After the Future - V (part 1) PG


"Mulder!" Scully burst into his office and spotted him. The look on his face brought her to a standstill and she looked where he was looking. Krycek! What was he doing here again? Could he have. . . no, he wouldnít be standing here.

"Is Kevin out there?" Mulder now approached Scully and put an arm around her.

"Uh, no, I havenít seen him."

"I hate to leave our guest alone. Could you find Walter?" He was manipulating her toward the door.

"Donít I even get to say hello to the incomparable Dr. Scully?" He approached them and Scully stiffened. Mulder looked at her curiously; this was more reaction than usual.

"Iíll get Walter." She turned to leave the office. Mulder grabbed her hand and squeezed it. She returned the pressure but didnít face him and was out the door. Mulder stared after her, something else was wrong. As soon as he could get free heíd find out what.

Skinner arrived shortly and after barely acknowledging Krycek pulled Mulder aside. "Thereís a problem." He whispered to him, "Iíll handle this, find Scully."

Mulder looked at him, searching for more information. None was forthcoming. He quickly brought Walter up to date on what had already been discussed and headed out the door. Kevin still wasnít at his post.

He raced to the clinic. Beth was in the front room with a patient and motioned him to go on into Scullyís office. He fairly burst in, to find Maggie consoling Scully.

"Scully?" He was around the desk and had her in his arms before she had fully risen.

"Sheís gone! Mulder, Katyís gone!"

"Gone?" He knew he sounded stupid. He felt stupid, stupid and slow.

"Sheís not in her crib. Beth hasnít seen her. I went in to check on her between patients and she was just gone!"

"Is anything else missing?"

"Her diaper bag. Mulder someone took her! I ran over to see if you had her and Krycek was there. Do you think he. . .?"

"No! No, if heíd taken her he wouldnít have hung around to talk to us. Besides, he doesnít know she exists." He was having trouble concentrating. Katy gone? This wasnít Samantha, this wasnít his sister, this was his daughter, Scullyís daughter. Get a grip Mulder, Scully needs you.

"Let me see the room." He had to do something, keep moving. Maggie watched the two of them. Sheíd never seen them more frightened, but there was no comfort she could give. Walter had to handle Krycek, so he couldnít be here yet. She remained quiet, they knew more about looking for missing people than she did.

Mulder went over the entire room. Nothing, his baby girl was gone. He had to get past this numbness that was creeping in on him.

"Whereís Kevin? He can help us." Scully had hold of his arm for support or to support he wasnít sure.

"Kevin? He wasnít at his desk. I sent him to the sawmill. He should be back by now."

"Iíll go see if heís returned. Maybe he saw something." Maggie headed for the door. This would give her the opportunity to let Walter know what was happening and give them the privacy they needed right now.

He should be doing something, but the only thing he felt capable of was holding Scully. She was shaking, was he? Time was wasting, he needed to start a search, and he had to keep it low key.

"Mulder, is Grandma here?" They turned startled to see Scullyís nephew Sam in the room.

"Sam? Sheís with Walter. Krycek is here." Any other time he would have been amused at the grimace on the boyís face. Mulder suddenly snapped to attention, "Is Will with you?"

"Heís outside, why?"

"Listen, we need to find Kevin. He was going to the sawmill. Could you guys find out if heís still there."

"Sure. You want us to bring him here?"

"Please." Sam was watching them now.

"Whatís wrong Mulder?"

Were there any non-observant Scullys? "We hope nothing. Donít say anything to anyone. Remember, Krycekís here." Sam nodded and headed out.

"Do you think Kevin knows anything?" Mulder looked at her surprised.

"No, I just need his help. With Krycek here I canít move as freely, not if we still donít want him to find out about her."

"You donít think heís working with Krycek?"

"Kevin? No Sweetheart. No, and Iím not convinced Krycek in even involved. He was too cool when I was with him. Heís not that good an actor." She leaned against him. "You need to sit down." She didnít contradict him.

They sat, still holding each other, frozen by uncertainty. Sam and Will burst in, but Kevin wasnít with them.

"He wasnít there. He had been, but he left a while ago. No oneís seen him, we asked, but we told everyone you needed his help with Krycek." Mulder gave them a sad smile, smart kids. "What else can we do?"

"Keep looking for Kevin, oh and let Todd know Krycekís here." The boys nodded and raced off again.

"Scully." He turned her face up to him. "What if Kevin has Katy?"

"What? Why? Heís never spent that much time with her."

"I donít know."

She shook her head. "No, Kevin would have no reason to take her. Could they have come for her? She was alone in here, I left her alone! How could I have thought sheíd be safe? They found out about her, theyíve taken her."

"No Scully. They donít know about her. I wonít accept that. Wait here, Iíll be right back." She reached for him as he rose. "Right back." He squeezed her hand.

He found Beth alone in the front office. "Have you -?"

He shook his head. "Have you got anything she could take? I need to get her to lie down. Sheís not okay, hell she shouldnít even be back at work." Beth sighed, she wasnít sure who she agreed with on that issue, but she knew Dana would fight being taken out of the search.

"Mulder, you canít drug her. Sheís Katyís mother and sheís a trained FBI agent." His shoulders slumped. "I know that horrible man is back, and you have to keep a low profile, but everyone here will want to help. Direct us, tell us what to do. No one will think anything of us coming in and out of your house or here."

"If I could get her to sleep or something I can - "

"Donít do that to her, Mulder. Donít treat her like less than she is." He slumped against the desk. Beth was right but knowing that didnít help. And Katy was only three weeks old, she couldnít be more helpless, his Katy was as helpless as he felt right now. He realized Beth was watching him. He turned back, Scully shouldnít be alone. She looked up hopefully and he hated not being able to relieve her mind.

"Iím going to take you home. You need to lie down."

"Mulder donít do this. I can help, I need to help."

He lifted her to her feet. "You will, but letís coordinate this from the house. Itís more private, no unexpected guests can just walk in." She nodded, leaning against him. He asked Beth to direct Kevin and anyone else that could help to their home and took her out.

"Itís getting cold Mulder. Sheís not dressed for this. Sheís - "

"Scully." He pulled her close to him. She stopped, he knew this. "Please lie down, just for a few minutes." She shook her head, "At least stretch out on the couch, put your feet up." She leaned against him not bothering to answer.

He led her to the couch and settled her, pulling the afghan over her. He turned at the knock on the door. She tensed under his hand. "Stay here, Scully. Iíll be right back."

It was Charlie and Mary, before he could shut the door, Todd and Anne were there.

"Whatís going on Mulder?" Charlie asked as the women went to Scully.

"Katy. . . " He had to clear his throat to continue, "Katyís missing. She was taken from the clinic." Charlie put his hand on Mulderís arm and glanced over at Mary who now had Dana in her arms. God, what a nightmare.

"The boys said Krycek was here. Do you think. . .?" Todd had stepped closer so the women couldnít hear them.

"I donít think so. I was with him when Scully realized she was missing. He didnít act like anything was up. I just donít think he could have kept it from me. Kevinís missing too."

"Think thereís a connection?"

"I donít know. I donít even know if I hope so." Charlie and Todd exchanged glances, neither had ever seen Mulder like this.

"Mulder!" He was at her side instantly. "This is Katyís due date. This is the day she was supposed to be born."

"Itís a coincidence Scully. No, donít think like that." He had her in his arms and she was crying again. Mary and Anne slipped off to make some tea, the men just stood, looking uncomfortable.

There was a tap on the door and Skinner entered. He took in the scene with no comment. Mulder looked up and Skinner could see the new lines that had already formed around his eyes. "Whereís Krycek?"

"Getting cleaned up. Byers is with him. Donít worry, we wonít leave him alone." Skinner looked over toward the kitchen as the women came back with the tea. "Whereís Maggie?"

Mulder felt Scully stiffen in his arms. "She was headed to the office to see if Kevin was back."

"She did that, I thought sheíd be over here by now." He realized what heíd said and turned back to Scully. "She was fine, Dana. Donít worry about her. Iíll go over to the house - "

The door opened again and Maggie entered, carrying a tray of food and stopped as everyone turned to stare at her. "What?"

Skinnerís arms went around her as Todd took the tray. "Nothing, weíre just on edge."

Charlie moved over to her, "Did you see the boys?"

"Yes, I just spoke with them. Theyíre with Langly, still looking for Kevin." Charlie nodded and looked over at Mary who tried to smile back at him. Maggie went to Dana and Mulder reluctantly released her and stood.

He wasnít functioning and he could feel the numbness growing. The desire to smash something was getting harder and harder to push away. He watched Maggie help Scully to her feet and lead her toward the bedroom. He headed that way.

"Is she okay?" He took Maggieís arm as Scully went on into the bedroom.

"She just needs a little privacy."

"What?"

"Fox, Katy isnít here to nurse." He closed his eyes in despair. She looked over at Walter for help. Walter was at her side immediately.

"Mulder, letís get out of here for a minute."

"I canít leave her." He tried to pull free from Skinner.

"Sheís not alone. Come on." He headed for the back door. "Todd, can you hold things down here?"

Todd nodded and the two men went outside. They walked quietly for a short distance then Walter turned to him. "Youíve got to get it together Mulder. Scullyís in no shape to handle this and without you to lean on sheís going to be lost."

"You think I donít know that?" He growled, "I want to find Krycek and smash his face in. I donít even care if heís involved at this point, I just need to hit something."

"Come on." He headed for the boathouse. Once inside he turned Mulder toward the wall. There was an old mattress hanging on it. "The kids come here to play, wrestle, they even tried that stupid Velcro trick. Smash it. Iíll be right outside."

Mulder stood silently, watching him leave. Walter seated himself at the base of a tree near the building and waited. He could hear and eventually see the building shake from Mulderís attack. When the activity finally slowed and stopped he rose. Walter met him coming out, Mulderís eyes were red and he looked exhausted.

"Feel better?" Mulder nodded wearily.

"I have to find my daughter."

"We will. Thatís top priority for everyone that lives here. That and keeping her existence from Krycek. Weíve got a strong community here thanks to you, Mulder. Nobodyís going to let you and Dana down."

Walter put his arm around Mulderís shoulders and led him back toward the house. Frohike and Beth had joined the group and were awaiting instructions. Mulder glanced around the room; the most important person wasnít there.

"Danaís resting, Momís with her." Mary touched his arm and he nodded.

"Okay people. No more wasted time. Check to see if every bike is still here. We know she didnít run off on her own, make sure everyone knows Krycek is here and that time is valuable." He glanced down at his watch, less than an hour. It had been less than an hour since Scully had told him Katy was gone. It felt like days. "And find Kevin. He may have seen something or someone. Itís not like him to be gone when we need him. We donít want to be retracing steps, so let us know where youíre searching and what you find. Weíll coordinate from here. Walter will have to keep Krycek occupied, but we have to make it look normal around here."

Skinner looked over at him; Mulder had never called him Walter before. They were family now.

Mulder pulled a pad of paper from the bookcase and sat down at the table. At least he was working again. The crowd assembled chose their areas and headed out, lunch taken from the tray Maggie had brought. No time to waste.

*****

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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.


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