Title: I Turn to You
Summary: What if their moms had been best friends? What if they had had grown-up together? What would be different?
Author's Note: This is my first fic... be nice
Spring Break is one of the best weeks for any high school student. Maggie had been looking forward to it probably more than any other student in her graduating class. Her best friend, Teena, who she'd known her entire life, was getting her out of Chilmark. They had a very simple plan. First they were going to meet her boyfriend, William Scully, as he comes into port and then they were all heading to New York, where they would Teena's husband, William Mulder. Both Williams and Teena had graduated the year before Maggie. William S. (Will) had joined the navy as soon as he had graduated; William M. (Bill) and Teena got married just a month after and in January Teena became pregnant. Bill had also joined the army and was stationed in North Carolina.
Maggie was overly anxious to see Will, and not just because since he joined the navy they barely got to see each other. In Cuba the Bay of Pigs was finally over, and Will was finally able to come home. So now Teena was driving to the port while Maggie stared out the window trying not to think.
"Mags, you already know Will's alright. I don't see what you're fretting about."
"You know I get like this whenever he's out at sea. I can never relax until I see him get off the ship but Teen, this was ten times worse. There was a possibility he wasn't coming home."
"I know Mags, but soon he'll be off that ship and reminding you why you bother worrying about him." Teena broke out into laughter when she saw Maggie's blush.
"Thank you so much, Teen!" Maggie tried to look stern but she had to admit that after her friend's good-natured teasing she did feel better.
The rest of the trip was spent in silence but this time it was more comfortable. When they finally got there Maggie was glad, and not for the first time, that they always play music at these things. You could ignore the nagging voice in the back of your head.
Just as the first chorus of 'Somewhere Beyond the Sea' finished Maggie saw Will for the first time in months. When he saw her, a brilliant smile crossed his face and she felt a similar one splitting her own cheeks.
"Maggie," was the only word he got out before she threw her arms around his neck bringing him into a bone-crushing hug.
"I was so afraid... so afraid I would never see you again... I..."
"Wait Maggie there's something I have to say." He paused looking for the right words but then gave up. "I think we should get married.
At first Maggie was to shocked to speak, when she did find her voice she simply answered, "Okay."
Teena was counting down the minutes until they arrived in New York. She loved her friends dearly and she was very happy Maggie was smiling again but if they made one more kissy face at each other she was going to scream. A voice in her head said 'hypocrite' because she knew she is just as bad when she is with Bill. However, she also knows that Maggie wants to hurt them when they do the same thing in front of her when she's not with Will.
"Why did Bill want to meet up here? It's a long way from North Carolina." Will stopped gazing at Maggie long enough to ask Teena. His only answer was a shrug of the shoulders and a slight grin.
"Teen's always wanted to go to New York," Maggie offered with a impish smile on her face," I think he's spoiling her before the baby comes and she never gets to leave the house again!"
"You're such a comfort, Mags, but speaking of babies, we need to get to New York soon, this little guy is hungry and these sunflower seeds I've been eating aren't going to tide him over forever."
"We should be there soon, Teena. So, you're sure the baby's going to be a boy?" Will asked.
"Well, it's just a feeling of course but yes, I'm fairly sure that this baby's going to be a boy," Teena replied with certainty.
"Teen, you haven't told me what you've come up with in the name department. You decide on anything yet?" Maggie asked.
Teena glanced at her best friend hoping to get a better response from her than she got when she first told Bill what she wanted to name their child. "Yeah we have decided on something. You remember my uncle, the one that died a couple years ago?" at Maggie's nod she continued, "Well he really filled for my dad after he died so I thought I'd name the baby after him if it's a boy."
Maggie was nodding until she realized something. "Wait a minute. Wasn't your uncle's first name Fox? I don't understand... did he have a middle name?"
"No he didn't. If we have a boy his name will be Fox William Mulder. Fox after my uncle and William after his father," Teena answered, trying to sound a lot more confidant than she actually was.
Hearing her friend's nervousness Maggie said with a smile, "That's a wonderful name, Teen. He'll be a very lucky kid."
"Maggie, the doctor said that you needed to stay in bed for at least the rest of this week," Teena scolded as she caught her friend about to get out of bed.
"Yeah but the doctor didn't take into account twins that cry constantly and a husband that got called off shore leave. I can't ask you to watch them the whole week. And you're not just taking care of my kids and me but your own child, let me call my mom to help you at least!"
"You worry too much, Mags. I can handle the kids, they're being angels. And don't worry about Will; he'll be back before you know it. All I want you to think about is sleeping, eating, and the baby you're carrying."
"Are you sure you can handle B.J. and Missy? They're almost into their terrible twos. They can be fairly stubborn."
"Hey, I'm your best friend, I think I can handle stubbornness. In fact the hardest part of my job so far has been not letting you get out of bed so that the rest of your pregnancy goes by smoothly. Anyway, have you thought of any names yet? You think the baby's a girl, right?"
Maggie nodded in agreement and admiration "Yes and nice diversion tactic."
Teena smiled, "I do try. So tell me names? Any ideas?"
"Fox stop fidgeting! You're going to mess up your clothes," Teena told her squirming nine-year-old son. He was very uncomfortable in the suit and tie she had picked out for him.
"Mom why do I have to wear this thing? It's just a party. None of the other kids are going to be wearing anything like this!" Fox complained to his mother, not willing to let this injustice go without a fight. His sister looked like she was having the best time of her life however, the whole thing was like a giant game of dress-up to her.
"All of the children are going to be dressed up, just like the grown-ups. Both B.J. and Charlie will be wearing suits just like yours," Teena said in an effort to placate him.
"They're going? I don't want to go. B.J. doesn't like me and Charlie's too little," Fox said pouting, "I'm not going to have any fun."
"Fox, can you please just try to have a good time there? Please?" Teena asked kneeling down next to him and giving him a wide smile.
"Okay mom," Fox said, still a little pouty.
"Dana, you have to wear the dress! Look Missy already has hers on. You don't want to be the only girl not wearing a dress, do you? You only have to wear the dress for one night I promise," Maggie pleaded with her daughter who had no intent of giving in anytime soon.
"I don't like it, mommy. It's itchy and it's pink! I don't want to wear it!" Dana tried to reason with her mother as best a six-year-old could.
"Maggie what's going on?" Will's voice said from behind her.
Maggie turned around, looked him in the eyes, and with the corners of her lips turning up into a smile she said, "Your daughter is being very difficult."
"*My* daughter is huh?" he said with a grin of his own. "Let me talk to her, Maggie. You go finish getting Charlie ready." Maggie gave him a quick peck on the check and whispered something sounding suspiciously like "good luck".
Will moved over to his daughters' bedroom where Dana had tried to hide herself from her mother. "Starbuck?" He then heard giggling coming from under Dana's bed and knew exactly where his daughter had hidden. "Maybe I should just lay down on this bed and wait until she shows up." He then pretended to sit on the bed and sure enough Dana ran out from under the bed shrieking.
"Ahab you're so mean," she said pouting. "Do I have to wear the dress?" Will nodded trying to look sorry. "It's pink," she said trying one more time to get out of it but her dad just nodded. "Okay daddy, I'll wear the dress."
The Mulder family arrived just minutes after the Scully family so they did not have to go out in search of each other. As the grown-ups greeted each other Fox looked at a very uncomfortable Dana fidgeting with her dress. "They made you get dressed-up too, huh?" he asked sympathetically.
"I tried to get out of it but they wouldn't let me," Dana told him and he patted her on the back. The grown-ups couldn't help but laugh at this exchange.
"You know," Bill said to Will, "Dana is the only person Fox ever ends up talking to at these things. Should we be worried?"
"Nah, not yet anyway."
'There is to many people here. If I get my check pinched one more time I'm going to scream,' Dana couldn't help thinking. 'I gotta find some place to hide.' She looked all over for the perfect hiding place but grown-ups surrounded all of the good places. Finally she found one place that wasn't being guarded, the dessert table. She checked to see if anyone was looking and quickly crawled under it.
"Ow!" both children said at the same time and both rubbed the spot on their heads that had just collided with the others.
"Dana, what are you doing here?" Fox asked in a strained whisper.
"I hate these things. I don't know anyone here and mom and dad were talking to that guy that smokes all the time. He creeps me out." She couldn't quite suppress the shudder of disgust that ran threw her. That man was at every party her parents dragged her to.
Fox nodded at this; there was something about the guy that smoked all the time that didn't sit well with either of them. "I don't know what it is about him. Sam and your brothers and sister seem to like him but I think you're right, he's creepy."
"What are you doing here, Fox?"
"Hiding, just like you. What party is this anyway? Is it the 'we-missed-Christmas-but-let's- celebrate-anyway' party, or is it the New Years Eve party?"
She laughed, "I'm pretty sure it's the New Years party. There's a bowl full of noise makers by the door."
"Noise makers? You saw some? Let's go get some!" 'This party is about to look up.'
"Yeah I saw some..." She suddenly had that 'uh-oh- what's-he-getting-me-into' look.
"Come on!" Fox said dragging her out of their hiding place.
"We're going to get in trouble aren't we?"
"Fox, Sammie! They're going to be here any minute."
Thanksgiving was one of the most stressful times for Teena. Every other year, since their families had moved apart, Teena and Maggie had decided to alternate who was in charge of Thanksgiving dinner. She had sent the kids off to play so that they weren't in her hair while she prepared the turkey but now they needed to get into the living room very quickly. Just as she was getting ready to call them again the doorbell rang.
"I'll get it!" Sammie yelled as she ran down the stairs. Once she got to the door she yanked it open and squealed, "Daddy!" Bill lifted his daughter off the ground and spun around with her over his shoulder.
"Hey princess. Where is everybody?"
"Mom's in the kitchen and Fox is putting away Stretego."
"Haven't you guys gotten tired of that game yet?" Bill shook his head in amusement and headed to the kitchen. "Hey honey."
Teena gave Bill a quick peck on the check before going back to stuffing the turkey. Then, not two minutes later, the doorbell rang again. This time Bill went and got it. "Hello..." The smile that had been on his face since he had gotten home quickly disappeared at the appearance of Spender and was replaced with a look akin to if he had eaten a lemon raw. "What do you want? I told you never to come here again!"
"Come now Bill," Spender paused only to take a drag of his cigarette, "that's no way to welcome a friend when he comes to visit."
"Friend! You've got to be kidding..." Bill broke off from his tirade when he noticed that Fox had started coming down the stairs only to stop when he heard the argument. Casting a glance at his son he said, "Let's talk in the study."
They then disappeared into Bill's study. Fox walked into the kitchen to talk to his mom. "Mom?"
"Who is that guy who smokes all the time? What does he want with dad?"
Teena went pale and turned to look at Fox. "He's here?" Fox just nodded. She cleared her thought and said, "Don't worry about it honey." Then she left to join them in Bill's study. 'Don't worry about. Yeah. Sure. Fine. Whatever.' Fox followed his mom as quietly as he could so he wasn't noticed.
"Bill you have to make a choice!" Spender yelled.
"You can't have my baby! Not my baby!" Teena was nearly hysterical now.
"Fox or Samantha? You have to choose. We all did."
"I won't make that choice. How can anyone make that choice? You can't make me choose!"
"You have to or we will choose for you."
Bill looked up ready to yell again but saw Fox hiding outside and walked past Spender and closed the door. Spender took another puff of his cigarette and said "Little spy."
Just then the bell rang and Bill yelled, "Fox get that." He did as he was told and went to get the door. There standing on the front porch was the Scully family. Many hugs and well wishes were exchanged but Fox couldn't get that conversation out of his mind.
Couple of Days Later
"Bill, are you sure we can leave them alone? After everything that happened with Spender?"
"Teena we'll be right next door. Fox! Would you come down here for a minute?"
They heard Fox running down the stairs and less than a minute later he was in the living room slightly panting from the run. "Yeah, dad?"
"We're going to go over to the neighbor's ok?"
"You need to be on babysitting duty though. Dana's coming over to spend time with Sammie and we need you to watch them both."
"No problem dad. When do you need to go over there?"
"Have you ever played Stratego Dana?" Sammie asked her friend.
"No, is it any fun?"
"Oh yeah. You can watch the first game and than play the winner."
"Sounds good to me. We're still watching the movie right?"
"Sure, mom said we could."
At that moment Fox decided to enter the living room and turned on the TV, he then turned to the two girls and said, "Okay, who am I playing first?"
Samantha couldn't believe her brother. "Mom said we could watch the movie, buttmunch!"
"We're watching the magician," Fox said ignoring his sister's glare and contemplating his next move. Samantha just rolled her eyes and Dana couldn't help but laugh at their bickering.
The mood in the room suddenly changed. It was like the life was sucked out of it. A warm, white light instantly filled the room. All three kids stood up horrified. Fox ran to get his dad's gun but then everyone and everything in the room was paralyzed except for Samantha who screamed, "Fox!" just before she disappeared.
"What do you mean she's gone? How can she just be gone? You were supposed to be watching her!"
"I'm sorry dad."
"You're sorry? Your sister's gone!"
"I'm sorry dad."
They were interrupted by a knock on the door that seemed to echo throughout the house. Everyone looked at each other, then without a word Teena got up to answer the door. There was a mumbled exchange and then she returned with two cops right behind her. They were both dressed in the standard police uniform but one was noticeably older with gray hair peaking out from under his hat while the other still had some baby fat in his cheeks. The younger officer was the first to speak. "Sir, ma'am. I'm terribly sorry about your daughter but to help us find her we're going to need to talk to both of the kids." Both nodded and then stood up to leave. Fox and Dana watched them leave with a mixture of wariness and relief.
"They'll be just in the other room kids," the older officer informed them. "Now we're going to ask you guys a few questions and we need you to answer as truthfully as possible, ok?" Both nodded while looking at the ground. "Why don't we all go sit in the dinning room?" he suggested noticing how uncomfortable they were with there surroundings. Both children nodded again. Once they were all seated around the table, Dana and Fox across from the two cops, the older cop started to talk again. "This is officer Daly," he said motioning toward his companion, "and I'm lieutenant Johnson. Okay now I need to know exactly what happened."
Fox and Dana glanced at each other then both looked back down at the table. Fox sighed and then said, "She was here and then she was gone. It was like someone stopped time."
Daly and Johnson both looked at Fox with poorly hidden expressions of incredulity then looked to Dana for her side of the story. Dana looked at both cops nervously then said, "She was just gone."
"You don't remember anything else?" Officer Daly asked and when he got a negative response he looked to Fox and said, "We're going to go talk to your parents. You two stay here." Both cops left the room without another word.
Once they were gone Dana looked to Fox and asked, "Fox? What happened?"
"I don't know. I don't know."
5 Years Later
Nothing was the same anymore. Since Samantha had disappeared Fox's parents had made an unenthusiastic attempt to keep their marriage together but had failed two years ago. Fox lived with his mother the whole year except for during the summer months when he would stay with his dad. It made little difference though, no matter which parent he was with it never felt like a family. After a year the search for Samantha had been called off due to the lack of evidence. At first Maggie had tried to comfort her friend but it resulted in a fight that caused them to limit their contact to Christmas cards every year.
Fox was now in his junior year in high school and couldn't wait to get as far away as any college could get him. The tension was getting to be too much in both home, his dad drank and his mom ignored. One day he was doing his homework and heard the phone ring. He went down stairs to get it. "Hello?"
"Um yeah... is Fox there?"
"Mulder, not Fox. Who's this?"
"This is Dana Scully. I don't know if you remember me but..."
"Dana, yeah of course I remember you." He heard her sigh with relief.
"Listen, we're in Chilmark visiting my grandparents and I need to talk to you about... I just need to talk to you."
Mulder was about to make a sarcastic retort but the tone of her voice made him change his mind. "Yeah, sure. You can come over, we're at the same address."
"Your mom won't mind?"
He snorted at that, "I doubt she'll even notice."
"Ok, I'll be right over."
Ten minutes later Mulder heard a knock on the door. He opened the door and saw a much different Dana then he remembered. He caught himself staring and gave her a sheepish look only to see her gawking at him. He cleared his throat and said, "Come in." She smiled slightly and walked inside. He led her to the living room and they both sat down on the couch.
Breaking the slightly awkward silence Dana said, "Geez, this place is just like I remembered it."
"Yeah well the interior decorator hasn't figured out the new color scheme he wants to try yet." This provoked another small smile from Dana. "So... you said you had to talk to me."
She looked down at her hands and said, "I need to talk to you about that night." This stopped Mulder short. He hadn't talked to anyone about it since the cops last questioned him. Reading his expression Dana said, "I know you probably don't want to talk about this," Mulder snorted at that contestant for the understatement of the year award, "but recently I've been having these flashbacks to that night. Remembering things that can't possibly make sense. And I just wondered...if maybe... you had remembered something... anything, from that night?"
"Wait, you said you started remembering. What do you remember?"
"I... I don't know if it's actually memories. It doesn't make any sense. It sounds like something from Star Trek. It's just... so real." He looked at her expectantly. She sighed, "Okay, well it always starts out with the last thing I remembered before everything went blank. You two were playing that game... Stratego, I think. Then all of a sudden the room was filled with this bright light and... this sounds so stupid, I'm sorry. I've got to go." She jumped up off the couch and started walking quickly to the door but was stopped by the hand on her arm. She turned around to see Mulder looking at her with tears in his eyes.
"We all froze when the light entered the room. Sammie called out my name and then she floated out of the window, and then nothing until my parents showed up." Dana couldn't hide the stunned look on her face as Mulder finished her story word for word.
"How did you...?"
"Know? A couple years ago I started having dreams, nightmares really, about that night."
"So your saying... that all the things I've been remembering... it's all real? That's not possible Mulder. It just can't be. I remembered time stopping. How can time stop?"
"So you're saying that you don't believe it, when both of us remember the exact same thing. Then what happened that night Dana? And why did we both come up with the same story if it isn't true?"
Resignedly she sighed, "I don't know Mulder."
There was a long pause as they both let their conversation sink in. Finally Mulder said, "You going to be alright?"
"Yeah. Thanks." She tried to smile but didn't quite pull it off. "I better go. I told everyone I was just going out for a walk. Mom hasn't quite gotten over the..." Mulder nodded in understanding, the fight had been hard on his mom too. "Anyway, we're moving back here during winter vacation because my mom wants a home she won't have to pack-up in six months. So maybe I'll see you at school."
"Sure." He walked her to the door. "If you need to talk or anything... you have my number."
Not really wanting to leave but knowing that she had to she said, "Bye." She went to leave and then realized something. She took out a pen and wrote her number on a piece of paper and handed it to him. "In case you need to reach me before we move. Bye"
"Bye," he added reluctantly. He waited until she was out of sight and then closed the door.
A Couple Weeks Later
"Dana! Phone!" Melissa called to her younger sister.
"Thanks Missy. Who is it?"
"Some guy named Reynard or something."
Dana looked confused but picked up the phone and said, "Hello?"
"It's me," Mulder said.
"Mulder?" Dana asked while looking around to see if anyone was near by. "Why Reynard?"
"I figured it was a better translation for Fox than Zorro," he said with a laugh.
"Well that's true. So was there something you wanted to talk about?"
"Nah, I was just bored."
"And you called me, I'm flattered."
"Well, you should be. There are so many people I could have chosen to call but I chose you," he said sarcastically. Truth be told he had been trying to figure out an excuse to call for a couple days but had finally just given up.
"I'm glad you did," Dana said hesitantly. There was another pause where neither could figure out what to say but for some reason it wasn't awkward. After a while they started talking about everything and nothing at the same time.
They talked for hours until Dana's mom walked in and said, "Dana, who are talking to?"
Her mom gave her a strange look. "Well you have to go to bed pretty soon, you have that test tomorrow."
"Okay mom." Maggie gave her a warning look, the one that says 'do as I say, young lady', and left the room again. "I have to go, Mulder. I'll talk to you later, okay?"
"Sure. Well good night."
"Good night." She waited another couple of seconds and then hung up. She went to bed with a huge smile on her face.
Dana walked into the dining room with the same goofy smile she had gone to sleep with, a fact that did not go unnoticed by her family. The family started their normal breakfast conversation but whenever someone tried to bring Dana into the conversation they had to say her name a dozen times just to get her attention. In about the middle of breakfast Missy couldn't take it anymore, she put down her spoon and said, "Dana, can I talk to you for a minute?" gesturing toward the living room.
"Yeah, sure Missy."
When they got there Missy turned to her younger sister, looking at her curiously. "Okay, what gives? You're happier than a rooster in a chicken coop." Ignoring her sister's eye roll she continued, "Come on. You know you're going to tell me."
"Nothing's going on."
"So you're going to tell me that the fact that you talked to some boy, that none of us have ever heard of, for hours, can't stop smiling, and have been totally spacey, is perfectly normal?"
"I... I," she sighed in frustration. "Missy I don't know what's going on. It's weird. I have this constant dull ache in the pit of my stomach, my face feels like it's going to crack from smiling, and I've become one of those girls who draw flowers and hearts on everything. I use to make fun of those people"
"Twiterpated?" Dana asked, raising an eyebrow at her sisters chose of words.
"Oh come on. Don't you remember Bambi?"
"That movie was traumatizing Missy. I try not to remember it."
Missy sighed, "When Bambi grows up and returns to the forest it's spring time. He runs into Thumper, Flower, and Owl. They start talking then all these animals that are dopey in love start going by them. Bambi, Thumper, and Flower can't understand why they're acting so weird and Owl tells them it's because they're twiterpated. You, my dear sister, are twiterpated."
Dana looked at her sister for a second and then started cracking up. "How on earth do you remember that stuff? We saw that movie once."
"I loved that scene but that's not the point. You have to tell me all about this guy."
"I'll tell you at lunch okay? I don't want mom to hear."
"Okay," Missy said, not really understanding her sisters reasons but not wanting to push it. She'd find out soon anyway.
"What's with you?" Megan asked Mulder as he walked into math class.
"What?" Mulder asked innocently.
"Well either you have developed a sudden love for logarithms, which can't be it since they're demon spawn, or you're hiding something from me."
"I can't just be having a good day?"
"Fine. If you don't want to tell me I'll stop bothering you."
Mulder sighed, 'nothing quite like guilt'. "Let's just say I'm looking forward to winter break." Megan nodded knowing there was more to it but letting it go.
"Okay what've you got?" Missy asked her sister as they began their most sacred of traditions, planning an escape route. It's not that they didn't love being at home but it was very much a military household and sometimes they just needed to get out.
"The bottom step creaks not to mention the loud click the lock on the front door makes when you turn it. The back porch had some possibilities but mom and dad's room is on that side of the house. What about you?"
"Well the only real option up here is our window because the bathroom window doesn't even open. Plus there's a tree right outside here," she gestured outside their window. "The window opens pretty easily."
"Okay so we've got a route but is there anyplace to hide emergency supplies?" Dana asked her sister.
"I was thinking we could just put them in the bushes alongside the house."
"Works for me. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a phone call to make." As she watched her sister leave Missy was about to comment but before she could Dana yelled, "Don't say anything."
'Damn sister-psychic link.'
"Meg, I need you to do me a favor."
"Uh oh, that can't be good." Megan said teasingly, almost flirtingly.
"I just need you to take this note to this address," he handed her two pieces of paper indicating each as he spoke of them. "If she doesn't answer the door tell them you're a friend of Reynard's."
"Okay but only if you tell me why."
"I need to get this note to a girl and I can't take it because her parents hate me. I tried calling like four times but her brother kept picking up."
Megan hid her hurt expression very well, he didn't even notice. "Fine. But you owe me."
The doorbell rang around noon. Megan had considered not taking the letter to this Dana person but she figured Mulder would know if she didn't. This was so wrong. She was the one who had been there for him. She listen to him babble about his family and whatever else was wrong. Then along comes this girl who just takes him away.
When Mulder had given her the letter she had gotten maybe three blocks away before she opened it. She had been sick as soon as she read the letter. It was the sweetest, most well written letter she had ever read.
Finally a woman opened the door. "Hello. May I help you?"
Megan smiled politely. "Hi, can speak to your daughter Dana please?"
"Who are you?" Maggie asked, not wanting to be rude but still not willing to let a stranger into her house.
"Oh, I'm a friend of Reynard's."
"Ah, come in. Merry Christmas by the way." She left Megan in the living room and went to go get Dana. Megan walked around looking at the few pictures that had been unpacked. "Yeesh. They're the Brady Bunch."
"I never really saw myself as Jan but okay," a voice from behind her commented. "I'm Dana. My mom said Mulder sent you. How is he? I've talked to him on the phone but..."
"He's fine. He wanted me to give you this." She handed her the resealed letter. "Well, I should go. Goodbye." She was out the door before Dana could respond.
'Weird,' was the only thought she gave to it as she went to read her letter.
Melissa came running into the room at her sister's scream. "What?"
"You have to cover for me tonight. Around eight o'clock."
"Sis, we're going to Grandma's tonight and then we're going to mass."
"Damn it. We have to think of something."
Melissa thought for a second. "Okay, I've got it. It's not perfect but it's all I can think of on such short notice."
The plan was ridiculously simple. Dana would pretend to have a splitting headache and would go lay down in the guest bedroom, using the plan they had created for that house she would sneak out of the house, Melissa would cover for her until 9, and around 9 Dana would come back out saying that she felt better. Now all they had to do was not get caught.
Dana walked over to her mom and put on the most pitiful look she could muster. "Mom, I'm going to go lay down. My head is pounding."
Maggie looked at her with concern but just said, "Okay sweetie." The look of concern nearly did Dana in, almost. She went into the guest room to lie down for 15 minutes, just in case someone came in to check on her, then got up as quietly as possible and went out the window, thankfully the room was on the first floor.
She slowly slinked away and as soon as she was out of sight of the house she started running.
When she got there Mulder was already there. They saw each other right away and wide smiles spread across their faces.
Megan stood across the street watching the interplay between the two and knew she had to get rid of this girl.
First Day of School
The rest of winter vacation went on in a similar fashion, phone calls and stolen visits. They both managed to meet on New Year's Eve and they shared their first kiss at midnight. It didn't look like anything could ruin how happy they were. Then school started.
Dana hated changing schools. Almost none of them had the same standards, so it made deciding on classes all that much harder. And, to top it off, she had planned to meet Mulder before school but they had gotten there late and she couldn't find him.
When they went to the Dean's office to fill out the necessary paperwork the secretary had kindly informed them that it was finals week. Since the three of them had not been in the classes for the last semester there was no reason for them to take the finals. She had suggested that they fill out the paperwork but should not report until next week. Their mom would hear nothing of it however. The forms for Dana, Melissa, and B.J. took so long that it was time for the last period of the day when they were finished. Maggie left to get Charlie signed in at the local Middle School, promising she'd be back by the end of their class.
Dana's last class for the day, because of the weird schedule, was P.E. When she got there everyone was dressed and sitting on their role call numbers. The teacher took attendance then said, "Okay, you all pass." There was a loud applause until an old looking teacher with large glasses leaned out a window and shouted, "Mike, do you mind? My students are taking a test."
"Sorry Amy." He turned back to the class. "Get out of here. Shoo." All of the students got up to leave, "Dana I need to talk to you for a minute."
"Relax kid. It's nothing bad. Did your parents give you money for uniforms?"
"Would you stop calling me 'sir'? Everybody calls me Mike." She nodded so he continued, "Now, I want you to go to the P.E. office and my T.A. will give you some uniforms and a locker. Then both of you can get out of here. See you next week."
She nodded goodbye, went to the office he had directed her to, and knocked on the door.
"It's open," a voice from inside yelled.
She opened the door but didn't see anyone. "Hello? Mike told me to..."
Mulder walked out from the back room. "So you've met Mike." Before he could say anything else she had him in a death-grip hug.
"You have no idea how glad I am to see you."
He laughed. "I think I got a pretty good idea," he teased but hugged her back.
She looked up at him and said, "I need you to do me a favor."
"I need you to... sell me some P.E. clothes."
He stifled a smile and motioned her to the back room. "They only ever order men's sizes so even the smalls are going to be big but they'll probably shrink in the wash." He handed her the clothes and she gave him the money. "Anything else?"
"The things I do for you. One girl's P.E. locker coming up." He handed her a card with a locker number and combo.
"Thanks. By the way, Mike said we could go home."
"Cool. You need a ride?"
"My mom's picking me up after school."
"Okay, how 'bout a tour than?"
"That'd be great." He took her around the whole school, walking her through her schedule and showing her the short cuts to each period. They were almost finished with the tour when the bell rang.
Megan spotted Mulder as she exited her class. "Come to escort me to my car?" Mulder turned around looking confused. It was then that she noticed the redhead by his side.
"Oh, hi Meg. I forgot you had Ms. Crane this period. Dana's got her seventh so I was just showing her where it is.
"Hi Megan." Dana said trying to be friendly. "I didn't really get to thank you for bringing me Mulder's note. So, thanks."
"Oh think nothing of it," she gave her a tight- lipped smile. "I should go. Bye."
"I don't think she likes me very much." Dana whispered to Mulder.
"Nah, she's just not a people person."
"But she likes you," she said suspiciously.
"Everyone likes me." He gave her a look of curiosity and amusement, "You're jealous."
"No I'm not."
"Of course not but in case you ever wanted to know, for whatever reason, I have no, and never have had, feelings for Megan. We're just friends."
"Thank you. Well, my mom's probably wondering what happened to me." She kissed him goodbye. "Hey, do you want help studying tonight?"
He grinned, "Sure."
She kissed him goodbye again and then ran towards the front of the school where her mom undoubtedly was.
When she got there Melissa and B.J. were already in the car. She got in and they all looked at her curiously. She gave Missy a look and Missy smiled knowingly. She then turned to her mom. "Hi mom. Where's Charlie?"
"I dropped him off at home. It didn't take as long to get him registered."
Almost as soon as they pulled out from the front of the school Missy and B.J. started arguing about whether or not they were going to like this change. "Dana, you hate changing school's as much as I do. Tell Missy that this place is going to suck like all the others."
"Sorry B.J., I think I'm going to like it here."
The rest of the ride was spent in complete silence. They got home and, while the other two went inside, Dana stayed behind to talk to her mom. "Hey mom?"
"I have a friend who needs help studying tonight. Can I go help?"
"Sure. Do you need a ride?"
"No!" she said very quickly.
Her mom looked at her for a minute, judging whether or not what Dana obviously wasn't telling her was important. "Okay. After dinner you can go but I want you home by ten."
"Thanks mom. You're the best."
She had helped him study for his math test for an hour, give or take thirty minutes, and then they had just watched TV, made-out, and talked.
When it got close to ten she said, "I have to go soon. My mom will ground me for a month if I break curfew."
"Yeah but you can stay for fifteen more minutes right?"
"Sure," she said with a tiny smile and turned back towards the TV. When the time was up she left, turning down his offer for a ride even though it was dark.
Dana was trying to walk home as quickly as possible. Since she had left Mulder's she had felt like someone was following her. She was about three blocks away from home when something hard hit the back of her head. The last thing she heard before she blacked out was, "This is your own fault."
The phone rang loudly through the quiet house. "Hello?" Mulder asked sleepily.
"Mulder? This is Melissa Scully. Is Dana there?"
It took a second for his sleep deprived brain to process what she was asking but once it did he was instantly worried. "She left here over an hour ago. What's going on? She didn't get home?"
"No," the word caught in Melissa's throat. "I have to tell mom."
"You'll let me know if you find out anything, right?"
"Of course. Mulder?"
She hesitated for a moment then said, "She's not dead, in a little bit of pain but not dead." Then she hung up
Mulder stared at the phone for a minute. 'I should have drove her home.'
Dana woke up to the smell of the ocean and an ache spreading from the base of her skull. At first she thought the slight rocking was due to dizziness but she slowly began to realize she was on a boat. The gag tied around her mouth was making her cheeks numb but it was nothing compared to how her wrists and ankles felt because of being tied up.
"Why good morning, princess."
Dana's eyes snapped open and she tried to speak but, because of the gag, her words were indistinguishable.
"Now what kind of a welcome is that?" She walked to her side and tipped up her chin. " Well, since you're not going to be nice I might as well go to school and see how Mulder greets me." Dana glared at her and tears began to run down her face. "Oh, tsk tsk princess," she scolded. "Don't cry. I'll take good care of him." Megan closed the door leaving her alone once again. Dana racked her brain trying to think of a way out of this nightmare but the gentle rocking of the boat quickly put her to sleep.
Mulder was looking at his math test but all he could think about was what could be happening to Dana. As hard as he tried he couldn't get the images out of his head. A particularly heinous one flashed through his mind and he had to run to get to a bathroom before his classmates became intimately acquainted with his breakfast. Once he was done literally spilling his guts he just sat there with his head leaning against the wall of the stall for who knew how long until there was a knock on the stall door. "I'm in here."
"I know. Mr. Chu told me I should come and talk to you, find out if you're okay." It was Mike.
"I can't talk about this right now."
"Oh, come on. Are you sick?"
"Is it your parents?"
"I'm not leaving until you tell me. Look you wouldn't be in here revisiting your food if nothing was wrong," when Mulder still didn't say anything he continued, "This wouldn't have anything to do with why a Melissa Scully called to tell you that 'the cops are looking for her', would it? I assume you know what that means."
Mulder burst out of the stall nearly breaking Mike's nose but not really noticing. "What? Do I need to call her back?"
"I think that would be a good idea," Mike answered holding his nose. "Don't worry about Mr. Chu. I'll explain to him that you had to leave."
Melissa couldn't stop pacing around the kitchen. This was a nightmare. When the police weren't there implying that Dana had run away and that there was something wrong with their family her mom was crying and her brothers were trying not to. As for her, she couldn't go anywhere near their room. It was weird even though she knew her sister was 'okay'. It was eerily quiet throughout the house and that was why she jumped when the phone rang. "Hello?"
"This is Mulder. Are the cops still there?'
"Do they know that Dana was with me last night? Do they want to talk to me?"
"They know. I made sure no one else did though. I told them when they talked to me alone. They do want to question you."
"Okay, can you arrange for them to meet me at school?"
"I'll try. Call back in ten minutes." She hung up the phone and walked to the living room where the police were once again questioning her mother. "Mom?"
"The coffee's done."
"Oh thanks," she turned to the police, "excuse me."
Once her mom was out of sight she spoke to the police. "He's willing to talk to you."
Mulder sat on a bench waiting for 10 minutes to be up. A tap on his shoulder made him turn away from staring at his watch. Standing behind him, with a huge grin on her face was Megan. "Hey stranger."
"Meg, this really isn't a good time."
"I heard about Dana," she said, the smile never leaving her face.
"You know the rumor mill around here."
She sat down next to him and nudged him in the shoulder. "How are you holding up?"
He sighed and turned to look at her. "Not to good. I..." before he could continue she had him in a lip- lock with her tongue halfway down his throat. He broke away immediately. "What are you doing?"
"You said you weren't feeling good. I thought I'd raise your... spirits."
"Please tell me you're kidding."
"What? I love you. I'd do anything for you"
Mulder put his head in his hands and kept shaking it. "No, no, no. My girlfriend is missing. Do you have any idea how wrong this conversation is?" He looked up at her and saw that she still wasn't getting it. 'I can't deal with this right now.' "Look, if you want to do something for me you'll leave me alone."
She walked off in a huff. Under her breath she mumbled, "You'll be sorry."
Dana woke up when she heard a door slam open. She scooted to sit up as Megan stalked towards her. When Megan reached her she grabbed her hair and pulled. Dana couldn't help the yelp of pain that escaped her mouth but wouldn't let this... person... see her cry again. "He thinks he loves you, you know? Well I'm done with him but if he wants you, princess, he's going to have to work at it." Dana glared at her as she walked around getting ready.
Mrs. Scully was the closes to the phone when it started ringing. "Yes?"
"Mom?" Dana's voice said over the line.
Maggie's legs turned to jelly at the sound of her daughter's voice. "Sweetie? Are you okay?"
Before she could answer her mother Megan took the phone. "Hello? Who is this?"
"Maggie Scully. Who's this?"
"Uh uh, I'm the one doing the talking here but you are not the one I want to talk to. Tell Mr. Fox Mulder that if he ever wants to see his precious little girlfriend again he'll answer the phone when I call back in an hour." Then all Maggie heard was a dial tone.
Lieutenant Daly walked into the kitchen and saw Mrs. Scully's shell-shocked expression. "Mrs. Scully? What happened?"
"The... kidnapper just... called. She wants to... talk to Fox. She won't speak... to anyone else. She'll call back in an hour. What does Fox have to do with this?"
He considered just telling her but figured he wasn't the person to do it. "You should talk to your daughter. I'll go get Fox." He left a very puzzled Mrs. Scully sitting at the kitchen table.
It only took her a moment to compose herself. "Melissa Scully get in here now!"
Mulder walked tentatively behind Daly towards the Scully house. He wasn't sure how everyone was going to react to seeing him again but that didn't matter. All that mattered was that this maniac wanted to talk to him and that hopefully he could help get Dana out unharmed. Daly knocked on the door and they waited. Mrs. Scully was the one who answered the door.
"Fox," was all she said before she engulfed her in a maternal hug. Mulder was shocked at first but found himself hugging her back. When she had finished hugging him she pulled back and asked, "Why didn't you two tell me?"
"We thought... because of what happened with you and mom... that..."
"Oh Fox, no. That had nothing to do with you kids." Suddenly realizing they were still standing outside she said, "Where is my head? Come inside." She led them into the living room. "I had Melissa just give me the rough details I thought if anyone should tell me all about your relationship it should be you and Da..." Tears began to form in her eyes and both guys weren't quite sure what to do.
Before they had to figure it out the sound of the front door being unlocked resonated through the house and William Scully walked in. He walked straight to his wife. They shared a tight hug and Will gave her a soft kiss on the forehead. "I got here as soon as I could." He then noticed Mulder and Daly sitting on the couch. "Fox?"
"I'll explain later." Maggie whispered to him.
"Hello sir." Mulder said to Captain Scully, who was still looking confused.
"Hello son." Further conversation was cut off however by the phone.
Lieutenant Daly looked at Mulder and said, "You should probably answer that."
They all walked to the kitchen where the phone continued to ring. Mulder reached for the phone with a slightly shaky hand. He was unbelievably nervous. It wasn't so much what he was going to say, the lieutenant had already walked him through that, but just the fact that Dana's life could depend on this one conversation. "Hello?"
"Well if it isn't good ol' Foxy himself. I'm so glad that old chick decided to listen to me."
"Megan?" Mulder asked in utter disbelief.
"Oh you remember me, how refreshing. I was beginning to think that since the princess here had come along you had forgotten that I existed."
"Why would you think that I had forgotten you?" he asked, trying to keep his voice as calm as possible. Daly gave him a thumbs-up and slid him a pad of paper that read 'who is she'. Mulder wrote back, 'ex-best friend'.
"Oh please Foxy. You didn't even recognize me the other day."
"So Dana really has nothing to do with this. You're angry at me."
"She has everything to do with it. We were fine until this little hussy showed up. What do you see in her anyway? I mean you've known her... what? Three weeks?"
"More like her whole life."
"Wow, now that's commitment. So you must love her an awful lot huh?"
Mulder did not want to have this conversation so he tried to change the subject. "Is she okay?"
"I'm hurt. You think I would harm her already? The fun hasn't even started yet and we wouldn't want to deprive her of a good time now would we?" There was a muffled sound in the background but it was quickly silenced.
"I want to talk to her."
"Well I don't know if she wants to talk to you. What do you think princess? Do you want to talk to Foxy?"
There was some rustling noise and then silence. For a moment he thought that they had lost the line. "Mulder?" Dana saying that one word was the most beautiful thing Mulder had ever heard.
"Yeah, babe, it's me."
"I'd hurt you if I were there right now. Just ask the last boy that called me babe."
He had to laugh at that, despite the dire situation. "I believe you." He noticed that the grown-ups were looking at him questioning. "There are some people very worried about you here. Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Mulder." Of course he didn't believe that and she hadn't really expected him to.
Before he could tell her that he knew she was lying the phone was taken away from her again. "Okay you got your two minutes. Now, meet us at the dock in fifteen minutes."
15 Minutes Later
At any other time the similarity of the dock to a set of a B-Horror film would have been funny. The creaky boards and the fog was just part of the spooky atmosphere. Daly watched as Mulder paced up and down the dock, waiting for Megan to show up. 'Poor kid,' he thought with a shake of his head.
A sound not 8 feet away made both Mulder and Daly turn. Standing with Dana in front of her and a knife in hand was Megan. Daly saw Mulder hesitate and lock eyes with Dana. They had a silent conversation that some people after twenty years of marriage would envy. Megan noticed this and she dug the side of the knife a little deeper into the underside of Dana's chin causing her to inhale sharply, stiffen, and break eye contact with Mulder.
"When at a party it's very rude to ignore the hostess," Megan pointed out haughtily.
"Sorry, Miss Manners never published the rules for this type of situation," Mulder replied harshly.
"Listen Foxy, you don't want to make me mad. Your little girlfriend won't like it." Again she made a threatening motion with her knife. Once she determined that he wasn't going to continue she went on. "Now, as with any good party we're going to play a game."
"What kind of game?" Mulder asked nervously.
"Well, I'd love to play spin-the-bottle and have a sŁance but we're kind of pressed for time. How 'bout just a quick game of Trivia Pursuit?"
"If we play you have to play too."
Megan considered her options and then nodded in agreement. "Okay, that only seems fair." She looked at the two of them for agreement but neither felt like acknowledging her anymore than necessary. "Alright follow slowly. We're going to go somewhere where your cop friend can't bother us." At Mulder's shocked expression she said, "Oh please. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that you'd bring a cop with you. Even if you'd wanted to come alone they wouldn't have let you. But he wasn't invited to the party so he doesn't get to participate."
'Great,' Daly thought exasperatedly, 'So much for the element of surprise. I'll have to tail them less closely now. I should have just gone into the family business like my mother had wanted.' He didn't have time to sulk anymore about this unfortunate turn of events any further however because they started moving away down the dock in the direction the two girls had appeared from. They all continued awkwardly, Megan dragging Dana along, Mulder following as closely as Megan would allow and Daly following as far back as he could while still being able to see them.
Megan finally put an end to the ridiculous dance by stopping in front of a boat. Dana looked at the boat in disgust; she'd thought she'd finally seen the last of this place. Mulder noticed her discomfort at seeing the boat and started to feel uneasy himself. Megan looked around to judge the best way for all of them to get on the boat without exposing herself to any number of police that could be hiding anywhere. Finally she decided to walk backwards up the ramp while continuing to drag Dana with her and to have Mulder follow almost immediately.
"Would now be a good time to bring up that I get seasick very easily?"
"I wouldn't worry about that if I were you Foxy." Then they all boarded and headed below deck for the room that Megan had kept Dana in. When they got there Megan had them sit around a table that looked like it could be used for a board meeting.
Megan took out the Trivia Pursuit game that she had set near by earlier and set up while Mulder and Dana looked at her like she was crazy. 'She went through all this so that we would play a game with her? This screams of neglect.' Megan handed Mulder the dice and had him role. He did and landed on 'Entertainment'. He waited for her to pull out a card but she didn't, she just looked at him and asked "Favorite movie?"
It dawned on both of them at the same time what kind of a game she was playing and they shared a nervous glance, neither liking where this was going. "Umm... Plan 9 From Outer-space."
"I'm serious." Megan insisted.
Megan rolled her eyes and tossed the dice to Dana. "Okay princess it's your turn." Dana just looked at her like she was completely stupid and then indicated her hands that were still tied up and grunted because the gag also hadn't been removed.
Annoyed that she had missed something so obvious but not willing to loose her cool she waved for Mulder to untie her. Mulder walked over to Dana slowly so that Megan wouldn't freak out. He undid her hands and squeezed one to reassure her then freed her from her gag, stroking her cheek as he did so. She gave him a tiny encouraging smile. "Sit back down," Megan yelled, reminding them of her presence.
Mulder went back to his seat and Dana picked up the dice and rolled. She landed on 'Products and Progress'. Megan thought about how to manipulate the category. "What product do you use to dye your hair?"
Dana glared at her and answered, "I don't dye my hair." Megan just shrugged and picked up the dice.
They continued like this, asking 'getting to know you' questions, until Mulder landed on 'History'. Megan looked him straight in the eye and asked, "Did you kill your sister?"
Mulder sat there stunned, he'd been totally blindsided by the question. Dana, however, was pissed. She jumped out of her chair and, before Megan could react, punched her square in the jaw. "That's enough! What do you want with us?"
Once she was able to regain her composure Megan looked up at Dana but instead of answering her question pulled out a gun and pointed it at her. She then turned her gaze to Mulder, keeping the gun trained on Dana, and said, "For you to suffer." She looked back towards Dana and glared, "Sit down." She did.
They were all back in their original seats, Dana sitting a little closer to Mulder than she had been before but not enough for Megan to notice. Mulder could barely look at Megan because of the hatred he felt towards her. Any hope that he'd held that she would somehow snap out of this crazy personality that she had at some point adopted had been quickly dashed with that one question. With that realization came another one.
Megan wasn't going to let them out of here alive.
"Answer the question."
"No," he said through gritted teeth, "I did not kill my sister." Mulder felt Dana squeeze his knee in silent reassurance but then she did something else. She place something cold and metal in his hand.
It was the knife Megan had been using. Since she had pulled out the gun Megan hadn't bothered to look for the knife and Dana had somehow picked it up without her noticing.
Mulder chanced a glance at Dana but she refused to meet his eyes, afraid that Megan would notice that something was going on.
"Now if we're quite done with the interruption..." Megan glared at both of them then tossed the dice at Dana, "roll."
She picked up the dice and was about to roll when all hell broke loose.
A deafening crack made them all spin around as Daly kicked in the door and was quickly followed by another man that, if they had any time to think about it, must have been his partner. Both had their guns drawn and had yelled, "Police! Drop the gun!" as soon as they came in. Megan, however, had other ideas.
"You know I don't really feel like doing that but since you insisted on crashing why don't you two sit down? You should probably set those guns down, though. They could interfere with everyone's good time"
They both chose to ignore this generous offer. "Why are you doing this? Nobody's worth all of this!" Daly's partner pointed out harshly.
"You don't know what you're talking about!" she screamed, her finger itching to pull the trigger.
"I know that you think you love this boy. I know that you feel threatened and are taking it out on everyone. I also know that your mom is sitting at home worrying her little heart out."
"Shut up!" Megan screamed.
Two shots rang through the boat and then nothing.
"I want to know where my son is. Right now!" Teena Mulder's shouts echoed around the emergency floor of the hospital. The few people who were there looked up and the nurses eyed her warily.
An elderly woman, who resembled Auntie Em, was the first to approach her. "Miss, will you please sit down and we'll see if we can help you?"
"Just tell me where my son is. I get a call in the middle of the night saying he's been shot and you want me to sit down? I don't think so. You can just go to..."
"Teena!" Both women turned around to see Maggie and William Scully standing next to a shaken Dana. They had all come over when they heard Teena's entry and Maggie had tried to stop her from saying something she might regret but instead gave her a new target.
"What are you doing here? Come to point out, again, what a bad mother I am for loosing another one?"
"Mulder's not gone," Dana whispered so low that they almost didn't hear it.
Before anyone could reply a detective stepped forward and said, "Mrs. Mulder if you'll step this way I'll explain everything." They walked away and the rest went back to pacing a hole in the floor.
Teena walked out a half hour later. She walked over to where the others were sitting and sat across from Dana. When she looked up she said, "You. You're the reason my son's lying in a hospital bed."
"Now just a minute Teena," William said but she wasn't listening.
"He was trying to protect you. With just a knife! He took a bullet for you when that girl flipped out after killing the cop! My son could be dead." Her voice had gradually increased in volume through out her tirade and she was now on her feet.
Dana, though slightly thwarted by her parent's attempts to stop her, also got to her feet. "You think I asked for this? I love him. Can you say the same? You don't think it's sad that it took him getting shot for you to notice that he didn't disappear the night Sam did? Do you know anything about him anymore? Do you know what that night did to him? Hell, did you even bother to notice that he's on the track, basketball, and baseball team while maintaining a 4.0? He does everything to get you and Mr. Mulder to notice he's alive!" She took a deep breath and realized that at some point she had started to cry.
She felt her father's hand on her shoulder and leaned back into him. "That's enough Starbuck."
Dana turned around in her father's arms and hugged him. "Ahab, just tell me he's going to make it. Please daddy, I need to know he's going to be okay."
Not wanting to make his daughter a promise that he possibly couldn't keep Captain Scully just tightened his hold on her. "Let's take a walk Starbuck."
Teena and Maggie were now left alone to sit in an awkward silence until finally a doctor showed up. "Mrs. Mulder?" When she acknowledged him he went on to explain how the surgery went, that Mulder was now sleeping in his own room, and that she should go get some rest or at least some coffee. "Oh and you might want to tell that young lady who was here earlier that he's okay, she was a nervous wreck."
After another awkward silence, though this one held an element of relief, Maggie said, "I should go find Dana and Will."
"You should," Teena replied slowly. "You should go find them and leave."
"What?" Maggie asked indignantly.
"I don't want any of you, especially your daughter, anywhere near my son."
"You can't honestly blame Dana for this!"
"Why? Because her track record is so perfect? My daughter vanishes and my son gets shot, both while in her presence. That girl is bad news and I don't want her anywhere near my son. Oh, and don't bother sending a Christmas card this year, it'll be returned."
Dana saw her mother approach them with a look of sadness on her face and felt her gut clench. "Mom?"
"I'm sorry honey. You're not going to like what I have to tell you."
"Mom? He's not..."
When she realized what Dana must have been thinking she rushed to reassure her. "No no. He's fine. In fact right now he's resting in his room."
Dana turned to run to the nurse's station to find out the room number but her mom caught her arm and turned her back around. "Mom, what are you doing? I have to go see Mulder."
"What do you mean 'I can't'? You just said he's alright. Mom, I need to see him."
"You can't because his mom won't let you," Maggie said, purposely not saying Teena's name. She watched as several emotions passed over Dana's face finally settling on anger. With the anger though came a look of determination. She turned and again began to walk toward the nurse's station. "Dana," Maggie called after her. Dana turned, half afraid that she was going to stop her but all she said was, "Don't get caught."
Mulder had no idea where he was and didn't particularly want to open his eyes and find out. The searing pain in his chest however seemed insistent that he come back to reality. As all the events of the last couple of days came flooding back to him his eyes snapped open. This was not good because the blaringly white room nearly blinded him.
"Oh good, you're awake."
"Mom? What's going on? Where am I? Where's Dana?" he asked, figuring if she knew why he was in a hospital then she would also know about him and Dana, so what was the point in hiding it anymore?
"You're in the hospital. Do you remember what happened?"
"I remember everything up to being shot but after that..."
"You're very lucky Megan's a bad shot, they think she was aiming for your heart."
"Doesn't surprise me. Did they get her?"
"Daly was able to apprehend her after she shot you and got an ambulance over there as quickly as possible. Officer Markson wasn't quite as lucky as you. He died before they got there. Daly said he'd stop by later to thank you for all your help."
After taking a minute to absorb all of this he asked the question he really needed the answer to. "And Dana?"
His mother's demeanor changed, almost imperceptibly, but it changed. She was slightly stiffer and had a decidedly fake smile on her face. "After we found out you were okay I told her to go home."
Mulder let out a sigh of relief and was about to ask when she might be coming back when a nurse, who looked like it was her first year on the job, came bustling in. "Mrs. Mulder, would you step outside for a moment please? I have to check a few things with the patient." As she began to do a battery of tests she talked about all the inane things that would have put him to sleep in different circumstances. "Oh, do you know a Dana?"
Mulder's attention snapped back to the nurse. "Yes," he said warily.
"Well she told me to give you this note, specifically not when your mother was in the room. Well you seem to be alright for now. I'll let you get some sleep."
"Thanks," he mumbled looking only at the note in his hand.
Dear Mulder, I hope you get this note. I wasn't sure how else to get it to you. I'm so sorry I wasn't there to make sure for myself that you are okay but your mom's this close to getting a restraining order on me as it is. I'll try and get into see you at some point. The nurse who gave this to you told me that she'd tell me if your mom has a routine for visits or not. If not I'll see you when you get back to school. Feel better. Love, Dana
Mulder read and reread the letter. 'Mom stopped Dana from visiting me? That doesn't make sense, does it? She wouldn't have written the note if she hadn't. What the hell is mom doing?'
There was a knock on the door and Mulder and Teena looked up to see Bill Mulder standing nervously in the doorway. Teena glared at him. "This isn't a bar and he's already in the hospital so what do you want?"
Bill chose to ignore this and said, "Hi son."
"Hey dad. How'd you find out I was here?"
"The hospital called me. They told me what happened so I thought I should come pay you a visit." Mulder had to smile at this; it was possibly the first fatherly thing he'd done sine Sam had disappeared. Teena, however, was still glaring at him. "So have you been up to? You don't call, you don't write. How am I suppose to know what's going on with you?"
The smile fell off Mulder's face when he said this. "Dad, you told me last time I called to stop calling." Awkward silence once again reigned supreme. 'How'd we get like this?'
"Ugh, Missy how did this happen?" Dana asked her sister as she paced around their room. "I was so happy! Then some maniac kidnaps me and now I'm not allowed to see my own boyfriend. And if one more person looks at me like I'm going to snap I will."
"Sis, do something for me."
"Breathe." Dana laughed in surprise and took an exaggeratedly long deep breath. "Good now repeat after me: 'screw them'."
"'Screw them.' Thanks Missy."
"No problem. Don't worry about seeing your beau either. You handled the situation just fine. You'll see him in a couple days."
A Couple Days Later
Dana had just walked in the door after her first day back at school, where people were either staring fixedly at her or avoiding her like the plague, when the phone rang. "Hello?"
"Hi, this is Nurse Bishop from the hospital. We have a slight problem. Both his parents are here and they come at separate times and his father's visits are erratic. I'm going to have to sneak you in after visiting hours."
"How are we going to do that?"
"I've got it all figured out. You're going to pose as my little sister who wants to be a doctor so I'm showing you how a hospital runs. My shift starts in an hour and a half so can you be ready in an hour?"
"Absolutely. Thank you so much." They hung up and Dana felt better than she had all day. "Mom, I'm going to the hospital tonight," she called up the stairs.
"How are you getting there?" her mom called back.
"A nurse from the hospital is giving me a ride."
"Okay, I want to meet her when she gets here."
"I'll come get you when I finish my rounds, okay?" Bishop asked once they had reached Mulder's room. Dana nodded and was left alone in the hallway.
When she entered the room her eyes went directly to the figure in the generic hospital bed that seemed to be asleep. "Mr. Insomniac, I'm not buying it."
"Hey lady, I'm trying to sleep here," was Mulder's amused reply as he sat up.
"Oh so sorry. I'll just leave then."
"Get over here babe." Dana raised an eyebrow at him but walked over and sat beside him on the bed.
Not knowing what else to talk about she just started talking about her day. "School was awful without you today. I don't think a day has ever gone by so slowly. I'm becoming known as the person that made Megan go off the deep end. None of them knew me so they're not bothering to ask me my side of the story, I think they're waiting for you to get back so they can get their stories straight. I tried to sit with Missy and her friends at lunch but all of her friends got up the minute I sat down."
A sad look appeared on his face. "I'm sorry, you shouldn't have to deal with that stuff."
"Hey don't worry about it. It's not your fault. Anyway how was your day? Did you get green or orange jello?" Mulder leaned over and kissed her thoroughly. When they pulled back to breathe she said, "Orange." He smiled and leaned in to kiss her again.
They stayed like that for at least twenty minutes before Nurse Bishop came back. "Dana, we got to go, I gave you as much time as I could."
"Okay, I'll be out in a sec." The nurse gave her a warning look and left. "Anything you want me to sneak in next time I come by? Sunflower seeds?"
"Aah a women after my own heart."
"You better believe it," she said with a mock sexy look. "I gotta go," and after giving him a peck on the forehead she left.
So that became their nightly pattern. Dana would show up after visiting hours, still posing as the nurse's sister, and they would just hang out for half an hour. When their time was up Dana would go and help the nurses until the end of their shifts and Mulder would do the homework his teachers kept sending, junior year is not a good time to be out of school.
Everything went smoothly until the night before Mulder was going to be released. Dana was telling Mulder about the job the hospital had offered her for the summer when there was a knock on the door. Mulder called out for the person to come in but both froze like deer caught in headlights when they saw who it was.
Mulder's father stood, equally frozen in the doorway. Once he got his bearings he just said, "Hello Fox, Dana."
Bill cast around for something else to say and to cover this he moved to sit down in the chair near the bed. As if just realizing their close proximity Dana started to get off the bed but Mulder tightened his arm around her waist and stilled her movement. "Dad, what are you doing here? It's after visiting hours."
"Apparently not for you." They exchanged an uncomfortable look and then looked back at Bill as he continued. "I was under the impression that you two weren't allowed to see each other anymore." He threw a look at Dana and said, "Teena's almost as mad at you as she is with me. She'd be very upset if she saw you here. So why'd you do it son?"
Dana made an indignant sound. "Excuse me? Are you implying that he forced me to come here? Because if you are..." but she didn't finish the sentence.
Mulder had grabbed her hand, which had clenched with anger, and with an almost invisible shake of his head she broke off. "Dana, I have to talk to my dad." He gave her an imploring look, hoping that she would understand.
She gave him a little smile and said, "Okay. I'll see you later?"
"I'll call you when I get cut loose from this place."
"Bye," she whispered and then she turned to his father and said, "Goodbye sir," with a tight little smile.
Both watched her leave and then turned back to each other. "I always told Will you two would end up together. You seemed to gravitate towards each other, even when you were little."
"Dad, why are you here?"
"I came to say goodbye. Since you're going home tomorrow I figured it'd be safe to go back."
"No dad I mean why are you *here*? Why now? You haven't given a damn for 5 years. This is the longest I've seen you sober in awhile. So just tell me why you're here!"
"You almost died," he said this so softly that Mulder almost didn't hear it. "Why did you think I was here? Why do you think your mother got so protective all of a sudden? Did you think I was here just to torture your mom? You could've died and we did nothing." Mulder was once again shocked into silence. "I'll see you in June," and his father was gone.
"Mom I'm not an invalid! I can walk up the stairs," Mulder protested as his mother continued to hover. They hadn't even made it to the porch steps without fighting over whether or not he was strong enough to make it up them by himself. "Mom I have to make a phone call, okay? I need just a couple of minutes."
She looked at him suspiciously and asked who he was calling. He shrugged, not having the energy to lie to her and told her. The truth, however, made his mother furious. "I thought I told you that you couldn't see her anymore?"
'I'm not. I'm calling her,' but he wisely chose not to say this. "You did," he said with a nod.
"And you're going to do it anyway?"
"Mom, if you asked for anything else I would listen to you but not this. I just don't get it."
"I love 'that girl' and you used to too. She was Sam's best friend, my best friend. Why blame her?"
"You jumped in front of a bullet for her. Why shouldn't I blame her?"
"She didn't fire it."
"You're too close," and apparently this was the end of the conversation because she stormed out of the room.
'Round one complete, both fighters return to their corners,' Mulder thought exasperatedly and went to make his phone call.
Walking into school after a couple weeks away was possibly the weirdest experience of his life. So many people were staring at him and it was driving him crazy. A group of girls kept walking past him each telling one another to go ask him a question, not one of them had.
"Oh boys, look who's back, Spooky himself," a loud obnoxious voice said from behind him.
Mulder was about to make a crass comment when another voice said, "Don't you guys have some class you're suppose to be skipping?"
"Well, well Mrs. Spooky. You must be glad that he's back. The way I hear it one date with you and he ends up in a hospital. Tsk, tsk, tsk."
"Jealous?" was Mulder's only reply as he put a hand on the small of Dana's back and led her away from the crowd that had formed in preparation for a fight.
Once out of range of prying ears she whispered to him, "I have to talk to you after school. Meet me at my locker."
By the end of the day Dana was extremely nervous. She didn't really want to ask him this favor but there was no one else. She was not looking forward to seeing the look on his face. She had purposefully avoided him during lunch and knew he was going to be mad about that.
As she approached her locker she could see him already standing there. She took a deep breath and walked over to him.
Before he could say anything she jumped right in and said, "I need you to do me a favor."
She took another deep breath and said, "I need you to take me to the state psyche-ward."
"What?" he asked completely confused now.
"They called me and told me that... Megan wants to talk to me."
So many emotions flashed over Mulder's face that she almost didn't catch them all. "Did they also say that you could check yourself in once you got there because you must be crazy. After everything she did to us you're going to give her more of our time?
"Mulder I need closure on this and I wouldn't put you through this if there was anyone else but there isn't," she said pleadingly.
"Okay," he said resignedly, "I'll take you but I have a bad feeling about this."
"I'll be right outside the door if you need me," was the guard's less than comforting words as he shut the door behind him. The room was very plain with it's white walls and beds with white sheets. The teenage girl sitting on the bed would have been invisible, mostly due to her hospital gown, if not for her mossy brown hair. The expression on her face went well with the room, blank.
Dana stepped forward, not sure if Megan had seen her. "Megan?" The only response this garnered however was for the blank stare to turn towards her. Disconcerted she continued, "You wanted to talk to me?"
A light of understanding filled her eyes then and some color went back into them. "I'm sorry," was all she said in a voice that was so raspy that Dana barely understood it. Megan stood up and turned her back on Dana so that she thought this was her cue to leave until she heard another raspy statement. "Wait." When she turned around Megan put something in her hand.
A face smiled up at her from the picture, one that she would know anywhere. Mulder.
By the way his mother was pacing you would think that it was midnight by the time Mulder got home not a quarter after six. Mulder tried to just walk past her up to his room but her angry voice called up after him, "Fox William Mulder get down here this instant," in typical mother fashion.
'I do not want to deal with this right now,' he thought as he trudged down the stairs. "What?"
"Where have you been? I told you to be home for dinner."
"No you didn't."
"You're always supposed to be home for dinner!"
"Okay mom, could you repost the rules because there seem to be a lot springing up that I'm not familiar with."
Choosing to ignore this statement completely, though it looked like it was difficult, she continued on her warpath. "Where were you?"
"Is there any answer I could give that won't result in a fight?" Mulder asked starting to get angry himself.
"Were you volunteering to help needy children?"
"Then you should have been home for dinner." They glared at each other, neither wanting to look away first.
"You got a brochure from where?" Dana couldn't hide the shock in her voice as she asked this. Of all the colleges she thought he would be interested in this was not one of them.
"As in England?"
"Yes as in England," he said in an exasperated 'come on now' sort of way.
"Wow. You think you want to go there?" the forced cheerfulness in her voice was painfully obvious.
"Well..." He stopped and tried to figure out how to phrase this. "If you had asked me 6 months ago I would have told you it was perfect. I was really only looking for one thing in a school, distance. But now..."
Dana took a deep breath and then said into the phone, "Mulder, I can't be the reason you stay, I couldn't take that. We did the long distance thing for a while, we can do it again. If you need to get as far away from home as possible then you need to apply to those colleges. I get that."
"Okay, babe. I'll leave you here alone in Dullsville with only my mother for company," he said in a very put upon voice.
Summer came far too quickly; something neither of them knew was possible. Summer meant being split up and not being able to see much of each other until school started back up and Mulder was a senior and Dana a sophomore.
Mulder went to spend another summer, three long months, with his father and his drinking. He couldn't wait for September.
Note: Okay, I've already got the sequel in the works, oh don't groan, that'll be coming out soon. Thanks for reading this :).