Title: Children

Author: Alicia Ann

Feedback: Yes, please!! This story is long from finished, so please, it

would be greatly appreciated aboller1@bigred.unl.edu (Formerly Alicia97@aol.com)

Disclaimer: Okay, they own them, but I'm playing so when I get done you can have them back (and they'll be in better shape then when you had them, too!). But Shiloh and the characters related to her are mine!!

Archives: Sure, as long as you keep my name and address with it

Spoilers: Gesthemene, Memento Mori, Pilot, and mentioning of Scully's abduction.

Ratings: R (language and adult situations), S, A, Mulder/other, UST...MSR (cleverly hidden)

Summary: Okay, I'll be the first to admit, any story that has UDG's in them, I don't necessarily like, but without the one in this story, the MSR wouldn't happen. Don't hate Shiloh, she's one of the good guys. :-) In this reality, Mulder is *dead,* as far as anyone can tell. Scully gets to keep the X-Files, and she gets a new partner who has a *past* with Mulder that helps Scully with her future.

Children

by Alicia Ann

As I entered Scully's office, I knew something was amiss. I know, that's what your first impression always says, but I knew that today in particular there was something the matter. I knew what the rumor mills had said, that Scully had almost turned into Mulder after his suicide. But I refused to believe that. Me, the one refusing to believe. Me, the new partner. Me, the one whose staying power was the current office bet. But I knew Scully, she taught my class how to correctly identify forensic evidence. She was a rational, thorough, and very set woman. None of that would change now, I hoped.

God, what the hell did the Bureau think when they selected this broad? She's Mulder's fantasy: tall, brunette, green eyes, and as buff as possible, but still very feminine. Fitting, isn't it? Mulder's replacement be his wildest fantasy. It's been two weeks since, he,...well, now Miss Legs here was going to try to fill his shoes. Good luck.

"Agent Scully? I'm Special Agent Shiloh Lancaster. I'm your new partner." "Imagine that. A new partner. Well, all right, Agent Lancaster. Welcome to your new home. And trust me, it will be a home. You'll be here more times than your average agent, and the decor is less than to be desired. Well, depending on your taste. I have grown to love it. But, anyway. So, you're the new spy?"

"Excuse me?" Shiloh asked.

"You heard me. Now that Mulder's gone, everyone up there" -Scully made a motion towards the ceiling- "thinks I've lost it and that I *am* now Mrs. Spooky. But let's get one thing straight. I believed everything that Mulder did, do you understand that? I believed. That's why I am so impassioned about continuing his mission. And if you don't, or if THEY don't want you to, you had better just turn around on that pretty little heel of yours and vanish. Now."

Shiloh was unfazed by Scully's tirade. "But, if memory serves me right, weren't you also a spy?"

"Everyone's a spy at first, touching everything lightly so as not to really put any thought or meaning to it. But when you really look at it, you can *not* believe."

"Well, you shocked me, Scully. When you used to lecture on the need for scientific proof, I believed you. Going to Brown in English and Psychology and then to Georgetown Law School taught me to be skeptical of everything and everyone. Did you know my senior thesis was on the impact of parapsychology on criminal investigations? You probably did. When I graduated from Quantico, the X-Files were just getting started up and they seemed an ideal outlet for me. Now, though, with Mulder gone, I found my opportunity. I'm only 29, Scully. I've been here for four years. I've got my whole life to waste away. I'm going to be your heir apparent. I know you won't be here for much longer."

"How did you-- never mind, that was probably a selling tactic on their part. *The X-Files will be all yours once Mrs. Spooky kicks the bucket.*" "I'm sorry, Scully, I really am. I was an admirer of you and Mulder's work. I know the bond you two shared was greater than death itself. When the time comes, Agent Scully, Mulder will be there, with his eyes, arms, and heart open wide."

Despite Scully's apprehension, she was starting to like this kid. But, "How the hell did you know about Mulder and me?"

"You would be terribly surprised how I know."

"Try me."

"Well, we'll have to go back about three years ago, to a trip Mulder took to Seattle while you were abducted. During your abduction, Mulder went and explored one avenue of investigation in Seattle. I was at the Seattle office, right out of Quantico, and I was placed into unorthodox investigations, to put it mildly. I was one of the specialists in deep undercover, and that's why I was, to a point, where I was.

"In Seattle, I was nicknamed The Freak. Shiloh 'the Freak' Lancaster. I had always thought that if the X-Files were ever a bust, you and Mulder could start a band- Spooky and the Ice Queens. It would sell, guaranteed. Anyway, I was always one deep into the grunge scene out there, and I didn't even look remotely close to your typical agent. But undercover *was* my specialty, so Mulder had come in search of me to help him dig up some information that he, the New England WASP, couldn't. So he came to recruit me. During that time, I was in a band, Fosbender. I don't know, maybe you've heard of them. Anyhow, I was doing a show the day he came. He quickly became enamored with my music."

**

 

SEATTLE WASHINGTON

OCTOBER 11, 1994

"Hello, I'm Special Agent Fox Mulder, I'm here to see Shiloh Lancaster."

"She's on stage right now, is she expecting you?"

Mulder lied and said, "Oh, of course, she said I could be backstage even." "Sure, Agent Mulder," the security guard sardonically replied. "All the good-looking cops say that. Go on ahead, there's plenty of people to direct you to where you need to be."

Mulder, with the help of a few well-endowed teenagers, found his way to the main stage. There, Fosbender was already playing, and he finally saw Special Agent Shiloh Lancaster. Shiloh was not the professional beauty she is now, her brown hair was peroxided in streaks, and her makeup was purple, blue, and green, with flaming red lipstick. She was barefoot, with assorted hemp anklets, bracelets, and necklaces attached to her body. Her feet barely showed through her ragged blue jeans, and her hours in the gym were shown off by the gray tank top. The top also showed off two of her tattoos. On one shoulder blade were two yellow and green fish swimming in a circle, and on the other were three silver stars circling a purple alien face. For Mulder, it was love at first sight, especially when she looked over to him with her highly decorated green eyes and made first contact. "This next song is dedicated to that beautiful gentleman who just walked into my world. Here's one for you, doll."

"...tell me does she love you, like the way I love you, does she stimulate you, attract and captivate you, tell me does she miss you, existing just to kiss you, like the way I do?"

At the end of the set Mulder was getting impatiently obsessed. He had to talk to this woman, *now.* Then Shiloh began the last song.

"Our final song is for all of you who believe there's something out there."

"Down here I feel like a citizen of nowhere/My bag's all packed in case they ever come for me/Got a hundred stories and tabloid lies/Got witnesses to what the government denies/So I'm headed down to Roswell to wait and see/Oh, I believe, I believe I could leave/I swear they're out there/I swear/ Well, I'm too wise to believe my eyes/Cause all I've seen just terrifies me/But I believe they're coming back for me."

Shiloh's lyrics hit Mulder like he never would have imagined. Someone *believed.* And she was FBI, to boot. He wasn't crazy, as so many others had often inferred. And now she was headed right for him. "Excuse me, Agent Lancaster?" Mulder spoke as she walked by him.

"What did you say?" Shiloh asked, taken aback that he knew who she *really* was and pulled him over to the side. "How the hell do you know that?"

"My name's Fox Mulder, I'm-"

"I know who you are. Who in the Bureau doesn't? I don't like the way people are looking at us thinking I'm gonna kick your ass, so follow me to the dressing room."

Mulder did as he was told, and once they were both inside, Shiloh closed the door and asked him, "Why are you here Agent Mulder? And don't let anyone else know that I'm FBI, because some of the people out here, well, let's just say I could bust up some very heavy going-ons if I really tried."

"I'm here because I need your help. Just like you say I'm well-known, Shiloh, you're quite renowned for your talents in the Bureau as well."

"What can I help you with?" Shiloh asked, softening a bit.

"Last month, my partner, Agent Dana Scully, was abducted by who knows what, and I'm following a source about her whereabouts that led me to Seattle, and well, where the source is you'd get the information, being who you are, easier than I would."

"Because I look halfway normal, and you look, no offense, like a cop?"

"Do I really?" Mulder asked.

"Yup. I could tell that much when I was on stage. You were screaming law enforcement."

"So will you help me?"

"Sure, why not?"

Later that night

The S.A.

Mulder and Shiloh arrived at the club, which was one of Shiloh's traditional haunts anyway, with both agents having changed, Shiloh in tight black leather pants, a silver top hugging her body, and a navy blue leather coat. Shiloh had convinced Mulder to change his appearance, too, getting him to quit styling his hair, and put him in a black turtleneck, black jeans, and his infamous leather jacket. They made a striking couple, appearing relaxed and ready to party, except for the fact that they both had their guns on their backs.

As they entered the club, Mulder asked, "You go to this place for fun?"

"I don't. It's just to keep a facade up. But I'll have to say that you're beginning to fit in here, Mulder."

"I'll take that as a compliment. No wonder you like these places. No office wear, and you get to show off your body."

"And I'll take that as a compliment. So who are we looking for?"

"He said he'd meet me here at 11:00. And he'd know who I was."

"Oh, one of those kind of contacts. We're going to have some fun tonight. We've got some time to kill, how do you suggest we spend it?" Shiloh asked, eyebrow raised.

"Well, we could-" Mulder was cut off by a gun being forced into his upper back.

"Agent Mulder, so glad you could make it. And who's this good-lookin' chick you've got with you? Hey, girl, how'd you get hooked up with this loser?" The voice in Mulder's back said.

Shiloh played it as if she were the antithesis of the agent she really was. "Well, hello," she said as she sauntered up to him. "I always knew Fox was gorgeous, but I didn't realize his friends were equally good-looking."

"Hey cutie, why don't the four of us-" the slimy greaseball had a friend to his right, "take it back this way so we can discuss information better."

The quartet ended up on the outside, on the backside of the club. The man who was still holding Mulder at gunpoint, finally stopped and addressed Mulder. "Well, well, Agent Mulder. You really are as desperate for information as our employers told us. You're so desperate to find Agent Scully that you'd bring your slutty girlfriend here to this dump just so she could see you die.

Our employers don't need you anymore, Mulder. So let's-"

"Wait!" Shiloh cried. If that man thought she was Mulder's "slutty girlfriend," than she'd have to play the part. "Before you shoot Fox," Shiloh begged in that real annoying dumb girl voice, "can I at least kiss him?"

"Sure, cutie, then once he's gone, maybe we'll have some fun." The guy moved away far enough to let Shiloh come near Mulder.

"Oh, Fox," Shiloh cried in her "voice," as she slid her hands under his coat and around his waist, "why didn't you tell me you were doing such dangerous things? Our two weeks together, I'll always treasure," Shiloh said as she found his gun, and after realizing what she was doing, Mulder had begun to do the same to Shiloh, "just one last kiss, okay?" Shiloh brought her lips up to Mulder's, and when she knew she had both of the goons attention, in one motion, both Shiloh and Mulder pulled away from each other and focused their guns on the other two.

"All right, you dumb motherfuckers, if you ever want to 'have fun' again, I suggest you drop your fucking weapons before I show you what slutty girlfriends can do." When she was pissed, Shiloh was deadly.

"Oh, yeah, like a woman knows how to use a weapon like that." One of the goons, who both had their guns out now, ready to fire on Mulder. "We still have a mission to accomplish, and we're not lettin' some dumb broad stand in our way." Just as he was about to pull the trigger, Shiloh beat him to it and shot him directly in the chest. The other man, realizing his fate was sealed, said, "The loss of a few lives is nothing," and as he cocked his gun, and pointed at Mulder, Mulder shot him.

"Mulder, do you realize how deep of shit we could get into because of this?"

"We fired in self-defense. These two can't deny it now."

"Let's go back to my place, okay? My car's right over there."

As Shiloh put her Sunfire in gear, her mind was racing as fast as her car was. What the hell was she doing, putting her life on the line for somebody she barely knew? Sure she'd heard of him, who hadn't, but just because she wanted to get assigned to the X-Files, didn't mean she had to sacrifice herself to a cause she didn't entirely understand. But she couldn't deny it, the way Mulder had been looking at her since she met him had been well, along with his appearance, intoxicating. But tonight pushed the limits a bit.

They reached Shiloh's apartment, she parked next to Mulder's rental, and began her good-byes. "Well, Fox, I'd have to say a day with you is never boring. If you need any other help while in Seattle-"

Mulder cut Shiloh off. "Shiloh, would it be all right if I sleep up in your place tonight? We still need to talk, and I'm not really in the mood to find a motel at this time of night."

"All right, Fox," Shiloh said resignedly. "Come on up."

When they were in Shiloh's apartment, Shiloh began, "Okay Fox, what do we need to talk about?"

"Shiloh, I won't deny it. I was wrong for enlisting your help. I didn't know what I was getting myself into tonight. If you weren't there tonight, I'd be dead right now, and that doesn't help my conscience at all right now-"

"Fox, I make my own choices. I do what I want. I wanted to be there tonight. Believe me, I've been in worse situations. Knowing me, I probably would have been down there tonight anyway, and if I had seen what was going down, I would have tried to intervene anyway. That's just the way I am. You intrigue me, Fox. I have never known someone for feeling guilty about their life being saved." Shiloh said as she threw her coat down on a chair, put her gun away, and turned her stereo on. She had turned away from Mulder momentarily, and when she turned back around, she found Mulder inches away from her body.

"From when I first saw you today, Shiloh, I knew immediately that there was something different about you. In a way, I knew that we were more alike that anyone would imagine. In some twisted way, we were kindred spirits from afar," Mulder said as he brought his hand up and brushed the side of Shiloh's face. From the look in his eyes Shiloh knew neither were going to rest unless the night was physically exorcised from them. They were the only ones the other had that night. Shiloh knew that Mulder needed her tonight as much as she needed him.

"Fox," Shiloh began, but was interrupted by Mulder putting his lips over hers and the electricity and chemistry took over from there.

Shiloh's senses were on overdrive. She could vaguely remember pulling him towards her bedroom, and their hands exploring, and every piece of clothing they felt, it was immediately removed. By the time they found the bed, their clothes were strewn in a line from the door and they were in no mood for breaking their frenzied pace.

Mulder kept kissing Shiloh everywhere, but working his way down, lingering near her breasts, eliciting gasps from Shiloh. After what seemed like eternity, she couldn't take it anymore, "Fox, I need you now!" That was all the encouragement he needed. Their passions ignited together, now as one, they reached their climax together, and collapsed, their bodies finally giving out to the experience.

In the morning, when Shiloh finally awoke, she realized she was alone. Again. In the span of less than 24 hours, Fox Mulder had come into her life to change it forever.

**

AGENT SCULLY'S OFFICE

June 2, 1997

"So,..." Shiloh finished, "that's how I know Mulder."

"You and Mulder *slept* together?" Scully spat out.

"Yes, we *slept* together," Shiloh answered, "but I know he was envisioning you when he and I were together."

"Excuse me?"

"I purposely left this part out of my story earlier, but when, I'm trying to say this nicely, when he screamed, he screamed 'Dana,' not my name."

"Oh," Scully said, taken aback. "I had no idea."

"There's something else you should know," Shiloh began. "Here, let me show you." Shiloh found her purse, pulled out her wallet, and pointed out a picture to Scully.

"He's a little cutie," Scully said, then shut her mouth abruptly. The little boy looked about two, and was absolutely adorable. He had dark unruly hair, dark eyes, and a devilish grin. There was no doubt in Scully's mind whose child this was.

"This is my son Mercer. He was born July 29, 1996, and typical of him and his father, he was late. He's the reason I really wanted this job. I needed stability, or a reasonable facsimile of it. And with my family in Baltimore, it would be a lot easier raising him than by myself in Seattle."

Even though Scully already knew the answer to this question, she had to ask anyway. "Who's Mercer's father?"

"Yes, Dana, it's who you think it is."

It took a minute for all of this to soak in. Mulder had a son that was almost two and it wasn't hers. Dana suddenly felt a huge pang of jealousy rush over her.

"Were you ever planning on telling Mulder?"

"Eventually. I knew how much danger it would be placing Mercer and myself in if I just casually brought it up to him. I also didn't put Fox's name on the birth certificate because I didn't want Mercer next in the line of Mulder men involved with the shadow government."

"I understand, but I'm curious," Dana asked, "you call Mulder 'Fox,' he didn't even let me do that, how come you?"

"I knew how much he hated being called that, so I started at the beginning as a joke, but he never told me to stop, so...." Shiloh answered.

"Can I meet him?" Dana asked.

"Who, Mercer? Sure! How 'bout you come to my apartment for a late dinner tonight? You show up about eight, he'll be fed and hyper, you'll love it," Shiloh answered sarcastically.

"Okay, I'm going to run a couple errands, and then I'll meet you there," Dana said. "You can hang out here, get acquainted with the place, head out whenever. Bye." With those words, Dana closed up her stuff and left.

"Wonder what the hurry was?" Shiloh asked.

**

OFFICE OF THE LONE GUNMEN

Scully impatiently knocked on the door. She needed answers, now. Byers answered and let her in, still knowing she was mourning and not in the world's best mood.

"What can we help you with Agent Scully?" Byers asked when they were inside.

"When you guys went to the Lombard Research Facility last October, did you guys or Mulder keep anything from there?" Scully asked.

"Didn't Mulder tell you?" Langly asked, confused.

"Tell me what?"

"When he met the multiple Kurt Crawfords, they had a huge storage freezer of human ova, and yours were there, and he took some." Frohike explained.

"My word...where did he keep it?" Scully asked.

"He gave it to us for safe keeping."

What good is it going to do you now, Dana? Mulder's *dead.* As if reading her thoughts, Byers asked, "So, did you finally find out about Mulder's project?"

"No,...what project?"

"Ever since that night, Mulder had been visiting a local sperm bank, donating about every other week."

"He, he what?" Scully sputtered. "I need that ova, now please." And with that, Scully knew exactly what she was going to do.

**

AGENTS SCULLY AND LANCASTER'S OFFICE

SEPTEMBER 7, 2000

"Oh, come on Dana, it'll be fun, everyone can come, and you haven't been out in ages."

"Gee, I wonder why Shiloh."

"Come on, this is my first show in a couple years and I'm nervous. It'd help having some friendly faces in the audience. Besides, we have no work here today anyway, it's all being taken care of for us." Dana had to admit, Shiloh had a point, but,..."Will Madeline be safe there?"

"Of course. I was hoping she and Mercer would be there together."

"Well, if Mercer's there, then we'll be there."

**

Later that night

Quattrochi's

As Dana entered the club, she knew Shiloh was right. This place is nice, she thought as a couple of insistent hands pulled on hers. "Come on Aunt Dana! Let's go get good seats before Mommy goes on!" "Yeah, Mommy, good seats now!" Madeline always did her best to emulate her brother.

"Okay, okay, here, how's this?" Dana asked the two bright faces smiling up at her.

"This is cool, Aunt Dana!" Mercer slid into the round booth, scooting all the way to the middle. "You could get lost in here!"

"Well, don't, all right? Mercer, have your sister sit next to you, and keep an eye on her!"

"I won't ever lose my sister, right, Maddie? How can you lose a sister?" Mercer asked to a weary Dana.

Very easily, Dana thought. If he only knew the real reason Shiloh and Dana kept telling Mercer to keep an eye on Maddie. If only... Dana's life, as well as Shiloh's, had been full of if only's lately. If only Mercer and Maddie knew their father, if only Dana had decided to have children before Maddie's father died. If only Mulder knew...

Dana sat upright. She hadn't thought his name in some time, even though he was constantly there. How could he not be? Dana saw a facsimile of the Mulder household every day. But for a couple years now if he was mentioned, it was in 'the father' context. It had been over three years since Dana began the in vitro process, but for her it had only taken two tries to get it right. And on April 9, 1998, Madeline Samantha Margaret Scully had been born. With Maddie's godmother (Shiloh's) advice, Dana had also neglected to mention on the birth certificate that Fox W. Mulder was the father. Shiloh and Dana had tried to keep their children safer that way.

Dana also wondered if this was how Fox and myself were as children. Mercer protected Maddie to death, even if he called her a twerp from time to time. Maddie looked like the pictures of me, though she had Dana's red hair and pouty mouth. And Mercer, well, Mercer was turning more into Mulder every day. They knew from the beginning he was smart, and when he went to be tested for kindergarten last spring, the school recommended his skipping a grade to fit in more intellectually. Shiloh agreed, knowing Mercer couldn't care less if met 5 year old or 50 year olds, he just loved telling people what he was thinking. Dana could see the signs that Mulder must of had about his eidetic memory, and his tendency to blame himself for everything. Dana just hoped that Mercer wouldn't have the burden of guilt that his father did.

Although, parts of that tendency were just finally going down. Around the time when Dana first became pregnant, Mercer blamed himself when his mom and Dana quit speaking to each other for a while. He thought it was because of his presence, Shiloh being a mom, and Dana not, that made them yell when they were around him. But finally, Dana admitted to Shiloh her reasons behind her pregnancy, which were all the ones that Shiloh threw at her, jealousy, trying to keep Mulder alive when he was dead, competition, Dana agreed with all of them. And after Maddie was born, Shiloh helped Dana grow into a long-accustomed role for Shiloh- single mom. And they finally grew into close friends and MMC's (Mothers of Mulder's Children), as they liked to call it.

And while their families grew, their careers did as well. Mulder would have been disappointed in them, but they ditched his basement office, when a large third-story office was offered to them by Skinner. The X-Files no longer existed; the PAU did. The Paranormal Activities Unit was headed by department heads Lancaster and Scully, and they had two branches, investigative, headed by Shiloh, and forensic, headed by Dana. They had 12 agents below them, out in the field and in the lab. The two department heads were aggressive by choice-they had to prove that two women could build up a once secret and joked about division into a formidable unit. They had. The PAU was now the most successful and highest ranking unit in the Bureau. They still had formidable opposition, but those that were after Mulder realized that Lancaster and Scully weren't obsessed in everything extreme, they were interested in the truth, in whatever shape or form it took. And now that Dana's cancer went into remission after Maddie was born, and had been shrinking ever since, they knew the pair were going nowhere but up.

The sound of Shiloh's voice brought Dana out of her reverie.

"Come on Sam, what the hell are we doing here? We never go out." "Correction, *you* never go out. I thought it would do you some good. You seem so dreary lately."

"Dreary? That's a word I'd never thought of to describe myself. Thanks." "Besides, I know how much you love chick bands, and tonight there's some one named Sarah Lancaster playing and she sounded cool." Lancaster, no, must be a coincidence, Shiloh's still in Seattle, not D.C.

"Well, we better have fun, Sam, or you'll owe me."

"Don't worry, Fox, you'll have the night of your life."

"Aunt Dana, I need to go to the bathroom!!"

"Okay," Dana said with a sigh, "let's go!"

"No! Can I go by myself, please?" Mercer smiled up at Dana with that classic Mulder puppy dog look.

"Do you think you're a big enough boy?"

"Yes, Aunt Dana, of course!"

"Well, Fox, it looks like we got here early enough, the show's just begun."

"Yeah, here, wait a second, I gotta go real quick, then I'll be there."

 

"Can you reach that?"

"I got it, all right!" Mercer said as the man handed him a paper towel. Mercer was about to run right back out when he looked at the man again. He looked familiar, so he had to ask, "Are you here to see my mom tonight?" "Who's your mom?" Dangit, this little kid was cute, but he wanted to go and see the show, the woman on stage, at least from where he was, looked hot. "She's the one on stage right now."

"Oh, no, I don't know your mom."

"Are you sure, 'cause you look familiar...."

"Have we met before?"

"No, but I remember my mom and Aunt Dana showing me and Maddie lots of pictures and the guy in them looked like you." Mercer said to a slack faced Mulder.

Aunt Dana, surely it couldn't be..."What's your mom's name again?"

"Shiloh Lancaster."

"And this Aunt Dana..."

"Well, she's not really my aunt, but she's my sister's mom, so I call her my aunt, and she's Dana Scully."

Scully, his Scully, here..."You have a sister?"

"Yeah, Maddie. She's two and she looks like her mom and Aunt Samantha."

"You have the same father?"

"Yeah, I was named after him even. Mercer Edwyn Fox Lancaster." Ohmigod, Mulder thought. He had to tell himself to breathe. "And your Aunt Dana, she's your sister's mom?"

"Yeah, even though, our dad's dead, he died about a year before Maddie was born, or at least that's what they told me." Mercer already doubted everything he heard, like his father.

"Is Maddie short for Madeline?"

"Yeah, Madeline Samantha Margaret Scully. MSMS, cool, huh?" It finally dawned on Mulder that he was talking to his son. "So, is your sister and aunt with you?"

"Yeah, I told Aunt Dana that I was big enough to come in here by myself, and boy is she gonna be surprised when I bring you out." "You know who I am?" Mulder squeaked out.

"Of course. Why else would I tell you what I've told you? Never talk to strangers, right? But you're Mulder, so you're not a stranger. And who's outside waiting for you? Is that Samantha?"

"How do you know about Samantha?"

"I remember her face. I remember everything I see. Mom calls it a blessing, but Aunt Dana calls it a curse."

His eidetic memory. "So, can you show me where they are?"

"

Sure, come on, Mulder." Not Dad, or anything else like that, just Mulder. How appropriate, Fox thought.

"Hey, Sam, I'd like you to meet someone. Sam, this is Mercer Lancaster, Mercer, this is your Aunt Samantha."

"I know, I told you that already. Hiya Aunt Sam. Nice to meet you finally. Come on, let's go. But let me tell Aunt Dana before she gets her gun out and shoots you. Whenever Mom and Aunt Dana talk about you, one of them is always ready to cry, so..." Mercer ran ahead of Mulder and me to a large booth where Mulder could see a shock of red hair turning to face Mercer's hyper body. Mercer's dialogue was fast and fierce, then Dana motioned for him to sit down next to a little girl who was standing on the seat. Maddie, Mulder surmised. Then Dana finally turned around and Mulder and Dana's eyes met. Dana stood up, and began to cautiously walk to where Mulder and I stood.

Mulder couldn't speak. After all these years, the one woman he gave his life for was alive and walking towards him and all he could do is stand there. I broke the silence.

"That's your Dana, Mulder?"

"Yeah, that's Scully. Beautiful, isn't she?"

"If you say so, Fox."

Once Dana got close enough to Mulder to say something, neither of them did. They stood there, within an arm's length of each other, and they just stared at each other. Maybe because neither could find the right words, or that they both had three years of not seeing each other to catch up on. Whatever the reason, the only thing they could do is reach for each other to affirm that it really was the other that was standing in front of them.

"Hey, Scully," Mulder began.

"Hey yourself," Scully replied.

"I ran into Mercer..."

"He told me. What else did he tell you?"

"Well, I noted that he has an eidetic memory, and he mentioned," Mulder paused as a smile came to his face. "He mentioned his little sister, Maddie. Is it true, Scully? About Maddie?"

"Yes, Mulder. Madeline is our daughter. She was born in April of '98. Byers told me of what you had been doing since we were in Allentown."

"Why, Scully? Why'd you do it?"

"No, Mulder, I think I should be asking *you* that question. Where the hell have you been the past three years?" Scully demanded.

"I had to fake my death so they would quit looking for me. So I could find her. Scully, I'd like you to meet my sister, Samantha."

Scully turned towards me. "I'm glad he could find you, Samantha. I hope you've helped his conscience some."

"Not to change the subject or anything, because, no offense or anything, I don't think I could add dealing with Samantha's return tonight. Mulder, to answer your question, when I thought you were dead, the only things in my life were my new partner and your son. Do you know what that did to me? To know that the only piece of you left on earth I didn't share with you? It hurt so much, that I needed Maddie to partially fill the gap you left wide open. Are you back for good now, Mulder? Or are you going to leave me again?" Scully asked while stepping close to Mulder, staring intently at him.

"I never truly wanted to leave, Scully. I had to. They were killing you because of me. I had to get my priorities straight and finish one thing before I started something else. You can only be obsessed about one thing at a time, you know."

"So now what? What is going to consume you to the point of invading your dreams now?"

"You. Once I found Samantha, all that I could think about is helping you, saving you, protecting you. I was so guilt-ridden about leaving you that I basically had to let you lead your own life. You were better off without me, Scully. All I ever did was bring you pain and death. I don't want to hurt you anymore."

"I was better off without you? Is that what you think? Because of you, Mulder," Scully stepped forward and placed a hand on Mulder's shoulder, "we have a beautiful daughter and what she -and her brother- need right now is their father.

I'm not invincible, I can't go through life alone. For four years in my life, I was blessed to be with you. I need you Mulder. You are the only one I could imagine spending the rest of my life with. You never answered my question, Mulder. Are you staying?"

"Yes, Scully, yes, if you'll have me," Mulder said, eyes gleaming, smiling down at Scully.

Then Scully stood on tiptoe and gave Mulder the sweetest of kisses. I knew my brother was in love, and now he was happy. And we had a new Mulder clan. A large, eclectic bunch, but nonetheless a family. Now I hope this one stays together, forever.

THE END

Whaddya think? I'm tempted to do a sequel, but if it sucked.....

Let me know! Alicia97@aol.com

Thanks for reading!




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