Life Cycles V: Under the Chuppa
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997
From: STPteach <>

Category: Angst, MSR
Rating: PG13 for some language
Spoilers: Through season 4

Summary: As Scully and Maggie deal with the "normal" last minute problems
the preparation for the impending nuptials, they fail to realize that Mulder
is having some very real problems of his own. It's a good thing someone is
watching over him…

Archive: Yes.

Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully belong to 10/13 productions and Chris Carter.
Since I have learned to play nice in the sandbox, I am only borrowing them
promise to return them at the end of the story. Honest. I promise.
me. Please, because I couldn’t afford to be sued on my salary.

Introduction: This is the fifth piece in the series. It takes place on the
Proto time line after Thanksgiving Friends, hence, it shall be known as LC-V
.What can I say? The stories are going in a chronological order, so for
continuity's sake you might want to read the others first, but if you don't
want to do that, I believe all of them could be stand alones, maybe…

Thanks again to Vickie Moseley (whose name I just realized I've been
misspelling all this time…. shame on me!! And why didn't anyone tell me??
I'm so sorry, Vickie with an "ie" and not an "ey." Oy.)

Also, at Vickie's suggestion, I've included, at the beginning of those
relevant parts, a mini Yiddish Glossary. Yiddish is a real "melting pot"
language, it's comprised of a little bit of everything. If you would like
to read a little bit about the very descriptive Yiddish language, you might
check out the book, "The Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten. It's not a
dictionary per se, but it does have a huge number of Yiddish sayings and the
story and meaning behind them.

***And just to get things started- Mini Yiddish Glossary-
chuppa - a canopy, otherwise known as a wedding canopy used in a Jewish
Wedding Ceremony

Life Cycles V: Under the Chuppa
by Susan Proto

Part 1/
Saturday, December 21, 1996
6:25 p.m.

He locked the door of the car and began fingering the key ring in search of
his apartment key. It was only day two of the Pre-Wedding Week from Hell,
he felt as though he was already about to lose his mind from it.

Maggie had made the request, so how could he have refused? Granted, it had
seemed a bit silly to him, perhaps even somewhat hypocritical, but Mulder
a difficult time refusing Maggie Scully, or her daughter for that matter,

So when Maggie asked Mulder to move back into his own apartment so Scully
could get married "out of her home" in the "old-fashioned" sense, he agreed
without fuss and thought to himself, how bad could it be?

Hell, he now realized, but when Scully explained it to him, it actually had
made some sense at the time.

She had said she wouldn't have time to say much more than hello since there
were so many last minute details to attend to. She'd see him in the office,
and besides, she had said, they would be spending the rest of their lives
together and would have all of the time in the world to be a couple again.

Sure, it had made sense at the time. So why was it that he now felt a dull
ache in his stomach and so damned lonely. *Get a grip, Mulder! It's only
been a day and a half, for crying out loud!* he thought insistently to
himself. *It's not like you've never lived alone before. Shit, you've been
alone all you life. What's a few more days?*

As he unlocked the door to his apartment, he unconsciously rubbed his
in a gentle, circular motion. After he opened the door he picked up the
briefcase only to drop it on the nearest table. He hung his trench coat on
the coat stand, and walked into the kitchen to grab a drink.

Next, Mulder opened the fridge, noted there was absolutely nothing in there
for dinner other than the iced tea bottles, and made a note to himself to
in for a pizza delivery. He grabbed the drink and took it into his bedroom
with him while he changed from his suit into his sweats.

He hadn't planned on going into the office today, since it was Saturday.
he knew that Scully wouldn't be available all day today either, so he
he'd go in and get as much of the paper work out of the way as possible.
Mulder realized that with all of the appointments Scully had planned for the
upcoming week, she certainly wasn't going to be available to do much, if
paper work. He figured she could consider it an early wedding gift.

He hung the suit up in the closet, but rolled the shirt up into a ball and
shot a perfect "swish" into the hamper. "Still got the touch, Mulder," he
gloated aloud to no other audience but himself.

Once changed, he called up for his pizza and then dialed up the Scully home.

"Hello," she answered.

"Hi, it's me," he answered.

"Hi you. How ya doin'?" she asked in a soft, smiling voice.

"You really want the truth, or should I lie?" he responded.


"I'm doing great. I've really missed being all by myself in my dark, dusty,
dank, apartment with absolutely no food whatsoever in the refrigerator," he

"Ahh, but you are wrong, G-Man. Look inside your freezer," she directed.

Mulder stood up with the phone still at his ear, walked back into the
and opened the freezer door. He noted there were almost a dozen Tupperware
containers that were neatly labeled with the contents and directions on how

"Wow, the freezer fairy came to visit!" he said with a chuckle. "When did
this appear?"

"Mom felt so guilty about kicking you out that she spent the entire day
yesterday cooking up some dishes for you to have over the week. She dropped
it off today while I assume you were at the office? Consider it her peace
offering," she concluded.

"Scully, Mom didn't need to make a peace offering. She didn't make such an
unreasonable request. I may not quite understand why she wants to try to
back time, but if it makes her happy, I'm not gonna make a fuss about it,"
Mulder responded.

"Oh, good! Does that mean you don't want the food?" Scully asked wryly.

"Over my dead body! Your mom makes the damned best Irish Stew and vegetable
soup around. No way am I giving this stuff up__! Oh shit! I just ordered
pizza," he said. "Oh well, seeing as I will now have enough food to feed
world, you wouldn't by any chance be interested in joining me for dinner,
would you?"

"Oh Mulder, of course I'm interested, but I have so much to do tonight. Mom
somehow managed to convince the seamstress to come over to the house tonight
to do a fitting on my gown. Grandmother was a just a wee bit smaller than
and I need to have some tucks un-tucked!" she replied.

"Smaller than you? I find that hard to believe," he said. After a pause,
asked tentatively, "All right, so tonight's out, but Dane? When will I
to see you?"

"Probably Monday, at the office. Oh, no wait! I have an appointment with
florist for Monday. There's a problem with some of the flowers I wanted
the house and my bouquet Seems there was a frost in the area where they're

"So maybe Monday night? Oh, wait! The caterer asked me to attend a party
that night to see if he could substitute some our food choices. Apparently
some of the ingredients have become really expensive of late, and he wants
substitute chicken for the veal dishes, but he told me I could test them out
at an actual party.

"I'm dragging Mom there to get her opinion. You don't want to go, do you?
mean, I know how much you hate those kind of things when you know people, so
can only imagine how you would feel about 'crashing' some unknown person's
party," she concluded.

Mulder somehow sensed Scully wanted this time with her mom. *It's not that
important,* he thought to himself. "It's okay, Dane," he told her aloud,
"I'll have you at _our_ party."

If Scully sensed an air of disappointment on Mulder's part, she didn't say
anything. Scully was flying so high on excitement and anticipation, it was
impossible for her to even consider Mulder wasn't feeling the same way.

"Mulder, how about we make plans for an extra special lunch on Tuesday,
she asked hopefully. "Besides then we can ride over to the Tuxedo rental
place and make sure they have everyone's tuxes ready. In fact, would you
calling Skinner and the boys to see if they can meet us there on Tuesday?
brother's won't be in until Thursday, so they'll have to go then."

"Sure. That sounds fine. Dane___?" he began just as the buzzer to the
door went off. "Hold on Dane, there's someone at my door. Jeez, that was
fast," Mulder said aloud, thinking the pizza was about to be delivered.

Mulder walked to the door and looked through the peephole. He saw a man in
brown uniform and asked suspiciously, "Who is it?"

"UPS delivery," the man replied.

"Oh, okay, one sec__," he said as he opened the door. "Dane, It's UPS
delivering a package. I'm gonna take care of this. I'll call you later
let you know if it was anything interesting, 'kay?"

"Wait! Don't you don't want to tell me now?" she asked with a hint of

"Scully, for all I know, the damn thing could be a bomb," he remarked off
cuff. The UPS delivery man looked a bit taken aback at the remark, to which
Mulder replied, in his best Ephram Zimbalist , Jr. voice, "F.B.I."

"Umm, would you please sign for this. As soon as possible, umm, please?"
delivery man pleaded.

"Dane, speak to you later." He hung up before she could even utter the
syllable in good-bye. "Okay," he said, addressing the delivery man, "where
I sign?"

Mulder signed in the requisite place and took the package. As he closed the
door with one hand, he held the package in the other and noted it had some
heft to it. It was about the size of an oversized shoe box, perhaps a boot
box. He brought it over to the couch and put it on the coffee table.

He read the label and saw his address and then noticed the return address.
felt as though the insides of his stomach fell a hundred stories.


Greenwich, Connecticut.


End of Part 1

Disclaimers in part 1

Part 2/9

Mulder began to rub his stomach unconsciously in a circular motion again.
felt a little nauseous, and decided both the Irish stew and vegetable soup,
well as the pizza, would be wasted on him tonight.

He stared at the package, willing it to disappear. He couldn't imagine what
she would send to him, especially after their last meeting. It was still
painful for him to think about, so painful in fact, he hadn't even told Dana
the entire story.

He had returned home to the Scully house, the night before Thanksgiving,
having just paid a visit to his mother on the anniversary of Samantha's

When Scully had asked how the visit went, Mulder merely said it was a
Mulder family get-together. They had exchanged impersonal pleasantries, but
not much more than that. Dana appeared placated by that, so he chose not to
discuss it any further.

This was supposed to be a happy time for her, and Mulder had refused to put
damper on it because he had a lousy childhood and no family to speak of. He
had refused to tell her the horrific details of what Elizabeth Mulder really
told him on the anniversary of his sister's abduction.

According to his mother, it apparently was always supposed to be him, Fox,
that was to be taken. Elizabeth had never allowed herself to love her
born, because she had known he was going to be taken from her.

But they had taken Samantha instead, which had given both his mother and
father that much more reason to withhold their love. It was supposed to
been him that was taken, yet they chose to leave him and take his sister

It wasn't fair. It would have been better had it been him. It should have
been him.

He looked at the package with trepidation. He didn't know what his mother
could have possibly sent. He wasn't sure he wanted to know. The feeling of
nausea was stronger now, and the dull pain in his stomach was stronger.

The front door buzzed again. Mulder stood up and pulled a ten and a couple
singles from his wallet. When he asked who it was, he heard the adolescent
voice on the other side say, "Pizza Time delivery. We deliver on time,

Under other circumstances, Mulder probably would have been laughing out loud
at the delivery boy's spiel. The delivery of a package from his mother,
however, changed his mood a great deal.

He paid the youngster and closed the door. He placed the pizza box on the
counter. *Later,* he thought to himself. *I'll eat later.*

Mulder went back and sat down on the couch. He looked at the box, sitting
the table with the very nondescript brown wrapping paper.

He took a deep breath and pulled at the paper. He tore it off and saw that
whatever she had sent, Elizabeth Mulder had indeed packed it in a boot box.
Size eight.

He lifted the cover and saw an envelope lying on top of crunched up
which surrounded an item covered totally in bubble wrap. He picked up the
envelope, opened it, and gingerly pulled out the note from inside. Mulder
unfolded the letter and read it.

"Dear Fox,
I realize you must be surprised to hear from me, especially since
our last meeting together ended on a somewhat poor note. But I was
to mail this package to you, as I had the oddest dream last night. I dreamt
Mother, your Nana, came to visit me. It wasn't an ordinary dream, Fox. It
was, for lack of a better way to explain it, very, very real. Mother and
actually conversed. She told me I needed to send you the enclosed two
for your wedding.
The first item is a glass from her crystal set. She wants you to
use this glass to step on at the end of the ceremony, so that your wedded
will be filled with sweet joy. The second item was her father's tallis.
father died very shortly before Mother was to be married, and my
decided to use Grandfather's tallis as the chuppa. Mother said you should
use it as the canopy for your wedding.
She was very real, Fox. She said something, I answered. I said
something, she answered. She said she always thinks of you. I believed
Perhaps you should too.
Good luck on your wedding.
E. Mulder"

He read it and then reread it. He looked at the signature over and over.
*She couldn't even sign it as "Mom,"* he thought dejectedly. "Damn," he
aloud. "Damn it, I don't need this now!" Then suddenly, a wave of nausea
passed through Mulder.

He put the letter down on the table and walked quickly into the bathroom.
he felt his stomach do somersaults, he lurched forward to embrace the
porcelain bowl. He threw up his lunch, his breakfast, and whatever other
he'd eaten within the last twenty-four hours.

He felt flushed and warm. After each dry heave, Mulder felt dull throbbing
pains in his stomach. This wasn't helping and, in fact, only seemed to make
it worse. Mulder wished he could call Scully, but he knew she would want an
explanation as to why he was upset.

He certainly didn't want her to know about the letter his mother sent along
with the package, and even more so, he didn't want to give Scully the
impression that he was sick. He wasn't. At least he didn't think so. It
just nerves, that's all.

But knowing Scully, she would be over here in a flash and then she would
become all upset because their wedding plans would probably be screwed up,
all because he couldn't face reality like a big boy. There had to come a
when he faced the fact his mother saw him as someone who merely boarded
her for the first half of his life.

He rinsed his mouth out and then washed his face with cool water. He walked
back into the living room and sat down on the couch. He looked at the
and removed its contents.

First, he pulled out the carefully wrapped item in bubble wrap. He undid
tape and then slowly and carefully unwrapped the glass. When he finished he
held up the crystal glass. It was ornate, but not ostentatious like the cut
glass candy dishes he remembered generously sprinkled around his Nana's

He thought it was really a beautiful piece of lead crystal. He remembered
china cabinet where it and the rest of the set were proudly displayed in
Nana's living room. She had a small apartment and didn't have a formal
dining room, so she kept the crystal displayed in her treasured hutch in the
living room.

When it was time for a big family dinner at holiday time, they just pushed
of the furniture to the side and set up the long metal folding tables in the
living room. It was crowded, but no one ever seemed to mind. The family
together, and that's what made Nana happy. Mulder remembered he was happy
whenever he was around his Nana.

Next, he pulled out a deep blue, velvet bag with Hebrew lettering on the
outside. Mulder unzipped the bag and pulled out the creamy white prayer
with the little fringes on each end.

*What were they called?* he wondered. *Tzitzit. The fringes were called
tzitzit.* Even with a memory as good as his, Mulder was still amazed he
able to retrieve that bit of information.

There were flecks of gold and silver thread running through the entire piece
of material. It was much bigger than he thought would have fit into the
It could easily be a chuppa for him and Dana.

Mulder sighed deeply as he rubbed his stomach in an attempt to assuage the
feelings of distress his stomach was calling out to him.
He felt flushed and warm again. He walked into the kitchen and picked up
thermometer that was kept in the cup for easy access. He'd gotten so used
Scully demanding a thermometer from him, that he just kept it out in the
for their mutual convenience.

He picked up the letter again as he waited for the thermometer to beep its
notification that his reading is completed. He thought about why his
would even bother to send him the glass and the prayer shawl if she didn't
care. Unless___.

Just then the thermometer beeped and Mulder read the numbers. One hundred
point one. Not exactly a raging fever, but just enough of one that would
him feel lousy. Okay, he needed to rest, because he really didn't want to
have to tell Scully he was coming down with something. He knew if the
didn't kill him, she would.

He laid down on the couch, leaving the lead crystal goblet and the prayer
shawl on the coffee table in easy reach. Mulder grabbed the afghan Maggie
Scully had crocheted for him a while back and wrapped himself up as if in a
cocoon. He suddenly wasn't feeling well at all, and Mulder cried out in

"Oh, God damn! It hurts." Mulder rolled onto his right side in an effort
control the pain that was emanating from that location. He found himself
holding his side and applying a steady pressure with his hand. It seemed to
help a little, and he fell into an uneasy sleep.

When the phone rang, Mulder had no idea as to what the time was. He blinked
his eyes several times in an attempt to get them to focus. He stood up,
though he found it eased the pain if he hunched over a little. Mulder took
small steps so as not to jostle his body too much, otherwise the pain in his
stomach shot stars right though him.

He pushed the talk button and said, "Mulder."

"Mulder, it's me."

"Hi you," he said, trying desperately to keep his tone light.

"You said you were going to call me back. It's after eleven, and when you
didn't call, I wanted to make sure everything was all right."

"Dane, why do you automatically think something is wrong?" he asked, not
knowing whether to laugh or cry at the exchange.

"Because there usually is, Mulder. So, what happened? Why didn't you
Scully asked.

"Well, if you must know, I fell asleep on the couch. Must have been all
food that I had to eat all by myself," he said hoping he sounded convincing.

"Sure, go ahead and try to make me feel guilty. Well, it's not gonna work
Mulder, 'cause if I eat another morsel, the dress that looked so beautiful
tonight will not look so beautiful on our wedding day. Grandmother was
certainly a tiny bit of a thing!"

"Okay, I won't make you feel guilty. Look, I'm bushed and I still have a
couple of files to look through. How about I speak to you tomorrow, okay?"
asked with fatigue.

"Sure Mulder, if you want. Oh! Wait! Just tell me what was in the box.
Please?" she pleaded.

"A couple of things from my mother. A wine glass and my great-grandfather's

"Tallis?" she echoed.

"Prayer shawl. Look, I'll explain tomorrow, okay?" he responded with a hint
of agitation.

"Okay. Mulder? Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm fine, Scully. I'm fine. I'll speak to you tomorrow."

Though hanging up the phone without saying good-bye was their usual routine,
this time Mulder was anxious to get off the line. The pain in his stomach
creeping downward toward the lower right part of his abdomen, and it was
apparently becoming more and more focused in its intensity.

Mulder felt nauseous again and moved as quickly as possible into the
He had nothing but bile to throw up this time, and the retching took an even
greater toll on him this time. By the time he finished dry heaving, he was
only able to walk back over to the couch in a very hunched over posture. If
he tried to straighten up, the pain shot stars through him.

He fell onto the couch, and as he grabbed the afghan to pull around him once
more, he also took his temperature again. After a couple of minutes, he
the beep that indicated a measurement was ready. Mulder noted the temp was
now elevated a bit at one hundred point nine. *Oh goody,* he thought dryly
himself, *I apparently have a real reason for feeling so lousy.*

"Damn! I can't be sick! I don't have time to be sick! I don't wanna be
sick!" he shouted out loud, as he grabbed his right side. "Oh God, it
Mulder pulled the afghan around him more tightly and fell into a fitful

End of Part 2/9


Disclaimers in part 1

***Glossary of Yiddish translations follows:
shayner boychik/boychikel- beautiful boy/little boy

Part 3/9

Mulder woke up with a start. He felt as though he was being watched, and it
caused him to look about his apartment warily while he reached for his gun.

"Oh put that down, Fox," she said.

"Scully?" he asked cautiously.

"No, mine sweet boychikel, I am not your Scully," she responded.

Fox startled at hearing the endearment from his childhood. "Nana?" he
whispered. "Nana, is that you?"

"Of course it's me, my sweet boy. Who else would it be?" she asked in her
softly accented voice. "So nu? Do you like the gifts? Oy, how I always
loved that crystal set. Your mother thought it was too much, you know? But
didn't care, because I loved it."

"Nana, what are you doing here?" he pressed.

She ignored him and continued her reminiscing. "And Papa's tallis. Oy,
is it not beauty-full? I remember Papa was so proud of that tallis. It
from Israel, you know. Did you know that? So beauty-full, so beauty-full."

Fox smiled slightly as he listened to his Nana speak. It always made him
chuckle as a small boy to hear his Nana pronounce everything as "beauty-
full," so to hear her speak again in her endearing accent made him chuckle
slightly before he answered her.

"No Nana, I didn't know that. Now, are you going to tell me why you're

"I'm here to make sure you don't do anything foolish," she responded.

"But why now?" he asked curiously.

"Because your usual protector has her mind on too many other things right
so, I am , how you say it? Pinch hitting!" Nana answered, proud of herself
that she recalled the correct colloquialism.

"But I don't need anyone to protect me now," he responded somewhat

"No? And the reason you haven't called the doctor about your stomach
Nana asked rhetorically. "Fox, mine shayner boychik, you have never been
known to take the best of care of yourself. Even when you were a young boy,
you would take such awful chances___."

"Nana, once you and Sam were gone, no one really gave a damn about what
chances I took or did not take," he retorted.

"No!" Nana reacted abruptly. "You must never think that. __I__ always
and your mother___."

"__Don't." Mulder's tone was sharp at first, but he then added in a more
pleading tone, "Please, Nana, don't."

"But Fox, you need to know she__," she insisted.

"__NO, Nana! I don't want to know what __she__ said, or felt, or did. I
enough," he responded as he tried to stand up. Every little movement caused
Mulder to double over in pain.

"Fox, you're sick. You need to see a doctor."

"No. I'm okay." When Mulder tried to straighten up, however, the intense
went through him like a shard of glass impaling him. He took in a deep
and gasped, "Scully!"

He reached for the portable phone that was lying on his coffee table and hit
the speed dial number three. The phone rang at the Scully residence for
several rings before someone finally answered.

"Hello?" said a sleepy voice. When no response came, she tried again.
"Hello? Who is this? Mulder? Is that you?" she asked a little more

Mulder tried to speak, but the pain in his side was intensifying and nothing
comprehensible would come out of his mouth. Finally, he looked at the
standing in front of him and looked pleadingly towards her.

"Fox, I don't know if I can," she remarked softly.


The old woman picked up the phone and using all of her energy, spoke one
short, succinct, sentence into the phone.

"Fox. Needs. You."

It was all that was needed to get Scully moving in high gear. "I'm coming,"
she cried out. "Who is this? Please, let him be all right. I'm coming
I'll be there in about a half hour. Who is this? Tell him I'm coming."
Scully hung up the phone not getting the answers she had hoped for, but not
really expecting any either. When ever Fox Mulder was involved, questions
were plentiful, answers few.

Meanwhile, Nana, still holding the phone in her hand, sat down heavily onto
the nearby chair. "Oy," she gasped in exhaustion. "That always takes so
out of me."

"Nana?" Fox asked apprehensively. "Are you all right?"

"I'll be fine in a bit, sweet boy. It always takes a lot out of me when I
need to talk to people," she said.

"But," he began through suddenly chattering teeth, "you're talking to me."

"Ach, but you are my blood, Fox, and it is for the same reason I could talk
Bette without becoming exhausted," she explained.

"Bette?" Mulder asked tentatively.

"Bette. Your mother, Fox."

"Why Bette?" he asked quietly. "Her name is Elizabeth."

Nana actually started to giggle like a young schoolgirl. "Oy, mine Foxila.
Her name is Bette. 'Elizabette' was _his_ idea. Think about it. How many
Jewish girls do you know named 'Elizabette?' _He_ thought it would sound
_ethnic_. _Him_ and his crazy thinking," she concluded.

Mulder laid quietly contemplating his Nana's words. If his father went so
as to control the name people called his mother by, then perhaps there were
other factors to consider in terms of her relationship with him.

"Nana, did my mother ever _want_ to love me?" he asked hopefully.

Nana looked at her grandson and considered her words carefully. She knew he
was in both physical and emotional pain, and she wanted to do what she could
to ease both.

She moved to the couch and sat on the coffee table in front of it in order
be close enough to stroke his head. As she gently caressed him, she spoke
a soft, but certain voice.

"When she found out she was pregnant with you, she glowed," Nana began.
was so excited at the idea of becoming a mother, Fox. She was so excited at
the idea of becoming _your_ mother, because you were her first.

"And oh, mine sweet mench, how she prayed for a baby boy. She always wanted
more than one child, but she so wanted her first_ to be a boy, because she
wanted her other children to have a 'big brother'," she related. "But after
your father got involved with those crazy people__."

"Nana?" his voice cracked. "You mean she wanted me? She wanted to love
he asked tearfully.

"Of course she wanted you. Of course she wanted to love you." She looked
thoughtfully at her grandson, and then said, "Fox, she does love you, even

"No. She said she didn't. She said she couldn't let herself love me. She
said so, Nana. I heard her," he lamented.

"Fox, mine shayner boychikel, that's because you listened to her words, when
you should have been listening to her heart."

Mulder looked at Nana with tear filled eyes. He wanted to believe her so
desperately. He needed to believe her.

Nana continued to gently rub Mulder's forehead, and watched as he closed his
eyes in a desperate need to rest and assimilate all that this loving woman
shared with him.



"Mulder! Mulder, are you in there?!" called Scully out frantically in front
of the locked door.

Mulder's eyes opened to see Nana still sitting on the coffee table, holding
his hand in hers in an effort to offer him comfort. When Mulder tried to
Nana gently, but assertively, pushed him back down. The shooting pain that
tore through his side convinced Mulder very quickly that Nana knew best.

Next, Mulder heard Scully using her key to unlock the barrier between them.
She opened the door and raced toward the couch.

"Mulder, what's wrong? Talk to me! What's wrong?" she asked frantically.

Mulder tried to speak but he was finding it very difficult to think beyond
insufferable ache he felt in his side.

"Nana?" he croaked.

"No, Mulder. It's me, Scully," she said with concern.

"Where's Nana?" he pleaded.

"Mulder, there's no one else here besides you and me," she answered.

"But Dane, she was here," he whispered. "I know she was here." Mulder's
darted about the apartment looking for his unseen visitor.

"Mulder, I'm the only one here besides you. Now talk to me. What's wrong?"
Scully questioned, as she motioned to him to turn onto his back to face her.

When Mulder turned onto his back, he practically squealed in pain.

"Oh God! What hurts?" she begged for information. "Mulder, tell me what
hurts, so I can examine you."

"Side," he gasped slightly. "Right side," he managed to say more

As Scully pressed gingerly down on Mulder's abdomen, she heard him groan in
agony. When she got to the lower quadrant of his right side, the cries of
distress increased. What really caused Scully to take notice was when she
raised her hands and released the pressure on Mulder's side, he cried out
more in pain.

"Oh Mulder, you're experiencing rebound pain," she observed.

"Rebound? Don't wanna play basketball, Dane, " he said with a hint of a
that turned into more of a grimace as he grabbed his side.

"No sweetheart," Dana responded with a slight chuckle. Even when Mulder was
in obvious pain, he always managed to inject a bit of humor. That was one
the traits that endeared the man to Scully all of these years.

"I think," she continued, "it's time to call for the ambulance. Me thinks
you've got a very hot appendix, my love."

"Dane, I'm sorry. So, so sorry," he whispered back to her.

"Mulder, what are you apologizing for? Unless you managed to find a way to
actually __plan__ on needing an appendectomy five days before our wedding, I
don't believe you have anything to apologize for. Now, where's the phone?"

"Table?" he offered.

"No, Mulder. I don't see it," she answered.

"Nana had it," he remembered aloud. "Chair."

Scully looked over at the chair and, sure enough, saw the portable phone
resting on the seat of the chair. "What's it doing all the way over there,

"Told you. Nana." Mulder closed his eyes and sniffed the air. He could
still smell his Nana's scent in the room.

End of Part 3/9

Disclaimers in part 1

***Glossary of Yiddish terms:
shayner maydil/maydilah- beautiful girl/little girl (said with affection)
nu? - well?
toches- tush/rear end/butt
oy- utterance/expletive
afikomen - desert/ the piece of Passover Matzoh (a very large, dry cracker)
that is traditionally hidden during the middle of the Passover seder (one
thinks to help keep the younger members of the family still awake and
in the seder ;->) and when found at the end of the seder is broken up and
symbolizes the end of the meal, hence, dessert.

Part 4/9

Scully ran along side of the gurney through the doors of the emergency room.
She held Mulder's hand as the attendants raced him through the entrance.
kept calling to him, telling him it would be okay, but he was in too much
to pay much attention to her words.

She knew when a new wave of pain hit by how hard he squeezed her hand.
Judging by the increase in its frequency and pressure, Scully feared
appendix had already burst.

As the emergency room staff met the gurney and took over the care of Mulder,
an ER nurse gently led Scully to the waiting area.

"But I'm a doctor," Scully said pleadingly.

"Then you understand why it's so important that you allow us to do our jobs,
Doctor," the nurse replied. "Please, wait here, and I promise to notify you
of his condition as soon as we know what it is."

Scully watched helplessly as the nurse turned on her heel to return to the
examining room where Mulder's clothes were being cut away from his body.
tried to remember if he was wearing his favorite New York Knicks tee shirt.
She didn't think so, but knew if he was, she'd better be prepared to replace
it as soon as possible.

She sat in the hard blue plastic molded seat that seemed to be made for
anybody's rear end but her own. Scully decided she was too nervous to sit
anyway, and began to pace about the room.

"Oy, the waiting is the hardest, isn't it, maydilah," she sighed wearily.

Scully turned suddenly at the voice in the room. She had been facing the
and did not see anyone walk in, nor had she seen anyone already in the
room. Scully looked at the elderly woman now sitting quietly in the chair.

There was something oddly familiar about her. Scully felt as though she'd
seen this woman before, yet for the life of her she could not remember ever
meeting her.

"So nu? Are you going to walk back and forth all night long, or are you
to sit down and keep an old woman company?"

"I'm sorry, but have we met?" Scully asked.

"No, sweetheart, you haven't met me, but I know you. Ach, mine sweet Foxila
picked himself a beauty," the old woman chuckled.

"Oh my God. Nana?" Scully asked in amazement.

"So Dana, you are not such the skeptic anymore, are you sweet girl?" Nana

"I don't understand. How can you__? Why are you__?" Dana tried to voice
confusion, but she found it difficult to form a coherent question.

Nana chuckled and replied, "I'm not sure myself, sweetheart. It took so
of my energy to talk to you on the phone, yet now, for some reason, it's
you are my blood." Nana smiled knowingly and then added, "Of course, on
Sunday, you will be, won't you?"

"Nana, you're a lot more optimistic than I am," Scully responded.

"What?" Nana asked gently.

"I'm afraid the appendix may have burst. He was in so much pain," she

"Shah, shah, it will be all right. I can feel it in these old bones of

Scully turned around to the sound of footsteps. She looked up and saw a
at the doorway.

"Dr. Scully? I just wanted you to know Mr. Mulder is being brought up to
surgery. Hot appendix."

"Has it burst?" she asked anxiously.

"Not yet, but the sonogram showed us it's gonna be close. You can wait for
him in the waiting room on the surgical floor."

"Thank you," Scully said, and the nurse left the waiting room. Scully
around. "Nana, we can go up____. Nana?"

Scully looked about in confusion. *Where'd she go?* she wondered to
She shook her head and walked to the elevators that would bring her up to
surgical floor.


Scully held the phone to her ear as she said, "Yes Mom, he's in surgery now.
No, thankfully it hadn't ruptured yet, but the nurse said the infection
presented itself very clearly on the sonogram.

"No, I don't know how long it'll take. It depends which procedure they do.
Mom? Would you__? Thanks, Mom. I'm going to call the AD to let him know
stint as Best Man may be postponed. I'll see you in a little bit. Bye."

Scully next phoned Walter Skinner's home number and informed him of Mulder's
admittance to Georgetown Medical Center and the latest accounting of his
medical condition. Though all she expected of the AD was a thank you for
information, she was pleasantly surprised to hear him say he would join her
shortly in the waiting room.

Scully bought a cup of coffee from the beverage machine in the surgical
floor's waiting room and sat down to wait. She began thinking about all of
the times she sat in hospital waiting rooms.

"God, Mulder, you'd think the least they could do is buy some comfortable
chairs in our honor, what with all of the business we bring 'em," she said
aloud to herself.

"A pain in the tochis, isn't he?" she asked in her accented English.

"He sure is__, Nana? Where'd you go before?" Scully asked.

"Oy, darling girl, it's easier to for me to deal with one person at a time.
So," she said, quickly changing the subject, "when will this operation be

"I'm not sure. It depends which procedure they end up doing and whether the
appendix burst or not. If it burst, that will complicate things," Scully

"As if life isn't complicated enough, eh maydilah?" Nana asked rhetorically.

"That's the second time you've called me that. What does it mean?" Scully

"What? Maydilah? It's Yiddish. It means a young girl. A shayner maydilah
means beautiful young girl," she answered.

"Thank you," Dana responded shyly. "Nana," she continued, "may I ask you

"Of course."

"Why is Mrs. Mulder so cold towards Muld__, I mean, Fox.?" Scully

"Oy, such a question."

"Do you know?" asked Scully.

"Dana, I wish I could give you an answer, but I can't. I don't know how she
could turn her emotions off when it came to Fox. All I know is, she could
turn them off just so much, because every now and then, I saw the light
her eyes. I knew. I still know," she professed.

"But Nana, how do we get Mulder to know?"

"Agent Scully?" called out the deep baritone voice.

Scully turned around to see Walter Skinner standing in the doorway. "Hello,
Sir." Scully responded. "Thank you for coming.

"Who were you talking with, Scully?" the AD asked.

"Oh, umm, I was___," she stuttered as she looked about to find the
Nana missing once again. "I wonder how Mulder's doing," she said, in an
attempt to change the subject.

"How long has he been in surgery?" Skinner asked accepting the bait.

"Oh, he went in about a half hour ago. If everything goes smoothly, he
should be in recovery within the next hour or so."

"How are _you_ doing, Scully?" he asked with concern.

"I'm doing okay, Sir. I'm sure he'll be fine. I guess the timing really
stinks though, you know?" she offered dejectedly.

"Yeah, well Mulder's never been known for timing his illnesses or injuries
during convenient times, has he?" the AD said wryly.

"Yeah, he's a pain in the toches," Scully said smiling ever so slightly.

"Excuse me, Scully?" Skinner asked with a questioning look.

"Nothing, Sir__," Dana began.

Just then a nurse came in to inform them that the surgery was proceeding as
planned. She explained the doctors were planning to remove the appendix by
making a small incision in the lower right abdomen, right above the groin.
They were going to reveal the cecum to which the appendix was attached.

Next, the doctors were going to carefully and gently bring the appendix to
the surface of the abdomen when they would clamp it, tie it, and then detach
it from the cecum.

Finally, the stump of the cecum would be sutured off and then tucked back
the cecum. This would be sutured too, to avoid any fluid leakage into the
patient's abdomen.

If everything continued to go according to plan, he should be in the
room within the hour.

"Is everything going according to plan, Nurse?" asked Skinner.

"Yes, Mr.___?"

"Skinner. Walter Skinner." He pulled out his FBI identification badge from
his jacket pocket out of habit.

"Oh. Mr. Skinner, yes. Everything seems to be going according to plan,"
assured. "We'll let you know how he's progressing."

"Thank you, Nurse Wellington," Scully said when she noted the nurse's ID tag
hanging prominently from her lapel.

"Your welcome, Ma'am."

Some time passed when Skinner and Scully looked anxiously toward the door at
the sound of footsteps.

"Dana? Dana, how is he?" Maggie Scully called out from the doorway.

"Mom. I'm so glad you're here too," Scully said as she rose to greet her
a hug.

"Have you heard anything yet?" Maggie asked.

"No, not yet."

"Mr. Skinner, I'm glad you're here, for Fox, that is. He will be so
to have your support," Maggie said.

The Assistant Director nodded in recognition of Maggie's sentiments, yet he
also blushed ever so slightly at the notion that he could have that kind of
impact on his young agent.


Springtime, 1966
Passover Seder at Nana's

He was sitting at the very end of the table next to his mother and sister.
Sammy was in the high chair, so Mom had to stay at the end where there was
enough room for it to fit. That was fine with Fox, because it was easier
him to get up and stretch his five year old legs as often as he needed to do

Nana knew that it was important for him to be able to get up as often as he
wanted, or he would become fussy and cranky. It didn't bother Nana if he
two bites of his food and then got up to move about. It bothered his Mom,
because she felt he needed to be trained to sit properly at a table. She
continuously telling him to hush, and stop fidgeting, but it was all to no

But now he was supposed to get up. Nana said he had to get up and look for
the afikomen. He had to find the hidden matzoh that symbolized the desert
the seder could end. He was so excited, he began half walking and half
running all around the small apartment in an attempt to find the elusive
cracker board.

When he started crawling around under the table, Elizabeth had had had
She reprimanded the young boy for getting underfoot, and being in everyone's

"Bette! Please don't. I told the child he needed to find the afikomen, and
he is doing his job. Let him be," Nana admonished.

"Mama, please. He's five years old for crying out loud. He shouldn't be
crawling around the floor like this?" Elizabeth pleaded.

"So nu? You've got a better way to find a matzoh that's hiding?" Nana asked

"I found it! I found it!" Fox began to scream. "I found the afikomen,
Look!" The child was holding the cracker so tightly in his excitement that
it began to crack and crumble in his fingers.

"Fox! For crying out loud! You're making such a mess!" Elizabeth chided as
she grabbed the young child's arm roughly.

"Oh nonsense, Bette! He's not making any more of a mess than anyone else.
Matzoh is messy, plain and simple, isn't it mine shayner boychikel." Nana
moved quickly towards the child in order to envelope him in her protective

"Look at my brilliant grandson!" Nana continued. "He's even broken the
up into pieces for everyone to have some desert!" she exclaimed as she
the pieces to her guests. Nana could take the simplest situation and make
seem like a grand event. When it came to her Fox, she could make the little
boy feel ten feet tall.

End of Part 4/9

Disclaimers in Part 1

***Glossary of Yiddish terms:

kinderlach- children (dimunitive)
bubbe- grandmother
vus- what
aynekel- grandchild

Part 5/9

Sunday, December 22, 1996
5:30 A.M.

"Mr. Mulder? Hello Mr. Mulder? Ahh, there you are. You're in recovery
Mr. Mulder."

The recovery room nurse looked carefully at Fox Mulder's eyes and checked
pupils for reaction. She took his pulse and blood pressure and checked his
respiration. Everything appeared to be in order and the nurse was pleased
with the patient's progress.

She informed the other duty nurse she was going to the waiting room to
the family on Mr. Mulder's progress.

Unbeknownst to the nurses, Fox received a visitor at his bedside.
"Fox? Shayner Fox? Look at your Nana, sweet boy."

Mulder opened his eyes very slowly, and as they fluttered opened he tried to
focus them on the buxom figure in front of him.

"Nana," he whispered. "I was just at your house for seder."

"Ach, that was a good time, wasn't it sweetheart?" she remembered.

"Yeah. I found the afikomen, didn't I, Nana?"

"Yes, baby, you did. You did such a good job."

"Nana, my belly hurts. Why does it hurt?" Fox asked plaintively.

"Oh sweetheart, don't you remember? You're in the hospital. You had to
an operation for your appendix," Nana explained gently.

"Hospital? Nana, I don't wanna be in the hospital. No more hospitals,
I wanna go home. Where's Mommy, Nana?" he whimpered in a childlike voice.

"Fox, listen to me shayner boychik. Your mother is in Connecticut, but your
Scully is here. Fox, Dana is here waiting to see you," Nana reminded.

"Scully? Scully's here?" Mulder was desperately trying to regain his sense
of time. "Nana, Dane is waiting for me?"

"Yes, sweetheart. Dana is here, and so is her mother, and that nice tall

"Maggie and AD Skinner too?" Mulder seemed absolutely overwhelmed that
were that many people, including his Nana, that would be at waiting to see

"Yes, baby, everyone is here waiting to see you. They all want to see you
get well so you can get married next Sunday."

"Oh my God, that's right. I'm getting married. I have to go___" Mulder
as he tried to rise from the bed.

"__Mr. Mulder! Now where do you think you're going?" cried out the second
recovery room nurse as she came racing over to help him lie back down.

"Arrgghh," he cried out in pain. "Oh God, it hurts!"

"Well, of course it hurts, Mr. Mulder. You've just had surgery. Your
appendix had to be remove, and you're in the recovery room. You'll be moved
to your own room in about forty minutes, okay? Rest now, Mr. Mulder."

"Where's Nana?" Mulder asked softly.

"Nana? I'm sorry, I don't know. Rest now." She patted his arm in an
to reassure him and then returned to the nurse's station to keep an eye on


"Dr. Scully?" Nurse Wellington called. When Dana rose, the nurse walked
to her to inform her that Mulder was being moved to his room on the eighth
floor. "Room 813," she informed.

Scully, Maggie, and Skinner went immediately up to the eighth floor to
Mulder's room. They, in fact, arrived first and were there when they
his gurney into the room. The trio were asked to wait outside in the hall
while they transferred Mulder from the gurney to his hospital room bed.

Approximately fifteen minutes passed before they'd settled Mulder in his
The nurse informed them first that the surgery went well and the surgeon
be in shortly to discuss his recuperation period.

She also explained that he was still very groggy from the anesthesia, but
inhalation therapist would be coming shortly to work with him on his

"If there's one thing Mulder's become an expert at, it's blowing enough hot
air to get that little ball to the top of the tube," said Skinner

Scully giggled in relief that Mulder was finally in his room and within her
physical reach. She's always felt so incredibly helpless when she knew he
hurting and there was so little she could do about it.

Dana sat down on the chair nearest the bed, while Maggie sat on the chair by
the window. Walter went to the other side of the double room which was
for now and took the extra chair over to Mulder's side.

Dana held Mulder's hand and sat quietly, while Maggie and Walter made some
idle small talk. Some time had passed when Mulder's eyes opened slowly
and he squinted them in an effort to focus them on Dana.

"Dane?" he asked hoarsely.

"Yes, Mulder, it's me," she responded.

"Dane? Will you still marry me?" he rasped.

"Of course I'll still marry you, Mulder," she replied with laughter. "I'm
not sure if it'll be this Sunday, that's all."

"I'm sorry, Dane. God, I'm so sorry."

"Fox William Mulder, you can just knock it off right now. You have
nothing to be sorry about, do you understand me? Nothing. And I will not
have you beat yourself up about this when there was absolutely nothing you
could have done to avoid it. Do I make myself clear?" Scully professed

"Yes Ma'am. God, Scully, you're gorgeous when you're bossy," he teased in
throaty voice. He even managed a slight smile.

"Well get used to it, Fox. All the Scully women are bossy," retorted

"What Scully women? All women, period," answered back Walter Skinner.

Fox Mulder looked about him in quiet amazement. The two most important
in his life at the moment, along with the man he most respected, were here
with him at this very moment. "I didn't know you were here," he said to
Maggie and Walter.

Maggie walked over to the opposite side of where Scully was sitting, and
hold of Mulder's hand. "How are you feeling, Fox?" Maggie's voice was so
gentle and caring. Mulder enveloped himself in the texture and sound of her

"Okay. I guess. Maybe. Oh, I'm fine, really," he said rather

He looked at Scully and then at Walter Skinner. He felt as though he didn't
want to disappoint Scully in terms of getting last minute wedding details
taken care of. He also didn't want to look like a total wimp in front of

"Sweetheart, it's okay to admit you feel like dreck if you really do feel
dreck," she admonished in her accented voice.

"Nana!?" cried out Mulder and Scully simultaneously.

Walter and Maggie looked at one another with curious glances. Neither could
see nor hear Nana at the moment, but Nana felt the thaw would come more
quickly if they would suspend their beliefs for just a moment.

"Kinderlach, listen to me. Your mother and handsome tall man do not see or
hear me. So, just listen quietly to me, okay? Fox, you don't have to
just for this lovely lady. She's too damned smart for that, Fox, so if you
feel like dreck, then admit it, and do whatever the doctors tell you to do
get well.

"But stop pretending like you don't need a recovery period, because,
sweetheart, you do. It just won't necessarily be as long as you might
normally need," she added cryptically.

"Nana," Scully paused and wondered how to phrase the question without
eliciting an answer that was even more beyond her beliefs system. "Nana,"
she repeated, " What kind of time frame did you have in mind?"

"Oh a few days, but he may still be sore and somewhat weak.
But with yours and your mama's help, he'll be strong enough to stand up
the chuppa with you," Nana affirmed.

"Kuppa?" echoed Scully, albeit not very accurately.

"Chuppa, dear. It's the wedding canopy that you will be married under.
Maggie, dear woman, you know what I am talking about, no?" asked Nana.

"A canopy. Yes, I remember going to the wedding of one of the Captain's
friends, and they were married in a Jewish ceremony. It was a lovely
Maggie reminisced. However her mood changed somewhat abruptly when she
realized the voice she just heard was not attached to any of the bodies in
the room with her.

"Who was that?" she asked anxiously. "Dana? Who was just talking?"

"Nana. Don't worry Mom, and don't try to figure it out. You'll go batty
trying to figure it out," Scully answered to the best of her ability.

Now sweet boy, when it comes time to break the glass, you're probably going
need some help," Nana said seriously.

Mulder chuckled softly. "Nana, I would have probably needed help breaking
that glass even if I hadn't had my appendix out. Do you have any idea how
thick that crystal set of yours was?"

"Breaking what glass?" asked Scully curiously.

"It's a tradition that has so many interpretations, Dana. One is that it's
used to remind us that happiness is fleeting and should never, ever be taken
for granted. Another is to bless the couple with sweetness and happiness as
symbolized by the fruit of the vine," she commented.

"Of course, nowadays the groom usually steps on a wrapped up package that
contains a small light bulb, for easy smashing with the most crunch for the
money," Mulder offered. "But not me. My Nana wants me to develop a strained
muscle smashing her 'beauty-full' lead crystal wine goblet."

"Ach, sweetheart. It would seem that you will have to have a 'pinch hitter'
then, Foxila, when it comes time to break the glass," Nana said, almost as
in the middle of a conspiracy.

"Walter. Dear, sweet, Walter. Can you hear me now?" asked Nana.

"Who is that? Who's calling my name?" he asked as he looked about

"Walter," she called to him again. "You know vus is a 'pinch hitter?' At
point in the ceremony when mine Fox is supposed to stomp on the glass, his
package will contain something few other grooms have had to deal with in
years. A real glass. But he will probably be too weak from his operation.
So, I, as his Nana, his bubbe, ask you to stomp the glass for him.

"Nu, you are standing up for him, right? I mean, Walter, you are his Best
Man, no?" she asked in confirmation.

"Yes, I am," Walter replied with an astounded voice, because now
before him was a lovely faced older woman who now appeared to be talking
directly to him.

"Good, Walter. Than you shall be the natural person to stomp on the glass.
Okay? Is that settled?" she asked confidently.

Nana looked around the room quite satisfied with herself. She saw her
grandson, her aynekel, apparently none too much worse for the wear after his

She saw a beautiful young woman, and though she chose to find God in a
different house from hers, well , at least she found God, and more
importantly, she loved her grandson with all of her heart.

She saw a loving and caring figure in the woman of Maggie Scully. This was
woman who offered her Fox so much unconditional love it was palpable even

And then there was the tall, strong man with the all seeing eyes. He didn't
always agree with her grandson, but she knew he always felt respect for her
Fox, and perhaps even sometimes a little envy. Walter was an integral part
her Fox's life, and she could feel the energy that passed between them.

Actually, between all of them. Which is why, of course, all three of them
found Nana totally visible and talking away.

When the nurses came into the room, they would look somewhat nonplused at
numerous "pregnant pauses," and wonder why there seemed to be some unusual
gaps in the conversation.

They would observe the four figures in the room stare off to one particular
empty corner of the room, and if they weren't talking to the corner, they
staring intently at it. It seemed as if they were being almost reverential
towards it. Very strange. Very odd, indeed.

They did know, however, that the energy level in the appy's room felt
extremely high, and they wished they could bottle it and sell it. They'd
a fortune, and their patients would surely feel a whole lot better.

Part 5/9


Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 6/9

When the surgeon explained the recovery procedures Mulder needed to follow
once he was released, Scully was beside herself.

"Mom, we have no choice," she state emphatically.

"I suppose your right, but it would have been nice if we could have had the
rest of the week to get ready," Maggie sighed with disappointment.

"I agree, but let's face it, Mom, it can't be helped," reiterated Scully.

"What can't be helped?" asked Walter as he returned from getting a round of
coffee for everyone.

"Oh the surgeon just outlined the recovery procedures for Mulder to follow
once he's released on Tuesday, and he was pretty adamant that he follow them
to the letter if he still wanted to get married on Sunday," began Scully.
"Mom and I both know it would not be a good idea to send Mulder home alone

"Dana feels it would be unwise__," started Maggie.

"__Oh Mom, let's be honest," Dana interrupted. "I don't trust him worth a
damn to follow the doctor's instructions on his own."

"Yes dear," she agreed readily. Then, looking at Walter, she explained, "We
still have quite a few more things left to do before the wedding, and well,
we're just venting out of a little frustration, that's all."

"Why not hire a nurse to stay with him," asked Walter.

"We thought of that, but you know Mulder, Sir. He can either sweet talk his
way around anybody, or, if the opposite tact is needed, he can piss anyone
at any given moment if it means getting his own way. Besides, it's not the
days I'm so worried about."

"I'm not sure I understand," interjected Skinner.

"Sir, Mulder has rather unique sleeping habits. The fact is, he basically
doesn't. I mean he does, but not as much as most of us." Upon seeing
Skinner's quizzical expression, Scully continued to explain.

"He often sleeps just three to four hours a night, Sir. Sometimes,
upon how much stress he's under, he'll have these dreams. Well, not exactly
dreams, Sir, more like nightmares. And well, sometimes I wouldn't classify
them as nightmares either."

Skinner looked at her with a questioning expression, so Scully tried to

"Well, I'd say they're often more like night terrors, Sir. Thankfully they
haven't been so bad or numerous since he'd been staying with me, at Mom's I
mean," she added with a blush. "But the thing is, when he does wake up from
one of these things, he thinks nothing of getting dressed at three or four
the morning and go out for a jog to clear his head.

"I'm afraid if he's home alone, the night terrors will return, what with the
stress of the operation and, of course the wedding. I mean, everyone's
nervous before they get married, right?" Scully asked rhetorically, perhaps
a reflection of her feelings as well as Mulder's.

"So you see, Sir, I am a little concerned." Before Skinner could pooh-pooh
the notion that jogging was something we'd have to worry about now, Scully
added quickly, "And yes, Sir, he would think nothing of going out for a jog
while he's recuperating. I've seen him do it after gunshot wounds."

"Look, we'll just pack him up, bring him home, and take turns going out to
the errands, dear," Maggie relented.

Skinner looked at the two women, noting the obvious disappointment in their

"I have another solution," Skinner offered.

"A solution?" Scully repeated.

"He'll recuperate at my place," Skinner explained.

"Oh Walter, that's very kind of you," Maggie began, "but you have to go to
work, and Fox really shouldn't be left alone all day."

"He won't be," he answered.

"Sir, you can't take so many days off__, began Scully.

"I wasn't planning to, but I do have a housekeeper who I'm quite sure would
willing to take on Mulder as an extra credit project. Beverly is working to
earn money to continue her studies toward her R.N. degree.

"She cleans houses a couple of days a week and watches her youngest
as well, so her daughter can finish up her college classes during the day.
I'm sure she wouldn't mind the extra earnings and believe me, if anyone
take on Mulder, Beverly could.

"Beverly Thompson is a formidable woman and one helluva lady. I think she'd
be perfect to watch over Mulder during the day," Skinner concluded.

"Yes, Walter, but what about at night?" asked Maggie.

"You forget, Maggie, I have a gun," he said with a straight face.

Scully took one look at her mother's shocked expression, and cracked up
laughing. When Skinner joined in immediately Maggie was finally able to
breathe again. She wasn't always sure about the dark humor of her newly
acquired FBI family, but she could appreciate that it was often said with

Tuesday, December 24, 1996

"Are you sure, Sir? I mean, I don't want to put you out," asked Mulder as
they entered the apartment in Crystal City, Virginia.

"Mulder, it's not a problem. C'mon, let's get you settled."

Skinner carried Mulder's suitcase in after practically slapping Mulder's
away from trying to take it himself. "Mulder, no lifting, remember?"

"Sir, it's not that heavy. I feel fine, really," Mulder replied

"Mulder, stop being a pain in the ass, okay?"

Mulder was about to respond that being a pain in the ass was something he
best, but was sidetracked by the door bell. He heard a deep, female, alto
voice call out, "Walter? Walter, are you home yet?"

"In here Beverly," Skinner called back. "The living room."

Mulder looked toward the doorway and saw a strikingly handsome woman walk
through. Beverly Thompson was a very tall, almost six feet tall, African
American woman. She wore her hair, in what seemed to Mulder, a million,
braids with intricate bead work.

Though she was by no means heavy, she was not a thin waif either. There was
physical presence to this woman that intimidated Mulder a little, and Mulder
was rarely intimidated by anyone.

"Hello Walter. So, is this my charge?" she asked in her lyrical voice.

"It certainly is. Fox Mulder, meet Beverly Thompson. Beverly, this is Fox
Mulder," introduced Skinner.

"How do you do, Fox," Beverly responded as she offered her hand.

"Hello," Mulder mumbled. "Nice to meet you."

Skinner smiled to himself. He had thought Beverly would be up to the task
keeping Mulder in line, but now he was certain of it. When Fox Mulder
correct someone about calling him by his first name, this was definitely

"Where's Bryan?" Skinner asked.

"Oh, Elena is home today. She's just finished up her exams, so she'll be
for a couple of weeks," Beverly answered.

"I'm sure she's looking forward to the vacation," said Skinner.

"Well, if you call staying home with a three year old a vacation__,"

"True, but you do it," responded Skinner.

"Yes, but he's my grandson," smiled Beverly. "He's my life."

"Well, we both appreciate you working today. I'll be home early, since
Christmas Eve and even the FBI recognizes that AD's should have a life. I
shouldn't be any later than three o'clock, Beverly."

"No problem, Walter. That's the advantage of having a daughter at home.
can get the dinner started, and as each child walks through that door,
all start to pitch in and help. I figure by the time I get home, if I play
cards right, everything will be all ready and all I'll have to do is sit
and eat!" she related with a hearty laugh.

Mulder looked at Beverly Thompson with curious eyes. She didn't seem old
enough to have grown children, much less a grandchild. But she spoke with
knowledge and confidence of someone who'd lived her life and knew where she
was and where she wanted to go. Mulder admired that quality in his fiancee`
as well as his own grandmother.

Somehow Mulder expected Beverly Thompson was not going to put up with any
shit. He might just fully recuperate after all…..


Beverly was running a load of wash that contained some of Mulder's clothing
and Skinner's as well. She kept a watchful eye on her patient, and she made
sure he remained laying quietly on the couch.

She watched him and wondered what it was about him that she found so
endearing. She could appreciate the fact that he was a handsome young man,
but that wasn't the quality that she found so charming. Then she realized
what it was, as she watched him channel surfing and drinking all of his
and wondering how to go about getting more. It was a childlike innocence
she saw in her children and grandchildren, especially Bryan.

"Fox, let me just take that and freshen it up for you," she offered.

"Oh, I don't want to put you out, Beverly," Mulder replied.

"You're not putting me out. And Fox, I am being well compensated for taking
care of you, so please don't feel like you're putting me out, okay?" Beverly

"Yes ma'am," he replied quietly. When she brought the juice back she told
she'd return in a moment and keep him company while she folded the first
of laundry.

Mulder blushed slightly as he watched her fold his cotton knit boxers and
Skinner's briefs. He realized that she wasn't self-conscious or embarrassed
at all about handling the undergarments in his presence. *Yep,* he thought,
she is a grandmother.* He smiled slightly to himself, or so he thought.

"And what are you finding so amusing young man?" Beverly asked, trying to
contain a smile herself.

"Amusing? Me? Oh, nothing," he mumbled.

Beverly didn't reply, at first, and she just kept folding their underwear
other assorted items. Then she asked rather abruptly, "So, why don't they
trust you to stay by yourself?"

Mulder looked at her and allowed his smile to emerge ever so slightly more.
"I haven't a clue. Why don't you tell me?" he replied teasingly.

"Well, Walter seems to think you don't like to follow the rules and play
so you need a watchdog to make sure you stay in line. True?" she asked

"Yeah," he responded just as frankly.

"Why?" she asked succinctly.

Mulder considered her question for a bit. He then looked at her and in a
quiet, pensive tone, told her the only truth he knew.

"I didn't feel as though anyone really cared enough about me for me to want
expend the time and energy on 'following the rules'. It didn't matter to me

"And now? Does it matter now, Fox?" she asked.

"Yeah. More than I ever thought possible," he replied with earnestly.

End of Part 6/9

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 7/9

Wednesday, December 25th, 1996

Mulder was in some ways disappointed that he was exiled to Skinner's
on Christmas Day, but in other ways he was relieved. It was one more day
he didn't have to face Scully's brothers.

As a big brother himself, he remembered how protective he was of Samantha.
had wanted to punch out anyone who so much as looked at his little sister
funny. He could only imagine what Scully's older brother, Bill, and younger
brother, Charlie, thought of him. "Spooky" Mulder. The "FBI's Most
Unwanted." Oh yeah, he could just imagine what they were thinking.

And here he was, laid up again due to some absurd malady. Okay,
wasn't exactly the same as flukemen and little grey E.B.E.'s, but it was
incredibly poor timing on his part. Her brothers were going to think he was
some kind of idiot, or at the very least, a jinx with a badge.

He felt badly for Skinner too, since he was now confined to quarters to
over him. Though Skinner said he was planning on a nice quiet Christmas
and he didn't mind in the least that he was staying home and
as he put it, Fox still felt guilty that Skinner felt he couldn't freely go
out and celebrate his holiday.

Mulder, being Jewish, didn't celebrate Christmas. He hadn't celebrated too
many Chanukahs in the last few (make that 20 or so) years either. He had
shared the holiday with Scully and Maggie earlier in the month though, and
liked the feeling. It had been too long since he felt a sense of family and

He tried to remember the last time he'd been to Temple, and realized it was
very, very, long time. He certainly hadn't stepped into one since
abduction. It saddened him that the one place he should have felt he could
turn to, was in fact the one place he had rejected immediately. Why?
his parents had rejected it, and he had no choice but to follow suit at the

But that was then. Now was now. Maybe it was time to think about
the journey. He would have to give it some serious thought.

Before he'd left the hospital, he had asked Scully if it was possible to
a Reform Rabbi to take part in the wedding ceremony too. Mulder had
it was very short notice and had told Scully he would understand completely
she couldn't find anyone, but miracle of miracle, she did. As a matter of
fact, she had found him this morning on Christmas Day.

Scully had called Mulder this morning to tell him about it, and she'd
as she'd told him the Rabbi had said to consider him her Christmas gift.
Mulder had smiled at that, though not so much at the small joke as the sound
of Scully's giggles. Mulder loved to hear his Scully laugh.

"Mulder," Skinner interrupted his thoughts, "why don't you close your eyes
and take a nap. You're probably not going to have the chance tomorrow.
Beverly called before to tell me she needed to bring her grandson tomorrow,
and he can sometimes be a bit of handful. I've met him, so believe me, I

Mulder was about to protest when he realized that there was absolutely no
reason to fight the overwhelming feeling of fatigue he had. "Okay," he

Skinner's mouth gaped slightly at the sound of Mulder agreeing with his
suggestion. *Was it possible that Fox Mulder was growing up?* he thought.

"But, can I stay up later tonight?" Mulder whined slightly as he shifted
himself to a more comfortable sleeping position on the couch.

*Oh, maybe not__,* chuckled Skinner quietly to himself.


Thursday, December 26, 1997

"So Fox, what can I fix you for a snack?" Beverly asked.

"Oh, thanks Beverly, but I'm not hungry," replied Mulder.

"Nonsense. You need to put on some weight, and I've got nothing better to
than see to it that you do. Now, what can I make for you?"

At that moment three year old Bryan picked his head up from the bag of giant

Leggos that he was flinging around more than building with and said aloud,
"Oatmeal cookies. I love oatmeal cookies, Nana."

Every time the little boy called Beverly "Nana," it gave Mulder pause to
of his own Nana and how she had helped him get through this latest crisis.
it weren't for her, his appendix might have burst, and well, who knew what
might have been.

But that didn't matter. All that mattered was what was now, and since Bryan
suggested oatmeal cookies, they sounded better and better to him as well.
"Okay _'Nana'_, I'm with the kid. Can you whip us up some oatmeal cookies?"
He looked slyly at Bryan, and in conspiratorial tone added, "With some
chocolate milk?"

As she watched her grandson clap with glee upon hearing the magic words
"chocolate milk," Beverly smiled to herself. Mr. Innocence struck again.
had wondered how long it would take for him to pick up on Bryan's term of
endearment for her.

If anyone else would have said it, she probably would have been annoyed, if
not downright insulted. Yet when Fox Mulder said "Nana" it sounded quite
natural and appropriate. She wasn't sure why, she just was.

"Well, do you think you can keep little Mister Perpetual Motion quiet while
go 'whip 'em up'?" she asked.

"Hey, you're talking to an expert on perpetual motion, Beverly."

"Why doesn't that surprise me?"


She heard voices quietly murmuring as she walked back into the den with the
tray of warm oatmeal cookies and tall glasses of cold chocolate milk,
complete with straws in both glasses. Beverly took note of the long arm
wrapped around the shoulders of her small grandson, as Mulder read "This is
the Bear" to Bryan's young, enthralled ears for what was probably the sixth

The small boy nuzzled ever more into Mulder's arms as he read with quiet
passion. When the story was finished, and the book was closed, both adult
child seemed completely delighted with the ending.

"That was good, Mr. Mulder. Read it again. Pleasepleasepleaseplease???"
Bryan pleaded.

"I think Mr. Mulder needs a little break, Bryan. Besides, I have some nice
warm oatmeal cookies and chocolate milk that need eatin' and drinkin',"
chuckled Beverly.

"Hey, maybe we'll have another go at "This is the Bear" later, Bry, Okay?
Wanna eat some cookies with me while we watch one of your videos?" he asked
with gentle enthusiasm.

"Yeah! Wanna watch 'Aladdin'?" Bryan asked.

"Sounds great." Mulder was going to get up to put the tape in, but Beverly
gently thumped the younger man on the shoulder to remind him he's not
to be exerting himself. She placed the tape in the VCR and pushed play.
Next, she put the tray of cookies and milk on the coffee table, well within
the reach of Mulder and Bryan.

Sometime passed and as Bryan napped quietly next to Mulder on the couch,
Mulder continued to watch the video and munch on cookies. He ate with his
right hand while his left arm was wrapped protectively around the toddler.

"Oh Fox, you're going to make a fine Daddy someday," Beverly observed out

"What?" Mulder reacted with surprise, and then after a moment, "You really
think so?"

"Oh honey, I know so. Little Perpetual Motion there would do anything for
right now my dear Fox. Yes darlin', you will make a very fine Daddy
Don't you worry."

Mulder smiled sweetly at that and then whispered, "Thank you. Thank you for
telling me."


Saturday, December 28, 1996
3:00 A.M.

Mulder tossed and turned on the bed. Even though Mulder had contended the
downstairs couch was more than adequate, if not downright preferable,
had insisted that he sleep on the bed that was housed in Skinner's small,
upstairs, guest room.

Which just happened to be next door to Skinner's own bedroom. Which just
happened to allow Skinner hear any sound resembling Mulder's attempts to go
for a pre-dawn jog. Which just happened to allow Skinner to hear any sound
all, even ones he was not prepared to hear.


Scully had called the prior, late Friday evening, to check in with Mulder
find out how he was feeling. He had let her know that he was, in fact,
feeling terrific. He had spent the last two days entertaining Beverly's
grandson and had found it quite invigorating.

The first day Beverly had brought him was because she had little choice.
brought him the second day because Mulder really enjoyed the little guy's

Beverly had reported to Skinner that Fox was a model patient and that he
should most definitely be ready for the Sunday wedding. She would be there
bright and early Sunday Morning to check his bandages and to change the
dressing if necessary.

So, when Scully had called and found out that he was indeed feeling great,
had asked him if he was up to attending the rehearsal dinner.

"Rehearsal dinner?" he had asked tentatively.

"Yes, Mulder, the rehearsal dinner. You do know what a rehearsal dinner is,
don't you?" she had asked, somewhat astonished that he hadn't seemed to

"Umm, that's when you rehearse the wedding and then eat dinner. Right?" he
answered somewhat cautiously.

"Basically, yes," she had responded somewhat relieved. "We're all going to
meet at Mom's tomorrow at around three thirtyish, and then we'll go out to
Mama Franscesca's for an early dinner. The priest and the rabbi will both
there so they can get coordinated too," she had explained.

"Is Mama's kosher?" Mulder had mumbled in a weak attempt to make a joke.
Suddenly he wasn't feeling so fine anymore.

"What did you say, Mulder?" Scully had asked.

"Umm, nothing Dane. Uh, who's going to be there?" he asked somewhat

"Well, AD Skinner, of course, and the Gunmen, since they're your ushers, and
my sisters-in-law as well as Ellen and Kathy. My nephew will be there
he's the ring bearer, and of course my brothers will be there because, well,
because they're my brothers. And, of course, Mom," she had listed.

"Mulder," Scully had continued gently, "we still haven't received word from
your mother about whether she's coming."

"Don't count on it, Dane," he had told her quietly.

"She might still show up, you know," she had responded softly.

"Dane__," he had begun, but then had decided it was probably wiser to leave
well enough alone. "I'll see you tomorrow. Does the AD know about this?"

Scully had told Mulder she had spoken to Skinner earlier at the office, so
there was no conflicts with his schedule. Mulder had hung up the phone and
called out to Walter.

"Sir?" he had called.

"You need something, Mulder?" he had asked as he walked into the room
some coffee for himself, milk for Mulder, and a tray of the leftover oatmeal
cookies for them both.

"Why didn't you tell me about the rehearsal dinner?" he had asked, a little
more agitated than he had intended.

"Forgot. I'd have remembered eventually," the AD had replied.

"Yeah, like around three o'clock tomorrow afternoon," Mulder had retorted.

"Problem, Mulder?"

"No. No problem," he had lied. Mulder's stomach had begun to churn at the
mere thought of meeting Scully's brothers. He was not looking forward to it
and wondered if her brothers felt the same.


Saturday, December 28, 1996
3:00 A.M.

He looked around frantically and then started running around in circles. At
first, he couldn't figure out where he was running, until he realized he was
on a track. He was in a grey team uniform and was running as fast as he

He turned and noticed there were other people on the track as well. Two
Both redheaded. Both running as fast as they could to catch up with him.

Suddenly he heard one of them shouting at him. "Where is she, Spooky?
the hell is she?"

Then the other man screamed, "You lost her again!? How could you lose her
again? You said you loved her, but you keep losing her! How could you say
you love her? You've lost her! You've lost her!"

Mulder found himself running and running just to try to keep pace ahead of
them. Suddenly another face, a familiar face appeared in front of him.

"Did you lose her like you lost me, Fox? Fox, help me. Please, help me.
then you can find her. But you lost me first. You have to find me first,
Fox. Did you forget about me, Fox? Please, don't forget about me!" cried
Samantha's plea.

"You have to choose Mulder. My sister or yours. You have to choose,"
the Scully brothers.

"Don't forget about me, Fox. Help me, Fox!" Samantha cried.

"Choose. My sister or your sister. Choose. My sister or your sister.

"Help me, Fox. Don't forget about me! Please!





"NOOOO!! NOOOO!! I can't! I can't! NOOOO!! NOOOO!!" Mulder screamed
and over again. Sobs poured out of him in an attempt to put to rest the
demons of the latest nightmare.

Skinner startled so violently at the sounds of the screams, he nearly fell
of his bed. He quickly got out of bed and ran next door to his house guest.
When he looked inside, he now understood what Scully meant by the night

Skinner had been somewhat mentally prepared for what might happen, but since
Mulder hadn't had an episode since his arrival four nights ago, he'd figured
it was just an overactive reaction on the part of someone who tended to be a
little overprotective.

Skinner now realized, as he watched Mulder in the throes of what must have
been a heart wrenching nightmare, that he would never again accuse Scully of
overreacting or of being overprotective.

He didn't have a clue as to what to do. He was afraid to do anything, but
was even more afraid to do nothing. Tentatively, he walked over to Mulder's
bed and sat down next to him. He tried just calling his name, to see if he
could get his attention.

"Mulder. Mulder. Mulder! It's me, Mulder. It's Skinner."

When that didn't work, Skinner tried grasping onto his shoulders and calling
him. "Mulder, it's me. Listen to me."

He tried shaking him ever so slightly, but when there was no response he
realized that Mulder was still in a dead sleep and the middle of the

"Mulder! Fox!" he called while shaking him more forcefully. "Fox, you're
dreaming. Wake up! It's not real, Fox. Wake up!"

"NOOO!" he continued to scream repeatedly. "I can't! I don't want to!
Please! NOOO!"

"Fox, please wake up! You're all right! Everyone is all right! It's just
dream!" Skinner was shaking him more forcefully now, and finally, Mulder
opened is eyes.

He continued to look wildly around the room, his arms were pumping, almost
though he were pushing himself physically. He continued to shout out, but
with not nearly as much energy or terror in his voice.

"Fox, it's me. It's Walter. Look at me Fox. You're okay. Can you hear
Fox, look at me. Can you hear me?"

Mulder's arms finally quieted beside him. He looked towards Walter, but it
appeared he was looking right through Skinner's face rather than at it.
Mulder blinked his eyes several times, hard, in an attempt to focus his

"Sir?" he asked slowly. "I don't ___,"

"__Mulder," Skinner interrupted, "you were having a nightmare."

"Oh. I'm sorry. I sometimes get them," he responded quietly.

"Are they always this bad?" inquired the AD.

"No." Mulder looked down for a moment, and then added in what Skinner
recognized as all seriousness, "Sometimes they're worse."

Skinner was quiet for a few minutes, pondering what to say next. Finally,
asked him if he wanted to talk about it.

"I don't know. I don't even know if I remember what it was about," he said

"Fox, you know damned well what you were dreaming. Now spill," the AD

"I dreamt about Scully's brothers. And Samantha," he volunteered.


"And they were together in the dream," he offered.


"Did you minor in psychology, Walter?" Mulder asked trying hard to suppress
small smile.

"As a matter of fact, yes. Now spill it," he answered.

"Figures." Mulder stopped and took a deep breath. "I dreamt that I'd lost
Scully again and that her brothers and Sam were asking, no, make that
demanding, me to make a choice between Scully or my sister."

Mulder looked at Walter Skinner and felt his eyes beginning to brim over
tears. He looked down at his hands and then whimpered, " I couldn't do it,
Sir. I couldn't make the choice."

Skinner observed the young man in such obvious distress. He knew he had to
careful about the words he chose. Mulder would not tolerate platitudes for
the sake of empty words sounding good. He needed for Mulder to hear the
truth, and really believe it this time.

"Mulder, you don't have to make a choice. No one would ever expect you to
make a choice."

"But I did once, Sir. Remember? On the bridge? And look where it got me,"
sighed heavily.

"Fox, no one expected you to make a choice. We were supposed to get them
__both__ back. You didn't fail, we failed. The sharpshooter couldn't get a
good enough angle. It was a tragedy, but it was not your fault," Skinner
in as convincing tone as he could muster.

"They're going to hate me," Mulder said unintentionally aloud.

"Who's going to hate you?"

Mulder looked surprised with AD's question, because he really didn't realize
he'd spoken his concerns out loud. Finally, he confessed, "Scully's

"They're her brothers, Fox, it's their job to hate you," Skinner said with a
gentle smile. Then, in a more serious tone, "Stop worrying about it so
You're marrying Dana, not her brothers."

"But what if___?" Mulder began, but Skinner cut him off immediately.

"__The world is full of 'what ifs,' but you can't live your life that
around what ifs and regrets. Fox, you love her, and she loves you. You're
team, and a damned fine one at that. Don't you forget it. I know Scully
doesn't." Skinner sat there with his hands still grasping Mulder's
as he waited for Mulder to respond.

"Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir."

"Walter. We're off-duty."

"Yes, Sir. Thank you, Walter."

"Go back to sleep, Mulder. It's going to be a long day today and an even
longer one tomorrow, so sleep. Okay?"

"Yes, S__, Walter." As Skinner started walking out the door, Mulder called
out to him. "Ummm, Walter? Could you just leave the door opened a little?"

"Sure," he said, and then added lightly, "Want the hall light on too?"

"Yes," was the whispered answer, just loud enough for Walter to hear

"You got it, Mulder," he said in a matter of fact tone of voice. He'd meant
it as a joke, and had never expected Mulder to say yes. The dreams really
throw him for a loop. "Good night, Mulder. Call if you need anything,

"Good night, Sir. Thank you, I will." When Mulder's heart stopped racing
after about twenty minutes, he finally managed to close his eyes and go
to sleep.

Too bad Walter Skinner couldn't say the same.

End of part 7/9


Disclaimers in Part 1.

Part 8/9

Saturday, December 28, 1996

Since the AD was driving, they arrived at Maggie's house at three thirty
sharp. Everyone was dressed casually, much to Mulder's relief. Maggie
greeted them both with open arms, to which the AD reacted with surprise, and
Mulder reacted with relief.

Just then Scully appeared in the doorway. "Hi stranger," she greeted.

Mulder turned around and greeted her with one of his most beautiful smiles.
"Hi to you too," he said warmly. "Scully__?"

Before he could say another word, she was in his arms and hugging him as
as she could without being too rough on the tender appendectomy scar. "I've
missed you so much," she murmured into his chest.

"Oh, Dane, I've missed you too. It feels so good to hold you again. Why
it feel like forever since I've held you?" he asked.

"Probably because it has. Oh look, here comes Ellen and Kathy. You
them, don't you, from the Thanksgiving weekend party?" she asked.

Mulder nodded in the affirmative, but in reality he didn't remember all that
much about the party. He was so concerned about asking the AD to be his
Man, that he had a tough time enjoying himself up until he finally got the
nerve to do so. Once he asked, and Skinner agreed, he could then sit back
enjoy everyone's company.

It was a similar kind of feeling today. Mulder was becoming more and more
nervous as each minute ticked by until Bill and Charles Scully made their
appearance. Walter looked over at him every now and then in an attempt to
reassure him, but it wasn't helping.

Scully, on the other hand, was totally unaware of his apprehension, and in
fact, was terribly excited that the four of the most important men in her
at the moment would finally meet!.

"Oh! Mom, they're here! Bill and Charles are here!" she called out
excitedly. The brothers and their wives, as well as Charle's children were
staying at a nearby motel. Normally Maggie would have insisted that
stay with her, but she was, in fact, just too nervous and excited to have to
worry about playing hostess to everyone this weekend.

"Bill! Charlie! I can't believe you're finally here!" Scully called out in
excitement. She ran immediately into her older brother's waiting arms.

"Hello Squirt. How ya doing?" he said affectionately as he gave her a big
bear hug.

"Fine. No, better than fine. Great. No, better than great!. Terrific! I
am doing terrifically, big brother! How about you?"

"Now that I see how happy you really are, I'm doing terrifically well, too,"
he said as he planted a kiss on the top of her head.

Next, she turned to her younger sibling, Charlie, and reached for his arms.
He drew her into his own, and she melted right away. Scully always had a
spot for her baby brother, and since she didn't get the chance to see him
that much, she liked to take advantage of every opportunity to get her quota
of hugs in until the next shore leave.

"So Sis, when do I get to meet this knight in shining armor and give my seal
of approval?" he asked lightheartedly.

"Soon, as soon as I finish this hug. Oh Charlie, it's been too damned
she lamented.

"I know, Sis. I wish it weren't so long between shore leaves, but that
be changing soon," he said cryptically.

"What?" she asked.

"Later. I'll tell everyone later. Promise," he said quietly. "Now where's
this guy, Fox?" he called out loud.

At the sound of his name, Mulder cringed ever so slightly. When he heard
Scully laughingly say, "Mulder. He prefers to be called Mulder, and
the man carries a gun," he relaxed a bit.

Until he heard another voice say, "With a whipped-ass name like that, no
wonder he prefers the name Mulder. Jeez, why would anyone ever do anything
like that to a kid?" Bill Scully stood there looking very smug.

"It was my great-grandfather's name," Mulder said in a quiet, even voice.
least it was when they translated it from the Yiddish language. I don't
remember what it was exactly in Yiddish, but the English translation was

Then turning to Maggie and Scully, he said, "I was named for Nana's father."

Maggie smiled knowingly and said, "I know Bill didn't mean anything
disrespectful, Fox."

"No, I'm sure he didn't Mom," Mulder replied.

"Mom?" Bill Scully intoned. "Hey Fo__, I mean Mulder, aren't we jumping the
gun here a little? I mean, you're not even married yet. This is just the
practice run today, for crying out loud."

Mulder looked at Bill Scully and managed, by some miracle, to stay in
of his emotions. He was nervous enough as it was, and the last thing he
needed was to be needled by Scully's big, overbearing, overprotective,
boorish, older brother.

Of course there was the rub. He was his Scully's big brother, and no matter
what kind of a pain in the rear he was turning out to be, he was going to do
his damnedest not to get on his bad side. So, somehow, he managed to keep

On the other hand, Walter Skinner, who had the excuses of functioning on a
little less sleep than Mulder as well as having to worry about to marrying
the oaf's little sister, felt no compunction to stay quiet.

"Mulder has been calling your mother Mom ever since she was in the hospital
with micro plasma pneumonia from which she recovered with the help of your
sister __and__ Mulder, since both of her sons were unavailable to be there
for her.

"Now don't get me wrong, I was a marine, __boy__, and I know about honor,
sense of duty. I know you couldn't be here, and I don't have a problem with

"What I __do__ have a problem with is your misguided attitude toward
__Special Agent__ Mulder here. He's developed a rather unique relationship
with your mother, and he's been around here for more crisis than I care to
count. So, if I were you, I wouldn't begrudge him the privilege of calling
your mother "Mom" before the wedding. Okay?" Skinner glared at Bill Scully
and practically dared him to disagree.

After a moment or two, Bill Scully said, "And you would be?"

"Assistant Director Walter S. Skinner, FBI." Walter had pulled out his ID
he introduced himself, which in turn showed his holstered gun, and the
was not lost on the now building audience.

It was Mulder who stepped in to break the silence. "You'll have to forgive
the AD, folks. He didn't get too much sleep last night because of me, so
a little cranky. C'mon Walter. Let's go inside and get something to drink,

With that, Mulder grasped Skinner's elbow and led him inside the Scully
Dana followed them into the house as Mulder went to the bar and found the
Chevez scotch. He poured a glass for the AD and handed it to him.
Mulder ordered.

"Mulder?" Scully, had followed the duo inside and asked, "Why didn't Walter
get enough sleep?"

He didn't look at Scully, but she could tell his face was becoming red with
embarrassment. He mumbled, "Bad dream."

"About what, Mulder?" she pleaded. "Mulder, look at me, please?" He turned
to face her, but his eyes still couldn't meet her gaze.

"About the fact that your brothers would probably hate me," he responded.
"Looks like I'm getting psychic in my old age."

"They don't hate you, Mulder," interrupted Skinner, "They hate me."

"Actually, I think he's got a point here, Mulder," she said with a slight
smile. "C'mon you guys. Let's go face the music, together."

And with that, Skinner downed the rest of his drink, and Scully then linked
her arms into his and Mulder's. They walked into the living room where
Ginsburg and Father Donovan were waiting with the other members of the

"Well, look who's decided to join the rehearsal. The bride, the groom and
best man. Lovely!" exclaimed Father Donovan with a grin.

"Hello Father," greeted Dana. "Rabbi Ginsburg? I'm Dana Scully. This
bedraggled looking soul is the Fox Mulder, the groom, and the one that looks
even worse off is the Best Man, Walter Skinner."

"Hello Dana, Fox, and Walter. It is good to meet you all. Your mother was
able to fill us in on some of the traditions you wanted included in the
ceremony. Fox, would you mind going over it one more time with all of us so
we can be sure we're all on the same page?" the Rabbi asked.

"Oh, umm, sure." Fox paused for a moment and then began to speak quietly.
realized that no one really knew the entire story behind the glass or the
chuppa, just that he wanted them included in the ceremony.

He began to speak in a quiet, steady voice. "My mother sent the glass from
Greenwich. She had written in a letter that it was___, well that she felt
was my Nana's wish that we use this glass as the one I break during the
ceremony for good luck."

The rabbi interrupted Mulder's explanation and offered his own, brief
explanation for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the symbolism of the
breaking of the glass. He then looked at Mulder and said, "Fox, this is one
heavy glass," as he lifted it off the table. "Do you think you'll be able
manage it?"

"I may have to have a 'pinch hitter'," he said with a smile, "but I'd like
try. I know my Nana really wanted this." When the rabbi looked at him with
quizzical expression, Mulder simply said, "I just know, Rabbi. Trust me on
this one, okay?"

"Very well. And the Tallis?" questioned Rabbi Ginsburg.

"It was my great-grandfather's." Once again Mulder related the story his
mother had written to him about the tallis and how it became the chuppa for
his Nana's wedding.

"I had Walter pick up some dowels at the hardware store and attached them to
the prayer shawl. All we need is someone to hold them up for us." At this
moment he turned toward Bill and Charlie.

"I know it's traditional for the brothers of the bride to be in the wedding
party, but since we'd never met it seemed kind of awkward for me to ask you
be ushers.

"But I was wondering," Mulder paused and took a shaky breath before he
continued, "if you would honor us by holding up the chuppa, and this way
can stand under the chuppa with the family during the ceremony."

Mulder looked away shyly and then turned toward Scully to see her reaction.
He'd been thinking about this for awhile, and he hoped Scully wouldn't mind
that he asked them without speaking to her first. He hoped they wouldn't
feel uncomfortable taking on a role in the ceremony that was symbolic of
Judaism. When he caught Scully's gaze, he found his answer.

Her eyes glistened with tears, but her smile was so beautiful and genuine.
She knew she loved this man for many reasons, and this was one of the most
important ones. Even though her brother Bill behaved in a crude and
manner, Mulder was always able to see beyond the immediate situation and
to the future.

He knew how much it had bothered her that her brothers were not in the
party, and she was so grateful to him, as well proud of him, that he was
to come up with a meaningful solution. As she looked at him now, tears were
silently streaming down her face, she mouthed to him, *I love you.*

The rabbi cleared his throat, and declared that was an excellent suggestion,
and he hoped Dana's brothers agreed.

"Of course they agree," interjected Maggie. "Don't you boys?" she asked
rhetorically, with a look that told them if they so much as hinted at the
notion of declining the honor she would have their heads served up on a

"Yes, Mom, of course. Sure. Thanks, Fox. I mean Mulder." Both brothers
trying to express themselves at the same time and in the course of doing so,
interrupted each other continuously.

Mulder didn't really care what they said, as long as they were under the
chuppa with them. He hadn't asked them to be nice to them as much as he
them to honor Dana and Maggie.

The wedding rehearsal continued and went off pretty much without a hitch.
Even Byers, Langley, and Frohicke behaved themselves, and checked their
paranoia at the door.

Everyone did their parts well. The bridesmaids and the ushers practiced
walking down the aisle in the living room, while Mrs. Scully walked Dana
the aisle in the Jewish tradition of the parents walking their children down
the aisle.

Mulder asked Skinner if he would walk him down the aisle in lieu of his
mother, since he did not expect her to come to the ceremony tomorrow.
it saddened him greatly that his mother couldn't see fit to attend his
wedding, he felt honored and grateful to Walter Skinner for taking such an
active role in his wedding.

By the time everyone made it to Mama Franscesca's (excluding the Rabbi,
Mama's was not kosher) Mulder was exhausted. He hadn't exerted this much
energy or rode as many emotional highs and lows as he did today, in a very
long time.

"Fox, dear? Are you all right?" asked a concerned Maggie Scully.

"Sure," he responded rather unconvincingly. "Just a little tired, that's

"Oh for heaven's sake! What were we thinking? You must be exhausted, Fox.
Someone's going to take you home right now," she proclaimed.

"What's going on, Mom? Is everything all right?" Bill Scully asked as he
upon Maggie who was looking obviously upset.

"Everything is fine, Bill," Mulder interceded, not giving Maggie a chance to

"Look, __Fox__, my mother can speak for herself. Now Mom, what's got you so
upset?" he asked adamantly.

"Mom__," Mulder pleaded.

"Excuse me, but I was talking to _my_ mother," Bill said harshly. The last
time he'd heard someone say that was when Maggie was ill, and Scully, in her
state of distress, had uttered those very words when she felt he wasn't
supporting her enough. It stung then, and it stung now.

"Please, everyone wants to eat, Mo__, Maggie," Mulder said. He turned to
away, but as he walked he swayed ever so slightly. He grabbed the wall,
steadied himself, and then continued into the dining room.

"Mom, what the hell was that all about? What did he say that upset you so
much?" demanded Bill Scully.

"William Scully, Junior, will you kindly tell me when you became a first
bore? Fox did not __say__ anything to upset me. I wanted to make
arrangements to send him home. Why, you may ask___?" Maggie began her
but was cut off by her youngest child.

"Because he was just released from the hospital on Tuesday after an
appendectomy," completed Charlie. "No wonder the poor guy looks like crap,
and we haven't exactly been the welcoming committee, Bill. And even after
the shit we shoveled at him, he still wants to include us in his wedding."

"Wonderful. I get to hold up a tablecloth over my sister's head. Big
deal," replied Bill.

"Bill!" gasped Maggie who was now just horrified at her eldest son's

"C'mon and face it, Bro. We've screwed up, big time," claimed Charlie.

"Look, I didn't screw up. I don't even know this guy," blurted out Bill.

Maggie had had it with her oldest son. She raised her hand and did what any
strong-willed, stubborn, obstinate, bull-headed, Irish mother would do to an
equally strong-willed, stubborn, obstinate, bull-headed Irish son. She
whumped him solidly on the side of the head.

"And whose fault is that?!" demanded Maggie. "Certainly not Fox's, so how
dare you come here with this omnipotent and pompous attitude. How dare you
bring your cruel asides and negative thoughts to my home and my family.

"Your sister is marrying a kind, sensitive, brilliant young man, who just
happens to love her more than life itself. So don't you dare think you can
just stroll on in here William Scully, Jr. and take over as the "Man of the
House." The Captain was and always will be the head of my family in my
and quite frankly, he would be ashamed of you and your behavior today.

"I am ashamed of you and your behavior today. So I suggest young man that
get yourself an attitude adjustment real quick, or you can just hop back on
your little naval carrier and ship off!" Maggie proclaimed. She glared at
her eldest son for a moment before she turned on her heal and stalked off.

End of Part 8/9

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 9/9

Skinner was already seated at the restaurant table when Mulder entered the
private room. Skinner noticed for the first time how haggard Mulder looked,
and wondered how wise it was to allow him to remain at the restaurant.

When he sat down, Skinner leaned over to him and in low tones said, "Mulder,
you look like shit."

"Gee, Walt, I didn't know you cared," Mulder whispered sarcastically.

"Mulder__," he began.

"__No," he interrupted, and responded in barely audible levels, "I'm sorry.
To be honest, I think I actually look better than I feel. Sir? I think I'd
really like to go home. Now."

"Are you feeling ill? Do you need to go to the doctor?" asked a worried
Skinner in a soft voice.

"No. Honestly, I'm not sick, but I am really tired all of a sudden," Mulder
explained in low tones.

"Hit the proverbial wall, have you, Mulder?" Skinner asked softly, but a
little more lightly.

"Yeah. Oh God, Walter, take me home." Mulder whispered desperately.

With that, Skinner rose from his seat and announced to everyone concerned,
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank you for a fine time today, but
think it's time for me to take the groom home for his beauty sleep."

Maggie stood up and walked over to Walter Skinner. "No, Walter. I have a
better idea." Maggie leaned down and whispered into Walter's ear, "Trust

" I still need Walter's assistance on a few things back at the house, so
would you please drive Mulder back to Crystal City?"

"What?" Bill asked incredulously. Even Dana looked at her mom with a
quizzical expression.

Mulder, on the other hand, looked at Maggie Scully as though she'd just
sentenced him to the electric chair. "Mom? Don't you want to visit with
a little bit? It's a half hour drive to and from Crystal City."

"That's okay. Bill's an excellent driver. Besides, I'm sure he has
he wants to say to you, don't you dear?" Maggie said with sweetly with an
of steel in her voice.

Bill Scully rose silently and merely glared at his mother. Mulder looked
slightly helpless, something akin to a lamb going to slaughter, but he
followed Bill anyway.


Bill Scully drove with his eyes straight ahead. He steered the car with
of his hands, white knuckles evident, on the steering wheel and didn't
them during the entire drive. He did not deviate from the road unless Mulder
told him to turn left or right.

Which, of course, forced Mulder to keep jerking his head up to stay awake.
felt his head falling to the side and realized he was falling asleep, he was
that tired. This was probably not a good idea, however, if he wanted to
make it back to Skinner's apartment before the next millennium.

Mulder didn't know if he should attempt to make conversation with Bill or
He certainly didn't want any continued animosity between them, but he wasn't
even sure as to exactly what it was that Bill Scully objected to about

Once or twice, Mulder actually tried to begin a dialogue, but was thwarted
each time by Bill's refusal to respond. The only time Mulder saw Bill
react was when Mulder said to make the last left turn and that would put
in front of the apartment complex. Bill stopped the car, but he did not
off the engine.

He didn't even watch Mulder climb out of the passenger seat and close the
door. Bill Scully kept his eyes facing forward, and without so much as a
goodbye, Bill Scully put the car into drive and took off with the tires

Mulder stood quite still as he watched the rental car take off. He remained
equally as quiet as he watched and wondered what he did, other than loving
wanting more than anything in the world to make that man's baby sister
to make Bill so damned angry with him. He wondered, if indeed, that was all
that it took.


Sunday, December 29, 1996
10:36 A.M.

Skinner looked up from the kitchen counter to see a rather bedraggled Fox
Mulder appear in the doorway. His hair was sticking up in all directions
his eyes were still puffy with sleep.

Skinner noted the bulkiness of the bandage that Mulder was still wearing.
hoped they would be rid of it when Beverly came over to check it. At the
least, he hoped Beverly would be able to substitute a smaller bandage.

"Hey. I was wondering if you were planning on getting up today," Skinner
teased lightly.

"Coffee. If I can't go running, then I need coffee. Now." Mulder spoke
the morning rasp still in his voice.

As he watched Skinner pour him a cup, he asked, "What time did you get home
last night?"

"Little before eight o'clock. Bill Scully seemed to be a little less ornery
when he finally got back to the restaurant. Of course it could have been
weakness due to hunger, because by the time he got back we were getting
for dessert, and Maggie was not going to give him the chance to catch up."

"Yeah," Mulder acknowledged, "Maggie certainly was pissed off with him,

"You think she had her husband that well trained?" Skinner asked.

"Wouldn't surprise me. Why? You looking to get in some training?" Mulder

Skinner looked at Mulder with one raised eyebrow, but Mulder wouldn't let
off the hook. "C'mon Sir, I've seen you look at Maggie Scully in a way that
was___, well that was____, less than professional?"

"Mulder, so what did Bill Scully say to you when he drove you home?" he
in an attempt to divert his attention onto a new topic.

"The words that Maggie Scully will hear or the truth?" he asked.

"Give me an abbreviated version of both," answered Skinner.

"Maggie will hear me say Bill graciously apologized for his rudeness."

"And the truth, Mulder?" Skinner asked, almost afraid of the answer.

"Nothing. The man was stone-faced the entire trip home. I told him when to
turn, because if I didn't he just kept driving. Which sucked, because I
have fallen asleep in the car so easily, but I was afraid we'd end up
to Florida." Mulder sat there rather sullenly himself.

The next moment both men heard the doorbell ring and then heard Beverly
letting herself into the apartment. She called out her greetings to the two
men, and then told them to get out of _her_ kitchen so she could make some

Mulder wanted to take a shower, but Beverly told him to wait until after
breakfast, because she wanted to check his bandages. So he waited patiently
while Beverly miraculously pulled together a homemade, diner's breakfast
special in less then fifteen minutes.

He hadn't realized how hungry he was, but then Mulder remembered he'd never
eaten dinner from the previous night. When Bill Scully had dropped him off,
he went straight to bed without eating a crumb.

Beverly and the AD were delighted to see Mulder was hungry. They had both
feared the groom might have some self-doubts and suffer from a loss of
appetite, and happily, that was not the case. Well, almost.

Mulder suddenly looked up at both Skinner and Beverly. "Ohmigod," he began
with a rather shell-shocked expression on his face. "I'm getting married
today." With that he excused himself and made a beeline for the bathroom
where he promptly threw up everything he had just so heartily eaten.

Walter knocked on the door to check on him. He was greeted at the bathroom
door by a rather green looking young man, but other than that, none the
for the wear. Mulder gave him a weak smile and then said, "You're not going
to believe it, but__."

"__you forgot," Walter finished for him. "Mulder, you supposedly have a
photographic memory. Want to try and explain to me how you could possible
forget your wedding day?"

"Ummm, no."

Beverly entered the hallway and told Mulder to go lay down so she could
his appendectomy dressing. He did as he was told, but he was still a little
embarrassed at having Beverly be the one to check his abdomen. He lowered
boxers just enough to reveal the bandage.

Beverly snapped her latex surgical gloves on as professionally as Scully,
then cautiously pulled the bandage away from Mulder's skin. Next, she
palpated the area around the surgical scar to check for any abnormalities
happily, did not find anything unusual.

"I think, Fox, we can use a lighter bandage in the area. What do you say?"
she asked confidently.

"Great. Can I shower with it though?" he asked.

"Yes, you're healing nicely. There's no reason why you couldn't get the
wet now," she reassured.

"How long do I have to get ready?" he asked Skinner.

"We have to be at Maggie's house by two o'clock, so we need to leave here no
later than one thirty, okay? The ceremony is set for three o'clock," he

"Plenty of time. I've packed for a full week on the road in less time,"
Mulder muttered.

"Yeah, Mulder, but this isn't for a week on the road. This is a lifetime."
Skinner gave him a bright smile of support and then waved him back into the
bathroom to shower.

By the time he came out of the shower and had half dressed himself, Mulder
visibly nervous. He was pacing inside the guest bedroom, all the while
talking to himself.

"Nu, Foxila, what's so terrible that you should be walking back and forth
a meshugenah chicken without its head?" she asked out of thin air.

"Nana?" he looked about the room in a slightly frenzied manner, and when he
couldn't see her, he asked her why?

"Perhaps because you just need me a little bit for now, shayner boychik."

"Nana, please. I need to see you. Please?" he pleaded.

Since Nana was rarely ever able to refuse her grandson anything, she managed
to materialize before his eyes. Then she said with such tenderness, "Fox,
have nothing to be nervous about. Your Dana loves you and you love her.
let me tell you, when I walk down that aisle with you, I am going to kvell
like a proud peacock!"

"You're going to walk down the aisle with me, Nana?" he echoed.

"Nu, you've got a better job for me?" she asked wryly.

"Nana__? Will anyone__?" he began to ask awkwardly.

"No, sweetheart. Only the people I feel a special connection to will see
No one else, I promise," she assured.

"Fox! How are you doing in there child? Surely you have to be decent by
now!" called out Beverly.

She rapped a couple of times on the door before she barged right in. When
entered she was immediately taken aback by the appearance of the elderly
in the room. "Hello, and who might you be?"

"Nana, just how many people do you feel connected to?" he asked with a
of exasperation.

"Nana? Are you Fox's Nana?" Beverly asked. "Well isn't that something,"
said with reverence.

"Hello, Beverly. I thank you for taking such good care of mine grandson.
are going to be such an excellent nurse when you graduate. Thank you, so
much, dear Beverly."

"It was my pleasure, Nana. He's a good patient," Beverly responded.

Mulder choked a little bit on that last notion, but somehow managed to
some self-control.

"Umm, will someone please tie this thing for me?" Mulder asked as he
the tie. "I can't believe I allowed Scully to talk me into this. Just tell
me I was delirious so I'll be able to explain the photographs to my children

"Oy Fox. Stop kvetching! Beverly will tie the tie for you and you will
so beauty-full! Come now! Before you know it, it will be three o'clock!"
Nana stood there barking orders, but beaming with love and pride at the same

Walter entered the room to see what the progress was, when he noticed the
elderly woman in the corner of the room. "Nana?"

Nana nodded her greeting to Walter, and then sat on the bed while Beverly
helped Fox put together the finishing touches on his morning suit. All the
while, Mulder kept thinking if the appearance of his Nana wasn't the marking
of an X-File, he didn't know what was.


Maggie Scully's house
3:00 P.M.

Rabbi Ginsburg and Father Donovan stood together, under the chuppa that was
held up by the Scully brothers. The pianist began playing softly a
piece and then shortly after that, began the Wedding March.

Scully's sister-in-law, Tara, led the procession and was escorted by
Next, was Charlie's wife and she was escorted by Byers. The last of the
bridesmaids was Scully's good friend, Kathy, and she was escorted by
Ellen, Scully's best friend for many years and the Matron of Honor, walked
down the aisle on her own.

Finally, Charlie's son, Devan, walked like a little angel and carried the
rings that were tacked onto the velvet pillow.

Next to walk down the aisle was Fox. He looked to his right and saw Walter,
and then to his left and saw his Nana. Walter walked proudly by his side,
while Nana, as she had promised, kvelled as she walked with him on his left.

To most of those in attendance, it appeared that Mulder had his left hand
balled into a fist out of nervousness. In reality, if one could call it
Mulder was holding his Nana's hand tightly for moral support.

As Mulder and Skinner approached the chuppa, they saw confident smiles on
priest and the rabbi. Mulder next looked at Charlie, and was pleased to see
some semblance of a smile. When he looked at Bill, however, he saw some
ambivalence tinged slightly with a hint of animosity.

Just then the music changed and announced the arrival of the bride. Maggie
Scully walked down the aisle with her beautiful daughter at her side. If
Maggie radiated happiness for her daughter, then one could only say that
was illuminated with a joyful euphoria.

Mulder had never seen her look as beautiful as she looked on that day. He
beamed at her as she stepped nearer and nearer. It took all of his self-
control to keep from stepping into the aisle and sweeping her into a hug and
kiss right then and there.

As mother and bride came closer, Skinner and Mulder moved slightly over to
side to make room for them. Scully looked at Mulder with shimmering eyes,
while Mulder's glistened with unshed tears as well.

As the clergymen began the ceremony, a stealth figure slipped quietly in the
back of the room and sat down. Only one person felt the presence, and Nana
smiled without having to look back to see who it was.

"Foxila," Nana said quietly, so that only he could hear. "You need to make
room for one more person under the chuppa, shayner boychik."

Mulder looked at her curiously, and then saw her nod toward the rear of the
room. He tried to surreptitiously look behind him, but when he saw what he
saw, he felt himself become quite light-headed and started to sway.

"Fox?" Skinner said, as he reached out for his arm to support him.

"I'm okay. I'm sorry. Rabbi? Father? We need to stop for a moment," said
Mulder tremulously.

"Mulder, what's wrong?" asked an anxious Dana.

"Oh Dane, nothing's wrong. In fact, everything is right now." He smiled,
said he'd be right back, and turned on his heels to walk back down the

He stopped at the last row of chairs, and stood before the beautifully
tastefully dressed woman sitting on the aisle. Mulder extended his hand
toward her, and quietly said, "You belong up there with the rest of my

Elizabeth Mulder looked up at her son and realized her Elizabeth Arden face
was going to be ruined by the tears that fell unabashedly down her cheeks.
She took her son's hand, and walked him down the aisle as only his mother
should have. She then stood between her son and Walter under the chuppa.

Mulder looked at the priest and the rabbi, and quietly, but proudly, said,
mother." Rabbi Ginsburg and Father Donovan both nodded their smiles in
greeting, and then continued the ceremony.

The couple decided, since everything they did outside of the home was so
unusual and open to extreme possibilities, they chose to go the traditional
route with respect to their wedding vows. The Rabbi conducted his part of
the ceremony and had Mulder repeat his vows as he placed the wedding band on
Scully's finger. Then, the Priest proceeded with the ceremony and had
repeat her vows while she placed the wedding band on Mulder's finger.

When the clergymen simultaniously pronounced the couple as husband and wife,
that was Mulder's cue to break the glass. He looked at Scully, Maggie,
Nana, and then Elizabeth, and felt a rush of adrenaline that gave him the
strength of ten men. Holding onto Scully with one hand and his mother with
other, Mulder raised his foot and brought it down in one smooth motion onto
the crystal glass.

CRUNCH! At the sound of the glass breaking, the congregates broke out into
applause and even a few shouts of "mazel tov" could be heard.

Mulder turned to Scully and reached for her waist. Scully, in turn, reached
up to grasp Mulder's shoulders and drew him close to her. They moved closer
and closer to one another until their lips were within millimeters of each
other. Finally, Mulder pressed his lips so tenderly onto his wife's lips,
Scully returned the kiss with equal responsiveness.

As the newly married couple increased the passion in their kiss, the cheers
from those assembled also increased. Eventually, even Mulder and Scully had
to come up for air, and the two of them broke out in a joyful laughter that
had everyone smiling. They each began to kiss, hug, and shake hands with
of the members under the chuppa.

As Scully kissed the members of her wedding party and her family, Mulder
reached out to his mother and gently pulled her into a hug. "Thank you,
I know this wasn't easy for you, and I want you to know I really do
your being here today. I__, I lo___, I love you, Mom," he finally

She looked back and returned his smile, but the tears that continued to fall
down her face choked back the words that were close to her lips. She was
able to nod in affirmation and squeeze his hand.

He next reached out to Walter, and grasped his hands in appreciation and
gratitude. Then, the emotion of the moment got to both men, and they
simultaniously drew the other into an affectionate bear hug. Walter heard
Mulder murmuring, "Thank you for everything, Walter. Thank you so much for

Walter replied quietly in return, "You're welcomed, Fox."

Mulder let go of Walter, and before he sought out Scully and her family, he
looked for one more person. His eyes searched the crowd under the chuppa,
he didn't see her.

Quietly, he called out, "Nana? Nana, where are you?"

"I'm here, shayner boychikel," she answered softly.

"Where, Nana? I can't see you?" he said softly.

"That's because you don't need to see me any longer, sweet boy."

"Oh Nana, please. Let me see you," he whispered.

"No, mine aneykel. Look all around you. This is what you need to see.
future, my Fox. Me? I'm your past, and you will keep me in your heart,"
comforted Nana.

"Oh Nana, you've always been my heart. You and Sam, you were always my
heart," Mulder cried out softly.

"And we will always be a part of your heart, my sweet boy. But now? Open
your eyes wide mine shayner boychikel, and go to your wife. Now is the time
look at your future. I love you, Fox."

Fox knew that he would not hear his Nana's voice again that night. He
know if he would ever hear it again, but for now, he looked all around at
people in his life.

And with a smile on his face, and his Nana's love in his heart, he stepped
toward his future with open eyes.

End of part 9/9

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