Life Cycles X: Trust(2/2)
by Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in part 1.

Part 6/10

All of a sudden, Adam started crying uncontrollably. Dana knew he was
feeling the stress that permeated the room, and not having the words to
express his own distress, he resorted to wailing at full throttle.

Maggie offered to take him from her and walk up and down the hospital
corridor, but Dana suggested the rest of the patients might not appreciate
the vocal charms of a hysterical eighteen month old. Besides, Dana
realized the child had her in a headlock, and was not planning on going
anywhere away from her in the near future.

But he did continue to cry, and no matter what she offered to placate him,
he ignored it and continued to sob uncontrollably. As much as Dana did
not want to, she felt she might have to leave the hospital as a way to
avoid being thrown out.

"Shhh, Adam, please, Munchkin. You've just gotta calm down a little for
Mommy," Dana cajoled. Unfortunately, Adam had other ideas. Adam not
only felt the enormous amount of tension in the room, but his napping and
mealtime schedules were completely off kilter as well. Dana simply did
not have the wherewithal to calm down her son.

"I think it's time for Uncle Bill to take over," said the broad shouldered
red head with a confident smile. "C'mon, 'Dee', I've been through this a
couple of times already."

As she gratefully allowed her big brother to untangle the screaming child
from her arms, she looked at him with a small smile and said with a
question on her face, "Dee?"

"Well, 'Starbuck' is off limits, and 'Dane' is taken. If I called you
'Little Sis' you'd probably find your gun and shoot me. I wanted a
special something just between us," he explained with a slight blush
rising on his cheeks, and then, as if he suddenly remembered with whom he
was dealing with, asked, "Is it okay with you?"

"Yeah, Billy, it's okay with me," she replied warmly.

"Good." Bill Scully smiled broadly at the precious gift his sister had
just given him, herself. He then set upon the task of quieting his small
nephew, so the others could attend to his brother-in-law who began moaning
and crying again.

"I must go to him, children," Nana suddenly announced. "He is remembering

"Maybe we should try some new medication to ease the dreams," suggested

"NO," Nana rebuked. "I'm sorry maydelah, I don't mean to shout at you,"
she apologized in reaction to Dana's startled reaction, "but you have to
understand that the reason he's in this condition is because he's avoided
remembering all of the horrors, all of these years.

"Sweetheart, you couldn't understand why he got sick now, when everything
had been going so well at home and at work. Don't you realize that is
precisely why he got sick? Dana, this man has gone through experiences
that you and I could only dream for our worst enemies, and then we
wouldn't wish it on them because we're good people.

"But he wasn't so lucky. He did go through them, and he has worked so
hard all of these years to forget them, and the crazy reason is because he
thought he deserved it. Can you imagine? This beauty-ful, kind, gentle
man actually thought he deserved all of the hell those bastards put him

"So now, for the first time in a very long time, he found happiness in his
life. He has a beauty-ful wife, a beauty-ful son, a better relationship
than he's ever had with his mother, such as it is, and a mother-in-law and
almost father-in-law that treat him as much like a son as he could ever
hope to be treated."

Turning to Walter, Nana pointedly stated, "Which is something you should
do something about already, don't you think Walter? I'm not getting any
younger, you know."

"Nana? You're not going to be getting any older either, if I'm not
mistaken," Walter replied with a wry smile.

"Nu, you're going to argue with an old, dead lady? Such respect from the
younger generation," she teased.

At that moment, Mulder cried out either as if in great pain or anguish.
It was difficult to distinguish which. Nana looked over at her grandson
and told the concerned group it was time for her to join her Fox. "Hold
onto him, maydelah. Remind him how much you and your family love him and
how he deserves to be loved. That will be the hardest thing for him to

Nana's solid form melted into a shimmering glow, until only her essence
was left behind.

"Damn, how the hell does she do that?" asked Bill.

"How the hell did you do that?" asked Walter, as he pointed to the toddler
who was sleeping soundly on his Uncle Bill's shoulder. Bill smiled in
response and then looked over at Dana.

"See? I told you he needed his Uncle's touch," Bill teased. Just then
Mulder cried out, and Bill called out anxiously, "Dee? Is Mulder going to
be okay?"

"Yes, Billy. We're here for him, and Nana's with him. Mulder's going to
get through this. He is going to get through this," she repeated, more
for herself than anyone else in the room.


Fox heard the screaming. At first he thought it was the echoing of his
own anguished cries, but he realized it was someone else's voice. And as
he listened more carefully, if for no other reason than to take his mind
off of his own anxieties, he realized with a dull pain whose outcries he


They had his little sister here too. They were subjecting her to the same
horrors they did to him. *Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod! If they touched
her__,* he thought to himself as he remembered the last torture they'd put
him through. *I'll kill them if they touch her. I'll kill them,* he

"Samantha! Samantha! Don't cry. Please, don't cry!" he shouted to her
in an attempt to console her and let her know she wasn't alone.

"Fox! Save me! Please! Fox! I'm scared, save me!" the frightened
little girl called out.

Fox labored against the restraints but his efforts were futile. He was
going nowhere, and in his frustration he called out to his sister,
"Samantha! I'll find you Sam. I'll help you! I love you, Sam." He
continued to struggle against the straps that stretched across his body
and restrained his arms and legs. His tears now flowed more out of fear
for his sister's safety than his own physical pain.

Her cries continued to reverberate in his ears. He felt so helpless at
not being able to rescue her. He felt so ashamed. He couldn't protect
his sister. All he could do was lay strapped, naked on a gurney, and be
forced to endure surgical procedures without anesthesia, countless numbers
of blood withdrawals, sexual molestation, and the emotionally devastating
task of listening to the anguished cries of his sister in terror and pain.

He felt worthless. He wanted it to end. He just wanted everything to

"Fox, it will be all right, boychikel. Please sweet boy, you mustn't give
up," Nana encouraged her grandson as she grasped his hand tightly.

"Nana, go help Samantha. Please. I'll be all right, just go help Sam,"
the child begged.

"Oh sweet boy, I must stay with you for now. I have to make sure you
understand, none of this is your fault. You are not to blame, do you
understand, Fox? It is not your fault," she repeated.

"Samantha. Please, I've got to save Samantha," he cried.

"Fox, it's not your job to save Samantha. Your job, right now, is to save
yourself. You have to save yourself for now. Your family needs you,
sweet boy. Do you understand? You have to understand it's not your

"You are a wonderful person. I love you, shayner boychikel, and your
mother loves you. And Samantha loves you," she continued.

"Daddy? Daddy's here, Nana. I heard him talking. Why doesn't Daddy love
me? Why doesn't Daddy love Sam?


"You have to shut him up, now!" demanded the thin faced, man with the
German accent. As he watched one of the attendants pick up a hypodermic
needle, the German man shouted, "NO! No drugs. We are not completed with
the tests as yet. Find a more creative way to shut him up." With that
the German man left the room.

The attendant was the same man who masturbated the boy in order to get a
semen sample. The attendant looked at the young man's face for the first
time. He was struck at how young he looked at that moment. The body of a
young man, but the emotional facade of a child.

"Fox, you must quiet down now, or I will have to help you quiet down," he

he shouted over and over again in a state of perpetual hysteria.

The attendant had no choice. He raised his hand and clenched his fingers
into a fist. "He said I should be creative, my friend. Sometimes the
simplest solutions are the best solutions. Nighty night, Fox." And with
that, the attendant's fist now connected with Fox's jaw, and knocked him
out totally and completely.

End of Part 6/10

Life Cycles X: Trust
by Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 7/10

Mulder's vital signs had them worried for a while. His pulse was racing
and his blood pressure had begun to skyrocket. Dana saw him straining
against phantom bindings and heard him gulping deeply for breaths of
oxygen. Then, it seemed as suddenly as the crisis had begun, it ended.
The numbers on the monitors fell to within normal range.

Dana sat next to the bed on one of the four chairs that now inhabited the
room. Walter sat in the second chair and gently stroked Maggie's hand as
she sat in the third, while Bill, who continued to hold the sleeping baby
in his arms, occupied the fourth.

"Mom, Walter, why don't you go take a break. Go get a bite to eat.
Besides, I could really use a cup of coffee." She turned to her brother.
"Billy, I think you can lay Adam down in the playpen and go with them."
At his skeptical look, Dana responded, "Really, Bill. Go ahead. And
bring me back a sandwich, okay? Tuna on whole wheat would be great."

Dana knew if she requested food, not one of them would have the heart to
deny her. After a half hearted protest, the trio did as asked. Maggie
knew very well Dana had no intention of eating any sandwich they brought
back, but she didn't fault her daughter for wanting a few minutes of

When the room was finally emptied of everyone except her Mulder men, Dana
grasped her husband's hand, gently caressed it, and softly spoke to him
as per Nana's instructions.

"Mulder, I know you're in a very scary place right now, but where ever it
is, you've got to know I am waiting here for you, waiting to show you how
much I love you. Because I do love you Mulder, with all my heart. I have
been so happy with you in my life. Even with all of the craziness that's
happened, I am happiest when I am with you.

"I need you in my life, Mulder. No matter what horrible things you think
you've caused, none of it was ever your fault. You mustn't ever blame
yourself for the sad and scary things that have happened to you, and me,
over the years. It was never your fault, Mulder. Never.

"You are my life, Fox Mulder. You and our son. Adam needs you, Fox. He
needs to learn how to become the man you are. Only you can teach him
that. I want our son to grow up to be like you, Fox. You are loving, and
caring, and giving.

"And you are my husband, and I am incomplete without you at my side. You
are a good person, Fox Mulder, and I am proud of you and, I am proud of
the way you have chosen to live your life.

"Fox, you need to learn to be proud of yourself.

"I'll teach you, my love, if that's what you need. I'll remind you
everyday to be proud of yourself. Just come back to me. Come back to
Adam. Adam needs his Daddy, Fox. Oh sweetheart, we both need you so
much. Please come back to us," she implored him through soft tears.

A few minutes later, the resident entered the room to make a perfunctory
exam of the patient. He noted the stable vital signs and asked Dana if
there were any noticeable changes in his condition. Dana explained, in a
detached, clinical manner, her husband seemed to be demonstrating more
reactions to stimuli.

What she neglected to mention was the stimuli was internal as opposed to
external. And since the doctor wasn't going to question it, Dana decided
it wasn't necessary to explain it in detail. The longer she kept Mulder
out of the psych ward, the better his chances were of recuperating without
psychiatric intervention, and therefore avoiding any repercussions at the

Another twenty minutes passed before Maggie, Walter and Bill made their
way back. Maggie brought a dish of apple sauce for Adam when he awoke,
which everyone knew would most likely be sooner than later. The tuna fish
sandwich sat, as Maggie expected, unopened on the table. Dana did
gratefully accept the coffee, however.

"Dana, why don't you go for a walk. We'll all be here with Fox," Maggie

"Mom, you know I won't leave him," she responded.

"Sweetheart, I promise, we won't allow him to check himself out the
hospital before you get back," her mom retorted with a smile.

Scully actually smiled at her mother's jab, and decided a quick walk
outside for some fresh air might actually do her some good. "Okay," she
said, "you've convinced me. I'm going outside for a breath of fresh air.
I won't be gone more than fifteen minutes, but if there's any change,
promise you'll come and get me."

"We promise, Scully," Walter assured. "Go on, take a break."

Dana stood up with her cup of coffee in hand, took a quick look at Mulder
and said aloud, "I'll be right back Mulder. Sit tight, okay?" She left
the room and walked out of the building. It was 5:45 p.m.

At 5:55 all hell broke loose.


Fox groaned in pain as regained consciousness. The swelling around the
right side of his jaw was now quite noticeable. He felt some pressure
around his nose as well, and he wondered if it was broken. He tried to
open his eyes, but he realized his right eye was swollen shut, and his
left eye barely opened into a slit.

The next voice he heard caused the young man to stiffen noticeably. He
recognized the voice as belonging to his father and his friend, the Morley
Man, as he and Sam referred to him. He struggled to make out the words
the voices he so clearly recognized.

"How much longer do you think this is going to take? Their mother is
going to give me holy hell for this as it is," his father said.

"Now Bill, you know very well we need to be thorough in the completion of
the tests. The fact that your children had turned out to be ideal test
subjects for the project should make you and Elizabeth very proud," he
replied. "You have any smokes on you?" he asked as an afterthought.

"I thought you were quitting?" Bill remarked.

"I did quit. Now I'm starting again. Give me a cigarette," he responded.
He took the proffered cigarette and sniffed its sweet, but acrid aroma.
He took the matches from Bill's outstretched hand and lit it. He inhaled
deeply and turned the matches back over to their owner.

"What do you think the results will say?" Bill asked.

"I'm not sure. I suspect they'll give us an indication as to which course
we continue with. What we do with the children from this point on."

"What are the possibilities?" Bill Mulder asked.

"Oh for Christ's sake, Mulder. You _know_ what the possibilities are!
Why the hell would you start pretending to be like an ostrich with his
head in the sand now?" he asked.

"She'll never let you take them. Never," Bill answered.

"She won't have a choice if it's determined they're needed to further the
goals and objectives of the project. You know damned well that we have to
determine if the amount of hybrid DNA that had been injected into both of
them as babies was of significant value to enhance growth and

"So cut the crap, Bill. You were both aware of the risks and of the
obligations to the project," he concluded as he drew in another puff of
the pungent Morley.

"Daddy? Daddy, it hurts," Fox whimpered as he struggled, albeit without
much conviction this time, against the restraints that bound him to the
gurney. The youngster's head was pounding from the blow he'd received
earlier at the hands of the attendant. He called for his father again,
but Fox soon realized he was being ignored. As usual.

"Nothing like being consistent, eh Dad?" he remarked sarcastically. As
soon as it came out of his mouth, however, he regretted it. His father
never took kindly to a rude mouth, and for his own son to cut into him
like that, and in front of another adult, was too much for the older
Mulder to tolerate.

"You little son of a bitch. How dare you talk to me that way!" growled
the elder Mulder.

"Daddy, no, please. I'm sorry. Please, don't be mad. I want to go home
now. Please? Where's Sam? Mom's gonna wonder where we are, Daddy.
Please, take us home now?" Fox knew he was rambling on and on. He also
knew there was a very real possibility that his ramblings would provoke
his father even more, but he couldn't help it. He needed to make contact
with his father in order to help himself make sense of the situation.

At that moment, Samantha began screeching out loud. Fox could hear the
terror in her voice, but there was still nothing he could do about it
other than call to her. Which he did.

"Samantha! Samantha! I'm here Samantha! Please!" he shouted back to
her. When there was no response from her other than continued screams,
Fox said in a softer, more defeated voice, "I'm here Sam. I'm sorry, Sam,
I'm so sorry." It was at this point that Fox looked up with a totally
beaten expression on his face.

"Fox, shut up already," hissed his father. "Samantha will be fine, as you
will be if you'll just shut up and cooperate."

"Cooperate? Dad, look at me. I'm laying here strapped to this bed
without any clothes on. I don't have much choice but to cooperate, do I?"
the youngster retorted harshly.

William Mulder had reluctantly allowed the first bit of sarcasm to pass,
but he was not about to allow this second indiscretion pass. Mulder
brought his hand far behind his back and swung up forcefully to slap Fox
as hard as he possibly could across his face. "You will not speak to me
in that tone of voice, young man. You will cooperate, or you will be
punished. Severely. And you know that is not a threat. That is a
promise," the older Mulder proclaimed venomously.

Fox looked at his father through sad, but hardened eyes. Fox Mulder was
very much aware of his father's promises. William Mulder made lots of
promises. His father always kept his promises. Thankfully, his father
made all of his promises to him and not his sister. "Yes, Sir. But could
you please check to make sure Samantha is all right. Please."

William knew what the little girl's screams were all about. The
hypodermic needle used to inject the new round of hybrid DNA was huge.
Samantha never was too fond of needles, and the size of these shots were
enough to give any person the fright of their life.

Bill Mulder and his companions were most concerned about the results of
the compatibility tests. If the hybrid DNA had taken, then the newly
injected hybrid DNA would simply amalgamate with her body's cellular
structure and infuse itself with her own hybrid DNA. There would be few,
if any, side effects and the child would continue within the project.

If the initial dose of hybrid DNA had not taken, then the newly injected
dosage would be subject to immediate rejection. It would be extremely
painful and the subject would no longer be considered useful to the
project for other than as a control subject.

The senior Mulder listened carefully for any further vocalizations from
his daughter. Once the dosage was administered, if there was going to be
any reaction it would be immediate. All he heard was an occasional
whimper, but no cries of pain and suffering. He was grateful that the
child was not experiencing any additional distress, but Bill Mulder
realized that was because the hybrid DNA had taken in his daughter.

She would continue to be an active participant in the project. She would
be subject to continuous tests throughout her life.

He was going to lose his daughter, and there was not a damned thing he
could do about it.

"Now the boy," the round faced, Asian man directed. "Your daughter,
William, passed with flying colors. She continues to demonstrate a great
propensity for replicating the hybrid DNA. She will continue to provide
the project research team with excellent data for many years to come."

He nodded at another attendant, who prepared the hypodermic with the
appropriate dosage of hybrid DNA for Fox Mulder. Fox looked up at his
father, confused and worried. "Dad? What are they doing? Where's
Samantha, Dad? Oh God, please, don't let them stick me with that thing!
Daddy, please, no! I'll be good Daddy. Please, I won't talk back to you
anymore, I promise!"

As the attendant prepared the eight inch long hypodermic with the six inch
needle, Fox began to hyperventilate. He was never one to deal well with
shots of any kind, and when he saw this particular hypodermic needle, he
felt a foreboding sense of dread. He knew he would never look at another
hypodermic without a sense of terror ever again. Suddenly, he felt a
firm hand on his forearm.

"Sweetheart, I am going to ask you to be as brave as you've ever been,"
said the sweet, Russian accented voice. "This is going to cause you a
type of pain you've never felt before, but shayner boychikel, you must
endure it. I will be right here with you, so though you can't escape to
my kitchen anymore, I'll stay with you Foxila.

"I swear to you, I will not leave you. You hold my hand and squeeze it,
Sweetheart. When it hurts so much you want to cry, you hold my hand as
hard as you need to, sweet boy."

"Nana? Oh God Nana, I don't want to stay here anymore," he whimpered.

"I know Fox, I know. But you have to finally face it. You finally have
to understand what you've been running away from and what you've been
chasing all of these years. Hold my hand, sweet boychikel," comforted

The attendant did one final check of the dosage, and gave the hypodermic
its little taps to remove the air bubbles. The first attendant that had
dealt with Fox used an elastic tubing to form a tourniquet in order to
help find a vein. When their search was successful, the second attendant
administered the dosage while Fox Mulder bit his lower lip in a steadfast
attempt to maintain control.

It did not last for long.

As the hybrid DNA made its aborted journey through his body, Mulder
thought he would pass out totally from the pain. When that did not
happen, he desperately tried to get inside of his mind and remove himself
from the scene and go back into Nana's kitchen. But Nana kept putting one
hand on his arm and held Fox's hand with her own to remind him she was
right there beside him.

It burned, yet felt like serrated edged knives that ripped through his
body, one extremity at a time. As soon as Fox knew one part of his body
would find relief, a second part would go into spasmodic pain.

He tried so hard to control himself. He really did try. But the agony
became too much, and even Nana began to encourage him to cry out. If
there was no shame in recognizing someone was sick, there should be no
shame in acknowledging the pain one goes through when they were in pain.

Fox William Mulder was in pain. He was in as much pain as he'd ever been
before in his life. His cries were short at first, but then became longer
and louder as time moved forward. The screams of suffering were heard by
all in the examining room, and they would continue to be heard for the
next hour or two, or three.

Fox Mulder was no longer a viable subject for the Consortium Project.

Fox Mulder was now an expendable piece of merchandise.

End of Part 7/10

Life Cycles X: Trust
by Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 8/10

Skinner was the first one to get to his side. Mulder was suddenly rocking
back and forth in the bed so violently, Skinner feared he would pull out
every lifeline that was attached to him. He was also afraid Mulder would
injure himself by banging his head and extremities against the bed rails.

He grabbed Mulder's hands and tried to hold him still, but the amount of
force with which Mulder pushed and pulled against him was tremendous, and
Skinner was having a difficult time just maintaining his balance.

"Mulder, what's wrong?" he asked loudly, not really expecting an answer.

"Walter? What's happening to him?" Maggie asked in an anxious voice.

"Should I go find Dana?" asked Bill in an equally nervous tone.

"First go get a doctor, Bill," Skinner ordered. Bill Scully was out of
the room in a shot.

Walter and Maggie watched helplessly as Mulder screamed in obvious agony.
They could see his body go into spasms of pain. First his left upper
side, and then the pain traveled to his lower left extremities. Next, his
right shoulder and arm stiffened noticeably, and then the lower right part
of Mulder's body went rigid. The process was excruciatingly long, and
Skinner realized that the process seemed to be repeating itself.

In addition, in between the pain Mulder had to endure in each quadrant,
Mulder also experienced intense pain in his head, neck, stomach, and groin
areas, though no one present in the room were all together aware of it.
All they knew was Mulder was in the throes of a very real, very painful

By the time Bill had returned with the doctor and medical support staff in
tow, the entire floor was well aware that Mulder was in the middle of a
crisis. Doctor Burton noted immediately the tight grip with which Skinner
held onto Mulder's wrists so as to prevent him from hurting himself. The
doctor wrote down the orders for the Valium, and if that didn't calm him
down within ten minutes, he would prescribe Demerol.

Dana heard the screaming from the elevator and knew it was Mulder.
Intermingled in the loud voices of the adults were the cries of her baby
as well, and she wondered how the hell things could go so wrong in such a
short period of time.

As she entered Mulder's hospital room she saw her mom holding Adam, while
Bill now stood on one side of the bed holding down Mulder's wrist and
Walter on the other side doing the same.

She looked at Mulder and knew he was in the middle of a medical crisis,
the likes she'd never seen before. "Mulder?" she called out. "Mulder,
I'm here. What's wrong? Oh God, Mulder, talk to me. What's wrong?"
Rationally, Dana knew there would be no response to her questions, but the
part of her that still believed in miracles felt compelled to ask them

"The Valium should kick in shortly, Mrs. Mulder. If it doesn't, we'll
inject the Demerol," informed Doctor Burton.

"Why is he screaming like this?" she asked. She was feeling angry and
frustrated at this point, because she felt so helpless in her inability to
ease her husband's distress and discomfort.

"I don't know Mrs. Mulder. We could take him down for another MRI, but in
all honesty, I don't think it would show anything. I'll leave that
decision up to you."

"You wouldn't be able to get a clear picture with him like this anyway, so
no, I don't think an MRI is a good idea right now either," Dana agreed.

The doctor nodded and as he saw that Mulder was not calming down as
quickly as he would have hoped, he put into motion his orders for the dose
of Demerol. Within minutes, Mulder's vitals returned to more normal
levels, and the doctor informed the family he would stop by in a couple of
hours. He was to be paged if there was any significant changes.

"Ma_, ma_, ma_, ma_, ma_, ma_," the little boy cried out from his
grandmother's arms. Dana reached over to take her son. When she took him
into her arms, Adam wrapped himself around his mother's neck tightly. He
sniffled some more and then looked up and saw his father in the bed.
"Da_, da_, da_," he called out, all the while reaching out towards the man
laying in the bed.

Dana brought him over to the bed and let him lay down next to his father.
Dana actually smiled as she watched her son do his normal routine. He
laid face to face with his daddy, and called him once or twice while he
gently poked at Fox's face. Dana hoped Mulder would somehow react to
their son's sleep time ritual, but when Fox merely laid there drugged into
a painless, albeit oblivious sleep, she wasn't surprised. Saddened, but
not surprised.

"What happened?" she whispered, as she lovingly stroked Mulder's forehead.

"I don't know, Dana. He just started screaming, apparently in a good deal
of pain," answered Skinner softly. It hurt him to see the Mulders in
distress. Especially now, since he'd become so close to Maggie Scully.
Things had been going so well for them all, it didn't seem fair that this
new crisis should find them.

"We brought the doctor in immediately, sweetheart," Maggie said.

"I know, Mom. Everyone is doing the best they can," Dana responded.
"Even Mulder," she added to herself in a whisper.

A new voice made her presence known. "He'll find his way out of this,
shayner maydelah. You'll see," Nana said.

"Oh Nana, what is happening to him? He can't possibly take much more of
this, can he?" Dana implored.

"He is strong, Dana. He is being so brave and strong. Yes, sweetheart,
he will have to live through some more of the hell those bastards put him
through. Not too much more, thank God, but more," Nana responded.

"Nana, will he be able to tell us what he had to go through?" Dana asked.

"I don't know, maydelah. I think for now it's a miracle he can tell

Dana nodded and then turned her eyes back to her husband. Adam was
sitting quietly on the bed, playing with one of the toys Uncle Billy had
pulled out of the "magic" diaper bag. Everyone sat quietly, wondering
when the next memory would pull Mulder back under into his own private


"The children will be ready to be moved within the next hour or so,"
remarked the German doctor.

"Good. When can I take them home?" asked Bill Mulder.

"Home? I didn't say anything about taking them home, Mulder. I said
they'll be ready to move. Move to a private room in the clinic. They
can't possibly be taken out of the clinic yet," he said with an air of

"When will I be able to take them home, then?" he asked with frustration.
"Their mother is expecting us back tonight."

"No. That will be impossible. They cannot possibly be released from the
clinic tonight. Especially the girl. We will be keeping her
indefinitely," responded the thin faced, German.

"What are you talking about? You can't keep her here without my
permission, and I certainly do not grant you my permission!" Mulder
retorted indignantly.

The round faced Asian man entered the conversation and in an even voice
said, "Mr. Mulder, you are under the mistaken impression you are being
given a choice. You are not. The female child will remain. The male
child will be released tomorrow, but will be monitored on a yearly basis."

"You don't understand. I can't go home without my daughter. You cannot
expect me to do that. You cannot."

At this point, the Morley Man spoke up. "He's right, you know. How would
we explain her absence? No, you must send both children home will Bill,"
he directed.

When Bill Mulder heard his friend speak those words, Bill looked at him
with grateful eyes. He didn't know how he could ever thank him. Bill
could not possibly have just left his daughter. His wife would never have
forgiven him.

Now if they were to tell him that Fox had to remain, that would have been
a different story.

They knew from the beginning that Fox was a part of the consortium
project's experimental program. The Mulders knew from the child's birth
that he would have to be given up for the good of the project probably by
the time he reached puberty.

Bill Mulder and his wife had been preparing themselves for that day from
the moment he was born. They were directed not to become too attached to
him, since he was not theirs to keep. Bill Mulder dealt with that
directive in the only way he knew how. He took his frustration out on
his son and beat him.

It was easier to view the boy as a source of blame and displeasure, than
to have to consider the fact he agreed to give him up for an uncertain
cause. The release he felt each time his fist found the boy's helpless
body was addictive. It got to a point where he needed to release his
frustrations on a daily basis.

His wife simply detached from him. Elizabeth refused to breast feed him
and, instead, had the nanny bottle feed him. She took care of the rest of
his basic physical needs, but she refused to cross the line and take care
of his emotional needs. If she didn't distance herself from him in the
beginning, she would never have been able to part with him, and she knew
that was unacceptable. So Elizabeth Mulder consciously decided to not
love her son.

But Samantha was another story entirely. The consortium included her in
the project, but as an afterthought. They had informed the Mulders that
she was going to be used as a control subject as a measurement against her
older brother. That was all, they had promised. There was no need to
worry about withholding their love from their little princess. She was
safe. She would be with them always. Always.

"So when may I take them home?" he asked again.

"Tomorrow. You may take them tomorrow," the Asian doctor responded. With
that Bill nodded and said he was going out to catch a breath of fresh air.
The Morley Man told him he'd join him in a moment.

When Bill Mulder was finally out of earshot, the Morley Man looked at the
round faced, Asian doctor and said, "We will send them home tomorrow.
That will give us time to make appropriate arrangements.

Arrangements?" the Asian doctor asked.

"Yes. We'll make the necessary arrangements to regain custody once they
are back home," the Morley Man replied. "We will come up with a plan that
will not lead any law enforcement agency to our path. I believe that
should be acceptable?"

"That is acceptable."

End of part 8/10

Life Cycles X: Trust
by Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in part 1

Part 9/10

Fox felt himself being lifted up and then seated in a chair. He felt
groggy and disoriented but couldn't understand why he felt that way. He
had no idea as to where he was, nor where he was being taken. All he knew
was he hurt. All over. And he felt some sense of dread, but once again,
had no idea why. Suddenly, his thoughts went to that of his sister.

"Samantha?" he rasped. His voice was hoarse and his throat, which was
very dry, hurt a lot. He called again for his sister. "Sam?"

"Fox?" she whimpered. "I wanna go home."

"C'mon you two," said a familiar voice. "Your father's going to take you
home right now."

"Where is my dad?" Fox asked, still unsure as to where __he, himself,__

"He's coming around with the car. You two had quite a time of it. You've
been in the emergency room the entire night. Food poisoning. You poor
kids. Lousy way to spend a night on the town with your old man."

Fox realized it was the Morley Man speaking to him. He wasn't sure how
much the man said was fact and how much was fiction. All he knew was he
felt whipped enough to have had food poisoning. He was more worried about
his sister though, because if he felt this badly, he could only imagine
how hard it was on her smaller body to handle the food poisoning.

"Samantha? Are you feeling all right?" he asked warily.

"Just tired. All I want to do is sleep," she replied.

"You're not in any kind of pain?" Fox asked.

"No. No pain, why? Are you hurting?" she asked anxiously, knowing full
well that Fox always seemed to have to endure pain when she didn't.

"No__, no, I'm okay Sam. No, I feel fine," he lied. He was actually in
a great deal of pain. Every joint, every muscle, every limb felt like it
had been hit by a sledgehammer. His face hurt too, but the swelling had
been well attended to last night, so his face was barely swollen at the

"Fox, I want to go home. I want to see Mommy," she whined.

"I'm here, Princess. Come along, let's get in the car so we can go home
to see Mommy. Okay, Princess? Come, let Daddy carry you," cajoled Bill

After he'd placed her in the car, he walked over to where Fox was sitting
in a wheelchair. Bill mutely wheeled the chair to the car's rear
passenger entrance and told his son to get into to the back seat. As
Samantha was seated in the front, Fox would have the luxury of stretching
out on the entire back seat, for which he was very grateful.

When Fox just sat there, Bill urged him to "Hurry up," in a somewhat
agitated voice.

"I'm sorry, Dad. Everything hurts. I don't know if I can get up," Fox
admitted reluctantly. He knew if his father perceived him as being weak,
it would be just one more excuse for his father to beat up on him.

"C'mon, I'll help you," Bill replied grudgingly. Bill pulled his son up
to a standing position and then pushed the chair out of the way. He then
gruffly pushed him into the back seat, to which Fox responded with an
involuntary moan. "What's the matter with you, Fox? You're going to
scare your sister!" the elder Mulder said angrily.

Of course, Bill Mulder also wanted to make sure the boy didn't complain
too much to his mother either. Bill was well aware that Samantha and Fox
reacted to the hybrid DNA very differently, and he knew that Fox was going
to be somewhat uncomfortable for a few days. He did not, however, want to
give his wife the impression that the children had suffered from anything
more than food poisoning.

Bill was most impressed with the cover story his good friend supplied him
with. Bill had called Elizabeth last night to tell her they were going to
stay in town, since it was so late. When he got home, he would tell her
it wasn't until much later that they had to go to the emergency room.

The Morley Man also helped him figure out what he would tell Elizabeth
when she asked why Bill didn't call to let her know the children were in
the hospital. He would say the reason was he knew there was nothing she
could do, and the children were going to be released the following morning
anyway, so why needlessly upset her?

"So Princess, what would you like Daddy to put on the radio for you? You
want some pretty music? Let's see what Daddy can find for you." Bill
twirled the dial on the am/fm radio until he found some classical music.
He turned the volume up rather high, since he realized his daughter was in
a deep sleep and wouldn't care, and his son was in the back seat and
wouldn't dare complain.

As they drove home, Fox laid in the back trying to hold back the moans he
felt desperate to release in some small attempt to make himself feel
better. He didn't want to give his father a reason to yell at him. He
was hurting enough as it was, so it was several minutes before Fox
realized his head was now laying on something soft and he felt a gentle
rubbing on his back.

He couldn't imagine who was comforting him until he recognized the
familiar scent of the one person who'd always protected him.

"Nana?" he whispered, but the music blared loudly enough to drown out
their whispered conversation..

"Yes, sweet boy. Nana is here," she said softly.

"Nana, why are you here?" he asked.

"Fox, I'm here to help you remember," she responded ever so gently.

"Remember? Remember what, Nana?"

"Remember last night, sweet boy."

"Last night," he began ever so slowly, "last night we had to go to the
hospital. Daddy said we had food poisoning," he recalled.

"Is that what _you_ remember, shayner boychikel?" she asked.

"I don't know. I don't know what I remember, Nana. My head hurts.
Everything hurts," he groaned.

"Fox, listen to me. You and Samantha did not have food poisoning. Do you
understand what I'm saying? You did not have food poisoning. You weren't
in a hospital__," she began.

"__But Daddy said__," he interrupted.

"__Oy, Fox, when did your father ever tell you the full truth on
anything?" she retorted in gentle exasperation.

"But why would Daddy lie?" he asked nervously, since he wasn't sure if he
really wanted to know the answer.

"Oh mine sweet boychik, listen to Nana. This is going to be so hard for
you, but you have to remember. You must remember now, so you can save
yourself later. Please, Fox. Try to remember what they did to you last
night," she pleaded.

Fox turned over and looked up at his Nana for the first time since he'd
realized she was in the car with him. He saw something he'd never
recalled seeing before. Tears. Tears on Nana's face. "Nana, why are you
crying?" he asked tremulously.

"Oh sweet boy, just know that I am here with you. Just know that I will
always love you. Always."

Fox felt the car slowing down and realized with the passage of time, they
were probably near their house. He was going to ask Nana if she could see
it, but she was no longer in the car with him. At least Fox didn't see
her. He next heard his father gently wake up Samantha, and then heard him
say sternly, "We're home, Fox. Now get up and don't worry your mother
needlessly. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Dad."

While Fox struggled to sit up, Bill helped his daughter out of the car.
Next, Bill pulled Fox out of the back seat, and warned the boy
to behave in front of his mother.

"Dad, can I ask a question?" Bill glared at his son, but nodded for him
to continue. "How come, if Sam and I both had food poisoning, Sam's just
tired, but I feel__," he hesitated here as Fox didn't want to give his
father too much ammunition against him, "kind of achy?"

"I guess they had to pump more of the poison out of your body. You ate
more than she did, don't you remember?" Bill asked tentatively.

"Remember? Dad, I can't remember__, Fox began.

"__You don't need to remember anything. Just go inside the house, kiss
your mother hello, and go to bed. Is that clear?" Bill asked with some

"Yes, Sir," the boy said tiredly. Fox began to walk, albeit gingerly, up
the path to the front door. He hurt all over. Every step he took made
him wince, but he was careful to keep a dead pan face when his mother
opened the door. He heard his sister cry out, "Mommy!" and watched her
run up the path into her arms.

Fox couldn't remember ever being hugged and kissed by his parents the way
his sister was hugged and kissed. As he walked up the path, he looked at
his mother who in turn merely looked back at him and said, "You look
tired, Fox. You should go to bed," and with that she put her arm around
his sister and cuddled her as they walked in together.

Fox followed behind them and watched as his mother and father tucked
Samantha into her bed. Then the boy turned and walked into his own room.
He finally allowed himself to moan out loud in pain.



Dana jerked up quickly from an unexpected cat nap. She could have sworn
she heard something. "Mulder?" she asked hesitantly. She didn't think
she could expect a response from him yet or not, but she was quite sure
she'd heard something.

She heard again what she realized was a deep, throaty moan coming from
him. *Oh Mulder,* she thought to herself, *what can I do to help you get
through this?* Next she looked around and realized she was alone in the
room. Walter and Maggie, as well as her brother and son, were nowhere to
be seen.

"I guess it's just you and me, Mulder," she said aloud to him. She sat
next to him, grasping his hand and alternated between squeezing it and
stroking it. She wanted so desperately to connect with him, and to give
him the opportunity to connect with her.

"Fox, you do know Adam is safe and sound, don't you? And sweetheart," she
continued to speak in a soft, soothing voice, "you have to know I never
really blamed you for his disappearance. Oh God, Fox, you have to know
that I trust you implicitly with our son. There's no one I trust more. I
love you Fox Mulder, and I know you love me and Adam with equal ferocity.
Please hear me, Mulder. Please believe me. I love you and I trust you
with our son's life, always."

Dana remained at her husband's bedside, and continued to make the physical
connection with her husband by caressing his hand. While she sat quietly,
Dana heard someone enter the room. She turned and saw Billy.

"Hi, you're awake," he observed. "I came back for Adam's diaper bag. Mom
wants to change him."

"Oh. Where did you all disappear to?" Dana asked, more out of courtesy
than curiosity at this point.

"We went down to the cafeteria for a quick bite. You finally allowed
yourself to fall asleep, so we grabbed Adam and ran for the hills in the
hopes you'd actually get some rest," Bill explained.

"How long have you been gone?" Dana asked.

"About forty minutes."

"Well, then that's about how long I've slept," she replied while
stretching her arms up and out. "I just woke up. I heard Mulder moan,"
Dana replied.

Bill looked at his sister pensively. "Dee? Remember last time? Jeeze,
of course you remember last time__, what I mean is, specifically, when
Mulder was so drugged up he couldn't escape from his dream and I kinda
finally talked him out of it__, well, what I mean is, could this be
happening to him again? I mean, could it be that he's so damned deep into
his nightmares he can't get out of it?" Billy asked with concern.

"It very well could be, Bill. In fact, I would guess that's exactly the
case. The only difference between last time and this time is when you
helped him, the nightmares were drug induced. This time, they were a
reaction to a situation that Mulder perceived as threatening to him
somehow. He was fully conscious of what was going on until I triggered
something in his mind that was so horrible, he felt he needed to recede
back into his mind's safety net again.

"And now we have to stand by and watch his safety net be pulled out from
under him and pray he knows we're all here to catch him when he falls,"
she responded.

"You think he'll fall hard, Dee?" Bill asked.

"Yeah, Bill. I think he's gonna fall like a rock, but we'll catch him,
Adam and I. We'll catch him."

"Dee, we'll all be right behind you, okay?" he comforted.

"Yeah, Bill. We'd like that," she answered.


"What are you talking about?" Elizabeth shouted. "What the hell are you
talking about?"

"Elizabeth, calm down. I told you, it was just food poisoning!" Bill

"So why is Fox still doubled over in pain. The child doesn't think I
notice, but I do, Bill. He shouldn't still be so ill. It's been way too
long." Elizabeth then pointed toward the Morley Man and in an accusatory
tone declared, And then _he_ comes along and says they have to go back
for a check up? C'mon, Bill. You obviously think I'm an idiot, but I'm
not. I won't agree to this, Bill. They want to take both of them, don't
they? Well, we didn't agree to that.

"All these years, I've lived with the fact that Fox would be taken from us
one day," she wailed, "but Bill, not both of them!"

She looked at Bill and then at his companion. Both men realized she knew
perfectly well what the situation was, and both men realized they would
have to do what they needed to do.

Bill Mulder was informed the previous morning that his daughter Samantha
would have to be turned over to the consortium projects research
laboratory for further study. When asked why they didn't take Fox as
previously planned, he was informed the boy was not project material, and
since his genetic makeup was not compatible with the hybrid DNA, he was,
indeed, expendable merchandise.

The girl, however, showed a surprisingly high compatibility level with the
hybrid DNA, and was needed for further research analysis. Bill was
informed he and Elizabeth had no choice in the matter. The consortium
would retrieve the girl in any way necessary to ensure the continuation of
the research project and the acquisition of the data. Death was a very
definite option.

"Elizabeth! Stop this nonsense now. You know we don't have a choice,"
shouted Bill.

"How could it not be Fox? Damn you, it was supposed to be the boy. I
prepared myself for it to be Fox. It was supposed to be him! It was
supposed to be Fox__! Damn you! How could you do this? How could you
lose my baby?" Elizabeth screamed over and over a tortured voice.

"Fox! I'm scared! What are they yelling about, Fox?" sobbed Samantha.

"I don't know, Sam, but I'll protect you. I promise, I'll save you," he
comforted with the brave bravado that only twelve year old older brothers
were capable of displaying.


"I__, sa'e you__, I p'om-is sssam_, I sa'e you, ssam," Mulder mumbled
over and over again.

Maggie, Walter and Adam were back in the room with Dana and Billy when
Mulder began talking aloud, though he remained unresponsive to outside
stimuli. Dana reached over to him, while Maggie stood up and tried to
give her daughter and son-in-law support.

"Mom, I'm so scared for him," Dana whispered. "I think he's remembering
Sam's abduction. Oh God, I'm so scared for him."

"Dana Katherine, if any person can come out of this crisis a whole person
again, it is your husband. Sweetheart, don't you understand? He has
spent his entire life coping with a childhood trauma that would have had
most people locked away in a rubber room if they'd have had to endure it!
Do you understand what I'm saying?

"Dana, he's a survivor. He's been a survivor for the last 26 years, so
why should now be any different? Have faith in him, Dana," Maggie begged
her daughter.

"Oh Mom, I do have faith in him. The question is, will he have faith in
himself?" she asked.

End of Part 9/10

Life Cycles X: Trust
by Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 10/10

Fox felt himself go numb, as he watched his sister lifted out the window.
He couldn't tell how it was being done, since he was literally blinded by
the light that enveloped the room. He tried calling for help. He called
out to her, "Samantha! Samantha!"

He heard her call for him, "Fox! Save me!"

He called out to her again, "Samantha! Samantha!"

Fox felt a pair of hands on his shoulders, and they were shaking him
vigorously. "Fox, wake up. Fox! You're dreaming. For God's sake,
you'll disturb the entire neighborhood. Wake up!"

He was sitting up in his bed and opened his eyes to see his father sitting
on the bed with him, his hands cupping Fox's shoulders firmly. "Dad?" he
whispered. "Where's Sam?"

"In her bed. Where else would she be?" he asked, exasperated with his
son's constant stream of questions. "For crying out loud, Fox, it's very
late, and I'm very tired. Go back to sleep."

"Okay, Dad. I'm sorry I woke you," he said. "Dad?"

"No more questions, Fox. Go to sleep!" Bill Mulder commanded and then
turned on his heels and left the bedroom.

The next morning, Fox woke up to find his sister in the kitchen eating her
sugar pops cereal. When he saw her, Fox rushed over to the table and gave
her a big hug.

"What's that for?" she asked, giggling.

"I'm just glad to see ya, that's all," was the boy's reply.

His mother walked into the kitchen and saw her son sitting with his arm
around his sister's shoulders. "I see you're up. I wanted to let you
know your father and I are going out for a little while tonight after
dinner, Fox. You will stay home and watch your sister."

"Where you going, Mommy?" asked the little girl.

"Just next door, sweetheart. We're going to play some cards. You don't
mind staying home with your brother, do you?" she asked with a definite
hitch in her voice.

"No, but tell him he's gotta play with me, Mommy," Samantha said.

"Fox, you have to be nice to your sister. You have to watch her and
protect her. Do you understand?" Elizabeth said softly.

"Yeah, Mom. You know I always watch her when you tell me to. God! When
are you going to learn to trust me?" the pre-teen asked in frustration!
Then he looked up and Fox's eyes met his mother's stare. "Mom, are you
okay?" he asked seriously.

"I'm fine," was her simple reply.


"Dana, can you hear me?" asked Nana.

"Nana? What time is it?" Dana asked.

"I honestly don't know. Strange how time is of such little consequence to
me now. But maydelah, I need to warn you. Fox is going to go through a
difficult time very soon."

"Why, Nana?"

"Samantha. Samantha's disappearance," was her succinct reply.

"I'm going to be with him, but you must be sure to anchor him too. He
needs to be reminded how much you love him, shayner maydelah. He needs to
be told you will never leave him, no matter how inadequate _he_ may think
he is. Can you do this for him, sweet girl? Can you do this for you and

As Dana nodded her head, she watched Nana shimmering presence disappear
into the darkness. Dana knew this would be the most difficult journey Fox
would ever have to take into his past.


Bill and Elizabeth Mulder did indeed go next door to play canasta, but not
before both parents stopped to give Samantha a long hug and tender kiss
good-bye. Fox realized his father probably looked upon him as too old to
receive hugs and kisses from him, though in all honesty, Fox would have
welcomed them. What frustrated Fox was his mother's hesitancy in bestowing
a peck on his cheek and a quick squeeze of his shoulder that constituted a

As he watched his parents lavish their love and affection on his little
sister, he felt just slightly envious. He did, however, love his sister
very much and would never begrudge her the demonstrations of affection
that he never received.

They were playing Stratego, and once again Fox was letting Sam win. She
always lined her bombs up in the same pattern, every time, so it was no
wonder he could predict her moves and his moves well in advance. No matter
how many times he told her not to do it that way, she always did,
figuring, she'd say, that maybe this one time he would think she did line
them up differently. But he never liked to discourage her, and she was
improving, so maybe in couple of months she'd be able to win legitimately.

He looked at the clock and saw that it was almost 9:00. "The Magician"
with Bill Bixby was going to start in a few minutes and he got up just as
Samantha changed the television station.

"Samantha, turn it back."


"'The Magician' is coming on in a few minutes and I'm going to watch it,"
he replied confidently.

"Well I don't want to watch that and Mommy and Daddy said you have to
watch me and play with me," she whined in her typical 8 year old fashion.

"Sam, change it, now," he said firmly.

"Butt Munch," she retorted.

"Sam, knock it off! I mean it. Now change__," Fox began, but was
interrupted by a loud noise at the front door. He heard Samantha scream
in fear, and he realized he'd even yelled out loud.

"Fox?! Fox, help me!" she called to him.

Fox looked all around, but found himself blinded by the powerful light
that flooded the entire room. He was very frightened because he felt as
though he'd lived through this before. His dream. The boy realized the
dream that had awakened him last night was being duplicated tonight. He
began breathing very quickly, and knew he was going to hyperventilate if
he didn't calm himself quickly.

"Samantha! Samantha!" he cried out to her. He looked around and saw
tall, dark silhouettes of eerie beings walking around the room. Fox
didn't understand who these people were, nor what they wanted from him and
his sister, but he knew he was supposed to be watching and protecting her.

He ran to the closet to get his father's gun, and while standing on a
chair he reached for it on the top shelf. Suddenly, he lost his balance
and fell, and lost the gun in the process. It was then Fox saw him. The
Morley Man. Fox watched as the smoking bastard picked his sister up so
tenderly, almost reverently, and handed her over to a man with a round
face. An Asian man.

And then he heard a voice, that of a man with a German accent and he
turned and saw it was the man with the thin face. Finally, he watched as
another man, one who did not speak, but whose face was someone Fox
recognized and would never forget. Nor would Fox ever forget something
else from that man.

His touch. It was that man who touched him and made his body respond in a
way that it had never done before. The boy was so ashamed of what had
happened to him. He was so frightened that it was going to happen again.

He froze. He couldn't move. He couldn't speak. He couldn't respond, for
fear that the man would touch him again. He watched as they took his
sister, but the lights were so bright and the shadows played tricks on
Fox's mind. He saw the men and then he saw something else.

An elongated figure stood at the doorway. Fox wanted desperately to call
out to it, but he remained frozen in his spot. All of sudden he saw the
figure move toward him, and he reached down to touch his head. Fox
finally found his voice and rasped out, "Samantha."

The figure, so unlike anything Fox had ever seen before, stroked his
forehead and let him know Samantha was going away, but that she would be
unharmed. The boy couldn't quite figure out how he was told this for he
saw the figure neither move a mouth, nor did Fox actually hear the sound
of a voice.

But the boy did understand, and though he was petrified of the men
standing about in the room, he was not frightened of this creature. He
almost felt safe with this unknown being nearby. Protected. Until he
left, and then terror struck the adolescent again as the male attendant
moved closer to him.

The round faced Asian man directed the male attendant to administer the
injection. "Do it now." The attendant rolled the boy over and lowered his
pants. He swabbed the boys buttocks with an alcohol swab and then
injected the drug to erase whatever actual memories the boy would have of
the night.

Fox, meanwhile, was beginning a full blown panic attack when the attendant
pulled down Fox's pants. The boy feared he was going to be subject to
another session of fondling, and he was petrified. He breathed so quickly
he did begin to hyperventilate, and soon, he passed out. The drug also
went to work quickly in erasing his memories, but it didn't matter at that

The child could no longer face the horrors he was subjected to. He had
listened and watched his sister cry out in fear and pain, and now had seen
her lifted out of the room and taken from him. He was supposed to have
protected her. She was supposed to have been safe with him.

But he froze. He was afraid. He couldn't move to save her. He couldn't
do anything. He'd lost her. He'd lost her. He'd lost her because he
wasn't good enough. He was never good enough.

He never deserved the affection of his mother and father.

He never deserved the hugs and kisses they'd bestowed upon his sister.

He never deserved to be his sister's protector, since he was too weak.

He never deserved his family's love, because he was dirty. He allowed the
man to touch him intimately and, the worse thing was, he responded to the
man's touch.

He never deserved to be the one left behind. It should have been him. It
was always supposed to be him, but he wasn't good enough, nor smart
enough, nor worthy enough to even be loved by his parents. They reminded
him of that fact every day of his life.

And now the Morley Man and his cohorts confirmed it. Fox Mulder was not
worthy of being loved by anyone.

He was not only expendable merchandise, he was damaged goods.


"NO!" cried out Nana. "No, Fox, you are worthy. It was never you who was
at fault sweet boy. Never you."

"I lost her, Nana. I couldn't save her. They're going to come home and
ask me why I lost her, and I can't tell them. I can't," he gasped.

"Fox, you didn't lose her. They _took_ her from you. Please, shayner
boychikel, you have to listen to me. You have to really hear what I am
telling you. They _took_ her from you. You didn't lose her. You would
have protected her with your life if you could have, but they took
something else from you, Fox. They took your innocence," she said softly.

"Nana, I didn't want him__," Fox began.

"__Oy, sweet boy, shaaahh__." she began. "You don't need to defend
yourself to me. Don't ever feel as though you have to defend yourself to
anyone. _You_ did no wrong, my grandson, mine beautiful aynekel." The
tears cascaded down Nana's cheeks as she tried desperately to help her
grandson maintain a grasp on reality. The problem with that was he needed
to face that reality too, and it was a frightening truth he needed to

"I love you, shayner boychikel. I have always loved you and I will always
love you, with all of my heart. But now it's time, sweet Fox, now it's
time to go home. You can't find solace in mine kitchen anymore sweet boy.
It's time to find comfort in the truth.

"The truth that is now your family. Oy, Fox. You have so many people who
_do_ care for you so much," she implored.

"Who loves me besides you, Nana?" the man asked in a child's voice.


Everyone's head in the room jerked toward the sound of the voice. It was
the first time a coherent sentence was emitted from Fox Mulder's mouth in
the last forty-eight hours.

The sound was so incongruent with the body that formed it. It was so
innocent and childlike, it took their breaths away. As Dana looked at her
seemingly sleeping husband, she realized that Nana was presenting herself
again. She stood near Mulder's bed and gently stroked his head and held
his hand.

"Your family loves you, Fox, that's who," she responded to his question.

"Mommy doesn't love me, Nana. Daddy doesn't love me, and Samantha__, oh
God, Nana! Samantha is gone. She's the only one who__," he began to cry.

"__Fox! But she's not the only one. Fox you have a new family now.
Listen to me, your new family loves you. Please, mine boychikel, you have
to let yourself believe this." Nana motioned for Dana to hold Fox's
hands. She nodded to her, and indicated it was time for her to take over.

"Mulder?" she began tentatively. "Mulder, it's me, Scully. Oh Mulder,"
she now moaned, "I love you. Do you hear me? I've always loved you and I
always will love you. You're my husband, you're my lover, and you're my
best friend. Fox, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if you weren't
here to share my life.

"Mulder, you're also the father of our son. Oh Sweetheart, Adam misses
his daddy. Adam loves you, Fox. I love watching the love on his face
when he sees you. Please Mulder, believe me. Believe," Dana sobbed.

Maggie walked over to the bed, when she saw her daughter break down.
"Fox," she began, now taking his hand in one of hers while stroking his
cheek with the other, "it's me, Maggie. Mom. Oh, baby, do you know when
I first started to love you? When you tried to give me Dana's cross after
her abduction, and I told you to hold on to it. You didn't argue, you
didn't protest. You merely took it and held on to it until she was
returned. I loved you from that moment, Fox Mulder, as if you were my

"And what was even more wonderful? You let me love you. You needed me to
love you, and I reveled in it. When all of my children grew up and left
the nest, they would protest at my attempts of mothering. It hurt. I
understood, mind you, but it still hurt. And then you came along and
allowed me to do what none of my other children needed me to do. I loved
you and mothered you, and you let me. And I love you for that, dear, dear

"And I love you for making my daughter so, so happy. And I love you for
making my beautiful grandson, Adam. I love you Fox Mulder. I love you my
son," Maggie declared.

Walter rose from his seat and stood by Maggie. "Mulder," his voice
cracked. Skinner took a deep breath and began again. "Mulder, when I
first met you I thought you were going to drive me to distraction. I
thought you would probably cause my entire division to be shut down, with
me the first to go! But Mulder," he paused again to collect himself, "I
had always admired you, and respected you. I'd always regarded you with
the highest esteem.

"But Mulder," he halted. Walter Skinner was about to open himself up to
this entire family, and he hoped he had the guts to do it. "Mulder, ever
since you invited me to be a part of your life, when I was your best man
at your wedding, I have come to care for you beyond our professional

"Mulder, I think of you as one of my closest friends. You are privy to
things about me that no one else has ever known. Mulder, you're an
important part of my life. I don't want to lose you, my friend. Please,
Fox, I don't want to lose you." Skinner placed his hand over Maggie's and
Mulder's. Maggie leaned over and gave Walter a gentle kiss, and then
wiped the tears from his face.

"Umm, can I say something?" asked a reticent Billy Scully.

Dana looked at Bill and motioned for him to come over. He was holding
Adam in his arms, possibly as a shield of sort, but more likely as

"Mulder, I know you and I have had our differences in the past. I feel
real bad about what had happened between us. I never thought of myself as
a bad person before the fight, ya know? But that whole incident made me
realize I wasn't the man my daddy wanted me to be.

"Mulder, you're the kind of man my dad would have wanted in a son. You
gotta believe me, when I tell you that my father would have welcomed you
into this family with open arms. I was an idiot, Mulder, for not seeing
that in the first place. All I saw was green, and my foolish jealousy
almost cost me a very good brother-in-law.

"Mulder, I'm holding my nephew here. You and my sister are responsible
for creating one of the most beautiful kids I've ever seen. He's a good
little boy, Mulder. He deserves to have both a mother and a father to love
him, like how you want to be loved, right? C'mon Mulder. Come back and
love your son, and let him have the chance to love you." Bill then gently
placed his nephew into the hospital bed with his father.

Adam looked at his mother and grandmother, as well as his Walter and his
uncle. He then looked at his father. He was beginning to wonder if his
Daddy was ever going to wake up from his nap. It was going on too long,
and Adam missed him a lot.

"Da_. Da_, Da_, Da_," he called.

*Wake up, Daddy! I wanna play with you. I wanna go home and watch Sesame
with you. I wanna go home and climb on your back and listen to you make
horsey sounds.

*Daddy, wake up! I want you to buy me a big toy, so we can play in the
box. I wanna cuddle next to you and listen to you read me a story.

*Please, wake up Daddy! I wanna hold you. I want you to hold me. I
wanna dance with you, Daddy. I wanna family hug, Daddy.

*Wake up, Daddy. I love you, Daddy. I love you.*

"Da_, Da_, Da_, Da_, DA!" Adam finally screamed.

"What?" asked a startled and groggy Mulder. "What's wrong, Adam?"

"Da!" giggled the baby, who promptly began crawling all over his now
conscious father.

"Oh, Adam?" Mulder's throat was sore and his throat hurt. His voice
sounded strange to himself, and he was desperate for something to drink.

"Welcome back, Mulder," said Scully, with a huge smile on her face, as
she placed the straw into his mouth. Mulder sipped the cool water while
he looked carefully at his wife. He was still foggy on what was going on,
but he knew something important had just happened to him. He just wasn't,
for the life of him, sure as to what it was.

"Dane? Dane, what's going on? Where are we?" he asked curiously, but
with some trepidation as well.

"Mulder, you're in the hospital. We've been here for two days straight
waiting for you to come back to us," Dana explained.

"But why? How did I get hurt?" he asked totally confused.

"Mulder," Dana asked cautiously, "do you remember what happened while we
were at the mall?"

"The mall?"

"Yes, my love. Remember? We went so I could buy you your birthday gift,
and you__," she started to explain.

"__took Adam so you could get the present. I was watching Adam, but I
looked away for a minute, and he was gone. Oh God, I lost Adam!" he cried

"Mulder, no! Look, Adam's here, sweetheart! Look, he's right here with
you!" she reassured.

"Adam? Oh God, Adam, I'm so sorry." He reached over for the toddler and
held him to his body. He began murmuring comforting words, though it was
obvious the baby was in no need of comfort, and that it was Mulder who
needed it most of all. "I'm so sorry," he repeated over and over.

"Da_," Adam said with a big smile, and then the baby leaned forward and
spontaneously planted a delicious, wet, baby kiss on his face.

"Yeah, I love you too," answered the father to his son.

"We all love you, Mulder," Dana said.

"Dane? I think I'm starting to remember some things. About what
happened. I_, I_, I don't know__," he began haltingly.

"Mulder, you are remembering things that happened when you were a child,
and some of it was very scary," she acknowledged.

"Yeah," he said as held onto his son as one might hold onto a teddy bear
for comfort. "How do you know?"

"We've had regular updates from a very special lady, Mulder," she replied.

"Nana." It was a statement, not a question.

"Yes, Nana." Dana looked at her husband with as much compassion and love
as she could. "Mulder, you're going to need to talk about this with
someone. I don't care whether it's me or if it's someone else, but you
will need to talk about this aloud with someone to help you find your way
all the way home. This is not an option, Fox. It's a necessity," she
stated firmly.

"Oh boy. When you say 'Fox' in that tone, I _know_ you're in 'pit bull'
mode, and I won't have a choice, will I?" he said with a slight smile.

"No, you won't. Ruff," she teased in agreement.

"Okay, Dane. Whatever you say. Now, when can I go home?" he asked.

"I suppose we should notify the doctor you've finally come back to the
land of the conscious," Dana said.

"I'll go to the nurse's station and let them know. The doctor will
probably want to give you the once over, Mulder," posed Skinner.

"I'll walk over with you," said Maggie. "Welcome back, Fox," and with
that she bent down and kissed him tenderly on the forehead.

"Thanks, Mom. And Walter?" Walter Skinner turned to face Mulder.
"Walter, thank you too, for what you said. I'm very proud you consider me
your friend."

"You heard all that?" Walter asked somewhat surprised.

"Yeah, I did. I heard a lot of things, but I'm having a tough time making
sense out of it all," Mulder replied.

"Soon, shayner boychikel, that will happen soon enough," said Nana.

"Nana, you're here," Mulder said with a smile.

"Nu? Where else would I be when mine aynekel needs me?" She took his
hand into hers and brought it up to her lips for a gentle kiss. "And
besides," Nana continued as she pointed towards Walter and Maggie,
"someone has to get those two moving closer to taking their vows! I'm not
gonna be around forever, you know?"

"You're not? Could have fooled me, Nana," Walter retorted with mirth in
his voice.

"You know, Walter? You're right! I'll be around as long as my family
needs me, if that's all right with you, mine Fox," Nana asked tenderly.

"Yes, Nana. I think I'll always need you. Is that okay with you?" he
asked quietly.

"Always, mine shayner boychik. Always."

End of Part 10/10


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