23 Aug 1997

Title: Abah IV: Point of View
Author: Susan Proto
Category: Story, Angst, MSR/Skinner/Maggie
Spoilers: Through Demons
Summary: Continuing the saga of Mulder's recuperation from his serious
illness, but as seen from his partner's point of view.
Archive: Yes
Disclaimer: These characters belong to 10/13 productions and Chris
Carter. Since these bouts of delusions of grandeur refuse to leave me, I
continue to think I have a clue as to what I'm doing.... so I'm borrowing
the characters of Mulder, Scully, Skinner, Maggie and Ma Mulder (here
known as Margaret.... Come on Mr. Carter, give the lady the dignity of
having a first name this season, okay?? You can even use Margaret, be my
guest!) Anyway, I won't keep them (unless Mr. Carter would like me to...)
and I will give them back at the end of the story. Honest. I promise.
Believe me.... (or you could still believe the lie? ;->)

Introduction: Yeah, yeah, I know I wrote that Abah III was going to be
the last in the series. Well, obviously you should learn not to believe
me... I lied. I did this piece at the urging of the very kind, persistent,
and persuasive Vickie Moseley, who basically guilted me into writing
Scully's perspective. ;-) Thank you Vickie for taking the time to look
over the first draft and for your wonderful suggestions. I asked you to
be brutally sympathetic rather than sympathetically brutal, but instead,
you were just plain patient and helpful.

For those of you who haven't read the previous parts of this saga, I
would suggest that you read at least Part I for some background. Parts II
and III would probably help you with the story continuity.

Will there be a Part V? I suppose there could be, but I won't know unless
I hear from you. I need to know if I should have quit while I was ahead
or if it makes sense to go on. It's a blast hearing from people with
positive comments and constructive criticism. I know, I don't always get
my tenses right... (I try JoAnn, I really tried Vickie....Goodness, I can't
even get it right in the intro.! ;->) But if I'm still making a lot of
errors in that department, I want to know that too. So, I await your
comments, because I really do need to hear from you! Thanks in advance!

Send feedback and constructive criticism to my e-mail address:

Abah IV: Point of View
by Susan Proto

Part 1/7

Dana breathed a sigh of relief when they emerged from the bathroom. It
had already been a good forty minutes since Skinner dragged Mulder in
there. She had listened to him as he cried and puked, and cried and dry
heaved, and cried... She had heard his cries for so many days...weeks...
was it turning into months now?

Both men were crying now, but through the tears there were also smiles.
Skinner held Mulder around the waist while Mulder's arm wrapped around
Skinner's shoulder for support. Mulder walked out this time, as opposed
to when Skinner had carried him into the bathroom where he, essentially,
threw up his past.

Dana remembered back to that day when Mulder first came down with the
symptoms for meningitis. She recalled how helpless she had felt then, and
how guilty she _still_ felt. She had ignored his symptoms. *How could I
have done that? As a doctor I should have realized something was wrong?
How?...,*she berated herself.

She had yet to forgive herself for discounting Mulder's complaints while
she had readied herself for their weekly meeting with Skinner. So, when
he had collapsed in Skinner's office.....

Dana felt so helpless. She had watched the paramedics as they worked on
Mulder, but as a doctor, she was aware of just how sick he was, and knew
there was a real possibility that he might not survive this time.

Throughout all the weeks of high fevers, seizures, delirium, vertigo and
deafness, Dana stayed nearby. She wanted to do anything and everything
for her partner, because he was her best friend and the love of her life.
But there was a limit to what even she, Dana Scully, Super FBI Special
Agent, MD, could have done for him.

What she hadn't counted on was what their boss did for him.

Dana looked at Skinner, smiled slightly and thought to herself, *Who
knew?* Walter S. Skinner, Assistant Director of the FBI, her tall,
muscle-bound, with intense eyes behind stern conservative glasses, balding

..became Fox Mulder's lifeline. He took on the role of a figure from
Mulder's childhood, "Abah," a surrogate father who had loved him
unconditionally. As Dana observed the two men together, she realized
Skinner must have developed those same feelings.

Dana looked back at Mulder. Her Mulder. Fox W. Mulder, a Special Agent
for the FBI, her partner in the X-Files division, tall and lanky, but way
too thin at the moment, shaggy haired, was very much in love with her,
Dana Katherine Scully. And, oh, how she loved him, unconditionally.

Margaret Scully walked over to her daughter and placed supportive arms
around her. "I think we've reached a turning point, yes?" she whispered
to her youngest and surviving daughter.

"Yes, Mom. I think so."

Dana looked at her mom with different eyes. She always knew how much her
mom cared for Mulder, hell, for all intents and purposes she had adopted
him as her very own from the moment she met him. But it had been a while
since she viewed her mother as anything other than a maternal figure. So
it came as a small shock when she realized that during these last several
weeks of Mulder's illness, her mom and boss had become close, very, very

Skinner was giving so much of his energy to succor Mulder, that he had
come to rely on Margaret Scully for some much needed emotional support of
his own. Maggie, a loving and caring person, was more than willing to
provide it, so how could Skinner not have helped but fall totally and
completely in love with her.

But Dana also realized her mom was in love with Walter Skinner. She didn't
want to admit it, but Dana recognized she was not entirely comfortable
with her mom loving someone besides her beloved father, Ahab. It was,
however, something she would need reconcile herself with, and from the
look of things, it would need to be soon.

Dana next turned to her left and saw Elizabeth Mulder. She was staying at
the Scully house to aid in her son's recuperation, though just how much of
a positive effect she would have on Mulder's recovery was questionable in
Scully's mind.

At first Dana had pitied her, but then the more thought she gave to it,
she realized she honestly hated her. She hadn't recalled ever truly
hating anyone before, with perhaps the exception of Cancerman. But Dana
knew, without a doubt, she felt hatred toward this woman.

She wondered how a woman, who claimed to love her son, could have allowed
him to be physically and emotionally abused throughout his childhood and,
to a great extent, his adulthood. How could she say she loved him?

*Bullshit,* Dana thought to herself, *the woman doesn't know the meaning
of the word. Elizabeth Mulder had in her possession all the truths he
ever wanted and needed, yet all she gave him were excuses. So many
excuses,* she thought. *How long can you live on excuses?*

The woman had excuses for everything. Her husband didn't love her, so he
worked too much. Her husband ignored her, so she had an affair and got
pregnant. The times back then made it difficult for her to leave, so she
stayed in a loveless marriage. Her husband ignored his family, and
allowed her young daughter to be abducted by a government conspiracy. Her
husband took his anger and frustration out on his own son and beat him
over, and over, and over.

*Damn her, and her damned excuses,* Dana wanted to yell.

Dana couldn't help but wonder how different life would have been for
Mulder had he grown up with parents such as Maggie and Bill Scully. Dana
wasn't blind to the imperfections of her family, but in comparison to the
hell Fox lived through, she had an utopian childhood.

But Skinner and Mulder now both emerged with smiles. They looked first
at Elizabeth. They wanted her to see her son had survived yet another
trauma. Then they looked toward Maggie and Dana. Walter caught Maggie's
eyes and looked at her with an intensity and love that she hadn't seen
since her beloved Captain was alive.

But it was the look that Fox Mulder gave Dana Scully that really
electrified the room. He offered his free hand to her, but he was still
unsteady on his feet and not yet willing to let go of his physical and
emotional connection to Skinner. She walked to him, and as soon as she
took his extended hand, he released Skinner and enveloped her with his

He smothered the tiny red head against his chest, and she encircled his
waist with her two loving arms. She murmured a continuous mantra of " I
love you's" and held on to him tightly. Finally, the ramifications of his
all too recent illness, as well as the draining effects of the intense
emotions caught up to him, and his legs began to shake with fatigue.

Dana felt him start to slip and looked to Walter for help. His strong
arms reached for him, and though Mulder didn't really want to let go of
his Dana, he realized he'd crumple to the floor in a matter of seconds if
he didn't lay down. Both Walter and Dana helped Mulder onto the sofa bed
in Maggie Scully's den. He then stretched out in an upright position,
reached for Dana's hand, and pulled her onto the bed with him. He wrapped
his arms around her shoulder and then looked about the room. He caught
his mother's eye.

Elizabeth looked directly at her son and said loudly and clearly, "Fox,
dear, are you okay?"

"No need to shout, Mom," he replied.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to shou___," Elizabeth stopped abruptly and
looked totally confused.

Dana felt just as confused. Before Skinner dragged Mulder into the
bathroom, she had been using a combination of sign language and finger
spelling in an attempt to translate his mother's words. The bout of
meningitis had left him almost totally deaf. There was a question as to
whether it would be a permanent condition, but the shock of possibly
getting an answer to that question so soon was almost too much for Scully
to comprehend.

"I can hear, Mom." He said it quietly and distinctly. He then turned to
Dana and repeated the statement to her, "I can hear, Dana."

She watched Elizabeth as she drew her hands together in front of her face
as in prayer, an act that caused Dana to actually smile, as she realized
where Fox had picked up that same little idiosyncrasy. "Thank God," she
heard Elizabeth murmur over and over again. "Thank God."

End part 1/7

email: STPteach@aol.com

Abah IV: Point of View
by Susan Proto

disclaimers in part 1

Part 2/7

"Your hearing came back?" Dana said, having not quite believed his words.
It had been so difficult for her to deal with Fox and his deafness. She
had felt enormous frustration in trying to communicate with him about the
daily tidbits of life as well as the necessary information for his medical

But as much as she had felt frustrated, she had also felt his fear. Mulder
had been so frightened that his hearing loss was going to be permanent.
His feelings of isolation were palpable, and Dana shared those fears.
She had begun to envision a lifetime of silent communication between her
and her partner, something they had frequently indulged in before his
illness, but by choice, not necessity. So when he said those words, all
Dana could do was echo them back.

"You can hear?" she asked in awe. She was looking right into his eyes.
"You can really hear me?"

"Yes, I can hear you," he replied looking directly back at her. "After I
finished puking my guts up, we just started talking," he said turning
towards Walter, "and before either of us realized it, I could hear."

"He's still very unsteady on his feet though, so I don't think the ear
infection is totally gone," Walter cautioned, but then more optimistically
added, " but I would guess when the ears totally heal, the vertigo will
subside too."

"You're going in for a hearing test tomorrow," Scully said in her best
MD's voice. She noticed that while Mulder was looking at Skinner, he
didn't respond to her words. She touched his shoulder to gain his
attention. "A hearing test, tomorrow, buster."

"Yes, Doc," Mulder replied with a smile and then a yawn. "Guys, I think I
need to sleep now. Could we resume this party a little later?" Dana
began to climb out of the bed. "You can stay if you want," he said shyly.

Maggie looked at her daughter and the man she hoped would become her
son-in-law someday. "You __both__ look as though you could use a nap.
Come along old people, let's go have a cup of tea in the kitchen, and let
the kids catch some zzzzzz's," she said with a chuckle.

Dana watched her mom and Walter help Elizabeth out of the chair. She
looked a little stunned by the events of the last couple of hours, and
could probably use a good stiff drink instead of tea. They probably all

"Oh! Dana!?" Elizabeth gasped. Dana saw a look of horror on Elizabeth
Mulder's face.

"Oh shit." Dana cupped her hand under her nose trying to catch the blood
that trickled down.

For some reason, up till this point, the powers that be had seen fit to
not remind everyone there were actually two very ill FBI agents in their
midst. Whatever nosebleeds Dana had incurred over the last month and a
half were in private, and out of the sight of everyone.

"Dana, are you okay?" Elizabeth asked, confused that no one else seemed to
be as taken aback by this latest turn of events as she.

"I'm fine. I'm just fine."

Walter handed her his white linen handkerchief. Dana took it from him
and, with merely a look, let him know this hanky would never be quite the
same again. He nodded, and she wiped her nose with it and then applied
some pressure to stop the flow.

Through all of this Dana watched Mulder desperately trying to keep control
of his emotions. She also realized his mother had been unaware of her
condition and was now overwhelmed. Dana was afraid to get into an
explanation now, as she was concerned for Mulder, and didn't want him to
have to deal with the added stress. She hoped everyone else would have
the good sense to keep quiet for the moment.

"I think it's stopped. I'm just going to wash up. Go on you guys, I'm
fine." Dana climbed out of bed to go into the bathroom. "Go have your
tea. I'm fine. Really. Mulder, go to sleep. I'll be back as soon as I
clean up a bit. Please."

She walked into the bathroom and close the door behind her.
Dana thought about locking the door, but ever the sensible and pragmatic
Dr. Scully, she decided to leave it accessible.

Dana stared at the reflection in the mirror, and wasn't too thrilled with
what she saw. She saw a pale, even paler than usual, face and dark
circles under bloodshot blue eyes. She knew it was because she was
worried about Mulder. She was sure of it. But now she was worried about
herself...and Mulder. Always, she worried about Mulder.

Dana sat down on the floor heavily and leaned back against the shower
stall. These had to have been the most draining months of Sundays she'd
ever spent. She sat and tried to clear her mind of everything, but
realized she couldn't. Her thoughts kept drifting back to that morning she
told him to 'get his ass into the office because she refused to face
Skinner alone.'

She didn't know he was going to collapse. Just as she didn't know
Skinner would become one of his fiercest allies. Just as she didn't know
that within a month Skinner and her mom would fall in love. Just as she
didn't know she and Mulder would declare their love for one another in
front of everyone. Just as she didn't know if he would come out of this a
whole person....

Dana thought out loud, "Oh God, I saw him so close to dying, and now that
he's going to recover, you remind me that __I'm__ the one who is dying.
Damn it! It's not fair. It's not fair... I am not ready for this!" The
tears slowly ran down her cheeks.

She heard a knock on the door. She didn't want to see Mulder right now.
She needed some time to herself so she could just vent and get it out of
her system, but with Mulder she felt she always had to be the strong one.
She felt too damned tired to be the strong one just now.

And she really didn't want to deal with her mother either. As much as
Dana loved her mother, and appreciated all of the love and support she
received from her, she hated to be made to feel as though she were eight
years old again, which Maggie unconsciously did sometimes. Scully needed
to maintain whatever control she had over this disease and needed to feel
like a grown-up who could handle things. Her mom had enough trouble
seeing her as a fully grown adult when she was healthy. But there was
another reason too.

As supportive as her mom had been since she was diagnosed, Maggie Scully
was also very angry. She was angry that cancer would choose to attack and
take another of her daughters. Dana didn't think she had the strength to
soothe her mother's anger right now. No, now was not the time for her
mother to appear..

The door opened slowly, and though Scully was already to voice a protest,
she held her tongue. Not Mulder. Not Mom. Not even Elizabeth. Skinner.
It was Skinner at the door.

"You've been in here for awhile. Mulder and your mom were getting antsy."
He slipped in the small room and closed the door behind him. "You okay?"

"I'm fine."

"Funny, Mulder said you just might say that. He also told me not to
believe a syllable of it." Walter smiled a gentle smile. He wasn't
making fun of her, nor was he trying to make light of her very real
feelings and fears.... He was just trying to connect.


"You know," he said as he sank down to sit by her side against the shower
stall, "I think you can start calling me Walter outside of the office. I
mean, we've both been through a helluva roller coaster ride these last six
- seven weeks, and well, I would really like it if you would."

"Walter," she stammered, "I'm sorry, that sounds so odd coming out of my

"It sounds fine, Scully."

"Umm, Si__, I mean Walter?" He nodded to her to go on. "Do you think,
maybe, outside of the office, you could call me Dana?"

Skinner chucked at the request, "With pleasure, Dana." Then he turned
more somber and asked. "Now, what's going on?"

She sat there quietly thinking about that very question. How could she
answer him when she wasn't sure of the answers herself?

"Dana. Dana, listen to me." Walter cupped her chin with his large hand.
"We've all been through hell and back again these last couple of months,
and it's not over yet. He's still wobbly, and will probably still have
some pretty intense therapy sessions to go through before he's a hundred
percent again.

"I don't even know if he has all of his hearing back. He seems to hear
better when he's looking directly at you when you're speaking. I wouldn't
be surprised if he'll need to wear a hearing aid___"

"Oh that'll go over real swell, won't it," Dana interjected.

"Like a visit from Cancerman himself," Walter replied.

Dana sighed at that, and her shoulders slumped a little. She saw Walter
jerk his head back and realized he probably wanted to kick himself at that
moment for being insensitive. "I'm sorry," he said.

"Oh, there's nothing to be sorry about. Look, I have cancer. I have a
tumor inside my head. It's there, it's not going away, and there's
nothing that anyone can do to change that." Scully was in doctor mode,
relaying the words with a detached voice that made you think she was
talking about one of the cadavers she cuts up during an autopsy.

"No. Dana, we will find a cure for this," Walter said with quiet

"Bullshit. Sorry, Sir, but I am getting so sick and tired of hearing
that. Mulder keeps saying that, but we all know it's just bullshit.
There is no cure for a nasal pharyngial tumor, and I just wish everyone
would accept that. I know I have to accept it."

"Bullshit yourself!" Dana startled at that, and saw Walter looked as upset
as he sounded. "Dana, when the hell did believing in your God and
believing in those who love you take a back seat to only a pragmatic,
scientific viewpoint? For crying out loud, haven't your ideas changed
even a little since you started working with Mulder? Can't you go beyond
the obvious and try to believe in extreme possibilities?"

"I stopped believing in miracles," she replied in a whisper.

"How could you stop believing in miracles?" he asked.

End part 2/7
email: STPteach@aol.com

Abah IV: Point of View
by Susan Proto

Disclaimer in part 1

Part 3/7

"How? Damn it!" Now it was Walter's turn to be startled by the angry
voice. "Oh I have lots of reasons! How could I? Well maybe I could stop
believing when I've had to listen to a man live a horrific life through
nightmares that tear him up night after night. Maybe I could stop
believing when I've had to go to him and hold him until the sobs finally
subside hours later, and then maybe he'd get a couple of hours of sleep.

"How could I stop believing? When I'm told by a mother that she was
forced to deny anything was wrong with her husband who beat the shit out
of their son, because it was the _politically correct_ thing to do at the

"I could stop believing when a bullet that was meant for me killed my
only sister instead. She didn't get a chance to fulfill her dreams,
Walter. Why would I believe in anything after that?

"But I could give you other reasons, Walter. I could stop believing after
I lost three months out of my life and haven't a clue as to what the hell
they did to me, except through the nightmares that send me screaming into
__his__ arms in the middle of the night!

"I don't know exactly what they did to me, except that they gave me this
cancer. That is something I do believe now. But there isn't a damned
thing anyone can do about it. So, do you really need to ask how I could
stop believing?

"Walter, when they took control of my body, did those __tests__, and gave
me this cancer, I had no choice but to stop believing. When they took my
choices away from me, Walter, I stopped believing in me."

"But, Dana, _he_ believes in you, enough for __both__ of you. He loves
you so much. Can't you believe what a miracle _that_ in and of itself
is? This was a man who was afraid to let anyone come even within touching
distance of him, much less fall in love with them."

She looked at him thoughtfully. "Are you describing just Mulder, Sir, or
are you describing yourself too?" she asked reverting back to formality.
Skinner sat quietly for a moment, lost in his thoughts.

"Perhaps I am. I won't deny it's been a long time since I'd allowed
anyone close to me too." He sat quietly with her for another minute,
contemplating what to say next. How could he convince her how important
she was to everyone, how important it was for her to keep fighting back
and not give up.

"I lost my faith in Viet Nam, Dana. I lost it when I was ordered to shoot
a child outfitted in a vest of grenades and then watched pieces of his
head go flying around in ten different places.

"I lost it when Lin, the first woman I'd ever fallen in love with, ran to
this child of her people, and died in an explosion that left _me_ deaf for
two weeks.

"I lost my faith when I saw my entire patrol get ambushed and die before
my very eyes. I found myself floating above my own body, and wished I
would die so I could join Lin and my comrades, but instead, I woke up two
weeks later in a Saigon hospital feeling so alone. I didn't think I would
ever find my faith again.

"But I did. I found it again when I met you and Mulder. But I didn't
have to survive a lifetime of abuse like he did. My God, Dana, the fact
that he survived this illness is a wonder, but he fact that he survived
his childhood is a downright miracle. He should have been dead so many
times before, so many times.... But he didn't die, and he didn't totally
shut himself off from the world. He allowed a little portal to remain
open for you.

"And you jumped in all the way, and Lord knows, he hasn't been the same
since. Dana, you gave him a reason to live his life again. You gave him
reason to hope he even had a life to live. Don't you see what a miracle
that is? Believe in him. Please, believe in yourself."

Dana leaned into Walter's shoulder. She felt comforted by his honesty,
and wanted to draw as much strength from him as possible.

"I'm scared." She said it so softly, he almost hadn't heard her.

"You don't need to be scared anymore. Dana, you've got people to help you
get beyond the fear."

"Who's going to help Mulder and my mom get beyond their fear?" she asked.

"I guess that would be me," he said simply.

Dana looked at Walter Skinner with an even greater thoughtfulness. He
seemed so incredibly sure of himself, yet there was a vulnerability that
shone through as well. She realized that it was a rare window that had
opened between them. "Walter, I know these last few weeks have been
stressful and emotional, and__,"

"But Dana," Skinner interjected, "I _want_ to be there for them." He
paused for a moment and then continued, "God knows, I want to there for
your mother all the time. I mean, I want to be there for her in sickness,
in health, and in happiness too, Dana," he declared.

Dana looked at Skinner wide eyed. The man told her, in not so many words,
that he was in love with her mother. She felt slightly light headed and
didn't know if she dared say what was going through her mind. *Oh what
the hell,* she thought.

"Why Walter Skinner, are you asking me for my mother's hand in marriage?"
Dana said with a giggle. Skinner laughed along with her. She looked so
beautiful when she laughed.

"Well, perhaps I am, Ms. Scully, perhaps I am!" And then he just burst
out laughing. When he caught his breath, he stated quietly , "I do love
her you know."

"I know, Walter, I know, because if you didn't, well I pack a gun, ya
know?" she retorted with a tease. Then, quietly she added, "and Mulder...
Walter, you really love him too, don't you?"

Dana watched him fight himself ever so slightly with his emotions. She
knew she might have been overstepping her bounds, but she had to
know...she had to know for sure that if she walked out of this bathroom
feeling almost whole, she had to have someone out there to hold Mulder
together on those days when she felt, well... incomplete. Dana had to
know Mulder's Abah would be there to help her help him.

She saw Walter look at her, doubting his own ability to be as open as she
needed him to be. But in the end, he found it wasn't so difficult. In
the end, it was, in fact, quite easy.

"I love him very much," he said in a whisper. The tears started to flow
again, but with no regrets. Dana grasped Walter's hand with her own, and
patted them gently. Then he grasped her hands firmly.

"Before we go out," he began tentatively, " I need to make sure you know
something. Yes, I plan on being around for your mother for a very long
time, or for the rest of our lives, whichever is longer." Scully smiled
at that.

Then he continued more confidently, "I will also always be there for Fox,
because he needs me, and yes, I need him. I love him as the son I'll
never have, and I pray to God he will love me as the father he's always

"But I want you to realize how much... how I feel about..." The
confidence wavered now.

"Oh God, this is hard. Dana, I would never, ever presume to think that
I... I mean, I know you could never see me... as a replacement for your
father. He was a good and loving husband to Maggie, and he was a fine
father to you and your brothers and sister. I know that, really, I do.

"But, Dana, I need you to know, that even if your mom and I don't stay
together, which is a ridiculous thought to even contemplate because she
has to marry me since her daughter gave me the okay, right?" Walter
finally stopped and came up for air.

"I'm sorry, this isn't coming out right. Look, all I want you to realize
is that I'll always be Mulder's Abah, and, well, if you want, I'll be
there for you too. I'll be your Abah too, Dana." He stopped and took a
deep breath. Upon hearing Walter's offer, Dana was quiet for a few

"Walter," Dana said, "It's kind of amazing, isn't it?

"What is?"

"Well, when I was a child, my father used to read to me from Moby Dick.
His nickname for me was Starbuck, and I used to call him Ahab." Dana drew
in a deep breath.

Dana watched Walter's expression turn from confusion to understanding in
just moments. "Yes, I guess it is kind of amazing, isn't it?"

"Is it just a coincidence, Sir?" Scully asked quietly.

"I think Mulder would want us think it was fate, a reason to believe.
Ahab. Abah. We _both_ believe in you. Accept that all of us believe in
you, but Dana, sweetheart, believe in yourself."

"I want to believe." Scully looked up at Walter, her mentor and friend,
drinking in the kindness and love he so unselfishly shared with her. "I
really want to believe, Abah."

She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, and he in turn reached out
and hugged her. She returned the warm embrace and then both stood up to
face the family, together.

When she emerged from her sanctuary she immediately looked at Mulder. His
face said it all, fear. He was no longer laying on the sofa bed, he was
sitting...no more like hovering on its edge. She walked over to him and
sat down next to him. "Hi," she said. "Hi," he said back.

"Ready for that nap now?" she asked.

"Scully, are you okay?"

"I'm fi___." She stopped herself from saying those infamous words,
because she knew they weren't totally true. "Okay, I'm a little stressed
out, but I've got a pretty damned fine support system to help me out."

"Actually, to help both of us, so I'm doing better. Mulder, I am going to
be fine. I believe that now." Scully looked over at Walter and smiled
knowingly. "We're _both_ going be okay. It's going to take work, but
we're going to be just fine." She watched the worry lines on his face
begin to fade.

"Okay," he replied. "Can we please take our nap now? I think I'm
getting cranky." He gave Dana one of his patented lopsided smiles and
they both chuckled.

"And you can be such a bear when you're cranky! Come on, lay down." She
gently pushed him down and they both scooted up to the head of the bed so
they could stretch out more comfortably.
They wrapped their arms around one another, murmured sweet nothings into
each other's ears, and quickly fell asleep.

End of part 3/7

Email: STPteach@aol.com

Abah IV: Point of View
by Susan Proto

Disclaimer in part 1.

Part 4/7

Meanwhile, Skinner had joined Maggie and Elizabeth in the kitchen. He saw
Elizabeth looked ghostly pale, and Maggie didn't look much better. Walter
was fairly certain Maggie was filling Elizabeth in on the nature of Dana's
illness, and how Mulder and Scully believed the cause laid with Cancerman,
a/k/a Jack Stein.

"My God, Maggie, I didn't know," Elizabeth gasped. "I can't imagine how
you've all been dealing with it and then with Fox's illness on top of
everything! Oh, Maggie, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry."

Oddly, Maggie Skinner began consoling Elizabeth Mulder about her
daughter's condition. Skinner walked over to Maggie and put his arms
around her waist. He felt she was the one who really needed the TLC, and
didn't feel any qualms about providing it.

"The children are taking their naps now, Moms." He smiled as he offered
the latest Mulder-Scully kids update. "Elizabeth, do you mind if I borrow
Maggie for a little while?"

"No, no of course not. I think I may go lay down myself," she replied.
She clutched Maggie Scully's hand one more time and squeezed it. She
wondered if she could ever be as selfless and strong as this woman. Here
she was, loving and supporting her and her son, when all the while she was
facing the possible death of her own daughter. And all because... *Oh
God, it can't be true. Jack can't be behind Dana's cancer. He just can't
be..,* she prayed silently to herself.

When Maggie and Walter found themselves alone in the warm, expansive
Scully kitchen, they reached to embrace one another. Walter Skinner found
a security and comfort he hadn't felt since the days he spent at Mary's
Eatery in Viet Nam, waiting to go for a walk with his beloved Lin. Now
he found himself in the arms of another beloved.

"Your daughter and I had a nice long talk in there. She's a strong girl,
Maggie. Chip off the old block!"

"Watch who you're calling old, G-Man!" Maggie teased.

"Oh, Maggie, Dana's just like you. She's wonderful, beautiful, and
strong. She will get through this. We'll help her...I'll help her." He
paused a moment, as he tried to reign in his emotions.

"She said I could help her, Maggie." At this Skinner choked back a small
sob. He was still feeling overwhelmed at gaining Dana's acceptance and
trust. He shuddered slightly and then smiled.

"She also gave me permission to ask you for your hand in marriage,
Margaret," he said softly. Maggie looked up at his face feeling a thrill,
but also shock , at hearing those words. It took a moment before Maggie
found her voice.

"Oh she did, did she? And why do you suppose she did that?"

"Because she knows how much you love me?" At that, Maggie gently poked
him on his shoulder, so he continued, "Or maybe because she knows how
much I love you." No question that time. Simple statement of fact.

"I love you too, Walter. I haven't felt this close to a man since I fell
in love with Bill. But I won't lie. I'm a little scared at the prospect
of going through that again."

"Me too, but we're worth it, aren't we? I love you so much, Margaret
Scully. I really would be honored if you would consent to be my wife."

"I love you too, Walter, but isn't it a little soon to be talking
marriage? We've only been together for the last month or so."

"Seems like a lifetime though, doesn't it?" With that, they embraced one
another again, and held each other for a very long time.


Dana wasn't sure what Walter said, or how he said it, but she figured he
went into FBI Assistant Director mode in order to get Mulder his doctor
appointments for the next day. She didn't think it was possible, but he
did it.

Dana imagined a caged tiger wouldn't be as jumpy and angry as Mulder was
right now. She knew how he hated waiting for doctors' appointments. She
empathized and wished, just once, when they made a 2:30 appointment, the
doctor would see them at 2:30. If she were in her own practice, that
would be a priority. *Of course as a forensic pathologist, time wouldn't
be much of a priority with her patients, now would it?* Dana chuckled to

She watched Mulder stand up, desperately wanting to pace, but saw he got
dizzy and forced himself to sit back down in the hard, uncomfortable,
ugly green plastic chair. Waiting. She knew how much he hated waiting!
It was going on 3:10, and there were still other people who appeared to
have been ahead of them.

"Shit, that's it Scully. Let's get the hell out of here," he seethed.

"Mulder, sit down. The audiologist will see you in just a little bit.
Come on, would you just try to relax?" At that, Mulder turned his head
away. "Do you want a magazine?" When she received no response, Scully
touched his shoulder to regain his attention. "Do you want a magazine?"
she repeated. He shook his head glumly and sat impatiently.

She knew what was bothering him. His hearing improved a great deal, but
it wasn't a hundred per cent better yet, and he was worried. Hell, she
was worried. If there was permanent damage, he would be tested for
hearing aids, and if they didn't bring his hearing to within an acceptable
normal range, he would be relieved of field duties.

He would lose the X-Files. The resources he needed for his search for the
truth and for his sister would be severely limited. Scully knew how
important the search for his sister was to him. Before they had become so
important to one another, she knew that finding his sister was the
singular most important goal in his life. Once Mulder realized how
important she was to him, the plan changed to include Scully in his search
for the truth.

Scully knew she couldn't do it without him. As badly as she wanted to
find out the truth, it was still his need, his drive, his raison d'etre,
that carried them in their quest. She didn't know if she would be able to
carry on the search without him. She sure as hell didn't want to have to
find out.

"Mr. Mulder? Mr. Fox Mulder?" Scully nudged him, and he looked up at the
receptionist. "Mr. Mulder? Ah, good, come with me, please." He stood up
and grabbed the dreaded walker. His balance was still way off, though
with the walker he was able to stabilize himself more easily. He and
Scully followed the receptionist into the exam room.

Scully watched from the outer waiting area. Mulder's back was towards
her, so she couldn't see his facial expressions, though from the
continuous motion of his arms and legs she could tell he was nervous.
They hoped the tests would prove that more improvement could be expected,
but there was no way of knowing for sure.

The audiologist performed two basic tests. A tuning fork test and a
pure-tone audiometry test. The first was to confirm that there was no
conductive hearing loss in addition to the sensorineural loss he
experienced as a result of the inner ear infection from the meningitis.

Next, Scully watched the audiologist prepare Mulder for the pure-tone
test, using the audiometer. She handed Mulder written instructions to
which she observed him nodding his head while he read. When the
audiologist got his attention, Mulder indicated he understood the

She watched as the audiologist used an audiometer and tested Mulder's
ability to hear sounds of different frequencies and intensities. The
sounds were transmitted through ear phones, first one ear and then the
other, at different levels. Mulder gave a hand signal whenever he heard a
sound through the headphone. The audiologist sat behind a screen so
Mulder couldn't use visual cues to determine if sound was being

The testing did not take long, but they both knew Mulder still needed to
see the Ear Nose & Throat specialist. They were going to his nearby
office as soon as they were done with the audiologist, who was going to
fax the results over to the doctor's office as soon as possible.

End of part 4/7

email: STPteach@aol.com

Abah IV: Point of View
by Susan Proto

Disclaimers in part 1

Part 5/7

*Poor Mulder,* Scully thought as she observed the Ear, Nose and Throat
specialist examine him. She knew how much he hated being poked and
prodded and doctors in general. *It's a wonder he lets me hang around him
at all,* she mused.

Perhaps the phobia was a result of the too many times he had found himself
in an emergency room because of his father's abusive behavior toward him.
Mulder, of course, brushed it off and said he just hated needles. When
the ENT specialist finished his examination, he scribbled some notes on
Mulder's chart.

"Mr. Mulder, Ms. Scully, please join me in my office." Mulder had left
the walker in the waiting room, because the hallway and examining room
were so small and narrow, with a few steps leading up and down into each
area. Scully thought it was rather ironic how doctors' offices were so
often not architecturally barrier free.

Mulder held onto Scully's arm with one hand and palmed the wall with his
other hand to help maintain his balance. Scully realized his gait was
really awkward, and wondered if his balance problems were really all due
to the vertigo.

She waited while Mulder sat himself down in the chair opposite the
specialist's desk. She sat in the other seat. Scully smiled as she
looked at their positions. It felt like deja vu, as they used to sit in
these very positions in AD Skinner's office. *AD Skinner... Abah... How
times changed,* she thought. But to Dana, it felt like just yesterday,
and yet at the same time, it felt like a lifetime ago.

"Well Doc, what's the verdict. Am I going to get the rest of my hearing
back, soon?" Mulder asked with false confidence.

"You do like to cut to the chase, don't you Mr. Mulder?" Dr. Lansing
asked. "Okay, I can take a hint."

Now that the verdict was about to be read, Mulder looked ready to bolt.
Anticipating the best possible scenario and having to actually face the
worst possible scenario are two different things indeed. Scully placed
her hand in his and intertwined their fingers. She wanted him to know
they were going to face this together, no matter what the diagnosis and

"Well there's been a significant improvement from your last test. That is
good. However there's still fluid in your ears and still signs of
infection. This is not so good, because it means you will still feel the
symptoms of the inner ear infection. I see your balance is still out of
whack. Has that improved at all?"

Simultaneously, Mulder said "Yes," and Scully said, "No." Each looked at
the other in surprise.

"But I am walking better now, Scully."

Scully shook her head slightly at him and then turned and spoke to the
specialist. She went into full Dana Scully, MD mode. "Doctor Lansing,
he's still totally dependent upon the walker or someone assisting him.
His gait remains awkward and unsteady. He has improved somewhat using the
walker, but he has not shown any real improvement in walking

Dr. Lansing no longer directed his conversation to Mulder, but instead
looked directly at Dana. "When was the last time he saw the neurologist?"
Scully was about to answer when Mulder cut her off.

"Umm, excuse me?" Mulder looked pissed off. "Doc, Elvis has not left the
building. I am still seated here in your office, am I not?"

"Mr. Mulder, I was merely asking__,"

"Then ask __me__. I am not a child who needs to be spoken around," he
retorted angrily.

"I apologize, Mr. Mulder. It was not my intent to insult you," placated
Dr. Lansing. Upon receiving an acknowledging nod from Mulder, he
continued, " So, when was the last time you were examined by the

Scully observed Mulder's reaction to the doctor's question and realized
immediately there was a problem. *He doesn't have a clue,* she thought.
She touched his arm to get his attention. "Mulder wasn't it last Monday or
Tuesday?" she asked quickly. *Come on, Mulder, go with the upbeat,* she
urged silently.

"What?" he questioned. Then with just a glance of silent thanks, "Scully,
I can speak for myself, you know?" He turned to look at the doctor.
"Doctor, it was last Tuesday, because I remember being pissed off that I
had to miss most of the Yankees-Seattle game."

"Do you recall what the results were?" he asked looking directly at

"Yes," he said confidently. "He said the scans looked clean with the
exception of the inner ear infection." Scully knew Mulder remembered that
part clearly, because they both felt so relieved. No brain damage.
Their biggest fear was unfounded.

"Okay, then. Let's give the medication a little longer to work on the
Labyrinthitis infection. There's still some swelling and fluid in the
inner ear, so it's difficult to assess how much permanent damage there

Scully looked immediately at Mulder as she watched him startle at the
doctor's words. Mulder quickly cut in, "Permanent? What kind of
permanent damage? I thought the antibiotics would clear everything up and
that would be the end of it."

"And that's still possible, Mr. Mulder. I can't say for sure," he
replied. "But I don't want to leave you thinking that there is no
possible aftereffects from the Labyrinthitis. That's a serious infection
that effects a very delicate part of the inner ear." The doctor then
added, as gently as possible, "Mr. Mulder, I won't lie to you. I would
be very surprised if there was no aftereffects."

Scully gasped as one with Mulder. This was supposed to be a day of _good_
news. He had gained so much of hearing back, and the doctors were
supposed to tell them what a miraculous recovery he was having and say we
could expect him to be on the job by early next week!

But this was not the case. Permanent damage. The doctor seemed pretty
sure about that. The question remained as to just how serious the damage
would be.

"How serious could it be?" she asked quietly.

"I would say no more serious than it is now."

"But his balance is still so poor,"she said.

"I'm going to recommend the use of hearing aids, Mr. Mulder. They may
help with your sense of balance, by giving you a better sense as to where
you are in space. If nothing else, they should help you to follow
conversations with more than one person more easily, as they will amplify
the sounds around you as well as those directly in front of you."

Scully watched Mulder sit stoned face. He didn't seem to react to the
doctor's recommendation except for the one small wince at the mention of
hearing aids. Scully suddenly wished Skinner was here.

"We're going to provide you with some loaners. The audiologist sent a
messenger over with a pair for you to borrow until yours are ready.
Remember he made some wax molds of your ears in his office?" Mulder

"Well, a pair of aids will be made up with your ears' configurations. Mr.
Mulder, they really should help you hear better, and hopefully have a
positive effect on your balance."

The doctor went over the design of the loaner aids. He explained to
Mulder how to adjust the volume depending upon the kind sound environment
he was in. Then he showed him how to insert them in his ears. If there
were any additional adjustments needed, he would probably need to go back
to the audiologist.

Scully watched Mulder's facial expression change over and over again.
When the doctor put the hearing aids in his ears, she saw him react with
surprise? Pain? Fear? Pleasure? Discomfort? She found it so hard to

"Mulder, how do they feel?" she asked.

"I'm not sure. How do they look?" he asked tentatively.

Scully knew what he was asking, she just wasn't sure how to respond. She
had never thought of Mulder as vain, but she knew he was self-conscious.
He was worried others would see him as handicapped when he wore the
hearing aids. It was bad enough to be thought of as "Spooky" Mulder, but
the idea of others thinking he was handicapped or crippled would be too
much for him.

"They look like hearing aids, Mulder." Scully felt the best tact to take
was the honest, no holds bar one. "Do you sense a difference in your

"It may take a little time for Mr. Mulder to adapt to the new sounds, Ms.
Scully," Dr. Lansing interjected. "Kind of like when you get a new
prescription for your eyeglasses. You know they help you see better, but
everything seems a little skewed for awhile until you get used to them.

"Loud." Mulder said it with little emotion. She could tell he wasn't
sure if the benefits outweighed the possible detriments.

"Mr. Mulder, I want to see you next week for a follow-up. By then the
infection should have had a chance to clear up and we can check your
hearing again as well. Make an appointment at the desk, and ask Carol to
call over to the audiologist's office for a follow-up appointment there

He stood up and offered his hand to Mulder and Scully. As Mulder went to
stand, Scully automatically reached over and offered her assistance, which
Mulder automatically accepted. No miracle cure these hearing aids, at
least not yet. He still felt as though he were teetering on the edge of
the world.

Scully drove Mulder back to her mom's house. He didn't initiate
conversation and neither did she, but she did look over at him every now
and then. She felt like she was watching one of her seven year old

She saw him looking out the window. He turned his head to the right, to
the left, up, and down. Sometimes he looked back at her, but he hid his
emotions then. Only when she could catch a glimpse of him reacting to
some sound he hadn't heard in a long time did she see a glimpse of his

"We're home Mulder," she said to the back of his head.

"I know," he responded as he turned around to face him.

Scully reached over to kiss him. He had heard her even though he wasn't
facing her. He could hear with them. Mulder returned her kiss and then
smiled. "Maybe these things won't be so bad," he said.

She watched him push the walker up the ramp to her mom's front door. He
waited while Scully opened the screen door for him. "Hi Moms, we're
home," he called out. When Skinner appeared, Mulder looked at him and
smirked, "Why Mom, I love what you've done with your hair."

"Funny, Mulder, very funny. Hello Dana."

"Hi Walter. Where's Mom and Elizabeth?" she asked.

"I kicked them out."

End of part 5/7

Email to: STPteach@aol.com

Abah IV: Point of View
by Susan Proto

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 6/7

"You what?" Mulder said.

"I kicked them out," he reiterated. "I told them they needed a break. So
I gave them some mad money and told them to buy something totally
frivolous for themselves. Both moms were ready to refuse, but I insisted
and off they went." Scully watched Skinner and thought she had never seen
him so animated or so obviously pleased with himself. He was positively

"That was a very nice thing to do, Walter," Mulder said quietly. "Thank
you for doing that for them."

"Yes, thank you," Scully added as she watched Mulder. She knew his mood
changed suddenly, but she wasn't absolutely sure why.
Then she saw him looking at Skinner and then looking down at his walker.
*Oh Mulder,* she cried to herself. *Soon you'll be able to do things for
your family instead of them just doing for you. Soon, you'll see.*

But Skinner picked up on his mood change as well. "Mulder, I wanted some
quiet time for me, ya know? Sometimes all this togetherness can get a
little stifling. So when you guys left for the doctors' appointments, I
figured this was my opportunity for some peace and quiet. You'd have done
the same thing, wouldn't you have?"

Scully wanted to give Walter S. Skinner a big bear hug and kiss. How did
this man know just what to say to keep Mulder from going off the deep end?
She saw Mulder's smile return as he nodded. Yes, he would have done the
same thing as Walter had he had the chance.

"So, what did the doctors have to say?" he asked.

Scully and Mulder both reviewed the results of the various tests and
examinations. Mulder modeled his new, loaner, hearing aids and informed
Walter that he would probably get a new set by next week.

"Do they help?" Skinner asked.

"Yeah, I think they do." Mulder appeared almost surprised at himself for
having said that. Scully laughed out loud. "What?" Mulder looked at
Scully questioningly.

"You should have seen him on the ride home. He couldn't get enough of the
sounds from the road. He reminded me of my nephew," she relayed chuckling
all the while.

"Gee thanks, Scully."

"No problem, Mulder."

"Okay children, truce!" Walter said laughingly.

Dana and Fox both looked at him and replied, simultaneously, "Yes, Abah."

Scully looked at Fox and then back at Walter. She saw Fox was surprised
to hear her refer to Walter as Abah, but it was Walter's expression that
grabbed her attention. She watched as his mouth gaped open and his eyes
welled up. He stared at her and Mulder for the longest time. Scully then
glanced at Mulder and their skills at silent communication were obviously
still intact, because once again they acted in tandem and both reached for
Walter at the same time.

She felt Walter's arm wrap around her shoulder and saw him do the same to
Fox with his other arm. Mulder and Scully reached for each other as well
as well as Skinner. They stayed embraced in a basic bear hug for a few
moments, and all drank in the good feelings. Scully felt her Abah kiss
the top of her forehead gently and then watched as he repeated the gesture
on Fox's forehead. She wondered if she had ever felt or seen a more
tender moment than the one she had just experienced.

The silence of the moment was broken when the door swung open announcing
the two Moms were home. "Anyone home?" called out Maggie. "Walter? Are
the kids home yet?"

"Out in the kitchen, Maggie." Scully felt Walter release her to go meet
her mom and Elizabeth. Mulder, on the other hand, continued to cling to

"Hello everyone," Maggie announced. Elizabeth followed with her own
salutations and Scully noted that both women looked happy and relaxed.

"You gals look like you were busy today," Walter observed out loud.

"Walter, I want to thank you for kicking us out of the house. It was
truly a splendid day," Elizabeth beamed.

Walter walked over to Maggie and wrapped his arms around her. "So, was it
really splendid, or is Elizabeth just being polite?" Walter asked with the
biggest shit eaten grin on his face. He knew the answer the moment he saw
her enter the room. She looked so energized, but in a relaxed sort of

"Yes, it was wonderful. Thank you, sweetheart."

Scully continued to find it just a tad strange to hear her mom call her
boss "sweetheart,' but she figured if she could call him Abah, her mom
could call him anything she wanted!

Fox let go of Scully to walk over to his mother. Elizabeth looked at her
son and reached up with her hands to touch the hearing aids. Scully saw
him flinch slightly, but he didn't pull away. "How do they feel, Fox?"
Elizabeth asked.

"Okay, I guess." Mulder spoke softly, as though he didn't want to draw
attention to himself. Scully wondered if he would ever become less self
conscious about them. She found it ironic that he was annoyed about
having to use the walker, but he was almost embarrassed about having to
use the hearing aids.

"Do they help your hearing, dear?"

"Yes, Mom. I believe they do, but I'm still not quite used to hearing all
of these sounds, so I can't always decipher everything that's being said
when more than one sound is occurring at once. But the doctor said it
just takes time to get used to 'em."

Scully was relieved to hear him sound so calm and matter of fact about the
hearing aids. Apparently he'd accepted them more easily than she had
credited him for.

"Fox," Elizabeth continued, "what did the doctor say about your hearing?
When will the infection clear up? And how long do you need to wear those

This time Scully winced when she heard Elizabeth refer to the hearing aids
as "things." *No wonder he feels embarrassed. _She's_ embarrassed,* Dana
thought angrily. Then Scully saw her mom walk over to Fox.

"Show me how they work, Fox," she said.

*Go Mom,* Scully cheered silently. She looked up at Walter who was also
smiling and shaking his head ever so slightly when he caught Scully's eye.
The two of them connected and Scully knew Walter was well aware of her
mom's good deed.

She watched Fox take one of the aids out to show both her mom and
Elizabeth. He explained about the volume control and how he would have to
use his judgment depending upon the sound environment he was in at the
given time. He also explained these were loaners, and that aids designed
specifically for his ears would be ready by next week.

"You're going to need to wear them permanently?" Elizabeth asked.

"There's a good possibility that I might, Mom." Fox looked down toward
the floor as he gave his mother that information.

"Oh no!" she gasped. I thought the doctor said the antibiotics would
clear up the infection?" Elizabeth said in a tight voice.

"He did, Mom." Scully saw him look at her for support. He was getting
upset with his mother, and he wasn't sure how to explain without becoming
more upset and upsetting her as well.

"Elizabeth, even though the antibiotics should clear up the infection,
there's no way of knowing if the infection hadn't already caused some
permanent damage. So, Mulder may need to wear the aids permanently, but
as long as they improve his hearing to within acceptable levels, what
difference does it make?" Scully glared at Elizabeth at this point,
almost as if to dare her to say something mean and negative.

Elizabeth returned the glare. She realized Dana Scully was annoyed with
her, though she really wasn't sure why. All she wanted was the best for
her son and for him to be healthy and happy.... and perfect. And if he
had to wear hearing aids, then he would no longer be perfect. And Fox had
to be perfect. He _had_ to be perfect, or _he_ would.....

"Oh, of course," she began, "Well you know they've made such vast
improvements in hearing aids, dear. I've read that they've designed some
aids so that they're invisible to on the outside of the ear. Can you
imagine? Amazing what technology can do nowadays, isn't it?"

Dana didn't know if she wanted to choke her or not waste the time and just
get her gun out and shoot her right then and there. Walter sidled up to
her, placed his hand on her shoulder, and gently squeezed it. She felt
his calming influence pour into her, and realized shooting Elizabeth was
not the answer, at least not at the moment.

"Mulder, I'm starving and I'm tired. How about you?" she asked in an
attempt to change the subject as quickly as possible.

"Yeah, I think I'd like to grab a quick bite and then take a nap. I
suddenly feel exhausted," he acknowledged.

"Okay," said Walter, "I just happen to have some soup warming on the stove
and some sandwiches wrapped up in the fridge."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Scully said. "I'll set the table."

The quintet ate their lunch and kept the discussion to the ladies' mall
experiences. The Moms wanted to share their purchases with everyone after
they finished eating.

Neither bought _one_ frivolous thing, instead they bought several gifts
for the people sitting in the room. Maggie pulled out a package of
diskettes for Walter, as he was complaining he didn't have enough to keep
up with all of the work he'd been taking home to the Scully homestead.
She included one frivolous gift for him, a computer game by George Lucas,
he had mentioned once in passing.

She then pulled out a lovely pair of turquoise and silver earrings for
Dana to which she properly oohed and ahhed. Maggie explained they would
set her eyes off beautifully, and Fox readily agreed with her. Dana
chuckled at that, and kissed both her mom and Mulder thanks.

Finally, for Fox, she found something that she wasn't sure if he would
appreciate or not. Maggie had learned something new about Fox William
Mulder from his mother over their café au lait. When she saw the item in
the store, Maggie knew she wanted to give it to him. She just hoped he
would understand her good intentions.

Dana watched Mulder open the small box from the same jewelry store from
which her mom had purchased her earrings. He lifted the lid and Dana saw
his eyes open wide and then begin to well up with tears. She leaned over
to see inside the box was a beautiful, contemporary designed, silver and
turquoise Star of David. Mulder looked up at Maggie.

Scully wasn't sure what to think. *Why would Mom get him a Jewish star?*
she thought. Of course, it then occurred to her that Elizabeth had told
her mom they were Jewish. *But Mulder doesn't practice Judaism,* she

*But I'm not a practicing Catholic either,* she realized as she fingered
the cross around her neck. The cross her mother bought for her when she
was just a teenager. The cross that Mulder held for her until she
returned to him after being missing for three months.

Scully realized that if anyone else, other than Maggie Scully, had given
him that Star of David, Mulder probably would have politely thrown it back
in their face. But this was a gift from her mom, and she knew her intent
was to neither judge nor influence. It was merely a reminder that faith
comes in all forms, and that this was but one of many.

"Thank you, Mom," Mulder whispered through tears. "I'll wear it always."
He took it out of the box and handed it to Dana. She placed it around his
neck and clasped it securely in place. She whispered into his ear how
beautiful it was and gently kissed him on the cheek.

End of part 6/7
Email to: STPteach@aol.com

Abah IV: Point of View
by Susan Proto

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 7/7

Dana sat back down and watched Elizabeth. Once again, Dana felt a little
bit of pity for the woman. It must be hard to hear Fox call another woman
"Mom" with such ease. She didn't look jealous, but Scully did feel she
saw a sense of longing that hadn't been there before.

Elizabeth pulled her bags out and informed everyone she too had some
frivolous presents to share. For Walter, she announced, was the hint book
that went with the game Maggie had bought for him. She realized as an
Assistant Director of the FBI, he probably didn't have the time to spend
too much time trying to figure out the tricks of the game totally by
himself, so she hoped this would help.

Walter indicated he was eternally grateful for the extra help, though he
wasn't sure if he should be insulted or not since Elizabeth apparently
assumed he could not find his way out of a paper bag without help. Scully
did note, however, that he showed the courtesy to smile as he spoke.

Next, Elizabeth pulled out a lovely boxed variety set of herbal teas and
another which held a different flavored coffees. These she handed to
Maggie, and as she did, she let Maggie know that there was no way that
these small tokens could even begin to compensate her for all that she
did for her and her son. But it was supposed to be frivolous and she
thought Maggie would enjoy them.

Maggie smiled and said these were _hers_ and under no circumstances was
anyone to go near her personal, private stash! Scully laughed along with
everyone else because she knew her mother really would hide them. She
couldn't have survived living with a husband and four kids without having
had some tricks up her sleeve.

Next she looked at Dana and her son. She moved to sit down on the coffee
table directly in front of them. "I don't have anything else in the bag,"
she said quietly.

Dana looked quizzically at Elizabeth and then at Fox. She couldn't
understand what, if any, point Elizabeth was trying to make. Dana began,
"Elizabeth, it's okay. I didn't expect you to___"

She watched Elizabeth shake her head no, as she cut Dana off. "No, Dana.
It's not that I didn't want to give you and Fox a gift. I do. It's just
that I didn't want this one to be a frivolous one."

Dana felt nervous for some reason. She grabbed Mulder's hand and
intertwined her fingers with his. She looked at him and saw his face had
paled. He was as uncomfortable as she was. "Mom," he began, "what are
you talking about?"

Next, Dana looked at Walter and saw he was fumbling with his watch. He
seemed to be just as anxious as she and Mulder. The only one who seemed
to be calm was Maggie.

"Mom," Scully said, "do you know what's going on here?"

"No, I don't know exactly, but I have a feeling," Maggie responded.

Dana looked back at Elizabeth who she saw was now smiling toward Maggie,
but then returned her gaze back to her and Fox.

"I didn't want it to be frivolous, because frivolous is something you
don't need right now. We'll save that for later, after you're married."
Scully's jaw dropped at that comment, as did Fox's. Skinner just choked
out loud and Maggie merely smiled and nodded in agreement.

"No," Elizabeth continued, "for now you need a necessity.

"Fox, I know you don't hold me in the same regard as you do Maggie here,"
Mulder gasped at this comment, but Elizabeth shushed him up quickly. "Oh
my darling son, I know you love me. You'll always love me, and for that I
am grateful, but I know I was not the mother you needed when you were
growing up."

Scully watched this performance in amazement. She thought Elizabeth was
being sincere. She prayed she was being sincere, because the last thing
Mulder needed now was to be figuratively kicked in the balls by his own
mother, which was still a real possibility in her mind.

"But I want to try to make up for it now," Elizabeth continued. "I know
we'll never have the kind of relationship you dreamed of having, but I
want to try to achieve some kind of closeness with you Fox. And with you
too, Dana. It's obvious how much you love each other, and for that I am
so happy. I'm so grateful my son is finally going to find some happiness
in his life.

"So, you can imagine how shocked I was when I found out about your
condition, Dana."

*There it was! The proverbial kick in the balls!! She's going to say
something that will make him feel guilty! I should have realized she
couldn't do one damned act of kindness without chewing Mulder up and then
spitting him out! Damn her! Damn her mouth!* Scully was seething. She
squeezed Mulder's hand tighter to let him know that she was there and she
would protect him from this Mother from Hell. Dana frantically looked at
Walter. She saw him sit up straighter and tauter.

"Dana, Fox, please listen to me. I don't want to make things worse. I
want to try to make things better. You see, I didn't buy anything at the
mall that could be taken out of a bag and handed to you today. But it is
my intention to give you something, something vital to both of you."

Dana wasn't sure what Elizabeth was talking about. She knew she was
feeling queasy and wondered if Fox was feeling equally ill at ease. She
saw Skinner was now sitting on the edge of his seat, ready to pounce at a
given moment. In fact, just then he rose from the chair and sat down next
to Mulder on the couch. Maggie also rose, and sat on the floor by
Skinner's legs.

"Elizabeth, what the hell are you talking about?" Skinner asked in an
irritated tone of voice.

"I'm sorry. I don't mean to sound so cryptic, I merely want you.... all
of you, to understand. Please, understand I have never, ever, wanted to
hurt you, Fox. I've never wanted to hurt anyone."

"Mom, please. What's going on? Cause right now you're killing me,"
Mulder pleaded. Scully felt his hand squeeze tighter. She also noticed
Skinner reaching around Mulder's shoulder and her own.

"Fox," Elizabeth Mulder said softly, "my gift to you is Dana."

Mulder looked dazed. Scully didn't feel any less confused than he did.
Elizabeth turned to Dana.

"Dana, my gift to you is Fox."

Scully felt dizzy. *Fox was crying. Why is he crying? Does he understand
what she's doing? What is she doing to him? To me? I don't
understand.* She looked at Walter. Scully asked aloud, "Abah? What is
she doing?"

Walter smiled at her and squeezed her shoulder. Then he turned to
Elizabeth Mulder.

"Elizabeth, tell them what you did," he said quietly, but firmly.

"I made a phone call. I just made a phone call. He owed me, Walter. I
told him he owed me," she whispered hoarsely, fighting back the tears.

Dana suddenly realized what this woman had done. Dana didn't know whether
to feel grateful or nauseous, or both. Suddenly she felt Mulder
trembling, so she tried to hold him steady.

"Mom?" Fox was barely able to speak. "Who did you call?" he asked

Elizabeth looked tearfully at Fox, but was no longer able to hold back the
tears. "I called _him_, Fox. Jack. I called Jack."

End of part 7/7

The end.

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