Unreasonable Facsimile 
Author: Deenalynn
E-Mail: dee@sunwave.net
Rating: R for language
Spoilers: Assumes knowledge through season six
Keywords: MSR
Category: SRA
Archive: Yes, please.
Feedback: Yes, please!
Disclaimer: The characters in this story belong to Chris Carter,
1013 Productions, and Fox Broadcasting. I am none of the
above.
Missing parts may be found at Deenalynn's Fanfic Corner
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Quasar/5783/index.html

Summary: What do you do, when everything you are turns out to be
a lie?


Unreasonable Facsimile 
by Deenalynn


Colville, Washington
October 19
6:30 a.m.


Lisa Miller rolled over in bed and reached for her husband.
Finding the space beside her empty, she sat up. "Nick?"

"Over here," the shadow by the window answered.

"What's wrong?" Lisa asked, concern evident in her voice.

"I'm not sure. I had another bizarre dream." Nick rubbed his
eyes tiredly. "This one was even stranger than the last one." He
looked into his wife's puzzled eyes and grinned. "I think I
should consider changing my before bed eating habits." He got up
and came to the bed. Sitting down beside his wife, he said, "I
didn't mean to wake you. That's why I got out of bed."

"It's okay. I always have trouble sleeping when you're not beside
me." Lisa reached up and brushed her husband's cheek. "Besides
that, I have a doctor's appointment at 8:30." This was punctuated
by a broad smile.

"So, today's the day?"

"Yup!" They shared a delighted grin. "God, Nicky, I can't
believe we are finally going to be parents."

Nick took his wife's hand. "Lees . . ."

"I know, Nicky. I'm trying not to get my hopes up. Last time
just about killed me. I just have a really good feeling. I
know the home test didn't lie this time. I just *know* I'm
pregnant." Lisa bounced out of bed. "Let's get going. I don't
want to be late for this appointment," she said as she dashed
into the bathroom.

Nick shook his head and refrained from mentioning that they had
almost two hours, and the doctor's office was less than fifteen
minutes away. Getting up off the bed, he joined his wife in the
bathroom.


Baltimore, Maryland
October 19
9:45 a.m.


Margaret Scully dialed the phone. It was a number she regretted
having had to commit to memory. 

"Assistant Director Skinner's office, how may I help you?" 
Walter Skinner's executive assistant answered on the first ring.

"Hello, Kimberly. It's Margaret Scully. Is Mr. Skinner
available?"

"Of course, Mrs. Scully, I'll put you through."

A moment later Margaret heard the deep voice of Walter Skinner. 
"Hello, Margaret, how are you this morning?"

"Hello, Walter, I just wanted to check in before I leave." She
then asked the same question she had been asking him every second
day for the past four months. "Have you heard anything?"

And he had the same answer. "I'm sorry, Margaret, there's been no
news." Skinner wasn't sure which he hated more, the question or
the silence that followed his answer.

Margaret Scully closed her eyes and sighed. "I knew, that I guess. 
I know you would call me immediately, but I just need to *do*
something. I am sorry to bother you at work."

"It's not a bother, Margaret. I know how helpless you must feel. 
You're going to stay with your son for a while?"

"Yes. Only for a couple of weeks. I need to be with family. You
have the numbers where I can be reached?"

"I have both Bill's number and your cell number. If I hear
*anything*, I'll call." 

"Thank you, Walter. Goodbye."

"Have a safe trip, Margaret."

Margaret hung up the phone and sat heavily on the couch. In the
four months since her daughter, Dana, had disappeared, along with
her partner, Fox Mulder, Margaret had come to know their boss,
Walter Skinner, very well. She knew that he was doing everything
in his power to find her daughter, but she also knew that it was
as though they had vanished off the face of the earth.

On the night of June 23, Special Agents Dana Scully and Fox
Mulder had simply vanished from their apartments. There were no
signs of a struggle, their weapons and identifications had been
right where they had left them the night before. No fingerprints
or any other forensic evidence had been found at the scenes. 
There was nothing to tell anyone what had happened to the two
agents.


Colville, Washington
October 19
8:45 a.m.


"Well, Lisa, it looks like you did it." Dr. Richard Norris smiled
at the excited couple. "You're pregnant."

Lisa gasped and turned to her husband, "Oh . . . Oh, my God!
Nicky? We did it. We're going to have a baby!" Her voice had
risen in pitch and lowered in volume so she whispered the last.

Nick grinned broadly at his ecstatic wife, then grabbed her into a
tight hug. He could feel the sobs wracking her slender frame. 
"Hey? C'mon, Angel, don't cry, please." He tilted his head until
he could see her eyes. "You know I can't stand it when you cry,
even happy tears."

Lisa offered up a soggy smile. "I just . . . I wanted this so
much. I don't think I ever really believed it was going to
happen." 

Nick brushed her bright red hair back from her face. "There is no
one on earth who deserves to be a mother more than you do, Angel. 
It's only right that you get the chance." He placed a hand low on
her abdomen. "I can hardly believe our baby is in there."

"Talk to me again in seven months, when I'm as big as a house and
you are my willing slave."

"You'll be beautiful."

Dr. Norris interrupted the happy couple, "I would like to schedule
your first ultrasound for as soon as possible." He held up his
hand. "Nothing to worry about. I just want to take a look."

"I'm available any day after 3:30. If it's necessary, I can
have someone else take my classes for a day." Lisa turned to
Nick. "I'm going to have to arrange for maternity leave!" 

"Yeah, your kids aren't going to be too happy about that. They're
going to miss you." Nick had to smile at the pure unadulterated
joy shining in his wife's bright blue eyes. This had been
something they had wanted for a very long time.

Lisa hopped down off the exam table. "I wanna go buy baby stuff."

"I hate to break this to you, Lisa, but the baby won't be here for
about seven months." The doctor grinned at his excited patient.

"I know! But if I go out and buy something then it will seem more
real. I'll be able to believe this is finally happening to us.
We've waited so long."

Nick looked at the doctor and shrugged. "I'm not going to argue
with her. Especially now that she has that convenient hormone
excuse." He ducked as his wife took a swing at him.

"You two get out of here and go shopping. Lisa, I'll have Shannon
call you and let you know when your appointment is for the
ultrasound." The doctor watched the happy couple leave the exam
room, and picked up the phone. "It's done. She's pregnant," he
said to the person who answered.

"Very good, Doctor, please keep me updated on her progress."

"Of course." Dr. Norris hung up the phone and smiled.


Colville, Washington
October 20
3:38 a.m.


Nick Miller sat bolt upright in bed, breathing hard and sweating. 
Beside him his wife stirred awake.

"Nick? What is it?" Lisa placed her hand on his back and rubbed
gently.

Nick shook his head to help clear the cobwebs. "These dreams are
getting weirder and weirder, Lees."

"What was this one about?" 

"I . . . hmm, I was in a sewer."

"What?"

"Oh, that's not the best part. I was chasing some sort of
man-sized slug thing."

Lisa wasn't sure how well her husband would react if she laughed
at this point. "Uh, Nicky."

"I know, Lisa, but this thing feels real. It is a danger and I'm
afraid of it."

"I'm sure man-sized slug things are really very scary, but it is
just a dream, babe. C'mere, lie down." She pulled him until his
head rested on her chest. "Close your eyes and think nice
thoughts. Think about our baby, and how much fun we're gonna have
decorating the nursery."

Nick let his wife's gentle hands soothe him and he closed his eyes
and was soon asleep.

Lisa, however, wasn't so lucky. In the twelve years she had been
married to Nick, he had never had nightmares. Now, almost every
night, he was plagued by them. Some were a little difficult to
take seriously, like the sewer slug or the chicken farming
cannibals, but others were more disturbing. The ones in which he
couldn't find her were the worst for both of them. He dreamed she
had been taken from him and no one would help him find her. On
those nights neither one of them got much sleep.

 ****
 
When Nick and Lisa walked into the teacher's lounge at the high
school they could instantly feel that something terrible had
happened. "What's going on?" Nick asked Jason Tyler, another
English teacher.

"Kelly Dobson has disappeared."

"What? What do you mean disappeared?" Lisa exclaimed. Kelly was
one of her best students.

"Evidently, she got a ride home from a man she works with at the
restaurant. She never arrived. This was two nights ago. Her mom
called the cops that night and they have declared her officially
missing." Tyler ran his hand over his face. "Things like this
aren't supposed to happen here."

"What did the man she got a ride with have to say?" Nick asked.

"That's just it. He's gone too. The FBI has been called in from
Seattle and they are treating it as a kidnapping," Tyler said
quietly. "They want to speak to all of her teachers. You both
had her in your AP classes, didn't you?"

"Yeah. She's a good kid, very bright," Lisa answered for both of
them. "When do the FBI types want to talk to us?"

"They are getting her class list together right now and are going
to be contacting each of you sometime today."

"God, I can't believe this is happening. We're supposed to be
safe in our nice small town. This type of thing happens in the
big city, not here." Lisa turned and leaned against her husband. 

Nick rubbed her arm comfortingly. "They'll find her. That's why
they called in the FBI, so they can find her quickly. We have to
make sure we look after the kids in our classes. They're all
going to be scared and upset."

Later that day Nick had just finished an English class when there
was a knock on the classroom door. "Mr. Miller?" It was Dorothy
Ellis, the school secretary. "The FBI agents would like to speak
to you now if you have a moment."

"I have a class this block, Ms. Ellis."

"Yes, I know. Mr. Parker is taking it for you."

"Good, then where do they want to speak to me?"

"They're waiting for you in Mrs. Draper's office." Liz Draper
was the principal of the school.

"Tell them I'll be there right away." Nick finished putting his
papers in his satchel and headed for the offices.

When Nick entered the office, the two FBI agents seated at the
desk looked as though they had seen a ghost. "Oh, for Christ's
sake, what the hell is going on here?" One of the men came around
the desk and approached Nick. "What are you doing here, Mulder?"

"I'm sorry, were you expecting someone else? I'm Nick Miller, I
was told you wanted to speak to me. Kelly Dobson was in my
English class." Nick backed away when the FBI agent came even
closer.

"What the hell is going on here, Mulder? Last I heard you and
that pretty partner of yours had vanished into thin air." Dale
Laurence had worked with Fox Mulder on a case in Seattle a few
years before. He knew he wasn't mistaken.

"I'm sorry . . . ?"

"Special Agent Dale Laurence. We've worked together!"

"As I said, I'm sorry, Special Agent Laurence, but I'm afraid
you've mistaken me for someone else." Nick looked to the other
man.

Kyle Adams had never met Fox Mulder, but every agent in the Bureau
knew about the two missing agents and Kyle had seen pictures of
the man. If this wasn't Fox Mulder, he was his double. Dale
turned to his partner. "Adams, get the Bureau online. Let's show
Mr. *Miller* what we're talking about." Laurence wasn't sure what
Mulder was up to, but he knew the guy had a rather unusual
reputation.

"Here we go. Mr. *Miller*, would you care to take a look?" 

Nick was getting a little fed up with Agent Laurence's attitude. 
Deciding that the best way to get rid of him was to take a look at
whatever it was they had pulled up on the computer, he was
shocked to see a picture of himself. "Wha . . . ?" He looked
again. It appeared to be a bulletin about the disappearance of
this man Mulder and his partner. Evidently they were both FBI
agents and had been missing for several months. "Do-- do you
have a picture of his partner?"

"I don't know what you're up to, Mulder--"

"DO YOU HAVE A PICTURE?" Nick was starting to lose his cool.

"Yeah. Here we go, the lovely Dr. Dana Scully."

There on the screen was a picture of Lisa. "Oh, God, what the
hell is going on here? How is this possible?" Nick turned away
from the screen. "This isn't possible. Her name isn't Dana
Scully. It's Lisa Miller and she's not a doctor or a special
agent. She's a science teacher and my wife." He turned
tear-filled eyes on the two FBI agents. "I, um, I'm not sure 
what . . ."

"You had better sit down, Mr. Miller." Adams flashed a look at
his partner. "Would you like me to send someone to get your
wife?"

"NO! I'm sorry, please, no, I don't want to upset her. We just
found out . . . Just leave her alone for now."

Adams nodded at his partner and they moved into the outer office. 
"I don't think he's playing us, Laurence. Did you see the look on
his face when that picture of Scully came up?"

"Yeah, I know, but then what the hell is going on here?" Dale
Laurence was beginning to feel like he was in over his head.

"I have no idea. But I think I know who can help." Adams pulled
out his cell phone and dialed a number. 

"Put me through to Assistant Director Skinner please."
 
"Special Agent Kyle Adams." 

"Tell him it's an emergency." 

"Tell him it's about Mulder and Scully." 

"Thank you."

"Sir, my name is Special Agent Kyle Adams, and I work out of the
Seattle office."

"Yes, Adams, reception said that this was about Mulder and
Scully." Skinner didn't waste any time.

"Yes, Sir, I believe we've found them, Sir."

"Where are you, Adams?" Skinner was already reaching for his
other phone. "Are they alive?"

"Yes, Sir, very much so. But there is a problem."

This was not what Skinner wanted to hear. "What is the problem,
Adams?"

"Well, Sir, Agent Mulder seems to think he's an English teacher
named Nick Miller and that Agent Scully is his wife, Lisa."

There was silence on Skinner's end for a moment. "Where exactly
are you, Adams?"

"We're in Colville, Washington, Sir. My partner and I are here
looking for a missing girl."

"I will be there this evening, Adams. Please keep Mulder and
Scully under constant supervision. I don't want them disappearing
again. You got that, Agent?"

"Yes, Sir, we won't let them out of our sight, Sir." Adams heard
the click as Skinner ended the call. He turned to Laurence. "AD
Skinner is on his way here. He wants us to babysit Mulder and
Scully until he gets here."

"What the hell is going on here, Kyle?" 

"Hopefully, the AD can help explain when he gets here." He turned
back towards the office. "Meanwhile we best round up *Mrs.
Miller* and get our charges somewhere safe to wait for the AD."

Nick looked up as the two agents re-entered the room. "Would you
like to explain this to me now?"

"I wish we could Mul- Mr. Miller. We've contacted someone
who should be able to help. He'll be here this evening."

"Who?"

"His name is Walter Skinner. He's an Assistant Director with the
Bureau, and he's your boss." Adams sat in the chair next to Nick. 
"Look, Mr. Miller, I don't know what's happening here, but we need
to get your part- wife and get you somewhere safe." 
 
"How can any of this be? I know where I've been all my life. I
know where I grew up, where I went to school, when Lisa and I got
married. Oh, God, Lisa. This is going to kill her. We just
found out she's pregnant." He covered his face with his hands.

The two agents looked at each other. This was an interesting
complication.

 ****

Lisa watched as her husband approached. She had known and loved
this man since she was fourteen years old, and there was something
very wrong. "Nick, what is it? What's the matter?" She became
even more alarmed when Nick grabbed her and buried his face in her
hair. "Nicky, you're scaring me."

Nick pulled back and looked into his wife's frightened eyes. "I
want you to promise me something, Angel." 

"Anything, you know that."

"Promise me that you'll remember how *much* I love you. Don't
ever forget that, okay?"

"Nick, what is it? Who are these men?" Lisa noticed the two
agents for the first time.

"These are Special Agents Adams and Laurence, they're with the
FBI." Nick took her hand. "Angel, we need to talk. The agents
are going to take us somewhere safe, and I will explain everything
to you then."

"Why do we need to go somewhere safe? Nick, what the hell is
going on?"

"Age- Mrs. Miller, please, I promise we will explain. As
soon as we get you somewhere safe." Adams reached for her.

"NO! I want to go to my own home!" Lisa pulled away and stepped
closer to her husband.

"Lisa, I think it's best if we listen to the agents. C'mon,
Angel, let's go."

Lisa looked at her husband. She could see the terror in his eyes. 
"Okay, fine, where are we going?"

"We're staying at the Comfort Inn. We'll go there." Adams
followed them out the door.


Colville Comfort Inn
Colville, Washington
October 20
3:25 p.m.


Lisa Miller stared at her husband in stunned disbelief. 
"You have got to be kidding me." She turned to look at the FBI
agents. "I don't know who you two think we are, but you are dead
wrong."

Adams and Laurence had contacted the Seattle field office
requesting other agents to look into the kidnapping of Kelly
Dobson and were now seated in a motel room trying to convince 
a woman that she wasn't who she thought she was. "Look, Mrs. 
Miller, I know this sounds unbelievable, but I have met Fox
Mulder, and the man you call Nick Miller is him." Laurence was
beginning to worry about the woman. She looked awfully pale.

"You are not listening to me, Agent Laurence. I have a life that
I remember very clearly. My childhood, my adolescence, my
adulthood, and there are no empty spots where I could have been
someone else for a while." Lisa couldn't understand why her
husband had given credence to what these two obviously disturbed
individuals were saying.

"As soon as Agent Adams gets his laptop connected, we'll show
you the information we showed your husband."

"Done," Adams said from the table in the corner. "Just give me a
sec to get connected to our database."

Lisa went to stand by the window. From this vantage point she
could watch Nick unobserved. There was something in his eyes that
disturbed her even more than the fact that he believed this
nonsense, something she wasn't sure she wanted to identify.

"Okay, we're in. Mrs. Miller, would you care to take a seat?" 
Adams pulled out another chair at the table and Lisa sat down. 
"About four months ago, every agent in the Bureau received a
bulletin about two of our own who had gone missing. I'm going to
show you that bulletin, okay?"

Lisa nodded and looked at the screen. "Oh-- how-- I mean--?" She
looked up at Nick and then back at the pictures on the computer. 
It was her, and the other was definitely Nick, right down to the
mole on his cheek. "How is this possible . . . ? Our 
memories . . . ?"

"I'm not sure, ma'am. Maybe when AD Skinner gets here he can help
us figure it all out." Adams got up from the table and signaled
his partner to join him in the connecting room, leaving the
Millers alone.

Lisa turned tear-filled eyes on her husband. "Nicky?"

Nick knelt by her side and pulled her into his arms. "I don't
know, Angel. I just don't know."

Three and a half hours later there was a knock on the FBI agents'
door. Adams opened it to find a large bald man scowling at him.
"Can I help you?"

"I certainly hope so, Agent Adams," Walter Skinner answered.

"Assistant Director Skinner?" The man nodded. "Come in." Adams
stepped aside and let the AD pass.

Skinner wasted no time. "Where are they?"

"They're next door, Sir." Skinner headed for the connecting door. 
"Sir? If you could hold up for a moment. There are a couple of
things I think you should know before you go in there."

"Yes, what is it, Adams?"

"Please, Sir, have a seat."

Skinner sighed and sat down. "What is so bad that I have to be
seated, Agent Adams?"

"Sir, Lisa Miller is pregnant."

Skinner just stared at the man.

"She also refuses to believe that she is anyone other than Lisa
Miller. Her hus- partner seems a little more willing to
believe us, but she absolutely refuses."

"At least some things never change." Skinner had to smile at
that. Then he thought about how he was going to explain all of
this to Margaret Scully and his smile faded. "Well, I want to see
for myself that they are my agents."

Skinner rose and knocked lightly on the door. The soft "Come in"
was a voice he was certain he'd never hear again. He opened the
door and stopped. There curled up on the bed, asleep in her
partner's arms, was Dana Scully. Skinner watched in amazement as
Fox Mulder's hazel eyes filled with tears. "It's good to see you
again, Sir."

"Agent Mulder?" Skinner came further into the room. 

"Yes, Sir."

"But Adams told me you didn't remember."

"Up until the moment you walked into this room, Sir, I didn't." 
Mulder glanced down at the woman asleep in his arms. "I just hope
seeing you brings her back too." He began to ease away from his
sleeping partner. 

"Hmm, Nicky, go back to sleep." Dana Scully snuggled closer.

"Scully? Scully, come on, wake up." Mulder shook her shoulder
gently. "Lisa?"

She opened one eye and glared at him. "Nicky, I'm tired, go
'way."

"You have to wake up now. There's someone here to see you."

She pulled back from him slightly and looked up at his face. 
"What?"

"Look who's here." He nodded in Skinner's direction.

The blank look on her face as she turned to Skinner told both men
all they needed to know. "Do I know you?"

An hour or so later Mulder entered Skinner's motel room, Adams and
Laurence having moved to other quarters to allow the AD easier
access to his agents. "She's calmed down and is resting." He ran
his hand through his hair. "I want her to see a doctor, one we
trust, as soon as we get her home." He sat at the table with the
other man.

"Why do you remember and she doesn't, Mulder?" Skinner was having
trouble getting the vision of a hysterical Dana Scully out of his
mind.

"I'm not sure. I have been dreaming about our cases all along,
maybe they just didn't do as thorough a job on me."

"Mulder, Adams told me she's pregnant. Is he right?"

"Yeah. We just found out yesterday." He turned his face away. 
"We were so happy. They made us believe that we had been trying
to conceive for years." Mulder turned back to Skinner. "What if
that's it? What if they've done something to the baby?"

"Mulder, let's not buy trouble. I am assuming that you had a
normal marital relationship?"

Mulder blushed. "Yes, Sir."

"Then who's to say this baby didn't just occur the old-fashioned
way."

"But, Sir, Scully can't have children." Mulder thought for a
moment. "Unless they did something to her when they took her. 
We've been together constantly for the past three and a half
months. There would have been no opportunity for them to
artificially implant this pregnancy."

"We'll have her examined as soon as we get her home, Mulder." 
Skinner clapped the younger man on the back. "Don't worry, we'll
take care of her."

"NICKY!" The scream came from next door.

Both men rushed through the connecting door to find Scully sitting
up on the bed, tears running down her face. "Scully, it's okay,
you're fine. Shhshh, it's okay." Mulder sat beside her on the
bed.

She pulled away from him abruptly. "Don't call me that, please,
don't, Nicky."

Mulder looked up at Skinner, "Uh, Sir?"

"I'll be in the other room if you need anything, Mulder." Skinner
glanced back at the pair on the bed. If anyone was going to get
through this it would be those two.

Lisa watched the big man leave the room then turned to face the
man beside her. "I, I-- I'm not sure what to say. Everything
feels so, so unbelievable."

"I know that, Scu- Lisa, but this is real. You are Dana
Scully, and I am Fox Mulder."

She was shaking her head before he was finished. "Maybe before I
was this Scully person, but not now. The only person I can ever
remember being is Lisa Collins Miller."

Mulder stood up and began pacing. "Look, Lisa, I know this must
be difficult--"

"Were we lovers?"

"What?" Mulder spun to face her at this unexpected query. 

"You heard me. Were you and Dana Scully lovers?"

"No! No, we weren't. We were partners, friends, that's all."

"Oh." Then something dawned on her. "You weren't, hmm, 
married to someone else were you?" That would be unbearable. 

Mulder recognised the fear in her eyes and sat beside her again.
"No, I'm not married." 

"Oh. How about a girlfriend?" Surely there was someone. 

"No, I'm not seeing anyone at the moment."

"Well, that's something anyway." At Mulder's raised eyebrow she
continued, "I'm sure a wife or girlfriend wouldn't appreciate you
returning after a four-month absence with your partner carrying
your baby." Tears began to form once again. "What's going to
happen to our baby? I mean, you're not my husband, you're not
even my lover. What's going to happen when this baby's born?"

"Are you sure you want to have this baby?" Mulder kept his voice
soft.

Lisa jerked as far away from him as possible. "How can you even
ask me that? All I've wanted for the past twelve years is to have
your child. We've cried about it and prayed about it and finding
out I was pregnant was a dream come true. Of course I want this
baby."

"Lisa, you know those memories aren't real." 

"That may well be *Agent Mulder* but they are the only memories
*I* have." 

They just stared at one another for a moment. Then Lisa broke the
stand-off. "Do you remember *anything* about Nicky?"

Mulder nodded, "Yeah, sort of. Of course I remember the last four
months but as for the rest of his life? It's more like I remember
hearing a story about someone else's life. I know what the
memories are but there is no emotion attached to them."

"Oh." She glanced away.

Mulder reached for her hand. "All of my emotional memories
involve Dana Scully."

"I'm sorry I'm not her."

Mulder gently brushed a tear from her face. "I know." He sat up
straight and smiled softly. "Why don't you try to get some
sleep?" He stood to leave.

"Agent Mulder?"

"Yeah?"

"What happens next? I mean, you have your life back, but I have
nothing. I'm not who I think I am and I'm not who I'm supposed to
be. What's going to happen to me?"

"I'm going to take you home. We will figure this out. I promise
you that." He turned out the light and left the room.

Skinner took one look at Mulder's face and made a decision. "You
need sleep."

"I'm fine, Sir." 

"You aren't going to do her or anyone else any good if you are
exhausted, Mulder. She's going to need all the support she can
get if--"

"If what? There is no if. We are going to get her memories back. 
We'll take her home to her mother. Maybe familiar surroundings
will help."

"I hope so." Skinner watched Mulder pace. "What I want to know
is how they created this in the first place. All these people,
your students, how did they get to them?"

"They didn't. Lisa and Nick Miller moved to Colville three and a
half months ago. They wanted to get away from the big city and
teach in a small town." Mulder sat again. "Neither one had any
family left so they just packed up and moved."

"How convenient."

"Isn't it though? Look, Sir, I don't know what they've done or
how they've done it, but if I can get my memory back, so can she."

"Mulder, may I ask you a personal question?"

"Of course."

Skinner looked down at the table. "What are you going to do about
the baby?"

"I asked her about that. She became understandably angry. You
have to understand, Sir, from where she stands this baby is a
dream come true. Lisa and Nick Miller have been trying for years
to become pregnant. Right now this baby is the only thing good
she has left in her life."

"But, Mulder, what happens if we get Scully back?"

"Then she and I will have to discuss what we want to do."

"What do you want, Mulder?"

Mulder couldn't meet Skinner's eyes. "That is something I will
discuss with Agent Scully, Sir. Now if you will excuse me I think
I'll turn in."

"Where are you planning on sleeping, Mulder?"

"I think it would be best if I took the other bed in her room,
Sir. She may wake up again." Mulder didn't wait for a reply. He
left through the connecting door and closed it behind him.

Fox Mulder lay in bed watching his partner. Even in sleep she
looked troubled. What am I going to do if she never remembers,
kept racing through his mind. He could understand *Lisa's*
distress. Everything she knew had been taken from her in a matter
of moments, her whole life was a lie. He, on the other hand, had
his life back. He just wasn't sure what it would be worth without
Dana Scully.

 ****

Mulder woke to something tickling his nose. He opened his eyes to 
a veil of auburn. Apparently, sometime during the night, Scu-
Lisa had switched beds. She now lay cuddled up in his arms, her
head on his chest, holding on for dear life. He began to stroke
her back and, realising what he was doing, pulled abruptly away
from her. 

His sharp movement woke the woman sleeping peacefully beside him. 
She blinked sleepily at him for a few seconds then grinned
broadly. "Well, babe, it looks like you aren't the only one
having bizarre dreams. You wouldn't believe the doozy I just
had." 

"Uh, Lisa." 

"It was so funny, there were FBI agents and a big scary bald guy
and . . ." She looked at his face. "It wasn't a dream was it?"

"I'm sorry."

She got off the bed quickly. "I barely remember waking up at
about three this morning and wondering why you were sleeping in
the other bed. I thought maybe you had another nightmare and
hadn't wanted to wake me up. It never occurred to me to wonder
why we were in a motel room. I'm sorry, Agent Mulder, if I made
you feel uncomfortable." She was babbling and she knew it, but
she was powerless to stop it.

Mulder reached out and grabbed her hand and was startled to feel
her flinch. "Lisa, please sit down."

She looked at him carefully then sat on the chair next to the bed.

"You don't make me feel uncomfortable."

She looked at him.

He smiled. "Well, a bit, but probably not for the reasons you
think. Dana Scully is my best friend. We have a very special
relationship unlike any I have ever had. It is difficult for me
to see you wearing her skin. I automatically want to treat you as
though you were her. So the problem isn't you, it's me."

She looked at him through tear-filled eyes. "Believe me, Agent
Mulder, I know what you mean."

"I know you do, and I am so very sorry for that."

They looked at each other for a few moments and finally she spoke. 
"So, what is going to happen to me? You mentioned going home. 
Where's home for Dana?"

"Washington, D.C. We work at Bureau Headquarters. You live in
Georgetown."

"Agent Mulder, is Dana Scully married?"

"No, she's single. She's not involved with anyone either."

"Does she have a family?"

"Yes. Yes, *you* do. You have a mother, who I am sure is frantic
by now, an older brother, Bill, who probably wants to kill me--
again-- and a younger brother, who will just be happy to have you
back."

"Oh. I haven't had any family for over ten years, ever since my
Dad died." She looked out the window. "I never had any brothers. 
Why would . . . Bill?" Mulder nodded. "Why would he want to kill
you?"

"Bill and I, well, we just don't mix. He has some issues 
with . . . well, just about everything about me. Mostly it's
because he loves you though, so I put up with him."

"What about the younger brother . . . ?"

"Charles. He and I get along fine. He used to live in Arlington,
so I met him early on in our partnership. He's a good guy. Has
four great kids, and adores his big sister." 

She had to smile at that. "What is it going to do to them if I
don't remember being Dana Scully?"

"We'll just have to make sure you do remember, won't we."


Crystal City, Arlington, VA.
October 21
10:25 p.m.


The condominium was beautifully appointed and more than
comfortable. Skinner had set agents at every entrance to the
building. Lisa stood staring out the large window in the living
room, waiting. Agent Mulder had promised her that he would try to
explain everything to her this evening. She wasn't all that
positive an explanation was what she wanted. All she could think
about was her very strange and unsettling day.

The flight from Colville to D.C. had been made in the comfort of
the Bureau's private jet. When Mulder had questioned Skinner
about it he would only say that rank did have a few perks. The
trip had been tense and awkward for all. Adams and Laurence
had accompanied them, Skinner wanting the extra protection for his
two wayward agents. They had immediately gone to a doctor
recommended by the Lone Gunmen. After extensive testing, she had
declared Lisa physically normal and as far as she could tell the
baby was healthy. She would want to see her later in the
pregnancy for more tests.

Mulder and Skinner had a brief argument about where they would be
staying. Skinner had won, which was why Lisa now stood in his
living room contemplating her future. It was terrifying to think 
that everything she had known to be her life was a lie. That her
family, her career and most importantly her husband, were all a
very elaborate fiction. She didn't turn to look when she heard
someone enter the room. She could *feel* that it was *Agent
Mulder* and it hurt to look at him. 

Mulder stood and watched the woman at the window for a few
moments. As hard as he tried, he couldn't imagine what she must
be feeling. He knew the pain of losing someone you loved. At
this moment he was terrified that he would never get Scully back, 
something he couldn't allow himself to dwell on. She on the other
hand had been told that her entire existence was a lie. 

"Ahem, Lisa?" Mulder joined her at the window.

"Hmm?" She still did not look at him.

"Do you want to talk now? Or would you rather get some rest? 
Skinner has made up the guest rooms for us. If you're tired, I
can try to explain all of this in the morning."

She finally turned to face him. "I'd rather hear it now. I'm not
going to sleep for worrying about it, so . . ." She moved to sit
on the couch.

Mulder sat in the armchair opposite her. "Okay. This isn't going
to be easy. I'm going to need you to keep an open mind."

Over the next hour and a half he spun an elaborate and
unbelievable tale of aliens and conspiracies that sounded right
out of a Hollywood feature. When he had finished, he asked her if
she had any questions. She stared at him for a moment and began
to laugh hysterically.

"Questions?" she sputtered. "You want to know if I have any
questions?"

He came to sit beside her on the couch. "I know this all sounds a
little crazy, Lisa . . ."

"A little crazy? This sounds completely insane!" Lisa jerked
away as he reached for her hand. "You expect me to believe that
our government has done this to us?"

"I know this is hard to believe, but what I am telling you is the
truth. Why do you think Skinner has twelve hand-picked agents
guarding this building? What other reason could there be for
erasing Fox Mulder and Dana Scully?"

"I-- I-- God, this is crazy." She turned to face him fully. 
"Okay, let's just say I believe you. What happens next?" 

"We are trying to figure out a way to get Scully back. The Gunmen
are working on that now and I have sent out a few feelers of
my own. Hopefully it won't be too long. Other than that we need
to keep you safe." He saw her face fall. "What is it, Lisa?"

"You are working to try to erase me. When your Scully comes back
I will no longer exist. It's . . ."

"I'm sorry. I should have realised. I know all of this must be
terrifying."

Lisa gave a snort of laughter. "I'm a high school science
teacher, Agent Mulder. The most exciting thing to happen in my
life up to now, was when Terry Sharp tried to blow up the chem
lab."

Mulder smiled at her. He knew a cover when he saw one but he also
knew it was going to be important to keep her spirits up. "Why
don't you try to get some sleep? Tomorrow is going to be a busy
day."

"What are we doing tomorrow?"

"Skinner is bringing Scully's computer over. I know she kept a
journal. I thought you might like to get to know her a bit
better."

"I'd like that. What will you be doing?"

"I'll be doing more research. See if I can help figure out what
they have done to you." He flashed her a bright smile. "I'll
also be trying to keep Bill Scully from killing me outright. Your
family is arriving tomorrow."

She squirmed uncomfortably. "Family? Am I going to have to meet
them?"

"Mrs. Scully has been frantic. She and her daughter are very
close. I don't think I could stop her from seeing you even if I
wanted to. I'm hoping that seeing her and yo- and Bill will
help your memory."

"Oh. Agent Mulder, may I ask you a question?"

"Of course."

"What happens if I don't get Dana Scully's memories back? What if
I stay Lisa Miller?"

Mulder sighed. "To be honest with you, Lisa, I'm trying not to
let myself think about that. But if that happens we will deal
with it. As far as the world knows, Lisa Miller exists. She has
a social security number, a driver's license and all of the other
numbers and pieces of paper that make us who we are. We would
figure something out, I promise."

Yes, but what would I be to you? That was the question uppermost
in Lisa's mind as she got ready for bed. Would this man allow her
to be a part of his life or would he cut her out completely?

 ****

After a breakfast, during which Mulder and Skinner did everything
they could think of to set her at ease, Lisa settled in with Dana
Scully's computer. "Let's see what's so wonderful about Miss
Scully," she said to the monitor as she waited for the machine to
boot up.

Lisa spent the next two hours getting to know the woman she used
to be. All of Dana's thoughts and feelings were laid bare on the
monitor in front of her. She finally pushed her chair away from
the desk, her eyes burning. Wow! There was no doubt in her mind
that Dana Scully was a very complicated lady. Her decision to
join the FBI had led to a rift in her relationship with her
father. She had always been very close to her family and this
rift continued to cause her pain even as she found great
satisfaction in her career. The reading really got interesting
when Dana joined the X-Files. She was continually conflicted by
her dedication to her job and the Bureau and her strengthening
bond with her partner.

Lisa was staring at the screen saver when Mulder entered the room
a few moments later. "So, how's it going?" He sat on the end of
the bed.

"Your partner was . . . complex," she said, unsure of his
reaction.

Mulder laughed. "Well, I guess that's one way of putting it." He
came to stand beside her. "How far have you gotten?"

"She has just saved your butt in Alaska." Lisa smirked at him. 
"You have a rather abbreviated sense of self-preservation, don't
you? She worried about that a lot."

"I know. It used to scare the hell out of her when I would run
off on my own. It was something I was working on." He reached
over her to turn off the computer. "Lisa. Margaret and Bill
Scully are on their way here from the airport."

"Oh."

"Yeah. I know this is going to be tough for you, but it wouldn't
be fair to them to keep them away. They've been worried sick
for months."

"But what's it going to do to them when they meet me and I'm not
who they want me to be?" Lisa looked at her lap, then back up at
Mulder. "I really don't want to hurt them, Fox."

Mulder looked startled for a moment then nodded. "You won't. The
Scullys are good people. To them you are family, that's all that
will matter. I, on the other hand, may be in a bit of jeopardy."

"Bill?"

"Bill. Though your mom will protect me. I hope. Now they should
be here soon. Did you want to be down there when they arrive or
would you rather I spoke to them first?"

"I'll be there. Just give me a few minutes to freshen up and I'll
be down."

Twenty minutes later Skinner walked through the door with an
attractive dark-haired woman and a tall red-haired man. The woman
was obviously trying very hard to resist throwing herself at the
daughter she had been missing for four months. Her blue eyes
filled with tears as she approached Lisa. "Hello, I'm Margaret
Scully, Dana's mother." The hand she offered Lisa was shaking.

Lisa took the hand in both of her own. "Hello, Mrs. Scully. I'm
Lisa Miller."

Margaret turned pleading eyes to Mulder. "Fox?"

"Please, Mrs. Scully, sit down and I will try to explain this as
best I can."

"Explain it!" Bill Scully exploded. "How are you going to
explain the fact that my mother felt the need to introduce herself
to her own daughter. C'mon, Mom, Dana, we are leaving. Now." He
reached for Lisa's hand.

She shrugged him off and moved to stand beside Mulder. "I'm
sorry, Mr. Scully, but I'm not going anywhere."

"What? For Christ's sake, Dana, we'll take you home. Get you a
good psychiatrist--"

"I am not Dana Scully. I am Lisa Miller."

Bill looked ready to do some serious violence when his mother
stepped in. "Bill, that's enough. Walter and Fox both
explained Da- Lisa's condition. We knew what to expect. Now
sit down and let Fox explain what he thinks is going on." 

Half an hour later the Scully's were trying to absorb what Mulder
had just told them. "So you think there is a possibility that we
will never get our Dana back," Margaret whispered.

"There is just no way of knowing right now, Mrs. Scully. Believe
me, we will do everything in our power to return her memories. I
just thought you should be prepared in case we can't." He glanced
at Lisa. "There is one more thing you should know. Something we
are all going to have to deal with even if we do get Dana back." 
He looked at Lisa again. 

She nodded and turned to the Scullys. "I'm pregnant."

Silence.

"You Goddamned-son-of-a-bitch I'll kill you!" Bill Scully lunged
for Mulder only to be physically restrained by Walter Skinner.

"Enough!" Skinner barked. "That's enough." He made sure he
had Bill's attention. "Are you going to act like an adult?" 
Nothing. Skinner tightened his grip. "Are you?"

"Yeah. I'm fine. Let me go." Bill shrugged away from Skinner's
hold and turned back to Mulder, only to find his sister between
him and his target.

"Back off, Mr. Scully." Lisa's eyes were cold.

"Dana . . ."

"I. Am. Not. Dana. Scully. How many times do you need to hear
it? I am not your sister. Maybe some day I will be again, but
right now I am Lisa Miller and the man you are trying to maim is
my baby's father. So back off!"

Margaret laid a soothing hand on Bill's arm. "I think we all
need to take a deep breath and have a seat." She tugged on her
son's shirt. "I mean you, Bill." He sat.

Margaret turned back to Mulder and Lisa. "Is it true, Fox?"

He nodded. "Yes it is, Mrs. Scully. She's about nine weeks
along."

"But--"

"Mrs. Scully, may I speak to you alone for a moment?" Mulder
interrupted her.

He led her over to the window, bent his head low to hers and said
quietly, "I haven't told Lisa that Dana couldn't have children. 
With everything that has happened it was one more stress she
didn't need. I didn't want her worrying about her baby. Right
now it's the only good thing she has left in her life." 

Margaret reached up and touched his cheek. "Not the only good
thing." He smiled in return. "How are you doing, Fox? This must
be very difficult for you."

"I try not to think about it. I'm concentrating on finding a way
to get Dana back."

"I know you are. Is there anything more I can do?"

"I'd like you to spend time with her. I wish I felt it was safe
to have you take her to your house. But right at the moment I
want her here and safe."

"I'll spend as much time as she wants. I can see that our visit
today has upset her a bit. I will speak to Bill. Let him know
that if he wants to help get his sister back, he will cooperate. 
I'm sure he'll be fine."

"I know he loves Dana, Mrs. Scully, but this is hard enough on
Lisa without him making things worse."

"I will speak to him. Right now I'd like to spend some time
with my daughter. Maybe get to know Lisa a bit." 

As she returned to the living room, Mulder had to smile and
respect the incredible strength of the Scully women.

Lisa visited with the Scullys for most of the afternoon. When
Margaret saw her attention wandering she called an end to the
visit, promising to return the next day. 

 ****

Over the next few days, Lisa saw little of either Mulder or
Skinner. Instead she spent a great deal of time getting to know
Dana Scully. Reading the journals and speaking to Margaret gave
her a very clear picture of the woman whose body she now occupied. 
The later entries in the journals spent much more detail on her
personal life and feelings and less and less on her work. There
was very little Margaret could tell her about Dana's work, it
seemed her daughter preferred to protect her mother from the more
dangerous aspects of her life. One thing that was very clear to
Lisa, was that Dana Scully was as much in love with her partner as
he was with her.

On the fourth night after their return to DC, Lisa woke up
screaming. Her vision was just clearing when Mulder appeared
beside her bed. "They, they were trying to take the baby. They
told me that I wasn't stable enough. I couldn't remember who I
really was so I couldn't be anybody's mommy." She sobbed.

"Oh, Lisa." Mulder sat on the bed beside her. "No one is going
to take this baby. You hear me?"

"But if I don't remember . . ."

"I am this baby's father. I'm not going to let anything happen to
her, or her mother." He brushed her cheek tenderly.

"Her?"

He shrugged. "Just a feeling." 

"Fox, will you tell me about her?"

Mulder looked confused. "About the baby?"

Lisa smiled. "No. Tell me about Scully. The journals tell me
all about Dana and the way she saw herself. I want to know how
you saw her."

Mulder exhaled sharply. "Well, I'm not sure what to tell you. 
Dana Scully is a great agent. She and I worked well together. I
had other partners before her but--"

"Fox, stop. I don't want to hear about the life and times of
superagent Scully--"

"You don't understand, Lisa. Being my partner was the most
important thing Scully ever did for me. She was willing to accept
the things about me that drove most people away. In the beginning
it was all about the work and then eventually I came to realise
that she accepted these things about me as my friend, too. I
could tell her anything and she never once made me feel
inadequate. She was smart and kind. She had infinite patience
with me. She was the strongest person I knew. She was also
stubborn and bullheaded. And at times she took herself way too
seriously. She could close herself off so completely nothing
could get through and it drove me crazy. Recently, even though it
was very difficult for her, she eventually learned to let me be
there for her. Sure, there were times when I could tell she
thought I was completely insane, and there were times when I knew
she was almost fed up with me and my-- quirks." They both
grinned. "But she never gave up, you know. Even when I wanted
to give up on myself, Scully never did. I had never had that
before. Someone I trusted with every part of me, emotional and
professional. It was . . . well, it was nice," he finished off
weakly.

Lisa smiled gently at him. "She sounds very special."

"Very." He could still see confusion in Lisa's eyes. "What is
it?"

"It just that-- well, you are so much like Nicky and from what I
can tell, I am absolutely nothing like Dana." She plucked at the
quilt covering her.

"Well, I wouldn't say you are nothing like her." She raised a
familiar eyebrow and he had to smile. "Okay, you aren't much
alike. You think I'm like your Nick?"

She smiled wistfully. "Yeah, you're exactly like him."

He cleared his throat. "Okay, well, I think I've kept you two
up long enough." He helped her lay back down. "You go back to
sleep. And please, don't worry about the baby. Nothing is going
to happen to her as long as I am alive. I promise you that." He
pulled the blankets up under her chin. "Okay?" 

"Okay." He stood to leave. "Fox?" He turned back around. 
"Thank you."

"For what?"

"Just thank you." 

He smiled, nodded, and left the room.

 ****

Several days later Mulder returned home from work to find Lisa
weeping in front of the computer. "Lisa?" He hurried to kneel
beside her. "Lisa, what is it? What's wrong?"

Lisa turned angry eyes on him. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"What? What didn't I tell you?" He took her hand and led her to
the couch. He wiped her tears and asked again. "Lisa, please,
what's wrong?"

"How was this baby conceived?"

The question hit Mulder like a bullet. Damn, he'd forgotten, of
course Scully's journal would have everything. "Lisa, I'm sorry. 
I never meant for you to find out like this. I had every
intention of telling you myself once things were settled down."

"So it's true? This baby isn't--" she broke off.

"This baby is ours!" Mulder said forcefully. "Every test they
have run says this baby is yours and mine."

"But Dana said she couldn't--"

"The people who did this to us are the same ones who stole
Scully's ova. I don't know how or why they have done this but all
of the tests say this baby is ours and perfectly normal."

"I know that's true. It just hurts that this baby was created in
a lab somewhere and not when we made love." She began to cry
again.

Mulder pulled her into his arms. "Shhh, Lisa, we don't know that. 
We don't know what they did to us when they first took us. This
baby may very well have been created when we--" He cleared his
throat. "When we made love."

Lisa lifted her head from his chest to look at him. "Do you
really think that's possible?"

He brushed her damp hair back from her face. "Yeah, I really do."

She smiled brightly at him. "I guess when you live in a world
where tiny chips can cure incurable cancer, you learn to believe
the unbelievable."

"You read about the cancer?"

She nodded, sobering. "She was a lot stronger than I would have
been."

Mulder nodded. "I know the feeling, Lisa. Believe me, I know the
feeling."


Washington, DC
November 19


As much as it pained him, Mulder was beginning to believe that
they were never going to get Dana Scully back. All of the
research and investigation he, Skinner and the Gunmen had done
had turned up nothing. No leads as to who had done this, and no
information on how to reverse its effects on Lisa. He had moved
the two of them into Scully's Georgetown apartment. Not a
decision he had made on his own. When he had suggested that he
and Lisa live apart, she had become hysterical. Terrified that
she would be taken again and her baby would be harmed. So they
lived together. It wasn't a bad arrangement. Lisa was used to
living with another person and accommodated him easily. He had
grown used to her company both during the three months he had
physically been Nick Miller in Colville and at Skinner's place, so
the adjustment was an easy one. There were still times, however,
when all he could see when he looked at her was his partner. 

"Fox? *Fox*?" Lisa was seated at the desk sorting through mail.

He started. "Hmm, what? I'm sorry, I guess I phased out a bit." 
He went back to reading his paper.

"You were staring at me for a good twenty minutes. Anything
wrong?" Lisa had come to enjoy the company of this man. He was
in many ways just like her Nick. But in others . . .

"I'm sorry. I didn't even realise I was doing it," he said with
an embarrassed smile.

"You were thinking about her, weren't you?" She moved to sit on
the couch next to him.

"I'm not sure what you mean." He wouldn't meet her eyes.

Lisa smiled. "I know there are times when you look at me and see
her. It's only natural. I do the same thing. We've both lost
the person we love. We are bound to feel drawn to the person
wearing their skin." She reached for his hand.

He snatched his away. "I told you. She was my partn-"

"Please don't insult my intelligence, Fox. You are in love with
Dana Scully. It's not something to be ashamed of. From what I
have learned, she was a very special lady. She would have been
very happy to know . . ."

Mulder stood abruptly. "I'm going to bed." He stalked off
towards his bedroom.

"Fox! Fox, please. I'm sorry." The last was said to a closed
door. "Stupid, stubborn jack-ass. Not so different from Nicky
after all," Lisa muttered to herself as she tided up and turned
out the lights.


Washington, DC
November 27


"Lisa? There's someone here to see you," Mulder said, poking his
head around her bedroom door.

Lisa looked up from her reading. "Who?"

"Ellen Michaels. She was--"

Lisa hopped up from the bed. "I know who she is. She's Dana's
best friend." She took a peek in the mirror and straightened her
clothes. "Does she know?"

"Yeah. I called her yesterday. She and Scully have always been
close and I knew she would want to meet you."

After making the introductions Mulder left the two women alone to
talk. Ellen smiled at Lisa uncertainly. "This is so strange. 
I'm sorry, it's just that--"

Lisa smiled and patted her hand. "I know. Margaret has the same
trouble, don't worry about it. I think it's pretty natural that
the people who knew Dana would find this awkward."

Ellen visibly relaxed then looked towards the hallway. "How's he
taking it?"

"Fox?" Ellen nodded. "He's been great. Most of the time." When
Ellen raised an inquiring brow, Lisa explained. "He *is* great. 
He never tries to push me to remember. He's been terrific about
the baby. He's been very sweet and accepting of me as Lisa."

"But?"

"But there are times when I catch him looking at me and I see so
much sadness in his eyes. Sadness that I'm not her. He tries to
hide it and for the most part he does a really good job, but every
once in a while I see it."

Ellen nodded thoughtfully. "You can't really blame him for that,
can you? He is crazy about you, rather, about Dana, sorry."

"Don't worry about it. Did Dana talk to you much about him?"

Ellen burst out laughing. "Oh, Lord in heaven, did she talk about
him?" She wiped her eyes. "Honey, I would venture to guess that
I know more about the inner workings of Fox Mulder than his
mother."

Lisa grinned. "Care to share?"

Ellen grinned back. "I remember the first time I heard the name
Fox Mulder. At first I thought she was kidding. I mean who the
hell names their kid *Fox*, right? But it turned out she was
serious. She was all excited about her first field assignment
even though she wasn't quite sure what was expected of her. When
I talked to her they had already been on a case together and all
she could talk about was this new partner of hers. I believe the
quote was: 'He's gorgeous, sexy, brilliant, charming and nuttier
than a fruitcake, El!' That was when I *knew* there was gonna be
something there."

"Why, did Dana like nuts?" Lisa asked.

"No! God, no. I had just *never* seen Dana react this strongly
to a man before. Later on, when I asked her about him, she tried
to deflect me telling me he was an obsessive jerk. But I could
tell there was something special. After a while all she talked
about was 'Mulder this' and 'Mulder that'. When I would call her
on it, she would always try to put me off."

"What kind of things would she say about him?"

"Well, she would bitch and moan at first, how crazy he was and his
ideas made no sense et cetera, then she would talk about how much
he was willing to depend on her and how he never treated her as
less of an agent because she was a woman. She also talked about
the fact that he would flirt with her. She loved it. Even though
she did everything in her power to hide it from him."

"When did you meet him?"

"Dana kept us apart for a very long time. You see, after that
first time she never again mentioned what he looked like. Then I
met him. Well. You know what he looks like and how charming he
can be when he sets his pointy mind to it. He was on his best
behaviour when we met over lunch. I was completely charmed. Told
her that if she didn't snap him up I would."

"Aren't you married?"

"Funny, that's what she said." They both laughed. "Seriously,
Lisa? Dana Scully is head over heels in love with her partner,
has been almost from the start. And unless I am very mistaken, he
loves her just as much."

 ****

"So, Mulder, what did you get the little woman for Christmas?" 
Frohike looked up from the computer monitor to leer at his
friend. "Do any shopping at Victoria's Secret?"

It was Christmas Eve. Mulder was doing some follow-up research
with the Lone Gunmen before he went home to Lisa. "I bought her a
bunch of stuff. Did you find anything more on Dr. Norris?"

"Ooh. A bunch of stuff. Like what?" Langly joined the
conversation.

"Stuff. What do you have on Norris?"

A return trip to Colville had found Dr. Norris' clinic empty. 
Locals said he had just pulled up stakes one night shortly after
the Millers left town. Mulder and the Gunmen had been searching
for him.

"C'mon, Mulder. You know we aren't going to let this lie. You
might as well tell us. Or we could just check your credit card
records." Langly booted up a second computer. "Visa or Master
Card?"

Mulder sighed. "I got her a pair of earrings."

The two Gunmen just looked at him.

"What?"

"That's it? Earrings?"

"No. I got her a few other things. Some bath things, a new robe, 
some perfume. You know-- *stuff*."

The Lone Gunmen looked at each other and then at their friend. 
"Uh, Mulder?"

"What?"

"That sounds like husband stuff," Frohike said with a smirk.

"Okay. That's enough. I have been this woman's partner for over
seven years. I have been *living* with her for over five months. 
She is carrying *my* baby. What the hell would you suggest I get
her?" Mulder stood and began pacing. "Believe me, I thought
about it. Then I just said to hell with it and bought her things
I knew she'd like. Do you have a problem with that?" He glared
at his friends.

"Uh, no. So do you want to know what we found out about Norris or
not?" Frohike turned the monitor for Mulder to see.

Mulder stared at the little man for a moment then looked at the
monitor. "What am I looking at?"

"According to this, Dr. Richard *Harrison* graduated top of his
class from Harvard medical. That, however, isn't the most
interesting aspect of his academic career." Frohike paused for
effect, took one look at Mulder and continued. "You are never
going to guess who his classmate and roommate was while he was
there."

"I don't have time for games, Frohike. Just spit it out," Mulder
said, exasperated.

"One Kevin Scanlon." 

Mulder stared at his friend incredulously. "Scanlon? *The* 
Scanlon? The one who *treated* Scully's cancer?"

"That's the one. Evidently they were thick as thieves-- pardon
the expression-- when they were at med school. They roomed
together at the university and then did their internships and
residencies at the same private hospital. A private hospital
whose ownership is murky to say the least." Frohike handed
Mulder a printout. "They have been very thorough. The closest we
have come to finding out who actually owns the hospital is a few
offshore accounts. We're still working on it though." He punched
a few keys bringing up another document. "After that our
illustrious doctors get a little tough to trace. As far as I can
tell, they both moved a lot, working at various clinics all over
the country, none of which bore up under our kind of scrutiny. In
January of '97, Dr. Harrison became Dr. Norris and moved to
Colville." 

"January '97. That's when we blew Scanlon's cover. When I found
Scully's . . . Goddamn it! They've had this set up and planned
for years. Shit!" Mulder threw the printout across the room.

"That's what we figure too. Once you found the clinic in
Allentown they set this up," Byers said quietly.

"But why? I still haven't figured out their motive for this. 
Tests show the baby is normal, human, mine and Scully's. Why do
this? Why now?" Mulder asked the room at large.

"We still have a bunch of leads to follow up on, Mulder." 
Frohike patted him on the back. "Don't you worry." Frohike
started to push Mulder towards the door. "Now, you go home and
have a nice Christmas with your little woman. We'll take care of
everything here."

Mulder just glared at the little man. "Byers . . ."

"Go home, Mulder," Byers said. "Lisa is probably worried sick. 
Scared she's going to have to spend Christmas Eve alone. If we
find anything we will call you." 

Mulder took a deep breath and let it out with a sigh. "You're
right. I'm going. If you find *anything* I want to know.
Immediately. You hear me?" Without waiting for an answer he
left. 

 ****

Lisa was in a full blown panic. It was after five in the
afternoon and Fox still wasn't home. She knew he was worried
about the holiday and its effect on her. They had a rather loud
discussion earlier in the week about whether he was going to
accompany her to the Scully's on Christmas Day. He had felt that
it was a time for family and he didn't want to intrude. She had
snorted and informed him that in her mind he *was* her family so
if he wasn't going to the Scully's, neither was she. That had
stopped him. He had made a few grumbled remarks about never
winning an argument with her no matter what her name was and then
rather gracelessly caved in to her demands. Now she was beginning
to worry that he wasn't going to show up for Christmas at all.

Lisa was still pacing in the living room ten minutes later when
she heard a key in the lock. She ran to the door, flung it open
and hurled herself into the arms of a very surprised Fox Mulder.

Mulder was a little shocked to find his arms suddenly full of
his . . . whatever. When he felt her shaking, he became alarmed. 
"Lisa, what is it? Has something happened? Is it the baby?"

She shook her head. "No." Her teary voice was muffled by his
coat.

Mulder tightened his hold on her when he realised she was crying. 
"Lisa, you're scaring me. Tell me what's happened. Did someone
hurt you?"

Lisa drew away a bit. Looking up into his concerned eyes, she
gave him a watery smile. "No . . ."

"Then would you like to tell me what this is all about?" As she
moved away from him and back into the apartment, he followed.

Lisa was having a tough time trying to decide how to explain this
to him. "Fox, sit down. Please."

Mulder sat on the couch. Lisa took a seat next to him. "I'm
sorry I frightened you. Nothing's wrong. I'm fine. So's the
baby."

"Then what . . ." Mulder waved towards the door.

"I was scared you weren't going to show up for Christmas Eve,"
Lisa said quietly, looking at the floor.

Mulder sighed and closed his eyes. "I'm sorry." He opened his
eyes and looked at her. "I was with the Gunmen. I guess we lost
track of time."

She gave him a rather bemused smile. "That's where Walter said
you probably were."

"You phoned Skinner?" Mulder's eyebrows shot up to his hairline.

"Yeah, and Margaret."

"Mrs. Scully too?" Mulder shook his head and laughed lightly. "I
am dying to hear where *she* thought I was."

"She thought you were out doing Christmas shopping. But I know
you went a couple of weeks ago, so it wasn't that." Lisa looked
at her hands. "I'm sorry, Fox. I was just worried. After the
fight we had about Christmas day, I . . ."

"I'm the one who should be apologising, not you. It is Christmas
Eve and you had every right to expect me home before now," Mulder
said, taking her hand. Then he grinned. "So, what is that
amazing smell, and do I *finally* get some of those cookies you've
been hoarding?"

"That smell is stew and if you would set the table we can eat." 
She grinned back at him. "And you only get cookies if you clean
your plate."

"Somehow I don't think that's going to be a problem."

Several hours later they were sitting, watching the tree lights
and talking. "Fox, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?" 

"Of course not." He sipped his coffee and took another bite of
his sugar cookie. "Chances are it's something Scully already
knew. So really . . ."

Lisa smiled softly. "I was curious about your family. I know
your father passed away a few years ago. Dana mentioned it in her
journal. But what about your mother? I know you talk to her,
that you told her about the baby. I was just wondering why you
weren't spending Christmas with her."

"My mother usually spends Christmas with her sister in Portland. 
I can't tolerate my aunt's husband, so I try very hard to have a
good excuse not to go. This year was an easy one." He grinned at
her. "Mom did invite both of us out there. I think she's kind of
excited to be a grandma."

"What's wrong with your uncle?"

"That man is *not* my uncle. He just happens to be married to my
aunt. I have always believed that it is entirely possible that he
is the most boring human ever to walk this earth."

Lisa laughed. "Oh, Fox, I'm sure he's not that bad."

"Oh, yeah? He makes boxes for a living. Now, there's nothing
wrong with making boxes. I mean someone has to do it, right? But
making boxes is the *only* thing that man can talk about. Sports,
nope. Current events, nada. Cars, fishing, computers, gardening,
zip, zero, zilch. Believe me, I have tried everything. No
interest. He always manages to turn the subject back to his
beloved boxes. I'm sorry, but there is only so much I can
tolerate before I come unglued."

Lisa was laughing helplessly by now. "How does your mother handle
him?"

"Ha! That's just it, she doesn't. She and Auntie Hellene spend
all of their time together *catching up*. *I* get stuck with
Robert and his damn boxes." Mulder watched, delighted, as Lisa
doubled over laughing. It was a beautiful sound.

Lisa looked up at him, wiping her eyes. "I'm sure you're
exaggerating."

"Not in the least. Actually, it's worse. They don't even have
T.V. Robert says it's corruption for idle minds. Personally, I
think he's afraid he may actually learn something worth talking
about." Mulder just sat and watched as Lisa's giggles died down.

"I still think you should be with your family at Christmas, Fox."

"I am."

Lisa was quiet for a moment. "Well . . ." She cleared her
throat. "We have to get up early tomorrow so . . ." Lisa stood
up and carried her cup to the sink.

"You're right. Wouldn't do to be late for the Scully family
Christmas." Mulder had followed her into the kitchen and when
Lisa turned around it was into his chest.

"Oh, excuse me." They did a little dance trying to get out of
each other's way. Finally, Mulder put his hands on her shoulders
to hold her still. Lisa looked up at him and their eyes caught
and held. She could see every thought and emotion in those eyes. 

All Mulder could see was the woman he adored looking up at him
with those amazing eyes. For just a minute, it didn't matter that
she didn't remember being Dana Scully. All that mattered was the
love he could see in her eyes. When her lips brushed his, he was
suddenly shocked back to reality. He gently shoved her away. 
"Lisa, we can't."

Lisa stepped back even more. "I know. It's just hard." She
turned back to the sink to rinse the cups. "Fox."

"Mhmm?"

"Do you think that there is a chance that you-- I mean, if you
don't get Scully back, do you think you and I could ever . . .?"

Mulder sighed and scrubbed his face with his hand. "I honestly
don't know, Lisa. Scully and I never had that kind of
relationship. It feels too much like I would be doing this to her
without her permission."

"But if she doesn't come back, do you think you would ever be able
to see me just as Lisa and not as your Scully?"

Mulder smiled at the use of *your*. "I hope so. For both our
sakes."

"It's just that sometimes I feel so damn lost. I'm here, living
inside some other woman's world. There are people around me that
care about her, but none of them know me. You're the only one I
feel close to, and yet, I know you wish I were her. I feel like
I'm broken and no one knows how to fix me."

"I'm sorry, Lisa. I wish there was something I could do. I know
this must be awful for you. Everything you know and love is gone. 
But you have to know that I care about you, and not just because
you're Scully. But because you're pretty special too." He
brushed her cheek gently. "We're both tired and we have a very
early day tomorrow. We should get some sleep." 


Home of Margaret Scully
Baltimore, Maryland
December 25
6:45 a.m.


The house was decorated within an inch of its life. The living
room looked like something out of the Christmas Wishbook, and in
the middle of it all, there sat five children, almost trembling
with anticipation.

"Auntie Dana's here! Can we open the presents now?" a little
girl squealed when Mulder and Lisa entered the room.

"You can wait the few minutes it will take you to greet your aunt
like a civilised being," the tall dark haired man said, getting up
from the recliner. "Hi, Da- Lisa, Merry Christmas. I'm Charles." 
He leaned in to kiss her cheek. "Are you okay with the
munchkins?" The children were now clamouring for her attention. 
Lisa smiled and nodded, turning to the kids.

"Hi guys. So they made you wait for us, did they? Well, why
don't you see if you can find everyone and we'll get this show on
the road?" She grinned broadly as the children scattered to
gather the rest of the adults. 

They had discussed the children at length the week before when it
had been decided that Mulder and Lisa would be attending the
Scully celebrations. It was decided that it would be too
difficult for the young ones to comprehend the situation so Lisa
would try to remember that she was Auntie Dana. She had studied
family pictures so she would be able to identify each child by
name.

Soon the room was filled with the chaos of present opening. The
children were in their glory and the adults were trying very hard
not to look like they were in theirs.

"Oh, Fox, it's lovely." Margaret Scully turned to show the little
porcelain box to Charles' wife Gail. 

"My mom has always had one like it beside her bed for her rings
and earrings. I saw that one and thought of you," Mulder said.

"What a wonderful idea. I have always hated just leaving them on
the bedside table. Thank you."

"There's one here for someone called Lisa." Kyle, Charles and
Gail's oldest son was playing Santa. "Who's Lisa?"

"Oh. Well, that's one of my nicknames," Lisa spoke up quickly.

"Why?" 

"Well, you know how sometimes there is more than one person with
the same name? It can get confusing, huh?" Five nods. "Well,
there was more than one Dana and it's kinda hard to find nicknames
for Dana and I like the name Lisa, so . . . I picked it."

Fourteen year old Kyle looked less than convinced but his eight
year old little sister jumped in. "That's like in my class. 
There are *five* Jessicas. The teacher calls us all by different
names. I'm Jessie." She pointed her thumb at her chest.

That seemed to convince Kyle and he handed Lisa the gift. "It's
from Mr. Mulder."

Lisa took the large box and sat back down beside Mulder. "Oh my!" 
she exclaimed when she opened the box to reveal the deep blue
robe. "Oh, Fox, it's gorgeous." She smoothed the velvety soft
material. 

"I'm glad you like it. I knew Sc- yours won't fit much longer and
you would need a maternity one."

"Is Auntie Dana gonna have a baby?" Kyle had been listening
carefully. 

"Yes, I am. In May."

"Cool."

At that, Bill got up and left the room. Mulder followed him into
the kitchen. He found him just staring out the window into the
backyard. "When we were kids I used to try to push the younger
ones around. Melissa told me off, Charles ignored me, but Dana,
Dana humoured me. It was funny. She'd let me get away with it up
to a certain point and then knock me on my ass again. My sister
is the toughest, strongest person I know. She would hate what is
happening here. How do you think she would feel if she saw how
cozy you are to that person out there?"

"You really don't get it do you, Bill? You think I'm doing all
of this on purpose. That as long as I find what I want, to hell
with everyone else." Mulder moved so he was standing very close
to Bill Scully. "I would do *anything* to have your sister back. 
Do you hear me? *Anything*. I hate seeing her like this. But
you know what, there is a chance that we'll never get Dana back. 
That Lisa is the one who will be here with us. I owe it to
Scully to make sure Lisa is safe and happy and that *our* baby is
healthy and loved. If you have a problem with that, I am sorry,
but I refuse to feel guilty for caring about Lisa. I love your
sister, no matter what name she is using."

The gasp from the doorway made him turn quickly to see Lisa
standing there with a smiling Margaret. "The kids were wondering
if you two were going to come back so they can finish opening
their loot," Margaret said, still beaming.

"Yes. We wouldn't want to ruin *anybody's* Christmas, would we
Bill?"

The rest of the day was rather uneventful. Bill seemed less tense
and Lisa was thoroughly enjoying this family experience. They
attended a beautiful Christmas Mass at Mrs. Scully's church, then
came home and enjoyed a delicious dinner. Once they had stuffed
themselves with turkey and all the trimmings, the adults settled
in with coffee and conversation.

"So, Mulder, have you been able to find anything that might help
Lisa?" Charles Scully asked bluntly.

"Actually, we do have a few leads right now. Nothing really
solid, but they may head in that direction," Mulder answered.

"So why are you sitting here instead of being out helping my
sister?" Bill grumbled.

"Bill! That's enough," Mrs. Scully said sharply.

"That's okay, Mrs. Scully. Bill, I wanted to be out searching. 
But your sister and your mother both wanted me to be here today. 
So I'm here. I thought maybe Lisa having a nice Christmas was
important, don't you?" Mulder had decided long ago not to let
this man push him around anymore.

"What, now you think we couldn't make a nice Christmas for Dana
without you? You really are an arrogant bastard aren't you?"

"Okay, that's enough, Bill," Lisa stepped in. "For your
information, no, you couldn't have made a nice Christmas for me
without Fox. I am only here because he agreed to come with me. 
He agreed even though he knew you would treat him this way. You
know why? Because he cares about me. No other reason. I would
think that would be good enough for you. I'm sorry that it
isn't." She turned to Mulder. "Maybe we should go, Fox."

"Lisa, wait," Bill said quietly. "Look, I'm sorry. It's just,
it's hard. Please stay. I promise I'll behave." He nodded at
Mulder. 

"We're not going anywhere. I'm going to have at least one more
piece of that pie before you get rid of me." Mulder grinned at
Mrs. Scully, and the tension in the room dissipated.
 
 ****

Mulder and Lisa arrived home at around eleven that night to find
several messages from the Gunmen and one from Skinner.

After a rather tipsy sounding rendition of 'Jingle Bells',
Frohike's voice came on the line. "Hey, Merry Christmas you two. 
Hope you survived the family thingy. Talk to you later." More
'Jingle Bells'.

The next call was Byers. "Merry Christmas, guys. Mulder, we
found something rather interesting. It's nothing that can't wait. 
Give us a call tomorrow. Bye."

Then from Skinner. "Merry Christmas, Mulder, Lisa. I spoke to
the Gunmen. They said they have some info for us. Let me know
when you are going to see them, Mulder, I'd like to be there." 

"Are you going to call them tonight?" Lisa asked, settling on the
couch.

"No. Byers said it could wait. If it were important he would
have said so or called us at your mother's. It's still Christmas,
and I have one more gift for you." He pulled a small box out of
his pocket. "I didn't want to give it to you in front of your
family. I didn't want them to get the wrong idea."

Lisa looked at him curiously. "What is it?"

"Open it and find out." He smiled nervously.

Lisa opened the little box to reveal a small emerald ring. The
setting was old-fashioned and elegant. "Oh! Oh, Fox, it's
lovely." 

"My father gave it to my mother when they found out they were
going to have me. My mom sent it to me when I told her about the
baby." 

Lisa blinked away tears. "I, ahem, I don't know what to say. Are
you sure you want me to have it? I mean you should give it to
someone you-- are you sure?"

"I should give it to the mother of my child." He took the ring
from her and slipped it on her right hand. "There, perfect fit."

Lisa smiled up at him. "Thank you, Fox. You have no idea how
much this means to me." She reached up and kissed him on the
cheek.

"You're welcome. I'm glad you like it."

"I do." They just looked at each other for a moment. "Well, now,
this little one and I are exhausted, and I think we should go to
bed." 
 
 ****

Mulder and Skinner met the next morning at the offices of the Lone
Gunmen. "Okay, guys, what did you find?" Mulder asked when Langly
opened the door to admit the two men.

"After we found the info on Scanlon and Harrison, we did a little
more digging. Seems there were a few other bright young men who
followed in their footsteps. We have managed to find two of them. 
A Dr. Andrew McNeill and a Dr. Lance Stewart. Both have been
practising in small town clinics for the last ten years or so. 
However, a little snooping into their financial status tells me
that they both have squirrelled away a hell of a lot more money
than any small town doctor should be capable of."

"Do you have anything on them other than where and when they went
to school and an obvious talent for money management?" Skinner
asked.

All three Gunmen looked at Mulder as though shocked they needed
more. He smiled at them. "What else do you have, guys?"

Byers sniffed, offended. "Both of these men receive regular
payments into Cayman Island accounts. Payments totalling more
than two million dollars a year, for the last fifteen years. Now
even if they are both money wizards, it seems unlikely they would
be that good." He smiled smugly at Skinner.

Mulder hid a smirk and asked, "Where are they now? Do you have
current addresses on them?"

"You bet. Dr. McNeill is in Blackwood, Texas, and Dr. Stewart is
in Bellefleur, Oregon. I think you're familiar with both towns,
Mulder?"


Dulles Airport
Washington, DC
December 26
3:48 p.m.


"Lisa? Hi, it's Fox. Listen, I'm not going to make it home
tonight. I have some work I have to do." Mulder spoke into his
cell phone as he and Skinner hurried to their departure gate.

"Is everything okay, Fox?" Lisa asked.

"Everything's fine. I just have to go out of town and I'm not
sure when I'll be back. I just didn't want you to worry."

"Oh. Okay. Well, you will call and let me know you're okay,
won't you?"

"Of course. Look, I have to get on my plane now. I'll call you
when I get there, okay?" He handed his boarding pass to the gate
attendant.

"Okay. Fox?"

"Yes?"

"I'll miss you." She hung up.

Mulder stared at his phone for a moment before disconnecting. He
then followed Skinner down the jetway.

The flight to Portland was long and crowded. Skinner had booked
them into business class allowing them more comfort and privacy. 
"What did Lisa have to say?" Skinner asked his distracted
travelling companion.

"Hmm? Oh nothing, just wished us luck." Mulder turned to look
out the window.

"So how was Christmas?" Skinner knew they had spent the holiday
with the Scullys.

"Christmas was-- good. Nice. Mrs. Scully was great, of course,
and Charles and his family are terrific. Lisa had a good time, I
think."

"How about you? Did you have a good time? Did Bill manage to
behave himself?" Skinner had seen firsthand the way Bill Scully
treated Mulder.

Mulder snorted. "Not likely, though he was better than I
expected. I think Tara threatened to cut him off if he didn't
play nice."

Skinner smiled. "What did he do?"

"Nothing in particular, I guess. Just generally obnoxious. Lisa
did have at him though." Mulder smiled at the memory.

"Oh, really? That must have been a sight to see."

Mulder chuckled. "It was. She let him have it about the way he
treated me, the way he treated her and for trying to ruin
Christmas. I think he finally clued into the fact that I'm not
going anywhere. That I really do care about his sister." Mulder
turned to the window.

"Mulder? Is there something you'd like to talk about?" Skinner
asked quietly.

"Like what, Sir?" Mulder didn't turn to face his boss.

"About you and Lisa."

"Lisa and I are fine, Sir." Mulder still didn't meet his eyes.

"Are you sure? If you need someone to talk to, I'm here. I know
this must be very difficult for both of you."

"It's-- I-- damn it. I'm not even sure how to explain it to
you. There are times when it's physically painful, I want Scully
back so much. Other times-- when I'm having a good time with
Lisa-- I feel so guilty because I haven't thought of Scully. I'm
not sure what to do. We're having this baby together and I
haven't asked Scully what she wants. What if she doesn't want to
have my baby? What if when we get her back, she hates the fact
that she is carrying my child? Or worse than that, what am I
going to do if I never find a way to get her back at all?" Mulder
finished breathlessly.

Skinner wasn't sure which question to address first. "Mulder, you
and I both know that Scully will be thrilled to be carrying your
child. As for the rest of it, I have complete confidence that you
will find a way to bring Dana Scully home. Feeling comfortable
with Lisa is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, she is Scully
and you're bound to have that connection to her. It's good for
both her and the baby that you're able to provide a happy and
safe home for Lisa." He patted the younger man on the arm. 
"Scully will understand everything, Mulder. You two have been
through some really tough times and managed to come through it all
stronger and closer. I can't see this time being any different."

Mulder smiled weakly and said, "Thank you, Sir. I know all of
that. It's just there are times when it all seems to be too much,
you know?"

Skinner nodded and they turned their attention to what they were
going to do when they found Dr. Stewart.


Bellefleur, Oregon
December 26
7:55 p.m.


They pulled up in front of the address Frohike had given them for
Dr. Stewart. "Okay, we're here. Now you promise me, Mulder, that
you are not going to go off on this man. We need his help. Lisa
needs him. *Scully* needs him."

"I know, Sir. I'll keep it under control." The house was
modest in size and in a nice neighbourhood as befitted a small
town doctor. There was an SUV in the driveway beside a smaller
import. There were several bicycles leaning against the garage
and other toys littered the lawn. It made Mulder queasy that this
man had children of his own. 

An attractive woman in her thirties answered their knock. "May I
help you?"

"Yes, ma'am. We're looking for Dr. Stewart," Skinner said
politely.

"I'm sorry, Lance doesn't see patients at home. You'll have to
call the clinic for an appointment or check at the hospital." She
began to close the door.

Skinner stopped her with his hand on the knob. "I'm sorry, ma'am,
but we aren't patients and it really is very important that we see
Dr. Stewart."

"Who is it, Mary?" A tall blonde man in his forties came up
behind her. He looked at Skinner. "Is there something I can help
you with?"

"Are you Lance Stewart?"

"Yes, I am." He put his arm around his wife. 

"I'd like to ask you a few questions, Dr. Stewart." Mulder
stepped out from behind the door.

Stewart took one look at Mulder and bolted into the house. "Back
door!" Skinner yelled at Mulder as he took off after the doctor.

Mulder caught up with Stewart in the backyard as the man was
about to go over the fence. "Hold it! FBI. I'm armed." Stewart
stopped and raised his hands. "Get down on the ground, hands on
your head." Mulder kept his gun trained on the doctor. Skinner
came out the back door.

"Would you mind telling me what this is all about?" the doctor
asked as he knelt.

"You know damn well what this is all about, *Doctor*." Mulder
frisked him then handcuffed him.

"You come into my house, pull a gun . . ."

"Why did you run?" Skinner asked, hauling the man to his feet.

"I saw the guns and . . ."

"Wrong answer, *Doctor*. We both had our guns holstered. Now,
let's try again. You were fine until you saw Agent Mulder. Then
you ran. Why?"

Stewart sighed heavily. "Can we go somewhere else and talk?
You're scaring my wife and kids. Besides, they can hear us here," 
Dr Stewart whispered.

"No problem. Let's go." Skinner grabbed his elbow and started to
lead him to the front of the house.

"Are these really necessary?" The prisoner wiggled his cuffed
hands.

"Yes." 


Shoreline Inn
Bellefleur, Oregon
December 26
8:25 p.m.


"Start talking," Mulder said as soon as they entered the room. 

Skinner secured Dr. Stewart to the bed, then joined Mulder at the
table.

"I'm not sure what you want to know," Stewart whined.

Mulder stood quickly. "Mulder!" Skinner barked. "Sit down." 
Mulder glared at his boss but sat. 

Skinner stood and went to sit beside the good doctor. "Now, Dr.
Stewart. May I call you Lance? Good. Now, Lance, as you can
see, Agent Mulder is just a little on edge. My advice to you is
that you really ought to cooperate and answer his questions."

"But . . ."

"Uh, Uh, Uh. This is very important to both of us. Now talk." 
Skinner moved back to the table. "What do you know about what was
done to Agents Mulder and Scully?"

Stewart sighed. "It's a combination of drug therapy and deep
hypnosis. I have no idea why it failed with Agent Mulder. Maybe
his memory has something to do with it, but we thought we had
accounted for that."

"We tried hypnosis and got nothing," Mulder said.

"You don't know her trigger words. With this particular treatment
you will get nowhere without the triggers. I have no idea what
they are. That wasn't my end of things. Only Richard knows them.
Even if you know them, you'll still have to counteract the drug."

"There are no drugs in Scully's system or in mine. We've been
tested over and over." Mulder ran a hand through his hair. 

"It's virtually undetectable, unless you are looking for it
specifically. It comes up as a very slight hormonal imbalance. 
In light of her pregnancy, I doubt if a doctor would even find it
remarkable. As for you, I don't know. Maybe that's why your
memory came back." He shrugged.

"Okay, it's a drug. What's the antidote?" Skinner asked.

"I can't tell you that."

Skinner grabbed the man by the front of his shirt and lifted him
off the bed, stretching his cuffed wrist to its limits. "Sure you
can."

"Okay, okay, just put me down." Skinner dropped him on the bed. 
Having little use for cowards, he found this man particularly
distasteful.

"There is an antidote, but I don't have it. It's in the lab."

"Can you get it?" Mulder asked eagerly.

"Yesterday I would have had no problem. But I'm sure by now they
know you have me. So I'll probably be dead before morning." The
whiny tone was back.

"I really hope you aren't looking to me for sympathy, 
Dr. Stewart." Skinner's tone left no doubt as to his feeling
towards the doctor.

"I have a wife and kids. Do you know what this will do to them?"

Mulder lost it. "So the fuck what. You made the choices,
*Doctor*, out of greed. You decided it was okay to work for these
men. Men who thought nothing of taking innocent women from
*their* homes and families. You chose to help these men
experiment on those women. You *chose*, Doctor, to take my life
and that of my partner and play games with them. I do feel for
your wife and children, *Doctor*, but I can't help feel that they
will be better off without a man like you in their lives." 

Skinner put a calming hand on Mulder's shoulder. "Don't worry
about your employers, Dr Stewart. Just get us that antidote."

"But . . ."

"They have no idea what we talked about here tonight. And you
aren't going to tell them." Skinner sat down beside the doctor
and explained what was going to happen.


Stewart residence
Bellefleur, Oregon
December 26
11:12 p.m.


Every light was ablaze when Mulder and Skinner returned Stewart
to his house. "They'll probably contact you tonight. Mulder
and I are heading right to Portland. Hopefully that will put them
off." 
 
"And if it doesn't?" Stewart asked.

Skinner shrugged. "If it doesn't, then you'll have to do some
fancy talking to convince them, won't you?"

His wife met him at the door when Stewart walked up the stairs. 
"Oh, Lance." She threw her arms around him. "Honey, what did
those men want? Were they police? I saw the handcuffs and 
didn't . . ."

"Its okay, Mary. It was a big misunderstanding. A case of
mistaken identity." He patted her arm reassuringly.

"But why did you run, Lance? I don't understand."

"It's not important. As I said, it was a misunderstanding. Let's
go to bed. Okay?" He kissed her forehead and led her upstairs.

They had just settled in when the phone rang. "Dr Stewart."

"Ah, yes, Doctor. Did you have an interesting evening?" The
voice on the other end was all too familiar.

"Hang on a sec. Honey, I'm going to take this in my office. You
go to sleep." Stewart went down the hall and closed the office
door behind him. He went on the offensive. "How the hell did the
FBI find me? You promised me I was clean."

"Mr. Mulder has some talented and determined friends. What did
you tell them?"

"There was nothing I could tell them. They're looking for Richard
and Kevin. I have no idea where they are." Stewart held his
breath.

"Is that all they asked you?"

"What else? They know we all went to school together, and have
worked together in the past. They thought I would know where they
are." Stewart was sure the other man could hear his heart
pounding.

"You're sure that's all they wanted to talk to you about? They
asked you nothing about Agent Scully?"

"Mulder mentioned her when they asked about Richard, but that was
it."

The silence at the other end threatened to snap Stewart's nerves. 
Then, just when it became almost too much, "Good work, Dr.
Stewart. You handled yourself very well." And the line went
dead.


Sheraton Hotel
Portland, Oregon
December 27
2:25 p.m.


Mulder's pacing was starting to get on Skinner's nerves when the
phone rang. "Mulder."

"Your boy is a clever one, Mulder. Sent us the formula hidden
amongst his kid's chemistry homework. If his bosses have a tap on
the kid's computer, and I'm sure they do, I have a tough time
believing they will catch this one. He even sent a goofy letter
bitching about the teacher." Frohike's admiration for the
doctor's stealth was obvious.

"I don't care if he got it to you by passenger pigeon. Can you
make this work?"

"Yeah, I think so. It could take a while to synthesise it though. 
We're already working on it."

"Thanks, Frohike. Have you guys managed to dig up Dr. Norris
yet?"

"Nothing yet, but we have a few new leads that look pretty good." 
Frohike sounded confused. "Why do you still need him if this is
the antidote for what they did to Scully?"

"That's only part of the cure. We also need the trigger words to
get rid of the hypnotic block. Only Norris knows what they are," 
Mulder said. "We're heading to Blackwood next to see if . . ."

"If you're going looking for Dr. McNeill, don't bother. 
According to a friend of ours in Dallas, Dr. McNeill 
took a header off his hospital roof yesterday afternoon."

"Shit! How? That was before we talked to Stewart. They couldn't
have known." Mulder threw his notes across the room.

"I don't think they had to Mulder. From what our friend could dig
up, it seems McNeill's daughter was recently diagnosed with a
tumour. A nasopharyngeal tumour."

"Damn! They took his kid." Mulder swore softly. "Well, I guess
there's nothing we can do there now. We'll be heading home
tonight."

"You want me to call Lisa and tell her you're coming home?"

"No, I'll call her when I get our flights. Thanks again, you
guys."

"No problemo, Mulder, you know that." With that the Gunman hung
up.

Mulder turned to Skinner who had been waiting impatiently while he
spoke to Frohike. "McNeill is dead. They got to his family. His
daughter has the same kind of tumour Scully had." He sat down
heavily on the bed, and scrubbed his face with his palms. "What
is it about these men that can make a father sacrifice his
daughter?" 

Skinner didn't answer. He knew Mulder didn't expect one. "We
should call the airline and see about flights. It could be tough
to get one today."

"We got one yesterday."

"We got lucky and I flashed my badge." Skinner waited for the
flip remark. 

Mulder just stared out the window at the river below. "Hopefully,
our luck is still with us."


Office of Dr. Angela Low
Alexandria, VA
January 23
1:15 p.m.


"So, Lisa, how have you been feeling?" Angela Low was the OB-GYN
the Gunmen had set Mulder and Lisa up with.

"Great. I have tons of energy and am eating everything in sight." 
Lisa lay on the table, waiting for her ultrasound. 

Angela was just finishing up her exam. "Well, you aren't gaining
an inordinate amount of weight so I wouldn't worry too much about
it. And I'm glad to hear you're feeling good. How's Fox?" She
flipped a blanket over Lisa's legs and abdomen. "I thought he
would be here."

"So did I." Lisa checked her watch for the tenth time in two
minutes. "He said he would be here. He had to go into work, but
he was going to get away in time for this appointment."

"Well, we are running a little early and the ultrasound technician
isn't here yet, so he still has plenty of time." Angela patted
Lisa's arm and jotted a few notes in her file. "Everything looks
great so far. You're nice and healthy, blood looks good, weight
gain right on target." She smiled at Lisa's wrinkled nose. "You
have that goofy, pregnant woman grin I like to see." 

Lisa laughed. "Thanks, Angela."

"I'm not late, am I?" Mulder came flying through the door,
panting.

"Nope, the technician isn't even here yet." Lisa reached for his
hand. "How come you're running?"

"I got stuck in a meeting with that idiot Robson. I swear that
man loves the sound of his own voice. Skinner finally rescued me
and sent me on my way." He dropped into the chair beside Lisa's
bed. "How are you two doing?"

"Angela says we're great. Everything checks out good so far. No
sign of the hormone in my blood at all." She smiled as Mulder's
shoulders slumped in relief. Mulder had worried about the effect
the antidote might have on Lisa and the baby. Lisa ran her
fingers through his hair. "Fox?" He looked up. "We're okay. I
can feel it. My blood is healthy and now we get to see our baby
is too." 

Mulder brought her hand to his lips and placed a gentle kiss
there. "I know. I just worry, it's in my nature."

Twenty minutes later they were staring enraptured at the tiny
heartbeat on the screen in front of them. "Sounds good, you two. 
Looks good, too." Angela realised they weren't listening and just
sat and watched them watch their baby.

Tears were running down Lisa's cheeks, collecting in her hair. 
Mulder still held her hand pressed to his lips. Even though this
was Lisa's third ultrasound, the previous two had been under the
assumption that *something* had been done to Lisa and they had
been so relieved to see a healthy normal baby they hadn't let
themselves just enjoy the moment. "Her little heart beats so
fast," Mulder exclaimed, his voice filled with wonder. 

The technician smiled. "It's a perfectly normal and healthy
sounding heartbeat. Want to listen?" Mulder just nodded then
his eyes widened in wonder as the sound of his child's heartbeat
filled the small exam room.

Lisa's sob tore him away from the screen. "Lisa? What's wrong?" 
He stroked her hair away from her face gently.

Her smile was brilliant. "Nothing's wrong. Have you ever heard
anything more amazing than this?"

Mulder kissed her cheek then rested his forehead on hers. "No. I
never have." 

 ****

The trip home was made in silence, each lost in their own
thoughts. Lisa was clutching the fuzzy grey picture of the baby. 
She thought back to Fox's recent behaviour. He had been much more
affectionate lately. More willing to touch her. Small things
really, a quick hug before bed, a hand on her elbow or back when
they walked, even an occasional peck on the cheek. She had
discussed it with Margaret and found out that while the touches
were nothing new, the kisses and hugs apparently were. Margaret
told her that Fox had always been very tactile with Dana and it
was something Dana had a tough time getting used to at first. 
Lisa wasn't having that problem. She liked the touches, looked
forward to them. She wondered what Dana Scully would think of the
changes in her partner's behaviour.

Mulder in the meantime was just remembering the sound of his
child's heartbeat. Lisa had been right when she had said it was
the most amazing thing she had ever heard. Mulder just hadn't
expected to be so completely bowled over. He was more determined
now than ever that *no one* was going to get to Lisa and their
child.

When they got home, Lisa went immediately to call Margaret to tell
her about their appointment. Mulder checked the messages. There
was just one from Frohike. "Hey pops. I hear things went well
at the exam today. Congrats. Angela says everything is just
peachy. She also mentioned a certain FBI type getting all
emotional and kissing a certain lovely redhead. Care to share,
Agent Mulder?" Mulder shook his head. He and Lisa had given
Angela permission to share their medical records with the Gunmen,
hoping it would help the investigation. 

"Fox. Fox!" Lisa's voice interrupted his thoughts. She smiled 
brightly when he looked up at her. "Margaret's invited us 
for dinner to celebrate the ultrasound. Is that okay with you?"

Mulder laughed. "Only a grandmother. Of course it's okay."

Lisa went back to her phone call. "We'll be there, Margaret. 
What time? Six sounds good. We'll see you then." Lisa hung up
the phone and was surprised to find herself in a tight embrace. 
"Ooomph. Fox? What is it?"

He smiled softly. "Thank you." He kissed her forehead and buried 
his face in her hair.

She returned the smile. "You're welcome." She wrapped her arms
around him and settled against his chest.

 ****

Dinner with Margaret was wonderful as usual. Lisa caught her up
on all the baby happenings and Fox filled her in on the
investigation. Talking about returning Dana made Lisa a bit
uncomfortable, but she had grown used to it. She realised that
Fox would likely never stop trying to return Dana Scully. 

"So, are you going to find out what the baby's sex is?" Margaret
asked as they sipped tea after dinner.

Mulder glanced at Lisa and smiled. "We haven't decided yet. I'm
pretty sure it's a girl." Lisa rolled her eyes. "What? *You*
think it's a girl too."

"Did you ever think maybe I'm humouring you?" Lisa grinned at his
pout. "I'm kidding, Fox. I have a feeling too."

Margaret watched them interact. It amazed her how easy Fox was
with Lisa. Much more so than he ever had been with Dana. Maybe
it was the difference in the two personalities. Lisa was much
freer with her laughter and smiles than Dana had ever been. Much
more affectionate. Fox was probably responding to that. Please,
God, don't let him fall in love with Lisa. I don't think he could
take losing her again when we get Dana back.

Margaret's little prayer was interrupted by Mulder saying, "We
should be getting home, Mrs. Scully. It's getting late." He
helped Lisa to her feet and hugged Margaret. "Dinner was
wonderful, as usual. Thank you for having us."

"Thank you for coming, Fox. You know I love seeing both of you." 
She hugged Lisa and patted her tummy. "You two take care. Night,
baby. Good night, Lisa."

 ****

"Fox, can I ask you a question?" Lisa asked as they entered their
apartment.

"Sure." He sat on the couch and patted the cushion next to him. 
"What's up?"

Lisa sat beside him and angled herself to face him. She reached
out and took his hand. "Fox, what's going to happen to you when
you get Dana back?"

Mulder blinked in confusion. "I'm not sure what you mean."

"I mean, you have been living here with me for months. You've
been a part of this pregnancy every step of the way. Will you go
back to living alone? Will you still be involved? What?"

"Lisa . . ." Mulder ran a shaking hand through his hair. "I
don't know. That's one of the things that has kept me up at
night. I am hoping Scully will want me here, but I doubt it. 
I've told you before, she and I didn't have that kind of
relationship. As for the baby, I don't think Scully would try to
keep me away. But I have *no* idea how involved she'll want me to
be. Scully was always so, guarded, about her personal life." He
turned sad eyes on Lisa. "I do know there is no way I will let
her keep me from this baby." He touched her briefly. "You know,
I never really thought about having children. It was just
something I've never thought would be a part of my life. But this
little one . . . I had no idea I could have so much love for
someone I've never even met."

"You have to remember that Dana is going to know how you feel
about her. She'll remember everything you've said to me about
her. Maybe that will change things."

Mulder smiled sadly. "I hope you're right, Lisa. I really do."


Georgetown, Washington, DC
February 17 
5:34 a.m.


"Fox, wake up." Lisa shook his shoulder. "Fox!"

"Hmm, wha- Lisa?" He sat bolt upright. "What's wrong? Is
it the baby?" He turned on the lamp beside his bed to reveal a
brightly smiling Lisa. He glanced at the clock. "Lisa?"

"Yes, it's the baby." She grabbed his hand and laid it on her
swollen belly. "She's awake and doing cartwheels."

"Oh God." Mulder felt his child move for the first time. "Oh." 
He looked at Lisa. "When did this start?"

"I woke up and had to go to the bathroom, *again*, and I felt her
move. This is the first time I've really been able to feel it
from the outside. I mean, I could feel her move on the inside but
this is different. I thought you'd want to feel it too." Lisa
was pretty sure she was babbling, but didn't really care. 
 
She watched as Mulder laid his cheek on her tummy. "Hi, baby. 
This is your daddy. You getting bored in there?" He grinned. "I
think she's just gunning for bigger living quarters."

"Ha. Her living quarters get too much bigger, I'm gonna burst." 
They both laughed. They sat quietly for a few more minutes
feeling the tiny movements of their child. Then Lisa said, "she
feels like she's settling down now. I should go back to bed." 
She moved towards the door.

"Lisa. Thank you for waking me up. I wouldn't want to miss
something like that." 

Lisa smiled and pulled the door shut as she left.

 
 ****

The Gunmen, Skinner and Mulder were all huddled around the
computer in the living room. Frohike was updating them on their
findings when the doorbell rang. "I'll get it," Lisa called
from the dining room, where she and Langly were sorting some of
the information the boys had found. "Oh, my God! FOX!"

Mulder turned immediately to see Dr. Richard Norris fall into
Lisa's arms. "Shit! Skinner, help Lisa." He grabbed his weapon
out of the drawer. "Get him on the couch." 

Norris was bleeding badly from a rather sizable hole in his
abdomen. "Dammit, he needs a doctor," Skinner swore as he
pressed a towel to the gaping wound. 

"NO!" Norris gasped. "Too late. Dead anyway." He gasped for
breath. "Take disc."

"What? What disc?" Mulder asked, frustrated.

"Disc. Need to keep safe. All you need." With that, Dr. Richard
Norris gasped once and died.

"Search his pockets. He said something about a disc." Mulder
frantically began to go through the dead man's jacket.

"Mulder!" Skinner said sharply.

"What?"

Skinner nodded towards Lisa. She was standing against the wall,
trembling. Her face was white as a sheet and she had her hands
over her mouth. "Ah, shit." Mulder went to her immediately. 
"Lisa? Lisa, c'mon. Let's go lie down." He led her to the
bedroom and sat her on the bed. "Lisa, I need you to talk to me. 
Are you okay?"

"How can you ask that?" she yelled. "There is a *dead* man in my
living room!"

"I know and I'm sorry. I forgot for a minute you're not--"

"I'm not what? Not her? Not *Scully*? Well, I'm sorry if I
don't react well to having a dead man in my house. I'm sorry if
your precious Dana would have handled it better than this, but I 
just . . ." With that she burst into tears.

Mulder gathered her close and held her. "Sshhh, it's okay. I'm
sorry. I didn't think. It's okay."

"He, he just died. He was my doctor. He told us about our baby." 
She sobbed. "How can someone just walk into your house and die? 
How can you people live like this?" She burrowed into his chest,
clutching at his shirt.

Mulder stroked her hair and rubbed her back gently. "I guess we
try not to think about it. When we do, it hits pretty hard."

"What do you do? How do you deal with it?"

"I run. Swim. Watch-- videos. Have a good cry. All of the
above. We deal with it because we have to. No one else can." He
pulled back a little and wiped her tears. "Don't feel bad because
what you saw scared you. It scares me. I just forget sometimes
that not everyone is equipped to handle it."

Lisa sniffed and laid her head back on his chest. "Dana would
have dealt with it."

"Yes, she would have. And later she would have gone to bed and
cried herself to sleep, alone. You see, that's the big difference
between us and you. You don't feel like you need to cope alone. 
You let me help. You try to help me. The way I see it, that's a
hell of a lot healthier than crying in the shower."

She smiled up at him. "Thank you." She kissed him lightly on the
cheek. Their eyes caught and held. 

Mulder lowered his lips to hers in a gentle kiss. Her lips were
soft and pliant under his. As he deepened the kiss, there was a
quiet knock on the door. "Mulder?" They separated guiltily. 
"You guys okay in there?" They could hear the concern in
Frohike's voice.

Mulder cleared his throat. "Yeah, we'll be out in a sec."

"'Kay, 'cause there's something here you'll wanna see."

Mulder squeezed Lisa's hand lightly. "You okay?"

"Not really, but I'm better." She smiled up at him. "Let's go
see what they found."

It was a computer zipdisc. Encrypted. Heavily. "This is some
serious shit, Mulder. I've never seen anything like it," Frohike
said, his fingers flying over the keyboard. "This could take a
while."

"Take as long as you need." Mulder looked around the room. The
body was gone, so was Skinner. Mulder trusted Skinner to take
care of the situation.

 ****

Two hours later Frohike grunted in frustration. "This isn't
working. We need to take this to the office. We just don't have
the equipment here." He looked at Mulder. "I know you don't want
to let it out of your sight, man, but . . ."

Mulder sighed. He looked towards the open bedroom door. "Fine,
let's go. Langly, you stay here with Lisa. Don't let anyone in
except me. Not even Skinner. If he shows up, tell him to come to
your place."


Headquarters of the Lone Gunmen
Alexandria, VA
March 3
11:47 p.m.


They had worked steadily on breaking the encryption with no luck. 
Mulder and the two Gunmen were beginning to lose hope when
Mulder's cell phone rang.

"Mulder."

"Where the hell are you?" Skinner yelled.

"I'm with the Gunmen. Why?"

"Mulder, is Lisa with you?"

Something in Skinner's voice put every nerve in his body on alert. 
"No. I left her at home with Langly."

"Mulder. I'm standing in your living room. The door was open
when I got here. Langly was out cold in the kitchen and there's
no sign of Lisa anywhere."

Mulder was already moving before Skinner finished speaking. "I'm
on my way." He began frantically looking for his keys. 

"Mulder, put Byers on the phone. Mulder!" Skinner said sharply.

"*What*?"

"Give the phone to Byers." Mulder handed the phone to Byers and
continued his search for his keys.

Byers spoke to Skinner for a moment then disconnected. "I'll
drive."

When they arrived at the apartment, Langly had regained
consciousness and was trying to answer Skinner's questions. "I
have no idea how they got in. Lisa woke up and wanted to know
where Mulder was. I was making us some tea when I heard a noise
in the living room." He paused for a second. "That's it. The
next thing I know you're here and I have a headache." He looked
up at Mulder. "I'm sorry, man, I just--"

Mulder waved away the apology. "Dammit, I knew I shouldn't have
left her here. Not tonight."

"Let's not do this right now, Mulder. It won't help us get Lisa
back." Skinner put his hand on the younger man's shoulder. "I
think we all know why they took her tonight."

"The disc," Mulder muttered. "Well, they can have the damn
thing."

"Mulder . . ." Byers started.

"NO! Don't say it. We are going to get Lisa back!"

"Are you sure that's what Scully would want?" Byers asked gently. 
"You don't know what's on that disc."

"I don't fucking *care* what's on the disc. I want Lisa and our
baby back."

 ****

Three days. It had been three days since Lisa's disappearance and
they had nothing. The Gunmen had been working steadily on the
encrypted disc with no results. Skinner had every available agent
looking for Lisa. Mulder hadn't eaten or slept the entire time. 

It was the afternoon of the third day when Margaret Scully showed
up at his office. "Fox?"

"Mrs. Scully. What are you doing here?" He offered her a seat.

"I'm worried about you. You look exhausted, Fox."

"Skinner called you." Mulder slumped into his chair.

"He's concerned, Fox. So am I. When was the last time you
slept?"

Mulder shrugged.

"Don't give me that. You are not going to be in any shape to help
Lisa if you keep this up. Now, I am going to take you home and
you are going to take a shower, eat and get some sleep."

"But--"

"NO! If they find anything they will call you. Now, get your
things and let's go."

Mulder stared at her for a moment and gave up. He gathered his
things and followed her out of the office.

Later that evening Skinner and the Gunmen joined him at the
apartment. They were discussing their options when the phone
rang. Mulder waited until Skinner was at the extension. 
"Mulder."

"Mr. Mulder." The voice was raspy from years of tobacco abuse. 
"Did you misplace something?"

"Where is she, you bastard?"

"Mrs. Miller is safe and comfortable. Now, I believe you have
something that belongs to me."

"Where and when?"

"My, my, you are cooperative this evening." They could hear him
take a drag from his cigarette. "There's a playground four
blocks from your building. Leave my property on the slide."

"I want to speak to Lisa." 

"Not yet. You will get her back when I have my property."

"Why should I trust you?"

"What choice do you have, Mr. Mulder? You have half an hour." 
The line went dead.

Forty-five minutes later Mulder was back at the apartment. 
Waiting. "Are you sure you can trust him?" Byers asked.

"No. I'm sure I can't, but what else could I do? He has Lisa."

"Mulder, can I ask you a question?" Frohike sat beside him at
the table.

Mulder nodded.

"Are you in love with Lisa?"

"What?" Mulder asked incredulously.

"I asked--"

"I heard what you asked, Frohike. I care about Lisa. I mean, how
could I not? Right? She's, well, she's . . ."

"Mulder, it's okay. No one blames you for caring about Lisa. 
She's amazing. It just makes me wonder what's going to happen if
she goes back to being Scully."

"I--" Mulder's reply was interrupted by the ringing of the
telephone. "Mulder."

"Georgetown University Hospital emergency room." The caller hung
up.

Twenty minutes later Mulder charged through the doors of the
emergency room. "I'm looking for a Lisa Miller." He flashed his
badge.

The nurse looked at her list. "Sorry, sir, I have no one by that
name."

"Dammit. I was told she'd been brought here. Please check again.
She's small, red hair, blue eyes, pregnant," Mulder pleaded.

"We do have a woman who fits that description, but her name isn't
Lisa Miller."

"Mulder? Is that you?"

All five men spun around at the sound of her voice. "Thank God." 
Mulder grabbed her in a tight embrace. He brushed her hair from
her dirty face. "Are you okay? Did they hurt you? Is the baby
okay?" He hugged her again. 

She wiggled out of his embrace. "I feel fine. Mulder, what the
hell is going on here?" She folded her arms across her chest. 

Mulder stopped suddenly and stared at her. "Lisa?" Mulder asked
tentatively.

She just looked at him. "Who?"

"Scully?"

"Mulder, what is going on here? Who is Lisa and what happened to
me?"

"It is you!" He grabbed her again. When he looked at her face
there were tears in his eyes. "I didn't think you were coming
back."

Again Scully moved out of his arms. "Mulder, I would just like it
if you would explain this to me. My God, Mulder, I'm pregnant. 
Very pregnant." She looked down at her belly. "You want to tell
me how this happened?"

"I-- what do you remember?" Mulder sat next to her on the bed and
took her hand.

"The last thing I remember clearly is coming home, late. We had
just testified at the Colman case. I was exhausted and just
wanted sleep. Next thing I know, I'm waking up here. Pregnant." 

Mulder sighed and turned to the other men. They all looked as
lost as he felt. "Scully, that was eight months ago."

"What? Mulder--"

Just then the doctor entered the cubicle. "Well, what seems to be
the problem, young lady?"

Since none of them had the first clue how to explain this to him,
Scully said, "Actually, I think I'm okay now. I probably
overreacted. I just want to go home." She smiled sweetly at him
and started to get up.

"Whoa, there. You came into this hospital complaining of
dizziness and disorientation. Now, you are obviously pregnant and
I don't want to take any chances." 

"The nurse took my vital signs. Are they normal?"

"Well, yes, but . . ."

"Then I want to go home. I feel fine, no dizziness. As I said, I
overreacted. This is my first pregnancy." Scully got down off
the exam table and reached for her jacket.

The doctor turned to Mulder. "Are you her husband?" He continued
without waiting for an answer. "She should be examined."

"I'm sorry, Doctor. I'll make sure she sees her own physician as
soon as possible," Mulder said apologetically.

The doctor gave up. "Fine, I'll tell the nurse to get you the AMA
forms." He walked away.

They went immediately to see Angela Low. She examined Scully
thoroughly and told them she was in the same shape she'd been in
earlier in the week. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief. 

"Now, are you going to tell me what the hell is going on?" Scully
asked as soon as she and Mulder were alone in the car.

"Yeah. I'm just trying to figure out where to start."

By the time they pulled up in front of the apartment Scully's eyes
were wide with shock. "So, this is your baby?"

"Yes."

"And it's healthy, normal?"

"All the tests say so, yes."

"And I've been living as some other woman for the last what, seven
months?"

"Yes."

"And you and I lived together as husband and wife for more than
three months."

Mulder nodded.

Scully stared at him for a moment then got out of the car and
headed up the walk. When she got to the front door, she realised
she had no key. "At least I still live here." She looked
confused. "How is that possible if we were gone?"

"Your mom kept it up. She couldn't bring herself to sell it." 
Mulder opened the door and followed her into the building. 

He opened the apartment door and she entered before him. She
stopped suddenly. "I'm sorry, Mulder, I know you probably want to
hash this out right now but I just really need to get some sleep. 
Can we do this tomorrow?"

"Uh, Scully."

"What?" she asked sharply.

"Nothing. You get some sleep. I'll see you in the morning." He
dropped the keys on the table beside the door and left.

Dana Scully looked around the apartment for the first time. She
barely recognised it. Obviously Lisa had made some changes. 
There were several large potted plants scattered about the room. 
The furniture had been arranged differently. There was a strange
blanket thrown over the back of the couch. The curtains were new
and so was the throw rug. Mulder's jacket was hanging off the
back of one of the dining room chairs and there were . . . Wait
a minute. What was Mulder's jacket . . . That was when she
noticed the running shoes by the door, men's running shoes. A
basketball rested beside them. She went to the bookshelves. 
There, beside her own familiar books were psychology texts, and
book after book on the paranormal, as well as many on parenting
and pregnancy. Scully practically ran to the bedroom. She heaved
a sigh of relief. No sign of him in there. She turned to the
door of the guest room. Taking a deep breath, she pushed it
open.

 ****

"Mulder? What are you doing here?" Skinner opened the door to
admit the other man.

Mulder shrugged self-consciously. "She didn't know we'd been
living together. She asked me to leave. She was tired."
 
"Why didn't you just tell her that you lived there?"

"She'd had enough to take in tonight. I didn't want to dump any
more on her." Mulder's voice sounded lost.

"Mulder. Are *you* going to be okay?" Skinner knew Scully wasn't
the only one who would have to make adjustments.

"I'll be fine, Sir. I was just hoping I could crash here tonight. 
I'll look for a place tomorrow. I just . . ." His voice trailed
off.

"Of course you can stay here."

 ****

Dana Scully stared at the answering machine as it picked up for
the tenth time. "Hi, this is Lisa. Fox and I aren't home right
now but . . ." The voice was hers but the tone was different. 
This woman sounded so . . . so, not her. Mulder had been calling
all morning. Scully didn't want to talk to him. She had no idea
how to deal with this situation. Mulder had been living with her. 
Here, in her own apartment. She had spent the morning cleaning. 
Trying to get rid of every trace of the *other* woman she could
find. The furniture was back the way she liked it. All the new
things that Lisa had bought were packed into boxes. She had just
begun to pack up Mulder's things when the doorbell rang.

"Who is it?"

"Dana? It's Mom." She had called her mother first thing this
morning.

Scully flung open the door and grabbed her mom. "Oh, Mom."

Margaret started to cry. "Oh, my baby. I didn't think we were
ever going to get you back." She held her daughter close for a
good long time. "How are you doing, Dana? I know this is a lot
to adjust to."

"I feel good physically, Mom. The rest of it? I'm not sure how
to feel." She led her mom into the apartment.

Margaret looked around, taking in all the boxes. "What are you
doing, Dana?" She opened one of the boxes. "Why are you packing
up all these things?"

"They aren't mine, Mother." 

Margaret immediately recognised the set of her daughter's chin. 
"I know you didn't pick them out, but there were some lovely--"

"I don't want them here." Scully crossed her arms in front of her
chest.

Margaret smiled and patted her arm. "That's fine, dear. I guess
I can understand that in a way. It must be difficult for you. 
But I'm sure everything is going to be fine now that you're back
to yourself again." She noticed the box containing a few of
Mulder's things. "Dana? Where is Fox?"

Scully shrugged and turned away. She began putting more things
into the box.

"Dana? *Where* is Fox?" Margaret pulled her daughter around to
face her.

Scully turned around. "I don't know. I haven't spoken to him
since last night." 

"What? Why not? Where did he--" Margaret watched as
Scully's face closed off. "Dana, why isn't Fox here?"

"Mom--" The phone rang, interrupting her.

"Aren't you going to answer that?" Margaret asked.

"No. Let the machine get it." Scully knew who it was and this
was not going to go over well with her mother.

"Scully? Scully, if you're there, it's me, Mulder. Scully, I
need to talk to you. Please, pick up the phone. We really need
to talk. Scully, please?" He sighed. "I know this is a lot for
you to take in and you're probably pretty confused right now, but
would you at least find it in your heart to let me know if you are
all right? I'm worried about you. Please call me. I'm still at
Skinner's. If I don't hear from you soon, I'm coming over there.
Scully? Dammit, please pick up." 

Margaret picked up the phone before Scully could stop her. "Fox? 
It's Margaret."

"Is Scully okay?"

"She's fine, Fox."

She could actually hear his relief over the line. "Mrs. Scully,
is she there?"

"Yes, she is, Fox." She watched her daughter walk into the
bedroom and close the door behind her. "I'm sorry, Fox, she won't
come to the phone."

"That's okay, Mrs. Scully, as long as she's all right." He
hesitated. "Mrs. Scully, has she told you why she won't speak to
me?"

"Not yet, Fox, I haven't been here very long. Listen, I'm going
to talk to her, see if I can get her to listen to some sense. 
I'll call you later."

"Thanks, Mrs. Scully." She could hear the defeat in his voice.

"Fox? Is Walter there?"

"Yeah, just a minute."

A few seconds later Walter Skinner came on the line. "Margaret?"

"Walter. How is he doing?"

"What exactly is your daughter trying to do to him? He's a
wreck."

Margaret sighed. "I thought so. I'm not sure what Dana is doing,
but I am going to find out. Please, just take care of him until
we can get this all straightened out." 

Margaret took a moment to compose herself before knocking on her
daughter's bedroom door. Anger never worked with Dana. "Dana,
honey?" Margaret opened the door. "Can I come in?"

"Mom, please. I really don't want to talk about this right now." 
Scully's voice was muffled by the door.

"Dana Katherine, open this door," Margaret said loudly.

The door opened to reveal her daughter's drawn, pale face. 
"Please, Mom . . ."

Margaret entered the room and sat on the bed. "Dana, you have to
deal with this. It's not going to go away this time."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Dana asked indignantly.

"Sit down, Dana." Margaret patted the bed next to her.

"Mom--"

"Sit."

Dana sat down next to her mother but couldn't meet her gaze.

"Dana, I know this is a lot for you to take in right now. This
must all seem very confusing." Dana snorted, and Margaret shot
her a look. "But, Dana, this isn't something you can just pack
away in boxes and pretend it didn't happen. I know in the past
when things have become . . . tense between you and Fox, you have
both chosen to pretend it didn't happen. But, sweetie, there is
someone else involved this time. You have to think about the
baby."

"The baby. A baby I didn't ask for. My God, Mother, I am
pregnant by my *partner*!" Dana got up and began to pace. "What
am I going to do with a baby?"

"What were you going to do if they let you have Emily?" Margaret
asked, her voice soft and gentle.

Scully gasped. "I-- I wasn't sure, I just knew I had to have her
with me."

"Why is this different, honey? This is still your baby. Only
this time you get to carry her and know her before she is born. 
And this time you know the father is someone you-- someone you
care about."

"But--"

"What is it? Do you think Fox won't make a good father?"

"No, I--"

"Because if that's the problem, I think you are dead wrong. I'll
be honest, Dana, Fox Mulder isn't exactly the type of man I would
have chosen for you. But I would have been wrong. He is a good
man, a little on the eccentric side, but he has a good heart. He
would do anything for you and this baby. You know that, don't
you?"

"I just don't think it would be appropriate for--" Dana said
stiffly.

"Appropriate!" Margaret gaped at her stubborn daughter. "You 
want appropriate?" She shook her head. "Honey, I don't think
appropriate is an option here." She gentled her voice. "Dana, I
know you're scared. But hiding from Fox isn't going to make it
any easier. If nothing else, he's your closest friend. You could
use his support to try to get back the time you have lost."
Margaret brushed her daughter's hair back from her face. "He is
this baby's father, and honey, he loves her so much. Please don't
shut him out." 

Scully turned tear-filled eyes on her mother. "Oh, Mom, I'm so
scared."

Margaret pulled her into her arms. "I know baby, I know."

 
 ****

"Mulder? Mulder!" Walter Skinner grabbed the younger man and
halted his progress. "Mulder, please sit down. Maggie will
call."

Mulder just looked at him blankly. "What am I going to do if she
doesn't want me around? If she doesn't want me to be a part of
her life, of the baby's life?"

"She doesn't get to make that decision, Mulder. This is your
child too. Scully can't just arbitrarily decide not to let you
see your child," Skinner said soothingly.

Mulder laughed bitterly. "And just how am I supposed to stop her? 
Take her to court? I hate to break this to you, Sir, but it's
highly unlikely a judge is going to find me fit, considering my
history."

"It won't come to that, Mulder. Scully is still in shock and I'm
sure more than a little confused."

"You dangerously underestimate my partner's capacity for denial,
Sir." Mulder jumped slightly when the phone rang.

"Skinner." He turned to Mulder and smiled. "Yes, Scully, he's
right here." 
 
 ****

Half an hour later Mulder was in Scully's living room, waiting for
her to return with tea. He took the time to look around the room. 
He noticed sadly that every trace of Lisa had been removed. He
looked up to find Scully watching him. "You've been busy." He
accepted the steaming cup she offered. 

Scully sat in the armchair opposite him and shrugged. "I just
wanted it back to the way it was."

"She had bought some really nice things. Some of them I was sure
you would like." He watched her carefully.

Once again Scully shrugged. "My home felt uncomfortable. I
changed it back." She sipped her tea.

"Scully, erasing Lisa from your apartment isn't going to change
what happened." He came to sit on the table facing her. "It's
not going to change the fact that you are carrying my baby."

Scully squirmed a bit and laid her hand on her rounded abdomen. 
"I know that, Mulder. It just felt like someone else's home. I
needed to make it feel like mine again." She looked at him, her
eyes pleading for understanding.

"Okay, I guess that makes some sense. Now are you ready to talk
to me about the rest of this?"

"What is there to talk about?" She looked away.

"Wha- Scully, even you can't hide from this." He patted her
stomach.

"Please don't." She pushed his hand away. "Why is it everyone
seems to think that just because a woman is pregnant, she no
longer has any personal space requirements. I saw people do this
to Ellen all the time and it bugged the hell out of me."

"Well, for one thing I am not just people, I am this baby's
father. I guess I just got used to certain things while--" He saw
the look on her face and stopped suddenly. "Listen, Scully, I'm
sorry I touched you without your permission. It won't happen
again, okay?" He moved back to his seat on the couch.

Scully could see that she had hurt him. Obviously Lisa had
allowed him to be very involved in this pregnancy. "Tell me about
her. What was Lisa like?" Mulder hesitated for a moment too
long. "What is it, Mulder? Was she that bad? Or maybe she was
that good, hmm?" Scully said, her tone slightly challenging.

"She was, uh, Lisa was, she was very special." Mulder glanced
briefly at his partner. She refused to meet his eyes. "She was
sweet and kind. She liked to laugh even though this situation
meant that everything and everyone she had ever loved was a cruel
lie. She was warm and friendly and people liked to be around her. 
And *she* wanted this baby more than anything else in the world."

"She sounds pretty incredible. Hard to believe they got all of
that from me." She turned to face him again. "Did you love her?"

Mulder shook his head emphatically. "I cared about her a great
deal." He could see her freeze. "But most of that came from the
fact that she was you, Scully. Yes, she was different in a lot of
ways but--"

"But what, Mulder?"

"She let me close. I know she hoped that some day she and I could
come to terms with what had happened and have a chance together. 
I knew that even though I was able to separate her and you, that
she was very different from you. She couldn't. She still thought
of me as her husband." He cleared his throat. "But she wasn't
you."

They were both silent for a few moments then Scully asked, "Why
did they do this, Mulder? What purpose did it serve? Did they
plan to leave us out there in--"

"Colville, Washington."

"--out there in Colville to live happily ever after as Nick and
Lisa? I don't understand."

"I'm not sure I do either, Scully. I know they were very
surprised when I regained my memory. I'm pretty sure it wasn't in
the plan. When I brought you back here, I was worried they would
come after you. We stayed at Skinner's for a while, but they made
no move. I didn't hear a thing. Even when we started poking
around, there was very little reaction. So we moved in here." He
indicated the apartment.

"I was going to ask about that. Why were you living here with
her?"

Mulder could see this bothered her more than she was willing to
let on. "Scully, as far as Lisa was concerned, *I* was her
husband. She wanted me to live with her and our baby. When I
suggested we live apart, she became quite upset. All she knew was
the man she had been married to for twelve years, her baby's
father, would be living elsewhere. To be honest, it made me feel
better to be close. I felt they would be safe here with me." 

"You have to know that I am uncomfortable with that. You know how
important my privacy is to me, Mulder."

"Dammit, Scully! Do you think I didn't consider that? What would
you have me do instead? You weren't here. Lisa was and she
needed me. Okay! *She* wanted me here to help her, *she* wanted
me to be a part of this pregnancy, *she* was happy to be carrying
my child. And you know what? I wanted to be here. To be with my
child's mother, to be a part of bringing her into this world," he
ground out, his jaw clenching tightly. "I'm sorry that you have
had all of this dumped on you, but you're acting like you are the
only one affected by all of this." He ran his hand through his
hair. "I need to know. Are you going to make it difficult for me
to be involved in my child's life?"

"I take it you have been very involved up 'til now?" Scully asked
quietly.

"Every step of the way. I've been to all of her doctor's
appointments, all the tests, the ultrasounds. At the last one, we
got a picture of the baby and got to hear her heartbeat. It was
amazing," he said, smiling softly.

"Her? The baby is a girl?"

"We never found out for sure, but we always referred to her as a
girl. I guess we needed to make her more real than *it*."

Scully could see something in his eyes that had never been there
before. A joy she had never thought possible and a terrible
sadness she recognised all too well. "You really do want this
baby, don't you?"

Mulder came to crouch before her. "Yes, I do. I love this little
one. When I first regained my memory, my first thought was that
this wasn't what Scully would want. But you weren't there and
Lisa wanted the baby so much. I guess I got caught up in her
enthusiasm. I also think that a part of me thought that if I
never got you back, at least I had our child."

Scully was speechless. She had no idea that this meant so much to
him. She should have known that he would want and love any child
of his. What surprised her was that it meant so much to him that
the baby was hers. "What would have happened if I had never
regained my memory, Mulder?"

Mulder sighed. "Lisa asked me that same question not long ago. 
I'll give you the same answer I gave her. I don't know. I tried
not to think about that too much."

"Why?"

Mulder turned incredulous eyes on her. "Why? Because it hurt too
damn much to think I was never going to have you back in my life. 
That's why." He stood and began to pace. "Lisa wanted to know if
I thought there was a chance that she and I could ever be
together. I couldn't answer her. Not because I didn't know the
answer but because I didn't want to hurt her. Every time she got
close, every time I held her, when I kissed her--" He looked down
when he heard Scully gasp. "When I *kissed* her, it felt like I
was betraying *you*. I was doing these things without your
consent. I was terrified that I would never get you back and yet
I was never going to be free to care about this wonderful loving
woman who wanted me in her life."

His impassioned words left Scully speechless for a moment. She
knew he would be a wonderful father. This was something she had
always believed. But it wasn't supposed to happen this way. 
There should only be happiness. When she had dreamed about having
a baby, having *his* baby, there had been no conspiracy, no fear,
only joy and excitement. But this was still *their baby*, a
miracle and she still had a chance, maybe her only one. She made
a decision. "Mulder, I want you to be a part of this baby's life. 
As involved as you want to be. She is yours as much as mine and
she deserves to know that she has a wonderful daddy who loves her
so much," Scully said quietly. "I grew up with an absent father. 
I know it was the nature of his job, but when I was six, all I
knew was that my daddy couldn't come to my dance recital. He even
missed my graduation. I don't want that for our baby. I want her
to have her daddy there for *all* of her big moments." It wasn't
the perfect solution but at least he would be here. At least he
loved the baby.

"Thank you, Scully. You have no idea how much this means to me." 
He sat down facing her once again. "And what about you? Are you
going to want to be a part of my life again?"

"Of course, Mulder. You're my partner, and if we're going to
catch the bastards that did this we're going to have to do it
together."

Mulder nodded. He knew this was all he could ask for right now. 
She was still adjusting to their new situation. 

"Um, Mulder?"

"Yeah?"

"Uh, where were you planning on living?"

Mulder sighed. "I haven't had time to look for a place, Scully."

Scully fiddled nervously with the cushion on the chair. "You
could stay here. All of your things are already here and it
really would make it easier for you to be involved. With the baby
that is. If you want to be a real, full-time father, you need to
be close. Right? There is no way you are going to find an
apartment nearby, and it would be difficult for you to be truly
involved if you lived too far away." She knew she was babbling
and was powerless to stop. This was too important. She held her
breath. 

"Thanks, Scully. I wasn't looking forward to apartment hunting. 
Besides that, I've enjoyed not living alone. Didn't realise how
quiet and dull my apartment was. I've gotten used to having
another person around," Mulder smiled sadly. Beggars can't be
choosers and he was willing to take whatever she could offer.

"Like I said, I want you to be a part of our, of the baby's life. 
It would be easier if you lived here." Not exactly the way she
had imagined it, but it was a start.

Mulder thought for a moment. "Are you sure, Scully? *You* aren't
used to having another person in your home. I won't make you
uncomfortable?"

Scully smiled and reached out to take his hand, surprising both
herself and her partner. "It is very likely that at some point
you will drive me completely crazy. But that's okay. I'm sure
I'll drive you nuts too. But I can't see any reason why we
shouldn't just leave things as they are for now."

"It's just that this morning you wouldn't even speak to me."

"Well, there was a very wise lady, and she knocked some sense into
this stubborn head of mine." She grinned remembering her mother's
*tender* words. "But, Mulder, you have to remember that I'm not
Lisa." This earned her a really big grin. "What's so damn
funny?"

"Isn't that an old country song? 'I'm Not Lisa'? I think it
was from the early seventies."

Scully did her best to hide her smile. "I'm trying to be serious
here, Mulder."

"Ahem, yes, Scully, I know you aren't Lisa. Lisa worried
constantly that all I saw when I looked at her was you. It
shouldn't be a problem."

They were both quiet for a moment, contemplating the decision they
had made. It wasn't exactly what either of them wanted, but it
was all they thought they could have.

Scully broke the silence. "Well. Then that's settled." She sat
up straighter, then said, "Now, I need you to tell me *everything*
you know about what was done to us."
 
 ****

They had spent the entire afternoon discussing what Mulder and the
others had been able to find out about the special effects that
had been done to their memories. Now they sat at the computer
going over some of the information the Gunmen had sent them. 
"Dammit!" Mulder slapped the monitor. 

"What is it, Mulder?" Scully looked up from the printout she was
reading.

"Dr. Stewart is dead." Mulder scrubbed his face with his hands.

"Which one was Dr. Stewart?"

Mulder sighed and looked at her again. "He's the doctor in
Bellefleur. The one who gave Skinner and I the antidote. We
thought we had him covered." He handed her the message from the
Gunmen. Mulder knew that Stewart may have been their last chance
to find out exactly what had been done to them.

Scully read it then raised her eyes to look at her partner. "Do
you think when they took me and found the antidote in my system,
that they made the connection?"

"Shit, I hadn't thought about that, but you're probably right. 
Damn, he had kids."

Scully stood and came to stand behind him. "Mulder, that man
*chose* to take the chances he did. He was greedy. He knew who
the people he worked for were. He knew what they were doing to
innocent women. So, yes, while I do feel for his wife and
children, I can't say I am sorry that a man who could sell his
humanity is dead."

"I know, Scully. When I found out that he knew what had been done
to you, I wanted to kill him with my bare hands. I just hope his
children *never* find out what kind of man their father was." 
He leaned his head back against her. "The disillusionment can be
a bitch."

Scully brushed his hair back from his forehead. "Well, let's hope
his kids go through life thinking their daddy was Superman."

He tipped his head backwards and smiled at her upside down. "Are
you going to tell this one her daddy is Superman?"

"Nope."

Disappointed frown. "Nope?"

"I think you're more the Batman type. Don't you?" 

"Oooh, Scully, does that make you Catwoman?" 

Somehow the leer was less effective when viewed from this angle. 
She hid her grin and patted him on the head. "I'm hungry. You
want a snack?" She headed for the kitchen.

Mulder, still trying to catch up to the lightning fast mood
changes followed, shaking his head and muttering about hormones.

 ****

Several days later Scully was working at the computer when the
doorbell rang. Mulder was at work and there were supposed to be
agents at the entry to the building. She checked the peephole,
then threw the door open. "What the hell do you want, you
bastard?"

"Now, now, Agent Scully. You mustn't get upset. It's bad for the
baby." The smoking man strode past her into the apartment. "You
know, I have always liked this place. You make it feel very
homey. Is it going to be big enough for all three of you once the
baby is born?" He pulled out a cigarette and moved to light it.

"I'd rather you didn't. It's 'bad for the baby'," Scully said,
her voice taught with anger.

"Of course, how thoughtless of me." He returned both lighter and
cigarette to his pocket.

"What do you want?" Scully asked again.

"I'm just here to make a friendly call. See how the little mother
and baby are doing." 

"Listen you sonofa-"

"Uh, uh. Calm down. I'm not here to cause you any harm. Please,
may we sit?"

Scully stared at him incredulously. "Say what you have to say
then *get out*!"

He nodded. "That's fine. I am here to tell you that nothing was
done to your child. It is perfectly normal in every way. There
was no genetic magic worked on either your ova or Agent Mulder's
sperm."

"Our doctor already told us all of this."

"I'm sure she did. But I am also sure that there has been doubt
in your mind. What we may have done that the good doctor couldn't
detect. Am I wrong?"

Scully just looked at him, her face calm.

"I also thought you might like to know there were no test-tubes
involved in your baby's conception. I know it probably hasn't
crossed your mind, but I do know it preyed on Mrs. Miller a great
deal."

"But that's impossible, I can't--"

"You have that wrong, Miss Scully. You couldn't. We did a
little repair work while you were our guest."

"Why would you do that for us?" This man's motives were always
purely selfish.

"You were never supposed to regain your memories. You were both
supposed to live happily ever after in Colville. The happily
married parents of a miracle baby. Agents Mulder and Scully
should have remained dead."

"Why?"

"It was a compromise. Mulder was becoming a hindrance. He needed
to be removed. Loyalties prevented me from killing him outright. 
This was the best solution for all involved," he said
confidently.

Scully laughed bitterly, astounded at the man's gall. "You
thought tearing us away from our lives, from our families, taking
who we *are* away from us, was a good solution for *us*?" She
turned her back on him to gather herself. "You people have
absolutely no humanity left in you at all, do you?"

"You should be pleased to know that the termination order has been
lifted for your partner, Agent Scully."

"I thought you just said he couldn't be killed?" she asked, her
voice tight.

"I said loyalties prevented *me* from killing him. My associates
felt no such loyalty." He smiled at her. "We believe that Agent
Mulder will be more likely to keep his nose clean now, given that
he has the right incentive." He looked at her rounded abdomen. 
"Good day, Agent Scully, and congratulations."


 ****

Mulder and Skinner looked up surprised as Scully burst into the
AD's office unannounced. "I'm sorry, Sir, she--" Skinner's
hapless assistant began.

Skinner waved her off. "Don't worry about it, Kim. Thank you."
When the assistant had left the room, both men approached Scully.

"Are you okay?" Mulder got to her first and reached for her hand. 

Scully shook him off, ignoring the hurt expression she caused. 
"No, I'm not okay."

Mulder forgot his hurt and moved on to worried. "What's wrong? 
What happened?" For the first time he noticed the high colour in
her cheeks.

"I had company today." She sat on the couch.

Mulder sat beside her. "Who?"

"Our friend Mr. Spender."

"What? How the hell did he even get into the building?" Mulder
turned to Skinner. "Where were her guards?"

"I don't know, Mulder, but I will find--"

Scully interrupted him. "Don't blame them, Sir. Evidently one of
my neighbours had a bit of an *accident* on the stairs. The
agents were helping her."

Neither man had any doubts about the cause of the neighbour's
*accident*. "What did he want?" Mulder asked.

"He said he just wanted to assure me that the baby was normal and
that you were safe as long as you keep your nose clean." She
braced herself for the explosion.

It never came. "Do you believe him?" he asked softly.

"What?" Scully wasn't prepared for the question.

"Do you believe him? Do you think they'll leave us alone?"

"Mulder." She glanced at Skinner. He shrugged. "I think he was
telling the truth. But so what? We aren't going to stop trying
to find your sister. We aren't going to leave these men to their
agendas. So it doesn't matter what he said."

Mulder was shocked. "You think we should keep fighting?"

"Of course I do." She laid her hand on his arm. "Mulder, we've
managed to stay alive and afloat this long. Maybe we won't be
able to be as obvious about our investigations, but we can't stop
altogether. After everything they've done to us, I refuse to
give in to them," she said adamantly.

Mulder had to smile. No one could ever accuse his Scully of being
a shrinking violet. "Are you sure, Scully? We have the baby to
think about now. She's the most important thing we have to
consider."

Scully was stunned. For the first time she was seeing just *how*
important this baby was to her partner. "I know that, Mulder. 
But I also would like to have a little bit of control over the
type of world we raise our daughter in. Wouldn't you?" 

 ****

The next two weeks were spent trying to find whatever they could
on their smoking nemesis, using everything at their disposal, be
it completely legal or not. They all called in every favour owed
them. They begged, borrowed, bought, threatened and stole to get
the necessary information. Mulder refused to travel, so Skinner
did much of their legwork for them. The partners' time was spent
going through the reams of paper the Gunmen and Skinner sent them
each day, as well as what they were able to dig up themselves. 
Mulder had been sure that once again the smoking man's associates
were not aware of all his dealings, that he had double-crossed his
new *partners* the same way he had the ones killed at El Rico. He
had been right. They had now accumulated enough proof of 
back-stabbing and dirty triple-crosses to build themselves a nice
fat insurance policy. They couldn't put him and his cronies away
and they may never be one hundred percent safe. But it would now
be in Mr. Spender's best interest to make sure that Mulder, Scully
and their child remained in tip-top health for a very long time to
come. Regardless of how dirty their noses got. 

 ****

On the home front, things were still tense. They had settled into
their living arrangement as best they could. Mulder remembered to
treat her as his partner and Scully pretended not to notice when
he slipped. Things were often tense as they both tried to figure
out where they fit in each other's plans for the future. When
they spoke, it was about the work. Neither one wanted to break
the stalemate and discuss their personal future. Scully would
often catch Mulder watching her with a bittersweet expression in
his eyes, but she lacked the courage to ask him about it. She
did, however, find it frustrating that he refused to talk about
the way things had been for him while she was gone. Every time
she brought it up, he changed the subject.
 
 ****

Baltimore, Maryland
March 18
12:15 p.m.


"Dana! Hi, honey. What brings you by?" Margaret pulled her into
a tight hug. 

"I need to talk to you, Mom," Scully said seriously.

"Nothing's wrong, is it?" Margaret asked as she led her daughter
into the kitchen. 

As Margaret went about making tea, Scully sat at the kitchen
table. She was now seven and a half months along and feeling
rather bulky. "Not so much wrong, Mom, as off."

"Everything's okay with the baby, isn't it?" Scully nodded. 
"Okay then, it's Fox. What happened?" Margaret joined her at the
table with two steaming cups of herb tea.

Scully sighed. "I'm not sure, Mom. He seems, I don't know,
different somehow. I mean, Mulder's always been a bit 
touchy-feely. You know it bugged the hell out of me when we first
met." Margaret nodded. "Well now, he's even worse. He comes
home from work, he kisses me on the cheek. I get a kiss on the
cheek good night. For crying out loud, he tried to *hold my hand*
the other day when we went grocery shopping. I felt like an idiot
when I pulled away from him."

Margaret had to hide her smile. She had been a bit worried about
this. Lisa had allowed Fox a lot of physical closeness. "Dana,
have you spoken to Fox about it?"

"How? What am I supposed to say to him? 'Oh, sorry, Mulder, but
please don't touch me.' I can't hurt him like that, Mom. The
thing that makes me wonder is that it is so natural to him to do
these things." Scully shifted in her seat. "Mom, I need to know
about Mulder and Lisa." When Margaret started to protest she held
up her hand. "I know what you're going to say, Mom, but I did
ask him. He won't talk about it. That first night he told me a
bit about her but since then he's clammed up." She turned
beseeching eyes on her mother. "Mom, was Mulder in love with
Lisa?"

Margaret moved to sit beside her daughter. "Oh, Dana. That is
such a complicated question."

"No, Mom, it's not. But I guess I have my answer," Scully said
sadly. 

"I don't think you do. Dana, when you were Lisa, Fox was frantic. 
All he wanted was to bring you back to yourself. But Lisa was
here and she needed us all to help her. She was terrified and
so lost and she let Fox be there for her. She leaned on him and
was willing to let him take care of her when she needed it." She
looked up sharply when Scully snorted. "Now don't you give me
that, young lady. Lisa wasn't weak, she gave back as much as she
took. She was there for all of us when we were missing you. 
Including Fox. Dana, you have to try to understand. None of us
were sure we were ever going to get you back, so we tried to make
the best of the situation. We made Lisa a part of our family. I
think of all of us, it was the hardest for Fox. To me, you are my
daughter, no matter what name you use or how different your
personality may be. It was the same for your brothers, they're
family. But for Fox, Lisa was no longer the woman he had fallen
in love with--"

"Mom!"

Margaret continued as though she hadn't been interrupted. "Yet
here was this wonderful, warm, loving, woman who adored him. You
see, Lisa was never quite able to separate Fox and her Nick. To
her, they were the same man, so she easily transferred her love
for Nick to Fox. I noticed almost immediately how much more
tactile Fox was with her, but you know what, I don't think it had
anything particular to do with Lisa. I think it was the way he
had always been inclined to be with you but you had never allowed
it. She did."

"I have never--"

Margaret patted her hand. "I know you didn't do it intentionally,
honey, but you do have a way of letting people know how you feel,
without saying a word. Especially Fox."

Scully nodded glumly. "I know you're right, Mom, but--"

"But what? Do you want the kisses and the touches to stop?"

"No! I mean, no, not really. I was more worried that they were
because he was missing Lisa. I just wasn't sure if it was me he
was kissing. Sometimes I'll catch him looking at me and it is
just so--" Scully waved her hands helplessly.

"So what, Dana?"

Scully smiled at her mother. "He looks at me and makes me feel
like I am God's one perfect creation. It's the most amazing
feeling, Mom. I know it has a lot to do with this baby I'm
carrying but, Mom, I want him to look at *me* like that. I guess
I was a little worried that he was seeing Lisa when he looks at me
that way."

"Oh, Dana, no. It's you he's seeing, believe me. Yes, Fox cared
about Lisa. But, honey, he *loves* you." 

After that, the conversation went downhill from Scully's point of
view. She got a rather strict lecture on acting like a mature
adult and just "damn well telling the man how she felt". Her
mother had given her some very sound advice and made her promise
to think very long and hard about what she had been told.
 
 ****

When Mulder returned home from work the apartment was dark. He
thought Scully was still at her mother's until he saw the shadow
on the couch. "Scully? You okay?"

"I'm fine, Mulder," she answered, her voice barely a whisper.

Mulder managed not to flinch at her pat answer and moved to sit
next to her. "Why is it so dark in here?" He could barely see
her face as she turned to look around the room.

"I guess I didn't realise . . ." She let her words drift off.

"Hey." He reached up and stroked her cheek softly. "What's up? 
I thought you were seeing your mom today."

"I did."

Mulder sighed. This was going to be one of *those* conversations. 
"Did your mom say anything to upset you?"

"No, of course not. Well, not really."

"Scully, you want to help me out here? I'm at a bit of a loss."

Scully finally seemed to snap out of her little fugue. "I'm
sorry, Mulder. I had a really good visit with Mom. It's just
that she said a few things to me that left me with some thinking
to do."

"Good thinking?" Mulder wasn't sure he liked the look in her
eyes.

Scully looked at him. "Just thinking."

"You going to share with the rest of us?" he asked cheekily.

"I will. Just not quite yet, okay?" Her eyes asked for
understanding.

Mulder nodded, but made a mental note to bring this up again in
the near future. He knew his partner well enough to know that she
would file this away and never revisit it. Right now, she
needed cheering up. "I have an idea. You've been stuck in this
house forever. Let's get dressed up like real people and go out
for dinner." Mulder put as much enthusiasm into his voice as
possible.

"Mulder," Scully sighed. "I have nothing to wear that would be
suitable for dinner out."

"I happen to know that Lisa bought some very nice dresses. They
should be in the boxes." He saw Scully stiffen at the mention of
the other woman's name.

"I don't want--"

"Scully, they're just clothes." 

"I know. I just--"

Mulder grabbed her hands. "Look at me. You did nothing wrong. I
know you hate what happened to you. I hate it too. But none of
it was our fault. Personally, I'm choosing to be grateful for
what happened." He smiled at her belly.

Scully pulled abruptly away. "That's easy for you, Mulder. 
You're not the one pregnant, are you?"

Mulder was stunned. "Sc-" He cleared his throat nervously. 
"Scully, do you not want this baby?" he whispered.

"Mulder. Dammit. I am pregnant by a man I don-" She stopped. 
"I didn't plan this baby. I didn't ask for this baby. This isn't
what I wanted!"

Mulder felt himself grow cold. Everything just shut down. She
didn't want the baby. She didn't want his *baby*. He opened his
mouth and nothing came out. He couldn't think of anything to say. 
Nothing could make this better. All he could see was the baby who
meant everything to him, was making Scully miserable. He got up
and headed for the door. 

"Where are you going, Mulder?" Scully asked.

"I-- I have to-- I--" He left.
 
 ****

Walter Skinner was more than just a little surprised to see his
agent on his doorstep. "Mulder, what's going on?"

"May I come in, Sir?"

"Of course." He stepped aside and let Mulder enter. He didn't
like the set of Mulder's shoulders. "Have a seat. You want
something to drink?"

"Whatever you're having is fine," Mulder said absently.

"I wasn't drinking until you got here. Beer fine?"

"Yeah."

Skinner got the drinks then joined Mulder in his living room. "So
what brings you here? I thought you were going to take Scully out
for dinner."

"Yeah, well, seems she wasn't in the mood," Mulder said bitterly.

"Why? What happened? Is she okay?"

"She's just a little depressed at the prospect of having my baby," 
Mulder said calmly, taking a long pull on his beer. "Seems that
this isn't what she wants. Isn't what she *planned* for."

"This isn't what anyone would plan for, Mulder--"

Mulder slammed his beer bottle down on the table. "Don't you
think I know that. Dammit! You all seem to think that none of
this is having any effect on me. Well, they stole my life too. 
But here's the best part. *I* get to remember how good it can be. 
*I* get to remember what it's like to come home each night with a
woman I adore who loves me in return. *I* get to remember having
a job I excel at, where my colleagues like and respect me. *I*
get to remember what it's like not to have to look over my
shoulder, not to wonder whether or not my father sold his soul and
my sister to the devil. Best of all, *I* get to remember how much
better off I was as Nick Miller than I am as myself," he finished,
his voice cracking.

Skinner was speechless for a moment. He'd had no idea. "Mulder,
I'm not sure what to say. I'm sorry. We all assumed you were
handling it. You seemed to adjust so easily. I should have
known. It was all for Lisa, wasn't it?"

Mulder nodded. "She was so scared. I was all she had. I
couldn't be screwed up. By the time we got Scully back, I thought
I had it under control." He looked up at his boss. "But hearing
her say she doesn't want to have my baby because she doesn't love
me, I guess . . ."

Skinner gasped. She'd said *what*? "Mulder, I'm sure you
misunderstood."

Mulder snorted. "Oh, she was pretty clear, Sir. She didn't want
to have a baby with a man she doesn't love. Clear and concise. 
This is Scully, remember. She doesn't prevaricate. It's not her
style." He cleared his throat. "She meant it."

Skinner was at a loss. He would have bet his life that Scully
loved Mulder as much as he loved her. But Mulder was right. She
wasn't one to beat around the bush. He couldn't see her lying to
Mulder on this subject. It was very confusing.

"I want you to tell me exactly what happened today, Mulder." All
else fails, investigate.

Mulder told him about coming home to the darkened apartment and
the details of his conversation with Scully. "And I couldn't
think of anything to say that wouldn't make things worse, so I
left."

"She saw her mother today?"

"Yeah, she said she had some things she needed to talk to her
about. She planned to spend the day there. She said they had a
good visit." 

"Have you spoken to Margaret about this?" Skinner asked.

"No. I'm not sure I want to put Mrs. Scully in that position. I
don't want her to betray a confidence and I really don't want to
worry her."

"Mulder, you can't let this go. Look how upset this has you. 
What are you going to do? Go home and pretend it never happened? 
Take it from me, it doesn't make for a strong relationship."

"Not a problem, Sir. I am going to be moving out as soon as
possible."

"Mulder, no! You can't. What about the baby?" Skinner was
beginning to feel a bit out of control.

"I am this baby's father, Sir. I *will* be there for her. 
However, making her mother miserable during her pregnancy is
certainly *not* good for the baby."

Before Skinner could reply the phone interrupted him. "I'm
expecting a call. Would you excuse me, Mulder?" He went to the
den to answer. "Skinner."

"Hello, Walter. It's Margaret Scully."

"Hello, Margaret. What can I do for you?" All Skinner could
think was, that didn't take long.

"Walter, is Fox there?"

"Yes, he is."

"Is he all right?"

"No. No, Margaret, he isn't. Seems your daughter dumped a pretty
big bomb on him today. He doesn't know whether he's coming or
going."

"She actually told him? Why wouldn't she tell me that?" Margaret
said more to herself than Skinner.

"You knew?" Skinner was flabbergasted. He was sure Margaret was
in Mulder's corner.

"Of course I knew. I was the one who insisted she tell him. What
I don't understand is why he left her alone and in tears."

"What did you expect him to do Margaret? Stick around? She hurt
him. Badly. He's talking about moving out."

"What? Why?"

"I guess he doesn't want to be where he's not welcome," Skinner
said tersely.

"Not welc- Walter, what exactly did Dana say to Fox?"

"She told him she didn't love him and she was upset that she was
having his baby."

Margaret was stunned absolutely speechless. Where on earth had
that come from? When she had spoken to Dana, not twenty minutes
ago, she had been devastated that Mulder had walked out on her. 
She had mentioned nothing about not wanting the baby. "Walter. 
You need to get Fox home. I'm on my way there now. I was worried
about Dana, she sounded so upset about Fox. Walter, there has
been a terrible misunderstanding."

"I'm not sure how easy that will be, Margaret. He's pretty
upset."

"Tell him it's for me. That I need him to be there. Just do your
best." She ended the call.

Skinner hung up the phone and stared at the door. This ought to
be interesting. Mulder looked up when Skinner re-entered the
room. "Mulder, that was Margaret Scully."

Mulder sat up straighter. "Is everything okay? It's not Scully,
is it?"

Skinner held up a hand. "Slow down. Everything is fine except
Margaret received a tearful phone call from her daughter. Seems
her partner walked out on her."

"What? Why was Scully crying?" 

"I don't know, Mulder. Why don't you go home and ask her?" 


 ****

Mulder stood outside the apartment door. He was terrified to go
inside. Terrified to hear Scully say once and for all that she
didn't want his baby. On the drive over, he had made some
decisions. He was going to tell Scully he was willing to take the
baby and raise her himself. Scully could decide for herself how
involved she wanted to be. He knew she would object. After all,
what did he know about raising a child? But really, what did any
first time parent know? He wasn't any different. He knew his
mother would be more than willing to help as anxious as she was to
become a grandma. It was the best way. At least then Scully
might not feel quite as trapped and the baby would be raised where
she was wanted.

Scully answered his knock immediately. "Hey."

"Hello, Scully." Mulder noted the puffy eyes, red nose and
slightly blotchy skin. She had been crying, hard, recently. "May
I come in?"

"Oh! Yeah, sorry, of course." She stepped aside to let him pass. 
"Please sit down. Can I get you anything?" she asked, fidgeting
nervously with her hands.

"No, thank you. I'm fine." Mulder sat on the couch.

Scully perched on the chair opposite him. Silence filled the room
until Scully could no longer stand it. "For Christ's sake,
Mulder. We're acting like we barely know each other," she
blurted.

"I'm sorry, Scully. I just-- I'm a little unsure why you wanted
me here."

"What? You're unsure? You're the one who walked out on me.
Remember?" Scully was hanging on to her temper by a thread.

"Excuse me if hearing my child is unwanted by her mother upsets
me. I'll try to work on thickening my skin," Mulder shot back
bitterly.

"What are you talking about? Of course I want this baby, why
wouldn't I?"

"But earlier you said--"

"What did I say, Mulder?" She crossed her arms in front of her.

Mulder wasn't about to back down. "You said you didn't want *my*
baby. You hadn't planned things this way. You didn't want to
have a baby with a man you didn't love." Mulder stopped when his
voice broke.

"Oh, Mulder." Scully moved to sit beside him on the couch. "Of
course I didn't plan it this way. Who would?" She held up her
hand when he began to speak. "Let me finish this time. Maybe
this isn't the way I would have planned things. I didn't *plan*
Emily either, but did you ever doubt that I loved her?"

"No. But Emily wasn't . . ." Mulder let the rest of his answer
trail off.

"No, Emily wasn't yours. I didn't know who or what Emily's father
was. But I still loved her and I still wanted her. This baby." 
She placed both hands on her tummy. "This baby's father is my
dearest friend. A man who has always been there for me no matter
what. A man who loved my daughter even though she wasn't his. A
man who will make a wonderful daddy." The tears were falling as
she reached for his hand and set it beside hers over their baby. 
"Now, what possible reason could I have for not wanting this
baby?"

Mulder stared at her dumbfounded. "Are you sure, Scully?" he
whispered.

"I have never been more sure of anything in my life," she
whispered back.

 
 ****

Late that night Mulder was awakened by Scully's terrified cries. 
He rushed into her room gun drawn to find his partner in the
throes of a nightmare.

"No! Please-- Not-- Please, not my baby! --good mommy. NICKY!"

Mulder shook her gently. "Scully, wake up. C'mon it's just a
dream, wake up."

She seemed to relax for a moment. Then suddenly she sat up and
was clinging to him. "Oh, God, Nicky, it was awful. They were
trying to take my baby away. They said I was crazy." She was in
tears now, grasping at his shirt.

"Scully? Please wake up." Mulder shook her again.

"Just hold me please, Nick. It'll go away if you just hold me." 
Scully lay down, pulling Mulder down with her. 

"Scully!" Mulder was becoming frantic. What if this wasn't just
a dream? But why wasn't she answering him? "Lisa?"

"Hmm." She snuggled into his arms. 

"Lisa, you have to wake up now okay? You're having a bad dream."

"Shhh, Nick, go back to sleep, babe." She ran her hand up his
back soothingly. She kissed his neck softly.

"Lisa, no! You have to wake up!" Mulder tried to pull out of her
arms.

"Wha-? Mulder? What are you do- oh God!" Scully was fully awake
now.

Mulder sat up. "You okay?"

"I think so. The dream was so real. I think-- I think I'm
remembering bits of Lisa's life." She looked up at him.

"What do you remember?" He settled back against the headboard. 

"Just snapshots really. Little pieces that don't fit together. I
*do* remember how much she loved her husband, and how much she
wanted this baby." She rubbed her eyes. "In the dream they were
taking the baby. They told her that she wasn't fit. She couldn't
even remember who she was, so how could she take care of her baby. 
Oh, God, Mulder, it was awful."

Mulder nodded and picked up Scully's hand. "She had that dream
just after we got back here. It *was* awful. She was
hysterical."

"What happened?" Scully began to twine her fingers with his.

"I promised her that I would never let anyone take her baby from
her." 

"And she believed you?" 

"Yeah, she believed me." Mulder smiled.

"I'm glad." She smiled at his puzzled look. "I'm glad you could
take away that pain. No mother should ever have to fear losing
their child."

Mulder placed a soft kiss on the hand he held. "You're right. I
will make you the same promise I made her. I'll do everything
in my power to protect our child. Everything."

"I know you will, Mulder. I never doubted it." She smiled at
him, her eyes drooping.

"I should let you get back to sleep." Mulder began to get up.

Scully refused to let go of his hand. "Mulder." She hesitated. 
"Stay."

"Scully--"

"Please, Mulder." When he still hesitated she looked like she
was about to cry. "I don't want these memories. They hurt too
damn much."

"Oh, Scully." He slid under the covers with her. "I'm sorry. I
guess I've just been living with them so long, I forgot how hard
it can be." He reached up and stroked her face, wiping away the
tears. "It'll be okay. I promise. Lisa had a lot of good
memories too."

"I know. It's just the bad ones are so-- so sad."

"I know. She was in a lot of pain while she was here with me. 
Worrying about the baby constantly, wondering what her future
would hold. But you and I are going to build a whole lifetime of
new and wonderful memories. Those sad days are all behind us. I
promise." He smiled brightly.

"God, I love you."

They were both startled by the suddenness of her declaration. 
Mulder recovered quickly. "I know, and I love you too." He
kissed her softly on the tip of her nose.

She turned to him more fully. "You know. For the first time, I'm
wishing I weren't quite *so* pregnant," she said mischievously.

"I can relate, Scully, I can relate." He leaned closer and kissed
her. The kiss started out soft, gentle, almost experimental. It
soon gave way to passion and need. 

Soon Scully pulled away panting. "Well." She cleared her throat. 
"That was nice." She grinned at his shocked expression.

"Nice!" He growled. "I'll show you nice, young lady." He
grabbed his now laughing partner. 

Scully now had tears of laughter running down her cheeks as her
partner tickled and kissed every patch of bare skin he could find. 
"Mulder, stop. I can't breathe." She was laughing so hard she
could barely speak. 

Mulder moved up the bed again to capture her lips for another
hungry kiss. "Soooo, Agent Scully. Nice?" He grinned
lasciviously at her.

"Oh, yes, Agent Mulder. Definitely nice," she said around a huge
yawn.

He tucked the blanket up more firmly around her. "You need to get
back to sleep. No more playtime," he said, smiling.

"I know. I'm exhausted. I just have such a tough time getting
comfortable wearing this beach ball." She twisted a bit on the
bed. "I try the pillow thing but it always ends up on the floor."

"C'mere." He pulled her closer to him.

"What are you doing?"

"Just c'mere. You'll see." He rearranged her so she was as close
as she could get to his side, with her head resting on his chest
just below his shoulder. He then pulled her top leg so it rested
across his thighs. "There, how's that?"

Scully was still for a moment. Then she wrapped her arm across
his
chest and snuggled even closer. "Perfect." She tilted her head
for a quick kiss. "Where'd you learn this?"

Mulder was quiet for a moment. "Lisa showed me." He felt Scully
start. "Just hang on. She had really bad back pain for a while. 
She couldn't sleep. She couldn't keep the pillow in place either,
so Angela recommended this. It was only to help her. When the
back pain died down, I went back to sleeping in my own bed." 

"Oh. Mulder, have I ever thanked you for taking such good care of
me while I was Lisa?"

"Scully, you don't have to thank me. It was selfish. I needed to
be near you. No matter what you thought your name was. So you
don't owe me any thanks."

"Hmm. I'm just glad I'm back to enjoy this." She placed a soft
kiss on his chest.

He kissed the top of her head. As she fell asleep she heard him
say, "Me too, Scully. Me too." 

 ****

When she first woke up, Scully wasn't quite sure where she was. 
All she knew was that there was someone in bed with her. She
lifted her head from its breathing pillow and looked into the eyes
of her partner.

"Hey there." He greeted her with a gentle kiss. "You're awake."
Mulder smiled sweetly.

"Hmmm. Yeah." She snuggled back into his chest. "Good morning,"
she mumbled. 

"I think I could get used to this," he said.

"I think I already am," she answered, running her hand over his
chest. "Mm gonna sleep some more, 'kay?" she said, drifting off.

"Okay." 
 
 ****

Over breakfast Scully brought up a new subject. "So, Mulder, what
are we going to name this little one?"

Mulder looked up from his paper, shocked. "Name her?"

"Yes, Mulder, name her. We have to have something to yell when
she hits her teens." She grinned as he stuck his tongue out at
her.

"I guess I've just never really thought about it." He set the
paper aside. "Do you have any favourites?"

"I'm not sure. There's quite a few I like. I'm just not sure if
they work."

"Work?"

"Yes, work. You know, sound right with her last name, aren't too
odd, that kind of thing. Oh, and we have to eliminate anything
that starts with an M."

Mulder was getting lost, quickly. "You have something against
Ms?"

She looked at him as though he were a complete and utter moron. 
"Would *you* like to have the initials MM?" 

"Gladly, it would mean *my* name wasn't *Fox*."

Scully laughed. "Yeah, I can see your point, but still no Ms."

Mulder nodded. "So, what names do you like?"

Scully grabbed paper and pen. "I've always liked Sarah. It's
pretty without being cutsie and it's nice and traditional. I also
like Rebecca for the same reasons."

"Those are both nice," he agreed.

"Or we could go the family name route. My mom's maiden name is
Taylor. How about yours?"

"Definitely not applicable. My mom's maiden name is Kuipers."

"Oh. Well, no, that wouldn't work, would it." Scully thought for
a moment. "How about Darcy? I've always had a soft spot for
that name."

"Closet Austen fan are we, Scully?" Mulder teased.

"As a matter of fact, yes," she said defiantly. "I always wanted
a girl I could name Emma. But now . . ." Her voice trailed off.

Mulder took her hand. "We could still call her Emma," he said
quietly.

"No. It would be too hard. I want it to be just hers. No sad
associations."

"Well, Darcy *is* cute." Mulder thought for a moment. "Who were
you named for?"

"Well, they just liked the name Dana and my dad's mom is
Katherine. 
But that is out of the question, there are already *five*
Katherines in my family. My Nana Taylor's first name is Nicole.
She's one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I always
wished I'd been named for her instead."

"Nicole. I like that. It's pretty."

"Okay, I'll add it to the list." She jotted the name down. "What
are your grandmothers' names?" 

"Grandma Kuipers is Elayna. And I wouldn't name my cat after that
nasty old bat. Granny Mulder was Teresa, though everyone called
her Tessa. She was a really great lady."

"I like Tessa." She wrote it down. She grinned and looked up at
him. "You do realise we aren't picking any boys names?"

"Hmmm okay, how about James Andrew if it's a boy? We'll call him
Jamie." 

"I like that." They grinned at each other. Confident they
wouldn't be using that name. "Though we could still use Jamie
even if it's a girl."

"True." He glanced at her list. "You know what I like? How
about Tessa Nicole after our favourite grandmothers?"

"Tessa Nicole Mulder. Hmm, sounds pretty good, doesn't it?"

"Yes, it does. Especially that last part," Mulder agreed.

Scully smiled. "Okay, so we go with Tessa Nicole if it's a girl." 
Another grin. "And James Andrew if it's a boy."

Mulder nodded his agreement.

 
 ****

Several days later Mulder was finally able to put everything into
place to insure their safety. 

The smoking man was seated on the bench when Mulder arrived. 
"Good evening, Agent Mulder. Washington is a lovely city at
night, is it not?" Mulder dropped the heavy file box beside the
older man. "And what have we here?" He took a drag from his
cigarette.

"This is just a little information I'm sure you don't want your
cronies getting their hands on," Mulder said just slightly
smugly.

"Oh?" He looked at Mulder with a complete lack of concern.

"Yeah. A full multimedia presentation. We have tape, audio and
video, computer files and hard copies of various under the table
deals you have been making recently. Now we both know how your
old associates chose to deal with your double-crosses. How do you
think your new ones will handle it? Are you up to another year in
northern Quebec? Or maybe this lot are a bit more-- exacting in
their *execution* of a plan?" Mulder crossed his arms over his
chest and waited.

It was obvious the old man had to work hard to maintain his calm. 
"And what would you like in return for this information, Fox?" 
The weathered hands were shaking slightly as they lit another
cigarette.

Mulder decided he didn't have time to play games with the old
bastard. "Leave me and my family alone. I am going to continue
to work on the X-Files and you are going to make sure I stay alive
while I do so. They will not touch Scully and they will *not*
touch our baby. Understood?"

"I think you may be overestimating my power, Fox."

"Oh, I don't think so. I think you are capable of almost
*anything* if you set your mind to it," Mulder sneered. "So
unless you want your new friends to know that you are already
dealing them out, you will set your mind to making sure we are
left
alone. Are we clear?"

The smoking man nodded. "I'm impressed, Fox. Your father never
had the guts to take a stand like this. I wasn't sure if you did
either. I'm very impressed."

"You have no idea how little that means to me." Mulder walked
away.

 
 ****

Scully was already in bed when he got home.

"Do you think he can do it?" Scully asked as he settled into bed
beside her.

"I think it gives us a hell of a lot better chance than we have
without him working for us." Mulder stroked her arm softly. "Are
you sure this is what you want?"

"We can't give up, Mulder. There is too much on the line. 
Especially now that we have a baby to think about."

"I just worry."

She leaned up to place a gentle kiss on his mouth. "I know, I
worry too. But we have done everything in our power to insure our
safety, short of giving up the files. We'll be okay," she said
confidently, nodding her head against his chest for emphasis.

"You sound awfully sure of yourself."

"Not really. I just want to believe." She grinned at him.

Mulder let out a put-upon sigh. "Go to sleep."
 
 ****

"So, Dana, if you are turning the guest room into a nursery, where
exactly is Fox going to sleep?" Margaret Scully asked innocently
as she watched her daughter flip through wallpaper books. She had
only been mildly surprised when Dana had called asking for her
company today. Finding out they were turning the guest room into
a nursery had made her day. "He's not moving out, is he?" That
didn't really even bear consideration.

"No, Mom, he's not moving out." Scully chose not to answer her
mother's other question.

Margaret was content with what she had. "I'm happy for you, Dana. 
But isn't this a pretty big project when you're eight months
pregnant?"

Scully held up another sample for her mother's perusal. "Not
really. She'll be in our room in the bassinet for a bit, so we
do have some time." She put the sample aside.

"Have you considered getting a bigger place?" Margaret asked.

"Yeah, we've talked about it. It would be nice to have more room. 
A family room and an office would be great. We're going to keep
our eyes open." She held up another brightly coloured swatch. 
"What do you think of this?"

"I think I like it the best so far. How long are you going to
wait to go back to work?"

"I'm going to take at least three months after the baby's born. 
They have a really wonderful daycare at the Hoover, so we'll be
able to see her during the day once I do start back." She
grimaced at a pastel horror and flipped on.

"Sounds good. Oooh, what about this one?" She held up a
delightful swatch bearing a cartoon moon and stars in warm, bright
colours.

"Perfect. Mulder is already planning on painting the solar system
on the ceiling." Scully wrote down the product number and began
searching for a sales clerk.

"Why does that not surprise me?" Margaret chuckled, following her
daughter across the store. Scully stopped suddenly, clutching her
belly. "Dana, honey, what's wrong?" Margaret asked, alarmed.

Scully smiled at her mom. "It's nothing, Mom, just a few little
Braxton Hicks. They just kinda took me by surprise."

"Let me guess, Fox doesn't handle them well." 

"I wouldn't know. I try my best not to let him know I'm having
them." Scully finally located a clerk and headed in her
direction.

"Don't you think he could handle a few Braxton Hicks?"

"No, I think he'd be fine. He knows they're nothing. They don't
really even hurt. I just don't see any reason--"

"Hold it right there. If you are going to have any kind of
successful relationship with this man, you need to dump that
attitude right now. Do you think Fox would want to know you're
having Braxton Hicks contractions?" Margaret put her hands on her
hips.

"I know you're right, Mom. He would want to know. I guess I just
automatically try to keep things to myself." 

"Honey, one of the best things about being in a relationship with
a good man is having someone to share the little things with. 
Enjoy it." She hugged her daughter.

Scully hugged her back. "Thanks, Mom. I'll try." She pulled
away and looked around. "Ah, dammit, where'd that clerk go now?" 
 

 ****

"You ready to go, Scully?" Mulder put the finishing touches on
his tie and stuck his head around the bathroom door.

"In about two minutes." He watched her finish styling her hair. 
She was wearing it up today.

"I like it like that," he said.

"Hmm? You like what?"

"Your hair. I like it up in that thingy." He waved in the
direction of the gold clip holding her hair in place. "It's
pretty."

Scully smiled at him. "Thank you. I like the thingy too." She
checked the clip one last time. "Let's go."

They were attending Easter dinner at Margaret Scully's. Both
sons were going to be in attendance to see their sister for the
first time since she had regained her memory. Scully had spoken
to both Charles and Bill on the phone and was looking forward to
seeing them.

Mulder on the other hand wasn't quite so enthusiastic. He knew
Charles and Gail would be thrilled with the change in his
relationship with Scully. Even Tara would be happy for them. 
Bill was going to blow a gasket and Mulder was afraid he wouldn't
be able to hold his temper if Bill pushed too hard and upset
Scully.

"Stop it," Scully said as they neared her mother's Baltimore
home.

Mulder started. "What?"

"Stop worrying. If Bill acts like an idiot, I'll take care of
him."

"That's just it. You shouldn't have to take care of it." 
Mulder's voice was tight.

"Charles told me how he behaved at Christmas. I will *not* allow
a repeat of that treatment, I promise you," she said adamantly.

"Scully--"

"No, Mulder. I want my family to be as happy about us as I am. 
When Bill met and fell for Tara, I was so thrilled for him. All I
cared about was that she loved him and he had found someone who
made him happy. I think he should give me that same respect,"
she said stubbornly.

"I understand where you're coming from Scully. I just don't want
you to be too disappointed if Bill blows his top when he finds out
about us." Mulder pulled into the driveway and shut off the
engine.

"I guess I'm hoping he'll surprise us both."

They were met at the door by Charles. He swept his sister into a
tight hug. "Dana."

Scully hugged her younger brother. "Hey, Charles."

"God! You look amazing. Even Gail didn't glow like that." He
looked suspicious. "What's going on?"

Scully laughed. "I never could keep a secret from you, could I? 
Let's go inside and we'll tell everyone at once."

Charles watched as his sister took her partner's hand and led him
into the living room. He smiled, happy for both of them.

As it turned out Bill said very little when his sister announced
she was planning on spending her life with her partner. He did,
however, corner her later in the day. "Is this what you really
want, Dana?"

"It's not just what I want, Bill, it's what I need." She shrugged
self-consciously. "I love him."

"Are you happy?"

"Yes." Scully could see the doubt in her brother's eyes. "I am
happy, Bill. I'm with the man I love and we're having a baby. 
You know how wonderful that is."

"Well, yeah, except the man I love part." Bill winked
mischievously at her. She took a playful swing at him. "C'mere,
Dana." Bill pulled her into a tight hug. "Just be happy, okay? 
That's all I've ever really wanted for you, you know."

Scully hugged him back. "I know, Billy, I know."
 
 
Georgetown, Washington, DC
May 19
4:56 a.m.


She woke to a wet bed. Well, we needed a new mattress anyway, was
her first thought. Right on its heels was OH, MY GOD, I'M HAVING
A BABY. She took a few moments to calm herself down then reached
for her partner. This ought to be interesting.

"I was wondering if you intended to wake me up," Mulder said
quietly before she even touched him.

Scully jumped slightly at the sound of his voice. "You're awake,"
she said, surprised at his composure.

"Mhmm. How about we get you up, into something dry, and I'll
change the bed." He swung his legs out of bed as he spoke. He
got up and went to her dresser. "Nightgown or sweats?"

"Your grey T-shirt."

He grinned at her and pulled it out of the drawer. He handed it
to her along with a pair of her own sweat pants and clean
underwear. "How're you doing?"

"I-- I guess I'm okay." She took the dry clothes and watched as
he stripped the soaked bed. To her surprise there was a rubber
backed mattress pad protecting it. "Mulder. Where did that some
from?" She pointed at the pad.

"Oh, that? Angela recommended it months ago. Lisa bought it." 

"Oh. Are you all right?" This was not at *all* what she had been
expecting from him.

He turned to face her smiling. "What, not panicked enough for
you, Scully?"

"Well, to be honest, yes. I was a little worried about you." She
slipped into the clean clothes.

"Scully, *you* are the one who has to do all the work. Why would
I
fall apart?" He tossed the soiled sheets into the hamper and went
to the linen closet to get clean ones. He finished making up the
bed with fresh sheets and blankets.

Scully might have been a bit more convinced if his face hadn't
been ghostly white and his hands not trembled. She smiled, glad
she had this man in her life. If he needed to be strong and
together for her, she was more than willing to let him. "Mul-"
She stopped, wincing slightly. "Oh!"

"What?" Mulder asked, looking a little less in control.

"Nothing too, too terrible. I just felt that one." She smiled at
him.

"Are you sure?" He took both her hands in his.

"Yeah, I'm fine. It just startled me a bit." She squeezed his
hands then sat in the chair next to the bed. "I'm fine, really. 
Just a little . . . not so much nervous . . ." 

"I think they call it excited, Scully." He sat on the bed. "You
want to lie down or would you rather be up?"

"Up for now, I think. I'll meet you in the living room." She
headed in that direction

"Okay." He grabbed a couple of pillows and a blanket. Following
her, he asked, "Should I call Angela?" 

"Yeah, just tell her my water broke about twenty minutes ago, and
contractions are about twenty minutes apart."

Mulder made the call to the doctor, then joined Scully on the
couch. "She said to call back when the contractions are seven or
so minutes apart. She said she'll meet us at the hospital."

Scully was still for a couple of moments. "Oh no!"

"What? What's wrong?" Mulder's voice was panicked. 

"I was going to clean out the fridge today. We are going to be
besieged by visitors and our fridge has wildlife growing in it." 
She heaved herself to her feet and went to the kitchen.

"Scully!" Mulder caught up to her as she was gathering her
supplies from beneath the sink. He made a grab for them. "Let me
do that. You rest."

Scully snatched the cleanser back from him. "Forget it, Mulder, I
saw *your* fridge, remember?" 

"Scu-" Mulder stopped when she shot him a dirty look. "Okay, you
clean the fridge. Just let me know if you need my help, okay?" 
He leaned against the wall to watch.
 

Georgetown, Washington DC
May 19
12:35 p.m.


Mulder sighed with relief when the hospital came into sight. "You
still with me?" he asked playfully.

Scully smiled. "Yeah, I guess I just can't believe we're
actually doing this."

Mulder parked the car and reached for her hand. "I know. I'm
almost afraid it's just all a wonderful dream and I'm going to
wake up. You have no idea how happy you've made me, Scully. No
idea."

She squeezed his hand tightly. "I think I do. You've made me
pretty happy too, you know."

"It's just all these things I never thought I'd have, and here
they are just falling into my lap. I feel damn lucky." He got
out of the car and walked around to her side to help her out. 

She smiled brightly as she stood. "I think we're both pretty
damn lu-" She was interrupted by another contraction. She was
still for a moment. "Well, I think maybe we should go have this
baby."

They checked in with admitting and were ushered up to the
maternity ward where they were met by a cheerful nurse wearing
teddy bear adorned scrubs. "Hi, I'm Louise Clemens. How are you
guys doing?" She took their paperwork from the orderly pushing
Scully's wheelchair. "Dr. Low is on her way. How 'bout we get
you folks settled into your room, then I'll have a look."

She bustled them off into a private room, handed Scully a gown,
told them to get comfy and she'd be right back.

"Well, she's certainly chipper, isn't she?" Mulder joked as he put
Scully's things into the cupboard.

"I like her." Scully went to look out the window. "Oh, goody. 
Parking lot," she snorted.

"Could be worse. At least it's not ambulance bays this time." He
forced himself to be still as Scully flinched from the onset of
another contraction. He rubbed her back and let her lean into him
as she rode it out.

"Okay, let's get this show on the road." Louise burst into the
room pushing a small cart. "Mr. Mulder, would you help Dr. Scully
onto the bed, so I can see how far along she is?" Mulder did as
asked and Louise addressed Scully. "Now, Dr. Low tells me you are
a pathologist."

Scully nodded.

"Okay, what I don't know is how familiar you are with what is
going to be happening here today."

"Probably not a whole lot more than the average well-read 
first-time mother. I may have a better understanding of the
physiology of it all, but the procedure and such . . . well, the
last time I was in a maternity ward to do anything but visit was
in
my residency."

"Well that makes it a bit easier for us. We just treat you like
any old mom. How's that sound?" Louise asked with a smile as she
finished organising her tray.

Scully returned the smile. "Sounds good to me."

"Good. I'm going to get this IV started and then I'm going to
have a peek."

She quickly and efficiently started the IV. "Okay, all set. Now
Dr. Scully--"

Please, I'm Dana, he's Mulder," Scully said.

"All right, Dana, if you could scootch down a might, I'll have a
look and see what's happening." The exam was brief. "All done. 
You're at about 6 cm. How are the contractions?" 

"Bearable."

"Good. Are you going to have an epidural?"

"No, we decided not to."

"Okay then, I'll leave you two alone for now." She gathered up
her
things. "You just holler if you need anything. Feel free to
wander. The nursery is at the end of the hall to the left if you
need some inspiration. The bathroom is through that door. Just
try to relax and enjoy this time. Things can get a bit chaotic
later on." She smiled again and left. 

"So, Scully, what now?"

She started to get out of the bed. "Walk. I feel better when I'm
up and around."
 
 ****

Dr. Low found them looking through the nursery window half an hour
later. "Hey, you two. How's it going?"

Scully and Mulder turned. "Hi, Angela." Scully shook the
doctor's hand. "I didn't expect to see you so soon."

"I know. I just thought I should check in and see how you were
doing." She smiled at the nervous couple. "Don't worry. It's
just that you aren't my typical patient and I wanted to see you."

Scully smiled in relief. "I feel pretty good. The contractions
aren't that bad. I could do without them, but not too bad yet."

Angela laughed. "How are you doing, Mulder?"

"I'm fine for now. I plan to fall apart later though." He
grinned at her.

"Louise tells me everything looks good and you are at about 6
cm." Angela consulted the chart. 

"I just hope this doesn't take *too* long." She gripped Mulder's
hand tightly as another contraction washed over her. She could
really feel the increasing intensity.

A moment later Mulder asked, "Okay?" He continued to rub her
back.

Scully nodded. "Yeah, this really isn't fun anymore though." She
panted lightly.

"You'll be fine. You're healthy and strong and have taken very
good care of yourself and your baby." Angela patted her hand. "I
have another patient to check in on and I will be back in a while
to see you." She smiled at them and headed off.


Georgetown University Hospital
Georgetown, Washington DC

May 19
6:35 p.m.


Mulder was having serious doubts as to whether this was such a
good idea after all. Scully in transition was *not* a happy
camper. The worst part was he could see she was in agony and
there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. He let her
squeeze his hands when the contractions hit, seemingly one on top
of each other now. He rubbed her back, and had, since being asked
none too politely, kept his mouth shut. Now it seemed she was
speaking to him again. 

"Mulder?"

"Yeah, Scully?"

"I don't really think you're a selfish jackass for wanting me to
have this baby."

"I know."

"I want--" She was interrupted by another contraction.

"I need to push," Scully breathed.

"Hold on there a minute, Dana." Angela checked her once again. 
"Not quite yet, okay? Not much longer." 

"Mulder?"

"Yeah, angel?"

"Nothing. Just Mulder." She was whispering. Talking took too
much valuable energy.

"Okay, just Mulder." He smoothed her hair back from her forehead
and continued to trace elaborate patterns on her skin. Just
listening to the fetal monitor tell them their baby was doing
fine.

It seemed it was only seconds before another contraction crashed
in on her. When that one subsided Angela checked her again and
said. "There we go. Okay, Dana, with the next contraction I want
you to start pushing."

Scully nodded in relief. Mulder could feel himself begin to
tremble. This was it. Not much longer now and he would see his
daughter.


Georgetown University Hospital
Georgetown, Washington DC
May 19
8:17 p.m.


"I can't do this, Mulder," Scully whispered. There were actual
tears in her eyes.

Mulder clenched her hand tightly. "Yes, you can. You are doing
this. Don't you see? My God, Scully, you're having our baby. Do
you have any idea how amazing that is?"

"But I don't want to be amazing. I just want to sleep. Just half
an hour please?" She was beyond common sense.

"I know you're tired, Scully, I know. Just think about holding
our baby. Watching her sleep in that beautiful crib you--" He
was interrupted by the onset of another contraction.

"Okay, Dana, PUSH!" Angela commanded from the foot of the bed.

Mulder was seated behind Scully bracing her as she worked to bring
their child into the world. "That's it, Scully, push."

"Okay, good girl. Rest for a minute," Angela said soothingly. 
"You're just about there, Dana, not much longer."

Scully nodded weakly and turned her face into Mulder's chest. 
"I'm so tired," she whispered. "Oh God!" She clenched her teeth
again in preparation for another contraction.

"That's it. Push, Dana. We're almost there. Okay, Dad, you want
to come welcome this one into the world?" Angela and Mulder
shifted until he was in her place and she was directly behind him. 
They stayed that way through two more contractions and then he was
holding his baby girl. Angela rubbed her feet and she started to
cry. The next few moments were a blur. The cord was clamped and
cut, the baby bathed and wrapped, the afterbirth delivered, Scully
stitched up, all before he was sure what was happening. 

Suddenly Louise was placing a pink bundle in Scully's arms. 
"She's perfect. Seven pounds four ounces. Ten little fingers and
ten little toes. APGAR's a ten. All in all not a bad day's
work." She smiled at the new parents. They nodded absently at
her, absolutely mesmerised by the little miracle Scully was
holding.

Angela admired the baby and congratulated them. Then she had to
rush off as another of her patients was also in labour.

"Do you want to try to nurse her right now, Dana?" Louise asked.

Scully nodded. She rearranged her gown to expose her breast to
the baby.

"Now, do you remember what they told you in childbirth class?"
Louise asked. 

Scully nodded again and soon the baby was nursing contentedly. 

"Well, she doesn't look to be having any trouble with her first
meal, so I'll leave you alone. Just buzz if you need anything."

Then they were alone. Mulder sat and watched absolutely
spellbound by the sight of Scully nursing his daughter. 

"--Mulder!" Scully's voice interrupted his reverie.

"I'm sorry. What did you say, Scully?" 

Scully smiled. "She is pretty amazing, isn't she?" She looked
down at her suckling daughter. "I never thought--" She stopped,
unable to speak around the lump in her throat. 

Mulder brushed away the tears that were now falling down her
cheeks. "Neither did I, Scully. That's what makes this so
incredible. How many people actually get to have their fondest
wishes granted?" He reached out and stroked the dark downy fuzz
covering the baby's head. "It's not red." He sounded mildly
disappointed.

"That could still change. Though I hope she gets green eyes." 
She yawned broadly. "Mmm, so sleepy." She looked down at the
baby, who appeared to have fallen asleep, her tummy full for now.

"Here, let me take her for a bit. You worked awfully hard today." 
He gathered the baby into his arms, kissing Scully gently in the
process. "I love you so much," he whispered. 

"I love you too. Both of you." Scully closed her eyes.

Mulder settled back into his chair, his daughter in his arms. 
"Hello, Tessa. Do you like your name? You are named for two very
special ladies. My--" The door opened.

"Hope I'm not interrupting." Margaret Scully poked her head in
the room.

"No," Mulder whispered. "Scully just fell asleep and Tessa and I
were just getting to know each other."

"I won't stay long. I just wanted to say hi to my newest
grandbaby." She was slightly surprised when Mulder handed Tessa
to her. "Oh. Hello, you beauty. Look at you. Aren't you the
sweetest thing there ever was?" She cooed softly in gramaspeak. 
Margaret snuggled the baby for a few more minutes then handed her
back to Mulder. "Here you go, Daddy. I spoke to your mother and
she's on her way here. I'm picking her up at the airport and
she's
coming to stay with me. We'll both come by tomorrow." She kissed
Tessa and then Mulder on the cheek. "Good night, you two." She
left, closing the door quietly behind her.

Mulder returned to his recliner. "Well, finally alone," he smiled
at his daughter. "Mommy doesn't count 'cause she's resting. You
made her work real hard you know. But you are definitely worth
it." He shifted her more comfortably into his arms. "You are a
very special baby, Little Bit. Your mommy and I love you very
much." He began to rock. "Now, Daddy can't sing, but neither can
Mommy, so I hope for your sake, you're tone deaf." He began to
hum a lullaby. Grateful that he had been blessed in so many ways
and that he could look forward to a future he was sure that while
it may not be easy, was going to be a wonderful adventure for all
of them.
 
 The End


If you enjoyed this story, it is in no small way due to the very
hard work of two great ladies. Beta readers and editors
extraordinaire, Kathy and Susan. They didn't just throw their
hands up in frustration at my horrid grammar and abominable
punctuation, instead they made my story readable. Thank you
ladies.





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