Title: Devotion I
Authors: Sarah and Sophia
Rated: PG-13.
Category: Story, Romance, Angst. Full blown MSR later on.
Archive anywhere 'ya want!
Spoilers: None.
Disclaimer: Everyone from The X-Files belongs to CC, FOX, and Ten Thirteen. Go away!

Summary: Scully is pregnant with her boyfriend's baby ::not Mulder:: and he Abandons them. This is about how M&S deal with the scenario... major romance coming up later on in the series.


PROLOGUE

Mulder had dropped by her apartment to drop off a few files that she left behind. Actually, he was using that as an excuse just to see her. He felt a great comfort, knowing that she was there. His best friend.

She opened the door and his heart stopped. Scully was wearing a sleeveless, short, _tight_ white dress with strap shoes. He quickly regained composure, "Date tonight?"

She nodded, stepping back to let him in. He suddenly couldn't breath. "I dropped these by because I was coming down here to run errands anyway, you can look at them later." He handed her the files.

Scully skimmed through the first one, "Thanks, Mulder. I might look at them later tonight." She would have said more, but the phone rang. "Scully."

He pretended to go through a file while he listened in on her part of the conversation. "Ray, I'm all set. Anytime you're ready." She hung up the phone, "Anything you need me to look at, Mulder?"

"Who's the guy, if you don't mind my asking."

"Ray Torrance, he's a lawyer. I did a back ground check, so don't worry, he's clean. Anything else?"

"Is he an alien?"

"Not that I know of, but if I find that he is, you'll be the first person I call. Cross my heart." She grinned and put on her earrings.

He nodded, "Okay, I'm out of here. See you on Monday."

"Night, Mulder."

He was miserable. Scully had a date! It was so unfair, not only did he NOT have a social life, but the one person who meant so much to him had a date! And he just had to walk in right when she was getting ready to leave, wearing that dress... ::don't go there!::

He sighed, "No big deal. He'll be out of her life soon enough."


Five Months Later
Scully's Apartment "I'm pregnant." She looked up at Mulder's face.

His heart plummeted to his feet. ::A baby? Whose baby? Of course, it's Ray Torrence's baby!:: "Uh, congratulations! When did you find out? What does the father to be think?"

She shook her head, looking very sad. "Well, Ray wasn't too thrilled. He dumped me. He said he'd gladly pay child support and all that, but just wasn't ready to be a father." Her voice quivered.

Mulder's mouth fell open ::how can anyone not want to be the father of Scully's baby?::

"What are you going to do?"

"What do you mean? I'm keeping my baby! Abortion is out of the question. I haven't told my mother yet... I can't get up the nerve." She started to cry. He couldn't blame her.

Her life was about to change forever and that bastard wasn't even going to help Her through it! He took her into his arms. Wanting to protect her from the world. Wanting to keep her safe forever and protect her from the cruel world. But Dana Katherine Scully was strong. She would get through. And he would help any way he could. Because she was his partner. She was his friend. She was his savior. He cared about her too much to leave her now. He would never abandon her. He would help her when Ray couldn't ::WOULDN'T!::

She lifted her head, "I'm sorry, Mulder. This is so hard! I don't even know what I'm going to do!"

"First of all, you have plenty of time, Scully." He let her rest her head on his chest. "Eight months, if all goes well."

"It will. Have you seen a doctor?"

"Yes. I'm progressing well... so is my baby."

"Okay. That's good. We need to find you a new apartment. This one won't be big enough. We need to get baby supplies. But first let's wait to find out if it's a boy or a girl."

She let out a sigh, "I need to pick out names."

"If it's a boy?"

"I don't know... this is so hard!"

"What if it's a girl?"

"Alexa."

"Really? Why?"

"I've always loved the name. Alexa Melissa Scully. Alexa Scully. She'll be the most beautiful little girl..." Her voice trailed off.

::of course she'll be beautiful, she'll be your baby.:: Mulder thought to himself, not daring to say it aloud.


Scully had cried a bit more when he had mentioned Ray's name. Mulder left her apartment in a daze. Things would change for him, also. Everything would change for him. He'd have to share Scully with a baby. Mulder would gladly take Scully's baby into his life... he had no problem with that. ::I could be 'Uncle Fox:: He laughed as he got into his car.

The night was cold and it didn't do much to clear Mulder's head. His mind was a sea of emotions. He was angry. Furious that Ray Torrance would leave Scully like that. Happy. She had said once that she had always thought about having a baby. Sad. This baby wouldn't have a proper father.

And something else... jealous? Jealous that an SOB like Ray Torrance was the father of Scully's first baby. He didn't deserve to be! Why did this happen to her? To them? Mulder found himself in front of Ray's apartment building.

He entered, his fists at his side. Ray opened his apartment door, his face falling when he saw Mulder. "Look, if Dana sent you, tell her-" Mulder let his fist fly, hitting Ray in the jaw! Ray stumbled back, falling onto the floor. His lip was bleeding.

The pain was now spreading through his arm, but he felt satisfaction in what he had done. Of course, Ray deserved to be beaten badly, but Mulder decided not to do that yet.

Ray got up, "I... know you and Dana are close! And I can understand that you would be angry... being so close and all-"

Mulder knew what he was trying to say. Ray was commenting about the working and personal relationships between him and Scully. "Scully is my best friend and you are a bag of shit for doing this to her!"

Ray stared at the ground, "This really has nothing to do with you, Mulder. Just get out. This is between me and Dana."

"It is my business! It has a lot to do with me! What happens to Scully will affect me! You've destroyed everything for her, you bastard!"

Ray wiped the blood from his lip, "Jealous, Mulder? That I got to her before you did?"

Mulder was thrown into a rage. He smacked Ray again, leaving the apartment building and returning home to think. He needed to clear his head. Everything was about to change and he needed to prepare himself. Do anything he could to help Scully get through this ordeal.


Two Months Later:

Mulder sighed as he entered Scully's apartment. She didn't answer the door when he rang. "Scully, you here?"

He heard something shatter in the bathroom. Drawing his gun, he quickly rushed to her aid. "Scully?"

She was crumpled on the floor, her back against the cabinets. "Mulder-"

"Scully!" He rushed to her side, trying to help her up, "What's wrong?"

"Morning sickness. It's so bad... I can't stand it."

He lifted her to her feet, "Can I get you anything?"

"No... I'll be fine."

"I'll go get you breakfast."

"No! I can't eat!"

"You have to, Scully. You can't just skip meals. It's not good for your or your baby!"

She realized that he had a point and nodded her head, "Fine."

"Great. I'll go out and get something. You get ready for work." When he returned, he had hash browns, egg sandwiches and juice. Plus donuts.

She raised an eyebrow, "Trying to kill me with cholesterol and fat?"

He shook his head, "No way! This is the good stuff!"

"You're about as discrete as a heart attack, you know that, Mulder?" She drank her juice.

He smiled, "We Mulder men are like that. Thought about your baby-to-be lately?"

"Of course! I've been thinking about future jobs for my baby, college... I already have a fund started."

He raised an eyebrow, "College? I was thinking about basketball practice."

"Basketball?"

"And football."

"I don't want my baby getting his/her bones smashed, Mulder."

"You're a doctor, you'll do fine. Dr. Mom! Like those cough medicine commercials!" He laughed.

She finished breakfast and rushed into the bathroom to throw it all up. He bit his lower lip, she looked so pale and fragile. "Maybe you should stay home-"

"It's called MORNING sickness! I'll be fine soon."

He handed her more juice and an egg muffin, "Eat that."

"I can't. I'm sick."

"Eat it, Scully. You have to. Don't forget your baby."

She rolled her eyes, "How could I, with you reminding me all the time."

He laughed, "I need this kid in top condition for basketball."

"What if it's a girl and she wants to take ballet?"

He thought about it, "She can play basketball wearing the pink ballet outfit and ballet shoes."

Scully rolled her eyes, "My poor baby."

The two laughed as they left her apartment to go to work. Mulder was really getting into this. There would be a baby soon. Not long from now. A few more months. Scully was starting to show. They hadn't heard from Ray in weeks... he checked in every once in a while. Mulder was still angry at him, abandoning Scully like that. Mulder realized that he was thinking about the future now. He usually thought about the past. He hadn't thought about his sister in weeks, no bad dreams. Things were looking bright. Scully was now ecstatic about her baby.


Skinner had handed them a case. "Right here in Washington, you won't have to go far. They already have a suspect, but he vanished. No one really knows what happened to him."

"It's not really an X-File." Scully commented.

Skinner nodded, "Well, it could turn out to be. Keep your eyes and ears open, stay alert."

Mulder led Scully out of the office and down to their office. "Okay, do you want to stay here?"

"Why would I want to stay, Mulder?"

"You aren't still feeling sick, are you?"

"I'm fine! Fantastic! Ballistic! Let's go."

He handed Scully her coat, "Okay, you asked for it."


They had gone to a house that the suspect's mother had suggested. Brian Phealan was at every scene for three murders. He had been caught wandering around after the police had left. Scully walked towards the back of the house, "Scully, go in the front. I'll get him when he goes through the back."

"I am not going to be the one to flush him out! You go front, I'll take back this time. No arguments." She was out to prove that she wasn't as fragile as he thought she was.

He couldn't fight with her now, Phealan would get away if he heard them. Slowly, Mulder walked in through the front door, which was wide open. The house was eerie. The floor was made of wooden boards covered in dust and the room smelled musty. Windows were cracked, and there wasn't any furniture besides for a few chairs. He bit his lower lip and proceeded up the stairs slowly. ::be careful, Scully.::


Scully wandered around the bottom floor and entered a room that looked like a kitchen. The wall paper looked like it had once been blue, it was now pealing off. She shook her head, ::this must have been a great house in the old days.:: A noise caught her ear. She whirled around... too late. Phealan lunged at her, a pipe in his hand.

He whacked her in her side. She let out a scream, "AHH!"

The pain was spreading and her first thoughts were on her unborn baby. ::oh, God! No!:: "MULDER!" She managed to scream.

She was now crumpled on the floor with Phealan standing over her with a pipe in his hand. "You people are all crazy! You won't kill me! And if you do, I'll take you with me!" he screamed.


Mulder heard her scream from upstairs. He ran down the stairs, "SCULLY!" Entering the kitchen, he pulled his gun on Phealan. "GET AWAY FROM HER!"

Scully was on the floor, rolled into a little ball. She was clutching her sides, her eyes were squeezed shut. Phealan tossed the pipe at Mulder, missing by a mile. Without giving it another thought, Mulder jumped the other man. He was like a hurricane. Nothing was going to stop Mulder. Phealan was soon pinned down and handcuffed to the staircase.

Mulder left him to go see to Scully. "What did he do?"

She gasped for breath, "Pipe!...My... side. The baby..."

Suddenly, Samantha's face flashed in front of him. He couldn't save Samantha. He might still be able to do something for Scully's baby.


He entered the hospital room slowly, not wanting to wake her if she was sleeping. But she wasn't sleeping. She was sitting up in bed reading a medical journal.

"Mulder. Where did you go?"

He handed her the flowers, "Miss me?"

She flashed him a rare and gorgeous smile. Her face seemed to glow and she looked so content. ::Maybe the baby is okay...::

He finally asked the question, "How is the baby?"

"Fine. I had them run all the scans, nothing happened. I'll be a bit sore and bruised, but the baby is fine. We'll have to monitor it very closely now."

He sighed, feeling as if the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders, "Thank God."

She gave him a quizzical look, "Are you okay? You act as if you're the one carrying the baby!"

He blushed slightly, "I was just worried about you."

"Mulder, the concern is greatly appreciated but unnecessary."

"I shouldn't have let you have your way! It should have been me who got whacked with the God damn pipe!"

She shrugged, "Can't take it back now, can we? And Mulder, it wasn't your fault. It was just bad luck! I'm sure that if you had known what would happen, you would have tried harder to make me stay behind."

He was overwhelmed with an uncontrollable guilt. She had almost been hurt badly because of him, she could have lost her baby..."I... I'm so sorry."

"You can make it up to me by ordering Italian. I'm craving Italian."

"Anything you want. Anything for you, Scully."


THREE MONTHS LATER:

Scully was now the size of a house! Not really, but that was the term. He drove her everywhere, he wanted to spend as much time as he could with her, to be around just in case the baby came early. To be there for her.

They were now at her mother's house. He brought his camera. "Scully, get on this side of the street."

"Why?"

"I want to take a picture of you in front of the house and I need you to get up as close as you can so you look bigger than the house. Get it? 'Size of a house!' C'mon, that was funny!"

She rolled her eyes, "As soon as this baby is born, I'm gonna kill you."

"Oh, is that how you play? Use me and throw me away?"

She shrugged, "Shut up or I'll shoot you again."

"Must be the hormones." He snapped a shot of her. Her beautiful red hair was in waves around her shoulders. She was wearing a blue maternity dress, looking so humble but gorgeous at the same time. He smiled, remembering when she had come down the stairs wearing a red maternity dress and he had shouted, "KOOL AID!"

She had beaten him with a pillow, having no mercy. Now they were taking pictures. He wanted as many as he could get, Margaret wanted copies of everything to show her grandchild years from now.

They had a doctor's appointment that day, to see if the baby was all right. Scully wanted to wait until now to find out if it was a boy or a girl. She didn't want to know at the beginning of her pregnancy, he wasn't exactly sure why. Perhaps she wanted to be in suspense and now she couldn't stand not knowing? "I like it this way,"she had said.

"Anything you want, Scully," he had answered.


Mulder had gone with her to every appointment. The two waited outside in the waiting room. The doctor had other appointments. Other women were there, all huge, looking like they would burst any second! Scully sighed, "I'll be back in a second."

One of the men sitting across the room took a seat next to him, "Boy or a girl?" he asked.

Mulder gave him a quizzical look, "Huh?"

"Are you and your wife going to have a boy or a girl?" the man continued.

"Wife? What wife?"

"The redhead."

"SCULLY? No, she's not my wife! She's my friend, I'm here with her because... the father couldn't make it. We aren't married."

The man raised an eyebrow, "Oh, it looked like it. Will she have a boy or a girl?"

"Don't know yet. We'll find out today. So far everything's been okay for us- her."

Scully returned just as the doctor's assistant came out, "Dana Scully?"

Mulder nodded at the man and helped Scully into the office.


The examination was over and Scully was now dressed and waiting in Dr. Gladstone's office. Allan Gladstone entered, "Dana, the baby is excellent! Things are perfect, everything looks like it'll go fine."

"Will it be a boy or a girl?" she asked anxiously. Mulder saw how excited she was, she couldn't even sit still!

He handed her some papers and a little black thing that looked like an x-ray. "Congratulations, it'll be a girl."

Scully's eyes lit up. Mulder knew that Scully would love her baby even if it was a boy, and that she didn't care one way or the other as long as her baby was healthy. But... She smiled, looking down at the picture, "Thank you."

A girl. Scully was going to have a girl. Now he'd have to deal with boyfriends... the baby's, not Scully's. He hoped he wouldn't have to deal with Scully's boyfriends. He couldn't handle that.

The two agents left the building, Scully was bubbling with excitement! "Now I can go out and get baby clothes. And toys. But I'm painting the nursery white and blue, how does that sound?"

He laughed, "Sure, Mom."


When they were in Scully's apartment after buying baby clothes, Mulder collapsed onto the sofa. "Remind me never to have kids, dealing with preparing for yours is enough!"

She sat down next to him, "I'm sorry for dragging you along, Mulder. You don't have to go with me next time," she apologized.

::OOPS! She misunderstood that!:: "No, I don't mean that. It's great, helping you out and everything. I'm probably starting to annoy you with tagging along every time. I just want to make sure you're not alone when the baby comes."

She smiled. "Thanks, Mulder." She gave him a hug. They were interrupted when the bell rang.

Mulder got up and answered the door, his hands immediately became fists when he saw Ray Torrance standing there. ::What do you want, you little SOB?:: Mulder wanted to scream. The bastard had left Scully high and dry. She came up from behind him, "Uh... Ray. What are you doing here?"

"Can I talk with you?" He asked her.

She glanced at Mulder, "Of course. Come in."

Mulder was like a bull dog, if he said anything..."Um... well, it's about the baby."

"What about her?" Scully asked.

"HER? It's gonna be a girl?" Ray's eyes went wide.

She nodded, being strong, "A girl. Is there something wrong with that?"

"NO! I don't hate this baby, Dana. I don't! I'd actually... I was thinking-"

"That's a first," Mulder muttered from the corner.

Ray glared at him, but continued. "Dana, I want to be part of the decisions of my baby's life, if you'd let me."

"Of course, Ray. I'd like that very much." Her voice was unnaturally low.

He smiled... she smiled back. Mulder felt so out of place, he couldn't stand being there any longer. "Hey, Scully?"

She turned around, as if she was first noticing him, "Mulder?"

"I gotta go now, I'll call you later."

She smiled at him again. "Sure."


Mulder was so furious with Ray! He ditches her and Mulder was there for her. And now Ray decides to come back! ::They'll become a family. The baby, Scully and Ray. Leaving no room for you!:: A voice shouted in Mulder's head.

Mulder wanted to cry. In the back of his mind he had been thinking that it would be him, Scully and her baby. He would be playing the father figure in the baby's life!

Now Ray was back, and all his dreams for his life, for Scully's baby's life, would have to be altered. He wanted to be part of the baby's life... because Scully was so important to him and so was this baby. Ray wasn't even there when Scully was having her morning sickness. When Scully went through her mood swings. When she needed to be taken to doctor's appointments. Mulder had been the one by her side! NOT RAY!


Mulder had nowhere to go. He didn't want to return to his empty apartment, it was too lonely. He decided to get a gift for Scully's baby girl. ::She hasn't gotten a crib or a cradle yet... I can get that for her as a gift.:: He went to a little store that caught his eye, one called "Baby, Baby, Baby."

The furniture was gorgeous, Scully would love this place! It all looked hand carved. A woman approached him, "Hello, I'm Margo. Can I help you with anything or are you just browsing?"

"Well, my friend is having a baby. I wanted to get her a special cradle or a crib."

"Cradles are the best! We have a wonderful selection over here." The woman showed him.

His eyes landed on a small brown cradle, cows and horses carved into the oak. "I... don't think she'd like this one. Anything else?"

"Here we have a white one. A very old one, actually."

The cradle was small. White, the kind that rocked back and forth smoothly. Carved into the woods were roses, vines and petals. "This is it. She'll love this. How much?"


Mulder returned to Scully's apartment later that night with his gift. He heard her sobbing from her bedroom. ::Damn that bastard for hurting her!:: Mulder made a mental note to have a talk with Ray later. He entered her room, the door was slightly ajar.

"Scully? You okay?"

She was curled up on the bed, she was due in a few more weeks. "Mulder-"

He walked over to her side of the bed, sitting down next to her, "What did he do?"

"He... he...Ray said he wanted to put our baby up for adoption! He said he didn't want to pay child support! He said it'd be easier for me!" She burst into tears again.

He wrapped his arms around her. ::As if he hasn't caused enough trouble!:: "Shh, he won't get anywhere near our baby, Scully. We'll raise your little girl without his help, your daughter doesn't need a father like him in her life."

She raised her head, "Mulder, I don't want you to feel that you have to fill in the place of her father-"

"I know, but she needs an adult male role model figure, right? You're my partner and I'm not gonna ditch you now."

She settled into the pillows of her soft bed, "Stay here, Mulder."

Mulder kicked off his shoes and wrapped his arms around her. Not long from now they'd have a little girl around. Mulder prayed that the baby wouldn't look like Ray. Sure, he'd love this baby no matter what she looked like, but Mulder didn't want Ray to have the satisfaction. ::I'll love this baby no matter what:: He thought.

Scully sat up, "I can't sleep."

"Well, I want to show you something. Wait here." He switched on the light while he went to the living room to get the cradle. He had placed a ribbon around it. "Scully, this is a present from me to your little girl." He placed the cradle on the ground.

Scully's mouth fell open, "Mulder, you didn't have to! It must have cost a fortune!"

"Not really, but how much I spent doesn't matter. Do you like it? If you don't, I'll return it for you."

She got off the bed slowly, "Mulder, it's gorgeous! Thank you so much." She gave him a hug.

He picked up the cradle, "Let's go put this in the nursery."


EIGHT WEEKS LATER:

He had been working alone in his office, thinking about her. Skinner had insisted that Mulder get some paper work done, and Scully had insisted that she'd be fine. "Mulder, go home. Go live your life. My baby isn't due for another few weeks."

He nodded, "But-"

"I promise, if the baby comes, I'll call you first! Just go and get some sleep."


He couldn't sleep. He was... giddy. Something in him told him that something big was going to happen tonight. He made a paper air plane to keep his mind off the work, then the phone rang. "Mulder," he yawned.

"Agent Mulder? I'm Beth Edward's from St. Vincent's Hospital."

He practically fell out of his chair, "What happened?"

"Your friend, Dana Scully, has just gone into labor. She told me to call for you."

"Thanks, I'm on my way!"


As Mulder tore through the hospital halls, a thousand thoughts ran through his head. This was it! The moment! Everything was going to change forever, no going back. Not that he wanted to... A small brown haired woman approached him, "Agent Mulder?"

"Yes?" He had no idea how she knew his name.

"I'm Beth Edwards, the nurse who called you. Miss Scully is in Delivery. Come with me, she wanted you to be there." ::TO BE THERE? OH, GOD!::

Scully was sobbing, the nurses were around her, trying to comfort her. He raced to her side, "Scully?"

She gasped for breath, "I'm fine! It's been an hour since the contractions started! Mulder!"

He grasped her hand. "What can I do, Scully?"

The nurse entered the room, "Try to keep her calm!"

He kissed her hand, "Shh, not long from now. Think of her, Scully. I hope she gets your gorgeous red hair."

Scully wasn't listening, she squeezed his hand and pushed...

The doctor let out a shriek, "FINALLY! Let's cut the cord and clean up."

Mulder zoned out. He couldn't bring himself to look. He stared at Scully, who had her eyes closed, she was shaking. Mulder turned to the nurse, "Why is she trembling?"

"It's the shock, she'll be fine in a bit," the nurse answered.

Mulder followed them as they wheeled Scully back into her hospital room. She opened her eyes, "Where's my baby?"

"They're cleaning her up now. You can see her in a bit."

Scully sighed, she was glowing. Mulder handed her a wet towel, trying to calm her down. "Pick a name. You wanna stick with Alexa?"

A nurse handed Scully the baby. She was small. Her skin was pink and her hair looked like it would be red! Scully's mouth fell open, "Oh, my God." Her voice was a whisper.

Mulder glanced at her, "What?"

"She's gorgeous."

"She looks like you." Mulder smiled.

Scully shook her head, as if she was clearing it, "Joy."

"Pardon?"

"Joy! That's what I want to name her! Joy Melissa Scully!"

"What happened to Alexa?"

Scully kissed her baby, "Joy sounds better and expressed and explains everything! She's Joy."

Mulder smiled, he felt happy. A space in his soul had just filled with the arrival of joy/Joy! But the moment was short lived, because Ray walked into the room. Scully's eyes lifted and she saw him, "Oh."

"Dana... can I see her?"

Mulder looked over at Scully, waiting for her to give him some kind of signal to throw Ray out. Scully held her baby closer, "I named her Joy."

He lowered his eyes, "That's a sweet name. Can I see her? I want to hold my daughter."

Scully bit her lower lip. Mulder cleared his throat, "Can I talk with you, Ray?"

"This has nothing to do with you-"

"Like Hell it doesn't!" Mulder stood up and dragged Ray into the hall. Ray pulled Mulder's hands off him, "Don't touch me!"

"Hasn't she suffered enough because of you? You ditch her, you want her to give up the baby and now you come here? Are you insane? Stay away from her!"

"Hey, I want to at least see what I'm putting my checks in the mail for! I have that right as her father!"

"How can you even consider yourself a father, you dumb ass! We all know that I'm going to be the one taking her to basketball games and ballet lessons along with Scully! I'll attend the music recitals for her, not you!"

"If you love Dana so much, why don't you just marry her?"

"She's my friend!"

"That's bull and you know it! You might raise my kid, but I'm the biological father! I'm the father of Dana's baby, not you!"

Mulder was about to slug him, it took all his self control not to. "Leave her alone, neither one of them wants anything to do with you." With that, he returned to Scully's room, locking the door behind him. Scully looked up, "What did he want? What did you say?"

"He thinks he has rights, sick bastard. Get some rest, Scully. You have to be in perfect condition to keep up with Joy."

Scully looked down at her sleeping beauty, "Right. Thanks, Mulder."

"For what?"

"For taking care of me, for being here and for dealing with Ray."

He kissed her forehead, "Anything for my friend."


Months passed and Mulder left Scully alone with her baby to go to the office without her. He'd check on her every day after work, to make sure she didn't need anything. He brought her groceries and ran errands so she wouldn't be stressed. "Scully, you here?"

He heard a baby cooing from the nursery and that brought a smile to his lips. He dropped the shopping bags onto the counter and made his way down the hall. "Scully?"

Scully was sitting next to the cradle in a rocking chair. The nursery was mostly white and blue, the baby cradle fit in perfectly. Joy was in the cradle, wearing a little green dress that was perfect for her red hair. Her hair was now in curls, she looked like Scully except smaller. He grinned at them, "How is it goin'?"

"She won't sleep. I've fed her, changed her, sang to her and she won't sleep."

Mulder shrugged, "Mind if I give it a try?"

"Be my guest." She got out of the rocker.

Mulder lifted up the little girl, "Joy, it's bedtime."

She wrapped her little arms around Mulder's neck, resting her head on his shoulder. He felt something in his heart... an overflowing amount of love for this little girl. Joy. He walked back and forth with her, humming as he went. He felt a bit foolish with Scully in the room, and she might have sensed that, because she left. Now he was alone, trying to rock Joy back to sleep.

"Shh. Hush little baby, don't say a word.
Uncle Fox is going to buy you a mocking bird.
And if that mocking bird won't sing,
Uncle Fox is gonna buy you a diamond ring." Scully was in the kitchen making coffee. She missed coffee while she was pregnant, now she couldn't get enough of it. She poured a cup for Mulder and one for her, and carefully walked down back to the nursery. Joy was now asleep on Mulder's lap.

Scully grinned. "Awww."

Mulder looked up and blushed! "Uh, shh!"

She smiled, "Want coffee?"

Gently, he placed Joy down in her cradle, "Sure." Gratefully, he accepted the warm cup. Scully let out a sigh, "How did I get by without her?"

Mulder took a sip, "I was wondering the same thing."

The two looked at each other and smiled, "She's so precious. Let's get out of here before we wake her up."

Scully led Mulder down the hall to the living room. They sat in a comfortable silence.

Finally, she spoke. "I can never thank you enough, Mulder."

"Thank me? Would you like to tell me what I did to deserve your thanks?"'

"Everything, Mulder. From the second you found out I was pregnant to putting her to bed just now."

"I think I've grown to love her just as much as you, Scully. It's like she was my own."

Scully smiled, "I... I said before that I don't want you thinking that you have to fill the place of her father. Ray didn't chose to take on his fatherly duties, and I can't change that. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful you're here. I don't know what I would have done without you... but I want you to have a life of your own."

"Scully, I know she isn't my kid... I want to do this for her. I have nothing else except for you two. I guess you Scully women tend to fill the empty spaces in my life!" He tried to laugh but his words were true and not funny.

She looked down, "I love having you here, Mulder. So does Joy."

"How can you tell?" Mulder put down his mug.

"I can. She adores you, Mulder. She'll be so lonely without you."

"I don't plan on leaving her, Scully. Ever."

"You've devoted yourself to my little girl, then?"

He shrugged. "Can't you tell?"

"But what if you get married and have your own kids?"

The thought of having kids opened his mind. ::my own kids? Nah, not me!:: "I'm not the fathering type."

"That's not true! I see you with Joy all the time!"

"But that's different, she isn't really my kid. I guess... Ray couldn't handle having his own kid, but he probably gets along with other people's kids. That's because he knows there is no commitment."

"Are you listening to yourself, Mulder? Just a second ago you said you did commit yourself to Joy. What are you saying?"

He shook his head, he couldn't find any words to tell her. To explain how happy he was around Scully and Joy. The name fitted the little girl so well, it was amazing.

"I love being with you guys. And if I ever get married and have my own kids, which I probably won't, you and Joy are always going to be in my life. Because you are my best friend and Joy has wormed her way into my heart and I don't think I could get her out even if I tried." ::I said it, didn't I?::

Scully was about to say something when Mulder's phone rang. "Mulder."

She waited patiently as he finished his conversation. It sounded like he was talking to Skinner. He put the phone away moments later, "I gotta go. A case. You, Mom, get to stay here and watch after Joy. I'll be back soon, I'll call you from San Francisco."

Scully sighed, "Okay, Mulder. Thanks for coming by. Joy's going to miss you."

He nodded, "Let me go kiss her good night real quick."

Scully gathered his things while he returned to the nursery where the sleeping beauty rested. "Bye, Joy. See you in a few days. I'll call, promise." He kissed her forehead. She murmured in her sleep and rolled her head to the other side. She looked so serene in her little night gown and red curls. "Good night, gorgeous."

He left Scully's apartment. "I'll call."

She nodded, "I know you will."

He said his farewell and left.


The case had been a waste of time. It wasn't a real X-File. Mulder knew that the first day, but Skinner wanted him to finish it. The only thing that got him through the week in San Francisco was knowing that Scully and Joy were home in Washington DC.

He called every night, getting the latest news on Joy. He wanted to get back soon, Scully was telling him great stories about Joy and he didn't want to miss anymore. He didn't want to miss those moments, not Joy's. He hated being away, he felt so lonely.

His world contained only Scully and Joy. He had his devotion.



Title: Devotion II
Authors: Sarah and Sophia
Distribution Statement: Archive everywhere!
Spoilers: None.
Rating: PG-13 Content: A few bad words, not much.
Classification: Story, Romance, MSR,
Disclaimer: Everyone from The X-Files belongs to CC, Fox and Ten Thirteen. BEAT IT!

Summary: Margaret Scully is out of town, Dana Scully is in the hospital and Mulder is baby sitting Joy!


Mulder raced down the halls of St. Vincent's hospital. ::Scully, oh God!:: She had been in a car accident, Joy had been in the car. The nurse had informed him that Joy came out without a scratch because she had been strapped in, but Scully hadn't been so lucky.

He burst into the hospital room, seeing Scully in the bed. Her arm was in a sling, she had bandages around her head and her ankle was wrapped. "Scully?" He took her hand, sitting in the chair next to her bed.

Her eyes fluttered open, "Mulder... what happened...? Joy... is she okay?" He nodded, relieved that she was all right. "Joy's fine, not even a scratch. Your car is totaled, though. You had insurance, didn't you?" She nodded, closing her eyes and slipping into sleep.


All night she was slipping in and out of consciousness, Mulder had been there every time. Dr. Radcliff approached him, "Mr. Mulder, Joy Scully is now able to go home. Who is Miss Scully's next of kin?"

"Her mother... but she left town to visit friends in California. I haven't been able to get hold of her yet. But I can take Joy." ::are you nuts? What do you know about taking care of a seven month old baby 24 hours a day?:: a voice in his head snapped.

Mulder looked up at the doctor, "I'm not sure if we can do that... I'll check into it. If it's possible, I'll release Joy Scully into your hands tonight."

Mulder followed the doctors to pediatrics. Joy was in the arms of a nurse, she was crying. As soon as Joy saw Mulder, she started whining and holding her arms out to him. The nurse gratefully handed him the baby, making her retreat. He kissed her forehead, "Hey, Joy. Why don't you give your vocal cords a rest, huh? I'll have to take you home tonight."

As much as he wanted to stay with Scully, Mulder needed to take care of Joy first. The doctors said she was in no immediate danger, and that she would most likely be back to normal in a week or so. This worried him, he couldn't help but worry, but everyone was telling him it was going to be okay.


Right when Mulder had been signing out, Skinner came in. "Mulder... what are you doing with Scully's baby?"

"Sir! Margaret Scully is out of town. I'm going to watch over Joy for a while, until Scully is up to it."

Skinner raised an eyebrow, "You won't be staying with her?"

"I want to, more than anything, Sir. But the doctors think I should take Joy home and get her settled down."

A nurse handed him one final form that needed a signature. "I suggest that you take her back to her mother's house, familiar soundings," Skinner said, glancing at a nurse walking by.

Mulder had just figured he'd take Joy to his apartment, "You have a point. I'll do that."

Skinner cleared his throat, "I'll stay with Scully for a while. Get some rest and try not to hurt Scully's baby! She'll destroy you!"

Mulder rolled his eyes, "I'm good with kids, Sir."

Skinner shook his head, "Sure you are. Whatever you say."


Joy was asleep by the time he got her back home. He carried her into the apartment and to the nursery. She stirred as he pulled off her little blue dress and helped her into the green cotton night gown. She opened her small mouth into a little yawn, squeezing her eyes shut and stretching her small arms. It warmed Mulder's heart to see her do something so cute!

He cleaned up the nursery a bit, and by the time he finished Joy was sitting up in her cradle. He moaned, "Oh, please go to sleep! I'll give you money!" She cocked her little head to one side, letting the red curls fall around her face. Mulder sighed, lifting her up. "Want to sleep with me, then? Just as long as you sleep?" She smiled at him, not caring what he was saying. She reached up her arms, wrapping them around his shoulders.

He sighed, walking over to the couch. It was slightly uncomfortable, and he was afraid Joy would fall off! "Let's try the bedroom, then."

He carried her to Scully's bed, lying down next to her. The sheets and pillows smelled faintly of Scully's perfume. He sighed, wrapping his arms around Joy. She wrapped her small arms around the pillow, slowly falling asleep. Mulder was awake a bit longer. He was in her apartment. In her room. In her bed! But she was in the hospital, and he started to worry.

Reaching for the phone, he dialed Skinner's number. "Assistant Director Skinner," he answered.

"This is Mulder, how is she?"

"I'm with her now. She woke up a while ago asking for you, but slipped back into sleep. The doctor said she needs her rest now. How is Joy?"

"Ignorance is a gift. She had no idea what's going on, and she's sleeping now."

Skinner sighed, "That's good. Keep out of trouble until Scully is back, okay?"

"Trouble? Me?" He mocked. He wondered where he found the energy to try to make a joke!

"Funny, Mulder. Good night."

Mulder put his phone on the side table, slipping his arms around Joy once more. Slowly he fell asleep, Joy's head resting under his chin. He felt something. He wanted to protect her from the cruel world. He wanted to wrap her up in a protective bubble and keep her safe, both of them. Joy was a lot like Scully, he could already tell. Joy was a clever girl, like her mother. She would be an independent person when she grew up. Mulder sighed, imaging Joy as a toddler. He grinned, she'd be gorgeous. He thought of her as a ten year old, a teen, a young woman. All his visions were based on Scully. She would be exactly like Scully! A beautiful, vibrant, intelligent... perfect young woman.


Mulder got call around nine in the morning from Skinner. "She's awake. She wants to see you and Joy, get over here."

"Have you been with her all night?" Mulder asked, warming up Joy's bottle.

"I left for a few hours, but I came back when the doctors called. Get your ass over here!"

"Yes, Sir!" Mulder resisted the urge to salute, not that Skinner would see over the phone anyway. Awake! Scully was awake now! He rushed into the nursery, pulling out Joy's cotton white dress. He gave her a quick diaper change, dressed her and gave her a bottle.

"Here, squirt. Occupy yourself while I find my car keys!" Joy looked around the apartment, watching him as he gathered his things. Then he lifted her up into his arms and carried her out to the car.

Joy was a very quiet baby. He wasn't sure why. He guessed she noticed now that her mother wasn't there, but she seemed to do fine with him. ::She thinks I'm her father!:: A voice in his head laughed. Mulder shook the thought away, he would have loved to be Joy's father... Scully's husband... ::NO! She's my partner! Forget it! You aren't thinking that!::


Scully was wide awake when they entered. She reached out her arms, "Mulder, Joy..." He handed her the baby girl and sat down next to her bed in the chair. Joy started to laugh a toothless laugh. She reached for her mother's necklace, touching her mother's face and giving her a wet kiss on her cheek. Scully sighed, "Did you miss me, baby?" Mulder watched as mother and daughter sat together and Scully talked to her. Joy didn't care what she was saying, but the sound of her voice seemed to make her happy.

Scully turned to him, "Skinner told me that you were watching her while I was...gone."

"Um, yeah, I was. She's an angel, didn't cause any problems. It was only last night, when do you get out?"

"The doctor wants to keep me overnight, just to make sure. And as soon as I'm out, I need to take a few days off to get my full strength back."

Mulder nodded. "Okay, that sounds great."


Joy had put up a fit when Mulder dragged her out of the hospital room. She screamed, thrashing her arms and legs, not wanting to leave yet. Mulder lifted her up onto his shoulders, "Shh, we'll come back tomorrow. I swear. I have to take you home now."

Normally, Mulder wouldn't leave Scully's side, but he needed to take Joy home and calm her down. She would no longer be a quite baby! And she was suffering from the heat. It was only May, but it was so hot! He took her into Scully's kitchen, getting out some ice water and sprinkling some onto her face.

She continued to squirm, tugging at her floral dress. "Ah, I get it." He pulled the dress off, throwing it onto a chair. She seemed more relaxed wearing just her diaper. "Is that any better, squirt?" She smiled at him, making him smile. "Okay, why don't we dump you in the tub for a bit, since you like the water and all..."


He filled the water up to about an inch. It was a little less than warm, and she liked it. Mulder had to keep a close watch on her, she kept on trying to eat the soap! "No, Joy! It'll kill you!"

She pouted, reaching for the shampoo bottle and putting her mouth on it. He pulled that way from her grasp, "There is NOTHING in this bathroom that you can eat, and don't you dare try to drink the bath water!" Her expression changed and she looked bored, so she splashed him.

He moaned, "How does Scully do this?" Taking a little bath cup, he poured the water over her hair. She laughed, falling backwards into the water. He put his arm out before her head hit the bottom of the tub, "Joy, cooperate with me, please!" ::Ha! I'm an FBI agent and I can't even give a kid a bath! Well, it's not like this was part of FBI training or anything...::

He finally pulled her out, but not before she could grab the soap bar. It was half way to her mouth when he pulled it away, "You're quick! Now stop it." Wrapping the girl up in towels, he carried her to the nursery, laying her down on the changing table. "I hope you treat your mom better than you treat me!" She kept on wanting to put things in her mouth. While he wasn't looking, she had almost inhaled baby powder.

"JOY!" Sensing that he was mad, she started to cry. The tears rolling down her chubby cheeks. He bit his lower lip, "I'm sorry, baby. I didn't mean to yell." He picked her up and caressed her back. The tears subsided but before he could put her down, he cursed himself for not putting a diaper on her first. She had just relieved herself all over his white dress shirt. "Oh, shit," he muttered. It was going to be a long day.

The next morning, Skinner appeared on the door step with Scully. She looked pallid and weak, and that scared the hell out of him. "Scully!" She offered a weak smile, "How's Joy?"

He helped her into the apartment, "Why didn't you call me? I would have come to get you."

"She didn't want to wait," Skinner replied, "and since I was already there I offered her a ride."

Mulder nodded, "Thank you, Sir." Skinner glanced at his watch, "I have to go, I have appointments this afternoon. Make sure she rests, the doctors says she need a few days off."

Mulder locked the door behind Skinner and turned back to his partner, who was sitting on the couch, "You couldn't wait to call me?" He was almost hurt.

"Skinner was already there and I knew you'd have to do so many things just to get Joy ready. Where IS my baby?"

Mulder retrieved Joy from the bedroom. "Here she is."

"Mulder, why is she only wearing a diaper?"

"I didn't want her running around here stark naked, Scully!" he joked.

Scully rolled her eyes, "What happened to all her clothes?"

"She hates them, Scully! She was getting all cranky and whinny, she was so uncomfortable in them."

Scully sighed, "Fine, I'm going to get some rest. Thank you, Mulder. I'll see you tomorrow."

"I'm not leaving yet, what if something happens to you and no one is here?"

"I'm fine!" she protested. "Hey, you'll need some help with Joy until you fully recover, right? I can handle all of that-"

"Mulder, I can't let you do that! You've done so much already and don't you have a life to get back to?"

"A life? Who said I had a life? You guys ARE my life!" In the back of his mind he asked himself if he was just making excuses so he wouldn't have to leave them. He was so much happier with them.

Finally, she agreed with him, "All right, you have a point! But I could have asked my mother to help."

"She's out of town, remember?"

Her mouth fell open, "Oh... really?"

"You must have forgotten, it's not a surprise. I want to see you in bed, go!" Scully stuck her tongue out at him and returned to her bedroom, closing it behind her. He sighed, looking down at Joy, "You're both stubborn and gorgeous."


Mulder was half asleep on the couch when he heard screaming. It wasn't Joy, he could tell. "Scully!" He jumped to his feet and burst in through her bedroom door. A nightmare. She was thrashing around in her bed, the covers wrapped around her waist. "No, stop!"

She screamed through her dream. Mulder jumped onto the bed, shaking her, "Scully! Get up! Wake up, Scully! DANA!"

She was shaking, finally her eyes snapped open. "Mulder!"

He sighed, "Thank goodness, are you okay? It was just a dream-"

"I know... is Joy still sleeping?" She was gasping for air.

He nodded, "I'll get you something to drink." He ran off to the kitchen.

Scully had unwrapped herself from the covers by the time he came back. "Thanks, Mulder." She took a sip of the water.

He sat down on the bed next to her, "Want to talk about the dream?" He saw her shiver, "It was about the car accident. I could hear Joy screaming, other people screaming... everything was so messed up and then the car head lights came..." She bit her lower lip, "It was so real."

He reached out his arms, taking her into them. "It's okay, Joy is in her bed, you're home." Mulder helped her settle back into bed, "I'll be right outside if you need anything, okay?"

Right when he was leaving, she sat up again, "Mulder, stay here... with me." He saw that she was still shaking,

"Sure." He crawled up beside her, taking her small body into is arms. He felt warm, comfortable and sanguine. Running his finger through her hair, he sighed. Her breathing was now slow and even, she was asleep.


Mulder woke to the sound of Joy crying in her nursery. He got out of bed.

"Mulder..." Scully mumbled through her sleep, reaching a hand out, motioning for him to come back.

"Joy's crying, I'll be back in a second." He ran to the nursery. Joy was sitting up in her bed, looking very pissed.

"You woke up your Mommy, what's wrong?" Mulder lifted her up. She looked up at him, her look saying 'take a guess.' He sighed, "Time for a change of diapers, isn't it?" She offered him a sweet little smile.


After he changed her, fed her and put her back to sleep, Mulder returned to Scully. She was asleep again, which was good because she needed her rest. He wrapped his arms around her waist, tucking her head under his chin like he had done with Joy before. She rolled over onto her other side, "Mulder..."

"Yeah, I'm here."

"I have to get up... go to work..."

"No, shh. You're taking a few days off, remember?" She sighed again and wrapped her arms around him, resting her head on his shoulder. He kissed the top of her head, "Scully?"

"Humm?" He kissed her forehead, her nose and then a light kiss on her lips. When he pulled away he saw that she had fallen asleep. ::WHAT AM I DOING?:: He got out of bed, trying to forget what he had just done. He felt so guilty, she was still sleeping! He scolded himself, what was wrong with him? ::She was sleeping, that's good!:: He couldn't go back to sleep now, so he decided to make breakfast.


Joy sat in her high chair while he struggled with the pancakes. He dropped an egg onto the floor, "Shoot!" Joy laughed, her head falling back, the red curls swaying. "I'm glad you enjoyed that, Joy. Really, I am!"

"She laughs at everything, don't take it personally," Scully said from her bedroom door.

He noticed that she was holding onto the door frame. "Scully, are you okay?"

She nodded. "A little dizzy."

He rushed to help her, wrapping an arm around her waist, he pulled her up, "You should get back to bed."

She rested her head against his chest, "I'm so... dizzy."

"It's because you haven't eaten anything in days." He started to let her go when she slipped. Mulder lifted her into his arms and carried her back to her bed.

"Mulder!" she gasped.

He pulled up all the pillows so she could sit up, "I made breakfast, hold on." When he came back, he had a tray. On it were a plate of pancakes, orange juice, syrup and a rose. She smiled. "This is too much!"

"No, not at all. You'll feel better soon, go on." He watched her carefully, noticing everything. How her eyes were shinning. When her hair was messed up it made her look beautiful. Her skin was paler than usual but she was still gorgeous... when had she become gorgeous? He forced all his thoughts down with a ruthless blow, ::Don't bother thinking like that, it'll never happen!::

Scully noticed his expression, "What's wrong, Mulder?"

He shook his head, "I'll be back in a second." The room temperature seemed to go up by a hundred degrees, he couldn't be in there any longer. He leaned against the kitchen counter. Why was he thinking like this about her? When had it started? How did he make it stop? ::I kissed her, while she was sleeping! What was I thinking?:: Joy watched him with great interest from her high chair.

He turned to her, "What are you looking at, squirt?" She lifted a handful of apple sauce from her bowl and threw it at him. She hit him in the arm, "Thanks, Joy. Now I only have one more shirt that hasn't been destroyed." Joy laughed, making him smile despite the sauce seeping in through the fabric of his shirt.


Two days passed and Scully claimed she was fully recovered.

"Are you sure?" he questioned.

"Mulder, I'm positive!" She slipped Joy a bottle.

He sighed, "I don't want to leave you and come back finding that you fell unconscious."

"I'll make you a deal, you can call me every hour," she said smugly. He was about to say something when the phone rang. Scully answered it, "Scully." Mulder listened to her end of the conversation while watching Joy. When Scully hung up, she turned to him. "That was my mother, she's coming over today, so you can stop worrying about me."

He grinned, "Good, when will she be here?"

"In an hour."


As soon as Margaret Scully arrived, Mulder had to leave. No more excuses. He had to return to the rest of the world, although he preferred this one.

He kissed Joy, "Bye, watch your Mommy for me and make sure she doesn't work too hard." Joy sucked on her thumb, nodding her head as if she understood him.

Margaret entered the room, "Fox, are you leaving so soon?"

"I have to... work you know." He was so disappointed.

Margaret smiled at him. "I want to thank you for watching over Dana and Joy."

"It's not a problem, I enjoyed some of it. But now I have a bunch of laundry to do."

Margaret glanced at Joy, "I heard you ruined a few shirts, Joy." Joy continued to suck on her fingers, starring at Mulder.

Mulder cleared his throat, "I'll be going now. Is Scully asleep?"

"No, go on in and say good bye."

Mulder slowly entered her bedroom, "Scully?" She came into his view, sitting at her computer typing away. He moaned, "Scully, stop! Take a break!"

She turned around, "I'm bored, I have nothing else to do."

"Your mom is here, there must be something else to do. I have to go now, promise to take it easy?"

She nodded. "I'll TRY."

"Don't TRY, do it!" He offered her a smile and left.

"Thanks for everything, Mulder." She called out.

"It was my pleasure." ::and I'm not just saying that!::


He returned to his empty, lonely and depressing apartment. Tomorrow was another day, he had to go to work now. He'd have to get off early to go see Scully and Joy. The thought made him smile. Joy could be a handful, trying to put everything in sight in her mouth and all! But she was adorable, so sweet. He wrapped his arms around a pillow, pretending it was Joy, he already missed the little baby. Soon his thoughts turned to Scully. He missed her just as much. He missed holding her, which was a rare occasion.

It made him feel good to take care of someone... and that someone being Scully made it even better. He shook his head, why would a man like Ray want to leave Scully and Joy? It was insane! They were so wonderful! Since Joy's arrival, Mulder found himself less depressed. The bad nightmares were decreasing. He found himself looking forward to the next day instead of looking back on the past. And he was looking forward to his future, Joy's future, Scully's future. He sighed, "I guess I love Scully. Now what do I do?"



Title: Devotion III: Battle for Joy
Authors: Sarah and Sophia
Distribution Statement: archive everywhere
Spoilers: NONE
Rating: PG-13
Content: a few bad words
Category: Story, Romance, Scully Angst- MSR soon.
Disclaimer: Everyone from The X-files belongs to Chris Carter, FOX and Ten Thirteen.

Summary: Ray's Mom (Joy's biological Grandmother) wants custody of Joy, starting a custody battle.


They had no idea what happened to her, and this made Mulder furious. Scully was in a coma, he had returned from a grueling case and then he got the call. Skinner saying that Scully was found in a coma....it could have been Cancerman, what was he trying to do now?

Mulder had picked up Joy from one of Scully's neighbors, "Thanks so much for your help." He told Amy Madison.

"No problem, Mister Mulder, I'm glad to be able to help. What happened to Dana?"

"We don't know yet, thanks again."

He took Joy back to Scully's apartment, laying the little red head down in her cradle. "Here we go again, Joy. Mommy is in the hospital, you're stuck with me." She was already asleep and he sighed, "God, why is this happening to us? What have we done to deserve this?"


Angela Torrance glanced at her son, Raymond. "I went to all the trouble to get the ball rolling, Raymond Alexander Torrance! You have to get that little girl!"

"Mom, I don't want her! I left Dana to get away from that damn kid!"

"She's your daughter if you like it or not! Go get her back, Ray."

"Get her back? No, I don't care. If you want her so much, you go and get her."

"Your sister will make sure that Dana Scully doesn't come back, all you have to do is get me Joy."

"Why do you want Joy so much?" He snapped at her. Why was she doing this?

"Because, Joy is my only grandchild, my ONLY grandchild! Your sister can't have babies and you won't get married and have children, except for Joy, and you hate her so much! That little girl has done nothing wrong, her existence is your fault and I want her!" Angela's usually pallid face started to flush with anger.

Ray was scared, for the first time since he was a child, he was scared of his mother. "Okay, Mom. Whatever you want."


Skinner had ordered guards all around Scully's room. He didn't need Cancerman or one of his bastards in there. "Is there any change in Agent Scully's condition?"

"No, Sir," the young nurse answered. She had short brown hair, green eyes and tanned skin. "I have to go draw some blood for further testing, can I go in?"

He nodded, "Go ahead." She slipped inside the room, her eyes falling on the pale woman in the bed. "Hello, Dana." Scully slept peacefully, her hair spread out over the pillow in bright contrast.

Regina Torrance Bradley had come in to make sure that Scully was still unconscious. The coma would last a few more days, then she'd have to give another injection. Eventually, if she pumped her full of the drugs, she'd die slowly. "Not long now."


Mulder answered the phone, "Dana Scully's apartment."

"Is this Fox Mulder?" a man asked.

"Yes, and you are?" Mulder's paranoia started up.

"Ronald Bradley, I'm Ray Torrance's lawyer."

"What do you want?" When Ray's name was mentioned, Mulder became angry.

"Joy."

"What?" ::I did NOT hear that!::

"Joy Melissa Scully, Mr. Mulder. Ray wants his daughter back, as soon as he learned that Miss Scully was in a coma, he called me."

"What the Hell is he up to!?"

"Sir, we're looking out for Joy. He wants his little girl, and as the biological father, he has the right to take Joy into his custody while Miss Scully is ill."

"How did he find out she was in a coma?" Mulder started to wonder, the timing was so close! He had just found out today himself!

"Joy's grandmother, Angela Torrance, was contacted. She told Ray and Ray called me. Mr. Mulder, we are prepared to take you to court with this."

"Scully's in a coma!" He screamed into the phone.

"I know she is! That's why we want Joy with her father!"

"Joy is staying with me and Margaret Scully. There is no way in Hell you're getting her from us!"

"We'll see about that, Mr. Mulder." The man sounded determined and sure of himself.


Before the hearing, Angela Torrance made a few calls. "Anthony, this is Angela. I have a problem." Judge Anthony Parker cleared his throat, "And you need my help?"

"Yes, remember my grandchild, Joy?"

"I think you've mentioned her." ::a few thousand times:: the Judge silently added. "Her mother had fallen ill, a coma, actually. Ray wants custody of Joy...until her mother is fit to return home."

"Who had custody of the child now?"

"A Fox Mulder, he works for the FBI. Dana Scully is Joy's mother, and Fox Mulder and Dana are partners. Ray says they're very close, if you know what I mean. Fox Mulder is with Joy now, Dana's mother, Margaret Scully, will be helping."

"And what do you want me to do?"

"Get me my baby granddaughter, Anthony. I'll give you any amount of money that's reasonable."

"Really?" She had caught his interests.

"I swear to you, as long as I get Joy."


Mulder and Margaret sat side by side, waiting for the judge. Angela, Ray and their lawyer were on the other side of the room, talking in whispers. Mulder checked his watch for the fifth time in three minutes, "Where the Hell is he?"

Margaret rested her hand on his arm, "Shh, be patient. Ray won't get her, he won't! Joy thinks of you as a father and knows me like a second mother....plus Ray abandoned Dana and Joy."

The judge entered, "I'm judge Parker." Pleasantries were exchanged, it was a hearing, actually. He turned to Mulder, "You are Agent Fox William Mulder of the FBI, correct?"

"Yes, Sir." Mulder sat tall.

"And you want custody of Joy while Miss Scully is in the hospital?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Why?"

He wasn't sure what to say. He knew what he was feeling. He loved Joy, he loved Scully. And he wasn't going to let Ray have her, he abandoned her once, he'd do it again. "Joy is....like my own daughter, Sir. And she knows us very well! And Dana trusts us."

"I see." The Judge looked uninterested in what Mulder had to say.

Margaret took his arm, trying to keep him from lashing out at the judge. Mulder was hurting now. They had no idea what was wrong with Scully and they didn't know how to treat her. In truth, there was a eighty percent chance that Dana Scully would never wake up. She seemed to be going deeper and deeper into sleep.

Mulder made a promise to himself. If Scully didn't come back ::heaven forbid, God watch over her:: he would take Joy and raise her with Margaret. It broke his heart thinking that Scully wouldn't see her baby girl grow up. And all Mulder would have left in his life would be Joy Melissa Scully. Sitting in his seat, he covered his face, wiping away the tears that were brewing.

An hour passed, and after hearing both sides, Judge Parker stood. "I have made my decision. Joy Melissa Scully will be relapsed into the hands of her biological father, Raymond Torrance, and her biological grandmother, Angela Torrance. This case will be reassess in six months."

Mulder burst. How dare he! "You can't do that! He doesn't want Joy! He's doing this to hurt Scully!"

The Judge glanced at him, "Mr. Mulder, for NOW I think it is the best thing. The case will be looked over again in six months! No more questions!"


Scully felt like she was floating. ::where am I?:: Her thoughts turned to Joy, her mother and of course Mulder. She always thought of him first when she woke up. Scully's eyes fluttered open, "Ohhh, my head!" She collapsed onto the pillows, the pain spreading. She glanced around, seeing no one else in the room. ::What the Hell happened to Mulder?::

The last thing she remembered was sitting in her kitchen, Joy had been sleeping in the other room. Then being pushed onto the floor. She couldn't get her gun because she had locked it away, she did that because Joy was now living with her and Scully had to protect her. ::God, whoever jumped me put me here!::

The door slid open, a short woman entered. She looked surprised to see Scully awake...she looked distressed! "Oh, Miss Scully, you're up now."

"Yes, where is my partner? Agent Mulder?"

"I...never saw him, Miss. I need to give you something, hold still." She took out a needle. Scully's eyes went wide when she saw the needle, "What's in it?"

"Antibodies. Don't worry, you need rest."

"Wait! What about my daughter?"

"With your mother."

"I need to call her-" The needle went through, the pain spread through her shoulder, "Oh!" The nurse grinned at her, "I'll be back when you wake up." She turned and left.

::Wake up? I'm not going to sleep! I want a phone!:: Scully's eyes scanned the hospital room, looking for the phone. She reached towards the side table, suddenly she became very tired. "Oh, no." All she could do was close her eyes and slip back into sleep.


The first thing Mulder did when he left the Judge's quarters was go to the hospital. He had to see Scully. He had to focus on Scully for a while. He bumped into a nurse with brown hair, just coming out of Scully's room with a needle in her hand. "Oh, sorry, Sir."

He shook his head, "My fault, I apologize."

She turned and made her retreat down the long hall way. The guard at Scully's door glanced at him, "Agent Mulder, I'm sorry about your partner-"

"Thanks, any change yet?"

"No."

"WHO's been in and out?"

"Skinner, her doctor and a nurse." Mulder nodded and slipped inside, he saw her...his sleeping beauty. He wished that he could wake her with a kiss, but knew it would never work. Stroking her hair gently, Mulder kissed her lips lightly. "Please come back, Scully. Something horrible happened and I can't fix it unless you get into this fight, too." She looked pallid, frail and tired.

He moaned, "Scully, if you come back I swear I'll never run off without you again. I can't handle everything by myself, I need back up and don't trust anyone else! I have to tell you, I lost Joy. Ray suddenly became the loving father, a judge gave him custody and there wasn't much I could do." He wanted to cry. He'd failed her again. He couldn't save her from the coma and he couldn't save Joy from Ray.


Frohike and Langley searched through boxes, taking out cameras and tapes. "Mulder, you can use these."

"For what?" Mulder asked, leaning back in a chair.

"To get Scully's baby back. Or at least to know if she's okay," Langley answered.

Frohike sighed. "No bastard like Ray deserves to be the father of her baby."

Mulder glared at him, "I just want Joy back, what can I do with your stuff?" Langley held up a camera, "This is so small, you can easily put it somewhere in their house. We have twenty four hours worth of tape in each camera....you'll have to sneak back in to switch tapes while their gone."

Mulder stood up, suddenly interested, "I can do that, but you guys have to help me."

"Help you?" Frohike croaked.

"It's Scully's baby, Frohike. We can't leave Joy with Ray for too long."


The four of them where outside Ray Torrance's house in the van. Byers sighed, "It's so cold." Mulder didn't feel anything but numbness. He watched as Angela and Ray walked out the front door and got into a car, Joy was in Angela's arms. She looked like she was crying. ::Joy wants Scully:: he thought to himself.

As soon as they pulled away, Mulder bolted from the car, the Gunmen not far behind. "Front door or back?" Byers asked.

"Back, the street is open," Frohike answered.

Mulder, Langley and Frohike went around the back gate to the door. Byers was outside and was supposed to inform them over the walkie talkies if Ray came back.

They easily picked the lock and entered the small house. "Don't switch on any lights, we'll alert people across the street," Mulder commented as he took out the flash lights.

They had four cameras, one was placed in a living room plant, another in the kitchen above the shelf, the third one in Ray's bedroom and the final one in the second bedroom. The second bedroom had been set up as a nursery, so Mulder assumed it was for Joy.

He glanced at his watch, "Anything else?" Frohike and Byers still weren't finished installing the last one.

The walkie talkie burst with life, "It's Byers, Ray is back! His car is coming down the street, get out of there!"

Mulder avoided panic. That would do him no good. Quickly he searched the rooms they entered, making sure that they didn't leave anything behind. "Let's get out of here!" he hissed.

The three quickly escaped through the back door, having to jump over other neighbor's fences. Mulder eventually came back out to the front street, the gunmen behind him. "The van is down that way, lets go. Thanks guys, Scully would appreciate it."

Frohike sighed. "I take cash, credit cards, checks and one night stands."

Mulder rolled his eyes, "You won't get one from my Scully."


Ray was fuming. The brat had been crying for an hour! "Mom, just smack her upside her head and shut her up!" He stormed into the kitchen, pulling out a beer.

"Ray! You don't hit children! NEVER! You know the plan. As soon as Dana Scully is pronounced dead you can vanish into thin air and I'll fight Margaret Scully for Joy."

"What if Margaret Scully gets Joy?" Ray threw the beer can into the sink.

"She won't, not with Judge Parker helping me, you'll never have to see Joy again after Dana dies."

"Isn't that going a bit far, Mother?" He leaned against the counter, starring at the child, who had now fallen silent.

"We both know that Dana Scully was doomed to die anyway, with her line of work and all. I'm just setting things on the right path now so Joy won't suffer the loss of her mother later." The woman grinned.

Ray shook his head, "Fine! Dump her in the nursery." He stormed back into the living room.

Angela sighed, kissing Joy's forehead, "You don't need Daddy, Joy. Grandma will take care of you."


A day went by and Mulder and Frohike returned to the house. Langley and Byers were outside keeping watch. Frohike replaced the tapes, "All set, Mulder. Ready to get out of here?"

Mulder had searched the house for guns. "Sure, I want to see what's on those tapes."

An hour later they sat in the Gunmen's office, watching the tapes. Each of them watched a tape. "Mulder, come here!" Byers called from across the room.

Mulder navigated his way through the desks and file cabinets. "What is it?"

Byers turned up the sound, "Listen to this."

"Mom, just smack her upside her head and shut her up!"
"Ray! You don't hit children! NEVER! You know the plan. As soon as Dana Scully is pronounced dead you can vanish into thin air and I'll fight Margaret Scully for Joy."
"What if Margaret Scully gets Joy?"
"She won't, not with Judge Parker helping me, you'll never have to see Joy again after Dana dies."
"Isn't that going a bit far, Mother?"
"We both know that Dana Scully was doomed to die anyway, with her line of work and all. I'm just setting things on the right path now so Joy won't suffer the loss of her mother later."
"Fine! Dump her in the nursery."
"You don't need Daddy, Joy. Grandma will take care of you."

Mulder's mouth fell open. "Oh, my God!"

Frohike let out a gasp. "LOOK!"

Mulder turned to the other TV. Joy was crying again, starting to spit up. Ray entered the nursery, grabbing her and turning her upside down. He shook her wildly, smacking her with his left hand. Mulder knew of no words to describe how he felt. He wanted to grab Ray and rip his throat out!

"I'll kill that bastard!" Mulder raced out of the room. He had to get Joy before anything else happened...before she was seriously hurt. ::If he does anything to her, I'll kill him. I'm gonna kill him. He's dead!:: The thought of Scully's daughter being treated like that broke his heart.


He pulled into Ray's driveway, seeing that he was home. Ray looked surprised when the door open. Mulder tried to control himself, but he threw a punch. Ray flew backwards, "Bastard!" he snapped.

Mulder heard the sound of Joy crying. He stepped around Ray and ran to the nursery, picking her up. "Shh, I'm here, baby. I'll take you away from here." He carried her outside.

Ray ran after him, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

"You're all insane, all of you!" He strapped Joy's small body into the passenger seat. He really should have thought ahead and gotten a car seat for her.

"She's my daughter!" Ray screamed at the top of his lungs.

"Real fathers don't beat their daughters!" Mulder shouted back, the anger starting to boil. His heart went out to Joy, he loved her so much and he was going to protect her from this monster!

"Mulder, you heard the judge!"

"AND I KNOW YOU RIGGED THAT!" Mulder got into his car, starting the engine.

"WHAT?" Ray's face went pale.

"I know everything. Back up is on the way." Mulder lied, a little bluff to scare him. He'd have to call back up soon. Without another word, Mulder pulled out of the driveway.

As he concentrated on the road, he managed to call local police. Officers were on their way to pick up Ray and his mother.

Then Mulder called the hospital. "Don't let anyone near her, understand? Someone has been pumping her full of some drugs, I don't know what they are yet." Mulder had even called Skinner, begging him to stay with Scully until he got there.

"Mulder, what's wrong?" Skinner knew that Mulder was troubled. "Nothing, I have it under control. I'll be at Margaret Scully's house if you need me."

Margaret gathered Joy into her arms, "My poor baby, what did he do to you?" Joy had bruises all over her.

It broke Mulder's heart and he cursed himself. It was all his fault, for letting them take Joy and not stopping them sooner. ::God, I hope Scully can forgive me:: He wanted to cry. He prayed that Scully would be okay, and out of the hospital soon. He couldn't lose her, not now.


Scully started to wake up. The brown haired nurse was standing over her, "Ha! Perfect timing, Miss Scully." She revealed the needle.

Scully moaned, "Please....no," she pleaded. Not again. Whatever was in that needle was making her sick! And weak! She could barely move!

"One second, this will be over soon." Scully could feel the pain but couldn't do anything to stop her. "Damn you..."

Before Scully slipped back into a coma, she heard a door opening. "FREEZE! FBI!"

She saw Skinner, her vision blurred..."Ahhhh..."


Five days went by and there was no change in Scully. Mulder started to worry. ::God, you brought her back to me once before, please....do it again! For Joy!::

The little girl seemed to handle things well. He could tell she missed Scully. He missed her, too, and recognized the look. "I can't promise that Mommy will come home, but she'll try," Mulder had said before laying her down for her nap.

Today was the day of Ray and Angela's hearing. Mulder made sure that Judge Parker was dealt with. Mulder had gone up to the man's house and punched his face in, the he let Skinner handle the rest. Skinner had caught Ray's sister injecting Scully with the poisons. But it was too late, she had already slipped back into the coma by the time a doctor could get in.

Mulder had been called as a witness and he was going to show the tape. If Scully died, Ray and Angela would have murder on their heads. ::If Scully dies, I'll kill them myself!:: Mulder was full of anger and rage. He couldn't do anything to release it, either. He found himself constantly praying to a God he wasn't sure he believed in. But he could do nothing else.

Mulder popped in the tape, watching Ray and Angela squirm in their seats. They claimed they were "not guilty" but Mulder planned on proving otherwise. The tape played...people in the court room gasped and the Torrance's lawyer buried his face in his hands. It was all over.

Mulder wanted to smile, but the thought of Scully in a coma wanted to make him cry. ::not here.:: He told himself. The Prosecution lawyer cleared her throat, "Your honor, the prosecution-" She was interrupted when the courtroom door burst open.

There was Scully. She was wearing a thin cotton shirt and jeans. She looked so pale, it was scary. She was a ghost. Mulder's heart started to pound. ::THANK YOU, GOD!:: He rushed towards her, taking her fragile form into his arms, "Scully, I thought-" She held him tight, "I know, Mulder. Skinner told me everything."

"How did you get here?"

"Skinner again. He was there when I woke up...that was about three hours ago, we couldn't get hold of you." Mulder kissed the top of her head, "We missed you, Scully."

The Judge stood up, mentioning something about a brief recess. Scully's eyes turned to Ray and Angela. Mulder pulled her back, "Come on, Joy has been going nuts without you." Scully noticed that her mother was in the room, Joy sitting in her lap. "Mom! Joy!"

The three of them hugged. Mulder smiled. Margaret, Dana and Joy. Mothers and daughter together. Scully reached a hand out to him, "I want to go home." He nodded, "Anything you want, Scully."

If she was angry about Ray and Angela, she wasn't showing it. Mulder knew she was, he assumed she was. Scully looked so tired, exhausted. "Scully, I think you should get some sleep."

"Mulder, I've been sleeping for days!"

He took Joy from her arms, "I'll put her down for bed, take a break." Scully sat down in a chair and watched him, he knew she was watching him, he could feel it.

Scully stood up, "I want to do that, I miss it." She took out Joy's night gown and slipped off her other dress. When she saw the bruises and the marks, Scully gasped. "Oh, my God!"

Mulder stepped forward, "When she was staying with Ray, he did that to her. I'm so sorry, Scully, it's all my fault! I let him take her-"

She put her hand up to silence him, "It isn't your fault. It's Ray's." Scully gathered her baby into her arms, kissing her lightly, "I'm so sorry, Joy. I won't let it happen ever again, I promise." Joy rested her head against Scully's shoulder, slowly drifting. Scully looked close to tears, Mulder could see them brewing.

When Joy had fallen asleep, Mulder came back out of the nursery. Scully buried her face in her hands, "So, what happened while I was in the hospital?"

"Custody battle, I'm sure Skinner told you about it."

"I want your version." She looked up at him, her blue eyes shining with unshed tears. He bit his lower lip, "They had the Judge in their pocket. Ray's sister was injecting you with poison at the hospital. And Angela's plan was to kill you...." He could barely say it.

"Go on, Mulder." "Your Mom and I tried to get her back, but at the time we didn't know about the Judge. Frohike and the guys helped me set up cameras in Ray's house. That's how I found out he was hitting her, we got in on tape. I immediately went over there and took her back to your mother's house."

Scully let the tears slip, "How can he do that to our baby? Why does he hate her so much? She never did anything!"

Mulder took Scully into his arms, "It was his mother, he didn't want her in the first place. Angela-" She stood up, angry now. He watched her pace back and forth in her living room. Mulder sighed, she wasn't going to listen. She would boil all night and make herself sick.

Mulder thought about the events of the past few days. He'd almost lost her, he could have lost both of them! "Scully, you should sleep." She turned back to him...slowly nodding, "You're right."

He waited an hour after she had fallen asleep, just to make sure. Then he had to force himself to leave, return to his empty apartment. After kissing Joy good night, Mulder locked the door behind him and left.


On the long drive home, he thought over everything. Joy could have been seriously hurt by Ray, and Scully could have been hurt by Angela. He almost lost both of them. If he had, he didn't think he would have gone on. ::I don't have anything besides them::. And he knew he'd never have anything as good. He sighed, missing them already.

Laughing at himself, he parked his car. Right when he was getting out, his phone rang. "Mulder."

"Mulder, I just wanted to make sure that you got home okay." Scully's voice sounded sleepy.

"You're awake, obviously. Now go back to sleep." ::please don't, I want to talk with you!::

"I can't, Mulder. Are you tired?"

"Remember who you're talkin' to?" he asked.

"Oh, the insomniac, sorry. Have time to talk with your partner?"

::ARE YOU KIDDING?:: "I don't know, it's awfully late...sure why not!"

The two talked into the early hours of the morning. Partly discussing work, then Joy, then the meaning of life...then love. "What do you think it is?" Scully asked, yawning.

"Well, Plato said it was a mental disease-"

"Mulder!"

"Sorry, I'm not sure. If you find out, tell me, since I'll never know what it's like." ::pity me, I'm beggin' for your pity!::

"Mulder, there is someone out there for you who you'll love." Scully said confidentially.

::I know that! I'm talking to her right now!:: "By any chance to you know who she is?"

"Well, want to hear my theory?"

"Yes." ::go on. GO ON!:: "I think that the girl for you is Skinner's latest secretary!" She laughed.

Mulder winced, remembering the elderly woman who sits behind the desk at Skinner's office. "Oh, sure! Why didn't I think of that? I'd rather marry a shape shifter. Then I'd have 'em shift into Cindy Crawford."

"Do you really go for the Cindy Crawford types?" Scully asked, now serious.

"Do you think that looks is all I care about?"

"Well, most of the women I've seen you with don't have brains," she said flatly.

::Jealous?:: "I believe you fit under that category!"

"Oh, is that why you keep me around? I don't have brains?"

"No, didn't mean that! You're perfect, Scully. Gorgeous, kind and smart. Now go to sleep or you won't be able to keep up with Joy." ::hang up, hang up! I can't finish this conversation!::

"Sure, I'll see you later. Good night, Mulder." She hung up.

Mulder sighed, putting the phone down. He couldn't take anymore talk about love with her. It hurt too much.

::someday, Scully. If everything goes all right, someday I'll tell you.::



Title: Devotion IV: Father's Day
Date Authors: Sarah and Sophia
Distribution Statement: Archive anywhere and everywhere!
Spoilers: None.
Rating: PG
Content: Sappy romance, maybe a bad word, not much.
Classification: S ::story:: R ::romance:: MSR ::Mulder/Scully Romance:: Disclaimer: The two most perfect FBI agents in the world and their pals belong to Chris *I killed Mulder and I'm laughing at you* Carter, FOX and Ten Thirteen. But one day ::when we take over the Earth:: we'll bring the X-Files to the dark side of the force! But CC can keep CSM and company.

Summary: Mulder starts going out with someone else, making Scully think about their relationship.


Margaret smiled at her daughter, "Dana, I already promised him that you'd go!"

"MOTHER? Are you nuts? Does he know about Joy? Most men won't go out with women like me who have kids!"

"Darling, he's a pediatrician, he loves kids! And he does know about Joy. I told him everything, Dana, you must go!" she pleaded.

Scully sighed. Why was her mother doing this? She'd been set up on a date, and it was a blind date! "What if I think he's boring?"

"Fox will be with you."

"MULDER?" Her mouth fell open. ::is he going to baby-sit me?::

"Yes, dear. I set him up with Valerie King, a nice young lady I met. She owns a book store, very intelligent. She's perfect for Fox."

Scully stiffened, "He'll be on a date with Valerie while I'm with... what was his name again?"

"Taylor Gordon, Dana. Remember that name so you don't embarrass yourself."

"So Mulder will be with Valerie while I'm with Taylor Gordon. How is he going to keep me company?"

"Darling, it's a double date. Fox finally agreed to it after I twisted his arms for a bit. Now, go get changed. I'll watch Joy until you come back. I'll make you a deal."

"I'm listening." Scully sighed.

"I'll call you an hour after the date starts. If you don't like them, you and Fox can pretend that you just got called onto a case."

"Mother!"

"Dana, go change! I made reservations at Adrian's for seven. Go!"


Mulder arrived at her apartment to pick her up. He was kind of nervous. He didn't want to go out with Valerie. Sure, she was probably a nice girl if Margaret Scully had liked her, but Mulder really had his eyes set on someone else.

He knocked on Scully's door, waiting for her to answer. Once again he struggled with his tie, right when the door opened. His heart stopped and his mouth fell open. She stood in front of him. A goddess come to earth. She was wearing a black dress, short, straps, black stockings and an bare arms. Her hair was piled in curls on top of her head, a few tendrils escaping like flames around her face.

She blushed, "Too much? I'll go change-" She started her retreat to her bedroom.

Mulder stepped in, getting in front of her. "No, Scully. You look fine." ::God do you look FINE!::

She wasn't sure how to respond to that, so she thanked him and turned around so he wouldn't see her blush! Mulder glanced down at his watch, "Time. You ready?"

She examined herself in the hall mirror, "I think so. Come, Mulder. We cant keep our dates waiting." She locked the door behind her, then took Mulder's arm as they walked to the car. He felt like he was escorting the princess to the ball. ::Damn, that Taylor guy is a very lucky man!::

She wasn't sure why she had dressed the way she did. Not to impress Taylor...or Valerie. She was surprised that she was pleased with Mulder's reaction to her dress. ::why do I care? I'm not here to go out with him, I'm with Taylor.::

They were escorted to their table, where Taylor and Valerie already waited, chatting for a bit, making small talk. Scully smiled, "I'm Dana."

"I'm Fox Mulder," Mulder added. Valerie was tall. Brunette... and was defiantly not wearing a wonder bra! Scully glanced at Mulder to see his reaction to his date. He was smiling and shaking her hand. They exchanged more pleasantries and sat down for their dinner.

"So, Dana... Fox, what do you two do for a living? Margaret mentioned that you were partners. In what?"

Scully glanced at Mulder, who was still smiling. "Tell him, Scully."

Scully sat tall, "Special Agent Dana Scully of the FBI, this is my partner, Special Agent Fox Mulder." She had said the introduction so many times it had become a reflex!

Taylor's mouth fell open, "You're kidding!"

Mulder handed Taylor his badge, "Nope. FBI agents."

Valerie looked impressed, "So, do you two carry guns?"

Mulder cleared his throat, "When on duty, yeah."

Valerie grinned, as if she had just met her knight in shining armor. Scully tried not to roll her eyes, Valerie looked like she had the IQ of a turnip!

Taylor and Scully tried to have their own conversation while Valerie "oohed" and "aahhed" over Mulder's words. "Dana, Margaret tells me you have a daughter."

Scully nodded, "Yes, her name is Joy and she's almost a year old."

"Really? What does she look like?"

Mulder suddenly burst into the conversation. "Joy? She's a gorgeous baby. Red hair like her mom. If you can imagine Scully as a baby, you've got Joy."

"Thanks, Mulder." Scully laughed, "My poor baby is unfortunate enough to look like her mom."

"Unfortunate? I'd say she's very lucky, to look like a mom like you." Taylor flattered her.

Mulder felt like throwing up! ::What a line! There is no way she'd fall for-::

Scully smiled at Taylor, "Thank you."

::SHE FELL! Damn! I say that all the time and it has no real effect, except she laughs it off!:: Mulder was captivated by Scully, but he had to endure Taylor's presence.

Valerie, not wanting to be ignored, made a suggestion. "Fox, lets go and dance."

He turned to her, having to tear his eyes off his partner. "Ha? Dance? I.."

She got up, taking his hand and pulling him to his feet. "Come one, Fox."

When Scully turned back to say something to Mulder, he was gone. She looked around, "What happened to Mulder... and Valerie?"

"Dancing, feel like a spin around the dance floor?" Taylor asked, a grin on his face.

Scully bit her lower lip, "I-" ::No! I do NOT want to dance with you, you're boring and I don't want to send out any wrong signals!::

It was her lucky day. Her phone rang. Mulder returned to the table, Valerie holding his hand. There was no polite way to get rid of her! Scully answered her phone, "Scully."

"Dana, it's me," he mother said. "Having fun?"

"AD Skinner, hello. And the answer to your question is no."

"Oh, that's too bad. Want to come home now?"

"Yes."

"All right, I'm sorry for dragging you and Fox into it."

"That's all right, Sir. We'll be there soon." Scully put her phone away. She lightly kicked Mulder under the table. "That was Assistant Director *Wally* Skinner. Mulder, we have a meeting with him." The "Wally" and the kick under the table was a signal to him that it wasn't really Skinner. He nodded, helping Scully up. "Sorry, duty calls."

"Do they often do this?" Valerie asked, standing up, a pout on her face.

He nodded. "All the time. I haven't been at home for more than two days at once!"

She sighed. "Bye."

Taylor nodded. "Bye."


"Thank God! I couldn't take any more of her mindless babble!" He got into the car after helping Scully in. She raised an eyebrow, "Valerie? I thought you two were getting along."

"Are you crazy? She has nothing to talk about. Just her book store - she's a major book worm."

"Is she smart?"

"I guess she is smart, and she's gorgeous, she's just boring!" He started the car and pulled out of the parking lot.

Scully leaned against the seat, "I didn't like him much either. How the Hell did my mother find them? I mean, I can't have a relationship! I have my job and Joy, that's full time work! No time for a man!"

Mulder sighed, "I know what you mean. What do you want to do now?"

"What, you don't want to go home yet?" ::Are you kidding? I got the girl of my dreams at my side... alone! I don't want this to end yet!:: "I was thinking we could catch up some, how about dinner somewhere else?"

"I thought we ate," she pointed out.

"I watched you, Scully. You had half of that little salad and some wine. I feel like going to Darwin's, come with me."

She smiled. "Sure, Mulder. It's still early, only eight."

He grinned. ::YES!::


They finished their dinner at Darwin's. She had some salmon and he made sure she finished everything. Lately she'd been looking rather frail. "Are you okay?" ::Five, four, three, two, one-::

"I'm fine, Mulder," he sang the words along with her. She rolled her eyes, "You worry too much."

"Joy keeping you on your toes?"

She nodded, "Really! Not a second to myself. We should do this more often, Mulder."

He raised his wine glass to a toast, "To more nights like this." ::I hope we have more.::

She laughed, "And no more Valerie and Taylor!"

Violins started playing and he suddenly wanted to dance. He didn't want to with Valerie, but Scully was a different case. "Come one."

"Where?"

"They're playing our song."

"What song? We don't have one." She protested.

"We do now. Come on, one dance."

She sighed, letting him pull her to her feet and navigate her out to the floor. They were playing `Who Will Buy This Wonderful Evening.' She smiled.

The first hour with Valerie and Taylor had been boring. But now it was ten thirty and she was much happier. Because she was with her best friend, her partner and the only man in her life. But she didn't mind that Mulder was the only man in her life. He was charming... ::what am I thinking?::

He pulled her into his arms and they wrapped their arms around each others. Slowly they moved to the music. He twirled her around as the music sped up, she laughed. It felt good to laugh. It had been a while since someone besides her daughter had made her laugh like that. Mulder danced her around the room, having fun as they went. She had to admit, she was enjoying herself!

Then, without warning, he pulled her close to him. Her heart started to pound in her chest. What was he doing? Then he twirled her out and pulled her back, dipping her! Her head was spinning, people who were watching started to clap their hands. Mulder pulled her back up, smiling. She blushed, hiding her face in Mulder's shoulder. She felt him kiss the top of her head, "Let's go."


In the car, she called her mother and told her that she wouldn't be home until late. Joy was at Margaret's house, so Scully was in no rush. He planned on showing her one more place. It was only eleven. "Come on, we got the whole night." He parked the car and opened her door for her. She was still in her sleeveless black dress, and the cold air felt good around her. Especially after that dance that got her adrenaline pumping! They were at The John Marty park. Together they walked, side by side, like they always were. He couldn't remember being so happy on a date.

Of course, his original purpose was to go with Valerie, but he was happy now. They passed a large fountain in the shape of a swan. She smiled, "It's pretty, especially with the colored lights around it." He nodded, "I think it looks great at night." He glanced over at her. She shivered, "Yeah, it is pretty out here."

"You're cold," he stated, taking off his coat and draping it over her shoulders.

She smiled. "Thanks, Mulder." They sat at the fountain, he ran his hands through he cold water. Although it was very cold out, he started to feel very warm! Somewhere a song started to play. "For You I Will."

Mulder pulled Scully up. "Once last dance. I promise."

She sighed, letting him take her into his arms once more.

"Promise you, for you I will I will shed your heart from your brain I will let no harm come your way Oh these arms will be your shelter, no these arms won't let `ya down If there is a mountain to move I will move that mountain for you.. I'm here for you, I'm here forever. I will be your fortress..."

Mulder couldn't think of a song that explained him like this one did. He'd do anything for her... She rested her head against this chest, rocking back and forth with him. He felt warn inside. As if everything was okay and nothing bad would happen.

"I will cross the oceans for you I will go and bring you the moon I will be your hero your strength anything you need. I will be the sun in your sky..."

Scully listened to the music, feeling relaxed and safe. Here. In Mulder's strong arms. She sighed, a warm feeling of happiness came over her. ::What would I do without him?::

The events of the last year came into her mind. What would she have done without his help and support? To protect her at work, to help her at home with Joy. The be her strong shoulder to lean on and to be Joy's guardian angel when Scully couldn't' be there. ::I would have had a break down a long time ago if it wasn't for him! I would have died without him! Joy would have died without him!::

Scully hugged him closer, feeling as if she could never be close enough to him! This song was meant for them... it explained everything. Their relationship as partners and friends...

"Promise you, for you I will. For you I will, lay my life on the line. For you I will follow for you I will die With every breath will my soul I give my word, I give it all."

"Promise you... For you I will..." Mulder whispered in her ear.

She shivered, but didn't say anything. She wasn't sure what to say to him. Mulder decided that this was the night he'd try to take a step forward. There was no better time.

He raised Scully's chin, looking into the deep blue oceans that were her eyes. "I give it all." Lightly he brushed his lips against hers. She made a whimpering sound, holding him closer. Mulder hugged her tight, kissing her again. "Amazing."

"What?" she said, out of breath. "I kissed you and you haven't shot me yet." He grinned. She smiled, "I left my gun at home, sorry." They laughed and together, arms around each other, walked back to Mulder's car. He kissed her before starting the car. "What is your mom going to say?"

Scully's mouth fell open, "I BET SHE PLANNED THIS!"

"And you say I'M paranoid!" He started the car.

She leaned against the car seat. "I bet you she did. My mother, cupid!"

He reached for her hand. "Remind me to thank her."

Margaret smiled when she saw them at her door. She had his coat around her shoulders, his arm was around her waist. "Joy's asleep, come on in." She escorted them to the living room. ::IT WORKED!:: She just wanted to get them alone for a while. Both dressed up with no place to go. From the looks of them, they looked like they had a good time, too.

She carried Joy down the stairs, the little girl was still half asleep. "Thanks, Mom." Scully took her daughter into her arms. Margaret nodded, "If you need a sitter, just call me. You should have some time to yourself."

Scully said goodbye to her mother and carried Joy out the door and to the car. Mulder grinned at Mrs. Scully. "Fox, did you two have a good time?" she said innocently.

"Love thinks with the heart, and not with the mind, therefore winged cupid is painted blind. But you seem to see things clearly, Mrs. Scully. We had a great time. Thanks." He kissed her on the cheek and closed the door behind him.

Margaret grinned. "It's about time someone showed you two."


The light streaming in from the open curtains caused Scully to wake. She sighed, her room was a bit chilly because the window was left open all night. A strong arm wrapped around her, "Morning, sleeping beauty." Mulder kissed her temple. Scully grinned, remembering the night before. "Morning, my handsome and charming prince. Sleep well?"

"I've never slept so good in my life." He hugged her.

The sound of Joy wailing in the next room caused them to jump. Scully was about to get up when Mulder pulled her back down. "I got her."

He crawled out of bed and slipped on his boxers. Then rushed down to Joy's room. Scully smiled to herself as she slipped on a T-shirt. Mulder returned, the little red head girl in his arms. She reached her arms out for her mother and Scully took her. Joy wrapped her little arms around Scully's neck and buried her face in her mother's hair. Mulder smiled as he slipped under the covers next to her.

The alarm on Scully's side of the bed went off, she quickly handed Joy to Mulder and pulled out the cord. If Joy was fully awakened, there was no way she'd fall back asleep. It was only six in the morning! When she turned back, Joy was sleeping on Mulder's chest, her head tucked under his chin. Scully smiled, "Awww, how cute," she teased.

He glanced at her, "You're just jealous, Scully." He smirked.

Scully laughed, snuggling next to him. She twirled one of Joys' red curls around her fingers, "I didn't tell you last night... I love you."

"You didn't have to tell me, I already knew," he answered her, kissing her softly.

THE END



Title: Devotion 5: Family Ties
Author: Quetzel
Classification: MSR
Distribution Statement: Archive anywhere!
Spoilers: None.
Rating: PG
Content: Mulder/Scully Romance. A few bad words.
Disclaimer: Everyone from The X-Files belongs to Chris Carter, FOX and Ten Thirteen.

Summary: Mulder finds the brother he never knew he had , and Cancerman will do anything to get him back...


St. Vincents Hospital
Washington, DC

He walked into the hospital, seeing Skinner there. His heart was now pounding in his chest. This was it. The Lone Gunmen had gathered there also. It was a cold September night.

He had called Scully and told her that he'd come over later if possible. Early that morning, Frohike had called and said that he had something urgent to show him. Something about Samantha. Byers approached Mulder, a file in his hand. "Before we show you anything, I think that we should discuss what we found first. Mulder, can we talk for a minute?"

Mulder nodded, Skinner and the other gunmen following him. The five men entered a conference room. The carpet was gray, so were the walls. There was a chalk board and a screen. Langley sat down, opening the file. "We invited Assistant Director Skinner here because without him, we could be in trouble. With some password he provided, we were able to get some files."

Frohike took over. "Late last night we hacked our way into a site. There were names, numbers, dates..."

Langley handed Mulder a sheet of paper. "Look at this."

Samantha Mulder:
Parents: William Mulder and Julia Mulder.
Siblings: Fox William Mulder. Older brother.
Ethan Adam Gordon. Twin brother.

It went on and on about her looks, her birthday and other bits of information. Mulder's mouth fell open. "Samantha has no twin brother."

Skinner spoke up, "I don't fully understand what his happening here, Mulder. This could be just a trick. If it is, they went to a lot of trouble! I was able to track down Ethan Adam Gordon. He lives right here in Washington. I saw him. He looks almost exactly like you. You could really be brothers."

"WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME?" He stood up so fast the chair almost fell over.

Langley answered that question, "Sorry, Mulder. But we had to be sure. Ethan is here. We had him take a blood test. If you give a sample, we can do DNA tests and see if you're brothers or not."

"Does he know anything about Samantha?" Mulder asked through gritted teeth.

"That's the strange thing. He's never met her, but he knows everything about her," Byers said.

"What do you mean?"

"He knew who Samantha is. He says he sees her in dreams. We had him take a lie detector test, he's telling the truth. I have a friend of mine, Leon Boyer, doing the DNA tests for us. We can trust him. There is no way that Cancerman can mess with the test...unless he has changed this man's DNA pattern to match yours."

"Could he do that?" Mulder's eyes were wide.

Frohike shrugged. "Not that we know of, but it wouldn't be the first time they've done the impossible."

Mulder buried his face in his hands, "Okay. Let's find out if I have a little brother. Take my blood sample."


Dana Scully's Apartment:

Scully was giving Joy her bath. ::I wonder what Mulder is doing now:: Joy splashed her, giggling. Scully laughed, lifting the baby out of the water, "How dare you splash your Mommy? Humm?"

Joy splashed her again, laughing more.

Scully grabbed a towel off the rack and wrapped Joy in it. "Come, child. Mulder will be here later."

"DADDY!" she screamed.

Scully nodded, "Yes, your daddy."

Gently resting the little red head down on the changing table, Scully got out the baby clothes. Joy was growing up fast. She was over a year old now. She smiled, remembering Joy as an infant. She couldn't talk then, but from the expressions on her face, she had a lot to say.

Mulder was her daddy now. At first Scully had been worried. Not that Ray Torrance was a father to be proud of, but Mulder might not have been ready to be a father to Joy. Fox Mulder never ceased to amaze her. He had taken Joy, calling her his baby girl. They looked like a family, acted like one...and they were one. It was great!

Standing at the window, she let the cold air in. Scully looked up at the sky, wondering if Mulder was looking up at it also. He had been called away and wouldn't be back until 2:00AM. "I miss you." She sighed.


St. Vincent's Hospital.

Mulder felt alone. He wasn't sure what to do. How would he react to this man if they were brothers. Embrace and say 'where the hell have 'ya been?' Mulder moaned, wishing for some support. He had to call his mother now. Picking up the phone, he waited as it rang.

A sleepy voice answered. "Hello?"

"Mom, it's me."

"Fox? Fox, what's wrong? It's late, are you all right?"

"Mom, I need to ask you something."

"What?"

"Mom, listen to be carefully. Did Samantha have a twin brother?"

He heard his mother let out a little gasp over the phone.

"Mom?" ::I hope she didn't have another stroke

"Yes. But he died in the hospital...he wasn't strong enough..." Her voice trailed off.

"Mom, why didn't you ever tell me?"

"I tried to forget about it! It's hard losing a child..." She started sobbing.

Mulder let out a sigh, "I'm sorry, Mom."

"How did you find out?"

Mulder's mouth went dry. He didn't want to tell her until he knew all the details. If Ethan Gordon wasn't who they thought he was, it was going to be hell.

"Fox? How did you find out?" She asked again, more urgently.

"I...was going through records. Mom, I have to go. I might come up to see you tomorrow."

"But Fox-"

"Good night, Mom." He hung up the phone, letting out a deep breath.

Byers and Skinner looked up to him. "We got the rest results back. We thought we'd read them together in the conference room," Byers said.

This was it. The moment of truth. "Okay. Let's go see the results."


Ethan knew why he was there. Those men thought he was the brother of some FBI agent they knew. He didn't have a brother...not that he knew of. But they knew about Samantha. A smile came to his face. When he was younger, he always thought Samantha was his angel.

She was always in his dreams. She had grown up in his dreams. He was eight years old when he first saw her. She was the same age he was. He saw her in his dreams every night until he was about twelve. Then he only saw visions of her when he was stressed or scared. He hadn't seen her in dreams from age fourteen to sixteen. The last time he had seen her, she was a kid, but then when he saw her again, she was a teenager. With beautiful brown hair and dark eyes. Always wearing a white night gown.

A psychiatrist had told him that she had something to do with his mother. But Ethan had never known his mother. She had died shortly after he was born of some disease. Ethan lived with his father. A man he rarely even saw as a child. He was always away on business. Always someone to see, something to do. More important then his son. And when he was home, he would sit in his den and smoke his cigarettes in peace.

Just now Ethan had attempted to call him, but his father wasn't home. As always. Ethan had been raised by his nanny, Amelia. He could tell Amelia was scared of his father. Ethan was, too, at times. There were nights when people in suits would come to their house. Ethan was supposed to be sleeping, but he'd watch from behind the closet door. They would sit around the room, his father always pacing and always smoking. ::Amazing that he doesn't have lung cancer yet. Ethan thought to himself. Every time father and son met, he always had a cigarette with him.


Dr. Leon Boyer stood up, holding a folder in his hand. "Well, we did the tests. It all checks out, the man who gave me sample A is the brother of the man who gave sample B."

Mulder rolled his hands into fists. His brother. Ethan Gordon was his little brother. "Full brothers?" he asked.

Leon Boyer nodded his head, "Full brothers. Is there anything else I can do for you, Byers?"

Byers shook his head, standing up. "Thanks for your help, Leon. I owe you one."

The doctor smiled, shaking his hand. "AND I plan to collect on that I. O. U. I was glad to help."

After the doctor left, Mulder got up and started pacing. "Why? Why the hell was he hidden?

I talked to my mom, she says that Samantha did have a twin brother. But he died in the hospital. Why the hell would anyone take away my brother?"

Skinner leaned against the wall, "Mulder, we never know what the hell those sons of bitches are thinking. But right now, you've found him. Don't you want to go see him? He's in a room downstairs."

Mulder took a deep breath, closing his eyes. "I want to call Scully first. I want her to be here."

Skinner nodded, understanding. "Go ahead."


It was around 3:00AM when she got a call. She leaped out of bed, her heart racing. Whenever she got calls at this hour, it only meant one thing. Mulder was in trouble. She snatched up the phone, "Scully." Her voice sounded high.

"It's me," Mulder answered in a monotone voice.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm at the hospital, I want you to come down here."

"Are you hurt?" She suddenly kicked into doctor mode.

"No, it's not me. Scully, I just found out something big. I have a brother. Samantha has a twin brother. We found him and I can't go in there unless I have you with me."

Scully sank into a chair, "A brother? Samantha had a twin brother? Why didn't you know?"

"Mom thought he died in the hospital. I'll explain the whole thing to you when you come. I'm at St. Vincent's Hospital. Will you be able to make it?"

"Joy-"

"Bring her, too. We can leave her with Skinner for a few minutes. He's here right now."

"Skinner is there?" ::Why was I the only one not invited?

"Scully, please come. I need you."

She nodded, not that he could see her over the phone anyway. "Of course. I'm on my way."


She arrived almost at 4:00 AM. Joy was still sound asleep. She was still in her little green night gown, wrapped up in a coat and blanket. Mulder raced to her side, "Thanks for coming, Scully."

She smiled. "I'd do anything for you, Mulder."

Skinner approached them, they quickly stepped apart. "Agent Scully, sorry that you had to be dragged out here."

"I don't mind, Sir. It's for Mulder."

Skinner nodded, glancing at his watch. "Well, lets get this show on the road."

The Lone Gunmen walked over. "Scully, do you plan on taking sleeping beauty with you?" Frohike asked as he looked at Joy.

Scully grinned, "I don't think so. Byers, would you hold her while I'm gone?"

The expression on Byers' face was priceless. "Me? Uh...I...what if I drop her?"

"Then I'll shoot you," Mulder said sternly.

Scully handed Byers the little bundle. "Don't worry. Just don't be too loud, and don't move too much. OR she'll wake up."

Byers starred down at the little mass of red curls. "Oh, jeez- What if I accidentally kill her?"

Scully looked at him, a faint smile tugging at her lips. "She's a baby, Byers. Not a bomb."

Mulder took Scully's hand, "I'm ready now."

Ethan had fallen asleep in the over stuffed chair in the corner of the room he was in. The room looked like a small conference room. There were large windows looking out towards the street. He was so exhausted. Samantha was there again. She was a woman now. Her dark hair was in a braid over a shoulder, she was again in the night gown.

"Ethan? Are you listening to me?"

He nodded, yawning. "I'm listening, Samantha."

She rolled her eyes, starting to walk back and forth in front of him. "Ethan, something is about to happen that is going to change your life forever."

Ethan suddenly got interested and sat up. "Sam, how did those men know about you?"

She smiled, "Their the friends of someone who loves me."

"Who, Sam? What do you mean 'friends of someone who loves you?' What are you talking about?"

"Ethan, a long time ago I lived with my family. My mom and dad and an older brother."

"Wait a second! What are you, Sam? My dad used to tell me you were a figment of my imagination! I used to think you were an angel! What is going on?"

She smiled at him warmly. "I'm a person, far away from where you are. I'm trying to take care of you. Listen, Ethan...you are going to meet a man today. Someone who loves me."

"Your husband? Boyfriend? Father?-"

She cut his guesses short. "No, Ethan. You'll find out soon. But you can trust him. You have to trust him. He's a good man and you'll like him."

"Samantha...you're talking in circles! I don't like it! C'mon, what's going on?"

She started to disappear. "SAM! COME BACK!"

"Trust him, Ethan. His name is Fox..."

::Fox? What kind of name is that? "SAM!" He gasped as he sat up in the chair. ::A dream. Just a dream...another one with Sam He sighed, wiping his face.

Looking up at the clock above the door, he learned that it was 4:15 in the morning. "God, when can I leave?"

As if on cue, the door opened. The room was dark, but the light from the hall spilled in. "Ethan?" a man asked.

Ethan looked up. In front of him was a man, probably six feet. His hair was dark. His eyes were dark orbs. He was tall and lanky. Standing next to him was a short redhead. She was beautiful, and from where he stood, he could see the blue eyes. She was small and petite. "Who are you?" he asked.

When the redhead turned on the lights, he let out a little whimper in the back of his throat. The man looked almost exactly like him! Except maybe his nose was bigger than Ethan's, and he was taller...but they looked almost exactly alike! It was like looking in a mirror.

The man looked stunned, his mouth hung open in awe. The redhead quickly took charge. "Ethan Gordon? I'm Dana Scully." She put out her hand, shaking it.

"I'm Fox Mulder," the man stated.

A chill went down Ethan's spine. Samantha's words came back to him. 'Trust him, Ethan. His name is Fox..."

Mulder glanced down at Scully. It was obvious what she was thinking. They looked so much alike! Mulder took a deep breath, "I don't know how to tell you this...but we seem to be related. First of all, I'm sorry to keep you here like this, in the dark. I just had to be sure of some details."

Ethan raised an eyebrow, "Huh? Details? Hey, man, just be blunt. I can take it."

Mulder turned around and let out a little smothered laugh. ::blunt? You'll have a heart attack, pal! "I'm your brother." He said quickly in one breath.

He turned around to see the look on Ethan's face. Mulder couldn't describe it. He went from calm to curious. "I guessed, we look alike. But...how can we be brothers? Did we have the same mother or-"

"I'm pretty sure we're full brothers," Mulder said.

Ethan sat down in a chair. "Jeez, where were you while I was growin up? If I had an older brother I might not have been beat up so much." He tried to laugh.

Mulder smiled, "I couldn't have helped, I got beat up, too!"

The two men seemed to ease up a bit. "So, we're full brothers. Any other siblings?" Ethan asked.

Mulder cleared his throat. "Your twin sister, Samantha." Mulder became stiff.

Ethan's expression changed from 'I'm okay now' to shock in a second! "Samantha? Does she have brown hair? And dark brown eyes?"

Mulder nodded, "Yeah."

Ethan jumped out of his chair, "I just had a dream about her. She told me you were coming! She mentioned your name...Fox. What kind of name is that, anyway?"

Mulder shrugged. "It's a curse."

Ethan continued, "Well, where is Samantha? I want to see her in person. I want to know why I've been having dreams about her since I was eight!"

"Eight? That's...when she disappeared."

Ethan's face fell, "What? Disappeared? What do you mean?"

Mulder explained his story, and Ethan was listening and hanging on every word. "Oh, my God." Ethan sat up straight.

Mulder looked as if he'd shatter any second. Scully put her hand on his. "We never really found out what happened to Samantha."

Ethan buried his face in his hands, "How can this be? Why am I having dreams of a sister I never met? What happened to me? Why wasn't I raised with you guys?"

"I...I talked to Mom a while ago. I never knew that Sam had a twin. Mom told me that you died in the hospital shortly after you were born. You were a surprise, you weren't healthy...and they never told me." Mulder's voice started to trail off.

"I can't believe this! Then was I kidnapped? Sold by some baby seller or what?"

"Who have you been living with? When you were a kid, who raised you?"

"My 'father' took care of me, more or less. I grew up right here in Washington."

"Who is he?" Mulder asked, anxious to know.

"His name is Joseph Gordon. He told me my mother died shortly after I was born. She had some heart disease or something. I never knew her."

"I'd like to meet him, if that can be arranged."

Ethan nodded. "Of course. I'd like to meet...our parents, too."

Mulder leaned forward in his chair, "Dad died almost two years ago. He was shot. I was there. It had something to do with his work. Mom is okay, we can go see her tomorrow."

Ethan smiled. "I'd like to see her."

::And I'd like to see that man who raised you Mulder thought to himself.


Cancerman took another cigarette from his box. "What do you have to tell me?" he asked the man in front of him.

"Joseph, Ethan knows."

"Knows what? He had nothing to know, Dan."

"Joseph! Listen to me! Fox Mulder found Ethan! They both know! I think Mulder got into some files about Samantha and he found out about her twin brother...Ethan. He knows. For sure. They just met early this morning, Joseph. Ethan knows that you aren't his real father. Blood tests were done. It's out now!"

Joseph got out of his chair, "How did this information get out?"

"Mulder hacked into some files."

"Dan, where is Ethan now?"

"I don't know. I assume he's spending time with is brother." Dan said bitterly.

Joseph started pacing, holding the cigarette in his hand. "I don't want Ethan anywhere near Mulder, do you understand me? Don't kill Mulder, but keep Ethan away."

"He's not your son, Joseph. I know how much you loved Julia Mulder, but you can't live this lie any longer. You stole Julia's son from her, it's time to make tracks."

Joseph laughed. Dan was his younger cousin and best friends. He was a very intelligent young man, so Joseph had put Dan in charge of Ethan. "I'm keeping him."

"He's a grown man now! You can't keep him like a pet, Joseph. When he was a child, you never paid attention to him anyway."

"YES I DID! I spent as much time with him as a I could. I know I didn't go to all his school plays and I missed his graduation, but I tried to make up for it!"

"By giving him gifts and spoiling him rotten, that is no way to raise a boy! Julia was hurt and you didn't say anything. How could you live with yourself? Knowing that you stole a life and kept Ethan in a glass case all his child hood? Knowing that Julia had a son out here that she didn't know about?"

"Dan, you will never understand. I had good intentions. Find Ethan. Bring him home. I'll clear up this mess."

"Of course you will, by blaming it all on Fox Mulder. Joseph, can't you just let him have his brother-"

"No! Fox Mulder is trouble. Keep Samantha where she is now. I don't know how she's doing it, but she's sending messages to Ethan. Ethan dreams about her and he says she's an angel. Take Samantha far away, Dan. Keep Ethan away from Mulder. I don't want any more problems caused by William Mulder's kids."

"They're William Mulder's kids, Joseph. You know how William was. He tried to smuggle out the information! He went out to find 'the truth' and Fox and Samantha are no different. And Ethan...there is much of William in Ethan. He's curious, nosey-"

"Ethan is my worry! You worry about Samantha and Fox! I'll handle Ethan. I can handle my own son!"


They went to Ethan's home that afternoon. It was a gorgeous pent house! Scully's mouth fell open, "What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a fashion photographer."

"Photographer? Mulder, we're in the wrong line of work!" She looked around, her eyes falling on the kitchen of her dreams.

Ethan laughed. "Only some of this is from photography. The rest is from stocks...and my father paid for the pent house."

Mulder looked, "The man who raised you? I want to meet him soon."

Ethan started going through the drawer in his wall unit. "I have a picture of us. Me and my dad last year at his cousins wedding. It's not like we're close or anything, but he always makes me take a father son picture with him. It's a tradition of some sorts."

He pulled out a frame, handing it to Mulder. Scully heard Mulder gasp from across the room. "Scully, look!"

She walked over to him, putting her hand on his arm. Her heart stopped when she eyes the photo. In it was Ethan, standing behind a chair. In the chair...was Cancerman. "Oh, no."

Ethan looked at them, curiously. "What's wrong?"

"This man, what's his name again?"

"Joseph Gordon. What's wrong?"

"Ethan, this man...Joseph Gordon, he's not good." Scully knew her explanation was pathetic, but the words wouldn't come out. ::The man who raised you is a murderer and a heartless son of a bitch!

"What are you talking about?"

"Ethan, we know him. You know we work for the FBI. There are men in our government who do God forsaken things. Experiments on people...they kill anyone who gets in their way. Joseph Gordon is one of them. We never knew his name, we were always told that men like him didn't have names. But Ethan, he abducted Scully for three months!"

Scully cut in before Mulder started to get confusing, "There are things out there that we don't know about. Lots of things. But what Joseph Gordon does is...God it's so wrong!"

"What do you mean? You people are confusing me!" Ethan started to walk back and forth across the room. It was a habit he'd picked up from Joseph Gordon.

Scully sat down in a chair, "Ethan, he's a liar. He's evil. We've been after him and his people for years!"

Mulder put a hand on his brother's shoulder, "You can help us put him away...so that he never hurts anyone ever again."

"He hurts people?"

Mulder nodded his head, "I'm suspecting that he kidnapped you from our parents. I know this must be hard for you-"

"He kidnapped me from my parents, Fox! Who is he? What did he want with me?"

Scully spoke, "We don't know what he wants. What was your life like as a child? Did the take you places? Run experiments?"

"No, no, nothing like that. He was hardly ever home! I had a nanny, and his cousin was over a lot. When he was home, people in black suits would come late at night. They would always go in the den and lock the doors. I never knew what they talked about or what they did."

Mulder started moving around the room, "Let me think. I would sometimes see him at our house. And other men in suits. It was strange, his presence always freaked Sam out," Ethan sighed, "What happened to Sam?"

"Whatever happened to her had something to do with your dad."

"He used to tell me she was a figment of my imagination. He took me to doctors, they all said it had something to do with my mother."

"He has a lot of tricks up his sleeves." Scully rolled her hands into fists. Her phone rang and she quickly answered. "Scully."

"Scully, it's Byers."

"Oh, how's Joy?"

"She okay. Uh.. when are you coming back?"

"Soon. I'm on my way. Okay?"

"Sure."

She got up, putting her phone away. "I'm going to get my daughter."

Mulder smiled. "Okay, I wouldn't trust her with Langley and Frohike for too long. Even IF Byers is there."

Scully nodded, "I'll catch up with you later."


Joy started crawling around on the floor. Byers' eyes went wide. "LANGLEY! Go get her!"

"She's just a kid, man. She won't eat you!" Langley looked up from his magazine.

"Langley, go get her!"

"Why don't you, you're closer."

"GET UP!"

Langley stumbled out of his chair and scooped up the child, gently putting her down on a sofa in the back. "Geez, man. Can't even handle a kid."

Frohike was laughing in the corner, "He dropped his baby sister when he was eight. I think it's a phobia now."

Langley chuckled, tickling Joy under her chin. She smiled at him, "Poo poo."

Langley's smile faded. "Oh, shit."

"That's right, Langley. Shit." Frohike burst out laughing.

Byers had disappeared into his corner of the room, going through files. He seemed more calm now.

"I'm not changing her!" Langley got up, "Frohike, you get her."

"WHAT?"

"Hey, it's Scully's daughter. Wouldn't you do anything for Agent Scully?" Langley picked up his magazine, prepared to go back to reading.

Frohike frowned, "We'll draw straws." He went into his desk and cut a straw short.

Byers looked up, "Why are there three?"

" 'Cause man, you're participating. Scully gave her to you." Frohike grinned.

Byers rolled his eyes and pulled a straw.

Langley burst out laughing. "You're it, man!"

Byers went hysterical. "I don't know anything about changing diapers!"

"You're a smart man, you'll figure it out!" Frohike picked up a Playboy magazine and sat down to relax. Taking a deep breath, Byers approached the sofa where Joy sat, looking up at him with big blue eyes. "Okay, God have mercy on me."

Joy laughed. "Poo poo!"

He moaned. Ethan handed Mulder the drink. "So, you and Agent Scully seeing each other or what?"

Mulder looked up, "Yeah, I guess you can say that. Her daughters' great. Joy, that's her name."

Ethan nodded, "What was Sam like?"

"You know, she's still out there somewhere."

"How do you know?"

"I just do. Lets talk about your dreams. You see Sam?"

"Yeah."

Mulder went into his wallet and pulled out a photo of Samantha. Wearing a green dress at Christmas. "Does she look like this?" Ethan's eyes went wide. "That's her! But when I see her, she's wearing a white night gown. I think it had a floral print on it or something...maybe hearts. I don't know..."

Mulder jumped when his phone rang. "Hold on. I have to answer this. "Mulder." No one said anything.

"Hello? Is anyone there?" "Agent Mulder...my name is Dan Monson, Ethan knows me. Go ahead and ask him. I have something important to tell you."

"Wait one second. Dan Monson, you said?" He looked at Ethan, seeing his reaction.

Ethan sat up straight, "What about Dan?" he hissed.

Mulder put his hand over the phone, "He's on the phone. He has something to say." "Mr. Mulder?"

"Yes?"

"Joseph...my cousin...the man who raised Ethan, is coming back for him. You've got to get Ethan away. Because I don't want to see Ethan wrapped up in Joseph's wrong doings anymore."

Mulder cleared his throat, "How do you know Joseph is coming for him?" "Joseph said so. I can't talk right now. You have to get away." Click. The phone went dead.

Mulder looked up at Ethan, "Damn! Get your things together, we gotta get out of here."

Ethan gave him a puzzled look, "Why was Dan on the phone? What did he say?"

"He said that Gordon is coming back for you. You have to get out of here. Grab some clothes and anything else you'll need for a trip."

"A TRIP? We're on the run? Do you even know what you're doing?"

Mulder dialed Scully's number. "Hey, I've done this a million times! Scully and I are experts!"

Ethan scoffed as he disappeared into his bed rooms to get his clothes. "Scully." He heard his partner answer. "It's me. Okay, Cancerman's cousin, Dan Monson, just called. He said that Cancerman is coming for Ethan. I'm going to take Ethan to the Gunmen's office for a second. Maybe there we can come up with a plan." "Wait, Mulder. I doubt that we don't have time to waste. I'll drop Joy off with my mother in a minute. Call Langley and ask him what he can do."


Joy was changed and a happy baby. She reached her arms up to Byers, smiling with her big blue eyes shining.

"What?" Byers asked the little girl. She kept her arms up. "Do you want a teddy bear?" He took the stuffed toy of her changing bag and handed it to her.

She tossed the toy onto the floor, putting her arms up once again.

"She wants you to pick her up, Byers!" Frohike laughed, picking up the phone as it rang. Byers moaned, "Sorry, kid. Not today." Her little rosebud mouth turned into a pout. Her blue eyes started to water.

"JUST PICK HER UP!" Langley snapped as he took the phone. Byers lifted her up quickly, holding onto her tight, praying that he wouldn't drop her like he had dropped his sister. She stopped crying and wrapped her arms around his neck, resting her head on his shoulders. Byers patted her back. "Okay, I'm okay. This is okay..." "Mulder, hi. You need a place to run to? I know the perfect spot. We have a friend who has an apartment in Dayson City. They'll never find you there. It's a nice three bedroom apartment-" Langley and Frohike were now on the phone with Mulder.

"Sure, Langley. Go ahead and give me directions."


Location Unknown
1:25 PM Scully sighed. Ethan had fallen asleep in the back seat and Mulder was diving. "I miss my Joy." She sighed again.

Mulder smiled, "She's a great kid, Dana." They had left Joy in the care of Mrs. Scully. They didn't want her to stay with the Gunmen for a long period of time.


Ethan stirred in the back, but didn't wake up. "Mulder...how are you, really?" "Huh?" "This must be awkward for you, Mulder. I mean...finding a brother and all. How are you taking it?"

"One step at a time, Scully. My first job is to make sure that Cancerman doesn't get him again. Why he took Ethan...God, who could take a child away from it's family like that and not give it a second thought?" "Apparently Joseph Gordon. Mulder, we have his name now!"

"Yeah, but Ethan doesn't know anything about what he does. God, if only I could be a step ahead of him for once..."

"We have something he wants, Mulder. We have Ethan."

"And we have to protect him." Mulder cut in.

She smiled, "Serve and protect. I hope that we can all live normal lives after this."

"Like I was ever normal in the first place." Mulder scoffed.

Scully grinned. "Tell me why I love you."

He glanced at her, but trying to keep his eyes on the road. A smile spread across his face. "Geez let me think. Because I'm extremely handsome...the most handsome man you've ever laid eyes on. I'm extremely charming. Or..."

"OR I'M extremely crazy!" She laughed.

He shrugged, "That, too."

Mulder reached his hand out to hold hers. He kissed the back of her hand. "What are you thinking?" Scully asked, her voice a whisper.

"I'm not." He grinned.


"Ethan, pay attention to me!" Samantha snapped at him.

He glared at her, "Twins, Sam? We're twins? Why didn't you tell me? You've come to me in dreams for so long and you never told me."

She smiled, "The subject never came up."

He threw up his hands in frustration. "Samantha! Why do you always keep me in the dark? Who the Hell is Joseph Gordon anyway?"

"I don't know the whole story. From what I learned, he had some doctors tell our mom that you were born weak and died. Mom and dad never saw you. After that, he took you away."

"Sam...where are you?"

"I don't know," she said flatly.

"WHAT? You don't know? Are you in a space ship or what?" he asked her.

"Ethan, I don't know."

"Are you hurt?" He suddenly became protective.

"No. Not hurt, just lonely."

"How can you come to me in dreams?"

Samantha started pacing, "I just can. It's a power I've developed."

"Are we ever going to find you?"

"Who are 'we' Ethan?"

"US! Me and Fox and Dana Scully."

She smiled, "You've joined the search for your sister, too."

"Hey, can't leave my sister unguarded." He smiled. "God, this is something out of Star Wars. We got the twins, and we got a villain."

"Forget Star Wars."

"Samantha, have you ever been able to do this with anyone else?"

She shook her head. "When I got you, I was actually going for Fox. But I found you instead. Imagine my surprise when I learned I tapped into my twin brother's brain."

"Sam...when are we going to find you?"

"I don't know. You might never find me. I don't even know where I am."

"Does Joseph Gordon know?"

"I see him sometimes. He comes here, he checks on me. God, I hate him!"

"Sam, he never hurt you, did he?"

Her image started to fade again. "SAM? SAM! Don't go yet!"

"I have to. I'm get weaker...I'll come later..."

Her image vanished into thin air and he woke up with a start.

"Sam!"


Scully whirled around, "Ethan, are you all right?"

He nodded, fully awake now. "Sure...I'm okay."

Mulder glanced back at him, "You want us to stop for a minute?"

"No.. I'm all right now."

"You screamed out Sam's name. What were you dreaming about?"

"She was here again," he paused for breath, "she said that she didn't know where she was.

When she first got to wherever she is now, she learned some mind trick thing. She tried to tap into your mind, but got me instead. She's seen Dad- Joseph Gordon, I mean."

"Is she okay? Is she hurt?"

Ethan smiled, remembering that he had asked Sam the exact same questions. "She says she's not hurt, just lonely. I...she said she doesn't know if we'll ever find her."

Mulder gripped the steering wheel so hard his knuckles became white. "We'll find her."


Joseph was furious. "DAN!"

Dan entered the office a moment later. "What?"

"I know what you did, Dan. Trying to get Mulder and Ethan out of sight. It's not going to work. I will find them. And I will have Ethan back home. I will have my son back home."

He started opening a desk drawer.

Dan's eyes went wide with horror when he saw the gun pointed at him.

"JOSEPH, NO! I'm family! I'm your cousin!"

"But Ethan is my son and he comes first-"

"ETHAN IS NOT YOUR SON! He is William Mulder's son! Not yours."

"Don't you ever mention that name to me again!"

"But it's true! You were in love with Teena and you kidnapped her son because she wouldn't leave William!"

Joseph's face went cold. "That is not true!"

"You caused that family nothing but suffering because Julia didn't love you back! Admit it to yourself! Just admit it!" Dan's face was now flushed and his eyes were blazing.

Joseph lowered the gun. "You are a liar, Daniel. I gave him everything-"

"William Mulder could have given him the same things if he'd had the chance!"

He raised the gun again, pointing it at him, "I don't ever want to hear your voice again."

The gun went off, the bullet hitting Dan in the chest. He stumbled back against the wall and slid to the floor. Starring in horror at the blood covering his handles, his own blood.

"Nothing is getting in the way of me and my son." Joseph took a cigarette out from his desk.


Margaret Scully's House
7:47 PM

Joy had fallen asleep long ago, so Margaret decided to settle down with a book. It was nice to have children in the house. Reminded her of when Dana was just a baby. She smiled, remembering when they'd brought her home from the hospital. She was half way through her novel when she heard the back door opening. She was sure it was her neighbor, Janet Willis. Janet often came over and dropped off pastries. They did fund raisers together.

Janet had a key to the house. "Janet?" she called.

Getting up, Margaret walked into the kitchen.

A strong hand grabbed her arm and pulled her back. Another hand covering her mouth. "Where is the baby?"

"What?" Margaret was alarmed. Her heart beating fast, she thought it'd burst any second.

::Oh, God. Joy is upstairs alone- "Forget it. This house isn't THAT big." He covered her mouth and nose with a napkin soaked with something. It smelled like nail polish remover. Margaret collapsed into the darkness...


Dayson City
9:00PM

"Does anyone want Chinese?" Scully asked, setting the table.

Mulder yawned, "Sure. Tomorrow I'll go out and get breakfast."

His phone rang, causing Ethan and Scully to jump.

"Mulder," he answered.

"Mr. Mulder, I believe we have something you want," a familiar voice said.

::CANCERMAN! Mulder kept calm. "I believe it's the other way around."

"No, no. I have Margaret and Joy Scully. Perhaps your partner would be more interested in what I have to say."

Mulder's heart stopped. "You're a liar."

Margaret's voice came on. "Fox? Oh, God...I'm so sorry-"

"NOW, Mr. Mulder. If you want to see Mrs. Scully and the girl again, I suggest we trade."

Mulder dreaded the next words.

"Agent Scully's family for Ethan. Hawthorn Bridge tomorrow 5:00 AM. Do you understand?"

"YOU HEARTLESS SON OF A BITCH!" Mulder screamed into the phone. "I will forget that you said that."

"Bastard!"

"I'll forget that also. I want Ethan."

"He's not your son!"

"I raised him, he's mine! If you want to see Agent Scully's family again...alive, I suggest you make it to that meeting." The phone went dead.

Scully starred at him, "What's wrong?"

Mulder took her hand and pulled her into his arms. "They got your mom...and Joy."

He felt her go stiff. She pushed herself away. "WHAT? They have mom and Joy? HOW?"

"They want Ethan...he's willing to trade." Mulder starred down at the floor.

Scully thought of her poor, innocent little baby girl in the clutches of Cancerman and his people. "Oh, no...my Joy...my poor baby girl.." She started sobbing.

Her heart plummeted, her baby. Her little girl. Gone. Just like that! Mulder pulled her to his chest, stroking her hair. "We'll get them back, Scully. Don't worry. It'll be okay."

Ethan stood up, "So when is the trade?"

"Hawthorn Bridge, 5:00AM." Mulder kissed the top of Scully's head, knowing that he was being of no comfort. "I'll do it."

Mulder turned to him. He was torn. He always had a special place in his heart for Margaret. Who was more of a mother to him than his own mother...and he loved Joy like his own. But then he'd just found Ethan, his little brother. Sam's twin. "Are you sure?"

Ethan nodded. "Ask me questions and we'll see if I know anything that will be of some use to you. I'm going."

"But Ethan, we don't know what he'll do to you."

"He won't hurt me. I know he won't."


Hawthorn Bridge
4:45 AM

While driving up, Scully turned around to face Ethan. "I can never repay you or thank you enough for what you're doing."

Ethan offered her a weak smile. "I figured something out. If I can get on the inside, I can search for Sam myself."

Scully took his hand into hers, "God bless you, Ethan. For saving my mom and my little girl."

Ethan smiled again. "Hey, at least I found a real family."

The car stopped and Mulder turned around. "Okay, everybody out."

The three stood side by side at the bridge. Ethan between Mulder and Scully.

"Okay...this is it, boys." Scully took a deep breath. She quickly threw her arms around Ethan, "We'll get you back. And we'll bust every single one of those bastards."

He hugged her back, "Take care of my big brother, okay? Make sure he doesn't shoot himself in the foot or something." He laughed.

"Been there, done that," Mulder joked.

Ethan looked up at Mulder, "We'll find Sam. And we'll bring her back. Then Mom can have all her kids home. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet her..."

"I think it's better this way, it would have broken her heart to see you leave like this."

"Here they come." Ethan hissed, seeing the car.

Joseph Gordon got out, helping Margaret Scully out. Margaret looked fail, smaller some how. Her dark hair was messed up, her clothes were wrinkled. Scully let out a little sound in the back of her throat. "Mom..."

Mulder noticed that Joy was no where in sight. "WHERE IS JOY?"

A man came out of the car, wearing a black suit. He had a bundle in his arms, "Here."

Joseph Gordon and the second man walked forward until they were five feet away from where Mulder stood with his companions. "I'm glad you came, Mr. Mulder."

He pushed Margaret into Mulder's arms, taking Ethan by the shoulder and pulling him towards the car.

"Dad, can we just go home now?" Ethan asked Joseph Gordon. Joseph nodded, "In the car, son."

The second man handed Joy to Scully, "Don't worry, she's all right." He said in a whisper.

Quickly, he followed his boss back to the car. Scully embraced her little girl, sobbing. "My poor baby, did they hurt you? Does it hurt anywhere?"

Joy looked up, burying he hands in her mother's hair, "No boo boos, Mommy. Wanna go sleepy."

Scully laughed, "Okay, baby. I'll take you home and you can sleep." She hugged her tighter. With her other arm, she hugged her mother. Mulder watched as the three females sobbed and hugged. He looked back at the car Cancerman came in. But it was now out of sight. He took Margaret's arm, "Come on, ladies. I want to get you two to the hospital just to be sure nothing was done to you."

"I was with Joy the entire time. I don't think they injected her with anything."

"Mom, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for any of this to happen. I'm sorry they used you like that-"

Margaret wrapped her arms around her daughter. "It's not your fault, it's theirs. You can explain everything later. I just want to go."

Scully nodded, carrying Joy to the car. "Mommy go sleepy," Joy said.

Mulder picked her up, "Hey, baby girl. Are you okay?"

"DADDY!" She screamed and threw her arms around Mulder's shoulders. Mulder hugged her, "I'm going to take you home now. Lets go."

Scully looked up towards the heavens ::God, watch over and protect Ethan::


Ethan sat in the car next to Joseph. "So, who was that man exactly?"

"Fox Mulder?"

"Yeah."

"What did he tell you?" Joseph asked cautiously.

"He said that he was my brother...but I don't believe him. But he DOES look like me...who is he? What the Hell did he want with me?"

"Just someone trying to get to me, son. Sorry to get you involved." They were silent for a moment.

"You aren't still having those dreams about Samantha, are you?" Joseph asked calmly.

Ethan laughed. "She was just an imaginary friend I had a hard time letting go of. Don't worry, I haven't seen her in a long time."

"Good." Joseph relaxed. He was happy to have his son back.


Joseph Gordon's House
1:00PM

Ethan had fallen asleep, he needed a nap desperately. Once again, he found himself in the cold black room from his dreams. "SAM? Are you here?"

He turned around, seeing her standing there. She looked sad. "What's wrong?"

"Ethan...they're moving me away. They said they were taking me to another station."

Ethan frowned, "Will you still be able to come to me?"

She shrugged, "I don't know. I'm not sure yet. I'll try, though. Ethan...why did you give yourself up like that?"

"You know?" he asked, flummoxed.

She nodded. "I read your mind. Why?"

"Because...Margaret Scully and Joy were just victims of circumstance. And if I'm on the inside, can find you and bring you home!"

She smiled. "I'd like that. Did you get to see Mom?"

He shook his head.

"Sorry, I wish she could have met you, Ethan. To have at least one of her missing children back would be wonderful."

"Why our family, Sam? What did we ever do to deserve being split up and tortured like this?"

Samantha shrugged her shoulders, "I don't know, Ethan. Perhaps you could find that out. It had something to do with Dad's work. But if we work at it, we'll all be together again. You, me, Fox and mom."

"Don't forget Dana Scully and Joy. He really loves her."

"Fox? I'm glad he found someone sensible. Otherwise he'd be lost. Bye, Ethan. Take care of yourself."

"You, too, Sam. Be careful. I promise I'll find you some day."

"I'm sure you will. I can feel it." She blew him a kiss and vanished into thin air. He woke up, sighing ::I will find you, Samantha. That's a promise.



Title: Devotion 6: The Search for Sam
Author: Lady X.
Classification: MSR, S and some Conspiracy.
Distribution Statement: Archive anywhere!
Spoilers: None.
Rating: PG Content: Mulder/Scully Romance. A few bad words.
Disclaimer: Everyone from The X-Files belongs to Chris Carter, FOX and Ten Thirteen. I'm getting no money for this ::ha! I only wish!:: and I mean no harm! HOWEVER Ethan Gordon is my creation and if you want him, just ask first! Anna King is also my creation!

Summary: Ethan gets on the inside and keeps his promise to Samantha.


Washington, DC
December 5, 1997
1:00PM

It was freezing. He dreamt about her again, and somehow, knowing that she was lost out there made him even colder. He wrapped his coat around himself, walking through the streets of Washington, DC. Although his so called father was eager to bring him into his world of conspiracy and smoke and mirrors, not everyone trusted him. He knew that he was being followed. He couldn't contact Mulder. And he decided to only do that if it was absolutely necessary. He couldn't risk letting 'Them' find out that he was a spy.

Mulder wanted to get Samantha and bring them all down. That was his dream. He wanted revenge for Scully's abduction. Revenge for all his years of suffering without Samantha. And Ethan wanted revenge for a life that was stolen. His life. Being kidnapped after he was born, his so called family was a sham. And somehow, he had always known that he didn't belong in that grand house on the hill. That he should have been some where else. With some one else. He shivered, casually looking back to see if the car was still following. ::There they are. Time to get out of here:: He slipped inside his favorite restaurant and vanished from their view.

"Chris, must we really follow him inside?" David asked. Chris nodded his head. "He might be meeting Mulder in there. Mr. Gordon said that we aren't allowed to let him out of our sight."

"Okay, fine with me. I'm hungry anyway." He got out of the car and followed Chris into the restaurant. It was warm in there. A nice exchange for the cold winds outside. A storm was coming. Ethan had sat down at a table, with a young woman around her late twenties or early thirties sitting across from her. Her hair was blond, she was tall, thin... looked like a regular Barbie.

Chris turned to David. "I've never seen her before." David shrugged. "New girlfriend?"

"Or perhaps an informant for Mulder and Scully." He hissed. They sat down, ordered and waited. They weren't close enough to hear, but they had a good view.



Mulder's Basement Office
1:30PM
December 5, 1997

Mulder was pacing again. She could hear him. Entering the office, she dropped her folders and files onto her desk. "If you don't stop, I'll shoot you." He turned back to her. "I want to talk." She raised an eyebrow, like she had so many times before. "About?"

Mulder shook his head. "Is the office clean?"

Scully shook her head. "I haven't 'cleaned' it in months. Have you?"

Mulder shook his head. "Fine then. How about lunch? Get your coat, you need to relax a bit."

When they were far away from the building, Mulder sighed. "I'll have the Gunmen sweep our apartments for bugs tomorrow."

"And you will monitor Frohike while he does my apartment, right?" She smiled at him.

"Of course!" He led her to his favorite pizza place. Anthony's. "So, what's on your mind?" She leaned back and waited.

"Ethan. I really don't want him going in alone like-"

"What else can we do, Mulder? He is in a position to be able to go undercover. We aren't. Remember? They hate us!"

Mulder took her hand. "I can't stop thinking about what they did to Joy and your mom."

"Mulder, it's fine now. I know I really was scared at the time, but nothing happened to them. Joy is fine, Mom is better."

"No, that's not the point. They did it once, they can do it again. I want you to pick up Joy and get out of here."

She starred at him in shock. "WHAT? Are you insane? I can't! My entire life is here!"

"Shh! Scully, if anything happens to you guys, I don't know what I'll do. They've gotten to all of you, Scully. Your mom, you and Joy. I'm closer than ever to bringing these people down, Scully. As soon as it's safe, I'll bring you back."

She crossed her arms over her chest. "This is for our own good, right?" He nodded. "You didn't actually think I was going to agree to this, did you?"

"It's for Joy's safety, Scully! She could die because of me! What happened to Sam could happen to her! And I don't want you to suffer-"

"Mulder.... I can protect my own daughter, thank you very much!"

"Scully, no one is safe from them. No one. They're literally every where and I want you two out of this city by the end of the week."

She starred at him. "Are you willing to really do that? Push me and Joy out of your life? Never see us again?"

He took a deep breath. "Your safety is the only thing that matters. Just for a while, Scully."

"And you know that we won't be able to contact each other at all. Because they'll have phone taps."

"I know."

"Are you willing to pay that price? No contact with us?"

"Anything as long as you're safe," he said sternly.

A thousand thoughts when whirling through her head. What was she going to do? She weighed her options. Her daughter's safety compared to her world in Washington, DC. Mulder looked at her, silently pleading. "If what happened to Samantha happens to you, I'll die, Scully."

"I thought we were partners, Mulder."

"We are. And as your partner, it is my job to be concerned for you and to keep you safe. And that is what I'm doing."

"Mulder-"

"Dana, now that we have Joy things are more complicated. If you're out of sight, and I know that you are out of harm's way, I'll breath easier."

She stood up. "I need to think about this. Good bye."

He buried his face in his hands. "Why isn't anything ever easy!"


White Swan Restaurant Washington, DC
December 5, 1997
1:30PM

Ethan flashed a charming smile in the direction of the blond woman. She glanced at him. "Ethan..... what are you doing here?"

He took her hand into his. "I'm being followed."

She sat up straight. "By who?"

He hissed, "Shh. We can't talk here. Are you here alone?"

"Aren't I always?" She smiled sadly.

He shook his head. "How can a gorgeous charming you woman like you be alone?"

"Well, let me think. I used to have a boyfriend, but since he dumped me last months, I've pretty much been on my own," she said, a hint of mock bitterness in her voice.

"Anna, I did not dump you," he stated.

She shrugged her shoulders. "Oh, that's not how I saw it."

"I'll buy you lunch and then we can talk about this. Okay?"

"Who's following?"

"Huh? Oh.... I'll explain them later. Be casual."

"Ethan, if this is some cheap trick- I'm going to bash your head in."

He grinned. "I haven't forgotten that you pack a punch."


Margaret Scully's House
December 5, 1997
3:00PM

Scully approached her mother's house. The door instantly opened and Margaret came out. "Dear, what's wrong?"

Scully hugged her mother. "Mom.... something..... can I talk with you?"

She nodded. "Of course, Dana. Come on inside."

"No, Mom. Outside. They got to your house before. I'm scared that there are taps and bugs. Get your coat and we can go for a walk?"

"Of course." Margaret looked worried, but she didn't say anything.

Together mother and daughter walked side by side. Like they used to in the old days. "Mom, Mulder wants me to leave."

"Did you two have an argument?" She figured it was a little fight between them.

"No. Not really. He's beating himself up over what happened to you and Joy. He wants us to get away.... until everything is safe."

Margaret raised an eyebrow. "He's only concerned for your safety, Dana. Proof that he loves you."

"Mom, Mulder and I have been 'together' for months now. I don't want to lose that."

"You won't, Dana. He wants you to be safe. And he wants Joy to be safe."

"You, too, Mom."

Margaret linked arms with her daughter. "Wasn't life so much simpler when all you had to worry about was catching the school bus and doing your homework?"

Dana sighed. "Yeah, it was."

"Well, you can't go back to that. But you can give Joy that. Fearing for your life and for your daughter's for the rest of your life will kill you."

"If they don't get me first." She muttered.

Margaret turned serious. "I can't tell you what to do, Dana Katherine Scully. But you must take into consideration that little girl's safety."

Dana nodded. "Mom, I'm sorry that you got dragged into all of this."

"Sweetie.... I know you couldn't prevent it. I could never, ever blame you."

"Mom.... why don't you take Joy and get out of here? Then you'll be safe and Mulder and I can-"

"I know you aren't serious."

Scully looked up at the gray sky. "Mom. You think I should go?"

Margaret gave her daughter a hug. "You're my last daughter, Dana. I can't lose you, too."


December 5
2:00PM

Ethan led Anna out of the restaurant. "You have the time for a quick stroll?" he asked. She glanced at her watch. "Yeah. I gotta be back at work in an hour."

"So, how is work?"

"I'm a lawyer, Ethan. I'm stressed and depressed."

He looked into her blue eyes. "Stressed? Depressed? You weren't like that while we were dating."

"Ethan. I don't have time for your crap. C'mon. What is going on?"

Ethan bit his lower lip. "I found out something huge. And if I get in trouble, and I don't make it back, I need someone else to know as back up."

"You're being dramatic, Ethan." She rolled her eyes.

He took her hand in his and walked down the paved path. "Remember when I woke up screaming Samantha?"

She nodded. "And you told me that you've been having dreams about her since you were eight. I don't buy that, either. She's an ex-girlfriend, Ethan."

He laughed. "Hell no! She's my twin sister. I just found out a few weeks ago."

"You don't have a twin sister. You don't have any brothers or sisters."

"I do. I was kidnapped after I was born. My parents were told that I died after birth. I have a twin sister, Samantha. And I have an older brother, Fox Mulder."

"Oh, really?" She didn't buy it.

"This is serious." His mouth became a straight line.

"And how are you having dreams about your sister, then?"

"I'm not sure. She's still alive somewhere, Anna. I know she is. Fox has been looking for her since she disappeared when she was eight."

"What happened?" she asked seriously, she couldn't help but be interested.

"He said bright lights, he thought it was an alien abduction."

Anna turned on her heels. "ETHAN! You jerk! I don't want to hear this shit!" She turned to her car.

Ethan ran after her, grabbing her arm and pulling he back. "I'm telling the truth."

"Let me go."

"No." He held her tighter.

"Ethan! Stop!"

He sat her down on a nearby bench. "My real father was killed, my brother was there."

"Killed by whom?"

"Some Alex Krycek. Joseph Gordon sent him."

"Huh? You're telling me that you're adopted father killed your biological father?"

"I was stolen, Anna!" he hissed.

She crossed her arms over her chest. "And why do you need my help?"

"Look to the left. There is a blue Camry there. In it are two men. They've been following me since yesterday." She looked quickly, turning back to him. "Yeah, right."

"Anna.... I can't trust anyone else with this. Joseph Gordon is behind a huge conspiracy. Experiments are done on people. My brother's partner, Dana Scully, was abducted and disappeared for three months. Then found in a coma in some hospital. When my brother found me, Dana Scully's mother and daughter were kidnapped. To get them back, I had to return to Joseph Gordon."

"You're a grown man, Ethan. Why the Hell would your father-"

"He is not my father, Anna. I swear to you, on my name and my soul that I'm serious. Our government is covered with people like Joseph Gordon."

"What about your brother?"

"He wants to bring them down, Anna. He wants to get our sister back and he wants to expose them. He works for the FBI, he's a Special Agent."

"What's his name?"

"Special Agent Fox Mulder. He works on The X-Files."

"And what the Hell is that?"

He shrugged. "I never really understood. If anything happens to me, Anna... you have to go to him."

"And tell him what?"

"I'll keep on giving you information as I go. So you'll be my back up plan."

"What if I don't want to?" she asked seriously.

Ethan stood up. "Then my sister is already lost forever and I'm dead."

Anna sighed. "I have to leave now. Meet back here tomorrow? For lunch?"

He nodded. "Okay." Perhaps he had gotten through to her. Before she left he gave her a brief kiss. "Bye."

She starred at him. "Uh.. bye."

He watched her retreat to her car, driving off and disappearing around the bend. Those men were still there. "God damn them."


Location Unknown
December 5
5:00PM

Chris and David reported back to Gordon shortly after lunch. "We got these pictures." David handed Gordon the photos. "He's been with some blond woman. Don't know who she is. Should we put a tail on her, just in case she's an informant for Mulder?"

Gordon shook his head. "This woman is Anna King. A lawyer. She's Ethan's ex-girlfriend."

"Oh, that would explain the kiss." David said stupidly. Chris shot his partner a glance. "So what so we do about her?"

"Ethan is obviously trying to win her back, she is of no importance. Don't waste anymore time on her."


Richards Law Firm
December 5
5:00PM

Gable & Anna disappeared into her office, closing the door behind her. She sat down on her small sofa, taking off her coat. ::Ethan, what are you doing?:: She didn't know if she should believe him or not, or if it was all some scheme of some sort. ::But what does he really have to gain from telling me this story if it's not true? Nothing.:: She leaned back. A government conspiracy. It was something out of a novel. Experiments. Testing.

::WHAT IF IT'S TRUE?:: A chill went through her. The thought made her want to scream. She remembered there serious look on his face. He looked scared. For the first time since she had laid eyes on him at her friend's party, she had seen him scared. ::This must be serious:: Thoughts whirled through her head. It was like being in some movie.... or a mystery novel.


Location Unknown
December 5
5:10PM

Joseph lit his cigarette, leaning back in his chair. "And did you find anything?"

David shook his head. "Nothing, Sir."

"All right, then. Dismissed." It had been a month since they started tracking Ethan. And now they could finally bring him into the ring. "Bring my son in." He told the secretary.

Ethan entered, wearing a black suit. "Yeah... Dad?"

"My associates and I have decided it's time to show you a few things."

"Show me a few things? Like what?"

"Grab your case, we're going on a trip"

"To where?"

"Nevada."


Nevada, unknown location
December 6
2:00PM

Ethan's heart was pounding. THIS WAS IT! Or it could be a test. They had flown to Nevada in an air plane. Ethan was blind folded when they got to the cars. "Is the really necessary, Dad?" he asked.

"I'm sorry, son. They insisted on it. Don't worry, soon you will be in their total confidence and have their trust."

Ethan nodded. "Okay."

They drove for what Ethan estimated was an hour, perhaps more. Finally he was helped out of the car, leaving the comforts of air conditioning. He felt sand under his feet. The scorching sun on him. He regretted wearing a black suit. Finally, someone took the blind fold off. He was standing in the middle of nowhere. Nothing for miles. Sand, a few dried plants and rocks.

"What the Hell is going on?" For a brief second, he feared that he would be left out here to find his own way home!

"We're here." One of the men said. "Here? What is 'here' exactly?"

Joseph Gordon patted his on his shoulder. "It's under ground, son. Come on. Pick up your feet. Let's get out of the sun."

He was amazed to see a trap door being removed. One by one, they all went down the iron ladder. Ethan wasn't expecting a huge facility, and he was surprised. It was a whole under ground station! Lab technicians all stood at attention, starring at Joseph Gordon. ::Damn, he gets a lot of respect here!:: Ethan thought to himself.

One of the lab techs, wearing a white coat, approached. She was probably five feet four inches. Her hair was brown and in a braid over her shoulder. "Hello, Sir. I'm glad you were able to make it this afternoon. We've made a break through."

"Really? That's excellent, Dr. Strouss. Helen Strouss, this is my son and the newest member of our.... organization. Ethan, this is Dr. Strouss. She leads this facility."

Ethan shook her hand. He half expected Dr. Strouss to bite his hand off! "Nice to meet you." She smiled back, turning to Joseph Gordon. "Would you care to see one of our examples?"

"Yes. Come, Ethan."


Dana Scully's apartment
December 6
6:00PM

Scully carried Joy into the bathroom to wash her hands. "Sweetie, you shouldn't make a mess like that." Scully sighed.

"Messy, messy! Me messy!" Joy sang happily.

Scully kissed her daughter on her nose. "I don't find it that amusing, Joy." The door bell rang. Scully called out. "Who is it?"

"It's me, Mulder." Scully put Joy down on the floor with her blocks. "Come on in." She opened the door.

Joy leaped up to her feet. "DADDY!"

He lifted her up. "Hey, short stuff."

She hugged him fiercely, giving him a kiss on his nose like Scully did to her.

"Play blocks, Daddy?"

He shook his head. "Not now, Joy. Your mommy and I need to talk."

He looked over at Scully. Joy pouted. "No talk! Play blocks!"

Scully took Joy from Mulder, setting her down on the floor again. "In a minute, Joy. Don't be demanding like that."

Joy looked up, holding up a square blue block. "My house! This my house!"

Scully smiled. "I'm sure you can afford a better house than that, Joy."

Mulder took Scully's arm, leading her to the kitchen table. "Did you think about what I said?"

She nodded. "And?"

"And, Joy will really miss you when we leave. She thinks of you as her daddy."

Mulder kissed her hand. "It'll only be for a while, Scully. And it will all be worth it when everything is over." Scully nodded, her face hidden by her hair. He pushed her hair back, seeing her tears. "Scully.... I don't want you to go. But this is for your sake, Joy's sake."

She nodded, wiping them away. "I know that, but it still hurts."

He hugged her close. "I'll bring you guys back as soon as I can, Scully. I promise."


Nevada, unknown location
December 6
5:00PM

Ethan sat down in a chair while they waited. "Where did Dr. Strouss go?" he asked.

Gordon glanced at his watch. "She went to get one of their test subjects."

"What was the test?"

"Telepathy. They started by putting implants in the subject's brain, giving them more strength so to speak."

Dr. Strouss returned. "She's ready and waiting in the examining room, lets go and see her." A young nurse with blond hair opened the door for him. Ethan's eyes kept on darting around, taking everything in. He heard a little gasp. Ethan looked forward, his heart stopping. ::SAMANTHA!:: He starred at her, she looked frightened, but she obviously recognized him.

Gordon approached her. "Well.... are there any other test subjects we could use?" He sounded very uneasy. He knew it was Samantha Mulder.

"She's the only one who survived." Dr. Strouss interrupted him.

Ethan felt a lump rising in his throat. This was her. His sister. Being treated like a guinea pig! Ethan looked her over. She had some scars on her shoulders. She looked pale. She was scared.

Ethan cleared his throat. "And what were you going to show us?"

"She can mentally communicate to anyone, well.... almost anyone. For some people it doesn't work, why I haven't learned yet. But, for example..." She took out a pen and paper, writing down a word. She handed the paper to Samantha, grinning. "All right, Ethan, may I call you Ethan?"

He nodded. "Sure."

"Okay, I wrote something down on the paper. She's going to read it and send you a message mentally. Then without looking, you'll know what it says."

Samantha looked up at him, he could see her shaking slightly. ::Green Apples:: The thought occurred to him. "Was it green apples?" Samantha handed him the paper. That's what it said. She looked at him again ::Don't worry, I'm all right:: He offered a faint smile.

"Anything else?"

Dr. Strouss nodded. "There are other experiments that haven't been fully tested.. but the outcome looks good. For example, the psychic...." Her voice trailed off as she left the room, followed by Gordon and his men.

Ethan looked back at Samantha. "It's okay."

::I know you'll get me home.::

Gordon returned. "Ethan, son don't doddle."

Samantha's expression changed. She looked furious ::You are not his son!::

He nodded. "I'll come and see you again." Quickly he was swept out of the room and into the hall way outside.

Samantha sighed, fighting back the tears. A nurse came and helped her up. "Come on, Sam. You did a good job today, you should be proud of yourself. You got a lot accomplished."

::You bet I did.:: She thought to herself.


Washington, DC
December 7
12:00PM

Anna got a call from Ethan early that morning asking her to meet him in the Greshmen Park. It was another cold day, gray and cloudy. Perfect for her mood. She wrapped the coat around herself, approaching Ethan. He was in a business suit. "Hey." She pushed her blond strands away from her face.

"Hey, what's up?" Ethan looked up at the sky. "Come here." He held out his arms. She reluctantly stepped into them, resting her head against his chest. "What's wrong?"

"I found Sam," he whispered.

She went stiff. "Really? You found her? That's great! Where is she?"

"I don't know! They blindfold me and took me to a facility. I saw here there. They're treating her like.... she's not a person. She's scared. They put some implant in her brain now she can communicate mentally with other people. But they can't answer."

She wrapped her arms around his waist. "Is she all right?"

"She said she is."

"She recognized you?"

"Yeah... from the dreams and all that I think. All those times when she tapped into my brain."

Anna looked up at him, his eyes were watering. "So you have no idea where this facility is?"

He shook his head. "All I know that it's underground somewhere in the Nevada desert."

"Underground?"

"Yeah." He slipped her an envelope, shoving it into her coat pocket.

"What's that?" she asked.

"Some papers I got out..... I want you to find Fox and give these to him. Okay?"

"But what if I'm followed?"

He tucked her hair behind her ears. "Be careful. I don't want anything to happen to you." He kissed her forehead and turned around.

"Where are you going now?" she called out to him.

"I have to go back to see 'my dad' for a meeting. I'll see you later."

She turned around, retreating to her car. As soon as she got in, she locked the doors and blasted up the heating. ::Fox Mulder, gotta find Fox Mulder.:: As soon as she was in the safety of her own home, she took out the envelope. Quickly, she opened it. Taped to the outside was a card. SPECIAL AGENT FOX MULDER. It had a number at the bottom.


Mulder's basement office
December 7
Friday 1:00PM

Ethan had told Mulder about Anna King. He wasn't surprised when she called. "Mr. Mulder?"

"Yes?"

"I need to speak with you."

He met her in Ethan's old art studio. The one that he hadn't used since he joined the Cigarette Smoking Man. "How can I help you?" he asked.

The old loft was drafty, she wrapped her coat around her tighter. "Ethan gave me this. He said that he found Samantha....."

Mulder practically leaped up. "HE FOUND HER? Where is she now?"

"That's it, he doesn't know. He was blindfolded and taken somewhere in Nevada desert. The whole facility is underground. Samantha was the test subject for some mental communication experiment. Ethan says she's okay." Mulder started to pace, he thought better when he was moving around. "But he doesn't know where the facility is! How are we going to get to her if we don't know where the hell she is?"

"Ah.... Ethan was able to give me this for you." She handed him the small envelope. He took it from her.

"Was there anything else?" She shook her head. "I hope that you guys find your sister."

Mulder nodded. "Thanks for everything."


Seattle, Washington
December 7
10:00AM

Scully sat alone in the house. She was in the suburbs. In Washington State. In Seattle. Far away from Mulder. She wasn't working yet. She wouldn't have to get a job for another six months. Mulder had gotten them new identities, through the Gunmen. She was now Dana Abbot, with her daughter Joy and her mother, Meg.

Joy came running up. "Mommy, go home time! Go home now!"

Scully lifted her daughter into her arms. "We can't, sweetie. It's not safe yet."

Joy gave her a flummoxed look. "Where daddy?"

"Mulder isn't here, he won't be here ever. He's at home."

"Go to Daddy!" It seemed to her that the solution was that simple.

"No." Scully sighed.

"Why?"

"It's not safe."

Joy pouted, her little blue eyes watering. "Wanna go home now."

Scully stroked her daughter's red curls. "I know you do. Me, too. Grandma, too. But we can't. Mulder and I don't want you to get hurt."

Joy started crying, her little hands rolling into fists. "I want Daddy!"

Margaret came out of the kitchen, wearing an apron. "Aww, come here, honey. Want a cookie?"

Joy continued to sob, burring her face in her hands and shaking. Scully lifted Joy up. "Come on, Joy. We'll go back home soon."

"I want Daddy!" she screamed.

Scully felt her chest tighten. She thought of Mulder as her Daddy. And separating her from him was breaking her heart. "Joy.... we can't go back yet. This is for your own good."

Margaret took Joy from Scully, carrying the crying child to the kitchen. "I made cookies for my favorite granddaughter. Want cookies?"

Joy took a large chocolate chip cookie and put it in her mouth, finally calming down. Margaret gave her a handful, then the little girl disappeared into her play room wit her favorite teddy bear.

Scully collapsed into a chair. "God, Mom. What do I do now?"

"Do you ever plan on telling her that Mulder is not her real father?" Scully looked up.

"Yes... I don't know! How would you like it if you thought Mulder was your father and then you find out that your real father is an insane psycho spending time in prison?"

"Then you won't tell her?"

"What would you do, Mom?"

"I think she's fine with Fox, sweetheart. She loves him and he loves her."

"I know." Scully smiled, remembering how he had given Joy her cradle. "Joy was the only good thing that came from my relationship with Ray."

Margaret handed her daughter a plate of cookies. "Dear..... are you and Fox planning on staying like this forever?"

"Like what?"

"You in Washington State, him in Washington, DC. You have a whole country between you."

Scully nodded. "I know. But we will go back soon."

Margaret closed the cabinet door. "I hope so. Joy misses him... and so do you."

Scully rested her head on her hands. "I can't wait to go home."

"When we do go home.... are you and Mulder going to....keep your relationship the way it was before we left?"

"You mean hiding it from the FBI and still working together and seeing each other? Just say it mom, I know what you're asking.... just ask if we're going to get married or not."

Margaret sat down. "All right, are you two going to get married or not?"

"Not." Scully answered.

Margaret shook her head. "You won't get married?"

"If he asked me..... I'd think about it. But mom, this is a serious thing and Mulder and I haven't talked about it."

"You should. Joy is under the impression that Fox Mulder is her father. She calls him Daddy, Dana."

"I know that! And as soon as everything is safe to go home, I'll bring it up with him. Okay?"

"Will it ever be safe to go home?"


Nevada, unknown location
December 7
Friday 12:00PM

Samantha was once again in her 'room.' She hated it. The bed sheets had a common floral pattern, the furniture was cluttered and there was no window. ::Of course there isn't a window, we're underground! There isn't anything to see.:: She threw herself down on the bed, sighing. Sometimes she would be allowed to go and visit the green house they had. It was amazing. It was like being in a real jungle. She got up, walking towards the door. Locked. She wasn't allowed to leave today. ::Damn it!::

She decided to see if she could get Ethan. Lying down on her bed, she closed her eyes and concentrated. It was like floating. She just thought about him, concentrated on him, and she would tap into his brain. Although every time she did this with him, she would feel totally drained afterwards. First she would fall into what seemed like a deep sleep. Then she would end up in a black darkness with Ethan. All she could see was him.

"Sam?"

"Hey."

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, don't worry about me."

"I made sure Fox knows that I found you. You're somewhere in Nevada. Underground."

"How is he?"

"I haven't seen him in months. I'm constantly being followed. I'm worried about his partner, Dana Scully, and her kid. Fox really loves her... but she's gone now."

"GONE?"

"He sent them away. Damn Gordon to hell!"

The door in Samantha's room burst open, causing her to jump and loose concentration. Suddenly being thrown out of a trance like that, she felt like she had just run a marathon. She gasped for air. "Oh, my God!"

The nurse stood there. "Samantha. You can go to the green house now if you want."

She got up. She was so tired! As if she had run a race! "Okay, give me a second."

The nurse gently closed the door behind her and left. Samantha sat down, letting the feeling come back to her limbs. Perhaps she should try again. But in the back of her mind, she had the lingering thoughts of Dana Scully.


Seattle, Washington
December 7
Friday 2:00PM

Scully was asleep now. Almost. She was in the place between sleep and awake. Lying down on the sofa while Joy played in the next room. A black place.... no walls...just black.... A woman with brown hair stood in front of her. "Oh, my gosh!" She gasped. Scully looked around, feeling a chill. "Who are you?"

"Samantha! Who the heck are you?"

"Samantha? Samantha Mulder?"

"How.... what's going on! Who are you and how did I get into your head?"

"I'm Dana Scully, your brother's partner." ::damn this is a weird dream...:: She thought to herself.

Samantha's eyes went wide. "Scully? I tapped into your brain!"

"How?"

"Don't know! I can't believe this! Ah... nice to meet you."

Scully sighed. "What a weird dream."

"This isn't a dream! It's a mind meld."

"You do know we aren't living in Star Trek, right?"

Samantha crossed her arms over her chest. "Wonder how this happened..."

"Where are you? Fox has been miserable for decades! How can you-"

"Ethan found me. He saw me. I'm somewhere in Nevada. Underground."

Scully frowned. "Nevada? Ethan found you? WHY AREN'T YOU HOME YET?"

"He couldn't get me out. He still isn't exactly sure... it's a long story."

Scully was about to say something when the image faded away. She sat up on the sofa, Joy sitting beside her, playing with her red curls. "Napy, Mommy?"

Scully sighed, stroking her daughter's hair. "Yeah, baby. Even Mommy needs to sleep."

Joy tilted her head, as if seeing a different side of her. "Bad dream, Mommy?"

Scully took Joy into her lap. "I'm okay, angel. Thanks for asking."

All day she had an eerie feeling. Finally, she couldn't stand it any longer. "Mom, I need to talk to you."

"About?"

"I'm going. You and Joy need to stay here."

"Going back home?"

"Nevada."

"NEVADA? What are you going there for?"

"I have to, Mom. I'm going to contact Mulder, have him meet me there."

"Dana Scully, stop!" Margaret snapped.

She turned around. "What?"

"Be careful."

Scully gave her mom a hug. "I love you, Mom."


Frohike was surprised to get the call from Scully. He listened to her carefully. "Tell Mulder Samantha tapped into my head-"

"REALLY? What was it like?"

"Later, Frohike. Let him know I'm going to Nevada. Tell him to meet me there. The Tassel Inn is where I'll be staying. I already booked a room."

"And will you two be sharing a room-"

"FROHIKE! Pay attention! Tassel Inn, Nevada. I think we're close to finding Samantha."

"Got it."


TWENTY FOUR HOURS later, Mulder entered the Inn. Scully came running down the stairs and into his arms. "Mulder." He hugged her back, but then pulled away. "What are you doing? Are you crazy? I told you-"

"Damn it, Mulder! We're close to finding Samantha. I had a-" She looked around. "Let's go to the room first." They sat in chairs by the desk. "Mulder, I kind of had a dream about her. She was there with me in a black place. She said Ethan found her, he's seen her... but he still isn't exactly sure where she is. All he knows that she's somewhere underground in Nevada."

"Scully, I already know all of this! Ethan's friend, told me."

She raised an eyebrow. "IF YOU HADN'T SENT ME AWAY, I'D KNOW THAT!" She stood up and started pacing around. "Listen...... I think we might be able to contact Ethan and get him here. Maybe he could help."

"How?"

"Through his friend."


5 hours later in Washington, DC

Anna approached Ethan. "Hey."

"Hey, yourself." He smiled at her. "We got something serious to talk about."

"I don't like that sound of that."

"Yeah, well... your brother and his partner have ended up in Nevada. The Tassel Inn. They want you to come right away."

He frowned. "What the hell are they doing there?"

"I'm not sure. But they need your help."

Ethan took his gloved hands out of his pockets. "God damn it! I don't even know where Sam is!"

Anna looked up at him. "I want to go with you." He almost laughed.

"Are you crazy? No."

"Why not? Your brother and his partner did."

"They're trained FBI agents, Anna! You're a lawyer!"

"You might need help!"

"What I need is a miracle!"

"I'm going, and you can't stop me."

"Yes I can."

"No, you can't." She turned on her heels and started walking.

"I'll have all your credit cards canceled. I'll have you arrested! I can do anything, Anna!"

She froze, slowly turning around. "I'M TRYING TO HELP YOU!"

"And I'm trying to protect YOU!" He started walking towards her, his long coat flapping behind him.

She stepped back. "If you wanted to protect me, you wouldn't have dragged me into this months ago!"

"I'm sorry! That was a dumb idea."

"Yeah, well now I plan on going to Nevada to find your brother and his partner."

He roughly grabbed her arm. "If something happens to you, I won't be responsible."

"I'm not asking you to be." She pulled her arm away.

Ethan looked up at the sky, as if asking for heavenly guidance. "I'm leaving on the next flight out of here, and I'm not going to wait."

She nodded, satisfied that she had 'won' this argument. "Deal."


Gordon put his cigarette out. "What do you mean you can't find him?"

"I can't find him." David insisted.

Gordon picked up his phone, calling his son's apartment. He got the answering machine. "ETHAN! Pick up now! This is urgent!" Nothing. "Ethan!" Nothing. He slammed the phone down. "Find him! And check up on Mulder and Scully, too."


Ethan entered the Inn, Anna right behind him. He booked a room, then asked for Fox Mulder. The woman behind the counter, an elderly lady with gray hair, shook her head.

"Sorry, no one here under THAT name."

Ethan frowned. "What about Dana Scully."

"Well... we have a Dana Abbot, but other than her, no other Dana's and no Scully."

Ethan sighed, frustrated. "Did-"

"Ethan, over here." A female voice called. He turned around to see Dana Scully walking towards them.

"Never mind." He smiled at the receptionist. Mulder wasn't far behind her. "Did you guys find anything?" Ethan asked in a whisper.

Scully glanced at her watch. "I think we should get you two checked in first."

"Already done." Anna said.

Scully examined the taller woman. "I'm Dana Scully." She put out her hand. Anna took it.

"I knew that. I'm Anna King. A friend of Ethan's."

Scully looked up at Mulder. "Why don't we drop your things off in your room and then we can go and talk somewhere."


Chris approached Gordon's desk. It felt like Judgement Day for him. "Sir?"

He looked up, the cigarette smoldering in his hand. "What?"

"Mulder and Scully are... gone. She's been gone for days, he left just today. So did Ethan."

Gordon's eyes flashed. "Really? Where?"

"Nevada." Chris answered.

"Find them. I don't know what Ethan is doing, but we must find out." Chris nodded, quickly retreating, glad to get away from Gordon.


Ethan took a deep breath. "I have an idea."

Scully raised an eyebrow, making Mulder smile. "And?"

Ethan bit his lower lip for a second. "I'll pretend to turn you guys in. That'll prove my loyalty. Then maybe I can get closer. Then I'll get you out."

Mulder went stiff. "Leave Scully out of this one." She kicked him under the table.

"Mulder!"

He looked at her. "You have a daughter to think about-"

"She thinks you're her Daddy!" Scully hissed.

Mulder's mouth was set in a straight line. "Listen.... there are no guarantees that he can get us back out. In is no problem, but we might never get out!"

She leaned back in the chair. "Listen to me, Mulder. I can take care of myself! I don't-"

Anna cut her off. "I'd hate to interrupt this... but I really don't think we have the time for quarreling. Ethan, are you sure you can get them out?"

He nodded. "I know I can."

"How?" she asked him, tucking her blond hair behind her ear.

"I'll convince Gordon that I can be trusted. I'll get clearance and pull you out. I've seen it done."

Mulder buried his head in his hands. "You aren't going, Scully."

"You aren't my boss, Mulder."

"But-"

"Just shut up, Mulder. We both know I'm going and a part of you wants me to go. So let's just drop it and save our breath." Mulder shut up.

"Fine." Anna sighed. "Now that we got THAT resolved, more or less, lets figure out details."

Ethan leaned forward. "I'll call him up, telling him that I tracked you guys here, tricked you into trusting me. Then I'll lead them here. I'll find out where the facility is, where Sam is being kept and get her out. And while I'm getting her out, I'll get you two out, also."

"What about Anna?" Scully asked.

"She'll be on the next flight back to Washington, DC." Ethan said.

"Like hell I will! I'm not going back now!"

He looked surprised, turning to face her. "What?"

"I'm not leaving."

"Well, you sure as hell aren't coming with us!" She crossed her arms over her chest. "How dare you drag me into this and not let me finish it with the rest of you? Is this because I'm a lawyer and not an FBI agent? Or do you not trust me?"

Ethan got up, dragging Anna up with him. "We'll be back in a second."

He pulled her to the other side of the restaurant and out the door. "Anna, what are you doing?"

"Oh, and I embarrassing you, Ethan?" She snickered.

He rolled his hands into fists. "Anna, don't make this harder than it already is. Just stay here. Where you'll be safe."

"I took a woman's self defense course! You've experienced first hand how hard I can punch! I can take care of myself!"

Ethan winced slightly, remembering the time she had hit him after he dumped her. He took her smaller hands into his, making little circles on the back of her hand. "I don't want you to get hurt, Anna. This is serious business."

"Do you think I don't know that?"

He finally looked up at her face. "I care about you too much-" A strong hand pulled Ethan back, yanking him away from Anna. "Hey!" He shouted, turning around.

"Gordon isn't too happy with you, Ethan," the man said.

He immediately knew that this was no friend. A tall man, brown hair. He was built like a tank!

Anna stood tall. "We got Mulder and Scully for you. There in the restaurant. I suggest you try not to make a scene."

The man looked baffled for a moment, then his eyes went cold. "Mulder and Scully, eh? David, go in there and see. I'll watch Ethan and Barbie here."

Anna's face went stone and she took a step towards him. "My name is Anna King, NOT Barbie!"

Ethan pulled her back. "Where is my dad?"

"In Washington, DC."

"Call him up. I want to talk with him."

Gordon picked up the phone. "What?"

"Sir, this is Chris, David and I found your son.... and his lady friend."

"Pardon?"

"We found him. He wants to speak with you."

Ethan spoke. "Dad? You'll be so proud of me when you find out what I've been doing."

"Explain yourself, Ethan!" He snapped.

"I have Mulder and Scully. Here. They have no idea what's going on. Anna and I cornered them."

Gordon's mouth fell open, not that anyone would see it. "You, Ethan?"

"Yeah, Dad. It's kind of my present to you. Proud of me?" He had a childish tone in his voice.

"Mulder and Scully? Have Chris and David handle it. I'll be there soon."

"Sure, Dad, here, talk with the goon here."

He handed the phone back to Chris. "Sir?" Chris asked.

"Chris... get Mulder and Scully. Make sure they're secured in the facility we have in Nevada."

"Do we have to take precautions with Ethan?"

"Minimum. Understand?"

"Yes, Sir."

Ethan returned to the table where Mulder and Scully were patiently waiting, whispering among themselves. Scully looked up. "Where's Anna?"

"You guys, you have to come outside."

"Why?" Mulder asked, his eyes opened slightly.

"Just come on. It's important." Mulder put a few bills on their table for the waitress and followed Ethan and Scully out the door. They left the comfort of the air conditioned restaurant and were now out in the sweltering desert heat.

He looked around. "Ethan, where the Hell is Anna?"

"I'm here," a voice croaked from behind them. Standing behind Anna was a tall man dressed in a suit. "All of you, in the cars."

He motioned to the vehicles near by. Mulder was about to bolt when a man took a gun out, stabbing it into Scully's back. "I'll blow her away if you don't get in the car now."

Scully gave him a look, 'sorry.' She mouthed to him. "ETHAN! What's going on?"

Mulder put on his act. Ethan turned around. "Just get in the car, Mulder. You, let Anna go. She's with me."

The man shook his head. "No way, pal, she isn't going anywhere with you until we know we can trust you."

"ETHAN! How can you betray us like this?!" Scully wailed, being pushed into the car.

Ethan looked back at the man holding Anna. "Fine then. But I ride with her in the car. She doesn't leave my sight," he said firmly.

"No deal," the man answered.

"If you do anything to her, I'm going to-"

"Ethan, it's okay. I'll be fine." Anna said quickly. Anna was pushed into a separate car by the taller man, and Mulder, Scully and Ethan went with the second man. Mulder and Scully were blindfolded, but Ethan wasn't this time.


Samantha was pacing. She had to move around, she felt like a trapped rat! It had been so long since she'd seen Ethan face to face. Finally, the door opened and a nurse walked in. "Sam, time to go demonstrate."

"NO! I don't want to!" She snapped, acting like a spoiled five year old.

The nurse took out a needle, making sure that Samantha got a good look at it. "You're coming one way or another, dear, it's your choice how you go in."

Samantha knew that she had to choose her battles, and this wasn't one of them. "Fine then."

She stomped out of the room and into the examining room. She knew the place by heart, she'd spent so many months here. Gordon came in. Wearing his expensive suit and a cigarette was in his hand. Like always. "Is Ethan here yet?" he asked a nurse.

The nurse shook her head. "No, Sir. But we got a call from your men. Then said they're on their way."

He nodded. "Good. Excellent. As soon as my son and his companions arrive, everything will start." Samantha wet her lips, a sense of anger rising in her. She wanted to attack him, rip his throat out for doing what he did to her family. To her brothers! He starred at her for a moment, it was as if they were two children daring the other to blink. She didn't move, she didn't turn away. She gave him a defiant look, showing no fear. He turned away when Ethan was pushed into the room.


Ethan looked up at Samantha. "Damn it, would you guys lay off!" He snapped.

He had been pushed through the door, and onto the floor! Gordon helped him up. "I'll speak with you later, Chris," he said sternly.

Anna was released into Ethan's arms and Mulder and Scully were kept out in the hall. Ethan held Anna's hand. "So what's going on now, Dad?" He tried to keep edge out of his voice.

Ethan tried not to make eye contact with Samantha, because if he did, he knew he'd blow the whole thing and Gordon will see right through him. Mulder could be heard screaming from the hall way. "ETHAN! HOW COULD YOU! TRAITOR!" ::all three Mulder children, together in the same place for the first time! It shouldn't be like this! What a reunion!:: Ethan squeezed Anna's hand. "Dad? What are we going to do?"

"First of all, I want to commend you on the successful *capture* of Mulder and Scully." A brief flash of Scully's little daughter went through Ethan's mind. ::I can't let anything happen to Scully, her girl needs her...:: Gordon took his cigarette and smothered it against a counter top. "We're going to try an experiment on Mulder and Scully."

"What kind of experiment?" Ethan asked carefully, showing no real emotions.

"The type that could be fatal. Set up the labs, prepare the DNA samples. I want them injected by the time I leave tonight," he told the nurse.

She nodded. "Well, Samantha, I guess we'll just do your test later." She dragged Samantha out of the room and into a hallway.

Mulder was pinned up against the wall. Ethan was in the room on the other side of the wall. ::I hope he's okay:: When the lab tech tried to rough house with Scully, Mulder had attacked him. Remembering the FBI training he'd endured. The young lab tech was now on the floor, moaning and groaning.

A nurse came out, dragging a young woman behind her. "Samantha! Stop squirming! I have real work to do and I don't need you taking up my time! Come on!"

"No! Wait! I don't-"

The nurse stopped walking, turning to face her. "Sam, you can go out in the green house, okay? You can spend the rest of the day there, as long as you don't cause trouble for me!"

Mulder and Scully looked at them, the nurse and the woman. ::Samantha? SAM?!::

Scully grabbed his arm. "Mulder... I think-"

"Yeah, me too, Scully." He held her hand in his.

Samantha turned around to them, her eyes going wide when she saw Scully. ::Be careful:: She mouthed. Mulder wanted to chase after he, he would have, too... if the guards hadn't pulled him back and dragged him off to the cells.

"SAM!" he screamed out.

The guard hit him. "Shut up."

Scully was carried down to another holding cell, the two being separated. "NO! SCULLY!" he shouted, trying to get to her. She couldn't respond, her guard had a hand clamped over her mouth. ::No no no! We can't be separated!:: Mulder screamed mentally.

Gordon was exhausted. Ethan and Anna had been taken to their rooms, where they would be comfortable until it was time for Mulder's experiment. ::This is one great mess! All three of William Mulder's children... running around here, too close. It's too damn close!::

Rarely he would acknowledge Ethan being William Mulder's son. William hadn't been the one to raise the boy. ::Well, I wasn't exactly a good father, either... I never even taught him how to ride his bike! Daniel did!:: He put the cigarette away and got up.

Chris came in. "Sir-"

"Chris, make sure that Mulder, Ethan and a test subject named Samantha never get any where near each other, understand?"

Chris looked confused for a bit. "Why?"

"BECAUSE RESULTS COULD BE DISASTROUS!"

Chris nodded his head, looking like a frantic bunny. "All right, Mr. Gordon."


Samantha pulled herself off her bed and walked to the door. Half the time, the nurses kept her locked in. This was her lucky day! They had been in too much of a hurry to worry about her. ::Fox... where are you?:: She put on her slippers and walked out into the hall. It was much colder than her room, and empty. She quickly walked out to where they kept the holding cells.

"Did you come back from the green house, Sam?" a male voice asked.

She calmly turned around, smiling when she was Mike. Mike was a guard, an elderly gentleman, the nicest person she had ever met. "My room was much too stuffy, I felt like I was in a damned box."

He nodded. "Well, there are some experiments going around here... you should get back to your room until it's all over."

"Where are the experiments?"

"Upper North Zone. But stay in your room, people will be running in and our and you don't want to get run over, do 'ya?" She nodded.

How on Earth had Mike gotten a job here? He was kind, but not too bright. Her first days here, he had been a friend to her. ::Thank God Mike is on duty... things will be easier::

Scully was in a cell. It was cold, damp and the cot wasn't fit for rats! She remained standing, trying to remain clam. A key started turning in the lock and she whirled around. "SAMANTHA!" She gasped.

Samantha put a finger over her lips. "Shh!"

Scully tried to keep her pounding heart in check. "Where is Mulder? How did you get here? What happened to Ethan?"

She shook her head. "I saw on one of the doctor charts that you were in this cell, but I couldn't find Fox or Ethan. Get out of there, I need help finding them!"

Scully was led by Samantha into a lab. She smelled chemicals, making her a bit dizzy. Samantha grabbed a coat from a rack, handing it to her. "Put this on, and act like you're my doctor."

"Pardon?" She was a little fuzzy.

"It's a lab coat, pretend to be a doctor." Scully did as she was told, taking Samantha's arm, the two women walked out into the main corridor.

"Where do we go?" Scully asked.

"Shh."

A guard came down, wearing the black uniform and a gun at his side. He walked right past them. Scully couldn't help but smile. "Good idea, Samantha."


Ethan turned to Anna. "Are you happy you came now?"

She crossed her arms over her chest. "Don't speak to me like that! You need me, admit it!"

He grabbed her shoulders. "You're going to get hurt here!"

She pulled away. "Let's go find your family," she whispered.

The two entered the hallway, not knowing which direction to turn, they just went straight. Ethan tried to walk like he had some authority, but inside he was scared shitless! Too many things could go wrong, too many people were depending on him and too many would get hurt if he fucked this thing up.

He took Anna's arm and pulled her into a separate hall way. "What are you doing?" she hissed. "Stay here for a second, I have an idea but it might not work if they see you."

"Ethan," she asked, her voice warning. "is this a trick to keep me back?"

He rolled his eyes, pushing her deeper into the hall. "Just wait and don't move." A guard was coming down, and Ethan took out the I.D. card Gordon had given him. "Excuse me, could you tell me where Fox Mulder is being held?"

The guard glanced down at a chart he held in his hand... "Mulder? Last check says that he was being held in cell B84."

"Could you please tell me where that is?"

The guard nodded. "Down the main corridor, first room on the left leads into a small wing of cells. They're all numbered."

"Thanks. I'll make sure my father knows how helpful you were." He flashed a smile and the guard grinned back.

"Thank you, Sir." He took his chart and disappeared into another room.

Ethan grabbed Anna's hands and pulled her out into the main hall. "You okay?" he asked, concern dripping from his voice.

She nodded. "Just great, let's go and get out of here."

Ethan was looking for cameras, but saw none. But he was almost positive that there were cameras around here some where.


Mulder, for the first time since he was a little boy, wanted to just cry for his mother. He was alone, he had no idea where his sister and brother were... and poor Scully had been taken away again. Ethan had assured them that he could get them back out once they got in, but hours had passed and Mulder knew the testing time was getting closer and closer.

::If they touch Scully, I'll...:: ::Do what, Mulder? You're on their territory! You can't do anything here on their ground!:: another voice in his head snapped. This was probably the logical/reasonable side. He wished she was here, his Scully, he missed her so much and was so scared for her.

The door to his cell slipped open and Anna came in. "Agent Mulder?" she whispered.

He looked up, his eyes half blurred from the dark. "ANNA?"

"Sorry it took so long, things kind of got out of hand." Ethan said from behind her.

"Hurry up! I don't have all day." Mulder pulled himself up and just walked out of the cell, for the first time, he got a good look at the wing he was in. Doors to other cells were numbered in black, there were hundreds of them.

"Most of them are empty." Ethan pointed out. "Where is Scully? Did you find Sam? I saw her-"

"I know. I talked with her for a brief moment, Scully was taken some where else, we'll have to find her."

"No you won't," a familiar voice said from behind them.

The trio turned around, and Scully stood there wearing a lab coat and glasses. Next to her was a worn out Samantha.

Mulder raced towards them, taking both into his large arms and hugging them fiercely. "I thought I'd never see you two again," he whispered.

Samantha wrapped her arms around him. "I knew you'd find me."

Scully looked around. "I think we should be leaving soon... we still aren't sure of where we are."

"In the desert, that's positive." Anna whispered.

Ethan took her hand. "I promised I'd get you guys out of here, so let's make tracks."

David Allans watched the security monitor, his eyes going wide when he saw Agent Fox Mulder and Samantha, the well known test subject. He immediately called up Gordon. "Sir, we have a situation."

"What kind?" he asked, his voice emotionless.

"Serious. Code green."

"Sound the alarm. No one should be coming in, or out. Who escaped?"

"The newest man you brought in, Fox Mulder... and Samantha from the Mind Reading Project."

"Is my son with them?"

"I can't really tell. There is another man and two other women, but they're backs are towards the camera."

"My, this is a dilemma. No one gets in or out, understand? I want them back, alive if possible."


Samantha jumped when the sirens went off. "THEY KNOW!" Mulder whirled around, doing a three sixty. "How do we get out of here?!" Samantha started racing down the hall. "Come one, hurry up!" The small group quickly chased after her, ducking through corridors and running through halls.

Mulder could hear the pounding of foot steps, they weren't his own. "Sam, we're being followed." He gasped for air. She grabbed his arm and pulled him into a room. They ended up in a green house.

"Amazing." Scully looked around in awe.

"How can we get out of here?" Anna whispered. Samantha walked over to another door that led into a cold, dark room.

"In here, I think there might be a door that leads outside."

Mulder examined the walls. "I don't see a door, Sam," he said in alarm.

Ethan looked up. "There! A hatch. Where does that go?"

Samantha shrugged. "Let's find out."

"I'll go first." Ethan offered, pulling himself up the ladder and to the hatch. The ladder only continued upward, until finally there was another hatch. "WE'RE OUT!" he cried, pulling himself up. Scully helped Samantha up the ladder, then pushed Anna up. Ethan was on the top, the sand was blowing into his hair and onto his face. His suit jacket was being blown off. He pulled his sister and Anna up to the top.

"Are you girls all right?"

Samantha threw her arms around him. "I want to go home."

Anna pulled up Scully and together they helped Mulder up. "Come on, we have no idea where the fuck we are and we have to find shelter. It's night and it's going to get cold."

Scully nodded, pushing her hair back. "Start walking, I guess."


Gordon was furious. "Sir, they made it up through the sixth hatch and are out on the surface."

"Send a team after them. Samantha is the only one who survived the experiments and we need her."

"What about your son?" The guard asked bluntly.

::I have no son.:: "Bring Ethan to me."


Anna was exhausted, and felt like she could walk no further. Scully took her arm. "Come on, there are lights up ahead. Just a little more."

"I'm sorry for slowing you down, Dana." The others were yards ahead of them. "How can you keep going?"

Scully pulled Anna forward. "I have a daughter waiting for me in Washington, I have to go back to her."

Anna picked up the pace, and they eventually caught up with everyone. "I know that they have jeeps lined up on the other side. If we can get one, everything will be fine."

Eventually, they did make it to the jeeps. Rows and rows of them, all lined side by side. But there was no ignition. "That's good, we don't even have a key!" Mulder snapped.

Ethan took out a card, running it through the little card access. The engine started and Ethan burst out laughing. "Gordon gave me this card!" Mulder took Scully's hand, helping her into the seat. "Are you okay?" he asked softly.

She nodded, a tear falling down her cheek. "I have to get back to Joy. She'll need me."

Mulder hugged her tight. "We're going home now, I promise."


"SIR! The monitors read that one of the jeeps have been started! But that's not possible, you need a card..."

Gordon's heart plummeted to his feet. ::Yes, one does need a card. AND I GAVE ONE TO ETHAN!:: How could he have been so stupid? Dan had been right, he was foolish to try to raise Ethan and continue the sham after Ethan had met Mulder. It was all over. "Start going after them."

"But Sir-"

"NOW! Follow them into the city if you must, but don't let them get away!"


Anna whirled around. "OH MY GOD!" The others turned their heads, except Ethan, he had to drive. The sand was coming up over the wheels and they were soaring over bumps and practically flying. "We're being followed!" Four jeeps were in pursuit! In the moon light, they could see that all the men in the jeeps were wearing guard's uniforms.

"SHIT!" Mulder shouted. A cloud covered the moon, dimming everything around them for a brief instant. And the bumps ceased... THEY WERE ON A ROAD!

Samantha held onto her seat, fearing that she would go flying out. "Fox! Were do we go?"

"We can loose them if we go into a city."


"Have you fond them yet?" Gordon put down his cigarette.

"No... we lost them."

"Where?"

"Some where in Carson City."

::Damn it!::

"Sir, if Samantha gets away, it's 15 years of work and research lost from the project," a voice said from behind him. It was one of the lab doctors, her name escaped him.

"I know that! Get out of my office, we have to find them."


Mulder and Ethan were positive that no one had followed. They had lost their shadows in traffic and ducked into an alley. Anna was extremely nervous, and Scully and Samantha were exhausted. The had been able to contact The Lone Gunmen from a local dinner. "Byers, we are in huge trouble."

"Where are you?" he asked first.

"Carson City, Nevada."

"WHAT? What happened?"

"Our plan was to let Gordon capture us, we just escaped. The rest doesn't matter, I have Samantha and there is no way in Hell I'm letting them take her back."

There was silence at the other end while Byers processed the information. "Langley says he has an idea." Byers sighed.

Langley's voice came onto the line. "Mulder, my brother lives in Carson City. He can help you, he'd be happy to help you."

"Okay, what do I do?" Mulder questioned.

"Go check out the John Marty Fountains down town, you can't miss 'em. I'll send my brother, Elliot, a picture of you and Scully. He'll find you. Code word can be... black lace."

"You are a sick man, Langley. What's your middle name?"

"Classified information."

"LANGLEY!"

"Edgar."

"What?"

"I SAID EDGAR, DAMN IT!"

"Fine, that's the code word then, if you really have to have one."

"You can't tell anyone, Mulder," he snapped.

"Sure... Edgar." Mulder could hear the distant laughing of Frohike. "EDGAR?"

"Move your ass, Mulder!" Langley shouted into the phone.

"Okay, got it. Bye. "

Scully looked at him. "Well?"

"Langley's brother is going to save our asses."

Samantha looked up. "Anna doesn't look so well."

Ethan immediately was at her side. "Anna?" he whispered.

Her skin was pale. "I'm fine. It's my nerves, this happens."

"Panic attack." Scully whispered. "Come on, the sooner we can get back to Washington the better."

"DC or State?"

"I'm going to try Washington State." He squeezed her hand.

"What's in Washington?" Samantha asked.

"Our daughter," Mulder replied.


Elliot Waters was waiting patiently at the fountains with the faxed pictures in his hands. His last name was different for the infamous Langley because they were only half brothers, but still very close. The two had lived alone with their mother for years before Elliot had gone off to college, his brother not far behind him. The pictures in his hand were colored. One of a pretty red head with shining blue eyes, and another one of a dark man.

He looked up at the heavens for help. "I hope I can get them out of here before it's too late."

A jeep pulled up in front of the park, a group of five people making their way to the fountains. He glanced at the pictures, and then up at the man leading the group and the woman by his side. ::That's them!::

He casually walked up towards them, his coat over his arm. "Edgar Langley?" The man seemed relived.

"Elliot I presume." Elliot put out his hand for a hand shake. "Glad you guys made it okay."

Scully could not believe that this man was related to Langley! He was so... good looking! He was tall, broad shoulders, he looked like he worked out at least three times a week! He had waves of sandy blond hair, a stubborn curl falling down his forehead. He brushed it aside.

"Miss Scully? Are you all right?" he asked.

She snapped out of her trance. "Yes, thanks."

"Well... we don't have much time to waste. Follow me to the van." They all packed into a minivan. Elliot closed the door behind Samantha.

"Everyone okay?"

She nodded. "Um, thank you."

He flashed her a smile and got into the driver's seat. "Where are we going?" Ethan asked, he was holding Anna in his arms. She was starting to calm down a bit.

Mulder sat up front. "Yeah, where are we going?"

"Some place where they will never find you. My house."

"Isn't that a bit dangerous for you?" Scully asked.

"Not really, they'll never find it before you leave." Elliot started driving.

Samantha smiled. "I'm just glad to be out of that retched place."

Scully reached out for Samantha's hand, and the two smiled. "You're never going back there, Sam." Scully and Mulder chorused together.


David and Chris finally gave up the search. "Sir, it's too dark. We've combed the desert, and people are now going through the city.... chances of ever finding them are slim."

"I know that. That's why you two have to return to Washington, DC and wait for them. They might eventually come back home... at least to wrap up a few things." Gordon said grimly.

David put down the phone. "We're going back to Washington, Chris."

Chris buries his face in his hands. "This is crazy!"

David nodded, starting the engine of the car. "Back to Washington we go."

Gordon through the cigarettes across the room. "THIS IS INSANE! Where could they be? Does Mulder have any connections here?"

"Besides Ethan?" Dr. Strouss asked, a little smirk on her face.

He turned to her, anger flashing in his eyes. "Don't you ever speak like that again."

"Your son betrayed you, Sir. If we don't do something quick, it's over." She sounded like the voice of death.

Gordon glared at her. "And what do you suggest we do?"

"We can't really do anything at this point. But we don't know what Ethan got away with, he could have stole a lot of evidence... not to mention Samantha! They just had to take her, didn't they?"

"They've searched for Samantha for years." Gordon sighed, sinking into his chair.

Strouss gave him a flummoxed look. "They've known about the project that long?"

"Of course not, don't be ridiculous. Mulder has searched for Samantha since the day we took her."

"Why do you say that?" Dr. Strouss sat on the edge of his desk, her skirt hiking up a little up her thigh.

He looked down at her leg, but then looked up at her eyes. "They're brothers and sister. Mulder is the eldest... and Samantha and Ethan are twins. All three of them are the children of William Mulder. He was trouble and so are his brats." Gordon started reaching for the bottle of liquor.

Strouss leaned towards him a bit. "Well... why the hell were you raising Ethan as your own?"

Gordon laughed. "It's a personal thing. I loved their mother more than William Mulder ever could... but after she had Fox, she wouldn't leave him. That boy kind of bound them together, William wasn't any good."

Strouss smiled a bit. "Oh, so there is a love story in this?"

He put his hand on her knee. "Isn't there always?"

Her smile became brighter. "Well... I guess."

"There is always some kind of love in every story. The love between family members, between friends..."

Strouss moved in closer to him. "Oh."

"Sir, we found Margaret Scully and Joy Scully," a voice on the intercom said.

Gordon pushed Strouss of his desk, she shrieked as she made the short decent to the office floor. She moaned as she landed. "Damn it." She sighed.

"You found them? Where?" Gordon asked the man on the other end of the intercom.

"Seattle, Washington, Sir."

"Prepare the jet." Gordon grabbed his suit jacket. "Dr. Strouss, if you want to move up the corporate ladder in this organization, sleeping with me is not the way to do it."

She turned beet red. "Yeah. Okay."

He held the door open for her. "You should get back to work, you aren't being paid to sit on your ass all day... on the floor."

She pulled herself up, trying to walk out with as much dignity as possible... but her dignity had left her the second she sat on his desk. ::This is not the way to climb the corporate ladder... I'll have to find someone else to sleep with.::


Seattle, Washington
December 9
10:00PM

Margaret was exhausted. Joy wouldn't sleep, the little toddler was hyper and missed her mother. "Grandmaaaaa!" she screamed, running and leaping into her lap.

Margaret wrapped her arms around her granddaughter. "Joy, I'm too old for this." She laughed.

Joy pulled herself up. "When Mommy comin' home?"

Margaret's face fell. "I'm not sure, dear."

"Where's Daddy?"

"Daddy and Mommy are together... I hope."

Margaret got a puzzled look from Joy. "Can I go, too?"

"No, dear. You have to stay and take care of me."

Joy rested her head against her grandmother's shoulder. "Sleepy time." She yawned.

"Thank the heavens, I knew you would eventually tire of asking questions I can' t answer." Margaret sighed, lifting Joy up and taking her to her room.


Gordon approached the house, alone. It was a nice little place, it screamed suburban. It reminded him of a house William Mulder used to own, way back when. He had sent men to scout out the territory. They knew exactly where Joy Scully's room was, and getting her would be no problem.

"Are we going in, Sir?" One of the men behind him asked.

"No, don't let them know we're here. Lurk around for a bit... Mulder and Scully will come back here soon enough. Scully wouldn't leave without her family. They might even bring Ethan and Samantha with them... if so, take them all."

"What about Margaret and Joy Scully?"

"Scully's daughter can go up for adoption, we have no use for that child." Dr. Strouss had now showed up. She looked nervous.

"No, I'll take care of Joy Scully." Gordon snapped at her.

She bowed her head. "Yes, Sir."

"No one is to touch Joy Scully, because I have use for her." Gordon hadn't been able to keep Ethan, perhaps things with Joy would be better.


Elliot Waters House
December 9
4:00PM

Elliot handed Samantha a cup of hot coca, handing her a blanket. "I hope that you feel better."

She smiled. "Well, I think Anna is the one you should be worrying about. She looks awful, the poor thing."

"So, what is going on exactly, my brother didn't tell me."

Samantha sat up straight. "It's a long story, actually. I just found my brothers after a... a long time."

"You didn't know your brothers or had you lost them?"

"I didn't know Ethan, and I had lost Fox. That's all I can really say."

"Sounds like this tale could turn into a novel."

"I guess it could, we've been through a lot."

"What about Miss Scully and Miss King?"

"Uh, Scully and Fox have been with each other for a while now, and Anna was recently dragged into this, of her own free will I hear. I guess you've been dragged into our little dilemma also."

He put his hand on her shoulder, smiling. "My brother says that you people are worth helping. Plus, I can't resist a pretty face."

She blushed. "I look like hell. No make up, nothing...."

"You look cute." He smiled more.

Mulder cleared his throat from the door. "Ah, Elliot, you're needed in the kitchen."

Elliot left Samantha's side and vanished through the door into the brightly lit kitchen, where Scully and Anna were sitting. Samantha made room for Mulder on the bed, the room that she was sleeping in was small, but nicely furnished.

Mulder sighed. "I don't like him."

"Why? He seems very nice." Samantha said brightly.

He glanced at her. "Sam, you didn't have much experience with men while you were... away, did you?"

She raised her eyebrows. "No, I didn't. What are you getting at?"

"Sam, I'm going to tell you something. All men are bad. The entire male species is evil so be cautious-"

She laughed. "Is this an over protective brother thing? Because Scully was joking about this earlier this afternoon."

Mulder laughed. "Well, I didn't get a chance before, so now I'm making up for lost time. Don't get caught with Elliot alone or anything."

"Mulder, he won't do anything. He's a good man," Scully said, walking in with a box of cookies and Ethan was behind her carrying a tray of mugs.

Samantha sighed. "Fox, you're so silly sometimes."

Scully laughed. "Mulder, all men are evil? Are you not a man?" She sat down next to him, taking his hand in hers.

"No, well, of course! But Ethan and I are good men because-"

"Because you're big brothers. Whatever. My brothers were the same way, Samantha, they never grow out of this." Scully poked Mulder in the ribs.

"Sorry, Scully, I agree with Fox." Ethan said, putting the tray down. "Sam has just come home, and she doesn't really know all that much and-"

"WHY are you talking about me like I'm not in the room?" Samantha snapped.

Scully laughed. "Don't worry, things will get better as they grow up."

"Hey, what do you mean grow up?" The two Mulder brothers chorused.

Samantha burst out laughing. "Maybe YOU'RE the twins! Where is Anna?"

"With Elliot." Scully yawned.

Ethan jumped up to his feet. "She's alone with him!" He ran out of the room, warp nine.

Samantha raised an eyebrow. "If all men are like this, I wanna stay single forever."

"No, not all men, just the Mulder men I guess." Scully stood up, dragging her partner up with her. "Come one, Mulder, time for bed."

He followed her out, wishing Samantha good night and telling her more bits of brotherly advice, and more warnings about men. She threw a pillow at him. "Go! Dana is waiting for you."


Ethan walked into the kitchen, Elliot was alone at the stove. "Hey, where did Anna go?"

Elliot looked up. "If she's not in your room, she's probably in the yard. I hope you guys don't mind sharing. Miss Scully said that she and Mulder would share a room... and Miss King said the same would go for you two."

Ethan raised his eyebrows, a faint smile tugging at his lips. "Really? She said that?"

"Yeah, is that a problem? Because I guess if it is, I should move Samantha in with Anna..."

"No, it's good. I'm going to find Anna. Night." He quickly walked through the patio doors. Elliot's house had four bedrooms, so things worked out well. Mulder and Scully in one room. Ethan and Anna in another, Samantha in her own, and Elliot in his own. He had been touched that Anna had wanted to share a room with him. They hadn't spent a night together since they broke up. ::Why did I do that in the first place? What was I thinking?!:: Anna was alone on a swing under an oak tree. It was a romantic picture, her, alone on the swing. The moon light hit her in just the right way....

"Anna?"

She looked up. "Hi."

It was a bit chilly, but still pleasant. He sat down next to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "Hi. What are you doing out here, alone?"

She shrugged. "Thinking."

"I wish you had stayed home, Anna."

She went stiff. "Oh. I understand."

"No, you don't. I'm glad you're here, but at the same time, I wish you were safe at home. I shouldn't have dragged you into this."

She shrugged her shoulders. "I asked for this, I knew what I was doing."

"Why did you do it, Anna? You could have stayed in Washington."

She didn't look him in the eye. "I love you too much to let you go through this alone."

He was in shock. ::She loves me! What's wrong with her?!:: He tilted her head so that they were looking eye to eye. "Really, Anna? You love me?"

Her eyes became glossy. "Yeah... I still love you."

Ethan hugged her close to him. "I've been such a jerk, Anna. If you get hurt... if anything happens to you, I don't know what I'll do."

She wrapped her arm around him. "Ethan-"

"I love you so much Anna, and I just want to get you home safe and sound."

"We will go home, I know it."


Elliot Water's House
December 10
8:00AM

Mulder woke with Scully in his arms, and he smiled. For the first time in days, he felt safe. She stirred. "Mulder, I think we should get up."

He sighed, kissing the top of her head. "I don't want to, yet."

A knock on the door distracted him. "Guys? It's Samantha. Are you awake yet?"

"Shh." Mulder whispered. He silenced her protests with a kiss.

Samantha eventually got tired of knocking and went across the hall to her OTHER brother's room. Ethan and Anna had shared the room, and at first she had found this odd, but then it dawned on her. ::They're a couple, who would have thought it?::

She knocked lightly. "Ethan? Anna? Are you up yet?" She could hear Anna giggling, obviously the two were busy right now. She smirked and walked out into the kitchen, where breakfast greeted her.

Elliot had made eggs and pancakes, everything was set at the table. He smiled at her, handing her orange juice. "Morning. Sleep well?"

She nodded. "That room is very comfortable. Do you live alone all the time?"

He nodded. "No wife, no kids. I'm an attorney, so I can afford it all."

She smiled. "It's lovely, really."

"Glad you think so. Sit down, eat something."

"So... you play bachelor all day long?"

"I had a girlfriend, until last week. Amazing how some women run after men who look like Fabio."

"Fabio? What's that?" she asked.

Elliot raised an eyebrow. "Fabio... the guy on the cover of those romance novels. The 'I can't believe it's not butter' guy."

She shook her head. "Doesn't ring a bell."

"Man, you have been away for a long time, haven't you?"

She looked down. "Yeah."

"Care to tell me about it?"

"When I was a kid, I woke up in a hospital room. A bunch of doctors told me that my family had been killed in a car crash, and I was the only one who lived. But I never believed this, I knew it wasn't true. I could just feel that my family was alive. They took me to some... facility and I was turned into a test subject for experiments they did. That's where I've spent most of my life. They had this system set up for their test subjects who were kids, it was like a school. So we would be mentally developed as most people our age. I was told it's like going to regular school, but I don't remember much of regular school."

He took he hand. "I... oh my God. What did they do to you?"

"When I was about nine, I think, I made contact with Ethan. We're twins... and the experiments gave me this... thing. I could just tap into his brain. I knew what he was thinking, I could see him. I was trying to do it with Fox, but I got Ethan instead. And until that point, I had never known that Ethan existed... I didn't know he was my brother until recently."

"All this, happened to your family?"

She nodded, wiping her tears away. "I don't know why our family. Fox says that it has something to do with a man my father worked with. Something to do with him... I don't understand really." She burst out crying and Elliot took her into his arms.

He hugged her, rocking her back and forth. "Shh, it's okay. It's okay."

Mulder and Ethan walked into the room. "What did you do to her?" Ethan snapped, making his way to his sister.

Anna came in behind Mulder. "Ethan, relax-"

Ethan pulled his sister away from Elliot. "Sam, you okay?"

She nodded. "I'm fine."

He hugged her, giving Elliot a look that would kill. Mulder immediately took charge, Elliot was helping them, and he would wait a few more seconds before he punched in the other man's face. "What happened?"

"She was talking about everything that you've all gone through and... just broke down." Elliot tired to explain.

Anna took Mulder's arm. "It's okay, don't freak out yet. I think Scully is still in her room, will you go call her out here?"

Mulder left the kitchen, Samantha had calmed down by now and was truly embarrassed. "I'm sorry, I-"

"It's okay," Elliot assured her.


Mulder had to get away from the chaos. He knew Sam was in good hands, so he went in to go check on Scully. She lay curled in the bed that they had slept in the night before. The blankets were wrapped around her and she looked so small. He smiled to himself, he loved it when she was calm like this. He crawled into the bed next to her, snaking his arms around her small body. Suddenly, ever muscle in Scully's body tensed and she shot up like a jack knife, gasping for air. "Scully?" he asked concerned.

She looked at him. "Mulder? What happened?"

He put his hands on her arm. "It's okay, we're at Langley's brother's house. Remember? Elliot?"

She sank back into the sheets and pillows. "Mulder, I have to go back."

"Where?" he asked, propping himself up on his elbow and laying his hand on her abdomen. "Back to Mom and Joy. Something isn't right Mulder, I have to go back."

He frowned. "I thought you said they were safe in Washington Sate."

"Mulder, please! We have to go get them, and if you won't come with me, I'm going alone!" She was now in a frenzy. She threw herself out of the bed and made her way to the closet where she had left her jeans and blouse.

He got up and went after her, taking her hands into his. "Dana, what's wrong?"

She looked up at him, her blue eyes hazy. "I can feel it, Mulder. Something is wrong and I have to go back now! I can't wait, it might be too late by the time I get there!" She pushed him aside with surprising strength and continued with her tasks.

"I'll call the air line." He wasn't going to leave her for a second. And if Scully felt so strong because of a feeling she had, he wasn't going to sit around and wait for something bad to happen. Not when Joy and Margaret were concerned.


Seattle, Washington
December 10
10:00AM

Margaret Scully prided herself on her instinct. And felt uneasy. She found herself constantly looking out the window, suspicious of anyone who walked by. ::What is wrong with me?:: She asked herself.

Joy was on the floor, playing with her dolls. Joy was a lot like Dana, when she played with dolls, she would put them through hell and back! She turned her dolls into adventurers. Climbing over walls and obstacles to get to the treasure that had been set at the other side. Margaret was sure Joy was like her mother, because lately she had been playing doctor with her dolls. Unfortunately, she would accidentally break of limbs and play doctor putting them back together. Joy sighed, putting the doll down. "Grandmaaaaa?"

"Yes, love?"

"Bebby won't work!" She threw the doll across the room, her leg with it.

Margaret laughed. "Come here, Angel." She took the doll and replaced the leg. "All better."

Joy didn't smile, she looked out the window. "Park. Wanna go to park!"

Margaret nodded. "Good idea, go find your sneakers." Joy, who was delighted that her suggestion had been taken, jumped up to find her shoes. It was chill outside, but dry. A park wasn't far from their home, so Margaret walked... Joy beside her.

"Gran.... they watching."

"What?" The cold air seemed to get colder as Joy spoke.

"They watching grandma...... that lady and that men." Margaret had to admit, her grand daughter did speak a lot for a toddler, but she casually looked around. Something in her mind went off. Triggered. Sitting in a car, not far from them, was a man and a woman. They were watching them closely.

A shiver went down Margaret's spine. "Come, sweetie, time to go home."

Joy didn't object, like Margaret expected her to. "I'm sleepy." She yawned, putting her head down on Margaret's shoulder.

She made her way home quickly, locking the doors behind them. Dana was involved in dangerous business.... and it looked like the business had followed them here. ::Dana, where are you?::

She looked out the window again, the car was hidden among other cars down the street. ::Start packing, Maggie.:: Margaret Scully was a Navy Wife. She was an expert at packing quickly and efficiently. She gathered all the clothes, and Joy's toys that she couldn't live without. All the bags were set in the upstairs bedroom.

Dana had given her a number, just in case if she needed help and it was an emergency. "Mom, these men will help you if you need it. Langley, Byers and Frohike. Friends of ours, we trust them." Dana had said those words, she trusted them.

Margaret snatched up the phone, dialing quickly. There was no answer. ::DAMN!:: The phone was slammed back into the cradle. ::think, Maggie! What would Bill do? What would Dana do?:: Margaret called the airport, reserving two seats on the next flight to Washington, DC. She had four hours.

Joy was swooped up. "Come, Joy. We're going away from here," she whispered.

Joy gave her a flummoxed look. "Where mommy?"

"We'll see her soon. I swear."


Elliot Waters' House
December 10
5:00PM

Mulder had made arrangements with the Gunmen. Everything was set and they would be out of there, soon. All of them. Even Elliot was going. "I think I should drop in on my brother anyway when we get to Washington, DC." He smiled.

Anna shrugged. "Okay, let's go then. I think Scully is going to blow!"

Mulder feared that she would get up and leave without them, on her own. "It's time to go," she said, dragging everyone up and out the door. They arrived at the airport late, checking in whatever bags they had, which wasn't much, and getting on board. She was fidgeting. Dana Scully was squirming like her daughter would in a car seat. "Why can't we get there faster?" she almost screamed.

Mulder held her hand, letting her rest her head on his shoulder. "Shh, less than an hour. We're almost in Washington."

The pilot announced that they were going to be landing at the Seattle Airport in about thirty minutes. This did not comfort Scully at all. Her hand squeezed his. "Mulder, something isn't right. My poor baby girl... my mom. God, when will we land!?"


Seattle, Washington
2:00PM

Margaret was terrified. She couldn't take everything with her, they would see and wonder what was going on. Instead, she gathered three bags. One of them contained Joy's favorite rabbit, Dana used to have on exactly like it. She took the bags and dumped them in the car, forcing herself not to look at the people observing her actions. Then, she returned to the house to get Joy. The child was playing on the sofa, wrapped up in her own little world and not worrying about what was happening around her, outside the safe walls of the house. Margaret knew the walls wouldn't be safe for long.

Before she had a chance to even get Joy up, the back door of the house burst open. She could hear glass shattering in the kitchen. Margaret couldn't remember ever moving so fast in her life. She grabbed Joy, carrying her out to the car that was ready and waiting. There was little time to strap in, she set Joy down in the passenger seat. "Hold on tight, Joy," she instructed.

Joy was a smart girl, and she started reaching for the seat belt. Margaret would have smiled if the situation hadn't been so tense. Dana had taught her daughter how to put on the seat belts! Margaret pulled out of the driveway, when she turned back to look at the house, a man wearing all black clothes who had a weapon in his hand came out. ::God, help me. Protect us::


Seattle, Washington
Gordon's Hotel Room
5:00PM

Dr. Strouss entered his room, handing him some papers. "I'm sorry, you shouldn't have let those two idiots watch Margaret and Joy Scully. The vanished a while ago. They were tailed to the train station, but after that.... they were lost in the crowd. All the reservations are being checked to see where Margaret Scully went."

Gordon looked up. "This was not part of the plane! We weren't supposed to lose them! They were to lead us to Scully and MULDER!" He threw his glass across the room, the shards scattering on the carpet. Gordon poured himself another drink. "Too bad Daniel isn't still alive.... he could have handled this."

"What happened to Daniel?" Dr. Strouss asked. She had heard of his cousin, but had never met him.

"I killed him." Gordon finished his drink and set the glass down on the desk. "Listen to me. I'm putting you in charge. If you don't botch this up, you can go up the ladder in this organization. Understand? Find Mulder and Scully. You can do that by finding Margaret Scully, she'll lead you to them."


Seattle, Washington Airport
December 10
5:00PM

She dialed the number, her fingers trembling. She kept her back to the crowd of people, kept Joy hidden behind her. "Hello," a voice said.

"Yes, I'm looking for a Mr. Langley... or Byers or Frohike."

"Who is this?" the voice asked suspiciously.

"Margaret Scully, my daughter Dana said that I could call them if I was in trouble."

"This is Byers. What's wrong, Mrs. Scully?"

"I'm being chased! These people were stationed outside our house, just watching us. They burst in today, and I ran, Joy is with me. I went to the train station first, I'm sure I lost them. Then I took a taxi to the airport. I'm at the Seattle Airport and I have no where to go and I have to find my daughter!"

"All right.... we can figure this out. You should return to Washington, DC."

"I already have tickets."

"Good, we'll meet you at the airport in Washington, DC. What's the flight number. "Flight 603. I think we'll be arriving around 11:00PM DC time."

"Fine then, we'll meet you there. I'll be wearing a suit, I have a brown beard and I'll be with a punk with blond hair and a short little stubby guy. Think you'll find us?"

"I don't know...."

"Don't worry, we'll find you. Good luck, Mrs. Scully. Be careful."

"Thank you." ::I'm going to need it.::


The Lone Gunmen's Office
Washington, DC
December 11
1:00AM

Langley started pacing. "Well, we'll all meet them at the airport. Have you gotten hold of Mulder yet?"

Frohike shook his head. "No idea where he went. You're brother isn't answering his phone. What are we going to do?"

Langley sat down. "Byers, are you okay?"

Byers nodded. "You know what, everything should be fine. We'll hide out here with Margaret and Joy Scully. Then Mulder will come and give instructions. So we're fine."

He switched on the TV they had set up in the office. "SPECIAL REPORT FROM CHANNEL 6!" the announcer spoke. "An Assistant Director for the FBI, Walter Skinner, has just been shot. They J. Edgar Hoover building was in chaos this afternoon. The shooter is unknown, and the Assistant Director is in critical condition. We'll have more for you on that story as it develops-"

Langley turned off the TV. "Oh, shit! They went after Skinner!"

Byers buried his face on his hands. "He's been shot, but he's not dead. We have to find Mulder!"


Scully's Seattle House
December 10
8:00PM

They arrived. Finally. "MOM!" Scully ran through the front door, almost collapsing over the sofa. The room had been ransacked! Books and papers lay scattered on the floor, the sofa and chairs had been ripped apart. And Margaret and Joy were no where to be seen. "Oh, God, NO!" She shrieked, running up the stairs. "NO! JOY! MOM!"

They searched the house, finding it empty and silent, except for Scully's cries and sobs. Mulder wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight, rocking her back and forth. "Don't worry, we'll find them."

"They're gone, Mulder! I should have never left! I shouldn't have put them in danger like this! What was I thinking?!"

Anna looked around. "Maybe they got away."

Scully wiped her tears. "No one gets away from them, Anna. They destroy everything in their paths. God knows what happened here...."

Mulder took a deep breath. "I'm calling Frohike and the guys," he whispered.

Samantha helped Scully stand. "There is nothing left here, Dana, we have to get moving."

Scully picked up one of Joy's dolls, the one she frequently played doctor with. Her hair had been shredded, they hadn't even spared the damned doll! "I need to stay here for a second. Gather some things. I'll see what I can salvage, I'll be out later."

Samantha left her side, walking out into the darkness. They returned to the van they had rented, Mulder was on this cellular phone he had bought, tying to get hold of someone. Scully stood at the top of the stairs, sighing. She was so filled with anger and regret and fear. Fear for her mother and her daughter. How could this happen? Why had she let them do this? ::My father would kill me....:: A shuffling behind her caught her ear. She turned in time to see a black figure leaping at her...

Mulder let it ring.

"Hello," a voice answered.

"This is Mulder, turn off the tape recorder."

"MULDER!" Byers screamed. "Where the hell have you been? All Hell has broken loose! Margaret Scully is in trouble, Joy is with her."

"We're at their house right now, what happened? The place is a mess, they searched everything and ripped everything apart!"

"Don't worry, Mrs. Scully and Joy are fine for the time being. They called us, they're on a plane coming to DC right now. We'll be meeting them and I won't let them out of our sight until you arrive."

Mulder felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders. "Thank God! Scully and I were so worried...."

"Mulder, you gotta get back to DC soon. Assistant Director Skinner has been shot! It's all over the news, Mulder. We had no way of getting hold of you."

"This might be a trap.... they might be expecting us back in DC!" Mulder said.

"They still might have Scully's house in Seattle under surveillance. Move out of there, Mulder. I'll arrange some form of transportation. Get out of there, where can I contact you?"

Anna let out a shriek. "Ethan! Mulder! Dana's been hurt!"

Ethan, not waiting a second, raced back to the house, pistol in hand. He pulled Anna back. "Get across the street," he ordered her.

Ethan walked in slowly, Mulder was now behind him. Scully was at the bottom of the stairs, on the floor. Her face bleeding. Mulder was instantly at her side. "Scully, no no no! Wake up, Scully-"

Ethan saw a figure running out of the closet. "THERE!" He jumped up and started chasing after it. Through the front door they went and out onto the main street. Elliot came to help him, leaping up into the air and throwing himself on the unknown man.

Together, the two men were able to pin the man in black to the street. Samantha and Anna stayed back, Mulder stayed in the house with Scully. "Get something so we can tie him up with it."

Less than ten minutes later, their cloaked figure was tied in a chair. Anna had called a hospital, and they were on their way to get Scully to a hospital. She was breathing, her heartbeat was steady, but still she remained unconscious.

The mask was removed by Ethan, and he gasped. "Strouss? What the hell are you doing here?"

She looked at him with cold blue eyes. "I was trying to salvage whatever evidence I could so your father wouldn't destroy it."

"That man is not my father," Ethan snapped.

"Whatever. He's no friend of mine, either."

"You could have fooled me!" Samantha snapped at her.

Strouss looked up at Samantha. "I'm glad you're okay, Sam, Gordon was furious that you escaped. Make sure he doesn't catch you again-"

"Is that a threat?" Samantha asked, defensive.

"No, a warning. I am not your enemy! I'd like to help you if I could!"

Samantha stared back at her, surprise on her face. "Really? You'd like to help us?"

Dr. Strouss nodded. "But I can't do that if I'm tied up."

Mulder burst into the room. "Okay, we are at a point when we need to start making decisions. Scully is going to be going to a hospital. I have to get to Washington, DC, AD Skinner has been shot and things are going to get worse."

Ethan stood up. "I think I should go with you."

Anna and Samantha looked at each other. "We'll stay with Dana." Anna spoke confidently.

Elliot glanced down at Strouss. "I'll stay here. Do you two want to take Strouss here?" he asked Mulder and Ethan.

Ethan frowned. "What ARE we going to do with her?"

"No time to think. Tie her up good and throw her in the back of the van. Scully's second car is in the garage, the garage, I found the keys in a potted plant by the door." He handed them to Anna.

Anna smiled. "You know her too well, huh?"

He shrugged. "She's always used potted plants to hide keys. Get moving, Ethan. We'll take the van, you three take the second car. And Dr. Strouss is with us."


Joseph Gordon's Hotel Room
Seattle, Washington

"Where has Dr. Strouss gone?" he asked David.

"She said she was going out to get Mulder and Scully. I didn't think of taking her seriously." Gordon frowned, lighting his cigarette. "Well then, let's just see what she turns up with."

Chris entered. "Sir, Skinner has been taken care of." A smile spread across the old man's face.

"Excellent. At least something is going out way. Thank you, Chris, for the delightful news." Chris nodded his head and retreated out the door. When Gordon was happy, it always meant that some else was suffering.


Washington, DC Airport
December 11
4:00AM

Byers waited, looking calm... but he wasn't calm. He kept on glancing about nervously, fearing that they had been followed and that they had failed Mulder. Some woman over the speaker announced the arrival of Margaret Scully's flight. She was a strong woman, and her daughter was no different. Frohike approached him, handing him a packet of M&M's. "Want some?"

"How can you eat at a time like this?" Byers questioned him.

Frohike shrugged. "A man has gotta eat."

Langley joined his companions. "Look."

All three sets of eyes fell on the little red haired girl that they recognized. She was a miniature Dana. Margaret was holding her hand. Byers approached her. "Margaret?" he asked cautiously. She nodded.

Joy reached up to Byers, laughing. "Hi!"

Byers was still nervous about picking her up, but he did anyway. She was older now. "Hey, kid." Frohike tickled the little girl on her chin.

"Are these your friends, Joy?" Margaret asked, a faint smile on her face.

"Daddy's friends, Uncle Froh... Uncle Langey and Uncle Dryer."

Byers coughed. "Byers, Joy. Byers."

She rested her head on his shoulder. "Where Daddy?"

Frohike sighed. "Last we heard, he was in Washington State looking for you two."

Margaret's eyes went wide. "Oh, my God. They missed us-"

"Don't worry, Mulder is coming straight here and we are to keep you safe until he arrives and gives further instructions." Byers assured her.

Langley took their bags, and Frohike carried Joy. "Come on, ladies, we have to get you out of the open." Frohike led the way to the van.


December 11

Ethan and Mulder had boarded the plane and they were on their way. Dr. Strouss was with them. This was risky, and Mulder was nervous. His Scully was in a hospital in Washington State, and their daughter was in Washington, DC. He hated being this far from both of them.

Soon they would be landing, and then they could make some progress. Ethan had agreed to watching Strouss while Mulder went to check in on the Gunmen and Margaret and Joy. He hadn't had a chance to call them, and he didn't even know if they had arrived safely. ::God, if you are out there listening, help me! Don't let anything happen to Scully, any of them::. Dr. Strouss glanced at him. "Mulder?"

"What?" he snapped.

"You know, you could be a bit nicer to me! I know you have problems but so does everyone else."

He slipped out his gun and dug it into her side. "You almost killed my partner by throwing her down the stairs of her own house. You expect me to be nice to you? I don't think so. I don't trust you, I have no reason to. If you were trying to help us, why did you hurt Scully?"

"I didn't know who she was!" Dr. Strouss snapped. "She could have been one of Gordon's men out to kill me for all I knew!"

Mulder rolled his eyes. "Nice excuse."

"Shh!" Ethan hissed.

They were both silent for a while, then Dr. Strouss spoke. "I'm sorry, but I will make it up to you."

"Whatever." He didn't look at her.


Dorner Hospital
Washington, DC
December 11
7:00AM

Skinner wasn't in good shape. They had barely missed his vital organs. There was lots of tissue damage, and he hadn't woken up yet. The doctors didn't know what they could do, just wait and hope the tissue swelling went down. He had gone through surgery to remove the bullet. So far he was stable. The reporters had been running around the hospital, everyone trying to get a look at the helpless Assistant Director. The doctors kept them out, no one was able to get onto the floor he was on.

They could only sit and wait. And hope. But whoever had tried to get him would most likely be back to finish him off. Security was thick and no one got in or out without the proper credentials. This was serious business.

Washington, DC Airport
December 11
10:00AM

Mulder took Strouss' right arm, Ethan had her left. Together they got her through the airport without incident. They didn't trust her, but they were going to use her. Gordon might want her back... They rented a car, pushing her into the passenger seat. Mulder drove, and Ethan sat in the back with a gun pointed at her head. "Where to, Mulder?" she asked him, her voice was bitter.

"I'm going to leave you two at a hotel, I have some business to attend to."

"Would that have anything to do with Skinner?" she asked.

"I don't give a damn about Skinner. What will happen will happen, but there are some other people I have to see."

"Who?" she asked.

"My, you are curious!" Ethan poked the gun into her neck. She let out a whimper. "Aren't you worried about Scully?"

"I know she's safe," Mulder said. But really, he didn't. What if they went after her like they did Skinner? What if he was left with nothing by the end of this ordeal? ::God, don't take Scully. Don't let them hurt her....::

Mulder led Dr. Strouss into the motel room, it was cheap. She made a face. "We're staying here?"

"Sorry it's not the Ritz." Ethan handcuffed her to desk.

"You know, I am a lady-"

"Shut up," Mulder told her. He handed Ethan the gun. "Shoot her when things get boring."

Ethan nodded. "Where will you be?"

"I'll call you when I get a chance."

"Don't be too long, sweetheart," Dr. Strouss said with sarcasm.

"Gag her, Ethan," Mulder said as he left the room. Ethan took duct tape and taped her mouth shut.

"Much better," Ethan said, turning on the radio to a classical music station.


The Lone Gunmen's Office
December 11
12:00PM

Mulder knocked on the door. "Guys?" He looked into the security camera.

The door flew open and Langley pulled him inside. "Thank God! What is going on now?"

"Nice to see you, Langley. Did Joy and Margaret make it okay?" His voice was dripping with concern.

His question was answered when Joy entered the room with her favorite bunny. "DADDY!" she screamed, throwing herself into his arms.

He hugged her close. "Oh, my angel, are you okay?" She kissed his nose.

"Daddy, where you go?"

He kissed her forehead. "That doesn't matter, I'm here now." He held her so tight, as if the world would end if he let her slip away from him. She was so small, so fragile. Her hair smelled for strawberry scented baby shampoo, her blue eyes were shining bright. They hadn't laid eyes on him in ages, and it was a relief for him to be able to hold her again. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and hugged him as if she'd fall if she let go. Mulder returned the embrace.

Margaret entered. "Fox! Thank the heavens that you are all right. Where is Dana?"

Mulder frowned, setting Joy on the chair. "I have some bad news."

He watched the eyes of Margaret darken. "What happened?" she asked.

Byers and Frohike entered, congratulating Mulder on his success so far. "I found Samantha, Ethan has a woman named Dr. Strouss hostage, kind of. Strouss worked for Gordon. Scully, Samantha and Anna King, Ethan's friend, are in Washington State still."

"Where is Elliot?" Langley asked.

"With Sam and Anna. Scully had an accident. Strouss pushed her down the stairs and she's in the hospital. I want to call them and make sure they're all right."

Langley handed him the phone. "Go ahead."

Mulder called information, got the number. When he was finally able to get hold of Anna, he was frantic. "Is she all right?"

"Yes, she's fine. Stable. She's woken up a few times. Everything looks like it's going to be okay. A few more days in the hospital at most. Is Ethan all right? Did you find your daughter and Dana's mother?"

"Yes and yes. Ethan has Strouss in a hotel, she's tied up and he's baby sitting her. I'm with Joy and Margaret now. Is Sam okay?"

"She's fine, everyone is in one piece. What is the next step?"

"We have no idea where Gordon is. But Skinner is in the hospital, so he probably has men stationed there. I'll show up there, and see what happens."

"That's insane!" Anna snapped.

"I have no choice. There isn't much I can do. If everything goes okay, we'll all be together again by the end of the week."

"That's insane and incredibly nieve." Anna said to him.

"I know, but Joy and Margaret are safe. Everyone is safe for now, but they're still after us. I'm going to blow that bastard into bits!"

"But he has friends and associates! You can kill him, but they'll still be after us-"

"We'll figure something out," Mulder said to her.

"Be careful, and tell Ethan I love him." Her voice was shaking.

"Take care you guys, and when Scully wakes up, tell her that her mom and daughter are okay. I won't let anything happen to them."

"Good bye, Mulder." Anna sighed.

"Good bye." Mulder hung up.

Next stop, he had to go inform Ethan of his next plan of action. ::He's gong to think I'm crazy! Maybe I am, they already shot Skinner to get me here...::


Skinner's Hospital Room
2:00PM

Nurse Andrews watched the handsome man walk in, wearing black jeans and a black leather jacket. She raised her eye brows, her fellow nurses giggling. "Who is that?" Nurse Andrews questioned. The others shrugged their shoulders, watching him approach their station.

They all scattered, leaving Nurse Andrews to tend to him. ::PLEASE GOD, let him be our new patient!:: She smiled.

His face was stern, he looked as if he had nothing to smile about. "I'm looking for Assistant Director Walter Skinner."

He pulled out his badge, causing her eyes to go wide. "Wh- um, I'll show you his room. But there is limited coming and goin-"

"Is he awake yet?"

"Yes, he is. Been up for a while now, he can talk and everything. Except he has a bullet hole in him-"

"Okay, thanks." He walked towards the guards, showing ID. They shook their heads.

"Sorry, Sir. We have our orders."

"Tell Skinner that Mulder is here to see him, he'll tell you." One of the two guards slipped inside, coming out a few seconds later. "Go on in."

Mulder couldn't believe what he saw. A pale, sickly looking Walter Skinner. Never, in all of Mulder's years working for the man, had he seen him look so weak. "Sir-"

"Mulder, what the hell are you doing here? They're going to kill you!"

Mulder sat down next to him. "Scully's safe in Washington State. Her daughter and mother are hidden away... and we have one of their people."

Skinner started coughing, then cleared his throat. "Mulder this is too dangerous, get out of here before you get you ass kicked."

"Damn it, Sir, we can't run and hide forever! I want to get them out of our lives, I want to bring up Scully's little girl in a world where she can be safe."

Skinner leaned against the pillows. "You love her, don't you?"

"Scully's daughter, yes."

"Scully?"

"Yes," he said without hesitation. Skinner couldn't help but grin. "I guess it was all inevitable. What's your plan?"

"I'm going to let them find me. I have one of their people, I want to see what I can do with that card."

"God bless, Mulder."


David and Chris were surprised when they found out that Mulder had actually shown his face in the hospital to see Skinner. Gordon was immediately informed, and he was leaving Washington State right away. David took his gun from it's holster. "I say we move in now."

"Are you that dense? The guards are still there... we'll get him when he's alone. Preferably an elevator." Chris snapped.

David wet his lips. "I have an idea."

"What?" Chris questioned. "Just let me take care of it."


It was late in the afternoon. Mulder was exhausted as he waited by Skinner's bed side. They sure were taking their time! He was getting frustrated. Mulder stood up, walking out into the hall to get a drink of water or a cola. Nurse Andrews ran up to him. "Sir... Mr. Mulder, I just got a call from someone. They said your partner, Scully, was attacked-"

Mulder's eyes went wide, he grabbed the small nurse's shoulders. "WHAT?"

"Sir, you are to call your brother right away-" Mulder pushed her aside and started searching for the phone. ::Scully, Scully, God no!:: His heart was caught in a grip of fear. If anything happened to her, he wouldn't be able to make it. His sweet Scully, she must be so scared.... he should have stayed with her.

Mulder was cursing when he got to the elevator, and by the time he reached the lobby, he had finally begun to wonder... who had called and how had they known where he was? The elevator doors opened, revealing a white hall way. Two men entered the elevator, pushing him up against the wall. "Don't move, Mulder, you're pretty little partner will be fine just as long as you don't do anything stupid."


Washington DC
3:00PM

Joseph Gordon smiled to himself. Things were looking brighter. Things might actually go his way. Although there was one problem, Dr. Strouss hadn't reported in yet. But he did have Mulder. For once, Chris and David had done something right. He'd have to remember to promote them later. ::It's going to be a beautiful day.:: Skinner was still in the hospital, but his condition was improving, unfortunately. They'd have to take care of him later. So far, there had been no word of Ethan. He was not sure what he was going to do with his... former son, but he knew that the boy was going to be punished. No more tricks. No more trash. This was it.

He walked into the hospital, taking the elevator down to the basement. That was where Chris and David had stashed Mulder. He was most likely comfortable in basements, Gordon snickered to himself. It was dark, damp and cold. This basement contained little, just boxes in the corners and a few tables. It didn't look like anyone would be coming down here any time soon.

He lit his cigarette. "Good evening, Mr. Mulder. I'm glad you could come."

"Fuck you." He spat. "I wonder, where is Miss Scully?"

"Leave her out of this!"

"And her family, little Joy and Margaret."

"If you-"

"Enough of that. I really have no need for Joy Scully, I would have never laid a hand on her. Except... maybe I could use her to take Samantha's place! Ah, that would be lovely. I'll give you Samantha back, but in return, I need Joy to fill her space. What do you think about that, Mulder?"

"You aren't getting any of them! You don't know where they are, they've all scattered!"

He blew a cloud of smoke in Mulder's face. "Well, it's only a matter of time before I find them. We have vast recourses, Mr. Mulder. You're a lot like your father, but we all know what happened to Bill...."

"I have Dr. Strouss." He challenged.

For a brief moment, Gordon froze. "Strouss? Really? I was wondering why she hadn't checked in."

"You wouldn't want her back by any chance, would you?"

"No, go ahead and keep her. She was rather annoying." Inwardly he cursed. Strouss was the only doctor who could lead the tests, it would take years to train another person as well as she was trained. ::Damn! We'll lose time!::

"I have a question for you."

He leaned against the wall, remaining calm. "What?"

"Why did you take Ethan? Why did you steel him from my parents?"

"Because... I could."

"That's not it, why did you do it?"

He realized that the cigarette wasn't working anymore, he was getting worried. "Why do you think I did it?"

"I have no idea. Did you hate my father so much that you had to steal two of his children?"

He started laughing. "David, Chris... leave." The two men gathered their coats and exited, leaving Mulder tied in the chair, and Gordon circling him like a vulture. "Why did I take Ethan? Why? Because Bill already had a son, why did he need another one?"

"WHAT?"

"You know, Fox, I loved your mother a thousand times more than Bill Mulder ever could, but she refused to leave him. She should have, he treated her like garbage. And I know that the Mulder family life wasn't very.... cheerful. Christmas must have been retched. Would you have wanted Ethan to grow up as you had?"

"WE WOULDN'T HAD GROWN UP LIKE THAT IF YOU HADN'T EVER WALKED INTO OUR LIVES!" Mulder screamed. "You destroyed everything! For my parents! For Sam and for me! You took from us and you took from us.... now my father is gone and you want to take all of us to hell with you!"

"Your family life was probably the exact opposite of Miss Scully's, humm?"

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"Aren't you worried about her, Mulder? Aren't you curious as to what tests we ran on her? While she was away... I remember how you fought to have her back. How touching that was. I think I would have cried... if I hadn't thrown up first. I could kill her without even moving. I just have to give the orders, and the toxins we put into her will take effect!"

"You're bluffing!" Mulder screamed.

"And she had a child, that's just excellent. The same toxins are in Joy's system, too. That's why she would be perfect to replace Samantha."

"LIAR!"

"How do you know? I can clone humans. I can make the truth disappear. WHAT makes you think that I can't do this?"

"You'll need Strouss, won't you?"

"Perhaps." He puffed his cigarette once more.

"I have her... I could return her to you-"

"Why would you do that? For what?"

"What do you have?"

"I have everything, Mr. Mulder."

"Then why do you need us?"

"Perhaps it's because I like watching you suffer? I don't know, it's hard to put my finger on."

Chris and David immediately returned. "Mr. Gordon, the INNER CIRCLE is gathering. The latest project was wrapped up and they have a meeting. They are requesting you at headquarters-"

"Thank you, Chris. Both of you, stay here and watch Mulder. If he moves, shoot him."


FOUR HOURS LATER:

Mulder was scared. What if he had been telling the truth about the toxins in Scully and Joy? ::God, no!:: For now, Joy was safe and sound, she was in good hands. Scully was in the hospital in Washington, they wouldn't find her there. Mulder thought of them often, his beautiful girls. Scully, he loved her so much and he had to protect her. And Joy, so small and innocent.

The two men who were supposed to be guarding him stood up. "I've got better things to do than to hang around here." David said, getting up. "Hey, you can't ditch me!" the other one snapped.

"I don't think he's going any where. Just wait here."

Nurse Heather Andrews watched the tall man come out of the basement. ::What are they doing in there?:: She asked herself. She had always been the curious kind, so she went down to see. Carefully, she walked down the steps. There was a dim light in the room, a tall man was tied in a chair, another man was pacing around him.

She let out a little whimper. "Shit." Quickly, she scurried back up the steps, running to the security team. "You would never believe this-"

Mulder was falling asleep. His neck was killing him, as well as his back. ::If I get out of this alive, I gotta get a massage.:: He thought to himself. The door burst open and he could hear the sound of feet pounding on the wooden steps. "What's going on here?" a voice boomed. Chris looked up, surprised. "What the hell-" He was too late for his gun, the two security guards had him pinned in the corner and they were patting him down.

The nurse came running to him, cutting him lose. "Sir, are you all right?"

He nodded, rubbing his wrists. "I didn't think they would find me any time soon, thanks." Mulder didn't have time to sit and answer their questions, he whipped out his FBI badge and started giving orders. "There is another man, dressed in a suit. He's this guy's partner. Find him and keep them both in custody until I return."

"Sir-" The nurse was saying. "perhaps we should give you an examination to make sure you're all right-"

He shook his head. "No time. I have other things to do."

He vanished up the stairs before they could catch him and pull him back down.


Lone Gunmen's Office
7:00PM

Mulder pounded on the door until Frohike opened it. "Hey man, you're still alive!" He laughed.

Mulder pushed his way in. "I'm going to kill those bastards, all of them. And nothing is going to stop me." He was a ball of rage and felt as if he would explode.

Joy raced in, wrapping her arms around his leg. "Daddy?!"

He pushed her away. "Not now, Joy." The little girl fell backwards, the tears spilling from her deep blue eyes immediately.

Mulder regretted his actions and swept her up into his arms. "Sorry, baby. I didn't mean to do that." He stroked her red curls, she was so much like Scully. He hugged her fiercely. "I'm doing this all for you, Joy. You and your mom, we are not going to raise you in a world where we're scared to let you play in the front yard." Mulder kissed her cheek. "Go now, I have work to do."

Frohike watched him, his heart melting. "So old man, now what?"

"I'm going to blow all those bastards into bits, Frohike. Literally. I need enough dynamite and explosives to burn down a building."

Mulder was a bit worried when Frohike didn't seem surprised. "It's about time! I'll get to work on it. Where are you going?"

"To find Ethan. Strouss will know which building to blow up."


Motel 6
Washington, DC
7:30PM

Ethan examined her, she was finally wearing down. "You know, you're much more attractive when you're silent." She glared at him.

"Fine, I'll remove the gag." He untied it, letting her speak.

"Remind me never to help you again. This is no way to treat a guest!"

"Whatever."

The door slid open and Ethan reached for his gun, relived when Mulder appeared. "Damn, I could have killed you."

"Remind me to teach you how to use one of those." Mulder motioned towards Ethan's weapon.

"What's to learn, just pull the trigger!"

"The safety was on." Mulder rolled his eyes.

He walked towards Dr. Strouss. "You want to help us?"

"After the way your friend here has treated me, maybe not."

He shook her. "Listen to me, this is important. Tell me where the main building for your operations is in DC."

"There only is one building, it's far out in the country-"

"That's lovely. Where?"

"Why? What will you do?"

"I'm going in," he said simply. "They'll blow a thousand holes through you before you can get through the gate."

"I'll take that risk. Now listen to me, where is that building? If there was a huge meeting going on, where would it be?"

She looked up at him. "Well... all meetings are at head quarter, that's the building I was speaking of. Actually, it's four buildings. They'd be in the main one, it's called Lexina."

"Could you show me where it is?"

She nodded her head. "Yeah..."

"If a project is finished, who comes to the meetings?"

"OH, everyone! Gordon, his associates and everyone on up."

He nodded his head. "Great." This was the last time they would get the better of him, now the tables were turned and Mulder wasn't going to let Gordon destroy his family anymore! The war ends here!


Seattle Hospital
Dana Scully's Room
4:00PM

She rested. Her back was aching but her head was no longer throbbing. "Mulder?" She called out. There were people every where. One was a doctor, Anna King stood at her right, Samantha Mulder to the left and Elliot Waters was at the foot of the bed, chatting with the doctor. "Mulder." She called out again.

Samantha took her hand. "Dana, shh. It's going to be all right. Don't worry."

"Where is he? I-"

The doctor looked down at her. "I'm going to take her off the drugs," he said. "maybe she won't be so disconnected and her head will clear up."

"Thanks, Doctor Williams." Anna smiled at him.

Scully looked around, the room smell of the typical hospital smells. Rubbing , medicines and death. "What happened to Mulder?"

Elliot looked over at Anna. "I think you should tell her."

"He's in Washington, DC. Your mother and your daughter are safe and sound, Mulder has taken care of everything. They're all right. Ethan went with him. And the woman who pushed you down the stairs, Mulder and Ethan have her."

Scully tried to sit up, but the pain was too much. "Anna.... what happened? What's going on?" Elliot looked down at his watch. "I'm going to see what your situation is and when we can get you out of here. I'll be back in a few minutes."

He left the room, closing the door behind him. Anna took a deep breath. "Both of you listen to me, this is important. Mulder and Ethan are doing something drastic. Mulder said that Skinner had been shot. I don't know who this is, but Mulder says it's going to be okay. Skinner survived and is doing well. They caught him, but he got away. Now Ethan, Mulder and some friends of theirs... the Gunmen I guess, are going to blow up Gordon's Head Quarter."

Scully moaned. "God. He'll be hurt... he might not make it home-"

Samantha starred at them. "What? Is he insane? How could he do this!"

Scully wiped her tears. "He's Mulder. He doesn't think clearly when he should."

Anna wrapped her arms around the two women. "It'll be okay. We have to prey and keep our hopes up. Scully, at least your mother and daughter are safe and sound."

"Where are they?"

"Mulder didn't say but Margaret will get hold of us when she's ready. Your daughter is safe."

Scully continued to sob. "But what is she going to do without her daddy?"


Washington, DC Location Unknown
9:00PM

Mulder was surprised, the Gunmen never ceased to amaze him. In such a short time, they had gathered a small army of 14 men. Frohike had two older brother who were almost exactly like him. ::Kind of like an elf family:: Mulder almost laughed at himself. The trio had another group of friends, Maxwell, Richardson and Quinnton. They were almost copies of the Lone Gunmen, except they called themselves the Terrible Three. Not very creative, but something they did. The other four were men who subscribed to the Gunmen's magazine and who insisted on joining when they heard, Frohike had let the word slip.

Mulder started pacing, Ethan watching him. "Ideas?"

" How many explosives did you say we had?" He turned to Richardson, a short man who resembled Frohike.

"We have enough to blow up their entire campus," he said proudly.

"I'm not even going to ask where you got them." Byers sighed, starring up at the cold night's sky.

Richardson smiled. "Good, because it wasn't exactly legal."

"Don't worry, I won't arrest you." Mulder continued to pace.

Ethan finally stood up. "So, let's just get into the vans, blow the place up and run."

Byers laughed. "It's not that easy. There are so many things we have to consider. They have four buildings, pretty small. I didn't expect them to be so small. Anyway, we need a way to get in. We need a way to get out. And back up plans."

Mulder turned to all of the men. "You know, you might not come out alive."

They all looked at each other, Richardson speaking for them. "We just want to put a dent in their plans if possible, and we want to find out for ourselves what the hell is going on."


Gordon glanced at the men sitting around the table. They were going through information about latest experiments and final plans for the new experiments. He sighed ::This is a waste of time!::. The entire group had gathered and they were all going through reports. ::I'm going to whip out my gun and shoot myself!:: Gordon thought.


Strouss glanced at her watch. "Do you want me to try and go in?"

"Not without me," Ethan snapped at her.

She frowned. "Don't get so pissy! Fine, lets go." She handed Richardson and Byers cards. "These are entry cards for VIPs. You can use them to get in, and if anything goes wrong... you should shoot them before they have a chance to alert anyone."

"Wait," Mulder said. "we need to get a distraction. How much explosive power do we have?"

"I believe it's enough to blow up the entire campus!" Frohike said.

"Byers, is he exaggerating?" Mulder questioned.

Frohike seemed insulted that his words were doubted. "It's true, Mulder. We can blow all four buildings. What's your idea?" Byers asked.

"Frohike trio," Mulder said to Frohike and his two brothers. "get with Strouss in the first car. Ethan, you too. Ethan and Strouss will go inside, you guys drive to the building on the end, the brick one. I don't care how you do it, just blow it up. Then stay low until you have a chance to get out of here. Understand?" The three nodded their heads and started getting into the first van with Strouss and Ethan.

Strouss took her access card from her back pocket and smiled at Ethan. "I'm surprised you guys didn't find this. Lets move." Ethan escorted her to the car, he took the gun and pointed it at her. "Do understand this is nothing personal, but we still aren't sure we can trust you."

She nodded. "I get it. You guys probably don't get out much." She started the car and drove to the front gate.

A guard stood there in the guard booth. "Tag please," he said. She handed him her card, and he ran it through some scan machine. "DR. STROUSS! Everyone has been looking for you. Please go on in, Lexina building they're having a conference and need requested your attendance."

"Really? I've been out of town and out of touch. Thanks. Don't bother informing them, I'll call Gordon on my cell." He nodded at her and waved them through the gate.

Around the corner of one of the buildings where there was little security, Strouss and Ethan got out, giving the van and explosives up to Frohike and his brothers. Strouss wiped the sweat from her brow. "I've never driven an explosive van before."

Ethan grinned. "You did it well. Now come on, we need got them in, now we gotta get them out. How are we to do that?"

She looked up at the sky. "Once they blow this building, everyone will be too shocked to think. Normal human reaction. When this blows, they should start setting the explosives around the other buildings. Do you realize we're killing hundreds of people?"

"But they're bad people." Ethan reasoned.

She nodded. "Some of them didn't know what they were doing, some didn't mean it."

"Don't get sentimental on me, Strouss." Frohike looked up. "We're setting the explosives. When we give the signal, run like hell!"

The three brothers went around the building, there was hardly any security! And when they ran into a guard, Strouss would run up and distract them. It was almost childish. Frohike's brothers set the last of the explosives, the whole job took half an hour. "Okay. Who has the remote control?" The two brothers looked at each other, then looked at Frohike. "We thought you had it." They chorused.

Frohike's face went pale. "WHAT?" He hissed. They smiled and handed it to him. "You think we're dumb or something, little brother."

Frohike and Ethan got Strouss, they all calmly headed towards the back gate, where they were safe from the explosion. Frohike pressed the button, and they all ducked!

Mulder watched as the building went up in smoke. "Yes! Come on, get in the other three vans and start setting up the rest of the explosives." He went in with Byers and Maxwell, Richardson and Quinnton.

Richardson handed him a card. "This is an permission card that can get you in." Mulder nodded, there was a guard there while other people ran about to attend to the building that was on fire." The guard was only half paying attention and he waved them through, Mulder could smell that the man was drunk. He took this as a sign from God and continued on his way.

Gordon jumped up when he heard the explosion. "What's going on?" he asked.

The others followed him to the window, but they could see nothing. "Must be on the other side."

Dr. Strouss entered the building, smoothing down her hair. "I'm sorry I'm late, I was tied up."

Gordon's eyes went wide, he took her arm. "I thought Mulder had you-"

"He did. But I'm a clever girl, Mr. Gordon, I got out okay. Although think I should get a raise."

"Strouss, what was that explosion on the other side of the campus?" One of the higher officers asked her.

She took a deep breath. "A tanker was coming in bringing a shipment of experimental chemicals. We were testing a reaction to fire, so we lit the tanker. Boom! It's all right, everything is under control and they are cleaning up the mess now. It was pretty far off from the buildings, so it's no problem."

"We weren't informed of this," Gordon snapped.

She nodded. "You were, I believe, the paperwork must have gotten lost or something. But anyway, gentleman, I have come across new research in the mind communication project we were working on. I would like to take it one step more..."

Ethan looked around. "Strouss left! Damn it! We-"

Frohike stood up and he saw his chance to get out. "Guys, that gate is blown open! We can just run through, get out to the cars and scat! What do you think?"

Ethan glanced at his watch, he took out his phone and dialed Mulder. "Ethan, move it! Get out of there, the rest of us will follow you when we can!" Mulder shouted at him. He winced, his brother knew him too well!

"All right, this is the plan. RUN!" The four men stood up and started racing towards the gate, never looking back at the fire they had started.

Mulder took another look at his watch, the other buildings had been rigged, almost everyone had been sent to the burning building, half the people were standing around in awe and too preoccupied to noticed the group of men running around who shouldn't have been there. Mulder was sure that God was on his side, otherwise they would have been toast by now! "Are we ready?" He spoke into the walkie talkie Frohike had provided.

"Yup. Roger." They all answered. Mulder took a deep breath. "I don't care what you guys have to do, get out of here after the explosions. Just get out of here, don't worry about us."

The other buildings went off and Mulder could feel the heat. The fire rose up and smoke was every where. The people who were outside the buildings and farther away from the explosions were too panicked to do anything, a crowd started running out towards the gates. Mulder and Byers were the last ones to detinate the bombs. "Everyone out!" he shouted.

Byers pushed the button on the control timer. "Run Mulder!" he shouted. Together they raced towards the outer gates, not stopping and never slowing.


Strouss looked down at her watch, almost time, too close way too close! "Excuse me, gentlemen, I must powder my nose." She got up and left the room.

Gordon was about to follow her out when he was startled by another explosion. "WHAT WAS THAT?"

"There is fire all around this Lexina building!" one of the men shouted. By then Strouss was already running down the stairs and out the front. She saw Mulder and his companion running off towards the gate. Not even sparing a glance back at the building that she could have died in, Strouss raced after them. Kicking off her high heeled shoes and running as fast as he could.

Mulder pushed Byers into the car, the others were ready and waiting with the engines started. "WAIT! It's Strouss!" Byers shouted.

Mulder turned back to see her running up the hill. He opened the car door. "Start the car and drive towards her, Byers. We'll pick her up." Byers put his foot on the gas and sped towards the form of the running woman.

She stopped and Mulder pulled her into the car. "Are you okay?" She gasped for air, collapsing against him. "I can not believe it! You guys just vanished on me!"

Mulder pulled away from her. "We'll sort all that out later. We got everyone, which is more than I expected. Come on, lets get out of her!"


Lone Gunmen's Office
December 12
1:00AM

Margaret was alone with Joy. The little girl crawled up onto the sofa. "Nappy time?" she asked with a yawn.

Margaret pulled her close. "Yes, love. It's bed time, very late." Joy rested her head against her grandmother's lap and fell asleep. Margaret closed her eyes and dozed off for a bit.

She was woken up with a jolt when she heard the door bursting open. Fear in her heart, she grabbed Joy and prepared to bolt. "Margaret? Joy?" Mulder called as he raced into the room. He was covered with sweat and dirt but he had a huge smile on his face. "Joy!"

She opened her eyes and pulled herself off the sofa and ran towards him. "Daddy?"

He picked her up, smothering her with kisses. She pulled back, dirt on her small white hands. "Daddy get messy?" Everyone laughed.

"Yes, baby, Daddy got really messy."

Margaret took Joy back. "Fox, what happened?" Her voice was dripping with concern.

"We did it, Margaret. We blew them into smithereens!" Byers pulled out some wine.

Margaret frowned. "What?"

"KABOOM!" Frohike laughed as he pulled out glasses for the wine.

"Get some juice for Joy," Langley commented as he went to go get cleaned up.

Mulder wiped his face. "I'm gonna get washed up, I'll be back in a second, but first I want to call Scully."

After a while on the phone, Mulder was able to get hold of Anna. "Oh my God! Are you all right?" she asked, her voice sounded close to tears.

"Anna, we're fine. Everything is fantastic! Here, Ethan is dying to talk to you."

Ethan snatched the phone from his brother. "Anna, are you okay?" he asked her first. "AM I OKAY? WHAT ABOUT YOU! What were you thinking, running around blowing everything into bits! Ethan you're an idiot!"

"Thanks honey, I love you, too."

She let out a sigh. "Are you all right? Did you break anything?"

"No. A few cuts and bruises, but I'll live. Everyone got out okay, God was on our side tonight. Fox and I are making arrangements for you to come home soon."

"So is it over?"

"I believe it is, my dear!" There was silence for a moment, then Ethan could hear Anna crying. He took the cordless phone into another room so he would have some privacy.

The others had whipped out the wine and drinking. "Anna, sweetheart, what's wrong?"

"I was so scared for you. Damn it, I wasn't sure if I'd see you again. Or ever hear from you again."

"Angel, I'm fine. Everything is wonderful. We can live normal lives now. I have you, Samantha, my brother and Dana Scully and her family are fine. Plus, I've made some new friends. Sweetheart, we'll be bringing you home soon. So don't worry."

After a while, Scully was on the phone. "Ethan is that you?"

"Yes, how are you feeling?"

"Just fine, get Mulder's ass on the line, right now please."

She waited patiently as Mulder picked up the other phone. "Scully? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, don't worry about ME! How are YOU? How are my mother and my daughter?"

"Everything is fine, Scully. We're all safe in DC. We're going to fly you home soon and everyone will be together. Joy and I miss you so much. Soon, Scully, you'll be home soon."


Three Days Later
Washington, DC Airport
6:00PM

Scully was finally able to travel, although doctors were a bit worried. Anna, Elliot and Samantha were traveling with her. Elliot had decided to pay his brother a visit. The fact that he was traveling with Samantha made Mulder nervous, Ethan also.

Joy was wearing her pretty blue dress, her arms wrapped around Mulder's neck. "Daddy, where Mommy?"

He kissed her forehead. "Soon Joy, just a little bit more." Joy rested her small head against his shoulder, making Langley laugh.

"Never thought you'd be a family man, Mulder."

Mulder smiled. "Everything has finally worked out for me. I have my sister, I don't have to worry about 'Them' anymore, and I got my two favorite girls." He kissed Joy again.

She let out a little yawn, covering her small rose bud mouth with her tiny hand. Byers smiled. "She's cute."

"For sure she isn't his biological child." Ethan grinned.

Mulder hugged her. "I don't care, I'm the only father she's ever had and I plan on always doing that."

"Now arriving, flight 561 from Seattle, Washington," a woman on the speaker said.

Mulder jumped a little. "That's them." The five men stood side by side, Mulder let Joy stand on the floor.

Groups of people came in through the gate, Scully, Samantha, Anna and Elliot were the last ones off.

Joy released Mulder's hand and ran forward. "MOMMY!"

Scully dropped her hand bag and swept her girl into her arms. "My little angel, I was so worried about you. I didn't know what happened." She hugged her tight and kissed her over and over.

Joy pointed to Mulder. "There Daddy." Mulder came forward opening his arms to let Scully in.

She hugged him, burying her face in his shoulder. "God, it's good to see you."

He wrapped mother and daughter in his arms. "It's okay now, everything will be fine."

Langley greeted his brother, Ethan and Mulder both hugged Samantha and Ethan wrapped Anna in his arms. "I'm never letting you go," he whispered.

"Ethan-" Before she could finish her sentence, he dropped to one knee and handed her a velvet box. "Anna, marry me," he said the simple sentence.

Scully's mouth fell open. "Look Joy, a proposal."

Joy clapped her hands. "YES YES!"

Anna started laughing. "You heard the girl." The males of the group congratulated Ethan and Anna, Scully and Samantha gave them both hugs. "Come on, let's go home." Mulder took Joy and Scully's hands into his own.

Samantha linked arms with Elliot, which caught the eyes of her brothers, but they didn't cause a scene, much to her gratitude. The group went home, Samantha was going to stay with Mulder and Scully for a while. Elliot with Langley. Anna and Ethan were going to be spending the night at her apartment. "Let's go." Byers led them forward.


Scully's Apartment
December 17
3:00AM

Mulder kissed the top of her forehead. "Feeling better?"

She let out a sigh. "You know, we're going to have to get a bigger place."

"Why?" Mulder asked.

"Well... your sister will be staying with us, won't she?"

Mulder sat up in the bed, taking her hand. "You wouldn't mind?"

"Of course not! Mulder, finding her became my quest also. And now that we have nothing to do, we can play happy family." She leaned on him.

He wrapped his arm around her. "I want to quit the FBI."

"So do I."

"Then we'll talk to Skinner soon. We can buy a nice town house or something."

Joy, who was sleeping in the baby bed next to their bed, woke up sniffling. "Mommy..."

Mulder went across the room to pick her up. "Hey little girl, what's wrong?"

"No sleepy." She moaned.

Mulder handed her over to Scully. "Angel face, you aren't sleepy?"

She shook her head, burying her face in her mother's hair, taking in the strawberry scent. "Bad dream." Joy started sucking on her thumb.

"Shh. Bad dreams go away. Want to sleep with Mommy and Daddy?" She was already making herself comfortable between Mulder and Scully, looking up at the ceiling.

Mulder stroked her soft red curls. "I can not believe this little girl calls me her Daddy," Mulder said in a whisper.

Scully smiled at him. "You're a wonderful Daddy." She took his hand. "Scully, I love you."

"I love you, too, Mulder."

"Scully... what are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking that Samantha and Elliot would make a cute couple," she said bluntly.

He moaned. "Not my little sister."

"God, Mulder, you're adorable. But I think it's inevitable."

"No, doesn't have to be." He snuggled into the blankets with Joy and Scully, closing his eyes.

Scully looked down at him. "Well, if Samantha doesn't take Elliot, I'll have him."

His eyes snapped open. "What?"

She giggled. "Kidding, Fox. Go to sleep. I love only you."


Epilogue

Mulder walked towards Dr. Strouss, who was waiting for him in his office. ::old office.:: Mulder was now officially a FORMER Agent for the FBI. Scully, too. She smiled at him. "So, what's up?"

"The Cigarette smoking SOB told me that... they had put some toxins in Scully. And he could kill her..."

She shook her head. "No, I was there to read all the reports on her, nothing was done that will effect her now. Just samples taken. She'll be fine. And don't worry about her daughter, Joy will be fine also." He sighed, his heart beating again.

Strouss looked around the office. "Obviously you're packing up. I wonder... what will you do now?"

"Scully and I are going into teaching. That's pretty safe. Maybe I'll even write a book... science fiction of course." She nodded. "Of course. Wouldn't expect anything else from Fox Mulder." Mulder took a breath. "I'm sorry about the way Ethan and I treated you, but we couldn't be sure."

She shrugged her shoulders. "I don't blame you, I would have been suspicious, too. But I would have been a bit nicer about it. You and your brother had me tied and gagged!"

Mulder grinned. "Anyway I can make it up to you?" She shook her head. "You already helped me, by getting rid of Gordon and his pals."

"What are you going to do next?"

"Get out of town, never coming back. I'm leaving all this behind me. Starting all over."

He nodded, offering his hand in a shake. "Good luck."

She smiled, taking his hand. "You, too. Take care of your sister and Scully and Joy."

"One more question," Mulder said as she exited the door. She turned back for a second. "huh?"

"What about Sam? Is she going to be normal again?"

"Hard to say... they way I look at it, she'll be having this gift all her life. The mind reading and communication. She's lived with it for a while now, it'll be okay. But just in case," Strouss handed him a card. "this is where you can find me if anything is wrong."

Mulder took the card from her, his hand shaking. "Thanks."

"Good bye, Mulder. Maybe we'll see each other again. Hopefully next time you won't tie me up and gag me." She waved at him and left the office.

Mulder took a final look. Five years down here... now it was over. No more strings to be pulled, he was out of here. Starting a new life with his family. The quest was finally over. Now his life could begin.

THE END



Title: Devotion 7: Peace at Last
Author: Agent Quetzel (Sarah)
Category: Fluff, MSR
Disclaimer: All characters from The X-Files belong to Chris Carter, FOX and Ten Thirteen. Joy Scully, Ethan, Anna King, and Elliot Waters are my creations!
Spoilers: None.
Archive anywhere.

Summary: Mulder's thoughts about his family, his Quest and his new found peace.


It was Sunday, another Sunday. He wrapped his arms tighter around Scully, kissing her cheek. She slightly stirred in the bed, letting out a small sigh through her dreams. Joy was sleeping soundly on the other side of Scully, her little body curled up with the blanket.

Mulder closed his eyes and let his thoughts loose. ::I'm one lucky son of a bitch.::

He had everything he ever wanted. Scully, Joy, his sister, his brother... he no longer had to work for the FBI, and Cancerman was no longer on their tail.

::I killed them all....:: It was three months after Mulder and his crusaders had blown up the Consortium compound, and every day he expected the authorities to show at their door and drag him off in chains. They never came. No one had known that he was responsible for the death of hundreds. ::They were all bad people... villains!::

It took about a week for Mulder to realize that he had killed all those people. He had a break down. He cried in Scully's arms every night for almost an entire month, but every time he started to feel sorry, he remembered that they had taken his sister and brother. They had once kidnapped Joy and Margaret Scully. And they had destroyed many more lives than that.

Still, some of those men and women who died in the explosion were innocent, and there was no way for Mulder to filter them out and save the innocent ones. He had to get rid of it all. He might never find 'the truth' but it didn't matter. WHAT was the truth anyway?

He found out the truth about his family. He would never truly know the motives behind the abductions the consortium planned and their testing, but he had stopped it. He wasn't about to raise Joy in a world where they were always looking over their shoulders. He needed peace, he needed to be normal!

And they had succeeded, actually. They did succeed in becoming normal. Mulder was now teaching psychology in a local private school and Scully still a pathologist for the bureau, just not working under the X-Files anymore.

Mulder reached for Scully's hand. So small, so dainty, so perfect. He noticed a little scar on her wrist, something he'd never seen before. ::Did THEY give this to you, Scully?:: Mulder wondered.

He reached his left hand across the side table and picked up a picture of his 'girls.' Scully, Samantha and Joy, all in one photo. This was taken shortly after the 'incident.' Mulder loved them so much. Joy, sweet innocent Joy. She had gone through more in her short four years than most people go through in their entire lives! Funny thing was, she wasn't going to remember most of it. Just stories she'd pry from them, interesting things to tell her friends at school when their compared dramatic moments. He chuckled, imaging Joy bragging to her friends. "Oh yeah, well I was kidnapped twice before I turned four years old! Top that!"

Scully's eyes fluttered open, "Mulder?" she said in a whisper.

He put the picture back, wrapping his arms around her once more, "Shh, go back to sleep. It's not even dawn yet."

"What are you doing awake?"

"Thinking."

"Stop it and go to sleep," She muttered before slipping back into her dream.

Mulder grinned, brushing the red tendrils of hair from her face. ::She's gorgeous.::

Shortly after, Joy's eyes snapped open and she leapt out of the bed. Mulder followed her with her eyes, "Joy, baby, what are you doing?"

"Potty, Daddy!" she said urgently, her small hands wringing the fabric of her green night gown.

Mulder laughed lightly and led her to the bathroom. When she was done, he helped her wash her hands and tucked her back in to bed beside him, "Better?"

She nodded, yawning. Within seconds she had fallen back asleep. ::How do little kids do that? Wake up and immediately fall back asleep?::

Mulder listened to the wind wailed and felt Joy rest her head on his arm, her small mouth open into an "o" and her red hair covering her face. Scully was on his right, Joy his left.

Samantha was safely tucked away in the guest bedroom. "I love you," he whispered, to all of them. A tear slipped from his eyes, he had it all. A beautiful family, the Mulder family had finally been united after all these years. What was left of them anyway.

Tina Mulder had been shocked when they told her that Samantha and Ethan were still alive. ::Shocked is an understatement. She almost had another stroke!:: Mulder had gone to tell her, Scully came in with Ethan and Samantha later. They had all wrapped their arms around each other and sobbed. Like children, they sobbed. "My babies, my babies!" She had hugged Samantha and Ethan tightly, inviting Mulder into the embrace.

Scully, who felt like an outsider, had excused herself, Mulder hadn't noticed until he heard the door shut. Later he had apologized for making her feel uncomfortable, but she had insisted that it was all right. "I love you, Mulder. Now let's go home, Joy is waiting for us."

Ethan had never gotten over the fact that he had missed out on his child hood. He did act like a big kid these days. He and Anna moved into a house together, Ethan was waiting for the right time to ask her to marry him. Mulder grinned at the thought of marriage.

::Scully, would you marry me?:: He would soon go and get a ring. They would have a nice wedding, small... but perfect. Joy could be a flower girl. Mulder bit his lower lip, thoughtfully. ::Maybe some day soon... Scully and I will have babies of our own.:: He loved Joy more every day, and he was sorry that her biological father was a son of a bitch! One day they would tell her, Mulder wasn't her natural father. But just because she wasn't his blood, didn't mean he loved her any less. After all, she did call him 'Daddy.' He was the only father she'd ever known, and he felt honored. He would love them, provide for them and most importantly, he was going to protect them. Not that they were in as much danger as the used to be, but he was still very protective.

The alarm went off at the bed side and Mulder realized with a shock that it was morning. He had been brooding all night! Scully crawled out of the bed, her long night shirt showing her figure.

"Mulder, what's wrong?"

He smiled at her, "Nothing. Everything is finally right." She covered her yawn and stumbled into the bathroom to shower. She was in there for about half an hour and when she came out, she found Mulder asleep, his arms wrapped around Joy. A smile invaded her lips, they looked so adorable, she didn't have the heart to wake them. Gently, she covered them with the blanket and gave each a kiss.

Samantha was already bustling in the kitchen, so Scully decided to go help make breakfast. Normal day. Something she never thought they could have. They had come together as a family and had nothing to worry about anymore. They were safe, at last. And Joy could grow up happy and healthy and normal. They were finally normal, and everything that they had endured was now in the past.

The future looked bright for once, and would always be bright. Finally they were going to be okay.

THE END



Title: Devotion 8: Come Little Children
Author: Quetzel
Disclaimer: All characters and ideas from The X-Files belong to Chris Carter, FOX, and Ten Thirteen Productions. Ethan, Anna, Elliot, and Joy are MY creations thanks very much!
Category: MSR, S Archive any where, keep my name and e-mail attached.
No spoilers, but read the first 7 Devotions.

Summary: Scully lets Mulder in on her secret.


Samantha had been arranging flowers when Joy rushed into the living room, "Aunt Sammy, Mommy is crying," she informed her.

Samantha's eyes went wide, "What?"

Quickly, she followed Joy into the master bedroom bathroom, where Dana Scully was sitting at the edge of the tub, sobbing into her hands. Samantha sat beside her, putting her arm around her shoulders, "What's wrong, Dana?"

Scully had been feeling very sick lately, throwing up often and some days she wouldn't get out of bed. Scully looked up, "I-... I'm pregnant."

Joy was now also crying, "What pregnant?"

Scully laughed through her rain of tears, "Sweetie, it's fine."

Samantha was in shock., "Oh my God! I can't believe this! Dana, why are you crying?"

She shrugged. "I DON'T EVEN KNOW!" Joy was sitting on the bath met, her little legs crossed and crying along with them. Scully wiped her face. "Joy, why are you crying?"

Joy reached her arms out. "Mommy crying."

Scully hugged her tight. "Angel, I have to tell Daddy soon."

"Am I the first to know?" Samantha questioned. "After me and my doctor, yeah."

She jumped up. "This is amazing news Dana, a baby in the house!"

"I am baby," Joy insisted.

Samantha put her hands on her hips, a position that reminded Scully of Mulder in his thinking mode. They were so much alike! "Dana, is this a good thing or bad thing?"

"Depends what Fox thinks," she said, her voice low.

"He'll be delighted, trust me."

"Did he ever talk to you about wanting kids?"

"He says Joy is his baby."

"I am baby," Joy said again.

Scully took Joy's hand, leading her into the bedroom. "Don't you breath a word, Samantha, please!"

A grin was on Samantha's face. "I won't. Trust me. Joy won't either, right Joy?"

"What pregnant?" Joy asked again.

Scully took a breath. "I guess I should tell him ASAP, before Joy spills the beans."

"How about this, when he gets home, Elliot and I can take Joy for ice cream or something. So you can be alone."


Mulder entered the apartment, inhaling the smell of lasagna. When Joy didn't come running to him as she usually did, he was a bit concerned. "Honey, I'm home!" He loved saying that, it was his new favorite phrase.

"In the dining room, Mulder." Scully called out.

Samantha and Joy were no where in sight. "Scully, where is everybody?"

"Sam and Elliot took Joy for ice cream."

"Elliot?! Why?"

"They felt like it. I said it was okay, Mulder."

"I don't feel comfortable about her spending so much time with him. I just got her back! She's never had a boyfriend before, she doesn't know what dirt bags men are!"

"Fox, just stop it. I trust Elliot, he's wonderful. Joy even likes him. It's just us tonight." She gave him a hug and a peck on his nose.

He ran his hands down her back, "Good. I missed you today."

She quickly pulled away and pushed him into a chair. "Go ahead and dig in, I'll be back with some drinks."

Mulder took the wine, and she took juice. "I thought you loved red wine." Mulder tried to pour her a glass.

She pulled his hand away. "I do, but not tonight."

"Scully, you've been sick lately, and I know you went to the doctors. Has he called back to tell you what's wrong?"

Scully was sitting across from him at the square table. "Actually, my doctor did call back."

"What is it?" He was working the muscles in his jaw. She closed her eyes for a second, making his heart beat faster with anticipation. "Well? Is it bad?"

"It all depends on how you take it, Fox." She used his first name. It felt like an iron hand was crushing his heart. "What does that mean?"

"I'm pregnant, four weeks." She blurted out, not able to contain the information to herself any more. The room was dead silent for a minute. "Fox? I'm sorry if-"

He pulled himself out of his chair and rushed to her side, falling to his knees. "Are you sure? Are you positive?"

She nodded, "We're sure."

She actually saw a tear run down his cheek. "I can't believe this."

He hugged her hard enough to crush her. "I-" He wouldn't let her get a word in! "This is amazing news! God, we'll have to get a house now...."

Scully clamped a hand over his mouth to shut him up. "You're okay with all this?"

"HOW COULD I NOT BE? Scully, we're going to have a baby! Joy will have a brother or a little sister! Scully, when he first started working together, I never even thought of kids! But now they're all I want! And you're the mother of my baby, there is no way for me to express how happy that makes me!" He took her head in his hands and kissed her hard.

She wiped his tears with her hands, a deep breath escaped her lips. "You're right, we will have to look for a new house."

"Scully, marry me," he said instantly.

She looked up at the ceiling, "Fox... we've been doing great without being married. Never once did we talk about getting married... and I believe you're asking me just because I'm pregnant."

He shook his head. "I want to do this all right, and I want to marry you." He stood up and vanished into Samantha's bedroom, where he had hidden the ring on the top shelf of her closet. Mulder once again fell to his knees, "Marry me, Scully. Please...."


When Samantha and Joy came back from Baskin Robins, they found Mulder and Scully curled up, sleeping on the couch soundly. Samantha had no way of knowing if she had told him about the baby, but then her eyes feel on the empty velvet box that rested on the dining room table. She quickly looked back at Scully's finger. ::He proposed! Finally!::

Shortly after Samantha had come to live with them, Mulder had asked her to hide the ring he bought Scully. "I'm waiting for the right time." He had said. Samantha had been kept with the secret for weeks, and found she was having a hard time keeping her mouth shut. ::Good thing he did, I was about to explode!::

Mulder stirred on the sofa, "Sam?" he said in a whisper.

Joy came up to him, trying to crawl onto the sofa beside them. "Daddy!" He pulled himself up, trying not to disturb Scully.

"She finally fell asleep, Joy, have you had dinner?"

Samantha cut in. "I'll make sure she gets fed, don't worry about it."

"Thanks, Sam." Mulder lifted Scully's sleeping frame into his arms and carried her into the bedroom. Very gently, he laid her down on the bed.

"Humm?" she mumbled through her half sleep state.

Mulder lay down beside, her, brushing the red strands away, "Scully?"

"Huh?" came her half asleep response.

"I love you so much." He rested his hand on her abdomen, where their baby was growing inside of her.

She covered his hand with hers. "I love you, too."

Mulder put his head next to hers, watching her asleep until finally sleep captured him also.


The next day Samantha entered the room, clearing her throat. "Problem, guys."

Mulder finished combing his hair. "What?"

"Joy wants to know what pregnant means and I thought YOU should explain the whole thing to her."

Scully was still in the bed. Mulder had heard that pregnant women needed lots of rest, so he didn't want make her get up. "I'll talk to her."

Scully shook her head. "We'll BOTH talk with her. Just let me get my robe."

Mulder called Joy into their room, she came in wearing her green shirt and blue jeans. Samantha had dressed her that morning. "Morning, Daddy!" she said cheerfully.

He took her hand, pulling her onto the bed. "Morning, angel. Aunt Sam said you asked a question."

"What is question?"

"When you don't know something and ask about it. You want to know what pregnant means?" She nodded her head, her red curls swaying.

Scully sighed. "Joy, grown ladies get pregnant."

"Is it like sick?"

Scully chuckled. "Not really. We don't get sick, Joy, when a lady is pregnant, she's going to have a baby."

Joy raised her eye brow, a mirror image of what Mulder called 'The Scully Look.' "How?" she said.

Mulder cleared his throat, "Well..."

"Mulder, we don't want to get into S-E-X right now." She spelled out the word so Joy wouldn't go repeating it any where.

"Scully-"

"Joy, the baby is inside of me. Here."

She put her hand on her on her stomach. Joy approached her, putting her hand where Scully's was. "Baby in tummy?"

"Yes."

"Mommy eat baby?" Joy asked.

Mulder tried not to laugh, but Scully had a serious look on her face. "No angel, it was created there, and it's growing inside of me."

"Who put it there?"

"Daddy and I did," Scully said, her face turning slightly red.

"Why? Don't you like me?" Her little mouth turned into a pout.

"Joy, we love you so much! We wanted to give you a brother or sister to play with! You can have a friend."

Joy seemed to be satisfied with the answer, happy that she wasn't be replaced, Joy asked to be dismissed and raced to play in her room.

Mulder laughed, "That was interesting." Scully frowned at him, "If I had let you do that alone, she would be suffering from the trauma for the rest of her life!" Mulder wrapped his arms around Scully. "You did great, Mom."

She sighed softly. "I wish I had read all those parenting books my mother got me."

Mulder hugged her. "I think this is okay. There are other things we need to deal with, by the way."

"Like?"

"Telling MY mother, telling YOUR mother, getting a house, getting things for the baby and informing the whole world that we're getting married."

She buried her face in his shoulder. "Humm.. you're right. Small wedding or big wedding?"

"Anything you want Scully, I will give you," he whispered.

"Mulder, all this is going to cost us a fortune." She realized out loud. "A house, a family is very costly, all the medical hassle-"

"I don't think you understand that my father left me a very rich man, Scully. Everything is covered. All you have to do is take care of yourself and our baby. You won't even have to work!"

"Mulder! We don't have the money for me to not work!"

He shook his head. "We're rich, I swear it. I dumped all the cash in an account and didn't want to touch it until there was an emergency."

"You're telling me that you have been working for the government when you could have just kicked back and relaxed?"

He kissed her neck. "I loved my work back then, Scully. I'm not a man who wants to stay home and do nothing. This time, I got a safe job teaching and it's my favorite subject, too."

"Psychology. Mulder, you need your head checked, why didn't you tell me?"

"It didn't matter then. It didn't matter two days ago, I didn't know we had a baby coming. Scully, I was saving it for the children I wanted to have with you, but I didn't want to push you. You had so much to worry about already."

She took a deep breath. "God, Mulder." She hugged him tightly, the tears escaping from her lashes. "I want to give you everything, Scully. You want it, you got it."

"I just want you, Mulder... and our family."


Margaret Scully had screamed when she learned the good news. "Dana! That's wonderful!" The hug Scully received from her mom almost knocked her over. "Fox, congratulations!" She hugged Mulder also.

"We're getting married, Mom," Scully said quickly.

Margaret nodded. "I knew you would. Might as well make the whole thing official, hum? What does Joy think?"

"There is no way to know if she really understands the whole thing," Mulder said.

Margaret laughed. "Yes, little children are difficult to explain to. Dana, Fox, have you picked a date?"

"Soon, Mom. We want this small. What do you think?"

"How soon?" Margaret asked cautiously.

"Next month," Mulder answered her.

She moaned, "I guess I can understand. There is a baby on the way. All right then, March 29?"

Dana grinned. "Sounds good."

"Who are we inviting?" Margaret took out a pen and paper, making notes.

"You, Samantha, Charlie, Bill, Melissa, Anna King, Ethan, Walter Skinner, Byers, Langley and Frohike... and also Elliot Waters."

Mulder frowned, "I don't know-"

"Samantha would bring him anyway, so we might as well!" Scully scolded him.

He fell silent and listen to Scully ramble off some more names. When she and Margaret had gone through the main deals, she stood up. "It's getting late, we still have to inform Mrs. Mulder."

Margaret hugged her daughter again, "Take good care of yourself, sweet heart. Fox, make sure she's taken care of."

He grinned. "Got it." Together, hand in hand, they left Margaret's house. "Scully?"

"Mulder?" He squeezed her hand. "I'm glad those bastards sent you to spy on me."

She laughed. "Me, too."

"If they hadn't, I would have lost it a long time ago."

She smiled at him, "I'm always here, Mulder."

"Scully?"

"Yes?"

"Thanks for making me a Daddy. Thanks for Joy and this little one on the way."

"You deserved to be Joy's Daddy, and you're the one who put this little one where he is now!"

They laughed and he kissed her cheek. "Come on, we have to inform my mom she's gonna be a grandma."


"What if it's a boy?" Scully asked, flipping through the pages of the baby name books.

"William sounds good. Both of your fathers and it's Fox's middle name," Samantha suggested.

Mulder shook his head. "No."

"Fox William Mulder, Jr?" Scully grinned.

"There will be no more Fox Mulder's as long as I have breath in my body," he said seriously.

Samantha shrugged her shoulders, "Too bad, how about Wolf?"

"Why don't we just call him Beaver!" Mulder said sarcastically.

"It could even be a girl," Samantha reminded them.

Scully shook her head, "I have a feeling it'll be a boy." She lay back on the bed, sighing.

Mulder and Scully were on the bed while Samantha and Joy had made themselves comfortable on the over stuffed chair. "Joy, what do you want to name him?" Mulder asked.

"Elmo!" She said proudly.

Scully laughed, "Nice thought, but I don't think so. Christopher?"

"Marcus?"

"Walter?"

"Alexander?"

"Ethan?"

"Evan?"

"Daniel?"

"Cyrus?" Mulder suggested.

"CYRUS?" Scully and Samantha chorused. "It means Sun in Persian," he said.

Scully shook her head. "We'll think about it. Give it time."

Samantha looked through a book, "How does Elliot sound?"

"No!" Mulder said immediately.

"Fox, why don't you like him?"

"Why should I?"

"Well, you tell me?"

"Sam, do you know what his motives are?"

"He and I happen to like each other! Fox, why don't you understand?" Mulder was starting to wonder why Scully hadn't said anything, and when he looked back at her, she was sound asleep with Joy beside her.

Mulder sighed, "I worry about you, Sam, I don't want you getting in over your head."

She smiled at him, "Do you expect me to stay here with you guys for the rest of my life? Don't I get a chance at my own life?"

Mulder looked down at his hands. "I can't help but worry about you, Sam. I've worried about you every day of your life, especially the days that you were missing. I searched so hard for you and I feel like you'd rather spend time with Elliot than me."

Samantha actually hugged him, "Fox, that is no reason to hate Elliot. He's a good man, believe me, I've spent enough time with bad men to know a good one."

"Just don't go too fast," he said.

She nodded. "Deal. I'd like to stay around with you guys and help Dana with the new baby. He will be my nephew... or she'll be my niece."

"Dana is convinced it's going to be a boy." Mulder led her to the kitchen.

"It doesn't matter to me, I'll still be here."


Scully watched as Mulder carried their son back and forth in the nursery. The baby was crying, he wouldn't calm down. "Scully... go back to bed, I got him." He looked so handsome, wearing only his sweat pants and resting the child against his bare chest. "Shh, don't cry, Daddy's here, don't cry." Scully closed her eyes and thanked God for giving her Fox Mulder and her beautiful family. She was so blessed...

"Mommy, wake up!" Joy bounced up and down on the bed. She sat up, a dream... the baby wasn't here yet... just a dream.

"Joy!" Mulder scolded, pulling her off the bed, "Mommy was sleeping."

She pouted. "But I want mommy to play with me!"

"Joy, you have to understand that mommy needs lots of rest now. Come on, Aunt Sam will play with you." When Joy had left the room, Mulder looked back at Scully, "Sorry."

"It's okay. Come here, Fox." She held her arms out to him. He came to her, resting his head on her chest, "Dana, are you feeling all right?"

"Just fine, Fox." She kissed the top of his head.

He put his hand where the baby was again, "It's true what everyone says, it is a miracle."

She laughed, "I know. Thanks, Fox."

"For what?" He looked up at her. "When Joy was born, Ray left me with nothing and no one. You took care of me then, Mulder, and you're still taking care of me."

"I'm always going to take care of you, and our babies," he whispered.

THE END



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