Believe Me (NC-17)


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Part 1

 

Talk about a lost weekend, he thought as he woke with a pounding headache and an overwhelming thirst. Nothing was coming back to him. He managed to roll to his hands and knees, but had to stop there, fighting nausea. What had happened to him?

Okay, last night heíd gone to a bar, just to get out of the apartment. And to keep from going over to Scullyís like he wanted. Heíd had a couple of beers. There was a woman at the bar. Sheíd gotten friendly, but she was Scullyís height Ė hell something about every woman reminded him of her. Height, lipstick color, blue eyes, and heaven forbid red hair.

He had it bad for her. He had to keep his distance off duty. Hence, the bar. But he hadnít had that much to drink. Unless someone had drugged him.

He managed to reach his feet and swayed there, his hands on his knees. After several deep breaths he straightened up. Damn he felt horrible. And where the hell was he? Now that he was finally upright, he turned slowly. A large room, cement floor, metal walls, windows painted black Ė definitely a warehouse. He tried to work some moisture into his mouth as he continued to turn, searching for the door. There it was, would it be too much to hope his car was outside?

He patted his pockets. Shit! He stopped to check. All of his pockets were empty. No keys, no wallet, no ID. Great, heíd been rolled. At least he hadnít worn his gun. Thatís all he would have needed, to have to explain to Skinner; no to Kersh, why heíd lost a gun.

So now what? He didnít even have money for a cab. Where was he anyway? Hell, was it night or day? The door wasnít locked and he stumbled out into the dark. No watch, shit! He headed up the alley toward the street.

Okay, he was a lot closer to Scullyís apartment than his own. Sheíd patch him up, scold him for his stupidity and make it better. And he had a decent excuse to see her now. He trudged off in that direction.

He finally passed one of those signs that told the time. It wasnít that late, just past ten. Good, maybe whoever had his keys hadnít gotten to his apartment. And Scully wouldnít kill him for waking her Ė she was probably still up.

He took a while to reach her place. His head was still killing him. At least the lights were still on. Good, he didnít have her key anymore either. That caused a pang in his gut. None of the other losses seemed nearly as important suddenly.

He knocked at her door, but there was no answer. He tried again, maybe sheíd dozed off on the couch. Finally! He saw the knob turning and she opened the door slowly.

He took a step forward, but when she didnít move to let him in, he stopped.

"What do you want?" She spoke quietly, her voice sounded dead and flat.

"I want to come in. Are you okay?" He finally stopped to take in her appearance. Heíd been so absorbed in himself and his aching head, but now he really looked at her.

She looked terrible. Her hair was limp, hanging uncombed and stringy around her face. Her face Ė it was blotched and swollen and her eyes were red and barely opened, and. . . and how could she have lost weight since this afternoon? She wasnít even standing straight. She was slumped and listless, like posture was too big a burden or her robe was too heavy to wear.

His hand automatically came up to touch her, "Scully? What. . . ?"

She stepped back and leveled her gun at him. He hadnít even realized she was armed.

"Who are you?"

His eyes widened and he automatically put his hands out from his sides to show he was not threatening her. Something terrible was going on here.

"Scully?"

"Stop it! Donít call me that. Only Mu. . . no one calls me that."

Was she having a psychotic episode? Hell, was he? "Okay, okay. Iím not here to hurt you. I just. . . tell me whatís wrong."

"Who the hell are you? Why are you here?"

"Scu. . ." he stopped as she raised the gun back into firing position and just looked at her again, "Itís me, itís Mulder. What, whatís wrong?"

Fresh tears had come to her eyes, even as they narrowed with her anger. "I donít know who sent you here to do this to me, but I should kill you for it now."

"Scul. . . Dana. Please, I donít know whatís going on. Talk to me, tell me whatís happened! Please."

"How do you know my name?" She had backed away from him, so he came farther into the room, closing the door behind him. She stiffened at that, but said nothing.

"I wonít hurt you. Please, I donít know whatís going on."

She dropped the gun to her side. "If youíre here to kill me, go ahead. I donít care." She sat heavily in the chair and it was all he could do not to take her in his arms.

Okay, he was missing more than just a couple of hours at the bar. Scully didnít know who he was and now she was suicidal. His headache receded with the knowledge that she needed him this badly.

"Hereís what I want you to do, are you listening Dana?" That name didnít come easily to his lips, but that was good. It made him think more clearly about what he wanted to say. "Get your cuffs. I want you to cuff me and let me sit on the couch. Then Iíll tell you what I know and youíll tell me whatís wrong. Okay?"

He had to make it work. She looked like she was completely devastated.

"You want me to cuff you?" Who was this mad man that had come to her apartment tonight of all nights?

"Yes. I need you to trust me, like I trust you. Please, Dana."

Why was she even listening to this man? How had she let him get inside of her apartment? Even now she was a better agent than that. What had he done to make her let him in? He had made no moves, no attempt to harm her. There was something about his eyes. She shook herself, she really was losing it. The cuffs, yes, she could do that. God, was she so far gone that even the company of a deranged homeless man was better than being alone?

Silently she rose and walked to her desk, not turning her back on him. He made no move to approach her, just watching her with what looked like sympathy and confusion in his eyes. His eyes.

She tossed the cuffs to him and he slipped them on himself as she held the gun slightly raised, not really pointed at him any longer.

"Will you listen to me now? Please?" He seated himself on her couch, in his normal seat. This was where heíd spent so many hours working with her, watching her when she wasnít paying attention, wishing he could spent even more hours. She nodded but did not speak.

"Dana, I donít know whatís going on, but I am Fox Mulder." Her eyes narrowed and the gun she still wouldnít release trembled in her hand. "Please, let me finish. I came home from work earlier this evening and decided to go out for a beer at Kellyís. I had two beers, Scully, only two, but I donít know what happened after that. I woke up an hour ago in a warehouse on J Street. All my ID, my keys, my watch are gone. I thought this girl in the bar had rolled me, but something else has happened. I donít know what that is and I need you to tell me, please Scully."

She had flinched each time he had called her Scully, but had remained silent, letting him finish. She sat staring at him, not speaking. He didnít dare hurry her, he was already on thin ice here.

After several deep breaths she seem to come back to herself. She looked into his eyes for a second, then away as though she couldnít bear it.

"I donít know who you are or why youíre doing this to me. I buried Mulder this morning. He was found in his apartment, shot six times in the chest and once in the head. They held the body for three days and finally released it for burial yesterday. I canít take anymore. I donít even want to know why youíre here, I donít care. Just go, now, please."

Heíd forgotten to breathe while she was speaking. Now he drew in a deep breath. "What day is it?"

"Thursday, May 27."

"No, it was Friday, May 21. Iíve been missing for a week? And you werenít looking for me, you thought I was dead." He fell silent, contemplating her words.

"Mulder is dead. I identified him myself and checked all the test results, the autopsy." Her voice was dead and flat again, all emotion leached from her. Her eyes were barely blue.

She thought he was dead. She believed it and it was killing her. She was in this pain because she thought he was gone. He wanted to be pleased by that, but not in the face of this kind of despair.

He rose slowly from the couch, his fingers spread to show her he was not a menace. He walked to the mirror she had on the wall beside the door. Well, he looked terrible, but he was recognizable. With a shower and shave. Oh come on, sheíd seen him a lot worse than this and never not recognized him.

"Scully, what do you see when you look at me?"

Sheíd been watching him silently. Now her eyes questioned him.

"Please, Scully. Why donít you recognize me? I need you to look at me, see me. Iím not dead."

"Why? Why are you doing this? Were you sent here to drive me crazy? I canít take anymore. Whoever you are, I want you to leave."

"Scully, weíve been through everything together. You attended my fatherís funeral for me when everyone but you thought I was dead. I wasnít then and Iím not now." She said nothing, just letting him talk.

"You shot me, Scully, so I wouldnít kill Krycek and convict myself for killing my father. You remember all that."

"Anyone could find out about that. Itís all in the record."

"Okay," he was thinking frantically, "Itís not in the record that you came to my room in Oregon, practically naked to have me check the marks on your back."

She drew back. "I donít know what they know about me."

"They donít know we opened Emilyís casket and found only your necklace. The necklace I wore when you were missing."

She had grown pale at that. Why were his eyes so. . . she shook her head? "How do you know that?"

"Because I was there. After Tara and Bill came up to you with their son, they left the sanctuary with your mother and you decided we needed the proof of her illness. But she was gone. They would never let us have that kind of knowledge.

"Would anyone else know how much your brother Bill hates me? How he glowered at me the entire time I was in his home, even though you needed me."

"Why are you doing this! Mulderís dead! You arenít Mulder! Iíve lost him forever this time. Stop this! Stop it!!"

Sheíd dropped the gun and covered her face with her hands again. He was dying to go to her, but too scared to move. Why couldnít she see him? What had been done to them, to her? Had there really been a funeral? His mother! What was she thinking?

One thing at a time, Mulder. He rose slowly and went into her kitchen. When he stood she had jerked back and started to reach for her gun, but he had kept his distance, so she just watched him.

He went without hesitation to the cupboard and pulled out her favorite mug. He found her tea also, and again chose her favorite. How did he know these things? He fixed the tea exactly as she liked it, despite the handcuffs and brought it to her. He left it on the coffee table, not getting too close, then returned to his seat on the couch.

"Drink it, Scully. Try to relax a little."

She took a sip. He hadnít been out of her sight, so he couldnít have drugged it.

"Who are you?í Her voice was shaking.

He shook his head. "Just relax, Scully."

She almost protested the use of that name again, but instead sank back in the chair. Tears continued to leak from her eyes and occasionally she would wipe them away absentmindedly.

She was in such pain Ė he had never dreamed she would be this affected by his loss. Relieved maybe. No, this was no time to be flip. Heíd known she cared for him Ė not like he loved her of course, but sheíd kept this hidden from him.

He wanted to go to her, to comfort her. But she didnít know him. What was she seeing when she looked at him? Whose body had she so positively identified as his?

They were both startled by the knocking on her door. He rose and walked to the door to look through the peephole.

"Itís Frohike." He whispered to her.

She rose and motioned him away from the door. She looked to confirm his words. "Go in the other room. Donít make a sound."

He nodded and headed into her bedroom. He didnít know why she wanted to keep his presence secret, but he wasnít about to argue with her. At least she hadnít thrown him out yet.

"Oh, Scully." Even Frohike was taken aback by her appearance. "You shouldnít be alone. Let me take you to your motherís." Mulder relaxed, at least he wasnít coming on to her. Maybe he had more class than theyíd given him credit for.

"No Frohike. Thanks, but I need some time. Iíve been babysat since I found the. . . the body." She swallowed, trying not to break down again in front of him.

"Youíve been strong too long. You canít handle everything alone Ė you planned the funeral, you looked after Mrs. Mulder, hell I heard Skinner himself had to stop you from doing the autopsy. Scully, youíre human. We know how much you loved him, but you have to look after yourself now." Mulder eavesdropped, not sure how to react to what he was hearing.

"Iím. . . Iím okay. I just need some time alone."

"If it helps any, he loved you just as much. God, I canít believe heís gone either, Scully. We are here for you." How did Frohike know that? It was true, but how did he know?

"I know." It was just a whisper.

"Are you sure you donít want me to take you to your motherís. Of course, you know Iíd stay, if you want." He didnít even make it sound like an advance.

"Thanks. I. . . I need some time."

"Okay. I understand. Youíve left the jammer on?" At her nod, "Look, weíll be over tomorrow. If you need anything before that, please call us."

She nodded, unable to speak and let the little man out. She didnít hear Mulder come back into the room.

"I didnít know Frohike could be a gentleman."

"How do you know him?"

"Scully, Iíve known the guys for years. We met on the Modeski case - I've told you about that. Weíve worked together ever since. They were with me when I broke into the Lombard Research Institute, when I found out Dr. Scanlon was on staff. I sent Byers to stop you from taking any more treatments."

"Thatís it! Shut up! I want you out of here. Now!" She threw the keys at him. He ducked, then turned to find where they had landed after bouncing off his shoulder.

He unlocked his hands and turned back to her. She had moved closer, to hurry him out. "Scully, youíre shaking. Please let me. . . "

"Out!" She shoved him toward the door, making physical contact for the first time. Her eyes widened and all color left her face. He caught her in his arms before she could hit the floor.

She had lost weight. Had she not eaten at all since sheíd "found" him?

"Scully, come on, come back to me." He laid her gently on her bed and hurried to get a damp cloth for her forehead. "Scully? Can you hear me?"

She stirred and he retreated to give her space. She opened her eyes and immediately drew back from him. "What are you?"

"I donít understand."

"For a minute I thought. . . no." He could feel her shudder from where he stood.

"What did you see? When you touched me, what did you see?" He asked anxiously.

"No." She cringed as he stepped toward her.

"I wonít hurt you, Scully. Iíd never hurt you. Take my hand, just for a minute. Please, Scully."

One tear escaped, she was obviously scared. But this was Scully. He felt her gather her strength and held out a shaking hand. He did the same, allowing her to take his hand. He made no move to grasp it, despite his need.

"Oh my god." She dropped his hand as though it had burnt her.

"What happened? Please, talk to me Scully!"

"Iíve lost my mind."

"You saw me, didnít you. You know itís me now." He took the chance of moving closer to her and she did not draw away.

"I knew grief could do strange things to your mind. I never realized that I. . . " She was talking to herself, ignoring his presence.

"Its not you, Scully! They did something to you. Look at me." He laid his hand lightly on her arm. "Scully, I need you to think. Who else saw this body, who helped with the identification? Did my mother see the body? The guys? Skinner?"

"No. No only Kersh and I saw your body. But it was you. I saw the lab work. They wouldnít let me observe the autopsy, Skinner held me, held me back himself. I donít know how he knew, I didnít. . ." She finally met his eyes. "Youíre not dead?"

"No. Iím alive and Iím here. Rest now, Scully. Weíll get to work on this tomorrow. When the guys come over, weíll let them see me. Iíll stay hidden until then, if youíll let me stay."

She nodded mutely.

"I want you to get some rest. Iíll be in the next room, just relax. Okay?" Again she nodded, not looking at him because they werenít touching. He backed out of the room and left the door opened a crack.

He desperately needed a shower and shave, but he would wait until she was asleep. He wanted to be where he could hear her in case she needed him. He sank onto the couch his mind trying to get a handle on what could have happened to her and to him for that matter. Only she and Kersh had seen his body, not his mother, not Skinner or the guys. Heíd have to think about that one for awhile.

She did sleep, but not peacefully. He finally took a chair into the room just to be closer to her. He knew he shouldnít be in here but he couldnít leave her either. She was so restless, occasionally crying and even moaning a couple of times. What could he do to help her through this?

She jerked again and he thought she woke, but then he saw she was crying again. He eased his shoes off and laid down on the bed beside her, stroking her arm and murmuring to her, so that if she did open her eyes she would see him, not whatever they had placed in her mind.

When Scully woke the next morning her first thought was that something incredible had happened. She lay there with her eyes closed trying to gather her thoughts until she felt the bed move. Mulder! And it really was Mulder, lying fully clothed on top of the covers beside her. Giving her all of the room in the bed, but gently cradling her hand in his own to maintain contact, so that she would know it was him when she found him there.

Part of her wanted to laugh, only Mulder would take such pains to make sure she knew nothing had happened between them. She sobered quickly and experimentally removed her hand from his. No! She still saw someone else when she wasnít touching him. What had they done to her?

She eased from the bed carefully so she wouldnít disturb him and slipped into the bathroom to get ready to face the day. When she emerged he was no longer in the bed and she could smell the coffee coming from the kitchen. She headed that way and he met her at the door with her cup in his hand.

Looking at him wasnít an option until he took her hand and led her to the table. "You didnít get much rest." He offered.

"More than the last few days. Thanks for. . . being here."

"No place Iíd rather be, Scully." He drank his coffee with his left hand in order to touch her with his right. "When youíre ready, we need to call the guys. Iíve got to find out whatís going on here."

"Iíll do that now. Why donít you go ahead and shower."

"I guess I am pretty ripe by now. Will you be okay?"

"Iím getting better by the minute. Go on."

Her call to Byers was short and she volunteered no information. His comment, "Weíre already on the way," caused a smile to form. They had been so good to her, so much better than her own brother. That wiped her smile away.

Byers hadnít been kidding. They were at her door before Mulder was out of the bathroom. "How are you doing, Dana?"

"I need your help."

"Youíve got it."

The three of them turned as the bathroom door opened and Mulder walked out with a towel around his waist and one drying his hair. As one their mouths fell open and Byers took a step toward him. Frohike regained his voice first. "Mulder? Is that you?"

"You see me?"

"What Mulder?" Langly joined in, "You practicing invisibility?"

"How did you do it? All those tests Ė Scully IDíd you herself." Byers was beside him now. "Why did you do it?"

"Itís a long story guys. Let me get dressed and weíll tell you what we know. Scully, do I have any clothes here? I donít think itís safe to go to my apartment yet."

"Oh my god!" Scully clapped her hand over her mouth. She glanced over at Byers. "Your apartment. . . Mulder, you donít have an apartment. Your landlord wanted your stuff out immediately. We," she glanced at the three men looking guilty along with her, "we cleaned it out."

"My couch? My clothes?"

"Most of your stuff is in Momís garage. I, uh, I gave those videos you donít own to Frohike."

Mulder turned and glared at the smaller man.

"Hey! I havenít hurt them."

"Thereís some clothes in here." Scully turned to her bedroom. After another sharp glance at Frohike he turned to follow her.

He caught up with Scully as she was opening one of her drawers. He spotted some silky underwear, and there mixed in were his boxers.

"Scully?"

Her chin went up, "I slept in them, okay?"

"You slept. . . " His voice faded away. Anything he said at this point would most likely get him slapped. He could do nothing about his eyes changing color and watched as her face reddened.

"Scully?" He drew her into his arms when he realized she was crying again.

"You really are alive?" She whispered into his chest.

"Oh yeah." He kissed the tears from her cheeks and lightly brushed her forehead with his lips. "You better let me get dressed, Scully. Weíve got company."

"Oh!" She drew back from him. He kept hold of one hand and didnít let her drop her eyes from his.

"Iíll be out in a minute." She turned then and left the room, consciously not facing him when he let go of her hand.

 

Part 2

It was all business when he returned to the living room. He needed his life back.

"Tell me the whole story, from the beginning." He settled back on the couch, his hand on Scullyís knee, the others dragging up chairs to listen.

"I tried to call you Saturday," Scully began, "I needed some information from you, but there was no answer. I didnít think that much about it, but when you didnít answer Sunday either I decided Iíd better go feed the fish, since you probably had gone out of town. When I got there, your door was unlocked. The lights were out. I called out to you, then went on in and. . . and you were lying on your back in front of your couch in a pool of blood. Mulder, your face wasnít damaged. You were easily identifiable. I could see four wounds in your chest from where I stood. I froze; I donít know how long I just stood there. I finally called 911 and then Kersh. They took you away and Kersh said I couldnít do the exam. I wonít repeat what I said to him, but I guess Iím lucky to still have a job.

"Mulder, they ran every test, DNA, fingerprints, it was you. I saw you."

She was shaking at the memory and he put his arm around her. "Thatís not what I remember. Let me tell you my version." She grabbed a couple of tissues from the box Byers extended and settled back.

"I went to a bar, just to get out. I had two beers, total. There was a woman there who tried to get friendly, but I wasnít interested. I donít know if she drugged my drink or someone else did or what. I donít remember leaving the bar, itís just a blank after that. I woke up last night in a warehouse on J Street with no ID. I walked here thinking it was still Friday night.

"If someone went to those lengths to make you believe I was dead, why did they dump me so close to home? Why did they dump me at all? Scully, where did Kersh see me?"

"I called him after I called 911, he came to your apartment. He saw you just like I did."

"Why didnít you call Skinner?"

"I couldnít reach him. And I didnít think about that at the time, but he should have been the one."

"No. Iíll bet someone had him out of the way so you couldnít reach him."

"I hear the wheels turning, Mulder. Whatíre you thinking?" Byers leaned forward.

"Iím not sure. I want to know why Kersh identified my body but Skinner and you guys werenít asked."

"Not asked? We tried to demand it." Frohike broke in.

"I think we need to have Skinner join our little party here." Mulder reached over and picked up the phone, handing it to Scully. She dialed quickly.

"Walter? No, Iím okay. I was wondering if you could come over to my apartment for a few minutes. Now if possible. Thanks."

"You know Skinnerís private number?" Mulder gently probed.

"Iíve used it a lot in the last few days." Was her only comment.

She relaxed back on the couch, letting the four of them bounce ideas off of each other about what was going on. The theories became increasing outlandish and a couple brought a smile to her face but she kept quiet, enjoying the fact that he had left his arm over her shoulders. She tried not to be obvious about it, but kept glancing up at his face just to ensure he was still there.

When Skinner knocked at the door, she rose to let him in losing physical contact. She needed to be watching Skinnerís face anyway.

"Dana, are you okay?" Skinner had eyes only for her when she opened the door.

"Iím fine. I need you to see something." She stepped aside to let him enter. He caught sight of Langly and started to speak, when Mulder rose from the couch. Whatever he had planned to say was lost. Scully thought for a moment that he was going to choke.

"Mulder?" He glanced over at Scully. "What the hell is going on here!"

"Come on in." Scully took his arm and led him to the couch where he sank gratefully into the cushions.

"Iím not dead." Mulder offered.

"I can see that. I want to know how you did it and most of all why."

The five of them brought him up to date on what they knew and some of what they surmised.

"Wait a minute, just who was in that coffin I carried yesterday?" His gaze swept the room.

The comment startled Mulder. Skinner had been a pallbearer for him? That needed some more thought, later. Who else? No, not an appropriate question right now. Maybe it had just been these four guys; did he have six friends? He shook his head to try to get back to the topic.

Scully was watching his face, and as always was there with him, thinking his thoughts. She squeezed his hand and he felt himself regain control.

"It bothers me a lot that Kersh identified my body."

"Yeah." Skinner joined him. "I didnít think about it at the time, but I was manipulated away from the morgue. Kersh himself practically threw Dana into my arms." Scully nodded at that memory. She had been frantic to get in that room and handle things her way. Skinnerís arms had held her back, while supporting her completely, both physically and emotionally. Skinnerís eyes on her showed he shared the memory. Mulderís arms instinctively tightened around her.

After a long moment Skinner looked at Mulder. "You need to stay dead, while we investigate this."

"I know."

"Mulder, your mother?" Scully asked.

"I donít mean to be cruel Scully, but we canít let her know Iím alive. I want to trust her, but some of her associations. . . No, she stays in the dark."

Scully looked down, but didnít argue. That was hard enough for him to admit, no need to make it worse.

"You need to stay hidden. We can make room for you at our place." Byers offered.

"I have an extra room, it might be safer with me." Skinner offered.

"He stays here." Scullyís voice, though soft and low, was edged with steel. The discussion ended immediately with no further debate. Mulder felt the relief flood his senses, this was where he had to be. "Iím not expected back at work for another two weeks, that gives me the most freedom of movement."

She had taken a leave of absence? Mulder was once again overwhelmed at the depth of her anguish. She usually threw herself into her work, not escaped from it. He felt humbled by her, she was so much more than he deserved.

"Dana?" Skinner drew her attention, "I need to know who you see when you look at Mulder. I hate to get an artist over here, but. . . "

"The program is on her computer." Mulder offered.

"Then let me have a try at it." Langly volunteered and headed for her desk. He booted up her computer and gallantly allowed her to feed her in password, though he had known it for some time.

She forced herself to look at "Mulder" while describing him. The others had their eyes on the screen, but Mulder held her eyes since he couldnít touch her hand.

The blond, pale man with a thin face, mustache, thin lips, and a small nose looked back at them from the screen. "What color are his eyes, Scully?"

"Hazel, they couldnít disguise the eyes." Mulderís hand twitched to take hers, but he fought it back.

"I want a printout of that. I want to run it through every database I can find." He turned back to Mulder, "I think whoever took you has a mole in their organization. You had help getting away. If they were this sophisticated, they wouldnít turn you lose in this city, probably not this country."

Mulder nodded, heíd already realized that. "Will you be safe looking for this man? Kersh is right there."

"I still have a few people there I can trust. And these guys probably can do anything off site that I can." The three of them reluctantly nodded. "Okay, thereís nothing we can do right now except gather information. Keep your head down and be on full alert. Dana, you have my beeper number, use it. Iíll be in touch as soon as I know anything."

Scully let him out and Mulder watched him give her a quick hug. He was aware it made the hair on his arms stand up, but kept his mouth closed.

Byers, suddenly realizing that five was definitely a crowd, poked Langly who caught on and nodded. "Scully, Mulder, weíre gonna get out of here. We need to get started on this."

"Oh, okay. I need to go out too. Thereís nothing here to eat."

"Hey, we can handle that for you. Do you have a list?"

"You guys have done enough." Scullyís eyes immediately moistened at this show of continued support.

"Let them, Scully. You and I still need to talk." She nodded and went into the kitchen to make a quick inventory.

"How was she? You said she looked after my mother?"

Byers spoke in low tones with an eye toward the door sheíd entered. "She was walking dead, Mulder. We made sure she wasnít alone."

"It was like that?"

All three of them nodded. They moved apart as they heard her returning. Frohike took the list from her and they headed toward the door.

"Weíll let you know what we turn up. Keep out of sight." Scully let them out as Mulder stayed on the far side of the room. As soon as the door was shut he approached her and put his hands on her shoulders. She leaned back against him for a second, then stood up straight again.

"Scully, tell me everything. Tell me what you saw at my apartment."

She shuddered and didnít respond.

"Did you touch the body?"

"You were cold. You were so cold." He turned her and wrapped her in his arms. After a moment he spoke again.

"Did you see anyone? Pass anyone on the way to the apartment? Did anyone speak to you? Touch you?"

"No, there was no one."

"What about the night before?"

"I didnít see anyone after I got home Friday night. I spoke to Mom on the phone."

"Do you remember any dreams?"

"No, I. . . "

"What?"

"Yes. There was a dream. The. . . the abduction dream."

"I didnít know you still had that."

"I donít often, but sometimes it just happens." She watched his brow furrow. "What? What are you thinking?"

"Iím not sure. Let me worry about it. Right now I want you to be able to see me when you look at me."

"Me too."

*****

 

Part 3

 

What the hell was wrong with her? She couldnít shake this. He was alive and she was so thankful she could still cry at the drop of a hat, but something else was wrong. The nightmares were bad. It had always been him with nightmares, not her. It seemed like most nights she woke to find him comforting her. And her broken sleep meant that she couldnít keep her eyes open in the afternoons. She just felt terrible all the time. This wasnít like her, maybe when she went back to work her energy would come back. She could only hope so.

Mulderís concern was growing as well. She wasnít getting better. If anything she was getting worse. This wasnít just grief Ė maybe it had started out that way. And maybe that was the problem. Sheíd allowed her body to get so rundown that sheíd let herself get ill. She had lost weight, she kept getting sick, and the nightmares seemed to have left him and settled in her.

She washed her face and came out of the bathroom. As she had feared, he was waiting for her.

"Feeling better?"

She nodded and tried to get around him. He put out his arm and stopped her, checking for fever. "I think you need to see someone."

"And tell them what?"

"Tell them your symptoms, have them run tests. Scully, Iím here, but I feel like Iím losing you."

She shook free and headed for the kitchen. "Iím going to make some tea, want some?"

"No thanks." He sighed. She had no fever but her appetite was gone. Hell, he needed to think about this some more. He counted on her to handle the medical part.

The knock on the door caught him off guard. She hadnít heard it, so he checked through the peephole. Skinner, alone. He opened the door cautiously and let him in.

"You doing okay?" At Mulderís nod, "Is Dana here?"

"Yeah, sheís in the kitchen."

"Is she doing any better?" Mulder shook his head.

"Well, I have some news."

"Iíll get her." He headed into the other room as Skinner removed his coat. They came back holding hands. Mulder couldnít keep his concern for her from his face.

"Scully, Mulder, I found your face. Whoever did this had a warped sense of humor. In 1978, Billy Ray Moore was convicted of murder, four counts, in Texas. He was executed in the electric chair in 1984 when he canceled all appeals. It took us a while because the files on the dead run last. Any luck on breaking through the memory block?"

"None. I donít think itís an implanted memory anymore. Weíve tried hypnosis several times without any success. The guys and I are beginning to think itís a transmission."

In his mind he was seeing the sessions they had held trying desperately to break through her memory. Heíd hated to put her through it. He hated even more that it hadnít worked. Byers was no expert at hypnosis, heíd made that clear going in, but you didnít have to be an expert at breaking through a memory barrier to see that one existed. Mulder had even assisted after the first time. He had been trained at Oxford. They had all agreed he was too close to this, but he was willing to try almost anything so that she could see him again. Byers had done a good job. Now they knew that ĎTheyí had been taking her again just prior to his death. She still didnít know who they were. The abductions were only lasting hours now, not weeks. Was that a good thing? He could feel his hands become fists again at the thought. He hadnít been able to protect her, hadnít even realized she needed protecting.

"Transmission?"

"Yes, through her implant." His teeth were gritted. "Thatís the only thing that makes sense. Why does no one else see what she sees? And there just wasnít time for a deep memory implant. Byers is working on a way to block it, but we have to be careful testing it."

"Well, I donít have anything else yet, and I shouldnít stay long. Anything specific you want me to check?"

"Not right now. Weíd rather save you for when we reach a dead-end."

Skinner nodded and reached for his coat. The crackle under his fingers caused him to pause. "Uh, Dana, I need your signature."

"On what?" She didnít even sound like herself.

"I need your help to commit fraud. I donít know how to stall on this without arousing suspicion." He withdrew the papers from his coat pocket. "This is to release the life insurance."

"What life insurance?"

Skinner glanced at Mulder. "For a spacey kind of guy, he had sense enough to sign up for the best plan."

"So you need his motherís signature."

"Uh, no." Skinner looked over again at Mulderís red face. "Youíre his sole beneficiary."

"I am?"

"Listen, Iíll, uh, Iíll leave these papers here. You call me when I can pick them up." He laid the papers on her coffee table and headed for the door. Scully stood staring at the papers; Mulder held the door at an angle where he couldnít be seen.

"Mulder, I didnít know." Mulder shook his head but said nothing. "Look after her."

"I will." He shut the door and turned reluctantly toward her.

She looked up at him and quickly away, "Me?" A tear fell from each eye.

"Oh Scully, who else would I want to leave anything to? I just never thought Iíd be here when you found out. Thereís more, hell I left everything to you except the videos you gave Frohike."

"Mulder." She sank onto the couch.

"Itís yours. Donít think about it now. Iím more concerned with your health at the moment."

"Donít."

"No. We have to talk about it. This isnít grief and it isnít flu. You havenít been hiding nose bleeds from me, have you?"

"No! I havenít hid anything from you. How could I?"

"We are kind of in each otherís pockets here, arenít we? I could go stay with the guys."

"No! No." She took a deep breath and he couldnít help but appreciate the motion. Then it all clicked in his mind and his face went ashen.

"Mulder? Mulder what is it?"

"I have to go out."

"No! Mulder you canít." She was clutching his arm.

"Scully Iíll be careful. This is something you canít do. I wonít be long." He grabbed a jacket and a baseball cap and let himself out her back door.

"Mulder." She breathed as she sank onto the couch.

*****

When he returned he found her huddled on the couch clutching the afghan he slept with around her.

"Oh Scully." He gathered her up in his arms. "Iím sorry. I didnít realize. . . " He held her close.

When she could speak she murmured into this chest, "What was so important?"

"Iíll show you in a minute. Right now I need you to listen to me. Try not to think Iím totally insane."

She nodded, still not removing her face from his chest.

He smoothed her hair down, "Weíve agreed that we have a friend inside of the group thatís doing this to us." She nodded. "I think that when they took me our friend couldnít be sure he could get me away, help me escape. I think they wanted to leave you with something, just in case."

"Leave me with what?"

"A. . . " He had to stop and moisten his lips, "A child, Scully."

"A what?" Now she did look up.

"A baby, I think my baby."

"Thatís not possible."

"Yes it is, Scully. They have your ova, they obviously had access to me."

"But. . . no! Damn it! No!" She tried to jerk away but he held her. And continued to hold her as she began to pound on his chests and arms, growing increasingly hysterical.

"Scully, please." He took her blows as his heart sank, only stopping her from hitting herself.

When her emotional storm finally passed she collapsed against him.

"Itís. . . itís okay Scully. Even if it is true, you donít have to have it. You can have an abortion, or. . . "

"Is that what you think I want?" Her voice wasnít steady, her breath still hitching.

"Itís okay. If you donít want. . . Look, weíre not even sure. Thatís what I went to get, one of those home tests. You can take the test and then decide if. . . "

"Thatís not. . . Mulder, thatís not whatís wrong. I donít believe Iím pregnant, but if I am I want to be pregnant the old fashioned way. Why do they have to control everything? If I carry your baby I want you to give it to me. I want them out of my life, I want some normalcy Ė not to be monitored or transmitted to or impregnated by some chip in my neck. I want. . . Mulder do you really believe Iím pregnant?" For the first time she sounded as though she had hope it was true.

Her revelations had rendered him speechless. Heíd been ready to help her abort his child because she didnít want his baby. Now she was saying she wanted. . .

"Mulder?"

"I donít. . . I canít. . . Maybe you should just take the test."

"I need to wait until morning. If youíre right, itís so early Iíd need the first morningís. . . Mulder, where did you get this idea? What made you even think it?"

"Uh. . . " His face was scarlet.

"What, Mulder? Tell me."

"Your breasts."

"My breasts? With everything going on around us, youíve started staring at my breasts?" Her eyebrow had reached Himalayan heights.

"Iíve always stared at. . . oh god. Could you give me a running start before you shoot me this time?" He seemed to sink into the couch.

"I might hit you in the ass if I do, and Iíd hate to cause brain damage." That gave him the courage to look up and see the smile she had managed to keep from her lips, but not her eyes.

"We have to wait until morning?" She nodded, "Not one of my strengths."

She did smile then, "I know."

"Look, why donít you go on to bed. Youíve not had a great day and I can be mortified out here all by myself."

"Why donít you come on to bed too?"

"Wha. . . what?"

"You end up in there every night anyway because of the nightmares. Iíd say weíre both fated for nightmares tonight."

He nodded in agreement. Was she letting him off the hook, even after that admission? She was so much more than he deserved. "Iíll clean up in here, you go get ready."

She was already in bed when he came in and lay down stiffly beside her. She scooted back until she was against his chest, as he finally began to relax he heard her whisper, "So youíve always looked at my breasts?"

Rather than make a comment that truly would lead to a bullet, he put his arm around her and kept quiet.

*****

She woke to daylight, no nightmares, and Mulderís arms around her. The test, she should take the test. She slipped out of the bed being careful not to wake him.

He was awake, but he pretended not to be, not sure what she wanted. She was gone what felt like a very long time. When he heard her returning he closed his eyes. He felt her lie back down leaving a lot of space between them. Okay, that was enough. His arm snaked around her drawing her to him. "Well?"

"I didnít mean to wake you."

"Scully." His tone meant business.

She looked up from his chest. "Iím pregnant." She couldnít mistake that look of total joy that flashed in his eyes before he could hide it. That eased the knot in her chest considerably.

"Are you okay?" He finally asked.

"Yes."

"I was serious last night. If you donít want. . . "

Her arms tightened around him. "I resent their interference. Itís not the way I fantasized about getting pregnant. I mean if weíre right and it is yours."

"It is."

"Then Iím carrying your baby and weíve never even kissed."

"We could fix that." Sheíd never seen him so still, waiting.

Her nod was almost imperceptible and the light touch of his lips was chaste and cool. The second, when she responded was warmer. The third positively steamy. His hand had found itís way under her t-shirt and held her breasts. She gasped into his mouth.

"Okay?"

"Very okay." And he was kissing her again. He did know what he was doing.

"Wait, we should slow down, Scully. I donít want to rush. . . "

"Mulder, my own mother couldnít make a case for us rushing anything." He grinned down at her.

"Youíre probably right there." His hand had traveled down to her stomach, caressing it lightly, then on down to the elastic of her panties. When she made no move to stop him, one finger entangled itself in her curls. The scent of her arousal surrounded him, so he continued his exploration. He noted her breathing had become shallow and she lay open, awaiting whatever he had in mind.

When his finger grazed her moist bud she gasped, and when his finger slipped inside he wasnít sure she was getting any oxygen at all. When his hand moved back up to her stomach she moaned slightly. No fair, he couldnít stop now. And turn about was fair play. He hissed as her hand found him through his shorts. So he liked that, she wrapped her fingers around him and he lost the power of linear thought.

He didnít remember removing his t-shirt, or hers for that matter, but there was no longer anything separating them.

He knew without asking that it had been a long time for her, so he wanted to be gentle, slow Ė she wasnít helping there. God, she was ready. He began to ease himself into her slowly. She grasped his hips and arched, filling herself with him.

"Scully." He pulled back away from her. "Scully. Thereís a 17 year-old inside of me, ready to humiliate me completely. Please. . . stop that Scully or Iíll. . . "

"Youíll what, Mulder?"

He was hanging onto control by his fingernails and here she was playing dirty, massaging him with those muscles. He withdrew completely, eliciting a moan of protest from her. Then his lips were on her nipple and she relaxed again, allowing him to set the pace for a while.

When he finally allowed her to guide him back to her center he was more in control, able to enter her without the fear of immediate humiliation. At least she had given some control back to him. But this wasnít going to take long, it had been a long time for him as well Ė face it years and this was what heíd waited for. She was matching him thrust for thrust.

She was so close, he seemed to know instinctively what she needed and she felt his finger again find that bundle of nerves. She almost never came, the fear of loss of control overpowering her physical needs. Not this time Ė not with Mulder, she gave herself over to him and spun out of control in the safety of his arms.

He thought he would die of sheer joy as this woman convulsed in his arms. Only in his best fantasies had he dreamed of pleasuring her like this. Then her orgasm pushed him over the edge. One thrust, two and he too was gone Ė retaining only enough sense not to crush her beneath him.

He returned to his body to find her hand caressing his cheek and his eyes locked onto hers. "You can see your unborn children in her eyes." What was that? A line from a song? It was true.

"You okay?" Her hand moved down onto his chest.

"Yeah, oh yeah. You?" That smile that came over her face was all he needed. "You seem to be feeling better this morning."

"I think youíve stumbled across a sure-fire cure for morning sickness."

"Should I apply for a patent?"

"No, I have no intentions of sharing."

"Um, I like it when youíre territorial."

She smiled and reached up to pull his face down to her own. She kissed his nose then looked him directly in the eye. "You know your theory about why this happened is bullshit, donít you?"

He looked up from her lips startled and began a protest, until she zapped him with that eyebrow. He looked away abashed.

"Iím pregnant Mulder, not stupid. This is no gift from a friend. This baby is the catalyst for all of this. They found out the experiments on me worked. They had to get you out of the way in such a manner that I wouldnít be looking for you. Theyíd have to keep me alive, for awhile. But we know what theyíre capable of. They would have faked my suicide or something to hide me away. When they didnít need me anymore. . . You did have help escaping, but thatís as far as Iíll go with it." His grip tightened. "Want to admit you had this all figured out?"

He took a deep breath. "Iím not going to let that happen."

"Youíre probably still alive to make sure I conceived. Since Iím still free they donít know. Itís not going to take them long. Mulder, donít coddle me, or lie to me. Iím still your partner."

"In every way."

"We should get up." She started to rise.

"Why?" His eyes were dilated, his body obviously excited just listening to her.

"Because now we have another reason to figure out how to make ourselves safe."

His hand was back on her stomach. "Youíre right and we will. Iím going to push the guys to find a way to block that transmission."

She nodded, suddenly fighting tears. "Scully?"

"Iím okay, really."

"Iíll make you some breakfast, if I can walk."

"I have every confidence in you."

*****

 

Part 4

 

The guys came over that afternoon with a new jammer and their ideas for a block to the implant.

"You know, with just a small amount of radiation. . . "

"No. Nothing toxic, nothing that could harm her or the. . . nothing toxic."

"Okay, okay. We have other ideas, something with lead maybe."

"Hey, if it works for Superman." Mulder agreed.

"Uh, yeah." Byers rolled his eyes.

"Weíve got to be especially careful testing it. They canít know weíre trying anything. It could be very dangerous."

"The test would only take seconds, they probably wonít even notice it. Sheíd just need to touch it while looking at you. If she sees you as you, we know it works."

Scully came back in the room; "Did you ask about going out of town?"

"Not yet."

"You going somewhere?"

"Possibly. Can you get us some in-depth IDs?"

"Yeah, no problem."

"At least three apiece."

"Three? It could get expensive."

Mulder chuckled. "You havenít heard? Scully inherited a fortune when I died."

"No kidding? What did you leave us?" Frohike turned and looked up from his notes.

"I havenít seen you returning my video collection."

Frohike turned away, reddening as he saw Scullyís eyes on him.

Mulder relented, "Keep Ďem. I wonít be needing them."

Everyone in the room looked over at him then. He managed to keep his expression bland. Scully was unable to stop the slight smile and retreated back into the kitchen.

"Mulder?" Byers whispered, then, "Nevermind." And he shared a grin with Langley.

"So sheís gone." Frohike looked mournful.

"Sheís gone, and donít you ever forget it." Mulder loomed over him.

*****

He stood at the door watching her pack. She was being careful, nothing personal, nothing that could be traced back to here. He hated this for her. He needed to be away from here, hopefully to continue his work in some way, but she was giving up everything to come with him. Her career, her home, her family. It wasnít right. He wasnít leaving anything behind because he had her with him. He should go on alone, but he couldnít leave her. He didnít think he ever could have, but now, with a baby. No, the very thought made him ill.

She had looked up and seen him at the door lost in thought. He hadnít said it, of course, but she knew he was worried about taking her away. How could she make him understand this was her choice? He was her choice and that it had been no contest. None at all. Sheíd seen what the other side was like when heíd "died". Her life was with him, and if she could carry this baby to term, with them. Wherever they were, whoever they were.

He hadnít realized she was beside him as his guilt took him for a ride. Her kiss brought him back to the present. "Remember me?"

"Oh yeah." His eyes locked on hers.

"Itís time to stop the analysis, Mulder, and go on to the action."

His finger traced her lips. These last couple of days had been beyond his wildest dreams. Being this happy was so foreign to him; he had to keep recognizing it anew.

"Can I be enough for you?"

"You already are. What more do I have to do to show you?"

"You scare me, Scully. You see more than is really there."

She shook her head, "Youíre just afraid itís not real, Mulder. What if I, say, got pregnant to prove my commitment?"

"Very funny." But his hand had found her stomach. He touched her even more than he used to, and she encouraged it since it was the only way she could see the real Mulder. She was becoming more and more anxious to test this new device the guys were working on. Seeing Mulder, instead of that unfamiliar face she saw when he wasnít touching her had become almost an obsession to her. But it was definitely Mulder making love with her at night. Her body knew his instinctively, on a level sheíd never even approached before with any other man.

"Come on, we need to finish packing. If the guys have succeeded, we need to be ready to go."

"And youíre honestly willing to just go."

"With you? Why canít you believe me?"

He shook his head, "What do you want me to pack? Youíre not taking many clothes."

"We donít want it to look like weíre running, besides, they wonít fit soon anyway." He grinned.

*****

"Without testing it, we canít be sure, but theoretically it should work. Sheís just got to be in physical contact with it. Like she has to be with you, in order to really see you."

"How many of these do you have?"

"Three. How many do you think youíll need."

"Well, sheís always got to be in contact with it. Always, no slip ups Ė while sleeping, bathing, walking, eating. If the transmission gets through, they have her."

"Hey Mulder, we know that. Weíre not kidding around here."

"Mulder." Scully touched his arm. "They know this."

"Itís important." Scully smiled and nodded, then silently mouthed, "Thanks."

"You want to test it?" The agony of this decision was clear on his face.

"Iím ready."

"Scully. . . "

"We have to try it. Mulder we canít go on like this. If it doesnít work, we have to know to try something else. Mulder, please."

She watched him wilt, but he couldnít deny her words.

"Just an instant, Scully. So short that they wonít notice." He had hold of her arm. "Promise me."

She nodded and moved to stand next to Byers, her eyes locked on the face they were transmitting to her.

"Are you ready, Scully?" Byers was watching her face. She nodded and Byers and Langley moved closer to her. "Let me touch it to you, then I can move it away. You just keep your eyes on Mulder."

"Letís do it." She held out her arm. Byers glanced over at Mulder, then placed the small metallic object to her arm. After a quick count of three he removed it. Her eyes were wide. Langley had hold of her arm as she swayed. Then Mulder had her in his arms.

"It worked." She whispered. "I saw you."

"Are you okay?"

"Relieved. I need to sit down."

He ignored that, scooping her into his arms and heading into the bedroom. He laid her gently on the bed, his eyes full of concern. "Scully?"

"Iím okay, Mulder. There was no sensation, no pain, you were there. Your face was there, not that other one. I hadnít realized what that would do to me."

He buried his face in her neck. "I love you Scully." He whispered.

"Iíve never doubted that. Why donít you get rid of everyone and you can show me."

He looked up and smiled. "Thatís why youíre the brains of this outfit." He squeezed her hand and rose to do her bidding.

"Is she okay Mulder?"

"Yeah. It worked great. Weíll need all three. You might want to make more, I donít mind spares."

"Do you know what youíre going to do?"

He nodded, "What you donít know, you canít tell."

"Well, guess we better get out of here. Let us know what you need, youíll get it."

"Thanks guys. Iíll never forget what youíve done for us."

They shook hands with him, Frohike hugging him at the last minute. Everyone knowing that if they saw each other again, it would not be soon.

He joined her in the bedroom after letting his friends out. "Are you okay?"

"Iím fine, really. Come here." She was propped up on her elbows scanning his body.

He grinned, "That sounded suggestive you hussy."

"It was meant to."

He knelt on the bed and began crawling up her body, stopping occasionally for a nip or a kiss, pulling her shirttail out with his teeth. She was laughing by the time he finally made it to her lips. He flipped over, pulling her on top of him, massaging her back and enjoying the feel of her breasts pressed against his chest.

"You missing those videos you donít own?"

"Not for a second." He drew the t-shirt over her head and proceeded to show just why he wasnít missing the videos at all.

*****

The phone caught them off guard. She made sure he was settled then reached for the receiver. "Hello?"

She sat up straighter and glanced at Mulder. "AD Kersh. Is everything okay?" Kersh? Mulderís hands became fists, but otherwise he didnít move.

"As well as could be expected under the circumstances, thank you. Yes, my leave is up on Monday. Is it an emergency, sir? Well, Iíd planned to fly out in a few hours. Iím supposed to meet my mother and visit with my brother. In California. New partner?" She watched Mulderís reaction to that comment. "Yes, Iíll be back on Sunday. Are you sure? I could call and tell them Iíll be a day late."

Mulder gave a grim smile, she was good. Had she ever lied to him?

"Thank you sir. Yes, first thing in your office." She hung up and looked over at Mulder.

"They caught it."

"Yes. We need to go. Mulder, will you be okay?"

"Me? Yeah."

"Then letís do it. Let me get dressed. You probably should too, since weíre trying to be inconspicuous." She was trying to keep it light. He needed that more than she did.

With one more kiss they rose and after dressing placed the final items in the trunk of her car along with the boxes already there.

Mulder hid on the floor of the backseat under a blanket and she drove to National. Once there she parked in long-term parking, as close as possible to the rental car Byers had left for her yesterday. Then removing her roll-around and large carry-on bag she left the car without a word, just squeezing the hand he slipped from under the blanket.

Once in the terminal, she retrieved the ticket she had purchased on-line in her own name, using her own credit card. She then made her way to the gate, again checking in with her own ID and took a seat. In a few minutes she checked her watch and rose, taking her bags and went to the ladiesí room. She chose the handicapped stall and proceeded to change. The curly blond wig was first, then a brighter red lipstick and blue eye shadow. Next the shoes, removing the heels she usually wore and changing to running shoes and finally reversing the jacket she wore.

She stuffed all evidence of Dana Scully deep in her carry-on bag and pulled out the new ID she and Mulder had agreed on. Leeann Frazier Ė not even their initials could remain the same. The last thing was to retrieve one of the small metal devices the guys had created, and using the bandage she had fashioned, secured it to her left shoulder blade. No sensation, no way for her to know it was working except to see him. She needed to see him.

When she left the rest room she turned away from her gate and made her way to luggage pick up. She slipped out the door and spotted the car, with Mulder slumped, faking sleep, behind the wheel. Heíd been watching and was out of the car before she could reach it. He took her things, stowing them in the back seat and opening the door for her.

"Good to have you back, Honey." He pecked her cheek and shut the door.

She managed not to laugh as he got back in. "I feel like trick or treat."

"But you see me."

"Oh yeah Ė I just need to get used to you seeing me, like this."

"It is different. You gonna go with more cleavage?" He looked hopeful.

Her look of disdain caused a laugh. "It doesnít work as well with that make-up, Sc. . . Leeann. You just donít seem as stern somehow."

"Then how am I supposed to keep you in line now?" A smile was growing on her face as well.

"Well I had an idea about that. I want to head south instead of west."

"Why? I thought we were going to Philly tonight."

"I was checking on different state laws and. . . "

"And?"

"Scully. No, I need to use your name for this. Scully, will you marry me?" Before she could reply he rushed on, "I know you deserve better, but I also know youíll never find anyone who loves you more, or wants you more. Could you consider it?"

She took a deep breath as he held his own. Finally she spoke, "You know Mulder, I was beginning to think I was going to have to ask you. Yes. Yes, IĎll marry you and so will Leeann and Beth and all the rest of me."

The total joy on his face brought tears to her eyes. She couldnít remember ever seeing him so happy.

"A major tactical error here."

"What?"

"Iím driving and I canít take you in my arms."

"Youíre right, weíll have to take care of that Ė very soon!"

"And I get to make love with all you ladies?" His fingers were trailing up her thigh and that leer was more than familiar.

"Only if I get to make love with all you guys, Ryan."

"Ummm, sounds like a deal to me."

*****

"By the power vested in me by the state of South Carolina, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride."

His hand only trembled slightly as he brought it up to her cheek and gave her a light kiss on the lips. He felt her arms go around his neck as she took control of the kiss, and heard the justice of the peaceís wife clap.

Heaven, well the closest heíd ever get. And a lot better because he was with her.

 

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