18 Nov 1997

Abah VI: The Recovery(4/4)
by Susan Proto

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 25/33

Unknown Address
Raleigh, NC

Mulder was taking the Tegretrol to control his seizures twice a day, but
the stress of the situation obviously impacted on the medication's
success. He had come out of a short seizure approximately forty minutes
earlier, and was still a little groggy.
When Mulder saw Edgar Franks return as he had earlier promised, Mulder
went immediately into a second seizure within an hour.

Samantha was nearby in the break room, so she was able to answer her page
immediately. When she saw Fox in the throes of a second grand mal
seizure within a sixty minute time frame, she went ballistic.

"Get out! Get out of here now!" she shouted. "He cannot be removed from
this facility! It could kill him!"

"Look Doc, that's not my business. Mr. Krycek said to move him no matter
what, so move him I will. I got my orders," replied Franks.

"You idiot!" proclaimed Dr. Ellis. "You are a moron! This patient is in
the middle of a grand mal seizure. I have to draw blood, administer
medication, and check his vitals for at least another two hours. Now get
out, and do not come back. Tell Mr. Krycek I refused to discharge this

"Yeah Lady, I'll do just that. That's just what I'll do!" Franks voice
began to escalate with each additional pronouncement. "I'll fucking tell
the boss that the little lady don't want to discharge the patient. Oh
he'll love that! He'll just fucking love that!!"

As she watched Franks stomp out of the treatment area, she looked at
Mulder and noticed he began to come out of the seizure almost immediately.
And though he was usually groggy after having a seizure, this time he
appeared to be remarkably alert.

"Fox? Are you okay?" she asked tentatively.

"Yeah, Sam. I'm fi_ne_. I ho_pe_ I didn' scare you, but whe' I saw
Fran's comin', I knew I ha_d_ to do somethin_g_."

"Why Fox Mulder, you are pretty amazing! Fox," Sam began in a
conspiratorial whisper, "we have got to get you out of here before Franks
comes back."

"Yeah, I don'_t_ thin_k_ he's too goo_d_ for my heal_th_," Mulder
replied wryly.

Mulder looked at Sam with a familiar goofy grin. Sam couldn't take her
eyes off of him, when suddenly she felt herself in a different time and

Deja vu, again.

She fingered the long pink satin skirt and wondered if this was how a real
princess felt like. She whirled around in her long skirt and felt the
fullness of the dress spread out with a perfect centrifugal force.

"Samantha? Samantha, it's getting late and if you wish to go Trick or
Treating, then you and your brother have to leave now," she called out the
costumed child.

"Mommy, I need my crown! Where's my crown?" the child cried out.

"It's right here on the counter. Now get down here so you two can get on
your way. I don't want you out too late, young lady," her mother

"Yes, Mommy," she responded soberly. "Please put my crown on? Please?"
she then added excitedly.

Her mother placed the crown on her delighted daughter's head. "Now, where
is your brother?" she remarked, and as if on cue, he appeared in the
doorway between the kitchen and the dining room.

"Can we go please?" the twelve year old whined ever so slightly. He stood
in the doorway, wearing his prized Carl Yazstremski baseball shirt with
the number eight boldly displayed on the back.

He wore his BoSox cap and impatiently shifted from one foot to the other.
He was feeling a bit mortified that he had to drag his little sister
around with him for trick or treating. None of the other guys had to take
their little sisters or brothers with them, only he did.

"I'm a princess, I'm a princess!!" she cried out in delight. "Don't I
look like a princess?"

He looked at the small figure in front of him, who was in such an obvious
state of pleasure, he couldn't help but get caught up in her excitement.

"Yeah, yeah, little twerp, you're a princess, but we gotta go or all the
candy'll be gone!!" he said with a voice that slowly rose in volume.

"I'm not a twerp, I'm a princess, Butt-Munch!" she said with

And with that the boy, soon to be a man, gave his sister the most loving,
lop-sided, goofy grin. He knew when he'd met his match, and his sister
Sam was most definitely his match.

"Okay Princess, let's get going." He then did something that made her
feel so loved and special. He bowed deeply and in his best English
accent, stated, "After you m'lady."

Samantha walked with her head held so high and waved farewell to her
mother. Her father wasn't home to see her, but her mom took pictures of
her, so they would always remember it as a good time. Of course, the
pictures were only of Sam. Her father only had eyes for his princess.

"Watch her carefully, dear. Please? Are you all right to go by yourself.
Now, don't make a face, just make sure you keep an eye on her," she

"Mom, you can trust me," he called to her as he followed the little
princess out the door.

As Samantha remembered back to a long ago memory, something gnawed at her.
There were pieces of her past that were certainly missing, yet she felt
as though they were staring her in the face. As she pondered this latest
notion, she heard very loud, angry voices approaching the treatment room.

"Where the hell is she?" demanded the voice in anger.

"I guess she's still in the room with him, Sir," responded the second
voice in submission.

The door opened and Alex Krycek walked in defiantly. Sam saw the anger
etched in both Krycek's face and his stride. She knew she was going to
have to maintain absolute calm in order to protect her patient.

"Mr. Krycek, what may I do for you?" Dr. Ellis asked in her most
professional tone of voice.

"I want to know why you're still holding Mulder in here," he replied
between clenched teeth.

"I refuse to discharge a patient before he is well enough to be
discharged, Mr. Krycek," she answered with equal fury.

"Well, I say he _is_ ready to be discharged, so _Mr._ Franks here is going
to move him out. Franks, do it." As Franks made a move toward Mulder's
bed, Samantha took two long strides to effectively block him off. She
then turned toward Krycek.

She observed the intensity with which he glared back at her. She knew
there was a reason she reneged on her acceptance of his dinner invitation,
but up until now she wasn't sure what it was.

Trust. He apparently did not trust anyone, which led her to mistrust him
totally. She couldn't see herself going out to dinner with this man whose
words were without weight and substance. He was a man who sought only
immediate gratification and would do whatever he needed to do to access
it. If anything got in the way of the path to his own immediate needs,
he thought nothing of destroying it, no matter what the ramifications.

This was not a man she wanted to go on a date with. This was not a man
she even wanted to work for any longer. This was not a man she wanted to
entrust her ill brother with____. What!?

Samantha quickly glanced over at Fox Mulder, and her eyes grew wide with
the image she saw. The young man she kept seeing in her mind's eye was a
younger version of the man lying in the hospital bed. Her brother. How
did she remember this? Why now? And why didn't she know before this?

Her mind was now invaded by too many questions and too many theories and
too many worries. However, it didn't matter at the moment why she had
just come to realize Fox Mulder was her brother, only that he was, and she
needed to protect him.

She also realized the best way of doing that was to prevent Krycek from
realizing the connection, because she was sure he did not know of their
relationship. Dr. Ellis felt certain if he were aware of their sibling
ties, he would have used it against her long before this. She had to
convince him that he needed to stay with her.

"Mr. Krycek, I was hired by you because I am an excellent doctor. I need
to be allowed to do my job, Sir. Mr. Mulder has had two seizures within
the past hour. That means the medication is not being absorbed properly
into his bloodstream, and therefore this needs to be monitored closely.
If you take him away from this area, I cannot guarantee that Mr. Mulder's
recovery," she declared in as professional and convincing manner as she
thought possible.

Krycek looked back at Samantha Ellis with pure disdain. He walked over to
her, and took her arm and effectively pulled her away from the bedside in
order to gain Franks clearer access.

"Why Dr. Ellis, you're under the mistaken impression that I give a damn
about Mr. Mulder's recovery, but the truth of the matter is, I don't. Not
in the least.

"Franks, get him the hell out of here."

Before Edgar Franks wheeled him out, he quickly wrapped the Velcro
restraints around his wrists while another of Krycek's subordinates
wrapped his ankles. When Franks was satisfied Mulder wasn't going
anywhere, he began to roll the bed out of the room.

"At least take his medications with him, for God's sake! Please! The
directions are on the bottle," Dr. Ellis implored as she placed them under
the covers by Mulder's side.

Mulder looked at Sam fearfully. He knew he would no longer be safe once
he left the sanctuary of his sister's treatment room, but he felt helpless
to do anything about it. As his mind began working overtime in an attempt
to think of something that would help him out of this latest predicament,
he noticed something in Samantha Ellis' eyes he not seen before.

Samantha knew he was her brother. Fox wasn't sure how or why he knew this
to be a fact, but he did. He was sure. It was downright spooky. Now,
he just hoped his sister would be able to come up with a plan, for both
their sakes.

End of Part 25/33


Part 26/33

Walter Skinner's Office/FBI
Washington, DC

It was day four of Mulder's disappearance, and it had not begun well at
all. As Skinner had entered his office, the intercom buzzed. When he'd
answered it, Kim had alerted him to a phone call on line one.

The caller offered him information about a new victim of the children
cardiac cases. He knew this news would be forthcoming sooner or later, he
just wished he knew how best to deal with it and how it would help find
Mulder. As he came to the conclusion of the phone call, his mind raced
with the details that needed to follow next..

"Well, Mr. Hines, you have been a tremendous help, and I do thank you for
calling. I'm going to put you on hold for one moment and then my
assistant will pick up. Please give her all of the pertinent details
regarding location and time. Thank you again for calling. Hold on,

Skinner next informed Kim of the correct form to fill out while she asked
Mr. Hines the important questions that would elicit as much detail from
him as possible regarding the incident. He then personally placed a call
to Scully and asked her to join him in his office a/s/a/p.

As Skinner placed the phone back into its cradle he smelled the tell-tale
odor of Jack Stein. Skinner immediately turned on the air purifier, when
he realized he didn't need to worry about Maggie's reaction to the smoky
clothes. At least he didn't need to worry about it for the moment. He
prayed that would change very quickly.

"Hello Jack. What brings you here?"

"The same thing that had you call Agent Scully up here?" When Skinner
gave him a suspicious look, Stein quickly stated, "I just overheard you
say her name as I walked in, Walter, that's all. Purely luck. Though I
do suspect it is for the same reason that we're both going to meet with

"You've heard about the Raleigh death?" Skinner asked.

"On the news. They announced an eight year old female collapsed dead on
the school's playground. They didn't mention the Black Cancer, though I
no doubt it was present. The media doesn't waste any time, does it?"
Stein asked.

"What's triggering these kids' deaths, Stein?" Skinner asked. "This is so
damned frustrating!" he shouted and pounded his fist hard against his
desk. "Shit!" he yelled, just as Scully entered the door.

"Let me see it," she demanded as she watched him hold his hand somewhat
gingerly. She took his hand and examined it gently. "Doesn't look like
you broke anything, but I would recommend an alternate form of releasing
tension, Sir."

"Thank you Agent Scully, for that sound medical advice. Now may we get on
with your purpose for being here?"

"I assume you haven't received any information regarding Mulder, so I
figure it must have to do with what I heard on the radio."

"The radio?" Skinner questioned.

"Since I've been on my own, I've gotten in the habit of listening to the
news station. It fills in the silences throughout the day. I heard a
bulletin regarding a death in Raleigh, NC on the broadcast just as I hung
up with you."

"Well, Scully, ready to take a ride to North Carolina?" Skinner asked.

"Sir, you want to accompany me?" she asked. "I mean I could easily go
there on my own."

"Dana, at the moment I don't have anything holding me here. I think I
would like a change of scenery," he replied quietly.

Jack Stein loudly cleared his throat, and Skinner looked over at him.
Walter noted the obvious curious, yet concerned expression on his face.
"Maggie and I had a disagreement. I didn't stay at the house last night."

Stein merely nodded in acknowledgment, and stated simply that Elizabeth
had called to inform him of her plans to return to Greenwich, and to
please call her when we find her son. He then added, "I would also like
to accompany you to North Carolina."

Since Stein had already been to one crime scene, Skinner could see no
reason to prohibit a visit to this one. Besides, he was hoping Stein
might offer some more insight on how to stop these deaths.

"Scully, will you make the preliminary contacts? Inform the locals we'll
be driving and should be there within a few hours."

"Yes, Sir."

"Oh, and Scully? When you call your mom, tell her I'll need to speak to
her when we return. Please." Skinner looked down at his hands while he

"Yes, Sir. I'll be happy to tell her. I'll meet you in the garage in
about twenty-five minutes, Sir?"

Skinner nodded in assent and turned to Stein. "So, what's the fastest
route to Raleigh?"


Unknown address
Raleigh, NC

Mulder had spent the night with Edgar Franks practically on top of him the
entire time. It was almost as thought Franks were looking for an excuse
to begin pummeling him. Mulder made sure he was on his best behavior. He
knew he couldn't afford one of Franks' beatings.

"So Mulder, you hungry? It says here you're supposed to take one of these
pills with something to eat. So, you hungry?" he scoffed at.

"I'm fi_n_e, Franks," Mulder answered, praying his stomach wouldn't choose
this moment to begin growling with hunger pains.

The door opened then, and Carl Lidofsky entered with a food tray.

"What timing, Lidofsky! Here I was just asking Mulder if he were hungry.
But you know what? He said he was fine! Just fine. So I guess he aint'
hungry, ya know? But you know what else? _I'm_ hungry. Yep, I'm real
hungry, so I think I'll just help myself to a little snack."

Franks lifted the cover off of the tray, and Mulder could smell the
chicken breast wafting though the air. Mulder looked briefly over at
Lidofsky to try to gauge what his reaction was to all of this, but in the
end, Mulder figured he was on his own.

"Hey Franks, I didn' say I wouln' ea' the foo', I jus' sai' I was fi_ne_.
Now tha' the foo's here, I'm hungry," Mulder said in as even voice as

"Tough shit, Mulder. Finders keepers, losers weepers. Ya know?" taunted

"Edgar," Lidofsky began, "let the man have is food. I brought us a
couple of hot veal wedges to eat anyway. Let him eat the institutional

Mulder observed the interplay between the two men. Lidofsky was trying to
downplay Mulder's meal, but Mulder was fairly certain it was not because
he wanted Franks to eat better. He hoped he was reading Lidofsky
correctly and was actually seeing an ally.

"Here, you moron. You wanna eat this shit, then eat it," Franks said
while pushing the tray carelessly towards Mulder. The elbow pasta slid
about the tray and onto the adjustable table that was pulled across his
Mulder's bed. "I'm gonna take my dinner break, okay, Carl? I gotta get
away from this moron."

"Sure Edgar. Go, and enjoy," Lidofsky encouraged.

As he watched Franks leave, Lidofsky quickly retrieved the bottles of
medication that Samantha Ellis had pushed onto the bed before Franks
dragged him out of the treatment center.

"I spoke with Dr. Ellis a little earlier," he whispered, "and she said you
needed to be sure to take your medicine. Especially the pills for your
seizures. Okay?"

Lidofsky measured out the appropriate number of pills and offered them to
Mulder. He popped them all in his mouth at once and went to grasp the cup
of juice. Unfortunately Mulder missed, and the juice went flying all over
his bed and Carl Lidofsky.

Mulder immediately recoiled when he saw Lidofsky get hit by the flying
juice. Lidofsky, on the other hand, calmly walked into the bathroom, got
some paper towels, and began to dry both himself as well as Mulder's bed

"Thank you," Mulder said in reaction to Lidofsky's kindness. "Wha's your

"Lidofsky. Carl Lidofsky, and that's Carl with a `C', not a `K'," he

"Why no' a `k'?" Mulder asked curiously.

"Because I plan to become an American citizen, and Carl with a `C' is
American. Carl with a `K' is Russian," he replied.

"Russian? You're from Russia Mr. Li'ofsky?" he asked.

"Mr. Mulder, just call me Carl, okay? Lidofsky, it can be a mouthful. In
fact, I'm thinking of shortening it to Lido. What do you think?" he asked

"Mr..- I mean Carl, thank you for your he'p, but if you really wan' to
he'p me, the' please, ge' me outta here. P_l_ease," Mulder pleaded.

"I will do my best, Mr. Mulder. I am not pleased with what my former
countryman is doing with the project. I do not condone this kind of
unnecessary violence, so yes, Mr. Mulder, I will try very hard to get you
out of here."

"Ca_ll__ my par'ner at the F.B.I. Ca_ll__ Agen_t_ Da_n_a Scu_ll_y,"
Mulder instructed with painstaking clarity.

"I will try, Mr. Mulder. We don't always have access to phones inside the
facility, but as soon as I do, I will call. I promise," Lidofsky

End of part 26/33

Part 27/33

Maggie Scully's Residence
Baltimore, MD

Dana ran by the house to pick up enough clothes for a two night stay in
Raleigh. She decided to pack a similar bag for Walter, as she realized
everything Walter owned was still hanging in her mother's house.

When Maggie looked in on Dana and saw her packing Walter's bag, she winced
slightly. Dana looked up and noticed her mother's pained expression and
realized she mistakenly thought Dana was retrieving Walter's clothes

"Mom, Walter, Jack and I are going down to Raleigh, NC for a couple of
nights. There's been another child's death and we need to go and
investigate the crime scene."

Maggie's expression visibly relaxed somewhat, but there was still a worry
line that edged her brow. "The poor child. Dana, have you heard anything
about Fox yet?" she asked. When Dana shook her head forlornly, Maggie
asked, "This doesn't look good for him, does it Dana?"

Dana looked at her mom with a totally shocked expression! "Mom! You stop
that this instant! I will not have you believe that Mulder isn't going to
come out of this okay. I won't. Now I need you to think positively, and
to support us in any way you can.

"Damn it, Mom, we're working our butts off trying to solve this case and
find the links to Fox's abduction. Don't you go and give up on us now.
Don't you dare do that to me, or Mulder, or Walter," Scully cried out.

At the mention of Walter's name, Maggie cringed. She knew in her heart
that Walter Skinner would have never intentionally done anything that
would harm her daughter or Fox, but the idea that his inaction might have
caused the heartache of the tumor and Fox's long, traumatic recovery, was
almost too much for her to bear.

She couldn't imagine why he never went to a higher level to find the
answers that Fox and Dana were always seeking. It always came down to
following orders like good little soldiers, and that was one thing Walter
Skinner was. Dana used to be, but not since she fell in love with the
rebel for every cause! And now, even her Walter was beginning to take a
stand, even when he had to stand alone.

Her Walter. She still thought of him as `her' Walter. She loved him
still, and Maggie knew she would do everything in her power to make it
right with him. Dana was right. He needed her support now, when it was
most important, in their search for Fox.

"Dana, here, let me pack Walter's bag, and you go finish getting your
things together," she said.

"Oh, but Mom, I'm__." Dana began, but then stopped. She suddenly realized
this was her mother's way of letting her know she wanted to be a part of
Walter Skinner's life, and something as mundane as packing a suitcase was
as good a way of showing it at the moment.

"Thanks, Mom." Dana walked out the door, leaving her mother to do what
she needed, and wanted, to do.


Unknown Address
Raleigh, NC

"So Mulder, what the hell do you have to do with the Smoking Man that Mr.
Krycek thinks makes you so valuable?" Franks asked without reserve.

"I don' know wha' you' talkin' abou'," he replied.

"Oh stop playing the moron, Mulder. I know you know a helluva lot more
than you're letting on. C'mon, what's the Smoking Man to you?" he cajoled
with a light tap on the shoulder.

"I don' know, and don' tou_sh_ me," Mulder demanded.

"Oh, so you don't like to be tou_sh_ed?" he mimicked. "Poor baby, he
don't like to be "toushed," he called out to no one in particular.

Since there apparently was no one else around, specifically Lidofsky who
obviously developed a soft spot for the guy, Franks decided to have a
little fun.

"C'mon Mulder. Let's play a little "tou_sh_ football! C'mon, I'll
tou_sh_ you and then you tou_sh_ me!" Franks harassed by pushing his
shoulders with his index fingers.

"Damn _it_ Franks, jus' leave me alone!" Mulder yelled.

"Why Mulder? Won't the Smoking Man come and rescue you?? C'mon, Mulder,
let's call up the Smoking Man and he can be on your team for tou_sh_
football!" he badgered both verbally and physically.

Mulder closed his eyes at this point, and tried desperately to not go back
to a similar time when he felt the physical molestation of an equally
unsympathetic and cold hearted man. It was, however, very difficult, and
with every push and shove that became more and more forceful, Mulder found
himself going deeper and deeper within himself in an effort to escape.

"Damn it, Mulder! Come on! Let's play! Let's play tou_sh_ football!
What else could we play?? Huh? What else? Let's see, there's always a
"Pun_sh_ing Bag isn't there?!" and Franks made his point by throwing a
punch directly into Mulder's jaw.

"Oh I like playing with my new "pun_sh_ ing" bag, Mulder! I'm gonna play
some more!" Franks proceeded to punch and slap Mulder senselessly. Mulder
moaned in pain, all the while trying to go deeper within himself so that
he might save, if not his body, at least his mind.

By the time Lidofsky walked into the room a couple of hours later,
Mulder was a bloody mess. Franks was sitting on the chair, muttering
nonsense to himself.

"Oh my God, Edgar, what did you do? Edgar, what did you do?!" Lidofsky
cried out.

"I just wanted to have a little fun. He didn't do nothing to defend
himself. The moron just laid there. Why didn't he defend himself. We
were playing a little game, that's all," Franks muttered mostly to

"Franks, get the hell out of here. Just get out here!" Lidofsky demanded.

He watched Franks stand up tentatively and move toward the door. He
wobbled a bit as he walked toward the exit, but he left without further

Next, Lidofsky turned his attention to Mulder. "Oh you poor, poor soul.
Why do you not seem to have any luck, Mr. Mulder. Where are your friends?
We must get you out of here, Mr. Mulder. This is not what the Russian
Rebel Force had in mind. No, beating poor defenseless men to a bloody
pulp was never what they had in mind.

He went into the bathroom and retrieved a wet towel and a dry one. He
gently wiped the blood off of his face, and the splatters off of his arms,
neck and chest. As he worked, Lidofsky could hear Mulder moaning in pain,
and see the tears that fell unabashedly down his cheeks.

Next, as Lidofsky tried to dry him off so that he wouldn't catch a chill,
he saw Mulder's lips move. Mulder was saying something, but Lidofsky was
unable to make out the words at first.

Lidofsky leaned forward and spoke softly to him. "Mr. Mulder, what are
you saying? It's hard for me to hear. Please, tell me a little louder,"
he pleaded.

Mulder's mouth opened slightly, closed and then opened again. He repeated
this motion a number of times until sound finally managed to accompany the

"Abah. Abah."

Carl Lidofsky sighed with recognition. It was one of the few Hebrew words
he had learned as a boy in Russia. It was, however, learned in secret,
as Russia was not a safe place for Jews when he was a young boy.

Lidofsky wondered who the man was that had earned the title of "Father",
because for some reason he wasn't sure of, he knew it was not bestowed
upon his natural father. No, this was a man who earned the title and the
trust of this young man.

Carl leaned over to pat Mulder's shoulder and try to reassure him. Next,
he made sure the bed's side bars were firmly locked in place.
Reluctantly, Lidofsky placed the Velcro restraints on Mulder, in the
unlikely circumstance that he tried to get out of bed and hurt himself.
He also considered the fact that Mulder might have another seizure, and
since no one would be in attendance, he didn't want to take the chance of
him hurting himself then either.

He took one more look at Mulder before he left the room. He had to speak
with Dr. Ellis. He had to do something to get Mr. Mulder out of here. It
was either that, or he knew he would have the death of this man on his
heart for the rest of his life.

End of Part 27/33


Part 28/33

Red Roof Inn
Raleigh, NC
Room 28

Scully knocked on the door of Walter's and Jack's room. She had changed
into more casual clothes and returned to room 28 to share her views about
the crime scene.

Walter opened the door, and Scully noticed he too had changed into a pair
of lightweight cotton slacks and polo shirt. When she entered the room,
she was surprised to see Jack Stein in equally casual attire.

"Jack," she chuckled lightly, "I confess. I'd always thought you slept
with your suit on." She tried not to, but in the end she couldn't help
staring a little at the man in his lightweight jeans and cotton Henley.

"Oh, but I do my dear," he replied wryly. Scully returned a small smile
and then her expression became more serious.

"Okay, it's time to focus gentlemen," Scully said. "First impressions

It was times like this that Scully missed Mulder the most. She could hear
him hemming and hawing now, wanting desperately to lay some outlandish
theory on her, but knowing she would shoot him down on every point. Yet,
in the end, she knew for some uncanny reason, he would end up being more
right than wrong.

"How are they dying?" Skinner asked.

"The children?" Scully probed. Upon seeing Skinner nod, she replied the
obvious, "Cardiac arrest."

"Yes, but how? What is causing the children, perfectly healthy children,
to go into cardiac arrest?" he asked further. "Is there anything we're

"Missing?" Stein echoed.

"Perhaps a pattern. Something the children all had in common that we're
missing which could give us a clue as to what caused their hearts to
stop," Skinner explained.

"Well," Scully began, feeling some of the old adrenyline pumping, "all of
the children had collapsed on their school playground."

"Okay, but what were they doing prior to that?" asked Skinner.

"All but the third and fifth victims had come from the cafeteria, having
finished lunch," she replied.

"Well, I guess that negates any theory about something they ingested prior
to going outside," interjected Stein.

"Wait a minute. What about the two children who didn't have lunch?
Scully, what had they been doing prior to going outside?" Skinner asked.

"Let me check the file." Scully scanned the file of victim number three
and then victim number five. She couldn't bear to personalize the
children anymore than by giving them numbers. It may have seemed
heartless to some, but it was the only way Scully could deal with the
fatalities of children so young.

"Oh my," she gasped slightly. "We may have something here. They had just
had a juice and cracker break. According to the coroners' reports, all of
the children had ingested some kind of juice less than an hour prior to

"Please tell me it's the same juice, Scully," Skinner almost pleaded.

"I wish, Walter. No, they're not all the same. Umm, two were grape
juice, three were apple and one was orange. We won't know what this
latest victim's choice of drink was until after the autopsy and toxicology
reports are back, but I would bet she had some kind of juice just prior to
going outside too," Scully concluded.

"Okay, so it wasn't all of the same juice, but do the juices have
something in common, Dana?" Stein asked.

"Well sure, sugars for one, and ascorbic acid, you know, Vitamin C," she

"Could it be one of those ingredients that triggered the cardiac arrest?"
asked Stein.

"How? They're such common ingredients. Don't most kids drink juice and
take Vitamin C tablets?" Scully asked.

"Yes, they do," said Skinner, "and perhaps that's the key. Scully, do the
coroners' reports indicate how much sugar and ascorbic acid was found in
the children's bloodstream?"

Scully returned to the various reports, and as she perused them she became
more and more animated. "I think you're on to something, Sir. The
numbers for the Vitamin C appear to be way above the normal levels. Like
twenty times the normal amount."

"I thought Vitamin C went right through you. Why would normal, healthy,
children have five times the normal amount of Vitamin C in their system?"
asked Stein.

"They wouldn't." Scully sat shaking her head. "We forgot one very
important part of the puzzle, gentlemen. We are not dealing with normal,
healthy children. Our young victims had the Black Cancer in them and it
was only after they suffered the cardiac arrest that the oily worms were
expelled from their hosts.

"Jack, did the Black Cancer have the ability to absorb Vitamin C?" Scully

" I don't know what all of the properties were. I could make a call and
try to get the information though." As he picked up the phone and began
dialing, he asked, "What about Mulder? Didn't he ever take Vitamin C?"

"Mulder never voluntarily touches a vitamin or any fruit or vegetable
that contained Vitamin C. The man lives on cholesterol, saturated fat and
iced tea," she explained.

Stein smiled slightly, as he noted Dana's pointed use of the present
tense. *That woman has the faith of The Chosen when it comes to her
feelings about Fox Mulder,* he thought to himself. *Good, he needs
someone who will _always_ believe in him.*

He waited several minutes while the technician at the other end of the
line brought up the desired data on the computer. The technician recited,
with some surprise in his voice, his findings.

The hosts did indeed seem to have an inordinate amount of Vitamin C
absorbed in their bloodstream. However, as they were adults, their
bodies were able to handle the overdoses with nothing more bothersome than
occasional diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. There were also a few
incidences of kidney stones.

When Stein asked about what the effect such large amounts would have on
children, the technician said the symptoms would be much more severe, and
could probably cause a great deal of stress on the body. Stein thanked
the technician and told he would get back to him if necessary.

After Jack related to the others what the technician told him, Skinner
then asked the sixty-four dollar question. Had any of these children
complained of illness prior to their cardiac arrests?

Scully looked in the charts of the Coroners' Reports, but didn't see any
information that didn't relate to the autopsies. Scully decided it was
time to make some more phone calls. She divided the phone numbers between
her and Skinner, and within a half hour they discovered that all of the
victims had what were described as stomach bugs or intestinal flues that
were slowing them down.

"So what do we do now?" asked a beleaguered Skinner. "Order children not
to eat their fruits and vegetables?"

"I'm not sure, Sir, but at least we seem to have more of a clue than
before as to what the cause of these deaths are," Scully said.

"Yeah, but are we any closer to finding Mulder?" he retorted.

"I hope so," Scully whispered in reply. "I hope so."


Unknown Address
Raleigh, NC

Lidofsky walked quickly but with confidence back towards the treatment
center. He was pretty sure he would find Dr. Ellis there, he just hoped
no one would notice his search.

When he came upon the room Mulder had been in, he took a peak inside
hoping he would find Ellis nearby. Unfortunately, there were only a
couple of medical attendants inside disinfecting the area. Lidofsky knew
time was of the essence and decided to ask the attendants of the doctor's

"Dr. Ellis? Umm, I think she's in the break room. That's right through
the door and to your right," one of them replied. Lidofsky mumbled his
thanks and went through the door in search of her.

He knocked on the door and heard a voice say, "Come in."

Lidofsky entered and was relieved to see Dr. Ellis inside, alone.
"Doctor, you must come with me, now. And bring a first aid kit."

"What happened?" she asked anxiously.

"Franks," was his short reply.

No more words were required to get Samantha Ellis moving in high gear.
She knew Edgar Franks wouldn't make life pleasant for her brother, but for
Carl Lidofsky to take a chance to come to her for help, Franks must have
done some major damage. She grabbed a medical bag that was always kept
well stocked for emergency calls, and followed Lidofsky back to the room
where Mulder was being held.

As she entered the small, stark room, Samantha's eyes immediately focused
on the ravaged body lying strapped onto the hospital bed. She moved
quickly over to him and began, with Lidofsky's help, to undo the Velcro
restraints. Lidofsky began to explain that he had put the restraints on
as a precautionary measure, but Samantha waved him off, indicating she
understood the necessity of it, but that it was imperative to get him free
as quickly as possible now.

"Fox," she called gently. "Fox, it's me, Sam. I'm going to help you,
Fox. You're going to be all right, I promise you." She looked at
Lidofsky and said with a quiet intensity, "I have to get him out of here."

Lidofsky nodded in agreement, and said, "What do you want me to do?"

Samantha looked at the man with relief and responded, "We must contact his
friends. His friend Dana Scully. I'm not sure where to locate her."

"I do. She works for the FBI, in DC," declared Lidofsky. "He told me,"
he said, when he noted Ellis' questioning glance.

"You've got to get to a phone, Mr. Lidofsky. You've got to contact her
and get help." She looked from Lidofsky to Mulder and then back at Carl.
"I'm afraid for him, Mr. Lidofsky. I'm afraid he may not make it this
time and I _need_ for him to survive this. I need _him_."

Lidofsky was unaware of the exact nature of the relationship between
Mulder and the doctor, but it was clear to him that she looked upon him
with deep affection. The only thing that mattered at this point was to
get Mulder out of here safely.

"Dr. Ellis, I think you should know this. He was calling for someone
before, and I don't know if you would understand its significance,"
Lidofsky began.

"Understand what significance?" she asked.

"The meaning of the word. He was calling for his "Abah," he explained.

Samantha looked at Lidofsky with a clarity that neither thought possible.
She repeated the word quietly to herself, though the movement of her lips
were not lost on Lidofsky. She rolled the word over her tongue and then
said it aloud. Samantha began to remember. It was deja vu again.

Our Lady of Mercy Hospital
Chilmark, MA

"But why? I don't understand, Abah. Why does my Daddy hit Fox?" she
asked the grown man sitting next to her. He had his arm securely around
her shoulders and gave a small squeeze of reassurance.

"I don't know, Samantha. I wish I did because then maybe it would help me
to make him stop. I don't think he means to hurt Fox, sweetheart. I
think he finds it very difficult to control his temper," he responded.

"I want Fox to come home now. He doesn't have to stay here tonight, does
he?" she asked anxiously. "Abah, he gets scared whenever he has to stay
in the hospital."

"I'm afraid he has to stay at least tonight, sweetheart. He hit his head
pretty hard, and the doctors need to make sure he'll be okay."

"Cause he has the seizures, right Abah? They're afraid he may have more
seizures if he hitted his head?" she affirmed.

"Yes, Samantha, the doctors worry whenever Fox hits his head that it might
make him have more seizures," confirmed Abah.

"But he never hits me, Abah. I don't get seizures like Fox, so why
doesn't he just hit me?" she asked innocently.

"He loves you my precious little girl," he replied.

"Doesn't he love Fox?" she asked softly.

"I hope so, Samantha. I hope so," he answered sincerely.

"I love you, Abah. And _you_ love Fox, don't you? Please love him,
Abah. Please," she pleaded.

"I love him, Samantha. I love you and him as if you were my very own," he
said, enfolding her into his arms.

"Dr. Ellis? Dr. Ellis?"

"Yes? Oh, I'm sorry Mr. Lidofsky, I was just remembering something from
when I was a little girl__," she explained.

"Doctor, I'm going to lock you in here with him. If Franks comes back,
tell him I sent for you to tend to Mulder's injuries and that I went out
for some coffee. I'm going to try to get through from a public phone
because I can't take the chance of using a phone in the facility. I'll
make the phone call, Doctor. I'll get through to them somehow."

She watched him walk out the door and then heard the telltale sound of a
lock clicking into place. She knew she didn't have any real choice but to
trust Carl Lidofsky. It did not, however, make her any less afraid.

End of part 28/33


Part 29/33

Walter Skinner's Office
Reception Area
Washington, DC

The phone rang and Kim answered it with her usual professional efficiency.
"Assistant Director Skinner's Office."

"Hi Kim, this is Mary."

"Hi Mary, what's up?" Kim acknowledged the well known communications
operator, who was practically an icon at the bureau.

Mary has worked with the bureau as a telephone operator for over thirty
years. The woman knew everyone and just about every bit of gossip that
could be known. *When Mary talked, people listened, and when people
talked, Mary listened,* Kim thought with amusement.

"Kim, I've got a bit of a strange caller on the line. He identified
himself as a Mr. Lido, though I don't think that's his real name at all.
He talks with an accent, and I would guess it was Russian. Lido doesn't
sound very Russian to me, does it to you?"

Kim knew Mary was not going to wait for an answer, so she merely shook her
head to no one in particular and waited for Mary to finish her
editorializing and to continue.

"Anyway, he asked for Dana Scully. Not "Agent" Scully, mind you, but
_Dana_ Scully. I asked him if he was a friend of hers and when he
replied, `no' I got suspicious. I rang Agent Scully's office but I got
her voice mail which said she was out of town on a case. When I explained
that to Mr. _Lido_, he became very agitated and said he had to find her.
It was very important. I told him I'd transfer him to _Agent_ Scully's
supervisor, so here we are."

"Okay Mary, thanks. I'll take it from here, okay?" Kim replied. She knew
Mary might have wanted to handle it further, but Kim knew AD Skinner liked
matters that pertained to Agent Scully handled with kid gloves. Mary
tended to use boxing gloves.

"Line 2," Mary acknowledged and disconnected.

"Hello, Assistant Director Walter Skinner's Office. May I help you?" Kim

"Yes, hello. I am trying to contact Dana Scully. It is of utmost
importance that I reach her. Please. Can you contact her for me?"
Lidofsky pleaded.

"May I have your name, sir?"

"Lidof__ Lido. The name is Lido. Please, Miss, you don't understand.
It's a matter of life and death," Lidofsky pleaded.

"Whose life and death, Mr. Lido?" Kim asked, wondering just how many crank
calls she should be required to handle in a day.

"Mr. Mulder's," was his short reply.

Upon hearing that, Kim went immediately into professional mode. She
informed Mr. Lido to hold on one moment, and immediately dialed up
communications to have them put a trace on the call.

"Mr. Lido, what can you tell me about Mr. Mulder? Where are you calling
from and where is Mr. Mulder?" Kim asked as professionally as possible.

"I need to speak with Dana Scully," was Lidofsky's reply.

"Mr. Lidofsky, Agent Scully is presently in Raleigh, North Carolina
investigating the death of another child." Kim didn't feel any qualms
about divulging this information, as it had been plastered all over the
media already.

"She's here in Raleigh? Oh my God. Where is she? She's got to come help
us get him out of there," he cried out.

"Mr. Lido, where is Mr. Mulder being held?" Kim asked urgently.

"In the Treatment Center. He's being held in the Center, but Dr. Ellis is
with him so he's safe for a little while."

Kim saw the light blinking and asked Mr. Lido to hold one more time. When
Kim punched in the line, she was informed by communications that the call
was indeed coming from a public booth in Raleigh. When she returned to
Mr. Lido she recalled his last words to her.

"Dr. Ellis? Who is Dr. Ellis?" Kim queried.

"Dr. Samantha Ellis. She's a good doctor, she wants to help Mr. Mulder.
But I think Mr. Krycek wants to kill him, and I am afraid he will kill
Samantha Ellis if she gets in his way. Please, you must find Dana Scully
and tell her we need_____. Oh God, NO! Please, NO!" Lidofsky screamed

"Mr. Lido?? Mr. Lido?? What's wrong? Please Mr. Lido?" Kim shouted into
the phone.

BANG! BANG!! Click.

Kim sat at her desk, numb, for a few minutes. She punched in the
extension for communications and asked them if they got all of the
conversation on tape. When she received an affirmative answer, she dialed
the AD's cellular number.


Unknown Address
Raleigh, NC

Samantha was becoming more anxious by the minute. It was well over ninety
minutes since Lidofsky had left to make the phone call, and he still had
not returned. She felt something was wrong, and came to the conclusion
that she and Mulder were on their own.

Dr. Ellis needed to come up with a plan of escape, but she didn't have a
clue as to how to go about it. She knew Edgar Franks, as well as Alex
Krycek were on the other side of that locked door, yet there was no other
means of leaving the room. Even the bathroom lacked a window.

"Fox, look at me big brother." She waited until he focused his eyes on
her. "We've got to get out of here. I don't think Lidofsky is coming
back, Fox. I think they got to him. I just hope he was able to get
through to your Scully first," she whispered.

Mulder worked hard to focus on Sam's face. He had a very difficult time
understanding what she said, since the one hearing aid he had had in his
ear was now rendered useless by the beating Franks had given him. He
realized Sam was worried, but he wasn't sure about what. He wondered
where Carl was. It had been awhile since he'd last seen him.

Suddenly, there was a loud banging on the door. Edgar Franks was yelling
into the wall of the door to open it up. Sam froze in her spot, until
Franks threatened to shoot the door open, and he didn't care where the
stray bullets flew.

She quickly yelled back she would open the door. As the lock clicked
open, Franks pushed the door open hard. Alex Krycek was right behind him.

"Well, well, well. Look who we have here," he exclaimed. "Why Dr. Ellis,
I didn't know you made house calls!"

"Mr. Krycek, please. Fo__, Mr. Mulder was beaten up very badly by Mr.
Franks here. If Mr. Lidofsky hadn't come to get me, Mr. Mulder could have
gone into severe shock," she tried to explain.

"I told you once, my dear, sweet, delectable, Samantha. I don't give a
damn about the health and well-being of Fox Mulder," Krycek spat. "But I
do find it rather interesting that you have become very attached to

"What gives here, Dr. Ellis? Is there more to this Doctor-Patient
relationship than meets the eye? You would rather have him, than me,
wouldn't you?"

"No, Mr. Krycek. You're wrong. It's not like that at all," she
stammered. Samantha instinctively knew it was imperative to keep her
sibling relationship with Mulder from Krycek. He would use it against
them if, no when, he had the opportunity.

"That's what you say Dr. Ellis, but that's not how you act. Well, you
want to be with him so much, fine! You can have him. No problem!

"But it appears we have had a small breach of security. I'm afraid some
people may now have information about Mulder's whereabouts that I had not
intended them to find out as yet. So, it's time to take a little trip,"
Krycek declared.

"A trip? Mr. Krycek___, Alex, please, don't do this. He's hurt. He
can't do anything to you," Sam pleaded.

"Of course he can't do anything _to_ me! It's what he can do _for_ me Dr.
Ellis that's important. And what he can do _for_ me is bring me the
Smoking Bastard. I want that son of bitch out in the open so I can be rid
of him and his challenge to _my_ power.

"All right, enough of this crap. Franks! Blindfold them and let's get
them the hell out of here."

Mulder watched as Franks moved toward Samantha and cuffed her hands behind
her. Then he saw him place the blindfold over her eyes. Mulder began
breathing more rapidly when he saw Franks walk toward him.

As Franks raised his hands to place the scarf around Mulder's eyes, Mulder
tried to take evasive action. Unfortunately, Krycek and Franks were both
able to quickly place the restraints on him, and Mulder was helpless to
avoid the placement of the blindfold.

He was terrified. Mulder couldn't hear without his hearing aids and now
he couldn't see with the blindfold tied around his head. He tried calling
out to his captors, but he didn't know what effect his cries had, other
than the blindfold and restraints remained in place.

Mulder felt himself being moved and, as a result, felt nausea wave over
him. His awareness of himself in space was compromised without a
blindfold, but now that he was in total darkness and without benefit of
hearing sound clearly, he felt totally and completely without equilibrium.
He was literally lost in space.

"Sto'. P'ease, sto'. Hel' me. P'ease," he moaned.

"I don't think so Mulder. It's time to go for a ride, and I think I know
just the place to go. Yes, just the place," was all Krycek said.


Red Roof Inn/Room 28
Raleigh, NC

Brrriiinnggg. Brrriiinnggg. Brrriiinnggg.

The trio each checked their cell phones and Skinner came up the winner.

"AD Skinner, it's Kim," she said in a tremulous voice.

"Kim, what's wrong?" he asked. "Kim, is it about Mulder?" A second
thought came to him that terrified him.

"Kim, is Maggie Scully all right?" he asked anxiously.

"Yes. I mean yes, Maggie Scully is fine as far as I know, and yes, I have
information about Agent Mulder," replied Kim who was trying desperately to
maintain some control.

"What information?" Skinner asked.

"A man called. A man with an accent, possibly Russian, called to say that
Mr. Mulder was in need of help. Sir, Mr. Lido, that was the name he gave,
said Agent Mulder was being held with a Doctor Samantha Ellis. Apparently
Alex Krycek is holding them both hostage. Sir, they're being held in

"Raleigh?" he echoed.

"Yes, Sir. Raleigh."

"Where? Where in Raleigh?" Skinner gasped.

"We were able to record and trace the call to a public telephone in
Raleigh. I have a street name for you, Sir." Kim paused, then gave him
the street location of the phone.

"Is there anything else, Kim?"

"Yes, Sir."


"I believe the caller was shot twice while he was on the line with me,
Sir." Kim was now crying quietly, and Walter spoke very gently to her.

"Kim, listen to me. You are to call psych services as soon as you hang up
with me and make an appointment to talk with one of the psychologists.
It's important, Kim. Will you do that?" he asked in his most kind-hearted

He remained on the line with her until he was confident she would make the
call. He told her he would check up on her later to see how she was
doing, and that he would call communications and arrange for the delivery
of the taped phone conversation. He hung up the phone and shook his head.

"Walter? What was that all about?" Scully asked cautiously.

Skinner took a deep breath. "I think we finally caught a break," he

"In terms of what, Walter?" asked Stein.

"He's here."

"What?" asked Scully.

"He's right under our nose."

"Walter, what are you talking about?" Scully asked, her voice now
trembling in anticipation of what Skinner would say.

"Mulder's in Raleigh. He's right here in Raleigh," he said, his voice
cracking. As he looked at Scully his eyes began to well up and noticed
Dana's tear up as well.

Suddenly the anxiety and stress of the last few days overwhelmed Walter
Skinner, and the legs on which he had been pacing back and forth just
moments ago, now buckled beneath him. Both Scully and Stein rushed over
to him to lend their support, but he shrugged them off.

Skinner needed this release. He melted to the floor and sat with his arms
wrapped around his knees. He sobbed quietly for a few minutes which
slowly helped to release the tension that had been building and building
within him.

When he was finally able to catch his breath, he looked up at his two
companions. He quietly explained his conversation with Kim. When he
mentioned the doctor's name, Stein's eyes opened a little wider.

"Walter, you don't think?" he asked the AD.

"I don't know, Jack. Dr. Samantha Ellis could very well be your Samantha,
but there's no way of knowing for sure at this point. All I do know is
this doctor is apparently being held with Mulder. I have to assume she's
allied herself with him. I hope so," Skinner concluded.

End of part 29/33

Part 30/33

On the Road
Raleigh, NC

Both Mulder and Samantha were pushed into the rear of the large minivan.
The windows were darkened, so it was impossible to see into the van from
the outside. The two passengers couldn't see out of the van, because they
were forced to endure tightly fastened blindfolds.

Their wrists were chafing from being locked into handcuffs behind their
backs. Mulder was particularly uncomfortable because his sense of balance
was so off at this point, he felt as though he were in a constant state of
falling. The nausea was also a constant, and one that he'd just as soon
relieve, preferably all over Carl Franks' shoes again.

Samantha had tried to talk themselves out of this situation once too often
and was now sporting a gag. This distressed her a great deal, because it
made it all but impossible for her to let Fox know she was still with him.
She could hear him moaning softly in pain every now and then, but she was
quite sure he was having difficulty hearing anything at the moment over
the noise of the car engine.

She estimated they had been driving around for approximately forty
minutes, but for all she knew they were traveling around in circles. By
the time she felt the car slow down, her arms were numb, and Mulder was
silent. She hoped it was because he'd passed out, since unconsciousness
would make any pain he was in more endurable.

Samantha realized it was most likely dark by the time she was roughly
pulled out of the back of the van. . Sam felt herself pushed quickly
through a doorway, shoved into a chair, and left to sit there for a few
moments. Next, she could hear Franks yelling at, as well as tugging and
pulling on Fox, and she tried to beg him to stop, but the gag prevented
any real sound from leaving her mouth

Mulder was literally dragged through the door. As Franks hauled him in
Mulder grunted and groaned the entire time. Finally, Franks threw him
onto the bed.

Mulder began pleading with his captors to take the blindfold off, which
struck Krycek as rather odd, since he figured the handcuffs would have
been the more desirable object to be removed.

Since Alex Krycek was in a "playful" mood, he decided he would leave
everything in place and let Mulder sweat a little more. He had no way of
knowing just what kind of terror he was putting Mulder through, but it was
apparent he wouldn't have cared even if he had known.

He walked over to Mulder and sat heavily next to him on the bed. The
shift of weight in the bed caused Mulder to panic, as once again he felt
as though he were going to fall. He cried out loud and tried to reach for
something to grasp onto for support. Unfortunately, his hands remained
cuffed behind his back, so being able to hold on to something for security
was impossible.

"Oh poor Mulder. You feeling a little off-balanced?" Krycek sneered.

Samantha grunted and growled until Krycek couldn't stand it any longer and
ordered Franks to remove her gag.

"Krycek, please, take off the cuffs and the blindfold. Mr. Mulder's not
going anywhere, and I'm not going anywhere without him," she pleaded.

"Oh how touching," he responded. "Do you always develop such a close
Doctor-Patient relationship, Dr. Ellis? Perhaps that's where I made my
mistake! I should have become a patient of yours in order to receive a
little TLC, isn't that right, Doctor?"

"Damn it Krycek, I don't know what the hell you're talking about. Mr.
Mulder is in a fragile physical condition, and I am a doctor. I would be
derelict in my duties if I left him without the proper care," she

"Proper care! Shit, Doctor, don't waste your breath. As soon as Mulder
gets me what I want, I will be putting him out of his fucking misery. Do
you understand? As soon as the Smoking Man makes an appearance, Mulder is
a dead man. I won't need him anymore, so you don't need to worry your
pretty little head."

"Then it shouldn't make a difference, should it. Take the damned cuffs
and blindfolds off of us, Krycek. Now," Dr. Ellis demanded.

"Oooooh, Dr. Ellis, you're so forceful! Well, fuck you, ya bitch!"
Krycek was fuming. He didn't want to let her get to him, but ever since
she had turned down his dinner invitation, he wanted to humiliate her just
as she had humiliated him.

After a few minutes, however, he willed himself to calm down. He needed
to focus on the task at hand, and decided he didn't want to hear her piss
and moan any longer. It was giving him a headache.

"All right, already, I'll take the blindfolds off of you. I'll even
uncuff you. Just don't try anything stupid, Doctor, because believe me, I
don't need much of an excuse to use this," he said as he pointed to his

"Franks," he continued, "you will have to be vigilant in keeping your eye
on these two. I can trust _you_ for this job, can't I?" Krycek asked.

"Sure, Mr. Krycek. Sure ya can. You know me, you can trust me," replied
an anxious Franks. Edgar Franks was informed of the untimely demise of
his former partner, Carl Lidofsky. He didn't want to tempt Mr. Krycek in
to doing the same thing to him.

Franks unlocked the cuffs on Dr. Ellis first, and as she removed her own
blindfold, Franks then went over to Mulder. Samantha called out to him to
take off the blindfold first, but Franks ignored her. Samantha bit her
lower lip slightly, as she realized Franks would do the complete opposite
of whatever _she_ requested.

Mulder's hands were now free and he reached forward. He began to claw at
the blindfold, and eventually, managed to get it off. Ellis observed his
puffy, reddened eyes and saw he had been crying. She started to get up,
when Krycek picked up his gun and released the safety.

"Where are you going, Doctor?" he asked menacingly.

Sam wanted to make a wise crack, if for no other reason to release some of
her own tension, but she knew Krycek was irrational and anything could
trigger a response that would not bode well for either her or Mulder. So,
she went into Professional Mode.

"I am going to examine my patient, Mr. Krycek," she said as she moved
assuredly over to the bed.

"But of course you are," he responded and pointed over toward Mulder with
the gun, as though -_this_ motion gave her permission to help Mulder.

Dr. Ellis walked purposefully over to Mulder and helped him to stretch
out, painfully, on the bed. She didn't know what she could possibly do
for him other than let him know she was there to comfort him. The one
thing she regretted was she didn't grab his medications. Sam knew without
the Tegretrol there was an excellent chance he would begin having seizures
again and soon. It scared the hell out of her.

"So now what, Mr. Krycek? How long do we stay holed up here?" she asked.

"Long enough to smoke out the smoker. And believe me Doc, it's not gonna
take nearly as long as you might think," he replied.

"Why not?" she asked innocently.

"Because the Smoking Bastard is staying in the room right above us,"
Krycek explained with confidence.


Red Roof Inn/ Room 28
Raleigh, NC

Scully spoke emphatically into the receiver of the motel phone.

"That's right, Sir. If we have the children who match the age and grade
criteria in the targeted areas take a simple blood test, we should be able
to identify those youngsters who would be the most susceptible to the
condition brought on by high concentrations of Vitamin C. Hopefully, once
these children are identified, further steps could be taken to prevent
them from becoming the next playground victim."

This was the last of several phone calls she had placed to the various
school districts and their medical personnel. She was able to convince
every supervisor to order blood tests for the appropriate students in
their district. She wasn't sure exactly what method they would go with
once a child was identified.

Hopefully it could be something as simple as a blood transfusion.
Ideally, it would be the antidote to the Black Cancer that the test group
of children had received. Either way, she was hopeful that another
tragedy would be averted.

When she'd finally hung up the phone, Scully felt so emotionally drained,
she effectively collapsed in the chair. Her neck felt so cramped from the
tension and stress of the cardiac cases as well as Mulder's kidnapping.
She tried to work the kinks out of her neck by rotating her head slowly,
but it didn't seem to be helping.

Suddenly she felt strong, yet soothing fingers work the tension knots in
her neck away. She looked up to see Walter, from an upside down
perspective, massaging the tension away in her neck and shoulders.

It felt wonderful, just like Mulder used to do when they were on a
particularly tough case. As she remembered back with fondness the times
she shared with Mulder when he was her partner on the job, her eyes began
to well up. As Skinner skillfully manipulated the tension knots out of
her neck and shoulders, Scully felt the tears begin to fall in earnest.

Walter hadn't realized Scully was crying, until he heard an actual sob.
"Dana, did I hurt you? Oh God, I'm sorry, I didn't mean__," he tried to

"No, no that felt wonderful. I was just remembering when Mulder would do
the same thing, that's all. That's all," she repeated, almost to herself.
Skinner knelt down beside her and gently rubbed her back in an effort to
provide some comfort. She looked at him with wide eyes that were brimming
over with tears.

"Abah, where is he?" she cried out softly.

"We'll find him, Scully. We've had the local police canvassing all of the
buildings within a five mile radius of the phone booth where that Lido guy
was shot. We're going to find him, I promise you," Skinner told her.

Meanwhile, Jack Stein observed the two of them, practically father and
daughter. He watched him perform the duties of an Abah, a role he himself
had known well a long, long time ago. A lifetime ago. He saw Skinner
offer her as much comfort as possible, yet all the while he tried to take
some small comfort from this strong, beautiful woman as well.

Brrriiinnggg. Brrriiinnggg. Brrriiinnggg.

The trio reached for their cell phones, but this time Jack Stein won the

"Yes," he answered.

"Sir, we got a new signal," the voice stated.

"A new one?" Stein echoed.

"Yes, Sir."

"Well, tell me," he demanded.

"Sir, it's a very strong signal."

"How strong?" he queried.

"Very strong, Sir."

"Damn it, man! Stop talking in circles and give me the information we
need. Where the hell is the signal coming from?!" Stein shouted.

"About a hundred feet from you, Sir, give or take ten to fifteen feet."

"What?" he asked incredulously.

"Mr. Mulder is within a hundred feet of you, Sir."

"Thank you," Stein responded and then pushed "End."

When he looked up from disengaging the phone, he saw Skinner and Scully
looking curiously at him. For the first time in a very long time, Stein
let a small smile form on his lips.

"Walter, Dana, it's time to rescue our boy."

End of Part 30/33


Part 31/33

Red Roof Inn/room 18
Raleigh, NC

Samantha Ellis looked at her watch and noted it was after eight p.m.
Mulder had missed his evening dose of anticonvulsant medication as well as
the antibiotics that she had placed him on because of the first beating
he'd received from Franks.

She looked at the various cuts and bruises on his face and realized none
were life threatening. The abrasions on Mulder's torso, however, did
indicate something to be concerned about. Sam worried his kidney might
have been bruised from Franks beating, and she also feared he might have
suffered some cracked ribs as well.

Neither injury would be life threatening in and by itself, but Sam was
afraid if he started seizing, he could do himself more harm. She wanted
desperately to get him out of there, but she had no idea as to how to do
it. The room had one window to the outside, but it would be impossible to
open it to even shout for help, much less escape through it with Krycek
and Franks watching her like hawks.

Samantha looked toward the small door to the left of the front door. She
stood up and walked towards it.

"Where the hell do you think you're going?" Franks demanded.

"I would guess beyond this door are the `facilities.' If you don't mind,
I need to avail myself of them," Samantha replied in the most haughty,
obnoxious, arrogant tone of voice she could muster.

"Sure, Princess," Franks replied, "but ya gotta leave the throne room's
door open. Don't want you planning any escape routes, ya know?"

"What? For Christ's sake, I am not leaving the door to the bathroom open
while I do my business, so you can go to hell if you think I am," she

"The hell you are! Mr. Krycek said I gotta watch you, and watch you I
will. So leave the damned door opened, or you don't go at all," he

As much as Samantha did not want to give in to him on this, her very real
bodily needs took precedent, so she did indeed leave the door open. At
least Franks had the common decency to avoid looking directly in the room
while she urinated. Krycek, on the other hand, did not.

Samantha turned her head away from him while she finished tending her
needs. After she'd straightened her clothes out, she flushed and then
washed her hands. She stood by the sink an extra minute or two,
ostensibly to "finger comb" her hair, but in reality she was looking
around the room to see if there was a window she could fit through if the
opportunity ever arose. Alas, there was not, but there was a heating pipe
that seemed to go straight up into the room above them.

Sam thought if she could make some noise on that pipe, perhaps the
vibrations would carry up to the room on the second floor and the people
could call the cops to rescue her and Fox. Of course, she thought to
herself, there was always a good chance that no one was even registered in
the room above them.

Krycek became impatient and ordered her to get out of the bathroom. He
pointed to the chair, but Sam went to sit on the bed by Mulder's side.
She ignored the piercing looks Krycek gave her, and sat down next to him.

"Hi, how are you doing?" she asked slowly and distinctly.

"Okay," he replied. "But my ches' and si'e hur's, Sam. It hur's a lo'."

"You probably have a broken rib or two. I think your kidney may be
bruised too, but you're going to be fine," she added weakly. Even she was
having a little trouble believing that line when she looked at the cuts
and contusions all over his swollen face.

"All right, enough playing doctor. Shut up for a little while, okay?"
Krycek ordered.

Mulder turned his head a little to try to find a more comfortable
position. As he moved, a piercing squeal was emitted from Mulder's broken
hearing aid, causing Mulder to startle and everyone else in the room to
jump a little bit too.

"Jeez, what the hell was that?" Franks shouted out.

"His hearing aid. Sometimes they do that when they're running out of
juice, or there's interference," Ellis explained calmly.

"Well, shit, turn the damned thing off, or throw it out, cause I don't
need to hear that crap again," Franks said.

"I can't turn it off. He needs it to hear."

"Oh for crying out loud, he don't need to hear anything," Franks began.
He walked over to the bed and looked menacingly down at Mulder who tried
to avoid eye contact.

Mulder was hurting too much at the moment, and he didn't want to
antagonize this madman. Franks, however, was probably getting a little
bored just sitting around, and decided to have a little fun at Mulder's
expense. He began taunting Mulder by pretending to shout, but he didn't
emit any sound from his mouth.

Mulder tried to look away, but Franks roughly grabbed his chin to force
him to look at him. He angrily mouthed the curses and gibes, all the
while brutally holding Mulder's face in place.

Then he would say every six or seven words aloud, while only mouthing the
rest. Eventually, Franks began screaming most of the insults at the top
of his lungs, terrorizing Mulder by the vehemence of the harsh words and

"What's the matter, Mulder? What the fuck do you mean you can't hear me??
Of course you can hear me, Mulder? You will hear me, and you will do
what _I_ say, `cause _I_ say so!! Do you understand you fucking moron?
You will hear me, `cause I said you will hear me!!"

Franks pushed Mulder's face back and walked away huffing. The man had
been screaming so loudly, he was out of breath and panting hard. Krycek
shook his head at the foolish man but didn't think any harm was done. He
didn't care if Mulder was taunted, he didn't give a damn about Mulder in
the least.

No, Krycek wanted the Smoking Man, and he wanted him now. He wanted to
teach the old man what the new order was and who was going to lead it.
Certainly, it would never be the Smoking Bastard. The Russian Consortium
had effectively blocked him out of any information regarding the Black
Cancer Experiments. It was he, Alex Krycek, who headed up this newest
Treatment Center, and the latest rounds of inoculations.

The children who were treated with the antidote were, in effect, cured of
the Black Cancer. The children who were in the control group suffered the
dramatic effects of the Black Cancer. It was an unfortunate fate for
those children and their families, but a necessary one for the
continuation of the project.

It was for the common good of the project, something the Smoking Man
forgot about in the last several months. Somehow, he'd become
sidetracked, ever since Mulder became sick. The old man's focus was off.
He seemed to be more concerned about the son of a bitch that was laid up,
crippled, in the bed, than what was really important.

He no longer seemed to be able to put the project first, and though that
did not bode well for Cancerman, it left open an opportunity that Krycek
was not going to pass up. And besides, making the bastard pay for the
loss of his arm would do his heart some good too. At the moment, Alex
Krycek was a contented man.

"Oh shit!!" Franks screamed out, and Krycek was no longer contented.

"What the hell__?" Krycek exclaimed. He looked at the bed and saw the
reason behind Franks' outcry thrashing about in the bed.

Mulder was going through a full blown, grand mal seizure, and threatening
to fall off the bed. Sam was trying to stabilize him and keep him from
rolling off and hurting himself.

The sight of Mulder convulsing again sent Edgar Franks over the edge. He
began screaming at Ellis to make the "moron stop the demonic dancing," and
Krycek then began yelling at Franks to knock it off, while Ellis was
shouting at both of them to quiet down.

Suddenly, the room door opened with a crash! There were approximately
fifteen armed, uniformed cops lining up around the perimeter of the room
pointing their weapons directly at the trio huddled around Mulder. The
two FBI agents that led the team stood formidably in the middle of the
room with their own weapons drawn.

"Federal Officers! Drop your weapons!" shouted Special Agent Dana Scully.
She edged closer and closer to Edgar Franks in order to make sure he was
disarmed. Meanwhile, Assistant Director Skinner took particular delight
in moving in on Alex Krycek, former FBI agent and current traitorous
bastard, and disarmed him quickly and efficiently. Skinner shouted in a
loud, clear voice, "Clear."

As Skinner cuffed his hands behind his back, Krycek, much to his dismay,
saw Jack Stein enter the room. As Stein stepped closer to Krycek, he
stared down the young Russian patriot and asked him, simply, "Why?"

"Why? You old fool, you don't know the half of it. You are way past your
prime Old Man, don't you realize that? You don't care about the project
anymore. You only care about the cripple over there. Look at him you old
fool! How can you put him above the greater good? How?! You were once
something great to watch, but now? Now you're nothing. Do you hear me
Smoking Man? Nothing!" Krycek shouted in his face.

"So why," Stein asked with his trademark calm, "if I am nothing, you are
the one standing here in handcuffs and about to be carted off to a holding

Krycek stared at the Cancerman with venomous eyes, and then did the only
thing he could think of, he spat in his face. Stein stood perfectly still
and didn't blink an eye. He remained expressionless until both Krycek and
Edgar Franks were hauled off while being read their rights.

End of part 31/33


Part 32/33

As they carted Krycek and Franks off to jail, Skinner and Scully were most
surprised to see Federal Agents Jackson, Browning, Hernandez and Anders
appear in the door.

Skinner was not only surprised, he was angry as hell. He recalled the
difficult time Jackson and Browning gave Mulder, and it pissed him off
royally that they thought they could get away with it.

What upset and angered him even more, however, was the fact that they, and
apparently many others, _did_ get away with it for a number of years.
Skinner felt horribly guilty that he didn't protect his agent more
thoroughly, and especially one that needed his protection as much as

Browning said, "We were listening to the scanner and heard something was
going down here, so we figured you could use some FBI backup?"

"Yes, well we have everything under control now," Scully said as she moved
to shield Mulder from ignorant, probing eyes.

"Agent Mulder had been taken hostage, but he has been recovered," stated
Jack Stein.

"Oh, well thank you, _Sir_," replied Jackson as he looked beyond Stein
towards Scully and Samantha Ellis to observe their attempts to stabilize
the still seizing Mulder. "God, what's he doing, having a fit?"

Scully put all of her energy into maintaining a calm exterior, but
internally, she felt her stomach was filled with a mass of razor sharp
blades. How people got satisfaction out of someone else's misery was
beyond her. Scully ignored the ass hole and moved back to Mulder to
assist the young woman.

"Who the hell are these shmucks, anyway?" muttered Ellis to no one in

AD Skinner turned to the two Agents in question. "Jackson, enlightened
people no longer refer to seizures as fits," Skinner said. "But then
again, we can hardly consider Neanderthals enlightened, can we?"

"How is Mulder doing" asked Agent Anders sincerely while he looked over at
the bed that contained Mulder.

"Fine, Anders, just fine," Scully replied, but her voice cracked just
enough to cause Elena and Jeffrey to do a small double-take. Jackson and
Browning, of course, were clueless.

Browning looked at Mulder, noted the soiled garments, and sniffed the air.
"God it stinks in here. I gotta get some air."

"Yeah, I think I'll join you," concurred Jackson. The two of them walked
just outside the motel room and began to trade tasteless "gimp" jokes.
When they tired of that, they began to recite, in rapid fire, the numerous
"spooky" gibes that circulated around the bureau for years.

Agents Anders and Hernandez, could only stand there, while Scully and
Samantha remained near Mulder to offer whatever comfort they could until
the ambulance arrived. They all tried so hard to ignore the tirade of
politically incorrect gaffes that were exploding just outside the room,
but Scully was unable to stand it any longer.

She charged out of the room to where Jackson and Browning were huddling
and began a tirade of her own.

"You idiots! You are nothing more than emotional cripples! You choose to
ridicule my partner, but it's you who are the morons. It's you who are
truly crippled. You don't even hear how idiotic you sound! How the hell
did you ever become FBI agents, you bigoted, prejudiced, sons of a

The three of them stared at one another, with Jackson and Browning mouths
gaping. Scully was now breathing hard, trying to regain her cool exterior
but was finding it difficult. In fact, when Skinner finally made his
presence known again, Scully swayed a little.

Surprisingly, it was Jack Stein who lent his arm for immediate physical
support. Dana gave Stein a small nod of thanks, and once she steadied
herself, let go of his arm.

The amount of energy it had taken for Scully to keep her true feelings
hidden for the length of time she did took an enormous toll on her. She
had been sorely feeling Mulder's absence these last couple of days, and
then to have these two idiots go on and on about him as if he were a
side-show freak while he laid incapacitated on the bed just inside was
just too much, even for the "ice queen"

She looked over at Skinner, and breathed a small sigh of relief. Somehow
she knew Skinner had an ulterior motive for having them all endure these
fools' impromptu show, and hopefully, he would now have enough information
to take appropriate action.

Assistant Director Skinner gained their attention rather quickly. "Since
we have apparently come very close to solving every aspect of this case,
you two are now officially dismissed. I expect you to turn in your badges
and weapons by this time tomorrow at headquarters in DC.

If I am not available to accept your badges and weapons, then I'm sure
Director Blevins would be most happy to do so in my absence. Do I make
myself clear, gentlemen?" Skinner informed succinctly.

"You mean we're suspended?" Browning asked.

"No, _Mr._ Browning, you are not be suspended," replied Skinner.

"Shit, that's a relief," he responded.

"Both your asses are fired," he declared with authority and walked to the
other side of the room. "Anders, Hernandez, get them the hell out of

"With pleasure, Sir," replied Anders. "Tell Mulder I wish him a speedy
recovery, okay Dana?"

Scully nodded in acknowledgment of Anders kind words, and watched them as
they grasped the arms of Jackson and Browning.

"What the fuck?" Jackson gasped, as he tried to shrug off Hernandez's
grasp. "He can't do that. He can't do that, can he?"

Jack Stein looked at the two disgraced agents and stated, "He can, and he
just did. Good day Mr. Jackson, Mr. Browning."

Hernandez and Anders led Jackson and Browning away from the area. Next,
Stein offered his arm to Scully once more, and she took it with only a
slight hesitation. The two of them walked toward Skinner, who now had a
most satisfied grin on his face. When the duo approached, Skinner said
simply, "That one's for Mulder."

Dana moved quickly to the other side of the bed to help keep his position
stable. She observed the swollen and bruised face with the numerous cuts
that were dried up. She watched as his body slowly relaxed from the
spasms. Scully placed her hands gently on Mulder's body in an attempt to
let him know she was there.

Dr. Ellis watched this small, red headed woman, who only moments before
had shown as much bravado and determination for ten men twice her size,
now show a tenderness and gentleness that could only mean one thing.

"Hello Scully," she said confidently.

"Hello," Scully responded.

"He's missed his Tegretrol, again. Has anyone called for an ambulance
yet?" Samantha asked.

"It's on the way," responded Skinner.

"And you are?" Dr. Ellis asked.

"Assistant Director Walter Skinner, Miss."

"That's Doctor, Sir. Doctor Ellis. Doctor Samantha Ellis."

Both Skinner and Scully looked at the doctor with probing eyes. Their
eyes widened a bit when they looked beyond the short, cropped hair that
was highlighted with blond streaks, the dark tortoise shelled glasses, and
the dirt-smudged face.

They recognized her as the spitting image of the Samantha clone that was
traded for Scully's life a couple of years back. Scully shivered at the
possibility that this was another clone. She then shuddered at the very
real possibility that Dr. Ellis was really Mulder's sister.

Ellis looked next at Jack Stein and stared hard at him, while Scully took
over the medical duties. She recognized something in the man's face,
something about his eyes that all at once startled her yet comforted her
at the same time.

"Oh my God," she whispered in small gasps as recognition hit. "Abah?"
she asked.

"Samantha," he answered. "Samantha," he repeated as he held his hand out
to her.

She grasped it momentarily, but then turned her attentions back to Mulder.
He seemed to be totally out of the seizure, and she watched Scully
silently comfort him. Scully gently rubbed his back and held him tenderly
in her arms.

"So, you're in love with my big brother are you?" Samantha asked

Scully looked at this young woman and knew instantly she liked her, and
that between the two of them, Mulder didn't stand a chance. She smiled at
that and said, "Yeah. Big time, in love."

"Good," Sam replied, "because he's crazy in love with you too. So it
looks like we've got our work cut out for us."

"What do you mean?" Scully asked.

"Well, he told me he was going to marry you as soon as he could walk a
straight line down the aisle. I suspect that we'll have our work cut out
for us teaching him to walk that straight line, but I think he's
determined. And with my help, he can't miss," she added with a slight

"Abah," Sam said, calling to Jack. "Abah, come here, please." Sam wasn't
exactly sure when or why she had lost her family so long ago, but she was
absolutely delighted to have found them again.

Jack smiled warmly and walked over to Samantha's outstretched hand, while
Walter Skinner turned chalk white and felt faint.

"Walter? Walter, are you okay?" asked Scully when she saw him sway ever
so slightly. She rushed over to him, and helped him sit down in the
chair. She gently, but firmly, pushed his head down between his knees to
get the blood flow back to his head.

"Take a couple of deep breaths, Walter. It's okay," Scully soothed.

"Did you hear what she called him?" he whispered anxiously. "Did you hear
her? What if _____?" He couldn't say it. He couldn't bear to even think
of the possibility.

"Oh Walter, don't do that to yourself," she comforted.

At that Mulder regained consciousness and looked over at Samantha. She
touched his hand lovingly, and said, "Welcome back big brother. Look who
I found!"

Mulder was fairly certain he understood what she had said, and looked to
the right of Sam with anticipation. He strained to focus his eyes and
discovered Stein standing arm in arm with his sister. He wasn't sure how
to react to this in particular, but this was not the person he was
anticipating seeing.

"Scu_lly_?" he called out. "Scu_lly_, where are you?"

"I'm right here, Mulder," she replied as she came around the bed and sat
down next to him. "I'm right here, G-Man," as she kissed him softly on
his very swollen lips.

Mulder moaned with relief that she'd finally came and rescued his ass
again. "What took you so lon'?" he asked quietly.

"I'm sorry, Mulder. We were working day and night to find you. You know
that don't you?" she asked seriously.

"I know," he replied softly. "I was jus' gettin' a li_tt_le scare', tha's
all." He looked at her with such innocence and honesty, that it took her
breath away at how much he trusted her with his feelings.

"Scu_lly_? Abah?" he whispered nervously.

Samantha heard his question, and started to speak, "Fox, Abah is____."

"Here," Scully said, effectively cutting Samantha off. "Abah is here."

"Where?" There was a tense pause before someone broke the silence.

"Over there, Fox," pointed out Jack Stein. "Your Abah is over there."

Walter looked up with a startled expression. He saw Jack pointing at him,
but he couldn't quite believe he was doing so. Mulder tried to follow
Stein's line of sight, but he was having too much trouble keeping the room
from spinning around in his head.


"I'm right here, Fox," Skinner called out in a loud, clear voice. He
stood up, walked over to the bed, and planted his patented Abah kiss on
Mulder's forehead.

"I' so happy to see you, Abah," he said with his patented Mulder smile.

Samantha felt slightly confused by this overt display of affection from
the Assistant Director of the FBI for her brother. She didn't know for
sure how this tall, balding man who was the Assistant Director in the FBI
fit into the picture, but obviously he was an important part to the mix.

Sam was the first to hear the siren that signaled the approach of the
ambulance. "About time the damned thing showed up," she muttered.

*This is definitely going to be one helluva ride,* thought Samantha Ellis,
*but one that was definitely worth taking!*

End of part 32/33

Part 33/33- The Epilogue

Maggie Scully's Residence
Baltimore, MD
Six Months Later

The children kept knocking over the white folding chairs, even though Bill
Scully was trying his best to keep his brood in tow. Scully's younger
brother, Charlie, was sitting in the back looking very amused at his big
brother, who looked so formidable in his navy dress whites, yet couldn't
contain his three year old and seven year old.

Another tall gentleman sat unobtrusively in the rear of the room. His
hands fidgeted for want of having a cigarette lit up in his hands, but out
of deference to his host and hostess, he willed himself to refrain from
smoking in the house. He looked around the transformed home. He
remembered where the hospital bed had stood in this very room during
Mulder's remarkable recovery periods.

He remembered the intense physical therapy sessions and the speech
sessions. The hearing aids, which Stein still saw fit to outfit with
microscopic transmitters in case they were ever needed again (to no one's
knowledge but his own.) And the search for his daughter which had finally
come to a happy conclusion.

It was easier for him to do his work now that Krycek was out of his way,
though he wasn't sure how long that would last. Krycek was as slippery
and oily as the Black Cancer itself, and Stein was certain Krycek would
find a way to make life more difficult for everyone concerned again, one
of these days.

But now he reveled in the happiness of his daughter and her brother. The
only glitch was Elizabeth's refusal to attend the wedding. He wasn't sure
what her reasons were, but he knew it hurt Samantha and, of course, Fox.
Hell, it hurt him too.

But that was something Elizabeth was going to have to deal with. He would
always be there for her if she wanted him to help her, but she needed to
make the first move. It saddened him that she couldn't do so on this day,
of all days.

Jack surveyed the room again and watched the antics of Maggie Scully's
grandchildren. Someday he hoped to have grandchildren, and smiled at the
thought. Before he realized it, he felt someone sit down beside him and
slide an arm through his. He turned to see his beautiful, albeit terribly
pale and frightened looking, Elizabeth seated next to him.

"Welcome, my dear," he said with some emotion.

"I don't know if I should have come, Jack," Elizabeth replied tremulously.

"Of course you should have come, Elizabeth. Your son is getting married
today. It was your duty to come," he responded.

"But does he want me here?" she asked frightened of the possible answer.

"Oh Elizabeth, don't you have any idea how much he wants you here as a
part of his life? Yes, my dear woman, he wants you here. So does our
daughter, Elizabeth." And with that, Stein placed his hand over hers in
an effort to calm her and comfort her.

Maggie Scully looked absolutely radiant in her sky blue dress, as she
attempted to attend to all of the last minute details, which were actually
quite few since she'd had the last six months to plan this event.

She looked over at the tall, handsome man, in the very beautifully
tailored suit he'd bought just for this occasion. He wanted everything
perfect for them as well, and when his gaze met Maggie's he smiled the
most perfect smile.

Walter Skinner walked over to Maggie and kissed her with all of the
tenderness a man who was hopelessly and passionately in love could
possibly give. He looked forward to this wedding for more than one
reason. As soon as the "kids" were married, it would be his and Maggie's

They had considered the possibility of a double ceremony for all of about
ten seconds. They all decided no one should have to share this day, and
that included the parents! So, Maggie and Walter decided that as soon as
the kids came back from their honeymoon, they would have a small ceremony,
go on their honeymoon, and then have a huge open house to celebrate it
with all of their family and friends.

But today was Scully's and Mulder's day.

It took them six months, but Mulder was ready to walk down the aisle in a
straight line, without the walker. Granted, he still needed to use the
cane, but it was a very classy looking walking stick, and Mulder felt he
could carry off the distinguished professor look with it.

He'd worked so hard to get this far in such a short time. He had to stay
in the hospital for a couple of weeks after the kidnapping, mostly to get
his meds back under control, as well as to clear up a mild ear infection,
and let the bruised (not cracked) ribs and kidney heal.

But once he was out of the hospital, Samantha Ellis was true to her word.
She worked her brother night and day, (which was made easier by having
her become a temporary resident of the Scully household) and between her
and Scully, they had him walking a straight line with little support in
under six months.

Sam also worked with him on correcting his speech patterns, and found that
with a lot of hard work, a smattering of blackmail threats about childhood
embarrassments (her memories, both good and bad, were coming back at an
incredible rate) and a little bribery (iced tea with caffeine, in
moderation, worked well,) Fox Mulder began to speak the King's English

Well, maybe not exactly the _King's_ English, but he was certainly
comprehensible again. (The fact that he sometimes spoke with a hint of
Sam's Raleigh accent was of little concern, but worth much teasing.)

As Maggie went about to tend to last minute details for the umpteenth time
that day, Skinner told her he was going to check on the children.

Skinner walked into the bedroom to see first how the bride was doing. He
was going to walk his beautiful adopted daughter down the aisle, and give
the bride away for the Captain.

At first Walter suggested that perhaps Bill Jr. or Charles might have been
the more appropriate choice to give the bride away, but Dana would hear
nothing of that. Her Abah was going to walk her down the aisle and that
was that.

"Hi. Are you ready?" he asked quietly.

"Hi yourself. You look so handsome, Abah. And yes, I am ready. I have
been ready for this for years," she beamed.

"Good. Dana, you look so beautiful and so happy. You don't have any
doubts, do you?" he stated rather than asked. He really did know the
answer already.

"No. Not a one. I mean, I know our life together will never be totally
peaches and cream, but I know we were meant to be together for the rest of
our lives. That's all that matters to me. I love him so much, Abah, so

"And I know how much he loves you, my sweet girl. I just know it." He
kissed her on the cheek and then told her he was going to check up on
Mulder. "I'll be back in a few minutes, okay?"

She nodded demurely and went back to the business of checking for
something old and something new. Skinner closed the door behind him and
knocked on the other bedroom door.

"Come in," called out the voice of Mulder's Best Person.

"Can you stand one more pep talk?" asked Walter when he poked his head
through the door.

"Anytime, Walter. C'mon in," invited Mulder. "What do you think of my
Best Person? She looks gorgeous, doesn't she?" Mulder was referring to,
of course, Samantha.

Mulder decided he wanted Abah to walk Scully down the aisle, and that he
would like his sister to act as his Best Man or Best Person. She had
stuck by him throughout the ordeal of the kidnapping and for the last six
months had proved to him that she was every bit as devoted to him as he
was to her all of those years he had searched for her.

Samantha worked hard, not only with Mulder and helping him to recover as
much of his physical abilities as possible, but also in procuring the
antidotes for those children whose blood tests had come back suspiciously
high in Vitamin C levels.

Samantha was a medical doctor first, and she did everything she could to
supply the appropriate governmental agencies with the information they
needed to prevent any more tragedies from occurring due to the Black

Skinner managed to find a slot for Dr. Ellis at Quantico and she'd been
making quite a name for herself as a brilliant physician and researcher.
The fact that her brother was also "Spooky" Mulder only added to her

At this moment, however she was getting ready to stand up for her big
brother at his wedding. There was no greater gift anyone could have given
either of them. Sam stood up on her tip toes to give him a kiss, and
Mulder returned the token of their affection.

"Fox, is there anything I can do for you?" asked Walter. "Do you need

"No, just__," he hesitated. "Has my mother arrived yet?" he asked softly.

"I don't know, Fox. I can go check if you'd like," Walter replied gently.

"She's not going to come, is she, Abah?" he asked sadly.

"Oh c'mon Bro, if she doesn't come it won't be the end of the world.
Mother was always a strange duck who wouldn't know how to handle happiness
if it bit her in the tush!

"Look, when we called to let her know _both_ of her prodigal children
returned, she didn't know how to react. She didn't have a clue, so she
stayed away. Why would you expect her, after staying away for six months,
to come now?" Samantha concluded.

"Because it's my wedding day, and because I invited her, and because I
told her I wanted her to be here," he replied forlornly, but then with a
sudden change of attitude, he said, "But you're right, Sam. I can't let
her inability to handle happiness ruin my joy or my wedding day!"

This was the new Fox Mulder. Everyone believed Samantha's return helped
Fox to look at life through new eyes. If things didn't always work out
one day, then perhaps they would work out on the next. "I'm proud of you
Fox. I'm so proud of all my kids," he said with pride.

"Thank you, Walter," replied Samantha, who was most delighted to have been
unofficially, "officially" adopted by the Scully/Skinner connection.

"Fox, do you have any idea of how happy I am for you?" Walter said

"Oh, sure Walter. You're just happy because you know as soon as Scully
and I get married, you and Mom are next!" Mulder chuckled.

While Walter laughed out loud in response, there was a knock on the door.
Skinner opened the door to see Maggie looking positively aglow with her
eyes glistening. "Maggie? What is it sweetheart?"

Maggie stepped inside and looked first at Samantha and then at Fox. She
started to talk, but felt no sound come out of her mouth.

"Mom, are you okay? Oh God, Dana__?" said Mulder.

"No, Fox! Dana is fine!" she croaked out. "I'm sorry I'm being so
cryptic, it's just that I'm so surprised, so wonderfully and delightfully

"Well Maggie, you've got my attention," smiled Samantha.

"Samantha, Fox, she's here," Maggie said simply.

"Who's here, Mom?" asked Fox.

"Oh my God," gasped a knowing Samantha. Maggie nodded to Samantha, and
then went on to explain to her brother.

"Your mother is here, Fox," Maggie replied.

"Oh God, I don't believe it," he whispered. Mulder felt a touch
lightheaded and grasped onto Walter for some necessary physical support.

"What should I do?" asked Samantha.

"Maggie, would you go introduce Samantha to Elizabeth. I think they may
need a few minutes alone together. I want to talk to Fox for a minute
anyway. Then, perhaps you could invite Elizabeth to come in here and she
can walk her son down the aisle with his Best Person," Walter said with a
smile and a wink.

"Fox, is that okay with you?" asked Samantha.

"Umm, yes. Yes, of course it is, Sam." Mulder then turned to Maggie and
placed a gentle, loving kiss on her cheek. "Thank you, Mom. Thank you so
much for everything. God, I love you so much." He then reached over to
hug her and she returned the favor.

Maggie then grasped Samantha's arm and escorted her out of the room.

Walter's expression turned even more serious. He opened his mouth to
speak and then closed it. He paused and then tried again.

"Fox," Walter's voice cracked a bit.

"Abah, I know."

"But I need to say it, because you need to hear it. Last year, when you
were so sick with the meningitis, and we didn't know if you were going to
live through it, I discovered something about myself that I never knew

"I discovered how to love someone unconditionally and without judgment. I
learned that I could give my heart to someone without always fearing it
would be shattered into a million pieces.

"And then when you decided that if the only way to save Dana was to risk
your life, by going through that God for saken Black Cancer treatment at
the clinic, I felt so much admiration for you.

"You've taught me so much, Fox. You've taught me humility and patience
and perseverance! My God, did you ever teach me perseverance. You've
worked so hard to get to this day. And you've taught me something else.

"Resilience. How you were able to come back from the depths of those dark
places you called a childhood is beyond me. How you were able to survive
the hell of working with the S.O.B.s in vicious crimes is beyond me.

"But you did, and I truly believe God, or whatever entity you want to
believe in, Fox, is rewarding you for it. You are marrying a woman that
was meant to be your soul mate for life. The two of you individually are
delightful, intelligent, and wonderfully independent people. But when you
are united today in marriage, as a couple you will be a formidable pair
indeed. You will be able to do together what most people only dream of

"You will love each other always, Fox. You won't have a choice in that.
But remember to always talk to one another. Communicate, and never, ever
shut the other person out of your thoughts, out of your dreams, or hopes,
or your fears. Especially your fears, Fox.

"I love you, Son. With all of my heart, I love you and I will always love
you," Walter declared, his voice cracking at times.

"I love you too, Abah," Fox choked out. The tears that were threatening
to fall for the last few minutes were now flowing down his cheeks
unimpeded. Fox reached out to Walter, and both men hugged each other with
a force that could only be communicated between two men with an undying
bond of love between them.

Finally, Abah planted his gentle kiss on Fox's forehead, and said with a
wry smile, "Take care of our girl, Fox."

And, of course, Fox replied, "Always, Abah. Always."

End of part 33/33


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