Title: Eightball Wishes
Author: Coffman
Written: October 1998
Rating: PG-13 (some violence)
Category: XHA
Spoilers: There are some hidden references to Deep Throat, but for the most part, this story could have taken place any time.
Keywords: Mulder/Scully/Margaret Scully/Skinner Friendship
Disclaimer: Characters of the X-Files belong to Chris Carter, etc . . .

Summary: Mulder and Scully make a wish on an eightball and take a trip back to childhood.

This is my first story, so please be kind. Feedback would be appreciated though.


A Mall outside of Washington DC.
December 18
3:00 p.m.

Agents Mulder and Scully strolled casually down the mall corridor, appearing to the rest of the world as if they were a couple out Christmas shopping.

The attractive pair walked closely, pausing at each store window to peer at the shining objects held within.

Heads bending closer, they appeared to be discussing the items on display, as if trying to decide whether or not to go in and buy something.

This is what the casual observer would have thought of the pair, and was meant to believe. Upon closer examination, one might see a small black device in each of their left ears, Scully's hidden more effectively behind her hair.

A more effective observer might notice that both had were still wearing their trench coats, even though the mall was sweltering with heat and the humidity caused by the breathing of the masses.

A practiced watcher of people, and most trained law enforcers, could tell you that the slight bulge under each coat was probably a weapon, holstered into a shoulder strap. Agents Mulder an Scully were on a case.

Looking once again into the window, Mulder tipped his head slightly to better see the reflection of the people behind him.

"Scully, can you see him? Over there in the blue jean jacket and red shirt."

Scully nodded yes, as if to agree with her companion regarding the item in the window.

Then she announce rather loudly, "Honey, you know that other picture was so tacky. He'll really like this one."

"Why is everything I always like tacky!? That painting is so . . . I don't know. Prissy!"

The man in the blue jean jacket, as well as everyone else in the corridor, had paused to stare at the attractive couple arguing over an ugly painting of a clown.

As other agents from the bureau slowly eased in around the perimeter of the jacketed man, Scully raised her voice even louder. "Prissy! What the hell do you mean by that? You're the one who cries at the drop of a hat! You're the one who gave you're dad a blender for his birthday! A blender! What were you thinking?"

Mulder stood there stunned.

Scully was really getting into this, and he was wavering between enjoying her performance, and actually starting to feel guilty for buying something they were pretending about.

He was just about to reel himself in and continue his side of the performance when the fellow FBI agents could be seen quietly arresting their suspect.

All without the majority of the public knowing about it, and with no dangerous situations encountered.

Leaning over, he gave Scully a quick kiss on the lips and said, "Sorry honey. You're right as usual."

And then grinned as he walked down the hall.

Scully stood there stunned for a moment and then realized that several women around the area were giving her thumbs up.

One even dared to comment in a very cheery voice, "Sure got him whooped, huh?"

Scully just nodded and followed after Mulder, a slight blush gracing her cheeks.

After placing everything in the Bureau's van, Scully turned to Mulder.

"I wasn't going to ask you, but after that childish display in there, I may as well."

"Childish?

I thought that kiss was very appropriate coming from a 'whooped' man. Now what did you want to ask me?"

"I didn't think you heard that lady's comment. But anyway, I need to buy some Christmas presents for my nephew. You two have the same level of maturity, so I thought you could help."

"Well, since you put it *so* nicely. Sure, I'll go."

Browsing around the toy store proved to be an interesting experience for the pair. Scully had been somewhat of a tomboy, playing with her brothers' toy guns and action figures, but was still amazed at the toys she saw.

Mulder, even though he came from a more affluent family, had never really had much in the way of toys. His sister had always gotten a lot more, and after she was gone, his family kind of forgot about Christmas.

When he was lucky, they forgot about him as well. He seemed to want to touch everything in sight.

After pushing what seemed like the fiftieth button on a toy that made noise, Scully arched a brow and asked, "Are you trying to drive everyone crazy, or is it just me you're aiming at?"

Touching another button, that let off loud alien gun noises, he leered up at her. "I thought I always drove you crazy? Even when I'm not wearing cologne."

Snatching the toy from his hand, she placed it back on the shelf. "Charlie would kill me if I bought this. He would probably hide it until I came to baby-sit, and then stock the house with fresh batteries. "

Seeing Mulder pick up another toy she asked, "So what did you play with as a child?"

Seeing his expression darken, she regretted asking. His eyes soon cleared and she knew he was putting an invisible shield over his emotions. She always forgot how different her childhood had been from his.

"My favorite toy was a basketball, I suppose. I always collected baseball cards as well."

"What? No alien spaceship models? What about Star Trek? Even I had Star Trek toys."

"Agent Scully. I am shocked that you could ever abandon your principles and play with Star Trek toys. What ever happened to science and rational thinking?"

"At the time it was buried next to my sister's Barbie doll's head in the sand box. I had her murdered by the dark forces."

Both remained looking serious until they cracked simultaneously into laughter. "Come on, let's keep looking, Scully."

After wandering up an down isles for about an hour, they both had a small pile of toys in their hands.

Scully had picked up several Batman action figures and a board game.

Mulder had a remote control car and a small box.

"What's in that box, Mulder? I don't remember us picking that up."

Smiling mysteriously, Mulder just said, "You'll see when we get to your place. Maybe it contains the lost forces of the Jedi."

Rolling her eyes, Scully picked up the bags of the now purchased toys, and led the way to the car.


Scully's House

10:00 p.m.

After pizza and a movie (Star Trek, of course), Scully remembered Mulder's mysterious box.

"Time to unleash whatever dark forces you have hidden Mulder." Mulder pretended to be ignorant of what she meant and whispered dramatically, "Your bed or mine?"

"The box, Mulder.

The box."

"Oh!

Is *that* what you meant?

You'll have to be more clear in the future. Let me get it."

Rising from his end of the couch, he stretched his long arms over his head to work out the kinks in his back.

Catching Scully glancing at the flesh exposed by his shirt rising, he winked, enjoying her blush. Returning to sit beside her, he held out a round black ball.

"Mulder, this is a pool ball. An eight ball to be precise.

Why did you buy this?"

"Haven't you ever seen a *magic* eight ball, Scully?

The kind that you ask questions to, or make wishes on?"

Scully started to switch gears into her scientist's lecture mode.

"Mulder, what I find hard to believe is that you expect me to think there is anything *magical* about a toy.

Much less, wish on one."

"Scully.

How do you know it's not real?

An besides, it's *supposed* to be fun. Come play with me, Scully."

This last statement was, of course, accompanied by *that look*.

The lower lip stuck out and the pleading eyes.

Rolling her eyes, Scully crossed her legs and faced him on the couch.

Seeing her give in, Mulder's look grew unto a sloppy smile, making Scully glad she had given in. "Light the candles, Scully.

We need to do this right."


**

"Is Scully's hair really red?" Two hard shakes of the ball:

*What do you think?*

"Mulder, of course it is!

Now give me that.

It's my turn!"

"Gee Scully, wish I could have seen you as a kid.

You had to be a real charmer."

"Are there really little green men out there?" Two hard shakes:

*No* "See, Mulder!

I've been telling you that for five years now!

Listen to the ball. It knows what it's saying."

Snatching the ball back, Mulder said, "You're not asking the right question, Scully. Are there any little *grey* men out there?" Two hard shakes:

*Yes* Sending her a satisfied smirk, Mulder said, "'They've been here for a long time', Scully."

"Bet you didn't make up *that* quote up yourself.

And look at you!

You think I was a pest when I was little.

I wish I could have seen *you*.

You had to have been a royal pain!"

The eight ball rolled onto the floor and stopped.

The words *Wish granted* appearing at the surface.

Neither agent noticed.

"Never me, Scully.

Never me. Now how about we watch Return of the Jedi? Are you up for another movie?

"Sure.

It is Friday night.

I guess I can sleep late for once.

Just as long as you don't call me at 3:00 a.m. and drag me out on a case."

"When have I *ever* done that, Scully."

Smacking him with a pillow, Scully hit play on the remote and leaned back on the couch.

Half hour into the movie found them both asleep.


Scully's House

10:13 a.m.
December 19

At 10:13 a.m. the next morning, Scully woke up to the sound of knocking at her front door.

Peering over, she was startled to see a small boy of about four sleeping in what appeared to be Mulder's clothes.

Sitting upright abruptly, Scully found herself tangled in her own pile of material, and realized that something was off.

Actually, about 85 pounds off.

The door pounded again and then a key turned in the lock.

*Oh, God!

It's Mom!* Scrambling off the couch, Scully looked frantically for a place to hide. Unfortunately Mulder chose to wake up at the same moment her mother walked in.

"Scully!

What the hell happened to me?

Scully!!!"

Maggie Scully looked at the boy in shock, and then saw Dana frozen in mid flight.

*Dana!

No, that child is not Dana.

Is it?*

"Um, kids.

I'm Mrs. Scully.

Dana's mom.

Where *is* Dana?"

Scully looked at her mother and said in a small voice, "Mom, it's me. Don't ask me how, but it's me and that's Mulder."

Mulder was still struggling to get off the couch in the mass of clothing. "Scully, what's going on?"

"I don't know, Mulder.

The last thing I remember is playing with the eight ball and then falling asleep during the movie."

Mulder looked down and paled. "Scully, do you remember the last thing you said when you were holding the ball?"

"No, what?"

"You said you wished you could have seen me as a kid.

I had said the same thing about you earlier."

Now Scully paled.

"Mulder . . .

This can't be happening.

I don't *believe* this is happening."

"Dana?

Fox?

Oh my!

It really is you!

What am I going to do?"

"Mom, we have to call Skinner and let him know what is going on.

Maybe he can get us in to see a doctor without anyone knowing."

"Scully, do you think that's such a good idea?"

"Mulder, we have to trust someone, and Mom can't handle this on her own."

"O.K., Mrs. Scully if you could make that call for us." *


Skinner showed up at the door with a look of panic on his face.

If the situation hadn't been so scary, the two agents might have found some humor in their boss' normally stern demeanor.

"Mrs. Scully, what's going on?

You said something about Agents Mulder and Scully being in a bad situation.

Where are they?"

Looking around, he spotted two small children that looked just like . . . !!!! "Mrs. Scully! Who's children are *they*?"

Mrs. Scully looked at the poor AD and smiled.

"Well, one of them is mine, and the other belongs to Teena Mulder.

Mr. Skinner, this is Fox and Dana."

Skinner looked down at the two children and stared closely.

Mulder squirmed under his gaze and Scully said, "Sir, it's not polite to stare."

"It really *is* them." he said wonderingly.

"How the hell did this happen? Don't tell me you two have managed to run across another secret experiment that doesn't exist?"

"No sir, at least we don't think so.

Mulder believes . .

OW!

Stop it" she screamed at the sharp jab to her ribs by Mulder.

After glaring at him, she turned back to face Skinner.

"Sir, WE believe it has something to do with the eight ball we were playing with.

We both wished we could see what the other had been like as a child. We fell asleep watching a movie and woke up like this.

The eight ball says *Wish Granted*."

Covering his eyes with his hands, Skinner sighed deeply.

"Time do some heavy planning folks."


After a few hours of discussing options, it was decided that both agents would stay with Mrs. Scully until everything was worked out.

Skinner would stay with them as well, in the event that any of their enemies discovered what had happened to them.

The agents would go into the office with Skinner the next day and look into their files for anything mentioning curses, wishes, talismans, or other objects involved in magic.

In the mean time, the two would try wishing themselves back to adulthood on the eight ball.

They would also accompany Skinner and Maggie to the Bureau's lab and doctor.

Right now, Mrs. Scully's top priority was to find clothing for the two kids, and get them safely to her house without arousing too much suspicion.

Asking Skinner to make them all lunch, Maggie stepped out to buy enough clothing to take the kids out in public. It struck her as kind of funny that she had to shop in order to go shopping. Then she remembered what a mess they were all in and quickly sobered.

The sight that met her eyes upon opening Dana's door brought Maggie's humor back in full force.

Walter Skinner stood in the middle of the kitchen looking utterly helpless.

He was covered in tomato sauce and staring at Dana and Fox.

As for those two, they were oblivious to the trouble they were causing. Four year old Fox and Dana, dressed in long t-shirts, were covered in sauce and noodles.

Most starting at their mouths and ending on the floor, with a lot of child covered in between.

"Never cooked for small children before, have you Walter?"

"Well, you get to hose them off.

I'm not doing it!"

Skinner stated firmly, but the look in his eyes was pleading.

"Of course, Walter.

Now go clean yourself up, and I'll get started on these two."

Maggie then walked over to the table and stared at Dana and Fox.

Both looked up at her with confused expressions and said, "What?

Did we do something?" Laughing again, she just shook her head and said. "Don't move from the chairs until I we get some of that mess off of you two."

Looking down, they both seemed surprised at the state they were in.

Skinner came out of the bathroom then and had removed his shirt, leaving a white t-shirt on with his slacks. "I guess that shirt won't be salvaged.

I'll dock their allowance for it though."

"Oh, you're just *so* funny!"

Mulder said.

Maggie then decided that they had better get moving soon if they were going to get to the store and then her place at a decent hour.

"O.K. kids.

I want you to get in the tub.

I'm not about to dress you in new clothes when you have tomato sauce in your hair."

"But Mom.

I don't want to take a bath.

Not with *him* here."

"Dana, you're in the body of a four year-old.

Now move into the bathroom." Dana scuffed her feet on the carpet and shuffled to the bathroom.

Mulder looked at Mrs. Scully with awe and then at Scully's retreating figure.

"How do you do that?"

"You too, Fox!"

stated Mrs. Mulder firmly.

As Fox scurried to do as she was told, Skinner cleared his throat and said, "I'd be interested in how you got *him* to do what he's told as well."

"Don't you know?

It's a mom thing.

Or as Dana used to say, It's my 'Darth Vador' power." She then moved off to start the bath water.


Twenty-five minutes later found Skinner in charge of the tub, even though he had stated there was no way he would.

He realized, with not much amusement, that getting the two out of the tub would be harder than getting them into it.

Apparently they had discovered their 'inner child', as well as several Batman toys. Currently, Batman was on a mission to save Robin from the evil Penguin.

Penguin was winning by a landslide.

Skinner should have known that Scully would choose to be Penguin.

He had to admit, the whole scene was fascinating.

But, tired as he was, he put a stop to the game by reaching into the tub and pulling the stopper.

As the water drained from the tub, both looked at him with such betrayed expressions that he realized why so many kids got away with murder.

Wrapping large towels around both, he lifted them one at a time and sent them to the bedroom to find their new clothes.

Soon, they were all dressed and ready to leave for Mrs. Scully's.

Taking a last glance around the apartment, Skinner took Mulder's hand as Maggie took Dana's and led him to the car.

Driving off, the two adults peered in the back to see the two agents sleeping peacefully and smiled.


Dayton's Department Store
December 19
5:00 p.m.

"Mr. Skinner to the customer service counter.

Mr. Skinner, please come to customer service right now!"

Skinner had been frantically searching for Fox after loosing him in the clothing racks.

One minute he had been there, and the next - gone.

Hearing the irritated voice of the customer service personnel over the intercom gave him much pause for relief.

Only one person he knew could cause someone to sound like that in ten minutes.

Fox Mulder.

He walked over to the customer service counter, and introduced himself to the manager.

"I'm Walter Skinner.

I believe you found something I lost."

The woman gave him a look of pity and said, "Your son is cute, but I don't see how you put up with him."

Walter was a little shocked to hear Mulder referred to as his son, but covered it quickly.

"Where is my son?"

The woman pointed over to the corner of the room where he saw Fox sitting in a plastic chair swinging his feet below him.

"Hi Dad!

Can I have some candy?", Fox laughed.

Skinner groaned, knowing Mulder was really milking this childhood thing.

"Let's go Fox.

You're already in enough trouble without begging for candy." Clutching Fox's hand tightly, the two walked back to clothing to meet Maggie and Dana.

He was not about to loose his *son* again.

Maggie and Dana were not having much success in shopping either.

Both females had their hands on their hips and faces their faces were flushed. Walter and Mulder really couldn't tell who was winning the silent battle of wills. "Mom, I will not wear pink lace!

I am an adult for God's sake!"

At this comment, Mulder and Skinner laughed.

"You're having an argument over pink lace? Come on ladies.

Just pick something out and go."

Maggie apparently decided to give in and let Dana have her way with the clothing. It was hard to remember that this was her daughter in front of her, and not a child she was baby-sitting, or even wistfully, her grandchild.

Exiting the store, they headed toward Maggie's, all four ready for bed.


Maggie Scully's House

December 20

2:00 a.m.

A child's cry pierced the night, causing Skinner to bolt upright in bed. Momentarily, confusion set in until he remembered where he was.

Mrs. Scully's house. Well, Maggie's house.

They had each given the other permission to use first names.

The cry echoed out again, and Skinner realized it was coming from Mulder.

Rushing into the boy's room, he spotted his agent huddled in the corner of the room with a blanket over his head.

Lowering himself to the floor, he could hear Fox mumbling, "Sorry Daddy. I didn't mean to break it.

Please . . .

Sorry..."

Lifting back the corner of the blanket, he exposed Mulder's tear-streaked face.

Touching the boy on the shoulder, he noticed Mulder flinch sharply and raise his voice.

"Please, Daddy! Please don't hit me again! I'll be good. I promise."

Skinner felt a pain in his chest and his stomach clenched sharply.

"Fox? It's O.K., Fox. It's Skinner. No one is going to hurt you."

Mulder stopped talking, but still had tears trailing down his cheeks.

Skinner paused for a moment, not sure what to do, and then picked Mulder up. Embracing the small being in his arms, he rubbed his hand up and down the boy's back. Feeling small hands clasp his neck, he wondered how any father could have treated his child in such a manner.

He found himself wishing Bill Mulder were alive, so that he could give him return treatment.

Mulder finally stopped crying, and appeared to be fully awake now.

Unable to look Skinner in the eyes, he mumbled, "I'm sorry to have bothered you sir.I don't know what brought that on."

"Your size is probably making you feel vulnerable, Mulder. As well as the stress of the day."

Lifting Fox's chin in order to look at him he said, "It's O.K., Mulder. Nothing to be embarrassed about. You should have heard me screaming when I came back from Nam. It helps to talk about it you know."

Seeing Fox shake his head no, Skinner went on, "Well, you know where to find me if you change your mind. Now back into bed, we're both very tired."

Mulder climbed into bed and looked up at his boss, who was the closest thing to a real father he had ever had.

After all, he really couldn't say much for his own father. "Sir, could you stay with me until I fall asleep?"

Knowing what it must have taken to get Mulder to ask such a question made Skinner's answer easy. "Sure. Now lie down."

Tucking the covers around the boy, he patted him on the head, momentarily forgetting that the boy was actually a thirty-seven year old man.

When Maggie Scully awoke the next day, it was to find Skinner asleep in a chair by Fox's bed, with his hand resting on the boy's.

Smiling, she left them to sleep for a few more minutes.


December 20

8:00 a.m.

Breathing in deeply, Skinner looked at the two agents.

Both had their heads bent towards each other whispering, not unlike they frequently did when fully grown. "Time to go in agents.

Now remember, you need to act like children and not give your identities away.

We'll use your middle names when in the office.

Ready?"

"Yeah."

they chorused.

As they walked through the corridors of the agency, heads turned in surprise and amusement at the stern AD walking with two small children on either side of him. Stopping by his secretary's desk, he asked if there were any messages for him. "Sir, you have a visitor in your office.

He's been in there for about a half hour now."

"Who is it?

I really don't have time for visitors right now."

"Sir, it's our Cigarette Smoking friend."

"Great.

Just what I need today."

Looking down at his charges he hesitated.

There was no way he could take these two into see Cancer Man.

He might not recognize who they were, but he would surely realize they were related to his two agents and stock it away for future references.

"Kim, can I leave the children here with you for a few minutes?

You would really be helping me out."

Kim looked at her nervous boss and smiled.

"No problem sir.

As long as they don't cause too much trouble."

"Thank you, Kim"

As Skinner walked into his office and shut the door, Kim turned to look thoughtfully at the two tikes.

"Now, what are your names sweety?"

"Katherine"

"Will"

came both replies at once.

"Are you related to Assistant Director Skinner?"

Mulder decided to have some fun with this one.

"Well, we're not supposed to tell anyone."

"What do you mean?

Why should it be a secret?"

"Mommy said no one could know."

"Muld - Will!

Quit telling fibs to Kim.

We're his niece and nephew."

Kim looked down at Scully and frowned.

"Mr. Skinner does not have any siblings, and he's not married anymore.

I don't think either one of you are telling the truth. Now spill it.

What's going on."

Mulder looked at Scully, and she at him.

The unspoken communication passed between them, as always, and prompted their next action.

Mulder poked Scully in the ribs.

"I told you to QUIT TOUCHING ME!!!!"

she screamed.

"YOU STARTED IT!!!

I'm TELLING!."

The two then began to chase each other through the lounge, blocking any further attempts Kim could make to question them.

"Sit down!

Both of you.

On that couch, now!"

Both pretended to be shocked and hurt and went to the couch.

After that, every time Kim tried to ask a question, both agents would refuse to look at her and looked as if on the verge of tears.

After a bit, she gave up and went back to work.

Both agents looked at each other and grinned.


Skinner had managed to get that smoking bastard to leave out his back door and took a few minutes to collect himself.

Opening his window to let in fresh air, he remembered his two agents in the waiting room.

Opening the door he stopped to see his normally smiling secretary angrily stuffing papers into files with more force than necessary.

Looking at his two agents, he noticed them whispering again, but this time they were also trying to hide giggles.

Raising his eyebrow, he nodded for them to enter his office.

"Thanks Kim.

I hope they weren't too much trouble." He closed the door and barely missed the choking noises she made as she took in his comment.

"How is it you two always manage to get into trouble?

What did you do to that poor woman?"

"Mulder tried to make her think you were our Dad, but that it was a secret."

"Gee, Scully.

You are such a rat fink!"

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

"Enough!

You two may look like children, but you *are* adults.

Did you clarify the situation?"

"We tried, but she called us liars,"

said Scully.

Skinner put his head down for a few minutes and then stood.

"Let's go down to the basement now.

We need to start going through those files."


After going through almost every X File in the basement, Scully finally came across something useful in one of Mulder's books.

"Look, Mulder. It says that we can break the spell on the night of a full moon.

That's about a week away."

"I don't think I can stand another week of this Scully," he whined.

"Mulder, you're being *prissy* again."

"Come on you two.

Let's copy those pages and go.

We need to get both of you to the doctor for tests just in case."

After copying the necessary information, the three headed up to the bureau's labs to meet a doctor Skinner knew could keep their problem confidential.

Both agents were stripped down to their underwear sitting on the steel table.

Skinner was amazed every time he looked at them.

They were so little, and cute. *Don't let Scully hear me calling her cute!* The doctor was listening to Fox's breathing and was trying to get him to sit still.

"Agent Mulder, I'll never finish this exam if you can't sit still."

"It's cold in here.

And you keep tickling me."

The doctor looked up at Skinner and asked, "Does he always whine this much?"

Scully replied for him, "Yes, he does."

Moving on to Scully, she attempted to do the same procedures as she had on Mulder. Scully had different ideas however, and proceeded to tell the poor doctor how to do her job.

"Is she always this bossy?"

she asked Skinner.

Mulder replied for him, "More than you could ever know."

After checking the two out, she announced that they were both healthy, and except for needed attitude adjustments, were fine.

"If I believed in spanking, these two would be at the top of my list.

Do *you* believe in spanking, Mr. Skinner?"

Skinner looked at the two small faces who peered up at him warily.

Inwardly laughing, he smiled and said, "I'm still thinking about that one.Thanks for your help, Jan."

Five minutes later found them walking down the corridor with Scully whispering into Mulder's ear. "You don't think he would really spank us.

Would he?"

"No," he gulped.

"Of course not."

But he didn't look so sure.

Skinner finally had to laugh at the two.

"I wouldn't dare hit a child.

Much less one that will be six feet tall in another week.

And Scully could probably kick my ass no matter how small she was.

Let's go home folks."

Unbeknownst to the trio, the Cigarette Smoking man had been watching their progress from a darkened corner of the hall way.

*Interesting.

That child looks just like Fox at that age.*

Pulling a cell phone out of his pocket, he quickly dialed a number.

"Alex, it's me.

We have an interesting development.

Meet me in an hour."


Maggie Scully's

December 20

9:30 p.m.

After a laid back night of watching t.v., everyone finally decided it was time for bed. Dana and Maggie had already gone up, and Skinner was on his way, when he noticed Fox still flipping through the channels.

"Are you coming up now, Mulder?"

"No, I don't think I can sleep for a while.

You go ahead on up."

Skinner looked at Mulder with a worried expression.

He knew Mulder was probably afraid of having more nightmares, and decided not to push him just yet. "O.K., but don't stay up too long.

Good night."

Fox stayed awake another hour or so watching t.v., and then fell asleep on the couch, just like at home.

He never noticed the shadow in the window, nor the man that entered the house, until he felt an oily rag being placed over his nose and mouth.

The last thing he thought of was Scully.

He hoped they didn't get her too.


Unknown Location and time
December 21

Fox woke up strapped to a cold metal table in a darkened room. The room was damp and smelled musty, as if it hadn't been used in a long time. He figured he was in a basement of some kind.

He then noticed that he was strapped down and began to feel a panic rise.

He was starting to struggle with his bonds when the door opened and he saw a man silhouetted against the light of the outer room.

Mulder couldn't tell who the man was until he heard a low laugh. "Well, well. What have we here? A little fox. And who are you?"

Seeing that the child refused to answer him, he gripped the small chin and twisted the boy's head to look at him.

"You will talk, Little Fox. You can do it the easy way, or with a little help from my friend. But you will talk."

"Go to hell, Rat Face!"

Krycek peered closely into Mulder's eyes, allowing recognition to set in briefly before he dismissed the ridiculous thought.

This was not Mulder, but it had to be Mulder's son.

"Fine. Let me introduce you to my friend then."

With that, he left the room and a wiry man wearing jeans and a black turtle neck entered. "You and me are gonna have some fun kid. Yes, we're gonna do some talkin' and gettin' to know each other. Now, what's your name boy?"

Mulder stared off into space and kept quiet.

The wiry man unstrapped Mulder from the table and flung him to the floor.

As Mulder laid huddled in a ball, the man asked again, "What is your name?"

When Mulder still did not answer, the man bent down and picked him up by the back of his pants and stood him up roughly. "Don't you know to respect your elders? Your old man didn't teach you anything, boy. I'll show you some manners."

Mulder shivered at the mention of his father and pushed back the memories that were creeping up on him.

The wiry man, seeing the first signs of fear, smiled. "What is your name?" he asked in a low whisper.

Mulder tried to picture anything but the room he was in to distance himself from his surroundings. He was successful until a blow to his small back with a belt knocked him to the ground.

His sharp elbows came into contact with the cement and he cried out in pain. The wiry man, seeing another weakness, picked the boy up again and repeated the question and his use of the belt until Mulder finally cried out, "Will. My name is Will. Please leave me alone!"

By this time the Mulder's shirt was ripped from the continuous landing of the belt.

The wiry man noticed his back was marked with dark bruises and stripes of blood.

*Guess I'll have to hit him somewhere else next time.* "Who are your parents?"

"I don't have any," replied Mulder.

Hoping the man would take this answer, he shrunk down to the floor and tried to avoid further beatings.

The man looked at him for a minute and then sneered. "We know who your father is boy. No sense in trying to hide it from us. Now, I want you to say his name. Who is your father."

Mulder whimpered in fear as the man slammed the belt onto his backside. The man hit him again three or four times before Mulder whispered, "Skinner. His name is Skinner."

This was not the answer the man had been expecting. Throwing Fox into the corner, he went out to consult with his boss.

Fox lay there shivering and plunged back into the nightmares of his childhood, and then finally into unconsciousness. When he awoke, the man was back. "Get up boy."

Fox struggled to rise, but was moving too slowly for the man's liking.

He jerked Fox to his feet and then moved back when the child flinched and wet himself out of fear.

The man sneered down at the child, "Guess we're taking you home. Too bad we got the wrong kid."

The man again placed a rag over his face and the boy slipped into unconsciousness again.


Maggie Scully's House
4:40 a.m.
December 21

Skinner and Maggie awoke to the sound of Dana screaming.

Rushing downstairs, they expressed cries of panic at the sight of Mulder laying on the floor, bloodied and soiled.

Skinner rushed over to him and felt for a pulse. He sighed deeply when he felt a strong beat.

"Sir, don't move him," Dana cried. "I need to examine him first."

Dana's tiny hands moved over her partner, feeling for anything broken. "I don't think anything's broken, but we need to get him to a hospital."

Skinner picked the child up and headed to the door.

"Grab the cell phone. We'll call Jan and have her take care of him. I don't know who did this, and I don't want to risk him in public. Dana, stay close to your mother."

Skinner sat in the back seat with Mulder cradled on his lap the whole way there.


Qauntico Medical Lab
5:13 a.m.
December 21

"My God, Sir! What happened to Mulder?" Jan asked ask she placed the boy on an examination table.

"I don't know, Jan. I left him on the couch and went to bed. I woke up some hours later to Scully screaming. She found him just inside the door to the house. I think someone took him."

Jan began to cut Fox's clothes from his body but paused when he started to stir. "No.

Please, No.

NOOOOO!!!!!!!!"

Fox shrieked and the doctor had a hard time holding him still.

"Don't restrain him." said Dana.

"It only makes it worse.

Sir, please do something."

Skinner put his hand on Fox's head and stroked the hair away from his face. "Fox, it's Skinner.

I'm here Fox, and nothing can get you while I'm here."

Fox opened his eyes and settled down.

"Scully.

Did they take her too." Scully face appeared at the side of the bed.

"I'm right here Mulder."

Mulder relaxed even more until the doctor started cutting clothing away again.

Mulder began to shake and tried to move away from the scissors.

"Maggie put her hand on Fox's feet and calmly said to him, "Fox, we need to cut your clothes away in order to see where you're hurt.

Please hold still. No one can hurt you here."

He looked around and saw the three people whom he loved most and nodded in agreement.

As the clothing was removed, all present gasped at the extent of the bruising.

The red stripes of the belt were visible, and most had turned a dark purple.

"We'll run some scans to see if there is any internal bleeding or cracked bones.

Other than that, we'll treat him for swelling and pain.

It's not safe to keep him here, but I'll show you how to take care of him at home.We also need to get him cleaned up and put some very soft and loose clothing on him."

"I'll give him my t-shirt for now.

Will that be O.K.?" asked Skinner.

"That would be perfect."

Then looking to Mulder, "Let's get you cleaned up mister, and taken care of.

I'm sure you don't want to be in here with me again and these ticklish instruments."

That got the small smile she had been hoping for.

"At least no one can call me a prissy whiner this timehe quipped.

Skinner looked at the floor and then hesitantly asked, "Mulder, do you remember what happened?"

Mulder's eyes darkened and he paused to collect himself.

"It was Krycek.

He wanted to know if I was Fox Mulder's son.

He had some guy beat me until I finally told him my name was Will.

He stopped beating me when I told him you were my dad. I should have started with that one.

They let me go when they thought they had the wrong kid.

I wish I could have said that when I was little as well. Everyone always seems to want to beat on anything that is or belongs to Fox Mulder."

"Not everyone, Mulder."

Fox looked over at Dana and smiled.

"No, Dana, not everyone."

Mulder quickly fell asleep again and did not wake up until they reached home. Once there, he was too terrified to go to bed, so Skinner picked him up and carried him into his room.

"You can sleep here.

I'm going to call in sick." After calling in, Skinner went back to his room and held the small boy until both fell asleep.


Unknown Time

Unknown Location

"Did you find anything out from the boy, Alex?"

Alex watched as clouds of smoke swirled around the older man.

"No.

I put my best guy on it.

It seems he's Skinner's brat.

Must have been hidden or something. We sure didn't know about it."

"How can you be sure the child was telling the truth?

After all, Mulder could have warned him not to tell anyone who he was if anything like this ever happened."

"Like I said, I had my best man on it.

That kid won't be telling any lies for a long timehe smiled.

His smile ceased when the older man grabbed him by the throat and threw him against the wall.

With his free hand, he removed the cigarette from his mouth an blew a cloud of smoke into Alex' face.

"Did you touch that child in a harmful manner? I asked you to frighten him a bit, not hurt him.

Well, Alex?"

Alex swallowed nervously and shook his head yes.

The Cigarette Smoking Man became even angrier and his voice became low and menacing.

"You foolhe hissed. "That boy could have been Mulder's son!

I should have you killed for this."

With that, he threw Alex to the ground and walked out.

Alex stood up and brushed himself off before leaving.

"I wonder why he should care so much about any child Mulder would have?"


Maggie Scully's House

December 24

9:30 p.m.

The rest of the week had passed quietly, except for the nights.

Mulder continued to stay with Skinner at night and followed the man everywhere, as if afraid to leave his sight. Dana hovered around Fox as well, continually touching him, as if to make sure he was there.

She frequently laid down with him when he became overly tired from his injuries, as if sensing he would be too afraid to even sleep in the day time. Christmas Eve was finally here, as was the full moon.

They were going to try the eight ball again tonight and hope for the best.

Holding the ball in his small hands, Mulder looked around the room nervously. "Here goes nothing.

I wish I was an adult again."

Two hard shakes:

*Nine is your lucky number.*

"Damn.

You try, Scully."

"I wish I was an adult again." Two hard shakes:

*Were you ever?*

"The thing isn't working.

What are we going to do?

I wish this thing worked!" Dana threw the ball to the floor where it rolled until it hit the wall.

Maggie Scully looked at both children and made a suggestion.

"Tonight is Christmas Eve.

If ever a miracle were to happen, it would be tonight.

Why don't you both go to bed, and pray for a miracle.

You might be surprised."

Both got up and sullenly walked up the stairs to Dana's room.

"Sir, I think I'll stay with Dana tonight." Skinner nodded understanding that they needed to be together.

Once in her room, they looked at each other and said a silent prayer.

Mulder:

God, I know I don't talk to you much, but at least make Dana the way she used to be.

She doesn't deserve this.

Please help her God.

Scully:

God, I know I've asked for a lot this year, but this isn't for me. Please help Mulder out.

He's gone through way too much.

Downstairs, the words in the ball started to shift around until they happened upon *Wish Granted.*


Maggie Scully woke up early the next morning.

She could never sleep past five a.m. on Christmas after having four children.

Walking softly down to Dana's room, she opened the door.

After looking at the two in bed, she woke Skinner up to see the sight. They both stared at *their* children, who were once again fully grown. Mulder had his arms wrapped tightly around Scully with his head on her chest.

Both still had the look of innocence in their expressions.

"Let's wake them up, Walter. I want them to see the presents that this day has brought to them."

Maggie tapped on both their shoulders and then stepped back to the door frame with Skinner.

Both agents slowly opened their eyes and peered into each other's faces, smiles growing wide at the sight in front of them.

*Thank you, God*, they both thought, and hugged each other tight.

Walter and Maggie shut the door and went down stairs to wait for what they knew would be a glorious Christmas.

The end.

 

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