Title: Mulder's Creek: 28. Pressing Issues
Author: Neoxphile
Author Email: neoxphile@aol.com
Rated: PG
Category: C
Keywords: XF/Dawson's Creek crossover. Alternate universe.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to the characters, except those I've created, as they belong to Chris Carter and Kevin Williamson

Summary: A colleague of Mrs. Leary's thinks that Sam's reunion with her family would make a great news story - and is reluctant to take no for an answer.

Opening scene-

The waves race towards the shore, and then, as if being unable to stand another moment's separation from the bulk of the sea, they rush back, dragging sand and small shells with them. Mulder sighs as he watches Doggett and Reyes splash through those same waves, laughing. He gently pulls Scully closer. She smiles and resettles her self on the blanket they'd spread out hours before at lunch time.

"Can you believe that we go back to school tomorrow?" he asks quietly, just loud enough to be heard over the roar of the surf and the cries of the seagulls.

"No..." she sighs, echoing him. "The summer seemed to fly by. Except the week you spent at your aunt's. That dragged on and on."

He thinks to agree with her, but it would be dishonest, even for him lately. The days in Roswell flew by. "Well, at least we've gotten to spend a great deal of the last three weeks together."

"Sure." She laughs, poking him in the side. "But you know that you're sad you haven't been at home, at the center of the 'drama'."

"Yeah, right." He gives her a wry smile.

"So...explain it to me again. She just started talking, just like that?"

"No! I've told you that she's been talking to me since the 4th of July. But you just had to play little Ms. Skeptic- "

"Little?!" She sticks her tongue out at him, which he ignores.

"But yeah, as far as my parents know she got sick of trying to get her wants and needs across to me, and so she became more brave at her attempts to speak."

"Ok, but why did she really start talking to them, then?"

"Easy. Because if she didn't, she was going to be placed in a special ed class since my mom is back at work and can't home school her any more. You've got to give her credit, it worked."

"And your dad was able to get her re-evaluated by the school on such short notice?"

"Yup. She'll be starting in a normal seventh grade class tomorrow."

Scully smirks at him. "Wish my life was so eventful," she teases.

"Oh no you don't." She quickly corrects her.

"Just kidding," she assures him.

Theme song -"Stranded" by Plumb

Wednesday 6:30am, Leary home-

Mulder yawns as he walks through the living room. His sister sits barefoot, and clutches a spoon, as she eats cereal and watches cartoons. She wrenches her eyes away from the screen just long enough to acknowledge his presence, so he gives her a little wave on the way by.

In the kitchen he decides to eat his own breakfast like a civilized person, at the table. He's just about finished when his mother rushes into the room and plunks Price into his highchair. It's the first day she'll be bringing him to a sitter- the same one Bessie used for Alex- and it seems to be stressing her out. The baby doesn't seen phased by the behavior of the whirlwind that looks like their mother, but Mulder is.

"Um...busy morning, Mom?"

Mrs. Leary impatiently blows a stray lock of hair out of her face. "The busiest. Sweetie, could you give Price his breakfast? I'm afraid if I do, I'll have to change."

"Well, ok, just this once." He teases his mother. He then gets up and goes through the cabinet until he finds a jar of banana custard, which is his brother's favorite. For reasons Mulder can't quite discern, Price inevitably uses feeding time as target practice when Mom is the one wielding the spoon. Mulder, on the other hand, is now and always greeted by nothing more than smiles and lip smacking when offering the exact same flavors of baby food.

He's half-convinced that Price senses much, much, more than is normal for a four-month-old. Price pauses his eager swallowing just as the thought crosses Mulder's mind, and laughs. It's a sweet baby laugh, but the coincidence unnerves Mulder even as he hands the baby his bottle.

8am, Capeside Middle School-

Sam walks into the classroom labeled "Ms. Walker's," the name which matches that on the card guidance gave her as soon as the bus arrived at the school. She glances around the homeroom, and notices that it looks a lot like the classrooms at Candling – books filling cases, desks, a chalkboard. The biggest difference is that everyone who is already in the classroom, waiting for the teacher's arrival, is staring at her.

At first she feels really self-conscious, and wonders if there's something on her face, a milk mustache maybe, but then she concludes that it might be because she's new.

As if reading her thoughts, a girl with short blond hair comes up to her and asks," Who are you?"

"Sam Leary."

"That's a boy's name," another girl says, emphasizing 'boy's'.

"It's a nickname for Samantha," she tells them, wondering why they wouldn't realize that.

"Your older brother is Mulder, right?" A boy with spiky brown hair asks. "He was my little neighbor's big buddy last year."

"Yup, Mulder's one of my brothers," Sam says, flashing the boy a grateful smile.

Which dissolves when he asks, "If your brother goes to school in Capeside, why haven't we ever seen you before?"

"Yeah, why?" someone adds.

"Where have you been?" yet another voice asks.

"Where?" voices chorus.

Sam's eyes dart towards the door, seeking an escape route, but the teacher come in, causing the room to fall silent. For now.

2:15pm, near Capeside High School-

Fowley is enjoying the still-warm September weather on her walk home. The leaves haven't started to change yet, so it looks like a summer day. She hears her name being called, and a look of annoyance takes up residence on her face when she realizes who it is.

"I thought the other schools get out later," she says, not hiding her displeasure.

"They do, but there were no sessions scheduled for therapists today so we could have a meeting about departmental procedures. We got out early," Zane tells her with a boyish smile. "So how come you're not happy to see me? I thought you liked me," he adds with a pout.

"I do," she says, giving in to his charm.

"Then why do I get the sense that you'll turn me down if I offer to walk you the rest of the way home?"

Fowley puts her hands on her hips. "Don't play stupid, I've explained Grams' policy to you."

"I know, you're not allowed to date anyone eighteen or older. That's reasonable enough, but what if you were dating someone and he turned eighteen before you did? Would you have to break up with him on his birthday? That'd be a nice gift."

"I'd doubt she'd go that far, but there's a big difference between someone who is turning eighteen, and someone who is already twenty-three," she points out.

"I know, which is why I won't try to get you to disobey her. I can wait."

"I won't be eighteen until next May," she warns.

"Patience is a virtue," he says primly before grinning. "I do, however want to meet this Grams of yours."

"Why?" she asks warily.

"To ask her policy on friends, of course. Now can I walk you home?"

She nods and leads the way.

4pm, Leary home-

Mulder straps Price into his stroller, and calls for Sam. She comes down, and he notices that she looks rather morose.

"Hey, Sam. I'm going to bring Price to the park to enjoy the remainder of this gloriously warm day. Snow's just around the corner, you know. Do you want to come with? Scully is bringing her nephew too."

"No, thanks."

"Was school ok? You look a little sad."

"It was ok."

Mulder senses that there's a lot she's not saying, but he doesn't want to push it. He has distinctly unpleasant memories of his mother prying when he was a moody thirteen-year-old, which inevitably resulted in his being angry as well as unhappy. "That's good. I know first days can be rough. My day went ok, I have a couple of classes with Scully and Doggett. Well, if you want, we can play a game or something when this little guy and I get back."


Mulder watches for a minute while she scurries back to her room. He has a feeling that what's bothering her will come eventually, even without pestering her.

"Mulder, I wanna play catch!" Alexander crows, looking at Mulder with an expectant look. The hero-worship from the late spring has not worn off yet.

"In just a couple of minutes. "Mulder tells him with a grin.


Before he goes off to play catch, he asks Scully if it's ok. "You're sure you don't mind? I mean, I'd be leaving you with Price."

"Mulder, my nephew thinks you're a God for some bizarre reason. I couldn't deprive him of a game of catch with God. Don't worry so much, it's not as though I've never looked after a baby before, and you'll be within sight."

"Ok, great." Mulder tosses the ball to Alex, who immediately runs away, giggling. Mulder ambles after the preschooler, laughing himself.

Scully shakes her head and looks a Price, who is lying on his back on a baby blanket, pulling at his socks. "It's all your fault my boyfriend is neurotic, you know. Well, more than he used to be. He has this strange idea that if he doesn't spend lots of time with you after school, you'll forget who he is. Maybe if your sister had been around when she was little things would be different, so maybe it's not entirely your fault."

She means her comments as a joke, but Price doesn't take it that way. His eyes immediately fill with tears, and his mouth begins to tremble before he opens it widely to bawl. Looking contrite, Scully immediately picks him up, and tries to comfort him, by standing and bouncing him gently. "Shhh, I was just kidding. I know you don't understand me, but you're going to make Mulder think I did something to you."

To her chagrin, Mulder notices that Price is crying, so he and Alex head back over. Of course, by the time they get there, Price is quiet again, with one thumb stuffed into his mouth. Scully looks relieved that the worse is over, and is about to explain to Mulder that's she's not entirely sure why he was crying when she feels a tap on her shoulder. She looks behind her and sees a frowning face framed by stark-white hair.

"Aren't you ashamed?" The woman asks her.

"Of what?" she asks, bewildered. The woman wasn't there the moment before, so she couldn't have overheard the one-sided conversation.

"In my day and age young women didn't have babies, and they didn't flaunt them in public if they did. Certainly not two of them," the woman says coldly, giving Price and Alexander a distasteful look.

Scully blinks. "I don't have children! Of these boys is my nephew, and the other is my boyfriend's baby brother."

The woman stalks off with a haughty shake of her head. Mulder, who has been holding his breath to keep from laughing, makes a strangled noise as the woman wanders away. He coughs for a second, and wipes tears away from his eyes. "Oh man, that was rich."

"Yeah, a riot," she says, putting his brother into his arms."

"I guess that just means you and I ought to put off starting a family for a few years."

"Darn, and I was hoping to be knocked up by the time I was eighteen." She tells him with a smirk.

"What does knocked up mean?" Alex asks, giving them a puzzled look. Neither of them had remembered that he was listening.

Scully blushes, but Mulder answers the question. Sort of. "Your auntie hopes to be taller soon, so she can knock higher up on a door. People inside hear it better if you knock near the top of the door."

The little boy nods, seemingly satisfied with the explanation. Then his eyes widen. "Grown-ups can get taller?"

"We're not quite grown up, kiddo," Mulder tells him, ruffling his hair. "We won't be grown-ups until you're four."

"Oh." He nods his head sagely. "That's a big time away."

"Sure is," Mulder agrees.

8pm, The Ice House-

The rush finally over, there's time to wipe down the tables and talk. Reed and Skinner, who don't have any classes until later in the week, are happy for the time to catch up; they hadn't had any shifts in common during the last couple of weeks of summer.

"So, what did you do at the end of the summer?" Reed asks.

"Oh, you know, annoy my sister, tried not to annoy my dad so he wouldn't send me out to chop wood for the fireplace...I watched too much tv, and slept in too. You know, the usual stuff. How about you?"

"Pretty much the same, except for the sister part. We had a festive gig near Boston at the end of the summer, though, and that was pretty cool."

"You didn't invite your friends?" Skinner says, looking surprised. He still feels a little guilty about having missed Beer is Not a Sex Crime's first gig, but he'd been grounded for some stupid infraction.

"It was small and last minute, so no. We only got to do three songs, so it wasn't really worth it for anyone else to go all the way there for it."

"But it was fun?"

"Sure. I mostly liked listening to the other bands though."

"Oh, who was good?" Skinner asks with interest.

"There's this one band, The Money Grubbing Communists, and they were wicked good. Even if they do have a weird name."

"Ha. Like you guys have a leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing a band's name." Reed frowns at him. "What did you like best about them?"

"The lead singer Chris."

"He's a good singer then?"

"No..." Reed looks down, but smiles.

"Oh," Skinner says, catching on. "That's... nice."

"I'm only getting to know him, but he seems really nice. I'm probably going to see him again this weekend."

"That sounds like fun." For a reason he can't quite put a finger on, talking about Reed's new crush bother's him.

11:30 pm, Leary home-

A voice distracts Mulder from his dreams. He rolls over with a groan, and shakes his head to clear it. Eventually he realizes that the rather loud and upset sounding voice is his mother's. Worrying that there's something wrong that he should know about, he hops out of bed.

He's about to rush down the stairs to inquire what's wrong, when he pauses at the top of the stairs, realizing that she's talking to someone on the phone. "...and you have the nerve to call at this time of night looking for a 'scoop'?? You wonder why no one respects you as a journalist, if these are the methods you're willing to try... Actually, yes, I do think that there's something wrong with wishing to invade an acquaintance's personal life for a story...I'm not going to stand here and listen to any more of this. Goodbye."

Mulder expected his mother to slam the phone angrily, so it surprises him when she rips the phone cord out of the wall and heaves the handset across the room instead. "Mom, is everything ok?" His voice sounds timid even to him.

Mrs. Leary reaches to pick up the fallen phone. "No... not really." She puts the handset back into the cradle before turning to look at him. Her face is flush and her eyes shiny.

"What's the matter?" he asks, touching her arm.

"You probably know that people who do the TV news like I do don't get along all that well with the print journalists." Mulder nods, so she'll continue. " Well, my coworkers have been respectful about our wanting to keep your sister out of the lime-light. Unfortunately, one of the journalists for the local paper has a nephew in one of Sam's classes, and now he wants to do a story on her kidnapping and recovery."

"But they can't if you say no, right?"

"I wish. People can sue the paper, but there's nothing to keep them from writing whatever story or stories they want. All we can do is not talk to them." She wrings her hands helplessly. "You know about the first amendment and freedom of the press, Mulder."

"I'm sorry, Mom," he says, giving her a hug.

"Thanks. Just promise that you won't talk to any reporters you don't know, ok? Actually, don't talk to those you do know if I'm not there. You never know when the lure of a story might turn someone you know against you," she says darkly.

"I promise." Mulder wanders back to bed, wondering what going back to school is really like for his sister.

Thursday 6pm, The Ice House-

The reporter is having a hard thing of things. He tried to talk directly to the little girl while her class was at recess, but a teacher chased him off, accusing him of leering at little children. He was rather put out by that, but he didn't let it get him down. He tried to call Gale again to see if she could be reasoned with, but he only ended up getting yelled at by her husband, who he met once. Since Mitch was a very strong looking fellow, he decided that calls to the house were probably not a good thing. He tried to talk to the older of the sons, but was only told off in colorful terms.

So in desperation he decided that the best way to get his story would be stalk the young man and see who he hung out with. There was an off chance that the boy's friends might not realize that he was a reporter and let some salient details innocently slip.

Which is why he is now at the counter, waiting on a bacon burger and onion rings. The pretty little waitress is definitely close to Gale's son, or she wouldn't have kissed the boy before dashing inside twenty minutes ago. She smiles as she places the plate before him.

"Here you go," she says with a customer-friendly smile.

"You know, I think I saw you with a friend of mine's son right before I parked my car," he remarks. "Gale Leary?"

"Oh yeah, she's my boyfriend's mother," Scully replies.

"Incredible how her family got their little girl back, isn't it?"

"Really incredible."

"I haven't talked to Gale since before it happened. Do you know how they happened to get her back?" he asks with a shark-like smile.

Which immediately sets off warning bells in Scully's head. "You know I don't. Mulder's never really talked about it, beyond being glad that she's home safe and sound. I'm sorry to cut this short, but I promised my sister that I'd help her with salads after I served you." She smiles again, and dashes out back.

The reporter glumly picks up his burger. If the girlfriend doesn't know, who would?

As soon as she's safely out of sight, Scully picks up the phone and dials Mulder. "Hey, I think I might try out for the next drama club play, since I just gave a performance you'll thank me for."

"What do you mean?"

"Is there a reporter trying to get a story on your sister? This guy just casually mentioned that he's a friend of your mom's, and he saw us together a little while ago. I get the feeling that he didn't just 'happen' to see us. I think he was following you. Asked me if I knew you, which I said I did. Then he wanted to know if I knew how your family got your sister back. "Scully explains. " I played dumb. Well sort of, since I don't really know how she came back."

Mulder mutters swears with the phone held away from him before continuing to speak to her. "Yeah, neither do I, I guess that's part of what makes it such an appealing story. Thank you very much for calling me, I think I need to call everyone and tell them not to talk to anyone asking questions. My mom is going to have a fit."

"No problem," Scully tells him before really going to make salads.

8pm, Leary home-

Mrs. Leary went for a ride after they ate and surprised them by bringing home Baskin Robbins' ice-cream for an after dinner treat. Mulder and Sam claimed the chocolate quart, and the older Learys enjoyed pralines and cream, which the kids turned their noses up at because of the nuts.

They are just finishing their treat when Mrs. Leary turns to them with a serious look on her face. Mulder freezes. This is never a good sign. "What's that look for, Mom?" he asks, trying not to sound too nervous.

"Mulder, I want to thank you for letting your father and I know that there is a reporter asking questions about us." Mulder shrugs. "Your dad and I talked it over while we were out, and we've concluded that there's only one way to deal with this."

"How's that?" Sam asks in a quiet voice.

"If it's okay with the two of you, we want to go to my work and let one of my friends do a story on us. It will be on Saturday. As long as you're willing, of course." Mrs. Leary tells them.

"But why does anyone need to do a story?" Mulder asks.

"If we don't let anyone do a story, they'll do one anyway. And since it will be mostly guessing on the reporter's part, it probably will have things in it that we wouldn't like very much. If we do a story first, we can only say things we want said, and that'll be the end of it," Mr. Leary says.

Sam looks upset, but she says," Let's get it over with then."

Mulder gives her a surprised look, he'd thought she'd be the one to resist the most. "If it's ok with Sam, it's ok with me."

Their parents look relieved. "Great. We'll talk more tomorrow about what it is that we're going to say. Ok?"


Friday Capeside Middle School-

"This seat taken?" Sam looks up to see a boy her age holding a lunch tray.

"There's no one sitting there," she says in a non-committal tone. The day before she'd thought someone was asking to sit with her, but they had only wanted the chair.

To her surprise, he actually sits down. "Thanks. So... are people always so friendly to the new kids?"

Sam sighs. "I don't know. I just started this week, too."

"And I thought people were so cold just because I started late."

"Why did you start late?" she asks curiously, half-wishing she could have started later too. A few years later, maybe.

"I usually live with my dad. He's in the army, and they called him over to the Middle East. He says that they're sending a few people over now because they already don't think that they'll go through with that weapons inspector thing. Since I couldn't go with him, I got dumped at my mom's for the school year. With like three days' notice." The look in his blue eyes in not a happy one.

"You don't like her?"

"I don't know her."

"Yeah..." Sam says, thinking that they have something in common. "My name is Sam, by the way."

"I'm Daden."

"That's...different," Sam says, squinching her nose.

"Oh yeah? Well, Sam's a boy's name." He retorts.

"God! It's short for Samantha. Didn't any of you watch 'Who's the Boss' or ' Bewitched'?" In addition to encouraging a liking of comic books, the Candling School also dosed the kids on a heavy diet of Nick At Night offerings.

"It means 'deeds' in Dutch. My name, that is. It's the only thing my mom ever gave me," he explains.

"Wow, you really aren't close." Sam remarks.

Daden shrugs. "I really only met her last night. She's not Dad, but she seems ok."

"Wait until you get to know her," Sam says with a knowing smirk.

Daden giggles. "I bet you're right."

Sam doesn't quite realize it, but anyone looking can see that she's well on the way to making her first friend in Capeside.

Saturday 1pm, channel –

Mulder sits next to his dad, who is holding Price in his lap. Sam and his mom sit a bit forward from the rest of them, making them the center of attention. Everyone is dressed up nicely. Mulder and his father are wearing button down shirts and slacks, and Price is wearing a brand new pair of blue corduroy overalls with a train embroidered across the front. Mulder had smiled to himself when he'd first seen them, and he couldn't wait for his brother to start talking so he'd finally get an answer about trains from him. Mrs. Leary is wearing an airy white summer dress since it is still quite warm out, and Sam, after much cajoling was also forced to dress up. She's got her hair French-braided and is wearing a dress too.

Gale smiles at the camera man, and he gives the signal that the tape is rolling. Gale's smile widens as she addresses the camera. "Hi, I'm Gale Leary. You probably know me as the news anchor for this station. I'd like to take the opportunity right now to introduce you to the rest of my family." She points at Mr. Leary. "Over there is my husband Mitch and our sons, Mulder and Price. This young lady next to me is our Daughter, Samantha."

Sam smiles wanly at the camera, then Mrs. Leary goes on. "Samantha is the reason that we're here to day. As you may or may not know, Samantha was kidnapped when she was two weeks old. Our home was broken into in the middle of the night, and that day was the last anyone reported seeing her."

Mrs. Leary takes Price from Mr. Leary. Price looks like he might cry for a second, but doesn't, quickly settling on his mother's lap. "At least until the day that Price was born in May. We received an anonymous phone call from someone involved in her kidnapping, and they told us if we didn't investigate our daughter's past, they would release her. We readily agreed, as any parent would, and Sam was dropped off at the hospital. To this day we do not know where she was."

I see what you meant by only telling them what we want to know, Mulder thinks. Obviously the truth isn't one of those things. But really, whose business is it but theirs?

"Sam herself has only been talking for a few weeks, and has memory loss so she hasn't been able to fill any of the blanks in for us. We don't feel that where she was is important, since she is back with us, and that's all that matters to her family. Right now the important thing is to concentrate on the future rather than dwell on the past. "

"We'd like to thank those people who have prayed for her safe return over the years. Thank you so much."

The camera man shuts down, and they are soon ready to go. Mr. and Mrs. Leary are excitedly talking to Sam about how brave she was to go on tv and let everyone know about the kidnapping, and Price babbles along, seeing to want to add his own comments on the matter. Mulder trails behind, wondering how many reporters are going to cry themselves to sleep tonight in anguish over losing the chance to be the first to break the story. He hopes it's a lot.

5pm Ice House-

Skinner is wiping down the counter when the bell on the door jangles, letting him know that someone has come in. He looks up and sees a young man walking quickly towards him. The guy smiles at him.

"Hi, is Reed here? He said he was getting off around now," he said.

"I think he's clocking out now. I can go tell him that you're waiting for him. Although, it'd be easier if I know your name," Skinner says with a brief smile.

"Oh. I'm Chris."

Chris. The Chris, presumably. Skinner gives him the once over. He's short, although taller than Scully and Fowley, he's probably not even as tall as Reyes. His hair is too long, at least in Skinner's estimation, and it looks like it could use a good wash. Besides being short, the guy is heroine addict thin. Reed could do better, Skinner thinks.

"Um?" Chris says, looking concerned.

Skinner gives him an appologetic look, realizing that he'd been staring for quite a while. "So I'll go let him know that you're here."

"Ok." Chris looks relieved.

He must have a nice personality, Skinner thinks with a slight shake of his head as he wanders towards the back room to find out where Reed is.

Sunday, 3pm, Leary home-

The Learys recently bought a porch swing, so Mulder and Scully try it out. It has hearts carved into the arms, which Mulder thinks is silly. He mother gushes over how "perfect" it is, so he just grinned and bore it when she asked his opinion when they went to look for it. Sam had only shrugged, which had made him wonder for a second how much of a girly-girl his sister might have been if she'd grown up entirely under his mother's influence. There'd probably been a lot more frilly dresses in her past. He was rather thankful that none of the girls he'd grown up with were the prissy type.

"So I saw you on TV yesterday," Scully says, breaking his reverie.

"Yeah? Did I look fat? You know they day the TV cameras add ten pounds." He tells her with a wry grin.

"Only your butt," she tells him with a serious look, before laughing at him.

"Oh thanks."

"It was really brave of you all to do that, you know," she says, referring to the news segment.

"I don't know about that." He corrects her. "It was just a preemptive strike against a flurry of reporters wanting to break the story, you know? It made it easier on us than it would have been if we hadn't done it."

"Even so, there are now millions of people who don't even know you but know something about your family history."

"Millions? Wow, Mom's station would be thrilled to hear that."

Scully rolls her eyes. "You know what I mean."

"But of course. What would be the fun of talking to you if I didn't get to give you a hard time?"

Scully sighs.

Monday 3pm, Leary home-

The front door swings open, and Mulder looks up from his history homework. It's a bunch of dates, which he finds boring, so he doesn't mind the momentary distraction. Sam bounds into the room, looking happier than he's seen in days.

"Good day at school?" he asks, trying to raise an eyebrow like Scully would in the situation. He's marginally less successful at it.

"The best! I mean it, Mulder, the best like ever." She clarifies.

"What was so good about it? No homework?"

"No, we got homework. Do you know much about multiplying fractions? It was the best because kids were nice to me. They all saw that news thing this weekend, or most of them did. Now they don't ask why I didn't go to school with them 'cause they know."

"Well, that's good. I'm glad we did it then. Some people I go to school with saw it too, and they said that you must be a strong girl to deal with everything. Pretty cool since they don't know the half of it, huh?"

Sam nods. "No kidding."

"So do you have any new friends yet?" Mulder asks, hoping that the question won't be the wrong thing to ask.

"Yup, one so far. His name is Daden. He was nice to me before the TV thing, though."

Mulder gives her an impulsive hug. "That's great! Maybe school won't be so bad after all, huh?"

"It'll be ok. But Mulder, you didn't answer my question. Do you know anything about multiplying fractions?"

Tuesday Capeside Middle School-

Because he lost a bet over whether or not the character Gambit will appear in the second X-men movies, Mulder is meeting Sam after school so he can take her to pick out her choice of comic books. If he'd won, she'd have to load the dishwasher for a week. Mulder still isn't sure if she didn't realize how cheap a comic book is, or she was just convinced she'd win.

When he parks and begins to walk towards the school he gets a chill like one would in the presence of evil. He almost chuckles when he notices Krycek giving him an unfriendly glance.

"I should have known you'd be here." Krycek grumbles.

"The question is, why are you here? I know things didn't work out with that airhead you dated in the spring, but have you completely given up on finding a girl our age dumb enough to date you? I know middle school girls are young but even they aren't-"

"I'm picking up my brother from school, if you must know," Krycek says with a scathing look.

"Since when do you have a brother?" Mulder asks, giving him a suspicious look.

"Since when do you have a sister?" Krycek counters.


"I've nearly always had a brother, he just doesn't live with Mom and I. I guess my parents had a difference in opinions in regards to wanting a second child. Dad did and Mom really, really didn't. They split up as soon as my brother was born. My dad said she didn't even look at the baby after he was born. Right now my dad is off playing army hero, so the kid is staying with us. I think she wanted to send him to boarding school, but her conscience, or what passes for one, got the better of her."

"Must be strange for you. I know it's been strange for me," Mulder says almost sympathetically.

"A little, but I've seen him. It's not as though we never met before, he's at my Dad's when I spend time with my father." Krycek shrugs.

Sam and a brown-haired boy walk over to them. "Mulder, this is my new friend, Daden Valentine," Sam explains.

Mulder and Krycek exchange a look. It's not a happy one.


Produced by CC, KW and Neoxphile

< Voice Over>

This episode of Mulder's Creek featured music from:

Crash Palace ("Two Kinds")

Amy Studt ("Just A Little Girl ")


Republica ("Ready To Go")

Stay tuned for scenes from the next Mulder's Creek

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