Title: I Want To Believe
Author: Samantha
Archive: Go ahead, but let me know. (OK for XFF, ATXC and Gossamer)
Rated: PG
Category: XAR
Spoilers: All the way up to halfway through Zero Sum. [see Author's notes]
Keywords: Mulder/Scully romance, Alternate universe
Disclaimer: How do I disclaim this? Let me count the ways... OK, OK, OK. I'll do it properly. They're not mine. All the people you recognize anyway. They belong to this guy called Chris Carter - some of you may know the name - and his company, 1013 - some of you may know the number - as well as Fox - OK, everyone knows them [with apologies to James Bond! LOL]. The people you don't recognize are mine, but anyone can use them if they want. Apart from Chris, 'coz he won't do what I want him to with *his* people. *g*
Feedback: Yes please. Feedback keeps me healthy and my hair shiny. Not really, but if making you think so will make you sen me feedback, then believe it. *vbg*

Summary: Scully's missing again, and in the process of looking for her, the search gets very... interesting...

Author's notes: In this universe, Zero Sum kinda half happened. Skinner did all the stuff for CSM, but Mulder never found out. That's where we come into it. What Skinner did isn't part of the issue though. As far as we're concerned, we don't know. Hell, it could be something completely different from what he did in Zero Sum. So that's what I mean by half of it: we know his complicity and that he did stuff. We just don't know what. Nothing beyond that happens/has happened. Except for one thing that I didn't notice before: there's a plot anomaly. So the whole Emily saga has already happened, OK? (Yes, I'm screwing with the timeline. Yes, I don't care.)


I Want To Believe. The bold capital letters leap at me as I sweep the room with my gaze again, viewing my domain with a critical eye. I recall shrewdly the time when I bought that poster, in that old head shop. I had always thought it represented perfectly the then-newly-uncovered X-Files, and my dedication to my sister's disappearance. It was the last one in the shop, but I tell that it was not the last through popularity, from the look the shopkeeper gave me in return for my money.

What do I believe now? I stared unseeing at the poster, attempting to glean from it some form of an answer. What do I believe.

I believe that the Samantha I know today is not a clone. I believe she is real. I also believe she tells the truth when she tells me she knows nothing about her disappearance – where she went, who took her: all that was removed from her mind.

I discover with surprise that my belief in her extraterrestrial abduction is waning. Everything I have seen points to a more earthly explanation. Dad's dealings with the devil. The many clones of her I have met. All roads lead to Rome. All trails lead back to Them, the faceless men in nameless rooms, planning our fates with the flick of a cigarette.

I believe in the woman who was sent to spy on me. I set all my trust in her, and she relayed it back. But belief and trust are not enough for what has come to pass in these last two days.

I believe she is alive, and that is all that matters at the moment.


"Mulder, I'm fine." She looked away, avoiding his eyes, which narrowed in worry. He made no reply, choosing instead to look across the room. "It's just a check-up. I've not been getting any worse. I feel absolutely fine."

Silently, she begged him to understand that she was OK. When he gave no reply, she bit her lip, lowering her head, and walked away.

Blankly, he finished up in the office and tidied away, making his way back to his apartment. Halfway there, his cell phone rang, stabbing into his reverie like a bullet to his head. Scrambling, he grabbed at his phone, jabbing frantically at the button. His voice did nothing to betray his cool exterior, but he felt sure that the thunderous beating of his heart was audible over the crackle of the phones and the roaring traffic outside.

"Mulder."

"Mulder, it's me." Her voice shook slightly, and the tremor was caught by Mulder, who immediately tensed.

"What's wrong, Scully?" He gripped the phone, willing it to yield more.

"I... I need to talk to you. Soon. Can I come over?"

"Yeah. I'll see you in a few minutes." Dropping the phone on the seat next to him, he pulled into a space in front of his building, and hurried in to his apartment. Quickly, he changed into his jeans and T-

shirt, grateful for the respite after a long day's torture, and began to pace the length of his living room, waiting for the knock on his door. Looking around for something to do, he caught sight of the fish-tank in the corner. Striding over to it, he peered into the tank, and dropped a handful of fish food in, before setting down the container to pace the floor again. Eventually, he sat down, thinking that perhaps she had been caught in some traffic. Closing his eyes, he thought of her.

He thought of the first time that he had met her. Not when they had been assigned to each other (when she was assigned to me, he corrected wryly), but the time when they had met in the corridor. He had been in a hurry, chasing after some insignificant false lead, and had raced down the hall, clutching several folders. Sprinting around the corner, he slammed straight into a redhead, who, to her credit, didn't scream, but simply gave a little gasp. The papers went flying. Rubbing his forehead, he knelt down, sweeping the mess into a pile in the middle of the floor, whilst she picked up what had gone astray. Without saying a word to each other, they quickly and efficiently put together the pile of photographs and papers again, with only a pause as the woman raised her eyebrow at the photo of a fuzzy disc hovering in the grey sky. Within less than a minute, they were gone on their separate ways, but Mulder had never forgotten her, and looking back, he speculated cynically on their easy co-operation, and wondered why he hadn't tried to talk to her then. Perhaps things would have been different.

His eyes snapped open. The room was shrouded in darkness, lit only by the dim streetlights filtering in through the slits in his blinds. Panicking, he jumped up, looking at his watch. It was 3 o'clock in the morning, and she had yet to arrive. Picking up his phone, he dialed her cell phone number, only to be told that the phone was off. Her apartment phone yielded only the answerphone. Starting to pace again, his strides grew more and more frantic, ‘till suddenly, he grabbed his leather jacket and his keys and headed out to his car.


Trinity Hospital
3:14AM

"What time did she leave here?"

The doctor shrugged, concerned at this unforeseen twist of events. "I don't know. Must've been at about 5 o'clock. She called you from my office phone, and then left straight away. What's happened?"

"I don't know. But I intend to find out," muttered Mulder, running back down the corridor towards the front desk, where a middle-aged woman sat reading a thin trashy magazine with her feet resting on the adjacent chair. At his approach, she looked up.

"Yes?"

"I'm looking for a woman who left here about... 10 hours ago..." He trailed off as she shook her head.

"I wasn't on duty then. I only got here at midnight."

"Can you tell me where I can reach whoever was manning this desk at around 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon?"

"Who are you?"

He handed his badge to her. She inspected it carefully, then handed in back, and leaned forwards, pulling out a laminated sheet. Consulting it, she read out the names. "That would be Angie Durringham and Steve. Steve Carter. Gimme a second and I'll give you their addresses." She flipped through a box of index cards. "So what do you want with this woman?"

"She was going to come and see me straight after coming here. She never turned up, and I can't reach her on either of her phones."

She scribbled down the address on a scrap piece of paper and handed it to him, looking shrewdly up at him. "Your girlfriend?"

"No. Thank you." Glancing quickly at the paper, he hurried out to the car. Just as he was unlocking the door, he noticed a familiar car sitting at the other end of the almost-deserted carpark. Pounding across the wet tarmac, he peered into the car, shining his flashlight through the windows.

The car was empty. There was nothing remarkable about it. It was simply an empty parked car, but for one thing. It was Scully's parked car. Running back to his car, he drove maniacally out of the carpark, punching a familiar number into his phone.

"Mulder, is that you?" a sleep-ridden voice answered.

"Frohike, turn off the recorder."

"It's off."

"I *said* turn it off."

There was a click. "What's up, Mulder?"

"Scully's missing. She was last seen at the Trinity Hospital at around 5 this afternoon. She was going to come and see me. She had something to tell me. Her car's still in the hospital carpark. I'm heading out to..." he checked the scrap of paper, "Woodmont Road, to talk to an Angie Durringham, who was on duty when she left. I'm hoping she can tell me more. Meanwhile, I need you to check up on something for me. I know there are security cameras inside *and* outside of that hospital. I need that data. It may tell us what happened to her." Without listening for a reply from Frohike, he hung up, and swung away down the road.

Rubbing his eyes, Frohike put down the phone. Byers stuck his head around his door.

"What's going on?"

"Get Langly. Scully's missing."


42 Woodmont Road
3:32AM

"I'm not sure I get you. This woman is missing?" A blonde woman frowned fuzzily at Mulder, who confirmed with a nod. "You think I may have seen her?"

"You and Steve are the last people who may have seen her that we know of."

"Well, I'm really sorry, but I was out back for some time, so I missed quite a lot of people. I really can't help you."

Mulder smiled tightly. "Thank you."


1013 Shelley Road
3:43AM

"Yes?" A man answered the door, dressed in rumpled jeans and a T-shirt. He was wide-awake, and had obviously been so for some time.

"I'm Agent Mulder, with the FBI. I'd like to ask you some questions, if you please."

The man's eyes widened, but he stepped aside, allowing him into the apartment. Looking around, Mulder noticed that it was unusually tidy. In fact, anal-retentively so. The living room looked positively un-lived-in.

"You live neatly."

The man shrugged. "My mom's coming to stay for the weekend. She likes it neat. What did you want to ask me about?" He gestured towards the sofa, taking an armchair for himself.

"A woman was at the hospital this afternoon, during your shift. She left at around 5pm. She's been missing since. Your co-worker, Angie, says she doesn't remember having seen anyone like that, because she was round back. I was wondering if you'd seen her." He gave a description of Scully.

Steve rubbed his eyes. "Jesus. They said police, but they didn't tell me the *FBI* would come looking for me."

Mulder frowned. "They?"

He started, frightened. "Nothing. Just... forget it."

"Sir, let me remind you that I'm a federal officer, and that impeding and investigation is a felony." Mulder was growing angry.

Steve looked around, wide-eyed, and leaned towards Mulder. "OK, but I didn't tell you this." He paused again. "They were just men. Nothing special. They came in at about 4:30, and just stood in the corner of the room, waiting for something. I just figured they were waiting for someone, y'know. And then this woman, the one you described, she walked past the desk - she was obviously quite upset - and one of the men took her by the arm and led her away. There was a car waiting outside, and he kinda pushed her into it. And then the other guy told me not to tell anybody what happened." He sank back into the chair.

"Do you know where they went?"

He shook his head. "Can't see much outside from my desk."

Mulder nodded. Getting up, he reached into his pocket for a card, about to hand him one in case he remembered anything else, when he suddenly realized something. Whoever these people were, they were bound to find out sooner or later that Steve had been talking. Best not to leave any evidence.

"Thanks. If I need anything else, I'll come back." He left Steve sitting dejected in the living room, and hurried back to his car. Getting in, he didn't turn on the engine, but instead sat in the darkness.

<Scully, where are you?>

He rested his arms on the steering wheel, and stared out into the blackness.

<C'mon, Scully, where are you?>

"Mulder?"

Scully's voice pierced through the still, ominous, suffocating dark.

"Scully? Where are you?"

"Mulder, help me."

"Scully?"

"Mulder, it hurts."

"Scully! Where are you?"

"MULDER!" The scream reverberated in his head, creating painful echoes bouncing off his skull. After a while, they faded to reveal the shrill beeping of his cell phone. He pried his eyes open, fumbling for the phone.

"Mulder."

"Mulder, I think we have something here." It was Langly.

"I'll be right there."


"Here." Langly circled the grainy black-and-white picture on the computer screen. "Here's someone who looks like Agent Scully being led by this man here. If you watch," his fingers manipulated the mouse skillfully, setting the picture in motion, "she gets pushed into this car, and then the other guy comes out, and round the other side, and they drive off. But," the picture flew back to where it started, "she doesn't seem to put up any resistance. In fact, she looks as though she's been drugged somehow."

"This here is the best we could do with the shots of the guys' faces." Byers brought up a set of shots of two men. Both shots were grainy, but clear enough for recognition.

"Alex Krycek." Mulder muttered. Byers gave a grim nod.

"Looks like it. We got a good view of the number-

plate. It's a rental car. We hacked into the company's records. It's hired out to one Raul Bloodworth. We couldn't find him anywhere. Not even on government files. I'm guessing it's an alias, but it's a good one. The rental company ID's everyone carefully."

Mulder grabbed his jacket from the back of the seat. "Call me as soon as you find anything else. I'm going to check something out."

Out in the car, Mulder pulled out his cell phone, pausing before he dialled.

A sleepy voice replied. "Hello?"

"This is Agent Mulder. I need your help. I'm coming over to your place."

"What do you know about the name Raul Bloodworth?"

Marita crossed her arms. "It's an alias. Used by a man with whom your boss, Mr. Skinner, made a deal. As far as I know, Agent Scully's disappearance is a condition in that deal, possible to do with her cure."

Angrily, Mulder pulled out his gun and pointed it at her. "How did you know why I was here?"

A calm voice came from behind him. "I think you can guess, Agent Mulder." Mulder whirled around to face a puff of smoke. "You're doing your partner no good, searching for her like this. I suggest you go home." The cigarette fell from his hand into the perfectly positioned ashtray on the nearby table.

Mulder cocked his gun. "Tell me where she is, you son-of-a-bitch."

"All in good time, Agent Mulder. First, I must show you something. It concerns her disappearance. It also concerns your sister, Samantha." There was a silence as he shrewdly surveyed his reaction. "Come."

Mulder paused. This was not a man he trusted, but he had little choice. Too much was at stake.

"Where are we going?" Mulder glanced sideways at the dark shadow smoking a cigarette in the passenger seat.

"Just where Agent Scully suspected she had been taken." He cranked down the window, tapping ash down the side of Mulder's car. "The government's secret railroad."

"Is that where she is?"

"No."

"Then why the hell are we going there?" He hit the steering wheel in frustration.

"Contrary to your belief, Agent Mulder, I don't know where she is at the moment. All I can do is give you the clues and hope that they will fit in your mind." He puffed a cloud of smoke into the rear-view mirror.

"What twisted things have you got planned for her?" Mulder gripped the steering wheel tightly, gritting his teeth as he drove on down the deserted road.

"I don't."

There was a long silence, punctuated only by sharp instructions to turn off the road onto a more secluded one. One that was obviously less well-

travelled. In fact, it was more like a track than a road. The ground was mud brown and bumpy, textured by recent rainstorms. On either side was deep secluded forest, and with each foot, the car drove itself deeper into its guts. Several long minutes later, Mulder pulled to a stop in front of a dead-end. The two of them got out. Behind them was the road. Around them were walls of trees and bushes, and above them, the dark, oppressive sky. Beneath it, the two figures walked to the front of the car. One turned to the other.

"It's not far. Just through the trees." He lit up another cigarette.

Pulling out his gun, Mulder aimed it warily at him. "All right, but you go first."

He shrugged, unconcerned by the weapon he faced, and led the way through the trees. A short walk later, they crouched behind a hedge, staring out into a huge clearing.

The clearing was littered with boxcars, all standing on a meticulously laid-out network of rails. Some distance away, the rails ran off into the woods, connecting the hide-away to an obscure part of the outside world. In fact, these openings were positioned all around the clearing, realized Mulder, probably for easy access to anywhere and everywhere.

Next to him, the man shifted, standing up. "Follow me. But hide your face. No-one here will recognize you, but it's better that they won't in the future either."

Mulder followed him as he strode boldly out into the clearing, headed straight for the nearest boxcar. Suddenly, armed men appeared, advancing on them, and Mulder was tempted to turn and run back to the comforting anonymity of the woods, when they stopped, nodding in deference, and retreated to their hideouts. Stepping up onto the boxcar, they went through the first door, shutting it behind them. Mulder watched as the other man squashed his cigarette under-foot, and then reached up to a panel high on the wall, effectively dismantling it. Mulder frowned.

"What are you doing?"

Without answering, he removed the panel, and selectively unplugged several wires, before punching in a code on a hidden keypad. Replacing the panel, he stepped through the next door. "Security, Mr. Mulder. There are cameras everywhere. We wouldn't want them to see you." He pulled out a card, swiping it through and punching in the code. The door hissed open, and they went through.

The inside of the boxcar was much like the one Mulder had been locked in a year ago. Looking questioningly at the other man, he was met with the explanation that all the boxcars had been designed the same. It made for easier transfers with the doctors and scientists: they would know where everything was. It would be a familiar environment.

Mulder inspected the equipment lying on the side, as the explanation continued. This was almost identical to the one that Scully had been experimented on in. It was highly probable that she would be in another like it now.

Mulder turned ferociously on him. "How do I know you're telling the truth? How do I know you really don't know where she is?"

He lit up another cigarette. "You have to trust me, Mr. Mulder. I want to help her. I want to help you."

"Why?"

"Would you like to see your sister?"

"What?!"

"I can give you what you've wanted for a long time. I can bring you your sister. She's been living out in California very happily. She remembers you."

Mulder rubbed his temples. "What does this have to do with Scully?"

"All in good time, Agent Mulder."


731 Medley Road
Los Angeles

"Fox!"

A tall curly-haired brunette hurled herself into his arms, as he stood dumbfounded on the doorstep. She withdrew, holding him at arm's length. "Oh, wow, jeez..." She looked over his shoulder. "Dad! I didn't know you were coming to visit! You said you were busy in DC! Come in, come in." She led a bewildered Mulder into her house, picking her way gingerly through a sea of toys. "I'm so sorry about the mess, Emily said she'd clear it up. Emily!" This last was shouted down the hallway.

A little girl of about 3 ran out from the door at The End of the hall, saying "Sorry mommy, sorry. I'm sorry. Sorry. I didn't mean to make a mess. I'm sorry." She breathlessly swept up an armful of stuffed toys and disappeared up the stairs as fast as her chubby legs could take her.

Mulder stared after her, engulfed in shock. He followed his sister into the living room, which was surprisingly tidy, and sat down on the sofa, still unable to process much.

"Tea? Coffee?" Both men shook their heads. "I had time to run down to the shops. I got you your sunflower seeds." She threw a bag of them at Mulder, who caught them automatically. Finally, she sat down, smoothing her hair.

At last, Mulder discovered his voice. "Your... your daughter. Is she..."

Samantha laughed. "She's adopted. I'm... I'm infertile. I can't have my own kids. But Dad had some friend who couldn't keep her baby, so I took her in. He named her Emily." She looked fondly at the little girl, who came creeping into the room, climbing onto her mother's lap.

Mulder's head slowly creaked around, allowing his gaze to rest on the man sitting in the corner.

"You're... her..."

"I'm Samantha's father. Biological. I *did* tell you I had a personal interest in this, didn't I, Fox?"

"After they took me, and then returned me, he took me in. And then after several blood tests, we found that he was actually my biological father as well as adoptive."

"You... you knew where..." Mulder gestured between father and daughter.

He laughed - a grim, rasping sound. "Yes. I couldn't do anything about it until now. There was never a good time." He leaned back into the armchair, pulling a cigarette out of his pocket.

"Oh, no, Dad, not in this house. It's not good for Emily."

Sighing, he returned it to his pocket.

Mulder turned back to stare at Emily, who had by now climbed off of her mother's lap, and was investigating the underneath of the glass coffee table. She giggled, hitting the glass with her slightly sticky palms.

"Is Emily who I think she is?" Mulder muttered, entranced. The little girl turned her head at the sound of her name, and, laughing, she crawled out and clambered onto the couch beside Mulder, throwing her chubby arms around him.

"I like you."

Mulder smiled weakly. In the corner, the other man chuckled.

"I named her after her sister."


Emily sat on Mulder's foot, chubby arms wrapped around his leg as they stood on the doorstep.

"Love at first sight, Fox. You have to come see us again some time soon." Samantha laughed, plucking Emily from his leg. Mulder managed a weak smile, which broadened as Emily, now raised to his eye level gazed solemnly at him, her thumb stuck in her mouth.

"Stay," she ordered firmly from around her thumb.

He laughed slightly. "I can't, sweetheart. I have to go."

"Give Uncle Fox a kiss, darling." Samantha leaned Emily closer to Mulder, who offered his cheek to her. Taking her thumb out of her mouth, she planted a sticky kiss on his cheek, smiling happily.

"Bye bye." Her thumb was returned to her mouth, and she sat in her mother's arms, staring solemnly out at Mulder, who smiled in return, and turned to his sister.

"OK, you have my number, my address. Call me soon. I'd love to see you again. I've missed you so much." She punched him lightly on the arm affectionately. "Bye, big brother."

As he retreated down the driveway, climbing back into the car, he turned again to look at his sister, standing in the doorway of her home. She was smiling happily, saying something to her daughter, who sat laughing in her arms. As he smiled again, ready to pull away, the two of them began to wave.

"Bye bye!" shouted Emily loudly as they pulled away.

Mulder pulled up before his apartment block and switched off the engine, pulling out the keys.

"What else is there I should know?" he asked quietly but firmly.

"Her cancer was a failsafe mechanism, triggered by the removal of the chip in her neck. It can and will be cured." He took a deep drag of his cigarette, and turned to look directly at Mulder. "There is more I cannot tell you, and more I do not know." Looking Mulder over shrewdly, he stubbed his cigarette out in the car's ashtray, and got out, walking away without a backward glance.

For a while, Mulder sat in the car, his forehead resting on the steering wheel, his mind swimming with questions and answers, most of which were not connected. Sitting up again, he opened the door and went inside to sleep. To be haunted by her in his dreams.

The next day

Mulder let himself into Scully's flat, dimmed by the closed blinds. Switching on a lamp, he rummaged around the room, finding what he needed next to the telephone. Flipping through her address book, he found the number and dialled.

"Hello?"

"Hi, could I speak to Betsy Hagopian please?"

"I'm sorry. You haven't heard. Betsy died a few days ago. Who is this?"

"Special Agent Mulder with the FBI. How did she die?"

"She had brain cancer, like the others."

"The others?"

"Of the group Dana met, only Penny Northern is left, and she disappeared yesterday morning."

"Thank you."

As soon as Mulder could replace the phone, it rang again. He stared at it for a moment before picking it up warily.

"Scully's apartment."

"Agent Mulder." The voice was familiar, but Mulder couldn't place it. "I have something you need to see. Something that involves both you and Agent Scully."

"Who is this?" he shouted at the phone.

"You know me as Kurt Crawford. I'm waiting outside."

Dropping the phone, Mulder peered down to the street through the blinds. Sure enough, there was a young blond man in sweats and a baseball cap switching off his cell phone as he strolled up the pavement.

Running out the door and down the stairs, he paused for a moment before sauntering out, casually glancing both ways. The street was deserted, so he hurried to his car, climbing in as Kurt crossed to the other side.

"Just drive. I'll tell you where to go."

The long journey was interspersed only with directions from Kurt. He seemed tense, but Mulder was even more so, his knuckles almost white with tension.

Suddenly, Mulder spoke.

"Where is she?"

There was no reply. He clenched his teeth tightly, clutching the steering wheel harder.

"Stop here."

Mulder did as he was told, but not without giving him a strange look. "This had better be good. I don't intend to spend tonight lost in a forest."

"Follow me." Kurt ducked through the trees, working a somewhat erratic but extremely confident path. Eventually, he stopped, bending down to dig in the moss. Pulling up an almost invisible trapdoor, he leaned in to tap a code into the keypad. Turning, he beckoned to Mulder. "My associates will be watching where we go and re-wiring the security cameras."

The corridor was dank and dark, lit only by dim lightbulbs. At The End was a heavy metal door, unmarked, with another keypad next to it. Kurt swiped his car through, punching in a code. The latch of the door clicked back, and Mulder blinked, blinded by the sudden light. They went through into a brightly-lit hallway with steel doors leading off from it. Some of the doors had darkened windows, through which Mulder tried in vain to see.

"She's not here, Agent Mulder. This way." He led the way through The End door into another hallway, stopping short at the third door. A small plaque on the wall read ‘DKS' followed by a long string of numbers. Opening the door slightly, he indicated that Mulder was to go in. "You may wish to do this alone."

Warily, Mulder pushed open the door, glancing over his shoulder briefly before entering the room. It was small, but brightly lit as the hallways outside. One wall was lined with metal doors of various sizes, holding cupboards or drawers. In the corner was a filing cabinet, and next to it, a computer terminal.

Crossing to the filing cabinet, he pulled open the top drawer. It was filled with files numbered from 1964. Pulling out the first one, he opened it to find a birth certificate for Dana Katherine Scully lying at the top. The rest of the file was full of baby photos and baby data. Everything was there, from eating habits to her first word.

Sickened, Mulder shut the file, returning it to its place. Kneeling, he opened the bottom drawer, which was only half full. He ran his fingers back over the years, pulling out the file marked 1991. Flicking through, he stopped short, running his fingers over a grainy camera shot.

It was a birds-eye view of his office. There was a younger version of him, sitting over a set of slides, looking up at a young Scully who was smiling her first ever enigmatic smile at her new partner. Shutting the folder, he shoved it back into the drawer and kicked it shut as he stood up, brushing his hands on his jeans.

Leaning down again, Mulder tapped a random key on the keyboard of the computer terminal, and the monitor sprang back to life. Several charts sat in the background, but in the foreground was a window entitled ‘Status', which had some sort of a checklist on it.

‘Phase 1: Harvest of ova – COMPLETE
Phase 2: Implant insertion – COMPLETE
Phase 3: Memory removal – COMPLETE

SPECIAL TREATMENT ORDERED
Special Phase 1: Embryo creation – COMPLETE
Special Phase 2: Fertilization – 40%
Special Phase 3: Cancer removal – 40%'

Frowning, he turned to the wall of little doors, reading the labels and opening doors. The first set was familiar. They were little drawers just like the ones he had previously found some of Scully's ova in. No doubt here were more.

Moving to the far end, he leaned down to read a newly printed label.

‘DKS + FWM – Special Phase 1 – Sample 1'

Behind him, the door clicked shut.

"She and Penny Northern were chosen for the special treatment. She for unknown reasons, and Penny because she seemed to be the closest to her."

Mulder stared at the label in growing comprehension.

"Now you know. I must advise that the best thing to do would be to quit your search for her. She will be returned when the time is right and the treatment completed."

"Why are they doing this to her?" he croaked. Kurt made no reply, but beckoned. Knowing that nothing more would or could be revealed, Mulder followed silently, driving back to the city alone.

"Yes sir, I understand... Yes sir, I'll call her right away."

There was a brief pause, and Mulder dropped the phone back into its cradle, rubbing his eyes. He sat alone in the darkening room, refusing to turn on the lights. For a moment, he leaned back, taking deep breaths, before he picked the phone up again to dial a foreboding number.

"Mrs. Scully? It's Fox Mulder."

"Fox! How are you? How's Dana? She hasn't called me for some time, but I know she's busy. Let her know I'm worried about..." She broke off as the sobs carried down the phone. "Fox? What's wrong?"

Ten minutes later, she had hastily packed a bag and was on the way to Mulder's apartment.

The next day

"Sir, you don't understand. I can't come to work... Yes sir. Yes sir." He held the phone out to Maggie Scully, who took it questioningly. "He wants to talk to you."

"Mr. Skinner? Well... Well no... I can try. But Mr. Skinner... I'm sorry – have you heard anything at all?... All right. Thank you." Replacing the phone, she stood over Mulder, was sitting on his couch, head thrown back, arms splayed over the back of the couch. "Get up. You are going to work today, no matter how much it hurts. It hurts me too, but you don't see me lying around being pathetic." She sat down next to him. "You're not helping Dana by being like this. I know it won't help her to go to work either, but I'm sure she'd rather have you doing that. And I'm afraid you're getting up even if it takes a bulldozer to remove you from that spot."

Mulder turned his head to look at her, taking in her expression. Stretching, he sat up, resting his elbows on his knees. "OK. I'll get up."

She smiled weakly, before standing up. "Good." She was turning away, when she was stopped by a hand on her arm. Turning again, she found him towering over her, smiling sadly.

"Thank you. I know I've been really selfish, and I'm sorry. I'll be more helpful to you now, but thank you for what you did for me."

She smiled, this time stronger than before, and more full of love. "Oh Fox, I was doing what I had to do. You're almost a son to me." She turned again, leaving him to himself in the middle of his living room.


Looking around the office once more, I notice a strange aura that was not there before. There is an uncomfortable feeling about the place, almost like it has changed in the two days I have spent away from it.

And then it hits me. Once, 5 years ago, a glow was brought to this office, through the capabilities of a young woman who I immediately strove to despise, and almost as quickly gave up hope of doing so. That glow is missing. It was not something I would have noticed before, but something that I find cannot escape my attention now. Was this office ever really so dark? So evil? Did I love this place as it was back then?

The sharp ringing of the phone brings me out of my reverie.


Maggie Scully was in the process of cleaning Mulder's kitchen out. Knowing Mulder was a bachelor, with no woman in his life, she had expected that his entire flat would be a tip, and she had been right. Having emptied the overflowing trash, she had at last worked her way to the fridge and was dreading opening the door, when the phone rang. Sticking her head out of the kitchen door, she listened a while. She had been told to do so, picking up only if it was Mulder.

*click* "Mrs. Scully? It's me, Fox."

Running out, she picked up the phone. "Hello?"

"They found her. I'm on my way home. Bring your things, and we're going right over." *click*

Frantically, she washed off her hands and threw all her things into her bag, running down to the street just as Mulder pulled up to the curb.

"She's back where she started. Trinity Hospital."

Mulder did not need to say anything else. He knew nothing more than what he had just stated, and he knew that she understood.


Trinity Hospital
11:21AM

"Round the corner, at The End of the corridor, and turn left." The nurse did not look up, but went on with his head in the file. "Are you relatives of Miss Scully?"

Maggie looked up at Mulder, who shrugged. "I am. I'm her mother."

"And him?" The nurse waved his pen at Mulder.

"It's alright, he's with me. He's her partner."

At last the nurse looked up, eyebrows raised. "Someone's gonna want to talk to you about her condition." He shrugged. "You can go on in now if you want."

Puzzled, the pair continued down to the room. Outside it was positioned a man, who looked them up and down without a trace of emotion. Peering inside, they found Skinner standing in a corner, talking seriously with the same doctor who had been treating her.

"Sir?" Mulder strode in.

Looking up, Skinner crossed to him in a few steps. "Agent Mulder, do you have any idea what's going on here?"

Mulder shook his head, glancing over at the bed. "No. Why? How is she?"

The doctor cut in. "She's fine. She's been drugged, but it's not harmful, just sleep-inducing. We took the liberty of ascertaining that she would not wake up during the procedure and with Mr. Skinner's permission, we ran some scans." He took a deep breath. "Miss Scully's cancer is gone. A few days ago, I had discovered that the cancer had metastasized, but now I find no trace of that, or of the original tumour." He shrugged hopelessly. "Frankly, I can't explain it."

Mulder bit his lip. This was what had been planned. And if so... "Could you run some tests for me?"

The doctor shrugged again. "It depends. What kind of tests do you want run?"

"This had better wait until she wakes up, but I think we're going to need a pregnancy test." He turned and walked away.

"Fox?"

Mulder looked up to find Maggie Scully standing over the table. She sat down, ignoring the noises coming from around the hospital cafeteria.

"Why do you think she needs a pregnancy test?"

Mulder shook his head. "Something I saw. Something I was shown while she was gone. I was as good as told that they intended to cure her, and impregnate her." He folded his arms, staring off into the middle distance.

"Impregnate her?"

He nodded.

"Why? Whose baby?"

He slumped back in the chair. "I don't know why. But they would have been her babies, or baby."

"And the father?"

"Agent Mulder, I hope you have an explanation for this." They looked up at Skinner, who towered over them, leaning heavily on the table. "Is there some reason for this pregnancy test?"

"Yes sir, I believe she may have been impregnated during her disappearance. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but there is a strong enough chance for there to be reasonable grounds for checking." He judged Skinner's reaction. "I'd hate to not do it and be right, sir."

"Scully?"

The eyelids fluttered again, and the lips parted slowly and drily. "Where... Mulder?"

"I'm here, Scully. How are you feeling?"

"My head hurts a little. What... Where am I?"

"You're in the hospital. Do you remember what happened?"

"I remember seeing Doctor... ohhhh." She groaned. "Mulder, I have to tell you something. My cancer..."

"Shhh, Scully, take it easy. You don't know what's happened." He explained briefly as she lapsed into silence, absorbing everything quietly.

There was a long pause after he had finished.

"So I might be pregnant," she whispered softly. He nodded. "With your child." He nodded again. Again, there was a long silence.

"Ohhhh, sweetheart, you're awake." Maggie hurried in and leant over her daughter, kissing her on the cheek. "We were so worried about you."

"I know, mom."

"Can you remember what happened?"

"No. No, I can't. But Mulder told me what he... discovered."

Maggie looked disapprovingly up at Mulder. "That's for the doctor to say, Fox. You can't tell her things like that."

He shrugged, just as the doctor came in. "Dr. Scully. I trust your partner has already told you what we found."

She nodded. "And I'm willing to take a pregnancy test, just to be safe."

Several hours later

"I could kill myself for not recognizing Krycek and his cronies."

Mulder chuckled. "Don't. They saved you from death, didn't they?" His smile faded. "I always wanted to be the one to find your cure."

She reached up, stroking his cheek. "Thank you for caring." She stayed like that for a while, just resting her hand on the side of his face. "What if I am?"

"Are what?"

"Pregnant."

He reached up, holding her hand where it was. "It's your decision. You could get rid of it if you wanted, or keep it, or put it up for adoption."

"Mulder, it may be the only chance I have for children. I'm keeping it."

"Even if I'm the father?"

"Especially if you're the father." She bit her lip, looking up at him as he averted his gaze, looking down between his feet. "I have no doubt that I'm pregnant, Mulder. If you found it there, I must be. These people mean business." She took a deep breath, her voice wavering. "And with what you've told me, you *must* be its father. And I wouldn't want it any other way." She smiled weakly, her voice cracking with emotion. "I love you."

Without looking up, he brought her hand to his lips, placing a light kiss on the back of it. "I love you, Scully."

For a few minutes, the two remained in the same positions in comfortable silence, doing nothing but understanding each other.

"Miss Scully." The doctor strode in, brow furrowed. "Here is the result of your pregnancy test." He held up a sheet of paper. "And the answer is that yes, you are pregnant." He turned to Mulder. "How could you possible know?"

Mulder looked up at Scully, smiling cynically. "I just knew."

The doctor stood in the doorway, watching the two laughing agents, perplexed, before shaking his head and walking away.


Epilogue
Ten months later

"I'll get it."

Mulder patted his wife, and then his daughter, and got up to answer the door. Peering through the peephole, he groaned, and opened it.

"Fox."

"What are you doing here?" he asked resignedly.

"I wanted to pay you a visit. See how you were doing." The man swept passed him into the room, looking around in interest at the baby things lying around. "Did you like what we gave you?"

"Our daughter?" Mulder laughed a short laugh. "Yes." He shook his head as the man began to shake out a cigarette. "Not in this house you don't."

Scully stuck her head around the door. "Who is –" She broke off, staring at the man who stood in the hall. "Well." In her arms was cradled her daughter, who was sucking peacefully on a pacifier.

He smiled, approaching her. "Hello, Miss Scully. Excuse me: Mrs. Mulder. I've come to pay my respects to your daughter."

She looked wide-eyed over his shoulder at Mulder, who pursed his lips, but shrugged in semi-consent. "We called her Christine. It was Emily's middle name. We thought another tribute to her wouldn't hurt."

He leaned over the little bundle, and smiled at it, before looking over at Mulder. "She looks like her mother." He nodded. "Well, I extend my congratulations. I must leave now, but no doubt I will see you again." He turned towards the door, stopping at Mulder's shoulder. "I know you have questions."

"Damn right I do."

"Come with me. Let us go somewhere private."

Mulder gritted his teeth. "This involves Dana too."

The man sighed and shrugged. "All right. We stay here."

"We know who Chrissie's father is. It's Mulder."

"Yes. Fox discovered that before she was even born." He was beginning to grow a little impatient.

"So who was my Emily's father, and who is this Emily's father?"

His fingers fidgeted, aching for the feel of a cigarette between his fingers. "The first Emily was a hybrid. You were never meant to know her." He looked down at the floor. "This Emily is a mix of your DNA and another random male's." Looking up again at Scully, he smiled slightly. "It was decided that it would not be a good idea to make her a hybrid, and including someone you knew was too... obvious." His gaze switched to Mulder. "Anything else?"

The couple looked at each other questioningly.

"No," replied Mulder. "But we'll let you know if there is."

Shutting the door behind him, Mulder let out a deep breath, and returned to his family in the living room. Scully looked up at him, smiling. He stood for a moment in the doorway, leaning against the doorframe, looking down at the happy scene before him. Their eyes met, and they laughed. Kneeling down before her, he took the baby from her arms, watching her little feet kick at the air. Scully's hands ran through his hair, and she leant forward, kissing him on the forehead.

"I need food."

He handed Chrissie back to her mother, and headed for the kitchen to make pasta, already accustomed to the way the marriage worked.


I want to believe that everything that has happened has happened out of kindness, or out of generosity. But I know that I cannot do so. As long as those men are there behind the scenes, our family will never be safe from the evils they practice. The children, both Samantha's and ours, will always be vulnerable.

I want to believe that I can change that.

The End


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