Keeping It in the Family I & II by Gemma Kingsley

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“Keeping it in the Family” by Gemma Kingsley

Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully and everyone else belong to CC ‘the surfer babe’, 1013 and Fox. If they try and sue me, I’m using the insanity defense. Trust me – I can make it believable. 😉
Classification: S, A, R (MSR) Rating: Mostly PG-13 (except for the end of part 3 which is NC-17)
Spoilers: Terma, Tunguska, Memento Mori, Small Potatoes, Zero Sum, Demons, Gethsemane Keywords: Post-Gethsemane

Summary: Believe the Lie, but how deep does the deceit run? What will Mulder and Scully do after Gethsemane and how is Bill Scully involved in all this?

“Keeping it in the Family” Part 1 by Gemma Kingsley ()

Unknown Location Monday 7:30 a.m.
(Two weeks after Mulder’s ‘death’)

Mulder watched in horror, seemingly frozen to the spot, as Scully continued to move towards the man standing in the shadows.

“Scully, no!” he yelled.

She gave him a bewildered look, then turned back to watch the other man step into the light. Mulder’s eyes were riveted on the mystery man too. As Bill Scully showed himself, Mulder suddenly found himself able to move again, and he ran towards Scully, grabbing her quickly and thrusting her behind him. Not surprisingly, Scully began to struggle.

“Mulder, it’s my brother. What the Hell do you think you’re doing?” she asked irritably.

But her brother silenced her. “No, Dana, he’s quite right. The time has come for masks to be shed, for shadows to step into the light. Isn’t that right, Mulder?” Bill asked.

“What do you mean?” asked Mulder cautiously.

“I mean that the Consortium’s greatest hour is upon us. No longer must we hide in the darkness, pursuing our goals undercover.” Bill explained, then smiled malignantly at Mulder. “Come here.” he insisted.

Mulder backed away, keeping a firm grip on Scully. Bill regarded him with seeming amusement. “Oh you needn’t worry Mulder. I wasn’t talking to you. I was speaking to my dearest sister, your precious partner Dana Scully.”

“You touch her and I swear I’ll kill you.” Mulder declared.

Bill regarded him commiseratingly. “Poor, ignorant Mulder. Always the last to know. You sure did a good job with him, sis.” he said.

The seed of doubt had been planted in Mulder’s mind. He glanced at Scully who looked completely shocked, then back to Bill who was still speaking.

“Go on, O sister of mine, tell him how you’ve been working against him from the beginning. Tell him how we faked your abduction to make him give up, and when that didn’t work, pretended that you had cancer.” he said.

Scully had found her voice. “Bill, what are you doing. If this is a joke then it’s not particularly funny.”

Bill shook his head. “You know this is no joke. Come on, Dana, it’s time to tell him the truth. Right before we kill him.” he said, and pulled out his gun, aiming for Mulder’s head.

“Bill, what the Hell is going on? Put that away before someone gets hurt.” Scully shouted.

“Sis, the charade is over. The game is up. We don’t have to pretend any more.” Bill told her.

Scully stared at him disbelievingly, then turned to look at Mulder. She was dismayed at the distrust and suspicion that she saw in his eyes. “Mulder, this is ridiculous. Surely you don’t believe him?” she asked distractedly.

“Oh, she deserves an Emmy, doesn’t she?” Bill commented, half to himself. “But for now, say goodbye to your partner, Sis.” He cocked the gun, but as his finger pulled the trigger, Scully threw herself in front of Mulder. Mulder felt her fall against him as the bullet impacted with her chest and caught her in his arms as she collapsed to the ground.

“Scully, no!” he screamed. The last thing he heard was Bill Scully cocking his gun again and saying, “Your turn now Mulder.”

Bill pulled the trigger, and……

Mulder woke up, sitting up abruptly and almost rolling off the couch. His heart was pounding and sweat was running down his face. He reached for the phone on impulse, wanting to call Scully and reassure himself that she was okay. But then he remembered. He couldn’t. Dead men tell no tales and they don’t make phone calls either. He slumped back down, lying on his side and trying to slow down his racing heart. ‘What the Hell was that about?’, he wondered, thinking about the dream he’d just had. For a start, he wanted to slug the dream-Mulder for doubting Scully even for a second. But what about the rest? Could there really be a glimmer of truth to the suggestion that Bill Scully was working for the Consortium? Mulder hadn’t even met the guy, but he’d felt something strange from him when they spoke on the phone. At the time, Mulder had thought his tone sounded almost satisfied, but had dismissed it because it didn’t make sense. But now?

He reached for the phone again, dialing another number that he knew by heart.

“Hello?” answered a voice.

“Langly, this is Mulder. I need a favour.” he said.

“Sure, what can we do for you?” Langly asked.

“I need a full background check on Bill Scully Jnr.” Mulder explained.

“Scully’s brother?” Langly queried. “What for?”

Mulder could hear someone speaking in the background. “What was that?” he asked.

“Frohike said he wouldn’t mind being Scully’s brother.” Langly told him, chuckling.

Mulder smiled. “Tell him I said to remind him that incest is generally frowned upon.” He waited while Langly relayed the message and heard Frohike guffawing. “So can you do the check?” he asked when Langly got back on the phone.

“Yeah sure, no problem.” Langly said. “Is that all?”

“Actually, there is one other thing.” Mulder told him, remembering what Bill Scully had said about the cancer in the other part of his dream. “I want to know the name of Scully’s doctor. The first one she saw, before Dr Scanlon. And when you find out who he was, do a background check on him too.”

“Okey dokee.” Langly said. “So that’s one name-finding and two background checks.” he reiterated.

“Just put it on my tab. I’ll call back this afternoon to see if you’ve got anything.” he said, then hung up. ‘Now what?’ Mulder thought to himself. Another empty day lay before him. Another day to be spent in randomly surfing the Internet, or trying to gain any more of the repressed memories that had been released in his recent treatment by Dr Goldstein, and most of all wondering what Scully was doing right now and wishing that he could be there with her.

Lone Gunmen’s Headquarters Monday 1 p.m.

“Frohike, Byers, get a load of this.” Langly exclaimed suddenly.

The two hurried over and looked at the computer screen over his shoulder. “Whoa, Langly, where’d you find that?” Frohike asked.

“I grabbed it off a temporary warez site that deals in pirated military software. Some of it’s encoded, and I can’t figure it out, but there are some names and dates here too.” he told them, scrolling slowly down the list.

Byers jabbed his finger at the screen. “Look. There’s Krycek. A. Krycek – 94/8 FWM – failed – 95/4 WM – succeeded – 95/4 MS – succeeded – 96/11 FWM – failed

“Oh my God.” Langly said. “The first date was when he was Mulder’s partner. And the others must be the deaths of Mulder’s father and Scully’s sister. And the last one was when they were in Russia. Mulder has to see this.”

“And look.” Byers continued. “M. Covarrubius. Didn’t Mulder say that his latest source was called something Covarrubius? And shit, W. Skinner. Do you think Mulder knows about that?”

“I don’t know.” Frohike said. “But he will very soon if we have anything to say about it. Is Bill Scully’s name there?”

“Dunno, let me finish looking.” Langly said. “Hang on, yes there you go.” W. Scully Jnr. – 94/8 DKS – succeeded – 97/5 DKS/FWM – succeeded

“Well I guess that means they believe he’s really dead.” Byers said. “What do you reckon the other date was from?”

“Wasn’t that when Scully was abducted?” Frohike said.

“Oh my god, it was too. Do you think Bill Scully was involved in that? How could you let that happen to anyone, let alone your own sister?” Langly asked.

“I don’t know.” Byers answered. “But Mulder is really not going to be happy about this.”

“Understatement of the year. I hope he kills the rat-bastard.” Frohike said.

“What about that doctor that Mulder wanted us to find out about? Is he on the list?” Byers asked.

“I’ll check. What was his name again?” Langly asked.

“Something Goldstein, wasn’t it?” Byers said.

“Nah, that was the doctor that Mulder saw recently for that memory recovery thingy.” Frohike told him.

“Are you sure? I thought Scully’s doctor was called Goldstein.” Byers queried.

“Yeah, I’m sure. I’ve got the name written down right here. Dr Charles Goldstein. See.” Frohike insisted.

“Oh dear, this could be bad.” Byers told him, holding out the piece of paper he was holding with the name of Scully’s doctor, Dr Greg Goldstein.

Langly interrupted them. “What was that guy’s first name? I’ve got two Dr Goldsteins here.” All three of the lone gunmen looked at the list of names. Dr Charles Goldstein – 97/4 FWM – succeeded Dr Greg Goldstein – 97/1 DKS – succeeded

“This is bad. Oh this is really bad.” Frohike said. “We have to get this to Mulder as soon as possible. This goes way beyond what he knows.”

“What about Scully?” Byers asked. “Shouldn’t we tell her too?”

“I think we’d better leave that up to Mulder, guys.” Langly said. “If we pass any of this onto Scully, she’s going to start asking questions and you know Mulder made us promise not to tell anyone that he was still alive.”

“Yes, I suppose so. I just hope Mulder sorts this out soon. Agent Scully didn’t look so good last time I saw her.” Byers said.

“So are we just going to sit around here until Mulder phones?” Frohike asked.

“Well if this was a movie or a TV show, the phone would be ringing right now.” Langly remarked. They all stared at the phone. It didn’t ring.

Byers went and made some coffee. The phone still didn’t ring. Frohike flipped through some back issues of Playboy. Still nothing from the phone. Langly sat down and drummed his fingers on the computer keyboard until Frohike and Byers yelled at him to stop it. The phone remained stubbornly silent.

Finally the phone rang. All three gunmen leapt for it, knocking it onto the floor in their haste. Langly finally managed to get the handset to his ear. “Mulder?” he asked impatiently.

“Um, no, this is CLD Printing Ltd. I wanted to let you know that the copies of the latest issue of your newsletter are ready to be collected from our office.” the voice on the other end of the phone said.

Langly sighed. “Okay, I’ll send someone to pick them up later this afternoon. Thanks.” He hung up the phone.

Just as they were preparing to sit down and wait once more, the phone rang again.

“Lone Gunmen.” Langly answered.

“Langly, it’s Mulder. Have you got anything for me?” he asked.

“Oh you bet!” Langly said excitedly, the other two gunmen crowding around the phone and trying to hear what was going on. “Have you got a fax machine handy? We found a list of names and dates and you’re not going to believe who’s on it. Not just Bill Scully, but also Skinner and two Dr Goldsteins – yours and Scully’s. This is serious stuff, Mulder.”

“Okay great. The fax number here is 555 0120. I don’t need to tell you how important it is that this stays a secret, do I?” Mulder asked.

“No, of course not.” Langly said. Mulder heard a muffled discussion going on.

“What?” Mulder asked.

“Frohike said it would make a great story for the next issue of the Lone Gunmen.” Langly explained.

“Langly.” Mulder said warningly.

“Just kidding Mulder.” Langly assured him.

Mulder looked at the fax that was starting to come through. “This is great guys.” he said eagerly. “Where did you find this stuff? Was there anything else there?”

“I got it from a warez site.” Langly told him. “This was all there was. I had to get it quickly because those sites are up and down and then up somewhere else, you know. Not exactly legal. But this was all that was there.”

Mulder frowned when he came to the first date next to Bill Scully’s name. “Langly, I need to ask you guys for another favour. Can you put me on the speaker phone so I can talk to all of you at once?” he asked.

“Sure. There you go.” Langly said.

“Hey Mulder, how are you?” Byers asked.

“Hi Mulder, I’ve been keeping an eye on your hot little partner for you.” Frohike told him.

“Hi Frohike. Hi Byers.” Mulder said. “Now you’re probably going to think I’m nuts when you hear this.”

“Hey, no problem. Like I told you before, we like you because your ideas are weirder than ours.” Langly insisted.

“Okay, well I had this dream. Nightmare actually.” Mulder told them. “Bill Scully was in it, and he was working for Cancerman. Hence the background check, which proved the validity of that theory. Second thing was that he said Scully’s cancer was just a trick. That it wasn’t real at all, but just a setup to make me give up. I’m figuring if the first part of the dream turned out to be true, why not the rest.”

“You don’t think Scully really has cancer?” Byers asked.

“Exactly.” Mulder confirmed.

“But what about the X-Rays, the blood tests, the branched DNA?” Langly asked.

“They could all be faked.” Mulder said. “And since we now know that the doctor who diagnosed her is working for Cigarette Smoking Man, I think it’s more than likely that this is the truth. The Kurt Crawford clones and everything we found at the medical center could easily just be an elaborate setup to make us believe.”

“Okay, sure. But what about the nosebleeds and the fact that Scully looks pale and tired all the time. That can’t be faked.” Byers said insistently. “You’re not suggesting that Scully’s in on this trick are you, Mulder?”

Mulder hesitated for a moment, but then clamped down on the tiny doubts in his mind. “No, of course not.” he told them. “Something’s obviously making her sick, I just don’t think it’s cancer.”

“So what do you want us to do?” Frohike asked. “You know we’ll do anything to help the lovely Agent Scully.”

“I want you to persuade Scully to have some more X-Rays taken by a doctor who knows nothing about this.” Mulder explained.

“I think we know someone who can help you.” Byers said. “She runs a small private hospital not far from here. She’s helped us before and she seems trustworthy.”

“Okay, then do it as soon as you can.” Mulder insisted.

“How are we supposed to persuade Scully to go along with this?” Frohike asked.

“She’ll do it.” Mulder said. “She believes in you guys, no matter what she actually says, and she knows you’ve been working to find a cure. If you tell her it’s important, she’ll go with you. I’m counting on you guys.”

“Okay, Mulder. We’ll try. Bye.” Langly hung up the phone.

“Here goes nothing.” he said to the other gunmen.

“Nothing?” Frohike queried, “More like here goes everything.”

Dana Scully’s apartment Monday 2:30 p.m.

Scully tried to ignore whoever was knocking on her door. It was bound to be someone either offering her yet more condolences on Mulder’s death or a friend or family member worried about her deteriorating health, and Scully really didn’t want to deal with either of these eventualities right now. But it could be her mother, and she’d be worried if Scully didn’t answer, so she reluctantly pulled herself of the couch and went to answer the door. Last time Mulder had been dead, a drunk Frohike had come to visit her. This time she was rewarded with not one, not two, but all three Lone Gunmen. She opened the door resignedly and watched as they trooped into her apartment.

Scully smoothed her hair back self-consciously and looked questioningly at the three men standing in front of her. “What can I do for you?” she asked.

“Actually, it’s what we can do for you.” Langly told her.

Scully sighed. “And what exactly is that?”

“We’ve received a, uh, a message.” he said. “And you need to have some more X-Rays done. We’ve organised someone to do it, and we came to get you.”

Scully sat down on the couch, her eyes slipping shut for a brief moment. When she opened them again, the Lone Gunmen had not disappeared as she’d hoped they might. “Look, guys, I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and for Mulder.” Scully was very pleased to note that she’d managed to say his name with an almost steady tone. “But it’s over now. Mulder’s dead, and I will be too in a few more weeks.”

Byers looked at her sympathetically. He wanted to tell her that Mulder was still alive, they all did, but it was Mulder’s call and he had said not yet. “Scully, we wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t a good chance that this could help you. Don’t you want to be cured so you can get on with your life?” he asked.

Scully regarded him from under drooping eyelids. “And just what makes you think I want to go on living anymore?” she queried.

“Scully, you owe this to Mulder.” Byers said.

Oh oh. Wrong thing to say. Scully’s lips tightened and an angry furrow formed on her brow. “I. Owe. Him. Nothing.” she enunciated distinctly. “He gave up any rights he might have had in my life when he put that fucking gun to his head and pulled the fucking trigger.”

Byers and Langly looked stunned. They’d never imagined Scully using strong language. But Frohike was less shocked. When Mulder had confided his plan to fake his own death to the gunmen, Frohike had tried to persuade him to tell Scully. But Mulder refused to believe that his death would affect her that strongly. Frohike knew otherwise. He’d been there last time Mulder had ‘died’ and he wasn’t sure Scully could get through it again. He was going to do his damnedest to see that she made it, but boy oh boy was she going to be pissed off at Mulder when she found out he was still alive. That was one confrontation Frohike was definitely prepared to miss.

“She’s right.” Frohike said firmly. “She doesn’t owe this to Mulder.” Scully looked at him in surprise. His eyes seemed to be looking right into her soul. “Scully, you owe this to yourself. You’re strong enough to beat it, but you have to make the effort.”

Frohike met her gaze unflinchingly and saw the moment when she accepted what he was saying. Scully sighed again. “Alright.” she said. “Let’s get this over with.”

Rosetta Memorial Hospital Monday 5 p.m.

Scully was lying in a hospital bed, staring at the ceiling. The room she was in was clean, but sparsely furnished, and she’d exhausted its visual possibilities about half an hour ago. Now she was just watching the ceiling and hoping that the test results would come back soon so she could get out of here and go home. One of the gunmen would duck in from time to time to make sure she was doing okay, but Scully found their constant concern more irritating than anything else. She rolled over and pillowed her head on one arm, sighing as she remembered another hospital, at Allentown, where Mulder had kissed her forehead and told her that the truth would save both of them. Well that hadn’t exactly turned out like it was supposed to, had it? ‘Oh Mulder,’ she thought, ‘Why did you have to go an do something so completely idiotic? I thought you trusted me, so why couldn’t you tell me it had gotten that bad? Why..why..why.’

A couple of doors down, Frohike had finally managed to persuade the doctor to relinquish Scully’s X-Rays and other test results. So what if it was breaking a few rules, he had a dead guy waiting on the other end of the phone, and that was as good a reason to break a few rules as he’d ever seen. Frohike pulled the X-Rays out of the envelope and gasped. Scanning them all again quickly, then glancing over the blood tests and other results, he pulled a cel phone out of his pocket, dialing the number that Mulder had given him for emergencies.

“Mulder,” he said, without bothering to identify himself, “Get over here right away. You’re not going to believe this……”

End of Part 1 “Keeping it in the Family” Part 2 by Gemma Kingsley () Rosetta Memorial Hospital Monday 6 p.m.

Mulder parked the car, got out and walked towards the hospital. He sure as Hell hoped he didn’t see anyone he knew. Not only would they probably have a heart attack, thinking they’d seen a ghost, but the game would be up. But fortunately that probably wouldn’t matter for much longer. If Frohike had been right about the test results, and Mulder suspected he had, it was the Consortium who should be worried. Because with any luck a competent and motivated duo who hated their guts would very soon be back on track.

Mulder stepped in through the hospital doors, grimacing slightly as the harsh light hurt his eyes. He’d had a slight headache all day, and it had suddenly grown worse. A nurse came towards him concernedly,

“If you’ll just have a seat, Sir, one of the doctors will be with you shortly.” she told Mulder, then hurried off down the hallway.

Mulder frowned. He’d made it quite clear to the Gunmen how important it was that they keep his secret, but if they hadn’t told anyone he was coming, then how had this woman known to expect him? Mulder touched his hand to his head, trying to drive away the headache that was plaguing him, and was surprised to feel something wet drip onto his wrist. He pulled his hand back abruptly and stared in confusion at the splash of red there. He touched two fingers to his nostrils, and they came away red too. What the Hell?

But he didn’t have any longer to contemplate it, as Frohike came running up.

“Mulder, thank God you’re here.” he said quickly. “We just…” Frohike broke off and his eyes widened as he noticed the blood on Mulder’s fingers and nose. “Mulder, what…?”

Mulder quickly wiped the blood away with his sleeve. “It’s nothing.” he said dismissively. “How’s Scully?”

“The doctor just gave her the anesthetic.” Frohike explained. “Remember how I told you that instead of a tumor, the X-Rays showed that she had some sort of an implant at the top of her nose? Well it’s not far under the surface of the skin, so Dr Edwards thinks she should be able to cut it out quite easily.”

Mulder looked very relieved. “So did you figure out how it works? Why the implant was making Scully sick?” he asked Frohike.

“Well Dr Edwards said that…oh hang on, here she comes – she can tell you herself.” Frohike said.

Mulder watched as a sensible-looking older woman approached. She exchanged a few words with Frohike, and then held out her hand to greet Mulder. Her handshake was firm, and Mulder felt reassured that Scully was in good hands.

“I’m Agent Scully’s doctor, Jean Edwards.” she introduced herself.

“Mulder.” he replied. “Agent Scully’s partner.”

“As Frohike was just about to tell you, Agent Scully’s blood tests showed the presence of several serious toxins, but not a trace of cancer as she’d been told. We’ll have more information after the implant has been removed, of course, but at this stage I’m theorizing that it contains some form of concentrated poison which is being gradually released into her bloodstream. That would certainly account for the cancer-like symptoms she’s been experiencing – the nosebleeds and the headaches.” she explained.

Frohike had been watching Mulder closely through the doctor’s spiel and had seen him start slightly when she mentioned the nosebleeds and headaches. “Mulder, are you alright?” he asked.

“I’m fine.” he replied, but his body chose to prove him wrong as blood started to drip from his nose again. Dr Edwards had him seated and was examining him before he knew what was happening. She tested his reflexes and looked closely at his eyes.

“Agent Mulder, is it possible that you could have been subjected to the same treatment as your partner?” she asked.

Mulder shook his head. “Scully was abducted almost three years ago, and that was the only opportunity they would have had to put the implant in her. I wasn’t taken, only her…” he explained.

Frohike interrupted him. “What about when you were in Russia with Krycek in November? We saw that date next to his name remember. Could they have done something to you then?”

Mulder thought back over the tests and the injections they’d subjected him to. He still couldn’t account for all the time he’d been there. “Yeah, I guess they could have done something to me then.” he admitted.

“In that case Agent Mulder, I’d like you to undergo the same tests as Agent Scully.” Dr Edwards insisted. “Frohike, take him through to exam room 1 and have Dr Marks run the same tests again.” she instructed him.

Mulder started to protest. “But what about Scully? I need to be there when…” Dr Edwards cut him off.

“There’s nothing you can do for Agent Scully right now. She’s in good hands, and so are you. Now go.” she told him.

Her tone brooked no argument, and Mulder reluctantly trailed after Frohike into the examination room.

Tuesday 1 a.m.

Mulder opened his eyes slowly and stared at the ceiling. The room was in darkness but moonlight shone through the window, pooling on the linoleum floor. He rolled over to one side, noting that his limbs still felt heavy from the after-effects of the anesthetic. They’d decided to use a general anesthetic instead of just a local in an attempt to slow down the poison coursing through his blood. Dr Edwards’ conjecture had been quite right and Mulder’s X-Rays and blood sample had shown that he had an implant that was almost identical to Scully’s, although it had been releasing its toxins at a faster rate. Now both of their implants had been removed and the Lone Gunmen were hanging onto them until they could be tested.

Mulder glanced around the room for the first time and noticed another bed only a couple of meters away from his. The half-light in the room made it difficult to see, but he would have known that small form with its vivid red hair anywhere. Scully was lying on her back too, and Mulder could tell from the stiffness of her body that she was awake.

So, how to do this? How about some humor, that always seemed to break awkward moments. “So, Scully, now we really do have matching alien implants. Want me to make them into ear-rings for you?” he tried.

No response. Okay, bad idea. He’d been known to have bad ideas before. How about serious then? An appeal to Agent Doctor Scully who always had to have all the facts. “I suppose you want me to explain what happened?” Mulder said.

Still nothing. Now that Mulder thought about it, he guessed Frohike had already done some explaining since he couldn’t exactly put them in a room together without telling Scully what was going on.

‘Fine, third time’s a charm.’ Mulder thought to himself. Should have tried the traditional way from the very beginning. It was too dark for a wounded look, but an endearingly guilty tone might get him what he wanted.

“Scully, are you mad with me?” he asked, and almost jumped for joy when he heard her exhale loudly.

“Am I mad with you.” she said, almost to herself, still staring unblinkingly at the ceiling. “Am I mad with you.” she repeated. Mulder braced himself. He anticipated yelling or screaming, he wouldn’t even have been that surprised if she’d thrown something at him. Hell, he figured he deserved it. But he wasn’t prepared for the cold, cutting tone in which she finally spoke.

“Let me tell you that angry does not even begin to explain how I feel. But then you never had any idea how I felt.” she began.

Mulder tried to speak, “Yeah well, it was kind of hard with you always saying I’m fine and…”

Scully cut him off. “Don’t. You. Speak. One. Word. Until. I. Say. You. Can.” Scully continued. “I’m not ‘mad’ with you,” she said sarcastically, “I’m furious. I’m enraged. I’m rendered almost speechless by your complete and utter stupidity. What could you possibly hope to gain from this, other than blowing what little remained of my peace of mind into tiny smithereens? And don’t give me some self-righteous crap about how they’d cure me if you were dead.”

Mulder started to protest, but was silenced by the weight of Scully’s verbal assault.

“Frohike tried to feed me that line. Either that, or else Mulder the hero, going undercover to single-handedly besiege the Consortium and steal the cure for his dying partner from right under their noses. Please, don’t make me laugh. We both know that’s complete bullshit. You only had one reason for this whole idiotic scheme. You were afraid Mulder. Afraid to watch me die, knowing there was nothing you could do about it. You were chicken-shit Mulder and you know it. A pathetic sniveling little coward. And I despise cowards.”

Mulder lay perfectly still in his hospital cot. He scrunched his eyes up tightly. He was not going to cry. He refused to cry. That would just prove to Scully that she was right, that he was a coward. So. What now? Things couldn’t get a whole lot worse. Somehow he’d managed to fuck everything up so badly that the person who was most important to him in the world now felt nothing for him but disgust. Yep, that was the sum and extent of it and frankly, he didn’t think there was a whole lot more to say. Neither, apparently, did Scully, for she lay there silently in the darkness, ostensibly only a couple of meters away, but Mulder knew that in reality they were worlds apart and he had less than no idea how to even begin bringing them back together.

End of Part 2

*** This part has an NC-17 section ***

“Keeping it in the Family” Part 3 by Gemma Kingsley ()

Tuesday 9 a.m.

Mulder opened his eyes and looked at the yellow wall. ‘Just a minute,’ he thought, ‘I don’t have yellow walls.’ Then it all came flooding back. He rolled over quickly, grimacing slightly at the residual ache in his head, and discovered that Scully’s bed was empty and showed no sign that it had ever been otherwise. Mulder could almost have imagined he’d dreamed the whole thing if it wasn’t for the pain in his heart. He slid out of bed and pulled on his clothes which had been placed on a chair near the door. As he was lacing his boots, Frohike walked in.

“Morning, Mulder, how are you?” he asked.

“Where’s Scully?” Mulder demanded.

“She went home.” Frohike explained, preparing for Mulder’s outburst. He wasn’t disappointed.

“What?” Mulder yelled, angrily. “How could you let her leave? She’s sick, for God’s sake. And we had a fight.”

“I know you had a fight.” Frohike responded calmly. “And as for being sick, now that the implant’s been removed, she’s no worse off than you. Dr Edwards said that all the effects should wear off in a couple of weeks, and you’ll both be back to normal. Well, as normal as you ever were, anyway.”

Mulder ignored the second part of the speech. “How did you know we had a fight?” he asked.

“Scully told me this morning, before she left.” Frohike said.

Mulder frowned. “She just told you?” he queried.

Frohike smiled wryly. “You should try it sometime Mulder. Actually talking is quite a good general means of communication.”

Mulder appeared to be considering this. “So where is she now?” he finally asked.

“At home I imagine. That’s where she said she was going.” Frohike replied.

“So you think I should go over now and talk to her?” Mulder asked.

“This isn’t about me.” Frohike insisted. “This is about you and Scully. But yes, I think you should do something about all this before it’s too late.”

Mulder finished lacing his boots. “Okay, thanks Frohike. I owe you one.” he said, clapping him on the shoulder.

Frohike watched as Mulder walked out of the hospital, then put his hand back in his pocket.

‘Oh shit, I forgot to give him the implants.’ he remembered. Frohike raced out of the hospital, looking around for Mulder. “Damn! I missed him.” he said, banging his fist on his leg. But then he felt sensed someone coming up behind him. “Oh good Mulder, I thought you’d gone..” he started to say, only realizing as he began to turn that the person behind him was definitely not Mulder. But it was too late to run. A fist connected with the side of Frohike’s head, and his legs were knocked out from under him.

“What shall we do with him?” one of Frohike’s attackers asked another man who had come up. The man slowly exhaled the smoke from his cigarette.

“Put him in the van.” he instructed them. “We may have further use for him.” He watched as one of his minions slung Frohike over his shoulder and carried him to the van. Then he dropped his cigarette, grinding it into the ground, and just as casually picking up the small, plastic tube containing the implants, that Frohike had lost hold of when he was attacked. He looked at it for a moment, then placed it in his pocket and strolled back to the van.

Scully’s apartment Tuesday 10:30 a.m.

Scully sat on her couch, legs tucked under her. The TV was on but the sound was turned down. She was waiting for Mulder. She knew he was coming, and she was going to be ready for him when he did. She didn’t regret most of what she’d said to him earlier. He’d acted stupidly and she was perfectly within her rights to be angry with him. Hopefully she’d got the message across by laying into him like that. The only thing Scully felt sorry about was telling Mulder he was a coward. She knew that wasn’t true. Of everything, Scully knew that the thing that scared Mulder most was being helpless when people he cared about were in danger, and he just had no idea how to deal with it. But she’d been furious and hurting and she’d wanted him to share that feeling too. Now all that remained to be seen was whether they could rebuild their relationship and regain their former trust, or whether it would be best to call it quits before they ended up doing each other irreparable damage.

The TV was showing the mid-morning news. Scully absently watched overhead shots of a plane crash. Bodies lay amidst the wreckage and emergency personnel swarmed across the ground, searching for anyone who’d survived. The view switched to shots of the aftermath of an earthquake. Buildings had collapsed in on one another, trapping their occupants in a prison of their own making.

Scully was almost inured to death. Her years studying forensic pathology and then as an FBI agent had required her involvement in all aspects of it, without the squeamishness that many people displayed in its presence. She knew that many of her fellow agents thought her cold and unfeeling. She’d done nothing to discourage this idea, instead finding it a useful way of maintaining her professional detachment. But Scully thought Mulder had broken through this barrier as he had through all the rest. That’s why it hurt her so much now to discover that ultimately he saw her in the same way as everyone else did. That he wasn’t able to see past the professional restraint she displayed, that he didn’t know how much she really cared for him. How could he not know that his death was the one thing that would destroy her, that would tear her apart? But he hadn’t known, had he? Otherwise he would have trusted her enough to tell her what he was planning. So was it better now to make a clean break of it? To acknowledge that they couldn’t mend their partnership and instead, go their separate ways? Or should they try again? Could they overcome the problems together, making their partnership ever stronger and better in the process?

Scully was still deliberating over this question when she heard the expected knock on her door. Sure enough, it was Mulder. He came inside, looking slightly sheepish and avoiding Scully’s eyes. Scully sat back down on the couch. Mulder sat down at the other end. Then he got up. He walked quickly across to the door as if he was going to leave, then he seemed to change his mind again, and walked back to where he had started. Mulder sat down, but avoided the couch, choosing instead to seat himself on the floor at Scully’s feet. He shrugged out of his leather jacket and placed it carefully on the floor next to him. Scully could almost feel the discomfort radiating from him in waves, and was inexplicably reminded of how different the real Mulder was from Eddie Van Blundht who had seemed so comfortable in her apartment.

But she knew very well that Mulder was not here for a relaxed chat over wine and was feeling some of the same discomfort herself.

After a few minutes, Mulder broke the silence. “I’m sorry.” he said, his eyes trained on the floor.

Scully sighed. It looked like they were going to try and rebuild their partnership after all, and she would have been lying if she said that wasn’t what she wanted.

“I’m sorry too Mulder.” Scully replied.

He looked up at her, surprised. “What?” he asked, his brow twisted with confusion.

“I said I’m sorry too, Mulder. I shouldn’t have said what I did this morning. I didn’t mean it.” Scully told him.

“No, no, you were right.” Mulder insisted, getting up on his knees and covering her hands with his. “Everything you said was true. I am a coward. I walk through life so utterly scared that I’m going to screw up and I end up ruining everything.”

Scully sighed. “Mulder, you’re not a coward.” she said, leaning down to rest her forehead against his. “Being scared is not something you have to be ashamed of. Everyone has fears. But you have to face up to them instead of running away. Let me help you do that. Trust me with your fears.” She sat back to see the effect her words were having on him.

Mulder looked relieved, but still a bit uncertain. “I do trust you, Scully. But it’s hard. Losing you is my biggest fear and if that ever happens, you won’t be here to help me through it.” he explained.

“Oh Mulder. I don’t know what I can tell you to make that better. I don’t think there’s anything that can. But now you can understand what I felt when I thought you were dead and why I was so angry with you for putting me through that.”

Mulder started to shake his head, but Scully stopped him firmly, taking his face in her hands, and telling him, “Yes, Mulder. You mean just as much to me as I do to you. You’re not a coward at all. You’re a good man. A brave man. And even though I may not always show it, I do….” She paused, suddenly not sure if she should finish what she wanted to say.

“Do what?” Mulder asked breathlessly.

He was looking at her with such vulnerability and need for affection that Scully had to continue. “I do love you.” she told him.

Mulder sat still and appeared to be pondering what she’d said. Scully wasn’t quite sure what to make of this reaction. Then he looked up at her again.

“Love me how?” he asked her.

“How do I love thee, let me count the ways..” Scully joked, trying to reduce the steadily increasing tension in the room.

“Funny, Scully.” Mulder replied, refusing to be deterred from the subject. “I mean is this brotherly love we’re talking about here? Love between friends? Or something more?” he asked.

Scully sighed, looking down at her lap and trying to get the mixed feelings of embarrassment and excitement under control. “Do we really have to go into this now?” she asked him.

“Yes. It’s important.” he insisted. “I need to know what I mean to you.”

Scully looked at him. “You really don’t know?” she marveled.

Mulder shook his head. “Know what?” he asked.

“Frohike tried to tell me,” Scully said half to herself, “but I thought he was exaggerating.”

“Tried to tell you what?” Mulder asked, becoming exasperated.

“He said that the reason you didn’t tell me about your pretended suicide was because you didn’t think I’d care that much. Is that true, Mulder?” she asked.

“Yeah.” he admitted. “I guess I thought it’d be more of a relief for you than anything else. I mean, we’ve been arguing so much lately, ever since..” he trailed off, not quite able to bring himself to say Eddie Van Blundht’s name out loud. “Well, ever since a lot of things. This could have been your chance to finally get away from the curse of Spooky Mulder. To get the respect you deserve instead of being stuck downstairs in the basement.”

Scully was shaking her head bemusedly. “If I’d wanted to leave don’t you think I would have done it a long time ago?” she asked him. “You just really don’t get it, do you?”

“No, I don’t get ‘it’.” Mulder said. “Could you please explain ‘it’ to me now.”

Scully smiled, and Mulder decided that ‘it’ was probably not something he should be worried about. “Come here.” she told him, patting the couch next to her. Mulder clambered up, sitting sideways with one leg tucked underneath him. “Mulder,” she began, taking both his hands in hers, “I need you to understand something. I need you to understand that you are the singularly most important person in my life. I love you Mulder. I love you as a brother.” Mulder started to pull away but she stopped him. “And as a friend. And as a man. I love you for everything you do, think and feel, but mostly just because you’re Fox Mulder.”

“Oh, that ‘it’.” Mulder said happily. “Scully, I…” he began, but she cut him off.

“No, don’t say anything now. I realised I just dumped something big on you, and you need time to think about it. That’s fine and I want you to know that I understand completely.”

“Well, actually,” Mulder told her, “I was just going to ask how dominant those brotherly feelings are in this whole equation.”

“What?” Scully asked, confused by this response. She’d feared he could say, ‘Sorry Scully, but I really don’t feel the same way.’ She’d hoped he would say, ‘Scully I love you too.’ But ‘how dominant are those brotherly feelings?’ was rather unexpected. Unless….

“Where exactly are you going with that question?” she asked, a tiny blossom of hope beginning in her heart, not to mention other areas.

We are going somewhere that we can explore those non-brotherly feelings.” Mulder said, grinning and getting to his feet.

“Oh we are, are we?” Scully asked coyly, “And where exactly would that be?”

“Well,” Mulder said, pulling Scully to her feet so she was standing right in front of him, “I was thinking the bedroom, but I’m always open to suggestion. What did you have in mind? The couch? The kitchen table? Right here on the floor?”

“The bedroom sounds fine.” she said a little shyly, taking him by the hand and leading him there. When they got there, Mulder paused in the doorway.

“Scully, are you sure about this?” he asked her. “Cause I don’t want you to do this if you still have any doubts.”

“Mulder,” she said, smiling, “I know what I want. I want you.” She tugged on his fingers, leading him over to the bed. They both sat on the edge, hands still linked.

“So.” Mulder said.

“So.” Scully countered.

Mulder gently ran his hand down the side of Scully’s face, awed at the soft, silky texture of her skin and still marveling that he was actually here. Her eyes slipped shut and Mulder brought his other hand up to frame her face. He feathered light kisses on her eyelids and along the edge of her nose. Then he placed a single kiss right at the bridge of her nose where they’d thought the tumor had been, and drew back to look at her. Scully opened her eyes slowly, and watched him closely. She frowned slightly as she noticed that his eyes were glistening with tears.

“Mulder, what’s wrong?” she asked with concern, resting her hand on his collarbone where her fingers began to trace small circles almost of their own volition.

Suddenly he crushed her to his chest. “It just hit me, Scully. You’re going to live. You’re alive. You’re not sick. And you love me. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy in my entire life.”

Scully smiled as she sat nestled into his chest, and wrapped her arms around him. After a couple of minutes she looked up to find Mulder regarding her intently.

“Can I kiss you, Scully?” he asked her softly, his face mere inches away from hers, his breath falling against her cheek as he exhaled slowly.

“You’re asking my permission?” she queried, her voice slightly unsteady as Mulder’s hands ran up and down her back, tracing her spine through the cotton shirt she wore.

“Yes.” he told her seriously. “Always. I want you to know that you can trust me. I need to know that you’re okay with this.”

Scully looked at him warmly. “How many times do I have to tell you, Mulder? I want you. I want this. Yes, you can kiss me, but I get to kiss you too.”

He answered her by bringing his mouth down to cover hers. Their lips met tentatively at first, teasing each other with the slightest contact. Then Scully took the initiative, bringing her arms up and around Mulder’s neck and pressing herself firmly against him. Mulder’s tongue sought and received entry and Scully moaned as he began to to caress the contours of her mouth. They kissed hungrily, clinging to each other ardently, mouths meeting and connecting possessively, laying claim to each other as they ignited a molten heat that threatened to break out and consume them at any moment.

Mulder leaned further into the kisses, pushing Scully back on the bed until he was lying half on top of her. His fingers fumbled for the buttons on her shirt and Scully arched up against him, making a mewling sound deep in her throat that encouraged him to continue. She raised her body so he could pull the garment off and throw it on the floor, and then Scully gasped and her heart filled with joy as she finally felt his hands on her body.

She’d dreamed of this moment, they both had, but the reality was better than either of them could ever have imagined. Any hesitation on Mulder’s part had vanished as he stripped Scully’s bra from her body and promptly buried his head between her bare breasts. Scully whimpered at the torturously pleasurable sensations he was evoking as he licked and nipped at her sensitive skin. Her hands clutched helplessly at his hair as she writhed beneath his touch, then they slid lower to tug at his t-shirt. She made a small sound of frustration when she couldn’t get it past his arms, and Mulder paused long enough for her to pull the shirt up and over his head. The heated press of bare skin on bare skin was blinding ecstasy, and Mulder reached down to unzip Scully’s jeans, wanting to feel more of her against him. Pressing one more kiss to her mouth, Mulder kneeled up on the bed, quickly pulling down his own jeans and boxers in one go. A flush of arousal sped across Scully’s cheeks and she looked away, but Mulder caught her chin in his palm, preventing her from evading his gaze.

“Look at me, Scully.” he implored. “See how much I need you. How much I love you.”

She stared into Mulder’s eyes and knew that he was speaking straight from his heart. Not wanting to wait any longer, she pulled her own jeans and underwear down, kicking them off the end of the bed, and drawing Mulder back down to lie with her. Scully grasped a packet from the bedside draw, ripped it open with her teeth and carefully slid the condom over Mulder’s tight flesh, delighting in the way he groaned with pleasure at her touch.

Mulder slid one hand along the curve of her hip then stroked Scully gently between her legs, finding her open and ready for him. Positioning himself above her, he slid into her smoothly with one long movement. Scully released a loud moan as he filled her, and shifted slightly to take him in even more deeply. She ground her hips against Mulder’s, encouraging him to start moving, and her eyes slipped shut as he began to rock against her.

“Scully, open your eyes.” he commanded, and watched until the beautiful blue orbs he loved were visible once again. “I want you to watch. I want you to see us making love.” he said huskily, pushing into her harder, deeper.

Scully whimpered as she felt him moving and thrusting intimately within her, throwing her head back on the pillows with abandon as the fire built and spread throughout her body.

Mulder drove into her again, pressing in so deeply, and Scully groaned at the sensations he was arousing. Her eyes closed again, involuntarily, as she felt herself approaching the edge.

“Scully, watch.” Mulder insisted.

She forced her eyes open. “Oh, Mulder,” she whispered shakily, “I don’t know if I can.”

“Yes you can.” Mulder persisted, “Trust me, Scully. Hold onto me, I won’t let you fall.”

And then she was coming, and waves of incredibly pleasure were breaking onto her, and she was falling, but Mulder was there, and she was falling into him. And she could hear him crying out too. Crying out and clinging to her. Moaning into the flesh of her shoulder, “Scully, my Scully, my darling, my life, my love.”

She just had time to cry out, “Mulder, I love you”, and then they were consumed in a shattering explosion of white-hot passion that took them to the stars and beyond….

End Part 3. “Keeping it in the Family” Part 4 by Gemma Kingsley () Scully’s apartment Tuesday 1 p.m.

“Scully,” Mulder whispered, stroking her back, “You awake?”

“Hmmmm..” she purred, non-committally, “Maybe.”

His fingers drew swirling patterns on her bare shoulders and neck. “We really should get up you know.” Mulder said. “Analyse the implants, stage my resurrection, bring down the Consortium and save the world.”

Scully chuckled sleepily into his neck. “And that’s just for this afternoon.”

Mulder grinned. “Ah, what exciting lives we lead.”

“Exciting? Not the word I’d choose.” Scully said.

“What then?” he asked.

Scully raised herself up on her elbows to look at him. “I don’t know. Different? Weird? Challenging?” she suggested.

“What about spooky? Do you think I’m spooky, Scully?” Mulder asked her playfully.

But before she could respond to the familiar question, they heard the all-too-frequent ringing of a cel phone.

“Mine or yours?” Scully asked resignedly, flopping back down on the bed that Mulder had just vacated.

“Mine.” she heard him call from the other room. Mulder came back into the bedroom and Scully listened to one side of the short but intense conversation that followed.

He hung up and turned to face her. “That was Langly.” he explained. “We have to get back to the hospital right away. Frohike’s been kidnapped.”

Rosetta Memorial Hospital Tuesday 2:30 p.m.

“Mulder, over here.” Scully called, bending over to look more closely at something on the asphalt of the carpark.

“Whatcha got?” he asked, coming over to look where she was indicating.

“I’m guessing bloodstains.” she told him. “And they’re still wet.”

Mulder grimaced. Bloodstains did not bode well. “Think we should tell the others?”

Scully straightened up. “I don’t think we have a choice. We need to do blood-typing to verify if it is Frohike’s. And besides, after all they’ve done for us, I think we owe them the truth.”

“Does this mean you don’t think they’re paranoid freaks anymore?” Mulder asked her, raising one eyebrow.

Scully smiled. “Oh no. They’re definitely still paranoid freaks, but they’re our friends too. And as annoyingly juvenile as Frohike can be, I’d miss him if he wasn’t around. So would you.” she pointed out.

“Yeah.” Mulder admitted. “All the more reason why we have to find him ASAP. Let’s go see if we can get a hold of a sample of his blood.”

Rosetta Memorial Hospital Tuesday 5:30 p.m.

Neither Mulder nor Scully had been particularly surprised to learn that the Gunmen with their ingrained senses of paranoia, did keep samples of their own blood for cases of identification such as this. Byers had returned to their Headquarters to collect it, and now they were waiting to find out if it matched the traces Scully had found in the carpark. Mulder was pretty sure that it was going to match, but would have been happy to be proved wrong. There wasn’t a whole lot any of them could do in the meantime.

For the past ten minutes, Mulder had been drumming his fingers on the edge of the chair in which he was sitting, and Scully finally became exasperated, and asked “What?”

But Mulder spoke to Langly instead. “That file you pulled yesterday, is there anyway of getting an updated version, do you think? It’s got to be the same people who took Frohike, and they might have left a clue of some sort.”

Langly looked dubious. “Whoever it came from probably took it down as soon as they realised it had been tampered with. But I know the guy who was running the site we found it at, so I could ask him. It’s worth a shot, I guess.” He went over to the hospital computer and immediately started typing something at a very fast rate, Byers looking over his shoulder and occasionally making a quiet comment.

“What file is this?” Scully asked when she and Mulder were alone.

Mulder frowned. Now was definitely not the time to go into his suspicions about her brother’s involvement in all this. “It was something the guys gave me yesterday. It kind of tipped me off to the implant thing.” he explained, hoping she wouldn’t ask for further clarification that he wasn’t ready to give at the moment.

Scully was actually about to do exactly that, but was interrupted before she could do so by Langly’s shout of triumph. Mulder and Scully rushed over to where Langly and Byers were working at the computer.

“What did you find?” Mulder asked hopefully.

“Well he doesn’t have another copy.” Langly told them, “but he thinks the letters and numbers at the end are actually some kind of fairly simple code. Mulder, have you got the printouts with you?”

Mulder felt in his pockets, but couldn’t find them. “I must have left them at Scully’s.” he said.

“Okay, well you’d better go get them. This guy’s really paranoid and he won’t send me another copy on the open email that the hospital has. Bring them back here and we’ll see if we can work it out.” Langly instructed him.

“Alright, I’ll be back soon. Scully, why don’t you stay here with Langly and Byers. I won’t be long.” Mulder said.

“No way.” Scully insisted. “I’m coming with you.”

“But Scully..” Mulder started to say, trying to put of any discussion about the file and her the possibility of her brother’s treachery for as long as he could.

“No buts, Mulder. There is no way I’m going to let you ditch me again.” Scully told him.

“Okay, fine, let’s go.” Mulder conceded, placing his hand at the small of her back and hustling her along the corridor and out of the hospital.

Scully waited until Mulder was pulling out of the carpark before she started to interrogate him. “So Mulder, what’s wrong?”

“Wrong? Nothing’s wrong. Why would anything be wrong?” Mulder tried to cover, rather unsuccessfully.

Scully sighed. “Mulder, if you regret what happened between us, all you have to do is say so.”

He pulled the car to the side of the road abruptly. “Mulder, what?….” Scully began to say, but was cut off as he grabbed her shoulders, pulled her towards him and kissed her passionately. Scully pushed up against him, urging him onwards.

Finally Mulder broke the kiss. “That answer your question?” he inquired. Scully just grinned.

Scully’s Apartment Tuesday 6:15 p.m.

Mulder was sitting on Scully’s bed, on the phone with Langly, trying to decipher the encoded part of the file. Scully was in the kitchen, boiling the kettle to make some coffee, because she figured they were going to be at it for a while.

“Mulder, I’ve got it.” Langly suddenly said.

“Really? What?” Mulder asked him, “‘Cause I have no idea what it’s on about.”

“Actually, it’s ridiculously simple. We’ve just been trying too hard. They probably thought it was so well hidden that they didn’t even need to bother encoding it. It looks like nothing, just a random sequence of numbers, but that’s just what they wanted us to believe. I think the first number ‘16’ refers to one of the names on the list. Look on the other page, who’s number sixteen?” Langly asked him.

Mulder checked to make sure Scully wasn’t in hearing distance. “Bill Scully’s number sixteen.” he said.

“The other numbers and letters, next to that, read 169761561F. If you take all the ones and sixes, you get 97/6 F. Which has got to be..” Langly said.

Mulder finished the sentence, “The date of Frohike’s kidnapping.”

“Exactly.” Langly continued. “And the next date there comes out to be 97/6 DKS, so I’d keep a close eye on Scully if I were you.”

Mulder was about to go and share what they’d found out with Scully when he heard someone knocking at the door.

“Don’t worry Mulder, I’ll get it.” Scully called out.

“Hang on Langly, there’s someone at the door. I’ll be right back.” Mulder said into the phone, checking for his gun as his ingrained paranoia kicked in. He could hear Scully talking to someone as he stepped into the living room, but he couldn’t see who because they were standing in the shadow near the door.

Mulder watched as though paralyzed as Bill Scully stepped into the room. He was astonished to discover that although he’d never met the man before, he recognised him immediately since he looked exactly the same as he had in his nightmare. Mulder stepped forward, preparing to rip Scully out of her brother’s grasp, but Bill Scully stepped forward, holding out his hand. Mulder was forced to respond to this overture, shaking Bill Scully’s hand firmly.

“So Bill, are you going to tell me why you’re here.” Scully asked. “I thought you went back to your ship at the end of last week.”

He sighed. “Actually Dana, it’s not good news. Mrs Davidson rang me.” he said.

“Mom’s next-door neighbor.” Scully explained to Mulder.

“And told me that Mom had been in an accident and had to be taken to hospital.” Bill continued.

Scully grew pale and looked as though she might faint for a moment. Mulder moved towards her, but Bill was there first, steadying her with his arm around her and a hand at her elbow. Mulder frowned, unnoticed by either of them.

“I think it’s important that we get over there right away. I have the car, so I’ll drive us.” Bill insisted to his sister.

“Yes, of course.” Scully answered. “Just let me get my coat.”

But she was halted by Mulder’s forceful “No!”

Scully stared at him in surprise. “What Mulder?” she asked.

“I mean, no, I’ll drive you over there.” Mulder stated.

“Don’t be silly, Mulder. You have to find Frohike. I’ll be perfectly fine with Bill.” Scully told him.

“No, really, it would make me feel better.” Mulder persisted. “What hospital has she been taken to?” he asked, addressing his question to Bill.

“I, uh..” Bill began. Mulder’s eyes narrowed with suspicion.

Bill panicked, and his hand moved towards the holster hidden at his hip. But Mulder was faster, and he had Bill in a headlock and on the ground before he could reach his gun.

Scully stared at the men on the floor in shock. “Mulder, what on earth are you doing?” she yelled.

“He’s got a gun, Scully.” Mulder insisted.

“Of course he has a gun Mulder, he’s a Navy commander.” she said. “Now get up and stop being ridiculous.”

Mulder was forced to give in since Bill Scully wasn’t struggling and he had no real evidence about his guilt.

“Mulder, could you please tell me what the Hell is going on here.” Scully demanded.

“Okay, then how come he doesn’t know what hospital your Mom was taken to?” Mulder asked.

“No-one told me.” Bill said, looking at Mulder hostilely. “But if I can use your phone, Dana, I could find out.”

“Sure. It’s in the bedroom.” Scully told him, and Mulder watched suspiciously as Bill Scully left the living room.

Then he pulled Scully towards him quickly and bent to whisper in her ear. “Don’t go with him Scully. I don’t trust him. I think it’s a trap.”

“Mulder, you’re being overly paranoid.” Scully insisted. “I trust him. He’s my brother, for God’s sake. You’re seeing shadows and conspiracies where they don’t exist.”

Mulder was exasperated and annoyed by the fact that Scully didn’t trust his judgement. “Scully, I forbid you to go.” he said forthrightly.

She stared at him outraged and Mulder knew he’d made a mistake. “Fox Mulder, I do not take orders from you or any other man. Just because I slept with you does not give you the right to run my life. Now I am going to the hospital with my brother, and you are going to keep looking for Frohike. That’s final and I’m not remotely interested in having an argument with you about it.”

Mulder gave in, knowing that he stood no chance against Scully in one of her determined moods, but desperately worried about her all the same. “Alright, but promise me that you’ll call me if there’s a problem.” he insisted.

“Mulder, I’m a grown woman, a medical doctor and an FBI Agent. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, and you, when necessary. But now is not one of those times. I know my brother, and I trust him. Now you’ve got to stop being so paranoid. You have to trust someone.” Scully told him.

“I trust only you, Scully.” Mulder replied.

***

Bill Scully had listened to the first part of their conversation through the partially closed door of Scully’s bedroom, but when he sensed that his sister was winning the argument, he crossed to the phone, dialing the number that he’d memorized.

“Mulder’s alive.” he said without introduction, when he heard someone pick up on the other end of the line.

“We already know that.” A familiar voice answered, and Bill Scully could picture the cigarette smoke swirling around as the man exhaled.

“He suspects something.” Bill Scully continued.

“Does he know about you?” the other man asked.

“I don’t know. I think so.” Bill Scully replied, worriedly.

“And your sister? Agent Dana Scully. Does she believe something is amiss?” the voice inquired.

“No, she still trusts me. She was angry with Mulder for being suspicious of me.” Bill reported.

“Good.” the man told him. “Continue with the plan as you were advised. Bring your sister to Georgetown Hospital.”

Bill Scully frowned. “But won’t she know what’s going on when Mom’s not there?” he asked.

“You just do as you’ve been instructed.” The voice insisted. “We’ll take care of everything else.”

Bill started to protest. “You’re not going to do anything to my mother are you?” he asked, but discovered he was speaking to an empty line. He slammed the phone down abruptly. He’d thought of this job as a way to earn a bit of extra money in the beginning. Then the power had started to go to his head. When they’d asked him to be involved in the abduction of his own sister, he’d been persuaded that it was for her own good. That it would convince her to leave Mulder and the X-Files and that it would be better for her in the long run. But that hadn’t happened, and Bill Scully had found himself drawn deeper and deeper into a web of treachery and deceit. Now he couldn’t get out because he knew the men who controlled him could bring him down as easily as stepping on a bug. He was trapped and manipulated by these men, but somehow he continued to believe that if he did what they asked then someday he’d be respected and admitted into the upper echelons of the Consortium. They encouraged him to believe this, feeding him dreams of money and power until his greed sapped away the morals and family values he’d once cherished. Bill Scully hardened his heart. They wouldn’t do any permanent damage to his mother, and he was sure this would ultimately bring benefit to him and his family. His sister would be away from the X-Files, his mother would be better off, and they’d owe it all to him.

With his resolve firm once more, he returned to the living room and was pleased to note that Scully was still annoyed with Mulder.

“Come on, Dana.” he said. “Mom’s at Georgetown University. Nice to meet you Mulder, I hope to see you again soon.” He shepherded his sister out the door before Mulder could begin to make another protest, and escorted her down to the car.

Everything was back on track once more and the only thing Bill Scully was concerned about was the size of the nice fat bonus that would be in his bank account at the end of the month.

End Part 4 “Keeping it in the Family” Part 5 by Gemma Kingsley ()

Georgetown University Hospital Tuesday 7:00 p.m.

On the drive to the hospital, Scully shared the story of Mulder’s ‘resurrection’ and the implants they’d found with her brother. She noticed that he didn’t seem too surprised about the implants, but decided that this was probably because he must already have noticed that she was looking much healthier. When they arrived at the hospital, Scully hurried in while her brother parked the car.

“Where can I find Margaret Scully?” she asked a harried looking nurse.

The nurse consulted the record of admittances. “Room 120.” she told Scully, then rushed off to attend to another patient.

Scully struggled through the ER, the chaos reminding her why she’d chosen to pursue a career in the FBI rather than continue in the medical profession.

Finally she made it through to room 120, and stared in shock at her mother. She looked so fragile lying in the hospital bed, and her face, neck and shoulders were mottled with black and purple bruises. Scully sensed her brother coming up behind her, and he gasped as he caught sight of their mother. His horrified gaze met Scully’s and he swallowed convulsively.

“Is she going to be okay?” he asked, worriedly.

Scully’s medical instincts kicked in. Surveying her mother’s hospital room, she noticed the oxygen-support system. She picked up the chart at the bottom of the bed, and read that the bruises were not restricted to her mother’s head and shoulders, but covered most of her body. Scully frowned when she came to the time of admittance and discovered that it was only ten minutes ago. She glanced across at her brother, but he was looking the other way.

A nurse bustled in, immediately followed by a doctor. “I’m Dr Keneally.” he announced. “Are you family members?”

“Yes, uh, I’m Bill Scully. My sister, Dana. This is our mother.” he told the doctor.

The doctor began his examination of Mrs Scully, explaining to Scully and her brother as he went along that, “Usually we would have kept her down in the ER for longer, but as it wasn’t a critical case we moved her straight away. There was a huge crash on the highway a couple of hours ago, and we’re a bit pressed for space.”

Dr Keneally concluded his examination. “Her injuries are fairly straightforward.” he told them. “She’s sustained some very nasty bruises, but she should recover well as long as she gets plenty of rest. She was having some difficulty breathing when she was brought in, but that seems to have passed.” He continued with reluctance. “I know it’s unpleasant, but I have to ask this. Is there a history of domestic violence in your family?”

“No, no, of course not.” Bill Scully answered. “My mother lived alone.”

“And you can think of no-one who would want to hurt her like this?” the doctor pressed. “Because this was certainly no accident.”

Scully thought her brother was a little too fast with his forceful reply of “No.” His shock at seeing their mother’s injuries had obviously been genuine, but the time of admittance didn’t track with what Bill had told her. The records showed that Margaret Scully had only been admitted ten minutes ago, but it was more than forty minutes since Bill had turned up at Scully’s apartment. Something was very wrong.

“Dana, I have to make a phone call. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” Bill Scully told her, ducking out of the room once the doctor had left.

Telling herself she was just being paranoid, Scully followed him cautiously until he reached the public phones in the reception, and stood just around the corner where she could still hear what he was saying.

Bill Scully looked around nervously, but fortunately didn’t catch sight of his sister. He dialed the same number as he had done earlier.

“You promised she wouldn’t get hurt.” he whispered angrily into the phone.

Scully couldn’t hear what the person on the other end of the phone was saying but it was obviously supposed to be placating.

“No, she is not going to be okay.” Bill Scully argued. “She has bruises everywhere. What the Hell did you do to her?”

Scully covered her mouth with her hand in shock. She could hardly believe her own brother was involved in something like this. But she forced down her repulsion and shock for the time being because it was important to hear the rest of what Bill was saying.

Bill was still speaking into the phone. “Yes I’ll still go ahead with the plan, but I want your guarantee that she won’t get hurt.”

Scully’s eyes widened, ‘Oh God,’ she thought, ‘Now what.’

“She’s my sister for God’s sake.” Bill said angrily into the phone. Scully pressed herself against the wall in horror. She wasn’t sure how much more she could bear to hear, but she didn’t have much choice, because Bill would see her if she moved now.

“Alright, alright. Fourth floor. Examination Room C. Got it, but you’d better not be lying to me this time.” Bill Scully hung up the phone abruptly and stalked back to his mother’s hospital room.

Scully watched him go, then relaxed, leaning against the wall. Her mind was whirling with the import of what she’d learnt in the past few minutes. Her own brother involved in whatever had happened to her mother and now plotting something against Scully herself. Mulder had been right. ‘Oh God, Mulder.’ she thought, and rushed to the phone that her brother had recently vacated.

Punching in his cel phone number Scully waited impatiently for Mulder to pick up.

“Muld-” was all he had the chance to say before Scully cut him off.

“Mulder, shut up and listen. You were right about Bill. He hurt Mom and I think he’s after me now. I need you to get down here right away.” Scully looked up and saw her brother coming towards her. “Hurry Mulder, please.” she said into the phone, then hung up before Bill reached her.

“Dana, I was looking for you.” he said.

“I just wanted to let Mulder know that Mom was okay, and that I was going to be here for a while longer.” Scully told him, and was relieved when he seemed to accept her explanation. They started to walk back together to their mother’s room.

“Have you learnt anything more about what happened to Mom?” Scully asked, hoping to force Bill into giving something away.

He shot her a wary look, but Scully had schooled herself to remain relaxed, and he didn’t seem to detect anything unusual in her expression.

“As a matter of fact,” he told her, “yes. The doctor came back while you were using the phone and he wanted to talk to you about Mom. Something about complications, I think. He’s up on the fourth floor, in examination room C, he said. Why don’t you go up and see what it’s about, now. I’ll keep an eye on Mom.”

Scully tried to play for time, knowing that Mulder couldn’t be anywhere near the hospital yet, and not particularly wanting to do this alone against an unknown number of assailants. “You know, Bill, I’m actually feeling rather exhausted with all the running around we’ve been doing. Do you think you could go up and talk to him instead.”

But Bill was prepared for this eventuality. “I would, but I mentioned to him that you were a doctor too, and he said it would be easier to explain what’s going on to someone with a background in medicine.”

Scully sank down into the chair, feigning intense weariness. “Alright, I’ll go up a bit later.” she said.

“I’d really prefer it if you’d go now.” Bill said harshly. He looked into Scully’s eyes and sensed that the game was up. Scully grabbed for her gun, but her brother was bigger and stronger, and before she could reach her weapon, he had her out of the chair with her arms pressed together behind her back. She kicked out, connecting hard with his shin and causing him to falter momentarily. Scully tried to twist out of Bill’s grasp, but he recovered quickly and pulled her arms back roughly as he removed her gun from its holster, slipping it into his own waistband.

Taking out his own pistol, Bill Scully pressed it into his sister’s side. “Now listen carefully.” he told her. “The two of us are going to take a nice, little walk upstairs. If you do as you’re told and don’t struggle, then you won’t get hurt. But if you’re not sensible, then I’m going to have to teach you how to behave.” To remind her of his threat, Bill pushed the gun hard against her until Scully could feel the cold metal digging into her waist. He let go of her arms, and was pleased to see that she didn’t try to escape.

“Very good. Now let’s take that little walk, shall we?”

“Keeping it in the Family” Part 6 by Gemma Kingsley ()

Bill Scully pushed his sister along the hallway ahead of him, the jacket over his arm concealing the gun he held pressed into her back. Scully glanced distractedly from side to side, trying to come up with a plan of escape. She knew her brother was armed with his own gun as well as hers, and she wanted to avoid a shoot-out in the crowded hospital corridors, particularly since she was not in possession of a weapon herself.

She tried to slow her pace, hoping to delay enough for Mulder to get there. But Bill realised what she was doing and prodded her in the back. “Hurry up, Sis. And if you even consider asking anyone for help, they’ll be dead before you can blink.”

“Why are you doing this, Bill?” Scully asked him as they continued to move towards the elevator. “Why would you want to hurt your own family?”

“Family? Ha, that’s a good joke. What family?” he replied. “Even before Dad was dead, he never had time for any of us except you. Missy’s dead, and that’s your fault too. Charles is off God only knows where playing at being a humanitarian and Mom’s too wrapped up in her dinner parties and community work to care about her own family. Why should I give a shit about any of you?”

“Bill that’s not true, and you know it.” They had almost reached the elevator, and Scully stopped walking, hoping to get Bill involved in this argument so he would forget about where they were going for a minute. “Mom and Dad loved all of us. We’re a family, and brothers and sisters are supposed to stick together.” she insisted.

The tactic worked. Bill paused and laughed cynically. “Oh now you sound just like Missy. Peace, love and harmony. She always defended you, and just look where that got her. No thanks.” he sneered.

Scully sensed movement out of the corner of her eye. ‘Please let that be Mulder.’ she thought. “Bill,” she said, raising her voice, “that’s all in the past now. I’m sure we can come to some sort of agreement.”

But Bill had seen the movement too, looked up and saw Mulder running down the hall, gun out and ready.

“Bitch.” he spat at his sister, trying to shove her into the elevator. But Scully refused to give up without a fight. Pushing off from the wall, she slammed into Bill from the side, causing him to lose hold of his weapon. He screamed with fury and lunged for her.

“Everybody down!” Mulder yelled, trying to get a clear shot at Bill. But Bill had a firm hold on Scully’s shoulder, and Mulder couldn’t take the risk of shooting her in the confusion.

Suddenly, a shot rang out. Bill staggered backwards, his arms jerking away from his body and flinging Scully against the wall. Mulder dove for her, shielding her from any further shots with his body. Bill Scully collapsed to the floor, his eyes rolling back in his head.

For a moment, complete silence reigned in the hospital hallway. Then people seemed to come back to life, helping each other off the floor, brushing at their clothes, shaking their heads at what they’d just witnessed. Two paramedics rushed up and lifted Bill onto a stretcher, bearing him off down to the ER, although it seemed fairly obvious that there was nothing more they could do for him.

Mulder ignored everything happening around him, concentrating solely on the woman who lay clasped in his arms on the floor. He slowly pulled her up to sit against him and looked at her worriedly.

“Scully…are you..okay?” he asked tentatively.

She blinked a couple of times as if trying to comprehend what he was saying.

“Mulder?” she questioned uncertainly.

He looked at her closely. “Scully, I think you’re in shock.” Mulder told her. He helped her to her feet, and she leaned heavily into his body as though she couldn’t stand herself. “Scully, I want you to see a doctor.”

Scully seemed to come back to life with this statement, trying to stand up and pull herself back together. “No Mulder, I’m fine.” she insisted. He looked at her doubtfully for a moment, but then acquiesced.

“Alright, but I’m taking you home.” Mulder said.

“I..I can’t.” Scully answered. “I have to see my mother.”

“Okay.” Mulder replied. “But after you’ve seen her, you are definitely going home.” He led her down the hall back to her mother’s room.

They found Langly and Byers standing in the doorway to the room. The two had seen most of what had happened and weren’t quite sure what to say. Scully looked down at the floor, and Mulder gave them a look to say, ‘I’ll explain later’.

Mulder grimaced as he first caught sight of Mrs Scully’s bruises. He pulled a chair for Scully next to the bed and guided her into it.

“Scully, I’ll be back in one minute.” he told her. “Will you be okay until I get back?”

She nodded but didn’t look up, her gaze focused on her mother.

Mulder sighed and left the room to talk to Langly and Byers.

“Did you see where the shot came from?” he asked.

“No, ‘fraid not.” Langly replied. “There were so many people milling around that we couldn’t tell where it came from. Kind of like at the Kennedy assassination.”

Mulder rolled his eyes. “Seriously guys.”

“Sorry Mulder, but we really couldn’t see anything.” Byers assured him.

“Yeah, okay, never mind. Any news on Frohike?” Mulder asked.

“No, nothing yet.” Langly said despondently. “But we’re still looking. Bill Scully’s dead, by the way.”

“Can’t say I’m sorry.” Mulder said. “After what he tried to do to Scully, I might have shot him myself.”

“Yeah, but he’s still her brother.” Byers insisted.

“I know.” Mulder replied. “And I’m worried about how she’s going to deal with it. She shouldn’t have to bother about all this now when her body’s still trying to recover from the implant and its effects.”

“What about you, Mulder? You had an implant too.” Langly reminded him.

“Yeah, but it wasn’t there for very long, so it didn’t have time to affect me much.” Mulder explained. “Anyway, I need another favor. I need one of you to stay here and keep an eye on Mrs Scully.”

“I will.” Byers said. “But tell me as soon as you hear anything about Frohike.”

Mulder nodded his agreement, then went back into the room to persuade Scully to come home now.

Scully’s apartment Tuesday 11:30 p.m.

“Hang on, let me get my keys.” Mulder whispered. He shifted Scully until he was holding most of her weight with one arm, then slipped his keys out of his pocket and tossed them to Langly. Scully had fallen asleep on the way back from the hospital, and Mulder had decided to carry her upstairs instead of waking her. Maneuvering her through doorways had been more difficult than he’d expected, but they’d finally managed it.

Langly went through the door first, flicking the lights on and then holding the door open for Mulder to come through.

“Have a seat.” Mulder told him, nodding towards the couch. “Just let me get Scully settled in her bedroom then we’ll figure out what to do next.”

Mulder carried Scully into her room and laid her down gently on the bed. Switching on the bedside lamp, he returned to Scully and carefully pulled off her shoes and socks, trying not to wake her. Finally, he loosened the top couple of buttons of her shirt and stood, looking down at her. Her skin was turned golden by the lamplight and she looked so peaceful lying there on the bed. Mulder felt his heart tighten. He wanted to preserve this moment in time. He wished he could make life always this peaceful for her.

Scully stirred slightly, her brow furrowing, and Mulder reached for her hand to reassure her, his fingers gently stroking her inner wrist.

“Sshhh Scully.” he whispered. “It’s alright. I’m here.”

She opened her eyes. “Mulder?” she asked.

“I’m right here.” he assured her.

Scully propped herself up on one elbow, blinking and coming fully awake. She looked at Mulder. “What are you doing all the way up there?” she asked him.

Mulder chuckled and climbed onto the bed. “All the way up where?”

Scully sat up and began undoing the buttons on his shirt. “This is better.” she told him.

“Scully.” Mulder said. His hand stilled her movements. “Langly’s in the living room.”

“So?” she asked, removing her hand from under his and undoing the rest of his buttons.

“We can’t..Oh God Scully…” Mulder lost his train of thought as Scully slipped her hand into his pants.

“What were you saying?” Scully asked teasingly.

“I..oh Sculleee….never mind.”

***

Langly had been startled when he heard Mulder’s first exclamation, but soon realised what was going on. ‘Maybe it’s just as well Frohike’s not here after all.’ he thought to himself.

As the noises coming from both Scully and Mulder grew louder, Langly felt rather uncomfortable and decided he should get out of there for a while.

“Um, guys, I’m just going down to the shops for some, er, milk. I’ll probably be about, uh, 30 minutes.” he called out loudly.

“Okay, but make it forty.” he heard Scully yell back, and then Langly was out of there. ‘Way too much information.’ he thought as he walked out of the apartment building and onto the street.

End of Part 6 “Keeping it in the Family” Part 7 by Gemma Kingsley ()

Scully’s Apartment Wednesday 12:30 a.m.

Langly quietly let himself back into Scully’s apartment. He’d stayed out for almost an hour in the end, finding a slightly seedy little bar and nursing a single beer for as long as he could.

“Mulder?” he called out quietly.

“Over here Langly.” Mulder replied.

Langly walked over to the table where Mulder was hunched over a laptop. “Whatcha doing, Mulder?”

Mulder sat back in his chair, taking off his glasses and pinching the bridge of his nose. “I downloaded some old case reports from the Bureau computer. Specifically the ones from the Duane Barry case, when Scully was kidnapped. I can’t believe Bill Scully was involved in that, and with hindsight, I’m trying to see if there were any clues. Oh, and uh, sorry about before.” he said a little embarrassedly. “No problem Mulder.” Langly replied. “So did you find anything?” he asked quickly, changing a rather awkward subject. “No, but I have some more documents and information back at my apartment. I was waiting for you to get back so I could go get them.” Mulder told him. “Keep an eye on Scully for me, won’t you? I’m still worried about her.”

Langly nodded his acceptance and Mulder clapped him on the shoulder. “Thanks, I knew I could count on you.” he told him, grabbed his keys and shut the door after himself as he left.

***

Mulder’s Apartment Wednesday 1:15 a.m.

Mulder turned the key in the door of his apartment and pushed it open. He froze as he detected the unmistakable smell of Morley cigarette smoke and pulled out his gun, flicking off the safety. The click it made seemed obscenely loud in the early morning silence.

“That won’t be necessary Mr Mulder.” a voice told him, and Mulder tensed as Cancerman stepped out of the shadows. “I’m here to offer you something I believe you want.”

“Forgive me if I don’t have a lot of faith in your assurances.” Mulder replied, keeping his gun focused on the intruder.

“You’re looking remarkably healthy for someone who’s supposed to be recently deceased.” Cancerman commented.

“Yeah well you’re looking remarkably healthy for someone who’s going to end up recently deceased if they’re not careful.” Mulder retorted.

Cancerman exhaled slowly. “You won’t kill me Mr Mulder. You need me to give meaning to your quest. If I wasn’t here, everything you did would be pointless.” he told Mulder.

Mulder lowered his gun. “You’re right.” he said. “I’m not going to kill you, but not for the reason you think. It’s not me who’s failed, it’s you. Face it now. You’re the loser in this game.”

Cancerman twisted his lips wryly. “Oh but you’re wrong Mr Mulder. The game is just beginning and I’ve upped the stakes. I know all about the files you have and I’m prepared to make a deal.”

Mulder stared at him. If Cancerman was prepared to deal, the files must be even more important than he’d thought. “I don’t think so. You have nothing I want. No deal.”

“Nothing you want? Mr Mulder, I have everything you want. But listen to what I’m prepared to give you.” Cancerman said. “I want the original disk and the two hard copies of the files that your friends made for you. And don’t even think about making any more copies because I’ve dispatched a video surveillance team to Agent Scully’s apartment even as we speak and if one of you so much as blinks, I’ll hear about it.”

Mulder stepped forward angrily. “You so much as lay a finger on her and I swear I’ll blow your brains out in a second.” he shouted.

“Well, well, well.” Cancerman commented, seemingly unconcerned. “What wonderful loyalty you bear towards your friends. I wonder if it extends to all of them, or just Agent Scully.”

“What are you talking about?” Mulder asked, still on edge.

“I understand that one of your associates, a Mr Frohike I believe, went missing sometime this morning. If you do as I ask, I could be persuaded to look into this incident.” Cancerman said.

“Why you..” Mulder clenched his fists, trying to restrain himself from punching Cancerman’s lights out.

“Now, now Mr Mulder. Anger won’t get us anywhere. Just tell me, do we have a deal?” Cancerman asked.

“Yes.” Mulder managed to grind out.

Scully’s Apartment Wednesday 4:00 a.m. Mulder opened the door to Scully’s apartment and looked around for Langly. He found him sacked out on the couch, his mouth open as he snored lightly.

“Hey, Langly.” Mulder said, poking him in the side. “Wake up, we’ve got work to do.”

“Just another minute Mom..” Langly mumbled, and Mulder bit down a laugh.

“Langly, we have to go get Frohike.” Mulder said insistently, and Langly woke up this time.

“Mulder, what did you say?” he asked.

“Do you have the original disk with that file on? And the hard copy you made?” Mulder questioned him.

“Yeah, they’re in the pocket of my jacket. What’s going on, Mulder?” Langly wanted to know.

Mulder crossed the room and fumbled for the disk and papers in Langly’s jacket.

“Mulder?” Langly queried. “What’s happening?”

“I’m going to get Frohike, that’s what.” Mulder told him. “I want you to get down to the hospital and wait with Byers. I’ll bring Frohike there as soon as I find him.”

“You’re sure you don’t need my help?” Langly asked concernedly.

“No, this is something I have to do.” Mulder insisted. “Go on, get out of here. If everything goes well, I should be there in under two hours.”

Langly nodded, grabbed his jacket and left.

Mulder walked into Scully’s bedroom and sat down on the edge of the bed. “Scully, hey Scully.” he called softly, stroking her neck with his thumb.

Scully opened her eyes and smiled languidly when she saw Mulder sitting there. “Why’d you get out of bed?” she asked him.

“We have to go get Frohike.” Mulder told her.

Scully was wide awake at once upon hearing this. She sat up quickly, clutching at the falling sheet then abandoning the attempt. It was a little pointless really since she’d been writhing naked in Mulder’s arms only a few hours ago.

Mulder watched appreciatively as she got out of bed and pulled some clothes on. Scully looked knowingly over her shoulder at him. “So where are we going G-man?” she asked.

“I’ll explain on the way.” he told her. Mulder grabbed the disk and papers, and his gun, handing the spare gun he’d picked up from his apartment to Scully, since her gun was still in police custody from when her brother had appropriated it earlier.

***

Golding Cemetery Wednesday 5:00 a.m.

It was just beginning to get light as Mulder and Scully reached the meeting place that Cancerman had decided on.

“It just had to be a cemetery, didn’t it.” Scully said wryly.

“Atmosphere Scully, atmosphere.” Mulder insisted.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Scully asked, gesturing to the papers that Mulder had shown her on the way over. A lot of the answers you’ve been seeking could be in there.”

“I know.” Mulder replied. “And I..we’re going to keep looking for them. But they’re not worth risking someone’s life over.”

Scully could hear what he was thinking almost as if he had said it aloud. Caitlin Ross and the Roche case that had so nearly ended in tragedy. She slipped her hand into Mulder’s and squeezed. “We’ll find the answers again.” she told him.

“I know we will Scully. Together.” he promised.

They both tensed as they heard a noise off to their right and prepared to meet Cancerman. But the man himself wasn’t there. He’d sent one of his goons instead, wanting to distance himself from this potentially embarrassing loss of face as much as possible. Mulder and Scully were pleased to see that the goon was leading a trussed up and handcuffed Frohike. He looked considerably the worse for wear, but very relieved to see his friends.

“You got the goods?” the goon grunted.

Mulder nodded. “Where’s your boss?” he asked.

“He ain’t coming.” was the response. “My orders was to get the stuff and split. So ya gonna hand it over or what?”

Mulder passed him the envelope that contained the disk and the papers and the goon grunted again, then undid Frohike’s handcuffs and lumbered off into the darkness.

Mulder busied himself undoing the ropes that bound Frohike, while Scully checked his vitals. When they were satisfied that he had sustained no permanent damage, Mulder lowered him to the ground.

“Are you going to be okay, Frohike?” Mulder asked concernedly.

“Yeah, I think so.” he said. “Got a nasty bump on the head though. Next time, remind me not to piss off your enemies.”

Scully’s fingers smoothed over the lump on his head, checking the damage inflicted. Frohike winced slightly when she touched a tender spot.

“I think you’ll live.” Scully told him. “But I’d still like to get you to the hospital so you can have it checked out.”

“Anytime you want to check me out babe is just fine.” Frohike responded, leeringly, and Scully laughed, having never thought before that it could actually be a relief to hear one of Frohike’s innuendoes.

“Come on Frohike.” said Mulder, helping him to his feet. “Let’s get you over to the hospital and reunited with the other two stooges.

“So, were you worried about me?” Frohike asked as he hobbled back over to the car.

“Yeah, a little.” Mulder admitted.

“And did you miss me?” he asked, addressing his question to Scully.

“Yeah, we missed you.” she told him.

“Hear that Mulder, she misses me when I’m not here.” he gloated.

“Big deal.” Mulder replied. “Maybe she misses you, but she loves me.”

“Mulder!” Scully said, aghast at what he’d just revealed.

“Oh, uh, oops.” he said contritely.

Frohike stared at the two of them. “No way. You mean you two finally did it and I missed the whole thing. Unbelievable.” He continued walking back to the car and Mulder and Scully hurried to catch up to him.

“What do you mean ‘finally’?” Scully demanded.

“Yeah.” Mulder added. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Frohike grinned. “It means me and the guys have been taking bets on how long it would take ever since the first time you brought Scully to see us. Even back then it was obvious that you had it bad for her.”

Scully laughed. “I suppose I should be offended,” she said to Mulder as she tossed him the keys, “but you have to admit he has a point. We did take our time about it.”

Mulder raised his eyebrows inquiringly.

“Oh, come on Mulder. I saw how you looked at me on our first case. You wanted me then and you know it.” Scully said.

“Oh and you were Ms Cool, Calm and Collected I suppose.” Mulder countered. “I could feel the heat coming off you in waves everytime I put my glasses on.”

Frohike groaned. “Come on guys, I really don’t want to listen to some cutesy discussion about who wants who more.”

Mulder pulled the car out of the parking area and set off for the hospital. “Okay then,” he said to Scully, “tell me you didn’t want to get your hands on more than the back of my neck when we were up at the Icy Cape.”

“Like you can talk. There was no chance that I was infected, but you couldn’t keep your hands off me either.” Scully retorted.

Frohike groaned and covered his ears with his hands. As he listened to Scully insist that Mulder had been jealous when he met Jack Willis, and Mulder counter by asking Scully how she explained her antipathy for an entomologist by the name of Bambi, Frohike decided that next time he got kidnapped, he’d just stay there.

End Part 7 “Keeping it in the Family” Part 8 by Gemma Kingsley () Rosetta Memorial Hospital Wednesday 8:00 a.m.

Mulder and Scully sat in the hardbacked chairs in the hospital reception area. As predicted, Byers and Langly had been very relieved to have Frohike restored to them. He was currently resting, his fellow gunmen watching over him as though fearful he might be snatched away from them again at any moment.

“Mulder,” Scully said, breaking the silence that had fallen between them, “are you upset about having to have made a deal with the Cancerman?”

He thought about it for a moment. “No.” he told her. “Not really.”

Scully raised her eyebrows, silently seeking clarification of his statement.

“I almost did once before.” Mulder explained. “When we found out you had cancer. I was ready to go to him and give up the X-Files, my job, the search for my sister, anything if he’d just cure you.”

Scully gasped. “Mulder, I can’t believe you’d even think of doing that. Promise me you won’t ever consider anything like that again.” she insisted.

He turned to look at her. Even in the harsh artificial light of the hospital, in rumpled clothes, wearing no make-up and with dark circles under her eyes from too little sleep, he thought she looked incredibly beautiful. “Scully, none of those things matter to me if you’re not here too.” he told her.

Scully smiled. “Thank-you.” she said, then continued, “Seriously though, there’s no way I’m giving up now. If we’ve gotten anything out of all this, I think it’s the motivation to keep going and be better than ever. And now we know that we’ve got the Cancerman running scared.”

“How do you figure that?” Mulder asked.

“Because he was prepared to deal which is something he’s never been reduced to before. I think, if we hadn’t made that deal, he would have had more power over us. If we’d left Frohike with them, we would have effectively have become ‘Players’ ourselves. Those men put their own selfish concerns over everything, but we showed them that we’re not prepared to play by their rules.” Scully said.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. I never really looked at it that way before.” Mulder replied.

A nurse came over and interrupted their conversation.

“Ms Scully,” she said, “I put that call through to Georgetown and it seems your mother is awake and asking for you.”

“I’d better get over there.” Scully told Mulder.

“Damn right you’d better.” he replied. “And I’m driving you.”

Scully gave in gracefully.

Mulder slung an arm around her shoulders as they strolled out of the hospital and Scully gave him a curious look.

“What?” he questioned. “I can’t put my arm around the woman I love just because we’re in public?”

Scully shrugged. She wasn’t complaining, just surprised. “Mulder, does it seem to you that lately we spend half our lives in hospitals?” she asked, as they left one hospital, ready to drive to the next.

“Yes.” Mulder answered. “In fact, I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve decided we should start one of our own.”

“A hospital of our own?” Scully asked.

“Yeah, just think about it. We’d get our own wounds stitched up for free, and we’d make a fortune out of the constant injuries of our colleagues, friends and family. It’s the perfect solution.” Mulder suggested.

“Mulder, you’re nuts!”

***

Georgetown University Hospital 9:15 a.m.

Mulder paused outside Mrs Scully’s hospital room. “Scully, do you, uh, want me to wait outside for you?” he asked her.

“Don’t be silly, Mulder. Mom will want to see you too.” she insisted and took his hand, leading him into the room.

Mrs Scully turned her head to see who was coming into her room. She smiled when she saw her daughter and Fox Mulder, even more so when she noticed that they were holding hands, and made no move to stop, even when they caught on to her scrutiny.

“Mom, how are you feeling?” Scully asked concernedly, moving to stand next to her mother’s bed, and smoothing the sheets with her free hand.

“I am rather sore, but the doctor said it would wear off in a couple of weeks. And purple and black really aren’t my colors, but other than that I’ll be fine.”

Scully realised that her mother’s attempt to make light of the situation was for her benefit, so she cracked a reluctant smile. But it faded as she remembered the news she had to share with her mother.

“Mom, there’s something I have to tell you.” she said, letting go of Mulder’s hand so she could clasp her mother’s in both of hers.

But her mother reassured her. “It’s about Bill, isn’t it.” she said.

Scully looked puzzled. “How did you know that?” she asked.

“He came to see me half an hour ago.” Mrs Scully told her.

Mulder looked shocked. “But Langly told us he was dead.” he exclaimed.

“Yes well, that’s what he wanted everyone to believe. He told me everything, and suffice it to say, he’s completely ashamed of what he did. I was very angry with him, of course, but I had to forgive him in the end.” Mrs Scully explained.

Mulder had been growing more and more frustrated as Mrs Scully related the story. “Where is he now?” he demanded as she finished.

“I don’t know.” Mrs Scully replied. “He said he was going somewhere far away where he wouldn’t be a danger to his family anymore.”

Mulder was furious. He clenched his fist then slammed it down on the bedside table, making both Scully women start in surprise.

“Mulder, calm down.” Scully insisted.

But he shrugged off her restraint. “Scully, I know he’s your brother, but for God’s sake, he was involved in your abduction and the cancer scam. How can either of you just forgive him after everything he’s done to hurt you?” Mulder asked vehemently.

“You’ll understand someday when you have children of your own, Mulder.” Mrs Scully told him gently. “You can’t help loving them no matter what.”

Mulder didn’t look convinced.

“So, what are the two of you planning to do now?” Mrs Scully asked them, changing the subject.

Scully considered the question. “Go back to work I guess. Can you just imagine Skinner’s face when we walk back in there?” she asked Mulder, who grinned as he pictured exactly that.

“Nonsense, you should take a vacation. After everything you’ve been through, I think you deserve some time alone together. Go somewhere nice and warm with a beach. Of course you’ll probably spend most of the time in bed anyway.” Mrs Scully told them.

“Mom!” Scully exclaimed, not sure whether to laugh or blush.

“Go on, off you go. I’ll be just fine.” Mrs Scully insisted.

“I’ll call you, Mom.” Scully told her, bending down to give her a kiss on the cheek.

***

As they walked down the hospital corridor, Mulder slung his arm across Scully’s shoulders again. “You know your Mom had a point.” he said.

“Mulder!” she exclaimed.

“I was talking about the vacation, not the bed idea.” he said. “Although you have to admit that sounds pretty good too.”

“Well it would be nice.” Scully agreed, leaning into his embrace. “But shouldn’t we be getting back to work?”

“Not really. Think about it. I’m still officially dead.” Mulder said.

“And I’m on indefinite sick leave – Skinner’s orders.” Scully continued.

“Really, there’s never going to be a better time.” Mulder concluded.

“So where are we going?” Scully asked, deciding that the idea of a vacation somewhere warm with Mulder was definitely something she wanted to explore.

Mulder stopped walking and pretended to consider the question seriously. “Let’s see. Beach. Sun. Those tropical drinks with cute little umbrellas. Have you ever been to Hawaii, Agent Scully?”

“Do you know, Agent Mulder, I don’t believe I have.” she replied.

“Well, that’s settled then. We’ll fly off into the sunset and live happily ever after.” Mulder stated.

“Um, Mulder, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s 10 o’clock in the morning.” Scully told him.

“Okay, so we fly off into the daylight.” he amended.

“Mulder you’re crazy.” Scully told him.

“Crazy about you.” he said.

“Oh great, corny as well now.” Scully said.

“Come on Scully. You’re beautiful, intelligent, in love and off to Hawaii. Don’t you feel just a little bit like you’re living in a fairytale?” Mulder asked.

“A fairytale with alien implants, pseudo-suicides, computer hackers and shadow government men. Gee, I must have missed that one.” Scully told him sarcastically.

Mulder laughed. “Our life’s never going to be dull, is it?” he said.

Scully shook her head bemusedly. “Let’s see what we can dig up in Hawaii then.” she suggested and continued down the hall.

Mulder ran to catch up with her. “You know it’s funny you should mention digging and Hawaii in the same sentence. I actually have an X-File that dates back to 1978 and includes……….”

They turned the corner and were out of sight.

– end –

From: “Gemma Kingsley” <>
Subject: “Keeping it in the Family II” (1/11) MSR
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 02:20:22 PDT

“Keeping it in the Family II” by Gemma Kingsley

Disclaimer: As I’m sure we all know, Mulder, Scully and everyone else belong to CC, 1013 and Fox. I’ll give them back when I’m done – I promise <g>. In addition, I know minimal amounts of information about Hawaii, oil rigs or various other bits and pieces, so I just made it all up. If you’d like to educate me about any of these things, please feel free <g>.
Classification: S, A, MSR
Rating: Mostly PG-13 (except for part 11 which is NC-17)
Spoilers: The Pilot, Paperclip, Herrenvolk, Home, Never Again, Tempus Fugit, Demons, Gethsemane Keywords: Hawaii, Mulder/Scully romance

Summary: Even when on vacation in Hawaii and trying to adjust to their new relationship, Mulder and Scully find themselves investigating another case.
Notes: This is a sequel to my story “Keeping it in the Family”, and it’s probably best if you read that first so you know what’s going on. This story continues straight on after the events of the first one. If you want a copy, it will be at Gossamer, or you can email me for it.

“Keeping it in the Family II” Part 1 by Gemma Kingsley ()

Makai Resort, Honolulu, Hawaii 1 p.m. Saturday

Mulder heard Scully approaching from where he was relaxing by the pool and he closed his eyes, pretending to be asleep.

“Mulder.” she called. He didn’t answer.

Scully walked right over to him, bending over his lounge chair and trying to deduce whether or not he was really sleeping. Just when she had almost convinced herself that he was, his arm shot out, grabbing her around the waist. Scully was caught off balance, and ended up falling on top of him, which was, of course, exactly what Mulder had intended the whole time.

“You big phony, I thought you were asleep.” Scully told him, laying her head against his bare chest.

“Phony yourself, why’d you get dressed when we’re going to Mauna Kea Beach this afternoon?” Mulder asked mock-indignantly.

“Oh I got cold while I was talking to Mom. But don’t worry, I can get undressed again.” she replied.

“Or I could do it for you.” Mulder offered helpfully.

“As you have done frequently in the last few days.” Scully added, grinning.

“So how was your Mom?” Mulder asked.

Scully lifted her head so she could see him. “Much better.” she told him cheerfully. “The doctor let her go home last night, and she’s got a friend staying with her to help out. She said to say ‘hi’.”

Mulder noticed Scully blushing slightly. “What else did she say?” he teased.

“She asked how the weather had been.” Scully said.

“And did you tell her you had no idea because today was the first day we actually got out of our hotel room?” Mulder inquired mischievously.

“No, I didn’t tell her. But I think she guessed anyway.” Scully told him.

Mulder rolled over, covering Scully’s body with his own and looking down at her. “You know you are so incredibly adorable when you’re embarrassed.” he told her. Scully turned even redder in response and pushed against his chest.

“Mulder, let me go.” she demanded.

“Uh uh,” he said, bringing his mouth towards hers, “I’m never going to let you go.”

“Never?” Scully asked breathlessly, her lips a mere inch from Mulder’s.

“Never.” he confirmed, shifting slightly so that their mouths finally met. Their lips came together hotly, tongues reaching out to reconnect and stroke each other passionately. Scully wound her arms around Mulder’s neck, caressing his skin and trying to pull herself right into him so that they could be bound even more intimately.

So caught up were they in their fervent embrace, that they didn’t hear the first time the man cleared his throat. He tried again and was still ignored.

Finally, he spoke. “Er, excuse me.”

Scully practically flew into an upright position and stared at the man accosting them.

He, in turn, appeared startled by Scully’s sudden movement. “I.. I..uh..sorry to disturb you,” he stuttered, “but you dropped this envelope, uh, over there and I, um, didn’t want you to lose it.”

“Oh, yeah, thanks.” Scully replied, taking the envelope from him and trying to regain some sense of composure, feeling slightly self-conscious about the fact that this stranger had seen her and Mulder indulging in such overtly sensual kisses.

He nodded and crossed back to his own chair, on the other side of the pool, directly opposite from the one occupied by Mulder and Scully.

Mulder shrugged and reached out an arm to pull Scully back down to him and resume where they’d left off. But she resisted.

“Mulder, he’s watching us.” she whispered.

“I know.” Mulder replied. “I saw the way he was looking at you and I don’t want him getting any ideas.

“Since I’m sitting in your lap, I’m sure he has a pretty good idea of what’s going on.” Scully said.

“Alright, fine. So what’s in the envelope?” Mulder asked.

“I don’t know. Apparently someone left it for us at the front desk.” she told him.

“Well, go on then, open it.” Mulder insisted.

Scully opened the envelope and rapidly perused the message it contained, a small frown forming on her face. When she’d finished, she looked up. “Mulder, I thought we agreed not to tell anyone that we were coming here.” she said.

Mulder looked surprised. “I didn’t tell anyone.” he assured her.

It was Scully’s turn to look perplexed. “Neither did I. But someone knows. Just look at this.” she told Mulder, offering him the piece of paper.

Mulder looked at it. It read:

“Agents Mulder and Scully,

I think you would be interested in the findings that have been made at Mauna Kea Beach. I will contact you at some time in the near future to assist you in your work,

E.A.”

“Any idea who E.A. is?” Scully asked when he’d finished reading the note. Mulder shook his head.

“Oh well, we were planning to go to Mauna Kea Beach this afternoon anyway.” he said.

“This wouldn’t have anything to do with that X-File you started telling me about, would it?” Scully asked, suddenly suspicious.

Mulder wore a slightly guilty expression. “Well I figured while we were here it couldn’t hurt to take a look.” he told her.

Scully sighed. “Mulder, we’re supposed to be on vacation.” she insisted.

“Just this afternoon.” he promised. “And after that I won’t mention it again for the whole time we’re here.”

Scully acquiesced against her better judgement.

***

Mauna Kea Beach 2:30 p.m. Saturday

The beach was not readily accessible by land, due to the overgrown vegetation, so Mulder and Scully had been dropped off there by a boat that would collect them in three hours. The beach was completely deserted except for a few seagulls that were more interested in searching for food than in watching the new arrivals.

“See Scully, aren’t you glad you let me talk you into this?” Mulder demanded, surveying the beauty of the unspoiled beach.

Scully flashed him a brilliant smile. “Yeah, I guess I am. It really is gorgeous here, isn’t it?”

“Come on, let’s go swimming. We can leave our clothes on the grass over there.” Mulder suggested.

Mulder pulled off his clothes quickly, dumping them on the grass until he was clad only in a black Speedo. Scully was more methodical, and had just finished folding her shorts so they wouldn’t get sand in them.

“Hurry up Scully, the boat’s going to be back before you’re undressed at this rate.” Mulder exhorted her, going to work on the buttons of her shirt. But he drew back in confusion as his fingers met bare skin. “What the..?” he started to say.

Scully smiled demurely. “Something wrong Mulder?” she asked.

He looked at her speculatively and then with one rip, pulled the rest of the shirt off her, buttons flying into the sand in every direction.

“Mulder!” Scully exclaimed, but he wasn’t listening. Scully was wearing a skimpy blue bikini that was making Mulder’s heart race, not to mention the distinct effect it was having on other parts of his body.

Scully watched him staring at her body, trying not to laugh at Mulder’s wide-eyed gaze of astonishment. “Don’t you like it?” she asked, feigning innocence.

Mulder took a deep breath before he felt able to respond. “No, I..uh, it’s..uh..nice.” he said.

“Nice?” Scully inquired dubiously.

“Yeh, uh, it’s very..nice.” Mulder repeated.

Scully decided to take pity on him. “Didn’t you say something about swimming?” she asked.

They splashed each other in the ocean for a while. The water was pleasantly cool enough to be refreshing without actually being chilly. Scully grinned as Mulder flicked water at her and then overbalanced, landing on his butt in the water. Mulder looked up at her thoughtfully for a moment, then knocked her legs out from under her, leaving Scully coughing and spluttering with a mouthful of saltwater.

“Oh you’re really going to get it now!” Scully shrieked.

“Not if I get you first!” he cried, and before Scully could react he’d whipped off her bikini top and was racing up the beach with it.

Scully was so stunned that she just sat where she was for a moment, until she was brought to her senses by another wave crashing over her.

“Fox Mulder!” she yelled, jumping to her feet. “You bring that back right now!”

Mulder looked back over his shoulder and grinned unrepentantly. “Come and get me!” he taunted.

When Scully got up to the grass at the top of the beach, Mulder was sitting innocently on a blanket that he’d spread out. Scully looked at him accusingly, arms crossed on her chest.

“Yes, Scully. Is there something I can do for you?” Mulder asked, trying to keep a straight face.

“What did you do with it Mulder?” Scully asked.

“What did I do with what?” he replied guilelessly.

“Mulder.” she said warningly.

“Alright, alright. You’re such a spoilsport. Why do you have to wear your top anyway? It’s not like I haven’t seen you topless before.” Mulder told her.

“But what if someone comes?” Scully asked dubiously.

“That’s what I’m counting on.” Mulder replied with a wicked glint in his eye.

Scully rolled her eyes. “Mulder.” she said.

“Fine. Here you go.” Mulder said, bringing her bikini top out from behind his back and holding it out to her.

Scully looked at it for a moment, then took it out of his hands and dropped it on the ground. Mulder raised his eyebrows as she sat down astride his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“What?” Scully asked from where she was nuzzling into his shoulder.

“Nothing.” he told her, running his hands up and down her back. “I guess I just thought you’d be more inhibited.”

Scully pulled back to look at him. “Oh really.” she said. “And why is that?”

“I don’t know,” Mulder said, pausing to kiss the side of her neck. “You always seemed a little reserved.” He licked the rapidly beating pulse at her collarbone then looked up to see what she was thinking.

Scully frowned slightly as she tried to process what Mulder was telling her. “Are you saying you think I’m cold?” she asked finally.

“No, no, Scully that’s not what I meant at all.” Mulder tried to reassure her.

“Was I cold last night?” she demanded. “Or yesterday? Or the day before that? Come on Mulder, what are you trying to tell me?” she asked, pulling back out of his arms, “Am I not a good enough lay for you?”

Mulder looked shocked. “Scully no. I didn’t mean..”

“Then what Mulder? What do you see when you look at me?” she asked insistently.

“I don’t know.” he said exasperatedly. “I see you. I see Scully. What am I supposed to say?”

“And you think I’m reserved.” she asked.

“Well, maybe not reserved. Just, a bit conservative, I suppose.” Mulder said.

“Conservative?” Scully queried, and the closed look on her face told Mulder that had been the wrong thing to say.

“Cautious?” he offered, trying to recover.

But it was too late. Scully had withdrawn from him, walking over and starting to get dressed and completely ignoring the fact that Mulder’s gaze rested on her breasts.

“Scully, I..” Mulder started to apologize, but she cut him off.

“No, Mulder. That’s fine. I wanted to know what you thought of me, and now I do. Just forget it. Didn’t you have an X-File you wanted to investigate here anyway?” Scully continued.

“Look, Scully can we talk about this.” Mulder tried again.

“I said no. Now is there something you want to investigate or not?” she demanded.

***

2 hours later

The boat came in as close to the shore as it could, and Mulder and Scully waded out carrying the bones they’d collected on the beach. The mood between the two was still very strained. Mulder had tried to tell her about the X-File case he had that recounted numerous bones found on the site with anomalous structures, but Scully had all but scoffed at his theory that they were of extra-terrestrial origin.

When Mulder had finished stowing the bones and their bags, he went looking for Scully and frowned when he saw her sitting close, in his opinion too close, to Nick, the owner of the boat. He couldn’t hear what they were saying over the noise from the engine, but he could see that Scully was laughing. He frowned. ‘What did Scully think she was doing. This was supposed to be their holiday, and here she was spending it flirting with some jock. Sure he had big muscles and a good tan, but that wasn’t what Scully wanted, was it?’ he wondered. Self-doubt overcame him. ‘Oh yeah and you’re a much better option.’ he told himself sarcastically. ‘Emotionally screwed-up. Spends time looking for a missing sister and trying to prove the existence of extra-terrestrial life. Just what every woman dreams about.’ Mulder grimaced at himself and went to stand on the opposite side of the boat, looking out onto the sea and trying to figure out where exactly everything went wrong.

As soon as Scully sensed that Mulder had stopped watching her, she began to ignore Nick again. ‘Geesh,’ she thought to herself, ‘talk about brain-dead. This guy makes my eight-year-old godson look like Einstein.’ She glanced over at Mulder. He was leaning against the side of the boat, probably sulking. ‘Well good.’ Scully thought. ‘Serves him right. Conservative and inhibited. What a jerk.’

When the boat pulled up at the pier, Nick wanted to know what they were going to do with the bones. Scully explained to him that she wanted to take them into town to get them analyzed. She smiled brightly at Nick, for Mulder’s benefit, as she could sense him watching her. When Nick offered her a ride into town and Scully accepted, she could almost feel the hostility coming off Mulder in waves. She couldn’t help herself from rubbing it in a bit.

“Something the matter Mulder?” she asked sweetly.

“Nothing.” he ground out, and then seemed to reconsider, “I just thought…”

“Yes?” Scully said neutrally. If he offered an apology she was prepared to accept it, but she was damned if she was going to give in first.

“No, nothing.” Mulder said.

“Fine, I’ll see you later then.” Scully told him coldly.

Mulder stood on the pier looking out at the ocean long after Scully had left with Nick. Just a few hours ago, his life had seemed so perfect, and now it was lying in ruins at his feet.

The woman watching him on the hill considered her target. He wasn’t acting like most of the other company employees, but he’d definitely been to the beach on Nick’s boat, so he must be part of the organization. And he was alone at the moment, which was convenient for her.

She walked down the path to the beach and onto the pier. “Hi, I haven’t seen you round here before.” she said.

Mulder turned around to see who was addressing him. She was the kind of woman he would have gone for once. Tall. Slim. Good-looking. But that was before he met Scully. Somehow no-one seemed to measure up when compared with her.

“I’ve only been staying here for a couple of days.” Mulder said, “with a friend.” He turned around again, hoping to discourage any further attempts at conversation. But she wasn’t that easily discouraged.

“It’s a nice place to visit.” she said, refusing to be repulsed. Mulder turned to look at her again, and in response, she moved until she was standing right next to him, their bodies almost touching. “I could show you around a bit if you want.” she offered.

“No, thanks.” Mulder told her.

She sighed inwardly. This was turning out to be harder than she’d thought. Time to try another line of questioning.

“So, are you here on vacation?” she asked him.

“Sort of.” Mulder said, wishing she’d leave him alone.

“A working vacation?” she inquired.

“Something like that.” Mulder told her.

“Well you can’t work all the time. There are some great places to relax round here. Why don’t you come back to my place, we could have a few drinks, and then….who knows?” she suggested.

Mulder’d had enough. “Look, Miss, whatever your name is…”

“My friends call me Kitty.” she filled in helpfully.

“I’m just not interested.” Mulder continued. “I’m sure you’re very nice and all, but I’d really rather be alone right now.”

“Aren’t you even going to tell me your name?” she asked in a last ditch attempt.

“Fine. Mulder. My name is Mulder.” he told her.

She was serious all of a sudden. “Fox Mulder?” she asked, and her tone was nothing like the flirtatious one she’d been using before.

Mulder frowned and looked at her suspiciously. “Yes. How did you know that?” he asked.

“Oh God, I’m sorry. I had no idea. I’m Eleanor Andrews.” she explained. “I sent you the note.”

End of Part 1. “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 2 by Gemma Kingsley ()

Mulder was suddenly interested in what she had to say. “What do you know about the bones?” he asked. “Are they extra-terrestrials? Who brought them here? What do you have to do with it?”

“I’ll tell you everything I know.” Eleanor promised him. “But not now. Anyone could be watching.” She shoved a piece of paper into his hand. “Meet me here tonight with your partner. Try and blend in.”

She was gone before Mulder had a chance to protest. He unfolded the paper she’d given him. ‘8:00 p.m. The Fiery Orchid’

‘Great. A nightclub. Just what I need.’ he thought sarcastically. ‘Scully’s barely speaking to me so how am I supposed to get her to agree to this.’

***

The Fiery Orchid 9:10 p.m.

Mulder glanced around the club again, looking for Scully. He’d left a message for her at the hospital and the receptionist had assured him that she’d pass it on, but the fact that Scully hadn’t appeared was unsettling. Then again, maybe she was still pissed off at him and had decided not to show. Neither answer was particularly comforting. A practically untouched beer sat in front of him. Several peanut shells littered the table’s surface, but Mulder had decided they were no substitute for sunflower seeds and had given up.

Eleanor Andrews was still sitting at the center of the bar. Mulder had spotted her as soon as he entered the club. She was kind of hard to miss in a short, tight-fitting dress approximating the color of blood. Mulder wondered if she really found the obvious attentions of the tipsy male tourists and assorted others gratifying, or if this was all part of whatever game she was playing.

Mulder was just considering leaving to look for Scully when Eleanor finally approached him and took a seat at the table.

“You’re looking lonely over here all by yourself.” she said. “What happened to your partner?”

Mulder was unimpressed by her small talk. “Cut the crap, Eleanor Andrews or whoever you are. I want to know who you are, how you knew Scully and I were here and exactly what the Hell is going on.” he demanded.

“Geesh, alright. No need to get upset. I told you I’d explain everything, or at least everything I know, and I will.” she told him. “Do you want me to tell you now, or shall we wait for your partner?”

Mulder sighed. “I left her a message, but she might not have got it. Tell me now and I’ll fill her in later.”

“Okay. Well I didn’t mean to get your hopes up, but the bodies aren’t anything to do with aliens. I know that’s your area of expertise, but what’s going on here is way more important than a few weird space creatures.” Eleanor insisted.

“Just how do you know so much about Scully and me anyway?” Mulder asked suspiciously.

“Alright, I was just getting to that. I used to, er, work with Charles Scully in Rwanda. His sister, Dana Scully, wrote him these long involved letters about her adventures working on the X-Files with her partner, Fox Mulder. It was almost like a serial story or something like that. When I saw your names in the hotel registry, it clicked, and I thought you might be able to help me.” she explained.

“Ms Andrews..” Mulder started to say.

“Eleanor, please. Or Ellie.” she said.

“Eleanor, then. We’d really like to help you, but Scully and I are on vacation. This is the first break we’ve had in, well in forever, and I’d really like the chance to relax.” Mulder told her.

“Look, it’ll only take a couple of days.” Eleanor pleaded. “And besides, you haven’t even let me tell you what the problem is yet. Just give me a few minutes, and if you’re not convinced, fine, I’ll forget it and leave you alone for the rest of your vacation? Deal?”

Mulder gave in reluctantly. He’d just sit here and listen to her story for a few minutes, then he wouldn’t give it another thought. Besides, he was a little curious about Charles Scully. After the near disaster they’d experienced with Bill, he’d be very wary if he ever met the other Scully brother.

“Like I said, Charles Scully and I used to do relief work in Rwanda, mostly with abandoned kids. A few weeks ago, we were transferred to a new station. And we started to notice that kids were disappearing.” Eleanor said.

“So? I mean, I don’t know all the details about the current situation in Rwanda, but it’s still pretty bad isn’t it? A lot of the children must die from disease or starvation.” Mulder commented.

“Unfortunately, you’re right.” she affirmed. “But this was different. It wasn’t just the weakest children who were disappearing, as is usually the case. It was children of all ages, all strengths and it seemed an unusually high death rate, particularly for an area that wasn’t one of the worst.”

Mulder was becoming interested against his will. “And did you find out what was causing the children to disappear? What was happening to them?”

“Yes we did.” Eleanor told him. “Charles and I went in for a bit of investigating on our own and discovered a child vending syndicate.”

“Sale of children? For what? Slavery?” Mulder queried.

“No, for adoption in America.” she told him.

Mulder sighed. “I really would like to help you. But illegal immigration doesn’t come under the FBI’s jurisdiction. You’d have to contact the immigration authorities.”

“Already tried that.” Eleanor informed him. “The trouble is that because the organization behind the sale of the children is spreading the rumors about aliens, no reputable agency is prepared to come in and investigate. They just dismiss it as a load of old stories and bull.”

“So you contacted me?” Mulder smirked. “Because I’m disreputable?”

Eleanor laughed. “That wasn’t what I meant. I thought you could look into it as if it were something to do with aliens, and then expose the truth. That’s what you’re interested in, isn’t it? The truth.”

“Just how much did Scully write about me in these letters anyway?” Mulder asked.

“I guess you’d better ask her about that.” she told him, smiling.

“Look, I’ll have to discuss this with Scully. But if, and I mean if, we decide to investigate this, I want to know everything you have. I’m sick of half truths and mysterious hints, so unless you’re going to be totally straight with us, you can forget it now.” Mulder told her firmly.

“Of course. I’ve found out quite a lot about the organization responsible for the whole thing. I know it’s based here and I know the bones are children who either died on the way over or who no-one wanted because they were sick or too malnourished. But what I still haven’t been able to figure out is how they’re getting the children into the country or the actual mechanics of the adoption process.” Eleanor explained.

“How have you managed to get any information at all?” Mulder asked her.

“Charlie and I figured out some of the people who were in charge of the Rwandan end of the operation. He wanted to turn the whole thing over to the authorities, but I knew that would be useless.” she explained. “They’ve got more than enough to concern themselves with at the moment than worrying over a few missing children. So we argued, he tried his way and it got him nowhere. I tried my way, and it got me here. You’d be surprised how much guys will reveal when they’ve had a few drinks.”

“Really? That never seems to work for me.” Mulder smirked.

Eleanor chuckled, then glanced over at the bar. “Although it seems I might have a bit of competition.” she said, her gaze focused on the new arrival who was attracting no small amount of attention.

“Huh?” Mulder asked, directing his own gaze in the same direction. His eyes widened until they almost bulged out of his head. That could not be Scully! But it was, and Mulder couldn’t take his eyes off her. Slinky, black velvet hugged her curves and the slim black straps that left her shoulders bare made Mulder’s breath catch in his throat, even from across the room. Her silky red hair had been lightly curled and was piled on top of her head, delicate tendrils caressing the creamy skin of her neck.

As though she could feel his burning stare, Scully turned to look at him, her piercing eyes taking in how he was looking at her, but also his companion. She forced herself to turn her back on him instead of running across the room and throwing herself into his arms like she really wanted to. She wasn’t ready to forgive him yet, particularly not once she’d seen the lovely brunette he was seated with. ‘Definite echoes of Phoebe Green or Bambi the Roach Doctor.’ she thought, and tried to ignore the pain of jealousy. Apparently <Trust me, Scully…I won’t let you fall… See how much I love you…> had been rapidly forgotten. ‘Fine, if that’s the way he wants to play this, then that’s what he’s going to get.’ Scully decided, trying to convince herself that she was actually interested in the intellectually-challenged Nick who had approached her a few minutes ago and was currently engaged in boring her to death with stories of the recent mechanical difficulties he’d had with his boat.

The fact that she was with Nick again hadn’t escaped Mulder’s notice either. Nick’s hand was hovering suspiciously close to the silken skin just above Scully’s knee. Mulder had half a mind to go over there and throttle the breath out of him for daring to get that close to his Scully. But the fury that Scully would certainly show if he caused a scene in front of all these people stopped him. Well, that and the fact that Nick was just as tall as he was and considerably more brawny.

Meanwhile, Eleanor had been regarding the scene with considerable amusement. “You do realise that if looks could kill, we’d both be dead, don’t you?” she finally said. “What happened? You two have a fight or something?”

“Or something.” Mulder replied.

“I take it that is your partner.” she continued. “Not exactly what I was expecting. From Charlie’s descriptions, I thought she’d be a little more, I don’t know, conservative.”

Mulder rolled his eyes. “Do me a favour and don’t tell her that, whatever you do.” he told her.

“So what are you going to do?” Eleanor asked him.

“Nothing right now.” he replied. “What can I do?”

“I don’t know, but you’d better think of something fast. That guy Nick who she was flirting with determinedly and is now leaving with ..” Eleanor started to say.

Mulder glanced quickly back at the bar to see that this was indeed true.

She continued, “..is part of the organization and in fact, is the one who takes the bodies of children who die or are unwanted, to the beach and disposes of them.”

Mulder was horrified and cast a panicked look across the room, just in time to see Scully disappearing out the door, Nick’s hand placed firmly on her shoulder as he guided her out into the parking lot.

End of Part 2. Feedback to Gemma at Please! “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 3 by Gemma Kingsley ()

“So, it’s still early. What say we go back to my place for a drink or something?” Nick suggested as they stepped out of the club.

‘In your dreams, pal.’ Scully thought. “Actually, I’m feeling a little tired and I’d rather get back to the hotel.” she told him. “Is there somewhere I can get a taxi?”

“Why don’t I give you a lift.” he offered.

“No thank-you, a taxi will be just fine.” Scully insisted.

Nick didn’t seem to take the hint. He stepped closer to her, placing a hand on her waist. Scully stiffened and tried to draw away, but he grabbed her shoulder and pulled her towards him.

“Take your hands off me now!” Scully ordered him.

“Oh come on, I know what you want. There’s no need to play these kind of games anymore. Your boyfriend obviously couldn’t satisfy you, but I’ll give it to you, sweetheart.” Nick said, leering at her.

Scully grimaced in disgust, then brought her knee up, striking him firmly in the groin and causing him to draw back in pain.

“Why you little bitch!” he screeched, striking out wildly for her. But he stood no chance against Scully who twisted his arm behind his back, forcing him to the ground. He soon lay helpless on the asphalt of the carpark, and Scully was just about to leave and look for a taxi when Mulder and Eleanor came rushing up.

“Scully, are you okay?” Mulder asked worriedly.

She sighed. “As you can see, I am perfectly capable of looking after myself. Now if you don’t mind, I need to look for a taxi.”

“I’ve got the car. I’ll drive you.” Mulder insisted, fumbling for the keys.

“That won’t be necessary.” Scully replied coldly with a glance towards Eleanor. “I can see that you’re otherwise occupied.”

“What?” Mulder asked, then realised what she was implying. “No, Scully, you don’t understand. It’s not..I’m not..”

“You don’t have to explain yourself to me, Mulder.” she said, beginning to walk away.

He hurried after her, Eleanor looking on bemusedly. “Scully, I swear this is not what it looks like. Just come back to the hotel and we’ll explain it to you.” Mulder pleaded.

“We?” Scully queried sarcastically.

“Scully, please trust me. I have absolutely no interest in this woman, and I suspect she has it rather bad for your brother anyway.” Mulder told her.

“What?” Scully asked, more confused than ever now.

“Please, let’s go back to the hotel. Then I promise I’ll explain everything.” He gave her a very imploring look and Scully found herself helpless to resist those soulful hazel eyes.

“Alright Mulder, but this had better be good.” she warned him.

***

Makai Resort 10:40 p.m. Cabin 1-20

“Yes, I agree with you that there’s a problem. But it just isn’t our place to investigate this kind of thing.” Scully said insistently.

Mulder and Eleanor had filled her in, but, not surprisingly, Scully was less than willing to give up her vacation in order to take on a case that was none of their business to begin with.

“I think Charles was right when he said that this was the business of the local Rwandan authorities. And the same goes here. I think you should contact the local police and give them the information you’ve collected.” Scully continued.

“I’ve already thought of that.” Eleanor explained. “But these people have some of the policemen in their pockets. It’s useless unless I have concrete proof. And the minute I go to them, my cover’s blown too. This is a lucrative business they’ve got going here, and they’re not taking any chances. It took me long enough to ingratiate myself with some of their employees in the first place, and there’s no way I’m going to risk everything that I’ve worked for.”

Scully glanced at Mulder and could see how much he wanted to take on this case. She supposed she should be relieved. After the debacle of the violent hypno-regression Mulder had undergone and his intense frustration after the story that Michael Kritschgau had told him, she’d been worried that his commitment to their work might have been waning. But now it seemed that his determination to launch them into unpredictable cases was just as rampant as ever.

When she spoke again it was with resignation rather than annoyance. “So I’m expected to give up the only vacation I’ve had in three years and spend it hunting down dangerous kidnappers?”

“Thanks Scully, I knew I could count on you.” Mulder said cheerfully.

“Yep, that’s me – reliable, conservative old Scully.” she said. Mulder frowned as he realised she was remembering what had happened on the beach that morning.

Eleanor had evidently picked up on the undercurrents circulating in the room too, for she chose that moment to make her exit.

“So I’ll see you two bright and early in the morning.” she said enthusiastically, happy now that they’d agreed to help her.

“Not too early Eleanor.” Mulder cautioned. “We are supposed to be on vacation.”

She smiled and left, shutting the door to their cabin behind her.

The atmosphere between Mulder and Scully was slightly awkward. Not actively hostile as Scully’s attitude had been earlier, just a bit uncomfortable.

After watching Mulder stare at his hands for a couple of minutes, as though they had suddenly become fascinating, Scully broke the silence.

“Well, since Eleanor obviously plans on waking us up at some ungodly hour tomorrow, I think I’m going to get some sleep.” she said.

“Uh, maybe I’ll take the couch.” Mulder offered.

Scully rolled her eyes. “Don’t be ridiculous Mulder. Look, I over-reacted this morning. Let’s forget it. It’s just that….. Never mind. Let’s just pretend that it never happened.”

***

5:15 a.m.

Mulder rolled over again, then kicked off the sheets and sat up in bed. “Scully.” he said.

Scully pulled a pillow over her head. “I’m sleeping Mulder.” she insisted. At least he thought that’s what she’d said. He wasn’t entirely sure because it was slightly muffled by the pillow.

He pulled it off her head and threw it on the floor. “No you’re not.” he declared.

“Fine. I’m awake. What do you want?” Scully asked, sitting up, switching on the bedside lamp and trying to smooth down her rumpled silk pajamas.

“I..uh…I want..” Mulder hadn’t exactly thought it through and didn’t really know what to say to her.

“You want to talk, Mulder. Is that it?” Scully asked.

“I..um.., yeah I guess so.” he told her.

Scully shook her head at him. “No you don’t.” she said. “What you really want is for me to say that everything is fine with us, so that you can go and investigate this case tomorrow without anything on your conscience. Isn’t that right?”

Mulder smiled a little self-depreciatingly. “I guess I’m just not that good at talking about, you know, feelings or whatever. It’s a guy thing.” he insisted, as if that explained or excused it.

Scully sighed and looked down at the bedsheets which she was twisting between her hands. “I know, Mulder. I’m not exactly open with, um, that kind of thing either. How I feel. It’s like I tried to explain to you at my apartment, when you came back after I thought you were dead. You know?”

Mulder nodded to indicate that he understood, even though in reality he had no idea what she was getting at.

She continued. “I mean, sometimes I feel like I’m two people. Agent Scully, who is all those things you said. Reserved, professional, unemotional. But that’s not really me, Mulder. Some things about me, I only show to people who I care about. People who I trust. And sometimes I think that you don’t see that side of me at all.”

Scully raised her head to see how Mulder was reacting to this. He looked dismayed and she frowned worriedly.

“I do see that Scully.” he hastened to assure her. “I know that you’re more than just an FBI Agent. I promise I do.”

“This isn’t about promises Mulder. This is about getting to know each other without the FBI or the X-Files or anything else getting in the way. There are lots of things I don’t know about you too. Things I want to learn.” Scully told him.

“You know me better than anyone.” Mulder insisted, pulling her into his arms.

Scully leaned back against his chest. “In some ways I do, but in other ways, I hardly know you at all. I over-reacted this morning on the beach, but I think that was a sign that we’re still adjusting to this new relationship.”

“And you’re disappointed in me because I just got us involved in another case and ruined the one chance we had to spend time together without any distractions.” Mulder concluded.

“No, I’m not disappointed in you. I want to take this case too. It just never seems to be the right time for us.” Scully explained.

“I know.” Mulder replied. “But I promise that after we finish just this one more case, it will be the right time for us. I’ll make it the right time.” he insisted.

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Mulder.” Scully told him. He frowned and looked like he was about to interrupt, so she continued. “It’s alright. I’m involved with you because I want to be. And I’m talking both professionally and personally here. I want you and I want the work. Only problem is, I want you more, and sometimes the work gets in the way.”

Mulder hugged her tightly. “I love you, Dana Scully.” he told her.

“I know you do, Mulder. I know you do. And I love you too. I think we’ll just have to give it time. There’s a lot for both of us to adjust to.” Scully said.

“Speaking of time..” Mulder started to say, looking at the clock beside the bed.

“….Eleanor’s going to be here in a couple of hours so we should really get some sleep.” Scully finished.

“You know sometimes I think you can read my mind.” Mulder said as he lay down in bed, snuggling into the pillows with Scully in his arms. “It’s downright…”

“Spooky?” Scully suggested. “Do you think I’m spooky?”

“I don’t know. But if I don’t get any sleep then I’m going to be very spooky in the morning.” Mulder told her. “So go to sleep!”

“Sure. Fine. Whahumppphff.” The last word was muffled as Mulder leaned over Scully to turn out the lamp, pressing her into his chest and plunging them both into darkness as they tried to catch a bit more sleep before Eleanor turned up ‘bright and early’ as promised.

5:45 a.m.

The knocking on the door of their cabin became too loud to ignore any longer.

Mulder let loose with several curses as he sat up and promptly fell out of bed.

“If this is Eleanor, I’m going to strangle her.” Mulder said as he pulled on jeans over his boxers.

“Hmmfff.” was the only reply from Scully as she rolled over and buried her face in the pillow.

“Alright, alright, I’m coming.” Mulder said, complaining under his breath as he walked over to the door upon which someone was still continuing to pound.

After a couple of minutes had passed and Mulder hadn’t returned, Scully pulled the pillow off and threw it on the floor.

“Mulder?” she called, but received no reply. “Mulder is that Eleanor at the door?”

Grumbling slightly, Scully got out of bed and pulled on her robe. “Mulder, who was at the door?…” she started to say as she walked out of the bedroom, but broke off in shock as she saw who was standing there.

“Oh my God!” Scully exclaimed.

End Part 3. “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 4 by Gemma Kingsley ()

“Dana!” their early morning visitor yelled out, holding his arms open wide.

“Charlie!” she shouted back as she threw himself into his embrace.

Mulder looked on bemusedly. After a few seconds, Scully seemed to remember him.

“Uh, Mulder, this is my brother, Charles.” she told him.

“I know, we were just introducing ourselves when you burst in.” Mulder explained. “Nice to meet you Charles.”

Charles Scully shook Mulder’s hand heartily. “Please, call me Charlie. Everyone does.”

Mulder smiled. He’d been a little perturbed about meeting Scully’s second brother after what had happened with Bill, but he instinctively sensed that there was nothing to fear from this friendly, open man with a mop of unruly red hair.

Charlie seemed to notice Mulder’s hastily thrown on and still unbuttoned jeans and his sister’s pajamas and robe for the first time.

“Something you want to tell me, Sis?” he teased. “I remember in your last letter you mentioned, let me see, Mulder hugging you at his mother’s hospital bedside, Mulder teasing you about having kids, Mulder giving you a keychain for your birthday, but I definitely don’t recall anything about Mulder in your bedroom without any clothes on.”

“Charlie!” Scully exclaimed, blushing. “He always used to do this to me when we were kids.” she told Mulder. “Tease me about boys I liked.”

“Am I a boy you like?” Mulder queried.

“Oh yeah,” Scully assured him, wrapping her arm around his waist. “You’re a boy I like very, very, very much.”

“Okay guys, why don’t we save this for later. I’m going to take that as affirmation of what I suspected. So what else have I missed Dana?” Charlie asked his sister.

She frowned as she realised that he didn’t know about Bill yet. “You’d better sit down Charles.” she told him.

Charlie raised his eyebrows and looked first at his sister, then at Mulder who didn’t look happy either. “She called me Charles.” he said to Mulder. “That means this is very bad. C’mon Sis, spill the beans.” he insisted.

Mulder abandoned any hope of getting more sleep and he and Scully spent the next hour or so filling Charles Scully in on what had happened with Bill.

“I can hardly believe it.” was his response when they’d finished. “I mean I always thought honor and family and all that sort of stuff was so important to Bill. Guess I was wrong.”

“Yeah, well we still don’t know the full story of how he got involved in the first place, or the exact extent of his participation. But I do know he had something to do with my abduction, with what happened to Mom, and with the implants given to Mulder and me.” Scully told him. “I know it’s hard to accept. I couldn’t believe it at first either, but I saw it for myself.”

“I believe you. Of course I believe you. I just don’t understand why the Hell he’d do anything like that in the first place. I mean, his own mother and sister for God’s sake.” Charles said vehemently.

“I don’t understand it either. But he did make it fairly clear that he didn’t approve of my work with Mulder on the X-Files. I didn’t understand his motivation at the time, but since he was working for exactly the people we’re trying to expose, suddenly that all becomes clear.” Scully said.

“And now, just like all the rest of them, he seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.” Mulder added.

“Rats scuttling back into the woodwork.” Charlie commented.

“What?” Scully asked.

“Oh, nothing, just that I understand some of what you’re going through because I seem to be having the same sort of problems myself.” he explained.

“Oh yeah, we know all about that.” Mulder told him.

“You what?” Charlie asked with confusion, but any answer he might have received was forestalled by another knock at the door.

Mulder and Scully glanced at each other concernedly, wishing they’d had more time to prepare Charlie for what was going on. But before either of them could say anything, the door opened and Eleanor strode in, carrying a stack of files and folders.

“So are you guys ready to go?” she asked, depositing the files on the table. “Because I got a tip-off that something big is going down at…” She seemed to notice the profound silence in the room, for she turned around at that moment and her jaw dropped. “Charlie!” she cried delightedly and appeared about to launch herself across the room into his arms. But then she took in the distant expression on his face and his stiffened posture and changed her mind. Her hands formed into fists at her sides and she seemed to effect an almost physical withdrawal.

Mulder gave Scully a questioning look, but she shrugged her shoulders, being just as ignorant of exactly what was going on as he was.

“Okay,” Mulder finally said, breaking the uncomfortable silence that had fallen. “I guess you guys have a few things to talk about so Scully and I are just going to leave you to it while we get dressed. And then, we can all try and figure out what’s going on and, uh, what the plan is next.” With that he tugged on Scully’s hand and they both quickly retreated back into the bedroom.

“Do you think they’re going to kill each other?” Scully asked as she pulled off her pajamas and began to get dressed. They could hear the argument Eleanor and Charlie were having and both of their tones were clearly hostile.

“I don’t know. I hope not.” Mulder replied. “Just look at us. We’ve had some pretty big fights in the past but we always manage to get through them.”

Scully smiled. “Yeah, we do, don’t we. I just hope it works out for Charlie and Eleanor too. I can tell from the letters that he’s written that he really likes her.”

“Oh yeah,” Mulder said grinning, “these infamous letters between Scully siblings. Just what did you write about me in all these letters.”

Scully was a little embarrassed. “What makes you think I write about you?” she asked.

“Maybe the fact that Eleanor already knew all about me before we’d even met, and then the fact that your brother said so too.” Mulder insisted.

“Okay, well maybe I mentioned you once or twice.” Scully conceded.

“Well?” Mulder prompted.

“Well what?” Scully asked, knowing very well what he wanted and trying to put it off.

“You wanted to know how I saw you. Now I’m asking you what you think of me. What do you tell other people about me? I really want to know.” Mulder said.

“Mulder, I…” Scully started to say, when both of them heard the door to the cabin being slammed violently.

“I think that’s our cue to get going.” Mulder said.

Scully looked relieved, but Mulder’s next comment overturned that. “This conversation is not over, Scully.” he insisted. “I meant it when I said that after this case, we are going to discuss all this and figure out exactly what we want and where this relationship is going. No holds barred.”

“Okay, I’ll be there.” Scully agreed. “But for now let’s try and solve this mess before Charlie and Eleanor end up tearing each other apart.”

Mulder nodded his assent and they headed back out into the living room.

Eleanor was sitting on the couch, head bowed, but she jumped up when Mulder and Scully came into the room.

“Um, Charles got a bit frustrated and went for a walk to cool off.” she said.

Scully raised one eyebrow. “Is he coming back?” she asked.

“Yeah, I think so. He’s still kind of ticked off at me because I won’t agree with him about how to handle this child kidnapping issue. We had a bit of a fight, and well…” she trailed off.

“Yes, we heard.” Mulder smiled wryly. “Maybe I should go talk to him.” he suggested.

“Really? Would you?” Eleanor asked, relieved.

“Sure.” Mulder replied. Scully looked a little surprised at Mulder’s rather uncharacteristic behaviour. “Trust me on this one, Scully.” he told her. “I know what he’s going through.” He gave her a quick kiss then headed out the door after Charles Scully.

Eleanor watched him go then turned to Scully. “You guys have such a great relationship.” she said, smiling sadly. “I wish Charles and I could be could be like that.”

Scully shook her head. “Mulder and I are no different from anyone else.” she told Eleanor. “You saw us fighting last night.”

“Yeah, but this morning everything was fine again with you two. When Charles and I fought, we ended up running off to opposite sides of the world.” Eleanor said.

“Don’t worry. Mulder and I have been there too. I’m still trying to cure him of going off and leaving me while he investigates leads on his own. But I think the time I did the same thing really scared him, so hopefully he understands now.” Scully explained.

“Really. What happened?” Eleanor asked curiously.

Scully related the story of Ed Jerse and the tattoo to her.

“Wow! And was Mulder jealous?” she asked.

“Yep, totally. But he was still acting like a complete jerk at that stage. I know his biggest fear is losing me, he’s told me that himself, but sometimes it feels like he’s pushing me away on purpose.” Scully said.

“I guess I can understand that.” Eleanor told her. “When everything seems to be working out really great, sometimes I get so worried that it just can’t last and I end up doing something to ruin it myself. I don’t know why I do it, but being too happy can almost hurt, you know.”

“I never really thought of it that way before.” Scully replied. “But I see your point. And I think that could apply to Mulder too. He’s had some, uh, bad experiences in the past and at times he acts almost as though he’s afraid to be happy.”

Eleanor nodded. “You should talk to him about it. Charlie and I didn’t talk enough, I know that was one of our biggest problems. When I get a new idea or a new objective, I just tend to jump right in without discussing it enough. It used to drive Charlie nuts as he chased after me trying to persuade me to think things through before just diving straight in. Just as well he was there though, ‘cause he’s pulled me out of some tight situations in the past.”

“Sure, I understand the excitement of something new,” Scully said, “but I think you do have to try and consider how Charlie feels. I mean, just imagine him chasing after you, not sure whether to be furious about being ditched again, or terrified that he might not get there in time. Not knowing what he’s going to find, not knowing if he’s going to be late and will find you taken prisoner, or injured, or even dead…”

Scully had got quite worked up and so she was surprised to find Eleanor grinning at her.

“What?” she demanded.

“You do realise that you’re not talking about me and Charlie anymore, don’t you?” Eleanor told her.

Scully smiled ruefully. “I guess I got a bit carried away.” she said.

“No problem. I promise I’ll think about what you said. But I know that we have to pursue this child trading scam my way. This just isn’t something that can be prosecuted through normal channels.” Eleanor insisted.

“You know I actually agree with you. Making this look like another alien hoax was the perfect way to get local authorities to ignore any reports they received. Mulder and I have investigated enough of these kind of cases to know that they’re generally dismissed out-of-hand.” Scully explained.

“Do you believe in aliens?” Eleanor asked.

Scully smiled. “That was one of the first things Mulder ever asked me.” she told her. “I said ‘no’, but since then I’ve seen things that can’t be explained. I don’t really know what to think now. I’m not saying I believe in extra-terrestrial life, but I’m not saying I don’t either.”

“Fair enough.” Eleanor agreed. “But since we know the alien aspect of this case is entirely fabricated, we don’t have to worry about that. Anyway, I brought a map with me and I’ve marked some of the possible sites that could be used to store the children.”

They were soon pored over files and maps on the table as they waited for Mulder and Charlie to return.

***

Charlie hadn’t gone far and Mulder found him sitting on some rocks at the edge of the beach.

“Hey.” Mulder said.

Charlie looked up. “Hey Mulder. Dana send you down here to talk to me?” he asked.

Mulder took a seat on the rocks. “No, I volunteered.” he replied.

“Really, why?” Charlie inquired.

“Because Scully and I have been through this enough times for me to know how it feels.” he explained.

“Mulder, I don’t need your advice. I just don’t understand how Eleanor can run off on me all the time. She says she loves me, but the minute I don’t agree with her over something, she goes off and gets herself involved in something crazy.” Charlie told him.

“I don’t think she does it because she doesn’t care about you.” Mulder said. “I think she goes it alone because she does care.”

“How do you mean?” Charlie asked.

“I think she purposely leaves you behind because she doesn’t want to get you caught up in her messes, in something that’s certainly risky and could turn out to be downright dangerous. She wants to protect you by keeping you out of it, but it’s a comfort all the same to know that you’re going to come chasing after her and be there when everything falls through.”

“Mulder, you do understand that you’re talking about yourself and Dana, don’t you?” Charlie asked bemusedly.

Mulder thought back over what he’d said and realised that Charlie was right. “Yeah, maybe I was. But anyway, this time Eleanor’s not ditching you and I’m certainly not leaving Scully behind. And we are going to blow this operation out of the water. So are you in?”

Charlie considered it for a few more seconds then gave Mulder his answer. End of part 4. “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 5 by Gemma Kingsley () 7:45 a.m.

Four heads were together, crouched down behind a wall, as Mulder drew out the plan in the dirt.

“Okay, there are three entrances that we know of. Here, here and on the other side.” he said, indicating the relevant positions on his makeshift sketch. “Since Scully and I are the only ones who are armed…”

Eleanor interrupted him, “Actually…” she said, pulling a small pistol out of her side pocket.

Charles looked horrified. “Where the Hell did you get that?” he demanded angrily.

“Relax Charlie.” she insisted. “I’m not intending to shoot anyone, it’s just for self-defense.”

He didn’t look reassured, but Mulder and Scully looked quite pleased at the addition of another firearm to the party.

“That makes the divisions easier then.” Mulder continued. “I’ll take the first one, Scully you take the next. Eleanor and Charlie, you try for the door on the other side.”

All three nodded to show that they understood.

“And remember,” Scully said, with a particularly warning look at Mulder, “we’re just trying to find out more information at the moment. Under no circumstances is anyone to get involved in a confrontation, no matter what.”

Mulder looked inclined to disagree, but was forced to give in as Scully continued. “I mean it, Mulder. We don’t know who we’re dealing with here, and until we do, I don’t want you marching in there and single-handedly trying to blow up the building. Got it?”

“You hear that?” Charlie whispered to Eleanor. “This means you too. Okay?”

“Okay.” she agreed, albeit reluctantly.

Charlie and Eleanor left then, creeping around the warehouse and getting themselves into position to enter through their allocated door.

“Did you fax the information we already have through to the Gunmen?” Scully asked.

“Yep. I went up and did it just this morning. You ready Scully?” Mulder asked, checking his weapon.

“As I’ll ever be.” she responded.

He leaned in for a kiss. “Mulder!” she exclaimed.

“What?” he asked.

“We’re working.” she insisted.

“All work and no play….” Mulder countered.

“Go on, get out of here.” Scully told him, watching until he rounded the corner before she moved into position.

After exactly two minutes had passed, as they’d agreed, Scully approached the vehicle entrance to the warehouse and was gratified to see that it wasn’t guarded. ‘Amateurs.’ she thought but remained on guard, and was soon forced to revise her opinion as she narrowly missed setting off an alarmed trip-wire.

Scully saw no sign of either Mulder and the others or anyone working for the organization they were trying to bring down. From where she was, the warehouse appeared deserted. Of course it was very large and she couldn’t possibly tell what was on the other side. Hopefully Mulder, Eleanor and Charlie were busy finding out.

She made her way across the building, noticing that the floor was quite dusty and didn’t look like it had been disturbed in some time. Several doors led off the main area, and Scully headed across to them. The first three she tried were locked. For a few seconds, she contemplated shooting off one of the padlocks, but decided that didn’t exactly follow the ‘avoiding confrontation no matter what’ injunction that she’d laid down just a few minutes ago.

Fortunately, the padlock on the third door had been left unfastened. Scully pushed the door open, holding her breath and hoping that it wouldn’t creak. Her prayers were answered and she managed to make her way into the room with no more than minimal noise. Having entered the room, she pushed the door closed and found herself in almost complete darkness. Scully fumbled for a light switch, but couldn’t find one. She was weighing up the dangers of leaving the door open to let light in, when she realised that a small amount of light was coming in on the other side of the room. Scully headed towards it, smothering a groan as she banged her leg hard against what she deduced was a piece of furniture. She then discovered that the light was coming in through a window which had been covered with tacked on pieces of sacking. Pulling them down as quickly and quietly as possible, she let more light into the room, and when she turned around, she found that the previously darkened room was now reasonably well-illuminated.

The piece of furniture she had banged into before was now revealed as a large desk. Papers were strewn across it in what seemed an almost random fashion and Scully sighed as she walked over to it, sat down and started sorting through the numerous files and documents that littered its surface.

***

Meanwhile, Mulder had also managed to make his way into one of the rooms that led off the main warehouse area. The door to the room had been locked, but by making his way around the back he’d found a window to climb through. Unlike what he’d seen of the rest of the building so far, this office appeared to have been occupied fairly recently. It looked like the main area of operations as the room was large and contained several up-to-date PCs. Mulder quietly went over to one of the computers and turned it on.

‘Enter Password:’ it prompted.

‘Damn.’ Mulder thought. He looked around the desk for some clue to the password, remembering how well that had worked before, but found nothing. He tried ‘love’, ‘sex’ and ‘God’ as the three most common passwords, then ‘Rwanda’, ‘children’ and ‘Hawaii’ but each time only received the response: ‘Entry Error!!’

He abandoned his unsuccessful attempt to crack the password, wishing the Lone Gunmen were there to help him. Instead he began to search around for any disks or hard copies of files that he could take with him. His search was also proving useless until he tried the computers themselves and found that someone had left a zip disk in one of the drives. He pocketed it quickly and was about to keep looking for more evidence when he heard a gunshot then a scream. ‘Oh God, Scully’ he thought, panicking.

Not even bothering to try and keep quiet because he was too worried about Scully, Mulder leapt out the window and ran back round the side and into the main warehouse. Staying close to the wall and trying to work out what was going on, he gradually crept around the interior of the building until he was hidden behind some stacked crates. He could see a group of people standing not too far from where he was crouched and could tell by their gestures that there was some kind of argument going on, but he couldn’t see who they were or if they had Scully.

Straining his ears to try and understand what they were arguing about, Mulder caught brief spurts of their conversation which was being partially drowned out by the engine of a boat outside.

“…snooping around out back…..throw ‘em to the fishes, don’t want to take any risks..” one man said.

Mulder didn’t catch the other man’s reply, but he was obviously disagreeing.

“..why do you care..thought….going to leave……after last..hospital…Jake told me that you…..” the same man spoke again.

The noise outside suddenly stopped and Mulder heard the man’s full response. “I wanted to, but the boss told me to forget it. Said the only way out is something I don’t want to do for at least another 20 or 30 years. Anyway, I vote we lock these two up in the truck for a bit just while we make sure there aren’t more of them.” he said.

The other man gave in and agreed, but Mulder wasn’t paying attention anymore. ‘I know that voice,’ he thought, ‘it’s..”

But he didn’t have time to complete the thought as it was cut off abruptly when a hand shot out from behind him, covering his mouth and pulling him backwards…

End Part 5. “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 6 by Gemma Kingsley ()

Mulder tensed, about to try and throw whoever had grabbed him off, but was instantly halted by the rapid whisper in his ear of “Sssshh Mulder, it’s me. Don’t move.”

He relaxed. ‘Thank God, Scully’s safe.’ he thought. Only a second later, one of the men passed within inches of where Mulder had been crouched only a moment previously. Mulder realised that if Scully hadn’t pulled him backwards, he would almost certainly have been seen and captured by now. For about the millionth time, Mulder was incredibly grateful that Scully had been sent to him in the first place.

He breathed in deeply. “You okay?” he whispered, reaching out for her.

“Yes, I’m fine.” Scully whispered back. “You?”

“Slightly shaken but I’m sure I’ll live.” was Mulder’s reply. He looked up and as the men had all disappeared from sight, he felt it was safe to stand. Helping Scully to her feet, he asked her, “Did you find anything?”

“A few financial records.” Scully told him. “Don’t know if they’ll be any good though. How about you.”

“A zip disk.” he said. “No idea what’s on it and I couldn’t get into the computer system.”

“Eleanor and Charlie got taken prisoner.” Scully continued.

“I saw.” Mulder replied. He turned to look at her. “Did you get a look at who else was there?”

Scully shook her head. “No, I was concentrating on getting to you and that engine drowned out most of what they were saying.”

“It was Bill.” Mulder told her bluntly.

Scully’s eyes widened. “My brother’s here. Oh God, that means these people are…Oh shit! And they’ve got Eleanor and Charlie. What the Hell are we going to do?”

“I don’t know. But I think Bill’s up to something.” Mulder said.

“What do you mean?” Scully asked.

“I think he might be trying to help them get away. Let’s try and get round the side to where the truck is so we can see what’s going on.” Mulder suggested

They hurried across the warehouse, making sure to keep in the shadows of crates and boxes, and slipped out the door through which Charlie and Eleanor had originally entered. The truck that had brought the men to the warehouse was parked on the road and Mulder and Scully were able to get a fairly good view of it from the cover of some nearby trees.

“Charlie looks pissed off.” Scully commented.

He certainly did. Charlie had obviously managed to restrain his anger towards his brother while they were in the warehouse to avoid giving away his identity, but by the look of it, he was certainly letting Bill have it now.

“Remind me never to tick off either of your brothers.” Mulder said.

“Don’t worry Mulder, I’ll protect you.” Scully promised, grinning.

They watched the scene as it unfolded before them and Scully was shocked as Bill suddenly lifted his fist and knocked first Charlie then Eleanor unconscious. Scully leapt to her feet, hands forming into fists and preparing to march over there and beat her brother to a pulp. But Mulder grabbed her and pulled her back behind the bushes.

“Mulder, let go of me.” she cried, pounding her fists against his chest. “That bastard. I’m going to kill him.”

“Ssshhh Scully. It’s going to be alright.” Mulder reassured her, trying to ward off the blows falling on him.

He finally managed to grab her flailing fists and pull her resisting body towards him, wrapping his arms around her and cradling her to his chest.

“Oh God, Mulder. He’s my brother. How could he do this to his own family?” she sobbed into his chest.

Mulder felt relieved as he realized that she was coming to terms with her brother’s betrayal. He might have wished for somewhere slightly more convenient, but still…. He’d been concerned before now because she’d obviously been burying the pain she’d felt about discovering that Bill had been involved in her abduction and the injuries that her mother had sustained, but now Scully was finally letting him see what she’d been going through.

“It’s going to be okay, Scully.” he told her reassuringly as she continued to smother her sobs in his shirt. “We’ll get through this like we always do. I’m here for you, Scully. I always will be.”

Scully eventually calmed down and relaxed against Mulder. “How could he do that?” she asked uncomprehendingly. “How could he strike his own brother? And Eleanor too?”

“I don’t know, Scully. I don’t know. But we have to find out what’s going on.” Mulder insisted, encouraging her to get up.

“Yes, of course.” Scully agreed, trying to pull herself back together. “Sorry about that, Mulder.”

“Don’t be.” he told her, taking her chin in his hand and regarding her seriously. “I want you to know that you can let me in like that. I want to be here for you.”

Scully smiled slightly. “Okay. Thanks.”

“Anytime.” Mulder said. “But for now, we have to get moving.”

Bill was no longer in sight, but Mulder and Scully could see movement by the boat that was alongside the wharf, so they hurried in that direction.

Sure enough, when they got close enough to be able to see the deck of the boat, they observed that Charlie and Eleanor had been dumped on board and still appeared to be unconscious.

“Come on.” Scully said. “We have to get on board too.”

Mulder grimaced. “It had to be a boat, didn’t it?”

Scully smiled tolerantly. “Don’t worry, we’re not in the open sea or anything like that here. I expect it’ll be fairly calm so you won’t have any problems.” she told him.

They snuck alongside the wharf, trying to find a way onto the boat. They couldn’t risk speaking this close to the men, so Mulder signaled that they should go under the jetty and try and get onto the boat from underneath. It proved to be harder than he’d thought and Mulder almost had his hand stepped on as he hung onto the wooden boards when one of the men walked past. But they managed to get aboard while Bill and the others had left the boat to check that the warehouse had been sealed up and locked properly. Mulder and Scully scurried across the deck and concealed themselves under some tarpaulins and rope, not too far from where Eleanor and Charlie lay.

“Now what?” Scully whispered in Mulder’s ear when they were securely in their hiding place.

“We wait. How many of them do you think there are?” he asked.

“Bill and two other guys who were in the warehouse.” she counted. “That guy Nick in charge of the boat. And I think I saw another man in the cabin up at the front. So five.”

“Okay. We’ll just have to see what happens, I think. Unless you have any brilliant ideas.” Mulder said.

“Afraid not, partner.” she told him.

“Then we wait.” he confirmed.

***

The boat cruised for about forty minutes and Mulder and Scully stayed concealed under their tarpaulins. It was starting to become stiflingly hot, but they didn’t dare go out and try to find a better position. Just when it was getting almost too much to bear, the boat stopped.

Mulder gripped Scully’s hand tightly and squeezed. “I think this is it.” he whispered.

She squeezed back, and then they waited. After about ten more minutes, all they could hear was silence. Mulder stuck his head out of their hiding place and motioned Scully out too when they saw that the boat was anchored and deserted. Scully looked back towards the shore. They could still see the warehouse in the distance. Then she turned and looked at what the boat was anchored to, and gasped.

“Mulder, what on earth is that?” Scully asked him.

“I think it’s a semi-submersible oil rig.” he replied.

“In Hawaii? Isn’t that rather unusual?” Scully queried.

“Maybe it got lost on the way to the Middle East and stopped to ask for directions.” Mulder quipped.

Scully was not amused. “Mulder, this is no ordinary oil rig. If it was active, the electric engine would be powering the down-hole pump and piping oil into the separator.” she informed him.

Mulder grinned. “Oooh Scully, don’t stop, you’re turning me on.” he said.

She rolled her eyes and stepped off the boat and onto the floor of the rig, Mulder following. Once on the structure, they looked around, trying to figure out where Bill and all the others had gone. Eleanor and Charlie were also conspicuously absent from the boat, which didn’t look good for them.

Suddenly, Scully pulled Mulder back into the shadow of one of the oil towers. One of the men had emerged from a hatch in the floor and was now occupied in dragging two squalling little children across the rig and onto the boat. As the man threw the kids down into the lower cabin on the boat, Mulder checked his weapon.

“Mulder, what are you doing?” Scully asked worriedly.

“Stay here.” he insisted. “At the moment, it’s five against two. I’m just evening up the odds a little.”

“Mulder!” Scully exclaimed, but it was too late as he had already made his way back to the boat and was crouched beside it, waiting to get the drop on the man as he came out of the boat. Scully watched with her heart in her mouth and gave an audible sigh of relief when she saw that Mulder had succeeded with his aim. She hurried across the floor and helped Mulder truss up their prisoner and tie him to the back railing of the boat.

“One down. Four to go.” Mulder said, going back onto the rig. Scully glanced down into the cabin at the children, but decided that they looked more scared and upset than actually hurt, and opted to join Mulder again. This time they were prepared for the men to come out of the hatch, and so when the two others stuck their heads out of the hole, Mulder and Scully were ready and had kicked them onto the floor and knocked them unconscious before they knew what had happened.

“Do we make a good team or what!” Scully shouted, exhilarated, as they dragged their two additional prisoners onto the boat and tied them up in the same way as the first.

“You bet we do!” Mulder agreed.

But just as they had got back onto the rig after tying up their latest prisoners, the air was suddenly rocked with the sound of an explosion. Mulder’s eyes widened and he leapt for Scully, pushing her to the ground and shielding her body with his own.

After a couple of minutes had passed without the expected rain of fire and ash, the two agents got to their feet. The rig was fine, but as they looked back at the shore, they saw that the warehouse was not. The entire building appeared to have gone up in flames. Thick, black smoke was billowing for meters in the air and Mulder and Scully could see that bricks and planks had been sent flying everywhere.

Scully looked at Mulder suspiciously, but he raised his hands, protesting his innocence. “I swear I had nothing to do with that, Scully.” he told her, and she could tell that he was telling the truth.

“Then who…?” she started to ask, but was cut off by the unmistakable sound of someone cocking their gun. It wasn’t her and it wasn’t Mulder. That meant it had to be… They turned around slowly and were greeted with a gun being pointed at their heads.

End Part 6. “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 7 by Gemma Kingsley ()

“Cancerman.” Scully breathed.

“I’m afraid so, my dear.” he said. “Mr Mulder, how nice to see you again. I suppose this is round two of our little game, then. Too bad I’m holding all the aces.” He motioned with his hand and Mulder and Scully watched powerless as Bill Scully brought forward his gagged and bound brother.

Cancerman twisted his lips sardonically. “Isn’t this nice? Families brought back together again. Well not exactly together, I suppose. More like brother against brother. Sister against brother. Father against son.”

“What the Hell are you talking about?” Mulder demanded.

“Oh dear, did I let something slip that I shouldn’t have?” Cancerman asked, feigning contrition.

“Ignore him, Mulder! He’s just trying to get to you.” Scully counseled fervently.

Mulder clenched his fists. “You are not my father.” he told Cancerman in a dangerously quiet voice. “You are a sick old man who finds some sort of perverted amusement in messing with other people’s lives. But the game is now over and you are the one whose luck has just been annihilated.”

“Ah yes,” Cancerman continued, seemingly unperturbed. “I wondered if you were responsible for that. Blowing up buildings never seemed your style, but we all have to start somewhere. Perhaps there’s hope for you after all.”

“I had nothing to do with that.” Mulder said firmly.

“And I’m the Queen of Sheba.” Cancerman retorted sarcastically.

“Actually…” came a voice from the side. “He’s telling the truth.”

Cancerman turned his head to see who was speaking, being careful to keep his gun pointed at Mulder and Scully.

Eleanor stood there, her own weapon cocked and aimed at Cancerman’s head.

“I’m the one who blew up your warehouse. Hurting children is the ultimate offense as far as I’m concerned, and I’m prepared to make you pay.” she said determinedly.

“Bill, stop her.” Cancerman said.

Bill didn’t move.

Cancerman spoke again. “Do it now Bill, or you will suffer the consequences.” he ordered.

Eleanor smiled. “It seems you’re the one who’s slightly outnumbered now.”

“Okay, you win. Where do you want me?” Cancerman asked, seemingly giving in.

Eleanor was surprised that he’d surrendered so easily, but made the mistake of lowering her weapon. Before she knew it, Cancerman had shoved her hard, causing her to fall to the ground, and he was racing off in the other direction.

“Goddammit, don’t let him get away!” Eleanor cried, grimacing as pain shot through her injured ankle.

“Scully, stay here and look after Eleanor. I’ll get Cancerman.” Mulder told her.

“You have got to be kidding! If you’re going chasing after him, then I’m damn well coming with you.” she assured him.

“No, I think he’s right. You stay here, Dana, and I’ll go with Mulder.” Bill Scully said.

“If you think I’m remotely interested in your opinion after everything that you’ve done, then you’re even more deluded than I thought.” Scully told her brother.

“Look, why don’t all three of you go?” Eleanor suggested, trying to put an end to the argument before Cancerman got away completely. “Charles and I will be just fine by ourselves.” she said, beginning to untie him.

Mulder, Scully and Bill looked at each other and shrugged. Since none of them seemed to have any major objections to the arrangement, they hurriedly ran off in the same direction that Cancerman had taken.

“Is your family always this nuts?” Eleanor asked Charlie as she finished untying his hands.

“No, I think this is a recent development.” he said. “How about you?”

“How about me what?” Eleanor asked, confused.

“Your family? What are they like? You never really mentioned them.” Charlie clarified.

Eleanor smiled sadly. “I don’t really have much of a family.” she told him. “My parents died when I was very young and the Aunt who brought me up died years ago too. It must be nice having a brother and sister to depend on.”

“Well most of the time it is, but it’s been very dangerous recently.” Charlie replied.

“Yeah, I bet life’s never dull with Mulder and your sister around.” Eleanor grinned. “Wouldn’t it be cool to be an FBI agent?”

“Don’t go getting any ideas. Two FBI agents in the family are quite enough thank-you very much.” Charlie said.

“Family? I..I..uh..I’m not in your family.” Eleanor told him, flustered.

“Not yet.” Charles said quietly. “But I’d like you to be. If you’ll have me.”

“Are you asking me to marry you?” Eleanor queried.

“Yes, yes I am. Will you?” Charles asked her nervously.

“Yes.” she said simply and kissed him.

***

“Damn. Where did he go?” Scully asked as they scanned the deck without catching sight of Cancerman.

“I don’t know, but he can’t have got far.” Bill said.

“Well you’ve been here before, haven’t you? Where could he be hiding?” Scully demanded.

“I’m thinking, I’m thinking. I know there are no other boats on the rig……Oh God, I know where he is.” Bill suddenly realized.

“Where?” Scully asked impatiently.

“There’s a helipad on the other side. I bet he’s heading for that. Come on, I’ll show you.” he said.

Mulder and Scully followed as Bill raced across the deck, past the towering pylons and right to the far side of the structure.

Finally Bill paused, breathing heavily. “Up there.” he said, indicating a thin, dangerous looking ladder that led to a platform part way up one of the pylons. Sure enough, squinting in the sunlight, they were able to see Cancerman, climbing the ladder and already half way up.

Mulder set his foot on the first rung of the ladder. Scully’s eyes widened. “No, Mulder. It’s too dangerous. It’s not worth it.” she insisted, grabbing his arm and trying to pull him back.

He turned around to face her. “Scully, I have to do this.” he said.

“What if something happens to you?” she asked, biting her lip and trying to keep tears from forming in her eyes.

“Nothing’s going to happen.” Mulder told her, running his hand gently down the side of her face. “I promise.” he said, kissing her tenderly.

Scully sighed and looked down at her feet, blinking back the tears that were forming despite her best efforts. It wasn’t fair. She and Mulder had only just really found each other and now she risked losing him again.

“I mean it Scully.” Mulder said. “I’m going to get Cancerman, then I’ll come back and we’ll have that talk I promised you.” he told her.

Scully looked up and nodded. “Okay, but I’m going to hold you to that promise. I won’t let you leave me again.”

Mulder handed her the zip disk he’d found earlier for safekeeping then started his ascent of the ladder.

Scully watched worriedly as he climbed slowly and was relieved to see that Cancerman had not noticed that Mulder was coming after him yet. Her attention turned back to her brother as he spoke.

“Dana, I have to tell you that…” Bill began.

“I really don’t want to hear it.” she cut him off. “There is nothing you could say that would make up for what you have done. Endangering my life, Mom’s and Mulder’s. Your associates were the ones responsible for Melissa’s death, not me, so if anyone is to blame for that then it’s you.” Scully told him angrily.

Bill looked crushed. “I know there’s nothing I can do to make you forgive me.” he told his sister. “I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry. I feel sick when I think of how I’ve behaved, how I’ve treated you and Mom and Charlie. I’m not going to make excuses for what I’ve done, but I want you to know that from now on I’m going to do the right thing. I may not be able to make up for what’s gone before, but I can damned well try.”

Scully sighed. “Bill, I understand what you’re saying. But you have to see this from my position too. Mulder and I have to deal with people who can’t be trusted all the time. But I thought there were still a few people that I could depend on. Mulder, of course. Mom. Charlie. And you. And it hurt to find out that one of the few people whose love and trust I thought I could count on was behind some of the things that hurt me the most. I want to forgive you Bill, I really do, but I don’t know if I can.” she explained.

Her brother nodded. “I love you Dana, I just want you to know that, whatever happens.”

Scully smiled sadly. “I love you too, of course I do.” she told him. “But I’m still hurt and confused. It’s going to take time, you know, because….”

Whatever else she was going to say was cut off by a cry from somewhere far above their heads. Scully looked up, terrified, and was just in time to see Cancerman, now standing at the top of the ladder, launch another rock at Mulder. The first one had apparently just missed him, but Mulder was not so lucky with the second one, as it struck him a glancing blow to his shoulder, almost making him lose his tenuous hold on the ladder.

“Mulder!!” Scully screamed, but her cry was tossed away in the wind and never made it to Mulder. “Dammit!” she cried, and placed her foot on the first rung of the ladder as a preliminary to going up after him.

Her brother’s hand on her shoulder made her pause. “Dana, you can’t go up there.” he cautioned. “You’re afraid of heights and you know it.”

Scully shrugged off his restraining hand. “I don’t care.” she told him. “This is Mulder and he needs help.”

“Then I’ll go.” Bill insisted, gently pushing Scully aside.

She looked at him doubtfully, still not sure whether he could be trusted, despite what he’d said to her only a few moments ago.

He saw the distrust and suspicion in her eyes and was hurt even though he knew that it was only what he deserved. “I know you don’t trust me, Dana.” he said. “But I’m all you have. And I swear I will help Mulder for you. I can see how much he means to you. I won’t let you down this time. Please, let me do this for you.”

Scully nodded her reluctant assent and Bill started off up the ladder, rapidly gaining on Mulder who was making very slow time due to his injured shoulder.

End Part 7. “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 8 by Gemma Kingsley ()

Scully wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or not when she saw both Mulder and Bill reach the top of the ladder. On the one hand, she didn’t have to worry about them falling off anymore, but there was also the fact that she couldn’t see what was going on now that they were actually on the platform itself. She debated climbing up herself, but decided that her fear of heights would only make her more of a nuisance than a help. She sat down on the deck, eyes glued to the platform towering above her head, desperately wanting to know what drama was being played out and hoping that Mulder would come out the victor. \

***

Bill helped Mulder up the last part of the ladder and onto the edge of the platform. Mulder grimaced with pain as he stood up and tried to stretch his shoulder.

“You alright?” Bill asked.

“I’ve been better.” Mulder replied, wincing. “I think I’ve dislocated it.”

“Hold still and let me take a look at it.” Bill instructed him.

Mulder raised his eyebrows. “I thought Scully was the doctor in the family.” he said.

“Yeah well, I’ve learnt a few things over the years.” Bill told Mulder as he tried to get a look at the extent of the injury. “I think you’re right, your shoulder does seem to have come partly out of its socket. God only knows how you managed to climb the ladder with it like that.”

Mulder tried to smile but it came out more like a scowl of pain. “I get banged up pretty often.” he told Bill. “Just ask your sister if you don’t believe me. She’s usually the one who has to patch me up.”

“Since she’s not here this time, you’ll have to make do with me.” Bill said. “Brace yourself.” he advised, placing his hands on Mulder’s shoulder. “Ready?”

Mulder nodded then groaned harshly as Bill twisted his shoulder back into place. Sweat broke out on his forehead and he staggered slightly as they heard the satisfying sound of the joint popping back into place.

Mulder closed his eyes in relief.

“Are you going to be okay?” Bill asked with concern.

“Yeah, but I think I need to sit down for a minute.” Mulder said.

“No problem, we’ve got plenty of time.” Bill answered.

But the sound of a throat being markedly cleared caused them to rethink that statement. “I beg to differ.” Cancerman said, his weapon aimed clearly at Mulder’s head. “Much as I would love to stay and chat, I have work to do. So I’m afraid, Mr Mulder, that the time you have left is extremely limited.”

Mulder smiled sardonically. “You can’t kill me.” he said confidently. “You think that I need you, which is absolute rubbish. But what is true, is that you need me. This is just a game for you, but what kind of game would it be if you found yourself without an opponent?”

Cancerman looked bored. “You’re right of course.” he told Mulder. “Except for the fact that you’re over-estimating your own position of importance. You’re just one of the many games I play, and frankly, it’s become rather boring lately. When the odds are so greatly stacked against you, as they are now in your case Mr Mulder, it’s time to admit defeat and surrender to the winner.” He cocked his pistol. “Goodbye Mr Mulder.”

Mulder stared down the barrel. ‘Oh God,’ he thought, ‘this is finally it. I’m sorry Scully, I love you and I don’t want to leave you, but I think my luck has just run out.’

Mulder watched, frozen to the spot, as Cancerman pulled the trigger and released the bullet. Time almost seemed to stand still as the bullet sped inexorably towards his heart. But Mulder was brought back to earth with a thud as Bill Scully crashed into him from the side, knocking Mulder out of the way and taking the impact of the bullet in the center of his own chest. Mulder stared in shock as Bill reeled backwards, but fortunately came back to himself in time to grab Bill’s arm and pull him back onto the platform before he fell over the edge.

Cancerman had been watching the proceedings with a detached air, but now made a move to leave.

“Well Mr Mulder, it seems this is not the final round of our game after all.” He looked at Bill Scully and spoke to him too. “Interesting choice Bill. You never struck me as the selflessly noble type, but I guess you never know, do you?”

Cancerman reholstered his gun and strode across to the waiting helicopter.

Mulder carefully lowered Bill to the ground then started to get back up as if he was about to go after Cancerman.

“Mulder, wait.” Bill said weakly. Mulder appeared torn between going after Cancerman who had already started up the helicopter, and staying there with Bill. “It’s not worth it, Mulder.” Bill rasped feebly, coughing as it became more difficult to breathe.

Mulder stood as if he was going to ignore Bill and pursue Cancerman, but then changed his mind and dropped to his knees on the platform, beside Bill. He knew that this was the right thing to do, but that didn’t prevent the feeling of frustration that welled up as he watched Cancerman power up the helicopter, flying off and escaping retribution yet again.

He lifted Bill into a sitting position so it was easier for him to breathe.

“I need you to tell Dana something for me.” Bill wheezed.

“You can tell her yourself when I get you down from here.” Mulder answered.

“You sure are a stubborn SOB, aren’t you Mulder?” Bill said. “What are you going to do? Carry me down the ladder over your shoulder? We both know this is it, so just listen to what I have to say for once.”

Mulder knew he was right, so he gave up trying to figure out how to get them down in order to pay attention to Bill’s last words.

“I want you to tell Mom and Charlie and Dana that I’m very sorry for what I’ve done and that I love them.” Bill instructed him.

Mulder nodded his understanding, then addressed Bill rather awkwardly. “Bill, I..I just wanted to say thank-you for…for doing that. You saved my life.”

“I did it for Dana.” Bill said, choking out the words amidst paroxysms of coughing. “She needs you.”

“I need her too.” Mulder said, trying to swallow the lump in his throat.

“Promise me,” Bill gasped. “Promise me you’ll take care of her.”

“I promise.” Mulder said sincerely, meaning it with every cell in his body.

“I have to tell you….have to…” Bill tried to say, the words becoming more difficult to say. “Your sister…”

Mulder looked stunned. “Have you seen her? Is she okay? Where is she?” he asked excitedly.

Bill shook his head. “Don’t know where…” he coughed, “But she’s alive.”

After getting that out, a look of peace seemed to come over Bill’s face. He gasped once more, clenched his fists, and then lay still.

Mulder carefully lowered him back down, then sat back on his heels, trying to make sense of everything that had happened in the past few minutes.

End Part 8 “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 9 by Gemma Kingsley ()

“They went up the ladder forty minutes ago and I haven’t heard anything since. I saw the helicopter flying away but I couldn’t see who was in it.” Scully told Eleanor and Charlie.

“Maybe I should climb up and see what’s going on.” Eleanor suggested.

“If anyone’s going up there then it’s going to be me.” Scully insisted.

“I thought you were afraid of heights.” Charlie said to his sister.

“I don’t care. Mulder and Bill are up there and I want to know why they haven’t come down yet. And besides, if Mulder’s injured then it only makes sense for me to be the one to go up.”

“Alright, but at least take one of these cel phones with you.” Charlie told her. “We found them in the rooms under the deck, along with the children and the computers.”

“I still can’t believe anyone would lock little children up in cages.” Scully said. “Risking these children’s lives and then selling them to people who probably aren’t capable of looking after them in the first place is completely revolting.”

“The people involved in this kind of thing don’t care about anything but themselves and how much money they’re making.” Eleanor told her. “We’ve seen some horrible things in Rwanda and when we worked in Yugoslavia. Babies and toddlers with drug addictions. Children taught to use a gun when they’ve only just learnt to walk. That’s why I was so determined to stop this thing. I just won’t stand by and see children get hurt.” she declared.

Charlie put his arm around her shoulders reassuringly.

“I take it you two aren’t fighting anymore then?” Scully asked.

“No, no we’re not. Actually, I asked Eleanor to marry me, and she said yes.” he told his sister proudly.

Scully smiled. “Congratulations then, and welcome to the family Eleanor. I’m sure Bill will be just as pleased when we finally get him down from this ladder.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Charlie asked.

“Yes.” Scully replied firmly. “You don’t have to worry about me. I can look after myself.”

Eleanor handed Scully one of the two cel phones that they’d found. “I wrote down the phone numbers.” she told Scully, handing her a small piece of paper. “So we’ll both be able to call if there’s a problem.”

“Okay. Got it.” Scully affirmed. “I’ll call you as soon as I find out what’s happening up there.”

“We’re going to load the children onto the boat, but I’ll hang onto the phone so that I don’t miss hearing you.” Eleanor said.

“Good luck.” Charlie said, hugging his sister.

“I’ll be fine, Charlie. See you soon.” Scully told him, then began the dangerous ascent.

Eleanor and Charlie watched worriedly as she climbed, breathing sighs of relief when they saw her reach the top and clamber onto the platform.

“Come on, we’d better get those kids loaded onto the boat before Dana, Bill and Mulder come back down.” Charlie said.

“Yeah, okay.” Eleanor replied, and with one more glance at the platform above her head, she followed Charlie back to the other side of the deck where they’d left the children.

***

Scully wiped the beads of sweat off her forehead as she climbed from the top of the ladder onto the platform. Taking a deep breath and not sure what she was about to find, she let her gaze drift over the structure. Bill’s body caught her eye first and she put her hand over her mouth suddenly, biting down hard on her fingers to keep herself from crying out. It was obvious to her without going any closer that he was dead. The dried bloodstains and unnatural stiffness of his position were familiar signs of the presence of death. ‘Oh God this is so unfair.’ Scully thought. ‘Just when everything looked like it might be working out…..’

Mulder hadn’t heard Scully come up, and was standing on the opposite side of the support, looking out at the sea. With a practiced doctor’s eye, Scully immediately perceived that he was holding his left arm at an awkward angle.

“Mulder.” she called quietly, not wanting to startle him.

He didn’t seem to hear her so Scully walked up behind him, placing her hand on his uninjured shoulder.

He turned and gave her a slightly bewildered look. “Scully?” he asked, almost disbelievingly.

“Who else were you expecting?” she asked. “I have to tell you that you’re not going to get much company if you continue to sit on inordinately high platforms in the middle of the sea.”

Mulder chuckled, but stopped as soon as he remembered what he had to tell her. “Scully,” he said gently, linking hands with her. “Your brother, he’s..he’s dead.”

“I know.” she said softly. “How did it happen?”

“It was that bastard Cancerman.” Mulder said angrily. “And he got away again. We’re going to make him pay, Scully, I mean that.”

“Did he shoot Bill?” Scully asked.

“No.” Mulder told her. “He was about to shoot me.”

Scully felt her heart leap into her chest. Even though she knew the danger was already past, and Mulder was safe, it was a knee-jerk reaction that happened every time he was in danger.

“He saved my life, Scully. If it wasn’t for Bill, I’d be lying on the ground over there. Why would he do that for me?” Mulder asked distractedly.

“Oh God, Mulder.” Scully said, wrapping her arms around his waist and pressing her head against his chest. His right hand came round to stroke her hair comfortingly. “Is it ever going to end?” Scully asked. “Sometimes it just seems that no matter how hard we try, we never get anywhere. Two steps backwards for every one step forwards.”

“No, Scully. That’s exactly what they want. We can’t give up, you know that.” Mulder insisted.

She pulled back to look at him. “But what if we can’t ever beat them? What if they turn out to be so powerful that nothing we do, nothing we prove could ever be enough to bring them down?” she asked. “My brother was a good man. Family loyalty and integrity were important to him once. If they could get to him, if they could turn him from that into someone who would betray the people closest to him, what on earth could ever stop such an insidious organization?”

We can, Scully, and we will.” Mulder told her resolutely. “I don’t think they’re as strong as they’d like us to believe at all. In fact, I think we’ve got them running scared.”

“How do you work that out?” Scully queried.

“Okay, look. We know that Cancerman doesn’t like to get personally involved in any of his illegal dealings. Right?” Mulder said.

“So you think the fact that he was here himself means that the Consortium is weakening?” Scully countered.

“Exactly.” Mulder affirmed. “I suspected it after last time when he agreed to make a deal with me over those computer files, but I think this finally proved it. We were so close this time, Scully.”

“I think you’re right.” she agreed. “And continuing to use Bill even after his cover was blown seems careless too.”

Mulder nodded. “I’m really sorry about your brother, Scully.” he said.

She sighed. “You know even when we were kids, Bill always wanted to join the Navy. My father loved the sea, and he taught Bill and me to love it too. Charlie and Missy as well, but not so much. We even made a pact once, that when we grew up, we’d buy a ship and all go to sea together. Bill would be the captain, because he was the eldest. I was going to be the first mate. Charlie would catch fish for us to eat, and Missy would cook them.”

Mulder smiled as Scully recounted the childishly simplistic plan.

“It didn’t happen of course.” Scully mused. “But Bill got his wish. Mom and Dad made him go through college first, but then there was nothing stopping him and he signed up the day after his final exams. No surprises there.” She paused for a moment. “Only thing is, we always thought he’d die at sea. My father….” Scully took a deep breath, “..my father was one with the sea, in a way, but Bill wasn’t like that. He wanted to tame it to his will. But it just doesn’t work that way, and the sea always takes back its own in the end. I guess I just figured that Bill would go down still fighting.”

“He did go down fighting.” Mulder said intently. “He was standing against the corruption that he’d got sucked into against his will, and he struck his final blow for truth.”

Scully smiled. “Yeah, I guess he did.” she agreed.

“So, uh, what happened to Eleanor and Charlie?” Mulder asked eventually.

“Oh God, thanks for reminding me, I forgot all about them.” she said. Scully quickly explained to Mulder about how they’d found the children locked up underneath the lower deck and were currently loading them onto the ship.

Mulder in turn relayed Bill’s last few words to Scully, and after he’d kissed the tears from her cheeks, she took the cel phone out of her pocket to call Eleanor and Charlie and let them know what was going on.

But there was no answer from the number she dialed. Scully frowned. ‘That’s strange.’ she thought. ‘Eleanor said she’d keep it with her the whole time.’ Scully checked the number on the piece of paper and dialed again, but there was still no response.

“No answer?” Mulder asked.

“Yeah.” Scully told him. “I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about. They’re probably just busy with the children. I’m going to go ahead and call the Medivac helicopter for you, then I’ll try Eleanor again.”

“Whoa, hold on. Medivac ‘copter?” Mulder asked. “Isn’t that a bit excessive?”

“How else did you think you were going to get down from here?” Scully queried. “Trust me, there’s no way you can climb down that ladder with a dislocated shoulder. And besides, we have to take Bill’s body with us as well.”

Mulder offered no more arguments and Scully had soon gotten in contact with the closest emergency services team and arranged for a helicopter to fly out and collect her and Mulder from the top platform of the rig.

She then tried to ring Eleanor again, but was met with an engaged signal. “She must be trying to ring us.” Scully commented, cutting the call connection. Sure enough, only a few seconds later, the cel phone began to ring.

“Eleanor, is that…” Scully answered, but was cut off.

Mulder listened frustratedly to one end of the conversation. Something was obviously very wrong, but he couldn’t tell what.

“There’s a what?” Scully squawked, then listened as Eleanor explained something to her.

“No, you and Charlie have to get out of here. Take the boat and get as far away as you can. There’s a helicopter coming for Mulder and me. We’ll be fine, don’t worry about us. Just get out of here.” Scully said insistently then hung up the phone.

Mulder had been getting progressively more worried as he listened to Scully speaking to Eleanor. By this stage, he was wholeheartedly dreading whatever Scully had to tell him.

“Mulder.” she said calmly. “There’s a bomb on this rig, and it’s set to go off in twenty minutes.” End Part 9 “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 10 by Gemma Kingsley ()

“What?” Mulder cried.

“They found a bomb in the basement. Charlie says it’s definitely big enough to blow this whole rig sky high.” Scully explained quietly.

“Oh God, oh my God! Can they disarm it?” Mulder asked.

Scully shook her head. “You know better than that, Mulder. If they try and mess with it, it’s bound to go off straight away. Cancerman’s no fool. He obviously set this up before he left.”

“Oh that bastard! When we get off here, I am going to hunt him down and make him pay for all of this. I swear it.” Mulder declared.

Scully smiled sadly. “Come and sit down.” she said, leading him over to a pillar and helping him sit down until they were sitting next to each other, their backs against the pillar. “Mulder, we’re not going to get off this rig.” she told him directly.

He frowned. “Why not? What are you talking about?”

“I told Eleanor and Charlie to leave with the boat and the kids.” Scully explained. “I said that we’d be fine, that the helicopter would be coming for us. Hopefully they’re out of here by now.”

Mulder still looked confused. “So?” he asked. “What’s the problem? The helicopter is coming for us, isn’t it?”

Scully stroked the back of his hand with her thumb. “There’s a huge fire halfway up the coast.” she told him. “When I spoke to the emergency services personnel, they said it would be at least forty minutes, probably longer, before they could get a helicopter out here.”

“And the bomb’s going to go off in….?” Mulder queried.

Scully checked her watch. “Exactly seventeen minutes.”

Mulder nodded. “So basically what you’re saying is that when the rig goes up in smoke, we’re going with it.”

“Yep.” Scully confirmed.

“You’re being very calm about this.” Mulder commented.

“So are you. It’s probably shock.” she said detachedly.

“So we’re just going to sit here and wait until we get killed.” Mulder said coldly.

Scully looked at him in surprise. His tone had sounded almost hostile. She shrugged. “At least we won’t have too long to wait. Only about, uh, thirteen minutes left.”

“Goddamnit Scully!” Mulder shouted.

She sighed. “Now what? If you don’t mind, Mulder, I’d really prefer not to spend the last ten minutes of my life fighting with you. Is that okay?”

“No it is not okay!” he screamed. “Why the Hell didn’t you leave with Eleanor and Charlie? There would have been time for you to climb down. They could have waited and still been okay!”

“Um, Mulder, aren’t you forgetting something. There is no way you could have climbed down that ladder. Believe me, if there was a way, I would have thought of it. I don’t want to die anymore than you do.” Scully said.

“But you could have gone!” Mulder said fiercely. “You would have been safe!”

Scully stared at him. “How many times do I have to explain this to you?” she demanded. “This is exactly like last time. I don’t want to live without you! Don’t you get it yet?”

“No I don’t get it!” Mulder yelled. “At least you’d be alive.”

“NO I WOULDN’T!” Scully shouted. “I MIGHT BE LIVING, BUT WITHOUT YOU I’D NEVER BE ALIVE. MULDER, WHY CAN’T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT I NEED YOU AND I LOVE YOU!”

“YOU WHAT?” Mulder screamed.

“I LOVE YOU!” she cried.

“SCULLY I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE NOISE THAT GODDAMNED HELICOPTER’S MAKING!” Mulder shouted, then suddenly realised what he’d said. Grabbing Scully’s arm he gestured skywards. “HELICOPTER!!” he screamed. She couldn’t hear what he’d said, but it didn’t matter, because the thing hovering above their heads was pretty hard to miss.

They looked up and saw two people in black goggles beginning to lower a rope down. Scully glanced at her watch. ‘Oh God, three minutes.’ She realised Mulder was trying to say something and moved as close to him as possible to try and hear what it was.

“You go first!” Mulder yelled in her ear.

“You’ve got to be kidding! If I go first then you’ll be dead!” Scully shouted back. “We go together!”

The rope hit Scully’s shoulder and they both strapped themselves into the harnesses on its end as quickly as possible. When they were fastened in, Mulder gave two quick jerks to signal that they were ready. The helicopter swung sharply to the right, Mulder and Scully holding on tightly to the rope and each other as they dangled precariously. Whoever was flying the ‘copter seemed to be trying to get away from the rig as fast as possible. Scully wondered for a moment why they were doing that, since she hadn’t told the emergency personnel about the bomb, but decided she was too exhausted, both physically and emotionally, to think about it.

When the bomb went off, igniting the rig in a wall of fire and light, Mulder and Scully were still hanging from the helicopter by the rope. They rocked rather wildly from side to side, but were reassured as they felt the rope being pulled upwards into the helicopter. When they reached the top, the two men in black caps and flight goggles pulled them into the helicopter.

“Hey thanks a lot.” Mulder said as he got out of the harness. “We didn’t think anyone was going to get here in time.”

One of the men grinned, then they both pulled off their headgear. Mulder and Scully stared at them in shock.

“Byers? Langly?” Mulder finally asked. “How on earth?”

“We got your fax, looked into the information, and realised you’d got yourself into some serious shit. Again. So we hightailed it down here.” Langly explained.

“Where’s Frohike? Did you leave him behind?” Scully queried.

“Who do you think’s flying this thing?” Langly demanded.

“Frohike has a pilot’s license?” Mulder asked, surprised.

“Not a license, per se.” Byers said. “Actually, all three of us took a flying course once. It was a while ago now, but they say it’s like riding a bicycle, that you never forget.”

“Oh God, I don’t think I want to know.” Scully declared. “Wake me when we get back to Hawaii.”

“Langly, can you come up here for a minute.” Frohike called from the cockpit.

Mulder and Scully trailed up after him.

“Hey Frohike.” Mulder said. “Thanks for bailing us out.”

“No problem.” he said, frowning as he fiddled with the radio controls.

“What’s up?” Mulder asked.

“Not sure, hang on a sec.” Frohike said. “Langly, take over for a while, could you.”

Langly moved into the pilot’s seat, and Frohike continued fiddling with several of the buttons on the control panel. Finally, he found what he was looking for. A burst of static came out of the radio, followed by several people speaking rapidly and unintelligibly.

“Local law enforcement’s frequency.” Frohike explained. “Let me just see if I can get it tuned in better.” He made a few more adjustments and suddenly the voices became clear.

“Three suspects in custody..Over, over….All units to Southpoint Dock…I want this area gone over with a fine tooth comb….Where the fuck are those FBI Agents?…I want to see them the minute they land!”

“Gee, I can hardly wait.” Mulder quipped.

“I guess that means Eleanor and Charlie found the welcoming committee we sent for them.” Byers said.

“So, are you guys ready to go back and face the music?” Langly asked.

“Aw Mom, do I have to?” Mulder asked, grinning.

“Actually,” Frohike said, flicking off the radio, “you don’t have to go back yet, if you don’t want to.”

“What exactly are you suggesting?” Scully asked.

“Well, the guy who we borrowed the helicopter from invited all of us, you two included, to a luau on Kauai Island.” Frohike said. “Whaddya think?”

“I don’t know,” Scully said cautiously, “Mulder should really get that shoulder seen to properly.”

“Nah, it’s almost better already.” Mulder insisted. “Come on Scully, this is just what we need. No X-Files, no FBI, no family members butting in. Just imagine it.”

“Yeah, but instead of family members we have the Three Stooges.” Scully pointed out.

“The guys’ll stay out of our way, won’t you?” Mulder said.

“I’ll be quite happy to leave you alone as soon as I’ve seen Scully dance the hula.” Frohike agreed.

“Only the hula?” Scully queried. “I thought you would have had me dancing the lambada.”

“Is that an offer, Scully?” Mulder leered playfully.

“You up for it, big boy?” she teased.

“Oooh, Scully, you know I’m always ‘up for it’ where you’re concerned.” Mulder joked back.

“Anyone else feel like they’re going to puke?” Frohike asked loudly.

“Alright, alright.” Mulder chuckled. “So how long until we get to this island of yours?”

“We’ll be landing in about five minutes.” Langly called from the cockpit. “It’s a little windy so you’d better put on your seatbelts.” he suggested.

“So, ready for Mulder and Scully’s vacation Take Two?” Mulder asked as they sat down and fastened their belts.

“That depends.” she replied. “Does it come complete with mysterious bones, warehouse explosions, bombs and last-minute rescues?”

“No. I think warm sunshine, piquant native food and silken sheets are more in order this time.” Mulder told her.

Scully grinned. “In that case I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

End Part 10 ** This part is NC-17. Please don’t read it if you don’t like that kind of thing ** “Keeping it in the Family II” Part 11 by Gemma Kingsley ()

The sun had set a couple of hours ago, but the glow from the campfire was enough to light up the surrounding area, both the dancers and those who had elected to simply watch from the still sun-warmed sand.

Mulder chuckled as he watched the Lone Gunmen romping rather ungracefully.

“What are you thinking about?” Scully asked from her position leaning against his shoulder.

His eyes darkened as he looked down at her. “I’m thinking that it’s time for bed.” he told her.

Scully looked up at him, smiled, then shook her head.

Mulder frowned. “No?” he queried. “You’re not still mad about what happened on the beach, are you? Because I…”

He was silenced as Scully placed two fingers on his lips. “It’s not the idea I’m disputing.” she said seductively as she stood up. “Just the location.”

Mulder’s eyes widened and he gulped. “What exactly did you have in mind?” he asked.

“Come with me and you’ll find out.” she promised. Mulder didn’t have to be asked twice.

Scully led him along the beach and out of the dancing shadows created by the flames.

“Where are we going Scully?” Mulder asked, curiously.

“You’ll find out soon enough.” she told him, smiling enigmatically.

He grew even more confused as Scully led him off the beach and along an inland track. But he decided to let it be since she obviously knew where she was going. Mulder knew she’d share it with him when she was ready. As they continued along the track, Scully leading, Mulder heard a kind of gushing noise that was gradually getting louder, but he couldn’t quite place what it was.

Everything was suddenly revealed as they rounded a corner and stepped into a clearing. A shimmering natural pool of water lay before them, moonlight caressing its rippling surface. As Mulder looked across it, he realised what was making the sounds he had noticed. A large but gentle waterfall flowed over a high rocky ledge and into the pool at one end.

Scully smiled at him, wearing a very self-satisfied expression.

“Entirely idyllic.” Mulder commented, smiling back. “How did you find it?”

“Actually, Frohike told me about it.” Scully said.

Mulder raised his eyebrows. “Frohike? Should we be searching for hidden cameras?” he asked.

“Nah, I think he was just trying to be considerate. You know he’s almost sweet sometimes.” Scully replied.

“Frohike? Sweet? Are we talking about the same paranoid computer hacker here?” Mulder queried with mock-bewilderment.

Scully laughed. “I did say ‘almost’. Seriously though, he did good here, didn’t he?” she asked.

“Oh yeah.” Mulder confirmed, his gaze flicking appreciatively over Scully’s body, her curves bathed and highlighted by the moonlight. “So you want to do it in the water.” he said, intrigued.

“Uh-uh.” Scully answered, tugging up his t-shirt until Mulder pulled it up and over his head.

“What then?” Mulder asked, hands on his hips. “No more secrets.” he said insistently. “We agreed.”

She paused halfway through unbuttoning her shirt. “Have you ever made love under a waterfall, Mulder?” she asked playfully.

Mulder gaped at her. Whatever he had been expecting, it was obviously not that.

“Well, have you?” Scully asked again.

“No. Have you?” he finally managed to reply.

“Not yet.” she told him, her eyes twinkling as she pulled off her shirt and hung it over the branch of a tree.

“I…uh..” Mulder tried to say.

“What’s the matter Mulder?” Scully teased. “You’re not too inhibited or too restrained for this, are you?”

“Is that a challenge?” he asked. She was daring him now and they both knew there was no way he’d refuse. Not that he wanted to in the first place anyway.

“I guess so.” Scully replied, pulling off the rest of her clothes and underwear, knowing and loving the fact that Mulder couldn’t take his eyes off her. “Catch me if you can!” she called, diving into the deep water.

Mulder almost tripped over in his haste to get out of the rest of his clothes. Then he dived into the water after Scully, swimming powerfully to the other side of the pond. He came up for air just in time to see her vanishing behind the water-curtain of the falls. He swam right over to the rocky edge of the pool, looking up at the waterfall.

“Scully.” he called.

She appeared from behind the veils of water. “Yes Mulder.”

‘Oh God,’ he thought, trying to catch his breath, ‘she is so goddammed beautiful.’ Rivulets of water ran down her naked body and it was hard to tell exactly where Scully ended and the sparkling drops of water began.

“You gonna come up here Mulder or just sit there staring at me all night?” Scully finally asked.

He clambered up the rocks to stand under the waterfall, taking Scully in his arms. He had no idea where she’d come up with the idea of making love under a waterfall, but it sure was a good one. Her delicate hands ran over his skin, her lips at his neck. Scully gasped as Mulder’s hands slid over her breasts and then skimmed lower to caress her hips and the curve of her buttocks. The water poured between them, over them and around them. His need pressed against the juncture at her thighs, seeking entry.

Then Scully pulled back.

“Sculleee.” Mulder moaned.

She gulped in air, trying to retrieve her self-control.

“Scully, what are you doing?” Mulder groaned.

“I thought we were going to talk.” she managed to get out.

“Talk? Now you want to talk?” Mulder asked.

She nodded.

“Okay, fine.” Mulder said. “You want to know how I’m seeing you right now. I’m seeing you Scully. I’m not seeing FBI Agent, I’m not seeing partner, I’m certainly not seeing Doctor. You are all of those things, but that’s just the beginning.” he told her. “I’m also seeing the most brilliant, beautiful, incredibly sexy woman I know, who I’m head over heels in love with. And I swear that is not a line! Now your turn.”

Scully smiled, looking up at him firmly. “When I look at you like this, I’m not seeing FBI Agent, partner or genius criminal profiler either. I’m seeing a man who is immensely brave and loyal, intelligent beyond reason and absolutely gorgeous. I’m seeing the man I love above everything else and who I certainly could not live without.”

Mulder grinned happily. “Now that we’ve established that we see each other as more than just partners, could we get back to…”

Scully interrupted him. “I hadn’t finished.” she insisted.

Mulder sighed and looked put-upon. “Fine, what else?” he asked.

Scully looked at him hungrily. “I was just going to say that I also want this man desperately and that I’m going to scream if I don’t have him inside me right this minute.”

“Well then it’s very fortunate that he’s more than happy to oblige.” Mulder told her, simultaneously lifting her slightly and pressing into her.

“Oh Mulder,” Scully cried as he filled her once again, “that feels so good.” Her head was thrown back, her cheeks flushed, the water falling down around them as they twisted against each other. “More, Mulder, give me more!” she commanded.

“Scully, I love you Scully.” Mulder called as he drove into her again, harder and faster, his hands on her hips, holding her to his body.

“Yes, oh yes!” Scully screamed as she got higher and higher. She could feel her legs around Mulder, his hands around her waist, the water beating down on their skin. It was a positively elemental joining of two souls. The water swirled around them frantically, as though celebrating in this utterly primitive expression of their love.

And then they could feel it, and the world seemed to be splitting apart in a burst of light, flying rain drops surrounding them and covering them and keeping them safe as they fell over the edge…..

…And eventually they came back to themselves.

Mulder was half-lying, half-sitting on the stone floor behind the waterfall. Scully was resting her head on his bare thigh.

“Wow!” she said, almost disbelievingly.

“Wow yourself.” Mulder replied. “I guess we should thank Frohike for telling you about this place.”

“So you’re suggesting that Frohike deserves credit for the amazing sex we just had?” Scully laughed.

“Oooh, very scary thought.” Mulder said, flicking water in her face. “Maybe we’ll just keep it to ourselves.”

“Yeah,” Scully agreed, flicking water back at him, “but we should be getting back before they miss us.” She stood up and stretched. “Come on Mulder, I’ll race you back to our room.”

“You’re insatiable, woman.” Mulder said, pretending to grumble.

“Complaining?” Scully inquired.

“Not in the least.” he grinned.

***

Scully tried to squeeze the water out of her hair as they walked back to their room. When they were almost there, Langly caught sight of them and came running up.

“Mulder, Scully, where have you two been?” he asked. Then he noticed their wet hair and the unmistakable glow on their skin. “On second thoughts, I don’t think I want to know.” he said. “Anyway, I just wanted to tell you what we found on the disk and in the files you got from the warehouse.”

“Oh yeah, did you find anything helpful?” Mulder queried.

“Actually, yes. From the look of what’s on the disk, this wasn’t a one off thing. They’ve been kidnapping children and selling them for years to people who couldn’t get approval to adopt through official channels. And not just in Rwanda or other under-developed countries. They’ve been doing it all over America.”

“For how long?” Mulder asked worriedly.

“Um, I’m not sure exactly when they started. Why?” Langly queried.

“Well,” he said uncertainly, “they covered their tracks in Hawaii by setting up an alien scam to keep people away. What if they’ve been doing the same thing all along. Could….could this have been what happened to Samantha?” Mulder asked.

Langly was happy to be able to reassure him. “No, we didn’t find anything to suggest that Samantha was involved in this. And all of the children that were taken were younger than that. None more than four years old.

Mulder breathed an audible sigh of relief.

“So, I’ll let you two get back to…” Langly started to say, then broke off, embarrassed, “uh, yeah, see you in the morning.”

Scully grinned then opened the door to their room. A few minutes later, she came out of the bathroom, drying her hair. Mulder was lying on his back on the bed, staring at the ceiling and frowning.

“Mulder, what’s wrong?” she asked, coming to sit by his side.

He pulled her down to lie on the bed next to him. “I was thinking about what you said while we were on the oil rig.” he told her.

“Which part specifically?” Scully queried.

“About what if we can never beat them. About what if we keep trying and trying and don’t get anywhere.” Mulder clarified.

“And if I remember rightly, you were the one who gave me a kick in the ass and told me I was being foolish.” Scully said. “Now is not the time to give up. We have the wholehearted support of local law enforcement in Hawaii, we’ve seen that Cancerman is weakening, and we know that Samantha’s still alive. We’re so close, Mulder, you know that.”

“You’re right, Scully. I’m not giving up. Because right now there’s one particularly important thing motivating me.” he explained.

“Really? What?” Scully asked.

“I’m waiting to see the look on Skinner’s face when he finds out that two agents who he thought were dead and dying have actually been in Hawaii the whole time, investigating worldwide conspiracies, and getting caught up in explosions and emergency evacuations.” Mulder said.

Scully looked at him and they both cracked up laughing.

The End.

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