Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2000
Subject: New! Abah 15: A Greater Gift


Category: MulderTorture, FamilyAngst, Story, continued series...A/U

Keywords: Married with child

Rating: PG13 for language

Spoilers: Slight reference to Tithonous. Lots of flexibility in the
timeline is appreciated.

Summary: Mulder receives a gift that only he can really appreciate.

Archive: Yes to Susan's Garden, MTA, Ephemeral, and any site that's received
my prior, written permission.

Disclaimer: Recognizable characters belong to either 1013 Productions and
FOX, Inc. The NY Yankees and the Boston Red Sox belong to themselves. Oh,
and Major League Baseball owns, well whatever they own, too. Yes, I'm using
real people in this story, but please understand I am using them all with
respect and reverence. We're just gonna enjoy a little ballgame, kids. I'll
send everyone home in time for suppa! <G>

Thanks to my cyberSupport group in Vickie Moseley, dee_ayy (and her expert
Yankee knowledge) and the ChrystalShip gang, for just being an all around
bunch of really nice people.

(**And Shirley...forgive me...I feel your pain...my SO is a Bosox fan
too....<ducking real quick!>)

Introduction: This is the next story in the series, number 15 If you're not
familiar with the Abah Alternate Universe, you may want to read the preceding
stories to fill in any giant plot holes. Let's just say, CC has his vision
of what happens and I have my own.

You can find the series archived at the ever wonderful, Shirley Smiley's
MulderTorture Anonymous and at Susan's Garden:

http://susanproto.freeservers.com/

Thanks in advance for feedback which can be sent to me at:
STPteach@aol.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Abah 15: A Greater Gift
By Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)

Part 1/6

"We're doin' what?" asked Mulder with more clarity than he'd spoken with in
weeks.

The couple sat having their conversation in their living room ever grateful
that their three-year-old daughter still enjoyed an afternoon nap.

"Look," Scully began in an attempt to nip any doubts in the bud, "we haven't
had a weekend away, by ourselves, in a while. Walter and Mom are ecstatic at
the opportunity to play the doting grandparents, so what's the problem?"
Her fingers moved as quickly as her mouth as she both signed and spoke her
end of the conversation.

"Bu' why New York? I didn't d'ink you'd ever wanna return to d'at plat'e,"
he replied with a slight shudder as he recalled the shooting incident that
had laid his partner up in a hospital with a nasty gunshot wound to her
abdomen.

"Oh, I'd gotten over that long ago. Besides, it has to be New York; it's the
only place we can use these_." She held up an envelope with a very
distinctive logo prominently displayed and waved it temptingly in his line of
vision.

She laughed aloud when she saw him do a double-take as he reached for the
envelope.

"What is d'at?" he asked with growing excitement.

"Oh, do you think this is for you?" she teased by pulling it back out of
reach.

"Scully! C'mon, what is d'at?" he asked more emphatically.

"Take a look for yourself," she responded as she handed him the envelope.

Mulder tried to remain calm and blasť, but suddenly he couldn't contain
himself and snatched it out of her hands like a starving crocodile. He
practically fondled the enveloped as he stared at the famous sports logo on
the front. "Scully, you didn'," he retorted, and then gasped in
anticipation, "Did you?"

Scully simply watched. She didn't indicate either way, but she knew what he
hoped for was in that envelope. She also knew she did good. She did real
good.

"Holy shit, Scully!"

She couldn't help but wonder why her husband's speech was always clear when
he shouted out expletives. She smiled anyway.

"You did! How the hell did you get d'ese?" he shouted gleefully.

Scully couldn't help but laugh as she watched her soon to be forty-year-old
husband practically jumping up and down with excitement, much like their
toddler, Sarah, would do if she was to receive such a tailor made gift.

"Mulder, take it easy. You're going to lose your balance," she admonished
like a mother hen.

"Who'd you sell your t'oul to in order to get d'ese?" he asked, effectively
ignoring her caution, as he held the two box seats to the last regular season
Yankee home game, a make up game no less, that hosted their long time rival,
the Boston Red Sox.

"Hey, you think you're the only person to whom people owe a favor or two?"
she replied coyly.

Of course, Scully planned never to admit to Mulder that she promised to
provide the coverage for the forensics pathology department while Dr. Henry
Atwell, the head of the department, went on vacation for two weeks in
October. Some time back, Scully had overheard a conversation Atwell was
having with a co-worker and learned that he was a co-owner of box seats on
the first base side at Yankee Stadium.

Scully had asked him, as nonchalantly as possible, if he there were anymore
games between the Red Sox and Yankees. Atwell informed her there were a few,
but only one of them was going to be at the stadium, a make-up game. When
asked if he was planning to attend it, Atwell had replied no, since he
couldn't stand the Sox nor was able to get away for a Monday game.

"Can I buy them from you?" she'd asked with anticipation.

He'd indicated it was okay with him, but he was unsure if his partner was
going to use them. In as even a voice as possible, Scully had asked if he
wouldn't mind finding out. The department head had shrugged his shoulders
and asked her to wait a moment.

He'd pulled out his cell phone and placed a call. Several minutes later,
Atwell had informed her that his partner was using two of the seats, but she
could have the other two .

The rest, as they say, was history.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since the game was scheduled for six o'clock in the evening on Monday, the
eleventh, Scully and Mulder flew the shuttle into New York's LaGuardia
Airport on Saturday afternoon. This allowed them the chance to do a little
sight seeing, dining out, and relaxing in their hotel room at their leisure
prior to going to the game on Monday evening.

It had been some time since the couple allowed themselves the chance to be
together and enjoy one another's company, alone. As much as both husband and
wife loved their daughter and their professions, a weekend retreat was a
welcome break from the world of the FBI and parenthood.

The two of them went the tourist route. On the day of their arrival, they
traveled up to the observation floor of the Empire State Building and oohed
and ahhed with the rest of the visitors. Afterwards, they walked around
Manhattan for a little while and took in the sights and sounds of the city.
It saddened Scully a bit when she realized the only sounds Mulder heard
clearly were the car horns. She wondered why he even bothered putting the
hearing aids in any more.

She considered discussing the subject with him, but she decided that they
were on vacation, and it was not the appropriate time. This was supposed to
be a respite for them both, and she didn't want to bring up anything that
could put a damper on their mini-vacation.

Since Mulder had always wanted to see Ellis Island and Scully wanted to see
the Statue of Liberty, the next day they took a cab to the ferry that would
take them to their destinations. It was a beautiful day to be near the
water, but it turned out to be a long and taxing one for Mulder. Mid trip,
Scully considered asking Mulder if he wanted to borrow a wheelchair the
attractions made available for the public, but she wasn't sure how he would
react.

So, rather than take the chance of offending him, she walked more slowly than
usual and watched without comment when he leaned more heavily on his cane as
the afternoon wore on. It was only when he began to lean heavily on her that
she suggested it was time to call it a day. Mulder was exhausted and offered
no resistance. They returned by ferry to the main island of Manhattan and
caught a cab back to their hotel.

After a nap, they indulged in room service and then some well deserved
cuddling. They sat on the bed together, drinking their coffee and indulging
in some rather sinfully good New York strawberry cheesecake. As Mulder got
ready to feed Scully another bite, Scully brought up a subject that she'd
always been curious about.

"Why don't you root for the Red Sox?"

"Wha' do you mean?"

"Well, it's just that you were raised in Massachusetts, Mulder. Wouldn't it
stand to reason that you would root for the home team?" He nodded in
understanding at the dilemma, and then, as if to give further proof of her
husband's unusual allegiances, she remarked, "And why the Knicks instead of
the Celtics? You've got to admit, that it's a little odd, even for you,
Mulder," she added with a wry grin.

"Yeah, I t'uppose it is. It's really a 'tupid reat'on."

"Try me." When she realized he'd been looking down, she gently touched his
chin and raised it up so his eyes could focus on her lips and repeated, "Try
me. I really am curious."

He sighed and then smiled. "I had d'is little portable radio d'at my Abah_,
well you know who I mean_, d'at Jack bought for me when I wa'd a kid."
Mulder paused momentarily and took in a deep breath as if he was trying to
work up the strength to continue.

"I d'ink it was the la't time I t'aw him as a child. It was the time I was in
the hot'pital__, w'ight after 'Tam was taken. I hadn't 'tarted talking again
yet, but apparently I ret'ponded to voi'tes around me.

"I guess he figured d'at a portable radio would keep me occupied. Well, I'm
not sure why, but for t'ome reason d'at little pla'tic radio picked up the
frequen'ty for the New York games. I couldn't get the Bo'ton game', ju't the
New York ones. It was a little ironic, you know? I mean, everyone was
workin' t'oe hard to get me well enough t'oe I would 'tart talking again, but
the only d'ing d'at was te'dering me to reality was d'at little pla'tic
radio.

"I li'tened to d'at little box for hours on end. The nur'tes managed to
keep me in a 'teady 'tupply of batteries," he added with a slight smile.

"So, what came first? The Knicks or the Yankees?" asked Scully.

"The Knicks. Sam was taken in November of 'teventy-d'ree, so bate-ball was
over by then. The Knicks were coming off of a championch'ip from the year
before, so d'ere was a lotta hype about d'em. Well, you know d'ose little
tran'ti'tor radios. One't you 'tet it to one 'tation, it kind of get' 'tuck
on d'at 'tation. The Yankees ju't repla'ted the Knicks when ba'ketball ended
and bate-ball began."

Mulder tried to stifle the yawn that snuck up on him suddenly. He hadn't
expected the short walk down memory lane to tire him out. It seemed like
both an eternity ago and just yesterday that he'd spent long winter days and
evenings hanging onto the words New York sportscasters during that
particularly dark period in his life. He was more exhausted than even he
would have expected.

The yawn did not escape Scully's notice, so she suggested that they call it a
night. Mulder was a little disappointed, but he also knew he wasn't
physically up to initiating anything more alluring than a perfunctory kiss
good night. He set his sights on a morning rendezvous, and he let his wife
know that he expected to have his way with her then.

"Wouldn't have it any other way, Partner," she responded enthusiastically.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
End of 1/6



Abah 15: A Greater Gift
By Susan Proto ( STPteach@aol.com )

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 2/6

Husband woke wife up with sensual kisses up and down her body just as the sun
was rising. Scully was not known for a scintillating morning personality,
but she had nothing to complain about this morning.

Each gentle kiss was greeted with a small shudder of excitement from Scully's
body. She lay quietly and allowed the love of her life show her how much he
adored her.

And then she proceeded to do the very same for her much beloved husband.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They remained in bed, and between catnaps and rediscovering one another, it
was noon before they pulled themselves up and out. They shared a shower and
almost got themselves into a situation where they'd have needed another one.
Scully, however, reminded her amorous husband that if they were going to grab
a bite of real food before they were reduced to Yankee Franks and peanuts and
get to the stadium in time for batting practice, they'd better hurry and get
their acts together.

That was all the inducement Mulder needed to behave, and the two of them
dressed and headed down to the hotel lobby to find the location of the
nearest delicatessen.

They were led to a small table in the rear and given menus.

"Wow. New York prices sure are high," Scully commented.

"What?" asked Mulder, who'd been too busy looking at the choices to pay
attention to what his wife was saying.

"Expensive," she replied succinctly.

"Yeah, but wor'd it."

They both ordered corned beef and pastrami sandwiches on rye, but when Scully
asked if she could have some mayo on the side, both the waiter and Mulder
rolled their eyes.

"Scully, you do know d'at it's con'tidered a felony in New York to order
mayonnaise on corned beef, don't you?" he asked very seriously. And then
with a wry smile, he added, "Or at the very lea't, grounds for divor'te."

"Mustard, huh?" was her obvious answer.

"Mu'tard, definitely."

The waiter nodded his approval and brought over an extra large plate of sour
tomatoes and pickles as a reward.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mulder had wanted so much to travel by subway and by the expression on his
face had appeared very disappointed when Scully adamantly refused. She felt
guilty for seemingly treating him like a child, but in her heart she knew
traveling by subway would have been too much of a drain on him. She figured
the cab fare for the eight-mile journey would be worth every penny, no matter
what scenic route the cabbie decided to take.

It was almost 4:15 by the time they arrived at the stadium, and as they
waited in line in front of Gate 4 to enter the stadium, Scully knew she'd
made the right decision. Though it was early, there was a big enough crowd
around them that caused him to get jostled every now and then, and she felt
him reflexively grab on to her arm to help him maintain his balance.

Finally, the gate doors rose up accordion style and the people standing about
began to push ahead into the necessary single file lines in order to enter.
A rowdy group of young men suddenly forged ahead and managed to break their
way into the line, separating Mulder from Scully.

"Scully?" he called out as he tried to tamp down some momentary panic.
Rationally, he knew she wasn't far, but rationalizing did little to calm him
when she remained out of his line of vision. And with the rumblings coming
down from the el, he knew it would be unlikely that he would hear her calling
him.

"Mulder! Excuse me," she said anxiously as she pushed her way to where he
stood ahead of her in the line. "Please, excuse me, my husband is over
there," she explained to those wearing annoyed expressions as she nudged
forward to bypass them.

"Scully? Where are you?" He spun around in an attempt to catch sight of
her, but almost lost his balance in the process.

"Whoa, Mister! You okay, man?" asked a young man who was nearby and caught
Mulder just before he lost his equilibrium completely.

"Yeah, d'ank-you." Mulder stood holding onto the young man's arm and noted
he was wearing a Red Sox cap. "D'ough I don' d'ink I ch'ould be fraternizing
wi'd the enemy," he added with an appreciative smile.

"Hey, no problem, man. I won't tell if you don't," he replied in kind just
as Scully appeared.

"Scully! Where'd you go?" he asked with relief at the sight of her.

"I got bushwhacked, Mulder," she replied, finger spelling the word
'bushwhacked' since she had no idea as to what the sign for it would be.
"Are you okay?" she asked with concern.

Mulder nodded his understanding and then replied smiling, "Yeah, I'm fine,
d'anks to the enemy." He pointed at the young man who still held onto
Mulder's elbow, just in case.

"Well, thank you ___?"

"___Brian. Brian O'Leary."

Scully finger spelled the translation of the young man's name. Mulder nodded
and then asked if he were related to Troy O'Leary, one of the Bosox
outfielders. When Brian nodded and admitted he was his cousin, Mulder
laughed and said, "Boy, you really are the enemy! But d'anks a lot for the
he'p," he added sincerely.

"You're welcome, umm__?"

"Mulder."

"Mulder?" Brian looked surprised. "You related to the Oakland pitcher?"

Mulder laughed and shook his head, while Scully looked confused and asked,
"Who's the Oakland pitcher?"

"Mark Mulder. He's a lefty pitcher for the Athletics," explained O'Leary.

"No," Mulder said, "d'ere's no rela'chon d'at I know of."

"Oh, well, okay Mr. Mulder ___.''

"___No 'Mi'ter', ju't Mulder."

"Okay, Mulder, well, if you're okay now, I'm going go in and do my best to
root for your Yankees to get their asses kicked," Brian O'Leary said as he
shook both Mulder and Scully's hands.

"Thank you, again, Brian," murmured both of them, and they watched him
disappear into the gate entrance.

"And d'ey say New Yorkers aren't he'pful," Mulder exclaimed.

"Mulder, he's a Red Sox fan. He's probably from Boston!" Scully retorted.

"Well, I was from Chilmark, and I'm a Yankee fan!" answered Mulder.

"Don't remind me, Mulder. I'm still having a hard time figuring that one
out," she teased, softening it with a quick kiss to his cheek. C'mon, let's
get you inside before we both get run over."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
End of 2/6





Abah 15: The Greater Gift
By Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 3/6

Scully had never been in Yankee Stadium before, but she could appreciate the
grandeur and history of the place. They followed the attendant to their
seats and Scully saw Mulder hand the man a couple of bucks.

"Tip?" she commented curiously.

"Yeah, I remember my dad tipped the guy who c'howed us to our t'eat."

Scully nodded at that and then wondered aloud about something Mulder had said.

"Did you go to games often?"

Mulder got a faraway look in his eyes. "We'd gone p'etty often before T'am
was mit'ing. After d'at, we only went one time. We went to Fenway Park and
'taw them play the Yankees. Of course, I had to pretend d'at I was rooting
for the Sox, 'cause my fah'der would have killed me od'erwise."

Scully was relieved to see him smiling as he relayed the story.

"I'm surprised you didn't go to more games; I mean even if your father wasn't
available, then I should think you would have gone with friends," commented
Scully.

"I didn't have d'ose kin'e of frien's, Scully, and by the time I was old
enough to travel alone to Bo'ton to t'ee a ballgame, I'd been at'epted to
Oxford and was on my way to England. But I learned to p'ay a mean game of
Rugby," he added with another smile.

Scully nodded her understanding and let the matter drop. She was never sure
how comfortable Mulder was in talking about his life style prior to his
contracting the meningitis years ago. He seemed okay about it, but
acceptance and resignation are two different things. She'd never been sure
which of the two applied to Mulder.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Yankees took their batting practice first. Mulder pointed out all of his
favorite players to Scully, who nodded if not in knowledge then in
acknowledgment.

"Now, d'is is a ball team, Scully!" he said with an almost personal pride.
Scully smiled to herself at the tone her husband's voice took; he spoke as if
the team belonged to him.

"D'at's Jeter, Scully. He's one of the be't t'ort'tops in the majors. One
of the other be't t'ort'tops is on the Red 'Tox, Nomar Gar'tiaparra. Damn,
d'ey're incredible at'letes! And what's even more amazing, is d'at d'ey're
really good fw'ends. Isn't d'at t'omed'ing? I'm telling you, Scully, Jeter
can be an 'MVP' every year he p'ays; he's d'at good!

"And you know who d'at is?" At his wife's shake of the head, he laughed.
"Not many people do, Scully, or rather did. D'at's Clay Bellinger. He's a
regular 'jack-of-all-trades! He plays infield and center field. But wha's
amazing is d'at he's only in his second year in the pros and he's d'irty-one
years old. Can you blieve d'at? The man 'tuck it out in the minors for
'tomed'ing like nine years. Can you imagine anyone having d'at mu'sh
per'teverance?"

Scully marveled at that question. Perseverance? If anyone looked the word
up in the dictionary, all they'd find for a definition was her husband's
photo. Fox Mulder had more perseverance in his little pinky than most people
showed in their entire lifetimes.

If only she could get him to believe that about himself. Somehow, she knew
Mulder never looked upon each day of surviving all of his disabilities as a
victory. She wished she could think of a way that would help him understand
that all of his hard work had paid off. Scully was happier now in her
marriage to him and having his child than at any other time in her life. She
didn't give a damn whether he could throw a baseball or swing a bat. The
fact that he had to use a cane and wear hearing aids were inconsequential to
her.

She loved him. As is. And she'd prove it to anyone at anytime, over and
over and over.

As Mulder went through his litany of baseball trivia, Scully smiled, nodded,
and delighted in her husband's excitement. Had she known how happy the
experience was going to make him, she'd have ordered tickets long before this.

He knew them all. He pointed out the infielders such as Luis Sojo, and
Martinez ("D'at's Tino, not the Bot'ox pitcher Pedro, Scully,") as well as
Scott Brosius who played third base. Next, he commented to her on all of his
favorite outfielders, such as Bernie Williams, and the steals of the century
in David Justice and Glenallen Hill. ("D'at guy was on t'uch a homerun tear,
he even t'ared himt'elf, Scully!") His favorite player, however, was the
unofficial captain of the team though, Paul O'Neill.

"The man is one of the mo't inten't players I've ever watched p'ay. He never
lets down. He always con'tentrates on doing his be't, no matter what the
'core is; no matter how far behind his team may be. He's an amazing guy."

Scully stared at him.

"What?" he asked.

"You're an amazing guy." Mulder was all set to brush her remark off when she
repeated it with more intensity. "You are an amazing man, Mulder."

He looked back at her silently for a moment or two and then said simply,
"D'ank-you."

'Nuff said.

At that point, the Yankees gathered their equipment and the Boston Red Sox
players took the field. Mulder wasn't as familiar with all of their players
as he once was, but with a quick reference or two to the program they'd
bought as they walked into stadium, he was able to show off his knowledge of
the group that congregated around the batting cage.

Mulder showed Scully which player was Troy O'Leary, the Boston outfielder who
was the cousin of the Good Samaritan who'd helped Mulder out earlier.

As each of the players took their turn in the batting cage, Mulder rattled
off the names, such as Brian Daubach and Jason Varitek. "I dunno, Scully,
Varitek is okay, but the T'ox haven't had a det'ent catcher t'in't Carlton
Fit'k. I don't know if d'ey'll ever have anod'er catcher as good as him."

When the last of the Red Sox players finished their practice swings, they
left the field and the ground crew set to work on getting the field ready for
game time.

"D'is is great, isn't it, Scully?" he asked with the excitement of an
innocent.

"Yes," she replied with a smile to light up the whole ballpark, "yes, it is."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After they'd stood for the Star Spangled Banner, Mulder watched Roger Clemens
take the mound. He explained Clemen's playing history to Scully, as well as
the significance of Clemens pitching against his former team in Yankee
Stadium.

"Clemens is gonna own the T'ox today, Scully. He ju't will," he declared
without a doubt in his mind. And Clemens proved Mulder's point by setting
down the first three Red Sox batters in order. The third out was a heart
stopper as Clemens struck out Carl Everett after he'd run the count full.

"Yes!" exclaimed Mulder, raising his fist into the air. Moments later,
however, he looked at Scully and calmly said, "I t'ink I'm ready for a
hotdog, Scully. How about you?"

She smiled to herself at the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde who sat next to her and
then nodded in agreement. Scully watched as he tentatively pulled out the
little menu card in front of him. "Wow, d'ey didn't have d'is at Fenway when
I was a kid," he commented as he referred to the menu.

An attendant was at their side taking the order (and their money) so they
never had to leave their seats. This was a fine example of the joys of
sitting in season ticket holder box seats.

Mulder looked around while he waited for the Yankees to come up and observed,
"Our neighbors haven't showed up yet."

"Maybe they hit traffic," Scully offered, as she too noted that Dr. Atwell's
ticket partners had not yet arrived.

Mulder nodded at the possibility and allowed his eyes to travel back to the
field. It didn't matter to him one way or the other if the seats next to him
remained empty.

Luis Polonia came to bat first for the Yankees and Mulder murmured quietly to
himself, ''Wait for your pitch,Luis. Wait for your pitch."

Unfortunately, Mulder didn't speak loudly enough, for when Martinez ("Pedro,
Scully, not Tino,") threw his first pitch, the left fielder hit a dribbler
right into the glove of the second baseman, Jose Offerman.

"Damn, Luis, ya gotta wait for your pitch," Mulder muttered, along with about
fifty-thousand-plus other Yankee fans seated in the stands.

The next batter was Derek Jeter, and Mulder was confident that he would get a
hit. Once again, he urged his player to show patience, while Scully sat back
and enjoyed the show. Never did she expect Mulder to be the rabid fan that
he was showing himself to be. Of course, with Mulder she realized it
shouldn't have surprised her; Mulder never did anything with half a heart if
he could help it.

He was rewarded for his coaching skills when the talented shortstop hit a
line drive into the gap between the centerfielder, Everett, and Darren Lewis
in right. Derek rounded first as if he were going to go for two, but as
Mulder shouted out "Hold up, hold up!" Jeter seemingly followed his advice
and scooted back to first.

"He hit the ball too hard, Scully; Everett was able to get to it real quick.
He'd ha'b d'rown him out by a mile," Mulder stated with confidence.

Scully nodded and watched the player dancing around first base. She was
amazed at how young he looked. "Mulder, how old is that guy? He looks like
he's still in high school," she commented with a sigh of frustration. There
was a time when people thought she looked young enough to still be in high
school, too.

And almost as if he'd read her mind, Mulder leaned over and kissed her. It
was all the reassurance that she needed.

When Paul O'Neill's name was announced, Mulder's attention quickly turned to
home plate. "Watch him, Scully," he said, "ju't watch him."

Scully observed the tall, dark haired man up at the plate. There was an
intensity about him that was unlike most of the other players that had been
to bat. O'Neill also concentrated well enough to keep his bat alive, as he
continued to hit foul ball after foul ball.

When the count became full, Mulder's careful observation of O'Neill's at bat
was interrupted. The owners of the second pair of box seats had just arrived
and wanted to get to their seats.

"Sorry 'bout this. We hit an accident on the Deegan Expressway and there was
no way we could make it here on time. Excuse us," an older gentleman said in
apology. His companion, a tall man closer to Scully and Mulder's age,
followed. Mulder found it easier to stand up in the aisle to let the two men
pass by, while Scully was simply able to move her legs to the side.

"It's no problem," Scully said, and then she got Mulder's attention in order
to let him know the path was free for him to sit back down. He'd been
watching O'Neill, who was miraculously still at bat. Just as Mulder turned
his head to acknowledge Scully, the batter smacked a hard, line drive
directly into the lower box seats on the first base side.

And it made direct contact with Fox Mulder's head.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
End of 3/6





Abah 15: A Greater Gift
By Susan Proto ( STPteach@aol.com )

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 4/6

Everything was a dull haze, almost as if Mulder had walked into a foggy
alleyway. He blinked his eyes a few times in an attempt to clear his vision,
when he heard someone call out to him.

"C'mon, Mulder! What the hell you waiting for ? You're on deck, man."

"What? On deck? I don't understand," he heard himself saying aloud.

"Let's go man. You're up after Bellinger, remember? Move it, man!"

He couldn't figure out who was talking to him, until his vision cleared a
little more and realized it was Chuck Knoblauch.

"Hey, you just got off the Disabled List, didn't you?" Mulder asked.

"I got off it at the beginning of the month, Mulder. When the roster was
expanded to forty, remember? Now, are you going to go up to the on deck
circle or am I going to have to pick you up bodily and throw you up there?"
demanded the compact second baseman..

Mulder chuckled out loud at that image, as Mulder stood a solid five inches
over him. "I'm going, I'm going," he replied, though he wasn't exactly sure
which direction he needed to walk. He allowed his feet to start moving and
take him, hopefully, where he was supposed to go.

He walked up the steps to dugout easily and picked up a bat with a donut
weight on its barrel. He held it up and stretched his back out and then
promptly took a couple of practice swings. Next he knelt down and waited for
Bellinger to take his swings in the batter's box.

And as he watched the utility player wait patiently for his pitch, Mulder
came to a sudden, shocking realization.

He was normal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"We need to turn him on his side! Right now, people! He's in a full blown
grand mal seizure. Please! Now!" ordered Scully as she watched her
husband's body betray him yet again.

"I'm an ER doctor over at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital," offered the
younger seatmate helpfully. "What can I do to help?"

Scully looked at him with relief; it gave her confidence that there was
another pair of hands that could assist in providing care and comfort to her
husband.

"Would you check his pulse please, and make sure his airway is unobstructed.
I want to keep track of the seizure's duration," she responded as she kept an
eye on her watch.

The electrical impulses in Mulder's nervous system were out of whack for well
over two minutes and showed no signs of abating. The security people
informed Scully that an ambulance was going to be available and that a
paramedic team was on their way as well.

Scully nodded her thanks and continued to monitor her husband. His pulse
remained strong, as did his respiration. His pupils were most definitely
unequal, but they were reactive. This gave her some hope that her husband
would recover in no worse shape than he was already in.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bellinger worked his way to a full count before he smacked a looping single
over the shortstop's head. It wasn't picture perfect, but it was a hit, and
Bellinger and his teammates were more than happy to take it.

Mulder stepped up to the plate in awe of the fact that he was able to do so
without the use of his cane and without any balance problems at all. His
name was announced over the public address system. Amazingly, he could hear
the voice of the Stadium icon, Bob Sheppard, say his name clearly. He heard
the voices of the fans in their seats just as clearly.

It was an amazing feeling.

He couldn't remember the last time he'd heard someone speak to him without
having to strain and concentrate on reading the person's lips. He
tentatively put his hands to his ears and noted the absence of his hearing
aids. He didn't understand how this had happened.

And as he stepped into the batter's box, he decided he wasn't about to
question it either. He had something else on his mind at the moment.

"STRIKE ONE!" called out the umpire.

Mulder hadn't been ready, but he'd never called time, so it was his fault.
He heard the fans booing and that shook Mulder up a bit; he wasn't sure if it
was he who was being booed or the strike.

He quickly held his hand up and requested time. The ump granted it and
Mulder stepped out of the box momentarily. He adjusted the batting glove
that miraculously found its way onto his right hand and then pushed down on
his batting helmet. He drew in a deep, deep breath and then released it.

He stepped back into the batter's box, held up his bat, and stood in a
picture perfect stance. It was as if he were one of the M & M Boys of Old.

Mantle, Maris, and Mulder.

The next thing he heard were the rousing notes of Eddie Layton's organ music,
piping encouraging trills of victory as the fans clapped in time to the
rhythms being played.

Mulder smiled and watched as the pitch came in too low and outside. He
relaxed his grip for a moment and asked for time again. He stepped out the
box and then looked over at Willie Randolph, the third base coach, for a
sign. At first Mulder wondered how the hell he was going to know what the
signs Randolph gave would mean. Amazingly enough, however, Mulder knew
exactly what it meant.

Bunt.

Sacrifice bunt down the first base line.

Move the runner over to second to get the potential lead run into scoring
position.

Mulder knew what he had to do. He was a team player. He was going to bunt.
The only difference was he planned to run like a motherfucker and make it to
first base. Safely.

Mulder stepped back in and took note of the infield players. The first base
man was staying back and holding Bellinger on, while the third baseman was
creeping in closer to home. He was definitely expecting a bunt. Mulder knew
he'd have to push the bunt down the first base line perfectly.

Pedro Martinez was a good fielding pitcher, but if Mulder could push it down
the first base line, the chances were that Martinez would let it keep rolling
and hope that it would go foul. Mulder had to make the bunt perfect.

The wind up.

The pitch.

TAP! Mulder started running with the sound of the ball hitting the bat. He
never looked back. He never broke his stride until he reached first base.

"SAFE!" yelled the first base umpire.

Lee Mazzilli, the first base coach, patted Mulder's rear and then held out
his hands to retrieve Mulder's batting glove. "Perfect execution, Mulder.
Way to go, man!" He could hear Chris Chambliss, the Yankee's batting coach
echoing that same sentiment from the dugout.

And he marveled at how quickly the boos turned to cheers. He definitely
preferred the latter. And he definitely liked this.

He liked feeling normal again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

End of 4/6



Abah 15: A Greater Gift
By Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 5/6

"Doctor__? I'm sorry I don't__," Scully began in frustration.

"Pierce. Dr. Mark Pierce. His pulse is steady Mrs. __? Sorry."

"Scully. Dr. Dana Scully," she replied hurriedly.

"Dr. Scully," he repeated with a bit more emphasis on the title, "how long
has he had the seizure condition?"

"How do you know he has a chronic condition?" she asked surprised.

"Oh, you just look too damned calm for this to be a new experience, even if
you are a doctor," he replied.

Scully nodded in agreement. It did appear that experience bred complacency.
It was nothing new; no matter how well the Tegetrol kept them under control,
Mulder was always at a risk for having a seizure given the right set of
conditions.

Getting beaned on the head was certainly the right set of conditions.

Scully found herself smiling a little at that thought. If Mulder had to
start seizing, she figured he wouldn't mind it being for that particular
reason.

"Ma'am? The paramedics ETA should be soon, but they're having some difficulty
negotiating the traffic a few blocks away off of 155th street. Appears there
was a multi-car accident and all lanes are blocked," the Yankee stadium
attendant reported.

Meanwhile, the game, after a momentary stoppage, continued on. The Yankee
players took turns poking their heads out of the dugout to check on the
victim, but they kept their distance. That was both out of respect for the
victim's privacy and their own personal squeamishness.

Everyone knew the people in the stands took their chances that a line drive
foul ball might come their way. It was a wonder, actually, that more people
weren't hurt each season.

Scully had timed the seizure to end at four minutes, fifty-four seconds, but
no sooner did she breathe a sigh of relief that Mulder began seizing again.
"Shit," she muttered, and Dr. Pierce echoed her sentiments.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mulder danced a little off of first base as he watched Derek Jeter get
comfortable in the batter's box. The Red Sox first baseman, Brian Daubach,
was playing behind Mulder, as there was little chance of both he and
Bellinger going for the double steal. The right field line was a perfect
target for Jeter.

Mulder watched Martinez as he started his wind up and detected a minor hitch
in his delivery. "Shit!" he shouted as he and Daubach both ran back to first
base.

"SAFE!"

Mulder called for time and rose slowly from the headfirst dive. Martinez
looked at him briefly and Mulder swore he noticed a slight smile. Mulder
suddenly realized that pick-off attempt was Martinez's best move. Mulder now
knew he was going off with the crack of Jeter's bat.

"C'mon Derek, bring me round, man! Bring me round!" he bantered and cajoled
his teammate.

The Yankee shortstop worked the count to three balls and one strike. Mulder
knew that, unless the ball was over the catcher's head or did a hop, skip,
and a jump on its way to home plate, Jeter was going to take his cut.

He did, and just as Mulder promised himself he was off and running with the
sound of contact.

Mulder looked up and watched for third base coach Willie Randolph's signal.
His arm was like a whirligig, as he urged Mulder to continue around the
bases. Mulder felt his adrenaline shift into high gear, and as he rounded
third base he began his sprint for home plate.

He saw Paul O'Neill standing near homeplate with both his arms pointing
downward. "Slide, Mulder! Slide!" he shouted with both his voice and his
arms.

And Mulder felt his leading leg go straight out as he hooked his other leg
around what he hoped would be home plate. He slid in hard and barreled right
into the catcher, Varitek. Mulder had no idea if he was out or safe, since
he never saw where the ball was coming from.

Suddenly, he looked up and watched the umpire make the call, "SAFE!"

Mulder jumped up into the arms of O'Neill and the rest of his teammates as
they congratulated him over and over again. He was in a bit of a fog as to
why they seemed so buoyant, until he looked up at the scoreboard. It had
been the bottom of the ninth inning and the Yankees were behind 2-1.
Martinez had been pitching another one of his gems and Clemens, after a rough
3rd inning, had matched him pitch for pitch.

Bellinger scored the tying run just ahead of him, but Mulder scored the
winning run on Jeter's triple.

Mulder felt like a hero, and it felt good.

It felt real good.

And then he was lifted back into reality.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Hang in there, Mulder, we're on our way to Columbia Presbyterian. We should
be there in under ten minutes," Scully said softly. The paramedics arrived
after Mulder had gone into his third seizure, though that one only lasted a
minute-twenty, much to Scully's relief.

Since Dr. Pierce was a licensed, practicing doctor at a local hospital and
was willing to take responsibility for the patient, the paramedics were able
to set up IV lines and administer appropriate fluids as normally indicated.
Pierce also ordered phenobarb to be administered as a means of curtailing
Mulder's seizures. Both he and Scully felt that the risk of more seizures
outweighed the risk of the all too obvious concussion. He would be watched
carefully, however, to ensure that the medication didn't oversedate him.

She, along with Dr. Pierce, followed the gurney up the aisle. She no longer
felt the stares of the bystanders; her eyes were only on Mulder's in the
hopes that she could keep him calm and avoid a fourth episode.

"Dr. Pierce, thank you, but you should go back and enjoy the game."

"You're welcome, Dr. Scully, but seeing as Mr. Mulder is my patient, I have
to follow through on his care. Do you have a car here?" he asked. When
she'd explained that they had taken a cab, Pierce told her he would pick up
his car in the VIP lot and meet her at the hospital. Since no one was ready
to leave the game, there would be little if any delay in exiting the parking
lot.

When Scully appeared to decline the offer, Dr. Pierce said, "Dr. Scully, I
appreciate that this is nothing new for you, but it's still a stressful
situation. I know the staff and am well acquainted with the neurology staff
at Columbia. Please, there's potential here for more problems that I may be
able to help you navigate through. I'm offering my services of my own free
will. Accept them. Please?"

Scully couldn't help but smile at Pierce's earnest expression. She wasn't
used to going it alone; normally whenever Mulder had a health crisis her mom
and Walter would be nearby to offer their moral support. Of course there was
also Sarah; their daughter knew the ins and outs of every one of Mulder's
physicians' offices, but she was her daddy's very best medicine.

But she wasn't home in Georgetown, nor was she near her mom and Walter in
Maryland. She was all by herself in a very large city with a very sick
husband. She looked at her new colleague and while she held her husband's
hand with her right, she extended her left hand to the man walking across
from her.

"Thank you, Dr. Pierce. Thank you very much."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mulder became more aware of the constant motion that surrounded him. He
managed to open his eyes but the bright lights forced him to squeeze them
tightly shut.

"He's awake, Dr. Pierce."

"Mr. Mulder? Fox, it's okay, you're going to be okay," the doctor said in a
loud voice all the while rubbing the patient's arm in a comforting motion
that was also designed to stimulate some kind of alertness or awareness.

Mulder couldn't hear anything; his hearing aids were most likely packed away
in a plastic bag along with his watch, wallet, and shoes. His clothes were
removed for easier access to the various tubes and monitors that were now in
place.

"Scully? Where's Scully?"

"Annie, go bring Dr. Scully to interpret for her husband, please."

While Scully and Pierce had been waiting for the EMTs to show up, Scully was
able to give the emergency doctor a brief overview of her husband's medical
history. During that time, Scully mentioned the growing need for using sign
language as Mulder's hearing deteriorated.

Scully walked in quickly and grabbed Mulder's available hand. His reaction
was immediate; he relaxed noticeably and opened his eyes.

"Hey you," she said.

"What happen'?" he asked groggily.

"You got beaned, Mulder."

Mulder considered this momentarily and then asked, "By who?"

"Um, I'm afraid I don't remember," Scully replied regretfully.

"It was O'Neill."

"O'Neill?" she echoed as she looked up and across at Pierce. Upon his nod,
she looked back at Mulder and repeated, "O'Neill," as she fingerspelled it.

"Paul O'Neill?" he responded with some excitement.

Scully looked back up at her baseball expert and when he confirmed Mulder's
question, she nodded in affirmation.

Surprisingly, Mulder laid back relaxed and smiled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
End of 5/6




Abah 15: A Greater Gift
By Susan Proto ( STPteach@aol.com )

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 6/6

"Yes, Mom, he's fine. Yes, he was very lucky. Yes, tell Walter he's going
to be fine," Scully said for what was probably the tenth time in the last
five minutes. She'd already spoken with Sarah on the phone and now it was
her mother's turn.

"Dana, tell Abah it was Paul O'Neill who beaned me."

Scully wanted to break out into laughter at her husband's attitude. He was
taking the beaning as a badge of honor. And of course, now that the test
results came back and showed Mulder's concussion was not nearly as serious as
they'd originally thought, she could better appreciate the humor of the
situation.

"Mom, Mulder wants Walter to know that it was Paul O'Neill who beaned him."

Scully listened to Maggie relay the message and then she heard a very loud,
"No shit?!" When Maggie responded with a "Walter, please! The baby is
right there!" Scully couldn't hold it in any longer.

Whether it was her mind demanding that she release all of the tensions she'd
been feeling all day or not, Scully found herself laughing almost
uncontrollably. Until she caught sight of Mulder's expression and realized
that she was frightening him. She must have looked as if she was on the
verge of hysteria.

"I'm okay, Mulder," she said and signed quickly. "I'm fine, okay, really.
Mom, I have to go, but I promise to call you back later and let you know
what's doing. Give Sarah a kiss for us both, please," she pleaded. She hung
up the phone and then looked back at Mulder. "I really am okay, Fox."

Mulder nodded slightly, but he kept his eyes on her nonstop.

"Abah was impressed with your beaning," she said with a smile in an attempt
to bring him out of his worried mood.

It seemed to have the desired effect upon him, as she caught the beginnings
of a smile.

But it wasn't a delighted smile, such as the kind he reserved for his
daughter or wife. This was almost a sad smile.

She touched his arm to catch his attention. "Fox? Are you all right?" She
expected him to automatically say 'yes', but instead he shrugged his
shoulders. "What's wrong, sweetheart?"

"Nod'ing is w'ong, Scully," he began hesitantly, "It's __, damn, I don't
know if I can exp'ain it."

"Try me," she encouraged and continued to gently rub his arm.

"I had d'is dw'eam. I gue't it was a dw'eam, but it was so w'eal, Scully.
It fe't so damn w'eal."

"What happened?" she asked.

"I was p'aying ball. I was a New York Yankee, Scully. It was so gw'ate! I
couldn't believe it! I had to go to bat, and I bunted, and I got a hit, and
I got on base, Scully.

"I ran, Scully. I ran so fa't. So fa't," he said wistfully.

"I really could w'un, Scully. I could w'un, and I could hear, and I didn't
hab' any seizures. God, Scully, it was like__, like befo'e. I was no'mal.
I was fucking no'mal."

Scully let him regain control of himself and sat quietly rubbing his arm.
She waited until he took a deep breath and then she asked, "So, did anything
else happen?"

He smiled. Mulder appreciated how she was able to understand just how
important the experience was to him. He squeezed her hand; she knew.

"I 'cored the winning w'un, Scully. Jeter hit a tw'iple and W'andolph wa'bed
me home! I w'an like the wind, Scully. I w'an like I did in the old days.
The days befo'e__, befo'e I got t'ick." Suddenly he slumped back in the bed
and sighed deeply.

"God, d'at was a li'etime ago, wasn't it?" he asked rhetorically.

"Sometimes I think it was, Mulder," she responded honestly.

Scully knew there was no point placating him; they both knew what kind of
changes their lives went through as a result of his battle with the
aftereffects of meningitis.

"But Mulder, we're worth all of the effort, aren't we? You, me, and Sarah?"
she asked with a knowing smile.

"Yeah, Scully. We're wor'd it, but __." He paused.

"__But, what?"

"It fe't good to w'emember, Scully. It fe't so good to w'emember."

Scully reached over and embraced her husband, but it was interrupted by a
knock on the door.

"Come in," Scully said and gasped slightly when she saw who walked in the
door. Mulder noticed her reaction and quickly looked to see who was entering
the room. He gasped louder than Scully.

"May we come in?" asked one of the three men standing at the door.

"Of course, please. My husband is deaf, so if you'll speak directly to him
so he can read your lips, it would be helpful. I can translate anything
that's complicated,'' Scully said, surprisingly nervous.

"Well, hi Mr. Mulder, I'm Paul O'Neill__."

"__I know. I know who you are. You're Paul O'Neill," Mulder repeated with
definite nervousness.

O'Neill smiled and looked to shake Mulder's hand. "I just wanted to see how
you were doing. I felt pretty bad when I realized my foul ball caught you."

"Yeah, well, it's not ev'wy day d'at I can t'ay I got beaned by Paul
O'Neill," Mulder said with a smile.

"No, and it's a damned good thing it's not," Scully retorted without thinking.

Everyone laughed, even Mulder who caught the gist of Scully's remarks.
Finally, one of the other men offered his hand in introduction, "I'm Derek
Jeter, Sir, and this is Nomar Garciaparra. We just wanted to stop by and
make sure you were doing okay. Oh, also, we brought you a couple of things,
you know so maybe you'll remember this day a little more positive."

With that Garciappara opened up the bag he was carrying and pulled out a
couple of balls, one signed by Yankee players and the other signed by some
Red Sox players. He also took out a couple of caps, one boasting the Yankee
emblem and the other heralding the Bosox symbol.

"D'ank you," Mulder said as he accepted the gifts in awe. "D'is is gw'ate,
ju't gw'ate. D'ank you, ve'wy much." Mulder fingered each item as if he
were handed great treasure.

"Well, we'd better be going," interjected Paul O'Neill. "You need your rest,
ya know."

Scully nodded in agreement and thanked the men for taking the time to visit.

"Wait!" cried out Mulder.

"What's wrong?" asked Scully, thinking something was suddenly horribly wrong.

"Nod'ing's wrong, but I gotta know. Who won? Who won the game?" he asked.

Both O'Neill and Jeter suddenly sported two huge smiles, while Garciaparra
rolled his eyes.

"D'anks, guys. D'anks for more d'an you'll ever know."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
End of 6/6

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Later,

Susan

See my stories, courtesy of the extraordinary Web Mistress, Shirley Smiley at:

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