Mulder arrived in Scully's car, just as planned in front of the FBI building. Skinner was making his way outside just as Mulder pulled up to the curb. Mulder nodded at him and Skinner hurried over towards the car. Mulder unlocked the passenger door and Skinner quickly threw himself in and closed the door.
"Where to?" Mulder asked.
"To my place."
As Mulder pulled away from the curb, the men sat in silence for a few moments before Skinner spoke. "How are Scully and the baby doing?" he asked.
Mulder turned towards Skinner and gave him a questioning look. "They are both doing fine, why do you ask? Is there something I need to know, sir?"
Skinner turned away and looked out the window. "Please don't tell Scully, it will alarm her, but while you were in the hospital, Krycek paid me a visit."
Mulder turned momentarily to glance at his former boss. "That rat bastard is still around?"
Skinner nodded. "He holds my life in his hands, each and every time. When you were first returned, unconscious, he offered a vaccine for you…but at a price," he stopped, turning away.
"What price?" Mulder prodded with urgency.
Skinner looked down, not wanting to continue, but he knew Mulder would get it out of him. "He…he wanted me to kill Scully's baby," he blurted out.
Mulder almost rear ended the person in front of him when he slammed on the breaks. "What?" he shouted, trying to keep his anger at a minimum so Skinner would continue. Skinner looked away, he couldn't bear to face Mulder any longer.
"He said we all have a life in our hands…he had mine, I had yours and Scully had her baby's," he continued.
Mulder said nothing and when Skinner turned towards him he could see the anger in Mulder's face as he looked straight ahead. Thankfully, a minute later, they pulled up outside of Skinner's condominium complex.
"I'm so sorry Mulder, I'm not going to ask for your forgiveness, but…I tried to remove the life support system you were on. He was going to kill me if I didn't either terminate Scully's pregnancy or take you off of life support." Skinner was practically in tears and he could hear several lines of profanity escape Mulder's mouth.
"I couldn't do that to Scully, but I shouldn't have tried to remove your life support. Oh god, I should have just let him kill me. If it weren't for Agent Doggett-" Skinner continued.
He expected Mulder to yell at him, hit him, to be angry with him. Instead, a moment later, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Stop, Walter," he started. "You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself, for beating yourself up over this."
Skinner turned towards him. "I'm not upset with you, Walter. I'm just so happy you've done so much to protect Scully and the baby. You know how much they mean to me," Mulder explained
Mulder regarded him closely. "But that isn't all, is it?" he read his boss like glass.
Skinner shook his head and took a deep breath before continuing. "No, the rat bastard paid a visit to me in my office earlier today. He had the same requests, but this time was different."
Mulder stared at him. "What did he say?"
"He said that if Scully doesn't terminate her pregnancy, they will come after her and take her baby."
"Because they think that something is different about her baby." He finished.
Mulder clenched his fists. This was one of the many things he feared about Scully's baby and he tried to ignore his concerns, for her and the baby's sake. "No matter what is so different or special about Scully's baby, it's ours and I am going to love and protect it no matter what. Let them try and take the baby, I won't let it happen." Mulder said with fierce determination.
Skinner nodded. "Where is Dana right now?"
"At home, I wouldn't let her come with me." Skinner nodded.
"You should get back to her as soon as you can, but please, do not tell her about what we talked about. I don't want to do anything to cause any further complications for her pregnancy."
Mulder nodded. "I know…but sir, there's something else."
"What is it, Mulder?"
"Scully and I are getting married."
It had been a few hours since Mulder had left and Scully found herself frantically pacing her apartment. 'What's taking him so long?'' she thought nervously to herself.
She tried calling him at least three times now, within the last two hours. She looked at the window, hoping to see some sign that Mulder had returned. He took her car and he knew that would keep her from going after him.
Doggett had phoned Scully and told her Mulder was at Skinner's house, but that was over an hour ago. Of course she couldn't ask him to go inside after him. She knew Mulder would be upset if he found out she sent someone to watch out for him. At this point however, all she could think about was getting him home safely.
Doggett also wasn't answering, much to her dismay. She felt helpless. "Oh Mulder, please hurry home to us." she whispered.
With a sigh, she eased herself down onto the couch. She could feel that the baby had dropped quite a bit. In a little over a month, she would be bringing this little life into the scary world. Mulder hadn't discussed what his plans were, as to returning to any sort of work. He made it clear that he was done with the X-Files. But, how could that happen? It seemed as if their lives were inevitably tied no matter what they did. The last thing she wanted to do was raise their baby in fear.
Scully had changed into her silk pajamas a little bit ago, wanting and needing something more comfortable to wear. Scully nearly jumped as she heard a key inserted into her doorknob. Her heart leapt and she found herself at her feet instantly as the door opened.
Mulder turned towards her and she practically threw herself into his arms. "Oh Mulder, what took so long?" she almost demanded.
Ignoring her question, Mulder pulled away from her embrace and held her by her shoulders. "Are you okay, Scully?"
Scully looked at him quizzically. "Yes Mulder, the baby and I are fine. Why, did something happen?"
Mulder swallowed. He needed to choose his words carefully. "No, not at all. Skinner just asked me about my reinstatement to the X-Files and I told him that I wouldn't be returning since we are getting married," he hated lying to her, but part of that was true.
Scully pulled away and studied him. He practiced his best poker face, but being Scully, of course she would not buy it. However, he couldn't tell her the entire truth either…not if he was going to protect her. Knowing the truth would break her and the last thing he wanted or needed was for something to happen to her or the baby.
Surprisingly, Scully licked her lips and nodded. "So, that was all?" She had a skeptical tone to her voice. Mulder nodded slowly. "Yeah."
Scully nodded slowly, seeming to accept Mulder's response. She placed her hands at the small of her back an attempt to release the ache that had formed there. Mulder couldn't help but smile as Scully leaned back; thrusting her burgeoning belly outward. As she repeated these movements, she caught Mulder's look. "This load isn't light, you know," she gave him that 'Scully' look.
Mulder managed a small chuckle. Her belly wasn't the only thing he noticed; her breasts had gotten much fuller over the last few weeks that she had to wear a maternity bra to support their weight.
"I know," he started, trying to keep any sort evidence of worry from his voice. "Let's eat and then get to bed."