Mulder pulled up to the house and realized the car behind him was pulling into the driveway. Oh great, Bill. Damn he was having a wonderful day. He emerged from the car as Bill approached him.
"What the hell are you doing here?"
"Scully asked me to pick her up here. Your mother picked her up at work this afternoon to do something, so she hasnít got her car."
"I could have given her a ride."
"Iím sure you could have. Maybe she didnít know your schedule. Anyway Iím here and I donít mind."
"I just bet you donít." Bill sneered at him.
They both jumped violently at the sound of a gunshot from inside the house. Mulder had his gun out and was racing for the front door before Bill processed the sound. Bill was only a couple of steps behind him as they reached the door.
"Bill!" Mulder whispered frantically. "Stay back. Let me handle this."
"Go to hell Mulder. This is my home."
"At least stay behind me. Youíre not armed." Bill nodded at that. Mulder tested the knob. "Itís unlocked." He mouthed at Bill. "Stay behind me."
Mulder eased the door open and saw Scully bending over her mother who was lying on the floor. Standing over her, armed, was Steve. He needed to get closer, before Steve realized what was happening.
"Steve!" Bill blurted out and Mulderís heart sank as Steve grabbed Scully, yanking her to her feet, pressing the gun to her side.
"Everyone just stay calm." Mulder said, "Steve, put the gun down and let us call an ambulance for Mrs. Scully. Okay? Letís not make anything worse."
"Oh, easy for you to say Agent Mulder. Your careerís not in the toilet, your reputationís not destroyed."
I could argue with that point, Mulder thought, his eyes scanning the room for options.
"Hey Bill, you know what theyíve been doing? Contacting my old girlfriends, trying to get one of them to admit Iíd gotten a little rough. Hell!" He pressed the gun tighter into Scullyís flesh. Mulder took a deep breath, this could go bad fast.
"Steve, what. . . how could you shoot my mother?"
"I didnít shoot her. She was trying to keep me away from Dana. Your sister has a hell of a lot of protectors. I knocked her down, I didnít mean to hurt her."
"Let us call 911, just to make sure you didnít Steve. I know you wouldnít hurt her on purpose." Mulder had to get him to calm down.
"Shut up Mulder! You come bursting in again like Superman, only this time you didnít have to break down the door, did you? Not nearly as dramatic. And no opportunity to beat me to a pulp again, huh?" His agitation was growing. This was getting more and more ugly.
Mulder held his gun out to the side. "Look, your beef is with me. Let Scully and Bill get their mother out of here. Then we can talk, get this straightened out. What do you say?"
"I say go to hell!" He pivoted, pulling the gun away from Scully and firing at Mulder. The impact of the bullet turned him toward Bill and he went down, his gun skidding across the floor.
"Mulder!" Scully started to take a step toward him, but Steve tightened his grip, the gun again pressing into her.
"Steve, what are you doing?" Bill stared at his friend in horror.
"Can you believe all this, Bill? All this shit over a piece of ass? I mean, I know sheís your sister, but you were okay with it. You knew it was no big deal, thatís why you got me out, right?"
"You did try to rape Dana." Bill finally had to accept it, it had happened, just like Dana and Mulder had told him.
"Not rape. She changed her mind too late. You going to tell me thatís never happened to you? That you havenít forced the issue once or twice?"
"No. And Iíve never struck a woman, even when she said no. Let her go Steve."
"You turning on me too, Bill? I thought you believed me. You did get me out."
Scully tore her eyes from Mulder. "Heís not turning on you, Steve. Heís worried about Mom. Let me check on her, please."
"Shut up! Thereís too much talk, too many people here. This isnít the way I planned it." Suddenly he shoved Scully away from him, sending her to the floor. "You think Iím some sort of pervert now. Youíve taken his side!" He raised the gun at Bill and fired.
"No!" Scully screamed. Bill threw himself to the floor and grabbed Mulderís gun from where he had watched it land. He rolled and fired at Steve. Steve crashed back against the wall and slumped to the floor.
"Bill! Are you okay?" Scully was already bending over Mulder, checking his pulse.
"Iím fine, Mom?"
"Sheís got a concussion Iím sure, but sheís breathing regularly. Iíve been watching her. Call 911, Mulderís losing blood."
Bill didnít question her but had the phone in his hand. "Theyíre on the way Dana. What can I do?"
"Get me towels, Iíve got to slow down this bleeding. Mulder, hang on. Youíll be okay. You have to be. Iím right here, can you hear me?" Bill was back with the towels and handed them to her. Her face, she was in love with him. And she was scared. This man that he hated above all others, that he had used to free Steve, had risked his life for him and his mother as well as Dana. Damn.
"Dana, I can hear the sirens. Theyíll be okay, wonít they?"
"I donít know. Mulder, please, hold on. Please!"
Bill had to look away. He scrambled to his feet as he heard the vehicles pull up in front of the house. "A gunshot wound, heís in bad shape. A head trauma and probably a dead body. I havenít had time to check." Scully spoke clinically but didnít look up from Mulder.
"Okay, get back. We need vitals on this guy and get some fluids in him. We need to transport asap. The woman?"
"Sheís stable, but needs to be examined. Iíll call for a second unit."
The paramedics had taken over and Scully stepped back reaching for the couch to steady herself. Bill put his arm around her and she leaned heavily against him.
When they had him ready to transport she pulled away from Bill and headed for the door. "Maíam, thereís not room."
"Sheís going with you." Bill spoke, "Go on, Dana. Iíll stay with Mom and handle the police. Donít worry."
She nodded unable to speak. The paramedic in charge kept quiet, he wasnít going up against this man.
Bill looked through the window of the hospital room door. Dana was beside him as heíd expected, holding his hand and talking softly. He tapped on the door and opened it.
"Bill? Is anything wrong?" Scully looked up and started to remove her hand from Mulderís but his grip tightened.
"No. Momís being released and sheís getting dressed. I wanted to speak to Mulder for a minute."
"Oh." She looked over at Mulder and he nodded. "Iíll go see if she needs anything." She let herself out the door, glancing back once as though afraid to leave them together.
Bill approached the bed and cleared his throat. "I guess you know youíre not my favorite person in the world."
"Iíd managed to figure that out."
"But Iíd never seen you work before. You put your life in danger for Dana and Mom, and hell, for me. Shit, you know weíre going to have to replace the carpet in Momís living room because of you."
"Sorry about that. It is my job."
"It didnít look like you were just doing your job. You cared, about the two of them anyway. I appreciate that." Mulder was silent, not sure where this was going.
"I felt like I needed to say that, if you really are going to be part of the family."
Mulder looked up startled and Bill caught it. "You are planning to marry her arenít you?"
"We, uh, Iíve never, uh. . . "
"Youíre sleeping with my sister and itís never crossed your mind to marry her!"
"Itís, itís crossed my mind, but. . . but I donít know about. . . I donít know how Scully feels."
"Well donít you think thatís something you ought to find out?" Bill had his hands on his hips, looming over him.
"And there are some rules, Mulder. There will be no discussing little green aliens around the Thanksgiving table. Understand?"
"Yeah." Mulder had caught the hint of a smile in his eyes this time. Bill was accepting him? Bill approved of his relationship with Scully? Well, as close as he could get. Not something he had ever thought heíd live to see. Would Scully even believe him when he told her about this? Yeah, she would. She was his partner.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.