A/N: This chapter takes place during the Essence episode, but from here on out, there are going to be some differences, but not too many. I just think the episodes could have been differently, mostly the whole thing surrounding Scully's birth.
Two weeks later.
Yesterday morning, Mulder had left Scully's apartment to allow her, her mother and some friends to celebrate her baby shower without any male specimen around.
He never admitted to Scully his fears about the baby, much less wanting to talk about it. He decided he would love this baby no matter how special or normal it was. Hell, he already loved the baby and it was only because of that love he feared for his or her life.
After hearing the news story about Zeus Genetics being burned to the ground, he had gotten to Doggett shortly afterwards. Scully had taken notice of Mulder's hasty exit earlier that morning. Luckily, she hadn't seen the news, but she would soon. He needed to get to the bottom of it before she began to worry.
Mulder went to Doggett's house, showed him the news and had asked him for a ride. While inside the car, he explained to Doggett everything Skinner had told him.
Doggett, feeling slightly uncomfortable, agreed. "I know. He was just trying to protect Agent Scully and the baby. Krycek offered a vaccine, but he was right, he wasn't to be trusted. What do you need from me, Agent Mulder?"
Mulder looked straight ahead and then back at Doggett. He took a breath. "Scully and the baby are in danger. The bastard is relentless and he still wants Scully's baby."
Doggett turned away from the road to briefly look at Mulder. He decided not to mention the fact that he had followed Mulder and Skinner a few weeks ago at Scully's request. "But, why?"
"He said that there is something, something 'different' about the child and that if Scully's pregnancy wasn't terminated, they will come and take the baby from her in time." Mulder explained.
Doggett sighed. "Has she seen the news?"
Mulder shook his head. "I don't know, but we need to do something about it before she does."
"What do you need me to do?"
"Start an investigation on that clinic."
Scully had felt exasperated since Mulder had left suddenly earlier that morning. She figured out why not too long after he left when she put on the news. The clinic she had been going to for the first half of her pregnancy was burned down for some unknown reason. As fast as she heard the news, the she shut the TV off. She didn't need to hear it; she couldn't hear it. She was due in just a few days and needed to assure herself nothing would go wrong from now until then.
As fast as a pregnant woman due any day now could manage, she stripped off her clothes and entered the shower stall. Feeling the warm water rush over her aching body was wonderful. Still, she couldn't shake the feeling that Mulder was hiding something from her. He had been acting very strange that last few weeks, ever since he had met with Skinner. He had been very protective over her; and more overwhelmingly so than usual.
She stopped in her thoughts as she looked down to analyze the taut skin of her rounded belly. The baby had dropped quite a bit within the last few days and she could feel a lot more pressure on her bladder and cervix. Scully smiled as she smoothed her hands absently over her tummy. "Please arrive soon, little one, we've been waiting." As soon as she said those words, she instantly began to have doubts.
She never thought about it before; but once she had the baby, she wouldn't be able to protect him or her all of the time and the thought terrified her. As much as her lower back protested and her bladder screamed every hour; she almost wanted to protect the baby inside of her forever and never let him or her face the dangers of life.
A moment later, her thoughts and time in the shower were cut short by a ring of her house phone. Scully jumped at the sound, losing her balance and quickly grabbing the metal railing to steady herself. Hurriedly turning off the shower, she grabbed her robe and made her way as fast as she could to the phone.
"Scully." She answered hopefully; unprepared for the news that awaited her.
"It's John Doggett and I'm sorry to bother you, Agent Scully, I know you are on maternity leave, but…it's uh, about Agent Mulder," John Doggett's finished hesitantly.
"Agent Doggett, what's wrong?" Scully's body stiffened and she was unaware that she was holding in a breath, preparing herself for what would come next.
Doggett proceeded to explain the details of their investigation on the Zeus Genetics Clinic and how it had been Billy Miles that had burned down the clinic. Scully was struck silent when Doggett explained everything they had been doing. Everything except what Mulder had told him not to tell her.
Scully was upset and worried. Upset Mulder had been keeping all of this from her and worried about what could have happened to him. "Where, where is Mulder," she whispered, subconsciously moving her hand over the arch of her belly.
"He was unconscious, Dana. He…uh, we were investigating the Zeus Genetics site. Billy Miles attacked him."
At his words, anger and worry instantly washed over her. She took in a breath to calm herself before continuing. "Is…is he okay?" she whispered, fearing the worst.
Doggett looked over at Mulder, "Yeah," he started to hand the phone to Mulder, but Mulder shook his head, ashamed that he was causing Scully unnecessary stress.
Scully breathed a sigh of relief and eased her pregnant body down into her couch. She closed her eyes and placed her hands to her temple. "Where are you right now?"
"We're on the way to your place now," he said.
"Shouldn't you be at a hospital?" she frantically breathed
"No, no hospitals. Mulder insisted," he took another look at his passenger guest.
Scully sighed. "Okay, when will you be here?"
A moment later, they hung up and Scully placed her head in her hands.
"Oh Mulder," she whispered.
She barely had enough time to retreat to her bedroom for some fresh clothes, when she heard a knock on the door. She hurriedly finished buttoning up the last few buttons of her white button down blouse. A smile made its way across her face as she noticed how it hugged the curve of her very pregnant belly. Smoothing her hands absently over the curve, she was startled out of her reverie as the knocks became more urgent.
As quickly as she possibly could, she waddled into the living room and to the door. She quickly pulled the door open and let out a gasp. Mulder had a deep gash on the side of his forehead that was in obvious need of stitches. "Oh Mulder," she gasped with worry and frustration evident on her face.
Doggett quickly stepped aside, sensing Scully's urgency and instinct to attend to Mulder. "Dammit Mulder, what were you thinking?" she suddenly demanded, anger evident in her tone.
Mulder sighed and quickly pushed the door closed before allowing Scully to pull him further into the room. "I'm sorry Scully," was all he could manage. He didn't want to risk making her even more upset than she already was, if that was possible. However, he knew he would have some serious explaining to do once Doggett left.
Scully said nothing and briefly left the room to fetch her first aid kit. Doggett had seated himself on the couch and looked over at Mulder. Before Mulder could say anything in rebuttal, Scully was already in the room. She sure moved unsually fast for a woman due in a few days. Silence passed between them before Doggett decided to speak. "Skinner is on his way over now."
"Good, because you both have some explaining to do," Scully said tersely, directing her look mainly at Mulder.
About fifteen minutes later, Skinner arrived at Scully's apartment to find her in the kitchen treating a wound on the side of Mulder's face. Scully looked up as Skinner nodded and proceeded to take a seat on the couch next to Doggett.
Scully had been finishing the final touches of the stitches when Mulder made a loud, "Ouch" sound. "Ahh, Scully!" this made the other two men turn around in surprise. Startled, Scully pulled away momentarily. "Sorry," she whispered. Mulder looked up at Scully, her belly inches from his face. The blouse she wore accentuated her impending motherhood and he knew Scully would never believe it if he admitted the fact that her being swollen with his child was a big turn on.
Looking up to see Scully's startled reaction, he placed his hand flat on the surface of her belly, feeling the warmth of her body through the thin cotton material. He wore a smile on his face that pleaded "forgive me" as he made eye contact with her. Scully sighed, looking back at him, her own expression blank. The look Mulder gave her made it difficult for her not to forgive him, but she just couldn't allow herself to be deceived. She felt as if she were kidding herself when she thought that she and Mulder would be able to lead a somewhat normal life with their child. How could they when he couldn't give up his life's work? How could she have expected something like that of him? Even as she felt the baby press against his touch, she couldn't will herself to return Mulder's smile.
His voice brought her out of her reverie once again. "I see why you gave up a career in medicine for the FBI, Scully. You've got manos de piedra," he attempted to make light of the situation.
She moved closer and pressed a hydrogen peroxide cotton swab to his mouth, which caused him to momentarily pull away. "Sorry," she said again before moving the cotton ball over his wound. A few minutes later, as Scully finished up with Mulder, Skinner and Doggett headed over to the table.
Scully manuvered around the table and to the fridge. "So tell me what you know, everything, now," she demanded.
Skinner preferred to stand against the wall as Doggett seated himself across from Mulder. Scully was back, handing Mulder an ice pack and towel. Doggett proceeded to explain what happened with the fertility clinic and how it was burned down in an attempt to cover up valuable work.
Scully finally eased herself into a chair next to Mulder. "So, what does this have to do with me or my baby?"
Mulder looked over at Scully. "Scully, you were a patient of doctor Parenti's." he said matter-of-factly.
She gave Mulder a look that read 'We've been over this before'. "Yes, but I've had my baby checked, several times. My baby is normal. My baby…our baby is fine, Mulder," she whispered almost pleadingly. "How can you question that fact, Mulder, how many times have we been over this?"
Mulder looked away to Skinner and then to Doggett. Skinner was the next to speak. He explained everything that had happened the day Mulder had come back from beyond the grave. Skinner averted Scully's accusing gaze the entire time. "Krycek had a vaccine…for Mulder, but it wouldn't come without a price," he started.
"What price?" Scully demanded.
Skinner took in a breath before looking her directly in the eye. "He wanted your pregnancy terminated."
Scully's hands nearly flew to cover her belly in a protective motion. Mulder placed his hand gently on Scully's arm, not ever wishing for her to hear this revelation. Before Scully could respond, Mulder finished. "The rat bastard threatened to kill him if he didn't do that or remove my life support."
Skinner was unable to continue meeting Scully's gaze. "I couldn't do that to you, Dana, or the baby. You know I wouldn't," he said softly.
Tears welled in Scully's eyes as she also averted her gaze. "I know," she responded in a whisper. It took everything she had not to fall apart in front of everyone and she bit her lip.
Doggett averted his own gaze and placed his fingers to his temple, feeling emotionally overwhelmed himself.
"If he couldn't succeed with his original plan, he wanted DNA samples." Skinner finished.
Finally able to collect herself, Scully took a breath. "Our baby is fine, is normal," she repeated. "I've been through several high risk procedures to be sure of it. Why would they want it?"
"I don't know, he claims there is something different about the baby, that it may possess the key to the salvation of the human race."
"What does all of this Alien mumbo jumbo have to do with the clinics?" Doggett finally asked.
Mulder looked over at Doggett. "Evidence, Agent Doggett, evidence that was destroyed to cover up the truth."
Doggett only sighed as Mulder continued. "The infertile women they treated were given false hopes for motherhood. These women were used as surrogates for the alien embryos in an attempt to create perfect alien human hybrids. When the methods didn't work, they killed the mother's right after they delivered the alien babies. These women all had something in common…they were abductees."
Scully could only look down as Mulder continued, not wanting to hear any of it, but she had little choice. Her hands never left their spot on her stomach. The baby kicked almost fiercely within her and she gently rubbed at the abused spot.
Skinner's eyes went from Scully and then to Doggett.
"I still can't believe this crap." Doggett mumbled.
"Then what are you doing in the X-Files, Agent Doggett," Mulder asked pointedly.
Doggett drew in a breath and leaned forward. "Even if what your proposing is true, Agent Mulder, what has this got to do with Agent Scully's baby? She's had tests done and it's normal."
"I don't know Agent Doggett, but there must be some reason that they are after it. What I do know is that we need to get Scully to a safe place to deliver this baby and we need to do it fast." Mulder's tone was flat, dead serious.
Scully looked over at Mulder to protest. "I'm not going anywhere, Mulder," she yelled. "I'm due any day now and to run off right now would put our baby's life in even more danger. Mulder, I can't do this anymore. We have a child to think of and I don't know about you, but I cannot go running off after the blind truth anymore!"
Mulder, along with Skinner and Doggett, were stunned silent at Scully's abrasive tone, but Mulder recovered quickly. "I'm not asking for you to do that anymore, Scully, but I am not willing to risk losing you or the baby. We wouldn't be thinking of the baby if we sat around doing nothing."
Scully looked away to hide the forming tears in her eyes; she was unhappy and she refused to admit it, but Mulder was right, they had to protect the baby and she would be dammed if she let anyone or anything take it from her. Skinner and Doggett looked at one another, taking this as a cue to leave them alone for the time being.
Doggett stood up and walked over to where Skinner stood. "Well, I guess we should get going…it's getting late." He glanced at his watch and was surprised that it was already past eleven.
Skinner nodded. "What's the plan of action?" he looked over at Mulder.
Mulder looked over at Scully and then back at the two standing men. "Tomorrow we get her the hell out of here," he spoke without hesitance.
Doggett nodded. "In that case, we'd all better get some sleep. We can figure out the details in the morning."
Scully didn't say a word as the two men left. She was furious at Mulder from keeping all of this from her. Once the door clicked shut, she turned her accusing gaze at Mulder. Her hands never left her belly. "Dammit, Mulder, how could you keep this from me?" she raised her voice.
Mulder sighed. He expected this reaction as soon as Skinner and Doggett left. He prepared himself for it, but it still crushed him. He stood up moving to pull her closer, but she pulled away. "How could you do this to me, to our baby, I thought you trusted me." She was furious, but he could also tell she was holding back tears.
"I do Scully and I love you both. It was the only way I could protect you until I was sure!" he insisted.
"Sure about what?" she demanded. "The baby is fine, Mulder, its normal and even if it wasn't, would you not love it the same?" her voice broke, almost afraid of what the answer might be.
Mulder clasped her shoulders firmly to steady her. "You know I would, Scully, I just want him or her to have a normal life," he said, almost as if he was trying to reassure them both at the same time.
At Scully's silence, he moved to place his palms on her distended belly, cupping it gently. "But right now, my priority is making sure you are both safe," he whispered.
Scully had tears flowing down her cheeks and she looked down to Mulder's hands. She could feel their warmth through the thin material of her shirt. In that moment, she knew without question that he loved them both immensely and that he wasn't more than a concerned father-to-be. Before her mind went any further, she let out a startling gasp as she felt a wet rush between her legs and crumpled into Mulder's arms.
"Scully? Scully, what's wrong?" Mulder's voice was etched in panic. All of a sudden, he heard something spill onto the floor. As he clutched Scully's elbow, he looked down to see the liquid that had pooled next to Scully's feet. Alarmed, he met Scully's gaze as she muttered, "Mulder, my water just broke."
Their silence was followed by their startled gasps as everything suddenly went dark in her apartment. Scully's eyes were wide and afraid. There was no storm outside, nothing but ordinary weather. Something wasn't right and Mulder knew it. They had to get her out of there and fast.
"Scully, throw what you can together. We need to go, now!"