Title: Storm Tossed
Author: Vickie Moseley
Written: May 1996
No Spoilers
Rating: PG-13 for language.
Standard Disclaimer: It's a damn fine show, Mr. Carter. I would be ungrateful if I infringed on your copyright, so I promise not to. I would ask your indulgence in another matter, though. Could you please name that woman? It makes it look like you have no respect for motherhood by keeping her 'Mrs. Mulder'. Good grief, Shelia Larkin's character has a first name! Might I suggest 'Ann'? The Tempest is by W. Shakespeare and is very appropriate to this story. If you know the play, you'll know what I mean.

Summary: I accept.

Author's note: This is not a happy story. I wrote it before I saw the season finale, but I think Mrs. (Insert favorite female name here) Mulder has a story to tell. So this is her story. Nobody dies, but then maybe it would have been happier if someone had, huh? One hankie, if you're a real softie.

"Mrs. Mulder? Would you like a cup of coffee?" I look up and see the young man standing at my kitchen doorway, coffee pot in his hand. I shake my head. Coffee is the last thing I want.

"When can I go see my son?" I ask. He shrugs, noncommital. He isn't in charge, just an underling. The Agent In Charge is talking to Bill in the bedroom. They shooed me out long ago. I'm not considered stable.

To hell with them all! I'm as stable as any mother would be. I'm perfectly stable considering I have one child missing and the other in a coma. I'm so frigging stable I could run for President! And I'm pissed. Pissed at them all. But most of all I am pissed at Bill and he knows it. Hence, I'm not stable.

I glance around my living room. Or what was once my living room. Not exactly delicate, the FBI. There is some sort of dust on everything and smudges where ever I look. Tape marks a spot on the floor where we found Fox when we came home last night. Everytime I chance to see it, it freezes my heart. I was sure he was dead. I remember screaming his name and holding him and not wanting to let go until the ambulance arrived and Bill pulled him from my arms. Then, when I wouldn't stop crying, Dave Martin was there with his little black bag. I thought Dave had given up making house calls long ago, but then, it was a special case. Can't have a screaming maniac on the same block as a plastic surgeon. Wouldn't be proper. My arm still hurts where he jabbed the needle. No wonder he went into plastic surgery. Damn obvious that psychiatry was not an option.

The Agent In Charge, his name is Janson, finally comes into the room. Bill is with him, but I'll be damned if I talk to the bastard. I'm waiting for my time with Bill. There will be hell to pay and he knows it. He ducks his head and looks at the floor, stooping to pick up a marker from the Stratego game that is now broken from being under some agent's foot. I walk up to Janson. I am calm, I am steel.

"Agent Janson. I want to see my son. May I please leave?" My voice is so steady. For once, being Miranda in the Senior Class production of 'The Tempest' seems to have come in handy. Inside, I'm shaking so hard I feel like I'm going to pass out.

Janson looks at me, silent. He's thinking. I can see the hamster wheel turning in his head. He's trying to decide if there is anything else I could tell him. Finally, he figures he won't get anything else out of my, since my beloved husband has already convinced him that I am one step short of psychotic. "Okay, Mrs. Mulder. I guess that would be all right."

"Darling, I don't think that's a good idea." Well, the bastard speaks! What a surprise. It's the most he's bothered to say to me since we walked in last night. He comes over, all concern. Damn, I forgot. He played Prospero in that same production. "Sweetheart, you need to rest. Dave is at the hospital and he promised to call if there is any change. Fox is sleeping." Yes, of course. Sleeping so soundly his mother's screams can't wake him. Sleeping so soundly that the word 'vegetable' has been used to describe what he'll be like when or if he wakes up. That damn hypo took too long to work. I heard every word the ambulance driver was saying on the radio to the hospital.

"I don't want to rest, William. I want to see my son." I use an even tone. I am not hysterical. I am simply a mother who has a sick child who needs her. And besides, it's not a real good idea to have me, Bill Mulder and all those nice FBI service revolvers in the same room right now. Then, at least, it would give these poor agents something to do. . .

He's always been able to read my moods. That might explain the look of fear that flashes in his eyes. "All right, sweetheart. I'll go get my car keys."

I put my hand on his arm to stop him. "No, darling, that's all right. I'm sure Agent Janson has more questions for you. If one of these nice young men could give me a lift." Damn, I can be charming when I want to! Even Janson looks impressed. Bill still looks nervous.

"Well, sure, Mrs. Mulder. It's the least we can do. Harris, get over here." A lanky young man with sandy hair lopes over. Absently, he swipes at the lock of hair that falls over his forehead. He looks so much like Fox when he does that. My Fox. My baby.

I'm really not all that interested in watching the inner workings of the FBI. It's pretty mundane and worthless. I know what happened. Bill sold my child to the devil. It's simple, actually. Samantha. Funny, I always thought she was his favorite. It makes so little sense that he would trade her for his life. I mean, Fox, he would trade for a subway token, but Samantha, she was his prize.

Maybe that's why I'm not all that concerned about Sam right now. I know Bill is being eaten alive inside. It wasn't supposed to be this way, they were supposed to take Fox. This is a new wrinkle. And Fox's illness, how does all that fit in, Bill? Was this a part of the deal?

I have no doubt that Sam will be returned. I mean, what's a threat if it's carried out? It ceases to hold weight. Then, it becomes an action, and as such, will create a reaction. And god forbid it if Bill were to react. That is exactly what they were hoping to avoid. So I know it will be over soon. Now that they've shown their power, they will drop her off, safe and sound. Just a little scare, Bill. Just to keep you in line. But what in god's name has this done to our son?

Agent Harris is a nice young man. I mean that, I'm not being flippant. He's well mannered and polite. He tries for small talk in the car. He tells me that this is his seventh missing persons case and in all the others, the person was returned unharmed. He tries very hard to reassure me. So I smile at him and nod. He knows absolutely nothing.

For a split second, I consider telling him everything. He's young, bright. It's obvious that he's good at his job. This one is high profile, State Department official has his 8 year old daughter abducted from his home. Pull out the 'big' guns for this one, boys. As we were walking into the hospital, I notice we made the Boston papers, front page, banner headline. Very impressive.

So, if I tell him what I know, and my suspicions, what will he do? Will he act on them? Will he take them to dear Agent In Charge Janson and make a formal report? Or will he brush it off as being the rantings of a woman under extreme stress? What would be the use? I would probably get this very nice young man killed. I don't want that on my head. I keep quiet.

I really want them to take Fox to one of the Boston hospitals. I want him away from his father, away from the FBI. I know that if he wakes and he still has the capacity to speak, they'll question him. While I was 'resting', I overheard Janson telling Harris that they could not discount the possibility that Fox was a suspect. I almost got out of the bed and hit him. To suspect Fox is as ridiculous as it would be to suspect me in these charades.

The room they have him in is small. It's a private room. They have him hooked up to some machine that supposedly measures brain activity. That, and an IV in his arm, giving him fluids, are the only signs that he's not just sleeping. He looks so young. He's just a little boy. He would 'kill' me if he heard me say that. But this is how I will always see him. My little boy.

"Hello, munchkin," I whisper. He hates for me to call him that. It's what I called him when he was tiny. There he was, barely three and reading and writing and asking so many questions. I once told him I thought he was a munchkin, dropped from OZ. The mayor of Munchkin City, perhaps. Or the Coroner. He liked the idea then, but 12 year old boys don't like to be reminded that they once sat on your lap and fell asleep sucking their thumbs. Damn it all, I have to stop crying.

"Hello, Mrs. Mulder." I look up and see Dr. Howe standing in the doorway. He's our pediatrician. In two more years, he won't see Fox anymore, Fox will be too old. But right now, I'm glad he's still taking care of my baby boy.

"Dr. Howe, what is wrong with him?" I hope I don't sound like I'm begging, but I know I do. Dr. Howe shakes his head.

"I wish I knew, Mrs. Mulder. I really wish I knew." He picks up the chart at the end of the bed. "He's in a coma. I've been on the phone this morning to a friend of mine in Boston, who just got back from Nam. He says it's not an uncommon sign of intense emotional trauma. Fox is hiding, inside his mind. He doesn't want to come out right now. Not until it's safe, at least."

"When will it be safe?" I ask. I meant it in the rhetorical sense, but Dr. Howe doesn't realize that.

"Probably in a couple of days. Unfortunately, he probably won't remember much of what happened. It was too frightening for him to handle. He may never remember, his mind might never let it surface.

I look at him critically. "You talk as if he'll be all right."

He smiles at me, giving me a kind look that tells me that he understands my concern. "I really feel he will be fine. He's in shock. After what happened, that's understandable. We can thank God that who ever took Samantha didn't harm him." He realizes what he's said and looks embarrassed. "Mrs. Mulder, I didn't mean. . ."

"It's all right, Dr. Howe. I was thinking the same thing earlier. The FBI is looking for Samantha. I'm sure they will do everything in their power to find her. I just glad that Fox was unharmed." I'm getting so good at lying, it's coming almost as naturally as the truth these days. "Can he hear me?" I want him to be able to hear me. I need to reassure him.

"I really don't think so, Mrs. Mulder. There is not enough brain activity. But that's not to say he doesn't know that you are here and that you love him. I'm sure he knows that. I'll leave you alone with him." He gives my son one last look and leaves the room.

"Fox. I don't care what the doctor says, I know you can hear me. Baby, please, it's going to be all right. We're going to get Sammi back, sweetheart, don't worry. We, I just want you to get well. Please get well, sweetheart. Can you do that for mother? Can you get well for me?" Ouch. My heart hurts watching him. He's not moving a muscle, not even his eyelids.

"He will recover, you know," a voice says from the doorway.

"What the hell are you doing here?" I growl. I get up from my seat and charge, head first. The bastard takes a few of my punches and then grabs my arms and holds me tight. He moves me backwards and closes the door with his foot. "Now, now, let's calm down, all right. We certainly don't want to make a scene now, do we?"

"Yes, I do," I hiss at him. "A scene so big that you fry in hell, you bastard! Where is my daughter? When is she coming home?"

"I really have no control over that, and you know that." And I do. But I don't want to believe it. I want him to be responsible. I want someone to blame and he's the only other person standing in the room.

"When?" I say again. I'd kill him if I could. But then, what could a dead body tell me?

"I don't know. In some ways, that's up to your husband. I can't help you. But I can help him." He nods toward the hospital bed where Fox is sleeping.

"What are you talking about?" I hate this man so much it makes my head hurt.

"Look, you're friends of mine. . ."

"Not anymore! Never again," I interrupt.

"*Were* friends of mine. I couldn't stop what happened last night. I tried, really I did." He looks at me like he almost expects me to believe this load of shit he's trying to sell me. I hope he sees in my eyes that I'm not buying. "Anyway, last night is in the past. . ."

"I want my daugher back," I growl.

"At the price of your son's life?" He actually looks curious.

"What are you talking about?"

"They need a hostage. Samantha is that hostage. I can assure you that she's safe."

"I don't believe you."

"I can't help that, it's the truth. But if you make too much of this, if you try to do anything that might endanger National Security," he pauses for effect, the bastard, "you're son will suffer. He might possibly give his life for your foolishness."

"You're threatening Fox?"

"No, I'm offering him my protection. Let this go. It will be handled by others. You've lost one child, my dear, you don't really want to lose both. You can't have anymore, or so your medical records show. Keep this one. It's the best I can offer." He starts to open the door to leave.

I look over at Fox. He's still asleep, oblivious to this discussion of his very life. How can I let them harm him? He's all I have.

"Wait." I can't believe I've spoken. He stops in the doorway, expectant. I can't breath for a moment and he holds his peace, giving me time.

"I accept."

the end


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