Frohike answered the door and recognized the large man standing there immediately. He didnít bother to acknowledge him, turning instead to her. "Hey Scully, do you want me to let him in?"
Scully looked over from her seat on the couch and spotted her big brother glaring down at the smaller man. "Bill? What are you doing here?" She rose and moved toward the door, knotting her robe more firmly around her. Bill noted that the bearded man automatically reached out to help her up and the longhaired weirdo looked like he wanted to charge at him. Go ahead, let him try. Bill fixed his gaze on the man until Langly looked away.
"Bill." Scully put her hand on his arm, drawing his attention back to herself.
"Could we talk?"
She sighed, knowing what he wanted was privacy. That was the last thing she wanted, but she also knew it was inevitable. "Listen guys, do you mind?"
"No, of course Ė " Byers stood and the others followed suit less graciously.
"Dana, are you sure?" Frohike ignored the look Bill shot him.
Scully smiled slightly at the protective gesture. "Itís okay, really."
Frohike threw one last look at Bill, then headed for the door. Langly followed him with Byers bringing up the rear. The first two went on out but Byers stopped. "Scully, are you sure youíll be okay? You just got out." He glanced over at the impatient man and visualized the steam coming out of his ears.
"Iíll be all right, John."
"I have my cell phone. If you need anything . . . " She squeezed his hand and nodded. He looked her over one more time and sighed, then left to catch up with his friends.
She took a deep breath and turned to look at her brother. "Where did you pick up that trio of losers? Friends of Mulderís no doubt."
"Thatís how I met them, but theyíre very good friends of mine now as well. Theyíve been very good to Ė "
"Sure. Iím real sure." He turned from her and sank onto the couch. Her shoulders slumped slightly, why had she thought it would be any different. She joined him on the couch.
"What are you doing in DC?"
"Mom called." His eyes scanned her body. "Is it true?"
She stiffened, "Is what true?"
"Did he get you pregnant? Mulder, did he . . . and then deserted you?" She closed her eyes. This was not a conversation she could handle right now.
He was watching her reaction and rose from the couch. "Oh god! It is! He . . . then he . . . Iíll kill him."
"Bill! Stop it! I donít need this, not now. Mulder is gone, but itís not his fault. He was abducted, he Ė "
"Bullshit! Donít give me that alien crap. I canít believe heís got you thinking like that now. He found out and took off."
"Bill donít do this. Yes, Iím pregnant and yes, itís Mulderís. He was taken from me, this is not his fault. He moved heaven and earth to find me Ė "
"But he didnít find you. You were returned, nearly dead." She paled at that and for the first time he realized how upset she was. He relented slightly and moved toward her. She flinched and he stopped. "You shouldnít be here alone. Let me take you over to Momís."
"No. Iím going to stay here. This is where heíll look for me, try to reach me."
"You think heíll come back?"
"Bill! Damn you, he will be back. Weíre going to find him Ė those men are helping me. And Walter. Heíll be back. I know he will and heíll be back soon."
"You want him here?"
For the first time tears formed in her eyes. She blinked them back, fighting to keep them from falling. "I want you to leave."
"Come back to California with me Dana. If you wonít go to Momís - "
"I told you Ė "
"Heís not coming back, Dana. Heís run away, but you still have your family. Youíre better off without him anyway. Heís no good for you Ė look at what heís done to you. Itís been a disaster ever since you met him; your life has been in complete chaos for years. Maybe now Ė "
They both jumped at the sound of the knock at the door. She rose immediately he noticed, anxious to see who would be at her door this late. He sat where he was, fuming at the interruption.
"I came to see if everything was all right. I got a call."
She smiled sadly at him. "Iím fine."
"Well, excuse me for saying it, but you donít look fine. They released you too soon." He had taken her arm and entered the apartment. He glanced at the obviously hostile man seated on her couch.
"Director Skinner, this is my brother, Bill Scully. Bill, Walter Skinner, my Ė "
"I know who Mr. Skinner is. Your boss, yours and Mulderís. The man who encourages all of these fantasies and Ė "
"Dana, you need to be off of your feet." Skinner realized as the man in front of him talked, she was leaning more and more heavily against him. He wondered if she knew. Ignoring her brother, Walter led her to her bedroom and seated her on the bed.
"Walter, I am . . . " Her voice trailed off at his expression.
He sat beside her on the bed, "Look, I wasnít able to protect Mulder, help him. But Iíll be damned if I let anything happen to you or his child. I donít care if he is your brother, heís not going to come in here and upset you and load another pile of stress on you. Come on, lie down and put your feet up."
"Since when did you become the expert on pregnant women?" She said it lightly but he could feel her gratitude.
"Oh, we ex-marines can do anything." He grinned down at her. "Feet up Ė thatís an order." He was only mildly surprised when she took him at his word. She was stressed and exhausted. Her worry for Mulder was nearly overwhelming her. He would redouble his efforts to keep an eye on her. She would not be back on active duty for now Ė that was a given.
He stood and pulled the covers up over her and then squeezed the hand she held out to him. Her smile was tremulous and he noted the tears that slid toward her hairline, though he made no comment.
He placed her hand on the covers, patted it and left the room. He was slightly startled to find Bill standing just outside the door but he covered quickly and closed the door gently behind him.
"Just who the hell do you think you are? Iím her brother and Ė "
"I know your relationship to that woman. I donít care. No one is going to add to her stress right now. And lower your voice. You and your wife have a child, donít you?" At the grudging nod he continued. "Would you allow anyone to treat your wife the way you were treating her when she was pregnant?"
The color rose in Billís face. "The circumstances are Ė "
"Lower your voice I said. Sheís resting." Bill took an involuntary step back at the tone of command that came from Skinner.
When he spoke again his voice was quiet, though his blood pressure was rising. "You donít believe this bullshit about Mulder being abducted. He knocked her up and took off."
Skinnerís hands had become fists and he had to take a deep breath before he could respond. "Agent Mulder was taken against his will. I was the only eyewitness to the event and what I saw is undeniable. The last thing that he wanted was to be separated from your sister. He had refused to allow her to return to Oregon because of his fear that something would happen to her. As for the child, Mulder is unaware of its existence at this time. It is my number one priority to correct that matter and return Agent Mulder to his partner."
"Youíre in love with my sister." Bill voice was full of wonder.
Skinnerís eyes widened, "I beg your pardon?"
"You are. This is personal to you."
"I have the utmost respect and, yes, affection for your sister. I feel a responsibility to her because I was unable to protect Agent Mulder in the field. She and Mulder are, in my estimation, the two best agents at the Bureau when it comes to investigation. And I will do everything in my power to keep her and the child safe until Mulder returns to take up that responsibility. If you have a problem with that, we need to settle it now."
"You are not her family. You have no stake in this."
"Bill, the way I see it, those three men that were here and I are her family right now. Weíre the people she can rely on, the people who have her best interests at heart, the people who care the most about her and what she wants. Iím going to ask you to leave now. Iíll make myself available to talk to you at any time, but if I find out that you have bothered her or upset her, I will come down on your ass like the wrath of God. Donít doubt me on this, you will be sorry."
Bill opened his mouth to speak again, then seemed to think better of it. He turned abruptly and let himself out of the apartment, barely keeping the door from slamming.
Skinner allowed his shoulders to relax slightly and moved toward the couch. Before he got to it her bedroom door opened.
"Thank you Walter."
"You shouldnít be up." His voice was gruff. Her brother had hit him with an accusation heíd been unprepared for and he needed some time.
"I know, but I wanted to . . . to let you know what . . . " She couldnít stop the tears this time and he was beside her though he couldnít remember moving. He placed his hand awkwardly on her shoulder and she turned to him, her arms going around him. He reciprocated without thought, she needed the comfort, hell the security, right now and heíd just vowed to give her those things if it was within his power.
After a few moments he stepped back. "You really should try to rest now. Iím going to hang out here for awhile, just make sure no one else disturbs you tonight. Iíll let myself out. If you need anything . . . "
She smiled tiredly and nodded, then turned back to her bedroom and quietly shut the door. Skinner felt limp from the emotions that had coursed through him. How the hell was she going to be able to stand this? He lowered himself onto her couch and sat staring into space. What was going to happen next?Almost Family 2
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.