The Gift 4/? (R)

FBI Headquarters
10:30 a.m.

The meeting in Skinner’s office was boring for Mulder, if Scully hadn’t been listening and feeding him questions to ask he would probably be asleep already. Not that he completely understood many of the questions or answers, but he enjoyed the look on Skinner’s face when he pronounced some medical term correctly.

{Mulder, there’s a car pulling up outside. Would your Mother come here?}

{Let me see it} She walked to the door to peek through the curtains as three armed men raced toward the house. {Scully!} One kicked the door in, breaking the glass. Not a word was spoken as they reached for her.

And she was gone from his mind.

"Scully!" He didn’t realize he’d spoken aloud, but he was on his feet and his chair had toppled over backwards.


"I have to go."

"Hold it!"

"This is an emergency." He was already half way out the door when Skinner grabbed his arm. He clenched his fist to strike Skinner, realized where he was and attempted to calm down. "I have to go, now."

Skinner turned to the people seated around the conference table. "This meeting is adjourned. I’ll have my secretary reschedule with you as soon as possible. Thank you for coming." The rest of the people in the meeting, obviously startled at the sudden turn of events began gathering their materials. Without releasing Mulder’s arm Skinner grabbed his jacket from his chair.

"Let’s go."


"You said it was an emergency, let’s go."

"You can’t. . ." He looked at Skinner’s face, "Come on!" They raced down the stairs, Mulder being unable to wait for the elevator. Skinner herded him to his private parking space and climbed in the driver’s side. Mulder hesitated for an instant, then joined him in the car.

"I can handle this, sir. There’s no need. . ."

"Looks like you’re going to need backup, whatever this is. Is Scully in trouble?"

Mulder looked at him, "Why. . . why do you ask?"

"You rarely make that kind of scene in my office, and you did call out her name."

"I did?"

"Where are we headed?" Mulder gave him directions and with blessedly little traffic to thwart them, they headed south. "Are you going to tell me what’s going on?"

"What do you mean?"

"Listen, I’ve seen you in all kinds of situations and facing all kinds of strange things, but until today, in that meeting, I have never seen you terrified. Since I’m headed toward the same thing, I’d like to know what we’re facing. I’d also like to know how you know Scully’s in trouble."

"It’s a. . . it’s a long story."

"It’s a long ride. Start talking; tell me why you’re so worried about her. She’s a trained agent, and hasn’t been gone long enough to forget anything."

"Things are different. She, uh. . ." He focused out the window. "Can’t you go any faster?"

"Why don’t you think she can handle herself?"

God, could he trust this man? They had been through a lot together, but this information. . . it was so hard for him to trust anyone anyway. Oh Scully, what should I do? There was no answer from that quarter; he was on his own. "When was the last time you had this car checked for bugs?"

"Yesterday. Why?"

He turned to Skinner and took a deep breath. "She’s pregnant, okay? She’s due in three weeks."

Skinner’s hands tightened around the steering wheel, Mulder watched the knuckles go white. "Are you telling me you got your partner pregnant?" He demanded in a dangerously quiet tone.

"It wasn’t like that." But Mulder could no longer meet Skinner’s eyes.

"I never thought you were the kind of man who needed to be reminded that there were consequences to every action."

"Can this wait? We’ve got to get to her. Now!"

After a few deep breaths, he asked, "How do you know there’s a problem?"

"We’re linked. I can’t explain it."

"Well you damn well better try, because I’m ready to. . ." He took another deep breath. "Talk."

So he did. He explained their theories and the lengths they had gone to keep everything secret. It took quite a while to go over everything and after a couple of questions early on, Skinner sat and listened in silence. When Mulder finished there was a long silence in the car.

Finally Skinner glanced over at him. "Do you expect me to believe any of this?"

"I don’t give a fuck what you believe. I saw those men reach for her and I felt her disappear from my mind. The child is real; I know both of them are in danger. You explain how I could ask those questions in your meeting, hell I don’t even know what I said, but she understood and asked follow ups."

"Yeah, I had noticed that several times lately. Guess I just hoped she was rubbing off on you. But Mulder, a half alien child, conceived while abducted."

"I’m personally more concerned with how anybody found her and what they know. She knew her life would be in danger, more from humans than from him as it turns out." If she had been taken again, what would he do? Could he even survive? Would he want to?

"Look, you’re right, my beliefs aren’t important at this time. When we get there we’ll get her out as quickly as we can."

"If she’s still alive." There was silence in the car after that. Skinner concentrated on driving.

Mulder tortured himself with scenes from their months together.

He saw her again sitting on the stone bench in the garden, facing the lake, leaning back on her arms, belly extended, eyes closed, enjoying the sun. He saw her face break into a smile when she realized he was watching her and her extending her arms to be assisted to her feet. It was all he could do to move when she smiled at him like that, and she was his. Finally after all those years, she really was his. And she loved him. She knew practically everything about him and still she loved him. He hadn’t been loved – really loved – since he was 12 years old. It was almost too much to take in.

He saw her leaning against him on the sofa, practicing her Lamaze breathing.

She was again on her knees in the garden, weeding or settling back on her heels to get a deeper breath or stretch.

His hands could almost feel the silkiness of her skin while he felt the baby doing gymnastics inside of her.

He remembered being startled at her tears following an old movie, and her grin, "I mist up at commercials now, Mulder, don’t worry about it."

He remembered her fear that her expanding waist-line would turn him off, and when he was finally able to reassure her, her confession that no one had ever told her how horny pregnancy could make someone.

Skinner finally broke the silence. "She can stay at my apartment for a few weeks, she shouldn’t be alone down here anyway. Has her pregnancy been normal? I mean, any problems?"

"No, the pregnancy has been text-book perfect. She’s glowed with health."

"No morning sickness?"

"Well actually, I had the morning sickness." Skinner rolled his eyes. "It’s true." Mulder responded, stung.

"Oh I believe you, Mulder. I might not believe anyone else with that line, but you, yes I believe." Well, he thought, that explains the vacation he put in for, now it made sense. "Look we’ll be there soon and you’ve got to be on top of your game. If they have taken her we’ve got to start an immediate search. I can’t back up someone who’s not there. Do you understand me?"

"You’re right. Damn it’s never taken this long to get there. I need to know what is going on!" He spotted the turn off and pointed it out to Skinner, who took it at full speed. Another twenty minutes put them at the road that led to the house. Skinner pulled over and looked at Mulder.

"You ready?" Mulder nodded and handed him the napkin where he had drawn the layout of the area and the house. "Do you want to go in from the lake?"

"No, not if we’re going for surprise. That screen door would wake the dead. . ." he closed his eyes as he realized what he had said. "She’s been after me to fix it, so it wouldn’t wake the baby." He shook himself. "The door they broke down, that’s the best way in, we just need to come at it from the woods instead of the road. We can get a lot closer without being seen."

"So we leave the car here. Come on." They drew their guns then, no doubt in their minds that terminal force would be used. Mulder led through the woods until the house was in sight.

"That’s the car, it’s still here. What are they. . .?"

"Then she’s probably still here too. Maybe it’s a plain hostage situation and she’s not necessarily the target."

"That’s not how it looked. You go to the east, that’s the kitchen windows, I’ll take the west, the bedroom." They split up and approached the house with full caution. There was no one in the bedroom, so Mulder moved around to the front of the house where the door hung open, staying below the windows. Hearing nothing he tried to see around the door, there was a burn mark on the carpet, but no movement. Skinner joined him after circling the house.

"It looks like there’s no one here. There may have been another vehicle."

"Could be, I didn’t see anything after they broke the door down. There’s no one in the bedroom, I can’t tell about upstairs. Did you notice the burn mark on the carpet? That wasn’t there before."

Skinner nodded and checked his gun one more time. "Ready?" Mulder nodded and went in high, Skinner half a step behind him and low. There was no one. Skinner started for the stairs when Mulder spotted her on the floor. "Scully." He was barely breathing. Her pulse, beneath his shaking fingers was firm and regular, and there were two more burn marks on the carpet beside her. He nodded at Skinner and both approached the stairs. A quick look assured them that they were alone in the house.

Mulder returned to her side, "Sweetheart, can you hear me? Please, Scully, wake up." She stirred and opened her eyes.

"I’ll look around outside." Skinner murmured and Mulder nodded.

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

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