Reunion (6/?) PG-13)


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Scully -

 

"I'm going into town with Frohike," Lucy said to Scully, smiling at Emma who was never far from the younger woman.

 

"There's something left?" Scully smiled up at her.

 

"Maybe a few things.  We shouldn't be long.  Don't be traipsing around outside gathering wood."

 

"Lucy, I can - "

 

"Yes you can, but not alone and not with just Emma.  You had another dizzy spell this morning."

 

Scully looked down abashed.

 

"You were going to tell me, remember?"

 

"It wasn't that bad."

 

"Probably not and it's better than nausea, but you should take it easy.  In your second trimester we'll send you out bear hunting."

 

Scully chuckled at that.

 

Lucy headed for the door after winking at Emma.  Frohike met her at the door and they each grabbed a cart to return to the store.

 

Once there she waved him to go on back to the survival store he loved and she returned to the grocery store.  She headed for the school supplies section which they had left almost completely alone earlier.

 

Before she reached it she heard the footsteps, then "Stop!"

 

She obeyed immediately, raising her hands slightly to show she wasn't a danger.  Very slowly she turned toward the sound.  A young man, almost still a boy, stood there.  He had a mop handle in his hand, holding it like a weapon.

 

"My name is Lucy.  I haven't seen you here before."

 

He looked confused at that.

 

"I'm not going to hurt you.  I bet you're hungry.  Are you alone?"  He stiffened then.  "I only ask because if you have someone with you, they're probably hungry too."

 

"There's no food here."

 

"No, not really.  My friends and I took it back to our place."

 

"There are more of you?" he looked wary now.

 

"Yes, a few.  We've been hoping more people would show up, because we need more people, a community, you know?"

 

"Jeremy?"  Another voice, a girl this time, came from the next aisle.  He glanced that way, then immediately back at Lucy and she saw his hands tighten on the mop handle, his conflict.

 

"Is your friend okay?"  He didn't respond and Lucy took a small step toward him.  "You don't have to be worried about me.  I wandered in here a couple of weeks ago and they took me in.  This is a nice place and we're not going to hurt you."

 

"Her name's Cassie," he sounded defiant.  "She had a wreck and hurt her leg.  We came in here to find something to eat and some first aid."

 

"May I see her?"  She stayed back, not wanted to rush this boy or frighten him.

 

"Cassie?"

 

"We need help, Jeremy," the young, scared voice responded.

 

He seemed to wilt slightly, but stepped back.  He didn't release the broom but Lucy ignored it and rounded the corner into the next aisle.  A young teenage girl was sitting on the floor.  Her jeans were torn and bloody. 

 

Lucy grimaced.  "That looks painful."

 

Cassie looked up at her but didn't speak.

 

"We need to get you back to the house." 

 

Before she could say anything else, Frohike came into view, his gun trained on Jeremy.  The boy's eyes widened and his look of betrayal caused Lucy to glare at Frohike. 

 

"Melvin, put that away.  Our new friends here need help."  Frohike just stared at her for long moment.  "Did you hear me?"  Her voice carried all the authority of a head librarian and he lowered the gun.

 

"Now, help be figure out a way to get her back to the house.  She obviously can't walk that far."

 

Jeremy looked back and forth between the two, confused.

 

"Well, uh, there are some of those carts that hold a couple of kids.  It wouldn't be comfortable, but we could move her that way."

 

Lucy nodded.  "That could work, if you two could push her."

 

"Go get the cart," Frohike said to Jeremy.

 

"What?"

 

"The cart, the one with the green toddler seats and bring it back here."

 

"You can't order me - "

 

"Please go get the cart with the green toddler seats, then help me get your friend into it.  Okay?" Frohike barked at him.

 

The boy blinked at him, then headed toward the front of the store.

 

He was back quickly with the cart.  Frohike handed the gun to Lucy.  "I don't want that."

 

"I don't care," Frohike responded immediately.  "It's standard procedure.  We don't know these people, we have to take precautions."

 

Lucy rolled her eyes, but carefully accepted the gun.  Frohike motioned Jeremy over to him and together they lifted Cassie into the right-hand seat.  Frohike gently turned her so that her damaged leg was supported and her feet were in the left-hand seat.

 

"Where are you taking her, us?"

 

"We live not far from here," Lucy explained.  "Do you mind if I put a few things in the cart?"

 

"Sure, go ahead," Frohike motioned for her to hurry.

 

She returned shortly with a bag of children's books, toys, crayons.  Frohike spotted a jump rope.  "What the hell?"

 

"We just got some new people in and one of them was a three year old girl.  She's lost her mother, her home and everything she loved except her father."

 

Frohike looked abashed but kept quiet until she started off again.  "Wait, what - "

 

"Just a minute."  Lucy returned quickly with the largest package of newborn size diapers and a bag stuffed with of all kinds of baby paraphernalia.  At the look on Frohike's face she dropped the things in the cart.  "I know she may not need these things."

 

"She talked to you."

 

Lucy nodded. 

 

"With him gone, if she loses it, it'll kill her."

 

Jeremy and Cassie looked totally confused at that.

 

"So we look after her to the best of our abilities.  She needs to see these things so she'll know we believe everything will be all right."

 

Frohike finally nodded.  "Let's get going.  Jeremy, you're going to help me push the cart.  Lucy, you're going to walk behind us and keep hold of that gun.  We won't need it, it's just a precaution, remember?"

 

"Get a move on guys.  I know you're hungry."

 

Lucy moved ahead of them when they reached the lodge.  "Chuck? John?" she called and they both came running as well as Langly.  Scully was right behind them.  "Picked up two more strays.  The girl, Cassie, is injured.  We need help getting her inside."

 

They all exchanged glances then the men moved outside to help. 

 

Lucy stopped Scully as she headed for the door.  "Where did you put all of that first aid stuff?"

 

"Oh, in the empty room, I'll - "

 

"I'll get it.  I think she'll need stitches.  Can you do that?"

 

Scully grimaced.  "Yes, I've had too much practice with that."

 

The men entered then, Chuck had Cassie in his arms, Jeremy, looking overwhelmed and angry followed.  The other men were behind him.

 

Scully approached Jeremy first and felt Byers, Frohike and Langly stiffen.  "Hi, I'm Dana Scully.  I'm so glad to see more people.  What happened to your friend?"

 

Taken aback at her welcome, Jeremy hesitated.

 

"Jeremy, we need help.  Please," Cassie spoke from the wooden chair where Chuck had settled her.

 

"We, uh, she hit a rock and . . . "

 

Scully nodded and turned to the girl, "Hi.  May I look at it?"

 

"Are you a doctor?"

 

"Yes," Scully said simply and looked up as Lucy returned with the supplies in her arms.  "We need a medical kit, something easier to transport."

 

"Good, another project," Lucy grinned at her and handed her a pair of scissors.

 

"I hate to finish ruining your jeans, but they're pretty much beyond repair already.  This won't hurt as much as trying to take them off, okay?"

 

"Yeah, sure," Cassie watched the little red headed woman bend over her.

 

"Why don't we put her on the table?  It'll be easier for you to reach her," Byers said quickly.  Scully shot him a look but didn't protest when they moved her higher.  It was going to be a long pregnancy with this many nursemaids riding her.

 

Once Cassie's leg was stitched and bandaged, Frohike handed the girl a cup of soup.  Jeremy had taken a seat at the table near Cassie's head and talk softly to her during the procedure.  He accepted a cup after she began eating

.                                                                                                                                  

 

~~~~~~~~~~

Mulder -

Mulder heard the movement and motioned for Skinner to cover him.   Skinner nodded silently and took up a position beside and slightly behind him.  Suddenly a little boy ran out of the room across the hall from them and directly to Mulder.  “Harry, no!”  A woman darted after him.  “Don’t hurt him, don’t hurt us.”  She grabbed the boy as he reached for Mulder.

 

Mulder’s gun was in the air.  “Who else is with you?” he demanded, shaken by the sudden appearance of the child and the fact that he had actually aimed his weapon at him.

 

“No one, no one for ages,” he heard the tears in her voice.

 

“Okay, okay, we’re not going to hurt you.  We’re traveling home and stopped here for the night.”

 

“W-we?”

 

“Yes, we have two other companions.  We’re not going to hurt you.  I’m Mulder, the bald guy behind me is Skinner.  We have Hal and Patti with us as well.  Are they in danger?”

 

“Uh, no, not from me.  I’m Carolyn, Harry and I have been alone since, since everyone disappeared.”

 

“When was that?”

 

“A, a long time.  Since before winter.”

 

“It’s just been the two of you, all this time?”

 

She nodded, tears in her eyes.  “If you’re going to kill us - “

 

“We’re not.  You need to believe us; we don’t want to hurt you.  We just stopped to get supplies.  We’re on our way to Washington, DC.  Would, uh, would you join us for dinner?”

 

She blinked at that still trying to hold Harry back.  The boy seemed very anxious to see these new people.

 

Hesitantly she followed the men, who made no effort to get too close, toward Liberty Road.  They turned right and she spotted the horses and wagon in front of the feed store over a block down.  She slowed down even further then and Mulder looked back.

 

“Hal and Patti are feeding the horses.  No one’s going to bother you.”

 

She nodded slightly and continued to follow them down the street at what she considered a safe distance.  She seemed to relax a little when she saw Patti. 

 

Introductions were made.  Harry was wild about the horses, so Patti allowed him to ride to the shelter they had chosen for them that night.  Finding a supply of grain was a real bonus and Hal was lobbying to stay for a couple of days.

 

Mulder kept quiet with difficulty.  Of course he wanted to move on, they hadn’t made nearly the progress he had hoped, but then he was used to the life of traveling 70+ mph down a highway.  A supersonic jet wouldn't get him home as fast as he wanted.  They couldn’t push the horses and of course the wagon slowed them down, but kept them alive with the supplies it carried.  They all needed a rest, not just the horses.  Maybe a couple of days . . . Scully, I am coming.

 

Carolyn pointed out a house near the feed store that had been turned into apartments. 

 

Once they were settled, they all met in the living room of the apartment Mulder and Skinner had chosen.

 

“So we’re agreed we need to stay here a couple of days, let the horses rest.”

 

“Yeah,” Mulder spoke first.  “I don’t want to, but it makes sense.”

 

“What about Carolyn and Harry?” Patti asked that.

 

“We’ll invite them to join us.  We won’t force her, but I’d think a single woman with a child needs help.  It’s extraordinary that she was able to keep them both alive all winter.”

 

“Do you believe she’s really alone here?” Hal asked.

 

“Can’t be sure, but she wasn’t faking that she was grateful to see us.  Scared at first, but still pleased to see anyone.  There may have been someone else at the beginning, but I think she’s been alone for awhile.”

 

Skinner nodded.  Mulder was the profiler, whether or not he claimed the title anymore.  He’d go with what the man noticed.  “In any case, lock and barricade your doors tonight.  It never hurts to be careful.”

 

*****

 

Carolyn and Harry came over the next morning and had breakfast with them.  “Did you sleep okay?”


”Fine.  This is a nice place.”

 

She nodded.  “I used to work here, help out when Mrs. Brooks was down in her back.  My place is just a block over.  It’s smaller, easier to heat.”

 

“How have you managed that this winter?”

 

“Not well,” she admitted.  “I had some wood put up, but of course not enough.  I used the neighbors’ supplies.  That got farther and farther away.  I wore out Harry’s wagon in just a few weeks.  The wheelbarrow worked better, but it took a lot of trips.  I guess I didn’t believe that no one was going to come back.”

 

“What did you see when it . . .?”

 

She shook her head.  “Nothing.  For the longest time I tried to believe it was all a dream, well, nightmare.  Harry and I were in the basement getting some green beans for a church dinner and waiting for Steve, my boyfriend.  There was a shaking,” she shuddered at the memory.  “I thought it was an earthquake, though I’ve never felt one before.  We hid under the stairs until it stopped.  When we came up . . . we didn’t realize everyone was gone.  Harry and I live alone since my husband left.  Then I realized the power was off.  I tried to call around, but the phones were out too.  I headed next door, but no one was home.  That wasn’t that unusual, but then I saw some cars just abandoned in the middle of the road.”  She took a ragged breath then and just watched her son now sitting next to Hal.  “That’s when I got scared.  I guess I’ve been scared ever since.”

 

“Not scared enough to give up.  You kept you and your son alive all by yourself.  That’s an incredible feat and you should be proud of it,” Mulder said gently.  Carolyn blushed and wouldn't meet his eyes but seemed pleased at his praise.

 

Skinner nodded to himself.  He’d seen Mulder work before.  It was why his interrogations with women went so well.

 

“We’ll be leaving in a couple of days,” Mulder continued.  “We have to get to Washington.  We’re not forcing you, but you need to know you and Harry would be welcome to come with us.”

 

“L-leave?”

 

Mulder nodded.  “I know this is your home, but you need to think about what another winter here would mean.”

 

“Where did they all go?  Was it, was it the rapture?”

 

Mulder blinked, “Uh, no.”

 

“So what was it?”

 

Mulder looked over at Skinner, who shrugged.  “Alien colonization.”

 

Carolyn stared at him for a long moment in complete silence.  “I think I’ll stick with the rapture.”

 

Mulder chuckled.  “Okay, no problem.  In either case, you can’t count on them coming back soon.”

 

“It might happen.”

 

“It might,” he agreed.  “And then you can come home.”

 

Her eyes filled with tears, but she nodded.  If they were going to leave, she had to go.  She and Harry couldn’t make it alone any more.  “What would I pack?”

 

“Clothes.  We’ve got the rest,” Mulder assured her.

 

“I don’t know how to ride a horse.”

 

“You can share the wagon with Hal.  Harry can ride with you or one of us to keep him busy.”

 

“Ride a horse!” Harry joined in the conversation then and broke the tension as the others chuckled.

 

Carolyn and Patti went off to her home to gather clothes for her and Harry along with ‘essential’ items, like the stuffed Ninja Turtle that Harry could not sleep without.

 

“It will be okay,” Patti tried to assure Carolyn as they headed toward her house.  She saw Carolyn check back again.  “And don’t worry about Harry.  They’ll keep an eye on him.”

 

Carolyn looked back one more time.  The boy hadn’t been away from her while he was awake for months, but he'd so desperately wanted to stay with his new friends.  “You’ve been with them a long time?”

 

“Almost since the beginning.  Mulder and Skinner found me about a week after . . . well, after.  We’d been traveling a couple of weeks when we ran into Hal.  He invited us to stay for the winter at his ranch; he taught us about the horses.”

 

“Hal owned a ranch?”

 

“No, he wasn’t the owner, but he’d been there a long time.”

 

“You trust them?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Three men and you’re, what - “

 

“I’m 17, not legal, but it’s not like that.”  Carolyn just looked at her.  “Mulder’s woman is in Washington, Skinner is a widower and Hal is a life-long bachelor.”

 

“Mulder’s married?”

 

“Uh, yeah,” Patti suddenly didn’t like the expression on Carolyn’s face.   “She’s the reason we’re all heading that way.  He can’t wait to see her.”

 

“He thinks she’s still . . . here?”

 

“He’s sure of it.” Patti watched her absorb that and felt a sense of unease, then moved on.  “Come on, we need to get your stuff together.”

 

Carolyn nodded and let Patti in her house.  They started in Harry's room, but instead of pulling out clothes, Carolyn turned to Patti.  "Why do you call Mulder and Skinner by their last names?"

 

"Oh, because they do.  Walter is Skinner's first name, Mulder's is Fox."

 

"Fox?" Carolyn stopped and over at her.  "For real?"

 

"Uh, yeah."

 

"Well it fits," Carolyn said so low Patti almost didn't hear it.  Patti turned away and opened a drawer but she realized she was annoyed at the comment.  Mulder was Scully's.  Yeah, she'd realized how good looking a man he was but he was taken.  She took a deep breath and began pulling underwear from the drawer.

 

"Do you have any bags we could put Harry's clothes in?"

 

"I have a couple of suitcases," Carolyn offered.

 

"We need to use the lightest possible transport.  Garbage bags would be better."

 

"Okay, I'll go look."

 

Patti continued to unload drawers on the boy's bed looking for the least worn and largest looking clothes.  They'd have to look for more things for him along the way; these had been hard worn and looked like they might already be too small.

 

Carolyn returned finally after Patti had emptied the dresser and gone through the things.  Patti found her annoyance growing but she kept quiet.  She didn't know this woman, maybe she was just coping like Mulder was.

 

Patti packed the best of the clothes while Carolyn headed to her bedroom.  Patti put the Ninja Turtle on top, then picked up a couple of other obviously well loved toys and stuffed them down in the bag.

 

Carolyn's room took longer; she had more clothes.  Patti left her to it while Patti went through the living room, taking family pictures down and removing them from the frames.

 

 

They left at first light.  Harry rode in front of Patti for now.  Carolyn was beside Hal in the wagon and obviously nervous.  Patti was annoyed again, the woman had kept her son and herself alive all winter, now she had trouble getting up onto the wagon seat.  Mulder had given her a hand, much to Patti's disgust.  Now Patti could hear Hal talking to her, introducing her to the horses, making her familiar with the wagon.

 

They stopped for lunch and to stretch their legs.  Harry was ecstatic, telling his mom about his ride.  Carolyn listened with a smile on her face and shared her quiet amusement with Mulder.

 

*****

 

 

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