Title: Displaced
Author: shawntaw
Written: July 2002
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Spoilers: Um, Season 8, I guess.

Summary: Mulder's back from the dead. This changes not only the big things in life, but some of the small, mundane details as well...

Author's Note: I just wanted to take the opportunity to invite you to read a Post- "The Truth" WIP that I'm working on that is being posted exclusively at WIPS of our Lives. It is called "The Alpha and Omega." The prequel to it, "Genesis," is also there. Thank you, Christelle!!!

The link is: http://sciencex.tzo.com/xf/wips/omega.html

And, Daniela, don't worry hon!! I know you're doing your best!:)

It started innocently enough. And, actually, was still innocent up until it ended...at least outwardly. To Walter Skinner, in the privacy of his own mind, it was anything but innocent.

It had begun, logically enough, in the aftermath of Mulder's abduction.

He'd come over to check on her and her "condition." She'd invite him to stay for supper. He'd stay; they'd eat, talk, cry sometimes. That was mostly at the beginning. When she cried he'd hold her to his chest and murmur over and over again that everything would be alright.

Sometimes they'd eat without saying a word and then watch a video of Scully's choosing. He sat on one end of the couch and she'd sit at the other, as far from him as she could. Some nights she'd fall asleep and he'd cover her with the throw blanket and quietly leave. Other nights he'd awake on her couch in the morning, tucked in under the same blanket, his glasses carefully placed on the coffee table.

On those mornings, no matter how noiselessly he arose, donned his glasses and walked toward the door, she'd appear in the doorway to her kitchen and call him back with one word.


His given name. It was the only time she used it, when they were alone like this. Then, she'd make him breakfast and they'd eat over the small meal, chatting about inconsequential things.

On these mornings, he'd finish eating, push back from the table and stand beside her where she sat.

"Thank you, Dana," he'd say and then bend down to plant a grateful kiss on the bowed head of this amazing, forgiving woman.

He never felt like he deserved her consideration, especially after losing Mulder.

Somewhere along the line, he'd started having the fantasies. Well, daydreams really.

One night at supper, he looked across at her and had a sudden vision of the two of them growing old together. He saw a small, no-frills wedding. The previously untouchable woman he loved in a white suit, holding a cooing infant.

A boy who, even though not his, would grow up to call him 'Daddy.' A boy that he would raise and love as a last loving tribute to a man who may not have even known what a good friend he had been to his brusque, closed-off boss.

It had been an intense daydream and Skinner had blinked back to reality. Scully had merely given him a look, and gone back to eating her meal. The vision had made him feel guilty. Scully was Mulder's and Mulder's only. He knew that.

The next time it happened, he'd been tucking her under the blanket after she'd fallen asleep watching television with him.

As he brushed the back of his fingertips across her cheeks, he suddenly had the urge to kiss her. To tell her how he felt and had felt for years now. He leaned in toward her until her breath mingled with his as she slept.

To his shock, she'd blearily half-opened her eyes, closed the half- inch between them and gently kissed him. He was so stunned he couldn't move as she pulled her lips from his briefly, arched up and did it again.

And it broke his heart when she muttered, "Good night, Mulder," and rolled over to snuggle into the back of the couch.

It got worse after that, but he tried to ignore it.

And now...it was over.

No more suppers. No more comfortable nights on her couch. No more early-morning chats over breakfast. No more baby updates....

There was one morning in particular that would live in his mind forever, no matter what happened now.

He'd been at his desk, doing his typical morning paperwork, when there was a rap at the door.

Before he could say a word, the door began opening.

"He's busy right now, Agent." Ahhh, Kim was defending the fortress. Let whoever it is sweat. He had work to do.

But he jumped up at the next voice. "I need to see him RIGHT NOW. It'll only take a minute, and I know he's just sitting there doing paperwork."

He snickered at that and moved to the door, opening it fully.

"May I help you, Agent Scully?" he said in his most affronted A.D. voice.

She looked quite frazzled, but was glowing. Actually, glowing. Her eyes were luminescent.

"I need to talk to you, sir. It is of the utmost importance." Scully's eyes had begged him, *Letmeinletmeinletmein*

Skinner had scowled for a moment for appearence's sake and then stepped aside, allowing her to enter.

"Hold my calls, Kim."

Kim had sighed, "Yes sir."

Skinner had not been prepared for Scully's actions after he shut the door behind them.

She had reached out and taken his hand and put it on her stomach.

"It moved, Walter! The baby moved! I just had to tell someone and I knew you'd understand."

She was practically giddy with excitement. He'd never seen her like that.

He relaxed his hand flat against her small, rounded abdomen, but felt nothing.

Scully's brow crinkled. "The baby kicked just a minute ago.." She fell silent, waiting.

So, they stood there in silence. The A.D. in his crisp white shirt, frowning with concentration behind his wirerims, hunched over to allow for her small stature, blue tie swinging between them, almost holding his breath with anticipation. His agent and friend - the woman he held in his heart - with her practical and concealing suit coat pushed out of the way as she held his hand with both of her own to her slightly bulging waistline.

He remembers he could hear the clock ticking and could hear her breath coming in small pants as she waited expectantly.

And then he felt the small *thump thump* and fluttering under his hand. He'll never forget that.

He had gasped and she had met her eyes with his own, a big goofy grin on her face.

"There it is!"

He felt his own face stretch into an unaccustomed wide, toothy smile.

"That's amazing!"

She laughed, another sound he'd never heard her make, and moved his hand to the side of her belly.

"Wait...here. The baby's here now. Feel?"

Again, *flutter* *thump*.

"Dana!" He didn't know what else to say. It was a miracle.

She threw her arms around him suddenly and he embraced her in the middle of his office.

And then suddenly, she had started crying.

"Dana?" He stroked the back of her head as she buried her face in his chest.

"I just wish Mulder had been here for this. I think he would have really been happy, don't you?" Her voice was muffled against his tie.

"Yes, I do," he was again at a loss for any comforting words, so he just held her.

But this is now. And now, Mulder is back. Back from the dead.

He looks in at them again and sees Dana asleep on Mulder's chest as he also rests and recovers from his ordeal.

Scully. He's going to have to remember that he needs to call her Scully, not Dana.

He knows that the period of closeness that they shared has ended. And he can't blame her or Mulder.

They love one another. And he loves them. They are the closest thing he has to family.

And if what she wants is Mulder, then Mulder she shall have. Skinner wants her to be happy.

He sits heavily on a plastic chair outside the room and rests his elbows on his knees, staring into space.

His daydream takes shape and he sees Mulder and Scully together with their baby son.

In his daydream, he stands to one side, a guardian.

Looking on.

The End

Note: What is it lately with me and Skinner?*L*

Oh well, gotta love the big, bald, beautiful guy!!


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