She’d finally talked him into going home. Something was bothering him; she didn’t know what, but if he continued to act this way he was going to have to answer to her. He had been so distracted the last couple of days. She flipped off the computer and stood. Before she could even reach the door the phone rang. For about two seconds she seriously considered not answering it, but she couldn’t do it.
She leaned across the desk and grabbed the receiver. "Yes?"
"Is Fox Mulder there?"
"No, I’m sorry he’s not. May I take a message?" There was a lengthy pause, "Miss . . .? Are you there?"
"Yes, you can give him a message. Tell him it’s a boy."
"I beg your pardon?" She stopped trying to reach for a pencil for some reason her attention caught.
"It’s a boy. Tell Fox he has a son."
"What are you talking about? Who is this?" Every cell in her body was on alert. She couldn’t reach the recorder from where she stood and this needed to be recorded. Keep her talking, maybe get a trace. Scully was unaware she was concentrating in full FBI mode, avoiding the content of the words she was hearing now.
"He’ll know." And the phone went dead.
Scully had no idea how long she stood with the receiver to her ear listening to the dial tone. She jumped violently when the recording came on and finally placed the phone back in the cradle.
She wanted to leave, she wanted to get out of the office but she couldn’t make her legs move. She found herself sinking into the chair closest to her.
It wasn’t true. Mulder hadn’t gotten some woman pregnant. He hadn’t. He didn’t have time.
Well that was stupid; she had no idea what the man did most nights. Okay it felt like they spent all of their time together but it wasn’t true. They spent almost no personal time together. He could have a woman in his life. She didn’t really believe that he only looked at videos, did she?
She needed to . . . she needed to give him the message. She tried to rise and found she wasn’t able to. When did her hands start shaking?
Get a grip Dana. There was no reason to believe this was true. Okay the woman had called their private number, had called him Fox, had called when normally he would be here and she wouldn’t. But that didn’t mean anything really. It was ludicrous to believe an anonymous phone call like that.
This wasn’t what had him so distracted for the last couple of days, was it? Had he known that his child was due and had no longer been able to hide from it? Oh god!
No! She wasn’t being fair to Mulder. He didn’t know about this conversation. She was condemning him without a trial. She had no right to condemn him in any case. They had no commitment to each other, not like that. They didn't! She was shaking all over now.
Was it true? Didn’t they have a commitment? Until five minutes ago hadn’t she thought that they did? Had that much changed? Why did she feel like she was in the middle of an earthquake that just wouldn’t quit? Because she did believe it. She did believe the voice of the woman.
Oh god, it felt like her world was ending. Why hadn’t she kept walking when the damn phone rang? Then she could continue living in ignorant bliss. The future she’d imagined for herself someday was gone.
Even if she and Mulder had . . . she’d never be able to give him a child. She’d decided somewhere in her fantasies that that wouldn’t bother him. But now if he did have a son –
Damn it Dana, pull yourself together. You’re not some teenage girl who just found out the quarterback was boinking the other cheerleader. Call the man and give him his message. That’s where her responsibility ended. Isn’t it?
She finally made it to her feet. Be professional. Your partner just received what could be, probably was, wonderful news. He might want to be with this woman and . . . and their son. She was keeping him from that. She should call him right now.
But Scully found she had turned away from the desk and was out of the office. She couldn’t give him this kind of information over the phone. And no she didn’t need to see his face when she told him. She didn’t!
She had never taken this long to drive to his apartment. In fact she’d made it in half this time on more than one occasion. Oh great, a parking space right in front. That never happened. She pulled into the space and put the car into park. After a moment she turned off the car but still she didn’t exit.
Why was this so damn hard? He was her partner not her . . . and they were friends. Maybe he needed someone to talk to about this. She could still do that for him. This was probably a good way to get a grip on reality, which she was realizing she desperately needed.
She took a steadying breath and opened the door. Before she could think anymore she forced herself out of the car. She walked resolutely to the building and let herself in. She started to press the button for the elevator but decided to take the stairs. The wait for the elevator might weaken her resolve again and she needed to work off the energy anyway.
She was breathing heavily by the time she reached the fourth floor. She was in better shape than this. Oh please, don’t start shaking again. She could not let him know what this had done, was doing, to her. She didn’t hesitate, knocking firmly on his door.
There was no answer. His car was here; she’d seen it. No way was she going to use her key. If he didn’t want to come to the door that was his business. Maybe the woman had already reached him and this trip was unnecessary. But she couldn’t leave until she knew for sure. She knocked again.
"Yeah, yeah just a minute." Had she woken him? It sounded like it. She watched the knob turn and tried to relax her shoulders. It wasn’t working.
"Scully?" He looked like she’d woken him, but it wasn’t even seven o’clock. "Is something wrong?"
She was still standing in the door, not entering. "Scully?" He reached for her so she moved quickly to forestall that, finally coming into the apartment. He was watching her closely, she looked traumatized but she was trying to hide it.
He moved closer to her, his own headache forgotten. Before he could ask again she spoke rapidly as though to get it out before she ran out of breath.
"You got a phone call after you left."
"Yeah." What was she talking about?
"A woman." She was watching him but there was no reaction. Had he not been expecting the call?
"Scully what’s wrong? I got a phone call, what about?" He reached for her arm but she stepped back away from him. Okay, now he was getting worried, what the hell was going on?
"The baby’s been born. It’s a boy." She spoke with no emotion, woodenly.
There was no reaction, none whatsoever. Neither of them spoke for a long moment, then "Scully? What are you talking about? What baby?"
"Don’t . . . " she had to swallow, "Yours. The mother called to tell you, but she got me and asked me to give you the message."
"Mine?" He sounded amused and outraged at the same time. "Scully, no one has had my baby. I can guarantee it."
She didn’t speak and he realized that she actually was traumatized. "Scully, I swear, I haven’t had a son, I haven’t had any children by anyone. You’ve got to believe me." He moved toward her and again she stepped back putting her hand up as though to ward him off. "Scully?"
"She said it was yours, she said to tell you Fox’s son was born."
"Who? Who said it? Did she give you a name?"
"Why, Scully why do you believe this?" She could see the anguish and fear growing in his eyes.
"What’s been wrong with you the past few days?"
Was she changing the subject? "I don’t . . . "
"You’ve been distant, distracted lately. Why?"
"You think I’ve been worrying about . . . Scully I’ve been coming down with something. I haven’t felt well."
"Why didn’t you say something?" She was beginning to tremble again.
"Because I knew you’d feel obligated to look after me."
"And that’s a problem?" How could she sound so calm when she was falling apart?
"No, but I feel like I’m using you. You spend so much time patching me up I feel guilty." Her eyes narrowed, how could he look so sincere? "Scully, if this woman calls back we can prove it, I can prove it. A paternity test, whatever it takes. No son of mine was born. You’ve got to believe me."
He reached out then and took hold of her shoulders. She tried to jerk away but he pulled her to him. She started struggling then, hitting and kicking him, trying to break free. "Scully please." He couldn’t let go, he had to get her to listen to him.
She suddenly collapsed against him, just giving in completely. He almost lost his grip on her, then she was sobbing against his chest, clutching at him. He was finally able to breathe again folding her against him.
When the sobbing had died down to hiccuping breaths he eased his grip slightly. "Let’s sit down." He moved her toward the couch and sat her in the corner. "Stay right there." He ducked into the kitchen and came back with a glass of water for her. "Here. Are you okay?"
"Yes, I’m fine, I . . . I’m sorry." She was mortified too, how could she have fallen apart like that in front of him? She didn’t want to look at him so she glanced down at his coffee table. There was a glass of orange juice and aspirin sitting there. "What’s that?"
"I was running a fever. Don’t worry about it."
"You really were feeling sick?"
"Yes Scully. I didn’t mean to act differently, I just didn’t feel well." She reached up and felt of his forehead. He was still a little warm. She leaned back closing her eyes.
"Scully talk to me. Tell me what this woman said."
She didn’t realize she shuddered but he saw it. He reached down and removed her shoes, pulling her feet up to his lap. "What are you doing?"
"I’m rubbing your feet. I want you to lean back and think about the call. Forget the words, could you hear anything else? Any background noises?"
She had her eyes closed like he said. She shook her head, "Nothing. It was quiet. I tried to get to the recorder but she hung up too quick. Why would she call? Why would she say something like that if it weren’t true?"
"I don’t know, but it is not true." She opened her eyes, he certainly sounded sincere and oh god she wanted to believe. "Scully, look at me. There’s no other woman, there hasn’t been, not nine months ago, not ever."
She swallowed, not able to respond. She needed to admit why this had shaken her so badly but she just couldn’t, not even to herself. "I need to go home."
"No. I don’t want you driving, not like this. Just stay here, relax. Please."
"I don’t . . . I should go home."
"You still don’t believe me. You think some woman had a baby by me. Scully what can I do? How can I prove to you that it’s not true?"
"There’s no reason for you to. You don’t owe me – "
"Yes, I do Scully. God, this can’t be happening." He ran his hand through his hair. "Tell me what you want me to do. I can go to the office, check the phone records."
"She called on your private line, not through the switchboard."
He closed his eyes; his headache was back with a vengeance. How had his life unraveled so quickly? How could she think that he would do this, could do this? Why would she believe an anonymous call?
"Scully," he didn’t open his eyes, "What’s going on here? Talk to me."
"What do you – "
She gave a trembling sigh; she’d obviously hurt him badly. "If it were true, then you have something I can’t ever have, that I can’t ever give . . ."
"Oh Scully." He gathered her into his arms and they sat there holding each other. He couldn’t remember a time he’d seen her more shaken. Or that she’d let him get this close to her pain. Tomorrow, they’d figure this out tomorrow, for now he needed to be here for her. And he would be.
He woke slowly. He was on his couch, which was fairly normal, but this warm armful of Scully was certainly different. Then memory flooded him, she’d gotten that stupid phone call and it had nearly destroyed her, destroyed them.
If he’d had any doubt where he fit in her life before, he didn’t any more. She was absolutely everything to him and he had to find out who had done this to her, to them. She’d cried herself to sleep in his arms.
He hadn’t allowed himself know how deeply she wanted a child. He should have, the evidence was there. Hell, she’d been ready to give up her career, change her life, with no notice whatsoever when she’d found Emily. It had scared him to death at the time, that she’d walk away from him just like that. That something else could be as important, more important than him, had shaken him to the core. And it had come out of the blue; there had been no warning of her passion in that area. Then, when Emily died she had dropped it and never really talked about it again. He should have made her come clean with him, but he’d been avoiding it.
Children had never been a top priority for him. In fact he’d been glad that the Mulder line would end with him, at least somewhere in the back of his mind. Maybe if he’d had the family life Scully had he’d feel differently.
They had never talked about this; the closest they’d come would have been on the Peacock case in Home, Pennsylvania. And you couldn’t really call that a conversation.
She stirred, burrowing into his chest and he held his breath, hoping she wouldn’t wake and pull away from him. She relaxed again and slipped deeper into sleep.
At least he knew that the conversation, the information given to her was false. It was easy to keep up with where your sperm went when you were celibate. There had been no woman; he hadn’t lied to her about that. He’d not been with a woman since that mistake he’d made when they’d taken her from him. His only excuse there was his total despair at the thought of never seeing her again.
He had to find out what was going on. She’d said the woman used the name Fox. While his name wasn’t exactly a secret, it certainly wasn’t well known and definitely not common. Was someone posing as him to pick up women? Oh yeah, that would be a plus for any man – to pretend to be Spooky Mulder. But if some guy just picked up a woman in a bar and wanted to pick a glamorous profession, he might say he was an FBI agent. A lot of people didn’t realize exactly how unglamorous the job usually was. But why pick his name?
Or was it a practical joke gone way too far? He didn’t really think so; even his most sadistic acquaintances wouldn’t want to hurt Scully this badly. But did anyone know she would be the one hurt? No one knew about Emily, neither of them had talked about her and the fact that Scully couldn’t have children wasn’t exactly well known either. And in either case, no one knew what their relationship was – that this would hurt her like it had.
If this did turn out to be someone’s idea of a joke he was going to turn them inside out.
Was she going to be okay when she did wake? She might be embarrassed but he hoped not. If anything he was glad she’d finally let some of this grief out. It wasn’t healthy to keep it all to herself, not that he was exactly the poster boy for emotional health.Blood Ties 2
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.