Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four
Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight


Title: Through The Years
Authors: Tanja & Joey
Category: X-Files
Keywords: Mulder/Scully Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Mulder & Scully aren't ours. They belong to Chris Carter, 1013 and Fox Network. But Caitlin and Jim are ours!

Summary: When Scully is in the hospital after an accident, Mulder comes to visit her and finds out the result of a certain holiday romance.

Author's notes (Tanja): I was looking for somebody to co-author a story with. I love Joey's stories, she's a great talent in writing, lucky enough for me she agreed in doing one. Thanks Joey!

Author's notes (Joey): Thanks, Tanja! I was flattered Tanja even asked me to work with her on a story as I've been a fan of her work for a long time. And I hope this is the first of many!



Chapter One

"Come on Kat let's go to the beach first, we can unpack later." Caitlin Rogers urged her friend to get up from the bed, where she had been lying on since they had arrived.

"Do I really have to get up?" Dana Scully groaned at the idea of having to get up again.

"Yes you have to. We didn't come all the way to Hawaii to stay in a hotel room, if I had wanted to do that I could have stayed home!"

"Oh okay, I'm coming already." With a sigh Dana got up from the bed.

They quickly changed into their bikinis and left for the beach.


LATER THAT DAY

Dana and Caitlin were sitting at the swimming pool, enjoying the feeling of being on a well-deserved holiday. They had decided that they needed a holiday after a long year of studying and before going into the last year of college. Caitlin had come up with the idea to go to Hawaii and Dana had agreed. The flight had been long and warm, but now that they were sitting in the sun, with a glass of soda, that was long forgotten. They were enjoying the sun and Caitlin was commenting the boys walking around the pool.

Dana smiled in herself, that was Caitlin at her best. Always commenting on boys walking around, but usually she wouldn't get much further then flirting. Every now and then she had a boyfriend, which usually didn't last longer then a few weeks. Dana had always been the serious one in their friendship. She had had a boyfriend for two years, but they had broken up one year earlier after she had found out that he had betrayed her with one of her friends. Goodbye boyfriend, goodbye friend.

They had met in the first year of college, when they were put together as roommates. From day number one they had been friends and that had never changed, of course they had had their fights, but they could never stay mad at each other very long. They didn't call each other Dana or Caitlin, just Kat and Kay, which was confusing sometimes for other people.

Caitlin's voice brought her out of her reveries. "What do you think of that one, Kat?"

"Huh? Where?"

"There" Caitlin's finger pointed somewhere on the other side of the pool, in the direction of a guy who was talking to a friend, laughing. He looked nice. Tall, blond hair, blue eyes, and looked like he could have walked right out of a TV-series or commercial. Definitely good looking, but not Dana's type. Caitlin on the other hand always fell for these types.

"So what do you think of him?" Caitlin wanted to know.

"Mmm yes he does look nice."

"Nice? He looks more then nice!"

"Well why don't you go talk to him?"

"Are you crazy? Always remember this Kat. The boy has to come to the girl, not the other way around. That's the rule."

"Oh"

Caitlin smiled and waved friendly to the guy who was looking their way. The guy smiled back and said something to his friend. The friend shook his head and it looked like the guy tried to convince him to come with him. In the end he gave up and walked to them alone.

He stood in front of them. "Hi I'm Jim."

Caitlin looked at him from behind her sunglasses, as if she hadn't seen him earlier. "Oh hi." Dana grinned. This was one of those other rules Caitlin had, playing hard to get made a girl more interesting she always used to say.

"You're here on a holiday?" Jim wanted to know.

"Yes we arrived yesterday. Hi, I'm Kat and this is my friend Caitlin," Dana said, since it didn't look as if Caitlin was going to answer.

"Oh, how long are you staying?" Jim directed his attention to Caitlin again. Again the question was answered by Dana. "We're staying two weeks."

Jim looked a little disappointed that Caitlin didn't show any interest. "Would you two like to go out with me and my friend tonight?"

Dana thought about that for a moment, then said "Sure, why not?"

"Okay, we'll see you tonight at 8 in the hotel bar?"

"Okay"

"Well see you tonight then, it was nice meeting you." Jim nodded and with one last look at Caitlin he walked away.

When he was far enough Dana laughed. "Playing hard to get again Kay?"

Caitlin grinned. "You know what I always say Kat, playing hard to get makes it more interesting. By the way, why didn't you tell him your real name?"

Dana shrugged. "I don't know, you call me Kat too isn't it?"

"That's true."

"You're interested in him?"

"Oh definitely, he's really cute. Don't you think so?"

"Well yes, if blond hair and blue eyes are your standards he's very cute."

"I know you don't like that, but I do. Hey what about his friend isn't he something for you?"

Dana looked at the guy sitting next to Jim. He didn't look like he was having a good time. He looked grumpy, but he had something mysterious. He was tall, short brown hair and brown eyes, for as far as she could see from where she was sitting. She was sure that if he laughed, he would look very handsome. "He's okay I guess."

"Okay? Dana, Dana, what do we have to do with you?" Caitlin grinned.

"Nothing, let's just have a great time tonight and we'll see what happens okay?"

"Deal, after all we're here to have fun aren't we?"

"Indeed we are."


SAME DAY 8 O'CLOCK HOTEL BAR

When Dana and Caitlin walked into the bar Jim and his friend were already there. Jim's face lightened when he saw them. "Hi!"

"Hi" They both greeted.

"Caitlin, Kat this is my friend ...", before Jim could finish introducing them the guy interrupted him. "Red, nice meeting you" he said, shaking their hands politely. Jim looked surprised for a moment, then decided to forget about it. "Ready to go?" he wanted to know.

"Where are we going?" Caitlin asked.

"Well we know a great bar, we went there last night and it was a very nice place. What do you think?"

"Sounds like fun, come on let's go." She grabbed his hand and pulled him with her. He looked surprised, first she was ignoring him and now this. They were followed by Dana and Red.

As soon as they arrived in the bar, Caitlin and Jim left to dance. Leaving the other two behind with their drinks.

"You like Hawaii?" Dana tried to start a conversation.

"It's nice. I like the weather," was all he answered.

Talking about the chatty type Dana thought to herself. "Where do you come from?" she tried again. She wasn't going to give up that easily.

"Washington"

"Oh what do you do there?"

"Nothing special. I work for the government." Well that didn't say much

either, working for the government could mean all kind of things.

"You're always that cheerful?"

He looked at her, for a moment thinking how to answer to that. Then he laughed. "You're right, I'm sorry for being such lousy company." Wow Dana thought he really does look good when he laughs.

"That's okay, is there a reason why you're so upset?"

"I rather don't want to talk about that if you don't mind. We're here to have a nice evening aren't we?"

"Yes we are, but..." before she could say anything else he pulled her with him. "Come on let's dance" She had no other choice then following him to the dance floor. Caitlin waved at her, smiling, saying something to Jim who turned around to look at them and smiled too.

They danced for what seemed like hours and before they knew it, it was time to go back to their hotel. Jim and Caitlin were in a close embrace, kissing each other. Dana and Red just stood there waiting patiently until they would be finished saying goodbye. Once they were finished, he turned to Dana. "Well Kat thanks for the nice evening." He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and walked away with Jim.

Caitlin stood next to her, looking at Jim and Red walking away. "So what's he like?"

"Red?"

"No. Mr. Noone. Of course Red."

"He's okay. A little mysterious, I don't know what, but something is wrong."

"Jim said he has broken up with his girlfriend a couple of months ago. That's probably the reason."

"Maybe or maybe not. I have the idea there's more going on than that."

Caitlin laughed. "Dana we're on a holiday, all you have to do is have a nice time, before you know it we'll be back home again. You don't have to completely analyze the poor guy."

"You're right, come on let's go upstairs. How's Jim by the way?"

"Oh he's so cute. Exactly the guy you could easily fall in love with."

"And you did."

"Well yes I think so."

"I'm happy for you. But remember what you just said. It'll be over in two weeks."

"I know, but I'm going to enjoy it for that time."

At the same time Jim and Red were walking to their room to. "Why didn't you tell them your real name?" Jim wanted to know from his friend. His friend just shrugged. "I don't know. Why would I? We're on a holiday, so what does it matter."

"I don't care whatever you call yourself, I was only wondering. Did you like Kat?"

"Yes, she was a very nice girl."

"A girl to fall in love with?"

"I could if I would let myself. But why would I, you know what happens when you fall in love."

"You have a great time."

"Or you get your heart broken." Red concluded.

"You're ever going to stop thinking like that?" Jim asked his friend. Ever since his last girlfriend had dumped him for another man he had been acting like this.

"Maybe, maybe not. All I know is you can't be careful enough."

Jim sighed and gave up. "Come on let's go have a drink in the bar before we go back to our room.

"Okay" They walked back to the hotel bar and ordered a drink.


NEXT DAY 9:30 A.M. HOTEL SWIMMING POOL

Dana was already sitting at the swimming pool, Caitlin was still sleeping. There were not many people up yet, but she enjoyed the silence.

Suddenly a voice came from behind her. "Hi Kat" She turned around and saw Red standing there, looking like he came back from a long run.

"Where's your friend?"

"Still sleeping I guess, at least she was when I left. Where have you been?"

"Oh I went for a run. I always do that in the morning, it's a good way to start the day. Hey I'm going to take a dive, care to join me?"

"Sure" she jumped from her chair. She quickly took of the T-shirt she had been wearing over her bikini and waited until he was ready too. But all Red did was stare at her, his eyes almost popping out.

"Red?"

"Huh, yes?" He looked as if he hadn't seen her before.

"Are we going to swim or are we going to stand here forever?"

"Oh yeah sure" he hurried to say, quickly taking of his T-shirt and sweatpants, revealing a red Speedo. Now Dana was the one staring.

"Ready?"

"Huh? Oh yeah, come on."

He jumped in the pool without having a second thought. He waited for her to follow, but she hesitated, feeling the temperature of the water with one toe. "You're coming in, or are you going to stay there?" Red wanted to know.

"The water is too cold." She protested.

"The water is always cold when you get in, that's why you have to jump in. Wait, I'll help you."

"No, really I .." before she knew it and before she could get away he had climbed out of the pool, picked her up and jumped into the water with her.

"Aargh it's cold" she yelled.

All he did was laugh.

"I'm going to get you for this" she promised.

"Oh yeah, what did you want to do? I'm much bigger then you are" he teased. She quickly dove under and pulled at his leg, which got him a ducking, gasping and puffing for air he came up. Two blue twinkling eyes were looking at him. She grinned "See told you so!"

"Oh yeah, well let's see what you do when I do this." He tickled her until she squirmed. "No stop please."

"I'll think about it when you say please Red."

"Please Red stop it!"

"You'll be a good girl?"

"Yes, I promise." She giggled.

"Okay, but only because you ask so nice." He stopped and it took her a few more minutes before she stopped laughing. When she did she looked up right in a pair of hazel eyes. Hey they're not brown she thought. Then she gave up thinking. He didn't turn away, just kept staring, she stared back and for the next few minutes they just stared at each other. Until Jim and Caitlin arrived at the swimming pool.

"Ahum," Jim said.

Two heads turned away from each other into their direction.

"Oh hi" they both said at the same time. Jim and Caitlin grinned. Then Caitlin said "Can I talk to you for a moment Kat?"

"Sure" Dana climbed out of the pool and followed her friend until they were a few meters away from Jim and Red.

"Jim asked if I wanted to go with him to a lake not far away from here. Would you mind if I go with him?"

"No of course not, go ahead."

"What are you going to do?"

"Oh I'll find something to do."

"Hey maybe you could go do something with Red!" Caitlin suggested enthusiastically. Dana blushed. Of course Caitlin saw it. "Ah you like him don't you?"

"Kay...."

"Come on Kat admit it, you like him. Don't tell me you two were looking for your lenses when you were in that swimming pool."

Dana's face became even more red, but she laughed. "Okay I admit, I like him, but that doesn't mean that we .."

"You shouldn't worry so much Kat, just have a good time okay?"

"Okay"

They walked back to Jim and Red after which Jim and Caitlin left.

"You have any plans for today?" Red wanted to know.

"No, not really, why?"

"Want to come sailing with me?"

"You can sail?"

"Yes I've been doing it since I was a kid. So what do you think?"

"I'd love to. Just let me grab some clothes and I'll be back." She ran away. He looked at her running away and smiled. This was going to be a great day.


LATER THAT AFTERNOON

They had been sailing for a few hours and now they were lying on Dakota beach in a little bay, enjoying the sun.

"Kat?"

"Hmm?" she slowly opened her eyes, to discover that Red's face was a lot closer then the last time she had opened her eyes.

"Hi" he grinned. "Hi" she echoed. Not really the most original answer she could come up with, but she was to lost in his eyes to think of something clever right now.

"There's something I want to do, but I'm afraid you'll get mad at me when I do."

She knew very well what he meant. "I promise I won't get mad."

"How do you know, I didn't even tell you what I want to do."

"Red?"

"Yes?"

"Would you just shut up and kiss me alright!" she said impatiently.

"Well if you insist, it'll be my ..." before he could say more she stopped him by covering his mouth with hers, kissing him passionately. A few minutes later they let go of each other, gasping for air.

"Wow" Red mumbled, smiling.

"Uhm yes you could say that." Dana blushed.

"You think we could do that again?" He grinned.

"Definitely." She grinned back, while he leaned in closer again. They forgot all about time until they realized they would have to go back, before it would become to dark to sail back.


BACK AT THE HOTEL

When they arrived at the hotel it took them another 20 minutes to say goodbye.

Opening the door of her hotel room, Dana hummed "it's so easy to fall in love" at that moment the door was opened by Caitlin, who grinned and asked "is it?"

Dana danced into the room, falling down on her bed. "Yes it is!"

"I assume you had a nice day?"

"Nice, it was great!" Dana beamed.

"You're in love!" Caitlin accused her.

"Yes I am" Dana said dreamingly.

Caitlin grinned, it was funny to see her down-to-earth friend like this. She was obviously head over heels in love, she had never seen her acting the way she did know. "So what did you two do?"

"We went sailing and then we stopped in a little bay to swim a little. And in the end we had dinner on the boat. But how was your day?"

"It was great, we..." and they continued informing each other about what they had done that day.


SAME TIME JIM AND RED'S ROOM

Jim was still up when Red came back, he was whistling.

"Boy you must have had a great day with Kat" Jim said smiling.

"It was perfect. How was yours?"

"Very good too. So you still feel the same way about Kat as you did yesterday?"

"Huh" Red looked at him, not understanding what Jim meant.

"Remember what you said last night? That she was a nice girl, a girl you could fall in love with if you would let yourself. But you wouldn't let that happen." Jim reminded him.

"I changed my mind. I was wrong."

"So you did let it happen."

"Yes, it wasn't very difficult, it just happened. We were lying on the beach and before I knew it we were kissing."

"I'm happy for you and I'm glad that you finally realize that not all girls are like Phoebe Green."

"Trust me, Kat has everything that Phoebe Green hasn't."

"She has personality." Jim grinned and Red couldn't help but laughing too. It had taken him a long time to get over Phoebe Green, who had dumped him for another man, but the moment he had met Kat he had forgotten all about everything that had to do with Phoebe.


For the next two weeks they were inseparable. Sometimes doing things with the four of them, sometimes alone, but Dana and Red were always together. Sometimes Caitlin was a little worried, she had never seen two people more in love then her friend and Red. Of course she was in love with Jim, but it was different, they knew that it would be over in two weeks. She would go home and think of it as a nice time with a nice guy and would go on with her life.

As for Dana she wasn't too sure. Dana wasn't the type that easily fell in love with somebody. She was serious and down-to-earth, not letting people come too close too soon. It always took her time to fall in love with a man. But this was different. She had been head over heels with Red since the moment they met. And it was the exact same with Red. Caitlin had talked to Jim about it and he had said that he had never seen his friend like this. But what would happen when the holiday was over, would they be able to say goodbye, go home and go on with their lives? And even if they could, what would that mean if they were back into real life? Caitlin was afraid that it was going to be a very hard landing and there surely wouldn't be a parachute to break that landing. It was going to hurt a lot and it would take her a very long time to get over this. But there was nothing Caitlin could do to prevent that from happening. She wasn't going to stop them now. All she had said one time to Dana was "be careful Kat. Please remember that it'll be over again in two weeks." and her friend had ignored that, saying she knew that already.


LAST DAY BEFORE LEAVING

They had spent the last day together and knew they would have to say goodbye. It was inevitable. Caitlin and Jim had left to have a goodbye dinner and Red and Dana were sitting on the beach in each other's arms.

Realizing that this would really be over tomorrow tears started to fall down Dana's face. Red saw it, but didn't stop her. If she was feeling just as miserable as he was feeling right now, he couldn't blame her for crying. He felt like joining her. The only reason he didn't, was because he wanted to be strong for her. It wouldn't really help her much if he was going to cry with her.

"Shh it's going to be alright," he tried to comfort her, holding her close in his arms.

"I don't want to say goodbye."

"I know, me neither. But we have to. We have to go back to our own lives. You have to finish your study and I have my job." She still had no idea what his job was, he had never told her anything about it.

"But does it really have to be over?" She looked up at him, her eyes begging, asking why they couldn't continue seeing each other. But she knew the answer before he said the words.

"Yes, we talked about that didn't we? I think it's better if it is over. Long-distance relationships never work, maybe it will in the beginning but in the end something always goes wrong. I wouldn't want that to happen. I want to remember this as something special, let's not ruin those memories. And who knows maybe we'll meet again someday, if that's our destiny it'll happen."

"I know, you're right but that doesn't make this any easier." She was still crying.

He wiped the tears away from her face and kissed her. Then he took something out of his pocket and put it in her hand. It was a small golden necklace with a little golden heart hanging on it. "Here, I wanted to give this to you, so that you'll always remember me." She looked at the necklace and smiled through her tears. "It's beautiful, but you know I don't need a necklace to remember you."

"I know, but I wanted to give it to you anyway." He took it from her and put it around her neck. "Thanks" she smiled and gave him another kiss, then leaned closer in his arms. They just sat there for a very long time, looking at the sun going down, cherishing each other's presence.


NEXT DAY

Jim and Red helped them bring their luggage downstairs and now they were all ready to leave. Jim and Red would leave later that day, in the afternoon.

Jim kissed Caitlin and said goodbye and waited for Kat and Red to finish saying goodbye too. Once they did they got in the taxi that would bring them to the airport. Caitlin looked with concern at her friend, who was looking miserable. The car started and waving one last time they drove away.

After a few minutes Caitlin realized that Dana was crying silently. "Kat?" She looked up "Yes?"

"Are you going to be alright?"

"I don't have much choice do I?" it sounded cynical.

"Oh Kat you really loved him didn't you?"

"Yes, I did. But that's the problem with holiday romances, in the end you'll always have to say goodbye." Now it didn't sound cynical anymore, it sounded sad.

"I know Kat, but you'll always remember this as something special."

"I know I will. But why does it have to hurt so much Kay?"

"Oh Kat I have no idea, sometimes things just don't go the way you want them to go." Caitlin sighed.

"No, anyway I'll have to move on with my life. All I've left of Red is a necklace, a couple of pictures and the memories." Dana did her best, but didn't get further then a weak smile, Caitlin gave her an encouraging smile. There wasn't much more she could do for her friend right now, just being there and listening to her. For the rest it would have to wear away. It might sound hard but that was life. People come and people go and so does love. But that didn't mean that it was going to make the pain less.



Chapter Two

Dana had been home for over three weeks yet she still couldn't go longer than a couple of minutes without her mind wandering back to Red and their romance in Hawaii. She sat in her bedroom at home, writing a letter to Caitlin who was visiting her family in Vermont.

Dana was spending the rest of her break with her parents and was currently waiting for her father to return from being out at sea. She loved her father, Captain Bill Scully and she treasured every moment they spent together, whether it was with the rest of her family or by themselves.

Sighing, she put the pen and the letter she was writing to one side and rested her head in her hands. A picture of Red entered her memory and she felt a warm tear escape from under her eyelid.

She kept telling herself it was just a holiday romance but she knew in her heart it was more than just a fling. Much more.

Dana lifted her head and quickly dried her eyes on hearing footsteps come up the stairs. She turned and looked at the door, expecting to see her mother there. But when the door opened, the person it revealed wasn't her mother.

Her sister, Melissa, stood in the doorway, looking at her curiously. Dana tried to keep her expression neutral, knowing full well that her sister could read her like a book.

"So, what's his name?" Melissa asked casually, sauntering into the room and shutting the door behind her with her foot. Melissa sat on Dana's bed, waiting patiently for an answer. Dana sighed and turned her back to her big sister, finding a photograph of Red and herself. She gazed at it sadly before replacing it in her drawer.

"His nickname's Red. I don't know any more than that," Dana replied, stifling a deep sigh. Melissa stood and walked over to the desk.

"Can't I see the photograph? Melissa grinned knowingly. "I'd like to see who got my baby sister's attention."

Dana reluctantly took out the photograph and held it up for her sister to see. Melissa raised an eyebrow and took the photo off her, studying it intently.

"He's cute. Looks older than you, though." Melissa peered at her sister over the top of the photo. "How serious did you get?"

"That's none of your business, Missy," Dana retorted coolly.

"Come on, Kat. I'm just looking out for you. You seem.... heartbroken. I've warned you about holiday romances, they never last," Melissa spoke matter-of-factly, her words sounding too harsh. Dana snatched back the photo and glared coldly at her sister.

I'm a big girl, I can look out for myself," Dana snapped. "And it wasn't just a holiday romance, it meant something."

"Sure it did!" Melissa laughed. She stopped when seeing her sister was close to tears. Melissa moved over to her and wrapped a comforting arm around her shoulders. "I'm sorry, Kat. I didn't mean that. What would I know? I wasn't there."

"It meant something, Missy." Dana could no longer hold back the tears that had been threatening to take over for weeks and she cried in her sister's arms. "I'm so tired of people saying it didn't."

"Shh, it's okay." Melissa held her sister and they moved over to the bed and sat in silence until Dana's crying subsided. "You want to talk about it?"

"Have a choice?" Dana sniffed, smiling weakly.

"No." Melissa smiled back and Dana looked at her hands, wondering where to start, and what to say. Sensing this, Melissa thought she'd make it easier by asking some questions. "Was it serious?"

"I... I fell in love with him, Missy." Dana looked up into her sister's eyes and was surprised to find understanding, not pity. "I love him. And he loved me."

"So, you spent a lot of time together?" Melissa tightened her arm around her shoulders. Her attention was caught by something shiny on a chain around Dana's neck. She studied it more closely and realized what it was. "Did he give you that?"

"What?" Dana looked momentarily surprised until she reached a hand up to her neck and her fingers came into contact with her treasured locket. "Oh, yeah. He gave me this to remember him by. I don't really need it, though."

"I can tell." Melissa smiled supportively and peered closely at the locket. "It's really beautiful. Looks expensive too."

"Missy!" Dana pulled the necklace away from her sister and looked shocked. "I don't care how much it cost!"

"I didn't mean it like that!" Melissa insisted, realizing her mistake. Dana challenged her with a 'Then what did you mean?' look. "I meant that it shows he cares about you as much as you care for him. No one would buy someone something like this if they weren't special to them."

Dana smiled shyly. "You really think I was special to him? I mean, he told me but..."

"I believe that wherever he is, he's missing you just as much as you're missing him." Melissa smiled encouragingly at her sister before hugging her and leaving the room. Dana sat at her desk for quite a while, gazing lovingly at the locket in her hand.


A FEW MONTHS LATER

Dana was home again after a tiring time at college, ready to rest up before going back and finishing the year after Christmas.

She had planned on staying at college for the first part of the holiday since her parents would be away on vacation for the first week but she'd been sent home by Caitlin. Dana lay on her stomach on her bed, groaning as another bout of nausea swept over her.

She groaned again and moved quickly into the bathroom. She knelt by the toilet and threw up for the second time that morning. Once the worst of the bout was over, Dana leaned against the wall and closed her eyes. She was falling asleep again when she heard the front door open and heard rapid footfall on the stairs. She sighed and hoisted herself off the floor, only to find herself face-to-face with Caitlin and Melissa, Caitlin who was leaving the area in a couple of days to go and visit her family.

"What are you guys doing here?" Dana asked in confusion, slowly making her way back to her bedroom. She gasped in surprise when Melissa grabbed her arm. "Missy!"

Kat, we think we know why you've been unwell," Caitlin spoke in a hushed tone, making the words sound even more urgent and important.

"Dana, it's important you tell us the truth. Did you sleep with that Red guy?" Melissa loosened her grip but didn't let go of her sister's arms. Dana frowned until she caught the meaning of the question. She noticeably paled.

"Yes," she answered quietly. "But I'm not stupid and I'm not a child. We used protection."

"There's still a chance," Melissa insisted. Caitlin took a brown paper bag out of her purse and handed it to Dana. "Are you sure you always used something?"

"Yes!" Dana pulled her arm away and cautiously looked in the bag, finding exactly what she expected to find - a pregnancy test. "Well, there was one time but I'm still taking the pill so I can't be pregnant!"

Dana thought whilst Melissa and Caitlin traded glances. She knew there was a chance she could be pregnant, she was an intelligent person and wanted to follow a career in medicine so of course she knew the risks. Dana bit her lip as she pondered the possibility. She knew that if she was pregnant, she'd have to keep the child. There was no doubt in her mind or her heart about that. After all, it was her child. Her child with Red. The thought scared her but also warmed her. She'd been feeling alone since saying goodbye to Red, having his child.... The thought appealed to her maternal side whilst her head objected. There was no way she'd be able to find Red to tell him but she could cope on her own. Her mother and father would be upset and a little angry at first but they'd help her.......

"Earth to Dana." Melissa's voice startled her from her thoughts and she dazedly realized she'd been standing there for a few minutes with a blank expression on her face. She shook her head to clear it and looked down at the bag in her hands before meeting her sister's gaze. "It'll only take a minute or two, Kat," Melissa spoke encouragingly.

"Okay." Dana nodded and went into the bathroom. She reappeared a few moments later, the small plastic stick in her hand. "The box says we'll know in two minutes."

The next two minutes were the longest two minutes of Dana's life. She sat on her bed, fingering the locket on the chain around her neck as Melissa paced and Caitlin tried to concentrate on watching television. They all jumped when the small alarm clock went off, signaling that the test was ready.

Dana took a deep breath before going over to her desk and bracing herself for whatever the results were. She opened her eyes and looked down before turning to her sister and friend who were staring at her anxiously. Dana bit her lip and shrugged.

"I'm pregnant," she whispered, her hand instinctively moving down to rest on her flat abdomen. "I'm having Red's baby."

"Oh, Dana!" Melissa rushed over and embraced her sister in a tight hug. "What are you going to do? I'll support you, no matter what you decide. And I'll help you tell Mom and Dad!" Melissa hugged her sister tighter, feeling the need to show her that she'd always be there for her.

"Oh, Missy!" Dana buried her head in her sister's shoulder and closed her eyes, waiting for the news to sink in. When it had, she pulled away and looked at her sister and her best friend, both of whom wore identical expressions of support. "Thanks, guys. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. I'm going to have the baby. "

"Oh, Dana!" Melissa smiled, hugging her sister again. She knew it was Dana's decision but ever since realizing there was a chance Dana could be pregnant, Melissa had been hoping her sister would choose to keep the child. Melissa had known a girl in her class in High School who'd got pregnant and had almost had an abortion before deciding to give the child up for adoption. Melissa had heard a few months later that the girl was suffering from depression and regretted the decision.

Caitlin stood in silence, not agreeing with the decision at all. Once the sisters had stopped hugging, she voiced her opinion. "Are you sure you're making the right decision? I mean, bringing a baby up by yourself. It's going to be hard."

"She won't be by herself!" Melissa objected. "She'll have me and our family. And I thought she'd have your support."

"She will!" Caitlin insisted. "But even with all our support, it's going to be hard! You have the rest of the year at college to get through, than what about med school and your career? You have to think of these things, Dana!"

"I have," Dana answered calmly. "I've been thinking about them nonstop since being pregnant seemed possible. I'll be able to finish college, then I'll give birth after finals. I'll spend a while with the baby and look into what courses are available at med school depending on my grades and situation. I can cope with my studies and a child, I know I can. Mom will help, won't she, Missy?"

"Of course!" Melissa nodded enthusiastically, not wanting anything to put her sister off having her child. "She stays at home all the time, anyway. And she's always going on about how lonely she is when Dad's away. You could move somewhere near Mom and Dad and go to med school near them."

Exactly." Dana smiled slightly.

"But your parents might not support you, it's a possibility!" Caitlin argued. "You know you're your father's baby girl! He isn't going to be happy when he finds out you're pregnant. And I don't see Bill being the most supportive brother anyone could wish for."

"I think you should leave, Caitlin," Melissa's voice was ice cold.

"I'm only saying..." Caitlin's voice trailed off. "I'm going." She sighed heavily but still didn't move. "You know I'm going to be here for you, Kat. I just want you to be sure you're doing the right thing."

"I know, Kay. And I appreciate your concern." Dana smiled at her friend. "But I've made my decision. And I need your support."

"You have it, Kat," Caitlin whispered as she embraced her friend warmly. "Always." The two friends hugged each other before Caitlin pulled away. "I better go to the hotel and pack my things, my plane leaves in four hours."

"I'll see you back on campus." Dana gave her friend another quick hug. "Merry Christmas!"

"Merry Christmas." Caitlin smiled softly. "And call me if you need anything."

Caitlin left and Melissa helped her sister plan what they were going to tell their parents and their brothers when the family got back together.


A WEEK LATER

The moment of truth had arrived. The Scully family sat around the dining room table, looking expectantly at the sisters. Melissa squeezed her sister's hand reassuringly and Dana smiled weakly.

Captain Bill Scully sat at the head of the table watching them, wondering what was going on. Beside him sat his wife, Margaret Scully, who was also wondering which one of her daughters had something to announce. Charles Scully couldn't see why everyone was so uptight, he just hoped Dana, his beloved big sister, was okay. She looked nervous and his heart went out to her because he was closer to her than he was to their siblings. Bill Scully Jr. sat on his father's other side, trying to look as calm as his father. All he could think was I hope they haven't done anything stupid. He wasn't happy that they'd called a family meeting as he had made plans with some old friends.

"Okay," Dana sighed and steeled herself for everyone's reaction. "I... We called this meeting because I thought it was best that I told you whilst you were all together."

"Told us what?" Bill Jr. asked with a blank expression. Dana shot Melissa a nervous glance which Captain Scully caught.

"Bill, give her time. She'll tell us when she's ready," Captain Scully spoke sternly, earning a thankful look from both of his daughters. He gave Dana, his youngest and the child with whom he was closest, a supportive smile. "Go on when you're ready, Starbuck."

"Thank you, Daddy." Dana bit her lip and took her sister's hand. "Mom, Dad," she begun nervously, unexpected tears springing to her eyes. "I know this is going to shock you and upset you but I just want you to know I'm sorry, I never meant to hurt you. I didn't plan this, I..." She wiped angrily at her eyes with the hand that wasn't resting on her abdomen.

"Dana. Sweetheart, what is it?" Maggie Scully was starting to get nervous but she felt for her daughter. "You can tell us."

"I...I'm so sorry, I don't want to disappoint you." The tears were rolling down her cheeks freely now and she made no move to wipe them away.

"Starbuck, just tell us." Her father moved round to stand beside her.

"I'm so sorry, Daddy," Dana wept. "I'm......I'm pregnant."

Her speech was met by silence. She cried and Melissa supportively wrapped her arm around her. Maggie Scully sat in shock. Her first instinct was to go and hold her baby girl and tell her everything was going to be okay but her head was spinning and she thought she might faint if she tried to stand up.

Charles Scully was also shocked. He looked at his sister, not accustomed to seeing her cry. Dana was always the strong one, the person everyone told all their problems to. He made up his mind as he watched her hang her head in shame that he would stick by her, no matter what his parents or his brother thought.

Captain Scully stood looking down on her, his expression not betraying a single emotion.

"You slut!" The insult came from Bill Jr. He stood up, his expression one of pure disgust and disgrace. "How the Hell could you be so stupid, Dana? Was it that holiday romance? That creep who gave you that cheap necklace? The one in the picture?" Bill Jr. demanded, his voice sounding even louder in the silence that had fallen over them. The words sliced through Dana and she felt her heart breaking again. "You're stupid if you thought you meant anything to him! And you slept with him? You stupid slut!"

"William Scully!" The voice of Captain Scully sounded deadly and sharp. Dana had never heard her father sound so angry. "You will not talk to your sister that way!" Captain Scully hissed.

There was another deafening silence and it was too much for Dana. She stood and raced to her room, tears running down her face. Captain Scully watched her go and stopped Melissa from following her.

"Your mother and I will handle this now, Melissa," Captain Scully told her in a softer tone. "Maggie?"

Maggie nodded and followed her husband upstairs to their daughters bedroom. Melissa waited until they had left the room before glaring at her brother.

"How dare you say that!" Melissa spat out angrily. "Don't you think she's been through enough?"

"It's her own fault," Bill Jr. commented stubbornly, angry and embarrassed at being told off by his father despite not being a child anymore. "She's let the family down. She's unmarried and doesn't even know the baby's father. If I ever get my hands on that creep...... There's no way she can keep it."

"Leave her alone, Bill," Charles murmured quietly. Although he was the youngest Scully at 18, he was often more sensible than his brother. "She's not a child anymore so she can make her own decisions. I think we should all support Dana, no matter what she decides. She's going to need our help."

"Well, she'll just have to do without mine." Bill Jr. stood up and angrily left the room. A few minutes later, they heard the front door slam shut behind him.


SAME TIME, IN DANA'S BEDROOM.

Maggie and Captain Scully entered the bedroom to find their daughter weeping on her bed. Captain Scully moved over to the bed and sat down next to her. His wife moved round to the other side of the bed and touched her daughter's shoulder.

"Dana?" Maggie asked softly. "Sweetheart, please look at us."

Dana sat up and wiped at her eyes, curling her knees up to her chest. "I'm sorry," she murmured. "I'm sorry I disappointed you."

"Dana, you're a grown woman. You're almost twenty-one years old, you have your own life. You shouldn't feel like you're disappointing us," Maggie assured her daughter with a warm smile. "We love you no matter what."

I'm keeping the baby, Dana told them quietly. I know it's going to be hard but I can't give it up.

"We'll support you, Dana." Maggie squeezed her daughter's hand. "Won't we, Bill?"

Captain Scully remained silent and Maggie took his silence as her cue to leave. Dana bit her lip and felt her heart clench painfully at the thought of hurting her father.

"Daddy, I'm sorry," Dana began softly. Captain Scully cut her off by putting a finger on her lips.

"Your mother's right, you're a grown woman, Starbuck, Captain Scully looked tenderly at his daughter. But you will always be my baby girl. I'm a little upset, yes. But that's only because you didn't feel as though you could come to me. I never meant to make you feel that you had to hide your feelings from me and your mother. We'll always love you."

"Oh, Daddy." Dana went willingly into her father's embrace. "He held her close, rocking her soothingly. Thank you, I love you and Mom too."

"You can always come to us. Even if I'm out at sea, write to me and I'll come home as soon as I can." Captain Scully kissed the crown of her head. "And I want to be there for my grandchild's birth."

"I wouldn't have it any other way," Dana murmured sleepily, the week's events catching up with her. "What about Bill? He..."

"Shh." Captain Scully hugged her closer. "Don't worry about it, I'll talk with him. You just concentrate on your studies and staying healthy."

"I will," she yawned and fell asleep a few minutes later. Her father eased her out of his arms and pulled the blanket over her, realizing that his daughter was no longer a child.

He cast one last look at her before leaving her to her dreams of her baby and a future she wanted to share with Red.



Chapter Three

Dana walked over the campus, she was on her way to the lecture room for one of her last exams. In a few days it would all be over. They would graduate and in a few weeks the baby would be born.

The last months hadn't been easy, she wouldn't have known what to do without the never-ending support of her parents, Missy, Charlie and Caitlin. After their discussion at the moment Dana had found out she was pregnant, Caitlin had never questioned her choice again and as promised her friend was always there when she needed her. She had been able to hide the fact that she was pregnant, for the other students, until far in the 6th month, after that hiding it just wasn't possible any longer. Of course there had been the anxious looks and the whispering from people who it was expected from, people like her brother Bill.

After her father had ordered Bill not to talk to his sister like that he hadn't said a word about her pregnancy anymore. However the looks he gave her every now and then told her more than enough. He still didn't agree with her choice, but he knew that if he would say it out loud as he had done that night, he would get in trouble with his father and the rest of the family, so he just didn't talk about it anymore.

Caitlin was already waiting for her in front of the lecture room.

"Come on Kat we're going to be late" she urged her friend.

"Yeah I know, I wanted to run here to be earlier, but somehow running isn't that easy anymore" she grinned, while pointing at her not-so-flat belly.

Caitlin laughed while they entered the room.


A FEW WEEKS LATER

Dana was at home, trying to sleep, which wasn't really easy these days, since whatever position she tried to sleep in, her belly was in the way all the time. And when she finally was asleep the baby usually decided that she didn't want to sleep anymore and would start to have some fun in mommy's stomach.

She dozed off again, until she woke up because of a sharp pain in her stomach. When the pain didn't go away after a few minutes she realized that it was time. The baby had decided that it was time to take a look in the real world.

She tried to get out of her bed, but a new stitch of pain stopped her for a moment, when the pain was gone again she got out and quickly walked to Missy's room to wake her up.

She whispered softly, "Missy wake up"

That didn't help much, all Melissa did was stir a little and turn around to her other side. Well okay that approach obviously didn't work, there was only one other option. She gave her sister a hard push. That did work, her sister sat up and looked at her sleepily "What's wrong, why are you ....?" she didn't finish her sentence, because she had turned on a light and saw her sister's face, twitched by pain, she immediately realized why her sister was waking her up in the middle of the night. "Is it time?" she asked. Needless to ask she realized when she looked at Dana. Dana only nodded.

Melissa got out of bed, she quickly dressed and woke up her parents. After that they drove to the hospital. Captain Scully looked around every other minute to ask how she was doing. Despite the pain Dana laughed, her father seemed more nervous

Than she was. Now she could imagine what her mother meant when she told the children stories of when they were born and how their father had been acting before the birth.

15 minutes later they arrived at the hospital. Captain Scully heaved a sigh of relief, it had only been 15 minutes, but it might just as well have been hours, at least it had looked like hours.


Once in the hospital everything went very quickly. Dana was scared and anxious at the same time. Scared because she didn't know what to expect, but also anxious to see her baby, their baby, the living proof of their love. She had no doubt that the baby was going to be a girl, she just knew it. She had no idea why, but ever since she had known that she was pregnant she had been convinced that it was going to be a girl, a girl who would like her father, with the same dark brown hair and smile and the hazel eyes that she remembered so well.

Her doctor came into her room to see how she was doing. He smiled at her. "Hello Dana, how are you doing?"

"I'm doing alright." She tried to give him a convincing smile, which didn't really work since at that moment she had another contraction.

The doctor checked her and said "well I think it won't be long anymore before the baby will be born. We're going to bring you to the delivery-room." He looked to all the other people in her room and asked "is anybody coming with her?"

They just looked at him as if he was crazy to even think that they were going to leave her alone. Melissa said "we're all coming with her"

"I'm sorry but ..." the doctor started to protest, but Melissa didn't even listen to him, just repeated "we're all coming with her" The doctor looked for help at Dana's parents, who just shrugged and grinned, to confirm that they agreed with their daughter.

"Oh well, if that's really what you want you can all come," the doctor gave in, he looked at his patient who looked at him gratefully.

He smiled, Dana had been one of his students at med school. So he had known her for a long time already. When she had come to him for the first time, telling him that she was pregnant and that she wanted him to be her doctor, he had been shocked. She was only 21 years old, the same age as one of his daughters, about to graduate from med school, and a lot of plans for the future. Plans that had changed because she was pregnant, what would he have done when his daughter had told him that she was pregnant? He knew that Dana would have to do this on her own, she had told him herself. And through the months of her pregnancy he started to admire Dana Scully, for her strength and her determination. For the way she was handling and accepting the changes in her life. Despite the fact that she knew it was going to be hard to raise a child on her own, she was truly happy with this baby.

They were all brought to the delivery-room, after which everything went very quickly. Before she knew it, the doctor told her to push. After pushing a few times she looked at him, exhausted "I can't, I...."

"Of course you can, come on Dana only a few more times and your baby will be here," he encouraged her. She turned her head around to look at her family, who all gave her an encouraging smile. Captain Scully looked at his little girl, who was struggling with the pain. Oh how he wished he could take away the pain for her, just like he used to do when she was a little girl, when she had fallen, while she was playing outside. Back then he had been able to take away the pain by giving her a kiss and a hug and everything was alright again. But she wasn't a little girl anymore, there was nothing he could do to take the pain away now, she had to do this on her own, all he could do was stand by her and tell her that she could do this. "Come on Starbuck I know you can do this"

She concentrated again and a few minutes later a sharp cry filled the room. The doctor held up the baby so that everybody could see "it's a baby girl, congratulations Dana!"

He handed her the little baby who was crying, angry that she was taken away from a nice and warm place, but as soon as she was in her mother's arms she stopped crying, she just looked at her with her big blue eyes open wide. As if she was very surprised. "Hello little girl," Dana whispered. The little girl looked at her mother, yawned and closed her eyes again, drifting away to sleep, as if she knew she was safe where she was.

Captain Scully and Maggie looked at their daughter and they smiled at each other. Melissa was looking at her sister who looked tired but happy, just like she had known she would be. "What are you going to call her Kat?" she asked, whispering, not wanting to wake the baby.

Dana looked at her daughter, the little girl looked exactly like Red, but she had always known that the baby would look like her father. The only thing she didn't have from her father were her big blue eyes, but that could still change of course. Babies always had blue eyes in the first weeks after they were born. "Katherine Dakota," she answered. And Melissa immediately new the meaning behind these names.


A LITTLE BIT LATER

After being washed and cleaned Dana was brought to her room, where her daughter was lying in a little cradle next to her bed. The nurse handed her Katherine Dakota. Charlie and Bill had also arrived. Charlie congratulated his sister immediately, all Bill did was nod, giving her a quick kiss on her cheek. Bill hardly even looked at the baby, Charlie did. "You want to hold her Charlie?" Dana asked smiling. He looked at her, hesitating "Are you sure?"

"Of course I am, here you are." She handed him the baby.

He took over his little niece very carefully, holding her as if he was afraid she would break if he would hold her any other way. Dana laughed "She won't break Charlie." He looked at the little girl and smiled. "She's beautiful Dana."

"She is, isn't she?" Dana said proudly, before she yawned.

Her mother saw it. "She really is honey, but you two both need your sleep right now, so we'll leave you alone okay?"

"Okay thanks mom," she said, right before she started to drift away to sleep. Her family left, Captain Scully walking out last, taking one last look at his baby girl who had a baby girl herself now.


LATER THAT DAY

Dana woke up later that day when Caitlin arrived.

"Hi Kat."

"Hi Kay." She smiled at her friend.

"How are you doing?" She looked from her friend to the cradle next to the bed.

"I'm alright, a little tired, but they say that's normal. Do you want to see the baby?"

"Of course, what do you think I came for?" Caitlin joked.

"Oh and I was thinking you came for me!" Dana teased, Caitlin looked in the cradle where the baby was lying asleep and gasped. "She looks exactly like Red Kat" Dana smiled, "I know, I knew she would"

"Can I take her out?"

"Of course you can, go ahead."

Caitlin took the baby out carefully, still surprised by how much the baby looked like her father. Holding the baby she asked "what's her name Kat?"

"Katherine Dakota."

"She's beautiful."

"Yes she really is, isn't she?" Dana smiled proudly. She was happy, ever since saying goodbye to Red she had been feeling alone, despite all the support of her friends and family. But now she wasn't alone anymore, she had her daughter, Red's daughter and that's why she would never be alone again.


A FEW MONTHS LATER

After Katherine was born, Dana had moved back in with her parents. They had agreed that it might be good if Dana could have time to get used to the new situation. Her mother could help her with everything and after a while she could look for her own apartment and make a decision about what she wanted to do in the future. When she would start to work, her mother was of course going to help her to take care of Katherine.

It was a warm summer day and Dana sat in the garden, where her daughter was lying in her play-pen, talking gibberish and making little noises. The baby was a happy little girl, laughing all the time, smiling at everybody with her big blue eyes. Eyes that hardly anybody could resist. She had even caught Bill a few times hanging over the cradle, cooing to the baby, trying to make her smile. Of course he didn't admit it, but she knew he was starting to accept the baby. Of course he would, nobody could resist little Katherine, not even Bill. Dana had expected that the color of the baby's eyes would change eventually, but they hadn't, they had stayed the same blue color they had been when she was born.

Dana was waiting for her parents to come back home, because she wanted to talk to them. She had made a decision about her future. She had been looking at different options, when the FBI had offered her the possibility to teach Pathology at Quantico. She had not accepted the offer yet, but she would. She knew it was just what she needed. Going to work in a hospital as a doctor would mean that she would have to work on irregular schedules, and making long hours. She didn't want that, because it would mean that she could hardly spend any time with her daughter. And that was unacceptable for Dana. She wanted to be there for her daughter and Quantico would give her that possibility. Teaching would mean that she could have normal work hours.

When her parents came home she asked them to sit down for a moment, because she wanted to talk to them.

"Is everything alright honey?" her mother asked worried, she took a quick look at her granddaughter who looked alright, so nothing was wrong with the baby.

"Yes everything is alright. I just wanted to talk to you about my future."

"You found a job in a hospital?" Her father wanted to know.

"No, I've decided that I'm not going to work as a doctor in a hospital," Dana said calmly. Calmer than she actually was. She knew her father had been very proud when she had gone into med school. So she was a little scared of his reaction to her news.

"You're not? What are you going to do then?"

"The FBI offered me a job to teach Pathology at Quantico and I'm going to accept that offer." A silence followed as the news sunk in.

Her father looked at her "You're sure about this Starbuck? Because I think you're throwing away a big chance here."

"Yes dad I'm sure. This means I'll be able to work normal hours, which will allow me to spend more time with Katherine."

"You know we would help you with Katherine, when you're working again," her mother said.

"I know mom, and I'm really grateful for that. But I want to see my own daughter growing up. I don't want a child who doesn't even recognize her own mother later, because mommy was never there."

"If that's your choice we'll accept that," with that her father stood up and walked into the house. Dana knew that her father was disappointed by her choice, but it was hers and she would not change her mind about this. "Is he mad, Mom?" she asked.

Her mother shook her head "no honey, I think he's only a little bit disappointed, but don't worry everything is going to be alright."

"Are you disappointed too mom?"

Her mother looked at her "all we want Dana is for you to be happy, and when this is what makes you happy we're happy too." After that she stood up and followed her husband inside.

Dana watched her walking away, she sighed, she knew she had disappointed her parents, but they would accept and respect her choice. With another sigh she picked her daughter out of her play-pen and hold her close. "You hear that honey, mommy is going to be a teacher." It couldn't really interest her daughter, she was too busy pulling at her mother's hair with her little fingers. Dana laughed and freed herself of her daughter's grasp, before she would pull out all her hair.


A FEW WEEKS LATER

The training for Quantico started a few weeks later. It was really interesting and Dana knew that this had been the right choice. Nobody at Quantico had any idea about her life and daughter. Here she was just Dana Scully, on her way to become a Special Agent, just like everybody else. And that was how she wanted it to be. Katherine was her life, but nobody had anything to do with that. That was her private life. She had made some new friends, but even they didn't know anything about her real life, she thought it would be better to keep things separated.

During her training Dana heard rumors about agents that worked for the bureau. Most famous were the stories about Spooky Mulder. He had the reputation to be weird. One teacher had once told her that Spooky Mulder had been one of the bureau's most promising agents, one of their best profilers. He had been working for VCS, and his future looked very promising, until he had discovered the X-files. Somehow something had gone wrong then, he didn't follow the bureaus rules anymore and it hadn't taken long or people started to say that he was crazy, weird, a believer in aliens. That's when he had earned the nick name Spooky.

Dana had no idea why, but somehow it attracted her attention. She had no idea who this man was, but the stories and rumors had made her really curious. She hoped that one day she would be able to meet him. To see with her own eyes what he was like. She probably never would, but maybe someday ......



Chapter Four

A FEW YEARS LATER

Dana was walking towards the lift, shaking her head in wonder. She'd been wondering about Spooky Mulder ever since hearing about him when she was just a student at Quantico. That curiosity had remained with her during the two years she'd been teaching at the Academy and now she was finally going to meet the man in person.

She tried to clear her head and fight her nervousness as she took the elevator down to the basement office. It was stupid to be nervous about meeting someone just because of the rumors she'd heard about him. Fox Mulder was just as human as the next guy, unless some rumors were to be believed and she was determined not to let his reputation unnerve her.

Dana sighed as the elevator jerked slightly and the doors opened. She stepped out into the hall and was just a few steps away from the basement office, the office of Spooky.

She shivered in spite of herself, there were no windows at all in the hallway. Dana smiled slightly as another thought hit her: the basement of FBI Headquarters would make for a good setting for a ghost story to tell Kat. With her daughter, her inspiration, in mind, Dana knocked on the door of the basement office.

"Nobody down here but the FBI's most unwanted!" A somehow familiar sounding voice greeted her. Dana sighed to herself and shook her head, opening the door and stepping over the threshold.

She cautiously looked around the office. It wasn't exactly the neatest office she'd ever been in. There were books and files and sheets of paper overflowing everywhere. The shelves were full of peculiar looking objects of origin she wouldn't even guess at. There was a notice board full of cuttings from newspapers and magazines about UFO's and alien abductions.

Dana rolled her eyes and focused her attention on the man crouched over the desk in front of her.

"I'm Dana Scully, I've been assigned to work with you," Dana cleared her voice and offered her hand as he turned in his chair.

She felt herself freeze as he took her hand without really looking at her and shook it.

"Nice to know I'm suddenly so highly regarded," Fox Mulder quipped, not looking at her face so he didn't notice how she'd paled.

It's him. Dana was still staring at him in shock as he spoke.

"Who'd you tick off to get stuck with this detail, Scully?" Mulder looked up for the first time moments after she'd made her recovery and masked her surprise. He almost did a double take. Kat! His heart and mind screamed at him as he gazed into her blue eyes.

"Actually, I'm looking forward to working with you." Dana heard the words come out of her mouth before she had a moment to think about them. She pulled her hand from his and decided to pretend she didn't recognize him since he obviously didn't recognize her.

"Really?" Mulder asked slowly, covering for the fact he hadn't really heard her and was trying to hide his disappointment that she showed no sign of remembering who he was. He thought over what she'd said and thought he detected some coolness to her tone. Two can play this game, Kat. "I was under the impression you were sent to spy on me."

Spy on my daughter's father? On the guy I've been dreaming of for years? Yeah, sure, I can do that. She thought sarcastically. She decided then not to debunk his work as such, she'd just present her findings and her honest opinion. If Blevins reassigned her because she couldn't do what he wanted, that was fine with her.

"If you doubt my qualifications, I'd be glad to list them for you." She smiled politely, trying to force the mental image of herself in Red's arms all those years ago out of her mind.

Mulder remained silent and busied himself with trying to find his copy of her thesis on Einstein's Twin Paradox. He was struggling to concentrate, though. His photographic memory was tormenting him by recalling the times he and Kat shared in Hawaii.

Finally he found it and the conversation continued. They both eased up a little, unknowingly agreeing to put the past behind them. For now.


A FEW WEEKS/MONTHS LATER

Dana was at home, with Kat in her arms. She couldn't get Red/Mulder out of her mind. Ever since meeting him, the dreams she had of having a family and getting married to him had started to invade her sleep again.

The main problem was that the attraction that had existed between them all those years ago was still there only now it seemed so much stronger. She was no longer Mulder's enemy or a spy, she was an ally, a friend. They were getting closer and he was trusting her more which made it more and more difficult to deny the feelings she felt for him.

Her feelings were also the source of much confusion. There was no doubt that she'd fallen in love with Red as Kat in Hawaii but she seemed to be falling in love with Fox Mulder all over again with every day they spent together.

Dana was also confused about what she should do about Kat, their daughter. Kat was no longer her precious baby girl, she was starting to ask questions about her father. Dana was torn between telling Kat the truth or waiting to see what happened between herself and Mulder. She knew that if Kat and Mulder were ever in the same room together, they would both know instantly. Kat was very obviously Fox Mulder's daughter. The resemblance was startling. Same eyes, same hair, same puppy-dog expression used to win Dana over.

Dana sighed and kissed her sleeping daughter's head. She wondered just how long she could keep Kat a secret from Mulder. Subconsciously, she wondered how long she and Mulder could deny the feelings they obviously had for each other and how long they could ignore the attraction they obviously felt or their past together. In her heart, she hoped it wouldn't be too late before they acknowledged it and acted on it.


AT THE SAME TIME

Mulder sat on the couch in his apartment. He was alone, as usual and as usual, his mind was focused on his red-headed partner.

He was amazed at her appearance. Even after all those years, she still looked as beautiful as she had then. Something was different, though. Something he couldn't quite put his finger on.

After a few weeks of being partners with her, he'd realized that she had recognized him and knew from the look she sometimes got in her eyes that she knew he remembered her. He wondered why she had chosen to keep quiet and why she'd tried to pretend she didn't remember him.

Mulder sighed. There were so many things about the woman Kat, his Kat, had turned into that he still didn't know. But he wanted to find them out, he wanted to someday find out everything he could about Dana Scully and the woman she'd become. A sly grin formed on his lips as he remembered some of the things he did know about her, the personal things he'd learnt about Kat that he knew he'd never forget.

Someday, he promised himself, we'll be that close again. And once we're together again, I'm never going to let her go. With that thought in mind, Mulder slowly fell asleep, allowing himself to dream of a future with Dana Scully, something he hadn't let himself do in a very long time.



Chapter Five

A FEW YEARS LATER

Dana was sitting in the dark, in her daughter's bedroom. Kat was sleeping, tired of the day's events. It had been a busy day, celebrating Kat's birthday with lots of friends and family. Dana sighed, Kat had turned 7 today, it seemed like it was only yesterday that she was born and now she was 7 already. The years seemed to fly.

Dana's mind drifted off to the memories of Hawaii. Despite the time that had passed since that holiday, she could still see them in her mind, as if the holiday had been last year instead of nearly 8 years ago. But there were also new memories, memories made during the 5 years she had been working with Mulder.

5 years and he still didn't know the truth about her real life, a life in which she was so much more than Special Agent Dana Scully, partner of Spooky Mulder, in which there was a little girl to take care off, her daughter, their daughter. At work there was Mulder and when she got home, a walking and talking little copy of him.

When she had first been assigned to work on the X-files, she hadn't want to, the reason she had decided to join the FBI, was to be able to spend enough time with Kat. Working in the field would change that of course, she had been determined to request a transfer back to the academy as soon as possible. That was until she had met her partner, after that she knew that she couldn't leave. Not again. Destiny had brought them back together.

Her family and Caitlin hadn't understand her decision to stay, she had been so determined not to. She couldn't explain it to them. If she would have, they would have tried to convince her to tell him. She didn't want that. She didn't want him to come back to her, because he felt he had to. She only wanted him to come back when he loved her.

Two years later she had been abducted, they still didn't know what exactly had happened, she had been missing for a month. Even in those days Mulder hadn't found out about his daughter. Her mother had told Kat that her mother was on a long holiday, the girl had only been 4 years old at that time. Too young to understand what was going on. When she had been in the hospital, everybody had agreed that it would be better not to bring Kat there, it might have scared her.

Her mother and sister had met Mulder. They had recognized him immediately of course, not even because of the photos they had seen, but because of the amazing resemblance with Katherine. They hadn't talked to him about it, but after Dana's recovery they had confronted her, full with questions, wanting answers.

She had told them the truth, that he was Katherine's father, but that she hadn't told him that, not yet. They had tried to convince her otherwise, saying that he had the right to know. She had agreed on that, knew that she had to tell him some day, but only when the time was right. And now it was 2,5 years later and she still hadn't told him. She knew she had to tell him, before it was too late, before they would find out themselves.

Time was never going to be right anymore. There had been one moment when the time had been right, the day she met him again, but she hadn't told him. That couldn't be changed, now it was too late for the right time, but not too late for the truth. So that evening, while she was sitting in the dark of Kat's room, she decided that she would tell him, soon.

At that moment the doorbell rang. She wondered who it was, since it was pretty late already. She heard voices whispering in the hall and suddenly recognized a very familiar voice. Mulder. What was he doing here?

Before he could come upstairs, she walked downstairs. Two faces turned in her direction, when they heard footsteps on the stairs. Her mother looked at her, worried, but Dana remained calm.

"Mulder, what are you doing here?" she asked, calmer then she actually was, her heart beating faster than normal.

"Scully I'm sorry to disturb you, but Skinner wants us to go to New York. Several people have been murdered and the local PD called in the FBI, because they can't solve the case."

"But why do we have to go there? This isn't an X-file, is it?"

He shrugged. "I don't know, all I know is that Skinner insisted that we'd go there."

"When?"

"As soon as possible, that's why I am here, I hope I'm not ruining any plans?"

Actually he was, she had promised Kat not too leave before the morning. She looked at her mother, not knowing what to do. Her mother nodded. "You go honey, I'll explain."

She still hesitated "I don't know, I promised."

Mulder looked from his partner to her mother, he had no idea what they were talking about. "Scully if you can't come I'll understand, I'll explain it to Skinner."

"No, no, it's okay, just let me get a few things."

"Okay" he stood in the hallway, while she ran upstairs to pack her bag. Her mother tried to keep the conversation going, but he felt a little uncomfortable, dropping in like this, disturbing Scully's plans. He had no idea why, but he felt like he had just discovered a whole other part of Scully's life, although he had no idea what it could be, he knew everything about her life, didn't he?

Dana was all packed, she walked into Kat's bedroom. Kissing her sleeping daughter on her forehead and taking one last look, she walked downstairs, where Mulder was waiting. Taking one look at him, made her realize that he was feeling uncomfortable.

"Okay I'm ready to go."

He turned around when he heard her voice. She hugged her mother, whispering "Tell her I'll call her soon."

"Okay I will, don't worry honey, she'll be fine." Maggie Scully let go of her daughter and turned to Mulder. "It was nice seeing you again Fox."

"It was nice seeing you again to Mrs. Scully" he said politely. After that he followed Scully outside.

Walking to the car, Mulder asked again "Are you sure Scully, if you..."

She interrupted him, while she opened the door of the car, "It's okay Mulder, let's go."

And for the second time that evening Mulder had the feeling that she was hiding something for him, only he had no idea what that could be.



Chapter Six

The case was a nightmare. Dana sat in the car on their way to the warehouse where their murder suspect was thought to be with another two intended victims. She desperately wanted the case to be over, she had a bad feeling about it. She also wanted the case to be over by the weekend as it was a bank holiday weekend and she had been looking forward to spending it with Kat.

Dana had been planning to have the talk with Kat, the one where they talked about her father. Kat had been asking about her father a lot more than usual recently and Dana couldn't help but think it was fate. After all, she was considering telling Mulder he had a daughter.

She stifled a sigh and silently contemplated him as he drove. He seemed a little uptight tonight, his shoulders were tense and his jaw was firmly set. Dana wondered what was wrong, if he had the same feeling about the case as she did. She didn't manage to stifle another sigh, earning a concerned look.

"You okay, Scully?" Mulder asked, glancing over at her for a moment before turning his attention back to the road.

"I'm fine, Mulder." Her reply was predictable but he nodded and they lapsed into silence again. Dana used the time to study him again. She still found it amazing, the resemblance Kat bore to her father was astonishing. Same beautiful eyes, same mischievous sparkle, Dana had to bite her lip to keep from sighing again. They had another thing in common, she loved them both.

"Scully?" Mulder's voice sliced through her thoughts. "We're here."

Dana was jolted rather abruptly into reality. She realized the car had stopped and they were parked around the back of a big warehouse.

"Let's get this over with," she sighed, getting out of her side of the car. Mulder walked slowly round to her side and surprised her by laying a hand on her arm. "Mulder, are you okay?"

"I just want to say sorry, for interrupting your plans," Mulder murmured, his voice low. "You could have stayed..."

"Someone needs to be around to keep you out of trouble, Mulder." Her lips curved in a soft smile as she gazed at him, it was so easy to see why she'd fallen in love with him twice. He was so sweet and..... Her thoughts trailed off as they started to make their entrance into the warehouse. A sudden wave of fear washed over her and she grabbed onto his arm. He turned to her his eyes searching hers in the dimly lit warehouse.

"Mulder, I .... Something's not right, I don't want to do this. Something's going to happen, I can feel it."

"You're just nervous, Scully," Mulder whispered reassuringly. "It's gonna be okay, we've done this before."

Dana stayed silent as they walked deeper into the warehouse. She knew in her heart that something wasn't right.

The next few moments passed in silence. They simultaneously froze to the spot on hearing a voice, the voice of a mad man.

"Then my father died and left him all the money," their murder suspect was saying. Mulder nodded to Dana, they had the right man.

The murderer, Raymond Leyson, had been adopted when he was a child. He had been adopted into a very wealthy family but his adopted father and him had never seen eye-to-eye. When Leyson's adopted mother had died, his father had beat him. And then when he died, he left everything to Leyson's brother so he was broke, angry and very bitter. That was why Leyson liked torturing business men with too much money for their own sense. He kidnapped their wives, girlfriends and children and beat them until they died.

"And I was left to fend for myself," Leyson continued. Mulder nodded to Dana again, signaling it was time for them to make their whereabouts known if they wanted to save the two kidnapped victims from any more harm.

"Federal Agents!" Mulder yelled, emerging from the darkness with long, confident strides. "Put the gun down!"

Dana followed, stepping a little nearer to the intended victims. Her stomach lurched as she saw them both covered in blood. One of them was the wife of businessman Andy Peters, the other was his son. Dana gritted her teeth at the sight. The boy, Reese, was only seven. Like Kat.

"You can't save them, you know," Leyson taunted, moving in what seemed to be him slowly putting the gun down. "They've lost a lot of blood."

"My partner's a medical doctor, Mister Leyson. I'm sure she can help them," Mulder retorted, a note of pride in his voice.

"Partner. You're important to her and she's important to you?" Leyson didn't wait for an answer. He raised his gun and fired.

The whole thing seemed to go by as a blur to Dana. Mulder wasn't looking at Leyson, he was looking at her. He thought Leyson was going to stick to his pattern and shoot her. He didn't.

Mulder wore an expression of surprise as the force of the bullet sent him backwards. Dana wasted no time in aiming at Leyson and firing. She showed no remorse as he gave out a cry of pain before falling to the floor. She dialed for back up as she leaned over Mulder. She tore a piece of cloth from her jacket and pressed it on his chest wound. Beads of sweat broke out on his forehead as he drained of color.

"Go... Go make sure they're okay," he managed to choke out. Dana reluctantly left his side to untie and tend to the Mrs. Peters and her son. Once she was sure they'd be okay, she returned to Mulder's side as ambulance sirens could be heard a few miles away.

"It's okay, Mulder," she murmured, tenderly stroking his forehead. "Just hold on, for me. Please."

"I'll try," Mulder slurred, barely managing to form his words. "For. You."

Mulder lost consciousness then. Dana felt silent tears run down her cheeks as she cradled his head. She couldn't believe it was happening, it couldn't be happening. She couldn't lose Mulder, she couldn't let Kat lose her father without even meeting him.

The ambulance eventually got there and Dana, blinded by tears, held Mulder's hand throughout the long journey to the hospital.



Chapter Seven

As soon as they arrived in the hospital, Mulder was brought into surgery. All Dana could do was wait. She sank on a chair in the waiting room, tears streaming down her face. This couldn't happen, after all the years of hiding the truth, she had been ready to tell him the truth about her life, about Kat. And now, now she didn't know what was going to happen. What if he ...?

The thoughts were flying through her head like a whirlwind. This was just too much. She couldn't handle this alone, she needed somebody to be there for her right now. She thought of calling her mother, but her mom was home with Kat, so that wasn't a very good option. Kay, I have to call Kay she thought she'll come.. She went to the phone and dialed the familiar number.

It took a few minutes before the phone was answered. "Hello?"

"Kay?" she whispered the words, but Caitlin recognized her voice immediately.

"Kat? What's wrong?"

"We.... we were in a warehouse, and....and..." Dana felt her hands shaking while she tried to explain.

"Kat? Are you still there?" Caitlin started to become really worried, something had to be terribly wrong.

"He got shot Kay, he ...." She started to cry, fortunately her friend knew immediately who Dana meant. "Which hospital are you Kat?"

"Washington County"

"I'm on my way, everything's going to be alright Kat, I'll be right there." After that Caitlin quickly hang up the phone, grabbed her car keys and drove to the hospital as fast as she could.


WASHINGTON COUNTY 45 MINUTES LATER

When Caitlin arrived at the hospital, she quickly parked the car and ran into the hospital, almost bumping into an older, bald man. She excused herself quickly and ran off again, looking for her friend, not noticing that the man went the exact same way.

She found her friend in the waiting room, hands in her face. Caitlin kneeled down in front of Dana and touched her hands "Kat?"

Dana looked up, Caitlin was taken aback by what she saw. Dana's eyes were red, the despair visible in them, the tears still streaming down her face.

"Kat, are you alright?" she tried again.

"I'm too late Kay...."

"Is he....? Caitlin hardly dared to ask. What if he was dead? How was her friend ever going to deal with that?

"No, but what if...?"

"Kat, listen to me. He's not going to die. Everything is going to be alright again."

She heard footsteps behind her and saw the man she had almost bumped into walking towards them. He looked worried too.

"Agent Scully?"

Dana looked from her friend to the man. "Sir?"

"I heard the news and came as soon as I could. How's Mulder doing?"

"They're operating on him right now, I don't know, he might ..." Dana didn't even finish, but everybody understood the meaning of her words. Caitlin said "Kat, he's not going to die"

Dana didn't even look up, when she answered, "but he could, and then it's too late Kay. I've waited too long, I should have told him."

"It's not too late, you'll get the chance to tell him."

"You think he'll be happy with her?" it was the first time that Dana had the hope, that maybe there was a chance that everything was going to be alright again.

"Of course he will."

Skinner who had thought that Dana had been talking about her feelings for Mulder, didn't understand when they started to talk about somebody else. Who was this other person? He was about to ask, when the doctor arrived. Dana jumped up when she saw him "how's he doing?"

"The operation went very well, we were able to stop the internal bleeding and to take out the bullet, his situation is stable now, he's in the recovery room."

"I want to see him."

"You can, but only for a few minutes." the doctor knew that it wouldn't stop her, if he would say that she couldn't. He brought her to Mulder's room. She hesitated a few minutes before she entered, he was lying in the hospital bed, all kind of machines bleeping around him.

She sat down next to the bed and took his hand in hers. He slowly opened his eyes. "Scully?"

A slow smile appeared on her face "Shhh, everything is going to be alright."

"What happened?"

"Leyson shot you."

"Are you alright?"

"Yes"

"Good" his eyelids became heavy again. Right before he drifted of again, she heard him whisper "stay"

Dana sat there for a very long time, looking at Mulder, knowing that she had been given another chance. The chance to tell him the truth, and this time she would tell him.


NEXT DAY

When the night had come Dana had gone to her mother's house. To sleep, but also to talk to Kat. She knew that she would have to talk to Kat, before she was going to tell Mulder about his daughter.

Telling Kat had been easier than Dana had expected it to be. Of course Kat had asked questions, but not the way Dana had thought she would. She had thought that maybe Kat would become angry, because her mother had never told her about her father before. All Kat had asked however was when her mother was going to tell her father and when she was going to meet him.

Dana had promised that she would talk to Kat's father as soon as possible, so that she could meet him. Kat had only asked one question "do you love him mommy?", a question Dana had answered with one simple word "yes".

Now she was back in the hospital, ready to talk to Mulder. No matter what the consequences would be, even if he would never talk to her again after this. She had to tell him about Kat. As Kat's father it was his right to know, to be given the choice to meet her or not.

She slowly opened the door to Mulder's room. Mulder was sitting up in his bed, talking to Skinner. He smiled when Scully walked in.

"Hi Scully."

"Hi," she greeted them. Skinner saw that his agent was nervous, he had no idea why, but she obviously looked like she wanted to talk to her partner, in private. He quickly made up an excuse and left.

Mulder hadn't notice Scully's nervousness until now.

"Scully?"

"Yes?"

"Is there something you want to tell me?"

"Yes, but I..."

"Is it so difficult, you know you can tell me anything don't you?" He looked in her eyes, wondering why she was so nervous. He had never seen his partner like this before.

"I know, but I'm afraid you won't like me that much anymore after I tell you this."

His eyes softened. "Scully, no matter what you're going to tell me, I'll always like you. You know why?"

"No," she whispered.

"Because it's hard not to like the person you love."

Her jaw dropped and she stuttered "You... you love me?"

"I've always loved you. Ever since ..." he paused for a moment, smiling while he thought of their holiday on Hawaii.

"Hawaii," she finished for him.

"Yes ever since then. Somehow it never stopped, I wanted to and I tried, but I couldn't forget." He looked at her, she smiled, and he knew she hadn't forgotten neither.

"I love you too." She still smiled, for a moment forgetting why she had come here today, when he leaned over to kiss her. For a moment she was back in time, back to that holiday, back to what they were. But then she remembered again why she was here. She stopped and moved back.

He looked worried. "Scully what's wrong?"

"Nothing, but I really need to tell you something. It's really important that you just listen okay?"

"Okay, I promise." This really seemed to be very important to her.

"Okay, Mulder I..."



Chapter Eight

"I..." Dana broke off and walked away from him. She stood by the window, her back to him as she closed her eyes and summoned the strength to continue. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. She turned back towards him and gazed at her hands. "This is going to come as a shock to you, Mulder. And I'm so sorry I haven't said anything sooner."

"Just tell me," Scully, he encouraged her, reaching out with his hand. Dana took it and stood beside him, holding his hand tightly.

"I've been keeping something from you, something I regret doing now." She looked down at their entwined fingers, guilty tears stinging her eyes. "I... We have a daughter, Mulder. From Hawaii. I got home and I found out I was pregnant and..." She broke off, trying to catch her breath after the outburst. "I'm so sorry, I should have told you. I just didn't want Kat getting hurt, she knows all about you and..."

"Shh," Mulder stopped her from going on by softly laying a finger over her lips. "Calm down. Take me through that again. Slowly." His expression registered his surprise and mild confusion.

Dana took a deep breath. "We have a daughter, Katherine Dakota. She goes by Kat, though," she told him softly. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you. She knows all about you, though. I told her and she wants to meet you." She started to pull away. "I'd understand if you were mad at me for keeping it from you all these years but I don't want Kat to suffer for that. She wants to meet you and you have a right to see her, I don't want you being angry with me coming between you and Kat."

"It won't, I'm not mad at you," Mulder answered slowly, keeping a firm grip on her hand so she couldn't pull away completely. "I love you, I loved you as Kat and I love you now. Nothing will ever change that. And I'd love to meet Kat, our daughter. I...I'm not angry, Dana. I actually understand, in a way, why you kept it from me. It isn't until now that we've both been honest with each other about how we feel."

"I still should have told you, I've kept you and Kat apart when you could have spent time getting to know each other," Dana apologized. "I was just so scared. I wasn't sure how you'd react when we first met and then after that, there never seemed to be a right time. And I thought that by telling you about Kat, I would be putting her in danger and I could lose your friendship. I was being selfish, I guess."

"No, you weren't. You were just being a Mom who loves her daughter enough to want to protect her," he protested, shaking his head.

"I didn't want to lose you, either," she murmured quietly.

"You won't ever lose me." Mulder brought her hand up to his lips and kissed her knuckles softly. "I promise."

"I almost lost you yesterday," she responded, paling slightly at the memory. "It made me realize I had to tell you, no matter how it affected me. I couldn't deprive Kat of her father or you of your daughter."

"Well, if it's forgiveness you're looking for, you've got it." He grinned boyishly before tugging on her hand and pulling her closer. "And now I've got you again, I'm never letting you or Kat go." With that, Mulder leaned in and kissed her lovingly. They lingered like that for a while until Dana pulled away.

"I'll go and get Kat, she's so excited about meeting you," she explained on seeing his slightly disappointed look. "I'll be back soon, Mom and Kat should be here in a few minutes if they're not already outside with Caitlin."

"Caitlin? Jim's Caitlin? You already told them to come to the hospital?" Mulder looked surprised. Dana only shrugged.

"I told you, I had to tell you today. And I called Kay as soon as I got to the hospital, she's still one of my best friends." She smiled. "Be back soon."

"Good." He grinned happily. "Oh, and Scully?"

"Yeah?" Dana stopped with her hand on the door handle.

"Kat's name. Very sweet and very fitting," he told her honestly.

Dana left the room without saying a thing, a small smile playing on her lips. She walked quickly to the waiting area where she was almost immediately met by Kat. The moment Kat saw her mother, she got up and ran to her, her arms open wide.

"Mommy!" Kat squealed. "Have you told Daddy yet?" Both Maggie Scully, Kat and Caitlin wore expectant expressions. Dana smiled warmly.

"Yeah, I told him. I was brave," she reassured them, rolling her eyes as they breathed a collective sigh of relief. Dana knelt down so she was at her daughter's eye level. "He really wants to meet you, Kat. Are you ready?"

"Yep," Kat nodded enthusiastically, wearing the same look of excitement as her father. Dana smiled and took her hand. "Will he like me?"

"He'll love you, he already does love you," Dana answered softly. "Just like I love you."

"Does he love you?" Kat's hazel eyes shone with hope.

Yeah, he does, Dana's smile widened. We'd better go, he's waiting.

Dana straightened and held Kats hand as she led her down the hall into Mulder's room. Maggie and Caitlin followed slowly, planning on watching the meeting through the small window in the door.


Dana opened the door and followed Kat into the room, her heart pounding in anticipation. She shut the door behind them and watched as Mulder and Kat gazed at each other nervously.

"Kat, this is your father. Mulder, this is Kat, our daughter," Dana introduced them, her voice catching in her throat slightly.

"Hi, Kat," Mulder spoke first, sensing his daughter's nervousness was greater than his own. "It's nice to meet you."

"You're really my Daddy, aren't you?" Kat took a few hesitant steps closer.

"Yes, I am." He nodded, fighting the urge to bite his lip. He was amazed at how much like him Kat looked.

"Hi." Kat smiled the same shy smile he knew belonged to her mother and stepped closer. With the grace of a seven year old, Kat climbed on her father's hospital bed. Dana felt her eyes well up with tears as she watched her Mulder and their daughter hug for the first time. I love you, Daddy.

"I love you too, Sweetheart." Mulder grinned, his heart feeling as though it was about to burst with the amount of love he felt for the young girl in his arms and her mother, standing a few feet away. He looked up at Dana and saw her biting her lip, obviously near tears and still feeling a little guilty. "Aren't you going to join in, Dana? Seems like a family moment to me."

"Yeah, Mommy. Hug!" Kat smiled happily at her Mom and the smile grew bigger as Dana moved over to them and joined in. Kat closed her eyes as she was embraced by both of her parents so she missed her father and her mother mouth the words 'I love you' as they both fought back tears.


AN HOUR OR SO LATER.

Maggie Scully was still standing outside the room. She was alone as Caitlin had gone home. She had gone in the room after Caitlin had left and she'd spent some time talking and playing with her family, thrilled that Mulder now saw himself as part of the family, something the rest she'd thought for years.

Maggie sighed happily. Her granddaughter was still sitting on her father's knee and Dana was sitting on the bed beside them. Mulder had an arm around Kat and an arm around Dana and Kat was chatting on as if they'd always been together as a family.

"Mrs. Scully?" the voice startled her and she was surprised to find she'd been joined by Assistant Director Walter Skinner. She turned to him with a smile.

"Mr. Skinner, hello," she greeted him softly.

"Walter, please," Skinner smiled back and peered in the window before doing a double take. "Is... I didn't know...Who's child is that? Mulder's? And Scully's? I didn't know," Skinner's voice trailed off as he frowned in confusion. "What's going on?"

"That's Kat, my granddaughter and Mulder's daughter. They met for the first time today." Maggie grinned proudly. Fox and Dana, they met a long time ago in Hawaii. That was where they fell in love for the first time and Kats the result.

And then they met up and fell in love again, he finished for her. There were a few moments of silence as Maggie and Skinner watched through the window. "So, they're together now?"

"Will that be a problem?" Maggie asked, suddenly concerned about the future of her daughter and the man she already saw as a son.

"Nothing we can't work around," Skinner assured her. "So, they're together?"

"Yes, they're a family." Maggie smiled. At last. Mulder and Dana, unaware that they were the center of attention, shared a knowing smile as Kat chatted on. Everything would be all right. Fate had brought them together twice and they were both determined not to lose each other again.

Mulder looked from his daughter to Dana. He finally understood why it felt like she was hiding something from him and he now had the family he'd been dreaming about. And he knew in his heart that nothing would separate them. Being together was their destiny.

The End




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