Title: Standing Guard
Author: Patty Hayes
Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the television program "The X-Files" are the creations and property of Chris Carter, Fox Broadcasting, and Ten Thirteen Productions, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringements are intended. This work is not to be forwarded or distributed to any newsgroup, FTP, or WWW site without the permission of the author.

Summary: Mulder and Scully help an old friend of Mulder's with a problem involving ghosts and psychics.

I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I enjoy writing them. I'm still new at this and would really appreciate feedback. You can e- mail me at . Thanks, Patty :-) Spoilers: Just obscure references to second and third seasons. Not really a romance, just a close friendship.

Gravesite Boston, MA

Bailey sat with her daughter on her lap. Sophie's head against her shoulder. Her husband was being laid to rest. The police had ruled it an accident. Bailey knew it wasn't. Bailey grew up a gifted child in a number of ways. One which was a special ability to 'feel' certain things. She wasn't really psychic but she sometimes just 'knew' things. When she tried to tell the police her theory regarding her husband's death, they had just laughed at her. Well, not out and out laughed but she could see it in their eyes. They considered her a hysterical grieving widow. But Parker was a good swimmer. He even taught swimming each year to the local Boy Scout Troop. They said he'd probably slipped and hit his head and fell into the pool. The autopsy she had insisted upon showed no trauma to the body that would be consistent with a head injury.

Bailey had married Parker Simms six years ago after a short engagement. Their daughter, Sophie, had come along two years later. Parker was an architect. He designed and built skyscrapers. He was a visionary. His work was important to him. But not as important as Bailey and Sophie. Bailey was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He was dead, he knew that. But something was about to endanger Bailey and Sophie. He had to stay close to help. Whatever it was that had killed him was after Bailey. He thought about the time he first saw Bailey Kent. She was playing violin for the Boston Pops. She had long wavy light brown hair and the softest brown eyes he had ever seen. She was as hypnotic as her music. He knew at that moment he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. He didn't know it would be a short life. When Sophie arrived, she was a carbon copy of Bailey. He adored her. He was so angry that he couldn't be there to watch her grow up. He didn't know how long he could stay i this state. He felt something coming for him. He had to stay for Bailey's sake. He wished he had better control over this transition. He had no idea when and where he would be with Bailey.

Bailey stood, holding her daughter's hand while she accepted condolences from friends. Both her and Parker had come from one child families and her parents had died ten years earlier in a car accident. Parker's mother hadn't really wanted children and she told Parker often. His father had passed away two years ago of a heart attack so the only other family that attended was Parker's mother. While she did come to the funeral, Mrs. Simms had left immediately after. She didn't get along with Bailey. She hadn't kept in touch with Parker and she didn't really want to have anything to do with Bailey or Sophie. This was fine with Bailey. She didn't think much of a woman who could treat her own child the way she had treated Parker. But she felt sad for Sophie. Sophie would grow up without grandparents and now without her father. She and Parker wanted a lot of children. They thought they had plenty of time.

Home now, Bailey was putting Sophie to bed. "Mommy, is Daddy in Heaven with God?" She was so small and her voice so soft.

"Yes, baby. Daddy is with God. But, you know, he's with us too. In our hearts. When ever you miss him, just look deep in your heart and think about him and it'll be just like he's here with us." She smiled at Sophie. Fighting back the tears. Bailey tucked her in and kissed her on the forehead. "Go to sleep now, Sophie. I'll see you in the morning."


"Yes, Sophie."

"Are you going to Heaven, too?" Tears started forming in her eyes and broke Bailey's heart.

"No, baby. Momma's right here. I'm not going anywhere. Why would you think that?" God, she didn't want Sophie to go through this.

"The voice said you were." She was crying now.

"What voice, Sophie?" Bailey was holding Sophie and rocking her. This scared her. She had felt something wrong for a couple of weeks now, but desperately wanted to believe it was her imagination. Was this thing after Sophie? * God, help me! *

Without answering, Sophie was falling asleep. Bailey laid her back down and tucked her in again. She sat there for a few minutes longer, wondering what was going on. She knew she wasn't letting Sophie out of her sight until this was all over. She leaned down and kissed her on the forehead again and said "Sleep sound, baby." She went back out to the family room to attend to the guests. Tomorrow she would make a trip to Washington to get help.

FBI Headquarters J. Edgar Hoover Building
Washington, DC

"Mulder, I'm telling you, there is no evidence of abduction or kidnapping in this case. This was a runaway! He was spotted on the bus at every stop it made and he was alone. He was back the next morning unharmed. I think he just needed a little love and attention. Did you notice his reaction when his parents fawned over him when he returned?" Scully was glad the young man was home but believed they were not needed in this case.

"OK, Scully. I give." Fox Mulder smiled. He loved it when she argued against almost every point he tried to make. It's what made them a good team. When they each voiced point and counterpoint, they felt alive. It was exhilarating. He had never had a partner like Dana Scully. And with any luck he would never have to change partners. Even though Mulder started his 'quest' alone, he could no longer imagine completing it without Scully. She kept his feet on the ground when it was so easy for him to soar blindly. They were interrupted by the phone ringing.

"Mulder." He answered.

"Agent Mulder, this is Chelsea at the front desk. I have a Mrs. Bailey Kent Simms here to see you. Do you want me to send her down or do you want to come up?" Chelsea was the day receptionist at the Bureau. She was always pleasant to Mulder. Too many people scoffed at him. Thought he was nuts. But she liked him and Agent Scully and was very protective of them.

Mulder didn't have to think who Bailey Kent was. He remembered. "I'll come up and get her. Thanks, Chelsea." He looked over at Scully. "An old friend is upstairs. I'll be back in a few minutes." He was out the door before he finished speaking.

He recognized her immediately. She was still so beautiful. Small framed, about the same size as Scully. Long brown hair and enticing brown eyes. She was holding a darling little girl close to her. She was looking nervously around. Examining every person who came near them. She turned when the receptionist looked up and waved to Mulder. Bailey stood and sat the girl on her feet next to her, never letting go of her hand. "Bailey!" Mulder walked up to her and put his arms around her. Pulling her into a hug. She put one arm around him, he noticed she still did not let go of the girl's hand.

"Mulder. It's good to see you. I hope you don't mind my just showing up. Can we talk for a minute? I'll try not to take up too much of your time." She wanted to get right to the point.

"Sure, I've got time. We can get some coffee. Bailey, this little one has got to be yours. My God, it's like going back in time. She looks like you xeroxed yourself. She's beautiful." He was invited to Bailey's wedding and had passed but he didn't know she'd had a child.

"Thanks. Yes this is my daughter, Sophie. You'll have to excuse her, she's a little unsettled. We've ... um ... been through a lot lately." She suddenly looked tired to Mulder.

They took a table in the cafeteria and Mulder brought back coffee for them and milk for Sophie. "Hi, Sophie. Why don't you just call me Fox, OK? That's my first name." The girl didn't look like his sister, Samantha, but still reminded him of her and while he didn't know what the problem was, it felt right to have her call him Fox. He instantly knew the girl was afraid of something. He didn't want it to be him. He looked over at Bailey. She did look troubled. She was hesitating. "You didn't come all the way here just to have coffee with me. Talk to me, Bailey. What's wrong?"

"Mulder." She didn't quite know where to start. "I buried my husband yesterday," she said it letting out a deep breath. He placed his hand on hers as he saw the pain in her eyes. "He drowned in our swimming pool. The police ruled it accidental. Parker was a certified life guard. He taught Sophie to swim and how to behave at pool side even at her age. He taught the local Boy Scout Troop. God, he taught a class on pool safety once a week at the local YMCA."

"Accidents happen, Bailey." He wanted to comfort her.

"Not to him." She took another deep breath. "I had them do an autopsy. There was no evidence of head trauma. He couldn't have drowned accidentally." Her eyes pleading with him for belief. Bailey looked over at Sophie. She was drinking her milk and playing with the crayolas her mother had brought with them. Bailey didn't want Sophie listening. She didn't want her more upset that she already was.

Mulder looked into her soft brown eyes. "There's more, isn't there? "


"Why don't we go down to my office. I want Scully to hear this. You'll like my partner." He led them to his basement office.

Scully stood as Mulder ushered his guests into their office. "Scully, this is an old friend, Bailey Kent and her daughter Sophie."

"It's Simms now, but please call me Bailey." They exchanged pleasantries and shook hands.

"Bailey, why don't you set Sophie up at the drafting table, then we can talk over here." Mulder filled Scully in on the details about her husband's death.

Bailey sat Sophie in the chair, putting the paper and crayolas in front of her. "When you want to get down, call me, OK? This chair is a little high." She nodded yes and picked up a crayola.

"She's a beautiful little girl. How old is she?" Scully could sense Bailey's nervousness.

"Thanks, Sophie was four a couple of months ago," she said as Mulder pulled a chair out for her.

As they sat around Mulder's desk, Bailey told them about the past couple of weeks. "Strange things started happening at the house. One night I was standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes when I felt .... someone in the room. It felt like someone was breathing down my neck. I thought it was Parker." Bailey looked a little embarrassed. "I turned around and no one was there. I could see Parker on the family room floor playing with Sophie. I felt cold and chills went up my spine. I felt like someone was still in the room watching me. I had to actually leave the room. Then a couple of nights later, Parker was working late so he wasn't home when I went to bed and I woke up feeling like someone was in the room. The air almost seemed . . heavy. I felt cold and scared again. I got up and turned on the light and again no one was there. I went to check on Sophie and ended up staying with her. Parker came home and we checked out the house but couldn't find anything. He then admitted to me that he had

elt something strange lately also but couldn't put his finger on it. But it wasn't just at the house. I'd feel it while at work or just out shopping. Like someone was there behind me. I thought I was just getting paranoid. Neither of us are superstitious and you know me, Mulder, I don't get spooked but this really bothered me. I believe Parker was murdered but I don't know what killed him." Bailey finally took a breath and gave that time to sink in.

Mulder looked over at Scully throughout the explanation. They had an entire conversation without saying anything. Mulder started. "Have you ever seen any strangers hanging around the neighborhood or had anyone follow you?"

"Not that I can recall. It's only been a couple of weeks. But there's something else." She hesitated. "I was playing with the symphony the night Parker died. I heard a voice in the dressing area. No one else heard it. A man's voice. It said 'It's over now.' Last night, after the funeral, I was putting Sophie to bed. She said 'a voice' told her I was going away like her daddy. I'm scared, Mulder, and I don't know what to do." She had tears in her eyes. "The only family left is Parker's mother and if something happened to me..... I couldn't let her have Sophie." Her voice broke.

Mulder reached over and patted her hand. "Nothing's going to happen to you. You'll be OK. Can I talk to Sophie?" Bailey nodded.

"Do you have someplace you and Sophie can stay while we sort this out? " Scully knew it would be difficult investigating and didn't want the child to see or hear anything that might cause her harm, physically or emotionally.

"No. Parker's mother wasn't very much of a parent. She didn't want Parker. He was abused emotionally. I have no family left. I have a few friends in Boston, but frankly I don't want to let Sophie out of my sight, I'm scared for her." Bailey looked over at Sophie and Mulder. "He's a good man and a good friend."

"Yes, he is." Scully wondered how the two knew each other.

Mulder walked back over to the two women. "She doesn't say much about the voice. She just said that at the funeral a voice told her to say good bye to her daddy and that her mommy would be leaving too. " Mulder saw the fear in Bailey's eyes. "Bailey, where are you staying in Washington?"

"I'm registered at the Hilton. I just got off the plane and came straight here though. Why? What do you want to do?" She hadn't a clue where to start.

"Well, I want to go to Boston and take a look around the house but we won't be able to go until tomorrow morning. I don't want you or Sophie to be alone. What are you doing about work?" Mulder was concerned for her safety. If this was not connected to the house, it could reach her or Sophie anywhere.

"I took a week off from teaching and the second chair can sit in for me in the symphony while I'm gone. Parker left me pretty well taken care of. I don't have to worry about working right now to live." She felt a little bit of relief knowing that Mulder was taking charge.

Mulder stood silent for a moment looking back at Sophie. If she got a suite, he good stand guard for tonight. He turned and looked at Bailey. "Bailey, why don't you see how Sophie is doing." He wanted to talk to Scully in private. "What do you think, Scully?"

"Mulder, I'd like to look at the autopsy reports myself. It's obvious she's scared. You know I don't believe in ghosts. But I believe that she believes something strange is going on. I'd hate to see anything happen to that little girl. And I'd like to hear how you're aquainted with her." She smiled at him.

Scully knew him so well. He smiled back at her. She enjoyed making Mulder squirm every now and then. She got very little chance to do it. He always had the upper hand. "Look, Scully, I'm going to have her get a suite so I can babysit tonight, then we'll go to Boston tomorrow and have a look around." Scully just nodded.

"Bailey, why don't you go ahead and get checked in at the hotel. Get a suite. The Bureau will make up the difference. I don't want to leave the two of you alone so I'll stand guard tonight and then we'll go to Boston tomorrow. Scully and I are going to discuss this, make the arrangements and get a call in to have the reports sent over to us. I'll be over in a hour or so." Mulder watched her gather up Sophie. He liked this little girl. He was determined that by the time this was over she would be opening up to him. She was holding on to her mother for dear life.

Mulder turned to Scully as Bailey left the office. "Scully, we'll have to get Skinner to OK this. Do you want to see what you can do?" He knew Scully had a better chance than he did with Skinner.

"I don't know if he will. He's been pretty tight lately. I'll try, Mulder." She rolled her eyes at him. "But you're going owe me one. Big time."

"Just one?" He gave her one of his best grins. "If he doesn't, then I'll take a leave of absence. I've got vacation time coming. I owe this to her, Scully." He sat back and collected his thoughts before he began. "We grew up together. She was Samantha's best friend. They lived a few doors down. She and Samantha were always together and I always gave them hell. The 'big brother'."

He smiled, remembering. Then he became somber. "She was taken within a few days of the night Samantha was. Only Bailey was returned thirty six hours later. They found her a few miles from home, dazed and wondering around. She didn't know who she was or were she was for a day or two. They questioned her but she didn't remember anything. She only remembered going to bed and then waking up in the hospital. They said she was different afterward. Changed, like she was 'touched' some how. She excelled in school. Skipped a couple of grades. She was two years younger than I was but we graduated the same year. She graduated from college two years later with a degree in education. She can pick up any instrument and play perfectly after just a few minutes. I always resented her for being the one returned and not Samantha.

"We became closer though during the last two years of high school. We were both 'outcasts', believe it or not. She was, because she was two or three years younger than everyone else and a hell of a lot smarter. I was, because of Samantha's disappearance and my dark moods. But she understood me. She helped me get through it. There was a time that I was so bad off I didn't think I could go on. You know, the typical teenage problems mixed with guilt over Samantha's disappearance. My parents didn't notice. They blamed me for it. I spent a lot of time at Bailey's home. She was there for me when no one else was or could have been. She kept me from doing something really stupid. And then I went off to Oxford. We kept in touch for a couple of years then sort of went our separate ways. There was a time I thought of marrying her. But I was too young and she knew it. And besides, she really was like my 'little sister'. I was invited to her wedding but I bowed out. I wouldn't admit this to her but I had the guy checked out." He grinned again. "He was all right. He would be good to her. She deserved happiness." He was silent at last. Staring off into space. He then looked over at Scully and smiled.

Scully smiled at him. "How are we going to proceed with this?"

"We? Scully? You don't have to this." Mulder smiled back at her. He thanked his lucky stars every day for Scully. She saved his life every day she was with him.

"Yes, Mulder. I'm going with you. I'll get this approved by Skinner. Besides, if I don't go with you, your liable to end up getting your ass kicked by a ghost." She rolled her eyes at him as they were leaving the office.

"Who're you gonna call?" He leaned down close to her face and grinned.

Hilton Hotel Washington, DC

Mulder joined Bailey for dinner and they caught up on old times while they ate. He found it just as easy to talk to her as he did when they were kids. As usual he did the talking and she the listening. Bailey was a good listener. She was never judgmental. She spoke only when he was finished, to offer advice or comforting or whatever the situation called for. Tonight, however, her mind was obviously occupied. She listened attentively but he could tell she was elsewhere. He knew why. Mulder wondered how she was staying so collected. He wondered if she had even given herself time to cry. If she was the same Bailey, then she hadn't. Bailey always had to stay strong for everyone else.

Bailey told Mulder good night and put Sophie down for bed. She lay beside her daughter until Sophie fell asleep, then sat by the window for awhile. She had to think about what they were going to do for their future. How Sophie was going to be taken care of if something were to happen to her. She tried not to think of Parker but her thoughts kept creeping back to him. She hadn't cried yet. She was afraid that if she started, she wouldn't be able to stop. She tried to sleep but couldn't. She noticed the light still on in the sitting room and decided to see if Mulder wanted to join her in a drink. Maybe that would help her sleep.

Mulder was startled to see Bailey come in. She was wrapped in her robe and even though she was tired and looking worn out, she was still a beautiful woman. "Hi. I hope I'm not keeping you up. I'm just looking over some of the reports."

"No, I couldn't sleep. Thought I might raid the honor bar for a drink. It might help. You never did sleep much, did you Mulder?" She wanted to talk but wasn't sure she wanted to burden him.

He smiled and put down the reports he held. "Do you want to talk about it?" She sat and stared at him for a moment, then shook her head. He went over to sit beside her and put his arms around her. He could feel her trembling. And she broke down in his arms. Tears came at last. She cried and he held her and rocked her and comforted her until she was still and silent. In a way he felt that he was returning the favors for all the comforting she had given him in the past and even though it felt good to be there for her, he was still heartbroken for her.

When she had gained control of herself she pulled away from him. "I'm sorry."

"Why? It's what you needed to do. I'm glad I was here for you. Sometimes you have to let others be there for you for a change." He looked into her soft brown eyes like he was trying to see inside her soul.

Bailey nodded, stood and walked over to the bedroom door. "Thank you. " Her eyes were wide and glistening. She smiled.

Mulder nodded and returned her smile and watched her walk through the door.

Parker had watched heartbroken as Mulder comforted his wife. He was glad she had someone to turn to. Someone to watch over her. He was angry that it couldn't be him. He missed her so much. He wanted so badly to reach out and touch her.

Boston Airport

The rest of the night was uneventful and they had arrived in Boston around lunch time the following day. She didn't know why, maybe just being back in the city, but Bailey felt something strange again. She kept Sophie close to her as she looked all around the airport. No one seemed to be paying attention to them. Mulder noticed her nervousness. They stopped at the airport cafe to grab a quick lunch. Sophie was getting hungry and Mulder wanted to give Bailey time to ease up some.

It was good to see Sophie eating. She hadn't eaten much the past couple of days and Bailey was hoping she was starting to come around. Bailey was looking around when she heard Sophie laugh. She turned quickly and saw Sophie smiling up at Mulder, who was purposely stealing her fries. Bailey felt a sudden warmth. God, it was good to see her laugh again.

Mulder picked up most of the trash and took it to the garbage bins when Sophie suddenly got up and ran to him with an empty cup. Bailey was startled. She didn't like Sophie getting outside of arms reach. As Sophie walked the few steps, Bailey suddenly felt a chill. Then she heard the voice. 'See how easy it could be?' She immediately looked at Sophie. Even though she was just a few feet away Sophie looked miles away. If someone were to grab her and run Bailey didn't think she could get to her in time to stop it. She jumped up called out to her. Sophie ran to her and hugged her legs. She picked her up and turned, looking all around. No one seemed out of place. Everyone was looking at them. She sat back down before her legs gave out, setting Sophie on her lap . She was shaking so badly she could hardly stand. "Did you hear that?" She looked at Scully, her eyes wide with fear.

Scully looked over at Mulder who had stepped back to the table the minute he heard Bailey. "What? Bailey, what did you hear?"

Mulder took one look at Bailey and knew something had happened. She was visible shaken and all the color was gone from her face. She had a terrified look in her eyes. "What happened?" Mulder was looking around now. Everyone had gone back to their lunches.

"I heard the voice again." Bailey was speaking softly. She bent down to Sophie, "Baby did someone say anything to you a moment ago?" Sophie just shook her head no. She was somewhat frightened now because of Bailey's actions. Bailey turned back to Mulder and Scully, her voice low so as not to frighten Sophie any further, "It said 'See how easy it could be?' like someone was going to take Sophie. Didn't you hear it?" There were tears in her eyes.

Mulder turned to Scully, his eyes questioning. She shook her head slightly, answering. "Bailey, let Scully take Sophie to get the car. We can get the luggage and meet them out front." He saw her start to refuse, her grasp on Sophie getting tighter.

"I can't do this, Mulder." Her voice was low and quick.

"Yes, you can. She'll be all right." Bailey let go of Sophie and watched as she walked away from her hand in hand with Scully.

Bailey was walking with Mulder to baggage claim, her face flush, tears in her eyes and she was visibly shaking. She was silent until they got outside, waiting for Scully to drive up. "I'm so damn mad. What the hell happened to my life. A month ago I was happily married with a beautiful child and no worries. The perfect family, the perfect life. Now we're alone and fighting to stay sane and alive. Who is trying to destroy us?"

"We're going to find out. Sophie's going to be fine." He was putting the luggage in the back of the car. Mulder wanted to try to calm her down but he didn't know how. All it took was one word.

"Mommy?" Sophie called from the back seat and Bailey was transformed. She was at her side in an instant. "Yes, baby. Momma's here."

Mulder watched the exchange. If he didn't know better he could have sworn she had multiple personalities. She was instantly calm. Smiling, comforting Sophie and no longer shaking. * Motherhood, I guess. *

Parker watched her. He wanted to reach out to her and tell her that she would be all right. He would keep her and Sophie safe. Whatever was coming would be here soon.

Simms Residence
Boston, Ma

Mulder and Scully walked throughout the house. They weren't sure what they were looking for. Just something out of the ordinary. "Mulder, I don't think we can find anything here. I mean, it's not like something is going to jump out at us." Bailey had taken Sophie upstairs and was putting away their things.

"You never know, Scully. What about a poltergeist? Maybe a poltergeist attached itself to Sophie. She was with Parker when he was killed." He was talking long shots here. Before she could answer Scully felt a cold breeze move through her. Chills went up her spine. She shuddered visibly. "What, Scully? What is it?"

"Did you feel that? I don't know, Mulder. It was a coldness, like a draft and I felt ..... I don't know .... something here." She was rubbing her arms like she was cold. Mulder was by her side instantly.

"Well, it's not cold now. Do you still feel something strange?" He was looking all around.

"No. Not anymore. Look, I'm going to go the local office and see if I can get the rest of the reports." This was not like Scully. She didn't scare easily. She wasn't scared really, more unsettled.

They walked to the car in silence. Mulder opened the door for Scully. She was staring back at the house. "Are you OK, Scully?"

"Yeah, Mulder. I want to check out the autopsy report and do a couple of background checks on Bailey and Parker. I know you don't feel we have to, but there might be someone associated with them that is behind this." Scully wanted to get back to basics. The scientific explanations. She felt comfortable with this line of investigation.

Boston FBI Office

"She was right, Mulder." Scully had called Mulder from the local Boston office of the Bureau. "There's no evidence of a head trauma. But there were bruises around the left knee. I guess he could have bumped into something. It wasn't severe enough to incapacitate him. Oh, wait a minute, there were also bruises about the upper left arm and left rib cage area. Looks like he could have been in a fight. But it's also consistent with a fall he might have had from earlier in the day. I can't believe no one questioned this." Scully was puzzled. "His death was caused by drowning, though. He may have fought an attacker and ended up in the pool. There was, however, no evidence of anyone else at the scene. No footprints, fingerprints, trace evidence."

"Sophie doesn't remember anyone being there earlier, but she was asleep at the time of death. You know, Scully, it just occurred to me, if this person or 'thing' was after Sophie it could have taken her right then. But Sophie wasn't touched."

"So you're saying he's after Bailey." Scully felt better calling it a 'he' as opposed to an 'it'.

"Well, apparently the voice told Sophie that Bailey was going away, same as her father. And the scene at the airport could have meant how 'easy' it would be for her to be taken, not necessarily Sophie." The wheels were grinding now.

A local agent walked in with the final report she was waiting for. "Mulder you said that Bailey was changed somehow after her return. Did you know she had testing done a year ago for psychic abilities? Did she have any sign of the ability as a child?"

"I don't think she was psychic, Scully. She did have a sort of 'sixth sense' though. She just knew things, when something was wrong. I considered it a talent, like being exceptionally perceptive. Although I guess that's what ESP is, isn't it."

Scanning the file, Scully continued. "The tests were done at the Heritage House Research in DC. Um, no, there's no mention of Parker but it looks like they wanted to test Sophie also. The tests were incomplete on both of them. Mulder, it was a government grant sponsoring the tests." Scully finished.

Mulder didn't like the sound of it. "I'll ask Bailey about it. Are you coming back out?" He was a little worried about her.

"Yeah, Mulder, I'll be leaving in a few minutes. Anything going on there?"

He could hear her smile. "No, Scully. But it's not midnight yet." Mulder smiled as he hung up.

Simms Home

"There really wasn't much to it." Sophie was taking her nap and Bailey and Mulder were sitting in the kitchen having coffee. "My 'ability' was getting stronger I guess. Maybe it had something to do with having Sophie. I would get up in the middle of the night to check on her before she even called for me. I'd call Parker at work sensing he needed me. Picking up the phone a fraction of a second before it rang, or answering the door just before someone knocked. Things like that. Nothing really out of the ordinary for me, just more frequent. It sort of spooked Parker. He'd heard about this testing and thought it would be a good idea to see just how far my abilities went and he wanted to get a better understanding of it. I really didn't want to go but I did for Parker. I didn't like the doctor in charge. The whole place sort of reminded me of an animal research facility. Like we were laboratory rats or something. He wanted to test with electronics and drugs. I did a few of the straight ESP test and what I call card trick tests but refused to do the others and when he wanted me to bring in Sophie I told them to ... well, I didn't go back. I got letters and phone calls from them for a while, but I never responded to them. I didn't even open most of them. I haven't heard from them in a couple of months. Do you think this has something to do with it?" Her eyes were wide with wonder.

"I don't know ..."

The lights went out. Mulder looked at Bailey. It was dusk but still light enough in the kitchen to see. He pulled his gun and stood.

She whispered "Sophie!" Bailey followed him out into the living room. It was darker here with the drapes closed. She wanted to run up the stairs but Mulder kept her behind him.

"Why wouldn't you answer me?" The voice was low and calm. This time both Bailey and Mulder heard it.

Mulder swung around, gun out front, looking in the direction of the voice. But the voice came again from another direction.

"I warned you, but you wouldn't listen." It sounded bitter and angry. "And now you are going to pay." A lamp near Mulder suddenly fell over. He swung in that direction and something hit him. He stumbled back knocking Bailey to the ground. She scrambled back up heading for the stairs. Mulder saw her being lifted up in mid air by an invisible arm and thrown back against the far wall. She slumped to the floor and Mulder ran to her only to be stopped by a blow to his chest. He went down feeling as if all the air in his lungs had been expelled. He had trouble breathing and he had lost his gun somewhere to his right.

Bailey's back was up against the wall. "What do you want? Who are you? Why are you doing this?" She was yelling.

A man stepped out from a darkened corner. Bailey recognized him. He was a patient from the research facility. "We could have been happy you know. But you thought you were better than the rest of us. You couldn't even tell I was here. You could have been like me if you'd have stayed." Books were flying around the room. Lamps and vases were being tossed around, breaking, glass flying. It was pandemonium.

Mulder stood and went to step between the man and Bailey. He felt himself being thrown against the wall, a force stronger than if the man had actually laid a hand on him. His head hit the wall hard and he dropped to the ground. The last thing he saw was Bailey being dragged out of the room.

When Mulder regained consciousness, Scully was standing over him. "Mulder. It's me. Scully. Can you hear me?"

He sat up with a start only to grab his side in pain. "Bailey. Where is she?"

"She's not here, Mulder. Be still, I think you have a couple of broken ribs." She was checking him for broken bones and a concussion. "Sophie was sitting at the top of the stairs crying. I've gotten her calmed down, she's in the kitchen. An ambulance is on the way. From the feel of it you're lucky a rib didn't puncture a lung. What happened, Mulder?"

"He was hiding in the house. He was telekinetic, Scully. Tossed me around like a rag doll. He took off with Bailey. I don't know who he was." The pain from his broken ribs was starting to ease some.

The ambulance arrived but Mulder refused to go to the hospital. He had them tape his ribs right there in the house. He could manage, he'd done so before. "Scully, I want a full list of the patients tested at the Heritage House. And I want to know the test and talents of each one them. He had to have been one of them. That's where he knew her from."

They left Sophie in the care of Social Services. Mulder promised her that her mother would be back soon. "How could you promise her that, Mulder?" Scully knew he was setting himself up again. They were heading for the Boston office. Mulder just kept his eyes on the road and thought about the question. He just shook his head and thought to himself, * If you'd seen those eyes, Scully, you would have too. *

East Cambridge, MA

When Bailey opened her eyes, she was sitting in a chair in a room that looked like a basement. There were no windows, no furniture, a bare concrete floor and the walls were unfinished. There was a wooden table and another chair in the center of the room. Above it was a single bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Her hands were tied behind her. As her eyes focused she saw him standing in the shadows of the room. "What do you want?"

"You know what I want. You have the talent. You just wouldn't let them help you bring it out. Do you realize what kind of power we could have together? We could bring them to their knees." He had come out of the shadows now and was pacing in front of her.

"Who are you? Who are you talking about?" Her mind briefly flashed to Sophie. Where was she? What was happening to her?

"We met at the research facility. You can call me Jim. I got a look at your files. They've been watching you since your return twenty three years ago." He watched her reaction. He wanted the power they would give him if he helped turn her around. At first he just wanted to kill her, but at the house he had changed his mind. He pulled a syringe from a box on the table. * It might even be fun. *

Bailey was in shock. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. She had never remembered what had happened to her so long ago. Her eyes widened with fear as she saw him walk toward her with the needle. She tried to fight him but the invisible force kept her frozen in place and she soon surrendered to the drug.

Boston FBI Office

Scully walked in and set the stack of folders on the table. "Here they are, Mulder. There are over two hundred but most of them include photos." They each took a handful and started looking through them. Scully immediately discarded the files that did not fit the description Mulder had supplied. After forty minutes Mulder identified the suspect.

"Here he is, Scully. James Webster. Address in East Cambridge, let's go." They were assigned two other agents to assist. Both cars took off a few minutes later.

East Cambridge, MA

Bailey was connected to an electronic machine that was sending impulses to the brain. She was staring into space, images flashing in her mind. Images of herself as a child and a stark white room. Men moving around her, examining her. Then images of her as a young woman with her family. It was like her life was being played out in front of her. Some part of her was wondering what was happening.

Parker saw all of this and the rage was building. He had to stop this but he wasn't sure how. He closed his eyes and asked for help, then he realized he'd been trying too hard. He felt himself relax and he went over to the machine. As he came close sparks flew from the machine. With a wave of his arm it died. James turned when the machine was sparking and reached it as it died. He check the outlet and flipped a few switches but the equipment did not react. "Damn it!"

The two cars parked a couple of houses away and the agents approached with caution. Mulder motioned for the two local agents to cover the back of the house. He and Scully took the front.

Parker became visible to Bailey and he turned to face Webster. Bailey saw him but thought she was hallucinating. He stood between Bailey and the dangerous man. The man backed up, startled at the apparition. Parker said nothing, just stepped toward the man. Parker reached out and Webster grabbed his chest. He couldn't breath. He was suffocating.

Mulder broke in the front door. He and Scully checked out the front part of the house, then heard the noise downstairs. They headed for the basement. As Mulder hit the bottom step he saw Parker and Webster. Parker was standing with his arm outstretched and Webster was on the floor gasping for air. For a moment, neither Mulder nor Scully could move or speak. Then Webster was still and Parker turned to Bailey for a brief second and disappeared.

Boston General Hospital

Bailey awoke in a hospital bed. She remembered a little bit of what happened in the basement, but still thought Parker was an hallucination. Scully was telling her that Webster was dead. They talked over what Webster had told her about *them* watching her for the past twenty three years. "He was in and out of mental institutions for the past ten years, Bailey. He might have seen your file that listed the kidnapping, but he was delusional. You can't believe anything he said." She was trying to convince herself as well as Bailey.

The door opened and Mulder walked in carrying a special bundle for Bailey. Sophie. The child reached out for her mother and wrapped her little arms around Bailey's neck and held on tightly. There were tears in Bailey's eyes. Mulder and Scully left them alone.

The doctor wanted Bailey to stay one more night so Sophie stayed with Mulder and Scully. They would fly home the next afternoon. Bailey was having trouble sleeping. She tossed and turned and finally got up. She stood by the window, her mind taking in the events of the past twenty four hours. When she turned to go back to bed she saw him. Parker was standing next to the bed. "You're all right now, baby. You and Sophie are safe. I love you, Bailey and I miss you."

"Parker." Bailey was startled. She couldn't move. She thought the earlier image was her imagination. She just stood there, frozen. He turned as if to leave. "Don't go." She pleaded, reaching out for him.

"I have to, baby. I have to go now. Tell Sophie her daddy loves her. " He wanted to hold her and never let her go. "I'm going to be fine, Bailey. Be happy, I love you and I'll always be with you." Then he disappeared.

Bailey stood there, her face in her hands, crying softly. "I love you." she whispered.

Boston Airport

Bailey smiled at the two of them. "I want to thank you for all your trouble and your help." She hugged Scully and turned to Mulder. She had told him of Parker's visit of last night. "Thanks for being there for me, friend." She reached up and kissed him on the cheek. "Take care of those ribs." She smiled at him.

He returned her smile and with a little pain he bent down and gave Sophie a hug. "Take care of your mom for me, OK?" She nodded and smiled at him. He knew they would be all right. He knew Parker would see to it.


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