Title: Day Becomes Night Day Becomes Night
Author: Jamie Tanquary
feedback: Yes please!!!! Jaybird024@hotmail.com
Classification: MSR
Rated: For Part I...I would have to say R.
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me...WE ALL KNOW THAT. And if you think I'm getting paid for this, you'd better check my bank account.

 

"If you could only see the way she loves me,
Maybe you'd understand.
Why I feel this way about our love,
And what I must do.
If you could only see how blue her eyes can be,
When she says,
When she says she loves me."
Tonic

"You're in the arms of an angel,
May you find some comfort here."
Sara Mclachlan


Part I: Last Moments Of Love

February 10th
Alexandria, VA
2:30 AM

Black....It was the only color he saw anymore. He had tried to move on with his life, tried to find the drive for the truth that had somehow eluded him all these years. A truth that had meant everything to him, or so he thought. Until the day he had gotten the phone call. Within moments, his whole world had shattered. The force that had pushed him to find the "Truth", as he so called it, was gone. It disappeared...and he accepted it. He welcomed the darkness, he even embraced it.

But walls have a way of crumbling when it gets dark and you're all alone.

For four years he had tried to pull his emotions together. Four years full of pain and heartache. So much time...minutes...hours...days. And every second he thought of nothing but her.

But she was gone...taking his heart right along with her.

She invaded his mind. Showing up in his dreams like a forgotten friend from the long ago past. When he dreamed, he dreamed only of her. It was as if when she died she had taken his freewill right along with her. Condemning him to the very bottom of his soul.

There were days that he cursed her for even entering his life. Days that he couldn't even remember the color of her hair...or the way her eyes sparkled when he teased her. Those were the days that he wasn't sure if he would make it. The days that he couldn't see life without her.

Then there were the days that made him wish things had been different between them. Those were the times that he saw her the clearest. The way she walked...the sound of her laughter.

But, no matter what, she was always there. Taunting him with memories.

He had cried....so much and so often that he would think he had no more tears left. Then the memories would start and he would remember something else about her...her soft touch...her unrelentless trust in him...and the tears would fall again. He couldn't remember the last time he had laughed, or even smiled for that reason.

Until today...he had seen her. He knew it wasn't possible. It couldn't have been her. She was gone from his life. This time for good. Yet...this woman had looked just like her. The same walk, the same intense expression.

And now, after waking up in the throes of another nightmare, all he could do was remember. Remember how it had all started, and how in the span of one day his whole life had changed....


May 7th
FBI Headquarters
6:28 PM
Four years earlier...

"Scully, you have to admit the situation is rather hokey...it just doesn't click."

Dana Scully glanced at her partner. Her eyebrows raised, telling him wordlessly that she thought he was acting crazy yet again. "Hokey, Mulder? I'm not even sure if that's a word. And what is so suspicious? The woman obviously died of natural causes. All the signs and tests pointed that way."

"Who cares if Hokey is a word or not?" He sighed, knowing it was pointless to even try to get her to agree with him, but he had to try nonetheless. "Scully, you know this woman was investigating alien-human hybrids. That alone would put her on the top of any of the consortiums lists for immediate death. Maybe she got too close to finding out something..."

"First of all, Mulder, all of the alien-human hybrids died when the consortium did. And second...there's nobody left...who would be continuing the experiments?"

"We can't prove that all of them died....someone said they saw Alex Krycek..." Mulder's voice came out full of the contempt he felt for the man. "And I'm pretty sure that Smoking Man survived..." not to mention the fact that evil never dies. Mulder hated discussing these two monsters with her. Every time somebody mentioned them, Scully would close up. Her body would tense and he would watch her as she silently fought a battle from deep within her mind. He watched her closely...hoping for a different reaction this time.

Scully turned away from his deep scrutinizing gaze. She was walking away but he heard her voice loud and clear. "Mulder, that theory just sounds way to convenient. We can't tie those men to every murder we come across. You've been trying to do that for months now."

He started walking and caught up with her in only a few strides. Grasping her arm, he gently turned her towards him. "Just consider it Scully. That's all I'm asking." His voice was soft, as he tried to make her understand how important it was that she at least weighed the option.

He watched her expression change slowly. Her eyes softened, her lips parted, and her mask of professionalism wavered. He tried not to let it distort him but she was looking at him with love and affection. His immediate reaction was to shy away...he couldn't afford to lose her friendship. Despite how much he loved her back.

She turned away again and when she turned back towards him the expression was gone. "Let's talk about this later Mulder. Were both tired...it's been a long day. I just want to go home and sleep. I'll talk to you tomorrow."

Turning she walked away. He would remember the way she looked at him for the rest of his life...remember that expression on her face. It was the last time he ever saw her alive.


February 10th
Alexandria, VA
2:45 AM

Mulder sat up slowly on his couch. It was hopeless to try to get anymore sleep that night. Once his mind decided to remember that dreadful day, the memories would taunt him for weeks afterwards.

Standing up, he walked towards his bedroom door. He opened it, fighting the acid that always seemed to rise in the back of his throat whenever he thought of going inside. He hadn't walked into that room in over four years. It was still a wreck. Broken glass everywhere...along with splinters of wood from the long ago bed that had been destroyed on that traumatic night. When he tried, he still couldn't remember much of what happened. For four solid years, it had been a blur...


May 7th
Alexandria, VA
11:17 PM

Scully was screaming from somewhere behind a closed door. It was all Mulder could do to keep himself from tearing though the hallway...throwing open all the doors in order to find her. He needed to get to her...to stop whoever was trying to hurt the one solid person in his life. He jogged from door to door, trying to keep his panic from rising.

She screamed again and this time the panic broke through. He was running, stopping only long enough to throw open each door to make sure she wasn't behind it. It was behind the last door that he found her. MY GOD...there's so much blood!! His heart was pounding as he leaned over to pick up her limp body.

"Scully...wake up...Scully...Please wake up! I don't want to lose you!" His voice was frantic; full of all the pain he was feeling at the thought of living without her.

But it was hopeless...she had already taken her last breath.

He fought for control...feeling the dread rising urgently in the back of his mind. Still holding her closely, he opened the door to find a way out of this horrible place. His walk down the hallway was much slower now. After what felt like hours he saw an exit sign. Hastening his step he walked towards the door and threw it open.

It was a mistake...standing behind the door was Cancer Man.

Mulder screamed. His eyes flew open in terror of losing Scully and facing that monster so soon after the fact. His body writhed in bed, covered with sweat, as he fought the grips of the nightmare. It took a while before he came down from the adrenaline high and realized where he was.

His bed had become an addiction of sorts once he changed in the water for a regular mattress He hadn't agreed with Scully when she said they were both tired. But as soon as he got home, he realized exactly how much energy this case was draining from him. He had been asleep from the moment his head hit the pillow. Now, as he lay there gasping for air, the room felt closed in. It was then that he knew...it was almost too obvious.

He was not alone.

He reached towards his nightstand to grab his gun...but it was gone. Along with his cell phone and his wallet. The nightmare, still fresh in his memory, flashed before his eyes. It was as if he was reliving it...this time for real.

The voice came from a dark corner of the room. Deep and unrecognizable. "Hello Agent Mulder. Don't bother getting out of bed. You can do nothing to save yourself or Agent Scully."

Mulder stood immediately and the attack was sudden...coming from both the left and the right side of the room.

His first instinct was to duck but it didn't work. The men fell on him, punching and kicking. Mulder grabbed one of the men and threw him aimlessly to the side. He hit the bed, breaking the nearest post. The canopy crashed down upon him...the mirror splintering everywhere. The man jumped up, looking none the worse from the impact.

The thought struck Mulder that any normal man would be unconscious and bleeding. That's when he stopped fighting. It had to be a hybrid...it was the only creature that could survive that type of injury.

They attacked him with full force this time. One of the hybrids grabbed a piece of the broken bed and raised it high in the air. There was a sharp stabbing pain in Mulder's temple and then he lost consciousness and awareness of everything around him.


May 9th
Carter Hospital
2:17 PM
Two days later

"Mulder...wake up. Mulder...come on snap out of it! Mulder...wake up dammit."

Mulder opened his eyes slowly, struggling with even that minor movement. There was an agonizing ache in his temple and his body was throbbing with pain. Disorientation fought from his memory. Where was he? How had he gotten there?

As his vision adjusted, he noticed Skinner standing next to the bed. Where the hell is Scully? He looked around the room as his memory came back. He was in a hospital and Scully was nowhere to be seen. That in itself was unusual. Anytime either of them was in the hospital the other was there next to them.

"Mulder...are you listening to me? Mulder...tell me you're at least aware of my voice." Skinner again. Mulder nodded his head, wordlessly trying to tell him to be quiet. His head was throbbing and he needed Skinner shut up.

"Mulder you need to listen to me, listen carefully. Scully is dead. Can you hear me?" Skinner's voice was impatient now. Tinged with an underlying sadness that Mulder hadn't noticed before. "He's not listening to me. You try to tell him."

Frohike now. Standing at the edge of his bed. Trying to tell him something about Scully. God can't they just go get her instead of bugging me to death? It was too much. He was in pain and they were standing around his hospital bed talking like there was no tomorrow.

"Mulder, Scully is dead. Are you listening to us?" The reality of Frohike's words struck him suddenly.

"What the hell are you talking about? Where is Scully?" His head pounded with each word. "Is she here?" His throat felt raw and scratchy.

"My god, he finally answers! Mulder, Scully is DEAD. Are you understanding me now? She's gone. They attacked her in her apartment the same night you got attacked. She was murdered. You would have died too if I hadn't had gone over to show you the information you asked me to dig up on your latest case. I found you in your room, laying in a puddle of blood." His voice broke. Frohike was crying now. The tears were falling and all Mulder could do was stare at his face.

Mulder turned away. He wanted them to go away...to leave him alone. How could Scully be dead? It just wasn't possible.

The nightmare flashed through his mind eradicating all thought of what they were trying to tell him. He ignored their words until finally they just gave up. Leaving him lying there in bed facing the wall.

It just wasn't possible. She had to be alive.


May 16th
Deity Cemetery
Washington, DC
3:17 PM

Mulder stared at the freshly buried grave in front of him. His eyes were bloodshot, brimming with tears that were falling slowly down his cheeks. It was still hard to acknowledge the fact that she was dead. But he didn't have a choice. He had seen her body. He had to accept it.

There were so many things he hadn't told her. So many questions he wanted to ask her. The sentences ran through his mind like a freight train and he stood there unable to stop thinking of them.

He had remained in the hospital for several days. The Lone Gunmen had stopped by everyday. How many times had he asked for them to bring Scully to him? He couldn't remember.

They had brought him to the Morgue the day he got out. Frohike said they didn't have a choice. Mulder just wouldn't believe them when they told him she was gone. He had seen her body lying there on the slab, so cold and undignified, and collapsed.

Fresh tears came to his eyes at the memory. It was all too much to handle. After that, the days had become a blur. He could remember them taking him home and someone laying him on his couch. Remember voices drifting in and out of his living room. The feeling of loss in his heart had obscured everything around him.

He lay there weeping in his living room until the day of her funeral. Then they had come again, The Lone Gunmen and Skinner, to take him to the cemetery.

Now he stood here alone, staring at her grave, and wept.

"Fox..." A soft voice. Turning he saw Scully's mother. She hesitated then walked to him. "Fox, she loved you very much. You have to know that. She told me when she was in the hospital fighting her cancer. She needed to tell someone and she was too frightened to approach you." Mrs. Scully sighed. "You know it's kind of ironic I always thought I would lose her to cancer...I never expected this."

"But Mrs. Scully..." His voice caught in his throat.

"No Fox, just believe me. She loved you. But I know she's happy now. She's in a better place." She turned slowly and started walking away. "I have to believe that."

He was alone again, but now the feeling was even more despairing. How was he going to live the rest of his life without her?


Time had gone by slowly at first. It was months before he could even contemplate going back to work. Skinner had told him to take his time...that the X-Files could wait. Mulder had to fight against every urge that told him to crawl up into that grave with Scully and join her.

He continued visiting her gravesite every week. He had run into Scully's' brother Bill on one occasion. The man had looked at him with so much contempt that Mulder had to force himself not to cause a scene. Then as he was walking away Bill had grabbed his arm and screamed at him for killing both of his sisters. When Bill had asked if he was happy now that both sisters were dead, instead of only one, Mulder had punched him.

He had felt guilty afterwards. Scully deserved more respect.

His first day at work left him crying in the office. Everything he looked at reminded him of her. It had eventually gotten easier. But she was always there...always a lingering thought on his mind.

Then there was a day that seemed like a dream to him. He had been back at work, for maybe a month, when something occurred to him. Scully's ovum. It was a strange thought to plague his mind but one that wouldn't go away. He had gone to the lab that day and discovered them missing. All the ones that he had found when she was first diagnosed with cancer were gone.

He had cried again. This time the tears came at home...in the sanctuary of his own living room.

Time passed by quickly after that. One day melted into another until they all seemed like a dream. Nighttime was when he would remember. The nightmares would appear and he would think of her and that dreadful night. It would torment him until morning...until he could get up and start another day.


Part II: Hope Revived

February 9th
FBI Headquarters
Washington, DC
7:23 AM

Darkness......the void in his life had never been filled. He blamed himself for her death. The conspiracies of his life had swallowed her very soul until she disappeared from his life. A life that he no longer wanted to live.

"Dammit...why can I never find that file!" Mulder grabbed a box off the top of his filing cabinet. His heart skipped a beat when he saw a note with Scully's handwriting on it. It was just a simple piece of paper but it resembled so much of what he had lost. Scully had always kept their office neat. She had always been able to find those missing files.

It was now, a half an hour after walking into the office that he understood. He would never be free of her. Never be free of the guilt that the very mention of her name brought up in his mind.

His mind shifted until he couldn't hold back the memories. It was too much to try to fight them. He had no choice but to relive them...


Oct 20th
Trinity Hospital
8:16 PM

The hospital room was cold and dark. Scully was nowhere to be seen but Mulder felt her presence just the same. How many times had he sat by a bed wishing for her to be well again? He'd lost count. It was becoming a routine that he dreaded.

He had tried for seven years to convince her that there was extraterrestrial life. Even now, as she was in a hospital fighting a cancer they couldn't explain, she wouldn't accept it.

The tension of the situation had affected him more than he thought at first. He had tried for so long to keep his feelings hid from Scully...and he had succeeded for a while. But then she had gotten sick. His mind had locked onto the fact that he could lose her and he had given up hope of ever hiding those feelings again. Since then, he tried to show her every way he knew how, how much he loved her.

But she was still hiding her feelings. There was too much at risk in her mind to just give in. Whenever he tried to say something remotely caring, she would back away...and he would give in yet again. He let her keep her distance. He kept telling himself that there would be time to tell her later. But later never came.

Now he sat in her hospital room pondering his feelings and wondering exactly where she was. He could feel the impending doom that hovered around both him and Scully. What if something had happened while he was meeting with cancer man? He couldn't fathom the thought.

Deftly he got up and went to the door. She was still nowhere to be seen. It was too much. He needed to see her...if only to see that she was alright. He walked down the hall to the nurses' station, his heart beating loudly. Surely, they would have told him if something had happened when he came in.

"Excuse me..." The nurse looked up sharply and he understood why. His voice was timid, almost panicky. "What happened to Dana Scully? She's not in her room."

The nurses' expression quickly changed to confusion. "She's not in there? I just left her in her bed twenty minutes ago."

Relief flared through Mulder's body until he realized that even the nurse didn't know where she was. This was a hospital, weren't they supposed to keep track of their patients? His temper started to rise. "Find her! Find her right now!"

"Mulder?" A soft voice from behind. It was Scully. The moment he heard her voice his body relaxed. "Mulder, why are you screaming at my nurse?" Questions in her eyes...then understanding.

"I...uh...I was just..." His voice slightly uneven.

"Never mind, Mulder. I just went to the cafeteria. I needed to get out of that room for a moment."

Scully turned and walked back towards her room...two strides and Mulder caught up with her. He placed his hand lightly on her back...so lightly she barely felt it. When they reached the doorway to her room, Scully sighed deeply.

"You know Mulder I really hate being in the hospital. Did I ever tell you that? I always feel like I should be on the other side...like I should be the doctor instead of the patient."

"I'll let you play doctor with me anytime you want Scully." Taunting...he had to cover up the seriousness of the situation.

"Mullllder...." She smiled slowly.

Ha Scully! Gotcha! "Yes I kinda do understand." His voice was soft now...aware.

Scully looked at him sideways. Her eyes studied his expression slowly, as if she were debating something. Finally, a look of determination came into her features. She walked over to her bed and reached under her pillow...to reveal a piece of paper.

She held it out to him tentatively. Her eyes were begging him to understand. "I wrote this to you. It's not much...just something that came to me in the middle of the night last night."

He took it from her with shaking hands and began to read it. It shocked him to realize what she was trying to tell him.


Mulder,
I know this point in time is very trying on you but you must realize that everything has a reason. Whatever we may face in the future, even if your future is without me, just know that we fought this long for a reason. There was a reason they partnered me with you. But their plans for me to debunk your work never worked out. Instead, we have become the best partners in the FBI. Our future leads towards a truth that only you can reveal. I am depending on you to find that truth...and to expose all those involved with this conspiracy. Even if I am not next to you Mulder, you must continue fighting. You must find the reason that you have been searching for, for most of your life. I have come to depend on you more than anyone else in my life and I hope you can see how much the truth means to me also. I do believe the truth will save us. It will save us both.

Scully


"Scully, I..." His voice was uneven.

"No Mulder, I'm not giving up. I just wanted to explain some things, in case something does happen and I'm not around. This is the only way I felt certain that you would continue to fight. I want you to search until you find the truth. Even if I'm not there questioning your every move."

She was crying. Her very soul was being bared to him and for once, he knew what was right. He walked over to her and gathered her in his arms. It was only a hug but he put as much love into it as possible. He had to show her how much she meant to him...but she pulled away, yet again.

"Mulder, I need to get some sleep. I'll talk to you tomorrow. Is that okay?" She was hiding again...withdrawing back into her shell. But Mulder let her. She had revealed enough for one night.

"Sure Scully, I'll call you tomorrow. I know you want to find out how the hearing's going."

He left her then. It was impossible to understand the reasoning but things had gotten better after that night. Her cancer went into remission two days later. Sure he had to deal with Scully's brother but that was part of the territory...something he would always have to deal with.


February 9th
FBI Headquarters
Washington, DC
7:35 AM

Scully's handwriting jumped out from the paper in Mulder's hand. It had been a promise to her, a promise to continue his quest. But instead of fighting for the answers all he had done for four years was hide out. Sure he'd had cases, but none were even close to what they had been discovering at the time she was killed. The fight for the "Truth" had evaporated out of him. And now as he looked down at the paper in his hand he felt like a quitter. He had given up without a fight...all because he lost the one person he promised to continue fighting for.

Suddenly he knew what he had to do. He had to get out of his office. Reality had come crashing back for him and he wasn't sure if he could face it just yet.

Where could he go? Vainly he cursed the bars for not being open yet. He needed a drink, preferably a stiff one. But he had to come back to work so he struck that idea from his mind.

It was then that he thought of Ariel's restaurant. He and Scully had gone there frequently for breakfast before she died, and he hadn't been there since. The need to be in a place that reminded him of her overwhelmed him. He needed a place that would help bring back the memory of her...make her solid in his mind once again.

Grabbing the letter, he walked out the door.


Ariel's Restaurant
Washington DC
8:19 am

Mulder's eyes scanned the diner conspicuously. A harried waitress rushed over to seat him and he waved her away. He didn't want anyone talking to him. He just wanted to sit at the counter that he and Scully had sat at many times before. He wanted to drown in her memory until he felt her presence again...until she was alive in his mind once more.

"What can I get for you?" Another waitress, this time behind the counter.

"Coffee...black." There was no invitation for conversation. He didn't need the company.

Mulder sat in silence as the waitress brought him the bitter drink. Aimlessly he realized he was still clutching the letter from Scully in his hand. She had made him promise to keep searching for the truth, and he had broken that promise. He didn't want to think about it. It was then that he understood that he had come to the wrong place. The memory of Scully was too powerful here. He couldn't stay any longer.

Tossing down money he stood and walked out the door. Why had he given up? Scully wasn't his reason. He had become afraid but that wasn't the reason either. For as long as he thought about it, the answer never came.

The streets were crowded with the morning rush. God what am I doing here? He had walked to the restaurant but now he wished he had brought his car. There were too many people out right now. He could hear their thoughts...hear them all blaming him for giving up. He knew it was in his mind...these people didn't know him.

He looked across the street expecting to see the same rush of people on the other side, and stopped walking instantly. He saw Scully. She was walking casually towards an office building holding onto the hand of a child that looked to be about three years old. Mulder shook his head...almost as if trying to comprehend the vision.

Maybe it's just someone who looks like her! But he could tell it was her. She had the same walk, the same expression. Even now, as she was bending down to talk to the child he could see her clearly. It was her.

"Scully!!!!!!!" His voice rose from his chest. He shoved the people around him aside. She was walking away now. He had to get to the other side of the street. Just to be sure that he wasn't seeing things.

The pavement was hard beneath his feet. The cars droned around him. But he didn't care. His one goal was to get to the other side of that street, to see her. When he looked again she was gone. She had disappeared from his life once more. Now all he could do was wonder. Had it been her? And whose child was that.


Part III: Life Renewed

"And you can tell everybody, this is your song.
It may be quite simple but now that it's done.
I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind,
That I wrote down the words,
How wonderful life is while you're in the world."
Your Song - By Elton John

 

Pentagon
Washington, DC
7:04 am

Smoke...it curled around the men like acid. They could see the man who held their futures in the very palm of his hand, but it was pointless. They had no futures, no pasts. Only the present - the here and now. This man was too powerful to let them survive. If any one of the men at the table disappointed him, they would cease to breathe. He had proved it many times. And, to the men at that table he would prove it again. But now it held meaning. The man was about to make a decision that would affect them in ways they never knew existed. They were to become a part of the most secretive plan in the entire agenda. A plan that had been behind locked doors for four solid years...and the outcome would rest on their very lives.

But he would still hold the key.

Cancerman, once known as CGB Spender...but nevermore to be named, had at no time been foolish enough to give away everything. He was the god of this operation. At times, he felt like the God of everything evil. But, this was not one of those times. His role in this deception was small compared to the past. He would only be seen in shadows, be heard through thin walls. Now was the time of his resurrection from the withdrawn.

Mulder was vital to the mission. And Cancerman knew damn well that this plan would not go through if Mulder wasn't prepared to face the truth. It was time for action.

The men at the table were restless. Nameless among the many that had seen this table...but never survived to tell another soul what it looked like. They were waiting for the one man that would put it all into play. A key player in the policies of the dark. And Cancerman knew he wouldn't be disappointed.

Alex Krycek stepped into the room silently. Over ten years, this man had bounced between working for this evil man and avoiding him at the same time. There had been times that Krycek had been almost killed. They had set him up so many times. Yet, he always seemed to survive. Now he was useful again. He was about to see everything he had worked on for the past ten years fall into place. And there would be no turning back. He would learn secrets kept and held for none to see, only glimpse now and then...but never completely.

Cancerman was waiting. "It is time. You know what to do. Make sure he knows. I want him completely focused on her and the child. No interruptions this time."

Krycek nodded his head sharply. There was no need for words. He was ready for action. Still, he would not trust. Cancerman was a fool at times and Krycek knew better than to open his mouth. There was too much at stake here to trust the embodiment of all evil. How could he trust a man that had attempted to kill him so many times?

"Good. Then start the procedures. There has been too much of a delay as it is. I trust you know what to do?"

This time Krycek would answer him. "Of course I do. Stop being so damn difficult."

The men at the table gasped. That was no way to talk to Cancerman. He would eliminate you before you had a chance to even regret what you had said. But Krycek knew better. He was a key player. They needed him if the program was to go as planned.

"Alex Krycek...you are getting to cocky for your own good. Get out of my sight. And make sure you stick with the plot. I don't need you messing this up again with your little ideas." The anger showed clearly through Cancerman's voice.

"Fine. Just don't screw up your part again." Parting words. Krycek was gone before Cancerman had a chance to even yell at him.

It would be wise to take him out of the picture as soon as this is finished.

Cancerman nodded his head as if affirming his own thoughts...yes very wise to rid himself of the troublesome Alex Krycek.


February 10th
Huntington, VA
2:30 am

The dream...it had come again in the midst of another lonely night. But he had been in it...and this time she knew he was not just a part of her imagination. She had seen him on the street today. Alone...amidst an array of faces, with an air of isolation around his tall figure. Even in a crowd, his presence was compelling. A man that had once been a part of her dreams, one that she had known could not exist. But he did...and now, after dreams she could not explain, her mind would not let her go back to sleep. He was real...but how could he be?

The things she knew she should have done today kept running through her mind. Maybe he would know who she was...and why she couldn't remember anything but the past four years of her life. There were so many questions that she wanted the answers to. Yet, she knew it just wasn't possible to find the truth of her past. No one could tell her who she was...or who her daughter was.

Melissa...she had been born seven months after the point her shattered memory started. She didn't know how she had gotten pregnant, but she was happy nonetheless. Her life held meaning when her daughter came into the world. A tiny being that possessed a link to a past that she couldn't remember...no matter how hard she tried.

But that man...his face was burned into her memory. Despite the fact that she didn't know who he was, she still felt drawn to him. Her first instinct had been to run directly into his arms and never let go. But fear, as much as curiosity made her mind begin to wonder who he was...and why she had been having dreams of him for four years strait. It was only through sheer determination that she was able to keep walking down the street.

No matter how much she tried to ignore the fact, she knew that man was a part of her past. He was a link to Melissa and everything she didn't know. The dreams held the key and she knew, despite her fears that her time of questions was coming to an end. If only she could remember...


May 15th
St. Andrews Hospital
Virginia
6:28 am
Four years earlier...

Pain...it was all that could register through her mind. She shifted sideways in bed and her body screamed at her for the sudden movement. Where was she? Why was she in so much pain?

She opened her eyes slowly...trying to let them adjust to the sudden brightness. She was in a hospital room but what was she doing there? She tried to sit up but the pain was too much for her to handle. It was then that she noticed the doctor. He was watching her...almost studying her...from the corner of the room.

"Who are you? What am I doing here?" She heard her voice, shaky and unnatural.

"Ma'am, can you remember your name? Or what happened?"

Her mind shifted into overdrive. What was her name? Why couldn't she remember? She shook her head, despite the discomfort that ripped through her body.

"I'm Dr. Schultz. You were found outside the emergency room two days ago, no identification or information was left to explain your condition. You have been in critical condition since you were brought in. Are you sure you don't remember anything?"

He waited for her to shake her head again, then continued.

"Well, our first step is to figure out what we should call you until your memory comes back. I know this must be a shock for you so I will give you a while to think about it. I'll be back later tonight to check on you. Use the call button if you need anything. One of the nurses will respond."

He left...leaving her to wonder why her memory was so jumbled. The confusion was abundant, but what had happened? She concentrated but to no avail. The information just wouldn't come to her. She closed her eyes and tried to sleep. It was the only thing she could think of to do. Maybe when she woke up it would come to her.


May 16th
2:17 PM

"So how are we feeling today? Better? I came by last night but you were sleeping." The doctors' voice was enough to break her concentration. She opened her eyes and looked at him.

"Yes, but I still can't remember anything. Is this temporary or long term?"

Dr. Schultz came over to her to check her injuries. He talked to her as he inspected the gash on her forehead. "I'm not sure yet. Did you decide on a name? We have to call you something and I'm sure you're getting sick of the Jane Doe title." He smiled, trying to ease her displeasure.

"I was thinking about Katherine, but does it seem right to just assume a name? I don't know about this. What if someone comes looking for me...someone who knows who I am? How are they going to know it's me?" "Well, Katherine..." He paused for a moment to let her adjust to the name. "I don't think that will be a problem. All they have to do is take one look at you. No one could forget those eyes...or that beautiful red hair of yours."

She smiled at him but her discomfort was obvious.

"Well, your injuries don't seem too bad. You've made a very speedy recovery. The only thing I am really concerned about is your apparent amnesia. We can't force that to come back. It will have to recover in it's own time."

"For some strange reason I think I knew that. Is that weird?" Her voice was timid.

"Not exactly..." He stepped away from her shaking his head. "Well as I said you seem to be recovering rather swiftly. In fact, I'm pretty sure you will be able to be released in a matter of days. All we really have to be concerned about is that memory of yours."

Her shock was obvious. "If you release me where will I go? What will I do?"

"Well, we have been paying close attention to all of the missing person bulletins, and not one has matched your description. I think the only thing we can do is talk to the government. I know they have special procedures to follow in case of this particular situation. We'll just have to take it from there." He smiled, noticing her discomfort. There was just no way to answer all the questions that had to be running through her mind.

"Well I guess I better go do my rounds. If you need to talk to me just let the nurses know. They'll contact me." He walked to the door and paused for a moment. "Katherine, don't worry about this. I'm sure we'll figure something out."

"Thank you Dr. Schultz. I really appreciate all that you've done for me."

Katherine sat there lost in thought. The pain in her body was minimal now. It had settled in her like a dull ache that was slightly uncomfortable but nothing more. Still, her memory was her highest concern. How could she possibly get back her past without someone or something around to remind her? It was a question that had no answers. A question that would keep her up at night...but never have an answer.


Part IV: Life Excelled

February 10th
Huntington, VA
2:47 am

So much time had passed before her eyes. She remembered the day, a month later, that another doctor told her she was pregnant...and that the baby was due in early February. The shock of the situation had changed her view immensely. She no longer searched for her past. That tiny being inside her body was the embodiment of that forgotten time. That day had been important in it's own way. It was a day that she learned to pursue for hope. Whomever she was having this baby with would search for her. She was sure of that fact.

However, the time had passed and no one came looking for her. It was a day, almost eight months later that she retained with clarity. That was the day she almost remembered. It had come to her in a brief flash of images so violently that even now she ceased to believe the impact it had on her life. What would she have done if she remembered completely? She didn't know...but she was soon to find out. She couldn't do anything anymore without remembering that day. And that man - he had increased her awareness of it. Her mind wouldn't allow the present to be encompassing. It didn't matter that she couldn't recall the exact details...or that she still didn't remember what the flashbacks were about. She would remember the call she made. And now she was beginning to wonder if that man was whom she called that day. But her mind refused the answer. It would flash back to a time when she was aware...if only for a brief second...


December 17th
Huntington, VA
5:53 PM
Four years earlier...

"Yes Michele. You don't need to worry. I will call you as soon as the contractions begin." She tried, but couldn't hide the amusement in her voice.

Michele didn't hesitate to scold her. She heard the alteration over the static of the phone. "Katherine, I know how much you like to think that you can do everything alone but this situation is rather unusual. And I'm not talking about your pregnancy. If anyone knows how common that is, it would have be me."

Katherine laughed at her words. Michele had just given birth to triplets a month ago. Michele had allowed Katherine into the delivery room. Over their last three months of Lamaze, they had become extremely close. The fact that Michele's husband encouraged their friendship only deepened the bond between the two women.

"Katherine, I just want you to be safe. You know that Matt and I will be there for you. We care about you. We want to make sure nothing happens to you or that baby of yours." Michele's voice had softened slightly.

"Michele, I really do feel fine. Stop being such a worrywart. I promise you I will call you if anything happens. I'm not gonna have this baby alone. Even though both of us know I could probably handle that situation." They laughed again. When one of Michele's babies had been born it had started having problems breathing immediately. Katherine had known just what to do...amazing not only herself but the doctors in the delivery room as well.

"Just promise me you'll call me if anything happens. I in turn promise not to run around the delivery room like an expectant father." Her laughter was lighthearted.

"Ok, you know I promise. I wouldn't want to have to knock some sense into you while delivering a child. Look Michele I have to go. This baby is demanding food...and well you know how fastidious an unborn child can be."

"That I do and it's ok. If I don't get off the phone one of these three I have is gonna get very upset...if not all of them. I'll talk to you later Katherine."

Katherine heard the click of the line as it disconnected and sighed deeply. Michele and Matt could get so overprotective at times, but it was all right. They were technically the only two friends she had.

The baby shifted restlessly inside her womb and she ran her hand over the protrusion of her belly. "Ok, Ok, I'm getting food now. I promise."

She stood up slowly and carefully. The last thing she wanted was to fall and hit her head on something. If she lost this baby, it would kill her soul. There was too much at stake. This child was the link to her past. Her life depended on knowing that past...even if it meant DNA testing as soon as the baby was born. Whoever the father was, he would want to know about this child. She was sure of that fact.

Maybe Mulder can help me figure this out.

What the hell...? Where had that come from? A wave of dizziness flashed throughout her body and she sat back down, hard.

Mulder!!!! Where are you? I need you! They're trying to kill me! I need your help!!!!!

Mulder? What the hell was that? Better yet, who the fuck was that?

The world grew black and fuzzy around her vision and suddenly she was no longer Katherine Speller...she was past the point of consciousness. Contractions had begun. They wracked her body but it didn't matter. She didn't feel them. The time was different.

Her name was Dana Scully and she was with a man. A man she loved deeply but would never admit those feelings to. He was pulling her from a cavern in a wall. And for some strange reason, she wasn't wearing any clothes. She was extremely cold.

In a brief flash, everything was recalled. Her name was Dana Katherine Scully. She had a job at the FBI and a partner named Fox Mulder. She remembered the small touches...the lingering glances. The love that touched her soul but was never allowed to be free of its professional binds. She remembered The X- Files. The strange cases that her and Mulder worked on. She remembered the effort and time...remembered the night she died.

The night I died?? Oh my god, what the hell is wrong with me? Where the hell is Mulder?

Her vision began to fade slowly...but she could remember bits and pieces. Suddenly her stomach shifted.

What the hell was that?

The pain wrapped around her body and Katherine let out a long sob. She reached for the phone only to be stopped short by the arm of the couch. She was sweating and panting but there was no time for Lamaze. This baby was about to be born...despite if she was ready or not...despite that she was fine only ten minutes before. She reached for the phone again.

"Dammit! Please god, help me to do this!" It was a plea made from pain...but it worked. She wrapped her hand around the cradle waiting for the contraction to subside.

"Please god...Please god...Please god..." her mind was still reeling from the flashbacks but she managed to place a phone number.

"Mulder." He was home. Thank you lord!

Her voice was a horse whisper. "Mulder I need you."

"Who is this?" She barely heard his voice...then the line went dead.

She passed out again only to be awakened by the cramping in her abdomen. This time it was different though. There was no recollection. She could remember talking to someone...a man perhaps...but nothing else. She was still gripping the phone in her hand.

What the hell just happened?

The contractions were getting closer and she had yet to call Michele.

Oh my god, It's too early to have this baby! Her fingers trembled as she dialed the number...


Alexandria, VA
6:00 PM

What the hell had just happened? Mulder paced back and forth across his living room. He had tried to get the call traced but the operator had told him the number was only for a gas station. His mind was working overtime as he muttered slightly to himself.

"Who the fuck was that? It couldn't be her...it just couldn't."

When the phone had rang and he answered it he had expected to hear his mothers voice...Skinner's maybe. But what had come out of the receiver was something he could only describe as a ghost voice. Could it be possible?

"No she's dead! Why can't you just move on with your life Fox Mulder??" The sound of his own voice made him jump.

Scully's voice...it was still ringing through his ears. Scully's voice...laced with pain but he knew that voice. Was it even conceivable? Had he been fooled all along?

He had seen her body. It wasn't possible. It had been almost eight months since her death and he was still trying to understand the reasoning. But what if she was alive?

There had to be a logical explanation. Maybe it was someone else he knew...or maybe somebody just trying to get a reaction from him.

Mulder sat down hard on his couch. The answers were held in the past. If only he could remember what happened during the rest of that night, the night of the attack. There was a vital piece of information missing and he and no idea how to get it back. But things had been explained...by the lone gunmen. Would they have lied to him?

No...they were more paranoid then he was. He never trusted them completely but still they had a way of showing him the basic truth. They wouldn't have lied to him. Not about Scully's death.

Skinner maybe...

No. He had lied to Mulder in the past. Still there were times when he questioned Skinner's motives. He would never trust Skinner completely. But Skinner also knew that if Mulder found out that Scully's death was a lie, then Mulder wouldn't hesitate to put the man six feet under himself. It didn't matter that Skinner was his superior...or that Mulder would go to jail.

But none of them could tell him the full truth. It was then that he did the only thing he could think of...he called Scully's mother.

"Hello, you've reached the Scully residence. We're not able to get to the phone right now but if you leave a phone number and a brief message, I'll get back to you as soon as possible."

Damn...

He hung up the phone with contempt.

Was she alive? Mulder knew that there was only one way to answer this question. Despite the fact that he didn't want to do it...they had to exhume her body. It was the only way to find out for sure.


Huntington, VA
6:03 PM

The shrill of the phone was too much to handle. She hung it up, hoping Michele or Matt would call her back when they got their messages. Where the hell could they have gone in that short of time?

Scully's body was screaming at her to push...but she knew she couldn't. This baby was too important to her. If it was born this early there would be problems. It still wasn't big enough to survive on it's own outside the safety of her womb.

The spasms grew closer together but still she fought against them. A warm rush of liquid ran down her legs and she cried aloud. "NO!"

Reaching down she felt the baby's head begin to crown. It was pointless now. She was having this baby, despite the fact that it would be two months early and she was all alone in the house...


Alexandria, VA
6:05 PM

Mulder was still pacing around his living room when the pain struck him. It was a blinding, branching out from his abdomen and shooting down his legs at the same time. He fell to his knees as the pain gradually edged away.

"Oh my god!" What he hell was wrong with him?

What the fuck was that? A muscle spasm?

The pain gripped him again, but this time he cried out from it. His body was writhing with unyielding agony and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Gradually he crawled to his couch and laid down on it.

He suffered the torment in his living room...alone.


Huntington, VA
6:08 PM

Scully hung up the phone again. She had called for an ambulance but there wasn't enough time. The baby was pressing out of her body slowly against her will. Finally, she succumbed to the pressure. She had to get the baby out.

She screamed as she pushed. For some strange reason, the pain was minimal. She still felt a little but it wasn't enough to stop her from knowing what to do when a baby is born. She was crying as she reached down to turn the baby's shoulders.

This wasn't right...she shouldn't be doing this alone.

The presence of another person in the room overwhelmed her. She glanced around, but saw no one. But still she felt that presence. It was almost overpowering...


Alexandria, VA
6:12 PM

Mulder's body was trembling. But he felt the displacement. He hadn't left his apartment but there were a few things that didn't feel right. The pain was one. It was constant now...and very powerful.

The illusion was another. He saw, rather then felt, the room shift around him. He was in a different apartment. He could see all the intricacies of a woman lying around. His eyes flew open wide when he saw who was lying on the couch.

It was Scully...and she was in pain.

Her body was distorted but it was definitely her. He watched as she lay on the couch...her face contorting for some unknown reason. When she reached between her legs and pulled out an infant he knew why her face was scrunched up. She had been in labor and now he was sure of one simple fact.

He was dreaming...it was the only answer.


Huntington, VA
6:18 PM

The presence in the room was gone. The ambulance was coming. She could hear the sirens. She could hear someone pounding at her door.

But none of it mattered. The tiny baby girl that she was holding in her arms had yet to take her first breath of air. Katherine reacted quickly. She placed her mouth over her daughter's tiny one and applied suction. It was the best she could do at the moment.

The moment she pulled her mouth away the infant gasped. The baby started to cry...as if realizing for the first time that it was no longer in her womb. She watched her daughter closely...looking for anything unusual.

Ten fingers...ten toes...two eyes...two ears. The baby seemed fine in every way except for the fact that it was so tiny. It was then that Katherine gave in to the tears that she had been holding back.

And that was how Michele, Matt, and the EMTs found her. Holding her tiny daughter to her chest, crying like there was no tomorrow.


Alexandria, VA
6:20 PM

Mulder sat up abruptly on his couch. His eyes filled with tears as he remembered the dream. Scully...my god how he missed her. And to see her like that, even if it was only a dream, was too much. Why would his mind put her through that torture? Would he ever survive life without her? It was a question that ran through his mind every night...and now everyday as well.


Part V: If You Could Only See

"I look upon things in a different light then most. Things that seem to be simple can become complicated within moments of my words. I read the Bible and find Revelations. I know the book well enough to quote each word...but the translation is lost in my speech. Before me stands a pale horse with a pale rider atop of it. And the horse's name was hate...the riders' name remains as Death. Things change. What once was important becomes so inane. Yet, as you see, it doesn't matter. For death must come...but hate, it only resides in the beast." - - - Quote of my own.

"Like anyone would be, I am flattered by your fascination with me.
Like any hot-blooded woman, I have simply wanted an object to crave.
But you; you're not allowed; you're uninvited.
An unfortunate slight."
Alanis Morsette

 

February 12th
FBI Headquarters
Washington, DC
7:23 AM

Light...it had seemed so important at one time in his life. He had a family once. A mother and a father, who loved him...two sisters and a younger brother, who kept him sane in childhood. They had relished the light, playing throughout the day until dusk crept in and their parents called them for dinner. But things never remained in his favor. There were deals to be made...forces to be reckoned with. Darkness took over the bright days of his life. He had become a ghost. Seen only in shadows and dim alleyways. His life had become a part of the game. His family was left behind in the well-hidden past.

Had they known he was involved from the beginning? It was hard to figure out. But the well-laid plans had never worked out quite right. He had done his job. Stayed in the darkness until the light beckoned to him to arrive in it once more. In four years there had never been a doubt about where he belonged. The plans that fell through two years ago had shown him that he belonged in the light. He relished it as much as he had when he was a kid.

But that last time it taken him by surprise...

The plans had seemed so simple at the time. But no one had counted on the reactions of the key players. There had been no way to know that the darkness would swallow him so soon within the wreckage. The men that were running the show had been foolish. They had been foolish in believing that there was no love between their most important characters. So he had fallen from grace again.

But it would all change soon. Alex Krycek was about to step back into the light.


February 16th
FBI Headquarters
Washington, DC
6:57 AM

"Find out Dammit!" Mulder slammed phone down back into its cradle. All of his attempts to find out who that woman was had failed. In a way, his search for the Truth had taken on a new meaning. It had come back with a vengeance. A new quest that now held the meaning of all that his life represented.

There was a new file now. Scully had made it into the X-Files cabinet again. But the case had no leads. He was chasing a ghost and he damn well knew it. Frustration overwhelmed him as he grabbed the file and shoved it into the filing cabinet. It just seemed fitting when he slammed the drawer shut on his hand. He was still uttering oaths as Skinner walked into the office.

"Agent Mulder?" Skinner fought back the smile that was threatening to his expression. The sight of Mulder hopping on one foot, gripping one hand with the other, and swearing was just too much of concept. He muffled the laughter but Mulder noticed it anyway.

"Just what the fuck are you laughing at?" His voice was high pitched. He couldn't handle it anymore. The stress of the past week had finally gotten to him.

Skinner's reaction was nothing less then expected. "Agent Mulder, I am going to give you benefit of the doubt on this and let you redeem yourself with your answer. Exactly what reason do you have for talking to me like that?"

Mulder couldn't take it anymore. He glanced at Skinner and burst out laughing. The stress had finally overloaded his mind. The only thing he could think of was the expression of shock on the AD's face.

Skinner stared at Mulder. It was such a change. When he had walked into the office Mulder had been cussing up a storm. Now he was laughing so hard that tears were streaming from his eyes. What the hell was going on? The only thing he could think of was that Mulder needed a vacation.

"Mulder...Maybe you should take some time off."

The laughter stopped immediately. "Sir, I'm sorry for speaking to you like that...but...well the truth is I don't have a logical reason."

"Agent Mulder I want you pull yourself together and be in my office in five minutes." With those words Skinner turned abruptly and strode out of Mulder's office. The door slammed behind him.

"Dammit, dammit, dammit! You couldn't shut up could you? Is there anything you do right?"

Mulder sat at his desk, head in hands, hoping that when he did pull himself together and go to AD Skinner's office, that he wouldn't piss him off more.

Not piss off Skinner? Are you insane? There wasn't a chance in hell. The man was perpetually mad at Mulder these days.

Mulder stood up and sighed with resignation. It was time for the Truth to be searched for once again. Time to tell Skinner the reality about Scully...and there was nothing he could tell the AD that would satisfy him.


7:15 AM

"Mulder, it's insane! The very idea that Agent Scully is alive is preposterous! You can't do this again...especially not to me. I can't handle another one of your wild goose chases. I can't approve it." Skinner was thoroughly enraged now. After ranting and raving for almost fifteen minutes, he finally gotten the story out of Mulder. But instead of the crazy alien theory that he was expecting, he got a wild story about Scully.

Scully...A name that had disappeared from conversations years ago and was stepped around carefully these days...especially around Mulder.

Mulder jumped to his feet in anger. "Your telling me I'm on my own? What is the reason for this? You can't approve it and the very idea of Scully being alive makes you angry. WHY?"

It had become a yelling match and Skinner knew it. He lowered his voice hoping Mulder would follow suit. "Fox..." He paused to let Mulder comprehend what he was about to say. "I know that you have been through a lot, but it is time to let it go. Scully is dead. We SAW her body. It is highly impossible for that woman on the street to be her. We are not going to go chasing shadows and ghosts for no reason. There is no point."

Mulder's eyes dropped to the floor. Over the past week he had thought that many times. The very fact that Skinner would mention it was too much. "Sir, you can't tell me that there have been times you haven't wondered about that night Scully died. I have yet to recall the entire evening, but I know something wasn't quite right about it. Now either I get the FBI's help in this...or I am going to have to walk away from the bureau. The choice is up to you."

Skinner's face registered shocked. "Mulder are you telling me that if I don't approve this you'll quit? Is it honestly that important to you?"

Mulder sat down slowly and locked eyes with Skinner. "Yes sir." Mulder halted to give Skinner more time "Now are you gonna lose one of the best Agents you still have left, or gain back the best Damn team you've ever had? The decision is yours."

Skinner shook his head slightly. "Dammit Mulder. You know I won't let you quit. You tried that once before when Scully disappeared. I wouldn't let you quit then and I certainly am not going to let you go now. So do your thing Mulder...but remember if you get caught you were on your own."

Mulder stood up and headed for the door. "That's just the way I want it sir."


February 16th
Huntington, VA
7:21 AM

Loneliness...that's all she felt anymore. There were times that she would close her eyes and imagine a different life, a life full of love and romance. Then Melissa would cry...or the phone would ring...and reality always came crashing back down around her.

There had been times she would remember. The visions would come and go...but the details never remained for long. Her life had become a window, painted shut with old memories that never seemed to want to be free. And she wasn't sure anymore if she even wanted to possess those memories. Should she pry apart that window and let them in? Was her life so terrible? She had a beautiful daughter, a great job, and friends that had been there for her since her first memory of this life. Why bother with the past?

Her heart answered the question for her. Love, though avoided and often mistaken, could never be forgotten. The mind can erase the memory but there was no way to dismiss the emptiness she felt late at night. The loneliness that would envelop her soul and take her to a place that was dark and cold. She longed for the warmth...longed for him to make everything all right. The man from her dreams...he was the one that she had been trying to find for four years. The one that could make everything right.

And he was out there. Had there been nights of loneliness and despair for him as well? Did he miss her or think of her? She didn't know if he still loved her or not but she was sure that he would want to know about Melissa. This man from the past...he had to be the father...it was the only answer. She knew that if she loved this man she wouldn't have been with anyone else. Her love for this man had kept her from getting involved with anyone in the past four years. It had obviously been going for a very long time. There had been many times in the past four years that Michele or Matt had tried to set her up with one man or another.

It had never worked...


Two years earlier...
July 4th
The residence of Matt and Michele Samuel
Huntington, VA
1:17 PM

"Michele, how could you do this to me? You should know better by now." Katherine tried not to show the irritation that was seeping throughout her body but there was no way to hide her intense expression.

"My god Katherine..." Michele's expression was just as tense. "Why are you acting like this? All I did was invite Nicholas over for a drink. Is there any harm in that?"

"Yes dammit!" The words came out before she could stop them. She glanced towards Michele to find a harsh look on her friends face. "Look Michele, I know you're concerned about me, but you don't understand. I am just not interested in any of these men. If I was don't you think I would have started dating on my own a long time ago?"

Michele stood up and walked in to the kitchen. She gripped the countertop with white knuckles and turned back towards Katherine. "I know you want to find Melissa's father, but to be honest Katherine I just don't see why. Don't you think if he wanted to find you he would've looked for you? How much more pain are you going to put yourself, and Melissa for that matter, through?" Michele's voice was tinged lightly with bitterness. "Don't you think it's time to move on with your life?"

"Who do you think you are?" Katherine spat out the words contemptuously. "Melissa is the most important thing in my life. Why do you think I am looking for this man? She needs to know who her father is. You wouldn't know this feeling. Your children have had their father around everyday of their lives. And now you presume to tell me what I can and can't do. She needs this more than I do. Me going out with men has nothing to do with it."

Katherine jerked to her feet and headed towards living room. It only took her a few minutes to gather up Melissa's and her toys. They were almost out the door when a hand crept out and caught her wrist. She yanked it away before looking to see who's it was.

"Katherine? Is that you?" The voice was familiar but she didn't place it immediately.

"I'm sorry...do I know you?" Her brow drew together in confusion.

He smiled timidly at her. "I'm Nicholas Schultz. I was your doctor at the hospital. The one who discovered you had amnesia. Remember?"

"Of course I remember. I'm sorry. It's just...well to be honest it has been a horrible day. I need to get my daughter home before her nap time." Katherine glanced towards the kitchen door to see Michele looking at her harshly. "Really, it was good to see you again. Maybe next time we can sit and talk for a while." She turned towards Michele and tried to keep her voice even with her next words. "I'll talk to you later. Please give Matt and the kids my love. Tell them I had to get home and I'm sorry I couldn't say goodbye properly."

Michele nodded at her, but there was no emotion behind her eyes. She was obviously not in the mood to settle the argument between them yet.

It doesn't matter, she obviously doesn't understand But deep down Katherine knew it mattered to her. Michele had been there for her no matter what. But the one time she needed Michele to understand and she didn't. Now there was actually a danger of losing her friendship. It was a thought that she couldn't contemplate right now. Melissa was tugging on her hand knowing they were getting ready to leave.

"Look Dr. Schultz..."

"Nicholas please..." he laughed as she looked at him with a confused expression.

"Look Nicholas...Really it was nice to see you again. Maybe next time we'll have a chance to talk for a while." Turning she began to walk out the door. He stopped her again...but this time he didn't ask any questions. Just gently thrust a business card into her hand.

She glanced at him questionably and he answered her unasked questions. "Just give me a call sometime. We can get together and have lunch or something."

By the time she was about to tell him not to bother Melissa had pulled them both out the door. Katherine sighed and shoved the card into the diaper bag.

You never know when you need a doctor...


Part VI: How Do I Say I'm Sorry

February 20th
Alexandria, VA
5:45 PM

Time...it had become crucial in this new search. Mulder could no longer pretend that nothing had changed. His heart wouldn't let him. Every time he closed his eyes he could see her face. But now there was another one right next to hers. The face of a child.

Whose child was that? It couldn't have been hers...she was unable to have children. That was the importance of keeping her ovum. He had wanted to save them for the day when they finally decided to have children. The day that she finally admitted that she loved him. When he discovered her ovum in that damn laboratory was when he knew what had to be done. He would keep them safe. He had always wanted to be the father of her children...but there had never been a time to admit to those feelings. He was amazed that he actually told her he loved her.

But that had seemed to be enough at the time...

Now as he looked back on all those times he wished he could've said it sooner. There had been so many opportunities. How often had there been a normal situation between the two of them. There had never seemed to be a right time. And now as he remembered all those wrong times, he wished he had just said it at a better moment. He was trapped in a role that he no longer wanted to be cast in. He would find Scully...and he would love her with the emotional power he had always wanted to.

The thoughts clouded his mind. If there had ever been time for those revelations...would he have told her? What had held him back in the past? He was too busy and too scared. There had been so many times he would look in the mirror and see nothing but a coward where Scully was concerned.

The slight rapping at the door barely broke his concentration. It took him almost a full minute to realize he wasn't hearing things. The knocking continued as he made his way towards the door.

"I'm coming Dammit!" Louder knocking now...

By the time he reached the door he was furious. With out thinking of checking to see who it was he threw open the door. "If your selling something I'm not interested." When he finally glanced to see who it was he was shocked.

"Oh my god Mrs. Scully...I am so sorry." The look on his face was irreplaceable guilt.

"No Fox...really it's not a big deal. I just came by to talk to you about...about..." Before she could finish her eyes filled with tears.

She was still crying when he led her to the couch and ran to get her a glass of water. When he came back into the living room she had managed to abate her tears.

"Fox, something rather strange happened last night. I...I couldn't talk to Bill about it...he would just say that I was getting daffy in my old age." Her voice shot up a notch at the talk of her son. She knew there were problems between Mulder and him. "Anyway, this dream...it was so odd. The only other time I had dreams like this was when she was taken away all those years ago."

"What was it about Mrs. Scully? The dream...what did you see?" Mulder's voice had grown cold and calculated.

The words that came out of Maggie Scully's mouth next surprised him. His quest was forgotten for the moment as he sat back and listened to what could be his biggest lead in finding Scully as soon as possible.


February 21st
Huntington, VA
5:17pm

Katherine stared at the ceiling. Her heart pounded loudly in her chest. Dreams of her forgotten past had flashed before her eyes again. But this time she had retained some of the information. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to know who she was...or where she came from. They were past experience that tended to wake her from the dead of night...things that left her screaming and gasping for air.

She would dream of monsters that consumed human livers, aliens that would kidnap and do horrible things to her, and the worst ones were always an aftermath. Stuck in a cavern, unable to move, and very cold. But he would always appear. Every time she would turn around in those dreams she would see those eyes, something that pierced her very soul. She would try to look back at him, study his every move, but she always got caught in his intense gaze. There had been a time that she had placed all her dreams on hope.

Hope that she would find him...that he would still love her.

She had trusted people in her quest to find this man. Trusted some to the point of obsession. Michele and Matt had been helpful at first. When they had failed her in her quest, she had turned to someone else. They remained her friends but she no longer approached them on the subject of the man from her dreams. Instead, she had turned to a man that she assumed she could trust. One that had let her down in more ways then she could describe.

Nicholas Schultz...he had never been a doctor. She had trusted him. Placed hopes and dreams that had shattered with an impact so immense within moments of realizing they were even there.

But he had deceived her...


Two years earlier...
August 12th
Huntington, VA
7:00 AM

The shrill of the phone ringing was too much for Katherine to handle at seven in the morning. Reaching over she grasped it before it could utter another piercing wail. "You had better have a good reason for waking me up this early in the morning."

"Katherine?" A male voice? Who the hell was it?

"I'm sorry...who is this?" She was still half asleep...and her voice emphasized it even more.

"This is Nicholas Shultz...I'm sorry did I call at a bad time?" His voice had become withdrawn...almost distant.

"Well, its rather early. Can I ask, and hopefully this doesn't sound to rude, why you are calling me?" She heard talking in the background on the other end of the line.

Her question didn't seem to faze him in the least. "Actually I needed to talk to you about some of the tests we ran on you when you were brought to the emergency room. It may be possible for us to find out who you are..."

"Excuse me? - Are you sure about this? How did you find out? What do I have to do? Who..." Her voice was hysterical.

"Hold on one second...just calm down. Now I'm not sure this will work, but I have doing some background research on hypnosis. I think if we dwell into your subconscious then we may find an answer. What do you think?" He paused waiting for her to comprehend his words.

"Are you telling me that you may be able to hypnotize me and tell me everything?"

Nicholas's voice took on an ethereal quality at his next words. "No I'm telling you that I may be able to make you remember everything...from start to finish. So are you up for it?"

"Where would you like me to meet you?" It was a question fraught with fear and hopefulness.

Hastily she got directions from him and hung up the phone. She called Michele and made babysitting arrangements all the while still reeling from the implications of one phone call. It was sheer willpower that held her from rushing out the door and strait to his clinic. Would she find out what she needed to know? Would she find him?


Washington DC
Ten minutes later...

Krycek placed the phone back into it cradle and stood up. He had a lot to accomplish within the next few hours. Most everything had been set up from the start. If it came down to it he would have them erase her memory again. The plan no longer mattered in his mind. The very fact that Scully would go to such lengths to find Mulder was unthinkable. She could jeopardize the whole arrangement...and that was not allowed.

Had they known this was going to happen? He wasn't sure. The black lunged bastard was the only one who knew what was expected from the rest of them. But he would find out...if it took his very last breath to get the information.

There was no reason to jump to conclusions though. He would find out what he needed to know and go from there.

It was time for Alex Krycek to find out the truth...


August 12th
Washington DC
2:32 PM

A house was not what she was expecting to find when Nicholas had given her the address. She had anticipated a hospital or something along those lines of a work place. But here she was now, standing in front of a plain two-story building that boasted nothing special. It looked to be very old. There was no way they could house a medical staff in the tiny residence.

Diligently she started to walk towards the front door...and froze. There was a man on the porch. He was dressed all in black and had a cigarette dangling out of the corner of his mouth.

Why does he look so familiar? It was a question that would remain unanswered as the block in her memory enveloped her vision once again. There was no chance to remember...it would remain trapped in her mind.

Smoke curled around the mans face as he stood up to greet her. His voice exuded ambiance when he finally spoke...the words sending chills down her spine. "Hello Katherine...it's nice to finally see you again."

"Again? I'm sorry have we met before?" The confusion was abundant. She didn't know why but this man represented evil in her mind. He was the embodiment of it all.

"Yes Katherine..." His voice remained low and deep. "We were introduced a few years ago...I helped run some tests on you in the hospital. It makes perfect sense that you wouldn't remember."

"You helped?...But you couldn't possibly be a doctor...your so old..." Katherine's hands flew to her mouth in astonishment. "I am so sorry. I can't believe I just said that...how very rude of me."

The man laughed meticulously. "It's quite alright Katherine. Lets go inside and talk to Dr. Schultz. It's time we cleared the air."


August 12th
Alexandria, VA
3:17 PM

Two years...for two years she had been gone, and he remained alone and in pain. The vision of her giving birth was still running through his mind like a haunting memory of everything he failed to give her. Where would they be if she were still alive? He thought about that question many times. He would see her lying on that couch and his consciences would scream and kick with ever growing impatience. There was something he was missing...he was sure of it.

His mind exploded with memories before he had a chance to contemplate the actions of his thought. He could feel her presence in the room. He stood up and walked cautiously throughout the apartment. Was she a ghost? Had his behavior finally wrought an apparition of her back from the dead?

No...he answered the question before it could envelope his mind. Still he felt her in the apartment. He could smell her perfume...feel her gentle touch on his arm. Slowly he walked back to his couch and sat down. Without warning, the feeling of danger laced throughout his body.

He was losing consciousness again. It was an episode that hadn't happened since he last saw that vision of Scully giving birth.

Gradually the darkness took over his vision...


August 12th
Washington DC
3:20 PM

"Sir she's beginning to remember. These dark lines on the graph show us that she's in a deep sleep. Should we proceed?"

"Do you honestly think we went through all this to back out now? Proceed already dammit!" CSM was livid. His eyes closed to slits as he raged at the young man. Why the fuck had Alex endangered this plot with his ideas? The whole point of him being involved was to make her love him. The whole plan revolved around her attraction to him.

But she was still in love with Mulder...and there was no way they could stop it. The hypnotizing had been Krycek's idea. They were stupid in thinking that they could steal her memories and nothing would happen. Now her memory block had developed cracks...and her dreams were the window.

"Sir, her heart rate has increased immeasurably. We think there may be something wrong." The technicians voice was weak. To be yelled at by this man once was enough...

"What the hell is she dreaming about?" His voice was lower this time. There was no point in yelling at the technician if it created a man that couldn't do his job.

She was in a dark place. There were no lights...nothing around her. She was afraid to be alone in the darkness. Silently she prayed for a friend.

"Scully is that you?" The voice of a man...the one from her dreams. Slowly she turned around to face him and it all came back. His name was Fox Mulder and she was Dana Scully. Between them lay seven years of a dastardly past. She loved him immensely...and without fault.

"Mulder?"Oh please god, let me stay here with him!

He ran to her then...his arms embracing the one solid person that he had lost so many years ago. There were unspoken words between them...eyes searching eyes...lips meeting lips.

"I'm so sorry Scully...sorry I couldn't protect you...sorry I wasn't there in time." Tears coursed down his cheeks as he apologized over and over.

"Hush Mulder...hush..." Delicately she tilted his head and kissed away his tears. "It's alright, we're together now. That's all that really matters."

"Scully, I've missed you so much. There are so many things I wanted to say, so many things I should've said to you." His voice overflowed with emotion.

"Mulder...I feel the same way. If I had only said I love you just once we might be together right now. Instead I feel lost, and so alone." She pulled away from him slightly and looked up at his face. " I love you Mulder...you do know that don't you?"

"Yes Scully, I've known that for a long time now. I wish things could've been different...I can't bear life without you by my side." Mulder tightened his arms around her.

"Mulder, are you saying your giving up? You can't do that...we have so much to look forward to. You have to meet her at least..." Her mind was wandering; there was so much to tell him. In the confusion of everything that was happening she was jumbling everything together. He couldn't understand everything she was talking about.

"Meet who? Who do I still have to meet?" It was then that he realized she was fading from his arms. Slowly she became more and more transparent until only a thin vapor was left.

"You have to meet your..." and she was gone. Desperately he screamed...


August 12th
Alexandria, VA
3:34 PM

"Scully!!!!!! Don't leave me again!!!!" The screams were enough to tear him from the dream. My god, it had happened again. Tears coursed silently down his cheeks. His mind reeled. What the hell was happening to him? His heart was beating loudly, his palms clutching the couch.

She had said she loved him...words that he had waited for over an immense amount of years. And now, when he finally got to hear them they were only in a dream. Helplessly he gave into the tears. She was gone and his mind refused to let go of her...


August 19th
Huntington, VA
10:13 AM

"You mean to tell me that he never worked at the hospital? But he was there...he took care of me after they found me two years ago."

"I'm sorry ma'am. I don't know what to tell you except that we have never had a Doctor Nicholas Schultz working here. You must have the wrong hospital." The line clicked as the receptionist hung up.

He wasn't a doctor. Over the past week she had done research on the man whom claimed to be Doctor Nicholas Schultz. Instead she had run into one roadblock after another.

After they had hypnotized her and found nothing he told her to call him in a week. She had called him from the business card he had given her only to find out the number no longer existed. Then she spoke to Michele...she had been even more surprised then Katherine.

What had happened while she was hypnotized? She had a feeling that she would never truly find out.


Part VII: A Surprise Awaits

"And every now and then, he offers her a shoulder,
And every now and then, she overflows.
And every now and then, a Bridge crosses over,
It's a moment that every lover knows.
And she rolls...and he rolls,
she's a river...he's a highway,
Where she goes...where he goes,
Time will tell...time will tell.
Heaven knows she can't go with him...he can't go with her,
And she rolls all by herself.
And he rolls all by himself."
The River and The Highway - - Pam Tillis

 

February 23rd
Alexandria, VA
10:14 AM

Mulder opened his eyes slowly, wincing at the harsh rays of the morning sunlight. The surface of his dreams lingered in the edges of his conscious thoughts. Four years of her being gone and still he saw her face every morning in his mind. It was difficult most days but this day was always the worst.

Today was Scully's birthday.

Over the past three years, whenever her birthday had come around, he hadn't even been able to drag himself out of bed. He would lie there all day just reflecting on whether or not she knew how much he had cared about her. All those birthdays he had looked over would haunt his every thought.

But today would be different. Even if she wasn't next to him she was alive...and that's what really mattered. After the conversation with her mother the other day he was certain of it. There were so many things he had to prepare for. The day would begin as it should...he would get up and search for her.

Mulder sighed loudly. Even after discovering she was still alive he felt the urge to just lay in bed all day reminiscing. It was a weakness in his mind. Something that had developed soon after her supposed death. He would remember everything they had done together and there would be no stopping his mind. It would only cease when his heart allowed. The pain was always immense. Fighting a recollection that no longer held meaning...except in his mind. He would not allow it today. There was no time...

The memory struck him before he could even toss aside the covers. There was nothing he could do but go with the images. He saw them just as clearly today as he had the day it happened...and every birthday of hers after. It hadn't been anything special. Just a surprise that him and the Lone Gunman had set up. No it wasn't the surprise...it was the event that transpired later that day. An event that always haunted those lonely nights in bed.

It was five years ago today that he had almost gotten Scully to tell him how she really felt...


Five years earlier...
Office of the Lone Gunmen February 23rd
6:00 PM

"Mulder..." Scully's voice showed her irritation. "You told me we wouldn't have to work tonight. There I am, sitting at home relaxing, and you come barging in saying the Gunmen discovered something and I had to see what. I just don't see why it couldn't wait for tomorrow."

"Scully please, could you just bear with me on this one? I mean I know it's a stretch but could you just humor me?" There was something about his voice that made her look closer at him. Instead of coming up with a response she turned away and knocked loudly on the door.

"SURPRISE!!!" The chorus of voices shocked her more than anything.

The expression of astonishment her face was something that would burn into his memory.

"Mulder when...how...?" The murmur of her voice was so low he barely heard it. Moisture filled her soft blue eyes and she turned away from his gaze...but not soon enough that he didn't notice it.

"Scully?...What's the matter? I thought you'd like it if us guys just threw you an impromptu party. It was meant to cheer you up...not make you cry." He was honestly worried about her reaction. Was this not what she wanted?

She turned back towards him with moisture staining her cheeks. "Mulder, don't...It just shocked me. After that last birthday, when you gave me that key chain, I just figured you had actually forgotten how important some days are. I mean, you never mentioned anything to me for the past three years. Why this year?"

Byers, Frohike, and Langly all averted their gaze away from the two agents. There was no way they were going to get involved in this conversation.

Mulder tried not to show the hurt that enveloped his thoughts. "Scully, I have left you a card and a rose on your desk for the past four years...including today. I just figured you never wanted to make a big deal about it. You seemed embarrassed that day at the bar. I was reluctant to put you in that position again."

Scully glanced around at the few men she considered her friends. If there was one thing that Mulder could've done this year to make everything right, he happened on it. She had been depressed all day knowing that she was not getting any younger. The knowledge that she was well into her late thirties had finally set in and she wasn't sure of the consequences that would result in her withdrawal. This day had been a constant reminder that she still wasn't where she wanted to be. Not that she would complain because she loved that Mulder was always there by her side. The party was the answer. She would have fun tonight with these four men. Each one special in their own way.

Mulder watched the expressions run over her face with amusement. He knew she was melancholic when she walked into work this morning. The way she moped around the office all day was a constant reminder of his failure to give her everything she wanted in life. She was stuck in that office...deep in the basement...because of his foolish quest. She shouldn't have to suffer.

The party was a last minute idea. He almost didn't have time to get it up and going. It came to the point that he ended up calling Skinner, late in the afternoon, and asked him to call her into his office for a fake meeting. When the assistant director asked why this was important his answer was a curt, "Just do this for me and I promise I'll stay in budget all next month."

It was worth it just to see those expressions on her face. She was happy...the depression leaving as soon as she realized he was doing this for her. She turned towards him, a smile lighting her face. "So...where's my presents?"

Laughter erupted throughout the room. Quickly Mulder pushed Scully the rest of the way through the door.


The next hour was full of the kind of conversation that would sound strange to anyone but that close group of people. There were a few times Mulder had sat back and watched the banter between the Lone Gunmen and Scully. It kept running through his mind that this is where she looked most natural. When she was happy the whole room would light up just to please her.

There was a nagging thought in the back of his mind that he might be over dramatizing, like normal, but he pushed it away. These were the times he lived for now. The instances when Scully would smile and laugh were his achieving moments in life. It always reminded him of what he had gained over the past seven years...instead of all that he had lost in his life. She was his reason for living, and he vowed to show it to her with every passing minute he spent with her from now on.

They managed to keep her busy for another hour before actually letting her open her presents. It's not like she kept harassing them but he knew she was curious. After all you never knew what to expect from the gunmen at times, especially Frohike.

Mulder led her to the only clean table in the room. Everything else was covered with the computer equipment the Gunmen insisted they need for their paranoia quirks. When he had called earlier, he made them promise to clear one area. It was important for the final surprise of the evening.

Byers was the first to hand his present to her. This was another detail they discussed over the phone earlier. Mulder was to be the last. There had been no arguments from the guys...they understood better then they let on.

Scully tore the wrapping off unabashedly. The enthusiasm was something Mulder hadn't expected. Her whole attitude had changed so radically in a matter of only two hours. He had to force himself to keep from patting himself on the back. There was no question about what had finally cheered her up.

My god I actually did something right for her for a change

She glanced up at him sharply as if sensing his thoughts. Blue eyes clashed with hazel green as they fought within each others conscious. Had there ever been a time when she didn't know what he was thinking? There must have been...he was sure of that fact. But he couldn't remember when it was. From the moment they met there was a connection between the two of them. It was something he didn't want to admit at first...but gradually as time passed, he accepted that link into his mind and soul.

Now he knew without a doubt, that he could never go back. She was the one person he let break down the barriers around his heart. The one person who knew him better then he knew himself. And he would not, despite everything, live without her.

Her eyes softened as she realized what he was thinking...then shifted away. Instead she stared intently at the pen set Byers had chosen for her. It was exquisite...made out of wood and set in a deep blue case. "Thank you Byers...they're charming." Her voice was light...but Mulder sensed there was something she was holding back from saying. Was she still depressed about her birthday? He could no longer tell.

Langly was the next to hand his present to her. It wasn't wrapped. Instead he had kept it in the bag from the store he had gotten it at. Scully opened it reluctantly. She knew what to expect from him...but she was surprised at what she saw.

She had anticipated something to deal with wizards and dragons...instead what she pulled out was a snow globe. In the water, beyond the fake snow that was spiraling around, was an angel. It held a baby up towards the heavens as if in offering God the one present he knew would not be rejected.

She turned towards Langly with wonderment in her eyes. "It's beautiful." She smiled up at him as he started to blush. "Thank you Langly."

Frohike glared at Langly. "Are you trying to hit on my woman?" Laughter broke the tension in the room.

Scully continued to laugh. She turned towards Frohike with a teasing look in her eyes. "So Melvin...what did you get me?"

"Your first name is Melvin?" Mulder failed to hide the shock in his voice. "Why did you never tell me...and how come she knows?"

Frohike glanced towards her. "How did you know my first name?"

She scrutinized both of them then shook her head softly. "Honestly I don't know. It's weird but I coulda sworn it was Mulder that mentioned it."

Mulder stared deadpan at Frohike. "I didn't mention it...how could I have?" His eyes shot around the room from person to person. He knew he had to get off the subject. Otherwise they would be here all night just trying to figure it out. "Give her your present already..." He looked directly at Frohike. "...Melvin."

The package that Frohike handed her was, in the best way to describe, wrapped like a five-year-old's present. The comics from some Sunday paper slapped haphazardly around an odd shaped present. Scully tore at the wrappings with no qualms. It was her birthday...she would worry about etiquette later. When it was finally unwrapped, what could only be described as a child's toy. She looked at the tiny misshapen green creature on her lap then turned to Frohike. "A Furby? I mean its cute and all that, but why?"

Frohike laughed. "Well, it's not just any Furby. I have been working on it for the past week. Rewiring and making it say specific phrases."

Scully stared at him with confusion. "Rewired? Do I really want to know?"

"Just turn it on...you'll see what I mean." He grabbed the toy from her and turned it upside down.

"Dana Scully can put me to bed at any time." The squeaky voice erupted from the mouth of the toy. When Frohike pressed the button on the back it spoke again. "Thank you for the lovin Dana."

It was too much for Mulder. Of all the things to give Scully, Frohike had chosen a toy and made it perverted. There was just no sense in the irony of the situation. Mulder laughed. Everyone in the room turned towards him causing him to laugh even harder at the expression on their faces.

"I'm sorry..." He sputtered out. "It just the thought of a toy that speaks pervertedly...only Frohike..." He saw the hurt on Frohike's face and stopped laughing. "Does it scream and close its eyes if she gets undressed in front of it?"

This time everyone joined him in laughter. It was enough to distract Scully. While she was watching the gunmen he reached over and pulled out a package from underneath the chair she was sitting on. When he placed it in front of Scully, her eyes lit with wonder.

Somehow, Mulder had managed to find wrapping paper with tiny green X's all over it. The bow was one giant green X. Scully could do nothing but stare at it. He could tell by her expression that she was afraid to open it. So much was at stake with this present...and he knew that when she opened it, something would forever change between them.

"Are you gonna open it or stare at it all day?" One of the Gunmen asked. Mulder was never quite sure which one. The only thing he could concentrate on was her.

Mulder drew in a deep breath as she grasped the corner and tore into the present.


February 23rd
Alexandria, VA
10:33 AM

The memory vanished at the shrill ringing of the phone. He could help but to wonder who would be calling him today of all days. Everyone knew not to disturb him on Scully's Birthday. It was a well known fact that he wouldn't be at work...or in the land of the living for that matter. Anger, more than anything else, made him reach for the phone.

"Who the hell is this?" His voice met with silence. "Hello?" He knew he should hang up...but something kept telling him not to. There was a harsh breathing sound on the other end of the line, then a computer voice.

"You...Have...Three...Days...To...Find...Them...Be...fore...They...Dis...ap...pear... For...ever..." Mulder jumped out of bed as the line went dead, the harsh sound of the click breaking into his awareness. He knew instinctively that he could not trace the call. It would be blocked...sent through as many channels as possible in order to create confusion. He placed the handset back onto the cradle of the phone.

There was nothing to do without hesitation but search. Answers would come later...of that one fact he knew. For now, the only thing he could think of was to find Scully. There would be a time limit. Somehow, he had known it would not be easy...but it was more critical now. The penalty for not finding her would be to lose her forever...and he would not go through that again. He would find her.

There was nothing else worth living for in his life.


Part VIII: Visions of the Future

February 23rd
Huntington, VA
11:17 AM

Katherine glanced out her living room window with disdain. There was something about February that always made her depressed. The morning had been uneventful. She knew she should get motivated and pick up the house...but there was just too much on her mind. Melissa was at Daycare...Michele was at home with the kids and Matt was at work. There was nothing to stop her from brooding.

She knew his name now. The dreams had become more and more realistic until she knew they were memories. Brought on by what? She didn't know. Fear was now ruling her thoughts. If she called this man would he know who she was? Would he care that he had a daughter? The thoughts stopped her from searching many times. There was so much at stake. Melissa was her world and she would do nothing to harm her.

Would he still want her in his life? When push came to shove, she knew the answer before asking the question. He loved her. It was painfully obvious in her dreams...and more then apparent in the waking world. He would want her beside him...despite all the time they had spent apart.

Oh my god Mulder...where did you get this?

The fugue hit her abruptly...but this time she knew not to fight it. Her conscience was trying to tell her something. As a doctor, I'm a doctor? she knew the memories were her best hope of finding him. There was nothing left to do but sink into the oblivion of her mind.


"Mulder, it's beautiful. But where did you find it? And when did you have time to shop for it?" Scully stared at the music box in her lap. There was a small angel on the top, looking up to heaven, her hands clasped in prayer. She studied the angel carefully. It took her a few seconds more to realize who it looked like. The tiny cherub face looked exactly like Emily. Down to the very nose. Her eyes filled with tears as she realized the significance of the gift.

Before she could say anything more, Mulder reached down and opened the jewelry box. Tucked delicately inside were two black jewelry cases. Shakily, her hand reached out to grab one. When she opened it she found a bracelet...with a design she could only describe as tiny emeralds separated by small X's in a deep gold setting. She held it towards Mulder...a questioning look covering her features.

"Open the other one." His voice was a whisper...just loud enough for her to hear.

She reached for the second box and opened the lid. Tiny earrings that matched the bracelet lay against the velvet box. X's again...this time with the emerald in the center of the X. Placed carefully in the top of this box was a folded piece of paper. She reached for it and Mulder shook his head. It was for later. His eyes told her that much.

"I don't quite know what to say. Thank you Mulder." She was crying again...but this time they were tears of happiness. She had never received anything quite like this from anyone. And now she knew why. Underneath the trust that they shared was a bond that neither would ever forget.

The gunmen were looking anywhere but at the two agents. Each gave the others a look of disdain. No wonder he had wanted to go last. Had he given her that present first, the rest would have looked inane and inappropriate. There was nothing left to do but try to make it through the rest of the night. Byers broke the tension. "Well, what do you say to cake and ice cream?"


The night progressed on. After another hour, Scully's eyes began to droop and Mulder noticed and suggested he take her home. There was only so much partying a person can do. They said their goodbyes...Scully hugging each of the men and saying thank you for the gifts. Each thought she had, was on that tiny slip of folded paper in that jewelry box. She couldn't help but wonder why Mulder wanted her to wait until later.

When they got into the car he turned to her. "You can read it now." It was a simple statement that held so much of a deeper meaning. Tentively, she reached into the presents and pulled out the jewelry case.


February 20th

Dana, In all of our past I can not begin to explain how much you mean to me. I owe you my life in more ways then I could ever truly explain. You don't have to say anything. This gift was more than a birthday present. It symbolizes the end of an era that only you and I have known existed. Our trials and tribulations have led us down this path of unrelentless Truth and Trust. Only you can have my heart...only you could know my soul and still be next to me in this quest. For that I can say nothing but Thank You. I love you...you will always remain as my touchstone...my constant. For this, I see your heart is where mine is. But is the love there? Or do you just see only my needs and not your own. I will be here the day you decide.
Mulder

She tried not to look at him...tried not to let him see her tears. But he was staring at her. There was no way to hide it from him. His hand reached out and tilted her chin up until their eyes locked.

"Mulder...I...I..."

"No...don't speak. It's alright. I don't need you to agree or disagree. All I need is you next to me. That is my goal in life. As long as we remain next to each other...I will be happy." His voice was a whisper.

"But Mulder I do..." Her voice caught in her throat. Was this what it was like? To know love and to trust another human being as much as one can?

"No." He interjected. "You're tired. You need to go home and rest. We can discuss this another time."

He pulled her into a hug. They stayed that way for a few moments. When he pulled away slightly her tears were gone. Instead of letting her go, he pulled her close again. She stared up at him...her eyes shining brightly. She would tell him later. There was always another moment to be shared between them.

Then with a tilt of his head, he pulled her lips to his, gently placing a soft kiss on them. Her head was still reeling as he started the car and pulled onto the street.


February 23rd
Huntington, VA
11:25 AM

Katherine's mind pulled away slowly. The vision had come and gone, yet she lay there, on the couch, in her living room. If only she could remember what transpired during these memory spurts. All she could ever retain were a few weak moments. Her hands went to her ears as she suddenly realized where her earrings had come from. He had given them to her.

When they had found her she had been wearing them. Along with a bracelet to match and a cross necklace. All of her fugues had provided bits and pieces of information...but none so valuable as this. She knew her first name now. Her mind had not retained enough to bring forth her last name but it was a start. If there was one thing she knew...it was that you had to start somewhere.

Reaching out she grabbed the phone and dialed a familiar number.

"Hello?" The voice at the other end was muffled.

"Michele? Is that you?"

"Yeah, hold on one minute." There was a slight shifting noise then she heard the idle threats that all parents make to get a child to sleep. "If you don't settle down and take a nap you will NOT get allowance." The screaming in the background stopped. "Sorry Katherine. So what's up?"

"I need your help with something. I know that Matt can maybe help with this as well. We'll need his connections at the DOD. Think you're up for it?" She knew she was taking a long shot but she was surprised at Michele's reaction.

"Jesus Katherine...won't you ever just give up? Did it ever occur to you that maybe things are the way they are for a reason? If he truly knew you were alive wouldn't he have found you by now? Or found me for that reason. My god Dana..." Michele's voice broke at the slip she made.

"What did you just call me?" The shock was evident in her voice. How could she possibly have known her name...was she involved in this?

"Katherine...I think that maybe you should come over. We have a few things we need to discuss." She was giving in. The argument was gone from her voice.

Katherine stared at the phone trying not to slam the receiver down into the cradle. When she finally spoke her voice was icy. "I will be there in five minutes. I think it's time we cleared a few things up...don't you?"


February 23rd
The residence of Matt and Michele Samuel
Huntington, VA
11:33 AM

When Michele opened the door there was a pained expression on her face. She stared at Katherine blankly. "Come in...sit down."

The anger ripped throughout Katherine's body. She sat on the edge of the couch and waited for Michele to begin. Tension laced through the air.

Michele paced back in forth in front of her. "Four years ago..." The words came out slowly and painfully. "You were attacked in your apartment. You were getting too close to solving a case that had to be kept secret. The man in charge felt that the only way to stop you and your partner was to take away your will to fight. In other words...to separate you from each other. You see, they knew that he would never be able to uncover the answer if you were gone."

She paused with confusion. "This is the part that I will never understand. The man in charge sent out another man named Alex Krycek to kill you. His orders were inject you with a drug that would make your body go into a comatose state. It was so that you would appear dead. In that time they also managed to steal the few ova that your partner had stolen from them a few years back. Before they brought you back out of that state, they erased your memory and injected you with a fertilized egg...made from his sperm, which they got the same night they attacked you, and your ovum. They made sure that you got pregnant...for reasons only known to them. They asked me to watch you...to make sure you wouldn't remember." Her voice broke at the next words. "Two years ago...when you started to remember...I was forced to contact Alex Krycek. The day you went to the office they tried to erase your memory again. Obviously it didn't work."

Katherine jumped up. "You and your lies!! No wonder you never wanted me to search for the truth! The lies behind it all were too much! So what do you get for all this? Are they paying you well?"

Michele turned to her. "Sit down. There's more." She waited until Katherine complied. "I wasn't involved. You see the reasons I never told you were complicated. With Matt working for the DOD I didn't have a choice. It was a job requirement of his. But I had to get involved for reasons of my own. There is so much more to this story..."

A gunshot broke her words. Katherine turned towards the window...instinctively ducking away. Michele was on the floor, blood flowing freely from the shoulder the bullet had punctured. Katherine crawled over to her body, keeping as low as possible. She reached Michele and knew that she had to stop the bleeding. In spite of everything, this woman was her friend. She placed pressure on the wound and reached over to grab the phone. Michele was tugging on her arm...trying to stop her.

"You have to know this...then you have to leave. He's been looking for me too. You see, I'm his sister. My real name is Samantha. And yours is Dana...Dana Scu..." When Katherine looked at her she realized Michele had passed out. The blood was slowing down. When Katherine felt for a pulse it seemed slow...but not slow enough to harm her. She dialed 911 then gently placed Michele's head on the floor.

There was only one thought running through her mind now. Despite the fact that Michele was lying on the floor bleeding she'll be alright...she has to be she knew that she had to leave.

She had to get to Melissa before they did.


Alex Krycek stared into the front window of Samantha and Matt's house. It had taken every bit of his will power to stop himself from bursting into the house. If he could listen to their conversation (those bugs were always there...despite what everyone liked to believe.) then he was damn sure that someone else was listening as well. It came as no surprise when he heard the gunshot.

Dammit Samantha...why couldn't you have thought a little bit more about this? I know you can't be this stupid! That's not why I fell in love with you!

Krycek watched Scully run out of the house. He knew where she was going. There was no point in following her. They didn't have Melissa yet...and he was damned sure that Scully would get to her first. He needed to help Samantha. There was no way he would let Matt kill her or his kids. It was a deeply hidden secret but a well guarded one as well. It was about damn time his children found out he was their real father. No more darkness...only light. He ran into the house, keeping the darkness for a little while longer.

It took him only five minutes to get the lay of the situation. Quickly he gathered up the triplets and Samantha. She was in and out of consciousness but that didn't sway his determination. He needed to her to survive. She was his reason for existence now.

The children didn't argue. He had been around them enough for them to know that Uncle Alex was someone they listened to...someone to trust.

They made it to the car with no resistance. When he got behind the wheel he knew where he needed to go. There was only one man who could help him now. God help him if that man turned away his sister.

Mulder had become the one person he was willing to trust. He could only hope that his brother in law would understand.


Part IX: Who Am I to Judge You?

"At times I'd like to break you, And drive you to your knees.
At times I'd like to break through, And hold you endlessly.
At times I understand you, And I know how hard you try.
I've watched while love commands you, And I've watched love pass you by.
At times I think we're drifters, Still searching for a friend.
A brother or a sister, But then the passion flares again.

And sometimes when we touch; The honesty's too much.
And I have to close my eyes, And hide.
I wanna hold you till I die, Till we both break down and cry.
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides."
Dan Hill - Sometimes When We Touch

 

Pentagon
Washington, DC
10:21 AM

Cancerman stared at the men sitting around the table with contempt. Drones...that's all they were. So much time had passed since he was required to interact with these hirelings. His heart ached for the thrill of the chase...the challenge of a cover-up. It was this very notion that forced him to do what he did. There would be no more lies in his family...no more secrets.

Mulder was now his number one target for the truth. He knew what he was required to do...but it meant nothing at all to his stubbornness. There was no reason to doubt that these men knew what they were doing. There was just no logic to the situation.

"Sir, you have a call on line one." Ahhh...it was Alex Krycek. It could be no other.

"What do you...have for me?" The words were broken by a deep inhale of his cigarette.

"What the hell were you thinking!?! They tried to kill her. Do you understand what this means now? All bets are off!" The young mans voice was livid.

"Alex, what did you expect? I mean really...she was about to expose us to one person who could literally tear us apart. It was all part of the procedure." His voice remained cold and unfeeling.

Krycek's voice raised a notch...his intonation carrying out of the receiver and throughout the room. "She is my wife! How could you do this. She's your daughter! Those are your grandchildren!!!! And you would have them murdered to suit your needs."

"Alex Krycek, you of all people know that this is all standard procedure. It means nothing to me. It never has and it never will. I work only to cover up the misinformation. That is my job. Now are you going to report to me or must I have you killed too?" The voice was calm and collected. Cancerman would be the last person to ever let Alex Krycek know that his words had affected him.

"No...You can try to kill me, but I'm warning you...YOU will not succeed. You are a monster. I just wish I had seen it sooner...I wish she had seen it sooner."

"I never knew you would become so weak in the face of misfortune Alex. Take a good look at your life. You would not have anything if it weren't for me. It looks like I have saved your ass one too many times."

Alex Krycek would remember what he said next for rest of his life. It would shape his future in ways that he never knew. "Fuck off...I'm sick of hiding in the darkness with you mother fucker. Come after me...just try."

The line went dead in Cancerman's ear. He smiled as he hung up the phone and exhaled more gray smoke into the air.

Things were going just as he had planned. There would be no turning back now.


February 23rd
Cherie Schultz Daycare Center
Huntington, VA
11:45 AM

Katherine sighed with relief when she spotted Melissa still among the other children. What was normally a five minute trip had taken almost ten. Construction had popped up on the road...along with an accident as well. To anyone else this would have appeared a giant coincidence but she knew better. They had been trying to stop her...to delay getting to very own daughter. It was quite obvious that there were evil people at work.

The receptionist looked at her disdainfully when she went running inside. Her hair was disheveled, her make-up smeared. There was no time to explain. She ran towards her daughter, wanting to shelter the young girl in her arms.

"Ma'am!! You can't be here! Where are you going?" The receptionist chased after her...concern for the children showing in her words.

"My name is Dana Scully and I'm here to pick up my daughter Melissa!" Her own words stopped her in her tracks. Dana Scully? Was that her real name?

The pause in the woman's rush gave the receptionist enough time to catch up with her. Her eyes searched the woman's face until she realized who she was. "Miss Speller? Are you alright?" Confusion wracked her features. "And who is Dana Scully? Why would you say that was your name?"

"Look Cherie...I don't have time to explain. Could I just get Melissa and leave? We have a family emergency...and I need to take her home."

Cherie looked at her closely. "A family emergency? I hope everything's alright."

Katherine tried not to show her irritation and fear that was ripping throughout her body. "Yes everything's fine. Her father just showed up and he really wants to see her."

Cherie's face showed uncertainty. "Her father...but I thought..."

"Mommy!!!" The little girls voice rang out across the room cutting off the befuddled teachers words. "Why are you here so soon?? Ms. Sieena was just gonna learn us to play duck goose."

Katherine looked down at the child that had somehow managed to climb into her arms. The cherub cheeks and bright blue eyes stare up at her expectantly. "It's ok honey. We just have to go and see someone. I'm pretty sure he's going to want to meet you." She turned towards the perplexed woman beside her. "Really I have to take her. She is my daughter after all. It's not like you can stop me." With those words she turned towards the door and strode out.

She had to find this man...and now she knew where to start looking.


February 23rd
Alexandria, VA
11:59 AM

Fox Mulder was missing. His apartment was empty...his car gone. If Krycek weren't a reasonable man he would have assumed the worst. But there was no underestimating Mulder. The man had a way of showing up at the right place, always at the right time.

Alex was pacing. Mulder's apartment remained dark despite the extra five occupants it now held. The blinds were drawn...the lamps remained faint. Krycek would not give away his hiding spot.

"Why did I deal with the devil?" His constant litany was the only thing that broke the silence in the room. His children had finally succumbed to the tired yawns and he had tucked them safely into their "Uncle Mulder's" bed.

Krycek turned towards his wife. Samantha was another story entirely. She lay listless on the couch...gaining consciousness now and then. When she had opened her eyes the first time and seen Alex, her eyes welled up with tears. After he succeeded to promise her that their children were indeed doing fine, and just in the next room sleeping, she went back to sleep. The bleeding was easy to stop. Pressure in just the right place proved to be the cure. Her pain was resolved with some prescription pills found in Mulder's Bathroom. He had bandaged the wound with some supplies he found in the bathroom as well. Probably from the last time Mulder got shot. He thought bitterly to himself.

He was still looking at her when she opened her eyes again. She stared at him understanding coming to her eyes.

"Where is he?" Her voice was hoarse from the pain.

"I don't know. I picked the lock, like normal, to get inside. His car is missing as well. I've tried your mothers and Scully's. I can't find him." He kneeled beside her concern breaking his features.

"Have you tried The Lone Gunmen?" The words came out softer...not wanting to insult him.

He kissed her softly on the lips then stood back up. "I honestly don't want to scare him away. I figured it would be easier to just sit here and wait." His voice trailed away then came back stronger. "Can I get you anything? Water? More medicine?"

"Honey, I'm alright. Just a little weak from the blood loss I'm sure. Could you help me sit up though?" His one arm shaking (the other steady as it would remain forever) as he helped prop her head up with pillows. When they had succeeded to pull her upper body into a sitting position, she pulled him down next to her with her good arm. "Hold me...It's been so very long since the last time."

He adjusted her once more...this time fitting her body next to his. It was a few moments before he realized she was talking again.

"I didn't get a chance to tell her. I'm afraid for her...for Melissa. Will they kill her?" The words reflected the fear she was going through.

Reassuring...it was the only logic right now. "No, I'm afraid it won't be that simple. They may just find her and try to erase her memory of the past 4 years. It would probably mean them taking away Melissa too."

"Alex, why did you let her leave? Why didn't you get her as well?"

He glanced down at her face. "She wouldn't have come with me. You know that. She doesn't trust me anymore...not since the last time."

Her expression was fierce. "I guess I knew that...but I had to ask." She started to stand but a wave of dizziness took over. "We have to find him. He's the only one who can save them now."

He was getting tired...the sleep invading his mind and thoughts. "I know...I know. But right now, the only thing we can do is wait."

Consciousness was leaving her as well. She curled up next to him, mindful of her shoulder and closed her eyes. "I love you Alex. I have since the day I met you."

"I love you too." The words were mumbled as the will to stay awake left his body.

They slept...curled up together on Mulder's couch.


February 23rd
Alexandria, VA
4:16 P.M.

If she had to choose one word to describe the trip from Huntington to Alexandria it would have to be "Hell." What was normally a three hour trip had taken over four hours. Now as she sat on the bench, holding her daughter tightly against her, all she could think of was how important it would be to find Mulder. She knew his name (after a brief memory flash in the car)...she knew what city he lived in...but now she was lost and alone. Michele was dead...she had to be. Among everything else, she now knew they were after her as well.

Mulder...why hadn't he come to find her? Did he not want Melissa? She couldn't help but wonder. All these questions ran through her mind constantly now. And if he was lied to, just as she had been, then where was he? He was a stranger in her mind...but one that she knew she could and would trust with her and their daughter's life. But she still had no way to find out where he lived. If only she knew his full name. All she had was "Mulder," and a memory of a face that no longer remained nameless. The phone book had yielded no results...except maybe one phone call she made that had gone unanswered. And it couldn't possibly be him. With a first name like "Fox" she was sure it would have sparked her memory more.

There were other items she now remembered too. Faces, names, and places that once before had no meaning to her were suddenly the most important information running through her mind. It was sheer instinct that led her to this park. She was aware she had been here before. If she only knew why it brought out such feelings of longing and reserved passion. Then maybe she would understand what force brought her to this particular location.

It was this thought alone that made her glance towards the building that bordered the park. Dazed and a bit mystified, she stood up slowly. Melissa remained heavy in her arms as she walked towards that building. It was a comfort that she knew was solid.

Her daughter stayed silent...still unsure of her mothers mood. Melissa never asked questions when Katherine was so wrapped up in something. It was a thankful thing for a three-year-old to do. If she started asking questions now, then Katherine was sure she wouldn't have the answers.

The building had no security. It seemed odd at first until she saw the inside. There was no need for it. There were elevators that required a keycard to enter. But something willed her towards the stairs. A force that seemed to have no instinct...just power. What she found surprised her. The lock had been taped open. She paused for a moment to wonder why, then slowly opened the door and started up the stairs.

Where she was going she could only guess. There was no time to hesitate...no time to even think about it. She stopped analyzing it as she climbed the stairs. Her mind obviously knew something she didn't.

She traveled down a hallway...stopping before a wooden door. Her hand was rapping on it before she could even think about it. What if he wasn't home...or better yet, no longer lived there?

She knocked again...certain that there would be no one home...no one to help. The apartment remained silent on the other side. She could stop herself from the emotions running throughout her mind, the tears started to roll softly down her cheeks. Melissa looked up at her with confusion. "Mommy...is you alright?" Soft child hands patted her cheeks. "Don't worry Mommy...I luv you."

She stared at her tiny daughter's face. That's when she heard it. The faint sound of footsteps on the other side of the door...betraying the apparent emptiness of the apartment. Somebody was there. It was the fact of who it was that she worried about.

The apartment door swung open. She gasped...standing in the doorway was Michele...and Dr. Nicholas Schultz.


Part X: I'm Trapped Within My Truth

February 23rd
Alexandria, VA
4:19 P.M.

They stared at each other across the doorway. It took all of three seconds for the triplets to notice that it was their Aunt Katherine standing out there and that she had Melissa in her arms. They hurled into her body each one asking where she had been and why it took so long for her to get there.

Katherine just stared at Michele. Questions ran though her mind...but she couldn't speak. It took her a moment before she realized Nicolas was talking to her.

"Dana, I think that you should come inside. If you stand in that hallway all night, it's highly likely to get us all killed."

She followed his directions...not questioning how he had known her first name. There was something about him that seemed even more familiar then before. She fought the instinct of running. That wouldn't protect her or Melissa. And to be honest with herself...she was tired. She wanted nothing more then to lay down in a bed and sleep for a few hours. The day had proved to be more tumultuous then she anticipated. Exhaustion was wearing her thin.

She walked into his apartment...knowing that she had been there many times in the past. The faint scent of cologne drawing up memories, making her head slightly woozy at the power of them. Before she could collapse completely, Nicolas reached over and picked both her and Melissa up. She wanted to fight against him...wanted to demand answers...but there was just too much going on inside her head.

Memories crashed inside her mind until there was nothing she could do but accept it. She could only hope, as he placed her gently on the bed, that Michele and Dr. Schultz would take care of Melissa.

"Please, don't harm her...I hope I can trust you both with at least that much." The gentle plea was made, her voice hoarse with fear. Darkness ascended upon her before another word was spoken.


Krycek stared down at Dana Scully. There was little he could do now. It would be easier for her to accept when she woke up.

Samantha watched him carefully choosing her next words. "Do you have the medication?"

"If we give it to her she'll remember everything. I don't know if we should take that chance." He glanced at his wife and saw the confusion written on her features. "I'm not worried about her remembering...I'm more worried about what that will do to her mind. You see what happens when her mind remember these tiny bits. What do you think will happen if she knows it all? She may die just from the information alone."

When she spoke next her voice came out angry. She pointed towards Scully furiously. "Damn you Alex. Give it to her. It's better she knows what she's up against then to die never knowing who she truly is. You know that's what Fox would want." It would take more then her brother to stand up against these men and she knew it. She needed to make him understand. "Honey...I know you want to do what's best for us...but she needs to know. She needs to see exactly who the father of her child is, and how that child came about."

Krycek stiffened at her words. "You want to kill her?! What do you think he's going to do if he comes here and finds her dead?! We can't take that risk. I'm waiting...It will be up to him." With those words he stormed into the living room, leaving her with a woman and child that meant more to her then her own husband would ever know.

He couldn't possibly understand. Dana Scully stood for everything good in her brother's life. She wanted Fox to see the woman he loved when he finally came home. It would kill his soul to see her like this. Not remembering was only the beginning. She wouldn't be able to accept anything until she knew the whole truth. There were no choices. It had to be done.

"Auntie Michele...why is mommy sleeping so soon?" The tiny child's face stared up at her with complete trust. The question had been fraught with worry and she knew it would be best to explain in the living room. Samantha reached down and scooped her from her mothers arms.

Walking out the bedroom door she spoke softly to the child. "She's just really tired, baby. Let's let her take a nap and then we can all sit down and talk. Ok?" It was too much to hope that Melissa would accept that but she did. The toddler ran off to play with her cousins until her mommy woke up.

All I can do now is wait. Please Fox...come home soon.


9:28 P.M.

There was a phone ringing somewhere. Katherine fought against the urge to sleep for another five minutes, and started to lose when she heard another sound. Someone was fighting in another room. She heard Melissa cry out and shot out of bed. No one would hurt her child and live. They had fought for too much life as it was.

She threw open the bedroom door and walked right into Fox Mulder's chest. His eyes were locked Krycek's but they shifted just the same. What he saw made him forget what Krycek was doing in his house with some strange woman and a bunch of kids. Dana Scully was staring directly at him with pain and disbelief.

The shock on their faces was enough to make everyone in the room shut up. Every person turned to look at the both of them. Mulder and Scully's eyes met and the connection was instantaneous. So much, in fact, that Dana Scully's eyes glazed over and she collapsed into Mulder's arms, unaware of anything.

Mulder glared at Alex Krycek. "Is this what you meant by telling me to go into the bedroom?!! What the hell did you do to her?!!" Reaching down he picked her up and held her close to his body. He sat down on the couch pulling her even closer. He saw Krycek rummaging around for something in a small black bag and flinched. They would never hurt her again. He would make sure of that. When Krycek approached him with a syringe he pulled her away. "You will not give her anything." His eyes transferred more meaning then his actual words.

Krycek glared right back at him. "Mulder, I know you don't trust me, but..."

"Your Damn right I don't trust you!! What the hell do you take me for?"

Samantha stepped between the two men she loved more then anything in the world. Whatever they had to say to each other could wait. If Dana Scully didn't get that shot soon she would die. Her husband had finally realized what she had been trying to tell him earlier. She turned her eyes towards her brother. "Fox...if she doesn't get that shot she will never remember who she is...much less who you are. In other words, she will die, dear brother." Her words placed even more shock upon his face. "Yes Fox. If you won't trust him...will you at least trust me? As your sister?"

His head nodded mutely. There was no way to argue with her. There would be time later to find out what the hell was going on. He watched Krycek push the needle into her arm and plunge the needle home. She would be alright...she had to be.

One of the children broke away from the others and walked over to them. She was crying...the tears running down the small face seeming like they would never end. "Mister man...is my mommy gonna be ok?" What he saw in those tiny eyes made him shudder. They were his eyes...staring at him with pain and worry.

"Yes honey...she's going to be fine. Do you want to sit up here with us?" She nodded her head and crawled up next to him. Curling up into a ball with her head on Scully's chest.

Krycek turned towards his wife. "I think it's time to put the kids to bed. We have a lot that needs to be discussed."

Samantha nodded. There was no need to ask why he hadn't said "our children." Mulder was already mad enough. He didn't need anything else to provoke him.


9:50 P.M.

Mulder watched Scully and her daughter sleep. His eyes hadn't left their faces for one moment while Krycek and his sister put the other children down to sleep in the bedroom. He had her back. That was all that mattered now. Anything else would be easy. He almost changed his mind when he saw the looks on the faces of the other two adults in the apartment. There was much to be discussed. But not until she woke up. He would never leave her out of the conversation. She needed to know what happened as much as he did.

"Hey Samantha...why is she sleeping like this?" He asked with deceptive calm.

"She was given a drug called "Tedrosetizine." It's something that was developed a few years ago in secret. They use it on people who know too much. They erase the memory by giving the first initial dose and then brainwashing the person. It makes them sleep until the mind can comprehend what is going on. This dose however has one extra ingredient. A compound that helps a person to remember everything they were trained to forget." She locked eyes with Fox on her last statement. "She's remembering everything. After she wakes up...she'll have no more questions about what happened to her."

"When will that be?" A second question...this one losing the calm facade the last one had.

"I don't know. Sometimes it takes a few hours...others it takes a few nights. Her first time lasted two days. The second was only a few hours...let's hope it's the same as the second time."

"She should be out for another hour." Krycek had finally spoken up. The harsh glare he got from Mulder didn't make him back off. "Her body has been in a state of shock all day. There is no way she will be awake before then. It has to have time to adjust."

"Yes Alex...but as we both know, she has a tendency to take us completely off guard. Neither of us truly knows what to expect, do we?" She had a much stronger guard up now. Nothing either of them could say would taunt her. She knew what was going on. After all, hadn't she been involved since she was eight years old?

She turned back towards her brother. She had chosen to sit in the only other chair which meant her husband was on the floor beside her. She glanced at him now...trying to make him understand the importance of waiting. Her thoughts were of her brother. He was more important than anything else at the moment.

Mulder's soft gasp made her look towards the small family on the couch. Dana was staring at him, her eyes wide with shock. "Oh my god...is it really you?"

"Yes Dana. And I promise I will never let them near you again." Her arms drew him close...the small child between them shifted in the embrace. "You can bet on that."


Part XI: Ramblin' Boy, Why Don't You Settle Down?

"We can embrace love; it's not too late.
Why do we sleep, instead, with hate?
Belief requires no suspension
to see that Hell is our invention.
We make Hell real; We stoke its fires.
And in its flame our hope expires.
Heaven, too, is merely our creation.
We can grant ourselves our own salvation.
All that's required is imagination."
THE BOOK OF COUNTED SORROWS

"I'm gonna live my life; Like every day's the last
Without a simple goodbye; It all goes by so fast
And now that you're gone; I can't cry hard enough
No I can't cry hard enough; For you to hear me now."
Williams Brothers - Can't Cry Hard Enough

 

February 23rd
Washington DC
9:50 PM

"So, what you are telling me, essentially, is that you lost them...All of them? Samantha, Krycek, Scully, and all the kids?" Cancerman glared at the men standing around the table.

They said nothing in their defense...each one scared of what the consequences would be.

"I expected so much more from all of you. You disappoint me." There was no question that he would remain dissatisfied with them. They had failed in every sense of the word.

If Mulder meets up with the other three, they will attempt to stop you. Bile rose up to the back of his throat at the thought. They would not intervene. He would make sure of it. Four years of well laid plans could not be put down so easily.

"You will find them...and I mean tonight." The men nodded their heads, acknowledging at least that they heard him. "Good...now we can get back down to business."


10:55 P.M.

"I promise I will never let them near you again. You can bet on that." Words of comfort...they had come so easily an hour ago. Now, after he had heard what was truly going on, he knew he couldn't protect her. Not that he wouldn't die trying. But there was so much going on behind the scenes. Scully was unprepared for even minor activity. The drug had weakened her to the point of exhaustion. Mulder knew it was up to him...and he feared for her life.

"Look Mulder, I know it's a little far fetched but you have to believe me. They want her back. They'll stop at nothing...not even you could protect her. I'm sorry." Krycek stared at Mulder. He knew the pain the man was feeling. There were no words to explain. The only difference between his situation and Mulder's was that Alex had a choice when it came to his children and wife. He chose for her to live a lie for four years.

"You're sorry!!! That's all you can say to me?!!" Anger showed clearly on the taller mans features. "You take Scully away from me...tell me she's dead. I fight depression for four years...four years. Now you're telling me that she's going to get taken again?! And all you can say to me is your sorry?!! My God Krycek..."

"You can't fight it Mulder!! You should at least know that by now. How often have you lost to these men that have proven to be invincible? She will not live...unless we stop them." This discussion had quickly turned into a shouting match. Krycek was sure that Samantha would step between them again, but on this occasion she had chosen to stay out of the argument. "And I don't see it happening. What they've done is too powerful."

"You know what?" Mulder's face contorted with hate. "Fuck off Alex Krycek!...That's right...you heard me...F-U-C-K-O-F-F. I will not stand idly by while they take the one person who means everything in the world to me again. It's not going to happen so quite bothering me about it."

Krycek face fell. "Mulder..."

"NO...how many fucking times do I have to say it?"

"Fox..." Krycek turned to glare at Samantha. She would choose right now to jump in. He thought irritatingly.

"Fox...he's not telling you to give up." She turned towards her Krycek with a definitive look. "Your not are you?" When he shook his head she continued. "I think he's trying to tell you something else. Something much more important that you need to know."

Scully, who had sat inattentively aside for the entire conversation so far, finally realized where they were going with it. "No..," she said, jumping up and pointing towards Samantha then Alex. "Both of you...out. Go somewhere...the hallway...the store. I don't care. I just know that I am the one who needs to tell him this. Both of you out!"

They looked confused for a moment then turned towards each other. It was a conversation much like the ones that Mulder and Scully had shared...no words, their eyes did their talking for them. A decision reached, Krycek turned to Mulder. "We need to get food, don't we? I'm sure you don't have enough in your fridge for this entire clan in the morning." Without confirming his question, he and Samantha grabbed two coats and walked out the door.

"Be careful!" Scully hollered as the door shut behind them. Then with determination she looked directly at Mulder. "I think it's time you learned the whole truth." Her words were low and breathy. She cleared her throat and stared at him...suddenly realizing she didn't know how to tell him.

The silence enveloped them...as they stood staring at each other from across the room.


11:03 P.M.

With the door shut behind them, Samantha and Alex Krycek turned to look at each other as they walked down the hallway. "Do you think he'll understand?" Samantha asked lightly.

"If it was you, would you want to tell me?" He knew she would but there was so much more going on now. They had to stop a man that they knew to be invincible. It affected all of them in ways they had never expected. "Of course...after this, telling him we're married should be a piece of cake."

"Alex..." She stopped walking suddenly and grasped his good arm with her good arm. "Don't underestimate him. We both know how tenacious he can be. Once he finds out about Raymond and Melissa, and that it was Scully's decision to get pregnant, he will stop at nothing to protect all of them." She turned him towards her and kissed him lightly on his lips.

But her body stiffened when he pulled her closer. "Samantha...? Are you alright?"

"Yes honey. You know...I can only hope that he will understand how much you mean to me."

"He will, I know it." He pulled away slightly and looked into her eyes. Tears were gathering slowly...threatening to spill onto her cheeks. "I love you...and I've missed you so much."

"I love you too." They started walking...this time with his arm around her waist. "Do you think he'll understand her reasoning?"

He stared straight ahead...but his expression betrayed his doubt. "We can only hope so."


11:05 P.M.

She stared at him...unsure of where to start. The beginning I suppose she thought agitatedly. "Sit down Mulder."

"I don't need to." Defiance showing through his voice.

"Sit down...this is a rather long explanation, and well overdue."

Mulder stared at her for a few minutes until a look of understanding fell on his face. This was Scully he was talking to...not a dream...not an illusion. He sat down hard on the chair, the impact of the situation finally hitting him.

"Scully...I am so sorry. I know that I can trust you. I just...I just..."

"No Mulder..." She interjected. "I need to tell you this. It's imperative if you are to see us through this difficult time." Walking over to him she kneeled down at his feet. "You have to understand my reasoning for doing what I did. I just don't think we can make this work otherwise." She stood up and looked around the apartment.

"Are you sure you want to tell me this?" The words broke her daze.

"Yes...but are you ready to listen?" She waited for his eyes to tell her as much, then started to tell a story to the one man she knew would accept her situation. "Four years ago, you and I were investigating a case about alien-human hybrids. Our work had led us to a woman that had underground resources about who was running the tests and why. She had been murdered that morning...Do you remember any of this?" She asked, then continuing without his answer. "That last time I saw you I had to make a decision that I knew would affect the both of us. But you have to understand...I had no choice. They gave me no way of escape except for one. But I will have to explain this in order of how it happened."

She paused again...knowing that Mulder was about get angrier then she had ever seen him. It was inevitable. "Mulder...Krycek broke into my apartment the night before we got into that argument in the hallway at work. I was taking a bath at the time and he took me completely by surprise. I had no weapon...and no clothes. It was obvious that I had no choice but to listen to him."

Mulder's face grew angry at the thought of Scully helpless in a bathtub full of water...and Alex Krycek standing there looking at her. He started to open his mouth to ask a question...but knew it would just come out as a string of curses.

She knew what he was thinking but quickly continued so that he would have no reason to yell. "He explained everything to me that night. Their plans for the future...their hopes of how much you would grieve. They were going to kill me Mulder...I was as good as dead. But Krycek gave me an ultimatum. He told me a way of convincing them that it would be good for me to remain alive...so that we could at least be together in a few years..."

"And you believed him Scully? That man..." He spat out the words contemptuously. "That man...killed my father...and your sister."

"Mulder there's more...do you want to hurl curses at each other or would you like to hear the rest?" She stared him down in the way that she knew would work. "That's what I thought. He left after that. Taking with him my hopes of a future with you. I had nowhere to turn. I couldn't tell you about it. They had my clothes, my phone, and our office bugged. That is why he came to me when I was in the tub. He knew where the bugs were placed...he knew that they wouldn't hear our conversation in there. And he didn't see me naked Mulder. I know what your thinking. He gave me a towel when the bubbles started to dissipate."

She paused to let this sink into his mind. "Anyway, when they came to me that night I was ready for them. They were prepared to kill me then and now...but I convinced them, as Krycek had told me too. You see...I could provide them with the one thing they wanted. For you to wonder if my death was only an illusion. And to top it off...a child from you. So you would wonder why they had taken my ovum from that lab. It was the perfect plan..."

"Scully, what are you saying?" He sounded frightened.

"Mulder, they want to put you out of commission...and they wanted to kill me. I told them it would be better if I was alive...and if I had your child then you would be useless. And they believed me." She drew in a deep breath to continue. "What I hadn't counted on was the memory wipe. I didn't expect for them to erase every memory I ever owned. I wanted to go to you and tell you of their plans when they had accepted them. But instead they injected me with that drug. It made me appear dead to everyone. But really all I did was sleep for three days strait...and during that time...they stole you from me...and gave me a part of you to keep."

He watched her intently now. There was something missing still...something that needed to be acknowledged.

"They never knew how powerful our connection truly was. When I had Melissa...I felt you in that room with me...and two years later...when they put me back under because I was starting to remember again..." Her voice became distant. "I remember being in a dark place...and you...you were there with me..."

"That really happened? I thought it was only a dream. And you left me there alone...but you were saying that I needed to meet someone and you faded away." His face took on a pained look. "You were talking about her..." He gestured towards the child sleeping on the sofa. "All of this...she's my...she's my..."

Scully nodded her head. "She's our daughter Mulder. Yours and mine. Her name is Melissa. I suppose a part of me knew exactly why I chose that name...it's only now that I remember everything that it even takes on more significance."

Mulder rose from the chair and gathered Scully into his arms. "Scully...why didn't you..."

"Mulder...don't you see? I had no choices...except one. It was the only way I could keep you close to me, to keep a part of you with me. And I couldn't afford to lose you...I loved you too much."

"Scully, do you still love me? I know everything has been out of sorts...and somebody decided to slam us into a really huge whammy...but I just need to know that." He sounded scared, even to his own ears.

She pulled away and looked him directly into his eyes. "I do Mulder. When I slept every night, I dreamt only of you. The way your eyes looked at me...your smile...your heart. It was utterly amazing when I saw you on the street those few weeks ago. It drove me crazy...until I went to Michele's, sorry Samantha house, and she had to explain everything. But Mulder, you don't understand..."

The brief touch of his lips cut her off. It had been so long since she had felt this close to anyone...and now she had to pull away. He had to know...

"Scully, I love you too. And I have missed you so much. I went to your grave everyday for the past four years...up until I saw you on the street two weeks ago. Your mother...she understands. She had a dream about you..." His words were broken as he placed soft kisses all around her face.

Scully cut him off one more time. But what she said this time left him speechless. "Mulder...you don't understand. They think that Melissa holds the key to your undoing. They don't know about Raymond. They don't know about the child I had ten months later...after Melissa was born."


Part XII: I Always Thought I'd See You Again

February 23rd
Alexandria, VA
11:20 P.M.

Scully stared at his expression. "I left town the last three months of that pregnancy. I knew that there was something that needed to be hid from everyone. I just didn't know how I had gotten pregnant at the time. I just woke up one morning with morning sickness. Now I can remember...it was Krycek again. He came to me...made me remember everything...all within the span of only a few hours. It was a difficult conversation. At his suggestion, he told me to get pregnant again. That if I had this child, Krycek himself, would bring them down. So later that night, with a doctor in tow, they artificially inseminated me again. And after I had the baby...well Krycek took him. He wanted to put him in a safe place. He took him to my brother's. It was the only place we would know for sure that he would be safe." The words tumbled out at an amazing speed. But Scully knew if she stopped talking she would never find the nerve to tell him the rest.

"Charlie has him, Mulder. When Raymond was born...Krycek came once more and erased all memory of him. I never even knew I had another child. I knew something was missing from my life...but I never knew what. I spent one month with our other child and then...nothing." Her words faded away. She was crying now. The memories had become too painful to talk about.

"Scully...I don't know why you put yourself through all of that again. I just can't understand why. And to give our child up? Well..." He was hurt...pain emanated from the posture of his body.

"Mulder...I had no choice. Raymond is our only way out. Through him we can stop them. Don't you understand? He's our loophole. If they find out that we have another child then everything's lost. We were only supposed to have one child. And that child would be the link to the conspiracy. That child would be brought out for all the people to see that you were not to be trusted anymore. She..." Scully pointed at Melissa. "Is the reason they want to find us. But Raymond is the reason they won't. He carries the same gene you do...one that was taken from you when you were a child. It's a gene that you never even knew about...one that daughters cannot acquire, but is passed directly from father to son. With it...you possessed certain powers. One of them being mind control. With him...we can find out everything...and put an end to the conspiracy."

"What the hell are you talking about Scully? I think I would've known about all of this. Dammit my father was in the conspiracy from the beginning."

"That's just it Mulder. They didn't tell you for fear that you would use it to your advantage. That's another reason that they took away all of my ovum. They knew that you loved me...that eventually, you would want to have children with me. They couldn't take that chance." Her words knocked him out of his shock. "Our one problem now is to get him from Charlie and make it obvious that we have him. They have to know about him now."

A knock at the door interrupted their conversation. They stared at each other for a moment before Mulder walked over and looked out the peephole. His shoulders sagged and she knew instantly who it was. Quickly gathering up Melissa, and without waking her up, she walked into the bedroom and sat in the dark. She would remain hidden until that black lunged bastard left...too much was at stake otherwise. She could only hope that Alex and Samantha didn't come back anytime soon.


11:35 P.M.

"I think we should get Dana a birthday cake. She hasn't had a chance to celebrate it yet." Samantha turned to look at her husband with an expression of hope.

"I think that's a great idea. But that should be that last item. We need to get out of here. We've been here way too long." Krycek was looking around them carefully watching everyone's expressions. If they were going to get attacked he wanted to be on guard.

They walked to the checkout...looking every bit as worn out and tired as they felt. It had become a very long day, very quickly. After everything had been rung up and paid for they walked towards the car. They were almost there when Krycek stopped her.

Neither of them was surprised when Matt stepped out of the shadows and walked towards them. His expression was fierce, and Samantha knew he had been sent to kill them. It was only too obvious. But first he would want answers.

"Where is she?" His voice was hard...betraying all the fear he had of losing the one woman they knew could bring them down.

"You're not going to find out...and your not going to live to give your report to that bastard either." Samantha's words shocked the hell out of him. He stared at her...not even suspecting what was going to happen next.

Krycek had pulled a gun from behind his back. Everything happened so fast that Matt barely knew what hit him. The bullet...slicing through his ribcage and entering his heart within the span of moments...was swift. He sputtered...coughing up blood as Krycek pulled the trigger again and again until Matt's body remained limp. "I have always hated that man. What he put you through...and the whole marriage thing was his idea."

Samantha just walked to the car and placed all the groceries in the back seat. "We need to get back to Fox's apartment. Him and Dana, they need to know that those men are close."

They got in the car and drove back...never knowing that they were headed to the one place they wouldn't be safe.


11:40 P.M.

"Hello Fox...nice to see you after so many years." The man looked anything but happy to see Mulder.

"Wish I could say the same. What the hell do you want?" Mulder stood outside his apartment door. There was no way in hell he would let this bastard in.

"You have no idea what I could do to you Mulder...do you? I am here to warn you. Stop looking right now. I can no longer protect you as well as myself. It just isn't possible. I will say this only one time. After now...it's up to you." He turned to walk away but the audible sound of a gun being cocked stopped him.

"You stupid son of a bitch. How many times have we been in this very position? You standing there with a stupid ass grin on your face...thinking that I would never kill you. It's almost over. I can tell you that. You will never succeed at what you're planning. This whole global conspiracy is about to fall to shambles...and when it does, you will be left with nothing. And I will be standing there...holding onto the only things left in my life that mean anything to me. While you..." Mulder paused staring into this evil mans face. "You will be standing in shambles of a life you could've lived." He turned away from Cancerman. There was nothing more to say.

"We will just see about that won't we Mulder?" Cancerman pivoted and walked out of the building...not even casting a backwards glance. He knew something that he would never tell Fox Mulder...just as he knew that Dana Scully was in that apartment with him. The time had come for the truth...and there was nothing to be done but start the process. The conspiracy was now in charge from that moment on.

Mulder walked back into the apartment and placed the gun back into its holster. "Scully?"

Her head peeked out of his bedroom door and Mulder finally relaxed. She was still there...that's all that mattered to him now.

"Give me one second Mulder. I want to make sure that Melissa is alright in here." She sounded so casual that Mulder had to fight the urge to laugh. It must be all the stress he thought to himself.

Scully walked out of the room and Mulder stared at her. For the first time in four years they were in a room alone. It took all of two seconds before he stepped towards her and gathered her up into his embrace. He led her to the couch and sat down...still holding her close. This woman had borne him two children...sheerly out of love for him. He would protect her with every being of his soul. But right at that moment...all he could do was hope that Samantha and Krycek would take a little longer at the store. He just wanted to sit here and hold her close for a little while longer.


11:55 P.M.

"Alex...do you think we can win this? I mean really. We have to literally take down something that's been running for almost fifty years." They were in the hallway leading to Mulder's apartment...but her words stopped him dead in his tracks.

"Samantha...I think we can. If they know we have Raymond then they'll think twice about letting the hybrids go free. And we both know, that if that happens, we'll only have a few years left. Each one of those people carries that virus. There will be no stopping it. Only the people immune to it, like you, Mulder, and your children will survive. Don't you see...we have to stop them? It's our only choice." His words were comforting for only a moment before she realized that they were no longer alone. Cancerman, in only the way that he could, made his presence known.

"So, Alex Krycek...you found a new home." He spat the words out contemptuously.

"Fuck off you walking tumor. There is no way you will take us down. I am prepared to kill you if I have too."

"Now, now, now, why would I want to get violent? I just came to discuss something with Mulder. You...are merely a bug that needed to be squashed years ago. I can't help but regret that it's all led to this. You were always my favorite rat. Never sure of which side you were on. And now I discover the truth. You are infinitely good. What a pity." He inhaled a drag off his cigarette then continued. "So, Alex...which way do you want to die? In the company of good or evil? Choose wisely my friend. For there will be no going back."

"Go back to hell...where you belong." Krycek growled out of his clenched teeth.

Another drag off his cigarette...this time accompanied by a slight chuckle. "I see now why you were always the weak link in our chain. Your with them now...no more coddling from me." He turned and started to walk away. "Oh and Alex...one more thing..."

Krycek grabbed Samantha and dove around the corner. The bullets whizzed by barely missing the both of them as they fell into safety. They sat there for a few minutes...until Krycek peered around the corner and found the hallway empty. He turned towards Samantha and knew what was running through her mind. "We have to get the kids and leave...we'll go to Charlie's house tonight. They barely know he exists."

"Let's go." They stood and walked to Mulder's door. Krycek reached for the knob and found it locked. He knocked softly. When Mulder threw open the door their eyes locked and only one sentence would come to mind. "I think it's about time you met your son...what about you?"


Roanoke, VA
4:23 A.M.

When Charlie opened his front door a small child hurled herself at him. It took him a second to realize that it was his niece...and that his sister was one of the ones who was standing there. He shuffled everyone inside then glanced out to make sure no one else was there. When he was sure it was safe he turned towards Krycek. "Does she remember and does he know?" He gestured towards Scully and Mulder.

"Yes dear brother...why don't you ask me the questions instead?" Scully's said before Krycek could answer him. Charlie laughed and went to her...throwing his arms around her shoulders and hugging her close. "I missed you little one. And I know that Raymond did as well."

Krycek stared at the children...each one being held up by an adult. And Samantha was also half asleep on her feet. He turned back towards Charlie. Can we put the kids to bed? We had to wake them up to get them over here...and despite the fact that they slept in the car...it is four in the morning."

"Sure...you know where the spare rooms are. Just show everyone around. I on the other hand am going back to bed. We'll talk in the morning."

Krycek nodded then led the troop of people down the hall. It was a large house...sporting three extra bedrooms...and from what Mulder could tell a hell of an alarm system. He knew they would be safe in this house.

The triplets went into one bedroom. There were three cribs in it. Mulder knew that this was their room when they were visiting. It was the only logical explanation. Krycek led them to another room and opened the door softly. Inside this room there were another two cribs. One of them was occupied with what looked to be a two-year-old child. With a start, Mulder realized that this was his son.

Gently, he lay his daughter down in the other crib and tucked her in. Then when he was sure that she was safe, he walked over to study his other child. The red hair was the first thing that struck him. Curls that framed a tiny face that held his jaw and mouth. He was beautiful. It was the best way to describe the child.

Scully was standing next to the crib, patting his back and running her fingers down through his hair. Tears coursed down her cheeks. Mulder could understand why she was crying. It was the exact same way he was feeling. But his was doubled. She, at least, had retained the memory of their daughter.

She needs rest... Mulder's mind interjected. With a hollow heart he gently pulled Scully away from the crib. They walked back into the hallway and shut the door.

Krycek waited until the door was tightly shut, then started to talk in a soft whisper. "You guys will have to share a room. It's that door right there. There is a baby monitor in that room incase one of the kids wakes up or you hear a noise. They never get turned off and Charlie and Suzanne replace the batteries once a month. In other words...you don't have to worry. That should give you guys at least one peaceful nights rest." He turned and was about to walk into the room across the hall when he suddenly realized some thing. "By the way...there are clothes in the closet for each of you. Plus each room has it's own bathroom. This house was built and stocked specifically incase this ever happened. I'll see you guys in the morning." With those final words he shut the door to his and Samantha's room.

Mulder led a half-asleep Scully into the other room. They didn't need to change clothes. He knew with himself that he was so tired it didn't matter. Instead, he pulled Scully down next to him on the bad and held her close. She was asleep within moments...breathing softly into his chest. He followed soon after. His arms remained tight around her body.

They slept curled up together...dreaming of their children.


Part XIII: Sometimes I Wake Up Crying

February 24th
Roanoke, VA
10:23 A.M.

Lips pressed softly against Scully's...drawing her from the peaceful slumber she had been in for the past few hours. She knew instinctively who it was and kissed him back with a fever that she hadn't known existed. His lips moved from her mouth to her collarbone and her body arched towards his.

There had been so many nights that she dreamed of kissing Mulder this way...so many lost moments between them. Her lips drew him closer, twining her tongue around his, pulling him deeper into the kiss. They battled with passion...both groaning with the pleasure that had invaded their senses.

His hand traveled up her side...settling on the curve of her breast. She felt the pressure of his fingertips...the gentleness of his touch. Her nipples hardened in response.

She ran her hand down his body until she was cupping the hard length of him in her palm. His hips thrust into the pressure. Scully whimpered as his lips replaced his hand on her breast. Her body arched towards his...seeking the pressure he denied her.

Without warning he rolled on top of her. Her hands now roamed his chest and back as he pressed his hips into hers. Scully's mind grew blank with sensation.

They kissed...both wanting more, but unable to pause long enough to remove the clothing that was in their way. The tight gripping sensation of their two bodies moving together was enough for the moment. Her hips moved in tiny circles...his pressed down into her core.

She opened her eyes slowly...he was watching her face...waiting for her to stop him. Instead, her hands ran down his chest and along his side. She grasped his hips and pulled him down harder against her own body.

"Oh god Scully!" His thrusts became erratic. She pulled him to her once more and the waves crashed through her body as well. Their hips ground into each others with more determination until both were breathing heavily and their bodies were calming down.

"Oh my god Scully...That's never happened before. I'm sorry...it was just so intense." He avoided looking at her eyes...knowing she would see his fear. He sounded like he was regretting their actions already.

"Mulder, look at me." She placed her hands on his chin until their eyes locked. "We should take this slow...until we can both accept the situation for what it is. This in itself was incredibly erotic. I don't want you to regret it. I want it as much as you do, otherwise I would've stopped you." She kissed him gently on the lips and crawled out from under his body.

She went to the closet to get some clean clothes and took them into the bathroom to change. It wasn't that she didn't trust him enough to dress in front of him. She just didn't want to create more sexual tension then there already was. She emerged from the bathroom to find him sitting on the bed with new clothes on.

Scully caught his gaze and held out her hand to him. "What do you say we go meet our son?"


February 24th
Washington DC
10:25 A.M.

"He's dead sir. They found his body outside the supermarket this morning." Cancerman listened intently to the man on the phone. Everything was falling apart and still they had not found Mulder or Scully.

A plan of vengeance...that's what this whole thing had come down to. And in the process he had lost both his son and daughter. Cancerman was known to have no feelings. Everyone thought of him as the pure embodiment of evil and there was nothing he could do to stop it now. He was going with the plan...the higher power always giving the orders. There would be no more fooling around. They would find Mulder, Scully, Krycek, and Samantha. If they chose not to follow him he would kill them all. It was the only choice.

He picked up the phone and dialed the number to his boss. The line rang once then a voice well known to him answered. There were no introductions as they began to speak. There was no need for them.

"Our inside operative is dead. They killed him last night."

The other end of the phone remained silent for a few moments...then with a ragged voice answered him. "Find them. Find them all and kill them. I want no more fucking around with this. Our plan must start tonight. We will succeed."

"We cannot fight them if Mulder finds out the power he possesses. You must be prepared for that."

Laughter at the other end of the phone. "He has no power. It will never surface again. We need not worry about that."

"Never underestimate Mulder. You will find that he will always surprise you." Cancerman spoke with contempt. This man had no idea what they were up against, now that they no longer had the cards to play.

"Just do as I tell you. It's not your job to tell me what to do." The line was cut off as the man hung up.

Cancerman placed the phone back in the cradle trying to figure out exactly how he was supposed to pull off a job when the all the key players were missing. He would find a way. He must...


Roanoke, VA
10:47 A.M.

There was no noise when Mulder and Scully opened the door to their room. They glanced up and down the hallway looking to see if anyone was awake yet. Scully walked to the door next to theirs and opened it slowly. She glanced in both the cribs and saw their children were gone. She knew not to panic...but still it gripped her lightly. They had to be somewhere in the house. She turned, shaking her head at Mulder, then walked out the room and down the hall.

They wandered for a few moments, heading towards the front of the house. When they entered the living room Scully paused and grabbed Mulder's arm. There was noise coming from behind one of the doors. With no hesitation Mulder walked to it and opened the door.

What could only be described as chaos greeted them. Two children were seated in high chairs, two more playing on the table and four children gathered at Krycek's feet. He was attempting to get bowls of food ready for all of them but failing miserably. Mulder and Scully burst out laughing at the scene.

Krycek turned towards them at the sound of their laughter. He grinned at them, then joined in. "You guys wanna at least grab your kids? I never realized what kind of struggle this was before."

Scully walked over and grabbed Melissa from his feet. "Where Charlie and Suzanne?"

Krycek glanced towards Mulder then looked back towards Scully. "They had to leave early this morning. Charlie wanted them to go through their normal routine of the day, so that no one would get suspicious."

"What about Samantha?" Mulder's voice asked suddenly.

"She's still not feeling to well. That bullet took more out her than we thought." His voice remained low so that the children wouldn't hear.

Scully looked at him with shock. "Is the bullet still in her shoulder?"

Krycek nodded his head then turned towards her.

"Why didn't you tell me? We need to get it out...otherwise the wound will only take longer to heal. It could get infected!" She turned towards Mulder. "You think you can handle getting the kids some lunch?" When he nodded she grabbed Krycek's arm and pulled him into the living room.


10:51 AM

Mulder was left with all the children wondering exactly where to start. He walked around the room and picked them up one by one. There were six highchairs and one regular chair with a booster seat. He was almost done strapping in the fifth child when he realized that Raymond wasn't there. He looked around the room frantically.

Ok Mulder...if you were a two-year-old child where would you be? His mind was asking the question as he tried not to panic. He laughing uneasily he walked towards a little space between the fridge and a closet.

Raymond was huddled in that corner sucking his thumb. He glanced up when a shadow covered him. His arms went out automatically and Mulder heard the one thing that he knew would remain in his mind forever. "Da-da?"

He picked the child up carefully and stared at the innocent hazel eyes. "Yes Raymond. I'm your dada." A smile widened the child's face at the words. Small hands reached out to pat Mulder's face...along with the triumphant "Hun-gee Da-da." that followed. Mulder walked to the table and placed his son in the last high chair. He was dazed at the child's inner knowledge...at how a two year old would know who his father was.

"But Mr. man...if your Raymond's daddy and he's my brother...does that make you my daddy too?" His daughter sounded scared. He knew that she was probably trying to work it all out in her three-year-old mind.

"Melissa honey, I am your daddy as well."

Her face scrunched together with confusion. "But that would mean you're..."

He interrupted her. "Honey...why don't we get lunch ready? Then me, you, Raymond, and your mommy can talk about it. Does that sound alright?"

She stared at him perplexedly then nodded her head in response. Mulder breathed a sigh of relief then turned towards the oldest child in the room. The little girl was no more than six, and she was staring at him the same way Melissa had been.

This has to stop...do I have the words strange man written on my forehead? His mind jolted when the child asked a question. "What's your name?"

He laughed lightly. "My names Fox. What's yours?"

She scrunched her little nose up when he answered. "Mine's Alexis." She paused then tilted her head to the side. "Why is your name Fox?"

Mulder shrugged. He had asked that question to himself many times before...always coming up with no answers. Squatting down so that he was eye level with the little girl, he studied her face for a moment. She looked like Scully in a lot of ways. "Alexis...do you think you could help me with lunch?"

The child nodded enthusiastically.

"Ok...where are the cups?" He stood up and looked around the kitchen.

She pointed towards a cupboard and he walked towards it. When he opened it he saw quite a few sipper cups, just right for young children. He grabbed a few and turned around. Alexis was right behind him holding a pitcher that she had grabbed from the fridge. Mulder smiled and placed the cups on the counter.

I can do this...I know I can. Calming his nerves silently, he started to make what was to be his first real meal in a very long time.


Samantha's and Krycek's bedroom
11:12 AM

Scully glanced towards Krycek and realized for the first time how worried he was about Samantha. He had been jabbering for the past ten minutes about nothing inconsequential. It seemed he was talking more to himself then he was to Samantha or Scully.

"Dana...I'm sorry..."

The words jolted Scully out of her own daze. The numbing medicine they had put around the wound was finally working. She was paying close attention to her work until those words had come from Krycek's lips. "Excuse me?"

"I'm sorry. I never got a chance to say that to you. I was so sure that we were doing all of this for a good reason. You're abduction...my part in that. I just wish I could go back and change it. The whole amnesia thing...it wasn't..." Krycek was fighting to get the words out. "I thought it was all for the good of humanity. I never knew how much pain it caused. I didn't care. As long as the job was getting done, then I was doing the right thing. I realize now how wrong it was."

Scully had finally located and pulled the bullet from Samantha's body. After making sure that she hadn't missed anything she began to stitch up the hole. "Krycek...I can't say I forgive you. If that's what you're looking for then you may have a while to wait."

"No...I'm not looking for absolution of my crimes. I just want to say I'm sorry. I'm not expecting for everything to be fine and dandy afterwards. I've been the sidekick to evil for so long that I'm still not sure what's right or wrong sometimes." Krycek sighed and bent over to make sure his wife was still doing alright. She was watching them intently.

"Krycek...before you go any further I think there's something you need to discuss with Mulder first. I'm sure by now he's wondering exactly what kind of role you play in Samantha and her children's life. It's high time you told him. Then if you make it through that conversation...well then maybe we can discuss this. But it's a lie that is standing between the two of you. If you don't tell him, then he will never trust you when he does find out. And trust is something we need right now. We need to know we can trust each other." Scully clipped the thread and glanced at Samantha. "Is that better?"

The other woman looked at her intensely. "Yes...thank you Dana." Samantha pulled her self upright with Krycek's help. "I think you're right. Fox needs to know everything."


Part XIV: Listen As The Wind Blows

Roanoke, VA
11:27 A.M.

Mulder glanced out the kitchen window. The sun had been shining when they woke up this morning...but now the sky was clouded over. The room was quiet around him...each child paying close attention to the lunch placed in front of them. His memories of the past were invading his thoughts again. He could remember a day with Scully...before everything happened that stole her away from him. The weather was developing in the exact same way.

"Mr. Fox??" Mulder turned towards the child that was tugging at his sleeve. Alexis's child face was staring up at him. "What's the matter?"

His mind barely comprehended the question before he felt her presence in the room. He didn't know how he knew...but he knew just the same. He swiveled his chair around and locked eyes with Scully. She froze in the doorway, the air between them pregnant with tension.

Is she all right?

She'll be fine. What's the matter?

Scully...I missed you. I keep having flashbacks of everything that happened before all of this started.

Mulder, let's be concerned with right now. I know that the past four years has been hard to handle...but our children need us now.

I know Scully...I love you.

I love you too Mulder. When did you become such a romantic?

They both burst out laughing at her final thought. Somehow during the conversation Scully had managed to make her way towards him. She was standing in front of his chair, glassy eyes locked with his. Neither knew that the conversation was only in their minds. It never occurred to them that the deep connection they shared never left them.

This time it had been different though. Conversations were never held in only their mind. Normally it was just small thoughts that each could understand. It took Raymond to break the spell over them.

"Ma-ma, Da-da?" His little face was studying them quizzically. Melissa was staring at them as well. Her eyes were glazed as she watched the two of them. Scully turned towards her son and pulled him from his highchair. At the same time, Mulder reached over and pulled Melissa into his lap. Their family was together at last.

"What the heck is all that about?" Krycek's words drove into each person in the room. He was standing in the doorway watching them with confusion on his face. Each face turned towards him.

Mulder shook his head slightly and answered the question. "What was what about?"

Krycek flashed grin towards all of them. "When I came into this room...you guys were staring at each other. Then without saying a word you each reached for the kids. How did you do that?"

"Krycek...why don't I watch the kids and you and Samantha can go into the living room and have that discussion we talked about. Maybe you guys can figure out what we should do next." Mulder stood at Scully's words. He walked towards the door and started to pull Krycek with him.

"Scully...don't you think you should be involved in this discussion?" Krycek looked towards her with puzzlement.

"Don't worry. I'll know." She turned away from the retreating men. "Me and the kids are all going to go out back and play on the swing set."

After they left, Scully set her mind to the task at hand. She began to clean up the children and take them out of their chairs. Alexis opened the back door. Each child ran outside as she put it down. Then when the last one was finally outside she followed them.

It would be a while before she was needed in the conversation...and she knew without a doubt that she wouldn't need to be in the room.


Washington DC
11:31 A.M.

"There's no sign of them yet sir." The man on the ends of the phone sounded scared. He should be. If this falls apart any more then we will be exposed for sure. Cancerman thought to himself.

"Keep looking. They have to be somewhere in the Roanoke area. I'm sure of that much." Cancerman slammed down his phone with more effort then he meant to.

With great struggle, he picked up the phone and dialed the number of his boss. The phone was answered on the first ring. He didn't wait for cordialities. "He has discovered his power. You should've known he would."

"What do you mean he has discovered his power? He has none. We made sure of it!" The voice sounded thoroughly disgusted.

"Well somebody fucked up. And now, because of it, we risk exposure. But there is more..." he paused for a moment. There was only so much he should tell this man and he was sure that what he would say next would create even more panic. "They have two children...not one. They have a two year old son as well." He hung up the phone not waiting for the response. Let them stew in their own juices.

Leaning back, he closed his eyes and concentrated again. He waited for the voices to begin...to hear the sound of Mulder and Scully speaking to each other, as only they knew how. There was something he was missing. Something of great importance...and he meant to find out what it was.


Roanoke, VA
11:45 A.M.

"Fox...I think there's something you need to know. Before all of this gets too deep, we need to tell you one more thing." Samantha was propped up on the couch with pillows behind her.

Mulder looked towards her and tears came to his eyes. In all the confusion, the very fact that it was his sister sitting across from him finally caused a reaction. He walked over and fell to his knees in front of her. Then, he carefully gathered her up into his arms and hugged her. Her good arm went around him in surprise.

"Samantha...I looked everywhere for you. But I never found you. I'm so sorry I couldn't stop them that night. So sorry, that I couldn't help you..." The words were muffled by her shirt and broken by low sobs. He hated for Krycek to see him this way. The man would never understand.

Samantha pushed him away slightly with her good arm. He avoided the piercing gaze she sent towards him. "Fox...look at me. It wasn't your fault. You were only twelve years old. You need to stop blaming yourself for everything. I know you convinced yourself over all these years that you could've saved me...but you couldn't have. There was no way you could stand against that man and survive. Not back then anyway."

She gave him one more squeeze with her arm then pushed him away. "Now there's something else we really need to discuss. And I want you to understand, that this has a lot of bearing on how much we trust one another. Just please remember that."

Mulder stood and walked towards the chair across from her. Despite how much he wanted to stay beside her, Krycek was sitting on the only other open spot on the couch.

Something tugged at his mind as he sat down across from them. Scully's voice echoed through his conscience. Mulder, remember to keep an open mind. I know that's sounds odd coming from me. The words sent a small smile to his face.

Samantha looked at him, then towards Krycek. She drew in a ragged breath of air and began. "Fox...when I was nineteen years old, I met this man. I was home from collage for summer and, to be honest, I wasn't doing to well. I had specifically chosen an out of state collage to escape the wraith of my father, but I still couldn't stay there year round. I had only been home for two days when he pulled me into his office and introduced me to a man. This man was a big part of the conspiracy that you have been trying uncover in all your years at the FBI." She paused, letting him absorb all this. "I was told that I wouldn't be going back to collage in the fall. My father wanted me to join in the conspiracy. I ran from that room and my house. I hid in an alley for two days...avoiding almost everyone. Then on that second night, a man approached me. It was the same man from my father's office. He knew I was scared and alone. Instead of listening to my father, he took me to a hotel. He told me he'd be back later that night and we could talk about anything I wanted to."

Mulder started to speak but Scully's voice in his mind stopped him. Mulder just listen...I know you have questions, but I'm quite sure she'll answer them.

"When he came back, he told me that he talked to my father. That he made my father understand how much I needed my education, that if he tried to force me into being evil then I would expose them. I wasn't able to participate in something that would in all essence put me up against you." Samantha drew in another ragged breath. "I fell in love with that man that night. In a lot of ways he reminded me of you." She glanced towards Krycek and then looked Mulder directly in the eyes. "Fox, I married him two years later. We now have three beautiful children, and the only thing I wish that could've been different was all the deceiving over the past four years. I only wish that Alex could've been there with me the entire time. But he was involved in something for a greater cause. Which meant that me and the children were just as involved."

Mulder stood up and glared at Krycek. "You married my sister?!"

Samantha stood up with great effort, placing herself between the two of them. "Fox, he is your brother-in-law. This is something you must deal with. But I will not have the two of you fighting. We have bigger issues to deal with." She placed her hand on his shoulder and pushed him back towards the chair. He sat down hard, placing his head in his hands.

"Mulder, I love your sister and our children very much. I would never do anything to harm them. And now that the conspiracy has pretty much taken a turn for the worst, I can safely say that I will have to find a new job." Krycek smiled at the thought.

Mulder finally glanced up and looked at his sister and his newly revealed brother-in-law. "Just what are we trying to stop anyways? You have been so elusive since all of this began. It's hard to trust in something when you don't know what's going on."

Samantha sat back down...grabbing Krycek's hand in the process. Krycek looked towards her back at Mulder. "There is this plan. They know that you have some sort of power that allows you to read other peoples minds. The higher powers tried to steal it from you when you were younger, but from what I just witnessed in the kitchen with you and Scully, I would say they failed."

"What are you talking about?" Samantha interjected.

Krycek described what happened in the kitchen quickly and Samantha glanced towards her brother. "But that's impossible. It's only one sided. The only way they could have that powerful of connection was if she had the same power."

"Yes but it was all of them. Melissa and Raymond had the same look in their eyes. It was like they were all hearing something that no one else could."

Mulder keep them on what we are trying to stop. I have a feeling someone else is listening. Scully's voice was loud in his mind. "What does this power have to do with the conspiracy? What is going on?"

Krycek knew that something was happening, but there was no way he could be sure. "Well, they had hoped Scully would distract you enough so you would never find out. Not until it was too late anyway. There is a plan to bring in some of the enforcer EBE's. They will slowly conquer certain points of the globe until everyone is a slave of the conspiracy. The reason they agreed to it was so that the conspiracy would survive. They were promised certain immunity if no one outside the conspiracy showed the presence of this power you possess. Their families and friends would survive. They would be brought to a foreign planet and given everything they desire. So while they live in the depths of riches and gold, the rest of the human race will be in the bowels of hell." Krycek stood up and began to pace back and forth as he talked. "Now with you, Scully, and your children we can stop them. I also have several hundred people in hiding that show the same power."

Mulder glanced towards him. "Always the double agent...aren't we Krycek?" His voice came out sarcastic and deep.

"Mulder, the only reason I stayed as long as I did was because it was my wife and children at stake. I covered both bases. You were the main concern. They knew that you would stop them. This power affects the aliens in ways that nothing else will. They believe that you are a member of their race if you possess it. And you have me to thank for it. I got it out that night you were attacked. I bet you didn't even know that!!" Krycek's words had grown angrier over the past few minutes.

"Fox...Alex...calm down. The question is how do we stop them now? What's the plan?" Samantha interrupted the argument before it could go to far.

"No, the question is when does it all begin?" All three faces turned towards Scully's voice. She led the children in and sent all but Melissa and Raymond to the playroom. "Let's figure this out. It's time we stopped them from all these lies and secrets."


Part XV: When You Say Nothing at All...

February 24th
West Kensington, RI
8:23 P.M.

"Are the kids ready?" Charlie turned anxiously towards Scully for the fortieth time it seemed.

"Charlie...would you please calm down? Everybody is ready. If this is going to work then we have to keep our heads on. You're making me tense!" Scully was already frustrated with his and Suzanne's attitudes. Both of them had been annoyingly edgy since they walked in on everyone talking this afternoon. Now, she was watching him pace back in forth in front of her and she really wanted to throttle him.

He stopped pacing finally and glanced towards her again. "Oh my God, Dana. I am really sorry. I'm just worried about whether or not this will work. The balance of everything we know existing...is weighing on this. I just never knew it would be so chancy."

"Charlie, I'm going to say this one last time. If Mulder hears you talking like that he will assume you are one of them. You need to calm down and face facts. THIS will happen tonight. My children and Mulder, along with everyone else, will stop them. If anything, Mulder has always been the one who will fight to keep them from taking over in the way they planned." Scully knew that the situation was more strenuous than she made it sound...but she had to keep everyone calm.

Charlie walked over and sat down next to her. His face fell into his hands with a resounding sigh echoing from his lungs.

Scully, I think we're ready. All we need now is for Charlie to throw the switches. Even in her mind Mulder's voice sent a slight shiver down her spine.

Ok Mulder, one more check and we'll start it. They had been restraining from talking in this way for most of the day. For now it couldn't be helped. There was still so much to say and do, but nothing was going as planned so far. Scully drew in a deep breath and turned towards her brother. "They're ready Charlie...are you?"

Charlie looked up and focused on her face for the first time in hours. "I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be." Standing up he walked to the control panel on the wall and threw a switch. A loud vibrating sound filled the air around them. It almost sounded like someone had trapped hundreds...maybe thousands, of hummingbirds in this one tiny room.

"It's working!" Charlie was screaming to be heard over the noise. He grinned foolishly at her, his shoulder relaxing noticeably.

Scully, on the other hand, tensed up. She knew that what happened from this moment on would determine the fate of the world around them. She watched as Charlie threw three more switches in quick succession. Dear lord, forgive us for what we are about to do. Scully didn't care who was listening to her thoughts. It no longer mattered. All that mattered was they had finally begun to fight...and in this fight they would prove that the human race was not as weak as the conspiracy thought.

Don't worry Scully. We'll win. I know we will.

I know Mulder...I'm just...just...

You're afraid?

Yes...I'm afraid. I know it seems foolish, but I feel like we haven't had nearly enough time. And if we fail...then there will be no more.

Scully, we will win this fight. All my life I've been deceived by these evil men. But when they took you away...when they said you were dead...THAT was the final straw. I missed so much of the kids lives...and four years of yours. If we fail today, I'll miss the rest. I refuse to let that happen. I love you and our children too much. Just remember...

Mulder voice in her head was fading. The beginning works of the machine had kicked in. She would no longer have contact with him unless they were in the same room. "I love you too Mulder..." The words fell from her lips softly. She knew he couldn't hear her but said them anyways.

She stood up slowly then made her way over to Charlie. Her heart was pounding in her chest heavily. "We need to make sure the frequency is right!"

He nodded his head to show understanding then turned to adjust a knob on the side of the machine. When he was sure it was the right setting he threw another switch.

Scully jumped at the sound of someone pounding on the door. "Oh shit! Its begun...lets get the hell out of here!" Scully turned away from the door that was being pounded on and drug Charlie away from the machine.

"Dana! Wait one second...I need to get the notebook!" She paused long enough for him to run back and grab the tiny black book. They entered into the secret hallway and closed the door behind them just in time.

The other door burst open with a reverberating crash. Cancerman stepped into the room and glanced around. His paused for a moment on the wall that possessed the secret door, then traveled on throughout the rest of the room. When he didn't see anyone, his eyes grew dark with anger. "Where the hell are they?"

One of the young men stepped through the crushed doorway behind him. Cancerman grabbed him by the shirt collar. "You said she was in here Dominique."

Dominique just stared back at him stoically. Cancerman shoved him away roughly. "Shut off that Goddamned machine!"

Cancerman watched as the man tried, but the controls wouldn't budge. Pushing the younger man aside he grasped on of the metal switches and pulled.

It broke off in his hands...


8:37 P.M.

Scully heard the dogs barking signaling the end of the tunnel up ahead. There was almost no warning otherwise. One moment her and Charlie were standing alone in a dimly lit cavern, the next they were flooded with light and surrounded by people.

Charlie turned towards her with a grin plastered across his face. "We did it sis!" His arms flew around her tiny body as he gripped her in his embrace.

She pulled away and locked eyes with him. "It's not over yet Charlie...don't get overzealous." Her face turned away from his, her eyes searching for Mulder. He was standing on a desk in the center of the huge room. His hands held onto each of their children's. Their eyes locked.

He jumped down quickly, grabbing both of the kids. Within moments he was standing in front of her for the first time in over three hours. Melissa reached for her mother automatically. Raymond remained in his father's arms.

Mulder grinned at her, his expression one of many that she remember from their past. It was the one that said he was about to say something totally off key.

He didn't fail her. "I bet they're going nuts on the surface right about now."

Scully smiled at him lightly. "Yeah Mulder...I bet they are." Her tone and expression gave away more then anything else. He'd seen that expression before...heard that tone of voice. It was the same as when he was in the hospital, after the Bermuda triangle incident, and he'd said she had saved the world.

"You ready for the next step G-woman?" His grin held.

"Ready as can be...G-man." Turning they around they searched for Krycek and Samantha. They were standing at the front of the crowded room with their kids gathered around them. They made their way slowly towards them...Charlie, Suzanne, and their kids right behind Mulder and Scully.

Mulder raised his hand when he reached the front. The room fell silent.

Krycek pulled away from Samantha and joined Mulder and Scully. "All of you know the reason you were brought here. We have been preparing for this day for almost six months now. I know it feels like were not quite ready for this...but we are out of time. Our only option is to finish what we've started. Is everyone ready?"

Heads nodded...mummers of agreement filled the air.

Krycek glanced towards Samantha, and then turned back towards the crowded room. "I need to ask each of you to find a mark in the floor and stand there. When you have reached that point, grab the hand of the person next to you. When that's done I'll explain further."

The room grew noisy as people shuffled to find the marks and grab hands. When they were finally finished you could see a faint pattern in the reflection of the glass ceiling.

"Mulder...Scully...Take your kids to the center and get into a circle." Krycek's voice said softly. "It's all up to you guys now."

They made their way towards the middle of the room slowly. Mulder leaned over towards Scully. "Why do we have all this going on again? There has to be an easier way to finish this fight..." His voice was a whisper.

"Mulder, I am as lost on this as you are. But Charlie's been researching this for almost four years now. He has to know exactly what's going on. He's the only one who would." Scully kept her voice low as well. Despite the fact that the doubt was echoing her own, she knew that there was no other way.

They reached the center and turned towards each other. A smile flashed across Mulder's face. "At least now I know I was put on this earth for something besides being called Spooky."

The comment got the exact reaction he was hoping for. Scully smiled and leaned forward, placing a soft kiss on his lips. "Mulder..." Her voice was low and husky. "You were placed on this earth to love me...and as soon as I get a chance, I'm going to steal you away and show you exactly how much you mean to me."

Mulder's eyes changed visibly at her words. Growing dark with desire...need...and love of unknown depths.

"But for right now..." She pulled away from him. "Do you mind if we save the world first?"

He smiled at her and placed Raymond by her side. "Let's go Scully."

The small family gathered into a tight circle. Their hands grasped each other with intensity. Within moments their eyes grew over with a glazed expression.

Charlie stared around the large cavern with amazement. The room that had been noisy when he and Dana had first emerged was now completely silent. His eyes glanced across the endless rows of faces, each one fully absorbed in concentration.

A loud crash resounded throughout the room. Standing in the tunnel doorway stood Cancerman...surrounded by several alien hybrids.


Part XVI: With Arms Wide Open

9:12 P.M.

Within moments the doorway was filled with Cancerman's henchmen. The moment they entered the room they threw their hands up to their ears to block the loud humming sound that now filled the room.

Krycek grabbed Charlie's arm and turned him towards him. "We can't let them interrupt the procedure!" He was shouting but barely heard himself over the loud humming that hung thickly in the air.

"What are we supposed to do...jump in front of him and yell at him to stop?!" Charlie shook his head and screamed again. "It's too late anyway! Look at them!" He pointed hastily towards the middle of the room where Mulder and Scully were standing.

Krycek turned back towards the center of the room. His mouth fell in shock as he studied what lie in front of his vision. Mulder, Dana, and the kids were all floating about two feet off the ground. Scully and Mulder's eyes were locked and they were gripping each other's hands tightly. Their children stood next to them with the same expression plastered onto their faces. All of their eyes had a distant quality to them.

"What's happening?!" Krycek screamed towards Charlie again.

"They're changing the future...and fixing the past!"


Dana Scully stood in the middle of the room...her eyes trying vainly to adjust to the sudden darkness. She couldn't remember exactly what had transpired to bring her to this place, but she knew that she had to be here.

A soft sound from behind her body startled her. Her body relaxed immediately. It was Mulder...she knew without even looking towards him. His hands came down lightly on her shoulders and her body leaned back towards his.

"Mulder, the kids are ok right?" She tried to keep her voice steady while asking the question.

"I suppose so Scully. I don't imagine they would harm them. They're not here to harm us...in fact they're trying to help us." He gripped her shoulders and turned her towards him so he could reassure her with his eyes. "I know they're fine...I can feel it. It's screaming throughout my every fiber that they are happy right now. Can you feel it?"

She closed her eyes and knew he was telling the truth. The children were happy, each one doing what they were supposed to be. She was just about to reopen her eyes when she felt the soft pressure of Mulder's lips against her own. Her arms went instinctively to the back of his neck pulling him deeper into the kiss.

When Scully began to tug at his shirt Mulder pulled away slowly. They broke apart...both breathing heavily. He waited for her to open her eyes before he spoke to her. "Scully...you do know what our part in this is right? I mean it's not something I think even Charlie knew about. I just want to make sure that you completely understand what it means..."

"I know Mulder...believe me...I Know..." Scully's eyes adjusted as a faint light filtered throughout the room. Her hands stole to the buttons on his shirt. "You think they're watching, Mulder?"

He bent to capture her mouth again and whispered just before their lips met. "I certainly hope not..."

Scully pressed closer to his body...until they seemed to almost be one person inhabiting the same space. Her hands fell from the buttons of his shirt to the waist of his jeans. Her fingers slipped deftly between the fabric and his skin.

Mulder pulled her deeper into the kiss...his hands attacking the top button of her shirt. He got to the third button before impatience sought his mind. He ran his hands down her sides until he got to the end her shirt. Grasping it he pulled the fabric over her head...breaking their kiss just long enough to do so.

Scully couldn't believe the excitement that was running through her body at the touch of his hands against her skin. She let him ease her gently down onto the floor...but stopped him as he began to pull her jeans off.

"What's the matter, Scully?" His face was covered with the worry that enriched his voice.

"Nothing, Mulder..." She ran her hands across his chest slowly. "Can't we make this go a little slower...it just seems like we're rushing through this."

He smiled softly. "Scully, I can guarantee that this will last forever. I just want to be able to worship your body as a whole. Can you trust me?"

She reached up and ran her hands down the sides of his face then pulled his lips towards hers. Just before they met he heard her whisper something that would remain in his heart forever. "With everything Mulder...including my heart."

There was nothing gentle between them now. It was pure passion that was driving them together. When Mulder's hands went to the front of her jeans...this time she didn't stop him.

His task accomplished Mulder stared down at Scully. She lay before him in nothing but the lacy underwear that he just knew she would be wearing. Despite everything she hadn't changed her preferences in clothes.

The site of her lying before him took his breath away. He ran his hands along her body listening to the gasps and moans that each caress wrought from her trembling lips. His hands slid across her straining breasts...the nipples hardening instantly at the touch. Her body arched towards his questing hands.

His hands found the clasp of her bra in the front. Within moments he discarded the garment and lowered his head towards her chest. His tongue played across the hardened peaks then led a scorching path down her abdomen. His hands traveled down her sides just before his lips and tongue. Within moments her underwear disappeared in the same fashion as her bra.

His eyes locked with hers as he studied the view that lay before him. Blue eyes clashed hotly with green as he lowered his head towards her aching wetness.

The first touch of his mouth against her sent her mind reeling. His tongue played against her...his hands running sensuously around her body. Her breathing quickened. His left hand ran up her thigh joining his mouth at her center. Two fingers entered, pressing deeply. That was all it took. Scully groaned his name loudly...her body spasmed around his fingers.

But instead of backing off he attacked her more fiercely. The soft short bursts of pleasure enraptured her body. Her hands pulled at him to try to get him to let up...to slow down...anything but drive her insane, as he seemed to be doing.

"Please Mulder...no more...god..." The soft proxy of small orgasms ripped throughout her body. He was gentle now...waiting for her body to calm down but still taming her wetness with his lips.

His body traveled along hers...the clothing setting off small fires within her. He kissed her deeply, their tongues winding deep around each other until Scully wasn't sure where she began and he ended. She pulled away breathing deeply against his mouth.

"Mulder...I would say you're wearing way too many clothes."

He laughed and nodded at her. "I know Scully...but this..." He gestured lightly towards her body. "...this was a little more important to me at the time."

Scully grinned wickedly. "Well, I think I can do something about that." Her eyes gleamed softly in the dim light that had enveloped them. Her next movement took him completely by surprise. Within moments he was on his back with her lying against his chest. Her lips lowered...taking the button of his shirt between her lips. Her tongue worked until the resistance was gone and the button released.

She undid each button in this fashion. Her tongue lashed out occasionally to taste the skin that each button revealed. With each caress of her tongue Mulder's breathing deepened. When she reached the last button, her hands ran across his chest and he gasped. He pulled the shirt off hurriedly to give her better access.

He reached down to pull her back up towards his lips...but she had other plans in mind. Her face nestled into his hardness...nipping and tasting him through his jeans. His eyes flew closed...his mouth uttering one long guttural groan.

Her hands kept rubbing his body softly while her lips played against the buttons on his jeans. Within moments she had the buttons undone...her hands tugged at the waistband of his jeans, pulling them down as he lifted his hips to help. She pulled his boxers and jeans completely off his lithe body.

Mulder's mind lost control when she took the hard length of him into her mouth. Her tongue ran circles around the tip...sucking gently against her pallet. Mulder's hips arched towards her mouth...his body crying for release...his mind screaming for control.

Scully listened to his moans that now filled the air in place of hers. She knew he was close...but she couldn't let it end like this. She needed him inside her. Her body screamed for it even as she tested how close he really was. Reluctantly, she pulled her lips and mouth away.

Mulder breathing was uneven from straining to hold back for so long. It didn't stop his gasp of shock as she slid her body slowly up against his.

His moan of pleasure was mingled within her own. She had never known it would feel this good to make love to Mulder. In every fantasy she had ever had, she had never felt quite like she did at that moment. The thoughts were echoing from Mulder's mind as well.

They matched each other...caress for caress...until they could no longer stand the torture. Mulder rolled Scully until she was beneath him once more. Her legs opened beneath him...her hands reaching down to help guide him into her body.

He went slowly at first. Entering her carefully and softly. Letting her adjust to the invasion of another human beings body.

But she was impatient. Her hands traveled down his back and pulled him into her body quicker. She wrapped her legs around him...rocking her hips in tiny circles.

"Mulder...you feel so good inside of me..." Her soft breathy whisper was too much for his mind. He dropped his weight until he was pushing in and out of her slowly. Her body replied by moving with his.

Together, they found the tempo that bound their bodies in pleasure. Mulder leaned down to capture her lips within his. His tongue danced out...exploring the depths of the passion they were sharing. The sweetness of her lips telling him just how close she was to that soft burst of bliss that would consume her until the end.

Her body claimed his. The spasms surrounding the thrusting pressure he was asserting. Mulder cried out at the sensation. His passion rose to greater heights and he was right there with her. Surrounded only in ecstasy and Scully...Scully...Scully...

It took a few minutes for them to get their minds adjusted to the present. When both their bodies were calm, Mulder pulled her towards him and held her tightly against him. He kissed her forehead, his lips remaining there for a few seconds. When he did finally pull away, he reached under her chin and tilted her face towards his. "I love you Scully...I always have..."

"I know Mulder...me too."

A shrilling scream broke through the darkness making them both jump. Scully stood and faced the direction that the noise came from.


9:24 P.M.

Scully could feel Mulder's hands gripping hers tightly within her own. But something was odd about it. There was another hand on her arm. She turned towards whoever was holding her arm. It took a few minutes for her brain to comprehend that it was Charlie who was holding her.

Concern was etching his features. "Dana, are you alright?"

She nodded her head instead of speaking. She wasn't quite sure she could trust her voice at the moment.

Charlie kept talking despite the fact that she had now turned away from him to look at Mulder and their children. "We did it...I can't believe it. You should've seen that black lunged bastard. He was crying...can you believe it?"

Mulder was coming out of the daze now as well. His hands slipped from Scully's with a slight squeeze. They both glanced at their children who remained in a dazed state.

Scully looked around the room, barely noticing the black ash marks on the floor around her. It took a second glimpse around before she finally noticed the soot that seemed to be piled up on those marks. "What happened Charlie?"

"Dana, I've been trying to tell you that." He sighed and began again. "Cancerman sent some of his men into the circle to try to stop you guys. Every man he sent inside was burnt within moments of entering the pattern."

Mulder caught only fleeting parts of his words. "He was here?"

Charlie looked at them with frustration. "Weren't you guys listening to a word I said? He broke into the room. Alex went to him and told him to try and stop you guys. Instead of doing the right thing he sent about ten of his men into the circle. He started to back away when they all burnt up. He tried to escape...but Alex...well Alex grabbed his arm and threw him into the circle. He was ashes within moments."

Charlie pulled Scully into a tight hug. "Are you feeling alright sis?"

She pulled away from him lightly and fell into Mulder's arms. After a slight hug she turned back towards her brother. "I hope you wanted to be an uncle again Charlie...because your going to have a new nephew in about nine months."

Mulder felt a presence at his side and turned to see his sister and Krycek. "That goes for you too Samantha. I hope you wanted a new nephew as well."

"Mommy's gonna have 'nother baby?"

Every adult face turned to peer down at Melissa. She was holding tightly to Raymond's hand, both their faces turned expectantly towards their parents.

"Yes honey...you want that right?" Scully's voice wavered a slight bit.

Melissa and Raymond threw their bodies towards her. "Of course we do Mommy!!! Is daddy gonna be with us from now on too?"

Mulder reached down and picked up the little girl. "I wouldn't leave if you told me you had toad feet and a pigs tail." Melissa giggled at his words.

There were a few moments of silence as everyone adjusted to recent turn of events. Krycek was the first to speak up. "So where do we go from here?"

Mulder looked at him and smiled for what seemed like the first time. "Well, we're no longer in danger of being taken to another planet. And that tiny son of mine that's growing in Scully is our insurance for the future...as well as our other two kids. As for our powers...they're gone. We no longer need them once that machine was turned on and Melissa and Raymond showed the EBE's why they could no longer take us." He glanced towards Scully and smiled. "I guess it's time to start to live again."

The crowd of people gathered around them slowly. Each person looked to the one next to them and knew what this meant from now on. It was the end...but only of the beginning.

THE END


Ok I know that this whole ending sounds a bit weird. It took me forever to just come up with what I wanted to do with it. I hope it turned out pretty good. I am actually quite proud of it. I mean how often do you find a story where Scully and Mulder can have not just one or two children...but THREE?...lol. Let me know what you think. Jaybird024@hotmail.com

 

Thanks to: I must say thanks to all of those that help me get through each and everyday. But there is one special person in my life that truly is just incredible. This woman has more courage and tenacity (ha, ha) than anyone I've ever known. Her strength in everyday life just astounds me every time I look at her or talk to her. Dana, you truly are the best friend I've ever had. I know times are hard right now but this too shall pass.

Thank you to all the wonderful Crystalshippers!! You gals truly are the best. Matt and Chele, you guys stick together and everything will be just fine. And to all of you who have encouraged me throughout the writing of this story, I thank you with MUCH gratitude. Without all the wonderful feedback I know it never would've been finished.

I owe a LOT of thanks to Matt and all my friends on the Xfusters mailing list. Thank you for all your help!!!!

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