When she regained consciousness, she refused her friends’ attempts to take her to see a doctor. When they tried to insist, she walked out on them.
She’d come awake knowing somehow that he’d been taken. Yes, she was ill, and now distraught, but it would pass. Right now she had one job, to find Mulder and
to hell with the FBI and their regulations. She’d played within the rules long enough.
She had slipped out of town before Skinner could return. His guilt overwhelmed him at that point. Finding her resignation in his email drove him out of the office for a f
She had simply gone underground. After all of her years working within the system, she had come to her senses. Aliens existed, they were here. They had taken her,
experimented on her, marked her and left her barren. Now they had taken Mulder, and all bets were off.
It didn’t take long to find people to work with. Mulder was well known in certain circles and she was welcomed with open arms. Her real work began.
Skinner had headed for her apartment first thing when he got to town. When she wasn’t there or at the office, he felt the first frisson of concern. When he found that her
mother was out of town, he discretely tracked her down. Scully wasn’t with her. That finally sent him to the Gunmen.
He waited impatiently for the door to be unlocked. He glared at the surveillance camera and finally stepped inside without waiting for an invitation. “Do you know where
Frohike didn’t even pretend not to understand the question. “No. We’ve been trying to find her. We thought she headed out to help Mulder, but if he’s not with you - “
“No. They took him.”
“Took him? Who?”
Skinner faced him squarely. “The, the aliens.”
Frohike gawked at him as Byers stood in the doorway frozen. It was Langly that broke the moment, laughing out loud. “AD Walter Skinner and I got to hear him say it.”
“Shut up, Langly.” Frohike tossed over his shoulder. “Where’s Scully?”
“I don’t know. She’s not at home or work. She’s not with her mother. I hoped she’d be here, looking for Mulder.”
“Shit.” The shorter man moved quickly over to the computer and pulled up her bank accounts. His glance over his shoulder brought Byers his side in a couple of steps.
Byers sank into the chair shaking his head.
“What?” Skinner was behind them now, looking at the computer screen.
“Her accounts are empty.”
“Yeah, completely. She closed her CDs, took a penalty.”
“So she’s gone to cash,” Langly mused. “She wants to stay hidden.”
Frohike looked over at Skinner. “She and Mulder kept cash in their apartments too. They always figured something would happen and they’d have to run.”
“Mulder’s apartment. I haven’t been there, maybe - “
“Yeah, we should head over there.”
Skinner glanced over at Langly, but didn’t respond. He turned toward the door and the three of them fell in behind him. He thought for a moment they were going to
follow him to his car, but they turned toward their own van and led the way toward Mulder’s apartment.
It didn’t take Frohike long to get them inside. Skinner stood just inside the door looking around. He spotted the frame lying face down on the desk, and moved toward it.
He picked it up and recognized Samantha. “Why would this be down?”
“She took Mulder’s money too.”
“This is where Mulder kept his stash.”
“How do you know that?” Skinner sounded more than annoyed now.
“It was my idea. He kept a couple of thousand dollars in large bills behind the picture. Thieves don’t take the time to look for something like that and even if they break the
glass, the picture keeps the money in place.”
Skinner made no comment. Scully was gone and he knew she would not be easy to trace.
Months later -
He was following a tip; hell he’d followed a lot of tips where she was concerned. It was his fault she was on this path. He had lost Mulder and nearly lost his mind in the
process. He couldn’t find Mulder, but he had to find Scully. He owed Mulder that at least.
But he needed to hurry. His leave of absence was nearly over. He’d been searching for five months. Those weird friends had helped as much as they could. Their
concern for Scully nearly rivaled his own. They’d heard of a new pod in Oregon. These guys were nomadic, following sightings. Rumor had it they had a new doctor,
a redhead. He’d gone out on less since she’d disappeared.
Skinner entered the bar. He was in his new uniform now, jeans and t-shirt, with a leather jacket covering the gun at his back. He was fairly unremarkable. Women
seemed to notice him more, which amused him on some level. That brooding melancholy that had surrounded Mulder for so long before Scully had joined him was
apparently a bigger turn-on that he had ever imagined.
He ordered a beer and sat off to the side to listen. He spoke to no one, looking at no one. Eventually his entrance was forgotten. After ordering a second beer, he
left the bar for the men’s room. No one paid attention and he slipped into the back room he’d heard about.
The room seemed to be empty, but as he stood there, she came in from the other side. It was her, Scully. Her hair was longer, and she hadn’t noticed him. She was
wearing a lab coat and staring at some papers.
He didn’t move, but she became aware of his presence and looked up. She seemed less surprised than he had imagined. She straightened the lab coat and moved
to the small desk, taking a seat behind it.
“Dana, I’ve come to take you home.”
She gave him a slight smile. “No, Walter.”
He shut up then, moving toward her. After a minute she looked away and he took a seat across the desk from her. “I want to help you.”
“I’m doing all right Walter.”
“Maybe, but your family isn’t.”
Her eyebrow rose; he’d wasted no time playing the guilt card. “Look, I’m busy. I don’t really have the time for a visit with an old friend.”
“Busy with what?”
Her eyes were focused elsewhere, but she smiled. “I spent so much time not seeing, not believing. Her smile faded. “I could have been a help to him, instead I obstructed
his work, tried to disprove what he instinctively knew. If I had worked with him instead of against him, we might have a defense, the vaccine might be accessible . . . I just,
I just wouldn’t allow myself to . . . “ She shrugged. “I’m doing his work now and I’m going to find him. He’s not dead. They’ve kept him longer than they kept me, but . . . “
She shook her head and took a deep breath.
“You don’t think I can just leave you?”
“Walter . . . “ He rose from his seat to approach her. They both froze when the door burst open.
“Move away from her!” Skinner recognized the sound of the pump action on the shotgun. He slowly brought his hands up to rest on his head. “Step back.”
“Gabe, no. He’s a friend of mine,” she said quickly, her hand out to stop what might happen.
“He needs to prove that.”
“Okay.” Skinner spoke for the first time. “How do I do that?”
“You just stay still, we’re going to check your blood.”
Skinner flushed at that, but made no comment. “Gabe, I’ll do it.” Scully stepped closer.
“No ma’am. You just get back away from him, Doc. Lenny here will stick his finger.” Another man had entered the room, also armed. He handed his gun to Scully and
pulled a diabetes test kit out of his pocket. Skinner slowly extended his hand to him, doing his best not to look intimidating.
“It’s red.” Lenny looked over at Gabe.
“Do I pass?”
“Let him check the back of your neck.”
“My neck?” The gun came back up. “Fine.” He turned his back to Lenny and lowered his head to give him access.
“He’s clean.” Lenny stepped back away from him and took the gun Scully offered him.
“I’m sorry Dr. Scully,” Gabe spoke then, “I guess - “
“Gabe, don’t apologize. I appreciate your concern.” She smiled at the man, and Skinner saw the color suffuse his face. Great, another man smitten with Scully. “I need
to talk with Walter for a few minutes. Thanks again.” She walked them to the door and closed it behind them. “Walter, you need to under - “
“Damn, Dana. It would be easier to see the quee - “ He stopped, staring at her. She started to straighten her lab coat again, but why bother. She sighed and looked at him.
“You . . . you’re pregnant?”
“But . . but I thought . . . “
“So did I. I didn’t realize what was happening for far too long.”
“Too long - Dana, would you have done something - “
“I . . . I should have said . . . I - “
Skinner looked at the door then, outrage taking over his face. “Those men, did anyone here hurt - “
“No. Oh, Walter, no. No one here has hurt me.”
He sagged with his relief. “It’s Mulder’s.” That wasn’t quite a question.
“Are you, Dana, are you okay?”
“I’m so . . . tired.”
He wasn’t sure who made the first move, but his arms were around her then, giving her as much support as he could. God it felt good to have this woman in his arms.
Yes, he was stupid but . . . Then he felt the child move inside of her. Mulder’s child. What the hell was he doing?
He squeezed her, then stepped back, his arm still around her. He moved her to her chair. “It’s going to be okay, Dana.”
“How long can you stay?”
Was she aware there were tears in her eyes? “At least three weeks. Then I have to make a short trip home.”
“Three weeks?” That startled her.
“I took a leave, six months. I’ve been looking for you.”
“For me? Six months? You can’t be serious.”
“Completely serious. I can work out another six months.”
“Walter, no, you don’t have to - “
“Then come home with me.” She shook her head. “Well I’m not leaving you out here, alone and pregnant.”
“I’m not alone and there are probably lots of pregnant women in Oregon.”
“You’re alone if I’m not here. I’ve spent nearly six months tracking you down. I find you living with what are essentially survivalists who happen to hunt UFOs, and very
pregnant. I’m not leaving you here.” He stopped when he saw the tear escape her eye. “Dana?”
“Hormones, ignore me. You’d really stay here with me?”
“No way are you getting rid of me. Get used to the idea.”
She swiped at her eyes. “Have you eaten?”
“Uh, no, just a beer before I came in here.”
Scully rose from the desk. “Why don’t we go over to my place and eat. I have room, you can stay - “
Skinner shook his head. “Much as that appeals, I think it would be better for me to get a room, maybe with Gabe.”
“I saw how those two looked at you. You’re their icon. I understand that. Having me in the same house . . . no, I’ll be here, I’ll be wherever you need me, but nowhere
there’d be a hint of . . . scandal.”
“I never realized what a - “
“Gentleman you are. Having you here would be,” she swallowed, “I’d like that.”
“Good, ‘cause you’re stuck with me. Didn’t you mention a meal? I am getting kinda hungry.”
He integrated himself well. He became her lieutenant and closest confidant but maintained his distance, allowing Gabe to help him find a place to live. He thought
he had accepted Mulder’s beliefs after seeing the man taken in front of him. But what he was learning every day with these people was beyond anything he had
dreamed. If he did return to ‘civilization’ some day, and regained control of the X-Files, things would be different.
For now, he was glad to be where he was. He sought a low profile position, but all too soon found people asking for his advice and assistance. Once again that marine
training came in handy, and she trusted him.
Her work was focused on the vaccine. Her midwife, Jessie, had put a stop to drawing her own blood, but allowed a couple of pipettes a week. Tests of every kind had
been run on it. Other abductees had been returned and some of them worked with them as well. Their stories and memories fascinated Skinner. These were the kinds
of things he’d seen in some of Mulder’s reports and, to be honest, edited out before sending them on. Now he studied them with a new respect. These people weren’t
lunatics; they had experienced something horrific and lived to tell about it.
He also kept a very close eye on her; moreso than she even knew. He took it as his job to ensure she got the rest he felt she needed, ate on time and as her due date
grew closer, stopped her from traveling to the other groups - even when the information pulled at her.
Every evening they ate together, sometimes with others, but usually alone. It was a time they used to connect and relax. They began trading stories. They spoke of
Mulder’s time as a profiler, when he had first become Spooky Mulder. That had started long before the X-Files, when he had still been in the academy. Skinner offered
insights of Mulder before she came into his life; the cocky, brilliant loner that could see breadcrumbs in the forest when others couldn’t even see the trees.
Mulder’s class had been given confidential information on a cold serial killer case. Mulder had read the case, spent one night thinking about it and come in the next
morning with questions, good questions. Those questions had set the case on its ear and Timothy Jay Stone had been captured and convicted. It hadn’t made him
very popular. Neither had his expensive suits or slight British accent.
Walter, on the other hand, had learned quite a bit about the rest of the story on so many of the X-Files. The reports hadn’t scratched the surface and he found himself
fascinated by what these two had investigated. She had his mouth hanging open on more than one case when she had come clean about them. Not that he would have
believed, much less sent forward, the reports as she was telling them now.
He also brought her up to date on the returnees. He had chosen that as his main assignment, going along on short retrieval missions. He was unwilling to be gone more
than one night at any time. Scully had given up trying to dissuade him from that. She hadn’t admitted she was grateful for it, even to herself.
He’d been gone the night before, so he was looking forward to dinner tonight. He hurried to her place and let himself in. He spotted her in the kitchen and headed that
way. She had her back to him so he hesitated, not wanting to startle her. “Dana?”
She jerked slightly and turned, dashing a hand across her cheek. “Walter, I didn’t hear you. Dinner’s not ready yet.”
He had moved closer, looking at her closely. “What wrong?”
“Right, you’re fine.” His eyes bored into hers. To his shock, she burst into tears. Without thought his arms went around her and she buried her face into his chest and
her hands fisted in his t-shirt. He didn’t ask any questions, not yet, just holding her as she cried herself out. When she finally began to relax, he led her to the couch and
“I’m going to get you a glass of water.”
She nodded and leaned back, closing her eyes. When he sat beside her she sat up and took the glass he offered. She took a sip, then returned it to him.
She shook her head, but he took her hand, squeezing it lightly.
“Hormones?” she said lightly.
“Okay, and what set them off?”
She managed a small smile that faded rapidly. “He’s still not back. I think every time you go out, but . . . “
“That doesn’t mean he won’t be next.”
“Samantha never was.”
“That was different. You know that. You’ve told me so yourself, she was a payment from his father. He’ll be back.”
She looked up with her wet eyes and after a moment nodded. “Can I ask a favor?”
“When . . . when the baby comes, Jessie is going to deliver it, but I’m going to need a, a coach. Would you . . . “
“You want me to . . .”
“I’d feel . . . safer, if you were there.”
He blinked, then a slight smile grew on his face. “I’ve never done anything like that.”
“Yeah, me either.”
He chuckled then. “Of course I will. Now, I want you to put your feet up and I’ll fix us some dinner.”
“It’s my turn,” she protested.
“You can pay me back later. How about an omelet?”
“That sounds good. Walter, thank you.”
He winked at her and headed for the kitchen. When he looked back she had laid her head back against the couch and had her eyes closed. He sighed. What she
needed was Mulder.
He searched out Jessie and finally found her heading for the lab. “You have a minute?”
“Walter? Sure, you okay?”
“Yes. I, uh, Dana asked me if I would be her coach, for the birth.”
“Good. She’ll need the support.”
“I don’t know anything about . . . “
“That’s not a problem. I’ll be there for the medical part. Dana will need someone to help her stay on task, have someone’s hand to hold. She’s adamant about no
hospital and I agree with her. On the other hand, I was a nurse before I moved to midwifery and I want some safety valves too.”
He tensed immediately. “Is there a problem?”
“Not that I know about, but that’s part of the problem. We’re not going to be in a hospital with all of the equipment.”
“Do we need to overrule her?”
“No. That would upset her and that’s the last thing you want during a birth if you can avoid it. I’m planning to use an IV, that way if there is a problem I can put her under
quickly, or give her blood.”
Walter’s eyes narrowed. “Talk to me.”
She met his eyes without flinching. “She’s a little woman. I want to take precautions.”
After a moment he nodded. “I want to be more than ‘support’.”
She assessed him. It was no wonder he had risen to a position of authority here so quickly. He exuded confidence and power. “Fine. We’ll get together about this.
I’ll give you some websites to check out. You can’t have much hands-on experience, since no one else is pregnant, but I think you could be a help.”
She startled him, breaking in on him in his room without knocking. “Some more have been returned.”
“Forget it Dana. You’re not going anywhere.”
She sighed impatiently. “I know, but could you go? I have to know if they know anything about Mulder.”
“Dana, I’m not comfortable leaving you.”
”I’m not due for a couple of weeks. I just want you to check it out. Don’t worry, I have no intention of having this baby without you.”
“And you have some extraordinary control over that?” he said dryly.
She rolled her eyes. “It’s a first baby. Traditionally they come late and I’m not dilated as per Jessie’s last examination.”
He winced slightly at that, but didn’t dispute her.
“You can be back in a day or two. All you need is to interview them. You’ve done that plenty of times now. Just find out if they know anything.”
“Arizona, near Tempe.”
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.