He was using every resource he had to track down things. The guys were cooperating wholeheartedly. He’d been amazed at Frohike’s skill at calming his daughter when she cried. Maybe it was because he was closest to her size. Hell, you could never tell what would appeal to women.
He was ready to stir the pot now. See what fell where. He picked up the phone.
"Anderson? It’s Mulder. Will you let me talk to her?"
"I just need to know she’s okay. Has she had the baby?"
"What are you talking about! She left with you!"
"She left me and went back - are you saying she’s not there? What the hell have you done with her, Anderson? If you’ve done anything to her. . . " He left the threat hanging. He could already feel Sam’s psychosis growing long-distance.
"Me!" His voice broke on that one word, and he slammed the phone down. Mulder nodded at Byers and they waited for the activity. It didn’t take long.
The first couple of numbers he dialed went unanswered. Frohike began the research on the connections. The third number answered. The connection was perfect, he looked over at Langley who grinned. They’d done a good job of setting up the taps; no one had suspected anything.
Soon they had quite a database and some names to go with it. The most disturbing to Mulder was the call to Kersh at the FBI. And why he hadn’t been called in and questioned.
He’d made a point of being at work and accessible. He had tried to call Sam one other time, but he’d been hung up on immediately. The guys continued to investigate. The largest surprise came when his door opened and Mrs. Scully was escorted in by none other than AD Kersh.
"Fox, why didn’t you call me? Dana’s missing and Sam says he doesn’t know where she is!"
"Mrs. Scully." He was on his feet, he hadn’t foreseen this. Of course Kersh would bring her. He had to pull this off.
"Sam said she left with you."
Mulder took her hand; "She did Mrs. Scully. When I got there I went to her house. Sam came home while I was there. He threw me out, so I left. But I didn’t feel right about. . . You should have told me she was pregnant. I would have been furious to have a man from her past show up myself. Anyway I doubled back and was going to spy through the window." He looked over at Kersh, "Okay, I’m guilty, but it was while I was watching that I saw him strike her."
He’d been watching Kersh. The man hadn’t known this. He had enough humanity left to be appalled.
"His second blow caused her to go down. I lost it then, and broke through the front door. I got her out of there. I couldn’t see that I had a choice. She wouldn’t go to the police, so I got her to calm down and I begged her to let me bring her home to you. I thought I’d convinced her and went to get her some things. I left her lying down. When I got back she was gone. She’d left me a note saying she had to go back to Sam. Okay, I lost it – I was furious that she would go back to him after what I’d seen. How could she love a man like that? Anyway I left. I should have called you, but what was I supposed to say to you?
"If she’d wanted you to know she was married to a man who beats her . . . " Kersh winced again. "Anyway I calmed down and called to check on her. That’s when Sam told me she wasn’t there. I didn’t believe him, I thought it was just to keep me from talking to her. But if you say she’s gone. . . "
"She’s really gone Fox. I’m frightened, she’s so close to her due date."
Damn! He needed to comfort her. Would she ever forgive him for causing her this grief? Someday he’d explain – he’d make her understand he’d had to do it to protect her daughter and his own. All he needed now was for Bill to show up. That SOB had been so thrilled when she’d married someone else.
"I’ll go back today. I’ll find her Mrs. Scully."
"Wait a minute, Mulder." Kersh spoke for the first time. "I don’t think that’s a good idea. You’re not objective. And this isn’t a kidnapping. The police should handle it. You’d be in the way."
Before Mulder could speak Mrs. Scully turned on Kersh; "He’s always found her before. No one knows Dana like Fox does. He’ll find her. He’ll make sure she’s safe."
"Why don’t you want me to go?" Mulder was watching Kersh closely now.
"I’ve told you, you’re too close to the victim."
"Why do you assume she’s a victim now? Do you think her husband’s done something to her?" That planted a seed. The people Sam was working for didn’t trust him either. But they hadn’t known how far gone he was. "I have to go. It’s not just Scully, there’s a child involved. A child that could be born at any time. I need to do this."
"I’ll send some people. People that are experts in this."
"I want Fox to go. He’s the only one I trust."
Mulder closed his eyes at that. Mrs. Scully felt that way? He’d caused her to lose one daughter. For all she knew it was happening again, but she trusted him. He stepped to her and put his arms around her.
"You’ve got to believe me Mrs. Scully. I’m not going to let anything happen to her, her or the baby. I want you to go home and try to relax. Wait for her call. I’m sure when she feels safe she’ll call you."
"She can’t deliver the baby alone Fox."
"Scully will do what she has to. She’ll find the help she needs. She’s free of Sam, that has to be a plus."
"If she were okay she would never have run from you. I know that."
He held her tighter; he couldn’t offer her any reassurances he hadn’t already given. Especially not with Kersh standing there. "You said you trusted me, go home Mrs. Scully, let us work."
She nodded tearfully. "You’ll call me."
"You know I will." She turned then and left the room, avoiding AD Kersh’s hand. Mulder sank into his chair. "Shit."
He headed out of the building and several blocks away caught a cab to Scully’s location.
Once the guys had ascertained that he was alone and unfollowed, Scully came out of the bedroom, holstering her gun. He stopped to look at her. It had to be his imagination, but she looked as slim as though she’d never been pregnant. He was pretty sure his hands could span her waist, though he didn’t dare try. Her breasts were larger, that was obvious.
Scully cleared her throat. Oh god, she’d caught him staring at. . . He looked up blushing to see her own matching blush. He gave her a bashful grin and a shrug.
She took a breath, further distracting him. "Do you want to see Katy?"
"Yeah." He looked to see how much of this the guys had observed; they were all working hard at not watching them. He sighed and followed her into the back room.
"She’s asleep, but if you want to hold her. . . "
"No, don’t disturb her. Maybe she’ll wake up while I’m here."
Scully glanced at her watch. "I can pretty much guarantee it." He grinned. "Now, tell me what’s wrong."
"Not wrong exactly, just a complication. Your mother came to see me this morning. She’s frantic about you."
"The worst part is that Kersh brought her to my office."
"He’s dirty, Scully." She nodded. "I did learn something. I had to mention the abuse. I’m sorry your mother had to find out but you should have seen Kersh’s face. Sam was overstepping his bounds. They didn’t know he was hitting you. Whatever he says now is suspect. I planted the seed that he’d done something with you. Since he hasn’t left Chicago, the search should concentrate there. I just wish I could have talked to your mother, reassured her."
"You couldn’t Mulder. You couldn’t. We’ll explain it to her someday. She’ll understand, she’ll be grateful. She’ll be especially grateful when she knows Sam is gone and you’re responsible."
"Scully, I want him totally gone. I want you to file for divorce when this is over."
"I can get an annulment."
"Annul. . . you never?"
"That was never part of the deal. I made certain of that. It’s why he started hitting me. After we knew I was pregnant, what was left of him snapped. I think you’re right, I think they would have killed me. He would have killed me, which means you’ve saved my life once again."
He stood there holding her until their daughter demanded her attention.
He hung up the phone. He should feel something, some sorrow, regret, but no. The only feeling he had was one of relief. He needed to talk to Scully; she needed to know this. That slowed his response.
He forced himself to his feet and patted his pockets searching for his keys. No, he better take a cab for this one. You could never tell.
Langley opened the door to him and checked for tails. It looked good, Mulder had never bothered to be so careful in his life.
"I need to talk to her, then I’ll bring you guys up to date." Langley nodded, something must have happened. He watched Mulder head back toward Scully’s room, then went to round up Byers and Frohike.
She was changing Katy when he entered. She looked up and smiled, when he didn’t respond her own smile faded. She gathered Katy up into her arms as though to protect her. When Mulder reached for her, she surrendered her to him and he took both of them into his arms.
"What?" Her voice wasn’t quite steady.
"Let’s sit." He sat beside her on the bed, holding Katy close to his chest.
"Scully, Sam’s dead."
"Dead?" It was as though he’d spoken in a foreign language.
"They made it look like suicide, but. . . "
"Are you okay?"
"What? Yeah, yeah, I just can’t. . . Are you sure it’s him and he’s really dead?"
"Well the body was really dead, and the ID was positive. I’ve got someone going over to recheck again, but it was him. I’m just not sure about the suicide part."
Scully shook her head, "Sam wouldn’t kill himself. If you told me he had murdered a dozen people from a tower I could believe that, no problem. But he’d never harm himself." He nodded, he’d already reached that conclusion himself.
"I’ve had some people put a bug in the coroner’s ear out there. The body may disappear before anything can be done, but suspicions have been raised about cause of death already. I’m sorry Scully."
"Don’t be, not on my account. He was a sick, evil man. Maybe I should be sorry he’s dead, but I’m not. Not yet anyway."
Mulder nodded and pulled her close to him. What kind of shit was going to hit the fan now?
"How did you find out?"
"I’ve had him under surveillance. In fact it was one of mine that called 911 when he wasn’t seen for a couple of days. The police had to break in. The neighbors are saying he was despondent over you leaving him."
"Right. He had those same ‘neighbors’ watching me. I never did learn what story he told them, but if I stepped outside one of them was out there to check on what I was doing. I didn’t have a car, and of course he took me to my doctor’s appointments." She shuddered at that and he pulled her closer. He couldn’t forget the torture she’d endured at that man’s hands. And she’d taken it all with no response in order to keep his daughter safe. And him. She’d done it all for him. He could weep with frustration that he’d allowed it to go on for so long. Okay, he hadn’t known; why didn’t that make him feel any better. He should have known, he should have sensed how much she needed him.
"Mulder? You there?"
"What? Oh, yeah."
"Does this mean I can come out now?"
"No, not yet. I’m not going to take any chances."
"Mulder, she’s normal. She’s normal in every way the guys and I can test. I can’t and won’t expose her to the black cancer, but none of us can think of any other way to test her."
"I need to go talk to Kersh."
"What are you going to say to him?"
"I’m not sure yet. Let’s talk to the guys." They went out to the main room, Mulder not letting go of either of his women. He brought everyone up to date and they started printing. The information that had been accumulated was collated and a notebook was formed. It took a couple of hours, but finally Mulder was satisfied.
"If this doesn’t prove to them we’re serious, nothing
will. I want to be left alone to be with you and Katy, that’s all. Just leave us
alone and we’ll get along fine."
"What if they don’t agree?" Scully was watching Frohike walk with her daughter, not at all embarrassed to be making nonsense sounds and cooing to her. Mulder followed her eyes and had to turn away to keep his expression bland. He was never going to get used to that.
"They don’t have a choice. If they don’t agree, we’ll go public. That’s the last thing they want." He leaned down and kissed Scully, another thing he’d never get used to. "Wish me luck."
She was holding his hand, not yet willing to release him to go and do this. But he was right; otherwise they’d never be together. She and Katy couldn’t live here with the guys forever, she wanted her life with Mulder to start. Okay, they hadn’t made specific plans, but it was understood. He had asked her to divorce Sam, now that was a moot point. Would the plan work? Would they ever be able to just be together?
"Scully, you know we have to do this. It’s the only way. I won’t be able to contact you for a couple of days. I won’t risk it."
"How will we know?"
"You’ll know, Scully. Don’t worry about me, just keep Katy safe." He was caressing her cheek, their eyes speaking volumes.
The guys faded from the room as unobtrusively as possible. She swallowed, not trusting her voice. "Two days, Scully. I should have our answer in 48 hours. Okay?" He was afraid she was going to cry. "Don’t Scully. Try not to worry."
She looked down, resting her forehead against his chest.
"Scully, nothing is going to keep me from you and Katy. Nothing. I have to go now, so I can come back." His fingers brought her chin up and he kissed her. When he released her, he took up the notebook and left. There weren’t any more words.
He walked into Kersh’s office and bypassed his secretary heading for his door.
"Agent Mulder, wait! You need an appointment."
"Not this time. This is too important." He opened the door and closed it in her face. Kersh looked up at the disturbance.
"What the hell do you think you’re doing?"
"We need to talk."
"About your resignation?"
"Not this time." He laid the notebook on Kersh’s desk. "You might want to look through this."
"And why should I Agent Mulder? Why shouldn’t I call security and have your ass thrown out of here for good?"
"Because then, sir, you won’t know what’s in this book." Mulder seated himself in front of the desk to wait.
There was something about his confidence – what was in the damn book? Kersh’s eyes narrowed, but Mulder didn’t flinch. Okay, okay, he’d look at the damn book. He drew it to him and with one last glance at Mulder opened it.
After only a few seconds his mouth opened and his breathing became labored. Oh god! Mulder watched him turn ashen, but held his voice. The man flipped a few pages and read some more. Mulder wasn’t entirely sure his presence hadn’t been forgotten.
After an agonizing twenty minutes of frantic flipping of pages and scanning of words, Kersh looked up at him. "What is it you want?"
"To be left alone. I want safety for Scully and myself, and our daughter. Otherwise everything in that document will be public knowledge in a matter of minutes."
"It’s all there."
"So you’re saying with the touch of a button this could go out."
"No, I’m saying without the touch of a button it will. I have to stop it from being broadcast. Daily. It might be in your friends’ best interest to keep me alive and happy. And what makes me happy is knowing my family is safe."
"What assurances can I give you?"
"You? None." Mulder rose from his chair. He opened the book and flipped a couple of pages, then pointed. "I want my assurances to come from him."
In the back of his mind, Kersh wondered if he was having a heart attack. He had picked that name? It looked no different from any other in the list of names, nothing special about it at all, not at the top or bottom of the list, but the one name that could give him the assurances he wanted. Mulder knew everything, hell he knew more than Kersh did at this point.
"I need to make some phone calls."
"I assumed you would. I’ll be in my office. You have until 4:30 today to set up an appointment for tomorrow." He looked Kersh straight in the eye, "Don’t think I’m bluffing, not with these stakes."
Kersh managed to nod and watched as Mulder left the room, not bothering to take the book with him. He was better than the rest of them, Kersh had always thought everyone was exaggerating the Mulder threat. Turns out they hadn’t been scared enough of him. He picked up the phone with a trembling hand.
"Scully! It’s him, he’s here!" Scully came flying out of the bedroom as they opened the door and threw herself into his arms. She didn’t care who was watching as she kissed him thoroughly.
When they paused for breath, Mulder managed to speak. "Get your stuff together, Katy’s too. We have to go somewhere."
"Where?" A small note of fear had crept back into her voice.
"You got it? We have assurances?"
"Well, we aren’t guaranteed against lightening, and we should probably still drive defensively on New Year’s Eve, but yeah, I think we’re as safe as they can make us."
"Oh Mulder." He held her close for a moment.
"Come on, Scully. I have repair work to do on my relationship with your mother. And I want her to meet Katy." Scully’s smile lit up the world and she hurried to get what she needed together.
"You’re really taking our baby?" Frohike looked despondent despite the news.
"We can arrange visitation, Frohike."
"It won’t be the same." He sank into the chair. Mulder patted his shoulder, but was too excited to really worry about this.
They pulled up in her mother’s driveway. "Mulder, why don’t you just carry her in with the carrier?"
"Think your mother will be able to wait for me to get her unstrapped?"
"You’re right." Scully smiled at him, he was already one hell of a great father.
They approached the door, Mulder walking slightly behind Scully. She rang the bell and they heard Mrs. Scully hurrying to the door. She must have looked through the peephole, because the door was flung wide and Mrs. Scully grabbed Scully into her arms.
"You’re safe! I knew Mulder would find you. Are you okay? The baby?" Clouds appeared in her eyes.
Mulder stepped closer, "Grandma, I’d like you to meet my daughter, Katherine Ann."
"Your daughter? I . . ." She looked over at Scully who smiled and nodded. "I should have known, that was stupid of me. Give her here!" She all but snatched the baby from his arms and he gave Scully a smug grin. Scully was too happy to argue the point.
They followed Mrs. Scully into the living room, where Mulder sat slightly apart, watching the three women investigate each other. He let the conversation flow over him, just drinking in the presence of people so vital to his well being.
His ears perked up at Mrs. Scully’s question. "Are you planning to go back to work, Dana?"
"Yes, after a little while."
"What are you going to do with Katy?"
"Mom, have you ever heard me mention Melvin Frohike?"