Delta S (NC-17) by Nicole Mason

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 Delta S

Delta S NC-17 cover

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Intro: This was started awhile ago and I’ve been getting a lot of demands (from the same two people) to finish it. Yes, it is MSR, and yes, there is another plot in here besides that. Yes, there are graphic descriptions of sex between consenting adults, and yes, this is a crossover. I’m not telling you with what, though, until later. Why? Because I don’t want to, that’s why. Spoilers? Maybe some very vague references to the fourth season. I doubt people that have seen the episodes will even pick up on some of them though, so it’s safe to read for those that haven’t seen them yet. This is not happening now.

Disclaimer Part 1: M/S and related characters belong to CC and company. No long term infringement intended and no profit was gained.

Disclaimer Part 2: To be seen at the end of the story.

Category: Crossover-Action/Adventure-MSR-NC-17 A PG-13 version will also be posted.

Delta S (1/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

June 13th, 2:15 pm, EST

“Ah, come on, Scully. It’ll be fun.”

“Sorry, Mulder. I’m going to spend the holiday with my family.”

He had an idea. “Are your brothers coming in for the Fourth?”

“Just Charlie. Bill’s still at sea and isn’t due back until the end of July.”

“So it’s just you, your mom and your brother.”

“Yes, Mulder. My family.” She didn’t like the look he was getting in his eyes. “What are you up to now, Mulder?”

“Same thing, Scully. I want to show you this place in Montana.”

“Being dragged to another UFO hot-spot versus spending some time with my relatives … Hmm. Tough choice, Mulder. But I think I’ll pass this time.”

“Please, Scully.”

“Mulder.”

He could tell she was getting impatient with him. He didn’t blame her; he was even starting to annoy himself. “Your mom and Charlie can come, too.” He saw her actually start to listen to the suggestion. “The only thing for miles around is a lodge. They have a barbeque planned and some fireworks. There’s a lake and several miles of trails and —”

“And after the fireworks is when they’ll have the “sighting”.”

He ignored that. “Think about it. Will you?”

“Fine. I’ll talk with Mom and Charlie and see how they feel about it. I’ll call you later tonight with the answer.”

“It’ll be fun, Scully,” he restated. “Just a little trip to the woods.”

“The last time you said something like that to me, Mulder, we ended up being cocooned and quarantined.”

“I forgot about that,” he lied with a pout.

She hid her face in the background report, but he could still see her smile reflected in her eyes. He allowed his own grin to form for a moment before he returned his attention to work.

*

June 13th, 9:56 pm, EST

“Mul-ler.”

“Mulder? Were you sleeping?” His voice sounded scratchy.

“No. Not really. Just doing a little daydreaming,” he said as he wiped the sleep from his eyes and checked for the score. He hated it when he fell asleep in the middle of a game. The best play always seemed to happen while he was in La-La land.

She didn’t want to touch that statement. God only knew what he would say if she asked about what. “Sorry,” she mumbled, although she really wasn’t. “I talked to Mom and Charlie. Mom said it sounds nice and Charlie wants to know if there is any fishing before he will agree.”

“Yeah. I thing they mentioned something about it in the brochure. I didn’t read that part, though.”

“OK. You want to give me the number and I’ll make reservations for all of us.”

“Don’t worry about it, Scully. I’ll take care of it.”

“But, Mulder —”

“I’ll just make the reservations. And they won’t be able to stick us in some fleabag motel. There is only the one place. If I can’t get a fourth room would you mind sharing?”

“What?” She covered the mouthpiece as she started to cough in response, trying to hide her shock and the thrill that followed.

“With your mom, Scully. I know they have two rooms reserved under our names already.”

“And why is that?” She was suspicious. He must have been planning this for some time then.

“I … made the reservations in January.”

“January? Mulder —”

“Gotta go. There’s somebody at the door.”

She stared at the phone as it buzzed in her ear. January? What was he up to?

*

June 27th, 8:05 am, EST

“Mulder.”

“Hello, Fox. This is Maggie.”

Mulder actually cracked a smile despite the early hour. “Hi, Mrs. Scully. What can I do for you?” He looked across the room to Scully’s empty desk and wondered if the operator had transferred the call to him knowing Scully was out of the building all day.

“Fox, we’re not going to be able to go with you next week.”

He felt the disappointment almost like a physical blow. “No problem, Mrs. Scully. I’ll cancel the reservations and I hope you have a nice holiday.”

“Oh, no, Fox. We’re not all canceling. Just Charlie and I. He broke his leg last night doing something he shouldn’t and he needs someone to look after him for a few days.”

“Oh. He’s OK otherwise?” Mulder was convinced there was a conspiracy afoot. His chance to see one of the Scully brothers had just fallen through.

“He’s just being a big baby about it, but the doctors say he’s fine. He just needs to stay off of it as much as possible for the next two weeks. Then he can return to some of his normal activities.”

Something wasn’t sitting right with him. “Mrs. Scully, have you told Scully yet?” She would have called and told him and she would also be canceling if that were the case.

“No, not yet. And I don’t plan to, Fox, until she’s ready to leave.”

Mulder winced. “Mrs. Scully, you’re going to get us both in trouble.”

“If I tell her now, she’ll cancel on you, Fox. You both need the time away from DC and she’s too stubborn to admit it.”

He knew she was playing matchmaker and he grinned at the thought. “OK, but leave me out of it, Mrs. Scully. I do have to li — work with her.” He hoped Mrs. Scully hadn’t caught his almost slip. With any one else, he would have said lived. With Mrs. Scully she would jump to one of her favorite conclusions and he would have to explain in embarrassment why he hadn’t even asked Scully out yet.

“Just leave it all to me, Fox.”

She hung up before he could ask what she meant by that. And now he was afraid. Very afraid.

*

June 29th, 5:34 pm, EST

Mulder watched Scully pace in the cramped area reserved for impatient passengers. They were both on edge after having to deal with the airline about bringing their guns on board with them, and that was AFTER he had called in a few favors and given up a set of his precious ‘Skins’ tickets. But her anxiety wasn’t due to that, and he had a large feeling of dread as he realized she was waiting for her mother.

“Scully…”

“I’m going to call her, Mulder. We may have gotten our wires crossed about the time.”

She walked over to the bank of phones and quickly started dialing.

This was how Mrs. Scully was going to tell her daughter? Scully was going to kill him before they even made it out of DC.

“There’s no answer. I guess she’s on her way.”

“Scully —”

The ringing of her cell phone interrupted him.

“Scully… Mom, where are you?… What? Are you OK? … But the next flight doesn’t leave until tomorrow. We can just cancel… You’re kidding, right? … Oh, OK… Yeah. I’ll tell him. Bye, Mom … I love you, too.”

“Scully?” he asked as their flight was called several minutes later.

She grabbed her carry-on and headed toward the gate. “She said her power must have gone off. The phone woke her up.”

“What?” That was a pretty lame excuse.

“She stayed up all night with her neighbor and was taking a nap.” Scully smiled her thanks as Mulder placed the carry-on in the overhead compartment. “Anyway, her alarm was reset and I woke her up.”

“Is everything else OK?”

“I don’t know. She sounded kinda weird. She said she would catch up with us in Billings.” They buckled their seatbelts and Scully angled her legs so Mulder would have some more room.

“That’s where the next flight comes in?”

“Yeah.”

“What did she want you to tell me?”

“That she took care of her part. Now it was up to you.”

“What does that mean?” He hoped it wasn’t what he was starting to think it was.

“I don’t know. Have you two been planning again, Mulder?” she teased.

“Not that *I* know of. I’m not too sure about your mother, though, Scully. She’s more devious than you are sometimes.”

“Don’t I know it. I had to put up with her outsmarting me all through adolescence.”

“I can’t see that happening.”

She gave him the patented Scully Look and Mulder smiled. Sometimes it wasn’t easy to win their “debates” and he liked to savor the moments when he did to their fullest.

*

June 29th, 7:35 pm, CST

Scully looked up as the pilot announced their descent and the time change for the first part of their journey. With a small smile, she closed her book and stuck it back in the purse that was completely different than the one she would use at work. Hell, that purse could double as her briefcase and he was sure it was doing so now. Mulder closed the file he had been reading and shoved it back into his own bag.

“Mulder what was that?”

“What?”

“What you put in your bag.”

“Just a file I was reviewing.”

“You brought some files?”

“Yeah. They aren’t going to have a TV there.”

“Mulder, you brought files on your vacation? Your one week vacation?”

He began to see why she was making a big deal of this. “I forgot to go to a bookstore,” he improvised.

“You’re in luck, Mulder. I thought that might possibly end up being the case and I picked up a book for you.”

He groaned as he waited for the passengers to clear in front of them. At least she had let him get a couple of hours of work in before she made this announcement. “What is it?”

Apparently she could sense his fear. “You have a choice. Steven King, Dean Koontz, or Tom Clancy.”

He relaxed. He had actually wanted to read one of those and really had forgotten to stop by a bookstore. “I’ll start with the implausible and go with Tom Clancy.”

“I thought you might,” she said and reached into the bottomless pit on her shoulder. “I kept this one out. The other two are in my suitcase.”

“Keeping your lingerie company, Scully?”

“I was hoping you would do that, Mulder,” she said, rendering him speechless.

*

June 29th, 8:10 pm, CST

Somewhere over the wilds of northern Nebraska, he knew his time was at hand.

“Mulder, what’s wrong?”

He knew that tone and he also knew he had better fess up. Damn. When had it gotten so hard to hide anything from her? He took his eyes off the book she really wasn’t making him read and stared at her concerned expression for a moment.

“Scully, I think your mom is up to something.”

“I’ve figured that out already. What I don’t know is how she got you involved.”

He analyzed his choices and realized telling her in the middle of a crowded plane was a good idea. She wouldn’t make a scene and her gun was in the cockpit along with his. “Charlie broke his leg and your mom is going to stay with him for a couple of days.” He said it quickly and waited for her reaction.

“Charlie didn’t break his leg. He called me Tuesday and said his bosses were coming next week for a plant tour.”

“I think we’ve been had, Scully.” He was awed by Mrs. Scully’s maneuverings. He hadn’t even suspected.

“Oh, god. I can’t believe she did this.”

He was a little concerned to see her start to blush and look away. “Scully?”

“My mother has decided to play matchmaker.”

“Hey, it’s not the first time, Scully,” he said with a shrug. He thought to reassure her by making light of it.

He knew he failed when her expression closed and she said, “You’re right. It’s not the first time.” She turned away to stare out the window and was unreceptive to conversation the remainder of the flight.

They exited the plane and Scully headed for the payphones. Mulder hung back, unsure and unwilling to intrude. His hopes for their week together took a nosedive as she spoke with her mother, her expression a mix of anger and something else. After she hung up, he moved to stand up straight. He shouldered their bags and waited for her to tell him he should go on alone.

“We can go ahead and start for the lodge tonight if you want. Mom confessed. She was going to have an excuse not to be here tomorrow either.”

Mulder followed as she headed to the baggage claim area. “You still want to go?” Maybe it would turn out like he had planned after all.

“I was looking forward to spending some time with my brother, but you’re not a bad substitute.”

It was his turn to fall into a thoughtful silence as they retrieved their bags, got a car and went to find something to eat. Mulder’s silence prompted Scully to make the suggestion that they stick with the original plan and stay in Billings for the night. They could head toward the lodge at a leisurely pace tomorrow. After all, they were on vacation.

Mulder just nodded.

*

June 30th, 3:05 am, MST

Scully woke up and squinted at the clock across the room. Groaning at the time, she headed for the bathroom to answer the demands of her bladder which was still on DC time. Not bothering with the lights, she crossed the room and noticed the muted light coming from under the door leading to the other room.

Mulder.

His mood had improved somewhat after their pizza dinner, but he had claimed exhaustion when she had suggested going to the dollar showing of the sci-fi thriller from last summer. As she stumbled back towards bed, she wondered if he had had a nightmare. She stopped halfway across the room and raised her hand to knock at the connecting door. She stood there for several seconds, swaying in sleepy indecision. Slowly her hand lowered and she returned to her bed. The lights weren’t doing a mad dance, indicating channel surfing, so he had probably just fallen asleep with the TV on again.

Maybe she would broach the subject again tomorrow.

*

Mulder breathed a sigh of relief when she didn’t knock on the door. He had almost given himself away when he had reached for the remote to zap the infomercial. Luckily, he caught himself in time and unhappily didn’t watch as some guy took a sledge hammer to a windshield.

He finally had figured out when things had gone wrong. Scully had thought her mother’s attempts at matchmaking had gone unnoticed by him and were therefore harmless. When he had carelessly shrugged them away, she thought he had ignored them because he wasn’t interested. But the opposite was true. He had willingly fallen into every situation, just to see Scully’s reaction. And they had given him hope.

But now…

Did she really only see him as a brother?

And since he had never met one of her brothers, let alone seen how she interacted with them, he couldn’t judge that for himself. He had planned to use this vacation as a means of testing the waters, to see if they could spend time together without chasing little grey men, arguing over government conspiracies, or having the people in the Bureau watch over every move they made.

He was pretty sure they could, but he needed to prove it to Scully.

The plans had changed a little when Mrs. Scully and Charlie were going to be included, but it was still the same. Could they get along as well when work wasn’t involved?

end part 1

Delta S (2/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

June 30th, 7:00 am, MST

She was dressed and silently watching the goings on in the parking lot. She would give him another fifteen minutes before she broke down the door. The reason she was willing to wait was because she thought maybe he was out running and NOT just ignoring her.

She was relieved when she finally saw him. He was dripping sweat and looking both tired and exhilarated, and sexier than usual. She looked down at her causal, conservative slacks and camp shirt and frowned. All the outfit needed was a blazer and she could walk into the Bureau without offending the dresscode. Feeling self-conscious and defiant, she dug through her clothes and pulled out one of the two pairs of shorts she had brought along.

They were going to spend several hours in the car, so she might as well be comfortable, she rationalized.

Plus, it wasn’t like he ever noticed what she was wearing anyway.

*

June 30th, 1:10 pm, MST

For the tenth time in as many minutes, Mulder had to drag his gaze away from her legs. He had noticed the shorts right away when they had met for breakfast, but he had refrained from commenting, not wanting to upset the relaxed mood they had redeveloped. At Scully’s suggestion they had bummed around Billings for a few hours. The lodge wasn’t expecting them until early afternoon, and neither one of them was in a great hurry to get anywhere.

He had been caught off guard when she had tossed the keys at him and ordered, “You drive.” Not that it really made a difference, but she usually preferred taking the early shifts in their journeys because it gave her time to wake up. But since it was after lunch, he shrugged and unlocked her door before opening his own. What had really surprised him though was what she did after she got into the passenger seat.

She moved it all the way back and then put her feet up on the dashboard.

Never. Never, had he seen her do something like that. They had been in almost every situation possible together and he had never seen her that… that … He didn’t know what the phrase for it was. Relaxed? Unguarded? Seductive? It was almost like she was putting on a display, but this was Scully.

She didn’t DO things like that.

Not that he minded. But he thought maybe he should be paying a little bit more attention to the roads. Especially at their speed.

“Mulder, are you OK?”

Her voice brought him out of his musings. At least he hadn’t been staring at her legs. No, that image was burned into his mind. “Yeah. Just thinking.”

“About?”

He couldn’t tell her. Maybe by the time this week was over he would, but not right now. “Nothing really. Just how … beautiful the scenery is.”

She looked out the window and agreed. “Yes, it is, isn’t it.”

He nodded and shot another glance at her profile and then her legs. “Breathtaking,” he said inaudibly.

*

June 30th, 3:25 pm, MST

“Hey, Sleepyhead, wake up.” He indulged in the small ritual that had started on a late night stakeouts years ago. He gently ran his fingers down her cheek and softly called her name. “Dana.”

“Hmm?”

“We’re almost there. I thought you’d want to see the place as we approached.” He watched out of the corner of his eye as she stretched. He had to add “sensuously” to the description. There was no other word for it. Her toes pointed and her butt moved in the seat and caused her shorts to ride up. She reached back behind her head and touched the ceiling, causing her shirt to pull loose from her shorts and bare some of the soft skin at her waist.

It had been a long time since he had seen that particular patch of skin. And even longer since he had touched it.

“God, Mulder.”

Her voice pulled him back to the present and he smiled at the awe he heard. “So you’re not disappointed you came?”

“Not yet. But then we haven’t checked out the “sighting” yet either.”

“Scully, I hate to tell you, but this isn’t a UFO hot-spot.” He grinned at the disbelief that had her jaw dropping.

“You’re kidding. No UFO’s?”

“Nope.”

“No mysterious disappearances to investigate?”

“Nope.”

“Mutants?”

“Nope.”

“Just a everyday, ordinary vacation?”

“Yep. Is that so hard to believe, Scully?”

She grinned and opened the door. “Mulder, with you around that’s just about as likely as aliens landing tomorrow.”

“Oooh, Scully. A challenge.”

She hid her further amusement as he closed his door and they both went to the trunk to get their bags. Mulder grabbed her suitcase as well as his own, but she didn’t say anything. She had learned long ago that it was just part of who he was; it wasn’t a reflection on how he thought about her in the field. They were both grinning when they stepped up to the large paneled counter against one wall.

“Hello. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. We have reservations.”

The older woman smiled as she checked her book. “Oh, yes. You’ll be staying until the fifth, right.”

“That’s the plan,” he said and set the bags down to free his hands.

“It says that you also wanted to attend the barbeque.”

He had to hide his smile as Scully started to tiptoe to try and read what the woman was writing. He almost reached over to encircle her waist to help but stopped himself just in time. “Yes,” he agreed with her information and then added, “As long as they don’t serve Chaco Chicken and the beef isn’t from Delta Glen, Wisconsin.”

Scully snarfled as Mulder tried to look innocent at the woman’s confused expression. “Ignore him. It’s easier that way,” she said around a grin.

“Yes, well, I’ve put you in room six. It has a view of the lake and is near the end of the hall.” She laid the key on the counter and Scully picked it up.

“Hey, what if I wanted that room?”

“Too bad, Mulder. You snooze, you loose. Where’s his room?”

They both noticed the woman’s continued confusion. “There’s only the one.”

Scully shot a glance at Mulder and could see his own bafflement. “But I made reservations in January for two rooms.” He looked at Scully as he said, “And I made reservations for a third over two weeks ago.”

“Yes. But two of the rooms were canceled last week. We filled them that same day.”

They both flushed as they realized what had happened. “Mulder, do you think we could find a sympathetic judge?”

He ran his hand over his face and peered at the woman beseechingly. “You don’t have another room?”

“Sorry. But we are booked.”

“Scully?”

The woman answered him. “There is a couch in the room. It’s small .. Or I can see if we have a cot around,” she offered with a shrug that said she doubted one could be found.

“We’ll be fine. Thank you.”

Mulder wasn’t sure what to make of Scully’s acceptance but he wasn’t going to argue either. They would deal with Mrs. Scully when they returned to DC. Or maybe he would end up thanking her.

He paid little attention as Mrs. Henderson explained where things were, what trails were popular and what time the meals were served. He was too busy trying to figure out how to convince Scully that they could share the bed like two adults. When they stepped into the room, he realized it wasn’t going to be necessary. There was no way she could fit on the couch to sleep, nevermind him.

He set the bags down inside the door and went to look out the window. Before he turned around, he heard her say, “So which side do you want?”

He looked at the queen size bed and then back at her. She was wearing an amused smile and he relaxed. “You’re right. I’m not going to be a gentleman and offer to sleep on the couch. I don’t think my back can take it.”

“Mulder, I couldn’t fit on that couch to sleep. So which side?”

“The right,” he said without hesitation. He knew she preferred the left side.

“Just remember this isn’t one of your videos, Mulder, and you’ll live to see morning.”

He plopped down on the bed and tried to look innocent. “Videos? What videos?”

She let him get away with it as she started to unpack her things. “So do you have plans for today or are we just going to wing it?”

“Well, considering you never like my plans, I thought we would just see what took our fancy. We could get a canoe and explore the lake.”

“And any prehistoric water monsters that happen to inhabit said lake?”

“I told you, this isn’t an excuse to investigate an X-File. This is a VACATION.”

“Hmm. That’s why you have all those files in your bag.”

“No. I think I also told you there isn’t a TV here. At least not in the guest rooms and I’m not about to spend all night down in that area with the moose head over the fire place.”

“Oh, you’re just going to spend all night keeping me awake?”

“Well some things have to stay the same, Scully. Otherwise, we won’t know who we’re dealing with these next few days.”

“You’re right. But let’s save the canoe thing until tomorrow. That way we can spend all day lazing on the lake.”

“So you have something in mind for now?” he asked as he laid back against the pillows and tucked his hands behind his head. He hadn’t realized it, but he had waggled his eyebrows with that statement.

He was completely unprepared when she came over to the bed and said, “As a matter of fact, I do.”

Before he could ask what, she took the pillow from the other side and hit him in the stomach with it. The air whooshed out of him and he blushed as he realized what he had implied with his pose and his question.

“I’m going to walk around on one of the trails, if you would care to join me.”

“Lead on, McDuff,” he said as he stood up and motioned to the door.

*

July 1st, 12:02 am, MST

The crash of thunder woke him up and it took him a moment to process his surroundings. The unfamiliar room was easy to recognize as a hotel of sorts. It was the warm body pressed up against his side that kept him confused longer than the usual moment or two.

Holy shit. Had he gone and picked up some woman for a one night stand?

No. Uh-huh. Even if he had succumbed to his basic sexual urges, he wouldn’t have been comfortable enough to stay and fall into a dead sleep.

A flash of lightning illuminated the room just enough so he could make out the red hair that was fanning the pillow next to him. At that, the familiar scent of his partner penetrated his sleep-drugged mind and he relaxed. Scully. He smiled slightly, pulling her a little closer and moved his face against the strands of hair that were on his pillow.

“Hmm? Mulder, wwaa time ‘sit?”

“Ssshhh. Go back to sleep, Scully.”

“Can’t. You called me.”

He held in the laughter as she raised a hand to her ear like she was holding a phone. “It’s all a bad dream, Scully. You’re on vacation remember?”

“Yeeeaah,” she agreed slowly. “In bed with Mulder.”

He froze at that statement and she fitted herself a little tighter against him. Closing his eyes, he made up his mind to confess everything tomorrow.

*

July 1st, 5:09 am, MST

The sun was making a valiant attempt to peek through the clouds and disturb her rest. She moved to get away from the annoying light and ended up burying her head in someone’s neck. That forced her eyes wide open in shock.

Bed. Man.

Man?

Mulder. Bed. Clothes.

Clothes?

The T-shirt was soft under her cheek, but the rough, silky hair on his legs felt marvelous as she slowly extracted her bare limb from between his. He shifted a little in response, but didn’t wake up. Just as carefully, she pulled her arm from around him and peeled herself away from his back. She was mortified to see the small wet patch on his shirt, indicating she had drooled on him. She touched the spot briefly and then turned onto her other side, praying her movements hadn’t woken him .

*

Mulder knew the moment she woke up. Waiting to see what she would do, he remained motionless. He had to bite back the groan of pleasure and disappointment as she moved against him and then pulled away.

It had been heaven to wake up like that, having her hold him, but he knew it wouldn’t last. He KNEW the minute she realized what she was doing, she would move away. It hurt to find out he was right.

He was going to wait until she fell back asleep and then get up and go for a run. He was to the point where he was just going to toss a coin and get the whole thing settled once and for all. He was tired of fluctuating between the two possibilities and it was driving him nuts.

That decision made, he started to relax and almost fell asleep again. But then he felt her move almost violently.

It was too soon for her movements to be natural. They were too precise for her to be asleep. Her arm snaked around his waist and her knee nudged the back of his. He shifted slightly and trapped her calf between his. More deliberately, he covered her hand with his and pulled them both up to rest over his heart. She scooted a little closer and he smiled.

There wasn’t going to be a need for a coin.

*

July 1st, 6:45 am, MST

The second time she woke up was just as disorientating. Sure, she knew she was sharing a bed with Mulder, but the last time she checked, she was the one that had been doing the holding. She twisted a little to see if his hold would loosen and sighed as his hand shifted into dangerous territory.

He better damn well be asleep or be prepared to act on how his touch was affecting her.

His fingers flexed slightly and she felt her nipple push itself into the center of his palm. He wasn’t even awake and she was almost squirming in his arms. She tried to move again and only succeeded in bringing their hips into closer contact. His heat found a place to rest in the small of her back and she fought a moan of pleasure. The rush of desire had her biting her lip and trying to control her breathing.

His hand moved again and his finger trailed over her nipple, causing it to harden even further.

“I don’t know if I want you to be awake or not,” she said softly.

“And if I am.” His voice was soft and rough from sleep, his breath tickling her ear.

“Then I have to decide if I should let this continue or stop you.”

To help her make up her mind, his thumb brushed over her nipple so softly she almost didn’t feel it. She gasped and moved against him. “Have you decided?” he asked.

“No.”

“No, you haven’t decided or you want me to stop?” His leg was moving against hers and she let the long appendage slide between them.

“We shouldn’t do this.”

“Why not?”

“The Bureau.”

“Nope. There is no written rule against this.”

She shifted her hips again and he became lodged against the soft cotton of her sleeping shorts between her cheeks. “Common sense.”

“That argument has never worked on me before.”

“Mulder, this is going to change things,” she said and covered his hand with hers, increasing the pressure on her breast.

“Yeah. My water bill will drop drastically if I stop taking cold showers all the time.”

“Hmm. Mine too.”

With that he moved so that they were facing each other. “Scully?”

“Would it be too much to ask you to call me Dana at times like these?”

“Nothing you ever ask of me will be too much,” he breathed as he lowered his lips to hers.

end part 2

Delta S (3/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

July 1st, 10:13 am, MST

Mulder groaned as he exerted the muscles in his arms again.

“You’re the one that wanted to do this,” she said with a grin.

“Yeah, but I didn’t think I would be doing all the work.”

“Oh, stop being a baby. You want to pull up to that beach over there and walk around a bit?”

“Anything to let go of the oar,” he swore.

Scully climbed out of the canoe first and helped lead the nose onto the rocky shore. Mulder got out of the back and her task went much easier. “Are you hungry yet?”

He looked at his wrist and then up at the sun that had reappeared. “It’s barely ten o’clock,” he argued.

“Not according to my stomach.”

He returned her grin as he reached for the cooler strapped to the canoe. Scully found a level spot and knelt down, looking at him with eager eyes.

He sat down on the grass and watched as she started pulling things out of the cooler. He accepted the can of iced tea and said, “Do you feel like we’re acting schizophrenic?”

“You mean because we’re not arguing?”

“No. I don’t know. It’s …”

“Mulder, we are going to have some adjusting to do. Both of us. We have to integrate the rest of our personal lives together now as well as keep our professional one intact.”

“Hmm,” he agreed and stretched his legs out in front of him.

Scully was still kneeling by his side and trying to decide what to start on first. He reached up and tucked a loose tendril of hair behind her ear. His heart and groin leapt at the smile she offered.

“What do you want?”

“You,” he said simply.

She leaned over to kiss him. “We’re not rushing this?”

“This morning would have been rushing it. One of us would have ended up thinking the other one regretted it. We haven’t touched all morning and I haven’t changed my mind.”

“It’s been made up since January?”

He shook his head. “Before then. But that’s when I decided to act on it.”

“Was it that tiny peck on the cheek under the mistletoe?” she asked as she redemonstrated the event.

“Before then.”

“When?” she asked bluntly.

“How long have I wanted you or how long have I loved you?”

She sucked in her breath at the confession. “Both.”

She handed him a sandwich without checking to see if it was one she wanted or not. “I’ve wanted you even before you dropped your robe in my motel room our first case together. It was when you were trying not to laugh at me while I spray painted the “X” on the road.”

“Oh geez, Mulder,” she flushed slightly in remembered embarrassment. “I’ve got you beat though. I thought about jumping your bones the second I stepped into your office and saw you sitting there with your glasses on, trying to intimidate me.”

He frowned slightly. “Are you sorry we didn’t act on it then?”

“No,” she said slowly. “We wouldn’t have what we do now if we had.”

“It would have been my proof that you were a spy,” he agreed sadly.

“And our partnership wouldn’t have been as successful. We needed that time together, Mulder.”

He was glad she felt the same way and pulled her off balance and into a kiss. That morning they had stopped by mutual consent before things had gone too far and now they weren’t sure if it was the right place for them to take that final step. After all, it was a public lake.

They were packing up the cooler and Mulder had placed it back in the canoe when he felt a hand make its way under his untucked T-shirt. He turned with a question in his eyes and shivered as her hand traced a pattern on his skin.

“Dana?”

“Bring one of the towels, Mulder.”

He sucked in a lungful of air and cupped her cheek. “Are we just going to tease each other or are we going to make love?”

Her other hand ran along the muscles in his arm. “Does it matter?”

“Yes.”

Her eyes were dancing as she asked, “Why?”

“Because I didn’t think to bring any condoms with me,” he stated simply.

“Have you had unprotected sex with anyone since your last physical?”

Slowly he shook his head. She had sounded like a doctor, but something in her eyes told him the answer meant more to her than she wanted him to know. “I’m almost too embarrassed to admit how long it’s been, Dana. Protected or unprotected. But that doesn’t solve our problem.”

She reached up and stroked his jaw. “Yes, it does.”

“Let me protect you in this,” he said as he cupped the back of her head.

“Not necessary, Mulder. I keep telling you, I can protect myself.” She flushed slightly. “I’ve been on the Pill for over two months.” He didn’t voice his question but she could see it in his eyes. “I’ve had these visions of seducing you, Fox Mulder.”

His smile was wicked as he bent to scoop her up into his arms. “Seduce away, Dana Scully,” he said as he walked a short distance into the woods.

She was a little off balance by the change in altitude, but what shocked her more was that she didn’t feel powerless as he carried her several feet away from the shore, behind the tree line. Every time before, a man carrying her had made her feel like the submissive party in sex. But with Mulder, everything was different.

He set her on her feet and moved his hands to her waist.

“You didn’t bring one of the towels,” she admonished.

“I’ll protect you from the creepy-crawlies,” he promised.

“I guess I can let you do that,” she said as she mentally willed him to kiss her. She just re-proved to herself that telepathy didn’t exist when he didn’t heed her silent commands. “Mulder.”

“Hmmm?” he asked, making no move to make the moves on her.

“Kiss me.”

“With pleasure,” he murmured as he melded their lips together.

Mulder’s knees almost gave way as he deepened the kiss. Scully had removed her hand from under his shirt and now both were restlessly moving over his chest and back. His breath caught and then rushed out as her hands lowered to his thighs and butt. His own hands were discovering the feel of her back, hips, and thighs while his lips teased hers apart. Mulder groaned when she started gently kneading his erection as it grew to painful proportions. His tongue surged deeply into her mouth and he roughly pulled her up against him, cupping her butt. The hand that had been on his arm moved to his neck and held him just as tightly.

He broke away. “Slow. We should go slow.”

“Mulder, we can do slow later,” she said as she worked her hand into his shorts. The feel of her hand caressing his bare flesh had him thrusting into her palm for more.

“This should be special.” He groaned in dismay as she stopped.

“This is special.” She moved her hand up his chest to join the other one at his neck. “Because I love you.”

He started to kiss her with enough force to bruise her lips. When she returned the pressure, he used his hold on her butt to pull her up his body so she could cradle him in the V between her legs. She gasped into his mouth and shifted to make room for him. Mulder’s knees buckled and he sank to the ground with her in his arms.

“We’re really going to do this?”

“If we stopped now, I don’t think I would ever be able to recover.” She stood up with that and started to undo her shorts.

His hands ran up the back of her legs and cupped her thighs, pulling her closer.

“Mulder, your shirt.”

He looked rather dazed and pulled his gaze from her. In a flash, he had the T-shirt over his head and in a pile next to him. Moving to his knees, he helped remove her shirt, leaving her in the one piece black swimsuit. He ran his hands and his gaze over the sleek curves still covered by the thin material.

“You are beautiful.”

“I thought you never noticed how I looked,” she said with a shy smile.

“Oh, I noticed. I just could never figure out if you wanted me to notice or not.”

Slowly, she lowered the straps of the swimsuit. Her smile lost some of its shyness as his eyes glazed with the baring of her breasts. “I wanted you to notice,” she said with a nod. “But I was worried I wouldn’t measure up.”

His hands covered hers as she started to push the material past her hips. “Dana, you have been the fuel for my fantasies for years.” Almost reverently, he cupped her breasts and groaned as her nipples puckered into tight buds for him.

It was her turn to gasp as his lips surrounded a peak and started to tug at it. Her fingers tangled in his hair and she had to fight to remain standing. “Mulder…” she managed as he drew the material of her suit the rest of the way off her. “Ooooh.” The moan was torn from her as his fingers found her heat and forged inside. Her knees wobbled at that and she slid down his chest to kneel on either side of his thighs.

“Dana, I can’t wait,” he said against her other breast and used his thumb to stimulate her clitoris as two of his fingers slowly moved within her.

She could feel him straining through his shorts toward her. She reached down and fought with the string loosely tied at the waist of his swim trunks. “Where are your speedos when we need them?”

His chuckled turned to a groan as she abandoned the string and massaged him through the material. “God. Wait. Let me get these off.” Reluctantly, he removed his hands from her and went to work on getting his shorts off of him and out of the way.

Scully’s hands and lips attacked his chest and neck as he twisted his hips beneath her. He finally freed himself. “Mulder…” She knelt over his straining shaft, hovering as he grazed her wet and swollen flesh with his. His hardness parted her folds and she moaned low and fought to keep her eyes open as he found her entrance. His hands on her hips guided her slowly as she accepted all of him into her.

Once he was fully embedded in her, they paused to catch their breath. “I love you,” he said. She repeated the phrase, her expression going from serious to blissful as she used her hold on his shoulders to brace herself and she started to raise and lower herself on the hard, hot flesh buried deep within her.

“God, Mulder,” she breathed as she gave up trying to control the speed of their thrusts. She wanted all of him and his urgent sounds indicated he felt the same way. She closed her eyes and buried her face in his neck, letting him increase their pace. The pleasure was so intense she was almost frightened by it. Slowing her movements, she opened her eyes and tried to find herself again.

“No. Don’t stop,” he gasped and used his hold on her to quicken their movements.

Shaking her head, she fought the sensations rioting through her and closed her eyes. “Mulder. Oh god. Mulder.”

He twisted and braced himself above her as she landed on her back. Sealing their mouths, he repeatedly surged into her. Gasping for breath, he tore his mouth away and buried his face in her neck. Her short, functional nails were digging into the muscles of his back and her legs were almost like a vice around his waist. She was chanting his name and he knew he couldn’t hold out much longer. Almost desperately he worked his hand between their bodies and exposed her clitoris to constant stimulation.

She muffled her abrupt scream of release with his shoulder. Mulder lost all control and groaned loudly as her flesh pulsed around him, pulling him deeper. She was shivering as he pumped his own release into her, gasping at the sensations. Almost languidly, he continued to move for several moments and felt her as she continued to react to each thrust.

Eventually, he raised up on his elbows enough to gaze at her. Her eyes were still smoky and her lips were red from their kisses and her teeth. “Dana?”

“Hmmm?”

He smiled at her still dazed expression and the way she was moving her fingers on the now burning marks left by her nails. “Are you OK?”

“Yeeeaaahhh.”

“You said that almost the exact same way last night when you told me it was a dream to be in bed with me.”

At that she opened her eyes fully. “Mulder, move. I’ve got a rock digging into my butt, a stick stuck in my shoulder, and a thorn in one of my heels.” The words were impatient, but she was smiling.

“Not just yet.”

She didn’t seem to be offended by his reluctance to move. “Why not?”

“Because I want to tell you I love you again, while I’m still inside you.”

“Oh. OK. Go ahead.” She shifted a little, presumably to dislodge the rock. He grinned as she moaned. Her movements had caused his hardening length to move within her.

“I love you, Dana.”

“I love you too, Mulder,” she said and pulled him down to her for another kiss.

*

July 1st, 2:48 pm, MST

Mulder lazily drew circles on her arm and stared up at the clear sky. “We should probably head back,” he said, but made no effort to move.

“Mmm,” she agreed and continued to listen to the heart under her cheek.

“We could go back… take a nice, long, hot shower… together… get some food…” The last was seconded by the loud growl from his stomach.

“Are you hungry, Mulder?”

“I could probably force down a bite or two,” he agreed with a sheepish grin. The food from their lunch was long gone and he still felt like he hadn’t eaten all day. Maybe it was just all the calories he burned already.

“Me, too.” She pulled away and stood up. As she offered her hand to help him, she said, “And I could definitely go for a bed. This ground is murder on my knees and back.”

Mulder grinned. “Tell me about it,” he said as he tried to brush the twigs and rocks from him.

They helped each other dress in the few items of clothing and headed back to the canoe. Teasingly, they removed the leaves and twigs from each other’s hair and then got the canoe back into the water. They took their time in returning, splashing each other with the oars, laughter echoing around them. When they arrived back at the launching site, Scully took the oars and life jackets back to the shed and Mulder headed to the kitchen to return the cooler. They met in the lobby and were on their way back to their room to clean up before they would get their dinner.

With premeditated thought, he settled his hand in the small of her back as they headed to their room. His memory supplied the sensation of her skin in the spot instead of the clothing now present. When they reached the room, they undressed with very little hesitancy and showered together, enjoying the intimacy and feeling too sated for all the touching to lead to more sex. They were in the diningroom, their meal in front of them, when Mulder said, “When do you want to get married?”

She set the glass of wine down before she had a chance to spill it. “Excuse me?”

“You realize you’re it for me. I don’t want or need anyone else. I know we should wait because of … certain reasons, but…”

“But you’re feeling a little …” She smiled slightly at him. “I love you. And I actually believe we could make a marriage work.” It would be tough at times, as it had been sometimes in the past, but she had a feeling the good would outweigh the bad.

“But you don’t want to right now.”

She reached for his hand at the dejected tone of his voice. “I want to get on the next plane to Las Vegas so badly it’s making me dizzy. But…”

He smiled softly in relief. “But what? Besides the obvious smoke-filled reasons.”

She shook her head forcefully once. “I won’t let that bastard dictate our lives like that. He is not a factor.” In a softer tone, she said, “But I would like my mother to be there.”

“So we call her and she can meet up with us there.”

She studied him carefully. “You’re serious about this, aren’t you. You don’t think they’ll separate us?”

“Who else is going to work with me, Scully?” he asked truthfully. Then a different idea came to mind. “Besides we won’t have to lie if they don’t ask,” he said conspiratorially.

“Hmm. You’re right about that.” His hand had moved so that their palms were touching. She studied them for a moment. “OK.”

“You mean it?” He was still looking like he couldn’t quite believe the last few minutes had happened.

“If you don’t think it’s going to be too much change for us.”

“We’re still going to drive each other crazy, so the only real change is that I will be able to wake up with you in my arms instead of just dreaming about it.”

“I’ll call my mother and pack our things. You get us a flight down there.”

He looked down at their unfinished dinner. “Right now?” His eyes then met hers. “Right now,” he restated with a nod.

end part 3

Delta S (4/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

July 2nd, 3:05 am, PST

“I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

Mulder looked at Scully and grinned. Quickly he leaned down and captured her lips in a kiss before the minister in the small chapel could give him permission. The signing of documents was a blur and Mrs. Scully had to practically lead them back to their room.

Maggie smiled as her daughter blushed bright red once they entered the suite. Mulder was intent on heading right for the bedroom and had excluded a few other things. Like the small wedding cake and champagne they had managed to arrange, along with the clutter from the shopping spree that had resulted in their wedding clothes.

“Go on. I’ll see you at breakfast. Maybe. Don’t worry, Dana. I’ll take care of things out here.”

Mulder was blushing slightly but still tugging on her wrist. “Thanks, Mrs. Scully.”

“Fox, I think you should call me Maggie now.” She gathered two of the flutes and the bottle of bubbly. Carefully she set them on the bedside table and turned to leave the honeymooners alone. She saw the cake looking lonely by itself and handed it to her daughter. “Or if you want Mom.” She smiled at that. She figured he wouldn’t be comfortable with that for a year or two.

Scully managed to loosen Mulder’s hold, set the cake down, and was unpinning the corsage from her suit. Mulder looked at her reflection and smiled. “OK. Mom,” he said to the other woman in the room.

Maggie smiled. “I don’t have to tell you how babies are made now, do I, Dana?”

She knew her mother was teasing and refused to fall into the trap. “No, Mom. I think we have that one figured out already.”

“Goodnight, dears,” she said as she walked from the room. “Have fun and try to get SOME rest.”

She wasn’t sure what was said in reply as she closed the door.

*

July 2nd, 5:02 am, PST

“Mulder, do you want to know something?” she said after some time.

“Hmm?”

“That was my first this morning …yesterday,” she amended. Had it really been less than twenty four hours? She hoped the pink of the sky would hide the blush she felt forming because of her confession.

“First what? Time outside?” he asked as he tightened his arms around her and nuzzled the back of her neck.

“Yes and no.”

“Dana?”

“It was my first orgasm and my first time making love outdoors.”

“You’re kidding. That was your first?”

She smiled at the disbelief she could hear in his voice. “You said it before, I’m not exactly the most sexually spontaneous person you know. Or I should say, I wasn’t.”

“Dana?”

“Hmm?”

“Why not? I mean ….” he finished with a shrug. She had driven him almost insane with desire and she had climaxed at least five times since morning. And just a short while ago, one time had taken them both by surprise.

“I know what you mean. I’ve thought about it a lot over the years and more since this morning. Some women… it just takes some time. But I think I had a problem with trust. I couldn’t make myself vulnerable to another person like that before. Even when I thought I was in love. But with you…”

He couldn’t believe how the conversation was effecting him. He was exhausted, but … “So you love me and trust me?”

“With everything I am,” she vowed.

She stared at him in surprise as he flipped her over and lowered his chest to rest against hers.

“You have no idea what you do to me, do you?” he asked as he kissed her.

His hand was cupping her breast and their breathing was ragged when she said, “Mulder…”

“Hmm? What?”

“What would you say if I told you I’ve never made love in a car.”

“I’d say stakeouts are never going to be the same.” His hands were leisurely wandering over the curves of her body. “We should go for a drive later today.”

“Sounds like a plan,” she agreed and set about torturing him.

*

July 2nd, 6:30 am, PST

They could hear the sounds of Maggie moving in the next room. The soft echo of a morning news show filtered through the door and kept the silence company. Mulder’s stomach grumbled again, loudly, and brought smiles to both their faces.

“You think she ordered room service for us, too?” He was really missing his sunflower seeds.

“I don’t think she expects us to move out of the room until it’s time for our plane to leave.”

“Much as I would enjoy that, I think we would expire from starvation first. Stay here. I’ll bring us some coffee and see if there’s a danish or two.”

She stretched luxuriously as he got out of the rumpled bed. “Mulder, maybe you should take a shower first.”

“I’m just going to grab us some coffee. And besides, Scully, the woman has kids. She won’t be shocked with what goes on during a honeymoon.”

“You’re right. She’s probably already got me pregnant with our fifth child.” She reached over the side of the bed and tried to find his discarded T-shirt.

“Hey, isn’t that my job,” he said with a wicked grin. Then the rest of her sentence sunk in. “Fifth?!” he asked rather loudly.

Scully pulled the shirt over her head and couldn’t completely control the flush she knew was staining her cheeks, when her mother’s voice came through the door. “What are you two arguing about now?”

Mulder smiled weakly and Scully worried what would happen next. “Oh, we’re not arguing, Mom,” he said as he tightened the belt on the robe and opened the door. “Scully just said something that took me by surprise.”

“Dana?”

“It was a joke, Mom. Nevermind.” She scrambled out of bed and pulled on the other robe. The style that fit Mulder so nicely, made her feel like a munchkin. A little self-consciously, she tried to smooth her tangled hair. Giving up, she went into the other room and accepted the cup of coffee with cream that Mulder handed to her. Even though after breakfast she had plans for a nice long nap, she welcomed the caffeine.

She was watching the bad reception on the TV when her mother said, “When are you going to start on giving me some grandchildren?”

Scully tried not to spew coffee all over the place and sent an “I told you so” look to Mulder.

“Not just yet, Mrs… Mom. But soon,” he said with a smile and Scully raised her eyebrow. “Scully wants five so we better get crackin’.”

“Five? Dana, isn’t that a bit much?”

“Well Mulder wanted a baseball team, I had to talk him down to basketball.”

“Nine? Fox, you and Dana aren’t that young. And besides, it wouldn’t be healthy.”

“She’s joking, Mom. We haven’t really even discussed it yet,” he confessed.

“Oh,” she said in disappointment and turned her attention to the TV again.

*

July 2nd, 7:03 am, PST

Scully set the coffee cup down, wiped the crumbs from the croissant off her fingers and looked at the other two people as they debated on which channel had the least amount of interference. “I’m going to go take a shower. Mom, have you thought about what you want to do today while we’re here?”

Mulder piped up. “Area 51 isn’t that far…”

She glared at him. “I didn’t want UFO’s for my vacation and you expect me to agree to that for our honeymoon?”

“It was just a thought,” he said with a playful smile.

“Just keep it that way, Mulder. Mom?”

“Dear, whatever you and Fox want to do is fine. I plan on going down by the pool and getting a burn.”

“But Mom —”

“Dana, you don’t need your mother along on your honeymoon. I was more than thrilled to be at the wedding, but I’ll stay out of your way until my plane leaves.”

“Mom —” Mulder tried as Scully nodded and left the room.

“Don’t worry, Fox. There will be plenty of times when you won’t be able to get rid of me. Now go join her in the shower and get started on my grandchild.”

Mulder blushed bright red but hurried off into the other room without further encouragement.

*

July 2nd, 7:25 am, PST

“Reports of the phenomenon are coming in from all over the world. We are still experiencing some technical difficulties, so please bear with us, as we keep you informed.”

Maggie watched the screen intently as something forced its way through the clouds in a fire storm.

“We have just received word that New York, Los Angeles, and Washington DC … Good God in heaven…” The newscaster fell silent as a grey mass broke through the clouds.

Maggie’s reaction was more vocal. “Dana! Fox! Get out here!”

Mulder looked at Scully from under the towel he was using to dry his hair. “That is not the way to ensure we get started on her grandkids.”

“Something’s wrong, Mulder,” she said and reached for the robe again. She wound the towel around her hair as she opened the door and crossed the room. “Mom?”

“Look at this.”

Mulder smiled. A really large UFO was hovering over DC and coming to rest directly above the White House. “What is this? “V”?”

“No, Fox. It’s Live.”

He looked at Scully to see how much she had told her mother. She just shook her head. “I didn’t tell her, Mulder.”

“Tell me what?”

“Scully and I argue about the existence of extra-terrestrials all the time. You can guess which side she takes.”

“Well, Dana, it looks like Fox was right. I’m not joking. They’ve been showing this for the past half an hour. There’s one in New York and LA.”

“Maybe it’s a modern version of “War of the Worlds”,” he suggested after watching the news casts for almost an hour.

Scully was shaking her head. “I don’t think so, Mulder. That IS the White House staff.”

He reached for the phone and dialed Skinner’s back line. “Where is he?… Us? On vacation still. There was a change in plans… He’s here? In Las Vegas? … Yeah. Give me the number …” He looked over at Scully and smiled. “Uhm… As a matter of fact we did… OK. Thanks Kimberly. I’ll tell her.”

Scully was waiting patiently as he finished the conversation and turned to her. “Well?”

“He’s here for a reunion. And she said it was about time we caught a clue.”

“I’m assuming you told her because you think those ships are going to change a few things?”

Mulder watched the TV for another minute before he reached for the phone again. “Just one or two things, Scully. Just one or two.”

*

July 2nd, 11:15 am, PST

He knew there was a reason Mulder hadn’t tried to contact him yet. He was either completely unaware of what was happening, which he doubted, on his way to one of the sites, like DC, or on his way to Las Vegas and his controversial Area 51. Although the last one was remote, it was still a possibility.

He flipped through the channels again, but it was the same thing on all of them. He knew he had to get back to the office. It was chaotic here and the ship was three hundred miles away. He could only imagine what was happening in DC. The hotel phone and his cellular one had been ringing constantly and not once had it been Mulder or Scully. He tried calling the airlines again, but nothing was landing anywhere near the ships.

A knock at the door interrupted his attempts to find a flight within driving distance. Not expecting anyone, he looked through the peep hole and was shocked to see Mulder and Scully. He was also a little uneasy to see them smiling so … freely. Through the door he heard Scully say, “What does it feel like?”

Mulder’s voice sounded strained when he replied. “A seduction.”

“Is it working?” That was NOT Special Agent Dr. Dana Scully. That woman sounded like she already knew the answer to her question and had counted on that effect. And he couldn’t see where her hand was. He really didn’t want to see where her hand was.

He stood there, frozen for several moments. Mulder raised his hand to knock again and Skinner was pulled out of his shock.

Holy shit. How long had THAT been going on? And they obviously wanted him to know about it. Quietly, he opened the door and shot another look at his pre-occupied agents from the X-Files Division. They didn’t step away from each other and Mulder’s smile grew even bigger.

“They’re heeerrree,” Mulder intoned as he and Scully stepped into the room. A glint caught his eye and he almost fainted at the sight of the wedding rings.

Apparently, the changes brought on by the arrival of the alien ships were going to continue to be mind boggling.

He decided to ignore the new development for the time being. “Did you two just arrive?”

Mulder looked at Scully, and Skinner had another sinking feeling in his stomach. “Actually, no, sir. We’ve been here since last night. It was a couple of hours before the reports sunk in enough for us to believe them and then we had to wait on visual confirmation.”

He nodded to their hands. “So the wedding wasn’t because of this?”

Scully shook her head, very aware of the unfamiliar weight on her finger. “No. We’ve decided not to keep it a secret because of this.”

Skinner nodded once. “OK, Mulder. I’m going to have to assume everything you’ve ever said about EBE’s is true.”

“Don’t, sir. Until we know which ones we’re dealing with, it could effect our actions.”

“Which ones?” Skinner seemed to pull himself in before he exploded. “OK. Fine. Which ones do you think are here?”

“Well without further evidence, I’d have to say the Greys instead of the Morphs or the oil guys.”

“Scully?”

“I’m still convinced this is Mulder’s idea of a joke, sir. I told him before we left that he couldn’t take a NORMAL vacation like everyone else.”

Mulder grinned. “I said I could. Then she said aliens would land if I did. So that proves it started out normal.”

“So what do you plan on doing?”

“I’ve got someone sending us a map for the probable location of Area 51.”

Skinner nodded. Then he took a deep breath. “Do you think they’re hostile?”

Mulder and Scully shared another look. “If that smoking bastard is involved, I would say yes. But as I said, I don’t know if it’s the Greys, or the Morphs, or something completely different. Just to be safe, sir …” his voice trailed off.

“Agent Scully, you already asked your mother to leave the area?”

She blushed slightly. “Uhm, she’s here, sir… For the wedding.”

Skinner brought them back to the previous topic. “You think they’ll have the answers at Area 51?”

“More than we’ll get from anywhere else,” Mulder said with a resigned nod and a look out the window.

end part 4

Delta S (5/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

July 2nd, 5:25 pm, PST

He watched the reports out of the corner of his eye with Mrs. Scully… Maggie … and handled things in DC as best he could via the phones, still full of static, and fax machine he now had in the suite. Mulder and Scully had been gone for almost three hours getting “provisions.” He had no clue what they meant by that and he hadn’t pushed for clarification either. God only knew what newlyweds considered provisions.

He looked up from the sheets in front of him and tuned out the person on the phone for a moment. The TV was showing a helicopter that looked like it belonged in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

“Hold on, Matt,” he said into the phone. “Maggie?”

Somehow or another she had become his unofficial assistant during all of this. Shortly after Mulder and Scully had first come by his room, they had all returned to their suite in one of the other hotels. There was more room, plus a few other perks that Skinner had been impressed by, like the view of the swimming pool that he really didn’t look at. The people in DC were willing to work with Mrs. Scully when he was occupied and it was probably due only in part to her name. She just had a way about her that people were compelled to obey.

“They’re going to try and use lights to communicate with the ships,” she informed him and looked at her watch. “Fox is going to be upset, if he misses this.”

He started to reply but stopped mid-breath as the door opened. Scully and Mulder were looking extremely put out, and he marveled at their timing once again. But now, their ability to be right in the middle of things seemed to be conspiring against them.

“You wouldn’t believe —”

“Shhh,” Mrs. Scully ordered and pointed to the TV. Mulder shut up and moved behind Scully as they started watching the happenings in DC.

Skinner felt all of his senses go on alert as the television camera followed the choppers’ accent. He spoke into the phone for the first time in almost a minute. “Matt… Get everybody into the basement… I don’t like the looks of this… Just do it.” He turned to the man that was now watching him. “Mulder, do you mind if Matt uses your office?”

Mulder was a little shocked that Skinner was asking. Matt was Matthew Stocker, the next in line in the Bureau chain of command. “Not at all, sir.” He shrugged at Scully when Skinner finished his conversation.

“He’s going to call back when he gets everybody down there.”

“What are you expecting to happen, sir?”

Skinner looked at Scully and then Maggie. “You can drop the “sir” for now, Scully. And I’ve been getting a bad feeling about this ever since you and Mulder showed up.”

Mulder frowned. “What do you mean?”

“I don’t know. It just does and doesn’t seem like your usual bad luck not to be in DC when they get here.”

“Look they’re starting.”

They all watched in awe as the helicopter hovered and flashed its lights.

“Mulder, I think we should head to the car. We’re not going to have much time.”

Mulder and Scully looked at each other. “I’ll get the bags,” he said and went into their bedroom.

Skinner hastily dumped all his papers into his briefcase and gathered up his suitcases. “Ready?”

Mulder and Scully led the way through the garage and to the car. There was a moment’s hesitation after the bags were stored.

Skinner broke the silence. “I drove last time. And you know where we’re supposed to be going.”

Mulder got behind the wheel with Scully and the map in the seat beside him. Maggie and Skinner were a little cramped in the backseat with the things that hadn’t fit in the back. As they were pulling out of the hotel’s garage, a large swarm of people seemed to be on the verge of mass hysteria.

“And they call me spooky,” Mulder commented as they reached the highway and headed north.

“Deductive reasoning, Mulder,” Skinner answered from the back. “There were two possible outcomes. The more friendly one was becoming more doubtful with each passing hour.”

“Fox, dear, do you know where we’re going?” Maggie asked as they neared the spaghetti bowl where highways 15, 93 and 95 interchanged.

Scully turned in the seat as Mulder navigated through the dense traffic. It wasn’t at a standstill, but that was only because a lot of people had decided to spend their last moments in the casinos. “Area 51,” she answered her mother.

“I thought it was a secret base. OK, maybe not so secret,” she amended.

“It is. But some friends of ours had aerial photos of this area. There are certain “no fly” zones and from there it was only a matter of eliminating the red herrings.”

“And our plans once we get to this base?” Skinner asked.

“Well, they’ll either welcome us with open arms, or …”

Skinner’s eyes narrowed. He knew what was coming, but he asked anyway. “Or what?”

“Or we’ll just have to find a way to sneak onto the base. That’s what all the extra gas is for. I doubt there will be a Shell station nearby.” Mulder’s grin was tense, but also amused.

Several minutes passed in silence as they headed northwest, away from the notorious Vegas Strip. Scully reached for the radio just as Skinner reached for his phone. He was thinking that Matt should have called back by now.

“We haven’t had this confirmed, but the reports are saying the President was not in the White House when they attacked. Jesus. Who cares about the President? There were several million people killed in New York and Los Angeles as well as the ones in DC, not to mention all the other cities these things were stationed over. All communications from those cities are lost. The Emergency Broadcast System was issued and warned people to leave, but with all the highways and other means of transportation gridlocked, it doesn’t look good…”

The newscast continued.

“Oh, my God.” Scully sat with her hand over her mouth. She tried not to let the tears of relief overwhelm her, but it was hard. Her’s and Mulder’s timing couldn’t have been any better. A half a day and her mother wouldn’t have been able to get out of the area. And what if they hadn’t gone to Montana? What if they had ended up staying in DC for the holiday?

“Scully?” Mulder was having the exact same thoughts. If he had chickened out…

“The guys had left, didn’t they?”

“Yeah. As soon as they found out one was headed towards DC. They’re OK.”

Skinner disconnected his phone and stared out the window. “There wasn’t an answer.”

No one had a response for that.

*

July 2nd, 9:15 pm, PST

This was not how she had pictured her honeymoon all those years ago when she and her friends would share their dreams about the far off future event. She and her new husband, a doctor too, were going to go to someplace exotic, that didn’t have a Navy base she secretly qualified. While they basked in their love for each other, they would happen upon a desperately sick little girl and miraculously save her. A casual conversation at dinner would have them curing cancer and winning two Nobel prizes for it and their accomplishments in world peace.

OK, it was a little … a lot, she amended… on the melodramatic side. She had just begun to figure out why Missy liked to dress up and she had gone a little bit overboard. But she hadn’t been that far off the mark.

Her new husband WAS a doctor, although he never used the title. They were on their way to someplace exotic, in that the stark Nevada landscape was beautiful in a strange … alien… sort of way. The desolate surroundings also indicated that there wasn’t a Navy base within a couple of hundred miles. (Air Force, yes. Navy, no.) After that point, reality differed from the fantasy from so long ago. But it also converged with a new one that had formed in her subconscious over the past several years when she would dream about Mulder.

She WAS with Mulder. Therefore, on their honeymoon, they would HAVE to do something that involved EBE’s or something that was related to the X-Files.

She never, in a million years, would have dreamt that they would be bringing their boss and her mother along on their honeymoon while the rest of the world was being destroyed.

She snorted softly to herself and managed a reassuring smile when Mulder turned slightly to look at her. He nodded in shared morbid amusement and she revised her opinion on the existence of a telepathic bond between them.

“Isn’t this the kind of honeymoon every girl dreams about, Scully?”

“Only when she has worked with Spooky Mulder and chased after little grey men.” She shot him another amused look. “I seem to recall telling you that you wouldn’t be able to take a NORMAL vacation, Mulder.”

“You were the one that said aliens would land if I did. Are you sure you’re not psychic, Scully?”

Her mild amusement fled. “I doubt that is the case, Mulder.”

Someone had finally called from the Bureau using a cell phone they had found. Through the static filled lines of communication they learned that the entire area was almost completely leveled and people were trapped in the basements that had doubled as bomb shelters for decades. Skinner had no clue what to tell the people. Nothing was working in the city and he couldn’t do anything from where he was. Feeling incredibly depressed, he had eventually turned off his phone. There was no way he could help them and it was eating him up inside.

A few minutes later, Scully’s phone rang. “Scully… Charlie? Where are you?… No… NO. Charlie she’s fine. She’s with me… Area 51… Charlie? Calm down, dammit…”

Maggie was leaning forward and reaching for the phone. Scully passed it to her with a large amount of relief. “Charles Matthew Scully. Calm down this instant. I’m fine. You’re sister and her husband are fine … Yes. Dana and Fox were married last night in Las Vegas. That’s where I’ve been. If you would have answered your phone last night, Charles, I would have told you that…. I love you, too and I’ll tell her. Bye Charlie.” She ended the connection and gave the phone back to her daughter.

“Mom, he’s OK?”

“Yes. He’s been trying to reach either one of us for over two hours. It seems he just found out about the ships attacking.”

“Scully, now that we’re married, you can tell me the truth. You don’t have any brothers, do you?”

She shot him the familiar glare. “Mulder, that joke is getting really old. Slow down,” she ordered without changing her tone.

“Scully, there’s no one on the road and —”

“The turn off should be coming up soon.”

“Oh. Why didn’t you say so?”

A few minutes later, a well traveled sand road appeared on their right. The only way they could see it was due to the lack of scraggly bushes for a ten foot wide area.

“There.”

“Yeah. Now how far from the highway?” He looked at the gas gauge and did some mental calculations. They still had enough gas to drive around in the desert for another hour or so before they would have to head back.

“According to Frohike’s map, about twenty, maybe twenty five miles.”

The time passed silently. Cell phones had been turned off and they were out of range for any radio station. Mulder began to think this wasn’t the way and that they should turn back, when the “No Trespassing” signs started to appear.

“Government test sight? They expect us to believe that?”

“Let’s see, Mulder, since most of Nevada was used in the forties and fifties for nuclear weapons testing, it IS possible.”

“Uhhh. Stop. Please. I don’t think I can take anymore logic. Aliens are here, so all my theories are correct.”

Scully didn’t even bother with a reply.

“Well, the last time I checked, armed guards were not needed on bases that didn’t exist to begin with,” Skinner offered to pacify both of them.

“Think we can get past them?” Mulder indicated stepping on the gas.

“Let’s try diplomacy first. They may even let us in,” he offered.

Mulder slowed the car and rolled down the window to speak with the determined looking soldier. He was used to sneaking onto government bases, but this time he had a carload of people that didn’t have the same experience.

“I’m sorry, but this is a restricted area. I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” the soldier said without preamble.

“Agents Mulder and Scully with the FBI. This is Assistant Director Walter Skinner.” The man nodded to the other passenger Mulder hadn’t introduced. “Margaret Scully.”

“Mulder and Scully?” He frowned and retrieved a clipboard. The two in the front share a look that said “oh-oh” but didn’t say anything out loud.

“May I see some ID.” It wasn’t a request.

Mulder and Scully pulled out their badges and Skinner followed suit. There were several tense moments as the soldier went back to the booth and picked up the phone.

“They know you two?” Skinner shot an accusing glance at Mulder using the rearview mirror.

“We haven’t been here before, sir, if that’s what you’re asking. Maybe they spoke with Ellens.”

“Or any other number of facilities you’ve broken into, Mulder.”

He didn’t defend himself as the soldier returned. “Agents Mulder and Scully are expected. A vehicle is being dispatched to pick them up.”

“We would like Mrs. Scully and Director Skinner to join us,” Mulder said. He didn’t think they should be separated even as he tried not to show his shock at the “expected” part.

“I see.” There was something in the man’s eyes that said he understood considering the circumstances that had brought them to the base. “Let me inform command.” Again, they waited as the soldier spoke with someone. As he approached the Explorer, he pulled out a piece of paper. “They’ve been cleared as well, sir. All you have to do is follow the road for about a mile. You’ll come upon the landing strip. Turn right and follow it to the compound. It’s been requested that you do not drive on the tarmac.”

The four were completely silent as they approached the side of a mountain. Only when they were almost on top of it, did they see a hanger. From the air, it probably looked like a refueling station. From the ground, it certainly didn’t look like a base myths and movies were founded on.

“THIS is it?” Mulder asked as he followed the hand signals offered by someone and parked the car.

“Come on, Mulder, use your imagination. It probably extends into the side of the mountain to camouflage the size of the place,” Scully said as she opened her door.

Mulder grinned in amusement and followed the others out of the car. His smile faded as he felt a flash of recognition as a major in Air Force blue approached.

“Agent Mulder. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“I know you,” he said in confusion, unable to place the name or face.

“Hmmm. You were supposed to be unconscious at the time. I’m Major Anthony Mitchell. Sorry about that, but you interrupted a series of tests at Ellens. Now before you start asking questions, let’s get inside. Things are hectic and I’m needed downstairs.”

Mulder shot a glance at Scully at that remark. So the compound was larger than it appeared. He felt compelled to make the introductions since he apparently did know the major. But when he introduced Scully, he felt like he was wasn’t including something important. It was when she and the major were shaking hands, the major holding her hand a fraction longer than what he thought was necessary, that he recalled it.

“Actually, Agent Scully’s name is Mulder now.”

He couldn’t believe he had said that. They had already talked about it and they weren’t going to mention their marriage to anyone else just yet. Scully looked slightly annoyed while Skinner and Maggie looked amused. The major looked taken aback.

“You two are married? That wasn’t in the last report.” He led them to the back of the hanger and punched a button. “Agent Scully…Mulder, Dr. Okun is looking forward to meeting you. Both of you. He’s read your reports on Purity Control and is fascinated by the topic.”

“Just Scully is fine, Major. Using the name Mulder is going to cause more confusion than we need at the moment. And who is the Dr. Okun?”

“He’s the head of our research department.” The twenty two floor descent seemed almost instantaneous. The elevator doors opened into a hallway as Major Mitchell continued. “Your quarters are being arranged while I give you the ten cent tour.”

Mulder made mental notes and knew the others were doing the same as they walked around several floors of the underground compound. They were told which areas were off limit and were shocked at the small number.

“Can we see the clean room?”

“Not until you’ve gone through the decontamination process. But it is not off-limits. The only place you’ll be asked not to enter is the control room. You and Agent Mulder have access to all other areas. Mrs. Scully, I’m going to have to ask you to remain on your floor unless someone from the compound is escorting you. Director Skinner —”

Maggie nodded, seeming not to be at all upset about the restrictions.

Mulder on the other hand was amazed at the lack of restrictions being placed on them. “That’s a switch. We have access to the place,” he muttered and grinned at the glare Scully sent him. “Who authorized our … invitation?”

Major Mitchell glanced away for a moment. “I did. As soon as the ships were public knowledge, I knew the possibility of you showing up here went through the roof. When they attacked, I was almost hoping you would.”

“So the cigarette smoking man doesn’t know?”

The major’s brow wrinkled in confusion. “Who? We’ve had limited communications since satellite disruption. The only people that know you are here are the ones that are here.”

The subject was dropped and the last stop on their tour was the personnel quarters. “We have fully stocked kitchens on each floor with living quarters and a small cafeteria for the rotating military personnel. We’re pretty much stuck with our own cooking. The pizza joints are reluctant to deliver this far out. And I can just see the headlines in the tabloids: Domino’s Delivers to Secret Military Base. Government Denies Knowledge and Refuses to Pay Tab.”

“No pizza? And it looks like no Knicks either. How the hell do you manage?”

The major returned Mulder’s grin. “There is a lounge area in each section, complete with secure satellite TV reception. When it’s working.” He saw Mrs. Scully discretely hide a yawn behind her hand. With a nod of his head, he continued, “I’ll show you to your rooms and you can get some rest. Agent Scully, Dr. Okun has asked to speak with you tomorrow morning. Right now, he’s in the middle of running some tests and can’t get away. And until he’s spoken with you, I can’t give you clearance to his lab.”

Scully just nodded, looking almost too tired for words right then. They followed the major down another series of halls to what she assumed were the living quarters. Maggie and then Skinner were shown to their rooms. A couple of doors later, they were shown theirs.

end part 5

Delta S (6/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

Mulder was managing to keep his awe under control. The place was military, but it wasn’t completely impersonal. He guessed it had something to due with the base being so isolated. He felt a blush try and stain his cheeks when the major opened the last door for him and Scully.

“I’m sorry, but all of the married quarters are in use right now. We did have another bed moved in here if you wish to use it.”

Scully smiled her thanks and closed the door behind the retreating major. She burst out laughing at Mulder’s expression of discomfort. “It wasn’t like they were expecting the married bit.”

“But separate twin beds, Scully? I feel like I walked into an “I Love Lucy” episode.”

“We don’t have to use both beds, Mulder,” she said, completely awake now.

“We don’t?” The words caught in his throat. She seemed to be adjusting to the changes between them much faster than he was. He was still unsure of how he should be acting and that flash of jealousy had taken them both by surprise. He had never felt that territorial whenever Pendrell was around. Well maybe he did, he admitted to himself, but he hadn’t made a fool out of himself because of it.

“Huh-uh,” she said as she approached.

“You know, Scully, I’m really tired. I think I could crash right now.” He bit back the smile as she solemnly nodded her agreement. Her movements belied her words.

“Me, too. You realize we haven’t slept in over thirty six hours,” she said as she first removed her clothing and then started on his.

He fought to keep the moan inside as her hands undid his jeans and then pushed them past his hips. “Dana …”

“I don’t think you’re completely exhausted, are you.”

He kicked his shoes off to help as she knelt to remove the rest of his clothing. His arms wrapped around her as she stood back up. “Even if I was in a coma, I would be responding to your touch.”

Her grin was impish as she pushed him back and he fell on the bed. Straddling his waist, she teased, “So it was me you were dreaming about in Alaska.”

His hands moved to her hair and brought her lips closer to his. He refused to be embarrassed about the memory of waking up the second time from the retro-virus with her still smiling at him and his sporting a raging hard-on. “Yes,” he breathed into her mouth as she closed the remaining distance between them.

She braced her hands by his head and used that leverage to straighten her legs on either side of his, all the while keeping their lips sealed. “Mulder,” she said when she tried to catch her breath. His neck arched into the touch of her lips. “Mulder, I love you.”

He wanted to reverse their positions, but the narrow bed prevented an easy transition, especially when she was resisting the move. “Dana?”

She smiled to reassure him and then slowly let her lips follow the path her hands were blazing. He groaned and massaged her shoulders when her tongue found a nipple and she started to gently suckle it. “Oh God.” He gasped when she added her teeth.

Her hands ran over his chest, outlining the muscles and finding the places that made him twitch. Her tongue swirled around his navel before she pulled a bit of the flesh between her teeth and laved at it with her tongue. His hands caressed what he could reach of her… arms, head, shoulders, halfway down her back. When he worked one hand between their bodies, he was able to palm a breast and gently tweak the nipple. It seemed to cause a lapse of concentration in her and he did it again. Her expulsion of breath stirred the hair of his groin and it was his turn to lose sight of what he had been doing.

She moved further down the bed and almost completely out of his reach. Her lips and fingers skimmed along the tense muscles of his thighs and then lower. He flinched when her tongue hit a spot at the back of his knee.

She looked up at him. “You don’t like that? I do.”

“I know you do. And so did I. Do it again?”

She licked her lips and lowered her head. Mulder dropped his head onto the pillow as he felt her warm breath wash over the damp spot left from the moment before. Gooseflesh rose on his leg as her hot tongue once again made contact and then blazed a trail of fire up his thigh. He raised his head again to meet her eyes when she paused for a moment.

“Daaanaaa.” His voice broke over her name when she lowered her head again and started placing soft kisses along his erection. A deep throated “hmmm” vibrated along his length causing him to thrust involuntarily into her touch.

“Huh-uh. Lie still,” she said when he started to twist his body to reach her.

He could tell she was almost as aroused as he was. Her breathing was rapid as it moved across his skin, her eyes were slightly dazed and he could feel her wet heat where she straddled his thigh. He collapsed back and clutched at the bed covers. She lowered her head again and enveloped him in her mouth. Fantasy collided with reality and the explosion shook him to his core.

A twinge of nervousness warred with the waves of anticipation as she sought what pleased him most. Soft kisses … hard pressure … gentle teasing … strong suction … a hint of her teeth … alternating or a combination … His moans became almost constant and his hands in her hair became insistent as they tried to pull her away. She ignored them and gently cupped his balls in her hand, determined to make him mindless.

She stared at him in shocked confusion and sat back on her heels as he moved violently away from her to sit against the wall. His breathing was ragged, sweat covered him from head to toe and his erection was pulsing almost violently.

“Mulder?”

“Gimme a second.”

She barely recognized his voice. “But —” She moved in closer to him and extended her hand to rest high on his thigh. Mulder intercepted it with one hand and pulled it up to his chest. The other arm wrapped around her waist and brought the rest of her closer.

“Together,” he said against her lips. He felt her fingers tangle in his hair and ran his hands up and down her back, over her hips and lower to cup the backs of her thighs. He caught her whimper with his lips as two of his fingers found her from behind. She was wet but nowhere as near the edge as he was. He revised his assessment as she moved impatiently against him.

“Now,” she demanded.

“Are you ready?”

“Mulder, now,” she said again and reached between their bodies.

He fought for control as she guided him and he started to sink into her. She moved along his length slowly, torturing him with the incomplete penetration. “Dana.”

“Mmmm.” Her lips were pressed against his neck and the sound vibrated down his spine.

“I love you.” His hands moved up her back and around so his thumbs could rub against her pebble hard nipples.

“MmmMmm,” she agreed and moved up again so that he was barely inside of her. Her downward movement pulled moans from both of them as she enveloped him completely.

She was so tight around him. And hot. And wet. He thought he was going to lose his mind. Her sleek thighs gripped his hips as she moved on him. Every breath brought their skin into closer contact. The moist air rushed from her mouth and across the base of his neck as her tongue made forays into the hollow that was pooled with his sweat. All of the sensations were heightened by the sounds that would catch in her throat.

“Mulder.”

“What.” It was harsher than he intended, but he was straining for control.

“Let go,” she said against his ear.

“No. Together.” His hands moved from her hips to her thighs. She gasped as his thumb worked its way into the crease between their bodies and loosened the reigns on her control. The speed of their thrusts increased and she moaned as he moved even deeper within her. She wrapped her arms up around his shoulders and buried her face in his neck. The sparse hair on his chest abraded her sensitized flesh, keeping her nipples hard. The salty, musky taste of him was going straight to her head and his harsh groans were music to her, sending her higher. The hard flesh moving within her sent piercing shards of pleasure all along her nerve endings down to her toes and up to the roots of her hair.

She felt him tense and then shudder as he soared over the edge. She followed soon after without hesitation, holding tight as she flew with him. His harsh groan of release mingled with her strangled gasp and the sharp spikes mellowed to gentle pulses as their movements slowed. His arms wrapped around her back, his head falling forward to rest on her shoulder.

They stayed like that as their breathing slowed and their bodies cooled. She was almost asleep when he moved and slipped from her body.

“Mulder?”

“I was going to move the beds together,” he said softly, but made no further effort to get up.

“Hmmm,” she agreed and shifted just enough to straighten her legs and moved one of them to rest between his. A moment later, he scooted both of them down to rest against the pillow once again. Closing his eyes, he held her tight.

*

July 3rd, 4:25 am, PST

Mulder opened his eyes and tried to figure out what had just woken him up. He was completely aware and knew instantly that Scully was still out of it and pressed up against him, so that wasn’t it. The air conditioning was a bit cool, but not completely uncomfortable considering he and Scully were sleeping pretty much on top of each other. He strained his ears, trying to see if it was some noise in the hall that had pulled him from his sleep. A second later he thought he heard a muted alarm.

Trying not to wake her, he carefully untangled their bodies. He pulled some clothes on and then retrieved the blanket from the other bed to cover her with it. She shifted a little at his absence but didn’t wake up. Breathing a sigh of relief, he softly closed the door behind him and headed in the direction Major Mitchell said he wasn’t allowed.

He ran into Skinner on the way.

“You heard it, too?” Mulder asked when they were even in the deserted hall.

“Yeah. Sounded almost like a fire alarm,” he remarked and tucked in his shirt.

“Control room?” Mulder suggested with a grin.

“That’s where I was headed,” Skinner admitted with a similar smile.

A few minutes later, they were in the elevator, descending a couple of floors. When it stopped they took a right upon exiting, heading for the stairwell. The elevator would only go so far without the correct access code, but they had both seen the secondary and mandatory emergency escape route. The lock on the push door was easy to pick and for once Skinner was grateful for Mulder’s tendency to break into military bases.

“When is it scheduled for?” Major Mitchell was asking as he read a printout and looked up at the lieutenant.

“O-five thirty, Pacific Standard Time, sir. El Toro is sending in the first strike on the west coast.”

“And Nellis?”

“There have been no transmission regarding that sector as of yet.”

“Inform the perimeter guards we may see some action on the west side. I don’t want any more alarms sounded unless something crosses our ground space. The air traffic is going to be unavoidable.”

“Yes, sir.”

Major Mitchell looked up and made eye contact with Mulder and Skinner. “That will be all.” He dismissed the lieutenant and motioned for the other two to join them.

“I trust you were able to sleep for a few hours before the alarm sounded.”

Skinner felt a moment’s empathy with the major. As the commanding officer, his time was never completely his own and any large scale SNAFU’s would demand his attention. “A couple. They’ve organized a strike?”

“The Marines out of Irvine. We still don’t have reliable communications with the east coast.”

“Was there anything else on the President?”

Mitchell nodded and led the way back to the elevator. “He’s on his way to NORAD.”

“What’s the word on the cities?” Mulder asked.

“Not good. Reports so far are predicting greater than a seventy five percent loss of the population that hadn’t already left and almost complete destruction of property within the fifteen mile radius of the ships.”

“Jesus.”

“Not quite, Agent Mulder. And I’m going to have to ask you to respect the boundaries placed on you, or I will have to confine you to your room.”

Mulder smiled at the smooth reprimand. The major could have been a complete asshole about the whole thing. Like every other person from the military he had met. “I might be able to live with that if the alarms don’t go off again.”

“I’ll make sure they are disabled on your floor.” Mulder wasn’t completely sure, but it looked like Mitchell was trying not to smile. “Director Skinner, if you would follow me, there are a few things I would like to discuss with you. Agent Mulder, Dr. Okun has requested to meet with you and Agent Scully at O-six hundred. I was just going to have someone call to wake you.”

“Not necessary, now. But where do I get my hands on some coffee?”

“The kitchen, Agent Mulder. The directions are on the can.”

Mulder smirked his thanks and headed down the hall, back to his room. He wasn’t about to jeopardize his meeting with this Dr. Okun. He was anxious to meet someone who had read Scully’s reports on Purity Control and the retro-virus and who could maybe add some other information of his own.

He exited the elevator and turned towards their room. At the last second he changed his mind and headed to the kitchen area. He started a pot of coffee and watched as the first drops came over in that deep aromatic brown color. Only then did he go back to his room with Scully. She usually hated early mornings and he had learned almost immediately to have coffee ready if he wanted to work with a human.

When he opened the door, he stood frozen for a moment to stare at her. She had pushed the cover down part way and her bare breasts tempted him to forget their meeting in less than an hour. Even if it would be a first offense, he KNEW she would do him serious damage for something like that.

“Scully, wake up.” He sat on the edge of the bed and leaned over her. His lips moved along her hairline, stirring the tangled strands. This was so much better than limiting himself to the simple touch along her cheek.

“Time?”

“A little after five. Coffee’s started and we have that meeting at six.”

She opened one eye to glare at him. He couldn’t hold back the smile. “Come on, G-woman. Let’s get the show on the road.”

She groaned and tried to turn over. “Go away.”

“The honeymoon’s over already?”

“If you insist on speaking to me before my coffee, I’ll be a widow soon enough.”

“Message received, Mrs. Mulder. But you still have to wake up and be coherent in …” He looked at that clock and grimaced. “Forty-five minutes.”

She sat up and glared at the same clock. “Why didn’t you wake me up sooner?”

He decided not to tell her about his little excursion until she was fully awake. “You were sleeping,” he said with a shrug. He watched in appreciation as she padded over to her bag without any clothes on. Muttering a few dark curses, she pulled out some clean clothes and her bag of toiletries.

“You said something about coffee?”

“It should be ready by the time you’ve finished getting dressed.”

“Good.” She nodded once and headed toward the small bathroom area.

He grinned and turned to retrieve his own bag of toiletries as she shut the door with an annoyed click.

*

Scully closed the door behind her and tried to comprehend what she was seeing. The bathroom consisted of a narrow shower stall, a minuscule sink and a toilet, but it would suit her purposes. She adjusted the water temperature and stepped under the spray. Letting the water wake her up, she could hear the extra sound of the tap and the occasional click of metal against porcelain. She frowned at the thought of the sink full of whiskers she knew she would encounter when she brushed her teeth. She had been at his home enough and seen the motel sinks to know he didn’t rinse them out well when he was finished.

A few minutes later, she stepped out of the stall and wrapped the provided towel around herself. Her morning ritual was almost complete when Mulder stuck his head in the door. “Are you ready yet?” he asked as he passed her a cup of coffee.

“Almost,” she said as she took a tentative sip and stared at her reflection. She wasn’t going to bother with the minimal amount of makeup she usually wore, mainly because the only clothes she had were the ones she had brought along for her vacation and the outfit she had been married in. On second thought she went ahead and applied the makeup. It would dress up her casual clothes a little more. She was reaching in her bag for the last item when she sensed Mulder’s presence again.

He looked so solemn and sexy that she had to smile as she took the pink rectangle out. She pushed one of the pills through the foil and into her palm.

“Don’t.”

“What?”

He nodded to her hand. Logic fought with the flutterings of excitement. “Mulder … now’s not a good time.” As she waited for his response, she realized she was praying for him to argue with her.

“You’re right.” He crossed the small space and gently kissed her. “Maybe someday though?”

“Yes,” she agreed without hesitation.

“I’ll be in the kitchen. I think I saw some pop-tarts.” He turned and left.

She stared at her palm for a moment and then picked up the pill with her fingers to bring it to her mouth. Now really wasn’t a good time. Good God, their planet was being invaded by aliens. Now was definitely not a good time.

end part 6

Delta S (7/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

July 3rd, 6:03 am, PST

“Agent Mulder, Dr. Scully, this is such a pleasure.”

Scully gingerly flexed her fingers after the enthusiastic hand shake with Data on speed. “Dr. Okun —”

“If you’ll hurry, we can get you through decontamination and I can show you around our research area. We’re in the middle of running some tests right now, and I would love to get some of your input.”

“Dr. Okun,” she tried again, but he had already taken off down the hall.

Mulder just shook his head with a wry grin. “Forget it, Scully. We’ll let him show us the place and see if someone a little less …”

“Hyperactive?”

“Can answer our questions,” he finished with a nod.

They were left alone to put on the outfits that resembled surgical scrubs. She was pulling her hair back when she said, “Mulder?”

“Yeah?” He was looking at the face mask and frowning in confusion.

“I didn’t take it.”

“Take what?” He finally figured out how to put the thing on and started doing so.

“The pill. I washed it down the sink.” Her hands were shaking, causing her to drop the string she was trying to tie. She looked at her fingers for a moment and then up to meet his gaze.

“Dana?”

“Time is what we make of it, Mulder.”

He pulled the mask away from his face and bent to look at her more closely. “You’re saying now is a good time?”

Her lips twisted into a half smile. “It may already be out of our hands.”

He stepped back to put the little booties over his shoes. “Why?” His hands were shaking as well, causing the paper shoes to crinkle in his grasp.

“I missed yesterday. With the wedding and then the ships and … and I’m in the middle of my cycle.” She wasn’t looking at him again. “I didn’t realize it until this morning.”

“So it’s already possible?” he asked as he opened the door to the changing room.

“Anything’s possible, Mulder.”

He smirked at her answer and then placed a quick kiss on her lips. “I’ve been saying that for years.” Pulling the mask back up, he said, “Come on. Let’s go see how accurate the guys’ information has been on this subject.”

*

July 3rd, 6:35 am, PST

Skinner listened in horror as the accounts kept coming in. Their weapons were useless against the invaders. After wiping out the squadrons, the small attack ships had gone after the planes that were still grounded. Then they headed north-east.

“They’re going after NORAD,” he said as an aside to Mitchell. “They’ve already wiped out DC, it’s next in line on the military and governmental list.”

Mitchell nodded his agreement. He then asked one of the people monitoring the transmissions, “Did we do any damage to them?”

“No, sir. The small crafts seemed to be equipped with the same type of force field as the larger ships.”

“Did you know?” Skinner finally asked after several minutes, but he didn’t think so. Mitchell seemed too worried for that to have been the case.

“No. But we were starting to suspect it. Dr. Okun has had three crews working around the clock since the ships got here.” He stared at the map of the US for another moment. “We hadn’t been able to figure out the energy source. All of its computer systems have been down since the crash, but with their arrival, they’re up and running. Dr. Okun —”

“Sir, they’ve just hit NORAD. We’ve lost what was left of the satellite links.”

Silence descended at the additional loss of life and the destruction of the American government. It was several moments before someone spoke.

“Sir…”

“What?”

“Sir, there’s an incoming message. It’s from the President.”

Mitchell crossed the space in a great hurry and put the headset on. With a complete look of awe, he said, “Yes, sir… Yes, sir… Yes, sir… Yes, sir.” After he ended the connection, he turned to the room at large. “Air Force One and her two escorts will be landing here in less than an hour.”

There was a moment of stunned silence before controlled chaos broke out as people hurried to prepare the base for their Commander in Chief.

Major Mitchell turned to Skinner. “Sir, if you would follow me, I would like your help in explaining a few things. And Dr. Okun will be needed as well.”

“The President knew about this place?”

“No, he was just informed a few minutes ago. But the Secretary of Defense was informed when he became the Director of the CIA. We’ve gotten most of our funding filtered through them.”

In retrospect, that was not a surprise. “Who else knew?”

“Not a great number of people have been briefed. It helps that the UFO community has made such a big deal out of it. Most civilians ignore the issue, convinced the others are … unstable.”

“Tell me about it,” he muttered, thinking about all the jokes and shit Mulder had put up with for years.

*

July 3rd, 7:45 am, PST

“… Or as some of us have come to call it … the Freak Show … hehemmm. Yes.”

Mulder ran his hand through his hair and tried to ignore the lingering feel of the paper scrubs on his skin. It was a little embarrassing to meet the President and his entourage while looking like one of the other drones in the room, but at least he and Scully were included in the rest of the tour. He couldn’t quite explain what he was feeling at the moment and he doubted she could either. Before them, incased in tubes of glass were three beings he had been searching for, ever since he started working on the X-Files. They didn’t exactly resemble the most popular drawings of the Greys, but it was pretty damn close.

“Scully?”

Dr. Okun was still talking, but neither one of them was really listening. He watched her eyes and knew she was going through the same things he was. The anger, the excitement, the fear … all were battling for control.

Most of the people followed Major Mitchell as he led them back to the hanger with the spacecraft. One man hung back, unimpressed and looking a little bored with the review of things he already knew. Scully’s eyes were blazing when she turned to the Secretary of Defense.

“Why did you keep it a secret?”

“It was a matter of national security and in the best interest of the American people.”

“That’s bullshit and you know it.”

“Agent Scully —” Skinner tried to remind her who she was. He wasn’t used to displays of emotion like that from her. Mulder, yes. Scully, no.

“I’m sorry, sir. But I would think that with all the work Mulder and I have done with the X-Files over the years, we would have been let in on the big secret. It’s not like we would have published anything in The Lone Gunman.” She shot a quick look at Mulder to see if he agreed with her on that. “Is this where all our evidence has disappeared to?”

“Agent Scully, I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Of course you don’t. Deny everything. They are at our front door and you are still denying your involvement.” Mulder knew Scully had wanted to say the same thing, but he had beat her to it. He could also see she wasn’t upset by that though.

The man turned and walked away. Mulder started to follow, intent on learning more about the ships and the aliens. Scully had the same thought, but Skinner calling her name stopped her in her tracks.

Not quite meeting his eyes, she said, “I apologize for my outburst, sir.”

“That’s not what I was going to say. I agree with you. We’ve been kept in the dark for years and you and Mulder have ferreted out their leaks and new leads for them without being told even what you needed to know. I was going to say —”

“Dr. Scully! We’ve got a live one!”

She and Skinner both turned to watch as Dr. Okun started running towards them. The pocket protector almost leapt from its perch in the man’s haste.

“What?”

“A pilot is bringing in a live one that he shot down! Come on! Oh, I’ve been dreaming of this!”

Mulder was close behind him, his eyes lit with expectation. Dr. Okun kept shouting instructions as he ordered people to set up an OR.

“Scully, you’re going to be in there with them, right?”

“You better believe it, Mulder. Sir, if you’ll excuse me …”

“No need to ask, Scully. I’m sure they’ll have an observation room, so we’ll see you there.”

She turned to follow the members of the staff that were headed back towards the biological research area. “God, I hope this one doesn’t end up in some cheesy “Alien Autopsy” production video, too,” she muttered to herself.

“I am now convinced that this is all a dream,” Mulder stated as he and Skinner waited for the others to catch up with them.

“It’s been almost like a nightmare for me. I would prefer to find myself still in my Las Vegas hotel room and suffering from a bad case of indigestion.”

“So would you have preferred to learn about our marriage from the rumor mill?”

“I could have brushed it off as paranoid speculation on many people’s part, if that were the case. As it is, I can’t deny it.”

The President and the other arrived. “I want to speak with the pilot first. Maybe he knows something about their shields.”

Major Mitchell nodded. “We can meet with him upstairs. It’s going to take Dr. Okun a few minutes to get things prepped in the OR.”

Mulder reluctantly followed as they headed towards the elevator. He wanted to go to the observation room right then, but if the only thing he was going to be able to see was a bunch of instruments laying about, he could bypass the experience. He still got the chills when he thought about surgeons and their bags of not-so-medieval torture devices.

*

July 3rd, 8:45 am, PST

Mulder wished they would all just shut up. Dr. Okun had disappeared with the alien over thirty minutes ago and Mulder had a feeling that they were missing something important. But both the President and the others, including Skinner, kept asking the pilot questions.

Finally, they let the guy go get cleaned up. Mulder started to lead the way to the elevator and toward the research area, but Skinner’s glare made him hang back to let Mitchell and the higher ups lead the way. He knew the procedure on the alien was being taped; he heard someone reassure Mitchell of that, but he still wanted to see every second of it. He almost felt he was qualified to be in the room because of all the times he had helped Scully. But if the jackasses would hurry up, watching would be just as informative.

Suddenly, he felt as if he was missing out on something big and picked up his pace again.

“Mulder.”

He stopped at Skinner’s recognizable tone. “Yes?”

“They aren’t going anywhere. Slow down.”

“Something is going on,” he said and resumed his former speed.

Skinner watched Mulder’s back for a second. “Yeah. Your aliens have landed,” he muttered under his breath. He hurried to catch up, not willing to admit it, but he was as impatient as Mulder to finally get some answers.

They both had to cool their heels at the door until Mitchell punched in the code. Skinner stepped into the observation room last and had to side step quickly to avoid running into a stalled Mulder. Skinner frowned in confusion. Through the glass, he couldn’t see anything. A white smoke filled the room and occasionally the sparks from a live, loose electrical wire could be seen through the haze. Suddenly Dr. Okun was thrown against the glass. Both his and Mulder’s hands went to their hips, reaching for weapons that weren’t there.

“God. Scully.” Mulder whirled around, barely giving Skinner enough time to get out of his way.

“Mulder,” he called and followed as the younger man hurried through the corridors. The sound of gunfire stopped him in his tracks. A second later, he was on his way back to the observation room.

Mulder rounded the corner, his heart rate increasing even more at the sound of gunshots. That tentacle around the doctor’s neck brought to mind images of a B-movie octopus with Scully being strangled by one of the other arms. He tried to convince himself that he wasn’t acting out of hand. If this had happened last week, he would still be acting the same way. And he was right. Their feelings weren’t new, just their admission of them.

He stared at the number pad for the lock for an eternity and then tried to peer through the small window. It was still too smoky to make out anything beyond the electrical sparks. He glared at the lock again and started punching numbers.

“Mulder? What are you doing?”

He spun around, his stomach in his throat. “Scully?”

She smiled as she tied the drawstring on another set of scrubs. “What?”

“Are you OK?”

She came up even with him. “Mulder, what’s going on?”

His relief was making his knees weak. “Why weren’t you in there?” He frowned in confusion.

“They needed Mom’s help with all the people on the surface. I went to get her and then I had to use the restroom.” Her frown matched his. “What’s wrong, Mulder?” she repeated.

“Okun’s dead. I think they’re all dead.”

They both moved to the side as the door started to open. Mulder actually grinned when he saw who was on the other side.

“Scully, you’re OK?” Skinner asked.

She nodded while she and Mulder walked into the room and started at the destruction. “I’m fine,” she replied automatically. “What happened?”

“The President’s ordered a nuclear strike.”

*

July 3rd, 6:45 pm, PST

She found him in a borrowed lawn chair at the edge of the RV encampment. He was staring at the sun as it began its descent on the other side of the mountains. She didn’t say anything as she sat down in the sand next to him.

Mulder was the first to break the silence. “Nimziki knows the cigarette smoking man.” Scully didn’t respond. Somehow she wasn’t surprised to learn the Secretary of Defense knew their enemies, but that wasn’t what was bothering him. Finally he continued, “If we destroy them, we’ll never find Samantha.”

“Mulder…” Her voice trailed off as she tried to sort her feelings. “You’ve asked me before if I’ve ever believed she had been abducted by aliens.” He nodded once in agreement. “I still don’t believe that,” she finished. She held up her hand with a smile to stop the debate she could see forming. “It’s not because I don’t believe in EBE’s, Mulder. The proof on that is irrefutable. I think she was taken to control your father and they are still using her as a way to control you.”

“You still don’t think the government had some kind of deal going with them?”

“If there was a deal, I think we got the short end of the stick.”

They were both silent as the sun set the sky on fire. Softly she said, “The bombers have been deployed.”

“I know.”

“If you think about it, our chances of finding her have increased.”

He smiled slightly and trailed his fingers along her cheek. Scully closed her eyes and leaned into his touch. “Is that before or after we’re exterminated?” The smiled turned bitter, but before she could reply, he said, “Sorry, Scully. The nukes might actually work.” He tried to find some enthusiasm in the possibility.

“Do you want to go down to the war room?”

“No. I just want to sit here for awhile longer.” His actions contradicted his words and the lawn chair creaked as he stood up. The question was in her eyes about what he was doing. He answered by sitting down behind her and pulling her close.

end part 7

Delta S (8/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

July 3rd, 8:45 pm, PST

“I was just going up to find you two.” Skinner stepped to the side and waited for them. Mulder and Scully exited the elevator and headed down the hall to their quarters. Like yesterday, the silence was everywhere, but unlike yesterday, people filled the halls, making the absence of noise that much more obvious. Skinner waited until the door was closed behind them before he spoke again. “The mission failed,” he said simply.

“How many cities were destroyed before they admitted that?” Scully managed around the lump in her throat.

“The bombers reached Houston first. When the missile had no effect, the rest of the strike was called off.”

“You mean the only civilized place in Texas is no longer? Damn. Now there’s no hope for the rest of the state.”

Skinner and Scully ignored Mulder’s attempt at humor. “What are they doing now?” she asked when Mulder fell silent and ran his hands through his hair.

“There’s not much anyone can do. Our most effective and destructive weapons are useless. Most of the experimental technology was destroyed with the first ten cities that were hit. And what’s left, we can’t get to.”

“Nimziki hasn’t said anything? He has no idea how we can fight them?”

Skinner frowned in shared frustration at Mulder’s question. “He’s not saying much of anything. And he has been unable to reach his contacts.”

“Hopefully, they’re dust particles right about now.”

“I doubt it, Mulder. They’re probably holed up in some secure location, waiting for the right moment to crawl out of the woodwork.”

Mulder’s lips twisted at the image Scully painted. “You’re just saying that to argue with me.”

“It’s my reason for living, Mulder.” Her quick smile faded as she faced Skinner again. “Do they need us upstairs for anything? I didn’t think to ask before we headed down here.”

Skinner shook his head. “No. The research team is still running tests on the ship, but it doesn’t look promising. And the recovery crew has returned with the ship Captain Hiller shot down. The crew is hoping to replace some of the parts in the original ship they couldn’t fix with parts from this one.”

Scully nodded, a little relieved at the stalemate. They all needed time to regroup. “I’m going to check on my mother, get something to eat and then try and get some sleep.”

“Maybe after a few hours, we’ll have some new ideas,” Mulder agreed. He was frustrated that he couldn’t do anything to help, but neither he nor Scully had the background needed in the hanger and they would just be in the way right now.

“Last I saw, Maggie was helping organize the White House staff again. Some people weren’t happy with their initial room assignments.” Skinner’s tone was almost contemptuous as he replayed the petty bickering he had overheard in the halls.

Mulder smirked at the comment and opened the door. “They should have gotten here early like we did. And we still got stuck with twin beds.”

“Could be worse, Mulder,” Skinner muttered as they reached his room. “You could be bunking with a third person you didn’t know.” Mulder was sympathetic as Skinner grimaced in pain. “I’m going to get a shower and then head downstairs again. I don’t think I can stand to be cooped up with Mr. Jackson of the White House Press Staff for more than a few minutes.”

He closed the door and Mulder and Scully continued down the hall toward the kitchen/rec lounge area. The people milling around, the increase in noise level, the general disregard for others all reminded Scully of her dorm days. She tried to push the horrific memories once again to the back of her mind but it was difficult, especially with her mother acting as the hall mother. Mrs. Scully was sitting at one of the tables and smiled in disguised relief at the sight of reinforcements, but she didn’t leave her post.

Scully picked through the nearly empty cabinets that had been overflowing when she and Mulder had had their breakfast. Empty containers and dirty dishes littered the ample countertops while people ignored the mess. On top of bitching about their quarters, it looked like the new people couldn’t clean up after themselves either. She ignored Mulder’s exaggerated groan as she finally found a can of soup and pulled it off of a shelf. At least it wasn’t cream of fungus.

“There was a reason God made you short, Scully.”

“And that would be?” she asked with a raised eyebrow and a pursing of her lips. She knew she was short. He didn’t have to keep pointing it out.

“So that things that wanted to stay hidden on top shelves could stay hidden.”

“That’s not it, Mulder. God made some overly tall people so they could do the bidding of the correctly heightened ones.”

“Correctly heightened?” he asked as she dug through the drawers for a can opener. “Are you sure we can’t convince Domino’s to deliver?”

Scully just glared at him as she opened the can. Soup was just what she wanted to eat in the middle of summer a couple of hundred feet below the desert surface while their planet was being attacked by non-environmentally conscious extra-terrestrial biological entities. Placing the soup in the microwave, she watched with a detached air as blue sparks were generated and created a halo of electrical energy along the edge of the can. She reflected how the field resembled the representation of electrons in the pi-bonds of a conjugated ring system from her organic chemistry.

“Scully!” Mulder’s shout as he stopped the microwave pulled her from her musings. “Go sit down. I’ll wash something to heat this in.”

She hid her amusement as his expression mirrored something she would use on him for pulling the same stunt. The group surrounding her mother had disbanded and she sank into the chair next to her.

“How are you holding up, dear?”

Scully smiled ruefully as she thought about almost destroying the microwave and their dinner. “I was just about to ask you that.”

“You would think no one ever had to share a room or do chores before,” Maggie said with a small shake of her head. “And the base wasn’t prepared for this large influx of people. It’s mainly the scientists that were stationed here for any length of time. The military crew rotated in from Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. The normal food stores are almost gone. Starting tomorrow, all the meals will be survival rations.”

Scully raised her eyebrow at the appetizing aspect. All of a sudden the bowl Mulder just sat in front of her didn’t look half bad. She smiled her thanks and took the spoon he offered as well. She divided her attention between the food, the people on either side of her, and the conversation they were having. Finally the soup and the stale crackers Mulder had found at the back of a top shelf were gone. She stood up and washed her bowl out.

When she turned, Mulder was right behind her. Their bodies brushed together in a dance very familiar to them both, but this time the contact lingered. It was more natural and graceful than previous accidental encounters because there wasn’t an awkward, abrupt, embarrassed separation.

“Mulder?”

“Hmm?” he asked near her ear.

“I think I’m ready for bed.”

His grin made her stomach to a flip. “Me, too.”

Out of habit, she started to glare at him. In the middle of raising her eyebrow, she added a smile that had him catching his breath. She turned to Maggie and said, “Mom, do you need any help?” She was feeling a little guilty for not offering to do all the dishes, but if her mother really needed help she would say so.

“No, dear. I’m almost done here. People have been assigned to clean the kitchen before breakfast can be started. You and Fox go on and get some rest. Your turn will be to help with lunch cleanup.”

Scully brushed a kiss against her cheek. “’Night, Mom.”

Mulder was still a little reserved. He placed his hand on her shoulder but said, “Goodnight, Mom.”

She patted his hand. “Goodnight, dears. Sweet dreams.” Her smile wasn’t exactly innocent.

Scully managed to control the blush this time as she and Mulder left the area. His hand was resting firmly at the small of her back instead of just an occasionally brushing. He closed the door behind him and leaned against it.

He felt just a little awkward now that they were alone. He didn’t just want to jump on her, but then again, he did. “I’m gonna get a shower,” he finally said.

Scully nodded as she sat down on one of the beds. “You are getting a bit ripe, Mulder,” she agreed.

His lips twisted as he retrieved his little black bag and started stripping off his jeans and T-shirt. When he was down to his skivvies, he flushed at the whistle of appreciation that came from the other side of the room. “Are we going to have to set up some ground rules?” He pulled his boxers back up the few inches he had lowered them.

“We’re alone. We can tease each other,” Scully stated with a nod of her head.

“I don’t recall doing any teasing.”

“What was the little show then? You’re already that comfortable with us that you can strip down like it was nothing? Like we’ve been married for years?”

“Well, I wasn’t going to go hide in the bathroom,” he said with a shrug and proceeded to do just that. He showered quickly, grinning the entire time at his bout of shyness. He was using an extra towel to help dry his hair while he stood in the doorway. “You know, Scully…” his voice trailed off when the towel was no longer obscuring his vision.

She had moved the two beds together and it looked like she had used some rope to tie the legs together. The beds wouldn’t move apart under the right circumstances, but she was sound asleep on top of the covers. His rueful grin softened at the sight. He dropped the towel he used to dry his hair and the one covering his hips on the floor. It only took a moment to find a clean pair of boxers, but it was several minutes before he crossed the room to Scully.

He gently moved her and said soothingly, “Come on, Scully. Get under the blankets,” when she mumbled in her sleep. Eventually she woke up enough to help him and Mulder shook his head as he turned out the lights. “Goodnight, Scully,” he said into her hair and pulled her close.

“’Night, Mulder,” she mumbled and wrapped her hand around his forearm nestled across her chest.

He watched the shadows cross the stream of light coming under their door for almost an hour before he too fell asleep.

*

July 4th, 2:45 am, PST

Scully reached for the phone without opening her eyes. “Mulder, this better not be another bug hunt.”

“Scully?” Her name came from two different sources. Skinner continued to say something else and Mulder remained silent.

She twisted a little as the body next to her registered in her sleep-drugged mind. She frowned at his grin and turned her attention to what Skinner was saying. “Yes, sir,” she finally said. “We’ll be there in a few minutes.”

Mulder glanced at the clock over Scully’s shoulder. He fell back against the pillow and as she hung up the phone, he asked, “Is this what you feel like when I call at three o’clock in the morning?”

She threw the cover to the side and still half asleep, said, “If you were listening at all, you would realize I did think it was you at first.”

“Yeah, I heard the “bug hunt” comment, Scully. And I didn’t find it humorous.”

“Too bad, Mulder. I think it happens to be very appropriate. Get up.”

“Why?” He blinked when she turned the harsh fluorescent overhead light on.

“Because we have to be in the hanger in fifteen minutes,” she answered and started digging through her bag. She was now grateful for her not-quite-vacation-clothes clothes.

Mulder stood up and headed for his own clothes. “Did Skinner mention what’s going on?”

“No. He doesn’t know either. Major Mitchell just called him and asked him to relay the message.”

“This is too weird, Scully,” Mulder muttered through the T-shirt he was pulling over his head.

“What?” She debated a moment on whether or not she should go into the bathroom to put her bra and underwear on. Then she remembered teasing Mulder not too many hours ago about the same thing and mentally shrugged. She watched Mulder’s jaw drop out of the corner of her eye as she pulled her sleeping T-shirt over her head and started to fasten her bra. She couldn’t keep the half amused smile from her lips as he continued to watch her with his hands still gripping the T-shirt which was only half on him. “Mulder?” she prompted finally.

He swallowed once and tried to remember what they had been talking about. “Uh… Being allowed to see things,” he finally managed and tugged the shirt down to his waist.

“They probably figured we would find a way to be there if we weren’t invited. They are just saving themselves some trouble.”

Mulder grabbed his one and only pair of jeans again and hunted for his last pair of clean socks. Unlike Scully, he had brought mostly shorts and sleeveless shirts for his vacation. The only clean thing he had left to wear after today’s outfit around his boss was the suit he got married in. He was reluctant to wear it for such an ordinary thing though. Just like Scully had yet to wear the cream suit she had chosen for their wedding. Instead she wore her slacks and cotton shirts which were far below her normal standards for work clothes.

“Do we have time to get some coffee?” It was more a question of self-preservation rather than a need of it for himself.

“No,” she said as she pulled on her shoes. “Maybe they’ll have some down in the hanger.”

Mulder tied his own shoes and headed for the door. Scully’s voice stopped him.

“Mulder, aren’t you going to brush your hair? Or your teeth?” she asked as she headed for the little bathroom.

“Ah, Mom. Do I have to?” Funny how little things like that just didn’t seem important when the planet was under attack by a plague of locust.

Scully just glared and Mulder grabbed his toothbrush and headed toward the bathroom. A few minutes later, there was an impatient knock at the door. “I bet it’s Skinner, wondering why we aren’t ready.”

“And we’ll tell him that you had developed a bad case of dragon breath.”

Mulder was pouting as Scully headed toward the door. “Aren’t we supposed to be tiptoeing around each other’s feelings right now?”

“Mulder, most of this situation is NOT new. You have bad breath at three o’clock in the morning. I know. There have been enough stakeouts where I almost gagged because of it.” The last was said as she opened the door to admit a tired looking Assistant Director.

“Yeah, and you are REAL pleasant if you don’t get your coffee right after you wake up.”

Skinner looked between the two bickering newlyweds with a blank stare. “There’s coffee in the kitchen,” he offered, hoping to diffuse the tense situation.

“There. My problem is solved,” she said and left the room.

Skinner watched as Scully hurried down the hall. “Mulder?”

He put the used toothbrush back in his bag and shook his head. “I didn’t wake her up, but I’m still the one that catches hell for it.”

Skinner finally managed a smile as he and Mulder went to follow Scully. “Welcome to the wonderful world of wedlock.”

Mulder glared at the alliterating AD. “You haven’t slept yet, have you?”

“No. Mrs. Whitmore died a few hours ago.”

“They found her?” Mulder asked as they reached the kitchen. Scully was cleaning a large mug for her coffee that someone had left by the TV. Just the smell of the stuff was putting her in a better mood.

“Captain Hiller brought her and several other survivors back from El Toro. She died from internal injuries shortly after they arrived here. There wasn’t anything the doctors could do for her.”

Scully poured her coffee and the three of them headed toward the hanger in silence. The halls were deserted and the people they did encounter continued on with their tasks. They were surprised when they entered the hanger with the downed space craft. The place was alive with people and machinery. Dr. Levinson was pointing to something under the ship and then telling everybody to step back. He placed a soda can on the ship and then went to face the President. Curiosity took hold as Dr. Levinson asked Major Mitchell to shoot the Coke can.

Mulder smirked. “I know there’s a cola war going on, but doesn’t this qualify as overkill?”

Scully ignored him and focused her attention on the people closest to the ship. She tensed and moved to stand in front of Mulder when the President gave the OK. She could sense Mulder’s smirk turn into a frown as Skinner moved closer as well. He had to side-step a little to put some more space between him and the other man. Scully felt justified in her precautions when the bullet ricocheted off of the force field, barely missing the space Mulder had occupied a moment ago.

Mulder glared at her. “Was that really necessary?”

“When was the last time I was in the hospital because I was shot?”

He didn’t have an answer for that and aimed his glare at Skinner. “What’s your excuse?” he asked, referring to Skinner’s not so distant stint in the hospital for just that.

“It worked, didn’t it.”

A shot rang out again, taking all three of them by surprise, but this time the bullet echoed hollowly as it pierced the defenseless aluminum can. There was a rush of bodies as people tried to get closer to hear the explanation.

“I gave it a cold,” Dr. Levinson said. “I gave it a virus. A computer virus.”

“He stole that from “War of the Worlds”,” Mulder said not quite under his breath.

“Shut up, Mulder.”

They both fell silent as Dr. Levinson and then Captain Hiller started explaining a possible way to defeat the invaders. As she listened to the plan, Scully revised her opinion on who could come up with the wackiest and most farfetched ideas. She felt a surge of adrenaline go through her. It was the same sensation as when Mulder would convince her to go along with one of his theories.

The President exited the hanger, while she and her companions paused a moment. “So do you think it will work?” she asked.

Mulder kept his gaze on the two men talking several feet away from them. “We’ve seen more bizarre theories pan out, Scully,” he said with a shrug.

She nodded her agreement and led the way out of the hanger. As they entered the clean room, she was startled by the sound of electronic components crashing to the floor. The President fired his Secretary of Defense and told General Grey to gather planes and enough pilots to fly them.

“Scully?”

She paused in her rapid pace to shoot a glance over her shoulder. “Yes?”

“Where are you going?”

That stopped her completely and she turned to face him. “I have a piloting license. Remember, Mulder. I didn’t want to ever be in the same situation as Icy Cape again. And neither did you.”

He realized what she was going to do and felt a fist start to squeeze his heart. “Last time I checked, that license was for small, twin engine planes. Not F-18 fighter jets.”

She pursed her lips at his tone. It had been quite awhile since he had acted that catty. “One word about me not being able to reach the pedals, Mulder, and you will regret it.” She turned on her heel to catch up with the general. She knew they probably wouldn’t need her, but she had to at least offer. She felt pretty useless in the war so far and needed to do something. The reason Mulder was being an ass was because he felt the same way and he didn’t have an opportunity to help. He watched her walk away with a frown etched on his face.

“Mulder, let her go.”

He turned to glare at Skinner. “She hasn’t even had her license that long. Between all of our out of town cases and the quarantines and … and .. well, it’s taken time for her to log in all her hours.”

“If I had ANY experience, even from twenty years ago, I would be volunteering as well. And so would you,” he finally said.

That seemed to calm Mulder down. “You’re right.” He paused a moment and then said, “How long do you think it would take to learn how to be her … rear man? Navigator. Be her Mother Goose, while she plays Maverick.”

“Depends on when they plan the strike, Mulder. If there’s enough time, I’ll take the same crash course that you do.”

Mulder just nodded and watched as General Grey took off again with Scully following close behind.

end part 8

Delta S (9/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

July 4th, 3:12 am, PST

Scully glanced around the area and wondered if she had finally lost her mind. When she had first approached General Grey, she had known there wasn’t much of a chance that she would be able to help. The general had politely thanked her for her offer and stated what she already knew: She had absolutely no experience flying jets.

But less than an hour later, she was sitting with a bunch of other people who had a similar lack of experience. The others weren’t really sure why the call for pilots had sounded, but no one was hesitating to step forward either. The people were segregated into several groups after the initial call. If someone had any experience flying jets, they were going directly to the F-18’s. People with less experience were being taken in groups to the simulator.

Scully’s hands were trembling as she stepped out of the little cockpit at the end of her time. She hadn’t crashed during take off like some of the others, but there was no way she felt prepared enough to fly off into the wild blue yonder. And the flight suit she was given didn’t help. She had to role the legs up several times, making her feel about as old as when she had tried on one of her father’s uniforms. Taking a deep breath, she followed the next set of directions and went to find her plane.

*

July 4th, 3:46 am, PST

Mulder leaned against a jeep, trying to keep out of people’s way, but also trying to stay close enough to hear what was going on with the group of pilots Major Mitchell was addressing. The military personnel on the base had doubled with the arrival of some of the ground crew from Nellis. The group of Vietnam and Gulf War veterans looked a little worse for wear. One was even grimacing as he tried to sober up with the help of toxic sludge, handed to him by a young man, presumably his son.

The scene was definitely chaotic as Mitchell said, “Let’s start with you.”

The haggard man was telling Mitchell about his flying experience. Then he said something that grabbed Mulder’s complete attention. “And on a personal note, sir … I’d just like to add that ever since I was kidnaped by aliens ten years ago, I’ve… uh … been dyin’ for some payback. And I just want you to know I … uh … won’t let you down.”

Mulder felt a surge of anger on the man’s behalf as the people around him shared looks Mulder had seen too many times to count. How could people still dismiss the possibility of alien abductions? They were here and planning on eliminating the entire population. God, they themselves were planning a world wide counter offensive to get rid of the invaders and eye-witnesses to the reconnaissance missions were still being treated like flakes.

“I’m sure it doesn’t help that most abductees suffer from things that can be diagnosed as much safer ailments.”

Skinner’s voice broke Mulder out of his thoughts and Mulder nodded in agreement. “Russell Casse has had his abduction experience explained by one, PTSD from Vietnam, two, alcohol, or three, the chemicals used in crop dusting.” He looked around at all the people once again. “It’s so much easier to believe one of those choices instead of the truth.”

“It’s because we can defeat those, Mulder. Either through counseling, drugs or denial, those can be defeated. I think that fear has been the reason we haven’t wanted to believe. Fear and ego. And so far our fears have been founded. We haven’t been able to put up much of a fight against the technologically superior beings from outer space,” he finished softly.

Mulder stopped paying attention as he saw a flash of familiar red out of the corner of his eye. Scully was in a flight suit a few sizes too big and quickly walking away from their position. He used his shoulders to push away from the jeep and said, “They haven’t pissed off the right people until now.”

Skinner watched without comment as Mulder hurried after Scully. Mulder was probably right. Most people were reluctant to act until given the right kind of motivation. And with recent developments, there was now a whole bag of things to chose from. Revenge, fear, a determination NOT to go down without a fight. The human animal was like any other when threatened. Most often it would die trying to defend itself, its family, or its territory. Couple that with the American military’s superiority complex and media support and he could see one hell of a battle was about to ensue.

“Excuse me, Director Skinner, Major Mitchell has asked …”

Skinner nodded and followed the man toward the RV encampment. Apparently the civilians were reluctant to follow military dictates. Major Mitchell was trying to keep everybody at ease by making things seem as normal as possible. And Mitchell thought that as the highest representative of the FBI, Skinner fit the bill better than the MP’s. He found it ironic that the last time he had been part of crowd control, he had been wearing a Marine uniform.

*

July 4th, 4:45 am, PST

The area was filled with pilots, the ground crews, the inhabitants of the RV’s and the beasts themselves. The bulky vehicles had been moved to make room for the planes and were now cloistered around the few hangers that made up Area 51 on the surface. Mulder watched as Scully went over “her” plane again and wondered how he had been cast in the role of Princess Leia while she got to go off and fight the evil galactic empire.

“Mulder?”

He was startled to hear her voice so close. “You ready?”

Her grin was rueful as she shook her head. “I could use a couple of more months, but …”

“Scully —”

“Don’t,” she asked. “I have to do this.”

“I know,” he answered and smoothed a strand of hair back into behind her ear. “Just …”

“Try and make it back in one piece?” she offered.

His throat closed, preventing a smart answer.

“I’ve got a lot to live for, Mulder. My video collection of sports superstars isn’t complete.”

He was leaning down to kiss her when Major Mitchell asked for all of the flight crews to report to their areas. The slow interchange was cut short and Mulder reluctantly raised his head. Instead of leaving just then, Scully stepped closer to watch something behind him.

The President’s voice was scratchy as it came over the PA system. “… Mankind… That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interest. Perhaps … it’s fate, that today is the Fourth of July and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression or persecution … but from annihilation. We’re fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known an American holiday, but as the day when world declared in one voice: We will NOT go quietly into the night. We will NOT vanish without a fight. We’re going to live on. We’re going to survive. Today we celebrate our Independence Day.”

The crowd erupted into cheers and Mulder fought his own reaction of hope. But it wasn’t enough. The warm fuzzies were stronger than his pessimism and fear and he felt a genuine smile form for the first time since they met up with Skinner two days ago.

“You know, Scully, he won’t have to worry about re-election after that speech.”

Her lips twisted into a smile and then she wrapped her arm around his waist. “You know, Mulder, he reminds me of the actor in “Spaceballs.” Kinda kills the whole mood, doesn’t it.”

He laughed, pulling her close, despite the bulky suit she was wearing. “Go kick some ass, Scully,” he said into her hair.

“Don’t end up in the hospital, Mulder.”

“I’ll have Skinner here to protect me,” he answered and nodded at the man standing a few feet away. Reluctantly, he let her go and just as reluctantly he followed her toward her plane.

Mulder watched as Scully climbed the attached ladder and settled into the cockpit. Several minutes later, she gave a thumbs-up sign to her crew. Finally, he saw her scan the area to look for him. Although she gave no physical acknowledgment of his presence, he felt her touch, the connection that had always been theirs. Their eye contact was broken as her plane started to taxi away from him. Staring after it, he felt a familiar hand rest on his shoulder and turned toward it.

“She’ll be OK, Fox.”

“I know. She’s usually the one that ends up saving my ass when I get us into trouble.”

“She doesn’t see it that way.”

He nodded. “But I don’t have the chance to back her up now when she needs me.”

“You should have thought of that sooner.” The words were harsh, but the tone wasn’t. “As I understand it, you could have signed up for the flying lessons as well.”

He stared at the person that was smirking at him. “Now I know where she gets it from,” he said with a smile.

Maggie patted his arm. “Come on, Fox. You’re just in the way here and Walter wanted your help.”

He paused to watch as Scully’s plane reached the runway. A moment later, with a burst of technological fury, she was airborne and disappearing into the lightening sky.

“She’s doing this to get even with me for every time she thinks I ditched her,” he muttered to himself and then went to follow Maggie across the compound. Maybe if he was busy helping Skinner, he wouldn’t be preoccupied with what could be happening 40,000 feet above his head.

*

July 4th, 5:03 am, PST

Scully understood the awe her brother had once tried to explain to her about flying jets as the engines forced her into the sky. The plane toggled a little as she over adjusted in one direction. A second later she straightened it out and was flying level. A voice in her headset repeated what altitude she should head for and what her position in relation to the rest of the squadron should be. After acknowledging the instructions, Scully ran through another mental checklist on the last minute “Do’s and Do Not’s” for flying an F-18. She shifted a little in her seat to relieve the pressure as her weight forced the wooden block to cut into her thigh. It was adding a crucial few inches to her height, but it was also as uncomfortable as hell.

More planes joined her and the others that were already airborne. A moment later, she was surprised to hear the President’s voice in the headset as he took the lead. There were a few other background murmurs, but it seemed as if everyone was too nervous to joke like they had all seen in the movies. Once everyone was flocked together, their formation sucked, but hopefully it was enough to get the job done.

“We have visual.”

“No shit, Sherlock,” she mouthed quietly in answer to the President’s statement. It was kinda hard to miss a fifteen mile wide alien spaceship that was approaching them at the same rate that they were approaching it.

God. They were headed toward the base.

A new wave of determination went through her. It was all good and noble to fight for the abstract, when the ships were hundreds of miles away, but these things were now threatening her family. Not in a global sense, but in an immediate and more terrifying way.

The gallows humor started as they closed in on the ship. Judging by some of the comments, it was the more experienced pilots that had the lines that rivaled some of Mulder’s more terrible ones. And they all seemed to be more appropriate for bad dialogue in cheesy sci-fi movies.

*

July 4th, 5:28 am, PST

Mulder repeated the same phrase for what felt like the millionth time in less than a half hour time span. The next time he had to say it, he edited it for content. “Please, remain seated with your seatbelts fastened and your trays in the upright and locked position.” Like anybody was really listening to him. He grinned when he heard a snicker several feet away.

He knew Skinner and Mitchell had him doing busy work, but it was helping. There was actually a second or two when he didn’t think about what Scully might be thinking about. It wasn’t that he doubted her ability to take care of herself, it was more that … He finally admitted to himself that he was envious. He wanted to be up there, having an up close and personal encounter with something he had been searching years for. There was also a moment or two where he considered sneaking on board the spacecraft with Captain Hiller and Dr. Levinson. But somehow common sense had prevailed.

The next time that little voice spoke up in his head, he was going to sever its vocal cords. Listening to that voice pretty much nixed any fun he could have or trouble he could get into. The voice reminded him a lot of Scully at times.

“Agent Mulder!” He turned at the sound of Major Mitchell’s anxious tone.

“What?” Now what did they want him to do? Lead everyone in a game of “Simon Says?”

“We’ve got incoming. I need your help getting these people downstairs.” Mitchell threw him a set of keys. “For the stairwell,” he shouted as he hurried off to the far end of the compound with Connie right at his side.

“Oh, good. Now I get to herd cattle,” he muttered to himself. In a louder voice, he called out, “OK. I need everyone to grab what they can and follow me.”

Skinner was nearby and soon they had a nice disorganized, screaming line of people headed for the narrow stairway leading several hundred feet below the surface.

*

July 4th, 5:45 am, PST

Mulder abandoned his post and slouched in a corner after the first groups had been led to the large, no-longer-clean, clean room. He wasn’t needed to help keep people calm any longer. He seriously doubted an entire tanker of Valium could manage the feat for him alone at this point, nevermind everyone else they had crammed into the relatively small space. He focused his gaze on Maggie as she gathered a bunch of scared people around her, her eyes including him even across the distance. He nodded to her in acknowledgement, but lost eye contact when something out of the corner of his eye caught his attention.

He stood up straight when he saw the young man from earlier head towards the stairwell. Just as the kid opened the door, Mulder remembered the keys Mitchell had given him only a few minutes ago. Cautiously, he looked around the room and then shrugged. He was going to find out what was going on even if he had to hurt someone.

God, what if they couldn’t get past the shields. Scully and the others wouldn’t stand a chance. But if the shields weren’t bypassed, the base would be the next target and he wouldn’t have to worry about living through this without her.

The young man jumped as Mulder’s hand landed on his shoulder. “What are you doing?” Mulder asked in mild voice.

The kid stood up from his stooped position and glared defiantly at him. “My dad’s up there. I wanna find out what’s goin’ on.”

Mulder pulled the keys out and jangled them slightly. “You’re in luck. I just happen to have a lot of experience being where I shouldn’t be and the place you’re looking for is on the next floor,” he finished with a twist of his lips.

“You ain’t gonna hassle me about gettin’ in the way?”

“Listen …”

“Miguel. Miguel Casse.”

“If they notice anybody extra in there, it’ll be me. I may need you to tell me what’s going on if that happens.”

The teenager smiled in relief and followed Mulder as he went through the door and hugged the wall. Mulder’s slight grin faded as he heard General Grey give the order to disengage, implying the shields were still operating. His eyes closed and his head fell forward as he tried to bite back a groan of despair.

“Direct hit!”

His eyes popped opened and he moved forward involuntarily. Someone kept repeating “fire at will” in the background. They did it. Hiller and Levinson did it. The shields were down. Now it was up to the pilots to destroy the small fighters as well as the huge ships that could turn cities into dust clouds. He stopped as he heard pilots do a role call as they fired their weapons.

“Eagle thirteen, fox two.”

Mulder knew it was Scully’s voice. The static, presumably an oxygen mask, and faded by the distance separating him from the operator with the earpiece still didn’t interfere enough to disguise her voice from him. He did know it was only in his imagination that she said “fox” with a slightly different tone, bringing a flash of relief. She could have said “sidewinder” and he would have felt the same way, he thought with a grin. Mulder tried to convince himself that it had absolutely nothing to do with her saying a part of his name.

All hell broke loose then as the smaller ships emerged for one on one combat with the jets. Between trying to evade and destroy the “pods” and covering each other’s asses up there, very little damage was being done to the larger ship. Mulder gripped the back of someone’s chair as he made a mental inventory of the number of missiles left flashing on the screen in front of him. The numbers kept decreasing, especially when a picture of a jet would go dark. His heart leapt into his throat each and every time one of those squares would go blank until he could reassure himself that it wasn’t Scully’s plane. When he finally figured out which one was hers, his eyes didn’t waver from that steady glow.

An eternity later, his attention was drawn to something else. The map depicting the area was blinking, pulling his gaze from the electronic symbol of Scully’s plane. The circle representing the large alien ship was directly over the now interspacially known Area 51.

Mulder wasn’t too worried about being hit with the “death ray” right at that moment. After all they were twenty five floors beneath a mountain, and if he had heard correctly, most of the area was granite. But the information was sketchy at best. It all hinged on a rumor about one wall of the Luxor sinking in the early stages of construction because the contractors had assumed the entire structure was subsupported by solid stone. They had finally stopped the sinking by pumping concrete beneath the one side of the pyramid. As he thought about it, he realized it would be just his luck to have the tons of earth above them being as flimsy as a nuked styrofoam container of hot and spicy chicken wings. And it didn’t help that he suddenly remembered NORAD had been destroyed. The same NORAD that had also been buried within a mountain stronghold.

General Grey’s voice carried across the room. “They are preparing to fire their primary weapon.”

Mulder heard a garbled response and leaned in a little bit closer to eavesdrop on the guy with the earpiece. He pulled back when a loud voice asked for a weapons check and Grey emphasized that they were out of time. He felt the tension in the room squeeze in on him.

“Doesn’t anyone have any missiles left!” The President’s voice was frantic, almost nearing hysteria.

There was another large commotion and Mulder strained to hear. Mitchell made his life easier by flipping the transmission to speaker. “Pilot, identify yourself.”

“It’s me. Russel Casse, sir. I told you I wouldn’t letcha down. Just keep those guys off me for a few more seconds.” Mulder’s eyes shot to the kid who had sneaked down to the war room with him. Even if he hadn’t remembered the name, the boy’s eyes would have told him the whole story. “Eagle twenty, fox two.” The tension level was raised another notch as the pilot repeated himself and then said, “It’s jammed. It won’t fire.”

“Dammit.” The President’s sentiment was echoed throughout the room and among the pilots.

Russel Casse could be heard again a moment later. “Do me a favor, tell my children I love them very much.” Mulder knew what the guy had in mind. He could feel the man’s emotions and intentions in the tone of his voice. “Alright, you alien assholes. In the words of my generation … UP YOOOOUUUUURS!”

The power dimmed and the room started to move around them as the aliens’ weapon was engaged, gathering power and penetrating the rock above their heads.

“Hello, boys, I’m baaaaaccccckk!”

Mulder didn’t know exactly what Casse had done, but he knew what the results were. The cheers were deafening as the large ship started to implode and the President’s voice was difficult to understand with all the noise. Even in the control room, everyone was shouting until General Grey gave the order to relay the information to the rest of the world. Mulder looked around the room and took in the new flurry of activity in a glance. The grunts were busy tapping away on the telegraphs, reminding him of several midnight westerns. Just as everyone started to calm down, the earth shifted violently around him again.

A few coffee cups, clipboards, headsets, and several other miscellaneous items that had been on the edges of the counters crashed to the floor while sound exploded in his chest and his intestines vibrated. The feeling was similar to standing too close to a speaker with the bass at maximum.

“What the hell was that?” he muttered to himself.

A second later he realized a fifteen mile wide spaceship that had been disabled would eventually fall to earth. It wasn’t like the Bugs Bunny cartoons when the airplanes ran out of gas. That whole inertia thing that Scully had explained once still held true as far as he knew and a mountain could be considered an outside force. Then there had been a lecture late one night on something about deformation due to impact and another on shockwaves. He shuddered in remembered horror. She would talk about the most frightful things when she was trying to stay awake and those same things always seemed to send him into a nightmare filled coma.

The last minor tremor brought his mind back to the present and left his legs weak. As the people around him yelled and cheered, Mulder sank gratefully into the abandoned chair. He picked up the discarded earpiece and listened intently as the pilots shared a vocal victory as well.

He didn’t hear Scully yelling, but he didn’t expect to either. When he did hear her voice, it was the voice of reason once again. “We’re not finished, folks. There’s still the smaller ships we have to deal with.” The pilots rallied once again and were now using the large caliber armor piercing bullets or mini-cannons, depending on the plane, for close range fighting.

He could see her evading one of the little buggers just as she said it and a tense smile twisted his lips. Mulder ignored the tap on his shoulder and continued listening intently. He now had some idea of how Scully must have felt waiting in the van when he went in after Modell. It was not a pleasant sensation and one he would prefer not to go through again.

“I have one on my tail. I can’t shake him.” Someone told her to hold steady, backup was coming.

His heart took a nosedive and then stopped completely.

“I’m hit.” And just in case he had missed it the first time, she repeated the statement. “I’m hit. I’m going to try and land her.”

Chatter from the other pilots emphasized the silence from the one he wanted to hear most. His eyes remained glued to the lighted outline until he was forced away by the chair’s previous occupant.

“Wait!”

“Sir, we need to start bringing those planes in. Some of them are down to their emergency fuel reserves.”

Mulder reluctantly moved out of the man’s way but not out of the area. The steady glow of the one plane he was interested in remained constant, but he wasn’t reassured by it. When would the light flash off? When the plane was completely destroyed? Or would it stay connected if the one component was still intact?

The question became moot when the light blinked and the outline went dark.

end part 9

Delta S (10/10) By Nicole Mason () (2/23/97)

July 4th, 11:45 am, PST

Mulder braced himself as the truck hit another mound of sand and continued to scan the horizon with the binoculars. Seeing a trail of smoke, he tapped the driver on the shoulder and then pointed in the direction. Again, they hit a bump and he cursed as the binoculars came down on the bridge of his nose.

After this one, there were two more reported smoke trails in the grid they had been assigned to. The first three had yielded two dead and one injured pilot. The injuries were attributed to the shock of the ejection rather than the sloppy impact with the earth and the pilot had been hastily treated for it by the medic in back.

As they closed in on the fourth plume of smoke, Mulder spotted the billowing white cloud of a parachute moving in the wind further off in the distance. He corrected the driver’s course and once again forced his fears into the same locked place as most of his emotions concerning his sister. He was going to take a page from the combined book of his and Scully’s ideas and not believe she was dead until he had proof.

The open parachute was not helping though. The other two times they had seen a chute like that resulted in two filled body bags in the back. As they drew even closer, Mulder could see the parachute was tangled in the desert’s idea of a tree. Scanning the area, he could see no sign of the pilot. The truck stopped a few feet away and Mulder jumped down from the passenger seat. Carefully he untangled the ends of the chute and examined cords. “Maybe we missed the pilot. These cords aren’t cut or broken. He must have freed himself and headed back to the base,” Mulder told the driver and then whipped his head around looking for anything resembling footprints in the sandy earth.

Skinner extended his hand for the binoculars and started scanning the horizon again. “There,” he said and pointed in the direction of the downed plane. “He might have tried to see if the radio was working.”

Mulder nodded, hoping that was the case. The wind shifted again, wiping away their faint tracks as they headed back to the truck.

Several minutes later, he said, “She’s alive.”

Skinner nodded once and released his own sigh of relief, his grip relaxing slightly on the wheel. “Thank God. Does she look hurt?” He squinted against the glare and could now make out the dark silhouette that seemed to be walking towards them.

“Yeah.” Mulder couldn’t believe he was smiling, but he couldn’t stop himself. He knew that in another few minutes the relief was going to be transformed into worry once again. But for the moment, the relief was making him feel almost light headed.

Mulder jumped out of the cab before Skinner had even stopped the truck completely. The medic wasn’t far behind, but Mulder did reach her first. His gaze raked over every inch of her, looking for injuries and to reassure himself that she was there.

Her face was dirty, there were a couple of superficial scratches on her face and hands, and she there were several tears in her flight suit. She was also cradling her right arm with her left one as she carefully crossed the few feet still separating them. The breath rushed out of him as he grasped her shoulder and pulled her close. Her one arm snaked around his waist, making his arms tighten around her. Scully’s small gasp had him releasing her instantly.

“Are you OK, Scully?” He waited for the punchline he knew was coming.

“I’m fine, Mulder.” Her smile was rueful. “Just a little banged up.”

The medic let his presence be known by snapping open his case and saying, “Your shoulder?”

“Dislocated when I connected with the ground.”

“Anything else?” He started pulling a few things out.

Mulder listened as she inventoried the other minor injuries, including a possible mild concussion. The scrapes and bruises were from being dragged for an unknown time and distance by the open parachute across the scraggly desert floor, before it became entangled in the tree. The slightly comic image disappeared when she called his name.

“Mulder, we’re going to need your help. It would be best to reset my shoulder now instead of waiting until we get back to the base.”

He nodded once. “Tell me what to do.”

“You need to hold me still as he pops it back in.” When he blanched, she said, “Skinner can help,” and nodded to the man who had joined them, but was still standing outside of some imaginary circle.

“No. I will do it.”

He braced himself for her scream and was both upset and relieved when it didn’t happen. She did gasp involuntarily as the joint was popped back into place, and he thought maybe it was best for his sake that she remained as stubborn as always. She was pale and shaking a little as the top half of her flight suit was removed, leaving her in a damp tank top. Mulder ignored his body’s response to the sight and helped the medic as he wrapped her shoulder and immobilized her arm. The other wounds could wait until they were back at the base before they were taken care of.

He helped her stand and said, “Hey, Scully, we match. Does this mean we’re officially a couple now?”

Her lips twisted against her will as she took in his tank top and the pair of borrowed fatigues. She was similarly dressed, just covered in a lot more grime and dust. “Not until we come up with some ridiculous nicknames for each other,” she countered as she slowly moved towards the truck under the watchful gaze of three people.

“How do you feel about my little lima bean?” he offered helpfully.

“How do you feel about my little spooky-poo?” she countered. Scully knew the subject would be dropped by the look of distaste that had his face twisted into the familiar “eww” look. She was reaching to pull herself up into the back of the vehicle when Mulder called out, “Scully, ride up front.”

“Mulder, the back will be fine.”

“You’ll be more comfortable up front.”

She mentally translated his words to mean “I’ll feel better if you’re near.” She understood completely and had ridden in the back of enough ambulances to simply nod her assent before she walked around to the front.

Skinner climbed back in and reached for the radio as Mulder doubled checked the position of the next downed plane. As he closed the door, Mulder made sure he didn’t jar Scully’s injured shoulder. “Directly north about three miles. The map says there’s a spot that should be high enough to give us a good view of the area.”

Skinner nodded and warned once again, “Brace yourselves.”

*

July 4th, 4:15 pm, EST

Mulder adjusted his shades and scanned the crowd for Scully or her mother. Not too worried about their mild tardiness, he leaned over the fussing baby and smiled as he wiggled her feet. “I know you want your mama, Billie, but I’ll have to do. What do you say?” He picked her up and went to stand under the nearby, recently replanted tree. The sun looked like it was starting to turn her delicate skin pink. He used the shade to protect her as he applied another layer of sunscreen and watched as the number of people gathered increased with each passing minute.

It was the second anniversary of the world wide Independence Day and the celebrations going on all over the globe reflected the same sense of victory they all still felt. The construction still underway around them also reminded everyone of the reasons for the celebration. So many lives and so much history had been lost, but there was now a chance to improve upon the designs that had existed for centuries. There was a conscious effort not to remake the tangled concrete jungles and the same mistakes again. Mulder wasn’t sure how long those ideas would hold, but they did exist.

He smiled again at the little girl that was contently drooling on his shoulder. She had been born April 21st almost fifteen months ago and changed her parents’ lives forever. Not that they minded, she was more than welcome in their lives.

“Mulder.”

He looked up at Scully as she crossed the distance separating them. “Hi. How’d it go?”

She took Billie from him and brushed a kiss against the little girl’s forehead. She felt his hand rest in the small of her back as they walked over to the picnic table with their stuff on it. “Not good. We’re going to have to open a case on this one. It was definitely a homicide.”

He nodded in acceptance. The victim in question was one of the surviving invaders that had evaded capture up until three days ago. The governments of the world still hadn’t agreed on a way to handle the aliens, and it didn’t look like it was going to happen anytime soon either. And until a decision was made, the survivors were being treated as prisoners of war. They were being held in isolated facilities away from any other type of prisoners, and depending on a person’s opinion, they were treated humanely or like the “killers that they are.”

“Another vigilante group?” The past two years Mulder and Scully had been swamped with similar cases. Almost every crime that seemed to be committed by or against the Greys came across their desks in the temporary building housing the FBI HQ while the new one was being outfitted for the final details. And in an almost unheard of situation, no one had objected when Mulder and Scully were assigned to the same new division that was still really their old division with a slightly different charter.

“Not one we’ve come across before,” she admitted. Most of the groups would leave a signature of some sort on the bodies. They wanted to take credit for doing their part. “Mulder, where’s Mom?” Scully laid the baby down on the blanket at their feet and watched as she started investigating the area. At the word “mom,” the baby looked at her with a frown. “Yours will be here soon,” Scully promised, echoing Mulder’s earlier words and soothing her niece.

“She’s with your sister-in-law. It seems no one remembered to bring dessert.”

She grinned at his look of disbelief and disappointment. “How could you forget dessert?” his face seemed to say. “And they left you alone with her?”

“It was my idea,” he admitted. “After all, I’m going to need the practice for when ours gets here,” he said with a nod to her still flat stomach.

“Mulder, that’s months away yet,” she reminded him and silently asked for the real reason.

“Fine, you caught me. I was really pretending she was ours to see how many women I could pick up while I watched her.”

“Now, that I believe,” she said as she leaned in for one of those annoying public displays of affection.

“Actually, Agent Scully, you would be surprised …”

Mulder groaned in disappointment as Scully pulled back and Frohike expounded upon his latest pickup techniques. He leaned his elbows against the table and watched his friend kneel down before he started with the baby talk. Billie loved the attention and Mulder tried to keep the smile off of his face as he leaned over to whisper, “Do you think we can handle a domesticated Frohike?”

“I really don’t think the world is ready for THAT kind of change, Mulder. The next thing you know the entire Arlington police force is going to retire to some small Midwest town to work in a church mission.”

He chuckled as she leaned in to finished what Frohike had interrupted a moment ago.

end part 10

Disclaimer Part 2: Events, characters and dialogue used from Twentieth Century Fox’s “Independence Day” are acknowledged as such and done without permission. I gave Major Mitchel a first name because the credits didn’t include it. Plus, I hope I spelled Nimziki right. The credit was fuzzy on his name only and my computer didn’t like the Fox webpage when I tried to get into it.

Author’s Note: I hope the nature of the crossover was a little bit of a surprise. During the many times I’ve seen the movie, I kept seeing Mulder and Scully’s reaction to the events and couldn’t control them when they demanded their side of the story be written. If you notice, they are just “off screen” the entire time and preferred to remain out of the spotlight. I mean just look at what happened to some of the people that were central figures, can you blame them?

Until next time …


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