Title: Death's Door is Standing Wide Open
Author: SkepticalScully
Category: XA, Angst, humor, mythology, adventure, MSR
Disclaimer All product of this X-Files Fan Fiction belongs to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox. This is for my own enjoyment (SkepticalScully) and is not to be sold for profit. I hereby state that any distribution of this text unauthorized by me is not the fault of the writer (SkepticalScully) and therefore cannot be held accountable for unlawful distribution of The X-Files Fan Fiction Death's Door is Standing Wide Open.

Summary: As the birth of Scully's baby approaches, new horrors grow near. Scully's cancer returns, and with the threat against Scully's baby, there's only so much time...

BEFORE YOU READ:

I'm not sure how to describe this. It takes place after Per Manum when this was started, and currently Existence will be airing in a few days.

Season 8 plays a significant part in this story.

Put some of the things that are happening will be different in my story. The episode DeadAlive I have chose to delete from the story, so any of the events taken place in the episode will not match with the story. Scully's pregnancy is still a part of the plot and Mulder's disappearance, but the time he was gone is shorter to fit with the pregnancy, and there's no mention of him dying, so you can take that how you want. With that said....


Chapter One

I whisper, "Don't put that there, they'll notice it the second they come in. Put it over there." I point in the direction of the dark clavicle of boxes and tarps where it's least likely to be noticed for a few days.

Keenen and Birch picks it up and carries the box at my direction.

Idiotic fools, I think as they almost drop it.

They're making to much noise but I don't yell at them to shut their traps I will just become them and that's not ever going to be me. I am the one hunt in this job and things will be done my way.

"Watch it!" Keenen yells and as I watch with no way to stop it: the box falls, wobbles, and tips out of their hold and I'm seeing this as if in slow motion. It falls to the floor with a resounding crash and all I can do is curse in horror at what they've just done.

Of course they have no idea what was in the box, and now that they do, there's only one thing I *can* do.

I pull out my weapon, sizing up a well-aligned match for death when some one grabs my hand from behind, twisting it. I instinctively pull the trigger and a shot rings out.

I hear shouting and a bright flash before all goes dark with the tinge of blood in my mouth.

At that point, I woke up in a cold sweat. I climbed out of bed, nearly tripping over the blankets that had some how thrown themselves on the floor, and made my way to the bathroom to get a drink of water. My mouth was parched.

The dream had really scared me. That it was me in the dream scared me even more. The things I had said in the dream, the ideas that were running through my head. Suddenly, a bout of nausea came over me and for a second I seriously thought I was going to pass out.

What was that?

That is the second time this week this happened.

It rather has me worried. After all that has happened these last few months, I've been a walking, frightened woman, and I hate it. I absolutely hate the moods I am in. I've always been in control; control of my emotions, my career. Now I'm this blabbering lady who keeps crying her eyes out every five minutes. I honestly didn't think it would be like this!

And you know, its just great that Mulder laughs at me for it. But if he never goes away again, he can laugh at me all he wants. I'm never letting that man out of my sight.

I haven't told my mom yet, and it's just going to get worse the longer I wait. But I just can't find the courage to tell her the news. I'm already showing. I can still hide it and I'm not buying bigger clothes yet, but time is starting to go fast, and she called the other day. Not telling her then was a big no-no. She knows something is up, I can tell you that much. She *is* a Scully after all.

My mother has the nose of a hound and none us kids have ever been able to get much past her. As kids, we were constantly in trouble for one thing or another. Usually I learned from my mistakes, but the others rarely did. Take Charlie for example: he would do the most asinine things! For a while, he was obsessed by sticking his head through the banister to see if he could get himself back out. The very first time he tried it, it didn't work. Mom got him out with Crisco and scolded him, and the very next day he went and stuck his head back through the banister.

Luckily he learned his lesson when one day, no one was home and he was stuck like that for at least three hours, maybe more. It makes me laugh occasionally when I think about it now.

Actually, it was pretty funny back then, too.

Now I look in the mirror and study my reflection: My name's Dana Scully and I am about to have a child at the age of thirty-seven. I'm not married, I have a risky job, every day I wonder whether I'll actually make it home or be killed in some car accident orchestrated so cleverly by Them, and I'm so terribly lonely. Oh, cue the pathetic Scully music now.

I turn the water off and try to fall back to sleep. In five hours I have a meeting with OPR pending my ability to function coherently in the line of duty. As if I haven't already. But I can see where they're coming from, I absolutely can.

My partner's was abducted; I've been in the hospital how many times since then? Six, maybe seven? I've lost count. And all this right after that auditor went over all that paper work for the X-Files. I guess I'm getting my worth out of my healthcare benefits.

I do eventually fall asleep, but I awake again all too soon. But I have to get up. The shower is cold, my stockings have a run in them, and going to the store to buy coffee has been the last thing on my mind. I'll just grab some at work if I have time. If not, I'll just be in a bitchy mood for OPR. They'll love me.

Mulder picks me up and we walk through the doors together, everyone turning to stare at us. Hey, it's Spooky Mulder and the woman he knocked up.

Okay, so it is Mulder's child I'm having, but that should never have happened! Oh damn these hormones! I think I'm going to start crying right here. That would be *just* great. Dana, get a grip on yourself.

I don't know if I'll be able to make it through the meeting but Mulder just tugs on my arm and leads me to a chair. Actually, the meeting isn't all that bad, but I've been given a three week "vacation" and I can't come back until I've been examined by the FBI's medical technicians. And after that I'll be assigned to desk jobs. I'm all happy smiles and nods which disappear as soon as we're out of the room.

We ride down the elevator in silence; Mulder chewing absently on those sunflower seeds he's never without and me just dreading the conversation I know we're going to have. And he doesn't miss a beat either. As soon as I sit down, he's facing me and watching me. I look up at him and give him one of my special raised eyebrow expressions.

But then he surprises me. He doesn't say anything. But after a moment of watching me he moves around to his chair and starts playing with a pencil. "What are you doing tonight, Scully?" he casually asks.

The question catches me off guard. I was expecting something a long the lines of, "have you told your mom yet?" or "I think it's a good idea for you to take some time off" or something but his question now seems so innocent that I'm not sure what to say. "I don't know," is all I reply.

Actually, that's the truth. I don't know what I'm going to do tonight. When my mom called a few days ago she had mentioned something about a get together with some of her friends from church and a few others and she wanted me to come. I miss her of course. I haven't seen her in such a long time. After things a few Christmas's ago, things just kind of haven't been the same. But maybe I will go. I'll have to think about it.

I realize Mulder's been talking and I haven't heard a word. He notices my loss of attention. I apologize and patiently he repeats himself. "I said, if you aren't doing anything, I could bring a pizza over and get a movie. You can even pick the movie out." He grins, but then lets it fade as he states, "unless you want to be alone."

Do I want to be alone? I don't even know myself.

But a pizza and a movie with Mulder might cheer me up. Some of the happiest times of my life this past year have been watching movies with Mulder, letting all the worries go for two hours. I nod and he's happy.

I stand up and am hit with another bout of dizziness. I grip the chair and wait for it to pass, and its gone as quickly as it comes. I really can't wait until these things end. Mulder is by my side in a flash, concern written deep in his eyes. I smile and smudge the truth a bit, even though I don't really know why. "I just stood too fast."

Mulder's features relax, but I know that he is still concerned and doesn't want me to see it. "I'll take you home."

So then he drops me off in front of my building, waiting till I am in the doors before he drives off. As soon as I am in the door my phone rings.

Knowing who it is, I pick up the phone hastily and answer with a 'what?' I'm quickly embarrassed.

There is a brief pause of uncertainty on the other line and my mothers voice has regained her composure from my rude little greeting. I was figuring it would be Mulder. "Dana, it's Mom."

My mother still starts the conversations with 'it's mom' even though by now we know her voice over the telephone. While my mind is on the events of this morning, my mom is talking, and I manage to reply a 'yes' or an 'mmhmm' in all the right places.

"Dana, are you okay? You sound tired."

This brings me back to reality. I really don't want any confrontations because that means I have to lie to her. I don't want to lie to her but the right words just wont come out of my mouth. I try a convincing, "I'm fine, Mom."

There is another brief moment of silence while she probably thinks up some other questions.

She's trying to beat around the bush. I was waiting for this but I'm not prepared.

"Everything good at work? How's Fox doing?"

She doesn't know what happened to Mulder. I never had a chance to talk to her. Well, that's not exactly true. But I did call her the next day; only problem was she wasn't home and when she did finally call, she didn't make any mention about my blabbing self on her answering machine. I wonder now if she'd even gotten it. I guess its time to give her something. "Works okay. Mulder's fine."

Oh great, I feel that pressure in my chest again, like a vice is trying to suffocate me. I can't breath. I feel my eyes stinging and I don't need to break down and start crying on the phone. When I do finally tell her, I want to be in control and dried eyed. And I do *not* want it to be in front of a bunch of her church friends. "Mom, I..."

my voice breaks off, but she has started talking again and doesn't hear me.

"That's good. You should have Fox come with you on Sunday. You are coming right?"

What else can I tell her? "Yeah, of course, Mom."

Her voice perks up. I'm glad I made her happy but I'm not sure what to think. "I miss you, Honey. Can't wait to see you." We talk for a few more minutes and I gently set the phone back down.

I think I'll be okay for now. I have four days before I have to worry about it. Maybe I'll get some courage by then.


Chapter Two

I've decided to clean up the place a little before Mulder gets here; a swipe here and there.

I'm in the kitchen making a pitcher of iced tea when there's a knock on the door. I leave the lemons as they are and get the door.

Mulder is standing there, pizza in hand, a movie on top, and a grin on his face. He walks past me as I shut the door and places his gifts on the coffee table. I look at the movie box. I look at Mulder defiantly and place a hand on my hip.

"Mulder, I thought you said I could pick out the movie." I arch an eyebrow at him.

He only shrugs. "I know, but it was kind of hard considering you weren't with me. I think you'll be quite pleased with my selection though." He smiles triumphantly at me like he's just been a good little puppy and I should be proud. However, I just roll my eyes and pick up the case.

When I open it, I am quite pleased. I look up at him. "Breakfast at Tiffany's, Mulder? But you hate these movies."

Mulder doesn't seem to mind. "I think I can get through it as long as you're watching it with me."

And damn him for acting like that was a natural thing to say! He just shrugs out of his coat and takes the tape from me to put in the VCR. I feel my face turning red and I quickly mutter something about getting us something to drink, and hurry into the kitchen.

I slowly stir the sugar in, taking as long as I possibly can mixing the iced tea until Mulder calls. "Movies starting and the pizza's going to get cold." Oh well, I have to face the inevitable eventually.

I'm carrying two glasses of iced tea and he takes them from me. I'm dizzy again suddenly and sit down before he notices anything. Thank God he took those drinks when he did. The movie starts and we both sit back to concentrate on it while we eat.

Mulder never understands why I like these kinds of movies, but I don't understand why he likes his kind either. But if you look at it deep enough, they're not very different. Mine are about the deeper, sensual kind of love while his, well, his are just about sex. Either way the people in the movie eventually get around to that, just one sooner than the other. I can't fault him on it though. At least he has the consideration never to watch it around me and the courtesy to not talk about it.

However, about half way through the movie, I feel nauseous again so I excuse myself and head towards the bathroom. Once there, I feel fine. So that's what it is: it wants me to get my exercise.

I must be getting a cold. So as long as I am here, I grab a tissue from the box on back of the toilet. I feel something touch my arm and when I look down, there's a drop of red there. That's weird. I blow my nose and become horrified as the tissue comes back red. I grab for the tissue box, pull out a bunch, and shut the door.

Okay, now this really has to stop. I'm usually calm and collected but starting to freak out now. But people get nosebleeds. It's nothing to worry about, but I haven't had one in over three years. A nosebleed can be a nosebleed to anyone else, but to me, it signifies a time that I don't wish to think about everyday.

I tilt my head back and pinch my nose. This will stop in a minute. Then I feel something sliding down my throat and I gag. The thought of swallowing my own blood isn't very appealing.

Mulder knocks gently on the door and peeks his head in. At first, he looks embarrassed because he doesn't want to intrude on me or anything, but his eyes suddenly go wide, big as saucers-flying saucers, tea saucers, whatever; the point is, they're big and scared. He whispers my name and opens the door wider.

I voice my own thoughts from earlier, and talk through the wad of tissues in my way. "I'm okay. People get nose- bleeds for any number of reasons. Dry air-" I'm trying to calm myself.

"It's ninety degrees outside and humid." He answers me. Thanks for the help, Mulder, I tell him silently.

I think its stopped so I stand and through the tissues in the toilet and flush them. Mulder seems so far away, and why does he look so worried? Let's go back and watch the movie I tell him. At least I think I tell him. No, I know I said it, I'm just not sure if it was out loud.

He's reaching out for me then...


Chapter Three

Stubborn! The woman is so damn stubborn. She baffles me. Every night I go home, puzzled. I've started to think this is the cause for my insomnia. I just don't understand how such an intelligent scientist slash FBI Agent can be so stubborn. She rationalizes everything, she doubts everything, she's always questioning her beliefs.

That I understand. I suppose I'm no better, but sometimes the words she says, the things that she does-I start to question my own sanity.

I mean, she's a medical doctor, and she tells me tonight as she's bleeding to death that her nose bleed is a result of the weather. That's why she passed out on me right there in the bathroom, and why I'm waiting in a hospital chair at one-thirty in the morning, not sure what's going on, and scared to find out.

They took her to the ER, and from there, down to ICU where I've been waiting for the past forty-five minutes. I don't know what to think now. I really don't. But I wish a nurse, or her doctor; someone would come by so I knew what was happening.

I called her mom about an hour ago. I didn't want to worry her because it was probably nothing, but she should be called anyway. I hate making these phone calls. She'll be here soon.

*Finally,* Scully's doctor comes down the hall.

He approaches, walking along the other side of the hall as if he's trying to avoid me. I stand, moving over to block him. "How is she?"

"We have her stabilized. She went into hypovolemia and we ran some x-rays just to be sure none of the cancer has come back."

That wasn't what I wanted to hear. "What about-"

He knows and reassures me. "The baby is fine, Agent Mulder. But we'll need to be cautious, especially if something turns up on the x-ray."

He seems to notice my distress. If something were to turn up in her x-ray? No, she's been fine for three years now. No, it's probably just the flu or something, my mind rationalizes. And everything he's saying is not reassuring me, its just making me think about things I wish to put in the back of my mind.

"Agent Mulder," he says then, placing a hand on my arm. "I don't want to tell you it's probably nothing, but I want you to know we're going to do everything for Agent Scully and her baby. We'll take special measures so you should have nothing to worry about."

I nod. "Can I see her now?" I ask. When I see her, I'll know for sure whether I should be worried or not.

The doctor nods and I walk down the hall, looking for those doors labeled ICU. When I walk into her room, she seems to be sleeping. She's hooked up to an IV line going in her left wrist and a heart monitor. I sit down and scoot my chair closer to the bed. She's sleeping soundly now.

Just as things are getting as back to normal as they can, something else has to happen. Why are we put through so much pain? I used to be selfish and arrogant. I used to only think about myself and the things that I have had to give up. But Scully's changed all that for me.

It's not right to put her in my war path. This wasn't ever her cause. Its mine and it should have always stayed mine. Scully could have had a career in medicine; she could be happily married with children by now.

Her mother would still have all her children.

Scully would never have gotten cancer. She wouldn't have all these scars; physical or emotional. I wish that for her.

Maybe I am still selfish. Even though I wish all that for her, that means I would never know her, and on my part I am grateful, but also guilty. I couldn't have made her leave, she has too much strength and she would never have left after the things that have happened. But a part of me thinks that if I hadn't fought for the X-Files like I have, we wouldn't be in these situations.

My slow downward escalation into self-pity is going to do nothing to help her if she's not okay. So I have to stop this. It is tiring anyway, these endless circles. But I feel helpless. Everything has been falling apart.

The door opens and when I turn, Scully's mom is standing in the doorway. She is worried, and I can clearly see it in her eyes. She is also out of breath. "I got here as soon as I could. What did the doctors say?" she asks as she goes around to the other side of the bed to see her daughter.

"What happened?"

I hate to have nothing to tell her, and all I can do is repeat what the doctor told me earlier. She bends down and kisses her daughters cheek, and I know she's trying not to show the pain she feels.

I don't know what do say to help. I head for the door to leave her alone for a while.

I can't let either of them down.


Chapter Four

It's always a mother's worst fears when she's awakened at midnight and she doesn't know where her children are. I mean, when you're not expecting a call from anyone, you wonder who it could be. My fears were not irrational.

Dana doesn't look sick. She looks tired and stressed and it worries me because I don't know why. Even in sleep there those two creases between her eyebrows that stick out so prominently when she is troubled and her eyes are moving rapidly behind her closed lids. I feel that this is not an easy sleep.

All four of my children have been healthy ones, and I am thankful for that. Two boys and two girls; quite a handful. Though they were tough, I'm proud of their accomplishments.

Bill was the hardest. He was the oldest and so he carried the responsibility. He was the role model for his brother and sisters. But he was never really a problem child. But I think he envied his younger siblings for their innocence.

Melissa was a good daughter. She was smart, but eccentric, always off on her own. Never a worry when she was little. She did have her moments of course. No one could scream and tantrum like Melissa could when she wanted to. But every child does that I suppose.

Charlie of course was not the least bit shy, having three loudmouthed older siblings to follow around. But they teased him so much and he would come home at times crying, until one day he stopped following them around and started making his own friends.

Then there's Dana. She would also come home in tears when she was little. Billy didn't want his baby brother and sister hanging around. "It was bad for his image," he'd say. But after her tears dried she'd be right back out there. Billy couldn't get away with it that easily.

Dana and Charlie have always been the closest. They're so close in age, and once Billy moved out of the house, Melissa was never there, they finished growing up together. It's a shame they haven't seen each other in so long. Some people would say Charlie's a geek; a nerd. But he never let it bother him. He'd say, "Mom, it's the nineties. Smart isn't cool." A geek or not, I still had to worry about him and girls.

That's probably another reason why he and Dana always got along to well. They were equally intelligent, always striving to be number one; they learned from each other. They still picked on each other terribly, however, but I suppose I would have been worried if they hadn't.

Dana always did well in school, and when she went off for her medical degree, her father and I were overjoyed. A doctor in the Scully family. We knew Dana was going to go far.

Well, far she's certainly gone, but definitely not in the same direction. It's not like her being in the FBI has disappointed me. Not in the least bit. Many people don't make it. I just wish that she would realize that it's not worth her life.

There's nothing wrong with never marrying, and there's nothing wrong with never having children.

Unfortunately for Dana, children are not an option. But there's something to be said for being happy, and that I haven't seen my daughter for a long time.

And I know that she stays for Fox, and I know it's not his place to tell her to leave; she wouldn't listen to him if he did, but they both should get out now. I won't admit to know what's going on, but I will admit I don't understand why.

And that's why I don't understand why I have to be sitting here this morning.

This is why I don't understand why this has to happen to her. Why I wonder if there was something I did wrong raising her and He is punishing both of us.

I can't sit here any longer. I can't watch her slowly slip away from me because of something I did wrong. So I get up and leave. But I whisper, "I'll be back," before I do.


Chapter Five

I dream. My dreams are filled with this annoying sound I've learned to hate. I've grown accustomed to it though. I hear it often, and I don't know why it frequents my dreams so.

I feel the dreams slipping away and I know I'm waking up. I'm not dead *yet*. But the noise is still with me. In fact, as I regain consciousness, it becomes louder, more irritating.

At first, I think I've gone blind, but I realize my eyes are not open. I force one eye open and grimace at what I see. The tiny, never ending, rhythmic beeps of a heart monitor. Oddly, I feel comfortable right here, though I wonder why I'm here, and I how I got here. I don't remember anything at all.

But as sleep deserts me, my memory reappears.

Something about a movie; Breakfast at Tiffany's, and a pizza...and Mulder. So one of my questions was answered. Now all I need to know is why.

And where is he anyway? He's usually sitting next to the bed, waiting for me to wake up. I turn my head, but the chair is empty. Suddenly, I don't feel quite as comfortable here anymore.

I try to sit up but I hardly have the strength.

The door opens and in the dark I can't make out who it is. It is a familiar, comforting silhouette, but too small to be Mulder's.

And yet, I want to speak, but I can't force any words out. As the figure approaches the bed, a glimpse of light reaches the tips of hair. I'm a bit confused: How long have I been here?

"Mom?" My mouth is so dry. My tongue feels swollen and it's hard to form any words.

She takes my hand and kisses my cheek. "Dana."

I can't keep my head up any longer. I let it drop back down on the pillow. "Thirsty." I manage to squeeze out. I don't want to talk. It takes too much effort.

She leaves and comes back a moment later with a paper cup of water. It feels so cool down my throat. "What happened?"

"Shh," she whispers. "You passed out. Fox brought you here."

Now it all comes back to me. I nod. "I remember."

She looks worried. "What?"

She just kisses my forehead a gain, but won't tell me. "What is it?" I find strength to sit up again. I should try a different approach. I'm old enough to know that something's wrong. "When did you get here?"

"A few hours ago. Why didn't you tell me, Dana?"

"Hmm? Tell you what?" I'm puzzled. What is she talking about? I realize just a fraction before she says it.

"The baby. Why didn't you tell me, Dana?" she asks again. Her features soften. I'm not sure what she's feeling. There's concern in her eyes, but that hasn't changed. She's probably not feeling anything right now because she doesn't know what to feel.

I feel my eyes watering up at the sight. The emotions are building up again. "Because I was scared," I whisper. "Because I'm scared."

"Scared? Honey, it's natural to be scared." She smiles. She doesn't understand.

"No," I shake my head, "You don't understand. There's-"

"I understand. I've had four children. I do, believe me."

"No..." I lay back down. It's no use. I don't feel like explaining it. I can't explain it. I question it repeatedly in my head, but I can't explain it. "I need to go home."

She nods. "The doctors just have to run some tests. They wanted to wait until you were awake."

She looks at the door as it opens and the doctor comes in. Then I see Mulder standing in the doorway like he's afraid to come in. Like he's not included. I don't say anything but I wish he would come over.

The doctor explains that the x-rays came back, and while everything looked okay, he wanted to be one hundred percent sure. All I could do was nod. His words make no sense to me. What could be wrong with me? I have this chip in my neck; the cancer couldn't have come back. In fact, I shouldn't be getting sick at all with this thing in my neck.

So I go up to oncology and comply to the tests. I never did like this part. Being confined in this little space, trying not to move a muscle; I'm not claustrophobic. Usually.

When they are done and I'm out of the room, I stand behind the computer, waiting for it to upload the image of my brain. However, the doctor shuts the monitor off and tells me I'm not allowed to be in here.

"I'm a medical doctor." I state, but still, he's insistent on my leaving. At this point, I know what's going to show up on the computer screen. I point at it. "It can't be..."

Where's the chair, because I need to sit. The doctor looks at me like they always look at patients or family when there's bad news. "Dana, you knew you were only in remission; that the cancer could return at any time."

He wasn't there. He doesn't understand that this is *different*. This is not happening. This cannot be happening. How could this possibly be happening again? I swallow but there doesn't seem to be anything to go down. How can I tell my mother? How do I tell Mulder?

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Should my heart be beating this fast? I am a medical doctor. I am in control of myself. I do not have cancer. That's the simple fact. I do not have cancer, can not have cancer. Not now, not ever again. I just keep saying it repeatedly in my head, hoping that if I say it enough it will come true. Oh, I don't know whether its better to be naïve or logical!

It still puzzles me now why the doctor wouldn't let me see the results of the MRI. I'll have to tell Mulder that later. I probably wouldn't give it a second thought except for the fact that I smell something fishy. It probably isn't anything-it's just that I've been doing this for so long that I've gotten used to it. Everything smells of a conspiracy, especially lately. The doctor was probably just concerned for my emotional health.

With that last thought on my mind, I start to drift off. That little bit of exercise has tired me out. Just a few minutes rest and I'll be okay. Just a couple minutes and I'll tell Mulder and have him reassure me....


Chapter Six

The doctor parted the hair from her neck and slid the magnifying glass in place. He stared at her neck for a moment, then shook his head and looked up at Mulder and Scully's mother. "Whatever you're talking about-there's no chip in the back of her neck. There is a recent scar, so whatever was there has been taken out."

Mulder stared at his partner, then back at the doctor. He didn't understand. But he did. But for what purpose did they have for them this time? To keep taking and giving, and always Scully. Was it because he had come back? Was it because their secrets were still threatened? They had to distract them once again? Had they run out of ideas to make them suffer?

The doctor finished and left the three of them to themselves. Scully looked up at Mulder and her mother. She reached up and touched the tiny bump on her neck. She was fearful that this time it might be irreversible, unless they could get the chip back.

Mrs. Scully didn't deserve to go through this again, and neither did Scully. But there wasn't much Mulder could do. But he vowed not to let her down. Not when a life so precious was just beginning.

Mrs. Scully rushed over to her daughter and embraced her tightly and Mulder quietly left the room.


Three Months Later

Mulder had just gotten home. He shut the door behind him, but before he was able to turn a light on, a voice spoke.

"Your search is futile yet you don't pause for a moment to think of asking for help."

Mulder hissed under his breath. "You son of a bitch."

The man stood from the chair in the corner and walked towards Mulder, who had made his way into the room. "Now, Mulder."

"What did you do to her, you son of a bitch? You're supposed to be dead!"

"As I heard the same of you."

Mulder recoiled. "You had him cure you didn't you? Why? So you can continue your fiendish charade? "

The Cigarette Smoking Man smiled, and his smile went all the way to his eyes. "Not at all, Mulder. In fact, I had nothing to do with this. I only just found out."

"The hell you did."

The CSM walked around Mulder towards the door. "My offer still stands. All you have to do is ask," he said and left.

Mulder stood staring at the unoccupied chair, then turned around and ran from his apartment.

But he was gone. He returned to his door, staring in like it was a cold, strange place. It was true, he hadn't spent much time here these past few months. He was busy finding another cure for Scully's cancer that had returned and spread each day, shortening her life and risking the one growing inside her.

He went into his bedroom and began to change clothes. When he came back out, he noticed a pile of mail on the table, which he hadn't put there.

He began flipping through it. The last piece was a sheet of paper with Walden-Freedman Army Research Hospital written on it.


He was working late. There was so much to do.

Every effort made didn't seem to amount to anything, despite the fact that he hadn't had much sleep in the last seventy-two hours and most of that had been spent running back and forth, from one place to another.

He shuffled all the papers that had been spread out before him, put them back in the folder and set the folder in his drawer. He took one of the keys he kept hidden in the battery compartment of the small clock he kept on his desk and locked the drawer with the folder in it. It wouldn't keep anyone out if they really wanted to get to it, but it was only temporary for now.

Exhausted, he took off the new pair of glasses he wore and messaged his temples, fighting the tension between his eyes. The phone rang. He could only think of two people who would call here at this hour and picked up the phone.

"Skinner."

"I would have thought that your new assignment would be much easier than Mulder and Scully, but I see you are working even more than when you over saw *them*."

The voice was unmistakable. Skinner knew this call would come sooner or later. "It was your doing, I suppose," he said with hostility.

"Well, I seem to be at the receiving end of all faults tonight. I'm quite disheartened by it after all I've done for you."

"What do you want?" Skinner demanded. He returned his eyewear where they belonged.

"I want many things of which I can not have, Director Skinner. Just like everyone else." There was a short silence on the other end of the line.

A *flick* sound and then a deep inhalation of breath, followed by the hiss of an exhale.

"What do you want from *me*?"

He chuckled; Skinner couldn't imagine a man of his veracity, or lack of to be capable of chuckling. "I don't want anything from you." He paused again, a slight inhalation and exhalation again. "There may however, be something you want from me."

"Whatever it is, I'm not interested. I'm done playing your game." Skinner said angrily.

Skinner could almost see his head shaking on the other end. "That's not what Mulder thinks. In fact, he was quite eager to accept my offer."

"You're lying."

The CSM gave voice to a laugh. "Is that what you think? Why don't you ask him then? Of course he would say no."

"What did you offer him?"

"Help. Help he couldn't refuse. Help he won't be able to refuse."

Back to the times of playing charades and ring around the truth. Skinner was tired of it all. He just wanted things to be the way they used to be.

But he knew he couldn't have that. "Help for what? Help for whom?"

"Help for the one person he can not possibly deny help to," he said. "I suppose it is an offer you yourself can't refuse either." He ended the conversation.

Skinner slammed the phone down, then picked it back up and called Mulder.


Scully opened the door and squinted into the harsh light coming in from the hallway; still half asleep from being awakened. "Mulder?"

Mulder slid past her. "I know it's late, Scully, but this was just something I couldn't wait on."

He took the paper out of his pocket and handed it to her.

Scully looked at him and took the paper, unfolding it. She read the words and looked up at him in question. "I-I don't understand. Where did you get this?"

"I was paid a visit from a long lost friend. Do you have any idea what this means?" Mulder asked.

Scully avoided his eyes as she folded the paper back into its little square and gave it back to him.

Mulder sensed she was trying to distance herself from him and he tried to find her eyes. But he couldn't. "Scully?" She turned around and went to the couch. He followed her and sat in the arm chair.

It took her a moment to search for the right words, but then she began. She told him everything that had happened while he was gone.

About the man Haskell that had come to her and Agent Doggett; telling them about how he believed his wife was carrying an alien baby and that they had killed her for it. How she believed her that her own pregnancy might be a fabrication and the other young woman, Mary Hendershot whom she met from Zeus Genetics who believed her own baby was in jeopardy and how they went to the Walden-Freeman Research Center for help. Then how she discovered that they were behind it all despite their denial of Scully's ultrasound and Doggett's assurances that everything was okay.

By the end, Mulder was almost as distraught about what he was hearing as if he had actually gone through it himself. He just shook his head and wrapped his arms around her.

He pulled away. "Why didn't you tell me any of this, Scully?" he asked her.

Scully whispered. "I know. I should have; I should have told you, but I didn't. I couldn't."

He pulled her close again, kissing the top of her forehead and smoothing her hair. And he just sat with her like that for a long time, and he didn't even know how long he sat there, but he didn't really care.


Chapter Seven

When the subconscious has a chance to be free, that's when dreams occur. It is the doorway to Truth; no lies there. All feelings are free to express themselves in dreams and can't be hidden by self-doubt, or fear. If only dreams could be remembered, the world would be such an easier place. No more feelings kept secret, no more lies to cover up a truth that's too painful to bear.

No more emotions being bottled up to the point of explosion. No more fear because the dreams would show that there is nothing to be afraid of.

And without fear, dreams could come true.

Dreams are so important; they are sacred. They are doorways to the unknown, but shut so easily.

They take the days agonies and worries and solve them. Dreams take the pain and loneliness and create joy and freedom. Dreams are like a fluffy white cloud, safe and comforting, but unstable and unsteady. There one minute and dissolving away the next.

As much as the dream world is a safe haven after a passing day, life carries a satisfying twist. A ride that has no map, no directions. There is no such thing as the future because once you get to the future it becomes the present. The past is all you have left and it goes by so quickly.

Looking back, things seem distorted, manipulated.

Did that really happen? Yes, yes, it all happened. Miracles do exist, everywhere, in everything. A miracle to one person is not a miracle to another, and that's okay, because miracles are special.

Oh, but this is definitely a miracle. There's no other word to describe it. Life seemed to have so many paths before. It seemed very exciting and new. If the subconscious could tell the future, I'd certainly not have tried to change it.

Okay, well maybe a few things I would have changed. But for the most part, I'm happy right now. And I do believe in miracles. I've seen them happen and they can happen again. I have faith, hope, whatever you want to call it. I wear it close to me, every day and not once do I take it for granted. I know this because any second could be the last.

Mulder being alive is a miracle. Me, having a child-once thought to never have the chance to suddenly have that chance-is a miracle.

I have to keep that miracle alive now. It is all I have to fight for. Every passing day is like a piece of life being taken away, thrown away without care. I care. I do. I care and I hate that there are people that don't. How they can look you in the eyes and say they are going to help and then try to destroy what little you have; I care.

That's my new outlook on life. I've changed it drastically. I've tried to be optimistic but so many things in life have led me to choose otherwise. It's just not as easy as you might think.

The walls I stare at seem to shift. Time that used to go by so quickly is standing still at the moment. It's a good thing actually, but it's such a tiring wait. So long these waits, so incredibly long. I never thought so before. Well, no, I take that back. Time has stopped a long time ago. Time stopped with Mulder gone, but seemed to go by without me, so fast; I had no control.

It's gone by slower, I think, but as long as Mulder is okay, it can go as slow as it wants.

More time in the world to do things I've never done before. Try and make things right. God knows there are so many things I should have done by now. Too late now for most of them. Except for a few. There's still time for those few other things. And I will accomplish them, do them, say them; soon too. Yes I will, and confidently too.

"What are you thinking about, Scully?"

I forgot I wasn't alone. Okay, so I said I'd do them soon, but not *this* soon. He knows, I know, we both know; there's something comforting in that, I don't know why, but there is. Love is the absence of words and thought my sister used to say. I don't quite know what she means by that but that's what she used to tell me.

"Scully?" Mulder asks. He touches my arm to get my attention. Right, he did ask me a question and I went away again.

"Just thinking. Mulder-"

He shifts in his chair, attentive. "Yeah?"

"Um, never mind."

He looks disappointed. "You sure?"

"Yeah. Ready to go?" I ask, standing.

We get up and leave the restaurant. I don't really want to go back to Walden-Freedman, but it's a start. That's where it had to have started. It's the only possible, recent place where it could have happened. I can't think of anywhere else.

While I was there with Mary Hendershot, leading her to believe that she was safe there, and feeling safe there myself in the doctor's care, they had to have done something. They are part of it, everyone is apart of it, and there's no one to *really* turn to. Too many people to be weary of, too many times to make it seem silly to be paranoid of everyone and all to real to be scared of it.


"Byers, what have you got?"

"Just a minute, Mulder." Byers said. He talked to Frohike at the same time. "Ok, Mulder."

Mulder heard the hiss of the lock being disengaged and pushed it open, pulling Scully inside. He readjusted the microphone around his ear. "Where to?" He could hear them typing away from their computer back at their place.

Byers was reading from the digital layout of the Walden-Freedmen Hospital on the screen. "There's a long hallway to your left, Mulder. Follow that until you reach the end and then you'll come to another hall. Turn right and follow that to the door marked 'Supplies'. We'll be with you in a minute."

Mulder took hold of Scully's arm and began to job down the hallway. At the end, they stopped, looked down the hall both ways, finding them deserted. They turned right and followed it about fifty feet, until they came to the designated door. "We're here."

He looked at Scully, noticing the perspiration that broke out on her forehead. "You okay, Scully?"

She nodded, but she was tired. "I'm fine."

"We can turn back. I can do this alone."

She shook her head adamantly. "No, Mulder."

There was no way to persuade her otherwise.

"Byers, talk to me."

"Just a minute, Mulder. They got this place sealed up tight. Frohike's looking for a trap door." There was a pause. "Go head, Mulder.

You're on your own from here. We won't be able to communicate through the walls."

Mulder took off the headset and stuffed it in his pocket so he could move more freely. He opened the door and ushered Scully inside. Only a few lights hanging from the ceiling lit the room. It looked like the Pentagon, with rows upon rows of metal shelving, lined with boxes and containers.

He rubbed his chin, then motioned towards one of the aisles. He had no idea what he was looking for. Clues, signs, intuition, gut feeling, anything. He began searching the labels on the shelves. "Dudson, Ralph, Duffy, Mark, Duke, Paul...." At the end of the row, he turned and walked down the main aisle, skipping eight rows, and then turning down another. "Sampson, Charlotte, "Sartre, Douglas, Scrensky, Jacob, Scully, Dana."

Scully looked at him, and then the container with her label on it. Mulder reached up and took it from the shelf. Inside lay a jumble of things that Scully recognized. A vial of amber colored liquid, a folder, a videotape. She took out the folder; opened it. She began skimming the document, puzzled.

"What is it, Scully?"

She looked down at him as he still kneeled on the floor. "Ah, it-I don't understand, Mulder. Everything here looks normal. Why would they hide the truth if it IS the truth?"

He stood and looked at the papers over her shoulder. He didn't understand what the text said, but Scully was right. If everything here was normal, then why cover it up? A thought came to him suddenly. "It's not the hospital."

"What?"

"We're wrong. This is wrong. It's not the hospital, Scully. It's someone working through the hospital. This is exactly what they want us to believe."

She was shaking her head. "I don't understand."

He put the box back on the shelf, taking the vial and videotape with him and hurried Scully back towards the door they had come through. "It's a setup. They're assigning the blame and trying to throw us off track."

At the door, she stopped; touched his arm. "Who, Mulder? Them?"

He woke with a start. Someone was in the room with him. He leaned towards the night table to switch on the lamp, but a hand stopped him. He heard the click of a gun. When his eyes had adjusted to the dark, he was able to see the intruder. He sat up in bed. "Jesus Christ, Knowle! What the hell are you doing here?"

"I have some very important information for you."

Agent Doggett looked at the clock. "It's 3:30 in the morning." Never mind how he got into his house. He was beginning to learn not to ask useless questions.

"Nearly too late for me, John."

Doggett sat up. He turned on the lamp without being stopped. He gasped when he saw Knowle.

"What's wrong with you?"

Knowle coughed. "They got to me. You have to listen to me, John. You say you can't trust me, but that's only what they've made you think." He had to stop as a coughing fit seized him. When he was through, he wiped the sweat from his brow.

"Agent Scully's cancer has a cure. I can tell you how to get it."

"I'm not buying, Knowle. Why should I believe that this isn't some game?"

"It IS a game, don't you see? We have a losing battle against them, but it doesn't mean we're not going to go out fighting. Now do you want the cure to help Agent Scully or not?"

Doggett stared at his friend for a moment. "Yes, I want the cure, but first you tell me something: why are you helping her?"

Knowle was caught in a coughing fit again, lasting longer than the first time. "Because maybe it'll help me in the process." He smiled weakly.

There was a knock at the door and when he opened it, a tired visitor stood at the threshold.

"Where's Agent Scully?" he asked, coming in without waiting to be invited.

"What's with the early hour, Agent Doggett?" Mulder asked.

Doggett's face remained as expressionless as stone. "Is she here?"

Mulder closed the door. "She's sleeping. What's this about?"

Doggett turned towards the kitchen. "Agent Scully. Her cancer."

Mulder made it to the kitchen table in quick strides with a face like Doggett had never seen before. "They gave Scully her cancer so that she wouldn't come to term with her baby-"

Doggett put his hands up in front of him as if he were about to ward off an attack. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, Mulder, wait a second." He lowered his voice. "That may be the case." He hesitated. He had come here for one reason but now that he was standing before Mulder, he wasn't sure if it was a good idea.

"What is it, Agent Doggett?"

"I got a tip, a tip to find a cure for Agent Scully's cancer. But I'm not sure if it's legitimate."

Mulder stood near the table, his hands on his hips. He loosened his tie; he felt suffocated.

"Who?"

"Who what?" Doggett asked.

"Who told you? Who's the reason behind your coming here at four in the morning? If you didn't think it was legitimate, why would you be here then?"

"A friend. But maybe not. I'm not so sure anymore what's going on. You know, Mulder, ever since I started working on the X-Files, a whole lot of things have changed." He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a slip of paper, but held it from Mulder when he reached for it. "I'm in Agent Mulder. Agent Scully doesn't deserve what they've done to her, it's my responsibility to make sure nothing happens to her-or you. There's a bounty."

"There hasn't been a bounty yet I haven't been ready to refuse. I agree with you, Agent Doggett, and like you, I won't let them kill her now."

Doggett nodded and gave Mulder the paper. He unfolded it and read it. He folded it back up and handed it back. "I'm one step ahead of you, Agent Doggett. I already have what we need."

Mulder started for the door. "What are you talking about? Mulder?" He ran after him. "Agent Mulder!"

"I'm just Fox Mulder now." He said, getting in the elevator.

Doggett got in beside him. "Where'd you get it?"

He pushed one on the panel. "I have to go pick it up first. I'll meet you in Skinner's office in an hour."

"How'd you get it," he paused, unsure. "Fox?"

"How is not important. Getting Scully cured is."


Chapter Eight

Two Weeks Later

"It seems as if Agents Scully and Doggett have become rather close."

He turned at the sound of the voice. He shut the door. "If you're thinking of using that against-"

"Of course not. I was just merely stating the obvious. I was a dead man. I have much to catch up on. I'm quite happy for Agent Scully, in fact."

Skinner snorted. "What do you want?"

The CSM pulled out a pack of cigarettes, stuck one in his mouth, and then reached into his pockets again in search of a lighter. He walked closer to the desk from his position near the back doors. "As I told you before, there is nothing I want from you. As I've come to understand, there's been a shift in positions lately. I'm sure you must have your hands full. I also understand that there's been some one else who would also like to help Agent Scully."

Skinner's look of confusion was genuine. "What are you talking about? Who?"

"That I do not know yet. But I wish to find out. Seems that Agent Mulder was more willing to take his offer than mine. I thought you might know. You seem to be quite the hero, as I have heard."

"I haven't spoken with Mulder. I haven't been able to get in contact with any of them."

The CSM nodded. "I see your concern. I'm sure they are back by now. They WILL need my help. If you see them first, let them know I'm still offering it." He started to walk back towards the back doors.

"Why?" Skinner called out as he was reaching the door.

He turned. "I have nothing to lose."


He pulled the car over to the curb and waited.

The rustling of leaves blowing across the darkened sidewalk sent a shiver down his spine.

It masked the footsteps also. The passenger side door opened and he got in. "I was beginning to think you were going to desert me, Mulder. Drive."

Mulder looked at his visitor, then pulled out into the street. "The only reason I asked to meet you is because I need to know, and you're in a position to get me that information."

"You want to know why Scully 's cancer has returned." The Cigarette Man replied. Mulder looked at him as he lit a cigarette and answered.

"Surely, these can't kill me now?"

"It doesn't matter anymore, Scully's fine now-"

He stopped at a red light.

"But you still want to know."

Mulder glanced at him.

"They gave Scully her cancer back so she would not come to term with the baby she is carrying."

Mulder's heart thudded against his chest. "Why?"

"Because it is special." He paused. "Different."

"Different how?"

"Let's just say that it is a threat to them."

"Scully's baby is normal," Mulder replied fiercely.

"But she still has doubts. Same as you. You both fear one thing, the power of this miracle."

Mulder slowed the car. "Scully's baby will be fine. No one is going to harm this child, or Scully." He pulled to the curb.

The CSM rested his hand on the door release.

"This conversation isn't over, Mulder. You still need my help." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a glass vial and handed it to Mulder.

Mulder took it and looked at the clear liquid.

"Why? Why are you just giving me this?"

He sighed, got out of the car. "I have nothing to lose by helping you, my son. Not anymore." His cigarette fell to the ground and he moved away.

Mulder glanced out the back window; he was already gone.


7:36 P.M.

Before she could even close the door, her telephone rang. "Hello?"

An unfamiliar voice answered, "is this Dana Scully?"

"Yes. Who is this?" She rubbed at her forehead, massaging her headache and trying to wipe away some of the fatigue.

"Ms. Scully, this is Dr. Corday..."


4:22 A.M.

A groggy voice answered the phone. "Hello?"

"Mulder, it's me."

He sat upright in bed. "Scully? Are you okay?"

There was silence on the other end for a minute.

Finally, she spoke. "Can I come over?"

He was instantly worried. "Do you want me to come there? What's wrong?" He could tell she had been crying by the hoarseness of her voice.

She shook her head. "No."

"I'll be here," he answered.


4:50 A.M.

She knocked on the door and he quickly came to the door to answer it. Her eyes weren't red or puffy, but her eyelashes were wet from her tears and her cheeks were tear streaked. She didn't budge from the door; Mulder had to lead her inside. He sat her down on the couch and kneeled beside her. Waiting for her to arrive had seemed like a million years. He had never seen Scully so upset before. "Scully, what's wrong?"

"My mom's dead," she blurted out and started to sob.

Mulder's eyes went wide with shock and his mouth opened with silent words. He pulled her into a hug and held her until her crying dissipated and she was able to gain control of herself once more. "I'm sorry, Mulder. I couldn't be at home by myself."

"No, Scully-how?"

Scully took a deep breath before starting. She closed her eyes and when she opened them, fresh tears rolled down her cheeks. Mulder brushed them away with his thumbs. "She must have been driving home. A car swerved into her lane and hit her head on. She died en route to the hospital..."

"My God, Scully...I'm so sorry."

She was shaking. She held her hands in her lap, but they were shaking so bad she could barely hold on to the tissue.

Mulder left for only a few seconds to get more tissues from the bathroom and he came back and stuck them in her hands, using one of them to wipe at her face. "I didn't wan-want to bother-"

"Shh." He stopped and looked at her. He had a very soulful, yet sad expression on his face. He felt her grief rippling through his own body.

"No, I'm glad you came."

He stood and pulled her to her feet. He scooped her up in his arms and carried her to his bedroom, and laid her down on the bed. He began to pull away but she kept her arms around his neck and shoulder. "It's okay, I'm not going anywhere," he said gently, and he began to pull away again to cover her with a blanket.

She shook her head instead. "No, I need you to stay." He stopped resisting and sat down on the bed, taking her hands in his. A tear slid from the corner of her eye. "I want you to."

He bent down and kissed her forehead. She began to pull at his shirt. Mulder's heart began to race. She tried to sit up and began to pull it up his arms and over his head with a needy intensity. She stared at him half unclothed, maybe realizing what she was doing, but not seeming frightened by it. She leaned into his chest and wrapped her arms around his middle.

Mulder was startled, but returned her embrace.

After a few minutes, when she calmed down again, she lifted her eyes to his. "Mulder?"

He lay beside her, stroking her hair and kissing her shoulder. "She's always been there for me. I never told her-"

He laid a finger to her lips. "She knows." He said softly. "Everything you wanted to tell her-she knows."

"But I didn't get to say good-bye." Her voice cracked. She tasted a bitter metallic flavor in mouth. She'd bitten her lip to stall herself from crying. Mulder said nothing. Silence was too much to bear. She turned to meet his eyes. With more seriousness than Mulder thought he had ever witnessed, she spoke. "Would you die for me, Mulder?"

His breath caught in his throat. He pulled himself up on his elbows. Maybe he wanted to have an advantage over her. Or maybe he wanted to look and sound as serious as she did. "Do you trust me?"

She closed her eyes. After the right amount of silence, she whispered back. "Yes. I would die for you." She opened her eyes. "I needed to know."

He could feel her breath on his lips. He kissed the corner of her mouth. "Just don't die before me."


He was making coffee and sitting at the table after getting off the phone with Skinner. He felt a presence behind him but did not turn around. He pretended to stare at the old newspaper lying before him, unaware of her standing behind him.

Finally, she pulled out the chair beside him and sat. He looked up. She was wearing one of his white t-shirts and a pair of his boxer shorts. He stifled a grin. She would not have seen his amusement this morning.

"How are you doing this morning, Scully?"

She sighed and smoothly altered the question with her answer. It was the Scully he knew. "I better get home. I have phone calls to make and-"

He reached a hand out. "I know this is hard, and you were there for me when my mom died as much as I would let you be there. I just want you to know I'm here."

She looked down, afraid of the moment. She nodded and whispered, "I have to go."

He let her go because he knew there was nothing more he could do for her. She was the one who would have to make the calls to the rest of her family, but he could be there when she needed a shoulder, which she had done last night. And she would come for that shoulder eventually. She would hold onto the stamina as long as she could and try to show the world a brave face, but in the end she would realize it wasn't worth the loneliness and would let someone in. And he would be there.


"Look for me when the tide is high
And the gulls are wheeling overhead
When the autumn wind sweeps the cloudy sky
And one by one the leaves are shed
Look for me when the trees are bare
And the stars are bright in the frosty sky
When the morning mist hangs on the air
And shorter darker days pass by.

"I am there, where the river flows
And salmon leap to a silver moon
Where the insects hum and the tall grass grows
And sunlight warms the afternoon
I am there in the busy street
I take your hand in the city square
In the market place where the people meet In your quiet room -- I am there "I am the love you cannot see
And all I ask is -- look for me."

There was a small gathering during the moist, early morning smelling of fresh Marigolds in the air, carried by a soft, but cool breeze. Funeral weather. Not the place where family and friends wanted to gather.

Everything about the day was wrong. Through so much that had happened over the past seven years, looking back took Scully to a place that felt like yesterday. A day much like this one, watching her fathers burial. Somewhere beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me...At least her mom wasn't alone up there. Now Scully felt alone even if she really wasn't. A part of her was missing now, a bigger part of what had made her. So much had been lost. Most important was her family. Two brothers whom she hardly saw, sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews-and what was worth the price?

She felt numb, not in control of herself, but she couldn't let anyone see it. She had to be strong.

If not for herself, then for her brothers. As she walked up the hill to the parked cars, she concentrated on her emotions. Eventually she would have to speak, and it couldn't tremble.

Scully's aunt had taken over the preparations for the funeral party at a reception hall. She always hated this part. She wanted to go home, crawl in bed and not exist for a long time. Instead, she had to visit with family and friends as they talked cheerfully about their own lives, all the while a dark cloud hanging amongst the room.

Mulder drove as Scully stared out the window, her eyes closed, her forehead pressed to the glass.

She felt guilt over the look her brother, Bill had given her when she headed for Mulder's car and not her brother's. But it was Mulder that was there, not Bill. Bill had never really been there when it mattered. And when he had, he had complained and bitched about all the things she had done wrong and all the things she should be doing but wasn't. No, she didn't feel guilt at all; she felt indifference.

Charlie tried to talk to her and she responded as best she could. After a while, she had to excuse herself to the bathroom for a moment of privacy.

She stared in the mirror. Her reflection betrayed her control and she knew that anyone could see it. Her brothers; Mulder. Her eyes were bloodshot and puffy from the crying she had done in secret.

Her eyes felt grainy from the lack of sleep she had received over the past four days. She turned the water on, finding it heard to turn in her trembling fingers, and stared at the swirl of water going down the drain. Her hands shook as she tried to cup them under the faucet, but she managed to wash her face and dry it with the rough paper towels.

The door opened with a squeak of its hinges, startling her. The woman was not someone Scully recognized. She quickly left the bathroom and returned to her seat. Charlie was talking to Mulder and whatever the topic was, Mulder had a heartened expression on his face that Scully wanted to put an end to. She didn't know why it upset her, but she was easily upset these days.

No one would even noticed if she left. Mulder and Charlie would understand. She knew they didn't want to be here either, and she hated to put Mulder through this. God, SHE didn't want to go through this. Charlie got up and went over to Bill. She didn't pretend not to stare as Bill glanced back at her, then shifted to Mulder. But she didn't care anymore. Charlie came back over, picked up his coat and nodded towards the door.

At the car, Mulder gently kissed Scully on the forehead. "Go be with your brother, Scully. I'll be at home."

Scully watched him get in his own car, then got in Charlie's and stared out the window at nothing that was really there.


"Are you saying that Scully isn't cured?" Mulder asked. He stared at the Lone Gunmen, then at the computer.

"Not at all, Mulder. The vial you took from the Walter-Freedmen Army Hospital contained a sterilized form of the amitotic fluid taken from Scully. But it also contains a string of man-made code that we can't decipher. We think when this was extracted, Scully's cancer restarted, but ultimately saved her life when reinserted."

Mulder nodded. He pressed his fingers to the base of his neck. "But what about the chip?"

Frohike shrugged. "That's still a mystery. What we've been able to find out about the chip your friend gave you, aside from what we already know about its ability to cure Scully, is that it's technology infuses itself into her DNA. Scully is it's host, but without the chip, all the information contained in her DNA is destroyed by her own body."

Langly stepped forward. "But the thing that kicks us, is that her baby has this information in his or her DNA, through Scully, but not through the chip. But the baby can't survive any more without the chip than Scully can."

"But the amitotic fluid-" Mulder began. That was the part that didn't tie in.

"It cured Scully's cancer, but not the baby's. And if we don't get the chip to Scully soon, the baby may die. And so will Scully," Byers said, then looked at the floor. The others followed suit.

"We have to get the chip to her now," Mulder said determinedly, but a thought entered his mind that made his blood freeze. "If they don't want her baby to be born, why give me this chip? They don't want Scully dead, just the threat she imposes on them....After the baby is born it will die anyway if we can't find another chip." The dark possibility was too much.

Frohike stepped forward and put his hand on Mulder's arm. "Slow down, Mulder. We haven't gotten that far yet. But we do think that you have differing sides on this matter. We think that once Scully has the chip and the baby is born, the baby will live. The information from the DNA will be infused in his or her DNA without needing Scully's chip, as I said before."

If it was true, Mulder felt his heart stop its thudding in his throat. "I got to get that chip to Scully."


Skinner paced the hallway as Doggett sat in a chair by the door, staring at the floor. After what seemed like years, Mulder finally appeared, looking calm, but uncertain. Skinner stopped pacing and came over to Mulder as Doggett stood.

They both looked at him expectantly.

"She'll be out in a minute. She is just finishing getting dressed."

Doggett looked at Mulder with relief. "So-so that's it?"

"Not much too it, Agent Doggett. Stick around and you'll learn more than you want to know," Mulder replied. He looked through the window in the door that he had exited a moment ago and saw Scully coming down the hall. "Now you better go; Scully won't take kindly to me if I let you stay and sympathize over her."

Skinner nodded, understanding. Doggett looked a little confused, but turned and followed Skinner.

By the time Scully made it to Mulder's side, they were all but out of sight.

"Ready to go home, Scully?" He asked, guiding her along with his hand at her back.

She sighed deliberately. "Yes," and gave a small smile.


He handed her a pillow, and she put it behind her and leaned back on the couch. "Better?"

Scully nodded. "Thank you."

Mulder sat down beside her. "I don't know how you're doing it, Scully."

She looked at him. "Doing what?"

"Carrying this baby." He eyed her growing belly. "Going through the cancer all over again. It terrifies me."

She attempted a smile in sympathy, but it barely reached past the corners of her mouth. "You don't think I'm terrified, Mulder? This past year...most terrifying time of my life." She reached over and placed her hand on his. "But we manage to get through it, don't we?"


One Month Later

"Hello, old man."

The Cigarette-Smoking Man turned at the sound of the voice. "Why, Alex, came to see if it was true?"

"Not the only reason. I have an offer for you."

Krycek said. He took a step out of the shadows where he had been waiting.

"From a man who tried to kill me, I'm wary, Alex." He shut the door as he entered.

Krycek didn't move. He didn't say a word. He waited for the old man to continue, but he didn't have any more to say. "You would have been better off old man, if you had stayed where you belong."

The CSM was not in the mood to play games tonight. "Tell me about this offer?"

"I'm prepared to tell you everything I know."

The CSM laughed. "Why would you do that? What makes you think I don't already know everything?"

Krycek shrugged. "Maybe you do. Saves me the trouble of-"

The CSM interrupted him. "Trouble? There's a reason you're here, and not because you're anticipating relishing all your knowledge, Alex. What do you want?"

"The disk."

He wasn't prepared for Krycek to so boldly state his price. The CSM laughed again. "You want the disk, Alex, how do you know I have the disk?"

"I'm staring at you, old man."

CSM looked down at the floor and reached into his pants pockets for a pack of Morley cigarettes. He walked over to the table and set it down without lighting a cigarette. He sat down in the leather armchair. "You make a good point. You tell me what you know, and we'll see."

Krycek stood there, defeated. He needed that disk and he knew the old man had it somewhere. He was prepared to give up all he knew even if the guarantee of the disk was imminent. He had to take the risk. He sat down in the chair across from the CSM. "There's a new race amongst us. A new race intent on winning. They plan to take us over; groups of Resistance Aliens who want to take out any threats to them, including everything you've spent your life working towards. There's no stopping it, not even you could stop it. I-I tried to stop it...Scully's baby is the key. Once it's born nothing can stop them...the baby will-is what they need, the...but she's protected, you made sure of that. Billy Miles, you knew all along didn't you, though?

Followed it right into the FBI. They've been infiltrated. So deep-no way...blow it wide open now. The disk, old man-"

The CSM replied, "nothing can save you, Alex. Not even the disk." He stood; left the room. Krycek waited. When he returned, he held something out in front of him, let it fall on the desk with a slap. "Why not? I have nothing left to lose by giving it to you."

Krycek picked up the disk, nodded at the CSM and left the room. He had the disk now. He laughed to himself.


She had sat thinking for almost an hour, staring at the boxes piled under the window. Some of her mother's things. They had sat there for almost a month now, untouched. Scully couldn't find the strength to open them.

About a week after the funeral, she and her brothers, and her mother's sister packed up the house. Bill said, unless there was some way to keep it, they would have to sell it. Bill would have gladly moved back, he said, if it were not that he was still stationed in San Diego and the fact that he liked the west coast. They had discussed it a lot. It was the house they had spent the last half of their growing years in.

There were many memories there. But what was the point of an empty house they wouldn't be able to afford?

A few days later, her aunt had come over with six boxes; thought they might mean the most to Dana.

But she hadn't opened them yet. They couldn't sit there forever, she told herself. She would have to open them one day. She got up and walked over to them slowly, as if stalling to prepare herself for an emotional journey. She sat down on the floor next to the boxes, reaching around her still growing belly, and lifted the top box. It was a large shoebox, gathering dust. She pulled the lid off and stared at the contents.

Papers. What looked to be letters. She lifted one from the box, took it out of the envelope, unfolded it carefully, and began to read it. It was a letter from her mother, to her sister, Scully's aunt. So were the others. She set the box aside and lifted another. She could read the letters later. Another shoebox, this one filled with drawings she and her brothers and sister had done when they were little, some of which her mother had saved.

The rest were cardboard boxes; the one Scully opened had pictures in it. Family photographs, and some of when her mother was little. A piece of paper was sticking out between a set of picture frames near the bottom. She pulled it out. It was an envelope, a name written in her mother's perfect handwriting. DANA KATHERINE.

Her fingers were unsteady as she turned the envelope over to slip her finger under the back and opened it. She pulled out a small, folded slip of writing paper where her mothers handwriting had scrolled across the paper, as neatly and well-formed as if it had been typed.

She felt a lump form in her throat, restricting her from swallowing, but she could not read it.

She put the letter back in the envelope and took it with her as she returned to the couch. She set it on the table and sat staring at the faded purplish envelope for what seemed an eternity.


"It's open," he called from the couch where he lay watching a program on FOX where, if you found proof on the existence of one of the many existing mysteries of the universe, say aliens, they'd give you a million dollars or something.

Even Mulder thought it was a joke.

He sat up when Scully entered. "Hey. How'd I know it was you?" he smiled, but it quickly faded.

"Hey, Scully, what's wrong?"

He knew her so well now that even a composed Scully expression gave away what she was feeling underneath. She sat down on the couch and pulled out the envelope. She sat silently for a few seconds, fiddling with the envelope.

Mulder looked at it. "What's that?"

She stared at it, not Mulder as she spoke. "I found this in some of my mother's belongings."

"You haven't read it yet."

She shook her head. "No, I couldn't." She looked over at him. "Will you read it to me?"

Mulder swallowed uneasily. He took the envelope she proffered and slowly and neatly opened it. He unfolded it, then took a moment to gather a steady voice. "Dear Dana, *May the light of love shine forth on you, on those for whom you care and on those for whom care for you. May you ever be blessed with peace and understanding as you travel through your life, and may you come to the end of your journey's in gentleness and joy.

My love always, Mom."

After he finished, he held the letter. Then he set the letter on the table, and put his hand on Scully's shoulder. With his right hand, he reached for her chin and pulled it in his direction to see her face. "She will always be with you in spirit, her love will continue to grow stronger and stronger. Your memories overwhelm the pain and loss you're feeling right now, but even as this feeling disappears, your memories and love will stay strong, and she'll never really be gone. She's still there when you need to talk to her."

She pulled her chin away, but said, "I feel lost."

"I know," he whispered and pulled her closer.

"It's hard, but it's life. We still have to live our lives when others cannot. We have to live for them."

Her voice was a shallow pit, forced out, but barely audible. "I don't think I can do that."

"You can and you will. You have to live and tell this baby when it is born what a wonderful grandmother he or she had."

She nodded and wiped a finger under both eyes to dispel the tears. She sighed and reached for the letter on the table and read it to herself. "I don't understand. This was tucked in a box of old photo albums. If I hadn't looked in there, I may not have found it. And-and I don't understand why it was in there in the first place. If she meant for me to find it-what if I didn't?"

"But you did find it, and that's all that matters. We will never really know," Mulder said softly. He was trying his best, but Scully seemed to be slipping more and more into her own world of grief. "Scully, listen to me-"

She shook her head again. "No, Mulder. I don't want to talk about this anymore." She wouldn't look at him.

Mulder felt his heart breaking. He knew what it was like, he'd been there himself, and Scully's comforting had brought him back from almost going over the edge. And it hadn't been the first time.

All the other tragedies in Scully's life she had kept far away. She had always kept her control and her vulnerabilities hidden from sight, but to see her opening up made him want to cry right there with her. But he knew he couldn't do that, not now. He had to bring her out of her slump.

"We don't have to talk about it tonight. The best thing is that you go to sleep right now."

She looked so sad, but stood up. She sighed, trying to shake her feelings aside and be the professional Scully who never feels any emotions.

Mulder understood what her look meant. He stood up quickly. "No, I mean, sleep here. I can't let you drive back home..." he trailed off.

She looked at him uncertainly, then bowed her head in submission. He put his arm around her shoulder and led her into the bedroom. He grabbed a pillow from the bed and stopped, unsure himself. He caressed her face. "I assure you that the last time I was that engrossed, it was NOT because I happened to be reading the Adult Video News."

This enlisted a small, but unmissed laugh. "Oh?"

"Plus, it was an issue of Celebrity Skin I missed, but that's beside the point." He was glad that his banter seemed to be working. "Will you be okay in here?"

She seemed to have recovered from her funk, and was back to the old Scully again. "I'll be fine."

Mulder nodded; not much else he could do, or knew what to say. He turned to leave. "I'll be on the couch-like last time-if you need me. You can ah, borrow some clothes to sleep in. Good night, Scully."

"Thank you."


Chapter Nine

Three Weeks Earlier

The telephone rang in the office just as Agent Doggett was coming in. "Agent Doggett," he answered.

"Agent Doggett, can I speak with you?"

"Yes, sir, I'll be right up." Doggett set the receiver down and headed back upstairs where he had just come from. When he entered the outer office, Deputy Director Kersh's secretary ushered him in quickly, closing the door behind him with an "Agent Doggett, sir."

Kersh was sitting behind his desk. "Have a seat, Agent Doggett."

Doggett sat down and waited as the Deputy Director shuffled some papers together and put them in a folder. When he was finished, he clasped his hands in front of him. "I received a call this morning. What were you doing at the Walter-Freedmen Bio-Research Lab, Agent Doggett?"

This knowledge made Doggett stiffen. "I was investigating suspicious activity into the illness of Agent Scully, sir."

Kersh didn't miss a beat. "Agent Scully is cured, isn't she?"

Doggett nodded. "Yes, sir."

"Then there should be no reason to investigate the subject any further. Don't underestimate me, Agent Doggett. I put you on the X-Files because I believe in your dedication of your work and I believe you are exactly what the X-Files needs."

"You mean a clear head, sir. Another skeptic."

Kersh didn't respond to his statement and Doggett knew it was true. Kersh could shut the X-Files down at any moment. It's what he wanted, and since he had been promoted to Deputy Director, that power lay in his hands. But without looking suspicious to others in the FBI, he would need a good reason to shut down the X-Files. His allies had lain with Mulder and Scully, but now that Mulder wasn't a threat anymore, there was no reason to close the X-Files due to Mulder's quest and fights to keep the X-Files open. Kersh hadn't thought it through all the way. Now all he could do was keep the X-Files low on the radar.

"Is that why you called me up here, sir?" Doggett asked, leaning forward, about to stand and leave.

Kersh didn't look at him. right away. "Sit down, Agent Doggett, I'm not through yet."

Doggett stayed where he was, but didn't sit back.

"I already know what you're going to say, sir, but you assigned me yourself in the manhunt for Mulder. We found him-for what? I think you haven't had enough; you want to put him down even when he's no longer a threat, but sir, X-Files or no X-Files, Mulder's not going to quit that easily."

"Better watch what you say, Agent Doggett. I'm trying to keep your backside. Everything you do is being monitored. One more call about you being not where you're supposed to be and you'll be facing serious consequences. I think you know what I mean."

The threat didn't phase Doggett. He was in a bad temper now, and he had to leave now before he said or did something he would risk later.

"Warning taken. I have work to do now." He stood and walked to the door. He expected one last remark from Kersh, but the man said nothing and let him leave.

Back in the office, Doggett sat behind the desk and stared at the door. When he had first been assigned by Kersh to find Mulder, he hadn't expected to be drawn into a this whole other world of lies and cover-ups. He also hadn't expected to become the next Spooky Mulder. But his dedication to his work, wherever it took him was strong. It didn't matter if he didn't believe in all that alien nonsense; he had begun to see that there was a reason to stay. Whether he had wanted to be part of it, he was now roped in, and that rope was being slowly cut. He saw what they were doing to Scully, everything that had happened to Mulder, and the lies told to Doggett, himself.

Kersh was right when he said not to underestimate him. Doggett saw the threats in everything the Director said and knew that he would use action against him to save his own ass. But they also must not underestimate Doggett because he wouldn't let them take him down, or Mulder and Scully. Three heads were always better than one, he knew. And knowledge was a powerful tool.

However, his little escapade into the Bio-Research lab, another section of the Walter-Freedman Army Hospital, had not gone unnoticed and that was not settling well with him. If they wanted to play dirty, he could play dirty too. Having gotten what Knowle had wanted had resulted in a bit of information of his own.

Useful information that he needed to get to Mulder and Scully.

Knowle was shooting hoops, which was where he had told John to meet him at four O'clock. And just as he knew John, he arrived right on time. Knowle dunked the ball, caught it, and carried it under his arm over to the bench and picked up a towel to dry the sweat. Doggett stopped, hands in his pocket. He had changed out of his work suit into a more rugged look: jeans, boots, a t-shirt, and a worn leather jacket. He waited for Knowle to speak.

Knowle dried his face. "You get it?"

Doggett nodded. "Yeah, I got it." He pulled his hand out of his pocket and held up a small vial, pocketing it again. "This is the same thing Mulder got for Scully. What do you want with it?"

"That was for Scully originally, but someone else got to them first." He didn't reach out for the present.

"Who? Who's this person everyone keeps talking about?" Doggett asked.

Knowle shrugged. "Not sure. They work in the shadows; I can only guess who it might be. They call him the Smoking Man."

Doggett laughed. "Smoking Man? You're yankin' my chain."

Knowle smiled. "I ain't yankin' nothin' of yours, John. You got yourself in deep; how'd you ever manage to do that?"

"Had no choice. What's this vial for?"

"There's a chip in there; we're not sure who created the technology. Our government or aliens. It's pretty well covered up."

"What does it do?"

"First, it's used as a tracking device and a caller. Abductees have these chips in their neck, and they use it to call to the abductee to an abduction sight. If it is removed, like in Scully's case, terminal cancer develops. What we realized with Scully; a very surprising twist in the production is that there's more to the chip than was first thought. It also has the technology to cure the cancer, at an astonishing rate, and also regenerates the body's ability to heal at a faster rate."

Doggett looked astounded. "You mean this thing can cure cancer and heal fatal wounds? How is that possible?"

Knowle shrugged. "I don't suppose anyone actually knows the answer to that. It doesn't cure everything though. That's what the disk is for-that's your answer, Agent Doggett. The key is in the disk."

Doggett raised his hand. "Wait a minute, what disk? You're going in all different directions on me."

"Krycek has the disk, we're not sure what he's planning to use it on."

Doggett looked at Knowle. "Krycek? He has the disk? That can't be good."

"You have a lot to learn, John. These people are your friends and your enemies. They'll be your friend and use you to get what they want. Or they'll try to kill you to get what they want. It all depends on whose side works best in their favor. You can use the same on them. As a wise man once told me, 'keep your friends close, John, but keep your enemies closer.' Can I have the chip?"

Doggett pulled the vial out once more, but didn't hand it to him. "Tell me first, what you need this for."

"To help those who need it. There are others just like Agent Scully, who need this technology. Do you want to be responsible for their deaths or help them live?"

"No, no, no, you're not putting that blame on me, Knowle. I may not know what's going on, but I'm not dumb. I give you the chip and you do something for me."

"Anything, John."

"You tell me why that disk is the key. You tell me who this Smoking Man is everything else that is going on. And you tell me the truth because I'll know if you're lying."

"Fair exchange."

Doggett handed him the chip. Knowle nodded in thanks. He picked up his towel, bag, and basketball. "I'll see you around, John. Take care of yourself."

Doggett watched Knowle's back as he left. "Yeah, you too." He said, but Knowle couldn't hear.


Chapter Ten

Scully was sitting up in bed when the doctor entered the room. She looked up at him expectantly. He smiled at her. "How are you doing, Dana?"

"It was a lot worse than I ever expected it to be, so considering, I'm feeling much better now."

Her doctor smiled. "Well, you'll feel even better in a few minutes, I'm sure. Your son is doing great. A nurse just finished changing him and he should be ready for a feeding soon."

Scully gave a nervous smile. A few minutes later, a nurse arrived, carrying a small, blanketed bundle in her arms. She gently set the baby in Scully's arms as she fussed over him. "Here's your mommy. She is going to feed you just as soon as I fix a bottle for you." She smiled, then left the room.

Everyone was smiling at Scully. She felt overwhelmed and wished that Mulder would come back. He had left sometime in the early morning, saying he would be back in a few hours, but he still hadn't returned. In a way, she was relieved, because she wasn't quite sure what to say to him, or how to look at him.

She looked down at the baby. She suddenly felt very afraid as she stroked his cheek. His skin was the softest she'd ever felt. He had perfect, untouched skin. He had a little fuzz on the top of his head, long lashes, and a button nose. She wasn't sure where the nose came from, certainly not her family. She explored his fingers. The nails were so tiny, it was amazing that anything could be so incredibly small.

The nurse returned with a bottle, waiting until Scully was settled, then left again. Alone once more, she contentedly fed him. She couldn't believe it was happening. It was a very realistic dream; a good dream. She didn't mind not waking up from this one.

She was feeding a baby. HER baby.


He wasn't surprised, but he was angry. He felt time was slipping away from them. For the past few weeks, they had been making progress, learning about the disk and its abilities, but suddenly, Mulder wasn't so sure it even mattered.

He needed so badly to win, but They were always two steps beyond their reach.

He looked at Skinner's tired face. Mulder knew he felt responsible, and Mulder understood the Director's feelings. It had happened to them so many times before; he had lost count.

One chance of finding the disk was now lost again. Now that the baby was born, time was ebbing away from them at the speed of raging rapids, and at the end was a two hundred foot waterfall. They'd be landing on pointy rocks.

"How can a man just disappear from a locked, windowless room with guards posted outside?"

Mulder demanded of Skinner. He wasn't really yelling at Skinner, but at his frustration.

"I don't know, Mulder," Skinner said between clenched teeth, just as mad and frustrated. "I never even expected to find him in the first place."

Skinner, not for the first time, was afraid of Mulder's expression. He felt bad for him, all the pain inflicted upon him. He looked close to tears.

For the past seven and a half years, he had only had two people to worry about. Himself and Scully. Scully had been able to hold her own, but for the first time there was a `real' reason not to give up. God had shown them that there was reason. It was the reason to let life live, grow, and learn in a world that wasn't lived in constant fear. Mulder wanted that power so bad, and the thought of failing was tearing him apart.

Skinner laid his hand on Mulder's arm. "We won't give up. We have the power to do whatever we need to, to bring these bastards down." Skinner punched on his chest. Love was the key, not intelligence, not connections. "You won't let that child down, Mulder, neither will Scully, neither will I."

Mulder was coming back. He looked Skinner in the eye. Instead of feeling defeated, he was holding on to his rage, letting it fester. Letting the rage he felt in his heart motivate him.

Skinner nodded. "Now, lets go. We will still find Knowle."


Mulder didn't return to the hospital until late.

He was afraid he would find Scully asleep. He had told her he would be right back, and he hadn't been true to his word. He had at least wanted to get back before she had gone to sleep. He had missed the whole day because of Them.

The room was dark when he entered her room, and Scully was sleeping. He pulled a chair around the bed to sit beside her. Sitting down, and staring at her in peaceful slumber made him instantly aware of how weary he was. She seemed so vulnerable, so relaxed. At rest. It was the way he wished it could be. The only thing to worry about was whether to pick out the blue baby clothes, or pink. He almost envied those people, but deep down he knew they were the ones who should be envying him. He was starring at her. No one else in the world had her like he did. No one else knew her like he did, and she was worth the past seven and a half years to get to this point.

It was worth all the waiting in the world.

She didn't stir when he brushed his fingers across her cheek, or push the little piece of stray hair that was always falling into her eyes as she slept. Mulder vowed that they would be able to sleep like that every night, and not have a single bad dream.


Highway 105
Nevada

He parked the car in an empty lot and turned off the headlights, keeping the engine running. The area was well lit, facing a building. There were floodlights surrounding the perimeter. There was also a fifteen-foot fence surrounding it. Doggett wasn't sure how he was going to get in.

He flew out based on a Post-It note written the words, Nevada-Highway 105. It was a lonely stretch of highway that continued for about eighty miles through mostly desert. Which was why he stopped here--the lights had been like a beacon, and he followed it.

He was learning how these people operated, and he was trying to convince himself that he should be here, because frankly, he was scared. He had never been more scared in his life.

He shut down the engine, and got out of the car.

He needed away through the fence. It didn't take long. There was a hole about fifteen yards down, and he ducked through. As he walked catty-corner towards the building, a light came on, giving him pause. He looked around; everything appeared to be motionless. He continued. As he grew closer to the building, the lights bounced off something cold and metallic. A door. He walked towards it.

Doggett put his hand on the handle and pulled, and was amazed to find it opened easily, but was even more amazed to realize that he knew it wouldn't be locked. He stepped through the door.

On the inside was a long concrete tunnel, lighted every fifteen or so feet by dimly lit bulbs. He walked down the hall.

There had to be an entrance way somewhere, or the tunnel must open out, because Doggett felt cool air against his face. It wasn't fresh air, so it wasn't coming from outside, but more of a sterilized air, something manufactured. It had an odor too, but Doggett had never smelled it before.

After a while, he came to the end of the tunnel without warning. It seemed to turn to the left, but upon further inspection, he found that it went to the right also, but there were no lights lit along that way, just a deep, dark void. He turned left. It was only a little while before he started to hear something. It was far in the distance, and he could barely make it out.

Voices. People talking. As he got further, he realized it wasn't people talking, but music playing.

He couldn't make out the words until he came closer. There were crates in the ceiling now. The music was still very low, and it echoed, like it was coming through some kind of air ducts. The music became a little higher as he walked. It was like it was summoning him: Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism All we are saying is give peace a chance All we are saying is give peace a chance Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout Minister, Sinister, Banisters and Canisters, Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop Eyes, Bye bye, Bye bye All we are saying is give peace a chance All we are saying is give peace a chance

There was a door. He stopped. Doggett stood still, staring at the door, wondering if he should see if this one too, would open for him.

He wondered again why he wasn't the least surprised when he was able to walk through.

He stepped into a larger structure, turning in a circle to see it all. It was a lab. A very high tech lab. There were computers everywhere. A man in a white lab coat stepped into view, startling Doggett. The man seemed to be younger than Doggett, with reddish hair and a fair complexion.

He smiled genuinely at Doggett, welcoming him.

"Ah, I see you found us. We thank you for coming all this way here."

Doggett took a few steps forward. "Where is here?" he asked.

"Come, come." The man in the white lab coat answered, waving his arm for Doggett to follow him as he turned and started walking towards a large computer structure.

Doggett followed him, gazing around, taking in the room. "Do you have a name?"

The other man picked up a clipboard from a desk.

"One you surely won't remember. But you can call me Adam."

"Adam? Okay. So why have you brought me here?"

"So you can see and believe."

Doggett laughed. "I'm seeing, I'm believing-but I don't understand why I came all this way. Surely not just to look at your fine computers."

Adam set the clipboard down without making any marks on them. "Actually, you are here to see the computers, or what's in them, rather."

Doggett was very confused. "You want me to see what's in your computers? Look, I don't have time-"

Adam turned towards the computer to his side and switched on the monitor. "Sit, relax. You have plenty of time."

Doggett looked at him warily, but obeyed. Bar graphs came up on the screen, then a video started. It showed a very old looking man, who was obviously very ill. He was hunched over, pale, with greasy skin.

Adam replied. "Albert Jacobs was dying from a very rare, and very untreatable form of brain cancer. I'll skip the technical stuff and give you the basics."

Doggett watched the man on the screen as he entered a room with machinery.

"Albert is going for a computed tomography scan. It will create a very detailed picture of his brain tissue and their structure."

Doggett watched as a doctor injected the man with a red liquid, and fixed him for the scan.

"Sometimes they will use an iodine dye, called contrast material, to help see the abnormal tissue. This is how Albert will learn of his cancer, the type, size, if there's swelling, bleeding, and so on."

Doggett watched as a screen of Albert's brain mass appeared on the computer on the screen. A dark red area covered about ten percent of his brain. Then it jumped to Albert, looking much frailer, as he lay on a table.

"After several weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, Albert had to go into the hospital for a Shunt procedure due to a build-up of fluid in the brain, called Hydrocephalus. As you can see, the doctor is inserting the tubes which will help drain the fluid."

Then it skipped to Albert sitting in a chair. He looked very pale. The same doctor had on gloves, and had a case with him. "What's he being injected with?" Doggett asked.

"It's called Immunotherapy. Toxin treatments are administered directly to the tumor and has had incredible results, causing complete tumor regression.... Unfortunately, nothing was working for poor Albert." Adam replied, watching the screen for a moment.

The screen skipped to a blue, slightly cloudy sky and panned down on a sidewalk going through a park. Albert was walking with a dog, looking very healthy. Doggett looked at Adam with intensity.

He was very confused, and not sure he wanted to learn the rest.

"That is until we took Albert into our hands. You can see clearly, that he is in perfect health. The tumor is completely gone, as are his allergies, minor arthritis, and a few other ailments that probably were not helping him to fight his battle with cancer."

"What did you do to him?" Doggett demanded, somewhat in awe.

"We cured him," Adam said.

"How?"

"I think you have an idea. It's why you traveled all this way, is it not?"

Doggett was now beginning to get the whole picture. "The disk did that?"

Adam smiled. "Oh, and much more. Albert is not the only one we have saved. There were many more, and will be many more."

Doggett went from understanding, to being very confused again when he realized that Adam, or someone he must be working with, had the disk and/or the technology in their hands. Something that powerful could only-he didn't want to think about. But there was a question he had to ask.

"How did you get the disk?"

"I think you know that as well, Agent Doggett."

Doggett had met that man, had seen what he was capable of. "Why?" he asked incredulously. "Why would he?"

"To save man kind, of course. To stop the suffering." He said it like that was the type of caring person Alex Krycek was.

"You're kidding me," Doggett replied. God help us all, he thought.


Mulder entered the apartment, turning the corner in the hall, and finding the Lone Gunmen, standing in the door to Scully's bedroom. They left the doorway to find Mulder ready to enter.

Frohike was holding a small package, and he replied, "We didn't hear you come in."

Frohike, Langly, and Byers turned and set packages down on a small table. "We were just dropping off gifts." Langly replied to Mulder.

"We just wanted to-" Byers trailed off.

Mulder said with understanding, "See if with your own eyes."

Frohike nodded. "It's incredible, you know?"

Mulder smiled at them. They patted him on the shoulder and left. Mulder entered the room to find Scully sitting in bed, holding a blanketed new addition in her arms.

"How's everyone doing?" Mulder asked as Scully stood with the baby, patting him softly, and bringing him to Mulder's arms.

"We're doing just fine," Scully said softly.

Mulder looked at the baby as it fussed a little bit. Mulder mumbled soothing words, "now, now, none of that." He looked up at Scully, whispering breathlessly, "hi."

With the baby in his arms, now quieting down, he was nervous of dropping the bundle, but awed at the miracle of which was standing before him.

"What are you going to call him?"

Scully looked at him. "William."

He looked up.

"After your father."

Mulder's lips turned up in a smile. He looked away from Scully, and at William. "Hmm, I don't know. He has your coloring and your eyes, but he looks suspiciously like Director Skinner."

They both laughed quietly. Then Scully looked down, a sad expression falling upon her face. "I don't understand, Mulder-They wanted to take him away from us, but they didn't." Her voice faltered.

"I don't quite understand that either. Except that maybe he isn't what they thought he was.

That doesn't make him any less of a miracle though, does it?"

She explained, "From the moment I became pregnant, I feared the truth... about how... and why. And I know that you feared it, too."

He said quietly. "I think what we feared were the possibilities. The truth we both know."

Scully looked at him quizzically. "Which is what?"

Mulder bent his head down, closing in on Scully, and whispered, "the truth we both know," as their lips met. The baby was between them; Scully reached for Mulder's elbows, bringing him closer.

After almost a moment, they both broke away, needing to breath. Scully opened her eyes and looked into Mulder' eyes. She smiled nervously.

Mulder handed William back to her, and she held him closer to her chest as his eyes grew droopy.

She set him down in a small bassinet she had gotten as a baby shower gift. She followed Mulder out to the couch in the living room. They sat down, facing each other.

"I want you to stay here for a while. No place is any safer, but you'll be more comfortable here."

Mulder said. He didn't want to sound authoritative, but he'd rather nothing happen to them. "And-and I'm going to stay here too, but-when I can't, I want someone else here to watch your back."

Scully looked down at her hands, nodding her consent. She could handle living her life this way, although she hated the thought, but she would NOT let her child live like this. She wanted him to grow up, go to school, and live a normal little boy's life. The thought of not being able to give him that was like a vice gripping her heart.

Mulder reached out for her hand and pulled it into his lap. "We'll make it work, Scully. I promise you."

Scully squeezed his hand. "Don't promise, Mulder. This won't be easy."

Mulder nodded. "This is my fight too. There's no way I'm letting you guys take all the credit." Then she smiled.

They had to make jokes at times like these. They never knew how much time was left.

Mulder pulled her into him in a fierce embrace.

"You drive a hard bargain, Scully."

She laughed this time; he could feel her against his chest. She turned her head and rested against him. "I wouldn't make it if I thought you couldn't handle it."

Mulder was surprised by her hidden innuendo.

"Just make sure you can handle them too."


Skinner lay awake in bed like he did most nights, his mind too preoccupied with thoughts and worries to be able to sleep.

RINNNNNGGG.

The sound of the telephone startled him. He climbed out of bed and walked through the dark hallway to the living room to answer the phone.

"Hello?"

"Sir, it's all very clear now," said a voice.

Skinner's eyes narrowed. "What is?" he asked.

"The reason Krycek wanted the disk, what it's used for, how Knowle fits in, and why Agent Scully's baby is in danger."

"Hold up, Agent Doggett. We may not be on secure lines."

Doggett sighed on his end. "I guess you're right. Meet me at Scully's place in an hour. I'll explain everything."

"Make it twenty," Skinner replied, and slammed the phone down.


Mulder answered the door and ushered Skinner in.

He led the Director back to the kitchen where Scully and Doggett were already waiting.

"Coffee?" Scully asked, already at the counter, pouring it for him.

They joined Doggett at the table, waiting to hear what he had to tell them. He cleared his throat.

"I'm not sure where to begin." He replied, looking at each of them. Then he started: "Yesterday I found a note at my home. Nothing was written on it but the words Route 105, Nevada, so I took a flight to Nevada, and drove the rest of the way, not sure what I was looking for. I don't know why, even, the reason I went; I guess it was better than standing around here waiting for the next thing to happen." He gave a short laugh, because now as he looked back he noticed all the signs. "It was like-like I was meant to find it-it was right THERE, but-but it wasn't"It was this building, it looked tight security, but I went in anyway. I had no idea where I was going, but somehow I found it. I came to a door, and when I went inside, there were more computers than the Pentagon could ever hope to get their hands on." Doggett continued to explain the room, and Adam.

"Krycek gave them the disk, or the information on the disk, I'm not quite sure, but I was shown what the disk can do. If-if it's true-" Doggett trailed off, his wonderment triggering on Scully.

Doggett hadn't been around when the Cigarette Smoking Man had enticed her to go with him, promising her the chance to hold something wonderful in her hands, but all he had done was used her to get what he wanted. By forging her emails with some man named Cobra, then almost getting her killed, giving her a fake disk and an empty promise.

For Doggett, having the knowledge had a profound effect on Scully, but then she thought about the little munchkin sleeping in the next room, and realized her priorities had suddenly changed. She wasn't important who received that information first.

Doggett explained to them what he had seen on the video, what he believed they were trying to do, and Krycek's real intentions behind sharing the disk.

He looked at Mulder and Scully's reactions afterwards. What registered on their faces was a fear he hadn't imagined before, but also a rage that They thought they could succeed. What he saw in Scully's eyes scared him the most. After all they had taken from her, she would be damned if she would let them near her or her baby. Mulder's reaction scared him, because he knew Mulder would react differently than Scully. He would fight them full force, but blindly. He would never let anyone hurt Scully again-or William, but he would die himself in the process. And if Doggett had to watch Scully go through that again-.

However, Doggett knew something too. That something was the only thing keeping him from reacting irrationally. Something Mulder and his computer-paranoid friends would help to explain.

Krycek wanted William because he was more special than anyone could have thought. A result of Scully's manipulated DNA from when she been taken by Duane Barry and abducted, and the other experiments involving her O.B.G.Y.N., Dr. Parenti and Zeus Genetics, her baby was quite human, but possessed the power that those like Krycek would love to get their hands on. The key they had been waiting for.

But because Zeus Genetics had failed to complete their experiments, William was incomplete as far as his "specialness" went. The rest would come from the disk. Doggett wasn't sure how it would work, but he was guessing that the disk could do far more than cure an old man from terminal cancer.

Somehow, Krycek knew what was needed, and had come up with a plan to initiate it. However, Krycek hadn't done all his homework.

In the other room, a scream sounded through the air, scaring everyone, and with Doggett's story paused on his lips. Scully got up from her chair and left the room, returning only moments later with William in her arms.

When she walked past the table, she diverted her eyes, looking at anything else, but them. She knew it was silly, but she would just have to give it time. She just had to get used to the idea of being a mother, and not feel strange.

She knew they were all watching her as she went to the fridge. "You can keep talking, Agent Doggett, I'm sure none of us want to wait any longer."

So, as she prepared a bottle, Doggett continued to explain. Explain the only reason he could think of, why Krycek needed the baby for the disk, and why that was the gravest of dangers.

Scully stopped trying to read the directions on the formula and listen at the same time over William's hungry cries. She didn't like Doggett's explanation. "You're saying the disk will kill him!" she exclaimed, fear rippling through her body.

Mulder stood. "We don't know that," he replied, trying to reassure her. He placed his hands on hers, creating a bond between all three of them.

"And what ever happens," he indicated Doggett and Skinner, "we will NOT let anything happen; to any of us."

He felt the conviction deep down in his bones; it made him ache. He wanted nothing more than to comfort Scully and be comforted, and make their fears ebb away.

Doggett did his best to give her some reassurance. "Scully, I don't know much of anything when it comes to the rest of you. It doesn't mean I'm right about everything. It doesn't mean the disk is going to kill your baby, but regardless of the intent, as Mulder said, we won't let anything happen."

Scully looked away, "I know you won't." She looked over at Skinner who had been silent the entire time, then to Mulder last. "But I just-"

she trailed off for a moment, afraid of her voice. "How can you beat something you can't control?"

William reminded everyone that he was still hungry. Mulder motioned Scully to sit down while he tackled the act of making formula and heating it on the stove. As his back was turned, he got many an amused look.

They let their talk drop for a while, and turned to a more pleasant topic, such as the new addition to their messed up little family.

"What is his name?" Doggett asked. "We need something to call him?"

Scully looked down, aware of the implications of what the name would mean to them. "William."

She caught Skinner's glance towards Mulder, but knew that he would never really know, could only speculate, unless they told him. But could she though, when she wasn't really sure herself?

Doggett noticed nothing unusual by the name.

Scully had to remember that there were many things Doggett still did not know, understand, or share. Lately, she was constantly reminded of that fact.

Mulder handed Scully the bottle, and she felt to make sure it wasn't too hot. She gave him a congratulated look. Mulder's lips tugged slightly upward. "It's amazing what you can remember from having younger siblings." He said, but he didn't mean for it to dispirit them by mentioning Samantha. He was looking back on the fuzzy memories-he had only been about five-with pleasure.

"We always knew there was a reason to keep you around, Mulder," Skinner replied. He stood. "I'm gonna go to the office, see if I can find anything about that facility. Agent Doggett?"

Doggett was still looking at William with a sort of longing of what was now gone. The memories were still there, just as fresh if it had been last week, and not more than a decade gone by.

Skinner called his name again. He looked away.

"Oh. Yeah." He remembered where he was, and stood. "We'll let you know when we find something." He said, looking a little embarrassed for gazing a little too long.

Mulder walked into the living room with them. "We need to go back there, see if we can get any samples-anything. I can have Byers run some tests, so we can understand what we're dealing with, and whether-" Mulder's voice faltered. "And whether what you said is true." He told Doggett, referring to the safety of the baby if somehow he was exposed to the disk.

They all knew it was a possibility. None of them wanted to let it happen, but they were just four people trying to conquer the world.

Doggett and Skinner nodded gravely, "we'll see what we can do."

Mulder closed the door after they left, and returned to the kitchen where Scully was finished feeding him. She glanced up and smiled, sending shivers of happiness through his heart. How long would it last?

Mulder sat down next to her, the seat Doggett vacated only moments ago. Words didn't need to be said.


Chapter Eleven

Eight Days Later

Adam walked around the lab, pausing at several computers to check on the data being processed.

Satisfied, he nodded to another man waiting near by. The man was dressed mostly in black. Black jeans, a white t-shirt, and an oversized leather jacket. There was no mistaking the small bulge on his hip. He was packing.

Adam was used to the threatening stance, and the determination in the eyes. He didn't agree with the things he had done in his life, but he knew never to question them. That was not what he had been created for. He was simply their robot, born to do their work.

It didn't matter. Adam would soon be replaced by some one engineered with far greater skills than he could ever possess. To them, he was just a machine, and when he was no longer operable to their specifications, they would turn him in for a newer, sleeker, model.

"How much longer?"

Adam turned around. "A few more weeks, perhaps a month."

"Can you speed it up? A month will definitely be too late. I need days."

Adam wasn't sure what to say. He was already bypassing several instructions in hopes of speeding up the data deconstruction into semi micro cells. "I'm afraid if I do that, the effects could be minimal to deadly. I've already bypassed several structures that we've found to be of no use, but if something else were to be taken out-if it's the wrong sequence-it could change the drug from an effecter to a destroyer."

The man only stared back at him. Adam realized that the man didn't care. He was telling Adam that he better do what they wanted, and make sure he did it right. His heart fluttering, he turned away. "I-I'll work on it."

He felt the man's presence behind him. A threat that Adam knew was bona fide. "You have three days. Then I will have Scully's baby, and we'll prepare for the transition." He left.


Day one

It was only luck that Knowle Rohrer had turned up. Skinner, Doggett, and Mulder stood by the bed, watching the beep of the monitor humming soft, but steady.

At first, they wouldn't know what a miracle it was that Knowle would happen to turn up at the right time. They only knew that they needed him.

Over the past few days, as Skinner, Doggett, and Mulder took turns keeping guard outside the door, one or the other was busily making sure that Scully was kept safe. Unfortunately, they had no idea when Krycek was planning to stop by, they only knew it would be soon.

They were waiting earnestly for the doctor to return and give a prognosis on the patient. Aside from the steady beeping of the heart monitor, Knowle was not in very good shape.

The pale, ashen skin; the thin, almost transparency of his hands, folded on his stomach reminded Mulder of several years ago when Scully had been returned, hovering on the edge of death until they were almost ready to give up.

Mulder turned away, the imagery threatening to force him out of control. He closed his eyes, remembering that Scully had been returned, and was now healthy, happy, and probably very, very tired. He left the room, feeling the agent's eyes shifting towards him as he retreated.

The hallway was nearly deserted, and for a moment, fear overwhelmed him, clutching his heart. The moment passed when he hurried around the corner, finding Scully sitting in a dimly lit, and vacant waiting room. She looked up when he entered.

"Did the doctor come by yet?"

Mulder shook his head. "Are you okay in here?"

Scully looked up at him, her eyes following him as he walked past her to sit in the cushioned chair beside her. Then her gaze returned to her arms. "Better now."

"How long has he been sleeping?"

Scully groaned lightly. "Not long, so be quiet," she whispered.

Mulder gently fingered a soft corner of the blanket. He looked up at Scully, searching her eyes. "I can take him and you can take a nap."

Scully reached out with the hand that was lightly holding Williams bottom. She fingered the piece of Mulder's hair that had fallen at his temple.

"Maybe later. Are they still in there with him?"

"We don't want to take any chances," he said quietly.

Scully nodded her head, understanding. She sighed. "And after we know?"

He looked at her quizzically.

"What are you going to do?" Mulder had spent the early morning in the room with Knowle, keeping watch, and most of the afternoon, while Skinner or Doggett had taken turns with her. Surely, he wouldn't offer keep watch again.

Scully felt like a little girl again, and she didn't like having to be watched over. She silently cursed Them.

"Take you home so you can get some sleep." This time, he brushed his finger alongside her cheek.

He watched her for several moments. She reached over; holding her hand over the two armrests.

Mulder closed his hand over hers. Then they both stood, and walked down the hall to see if the doctor had come back yet.

Doggett had come outside, and was leaning against the wall next to the door. He turned his head as Mulder and Scully approached. "Knowle seems to be getting weaker, despite the antiviral he was given," he replied dejectedly.

They stared at one another, not much to be said.

To their relief, they watched the doctor overseeing Agent Rohrer's condition appear around the corner. He eyed Scully's baby, and since she wouldn't be able to go into the room, he waited for Skinner to come out and he began to explain Knowle's condition outside the doorway.

"Agent Rohrer has grade four cancer of the pituitary gland. I'm afraid that at this point in time, there is not much more we can do for him."

Skinner looked at the doctor. "Are you sure there isn't anything you can do? We need to speak with him."

The doctor pulled out a sheet of paper, which Scully recognized immediately. He pointed to the paper. "From the scans we took several hours ago, it shows that he's in a stage three coma. There isn't anything we can do to bring him out of it except time. I'm sorry. If we had caught this earlier there probably would have been something we could have done, but I'm afraid we are past that point."

A few moments later, the doctor reemerged from Knowle's room, going about his duties elsewhere.

Skinner reappeared, rubbing his jaw. He sighed heavily and turned towards Mulder and Scully.

"Why don't you take Scully home, and Agent Doggett and I will remain here for a while. We'll call you if there's any change."

Mulder looked at both of them and nodded. He turned to Scully and led her down the hall towards the exit. They walked to the car, and Mulder waited as she buckled William into a car seat and got in on her side. He backed out of the parking space, and drove up around the hospital towards the exit. They drove for a while in silence. He repeatedly looked at the rearview mirror towards the back seat, always finding the baby safe in the seat, dozing. He looked over at Scully and felt a pang of guilt.

Even this was becoming too much for all of them.

Scully wasn't as strong as she had been a year ago. She hadn't been working, and exercising, and although she was used to the lack of sleep, it just wasn't the same. The fear was still there, but now it was centered upon some one new, and some one so much more important than themselves, and so helpless.

He took his eyes from the road for a moment to glance at her. "Is there anything you need before we go home?"

She pursed her lips as if she were thinking of anything she needed, then shook her head. He reached over and patted her hand, glancing towards the backseat as he did so. Scully responded by turning her hand palm up and entwining her fingers with his. They drove in that manner all the way back to her apartment.


He stared at the body and contemplated the choice he was about to make. The choice was his alone, but he did not feel that it was his right. In so many years, he had had the power to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate. But now that he had choices, he was having trouble. He stared at the body and contemplated the choice he was about to make.


William woke up from his nap as soon as Scully pulled him from the car. He didn't fuss, or cry, but became content in his mother's arms. Mulder led her up the front walk to the doors, and then from the lobby to the elevator, and finally to her door. He used his key, opened the door, turned on the light and surveyed the immediate interior. Nothing seemed out of place. Scully followed him in, and he locked the door behind them, bolting it. He checked each room, returning only when he was satisfied.

Scully sat down on the couch, with William resting in her arms. She was staring at the television screen, lost in her own world. Mulder sat down beside her. His presence brought her back to the present, and she took comfort in it.

He motioned towards the baby. "Can I?"

She lightly brushed his arm, then settled William into Mulder's arms, and watched them. Scully had a chance to look at her watch, noting that it was only slightly past four in the afternoon. She was only beginning to get a schedule working for feeding William, in between his naps. Even though he had slept in the car for the half hour ride, Scully was hoping he would go back down for another half hour. He had been up all last night, and the night before, with only an hour nap during the day. He was still too little to be not be sleeping like he had been. He too most likely felt everyone's worries.

Mulder finally relieved himself of watching William become fascinated with his fingers.

"Scully, you should go lay down for a while. I can handle this."

Scully folded her legs up on the couch and was contented just to sit there and rest for a while.

She didn't want to leave the room. Not because she was afraid that They would come while she was in a dream state, or because she didn't believe Mulder would be able to handle the task of baby-sitting, but because they gave her comfort being nearby.

The only time in the past few weeks that she had felt relatively safe was when she was in their presence. She knew beyond a doubt that Skinner and Doggett would do whatever was in their ability to protect her, and most of all William; they were essentially giving her baby their lives, but they did not have the calming effect.

Only Mulder radiated an aroma of tranquility.

He pushed further for her to go lay down in her room, reassuring her that he would be nearby, but she adamantly refused to leave the room. Instead, she curled up on the couch, handed Mulder the TV changer, and watched them. She would find rest and peace in this; nothing else.


Adam worked non-stop to force the download. He had become engrossed in his work completely, and only felt the man's presence at fleeting moments.

All day Adam had worked diligently on the semi microbes, trying to cut out any unnecessary strands of code. So far, he had only succeeded in putting holes into the structure. But he wouldn't dare let the man know that as he worked to create, he was effectively destroying.

He typed on the keyboard a sequence of numbers, trying fervently to right his wrongs without much success. He was quickly becoming fearful of what would happen if the one armed man in black found out that putting his plan into action was not quickly approaching.

He had no idea what to do. Any data that had been processed was lost in the computers and irretrievable. That was what made this job very taxing. One foul up and the entire project was ruined. Adam KNEW there had to be some way to fix it, or hide it so well that no one would know what happened.

He felt the man's intoxicating stare just behind him. He was leaning against a wall, quiet except for his soft breathing. He had not spoken a word in over eighteen hours. The man's stamina resulted in shrouding poor Adam in cower ness.


8:45pm

Scully was surprised to find that she had slept for over three hours. Mulder was sitting at her feet, watching TV, but she knew he wasn't really paying attention. His features were tensed and alert, and his eyes had a glaze covering them.

She pulled her arms out from underneath the blanket and pulled herself up.

Mulder pulled his attention away from the screen and gave her a small smile. "Do you feel better?"

She nodded. "Yeah, actually I do. What about you? You need to sleep too."

Mulder nodded. "I'm okay. Maybe I will take you up on the offer later."

Scully looked hard at him for a moment, finally deciding that he would take her up on her offer when he needed the sleep. His first priority was to make sure that she was fine before he helped himself. It was the way Mulder has always been.

Scully got up, checked on William as she went towards the kitchen, and heated a cup of coffee in the microwave. Just as the ding of the microwave sounded, the telephone rang. She listened quietly as Mulder answered.

After a brief moment of silence, his words did not give anything away, but the sound of his voice sent shivers down Scully's spine. She left the coffee and hurried into the living room, waiting impatiently until he hung up the phone.

"What happened?"

He looked up at her. "Knowle is getting worse by the hour. He went into respiratory failure about twenty minutes ago. Doggett said they had him on a respirator, but his vials do not look good. The doctor-" he wracked his brain for the name, "Lieberman, didn't look very hopeful of any recovery. They want permission to-to-." Mulder couldn't finish the sentence as he watched Scully's face contort into many emotions, even though she tried well to mask them.

"We need him. He might know where Krycek is."

Mulder reached out towards her but she backed away. "Agent Doggett and Skinner are going to head out to Nevada."

Scully gave something between a snort, a quiet laugh, and a cough. "If there is anything for them to find."

"We won't give up, Scully. You know that. If there's nothing there, that never stopped us before. We'll find another way."

She turned away; went back into the kitchen and stopped in front of her cup of coffee. She stared into the black liquid, watched it pool, staring at her wavering reflection in the deepness.

Mulder stepped up behind her.

"The end is near, Scully. I feel it. It WILL end."

Scully just lowered her head, giving Mulder no admission. She felt the weight of his hands press themselves down on her shoulders. He turned her around, then put his arms around her, pulling her closer to his chest. He rested his chin on her head as her arms slid around his waist. He left out a soft sigh. "Almost two years ago-when we went to Oregon when Billy Miles called us, and you began to realize what was happening, you told me you wouldn't let me go alone. Do you remember that?"

Scully nodded. "I remember." There was a soft catch in her voice as she spoke.

"You told me you wouldn't let me go alone, and you didn't. And, Scully, I'm saying the same thing to you right now. I'm afraid, we're all afraid. We've spent so many precious years afraid, and I'm not about to give up and not let those years spent searching for the truth not mean something. This time, Scully; this time it's all going to go away. It has to end sometime, and that time is now." He sighed again, and whispered. "That time is now."

Scully resisted a little, which only brought Mulder's arms tighter around her. She sniffled.

"How can you be so sure, Mulder, when everything seems so lost?"

He kissed the top of her head. "Nothing is lost as long as you're here, Scully. The worlds a bright, noisy place with the shouts of children playing in the streets, and cars beeping in traffic jams; the sound of a horsehide on a stick as the game enters an extra inning. Scully, these are the things are waiting for us. Other's just get to enjoy it a little sooner."

"I know you believe it, Mulder, but-"

"Shhh," he whispered. "I do, Scully. You can believe it too."

"I can't-" Her anguish stung his eyes and pierced his heart. "I want to, but I can't. I can't Mulder-"

Mulder pushed her away from him, holding her out at arms length. "You can, Scully, you will. You have to. It won't end if you don't let it. If you let it keep happening, it will. If you don't believe that we have a life out there, just waiting for us, then it won't happen. But it will."

She swiped the back of her hand at the tears that began to fall. He cupped her face in his hands and stared into her eyes, understanding all her thoughts just by her eyes. He nodded and let her go.


His choice had been made, and he had given it much thought, and considered the consequences.

The only one that would pay it, would be him, and he was no longer worried what would happen to him, for he already knew he was dying, and that was a fate enough for him.

He watched the doctors working away on the body, bringing it back to life. In several moments, a once vibrant woman would soon become vibrant again, and more special than she was before. This time she would possess the strength and the abilities that he himself had not be able to possess.

He stared through the window, watching the doctors slowly working on the body, massaging the muscles, reapplying skin and tissue, removing the cataracts from the eyes, and replacing the hair follicles. She was almost done.

Finally, something to give back; a wonderful thing to replace the world with.

A gift to his grandson.


Day Two

Scully didn't know what was worse-waiting and hoping, or finally having the answer and having that hope whipped away like a slap to the face.

She was sure that neither would be pleasant.

Agent Doggett and Skinner had left the night before, traveling to Nevada, to that desolate, uninhabited (as the public thought), and unsustainable area, somewhere along route 105.

Scully looked at the clock. Just over twelve hours and thirty-six minutes, and not a word from either of them. Maybe that was a good sign-if they hadn't reported back with any news, maybe it was because they had found it and were searching for more clues. A call so soon may mean that there was nothing to find.

Maybe there was some hope after all. But Scully knew better than to hope too much, but some hope was needed.

She heard the shower stop, going over to William and picking him up. For the first time in days, he had slept most of the night. He had just gotten up, and was laying there, blue eyes wide open, staring at the bright colors of a toy Scully had been holding over him.

She couldn't believe how big he was getting. So many years ago it seemed that she had dreamt of this day. It had been different of course and many years ago. She would have found the perfect man and settled down. She would have had children. Maybe three. At least one girl and one boy. Theresa and Benjamin she would have named them. But then, she had joined the FBI, met Mulder, and found herself putting off that dream.

After working with Mulder, she soon realized that she didn't feel anything towards another man, and didn't want to. She felt that another man would take Mulder's place, and her friendship with him.

Then things had happened. The dream she had longed for when she was younger would never happen-at least not the same way. Not the way she wished.

Then, a miracle happened. There were moments when she would look at William and still find it hard to believe that he was real, flesh and blood, and little fingers.

Then she realized that the dream she had so longed for had come true. William would not be here if another man had come into her life, if she never met Mulder. So much bad had happened, but if-only the strongest hope could over come it-she could ever have her life, and her baby's life in one piece, then all the pain and suffering would have been worth the cost.

If Doggett and Skinner didn't find anything, they would find another way, just as Mulder had told her. Everything that Mulder had said had been right. He was always right, she just didn't like to listen to him. If she didn't have hope, then there would be none, and no future for her baby.

If she stopped cowering and crying over their lives and the exhaustion that was feeding it, there would be strength in numbers, and finally, things would change. For her, for Mulder, and for William. She would fight; she wouldn't let it happen.

The phone rang.


Chapter Twelve

A few more sequences and hopefully he would have the last segments of the code strung together.

Adam's eyes were bloodshot and burning. His vision was blurry, having had no sleep in over thirty hours.

It had taken him HOURS to figure out each separate strand and find the missing pieces. It was like a strand of DNA; very complex, yet so simple. He was almost done.

Thank God. He not only prayed for being almost finished, but also for God to take mercy on him for his wrong doings. Even though he had put every effort into fixing the missing pieces, he was afraid the Lord would take rapture on him for his mistakes; of which he'd made plenty.

The man had come and gone. When he disappeared, Adam didn't know where he went, and he didn't dare ask. He never changed his clothes, although he had shaved.

The man's dark brown eyes remained as elusive and intense as ever. As bad as he wanted Adam to finish, Adam knew with great certainty, of which scared the hell out of him that the man was waiting patiently.

Adam had thought about working slower, but feared the consequences. The man radiated a strong feeling of power. He didn't want to test his patience.

He had returned an hour ago. Rather than standing perfectly still, straight, and tall, as he had for the last several days, he began to pace the room, picking up jars and looking through the cabinets, file systems, and a few computers.

Again, Adam didn't dare to say a word.

Finally, he stopped pacing, and once again resumed his position behind Adam. Adam stared at the reflection through the monitor. Not many to go. He wiped his brow and concentrated.


Day Three

The woman opened her eyes. The sunlight was shining in through a sliver of curtain, pushing back the shadows. She didn't know where she was.

At first, she thought she was in a hospital, but there was no machinery, no hospital smell; nurses were not bustling about busily.

She was in a room painted in a mahogany color, with light brown borders. Wooden furniture matched the woodwork. There were paintings on the walls; paintings that seemed familiar to her. One was a watercolor of a vase with flowers in it.

Another was of a farm house in the distance, apple trees, and a path leading to a barn and a corralled fence. A girl was on a horse wearing a sunbonnet and a flowery summer dress.

The bed she was laying in was covered in a patchwork quilt of blues, reds, yellows, greens, and purples. The fabric was worn in places, but still warm.

The woman reached down to pull back a corner of the quilt. Her hands were stiff as she grasped the material. Her joints felt tight. She relaxed her muscles, bringing her hand closer to her face, and watched as she stretched her fingers out and then made a fist, repeating the cycle several times. It didn't hurt, only felt strange and confining, but she was worried because she didn't understand.

She reached on leg over the side of the bed, feeling her muscles and joints surrendering. She paused for a moment, flexing her ankles and toes.

Then she gingerly crossed her other leg over the side. She flexed those muscles, then pushed herself from the bed and stood. She was uncoordinated; unsure, but she did not fall. She held onto the table beside the bed, using the chair in the corner, and finally the wall, for support.

She reached the door, feeling her legs moving just a little easier now, and her hand gripping the doorknob just a little stronger now. She turned the knob, afraid to find the door locked, but it opened soundlessly.

She stepped out into the hall.

The walls were covered in the same dark crimson as the bedroom, making the hallway seem dark.

Still using the wall for support, she walked down to the end of the hall, and found the kitchen.

A man was sitting at a table, staring out the window and holding something at his neck. He heard her as one of her joints cracked as she stepped into the room. He turned around, stared at her for a moment, and then stood.

"You are looking much better today. Will you have a seat and something to eat?"

The woman thought about refusing, but she found herself incredibly famished. The thought of food set her mouth watering. She nodded and let him help her to the table.

He began getting out pots and cups and plates. He pulled food from the refrigerator and cupboards, setting it all on the counter. He heated pans and began cooking crisp bacon, eggs, home fries, and sausage.

"Do you feel rested?" he asked her.

For a moment, she thought she had forgotten how to speak, but then words came from her mouth.

"Yes, in fact I feel very rested. Like I have slept a long time."

"You are doing very well. You seem to have much strength. Only yesterday you could barely lift your head from the pillow. Do you remember?" he paused to look at her.

She shook her head. "What happened to me?"

"You were ill for quite a while. You are better now and getting better everyday. It is best not to think about the past."

"Why?"

The man came over to the table carrying a glass of orange juice. "Drink that." A moment later, he returned with a plate heaping with food. "Eat that and I will show you to the bathroom. You can take a bath and get dressed."

She ate and pondered for a while. She remembered everything but felt there was a big rift in time that she was missing. She thought that she knew this man; had seen him before but couldn't place it.

When she finished eating, she found him in the house, staring at photographs on the wall. She stopped behind him. "Why?"

She had startled him. He looked away sadly from the photos.

she saw in his eyes a glimmer of understanding, and also defeat.

He walked over to a leather chair and sat, motioning her to take a seat beside him so he could explain. "My work was not in vain.

Everything I have worked towards in my life has finally been achieved. There are many things of which I am not proud about, but they were things I had to do and now I must be prepared for their consequences. There is nothing left for me to do or say but make amends."

She felt sorry for the old man, his wrinkled face revealing many years beyond his age.

"In a few days, when you are feeling while enough, you will make a trip. You have to go alone." He paused. "You will know where to go."

She knew instantly where to go. "Do-do they know something happened to me? Do they know where I am?"

He sighed, his tired eyes downcast.

"Unfortunately, from what they know and believe and have seen, they are not looking for you. So you must not surprise them-or warn them of your coming either."

Something lurched into the pit of her stomach.

What was that feeling? Fear? Happiness?

Nervousness? She wasn't sure. "I must leave today. I can't stay here another moment."

He stared at her, wanting to reason with her but knowing that it was no use. He mustn't waste any time for himself either, because his time was running out. "If you must, I can arrange it."


Mulder sat up quickly from the couch where he had been dozing. He heard something being knocked over. He reached for his gun and went into the kitchen.

He sighed when he saw that it was only Scully. A box of oatmeal had fallen from the cupboard. He went over to the counter and poured himself a cup of coffee.

They were all quiet. Knowle Rohrer had died in the middle of the night.

Skinner and Doggett hadn't found anything in Nevada yet, and Knowle had been their last hope.

Mulder sat down in the chair.

Scully poured herself of cup of coffee and sat down next to him. They didn't know what to do now. There wasn't much they could do until they talked to Doggett and Skinner again.

Mulder had been thinking about it all day, before he had fallen asleep, which he chided himself for now, as he sat there. Something could have happened and he wouldn't have been alert for it.

What if something had happened to Scully? Or William? What would he have done?

Get them back of course, no matter what. But what if he couldn't? What if this time he couldn't save them? What if he lost them forever?

Scully touched him lightly on the arm. She brought him back to reality. "It's okay." She whispered.

If they knew nothing more by tonight, Mulder decided, he was taking them and going somewhere.

Anywhere. Out of this place. They couldn't hide forever but they could grab some time. Skinner and Doggett would figure something out. When it was safe enough, he would bring them back. But it may not be safe for a very long time. Mulder put his hand overtop Scully's.


"Sir, in here!" Doggett yelled, opening the door the rest of the way and walking into the room unguarded.

Skinner appeared a moment later, and stared at the deserted room. "This is it?"

Doggett nodded, heading for a console of computers near the rear of the room. "This is it, this is the room I was in. That computer is where I watched the video."

Skinner was right behind him, in a hurry to learn whatever they could and get out of there. He felt eyes watching his every move from hidden places.

Doggett stopped suddenly, causing Skinner to halt. He was about to ask Doggett why he stopped when he saw for himself.

There was a pool of blood leaking around the corner of the desk, and dripping down the front.

A hole had imploded on the computer screen with a spray of red. A man lay at Doggett's feet.

Skinner moved around the blood and bent down to exam the lifeless body. He looked up at Doggett questioningly.

"Adam, or whatever his name was," Doggett replied, his eyes averted from the deathly scene before them.

Skinner nodded solemnly. "Whatever was on that computer may still be retrievable," he replied, moving over towards the computer's mainframe. "It doesn't look like it's been damaged."

Neither of them thought they would find anything...but what did they have to lose?


The plane ride from Cummings, Utah, to Dulles International Airport seemed to take an eternity.

She sat there staring out at the cloudless sky, anxiety stirring in her stomach. She declined any service from the flight attendants; she only wanted to be left alone to pass the flight in hellish solitude.

Three hours later, the plane descended, and finally landed on the east coast. She exited the airplane in a great hurry, rushing through the gates.

A black car was waiting for her already. As she stepped through the airport doors onto the sidewalk, the car drew up to the curb, and stopped. A man got out from behind the drivers seat, came around, and opened the back door on the passenger's side. At first, she wasn't sure if the car was intended for her, but as she looked around, no one else seemed to be interested in the car. She crossed the sidewalk and climbed into the back seat.

The man got back in on the other side and the driver pulled into traffic. She saw nothing of the driver but his clothes. He wore a dark suit, the collar pulled up; a hat covered his head, the brim pulled low over his eyes. He wore leather gloves, which made her uneasy.

She didn't dare speak for she knew not what to say. Neither did the man apparently. He sat tall and still, staring straight ahead. The driver seemed to know where to go.

After about twenty minutes, the car pulled to the curb and the man got out of the car again. He opened her door and waited for her to exit. When she did so, he got back in and the car drove off.

She was now alone. She stared at the tall apartment building in front of her. She took a deep breath. She had had time to think on the plane about what the old man at the house in Utah had told her. She really didn't know what to think. How could she just show up unexpectedly and not surprise them? And why would they be surprised anyway? Surely she would have been missed if she had gone missing? Surely....

She exhaled, realizing she hadn't breathed in a quite a while.


"There's nothing left," Doggett said with frustration and resignation. "Everything's been erased."

Skinner gave up on the computer and bent down over Adam. He checked the dead man's pockets. He came up a sheet of paper, folded four times. He threw it aside. He found another slip of paper with numbers on it and tucked into his own pocket for later reference.

Doggett stood by, avoiding the trail that had once been Adams lifeblood, but which was now growing sticky and gooey by appearance. He watched the Director silently.

Skinner found change and gum wrappers remaining, tossing them on the floor as well.

Doggett looked away; something yellow suddenly caught his attention. He went over to the computer and pulled at a piece of paper that had been tucked between a crack in the monitor's base, much like paper sometimes did in a drawer who's frame wasn't built solidly.

"Sir?" he called. He looked at Skinner; held up the slip of paper between his fingers. "I think Adam was trying to tell us something."

Skinner looked at the paper. "Tell us what?" He stood.

"That we should go to Utah."


He set the sheet of paper aside on the table, and stared up from where he sat, at the man standing near the doorway to the living room because he had suddenly become too weak to stand. "You play the role of God, Alex, but you won't take responsibility for the rest of mankind. You try to save yourself when everyone else will perish.

Who will you monopolize then, Alex? Who will you try to control then, when there will be nobody around to ostracize?"

Krycek only looked at him, his eyes unreadable, even to a man who spent his years learning unspoken secrets by looking in someone's eyes when words failed or refused to tell him.

A look of uncertainty clouded Krycek's Russian features. "Those who've been subjects to your tests shall still see the light of day."

The CSM found new strength and he stood promptly.

"Don't be a fool, Alex. Most of the Project has failed. There is no saving ourselves. I've accepted my fate; you must accept yours as well."

Krycek seemed unfazed by the old and ailing man's speech. "You've lost your power; now you're a coward. You'd rather die an ignorant son of a bitch rather than live the lie you created. I have the power-you handed it over to me when you gave me the disk. Now I will do what you have failed at."

The CSM turned towards the window that overlooked the dense crown of trees surrounding the property. Rain began to fall, leaving beads on the windowpane. "You're no more a hero than I.

The forces of the unknown have already taken their places and he who already has the power will take his place against our enemy."


The airport terminal was busy because the weather had turned sour. Krycek kept to the crowd, but he was confident that no one was following him.

However, he hadn't been doing this for years to think he was going to beat them that easily.

His only commodity was a worn, brown leather satchel that contained important documents, a laptop, and the disk. Everything else would be waiting at another lab where Krycek would be heading as soon as he arrived in Washington and took Scully's baby.

He boarded the plane a half hour later, walking towards the back of the plane to sit by himself.

He had reserved both seats so that he would not be bothered.

After the plane ascended, he took out the laptop and slipped in the disk. He was able to log into the Walter-Freedmen Bio-Research Lab's mainframe and begin setting up the procedure for Dr. Lev.

One good thing about the Lab was the location. He would be able to get Scully's baby and arrive at the lab quickly, and he wouldn't have to go through any hassle to get him in there. No planes to be tracked or a long drive. Forty-five minutes.

The problem with that was that it didn't give him much time before they would get there. He shouldn't be worried about security, but he was.

He sent a note along to Dr. Lev to heighten security.

He closed the lid on the laptop.


He filled a glass with water, placed the capsule in his mouth, and drank. He rinsed the glass and set it on the counter, then went into the living room to light a fire. He held his hands out towards the warmth and returned to the arm back chair to watch the flames lick up the wood. He turned on the lamp and picked up a hardback book from the round side table, opened to the page where he had last left off, and began to read.

It was not long after when he heard the low beep from the motion detectors go off. He set his book aside and went to the window to slowly pull the curtain a side. Two people were coming up the snow-covered hill. It wasn't until they'd ascended the ridge that he figured out who they were.

No longer worried, he waited for them to near the house, and then opened the door to greet them.

They were startled by his act of hospitality. But they entered the cabin, waiting until he'd shut the door before Skinner said, "there's no one else who could have a heart as cold as yours as to kill a person in the cruelest possible way. It would be my intent to just kill you now, but you're the only person who can give us answers."

"I welcome you in from the cold and I'm treated with disdain. Walter, you should know by now that my intentions have always been for the grace of humanity. But there is a price that some of us must pay."

Skinner's anger was boiling over. He felt so much hatred building up that he didn't know how to react. "Agent Scully never deserved anything you've done to her, all because YOU assigned her to the X-Files. She never asked for anything, yet you repeatedly have caused her great harm and loss. The price of mankind is not worth Scully's misfortunes. It's not worth anyone's."

Doggett took a step forward, as he had been standing more behind Skinner. "You can do something about it. You say you have nothing to lose. But you've everything to gain. If you wanted Scully-or Mulder-dead, you would have had it done a long time ago. But you can use your power, use your influence on them, and they can be stopped.. For the sake of Scully and for the sake of her child. Everybody remembers a coward, but no one ever forgets a superman."

The CSM only paused to stare at Doggett. Then he nodded. "Very well. If what you say is true, then I can only gain from telling you what I know. Have a seat."

Skinner glanced at Doggett, then took a seat at the table. Doggett sat next to him.

The CSM went to the sink and filled the kettle with water. He lit a match on the stove to heat the water. "You already know that Scully's child is more special than anyone. With his DNA and the disk, the most wonderful miracles could happen.

"Wasn't it miracle enough that Scully was able to conceive?"

The CSM stopped in his preparations. "Yes, it is quite a miracle. A woman once thought barren finds herself with child. I agree. But that is hardly the miracle her child holds."

"You would kill a baby for a miracle when the child himself IS a miracle." Skinner said, his features were hard, unreadable, even to the CSM.

He set three cups on the table with sugar and spoons. "As I said, someone has to serve their purpose. They will be the hero's for their country. Not I."

"None of your miracles are worth the price of one life."

"Not even the price to save millions?" He sat down at the table slowly, taking note of their gaze on ailing limbs. "No, I am not trying to save myself. My work has been more than accomplished. "You curse me, but you really don't understand. Scully's child will save millions of lives through the cure of every human disease. Is that not worth the risk? Is Scully's child not worth this humanity? She is no longer barren. Is that not enough?"

"You bastard," Doggett spit out the word. He couldn't believe his ears.

The kettle whistled on the stove. The CSM stood to collect it. "In a few hours, Alex Krycek will be landing in D.C. to collect the child and take him to a facility were the procedure shall begin.

You see, it is all out of my hands. If I had protested, I would have been killed-"

"So you let an innocent child be killed so you can live...."

"No," the CSM replied. "You've got it all backwards. This child is your key to fighting the future. I will tell you only what you need to know. Then you will return to D.C.."


Chapter Thirteen

Not long after he received confirmation from Dr. Lev, Flight 393 landed in Washington. With the lap top under his arm, he existed the plane with the other passengers and disappeared out a side exit before he could be checked at the gate.

It wouldn't be long now before he arrived in Georgetown.


Mulder remembered his sister being a pain. He vaguely remembered sleepless nights as his mother walked with Samantha, trying to sooth her cries.

But that was along time ago, and he had never been responsible for anyone so small.

He thought William would never stop crying. Was there something wrong with him? Was he sick?

Mulder worried. Scully only patted his hand and rocked William. Mulder's fears subsided as he reminded himself, Scully grew up around younger children. She's a doctor. She know's what she's doing. God, I hope she knows what she's doing.

Half an hour later, William was asleep.

Mulder followed Scully over to the couch, where she sat down, her hands twisting each other in her lap as she stared at the phone on the table.

She looked up at him.

Mulder sat down next to her, untangled her hands.

"Water never boils to one who watches it. I think its safe to say the same about the phone."

She looked over at him. "I suppose. I just can't-"

"Just...just don't think about it right now. Everything depends on Doggett and Skinner right now. We're both tired and our minds aren't thinking clearly. Nothing is going to happen to William unless we let it happen."

Scully nodded. He kissed her forehead. She settled into arms.

They fell asleep.


"Do you really think they're going to believe us?

I hardly believe it myself, sir."

"I fear he's telling us the truth, Agent Doggett," Skinner replied as they walked through Cummings International Airport.

Doggett stopped him. "What do you mean, you fear?"

Skinner's face was hard as stone, his eyes just as unreadable behind his rimmed glasses as the son of a bitch who sent them here. He kept his voice low, but it did not mask the growl in his voice: "Agent Doggett, you don't know the consequences we have faced for the past eight years. These men are capable of anything. I fear their abilities will be the ultimate Armageddon."

Skinner moved aside, continuing through the lobby.

Doggett hurried through the crowd to keep pace.

"I-I can't believe for a second that you believe what that man said is true...it-it-what you're speaking about is impossible. It's science-fiction!"

"We'll know for sure soon."

The two men waited near the terminal to board the plane.


Everything was quiet in the hall as she used the key she found in her pocket to unlock the door.

Quietly she opened the door, finding the interior dark, and quiet as well. She paused only briefly once she entered the room and glanced around.

Then she went down the hall and into the bedroom, finding what she had come for.


The sound of footsteps registered in her mind as a dream. It was only the sound of crying that finally began to pull her from the depths of sleep and into the world where reality lay.

Slowly, she became awake.


He hailed a Taxi from the airport, instructing the driver to take him to Georgetown, where Scully lived. Now, he did not mean to harm any of them, but if he needed to, his right pocket held a gun. He would use it if he had to. He would not let them stop him this time.

In the end, they would thank him.


She heard William cry, heard footsteps, heard a click.

Silence.

As she sat up, Mulder stirred and groaned on the couch. Scully went to her bedroom to check on the baby. She gasped. "Mulder?" she called.

William was gone.

The end.


Continued in: Devine Intervention

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