do you mean?" she asked finally.

"God, you are as dense as Mulder." She smiled ruffling her hair. "Kyrie, I'm pregnant."

"Whoa." Kyrie said. "Whoa." she was floored. "Wait, you don't think this is why he is missing do you?"

Scully smiled, Kyrie always the pessimist. "No Kyrie, he doesn't know yet. We didn't think it was possible, and like I told you the In vitro failed.

Kyrie blinked, once, twice, three times "...so you two were..."

Scully nodded at the look of absolute wonderment on her daughter's face. "Yeah, apparently modern science has nothing on us." she smiled.

They snuggled into each other and let the world seep into its blackness. Kyrie could not help but smile at this bit of good news on one of the bleakest days of her life. "God this place is a mess, even in the dark." she smiled.

"Yeah, Mulder is allergic to order." Scully was sure this was a true statement.

"So what are you hoping for?"

Scully hesitated for a second before answering. "Besides a healthy baby and Mulder returned home?"

"Yeah," Kyrie nodded, "Aside from all that."

"Well, I guess I am starting to want the normal life Kyrie, I guess PTA and recitals. But I think all of that is too much to ask." she smiled. "People like me and Mulder don't settle down to a happily ever after Kyrie. Too many mutants and aliens out there looking for us."

"Don't say that Scully, I think you guys can have that." She grew silent for a time before she went on. "You know I am here right? I mean even though Graduate School is a lot, you know I am here for you?"

"Yeah Kyrie, and believe you me, you are gonna want to hide by the time all is said and done." Scully smiled. "I need you Kyrie, you know that."

Kyrie nodded, and allowed a small giggle to escape her throat. "Hey, do you wanna know something funny?" she asked Scully finding it hard to keep her giggles from erupting into all out mayhem.

"Oh, with a laugh like that, I gotta know," Scully insisted.

"You and I are closer than age than this baby and I are going to be..."

"That's not funny Kyrie, that is down right Amish!" Scully laughed. "Do me a favor, don't run out and get pregnant anytime soon, I don't think I could stand it."

The two women allowed the laughter to fill the empty spaces in Mulder's apartment, and for the moments it hung in the air, Mulder wasn't missing, Kyrie did not have the urge to blow up the entire world, and Scully didn't feel like the hole in her soul was engulfing her entire existence.

"When I was seven," Scully began with an oddly quivery voice. "Our dog treed this little black kitten, Dad had happened to be home at the time, and tried to get rid of it before I came home from the library. He knew that if I came home and saw that little pitiful thing I would insist on keeping it, and much like Mulder, Ahab had a hard time telling his daughter no."

Kyrie smiled at that, she knew that was hard for Scully to admit, but Scully was always all about the truth.

"Well, anyway I came home, took one look at the kitten and named it Pete." she smiled at the memory of her tough little kitten. "Pete had a habit of getting out and into trouble. He couldn't stay out of a fight. And after every fight he would come home, drag himself onto my bed and wait for me to nurse him back to health. Sometimes he would disappear for weeks; I would go nuts with worry. "

"Sounds vaguely familiar." Kyrie smirked.

"Yeah," Scully nodded. "And he would look like hell every time he came home, chewed up, bloody and limping. And every time he took off I would tell him that would be the last time."

"But it never was huh?" Kyrie quirked.

"Nope, he always came back. Always the worse for wear, but he always came back. Most of the time he would bring me some dead thing he would catch as if to say sorry for ditching you again. Mulder is just like that cat Kyrie. He is going to come back, no matter how chewed up he will be, he is going to come back." She smoothed the girl's hair as she spoke. "Sides, you know he is a mess without us."

She did not like the man, aside from the fact that he held smugness about himself that Scully had prayed she was not guilty of when she had first walked into the office in the basement. She even found his accent grating to her nerves.

And yet there was an honesty behind those blue eyes that was unmistakable.

In some ways she felt sorry for Agent Doggett, he was still clinging to the idea that the world was a safe place, that there were no monsters hiding under the bed.

In short, he was still a babe in the woods.

Ok, maybe dousing him with water was a little over the top; more something the boys at the Bureau would have expected from Spooky, but she could no longer accept the clandestine way they were handling her and 5the search for Mulder. She had been left in the dark on this one and did not appreciate it one bit.

Kyrie had begged her to go easy on the poor guy, he was new down there and had a lot to let sink in. "Play nice with the new kid." Kyrie had implored, but Scully was having a hard time following that command, she was still upset with Doggett after the trip to the desert. Scully found herself wanting to tear through the FBI agent by agent, they had lied to her and evaded her questions.

Her pregnancy was only known to two people, the only two people she could trust. She had no one to go home to, except an empty apartment and a world full of ghosts and memories. She had forged a relationship with Kyrie that was stronger than the toughest steel. Kyrie had become her conscience, and her confessor. She had found in Kyrie enough of Mulder to keep her sane, and enough missing to keep her searching.

Friday night movie fest still went on. Every Friday she and Kyrie would meet at Mulder's apartment, with bad B-movies and worse take out. The second week he had been gone, Scully walked into a newly cleaned locality.

"Kyrie, what did you do?" Scully asked a little put off by her daughter's rearrangement of Mulder's things.

"Wait til you see the bedroom, and did you know his bathroom looked like that?" she asked with nose wrinkled. "My God Scully, there were COLONIES of things in that tub."

She strolled through the one bedroom apartment and Scully had to admit, the place was cleaner than the time Mulder had to have professionals come in after his place had been ripped apart. "You did all this?" Scully asked.

"Yeah," the girl nodded proudly as she removed the kerchief from her mahogany head. "You know me, if I start to get fidgety I tend to do things..." She grinned.

"It looks good in here." Scully smiled. "But five minutes with Mulder and it will look like a tornado hit it again."

"Don't remind me." she smiled. "Hey the stooges called earlier, wanted to know how you were."

"I think Langley has a little crush on you Kyrie." Scully smiled at how he was always finding excuses to call her.

"Well, Lord Man Hammer is a little too weird, even for a Mulder." she smiled.

Not for the first time did Scully note her daughter's ability to brush aside any and all contact with a relationship deeper than the delivery guy. She wondered what the story here was with her intimacy elusive daughter. What was her pain? Or had she simply inherited this gene from Scully, this tactful professional distance from everyone. It was spooky.

"Kyrie, there was something that came up during our investigation of Mulder's disappearance." Scully had already guess that she had known about this all along, that this had explained all the time the two of them had been spending together since their impromptu trek to England.

"Yeah?" Kyrie asked getting the VCR set up for the third viewing of Caddyshack.

"Why didn't you tell me he was dying Kyrie." tears were threatening her eyes, had her ducts at gunpoint. She had time to deal with this new piece of information about Mulder, and had taken the last two weeks to absorb it. What hurt was the out and out betrayal from Kyrie.

Kyrie's hazel eyes flashed a shade of green that Scully had never seen before, the wildness that lurked behind them constantly seemed to jump forward ready to fight. "He asked me not to tell you," she answered as calmly as possible, and it was taking everything within her to not blow.

Scully nodded and looked away for a second. "But I had a right to know Kyrie, especially..."

"But you didn't even tell me about all of that until after you two had done it. Hell I didn't even know you two were 'seeing' each other until two weeks ago. It's not like you didn't keep your own secrets Scully."

Scully's sigh neither spoke of acceptance nor annoyance, merely exhaustion. "Kyrie, we have to trust each other right now."

A chair is still a chair
Even when there's no one sitting there
But a chair is not a house
And a house is not a home
When there's no one there to hold you tight
And no one there you can kiss goodnight

Luther Vandross

The days were horrible, the nights were intolerable, sometimes Scully would muse if she would have driven into a pile on had she not been pregnant. She missed him, she needed him and nothing filled that void. Nothing.

Kyrie was there, and she thanked God everyday for her, her insistence and relentless humor kept the pregnant woman afloat. She could have hit an evening, a cadence in her life filled only with her children and the void that had become the Mulder part of her, the void was only sufferable because at the very bottom of that void, nested serenely in between endless sadness and despair, there was a little nugget that she rolled around on at night to get herself to go to sleep.


That is, until they found his body.

Kyrie took it surprisingly well; Scully had waited for reports to start filtering in from all over the DC area, explosions, incendiary devices, general mayhem. But instead the young woman did something she never thought she would do.

Kyrie refused to attend the funeral, in fact Kyrie disappeared altogether. With everything Scully was going through, she knew the last thing she needed was to lose one more person that she cared about. Kyrie had been gone for almost a week, and Dana Scully was beside herself with worry.

Great, she huffed into her bed, now I find out ditching me is genetic too.

Kyrie sat at the end of the bar, right under the photo that she had traveled an ocean to see. She had raided every piggy bank and savings account to run off to the one place in the world that would remind her of Mulder. She took another long slow pull off of the Guinness in front of her, relishing the thick fullness of it. She stared at the photo again, Fox Mulder, wild college student and adept rugby player. She stared at the face contorted into a mask of intense concentration, legs and arms poised to lay the final deadly strike.

He was forever poised in that position, for all eternity, long after the alien attack that Mulder would prognosticate upon, this picture would remain in existence. A snapshot of a moment forever etched on Kodak paper. Kyrie reached up and removed the picture from its place on the wall.

"Ere now," a voice ranted from behind the bar.

"Excuse me?" Kyrie bleated, not sure how to explain her hands caught in the proverbial cookie jar.

The elderly man made a 'God it's a Yank' face before moving in closer to the young woman. "I b'leive you were in the midst of stealing one of me memories." He waved a gnarled finger at the photo in the girl's hand.

"Oh, I uh..." Kyrie stammered.

"What do you want with an old picture like that? You one of those clamptomaniacs?" he asked curiously.

Kyrie had to think for a second." What? You mean kleptomaniac? No this is a picture of my father, he died three days ago." she eyed the picture wistfully.

"Izzat so?" the man asked staring into the girl's face for an elongated minute. "Yeah, yeah I can see it." he smiled.

"You knew Mul-Fox?" she asked hopefully.

"Knew him enough to know you had the name right the first Time," the man snickered. "Name's Grey, I own this place." He smiled at the girl. "How old are you anyway?"

"Just made twenty one, do you need to see my ID?" Kyrie began to dig through her pockets, stopping only when the man waved away any fears.

"This is England Miss Mulder, if you are old enough to reach the bar..."

"...you're old enough to drink..." they finished together.

"You say Fox Mulder is dead? Huh that is a real shame, nice kid, hell of a Rugby player. This kid, he was what me mum used to call a deep well."

Kyrie was beyond intrigued. "How so?"

Grey sighed in slight sadness before continuing on. "He was always so sad, used to spend a lot of time alone. Oh he had friends Miss Mulder..."

Normally she would have insisted on him calling her Kyrie, but she could not help feeling a certain satisfaction at being called Miss Mulder. She let it go.

"....but he never really had friends, you get that right? Anyway, he would come in here every weekend, with friends, or meeting friends, but on one day a year for the three years he was here he would come in alone. He would sit off in the corner booth, and those were the nights that Guinness could not sedate him." the old man shook his head as if ridding it of the memory. A memory riddled with a line of empty bottles of gin lined up around the back table, hiding the face of the tortured young man.

Kyrie listened in rapt awe, could not believe she was sitting there hearing a story about her Mulder from a man who looked as if he fought in the Peloponnesian war. "That date, it wouldn't have happened to be April 29 would it?" she asked in disbelief

The old man smiled and nodded as he refilled her empty stein. "Dead huh? Tsk what a shame." he studied the girl a moment longer. "I tell you what Miss Mulder, you take that picture, tuck into your knapsack there and drag it back across an ocean. You must miss him something awful to make a trip halfway around the world just to come and snag a picture from the wall of me pub. If that piece of colored paper there is going to make your pain go away just a little bit, then let me be the one to ease it."

Kyrie smiled at the man and clutched the picture a little tighter, ready to jam it into her bag and dash off for a cab to get it out and safely to the states, before he changed his mind.

"But, before you go I want you to think about something Miss Mulder. Where does that picture belong? How did you know to come here to get it?"

"Mul--my dad brought me here not too long ago, we came for a weekend and we both got wasted. We spent an entire night here and slept it off on the plane ride to DC" she smiled.

The older man smiled. "Then I ask you again Miss Mulder, where does that photo belong?" He turned and headed for the opposite end of the bar to attend to a customer.

Kyrie looked down into the picture again, sighing she placed the picture back onto its place as she took another long chug of her beer. That picture belonged here; this was sort of his home. Mulder had lived here, and mourned for her here, and on a night not too long ago he had shared a part of his life with her--here. The picture was as part of this place as she was a part of him.

A room is still a room
Even when there's nothing there but gloom
But a room is not a house
And a house is not a home
When the two of us are far apart
And one of us has a broken heart

Luther Vandross

"Scully, I am going to keep the apartment, I can't let it go."

She had finally called her mother, once the plane landed again onto American soil, Kyrie knew there were things she would have to face: the worst of which was not her graduate level classes that she had ditched for over week, nor her roommate that she had screwed on rent in lieu of a plane ticket. Nor was she concerned over her newly acquired job as a Social worker. None of things bothered her, she could deal with all of this times ten if she had to.

But Kyrie knew she would have to look Dana Scully in the face and explain to her mother why she ducked out on her Father's funeral when her mother needed her there so badly.

Scully nodded at Kyrie from the driver's seat. She had assumed as much, and doubted if Kyrie would live there, merely needed to be close to his things. "I'll help you with it as long as I can." she offered. And just like that, all was forgiven, they had forged this secret thing between them, had a joint venture in life.

"Kyrie," Scully began. "Before we get any further in all of this I have to tell you, Mulder had not changed his will in a while. He left everything to me, but I would like to go to a lawyer and make your portion legal..."

Kyrie flashed Scully a look of horror, "I don't want it Scully." she insisted. "I just want the apartment. Howe much can there be anyway? You need it for him." she pointed towards Scully's middle.

"Kyrie, I know you may not be aware, but there is a substantial amount left, you have to come with me to the lawyers so we can sort through it all."

"I don't want it Scully," she said with a finality that made Scully drop it all together. There were ways of doing things without the party knowing about it. Someday she would be thankful for her chunk of the blood money.

They drove on in silence, Scully parked the car at her apartment and shooed Kyrie up the stairs. Kyrie looked like death warmed over and Scully was going to make damn sure she got some sleep and a real meal that did not involve alcohol. Scully smiled at how much time she spent caring for Mulders.

Kyrie sat on the couch flipping channels as Scully busied around the kitchen making something for Kyrie to eat, maybe take away that gaunt look and haunted stare that Kyrie now permanently sported.

"So, what are you going to do now Scully?" Kyrie asked as they each poked at dinner.

"I dunno," Scully shrugged not looking up from her plate. "I spent the last three months looking for him, and now it just seems so damn pointless you know?"

Kyrie nodded, yeah she knew. "I suppose with all that cash floating around you can help me pay to keep the Mulder Museum in its current location?" Kyrie grinned.

"Yeah," Scully was reminded of Max Fenig, now Kyrie had a museum herself to curate. "You gonna live there?" Scully asked needlessly.

Kyrie shook her head emphatically. "No, but I...I'm not ready to let go yet..."

"Me either." Scully admitted. "You know, Mulder would tell us that this was an irrational way of thinking, keeping this apartment was merely a means to try to cling on to something that was gone."

"Yeah, then he would quote like Jung or Freud or someone like that, and tell us that the idea of death is a finality in and of itself." Kyrie's face suddenly darkened noticeably. "Scully?" she mewled weakly.

"Yeah," Scully choked, she knew what was coming next.

"Where do you...do you think he. I mean we both know his views on religion, and I am sure I inherited my faith from you. Scully where is he?"

Scully could not answer her, and in truth was afraid to. "I don't know Kyrie, but maybe it is up to us to have faith in whatever God has decided."

Kyrie snorted. "So you are saying that God would cast him into the eternal flames just because he didn't want to play ball?" Kyrie asked as she stabbed at her carrots.

Scully smiled at her daughter again. "I think that is not exactly it, Mulder has had a hard life, I think God knows that, and I have lit a few candles for his soul over the years..."

"A few?" Kyrie smirked.

"Ok maybe a few hundred, that man had a lot to repent for."

Now and then, I call your name
And suddenly your face appears
But it's just a crazy game
When it ends it ends in tears

Luther Vandross

Opening the door to Mulder's apartment, every single time she felt as if she were breaking some hermetic seal: that she was here treading on sacred ground. It had been two and a half months since he was placed into the ground, and Kyrie was no closer to getting through this. She knew she had done this, knew that this was her fault. She had tried to wheel and deal with the big boys, and had gotten her father killed in the process.

Scully wasn't even mad when she told her about it, she was sure she would round up all the guilty parties, line them up and take great pleasure in picking them off one by one.

Nope. Apparently Scully was in too much pain to try and waste anyone. Her mother insisted she was not at fault, and told her to suppress the Mulder gene for self-hatred. Mulder would not have needed any arm twisting to go to Bellefleur, and Billy Miles would have called anyway. "He just wants you to hate yourself Kyrie." Scully adamantly told her. "He was an evil embittered old man and he is dead now so it's all moot."

Now she walked around Mulder's apartment, trying to decide where to start. she had decided to begin to catalogue things, that maybe at some point she would like to go through every single thing in his apartment, so that when her little brother had questions she could answer most of them. She ran her hands along his books, periodically pulling one down and thumbing through it. He had an eclectic taste in reading material, books on Ghost hunting by Richard Crowe, sat right next to an ancient copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, sandwiched between a Tom Clancy novel.

The Tom Clancy novel surprised her; Kyrie always thought Mulder didn't have to read books like that, he practically lived them everyday. She placed the books back into the exact order they were in, Kyrie then went over to feed the fish. "Damn it." she fumed to know one as she removed the floating molly. Apparently she was no better at this than Mulder was. Kyrie made a mental note to turn over the feeding duties to Scully; surely a medical doctor knew how to keep things alive.

She lay onto the leather couch, discovering its comfort for the millionth time. Kyrie was asleep before she even realized it. The nightmares came then the same ones that Scully had admitted to her having. They shared a joke about how Mulder would claim an X-File on it. It was Mulder in the dream, tortured hurt, but this time, this time he was in a casket screaming, trying to claw his way out.

The screams she awoke to nearly drowned out the ringing of her phone. "Kyrie," Scully huffed into the phone between great gasping breaths, "they dug him up."

Scully stood in front of the decomposing body, not believing what she was witness to, but thankful for it none the less. Kyrie broke into the room at top speed, nearly knocking over the nurse on her way in. "Oh My God!" she chirped. "This is incredible."

Scully merely nodded, not even turning to look at her daughter, her gaze fixedly on the prone man in the hospital bed. "It was Skinner's idea to do it after they found Billy Miles still alive..." she offered the girl by way of explanation.

"Is he alive?" she asked

"Sort of, he is decomposing, but he is alive." Scully waved at the monitors as if to prove her point. Kyrie walked over to them and looked, then grabbed for his hand and smiled. "He looks so peaceful right now."

Again Scully nodded. "Listen Kyrie, I need to explain to you that he may not get better from here," she rubbed her ever expanding middle as she spoke, as if explaining it to both their children at the same time.

"I don't care." Kyrie fell silent for a time, then out of the blue, she began to laugh, quiet giggles soon turned into all out room shattering tear jerking laughter that she could no more control than she could the weather.

"Kyrie?" Scully asked wondering if her daughter was finally having the mental breakdown she feared was always lurking behind the girl's tough exterior.

"It's funny, ya know?" she asked between guffaws, wiping away crazy tears, tears that had flowed from either happiness, or sadness. Or both.

"What is Kyrie?" Scully was smiling a little herself from the infectious laughter.

"Guess I was right all along, God didn't want him after all, he sent him back."

He sat in bed; the small redhead was at his side.


She was crying, she was sad, were her tears his fault too? Did he cause this new sadness for her? He sighed and stroked her head to try to ease her tears. "Mulder?" she wailed.

"Who are you?" he asked even in his weakened state he held the smile back for effect.

"Ohhhh Mulder..." she smiled again, damn did he get to her or what?

"Did anyone miss me?" he asked hoarsely, and as she came in closer there was something different, something new. He could not place it until she put her arms around him, and held him close to her.

Scully had either swallowed a beach ball, or she had some 'splainin' to do.

Kyrie hit the door as soon as it opened, "Mulder!" she yelled louder than should have been in a hospital. He looked awful, worse than awful. And yet and still Kyrie felt her heart swell and do weird flips in her chest. He was alive and grinning impishly at her.

"What, you didn't think I would cash in before i get a chance to walk you down an aisle?" He grinned as she held onto him, he still smelled the same, even after being entombed for three months he still smelled the same.

"In your dreams G-Man, haven't you ever heard that marriage is female servitude?" She laughed as Mulder rolled his eyes at her words. "How do you feel Mulder?"

"Like Han Solo after the Cryo-chamber." He grinned.

She smoothed down his wild hair as he spoke. "Where is Scully?" he asked.

Kyrie sighed. "She is out getting your death certificate; she thought you would like to see it."

Mulder leaned into her caresses and went on. "Uhm, Kyrie, have you noticed anything different about her?"

They had talked about this, had discussed it late last night before Kyrie had awaken fully. Scully had asked her to not answer any of his questions regarding her present state, and Kyrie could not help but wonder if that was not the real reason for her mother's absence.

Special Agent Dana Katherine 'I'm a medical doctor and I'll kick your ass' Scully terrified, this was something new.

"Nope not really, I mean she has gained a little weight..."

"Kyrie!" Mulder fumed.

"Ok, maybe she has gained a lot of weight, but I'm not going to be the one to tell her that..."

"Kyrie," she could hear in his tone that he was no longer in the mood to be dodged, well that was fine with her, she was no longer in the mood to dodge. "Then why ask me if you knew already Mulder?" she whined

"Kyrie, I need to know, who is he?" He gave her such a serious look that Kyrie almost fell off the bed laughing.

"You're serious?" she finally asked.

"Is she happy, is that why she keeps ducking out of here and why you have gone all Secret Squirrel on me?" his eyes plead for answers, and Kyrie was ready to tell him everything.

The nurse with his noon meds rescued her from the wrath of Scully.

I'm not meant to live alone
Turn this house into a home
When I climb the stairs
And turn the key
Oh please be there
Saying that you're still in love with me

Luther Vandross

She watched him walk around the living room. He was taken aback at how clean it was, how absolute meticulously pristine it was. "It's different." He smirked

"It's clean Mulder." Scully could not help but smile.

It would be hard, no wrong right now for him to tell her how he felt, how entirely lost and forlorn his entire existence seemed. He wondered if she was aware of the fear he held at just looking at her, at just knowing that there was a talk to be had, one that would break his heart. He wanted to grab her and interrogate her, find out who was the guy that she had taken in while he was fighting for his life, who was the man that snuck past the Scully early warning defense system and slipped under her intimacy radar? She was glowing, she looked so happy, so radiant so...pregnant. "Look at you," he gestured towards her middle.

"Mulder..." she would try, she had promised Kyrie that she would try to tell him, before this got any further out of hand.

"I don't mean to sound cruel or cold Scully..." he did but that was beside the point. For the first time in a long time Fox Mulder felt his anger entirely justified, no half theories here, she had found someone to fill his shoes while he was gone. Scully had made a sort of promise to him, and now she stood in front of him with the evidence of that betrayal flagrantly in front of her.

What could she say? It was not the right time to try to explain herself to him, he was so angry, and he had a right to be. Scully assumed his anger was over his recent trauma, of which there were many. She sighed and felt an urge to rub the headache out of her temples. This was going to be a long day.

"Did you tell him yet Scully?" leave it to Kyrie to get right to the meat of the matter.

Scully ducked her head as if being reprimanded by a parent. "I uh, that is to say we."

"So no, you did not tell him yet." she huffed, "Geez I don't know how much longer I can deal with the two of you." there was almost no humor left in that statement.

"So how is your new job anyway?" Scully knew when a subject change was in order.

"It's good, you know Kyrie Sloane, Social Worker extraordinaire" She grinned with a flourish of her hand. "It's a living Scully."

"What made you want to be a social Worker? Did it have to do with the three years in the group home?"

"Man, you have been around Mulder way too long!" Kyrie smiled with an eye roll. "I always wanted to help people, and yes between finding out I was adopted and winding up in the system myself, I guess it did stir my soul."

Scully sipped her herbal tea and nodded, so different from them in so many ways, and yet, so similar it was odd.

"Have you thought of any names yet?"

"Yes I have though of names and no I am not going to tell you the sex." she smiled. "You're as bad as my mother."

"Hey, at least I know where the kid came from; poor Maggie is in the dark even about that." Kyrie rubbed her mother's tummy for good look. "Man why is it every time I am around you I feel the need to do that?"

"You're attached Kyrie, that's a good thing."

"It would be even better if the four of us could share in it." she tossed Scully a stern look.

"Things are a little hairy right now, Mulder isn't being allowed back on the X-Files, and there are issues..."

"Yeah," Kyrie huffed. "It's always something with you two."

"How can you say that?" Scully ranted not believing what had just come out of Mulder's mouth. "Are you saying that you believe you have nothing to do with the conception of this child?" she was beyond mad, in fact pissed wasn't even in the same area code with how she felt. No, Mulder was about to see a side of Dana Katherine Scully that he would regret, if he lived long enough to regret.

Mulder ran his hands through his hair, to find out in the middle of a conversation with the Gunman of all people! She could have, should have told him herself. "Scully all I am saying is that this is all so improbable, I mean we went through the IBF, and Jesus I held your ova in my hand!"

"Oh and Mr. Extreme Possibilities, cannot wrap his brain around this particular concept? What are you so afraid of Mulder?"

"I'm afraid of you getting hurt in all this, I am afraid of another Emily..." his headache was now tap-dancing across his retinas, and Mulder just knew they would encore the can--can in his temples.

Scully blew hard, rubbing a protective hand across her middle. "Ya know what Mulder, you don't have to worry about it, consider yourself off the hook..."


"No Mulder I'm serious, we are fine without you."

Mulder knew hormones ran crazy in pregnant, and granted he had probably picked the wrong time to have this particular conversation with her. But he was more concerned with all of the evidence that was piling up about the possibly sinister nature of her pregnancy. In some ways he liked it better when he thought she had found someone else. He would be hurt, but she at least would have been just fine. This way there was enough hurt to go around for all of them. "Scully, I should not have brought this up, of course I will be there for you all through this."

"Oh how very noble of you, gee thanks, are you going to offer a nominal monthly maintenance too? Or is that too romantic a gesture?" Sarcasm dripped off of every syllable as she paced the living room of Mulder's apartment. "You know Mulder, seems to me that you have gone right back to square one. You have fought with everyone since your return, and we have all given you a lot of space, but from now on none more so than I." She grabbed her purse and slammed out into the hallway, leaving Mulder to sulk.

Pretty little darling have a heart
Don't let one mistake keep us apart
I'm not meant to live alone
Turn this house into a home
When I climb the stairs and turn the key
Oh please be there
Saying that you're still in love with me

Luther Vandross

He paced out front of her apartment, this had to end, they had spent the last three weeks merely tolerating each other, it was like pre-Kyrie all over again. He held the present in his hands, hoping that the gift he gave her showed its meaning, that this one present he returned to her, to them, would be the thing to show her how he felt.

He wanted his family, more than he wanted anything he had ever wanted in his entire life.

"I thought you were the pizza man." she smiled.

"You got something going on with the pizza man I should know about?" It was meant to be a joke, but he just never knew when to stop, it was part of his charm-right?

The look should have given him a clue...Danger Will Robinson, Danger...and yet he just kept right on. "What I mean to say is that the pizza man..." he pointed to her middle, "Is not above suspicion."

She flashed him the look that he could not mistake, the one that warned him of how close he was treading.

He never thought he would almost kill her with his cynicism.

"Mulder, what did you do?" Kyrie spat snappishly, hurling accusations at him.

"Watch it Kyrie," he warned as paced the emergency room floor. Reyes had grabbed his attention and he now periodically glanced at his watch after her talk with him.

"You're leaving aren't you?" she asked her father incredulously. "You're leaving my pregnant mother in the hospital to go chase after ghosts?"

"Oh Geez not you too..."Mulder shoved his hands into his pockets and began to look for an escape route.

"So you don't believe you are the father? Well who dunnit then Inspector Clusseau? Cause I think we both know Scully is way too wound to let just anyone go at her." She did not mean to be so blunt, but blunt worked with Mulder. "And if this is what you would have done the first time, then I can understand why she didn't' tell you about me.." Kyrie stormed off into Scully's room, the nurse let her in as the closest relative, though it gave the staff something to talk about, imagine a woman with a full grown daughter finding herself unmarried and pregnant..

Mulder was sure that Kyrie had been raised either Catholic or Jewish or both...she had the guilt thing down pat.

Fox William Mulder carried around enough guilt for twelve people and needed no help in the self-hatred department thank you very much.

He realized that his jesting his poking at her had stressed her enough to send her to the hospital with a placental abruption.

Great going Mulder, you have beat the old man's record; you managed to abuse the kid before it was even born. He shook his head trying to empty it of the thought, wasn't that the root of all his fears, being the kind of parent his were? Wavering somewhere between abuse and neglect? Geez what was Scully thinking? What was he thinking? He should have put an end to all this months ago.

She awoke to someone gently rubbing her tummy, a soft relaxing feeling. At first she gave into it, smiling sleepily at the hazy figure hovering above her. She had wanted it so bad to be Mulder, that6 tiny bit of acceptance on his part meant so much to her in her fright.


He smiled down at her and continued administering gentle circular strokes. "I don't know where he came from Scully," he admitted finally after an endless silence. "But don't ever doubt my love for him."

That was about as good as it was going to get for now.

Kyrie watched him from the door, wondering how much it took for him to actually go in there like that. She knew he had been on a case, and that she should not have snapped on him like that, but it seemed in this family, only opinion were heard. Not the yelling or brawling kind, no, the 'Mulders" would only entertain concepts that could be argued and swatted back and forth.

They shoulda all been lawyers, big expensive lawyers.

She smiled as she watched Mulder caress the tummy, wishing she could see his face from her vantage point, but knowing somehow that he was smiling.


"Oh Mulder..." she gushed, yeah Special Agent Dana Scully...gushed. She couldn't help it, the last thing she expected to find inside that box was something from their past, something that meant so much.

"I was going through my mother's things...not what you expected?" he asked not sure if she would even accept it, afraid she would throw it back in the box and shove it back in his face. Raggedy Anne needed to be here, she should have been here all along.

"Thank you." Scully wanted to make sure he knew what she was thanking him for. Kyrie was right six months ago, they never talked much, but in truth, they never really needed to.

He hugged her and smiled, happy that she got it, happy that they were them again.

Just damn happy.

"My New York Knicks shirt is missing," he offered the two women standing in front of him sporting equally innocent glares.

"That's unfortunate Mulder; guess it nor your molly didn't share your luck..." Kyrie offered with a surprisingly honest face.

"Uh huh, listen I have dissected my newly organized apartment..."

"Hey," Scully pouted, "Don't look at me I couldn't be anywhere near a toxic waste dump for the past eight months." she smiled

"Uh huh." he nodded again. "Twenty four hours..."

"Or what?" Kyrie piped defiantly.

Mulder offered one of his patented boyish grins, the one that made Scully melt every time he flashed it her way. "Or I start gathering up the usual suspects..." He grinned.

The baby's birth loomed eminently, the three were on pins and needles anxiously awaiting any sign of the critter's emergence.

"Aren't you coming to the shower Kyrie?" Maggie asked noting the girl's cringe at the statement.

"No, I uh, I have things..." Kyrie knew her scouting for an escape path was obvious. but all those women in one room oohing and ahhing over baby things would be just too much for her, especially considering no one there would know who she really was.

"You have as much right to be there, if not more,,,"

"Its not that Maggie, it's just that, I have never gone in for that sort of thing. Not to play Eeyore or anything, but I never flew in with the ducky and bunny set." Kyrie turned her inherited smile to her grandmother, hoping that would end things.

Maggie, having been associated with Fox Mulder for more years than she cared to count shared her daughter's immunity for that particular grin. "Well, Kyrie, it is never too late to start, and I am sure your mother would appreciate your presence there, I know I would."

"And how is she supposed to explain to a room full of old college cronies and Bureau buddies who I am? I don't want to put here in that position Maggie; I will give her my gift when the dust settles after the hens have all cleared out."

Maggie finally did give up then. This one was too much like her father; she prayed that the new little one would at least bypass some genes.

Oh yeah like she didn't know. Did Dana and Fox think she fell off the turnip truck after its last delivery? Maggie Scully knew one thing about being a mother, learn to pick your battles, and though this one was the one she was dying to pull the gloves on about, she would not upset a very pregnant Dana, and a very traumatized Fox.

"You know don't you?" Kyrie's question direct and forward brought her out of her reverie.

"How could I not? I have known Fox since he was the scruffy little urchin that Dana brought through my kitchen." Maggie smiled. "Of course it's Fox's."

Kyrie nodded her head, either in agreement or as a means to move on, she had known from the beginning, but had also kept the secret. "His abduction really fucked with her head."

Maggie sighed before going on, wondering for the millionth time in the last three years if this young woman would have been different, softer if she had been left to be raised with her family. "They have been close for years Kyrie, you have to understand they have a bond that few people in the world will ever know."

Tilting her head to one side, Kyrie went on. "Does that give them the right to place themselves and each other in constant danger?"

"No," Maggie answered, ceasing her preparations for the shower. "But it is not for me to pass judgment on how they live their lives. Even as children they tended to make their own rules and in the end always made the right choices."

"How can you say that?" Kyrie fumed, jumping to her feet as if ready to swing. "How can you say they made the right decisions? They destroyed my life! I have not had a decent family since...well since ever. Scully could not even tell you she was pregnant, and how in God's name did you NOT know?" She did not realize she had been screaming until she stopped, the silence seemed foreign in the thick air.

"I am not going to get into an argument here with you Kyrie. Things were different then, we placed a high level of expectation on your mother, more than the other kids. Maybe the Captain and I were wrong for that, but that was how it was. Your mother loved--loves your father in a way that I could not even understand. What transpired between them back in 1980 was something that could have happened to anyone with their backs up against a wall. They have learned a lot since then, and I for one am happy for them."

Again, she learned to pick her battles, and right now she had picked one. "I really wish you would come Kyrie, like it or not this is your family."

"Ya know Maggie; lately it is getting harder and harder to ride the fence on that one."

Dr. Parenti wasn't who he claimed to be, ok fine Kyrie could deal with that, she was aware that her parents led a life that only a handful of people could understand.

An oil rig was being used as a means of storage for some alien oil, and Mulder had to go run off and get himself fired from his cushy government job. Ok, Kyrie was well versed in the Mulder curse; she herself had been fired a few times for rash decisions.

A giant man lizard was looming in tunnels underneath a house in Florida, spitting foul fluids and slowly matriculates its intended victims. Yeah, sure that could happen.....oh and someone please get Stephen King on line one? He wants his nightmares back.

All these things Kyrie could live and deal with, as long as Scully was safe, as long as they kept her slicing and dicing in a nice safe little fridge that could not be penetrated.

But then Mulder went and dragged her off into this new line of fantasy role playing and Kyrie had had enough.

"I don't know what the hell you are talking about Mulder. but I don't see why Agent Reyes has to take her away to give birth. You two can't possibly believe that there is some kind of alien love child? This is a baby here, my little brother or sister not some stupid paranoid fantasy."

Mulder glared into the hazel eyes of his oldest child, not sure if he was facing the Scully skepticism, or his own stubborn question authority streak. Either one was bad enough; both coupled could be a very bad thing. "I am doing what I have to do to keep Scully safe; you of all people should understand that. And as far as you going, I am sorry but I am not willing to risk ALL of my remaining family at once. I think it best you stay here with the Gunman til things are settled"

Kyrie mocked an examination of her body. "I'm sorry, am I not twenty two years old?? Did I miss something here? You missed your chance to treat me like a child, deal with it."

"And I'm sorry I don't have time to sit here and argue with you, I have to go, Scully is fine and she will return. One way or another we will get through this..."

"How are we getting through this if you are not the father...allegedly? I mean isn't it more that Scully will get through this since you have decided that you would rather take the easier less committal route and forgo culpability for your actions?"

"Kyrie, come off your tower and live amongst the mere mortals. I have been dealing with this shit longer than you have been alive. I told you once before that our jobs weren't like others. Jesus they stole nineteen years of you from us..."

"At some point you two are going to have to take personal responsibility for all that has and will happen in your lives." she smirked

"Whoa, and there's the Mulder self-righteous streak, knew that would surface eventually."

"Don't patronize me Mulder, just bring my mother and my brother home in one piece or I'll--"

"I get it Kyrie."

It was hard to stay mad when the little bugger was just so darn cute. Kyrie had waited in Scully's apartment for two days, wearing a hole into the hard wood floors. She tried to remember not to be upset that she had been summarily shut out of this. Her parents were odd people, when she had first met them she was so sure that they had stayed together. She had always fantasized that she had this huge family out there, with all the things she never had; brothers sisters aunts uncles. It was the cold reality that really hurt. The fact that this dream too had been snuffed out, that there was no safe home out there with a family whose biggest concerns were what to make for dinner. A family that loved, laughed, with a mother that stayed home and cooked, and a father who tossed the football around in the backyard during halftime.

She mostly hated herself for not knowing better.

When the call finally came, the rush to the hospital was nothing compared to the rush of finally holding him-William. As Kyrie sat in the hard rocking chair and cuddled the small infant, she tuned out the blow by blow playback of her parents' harrowing near escape from death. Super soldiers? What, did Jean Claude Van Damme deliver the baby? Yeah right.

The small baby felt oddly right in her arms. She had finally a someone else who shared the exact same parentage as she, someone she could conspire with. "What's his name?" she asked interrupted a heated debate between Scully, Mulder and a red faced AD Skinner.

For his part, Mulder tried to look to look less menacing and more annoyed at the presence of his former boss interrogating he and Scully just hours after she had given birth under extreme circumstances. "What?" Mulder asked his oldest child, not bothering to mask his annoyance.

"We don't have one yet Kyrie." Scully smiled tiredly.

The small bundle began to jostle in her arms, his small face screwed up into a tight grimace of ire. "I think he's getting hungry guys." Kyrie interrupted them, trying not to show her irritation.

Scully smiled at Kyrie as she handed her the red-faced baby. Mulder, having nothing better to do, took the opportunity to leave the room. Kyrie, hot on his heels, nearly ran into him as he rounded the corner.

"You seem to do your best work in hospitals," Mulder grumbled, bracing for the fight he could feel dangling between them.

"The same could be said for you," Kyrie tossed. "Just what in the hell went on, why did Scully give birth to my little brother in the middle of nowhere with dozens of so called Super soldiers around?"


"No Mulder, make me understand, make me see what you see, cause right now I am this close to having the world's biggest headache."

"You read most of the files down in that office Kyrie, you know as well as anyone what They are capable of!"

There comes a point when one must bow to the absurd, when in the times of utter insanity all around, one has to question who is truly sane.

He left, again. She couldn't believe it as she watched his car pull out from in front of her apartment, she glanced through the window again to make sure she had actually seen him leave. Scully tried hard to not feel like that fifteen year old girl again, He had a good reason for leaving, but then he always had a good reason, didn't he?

She was hesitant to call anyone and let them know he was gone. It was hard enough to explain and rationalize it to herself: to have to explain it right now would devastate her, and she could already feel the stirrings of post-partum galloping up behind her.

And yet, she knew there was one person who deserved to know before everyone else. The one person who had as much right as she and Will to know that Mulder had left, so with a heavy heart, and her strong resolve, she called Kyrie, and braced for impact.

Kyrie tried not to snap, she really did, and her barging into Scully's apartment raging may have been a little over the top, really. But it was something that she had looked forward to, watching Will grow up with both of her parents, it would be like living vicariously through him. Will had in a way, been her second chance at childhood, with that gone, so was her childhood...again.

"Where is he, Scully?" the words flew out harsher than she meant, and harder than she realized. Kyrie had at least the presence of mind to not scream thereby frightening Will.

"He had to go Kyrie, it was too dangerous here."

"Bullshit!!!!" she fumed. "That's bullshit and you know it!"

Scully inhaled, remembering the younger woman had a penchant for anger. "You don't understand..."

"You are damned right I don't understand Scully, you are so damned correct! I could sit here and ask you over and over and I am sure I will get the same bullshit answers from you."

"Kyrie, you will not talk to me like that-"

"Oh, NOW you want to play mother?? After all this time NOW you want to tell me how to talk to you?? Where is he, MOTHER!"

Scully slammed down into the couch and sighed. "I don't know Kyrie, that is the whole point of his leaving, so that no one would know where he is."

Kyrie paced the room as if in a cage. "I don't understand this Scully." Shaking her head she went on. "Why can't you two just be normal? I mean after what happened to me, I would have thought that normal was what you would want. That is what you want, right Scully?"

"Kyrie, they want to hurt him, to hurt us..."

"And being separated prevents this?" the younger woman's voice had taken on a sarcastic tone. She never doubted Scully's ability to protect Will, she was the strong one. But two heads are better than one.

Scully, arms out in front of her in a seemingly pleading gesture. "Please try to understand, just trust that this is the right decision..."

'Ok," Kyrie nodded, realizing that Scully would need her as much as ever. "Ok, Scully, I am here for you, and I always will be."

When will was kidnapped, Kyrie had to remember to bite her tongue, she wanted so much to look Scully's smug expression head on and tell her "I told you so."

When he was found, safe and unharmed, Kyrie had quickly forgotten what she wanted to say to her. Forgiveness was easy.

They had fallen into a routine the months following Mulder's absence, much as they had during his death. Dinner with Maggie on Sundays where she Mother henned the three of them to death, movie nights and coffee Saturday afternoons; it was a life as a family, though they never once forgot who was missing.

There were times when they would see an empty seat at the table in Scully's apartment, or a late night B movie, at those times a look would be shared between them, a look of sadness and deprivation.

"How are you taking all this Scully?" Kyrie once asked as they sat trying across from each other on the floor, trying to egg William into crawling. "How do you take knowing that he is missing so much of this?"

"I don't Kyrie. Half the time I walk around in a fog, and the other a spend looking around for him. There are days when I walk through that door and I am convinced that he'll be here, sprawled out on my couch flipping channels. "

Kyrie felt bad for her, in a way things had not been the same since their fight the day Mulder left. They were close, but there was something that had shifted in their relationship. They were close, but the level of trust they once had was gone. "I'm sorry." She fumbled.

"I go to work, I take hundreds of pictures of Will, but its not the same, it will never be the same Kyrie, I know that. We both missed out on you, but I have a second chance with Will, and Mulder doesn't have that."

"Do you think he'll be back?"

Scully nodded fervently. "Oh yes," she said and smiled finally, "Just try to keep him away."

"Let me take him, Scully." Kyrie stood in the living room, having passed Agent Reyes on the way in. She had rushed over after calling and speaking briefly to the female agent.

"No," was all Scully would say from her post in front of the crib.

"I can raise him Scully, please don't...don't send him away from me."

"You can't protect him Kyrie, I couldn't and I'm a trained FBI Agent, you're just a sociology major, what can you do?" She was glad the younger woman could not see her face as she spoke. Kyrie would be able to see right through her.

"You haven't been through what I have been through, I have lost so much to this...and most recently the Gunmen."

Oh yes, The Gunmen.

"Scully, don't do this, please!" Kyrie begged as she wiped tears from her eyes. "Please let me take him,. I'll disappear, I'll cut my hair, change my name. Please don't take him away from me."

Scully could not meet her daughter's eyes, she knew that this was going to tear a lot of people apart, and Mulder was gone. He had a right to have a say, but he would understand, how often had he agonized about not keeping her safe? How many times had he opined after wishing he had sent her away from the beginning. So much loss, Kyrie wouldn't understand, Kyrie barely believed. "no," she said simply


"No." Scully gripped the top of the crib tighter, "No, he has to be safe."

"I will never forgive you for this Scully, I will never be able to look at you after this. You are getting rid of him just like you did me." Silence met her utterances. "What, is motherhood that hard?"

"God.Damn.It, Kyrie, you know more than anyone here how much he means to me!" she screamed. "Don't you dare turn this around on me!"

Kyrie was ready to spill blood, ready to grab Scully by the throat and commit matricide, Oh Orestes, how I sympathize, she mused to herself. "He's going with me..."

"No. You are not taking him Kyrie."

"So, what you hate kids that much, maybe you should learn to keep 'em closed..."

Scully stretched her neck as she spoke, "Someday you will understand, maybe when you have your own children. Someday my reasons will be crystal clear to you and you will know why he is not safe with me. You've been better off, I'm glad you were taken as a baby Kyrie, at least you were safe."

She had not realized that she had leapt across the room, before Kyrie could stop herself, she had wrestled her mother to the ground. This was not a hair pulling session, it was a brawl that had been brewing since the moment she discovered she was adopted.

Scully, momentarily caught off guard by her daughter's speed, agility, and outright anger, found herself on the floor, grappling with her only daughter. The woman was strong, she had to give her that, Kyrie had a better hold on her than she realized, and by the time the first punch was thrown into her nose, she was ready to fight back, daughter or no.

Fists met flesh and bone, blood smeared over face, hands and clothing. Kyrie could take as good as she gave, but then so could Scully.

Items around the small room crashed as the two women fought, neither feeling or caring about the blows each took or gave. Neither one noticed the man who had entered the room after his knocks went unanswered.

Skinner was appalled at the site, the two were bloody, battered and panting heavily as he pulled them away from each other. Kyrie lunged once more at the redhead, only to be grabbed by his strong arms, "Kyrie, you need to leave." He bellowed as he fought off the feeling of de ja vu.

"I'm not leaving here without my brother." She spoke through rapidly swelling lips and possibly loose teeth.

"I have just been witness to you yet again assaulting a federal agent, you either leave or I remove you." His glare meant business, and he prayed she knew when to admit defeat. He retained his death grip on the younger woman, clenching tighter and expecting at any moment she would turn her anger onto him.

"No," she spat defiantly once more lunging after her mother.

Skinner dragged her out through the living room, and into the kitchen, slamming her into a seat at the table. "What the hell is going on here?" he demanded.

"You don't know?"

"Kyrie, whatever Scully decides is her decision..."

"And what about me? What about Mulder? He doesn't even know she's going to do this!"

Shaking his head, and silently agreeing with her, he continued. "Whatever happens is between them, you need to let this go, Scully is making the right decision for her son."

"HE'S MY BROTHER!" She could feel the anger rising in her again, and without being conscious of it, she began to size up if she could take the old man.

"Don't even think about it Kyrie." As if reading her mind. "Get out of here, take a walk, come back when you're calm."

For about ten seconds, he was sure she would go for it, he was sure she would lunge for him, fists clenched wildly with a less than rational gleam in her eyes.

She didn't.

Instead, she grabbed for her purse and flew out of the front door.

It was the last time any one of them saw her again.

Them that's got shall have
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible says
And still its news
Momma may have
Papa may have
But God bless the child
That's got his own
That's got his own

Billie Holiday

She had handed him over, her son, Mulder's son. She had finally lost it all. No one was there that understood, and her mother had all but disowned her.

"I'm just trying to understand Dana," she had said in a shaky voice. "You could not have talked to me before you did this?"

Scully paced the remains of her apartment as she spoke with Maggie. "Mom, this was my decision, and I had to do what was right."

"And how is this right, Dana? To have your son raised by strangers? What about Kyrie, what about Fox?"

Dana had once given her a look when she was a kid, it was during a time she now knew that Dana was pregnant and for whatever reason had not acknowledged it to herself or to anyone else. It was the very same look that greeted her in the late afternoon fall sunlight as it peeked through the half raised blinds in her daughter's living room.

"I have no way to contact Mulder, and Kyrie..."

"What?" Maggie prodded.

"Kyrie and I are not speaking," she finished.

"Did you to have a fight about this?"

Scully chortled despite herself. "Mom, look at my face you tell me."

"Oh my God, Dana, she did that to you?" Maggie rushed in closer to her daughter to examine the damage, but Scully waved her off before the smothering instinct kicked in.

"Mom, I'm fine. We both said, and did a lot of things we are not proud of..."

Maggie shook her head fiercely, not sure what to say to her. "But a fist fight?" Maggie's disbelief of this was almost as great as her daughter giving away her only child.

Scully's eyes wore a look of a frightened animal being pushed further against a wall, "Mom, please. I haven't been able to find her since."

She had seen much in her life, a world war, loss of a child, and a husband. She had witnessed her daughter grieve for a child she never gave birth to, and lose one that she did. This however, was more than what the elder woman could stand. "Dana, you know that I love you, and I stand behind you whatever you do, but this is more than I can condone."

"Mom?" she whimpered the query.

"I don't understand, you don't even realize how much you use that word." Shaking her head she went on. "I don't see how you could at any time have thought this was a good idea."


Maggie raised her hand to stop the agent's words. "No Dana, not this time, you are not going to justify your actions by using your job as an excuse, I'm not going to let you. I have watched you and Fox run around like teenagers for far too long, and as far as I am concerned he is just as guilty as you are in all of this."

"I don't know what you want me to say here then Mom." Scully suddenly resembled a small child who had just been busted with red hands.

"It's not too late Dana, call them, go get your son..."

"No Mom, I can't do that."

"Can't or won't?" Maggie spat, eyes boring into her daughter.

Scully began to shift around uncomfortably, she had known that this would be hard for her mother to accept, she had expected Kyrie to go Rambo, even though the initial strike had caught her off guard, she had known it was coming. But, in a way that daughters have over generations, she had expected Maggie to understand, maybe not to forgive right off, but at least to understand. She had prayed that Maggie

Maggie, however, was all out of forgiveness, and her compassion was running dangerously low. "Dana, why, why did you feel that you could not talk to me before you did this? And why do you feel that you can't raise him?"

Rather than answer, Scully merely stared down into the empty crib, unable to respond to her.

Scully plodded her days as she once had as the cancer ate at her, just waiting for the last day she would be able to mark on a calendar. At some point she realized she was alone, hot physically, she still crawled into work, bade good morning to the same people every day. She still stopped for groceries on the way home every Thursday night, and had Chinese alone on Friday.

Her mother and her had lunch and shopping every Saturday, and it was in these moments that her loneliness was most pronounced. Maggie no longer laughed in her presence, there were no light heartedness to their conversations, and the names William, Kyrie or Mulder never came up. But it was in this pseudo regulatory meetings with her mother that she wallowed in her fate.

She could have easily stopped going, told her mother a fib about being too busy that her mother while not believe, would have easily accepted as truths, and left her to wallow. But Scully saw these Saturday outings as a bag of mixed repentances, payments to God and her mother for the mess that her life had become.

Friends now eyed her with a glare of pity, disbelief and hostility. No one knew what to say to the hard woman she had become. And for her part, Scully gave off the air of indifference; on the outside she maintained her same stolid demeanor; crying was left to her bed where only her pillow knew the truth.

It had been a long drive, she had never before in her life driven across country alone, and had never found herself in such a place as this.

She walked more sure of herself, having parked the car outside of the small farmhouse. She had made it there in record time, having missed her contact earlier; she had to improvise at the last minute and go to plan B.

Kyrie had not the time to plan for this, she had little money and resources available to her save the last gift the Gunman ever gave anyone, that and the money she had managed to sock away from her adoptive parents' estate.

Her father would have been proud of her, if he wasn't such a bastard she huffed.

She looked around the place, it was the kind of set-up any kid would be happy to grow up in, it was the kind of place she had pictured they had really sent her dog Taffy to--a farm and not the back room of the vet's. She could not stop herself from absently looking around searching for the brown cocker spaniel.

Shaking off the memory, she squared her shoulders and walked across the sprawling yard. The place screamed macaroni and cheese and meatloaf, baseball hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. This was not the kind of place her parents would even consider being shot in, let alone...

"Can I help you?" The plumpish dark haired woman asked, wiping her hands on an apron, yeah an apron the younger woman muttered to herself.

The young woman flashed her best grin and presented her newly acquired ID badge. "Hi, Mrs. Van De Kamp, my name is Molly Hale; I'm from the Agency..."

"Is there a problem?" the woman stuttered, taking a step back towards the house as if to run in for cover. Oh no, none of that today, the younger woman mused, today I get what I want.

The young woman smiled, "Not if you don't make it one," she tried to say it in the lightest way possible. "There has been a slight mix up Mrs. Van De Kamp, and I'm here to fix it before my ass ends up in a sling."

Mrs. Van De Kamp stopped slipping backwards for a second, either in shock or out and out ire the younger woman was not sure, but she did notice what the younger woman was holding in one arm. "What is all of this about?" she asked cautiously.

"See, I just got into this office here up in Butte, I am the new director up there. Well I can tell you Mrs. Van De Kamp, the office is not just a cluster fuck...it's a real goat fuck. 'Scuse my language." The young woman flashed that hundred watt grin again. With a little puppy dog thrown in for good measure, "and I have no qualms in telling you that you could have a grade a class action suit on your hands Ma'am." She shifted her package into her other arm, not ready to rest it onto the porch.

"Really?" the older woman asked sarcastically.

"Yes Ma'am, anyway William Scully was not supposed to be delivered to you Ma'am, he was to go to another family, and actually the problem would have been fixed with paperwork filed except he was to go to relatives." She smiled. "Imagine their surprise at receiving a newborn that was supposed to be nine months old." She grinned.

Mrs. Van De Kamp eyed the woman suspiciously, noting her young face and closely cropped chestnut hair. "I think I better call this in Ms. Hale." She turned to go inside the house but Kyrie grabbed her arm and shook her head. "Now see, I came all this way Mrs. Van De Kamp, and I brought you the newborn you were supposed to get yesterday, he has only been here a day, and I know this is highly unusual. The other option is for me to leave here with this newborn and they come back for William anyway..." she threatened.

It had been shockingly easy to procure the infant. Will had been held in a sort of adoption limbo while they cleared all the details and paperwork. Kyrie cursed herself for missing an earlier flight that would have avoided Plan B, but once she realized Will had already been delivered to the Van De Kamps, it was merely a side trip to the County offices and a flash of her fake credentials - that and a little creative paperwork . As far as they knew, they were delivering a baby into the hands of a highly qualified Social Worker for the fine state of Montana.

Mrs. Van De Kamp had the look of a caged mother lion in her eyes, she wavered in the doorway, not sure what to do next. A cry from inside made her duck into the house, and made Kyrie want to go rushing in after her. She held her own and sighed at the woman upon her return, clutching the child she had come to get, come to take home.

"Is this him?" she asked holding her hands out to take him.

"Yes, but I think we should wait until my husband gets back..." Mrs. Van De Kamp stammered.

"Time's tickin' here Mrs. Van De Kamp," she answered curtly. "Door number one, door number two, or door number three..." She smiled at her own indifference, assured of how this little act was going to pan out. "I can leave with one now, or both later, it's your call."

"Maybe I should call your home office and make sure this is all on the up and up..." the older woman fished.

Quick enough to cause the older woman to flinch, the social worker whipped out a card at her. "Here, feel free, but let me warn you Ma'am, they get wind of what I am doing here and they will swoop down like the Philistines." The woman jostled the baby she still held in the carrier. "Take the card, make your call, do what you gotta do, it doesn't matter to me either way," she lied.

"But it is not my wish to see two kids thrown into the system for an indefinite amount of tine while the bureaucrats sort this one out." She reached down and lifted the tiny newborn from her carrier. "Little Hannah here was born three days ago in a hospital in Pine City, her mother left her there and signed off on her. Everyone has their reasons for what they do Mrs. Van De Kamp, my reasons are to see that no child is left ass out. I was adopted myself; left to fend on my own for two years until I found a home."

"How do I know that all of this is legal?"

"I have all the papers in my brief case if you will just let me inside so we can take care of all of this..."

"All right little snot boy." Kyrie smiled kissing the top of his auburn head. "If you have the Mulder memory like I think you do I am sure you know who I am by now, so let's cut the familiarities and get to the meat of this." she had driven all day before she even dreamed of stopping, not wanting to take the chance of getting busted with her brother in the car. Life on the run was also a family trait.

"So, we got a bum rap in the parent department, oh well, we got each other now and even though Scully--that was the redhead who had you," she smiled at the drooling baby. "Even though Scully may have felt she was overwhelmed with you, that aint gonna happen with me."

She spoke as she fished together a bottle for Will. "When Scully ran off to God knows where to have you, I thought, ok she has issues, no biggie. You have to understand Will, our parents have...a weird way of looking at the world." She smiled as Will sucked down the eight ounce bottle with all the gusto of Mulder at the All U Can Eat China Buffet. "I have seen a lot in the four years I was with them Will, some good, and some bad. Most bad," Kyrie added shaking her head free of the memory.

"I couldn't leave you Will, I couldn't put you into the same life I had growing up, I couldn't just let them disappear you too..." Kyrie felt the tears coming, welling up inside of her eyes and she was grateful that she had pulled over into the rural diner parking lot. "I couldn't leave you to fend for yourself in a world that has no one to remind you of where you came from." She tapped her long slender fingers against the steering wheel as she thought again on her plight.

Will gurgled softly to himself as he sucked down the last of the Sanilac and held out the bottle for more. "Sorry kid." Kyrie smirked. "We are on a tight budget for a while, at least until that infamous Mulder trust fund catches up to us."

She tucked the blanket in around the yawning infant and restarted the car. "I don't know how much to tell you here Will and I know that you are going to have a lot of questions growing up. This is not the life that I had wanted for you, for us, the Castaways...guess all's we need now is our very own island."

"Mom and Dad...well Mulder and Scully respectfully, led really interesting lives. See Mulder- -that's Dad--he took off not too long after you were born, which surprisingly was keeping with a pattern, because he took off soon after knocking up Scully-- that's Mom, twice." Kyrie sighed again, heavy with the knowledge of dragging around so much defective DNA "I will never understand nor forgive their actions Will, but for the time being, it's just me and you kiddo."

Kyrie knew things between her brother and her were destined to be strange at best, but she was all he had, She had questioned her decision as to how to go about getting Will, she had known the minute she crossed this line, Kyrie Sloane would be dead forever.

It was in the rest area outside of Vancouver, BC where she had given herself a butch cut, traded her contacts for tortoise shell glasses, and given her wardrobe an update from the new century. Steeping back from the rancid looking mirror in the Ladies' bathroom, she admired her new look. "Damn," she smirked, "I look like one of the groupies for K.D. Lang. Never mind Will, at least it will keep the fellas away huh?" Will gurgled back up at her in a semi toothless grin, clapping his hands together as if in acceptance of her new attire. "You're the only fella I need from now on kiddo."

The green Taurus was pointed in the direction of Alaska of all places, somewhere as far away from DC as she could get, without having to leave the country. Kyrie had known this would happen; the minute she had called over to her mother's and discovered that Mulder had bailed. She had wondered to herself how long before Scully snapped this time, and mental math had proven her theory correct for Will was nine months when she attempted to get rid of him.

The miles passed quietly, Will was a good kid, quiet and easily amused. He murmured along to the music and she found his back seat singing comforting,

The two of them had new identities now, thanks to a favor from the Gunman, one of their last acts along with making sure the money that she did not want ended up with Jenna Mason and her son Jack. There would be no happy family reunion here, the plan that had been put in place was a fall back in case anything had happened to Scully, before she decided to get rid of her second kid. The stipulations that Kyrie and Scully had agreed on were for Scully to not know the names their new identities would be. Scully had argued that if she did not know, and Kyrie and Will would have to disappear, then there would be no way of accidental betrayal. Scully herself had insisted that this was for the best.

And yet, when it all came down, Scully would not trust her with Will, it was this silent unspoken fact that hurt the worst. Her parents through around the idea of trust like a sacred chalice, only given to the most high. Scully's decision spoke volumes to how she did not trust her daughter. She went back on her agreement like a used car salesman. So Kyrie was left with the only option available to her, she took matters into her own hands.


Wow, I am so done!!! I can't believe I made it!! This has been a real labor of love for me, and I knew that I had to finish it! The funny thing is that at some point I realized the character of Kyrie, which resembles me in no way, did echo my own feelings of what happened to the show in the last two seasons. I can remember watching William and thinking, no this is ALL wrong, it was the most OOC thing that CC ever did, so I went back and wrote it my way-Take THAT CC!!! Thank you to all the kind words and lovely emails of encouragement, and constructive criticisms I hope I was gracious enough to remember to answer all of you. And thanks to Mimc and Fatcat for helping with the posting to Ephemeral, finally figured it out ladies!! Thank You Erin Kmids, and pdb for all the kind words and encouragements, and to NeoX who encouraged me without even knowing it!!...and to Lisa for helping me too!! You are all amazing writers and I feel blessed to be counted amongst you. Oh and everyone at Haven....

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