Reunion (7/?) PG-13

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Scully -


The next morning dawned frosty.  Scully was looking out the front window when Lucy joined her.  Scully turned to look up at her.  "It's already so cold in the mornings."


"I know.  This should be burned off by late morning.  I think Frohike and I need to go back to town, and take Jeremy with us."


"Jeremy?  Are you sure?"


"He needs to know he's needed.  We kind of took over the care of Cassie yesterday, right out from under him.  He'd been looking after her and I know he was resentful as well as grateful.  He's young and strong.  If he brings back two carts . . .  And Chuck got the log splitter in the barn working, so the others can work out there."


"Good point.  And you're right about keeping Cassie and himself safe until we found them.  Did you get their story?"


"No, they were too tired and hungry last night.  I'll see if I can get him talking today."


"I fell asleep last night," Scully looked abashed, "where did everyone sleep?"


"Chuck and Emma moved upstairs because of Cassie's leg.  Cassie and Jeremy took the room closest to the kitchen.  We're full up on the first floor now."


"I hope we fill up the upstairs soon.  We're an awfully small group of survivors."


Lucy's face grew somber then.  "There's not enough of us.  Putting in a crop that would feed us all . . . No, I'm not going to think like that.  In less than a week your little group has more than doubled in size.  We'll see what happens."


Scully smiled, "I saw the things you brought back for Emma last night.  I'm glad you thought about that.  If there are any notebooks there, I could use one.  Without a printer, I need to keep paper medical records of the people here, even if I do use one of Frohike's laptops."


"That's a good idea.  You know, we ought to make a history as well.  Have everyone write up their biography.  You know, where they were born, parents, siblings.  Mine might be thicker than some of the others that live here, but it doesn't have to be in chronologic order, just stories."


"That's a wonderful idea.  Memories will bring up other memories; give us a link to our past.  I could go with you."


"Yes, you could, but Emma would want to go.  That would slow us down and Cassie has got to be fairly traumatized.  I'm better with boys, since I raised two."


Scully's eyebrow raised but the excuse was plausible.  "Okay, this time, but - "


"I know, you're not helpless or sick," Lucy grinned.  "Neither was I but why not take advantage?  There's more than enough work for everyone."


"What are you looking for today?"


"There a small bookstore and coffee shop.  I want to raid it and I know Frohike's not finished with his favorite store.  There's also a diner.  They should have the big cans of beans, ketchup, maybe vegetables too.  With a larger crowd we could use them."


"Then I hope we need them and soon."


The three of them headed for town as soon as they had eaten.  The day was warming up nicely, at least when they were in the sun.  Frohike left them at the intersection to return to the survival store.  He was intent on cleaning it out entirely.  Lucy led Jeremy to the bookstore.


At her instructions, Jeremy began loading his cart with one copy each of the classics.  She moved to the coffee shop and loaded those supplies into her cart.  At least the tea would last for awhile.


Lucy joined Jeremy once she had cleared out that area.  Her cart was nearly full but she began filling in the empty spaces with books.  "Yesterday was a little wild, Jeremy.  I didn't even ask where you and Cassie were from."


"Uh, Woburn, north of Boston."


"Boston?" she sounded stunned.  "You came that far?"


He shrugged.


"Well, I'm very glad you made it.  Did you see what happened?"


He shook his head.


"Where were you?"


"Uh, school," he looked up and realized she was going to continue asking, so he sighed.  "We had cut class.  We were down in the boiler room.  There's a couch . . . "


"You two were together before?"


"Cassie and I have been together for a long time."


"That's good for her."




"You knew each other, you could depend on each other when this terrible thing happened.  You were able to get here because of that.  It's obvious you took good care of her."  She saw his flush of pleasure this time, she thought.  "Go on, what happened?"


"Well, you can hear the bell in the boiler room, but she realized that we must have missed it.  Neither of us had a watch, but we . . . we - "


"Got dressed?"


The boy blushed, but she just motioned for him to go on.  "Yeah - "




"So what did you see?" Scully asked as Cassie blushed. 


"We hurried upstairs.  There was no one in the halls, so we knew we were really late.  We separated at the corner and I hurried on to my class.  I glanced in the window of the door and the room was empty.  I looked next door and it was empty too.  Then Jeremy came racing back around the corner.


"I knew he'd seen the same thing.  I asked if it could be a fire alarm or a bomb threat, and of course he didn't know, so we looked outside.  There was no one in the parking lot, or the football field.  Jeremy couldn't get the car to start, so we started walking.  He took me home and we didn't see anyone.  Our cell phones wouldn't even give us static.  It was really creepy."


Scully nodded.


"By the time we got to my house we were starving.  The power was off and the stuff in the refrigerator was going to go bad anyway, so we ate up everything in the refrigerator that didn't have to be cooked.  After we waited a while Jeremy told me to go pack some things and we'd go over to his house and see if anyone was there.  I packed some clothes and we headed over.  It's not that far.  There was still no one, but we were really freaked and I didn't want to be outside any more.


"We spent the night at his place.  He kept me safe, in his arms, in his bed.  The next morning nothing had changed.  He convinced me we had to check and I couldn't let him go alone, so he packed some clothes too and we took some bikes from his neighbor.  He was a serious biker and had all kinds of equipment.  I guess we stole it but . . .  Anyway, we started riding."


"How far have you come?"


"We were north of Boston."


Scully blinked at that.  "Boston?"


Cassie nodded.


"Why here?"


"I don't know that we planned to come here.  I mean, I've never heard of this place.  We were just headed south."


They were quiet for moment, then Cassie asked Scully, "What about you?  Are you pregnant?"


Scully froze.  "What?"


"Well, Emily keeps talking about the new baby - "


"Emma, her name is Emma."


"Sorry.  She's not yours, is she?"


"No, she's Chuck's daughter.  They arrived just a couple of days before you did."


"Is the father here?"


After a long minute Scully shook her head.  "No, Mulder's not . . . "


"Mulder.  Did he vanish?"


"No.  No, he was on a case - "


"A case?  He's a policeman?"


"FBI agent.  He's my, my partner."


"Partner?  You're an FBI agent?  I thought you were a doctor?"


"I'm both."


"Oh.  I guess that explains why you're the leader here."


"The leader?  I'm not - "


"Yeah, everyone looks at you when there's a decision to be made."


"I can't . . . there's so much I don't know."


"Well, doesn't that make you a good leader?  I mean most of the bad leaders I know think they know everything."


Scully chuckled, surprised.  "Well, I don't know about that, but I think we're really going to need each other to get through this.  We have enough food to last probably more than a year, if we don't mind a little boredom, but first we have to get through this winter.  We need to concentrate on warmth and shelter."


"What do we need to do?"


"Get in enough wood to keep the stove going.  We're lucky to have that kind of stove.  A fireplace would suck the heat out the chimney.  This way we can cook and heat at the same time.  We'll have to leave the bedroom doors open during the day, so heat can get into them.  At night we'll have to warm the sheets with, with bricks wrapped in flannel."




Scully nodded.  "My grandmother did that, I remember when I was a little girl she did that when I visited.  I slept in an upstairs bedroom and it was cold, but the bed was always warm."


"Cool," Cassie grinned.




Scully with Emma and Cassie's help had a pot of homemade soup ready when people began returning for dinner.  The men came from the barn, stamping their boots and rubbing their hands. 


Emma stopped them at the back door to remove their boots, then led them to the stove where hot water was ready for them to wash up.  "You're looking after me so good," Chuck said picking up the little girl and giving her a hug.  "What did you do all day?"


"We cooked and we put things away and we did lessons and - "




Emma nodded quickly.  "Cassie was teaching me to read.  And sometime you only have to look at the picture and you know what it says, like green beans."


Chuck smiled broadly at Cassie who was listening by the kitchen door.  "Thank you."


"It was fun.  She's really smart.  She already knows her alphabet.  We had a good time."


Emma, who had moved to the window, got their attention.  "They're coming.  Lucy and 'Hickey and Jeremy.  And it's snowing!"


"What?" Scully hurried out of the kitchen at those words.  "It can't be."  But as she joined the others she saw it was true.


Chuck and Langly were already hurrying to put their boots back on.  Byers hadn't finished removing his, so he was already headed down the driveway.  They took the cart from Lucy and the one that Jeremy was pulling leaving him only the one to push.  Langly took Frohike's second cart and they hurried inside.  Scully was ladling up hot soup as they took seats in front of the stove.  Cassie grabbed the afghans off of the couches around the room and laid them over their shoulders then took a seat beside Jeremy, sharing her body heat as well.


"Get the carts under cover if you can.  We covered them with the tablecloths from the diner, but it's paper and books," Lucy looked up from her cup of soup.


"We'll bring them inside, you warm up," Chuck said, heading for the loading dock at the back of the kitchen.


After the flurry of activity had died down and everyone was seated near the stove, Scully asked, "When did it start snowing?  I didn't notice it when you came in from the barn."


"It wasn't snowing then, not here anyway.  The wind had picked up, but nothing was falling."


"About half way here," Frohike stretched his hands toward the stove.  We'd put the tablecloths on because of the wind and we thought we might be able to use them for other things since they were vinyl.  It was a good call, Lucy."


She smiled tiredly.  "I'm just glad we went today.  We might be stuck inside for awhile, and now we've got something to keep us occupied."


"What did you find?"


"Books, lots of books.  And I didn't get only classics," she grinned at Jeremy.  "There's lots of things to read and we found puzzles and games as well.  It's gonna be okay."


The next morning showed that they had at least a five inch accumulation, but the men headed back outside to continue splitting the wood and stacking it in the barn to dry.


It didn't stop there and Scully worried about the effects of cabin fever on a group of virtual strangers.  The one time she had ventured out she realized that Chuck was on one side of her, Jeremy on the other and Byers and Frohike right behind.  Her snarl hadn't fazed them, so shaking her head she had returned to the house and reconciled herself to being overprotected. 


Now that she was showing, Langly frankly avoided her as much as possible.  She had seen the look of panic on his face when he had realized that it wasn't an abundance of clothes that made her look heavy.  Byers was obviously nervous as well, but Frohike seemed more excited as he watched her grow.  Chuck had been through it with Emma's birth and Jeremy was more or less ignoring the whole thing.


Lucy monitored her well, learning how to take blood pressure measurements and recording weight gain.  Mainly though she forced Scully into talking about the pregnancy.  "I need to know who you want to coach you through labor," Lucy tossed over her shoulder at Scully as she poured the hot water into the sink to wash dishes.


"Uh, I thought you would," Scully stopped and looked up, her hand unconsciously caressing the baby bump.


"I assumed I'd be delivering.  We're going to someone at 'both ends'," she said dryly.


Scully grinned then.  "I suppose that's true.  Well, Chuck has some experience with Emma's birth."


"Yes, but are you comfortable with him?  You haven't known him very long and this is a really intimate time."


Scully took a breath, no longer a deep one, that was impossible now, "You think Byers?"


"Actually I was thinking Frohike."


"Frohike?" Scully sat up straighter.  "I . . . why?"


"Well, he's the only one with experience delivering a baby."


"Frohike has delivered a baby?" Scully's tone said it all.


Lucy nodded calmly.  "Yes, when he was Viet Nam.  I don't think it was his idea, more of a wrong place at the wrong time thing, but . . ."


"He, he's never said anything."


"I don't think he talks about Viet Nam very much."


"But he did with you?"


With a slight smile, Lucy nodded.  "We remember it rather than reading about it.  That makes a difference sometimes."


"I'm, I have to think about it."


"Okay, but you don't have that much longer."




Mulder -


They fell into a routine, checking out the small towns they came to, avoiding larger towns and cities.  On occasion, now that they had the wagon, they had to stop and move cars out of the way.  They found no one else, though they did find evidence of others traveling ahead of them on a couple of occasions.  No one seemed to be heading west, which struck Mulder as strange, but he made no comment.  They took advantage of sleeping in abandoned houses whenever possible.


Patti noticed Carolyn’s increased interest in Mulder as they traveled and found herself feeling more and more territorial.  Mulder had treated her like an adult from the beginning; he’d talked to her about Scully.  Okay, she hadn’t met Scully, but Mulder was Scully’s and this woman was just trying to latch onto the alpha male.


All three men seemed oblivious to what was happening, which didn’t really surprise Patti.  Hadn’t her father married some bimbo to ‘save’ her? 


They had stopped early in yet another small town and Mulder held his tongue.  They hadn’t made the time he wanted today.  Hell, they never did, but the need to get home seemed to be growing lately.  His nightmares were increasing and he was again sleeping apart from the others so they could get at least some rest at night.


Carolyn brought his dinner over when he came in from the garage after wiping down the horses.


“You work too hard.  Someone should have helped you,” Carolyn said, taking a seat beside him.


“I don’t mind.  It gives me time to think.”


“You think too much.  You need to relax occasionally.”


He gave her a quick grin.  “Wish I could.”


“We’ll get there.”


He nodded, “But I want to be there now.  Have you eaten?”


“Uh, no.”


“Go get some for yourself,” he smiled and took a seat at the table.  She took that as an invitation and returned to sit across from him.  “Where’s Harry?”


“With Hal.  He’s his new best friend.  They talk about horses and being a cowboy,” she glanced back toward the living room of the house they were using that night.


“I guess that would be a kid’s dream,” Mulder agreed, taking a spoonful of the stew, some sort of fish this time, probably tuna.


“Do you have any children?”


“Me? No, no I don’t think anyone would want kids with me.” He gave her a rueful grin.


“This Scully doesn’t want children with you?”


He blinked and then forced himself not to snap at her, “It’s time to turn in.  Morning will come early.”  He rose, taking his plate and reached for hers.  He turned away and she missed the pain her comment had made on his face.




Mulder woke to the feel of a small feminine hand on his chest.  “Scully?”


“If you want to call me that, it’s okay,” the woman whispered to him.


He jerked back startled.  “Carolyn? What are you . . . “


“I was lonely; I know you must be too.”


“No, uh, Carolyn, no.  I, I’m . . . flattered, but no.”


“No one needs to know, Mulder.  We could just give each other - “


“No.  Thank you, but no.  I, I’m taken.  You know that.”


“It's okay, Mulder.  You haven’t seen her in months.  You won’t see her for months if she’s even - “ she stopped as Mulder’s eyes hardened and she began to realize what a big mistake she had made.


“I, I’m sorry.  I thought - “


“You were wrong.  Look, no one knows about this.  Let’s keep it that way.”


She nodded and hastily moved away from him.  “I, I - “ she shook her head then and all but scampered from the room.  There was no one to see Patti close her eyes the rest of the way and smile silently when Carolyn returned to their room.


Mulder rolled over and eventually drifted into a restless sleep.


Carolyn was quiet the next morning, but no one seemed to notice except Patti.  When the men were loading the wagon and they were alone, Patti took the opportunity to speak to Carolyn.  “I told you he was married.”


Carolyn’s face darkened and her eyes narrowed.  “You don’t - “


“Yeah, I do, but I’ll keep quiet.  You keep away from Mulder.  Don’t try that again.”  Patti moved away to help load the wagon and Carolyn just glared after her.





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