Date: 22 Sep 1997

Title: Abah V: Mothers and Lovers
Author: Susan Proto (
Category: Story, Angst, MSR, Mag/Sk Romance
Rating: PG13 for language
Spoilers: Through to Demons

Summary: The saga of Mulder's recuperation from a serious illness and
its ramifications when a possible cure for Scully's cancer is presented to
them from an unlikely ally. The story is told with a new emphasis placed
upon the roles of the parent group, both past and present, natural and

Archive: Yes

Disclaimer: These characters belong to 10/13 productions and Chris
Carter. I am, once again, taking the liberty of borrowing them (ahhh, the
joys of having delusions of grandeur, and thinking that I actually know
what I'm doing!! What a feeling!) but I do promise to give them back when
I am finished (unless Mr. Carter would like me to keep them in my
possession for safe-keeping ;->)

Also, if the "Nana" story seems familiar, maybe it's because you read
another of my stories, Cicely's Gardens of Light, and I borrowed that story
line from it. (Can I plagiarize myself? ;->)

Introduction: Okay. So I went on a little longer than I had anticipated
on this one, but these guys had a whole lot more to say than I ever
anticipated. This is the fifth in the series. I would think reading I,
II, III, and IV would probably help in the continuity department, so it
might make # V more comprehensible if you read the first four first.

Yes, I need feedback. Yes, as I told my unofficial, official editor and
newly formed best cyber buddy, Vickie Moseley (Thanks again Vickie for all
of your help!!) this one was worse than childbirth.. And I had demerol for
the birth of my son! So, do let me know if this one was worth your viewing
time and my writing time. I really need to know what's good and what's not
so good.. If it's toooooo shmaltzy ("mushy") let me know that too.

Will there be an Abah VI. Well, after I said there wouldn't be anything
after Abah III, I've learned my lesson. Yeah, expect an Abah VI. I just
don't know when, or how, or what. But expect it before the new year..(and
I don't mean the Jewish New Year, folks! ;->)

Thanks in advance folks for all of your kind words, past and future.
Please send e-mail comments to:

Abah V: Mothers and Lovers
by Susan Proto

Part 1/19

Present Time
Unknown Address

He didn't know exactly how long he sat there, unmoving, though he realized
if he wanted to calculate it, all he would have to do was measure the time
it took for a Morely to burn down to one, whole, cylindrical ash.

It actually surprised him that she called. After her stroke, he had left
the phone number on a piece of paper, unadorned with a name or an address,
but he knew she would understand it was from him. And she did. And she
called. And he never expected her to have the courage to do so.

He owed her, or at least that what she said. He owed her a daughter's
life. Her daughter, their daughter. He recalled the phone conversation:


"Hello, Jack."

"I see you found it."

"I found the phone number, yes."

"Yes, well that is obvious now, isn't it. What can I do for you Elizabeth?"

"I want my son to be happy, Jack."

"A very noble wish, my dear. I no doubt it is one that any mother would
want for their child."

"Yes, but I need you to help me make that wish a reality."

"And how might I do that , Elizabeth?"

"I want you to give Dana Scully back her life."

"What makes you think I can do anything about that, my dear?"

"Don't `my dear' me, Jack. You gave her the cancer, you will now take it

"Elizabeth, I suspect you are giving me far more credit than I deserve."

"Jack, you owe me. You owe me a daughter's life."

He wondered if she had even the slightest idea just how much was at stake.
It was not just a young woman's life that would hang in the balance, but a
son's life as well.


Margaret Scully Residence

"Mom, what the hell did you do?" Mulder asked in an exasperated tone.

"Fox, I did what I should have done a long time ago."

"But what makes you think he'll do anything?"

"He owes me, Fox. He owes me."

"So? What makes you think he'll pay back?"

"He loved me once. Perhaps he still does."

Elizabeth Mulder eyed her son cautiously upon saying those last words. He
was in tenuous health at the moment, both physically and emotionally, and
she wanted to avoid adding to the emotional and physical pain he was
already feeling.

And then there was Dana, holding her son's shaking hands in her own
trembling ones. She was her son's lifeline, his tether to sanity. When he
felt as though the world was totally against him, he always turned to Dana
and knew that she would be there for him.

It hurt Elizabeth in a way, to know her own son never felt the same trust
level for her as he did for his partner. Of course, it didn't surprise her
either. *If you were going to be a player,* Bill used to say to her, *you
had to play by the rules of the game.*

Dana Scully would be her future daughter-in-law if she lived long enough.
There was nothing `natural' about cancer, Dana's case was even more of an
aberration because it was purposely implanted into her body..

..By Jack, or at the very least the people who answer to Jack. The man
who, at one time, was the love of her life.

He once showed his love for her by taking on the role of father, or Abah,
to her baby boy when his own father would not. He became his Abah totally
and completely and loved Fox as his own.

He was a man who showed his love for her by conceiving a daughter with her.

And then he showed his contempt for that love by stealing her away,
withdrawing himself from her only remaining child's life, and implanting a
deadly disease into the body of the woman her son was in love with.

He owed her. And if he ever truly loved her, he would help them. She had
to believe that. She had to believe.

"He told me he wanted to meet with me."

"When?" asked Walter, his body tense and alert.

"Tomorrow evening," Elizabeth replied.


"There's a little restaurant that we used to dine at when I made the trip
to DC with Bill. It's called `The Library'."

"I know the place. What time?" Skinner asked tersely.

"He wants to meet me at 7:00."

"I'll drive." It was not a question, it was a statement of fact.

"Walter, Jack is only expecting me," Elizabeth responded carefully.

"I don't give a damn what he expects. These are _my_ kids whose lives are
in his hands. I will drive you there." Skinner was emphatic.

"You, of course, mean _us_," interjected Maggie. "These are _our_ kids
whose lives are being held in the balance."

Walter looked at Maggie and paused for a moment. He wanted to tell her it
could be dangerous, and he wanted to protect her, but of course in the end,
he knew better. Maggie Scully was like a tigress when it came to
protecting her `cubs' and both Dana and Fox were very much under her protection.

He leaned down and kissed her on the top of the head. He murmured a soft
"Yes, _our_ kids," and looked back at Elizabeth. "The three of us will
meet Cance__, will meet Jack at The Library at 7:00 p.m. I will drive."

"What about us?" Dana asked softly. She hadn't spoken since Elizabeth had
informed them she had spoken with Cancerman.

"Do we go with you?" Fox added. Normally, Mulder would have insisted on
his attending, but this wasn't just about him, it was his Dana's life at
stake. He knew he would accede to the AD's decision, as his newly formed
bond with Walter was based on total trust.

This man became his Abah, and Fox loved him for that. He trusted him with
his life, but more significantly, he trusted him with Dana's life.

"I think it would be wiser for you kids to sit this one out," Skinner
said. "If we need to confront him, I don't want to have to worry about
your reactions too. Can you understand that Fox? Dana?"

Both young people nodded their understanding and left it at that. They
would stay behind, and wait for whatever news came of this surreptitious


The Next Day
Unknown Address

He dressed more carefully than usual. He chose a tie he thought she would
approve of. He wore the gold cufflinks she had given him so many holidays
ago. As he rifled through the scant bits of memorabilia in his chest
drawer, he came across a folded piece of faded craft paper.

He opened it with a smile pursed on his lips in anticipation of what he
already knew was there. He scanned the childlike scrawls on the homemade card.

Love, Hugs, and Kisses,
Fox and Samantha

He noted the dots that formed Samantha's name. Eight year old Fox drew
the dots for his four year old sister to trace.

The drawing on the cover showed a boy and girl holding hands with a tall
man between them. Fox had labeled the characters. The boy had an arrow
drawn to the name Fox, the girl had one drawn to the name Samantha, and the
tall man had an arrow drawn to his name.

He traced his fingers lightly over it, `Abah'. It was so long ago that
these children so freely gave him their love and affection, and yet he
remembered it like it was yesterday.

End of part 1/19

Part 2/19

Martha's Vineyard

"Abah!! Will you teach me how to water ski now? Please? I have my life
vest and everything!" pleaded Fox.

"Fox, you know I want to teach you, but your mother would have my head!"

"Aw, come on, Abah. Mom doesn't want me to do anything fun. Please. We
don't have to tell her. Please?"

"I can't do that, son. I could never keep a secret like that from your
mother. Besides, what if something did happen? I would never be able to
face her again. Please understand, Fox. You are very special to me, but
so is your mother."

"And me too, Abah?" asked a small voice from behind the bushes.

"Where'd you come from nosy body?" Fox asked, annoyed.

"Ahh, I see somebody's a little spy! Come here my little Mata Hari
because the best punishment for little girl spies are a ton of tickles!!"
Abah boomed.

"Ahh!!" she squealed. "Fox, save me!! Save me, Fox!!" giggled Samantha.


Unknown Address

Beep----Beep-----Beep. The alarm on his watch brought him out of his
revelry. It was time to leave the past and meet with Elizabeth. The time
had come to share some very difficult truths and see, if indeed, she would
be willing to make the very difficult choices that came with them.


The Library Restaurant
7:00 p.m.

He walked into the restaurant to find her seated along with Walter Skinner
and Margaret Scully. He had not invited Skinner and Mrs. Scully, but he
was not all that surprised to them there either. He half expected to see
Dana Scully and Fox nearby, but then realized this was a meeting of the
parents, to determine what course would be best for their children.

"Good evening, Elizabeth. I don't recall extending an invitation to Mr.
Skinner and Mrs. Scully."

"We invited ourselves," retorted Skinner.

"So it would appear, Mr. Skinner. Well, let's not waste any time then,"
he replied.

"Jack, how will you help Dana?" Elizabeth asked.

"My goodness, Elizabeth. You always did take me literally, didn't you?"
he responded.

"It's my daughter's life, Mr. Stein, so _I_ don't wish to waste any more
time either," stated Maggie, in an even, but firm voice. "What can you do
to save my child's life?"

He looked at the dark haired, petite woman who sat closely to Walter
Skinner as if to draw extra strength and courage from him. She was a
strong woman, Margaret Scully was, and when paired with Walter Skinner she
appeared quite formidable indeed.

"Well, Mrs. Scully, then I shall endeavor to tell you. However, we need
for everyone to be brought up to speed on exactly what we are dealing with,
so we will all better know how to proceed.

"Are you aware of the results of Dana's latest tests?" he asked.

"What tests are you talking about, Jack?" asked Elizabeth. "We've been
with Fox practically round the clock since his illness, I can't even
imagine when Dana would have time to go for tests."

"She apparently found the time last Thursday. While you were all watching
over Fox, she told you she needed a break. You encouraged her to go rest
and she took the opportunity to go have her monthly check-up," he explained.

Walter looked at Maggie nervously. He was not aware of this latest round
of tests and apparently neither was she. What was even more nerve wracking
for him was the incomprehensible realization that Cancerman was aware of
their every move. But now was not the time to worry about that.

"You have the results." Skinner made a statement, not a question. When
the Cancerman nodded his affirmation, Skinner stated, "Continue."

"The results show the tumor has grown." Elizabeth gasped at this bit of
news, while Maggie closed her eyes ever so briefly. Walter reached for her
hand and clasped it securely.

"It has not entered her bloodstream, as yet," he continued.

"Thank God," murmured both women.

"So," Skinner pondered, "we know the tumor has grown. What other
information do you have about her condition."

"It will continue to grow and at the rate it is currently growing it will
probably metastasize into her blood stream shortly," he concluded succinctly.

"Shortly?" echoed Skinner. "Are we talking years? Months? Weeks? What?"

He looked soberly at Walter Skinner. He knew he had grown quite fond of
the young agent, as well as in love with her mother. He would not take
this news well.


"What?!" Skinner did not take the news well. He quickly stood up and
reached across the table to grab hold of Cancerman's tie and collar.
"You son of a bitch!" he began screaming. "You son of a bitch! Tell me
how you are going to cure her. Tell me!!"

"Mr. Skinner, I cannot speak with my airway choked off. Please leave go
of my collar now."

"Listen you smoke-filled bastard, that young woman has become a very
important part of my life. I will not let her die because of you. I
expect you to cure her, and I mean _cure_ her because if she dies, you die.

"This is not a threat _Mr. Stein_, this is a promise. And _I_ keep _my_
promises," Skinner concluded. He took several deep breaths.

Maggie reached up to Walter and murmured his name over and over again.
She gently restrained him and pulled him down to his seat. Maggie grasped
his hand and held it tightly.

"Mr. Skinner, I can assure you that I, too, keep my promises."

"Jack," Elizabeth interjected, "Will you help Dana?"

"It's not as easy as all that, I'm afraid."

"What the hell kind of double talk are you trying to hand us you S.O.B.?"
demanded Skinner.

"I'm afraid it's the proverbial catch-22, Mr. Skinner."

"Explain yourself. Now."

"Very well. I didn't think I would be going into detail with anyone other
than Elizabeth. This may prove difficult for all of you, I'm afraid."

"Stop the bullshitting, Stein," demanded Skinner.

He paused for a moment collecting his thoughts. The choices he would be
laying before them would not be easy to hear, much less decide upon. He
did not envy them. He was grateful that he would be barred from any of the
decision making.

"There is a highly experimental, but apparently very effective treatment
for Miss Scully's form of cancer. The problem in attaining this treatment
is an issue of time." Stein placed a Morely in his mouth. When Skinner
made a face of disdain, he ignored it and lit up.

"Time that Miss Scully does not have nearly enough of, I'm afraid."

"Jack, what is this treatment?" Elizabeth asked anxiously.

Without even looking at Elizabeth, he turned directly to Walter. "Mr.
Skinner, you have heard of the Black Cancer?" he asked.

"Black Cancer? I recall reading about that, but I don't remember where or
when," he responded somewhat tentatively.

"Do you recall the situation where a piece of rock wrecked havoc with
several attach‚s, airport personnel, and scientists?"

Skinner looked back at the Cancerman with his mouth slightly gaped. "The
Tunguska rock," was all he managed to say.

"Very good, AD Skinner, very good. Do you recall any of the report Fox
filed with your office?" he asked. Skinner looked pensively and fought
hard with his memory to retrieve the information from that report.

"He reported that he witnessed some experiments going on with a black oily
entity. He indicated that it was his belief the rock was a source of this
entity, which he also inferred was originally from some kind of meteor that
crashed to the earth an unknown number of years ago."

"Mr. Skinner, I commend you. Your memory serves you quite well." He
looked at Skinner and waited for yet another retort of anger and
impatience. He was, however, going to take his time in offering this next
bit of information. He would not be rushed.

"What does this all have to do with Dana's treatment? Tunguska, Russia is
a long way from here, Stein," Skinner was starting to seethe. He didn't
want to draw this discussion out any longer than necessary, and he sensed
that Cancerman was stalling.

"The Black Cancer is formed by the entities from that rock, Mr. Skinner.
The rock that was a part of an implosion to send it down miles and miles
below the earth's surface.

"Those same entities apparently love to just `gobble' up your young
agent's rare form of cancer. Ironic, isn't it? Something so alien could
actually be a cure for the skeptical one?"

"But you said the rock was sent underground," interjected Maggie. "What
good is this information if the source of the entities are underground?"

"Mrs. Scully, that is a good question, if you assume the only source of
the entities is underground. But, fortunately for Dana , it is not. It
was discovered through many years of research, that these black, oily-like
entities thrive in a host's environment. The host of course being a human

"The Tunguska Experiments Mulder wrote about in his report," said Skinner,
"Those people there were being experimented upon, and they were hosts,
weren't they?"

"Yes, Mr. Skinner. Apparently the human body is a perfect host for those
little oily worms."

"Well, let's get one of those people from Tunguska then," declared Elizabeth.

"Elizabeth, my dear, dear, girl," he began, "It's a grand idea, except for
two factors. First, the people in charge of the experiment would sooner
die and/or kill anyone in their path, than let one of their guinea pigs
willingly go."

"And the second reason?" asked Maggie.

"Even if by some small miracle we did spring one of the hosts, consider
the location. Tunguska locale is not exactly within this jurisdiction.
It's in a rather primitive area of Russia, and between the red tape and
paper work in retrieving a host, and then dealing with the connecting
flights alone, well, it would involve more hours than I'm afraid Miss
Scully has right now." He actually sighed at that.

"So why even bring it up?" asked Skinner, somewhat cautiously. Walter
Skinner knew Cancerman was a very methodical, deliberate son of a bitch.
He was a man of few words, but when he did speak it was with purpose.
Walter suddenly felt a cold shiver go up his spine. He wasn't sure if he
was prepared for what Stein would say next.

"We don't need to go to Tunguska to find a host." He looked directly at
Skinner as he said it. *He knows,* Stein thought. *He knows who the host is.*

"Where do we go?" asked Elizabeth.

He sat there and looked directly into Skinner's eyes.

"Shit." Skinner looked away and blinked his eyes very rapidly in an
attempt to clear them.

"What, Walter? What's wrong?" asked Maggie.

Skinner refused to answer Maggie's inquiry. He looked back at Cancerman,
because he decided the black lunged son of a bitch deserved that "honor."

A few moments passed when Stein said, "Mrs. Scully, Elizabeth, Fox is a
host." He sat there silently, allowing the women and Skinner to absorb the
full impact of his words.

"Are you telling me my son has cancer too?" asked Elizabeth tentatively.

"Yes, Elizabeth. But the entities apparently do no harm within the body.
They seem to just live in a symbiotic state," he replied in a surprisingly
gentle voice.

Skinner grasped Maggie's hand tighter. This was not something he was
prepared to hear, and there was more to this, of that he was sure and

"So, if Fox is a host, than what needs to be done to remove the entities
from his body to treat Dana?" Skinner asked in a tight, tense voice.

"I think you already know the answer to that, AD Skinner." He sat back
and watched the AD react to his last statement. He knew the answer to
Skinner's question would not be easy to hear for Elizabeth or, for that
matter, Maggie Scully. But he suspected the one who might take it the
hardest would be Skinner, because he would feel the most impotent in doing
anything about it.

Skinner sat rigidly in his seat, still grasping Maggie's hand almost too
tightly. He thought back to the report Mulder had submitted so many months
ago wishing he had his agent's photographic memory. *What was it that he
stated in that report regarding those damned oily worms?* he wondered.

Skinner knew he had the answer somewhere, he just couldn't retrieve it
from his memory. Couldn't or wouldn't. He wasn't sure. He looked at
Cancerman and tried to read his expression. He looked less slimy tonight,
and in fact, he looked almost human.

End of part 2/19


Part 3/19

Chilmark Hospital

He met Elizabeth at the hospital. When he saw her, she looked so pale
and frightened. He walked up to her and touched her gently on the arm.

"Elizabeth?" he said softly so as not to startle her. "How is she?"

"Oh Jack, she was crying so much. The doctor said it looks like she broke
her collarbone. I can't believe it. She was in so much pain."

"What happened, my dear?"

"They were playing on the tire swing that Bill had put up. Samantha was
so excited, and she kept begging and begging Bill to go outside and push
her on it. He made excuse after excuse, so Fox finally told her he would push.

"Fox saw Bill was busy with his work, as usual, so he went outside with
Sam and pushed her on the swing. Apparently the rope broke and she fell,
and she broke her collarbone.

"Oh Jack, I can't believe it. She's just a little girl," lamented Elizabeth.

"Where's Bill?" he asked.

"He said he'd follow us in the car."

"Where's Fox?" he then asked.

"At home. He stayed back with Bill," she replied dully.

"What?!" he startled. "Elizabeth, Fox is alone with Bill?"

"Oh God, yes," she said in a monotone.

He jumped out of his seat and ran towards the elevator. As he pushed the
down button, the door opened, and an agitated and harried looking Bill
Mulder stepped off and practically walked into him.

"Damn it, Stein, watch out!" he shouted.

He smelled the alcohol on Mulder's breath. "Bill, where's Fox?" he asked.

"What the hell do you care. The little son of a bitch couldn't even watch
his baby sister for Christ's sake."

"Bill, where is he?" he asked more nervously.

"He's home. He's home and he's gonna stay home for the next month as
punishment for getting his sister hurt," growled Bill Mulder.

"What did you do to him, Bill?" he asked.

"I gave him what for, that's what I did," Bill replied.

"Oh, how could you? He's just a child, Bill!" he pleaded.

"He's _my_ child, Jack. That boy is _my_ boy and don't you forget it!
I'll do to him anything I damn well please, and you can just stay the hell
out of it, do you understand me? Just stay the hell out of it!"

Bill Mulder pushed him aside and went towards the waiting room where
Elizabeth was staying. Jack Stein rode down the elevator and then drove to
the Mulder residence.

He knocked on the door very tentatively and feared what he might find. He
knew five year old Samantha would be in a great deal of discomfort from her
accidental fall and broken collar bone, but she would heal.

Nine year old Fox was another story. His injuries were the result of not
an accident, but of the deliberate intent by someone to cause someone else
pain. He opened the door with the key Elizabeth had made for him long ago.

"Fox? Where are you, boy? It's Abah." He listened for any audible sign
of life in the house. As he neared the child's bedroom, he thought he
could hear soft murmuring. "Fox, are in there? It's me, Abah."

"I'm in here, Abah," a small voice replied.

He pushed open the door to find the young boy crouching in the corner of
his room with his arms hugging his legs and his chin resting on the tops of
his knees. He gave the child a quick once over and thought he looked okay.

"Hi," he said. As Fox looked up and returned his greeting, he went to sit
next to him. He gave him a hug, which is when he saw the child grimace.
*Never touch the face, this way no one can tell,* he thought to himself.
*God, he really is a cold-hearted bastard, isn't he?*

"Abah, why do people die?" Fox asked out of the blue.

He was taken aback at the abruptness of the question, but he was not
surprised by the subject. At the age of nine, Fox Mulder contemplated
topics most adults chose to ignore because it made them uncomfortable or
they didn't comprehend it. Oft times it was both reasons. He knew the
child asked questions such as these in all seriousness, and expected only
serious answers in return.

"Well Fox, people sometimes die in accidents," he began, but Fox cut him
off immediately.

"Is Sam gonna die?" he asked anxiously.

"No, Fox. NO. She is not going to die. She is going to be in some pain
and discomfort for the next few weeks, but she is _not_ going to die." He
looked at Fox, and added, "I am telling you the truth, Fox. You know I
would never lie to you, don't you?"

Fox nodded yes, and then waited. He realized Fox was waiting for him to
continue to address his initial question. And so he did. "Most times
people die from illness or old age."

"Mommy said it's because God wants them to be with Him. At least that's
what she said when Nana died. It's a nice story, but I don't think I
believe it," Fox said resolutely.

"Some people believe that is true too, Fox, and some people do not," he

"I miss my Nana. She didn't let Daddy hurt me when she was alive, did you
know that Abah?" he said in an almost matter of fact tone of voice. "Once
when I was real little, like four and Sammy was still a really little baby,
I spilt some milk on some of Daddy's papers, and he got real mad at me, and
he,..,and he..., well he got real mad like he did today.

"Anyway, Mommy took me and Sam to Nana's house and when she went to hug me
it kinda hurt a little like when you hugged me before, and Nana saw that it
kinda hurt, like you saw, so she stopped hugging me too, and then just
stood me in front of her and looked over at Mommy."

Fox paused a second as though he were rewinding and then fast forwarding a
video, to make sure he got the details just right.

"Mommy picked up Sammy and went into the other room. Nana told me to come
over to her, and she just picked up my shirt. I remember hearing Nana
breathing real hard, loud breaths, and then she pulled my shirt back down
and told me to lay down with my head on her lap. She just kept stroking my
head and whispering something to me over and over again. `My poor shaner
boy-chick' or something like that. I wasn't sure what it meant, but it
felt nice, Abah. Nana always knew how to make me feel better.

"Anyway, you know what she did then? She went and called Daddy up and
told him that if he ever touched me again she was going to call the police.
And he didn't hurt me anymore after that for a long time. But then Nana
died, and I guess Daddy didn't think Nana would call the police from Heaven.

"Abah, can I tell you a secret?" He nodded yes most earnestly, and Fox
continued, "Sometimes when Daddy gets mad and hurts me, I close my eyes and
pretend in my mind that I'm visiting Nana. Nana always made me feel safe,
Abah. Did you know that?"

"Yes Fox, I knew that. Your mother told me about Nana and how much she
loved you," he replied.

"I miss Nana now. It would be nice if Nana was with God like Mommy said.
Abah, you know, sometimes I wished I was with Nana and God."

He looked at the child horrified. How could an nine year old boy have a
suicide wish. Then he realized the horror the child lived through and
suddenly didn't think it so surprising. What was truly horrific was the
child felt he could count more on his dead grandmother to protect him than
any living being.

"Fox, I would be very sad if you went to be with your Nana and God now.
You're still a young boy, and you have so much to learn and achieve," he
said hoping to sound positive and upbeat.

"Oh, I know, Abah. Besides, I don't wish that anymore, `cause it didn't
help. I figure if Nana was really with God she would have gotten God to
make Daddy stop hurting me. So I guess Nana just melted into the earth and
she's just no more. But I know you love me Abah. I know you would never
hurt me, would you?"

"Never Fox. I could never hurt you," he said, and while gently putting
his arm around the child's sore shoulders he said, "I love you now, and
I'll love you always."

End of part 3/19

Part 4/19

The Library Restaurant

As Skinner observed the Cancerman in his reverie, he wondered if
perhaps he really did love Elizabeth Mulder, or at the very least, had
loved her at one time in their lives. He was trying to protect her, but
from what? What would make him stall? What was it that he felt so
uncomfortable talking about?

It was at that moment he finally remembered the detail he had at first
refused to allow enter his own thoughts.

"Oh God," Skinner moaned. Upon having the revelation, he looked directly
into Cancerman's eyes and saw something he had not expected to see.
Sympathy. Perhaps even empathy. *My God, the man is capable of human
emotion,* thought Skinner. But as quickly as the feelings were observed,
that was how quickly they disappeared.

"Walter," Maggie interrupted, "what is it? What do they have to do to
remove the entities from Fox in order to help Dana?"

Walter swallowed hard. His eyes began watering, and he wasn't sure if he
would be able to speak without losing control. He took a deep breath, and
taking a cue from the enigmatic Dr. Scully, Skinner went into, not "Doctor
Mode" as Dana was so capable of doing, but into "Assistant Director Mode."
Skinner felt he needed to take on the role of professional FBI agent in
order to deliver the information that Cancerman was so obviously already
aware of.

"Mulder's report on the Tunguska rock indicated that the entities exited
the bodies of the hosts when the hosts expired. The entities also expired
after an indeterminate time on the bodies of the deceased hosts," Skinner
recited. He took a sip of water, looked at Cancerman and asked, "Have I
recalled the facts correctly?"

"You have recalled them correctly AD Skinner."

"What the hell are you talking about?" cried out Elizabeth. "Do you
realize what you said? Do you have any idea about what you just said,
both of you?"

Maggie Scully sat there numb. She did realize what Walter just shared.
She did not want to believe it, but she did realize it.

"Are you telling us, Mr. Stein, that we have to trade Fox's life for
Dana's?" Maggie asked in a tremulous voice. "Are you telling us that I
must trade one child's life for the other?"

Before he could respond to Margaret Scully's question, Elizabeth Mulder
turned toward him and slapped him across the face so hard she left an
imprint on his cheek.

"You horrible, God damned, bastard. You're asking me to do it again?!
You want me to trade one child for another again?! Damn you Jack, I
thought you cared about me! And if not me, I thought you loved _him_,
Jack. I honestly thought you loved _him_! Elizabeth Mulder was visibly

He sat watching her entire body dance in tremors, while he had to make
every effort to control his own trembling. He didn't think it was
possible, but she struck a nerve. He picked up his glass of water and
drank it slowly. As he regained control, he looked straight at Elizabeth.

"It was never my decision to take Samantha. It was Bill's. You wanted
them to take Fox. I wanted them to take Fox. We both felt it was for his
own protection and would keep him safe from Bill's abuse. Bill decided he
was going to get his revenge on me and take Samantha instead, __our__
daughter. It was not my decision to make, and I never, ever, wanted you to
have to make that decision in the first place. Not then, not now."

Skinner could not recall ever seeing Cancerman lose his self-control.
This confrontation between him and Elizabeth was the closest he'd ever seen
Cancerman showing anguish. But it didn't change the fact that the only
apparent way to save Dana Scully's life was to kill Fox Mulder to retrieve
the Tunguska entities that inhabited his body.

"What's the answer then, Jack?" Skinner asked forlornly. "How do we not
trade one for the other?"

"Mr. Skinner, there are ways of tricking the body into thinking it is
dead, are there not?" he asked.

"Drug induced coma?" Skinner asked.

"Yes," he said succinctly.

"It's been done successfully?"

"Yes. It has been done successfully," he replied.

Maggie sensed there was more. "But-?" Skinner and Stein looked at her
questioningly. "But-? What are you not telling us Mr. Stein?"

He spoke deliberately and with control. He had to or his knew he would
break down. "The success rate was just over sixty-five per cent in
bringing the host back from the drug induced coma, and-"

"And what?" interjected Elizabeth.

"And they were all in a relatively healthy physical condition. None of
them experienced the traumatic effects of bacterial meningitis nor the
aftereffects that have left Fox severely hard of hearing and suffering from
a constant state of vertigo that requires him to use a walker to ambulate,"
he said with a hint of dejection.

"So what you're saying is my son will die if he tries to help Dana."

"No, what I am saying is there is a far greater risk to your son if he
tries to help Dana because of his recent illness."

"Oh God."

The four of them sat absolutely silently for the next several minutes.
Finally, Elizabeth spoke. "I won't permit it. I'm sorry Maggie, but I
won't permit it. The risk is too great."

Maggie didn't respond. She merely looked down and hugged Walter's arm for
comfort. Skinner responded by wrapping his arm around Maggie's shoulders.
He didn't know how to say what needed to be said. But it was the Cancerman
who did it for him.

"Elizabeth, if you make that choice for him, then you've killed him
anyway," he stated evenly, but firmly.

"What are you talking about, Jack?" she retorted. "You said the little
black worms live in harmony in the human host. I heard you say that."

"It's not the black cancer that would kill him, Elizabeth," interjected
Walter. "Scully's death would kill him. Losing Dana would kill him."

"Walter, I know he loves Dana, but I'm sorry. He would get over it. I
won't allow you to risk his life. I can't lose him too," she cried.

"It would be very hard to lose a second child, Elizabeth. I know, because
I'm facing that possibility right now. When Dana was missing all of those
months, I didn't think I would ever get over it. I was fortunate to have
your son's belief in my daughter to keep me going, but it was not easy for
him, Elizabeth.

"The night I found him as he sat with his gun near his mouth,
contemplating putting an end to his worry and his pain and his fear was
one of the most frightening moments I've ever had to endure, because you
see I had already bonded with this child of yours.

"Somehow, through the turmoil of searching for Dana and keeping our
spirits up and our hopes up and faith alive that she would come out of this
okay, he became one of my own. So when I found him sitting and crying and
losing faith and hope in himself, I feared that I was going to lose a
second child.

"But God gave me strength to help _our_ son see the truth and keep
believing in himself and Dana. And she came back to us, and my faith was
restored. Until my Melissa was shot in cold blood. So I lost a child
anyway. I, too, lost a daughter, Elizabeth. And I now face losing another
one. But even worse, I also face losing a child whom I see as my son as well.

"That's an awful lot of loss to have to face in a mother's lifetime. So I
know how you feel. But I also know I could no more make this decision for
my children than a stranger could. Fox and Dana need to be told of this
treatment and its risks," concluded Maggie.

Walter squeezed Maggie's shoulder in acknowledgment that he was in
complete agreement, except for one thought that concerned him. "Maggie, do
you really think it's a good idea to tell Dana? I mean, all she'll do is
get upset and try to talk Fox out of it."

Maggie smiled at Walter and said, "Exactly." When Walter looked at her
nonplused she continued. "You know Fox will want to go through with this
no matter what the risks. When it comes to helping loved ones, hell when
it comes to helping anyone, he rarely considers any risk to his own

"Imagine then what would happen if, God forbid, something goes wrong and
Fox isn't revived. How do you think Dana would react if she knew that it
was because of her he remained in a coma or even worse, died?

"She would be devastated thinking that she _could_ have talked him out the
procedure and therefore __she__ could have saved his life, but she wasn't
given the opportunity. She would feel not only guilty for the rest of her
life, but the relationship we share with her would most certainly become
strained out of her beliefs of betrayal.

"I would never want to risk that Walter. I couldn't do that to her,
anymore than I could do that to Fox. I love them and trust them both too
much to mislead them like that. Can you understand that?"

"Of course I can understand that." Walter leaned over and lightly kissed
Maggie on the cheek.

Stein watched Maggie Scully make her stand with great admiration. He
remembered a time when Elizabeth was wise and strong, a long time ago. But
then the bastard broke her, and he was too late to play the role of knight
in shining armor.

"She's right, you know," he said looking at Elizabeth with an intensity
she hadn't seen in years. "Neither one of them would ever forgive you if
you tried to make this decision without them."

Elizabeth looked at him and realized any argument would be futile, because
he was correct. They both were. The children needed to be told, and they
needed to be told soon.

End of Part 4/19

Part 5/19

Later That Night
Scully Residence

The trio walked into the house to find the two young agents sound asleep
on the sofa bed. Mulder was stretched out on his back with his arm wrapped
around Scully who was lying next to him, her head nestled in the crook of
his arm and shoulder.

Elizabeth looked upon her son and his partner with trepidation. She still
couldn't believe the news Jack had given them tonight. Dana's cancer could
kill her in a matter of days and Fox's cancer could be her cure.

Fox's cancer. He had said it so calmly, and she hated him for that. How
could Jack be so blas‚ about something so horrific? How could he be so
accepting of a death sentence for her son? A son, she knew, Jack had loved
once as his very own.

Margaret Scully looked upon her sleeping children. Children. Yes, Dana
was her daughter, and Fox was her son, in just about every sense of the
word. Though she hadn't given birth to him, she was present for his last
two "rebirths." The first being when Dana recovered from her abduction,
and the second when he began his own, albeit slow, recovery from meningitis.

She noted that his hearing aids were sitting on top of the lamp table.
Maggie sometimes, momentarily at least, forgot how much trauma he'd
suffered in this most recent illness. The hearing aids, as well as the
walker standing in the corner of the room, served as concrete reminders
that Fox Mulder still had a ways to go to a complete recovery.

But even that was in doubt now. Maggie knew Fox would insist upon
providing the entities for Dana's cure, there was no doubt in her mind
about that. Somehow, she also knew that those entities could cure her
daughter's cancer. What she wasn't sure of was whether her daughter could
survive emotionally if Fox didn't recover from the procedure. And in his
weakened physical condition, that was just too real of a possibility.

Walter Skinner moved toward the two young people and reached over to
gently awaken them. Scully stirred first, while Fox remained in a deep
sleep. He wasn't exactly sure when these two became ingrained in his
heart, but he realized it was a lot longer than the six plus weeks duration
of Fox's illness. The meningitis just brought his feelings of affection
for them to the surface.

Walter gazed down at Dana Scully with a genuine look of love and concern.
When Dana was able to wipe the cobwebs of sleep from her eyes and focus on
Skinner's face, she realized something was wrong.

"What happened?" she asked, her voice still hoarse from sleep.

"We'll talk. We have a lot to talk about," he replied.

"No, tell me now. What did the smoking bastard say?" Dana noticed
Elizabeth flinch at that, but she didn't care. Elizabeth wasn't her first
priority at the moment.

"Dana, we should wake up Fox. He needs to hear this too," he said.

Dana looked at Walter Skinner and realized he looked worried and
uncomfortable, as if he were trying to hide something..what would make him
uncomfortable? He had such a sad look in his eyes...then she knew what it
was. She just knew. It was her tests. He knew about her tests.

"You know about my test results, don't you?" Scully said dully.

Maggie moved toward her daughter knowing that in moments that passive
exterior could explode at any moment, and she wanted to be near to calm her
down. "Dana, he had to tell us. It was important for us to know so we
would know what course of action to take."

"That bastard had no right to tell you," she began softly. But as she
continued her voice became louder and angrier. Tears began flowing down
her face as she cried out, "He had no right to know himself!! That's
privileged information between me and my doctor. How could he!? How could
you?!" and with that she jumped from the bed and ran from the room.

All the while Scully was ranting and crying out in anguish, Skinner,
Maggie, and Elizabeth were calling out to her in an attempt to calm her
down. Everyone was talking at once.

Mulder had woken from a sound sleep to see Scully crying hysterically, and
the others looking equally upset. He could hear them all talking at once,
but couldn't distinguish any of the sounds. He fumbled around for the
hearing aids, hoping they would help him understand the scene in front of him.

When Dana jumped out of the bed and ran from the den, Mulder became
increasingly worried. He still didn't have a clue as to what was upsetting
Dana or what the others had learned from Cancerman. Whatever it was,
however, he realized it wasn't good news.

Though Mulder was able to put the hearing aids in his ears, he was still
unable to understand what was being said. Though the aids increased the
volume of sound, it did not automatically allow him to understand the
sounds of speech. He needed to relearn the skill of listening, and
distinguishing between the words. At this point, hearing the voices of
everyone talking at once without being able to comprehend any of what was
being said, was frustrating as hell for him. But more importantly, he was
worried about Dana.

He swung his legs over the side of the sofa bed. He noticed the walker
was in the corner of the room, and figured by holding onto the various
pieces of furniture, he would be able to reach it without mishap.

Of course, being he was Fox Mulder, this was not the case. As he stood
up, the vertigo kicked into high gear. He reached for something to help
balance himself, and the closest thing was the ceramic lamp on the end
table. As he grabbed for the lamp, it tipped over, with Fox falling on top
of it. The base shattered, and several small shards found their way into
Fox's hand as he tried to brace his fall.

Elizabeth, Maggie and Walter looked on in horror as they watched him fall.
None of them had even realized he'd woken up, much less was trying to get
out of the bed. Walter ran over to Fox first.

He noted the blood all over Fox's hand and told Elizabeth to get a towel
from the bathroom. He then told Maggie to get Dana, as her medical
services would be needed.

Walter sat down on the floor and took hold of Fox in his arms, reminiscent
of the position he took with Fox as he laid in the hospital bed, and held
him. Mulder was upset with himself for having yet another accident, but he
was also worried because he still didn't understand what caused Dana to run
from the room in such an agitated state.

"Abah," Fox said quietly, "what happened? Why is Dana crying? What's wrong?"

"Shhh, we'll tell you everything in a little while. Let's get you cleaned
up first and see if you need stitches," he said in a soft, soothing tone.

As Elizabeth returned with a clean towel, Maggie followed Dana into the
room, holding her medical kit. Dana motioned for Walter to get Mulder
onto the bed, so she could get a look at his hand away from the pile of
broken lamp. Maggie went to get a broom to sweep it up, and Elizabeth
looked on worriedly.

"You've got a couple of big chunks in here that will probably require
stitches. I guess I'll be able to get the other pieces out fairly cleanly.
I have some local anesthetic in the bag, but it's still going to be a
little painful. Do you want to go to the ER instead?" she asked.

Mulder shook his head vehemently. He'd had enough of the hospital, thank
you very much, and did not plan to go back unless it was for his hearing
appointments or physical therapy. No, he could endure a little pain if it
meant staying right where he was.

Scully went about cleaning up Mulder's hand, but did so in total silence.
She was angry, upset, humiliated, frustrated, and most of all, scared to
death. If Cancerman told them of her prognosis, then there must have been
discussion of other things that pertained to her, and unless they were
positive, she didn't know if she could bear to hear any of it.

Fox was listening to the silence around him and he knew something was
terribly wrong. He was getting more and more frightened by the lack of
information, and decided he could not stand it any longer.

"Will someone please tell what the hell happened? You guys are scaring me
shitless, and I don't know why. Please?" he pleaded while looking straight
into Skinner's eyes, "what did he say? OUCH!"

Scully pulled a little harder than she intended on the large chunk of
glass embedded in Fox's palm. She didn't want Mulder to hear the news of
her tests. She didn't know what it would do to him. "I'm sorry, Fox. I'd
rather not talk about this now."

Maggie Scully looked hard at her daughter. "Dana Katherine Scully, that's
just too damned bad. We don't give a good God damn if _you_ would rather
not talk about it, but talk about it we will because _you_ don't have the
luxury of time to wait."

The last time Dana had heard her mother speak to her in that angry tone
was when she arrived at the hospital having just heard about the cancer
from Fox over the phone. Dana looked at her mother's eyes and saw they
were blazing. Yes, she was definitely pissed off.

Mulder, upon seeing Maggie's reaction, became even more distressed at her
words and appearance. He knew it took a great deal to cause Maggie Scully
to raise her voice or use profanity, and now she was doing both. He was
scared, very, very, scared.

"Mom, it's not necessary to talk about this now. I'll discuss it with
you later," she responded in a low, even voice, all the while imploring her
mother to understand that she didn't want to talk in front of Mulder.

"I think that's a good idea," interrupted Elizabeth. "I think we should
just let Dana take care of Fox's hand, and then we can chat later."

"Chat!?" bellowed Walter. "You think this is going to be just a little
chat? Elizabeth, we don't have time for God damned tea and crumpets and a
little _chat_ for Christ's sake! She doesn't have time."

"I only meant she should have some quiet while she attends to Fox's
wounds, Walter. And you have no right to talk to me like that," responded
Elizabeth indignantly.

"Oh Elizabeth," interrupted Maggie, " there's no time for petty, hurt
feelings now. Your son's and my daughter's lives are what's important."
She shot a look of disdain at Elizabeth.

"Dana," continued Maggie, "we need to talk now. You have to hear what we
have to say, and Fox needs to be aware of everything too. It affects him
just as much as much as you at this point."

Dana reacted by shouting back, "NO!' and at this point, everyone started
to talk at once.

Mulder looked from face to face. He was trying so hard to follow the
words that were being thrown around the words. All the while he was forced
to keep his hand still, because Scully insisted upon continuing the minor
surgery on his hand.

"Will someone please tell me what's going on?" he asked in a voice that
could barely be heard above the din. "Please?" This time he said it a
little louder, but with no more success.

Mulder started feeling more and more panicky. He knew he had to stop
breathing so quickly. He knew he had to try to take deeper breaths, but he
was having difficulty catching his breath. No one noticed, since everyone
was busy yelling at one another while Scully concentrated on Mulder's hand,
never once looking up so as to avoid the screaming ruckus.

Scully suddenly felt her arm being held so tightly that she uttered a cry
of pain. When she looked up she saw Mulder was in the midst of a full
scale panic attack. His eyes were wild with fright, and he was

She remembered all of the seizures he experienced in the hospital, and
didn't want to find out if a panic attack would cause him to start seizing
again. She ordered everyone to shut up and asked for help.

Scully had cleaned out and stitched the last major gash that needed
stitches, as well as cleaned out and removed glass from the many minor cuts
on his hand. She finished wrapping his hand in sterile gauze and fumbled
around for a paper bag in her medical kit.

She placed the bag over Mulder's face and spoke to him in soothing tones
and held him. She reminded him to take slow deep breaths and to relax. As
the minutes passed, everyone could hear his breathing become more even and

They all managed to catch their own breaths again as they observed Fox
breathing more normally. Scully continued to hold him, and asked everyone
to leave them alone. She said she needed to speak to Fox alone.

"Dana, is that a good idea?" asked Elizabeth, realizing what she was about
to do.

"You've all given me no choice, or rather Cancerman's given me no choice.
And he needs to hear it from me." Walter looked at Dana and nodded his
agreement. "But," she continued more softly, "I'll need you to help me
pick up the pieces." Skinner leaned over, gave her a kiss on the cheek,
and then whispered, "Always, Dana. I'll always be there to pick up the
pieces for him and for you."

The three parents left the room so Dana could inform Fox Mulder about how
little time she apparently had left.

End of part 5/19

Part 6/19

Unknown Address

When he left the trio at the restaurant, he didn't know if they saw his
hands shaking. He hoped not. His power came from his ability to show
strength in dire situations, and he knew he could not keep control if they
saw just how badly his hands shook.

He was privy to information the trio of parents were not.

Stein knew it was only because of an additional Russian inoculation that
the Black Cancer laid dormant within Mulder's body. The little entities
were still there, just not active. However, as a means to further the
research, Stein knew the boy would have to receive another "oil treatment"
in order to revive the entities in his body.

He wondered if the second treatment would have a more adverse effect than
usual, since the weaknesses the boy incurred from his recent bout of
meningitis were definitely unknown factors. Stein didn't know. He
couldn't know. But the opportunity to find out more presented itself, and
it was decided to take advantage of that opportunity, for the greater good.

The boy was the perfect test subject. He had recently survived a rampant
bacterial infection, and they needed to know what roles the inoculation and
the entities played in the entire ordeal. They wanted to compare his past
data with the new data they would gather once he agreed to provide Agent
Scully with the entities she needed to survive. And they knew he would agree.

Though they already had the necessary entities right on hand, and didn't
need those inhabiting the boy's body, that didn't matter. Gaining new
information was the important component to further the research for the
greater good. It was, however, equally as important to ensure that Walter
Skinner, Maggie Scully, and Elizabeth Mulder did not find out about that.

If they did, the AD would most likely attempt to kill him himself, while
his lovely new companion cheered him on. Elizabeth, on the other hand,
would just be Elizabeth, and accept the fact that her son's life was once
again put into jeopardy, for the greater good.

Elizabeth paid the high price for the greater good many times. But she
always was a good little foot soldier, and he knew she would be again this
time. She'd certainly had enough practice between putting up with Bill's
emotional abuse towards her and the physical abuse he laid on the boy.

And of course, she had to deal with the loss of Samantha. Samantha, their
daughter. It was a loss they both had to deal with, all because of the
greater good. Sometimes even _he_ wondered if it were all worth it.

He knew the answer to that, but still, sometimes in a moment of weakness,
he would think back to the days when he heard the joyous cries of Abah
being directed toward him. And he wondered.

He didn't want to hurt them anymore, but there were situations that were
bigger than just a mother and her son. Situations that even he couldn't
totally control, that were outweighed by the greater good.

No, he didn't know if there would be any complications in this already
complex procedure. He wondered if they knew in advance that re-infecting
the boy was a prerequisite for doing the procedure, would it make any
difference in their decision to go ahead? He strongly doubted it, for he
believed they would go ahead no matter what. No matter what.

He tried to remember a time when he was willing to sacrifice everything
for someone other than the greater good. He knew there was a time when he
actually desired to be surrounded by people. People who loved him, and
with whom he returned that love.

He wondered, as he sat and smoked yet another Morely, how they would all
treat him if the treatment was, indeed, successful. He remembered another
day, long past, when he played hero to a young boy and girl..


Quonochontaug, RI

"Abah, help! Come quick!!" she screamed.

"What is it Samantha? What's wrong?" he asked.

"There's a fire!"

"Sam, where? Where's the fire?"

"At he beach house. We were playing in the beach house and one of the
kids had some matches and it started burning and everyone started running
around and screaming and__!"

"Sam, where's Fox?" he asked anxiously. "Where is he?"

"At the beach house, Abah. He's still inside the beach house. I couldn't
get him to move, and no one would help me. Please, Abah, we've got to go
get him," she cried.

They ran about a quarter of a mile down the road toward the source of the
smoke he could now smell, as well as see,. There was no direct path to go
by car, so in fact it was faster to run the distance over there. Sam's
long legs quickly led them back to the house.

When he saw the beach house, he felt a feeling of panic begin to overwhelm
him. If Fox was still inside... He ordered Samantha to stay put and wait
for the fire engines that were sure to come soon.

He didn't think anymore about that and just ran inside. He called out to
him, but since he knew of Fox's intense fear of fire, he wasn't expecting
much of an answer from him.

He moved cautiously, looking and feeling for hot spots. As he moved into
the next room, he saw reflections of the fire in the mirror hanging to his

"Fox, it's Abah!" he called out. "I don't see you, Fox. Tell me where
you are so I can help you get out of here. Please son, let me know where
you are!"

He listened carefully, when he thought he heard a whimper. He moved
closer to the area of the fire and called out to Fox again. It was then
that he heard him respond.

"Abah? I can't get out, Abah? I can't get out. I can't get out," he
wept over and over again.

"I'm coming Fox. I'll get you out of here, I promise," he reassured him.

As Fox spoke, he walked closer to the source of the voice. He finally
found the boy huddled against the corner wall, near where the flames were
coming dangerously closer and closer.

"C'mon Fox. I'm here son. Let's get you out of here before we both get hurt."

"Sam?!" Fox asked, panic stricken.

"She's fine. Sam's the one who told me about the fire," he responded.
"C'mon Fox, let's get out of here." And with that he lifted the boy by his
armpits and embraced him in both protection and comfort. He led the child
out of the beach house just as the fire trucks were pulling up.

Fox began coughing, and was having difficulty catching his breath. One
of the paramedics immediately placed an oxygen mask on his face, while the
other EMT quickly asked Stein if he was okay. He indicated he was fine,
and demanded they just tend to the boy.

Elizabeth Mulder came flying down to the beach house, having heard one of
her children was trapped in the fire. She knew it had to be Fox. Ever
since his best friend's house burned down last year, he had developed this
terrible phobia of fire. It had gotten so bad that the child would get the
shakes every time they wanted to barbecue.

"Jack!?" she cried out.

"He's here, Elizabeth," he replied, pointing to the ground near the
paramedic's truck.

"Oh my God, what happened?"

"Abah saved Fox, Mommy. Abah went into the fire and saved him," Samantha
announced with a slight tremor to her voice. It wasn't the first time
she'd seen him being attended to by emergency personnel, but it still upset
her to see her big brother in pain.

"Thank you, Jack. Thank God you were here to save him."


Unknown Address

So he saved him once, from a fire, he mused. Would he be able to save him
again? Would Elizabeth be thanking him again for being there? He didn't
know. He honestly didn't know.

End of Part 6/19

Part 7/19

Margaret Scully Residence

The young couple entered the kitchen with red, puffy eyes. Dana had
obviously told Fox the results and prognosis based upon her latest test
results. She was holding on to him, in both gestures of comfort and
necessity, as he still walked with very little balance control.

Mulder spoke first. "So now that we know time is of the essence, what can
we do? The black lunged bastard must have had a reason for wanting to meet
with you mom, or was it just to taunt me about Dana's condition?"

"Fox, I wish you would stop calling him those names," Elizabeth stated.
"His name is Jack."

"Mom, go to hell."

"Fox! I'm still your mother and I will not tolerate being spoken to in
that manner. I will not!"

"Stop it! Both of you!" demanded Walter. "We don't have time for this
pettiness Elizabeth, and Fox, knock it off. We have enough to deal with
without you going out of your way to hurt your mother. Do you understand?"

Mulder looked like a petulant child and appeared ready to argue when
Skinner grabbed his hand and quietly said, "It's just not worth wasting any
more energy on him than necessary, Fox. Can you understand that? Please?"

Mulder returned Skinner's gaze and nodded silently. Walter squeezed his
hand, and then nodded slightly toward Elizabeth.
Mulder's eyes widened, but Skinner continued to stare at Fox determinedly.
Some moments passed and Fox finally acquiesced.

"I'm sorry Mom. We're all under a lot of extra tension here tonight. I
shouldn't have spoken to you that way. Please accept my apology." He then
reached over to grasp her hand and gently squeezed it.

"I'm guess I should apologize too. I forget that the relationship you
once had with Jack is a forgotten memory, Fox," she replied regretfully.

"Mom," Dana interrupted, " what else did he have to say." Dana was
determined to at least try and regain some control of her life and move
forward. "How can he help us?"

"Actually, it's not so much Jack Stein who can help you." Maggie paused
at this moment. She wasn't sure how to put this latest bit of information
on the table, as she feared Fox would react in much the same way as Dana
did when she heard Jack Stein spilled the beans, if you will, about her
test results.

"I don't understand. If not him, then who," she inquired.

Maggie looked at both Walter and Elizabeth. She didn't want to be the one
to tell Dana of Fox's condition. Walter realized her concern, and then
recognized Elizabeth was even more reluctant to speak of it. He looked at
both Dana and Fox and began:

"What your mom means, kids, is that it's you, Fox, who can provide the
best chance for Dana's recovery."

"What? Sir, what are you talking about?" Dana asked anxiously.

Walter noticed she reverted back to the more formal title, and understood
that she was frightened. Anything that involved Fox and the unknown tended
to be frightening and dangerous for him and Dana as well.

"Fox, just as Dana needed to tell you about her test results, I believe
you need to tell Dana everything about what happened in Tunguska."

"But I already put everything in my report. Scully read it," he replied,
but unconvincingly.

"Fox, I read the report too, remember? In another life, I was your boss.
Now you need to tell her everything. You owe her that, son." Skinner
observed and noted how uncomfortable Fox was acting. Walter knew this was
not going to be easy for the younger man.

Fox loved Dana, and kept this information from her in an attempt to
protect her. He knew she would be angry and hurt that he didn't trust her
with the information. But there was another reason he was reluctant to
share the information with her, or anyone for that matter.

He had consciously hidden those few days in the back of his mind. He
didn't want to remember. He didn't want to relive the terror of those
experiences, yet now his Abah was asking him to do just that..He began to
speak slowly and clearly, as if reciting a report before an FBI review board.

"Scully, when I was in Tunguska, they were doing some deranged experiments
with the oily worms that you had discovered in the scientist. They
captured a number of men and threw them in the gulag, or jail. Sometimes a
guard would come into the cell and start beating up the men for no reason,
and then the guard would cart them off. They brought them into a room that
looked like a hospital ward of sorts.

"They confined the men to small, thin cots." It was at this point that
Mulder's voice began to tremble. The memories were becoming all too alive
for him at this point.

"On the cots was this wire. The men were covered and enclosed with
something like chicken wire while they laid on the cots. They couldn't
move, since the chicken wire tightly covered their entire bodies." He
paused here, took a deep breath, and then tremulously continued his third
person narrative.

"There was a hose above each of the men's heads. The guards released the
oily worms from the hose, and those black little slugs crept into the men's
bodies through the men's noses and sometimes their mouths.

"They had a name for it, Scully. They called it the Black Cancer."

At that Scully let out an audible gasp. Mulder paused and drew in a deep
breath, and then continued in a voice that was even more quivering, as he

"The men were caught in these damned chicken wired cots. They felt like
they were in little individual jails. They couldn't move their own limbs,
but they could feel the movement of the worms. They slithered everywhere
through the men's bodies. Even their eyes, Scully. They crawled through
their eyes and caused the men to see dark spots for a time.

"They were scared. God they were so scared. They screamed, and cried
out. It hurt, Scully. The damned things felt like they were sharp little
blades sliding through every pore and crevice of their skulls."

As Mulder described the terrors at the Gulag, the tears which began so
lightly, began to cascade down his cheeks. The memories were ghastly, and
with his photographic memory, he felt as though he were reliving each and
every harrowing minute.

Dana listened to detail after detail as Mulder described the atrocities in
third person, but realized he had experienced each and every horror
himself. She didn't know whether to strangle him for keeping the truth
from her, or engulf him in her arms in attempt to protect him from yet the
memories of another trauma.

Dana soundlessly reached over to clasp Fox's hand in her own. She
intertwined her fingers with his, and recognized he was only trying to
protect her, again.

She also knew under different circumstances she would be so pissed off his
head would probably be rolling off the walls right now for not trusting her
with this information. But she also knew her energy would be better spent
on finding a way out of this hell hole Cancerman and the other bastards
threw them into.

"So now we all know Fox was exposed to the Black Cancer. What does it
mean? Is he dying too?" she asked, in typical Doctor Mode, as objectively
as possible.

"No!" cried out Elizabeth. This was becoming almost too much for her to
take. She was unprepared for the Tunguska details that Fox so emotionally
expressed. She hadn't realized the horrors he was put through, and it hurt
even more to realize that Jack Stein was apparently all too aware of her
son's experiences too.

"Mom, take it easy. I'm not dying. If the meningitis didn't kill me, you
really think some little oily slugs could knock me off?" Mulder asked with
a wry smile.

"Fox, I don't know how you can make jokes at a time like this," she
replied seriously.

Scully felt him shudder a bit at his mother's retort, and sensed him
withdrawing into himself. Elizabeth Mulder had this incredible knack for
making her son feel totally worthless. How she managed to do this on such
a consistent basis was beyond Scully's knowledge. All she knew was she
desperately wanted to gag the woman, now and for always.

"Mom, Walter," Scully said purposefully, "please tell us what __he__
proposed tonight. How can the fact that Fox has this Black Cancer help me?"

The three parents, natural and surrogate, looked at one another with
concern. This would be the most difficult part to explain. Both women
deferred to Walter.

"Stein said the oily worms, or entities as he called them, were attracted
to the type of cancer cells that caused your tumor, Dana. He said the
research indicated there was a significantly high percentage of success in
eradicating your type of tumor using these entities."

"How do they do that?"

"Well apparently they just gobble the cancer cells up and leave the brain
matter unaffected. They kind of peel the cancer away from the outer layers
of the brain, and lift the tumor away from the brain matter. Once the
entities have finished grazing on the cancerous cells inside the brain, the
surgeons apparently can easily lift up and peel away the tumor."

"Why does this sound so easy?" Dana asked. "Why do I get the feeling
there's more to this still."

Now it was Maggie Scully's turn to enter the discussion, mainly because
she didn't trust Elizabeth to spell it out as objectively as possible.

"There is more, sweetheart. Dana, Fox, you need to listen very carefully
now. We have to be sure you understand everything we're going to say to
you now, because you will have an important decision to make together. So
listen, and don't interrupt until we're finished. Okay? Dana? Fox?"

Each of them nodded in agreement and waited anxiously for someone to
explain what was so important. Maggie, once again, looked at Walter and
pleaded with her eyes to continue relaying the frightening details of Jack
Stein's proposal.

"There is a substantial risk involved," he started.

"What could happen to Dana?" asked Fox. Walter smiled ironically to
himself, as he knew his young charge would immediately worry about his
partner before even considering the possibility that he, himself, might be
in danger.

"Fox, the risk is not to Dana. It's to you." Skinner looked at the young
couple as they digested this latest bit of news.

"How? How is it a risk to Fox?" Dana choked out in a hoarse whisper.

Walter moved his hands across to both Dana and Fox. He grasped one hand
from each of them and sat silently, caressing each for a moment or two.

"The entities have to be expelled from the human host's body. Fox is the
human host. There is only one way for the human host to expel them," he
said in an even, calm voice.

"How?" Dana sobbed softly.

"They come out only when the host is dead, don't they." It was not a
question. Fox had known all along that was the way to rid himself of the

The only thing he didn't quite understand was why he never seemed to get
any sicker from them, though he attributed this to the fact he'd only
received one treatment. The other prisoner had said men died after many

"What are you talking about?" Scully asked in a horrified tone. "What are
you even thinking of considering? The son of a bitch is not only a
bastard, he's crazy too!!"

"Dana, listen to me," said Skinner.

"No! I won't listen to you. This is crazy. You can't think that we
would trade Fox's life for mine. What's the matter with you all? What's
wrong with you?" she cried.

Mulder looked at Dana and then back at Walter. He avoided his mother's
eyes, as well as Maggie's.

He directed his inquiry towards Skinner only. "When do we do this?"

"Mulder, are you crazy? Have you gone completely insane? Mom, talk to
him. Walter, please talk some sense in him! Are you all crazy?" she pleaded.

"Dana, listen. There is a plan, so hear it out before you condemn it,
okay?" Scully barely nodded at Skinner's request. "Good. Stein said there
was previous research that indicated the entities can be tricked into
thinking the host is dead."

"Tricked?" she echoed.

"Yes, tricked. As a physician, you know there are ways to induce comas by
using certain drugs, correct?" he continued.

"Yes, but the body is not dead. It's just in a comatose state. There's a
big difference between dead and comatose," she replied, agitated.

"That's true, Dana. But the drugs that are used to induce an extreme coma
condition have apparently been potent enough to trick the entities into
thinking their host is dead," Walter explained.

"If he's in that extreme of a condition, than who's to say he can be
brought out of it again. No. This is not an option. I'm sorry, but I
can't agree to this." Scully was emphatic.

Walter and Maggie looked at Dana with a resigned expression. Her reaction
neither surprised nor shocked them. Elizabeth Mulder, on the other hand, did.

"Well, thank heavens __someone__ in this room has some common sense
besides me," she announced.

To which Walter replied, "Go to hell, Elizabeth."

At that, the ruckus of earlier began again. The parents and Scully all
began yelling at one another at once, which left a very anxious and upset
Fox Mulder bewildered amongst it all. He finally couldn't take it any
longer and stood up, while he hung on tightly to the table for balance and

"Stop it," he said. When no one responded he repeated it. "Stop it!" he
shouted. "Please, stop it," he then pleaded.

At that all eyes were on Mulder. "Now that I have your attention, may I
say something?" He didn't wait for anyone to answer, he merely continued
with an intensity that held them rapt throughout.

"I want you all to understand something. I am _not_ suicidal. I don't
want to kill myself. Scully, I really don't want to die.

"Why would I? I've seen more of my mother in the last couple of weeks
than I've seen in the last four years." He smiled at Elizabeth that was
both warm and tender.

Then, turning to Maggie Scully, he said, "I've found a joy and security
with you, Mom, that I haven't felt in years." He realized that his own
mother flinched every time he called Maggie Scully "Mom," but he didn't
care. She was in every way a mom to him and he wanted to acknowledge it .

Next, he looked at Walter Skinner. "And it's taken me till adulthood and
a near fatal illness to find a male authority figure who was able to give
me something no other male had ever been able to give me." Skinner looked
at Mulder with questioning eyes.

"Walter," Fox began, "there was a time in my life when the only symbols of
affection I received were based on some kind proof that I was worthy. And
even then it was a handshake, or on rare, special occasions, it might have
been a pat on the shoulder.

"But you, you don't expect proof. You don't expect a payment for services
rendered. You don't expect anything. You just love me. In spite of who I
am, you just love. My God,. Abah,... you make feel as though you love me
__just because__ of who I am. No one's ever made me feel way before. No

Walter was looking down toward the table, trying desperately to swipe at
the overflow of tears that escaped. He reached for Fox's hand and grasped
it tightly. "I do love you __just because__ of who you are. I do," he
replied to his adopted son.

Mulder squeezed his hand in response, and then turned to his partner who
was seated at his side. "And then there's you, my dear Agent Scully, MD."
He sat by her side and took both of her hands into his own.

"I finally discovered that the one woman with whom I have been totally,
completely, and hopelessly in love with for the past three and a half
years, actually feels the same way about me, and you think I want to kill

"Dana, all I want to do is recover from this damned meningitis, get my
hearing back, learn to walk like a thirty-seven year old man instead of an
eighteen month old toddler, marry you, make love to you, nurture kids
with you, and live the rest of my life with you.

"I want that to be for a very, long, long time. I love you Dana Katherine
Scully, very, very much. And I don't want to live my life without you, and
apparently I won't have to if you weren't so damned stubborn or selfish."
Scully's mouth gaped open, but before she could say anything, Mulder continued.

"Yes, selfish. Don't look at me that way. Scully, I am not suicidal
now, but I remember there was one time when I was. It was when you were
missing, and I didn't know if I could go on, or even if I even wanted to
try. I was that desperate, but for some reason, the powers that be saw fit
to bring you back to me. And I never want to feel that desperate, or alone

"Without this procedure you have just days left. With the procedure you
have a lifetime of days ahead of you. Don't you know that I would be
happier in death knowing that you could live a full life, than I would be
in life knowing I could have prevented your dying?

"Dana, if you don't let me do this, you might as well just put a gun to my
head right now, because you will kill me by denying me this chance to save
you. Please, Dana. Please understand why we have to go through with this.
Please," he whispered.

The room was so heavy with silence. Dana looked at her mother for
reassurance, and then to Walter. As she nodded her head so imperceptibly,
she heard Elizabeth Mulder gasp.

End of Part 7/19

Part 8 / 19

The room was heavy with silence. Dana looked at her mother for
reassurance, and then to Walter. As she nodded her head so imperceptibly,
she heard Elizabeth Mulder gasp.

"No!" she cried out. "I cannot condone this. I will not allow this. I
will not__."

"Mom, stop." He said it gently. When she continued to protest, he rose
from his seat and awkwardly moved to stand in front of her. He clasped her
hands into his. "Mom, stop, please."

"Fox, I will not allow you to do this. I cannot allow you to do this."

"Oh, Mommy." She drew in a loud breath at the use of the childhood
endearment. "That sounds funny to us both now, doesn't it? It's because
I'm not twelve years old anymore, Mom. I'm not the little boy that you
felt you had to make all the decisions for. This one is mine to make. All

She looked up at her son and reached up to wipe some shed tears from his
cheeks. He returned the favor and then with a firm gentleness said, "Make
the phone call, Mom."

"Oh Fox, please, won't you reconsider?"

"Mom, make the phone call."

Elizabeth sighed heavily as she retrieved the small slip of paper that
held his phone number. Her hands shook as she pressed the buttons. When
he answered the phone, all she said was, "It's me, Jack. We need an address."

The address he gave her was of a large, previously unused factory, located
in an older, abandoned industrial area of DC. They were to be there at
six o'clock a.m. sharp. The younger couple were to have nothing further to
eat or drink between now and tomorrow morning.

After Elizabeth relayed this information, Mulder bent over and kissed his
mother on the cheek. "Thank you." He turned to Scully and said, "Now I'm
very tired, and I really would like to go lay down. Please come with me."

Dana wished everyone good night and then stood up, walked over to Mulder,
and wrapped her arms around his waist. She escorted him back into the den,
and laid down next to him.

None of them got any sleep that night. No one.


Abandoned Factory Building/Research Center
Early Next Morning

He was there by five fifteen in the morning. He couldn't sleep. He
couldn't eat. All he could do was light another Morely, and even then he
had to light it outside. He hadn't figured on the lab not having a
smoking area, but the technicians were insistent, so he went outside for a
few drags.

He figured if he hadn't slept, the rest of the party involved was probably
unable to as well. When they arrived, their appearances proved his
prediction was quite accurate.

All were dressed in casual clothes, which wasn't all that unusual for the
Scully women or Fox. It was Walter Skinner who looked out of place to him.
Stein couldn't remember the last time he saw the man out of a suit.

"Welcome. Glad you all saw fit to dress comfortably," he offered, looking
directly at Skinner.

Skinner had to look down to remind himself of what he was wearing. He had
trouble remembering when the last time was he wore a suit, and had become
comfortable wearing the casual attire of a man on vacation. It had been
over six weeks since he'd taken a personal leave from his position as
Assistant Director, when Fox first became sick. He didn't know if he would
ever be able to go back to wearing that suit. He didn't know if it was
worth it.

"What do we do, Stein," Skinner said in a manner that showed he was not
willing to deal with pleasantries, as least not with the Smoking Scum.

"Well I'd say we need to get our young charges prepared for their
treatments. Miss Scully, please follow Nurse Smith so you may change out
of your street clothes. Mr. Mulder, do the same with Nurse Jones.

"Mrs. Scully, if you would like to assist your daughter, that would be
fine. Elizabeth, feel free to go with Fox, if you would like."

Fox looked at Elizabeth and then at Skinner. He didn't want to hurt her
feelings, so he said nothing. Elizabeth, however, took note of the silent
communication between the two men.

"Jack, I think Fox would probably be more comfortable if Walter went with
him to the room. He might require some assistance, and being undressed by
your mommy is okay for a two year old, but not so much for a grown man.
Fox? Walter? Is that okay with you two?"

"Yes, that's fine," Skinner replied with a small smile. He understood
just how generous this was of Elizabeth Mulder. As much as she wanted
for Fox to need her, she recognized his wish to have Skinner with him
through this ordeal. He was grateful she understood.

Elizabeth couldn't blame Fox. After all, Walter Skinner had been her
son's protector for the last four years, whereas she had barely
communicated with him but through holiday and birthday cards. So, the fact
that Fox wanted Skinner with him instead of her hurt, but she understood.

Mulder and Skinner entered a small, antiseptic looking room, that
contained a hospital bed and white Formica wardrobe. Mulder pulled off
his tee shirt, but stumbled a bit as he began to pull off his jeans.
Skinner grabbed on to his arm to steady him, and when the jeans were below
his hips, he sat down on the bed.

Walter helped him pull them off the rest of the way and then threw the
jeans over a hanger and hung them in the wardrobe. Mulder, in the
meantime, stripped off his socks and boxers. He put the hospital gown on,
and asked Skinner to tie the strings in the back.

Mulder took off his watch and gave it to him to hold. He then hesitated
for a moment.

"What?" asked Skinner.

"I guess I have to take out the hearing aids, right?" he stated.

"Yeah," Skinner replied succinctly.

"I don't want to take them out yet. Will you remind me to, when they're
ready to do whatever it is that they're going to do?" Skinner nodded. "I
guess we just have to wait now, right?" Once again, Skinner just nodded.

"Fox, lay down. You might as well get as much rest as you can, don't you
think?" he asked.

"I don't know what to think right now." Fox was silent for a number of
minutes before he looked up and, though hesitant at first, finally asked,
"We're not screwing up here, are we?

"I mean, Scully __is__ really, really sick, and they are going to cure
her, right Abah? He's not lying about that, is he? Oh God, what if he's
lying about having a cure for her.

"Abah, what if he's trying screw us over, and she dies anyway?"

Skinner didn't know if it was wise to confirm Mulder's doubts with his
own. He too wondered if this was a ruse on the Smoking Bastard's part. He
too wondered if they were being played the fools. In the end, he decided
he had to be honest with Mulder. He deserved no less.

"Fox, I won't lie. I've been having my own doubts too, and last night
when I actually did manage to fall asleep, it was only to have a nightmare
about this entire ordeal.

"But, on the other hand, I don't know what other choice we have but to go
along with the entire plan. Can we take the chance that Jack Stein is not
telling the truth?" Walter concluded. "C'mon Fox, lay down, please."

Fox crawled under the white cotton sheet and stretched his long legs out.
The bed was already cranked up in an upright position, so he leaned back
and smoothed the sheet out on top of him. He stayed silent for a while,
fiddling with the sheets, then with the pillow, and finally with his
hospital gown.

"Mulder," Skinner implored, "would you just lay still for crying out loud."

He looked back at Skinner with watery hazel eyes. Fox reached out to grab
Walter's hand, to which Walter grasped back firmly.

Mulder said, "I know I'm doing the right thing. I know it, but I'm scared
for Dana. I'm so scared they're going to screw this up for her."

"I know."

"But there's something else." Mulder hesitated.

"What is it?"

"I'm scared for me. I've never been scared for me before. Maybe because
it never mattered, or rather __I__ never mattered to anyone. But now that
I've got Dana and Mom and you___, God, Abah, I'm so scared," he whimpered.

"I won't let anything happen to you."

"Abah, don't leave me alone with them. Please, don't leave me by myself,"
he pleaded.

"I won't leave you. I promise," Skinner vowed. I will stay with you no
matter what."


The Scullys went into an identically decorated room just a couple of doors
down. Dana slowly stripped off her clothes and folded them neatly. Maggie
put the folded clothes in the two small drawers provided, and then hung
Dana's blazer in the wardrobe. After Dana put the hospital gown on,
Maggie tied the strings for closure.

Dana, for lack of anything better to do, climbed into bed. She laid
stiffly under the sheet in her hospital gown. Though she never liked to
admit it, Dana hated hospitals every bit as much as Mulder. She just never
seemed to require their services as often as he did.

Maggie was trying to make small talk, but Dana was just not in the mood.
"It's amazing that they've managed to establish this little center amongst
all of this decay, isn't it?" Maggie asked.

"Yeah, Mom," was all that Scully could manage. She was too busy worrying
about what possible effects a drug induced coma could have on Mulder.

"Well, would you like something to read? I packed some magazines in the
bag somewhere." Maggie stood up and began rifling through a tote bag
crammed with various forms of reading material.

"Mom, no, stop. I mean, I appreciate your wanting to help, but I'm really
not in the mood to read the latest Cosmo, okay?"

"I was leaning more towards Family Circle or Scientific America," Maggie

Scully managed a small smile in reply, but then her expression turned gloomy.

"Dana, is there anything I can do?" Maggie asked.

"I don't know. Mom, what if this doesn't work. What if I die and Mulder
lives to see me buried. Will he be okay? Mom, you've got to promise me
he'll be okay," she begged emphatically.

"Dana, you know I will do anything and everything I can to protect
__both__ of you, but I will always watch over Fox. He's part of the family."

"Mom, you do know how much I love you, don't you?" Dana asked. She
reached over to hug her mother.

"I know, sweetheart. I've always known how much you love me." Maggie
enjoyed the warm embrace her daughter gave her. She wanted so to protect
this youngest member of her brood. She ached in the knowledge that she was
just a helpless player in this whole scheme.

End of part 8/19

Part 9/19

Mulder and Skinner had been waiting quietly for a short time when Nurse
Jones returned to inform them Mulder would be taken to the treatment room
in approximately fifteen minutes. Mulder's face blanched visibly at this,
and Skinner reached out to him in an effort to reassure him.

"Abah, where's my mother?" he asked.

Skinner just then realized Elizabeth Mulder hadn't come by once in the
forty minutes they had been waiting in the room. He looked at Mulder and
told him he wasn't sure, but that he suspected she was with Stein.

To which Fox spat, "Cancer Man." He shuddered slightly at the mere
mention of the man, yet wasn't surprised that his mother chose to be with
the Black Tarred Bastard instead of with him.
It hurt a little, but not as much as he thought it would have.

"Where's Mom?" he asked next.

"What?" Skinner asked. "Fox, I told you, your mother was with Jack Stein."

"No," he argued. "not my mother. Where's Mom?"

"Oh," Walter smiled. He forgot Maggie's adoption of Fox was a two-way
deal. "She's waiting with Dana."

"Can I see her? Could you get Mom so I could see her? Please? Abah, I
really need to see her before they do this. Please?" Mulder asked,
becoming more and more upset.

"Shhhhh, I'll find her, okay? Wait here, Fox. Please don't try to get
up and walk around, okay? You don't have your walker here, so just stay
put, okay?"

When Mulder nodded his agreement, Skinner stood up and went in search of
Maggie Scully. He heard their soft voices coming through the door, and so
he knocked.

"Come in."

"Hi," Skinner said. "How's it going in here?"

"The waiting is going to kill me if the damned tumor doesn't," Scully lamented.

Perhaps it was the stress of the situation, but when Maggie heard Scully's
comment, she burst into laughter. Skinner soon joined her and after a bit,
Dana was chuckling as well. The tension evaporated for a few moments,
until Skinner remembered his original reason for seeking the Scully women out.

"Maggie, Fox is supposed to be brought to the treatment room in about ten
minutes or so. He really wants to see you before they do that."

"Dana, do you mind if I leave you to go see Fox?" Maggie asked.

"Like you really need to ask that question Mom," Scully huffed.

"I'll be back in a few minutes, sweetheart. I love you."

Just before Walter escorted Maggie back to Mulder's room, he leaned over
to kiss Dana on the forehead. He told her he loved her and he'd send her
mom back to her very soon.

"What about you?" Scully asked. Margaret looked at Walter with a bit of a
question mark on her face as well. "Aren't you coming back too?"

"I plan on accompanying Fox into the treatment room and keeping an eye on
things. Fox asked me to stay with him, and I agreed it was a good idea,"
Walter explained.

"Yes, it's a very good idea." She smiled her most vibrant Dana Scully
smile, and said so very softly, "Thank you, Abah."

Skinner guided Maggie into Mulder's room to find the young man sitting up
in the bed with his knees bent up toward his chin and his arms wrapped
around his knees. He was rocking back and forth and humming a wordless tune.

Skinner startled when he saw Mulder, while Maggie ran to him and touched
his shoulders very gently. "Fox," she called out to him softly, "Fox, it's
me, Maggie."

He continued to stare off, unfocused in his gaze, until Maggie grasped his
hands from around his knees and brought them up to her face. She wanted
him to make physical contact with her, she wanted him to know he wasn't
alone anymore.

As she placed her hands over his and slowly brought them up to cup her
face, Mulder's gaze followed her hands. He didn't hear her voice, just
looked at her hands, holding his own. He finally focused on her face, and
though it took a few moments, he cried out, "Mom."

"I'm here, Fox. I'm right here," she responded.

"Mom, you know how much I love her, don't you?" he asked.

"Dana? Of course I know. Fox, I've always known, even before you knew,"
she said with a hint of a smile.

"You know I'd do anything for her," he stated.

"Yes, sweetheart. I know you would do anything."

"But, Mom, I'm scared. If anything happens to me, promise me you'll tell
her how much I love her. Tell her I'll always love her."

"Fox, I don't have to tell her. She already knows."

"Then would you just remind her, when she needs to be reminded?"

"Always, sweetheart, but you're going to be fine. Do you understand me?"
He looked away from her, but she let go of his hands to draw his face back
towards hers. "Fox, you are going to come out of this just fine. You both
are. Promise me, Fox. Promise me you are going to fight this and come
back to us."

He had never seen Maggie Scully look so intense or serious as she looked
just then. All he could do was choke back a sob, nod his head yes, and
reach over to hold her and be held by her.


She stood outside his room and listened to the quiet, muffled sounds of
her son sobbing. It hurt her to know he called another woman "Mom," when
she really longed for him to find consolation in _her_ arms. But as much
as she wanted to enter the room, at this point she felt she would be
nothing more than an intrusion. Elizabeth fingered the door knob very
lightly, and then with quiet resignation, released it and walked away.


He was outside having one last Morely. He tried to console himself that
this latest invasion into the lives of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully really
were for the greater good. He honestly did not know what the outcome of
this latest turn of events would be, and it frightened him. He did not
care for situations in which he was not in total, complete, control.

He didn't know if he would be able to face Elizabeth if indeed something
did go wrong. She would be devastated, of course, and would most likely
try to do harm to herself. She had gone that route in the past, so he
assumed history would repeat itself, since she was still somewhat unstable.

He knew, if Fox died, Skinner would try to kill him. No doubt about that,
and in fact Skinner would probably try to kill him with his bare hands.
The odd thing was, if Fox was not revived, he didn't think he would have
the heart or strength to fight off Skinner too much..

As much as he wanted to maintain his distance with Fox, there was always a
part of him that would remember those days from long ago.

He remembered another night when Fox Mulder was brought to a hospital. He
stood in the waiting room, smoking Morely after Morely, wondering if the
twelve year old child would ever recover from this latest ordeal.


Chilmark, MA

His bastard of a father had switched plans. They were supposed to have
taken Fox. It was agreed upon, and they were supposed to have taken Fox
into the sanctuary and safety of the Consortium's project. But Bill Mulder
had other ideas. He was going to make everyone pay for his own damned misery.

Bill usurped Jack's power and vetoed the original plan. The senior Mulder
decided Samantha would be taken in Fox's place, because Bill Mulder not
only knew how to, but more importantly, wanted to hurt Jack and Elizabeth.

Bill knew, based on blood tests taken a while back when Samantha had
broken her collarbone, that Jack was the little girl's natural father. He
was equally as sure that Fox was his own natural son, after demanding that
blood tests be taken of him as well. Bill decided he would protect what
was his, and he didn't give a damn who it would hurt.

Of course, Jack knew the one it would hurt most of all would be Fox. And
here he stood, in the waiting room, waiting to see if Fox could survive yet
another one of his father's attempts to wield power and teach everyone a lesson.

They took Samantha that night. He knew she was safe, just as he knew Fox
would have been safe had the original plan been carried out. The only
glitch was Jack didn't know exactly where she was safe. Unfortunately,
that was a contingency of the game plan. They could never know where the
children were taken, so as to avoid any early retrievals attempts by guilt
ridden parents.

Fox Mulder had never been safe from his father before, and now that
Samantha was gone, his buffer zone was vanquished as well. The beatings
became a monthly ritual.

And though there were always questioning glances from the boy's teachers
and the emergency room nurses and doctors, those questions were never asked
aloud. Bill Mulder still wielded too much power in the government, so the
answers remained secreted away in the bruises of Fox's body and mind.

The night that Samantha was taken, Fox was brought to the hospital in a
catatonic state. His memory of what happened was too frightening to be
within the realm of the pre-teen's own sense of reality. He remained
catatonic for almost two weeks.

Elizabeth was petrified for her remaining child. She had been willing to
give Fox up to the Consortia in order to protect him, but she was terrified
she was going to lose her first born anyway, to this "forever state of
denial." Bill Mulder didn't seem to give a damn after the first couple of
days. All he really cared about was the progression of the project.

Bill was determined that nothing would interfere with the continuity of
the Consortium's plans. One way to insure that was to make sure Fox would
never be able to speak of that night. It was determined that Fox would
undergo an experimental new procedure, a mindsweep. Fox's memories of that
night would be wiped away, and he would only remember those events that the
consortia chose for him to remember.

Of course, this was 1972, and the technique was still in its infancy not
nearly perfected yet. The technicians were unable to pinpoint with
complete accuracy the memories of just that one night's events. A whole
part of Fox's childhood was eradicated, including those memories of being
with his Abah.

That night, after Fox received his first memory swipe treatment, Jack
walked into his room. It was late. Elizabeth had been kept at home under
heavy sedation, while Bill kept tabs on the boy's condition by telephone

Jack had no idea as to how much of the boy's memory was erased. There
would be no way of knowing until he was examined and interviewed. He
remembered looking at the boy and thinking how pale he was. Also, though
Fox was tall for his age, Jack couldn't help but think how small and
fragile he looked in the large hospital bed.

Fox looked at him with a far away look.

"Hi. How are you feeling tonight?" Stein asked.

"I dunno. Tired." He spoke with a slight slur that was a result of the
multitude of drugs the boy was receiving.

"That's to be expected. You've been through a lot."

"What happened? Why am I here?" he asked.

"You don't remember?"

"No sir, I don't remember."

When he heard the word "Sir" it startled him. Fox had never called him
"sir" in his entire life. The boy reserved that "honor" for Bill.

"Do you know what your name is?" Jack asked, trying to keep his voice as
even and calm as possible.

"Yessir. Fox. Fox William Mulder."

"And your family? Do you remember their names?"

"Yessir. My mom is Elizabeth, and my father's name is William. But
people call him Bill. And then there's my lil' sister, Samantha. She's a
pain, ya know? But she's okay.. for a kid sister."

"Fox, a few days ago, something happened to your sister."

"Happened? Something happened to Sam?"

"Yes Fox. Something happened to Sam."


"Fox, she's disappeared. The night you were baby-sitting for her, she

"But how?"

"No one is really sure how she disappeared."

"Was I there?" he asked with trepidation.

"No one is sure where you were, Fox. Do you remember anything of that
night?" he asked. He hoped what he was about to do wouldn't reawaken the
memories, just instill some more doubt.

"No sir. I don't remember anything," he replied remorsefully.

"You were left in charge of her, Fox. Are you sure you don't remember
anything?" he pressed.

"No sir. I don't remember. I'm sorry, I don't remember. I can't
remember." He began to shiver with the shock of this latest news.

"Sir, where could she be?"

"I don't know Fox. I honestly don't know," he replied with resignation.

"Will they find her?" he asked in a sad, thin voice.

"Someday. We'll find her someday." He looked at the pale, thin youth and
wondered to himself if there weren't a better way of dealing with this. He
sighed to himself when he realized he was not in the position to even
consider such things.

"Well," he continued, " I think I'll let you get some sleep."

"Okay, but sir, before you go, may I ask you a question?"

He nodded.

"Sir, do I know you?" he asked, obviously confused. Stein looked at the
boy with a hint of sadness.

"No," he replied. "You don't know me. I work with your father."

"Oh. Good night, sir."

When Jack Stein walked out of Fox's hospital room that night, it was the
last time he remembered ever crying again.

End of Part 9/ 19

Part 10/19

Abandoned Facility/DC area

As he was taking the last possible drags on his cigarette, the attendants
were wheeling Mulder into the treatment room. Maggie Scully had retreated
to Dana's room, but Walter Skinner was right behind Mulder's gurney.

"AD Skinner, you may go wait with Mrs. Scully and Agent Scully now. We'll
take over from here."

"No," was the terse reply.

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Skinner?"

"I said, no," he responded through clenched teeth.

"Mr. Skinner, we would like to begin, since as you know, time is of the

"Then by all means, Stein, begin, but I am not leaving him alone."
Skinner was adamant in his refusal to leave the area.

"Mr. Skinner, it is not appropriate for you to be in the treatment room."
Stein was doing everything he could to maintain a calm exterior.

"Are you going to be in there?" Skinner asked

"Yes, of course I am," he replied.

"I rest my case. Listen you S.O.B. Just get it through your head that I
don't trust you worth a damn much less with his life, and I am not going to
leave you two alone in the same room together. Do I make myself clear?"

Stein returned Skinner's icy glare. He refused to let this trouble maker
think he'd gain the upper hand. "Very well, Mr. Skinner. Since it seems
to mean so much to you, __I__ shall grant you the privilege of remaining in
the treatment room. However, you must follow my instructions to the
letter, or you will be removed, forcibly, if necessary."

Skinner smiled to himself. He so very rarely saw Cancerman rattled, and
yet here he was, "giving" him permission to stay. *As if he could have
kept me away,* he mused to himself.

As the two men entered the narrow passage between the outside corridor and
the treatment room, they were handed scrubs to put on over their clothes.
In addition to the surgical caps, they were also given shoe covers to wear
on their feet. Neither man looked very intimidating now dressed in green
surgical scrubs, but Skinner reassured himself by surreptitiously checking
for the gun he kept tucked in his jeans at the small of his back.

Stein next pointed to the area of the room he wanted Skinner to remain in.
He reminded him to remain absolutely still.

Fox was moved to the center of the treatment room with the various
doctors, nurses, and technicians milling around his prone body. Stein
moved to an area where he would not be anyone's way, but still had complete
visual access to the goings on.

One of the technicians brought out a small, clear, acrylic box that
contained a substance that looked like coal. Skinner looked at it briefly
and wondered what it was, and why it seemed familiar to him. He watched,
fascinated, as the one of the nurses placed the black, coal like substance
in an equally black, oily like medium.

This was all out of the sight of Mulder, who was given an injection.
Skinner hadn't noticed this as he was too busy watching the actions of the
attendants working with the rock.

Mulder felt the sting of the hypodermic needle pierce his skin, and within
a few moments, felt nothing else. Though he was painfully aware of his
surroundings by visual cues, he could barely hear without his hearing aids,
and so was somewhat hampered by his ability to know exactly what was going on.

He tried to turn his head to locate Skinner, when to his horror, he
realized he could not move his head. And, in fact, he could not move any
part of his body. Whatever it was that they had given him, it had
paralyzed him. When he tried to cry out, he found his vocal cords were
paralyzed as well. Mulder felt a great surge of panic begin to take over
his mind and body, but he had no means of releasing it.

A few moments passed by when Skinner returned his sights to Fox. When one
of the doctors moved aside, he was able to get a clear view of Fox's face.
Skinner saw he was still awake, which surprised him as he figured the
doctors would have administered the anesthesia by now.

Walter inched closer towards Fox. He felt something was not right, though
he had no way of knowing what it was that was wrong. As he quietly moved
closer to the hub of the action, he observed something strange. For
someone as hyperactive as Fox Mulder, he was awfully still for someone
still awake.

Just as he was practically on top of the operating table, Stein roared his
name, "Skinner!"

At finally being able to hear and comprehend what was being said, Mulder's
eyes reacted with recognition. Skinner never looked away from the younger
man, and noted with concern that, although a number of medical personnel
jumped a foot when Stein screamed his name, Fox merely laid there. Paralyzed.

*Omigod,* Skinner thought to himself. *Why is he paralyzed? Is this a
part of the treatment? He's not in a coma, it's obvious he's still awake.
Why paralyze him?* he wondered in a panic.

He knew he had to be careful in how he approached Stein on this. He did
not want to be kicked out of the treatment room. He had to remain in here
to watch out for Mulder.

As Stein was attempting to keep watch over the procedure and
keeping Walter Skinner from seeing more than absolutely necessary, Fox
Mulder was finally given a view of the black rock in the oily medium. If
paralyzed eyes were given to showing sheer horror and dread, then Fox
Mulder's eyes were doing just that. Skinner could feel the fear in his
eyes, and realized that fear came from the sight of the black rock.

*The black rock.* It was almost as though Fox was sending him a message.
Remember the black rock. The Tunguska rock. *Holy shit! The Tunguska
rock! That rock was supposed to be forty million miles down under the
earth in Canada. Why is it here?

*And why do they need Mulder here if they already had a rock with the
entities? What the hell is going on here?* he wanted to scream, but he
knew that could jeopardize Mulder's life as well as his own.

Fox watched as the oily substance was drawn into the biggest hypodermic
needle he'd ever seen in his life. The total terror he was feeling now was
magnified by the memory of an earlier time when his skin crawled with oily

The doctor placed the tip of the needle by Fox's nose and pushed in the
plunger. Fox could see what was happening but could do nothing about it.
He had figured, however, that at least he would be spared the pain of
feeling the oily entities travel throughout his skull, since he received
the paralyzing drug.

But that was not the case. As the oily worms traveled up his nasal
passage it felt like tiny, moving razor blades gliding their way through a
path of their own making. Fox felt helpless as the pain seared through
him, yet he could not yell out in pain. His eyes began to well up.

Seeing the tears welling up in Fox's eyes was the last straw for Walter
Skinner. He wanted answers and he wanted them now.
"Stein, what the hell is going on here?"

"Mr. Skinner, you are here out of courtesy. Do not make me forcibly
remove you," he replied angrily.

"Just explain to me what they're doing, and I'll shut up. I don't
understand why he can't move or speak, yet he appears awake. You said you
were going to induce a coma, but he is not comatose. What's going on
here?" he asked trying to remain coherent.

"Mr. Skinner, Agent Mulder was given a sedative to help him remain calm
throughout the initial stages of the procedure," he explained.

Fox thought this was one helluva sedative. He was completely awake and
aware, with the exception of being able to hear conversations clearly and
move. *Scully would probably like to get her hands on this sedative to use
on him when they were out in the field when his hyperactivity drove her
nuts!* he mused to himself, all the while wishing he had the ability to
chuckle out loud.

"What did they just inject into him?" Skinner asked.

"It's nothing that concerns you at the moment," he responded.

*It's the entities, Abah! Oh God, it's the E.B.Es!* Fox wanted
desperately to cry out to Walter, to let him know what they were doing to
him. He didn't understand why they were injecting him with the oily worms.
They said the little oily slugs were a means to cure Dana, yet instead of
injecting them into her, they were placing them into his body. Why?

*Oh God. They've done it to us again. They've played us as pawns again
in their grand little scheme. Oh God. Dana. He was never going to help
Dana. It was me. They just wanted me for their damned little worms.
Abah, help me. Help Dana. Oh God Abah, help Dana,* his eyes pleaded.

Skinner saw the intensity of Mulder's gaze and then turned to Stein. "I
think it is something that concerns me very much, Mr. Stein. Why are you
administering the E.B.E.s into Fox instead of Dana?"

*Bingo, Abah! Talk loud Cancerman, so I can hear your answer,* Fox thought.

"Mr. Skinner, we are merely testing to see if the entities within Fox can
be resuscitated so they will be of use to Miss Scully."

"Resuscitated? What do you mean resuscitated? Aren't the entities alive
inside of Fox?" Skinner asked.

"They are alive, but not necessarily viable. We needed to inject him with
a viable source to see if those entities inside Mr. Mulder's body could be
made viable again. Once they have been deemed viable, then we will proceed
with inducing the coma to release the entities for Miss Scully's benefit."

*Abah, ask him. please ask him. Think Abah. Think, what's wrong with
this picture!?* Fox so wanted Walter to pick up his thoughts telepathically.

Skinner looked thoughtfully at his young charge and then back at Stein.
Something did not sit right with him. There was a puzzle piece staring at
him right in the face, yet he couldn't figure out how to fit it in place.
Then suddenly the thought just popped into his head, but strangely enough,
Skinner heard it in Mulder's voice. He looked at Mulder with a questioning

"Stein, just explain to me why, if Dana needed the entities to be cured,
why wasn't she administered this viable source instead of Mulder? If
Mulder's weren't doing him any harm, why bother to resuscitate them? Why
not just cut out the middle man and go straight to the problem, Dana's
tumor?" Skinner tried desperately to keep his voice from rising, but he
was having trouble succeeding.

*I love you, Abah. I really love you.* Fox was straining to listen to the
Smoking Bastard's explanation. *This should be entertaining,* he thought.

Stein looked thoughtfully at Walter Skinner. Did he really expect him to
not question the procedure, once he was allowed to remain in the treatment
room? Did he really think Skinner would not figure out the procedure was
more for the benefit of the Consortium's Project, and not for Dana Scully's

Suddenly, Jack Stein felt tired. Very tired.

"Mr. Skinner, it was necessary, for the greater good. We had to first
take a look at the E.B.E.s Mr. Mulder was host to, before we could continue
with Miss Scully's treatment. We had to find out what effects, if any, the
meningitis had on the inoculation that was given to Mr. Mulder prior to his
being infected with the entities." As Stein relayed this information, his
shoulders sagged a bit and he desperately wanted a cigarette.

"Inoculation? What inoculation?" Skinner asked. Mulder strained his
memory as he wondered what inoculation Stein was alluding to also.

"He was given an inoculation prior to his treatment to see if there were
any preventive benefits to a serum that was being developed to prevent the
Black Cancer's ill effects. Mr. Mulder had apparently reaped the benefits
of this inoculation, as he had suffered no ill effects from the BC."

*That's why I never got sick,* he pondered. *When I was running away and
they caught up to me, they stuck me with something. It must have been the
inoculation. Just what I've always wanted to be, a human guinea pig.*

"So now what? Can't you just administer the entities into Dana now?"
Skinner asked.


Both Skinner's and Fox's hearts dropped. "What do you mean, `no'," Walter

"The entities have to be removed from Agent Mulder first," he stated,
knowing this was not going to be received well.

"You mean there are no more. The only entities left are the ones inside
Fox," questioned Skinner.

"Yes," he confirmed.

"But you didn't have to do this. You didn't have to use him first, you
could have treated Dana first," Skinner accused.

"No. We could not have treated Dana first, because once the entities
attack the tumor, they exit the body and promptly die. We had to have the
data on Agent Mulder's ability to host the entities after a traumatic
illness. It was an opportunity we could not afford to miss."

Jack really wanted a cigarette. He was tempted to leave the treatment
room to go grab one, but he feared leaving Skinner alone in the room while
the treatment continued.

"Mr. Stein," called out one of the doctors, " we are ready to continue
with the next phase. Anytime you want us to proceed, we're ready."

Now was his time to take a cigarette break. He looked at Skinner and
moved toward him. "Come with me," he said to him. Looking back at the
doctor, he said, "I'll be back in five minutes. When I return, you will
proceed to the next phase. Perhaps someone should let Miss Scully know
that we'll be ready for her shortly. Mr. Andrews, would you assist me for
a moment."

The very large Mr. Andrews grabbed Walter Skinner's right arm while Stein
grabbed a reluctant Skinner's left elbow and escorted him outside of the
treatment room. Skinner called out to Mulder that he would be right back
and not to worry, that everything would be all right.

End of Part 10/ 19

Part 11/19

Upon emerging outside the building, Jack said, "Thank you Mr. Andrews.
That will be all for now. Why don't you let Miss Scully know we'll be
ready for her shortly."

As Andrews walked back inside Skinner looked down on the ground to see the
growing mound of cigarette butts. He looked back at Stein who suddenly
looked very old. Just then, the door opened and Elizabeth Mulder appeared.
She took the cigarette out of Stein's hand and began to smoke it.

Stein didn't seem surprised and merely lit another cigarette. Skinner, on
the other hand, was very surprised. "I didn't know you smoked, Elizabeth."

"Nasty and expensive habit I'd given up a long time ago, Walter. But
there are certain times, stressful times, when inhaling on a cigarette can
be very soothing. I know it seems ridiculous, but for me it's true." She
stood there smoking the cigarette.

Skinner thought it was odd that she hadn't asked about Fox. *What kind of
a cold hearted bitch is this woman?* he wondered. Finally, he couldn't
stand it any longer. He had to say something.

"Don't you want to know what they're doing to Fox?" he asked tersely.

"I already know what they're doing to my son, Walter," she replied equally
short tempered.

"You know? You know that this whole thing could have been avoided? You
know they're going to risk his life and they really didn't have to? You
know?!" Walter was beside himself. He didn't know whose neck he wanted to
wrap his fingers around more, Stein's or Elizabeth Mulder's.

"Yes, I know. And in case you've forgotten, Walter, I did not give my
approval to this in the first place. I didn't want Fox to go through with
this, remember? It was you and Maggie that convinced him he should, damn
you both. Even Dana was willing to forego treatment to avoid Fox going
through something so dangerous.

"But no, you and your lovely Mrs. Scully decided my son's life wasn't as
precious as the lovely Miss Dana. So you encouraged him to accept this
fate. You encouraged him to ask me to make the phone call. Well, I did.
And here we are. And what the hell did you expect?

"What the hell do expect __me__ to do now, Walter? Damn you. You stand
there in judgment of me, wondering why the hell I'm staying so calm when
my son is being subjected to a very real, possible death sentence!
__You're__ the one with the gun, Assistant Director Skinner. What the
hell do you really expect __me__ to do?!" Elizabeth stood there with her
eyes smoldering with as much anger and fire as the cigarette she smoked.

Jack Stein watched Elizabeth in awe. It had been a long time since he had
seen her show so much backbone. He didn't think she was capable of it any
longer. That was most likely because most of the time, after Samantha's
abduction, she was sedated. She became hooked on valium and didn't get
help until after Fox had left for Oxford.

Skinner hadn't been the recipient of Elizabeth's wrath in quite some time,
and he had forgotten just how biting her words could be. He didn't answer
her at first, because he wasn't sure how. He realized in some ways she was
right, but the fact that she could seemingly accept it all just didn't sit
right with him. This was her child, for Christ's sake.

Rather than deal directly with that issue, he chose to ignore Elizabeth
and turned to Stein. "So, now what?"

"Now I go back to the treatment room and we proceed with inducing Mr.
Mulder's coma, so we may retrieve the entities to cure Miss Scully," he

"_ We _ go back into the treatment room." Skinner looked at him hard.

Stein was too drained to argue. "Very well, we." He turned to Elizabeth
and asked her if she too wanted to join them in the treatment room.

"No, Jack. If you kill my son, I'd rather not be a witness to it." She
turned and walked back into the building alone.

"She sure can be one helluva tough bitch when she wants to be," Stein said
with a mixture of sadness and admiration. "Skinner, at one time she was
actually happy in her life. And when she was happy, she was so beautiful
and a joy to be around.

"But then Bill decided to screw with the plan, and Elizabeth wasn't happy
any longer. And she became quite ugly. And the shame of it all is it
didn't have to be." Stein took one last drag on the Morely then crushed it
with the toe of his shoe.

As they were returning to the treatment room that held Fox Mulder, the two
men crossed paths with Maggie and Dana Scully. Dana had been given a
normal sedative to take the edge off of anxiety. She would be placed
under general anesthesia for her procedure, because once the entities
exited her nasal passage, the surgeons would have to remove what remained
of the tumor by a normal surgical procedure.

"Hi there," Maggie greeted Walter. "How's Fox doing?"

As much as Walter wanted to confide in Maggie about his fears, he realized
now was not the time to share doubts about the whole process. He didn't
want to frighten Maggie and Dana any more than they already were.

"He's doing okay right now. They're going to the next phase in just a few
minutes." He couldn't bring himself to say that they were going to induce
the coma, but Maggie knew exactly what he meant.

"Dream sweet dreams, Dana," he said, as he bent down to kiss her forehead.
Dana returned a sleepy smile in reply. "Watch over her, Maggie," he said
and kissed Maggie gently on the lips.

"Walter, is everything all right?" she asked.

He hesitated but for a moment. "Yes, Maggie. Everything's fine. I'll
see you in a short while."

Skinner and Stein returned to the small corridor and donned fresh scrubs
before they entered the treatment room. Skinner immediately called out to
Mulder to let him know he'd returned and then moved quickly to his side so
he could actually see him. Mulder's eyes showed recognition, but also fear.

The younger man realized that when Skinner and Stein returned, the next
step in the treatment would be taken. Fox felt spent. Whipped.
Exhausted. Defeated. He didn't know if he could continue to be a pawn in
the Smoking Man's game plan. He didn't know if it was worth it.

Skinner could see the fatigue in Mulder's eyes. He knew Fox was worried
that this entire ordeal would be for naught. He had to convince him that
things were going to work out and that he had to be ready to fight back and

"I just saw Dana, Fox. She looked fine. She told me to tell you she
loves you. And Maggie. Maggie told me to tell you she loves you."

Fox continued to stare at Skinner as if there was a question that still
needed to be answered.

"Your mother sends her love too, Fox."

Stein looked at Skinner with a hint of surprise. Elizabeth did no such
thing. She would never do such a thing. Yet Skinner knew the boy
apparently needed to hear it. How sad. How sad that he still needed to
hear how much his mother loved him, long after she forgot how.

"We're ready, Sir." declared one of the doctors. "We have all of the
emergency equipment ready as well. So, anytime you give the directive."

Jack Stein walked up to Fox's side. He looked down upon him with an
expression that Fox recognized from long ago. He didn't recall exactly
when he saw it, but he remembered seeing this same face with this same

"You will be all right, Agent Mulder. I promised you once that I would
never abandon you, and I never have. I am not about to break that promise
now. But you have to want to survive this, boy. You have to want to go on
with life. Fight it, Fox. Fight back," Stein urged.

When he finished his speech, he nodded to the doctor to administer the
appropriate drugs. The anesthesiologist was overseeing the various
monitors, while nurses and other doctors were keeping close watch on the
numerous intravenous solutions that Fox was hooked up with.

Another doctor made sure the catheter was in place, and then everyone
waited. Quietly. The only sounds heard were the varying tones of the
bleeps and the blips of the numerous monitors and equipment.

An eternity seemed to pass, when without warning, one long tonal beep was
heard. Suddenly, everyone was shouting at once.

"He's crashed. We got a code blue!!"

"Give me the paddles!"

"Stein!" Skinner shouted, "What's wrong? What's going on?"

Stein ignored Skinner and moved closer to the scene. He didn't want to
get in anyone's way, but he needed to see for himself what was going on.

The doctors gelled up the paddles and directed the electrical current onto
his chest in an effort to get his heart going again. As this was
occurring, Stein reminded one of the doctors to keep an eye out for any
stray entities and return it to the host rock and medium.

He then heard, to his great relief, the steady rhythm of blips and bleeps
from the heart monitor and EEG.

"Okay boys and girls," called out the doctor, "we got him back! Good work
folks. Now let's keep on our toes, we don't want him going under quite
that much, do we," he said rhetorically.


"They got his heart beating again, Skinner. They're back on track in
inducing the coma." Stein appeared to release a sigh of relief along with
everyone else.

The time passed slowly. The doctors were working very carefully in terms
of administering the various drugs that would induce the deep coma
necessary to trick the entities into thinking their human host was dead.

Finally after what seemed like hours, one of the nurses startled and
called out, "There. There's one!"

And crawling out of the nasal passage of one Fox Mulder was an E.B.E.
approximately seven centimeters long and four centimeters wide. A
technician stood ready with tongs to capture the E.B.E. and place it in the
oily medium with the black rock.

Though there remained a blip on the heart monitor and a bleep on the EEG
to indicate Mulder's body was still alive, he was in such a deep coma that
the E.B.E.s thought their host was no longer viable.

They began to exit Mulder's body more steadily, and after thirty minutes
had passed, it appeared that all of the E.B.E.s had exited Mulder's body.
They were all snared and safely placed in the oily medium with the black
rock. Stein indicated to the technician to walk the container over to the
next operating room. He ordered Mr. Andrews to accompany the young man.

The doctors received the entities from Mr. Andrews and the young
technician. They were dismissed and the doctors proceeded in much the same
way they began with Mulder.

End of Part 11/ 19