Title: Eines Tages
Notes: At end.
Summary: Just an average day in the post colonization future.
Note: In this universe, Requiem hasn't happened.
I woke up just in time to see the first glimpses of the sun. The faint light illuminated the sleeping form next to me. His dark hair was rumpled from a fitful sleep. His nightmares seemed to be getting worse with each passing night, invading the sanctuary of his sleep with visions of death and despair. I wrapped my body around his, wanting to shield him from the woes of his slumber. He mumbled something in his sleep, something about aliens and peanut butter. I glanced at the doorway when I heard footsteps coming down the hall, and detected the glorious smell of coffee.
"Good morning," Mulder whispered, entering the room and crossing to the bed. He sat down gently on the mattress, placed his coffee cup on the night stand and snuggled up behind me. His jean clad legs draped over mine, and his arms held me and our son close.
"Good morning. How long have you been up?" I turned my head and kissed him, savoring the flavors of Mulder and instant coffee.
"A few hours. Caldwell came by around four-thirty. There was some kind of activity in zone seven that he wanted a hand checking out."
"What was it?" I asked.
"Nothing. One of the cows got loose. Set off the field alarms," he sighed dramatically.
Jake stirred in my embrace. He blinked several times before yawning, stretching his arms over his head. At eight years old, he was quite small. He was roughly the same size as our other child, who was nearly six. But both had grown considerably since Mulder and I took them in.
Jake and Brandon came into our lives not long after the aliens did. Krycek had warned Mulder and me that colonization was imminent. We didn't believe him. He's lied so many times before, we assumed he had something planned, some sort of trick up his sleeve. Mulder and I had just become lovers, and I think maybe we didn't want to believe him. We were finally together, after seven years of denial and fear, and we didn't want any of it to end.
It was Skinner who convinced us. He said Krycek was the one who infected him with the nanotechnology. He had been using Skinner as a pawn. Krycek came to him one night saying it was all over, handing him a Palm Pilot with a software program that controlled the tiny machines in his body. Skinner wouldn't tell us any more than that, saying there was no time.
We packed what I had in Mulder's apartment, he threw in some things of his own, and we left Washington, left for the mid west in Skinner's SUV. I called my mom on the way, but didn't get an answer. Bill was at sea, and Tara was staying with her mother in the interim. I left a message on Charlie's machine, warning him to get out of the cities. I don't know if he ever got it.
Our original plan had been to form a resistance, and to defend earth the best we could. In the end, it wasn't necessary. The rebels had intercepted messages about the invasion. They managed to fight the colonists off, but the damage had already been done. Cities were bombed, and the virus was released around the globe.
The first three months after the invasion, Mulder, Skinner and I hid in the foothills of Kentucky. It may not have been the brave thing to do, but it kept us from the claws of the gestated aliens. With their short lifespan, especially in the warmer climates, the spawn became less of a threat. The three of us emerged to a new world.
Death was everywhere. Bodies were everywhere. I briefly wondered why we even bothered hiding. What was the point? Was this the kind of world we wanted to live in? One full of death and destruction? We drove west, changing vehicles when we ran out of fuel. We came across other survivors, but not many. The best we can tell, about seventy-five percent of the world's population is gone, either ravaged by the alien spawn, or in the chaos that reigned after the invasion.
The reality of all the death was the only thing that kept me from thinking I was imagining it. If someone had told me ten years ago that aliens would invade earth, I would have laughed. Someone did tell me that only a year ago, and that is exactly what I did. I laughed at Mulder. He would be laughing now, if there wasn't so much loss. It hasn't kept him from teasing me about it, though. If I hear "I told you so" one more time I may lose it.
We eventually came upon a group of survivors in what used to be Kansas. They were inhabiting an Army base that remained mostly undamaged from the colonists' bombing. Forty-seven men and women trying to start over, and create something resembling a new life. Mulder and I were tired of running. We'd been moving for months, years really, I guess. So we stayed. Skinner, too. Fifty people rebuilding.
It was an ideal place. The north side of the base was the housing area. There were over two hundred apartments, so there was plenty of room. Unfortunately, many still were occupied by their owners. It took weeks to remove all the bodies.
Beyond the base was a field perfect for farming. We had acres of vegetables. Several teams, often led by Mulder, would go out in the surrounding areas scavenging for supplies. They had managed to gather some livestock, cows and hogs, to breed on the base. Between the animals and the farming efforts, no one went hungry. We named our community Hope. It seemed appropriate.
Then the children started showing up. Groups of them. Many had survived thanks to their training in hide-and-seek on school playgrounds. They had hidden from the spawn and the bandits who roamed the land. The kids had somehow managed to scavenge enough food and water to survive. They all seemed to be immune from the virus, something which puzzled me. Skinner explained that Krycek had told him people in certain areas were vaccinated against the virus. While parents thought they were protecting their kids from measles and chicken pox, the kids were actually being immunized against the plague to end all plagues.
That's not to say the children were perfectly healthy. Almost all were suffering from starvation and dehydration. I think I set twenty-seven broken bones the first two weeks the kids started showing up. Every one in the community took a child. It was never even discussed, really. When a child wandered in, they were taken to the makeshift hospital immediately. Someone from the community would follow, and that was their child from then on. No child was without someone to care for them. Mulder and I had taken two.
Jake was under forty pounds when he came to Hope. His mother had taken him to the basement of their home when the cities were being bombed. She died a week later, and Jake wandered alone for several weeks before coming to live with another group of children in the woods of Kansas. They were the second group of kids who came to Hope.
We don't know as much about Brandon. From what we can gather from the the girl who brought him here, as well as the scars on his body, Brandon was attacked by the alien hatching from his father's body. Brandon has deep scars on both his legs from the claws of the being, and walks with a very noticeable limp. He doesn't speak, but is getting better about using body language to communicate. Mulder has made it his life's goal to make the little guy laugh. Brandon didn't even smile for the first two months, but not for Mulder's lack of trying. Now not a day passes when we don't get a small grin.
Mulder's arm brushed mine as he moved his hand to tousle Jake's hair. "Hey, sleepyhead," he said.
Jake smiled and hugged me close. "We gonna play baseball today, Mulder?"
"We sure are, as soon as you get home from school."
I patted Jake's stomach. "Go on and get ready. What do you want for breakfast? Potato pancakes, potato pancakes, or potato pancakes?" I'll be so glad when some of the explorer teams find a few chickens to raise here. Having scrambled eggs once in a while would be a welcome change over potato pancakes for breakfast. There was a surplus of potatoes in Hope.
"Um....I think I'll have the potato pancakes," he laughed and rolled out of bed.
"Wake up Brandon for me, ok?" I asked.
"Nicely!" I called to him as he took off down the hall. I turned over and captured Mulder's mouth with mine. I nipped at his bottom lip while he grabbed my ass and pulled me closer to him. I could feel his cock twitching slightly under the denim.
It had been a week since we'd made love. He works at all hours of the night and day as head of security. I stay busy as one of four doctors here, tending to the sick. Between work and the kids, we don't have a lot of time alone. "He's got to start sleeping in his own bed all night," he said when I moved my attentions to his Adam's apple.
"Mmm hmm..." I agreed, biting his salty flesh. Jake's nightmares meant he slept with us almost every night.
"Dana! Where are my shoes?" Jake called from his room.
I sighed, and crawled over Mulder to stand beside the bed. I grabbed his coffee from the night stand and went to look for the missing shoes while getting Brandon ready for the day. As I left the room I glanced back to see Mulder throw a pillow over his face in frustration. I couldn't help but laugh.
I was running late, so Mulder took the boys to school for me. Jake loved school. All the kids did. They all got along quite well. School was easy compared to what they'd already been though.
To my surprise, I finished my rounds by eleven. Usually I have more patients to monitor, and I was glad to have time to run home. With any luck, Mulder would be there.
Sure enough, his boots were sitting haphazardly by the coat rack just inside the door. I heard him in the kitchen, and it sounded like he was loading the wood burning stove. I stood just outside the doorway, wishing he would go sans shirt more often. I watched the way his muscles rippled as he lifted a piece of wood into the compartment and shut the door. He stood and reached for a pot that was hanging above him. The summer months had turned him golden brown, and the manual labor required of everyone in Hope had built him quite a nice physique. Not that he didn't have one before, but he was well-toned now in ways he wasn't previously.
I slipped up quietly behind him, my footsteps muffled by the sound of water being poured into the pot and clanging as he hoisted it onto the stove. I rubbed my hands up his bare back, and he turned around with a look of shock.
"Surpri-" My greeting became muted as his lips attacked, and his tongue demanded entrance. I obliged, wondering how this man who ate canned tuna almost every day and brushed his teeth with baking soda could taste so damn good. We came up for air, gasping. I ran my fingers from his back to his chest, and could feel his rapidly beating heart. I moved my hands and kissed him there, enjoying the feel of his life source under my swollen lips. His heart isn't just his life source, it's mine, too. I know he has a part of me in there, and that for every beat of his heart my own returns the rhythm.
I kissed my way down his stomach, and reached to unzip the fly on his jeans.
"You want some lunch first? I was going to make mashed potatoes," he only half-heartedly asked this, torn between taking advantage of a rare opportunity to make love and ensuring that I eat lunch. He knew I didn't have much time between shifts at the hospital. It only took me a moment to choose between sex and food.
"I can think of something else I'd rather eat," I replied, unzipping his pants for emphasis. He threw his head back and laughed, and I dropped his pants and boxers to the floor. He was already hard, his erection bobbing up after being released from its confinement. Grabbing his hips with both hands, I maneuvered him until he was against the kitchen wall. I sank to my knees and swallowed him as far as I could. He ran his fingers through my hair, and moaned loudly whenever I hollowed my cheeks and increased the suction.
"Scully, stop...wait..." he gasped. I took my time taking him out of my mouth, slowly running my lips down the silk of his shaft. He shuddered, and I thought I'd damned myself for a moment, but he kept his climax at bay. He dropped to his knees and once more claimed my mouth. His hands cupped my breasts through my t-shirt before he removed the offending garment. Pinching my nipples between his graceful fingers, he lowered me until my back came to rest on the cool linoleum of the kitchen floor. I lifted my hips as he pulled down my khakis and panties. My stomach quivered as his fingers brushed over my swollen sex. He entered me, first with one finger, then another. He was slow, teasing me, and I almost cried out with frustration.
But I didn't. Instead, I cried out in pleasure as he stroked my clit. The tension in my belly increased, and my legs clamped around his arm as my body begged for release.
He leaned over me, resting his weight on his forearms. He captured one of my nipples in his mouth, and I arched my back and thrust closer to him. He was everywhere, all around me, above me, his scent filling my nostrils and his taste leaving my mouth wanting more. He was everywhere but where I wanted him to be. As he played with my other nipple, I reached between us to guide him into me. He entered with one sure thrust, and my body spasmed slightly.
I wrapped my legs around him, needing him deeper. He responded by thrusting harder. Each slam of his hips against mine hammered my body into the kitchen floor. I would probably be sore later, but I didn't care. It felt too good, the smooth, cool floor beneath my back, and the hot, sweaty skin above me.
I watched him, his face a mask of pleasure. He was mouthing words of love and affection, but he was on autopilot now and couldn't speak loud enough for me to hear him. I ran one hand down his body as I reached to touch myself.
"Thanks," he somehow managed to say. Then he kissed me, and the bright light behind my eyelids took over and washed me away on a sea of pleasure.
I reluctantly said goodbye to Mulder less than twenty minutes later. He had some issues to attend to in zone four, on the other side of Hope, before he reported to work. I kissed him hard before he headed out the door.
"Be careful," I told him. He stopped and turned on the porch.
"You're wonderful, you know that?"
"I bet you say that to all the girls."
"Just you. And Kimberly," he said, a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face.
"Kimberly? Tim Johnson's sister?" I played along.
"Yep, that's the one. She wants me" He stepped closer to me.
"Oh, really? That so? What makes you think she would want you?" I grabbed the bottom of his shirt and pulled him against me.
"Let's see...I'm smart. Oxford educated, you know," he tilted his head down to kiss my nose. "I'm immune to the virus. That's a plus nowadays.."
"Yeah," I chuckled. "What else?"
"I look pretty good in a speedo. I tell a good story..."
He cocked his head at me before continuing. "I can chase down monsters, mutants, aliens, and any creature in between. I remember birthdays. I remembered your birthday this year, right?" he paused only for a second. "I'm dedicated. And I'm the best baseball player Hope has ever seen," he licked his lips before kissing me.
"Sounds like Kimberly is a lucky lady," I said, slipping my hands in his back jeans pockets and squeezing his shapely ass.
"Nah....not....really," he alternated kisses with words. "Because I'm madly in love with someone else."
He pulled back and looked me directly in the eyes. I knew he loved me. Seeing the world end has left me unsure about a lot of things. My faith has faltered. I am now unsure if the God I prayed to for so long was even up there at all. I'm often unsure about my ability to survive in this new world. But never unsure about Mulder's love for me. I see it in the depths of his hazel eyes as they gaze at me, in his gentle caresses as his skin connects with mine, in his every movement. I hope he sees it in me, too. I want him to be as sure as I am that he is loved.
If he can't see it, then I can at least make sure he can hear it.
"I love you." I pulled him into a deep embrace. I hated to let go, but we were both going to be late.
"Love you, too," he said, and left.
I arrived at the hospital just in time for work. I entered the building to find the main room crowded with Patrollers.
These were the older teenagers who chose to work instead of going to school. Immune to the virus, they patrolled the immediate fifteen miles outside of Hope, looking for any signs of the spawn. In the six months they've been patrolling, they've only seen seven in this area.
I pushed my way through the crowd to Peggy, the pediatrician. She was trying to quiet the group down.
"It's ok, just please be quiet. Some of the patients are sleeping." She spotted me, and I could see the relief wash over her face.
"Look, Dana's here, she'll want to take a look at it."
"Take a look at what? I asked, already knowing what was coming.
Jay, the oldest of the group that was immunized, answered.
"We found a body. Looks like a spawn."
"Where?" I asked, trying to keep my voice neutral.
"Four miles from here, by the creek."
My heart sank to my stomach. The spawn had never been so close. We knew that there were many out there, but hoped that they were far from here. None of the adults, except Mulder and I, were immune. If the virus was moving this way, our town was in trouble.
I looked at Jay. "Let's go."
I met Mulder and Skinner at the south side of the base ten minutes later. As I glanced at Skinner, I realized how different he had become from his Assistant Director persona. He, like Mulder, had beefed up. He often had to rip the sleeves of his shirts so that they wouldn't cut off the circulation in his huge biceps. He was a member of the Hope Council, helping to keep everyone organized. His experience as Assistant Director of the FBI had ensured him this position.
Even with his new responsibilities, Skinner still made time for his kids, and mine. In the afternoons, I would pick up Jake and Brandon, along with both the Skinner kids, and walk them to Skinner's place. He watches them until Mulder or I can get home. Jake loves playing with Skinner's son, so the afternoon arrangement works out great.
Jay, three of the Patrollers, Skinner, Mulder and I started out. We all walked in silence, busy with our own thoughts.
This was a potentially deadly situation, and I'm sure everyone recognized the magnitude of the discovery.
Sure enough, it was a spawn. I pulled out a pair of latex gloves and touched the skin. It was still soft, so it hadn't been dead for more than a few days. A set of tracks parallel to the creek revealed the creature's route.
"There could be more." Skinner looked at his feet.
"We don't know that for sure," I said.
"I'll extend the perimeter two and a half miles tonight, and assign some extra men for the patrol. If they're around, we should be able to see them before they see us."
"I don't think that's absolutely necessary, is it, Mulder?"
I removed the gloves and tossed them on the body.
"Scully, that thing probably wasn't alive for more than a few days. There's no way it could have traveled far in that amount of time. He came from nearby. And if there's one, there are bound to be more."
"But Mulder, these creatures don't travel in packs. It's possible it originated from someone hiding out in the woods who was stung by a bee."
"You can call a cow a duck, Scully, but you're still going to get milk. Better safe than sorry."
I could tell the way his eyes dropped he regretted his words. Not so much his words, but the biting tone in which he said them. He immediately started to nibble nervously at his bottom lip, as he studied my eyes for a reaction.
I had a reaction, but this wasn't the time or place for it.
I just nodded. He was right, anyway. I just didn't want to believe it. I wanted to believe that we were safe. That Hope would be a source of just that; a hope that we had faced the toughest battle of our lives and won. Now our only hope was that we could just enjoy being alive.
"I'll take a team out tomorrow. We'll keep heading south, follow the tracks." Mulder looked at Skinner. "I'll need some help."
"I'll see if I can go," Skinner said, glancing at the corpse.
We all headed back to Hope.
Jake was waiting for me, Brandon in tow, when I arrived at the school. Both boys ran to me and hugged my legs.
"Hey guys," I said, picking up Brandon's small body and hugging him tight. "Did you have a good day?"
Brandon merely blinked at me, his trademark, while Jake rambled on. "It was great, Dana! We had a birthday party for Maureen and Thomas, even though it may not really be their birthday. Miss Judy made a cake, but it wasn't so good cause there wasn't any icing. And then we played Pin the Alien on the UFO. Me and Diane were the only ones who got it on the first try."
He kept talking as I looked for Wayne and Marie. They were Skinner's kids. Wayne and Marie seemed to be eight and twelve. It's difficult to definitely know any of the children's ages, since the birth dates are unknown. No one was even absolutely sure of the current date, as no one deemed a calendar worthy enough to protect during apocalypse.
The children could have walked home by themselves, but everyone in the community preferred an adult to be with them at all times. With so much danger still lurking about, no one wanted to take chances with the safety of the kids.
I spotted them on the slide, and called for them to come over. They picked up their things and walked over to us.
"Hey guys. You ready to go?"
"Yes ma'am," Wayne said. I winced at the "ma'am." Skinner had drilled Wayne to be very respectful.
We walked to Skinner's apartment, Jake and Wayne discussing super heroes (Superman could definitely beat up all of the colonists combined, according to Wayne.) Marie didn't speak, but that's nothing new. Ten percent of the kids here didn't speak, their subconscious choosing silence as a way to deal with the trauma they have endured. Once a week, Mulder saw each of them, trying to break through to them. That's one reason he was so determined to hear Brandon speak. As a psychologist, he knew the sooner Brandon spoke, the better.
Marie was nearly a teenager, and I couldn't imagine how she'd be able to cope with the rest of her life not being able to speak. But Mulder and Skinner both were working with her, coaxing her out of her silence. Mulder's confident she'll be okay.
When we arrived at his apartment, Skinner was busy marking plots on a map. He greeted all of the kids, setting homemade potato chips on the kitchen table, and sitting them down to do their homework.
After silencing the usual protests from the kids, he came into the living room.
"Are you going with Mulder tomorrow?" I asked. Skinner sometimes went with the teams, despite his not being immune to the virus.
"Yeah, we're going to follow the creek for about twenty miles, see what turns up. Can you watch the kids for me?"
"Of course. Let them stay with us tonight so you don't have to wake them up so early tomorrow." I knew with that distance, Mulder and the others would want to leave particularly early, and might be gone for a few days. It's for the best, and for everyone's safety, but it still worried me every time Mulder went. I knew I wouldn't sleep as well while he was gone.
"Keep your eye on the ball, ok? Hold your glove right out in front of you. Yeah, that's right."
Mulder knelt down to pick up the baseball before throwing it to Jake. He missed again, scrambling backwards after the ball.
"It's alright buddy, you'll get the next one."
I sat on the porch steps, holding Brandon close as he watched Mulder and Jake attempt to play a game of catch. Jake just didn't have the coordination. But he was determined just the same. Jake threw the ball and it actually made it to Mulder's glove.
I clapped my hands. "Great job, Jake!" Mulder threw the ball again, but Jake missed and ran to retrieve it. Mulder turned and gave me a frustrated look. He was still looking at me when Jake returned the ball, hitting Mulder squarely in the chest. He gasped in surprise, and feigned injury.
Mulder grabbed his chest dramatically and fell backwards.
Jake laughed and ran over to Mulder, jumping on his stomach. Mulder tickled him, teasing him about behavior unbecoming a baseball player.
"What's daddy doing, huh?'' I asked Brandon, shifting him so I could see his face. He was smiling. "Go get him, go help Jake," I told him, swatting him gently on the rear. He limped over to Mulder and Jake, who were still wrestling. Mulder scooped Brandon into the air.
"You're coming to help me, right buddy? Jake's working your old man over." Brandon blinked, not answering.
Jake pounced on Mulder from behind, making the three of them land in a heap on the lawn. The three wrestled in the tall grass until Jake stood, looking down the roadway.
Skinner was walking toward us. Marie and Wayne beside him with their duffle bags.
"Are they coming over for dinner?" Jake couldn't control his excitement.
"Yeah, and Wayne and Marie are staying over tonight. Walter and I have to go take care of some things tomorrow," Mulder said cautiously. Jake adored Mulder, and worried as much as I did whenever he had to leave.
Jake's smile faded quickly. "When will you be back?"
"Soon, pal. You gonna take care of everyone for me when I'm gone?"
He nodded, looking worried. I patted him on the back.
"Everyone hungry?" I asked, as the Skinner trio approached.
"One more chapter? Please Dana?" Jake put on his best puppy dog face, and Wayne matched it with an equally pitiful look. But it wasn't working tonight.
"Tomorrow night. It's time for bed." I stood from the bed, and tucked the bed covers around them.
I kissed them both on the cheek. "Night guys."
"Goodnight, Dana." They both chimed, and I left the room.
Mulder was just coming from Brandon's room. "Two down, two to go."
Brandon was almost asleep when I went in his room. He blessed me with one of his sweet smiles before yawning.
"Goodnight, little one." I kissed him and closed his door.
I glanced in the living room to make sure Marie was still sleeping soundly on the couch. Then I went to the bedroom and blew out the candle on the dresser. Oh how I missed electricity. That was the next item on the agenda for the community. We already had a few generators, but they were used in the hospital to operate some of the medical equipment.
I changed into a t-shirt and shorts, and slipped into bed and under the sheet. The house was warm, and the coolness of the sheets against my skin was refreshing.
Mulder came to the bedroom, stripped to his boxers and spooned up behind me. My hands rested on top of his, our fingers laced together.
"Dinner was great, Scully," he nuzzled his nose behind my ear, inhaling deeply. I guess I do make some mean beef jerky and potato soup.
"How many do you think there are?"
He knew what I was referring to. "I don't know. The bees are still out there, still infecting people everyday. There are not a whole lot of people left, but still enough to pose a threat if we're not careful."
I nodded, absorbing his words. This will never be over.
"I'm uh, I'm sorry about this afternoon." His thumb traced my own softly.
"It's ok, Mulder. I just don't want you, or anyone, jumping to conclusions." People were terrified of the spawn, with good reason, and I didn't want a mass panic re-erupting.
"We're just going to take a quick look around. Two, three days at the most and I'll be back. I don't want to take any chances, Scully," he kissed the skin just below my ear.
I stayed silent, thinking nothing could hurt me while in his embrace.
"I'll miss you," he tightened his grip on me, and I leaned back into him.
"I'll miss you, too. Be careful out there, Mulder."
"I will. It will be alright, Scully. Do you believe me?"
"I want to believe, Mulder."
Sleep came, and another day was officially over.
- e n d -
Author's notes: This is a challenge for the IWTB birthday party. Challenge included:
-a balloon, and/or something made of latex
A huge thank you to Sallie and Laura for the superb beta. I gave them a quite a workout between my poor grammar and dyslexia, but they never complained. Thank you so much, ladies!
Happy birthday, IWTB!