Title: Hard to Kick Old Habits
Summary: A Roswell/X-Files crossover: future fic where Mulder is once again on a quest and this time it involves the Roswell gang.
Author's Notes: Roswell- Nothing of the third season, and I amended the end of the second season a bit. Alex is still alive. He broke out of the mind warp and Tess and Nasedo's plan was revealed. They used the Granolith to go home- Max, Iz, Michael, and Ava. Larek found a way to get the granolith safely without Kivar getting it. The royal four cleared up everything and there is peace. Ava stayed on Antar, but the other three went home, being gone one year.
The X-Files- Picks up after Will was born and there have been no more aliens since. Mulder and Doggett are assigned to the X-Files now. Scully married Mulder, and retained her professional name as Dana Scully, and is working as an instructor for the FBI in DC. She didn't want to travel with Will being there.
List of Characters:
Max and Liz- they are married. Max works as a civil layer in Roswell, sometimes he does criminal law. He also helps Liz run the Crashdown. Liz inherited it when her folks retired. Liz is also an assistant to the biology professor at the college at Las Cruses. She drives there whenever he does an experiment.
Michael and Maria- they are married and live in Roswell. They have one daughter, Haley Fiona. Maria gives music lessons and sings whenever she gets a gig. Michael works for a company in Dallas which does editing work for television and movies.
Alex and Isabel- they are married. Isabel is an LPN and works at a clinic in Albuquerque. Alex is the director of software for the southwest of an international company (he is in the bucks!!!!).
Kyle- unmarried, occasionally has a girlfriend. After working as a Deputy for Jim, he was offered the Sheriff position in Lea county that is right next to the county Roswell is in. He lives in Lovington, which is the county seat(It really is!).
Jim and Amy- married with two new kids, Mackenzie and Sophie. Jim is Roswell's Sheriff. Amy still has her store and does all kinds of alien themed stuff.
Tess- after she was found out, she fled Roswell. She has yet to be heard from.
Fox and Dana Mulder- married and have a son, William. They live in DC. Will is not biologically Mulder's. Dana went to a fertility clinic, this was after she was told she couldn't have children.
John Doggett- kind of dating Monica Reyes, a fellow agent- but not too serious, still. Lives in DC Working on X-Files.
Millions of years ago, the first inhabitants of Earth set foot on its limited soil. This was a time long before mammals took over, before dinosaurs dominated, in fact, only simplistic plants and animals covered its ground. This civilization that first walked Earth's continents was composed of gray colored beings whose large black eyes could see very long distances.
They were searching for a new home. Earth didn't totally fulfill their needs, but it was sufficient. For a many years, their entire civilization moved throughout space in search of a planet they could call their own. During this time, they simply lived on their army of space ships. They were tired now, tired of searching, tired of living in cramped spaces, many were tired of each other. So, they nestled themselves into Earth's resources.
They were a developed race, comprised of two classes. The upper class made up a small percentage of the population and traditionally were very intelligent. The lower class, however smart, did not rival the intellect of the upper class. Even though the lower class did most of the labor, the upper class always endeavored to ensure equality and peace. Therefore, a delightful harmony abounded throughout the civilization. But even well thought out plans have kinks.
Not long after they settled, a resistance surfaced in the lower class. One certain being wanted to rule and dominate the entire race. The head leaders eventually caught this rebellious figure and who they believed to be his followers. They banished and buried them deep within the ground and agreed to once again continue the search for a better world.
As a gift to their God, they left a mixture of their DNA and the DNA that already existed on the planet. Someday this would develop into a race of people that would be similar, but still different from them.
On this next journey, they didn't travel far, considering the size of the universe. They found a system of five planets. Four filled with oxygen and one filled with a mysterious gas that the beings had never been in contact with before. This gas proved to be quite deadly to the greys, however, a primitive race of sentient beings inhabited it. Two of the other planets also supported life. They seemed to somehow be related; and, strangely, these beings greatly resembled the mixture of DNA the greys had left on Earth. The last two planets were uninhabited and quite suitable. The greys decided to settle one of them.
But once again, a rebellion stirred in the lower ranks. This time, though, the rebels were better prepared. They released a virus that attacked the upper class. Eventually, it killed most of the upper class. But before too many succumbed to the deadly virus, they banished all of the rebellion to the other unoccupied planet and stripped them of all technology.
But the rebellion had already caused a great deal of damage. Many of their historical records were destroyed, and without much of the upper class, were never replaced. And Earth, it became a myth. One that wouldn't be proven true for years to come...
The Evans' Residence,
Max Evans heard a click as the safety was taken off of a gun behind his back. He froze. The house was empty, except for himself and the mysterious man behind him. Liz wouldn't be home until after midnight. It was just now five past ten.
The room was silent except for the controlled breathing of both men. Max stood straight-backed and waited for his new acquaintance to say something. The seconds ticked by and finally the intruder spoke, "You're a hard man to track down. Man being the operative word."
*He knows!* The thought screamed through Max's head. Max coached himself to stay calm and think over his options. He could use his powers easily. But how many other people were in his house? It was too dark to see clearly, but everything seemed to be in order. There was no reason to believe that anyone else was here. But who had this man told information to? Using his powers might be exactly what they wanted, if there was a 'they'.
His logical choice was to just play dumb. There was no reason to believe that this guy had any proof of what he was. "Who are you, what are you talking about, and why are you in my house?"
"I'm someone who has been looking for you for a very long time."
A few weeks earlier
"Hi, Daddy!" eight-year-old William Mulder yelled as he entered the house. He ran to Fox Mulder and engulfed him in a bear hug as Dana Scully closed the door with a solemn face. She took off a light jacket and watched the two in front of her. Tears gathered in her soft blue eyes.
Mulder glanced up at his wife and his smile diminished. After their long relationship he had learned to read her face like a book. He knew that something had gone wrong at the doctor's earlier that afternoon.
"Hey, partner, why don't you go shoot some hoops for a little while? Practice your free throw and I'll be out in a minute to help you." Mulder said. Will looked around with a smile on his face.
"Can I, ah," he said slowly. "Take some sunflower seeds?" He finished the last fast, as if to sneak something past his parents.
"I'll bring some out with me," Mulder said with a laugh. "Now go on." Will ran to the glass door and hopped out of the house. He retrieved the basketball from the garage and started shooting it toward the goal that was rigged above the car entrance on the garage.
Mulder sat where he was for a moment and thought about the past eight years. They had seemed to fly by. Nothing alien related had happened since Will was born, except in the manner in which he had been given birth, surrounded by aliens in a deserted town. But that was in the past and Mulder had more pressing issues, like the reason his wife was almost in tears.
He stood from his seat on the couch and approached Scully. She could no longer maintain her composure and began to break down. Mulder only guessed what had happened at the doctor's office. With a long face, he stepped closer and slowly wrapped her in an embrace. Concern filled his face and a heavy feeling settled in his stomach.
Lately Will had been getting nose bleeds. Mulder had hoped against hope that it was just a childhood phase Will was going through. He didn't even want to think about what Scully went through with her cancer, watching her almost die. He couldn't let himself bear thoughts about his son having cancer too.
"Tell me it's not," he whispered.
"I wish I could," she sobbed.
Mulder closed his deep hazel eyes as tears welled up inside them. For a moment it was all he could do to stand there and hold his wife. But he had to stay strong for his family. Suddenly, Scully pulled herself out of Mulder's grip and walked over to the couch, determined to tell Mulder what had happened. He followed and sat beside her. Scully grabbed a tissue and wiped her eyes.
"The doctors," she began, "they say that Will-" her voice cracked and took a deep breath to calm herself. "It's a cancerous tumor between his sinus and cerebrum. It's just like mine was. It's my fault. This is my fault." Scully began to weep again.
"Hey, hey. It is not our fault," Mulder said in a reassuring voice. "It's going to be ok," he was saying this just as much for his own benefit as hers. "We beat this once, we can do it again."
"But how, Fox?" She emphasized his name. "We don't even know why my cancer went into remission!" she said loudly. "It could have been anything. The treatment, my own body, something we don't even know of. And maybe it was that implant. Who the hell knows?" she yelled.
"It's gonna be all right. We don't have to talk about this right now," Mulder whispered.
"I'm sorry," she said in a low voice that sounded lifeless.
"It's ok. I'm going to go see Will now. Why don't you go take a nap?" Mulder stood up, eager to get away. But as a second thought, he bent over eye level with Dana and softly kissed her lips. "We will beat this." His statement was soft but firm. On the way out the door Mulder grabbed a bag of sunflower seeds.
Scully stood and walked to the window where she could see them both playing on the concrete driveway. They were the two most important people in her life. If she had seen herself as she is now nine years ago, Dana Scully would have laughed. But now, Dana Mulder-Scully, wife and mother, wouldn't trade her life for anything. No, that wasn't true. She would trade it for the same life, only one where no one would knew what cancer was because it didn't exist.
A tear ran down her cheek. She couldn't bear the thought of seeing Will go through what she did, to know the pain and agony she had gone through. In 10 years, with state of the art medical equipment and technology, nothing had been developed that would help this certain type of cancer. Removing it would do so much nerve damage that the patient would not survive.
But she didn't want to think about it right now. All she wanted to do was live in the moment, where her husband and son were playing a game. And she could see them having fun.
Valenti Sr. Residence
Mackenzie Valenti blew out four brightly lit candles. They were stuck into a racecar shaped cake made by his mother. Of course, it was the Home Depot car, Mack would never have it any other way. Sophie let out a delighted scream and clapped her hands as the smoke swirled around her.
"Good job," Max said in an impressed voice. In return, Max got an official 'Mack Grin'. Long ago that smile had been tagged as a trademark. Max looked around the dining room at his family and friends.
Mackenzie sat at the head of the table, which held six presents and one Tony Stewart nascar cake. Amy Valenti sat next to him with one-year-old Sophie in her lap. Sophie was entranced with the cake. More than once Amy had to pull Sophie's fingers from the edge of the frosting.
Isabel was next at the table with a belly the size of a football. It had been almost six months since she and Alex announced they had a bun in the oven. On the other side of Isabel, directly across the table from himself, was Liz. His beautiful Liz, as happy as she could be. Actually, she was happier than usual. Max made a mental note to ask her about it when they were alone.
The end chair opposite Mackenzie was vacant. Jim was now standing behind, barely concealing his excitement. If Max didn't know better, he would have thought it was Jim's birthday! Michael sat next to himself, his trusted second. The first one Max would trust with his life. He had always given Michael that trust, but during their stay on Antar, he had earned it again and again in the conflict between the five planets in his solar system. But these weren't the most pleasant of memories to reflect on, especially not during such a joyous occasion.
Maria sat between Michael and Mackenzie, one hand wrapped around her husband and the other around her six-year-old daughter, Haley. She was just as excited as Jim and Mack were. Max could sense Haley's anxiousness coming off of her in waves. She had been that way all her life. The aliens could sense when her emotions were heightened. It was stronger than anything he had ever felt from Michael or Isabel or Tess. Tess. That was a name he hadn't thought of in a long time. She had almost killed Alex. Luckily he had been able to break her mind warp and warn them.
She had them all fooled, her and Nasedo. Max was so thankful that they hadn't hurt anyone, well, not physically. Jim had been upset when he found out Tess's plan to deliver the royal three, but Kyle, he had been devastated. After she left he refused to even go into the room she had been staying in, the room her had once called his own. Her betrayal had hurt him bad. Kyle never entered that room again, which now was shared by Mack and Sophie. He mostly got over it, though, and returned to normal.
Kyle wasn't here for the festivities yet. He called to say that he would be late. Something came up in Lea county where he was the sheriff. Third generation Sheriff, only not of Roswell. Jim still held that job.
Max was snapped out of his thoughts when someone kicked his foot. He looked up to see Liz giving him a look that told him to pay attention. Amy was talking, "What did you wish for, Sweetie?"
"Mom!" Maria cried out. "Mack, don't you dare tell anyone. It's supposed to be a secret or it won't come true," she told him. "Even if your parents beg you to tell them. They've been known to do that." Maria said the last part looking at her mom. Amy put on a face of complete innocence.
"Ok, sissy." Mack hugged Maria and before he was sitting again he asked, "What did you get me?"
"She got you this one right here, kiddo," Michael said, handing a green present to Mac as Jim moved the cake.
As any four-year-old would, Mac tore into it immediately, ripping heads of dinosaurs from their bodies. When all the paper had reached the floor, he saw the picture of the toy on the box. "Walkie talkies! Cool!" he showed genuine excitement over the toy, but was ready for the next. Amy gave Maria an impressed look. Maria knew she had made a good choice. She bought the toy as a double bonus: everyone wants walkie talkies and it was something Haley and Mack could play with together without fighting.
"This one's from me, cause we had a slight difference in opinion," Michael said casting a sideways glance at Maria. She recalled this 'slight difference in opinion'. They stood in the aisle of KB Toys while Michael complained and told her how cool G. I. Joe was and why it was important for every boy to have one. He just didn't understand the double bonus toys. She finally gave in and let him get it- just to shut him up. But she had a feeling that he would have liked to keep it for himself. Guys...
After Mack unwrapped it, Max leaned over to Michael and asked, "A G. I. Joe?" and laughed.
"Hey," Michael said in his defense, "You've gotta start 'em when they're young!" All the adults laughed. Michael would always be the soldier, but Max had to admit to himself that he was quite good at it. Hopefully he would never make Haley wear combat boots or any other thing that would scar her for life.
"Ok," Iz announced, "time for Alex's and mine." Isabel never was a very patient person, especially when it came to parties. She picked up a box that was larger than the previous two and handed it to Amy. She placed it in front of Mack. As he ripped open the wrapping Isabel explained, "Alex said that he is very sorry he couldn't make it tonight, Mackenzie. He had a lot of work to do. But you'll get to see him next weekend for the Fourth of July."
"Hooray!" Mac exclaimed. Alex was Mack's second favorite grown up, aside from his parents. When the wrapping paper was shed and on the floor, Mac gasped and looked at the present in shock. "Playstation 3! This Is The BEST!!" Everyone laughed at Mackenzie. But in the back of Isabel's mind she was wondering where Kyle was with the compliment to her present.
Just then, a loud noise resonated outside of the house. Michael was the first to reach the front door, ready for an attack. Max was right behind him, followed by Jim. The rest stayed behind ready to protect the kids.
Michael held out his hand ready for an attack. But Jim shoved past him and yelled, "NOOO!!"
It has been years since I have kept a journal. But in light of recent events, I feel I would benefit from recognizing some of the feelings festering inside of me.
Today I learned from trusted doctors that my son, William Mulder, has cancer. It is a tumor in the same placing of my own so many years ago. I do not yet know for a certainty if it can be treated; however, it is unlikely. The answers lie in more tests, some painful. I would give all that I have to keep him from this experience, but I cannot. I must have faith that all will turn out as it should.
Fox and I have not told Will what is happening. We have decided to wait until other options, if any, are presented. Will is very intelligent, though; he knows something is wrong. We will not be able to keep this secret long. Fox and I plan to spend the entire weekend with him, which is somewhat unusual. The thought saddens me that I have had eight years, and I have spent a great amount of time away from him, as Fox has also. I feel sick with the irony of life.
Valenti Sr. Residence
A loud noise resonated outside of the house. Michael was the first to reach the front door, ready for an attack. Max was right behind him, followed by Jim. The rest stayed behind ready to protect the kids.
Michael held out his hand ready for an attack, But Jim shoved past him and yelled, "NOOO!!"
"How could you?" Jim fumed and lifted his hands to block out the scene on the front lawn. Max and Michael both relaxed, signaling that everything was all right. Well, almost everything.
Amy saw her husband run off of the porch and quickly walked over to see what was wrong. When she was in full view of the yard, she whispered, "Oh, dear."
"Well," Maria shrugged, "the good news is Kyle is here."
"And the bad is that he is about to die," Michael added quickly. Liz and Isabel both looked at him with an annoyed look. "What?" he asked. "Jim is going to kill him for sure!"
Kyle slowly opened the door to his '03 Chevy SUV and exited his vehicle. He stood in the middle of the lawn with a very worried look on his face. He saw his dad stalking toward him and took a step back. Kyle's plan to park on the lawn had just back fired, big time!
Jim stopped and kneeled next to his bird bath that was lying on its side with a large chunk knocked off of it. He gently touched the broken piece with his hand and stared at it in shock. Then he picked up a tulip that had once been planted neatly in the flower bed surrounding the broken statue. Jim crumpled it in his hand and gave Kyle a look that would send anyone running.
Kyle had discretely inched toward the back of the SUV so that now it was between Jim and himself. He raised his hands in a reassuring manner and tried to reason with his dad, "Ok, now...Dad, let's talk about this rationally. The closest place to park was in Mrs. Jo..." Kyle never finished his sentence. Jim stood and started to chase Kyle around the vehicle in a game of cat-and-mouse.
"Come on Michael. We need to go help," Max said and walked down the stairs. He turned to look at Michael who was still standing on the porch.
"I'm not going out there. Do you think I'm crazy?" Michael said with a laugh.
"Michael, if you don't get your butt out there right now, you are going to be crawling off," Maria told him as she gave the "look of death". Michael lowered his head a bit and followed Max quickly.
Isabel turned to Maria and commented, "You finally got him whipped."
"Yeah, it's great."
Out on the lawn, Michael had taken Kyle's side of the car, leaving Max with Jim. From the porch, Isabel was amazed that Michael wouldn't blink at enemies from his planet who had powers that could kill him in an instant, yet he was terrified by his wife and father-in-law.
"Jim," Max said softly, "It will be ok. It was just a bird bath and some flow-"
"Just a bird bath?!" Jim asked in a tempered voice. "Just a bird bath? Why don't you spend a few years looking for an expensive piece of artwork by a renowned sculptor, finally find it and put hours of work into it to make it look nice in your yard, and then have it all taken away in an instant by your idiot son that can't park on the street like a normal person and walk a little to get to the house?!?" Max was stunned at how mad Jim actually was.
Amy could see how things were quickly getting out of hand, so she handed Sophie to Liz, walked out to her husband and put her hand over his face, closing his eyes. "Breath and count slowly to ten," she said smoothly. Jim was instantly relaxed, which made Kyle let out the breath he was holding. "Now, let's go inside into the air-conditioning."
"Yes, the air-conditioning," Jim mumbled.
Amy turned around to see five astonished faces staring at her (Kyle was too relieved to be astonished). "Hypnotism. It works wonders."
Everyone laughed; they were relieved that no one was hurt. After a few minutes everyone was calm and Mac was finally opening Kyle's present. As soon as he saw what it was, he jumped at Kyle to give him a hug.
"What is it?" Liz asked.
"Nascar 5 and something else called Goedock. The clerk said that is was really popular with kids," Isabel answered. Maria gave Isabel a confused look. "Kyle needed help..." she answered.
"Oh," Maria said in understanding as she nodded her head. "So what is this one?" she asked and picked up a good sized box.
"This is from Jim and me," Amy answered. "Go ahead and open it."
Mackenzie tried to pick it up, but it was too heavy. He stood in his seat and tore off of the papers. With everyone watching Mac, Jim sneaked into the master bedroom.
"Tools! Awesome, Moma," Mac exclaimed.
"And guess what you get to work with them on!" Amy announced as she motioned towards the hall way entrance.
"I don't see anything," Michael muttered. This was returned with Maria's elbow in his ribs.
"I said for you to guess what you get to work with them on!" Amy's voice was louder this time. Everyone waited and stared at the hall. After a moment Amy stood from her chair. Just then, Jim appeared pushing a child size jeep that had all of the emblems of a sheriff's vehicle.
"Oh my gosh! Moma, Daddy, I love you forever!!" Mac yelled as he rushed over to his new, battery powered Jeep.
"What a minute, Mac, you still have one more present till you get to play with your new toys," Amy told him. She might as well have stomped out his internal spark. He turned around and walked heavily back to his chair. With a quick glance to the jeep, he started opening the last present.
"Try not to look so disappointed. I spent some time getting this present," Max informed.
When Mac finally opened the present, he said, "A remote control Home Depot car." with only half of the enthusiasm he previously showed. "Can, I go now Moma?" he pleaded in a sad voice.
"Hold on, partner," Liz said. "Why don't you open up the truck and see what's inside?"
"Ok," Mac mumbled in an exhausted manner. Mac opened the trunk of the toy car and pulled out six long pieces of paper. "What is it?" he asked in a confused voice.
"Those are the tickets that say you get to see Tony Stewart race at Las Vegas and meet him up close and personal," Max answered in a very proud voice.
"Uncle Max! Aunt Liz! You guys are GREAT!" Mac ran over to Max and gave him the biggest hug of all night.
The rest of the evening was spent playing with presents or talking. Mostly the women talked and the guys and children played with the toys.
"They never really grow up all the way," Liz commented.
"I know," Maria said. "I'm positive Michael got that G.I. Joe for Mack just because he couldn't have it himself."
"I heard that!" Michael said loudly from the next room.
"Just keep playing with your toys, dear," Maria responded.
They all giggled lightly. "So, Isabel, how's the clinic?" Liz asked.
Isabel was now a nurse and worked in a walk-in clinic. "The usual, I guess. Fulfilling at times and depressing at others. I'm about to take and extra-long maternity leave, though. Alex doesn't want me working in this state," she gestured to her round stomach. "And I can't really argue with him. Everything is getting so hard to do."
"Amen, sister! I remember those days all too well," Maria preached.
The night continued in the same fashion until one by one, everyone left. After the children were settled, Jim and Amy were left to pick up the house. Jim placed a few cups in the kitchen sink and looked out the window to the lawn. "What happened to my bird bath!?" he exclaimed.
Feeling tired, Amy walked over to her husband and once again placed her hand over his eyes.
"I don't know why you're leaving so early," Liz said as she lifted the suitcase into the trunk of the Sedan. Isabel stood a few steps away in the morning sunshine.
"Well," Isabel explained, "I miss Alex. And so does little Alex." She gently caressed her abdomen.
A smile encroached Liz's face and she giggled. "You seem pretty happy! You're almost glowing!" Isabel exclaimed.
Liz sighed, "I don't know what's wrong with me! I've just been really happy lately."
"I know that feeling. I was ecstatic for the first two months I was pregnant! Then the morning sickness kicked in..."
Liz laughed at her sister-in-law. Even as Isabel laughed, the wheels in her head were turning with the prospect she had just alluded to. The thoughts were quickly squished when the telephone rang softly from within the house.
With an apologetic look and a, "Sorry," Liz dashed into the house, leaving the door open. Roy came stalking out, whining because he was awakened by the phone. He made his way over to Isabel, who was still standing in the driveway. When he reached his destination, Roy furiously waged his tail to attract Isabel's attention. She bent over slightly to pet the dog when her bladder suddenly screamed to be emptied.
The thing Isabel hated most about pregnancy was the constant urge to use the bathroom. Slowly, she made her way along the path Liz had taken to the house. When inside, she heard Liz arguing on the phone.
"Today's supposed to be my free day away from the restaurant," Liz waited a moment to hear the response from the phone. "Are you sure she is actually sick?"
Isabel waved to Liz and mouthed the word, "bathroom". Liz nodded and continued her conversation, "Well, where is Suzy?"
Isabel walked along the hallway to the bathroom, which was situated directly across from the room she had slept in. The bathroom was well kept. "As if a room in Liz Parker-Evans' house would be dirty!" Isabel mumbled to herself.
Then she noticed that the toilet paper roll was empty. "Great!" she exclaimed. Now the tingle she had noticed earlier had grown to a great pressure that was almost painful. Isabel thought about looking the cabinet under the sink, but worried about losing bladder control.
Out in the hallway, Liz could still be heard arguing on the phone. Weighing her options, Isabel decided to sneak into the master bathroom. She felt as if she would explode.
As quickly as possible, Isabel made a wild dash to the toilet. Locking the door, she made use of the facilities. It amazed her that something so routine could feel so great! After washing her hands, she crept out into the bedroom where Max was still sleeping.
He looked very content lying in his bed. Of course it was her sisterly duty to torture him at any cost. Then a malicious plan popped into her head.
She headed to the alarm clock and pushed a few buttons. Then flicked a lever to a position that read "loud." When the alarm was about to go off, Isabel lowered herself to inches from Max's head.
The alarm finally went off sending a solid, high-pitched shriek throughout the room. On cue, Isabel yelled, "Max! Code red! Get up, we're under attack! You have to get to your post!"
A startled Max sat straight up in bed and instantly he was on his feet ready for the emergency. His bare chest heaved as his eyes darted across the room trying to assess the situation. Isabel turned off the alarm and looked to her brother, "So what's for breakfast?" Her voice was very chipper, satisfied at her brother's reaction.
Realization finally dawned on him as his eyes focused on the person standing before him. A sigh of relief escaped Max started shaking his head and pointing his finger. "If you weren't carrying my nephew!" he playfully threatened.
"Yeah, yeah. You still wouldn't do anything," she confidently answered. At that moment, Liz entered the room with a puzzled look on her face.
"I heard yelling," she said wearily. Max and Isabel both pointed an accusing finger at the other one.
Liz frowned, "Well at least you got him out of bed." She continued to walk back out of the room.
"Now look what you did!" Max whined as her pointed to the direction in which Liz had left. For the first time since he had awakened, Max realized he was standing next to his sister in only a pair of boxers.
Seeing the charge in his demeanor, Isabel shut her eyes and raised her arms in a way that reminded Max of Frankenstein. "Lead me in the right direction."
Max sighed again, placed a hand on her back, and urged her in the direction of the door. Halfway out, Isabel turned, eyes still closed and commented, "Nice unicorns."
"Well, it looks like I'm going to have to go to work today. Everyone's out of town or sick. The one girl I have waitressing is very new," Liz said with a frown.
"Doesn't sound like much fun." The two girls walked back out to Isabel's car.
"So, I'll be at the Crashdown for most of the day. Call me when you get home so I'll know you got there safe."
"Yes mom," Isabel sarcastically mused as she got into the car.
"Watch it or you'll get grounded," Liz teased.
The front door opened to reveal Max, a fully dressed Max. He walked to Liz and gave her a good morning kiss. "You're leaving now?" he asked.
"Yeah, I need to get home."
Max bent down eye level to his sister and gave her a kiss on the cheek and a hopeful look. "I promise not to tell the guys," Isabel devilishly whispered. Then she started the car and drove off, leaving Max and Liz standing in the driveway waving.
"What did she mean by that?" Liz asked.
"Oh, nothing," Max answered quickly and changed the subject, "What are we doing today?"
"Well, half of us are going to work and I guess the rest of us are going to pester Michael."
"Work?" he whined and slid his arms around Liz's waist, pulling her close.
She gave him an apologetic look as she looped her arms around his neck. "I have to. That's what happens when you own and manage a restaurant."
Their faces were inches apart, noses almost touching. Liz was lost in his eyes, wondering how her life could be so wonderful. Max leaned in and kissed her lips lightly, murmuring, "I love you." Then he broke the kiss and looked past her. "Did you know we have an audience?"
"Hello Mrs. Shamblin," Max called over the short fence separating their houses. Mrs. Shamblin just frowned and headed back inside her house, muttering something about" careless young people."
Liz looked up to Max and said," I need to go."
"Okay." They disentangled themselves from one another , but as his hand fell it grabbed Liz's. The couple started walking back into the house.
The Subaru made its way along the busy street. Church had just let out, causing a rush of cars. An obnoxious song screamed out of the speakers. Max turned the radio system off. The stop light ahead suddenly turned red making the vehicle come to an abrupt stop.
While he waited, Max's mind started to wander back through time, back to Antar. The memories Tess had helped him recover weren't true. She had implanted them there to manipulate him.
He had his own memories now: the smell of the air, the bright sun, his mother. The recording in the pod chamber had been of her true form. Antarians looked very much like humans.
Isabel had been so thrilled to finally see her mother. Until, of course, their mother's sickness had been revealed. She was weak, and dying.
"Max, Isabel, there is something I want to tell you," Aranxta had learned to call them by their human names instead of the ones she had given them.
Isabel's face filled with concern, "Mom, what is it?"
"My children, I'm old and I won't live much longer."
Isabel shook her head in disbelief and whispered, "No, you can't die. I've just gotten to know you again. You can't leave us!" The last sentence had seemed like a command.
Aranxta gave her daughter a thoughtful look and caressed her cheek lightly. "It's not in my control. It's just my time."
The mother and daughter embraced and a tear slide down Isabel's cheek. Standing to the side of them, Max watched the exchange. His face was impassable. Only his eyes showed the pain he suffered. If he let that pain out, the strong leader his people depended on would crumble.
What Max needed right then was light years away, lying in her bed needing him.
Max was jerked back to reality.
The light had changed to green and many impatient people sat in their cars behind him. Quickly he pushed the gas petal and scolded himself for going into a daze. Max drove the rest of the way to Michael's house trying to forget the memory that had floated to the surface.
"Uncle Max is here!" young Haley shouted in excitement from where she sat playing.
Maria looked out the window. Michael's 84 Chevy short wide. Her new Pontiac. No Subaru. "Sweetie," she smiled, "he's not out there."
"Uh-huh, moma! He's there."
When Maria turned her head again, sure enough the Subaru sat next to the truck. Even after six years the connection her daughter had with the other aliens was weird. But she was thankful for it too. If Haley was ever lost or kidnapped...
The front door open revealing Max. Haley ran to him and gave him a big hug. Max picked her up into his arms. He smiled, "How's it going little one?"
"It's okay," Haley admitted. "Wanna see my new barbie?" she asked enthusiastically. Max could see and feel her anticipation.
"Sure." Max set her down and she ran off in the direction of her room. He turned and looked at Maria.
"Well, Uncle Max," Maria said mockingly, "if you're here to hang out with Michael, he's in his office talking with someone."
Michael's office was in the basement. It was converted shortly after they moved into the house. It was filled with a high quality computer and work station, filing cabinets, shelves containing most of Michael's clips he has created, and various alien nick-nacks Maria insisted on putting down there.
"Who would call on a Sunday?" Max asked with a puzzled look.
Maria held up her hands in surrender, "I don't know. Someone desperate?" She paused, "Where's Liz?"
"Oh, actually, she's working today."
Maria giggled, "Why?"
"Something about not having enough people to work."
Michael walked into the room followed by Haley. "See, Uncle Max?" The grown ups all looked down to the doll. "Isn't she pretty?"
"Just like you," Max responded.
"Hey Maxwell," Michael greeted.
"Haley why don't you go find your sandals? We're going to go visit Liz at work."
"Okay Moma." Haley ran back out of the room.
An idea came to Maria that made her laugh. "I would love to see Liz in one of our old uniforms!"
"So would I," a smiling Max said under his breath.
Maria's twisted in office and she hit Max in the arm, "Pig!" Max tried to dodge it but failed. Michael just laughed out loud.
"You better watch out, she has been feisty today."
She then turned her attack on her husband with a punch to the gut. She gave a warning look and Michael tried to stifle a laugh.
Maria looked at the men in the room and announced, "I'm taking my daughter ad going to the Crashdown to see Liz." She started to walk out of the room and Michael grabbed her bottom. The look he received was full of conviction. She squinted her eyes. "You just wait till tonight, Mister," she insinuated and left the room.
Max looked at Michael in disbelief, "You weren't kidding were you?"
"No, man. She has been wild lately!"
"That's weird because Liz has been too."
"Must be alien mating season."
The men laughed. "So, why are you getting business calls on Sunday?"
"Well, you are looking at a guy who just landed a big movie editing job!" Michael said proudly.
"Congratulations. What movie?"
"I don't know, some B movie. That's not the point. The important thing is I got the job. After this, more people will be wanting me to do editing. Begging. Pleading!" Michael said excitedly.
"I guess so," Max smirked at his friend. "Let's go watch the game. Who's playing?"
"Ahh, two sucky teams," he said downheartedly. "But the cheerleaders aren't bad," he continued on a lighter note.
Max laughed out loud. "You'll never change."
"What?!" he asked, exasperated.
"Director Skinner will see you now," said a short receptionist that sat near the door to the large office. Mulder stood from the couch where he had sat many times before. His strides were long and purposeful; he closed the door behind him. After the door clicked shut behind him, he stood a moment and looked at his longtime friend and former boss.
Walter Skinner hadn't changed much over the years. Perhaps he was a little larger around the waist, but e still wore the same wire rimmed glasses and serious face.
"Would you like to take a seat, Agent Mulder?" he asked in his usual unrevealing voice. As Mulder headed toward the chair, Skinner leaned back in his and sighed very deeply. Mulder could tell that he had already gotten word of William's cancer.
"I talked to Dana. Fox, I'm sorry about Will." It took very extreme circumstances for Skinner to take such a familiar tone and use first names. Mulder could tell that he was very disturbed by this news, but having a heart to heart talk was not the reason that he had come here.
"Thank you, sir." Skinner slightly squinted his eyes as he looked at Mulder. The fact that Skinner had been taken by surprise at Mulder's formality was painted across his face.
"What brings you here, Mulder?" The curiosity carried over into his voice as well.
"Don't you find in coincidental that William's cancer is in the exact same spot as Dana's was?"
Skinner eyed the agent sitting in his office like he had done so many times before when Mulder would come to him with a crazy explanation to the case he was working on. He would usually dismiss whatever outrageous theory Mulder had concocted, but the Assistant Director couldn't dispel this idea so easily. Of all the unexplainable things that he had seen in his years, coincidence usually yielded darker secrets.
But, he had to be objective to keep Mulder from running off and doing something drastic. "Mulder, it has been years since anything has happened. In fact it has been since William was born. No more aliens, or government conspiracies, or anything like that has happened in eight years."
Mulder could tell that Skinner was trying to rationalize things in his head. This was the perfect time for an attack to sway him to Mulder's side.
"There are too many questions left unanswered!" Mulder raised his voice.
"All of the doctors working in the fertility clinic where Dana got pregnant with Will were killed. And all of the evidence was destroyed with them. And it was done by Billy Miles. The same Billy Miles who was a former alien abductee, which just happened to be the first case that Dana and myself worked on together."
Mulder's voice was gaining depth as he spoke, but now he softened. "I don't think Billy Miles was human when he did that though. I think he was turned into some kind of alien. We pushed him off the roof of this building into a garbage truck where he was crushed and, yet, somehow he showed up at an abandon town where Dana was in labor and tried to kill her. And how do you explain all of the people that showed up with him while she was giving birth?" Mulder was practically yelling at this point. "And to top it all off, they all left right when Will was born!"
Mulder took in a breath at this point and Skinner took his opportunity, "Agent Mulder, sit down!"
As he said this, a light knock came on the door. "Yes!" Skinner yelled in response.
The short receptionist stuck her head lightly into the room. "Is everything alright in here, sir? I heard yelling."
Skinner forced himself to calm down, "Everything is fine."
The woman took her cue to shut the door again and the two men continued their conversation. "I know all of this already." Skinner said in a low and controlled voice. "So why are you in my office yelling it at me?"
"Because I need answers." Mulder's voice was much calmer now, too, but Skinner could see the urgency and anger pressing onto Mulder's face.
"What kind of information are we talking about?"
"About the Cigarette Smoking Man," Mulder answered quietly.
Those five words brought an enormous about of memories to the surface of Skinner's mind. He had seen the same look of desperation and determination in Mulder's eyes all those years ago when Mulder had come to him and asked him the same thing. Seeing Scully in so much pain and not being able to do anything for her was too much for Mulder to handle. He felt that he had to do something, so Mulder decided to get involved with the elusive CSM.
The Cigarette Smoking Man had been a key player in the government agency that was conspiring with aliens. The agency pretended to be working along with the aliens, but actually, they were stalling, trying to develop a vaccine against the alien virus that would eventually turn the human race into aliens themselves.
This government agency had been made up of high ranking officials in the FBI, members of the pentagon, and many other people in high places. The CSM had used Mulder like a pawn in a game of chess. But the CSM had disappeared long ago. Skinner doubted that he was still alive. And he would not let Mulder get drawn back into that world. Nothing alien related had happened since the incident when William was born, which seemed odd in itself.
Skinner saw the expecting look on Mulder's face and realized that he had been thinking for several moments. "You should already know that I don't know where he is. Dead for all I know. But even if I did know I wouldn't tell you. We have had this conversation before. He is a dead-end and I suggest you not pursue it."
Mulder's rage came down along with his fists on top of Skinner's tidy desk with enough force that it knocked an empty coffee cup off the edge. "Damn you!" The words came from deep inside.
Skinner's voice was calm but with a slight scolding edge to it, "Being upset with me isn't going to help you any, I promise you."
"I'm sorry," Mulder responded quieter, seeming to withdraw into himself. He was now pacing the room. "I have to go," he said suddenly.
"Agent Mulder, wait." Skinner commanded rising from his chair, but the door slammed shut in response.
Mulder sat in his office trying to gather his thoughts and make a plan when a knock on the open door pulled him back to reality.
"No one here but the FBI's least wanted," he muttered bitterly. Mulder glanced up to see Agent John Doggett, his partner, enter the room.
"Hey, how you holdin' up?"
"What makes you ask?"
Doggett laughed nervously, "I, uh, actually got a call from Skinner. He was worried about you. He couldn't reach you on your cell."
"I turned it off," Mulder answered the unasked question.
"Yeah, well he's not the only one that's worried about you."
"What the hell am I supposed to be doing?" Mulder exploded suddenly into an angry rage. "I just found out that my son has an incurable cancer, and I'm what? Supposed to be okay with it? I've been through this with Dana and the only reason that she's still alive is because of a man that is probably dead. Damn it!" He lowered his head to rest in his hands. Doggett just stood in the doorway, not knowing how to comfort his friend.
Softly, Mulder added, "I need a miracle." He looked up in time to see a slight smirk to cross Doggett's face, which quickly faded. "What?" Mulder asked anxiously. "What is it?"
"You say you need a miracle? I think I might have just the thing.
"'Hold the Mayo Clinic'" Mulder read suspiciously. The two men stood in the adjoining room to their office and looked through one of the many file cabinets.
"I know it doesn't sound legit. but we have the police reports and eye witnesses saying that all of the children had the same silver rash that looked like like a hand print. A nurse describes the appearance of the two men, and look at this." Doggett pointed the paper that Mulder held.
"This says that the metal of the door was fused to the door frame?"
"I don't know how hot that had to be to melt, but it is pretty unreasonable." Doggett realized that he was getting too wrapped up in the case and tried to calm down.
"Why didn't you investigate this?" Mulder asked.
"Well..." Doggett paused as if unsure how to word his thoughts. "We were a little busy trying to find you at that time."
Mulder looked up to the date and realized that it was during the time that he had been abducted allegedly by aliens.
An awkward silence had settled that Doggett decided to break. "Look, Mulder. I don't know if I did the right thing by showing you this. It might turn out to be nothing, but..."
Mulder cut him off, "Don't worry about it."
"I'm just saying..."
"Listen," Mulder interrupted again. "I have something I need to do." He glanced at his watch. "It's getting late and I'd better get home." He grabbed his jacket and headed out the door with the file his hand.
"Say 'hello' to Will for me," Doggett called out the door, doubting that Mulder heard him. He sighed out loud and wondered what exactly he had just done. The basement office seemed cold and lonely. He wondered what Agent Monica Reyes was doing and left the room in search of her.
Mulder drove his car around the large city to try and clear his head. After an hour he picked up his cell phone and dialed his home number. William answered.
"Hey, Slugger. Tell your Mommy that I'll be late coming home and dot to wait for me."
"What are you doing?"
"Just paper work, nothing to worry about. Be sure and tell your mom for me."
"Mommy's right here. Do you want to talk to her?" Will looked up at his mother who had just walked into the room.
"Who's on the phone, baby?" Scully asked.
Hearing this and not wanting to talk to his wife, Mulder hurriedly said into the phone, "I've got to go now. Goodbye, Will."
"Let me have it," Scully said as she took the phone. "Fox? Fox?" Hearing nothing but silence, she lowered the phone from her ear and look at Will. "Sometimes your Daddy is so weird."
They both laughed, but inside Scully knew that this was just Mulder's way of dealing with the circumstances.
The elevator dinged as it reached the bottom floor and slowly opened its doors. They revealed a darkened storage room. Even with the lack of light, Mulder quickly made his way through the shelves filled with boxes of files with practiced accuracy.
Mulder unlocked his office and turned on a light. It was unorganized, but not messy. Two desks filled the middle of the room and UFO posters still clung to the walls. Mulder sat at his desk, pulling and reading various files.
This process continued for most of the night. Around 6:30, Agent Doggett entered the room wondering why the door was unlocked and finding the answer asleep on his desk. Files were strewn across the desk where Mulder's head lay.
Doggett slammed the door shut, achieving his goal of waking the sleeping Agent. Mulder lifted his head and blinked his eyes rapidly.
"Good morning, Sunshine!" Doggett said playfully, unable to resist teasing his partner.
"What time is it?" Mulder asked.
"Past six thirty. We have a meeting at nine this morning. You might want to go home and change your clothes." Doggett didn't like to come right out and tell people what to do. He found they were more willing if they thought they were doing things of their own accord.
"No, I'm okay," Mulder insisted.
"Mulder," Doggett sighed, "to be blunt, you look like Hell."
"Thanks," Mulder said sarcastically.
"Go home. You've been here all night. Take a shower. I don't want to be seen with a stinky partner. They'll talk about me at the water dispenser."
Mulder laughed at the joke, "I guess I will." He picked up certain files, leaving the rest to clutter his desk top.
Doggett already knew that he was up to something. What he didn't know, but had a good idea that it was something to do with the file he had shown Mulder last night. Doggett supposed that was his motive in showing Mulder the file. He wondered now if it was the right move and if Mulder would be back on time for their meeting with Kersh.