Blood Ties - part 2 (R)
They made it to the office late, she had to go home and get ready for the day. He could tell she still wasnít completely steady but she was better than she had been last night.
He beat her there and had a tap set up for his phone. He needed to find out what was going on, hopefully whoever was playing this game would call back.
She had only been there a few minutes when the phone rang. He placed the call on the speaker automatically.
"Mulder." He nodded at Scully to signal the beginning of the trace.
"Did she not give you the message?"
"I had the baby Fox. I wanted you to know."
"Who is this? Why are you doing this?"
"Doing this? Was that ĎScullyí that I spoke to yesterday? Is that the woman youíre trying to forget?"
"Who the hell are you?" He was staring at Scullyís white face seeing the pain from last night return full-force.
"Oh nice, you all but rape me, call me by the wrong name, then pretend it never happened. At least now I know who ĎScullyí is. Youíre not getting rid of me that easy Fox. Heís your son and you will acknowledge him. Iím not just going away. You can count on it." And the connection was broken.
Scully sat frozen, staring at the phone. Oh god, it was true. She couldnít look at him.
He however, couldnít look away from her. "Itís not true, Scully. I never heard that womanís voice before. I swear to you I have not slept with that woman." Damn, he felt like a man who had betrayed his wife. Scully wasnít that, but shit, she might as well be. What was going on?
She didnít respond and he wasnít sure she had even heard him. He had no idea something like this would devastate her so, but who could have foreseen this anyway.
The phone rang again and his heart nearly came out of his chest. She also jumped violently. Great pair they were. "Agent Mulder? We got the trace. Itís a pay phone in St. Maryís Hospital. You want the number?"
"Uh, yeah." He copied it down. "Thanks." He hung up without waiting for a response. "Scully?"
"Yes." She still hadnít looked at him, couldnít look at him.
"Scully please. Youíve got to believe me." At her continued silence he felt something inside of him begin to leak away. He stood and reached for his jacket. "Iím going over to St. Maryís. Iíve got to get to the bottom of this."
She didnít offer to come, in fact she didnít seem to remember he was in the room. God, he did not want to do this alone, but it looked like he was going to have to. After a moment he moved toward the door and finally she stirred.
Though she didnít speak she did rise and begin to follow him. "Are you going with me?"
"Do you want me to?" She could not be that interested in his shoes.
"I would very much like you to come with me. I need your help."
She glanced up at that startled. Need her? Why? She couldnít give him what this other woman had. But this was her job, assisting Mulder in his investigations. She said nothing, just waiting for him to open the door.
He finally did and headed for the elevator, relief flooding him when she followed. As they exited the elevator his hand automatically came up to touch her back and she shied away from his touch. Heíd held her in his arms all night and now she wouldnít let him near enough to walk beside her? He could feel anger growing within him. She didnít have the right to condemn him like this, without a trial, without any evidence. Who did she think she was to treat him . . . she was Scully. His anger dissipating as he noticed the lines around her eyes. She was fighting for composure. He should give her space. Shouldnít he?
The ride over to the hospital was made in uncomfortable silence. Once parked he looked over at her. "You don't have to - "
"I don't think you should show your ID. Let's just go with mine."
"Okay." He'd agree to walk in on his hands if it would bring her back to him.
Scully asked for the records section and once there asked for the birth certificates filed in the last 48 hours. She introduced Mulder only as her partner.
Mary Katherine Gardner mother, Fox William Mulder, father. It jumped out at her as though written in neon. Mutely she handed the form to Mulder. He looked at it and shook his head, but she had turned away. He copied down the address and returned the form to the clerk. Scully was already heading for the door.
Once in the elevator he expected her to press "1", but he watched her depress the button marked "3". He followed her out onto the maternity ward. Once again she displayed her ID practically dismissing him.
"Do you have photos of the infants?"
"They, uh, they take portraits, but if the parents buy the package we don't keep any copies."
"Do you know if the, the Gardner woman bought the package?"
"Mary Katherine? I think she bought it, let me check." The nurse stepped into the room behind the desk. Scully wouldn't look at him and he could feel the despair growing inside of him.
Another nurse approached the desk. "Can I help you?"
"The other nurse - "
"You must be Mary Katherine's sister. You just missed her, she was released this morning."
"I beg your pardon?" Scully was clinging to her composure with both hands.
"Are you not related? You certainly look enough alike to be sisters."
She couldn't stop herself; she glanced over at Mulder whose shock was not hidden from his face. She turned abruptly and headed for the elevator.
The first nurse returned to the desk then. "She did buy the package, but I found the proof. He's a beautiful baby, lots of dark hair." She held it out.
"Uh, thanks." Mulder took the photo and chased after Scully, having to shove his arm in the door of the elevator to stop it and enter himself. "Scully?"
She didn't speak or look at him. She let herself into the car but wouldn't look over at him. He climbed in himself and laid the picture he still hadn't looked at face down on the console.
Her fingers twitched to pick it up but she forced them to stay in her lap. When they were parked at the Bureau she was out of the car before he took the car out of gear. "Scully!" He scrambled out but she was disappearing inside. He shook his head and headed for the office.
She wasn't there but that didn't surprise him. He had no idea what to do; this hurt was too deep. It had hit her at her rawest point. There had been no warning, no way to protect her from something like this. He sank into the chair, the defeat plain in every line of his body.
It was a couple of hours before he saw her again. He'd checked, her car was here, but she wasn't anywhere he looked. He finally returned to the office to wait it out.
When she did come in he was on his feet instantly. "Scully?"
"Mulder, I'll continue working with you on the X-Files until you find someone you'd like as a partner and I'll help train them, but then I'm going to ask for a transfer. I can't . . . "
"Scully don't do this."
"You left this in your car." She placed the proof of the infant on the desk in front of him. He looked down at the newborn with the dark hair and then back at her.
"He's not mine Scully. Look, you said you'd help me. We have her address - go with me. Once she sees me she'll know she has the wrong man. Please."
There was absolutely nothing she wanted to do less than this. Nothing on earth. He was coming around the desk. He was going to touch her. She tensed and he stopped. "Please."
Why did this man have so much power to hurt her? Why did she care? But she found herself nodding. The relief immobilized him for a moment. He took up the picture, he didn't want it around the office, and they returned to his car.
There was no answer at the apartment listed on the birth certificate so they returned downstairs to the manager's apartment. "The Gardner woman? She moved out, we don't allow kids in the apartments."
"When was this?"
"Well, she said her new apartment wouldn't be ready until the last minute, so she was here until she went to the hospital.'
"Did she leave a forwarding address?"
"No. She was going to call. She had some friends move her stuff. I'm sure she'll be in touch so she can get her deposit back."
"Would you please give us a call when you hear from her." The manager took the card Mulder held out to him.
"Oh." He glanced at Scully. "I thought you were family." Scully turned away. "I'll, uh, I'll give you a call."
Scully was already heading toward the car. He caught up with her and got in front of her so she had to stop or touch him to get around.
"Scully do they do any testing at the hospital when a baby's born? Blood testing? Anything that could prove to you that I am not that baby's father?"
"They don't do routine paternity testing."
"Isn't there anything?"
"They do the PKU, I doubt they saved the stem blood."
"Could we check it out?"
She sighed, "It won't help. You can't prove paternity, only disprove it."
"Then let's do that." She closed her eyes briefly then nodded and followed him to the car.
Back at St. Mary's she led the way to the lab and using her ID asked for the tests for the Mulder baby. The request stuck in her throat and she knew he was watching her. "We really don't have anything. He was healthy, full term. No tests were requested."
"What about standard tests?" The technician shrugged and went to check. Mulder opened his mouth to speak but she turned away. He swallowed his comment and scanned the ceiling. Damn, he felt like crying.
"Here you go. There's not much." Scully scanned the materials in front of her. He was right, there wasn't much.
"Can I borrow this?" At his hesitation she pulled out her badge again. "I'll sign for it." He shrugged again and pulled a receipt book from under the counter.
The information she obtained could not disprove his paternity and she kept her distance from him, not allowing the intimacy of even friendship between them. She had settled into her pain and wouldn't allow his comfort. He was the cause of her pain and the wall she erected was tall and thick.
She did her job, even going out of town, but she spent no time alone with him and walked away at the first word that wasn't related to the case. They were out of town and she checked the office machine from the precinct house.
"Yeah, this is a message for Agent Mulder. You asked us to keep an eye open for Mary Gardner. Listen, I'm sorry to have to inform you, but her body was recovered from a park in Alexandria. Please give me a call at - "
She'd gone cold at the name, but as the message sank into her brain the phone dropped from her numb hand. Mulder, who watched her constantly now, was on his feet. She was shaking all over by the time he reached her. He took hold of her arms and though she tried to pull away he wasn't going to allow it this time. He led her into an interrogation room and turned her to face him.
"Scully what's wrong?" He wouldn't let go of her. "Who was on the phone? Talk to me Scully." It looked like she was going into shock.
"I didn't . . . I didn't know you had the police looking for . . . looking for . . . for her."
"Who? Scully you better sit down." He seated her and squatted beside her. "What happened?"
"You had a message. The police in DC."
"Yeah?" His thumb was caressing the back of her hand. The first time he'd touched her in weeks. She didn't even seem to notice. At least she hadn't pulled away. "Scully, take a deep breath. Come on, try to relax."
"Who's dead? Oh god, Scully is your mother . . . "
She looked at him then, really looked at him. He was concerned for her; horrified that something had happened to her mother. The thoughts of this woman who claimed to have bore his child hadnít occurred to him. She felt the first chink in her armor.
"No, no Mom's fine." He closed his eyes and his grip on the chair tightened. She waited until he opened his eyes again. "Mary Katherine Gardner is dead." That brought a look of puzzlement to his face, but not sorrow, not horror. Her mother had gotten more reaction.
"Her body was found in a park in Alexandria. I donít have the details. They left a number."
"She was murdered?"
"Apparently. Iíd need to see the body."
"Scully I canít ask Ė " She just looked at him. "Youíd do this for me? Now?"
"We need to get to the bottom of this. And . . . and find the baby." He looked up startled. The child. It wasnít his, but someone needed to make sure it was okay.
Mulder pulled out his cell phone and made quick arrangements to get them back to DC. Though quiet, the trip back was less uncomfortable than any time together in weeks.
They headed straight to the morgue when they landed. Mulderís short conversation with the police hadnít gotten them much more information other than her location. The technician went to pull the body for them as they waited for the doctor on duty. He was with them quickly when he heard the FBI was on site.
"Sorry to keep you waiting. Youíre here about our murder victim from the park?"
"Youíve determined it was murder?"
"Oh yes. She was garroted. It was a toss up whether she suffocated or bled to death. It didnít take long. We havenít been able to pull any fingerprints from the body. Here she is." He turned and helped the technician lock the table down.
Mulder and Scully moved closer and the doctor pulled back the sheet, exposing her face. "Oh my god." Scully hand came up to cover her mouth. She looked over at Mulder, whose face had gone dead white. He turned and bolted from the room.
"Your partner always this squeamish?" She didnít bother to answer as she took off after him. The doctor looked over at the body again and his eyes widened. The corpse did look like the agent. What was going on?
"Mulder are you okay?" He had sunk into one of the molded plastic chairs, his face in his hands. "Mulder?"
"It was like seeing you lying there. Thatís why they chose her."
"This was a set-up Scully, to destroy us. And it worked. You donít believe me, part of you believes I fathered a child with that woman. You donít believe Iíve never seen her before. She looks Ė looked like you, but sheís not you. No one is."
He looked so defeated. She wanted to comfort him, tell him she did believe him, in him, but she was out of practice. Sheíd kept herself apart; sheíd struggled to do so. He made it to his feet and turned away from her.
The fact that sheíd succeeded in pushing him away was like an icicle in her heart. She felt something like terror engulf her. "Mulder!" He turned back at the fear he heard in her voice and barely stayed on his feet as she flung herself into his arms. "Donít go. Please donít go." His arms tightened around her, unable to speak.
After several minutes of just holding each other she drew back and though he hesitated, he allowed it. "We have to find out who killed her and where the baby is."
He nodded, "I canít go back in there."
"You donít have to. Why donít you see if the police have any witnesses? Iíll meet you there." He nodded and squeezed her hand, but still didnít step away. "Go on Mulder, so we can get back together quicker."
That brought the first glimmer of a smile sheíd seen in ages. He nodded and finally released her and turned to leave. She watched him until he entered the elevator then returned to the morgue.
Her cell phone range just as she was exiting the cab at the station. "Scully."
"Where are you?"
"Right outside. You find anything?"
"I hope so. You?"
"Hold on Iíll be right with you." There was a long pause.
"Good." But she heard the unsteadiness in his voice.
He was leaning over a desk when she got there. She slipped up behind him and she laid her hand on the desk beside his, then her fingers brushed his. She didnít look at him but he could see the smile on her face. His breathing felt easier than in weeks.
"A woman called in. She thinks she saw her at the park. Iíve got her address."
Once in the car she turned to him. "They worked to make her look like me Mulder. The hair was dyed, the makeup lightened her skin tone, it was the wrong shade for her. She was also wearing flats, which almost brought her down to my height. Maybe that was normal for her, but I doubt it. She wasnít tall enough to shy away from heels. If youíre right and they did choose her, it was probably for the eyes and face shape."
"It worked, whatever it was. Seeing her was . . . " His voice trailed off and she placed her hand lightly on his arm.
"Are you detectives?"
"No Miss Williams, weíre FBI." Mulder opened his ID. "Is there somewhere we could talk?"
"Itís Jennifer. Yes the conference room is empty. Let me get someone to cover my phone." They followed her to the room she indicated, stopping once to speak to the receptionist.
"You called the precinct about the woman found in the park."
"Yes sir. I recognized her picture form the TV. I eat lunch at that park on pretty days. This woman was there. You do know how much you resemble her?" She pointed to the picture Scully had laid on the table. Scully nodded. "She had a baby with her, a little one, and she was waiting for him."
"Yeah, good looking guy, tall, slim, dark hair."
"As tall as me?" Mulder rose from his seat.
"I donít think so, not quite."
"Do you remember anything else about him?"
"Well yeah." She laughed nervously, "He left one glove on the whole time. He took one off, but not the other. And you didnít need gloves at all that day. It thought it was strange and it made me think of Michael Jackson."
"Do you think you could identify this man?" Scully turned at the excitement in Mulderís voice.
"I think so. He was easy to look at."
"Iíll be right back." He left the room pulling his cell phone from his pocket. Scully continued questioning the woman to get a clear idea of the meeting. Jennifer had had the distinct impression that the woman was pleased and more than a little relieved to see the man. Sheíd seemed very proud of the child and anxious for him to see it. When heíd actually held the baby she had beamed.
Mulder opened the door then holding a fax. "Could this have been the man you saw?" He handed her the fax.
"Yes! Yes it is. His hair is longer now. I noticed the eyes. Theyíre beautiful, almost feminine. I remember wishing I had his eyelashes."
Mulder made no comment, retrieving the fax and handing it to Scully.
"He could use any name. Hell, he probably had ID made up with . . . " He stopped and glanced at the witness. "Youíve been a big help. Weíll, uh, weíll get back to you."
"Are you going to get this guy? Does he have the baby?"
Mulder nodded, "Yeah, weíre gonna get him. Thank you." He held her chair for her to rise. Scully didnít know what to say.
She waited until they were in the car. "Itís Krycekís baby?"
"Yeah, I think so. He would have found her, looked for someone just like her and then used her to get to us. Theyíve never wanted us to work together but nothing has worked like this did."
"What do you think heís done with the baby?"
He shook his head; "Thereís no way to know. Scully?"
She looked up at him and understood the question. "Can you forgive me?"
"For not trusting you, for believing this lie."
"Letís get out of here. I need a little privacy to accept your apology." He took her hand and squeezed it, then started the car. She wondered for a moment what penance she would be asked to pay, then smiled. Whatever it was, sheíd pay it.