Almost Family 4 (PG)

Skinner looked up startled as his door burst open. “You son of a bitch!”

“Agent Doggett.” He acknowledged the irate man, laying his glasses down on the desk.

“You know! You’ve known all along!”

“And what is it that I know, Agent Doggett?”

“About Scully.”

At that Skinner’s eyes narrowed and he rose from his desk. He approached his door and looked outside, then closed it firmly. “What about Agent Scully?”

Doggett stared at him for a moment. “She’s expecting a baby. You know. She told me you did.”

“I’m not at liberty – “

“You’ve let her go out in the field! That being that attacked you in Arizona attacked her too.” He stopped for a minute. “That’s why they kept her in the hospital so long.” He turned back to Skinner. “I had to cut that . . . that thing out of her flesh! How can you allow her to continue fieldwork? She reports to you. Don’t you feel a responsibility – “

“You have no idea how responsible I feel Agent Doggett. But her desire to keep this knowledge confidential was a top priority. I had to take that into consideration. She is an adult. I suggest you calm down so that we can discuss this rationally.”

“She’s pregnant!”

“I have not forgotten that for an instant Agent Doggett.”

“But you’ve let her put herself in danger! Herself and an unborn child.” He did finally sink into a chair and Skinner sat behind his desk again.

They both turned as the door opened, and watched as Agent Scully joined them. “I assume this meeting is about me.” She seated herself in from of Skinner’s desk. She was calm, cool, much more than either of them. Skinner’s eyes flicked down to her waist and back up. Her eyebrow went up but she held her tongue.

“You told him?”

“Hell no she didn’t tell me! I saw, she’s a small woman. Just how long did you think I was going to stay ignorant?”

“I’m sitting right here Agent Doggett.”

“You’re having a baby Agent Scully. You can’t seriously think that you can continue to do the work you do now.”

“I am perfectly aware of my physical condition. To date I have been able to handle my duties – “

“You’ve been in the hospital, injured, twice since we began working together. That’s handling it?”

Scully took a deep centering breath. Before she could speak, he was talking again. “I cannot, I will not take the responsibility of – “

“Fine, Agent Doggett.” She interrupted. “I didn’t ask for you. You were assigned. As ranking agent of the X-Files, I will be happy to accept your request for a transfer.”

He gaped at her for a moment. Skinner’s hand came up to obscure the view of his mouth. That deflected Doggett’s attention. “Funny? You think this is funny?”

“No Agent Doggett, I do not.” Skinner had his composure back. “However watching you attempting to order Agent Scully around is . . . interesting.”

Doggett turned back to Scully. “You don’t think you can go out in the field now, without a partner?”

“I’m sure the Bureau will assign someone to me.”

“Someone? You’d accept – “

“That wouldn’t be a very good idea, would it Agent Doggett? Now you’re familiar with the kind of work Agent Scully does. An experienced agent, one familiar with that type of case would be much better. Don’t you agree?”

“You’re both crazy! She’s going to have a baby. She can’t chase down perps or – “

“I’m pregnant Agent Doggett. I’m not dying. I can certainly continue working for the foreseeable future.”

“It certainly didn’t stop you before.” Skinner muttered. Scully look at him actually caused him to flinch.

“What? What are you talking about?”

“It’s not important. John, don’t shut me down. I need access; I have to continue searching for Mulder. If I’m on restricted duty I can’t do that effectively. Give me a little more time.”

“I have to report this to Kersh.”

“No! Not Kersh. He doesn’t want us to find Mulder in the first place. Please, John, I’ll cut back. I’ll be careful. But don’t report this to Kersh.”

Doggett stood. “I need some time. I . . . I need to think.” He headed for the door. He reached for the knob and stopped. He turned back, “Mrs. Spooky. Is that – “ He gestured toward her. Her expression turned to stone. “I apologize Agent Scully. That question was inappropriate and none of my business. “ He let himself out of the room.

She sank back into the chair. “What do you think he’ll do?”

“I don’t know.” Skinner replied, watching her. “You know him better than I do. He seems to be pretty by the book.” She sighed. “He’s right you know.”

“What?” She looked up at him.

“Every time you go out you put that baby in danger. I’m not even sure you should be doing autopsies right now. The fumes, the – “

“I get it Walter.” She covered her eyes with her hand. His words had brought back the terror of having that thing put in her body. She’d never been so frightened.

“What would Mulder say?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Would Mulder be okay with what you’re doing?”

She rose from the chair then and headed for the door. He knew he’d crossed a line, but he’d also obviously hit a nerve. “Scully, regardless you won’t lose your access. Not as long as I have a position here. And let’s face it, those friends of ours probably have more access than either of us.”

She glanced at him then and saw the smile of his face. He watched her shoulders relax slightly.

“Let me know what you need Dana.” She nodded and let herself out of the office.

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Disclaimer - Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris, 10-13 and Fox - Bless them for it!! No infringement intended.

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