Title: Unknown
Author: Mrs Tooms
OutThere1@juno.com

Summary: An FBI agent dies of a horrible sickness, and when Scully is called in she realizes that the woman died a floor below Mulder. And he's not present. Going to his apartment, she discovers that Mulder has whatever killed his neighbor...


Manusco's Apartment
June 1, 6:30 PM
Alexandria, VA

Jeanne Mancuso had a well paying job in Washington DC. She was happily married to her childhood sweetheart, Stephen Mancuso. She was 35 years old and a month pregnant, and she should have been in the happiest time of her life.

She wasn't at the moment.

The apartment door swung open as she slammed herself onto it, shaking hands finally having got the lock undone. Long black hair fallen out of a bun partially obscured her vision as she tumbled inside.

Bathroom.. Oh shoot.. She raced across a white carpet towards her bedroom, dropping everything, stomach heaving. Ever since she'd reached her door, a whirlwind of nausea sickness had boiled up in her. She didn't know if she was going to throw up, choke, or do it all at once. All she knew was she felt horrible.

Her throat didn't want to wait. Disgusting vomit came out of Jeanne's mouth, staining the carpet and furniture. Then a burning sensation followed, and she forgot about the mess. Wanting to scream in pain, she couldn't. The fire felt like it was in every inch of her body, and it paralyzed her vocal cords.

Stephen.

Her brown terrified eyes searched for the phone, but in dismay saw none. Tears fuzzed her sight, and she prayed to God it would all stop.

But it didn't.

A new wave of revulsion came up, alongside the flames and she was suddenly again groping her way to the bathroom. Almost there... she kept telling herself.

Tearing by dressers and a king sized bed, she flung on the light in the large restroom. Sinking to her knees so quickly it hurt, she slammed the lid up on the toilet and spit up again.

What is that taste? Wiping her mouth on a tissue, she saw the blood on the fibers. Oh my God. I'm bleeding. For some bizarre reason this disturbed and affected her more then the sickness did because it was something Jeanne knew about. Recognized. Jeanne didn't know what was affecting her, but she sure knew what blood was.

Her head lowering to the shiny tile floor, new tears spilled down. Please... please... stop. Her mind searching for what was causing all this, she could only think of one thing: it was from the baby. Just the pains from being pregnant. But deep in her, she truly knew where it was coming from. Why it was finally happening. Now she wished so hard she could deny it, but couldn't.

"Stephen," she whispered. Something slapped her forehead then, but she wasn't sure what. Dazed, she was barely aware to see warm liquid dripping into her sight. Jeanne's eyes squeezed shut as she lay down on the floor.


June 2nd
4:30 AM

Scully was almost hurled into a wall when she entered Manusco's apartment. Kicking and screaming, not far from a three-year-old's tantrums, Stephen Manusco was being dragged out the door. Boyish face twisted in rage and grief, white curly hair strung all over his face, he screamed.

"YOU CAN'T HAVE MY JEANNE! YOU CAN'T HAVE HER!" he bellowed at the officers pulling him away.

I'm sorry, she thought, pulse pounding as she got off the floor. He was probably infuriated that his wife was going to be autopsied. She figured it was difficult to think of a loved one being dissected by someone. But I really don't know. *I'm* the autopsier.

Brushing red hair and sleep from her eyes, Dana followed the yellow police tape to the bathroom. Not that is was hard to find her way through the rooms. It was an exact replica of Mulder's, minus his things. She was, after all, in his apartment building.

She began to wonder why he wasn't with her as a policeman made room for her. The death had occurred a floor below him, so he should of obviously heard what was going on. Also, just like she'd been called in, he should of, too.

Skinner was standing in the bathroom when she walked in. His eyes were tired behind the wire rim glasses, his mouth stern and unhappy. Why is he here at the murder scene?

"Agent Scully," he said.

"Sir? Why are you present?"

"She was also an FBI agent. A good one..." he stepped aside to reveal the corpse covered in a sheet. He continued, his voice void of emotion. "You know, she was pregnant. She was pregnant and look what happened to her."

She peeled off the sheet from the head. Manusco was laying, sprawled out in anguish, hands clenched together. Her face was covered in dried blood, and there was a welt the size of Scully's fist on her forehead.

"Do you have any idea how this happened, Sir?" she inquired, searching for clues on how the woman had died.

"No, I don't. I want you and Agent Mulder to find the sonofabitch who did this to her." He turned to leave. It doesn't look like she was murdered, Scully thought.

She stood on wobbly feet and followed him. "By the way, Sir, where *is* Agent Mulder?" she asked.

"I don't know. We tried to contact him but there was no answer."

Probably off looking for UFOs, she mused. Turning back to Skinner, she told him, "We'll try to deduce what happened."

"I'm sure you will, Agent Scully. You always manage too." He sounded hollow. I wonder why he seems so upset by all of this.

She wanted to stay and continue investigating, but she had a stronger urge to find out where Mulder was, first. Waking her way through and out apartment 34, she headed to the elevator. A yellow 'BROKEN' sign hung on it. She headed to the stairway.

After walking up the flight of stairs she rested, leaning against Mulder's door. Moonlight splashed through a window, making it possible to see even if the lights were out. Scully knocked on the door, reluctantly. No, if he is at home, he's probably up watching another old movie. So she pounded louder, and listened.

Silence.

WHERE is he? "Mulder?" she called.

Again, nothing. Pulling out keys from her pocket, she unlocked the door with the 'F. M.' one. It swung inward as she stepped in.

A light glow lit the room, but not from his TV The fishtank light had been left on as usual, with the fish lazily swimming about. "Mulder?" she asked from the doorway.

He's not home, she told herself. Yet, she had to make sure. Looking over the edge of his couch, she found him sprawled across it. Why hadn't he heard me?

Dana walked around the sofa to where his head lay and crouched. "Mulder," she whispered.

Actually responding, he groaned but stayed asleep. There's something wrong with him. Fear rose up her back and traveled through her neck. She flicked on the lamp next to the couch.

His dark hair was slick with sweat, face shiny and pale. His hands appeared like a clenched claws, fiercely gripping the pillow beneath his head.

She knew her partner enough to know he wasn't having another nightmare. Scully's blood was frozen in her veins as she comprehended what was happening. He had whatever had killed Manusco.


Unknown to Scully, Fox was having a nightmare in the midst of his sickness. He was standing on the airstrip of the Ellens Air Force Base again. The UFO, its dazzling light, shone down on him with its unearthly intensity. But now, as it hovered, it remained above him instead of veering off into the night sky like it had before.

I wish Scully was here, he thought, awed. A voice rung out from the light, echoing far off in the distance.

"Oh you do, Fox? I thought you wished I was here!"

Oh my God. "Samantha?" he cried.

"I knew it, Fox. You've always hated me. Your glad I'm gone."

"No, Samantha! The one thing I've ever wanted was for you to be back!"

"Mulder, I can't believe your saying that. You didn't understand what I meant when I told you I'd give my life for you?" Scully's voice said, deep in the brightness.

"Scully," he gasped, confused. "You know what I mean!"

"No, I'm afraid I don't. Quite frankly Mulder, I'm still puzzled as to why you let me and your sister be abducted."

They're blaming me? "It wasn't my fault! I never wanted that to happen to either of you!"

"Then who let it happen?" Her voice became evil and harsh. "Your father's?"

"NO! Stop it, Scully... stop it..." His eyes blurred as he began to grieve in guilt and pain.

"Good-bye Fox Mulder," Samantha's voice overlapped Scully's, a mixture of the two people he'd ever truly cared about.

The UFO expanded in brilliance, then flew straight off into the starry sky.

Reaching his hand out, he sat down on his knees on the concrete, head bowed, sobbing. "Come back..."

"Back... come..."

Scully nearly fell out of her chair. Mulder was mumbling incoherently in his sleep, slightly moving. She'd taken his temperature a half an hour ago. He had a fever of 103 degrees. But she knew, though she didn't want to admit it, this was no ordinary disease. If it WAS what killed Mancuso, he could die too.

And I'm sure as Hell not going to let that happen.

Replacing the fallen wet washcloth on his forehead, she wondered what to do. I have to learn more about this and soon..

It hit her. The autopsy! That would certainly help. Propping Mulder's head up more comfortably on the pillow, Scully's fingers held his a second.

"Your going to be okay, Mul- Fox," she told him.

Then she hurried out the door.


Federal Bureau of Investigation
5:30 AM

Scully was pulling on her latex gloves in the autopsying room when Skinner entered. He looked as tired as she was becoming, yet he still maintained his authoritative voice.

"Agent Scully, where is Agent Mulder?" he asked.

"Agent Mulder-" she hesitated at telling the reason. "Has a severe cold and is staying home."

"Oh." She could tell he knew she was slightly fibbing, but let it pass.

"Sir, may I ask a question?" she inquired, looking straight at him.

"Which is?"

"Why you seem to take such a personal interest in this case."

"That has nothing to do with your investigation!" he irritably snapped.

"Sir, it may have everything to do with my investigation." Her calm voice lessened his anger.

He sighed, clearing his throat. "Jeanne was like a daughter to me. Agent Mancuso, I mean. She started in the Academy a few years back, and recently joined the FBI. She was a chemical specialist. Scully, she was always so enthusiastic about her job. Everyone would be grim and unhappy, because this person had died, this crime had occurred, yet Jeanne would still be the same.

"I wanted to see her go so far. Even as far as you and Agent Mulder." His eyes were clouding behind the wire rim glasses.

Scully couldn't find many words to say. "I'm sorry, Sir."

"Finish the autopsy. Please contact me when your done." Skinner sadly walked out the door.

She shut the door and walked back to the table Mancuso was laying on. I'll find out what killed her. For him and for Mulder. She pulled off the white tarp, exposing the corpse's head. The police had cleaned her off, thankfully. Her face was pink from being stained with blood, a large ugly purple scar the cause of it.

Scully reached for her recorder and found she'd forgotten it at Mulder's apartment. I can do this without it, she reassured herself. Picking up a cold scalpel, she began to start.


Mulder was falling down an endless hallway. Actually, he was running, but he was going so fast he couldn't tell the difference. An inferno of fire was roaring after him.

The farther he ran, the longer the hallway seemed to get. He would never escape. His heart pounding in his ears, he began to see spots in front of his eyes. He then realized that no, there was a glow forming around him. He would of continued to run if he hadn't heard her.

Scully was back in the blaze, having not been able to keep up with him. Where had she come from? She was calling for help, trying to get out of the flames. He turned on his heels instantly. But.. the fire! He was terrified. The light in front of him was trying to pull him forward, to a place where nothing was taken away from you, and everything was gentle. Still, he wasn't about to follow it without her.

"MULDER!" Her hair had caught on fire, making her auburn hair more intense. Forgetting all his fears instantly he tore into the blaze after her.

Suddenly everything was okay. They were standing on dry and cracked ground, the moon shining above. He didn't know how they got there, but what mattered was he was unharmed. She was unharmed.

An echo swept across them, like a dry wind. A gunshot. Scully crumpled to the dirt, the sky cracking like a broken window.

"SCULLY!" he screamed, dropping down beside her. Tears fell like falling rain as he cradled her head in his hands. She was already dead. Fox bent his head down above hers and sobbed.


Dana was of course alive and well outside of Mulder's dream. She had opened up Mancuso's midsection, and was in the process of searching her digestive system. There isn't any evidence in the rest of her body that supports she even died. There has to be something here.

She slit the stomach, fighting nausea. It appeared ordinary despite the purple stain glistening in it. "What is that?" she whispered. She picked up a small spoon for extracting things like this, and lifted the goo out into a small bottle.

It's a chemical, she thought. It's too thick to be stomach acid. No, Scully realized, it *was* an acid. But definitely not normal or organic.

Peering into the stomach cavity, she saw the acid had eaten a large hole, and had begun to bore into the heart when Mancuso had died. Her death had obviously been of shock and fright because this hadn't caused enough damage to kill her. It had to of been extremely painful.

She thought of how this acid could of possibly gotten inside Mancuso. She could of swallowed it, but wouldn't that injure her throat? The throat had no physical problems with it. Scully would have to notify Skinner and ask him for help.

Slipping off the protective gown, cap, and gloves she left the room and looked about the outside hallway. For so early, there were a few other agents walking about. Skinner was coming towards her, as if he'd been waiting all that time to see when she was finished.

"Sir, I have found what I believed may have killed Agent Mancuso," she informed him, handing him the small bottle.

"This killed her, Agent Scully?" he asked gruffly.

"Sir, I presume it to be a chemical, or an acid. I found it in Mancuso's stomach," she explained.

"Did she swallow it?"

"Well Sir, there is no irritation to account for that conclusion. I am assuming she was injected with it, or-"

"Your saying someone put *that* in her bloodstream?" he demanded, agitated.

"I'm just speculating. I haven't arrived at any correct answer yet."

"I see." His voice began to lessen from being upset. "I'm sorry, Scully," Skinner apologized. "I'm tired. We're both tired. You can rest, if you wish. Continue later."

And just like that, he departed. She rubbed her eyes. What would Mulder do? I wish he was able to come down here. He would be such a help, for once.

Where would he look? Her mind thought about all his resources he used on cases. His office.


Phoebe Green approached him as he knelt over Scully's lifeless body. She tossed the warm gun off into the distance.

"Well, she's finally dead, Mulder," she said with her thick British accent. *Finally* dead?! "Maybe we can start up again now, eh?"

He leapt up under the shattered sky at his old girlfriend. "You..," he muttered a foul word under his breath. "I wish L'ively had burnt you up."

"Why, Mulder, are we upset? You can't be taking her death that seriously," she said, amused.

"Upset? You think I'm *UPSET*?" he yelled. Hatred to want to kill Phoebe grew out of nowhere. He whipped out his pistol, calming his tone. "I'm going to give you twenty seconds to get the Hell away from me and Scully."

"Mulder. You wouldn't shoot me." She still complied and turned her back on him, walking slowly away. She raised her arms up over her head. "I surrender."

"Keep walking," he warned her. He slipped the safety off on the gun, counting. One.. two.. Seconds passed away. "Twenty," he informed her. She had taken her time, and was only ten feet away. He pulled the hammer back, his ring finger looping around the trigger.

At that instant the European woman changed. Her short brown boy cut hair grew down to her waist, now black. The woman turned, facing him. Kirsten Kilar.

"Fox, I understand how you feel," she said sympathetically.

No one calls me Fox, he thought. His eyes fell on Scully. No one but her. And Samantha. He felt grief rising again. "Kirsten. Please, go."

"You don't have to be afraid now. I will always be with you."

"NO," he said, backing away. He didn't want someone he hadn't even loved come near him.

"What's wrong?" she asked, sincerely puzzled.

"Go away, Kirsten! Please, go!" his hands shook as he readied the pistol in her direction, tears tumbling out.


Mulder's office
6:15 AM

The sign to Mulder's office was laying on the floor. Scully picked it up, which read, "FBI's Most Unwanted." Sorry to tell you, Mulder, your not too unwanted. She unlocked the door and entered his cluttered office.

Setting the sign down on his desk, she turned on the light. Everything of his that was normally here was. The UFO pictures hung up on the bulletin board, the "I want to Believe" poster still stating its slogan.. Her eyes searched, wanting to know what he'd be looking for if he too were working. It's hard thinking like Mulder. The desk was covered in files and pencils, magazines were spread out on top of a filing cabinet...

Filing cabinet.

She walked up to the organizer and looked at each of the drawers marked in his nearly illegible handwriting. UFO sightings.. Abnormal Homo Sapiens.. Abductees..

Scully stared at the third drawer. Her skeptic voice was screaming, how could Mancuso have been abducted by aliens if they didn't exist? Well, how could she of not?

She slid it open, flipping through the alphabetized files towards the back of the cabinet. Finally, she found Mancuso, Jeanne, though she didn't at understand why the woman would be in here. She removed the folder and spotted another one further back. Mulder, Samantha. I should leave it.

She shut the drawer and sat down in his roll about chair. Scully set the file on top of a pile of papers and began to browse it. She came across an article that was old, for it was dated January 31, 1976. Twenty years ago. She read the clipping.

fifteen-year-old Jeanne Mancuso was returned after being reported missing for five days. Police say she was kidnapped from her home in the early morning on the 26th. She suffered small physical harm but severe psychological trauma. The girl herself feels she was abducted by so called science fiction aliens. "There.. there was so much light," Mancuso mumbled during an interview. "Told.. told me everything was going to be okay.. And I'd be returned home soon. The told me not to be afraid of what they'd given me.. that it wouldn't do anything for another twenty years.."

Countless tests and x-rays proved nothing of any abnormality was in Mancuso's body. There was, however, a tiny triangular incision behind her left ear.

There is no proof to say that UFOs truly took away Jeanne Mancuso, but there is evidence that someone cruelly treated her. Suspects have been reviewed since the morning this paper came out. Doctors confirm she should be both mentally and physically healthy again and that she'll be able to re-attend High School as a sophomore next week.

Suddenly, it was all clicking into place, although Dana didn't believe any of this except that someone had abused Mancuso when she was a child. Aliens hadn't taken her away, obviously. It had been some scientists that had, the ones who injected her with the chemical. Unfortunately, she herself could totally support this that she had been experimented on.

"Wait.," she whispered, dropping the article on top of the folder and concentrated. Mancuso had been a chemical specialist. Had she been trying to prevent the toxin that was in her through her career? She hadn't found the solution in time, sadly. Scully's thoughts drifted to Mulder. He looks the same way how she appeared, but she was dead. How and why could this of gotten in him?

I have to find out soon. I can't let him die.

Then, she realized it. I can gain access to Mancuso's office. She *did* work here. If she was truly trying to save herself in time, she'll have evidence of this in there. Scully sorted the paper away, and into the file cabinet, which she slammed shut.


Jeanne Mancuso's office was nice and tidy, a stark contrast to Mulder's. Scully had gotten in with the help of Skinner. Larger then her partner's and on the second floor, she stood on the carpet. Photographs of Mancuso, her husband, and friends lined the organized desk. They reminded her too much of her own pictures at home. A life almost identical to hers, swept away that easily. I'm going to solve this for you, too...

There was a door shadowed in darkness in the back of the room. Using the key Skinner had given her, she unlocked it and entered, listening to her footsteps echo on a linoleum floor. She reached for a light switch and turned it on.

It was a small laboratory, just as meticulous as the office. The counter was clear despite the few test tube bottles and a notebook laying on it. Scully rushed over to it and flipped through the pages.

It was a field journal, similar to the one she and Mulder used on cases. Every entry was dated and told of the site it was written in. She didn't know where to find the information she so desperately needed, so quickly read each of the pages until she found what she was looking for.


March 28, 1996
7:54 PM
Lab

The test we attempted was successful. The experiment was to see if two humans could survive the chemical inside me. They were injected with my blood and reacted instantaneously, convulsing and receiving traumatic sicknesses. I will also be committing this again in early June. I will affect another agent at random when Health Inspections come through. I feel horrible having endangered two people already, and now that I'm going to do it again. The subjects had survived by somehow connecting telepathically, and fighting it, enabled it to die. So I must find who received it after I figure out how I will do this.

"Mulder," Scully murmured. He'd been the "lucky one" infected. Mancuso had died too abruptly to find the fatigued one she'd unknowingly chosen. And he had been only a floor above her. She wondered why Mancuso hadn't thought of her husband being infected. She had been pregnant. But Stephen had shown no signs that he had it him. That must of been in it.

She suddenly knew what she had to do, because she had no other idea on any other choices. I have to talk to Mulder in his head. She was becoming very doubtful and worried that she couldn't help him, save him. There was no possible way to do that.

"Dana.. after all the evidence.. after all you've seen, why can't you believe?" Mulder's words echoed.


Mulder's Apartment
6:55 AM

Scully came in to find him much worse then two hours ago. His eyes were slightly open, registering nothing, his breath coming out in forced, strained gasps.

Now.

She pulled the syringe out of her pocket after closing and locking his door. She stuck the needle in his arm, seeing the blood well up in it.

"Sorry," she whispered.

Mulder groaned in pain and stayed asleep, remaining motionless. She removed the tip in her own arm, swallowing and injecting his blood into her.

The syringe fell in slow motion to the floor. Dana's sight was spinning, becoming blurry. Her stomach heaved, and as she clutched at in pain, her head slumped down onto the couch by Mulder's.

Oh God. She e could see a bright light flooding into the room at her, and she wanted to scream. They were coming to take her and Mulder and she couldn't do anything about it. Her body ached and cried in anguish, as her vision clouded up. The world she knew trembled, collapsed, and fell.


Mulder was holding a smoking pistol. Kirsten lay sprawled on the ground, a few feet away from Scully. There was a large pool of dark blood expanding from Kirsten's head. Other people's blood.. None of it was hers.

I killed her, and I let Scully die. His eyes were throbbing. He stared up at the maroon crisscrossed sky, searching for anything, anything that would make her come back. Nothing.

There was a rumbling reverberation deep in the ground beneath his feet. A building erupted out of the soil, growing around him. A ceiling met the top, a concrete floor formed under hum.

He bonked his head on a single hanging lightbulb. It made a disturbing glare about the closet Fox discovered he was standing in.

Oh. This is in Icy Cape, Alaska! The closet Hodge, Da Silva, and Scully locked me in when they thought I had arctic worms infested in me.

"HODGE! DA SILVA!" he screamed.

There was no response and he was about to yell again, when the door began to open. Mulder backed away. The door swung open, and Scully, very alive, walked in.

The Scully he had seen die was dressed in her work clothes and trench coat. This partner was wearing a flannel and had tied her hair up behind her head. She looked the way she did in Alaska.

"Scully," he mumbled in surprise, wrapping his arms around her and hugging her. She tried to back away, confused, but then hugged him back.

"Mulder, we have to get out of here," she said, her voice dead serious as she broke away.

"Why?"

"Your dying. I've come to wake you up out of you sleeping and kill what's killing you."

"What- how..?"

"I have no time to explain." She was urgent. "Um, hold my hands."

"*Scully*..." he grinned mischievously. The look on her face told him that this was not at all funny, so he reverted back to being solemn. Okay, okay. His hands closed over hers.

"Concentrate on.." she was thinking of what to say. "On waking up, and being fine."

She wasn't answering anything that he wanted to know. "Wait. Are you saying I'm dreaming? And are you suggesting on telepathy between us?" This was a very different woman from the one he'd known. She's believing? Nah, I *must* be dreaming.

"Yes, you are dreaming. Yes, I am saying we converse in our minds. Come on, Mulder." She sighed, staring at the hard floor. She's telling herself none of this is real, but it is, he thought watching her. Her hazel eyes stared at their locked hands, fright in them. Scully thinks she can't do what she's saying. He gently squeezed her fingers, and she gave a relieved half smile.

He bit his lip, and tried to clear his mind. To not think of anything. That way he would be more attune to telepathic signals. An image suddenly popped in Mulder's mind's eye, of him laying on the couch. Her realized she was sending him this, but then he turned back to the image.

The Fox on the couch was sick and pale, and he himself felt a chill rush through him. He could understand how Scully felt. I *am* dying...

-Wake yourself up, Mulder,- her orders weren't said, they were just there, like she'd been in his head forever. -See yourself waking and feeling only slightly sick.-

He did so, trying to make the picture of himself change to him awake. Yet it was difficult, and he slowly began to discover why. His brain and heart were slowing. Scully's hands began to clench over his fiercely, making him fight the feeling away.

-Come on, Mulder. One more time.- Pulling her hands so close to him they almost touched him, he released her, unaware of what he was doing. Using the strength in Dana Scully, he clasped her shoulders and pulled her against him, and thought with every bit in him he wanted to be awake, healthy. For him. For her.

There was a screaming peal in their ears, and Mulder's eyes opened.

Scully slumped off the couch and onto the floor, exhausted. Mulder had somehow drained her to save him. But she didn't care. He was alive. That was all that mattered, now.

"Scully?" he croaked, with a dry mouth. "Thank you.'

"Yeah," she said, sitting up. He looked much better then only minutes ago. She didn't know had she'd done it, but she had.

He smiled and stood up weakly. Involuntarily, she leapt up on the couch and lay down. God, I'm so tired.. She didn't feel him removing her coat and her shoes, and then putting his blanket on her as she drifted off. This had been one long night. ** June 9th
Washington D.C.

Mulder watched Scully putting flowers on Jeanne Mancuso's grave from his car. He didn't exactly want to leave her alone, but he figured he should. To let her think to herself. I already put some tulips on Mancuso's anyway.

When she moved to Melissa Scully's, her black trench coat shining in the dim fog, he opened the car door. I'm not going to leave her alone that long. He let her give her sister a moment of respect, before heading over to his friend.

She stood as he deposited the roses below the grave. He straightened, placing his hand on her shoulder sympathetically. I know how you feel.

Glancing over at Mancuso's final resting place, he spoke. "You wanted to solve this case for her too, didn't you?"

"Yes," Scully said quietly. "Almost all her life she'd been trying to find an answer to prevent her from dying. When she eventually came upon it, it was too late. I felt.. that.. that by retracing her steps, by saving you, I would somehow be saying I knew what was going on, and had I known earlier, I would of helped her.

"I don't know."

"Yes you do," Mulder informed her. "You just told me how you felt. You knew she didn't deserve to die."

"She didn't-" her voice was straining into anger. "- didn't deserve to be experimented on by own insidious kind."

"No one does. You didn't either, Scully."

"I just can't figure anything out anymore, Mulder." She stared at the ground. "I mean, when I first joined the Bureau, I thought only animals were tested on, that only the bad guys die. I was naive. And now, I see it like the way it truly is. No one is safe, Mulder." She looked up at him with glassy eyes.

"Your right," he said, wishing she wasn't. "Samantha didn't have to disappear. Your sister didn't have to die. But through the X-Files, all this time, I've tried to stop this. I want to people to know of what goes on secretly, so that it will stop occurring."

"I know.. but Mulder, what is there that we can really do? Save a life? Ourselves? Prove there is a fluke worm in the sewers and man that lives on livers? There are people too far above us."

"Scully, I've been searching for that answer ever since I was twelve."

She was silent, as she swallowed, her tears fading. "I think I finally understand you," she smiled.

The End

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