Scully opened her eyes to a bright lit room. Suddenly, her memories came flooding back and she silently prayed and hoped it all had been a horrible nightmare. She closed her eyes again before re-opening them. Then she heard a voice across from her. "Scully?" Although the voice didn't belong to the person whom she longed for, the tone was nevertheless warm and reassuring.
Realizing she was in a hospital room, she jumped up and clutched her pregnant belly. Skinner was immediately at her side pressing her back into the bedding. "Take it easy, Scully, you've just been through a horrible ordeal," he prodded.
With striking realization, she moved her hands away from her belly.
Skinner managed a small, but sad smile. "Scully…Dana, it's okay. I know. Your baby is fine. "
Scully opened her mouth in horror. "No, it's not okay," she yelled. "How did you know and how can I trust you after everything you've done to us?" she demanded.
Skinner stood back and sighed. In the corner of his eye, he could see her instinctively moving her hands back to cover her belly in a protective gesture. This was not unfamiliar to him. He sighed and decided that he'd better come clean. Otherwise, she'd never trust him.
"Dana, I know things that neither you, Agent Doggett or Reyes know about. And if I were to speak them, I would be putting all of our lives at risk. I'm not working with them, Dana, but at this point, I cannot retaliate either. They'd kill me if I did!" he insisted in a harsh whisper.
"Who are 'they'? The same 'they' that killed Mulder?" her voice broke.
Skinner watched as tears streaked her face. She placed her hands over her face almost as if in an attempt to conceal her emotion from him. "Dana," he whispered. "He's not dead."
This caused Scully to bolt up with a start. "What?" she demanded. "Where is he, where's Mulder?"
Skinner sighed. "He's in the ICU, Dana, but he's in critical condition-" he paused, waiting for some sort of reaction, unsure whether or not he should continue.
Scully gasped. "I have to see him!" she pleaded.
Skinner felt an odd sense of De Ja Vu wash over him as Scully spoke those words. "You can't…not right now."
As Scully moved from the door, Skinner blocked her attempts and when she threw up her arms, he grabbed her shoulders, gently but firmly. "Dana!" he started to whisper harshly before lowering his tone.
"Dana," he whispered. "He was shot on the right side of the cerebral cortex. The bullet shattered part of his skull; it's amazing that he's even still alive…" he trailed off waiting for her reaction.
Her lips trembled and she looked away as tears filled her eyes. "What did his doctor's say?" Her voice was shaking and unsteady.
Skinner sighed. "He's in a coma and they are not sure when…or if he'll recover."
As Scully took a moment to process this information, she eased herself back onto the hospital bed. Her face displayed a variety of emotions as this news sunk in. "Tell me, tell me who did this to him!" she pleaded in a frantic whisper.
Skinner momentarily looked away, as if he were at a loss for words. "I don't know, Dana. I do know that they are the same people who took William, to fulfill this…this prophecy."
When Scully remembered the attack on William, her head shot back up. "Where's William?"
He reached out to touch Scully's shoulders. "Don't worry, Dana, he's fine. He's with Monica."
Scully was momentarily flooded with relief and then immediately recalled last night. "He's not safe here, Walter. You need to let me see him."
Skinner nodded. "I know; Doggett is making sure he's guarded around the clock."
However, Scully's fears weren't alleviated. "How do we really know those guards are who they claim or appear to be?"
"Dana, we've taken every possible precaution, you have to trust me," he said gently.
Suddenly feeling tired and weary, Scully nodded. "I need to see him."
After hours of unbearable waiting, Scully was released from the hospital. There were several tests performed on her to make sure the baby was okay. She only had a few minor injuries from the broken glass. A bandage was placed on the side of her forehead and her left arm was wrapped in tape and gauze. Mulder's doctors finally allowed her to see him on the condition that she was the mother of his children. Although she could have pulled the "sad and pathetic looking" pregnant widow, she had to be careful about who she revealed her pregnancy to.
She moved passed doctors and nurses who gave her questionable stares. She just nodded and headed to Mulder's bedside vigil. A moment later, she was left alone at Mulder's side. His head was bandaged almost completely, leaving his face uncovered. At his side, were many life support machines in which he was attached to. Suddenly not caring whomever was in the room, she allowed herself to let out the sobs she had been holding in. "Oh god, Mulder," she cried dropping to her knees at his side, allowing tears to fall.
She grasped his hands tightly, only to find that they were ice cold. Using both her hands, she rapidly began to rub warmth into them. Suddenly in doctor-mode, she began to adjust the blankets on his bed to make sure he was warm enough. The thin bedding material did nothing to afford any warmth to his cold body. In one of the cabinets, she found a folded comforter which she added to the layers already on Mulder's bed. She was able to find a chair and pulled it beside his bed. Not long after, she felt another rush of tears coming. "Mulder, can you hear me? Please, give me some sign…some sign that you are okay, please," she felt herself repeating over and over.
Scully studied his face for what seemed like an eternity. When there wasn't even the slightest hint of movement, she started to cry again. "I'm sorry," her voice broke. "I never meant to put your life in danger; I've been doing that a lot lately…putting everyone else's lives in danger just so I can fulfill my own needs. I know you've just started to realize it, but John is a good man, Mulder. He ended up in a coma, just like you, risking his life trying to protect William. I owe him everything." She looked down.
Subtle movements were making their presence known and Scully absently placed her hand over the small curve. "You have to come back to us, Mulder. I can't do this without you. I know you were just trying to protect us, but I am scared, Mulder. I fear for you, for William and the baby. I know you can hear me, so please…hold on," her voice broke as she placed a kiss to Mulder's hand.
A moment later, Doggett appeared in the doorway, hesitant and unsure of making any further movement. Scully turned at the movement in the doorway and stole a quick glance at Mulder before deciding to retreat with Agent Doggett.
"How is he?" he asked.
Scully looked away. "No change," she whispered.
Doggett swallowed as he studied her. She had dark circles under her eyes and there was no doubt the last meal she had been before they had gone to meet Mulder. "Let me buy you lunch?" Doggett insisted.
Scully sighed, but reluctantly nodded. "Yeah, I'm starving." She felt guilty for going so long without eating anything.
The as they made their way to the cafeteria, they passed a tall gray-haired man who appeared to be in his sixties. With dawning realization, Scully remembered the interrogation in Kersh's office…about the space ship rubbings and about shooting Agent Comer. She didn't know him well…or at all for a matter of fact. There was just something about him that just didn't sit well with her.
Their eyes met as they passed in opposite directions and Scully's eyes followed him as he continued his way down the hall.
Scully turned around to meet Doggett's inquiring gaze.
"Do you know that man?"
With a quick glance back over his shoulder, he looked back at Scully. "Him? I don't know him personally, but he's been working with Kersh for the last few months or so. Why do you ask?"
Once again, she glanced down the hall to see the man take a turn down the corridor. "I don't know, there's just something about him that I don't trust."
Doggett nodded. "I'll keep an eye on him."
After they paid for their lunch they sat down at a quiet isolated table to eat. Only moments later did they see Monica approaching them, carrying William.
Scully nearly jumped out of her chair at the sight of them. Monica smiled when she saw Scully's eyes lit up. "Say hi to mommy," Monica cooed as she handed the baby over to his mother.
It was the first time she had seen the baby since the other night. "Oh William," she whispered, drinking in the sight of her baby son. He had a small bandage on his forehead like she did, where the glass must have pierced his skin, but other than that he appeared to be just fine. Suddenly feeling emotionally overwhelmed, she bit her lip to prevent herself from having an emotional breakdown in front of her trusted friends.
"Don't worry Dana, he's just fine," Monica said sensing Scully's discomfort.
Scully nodded as they both took a seat at the table. A waiter was kind enough to bring a highchair for them upon seeing William. The three of them sat in silence over lunch until Monica spoke again. "How, how is he?" she asked reluctantly.
Scully looked in Monica's direction and averted her gaze to keep the tears at bay. She had only eaten part of the turkey sandwich, which had still been a chore for her to eat. "I don't know," she whispered.
Monica nodded, looking over at John. "Your mom is coming by shortly," she began to explain.
Scully almost let out a small gasp. She hadn't told her mother anything about seeing Mulder and Scully knew she would be upset that she didn't tell her she was going to meet him. She was a 'Scully' of course.
Instead, all Scully could manage was. "Okay."
After they had finished most of their food, Scully realized that she hadn't questioned them about what EXACTLY happened the other night. John could sense she was troubled. "Are you okay, Agent Scully?"
Scully looked over at William who had been watching them intently the entire time. "Tell me," she began. "Tell me what happened the other night."
"Dana," Monica started, not feeling like this was the time or place to talk about it. Scully wasn't having any of it. She wanted answers now.
John sighed. "We were waiting in the car for about twenty minutes before we saw men appearing in the corner of our eyes. They neared the Lone Gunmen's headquarters. As far as we're aware, no one else knows of their whereabouts," John started and looked over at Monica, silently asking her to continue.
Monica turned form John to Scully. "It was a bit suspicious, especially during that hour of night. We tried to approach them. We know they want Mulder dead and there was nothing that was going to stop them. Although we know these "super soldiers" cannot be stopped, we had to do something to protect all of you. So, they were momentarily distracted by John and I. When we shot, one of them kept moving towards us."
John looked over at Monica. "That was when he did something we didn't expect, pull out a gun. Since their ways of killing are a bit, uh, 'tactless', that was unexpected. But he obviously wasn't a man. He couldn't be killed, Dana. He fired, twice, in a single illuminated window which only you and Mulder could have been in. Then Monica pulled out a long syringe looking object and was able to pierce him in the base of the neck. I still to this day don't understand how it killed him, but he seemed to just collapse and deteriorate in front of our very eyes. But whatever it was, the others were gone in seconds. We rushed over to where we thought you were and that's when we found…" John looked sadly over at Scully, unable to continue.
Scully just nodded. "It's okay, I needed to know. Do you have any idea who these men could have been?"
John shook his head. "No, but I could have sworn some of them looked familiar."
Scully nodded. "We have to protect Mulder. They'll stop at nothing to kill him, since the attempts on William failed."
Monica nodded. "Don't worry, Dana, we got everything covered."
Several hours later, Mulder had been moved to a regular room. The doctor's couldn't predict how long he would remain comatose. It could be days, months, years or even forever. There were steady brain waves to indicate functioning, but there were so many other areas of that had been damaged. It was only more cost efficient to move him into a regular room to make way for other patients.
She held William in her lap, as silent tears streamed down her face. The baby fussed the entire time. She sat so close to the hospital bed that William was able to reach out and touch his father's hand. Each time she witnessed this movement, she burst into a new set of tears. When no movement emitted from Mulder, William would start to whimper. It broke her heart that William already started to understand the concept of death.
"Mulder," Scully started. "I brought William with me today. I know you gave your life to protect us, but we still need to Mulder. Your job isn't finished. Our babies' lives will always be at risk when you aren't with us. I can't live like this, Mulder. Please, come back to us." Her voice broke.
"Dana?" called a voice from the doorway.
Scully gasped as she did not hear the door to the hospital room open. She turned to see her mother standing in the doorway. How long had she been standing there?
"Dana, sweetheart," her mother prodded.
"Oh, Mom," her voice broke, unable to keep the tears at bay.
Moments later, Maggie was next to her daughter, embracing both her daughter and her grandson. Scully momentarily tensed. She expected her mother to be angry, angry for this being another one of her secrets. Although Maggie wasn't happy about the situation, she knew her daughter needed support, not a lecture.
Instead, she gently rocked them both and whispered, "Shh, its okay sweetheart, I'm here."
Scully allowed herself the indulgence of her mother's presence and comfort. Maggie Scully put up with a lot from her, but she was nevertheless supportive and loving. A few minutes later, they broke apart. Before Maggie could ask her list of questions, Scully explained everything to her. Monica had filled her in on a little when she brought William to visit her after the incident, but left it up to Scully to fill the rest in to her mother.
Much to Scully's surprise, Maggie began to cry tears of her own. "I'm so sorry, Dana. I know you already went through this once, but have to deal with it again is much more than anyone should ever have to go through."
Scully turned to gaze at the machines Mulder desperately held onto for dear life. She shook her head. "How can this be god's plan, Mom? How can I have faith when there are people out there who want my partner and my son dead?"
Maggie studied her daughter's face as she processed this information. Scully continued, averting her gaze. "What little faith I had, disappeared when Mulder left and when these men tried to kill my son," she said tearfully.
Maggie swallowed. "Dana," she started.
"I can't just rely on faith anymore, Mom. I'm going to give birth to another child in a few months and I am running out of time. If I am going to have another baby, I'm going to need to make a decision. It may a decision you or I will not like, but I have to do it for them," she said placing her hand on the swell of her abdomen.
Her mother nodded reluctantly. Although she wanted to know what her daughter meant by "decision", she would have to press further on that subject at another time. Instead she said, "I know, Dana, just don't keep me in the dark when you make that decision, okay?"
Scully nodded. "I know."