Simple Choices - 10 (PG)


Author's note - I know, I know - about dang time.  Not sure anyone even remembers I started this several decades ago, but after a little poking - you call that little! - hey, be nice - a little poking and prodding from Ravenwald and some others, it's finally crawling forward again.  The rest of it has been posted around here somewhere, check under "S".  And since it's my darling ML's birthday I dedicate this new chapter to her.  Think of it as a poke, Sweetie, or I'll point Raven your way…. <eg>



Simple Choices 10





After dinner Mulder booted up the computer and checked his email.  There was a message from Rob.  “Dana?”


“Yes?” she called from the kitchen.


“Rob found a picture of Chuck.  It’s loading now.”  She hurried to his side, drying her hands.  He looked up at her.  “Hey, I told you I’d clean up.”


“You cleaned up last night and the night before.  I’m not helpless, Mulder.”


“But you should be off your feet.  I’ve never eaten so well or been so looked after, I want to do this.”  He pulled her down into his lap and kissed her.  His hands had found flesh when the computer beeped.  They both turned to look.


She tried to stifle a laugh, while he looked on with a grimace.  “I looked like that?”


“Not necessarily.”


He looked at her, his expression pained.


“Okay, he obviously isn’t an athlete, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be.  Each of you has handled what happened to you in different ways.  You may be related but you’re not necessarily alike.”


He continued to just look at her.  Finally she burst out laughing.  “Okay, he’s not my idea of a hunk.  He’s - “


“Hunk?  My god, the geeks wouldn’t hang out with - “


“It would be their loss, Mulder.”


“Yeah, right.”


She leaned in for another kiss.  “I’m more convinced than ever that meeting you will do him a world of good.  His potential . . .”


Mulder rolled his eyes, but then sighed.  “So, how do you suggest I meet this guy?”


“It would be nice if Stephen could go with you, but since I don’t see how to make that work, it looks like you’re stuck with me.”




“Mulder, we could go to Boston for the weekend.  It doesn’t have to be a racing trip.  We could have a little vacation.”


“I would love to go on any vacation with you, but I don’t want you involved in all of this.”


“I’m already ‘involved’, Mulder.”  She caressed her abdomen.


He watched her, his expression softening.  “Yeah, you are.  You want to do this?”


“I’m a pediatrician, Mulder.  Chuck is in my area.”


He just looked at her for a long moment.  “Let me think about it.  I need to figure out a way to approach him.”


She nodded and touched his cheek before she returned to the kitchen.




She was waiting for him when he returned the next night.  One look at her face and he had hold of her.  “What?  Are you okay?”


“Mulder,” she sounded slightly exasperated, “I’m fine.  I do have some news though.”


“About the baby?”


“About your DNA test.”


“Oh, what?” he relaxed at that.  “Am I not the oldest?”


“I think you are, but . . . “


“What?” His arms went around her.


“Your father, he’s . . . “


“He’s not my father.”


She shook her head.  “I’m sorry.”


He was silent for a moment.  “I . . . I don’t think I’m really surprised.”




“No, I’m okay.  It just explains some things.  What about my mother?”


She nodded.  “She’s everyone’s mother.”


He blinked at that but couldn’t seem to decide on a quip.  She rested her head against his chest and his hold tightened.  “I’m glad you’re here.”


She looked up at him.  “I’m glad I’m here too.”




After an email conversation with Rob, they headed to Boston for the weekend.  They parked outside of the comic book store Saturday morning and waited.  If this didn’t pan out, Rob had made a couple of other suggestions.  Going to his home would be a last resort.  The plans were unnecessary; they’d been there just minutes when Chuck arrived.


“I’m going to approach him as a G-man.  That might impress him.”


She nodded and opened her door.  They entered the shop and spotted him near the back.  Mulder glanced over at her and she nodded.


They approached him and he looked up from where he was squatting, checking out a new shipment.  He rose to his feet, wary.  Mulder discretely showed his shield.  Chuck’s eyes narrowed, but he didn’t speak.


“Chuck Wallace?”


“Who wants to know?”


“Chuck, please.”  Dana stepped from behind Mulder and lay her hand gently on his arm.  Mulder stiffened, but Chuck was obviously mesmerized by her, staring unabashedly and he visibly relaxed at her touch.


“Is this about Cassie?” he addressed the question to her.


“Partially,” she admitted.


The young man seemed to deflate.  “I didn’t hurt her.”


“I know you didn’t,” Mulder said quietly.


Startled, Chuck look up at him.  “Then what - “


“We need to go somewhere we can talk,” Mulder interrupted.


Chuck looked over at Dana.  When she nodded he agreed.  “Is there some place private we could sit?” she asked, looking around the shop.


“There’s a pocket park just down the street.”


Dana smiled up at him and Mulder watched him begin to fall in love with her.  Part of him understood, part of him wanted to take him by the scruff of his neck and throw him across the room.


They walked down the block, Mulder trailing slightly behind them.  Chuck took Dana’s arm and seated her on the bench.  She smiled her gratitude and motioned for him to take the seat beside her.  Mulder rolled his eyes, but kept quiet.  At least it was his bed she’d grace that night.


“Do you have any news about Cassie?”


“Not directly.  What we have is news that there have been at least six of these abductions - “


“Six?  It’s a serial kidnapper?”


“There is a connection.  Chuck, what we’re here to talk about is extremely confidential.  We don’t want anyone to know that we’ve even talked to you or contacted you in any way.  It’s for your safety as well as ours.”


“Are you in danger?” Chuck asked quickly looking at her.


“We’re being careful,” Dana demurred.


“You know this is weird,” he glanced back at Mulder.


“Yeah, but it’s important,” Mulder said quietly.  “I don’t want Dana to be put in any more danger than she is.”


Chuck nodded.  “Go ahead.  There’s no one I confide in anyway.”


Mulder and Dana exchanged glances and she nodded.  “Mulder’s sister was taken in 1972.  There’s been an abduction every five years since then.”




Mulder nodded.  “But we’re here because of the effect on you.”


“On me?”


“Your memory, it’s, uh, ‘good’ now, isn’t it.”


Chuck’s eyes widened.  “How did you - “


“Me too, and all the others.”




“We’re still working on that,” Mulder admitted.


“There’s more, Chuck.”  Dana touched his hand again.  “Here’s the part where you’ll think we’re crazy, but so far it’s been true.”


“What?” his brow furrowed, but he didn’t move away from her.


Dana took a deep breath.  “You and Mulder, and all of the other men, you’re related.”


Chuck just looked at her.


“You’re more than just related; you’re brothers.” She met his eyes.  “You’re actually twins.”


The boy gave a harsh laugh.  “Yeah, right.  I’m his twin.”


Mulder nodded.


“Who do I sue?  I definitely got the short end of that stick.”


Dana smiled then.  “He didn’t look like that when he was your age.  He swims and runs, works out.  Just realize you’re genetically predisposed to look like him.”


“Would I get you if I did?”


Dana gave a light laugh.  “I’m pretty taken.”  She caressed her stomach and he laughed as well.


Mulder forced a bland expression.  “We would like a sample of your DNA to prove that you are part of this.”


Chuck looked up at the man.  “What, you don’t believe we look enough alike for this.  Have you checked out the nose in the mirror lately?”


“Hey, don’t diss the nose.  I happen to like it,” Dana broke in.


“You like our nose?” Chuck grinned at her.


“I love your nose.  He’s very creative with it.”


“Dana?” Mulder now looked over at her, aghast.


“What?  I didn’t say how you were creative.”  She winked at Chuck, who blushed but grinned.  She sobered then.  “Now that you’re more relaxed, we do need to get serious.  We need a sample of your DNA to make sure you’re one of the group.  And we need you to tell us what you remember about that night.”


Chuck’s smile disappeared as well and he seemed to move closer to her.  “Nothing.  I don’t remember a damn thing.  The lights went out, Cassie screamed and I woke up in the hospital.  What do you remember?” He looked up at Mulder again.


Mulder shrugged.  “A little more than that.  I had hypnotic regression.”


“For real?  My parents wouldn’t - Hey, are you saying my parents aren’t my parents?” A look of delight started to grow on his face.


“I take it that wouldn’t be a terrible thing.”


“You’re kidding, right?  Those people have made my life hell.  I thought maybe it would get better after the divorce, but I think it’s worse.  Now I can walk away and never see them again.”


“You might want to think about that before you do it.  This needs to remain completely confidential.  They can’t know we’ve spoken to you, or that you even suspect anything, at least not yet.  And think about it, if they’re on the hook for tuition - “


“I got a scholarship, free ride.”




“Dartmouth.  What about you?”


“Oxford.” Mulder managed a straight face, but Chuck was obviously impressed.


“What about the rest of us?”


“You believe us?” Dana asked quietly.


“If it means I’m not related to Marge and 'Homer', why not?”


Mulder choked but Dana looked confused, "I thought your father's name was Spencer."


"You guys are real tight, huh?" Mulder asked with a grin.


"Oh yeah, playing catch in the yard every night," Chuck returned the grin.


She looked over at Mulder and he became serious again.  “Okay, I’m the oldest.”


“How can you be sure?”


“Because my mother has been everyone’s mother so far.  We’ll test that with you as well, if you’ll let us.  Next is Roger, he’s in prison.”  Chuck jerked at that and looked over at Dana.  At her nod, he turned back to Mulder.  “Roger has anger issues.  Then Carson, he committed suicide.”


“Shit, I thought my family was bad.”


“It does get better.  Stephen and Rob are on either side of you.  They’re both doing pretty well.”


“So Stephen is, what, 23 and Rob 13?  Or is it the other way around.”


“You got it the first time.”


“What about our sisters?  Are they related to us?”


“I’m going on the assumption that they are.  I don’t have any DNA from any of them to prove it.”


“Want some?”


Mulder gaped at him.  “You have some?”


Chuck shrugged.  “Cassie loved her hair.  She wore it long and brushed it all the time.  When she was . . . I took her brush and hid it in my closet.  No one noticed and I’d forgotten about it.  Think you can get anything after all this time?”


“We can certainly try,” Dana nodded.


“Okay, will you guys wait for me?  I don’t think it would be a good idea to take you home.”


“No, definitely not a good idea,” Dana agreed. 


“There’s a coffee shop in the next block.  I could meet you there in half an hour.”


Mulder moved closer to the bench.  “This has got to be kept quiet.”


“For her sake,” Chuck looked over at Dana.


Mulder’s brow furrowed, but he immediately assumed a bland expression.  “Yeah, for her sake.”


Dana looked between the two of them, but kept silent.  After a moment, Chuck rose.  “I’ll see you in a few minutes.”


“Okay, what’s wrong?” she turned to Mulder as soon as Chuck was out of sight.


“Nothing.”  He sank onto the bench beside her.


“Mulder?” she zeroed in on him, her eyebrow raised.


“You were flirting with him.” The words seemed to explode from him.


“That was not flirting - “


“You touched him and you smiled up at him and - “


“I can’t exactly smile down at any of you, Mulder.  Yes, I touched him and it seemed to relax him.”


“Or turn him on.”


She rolled her eyes.  “I was just trying to get him in touch with his ‘inner hunk’, Mulder.”


“Are you seri - “ The twitch of her lips betrayed her and he growled, his eyes narrowing.  He pulled her against him and held her for a long moment.


“Jealous much, Mulder?  Really, look at me.  I’m huge!”


“I am.  Why do you think I was getting jealous?  You have that affect on all the Mulder men.”


“Maybe I’m just drawn to the Mulder charm.”


“We have charm?”


“On occasion, when you want to, you have exhibited some.”  She held out her hand and he helped her up from the bench.  His hand came to rest on her lower back for a moment before he pulled her closer.  She looked up and their lips met.   “Yeah, you have charm.”


He chuckled, relaxing and they walked to the coffee shop.  He ordered at the counter, then joined her at the small table at the back.  She took a sip, then realized he was watching her.  “Mulder?”


“We’re all in love with you.”


“Excuse me?”


“You heard me.”


“I’ve only met Rob and Chuck.”


“Stephen knew about you.  He, he understood about you.” 


“Understood?” she looked confused.


“He looked at me and knew about you.  We were talking about Carson.”




“About his suicide.  He asked if I’d ever thought about it.”  Mulder shrugged.


Her hand covered his and he gripped it.  “I mentioned my divorce and he called me on it.  He told me I was happily married, that I had found the one, the one that ‘fit’.”


A smile grew on her face.  “Fit, huh?”


“I liked the happily married part.”


“Mulder - “


“I know; you want to wait.  Just so you know; I’m ready.  Say the word.”


She squeezed his hand.  “You’ll be the second to know.”


“With these brothers I’m not sure about that,” he said mock mournfully.


“I promise to tell you in person.”  She leaned in and gave him a quick kiss.

As she was leaning back she glanced at the door.  Chuck was approaching.  She noted his posture already seemed better.


He opened the door and looked around.  When he spotted them he continued his surveillance, then moved toward them.


“That didn’t take long,” Dana observed.


“No one was home.”  He pulled the little girl’s brush from his pocket.  He’d placed it in a plastic bag, so that no hairs would be lost.   “You think this will work?”


“It wouldn’t stand up in court, but if we can get some DNA, we’ll at least know if she’s related to us.  We can make assumptions from there.”


“Do you know why they’re gone?” Chuck asked, still looking at the brush.


“No.  It’s one of the things we’re working on.”


“I want to work with you.”


Dana smiled.  “We hoped you would.”  She took the bag from him and slipped it into her purse.


“The others, when will I meet them?”


“I don’t know, Chuck.  I don’t even know if it’s safe for you to meet them,” Mulder shook his head. 


“I need to know them, if I’m one of the group - “


“Let me think about it.”


Chuck looked over at Dana for help.


“It’s not simple, Chuck.  Let Mulder think about it.”  At her words, he sighed, but nodded, unable to argue with her.  “We’ll be in touch with you.  Discretely, but we will be in touch.”




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