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Darkness Returns

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Title: Darkness Returns

Author: Sara B.

E-mail: sabo727@tampabay.rr.com

URL: http://sabo727.tripod.com/

Rating: Mid Teens – few bad words

Category: Angst, MSR

Spoilers: Sometime after Dead Alive but before Scully gave birth

Summary:  Diana Fowley returns to putrefy Mulder and Scully’s lives.  Scully’s pregnant and sees Mulder with Diana in a cozy setting.

Feedback:  Make a poor fanfic writer happy.

Disclaimer:  The recognized characters are used Without Prejudice and are the property of C. Carter, Fox and the wonderful actors who breathed life into written words, most notably G. Anderson and D. Duchovny who were able to make us believe in the improbable.  No Infringements of these copyrights are intended, and are used here without permission.  The story and before unknown characters belongs to me.

Gratitude: To Kim Knight, you are the best, thank you.  To my Dennis, enough said.  To CC and Company, who created the X-Files.  Lastly, but my no means least, to the readers, you make this hobby of mine have meaning.

Dedicated: To Erin B., who feels the same way about a certain interloper that I do.

 

Darkness Returns

Sara B.

 

Scully was driving home, it was early but because of her many health concerns her OB/GYN forced her to start her maternity leave immediately.  She’d spent the day cleaning up the few things that were open.  She and Doggett met with Skinner to discuss a couple cases and then both of the men made her take her things and leave. 

 

Scully saw Mulder’s car in the parking lot of Casey’s.  He’d been back a month and instead of growing closer the distance between them seemed to be widening.  Mulder found every excuse he could think of not to visit or even talk.  Unbeknownst to him she’d caught him in a few lies too.  He’d claimed he was with the Gunmen a couple times and later she found out they hadn’t seen him.  She hadn’t confronted him because she figured he needed time and space to rationalize everything that had gone on.  Scully knew that he’d been through hell and that her pregnancy was a shock so she’d allowed him his privacy.  However her patience was beginning to wane.

 

 It had been a week since they’d seen each other and they hadn’t spoken to each other much more than for him to cancel any plans they had.  Tonight he promised they would have dinner together and they would talk, so, when she saw his car, she decided to surprise him; why wait?  Besides she didn’t want to give him another opportunity to cancel like all the other times. 

 

Scully couldn’t understand why at a time when they needed each other so much he kept his distance and pushed her away.  When she’d been returned she reached out to him.  Needed him because of all the people in her life she knew he was the only one who would understand just like she was the only one who could understand his experience.  There was also their baby to think of and decisions needed to be made.

 

~

Scully walked into Casey’s and took a moment to adjust her eyes to the dim light and then she searched for him.  She nodded and smiled towards Jenna, the bartender, and Jim Cohen, a Casey’s staple.  They responded in kind but Jenna’s face looked ‘odd’. She ignored it and continued her search.  She saw Mulder, he was seated at a table toward the back and he wasn’t alone.  Sitting in the booth with him was Diana Fowley.  The woman who’d nearly ended their relationship before they even had one.  A woman who was supposed to be dead!

 

They were sitting very close and he had his hand over hers.  Scully watched as Mulder brushed hair from Diana’s face and touched her cheek, a gesture all too familiar.  They smiled and laughed with the ease of people with a shared intimacy.  It was only too obvious to her that this wasn’t their first encounter. 

 

Scully felt her chest tighten and she knew she had to get out of there before he saw her, she couldn’t take any more.  Tears threatened to spill as she turned to leave.  She gave Jenna a pleading look not to tell Mulder she’d been there; Jenna responded with a sad knowing nod.

 

Seeing Mulder with any woman would have been hard, but the woman being Diana Fowley, there was no description sufficient for the pain it caused.  Not only was Diana Fowley supposed to be dead, she was the woman Mulder really wanted.  Scully knew she was just a replacement and she lived with that because she loved Mulder more than the pain of knowing she would never be his choice. 

 

Diana Fowley had almost caused the end of their partnership.  She had almost ended Mulder’s life with her betrayals.  Once Mulder had been rescued and the details of Diana’s involvement with his hospitalization and subsequent kidnapping were discovered, Deputy Director Cunningham, himself, stepped in and was instrumental in building the case against her.  Only her death kept her from going to prison.

 

None of that seemed to have fazed Mulder because there he was with that woman, looking like reunited lovers for everyone to see.

 

~

Scully didn’t know how she made it home because everything was a blur.  Her mind was running at a furious pace.  This was the last of too many betrayals, Mulder was lying to her, cheating on her and she didn’t even know how long it had been going on.  Could Mulder have known Diana was alive before his abduction?  Was he seeing her, involved with her when they tried the IVF?  When they made a miracle?  He’d made Scully feel so loved then that she almost forgot he wasn’t in love with her.  That she was only a substitute.

 

Scully hated to think it but she knew that he’d chosen Diana over her and their child.  She sat back in the car seat and inhaled deeply and let out her breath slowly.  Mulder had made his decision and it was time for her to face the reality of it.  She placed her hand on her abdomen and rubbed.  She smiled at the response her action elicited from the tight quarter’s occupant.  Speaking softly she said, “I suppose we need to get busy, we have a lot to do.”

 

~

Scully entered her apartment and headed straight to her bedroom, pulled her suitcase out and started to pack as quickly as her swollen body would allow.  She looked at the open case now filled with her clothes and shook her head.  No, leaving was the coward’s way.  She would not leave but that didn’t mean she would see Mulder anymore. 

 

No one knew for a fact that he was the father of this child and nothing less than a DNA test could prove it.  With Diana Fowley back in the picture she doubted Mulder would bother.  No, he would be thrilled not to have the baggage.  It would make his and Diana’s life easier not to have a messy baby in the way.  Besides, Diana Fowley didn’t impress her as being particularly maternal.

 

Scully knew to hedge her bet with an escape plan if, for some reason, Mulder did pursue paternity, she and her child would disappear.  She picked up the phone; she had work to do and a short time to do it in.

 

~

Frohike, Byers and Langly busied themselves with her requests.  While Byers and Langly were at her computer setting up a false identity Frohike was changing her locks.  The men had hurried themselves to her side, without question, when she called. 

 

She told them what she’d seen the trio was incensed and Byers, of all people, had to be restrained from going after Mulder.  It was Frohike who took charge, telling the others not to waste time and energy on revenge.  They needed to focus on the issues at hand.  He left to buy a new lock and to speak with the apartment manager.  He told the others to start establishing Scully’s new identity so it would be in place immediately if she needed it.  He then startled them all by telling them to create IDs for the three of them too.  “I’m not letting you out there by yourself.”  He turned to the others for conformation and they both nodded.  Scully was ordered to go lie down.

 

Scully watched the ceiling, trying to calm her nerves.  Even without Mulder she had to consider herself blessed.  She had her family and they had been very supportive, even Bill.  She also found out what terrific friends she had.  Besides the three misfits who adopted her as their own, there was Skinner, Doggett and Monica.

 

Those two gruff men had become very protective of her and the baby.  They, along with the Gunmen, had become surrogate uncles to her unborn child.  She wasn’t supposed to know but Skinner had set up a trust fund for the baby.  While Doggett kept buying little stuffed toys until she had to gently put a stop to it out of pure desperation for fear that with all the toys there wouldn’t be room for her and the child. 

 

Monica had become her surrogate sister and they spent long hours talking and planning.  It was Monica who took her shopping for her first maternity outfit.  Scully had been mortified and the memory still made her blush.  ‘Come on, Dana.  The days of oversized smocks and muumuus are gone.  Today’s young professional pregnant woman is ‘sassy and sexy’!  Time to show a little skin, maybe a cropped tee shirt to show off that beautiful big belly.’  Gosh, she reminded her of Missy.

 

If she had to leave she would find a way to stay in touch with everyone she left behind.  Everyone except Mulder.

 

The phone interrupted her musings.  Byers and Langly were at her bedroom door before she had a chance to answer it.  She decided to use the speakerphone. “Scully.”

 

“Hey, Scully, it’s me.  Sorry it’s such short notice but I have to cancel tonight, something’s come up.”

 

“Yeah right” she couldn’t disguise the disgust in her voice. “That’s fine, Mulder, in fact it’s expected.”

 

Mulder couldn’t miss the tone and harsh words.  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

“Nothing, Mulder, it’s just you’ve cancelled every time this week.”  She sighed attempting to regain her composure before continuing.  “Listen, I’m sorry.  I guess I’m just a little tired.  I’ve got to go.”

 

“Scully, I can put off what I was going....”  She didn’t let him finish.

 

“No, Mulder, I’m not up for anything tonight.  You just go ahead and do whoever you planned.” She didn’t even notice the slip but Mulder caught it.  “Now I really have to go.”  Dana Scully said the one thing they had never done in their history, “goodbye, Mulder.”  Tears were teasing her eyes and the duo retreated to give her some privacy.

 

Mulder looked at the phone; he’d heard the snide comment that sounded like ‘whoever’ but let it go.  He decided he better go and see her, he had been ignoring her all week.  He turned towards Diana and she asked, “Fox? What is it?”

 

“Diana, I have to go, I’m sorry but I, well, I just need to go.  I’ll call you tomorrow.” 

 

Diana grabbed his arm and stopped his escape.  “I may not be here tomorrow,” she said.  Mulder sat back down.  He’d call Scully in the morning; it was time for him to come clean.  They continued their conversation, the same one they’d had all week since Diana had shown up at his door last Saturday.  She’d told him how she had to fake her death just to survive; she spent the last year gathering evidence about the consortium and the invasion.  Members, dates and places; all the time he sat there listening something gnawed at him, something about Scully.

 

It wasn’t until two hours later when he went to square up his tab that it hit him, Scully said ‘goodbye’.  Jim looked at him and before Jenna could stop him he said, “Dana sure is getting big, but considering how small she is I guess it’s to be expected.”

 

Mulder didn’t think much of the comment but asked, “when’d you see Scully?”

 

“Earlier, when she came in.  She didn’t stay long, I guess she left when she saw you were,” the man nodded toward Diana, “busy.”  Mulder looked to Jenna for confirmation and she nodded solemnly. 

 

Scully had been there? She’d seen him with Diana.  His panic rose to un-before known levels.  His mind replayed their conversation.  Her quiet and snide ‘whoever’ now made sense.  Also, Scully’s solemn ‘goodbye, Mulder,’ had the sound of finality.  Was she really saying goodbye?  Mulder ran out leaving a very angry Diana Fowley to find her own ride.  He only hoped he wasn’t too late.

 

~

The elevator doors opened and Mulder was met with the sight of Frohike changing the locks on Scully’s door.  He ran down the hall, pushed the little man out of the way and entered her apartment.  The moment he crossed the threshold he knew he was not welcome there. 

 

Scully was seated on the couch, flanked by Byers and Langly.  They were showing her a folder that Byers quickly closed as soon as he saw Mulder. 

 

“Scully it isn’t what you think!” Mulder began but his audience’s hostility remained.

 

Scully didn’t even turn to look, “leave, Mulder, you are not needed here; I think you prefer your earlier companion than any you will find here.”  Her voice was cold but didn’t hide the emotion of her words. 

 

A look passed between the sitting trio.  Byers stood and took her hand to help her stand.  Mulder was watching so intently that he failed to see Langly move to his side and Frohike reposition himself between Mulder and the hall leading to her bedroom.  Mulder reached out to her as Byers led her toward her room but Langly grabbed his arm.  Mulder was able to shake off Langly easily enough only to find Frohike in his way.  No one would believe it to see the little man but Frohike was a force to reckon with. 

 

“Don’t you think you’ve done enough damage?  Why don’t you just go back to that back stabbing bitch you find so damned fascinating and leave Dana alone?  She can’t afford any more stress.”  Frohike stood his ground.  “Just get the hell out of here.  She doesn’t need you and your lies anymore.”

 

Mulder stared at her bedroom door.  Byers closed the door as he exited.  “I need to see her, to explain.”

 

Frohike shook his head and Byers indicated they should sit.  “She went to the doctor today.  She said you were supposed to go with her but you didn’t show.  She’s been forced to start her leave.  Her blood pressure and sugar levels are a problem.  The doctor is worried that she’s been under too much stress.  Your actions have been a big contributor and finding you today with that woman didn’t help.”  Byers stopped and looked at Mulder, to see if what he was saying was reaching the man.

 

“She’s doing what she has to for her baby; for your baby.  Though nothing exists that names you as the father, so you have no fears on that score,” Frohike added bitterly.  “Why don’t you just get out of here and go back to Diana and you two can screw each other silly until she gets you killed?  Just leave Dana and her baby alone so she can build a life.”

 

A knock on the door forestalled any reply from Mulder.  It was Monica Reyes.  “Dana called and asked me to come over.”  She said as she breezed down the hall to the bedroom with Frohike on her heels.  Doggett and Skinner followed her in and stopped in their tracks when they saw Mulder.  Mulder had seen Walter Skinner angry before but nothing prepared him for the look of pure unvarnished contempt he saw in the man’s eyes.  He turned to look at Doggett and saw confusion in the man’s eyes.

 

“So, the reports of Diana Fowley’s demise were premature,” Skinner said icily.

 

Mulder’s emotions moved swiftly to anger.  “Scully told you...”

 

“Stop right there hotshot.  Frohike called us; Dana doesn’t even know we’re here.  And if I were you I wouldn’t be looking to blame anything on that woman in there.  I’d be looking at the asshole in the mirror and asking why the hell am I such a shit?’ 

 

“Scully has always acted in your best interest even when it put you two at odds.  How have you repaid her?”  Mulder’s head hung as Skinner’s well placed arrows hit their mark.  “You’ve lied to her, accused her and now you’ve cheated...”

 

“I never, it wasn’t like that!  Diana had information.”  Mulder fell onto the couch, “I just wanted the information.”  He looked up.  “She risked her life to get me this information.  That has to count for something.”

 

Langly walked over to Mulder.  “Risked her life?  How was she risking her life?”

 

“She faked her death and went underground.  She only surfaced now so that she could give me the information.  She has names of consortium members and locations.”  Mulder saw the looks shared between Langly and Byers.

 

Byers, always the calmest of the three, walked over to Mulder and placed a hand on his arm.  “She played you, Mulder.  Langly’s been doing some searches.”

 

Langly picked up the folder from the table.  “Diana Fowley’s body was supposed to have been found at her apartment.  The body wasn’t identified because of a mix up with the morgue.  It was sent, by mistake, to Dunsworth Funeral Home in Fernwood Ohio where they cremated it per the pre paid arrangements they had on file for a Marcella Denton.  Ms. Denton was in Royal Oak Michigan at the time celebrating the one hundredth birthday of her father, Lloyd Peterson.

 

“I took a flyer and looked into some accounts that, during a previous investigation, we were able to link to several of Diana Fowley’s aliases and found that there has been continuous activity on them since her death.”

 

“She’d need money to . . .” Mulder interrupted.

 

“There are both deposits and withdrawals,” Byers said.  “The deposits totaling two million since her ‘death’ were traced back to Roush Pharmaceuticals.”

 

Mulder laid his head on the back of the couch.  “I’ve really been a fool.”  He turned to look down the hallway, the yearning clearly written on his features.

 

A commotion at the entrance grabbed all their attention and Frohike ran out of the bedroom just as Doggett opened the door.  There were two paramedics and Frohike yelled, “she’s in here.  She’s nearly nine months pregnant, lots of stress.  She was fine then she grabbed her stomach . . .”  His voice broke off.

 

Mulder was up and racing toward the bedroom only to be pulled back by Skinner.  “Don’t you think you’ve caused enough damage?”

 

~

A motley group waited impatiently outside the examining room when the nurse appeared.  “Family of Dana Scully.”

 

Mulder rushed over.  “Can I see her?”

 

“Depends, who are you and what is your relationship to her?”

 

“I’m the baby’s father.”  His voice was desperate.

 

“Ah, no, you are not.  Not according to the paperwork.”   She handed him the chart, where it asked for the father’s name was written deceased.

 

~

Mulder waited till after shift changed and the nurses and orderlies on duty were busy to sneak into Scully’s room; she was asleep.  He hesitated just inside the doorway and surveyed the machines hooked up to her.  How many times had they held vigil over each other during hospital stays?  How many doctors and nurses did they confer with on behalf of the other?  Too many, too damned many.

 

This time it wasn’t just Scully but their baby too.  Mulder silently approached the bed and placed his hand gently on her stomach.  Before that moment Scully’s pregnancy had been some sort of abstract concept, now, touching her, it became real.  Scully, his Scully, was carrying a child, his child, their child.  He, Fox Mulder, was going to be a Dad.

 

“You shouldn’t be here, Mulder.”  Scully’s voice was tired and tinged with pain. 

 

“I have to be, Scully.  I couldn’t let you be alone.”  Mulder’s hand had not left her.

 

“Why?  Just because this happened shouldn’t change anything.  It has nothing to do with you.  I,” she stopped as a pain raked though her mid section.

 

“Scully, oh God, Scully.  I’m sorry, so damned sorry.  I never meant to hurt you.”  Mulder pleaded with her.

 

She took a cleansing breath and patted his hand.  Tears threatened to fall.  “It isn’t your fault, Mulder; it’s mine.  I deluded myself in thinking that once she was gone I would be enough.  I was foolish.  Now she’s back and I won’t burden you with...”  Her resolve broke and she couldn’t continue.

 

“Scully, you aren’t being fair,” his words were interrupted by her hand throwing his off.

 

“I’m not being fair, me?  Get out, Mulder.  Go back to Diana.  I always knew I was the consolation but I thought I mattered at least a little.” 

 

Suddenly the monitors started chiming and two nurses rushed in.  “Who the hell are you?”  One yelled at Mulder.  “Oh, just get out.”

 

Mulder found himself propelled out of the room and bumping the wall opposite the door as he watched several other people run in to Scully.  His mind was a whirl.  Did Scully really think what she’d said?  He knew she did, Scully never lied unless it was to protect him.  Scully honestly thought he’d only turned to her because Diana was no longer available. 

 

~

Mulder waited until the doctor told him that Scully and the baby would be okay then he found himself back at Casey’s.  This time he was alone and he sat at the bar.  Jenna had just served his third double scotch and told him it was his last when she turned on him.  “You know, Spooky, you really are a shit.  How could you do that to Dana?  That’s your baby she’s carrying and you show up every day with that,” Jenna stopped, not knowing how to finish the sentence.

 

“I didn’t think Scully would find out.” 

 

“Oh, and THAT makes it all right?  Dana’s pregnant and you’re out getting your jollies.  That is just too damned terrific.  And don’t think I don’t know who that woman is.  She’s the one who almost made you lose Dana the last time you acted like a complete fucking fool.  That was that Fowley bitch you took up with a couple years ago.  Wasn’t it?”  Mulder’s head jumped up and looked at Jenna.  “Oh, don’t be so dumb, Dana’s been known to come here too you know.  She came in a lot during that time.  Well, not frequently, but more than she normally would.  We got to be more than the patron – bartender friendly stranger thing I have with most of the customers.

 

“It was her third or fourth visit in two weeks and the first time she ordered something stronger than seltzer with lime.  I took my break and went over and sat down without an invitation.  Three visits later and she started talking.  Nothing specific but I have the benefit of seventeen years behind a bar.  I’ve learned to fill in the blanks.  You were whoring around on her and she was jealous as sin but didn’t think she had the right.”

 

“I wasn’t, I mean, Diana and I didn’t, I mean. . .”  Mulder tried to defend himself.

 

“Didn’t matter, she thought you were and she got that idea from somewhere.  Either it was the way you acted or that woman said or did something; maybe both.  There was no one more surprised to see you and Dana together than me when you two walked in here about seven months later.”

 

For the first time the ramifications of his actions hit him squarely in the face.  And he wasn’t only thinking of his latest activity regarding Diana; but before.  How many times did he make Scully feel betrayed and left out?  Why hadn’t he ever just told her about his past?  Why didn’t he clarify that Diana was all in the past and she, Scully, had been the only woman in his life for years?

 

“You should have seen her face when she came in here earlier and saw you all cozy with that woman.  I think a bit of Dana died right in front of me.”  Jenna walked away to take care of a group of wannabees at a table by the back.

 

~

Mulder made his way to Scully’s room and silently slipped in.  Scully was sleeping peacefully in the light of the monitors.  He moved a chair close to the head of her bed and sat down. 

 

Mulder watched her sleep for awhile then moved even closer.  One hand found its way to her abdomen again and the other caressed her downy cheek. 

 

He sighed and a tear escaped his eye.  “Scully, I’ve been a fool, but you should be used to that.  I need to tell you things that have gone unexplained for too long.  Things you have a right to know and that I should have told you so long ago. 

 

“The most important, maybe the only important one, is that I love you, Scully.  You have never been a consolation.  I didn’t always love you but I did always like you.  You had every right to toss it in and leave me and my search so many times; but you never did.  Whenever they offered you an out you staunchly refused.  I think I first started falling in love with you that day you stood up to Tom Colton.  He’d just told you that he was going to find a way to get you reassigned.  You just looked at him and thanked him for the opportunity but you already had an assignment.  You didn’t leave any room for interpretation; you were a basement girl and you were staying one.” 

 

Mulder leaned over and kissed her cheek.  “You crept into my soul so quietly I didn’t even notice and it took me years to realize you were no longer just my partner or my best friend.

 

The changes were so subtle and happened without me knowing.  Somehow you’d turned into the woman I loved, love, because I do love you.  I realized that I’d never known love before because I never felt this way before.”

 

Mulder’s head rested on her mattress facing hers.  “Tomorrow, I’m going to tell you all of this again.  Only this time you will be awake and I will find a way to make you believe.  I will make you believe if it takes the rest of our lives.”  Mulder’s eyes closed.

 

Scully’s hand joined his on her stomach.  “I want to believe, Mulder,” she said quietly.

 

Mulder’s eyes opened and he smiled.

 

End

 

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