Subject: Familiar Faces by Susan Proto
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998

Category: Story, Angst, MSR, M/S/Sk friendship, Hint of Sk/Sc romance (Not
**that** Scully, the other one! <g>)

Rating: PG13 for language and mild (as if there could ever be such a thing)
images of Child Abuse/Neglect

Spoilers: Minor ones for "Redux 2," "The End," and "FTF"- more like a post

Summary: Mulder sees what appears to be familiar faces from his past, and has
to deal with the pain of living through those difficult times all over again.

Archive: Yes

Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, Maggie, Walter, and William, Samantha and Teena
(I still hate that name) Mulder belong to 10/13 productions and Chris Carter.
I'm just borrowing them. I won't keep them. At the end of the story you can
have `em back, I swear, (unless you *want* to give `em to me.) All other
characters belong to me, and if Mr. Carter wants to borrow them, all he needs
to do is ask. <grin>

Introduction: While working hard another story in which I have no idea where
to go with, this one popped in my head and very graciously wrote itself on the
old 'puter. I hope it meets with your approval.

Flames will be noted, but constructive feedback will be appreciated and
acknowledged! Thanks in advance, my friends!

And thanks to Vickie Moseley, for her honesty and help in making this one be
as truthful to the characters as possible! You are the best!

Familiar Faces
by Susan Proto (

Part 1 /3

They strode through the Smithsonian as any young couple in love might. They
walked hand in hand and pointed out things of interest to one another, all the
while smiling and laughing. A very normal, familiar sight.

Unless one considered who the couple was.

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully continued their lunch hour stroll as if they had
all the time in the world. Though in reality they only had about forty
minutes left to their self-imposed lunch break, they felt as if they had all
the time in the world.

They were given a second chance, and they were going to take every advantage
of it.

When they'd returned from Antarctica a few months ago, the two had made a
promise to themselves and to one another. They'd vowed to no longer hide
behind masks of false feelings. There had never been that moment of sudden
realization of how much they loved and needed one another. They'd always
known it. It was simply a question of acknowledging it to the world.

And acknowledge it, they did. Hell, they trumpeted it.

When they'd reentered the Hoover Building the first time since their return,
they had grasped each other's hands tightly. It had been a declaration to all
who witnessed it, and the couple had held on to one with confidence and

No one had said a word. Oh, there had been a few stares, and even several
nervous giggles. But no one had said a word.

And when they'd entered the office of their direct supervisor, Assistant
Director Walter S. Skinner, their fingers had remained entwined. And when
they'd sat down, in _their_ chairs, it was as they'd finally come home. The
only difference was they'd blatantly held each other's hands and had
practically dared the AD to tell them to do otherwise.

He hadn't.

He couldn't.

He wouldn't.

Skinner had felt it was a miracle they'd returned to the job in one piece.
There was no way he'd have reprimanded them for finally finding some semblance
of happiness, of normalcy.

So, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully's daily strolls around the streets and venues
of DC during their lunch hour were now a familiar sight. And no one said a
word. No one dared.

As they now viewed the Mercury capsule standing in its place of honor in the
Smithsonian, Mulder asked, "Can you imagine traveling in something so small
for such a long time?" Then he looked down towards the petite woman beside
him, and though he knew he'd catch hell for it, chuckled as he remarked,
"Well, of course with your little legs it probably wouldn't be too much of a
problem, would it?"

He was right. He caught hell for it. She wound up her right arm and punched
him hard in his left forearm. Of course her left hand never let go of his

"Little legs, eh? Mulder, I could still take you down anytime I wanted, and
don't you forget it," she responded in mock irritation, but her smile gave her

"Yeah, well you sure took me down last night, didn't ya
G-Woman?" he whispered, smiling, in her ear. He loved the fact she was a
redhead, because even though Mulder knew she had more strength in her little
finger than he could ever hope to have in his whole being, he could still make
her blush. And though it didn't happen very often, she occasionally let her
guard down.

Just for him. And he loved her for it. And he told her. Often.

"I love you, Dana. I love you so much," he told her tenderly.

"I love you too, Mulder." She reached up to return a kiss when suddenly, she
heard her partner gasp, as if in pain.

"What?" she asked in a sudden panic. "What's wrong?" All she could do at
that moment was flash back to another time when a kiss, what would have been
their first kiss, was interrupted by the sting of a deadly bee.

"Mulder? What's wrong, please?" she pleaded as she looked towards the area
his eyes were drawn to. And then she saw what it was that caused him to lose
all sensibilities. Or rather who.

A small, sweet looking child, around the age of eight, with long, dark brown
pig tails, was standing near one of the Apollo exhibits. She was animatedly
talking about something, as she was excitedly pointing to various things and
obviously chattering away to a man one could only presume was her father.

"Sam_?" Mulder gasped as he started to move toward her direction.

"__Mulder, wait." Scully grasped his arm firmly and pulled him back to her.

"But Scully, look. It's Sam__," he began in wonderment.

"__No. It's not Sam. It's a little girl who looks remarkably like Sam at
that age. C'mon, Mulder think about it. If you walk over there, you'll only
scare the hell out of that little girl and her father, and more than likely
feel very foolish afterwards," she advised.

Mulder looked at Scully, then back at the child, and then finally returned his
gaze to the woman he adored and trusted more than anything or anyone in the
entire world. He watched her as she looked over to the small child who looked
so much like a part of her partner's past.

And then it was her turn to gasp. "Ohmigod," Scully whispered.

Mulder slowly turned his gaze back to the little girl when his eyes caught the
figure of an adult woman reaching up to kiss her husband while at the same
time extending her arm out to embrace her child. When she released both
husband and child, Mulder had a clear view of the woman's face.

There was no doubt in his mind it was Samantha.

Or a clone.

"Scully__?" he choked out.

"Could it be the same woman you'd met at the diner?" Scully asked, remembering
the confession Mulder made about the Smoking Bastard's offer.

"I don't know," he began in a slow moan. "The woman from the diner could very
well have been a clone. This one could be a clone. I don't know," he
continued despairingly. But then his voice brightened a bit, "But the child,
Scully. Look at the child. Are clones able to have children?"

"You're making an assumption they're the birth parents of that child," Scully
responded carefully. "With all we know, I don't know if we should make that

"I have to talk to her," Mulder declared.

"Mulder, wait!" He turned to look at her with pleading eyes. "Mulder, the
same factors for speaking with this woman hold true as they did for speaking
with the child. You may frighten the hell out of her. You have no way of
knowing if she'll even know who you are. You have no idea as to how she'll
react and, even if she's the real Sam, you could lose her forever," she
advised, all the while holding onto his hand with one and stroking it with her

"But I have to know. I can't just let her walk away without finding out if
it's possible that she's__."

"__Mulder, I never said we wouldn't talk with her. I just think it would be
better if _I_ was the one to do the talking. I want to approach her in an
unthreatening manner. I don't want to scare her off," she affirmed. "Trust
me?" she asked quietly.

"With my life," he answered.

"How about your heart?" she asked in response.

"Always," he replied without hesitation.

"Then let's go see if we can discover who this woman is," Scully stated.
"Come with me, but don't speak. Can you do that, G-Man?"

Mulder nodded his head but without the conviction he knew Scully sought.


"Excuse me," Scully called out lightly to the woman standing next to the tall,
handsome man and young, endearing child.

Mulder immediately made a quick observation of the man. He was tall, with
light brown hair and soft, brown eyes. His facial features were strong, with
a nose much like his own. Large, but not so large that it totally overwhelmed
his face. He was what some might consider handsome, in a unique sort of way.

Next, Mulder looked at the child. Upon closer inspection, this child who, from
far away appeared to be an exact replica of his eight year old sister, was
actually quite unique in her own right. The child's eyes were the same soft
brown as the man Mulder assumed was her father.

The little girl's nose was more like the father's as well, which made Mulder
smile wryly to himself as he predicted some plastic surgery for the child in
the future. A man's face was large enough to handle such a nose. A delicate
young woman's face was, perhaps, not.

The child's mouth was small, and her lips remained pursed together in what
appeared to be a small attempt to remain quiet.

Finally, Mulder allowed himself to observe the woman, whose face was an exact
duplicate of the women who'd been previously brought to him and introduced to
as his sister. The one noticeable physical difference was this woman wore her
hair shorter. It was just a bit longer than chin length and quite wavy. It
looked attractive and, for some reason, made Mulder feel more at ease.

Perhaps it was the fact this one had some semblance of individuality about
her. Perhaps that was the telltale sign of the truth behind this woman's

"Excuse me," Scully repeated, looking directly at the woman. "I'm so sorry to
bother you, but you look so much like a friend of my family, I just had to ask
you if you were related to the Mulder family out of Chilmark, Massachusetts?"

While the man looked slightly confused, the woman looked somewhat dazed. The
child looked exceedingly curious.

"I'm sorry, who did you say?" the woman asked.

"The Mulder family. They'd lived in Chilmark, Massachusetts," Scully

"I __, I __," the woman stammered momentarily, and then said, "I'm sorry. I
don't think I can help you."

"I don't understand," Scully responded.

"I can't tell you, because I don't know. I was__," the woman paused as if she
couldn't believe she was about to reveal herself to this complete stranger and
her companion. "__I was adopted as a small child, and for some reason I have
no memories of the time before my adoption."

Mulder listened to this woman's explanation and felt all of the whistles and
bells go off in his head. It was her. It had to be her. It _felt_ like Sam.
He looked at Scully and tried willing her to feel it too. Mulder felt he had
to make Scully understand. He had to talk to Scully about this. The feeling
that the woman standing before him was truly his sister was overwhelming

"Now, if you'll excuse me, my husband, daughter, and I would like to finish
our sight seeing. We're only here for another couple of days and then we'll
need to return home. I'm sorry," the woman said sincerely, but with a hint of
anxiety as well.

"Wait, ma'am? My name is Dana Scully. I work here in town for the FBI__,"
she began. At this bit of information, the small child's eyes bulged in
excited anticipation.

"__FBI?!" the child squealed. "You work for the FBI? Oh Mommy, can't we go
visit the FBI? Please? I've always wanted to visit the FBI! It sounds so
exciting, oh please?"

Fox bent down to get closer to the child's eye level and then smiled. "So,"
he said lightly, "You want to visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation, do

The child nodded eagerly.

"Well, perhaps we can arrange a tour," he said. Scully shot her partner a
warning glance indicating he was probably taking this a step farther than he
should at this point. However when Mulder saw the opening, he couldn't
resist. "Don't you think we could arrange a little tour, Agent Scully?"

"We'll see," she replied tersely, and then returned her gaze to the young
woman before her. Scully could tell the woman was becoming more and more
uncomfortable as the minutes passed. Scully was afraid she was going to lose
her if she didn't react quickly. Damn Mulder and his impulsiveness.

"Ma'am, here's my card. If you remember anything, or simply would like some
assistance in trying to unlock your past, you can reach me here. I may be
able to help," Scully said encouragingly.

Mulder thought to himself, *That's it, Scully my girl. Offer your help. Be
kind to her. She'll listen to you.* It was then Mulder realized something he
hadn't thought about until that moment. This was the first time Scully and he
were together when "a Samantha'' appeared.

All the previous times he'd seen the clones, Scully was either missing and in
danger, or desperately ill and in danger. She hadn't been around in the past
to help him determine if the individual before him was really Sam or not.
He'd been going on strictly blind faith.

And in the past he'd accepted each clone as Sam, unquestioningly. The black
lung sonofabitch could always count on Mulder to believe, because he knew just
how desperately Mulder wanted to believe. And as long as the little skeptic
was kept out of the picture, there was never a possibility Mulder would _not_

The one person Mulder would have trusted to tell him, 'No, Mulder, she is not
your sister,' was never there for him because the bastards made sure of it.
They kept her away from him at times when he needed her strength, her
objectivity, her willingness to see beyond his heart.

Until now.

She was here now. His eyes. His ears. His heart. Why? Why was she here
this time and never before?

Mulder knew why. In his heart of hearts, he simply knew. This woman was his
sister. The woman whose childhood was a mystery to her now, but ingrained in
Mulder's memory forever.
He was sure of it. He was as sure of this as he'd ever been of anything.

It _felt_ like Sam.

"Ma'am, I don't mean to cause you any grief," Scully said, interrupting
Mulder's thoughts. "I just want to help."

The woman looked back at Scully cautiously as she took the card, but then
shook her head even as she glanced it over.

"No, I don't need to know my past, Agent Scully. I have a present and I have
a future. If I can't remember my past, it's because it's a past not worth
remembering __."

"__oh!" Mulder gasped as though someone punched him in the gut. The little
girl reached out to the still kneeling agent and asked him gently, "Are you
okay, Mister?"

He couldn't speak.

How could this be? How could this woman, whom he felt with all of his heart
was the sister he'd searched for all of these years, not feel the sibling bond

He'd never given up on finding her, never. He'd put his own life, as well as
Scully's life, in constant danger for his efforts.

If this woman didn't feel her past was worth remembering, what did that say
about his own quest? What did that say about him virtually putting his life
on hold in order to devote his energies to finding her?

How could Samantha not feel her past had some redeeming value? How could
Samantha not feel it was worth remembering? How could Samantha not feel _he_
was worth remembering?

Her own brother? Not again. Not this time. Not _this_ time.

Mulder suddenly felt his eyes well up and he knew he had to get out of there
as soon as he could before he made a scene. All he could do was clasp the
youngster's hand gently and shake it. He nodded his head and stood. He
looked at Scully and prayed she would understand what he was feeling.

"I'll meet you by the rest rooms in a minute or two, okay?" he managed to

Scully nodded in reply, but looked a little confused at his sudden desire to
leave. She stared directly at him, and tried to connect with what was going
on in his head. There was, after all, no absolute proof this woman was

She could very well be a clone just like the others, so Scully's skeptical
reasoning couldn't fathom why Mulder would look suddenly so overwhelmed. She
wanted to discuss the matter with him as soon as possible but knew she'd
probably have to force the issue.

Mulder, on the other hand, looked once more at the young woman he _knew_ was
his sister. Next, he looked quickly at the man he realized was his brother-
in-law, and then, finally, the little girl who was actuality his niece.

He was an uncle, and he didn't know how to make everyone else believe him.
He needed so badly for them to believe. Mulder quickly turned and hurried to
the rest room.

Meanwhile, Scully shook the hands of the threesome and thanked them for their
indulgence. And then, almost as an afterthought, asked, "Your names__. Would
you mind telling me your names?"

The man hesitated for a moment, but when his wife gave him a slight shrug, he
said, "I'm Mark Kaufman. My wife is Anne, and our daughter is___."

"__Samantha! My name's Samantha, but Mommy and Daddy call me Sammy or Sam for
short. I like it. Do you like it Agent Scully?" chattered the little girl

She turned instantly toward the child and shuddered slightly at her words.
"Oh, Samantha, I love it," Scully replied with a soft, tremulous voice. She
took an extra moment or two to look at the family before her, then nodded
toward Mark and Anne Kaufman, and walked away.

Before she got too far, Scully heard Anne murmuring to her husband, "I don't
know. I don't know if I want to, Mark. Please, just throw it away."

Scully didn't turn around. She didn't want to know if Mark Kaufman did indeed
throw her card away. She didn't want to know if, once again, Fox Mulder's
dreams and hopes were that easily discarded.

End of Part 1/3

Familiar Faces
by Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 2/3

They'd walked back to the office in silence. Scully had asked him back by the
rest rooms if he was okay, knowing full well he wasn't. She knew he'd thrown
up the lunch they'd eaten on their way to the museum, and he would probably be
unable to eat much more of anything that day.

She wanted to talk with him about it, but she wasn't sure how far to push it.
For example, she wasn't sure whether to tell him the family's names. She
didn't know if it was wrong of her to withhold the information, but, at the
same time, she wondered if it was less cruel to withhold the information.

They would have to talk about it. She wanted to understand what he'd been
thinking and why he'd become so visibly upset. Scully wasn't totally blind.
She realized the obvious. Hell, she even thought there was a _possibility_
this woman _might_ be the answer to Mulder's search.

But what Scully didn't understand was why Mulder seemed so sure this woman was
his sister. And if there was one thing Scully knew for certain, it was Mulder
truly believed Anne Kaufman was Samantha Mulder. But how? Why?

When they'd entered their office, they each checked their e-mail while
listening to their voice mail. There were only a couple of messages on the
answering machine. One was from Maggie Scully inviting both Fox and Dana over
for dinner that weekend, and the other was from the AD directing them to be in
his office as soon as they returned from lunch.

Scully looked over at Mulder and wondered if he'd be able to handle a meeting
with Skinner now. She knew he was fighting a little with himself to maintain
his composure in the office with her, so Scully feared Mulder might have a
short fuse with the AD.

Scully knew if they were on their way home, Mulder would have been willing to
talk to her about it, perhaps even seek some comfort from her. However, they
were not on their way home. They still had a half day's work ahead of them.

But now, they walked over the forty or so feet to Skinner's office. Since
their headquarters were no longer housed in the basement, the trip to the AD's
office was a much shorter one. Neither really minded, and in fact, both
Scully and Mulder felt almost a sense of added security knowing they were
stationed a little closer to their mentor.

Scully strode purposefully, while Mulder walked stiffly to see their boss.
Kim looked up and noted the arrival of the two agents. She nodded and picked
up the phone to inform AD Skinner. She nodded, and said, "Yes, Sir. I will."
Kim then turned to the couple standing before her and informed them they could
go right in.

Kim stared at Scully a second or two longer than usual with a questioning
look. Scully simply shook her head slightly, and followed Mulder into the

When they'd entered the office, Skinner knew immediately something was wrong.
He'd developed what Scully affectionately termed as 'Mulderadar,' and he
seemed to know whenever anything was not quite right with one of his favorite

"What happened?" he asked cutting right to the chase.

"Nothing happened,'' Mulder answered quickly. Too quickly.

Mulder looked wide eyed at the AD. He'd thought Scully was the only person
who would ever truly understand him. He knew he would face her later, at
home, and attempt to make her accept his belief that the woman at the museum
was really his sister. He was a little worried that he wouldn't be able to
convince her. Mulder feared he'd be out there all alone in his beliefs. Yet

But now Walter Skinner was trying to get him to admit what was bothering him.
It still occasionally surprised Mulder that his boss really cared about Scully
and him.

"Mulder, talk to me. I know something is troubling you. I can see it in your
eyes. Talk to me," Skinner asked gently.

"Nothing happened," he answered automatically. The defensive path of least
resistance had always been the easiest one for Mulder to follow. If he
admitted nothing, he wouldn't have need to take the chance of being proven

"Nothing I want to discuss right now at any rate. Is there something you
wanted to talk with us about, Sir?" Mulder asked formally.

Skinner's breathing hitched a bit at the tone emanating from the younger man.
Since the couple's return from their adventure in hell, the three of them were
considerably less formal when they were by themselves. The term 'Sir' was
usually reserved for situations when others were present. When they were in
private consult, the three of them called each other by their first names.

Well, except Mulder. Mulder was still, Mulder.

Although, every now and then Dana found herself screaming her partner's first
name. He didn't seem to mind in those situations.

And once in a while, when the situation was serious enough and warranted it,
Walter Skinner called his agent 'Fox.'

And it appeared this was one of those situations.

Walter stood up from his seat and walked around to the front of his desk. He
leaned against it casually and stood quietly for a moment or two and then
said, "I had a case I wanted to discuss with you, but right now __," he paused
briefly and then said firmly, "to hell with the case."

Skinner looked at his startled companions. He wasn't sure what he saw in
Scully's eyes. He was unable to determine if she was glad he was pursuing this
or if she hoped he would stop. He wasn't sure, but unless she said anything
directly, he planned to continue.
He only hoped his gut instinct was the right one.

Next he tried to meet Mulder's gaze, but the younger man now only looked down
at his hands. Mulder refused to meet his boss's eyes, so Skinner met him

Walter took two small steps and stood directly in front of Mulder's chair.
The AD then hitched up his slacks and knelt down in front of Mulder. Skinner
put a gentle hand on Mulder's shoulder. The older man half expected his agent
to jerk and pull away, so he was pleasantly surprised when Mulder quietly
accepted the physical demonstration of comfort.

Skinner looked briefly over to Scully who sat stoically in her chair with a
small smile on her lips and tears pooled in her eyes. She nodded slightly and
Walter took this as encouragement to take the next step.

He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Walter looked at his friend and,
with his hand still resting on his shoulder, asked him in a soothing, gentle
tone, "Fox? What's wrong?"

Mulder looked up and finally met the concerned eyes of his boss and friend.
He was having difficulty actually seeing the older man clearly, as his eyes
were so welled up with tears, he knew they would begin streaming down his
cheeks any second.

He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. The agent felt his mouth
moving, and he could hear some sounds coming from it, but he knew all he was
saying were nonsense sounds. He couldn't find his voice.

How could he turn a skeptic into a believer? If Scully was the queen of the
skeptics, surely Skinner was the king. Mulder wanted to convince these two
people so badly the mystery woman was his sister. Why was that so important?

It was important because he felt so sure the woman was Samantha, and if he
could convince Scully and Walter, then perhaps he wouldn't have to find the
words to describe how his heart was broken that afternoon by a woman who
hadn't a clue as to how much power _her_ words had over him. Mulder still
felt the sting of her claim that her past wasn't worth remembering.

"Whatever it is, we'll get you through this. You know that, don't you?"
Skinner asked with great tenderness.

"Oh God," he finally groaned aloud. "I'm so tired of being unwanted by them."

"Who, Fox? Who doesn't want you?" he asked incredulously.

"My family. Samantha," he gasped as if he were in pain. At this, Skinner's
gaze whipped toward Scully's.

"What is he talking about?" Walter asked angrily at the notion that someone
whom Mulder cared so much about would dare to hurt him so deeply.

"We saw a woman with her husband and daughter. She looked exactly like the
Samantha clones we'd all seen in the past."

"'Cept her hair was shorter. It looked pretty. My mother used to wear her
hair like that," Mulder whispered.

"Where?" Skinner asked succinctly.

"At the Smithsonian. The child looked very much like Mulder's sister at the
same age,'' Scully continued to inform.

"Nose job. She's got her father's nose," he said with a wry smile. Scully
shook her head in amazement that her partner felt capable of making a small
joke. And then another notion caused her to lose her breath.

"Oh for heaven's sake. The husband bore an amazing resemblance to Mulder,"
she remarked astonished.

"What?" Mulder looked up at his partner.

"I was so busy focusing on the woman, I didn't realize it, until now. My God,
Mulder, he could have been your brother," she said in amazement.

"So you're telling me she's been searching for me all of her life too and
found me in her husband, Scully?" Mulder replied dryly. "And they call me

Scully hesitated for a moment, and bit her lip momentarily and then confessed
the last bit of information she had for him.

"His name is Mark. Mark Kaufman. Her name is Anne."

Mulder looked up at her and knew what her response would be before he even
asked the next question. The tears in his eyes announced this was a fact.
The strength of his beliefs were very likely going to cause him to fall apart.
This was not what he wanted. This was not like him. He didn't want his lover
and his friend to see him as so weak.

Walter, however, still looked confused and asked, "What? What else?"

Scully took a deep breath. It was finally clear to her what it was that had
Mulder thrown for a loop. In the past, when Mulder was put face to face with
someone who claimed to be his sister, he had his doubts but he wanted to
believe so badly. He needed to believe the young woman brought before him was
his long, lost sibling.

But today wasn't a question of him wanting to believe. It was a question of
Mulder wanting Scully to believe. He was sure Anne Kaufman was his sister.
He only needed Scully to feel the same so he would feel justified in believing
so strongly.

As her tears began to flow, she saw Mulder begin to cave in as well. She
spoke softly, almost as if she hoped the softness of her words would soften
the blow to Mulder's already wounded soul.

"Their daughter's name is Samantha."

Even though Mulder intuitively knew what Scully was going to say, the shock of
actually hearing the words was suddenly too much for him. Mulder blacked out
almost instantly after hearing his sister's name. Skinner caught him as he
swayed forward.

"Scully__!" Skinner called out in alarm, but it was unnecessary as she had
been up and over as soon as she said the word. Scully knew he'd react this
way. How could he not?

She knelt down immediately next to her boss and checked the pulse in his neck.
She nodded, and then asked Skinner to help Mulder keep his head down while she
went back to her office to get her medical bag.

"He'll be okay, Walter," she said reassuringly. "He's probably in shock.
It's all catching up to him. I'll find a blanket and some smelling salts.
Just support him for a minute or two until I come back, okay?"

"I'll support him for more than a minute or two, Dana."

"Oh, Walter," she said, her voice heavy with emotion, "I know you will. I
know." She reached over and placed her hand on his shoulder and squeezed it.
Scully realized it was a weak attempt to let him know just how much his
friendship meant to her and Mulder both, but it was all she had the strength
for at the moment.

She stood up and left to get her medical bag. By the time she'd returned,
Mulder had regained consciousness and was fighting a losing battle against the
tears that fell continuously.

Each time he tried to catch his breath, a new sob would find its way out of
his mouth and the tears would begin anew. At this point, Scully wasn't sure
if he was more upset over his sister, or the notion he was unable to regain
control in Skinner's presence.

Some time passed, and Walter was getting worried. He continued to kneel
nearby his agent and offered a comforting pat on the shoulder every now and
then, but he wondered if there wasn't more either he or Scully could do for

"Dana? Dana, he must be exhausted. Isn't there anything you could give him
to help him calm down?" Skinner asked.

"I was going to give him another few minutes to see if he could regain control
on his own. He hates taking any kind of medication, Walter. Never did get
the full story as to why, but nonetheless, I usually have to do battle with
him to get him to take it," Scully explained.

"Well, battle with him now. Maybe it'll kick him in the ass enough to make
him get a hold of himself," he said, and then in words spoken much softer and
for her ears only, the AD said, "Please Dana, do something for him. He's
scaring the hell out of me."

Scully reached into her medical bag and withdrew a hypodermic syringe with a
pre-measured dosage of Valium in it. She held it up in front of him and waved
it a little in front of his face to get his attention.

"Mulder, look at me. If you need some help, it's okay. I have some Valium
here to help you, if you think you need it. What do you want to do? Mulder?
Fox, do you want the medication?" she asked evenly.

Mulder tried desperately to focus on the words she spoke and the tone of voice
she used. He knew she was not angry with him. He remembered there had always
been angry voices when he cried as a kid.

His father was always there, waving a syringe in front of him then too, but
his father never gave him the choice. Bill Mulder simply shot his son up into
a stupor and never gave him the chance to calm himself back down.

It had always been so hard to find his way back from those hazy, drugged
filled days. He'd vowed to never take another Valium as long as he lived, but
at the moment, it didn't seem like a bad idea. Scully had given him
injections before, and it was never as much as his father used to give him.
His father's injections used to put him totally out for hours and hours.

Often he'd found himself in a strange place, feeling all sorts of aches and
pains, after he'd woken up from one of those episodes. That was the reason he
was so fearful of drugs. He never wanted to lose that kind of control again.

But Mulder also knew he wasn't able to regain control of his emotions now, and
he knew he was frightening both his partner and his boss. Hell, he was
scaring himself too. He was uncertain if he'd be able to get out of this
particular dark hole on his own.

He trusted Scully. He trusted her with his heart and his life.

He looked at Scully and simply nodded.

Scully removed the blanket and rolled up Mulder's shirtsleeve. She swabbed
the area and injected the medication. She offered soft comforting words,
which he heard, but didn't really understand. It didn't matter.

Several minutes passed when Mulder felt Scully grasping his right hand and
Skinner holding onto his left.

"C'mon Mulder, let's get you over to the couch to stretch out," Walter said
soothingly. "You're gonna be fine. You just need to rest a little bit."

All Mulder could do at this point was nod. The idea of a little rest sounded
very good to him at the moment.

End of part 2/3

Familiar Faces
by Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 3/3

He woke up when he felt light, comforting kisses touch his forehead, his
cheeks, his nose, and then finally his lips. Mulder's eyes fluttered open
slowly, almost in protest, but when he caught sight of the beautiful red
headed lady before him, he no longer minded.


"Hey, yourself. Have a good rest?" Scully asked.

"I guess. What time is it?" he asked, almost fearful he might have lost an
entire day or two.

"Four-thirty. We let you sleep for a couple of hours, but I wanted to make
sure you'd be able to sleep tonight. So, up and at 'em, G-Man," she answered
in her patented matter of fact Scully tone, as if it were common place for her
partner to hair out to the point of needing medication and a stretch on the
AD's couch.

His boss's couch. Shit.

Mulder looked a bit around the room to see if he could spot the AD in the
room. Even though the three of them had become much closer and more at ease
with one another, Mulder still was uncomfortable in showing the man any of his
all too many weaknesses.

And did he make a show of it today. Mulder hadn't felt this humiliated in a
long time. He didn't want to remember the last time he felt so humiliated.
That was a pain not worth recalling.

"Skinner?" Mulder whispered.

"He stepped out for a few minutes to give us some privacy when you woke up.
He thought you might need it and figured I might want it," she added with what
Mulder could only describe as a lilting leer.

If there was one thing that surprised Mulder in this new aspect of their
relationship, it was Scully's blatant use of her sexuality with him. She'd
traded quips with him before, but the double entendres had been far and few
between. Now, however, she initiated them.

And he loved her more than ever for it.

"And why would he think you'd want it, G-Woman?" he returned in kind.

"Oh, maybe because of this." Scully leaned down and pressed her lips to his,
and proceeded to explore every crevice of her partner's mouth.

When there was loud knock at the door, they separated quickly and both
chuckled at the sound of the very loud suction that was emitted between them.

"Dana, Mulder. I assume it's safe to come back in the water?" he asked with a

That was the other surprise in their newly developing relationship. Mulder
discovered Walter Skinner had a sense of humor. Sometimes the man was funny.
Actually, the man could be downright hilarious.

Of course, this was not necessarily one of those times, but it looked like he
was having a good time at least.

"Yes, Walter. Thank you," Scully said smiling.

"You're welcomed." And then he turned to Mulder and asked, "You doing

Mulder was grateful the AD didn't ask him if he was okay, because he honestly
didn't know the answer to that. He didn't know if he'd be okay for a long
time, but he was doing better. Hell, he'd stopped crying, so that was better.

"Yeah, I'm doing better."

"Good. Look, let's call this day a wrap, okay? You two go home," Walter

"What about the case?" Mulder asked as he began to slowly rise from the couch.

"Tomorrow. Eight-thirty a.m. in my office. Be on time, Agents."

Both Mulder and Scully smiled and nodded their affirmations of the orders.
Then Mulder asked lightly, but with just a hint of trepidation, "Walter, do
you want to join us for dinner?"

Skinner looked at his agent in true admiration. He knew just how hard that
invitation was for him to make, because Skinner realized the episode in the
office was one that he'd have much preferred to keep a private matter between
he and his partner. But the fact that Mulder allowed himself to be medicated
in front of him, and the fact that he was open to sharing his company even in
the wake of what was understandably an embarrassing experience, made Walter
Skinner feel incredibly proud and lucky.

Proud to have gained his agent's trust.

Lucky to have gained his friend's trust.

But he also knew Mulder and Scully both needed some time to decompress. Now
was not the time to be the third wheel. Another time. Soon. Besides, he
couldn't even if he wanted to.

"Mulder, I appreciate the invite, but the fact is, I already have plans," he
said with a twinkle in his eye.

"Walter? What are you not telling us?" Scully asked curiously.

"Well, if you must know __," he paused for effect when Mulder broke in.

"__Walter Skinner, you have a date!" he grinned like the Cheshire cat.

"As a matter of fact, I do," he replied in kind.

"And just who is the lucky lady?" Scully asked with even greater curiosity.
"Do we know her?"

"As a matter of fact you do. Umm, quite well," Skinner replied, turning a
little red in the face as he did.

"Why Walter Skinner, I do believe you're blushing. Just who is this little
'chickadee'?" Dana asked in a somewhat territorial tone of voice.

"Umm, well, if you want to wait a few more minutes, you might just get to see
for yourself. You see,'' he began somewhat nervously, "while you two were
whiling away the hours in your little Antarctica adventure, I had to keep
calling with updates on your whereabouts and then your condition.

"Then when you finally were well enough to travel back to DC, but still
confined to the hospital, well we'd see each other there, and well, Dana, it
just seemed to be the most natural thing to do, so__," Skinner stammered and
stuttered his explanation with nary a breath in between.

Scully remained somewhat clueless, but Mulder understood immediately.

"__Holy shit!" he drawled.

"Excuse me, Agent Mulder," Skinner retorted as he tried desperately to regain
some control and decorum in his office. He knew, however, it was a hopeless
situation. Mulder, for all intents and purposes, snagged him.

"What?" Scully asked in total confusion. "Mulder, what?"

"So, Walter, do you have any plans for this weekend?" Mulder asked smiling.

Walter looked at Mulder and realized he was snagged big time. "Yes, as a
matter of fact I do. I'm having dinner with my lady friend and her family,"
he said with a small smile.

"Really. Must be serious," Mulder replied.

"What?!" Scully was going insane at this point. If there was one thing she
hated, it was being left out of the loop. "Mulder, what are you talking
about? Oh, and Mulder, please don't make plans for the weekend. Mom left a
message on the answering machine inviting us for the weekend, remember?"

"Uh-huh," Mulder replied smiling broadly.

"Oh. Okay, so, then why__?" Scully stopped cold. She felt like she was in
one of those ridiculous "Three Stooges" movies Mulder was so fond of
vegetating on. She felt like Moe just klunked her over the head with a two by

"Holy shit!" she exclaimed.

"Dana Katherine Scully, do you always use such language in front of your
superior?" asked the light hearted voice from behind her.

"Only when I find out my superior has been dating my mother, Mother!" Dana
replied as she turned around laughing.

"So," Mulder began, trying to keep a straight face but not succeeding very
well at all, "how long have you two kids been sneaking around behind our
backs?" At this point, Mulder simply burst out laughing.

Skinner looked at Mulder. He knew the younger man was having fun with him and
he didn't mind in the least. It had been a tough afternoon and felt they all
deserved a break. Skinner decided to join in the fun and raised his arm and
pretended he was going to deck Mulder for the remark. He expected Mulder to
react in kind, so Skinner was totally unprepared for the reaction he got.

As soon as Skinner raised his arm and came close to the younger man's face,
Mulder flinched so hard he jerked back into Maggie Scully and nearly knocked
her over.

"Oh God, I'm sorry," Mulder cried out in horror at the thought of hurting Mrs.

"Fox, I'm not hurt, sweetheart. I'm okay. Really," assured Maggie. She took
hold of Mulder's trembling hand in an attempt to comfort him.

"Mulder, I'm sorry. I wasn't going to hit you, I swear," said a very contrite
Walter Skinner. "Oh God. I am so sorry. I didn't mean to scare you like

"It's okay," Mulder replied finding his voice again. "A normal person would
have realized you were kidding around. It's just reflex, I guess."

Skinner was deeply disturbed by that remark. He couldn't understand why that
reflex would be so fully ingrained in the younger man's mind. He knew now was
not the time, but someday, he was going to sit down and have a real heart to
heart talk with this man. He cared too much about him, his partner, and his
partner's mother, to allow these demons of his to take control.

"Are you okay, now?" Skinner asked. He looked long and hard at Mulder, and
the younger man read that look perfectly. He realized Walter was going to let
his 'reflex' comment die for now, but it would be resurrected at a later date.

Mulder smiled and nodded his understanding, and then said, "I'm okay now.
Really. We're going to get going. We'll see you both this weekend, right
Mrs. Scully?"

"Absolutely, dear," she replied warmly. She reached over to give him a kiss
on the cheek and a comforting hug. She then did the same with her daughter.
"I love you both very much," she said loudly enough for them both to hear.

As Mulder and Scully walked to the office exit, Mulder turned around and, to
show there were no hard feelings, teasingly said, "Now you make sure you two
kids don't do anything we wouldn't do."

"Hey Mulder," the AD called back, grinning from ear to ear, "Thanks!"

Walter broke out laughing as he heard Scully admonish her partner, "Mulder,
that's my mother we're talking about!"


They were quietly gathering whatever files they needed to review at home when
Scully's phone rang.


She listened to the voice on the other end and said she'd be right down.

"Mulder, I'll be right back."

"Where you going?" he asked curiously.

"Oh, Jake called up from the front desk with a question. I told him I'd run
down and give him a hand. No biggie. I'll be back up here in a few

"Okay, partner. See you in a few," he replied calmly.

She got up and walked towards the door in a casual gait, though in reality she
wanted to fly out of there as quickly as possible.

When Scully reached the front information desk, her heart was in her mouth at
the sight before her. Anne Kaufman stood there, nervously clutching the small
business card Scully had handed to her earlier.

"Mrs. Kaufman?" she called out gently as if she were trying to catch a wounded

"Yes?" she said as she turned around and saw Dana. "Agent Scully. I didn't
know if I'd find you here this late."

"You lucked out. My partner and I were actually just getting ready to leave."

"Oh, I'm sorry. I shouldn't keep you then. I shouldn't have even come.
Please. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," she repeated over and over.

"No, please, Mrs. Kaufman, it's all right. We usually stay much later than
this, so there's no problem. You came here for a reason. It's okay. Tell me
what I can do for you," Scully asked soothingly.

"I'm not sure. I'm really not sure. It's just that it was so odd, after we'd
parted, I couldn't get the name you mentioned out of my mind. Mulder. It
just kept twisting and twisting in my mind, over and over again. Quite
honestly, I became a little frightened and felt my heart racing. Mark looked
at me and asked me if I was all right, and to be honest, I didn't know what to
say. I wasn't sure if I was all right.

"Agent Scully, the last time I'd felt that way was when I was a small child.
I would wake up from nightmares and feel my heart racing like that. It had
felt like I was going to die, like my heart was going to explode. Well, it
scared me to death when I was a child, and it scared the hell out of me again

"I don't know why the name Mulder had that effect on me. I don't want to go
through nightmares again like I did as a child. I won't go through that

"I told you earlier I didn't remember anything from the time before my
adoption, and for the most part that's true. I also told you that if the most
likely reason I don't remember anything from that time was because I didn't
consider it worth remembering. That, for the most part, is a lie.

"I'm scared, Agent Scully. I'm scared to remember. I know there are reasons
I don't remember, and it's those unknown reasons that frighten me the most.
If I saw something bad happen, or if something bad happened to me, or to
someone I loved, I don't know if I could handle going through that again.

"I don't know if I want to take the chance," she said quietly.

"So, why?" Scully asked gently. "Why are you here?"

Anne Kaufman stood quietly for a few minutes as she pondered what she wanted
to say. Finally, she looked at her and said, "Because as we were walking
around the museum, I started to remember. I remembered something from that
time, and I can't recall ever having that kind of clarity of memory before."

Scully waited patiently. She knew Anne would reveal whatever it was that
caused her to seek her confidence out. Finally, Anne breathed in deeply and
then exhaled slowly. A deep cleansing breath she remembered from her Lamaze

"This is going to sound a little crazy. I mean, it sounds crazy to me,
because I don't know what it means. But it's so clear. So clear."

Scully couldn't help but begin to feel some impatience now. She wanted to
shout at the woman to spit it out already, but she didn't. Scully knew how
difficult this admission, this confession, must have felt to Anne Kaufman.

"It's okay, Anne. You can tell me. I'm not here to judge you, only to offer
whatever assistance I can," Scully said in encouragement.

"I remember __, I remember an animal." And just as Anne was ready to
continue, both women felt a third presence walk up behind them. Anne looked
up into Mulder's quiet, pale, but smiling, face. She spoke with a renewed
confidence she hadn't remembered feeling since she was a little girl.

"I remember a fox."

End of Part 3/3

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**And as I do not plan to take this little ditty to a next step, anyone out
there who feels a sequel is in order may do so with my blessing.**