Simple Choices 14 (PG-13)

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Mulder made a quick stop for supplies, hurrying to get diapers and baby things and get them home.


All three guys were standing outside waiting when they pulled down the driveway.  They had the door open almost before he was able to stop the car.  “Hey, gentle guys.”


Dana merely laughed and let Chuck hand her out of the car.  Mulder climbed into the back and released all the straps and held the baby to his chest.


“Come on, let’s get him inside.  We need to see him!” Rob whispered, looking like he was ready to push if Mulder didn’t start moving faster.


Mulder watched as Stephen and Chuck held her arms up the stairs and realized that Rob was shadowing him as though not quite trusting his grip on the infant.  He winked at the boy and they all headed for the main room.


He started to protest that she should lie down, but her eyebrow stopped him, for a little while at least.  Mulder loosened the wrappings around the baby so that they could get a better look at him.


“We found a crib in the store room and cleaned it up.  Everything’s been aired out and washed.  We put it up in your room.”


“Thank you,” Dana beamed at them.  “We’re glad to be home with you.”


“And we’re glad to have you home, safe,” Chuck said quickly.


“We made a place for him to sleep in here too.  It’s a drawer but we put a pad in it, not too soft, and he can stay out here with us some during the day.”


“That’s a good idea,” Mulder nodded at the guys.  “I like keeping him close.”


“Would you like to hold him?” Dana offered and all three nodded smiling.  Mulder placed the baby gently in Rob’s arm after he took a seat on the couch.  He and the baby checked each other out thoroughly, then Chuck took a seat beside him.


“Share,” he demanded, smiling at his little brother.


When all three of them had held him he was returned to Dana.  “I think he’s getting hungry,” Mulder said, “and you need to lie down for a little while.”


“Muld - "


“He’s right, you know,” Chuck agreed with him, causing Dana to look over at him.


“Oh great.”


Rob grinned, “Come on, we outnumber you; just take a little nap.”


Shaking her head she let Mulder help her to her feet and walk her to their bedroom.  “What do you need besides water?”


“Nothing, really.  Thank you for looking after me so well.”


“No problem.”  He settled her on the bed and headed for the kitchen.  Stephen met him at the door with a large glass of water.  Mulder placed it on the bedside table. “Call if you need anything, I’ll hear you.”


“I know,” she said softly.


He shut the door and returned to the main room where he sank into the large chair.


“You okay, Mulder?”


“I will be.  I’ve never . . . “


“We know.  Neither had we."


"You were really aware - "


“Since he came out,” Rob said.


“It was wild.  It couldn’t have been long, just a minute, but when he was born . . . it was like the world tilted.  I’ve never had an acid trip, but that’s what I thought of later.  There was so much color and light and sound and cold.  We all felt it.  It was good we were sitting down,” Stephen laughed.


“Wait a minute; you experienced all this when he was born?”


“Yeah, it was freaky.  Then we felt your hand on us, but it was big, big enough to almost cover us and everything was okay again.”


Mulder just stared at them, his mouth agape.


“We’d been getting little pieces of it before.  We, we’re communicating with each other.”


“What?” Mulder was clearly pleased that he was seated as well. 


“We can read each other’s minds.  It started before he was actually born, but it’s a lot easier now.”


“I haven’t - "


“No, we haven’t involved you too much.  You can do it, but after the, the picture thing, you were only about their health and safety.  We didn’t blame you, but we didn’t want to bother you with something we weren’t sure about.  We’ve been testing it while we were waiting for you.”




“And so far we seem to be getting better at it.  We don’t have to be in the same room or anything.  In fact, we haven’t been able to walk far enough away to make a difference.  You had the car,” Rob seemed completely at ease with this new experience.


“What to try it?” Stephen asked.


“Yeah,” he nodded and took a deep breath.  “What do I do?”


“Nothing.  Let us do it.  You just sit there, it might help if you close your eyes, block any extra stimulus.  We’ll have a conversation, you just ‘listen’.”


Mulder looked at each of them, then nodded again and let his eyes slip closed.


They started a silent conversation, thinking about the baby, his name and how much they liked that Carson was part of it.  They watched Mulder’s head go up, seeming to concentrate and with his eyes closed he still turned toward one or the other as each 'spoke'.  The longer they continued the clearer their voices in his mind became.




He opened his eyes and saw them smiling at him.  He had no idea how long they had carried on this conversation.


“Because of him?” he asked, glancing at the bedroom door.


“Has to be,” Stephen said. 


“Let’s keep this to ourselves for a now.  She’s got enough - "


“Keep what to yourselves?” Dana asked as she pulled the door to the bedroom nearly closed.


Mulder closed his eyes, he should have known better.


“Well?”  She stood over him, her eyebrow on the rise.  She looked over at the boys who had trouble meeting her eyes.


Mulder sighed, “Seems like we have something new to investigate.”




After a moment Mulder nodded. 


She tensed, “Is something wrong with him?”


“No!  No, he’s fine, better than fine.  These guys . . . attended his birth, from his point of view.”


“Excuse me?”


“Have a seat.”




She just sat looking at these men in her life.  She wanted to ask if they were serious but she already knew they were.  And she believed them, even if she didn’t want to.  What had happened to these guys was different from her but she’d had a dose of it as a child.  And she had been picking up on William’s thoughts or at least his connection with Mulder since the beginning.


“He’s just a few hours old.”


“He’s just a few hours out.  His brain has been working for some time.  How else were you picking up on my emotions for most of your pregnancy?"


She closed her eyes and Mulder’s arm went around her.  “This is too much right now,” he spoke to his brothers.  “We need to back - “


“No,” she sat up, “What are you thinking?”


She was surprised when Stephen answered.  “He wants us to get back to our lives.  We three need to finish our educations; Mulder needs to get back to work.  The problem is they know we know now.  William knows we need protection.”


“If we’re split up, how do we protect each other?” Mulder asked, pulling her a little tighter against him.


“That’s the beauty of this; we won’t ever be alone again.”


“Is that enough?” she asked quickly.


“Probably not, so we’ve been working on something.  We’ve been consolidating what we’ve learned from Carson’s work.  We probably can’t duplicate what they’ve done, but we understand it and we can prove it.”




“We can also make it public,” Chuck said with an evil grin.


“Blackmail?” she asked quickly.


“Yep.”  All three of them were nodding now.


“That’s risky,” Mulder said, watching them.


“We’re not finished with our protections yet.  And we want to test what we can do with this new ability William’s given us.  We haven’t been around a lot of people since we realized what was going on.  We need to know if it extends to others or just among ourselves.”


“What about Roger?” Mulder asked.


The three younger ones looked at each other.  “That’s a good place to start.  Rob knows him best.  We can work on that.”


After a glance at the rest of them, Rob closed his eyes, concentrating on this other brother of theirs.  The others didn't even try to give him some privacy, eavesdropping as he sought the man.


**Roger, don't panic, it's Rob.**


***R-Rob?  Shit, I've lost my fuckin' mind!  Voices, I'm hearin' fuckin' voices!**


**No, Roger, please.  You're not crazy.  Something's happened that makes this possible.  We can communicate with each other now.  We all can communicate, but since you know me best, we thought . . . **


**How the holy fuck - Is this for real?**


**Yes.  You're okay.  You're not crazy.**


**You can hear me?**


**Sure can.  I can explain more later.  I just wanted to test that this would work.**


**Wait a minute!  A few hours ago, yesterday, did something . . .**


**Suddenly cold, light, sound?  Like, like an acid trip?**


**You haven't done drugs!**


**No.  That's just the way I heard it described.  I felt it too.  We all did.**




**You, me, our brothers.  We all felt it.**


**What happened?**


**Our nephew was born.  He's the real reason we can do this.**


There was silence then.  **Roger?**


**The FBI agent, big brother Mulder had a son?**


**Yes.  Roger, you never have to be alone again.  Do you mind?  Do you mind talking to me?**


**I'm not sure you're old enough to see into my head.**


Rob grinned, **It could be educational.**


**I don't want that for you.**  He sounded completely serious at that.


**Thank you.**


**The other brothers?**


**They can do it too, you can meet them if you want.**


**I need to think about that.  Dana, is she okay?**


**She's fine.**


**I'm watching Ethan for her.  As a pedophile he's not doing real well in here.**


**I don't think that'll bother her too much.**


**I need to think about all of this.**


**I know.  If you have any questions, or just want to, to talk, call for me.  I'll hear you.**


**Yeah.  Rob, don't look into my mind.**


**No, I won't.  I promise.  But I will be here.**


**Yeah, okay.**


Rob opened his eyes and looked at his brothers.  They had kept quiet, but had heard it all.  "He's freaked," Rob said with a sigh.


"You can't blame him.  You handled it very well," Mulder assured him.  "Dana?  What about you?"


"I don't think I heard everything.  He mentioned Ethan, didn't he?"


Mulder nodded.


"He's having a hard time with the other inmates.  I'm not surprised.  Mostly I picked up that he was concerned about Rob."


"He was," Rob agreed.  "I don't think he wants me to know about some of the things he's done."


"You can understand that, can't you, Rob?  I think that he's looking out for you."


Rob nodded.  "That's why I didn't push having anyone else speak up.  He might be protecting me, but having Mulder see inside his head might not . . . "


"Good point," Mulder agreed.  "You might want to reassure him if he contacts you.  This isn't work, it's family."


Dana looked over at him, smiling.  Family, something this man had thought he'd never experience, now he was surrounded and loved by his.

Mulder turned toward her and saw a tear escape and her brush it quickly away.  His arm came around her automatically.  "What?  What's wrong?"


"Nothing's wrong.  Hormones, I'm just happy."


He relaxed a little at that.  "Good.  So am I."


"Dinner's ready, whenever you want it," Chuck offered, rising from his seat beside Rob.  "It's not Dana's cooking, but I don't think I've poisoned you."


Dana smiled and accepted Mulder's hand to rise to her feet. 


About mid way through the meal, all four men turned toward the bedroom.  Dana smiled and started to rise. 


"I'll get him."  Stephen rose and headed to the bedroom.  He returned with William and a shawl for her.


"I should probably - "


"We don't mind if you two don't," Rob said.  "I like him being with us."


"Thank you.”  She took the shawl first and draped it over her shoulder, then took the baby and hid him under it. 


When he was through she burped him and let Chuck take him.


She looked at this brother, with the preoccupation of the pregnancy behind her she really looked at him.  He was the most different since they had met him, his self-confidence there now.  She blinked as she realized he'd been working out, all of them had but it had made the most difference with him.  He had filled out and looked more like Mulder than ever.  It was strange looking at these men, or the same man, at different stages.  It was like watching Mulder grow up right in front of her. 


He was training them as well, hand to hand combat, target practice.  Mulder was doing everything he could to keep them safe.


They were all . . . better for the contact with each other.  Yes, Stephen had been social before but even he seemed more at home in his own body being with his real family. 


"I should have asked this before, but you all know I've been slightly preoccupied," Dana looked around at her brood.  "How is this hiatus going to affect your plans, your education?   I know you wanted to protect me and William, but . . . "


They were all talking at once, reassuring her that their education was not adversely affected by this time off. 


"I could have graduated last year," Chuck told her.  "My 'parents' didn't think I was ready emotionally to be away from home."  He rolled his eyes.  "I'm already in at Dartmouth and I was taking 'pots for jocks' courses.  I'm good, really."


"Me too," Stephen spoke up.  "I'm in a lot of independent study courses and I was already ahead.  All this fun I've been having on-line with the market is actually research for a paper I've got mostly written.  I may have to take an exam or two due to absences but I can handle that.  Please don't worry."


Rob shrugged, "I skipped one grade already.  If I have to take anything over, I'm still ahead."




They all froze at the questioning thought.


**Roger!  I'm so glad to hear from you.** Rob answer immediately.


**It is real.**


**Yep, strange, but real.**


**And you guys are all there together?**




**I've been thinking about Carson.**


**What about him?**


**He killed himself.**


**We're not sure about that anymore.  I mean, maybe he did kill himself, but we think maybe he was led to it.**




**He was the scientist of us, working on DNA and clones and stuff.  He may have figured out what we are or something.  They, they may have pushed him in that direction.**




**Well, there was this girl, woman.  She seduced him, she knew Mulder too.**


**A woman?**


**Yeah, Diana Fowl - **


**Diana - ** then he was gone from their minds.


They looked at each other, realization dawning.  "Shit," Mulder said, slumping down in his chair.


"Mulder - "  He shook his head and moved to leave the room.  "Mulder."  He turned then and tried to face her.


"I'm such an idiot."


"It was her job and she was good at it," Scully said softly.


"Yeah, and I wasn't smart enough to pick up on it."


"That's not true.  You knew she wasn't being honest with you, you knew."


He wouldn't look at her, so she slipped into his lap.  His arms automatically went around her, holding her close.


"Mulder, she's right.  The woman went after at least four of us.  Why else would I have seen her on campus?  But even with her obvious ego, she realized she was too old for me."


"Yeah," Rob piped up.  "Not Mrs. Robinson for me, Grandma Robinson."  He grinned as the others chuckled.


Mulder rolled his eyes but a slight smile had appeared on his face as well.




**Roger!  Are you okay?**


**Yeah.  I should have known.**


**About Diana?**


**I knew she was slumming, I didn't realize I was too.**


**She must have done something right.  Three of us were taken in by her.**


**She had big brother Mulder too?**


**She was married to him.**






**Okay, maybe I wasn't the most stupid brother after all.**  Mulder glared over at Rob, but kept quiet as Scully tried to bury her chuckle in his chest.


**You admit you're a brother now?**


**How do I deny it?**


**I hate to ask, but were you with her long?** Rob looked over at Mulder, knowing he had come up with that question.


**Well, uh just a couple of times.  Payment for a job she wanted me to do.**


** A job?**


**She's the reason I'm in here right now.**




**She wanted a guy roughed up.  She said her boss suspected him of selling company secrets.  I was supposed to scare him a little.**


Stephen, Chuck and Rob exchanged confused looks.  Mulder, however, closed his eyes, shaking his head.


**Did you . . . rough him up?**


**No, he figured out I was coming and set me up.  Since I already had a record I had to serve time.**


**Roger, I need to know who you were supposed to beat up.  Do you have a name?**  Mulder was leading Rob now.


**Never found out, I went by a picture and her information.  She's really the one that set me up, not him, right?**


**Uh, probably.  Listen, I know you and I have the same kind of memory.  Could you . . . visualize the guy you were after?  I need to know if I can see him in your mind.**


**Why would that matter if she was the one?**


**Don't know, just curious.**


**Sure.**  He concentrated for a moment and the brothers saw a picture began to form in their heads.  An older man,  receding hairline, but what was left was wavy, thin lips, crepe-y neck, but intelligent dark eyes.


Again they all looked over at Mulder as he pulled her tighter and buried his face in her neck.


**So, do you know him?** the image faded.


**We'll look into it.  There's something you need to know.  They have to know we know about each other now.  We're kind of in hiding right now, together, but you're hanging out there alone.  You really need to watch your back, more than ever.  They may want to, to eliminate us now that we know.**


**Any idea why they did it in the first place?**


**No, but we're working on it.**


**It's getting late and you probably have homework.  Look, I know this is real now.  I'll keep an eye out for me, you look after yourself. Night.**


"Think he'll be okay?" Scully asked after a moment of silence.


"We'll keep an eye out for him.  I need to check when he's up for parole again.  We need to get him out.  He has experience in things we don't; he'll be an asset and that should help him as well as us.  Now, you need to go on to bed.  The baby's gonna have you up again in a few hours.  Stop, it's true and you need your rest.  Don't argue with me."   


He stretched out beside her at her insistence.  William was sleeping peacefully in the crib on her side of the bed.  He held her against him, glancing for an instant over at the crib.  Love and awe overwhelmed him again and he held her close. 


Those idiots that had caused all of this couldn't have seen this coming.  They couldn't have ever seen what they were giving him.  The family they had destroyed they had also created.  Without 'them' he wouldn't have these brothers, his son, this incredible woman here in his arms.


"Mulder - "


"Shh.  You should be sleeping."


"Not yet.  Tell me who he is."


"I'm not really sure."  He didn't look at her.


"But you'd seen him before."


"So have you.  Remember that day in the diner, when I found out you were in Washington?"


Her eyes widened.  "Him?  Oh my god, you're right.  Why were you - "


"Dana - "


"If you can't tell me, who can you tell?"  She kissed his cheek and cuddled into his side.


"He, he's my source.  We've been working together on, on the alien problem.  We don't really trust each other.  I don't think he trusts anyone which is probably a good idea in his line of work.  If Diana knows about him he can't be safe regardless."


"He's working both sides?  He works for whoever Diana works with, that cigarette guy and you?"


Mulder nodded.  "He knows I found Carson and, and Roger.  He freaked.  He ordered me to back away from the investigation.  He said anything I found out would be dangerous, to him, to me and to you.  That's why I agreed with Rob as easily as I did when he showed up.  I've put Roger at greater risk."


"We'll keep an eye on him and he can look after himself better now as well.  Mulder, you didn't know, you couldn't have known."


He didn't respond to that, just holding her.  He thought she had fallen asleep when she suddenly pulled away from him.  She looked up into his eyes and without words he got it.


"Yes.  Yes, he knew their names.  If anyone knows the other two . . . "


"Tell the others."


"Dana it's late.  You have to get some rest.  They've probably already picked it up from me anyway.  Close your eyes, please.  I can't have you getting sick."


"After we've had four or five kids, you're going realize women aren't that fragile."


His eyes had widened at her statement and she thought he was actually a little pale at the thought.  She leaned up and kissed his nose.  "Relax cave man, I'll give you a little time to adjust."


He growled at her and turned her away from him, spooning around her.





Author's note:  Happy Thanksgiving!  One more chapter to go...



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