Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 20:34:35 -0800

Category: MSR (marriage), MulderTorture,MulderAngst
Rating: PG13 for language & violence
Spoilers: Through season 4
Summary: Mulder, Scully & baby Adam prepare for the next
journey in their lives, only to have ignorance, jealousy, and violence
threaten to end it too soon.
Archive: Yes.
Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully, as well as Maggie Scully, Bill &
Tara Scully, Charlie & (whatever his wife's name is on the
show...but we call her) Karen Scully and Walter Skinner belong to
10/13 productions and Chris Carter. Since I have learned to play
nice in the sandbox, I am only borrowing them CC's characters and
promise to return them at the end of the story. Honest. I promise.
Believe me. Please, because I couldn't afford to be sued on my

I'm quite sure Vickie feels the same way! Doncha Vickie??
Vickie?? Give 'em back, Vickie! C'mon, ya gotta give 'em back!
We promised!... oh, all right, just a little longer!.......(but eventually, we'll give 'em back! Promise!)

Additional Disclaimer: Rock-a-bye Baby does not belong to me
either, and yes I have taken the liberty of changing the words just a
tad, 'cause that' s the way I used to sing it to my son when he was a
baby... (and who is turning the ripe old age of 12 in five days.. oy)
because I hated the original words.....hated them!

Introduction: This is a follow-up to the stories, "Life Cycles VII:
Eight Days," by Susan Proto and the addendum story "Life Cycles
VIII: In the Name of the Father" by Vickie Moseley. This new
story is a two/fer/oner as it's co-authored by Susan and Vickie!
This is the ninth piece in the series.

The stories are going in a chronological order, so for continuity's
sake, especially regarding this one, you probably will want to read
the others first, cause this one might throw you for a loop if you
don't. We've taken a couple of liberties with one or two characters,
so be forewarned regarding that!

This was an experience to remember! I've never collaborated with
anyone before, and to be honest the thought of "keeping up with
Moseley" was a little daunting to me at first. But I gotta tell ya, the
lady sure does know how to write, as well as encourage and guide a
friend to write their very best offerings as well. This story was a
roller coaster of learning, knowledge, and emotions! We took
these characters on a helluva ride, and Vickie and I rode with them
over every bump and dip!

So, thank you Vickie, for not only willingly partaking in my
universe, but giving it the richness and diversity that I could never
have achieved without you!

<Vickie, blushing, wrestles the microphone out of Susan's hands>
Hi there. Well, I've watched gleefully since Susan first relayed her
idea of 'getting our guys engaged and married'(shameless plug for
Life Cycles series). I want to thank her deeply, sincerely, and
eternally for letting me wade in and join the fun. This was an
incredible undertaking from the start and the fact that we lived
through it, and had a great time to boot, says just how insane we
both are.

I do want to add one more WARNING. We deal with some really
sensitive issues herein--sibling rivalry and relationships, hate crimes,
bigotry, hatred in general. It's real, it happens, and we know that
it's not to be taken lightly. Our intent, from the very beginning,
was to show how destructive a force bigotry can be. We do not
wish to offend anyone in telling this story. Please know that we
entered into this with good will toward all and the best of
intentions. But if religious discussions bother you, you might want
to sit this one out.

Golden Globe Award for Best Dramatic Series. Hey, Hollywood,
we've known it all along <VEG>

We would love comments. But don't try to convert either of us.
We are shippers, and MTA's to the last <VEG>

Life Cycles IX: Journey (1/21)
by Vickie Moseley & Susan Proto

The Mulder residence

"Thank you, Father. We'll see you Saturday morning, I guess,"
Dana Scully said nodding into the phone. She put the receiver
down and frowned over at her mother. "I had no idea it was going
to be this complicated," she sighed.

Maggie laughed. "What did you expect, Sweetheart? Baptism is a
sacrament, like Marriage, First Communion--you don't just walk
into the Church and splash some holy water around and then walk
out," she added, taking the opportunity of her daughter's
distraction to pick up and cuddle her newest grandchild. "You
should have taken the Baptism classes before Adam was born.
Then you would have been all set."

"I didn't KNOW about them before Adam was born," Dana
groused. "I had other things on my mind," she said cryptically.
Dana never wanted her mother to know that until the moment she
held little Adam in her arms, she wasn't convinced that she
wouldn't lose this baby as she had her first.

"Well, you know about them now, so, what's the problem?"

"The problem is a husband who is not going to be pleased to give
up his Saturday, all day Saturday, to listen to a bunch of Christian
doctrine," Dana wailed. "Fox is letting me do this, I don't want to
force anything else on him."

"You can never tell, Dana. He might like it," Maggie pointed out.

Dana shot her mother a look similar to those she gave her husband.
"Mom. He's not converting. I don't want him to convert," she
stated firmly.

Maggie immediately went on the defensive. "Neither do I,
Sweetheart. But there is more to this than religion. You will be
there with other young couples, working couples, many of them.
You can share experiences. Remember childbrith classes?" Maggie
smiled as Dana nodded, a gentle smile coming to her face.

"He did pretty well, after that trip to the bathroom following the
birth process video," Dana admitted with a chuckle. "It was nice
being in a room full of people in the same boat, I guess."

"And that was all couples who were 'waiting' for their babies. This
will be couples who already have their babies--most of them. You
might learn something beyond religion."

I hope so, Dana mused, but said nothing more.

Fox got home at 6:15, as he had everyday since Dana had been out
on maternity leave. He came in the front door of their apartment,
kissed his wife passionately and then dropped her flat in favor of
kissing and holding his infant son.

"Guess I know my place," Dana muttered low, but the smile on her
face spoke otherwise. She loved watching 'her boys' enjoy each
other's company.

"Did you say something, Dane?" Mulder asked, not looking up
from where Adam was grabbing and chewing on his tie.

"No, nothing. Dinner's almost ready. Soup and sandwiches, is that

"Pressed cardboard sounds good right now, soup and sandwiches is
ambrosia," Mulder replied with a tired sigh.

"Rough day?" Dana asked, coming up behind him and rubbing
between his shoulder blades. "You are one big knot back here,"
she commented.

"Got to play referee in an argument in VCS. Two profilers, one
case, totally different opinions," he explained.

"And they came to you to settle the dispute?" she asked

He laughed without humor. "Yeah. Bad part was, they were both
miles off track. I ended up doing the--" he looked down at his son
and grinned "--the blankety blank thing myself. Took the better
part of the day. I missed lunch completely. And then when I got it
finished and turned in, both profilers went to Skinner and accused
me of trying to steal their work. Skinner was forced to 'ream me
out' about overstepping my authority--"

Dana frowned. "He didn't--"

Mulder held up his free hand. "Relax, my overprotective loved one.
It was for show. But even his 'for show' can get pretty hairy.
Anyway, he had all of us in the office and told VCS that next time,
they have to make their requests for assistance through him-- 'to
avoid this confusion in the future'. That should help me out a

"I'll be there in another month. I'll keep the dogs at bay," she
assured him.

"Well, you take all the time we can here with my guy, OK? He's
only a baby once, and I can take care of myself." He stood up and
put Adam back in his bouncey seat, then turned and took Dana into
a bear hug. "As long as I have you here to take care of me when I
get home." He released her and then walked into the bedroom,
stripping off jacket, tie and white dress shirt as he went.

Dana stood there a moment, wincing. Her husband hadn't been
having the best of times since she left the office to stay home with
the baby. Usually, she could insulate him a little from the jabs and
barbs he received at the hands of his fellow agents. But without
knowning what was going on, she really was at a loss to help him.
And now she was about to ruin his weekend for him, too?

"If timing is everything, Adam Ant, your mommy's timing stinks,"
she sighed down at the tiny boy, who looked up at her with a
slightly cross-eyed expression and smacked his lips. "No, I think
Daddy gets to eat first tonight. Then we'll top you off right after
baths, is that all right?"

Adam, of course, had other plans. Almost as if he could smell the
soup coming to a slow boil, he let out a wail that rivaled any she'd
heard on any of their cases. "Thanks, Adam," she groused.
"Mommy needed another example of how much her timing stinks." She picked
the baby up, pulled up her shirt and unfastened her nursing bra.

"You never unhooked like that for me," came a faux pouting voice
behind her.

"Yes, I did. That's how we got in this predictament," she growled

"Oh, yeah, I almost forgot," Mulder mumbled with a grin and
wandered off to the kitchen. He was now sporting his oldest
Knick's tee shirt--the one Dana had threatened to throw in the rag
bin, and a pair of torn at the knees and seat sweatpants.

"Great fashion statement, Mulder," she called out to him with a

"Well, we can't all be as fashionable as you, my love. Hey, Dane,
isn't that MY Academy tee shirt you're wearing," he accused
without looking back.

She blushed, caught red handed. "Mine is a little, uh,--"

"Tight?" he asked, returning to the doorway of the kitchen to flash
her a leering grin. "Hey, I'm not complaining! And neither is
Munch Mouth there. We like our women 'busty'!" He went back
in the kitchen and she could hear the sounds of dishes rattling.
"Salad plates okay, since we're just having cold cuts?" he called

"Yeah, that's great. Sweetheart, I'll get that--you're probably
tired," she called back, but Adam was making it very clear that he
was no where near finished.

"I'm exhausted, but hey, no sweat. I can sleep in Saturday and
Sunday," he replied brightly and missed the pained expression that
came to her eyes. She watched him bring a steaming bowl of soup
out to set at her place, then another for himself. "And we can all
snuggle in the big bed, just the three of us--I can sleep till noon and
we can have bagels for lunch. Or how about I take the two of you
out to lunch? Hey, better yet, how about if we let Grandma
Maggie spoil the crap out of the baby and I take _you_ to lunch!
Yeah, I like that idea a lot! What do you say? I think he's old
enough to leave for an hour or so. And if we can't trust your
mom--I mean who--"

"We can't," Dana said flatly, her eyes brimming with tears.

He spun on his heel and gawked at her. "Why not? He's a month
old, Dana. For god's sakes, if we can't trust your mom--"

"We have something we have to do on Saturday!" she blurted out,
tears streaking down her cheeks. "Damn it, we have to go to

Mulder stopped dead in his tracks and a bemused expression graced
his face. "Sweetheart, it's _me_ that would go to 'church' on
Saturday. I mean, I know you've just started to go again--but even
I know that."

"Oh, Mulder, shut up and listen!" Scully ordered, standing up and
bringing the still suckling infant along with her to the table. "I
called Father McKuen this morning. He told me all the stuff we
have to do for the Baptism and we have to go to Baptism classes of
all the stupid, dumb ass--"

Mulder cringed as his wife really got riled up.

"Goddamned crazy--I mean, I've been a Catholic all my life! I've
been to a hundred Baptisms if I've been to one! Why in the Hell--"

"Dane, ah, could we cool the language, please," Mulder whispered
and pointed to the baby. "Just a little, huh?"

That was enough to defuse her anger and bring a smile to her face.
"Sorry. Forgot for a moment." She then sobered again. "But it's
still a pain. I mean, you're tired, you've been working down in that
basement all by yourself for over a month now, you want to relax
on the weekends--"

"So what is this all about, anyway? You still haven't told me why
we're supposed to be at church on Saturday."

"Baptism class. You know, like the Pre-Cana class we had to go to
for the wedding?" She'd been relunctant to drag him to the pre
marriage class, but surprisingly, he'd agreed. At the time, he told
her it wasn't a bad idea to stop and ask some of the important
questions before taking such a big step--even if they thought they
knew all the answers.

"Makes sense. What time do we need to be there?" he answered
around a mouthful of smoked turkey on rye.

"9:30 sharp, at St. Mark's in Baltimore. So we have to be up at the
crack of dawn, but we can bring Adam--they encourage it, really.
We'll break for lunch around 12. It's just for the morning."

"Dane, that's not that bad. I mean, it's just one morning. And that
way, we can snuggle and do lunch on Sunday--assuming you don't
mind going to that late service you found."

She grinned at him. "If they'd had 5 pm Mass on Sundays growing
up, I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven," she
chuckled. "OK, it's a date, then."

end of part one


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (2/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

Mulder had left the office a little earlier than he'd anticipated. The
fact that it was just about seven thirty was a bloomin' miracle! He
knew, however, he wasn't in any real rush, as Dana was staying
over at Maggie's house with Adam for the night. He'd been making
it a priority to get home by 6:15 each night since the baby was
born, but before the arrival of the littlest Mulder, anytime before
eight o'clock p.m. was considered early.

Dana had wanted to give her mother a chance to spend some
quality "Grandma time" with her new grandson, and so Mulder had
suggested she go over to her Mom's that Friday afternoon, but
pack an overnight case for herself and the baby. He knew they had
the Baptism Class the next morning, and since the church was in
Baltimore near her mom's home, having Scully sleep over with the
baby was most likely going to make life easier for them. Less "last
minute" rushing for them.

This way he could work a little later in the X-Files office. Between
constantly being loaned out to VCS, and being out in the field with
his own cases, he didn't have a whole lot of time to keep up with
the bureaucratic paper trail.

Staying over at her mom's made the most sense, Mulder had told
Dana, since he'd had a lot of paper work to wade through since his
number one "paper wader" wasn't due back from child rearing leave
for another month. He was, to say the least, a little backlogged
and could put the extra time to good use.

She'd smiled at that. She had the best smile. He loved it when she
smiled. But then he remembered her looking at him with a little bit
of concern.

"Will you join us after work?" she'd asked.

"Probably Saturday morning. I don't know what time I'll get done
tonight, so if it's really late, I don't know if I'd want to drive out to
Baltimore. Is that okay with you?" he'd asked.

"Oh, you just want a night with uninterrupted sleep, that's all!"
she'd admonished good naturedly.

"Oh, no! You've found me out!" he'd replied in jest. "Seriously
though, is it okay with you if I don't come out tonight? I will if you
really want me to."

"Of course it's all right with me, Mulder. I don't want you
needlessly driving when you're exhausted. If you're up to it, fine,
but if you're too tired, then go home and enjoy the peace and
quiet," she'd reassured.

He'd hugged her and then realized it would be the first night he'd
be spending away from her since Adam was born. Their baby was
a month old now, and he didn't think he very much liked the idea of
being away from his wife and son.

But now it was about twenty minutes after seven, and since he had
the foresight to pack an overnight bag just in case, he could make
to Baltimore inside of a half hour. Mulder smiled at that thought
and looked over to the right of the street when something caught
his eye. It was a small sign on the side of the road, and he figured
most people would probably miss it if they weren't looking for it.

*Was he looking for it?* he wondered.

He found himself pulling into the parking lot with a few other cars.
It was the lot of Temple Emanuel. He saw a number of cars
already in the parking lot, and quite a few more following him into
the lot. He noticed when the passengers got out of their cars it was
usually in what appeared to be a family unit. Fathers, mothers,
sons, daughters, an occasional grandparent or two.

He felt a little unsure of himself. Actually, he felt downright
anxious, and he suddenly missed Dana and Adam very much. It
had been too many years since he'd set foot in a Temple, and he
was beginning to think tonight wasn't the right time either.

"Mr. Mulder? Fox Mulder, is that you?" called the voice in the

"Hello?" he replied tentatively.

"Fox, it's Gerry Ginsburg. Are you joining us tonight for services?
How did you know it was the Family Service tonight. Where's Dana
and Adam?"

"Oh, hello Rabbi Ginsburg. It's nice to see you. Umm, Dane and
the baby aren't here. They're visiting my mother-in-law for the
night. I'd just left work and was driving by when__," Mulder

"___You got the urge for a little religion!" Rabbi Ginsburg cut in.
"So, come in and scout the place. Hopefully, you'll find it to your
liking and want to return next time with Dana and the baby. Come,
come. We're starting in a few minutes. Come," he encouraged
again and grasped Mulder's arm.

Mulder allowed himself to be led into the Temple by the rabbi. He
pointed to a bin to Mulder's left, near the entrance, and when
Mulder looked, he realized it was full of yarmulkes. He reached in
for one of the skull caps and, from a memory's habit, he checked
inside the lining to see what was printed.

"David Abrams , Bar Mitzvah , May 4, 1996"

*Congratulations, David Abrams, whoever you are,* he thought
wryly. He followed Rabbi Ginsburg to the large oval table in the
middle of the center hall. Standing in the middle of the table were
two large candlesticks, as well as two trays with mini plastic shot
glasses of what looked like sweet wine.

"Good evening, everybody," Rabbi Ginsburg said in his welcoming
manner. "Let's gather round so we can welcome the Sabbath.
Come, join us everybody. Take a cup of wine or grape juice,
whatever your pleasure."

While one of the older children carried the tray of grape juice for
the children to take, one of the adult members of the temple came
around with the tray of wine and offered one to Mulder. He took a
cup, smiled his thanks, and then watched her move on to the next

He next watched a young woman walk up to where the candles
were. She picked up the book of matches and watched her light the
two candles. Then he saw something that startled him. Mulder
gazed at the young woman as she mutely closed her eyes and briefly
waved her hands over the candles.

His whole body shuddered as he remembered a time so long ago
when he watched his Nana do the very same thing. He remembered
asking her once if it was her birthday, and Nana had just laughed
and told him "No, shayner boychikel, we're welcoming the Sabbath

He heard the words said today as he had heard them so long ago, in
his Nana's kitchen.

"Baruch-ah-ta- ah-do-noy, eh-lo-hay-nu meh-lech ho-o-lom,
ah-sher kid'sho-nu b'mitz-vo-tov- v'tzi-vo-nu l'hahd'liq nehr shel

"Blessed are You, O LORD our God, King of eternity, who set us
apart with Your commandments, and commanded us to kindling the
lights of Shabbat."

Next, the Rabbi began to chant the blessing over the wine as he
held up a large, gold cup. Mulder remembered how the Rabbi had
used glasses from his Nana's crystal set during his own wedding and
then again, Adam's bris not so long ago.

Mulder thought back to Nana's own special cup that she reserved
for the Sabbath and for Passover seder. She said it was the kiddush
cup, and it was reserved for only special occasions. He wondered
what happened to the cup, and knew he would have to ask his
mother about it..

As the Rabbi finished the lovely chant, everyone sang the final
"amen" together. Everyone then followed the Rabbi into the
sanctuary. As people found their seats, Mulder stood near the
entrance and felt absurdly out of place. He realized he was one of
the only people there alone. Everyone else was there with their
spouse and or their children.

As he debated with himself as to whether he should stay, a small
barrel of energy rammed full speed into Mulder's legs and fell over.
Mulder looked down and quickly scooped the toddler up and
swung her high into the air before she could even think about

"Wow! You were going so fast, I think you're going to the moon!"
he said brightly as he held the youngster above his shoulders.

"To the moon! To the moon!" the brown curly haired child shouted

"Oh my gosh," cried out the young woman, "are you all right?"

"Well," said Mulder, "she doesn't seem any worse for the wear."

"Rachael? Oh, I wasn't worried about her! It's you I was
concerned about. She rammed you pretty hard," the woman

"Oh," he laughed as he set Rachael on the floor. "No, I'm fine. I
seem to the type of person that attracts black and blue marks, so
Rachael just helped me add to the collection."

"To the moon! To the moon! Wanna go to the moon!" chanted

"Rachael, hush. Rabbi Gerry is getting ready to conduct the
service. We need to go sit down, so let's go find Daddy and Jason,"
she instructed.

"Come. We go to the moon," Rachael said to Mulder while
grasping his hand.

"I think you've been adopted for the night Mr. _____," she

"Mulder. Just Mulder, no Mister is necessary," he replied as he
offered his hand.

"Hi, Mulder. Okay, well I'm Leslie Goldfarb," she said as she
shook his hand in response. Let's go over and I'll introduce you to
my husband, Richard and our newest addition, Jason."

As they walked over, Rachael held Mulder's hand and introduced
him to her father by simply saying, "Daddy, Mulder's going to the

Richard Goldfarb's mouth gaped just a little at his daughter's
seemingly bad manners, but Mulder reassured him by saying, "Hi
Richard, I'm Mulder. This must be Jason."

Richard nodded yes, and everyone sat down to listen to the service.

As the service ensued, Mulder looked around slightly amazed.
Though Rachael had sat for about the first fifteen minutes, she was
now busy moving back and forth between her mother and father.
Leslie had reached over and told Mulder that she had just turned
three years old but still got incredibly fidgety.

Apparently there were a lot of fidgety three year olds, and two year
olds, and four year olds and one year olds, because it appeared to
Mulder that every toddler in the congregation was milling about the
seats and the aisles. But Rabbi Ginsburg pressed on, and in fact
invited the children up to the bimah when he played a few of the
more well known songs on his guitar during the service.

Some, though not all, of the children took the rabbi up on his
proposal, and joined him on the bimah to dance. Even Rachael
joined him, and when she returned to her seat her cheeks were
flushed with excitement. "I danced for Rabbi Gerry, Mommy!" she
cried out.

"Yes, you did, sweetheart. You were wonderful!" Leslie
responded. It was at that point that Jason decided he needed to be
heard and started crying loudly. Richard had the diaper bag (or
Mulder had come to call it the "magic" bag, because Scully always
managed to pack anything and everything they would ever need for
Adam in it) and reached in for a bottle.

Jacob began sucking away on the bottle, and Mulder's attention was
drawn back to Rabbi Ginsburg. He told a short story that was
aimed at the smaller children, yet could be related to the adults on
an entirely different level. Gerry Ginsburg managed to sprinkle a
few hip phrases that kept the older children involved too.

When the story was finished, the President of the Temple came up
and made the necessary announcements which included thanking
the Goldfarb Family for providing the Oneg Shabbat in honor of
their newborn son's birth, Jason. Mulder saw everyone's eyes gaze
toward his newly adopted family, and he too smiled at them, though
he couldn't for the life of him remember what an Oneg Shabbat
was. Leslie excused herself at this point, and though she thought
Rachael was going to demand to go with her, she chose instead to
sit with Mulder. Leslie shook her head in amazement, and
whispered in his ear, "Could we really adopt you? Please?"

Mulder chuckled quietly and half listened to the rest of the
President's speech. When he finally finished, Rabbi Ginsburg
stood up again with guitar in hand and completed the last couple of
prayers and songs of the service. He then invited everyone to
return to the Center hall for the Motzi (Mulder couldn't remember
what that was either) and the Oneg Shabbat (and he still didn't have
a clue as to what that was.)

When the congregation all gathered again in the center hall, Rabbi
Ginsburg held up a large Challah bread. Before he began, he told of
how when he chants the prayer, he is actually saying a blessing over
the bread, but not blessing the bread itself. He led the motzi, the
prayer, over the bread. "Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech
ha-olam, ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz Amen.

"Praised be you, O Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who brings
bread from the earth. Amen"

He then held the bread out to the person next to him, and that
person pulled off a piece of the bread to eat. He then held it out to
one of the older children, and she pulled a very large piece which
she in turn shared with another congregant. This continued until
everyone had a taste of the bread.

Next, Mulder figured out what the Oneg Shabbat was. There were
platters of cookies and small pastries as well as juice and coffee.
Leslie Goldfarb was pouring the juice into cups for the children
while her husband Richard was trying valiantly to deal with both
baby Jason and Rachael.

"Rachael, I can't cut the cake for you. I have to hold the baby," he

"But Daddy, it's too big," she cried back.

"Would you like me to cut it for you?" Mulder asked.

"No, it's got to be my Daddy," she whined.

"It's the witching hour. She's usually down for the count by now.
They hold the Family Service forty five minutes earlier than the
regular Friday night service for the benefit of the kids, but she still
gets cranky," he explained. "Rachael, honey, you're gonna have to

"Daaaaddddyyyyyy," came the mournful whine.

"Umm, Richard? How about if I hold Jason. I have a one month
old at home, so I know what to do," Mulder offered.

"Oh, bless you! Anything to get her to calm down. Here you go,"
he said with great relief as he handed over Jason.

While Richard cut up the cake for Rachael, Mulder promptly
introduced himself to three week old Jason Goldfarb by chattering
up a storm, making silly faces, and generally acting like any new
daddy would.

"You really do have a little one at home," Richard said, as he
retrieved his son from Mulder's arms.

"Yeah, and he's with his mom tonight at his grandma's house in
Baltimore. I wasn't planning on meeting them until tomorrow
morning, but after holding Jason, well, I don't think I can wait till
tomorrow to see Adam," Mulder admitted.

"Yeah, I know what you mean. I thought I would be a little jaded
the second time around, but you know what, it's still a thrill for
each milestone. Of course, he's my son, and he's as brilliant as his
sister. You know?" Richard said, tongue firmly in cheek.

"Yeah," Mulder chuckled. "As a matter of fact, I do know."

"Well, I gotta convince the wife that we gotta clean this up as soon
as possible. We have an early appointment tomorrow, and
coincidentally, in Baltimore. I was ready to scream bloody murder
when I found out we were sponsoring the Oneg tonight," he said.

"Richard," Leslie broke in, "I'm sorry. I hadn't realized I signed us
up for tomorrow's appointment and the Oneg all in the same
weekend. Sue me," she said with a slightly hurt tone.

"Ahh, I couldn't afford it if you won," Richard said lightly. "How
long before we can start cleaning up and go home?"

"Actually my sweets, we can leave right now. I arranged with Janet
and Ed Morris to clean up for us. Isn't that nice of them?" Leslie

"Well, Mulder," Richard said, "it looks like we get blow this joint.
It was nice meeting you. Thinking of joining the congregation?"

"Yeah," Mulder answered. "I'm thinking of it. I've got a lot of
things to think about."

"Tell me about it. Look take care, and maybe we'll see you and
your family soon, okay?" he said, and then turning to Rachael,
"C'mon sweetie, it's time to say goodnight to Mulder and to Rabbi

"G'night Mulder," said the miniature Shirley Temple.

"Good night Rachael. It was really great meeting you," Mulder
replied earnestly.

The child smiled and then skipped, or at least tried to skip, over to
Rabbi Ginsburg for a good night hug. When the Rabbi stood up
and caught his breath, he walked over to where the Goldfarbs and
Mulder were standing.

"Oh, it's good you found each other. You have a lot in common,"
the Rabbi said.

"Well Rabbi, we hate to pray and run, but we've got to be in
Baltimore by 9:30 tomorrow morning, and with these three, I figure
I've gotta start getting them ready at around 5 a.m." Leslie said

"Oh, I don't think so dear wife__," Richard retorted, light-hearted.

"__And in case you haven't figured out which of the three is the
toughest to get going in the morning, I'll give you three guesses and
the first two don't count! Let's go family! Mulder, it was lovely
meeting you. I hope to see you again," and with that Leslie
Goldfarb managed to latch onto her entire family and move them
toward the door.

"I think I should be going too, Rabbi. I'm going to drive out to
Baltimore tonight to be with Dane and Adam," Mulder said.

"Well, Fox, it was good to see you. I hope to see you again very
soon. We hold the Family Services on the second Friday of every
month at 7:30. Okay?" the Rabbi offered.

"Okay, Rabbi. Thanks for the invitation and thanks for the
information. We'll see," Mulder replied.

The Rabbi took Mulder's hand and shook it. "Good. Have a safe
drive and give that beautiful baby a kiss for me. Your wife too,
now that I think of it," Rabbi Ginsburg said with his eyes twinkling.

"With pleasure, Rabbi. Good night," Mulder said and turned to
walk to his car.

It was now around 9:15 and he figured he should make it to
Baltimore no later than 10:00 p.m. Just in time for Adam's night
time feeding. Perfect!

end of part two


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (3/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

He unlocked the door to Maggie's back entrance and walked quietly
in. It was about a quarter of ten and he wasn't sure if anyone was
asleep or not. Also, since he really wasn't expected till tomorrow,
Mulder didn't want to startle anyone unnecessarily.

He stopped at the fridge and grabbed a bottle of iced tea. He
smiled as he heard the pop of the opened cap, because he knew his
mother-in-law kept a steady supply of his favorite brand on hand
just for him. He remembered hearing Scully's older brother, Bill,
grumbling something to the effect that _he_ was never catered to
like this FBI weirdo was.

At that point he also distinctly remembered Maggie Scully clunking
her eldest son upside his head and reminding him that his baby sister
was married to that FBI weirdo and that both she and said baby
sister loved that FBI weirdo very much and to just knock it off!

Amazing what could made Fox Mulder smile these days. Even
changing dirty diapers made Fox Mulder smile these days. "Fox?"
asked a very nervous Maggie Scully, "Is everything all right?"
When he turned towards her and saw the Cheshire Cat grin, Maggie
got her answer.

"So, you really couldn't pass up a night of uninterrupted sleep,
could you," she asked with a chuckle.

"Aw, Mom, you know I don't sleep well without Dane nearby, so I
figured what the heck." Then after a slight pause, he said in a
whisper, "I couldn't bear the thought of going home to an empty
house, Mom. Don't wanna do that anymore."

Maggie Scully walked over to her son-in-law, wrapped her arms
around his waist, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "I'm glad we're
here for you, Fox. We'll always be here for you."

It never ceased to amaze Mulder how perceptive Maggie Scully
was. She always knew just the right thing to say to him in order to
reassure him that he was taking the right path. He hugged her back
and returned the kiss. "Thanks, Mom. I know that, but it's always
nice to be reassured."

"I know, dear. That's why I like to remind you. I have some pot
roast left from dinner tonight," Maggie said, returning the hug. "I'll
heat it up for you."

"Mmmm, thanks, Mom. Is Dane up?"

"She's still napping. The baby is starting to stir though, so if you
want to catch him before Mommy Radar does, I suggest you get
into the room quickly."

"Thanks, Mom, I will." He gave her another quick peck on the
cheek, and walked hurriedly into Dane's old room where they'd set
up the nursery. Maggie had invested in a sturdy, second hand, full
sized crib when Adam was born, since she realized this grandchild
was close enough for sleep overs more than once a year. Portable
cribs sufficed for the other infants in the Scully clan during their
occasional sleep over stint, but Maggie hoped that she would have
the opportunity to really get to know this grandchild.

Now Mulder walked over to the crib and saw Adam's eyes were
wide open. It always amazed him how calmly Adam roused himself
out of sleep. He knew this was unusual, and marveled that it was
his own son who was capable of such a feat. He bent down over
the crib and whispered his greetings.

"Hello there beautiful boy. How ya doing? Hey. Did you just
smile at me? That was a smile, wasn't it? You're glad to see your
old Dad here with you, aren't you?"

When Adam started flapping his feet and arms in excitement,
Mulder swooped the child up into his arms, and held him first close
to his chest and then out so he could place a tender kiss on his son's

"So, mine shayner boychikel, are you getting hungry? Let's see if
we can hold out a little longer, so Mommy can sleep a few minutes
more, okay?"

What Mulder didn't realize of course was that the baby monitor was
on in both Adam's nursery, and the guest room where Dana was
laying down. Scully heard the Father and Son talk from the very

"So, what shall we do? Do you want to hear what I did tonight? I
did something tonight that I hadn't done in a very long time, Adam.
I have to tell you, I was a little scared and_______." At this point
Adam let out a small cry, to which Mulder replied, " Okay, you're
right. I was more than just a little scared. I was petrified."

Adam cried out again at that and Mulder said, "I'm sorry Adam. I
know, you don't want to hear about stories that petrify me. How
silly of me." At this Mulder began to rock the baby in his arms in
an attempt to soothe him. Next, Mulder did something she had
never heard him do before. He sang.

"Rockabye Adam,
on the tree top,
When the wind blows,
the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks,
the cradle will fall,
And Daddy will catch you,
cradle and all."

Scully listened to her husband sing in the sweetest, most loving
voice. He shouldn't give up his day job, but he was able to carry a
lovely tune. And she was mesmerized by the pure love that
emanated from his voice. She stood up and tiptoed quietly into the
adjacent room.

She watched wordlessly from the doorway and watched Father and
Son as they danced a night time waltz. Mulder looked up for a
moment and caught sight of his wife. "Hi," he said quietly.
"Wanna dance with the two guys who love you more than anything
else in the world?" he asked.

"Sure," she said, her voice rich with emotion. Scully held onto her
husband's waist with one hand and cradled her son's head with the
other. The three of them danced to a tuneless waltz until Adam
decided dancing was in no way going to replace sustenance. He
suddenly opened his mouth and wailed.

"Okay munchkin, I know what you want. C'mon and let's get down
to business." Scully took the baby from Mulder's arms and carried
him downstairs into the den. She sat down in front of the
television and undid the nursing bra and brought Adam to her
breast. He latched on and began suckling immediately.

"Oh, I can't tell if I feel more relief or more pain," Scully said.

"Dane? What's wrong?" Mulder asked anxiously.

"Oh sweetie, nothing, really. I was a little engorged that's all. I'll
feel better once Adam's had his fill on both sides." She saw his
expression relax a little much to her relief. "Sweetie, turn on the
TV, please?" He clicked the set on and started channel surfing,
when Dana called out, "Stop. This one's good."

Mulder noticed it was "Homicide," and started to chuckle. "You let
him watch that stuff, Dane and he's gonna grow up to be a cop,"

She smiled back at him, and said, "Just be grateful Nick at Night's
not showing repeats of Ephram Zimbalist Jr.'s old shows." She
leaned over and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, and then said,
"I'm surprised to see you. I mean, not that I'm not delighted,
because believe me, I am. But I thought you said you were going
to stay at the house and meet us here tomorrow."

"Yeah, I know, but__," he began.

"You look tired," Dana told him as he settled in next to her on the
sofa. He nodded, stroking his son's soft brown hair.

"I am. But I'm here with you now, so I'm fine," he replied with

"You must have really been a little workhorse today. You haven't
worked this late since the baby's arrival," Dana said in a whisper as
their son's eyes slowly closed and the baby's breathing fell into a
slow, steady rhythm. Just like his father, she mused to herself, hard
to get to this point, but once there, he falls like a rock.

"I was done by seven, but I got a little waylaid," Mulder whispered
back. When Dana had 'unplugged' little Adam, Mulder carried the
sleeping infant back upstairs into the Dana's old room and placed
him in the oversized crib. He still looked so small, but that would
probably change soon enough, he mused. After a moment he
returned downstairs and to the sofa.

"Traffic accident?" she asked as he sat back down. At his confused
expression, she reminded him of his late arrival even though he was
done with work so much earlier. "I've never known it to take three
hours to get from downtown to Baltimore, no matter how bad the
traffic," Dana said, snuggling into his arms after he sat down again.

"Hmmm, you smell nice," she said. "Kinda like . . . cookies?"
Scully reared back and stared at him. Then she reached over and
examined his tie. "Mulder, you have mushed cookie all over your
tie," she said, curiosity coloring her tone.

He looked down at the tie and laughed. "Oh, Rachael must have
got me," he said with a shrug. He held the tie and scraped the
cookie off with a fingernail. "Probably won't be the last tie of mine
to get that treatment," he chuckled.

"Who is Rachael?" Dana asked, eyebrow raised in mild annoyance.

Mulder had to laugh out loud at her expression. "My, aren't those
blue eyes a little 'green' tonight," he teased. "Rachael is going to be
my trophy wife. I might have to wait it out a few years to claim
her, but by the time you're old and grey, she'll be just about ready
for the taking," he grinned wickedly.

"How old is she?" Dana demanded, knowing he was playing with
her, but also suspecting there was more to this story than he was
telling her at that point.

"She's three years old. But I have to be careful. She's got a little
brother with one heck of a grip on him. Little guy's gonna be a
heavy weight champ someday," he laughed.

"What did you do, Mulder? Go ghost hunting in day care?" Dana

He laughed again and pulled her close. "Now you know I'd never
do that without you, Dane," he chided, and then more quietly he
explained, "I stopped by Rabbi Ginsburg's Temple tonight.
Completely by accident. And I ended up meeting some people.
The Goldfarbs. A nice couple, about our age."

"Anyway, I met their little girl, Rachael, first. She tackled me
before the service started. By the end of the service, I was giving
Richard, the dad, a hand with their three week old baby, Jason,
because Leslie, the mom, was serving the Oneg Shabbat." He
almost laughed again at her completely perplexed look. "It's
cookies and coffee after the service," he explained briefly.

Mulder couldn't have predicted what she'd do next. She reached up
to take his face in her hands and kissed him for all his worth. When
she was finished, and he was breathless, he pulled back and gave
her the same perplexed look. "What on earth was that for? Not
that I'm complaining, but I want to know what I did so I can
do it again," he added with a wide grin.

"I'm just glad you finally went to Temple, that's all," Dana replied
with a brilliant smile. "I'm just happy you had a good time."

"I did, Dane. It was odd at first. I remembered some of it, but not
enough to really participate. Then after Rachael all but bowled me
over, I sat with Richard and Leslie and the kids. It was a family
service, geared for the children. We never had anything like that
back at the Vineyard, not that I can remember. Or if we did, Mom
never bothered to take us," he said, sadness showing dimly in his
eyes. "I liked it a lot. Oh, I almost forgot." He leaned over and
kissed her chastely on the cheek. "That's from Rabbi Ginsburg. I
have one for Adam, too, but I can give him that in the morning."

Dana reached up and touched her cheek where his kiss still warmed
her skin. "I like Rabbi Ginsburg. He's a nice man."

"Yeah, and he invited all of us back for Family Service sometime. I
mean, if you want. I don't want to push you--"

"Well, you'll have to tell me what to do, I mean, Mulder, the nuns
tried to give us a well rounded education, but there are some places
they drew the line," she joked. Her expression softened. "But that
would be nice. Let's do that sometime."

Maggie returned to the doorway. "Come on, Fox. Dinner's

"I'd love to stay and snuggle, Dane," he said apologetically as he
started to get up off the couch. "But--"

Scully cut him off with a wave of her hand. "I'm smart enough to
know not to get between you and Mom's pot roast, G-man. I'll get
some milk and sit with you while you're eating. Then it's off to
bed. We have a busy day tomorrow."

St. Marks Roman Catholic Church
Baltimore, Maryland
9:25 am

Mulder wasn't sure when 7 a.m. had come earlier. He'd spent the
better part of the night, tossing and turning. After Dana had gotten
up to feed Adam at 2, he'd crawled out to the family room and
collapsed on the sofa, hoping a change would bring sleep. It didn't.

It wasn't work that was bothering him. It was his life. His
wonderful, complete, he could never ask for more life. He had
everything. Well, with the exception of finding Samantha, he had
everything. And yet, there was something missing. He
remembered the look on Richard Goldfarb's face during the service.
Richard had completely tuned out the ruckus of the toddlers, the
wailing of his son, and seemed lost in prayer.

Lost in prayer. It was a sobering thought. Mulder thought back to
his own prayers--the ones he'd uttered so recently. Those terrified
moments in the hours before dawn when he'd separated from
Dana's loving arms to send a tortured thought heaven-ward
--Please, God, let us bring this baby into the world. That prayer
had been short and anything but sweet. It had felt like his very soul
was ripping out of his body and sending the prayer upward. Then,
in the hours after Adam's birth, a quick prayer of thanksgiving.
You're part of my journey, God. Thank you, God.

But what did it mean, making God part of his journey? He was still
so new at this. Richard obviously was very at ease with his
spirituality. Mulder envied the man, even though he'd only met him

It had been just about dawn when sleep finally found him. Dana,
Adam, Maggie and the alarm clock had found him a mere one and a
half hours later. He crawled into the bathroom, showered and
shaved almost on auto-pilot. As luck would have it, it was short
drive to the St. Mark's. The last thing he wanted to do was end up
in the yard of one of Maggie's neighbors when he fell asleep at the

"I'd better get back to work soon," Dana said, jabbing him in the
ribs to keep his eyes from sliding shut.

"I'm fine," he lied. "I just couldn't get to sleep last night."

"Work?" Dana asked, though she was fairly certain that paperwork
had never created more than papercuts for her husband. Generally
he accused it of creating nightmares, but she couldn't remember
him actually having one from it.

"Nah, it's nothing. I just need to relax a little more," he said, taking
her hand and giving it a quick kiss. "How's the big guy doing back
there," he deftly changed the subject to their son in the babyseat in

"Sawing logs," she grinned.

"Takes after his mom, obviously," he grinned in return. They
pulled into the parking lot of an older brick church. Several cars
were already there, and couples were emerging, each carrying an
infant carrier, some with other children tagging along. Mulder was
pretty oblivious to the other people until a crystal clear voice, not
very old, shouted out his name.

"Mulder! Mulder! Is that your baby?" It was Rachael Goldfarb,
straining at Richard's hand as she attempted to cross the parking lot
to get over to Mulder.

Dana was just extracting Adam from the car and looked up at the
shouted greeting. "Hey, Fox, is _that_ your trophy wife," she
grinned wickedly.

Mulder grinned as well. "Looks like," he shrugged. Richard had
no choice but to come over to the Mulder car and was extending
his free hand in greeting.

"I knew you said you had to be in Baltimore, but this really is a
small world," Richard said with a chuckle. Leslie was only a few
steps behind him, swinging little Jason in his infant seat. "Honey,
look who Rachael found--again."

"Oh my gosh, Mulder! What a surprise! But I thought--I mean
you were at Temple last night--" Leslie said in confusion

"So were you," Mulder pointed out with a laugh.

Richard laughed as well. "It's complicated. Leslie is Catholic. I'm
Jewish. Neither of us wanted to convert. We're sort of raising the
kids--well, they're learning both worlds." He shrugged again in
embarrassment. "We're riding the fence, I guess you could say."

"More like treading the middle of shark infested waters," Leslie
smirked. "Grandma Mulligan almost had a fit at the bris for Jason.
We had to show her that the baptism was all arranged before she'd
agree to let him out of her sight. She was convinced we were
shipping him off to Israel to join a kibbutz or something equally
ridiculous," she laughed merrily.

"So, how about you?" Richard asked, looking at Dana.

"Oh, excuse me, Dana, this is Richard and Leslie Goldfarb and
Rachael and Jason. Richard, Leslie, this is my wife, Dana Scully
and our son, Adam. Dana's Catholic and we're having Adam
baptized here in a couple of weeks," Mulder added with a slight
flush to his cheeks.

Rachael was entranced by Adam. "He's bigger than Jason," she
noted, taking the baby's hand. "Hi, baby Adam. I'm Rachel. I'm a
big sister. Do you have a big sister?"

Dana laughed. "No, Rachael, Adam is an only child right now. But
you know what? I bet you were an only child just a little while ago,
weren't you?"

Rachael thought about that for a moment. "I had my own room.
Does that count?" she asked.

Dana laughed again and nodded. Leslie ran a hand over Rachael's
soft brown curls. "We better get inside before Father Thom starts
without us," Leslie warned the others.

end of part three


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (4/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

On the way in the Church, the two women chatted about how they
were connected to St. Mark's. The Goldfarb's lived in
Washington, but Leslie had gone to school with the priest who was
now the associate pastor of St. Mark's--Father Thom Donovan.
She wanted him to baptize Jason. Dana explained that her mother
was a parishoner and that Father McKuen, the pastor, was an old
family friend and it was his assistant, Father Thom, who had
married the Mulders.

Father Donovan was at the door, greeting the couples and children.
He made a point of speaking to each couple, but when it came to
Dana and Fox, he took each one of them in a hug. "I'm so glad
you made it," he exclaimed. "Your mother has been wondering
when you'd get around to this. How did the Bris go?" Dana
cringed at the mention of the dedication service, noticing the
number of curious glances it merited. "Just fine, Father. Adam
seems to have acquired an early taste for wine," she admitted

"After something like that, I think we all could use a good round,"
Father laughed heartily. "Come in, come in. Mulder, don't look so
timid. It's totally painless. Well, except for the cold water, but
that's nothing compared to what he's already been through, right?"
he added good naturedly. Mulder shrugged and walked into the

The school was attached to the Church and the class was held in
one of the classrooms. Father Donovan led the way to the room
and told everyone to make themselves comfortable. A slide
projector was set up in the back and Mulder couldn't resist nudging
Dana and pointing it out. She responded by rolling her eyes, but
couldn't keep a straight face. The classroom desks had been
pushed aside and standard issue plastic stacking chairs were
arranged in the room. Plenty of room was allowed for the
occasional stroller and the ever popular infant seat.

After everyone found chairs, Father explained to the parents that
the siblings could off to the Parish Hall where some of the eighth
grade students at St. Mark's elementary school, who were going to
keep them occupied with games and toys. The eighth graders
would be getting service hours toward Confirmation in exchange
for their efforts. Rachael went off happily with a pretty little blond
haired girl named Ellen.

Once the older children had gone off to play, Father Donovan led
the remaining group in prayer, asking God to bless their families
and lead them all to a greater understanding of God's journey for
each of them. Looking up, he waved to Leslie, who smiled back
and winked. He cleared his throat a couple of times and all
conversation came to a stop.

"I know that some of you are wondering exactly why you're here,"
he started. "Although most of you don't remember your own
baptism, you have certainly attended the baptism of a relative or
friend. The Baptism is a sacrament, just like the Eucharist,
Confirmation and Marriage. Everyone 'thinks' they know what is
involved, but sometimes the real meaning gets confused in the
'ceremonies' that need to be done. So this class is to help you
understand exactly what we're doing when we baptize your
children and what the Church is asking of you."

Father Thom moved to the back of the room and started up the
projector sitting there. "Would someone please kill the lights?" he
asked, and Mulder wiggled his eyes at his wife and quickly got up
to comply. "We have a video in the making, but the Archdiocese is
still in production phase," Father commented. "And really, the
foundations of Baptism were set about 2000 years ago--there
haven't been a lot of changes since then," he said lightly, which led
to a few giggles from the crowd.

The film, which looked to be about 20 years old, showed the
historical beginnings of Baptism, which the Church traces back to
John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus Christ. In the early days
of Christianity, Baptism was not conferred on the young, but only
on adults. A person wishing to become a Christian would find
someone in the community--a sponsor--who would then bring them
to services and help them learn more about the religion. The film
pointed out that this service still continues through the Sacrament
of Confirmation and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or
RCIA program in Churches though out the world.

Sometime later, the Church turned to Infant Baptism. The idea was
to bring the child up as a Christian, and gradually introduce the
sacraments over the period of a lifetime, giving more meaning at
each step of the way. Baptism is the first step in a life time of
commitment to God.

But the Church understands that an infant cannot be expected to
honor such an important commitment. The burden then rests on
the parents and godparents, to raise the child in a loving home,
where God is a integral part of each day and to ensure that the
children receive the religious education that will ensure their
continued progress to becoming adult Christians.

At that point, the film ended and Father Thom shut off the
projector, plunging the room into semi-darkness. "Lights, please."
Again, Mulder moved to comply, but this time, not as quickly.
Mulder's stomach was starting to breed butterflies. *Adult
Christians?* he thought to himself. *Jeez, Adam's only five weeks
old, and they expect me to teach him how to become an adult

He knew he had to take whatever the priest said seriously, because
he knew Dana took it seriously. And that's what worried him.
What if he wasn't cut out for all of this religion stuff? It was scary
enough for Mulder to rediscover his own Judaism, much less teach
his newborn how to be a Christian. What if Adam decided he didn't
want to learn about being a Jew? What if he didn't want to be like
his Daddy?

What if some kid ragged on Adam someday and told him 'All Jews
go to hell', which made Mulder shudder at the sudden childhood
memory that sprang to mind. Mulder was scared about the
awesome responsibility that he and Dana had to baby Adam, and
any other babies they brought into the world.

As the lights came on, the sound level in the room went up as well.
Mulder looked around the room, and wondered if he was the only
one with so many fears and doubts. No one else appeared to be
struggling with their feelings, but if they were, they certainly didn't
show it. Babies were wailing, and bottles were appearing from
large overstuffed bags. A couple of women left the room with
infants, either to breastfeed or change diapers. Father Thom looked
on the chaos with mild amusement.

"I think this is as good a time as any to take a 10 minute break.
There are coffee and donuts in the room across the hall. Please
help yourselves."

Dana looked at Mulder and called his name, but he seemingly
ignored her voice. "Mulder? Mulder__," she called, but when she
got no response she realized his mind was somewhere else entirely.

Dana tugged at his sleeve. "Hi. You looked like you were a
million miles away," she said, to which Mulder gave a little smile
before Scully continued, "I'm going to go change Adam. See if
they have decaf and grab me cup, please," she pleaded. She then
reached up and kiss his cheek lightly. "And if you find me a
Boston creme donut, you might get lucky later," she purred.

He chuckled at her, his previous contemplative mood shoved aside
for the moment. "I might run out and buy you one myself, with an
offer like that," he said with a low growl. She punched him lightly
in the arm and went off overloaded with Adam and the 'magic bag'.

At the coffee urn, Richard stepped up to Mulder. "Rabbi Gerry
said we had a lot in common, but he never bothered to explain,"
Richard said, accepting a filled Styrofoam cup from Mulder.

"I had thought we were the only couple in the world with this
situation," Mulder admitted shyly. "When we got married, we just
never took the time to consider all implications of dual religions. I
have to admit, I'm finding this a little overwhelming."

"Same thing with us, especially the first time around with Rachael.
Heck, I was ready to run for the hills and drag Rachael kicking and
screaming all the way with me.

"You see," Richard explained, "Leslie and I had worked together
for some time--we were associates in the same law firm. That's
where we met. Last year, we busted out and started our own firm,
as partners. But we knew each other as professionals long before
we grew to love each other."

"We thought we knew eveOut of memory! ach other. I had no idea
how much Leslie's religion meant to her until our wedding. Boy,
was that a madhouse. I think we had every religion on the planet
represented. Leslie's dad and mom are Catholic, but her mom's
family is Methodist, and her sister converted to Moslem when she
got married."

"I know what you mean," replied Mulder. Dane hadn't been to
church in so long, I didn't think it would play a major factor in our
lives when we decided to get married. Of course, I hadn't been to
Temple in an even longer time, and I never figured it would be so
important to me either. I'm not sure who's more surprised, Dane or
me," Mulder remarked.

Richard nodded in understanding. "Did you find me that donut?"
come a voice behind them. Leslie stood, Jason in her arms and the
diaper bag slung over her shoulder.

"Sorry, baby. No French crullers," Richard said apologetically, but
then smiled. "However, they did have raspberry jelly bismarks, so I
snagged one of them."

"That reminds me," Mulder smiled. "I have a search of my own.
Boston creme."

"I think there were a couple left, but you better hurry," Richard
laughed, and Mulder took off for the table where the donuts lay.

Mulder popped the last Boston creme onto a paper napkin just as
Dana returned with Adam. "Sorry, somebody decided he was
hungry," she explained. "Is that for me?" she asked coyly.

Her husband made a great show of almost taking a bite out of the
donut, then at her downcast expression, gave it over to her with a
grin. "That comes at a hefty price," he told her.

"You never were a cheap date, Mulder," she shot back, giving in to
her old habit to call him by his last name when teasing or joking
with him. "Come on, I think Father Thom is trying to get us all
back in the classroom."

The room was slowly filling back up, and Father Thom stood
patiently at the podium, then waved the few stragglers into their
seats. "In the last half of the morning, we're going to talk about
what you can do to raise your child as a Christian. The most
important aspect is example. Children learn by example."

"If they see you attending Mass every week, receiving the
Eucharist, praying at home, they will realize the importance of your
Faith in your life. If you become 'Easter Bunnies' or 'Christmas
Elves'—in other words, only attend on the big holidays and ignore
your spirituality the rest of the year, they will see that and follow

Mulder found himself recalling a different, earlier time, when similar
words were directed at him and his sister, Samantha. He
remembered how sharp the tone of the words were, and how much
it had hurt him and Sam to hear them directed toward themselves.

"Aw Fox, you're nothing but a High Holy Day Jew anyway.
When's the last time your mother lit the Friday night Shabbat
candles, huh? And your sister's going to Hebrew school, but my
mom said your mom said she wasn't going to spend the money on
a Bat Mitzvah for her 'cause it wasn't so important for a girl."

When Mulder remembered the cruel intent of those words his entire
body gave a slight shudder. Especially when he remembered that
after Sam's abduction his own studies came to an abrupt halt.
Apparently his mother didn't think it was worth spending the money
for _his_ Bar Mitzvah either.

"Finally," Father Thom said, "your choice of Godparents shouldn't
be taken lightly. I know everyone has family or friends who they
want to honor by naming them as Godparents. But remember,
these are people who should be _examples_ to your child. Pick
someone who is firm in their faith, and practices that faith in the
world today--not just in the Church on Sunday.

"And it doesn't always have to be a family member. Sometimes, the
best Godparent is someone who has a close relationship to one or
both of the parents and feels a closeness to the child as well. Look
at it this way--Good people make Good Godparents."

Dana took the opportunity to lean over and whisper in Mulder's
ear. "I want to talk to you about that. You know, Ellen and
Skinner won't do for this, since we have to have Catholics, or at
least one Catholic and one from another denomination. Have you
thought about anyone you'd like to have?"

Mulder looked at her in shock. "You're giving me a say?" He
hurried to calm down the look of righteous indignation on her face.
"I mean, I figured this was your bailiwick. To be honest, Dane, I
hadn't thought about it."

"Well, Mulder, the Bris was _your_ 'bailiwick' and you let _me_
have a say. Remember, Ellen was my choice? I'm just giving you
the same courtesy."

"I'm honored, Dane, but I'm fresh out of 'friends' who could fit this
particular bill," Mulder whispered. At the cleared throat of the
woman behind them, he closed his mouth and decided the
conversation could take place when class was over.

True to his word, Father Thom ended class at exactly 11:59. The
Goldfarbs exchanged numbers with the Mulders and each couple
vowed that they would get together, if even just for a quiet evening
of videos and take out pizza. After Mulder received a hug from
Rachel, they parted ways.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?" Dana asked, as Mulder headed the
car into the street that would take them back to Maggie's.

Mulder was still lost in thought. "Hmmm? I'm sorry, Sweetheart, I
didn't hear you," he apologized.

"I said, that wasn't that bad. Obviously I was mistaken," Dana
mused, crossing her arms in front of her.

"No, no, it's not that at all. I was just thinking. You know we
really do have to give this whole 'Godfather' thing some thought.
Who could we possibly ask?"

"Well, it's sort of traditional to ask someone in the family. I mean,
assuming either of them could make it, I was thinking of asking
either Bill or Charlie," Dana said, turning to make sure Adam was
still sleeping. She missed the grimace on her husband's face.

"There aren't any other choices?" Mulder asked, trying to make the
loaded question sound neutral.

"What do you mean?" Dana asked, now giving him her full

"I mean, well, Dane, it's no big secret that your brothers hate me,"
he answered sheepishly. "I just think--"

"Fox that is crazy!" she laughed. "They don't hate you! That stuff
at the wedding, that's just the way they are. And Charlie and you
got along pretty well at the reception. Bill is always going to be
like that--he was like that to all of Missy's boyfriends and mine too
for that matter. You just have to learn to live with it."

"Besides," she added, "they probably won't be able to come
anyway. We'll have to think of someone close to home, since the
chances are that Charlie and Bill will be out to sea."

She had her head turned toward the window, admiring the
explosion of April flowers so she didn't hear his muttered 'We can
only hope.'

Maggie was happy to see them and had set out a lovely meal of
sandwiches and homemade potato salad. As soon as they entered
the house, she stole her grandson from his mother's arms and
wouldn't relinquish control until he was fast asleep. Then she
placed him in 'his' bed in the guest room and came down to join
Fox and Dana.

"Oh, Dana, I have the best news," she greeted them excitedly as she
sat down to join the meal.

"What, Mom? Don't tell me, not another Grandbaby," Dana said
with a wink to her husband. Maggie loved babies and made no
bones about it.

"No, not quite that good, but good enough. I talked to both Bill
and Charlie this morning and it looks like they can _both_ be here
for the Baptism. Isn't that wonderful?" she exclaimed.

Mulder choked on his sandwich and recovered by gulping half his
tea. "Yeah, . . . great news, Mom," he offered weakly.

Dana shot him a look, but reenforced his comments. "That's
wonderful, Mom. Will Karen and Tara and the kids be coming out,

"Well, Karen can get the time off, but Tara can't right now. She'll
have to miss it. But at least your brothers will be home and that's
what really matters," Maggie said, beaming. "Bill was just so
excited about being a Godfather," she added.

This time Mulder choked and sputtered, almost knocking over his
glass in an effort to get the tea to his mouth. "Fox, are you all
right? You must be catching a cold. Dana, you should see that he
gets some rest this weekend."

Dana had kicked her husband under the table, but looked at him
sympathetically, for her mother's sake. "I will, Mom. It's probably
just a tickle in his throat. Nothing serious."

"Well, make sure if it is a cold that you don't give it to Adam,"
Maggie warned.

Mulder glared at Dana over the table, willing her to keep the
subject back on the baptism. She got the hint.

"Mom, ah, how did Bill get the idea that he was going to be
Adam's Godfather?" she asked.

"Well I guess he figured it would be natural, since you're the
Godmother of his oldest child," Maggie said casually. "Fox, would
you like another sandwich?"

Mulder looked across at his wife, the distress obvious to her
knowing eyes. Finally, he realized his mother-in-law was expecting
an answer. "No, Mom, thank you. I think I've had enough already.
If you'll excuse me, I think I hear Adam." Mulder pushed away
from the table, Dana following him with her eyes.

"I didn't hear the baby, did you, dear?" Maggie commented,
picking up her sandwich.

"Ah, Mom, you know Mulder. He's been tuned in to Adam since
the minute he was born," Dana said, and went back to her own

end of part four


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (5/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

Mulder laid down on the couch about thirty seconds after he'd
arrived at Maggie Scully's home. It was a long day, and the traffic
from DC to Baltimore made for a hellish trip. Not even Maggie's
Irish Stew could induce Mulder to rise from that couch.

The Mulders decided to stay over at the Scully homestead for the
next few days, because both Bill and Charlie were granted shore
leave to attend the Baptism. Bill's wife, Tara, couldn't take the
time off work, and did not make the trip in from San Diego, but
Charlie's wife, Karen, was meeting him at the Hampton Inn in

Scully wanted to be able to spend as much time with them as
possible, so it was decided that Mulder would commute back and
forth between Baltimore and DC.

The only problem was, lately they kept loaning him out to ISU for
profiling consults, which meant some days, like today, he was
driving back and forth between Baltimore, DC, and Quantico. But
Mulder was also aware how much Scully loved her brothers,
especially Charlie. He knew she loved Bill because Bill was her big
brother, but she'd always felt a special tie with Charlie.

Mulder understood that kind of relationship as it was one he'd
shared with his own sister, Samantha , so long ago. The fact that
he still felt that bond was a testament to their closeness.

Mulder liked Charlie and remembered how he had tried to get Bill
to understand Mulder better during his and Dana's wedding.

Bill was another story. Mulder could not for the life of him
understand the animosity that Bill felt towards him. Mulder was
more than willing to try and mend fences, if for no other reason
than for Scully's sake. But Bill was not making it easy. When
Mulder had walked in the door twenty minutes ago, Bill Scully had
at least three opportunities to say hello to Mulder , but rather
chose to walk mutely by him.

On the last pass, Mulder said a soft, "Hi Bill," but all the reaction
Mulder received was a dark glance and a quick exit out of the
room. Mulder shrugged his shoulders and decided it might make
for a more pleasant few days if they just stayed out of each other's
way. As Mulder's eyes started to flutter close, he heard the chime
of the doorbell.

When Maggie heard the doorbell, she walked quickly to answer the
door in the hope that Fox wouldn't be disturbed. Upon opening the
door, she was not all together happy with whom she saw standing
on her front porch.

"Hello Patrick. Hello Dennis. It's been a while since you've seen fit
to grace our presence," Maggie greeted, and then muttered under
her breath she added, *now if only it were a little longer.*

"Whajasay, Mrs. Scully?" Patrick asked. Upon receiving only the
patented Maggie Scully glare for a reply, he continued, "Well,
anyway, Hi. I mean Hi, Mrs. Scully, how ya doing?" Patrick
responded awkwardly as Mrs. Scully's mutterings caused him to
lose his train of thought.

"I'm doing just fine, Patrick," Maggie said and wondered if the
young men before her could really be out of adolescence.

"Rumor has it the Big Guy is on shore leave. Is he here?" asked the
other young man, Dennis. Maggie informed them that indeed, Bill
Scully was home.

Patrick Lane and Dennis Reilly were classmates of Bill when they
all attended the Catholic High School together. None of the boys,
(she included her son, Bill, in this mix as well,) in Maggie Scully's
considerable opinion, were going to knock anyone dead with
quantum theories, but at the very least, she'd hoped they would find
honest jobs.

When Bill had finally made the decision to follow in his father's
footsteps and join the Navy, Maggie was very grateful. It was too
bad the other two didn't choose to make their own mother's happy.

"Yes, Bill is here, well somewhere , anyway," Maggie replied. She
looked around expectantly to see Bill pop into view at any given
moment, when suddenly Patrick yelled out in an extremely powerful

"YO! Scul-ly- … y'all around?" Patrick called out.

Mulder woke up with a start at hearing the overbearing voice, and
when he'd looked up, he saw Bill Scully glaring down at him.
Though he still stared hard at Mulder, Bill Scully shouted out,
"Yeah, Man, I'm here," and then in a dark whisper, he added, "I'm
right fuckin' here." Next, Bill turned on his heels and walked
toward the front entrance to meet his friends.

"Hey Scully-Man, how ya doing?" asked Dennis.

"Fine, Dennis, just fine. How the hell are you doing, man?" he
asked as he grasped his proffered hand.

"Partying hearty, man! You know me, always looking for a good
par-tay!" he said laughing.

At that moment, Dana had entered the hallway and noted who was
at the door. "Why look at that, Curly's gone and invited Moe and
Larry over," she said with a slightly mocking voice.

"Knock it off, Dana," demanded Bill.

Patrick looked first at Dana with more than just a hint of scorn, and
then asked, "Bill, you gotta few minutes to shoot the breeze a

"Sure, sure, I do," he replied.

"Bill, I thought we'd have a chance to visit with one another
tonight," interjected Dana. "That's why we're all sleeping over here
tonight, remember?"

"I thought you're gonna be here for the next few days," he replied.
"I haven't seen these guys in months, Dana. I'll spend time with
you, I promise. But I'd really like an hour or so to hang out with
my friends, if you don't mind."

Dana was frustrated with her older brother, who she longed to
admire, because she knew he wanted to protect her from harm's
way, yet thinks nothing of brushing her off when he feels she's too
inconvenient to deal with at any given moment.

"Sure. Fine. Whatever." She walked back into the den where
Mulder was still napping on the couch.

Meanwhile, Patrick and Dennis motioned Bill out on to the front
porch. They picked up a brown paper bag and handed Bill a can of
Budweiser. "C'mon, Scully-Man, you're way, way behind us!
Drink up!" Patrick encouraged.

Bill smiled and popped the beer tab and promptly guzzled down the
can in about 45 seconds. When Dennis handed him another one,
Bill gave him a wry smile. Dennis merely said, "You are way, way
far behind us, man."

Bill proceeded to chug down the second and then a third can of
beer in no time at all. Of course, Bill had yet to eat dinner, as they
had been waiting for Mulder to arrive home. The alcohol, needless
to say, was winding its way into Bill Scully's system fast and

Bill went to stand up to get yet another beer, when he teetered
precariously on his feet and proclaimed, "Whoa! Me thinks I've
finally caught up, you guys. Fuckin'-A rush, man!"

He tossed another can of beer to each of the men, and took a fourth
one for himself. Bill Scully allowed himself to drink this one a little
more slowly to savor both the taste of the beer, the feeling of the
alcohol high, and the relaxed companionship of long time friends.

"So, how've you guys been?" Scully asked.

"Okay," replied Dennis. Patrick echoed the succinct response.

"What you guys been up to?" Bill asked in a slightly altered speech

"Nothing much, man. You know, a little of this, little of that,"
replied Patrick. "Still working at the garage, getting my hands
dirty, but I'm making good money, so I can't complain."

"Still like it?" Scully asked.

"Yeah, I do. I still like it," he replied.

"That's good, Pat. What about you Dennis? Still selling the crap
that Pat's gotta fix up?" he asked with a chuckle.

"Nah, I couldn't stand the hassle of it," he replied. When Dennis
offered no more of an explanation, Scully pressed him for details.

"So what happened? What are you doing now?" he asked.

"I guess I just wasn't very good at it, ya know. I sold a few cars,
but I didn't make their _desired_ quota. So they were gonna put
me on probation, but I said fuck 'em, ya know? So I quit," he

"Man, that sucks, Den. So, what are you doing now?" Scully asked.

"He's mooching off of his very good friend," interjected Patrick.

"Aw, c'mon Pat, you know it's just temporary. I just don't wanna
jump into any ol' thing. I really wanna find a job that I could be
happy with, ya know?" he said.

"So," Pat said, "what about you Skully-Man? You still really intent
on making the Navy your life?"

"Yeah, I think so. Look, the benefits are good, they provide the
housing, and I know Tara will be looked after if anything should
ever happen to me," he replied.

"Oh, so how is the little woman?" asked Dennis. "Still gettin' any?"

"Yeah, Dennis, and then some," Bill Scully said, with a little bit of a
leer. It didn't mean anything, of course, but Bill Scully always felt
he had to top his friends in their throw away lines. And, throw in
that need on top of five and half beers inside of twenty-five minutes,
and the intensity of the emotions were all the more noticeable.

"Hey, speaking of a little woman, what the hell's the deal with your
sister, man? True she got married last year?" asked Patrick.

"Yeah," Bill replied tersely. "They had a kid too. That's why I'm
on shore leave, to attend the Baptism. I'm supposed to be the little
runt's Godfather."

"Oh. Hey man, I'm not one for tellin' tales, ya know? But I heard
she married a __, well you know, one of those "Hebes," Dennis said
in a conspiratorial tone.

"Yeah," was the succinct reply.

"Oh, man. That's rough, man," replied Patrick.

"They did this whole Jewish thing at her wedding, man. Charlie
and me, we got to stand and hold this God damned tablecloth over
their head. Then he broke this stupid glass, and everyone thought
this was friggin' wonderful." The guys listened and watched Bill in
a drunken horror.

"Then," Bill continued, "they had the nerve to do that thin' they do
to their kids__, you know, they cut 'em. They actually had a fuckin'
party about it. Is that fuckin' out there, or what? They invited me
home for that, but I just said, 'what's that?' ya know? No fuckin'
way was I comin' home for somethin' like that, man."

end of part five


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (6/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

As the two men commiserated with Bill Scully on the front porch
over what a raw deal he got in gaining a Jewish brother-in-law,
Dana Scully was busy waking the subject of their discussion up
from his nap.

"Fox," she called gently. "Fox, I need you to go get something for

"Wha_?" he asked, still in a sleep induced stupor. When he looked
up, he saw his wife looking down at him.

"Sweetie, I'm sorry to have to wake you, but I need you to get the
new package of diapers from the car," she said.

"Dane? Not for anything, but have you forgotten where the car is?"
he asked with just a hint of annoyance and a dash of sarcasm.

"No, I haven't forgotten where the car is parked, it's just__," she

"__Just what, Dane," he quizzed, while rising to a sitting position.
Mulder was now awake enough to see his wife was disturbed by

"Oh, I know it's silly, but the three stooges are hanging out on the
front porch, and I really never could stand Dennis or Patrick. They
were always teasing me, and Bill, the shmuck, never did anything to
stop them. So, would you mind?" she pleaded.

"Anything for you, my sweet," he said, rising from the couch.
"Diapers in the trunk?"

"Yes, and thank you. I'm going to see about getting dinner on the
table, okay? You must be hungry by now," she said.

"Yeah, I guess I am," he admitted. He stood up, and slipped his
shoes back on to go outside.

As Mulder opened the front door, he could hear the snickering, and
instinctively knew they were talking about him and his family. He
didn't know why he knew this, he just attributed it to his 'spooky
sixth sense.'

That and the next words that came out of one of Bill Scully's
companion's mouth.

"Well, speak of the devil. Look who's here," sneered Patrick.

"Hey, Bill. Did ya ever check?" Dennis asked cryptically.

"Check?" Bill echoed in question.

"Yeah, check his head," he said while jutting his chin toward

Mulder felt himself tense up at the man's words. He remembered a
time when he first arrived at Oxford, and a small group of young
men insisted upon doing the same thing. They were an ignorant
bunch, and this trio seemed to fall into the same category.

"For what?" asked Bill innocently.

"For the horns, man. Doncha know that them Jews have horns on
their head?" he gibed.

"Hey Mulder? That true? You got yourself some horns on your
head?" Bill asked in slurred speech.

"Look, Bill, you're drunk. Dane's getting dinner on the table. I've
just got to get the baby's diapers, and then we can go in and grab a
bite to eat, okay?" Mulder asked, hoping to change the subject.

"He ain't hungry. What kind of name is Mulder?" Patrick

"Tha's his last name. You wanna hear his first name?" At hearing
the question, Mulder looked at Bill in annoyance.

"Yeah, man. What's the Hebe's first name? Mogendavid?" he

"Fox. The SOB's name is Fox," Bill replied spitefully.

"Oh, that's rich, man. That is absolutely rich. Hey Fox, so you got
any little horns on your foxy little head?" Dennis asked.

"Look, I don't want any trouble. Bill," he admonished as he saw
him reach for another can, "don't you think you've had enough
beer? Let's go in and get some dinner, please."

"Hey Scully-Man! You gonna let some Jew tell you what to do?"
asked Patrick.

"No. No, I'm not," Bill replied.

Patrick stood up, and a second later, Dennis joined him. They both
moved toward Mulder who was now standing on the top step of
the porch.

"Hey, guys. Why don't you just go home, okay? Bill and I, we're
gonna eat dinner now," Mulder pleaded quietly.

"Naw, we gotta do a little fox hunting, ya know. Gotta check out
for those little horny nubs," Patrick said as he and Dennis both
rushed Mulder and body slammed him against the porch railing.

Mulder found himself gasping for air, as it was forced out of him by
the unexpected physical attack. He felt his kidney take the brunt of
the body slam against the sturdy porch railing and attempted to
soothe himself as he tried to rub the area. He then closed his eyes
and tried desperately to concentrate on catching his breath.

When Mulder lifted his head, he looked directly into the bloodshot
eyes of Bill Scully. Mulder knew the guy was totally drunk,
wasted, and certifiably out of it, but that didn't stop Mulder from
feeling really angry with him for allowing the two apes he called
friends to plow into him without a peep.

As Mulder's head cleared for the moment his feelings of animosity
increased. He found himself forming a fist and , as if in slow
motion, felt himself raising his arm to take a swing at Bill Scully.
Mulder felt his fist make the connection with his adversary's face
with a satisfying crunch. Bill let out a small yelp and immediately
reached for his now bloodied nose. Mulder admired his handiwork,
but not for long.

Suddenly, Mulder felt someone yank his right arm behind him
forcefully and then felt someone do the same to his left arm. Before
he could say a word, Patrick began chiding and goading Bill Scully
to get in his shots.

"After all, this guy's nothing more than a dirty Jew who knocked
up your baby sister," Mulder heard him say. At this, Mulder tried
to pull away to protest, but the two childhood chums of Bill Scully
held him fast. Each time Mulder struggled to free himself, he felt
the grips on him tighten even more painfully. Mulder felt himself
reacting in an all too familiar manner to the tortuous pain he felt
every time he fought back. He found himself beginning to
acquiesce and simply accept the pain.

As Patrick and Dennis continued spewing encouraging taunts and
jeers, Bill's face contorted in an expression of pure evil. He too
made a fist, hauled back, and solidly struck his brother-in-law in the
jaw. Mulder drew in his breath as the pain struck, but in the same
instant he attempted to draw himself up into a tiny ball in order to
prepare himself for what he knew would be another Bill Scully

It didn't help. Bill Scully's entire body filled with rage as he
considered the man before him. This sonofabitch was responsible
for so much unhappiness in his family's life. His sister Melissa
would still be alive if Fox Mulder had never entered their lives. His
father would probably still be alive if Mulder didn't influence his
baby sister and convince her to stay in the FBI.

As a reminder of every one of the ills he felt Fox Mulder bestowed
upon him and his family, Bill threw blow after blow into Mulder's
face, torso, and everywhere in between. Bill no longer saw the face
of Fox Mulder before him, he saw the faces of his father and his
sister, Melissa, pleading with him to save them from this monster
standing before him.

Well, barely standing before him. Mulder tried to fight back, but
the goons' hold on him was far too strong for his already weakened
efforts of escape to be of any value.

"Hey, I want some," cried out Dennis. "I want a piece of his sorry
ass." Dennis continued to hang onto Mulder's left arm tightly, and
began reaming him with his left fist, and planned on continuing this
little bit of one-sided sparring until he was too damned tired.

Patrick squealed like a small, insidious rodent, and began to
pummel Mulder with his right fist, simply because he didn't want to
be left out of the fun. Minutes later, with all of the scuffling and
jostling, Mulder somehow ended on the top step. Suddenly, before
any of them realized what was happening, Mulder, Patrick, and
Dennis tripped and tumbled down the steps and ended up in
a heap on the front lawn.

Bill Scully followed in morbid fascination. He knew, in the back of
his mind, his sister would probably want to kill him if she ever
found out that he was behind this little altercation. Yet, he couldn't
take his eyes off a Mulder as he watched his old chums, his high
school buddies, beat the proverbial shit out of his brother-in-law.

"C'mon Bill, let's go! Your turn, man. Bill, c'mon, take your best
shot!" cried out Patrick, as he was now standing and kicking the
felled agent.

"Yeah, Bill, do it, man! Go Bill! Go Bill! Go Bill!" Dennis began
chanting rhythmically while doing his best to keep up with Patrick
in battering the now semiconscious man.

As Mulder continued to receive the punishing blows to his body
and face, his mind began playing one of its infinite games with him.
Every time Mulder tried to look up, he felt a fist connect with his
chin. Every time Mulder tried to unbend his broken torso, he
would feel a brutal punch to his midsection.

He kept hearing the rhythmical words over and over in his head.
"Go Bill, go Bill, go Bill, go Bill!"

And all he could think about was his father, Bill Mulder, who was
now surely beating him up again for some unknown reason, as
usual. In his mind's eye, Mulder could see the distorted expression
of his father become even more contorted as his attackers
pummeled him even more.

*Don't fight, back, Fox. Don't fight, back, and then he'll stop. He'll
stop if you don't fight back. Please Daddy, stop. You have to stop,
now. Daddy? Please, Daddy, it hurts. It hurts a lot. I'm afraid I
might start crying, and I know you hate it when I cry. Oh God,
please, make him stop. Daddy, please, stop,* he pleaded

"What's the matter with you, you sonofabitch! Fight back, damn it!"
cried out Bill Scully. "God damned wuss, fight back , damn it!"

"Hey! Pat! Let's look for the little horn nubbies. Hold him down
Bill, c'mon! We got check for the __," Dennis began, but Mulder
reflexively pushed back against his attacker as Dennis began pawing
at his head. "Damn you! Cut this shit out! Pat, I need help here!"

Pat stood up to his full height and stared down at his friend's
brother-in-law, as though he was contemplating an important game
strategy. He watched as Dennis seemed to read his mind and take
hold of Mulder's head in both of his hands to keep it still. Then,
with the adroitness and technical skill of the Colt's # 1 place kicker,
Patrick stepped up and swung his foot first back and then forward
so that his booted toe met with Mulder's skull with a force that
was worthy of any field goal.

Patrick looked up to the sky and held up his hands in a victory
dance. Dennis looked up to offer him a high five, and then both
men turned to Bill who was looking down at the body that was
once someone he knew.

Bill didn't recognize the face. There was so much blood pouring
out of its head and face, Bill didn't recognize it.

It was at that moment of non-recognition that all three men were
brought out of their revelry by a high pitched sound. At first, in
their drunken stupor, Patrick and Dennis thought they were hearing
cheers from an adoring crowd for making the extra point.

Only moments passed until Bill Scully recognized the sound for
what it was. Old Mrs. Lavin. Old, nosy, busybody, Mrs. Lavin was
standing on her front lawn, directly adjacent to their own front
lawn, screaming her bloody head off.

As Patrick and Dennis resumed their attack on the body laid out on
his front lawn, Bill looked down at it again. Next he kneeled down
to take a closer look. He didn't even care that his two buddies
continued to nudge and kick it, even though they occasionally
missed their intended target and kicked him instead!

He reached over and touched the deep cut over the right eye of it,
and realized it was but one of several open wounds that was oozing
blood. Bill turned its head gently and noticed, even by the light of
only one street lamp, there was a great pooling of blood beneath its

He looked at his now bloodied hands and unconsciously wiped
them on his shirt. He stood up and staggered several times, before
he was able to maintain an upright position ,and nudged its head
with his foot, wondering if it was going to wake up.

*_Its_ head. Who the hell is this?* Bill wondered mutely, as he
gazed first at the mutilated body that laid on his mother's front
lawn, and then back towards the voice that was calling his name.

*Damn this sonofabitch! Who the hell is this sonofabitch!?* he
cursed vehemently to himself, and then in a raspy whisper, his
thoughts became slightly audible. "Damn sonofabitch. Who the hell
is this sonofabitch? Who the hell is this?" Bill Scully's facial
expression matched the malice and rage heard in his voice.


Dana and Maggie were having coffee in the kitchen when they
heard the commotion. At first, it sounded like the neighborhood
kids, playing football in the vacant lot two doors down from the
Scully home. There were cheers and growls and the sound of
bodies hitting. Then, there was the chilling sound of a
bloodcurdling scream, which Maggie recognized as being from her
next door neighbor, Mrs. Lavin. At that, the two women
exchanged frightened glances and hurried into the front of the
house and out onto the porch.

The fight, if it could be called that, had left the confines of the
porch and was on in full swing on the front lawn. But it really
wasn't much of a fight. More like a beating. One body lay on the
ground, not moving and three men were taking turns exchanging
blows and kicks on the prone individual. Dana immediately
recognized the one towering figure--it was her brother, Bill. The
other two standing men, she couldn't identify at first for the blood
that had spattered on their faces.

"Bill!" Maggie called out, as she, too, recognized her son. Bill
turned to them at that moment and for a split second, both women
gasped. He was covered in blood, his eyes held a rage and fury
they had never before seen. He looked positively murderous. But
as he saw that there was an audience, and more importantly, who
the audience was, all the fire went out of his eyes and he looked
down at the man on the ground in horror.

"Oh my God. Ohmigod. Ohmigod," he repeated over and over
but made no attempt to stop the others from their continued
pillaging of the helpless body below them.

It was then that Dana's attention was drawn to the figure on the
ground. She first recognized the shoes. They looked just like
Mulder's shoes. His big feet, she'd teased him so often. He had to
order his shoes out of a catalog--stores never carried his size and
width. With a stifled scream, Scully came to the startling
realization that it was her husband who was acting as a make shift
tackling dummy for the two cretans still pummeling him.

The next few moments were pure instinct. Scully reached to her
belt for her gun, but found the space frustratingly empty. She'd
stopped wearing her gun months ago--she was on maternity leave
and certainly didn't need it to handle an infant. Knowing she was
unarmed didn't stop her. She didn't even look over to her mother
as she growled, "Mom, call 911--ambulance and police. Tell them
we have an attack on a federal agent, that'll get 'em here quick!"
Then she ran with all her might off the stairs and down to the brawl
on the lawn.

Scully might have been on maternity leave, but she wasn't all that
rusty yet. The two men still having fun were too intent on their
own actions to notice the auburn topped whirlwind that hit the
nearest one square in the small of the back with a tackle meant only
to bring a man down. A knee jammed down hard on his spine and
he remained immobile, still wondering what the hell hit him. The
second man, she grabbed as he took aim and another swing, but
Scully used the momentum to pull his arm behind him. The joint
separated with a sickening pop. He howled in pain and slumped
to the ground, holding his injured right arm.

Dana looked around, wild-eyed and caught sight of her brother.
Her fury was far from spent, it had actually been increased at the
sight of her brother--her own flesh and blood--hurting the man she
loved more than life itself. A low growl came from deep in her
throat that sounded a lot like 'you son of a bitch' and she tackled
her brother at the knees. The two went down, Dana punching Bill
with all she was worth, Bill laying motionless, almost calmly
accepting the repeated blows to his face from his baby sister. After
several minutes, Maggie was pulling Dana off her brother, pleading
with her to stop.

"Dana, please, please, baby. You have to see to Fox. He won't
wake up, Dana. Please!" Maggie was sobbing and not bothering
to wipe the blood that covered her hands and the front of her

"Fox?" Dana whispered and came back to her senses with an abrupt
lurch. "Where's the ambulance?" she cried to her mother as she
crawled the few feet back to where he husband was still laying,

"They're on their way, baby. They'll be here as fast as they can,"
Maggie assured her through her own tears.

Dana gently wiped the blood off Mulder's face. It was obvious that
Maggie had recently made a similar attempt, but the moment the
area was cleaned, fresh blood welled up to mar his features again.
"Fox?" she called softly. "Fox, please, wake up. Wake up for me,
Sweetheart." She put her index and middle fingers to his neck and
felt for a pulse. It was too weak and thready to satisfy her, but at
least she found one. Then she calmed herself and pulled down on
the professional curtain she always used when dealing with an
injured Mulder. She examined him carefully. "From the way he's
breathing, he has a couple of broken ribs. His shoulder's out of
place." She pulled up his shirt and almost lost control as she saw
the extent of bruising already coloring his torso. "There could be
internal bleeding--we'll have to wait for the hospital to find out for

By this time, a police car, lights and sirens blaring it's arrival, came
to a stop in front of the house. Two uniformed police officers
stepped out, guns drawn. The first car was followed quickly by
another and bringing up the rear, the ambulance.

Bill had finally sat up, face blood covered from where he'd been on
the receiving end of Dana's wrath. He stared, terrified at his sister.
"Dana?" he asked, his voice sounding faint in all the noise of the
police cars.

She looked over at him, but there was no longer any emotion in her
eyes. They weren't even blue anymore--just blank and black.
There was no spark of recognition in them at all. One of the
officers walked up to her, while the others moved toward the three
men still scattered on the ground. It was obvious who the victim
was, but if that couldn't be determined, the firey red head standing
like a lioness over her pride was enough of a statement to clue
anyone in.

"Ma'am, I'm Officer Nelson with the Baltimore PD. Uh, could you
tell us what happened here?" the first officer asked.

"Yes. I'm Special Agent Dana Mulder," Dana said evenly. She
didn't miss the cringe from her brother at the mention of her
married name. "And this is my husband, Special Agent Fox
Mulder. I have my badge and idenification in my purse in the
house. Anyway, these three _subjects_ attacked and severely
injured a federal agent. I want them taken to the station house in
cuffs, I want them processed and I will be talking to a judge about
what bail, if any, should be justified. The attack was unprovoked
on an unarmed man. Treat them accordingly," she growled, staring
straight into her brother's eyes. "Oh, and we will be pressing
charges," she added.

"Ah, ma'am, we'll need more of a statement later. I assume you'll
be at the hospital?" Nelson asked. From the looks being exchanged
between the agent and one of the subjects, it was clear that there
was a lot more to this story than he was hearing.

Dana nodded. "You can reach me there." She turned her attention
back to Mulder, who was being hooked up to IV's and blood
pressure was being taken.

"BP's 190 over 110, we may be dealing with renal failure and
severe head injuries," the paramedic was saying. Dana heard
Maggie cry out as if in pain at the sight of her son-in-law, bloody
and unconscious, and her oldest son being led away in handcuffs.

"Dana, what happened here?" Maggie cried, tears streaking down
her face.

"From what I can tell, Mom, it's pretty obvious. Bill saw I loved
someone and decided to kill him--just as he's destroyed everything
I've loved since I was little," Dana seethed. With a quick glance
over to ensure that Mulder was being cared for, she hastily ran over
to where Bill was being placed in the back of a squad car. She
caught the door before it closed and leaned in close enough for her
whisper to be heard. She said only one quick sentence but it was
enough to make the Naval Officer break down into sobs. The
driver heard what she said and wondered at it.

"You are dead to me," was all she whispered and slammed the door
shut, walking quickly back to the man on the gurney.

end of part six


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (7/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

Dana walked up to the gurney and grasped Fox' hand in hers. "It's
all right, Sweetheart. I'm here. I'll be here when you wake up.
We'll be here for you, me and--" She stopped in midsentence.
"Adam!" She looked frantically for her mother. "Mom! The
baby!" she cried, still not letting go of her husband's hand.

Her mother's voice, now very much under control, came from
behind her. "I'll get Adam dressed and bring the diaper bag.
You're going to ride in the ambulance, aren't you?" Maggie asked
and Dana nodded. "Good, we'll follow in my car. We'll meet you
at the hospital." She reached over and placed a kiss on her
daughter's cheek then reached down to caress her son-in-law's
batter forehead. "I love you both," she whispered and hurried into
the house to collect her grandson and his 'equipment'.

Dana's heart ached as she thought of her little boy, still sleeping.
What in the world could she tell him, years from now, about what
happened here on this day? She didn't want to think of it, she just
wanted to get her husband to the hospital and cared for. She
jumped into the back of the ambulance and it sped off, sirens
leading the way.

When Maggie got in the house, the phone was ringing. "I don't
have time for this," she muttered. "Let the machine pick it up," she
said, half to the living room furniture and half to her own
conscience. Until she heard the voice leaving the message.

"Mom? Mom are you there? Look, if you're out for a minute, I
just wanted to let you know that we're at the motel. I tried Dana's
number, but didn't get an answer, so I figured they were at the
house. Did Bill get in yet? Well, we're here--" It was Charlie.

Maggie grabbed for the phone. "Charles! Is that you?" she
demanded, a bit forcefully.

"Ah, yah Mom. So you are home. Hey, is now a good time to
come over, I mean if the baby's sleeping we'll be--"

"Charlie, listen to me and don't ask any questions. I need you, I
need you very much to call the Baltimore Police Department. See
what precinct an Officer Nelson is attached to. Go down there and
see if you can talk to your brother, Bill."

"Mom! What the hell is Bill doing at the police--"

"Charles Andrew! What did I just say?!" Maggie barked, then got
hold of her temper. "Charlie, I'm sorry. Please sweetheart, it's
very important. When you've spoken to Bill please come over to
St. Anthony's Hospital--do you remember where it is?"

"Yah, Mom, I remember. Mom, please, I don't want to make you
mad, but what is this all about?" He sounded so young and
confused, not at all the 31 year old she knew him to be.

"There was a fight, sweetie. Bill and a couple of his high school
buddies, Dennis and Patrick. They beat him--" Maggie's sobs
stopped her from going any further.

"Mom, mom? Beat who, Mom? Mom, just tell me who they beat

"Fox, sweetheart. They beat him senseless. He didn't fight back,
from the looks of them. Dana's riding with him to the hosptial, I'm
following with little Adam. Please, you have to be the man of the
family, Charlie. You have to look after your brother. Can you do
that for me?"

"I'm already on it, Mom. And tell Dana--" There was a pause and
Maggie could hear her son take a deep breath. "Tell Dana that Fox
is in my prayers, OK?"

"I'll do that. Charlie, please just hurry."

Charlie had spent over an hour and a half on the phone, finally
tracking Officer James Nelson to the Fifth Precinct of Baltimore. It
would have been funny, had it been any other circumstances--the
Fifth Precinct was only ten blocks from his mother's house. If he'd
thought about it, he would have remembered it as the same station
where he'd gone to report his stolen bicycle in sixth grade. But
time and travel have a way of obscuring memory, even of familiar

He walked into the station, and was at once struck by how much
smaller it appeared. When he'd last been there, he'd been no more
than 11. He could remember stopping outside, wiping dirty tears
from his cheeks. He'd come by himself, because Bill and Missy had
both told him that it was his own fault the bike had been stolen. He
shouldn't have left it out on the front lawn all night, during the
middle of summer when the street kids used to roam the

When he reached the station, he'd been so scared that he almost
dissolved into tears again at the Sargent's desk. Only after some
gentle questioning did the Sargent learn his name and what he was
there for. He'd taken his statement, handed him a copy of the
report, and promised that if they found a bike matching Charlie's
description, they would call him--first thing.

Charlie had gone home, hoping that by morning the bike would be
back. But it never appeared. The fear and frustration from that
childhood memory was once again caught in his throat as he
stepped up to the Sargent's desk.

"I'm looking for someone. My brother. He was brought in by
Officer James Nelson. My brother's name is William Scully."

The Sargent, a woman, looked Charlie over from head to toe.
Everyone at the station was aware of the three subjects who had
beaten a federal agent, almost to death on the front lawn of one of
the nicer neighborhoods--in the early Spring evening just before

"I'll see if I can find Officer Nelson," she told him and paged the
policeman. After a few minutes, Officer Nelson came to the desk.

"I"m Jim Nelson," he said, extending his hand. "How can I help

Charlie cleared his voice and straightened his spine. "I'm Charles
Scully. I'm here to see my brother, Bill."

Nelson looked the man in the eyes and frowned. "He's being
processed. Won't take much longer, but then he'll be going to a
holding cell."

Charlie's gut dropped to the floor. "What's he being held on."

Nelson jerked his head and then shrugged. "Well, for the moment,
aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon--since he admits
to being trained for combat, and assault on a federal officer. I'm
waiting to hear from the hosptial. The guy didn't look that good.
If he dies--your brother is facing murder one."

It took every ounce of strength within him for Charlie to remain
standing. "There were others. How about them?"

Nelson nodded. "Oh, yeah. His 'friends'. Seems they're more
than willing to testify that your brother instigated the whole thing
and threw the first punch. They've got all the same assault charges,
but they'll be charged with voluntary manslaughter if the guy dies.
Seems they didn't know he was an FBI agent. They claim he was
just some creep who married your sister." The look of contempt on
Nelson's face made it obvious what he must be thinking of Bill
Scully and his whole family.

Charlie's anger flared, but he caught himself. "Bill didn't go along
with that story, did he?" he demanded.

Nelson shook his head. "Your brother isn't saying squat.
Everytime we go in to talk to him, all he does is ask about this
Mulder guy--the one in the hospital. Won't talk, so we've got a PD
coming to sit with him. If he doesn't say something soon, before
the arraignment, he's going down for this. The judge will keep him
without bail. Can't let animals run the streets, ya know," Nelson
added with narrowed eyes. "Do you think you can talk some sense
into him?"

Charlie had never before felt so ashamed or so sick. But he saw an
opportunity. "Yeah. I do," he said simply.

"Then let's go see the man," Nelson said and led the way to the
holding cells.

It took another 30 minutes for Bill to finish up processing. Finally,
he was escorted down the hallway by officers on either side and
arms in handcuffs, toward the holding cell. At the sight of Charlie,
looking more than a little scared, but trying hard not to, Bill froze in
his tracks and started to turn back in the other direction. The
officer on his immediate left grabbed his elbow and forced him
forward again. "None o' that," the other officer said gruffly.

The first officer opened the cell door and waved Bill in. "You got a
visitor," he announced, with a glance toward Charlie. "Sorry, the
interrogation rooms are all full. You'll have to stand here and talk
to him."

Charlie nodded but then put his hand out. "Can't I at least sit in
there with him?" he asked. "I won't make any trouble, I promise.
This is just hard--on the whole family. Please, I promise neither of
us will cause any trouble."

The officer looked doubtful that anyone from this family could be
capable of NOT causing trouble, but then his expression softened.
"You been patted down?" he barked. Charlie nodded, holding his
hands out to his sides to allow the procedure again, if necessary.
The officer did so, then stood. "You're clean. They tell us the
Public Defender might have some time for him later, unless he gets
hung up--then he'll see him first thing in the morning. You have
the next 15 minutes for sure." With those words, he swung the cell
door open and motioned Charlie in, then slammed the door shut,
causing Charlie to stiffen and clench his eyes shut.

"How's Mulder?" Bill said, his voice sounding harsh and rough
with tears.

"Don't know. Mom sent me here. What the fuck happened,
Billy?" Charlie demanded, coming to sit on the lone bench next to
his brother.

Bill shook his head, like a man trying to make a nightmare leave. "I
don't know. I wish I did."

Charlie looked at his older brother, taking in the two blackened
eyes, and the 2 inch cut above his left eyebrow. "Well, looks like
Mulder got in some good ones before you guys got serious,"
Charlie remarked casually.

Bill smirked. "Wasn't Mulder. It was Dana. After we--um--"

"Start at the beginning. Who are the two fucks they brought in
with you?"

"You mean Moe and Larry?" Bill barked out what was meant to be
a laugh. "My best buds," he said sarcastically. "Surely you
remember them, Charlie."

Charlie's face dropped. "Those assholes! Shit, Billy, they were
Skinheads before it was popular! What the hell were you doing,
bringing that trash to Mom's house?!"

"They called, said they heard I was in town for a few days and
wanted to go get a drink. I told 'em to come on over, they could
say hi to Mom. I didn't have a car and I wasn't about to go an' ask
old tightass Mul--" He stopped and a sob escaped his lips.
"Fucking shit," he mumbled.

"Bill, tell me what happened. NOW!" Charlie cried out and then
looked quickly down the hall to make sure he hadn't alerted the

"I don't know, damn it! I don't fucking know! One minute we
were standing on the front porch laughing--like old times, and the
next minute, we--" Bill swallowed hard and from the look on his
face, Charlie thought he might puke right there on the spot. "We,
uh, we were punching the shit out of . . . out of Mulder." The older
man leaned his head back against the cinderbrick wall. "It wasn't
supposed to be like this, Charlie. God in heaven, it wasn't
supposed to be like this. I figured Starbuck would come to her
senses before this. You know how she was--gonna be a bug
scientist one minute, an actress the next--"

Charlie looked at his brother with a furrowed brow. "That was
Missy, Bill," he said softly, but the other man hadn't stopped

"Dad figured it would take a couple of years. She'd be in the FBI,
figure out what a shitty place that was, and come to her senses.
Then she'd quit that and get a real job, like deliver babies or
something. Something she could be happy with. But noooooo,"
Bill sneered sarcastically. "She gets hooked up with that Mulder
character. He was pumping her before her briefcase hit the desk, I
swear that to you, Charlie! I know he was. Trouble was, Dana
was head over heels with the asshole from the first day. Never had
a damned lick of sense when it came to men. Remember that guy
she was hooked up with when she first got there?"

Charlie thought for a moment. "Willis? Wilson? What the fuck
was his name?"

"Willis, Jack Willis. Hey, talk about eliminating the competition, I
hear that on a case, Willis got killed in the line of duty. Naturally,
Mulder was involved. He's always involved when people get
killed. He was responsible for Missy's death, you know," Bill
accused bitterly.

"Bill," Charlie objected. "We don't know that. Someone was
trying to kill Dana. Mulder didn't have anything to do--"

Bill punched the mattress angrily. "That's just what the little fuck
wants us to believe, Charlie! He plays this innocent 'I want to
protect her' shit and Mom and Dana both lap it up with a spoon.
He's the reason Dana was kidnapped! He's the idiot who stopped
the SWAT team from blowing the fucker's brains out! Of course,
after the fact, after she was gone, Mulder goes in an' strangles the
bastard right under the noses of the Federal Marshalls. At least the
little shit did something right," Bill added with a looked mixed of
contempt and admiration.

"So you're telling me that you beat this guy senseless because you
think he's bad for Dana?" Charlie said evenly, no emotion showing.

Bill swallowed again, but this time he couldn't keep the bile down.
He jumped from the cot and staggered to the toilet set in the wall,
losing what little was in his stomach. Charlie sat on the cot, biting
his lip. After a moment, Bill weakly got to his feet and staggered
back to the cot. "I tell you, Charlie, that bastard is poison. As long
as she stays with him, our whole family is in danger."

Charlie closed his eyes, trying to believe this was just a bad dream
and that at any moment, he'd wake up from it. "Then why are you
so concerned if he lives or dies?" he asked weakly, holding back

"Cause, Charlie, if he dies, Dana will hate me for the rest of her life.
She's always thought I picked on her. That was fucking shit, you
know! I never picked on her. I was trying to make her strong.
That's what Dad wanted--he didn't want any of us growing up
sissies! But if Mulder dies, she'll hate me. See, if he lives, there's
still a chance she'll come to her senses--"

"What about the baby? What about Adam?" Charlie asked, his
voice tight.

"Hey, he's still half Scully," Bill reasoned. "The kid'll be OK. We
get him away from that bastard father of his--he'll grow up to be
like one of us," Bill said proudly.

Charlie sat there, taking in deep, calming breaths. Finally he turned
to his older brother. "I don't know that I want that anymore,
Billy," he said sadly and got up from the cot to stand by the door,
alerting the guards that he was ready to leave. "I'll tell Mom that
you're OK," he added with a back glance.

"Just let me know if . . . when . . ." Bill stopped again, fought down
another sob.

"Yeah, I'll make sure you know," Charlie sneered and left as
quickly as he could without running.

end of part seven


But our guy achieved peace. (Dustin Hoffman)
But there was no war. (Robert DiNero)
And that is an even GREATER accomplishment!! (Dustin Hoffman)

from Wag the Dog