Title: Angerball
Author: SnoopMar
Written: May 2000
Disclaimer: That's a big 'well, duh'. They're Carter's, not mine, even if they would be happier with me.

Summary: "Everyone has pressure points. You find them and then you squeeze."


I'm lying on the bed, staring, stunned, at the ceiling. I can hear Scully sobbing in the bathroom, but I can't get up the energy to move and go see her, comfort her, take comfort from her.

Twenty-three hours ago, Amelia had turned up at the Hoover Building, the only survivor of a school bus shooting on a field trip to visit the FBI. Her parents had been helping out, and had been taken out by the perpetrator first as they tried to protect the children.

I remember the sound she made when we walked in to help the task force, and seen her. Remember catching Scully in my arms as she collapsed.

I had explained to the others.

Surprisingly, they moved heaven and earth. They didn't doubt me.

Dana Scully doesn't collapse.

Fox Mulder doesn't shake at the sight of a six year old girl with blonde pigtails.

Scully had insisted on running the tests right there and then. We needed to know the truth.

What the lab had found completely altered the world as we, and the FBI, knew it.

Amelia was her daughter.

But she's also mine.

Scully had bluntly informed me that she would recognize my DNA anywhere, that she knew it better than she knew her own.

And our Amelia had the same hybridized DNA as Emily. But without the genetic drift that had killed Emily. Amelia was genetically sound.

I close my eyes, forcing the nausea away.

I'm the father of a six year old girl. A little girl who wouldn't speak because of what's she'd just seen.

I'm still in shock, and combined with the belief of the other agents, of their belief in what I and Scully have told them, of their belief in me when I swore that I had never laid a sexual finger on Dana Scully, of what had happened to me so many years earlier at Ellens Air Force Base, of what I'd found in Florida, of what Scully told them she'd endured, of the belief written in their eyes as they looked at Scully's tattered 3 by 5 of Emily. I have been slammed six ways from Sunday by their compassion and support.

Skinner had arranged for us to be taken to a safe house, just in case the bus massacre hadn't been a coincidence. In case Amelia had been the target.

I never expected to have a child. But I guess I have one and only Scully and Samantha had ever inspired the feelings of love and protectiveness in me that Amelia does.

God, I can look at Amelia and see Scully and see parts of myself. She was so beautiful.

She'd been playing at Skinner's desk, humming, while we waited for their escort.

I remember the feeling of safety, standing in that office, speaking quietly to AD Cassidy and Skinner, answering her questions, glancing occasionally towards Scully sitting quietly on the sofa watching Amelia play in Skinner's chair.

I can still hear the pop the window had made as it exploded inward. I can still see Amelia flinch as the glass hit her. I can still feel my body lunging towards my daughter, hear Scully scream.

I can hear the echo of the bullet from a sniper's gun that had torn into her little body a second later.

I hear Scully's screams and my own as I watched our little girl's head blown apart by a bullet. I can still feel the hands of unknown agents pulling me away from her body, could still see Skinner and AD Cassidy restraining Scully.

I lie on the bed, in the safe house, and listen to Scully cry.

This has to end. This has to end now.


Nononononononononono.

My baby. My baby.

Not my baby.

Not my baby.

Not our baby.

"Mulder...Mulder..."

I can hear myself begging him to look at me as I slide to the floor against the doorjamb of the bathroom.

"MULDER!" Somewhere inside me Scully is telling me to calm down, to let her take over, asking Dana to stop crying.

She wasn't your baby. They made her.

YES SHE WAS! SHE WAS MY BABY!

"She was our baby. She was our little girl." I can hear myself wailing.

Oh god.

I clamp my hands over my mouth, swallowing convulsively, trying to not dry heave.

He finally looks at me. There's something cold and unforgiving in his eyes. Something I've never seen before.

Not directed at me.

Directed at them. At whoever took our baby.

Babies, actually.

I suspect that if I could test Emily, I would find that the little paternal DNA present in her fragile body had been Mulder's. At the time, I was so stunned I hadn't bothered.

He sits up, slides to the floor and crawls to me.

His hands are shaking as they clutch my cheeks.

Amelia's blood still stains his skin.

"No more."

His eyes are glassy and feverish. There are tears floating in them.

"No more. No more."

I know what he is saying as he pulls me tightly to him and buries his face in my neck. I wrap my arms around him, trying to get warm.

I am so cold.

"No more, Mulder. No more."

He pulls away slightly, just enough to make eye contact.

"We finish this now."

"Yes. Now."


I have never seen such unspeakable anguish before.

I watched a little girl - a little girl who's parents were unaware of her existence until scant hours earlier - murdered. Killed by a sniper through my friend Walter's office window.

I watched two agents, notorious for their lack of passion for anything but their work and each other, completely crumble.

When I first met the X-Freaks - I admit to believing their press - I was bound and determined to end their charade. To stop them, whether they wanted me to or not, from wasting their talents in the basement. I admit that in my anger, I took their X-Files from them. I admit that my personal dislike for them resulted in the massacre at the aircraft hanger.

But I eventually had to accept and recognize that Special Agents Drs. Mulder and Scully knew their shit. I encountered their unchallenged, unparalleled skills.

They deserved to be treated better.

It's sad that the recognition and the respect finally came to them only after Mulder was tortured, only after they brought down the Doomsday group, only after the discovery of poor Samantha Mulder in California, only after so much damage has been done to Mulder and especially to Scully.

I don't think I'll ever be able to get the sounds of that poor woman's screams out of my head, of that damaged man's hysterical struggles to try and put his daughter back together. Of watching them be taken out, away from their baby's body, for their own safety.

It was then that every agent in this building became an outraged god-parent.

Amelia Cunningham Scully Mulder would be avenged.

I watch them stalk down the hall towards the elevator. They aren't supposed to be here but there is not one person who's going to stop them.

I see Skinner step out of his office and they stop, their voices low. I observe them silently and unnoticed, as do many others.

Scully is once more the Ice Queen, controlled, quiet, fiercely independent. Mulder is again the dark, avenging, overprotective fallen angel of the FBI. Their air of strength, intelligence, and unapproachability is back.

But there is a dangerous aura surrounding them now. As if something has changed.

As if they've come to a decision, chosen another path.

I fear for them. The road ahead will be a rough one.

But my fear is greater for those who oppose them, for those who have instigated the war against them.

Those people probably think that they've won, that this blow they have dealt them is fatal.

They have won. The wound was fatal.

It killed their patience and their tolerance for the existence of their enemies.

They lost only the battle.

The war, it appears, has only just begun.


I really don't think they're ready to be back here.

Hell, I insisted on a new office.

But they say they're ready, that they need to work.

Ha.

I can see it in their eyes.

I hope that smoking bastard has a lot of fucking life insurance.

He'll need it.

He never crossed the line before. He's come close, but he never crossed the line.

Mulder and Scully are now *dedicated* to getting him.

Somehow I doubt he'd make it to trial.

Kersh, of course, wants them on psych leave. But Jana's backing me up.

They're on the task force.

The AIC objected, of course, some bullshit about conflict of interest.

I told him, their interest will most likely bring the bastards in. I also told him that at least this way, with them on the task force, we have some modicum of control over them, we can try to keep them safe, can stop them from going vigilante on us.

I know I sure as hell don't want them running around unleashed.

I can see it in their eyes.

It's a look I've seen before, on both of them.

Mulder had it when they took Scully for those three months so many years ago.

Scully had it when they took Mulder and fucked with his head.

Banked rage. Pent-up fury.

Abso-fucking-lutely unstoppable.

I'd say God help them, but somehow I doubt that God would ever side with CSM.


I can't believe it.

They've already brought the first suspect in.

How they found him I don't know, but I pity the sonofabitch. When I first saw him, I thought Mulder had gone after him.

Then Colamartini told me that the bastard had tried to get away. Scully brought him down, hard.

Apparently he "resisted arrest quite fervently."

Dr. Marcus Madison, a geneticist/eugenist.

"Jana," I nod towards her. She's just as interested as I am in watching the interrogation. Scully and Mulder are running this show, at Madison's insistence, though they did ask for extra agents in the room.

"Dr. Madison, I presume - "

He interrupts Scully before she can finish her first sentence. "Yes, I ran the program. Quite proud of my work. You were one of our most prolific subjects, Dr. Scully."

Mulder leans forward, something utterly unforgiving in his gaze. "What do you mean by that?"

Madison laughs, a sickening clatter across our nerves. "Genetically, she was superior. As were you, Dr. Mulder."

Mulder and Scully share a telling glance. I wonder if Madison sees his life flashing before his eyes.

Madison smiled as he continued, seemingly aimless ramblings of an evil nutcase. "Have you, Dr. Scully, Dr. Mulder," God, it's as if he thinks they're his colleagues! "ever noticed how your destinies have been shaped? Your parents must have been guided in their choice of names."

Okay, the guy's a complete nutcase. I spare a glance for Jana. As usual, we're on the same page.

Scully snorts, but Madison continued. "After all, Dr. Scully, your name Dana means 'mother of gods'. And we *were* creating superhumans! And your middle name, Katherine, means pure, virginal. In many ways, you _are_ the Madonna!"

Mulder lunged forward, the other agents barely able to hold him as he spat at Madison, "You bastard! You motherfucker, I'm gonna -"

"MULDER! SIT DOWN! NOW!"

I have never seen 'bitch kitty' Scully before. That tone could drive screws into titanium. My secretaries over the years have been unaware of my knowledge of their monikers for my favourite (yes, I admit it) agents: Bitch Kitty Scully and the Nutcase.

He sat down. Looking at him, one would assume he was in complete control.

Madison sneered at Mulder, and continued, revelling in the attention, "And you, Dr. Mulder! Fox - a cunning, wily thing that is devoted to its mate! William, meaning resolute protector!" Madison shook his head, a nasty smirk on his face. "Not very good at your job, are you, Mulder?" He giggled as Mulder growled at him. "No matter. You provided the necessary DNA to keep her alive, to give her an effective immune system, one that can also constrain the hybridized DNA!"

I am chilled to the bone as he stares at my agents. "The Madonna and her protector, her Joseph! And we were the Lord! We are God, Agents! They are _our_ children! The sons and daughters of Gods! That was why we chose the name Amelia! 'Work of the Lord'!"

I never thought I'd see the day when it took five agents plus Mulder to hold down a tiny woman like Scully.


Shit.

That's all I can say.

Shit.

Goddamn those motherfuckers.

Madison somehow got a grip on a gun while we were wrestling Scully to the floor. Nothing to be done.

I look at my Scully and sigh, knowing that I have the same look.

Neither of us has properly grieved for our daughter yet. And we won't be able to for a long time, now.

That bastard Madison, before he died, just had to sink the knife in further.

There are two more children. WE have two more children.

He referred to them as gods. Hephaestus and Hecate.

We're assuming that he meant that we have both a son and a daughter still out there.

Scully and I spent hours going over his notes, trying to distinguish between medicine - if you can call this medicine - and the disturbed dissociative scrawls of a lunatic.

Then, paydirt.

They had only managed to use five of her ova before I rescued them.

Thank heaven for small blessings.

We had five children. Three are already dead, the "test subjects", they call them.

Emily.

Ryan.

Amelia.

Their 'control group' still exists. No alien DNA. Perfectly normal children.

No parents, just a controlled nursery setting from which "we can observe the progress of their development without subjecting them to impure influences, to the residuum of society."

Bastard had 'em baptised Catholic and gave them my name.

Fucking bastard. Burn in hell.


My babies were treated like fucking lab rats. Three were used as experiments in hybridization. Two were studied to observe normal development, but kept isolated to preserve the purity of the data.

Madison, you are lucky you're dead.

I hear Mulder laugh, a scary sound.

"What?"

"Madison had them baptised and named."

"What?"

Mulder raises his head. I see and acknowledge the bleakness in Mulder's eyes with my own. "He had them baptised as Catholics, Scully. And he named them. And yes, he chose 'meaningful' names."

I reach over and take his hand, lacing our fingers together, drawing strength from my G-Man. "Shoot."

"Well, our son -" he holds out a recent file photo, he looks like my brother Charlie, but he has Mulder's eyes. "- is Evan Caley Mulder. Evan, meaning young fighter, Caley, meaning brave warrior. Our daughter," he hands me the picture, God, she looks like my mother! and pulls me closer, "is Leila Erin Mulder. Leila, meaning dark beauty, Erin, meaning peace."

Mulder has his arms around me. We're both staring ferociously at the pictures, memorizing them, learning their nuances. Meeting our babies.

"They have no alien DNA. They were - "

"A control group, I know. It's in the medical notations. As is their contingency arrangements in case of discovery."

"What's their plan?" Mulder's voice has taken on that quality that I previously categorized as 'for use only in case of executing Krycek.'

I shift and look closely at him, willing him to stay calm. "Madison's aides were to grab the children and run, separately. If they cannot contact Madison within one week, they msut terminate the project."

"No........."


I am appalled.

We have less than three days to find two children and their captors, who could be god-knows-where by now.

I didn't know what else to do. I forced them to go back to the safe house, to try and get some sleep.

They fought me. I finally had them placed under an emergency order of detention.

They radiated fury as they left, each with the spare change of clothes I had an agent fetch from their homes.

Walter's furious with me. He understands why I did it, but he still thinks that I should have left well enough alone, that I should have left them with their dignity. With a purpose to keep their grief from incapacitating them.

I can't. I can see, perhaps better than Walter, how much they're teetering on the edge of total collapse.

Ten hours isn't much, but it may be enough to let them try and get some time to rebuild their walls.

Ten hours will give the task force enough time to collect the information Mulder and Scully want without being harangued.

He ordered the other agents to leave them alone unless one of them asks for help.

"They need what little privacy we can give them, Jana."

I have never - even during the OPR hearing - been on the receiving end of what some people refer to as 'the glare': a cold blue blaze and a hard burning green/gold dissection.

Now, I have been weighed and found wanting. **-

The force of the door slamming shook the room as Scully stormed in.

I didn't move. I didn't see any point.

"Why are you just lying there, Mulder! Get up! We need to work."

"We need to sleep. Cassidy isn't going to let us out of here for ten hours."

"Fuck her. Get up."

"No."

I stay where I am, listening to Scully berate and curse me for trying to rest. Less than a week ago, I would've been laughing my ass off at this meltdown of hers, since she was always trying to get me to rest.

Now, I can't help but think of what a waste of energy and time it is.

"Scully, will you just shut the hell up!"

"Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?"

"You! We have to try and get some sleep, otherwise we're not going anywhere!"

"What makes you think I can sleep, Mulder, when all I see is Amelia -"

I lunge up off the bed and grab her by her upper arms, shaking her slightly. I know I must be hurting her, but I just can't stop myself. "You don't think I know that? That I don't see it too?"

Her eyes are wide, the colour of the sea off the vineyard during a winter storm. She tries to jerk away, but I jerk her back, hard, and shake her again. "Mulder - "

"You don't think that all I can hear is that bullet, is your screaming? That all I can see is her head exploding? I can't get her blood off my hands, Scully! I CAN'T DO IT! NOW JUST SHUT UP AND SLEEP, YOU FRIGID BITCH!" The whole time, I'm screaming at her and shaking her and almost crushing her upper arms in my grip. I finally have to let her go when she whimpers in pain and I throw her away from me, noting absently that I've bounced her off a wall. Deep inside I know I've hurt her, that I'm hurting *Scully*, but I just don't care anymore.

I see her clamber off the floor, and I figure that she's going to leave finally.

SLAP

I didn't even see it coming.

I stagger back and fall down on my bed, my cheek screeching in pain, my ears ringing from the slap she just laid on me.

"Don't you dare take this out on me, you motherfucker! How DARE you! "Resolute Protector" my ass! This is ALL YOUR FAULT! If you'd moved quicker -"

I see red. Gory, bloody, gushing red.

I damn well know it's misplaced rage, that she doesn't mean it, that she knows it's not my fault. Just as I know that it's not her that I'm angry at, that she's the most convenient outlet for my rage. That what I'm taking out on her she doesn't deserve and that I will regret the events of tonight for the rest of my life.

But I just don't care enough to stop right now.

I have her pinned against the wall near the bathroom door. I've got her wrists pinned to the wall by a grip so hard that I know it'll leave bruises.

She's terrified.

I can see it in her eyes.

But I just don't care.

"No more, Scully. No more."

I can see what I look like in her eyes.

Spooky Mulder really _is_ deranged.

"Mulder, let go of me," she whispers, abject terror evident in her voice.

"No."

"Mulder, let go."

She's trying to get loose, to push me away from her. Just like she's been doing for seven years.

"No."

"Let go or else I'm calling for help."

"No."

"I mean it, Mulder." The anger's back in her eyes. "Let go. Now."

"No."

She opens her mouth to scream, but I'm too quick for her.


"Should we go up there, Andy?"

"Nope. You heard Skinner."

"But it - but - Listen to 'em!"

"Grayson, sit down and mediate or something. Believe me, you do NOT want to get involved in any fight between the Ice Queen and Spooky. You'll be dead before you hit the floor if you go up there."


I'm kissing her. I've got her pinned against a wall, I'm probably going to get my ass charged with assault and battery when Skinner sees her wrists, but I don't care.

I need this.

Scratch that.

We need this.

I know I'm deluding myself, as I drag her arms up over her head, grab both her wrists in one hand and tear her shirt open and rip her bra apart, that this isn't some twisted form of life affirmation.

It's something much more primal.

I know I'm wrong as I yank her skirt up around her waist and rip her nylons, bypassing her underwear.

I know I'll hate myself as I shove my fingers into her, searching for that spot inside her, for ruining what I've dreamed of for years.

For destroying any chance I ever had with her.

She sinks those perfect little teeth into my tongue, forcing me to pull back.

"Let me go, Mulder. Now."

"No."

I slam my mouth back down on hers, pushing her lips back against her teeth, banging her head against the cheap panelling.

Gotcha, I think as my fingers find the spot and she moans involuntarily.

I grin against her bruised and bleeding lips, enjoying the look of rage and unwelcome pleasure in her eyes.

Her eyes.........

Fuck, I can't do this to her.

I let go and fall to my knees in front of her, burying my bruised face in my hands, waiting for her to scream for help.


One minute, he's crossed the line between assault and sexual assault, with his fingers shoved inside me, pushing on my GSpot. The next, he's on the floor, shattered. We don't have time for him to play wounded bunny. We have children to save.

Somewhere deep inside me I can hear myself crying, begging me to let it be, telling me that he's hurting as much as I am, ordering me to rest, that I'm tired and hurt and angry and that's what's making me do this to him. I ignore her.

I don't have time to be mommy right now.

I push my clothes back together as much as I can, and step around him to the desk where I dropped the files when I came in.

"Mulder, get up." I turn around, and there he is, playing at being penitent. "Get your ass off the floor, you sorry sack of shit! We have to work! I know that my children's needs are interfering in your grand mission of guilt, but I need you for the moment!"

He raises his head, a look of incredulity on his face.

Boy, I nailed him good.

But he still isn't moving.

I stalk over to him and kick him, hard. "I said get up, you useless bastard!"

I see the darkness of rage fly over his face, but I don't move quickly enough. He knocks me down with one sweep of an arm.

Before I can even think about moving, he's pinned me to the floor, looming over me. All I see are infuriated hazel eyes.

"Get off me!" I snarl, furious.

"No."

I can't say another word. His mouth crushes mine beneath his, his hands yank my clothes apart. I buck and twist, punch and scratch.

I can't get away. **

I can't believe she said that.

Before I even realize what I'm doing, she's underneath me, and she's virtually naked.

"Ow!" I yelp, as she gets a hold of my hair and pulls my head up.

"Get the fuck off me, Mulder! Leave me alone!"

I feel something deep inside me break.

I grapple with her, finally getting a grip on her wrists.

I stare at her, knowing that there are no walls left, that she can truly see my soul at this moment. "Never in a million years, you bitch."

And I kiss her again, pushing her body into the floor, forcing her legs apart with mine so I can lie and grind against her.

I manage to shift her wrists into one hand so I can reach down and open my pants, knowing only that I need to do this, need to claim her.


What are we doing?

What have I done? I have said things to this man in the last five minutes that I thought I could never say to him in fifty years.

I know what happened. I became the Ice Queen.

I saw it in his eyes when I told him to get up.

He needed me more at that moment than he needed me, anyone, ever before. And I just didn't care.

I saw the hell he's in. I saw the hell I pushed him deeper into.

But I also saw the need in his eyes. The need to connect, the need to grieve, the fatigue, the need to just forget, even if only for a moment.

I have to stop him.

If he does this he'll never forgive himself, even if I do.

I bite his lower lip hard, drawing blood. It makes him rear up.


"Mulder, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I didn't mean it I'm sorry."

I stare at her, feeling the blood spreading out over my lip.

Her eyes......

Jesus.

I push off of her and lean against the bed, shoving myself back into my boxers. She sits up, trying to pull her clothes to cover herself.

"Scully......"

She's not even half-dressed. I didn't leave her with enough clothes to be half- dressed. I pull my undershirt off and hand it to her.

She stands up and turns around, pulling off the remnants of her outfit.

I can see her arms and wrists.

Before I realize what I'm doing, I'm standing behind her, my arms wrapped around her, dropping kisses on her bared shoulders, whispering "Sorry" over and over.


He's holding me as if I'm the world.

I can just see our reflection in the bathroom mirror.

A half-naked woman clutching a tshirt in one hand and his forearm in the other, with tears in her eyes, arms and wrists bruised black.

A man with a bruised cheek, face buried in her hair, tears on his face.

"What are we letting them do to us, Mulder?"

He makes a sound between a sob and a snort. "Letting them? Scully, we're actively helping them."

The room, we, are silent for what seems like eons.

"I'm sorry I called you a frigid bitch." He turns me in his arms, cradling me against his chest. "Your arms, I.....I'm sorry. I....I....."

"I'm sorry I said you were useless. It's not your fault."

He kisses my forehead, his tears splashing against my skin. "I didn't mean to hurt you. I'm sorry I touched you." I hear the unspoken 'like that.'

I know what he really means. He's sorry that the first time he touched me as Mulder the man rather than Mulder the partner was in anger. I know he's always wanted to touch me.

I let the tshirt fall to the floor, and wrap my sore arms around his waist, hugging him to me. "Doesn't matter. I know it wasn't you."

I don't know how long we stood there, giving strength and sanctuary to each other.

Mulder bent down and picked up the shirt, pulling it over my head. "Do you want to work?"

I shake my head, hugging him again, burying my face in his chest, listening to his heart beat.

I know that heart. I know it so well.

I can feel him almost-unwillingly tracing his hands up and down my back.

He's scared that he'll hurt me again.


She's like spun glass in my arms.

I'm petrified that I'll do something to shatter her.

I can't believe that I nearly....that I almost....

God.

I didn't want it to be like that. I didn't want the first time I touched her to be like that.

I know I will never escape the image of her eyes, terrified, or of her arms and wrists, bruised.

I did that to her.

Three days ago, if someone had done that to her, I would have ripped his balls off and made him eat them.

Bill's right. I am a sorry son of a bitch.

"Mulder?"

"Hmmm?"

"Can I sleep with you?"

I can't help the thrill that skitters over me when she says that. "Yeah."

I don't deserve a second chance. I don't deserve her.

She lets go of me. I'm cold without her. I quickly turn the light off and climb into the bed beside her, wrapping my arms around her.

We must lie there for hours without speaking. Sleep is even more elusive than usual.

"Mulder?"

"Yes, Scully?"

"Do you think we'll find them? Before it's too late?"

I can hear the fear in her voice. I shift until we're lying side by side in the bed, at eye level. I can't lie to her.

"I don't know. I hope so. But I can promise you one thing. I will find them and I will make them pay for doing this to you." I pause, brushing hair off her face, out of her eyes. "I can't stand by and watch them hurt you like this. I have to stop them."

"Mulder, promise me something?"

"Anything."

"Don't do anything stupid if we are too late. I can't lose you."

"Scully, you could never lose me," I can hear my voice crack.

You sit up and lean over me, the scant beams of moonlight dancing over my tshirt, making my heart skip a beat.

"Mulder, they could take you from me. I don't know our children, I have no relationship with them outside of biology." I see you swallow a sob and I try to speak, but you shush me. "I can't exist without you anymore, Mulder. I don't exist without you. Whatever happens, please, don't leave me."

I can't handle the slap of your hot tears against me. I pull you to me and let you cry against my chest, my heart breaking over and over with every sob. I can feel my own tears soaking the pillow and your hair.

"I promise, Scully. I promise." I tilt your head up so I can see your eyes.

I smile. I can't help it.

Your eyes are red and swollen, your nose is red, and there's a scab forming on your lip from where I cut you.

You look like hell.

And you're stunning.

I move slowly, letting you know my intentions. I brush my mouth across yours, gently. You brush back.

Your hands tighten slightly against me, drawing me closer.

We kiss over and over and over again.

I'm not sure what we're doing, but I need this. I know I don't deserve you, that I've lost the right to even contemplate asking this of you.

"I need you, Scully."

I fully expect you to pull away, throw that wall up again between us.

Especially after what I nearly did to you earlier.

You don't.


This isn't the time.

Or the place.

But I can't say no to you, deny you, Mulder. Not because I don't care about you, not because I don't need you.

I can't say no to you now because for you to ask this of me, for you to have the courage to acknowledge the want in the face of what nearly happened tonight, you have opened yourself to me. You have finally, irrevocably, let me in. By telling me that you need me, Mulder, you're telling me that this wasn't a fluke, wasn't a momentary lapse in judgment.

You need me. You need to be close to me. You need to connect with me, you need to be and feel loved.

God, Mulder, I can't say no because I need you tonight.

I know I'll never find the words to tell you this. To tell you how much I need you.

Hopefully actions do speak louder and clearer than words.

I kiss you.

I kiss your cheek, atoning.

I kiss your chin, asking.

I kiss your mouth, inviting.


She kissed me.

She kissed me, her tongue soothing the vicious bitemark she left on me earlier.

I moan.

She whispers my name, her voice thick and golden and screaming sex.

Blissful agony flickers out into every spot in my body, hearing her say my name like that.

It's like a shot of heroin.

I open my eyes and look at you.

Jesus.

You know.

I can see it in your eyes.

I don't know how but you know.

You know that I need you. You know that I need for you to love me.

There are things I wish I could tell you, Scully. Staring into your beautiful eyes makes me want to tell you everything.

"I don't deserve you, Scully."

"Even if this is the only time you ever let me love you, let me touch you, I will live this moment forever, I want you to know that."

"I feel so guilty about these children, Scully. Guilty because there's a part of me that is overjoyed at their existence, that Evan and Leila exist. As long as they exist, Scully, I have a part of you forever. You can't leave me."

"I want to tell you that I love you. I want to make you understand that you are my world. The only necessity of life I have to have to survive is you."

"I live for you."

But I say nothing. Even if I could tell you these things, I wouldn't.

I can't tell you these things because I love you and I won't hurt you.

You made me promise not to leave you.

Scully, the day you set foot in my office you set foot in my heart.

You have me, Scully.

I wish you would keep me.

You smile at me, drawing me back from my thoughts.

Your eyes are hot.

I am naked before them.

The want I can see in your lovely eyes is perfect and fierce.

I want to please you. I want to be gentle, make this languid and slow and excruciating.

But I know I can't.

And I know you know it.

You know it's going to be fast and wild, hard and hot, violent and unruly, fevered and raw, full frantic and thoroughly exquisite.

I don't have to push for anything.

I can see in your eyes that you are going to give me all that I crave, all I lust for.

I'm having trouble swallowing. I'm trembling, shaking and shuddering at the realization that right now, at this very moment, I am getting what I would have wished for if I didn't want your heart more than your body.

I can embrace you.

I can be drunk on you.

I can probe you, learn you.

I can suck that spot above your lip like I've wanted to for years.

I can satisfy what I thought were going to be eternal cravings.

Gimme.


He's devouring me.

I saw the light in his eyes not even a second before he pounced.

The tshirt is gone in a rushed heartbeat.

His pants and boxers follow.

One hand cups my breast while the other slides up my thigh, tugging my legs apart, allowing him to settle in between them.

His tongue laps down my neck, occasional nips soothed, further until he sucks my nipple.

Every nerve ending in me screams for him.

His fingers are feathering over me.

I can't stand it any more. I fulfill my fantasy.

I slide my hands down his back, scratching, around and over his abdomen, scoring him slightly, until I cup him in my hands.

Slick thermal velvet.

The sound he makes, I'm not sure whether it was a whispered groan, a hissed supplication, a raw plea.

I don't care. **

Her nails scratched me.

Her hands hold me.

She tastes like orange sherbert.

I just want to shove myself into her and never move. If I don't move she can't leave, she's mine.

I rub my hand against her, I thread my fingers into her.

She's hot, tight, slick.

Wet.

She wants me.

I can feel my eyes burning with tears, my throat choking on a silent sob.

At this moment, in this hell our lives have become, the incomparable Dana Scully wants fucked-up Fox Mulder.

"Mulder," she purrs.

She's throbbing and gasping and writhing under me, my fingers twisting and curling and pounding into her.

She lets out a wail when I chew on her ear, sucking and biting and worrying it.

"Shh, Scully, shh, let go, let it happen, show me, Scully," I urge.

I want to watch her break apart once before I'm in her. I need to see those eyes.

"No, open your eyes. Please, Scully, I need to see your eyes. Please, baby,"

Her eyes fly open and widen and widen, I can feel sweat dripping off me onto her, she gasps and whispers my name over and over.

And then she shatters.

She nearly amputates my fingers with her body, the heat swelling out of her burning me.

God, she's lovely.

I slide my fingers out of her and shift into position, until I'm just edging her.

I'm desperately trying to wait, to let her catch her breath, but if she even wiggles, I *will* lose it. I will slam into her until we're both sweat-soaked, convulsing and wailing, clawing and driving each other to distraction.

Aliens could invade and come to watch and eat popcorn and I wouldn't give a shit.


Mulder. Mulder. Mulder.

I try to pull him into me, but he resists.

I finally give up and wait.

"Mulder?"

"Yes?"

I know what he wants, what he wants to hear.

"Mulder?"

"Yes, Scully?"

I can barely speak as he drops soft burning kisses over my face, across the upper planes of my chest, my collarbone. "Come inside me, Mulder."

I have never seen this grin. Victorious and happy, as if he has everything he wants, everything he needs. "Gladly."

I gasp as he rams into me over and over again, banging me into the mattress, waves of fire licking my veins.

The sweat pours off him, the strain of trying to hold off, to bring me with him making him rasp in harsh pleasure.

I can tell he's suffering, that the convulsions are banked and building in strength. There is no smoothness in him in this, it's jarring and bruising and wonderful.

I want to see him crash and burst and madly slide out of himself.

"Mulder, now!" I hiss at him as I tighten around him, watch his eyes fly open in shock and surrender, watch his mouth open and close.

He hisses my name, flinches and fractures before me, the dead weight that collapses on me welcome. ** -

I lie here, cradling her in my arms, fascinated by the play of the light on her face.

I can't tell if she regrets what we just did, if she regrets letting me in.

I pray to the God I don't believe in that she doesn't.

I watch her doze, safe from our hell.

If I gave her anything tonight, I gave her a short respite from the terrors of our reality.

Yet all I can think of is what should've been.

I trace a finger along her collarbone, wanting her, wishing she would wake up so I can have another spin around my sun, but I'm unwilling to lose this opportunity to watch her, to cherish her.

Right now, right here, in this fresh hell they created for us, I can love her unreservedly, unguardedly, ecstatically, without fear of censure or rejection.

Right now, you are my Scully, the mother of my children, the lover I could never let go of.

We have five children.

But we didn't make them, they weren't made in love.

They weren't allowed to know how wonderful she is, how she is incomparable.

We have two children left.

Even if I have to break my promise to her, die to let them love her, they will know her.

Our children, our Evan, our Leila, will be loved.


I woke up alone.

You'd think that I'd be used to it by now. That I would have adapted to the pain of solitude.

I doubt I ever will.

I know they wonder, wonder why I put up with it.

Truth is, I don't have any choice.

I'm not afraid of what they'll do to me. I would willingly die to screw up their plans.

It's what they'd do to my Sharon.

It's amazing. We were twenty-four hours from divorce and because I did something really stupid, we reconciled.

I have never been a praying man, but I have been since Sharon recovered from the accident.

Then one day, a few years later, I go home, and that bastard's in my livingroom.

He took her, and she'll die if I don't play ball.

But this......

Sharon and I tried for years to have children. It's ironic that two people who can't have children ended up together.

I know my wife. Sharon would never tolerate this.

God forgive me.


"Mulder?"

I turned and looked at her, tousled and wearing nothing but her lovely smile.

"Yes?"

"When -" she swallowed strongly, painfully. "When we get Evan and Leila back, what do we do?"

"What do you mean what do we do?" I wince immediately after uttering the words.

"Mulder, I -"

"Shh, I know." I crawled back into bed with her, tugging her close. "I didn't mean it the way it sounded. I thought it was obvious. Even to a skeptic," I tease, trying to get her to relax.

"Well, explain it to me and please, use small and precise words."

I sigh. God, this is going to be hard. "Scully, I know coming from my background that I may not have the best grounding in parenting, at least compared to you, but I want my children. Granted, having FBI agents as parents is bound to be weird. And the fact that their mom's a taciturn pathologist and dad's a paranoid profiler can't help, especially when you and I both know that we are destined to be overprotective. But I....I want my family, Scully. I've _earned_ a family."

"Mulder - "

"No, Scully, let me finish. I want to wake up in the morning and be able to go downstairs and make breakfast. I want to watch my kids run in and sit down, followed by your grumpy morning-self. I want to come home to happy Scully, while I'm being grumpy Mulder. I want happy Scully to smile at me at make grumpy Mulder go away. Scully, I want our children and I want the home and the life we've earned."

She smiles softly at me, a near-fear lighting her eyes still. "I do too. But Mulder, what if we can't have that? What if they won't let us have that?"

I push up and look down into her beautiful face. "Woe betide them, then."

I see a sense of resolute determination settle in over her features and in her eyes. "Those who sow the wind must reap the whirlwind."

We are agreed.

We are at war.

And this will not be our finest hour.

Everything that has ever held us back, every feared consequence, transfer or termination, no longer matters.

It is stunning to realize how quickly the veneer of civilization each of us wears slips away.

Spooky Mulder and The Ice Queen have entered the building. **-

God it hurts! Oh Jesus!

Who -?

"Oh my God! We need an ambulance! Move it! Hang on, it'll be okay, I promise. Shhh. No, don't try to talk. Shh. I know, I'll get Scully. She stopped it before."

"No, folder......desk........"

"What about it? What?"

"Give........information.........Scully......."

"Ok, shh, I'll give it to her."

Oh God it hurts! "SHAARRRON!"

"WALTER! NO!"


Skinner's dead.

Another act to avenge.

But not before he got us what he knew we needed.

He somehow got the names of the people who took Evan and Leila. But even more, he got us the signal resonance we need to trace them.

CSM put chips in them, too.

I will get my children back.

And then I'm gonna finally kill that bastard.

Samantha. Deep Throat. Scully. Melissa. Dad. Emily. Ryan. Amelia. Skinner.

No more.


"Scully?"

"Yes, Frohike?"

"I made you some tea, Scully."

You know, I'll never admit it to Mulder or anyone, but I love Frohike. Other than Mulder he is my best friend. I think he's lovely. He's kind, loyal, caring, and has a kick-ass sense of humour, though I never let the others see him make me laugh. We once ditched Mulder and the boys and went to see 'Liar Liar'. We just about died.

Mulder doesn't understand how I can stand him and his constant flirting.

He doesn't understand that it's because I'm safe.

Because I can't take the place of his Margaret.

His Margaret Frohike who was a low-level librarian at the Pentagon who never came home after calling him in hysterics because of a file.

"Thanks, Frohike." I watch Mulder, Langly and Byers work on locating the children. "Frohike, can I ask you to do something for me?"

"Anything, Scully."

I set my tea down and take my friend's hands, knowing what I'm asking of him. "Frohike, I haven't discussed this with Mulder, but he'll have to accept it. In case anything ever happens to Mulder and I, I want you to be Evan and Leila's guardian."

"You and Byers, actually," Mulder blandly calls over. I snort, knowing full well that he must've known about Frohike. "Langley can be their understudy."

Frohike grinned at me. "Of course." His smile drops away and he whispers so quietly no one else can hear. "We always wanted kids."

Suddenly, Langley lets out what I can only call a war whoop. It sounds like those stupid movies Bill used to make Missy and I watch with him. "GOTCHA!"

Mulder growled and stepped closer to the console. "Where?"

"Bethelhem, Pennsylvania."

I'm out the door, Frohike at my heels, before Mulder's even turned around.


There is nothing worse in this world that the realization that you are too late.

We were too fucking late.

Tracked them to Bethlehem, PA, and yet we failed.

Talk about some irony. Site of the Virgin Birth.

I guess the joke's on Madison. His own boys turned on him. They killed Evan and Leila not even twenty-four hours after getting out of the lab. Took the money they were supposed to use to support their flight and ran.

They just shot them and left them in the apartment.

The coroner said that death was not immediate, nor was it painless.

Belly wounds rarely are.

They couldn't even scream for help. They tied them to the table legs and gagged them.

Scully can't even look at me.

I don't blame her for avoiding me.

I know that when I look at her, I see them. I assume it's the same for her.

I can't look at her either.

I know Cassidy's worried.

She insisted on meeting us there with about fifty agents.

I think she's trying to take over for Skinner.

I know that she - and by extension those agents - are all horrified by what we found there. I know that our professional colleagues and the Gunmen are all petrified that we're going to implode or explode.

I thought the sounds of our screams when they killed Amelia would never leave my ears.

I was wrong.

The one wrenching drawn-out howl that rang out in that apartment when we went in has drowned it out.

I'm still not sure if it came from me or Scully.

But that's not what scares me.

What scares me is that I just don't care anymore. I just can't care anymore.

I am dead inside.


"Death resulted from a single gunshot wound, .22 calibre, to the stomach, approximately 3.5 centimetres from the beginning of the lower intestine. Wound was sustained 41 hours earlier, as determined by the rate of infection and distention of the abdominal cavity. The victims were unable to obtain help, due to their forced confinement within the apartment, nor were they able to call for help due to the presence of large amounts of synthetic fabric within the mouth. Investigators have ascertained that none of the other tenants heard the gunshots, thus leading to the conclusion that a silencer was utilized."

Jesus.

Who could do something like that to two innocent little children?

I have never been so sickened in my life.

The sheer malice inherent in this act cuts me cold.

I know that the other agents who were present at the apartment feel the same.

The new SAC has already ordered mandatory EAP counselling for all agents present.

The press somehow found out about the children and having heard the rumours, were demanding information.

The Director himself finally flew in and gave the press conference.

I push play on the VCR again, unable to not watch it again.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I am going to give a brief statement about this case, I will not answer any questions, nor will any of the agents involved. Last week, as I am sure you are aware, a little girl survived a harrowing massacre on a bus trip with her class to the FBI. The child's parents were supervising the class trip, and died at the hands of the gunmen, as did her classmates. Two of our agents, Special Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, were brought into assist on the case. Agent Scully is a forensic pathologist. Agent Mulder is a criminal profiler. These agents, in addition to their duties within the Violent Crimes Unit, Forensic Sciences Unit, and Behavioural Sciences Unit, comprise a special division known as "The X-Files." These cases involve weird science, paranormal phenomenon, the unexplained, and investigate the possibilities revolving around claims of alien abduction and interference. Agents Scully and Mulder are considered by the FBI to be two of its top investigators, and also have one of the highest solve rates. We consider them to be an invaluable, if odd, resource. Upon their arrival at the task force's headquarters, much to Agent Scully's horror, they discovered that the girl bore a startling resemblance to Agent Scully's late daughter, who's existence had been discovered by accident. Agent Scully was the victim of a heinous medical assault several years ago, during her abduction by an individual employed by person or persons unknown. It was after the discovery of her daughter that Agents Mulder and Scully discovered that during her abduction, many of Scully's ova were removed, obviously without her consent. In order to gain confirmation of Agent Scully's suspicions, tests were conducted, which revealed that the young girl was in fact Agent Scully's biological daughter. People! people please! Now then. Several years ago, Agent Mulder was the victim of an attack by the same organization. Agent Scully, after looking at Amelia's DNA profile, recognized the paternal DNA as Agent Mulder's. While awaiting transportation to a safe house with their daughter, somehow - and we have no idea who or how - managed to kill the child in front of Mulder and Scully and two assistant directors of the FBI, in Assistant Director Walter Skinner's office. The shot was fired by a high-powered assault rifle through the window from what was supposed to have been a secured rooftop across from the Hoover Building. A number of hours later, the task force that was established to deal with the massacre, and now having jurisdiction over Amelia Scully Mulder's murder, apprehended the doctor who engineered the assaults on our agents, as well as arranging the fertilization, incubation, and existence of....of the late Emily, Amelia, Ryan, Evan and Leila Scully Mulder. We also believe that these men were also responsible for the abduction and murder of Sharon Skinner, who's body was found thirteen hours ago in her home, and for the murder of Assistant Director Walter Skinner. The FBI would appreciate any assistance in the apprehension of these men. However, they are considered armed and dangerous, so please do not attempt to intervene. Call 911. Thank you."

God.


They killed my babies.

They killed my babies.

They killed my babies.

Oh, God.

They killed our family.

Mulder and I have not spoken since we discovered Evan and Leila's bodies. We can't even be in the same room together. It's just too hard.

And I don't know if it's worth it to even try.

Everyone we love, everyone we care about gets hurt or killed because we won't walk away from our holy war.

I know that I should be crying, or grieving, doing something. But I can't.

I feel like I have become darkness, become the cold unending winter.

But I just don't care anymore.

I don't think I have anything left to give.

Bill called me less than an hour after the press conference I watched on CNN from my room in our safe house.

Somewhere deep inside I know that I should be grateful for this pyrrhic victory, this posthumous recognition of our talents and value to the bureau.

Fuck them.

He wanted to know how we were doing.

We.

He knew I was stunned.

He knew that his "Dana, whether I like or dislike the man isn't the point now. The point is that he is the father of my nieces and nephews and he is family. And that means I care." had left me unable to function.

He made me promise to try and talk to Mulder.

And knowing how hard that must have been for my brother, I have to try.


She doesn't knock. She just walks in and stares, uncomprehendingly, at my packed suitcase, then at me.

I guess she figures that after you've fucked someone, the niceties don't apply.

"Mulder -"

"Knock much?"

I can tell that she didn't expect that from me.

"Mulder -"

"Scully, leave me alone. I don't want to talk, I don't want to think, I don't even want to look at you. Just go."

I don't want to feel. And you make me feel, Scully, feel things that I just can't handle anymore. I can't be with you. Ever. Because that means that I will spend the rest of my life on what ifs.

The forlorn note in her voice would normally strike a chord in me, but not now. "But I want to -"

"EAP's downstairs."

"Mulder, I don't need to talk to a stranger, I need to talk to their father," her voice cracks.

I hear the harsh edge of my snicker grate through the room. "Scully, I'm not a father. I had a chance to be one, but I am no longer a father."

I push myself up, and look at the shocked and shaky woman upon whom my life once turned.

"It's over, Scully."

I can barely hear her "What?" over the roaring in my ears.

"I said it's over. I've asked for and been given a transfer." I stand up and step into her space. "Scully, I never want to set eyes on you again."


I can't help but stagger when he pushes me from the room. He shut the door and I heard the lock snap into place.

He's leaving me.

He doesn't want to see me.

How can he do this? How can he walk away?

I step to the door and start pounding. I know I'm screaming at him, but I don't care.

My throat is hurting and I don't even know what I'm saying, but he's opening the door and dragging me inside.

The slam of the door into its frame, and the spin of the lock, silenced me.

We stood staring.

I can barely believe that the weak, worn whisper wafting through the room is my voice. "You can't leave me, Mulder. You can'tyoucan'tyoucan'tyoucan't........"

His fingers bite into my arms as he shakes me silent.

It's his eyes that kill me.

His eyes are like obsidian. Cold, formal, distant, detached and hard. So hard.

"I have to, Scully. I have to."

I know why he's doing this. He wants to protect me. That's the only reason he would do something like this.

"I can take care of myself, Mulder!"

"And I have to take care of myself, Scully."

I let my head fall against his chest. I can feel him swallowing hard, his heart thudding painfully against his sternum. It rumbles when he starts to speak.

"Scully, every single person I've ever cared about has hurt or left me. Except you. You never have. You made me feel, care again. That's the problem. Before you walked into my life, I could have probably persevered. I was used to that kind of pain, to that kind of isolation. I can't do that now. I know what the other side's like now. I can't push it away and pretend that I'm okay. And I know I promised you that I wouldn't do anything stupid. But this isn't stupid. I can't be here anymore. I can't live like this anymore. I'm sorry. But for once, for maybe the first time ever, I'm walking away. I'm putting myself, my sanity, first. Right now, every single time I look at you or your picture in my head, I hurt. I hurt so bad I don't want to live. Because the minute I see you I see them. I need to do this. I need to leave." **-

I tilt her head up and I look at her, knowing I'm hurting her so badly, but not able to stop. "I will always be there if you need me, Scully. I love you. Don't ever forget that. I love you so much. But right now, I need to run. I need to run so far and so fast from you and from this hell that it can't find me. Maybe....maybe one day I can come back. I don't know. But I will never stop loving you. I have loved you since I met you and I will love you until the day I die."

"No....." Her tears crash down her cheeks. I wipe them across her cheeks, her skin clammy and already damp.

"I don't want to go, Scully. I don't want to leave you. I _have_ to."

She buries her face in my chest, clutching me to her, her tears burning my skin through my shirt. I clutch her just as hard, the pain I finally let myself feel white, hot, and lancing through me.

I don't know how long we stood like that. I know that the shadows moved across the floor, stretching and fading.

Her voice, soft and defeated, cuts the silence. "Where will you go?"

"Hmm?"

"Where will you transfer to?"

"BSU's been after me for years to go west and work the Green River Killer case."

She's silent and trembling. I know why. "I may be able to get into the UNSUB's head. Find something they haven't."

"What if you can't get out of UNSUB's head, Mulder?"

"It's a chance I'm willing to take, Scully."

She pushes away from me, hard. She wipes the tears angrily off her cheeks. "What if I'm not willing to take that chance? What if I'm not willing to let you go, Mulder?"

My arms are empty without her. It's amazing. I was used to them being that way for so long, and now, after only three days......

I push it down. I have to get used to this, I remind myself, I have to get used to her absence.

I can see the bleakness in my eyes reflecting back at me from her desolate blue eyes. "You don't have any choice, Scully."

I know what she's going to do before she does. She lunges forward, face fierce and stance angry. "You selfish sonofabitch. Maybe I need you here, Mulder. Maybe I can't live without you. Maybe I'm not going to wait for you." She pauses and then roars at me, "I'm not Penelope, Mulder! I won't weave my world to suit your war!"

They are her only cards, and she plays them with style.

Too bad I've got the trump card.

"I know. I know you need me here. I know that you may not wait for me. That's something I've accepted, Scully. I don't like it. I hate it. But I know that I can't stay, and I can't make you wait for me. I'm sorry."

"I won't let you go, Mulder."

"You don't have a choice, Scully."

We stare at each other, a war without words, a war where silence is a weapon that penetrates all defences, a war where love is the curse rather than the cure, a war where pain dominates the battlefield and retreat is a blessing rather than a defeat.

There's a gentle tap at the door.

"Agent Mulder, your ride is here."

I pick up my suitcase, and open the door.

We walk down the stairs to the front door.

I can see the unmarked cruiser with Cassidy in the front. Lots of agents holding back the press.

Obviously, something was leaked.

There's a commotion coming down the stairs and I hurry, pushing through the door and halfway down the front stairs before I hear her.

"Don't go." It's so soft I barely hear it.

I turn back to her, setting the case down.

I step into her space, heedless of the cameras recording and transmitting this, my defection.

I take her face in my hands, let my thumbs gently slide across the soft flesh of her cheeks.

"I have to." I kiss her forehead, barely making contact with her skin.

I let go, grab the case and head for the car, feeling and yet ignoring the tears I know are running down my face, ignoring the resounding slam the door makes as she flings it shut behind me.

As we hit the freeway, heading for DC, I feel something inside slip away.

As I grab the few things I want from my apartment, I feel something else break loose.

As the seatbelt light shuts off on the plane to Seattle, I feel something new.

I feel free.


I'll be honest.

I hate the bastard. I really really hate the bastard.

But I know why I hate him.

My baby sister loves him. Dad always told me that he knew that he, Charlie and I would have the hardest time accepting any man my sister chose.

Scully boys don't like to share.

I know, logically, that Fox Mulder isn't responsible for everything that's happened since she joined the FBI. But I need to blame someone and he's the easiest and most accepting target.

I know I hate him because I know he loves Mom and I know she adores him. I've always known. When Dana disappeared, all of Mom's phone calls degenerated into 'Fox's being so wonderful, Bill.' I think I was jealous because he was there for Mom and I couldn't be there because of duty.

But I hate him most of all because I know that he loves my sister more than anyone else ever could or would. She is his universe.

Between the news broadcasts and what Mom told me, my sister and Mulder had five children, including Emily. And the people who've been doing this shit to my sister and Mulder killed them.

Mom told me that Dana said he left because what happened hurt too damn much.

Everytime I see Dana, there's a gaping wound that oozes. She won't let it heal. Actually, I don't think it can heal without him.

He woke her up. He wouldn't let her die. He brought her back.

Maybe he can do it again.

I know Mom misses Mulder almost as much as Dana does. He hasn't written, and he doesn't call. Two years without a fucking phone call.

Unless one of you is dead, you call your mom once a week.

I haven't seen my sister since Mulder ran away from home. It's as if she went into deep freeze.

I can't sit on the sidelines like this anymore. **-

rap rap rap rap rap rap rap rap

As I walk towards the door of my house, I'm trying to decide whether to skin the bastard who won't stop knocking or to just shoot him. I've been working the damn McInery case pretty much non-stop, on top of everything else, and tonight - last-night? - we got him. I just want to get some sleep. Even if it's riddled by nightmares and by images of my Scully.

So of course some agent had to come get me to help him with something, right?

"This had better be good!" I yell as I pull the door open.

Bill Scully.

"What's wrong!? What happened to her? Where is she!?" I don't even realize until the door slams shut behind me that I've dragged him inside and I'm shaking him.

"Mulder! She's fine!"

I stop shaking him. I take a deep breath, and shove a hand through my hair. "Then why are you here, Bill?" I turn and pad down the hall to the kitchen. I need coffee if he wants me to be nominally coherent.

"Mulder, you look like shit," I hear him say behind me as I nuke some coffee, God knows how old it is.

"Thanks, Bill, you know how to make a girl feel really special. Now what do you want?"

**

He really does look like shit.

He looks older. He's skinnier, if it's possible for that long tall drink of water to be skinnier.

He's harder. It's in his eyes.

When he opened the door, I couldn't believe how fast the irritation in his eyes was replaced by this terror.

Oh, yeah, tough guy, you don't fool me.

"Well, Mulder, I wanted to know when you were going to be done finding yourself."

"What?" He nearly spills his kind of scummy looking coffee.

"Mulder," I consciously copy his lean-against-the-counter pose, "it's time you went home."

"Home?"

"Yeah, home. To Dana."

He snorts, a really ugly sound. "Had a recent head injury, Bill? Yoiu realize you're telling me to go TO your sister, right?"

Fuck playing around. "Listen up, Mulder. I understand why you left. I can only imagine how much losing those kids hurt. But Dana needs you, you asshole! You've had time to heal! Now it's time to go back to DC."

Mulder slams the cup down and stalks over to me, until we're nose to nose. He's wiry and strong, but I'm stocky. "Go away, Bill." He goes to leave, but I latch on and hold him there.

"No, Mulder. You need to go home."

Mulder goes off on this rant, about who the hell I must think I am, yadda yadda yadda.

Enough of this shit. "SHUT UP, MULDER!"

Yeah, boy, Dana's not the only one who can copy Dad's command tone.

I hope that they'll forgive me for this one day.

"Mulder, Dana's met someone. He loves her. But - and as much as I'm sure to regret this - he's not you. She doesn't love him like she loves you. I don't pretend to like you, Mulder. But I don't want to see my sister bite off her nose to spite her face. And I don't trust him. I think....I think he's up to something." He looks like he's been punched. I grab him and give him a quick shake. "Mulder, you're gonna lose her if you don't go home right now."


That *bitch*.

I didn't believe him.

How fucking DARE she.

Why would I have believed him?

How fucking COULD she.

Seeing is believing.

Maybe she was looking for a new father figure.

I don't know and I don't care.

I can see them through the windows of her apartment. Drinking, smiling, laughing.

The apartment's warmly lit, and so's she.

Good. That'll make this easier.

UNSUB's staring at her, laughing. I haven't been able to see his face yet. Don't matter, I guess. I know what he wants. He just isn't going to get it.

I _OWN_ what he wants.

Mine.

Party's over, Scully.


I pull my keys out and use them. The raging storm outside will cover the telltale snap of her lock just enough for me to seize my moment.

Ironically, I can finally identify with my english teacher in high school.

There really is such a thing as pathetic fallacy.

I carefully put my jacket and bag down, shifting enough to draw my gun, reversing my grip on it.

Then I slam the door shut behind me.

They whirl around. Her eyes widen, I can see her lips forming my name, but she either made no sound or the blood roaring in my ears has deafened me.

The man's eyes widen as well, and he repeats her.

A weird smile crosses his face.

Then he looks closer, making eye contact.

Surprise and a certain level of fear carve their way into his body.

I can see in his eyes that he knows full well what's going to happen here.

Tough shit.

Should've known better than to believe that she was available.

I lunge before he has a chance to contemplate moving and grab his shirt with my free hand and swing the other, smashing my gun across his pretty little face.

Forehand. Backhand.

Mom would be so pleased to know that those tennis lessons were finally used.

I toss him into the wall, quickly holstering my gun. I know he won't be able to move.

I avoid her skilled-yet-sloshed attempts to evade me. I grab her by her left arm and drag her into *our* bedroom, and toss her onto *our* bed, making sure that she can't get loose or fight back.

I can see fear in those eyes as I clasp her hands together and quickly handcuff her to the bed.

I storm out of the room and over to where the pretty boy's at. I yank him to his feet and send one fist into his balls, making him crumple.

I slam his head into the fine hardwood and then drag him quickly to the door.

I drag his sorry ass down the hall and toss him out into the rain, into the waiting and restraining arms of Bill Scully.

I grab his battered jaw and force him to look straight into my eyes. Making sure that he can see my determination, making sure he knows what'll happen if he fights me.

"Get out. And don't come back."

I turn on my heel and walk back into the building, ready to reassert my position in Scully's life.


"'e boke by dose, Bill!"

I smile, settling him into the passenger seat.

"Yep, he did at that, Charlie."

"I'bm dever doing you and Mobm a fabvour again!"

"Okay, Charlie."

"But he could hurd Day-da, Bill!"

I feel a slight tremor of concern, but only for a second. "Yeah, he could, Charlie, but he won't. He loves her." **

I let the door shut behind me, and throw all the locks.

I pick up the bag and my coat and saunter towards the bedroom, stopping just for a second to take a look at the remnants of the seduction I foiled.

Three empty red wine bottles.

An empty bottle of tequila, some wrecked limes.

I should've sacked him harder.

I drop my things beside the door, remove my holster, and stare at her, not saying a word, watching her stand beside the bed. Obviously she had been trying to get to her cuff keys. I'm glad she's drunk. Sober she'd have made it to them.

All I can think of is the last time I saw her. Of saying to her that I'm sure that I would be able to accept it if she moved on.

I guess I really didn't think she could. I know I couldn't.

What can I say? I'm an expert at self-delusion..

She's staring back at me, unsure of what's going to happen next.

I walk over and stare down into her so-blue eyes. I pick her up and toss back onto the bed.

I pull my sweatshirt off, then kick my sneakers off. Socks will stay on, I think. Her floors are always cold.

I unbuckle and remove my belt, pull my tshirt off and toss it behind me.

I love the way her eyes widen as she watches my quite-deliberate non-strip tease.

I think she knows what's going to happen, what her penance for betrayal is going to be.

I catch a sight of myself in the mirror as I step closer to her. Scully's finally getting to see the image I saw when I looked in the mirror when she was missing.

And it's scared her silent.

I shuck my pants, and stop right beside her.

I crouch down and meet her shaky blue eyes with my own admittedly angry, openly coveting eyes.

I drop my hands to her feet, slide them up her legs, her thighs, to the waistband of her pants. I quickly work the clasp and zip and yank her pants off.

Pink silk bikinis.

I love Scully's choice in underwear. I always have. Ever since Belle Fleur. Half the reason I used to barge in here and when we were on assignment so often was so that I could catch her half-dressed.

I shove her her tshirt up over her breasts - a matching set, how thoughtful - and over her head, letting the tshirt help my cuffs restrain her movements.

She opens her mouth to speak, to scream? but I am not letting myself hear that voice.

"Shut up, Scully," I say as I drop my hand over her mouth.

I pull my hand away. She doesn't try to speak. She seems to know that right now, she's better off silent.

She certainly knows better than to mention the claim-jumper I just drove off.

I gently shove her over on the bed and crawl up beside her. There's a familiar gleam in those eyes, a gleam that says, 'I know you, I know what you're capable of.'

Do you really, Scully? 'Cause I don't think you do.

I trail my fingers across her collarbone and planes of her breasts, until they reach the top of the silk.

I yank it down somewhat viciously, letting the material lift her bared tits up.

Can't let her feel too safe. Can't let her think that I won't enjoy my pound of flesh.

Her gasp of shock turns to an unsuccessfully withheld moan as I run my thumbs along the edges of the material.

Her perfect little nipples harden and tighten while I stare at them.

I tilt forward, tugging her legs apart, shoving my legs between hers. I lean down and suck her right nipple into my mouth, covering her left breast with my hand, playing with it.

I finally feel her skin burning against mine again.

I hear her breath hitch, feel her hips jerk against mine.

I shift to the other breast, a moan of disappointment then of pleasure filling the room. She bows up against me, a silent plea.

Oh, yeah, the Ice Queen my ass.

I let my hands slide down her ribs, over her belly, between us and then between her thighs. I curl them into the finely woven material and wrench, memorizing her hiss of pain. I toss the destroyed fabric to the floor as the other hand splays into her hot, wet, tight centre.

I relish her gasp of pleasure/pain at the invasion, revel in her quick pants and moans for more. I try to divide my attention between watching my fingers slam and twist in and out of her body and her head thrashing on the pillow, but it's hard.

Both are beautiful to me.

I drop down and shove my tongue between her lips, lapping at her clit, making her squeal and gasp against the bed, banging it into the wall. I press my hands flat against her thighs, making her open to me more and more until I can tell she's nearly there, pushing my fingers back into her body until I can feel her body start to clench on them.

I love the sound of her strangled 'no' as I pull away from her, yanking and kicking my boxers off, adore the fractured and deranged blue eyes that stare up at me.

Now is the time to exact my vengeance.

"Ask me, Scully," I snarl at her. "Better yet, *beg* me."

Her eyes narrow, the flush on her body deepening from my denial of her release. "Fuck you, Mulder."

I laugh at her, which makes her start to buck, trying to knock me off her.

"That's what I want, Scully. But that's not what I want to hear. *Beg* me, Scully."

"Asshole."

It's the tone. The tone that is the ultimate turn-on for me.

Petulant. Snooty. Dictatorial. Ballsy. Arrogant. Superiority given wings.

I trace my fingers over her lips, quickly pulling them back as she tries to bite them, letting them slide down her neck to dance across her collarbone, letting her calm down slightly.

"Sonofabitch, fuck you," she hisses at me, bucking against me again.

"Now, now, Scully," I snarl back at her, slamming three fingers back into her hot, wet body, grinning down at her as she flinches and moans, muscles trying to pull my fingers deeper, thighs trying to draw me closer, "You know you want to. You know it's all you've ever wanted. But swearing at me isn't going to get you off, is it?"

"Bastard....oh, God," she snarls, then moans as she finally manages to push up against my hand, managing to pull my fingers deeper into where my cock, twitching demandingly against her lower thigh, wants to be.

I put a hand over her breastbone, can feel her heart thundering against it, and hold her down against the bed, denying her the ability to buck up, denying her the chance to assuage the want.

I shove my hand harder against her, drawing a raunchy "oh yeah!" out of her.

And then I roll away from her, snickering at her howl, casually perching at the end of the bed, letting my sopping hand slide over my hot burning flesh.

Her eyes are tearing over my body, constantly holding on my hand and cock. Her body shifting unhappily against the sheets, hands jerking, cuff chain scraping against her bedrail, bra shoving her tits together and up.

"You want it, Scully? You want it bad? Then *beg* me," I rasp into her ear, sucking the lobe into my mouth, knowing that a twisted, cold and angry smirk is spread over my face. I pull back after nipping at her ear again.

We sit there, staring at each other, letting the need become less frantic, letting ourselves cool down a little.

I know her so well. Even drunk she won't beg unless she's completely out of control. I shift back over her, snorting at little at the viciously victorious smile she sends me, thinking she's won.

"Oh no, Scully. I'm not going to fuck you, Dana, until you *beg* me to."

A little fear springs into her eyes as I straddle her legs, shifting just enough so that the tip of my cock is pressing into her clit.

I push forward, making her yelp and shudder. I push again and again against her, letting my hands play with her porn-picture-perfect tits as she hissed and bucked and moaned at me.

I looked down at where we were banging together, smirking at the flushed wet curls, and squishy sound.

I rolled back off her and laughed at her as she gasped "Muldernoohno!". I dropped my mouth down onto her and started to lap and suck at her clit again, making her gasp and cry out my name, listening to her panting hard, letting my tongue force its way inside her bucking body until her muscles started to clench around me.

I shoved up, balanced between her legs on my knees, keeping my hands wrapped around her thighs, spreading her wider and wider, leaning over her, eyes meeting eyes, sneering down at her.

"*Beg* me, Dana Scully. Let me hear you *beg* for Fox Mulder to fuck you. Let me hear you *beg* for me, Scully."

I saw something shatter in her eyes and felt the sneer become a smirk.

"Mulder......"

"*Beg* me."

"Mulder, please," she hissed as her head thrashed against the pillow, breaking eye contact. I grab her chin and force her to stay still. To look at me.

I shift forward until I'm almost inside.

All I want to do I fuck her until my eyeballs explode. Until she's screaming my name so loud that the neighbours are calling the cops.

But more than that, I want to make her beg. I want to dominate her. I want her to know that she begged me to fuck her, that it was MULDER who made her scream like a banshee when she came.

Not the pretty boy who was seducing her in the livingroom.

I want to make her remember that she is *mine*.

I lean down until we're nearly nose to nose, my hazel eyes boring into her blue eyes. Until our lips are nearly touching.

"*Beg* me, Scully."

I win.

"Mulder, please, please, please......"

"Please what?"

She's nearly sobbing. "Mulder......". I feel her hips hitch a bit, my cock slipping just inside her body, making her arch against me, her eyes falling shut and mine damn near rolling back into my skull.

"Tell me, Scully! Say it!" I can hear the desperation in my voice.

The irony hasn't escaped me. I'm begging the love of my life to beg me to fuck her.

I really must be a stupid son-of-a-bitch to do this to myself and to her.

Her eyes pop open, a weird light shining out of them. "Mulder, please, please, fuck me....."

Thank God.

I slam into her, grinding my pelvis against her, making her shriek and howl my name, hearing her begging me to move harder, faster, deeper. I grab her ass, pulling her closer to me as I pound her into the mattress, gasping as her muscles clamp around my cock, tighter than anything, growling as she relaxes them.

I sink my teeth into the edge of her neck and suck hard enough to mark her as mine, marking her so darkly that nothing could possibly cover my claim.

She starts to scream my name over and over again, actually hurting my ears as I pound out of control into her. The bed starts to slam into the wall, scraping the floor. I slam my mouth over hers, forcing my tongue deep into her mouth, relearning her taste and texture.

It's raw and animalistic and compelling and completely wild.

Suddenly her head falls back to the pillow. I reclaim her mouth, cutting off her shriek as her body goes rigid. She seizes, hard, and starts to quake, coming so hard that I just explode without a conscious thought, moaning as her teeth clasp my lower lip and draw blood, bucking hard against her and grinding until I see stars and fall on top of her.


God knows how long we would've stayed like that, joined and boneless, if the police hadn't started pounding on the door.

I dragged my jeans on and staggered to the door, so tired and worn out that I could barely follow the questions.

"Why so much noise, buddy?" I can see the older cop staring at my lip, at the dried blood, smirking.

"Look, Officer -?"

"Carson. That's DeBruin."

"Officer Carson, Officer DeBruin, my, well, my partner and I had a serious....falling out a little over two years ago. I finally dragged my head out of my ass and came back."

"Came back?"

"I live in Seattle now. We sort of....reconciled, and it got a little....out of hand."

"Well, son, why don't you get your partner out here and let her talk to us? And why don't you show us some I.D. while you're at it."

I pull my wallet out of my pocket and hand them my badge. "She's actually asleep."

"Like I care. Let's see, you are -" he flips it open, "Fox Mulder. What do you do, Mister Mulder?"

I sigh, knowing that he's the type to put the screws to me because I work for the FBI. "I'm a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

The younger one speaks up for the first time. "Agent Mulder? Where have I -"

"Shut up, DeBruin. What's your ladyfriend's name, and what does she do, Special Agent Mulder?" Carson sneers.

Well, fuck you too, Carson.

"Her name's Dana Scully. She's a pathologist. And she's a Special Agent with the Bureau as well."

DeBruin jerks. "Jesus!"

Carson glowers at him. "DeBruin?"

"Carson, do you watch *anything* other than wrestling? Read anything other than _Hustler_?" Carson blushed, but DeBruin continued. "Remember? The two agents from the bureau who's kids were murdered? The ones who didn't know they HAD kids?"

Carson blanched and dropped my wallet. I picked it up, face beet-red and heartsick over the abstract and almost hostile reference to my daughters and my sons.

"Agent Mulder, I -"

"Save it," I growl.

"Carson, come on. Agent Mulder, just...just keep it down, please. Thanks." The younger one pushes his partner out and shuts the door behind him. I drop my wallet on the sofa table and stagger back to the bedroom, to Scully.

She's still asleep, thank goodness for small wonders. I unlock the cuffs and pull her shirt off, unlatch and tug her bra off and settle her under the covers. I crawl in beside her, cradling her against my chest.


"Mulder? Mulder, wake up."

I slowly open my eyes, and look up into a pair of blue eyes with two-year old bruises in them. Bruises I see in my own every single day.

She brushes the hair off my forehead. "We need to talk, Mulder. Now." Scully slides off the bed and walks into the living room. She's fully dressed and the sun's streaming in through the windows.

I glance at the clock. 10:23 in the morning.

I push out of bed, and look for my bag.

"I put your bag by the bathroom door, Mulder."

I grab it as I go past and clean up, knowing I'm either going to get my ass kicked to the curb, or I'm going to get reamed out over the pretty boy.

I step into the living room and sit on the couch opposite Scully.

"Scully, I -"

"Barged into my apartment and beat up my brother?"

I stare at her, stunned. "Brother?"

Scully stares at me, visibly irritated. "Yes, brother! My mother says you broke Charlie's nose, Mulder!"

"But Bill said -" I blurt out before I have a chance to think.

Her eyes narrow. "Bill said what?"

I blush, and spill my guts. Yes, I can withstand Russian slave labour camps, black oil torture, but Scullyglares? Uh-uh. "Bill came to see me in Seattle and said you met someone and that he didn't trust him and that if I loved you I'd come home so here I am."

Scully just stares at me. Then she stands up and walks into the kitchen. Then she comes back with a cup of coffee for me.

Well, at least she hasn't shot me yet.

"Bill lied. That was Charlie. He showed up last night and said that he thought we both needed a bender." The silence in the room is cold. "Obviously, Mulder, Mom, Bill and Charlie set you up."

I can't believe that Bill Scully scammed me. I can't believe that *Maggie* scammed me.

"Mulder, why did you come back?" She looks at me, dissecting me where I sit.

I realize that this is my last chance. That if I fuck this up, I lose her. "I came back because the idea of you with another man makes me insane. You belong to me."

"You left me."

"Because I had no choice."

"OF COURSE YOU HAD A CHOICE, YOU BASTARD!" She yells, skin flushing red with rage.

I wince and hiss, "Hush, the cops were here earlier!" She blushes, realizing why and when they would have been here.

I quickly begin to speak. "Scully, if I had stayed, I would've gone crazy. I would've gone after Cancerman, I would've gone after any and every single person who ever looked at me, or you, funny. It was the only choice I had. And I am sorry I wasn't there when you needed me. But I'm here now, and I'm not going anywhere."

"Really? Where do you think you're staying, Mulder? Not here."

I can feel myself getting pissed off. "Scully -"

"What the hell was last night, Mulder? What the hell did you think you were doing?" The tone is back. Thankfully, I'm too tired to physically react to it.

"What did I think I was doing? I was reminding you that I love you!"

"Bullshit!" She spat.

"All right, fine!" I can hear my voice rising. "I was reminding you that you are mine! Mine, Scully! You belong to me! Mine!" God, I sound like a two year old. I take a deep breath. "Last night -"

"Last night, Mulder, you handcuffed me to my bed, took my clothes off, and had sex with my body."

I hiss back at her, venom tainting my words, "You were right there with me, Scully! Don't you DARE pretend that you weren't into it! You were screaming my name, Dana Scully, screaming 'Faster, Mulder, harder, yes, Mulder -"

SLAP

My cheek throbs. I can imagine the hand print rising there.

Scully stands, and stares down at me as if I'm one of her students. "Mulder, let's recap. You burst into my apartment, beat the hell out of my brother, handcuffed me to a bed, ruthlessly seduced my body, and wouldn't finish what you started until I *begged* you, completely humiliating me in the process. Now, what do you suppose that was about? Love? I don't think so."

I stand up, looming over her. "It was about love, Scully. The darker side of love, granted, but it was about love." I take a calming breath. "Scully, when Bill said you'd found someone....I felt like I'd been shot again. And I was angry and hurt that you were leaving me. So yeah, I broke in, beat up Charlie - not realizing that he was Charlie! - and then I 'ruthlessly seduced' you and made you beg for it. But you know what? I'M NOT SORRY! I was in such a state at the thought of losing you that I could've thought up was down. I haven't been sleeping well because of a case! We finally solve it, Bill shows up, my first thought is something happened to Scully, and then he tells me that you're *screwing* another man! Yeah, I went off the deep end! But you know something? I didn't do it to humiliate you!"

"Then why did you do it, Mulder?" She snaps, eyes flashing blue fire.

"Because....because......"

"Why!?!"

"Because I needed to make you say you were mine, alright? Because I needed to hear you recognize that you belong to me! Because I needed you to need me like that! Because I needed to know that you loved me enough to let me dominate you! Because I had to remind you that you are mine, that I own you, jsut as much as you own me!"

We stare at each other, neither willing to throw the next punch.

I drop to the sofa, my face in my hands. "Scully, I went nuts when Bill lied to me. I went nuts when I saw Charlie here. I went nuts when I got in here and thought he was getting you drunk enough to let him fuck you. I went nuts at the thought that you had.....that you'd fucked him before. Maybe I was wrong, Scully, maybe what I did to you wasn't good, but I'm not sorry. And I don't think you are either." You call me a motherfucker, and try to brush past me, but I catch your arm and flip you onto the couch, pinning you down. I lean over and whisper in your ear, close enough to taste the salt on your skin, "Tell me the truth, Scully. It made you hot, didn't it? You've never been hotter, never wanted it as bad, never come as hard, have you?"

Sober, you move quicker and manage to flip us to the floor so that you're pinning me to the carpet. Normally, I'd play along, but not this time. I roll and keep you under me, making sure that I pin your legs so you can't cripple me. I snatch your arms and hold them to the floor.

I'm not as tired as I thought. And you're not as disinterested as you'd like to let on.

We wrestle there on the floor, clothes flying every which way, until I'm deep inside you and you're clawing at my back.

"Oh, fuck yeah, Scully," I gasp when you bite my neck.

You go limp against me suddenly. "God, Mulder, we are so fucked up."

I stop moving, and let my head rest on the floor beside you. I don't get off you, though.

"Mulder," you sigh and push at me. "Get up."

"No."

"Why not?" You put a hand to your forehead, as if to ward off pain.

I hear myself swallow, can't believe how shaky I am all of a sudden. "Because I'm scared you'll run away." I can't believe it's my voice. "I can't lose you, Scully."

"Like you ran from me? You can't lose what isn't yours, Mulder, I learned that very well at the safe house."

That hurt. That really hurt. I know you know that hurt. I'm stunned by the woodenness of my voice. "You belong to me." I shove out, off, and away from her, sitting stiffly beside her.

"I don't belong to anybody but myself, Mulder." You tilt your head and look at

me, a virtual lightbulb flashing in your eyes. Your tears stream over your cheeks. "That's why you left me, isn't it? Because you were scared that they'd take me, too? That you'd lose me."

I can't say anything. I just nod, not trusting my voice.

You cup my face in your hands and look deep into my eyes. "Mulder, you listen to me and listen good. I would never, ever leave. I will not leave you."

I know that I have to say it. "But what if - "

"What if what? What if I got hit by a bus, Mulder? Or was in a car wreck? Life is full of what ifs, Mulder."

We sit there, silent, for what seems like hours.

"Mulder?"

I look at you.

"I can't forgive you for leaving."

I stare stunned at her. "I don't want your forgiveness, Scully."

She stares that stare at me. "Then what *do* you want, Mulder?"

I know it's the moment. The last chance.

"You. Just you."

"Then stop running."

"I don't know if I can."

"You don't have a choice, Mulder. Bill wasn't lying when he talked to you. I have met someone else. And if you walk away from me this time, I will not wait."

"Scully - "

"Stay or go, Mulder?"


It's amazing how the light dances on the water off the pier. It shudders and shimmers, never and always the same.

Much like us.

Scully and I have been together, yet apart, for so long.

Alone and yet bound to each other in ways understood and unfathomed.

I couldn't stay. Not there. Not in D.C.

She won't wait.

I, however, will. For as long as it takes.

I don't think she's any more capable of walking away from me than I am of leaving her.


I said I could wait for her. I didn't think that she could leave me any more than I could leave her.

The thing I still can't believe is that I'm still waiting for her. I'm still waiting for Dana Scully to come back to me.

It's been six years since that debacle in her apartment. Since I got up at the crack of dawn, dressed and slipped quietly from her bed and home and back to Seattle.

The sparkle on the water off the pier is still always and never the same.

I come here a lot. Mostly after work.

Tonight, I'm here because I can't be at the hospital when he arrives. When the man she left me for gets there.

We needed a pathologist to help with an investigation. I walked into the office Monday morning, and who is sitting drinking coffee and reading case files but Dana Katharine Scully.

We were so civil it was sickening.

"Scully?"

"Hello, Mulder. I hope you don't mind that I borrowed your desk. I wanted to read through your profile before I did the autopsies."

"Of course not. No, don't get up. So, what do you know about the case?"

We went on and on, functioned 'normally'.

Inside I was screaming. I wanted to shoot myself.

I didn't know what to do, what to say. We slipped back into our old routine.

Almost slipped back, I should say.

We never discussed our past. We never discussed him. We never discussed anything remotely, inconsequentially personal. We were friendly acquaintances, nothing more.

If only.......

There were a lot of "If only..." moments.

When she smiled

When she laughed.

When she squeezed my hand when the profiling got to be too much.

When she agreed to meet me back at my place for pizza to go over the case notes - mine and hers - before the briefing in the morning.

I couldn't stop staring at the gorgeous ring she had on a chain. Stunning diamond solitaire.

The cross - the cross I never let go of - wasn't there anymore.

I didn't have the guts to ask if it meant that she was taken.

We talked about the case. We drank a few beers and ate pizza.

Then we drank a few more.

And that's when things got dangerous.

"Where's it?" I could hear how slurred my speech was, watched my hand point at her neck.

"Huh?" She smiled blearily at me. I tapped my finger against the hollow of her throat.

"Your cross. Where's it gone?" I couldn't take my finger off her skin. I started to trace her collarbone. I slid over a little until I was almost on top of her, looming slightly over her.

"I-" her breath hitched slightly, "- gave it to Bill and Tara's little girl."

I tilted my head closer until I could feel the moist air from her mouth seeping into mine. Our eyes weren't even an inch apart.

"I wish you hadn't done that." I gently brushed my lips just under hers, over her chin.

"Why not?" Scully gasped, her lids slapping down and flying back up.

I let my hand flatten against the plane above her breasts. I could feel her heart pounding against my hand, felt the shiver run over her body. I slid my hand up to curve around her neck.

"'Cause it's our talisman." And then I kissed her.

And she kissed me back.

I don't even know how it happened, but next thing I knew, we were in my bed naked and sweaty, hands scratching and pulling.

I know I reared up at one point and grabbed the chain around her neck. I snapped it apart and tossed it away, slamming back down and trying to kiss her senseless.

It was pure heaven. She was ambrosia.

We finally broke my bed in.

I got up the next morning, got dressed, and went to the office.

She'd tied the chain back together around her neck, the ring banging away at the dip in her neck.

We pretended that I'd picked her up on my way into work.

Deny everything.

We're so good at that. So fucking good at pretending the forest doesn't exist for the goddamn trees.

I have made love to the woman I consider my wife precisely three and one-half times. Once in a safe house after our daughter was murdered in front of us. Once in a fit of rage that she would even attempt to let another man into our bed. Last night. And everything but an orgasm on the rug in front of her sofa.

Three and one-half times in what would constitute a thirteen-year quasi-marriage.

I was too scared to try and talk to her about what had happened in my house.

I was scared she'd tell me that it shouldn't have happened, that it, we, were a mistake.

And then the perp walks in, shoots Scully and three other officers, and turns himself in.

My profile was bang on. Even to the profession.

He's our janitor.

I overheard SAC Hendry mentioning to Callahan that he'd called Scully's next of kin, and that he'd be there within the hour.

She's going to be all right.

But I'm not. I never will be.

He -- whoever he is -- has my Scully.


"Jesus, Dana."

"I couldn't believe it when I got the call. If I didn't know better, I'd swear he was a banshee for our family."

"Then to find out that he wasn't even at the hospital. I was ready to explode. Then his boss, Hendry, cornered me by your room, telling me that he had been sitting on a chair beside your bed right up until he'd told Mulder that he'd notified your next of kin and that he'd be here in about an hour."

"Then Hendry handed me the ring and the chain. And I realized why. I knew what had happened to make him leave you."

"You lied to him. Six years ago, you must've told him there was someone else. Gran's engagement ring normally does not bang against your breastbone."

"He ran because he couldn't face the other man. The one he thought had taken his place in your life."

"Dammit, Dana, sometimes I wish Dad hadn't tried to turn you into the perfect little naval officer. I wish he hadn't made you feel that showing your feelings, hell, that *feeling* was wrong, a distraction from the higher purpose. He always bragged about how you were the one who's example the rest of us were to follow. You never cried when we moved. You knew how to maintain distance and dignity."

"Dad never quite understood that you never cried when we had to move because you didn't want to disappoint him. Instead, when you finally found a home and a place for yourself, you hung on like a bat. You won't even move out of an apartment that you've been attacked in, abducted from, lost your sister in, and killed in."

"Dad never realized that instead of crying, you became dependent on stability, dependent on the idea of "when". That your distance and dignity was actually terror at losing the people you cared about, at being hurt. So you walled yourself off, locked yourself away and made yourself into Rapunzel."

"But you won't let down your hair. You won't let anyone rescue you. You won't even rescue yourself."

"The only one who ever breached your walls got to you by tunnelling under your foundations, by undermining your fortifications, by making himself indispensable and in need of a knight in shining armour."

"You were his knight, Dana."

"But at the same damn time, he was becoming yours, all the while ensuring that you never ever witnessed it until it was too late. Until he'd planted his flag."

"I know Mulder hurt you when he left again. But then again, I can't blame him."

"He never left you, Dana. He walked away to save you, to save himself, to try and not destroy that which he held most dear. His demons, sister dear, were more pervasive and deadly dangerous than yours ever could have been. His demons were driving him to be that person which he isn't. That he never could be. That made him reject that smoking bastard's offer when you were dying."

"Surprised I know about that? Mulder and I became friends after he went back to Seattle. Besides, what's a broken nose between friends?"

"See, I know everything, Dana. I know the whole sordid story. Mulder told me everything, from your first case to what happened in the apartment the night he left. And I know he loves you desperately. I know that he would go anywhere, do, say anything for you."

"I know how much you've hurt him over the years, how much it hurt when you would tell him you were fine and just push him away, never asking if he was okay. Never asking if maybe, just maybe, he wasn't fine with what had just happened to you. When you boldfaced lied to him about Jerse and about why you'd done it. You know, Dana, you let him inside the walls, but damned if you didn't demand a double standard."

"Mulder had to tell you everything. Mulder was not allowed to keep you out. But you? It was none of his damned business."

"I'm not going to let you do this to yourself, or to him, any more. Think of this as an intervention, Dana. I'm going to tell him the truth."


"Mulder?"

I turned around, not believing the voice I was hearing. "Charlie?"

He plunked down on the bench beside me, squeezing my shoulder. "How are you holding up?"

I laughed bitterly. "I've been better. Did you come out here with him? With her next of kin?"

Charlie smiled gently, his body somewhat tense. "No. I *am* her next of kin."

"But -"

"She lied to you, Mulder. The ring, this ring," he waved the damn thing in my face, "was our grandmother's. There isn't anyone else. I just assumed that if she wanted me to know, she'd tell me, so I never questioned what you said. Until I saw the ring."

I shook my head, not quite sure what I was hearing was what I was hearing.

"She's just trying to wall herself off from the world, Mulder. She used to do it all the time when we grew up, her way of dealing with moving all the time, to not get hurt."

She'd lied to me? She had made me think that I had lost my chance?

"Go, Mulder."

I was halfway across the parking lot before I stopped, turned, and looked back. Charlie just sat there, staring out across the pier, a smile playing across his lips.


I could just lie here and stare at him, just stare at his rumpled frame squashed into the way too small chair by my bed.

The nurse told me that other than leaving for about two hours Thursday evening, he hasn't left my side. He's still wearing most of his suit. I don't know what happened to his jacket. I assume it was too bloody to save. The amount of blood on his shirt makes me want to get up and check to make sure he wasn't hurt.

Apparently, I've been out since they put me under for the surgery. I now have a scar to match the one on Mulder's thigh.

I'm assuming that Mulder knows there isn't anyone else, that Charlie's arrival meant that I am now bare before him.

He knows I pushed him away. He knows that I lied. He knows that I have been putting us both throught abject hell for no good reason.

I am also going to assume that since he's here, he has mostly forgiven me.

I could have delegated this assignment. I could have sent someone else. But I needed to come, needed to see him.

Mulder is different here. He's the man I rarely saw in DC, the man I learned how to play baseball with in a park one night, the man who loved to tease me until I couldn't not laugh.

I can see why he didn't want to come back to DC.

He belongs here. He's happy here. He didn't need to come back to DC, to re-engage our old enemy with resources we had before envied others for. His quest had become a crusade.

Our victory was not painless.

Skinner. Cassidy. Frohike. Langley.

I know that he answered any and every question put to him about the consortium, about cases, that he is still the bureau's top paranormal specialist. But he's almost....relieved to not be responsible for fighting that fight alone any more. He's almost accepted his role in VICAP West, as the West Coast's Chief Profiler.

He has a home. Friends. Respect.

A life.

He got out of the car.

The only thing he didn't have was me.

But he seems to have kept the dream.

His neighbourhood is full of families and dogs.

Byers informed me that he is in fact the ultimate bachelor big brother for the entire street.

He coaches little league and organizes fundraisers.

He is the Mulder he should have been given the opportunity to be a very long time ago.

I know I tried to force him to stay in DC because I love my rut. I hate moving. I hate change. It's a hangover from childhood.

He's stirring. Perhaps he can feel me staring at him.

He's smiling.

A dangerous sign any time.

He reaches over and takes my hand, shoving my grandmother's engagement ring on my left hand ring finger, and starts to run his index finger across my palm. His other hand brushes my somewhat-icky hair back from my face.

"Scully, how you feeling?"

I smile. "I've felt better."

He laughs, a disconcerting sound. "Good. Charlie was here, but he's gone to DC."

"Why, Mulder?"

I'm confused and it shows. He snickers.

He shifts his chair closer to the bed, leaning in until our lips are nearly touching. "To pack up your apartment." I start and go to speak, but he shushes me.

"Enough, Scully." He grins at me. "You are moving here. I sent your transfer papers in, they were approved. Your brother is going to ship your furniture and everything else to my house. Your mother is going to come out and help you unpack, and Bill has a friend who's going to take over your lease."

I feel out-of-control, like I did when Dad would come home whistling. I try to object, to retake control, to retain the structure of my life that I have so painstakingly constructed, but he will have none of it.

"Scully, I'm not trying to take away your stability. I'm trying to give it to you," he soothes.

I stare at him, wondering if this could be true, if what Mulder had was what I had sought to give him DC, realizing that he had been trying to give me what I needed while I had been fighting myself, fighting to be my father's daughter, for the life he wanted me to have.

Fighting for my home.

"Scully, you *are* home."

I hadn't realized I had spoken aloud. I stared into hazel eyes, rolling with the depth of his emotions. I could see every day of reckoning that I had forced upon him with our separation. I could read every night of speechless devastation wrought upon his soul's shores.

"Mulder....."

He leaned closer and brushed his lips across my cheek, then whispered roughly into my ear, "I won't let you leave. You belong here, with me. Stop hurling yourself against the tide. You're not surrendering, Scully. You're just transferring your flag." He kissed my forehead, my nose. I could feel his lips move against mine as he spoke. "You don't have to fight for it alone, Scully. You don't have to watch the world through a mirror. You don't have to fear the mirror cracking from side to side if you choose to leave it." He kissed me gently, propping me up against him, cradling me, nuzzling the curve of my ear.

"Fall, Scully. I'll catch you."

The End


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