Title: The Prodigal Son (Part Two of Deep Breathing)
Author: scully221
Date: July 2000
Rating: R, just for harsh language
Category: Scully and Krycek POV, Scully angst, and an X-file.
Disclaimer: Chris Carter, 1013 and FOX own all. No copyright infringement intended.
Note: Requiem and Season Seven spoilers.
Distribution: Anyone who wants to archive this, please feel free. Notice would be appreciated.

Summary: Part two of Deep Breathing. Scully begins her search for Mulder with assistance from Krycek.

Three weeks had passed. Three long weeks. She tried to hide it, but if she thought about it, it was obvious her life had fallen apart. She spent more time in Mulder's empty apartment than she did her own. She went straight there after work, stayed there all night, and then rushed to her own apartment in the morning in order to wash up and change for another day in the basement. She hadn't done anymore investigating into the nature of her pregnancy, and if it weren't for her daily close-ups with the toilet she wouldn't even think about it. She really didn't think about much at all lately. Life was easy when you didn't think. She should have tried it a long time ago. She hadn't done much work in the past week. The only new case she'd opened was one for Mulder, and it was going nowhere fast. She didn't return any phone calls. Her mother didn't know about the pregnancy. She hadn't even told her that Mulder was missing. She just didn't want to listen to the sympathy she knew her mother wouldn't be able to resist pouring out. She was sick of the sympathetic looks in the halls. She hated the fact that Skinner hadn't given her any assignments. Not that she would have done a very good job on them, but still. Mulder's monthly rent was due in a couple of days, and this was causing her a lot of stress. She didn't want to give his apartment up, but she couldn't afford his rent and as well as her own. She was considering moving into his place permanently, but that last little piece of sanity in her head was telling her that was a bad idea. She was brought out of her reverie by a presence in the office doorway. She looked up to see an unusually nervous Assistant Director Skinner at the door. He seemed uncertain of whether or not he was welcome, but finally entered.

"Agent Scully, how are you?"

How am I? I'm awful. I'm tired. I'm nauseous. I'm scared, lonely, and angry. I'm bored. I'm pretty much everything but fine. "I'm fine. How are you sir?"

He didn't answer. For the first time in the past three weeks Scully thought about what this was doing to him. It was selfish of her to think she was the only one affected, she knew that. He had seen things he couldn't explain, couldn't understand. She was the only person he could go to about it, but she wasn't talking. "Agent Scully, I will understand if you want to be moved to another department, or even request a leave of absence. Please, don't carry on with anything you are uncomfortable with."

What was this? He wanted her to quit. Didn't he understand? The work, this office, that poster, these were the things that kept Mulder close to her. Giving up the work would be like giving up on him. "Thank you. I appreciate your concern. But really, I want to continue with the X-Files." She was amazed at the softness in her tone. She hadn't hardened over completely, after all.

"All right. That's fine. Let me know if I can offer any assistance. And, although I know the Office of Professional Review wants to assign you a new partner, I'll try and postpone that for as long as possible."

A new partner? God, no. She didn't even want to THINK about that. "Thank you, sir." And he was gone. There really seemed to be nothing left to say, anyway. They were both in different worlds right now, and there was no one who could help them. They had to help themselves.

Scully finished at the office. Actually, she just got sick of sitting there, doing nothing. She thought she was going home, but as usual, ended up in Mulder's empty apartment. It was always empty to her, even when she was there. There was a silence that no volume level on the TV could chase away. Even the fish seemed to miss him. Amazingly, the light on his machine was blinking. She pressed the button, and Langly's voice filled the room.

"Agent Scully, its Langly. We haven't been able to reach you at your apartment, so we thought we'd try you here. We wanted to know if maybe you'd be interested in joining us for some cheesesteaks tonight? Erase this after you hear it."

That was too much. The tears came, silent and heavy. Fat, hot tears ran down her face. She didn't even have the willpower to brush them away, and they ran down her neck and dampened her collar. There was no sobbing or crying aloud. She wasn't hoping to be heard, she knew no one would come to her aid. She just wanted to lie on the couch, watch "Caddyshack" or "Ghostbusters", and wallow in her own self-pity. She figured she deserved some self-pity. She had been stoic for so long. She never knew that, harder than being overly sensitive was being emotionless. It was hard work acting like everything was fine. What she really needed was some Rocky Road. Or Chocolate Brownie Dough.

The phone rang, and she quickly wiped her eyes and answered. "Hello?" There was no answer, only silence. "Hello." More silence, and then a click. That's bizarre, she thought. Probably a girlfriend he didn't want me to know about. The ridiculousness of that thought actually made her smile. And the smile reminded her of how pathetic she was. God!! She was so mad at herself! Why was she being such a baby? She wasn't doing herself or Mulder any good like this. Or her baby, she thought with a sudden pang of guilt. What would Mulder say if he knew she'd sunk this low? He'd feel sorry for her. And that's the last thing she ever wanted. She went to such great lengths to be strong in front of him, and never let him feel sorry for her, or think she was weak or wimpy. She shouldn't start just because he wasn't around to notice. Forcing herself to DO something, to be alive for once, she picked up her jacket, and, after a moments contemplation, decided to take up the proffered cheesesteaks. Even if she wasn't good company, it was better than sitting alone.

She came back to Mulder's apartment late that night. It had actually been one of the better evenings she'd had since his disappearance. She'd never had a cheesesteak before and they actually weren't that bad. She hadn't talked much, but listening to the guys and their conversation had been amusing enough. And, most importantly, it had taken her mind of her myriad of worries. But here she was, back at Mulder's apartment. Although she had gone home after dinner to shower, she was drawn back to Mulder's place like a magnet. Maybe she should just give up her apartment and move in here after all. Sighing at her inability to make a decision, she sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. Before she knew it was happening, she found herself dozing on the couch. Determined to have at least a semblance of normalcy, she changed into Mulder's Knicks T-shirt and a pair of his boxers, and was asleep as soon as she hit the bed.

She felt strangely refreshed in the basement that next morning; renewed. It had been the best night's sleep she'd had in three weeks, and her conviction that all would be fine had returned. She had even decided to make a pre-natal appointment with her ob-gyn. She found herself smiling as she went through Mulder's past seven years of poorly done paper work. There may not have been a case to occupy her, but she had plenty else to devote her time to. But of course, it couldn't last. Just when she thought she was going to have a good day, it all went down the crapper.

"Agent Scully."

She could actually feel her eyes narrow and the muscles in her face tighten. She felt her arm and leg muscles cord, and her fingers curl into her palms to make fists. Had he been close enough, she would have thrust one of her three-inch heels right into his nuts. Unfortunately, but lucky for him, she was behind the desk. She stayed there, but he boldly entered, foolishly assuming her silence equated and interest in his presence and permission to come within striking range. Where's my gun, she thought.

"Give me one reason why I shouldn't shoot you where you stand, Krycek." Wow. She didn't think her voice had ever been so sharp and venomous. But on the up side, with Krycek around, she had a legitimate outlet for her formerly impotent anger.

Instead of answering her, he decided to dig his already abysmal grave even deeper. "Don't suppose you've found Agent Mulder yet?"

Smiling to herself, she replied, "No, if I had, he'd be kicking your ass right now."

Krycek seemed to appreciate the humor of that remark; he smiled. He entered the room the rest of the way and sat in the chair Scully used when Mulder was there to occupy the desk.

"What do you want, Krycek?" It may have been amusing a minute ago, but the man had quickly worn out his welcome, as usual, and now all she wanted was him gone.

"I've come to tell you its happening again."

She was silent for a minute. Part of her didn't want to understand what he was saying, but that part of her that did understand, that annoying part that was always thinking and was always right, the part she had been fighting with lately and had sarcastically nicknamed her inner-Mulder, told her this was important. It told her that, as much as she wanted his head on a stick, she had to keep her emotions in check and find out what he had to tell her. She didn't even bother to feign ignorance.

"Where?" She felt some of the strength go out of her when she asked. It was the part of her that she thought would have a normal life until Mulder returned. Who was she kidding? Until Mulder came back, all she'd be doing is looking for him. Pre-natal appointments? Yeah right. If this kid had three heads, she wouldn't know till the delivery.

"Delta Glen, Wisconsin. It started about two days ago. People, men and women in their early twenties just started disappearing. Nobody with a clue as to what's going on."

Delta Glen. She remembered that place. That was where the Church of the Red Museum was. Where all those kids had gone missing and then reappeared the next day with the words "He/She is one" written on there skin. It makes sense. At the time, Mulder had suspected that the kids were being used as test subjects for an alien virus. She had disagreed at the time, but a lot had changed in the past six years. Now, it made perfect sense that this town would be the next to be depleted of the previously victimized portion of their population.

She didn't respond. As eager as she was to get to Wisconsin to investigate, she didn't want to encourage Krycek's further involvement. The last thing she needed was him following her around. This was her best chance to find Mulder, and if she did, no, when she did, she didn't want Krycek there.

"So, when do we leave?" Krycek actually had the nerve to smile at her. What, did he think they were going to work together? This is definitely not what Skinner had in mind when he mentioned a new partner.

"We," she asked? "YOU are not coming with ME. I am going ALONE." She spoke slowly, as if addressing a young child.

"Look Scully, you can either come with me, or deal with me once I'm there. If we work together, than I won't be the nuisance I am sure to make myself if we don't. Think of it this way. It'll be easier to keep an eye on me."

She sighed, because she knew he was right. There was nothing to stop him from following her, and who knew what his agenda really was? If she didn't keep a close leash on him, who knew what kind of trouble he'd make? He might even find Mulder before her, and abscond with him. Ugh. She hated the idea of having to work with the rat, but she really saw no other choice.

Four hours later she felt as if she had stepped into some surrealistic nightmare. She sat on a plane, like so many other times in the past seven years. But this time, instead of a distinguished and handsome man in a dark suit and bad tie occupying the seat next to her, there was a mysteriously handsome (though she hated to admit it) man in all black. Neither of them spoke a word during the entire three-hour flight to Wisconsin. The Cheese State she thought randomly. Life was just getting more and more interesting by the minute.

They landed, and, still in mutual silence, the unlikely duo collected their luggage. Krycek finally spoke. "I'll get the rental."

"No. We'll get the rental together." She had decided he was to do nothing on his own. Knowing his idea of loyalty, he'd get the car, and then drive off, leaving her stranded at the airport. For obvious reasons, she was not putting this trip on the FBI expense account, and she didn't want random "Krycek ditched me" charges showing up in next month's report.

The two of them walked side by side to the rental desk, neither trusting the other enough to turn their back. The first major conflict arose when they reached the Ford. Both of them wanted to drive. An argument would have ensued, but ultimately, Scully had the keys, and the handcuffs, so she won.

Upon Krycek's insistence, their destination was not the home of Gary Kane, the first to go missing, but the woods surrounding the small town. Krycek felt that speaking to the families of the missing would get them nowhere, and the only logical thing to do was search for the ship, which was most likely hiding, shielded in the woods, similar to the ship that had take Mulder from Bellefleur. Unfortunately, their abrupt departure had prevented Scully from contacting the Lone Gunmen, so she didn't have the satellite data that had been available when Mulder had undergone a similar attempt three weeks ago. Needless to say, she was nervous. As much as she wanted to find Mulder, she didn't see getting abducted as well was a viable solution. Suddenly, Krycek instructed her to park.

"Pull over here."

"Right here? On the side of the highway? How do you know this is where we supposed to be? Isn't the damn thing cloaked or something? What, can you smell it?"

"Just pull over, will you?"

She complied, although she didn't know why she was being so easy on him. If she recalled correctly, he was wanted for questioning and suspicion in a number of crimes, and it was her duty as a federal agent to bring him in. The urge to cuff him right then and there was almost irresistible. Almost.

By the time she had come out of her fantasy, Krycek was out of the car and twenty feet into the woods. She had to hurry to catch up with him, and his complete neglect to wait for her pissed the agent off. He was, after all, tagging along with HER. It was NOT the other way around.

She caught up to him right at the tree line. He didn't even turn to see if she was there, he just started speaking.

"It won't be very close to the forest line, too many people would encounter it."

"What, does it take just anybody who wanders in?" For the first time Scully regretted she wasn't well read on the subject of UFO phenomena. Not that she would believe the literature, but it was still a reference.

"No, its only interested in former abductees. Abductees that all had a similar reaction to the virus. A certain degree of heightened activity in the god module section of the brain." He stopped and looked at Scully. "Mulder's reaction was by far the most pronounced, but his reaction was brought on by different factors. He was never abducted the first time."

"You know why Mulder had that reaction?" Curiosity got the better hold, and she forgot about her intense hatred for the rat, only wanted to know what he knew.

"Mulder was exposed to a laboratory altered form of the virus when he was in Russia a few years ago. He was temporarily made part of a vaccination-testing program. However, he never finished the program. The virus evacuated his body, but it left traces. These traces lay dormant in his brain until they came into contact with the markings from the ship- their ship. The others that experienced the same reaction, the abductees, experienced what they did because the scientists purposely induced it. That reaction is a major step in the complete hybridization. When they saw that it could occur in someone who hadn't been abducted, well, that was remarkable. The ship's energy barrier, the same thing that keeps it cloaked, also works as a semi-permeable membrane. It only allows certain people to pass through. People with the traits it wants are immediately accepted, while people with certain other traits are instantly rejected."

"What sort of traits does it reject?"

"I don't know for sure. It's looking for good subjects, so, physical deformities, health problems, that sort of thing."

Hmm. This made Scully remember the strange spell that had come over her in the Bellefleur woods. It was similar to the other dizzy spells she'd been experiencing, but it was different, too. She wondered if it had something to do with the possible proximity of the ship.

"How do you know all this?" As interesting as what he had to say was, she was still reluctant to believe it.

"The old guy did a lot of talking." Yeah, that was a clear response. However, she let it go for the time being.

"So what are we looking for?"

He was silent. She's no idiot. She knew his silence meant he didn't really know. She shared an inner-smirk with her inner-Mulder. See, he doesn't know everything. She had to gloat out loud. She HAD to.

"You don't know? How are we supposed to find it if it's invisible, and we don't know what we're looking for?" He he he. This was fun.

"I don't know, but I'm sure if there's a clue, we'll find it."

Well, that certainly solved everything. So, this is how she ended up wandering through the woods with the man who was involved in her sister's murder, Mulder's father's murder, and God knows what else. Wonderful.

Needless to say, they wandered the woods for hours and found nothing. Not a big surprise considering they could have circled the ship a dozen times and not known. Tired, frustrated, and dirty, they headed to the motel.

The hot bath helped remove the forest grime from her skin, and the tired ache from her bones, but not the weight in her heart. This was very weird, investigating a case without Mulder. She didn't like it. During there useless wandering, she felt really weird. It was hard for her to be with Krycek and not have her gun in his face. He hadn't done anything to piss her off on this particular trip, but he just evoked such negative emotions from her. She was surprised Mulder hadn't killed him yet. She had a terrible feeling Krycek was jerking her around. And she was letting him. She was preoccupied with her problems, and had let him take the reigns. Well, there would be no more of that. As of tomorrow, she was in charge again.

With that decided, her head was empty again. Empty to allow all those sad, scared thoughts in. All the thoughts she didn't want to have. She felt more alone here with Krycek in the room next door than she did in Mulder's vacuous apartment. Funny how being with the wrong people can be worse than being with no one at all. God, she was a sad case. Normal people would seek psychiatric help if they were depressed as she was. She certainly needed her head examined, just considering her denial of the pregnancy. This wasn't like her. She's an intelligent, responsible DOCTOR! She knew why she was avoiding the subject. She couldn't deal with any more. If she didn't know anything about the baby, then she wouldn't have to deal if it really did have three heads. And Mulder would be back by the time she gave birth, and then he could deal with it. Yeah right, her inner Mulder said. He wouldn't know which end was up. The thought of Mulder with a baby amused her until she remembered that it might not even be his. This sobered her up. Its no wonder all those women who claim to have been impregnated by aliens sound so crazy. Just the thought that it MIGHT have happened to her was mind blowing. Sanity was a thing tenuously held nowadays. But as always, she was able to settle herself enough to fall asleep.

Krycek sat in his room and stared at the walls. That's where he felt his back was, right up against that poorly papered wall. He HAD to find this ship. His options were running out, and he knew that if he didn't get himself some gambling chips soon, his head would be next on the block. There was a time when he had been a valuable player in all this conspiracy nonsense. He had knowledge that was valuable, as well as dangerous. Being to dangerous to live, but to important to die had balanced out to a pretty good equilibrium. But the syndicate was destroyed. The colonizing aliens had no use for him. The rebels would accept his help, but they wanted his out and out devotion. He'd been playing both sides for too long; he couldn't go straight now. The aliens that had been part of the hybrid program, the clones who were populating various portions of the planet, were scattering like roaches in the light. They had a similar problem to Krycek, they seemed to have no value to anyone anymore, and were therefore fresh game. Krycek felt that by acquiring knowledge of this cloaked ship, and finding out exactly what the colonizing aliens were planning would put him back on top. He had learned, knowledge was power- it was insurance.

The worst thing was that he didn't know where he stood. He didn't know if he was high on the kill list, or if nobody even thought about him anymore. This made things hard. He didn't know whether or not he had to watch his back, which pretty much meant that he did, all the time. Working with Scully didn't make it any easier. He knew she wanted to kick his ass. Not that he didn't think he could defend himself, but he knew that all her repressed rage probably gave her an advantage. He knew she suspected his involvement in the murders of Melissa and Bill Mulder, and if she knew about his role in Mulder's abduction, he'd probably be missing more than his arm. But, he had to admit that his odds were better with Scully than they were with Mulder. Mulder would just kill him and hope no one ever discovered the body. Scully may have had no more respect for him, but she probably didn't want to have a baby in jail.

That was one chip he still had. If she did decide he was expendable, he could always buy his life with his knowledge of her pregnancy. That thought left a grin on his face that he carried into his dreamless sleep.

Krycek knocked at Scully's door promptly at 7:30 am. Great, she thought. Why wasn't he abducted in his sleep? She was still zipping her skirt as she made her way to the door. As much as she wished he had disappeared mysteriously overnight, she preferred to have him in her direct line of sight than lurking outside her door. She opened the door in his traditional silent manner, wearing his traditional ominous black. He took a seat on the edge of Scully's bed and waited for her to fetch her shoes. However, her goal was delayed by an emergency run to the bathroom. She tried to slam the door shut as she entered, but it swung back open and Krycek saw her leaning over the toilet, retching. He considered silence, but decided this was the ideal time to tip his hand JUST a little.

"Need a saltine?"

She ignored his comment, and stepped out of the bathroom, wiping her mouth and glaring at him.

"I've decided the plans will change. Your traipsing around the forest plan is ridiculous, it didn't work yesterday, and it won't work today. You won't let me call for information on where to find the ship, so we are now taking a different approach. There is only one probable abductee that hasn't been taken yet. We will put her in protective custody, and hopefully, her abductor will show."

"Brilliant Agent Scully, positively brilliant."

That was it. She hadn't slept well, and she didn't need his lip. "Look asshole, you are here only because I haven't felt like killing you yet. And if, when we finish this, you are still a free man, and not wearing my cuffs as jewelry, then you got very lucky. So from now one, you are going to shut the hell up and do what I tell you, or you will see just how nasty I can get." Krycek had no response, but Scully felt rewarded when she saw the whites of his eyes grow just a little bigger.

Once again, Scully drove. Meanwhile, she was thinking. Dealing with people was going to be harder than wandering around the woods. How would she introduce Krycek? Hi, I'm Agent Scully, and this is my criminal, Krycek? Not likely. And, although she'd never admit it to his face, Krycek was right when he suggested that her plan was less than foolproof. The only benefit it had over the wandering plan was that she could do this sitting down. Her stomach was still queasy, and Krycek's remark had made her nervous, which didn't help the situation. Having him know about her pregnancy was very unsettling. Having him know anything about her was unsettling. She knew what he did with knowledge. He used it, abused it, and manipulated it. Well, not her. Not here.

A few hours later, she and Krycek sat in a small, one-room bungalow rental on the outskirts of town with Katie. She was 24, and obviously nervous. Having an FBI agent and an unidentified man show up at your door (in the end Scully felt the less she say about Krycek the better), tell you you're in danger, and whisk you off to an undisclosed location must have been nerve wracking. And the silence was palpable, so that couldn't be helping. Poor scared Katie could certainly feel the mutual hatred that floated through the air between Scully and Krycek. Can't be comforting to know that your two protectors want to pull out their guns and shoot each other. Indeed, the young girl appeared to be expecting such an occurrence. She kept eyeing the bed, as if sizing up the space below, planning a quick dive for cover should violence erupt.

Sitting in this silent room gave Scully more time to think. This time she was thinking about where this plan was going. Assuming the abductor would arrive to take Katie, how would they stop him? She didn't have a stiletto, and although Krycek might, she doubted it. She couldn't shoot him, and getting into a physical encounter was probably a bad idea. Being thrown up against a wall would not be good. Add to that the fact that she couldn't be sure Krycek would back her up, and she was feeling as nervous as Katie looked.

The hours passed, and nothing happened. Scully's nervousness was being replaced with humiliation, and she hated the feeling that inside, Krycek was laughing at her naivete. She would almost prefer being thrown into the wall then being made a fool of by Krycek. Her exhaustion was catching up with her, and she was actually dozing when Krycek hissed her name.

"Scully." He could hear the footsteps. It was like they carried a different timbre than normal steps. These were not the steps of a welcome visitor.

Scully mentally jerked herself awake when she physically jerked her head upright. She too could hear heavy footsteps approaching. All the sounds of the night had stopped, like birds fleeing a clearing upon the arrival of a predator. Instinctively her hand went to her holster; then she stopped. Her gun would be of no use to her. She turned to look at Krycek. He also had risen. He motioned Scully to move to one side of the door. He pushed Katie to a dark corner in the room, and indicated she crouch down. He took position on the other side of the door. He indicated that Scully pull her gun. She understood his plan. It was a little daredevil she had to admit. He was going to distract the bounty hunter, and Scully had one chance for a quick shot to the base of the neck. If she missed, they were screwed. It occurred to her that Krycek might be better off taking the shot, and the fact that he was taking the more dangerous of the two roles bothered her, for reasons she didn't want to think about right then. It was only then that she noticed how dark the room was. Krycek must have turned off the lights. Was he that far ahead of her? Damn she's gotten rusty.

The door opened, and a tall, muscular figure darkened the doorway. To his credit, Krycek was quick to jump out. Scully already had her weapon raised, and was taking aim when the bounty hunter spun around. He faced Scully straight on, and she hesitated he reached out with one arm, and slammed her head into the open door. She crumpled to the floor, unconscious and useless.

Krycek was pulling his gun as soon as the Bounty Hunter turned. He even managed to get a shot off as Scully's head was hitting the wood. But he was just off with his aim. He hit the bounty hunter's right shoulder, and the noxious gas that traveled the alien's veins filled the air. Krycek dropped to the floor and scrambled away, eager to avoid the contaminant. The bounty hunter ignored the cowering Krycek. Katie was silent through all this. Her terror kept her silent. But when the bounty hunter grabbed her, her voice returned. Krycek could hear her screams for help as he lay on the floor, covering his burning and stinging eyes.

Scully came to in an empty room. She rose slowly, her vision blurry at first. As soon as her head cleared, her hand instinctively ran to her belly. Oh god. She took a deep breath. She was ok. She was OK. She exhaled, and stood up. Krycek was gone. So was Katie, and so was the bounty hunter. There was a trace of green alien blood burning through the carpet, and the door was still open, but other than that there were no signs of disturbance.

Sure that she was all right, Scully stood up, and picked her weapon up off the ground. Keeping it out in front of her, she quickly swung out of the room and onto the small porch that circled the little bungalow rental. She saw no one. The rental car was gone, and she suspected that Krycek had taken it. Movement of a dark figure caught her eye, and she spun around, raising her pistol from hip to shoulder level.

"Everything ok, miss?" It was the manager. Scully exhaled in relief, lowered her weapon, and moved towards the man. She pulled out her ID.

"Everything is just fine, but I need to take your car" she said, simultaneously showing her badge. The man's eyes widened, but he didn't object.

Driving down the dark highway that ran the length of the woods, Scully didn't know how she was going to find them. She hoped that she would see the rental car parked on the shoulder, and that she wasn't too far behind. Sure enough, she had traveled only about five miles when she came across the rental car. The lights were still on, and the driver's side door was still open. Krycek must have been in a hurry, unless he was dragged out of the car. Scully pulled over next to the Ford and parked. With her flashlight in one hand and her gun in the other, she carefully exited the car.

The first thing she did was listen. Listen for Katie's cries for help. Footsteps. Gunshots. But she was rewarded with only silence. That made her job a lot harder, with no sounds to follow. Swiftly and with soft footfall she approached the tree line. Her sulfur yellow flashlight beam penetrated only about 20 feet of woods straight ahead of her. There was darkness beyond that, and on both sides. She felt very vulnerable, not knowing who might be out there, or where they could be. It was hard to keep her ears open over the sound of leaf litter crunching under her feat. She crept slowly, but took wide strides, trying to cover a large amount of ground while keeping the noise down. As much as the sound of her walking impinged on her ability to hear danger approaching, it also sent a red flag up for her arrival.

She was maybe thirty feet into the woods when she saw the light. At first, it was diffuse and green, but as she picked up her pace and hurried toward it, she noticed numerous individual beams of green light piercing the sylvan darkness. She took two more hurried steps forward, and tripped over something. No, not something- someone. Scully rolled over to her back and sat up, and saw Krycek's unconscious form melding with the dark forest floor. Instead of checking for signs of life, she turned back towards the lights. Suddenly, a gust of wind pushed her backwards as the lights shot 50 feet into the air. She could see a vague dark form in the air. Corny as it was, the form was saucer-shaped. Scully didn't want to use the word ship; she wasn't ready to make that mental leap. The saucer zipped up, higher into the sky, and shot eastward, disappearing as fast as it had appeared to the fallen agent.

It was gone. The only light left in the woods was the soft, milky moonlight and the yellow beam of her flashlight, still on, but a few feet away, lying where she dropped it. Rolling on to her knees, Scully reached for the light, and rolled Krycek onto his back. He was alive, but unconscious. His pulse was steady, and other than a welt on his head and some irritation around his eyes, he appeared to be fine. Great, she thought. We lost the girl, but the murderer of the week is just fine.

Two days later, Scully was back at the desk in the basement, and feeling pretty sorry for herself. She was no better off than she had been when she'd left on this wild goose chase. The only benefit was that Skinner told her she could put her expenses on the department account, no questions asked. She wondered what kind of favor he was pulling for that. I mean, two rooms, and only one agent of record didn't add up. And she'd probably be in deep shit if it got out that Krycek was the one in the other room. She hadn't heard from him since they parted at the airport. He had gained consciousness moments later in the woods that night. His part of the story was pretty cut and dry. He took a shot off at the bounty hunter, but missed, and while he was avoiding the gas, the bounty hunter got Katie. He followed in the car, but got turned around in the dark (he didn't have that handy standard issue FBI flashlight) and the bounty hunter got the jump on him. End of story. Scully was surprised that he had put himself on the line at all. Not that she wasn't glad he was gone now. She could breathe a lot easier without him around. It was like he took up so much oxygen that other people suffocated around him. But, sometimes we get the one thing we dread the most. This time he didn't even knock.

"Why are you back?"

He sat, once again, in the chair that used to be Scully's.

"How come Mulder never got you a desk?"

She just stared at him, partly because she didn't want to say any more than she had to, and partly because she didn't know the answer. Instead, she looked back down at her case report, hoping he would POOF disappear like magic. No such luck.

"So, now what?"

"Now what? Now, you go away and terrorize someone else, and I continue with my work."

"That's bullshit and you know it. I'm sure the only thing on your to do list is find Mulder. You could use some help."

He was such a pain in the ass. Why didn't he just go away? "You are such a pain in the ass, why don't you just go away?"

"Look Scully. You have your reasons for wanting the truth, and I have mine. We both have the same goal. If we can back each other up, why shouldn't we? I may not have been much help this time, but I do have my uses. I promise not to shoot you."

Was she hearing what she thought she was hearing? For the first time, Scully thought that maybe Krycek didn't have it as made in the shade as she thought. Willingly teaming up with this guy would be a definite mistake, but maybe she'd be better off with a truce, for the time being. She might be able to use his knowledge to her advantage. In the end, it might be the key to finding Mulder. "Well, I don't promise not to shoot you."

That seemed to be all the confirmation he needed. The two were silent after that, just sitting there, facing each other. After a moment, she went back to her paperwork. When she raised her head a minute later, he was gone. POOF.

Read More Like This Write One Like This
Pregnant Scully
Pregnant Reyes
Pregnant Others
Baby William
Pregancy/Baby/Kidfic plot Generator
Tell Mulder, Tell Mulder challenge
Outnumbered Challenge
Lamaze Class challenge
Return to The Nursery Files home