Life Cycles IX: Journey (8/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

Charlie made a quick call to the motel. Karen had been waiting for
him to see Bill before going over to the hospital. He told her to be
ready, he was picking her up and they would go to see his mother

Karen tried several times to get Charlie to talk about what Bill had
said, what had happened, but each time Charlie had waved her off
angrily, then regretted his actions. "I just don't want to go through
it more than once, Sweets, OK?" he had finally explained, and she
respected his request.

St. Anthony's was a large hospital, and by the time they arrived,
Dana was in with Mulder. Tracking down Maggie was a bit of
search, but with some effort and the aid of some helpful nurses, the
couple found her sitting with Adam in a family waiting lounge.

Charlie's heart jumped to his throat as he saw his mother, gently
rocking the brown haired baby on her lap. She was cooing a
lullaby, and he could recognize it--Tura Lura Lura. She'd sung it
to him, she'd sung it to all of them when they were little. He bit his
lip and dug his fingers into Karen's hand, then moved forward.

"Mom," he called softly, not wanting to startle her or the baby who
was watching her face so intently, as if trying to place her name.
He smiled. "Hey, big fella," he said, dropping to one knee to be
close to the baby. "You are a looker, aren't you? Got your mom's

"His mom's nose, too," Maggie laughed softly. "But that's
definitely his father's mouth. Already I can see we're in for trouble
when he decides to pout in a few months," she added. Then she
reached a free hand up and touched her son's cheek. "Hi,
Sweetheart." She looked beyond his shoulder and smiled at Karen.
"Hi, honey. I'm so sorry about all this," Maggie said sadly.

"Don't worry about it, Mom," Karen said gently. "Can I hold my
nephew? Then you and Charlie can talk."

Maggie smiled at little Adam, then handed him up to Karen. "Hi,
Adam. I'm your Auntie Karen. I want to get to know you.
What's your favorite color?" she cooed at the baby, who did his
best to smile in return. Karen moved over to a couch and sat down
with the baby on her lap and talked to him softly while Maggie and
Charlie found chairs nearby.

"How is Mulder?" Charlie asked anxiously.

"We don't know yet. The doctor is still doing tests. They did an X
ray and found the broken ribs, but there was internal bleeding, so
they took him down for an MRI. If the bleeding doesn't stop on
it's own, the doctor wants to do surgery. Charlie, I've never seen
so much blood--" Maggie choked.

Charlie clenched his eyes again. How in the world could this have
happened? He knew his brother, he wasn't a violent man. He was
a husband, a father. He would never intentionally hurt another
person, not unless he had a good reason. But then, he knew there
was a darker side to Bill that Charlie had always tried to deny. A
part of Bill that had a temper he couldn't always control.

"How's Bill? What's happening?" Maggie asked, bringing Charlie
back to the here and now.

"He's being charged--uh, it's complicated, Mom. Aggravated
battery, assault on a federal officer, uh--" Charlie stopped, deciding
not to bring up the murder charges. He could tell that would be too
much for his mother at that point.

"What has Bill told them? It was a stupid fight," Maggie said

"He hasn't told the police anything. And Pat and Dennis--" It was
so hard to tell her all this, with her eyes misting over. "They always
were jerks, Mom."

"What did they say?" Maggie asked, her eyes narrowing at the
mention of the boys name.

"They told the police--they said it was Bill's fault. That he started
it. That he threw the first punch."

Maggie's eyes flashed with anger. "That's a lie! They know that!
Those two never did amount to anything, and everyone who ever
met them knows they were never in a fight they didn't start!"

"I know, Mom, I know, but Bill's not saying anything, so there's no
other story but theirs at the moment," Charlie said sadly. "The
Public Defender was supposed to see him when I left--either tonight
or early tomorrow. Maybe they can reason with him."

"Charlie, why didn't you reason with him?! That's what I sent you
there to do!" Maggie cried.

Charlie's eyes darkened. "There wasn't any reasoning with him,
Mom. He's got this in his head--he thinks Mulder is poison--his
exact words, and he won't let it go."

Maggie shook her head in disbelief. "He says those things, Charlie,
but he doesn't mean them. He's so like your father--no one will
ever be good enough for your sister."

Charlie shook his head slowly. "No, Mom, it goes beyond that.
Bill blames Mulder for everything bad that's ever happened. He
blames him for Missy's death, for the time Dana was kidnapped--"

"That's silly, Charlie! Fox was devastated when Missy died! He
was more of a support to me than even Bill was. Bill couldn't find
the time to come home but for the day of the funeral. Fox was here
for us the whole time. And when Dana was missing--it was Fox
who came to me with every scrap of information he had, it was Fox
who would give me hope that we'd find her. It was Fox who went
with me to pick out her--" Maggie stopped, breaking down into
tears. "He's been a son to me when you were both too busy with
your own lives. Maybe it's a guilty conscience that's eating Bill.
Maybe he's feeling bitter because deep down he knows that Fox
has been a better son to me than he has," Maggie said, getting
control of her tears with anger.

"Mom, you don't mean that. Bill's your son," Charlie retorted,
quick to defend his older brother. A tiny voice was niggling in the
back of his mind, wondering if maybe what his mother was saying
was the truth. Maybe it was guilt that had been behind Bill's

"Bill is my son, but I'm not blind to his faults, Charlie," Maggie said
softly. "I'm not saying that I don't love him, or that I think he's
totally bad now. I'm just saying that he has to realize what his
motives are, why he really dislikes Fox. Until he does that, there
will always be bad blood between them. And it's all on his side.
Fox doesn't hold a grudge, and I know he would never hold a
grudge against family. He's not that kind of man."

"What kind of man, Mom?" Dana asked, standing in the doorway.
She'd finally taken the time to clean off the blood, but it still stained
her shirt front. She walked over to where Karen was playing with
Adam and took the baby out of her sister-in-laws hands. "Hey,
Sweetheart. Mommy's back," she cooed.

Charlie didn't miss the skinned knuckles on both of Dana's hands
but decided not to mention anything. "Hi, sis," Charlie said,
tapping her lightly on the head. Dana turned to him as if finally
realizing that he was in the room.

"Hi, Charlie," she smiled and reached up to give him a kiss.

"How's Mulder?" Maggie and Karen asked in unison.

Dana sat down and hugged her son close to her chest. "The doctor
thinks he should be moved up to ICU for a short time, just till the
bleeding stops completely. It's slowed down a lot. I think we
avoided surgery, for once," she said with a grim smile. "With any
luck, he'll only have to stay a couple of days here. Then I can take
him home."

"Dana, I went to see--" Charlie started, but Maggie tried to catch
his eye and ward him off.

"I'm going to see if I can sneak Adam up for a moment. Fox isn't
awake yet, but maybe if he smells Adam's baby scent, he'll open his
eyes," Dana said quickly, taking the baby and leaving the room.

"What was that all about?" Charlie demanded.

"What do you expect, Charlie?" Karen asked, amazed at her
husband's seeming stupidity. "The last person she wants to hear
about is Bill."

"But he's still her brother," Charlie objected stubbornly.

"He beat the crap out of her husband!" Karen stated angrily.
"She's got every right to be mad at him!"

"He's still her brother! Blood is thicker than water!" Charlie
shouted back at his wife.

"Stop it! Both of you!" Maggie intervened. "We've had enough
fighting for one day, don't you think!?"

Karen was the first to back down. "Sorry, Mom. You're right.
I'm sorry. But I think I can understand how Dana's feeling. And
this isn't the first time Mulder's been hurt. Good God, we almost
lost him right before the wedding when his appendix flared up," she
pointed reminded her husband. "They are very protective of each
other, and anyone who doesn't see that is blind as a bat!"

Charlie's anger flared again. "Well, maybe I'm 'blind as a bat', but
I don't need to sit around here and do nothing!" He jumped up
from the chair and marched off down the hall.

"Charlie, where are you going," Maggie demanded. He didn't even
miss a step, just got on the first elevator and didn't look back.

Karen stood beside Maggie, a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"Let him go, Mom. He's got a lot to work through. It's hard to
see your idol broken and caked with mud," she said thoughtfully.

"Why are we tearing each other apart, Karen? I just want to know
why?" Maggie begged, tears forming in her eyes again.

"I wish I knew, Mom. I really wish I knew."


Adam was gurgling and cooing as Scully took the elevator up to
the Intensive Care Unit. "Keep it up, Munch Mouth, please," she
smiled at the tiny boy. "Daddy won't be able to sleep through all
this good stuff." The elevator dinged and she stepped off.

She glanced around the reception desk, and noticed that all eyes
were on monitors. If I can sneak into hidden secret government
facilities tucked away in mountainsides, I can sneak a baby onto a
hosptial ward, she convinced herself. She pushed open the double
glass doors to go onto the floor, gently jiggling the baby to keep
him quiet.

They made it to the cubicle where Mulder's bed was stationed.
She'd been with him during the last of the tests, but it still stopped
her heart to see his battered and bruised face. The monitors
surrounding the bed gave off reassuring beeps and bleats, but she
shifted Adam to one arm so that she could take his pulse on her
own, using the big wall clock above his bed to count out the
seconds. When she was satisfied that he was doing better than he
had been when he was brought in, she settled in the chair next to
the bed.

Scully pulled the chair up as close as she could to the bed and
lowered the bed rail. Carefully, she laid the baby on the bed next to
his father, so that both 'her boys' could sense the other was close
by. "We're here, Fox. Just like I promised. We're here and we're

Tears were tickling the back of her throat, but she wasn't going to
break down again. She'd already gone to the bathroom twice,
letting her anger, her fear and her frustration out in deep, aching
sobs. She'd done it when she was alone, but she wasn't going to
do that now. Not when Mulder might wake up any minute.

"Hey, Daddy, guess what Adam's been doing?" she smiled down at
the little boy. "He's been such a good boy. He was meeting Auntie
Karen, and keeping Grandma Maggie company while you and
Mommy were busy. But now he's getting tired and he wants to
snuggle with Daddy."

She froze when she heard someone clearing their throat behind her.

"Mrs. Mulder--" Dana didn't recognize the voice, but she cringed
at the tone. It was the tone of authority--more than likely
belonging to the head floor nurse, who was about to bounce baby
Adam off the floor.

Dana turned and faced the woman, fully expecting the inevitable
confrontation, and defeat. But instead, she was quite amazed at the
full fledged smile that greeted her.

"And who is this little visitor?" asked the nurse, whose name tag
read Patricia.

"This is Adam, our son," Dana said with more confidence than she
felt at that moment. She wasn't sure what was happening, but it
seemed to be going her way.

"Well, isn't he a big boy?" Patricia cooed at the baby. "And I think
I see a little bit of both Mommy and Daddy in that face," she added
with a quick grin to Dana. "So, I take it that Adam is here to see if
he can get Daddy to wake up, huh?"

Dana nodded, unconsciously crossing her fingers under the baby's

"Well, as long as he doesn't bring in any of his friends or starts a
riot, I guess we can let him stay," Patricia said with a mockingly
serious look.

"We'll keep it down, I promise," Dana returned in kind. She
relaxed then, as Patricia went about her business, checking the IV
lines and the various bags of fluid above Mulder's bed. When her
checks were complete, she turned again to Dana and Adam. "It
really is against hosptial policy, but he's pretty little--I can't see him
running around much or bumping anything over. If someone
complains, I'll have to toss you both out, but for now, we'll just
pretend I didn't see anything, if that's all right with you?"

Dana swallowed and nodded. "That's just fine by us," she assured
the nurse and before the woman had a chance to leave, she caught
her eye. "Thank you," she said softly.

"Think nothing of it. Best medicine in the world--a baby close by.
We'll all take good care of your husband together, Mrs. Mulder.
He'll be out of here and back home with you in no time."

When Patricia was down the hall, Dana breathed a sigh of relief.
"Close one, Mulder, very, very close," she giggled. "Hey, maybe
we can have Nurse Patricia meet AD Walter and she can rub off on
him, what do you think?" She'd meant it to be a joke, but with no
responding comment, it fell flat and made her all the more sad.

"I haven't had a chance to apologize to you for what happened,"
Scully said, slowly, chewing on her lip as she talked. "I mean, I
understand when we get hurt in the field--we accept that, it's part
of the job. There have been times, Sweetheart, when I've thought
you might consider it the first on the list of your job
responsiblities." She moved in closer so that she was stroking
Adam's face with one hand and Mulder's hand with the other. "No
one should have to worry about getting hurt in their own home. Or
even at their in-laws," she said low, finally letting a little of the
anger seep to the surface.

"I wish I could tell you that this is all a big mistake, but I know that
would be a lie, and we don't have lies between us. In all honesty,
Sweetheart, this is really my fault. I was blinded by time and a false
sense of family. I should have known better. Bill--" She stopped
and took a deep breath, while a shudder ran through her body.
"Bill has always been an ass. But he was my big brother and that
meant that I had to love him, you know?"

Silence greeted her, but she continued again. "I know you know.
And I know that you think sometimes that you were a jerk to
Samantha. Well, baby, let me tell you, you were a solid gold, 100
percent _saint_ to your sister, compared to my big brother Bill,"
she sneered.

"Look at how you've spent your life? Looking for Samantha. And
when I was missing--what did you do? Mom has told me how you
would call her at 7 in the morning to give her information that
you'd dug up during the night. You never slept. I have that on
solid, eye-witness account, by the way. I shouldn't tell you this, but
one day I was cleaning the file cabinet. Well, actually, I was
looking for some autopsy photos that I was pretty sure you'd
misfiled--and don't give me that, you know you misfile stuff all the
time. Anyway, I found the note that the Chief Detective on the
Trinity murders in Los Angeles had sent to Skinner. How it ended
up in the case file and not your own personnel file, I'll never know.
But he requested to Skinner that you be placed on medical leave
until such time as it could be determined that you had sufficient rest
to do your job properly. He even noted that while he appreciated
the saving to the tax payers, he thought that even FBI agents should
take a couple of hours off to get some sleep. Skinner wrote him
back, it was attached to the letter, telling him that everything was
under control. The date on Skinner's letter, by the way, was three
days after I'd come out of the coma."

"You would move heaven and earth to find your sister. You
moved heaven and earth to find me. Bill--all Bill can think about is
his own ego, his own selfish need to be in control, not just of his
own life, but all our lives, too. Mrs. Lavin told Mom that she heard
them calling you names--slurs against the Jews. I wish it were that
simple, Sweetheart. Bill doesn't hate you because you're Jewish,
even I know that. Bill hates you because I love you, and you love
me, and he doesn't fit in that equation. It's sick, it's twisted, but
there it is and I don't care what anyone thinks, this time--so help
me God, this time--he's not going to get away with it." Her teeth
were clenched so tightly by this time that the words almost didn't
get past her lips. Adam, sensing his mother's distress, started to
fuss and Dana picked him up and rocked him while hot tears
streamed down her cheeks.

She didn't notice her younger brother standing just outside the
doorway, well within earshot of everything she had just said.

"Billy's not like that, Dana," Charlie said softly, coming into the
room and standing next to his sister. "He wants to keep you safe.
He sees all the things that have happened since you met Mulder and
he doesn't want you hurt anymore!"

"Ah, Charlie, grow up!" Dana demanded tiredly. "Quit painting
Bill as the action hero in this drama and see him for what he is!
He's a bigot and a bully and an ass! He hurts those closest to him
because it makes him feel important. You were too little to
remember all the things that went on. You used to hide when Bill
would tear up our dolls or go into our room and wreck our toys.
You were too afraid you'd be next. You followed him around like
a damned puppy and all the time you were just feeding that
enormous ego of his. The happiest day of my teen years was the
day Bill enlisted in the Navy. I couldn't wait to come home to a
house where my phone calls weren't listened in on, where my boy
friends weren't threatened at school. Missy couldn't take it and she
left before he did. She went all the way to California to get away
from it. So don't stand here and tell me about Saint Bill the
Protector. Please, please, just wake up and remember what it was
really like."

By this time, little Adam was sopping up the tension in the room
and let out an ear shattering wail. Dana looked down at him, then
at Mulder. Adam wasn't going to be appeased by a simple 'jiggle'
this time--he wanted comfort and he wanted it NOW.

"Charlie, please, I need to feed the baby. Would you sit with Fox,
just for a minute or so? I'll be back as soon as I get him settled."

There was no way to refuse such a request. "Of course. Hey, take
all the time you need. And Dana, I'm sorry if I upset you. I didn't
come up here to do that."

She smiled at him sadly and gave his shoulder a squeeze. "I know
you didn't Charlie. Thanks." She started out the door, but stopped
at the doorcasing. "If he wakes up--"

"I'll tell him you're just outside for a minute. Don't worry. He
won't wake up alone," he assured her.

end of part eight


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (9/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

After Dana and the baby left, Charlie stood at the bedside for some
time, afraid to move. There were so many tubes, so many wires, so
much--stuff, and all of it looked life threatening if disturbed.
Slowly, being careful not to touch the bed in any way, Charlie sat
down on the chair Dana had vacated. At that level, he could plainly
see the bag attached to the siderail of the bed, and see the reddish
yellow fluid slowly dripping into it. It hit him square in the chest
that it was blood. He closed his eyes against the rush of bile that
burned his throat. No way could he throw up here--no frigging

He kept his eyes clenched shut. As the seconds grew into minutes,
he realized that the sounds of the monitors weren't really scary any
more--they were reassuring. It was frightening, what had
happened, but at least, according to all the beeps and blurts he was
hearing, his brother-in-law would survive. Charlie gave up a silent
prayer of thanksgiving and figured it would be safe to take another

"You know, Mulder--I never thought you were that bad," he said
softly, opening his eyes and taking in the battered man before him.
"I mean, Dana's dated some real winners in her time, but you--at
least you always treated her well. 'Course, I'm getting most of my
information from Mom. But believe me, she's a reliable source.
She never liked that Willis guy much. Dana only brought him home
one time, but Mom was always commenting on how he didn't seem
that interested in Dana as a person--didn't treat her like an equal.
You, however, all I heard about you was the opposite. There were
times when I wondered if Mom was just going to adopt you when
she got tired of waiting for you to ask Dana to marry you," he
chuckled. "But then, I hear it was the other way around on that,
too, wasn't it?"

"You've made my sister very happy. I can tell that everytime I see
her with you. And little Adam--oh, man, he is the icing on the
cake. When I got that picture you took, of the two of them in the
hospital--Mulder, I've never seen my sister look so . . . I don't
know . . . so _pretty_. I mean, she just glowed, even in a Poloroid
picture you could see it. I put it on my locker so I can see it
everyday--next to my pictures of Karen and our kids. I have it
memorized already. It makes me feel happy every time I look at it."

"Man, I'm so sorry about what happened. I wish I'd been there. I
mean, Bill can be a jerk, I know that. Dana doesn't think I see it,
but I do. He was a jerk to you at the wedding and you were sick
and all--made me mad. But what could I do, I'm just the kid
brother. Nobody listens to me," Charlie sighed in defeat. "Just the
kid brother," his voice trailed off.

"One thing Dana's right about--Bill shouldn't get away with this. I
mean, he was drunk and all, but that's no excuse. He knew he was
asking for trouble when he let those two in the house. The only
thing that's kept them out of jail so far is that Pat's uncle is a judge
and wouldn't let any charges against him go to trial. Bill knew that
going into this. I wouldn't put it past him to have figured
something like this would happen from the outset." Charlie sighed,
and put his head in his hands. "Dad would straightened him out,
you know. He wouldn't have let it get this far. He would have told
you two to go out and get good and wasted and not come home
until you made nice with each other--Dad was like that. But
without Dad here--Bill has it in his head that he _is_ Dad, and that's
not right. I can't let it go on anymore. It's just not right."

He sat there in the silence, thinking about what he was going to
have to do. "I'll get him to see the light, Mulder. I promise you,
on my father's grave, I'll do everything in my power to get him to
see the light," he whispered.

A few minutes later, Dana was back. Little Adam was sleeping on
her shoulder. Charlie jumped up out of the chair and eased her
down into it. "Look, I got some things I need to do," he said
hastily. "Mom and Karen are just downstairs. I'll tell 'em you're
up here and maybe they can come in and spell you when you need
to change a diaper or something," he added and started for the
door. As he reached the doorway, he thought better of what he
was about to do and turned back, placing kisses on his sister's and
his nephew's foreheads, then reached over and placed a kiss on
Mulder's forehead as well. "I love you. All three of you," he
whispered in Dana's ear, and this time left without looking back.

Tears were in Dana's eyes as she took up her husband's hand in her
own. "See, we aren't all bad," she said softly She gave the long
fingers a kiss, and settled in to wait.


Officer Jim Nelson stood at the reception desk to the ICU and
looked uncomfortable. He'd taken the witness's statement, talked
to two of the three men involved in that attack, so now he was left
talking to the victim's wife. He really didn't want to do this.

>From the sounds of it, at first, it appeared racially motivated. Mrs.
Lavin might be up in years, but her hearing was top notch, since she
picked up on the chirp of his radio from the porch of her house,
some 30 feet away. He had no doubt whatsoever that she really
had heard the assailants calling the victim 'Jew boy' and 'looking
for horns' on his head. It made Nelson sick to his stomach.

Then the story got even worse. During the questioning of the two
talking assailants, one of them mentioned that the other subject, Bill
Scully, had called them over to 'knock some sense' into the
'asshole' his sister had married. It now appeared that this had all
the makings of a family feud and that was just about all Nelson
could take.

But the straw that broke the camel's back came when an Assistant
Director of the FBI called Nelson personally and told him that the
Bureau would be investigating this matter to the furthest of their
jurisdiction and that in all likelihood, they would be bringing
charges of their own.

Jim Nelson really didn't need this shit. But he was stuck with it.
He tapped his pen on the counter to get the attention of the nurses
at the reception desk. "I'm looking for Agent Fox Mulder. I
understand his wife, Agent Dana Mulder should be somewhere in
the vicinity?"

Two of the nurses looked at each other, but Patricia waved them
back to their monitors and walked over to the counter. "And you

"Officer Nelson, of the BPD. I'm hear to take Mrs. Mulder's
statement," he said nervously.

Patricia narrowed her gaze, giving Nelson the impression that she
might just tell him to take a flying leap, but in the end, she huffed a
bit and then led him to the cubicle. Nelson stood nervously at the
doorway, looking in on the woman and the infant sitting in a chair
and the bandaged man laying on the bed in front of them. "When
can I get transfered to Vice?" he muttered to himself.

Dana heard him and spun in her seat. For a moment, she couldn't
place him, but then her eyes fell on his name tag under his badge
and she remembered. "Officer Nelson, shouldn't you be off duty by
now," she asked lightly.

"Uh, no ma'am, I work the night shift. I was just coming on when
we got the call to your Mom's place," Nelson said, coming into the
room. He tried not to stare at the man on the bed, but the stark
white of the bandages and the hint of pale discolored skin
underneath kept drawing his eyes. "They really did a number on
him," Nelson muttered again.

"Are you speaking to my husband, or to me?" Dana asked, shifting
the baby to one arm and getting up.

"No one, ma'am. Just thinking outloud. I hate to do this to you--"

"But you need a statement. I understand completely, Officer
Nelson. I've been on the other side of this fence far too long to get
upset at someone who's just doing his job. Let me get my mother
to sit with Fox and my sister-in-law to watch Adam and we can find
somewhere to talk."

Dana led the officer to a small waiting room. "We should be OK
here. I'm sorry, but I really don't want to leave the floor," she
explained evenly.

"How is your husband, Mrs. Mulder?"

Dana smiled at the policeman's concern. "He's going to be fine.
The doctor has him in ICU as a precaution more than anything. We
avoided surgery, which is good, but the damage to the kidney still
requires monitoring for the next few days. He should be waking up
sometime tonight, maybe early tomorrow. After that, I expect them
to move him to a regular room." She got up and poured them both
coffee from a pot in the corner. "It's black. I think there's some
cream and sugar here--"

"Mrs. Mulder, uh, that's my job, ma'am," Nelson smiled self
consciously. Dana looked at him and laughed grimly.

"Sorry. Old habits," she said casually. "Shall we begin?"

Nelson nodded, taking out his notebook. "Did you see the

Dana bristled, then fought hard to get back to some control. "I
hardly call it an 'argument', Officer Nelson, but no, I didn't see the
beginning. I got there for the end. My mother and I were in the
kitchen, which is in the back of the house. We heard some noises,
but I thought it was some of the neighbor kids putting together a
game of touch football. We used to do that when we were kids.
Then I heard Mrs. Lavin scream. That's when we went out to see
what was going on."

"So you heard no verbal fighting--no argument?" Nelson asked.

"None. I came out on the front porch and saw the three assailants
kicking a body laying on the lawn. Upon closer inspection, I found
that body to be my husband. I then used my training to take down
the assailants before further damage could be inflicted."

"Mrs. Lavin says the one 'assailant'--your brother, had stopped his
part of the attack and you still 'took him down' as you put it,"
Nelson said firmly, flipping back through his notes.

Dana's eyes darkened. "I was not convinced the threat was
eliminated. I did what I thought was necessary to protect my
partner--uh, I mean, my husband."

"It's all right, ma'am. I've spoken with your direct supervisor. I
know the history here, at least some of it." Nelson took a sip of his
coffee, bracing himself for the next few lines. "Ma'am, isn't it
possible that this was just a family squabble that got out of hand?"

Dana's eyes narrowed even further as she gave the officer before
her the once over. She noted with a predator's glee that he shifted
uncomfortably on his seat under her gaze. "Officer Nelson, of one
thing you can be assured. This was an unprovoked attack on an
unarmed man. Beyond that, at least one of the subjects had full
knowledge of my husband's occupation. Furthermore, my brother,
as you refer to him, has been trained in hand to hand combat and
knows how to kill with his bare hands. Make no mistake, I am not
taking this lightly. And I want those three prosecuted to the
furthest extent of the law."

"Well, ma'am, those are almost the exact words of your boss,"
Nelson said grimly. "And rest assured, if you sign this complaint,
that is exactly what will happen." Dana reached for the paper and
pen Nelson offered her. He held back the pen, just out of her reach.
"You realize, of course, that you are acting on your husband's
behalf in this matter. Since you did not witness the origin of the
incident, it would be his testimony that would carry the most

Dana stared the officer straight in the eye. "I understand that,
Officer Nelson."

"I'm just saying this because, well, if he wakes up--"

"_When_ he wakes up," Dana interjected.

"When he wakes up," Nelson corrected himself, "he can still drop
the charges."

"I don't foresee that happening," Dana said flatly and signed her
name with a flourish. "When is the arraignment, by the way?"

"We should be able to put it all together tonight, then it's just a
matter of how crowded the docket is tomorrow. I would expect
we could have it before noon."

"Thank you. I'd appreciate it if you notified me of the time."

"Certainly, Mrs. Mulder. I hope your husband is back on his feet
real soon," he added, shook her hand and left.


She had stayed awake till Adam's 2 o'clock feeding. Then, the
natural exhaustion, compounded with the tension and worry
dragged Dana's eyes shut and wrapped her in a blanket of sleep.
Maggie had placed little Adam in his infant seat in the lounge,
where he was sleeping snugly. She had convinced Karen to stretch
out on one of the couches in the lounge. With all her charges
settled in for the night, Maggie Scully finally got a few minutes of
quiet with her son-in-law.

Earlier in the evening, she'd placed a call to Greenwich,
Connecticutt. Elizabeth Mulder had been justifiably angered at the
attack on her son, but hadn't offered to come down to be with him.
"Let me know when he comes around," she'd requested, and
Maggie had vowed that she would do just that. She also promised
herself that if his own mother wouldn't sit by his side, she would.

Now, Maggie smiled sadly over at her daughter. Dana always
could fall asleep anywhere. The highbacked lounge chair that she
was cramped in looked incredibly uncomfortable to Maggie, but
Dana was sound asleep. Of course, caring for a newborn brought a
new meaning to the word 'tired'. And dealing with an injured
husband, although certainly familiar to Dana, still took a lot out of a

Maggie then looked over at the man laying on the bed. Man, huh!
Maggie considered. He certainly didn't look like a man. Not like a
father, a husband, someone trained to kill on sight. He looked like
a little boy would had a tremendous spill off his bicycle. It broke
Maggie's heart a thousand times over that her own flesh and blood
could harm someone she held so very close.

She reached into her pocket, pulled out the rosary the children had
given her for her birthday many years before, and prayed for them


Richard Goldfarb was bushed. He felt like he'd already put in a full
day, yet it was only 7:30 A.M. Public Defenders put in long days,
and he knew that, but some days just seemed longer than others.
He had five cases on the docket for this morning and he was just
given his sixth. Six cases and court wasn't even officially open yet.
Oh joy.

The fact that Rachael developed a bout of bronchitis and spiked a
104 degree fever at 2 o'clock in the morning might have had
something to do with his grim disposition. He and Leslie were up
half the night, between having had to give Rachael lukewarm baths
to bring down the fever, and she having had to breast feed Jason
every 3 hours. He felt horrible about leaving Les to deal with a
sick & cranky three year old and their newborn son, but he didn't
have a choice.

He was never going to get rich being a part-time PD, but it helped
pay some bills. He was very grateful Leslie decided to stay away
from criminal law and stuck with Estate law. It, too, didn't
necessarily pay the real big bucks, but it kept them in pampers and
apple juice. What more could a person ask for?

As he read the sparse facts listed on the latest file he was handed,
Richard thought of something to ask for, a transfer from this case.

"John? John, could I ask a really big favor?" Richard asked of his
colleague in the PD office.

"You can ask, Rich, but no guarantees," he replied.

"Want to trade with me this last case you handed me? I don't think
this one makes sense for me to be the defendant's lawyer," he said.

"Oh? Why do you say that?" asked John.

"It's a hate crime, John. Against a Jew. Doesn't the name 'Goldfarb'
seem a little ethnic to you?" asked Richard.

"Are you afraid he's gonna hurt you?" asked John.

"Well, no. I guess not," answered Richard, "I mean he'll be cuffed
and we're in the station, so no, he won't hurt me."

"Are you afraid he's gonna hurt your family?" John questioned.

"No, I guess I'm not really worried about me or my family
personally being hurt by the asshole, " Richard offered.

"Good. So what's the problem?"

"Doncha think the _defendant_ might have a problem with a Jewish
attorney?" asked Richard, exasperated.

"Yes." John smiled, and then said, "Good luck," and left the
building to prepare for his caseload.

end of part nine


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (10/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

As Richard walked into the small, oversized closet they called a
conference room, he observed his client. He was a big man. Even
though he was sitting, he could tell that William Scully, Jr. was a
big man. And bruised. Apparently the victim got off at least one
good shot at his assailant.

Bill Scully looked up to see a man in his mid to late thirties, with
dark curly hair, neatly trimmed beard and mustache, walk into the
room. The man came in without a word, and just sat down in the
chair across the table from where he was already seated. Scully
would have stood up to greet the man, whom he presumed was his
lawyer, but he was cuffed to the chair.

Bill didn't make eye contact at all with Richard. Richard remained
absolutely mute while he perused the scant information listed in the
file. When Richard felt Scully finally had enough, he began.

"I'm from the Public Defender's office. I'm here because you
requested an attorney and indicated that you could not afford to
hire one of your own choosing, so here I am. It came to my
attention that you were brought in last night but did not request an
attorney until this morning. I would like to know why?" Richard
asked in his most even, professional voice.

Scully looked at the PD carefully now. He wasn't sure just how
much to tell him, but he then realized that this guy might very well
be the only chance he had to get out of there, so he laid it out on
the table for him.

"I was assuming that my _loving_ family," he said with a slight hint
of a sneer, "would have hired our family lawyer and have him come
last night," he offered. "But when night turned into dawn, I
realized my family was hanging me out to dry all by myself. So, I
asked for assistance, and I assume you are it."

Richard listened to the words, but more importantly listened to the
voice behind the words. This guy put up a great front, but there
was just enough tremor in the voice to prove to Goldfarb William
Scully, Jr. wasn't a total loser. The poor shmuck seemed really
surprised his family didn't come and back him up.

"So," Goldfarb began, "you make good assumptions, sometimes.
Yes, I am your Public Defender. You're basically stuck with me
unless you can prove that I can't defend you properly. I want to get
one thing out the way right at the start.

"My name is Richard Goldfarb. You have a problem with that?" he

Billy shifted uncomfortably in his seat at the lawyer's
pronouncement of his name. Under the circumstances, he
understood the reason for the question being asked. He did not,
however, have a clue as to what kind of answer the lawyer wanted
from him.

In reality, he was uncomfortable, but not for the reason the lawyer
might have thought. He thought it was good that his attorney was
Jewish. He didn't like that his sister chose to marry someone that
wasn't Catholic, but he'd always heard that Jewish lawyers were
pretty smart, so maybe this guy could help him dig himself out of
this shithole of a mess. He looked at Goldfarb and contemplated
the question for a moment more before he answered:

"No," he whispered.

"What?" Goldfarb asked, as he wanted to make his point loud and
clear to this particular defendant. Richard Goldfarb had already
gone through enough incidents in his life that served as constant
reminders of his Jewish heritage and the unexplainable hatred some
groups of people felt toward him because of his heritage.

He was pretty much desensitized to being called a "jew bastard,"
and "kike" but he wanted to make sure this defendant knew he was
not going to tolerate anything that would compromise his own,
personal, state of well being.

"No," Scully repeated a little louder this time, "I don't have a
problem with it."

"Good. I don't have a problem with it either," Goldfarb concurred
with the sarcasm sprinkled sparingly, for now. "Now, tell me what

Bill Scully began the sanitized version of the past night's events. He
explained how he had arrived in town yesterday on shore leave for
a family event, and he was staying at his mother's home in
Baltimore. His wife, Tara, was back home in San Diego with his
kids, because she couldn't get the time off from work.

He went on to explain how a couple of his old high school chums
came to the house for a reunion of sorts. They brought some six
packs of beer, which they promptly began drinking on the front
porch of his mother's home. He readily admitted to being

Bill Scully then also admitted that he and his friends became rather
emotional during a discussion they had concerning the victim. He
admitted that they had an altercation with the victim.

"An altercation," Goldfarb echoed. "You say you had an
altercation with the victim. Mr. Scully, that seems to be a bit of an
understatement considering what the charges are now__."

"What do you mean, 'considering what the charges are now?' Have
the charges changed?" Billy asked anxiously.

"Oh let's see… It was aggravated battery, assault with a deadly
weapon__," Goldfarb paused there for a moment. "You had a
weapon with you?"

"I'm trained for combat, Mr. Goldfarb. That's the police's way of
sticking it to me with one more charge," he angrily explained.
"Sonofabitches will do anything to do me in."

"Excuse me? It says here the person you assaulted is a Federal
Agent with the FBI__," Goldfarb began, and then felt his body
shudder for a moment. Goldfarb thought this had to be an
incredible coincidence. He had only just met the first two FBI
agents he'd ever met but a few days before. He couldn't conceive
of the possibility that__.

"Mr. Scully, what is your relationship to the victim?" he asked with
an even tone.

"He's married to my sister, Dana," he replied with a hint of emotion.

"Dana?" Goldfarb repeated. He thought this couldn't be happening.
He damned the file he had in his hand for being so sparse in its

"Mr. Scully, what is your brother-in-law's full name?" he asked, as
he picked up his pen to fill in the blank spaces on the form.

"Fox," Scully responded and Goldfarb found that he released the
breath that he was unconsciously holding. He naturally figured the
victim's last name was Fox. "And his first name, Mr. Scully?"

"That _is_ his first name," Bill said with a sardonic grin. "His last
name is Mulder."

Goldfarb sat motionless. He knew if he opened his mouth to speak,
nothing would come out, so he sat mutely as well. His mind raced
with thoughts that were inconceivable to him just moments before.
It was bad enough being maligned and taunted by ignorant
strangers, but by your brother-in-law? How could this have
happened to Mulder? How could this have happened to Dana?

"The victim's name is Fox Mulder, then." Goldfarb was very proud
of himself. He made that statement without his voice cracking or his
hands squeezing the life out of Bill Scully's neck.

"Yeah. So are there any more charges?" he asked.

"Well, apparently there are pending state charges of attempted
murder and federal charges associated with hate crimes. You have
a better chance at getting off of the attempted murder charges than
those associated with hate crimes, Mr. Scully."

"That bad, huh?" reflected Bill.

"Yes, Mr. Scully, that bad," confirmed Richard Goldfarb. "Listen, I
need to check something out with the front desk. I'll be back
shortly." Goldfarb stood up slowly, picked up the folder, and left
the room.

Richard stood outside of the room and leaned against the wall. He
dropped the file to the floor and pressed his palms back against the
wall, as if they were needed to keep the wall from tumbling down
on top of him. His head pressed hard against the wood plaster
walls, and if he pressed any harder he thought he might actually
break through.

John Thomas, Richard's colleague, was coming down the hallway
when he saw his fellow attorney looking like death warmed over.

"Richard? Hey, Richard? Are you okay?" he asked.

"John, I don't know if I can do this. I mean, I don't know if I can
ethically do this."

"What do you mean?" John asked.

"I, I know the victim," Richard replied.

"How? Are you close?" he probed.

"No, not yet. I mean, we'd only just met. At the Temple. And
then at the Church. I mean we've only seen one another two times,
but it's crazy. It's like we're living parallel lives," related Richard.

"Rich, I don't think meeting two times constitutes a relationship, so
I don't believe there would be any problems regarding ethical
conduct. Are you okay?" he asked.

"You're gonna make me do this, aren't you?" Goldfarb asked

"Hey, maybe they'll drop the charges," John proposed.

"God, I don't even know how badly he's injured. Our file shows
jack shit about what happened and what condition Mulder was left
in," griped Goldfarb.

"Look, I'm sure the DA's office will have more information and
photos before long. Why don't you check with the Sergeant and
see what might have come in this morning. You could also call the
hospital to check on the guy's condition."

"Yeah. Okay, I'll do that," Richard replied with a shaky breath.

He walked over to the desk and checked with the Desk Sergeant,
and sure enough, there were additional files now available for the
District Attorney and for the Defense Attorney. Goldfarb thanked
the Officer and started reading the medical reports. He became sick
to his stomach as the severity of Mulder's injuries became more and
more apparent. But nothing had prepared him for what he
uncovered next.

"Ohmigod," he whispered. Goldfarb had never seen so much blood
before. There was also an inordinate amount of bruising on
Mulder's torso, front and back. His face was a mass of welts and
contusions, and his eyes were swelled shut. He also suffered a
severe concussion from a blow to the back of his head.

He noted the victim was receiving dialysis for a poorly functioning
kidney. Goldfarb's eyes began to well up, as he couldn't help but
feel sympathy for not only Mulder, but for Dana and her mother.
What an incredible burden this poor excuse for a human being had
placed on this family. Whatever could have possessed him to do
this to another human being, let alone his own brother-in-law?

Richard reentered the conference room that held Bill Scully. He
walked over to the small table and, putting on a performance
worthy of an academy award, he nonchalantly tossed the photos of
the crime scene, face down, onto the table.

Richard than silently sat down in the chair across from his client and
observed Bill Scully's expression of puzzlement. Richard subtly
pointed toward the overturned photos, as if he were making some
kind clandestine offering, and waited for Scully to take the bait.

Hook, line, and sinker.

Scully poked at the splayed pile of unknown prints until, finally,
curiosity got the best of him and he turned one over. The first
photo was an overview shot of the crime scene, and did not lend
itself to too many details. Scully looked at it without expression,
and when he looked up at Richard, he saw only cold, dark eyes
staring back at him.

"Turn over another one, Mr. Scully," Richard prompted.

"What for?" Scully asked suspiciously.

"I think it's important for you to see what the evidence is, Mr.
Scully," he replied.

"Evidence?" Scully echoed. When all Richard did was nod, Scully
slowly turned over a second photo. This time there was a long shot
of the victim laid out on the gurney at the crime scene. Once again,
it was a long shot, and did not show the injuries in any great detail.

When Richard said, "Try another, Mr. Scully," Bill gingerly picked
up a third photo. The third photo showed a face down view of the
victim's head and torso. The attorney watched his client look at the
photo with a great deal of detachment. It was almost as if Scully
didn't recognize the fact that the horrendously abused victim in
these photos was his brother-in-law.

"Oh, go on Mr. Scully. Don't stop now," Richard Goldfarb insisted
coldly as he pointed to the, as yet, unturned photos. Bill looked at
Richard warily and began to wonder what this guy's problem was.
He was supposed to on _his_side, but you would never know it
from his disposition.

"Umm, look, Mr. Goldfarb? Is there a problem here? I mean,
you're supposed to be my lawyer, but I don't get the feeling you're
exactly on my side here, you know?"

Goldfarb stared mutely at Scully and then merely tapped the next
unknown photo. He watched as his client reached over to turn the
next photo. It was another shot of the victim's head and torso, only
this time the victim lying face up.

Pay dirt.

William Scully's eyes opened wide as he looked at the picture. He
noted the swollen shut eyes, and the bruised right cheek. The facial
abrasions, welts and open wounds jumped out from the photo. He
saw the black, blue, red and purple contusions on his neck and
torso. There were numerous cuts marked by dried or clotted pools
of blood all up and down his body and face.

Bill Scully fingered the victim's face. Next, he traced the outline of
the victim's torso. Then, as his eyes welled up, he pointed to each
welt that protruded from the victim's body. Finally, as if the
realization of who this victim really was had finally hit him, William
Scully, Jr. officer in the United States Navy, tried to lurch forward
to the nearby garbage can as he did his best to keep from throwing
his guts up all over the evidence.

Since Scully remained chained to the chair, Richard Goldfarb
accommodated his client, got up, and got the waste basket for him
to heave into. While Scully vomited, Richard turned over the
remaining pictures that showed in even greater detail the damage
that Scully and his buddies had done to Fox Mulder.

He lined them up as neatly as possible so that Scully could have the
best possible view of them. When the accused was finally reduced
to no more than dry heaves, Goldfarb got up and got him a glass of
water. He handed it to him with the instructions to drink small sips.

Scully gratefully accepted the Styrofoam cup and did as he was
told. As he sipped, he made a concerted effort to avoid looking
back at the pictures, but his eyes kept wandering back to them. It
was similar to the feeling he'd had while passing a bad car accident
on the highway. As much as he didn't want to, he just had to look.

Goldfarb watched as his client stole some nervous glances at the
photos. He observed the small winces, and the trembling sighs, as
well as the occasional gasps as he drank in each detail of the horror
that he and his companions had viciously pounded into his

His sister's husband. Dana.

At the home of his mother. Maggie.

"Ohmigod," he murmured. "What in God's name did I do?" he
gasped. "What in God's name did I do?"

end of part 10


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (11/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

Charlie was standing outside the holding cell when Bill got back
from his meeting with his lawyer. Bill barely looked up as he was
escorted into the cell and the handcuffs were removed.

"You'll need to stand out here, this time," the officer told Charlie
and the young man nodded in acceptance.

When the guard had left, Charlie looked his older brother over with
a critical eye. It almost seemed fitting that Bill was looking quite
the worse for wear. His left eye had swelled up during the night,
leaving him with a squint. Dana's no slouch, Charlie thought to
himself. She worked him over good. But that thought didn't really
cheer him as much as he thought it would.

"How did you sleep?" Charlie asked quietly.

"I didn't," Bill replied tiredly. "Oh, and I gotta thank you for
getting me that high priced Havard graduate attorney, Charlie old
buddy. Only the best for old Bill," he sneered.

"I wasn't about to ask Mom to call Mr. Nevins, especially not in
front of Dana. And I figured you'd come to your senses sooner if
you sweated it out a while."

"Since when did you start making all the decisions in the family?"
Bill snarled.

"Since my big brother took leave of his mind and left a maniac in
his place," Charlie returned in kind. "Look, Bill, I didn't come here
to fight--"

"Then why did you come here?" Bill demanded.

Charlie drew in a deep breath. Thoughts had been running amok in
his head for the last 16 hours and he didn't think it would get any
better in the near future. "I had a long talk with Dad last night," he

"Dad?! Wanna tell me how the hell you managed that one, Little
Brother?" Bill sneered angrily.

Charlie glared at Bill. "I drove over to Annapolis, and sat on the
docks, if you must know," he said evenly.

"Better not let Starbuck here you talkin' like that," Bill said with a

"Don't call her that," Charlie shot back.

"Call her what? Starbuck? That's her name!" Bill huffed.

"No. Her name is Dana. Starbuck was Dad's name for her, not
yours. You know, sitting there last night, I figured something out.
Oh, I might have been talking to nothing more than the seaspray,
but I came to some real insights. You know what your problem is,
Big Brother?" Charlie asked, but didn't allow the other man time to
answer. "Your problem is that you think you _are_ Dad! You
think just like you used to, when Dad was away on a cruise and he
left you 'in charge'. Well, guess what? We aren't kids anymore,
and Dad isn't just away for six months, and he'd be angrier than
hell at the way you've been acting!"

"Now hold it right there, Charlie," Bill said, rising to his own
defense. "Dad and I talked a lot before he died--"

"You act like he ONLY talked to you, Bill! He talked to me, too!
The Christmas he died, you had to leave early, had a cruise. I
stayed home a few more days and we talked a lot. And he told me

"We were talking about Dana," Charlie said, letting the memories
show in his eyes. "And I asked if she was ever gonna leave the
FBI. You know what he told me, Bill? You wanna know what he
said? He said, 'no, and I don't know if that would be the right
thing for her anyway.' Those are his exact words. He told me that
he figured it was just a passing fancy, but she'd been at it so long,
that he might have been wrong. And he said something else. He
looked me straight in the eye and said 'all I ever wanted for any of
you was that you were happy.' On his grave, that's what he said to
me, Bill. And those were almost our last words together," Charlie
said, his voice cracking with emotion.

"Now, you think back, and you tell me, does Dana look unhappy? I
mean, before you pulled this shit, did she seem unhappy to you?
Did she ever come to you crying that she hated her job, that she
wanted out, that she didn't want to marry Fox Mulder? You have
been so caught up in this crusade of living everyone's life for them,
that you have missed the obvious: She is happy. Very happy. This
is what she wants out of life. And if that upsets you, well you can
just learn to live with it. I'll tell you something, Bill. If you had
pulled this kind of crap when I married Karen--I'd have killed you
on the spot, right then and there," Charlie said, breathless. "Right
then and there."

"Dana told me that I always followed you around like a puppy.
That I never saw what bad things you did. Well, that might have
been true back when we were kids, but it's not true anymore. I'm
gonna give you a little advice, Big Brother, and I hope you take it.
Grow UP. Before it's too late." With those words ringing in the
cell block, Charlie turned and left.

Bill sat on the bare mattress, stunned. "What if it's too late?" he
murmured. "What if it's too late?"


Goldfarb escorted William Scully to the courthouse at noon for the
arraignment on the formal charges. Scully stood by Goldfarb's side,
with hands cuffed in front of him. Bill kept turning around,
searching for a familiar face, but the only familiar faces he saw were
those of Patrick and Dennis.

"Shit," Scully muttered under his breath.

"What's wrong?" asked Goldfarb.

"They're here. The guys that beat Mulder up," Scully said. At that
Goldfarb looked at Bill Scully with an exasperated expression,
because he wondered if his client was ever going to accept
responsibility for his part.

As the Judge called them up, Richard Goldfarb put his game face
on. He now had a job to do and that was to represent his client, no
matter how big of an asshole he was, because the law says even
assholes are entitled to representation in due process.

The judge indicated to the bailiff to call the next case, and Bill
Scully's case number was called out. Client and lawyer stood up
before the Judge and listened to the same charges of aggravated
assault, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder and a
count of felonious assault within the parameters of a Bias crime.
These were the same charges Goldfarb had told Scully about

"Mr. Scully, it has come to my attention that charges of Murder 1
and Voluntary Manslaughter are pending as the victim's condition is
listed as critical. Do you understand the charges as they have been
presented, Mr. Scully?" the judge inquired.

"No, wait," he gasped, as all Scully heard at that point was Murder
1. He swayed slightly as he asked, "Are you telling me Mulder's

"No, Mr. Scully, that is not what I said. I did say his condition is
listed as critical, and the District Attorney would like to waive the
necessity of having another arraignment hearing should the victim
die. They are putting the murder charges on hold for now, just in
case they're needed to save time. Do you understand?"

Scully turned a pasty white. He turned to Goldfarb with a stunned
expression on his face. "He's gonna die?" he asked Goldfarb.

"He may Mr. Scully," Goldfarb responded.

"Mr. Scully," the judge proclaimed, "do you understand the charges
before you?"

Yes," he whispered.

"Your Honor, I'd like to request an immediate bail hearing?" said

"Tomorrow, 9:30 a.m. will have to be immediate enough for you.
Thank you, Mr. Goldfarb. Next case, bailiff."

The courtroom guard moved to escort Bill Scully out of the
courtroom and back to the jailhouse holding cell. Goldfarb
informed him that he had some casework to do and he would check
in with him later to go over the proceedings. Scully looked numb,
and didn't even notice the smirks Patrick and Dennis were wearing
as they heard their case numbers called and immediately dropped.
It was good to have family and friends in high places.

Richard left the courtroom and went over to the nearest pay phone
and dialed the calling card number from memory and then entered
the remaining numbers. He listened to the ringing and hoped he
wasn't waking anyone up from much needed naps.


"Hi Les, it's me."

"Hi you. What's up" she asked.

"Just checking in," he said wearily. "How's Rachael feeling?"

"She's hacking away like crazy, but at least her fever is down. It's
been holding at 101 with the Children's Moltrin. I suspect it'll
probably spike again tonight though. That's her usual pattern."

"Yeah, well, maybe we'll get lucky," Richard offered.

"Dream on Counselor, dream on. Anything interesting today?"
Leslie asked innocently.

"Les," he hesitated before going on. "I got a really shitty one here."

"Oh? What?" she asked curiously.

"Les, sit down. This one's gonna hit home a little." He waited a
moment and then asked, "You sitting?"

"You're serious," she remarked.

"Yes, Leslie, I'm serious," he replied.

"Okay, I'm really sitting. What's the case?" she asked.

"Bias crime. Three assholes against one victim," he explained.

"African American?" Leslie asked.

"No. Jew," he seethed.

"Oh no, Richard," she gasped.

"Leslie, it gets worse. We've met the victim," he continued.

"What?" she asked shocked. "Who?"

"Remember the man we met at Temple and then we met his wife
and baby at Baptism class at St. Mark's?" he asked.

"Of course I do. Dana and Mulder. Ohmigod, Richard. Who?"
she cried out.

"Mulder, Les. Mulder was beaten to a pulp by three totally
drunken asses and, oh Leslie, get ready, 'cause this is rich. You're
not gonna believe this one. One of the assholes is Dana's older
brother. The fucking moron got drunk and nearly beat his own
brother-in-law to death, Leslie." These last words were emitted
through truncated sobs.

"Oh God, Richard. Are you okay? Sweetheart, talk to me, please,"
Leslie pleaded. After a few moments, Leslie could hear Richard
take a couple of cleansing breaths. "Richard? Honey, are you

"Yeah," he replied in a slightly breathy voice. "Listen, I'm going to
take a ride over to the hospital. I've gotta see if Dana will talk to
me, and I need to see Mulder. I need to see that he's going to be all

"It's that bad, Richard?" she asked tentatively.

"Yeah. It's that bad."

"Give Dana and Mulder my love and prayers, okay? I can't leave
Rachael now, but as soon as she's feeling better, will you let her
know that I'll be there to see her?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'll tell her, I promise. Les?"

"Yeah, Richard, I love you too," she replied to his unspoken


Dana felt the hand she was holding flex into a fist. The groan that
followed brought her instantly awake. According to the clock on
the wall, it was already 7:30. How in the world could she have
slept so long? But her thoughts were turned immediately to her

" . . . daaaay?" he moaned, but didn't open his eyes. It would have
been fairly impossible, even if he'd been strong enough to
accomplish the feat--both eyes were swollen shut. Dana watched as
he wet his bottom lip, his tongue stopping on the stitches in the
right corner, and then he tried again. "Dane?"

"I'm right here, Fox. Right here. It's all right. You're going to be
all right," she murmured, trying to reassure herself of that fact
almost more than to reassure him.

". . . huuuurt," he slurred and his face tightened into a grimace.

"I know, baby, I know. I'll call the nurse. Now that you're awake,
they can give you something for the pain. Just hold on to me,

He clutched her hand, but didn't speak again. Dana called the
nurse, who came in seconds later with a syringe. After she injected
it in the IV, the nurse told Dana that she'd call the doctor and let
him know the patient had come around.

"Dane?" Mulder called out again.

"Give it a minute, Sweetheart," she soothed. "You'll feel it in a
minute." She watched his face intently as it softened, and the lines
and wrinkles of pain slowly faded from view.

". . .love you," he slurred and sighed, before his breathing went
back to the steady rhythm that told her he had fallen back asleep.

"I love you, too, Fox. I love you, too," she murmured over and
over again.

Just a minute later, Maggie came in carrying Adam. "See,
Grandma told you Mommy would be here," Maggie cooed to the
infant. "He just woke up a few minutes ago so I took him down to
change him," she told Dana as she handed him over to his mother.

"His Daddy woke up, too," Dana said with a relieved sigh.

Maggie's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. She broke into a
wide grin. "Oh, Dana, Sweetheart, that's wonderful! How is he
feeling?" she asked anxiously.

Dana's eyes darkened. "He's in a lot of pain. Between the
concussion, the broken ribs, and the damage to his kidney, I
expected that. The doctor had left orders for a pain killer to be
given when he came around, so the nurse gave it to him just a
couple of minutes ago. It helped. He fell back to sleep."

"Then he didn't have a chance to tell you what really happened,"
Maggie said sadly.

Dana's eyes flashed and her cheeks burned with anger. "Mom! We
know what 'really happened'. Bill and a couple of his neo-Nazi
friends tried to kill him! And they damned well almost succeeded!
What more do we need to know?"

Before Maggie could say anything more, Adam scrunched up his
little face and let out a loud cry. Dana looked down at the little red
face and softened her expression. "Mom, I don't have time to
discuss this right now, the baby is starving. And I think talking
about this upsets him."

"Dana," Maggie said softly. "He's too young to understand what's
going on. But he does feel that you're upset and he's reacting to
that. Just calm down, and let him nurse. Fox woke up, it's what
we've been praying for all night, we should be happy. Let's just
take this one step at a time."

Dana took a deep breath and nodded. Speaking softly to the baby,
she adjusted his blanket across her lap and over her shoulder, so
that he was hidden underneath it and proceeded to feed him, sitting
next to Mulder's bed. It was pretty obvious that only extensive use
of force or explosives would move her from that spot.

Maggie knew Adam wasn't the only one who was hungry. She was
hungry, too and if Dana didn't eat and get some liquids in her, she
wouldn't have enough milk to satisfy the little boy now suckling
happily on her lap. Glancing at the three of them, Maggie went off
to find Karen and get them all something to eat.

end of part eleven


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (12/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

Karen was awake and sifting through old magazines in the lounge
area. "How's he doing, this morning?" she asked before Maggie
even had a chance to sit down.

Maggie smiled. Karen was a good girl, a beautiful young woman.
Charlie was lucky to have found her. "Fox woke up a little while
ago. He was in a lot of pain, so they gave him something for it and
now he's sleeping again," she explained.

"That's good news, that he woke up," Karen smiled happily, then
she dropped her eyes and wouldn't look directly at Maggie. "While
you were in there, ah, I hope you don't mind, but I sort of called
Tara," Karen said sheepishly. "I mean, with all the excitement and
all, I just thought--"

"Oh no!" Maggie exclaimed. "I forgot all about Tara! Oh, she
must hate me--I should have called her last night!"

"Mom, mom, please. Relax. I explained everything. She was
starting to get worried because she didn't hear from Bill. He called
her when he got in yesterday, but he usually calls to say goodnight.
Funny thing is, she thought that maybe the baby might have gotten
sick. She didn't know how to get hold of anybody, since there was
no answer at your house, nor at Dana's and Fox, or even at the
motel where we're staying. I woke her up, but I don't think she
was sleeping very well. She told me she had horrible nightmares
last night."

Tears were welling up in Maggie's eyes. "I'm living one, right
now," she admitted. "What did you tell her?"

"The truth, or as much of it as I know. That there was a fight, that
Bill and his friends, Dennis and Patrick were involved. Did you
know that she purposefully excluded them from their wedding
because she always thought they were trouble?" Karen asked.
"Anyway, I told her that Bill wasn't talking to anyone, but that
Charlie was working on him. And at the time, I didn't know that
Fox was awake. She was in tears, Mom. You might want to call
her in a little while."

"What can I say to her?" Maggie sobbed. "What can I possibly tell

Karen got up from her seat and went over to hug the older woman
tightly. "Mom, it's going to be all right. I know it doesn't look like
it right now, but it will be."

"I don't see how," Maggie sobbed into Karen's shoulder. "Dana
hates her brother now. And if what Mrs. Lavin says is true--my
God, Karen, how could he do such a thing?! That's not how I
raised him! I can't believe he would do such a thing!"

"Mom! Don't you dare blame yourself! Bill is a grown man. He's
been in the Navy almost 20 years now--he's old enough to know
right from wrong. You raised good children, Maggie Scully. I
know, I fell in love and married one," Karen proclaimed with a
warm smile. "And you are a very loving woman. If Bill did this,
it's not due to a defect on your part. It's because something is
going on inside him. I want you to realize that."

Maggie looked like she was going to argue that point when she
realized they were alone. "Where's Charlie? I thought he'd be here
with you."

Karen shrugged. "He came back about three, curled up on that
chair and slept till about 6:30. Then he said if he didn't take a
shower and shave, he'd be a bear all day, so he went back to the
motel. I think he was going over to talk to Bill again this morning."

"Charlie's taking this awfully hard," Maggie sighed. "I shouldn't
have put such a burden on him. It was too much for him."

"Nonsense," Karen huffed. "Mom, Charles Scully is a grown man.
He's the Chief Petty Officer on a battle cruiser. He's used to
responsiblity! The problem, and it's not just his, but this whole
family's, is that he's still treated like the baby. He's not. And as
for taking this so hard, he's looked up to Bill all his life. Now, he's
seeing that Bill is just a man, he can make mistakes and sometimes
they're big ones. Charlie and I had a long talk after Fox and Dana's
wedding. Charlie couldn't understand why Bill took such a strong
dislike to Fox. It didn't seem like Bill at all. Charlie thinks the
world of Dana, and as long as Fox makes her happy, that's all
Charlie could ask for. So, you see, there's a lot going on for
Charlie, but believe me, he's made of sterner stuff. He's up to this
challenge. I know him, I love him, and I believe in him," she said

Maggie smiled at her daughter-in-law fondly. "I noticed that you
didn't run after him last night."

Karen blushed, a little embarressed. "He needed that time to
himself. If he had needed me, he would have come to me," she said

"His father was like that, you know. It hurt, the first time or two.
But after a while, I got to where I could sense when he needed the
time alone. And I realized that those times were a lot fewer than
the times he came to me," Maggie said, her eyes at some far off

"I figured that out before we were even married," Karen said softly.
Then, realizing what she'd just said, she quickly corrected herself.
"I mean, times are different now--I don't mean that I figured it out
faster than you--"

Maggie laughed. "Sweetheart, never apologize for understanding a
man--especially not to another woman. It's a trait to be cherished,
not embarrassed by." Maggie took the younger woman into a
gentle hug. "Come on. I want to call Tara. She must be at wits
end. But first, could you run down to the cafeteria and get
something--some bagels or English muffins and some juice. If we
don't get some food into Dana one of us is going to have to take up
the slack when Adam gets hungry, and neither of us are up to that,"
she grinned, then gave Karen a look when the other woman simply
graced her with a cryptic smile.

"Maybe not today, but in a few more months, Grandma," Karen
said tenderly.

Tears were welling in Maggie's eyes, but these were tears of joy.
"I feel like I'm on a roller coaster," she said, and gave her
daughter-in-law another hug before going off to find a pay phone.


Walter Skinner was not a happy man. He wasn't even a mildly
annoyed man. He was, at that point, a royally pissed off man.

He'd been notified of the attack on Agent Mulder only hours after
the occurance. But, instead of being able to drive the short distance
to Baltimore to check out the details of the incident himself, he was
stranded in Houston, Texas, socked in an airport with record thick
fog. Nothing was moving, whether you were the Assistant Director
of the FBI or not. At one point, he tried to hire a car to drive to
Dallas or some other airport, but that turned out to be a popular
idea as well. He decided about midnight that he might as well get
used to the idea of waiting until morning.

The fog lifted about dawn and he bumped several passengers to get
on the quickest flight out. As a stroke of luck, it was arriving at
Baltimore-Washington International Airport, instead of either
Dulles or National. From there, he made his way immediately over
to St. Anthony's Hospital.

Skinner hadn't spent the night in idle sleep. He'd talked to the
arresting officer, spent no less than 45 minutes with the District
Attorney and the US Attorney for the Baltimore district, and half an
hour with the Director of the FBI. No one was comfortable with
the situation, but no one wanted to let it go with a slap on the wrist,
either. The minute Mrs. Lavin had told Officer Nelson that one of
the assailants had called Agent Mulder 'Jew boy', the attack was
elevated to the level of a hate crime. Images of 3 dead FBI agents
in southern states during the early days of the civil rights movement
led the Director to call for the fullest extent of prosecution.

Walter couldn't help thinking of William Scully. He'd done some
checking on his own and had been updated on the service record of
one William Scully, Jr., Lt. Commander USN. Unlike the two
other assailants, a garage mechanic and an unemployed used car
salesman, Cmdr. Scully had an exemplary record. He was headed
for Captaincy--if he kept his nose clean. After the beating he'd
given his brother-in-law, his nose was decidedly dirty.

But Skinner remembered Bill Scully from the rehersal dinner before
the Mulders wedding. He had been a complete and total ass. And
even after the dressing down he'd received at the hands of his
mother. Skinner sensed at the time that someday, something would
happen, but fortunately, Bill Scully and Fox Mulder lived on
opposite ends of the country and usually didn't have much one on
one contact. Why Bill Scully had decided to take the occasion of
his nephew's baptism to settle his score with Mulder, Skinner
would never know.

The Assistant Director hadn't had a chance to talk to Dana and that
bothered him. Every time he'd called the hospital, she had been
with Mulder or feeding the baby and couldn't be disturbed. He
could imagine how torn she must be, but he had no doubt where
her loyalties lie. Scully had always been Fox Mulder's number one
supporter, Skinner didn't think anything could ever change that.

It was almost 9:30 when Skinner arrived at the hosptial. He made
his way up to the ICU, where he ran into Maggie Scully.

"Maggie, I'm sorry I couldn't be here sooner," he apologized
before he even bothered to say hello.

"Walter, I'm glad you finally made it out of Texas. I spoke with
your assistant last night and she told me you were stranded,"
Maggie said, giving him a light kiss on the cheek.

"Yes, well there are some things that even an Assistant Director
can't fix," he said with a hint of twinkle in his eye. "How is
Mulder? Has he come around yet?"

"He's been in and out for the last couple of hours. He's on some
heavy pain killers and he's really too groggy to say much of
anything except ask for Dana or the baby," Maggie said, walking
Skinner down the hall. "But you can see him for yourself." She
opened the double glass doors leading onto the ICU and pointed
toward Mulder's cubicle. "Dana's in there with him. They're being
really good about letting us come and go and letting the baby stay.
But we're trying not to wear out our welcome," Maggie said.

"I understand. I won't stay long. I really need to speak with
Scully, ah, I mean, Dana," he stammered.

"Well, if you can get her to go into the lounge, maybe she'll talk
with you there. She's refusing to talk to me about it. When she
gets upset, the baby picks up on it and he gets upset, too. So far
this morning, she hasn't let us say a word about it."

"I think I understand that, too, Maggie," Skinner said, his eyes
darkening. "It must be a nightmare. For all of you."

Maggie nodded, not trusting her voice to speak.

Skinner stood in the doorway for a moment, taking in the scene.
Scully was leaning back in a highbacked chair, the baby sleeping on
her chest. Mulder was bandaged, tubed and wired, machines
surrounding him. From the looks of it, a couple of the machines
were no longer in use. Skinner took that as a favorable sign.

"Uh, Dana?" he called out softly. She opened her eyes and looked
toward the door.

"Sir!" she said just a little louder than a whisper. "You made it out
of Texas," she smiled.

He let a small smile tug at his mouth. "Finally. I was beginning to
know how Davy Crockett felt," he said with a shrug. "How's he
doing?" he asked, nodding toward Mulder.

"Better, actually. The bleeding stopped last night, but we were
worried about possible kidney failure. He was on dialysis for the
night, and the doctor just took him off that. Thank heavens we
didn't have to worry about pneumothorax with the broken ribs, and
the concussion didn't stem from a skull fracture. It was bad, but it
could have been worse."

"Three men did this without the use of weapons?" Skinner asked,
not bothering to hide his amazement.

"Bill has military training, sir, and I believe both of the other two
are active in paramilitary groups. You can learn a lot on the street.
It doesn't hurt when your prey has made it clear that he isn't going
to fight back," Scully spat out.

"You know that for a fact, Agent Scully?" Skinner asked, eyes

"I know Mulder, sir," she said, and just by the use of the old
familiar name, he knew she was refering to the man who was her
partner and not her husband. "He would attempt to walk away.
I've seen him do it before. It takes more than a couple of drunks
calling him names to make him enter into a fight where he's
outnumbered 3 to 1," she stated firmly.

"Yeah, it took drugs in his water to make him take a swing at me,
and I know it's something he'd been dreaming of for years,"
Skinner muttered under his breath. "OK, Scully, I'll take your
word for it. But I'm still concerned. You are certain he would
want to press charges? I know Mulder pretty well and I can't

"He will, when I get through . . . convincing him, sir," she said,
taking a moment to come up with the appropriate word. "This can
not be allowed to go unpunished."

"I know Mulder has a few people on his 'shit list' but I've never
known him to be vindictive," Skinner said, squaring his shoulders.

Scully narrowed her eyes. "It's not vindictive, sir. It's just

"You realize what you're talking about, Scully. You're brother
would lose everything. Before the trial, in all likelihood, he'd be
dismissed from his post, given a dishonorable discharge. A lack of
confidence would bounce him out so fast, your head will spin. And
you aren't just punishing him. Your sister-in-law and your neice
and nephew would lose all benefits. Not to mention, your brother
would serve time--"

"If they hit him with the assault on a Federal Officer and the hate
crimes, he'll likely serve it in a Federal Prison, sir," Dana said
tiredly, rubbing her forehead. "I know all this. And I don't care.
Mulder could have been killed. If the kidney had ruptured, no
ambulance in the world could have gotten there fast enough and
there would have been nothing for me to do but hold him as he died
in my arms. I have a child to think about, too, sir. And I don't
want animals like that roaming the streets. It's why I went into law
enforcement to begin with," she said, staring straight into her
superior's eyes.

Skinner knew by looking at her that there would be not changing
her mind. He nodded slowly. "They still need Mulder's
statement," he pointed out.

"He's being weaned off the heavy pain killers. The doctor wanted
him sedated while we were waiting to see how the kidney and his
blood pressure reacted. He's doing better, so they'll have him on
codiene this afternoon, and he'll be moved to his own room. I
expect that by tonight, the DA can speak with him--but for no more
than five minutes. I will not have him worn out over this. He's
suffered enough."

Skinner sighed and nodded. "Scully, if there's anything I can do--"

She smiled at him, for the first time since they'd started talking
about the case. "You already done enough, sir. Thank you." She
spun on her heel and marched back to Mulder's room.


Richard Goldfarb didn't have to look hard for Fox Mulder. He was
becoming quite the celebrity on the Intensive Care Unit. The nurse
glared at him, but he explained he was looking more for Mrs.
Mulder than Mr. Mulder, and they finally let him in.

The room was empty of visitors, but the nurse escorting him told
Richard that Mrs. Mulder left often to change the baby. Richard
saw the infant seat, resting next to the hospital bed. Receiving
blankets and various baby equipment were sitting side by side with
the standard hosptial trappings found in critical care units.

It took him a moment to get the courage to look at Fox Mulder
himself. Black, blue and red, those were the predominant colors.
Eyes swollen shut, breathing oxygen through a tube resting at his
nose. Suddenly Richard could all too easily see himself in that bed,
see himself in that condition. His stomach lurched at the thought.

A hand touched his shoulder and he spun around, startled.

"Ah, it's Richard, isn't it?" Dana asked, shifting little Adam so she
could shake his hand. "It's so nice of you to come. How in the
world did you hear?" she asked. "Oh, no, don't tell me the papers
listed the names--"

"No, it's not that at all," Richard stammered. "I'm, ah, I work for
the courts up here. I'm a part-time Public Defender. I picked it up
because it was decent pay and we were low on clients, and well, I
haven't been able to leave it yet," he explained hastily.

"Oh, so you're--" Suddenly, the light came to Dana's eyes, and just
as quickly went out. "You're defending one of them," she said in a
low voice.

"Umm, yes, I am," Richard admitted shyly. "I'm defending your
brother, William Scully."

Dana bristled. "If he sent you here to beg us to drop the charges,"
she stormed, "tell him to find another patsy!"

"Dana, it's not like that at all, believe me. He doesn't even know
I'm here. I didn't tell him I was coming. Please, is there
somewhere we can sit and talk about this?"

"Fox has been waking up every now and then, I want to stay
close," she said firmly.

"I can understand that. But I do need to talk to you," Richard

Dana nodded to another chair in the corner of the cubicle. "Have a
seat. We can do it here," she said calmly.

"First, please believe me when I tell you that I tried to get out of
this. I told my supervisor that I knew the victim, but when I
explained that we'd only met twice, he didn't think it was enough
to constitute a relationship in the eyes of the court."

"I can see that," Dana admitted.

"And then, when I pointed out the nature of the charges, that there
were Bias Crime charges pending and that the racial bias was
toward Jews--"

Dana almost giggled for the first time. "Oh, Richard. I don't know
who to feel more sorry for," she said. "You poor thing, having to
walk into the same room with that asshole brother of mine! But I
can assure you, when we were kids, Bill wasn't like this. He friends
were always wild, but Dad never tolerated that kind of behavior and
neither did Mom. He probably thought he'd struck gold--half the
OJ defense team were Jewish lawyers," she added with a wry grin.

Richard blushed and grinned back. "Well, I'm afraid I might have
left him wondering if I didn't work for the Prosecution," he
admitted. "I made him look at the evidence photos," he explained.

Dana's face went expressionless. "How did he react?" she asked.

"After he threw up for five minutes?" Richard asked. "He reacted
as any human being. He was horrified. I don't think he had any
idea. You should know that during the arraignment, when the
judge explained that there was a murder charge pending, and that
was because the victim had been left in critical condition, he
immediately asked if Mulder--"

"He thought he'd died," Dana finished the sentence for Richard.
"How did he react when he heard he was still very much alive?"

"Relieved. I think he felt a great deal of relief," Richard informed

"I'm sure he did. That way he's not facing murder charges," Dana
said flatly. "Probably thinks he'll get off with a slap on the wrist."

"Well, I'm sure his cohorts are thinking that. Or they were, until
the US Attorney's office called the Grand Jury. They are facing
violation of civil rights charges, assaulting a federal officer, more
bias crimes--they thought they got off scott free, but they're lucky if
they don't end up sharing a cell with a mobster."

"They deserve far worse," Dana said through gritted teeth. "So
why did you come here, Richard? Besides to tell me the good news
that my brother has been arraigned."

"I wanted to hear the story from you. You should know, Dana,
that I talked to Mrs. Lavin. She told me how you tackled two of
the assailants. She said your brother was standing off at that point,
like he couldn't believe what was happening. And then, I guess
you, ah--"

"I am a trained agent, Richard. I didn't think the threat was
eliminated," Dana said firmly.

"You had to be pulled off him by your mother, Dana. I don't think
that was just 'neutralizing the threat'. I think you wanted to give
him back what he'd just given Mulder," Richard said softly.

Dana glared at him. "And if I did? Is Bill going to press charges
against _me_?"

"No, of course not. I'm just asking because it's relevant. How
much of this is hate crime against all Jews, and how much of it is a
big brother who thinks he knows what's best for his little sister?"
Richard asked, looking her directly in the eye. "Now, I know about
the other two, and believe me, I don't think they'll get off with a
slapped wrist. But I want to know if you are up to doing this. Up
to tearing your family apart. You don't have to answer me. In
fact, I really would rather you didn't. But I want you to think
about it."

"I've thought of nothing else," she said evenly.

Richard nodded and got up. "I really would like to talk to him. Do
you think he might be up to it later?"

"I hope so," Dana said, standing. She held out her hand to Richard.
"No hard feelings. At least I know the Defense Attorney has a
conscience," she said with a smile.

"Thanks, Dana. Oh, and Leslie said to tell you that you're all in her
prayers. And mine, too."

"Thank you, both of you," Dana said and Richard left the room.

end of part twelve


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (13/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

If he tried really hard, Mulder could open his eyes to just slits. And
in that narrow field of vision, he could just make out the fire of her
hair, dulled only slightly by the diffused lighting in the room. But
even if he couldn't see her clearly, he _felt_ her clearly. She'd been
there all along, he knew that to the depths of his soul.

"Heey," he croaked, and swallowed, hoping to find a little moisture
somewhere in his mouth. If there was any, it was hiding.

"Hey there, yourself," came the quick reply. He could hear her
smile, even if he couldn't really see it.

"Adam here?" he asked, shutting one eye and leaving only the one
open. He could almost make out the little bundle of blankets in her

"Right here. We just finished lunch," Dana informed him.

"Can I hold him?" Mulder asked, moving his arms to reach for the
baby. "Owww!" he said, gritting his teeth.

"I don't know if that's such a good idea," Dana reasoned sadly.
Then, an idea came to her and she brightened considerably. "Wait a
sec. I think I can figure this out." She pulled up the bed rail that
had been down to allow her to hold her husband's hand. Next, she
took his right arm, which was in pretty good shape, all things
considered, and moved it to form a V with his body. Then she
padded the side of the bed rail with a couple of receiving blankets
and placed the yawning baby in his arm.

"How's that, Dad?" she asked, beaming with pride.

"Wonderful," he sighed. He took a deep breath, wincing a little as
it pulled his ribs. "He smells great," he said happily. "How's my
beautiful boy?" he cooed at the infant. "What say you and Dad just
lay here a while and give old Mom a break, huh? Shall we?"
Reaching over, Mulder picked up the tiny fist the baby was waving
and the little fingers immediately tightened around his index finger.
"That's my guy," he crooned again.

"Still in pain?" Dana asked, trying to wipe the tears from her eyes
before he noticed. She didn't have to bother, he was too wrapped
up in his son.

"Nah." When she shot him her Dana Scully, MD look, he
acquiesced and confessed, "Maybe just a little, but not too bad, not
like earlier," he assured her. "I'm thirsty as all get out, though," he
told her.

She smiled and brought a glass with a straw to his lips, letting him
take all he wanted. "What, no ice chips?" he teased.

"Why, do you prefer ice chips?" she shot back, knowing full well
that he hated them with a passion.

"No, Dane, it just means I must have escaped major incisions and
surgical soft diets this time," he noted. "I'm catching on to all this
medical stuff. Must have been hanging around with you too long,"
he grinned, even more lopsided that usual because of the stitches
near his lip.

"Well then, _Doc_ Mulder, can you use your medical expertise to
explain why they're booting you down to a normal room in a little
while," she told him happily. "Somewhere a little more spacious,"
she announced waving her hands around for emphasis. "They seem
to think we carry too much junk around with us," she joked.

"Do we? Haven't been awake long enough to notice, I guess," he
replied a little more sleepily. All this jocularity was taking a lot of

"You were out of it most of the time you were here," she
commented, noticing how heavy lidded his eyes had become again.

"What?" he responded.

"Nothing, Mulder. You just haven't exactly been the life of the
party the last couple of days. You've been kind of out of it, ya
know?" Dana smiled as she noted the baby had fallen asleep in the
little nest in Mulder's bed. "Like father, like son," she said with a
warm smile.

Mulder returned her smile momentarily, until an involuntary
grimace took over. "Muscle cramp," he gasped. "Leg."

Dana worked on massaging the leg deftly to ease her husband's

"Better?" she asked.

"Yeah. Thanks." Mulder laid quietly for a few minutes, enjoying
the rhythmic breathing of his son. Then, a peculiar blend of
anxiety and curiosity caused Mulder to ask the question that had
been gnawing on his mind since he'd regained consciousness earlier.

"Scully? Are you going to tell me what the hell happened?" he
asked, making a bit more of a show than necessary of trying to get
comfortable around the sleeping baby laying on his arm.

Dana pursed her mouth and shrugged noncommittally. "What do
you want to know?" she asked.

"How did I get here, for one? Did you get the number of the truck
that ran over me, for another?" he asked more seriously than one
might have expected.

Scully bit her lip. "What do you remember?" she asked. She knew
she should wait for either the DA or Skinner before asking this
question, but she wanted to know and she didn't want to wait.

"Oh, I don't know, let's see. You woke me up from my nap__, Hey
Scully, you notice a pattern here? You're always waking me up."
It didn't escape Dana that Mulder had reverted to calling her Scully
for the last few minutes. Whenever he felt threatened or anxious,
Mulder tended to revert back to the comfortable habit of calling his
wife by her last name. It was always his way of keeping his
distance, of keeping his emotions in check.

Scully knew this was not going to be easy for Mulder. He'd just let
her know that in his own, Mulder, way.

"Anyway, I think you asked me to get the diapers which were still
in the car, so I went to get the diapers out of the trunk. I went out
on the porch." Mulder paused here to first catch his breath and
then to ask for another sip of water. He had an uneasy feeling, but
he honestly wasn't sure why.

"Do you remember what happened next, Mulder?" Dana asked

"I saw Bill and a couple of his buddies on the porch. They were
drinking. They were drunk, I think, Scully." Mulder paused a
moment and took a look at his sleeping son, and then he continued,
"One of them tried to be funny ,and I got mad and took a swing--"

"You what? You threw the first punch?" Dana demanded.

"Only after they pushed me, Scully," he replied contritely. "Yeah, I
guess I did. I'm really sorry. I guess they were drunk and I
shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry, Scully."

"Mulder, tell me what else happened. Why did they push you?
she asked.

Now Mulder wasn't sure if he wanted to continue this discussion.
This was his wife's brother, for crying out loud. The brother that
was never too crazy about him in the first place. He heard his wife
repeat her question with bulldog determination, "Mulder, why did
they push you?"

"I don't know. They were drunk, Scully," he replied not revealing
much in the way of motive.

"Mulder, what did they say to you?" she asked. Mulder looked
away from her at this moment, so Dana repeated the question with
perhaps a little more force than she intended, "Mulder, what did
they say to you?"

Finally, the dam broke. "Damn it all, Scully, I just didn't want to
deal with that kind of crap anymore, you know."

"No, Mulder, I don't know," her voice now gentle. "Tell me. Tell
me what they said."

"They, they called me every derogatory name for a Jew they could
think of, and then__," Mulder stopped in an attempt to reach for his
water, so Scully helped him stall again by holding it for him.

When he finished he continued, "Your brother's two friends
grabbed my arms, and Bill took a few swings at me. "Next thing I
knew my head connected with something hard—Which is weird,
since I don't remember anything after that."

Dana was silent for a long time. She helped Mulder take another
drink of the water. "Dane, I'm sorry. I should have just gotten the

"What did they say?" she broke in, trying to keep her voice even.

"Who?" he asked in reply, a little confused.

"Bill and his buddies, what did they say that made you mad?"

At first Mulder looked at his wife's beautiful face and couldn't
fathom what she was getting at. What was the point of dragging
this out? It's Scully's brother for crying out loud, so he continued
and tried, in typical Mulder fashion, to keep it light.

"It was stupid. School ground stuff. One of them called me
something like 'Jew Boy' and another of them said something about
checking my head for horns. It was sixth grade level at best. If I
hadn't been so tired, I would have shoved past them and ignored it.
It was stupid. I was stupid. I'm sorry."

"Mulder, they beat you up. Why are _you_ sorry?"

"Hey," he said with a hint of a smile, "would you believe it's Jewish

"So it had been Non-believer's guilt all of these past years__?" she

"__God, how's Mom taking all this?" Mulder asked suddenly.
"I bet she's beside herself with me in the hospital again. Oh, you
didn't call my __," he started to ask.

"Mulder, I did place the call, and your mother told me to tell you to
rest and to take care of yourself." At the last moment she tacked
on, "She also said she loved you."

"Liar, liar,\\ Pants on fire,\\ Scully," he chanted softly, knowing with
a bit of sadness that she was just trying to make him feel better
because his mother chose not to come to the hospital, again.

"What about Bill? Don't I deserve the honor of being visited upon
by 'William the Great'?"

"Bill's in jail," Dana said firmly.

"What!? Why?" Mulder asked in shock..

"Just a few little reasons regarding the Federal Bias crimes, assault
on a federal officer, they did have him on murder one, but that one's
moot now__,"

"_Murder one_?" he howled, not only from learning that charges
were brought against his brother-in-law but also from dealing with
the physical pain in trying to shift position without waking up the
sleeping Adam.

"Scully, we can't have that happen! We just can't! Who made the

"I did," Dana said quietly. "After I stopped them from killing you,"
she added, clearing her throat and standing up.

Suddenly Mulder's throat was extremely dry, and he was desperate
to find someone they could trust. "Scully, we can't do this. Please,
call the DA. I want to make a statement," he said exerting every
effort to keep his voice even.

"Not until I know what you're going to say," she replied

"I'm going to say that this was a mistake. I'll agree to assault and
battery, but somebody needs to know that I threw a punch here,
too. Sure they should have stopped before it got this far, but
Scully, they were drunk and didn't know what they were doing.
_ I_ was the dumb shit that let it get that far," he said in

"What are you talking about?" she demanded. "You were being

"If I was in so much danger, Scully, why didn't I pull my gun?" he
demanded right back at her.

"You didn't have your gun, Mulder. You were taking a nap on the
couch and you had taken your gun off when you walked into the
house. You _always_ take your gun off when you walk into the
house, especially since we had Adam. You've made a point of
making it a routine, a habit. You were unarmed," she seethed
at the notion that he was going to try to take the blame for her
brother's crime.

"Oh. Well, be that as it may, it was a stupid fist fight, and I was
outnumbered. It's out of everyone's system now. C'mon, you
know this has been brewing for a year, ever since the first time Bill
and I met," he began.

"It doesn't excuse the fact that he and his imbecile friends almost
beat you to death," she retorted.

"No. And maybe Bill and I should have taken this behind the
woodshed a long time ago, but I thought we were above that.
Obviously not. Next time, I'll make sure Bill is alone and sober. I
might stand a better chance," Mulder said as he forced a grin on his

"You think this is funny?" she growled, low and venomous.

"No, I don't think _this_ is funny," he stated, holding out his left
arm which was sporting a nice display of tape and tubes. "But
generally speaking, it was a school ground fight that got out of
hand," he said, trying to sound logical and reasonable. He realized
the irony, even if Scully did not. He was trying to think like her.

"Your kidney almost ruptured. You almost died," she seethed.

"Like I said, it got out of hand. And I was tired. I would have
gotten in some better swings if the numbers had been even," he
noted in his newly found logical, calm voice.

"I can't believe you," she growled. "You almost left me, you
almost left Adam--you almost--" she sputtered.

"Scully," he said evenly. "That didn't happen. I'm sorry that I
scared you. I'm sorry that I let it get that far. But what can I say,
it happened. Let's get on with our lives."

"You don't want to press charges?" she asked.

"Unless it's now a crime to be terminally stupid, no I don't," he

"You think they were just being 'stupid'?" she retorted.

"Yeah, basically," he admitted. "There was probably enough
stupidity to go around."

"What if it was Adam?" she demanded.

"What? What are you talking about, nobody would hurt a bab--"

"What if it was Adam in high school or Adam at college? What if
someone we have never met walked up to Adam on the street and
did this to him? What would you do then?" she roared.

"Don't do that, Scully. Don't use Adam like that against me__?"
Mulder answered with ire in his deceptively soft voice.

Scully shot him a glance, but before she could answer him,
Adam came to full wakefulness and decided he'd had just about
enough. He let out a howl and wouldn't stop.

"See what you've done?" Scully accused, picking the baby up and
cradling him near her.

"Me!? You were the one screaming," Mulder pointed out,
wounded by her words.

"I'm going to change him and see if I can calm him down. I'll send
Mom in so you won't be alone. I don't think I should leave you
alone ever again," she stormed and left the room.

end of part thirteen


Life Cycles VIX: Journey (14/21)
by Susan Proto (
and Vickie Moseley (

Charlie arrived at the hospital and went directly up to the ICU.
Karen was sitting there, going through a magazine she'd obviously
bought from the gift shop, since it was current and contained all the
pages. He smiled at her and gave her a kiss.

"How's he doing?" Karen asked, returning the kiss and giving him a

"He's bull headed as ever, arrogant, self-centered--

Karen silenced him with a finger to his lips. "I know. He's the
same old Bill. But how was he _really_?" she asked tenderly.

"Scared shitless. Embarrassed. Afraid of what he's done, that he
can never make it right. All of the above. I don't know, I was mad
as hell at him when I left, and now, it just makes my chest hurt, you
know," he said, his voice breaking and his eyes welling up. He
turned his head away and swallowed hard. After a minute, he could
look at her again. "Has Dana been in with Mulder all this time?"

"Yeah. He's been awake a couple of times. They're going to move
him down to a regular room before long. The danger of the kidney
bleeding again is pretty much past now, he's out of the woods."

Charlie sighed in relief. "That's good to hear. I don't want to even

"Don't buy trouble, Charles Scully," Karen chided and kissed him
again. "If you want, I think you might be able to sneak in there, see
him for yourself."

"I think I just might," Charlie said, nodding.


As Mulder watched Dana leave the room, tears fell down his face.
He didn't know whether the tears were more from the pain of
knowing how angry she was with him right now or the pain of what
all of this was doing to his family. Of course there was the
possiblity that it was the pain of his own personal demons coming
back to haunt him, or the physical pain that now wracked his body
again. *More than likely,* Mulder realized, *the answer is 'E', all
of the above.*

He laid in bed thinking about what had just happened. The
argument. Why was she angry with him? He just wanted to put
this behind him. This was his family, for God's sake, and he just
wanted to forget this ever happened and go on with his life. It
wasn't the end of the world. It happened all the time to other

"But it's not sixth grade school yard shit if it's happening to you,"
he said out loud, but thought no one was around to hear him. "It's
not. Oh God, it hurts like hell."

Charlie stopped dead in his tracks in the doorway. He had seen
Dana march off toward the restroom with Adam wailing in her
arms. He knew better than to deter a mother intent on feeding her
child, so he'd decided to keep Mulder company while she was

"But Dane," he heard Mulder continue, pleading with his now
absent wife, "I can't press charges against Bill. It's not because I
don't think being called a Jew Bastard is wrong. I do. I think it's
sick, and vindictive, and evil__,"

The one sided conversation stopped and Charlie was frozen in his
spot as Mulder turned his head and caught sight of him in the
doorway. Both men stared at each other like stone statues until
Mulder focused on the face. "Who's there?" he asked.

Charlie's feet found movement again and he proceeded into the
cubicle. "It's me, Mulder. Charlie. Sorry if I'm disturbing you--"

"No," Mulder said hastily, swiping at his face with his good hand.
"Come on in. Dane just left to feed Adam."

"Yeah, I saw her leave. Umm, Mulder, I wanted to tell you--I just
wanted to say how sorry I am--"

Mulder held up his hand and shook his head. "You didn't do
anything, Charlie. None of this is your fault. Believe me, I'm an
expert in that department," Mulder added with a sigh. "I seem to
be an expert at tearing families apart, too." Suddenly he heard the
beeping on the monitor increase in its frequency. *Calm down,
Mulder, or they'll shoot you up with drugs and then you'll never be
able to stop this lunacy. Again. It'll be your fault, again,* he
lamented to himself.

Charlie chewed his lip a bit, waiting for the monitors to slow down.
"Bill's at fault here, Mulder. Not you. If anyone is tearing this
family apart, it's Bill." Charlie now swiped angrily at his own nose.
"The blame rests firmly on his shoulders."

"Charlie," Mulder said with a tired breath. "Don't misunderstand.
Dammit, it's NOT because I don't think the Bias Crimes charges
aren't a big deal. They are, and those idiot friends of your brother's
probably deserve to be thrown in jail because of it." Mulder's chin
trembled with the effort to keep a tight reign on his emotions.
"There's a lot going on here and you don't know half of it." A
sudden flash of rage came to his face and he slammed his hand
down hard on the mattress of the bed.

"God damn Bill Scully! God damn you because you didn't play
fair!" he railed to the four walls and the young man beside him.
"See, Charlie, I'm just starting to discover an important part of me
again, and your brother and his numskull 'friends' threw racial slurs
at me like they were doing the world some kind of favor. Your
brother was a real shit for doing that to me, Charlie! A real shit for
letting those animals do that to me. I wouldn't have let anyone do
that to him. I wouldn't."

The beeps were getting louder and faster and Mulder fought to
slow his breathing, but continued talking, continued to cleanse his

"I mean, if they had called me 'Spooky' well, that would have been
okay, ...'cause being Spooky is a part of the persona I kind of
invented for myself.... but being called religious slurs-- that digs
into my soul just too damned deep. I mean this is something about
me that I've been having so many doubts about and......well, it's
what I am, you see, it's not something I had a choice in creating...
... I don't know if I'm making sense here...... Shit, what difference
does it make. Nobody will hear me," he ended in a half sob.

"I hear you, Mulder," Charlie said in a cracked voice. "I hear you."

Mulder snorted. "I wish your sister could. If she could ever read
my mind, now's the time, ya know? Somehow I have to get
through to her. I can't press charges, never in a million years, but
it's not for the reason she thinks. I have to make her see that I can't
take the chance of tearing this family apart. You sister knows how
I feel about your family, Charlie. See, I've already been responsible
for one family coming apart at the seams, I can't be responsible for
the Scully family, _my_ family, being decimated. You're all too
precious for me to watch you lose each other just because I got
beat up a little."

Charlie couldn't see for the tears welling in his eyes, but he reached
for Mulder's arm and squeezed it. Mulder just kept on talking.

"Hell, it hurts. I mean, I don't see myself forgiving Bill all too soon
for his role in this, and well, physically it'll be a couple of weeks
before I'll feel like jogging again, but, I'll get over it. I always
manage to get over it. Somehow. Maybe not fully intact, but
enough of the pieces are left that I manage to survive. But I need
your sister with me on this. See, I have to have Dane help me.
She's always helped me survive. We have to work together and
stop this before we destroy everything and everyone I love. I have
to convince her, Charlie. I have to convince her. Someone has to
make her understand."

"I'll try, Mulder. I promise I'll try," Charlie pledged.

There was a strange yet comforting silence in the room when
Maggie arrived a moment later to take up her watch. She started to
ask the two men what was going on, but by the look of
determination on her youngest son's face, and the look of
exhaustion coupled with relief on her son-in-law, she decided to
leave them to their own devices.


Richard peeked into the ICU room. He figured Mulder must have
been doing better, since he wasn't tackled by any of the nurses when
he walked near his room. He didn't see anyone visiting, so he
walked in himself. As Mulder was facing away from the door,
Richard audibly cleared his throat, so Mulder would know someone
was in the room with him.

Mulder turned toward the sound and saw it was Richard Goldfarb.
He was surprised to see him, but also quite pleased too. He liked
the Goldfarbs and had hoped the two families could strike up a
friendship. He didn't have many friends, and of course, when he
thought about it, he realized none of them were Jewish.

Unless he counted AD Skinner, but Walter Skinner was still his
boss, and as much as he respected him and was proud to be in his
company, they were never going to be on a level playing field as
long as Skinner was an AD and he was a Field Agent. The fact that
Skinner had also started casually dating his mother-in-law didn't
exactly make Mulder a hundred percent comfortable around his
boss either.

"Hey. This is a nice surprise," Mulder said.

"Yeah?" Richard said, not knowing for sure if Mulder was told
about his Public Defender status.

"Yeah. To what do I owe this honor?" Mulder said with a smile,
though the stitches tended to make it look more like a grimace.

Richard realized Mulder was in the dark about his role as Bill
Scully's lawyer. He didn't know if he should mention it to him now
or later on. Richard, himself, was upset by the incident, and had
called Rabbi Gerry to avail himself of some counseling. When
Gerry suggested they drive over to the hospital together, just to
check up on Mulder, Richard jumped at the chance.

*Later,* he thought to himself. *I'll tell him later.* He said aloud,
"I'm here to find out how the hell you're doing. So, how the hell
are you?"

"I've been better, but believe it or not, I've been worse, too. Guess
I can't complain then," he replied.

Richard was greatly relieved to hear the lightness to his voice. He
was going to be all right, he thought. "How much longer are you
going to be cooped up here?"

"Dane told me I'll be moving out of ICU in a little while, so I must
be mending properly," Mulder replied.

"That's good. I'm really glad to hear it. Leslie sends her best,"
Richard said.

"Thanks," he replied. "Tell her I appreciate it." Mulder laid quietly
for a few moments and then asked, "So, how'd you know I was

"Well," Richard stalled, as he really wasn't sure of how much detail
he wanted to go into without having Dana present. He had decided
he wanted to speak to Mulder in the presence of his wife so no one
could misconstrue his intentions. He didn't want to be seen as
taking advantage of a friendship, limited as it was.

"Well, I came with Rabbi Ginsburg to check on you," he stated. "I
think he wanted to speak with Dana first while I came and chatted
with you," Richard explained.

"Chat about what?" asked the baritone voice from the doorway.

"Hey, Sir. Thanks for coming by," Mulder greeted.

When Richard turned to see who the voice belonged to, he was
surprised. "Walter?" he confirmed.

"Richard?" Skinner said as he reached to take Richard's extended
hand into his own. "How are you?"

"Fine, but shocked to see Mulder here hooked up to a million
tubes," Richard replied. Then turning to Mulder he questioned,

"Walter's my AD at the FBI," he explained, and then turning his
gaze from Richard to Skinner, he asked, "So what's your excuse?"

"Well," he stammered, "since Adam's bris, I've been trying to attend
Friday night services more regularly, 'cause I'm his Godfather you
see, and well, I know Richard from the Temple. Leslie, too," the
AD offered somewhat awkwardly.

"You met his kids, Walter?" Mulder asked.

"Oh yeah. I'd told Rachael I planned on waiting for her to marry
me, to which she replied, 'That's okay Mr. Skinner, you don't have
to wait.' Humbled the shit out me, I'll tell you," he said with a small

"Yeah well, Rachael hasn't had Tact 101 yet. We're waiting for her
fourth birthday to enroll her in that one," Richard said with a

"So, seriously," his tone changing, "what are you planning on
chatting about, Richard?" Walter asked.

Richard looked at the AD and realized _he_ knew Richard was Bill
Scully's lawyer. All of a sudden, Walter Skinner looked rather
formidable. Richard wondered if he would be adversarial as well.

"Nothing important for the moment, Walter. Just about the
weather, some B-Ball. Nothing with nothing," he explained.

"Good," Skinner said succinctly.

Mulder looked at the two men as if they were at a tennis match. He
felt his head bobbing back and forth between the two players, and
was getting a little dizzy from the cryptic interplay.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"What do you mean, Mulder?" answered the AD.

"Walter, I've been the brunt of your wordless warnings countless
number of times. I just witnessed one and Richard's not even FBI,
so what's going on?" he insisted.

"Mulder," Richard interjected, "I need to tell you something."
Walter shot Richard a warning glance, but Richard paid him no
heed. "Mulder, you know I'm a lawyer, right?"

Mulder nodded in the affirmative, so Richard continued. "Well, in
addition to the cases Leslie and I deal with from our private
practice, I also work part time as a Public Defender. It helps with
the bills, ya know?" He still had Mulder's attention, so Richard

"Mulder, I'm not sure how you're going to feel about this, but__,
but I'm acting as your brother-in-law's attorney," Richard

Mulder looked at him with his mouth now slightly gaped, but he
didn't say anything for a couple of minutes. Then, he looked
Richard straight in the eye and asked softly, "Are you a good

Richard had a feeling he knew where Mulder was coming from, and
answered him honestly. "Yeah, Mulder, I am."

"Good," he replied without animosity, "he needs to have a good

"Mulder__," Skinner began.

"Sir, Bill does need a good lawyer. If Scully's going to be so
damned pigheaded about not dropping the charges, then Bill Scully
needs to have a damned good lawyer," Mulder explained.

"You want to drop the charges?" Richard asked in shock. When
he'd first read the details of the case, Richard thought it would
have been Dana who'd want to drop the charges against her
brother, and Mulder who would want to press on. Having already
spoken to Dana, he knew she wanted the charges to stand, but
Mulder's attitude was certainly a twist he hadn't expected.

"Mulder, you don't have to say anything about this now," Skinner

"Why, Sir? Why can't I say anything? Why won't anyone listen to
me, God damn it!" Mulder shouted. The monitors indicated a rise
in Mulder's blood pressure, which then precipitated a visit from the
charge nurse. They were warned if Mr. Mulder's BP was elevated
again, all visitors would have to leave.

"Mulder, we're listening," Walter tried to reassure.

"No, you're not. I want to drop the charges. I don't want to put
the Scully family through the shit they'd surely have to go through
in order to press these charges. Do you have any idea what it
would do to Maggie to see her son be put on trial? Do you,
Walter?" he implored.

"Mulder, it wouldn't be easy, but he's got to be punished," Walter

"Punished for what? For choosing to hang out with really screwed
up people? For choosing to get so damned drunk on his mother's
front porch that when I took a swing at him he just lost it and
joined in the fun of beating up the brother-in-law that stole his
adoring baby sister away from him?" Mulder berated.

Though Richard heard Mulder say he threw the first punch, he
chose to put it aside for the time being. He was here as a friend,
not a defense attorney.

"Mulder," interjected Richard, "you nearly died."

"Yeah, so what's your point?"

"It seems to me your life and well being should count for
something," Richard said quietly.

Skinner looked at the attorney and wondered if he were merely
playing Devil's Advocate, or really meant what he was saying.

"It is, which is why I really want to drop the charges. I_, I__, I
don't think I could go through experiencing this all again. I don't
want to have to think about it anymore, Richard. Walter? Can you
understand that?" Mulder appealed.

"Yeah, Mulder, I can understand that. The question is, is it the
righteous thing to do?" Richard asked, "And don't look to me for an
answer, 'cause I sure as hell don't know. I honestly don't know."

Both Skinner and Mulder looked at Richard Goldfarb with widened
eyes. "Umm, Goldfarb? Remind me never to ask you to be my
defense attorney, okay?" said Mulder in an all too serious tone.

Richard chuckled at this. "Mulder, you haven't seen me with my
game face on yet. If it comes to that point, I will defend Bill
Scully with the best defense possible. In fact, given the fact that I'm
Jewish, it's probably expected that I would dog it, so in my mind,
I'd have to work even harder to get the guy off.

"Hey," Richard continued, "I'm asking you if _your_ decision is
righteous. Remember Mulder, I'm a Public Defender. A lawyer. I
never said anything about _me_ having to be moral, did I?" he

"No, I guess not," Mulder smiled in return. "Richard, what would
you do if it were you? If it was Leslie's brother. Could you see
yourself going through charging him with a crime? Could you see
putting Leslie and her family through that?"

"l don't know, Mulder. I mean Les's family is so 'out there' anyway,
I couldn't conceive of something like this happening with respect to
her family.

"Look, I've talked with this brother-in-law of yours, Mulder. And
given what I know about the guy, I'd say he's nothing more than a
jealous ass. Bigoted? Yeah, probably, but that's as a result of being
more ignorant than anything else. Not because he's inherently evil,

"You asked me if I could put Leslie's family through a trial if
something like this, God forbid, ever happened to me. The truth,
Mulder? I don't know. I've experienced a lot of hate growing up in
this area of the country. There's a lot of hateful people out there
that I would love to see put behind bars and taught a lesson.

"I just don't know if he's one of those people. Maybe he is, maybe
he isn't. Maybe you should have a jury decide that, I don't know.,"
Richard concluded.

"I don't know what to do," Mulder whispered. "Walter, what
should I do?"

"Talk to Dana," was his only reply.

end of part fourteen


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