Title: Mulder's Creek: 04. Dead Man Walking
Author: Neoxphile
Author Email: neoxphile@aol.com
Rated: PG
Category X
Spoilers:
Keywords: XF/Dawson's Creek crossover. Alternate universe. Doggett/Reyes romance.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to the characters, except those I've created, as they belong to Chris Carter and Kevin Williamson

Summary: Mulder deals with his parents unexpected news, and a person from Fowley's past shows up unexpectedly, leading her to question her sanity.



Opening Scene-

Scully sits in a chair next to Mulder's bed. He's lying on his belly, his head on his arms, and his face, which is blotchy from crying, is turned away from her. Since she doesn't know what to say she says nothing, instead makes soothing noises and gently rubs his back. Mulder rolls over, and props himself up on his elbows so he can see her.

"I can't understand why they would do this."

"Me neither, Mulder."

"It's bad enough that they decided to just do this without mentioning it, but to tell me the same time as everyone else? I'm not wrong to think that I should have had the right to know before they made a general announcement, am I?" Mulder asks, giving her an intense look.

"No, of course not. My parents told Bessie before everyone else, and she was only eight. Your parents should have had the same courtesy, especially since you're almost an adult."

"I...I can't believe they'd decide to have another baby now. What are they thinking?"

"Maybe they're worried about being alone when you go off to college in a couple of years. This buys them eighteen years of insurance against loneliness."

"Yeah, sure. What if this baby gets taken too?

"I hope for their sake, and yours, it doesn't."

"But what if it does?" Mulder persists.

"Then I guess your parents will have to live with it. They must know that already."

"Which is what makes this totally insane. I can't believe that after having one baby stolen they'd risk having another."

"Well...they didn't lose you. Maybe that gives them hope."

"Maybe. But I still think they're crazy," Mulder says, and flops back onto his stomach.



Theme song -"Stranded" by Plumb

Early morning, Lindley home-

Fowley reaches for him, and is rewarded with a kiss. There's something comforting and familiar about his touch, but at the back of her mind something nags her. Deep down she knows there's something wrong with this, that she shouldn't be in his arms, being kissed, but the reason refuses to surface. And then it does. She pushes him away, instantly filled with fear. He gives her a puzzled look and holds his hands out to her longingly. She takes a step back- and falls out of bed.

Fowley's eyes snap open and at first she's confused by what she sees- the rug. After a moment she frees herself from her tangled blankets and gets up off the floor. She's making her bed again when Grams comes to her door.

"I assumed by the thump that you were awake. What happened?"

"I had a nightmare and fell out of bed."

"Oh, Fowley. Did you hurt yourself?"

"No."

"I came up to tell you to get dressed. You have a visitor downstairs."

"Ok, Grams, I'll be down in a minute."

Fowley hurriedly gets dressed, and runs a brush through her hair just long enough for it to look passable. The details of the dream stay with her as she climbs down the stairs, and she can't shake her feeling of unease.

Grams is talking to their guest when Fowley enters the kitchen. The visitor's back is towards her, but she notes that it's a dark-haired young man. Fowley picks up her customary cup of tea, which Grams had thoughtfully already poured and added milk to, when the young man hears her and turns towards her. The blood drains from Fowley's face as the cup shatters on the tile. "You're dead!" she says shakily. Spender's welcoming smile fades into a look of concern as Fowley falls into a faint among the shards of porcelain and tea.


Sunday night-

Doggett drives his sister to the airport. While he tries to make an outward show of cheerfulness, he can't help but feel glum at her leaving. He realizes that his sister is either more perceptive than he imagined, or his act is spotty.

"Though I suppose I should be flattered that you're sad to see me leave, I worry about you, Doggett."

"Who me? I'm fine. I'm always fine."

"Or so you'd like me to believe."

"Oh, what do you know? You've always been Dad's favorite."

"Not so. Kersh is his favorite."

"Well, at least he likes you," Doggett says, quickly glancing towards her.

"Dad likes you."

"He has a funny way of showing it. I guess the message is lost under the weight of his declarations that I've been nothing but a disappointment to him my whole life."

Gretchen sighs. "Doggett, he loves you and just wants you to do your best."

"And therein lies the irony that escapes everyone- I am doing the best I can. This is it, my full potential, the real me. It's just not good enough for some people. "

"I wish I could tell you that Dad will come around..." Gretchen says at the airport comes into view.

"But you won't. You, at least, have the decency not to lie to me."

Gretchen gives him a hug before getting out of the car. "I'll see you next month, hold tight until then."

"Don't worry, I'll keep a low profile as usual. It's more peaceful that way. Have a good flight," Doggett says, being careful not to think about any of the recent air disasters. She'll be fine, he thinks, no god would be cruel enough to take away the only family member who really loves me. "Give me a call when you get in, please."

"Sure," she says, and walks to her terminal. He watches her until she's out of sight.


Late Afternoon, at the Ice House-

Scully and Bessie are dicing vegetables for that night's stew while Skinner checks the glassware for spots.

Scully paused a moment, still holding the carrot she was cutting, to say to Bessie " I'm worried about Mulder."

"Why?" Bessie asks, looking up from the potatoes.

"He's not taking the news of the coming baby very well."

"I guess that's to be expected. He's been an only child his whole life." Bessie says.

Scully nearly says that's not so, but decides at the last moment not to. "Did you feel that way?" she asks instead.

"Me? No. I was thrilled. Not only was there going to be someone to take some of the blame, I'd get something to dress that was even better than a doll. You were the best toy Mom and Dad ever brought home."

Scully gives her an injured look. "Toy?"

Bessie smiles. "I was only teasing you. I was thrilled to finally have a baby sister, because I always wanted one."

"Mulder's never said anything about wanting a sibling," Scully says.

"Then I guess it will take holding the baby for the first time to make him love it. But don't worry, he will. Even pain in the butt little sisters grow on you."

"Hey!" Scully says as Skinner bursts out laughing.


The Lindley home-

Fowley realizes that she is being talked to. She opens her eyes and looks up at her grandmother.

"Ah, there's my girl. I didn't know how long you were going to be out, so we put you on the couch. You didn't cut yourself when you fainted, but I think they're going to need to replace your cast. The tea made quite a mess of it."

"That's ok, I'm supposed to get a walking cast anyway," Fowley mumbles. Her eyes flicker from one corner of the room to the other, looking for Spender." Did I...? Is...was Spender here?" Fowley asks, hoping it too was a dream like the nightmare she had eariler.

"Oh yes. He went upstairs to get a pillow for you."

Ok, Fowley thinks, this isn't happening, but I've got to pretend that I don't realize it. Any second now, a dead man is going to walk into the room and I'm supposed to not be shocked about it.

Spender walked into the room carrying a pillow, shield-like, wearing a tentative smile. Fowley watches him ease himself into a chair, and marvels at the thoroughness of her hallucination. His hair has grown a little since he died, and his tan is faded. He seems to notice her acute examination of him, because he says," I'm not dead."

"Ok," she agrees placidly.

"You don't believe me."

"No, but I'm supposed to. How can it be my delusion if I don't embrace the madness?"

"You're not delusion because I'm really not dead."

Fowley smiles and says," But you are. I was there when you died, remember? Oh, well, I guess not, but I do. You fell off the dock, and never came up. I cried at your funeral three days later. You drown, you're dead, and this conversation can't be happening because Grams doesn't believe in ghosts and neither do I."

"Did you see my body?" Spender asks pointblank.

"They never found your body. Everyone supposes it washed out to sea."

"This is what happened: You and I decided to celebrate Labor day by raiding my parents' liquor cabinet, then we wanted to look at the water. As I was expounding on how much it sucked that school was starting in three days, I slipped in a puddle of brandy I didn't realize I had made by holding the bottle sideways. I lost my balance and fell into the water. I woke up in the hospital a few days later after some fishermen from Quebec found me lying on the beach of one of the little islands that dot the coast here. The best the doctors could figure from my dehydration, I was probably lying on the beach for two days, so it's a wonder the tides didn't wash me back out to sea. For God only knows what reason, the fishermen decided to bring me to a Canadian hospital on their way home; I think that maybe they were over their limits and didn't want to get caught by going ashore. Since I didn't have my birth certificate I couldn't get back into the US because customs tightened up considerably since 9/11. I was stuck in Canada for two months while I waited for a copy of my birth certificate to come in the mail. And now I'm back."

"Why didn't your parents send your birth certificate to you?" Fowley demands to know.

"Because they're still in New Mexico visiting my dad's holdings. The only copy of it that they had is in our house here."

"They couldn't have had anyone go into the house and get it?"

"No one has the key, because they decided to close the house instead of hiring a caretaker."

Fowley sighs. He has reasonable answers to everything. Fowley pulls herself into a sitting position and reaches for her crutches. "I'm going to take a nap," she says. "If you're still real when I wake up, I'll interrogate you some more." Spender tries to say something to her, but she just waves him away.


Monday, at the mall-

Reyes and Doggett are eating pretzels while watching parents subjecting crying babies and screaming toddlers to the annual debacle known as Pictures with Santa.

"My parents used to do that to Skinner and I. I guess they thought that pictures of not one, but two scared little kids sitting on a stranger's lap was too cute to forgo," Reyes says, looking sympathetically at the nearest screamer. " That's back when they used to dress us in matching outfits too. And before you say it, Skinner wore pants, and I wore the dresses. They were sick people."

"I guess there's one good thing about being the youngest of five, then. I never was made to do the picture thing."

"What, no cute pictures of little Doggett sitting on Santa's lap? Your parents missed an opportunity to take a picture that will embarrass you for the rest of your natural life. How short sighted of them."

Doggett smiles at her. "Are you planning to do that to our kids too? It's obviously warped you, so I'm a little worried...."

"Our kids? We're having children?"

"Oh, I didn't tell you? Honey, I've been trying to find a way to tell you this...you're pregnant."

"God forbid!" Reyes says, giving him a playful swat. Doggett laughs so hard there are tears in his eyes.

"Ok, you're not pregnant. But maybe some day...." Doggett trails off.

"I don't know, if we had kids you'd probably dress them in little nascar jumpers and I'd have to kill myself out embarrassment. "

"Better than you giving them some new age names like Moon Child or Amethyst. " Doggett retorts.

"No... I prefer Eric or Marie," Reyes says smiling.

"Well sure, you say that now..."

"Do you really think we'll have kids?" Reyes asks.

"Sure. We'll get married, have 2.5 kids, buy a ranch and get Scully and Mulder to baby-sit for us when we go to the race track."

"And for palm readings."

"Right, that too. Come on," Doggett says, talking her hand. "Let's go to Spencers and see if they have any new posters." Reyes allowed herself to be led by the hand, happily daydreaming about the future Doggett described.


4pm-

Spender doesn't see Fowley again until the next day, considerately giving her some time to absorb the fact that he's still alive. He and Fowley decide to kill two birds with one stone and get some exercise by taking a walk while talking. Fowley got her walking cast and was eager to try it out, anyway.

"How much longer are you going to be in that thing?" Spender asks, pointing to her cast.

"I broke it by tripping over a root on Halloween night, so another three weeks or so. It can't come soon enough. Have you ever broken a bone?"

"No, I've been lucky. At least in that regard."

"I don't recommend it." Fowley jokes

"Do you believe that I'm not dead now?" Spender asks, abruptly changing the subject.

"I suppose I have to. You're still here, and illusions don't last this long, and since I don't take LSD...yeah, I guess you're alive."

"Good. It's easier to talk to someone who believes you're real." Fowley stops, and says nothing. "Fowley?" Spender asks, sounding concerned.

Fowley's face crumples, and she shoves him, hard. "How could you let me believe you were dead? I needed you! Instead of writing to let me know you're ok, you let me spend more than two months believing you were dead. And that it was my fault...." She turns away and covers her face with her hands. He reaches for her, but she pulls away, glaring at him. "Don't touch me."

"I'm sorry. I don't think you'll ever know how sorry, but I couldn't let you know. I can't explain it right now, but...I couldn't let anyone know I was ok, especially you."

"Why me?"

"Because I love you. Because you were mine, and forces would use it against us."

"What are you talking about? What forces? " Fowley asks.

Spender shrugs helplessly. "I...I...My real father found out who I was, and sent me letters. Threatening ones. He...he said if I didn't get out of the way for a few months he'd see to it that my life became a living hell. I don't even know why. When I fell in the water, it seemed like fate, a good way to obey his demand. Just this week I got a letter saying I could come home again."

"Who is he?"

"I don't know. He communicates through my parents. If they're my parents, but people say I look like my dad, so how could this person be my real dad? Most of the threats were things he'd do to them if I didn't disappear, and...even if they're not my real parents, I love them. And they love me. I couldn't let terrible things happen to them because of me. I'm sorry."

"So am I."

"Does that mean you're not going to forgive me?"

"It means I don't know what I feel right now."

"I can accept that. As long as you don't hate me."

"I don't hate you. I don't understand you, but I don't think I could ever hate you."

"I hope not," Spender says, which gives Fowley a chill.

 ***


Tuesday 3pm, the Leary home-

While he's the only one home, Mulder takes the opportunity to go into the attic to find what he wants. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, Mulder reaches down and pulls up the corner of a board he carefully loosened long ago. The board comes up, and reveals the box hidden in the floor's hollow. The lid of the box has his name written on it in his own childish scrawl. He gingerly removes the box, mindful of how precious the contents within are to him.

When he was nine years old, his parents talked about Samantha for the last time. He was in bed, but they were being louder than they thought, and he could hear every word of their discussion. Argument. As usual Mulder's mother accused his father of not caring, and his father told her they needed to move on. Mulder crept to the top of the stairs and watched as his mother, crying, gathered up all the physical evidence there ever was of his sister, put it in a bag, and brought it outside to the trash.

The next morning he got up before the trash truck arrived, and rescued it. He brought it to school with him in his backpack because there was no other place that'd be safe, but he didn't show it to anyone. When he got home he hid it in the wooden keepsake box that his grandfather made for him. Not long after he found the loose board to pry up, and put the box away for good. When his mom asked about the box's whereabouts months later, he told his first deliberate lie, and said he lost it.

There isn't much in the box. Three photos of a sleepy dark-haired baby, a birth certificate, a wrist identification band, and the outfit his parents had brought her home from the hospital in. He rubs a corner of the white and pink-flowered outfit between his thumb and finger; the feeling of the soft fabric soothes him as always. It's tangible proof of Sam's existence, and it helps him feel less like his parents want him to: as if she never existed. When he hears a car come up the driveway he quickly puts everything back in the box and hides it again. He's back downstairs before his mother walks into the door.

He takes the bags of groceries from her and begins putting them away. When he hears her writing he turns, and something catches in his chest when he realizes that she's writing the date of her next doctor's appointment on the calendar.


Wednesday lunch-time, at the high school-

Mulder, Scully, Reyes, Doggett and Skinner are sitting at their customary table at lunch, while Mulder and Doggett exchange pseudo-barbs for the entertainment of everyone else. The absence of Fowley from her usual spot is noticeable. She sits instead at a table alone with Skinner who has returned to school that day.

"Look at her," Doggett says pointing. "Suddenly we're not good enough for her to sit with."

"Give her a break," Scully says. "It can't be easy to have your dead boyfriend show up out of the blue." Reyes gives her a hard look. Since jumping to Fowley's defense is the last thing the other girl usually does, Reyes is immediately suspicious.

"Um...Is he still her boyfriend?" Mulder asks, sounding worried.

Before anyone can answer, Krycek swoops in. "Awww, look at the love birds. It gets you right here, doesn't it," he says, pointing to somewhere other than his heart. The girls give him black looks.

"Krycek, when you're not around I miss you. Sort of like a recurrent bought of the stomach flu." Doggett say wryly.

Krycek gives one of his signature smirks. "I can always count on you for a witticism, Wittier."

Doggett gently nudges Reyes with his elbow. "See? There are people who think I can be depended on after all." Reyes rolls her eyes.

"While this is all very droll, I wonder why you're gracing us with your presence," Mulder says.

Giving a wide-eyed innocent look Krycek says," I'm here out of concern for you, Mulder. Now that the love of her life is back, Fowley isn't going to ever reconsider your proposal for more than friendship, and I thought you could use the moral support."

"Go to hell," Mulder says. "I hope you have plans for Christmas," he adds, meanly. Kryeck walks off, suddenly looking only about 80% as smug as he did before.

Since the tension is almost palpable, Scully makes a stab at changing the subject. She chooses something trite. "Is it hot in here, or is it me?"

Mulder gives her a slightly leering look. "Oh, you're always hot." Doggett gives Mulder a questioning look, even before Scully's cheeks redden.

"I'm done." Doggett announces, standing up. "Anyone else need to go to their lockers?" Scully jumps to her feet, and Reyes follows, leaving Skinner and Mulder to finish their lunches alone. As they put their trays away, Reyes asks Scully " Can we talk after school?" Scully nods, without even asking what about.


In Reyes room-

Scully has never been in Reyes room before, and is feeling slightly uncomfortable as they sit quietly watching TV. It almost comes as a relief when Reyes finally begins to say what's on her mind.

Reyes decides not to beat around the bush. "So...tell me about your crush on Mulder."

"I'm going to kill your brother," Scully says, rather softly.

"No killing necessary. Every time I tried to get information out of him he just told me that he doesn't gossip. Which so isn't true...but anyway, I figured it out on my own."

"How?"

"I always sort of thought that you liked him, but today when you came to Fowley's defense, that is not like you at all. Until I thought about it, you were defending her right to be interested in someone other than Mulder. Of course a girl would approve of someone showing interest in a person other than their own crush," Reyes says animatedly.

"Skinner always said you were perceptive." Sully muses.

"I am. So tell me why Mulder doesn't know you like him."

Scully looks at her wide-eyed. "Wow, that just doubly proves what your brother says. Ok, I haven't told him because..."she trails off.

"Because what?" Reyes persists.

"... Because I'm afraid. Afraid that he'll say he doesn't feel the same, and that I won't be able to forgive him for it."

"Valid fears." Reyes remarks.

"That's not very comforting."

"I know. But considering how wrapped up he's been in his feelings for Fowley, I'd have to agree that a confession right now would be emotionally suicidal."

"So why are we having this conversation?" Scully asks.

"Because I thought you needed to talk to another girl about it. You do, don't you?"

"Yeah, I guess. It sort of does feel better to tell someone."

"Good. Remember what they say, 'good things come to those who wait.'"

"I've been waiting my whole life," Scully says under her breath.


"What did you say?" Reyes asks.

"Nothing," Scully says, then tries to think of a new topic of conversation. " Is your dad going to be around for Christmas?"

"I think so, why?"

"I don't know. I guess I was just thinking of what Mulder said to Krycek at lunch, is all," Scully says. "Thanks for talking to me about this. Even if it's not a conversation I would have initiated on my own, I guess it's one I needed to have."

"No problem. That's what friends are for," Reyes says, which startles Scully. The idea of a female friend is a novelty to her.


Thursday, the Elementary school-

Fowley isn't there, and her buddy is working with another teen and their buddy. The rest of the gang is spread between two tables with their kids. Scully, Mulder and Doggett are at the same table, and every time the kids get up to get more materials for their art projects, Mulder takes the opportunity to flirt with Scully.

"Did you wash your pants with windex?" he asks her.

"No, why?" she asks, expecting a silly reply.

Mulder doesn't defy expectation. "Because I can see myself in them," he says with a huge grin.

Scully rolls her eyes, but is confused. Her discussion with Reyes the day before seemed so reasonable, but...The next time materials were needed, she went along with her buddy to get it. As she came back she noticed that Doggett was giving Mulder a dirty look, and seemed to be about to open his mouth. Then he seemed to reconsider as she slide back into her chair. She spent the rest of the time concentrating on helping her buddy decorate glass ornaments with glitter. When the period was over she said her good-byes quickly, and left with Skinner since they were both going over to the Ice House. It didn't, however, escape her notice that Doggett pulled Mulder aside.


As they stood in the now deserted corridor, Doggett glares at Mulder. "What the hell are you doing?" he asks, his voice tightly controlled.

"I don't know. You're the one who pulled me aside, remember?"

"You know I'm talking about how you've been treating Scully."

"What's the big deal? I thought you of all people, with your 'cute couple' talk would be happy that I've started to show some interest in her."

"Is that what you call it?" Doggett asks.

"Yeah, what would you call it?"

"I would call it a thinly veiled plot to make Fowley jealous." Doggett holds up his hand to halt the protest that Mulder is sure to offer. "Don't you think it's a little obvious? Within mere days of Fowley rejecting you, and her long lost love showing up, you suddenly have a thing for Scully? I'm your best friend, so I'm not going to tell you that you're an asshole, but did you even for a second consider Scully's feelings? For God's sake, man, she's been one of your closest friends forever, so you know that she doesn't deserve to be the pawn in your little manipulation game. You're not going to do anything that will get Fowley's attention, so forget it. Don't add to this by hurting Scully in the process of working through an act of futility."

"How does making Fowley jealous hurt Scully?" Mulder asks, bewildered.

Doggett throws his hands up in the air, and sighs in frustration. "She likes you, you idiot. Everyone seems to realize that but you. She's the last person you should have picked to make Fowley jealous- not that Fowley has even noticed any of it."

Mulder doesn't say anything for a long while; thinking of what Doggett has just told him fills him with shame; not to mention surprise. At last he looks up and says," I'm never going to get the girl, am I?"

Doggett cuffed his shoulder. "You know you will. Once you decide which girl it is that you really want in the long run. And as long as you never try to play them against each other," he added with a mock stern-ness. Or, Mulder realized, not mocking at all despite his playful tone. It was something to keep in mind- someone was keeping an eye out for Scully even when he was too wrapped up in his own goals to.


7:45pm The Capeside 10 pin-

Fowley looks slightly chagrined as her ball skids off of the lane and into the gutter. Spender tries to look sympathetic, but he is not entirely able to hide the glee he feels that he's winning.

"Remind me again why we're here?" Fowley asks.

Spender gives her a grin. "I said I wanted to go somewhere where there would be no... semblance of romantic pressure."

"A noble but hollow gesture. That is why we're here, isn't it? To talk about 'us'?"

Spender looks slightly abashed. "Yes."

"So we could have just as well had this conversation over a nice dinner." Fowley says, putting her ball down firmly. "So...speak."

"I...I want to know where we stand," Spender says.

"Do we stand anywhere? Death, whether it's real or a hoax, is the ending of many things," Fowely says with a shrug.

"Is there someone else?" Spender asks angrily.

"No. Does that make you feel better? ...or worse?"

Spender fidgets the ball in the ball return. "Neither, just more confused. If there's no one else, why can't things be the same as they were before?"

"How can you even ask that? Nothing's the same. I can't count on you any more. How do I know that if I was to take you back that you wouldn't receive another mysterious letter demanding that you disappear again? I can't deal with that again, especially not now. It may not be entirely your fault, but you can't guarantee that I won't end up suddenly mourning you again. I'm sorry, but it's not a risk I'm willing to take," Fowely says, looking sincerely sorry.

Spender sighs, but doesn't look surprised. "We can still be friends, though, right?"

"Of course."

"And maybe someday, when I've resolved all this mess with this person claiming to be my long lost father..." Spender trails off.

"Maybe some day," Fowley agrees.

"Good. Since we're here we may as well finish this set," Spender says, preparing to take his turn.

"Oh, why not. How often do I get to indulge in my fetish for rental shoes?" Fowley laughs. She looks down at her cast. "Well, shoe."


Friday afternoon, McPhee home-

Mr. McPhee asks the twins to speak with him before dinner. Skinner and Reyes exchange worried looks; their father's impromptu family meetings are never about anything pleasant.

Mr. McPhee cleared his throat. "I have some bad news for you." Reyes braces herself, sure he is going to say he is going to have a business trip over the holidays. A quick glance at Skinner's face suggests he has jumped to the same conclusion. Mr. McPhee continues," While I was in Connecticut over Thanksgiving, I went to the hospital to see your mother."

"You did?" Reyes asks, surprised. He usually tells them when he's going to visit her.

"Yes. She...she was the same. Oh, for a moment or two she was rational enough to tell me how much she misses us, but after that... I had hoped, at least a little, that she'd be able to come home for Christmas, even if just for a short visit. I'm sorry kids, it looks like it's going to be just the three of us again this year."

Skinner and Reyes rushed to their dad and gave him hugs. Most of the time their father showed no sentiment where their mother was concerned, so it greatly surprised them that he'd held any hopes of their mother recovering any time soon.


Saturday 8am, Mulder's yard-

Skinner and Reyes decide, while seized with a zeal to make Christmas special for their dad, to captain a shopping trip. Mulder's house is the last stop before hitting the mall. He is about to get into the car when he suddenly hesitates.

"I'm sorry, I forgot my list. I'll be right back."

"You'd better be," Reyes says. Doggett and Scully make faces at him behind her, so she has no idea why he suddenly smiles. By the time she's turned towards them, they have innocent expressions pasted on their faces.

Mulder runs back to the house. Since his parents are still sleeping, he goes up to his room as quietly as possible. He sees the list on his desk and is about to pick it up when his parents' sudden voices alert him that they're actually awake.

He shrugs and is about to leave anyway when he hears his father speak. " Gale, you know it's going to be different this time. They promised."

"How do we know they'll keep their word?" she asks him, sounding unconvinced.

"We don't have any reason to not believe them. They did exactly what they said they would before, so there's no reason to believe they'd suddenly start lying to us now."

"I want to believe that everything will be fine..." She trails off.

"It will. We did just what we were supposed to, so we'll get what's coming to us. Once this baby is born we'll have everything we ever hoped for."

Not wanting to hear more, Mulder grabs the list off the desk and runs down the stairs, still trying to be as quiet as he can. Not knowing what to think about what he's heard, he decides to keep it to himself.

"Sorry, I had a little trouble finding it. Thanks for waiting." Mulder apologizes as he climbs into the car.

"No problem. We'll still get there in time to get a good parking space." Skinner says, pulling out of the driveway. "Can you believe this snow? Maybe we'll have a white Christmas after all. "Mulder looks through the window at the snow and all it covers up, and thinks about how fitting that is.


Credits

Produced by CC, KW and Neoxphile

< Voice Over>

This episode of Mulder's Creek featured music from:

Union Underground ("Turn me on Mr. Deadman")

The Nixons ("Sister")

And

Collapsis ("Pure Triangles")

Stay tuned for scenes from the next Mulder's Creek.

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