Summary: AD Skinner and AD Kersh call in a favor from
Mulder as he's at the most happy time in his life. Will
he help them?
Archive: Gossamer and any other nice home. Please tell me.
There was never any doubt in their minds that this would be the
best place to settle down and raise a family, especially now that
William was going to have a baby brother or sister. Dana Scully
was four months pregnant and delighted to be expecting again.
They had opted for a small, civil ceremony at a courthouse rather
than a traditional church wedding given the circumstances under
which William was conceived and born, and their exile from the
FBI. It was better for them to stay as low-profile as possible until
the whole Colonization process was either done with or prevented.
Armed with the information needed to fend off the pending doom,
the best experts in the country were recruited for the task of
manufacturing and distributing the Purity vaccine. As for the mining
and delivery of magnetite, that was going smoothly as well. Whether
it had to be hand-delivered or distributed into the air, there was going
to be an eradication of the menacing aliens. There were ways, means,
and people to do it.
Life was quiet in West Tisbury. The winters could sometimes bring
quite nasty snowstorms, the summers torrents of rain, but there were
many days and weeks of lovely weather for the little family to enjoy to
the fullest. Walks with William in the parks were especially relaxing to
Scully and Mulder after a long day.
Scully would eventually be teaching at medical school and Mulder was
already instructing potential profilers in the fine art of Criminal Psychology.
The salary was enough to keep them quite well in the old house where
once Bill Mulder lived after divorcing Fox's mother, Teena.
This summer morning, during a well-deserved vacation, the last thing Fox
Mulder expected was for anyone but Maggie Scully to call. He had taken to
answering the telephone with 'Hello' rather than "Mulder" since relocating,
as Scully had suggested. What a difficult habit to adopt after so many
He was in the kitchen grabbing some juice for William when the phone
"It's Skinner. I need to speak with you. I need a favor."
"Walter, I'm on summer vacation, Scully's having a baby in five months, I'm
in the middle of playing games with William, and right now, I see no need to
be speaking to anyone at your workplace..."
Mulder didn't want to be rude, but felt an urgent need to have all ties with the
Bureau cut permanently, even if Walter Skinner was a friend and ally.
"This is a criminal case. Strictly mainstream. We had hiring cuts and early
retirements. Now I am very short-handed here..."
"I appreciate that, Walter, and I don't mean to be ungrateful, but you know why
we aren't there, why we will not go back there, and what will have to happen if
we think of going back there. I have to go. Scully is at an appointment and
William is waiting. Take care."
Skinner could understand Mulder's concerns for his family's safety. They HAD
done their part in allowing William and themselves to have blood samples for
antibodies taken, and they needed to feel secure in order to raise their family.
Still, he missed the dedication these two agents had had in the past, especially
the workaholic Mulder of the X-Files. He resolved to call again later to find out if
anything had changed Mulder's mind.
The times were tough as far as manpower was concerned. To top it off,
kidnappings and senseless acts of violence had been escalating in the past two
years. "Please reconsider," he whispered. Files to be signed were never in short
supply for assistant directors these days, so he returned to his forms. It pained him
that Mulder dismissed his call so tersely. Before Walter could put pen to paper
again, he had to think of some way to communicate with the man. "Criminal cases.
Mainstream. Who am I kidding?"
There seemed a lot more to it than that.
As Mulder put William down for a mid-morning nap, he went over the words Skinner
had used. "Needs a favor. Well, old Spooky doesn't mainstream, and the X-Files
are gone, history, not there, defunct. There was more in the voice than in the words.
No... I will not do any more than I have done. We have the magnetite, the antibodies,
no more sacrifices. This is my life now. I have paid my dues."
Dana Scully Mulder pulled up to the house and carried a shopping bag into the house.
"Hey, William nappping already?"
"Uh, yeah. He just closed his eyes. How was the doctor's visit?"
"The ususal. Healthy weight gain, uterus growing well, and a very little person has an
audible heartbeat. Mother and child very healthy. And... I bought a mobile. Boats,
whales, and anchors."
"No buffaloes! What would make you think of them now?"
"Uh, never mind me. I had a rather cryptic call this morning. Skinner. He claimed he
wanted me to do some mainstream work again, in crime. Short-handed."
Scully sat on the sofa and put her feet up. Already she was experiencing some
swelling. "I hope you told him you were already busy," she said. "Anything else is
already taken care of in all the evidence, the blood samples, and we are off-limits."
She sighed. Mulder remained quiet. "You did tell him you weren't interested, right?"
"Yes, I did just that. I dunno, Scully, he just seemed to be holding something back.
I can't endanger us anymore and I won't. We have our world right here, with another
adorable uber Scully-Mulder on the way," he patted her abdomen. "This is our reward
for all we've done well, and I am not going back to Washington."
Scully closed her eyes for a moment. "You're not even curious that he may have
wanted you for something, mainstream or not?"
"No." Mulder took Scully's hands in his and said, "I promised to give you a life free
from freaks, monsters, slime, aliens, and hidden agendas. You once asked me if
I ever wanted a normal life. Now I have one with you."
"You are curious," she couldn't suppress a grin.
"Do not answer the phone if a Washington area code is on the display."
"Well, I guess you have made up your mind. I'll put this in the nursery and grab a
tea. Want some?" Scully rose with the bag as Mulder took it from her.
"I'll put this away for you. Maybe you should just let me make the tea. Get those
pretty ankles back down to normal."
"You know I hate inactivity," she quipped.
"Well, then... " Mulder had that look.
"I think I'll pass on the activity until tonight, okay?"
"I always honor rainchecks! Service with a smile. Our room. Tonight."
As Mulder left the room, Scully thought of any possible reasons Skinner might want
Mulder to even think of working for the FBI again. There was no reason for Mulder
to entertain the idea. She had had her fill of the Bureau as well. Washington, Maryland,
any and all offices. She had never seen Mulder more fulfilled and happy before he
brought her out here. "No more thinking about the place," she said under her breath.
Late that morning, Kersh was on the phone to Skinner. "Walter, we can't do it without
the man. Did you give anything away over the phone?"
"All I said was that we were short-handed and we needed him in crime. That I needed
"Maybe I should give him a call," Kersh offered. "There has to be a way to get him
here without upsetting Scully right now."
"And maybe they deserve their own lives back, Alvin. I know it's hard to coordinate
the entire plan, but it must be done without Mulder and Scully. They've done their
part and gone beyond their share. We're almost ready to implement the details as we
agreed upon. Leave him alone."
"Look, Walter. There are a couple of things he has knowledge of
more than we do. Isn't this his function?"
Skinner thought for a moment. "I think he meant what he said. It was
pretty clear to me he wanted no more to do with this on a professional
basis. Let him be. I might add he is functioning very well as a husband
and father. He has his new job and he is very happy."
"So what do we do?"
"We carry on, Alvin. We have to do this for them."
As Scully scrubbed down William's high chair after lunch, the child played
contentedly with building blocks on the kitchen floor. "Well, are you making
Mummy a big tower? I bet you are!" He was a delightfully imaginative child
and could sometimes play on his own until his parents were through with
their immediate chores. His tower toppled and he just laughed, proceeding
to make some sort of fence or enclosure.
"Mahmee... la la la..."
"Yes, it is a lot of work building things! You are a hard worker!"
Scully put the cloth in the sink and sat to finish her coffee. Mulder had been
preparing notes for his next inclusion of students, and came into the kitchen
for a coffee.
"Well, I see William is keeping you and baby company." He filled a mug and
sat at the kitchen table, engrossed in the glow on Scully's face. "I've never
seen you looking so fulfilled since the day you visited me in the hospital
when you were carrying William."
"I feel quite happy, Mulder. And guess what? This little marvel kicked, well
it really was a flutter, but I felt the first movement about five minutes ago!"
Mulder put his hand to her abdomen gently, waiting to feel a 'flutter'. "Hmm,
asleep, I guess."
"You wait. They'll get more frequent over time, and before you know it, you'll
be saying ouch in the night and blaming me. Besides..."
The phone rang and Mulder was up in a shot. "I told him no," he repeated.
"Hello?" There was no name or number displayed, so he took a chance on
the caller being Scully's mother, or the College.
"Don't hang up on me," Kersh's voice pleaded. "I think Walter told you he
needs a favor. We need a favor."
"I am retired from the Bureau and very happy to be so. There are students
ready to become profilers, and there is a baby waiting to be born with me
present this time, so if you'll..."
"Hang on... I want to ask if you'll do this one thing for us."
"Well I have politely said no, and I do mean that."
Scully picked up the extension on the desk in the livingroom.
"Look, Mulder, This is a favor not only to us, but to the plan."
Scully broke in. "Now, wait a minute, Sir. My husband told you he was
distancing himself from the Bureau forever and he meant it. There is nothing
you can say to either of us to persuade us to..."
That got to Mulder. "What about him? He had better be safe or..."
"Calm down, he's safe," Kersh said with great composure. "He's contacted
Scully's mouth dropped and Mulder's curiosity got the better of him. "About
"Can you be here tomorrow at 3:00, at the Happy Burger on Fifth?"
"Call me back in ten minutes. This affects the three of us in this house, and I
always consult with Scully." Mulder hung up abruptly, and Scully followed.
"I can't think of anything off-hand they'd need us for," said Scully.
"Maybe they ran into a glitch; maybe it's great news and I left something out.
Maybe something they should know about. We were pretty thorough,
"I thought so. Whether you decide to meet with Kersh or not, I'm with you all
the way. You know that."
"Just tomorrow afternoon, and that's it. I think you and William should stay
here. No sense changing his normal routine for my meeting. My very brief