Alternatives (PG-13)

"Scully? Scully!" He was racing back toward where he had last seen her. There! On the ground. "Scully." He was beside her, his arms around her, supporting her. "You want some water?"

"What happened to her?" Richie stopped behind him.

"Can you just get her some water." He demanded over his shoulder to Richie.

"I just, I just . . . I just hit the ground."

"Just lie still."

"Why is this happening to me?" He brushed a tear that escaped her eye and trailed down her cheek.

"Itís okay, itís okay." He was murmuring to her, wanting to make everything right.

"What the hell is going on Mul Ė "

"I donít know, but these arenít just random abductions Scully. I better warn Billy Miles." His arms tightened around her.

"Warn him of what?"

"These abductees arenít just systematically being taken, theyíre not coming back."

When the boy arrived with the water, he gave her a few sips, then handed the bottle back and gathered her into his arms. "Mulder I can walk."

"Um hum." Was his only comment as he headed toward the car. He seated her in the front, reclined the seat and belted her in. When there was no further protest he realized how shaken she was by whatever was causing these events.

She closed her eyes as he entered the car and he saw another tear escape. He wanted to break something, or shoot someone, why couldnít they leave her alone?

When the car stopped, she opened her eyes and started to sit up. "Where are we?"

"The hospital."

"Mulder Ė "

"Forget it, Scully. I want someone to check you out. You can get a thorough check up when we get home, but we need to know something now."

She didnít have the energy to protest though she refused the offer of a wheelchair. He held her arm and using his ID bullied their way in to see a doctor almost immediately.

Mulder was allowed in as soon as the physical exam was completed and they sat in the chairs facing the doctorís desk, close but not touching. He was reminded of the way that they always positioned themselves in Skinnerís office. He wanted to reach out and touch her, hold her hand, something to show his support. Would she want him to do that here?

They both turned as the door opened and the doctor entered his office. "Sorry to keep you waiting." He seated himself and placed a file on the desk in front of him, unopened.

"Doctor, do you have any idea what could be causing Agent Scullyís symptoms?" Mulder didnít wait for Scully; sheíd been through enough.

"Yes, vertigo, nausea, theyíre fairly common. It should pass shortly and her energy return." Mulder narrowed his eyes, pass shortly? What the hell . . .

The doctor turned toward Scully then, "I donít think you have anything to worry about. In fact, I hope Iím giving you very good news. Youíre pregnant Agent Scully. If youíd like a more thorough exam I might be able to . . . "

He continued to talk but neither of them could follow his words. They had both turned to stone; he was unable to move at all. He couldnít even look over at her. It wasnít possible, she couldnít get pregnant. Sheíd been tested and checked and . . . He realized she was speaking, possibly arguing with the doctor but didnít join in. What the hell would he say?

He watched the doctor rise and pick up the folder, handing it to Scully. She started to stand and he automatically rose and took her arm. She had the file in her hands now, gripping it tightly. They didnít speak on the way to the car, both deep in their own thoughts.

At the motel he again took her arm and led her to his room. She didnít protest, whether out of shock or approval he didnít know. He sat her on the bed and lifted her legs, removing her shoes as he had the night before. This time however he did not lie beside her, curled around her for comfort. He sat on the edge of the bed and looked at her. When she finally lifted her head he spoke. "It is mine."

"Yes." It was more breath than word.

He closed his eyes for a moment, then rose and stood slightly away from the bed. "Do you want it?"

"Yes!" This word was much stronger and he watched her hand move to her stomach as though to protect the tiny life inside. "Do . . . do you?"

He moved back quickly to the bed then and sat beside her. "Iím reeling Scully. All of these thoughts keep surfacing Ė your abduction, the tests, the implant, the cancer, the vaccine Ė "

"Stop it!" She hid her face in her hands and a wave of guilt swept over him. He pulled her against him then, over her protests and rocked her, holding her tight.

"Iím sorry. I donít know what to say to you."

When he finally loosened his grip she slipped out of his arms and off the bed away from him. "Mulder, you donít have to be involved in this. If you donít want Ė "

"Scully!" He scrambled after her then and reached for her but she backed away.

"No Mulder. We . . . we got involved under the assumption that I was barren. Youíre under no obligation to Ė"

"Damn it Scully!" Now he did take her arms in his hands even as she flinched from the contact. "I never said I didnít want it. Iím still in shock that you do."

She looked up confused. "You knew I wanted a child."

"Not my child." He said it quietly, simply.

She relaxed in his grip then, her eyebrow rising. "Who elseís child do you think Iíd want?"

"I . . . I . . ." For the life of him he couldnít figure out what to say. Her features softened at his confusion and she leaned against him, her arms going around his waist. His arms did the same, holding her gently at first then tightening. "Scully, are you okay? Really? That stuff he said Ė "

"I think so. Iíve never been pregnant, but now that I . . . there have been other symptoms that Iíve ignored. It explains a lot. I want to do further testing of course . . . "

"What kind of testing? Could he be mistaken?"

"No, they ran a blood test. I just need to know if everything . . . if the babyís okay. All of those things you mentioned Ė Mulder I might not be able to . . . "

"What?" His arms around her tightened again. "Is it safe for you to carry a child? After what Ė "

"Mulder, stop. I am going to carry this child, hopefully to term. This means everything to me." He led her back to the bed and this time joined her, curling around her, wanting desperately to protect her from . . . from everything.

They lay that way for a few minutes in silence. Finally he spoke, "why the tears?"

She shrugged, "Shock, relief, joy, terror, take your pick."

"Joyís in there?"

"Definitely Ė I think right after shock." She felt his lips on her neck and moved to increase the pressure. "What are you thinking?"

There was a hesitation, then "Why a woman like you would want to have a child with me."

She turned in his arms to face him. "I canít imagine any woman not wanting to." His expression showed his total disbelief of that comment. She smiled then, really smiled for the first time since before theyíd gone into the woods. "Iím going to have a baby. Iím going to have your baby. Oh God, Mulder, I canít believe . . . "

Then his mouth covered hers, his hands molding her to him. When they stopped for breath, he pulled her t-shirt off and unfastened her bra. "Theyíre bigger." He whispered, not taking his eyes from her.

"Than yesterday?"

He shook his head, "than the first time."

She chuckled, "You remember what I looked like then?"

"I remember everything about every time."

Her smile slipped away, "Mulder?"

"I have a special place where I keep you, memories of you. Iíve never really believed this could last and I wanted . . . " Her hand came up to caress his cheek.

"I love you Mulder. Live with it. I have for a long time Ė longer than you realize, probably longer than I realize. Youíre not perfect, you exasperate me, you infuriate me, you confuse the hell out of me, and you . . . you consume me. You once said that I made you a whole person Ė thatís how it feels to me too. Iím not complete without you. I didnít know that before I met you, but I know it now." Her hand had moved inside of his shirt and she lightly pinched his nipple. He hissed and moved slightly away from her. She followed, slipping her leg between the two of his.

"Scully? Should we Ė "

"I donít think heíd mind."

"He?" Mulder managed to choke out.

"Itís a fifty-fifty chance."

"But do you feel well enough . . . " She had to smile at that, only his good manners had forced him to ask that question, his anatomy had already made all the decisions it needed.


He followed her into the hall from Skinnerís office.

"Mulder, if any of this is true Ė "

"If it is or if it isnít, I want you to forget about it Scully."

"Forget about it?"

"Youíre not going back out there. Iím not going to let you go back out there."

"What are you talking about?" She was watching his eyes, confused at his demeanor.

"It has to end sometime. That time is now."

"Mul Ė "

"Scully, you have to understand, theyíre taking abductees. Youíre an abductee." He paused, his eyes taking in all of her, memorizing her. "Iím not going to risk losing you."

She came into his arms and they closed around her, holding her against him.

"I wonít let you go alone."