"Its going to be okay, Scully. Nothingís going to happen to me when I have you to come home to, I promise. Donít worry." He nuzzled her neck while running his hand up and down her side, his thumb flicking her nipple at each pass.
She wouldnít be distracted. "Itís dangerous Mulder. This isnít your field. Let someone used to undercover work take it."
"They want me. Weíve been over this. I have to do it. There are too many lives at stake here."
He was right there, so she closed her mouth, until his tongue forced it open again. She couldnít help but be afraid. This was so new, they were so new. They had finally found each other and the thought of not being in his arms was too frightening to contemplate.
Five years, it had taken five years. But he had tracked her down in the Antarctic and saved her. She should have been dead many times over. She would have been if not for him. Heíd saved her, again. When sheíd been released from the hospital he had brought her home and for all intents and purposes, never left.
She had never known the kind of love and passion she had found in his arms. She had barely suspected that such feelings existed in the real world, this was the stuff of fantasy. Heíd taken her so far beyond the real world she wasnít sure she knew the way back.
He wanted her again; maybe as much as she wanted him. She felt his body cover hers and let the sensations flow through her. This Mulder, her Mulder, was different from the man sheíd worked beside all these years, but he was the same too. Just more. He was going into danger without her. That was what scared her the most. They belonged together, they were better together. Then all thoughts dissolved as they were together, one entity, joined, as they should have been forever. He would come back to her. He had to. Heíd promised.
Now she was hiding in the ladies room, taking this test. She couldnít do it at home; he was living there, where he belonged. She couldnít risk him finding any evidence of this. She was staring at the strip, her emotions colliding and careening off again in every direction. So she wasnít as barren as everyone had assumed.
Her first impulse was to throw herself into his arms and tell him in every way she could, how much she loved him. That wasnít a possibility. According to the timetable he would be leaving in three days. He couldnít afford any distractions from what he was going into, and this would be a major distraction.
No, she had to keep quiet about this. When he came back, and he would come back, there would be time to celebrate.
He knew that their lovemaking had become more even more frantic and put it down to the knowledge that they would be apart for a while. He wasnít going to complain when she reached for him in the night. Scully, Dana Scully, wanted him; he still had trouble believing it. He knew she was quieter, more pensive because she was afraid for him. He wished he could ease her mind, at least he was able to please her body. Nothing was going to keep him from her, he would be back. He would hold her in his arms for years to come. Besides she was right; this was not his field. Nothing that separated them could be right for him. After this, straight field work again, with her at his side. Where she belonged.
"Scully, donít cry."
"Iím not." He wasnít going to argue with her, he just kissed the tears from her cheeks. Committing their taste to memory along with all the other tastes of her, all the other sensations that were Scully. These memories would have to get him through the next few weeks, as they would her. He gazed into her eyes, wet with unshed tears, and fell even more deeply in love with her. How was it possible? He hadnít known this kind of love existed. Well, it never had, for him.
She reached for him as she woke. There werenít enough hours in the day to touch him like she wanted. The bed was empty, he was gone. He was gone. He hadnít said goodbye. No, he hadnít said the word goodbye. Thatís what last night had been. She had known he was building memories, she had been too. When would she see him again?
She dragged herself out of bed, but once on her feet collapsed back down and buried her face in her hands as she wept. In some part of her mind, she knew this was at least partially hormonal. The knowledge didnít help. She curled up and held his pillow against her until she had cried herself out. Work. If she was busy she could get through this. It was the only way.
Skinner had seen her in the halls. She had made a point of not coming to him for updates and he knew how hard that was for her. She didnít look good, like she was worrying herself sick. Things had changed between them after Mulder had found her this last time. He wasnít going to dwell on it. If it didnít interfere with their work, it wasnít his business. Yet. When he learned something, he would make a point of sharing the information with her. She would not be a security risk, not with her personal stake in the project.
"Agent Scully." He approached her. Her lips parted, automatically searching for information, then she drew back and remained silent. He gave her a reassuring smile and led her to his office.
"Are you doing all right?"
That was patently untrue, but he let it pass. "Without details, I can tell you things are proceeding as we had hoped. The confrontation that we are going to stage should be in the next couple of days. I would like to have you join me here for that."
"Yes sir." It was barely a whisper. This was the most dangerous part from what she had been able to glean from Mulder. She hated the secrecy even as she prayed for it. It would keep him safe. It had to.
Three days later she was summoned abruptly to Skinnerís office. She was grateful to find him alone waiting for her. She sank into the chair across from him at his desk, as her legs would no longer support her. He was not Mulderís supervisor for this; the information he had was a courtesy. The fact that he was willing to share this with her made her doubly grateful to him.
"I opted to have this here, because Iím not sure they would have allowed you in officially."
"Agent Scully, are you ill?"
"No sir. Just concerned." He nodded and they both turned their attention to the small box on his desk. The wired agent was receiving his final instructions. Scully felt she would unravel from the tension. She kept trying to relax her hands. They were going in, this was it.
She gave up on trying to relax, clinching her hands together in her lap. Unconsciously pressing them to her abdomen. She was having trouble following the conversation, when she heard Mulderís voice for the first time in nearly three weeks tears came to her eyes.
She was concentrating on the sound, not the words, when the shouting began. Then shots rang out. Lots of shots. She hadnít even felt herself rise, but she was standing over the desk, gripping it with white knuckles. She had forgotten how to breathe, concentrating completely on willing him to live.
Shouting again, the shooting had ceased. Mulderís voice, "Sound off! Whoís hurt? Iím okay, Schmidt?"
ĎYes!" Skinner hit the desk. "Heís okay. Heís sending you a message, Scully. Heís okay!"
He was alive; he was talking to her. She knew that, she knew why he had said those words. She looked up into Skinnerís face; his smile had taken over. Sheíd never seen him smile like that. She tried to return his smile as the world went dark.
She came to on his couch, a damp cloth on her forehead.
"Scully? Dana, can you hear me?"
She looked at him as he crouched beside her and nodded.
"Heís okay, Dana. Mulder was not hurt. You heard him."
She closed her eyes, to better remember the sound of his voice. No, she was going to be sick. Scully scrambled from the couch and dashed into Skinnerís in-suite. He had moved, startled, out of her way. Now he stood and looked at the door, suspicion growing in his mind. Remembering how she had seemed the last few weeks.
When she returned she sank onto the couch and accepted the glass of water he held out for her.
"Are you all right?"
"Yes, the tension. . . the . . . "
"Dana." He paused until she looked up at him. "Is there anything you need to tell me?"
"No, I. . . " But he would not break his gaze. She closed her eyes to escape him.
"Dana." He said again, and watched her sag before him. For the first time in his life he thought of her as tiny. "Talk to me."
Now he looked away. Heíd known, but the confirmation still rocked him.
"Itís Mulderís." That wasnít a question, just a statement of fact, but she nodded anyway. "Iím surprised he didnít refuse this assignment under the circumstances."
"He doesnít know." Her voice was so low he had to lean in to hear her.
"I found out three days before he left. I couldnít tell him then. I couldnít give him anything else to worry about. He had enough. . . " Her voice trailed off.
Skinner nodded. He wasnít sure it was the right decision, but he understood it. How would he have reacted being told that news and then being thrust into the danger Mulder was facing?
"When are you due?"
"Iím thirteen weeks, a long time to go." Skinner was automatically counting up their estimate of when Mulder might be back. After today that could be revised, he needed to be here. She obviously needed him.
"Should I call your doctor?" She did not look well.
"Iím not. . . Iím acting as my own physician."
"Is that wise?"
"I am a doctor."
"Iím not sure Iíd want the woman carrying my child to be seen by a pathologist."
She managed a smile, but couldnít sustain it. "I know you have work to do. Thank you for letting me be here." They both rose and he took her arm as she swayed.
"Have you eaten today?"
"I. . . I had breakfast. . . "
Without a word he settled her back on the couch and walked to his office door. "Angie, could you call down to the deli? Have them bring up two turkeys on whole wheat and two milks. Thank you."
"Thatís really not necessary, sir."
"Thereís not a lot I can do for Mulder out in the field, but I can keep an eye on you. And we both know if I let anything happen to either of you, heíd flay me alive." And, he thought to himself, he had promised Mulder heíd watch out for her. Somehow he doubted this was what Mulder had in mind.
"I like milk." He tried to look stern, but failed. "Does your mother. . . ?"
"No. Youíre the only one who knows about the baby."
He nodded. "Okay. Iíll do what I can to speed up this investigation."
Her eyes shone for an instant before she dropped her head.
Skinner didnít see her for a couple of days, and when he realized it, went looking for her. He found her in the new office, staring at the computer.
"Agent Scully." He spoke as he closed the door behind him.
"Sir?" She started to rise, her eyes hungry for information.
"I have no new information on Mulder. Iíve come to check on you."
Scully looked away to hide her disappointment. "Iím fine, sir."
"Unless Iím mistaken, under the circumstances, youíre supposed to be gaining weight, not losing it." He saw the small smile on her lips. "Have you seen an obstetrician yet?"
"I am fine."
"Are you eating?" She wouldnít meet his eyes. "Agent Scully," he was using his marine voice, she turned to him startled. "Until further notice we have a standing meeting, my office, every day at 11:30 a.m."
"Thatís not necessary, sir."
"That is an order, Agent Scully. I canít control what you eat at breakfast or dinner, but during office hours you report to me. You will be eating one healthy meal a day."
"Yes, Sir." She managed to control her impulse to salute, but the twinkle in his eye showed the twitch of her hand had not gone unnoticed.
"Iíll see you in one hour." He turned and left the office. Why had he done that? He shouldnít get involved. He was technically already in violation of the rules, just knowing two of his agents were intimately involved and, hell, one of his agents had gotten another of his agents pregnant. He shook his head; he was getting soft, in the head at least.
Their lunches became an important part of his day. At first they only discussed business, what investigations she was working on, old cases he was still curious about. Later it turned more personal, discussing family, the military life or lack thereof, and finally children Ė the care and feeding of.
If there was a buzz around the water cooler about them, no one dared talk too loud. It did tend to lead to curiosity about where Mulder had been restationed and why, but since there was no news, eventually everyone became used to seeing her in or near the Directorís office.
So did he, which is why Angieís note caught him off guard. "Why is Agent Scully canceling our meeting today?"
"She said she wasnít feeling well, and would be working at home. Iím sorry, thatís all the information I have."
"Fine. Well, since the meeting is off, Iím going to run some errands during that time. Iíll be back before my 2:30." He grabbed his jacket and left the building.
Very shortly he was outside her door. He knocked and at her response said, "Itís me Dana, Walter. Are you okay?"
She opened the door, wearing her robe. He was used to seeing the suits; he really hadnít realized how much she was showing already. It caused him to go silent for a moment.
"Walter, you didnít have to come over here to check on me. Iím fine."
"No, youíre not. If you were youíd be at work. Talk to me Dana. Did something happen?" She wouldnít meet his eyes. Something was wrong. His hand automatically went out to her and took her arm.
"It just got to me this morning, Walter. I just couldnít face going out. Iím sorry I worried you." But she was studying his shoes.
He led her to the couch and sat her down. "Talk to me Dana. Are you really okay? Do I need to call anyone?"
She finally met his eyes, and gave him a sad smile. "It moved last night. I felt the baby move. And Mulder still doesnít know there is a baby. Iím sorry, I. . . " But he had taken her into his embrace and let her cry.
He was a fool, getting this involved. This was quite possibly the stupidest thing he had ever done. This woman was not available and he was just letting himself get sucked in deeper and deeper. Hell, now that she was showing, heíd probably get called in and have explanations demanded of him. Thatís when he realized that some small part of him wished it were his.
This was getting out of hand. But he wasnít going to back away. He owed Mulder this, her too. At least that was the excuse he was going to keep feeding himself until it didnít work anymore.