A few days later, Scully made her way down the long hallways that were the FBI Hoover Building. She had just met up with Agent Doggett whom she had already informed of her maternity leave. She felt for him and couldn't bear to tell him what would be coming of her absence. At least, not yet. Carrying the box of mementos she had gathered from the office in her arms, she made her way into A.D. Skinner's secretary's office. The slightly younger woman smiled as she approached. "Good morning, Agent Scully, how are you feeling today?" she asked with concern, after hearing about her recent hospitalization.
Scully smiled and if her hands weren't occupied with the box, she would have placed a hand on her tummy. "Good morning, Kim. I'm doing fine. I had a scare with my baby a few days ago, but my doctor assured me that we will both be fine." She confided to the other woman with a smile. Kim had a worried look on her face, but her expression changed into one of relief when Scully said the baby would be fine. "I'm glad to hear that, Agent Scully," she started, eyeing the box Scully had been carrying. Kim got up from her desk. "Let me take that from you in the meantime, I'll hold onto it while you speak with the Assistant Director so you don't have to carry it around." Scully eased the box from her grasp and allowed Kim to place it behind her desk. "Thanks, Kim. I must admit it has been getting difficult for me to carry anything these days. As it is my ankles are so swollen, I have to get a size up to fit into any shoes!" she managed a laugh.
Kim laughed and turned towards Skinner's office to see the door was still closed. "I can imagine, this is actually pretty heavy! Let me go ahead and see if the Assistant Director is available right now." Just as she spoke those words, they were caught by surprise when the door to Skinner's office opened. The tall, somewhat heavyset man turned towards Scully. "Scully? Is everything okay?"
Scully was startled by Skinner's voice and placed a hand over her tummy. "Sir?" She replied.
Sensing her uneasiness, Skinner gently moved to lead her by the elbow into his office. He looked over at Kim and she nodded. "Come in, Scully."
Allowing herself to follow Skinner's lead, a moment later, they were behind the closed door to his office. Skinner pulled up a chair and gingerly led Scully over to it. "Sit down," he encouraged. Scully couldn't help but smile to herself. Ever since Mulder's abduction and learning she was pregnant; Skinner had been very protective over her. At one time, she would have been irritated at the gesture, insisting she was fine. Over the years, she had grown to welcome his concern especially during Mulder's absence.
Scully gingerly eased herself into the chair that Skinner had provided for her. She protectively clasped her hands over well expanded stomach and touched the fabric of the blazer she was wearing. She looked down slightly, staring at her moving fingers, unsure of how she was going to break the news.
A moment later, Skinner moved forward in his desk. "Scu…Dana, are you okay? Is there something wrong?" he pressed.
Scully bit her lip and slowly brought herself to meet Skinner's gaze. "No sir, actually…uh, everything is just fine. Even after the scare at the hospital, you'll be happy to know my baby is just fine. It was only a partial abruption, but I will need to refrain from a lot of activity from now on until the baby is born." She explained.
Skinner had an idea of where this was going, he nodded but remained silent as Scully continued. For a moment, Scully averted her gaze as she thumbed the buttons on her blazer. "I'm starting my maternity leave." She finished.
Not shocked in the slightest, Skinner drew himself back. "You don't need my permission, Dana, in fact I strongly encourage that you do so. You needn't worry about the X-Files while you're gone, Agent Doggett has it handled." He managed a smile.
Scully turned back towards him and sighed. "I know."
"Have you told Agent Doggett yet?" Skinner asked.
Scully nodded. "I did, just a few minutes ago. I know it must be hard for him, now that he'll be alone on the X-Files."
Skinner stared, open mouthed. "But it's only for a few months' right? He won't be alone for very long, Dana."
He noticed Scully's reluctance and she averted her eyes once more. "Dana?"
The baby chose that moment to kick and she smoothed the sensation with her hand. She met Skinner's gaze and continued. "Well, that's why I am here sir, I um…after my maternity leave, I won't be returning to the X-Files."
Skinner could only stare at her, open mouthed and in shock. He completely understood and could only begin to imagine her reasoning, but never in many years had he ever expected Scully to resign. She was always so strong and never refused to quit, no matter how difficult the battles.
When Skinner didn't respond, she looked down. "I'm sorry…" she whispered and before she could say anything else, Skinner immediately jumped it. "No, don't be sorry Dana. I understand completely. This… is just a huge shock." He said, moving to place his glasses down.
Not looking up, Scully continued. "I just…I cannot put my baby's life at risk once he or she is born. I've already risked its life countless times, for which I will never forgive myself. I cannot put my family at risk anymore by my tie to the X-Files." Her voice broke and when she turned to look up at Skinner, tears filled her eyes.
Before she could say anymore, Skinner was at her side pulling her into a comforting hug. "It's okay, Dana," he whispered. "Your focus should be your family right now. You don't owe anything to us…or to the X-Files. You've more than paid your duty here."
Scully stood up and allowed her trusted friend to comfort her. With her hormones running rampant, a moment later, she allowed herself to cry softly into his shoulder. A few minutes had passed before Skinner finally spoke again. "What do you plan to do after your maternity leave?" he asked.
Scully pulled away and took a moment to compose herself before speaking. "I was thinking of teaching at Quantico, but what will happen to the X-Files once Mulder and I are no longer there?"
Skinner placed his hands into his pockets and sighed. "I don't know, but Doggett is a good Agent."
"Have you told him of your plans?"
Scully sighed, closing her eyes momentarily. "I told him that I was going on maternity leave. I didn't tell him that I wasn't coming back…" She trailed off. The last thing she wanted John Doggett to think was that she had ditched him again.
Silence passed between them before Scully had a sudden realization. "What about Agent Reyes? I know she would die for an opportunity in the X-Files division," she suggested.
Skinner looked up and thought for a moment. "You know, I think that would be a good idea," he started. "It will need to get approved by Kersh first, but I don't think there should be any problems there. Mulder is off the X-Files, so I don't think he will object to anyone else," He gave a small laugh.
Scully managed a grin. Boy, would they regret that decision fast. "Thank you," she said.
"When do you plan to tell him?" Skinner asked
Scully sighed. "I will soon," she said moving towards the door.
"Dana," he started.
Scully turned to look at what would soon be her "former supervisor".
"I am going to recommend you to Quantico, so you will have no worries about what you will do after your maternity leave. I will take care of all of it for you," he said.
Scully managed a smile. "Thank you, sir."
Skinner laughed. "It's going to just be plain old 'Walter' to you now, Dana."
"Take care of yourself and if you need anything, don't hesitate to ask."
As Scully placed her hand on the door handle, she turned back towards him.
"This isn't going to be the last time you see me, you know. Mulder and I have already planned on making you the Godfather of our baby." She grinned at the shocked, but honored look on her "Soon to be former boss's face."
"Really?" he gasped, like a boy who just got his first bike.
Before she could get out of the open door, Skinner was at her side with his hand on her belly. At that moment, she felt the baby surge against his touch. Skinner gasped in excitement.
"See, he already knows who I am!"
Once they realized they were standing just outside of his door, they turned and stared into the astonished faces of several other agents that were now waiting to see Skinner. Kim was also taken by surprise. The duo flushed and Skinner stared down at his hand that rested on Scully's belly and then quickly removed it.
Scully quickly gathered her things from Kim and Skinner cleared his throat. "Thank you for coming to see me, Agent Scully," He tried to sound as professional as he could.
As Scully hurried out of the office, she swore she could hear several murmurs and chuckles behind her.
There's no doubt that by morning that there would be gossip floating around the FBI that Scully had shacked up with Skinner while Mulder was gone and now she was leaving the FBI.