Summary: Scully meets Skinner's teenage son while
going for printer paper at the Hoover.
Archive: Gossamer. Anyone, please ask politley.
Disclaimer: Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions
and Fox Studios own all original characters, and
these are my grown up toys. I don't know if
A.D. Skinner and Sharon had any children. They
were filing for divorce. I guess Walter was putting
Daniel through school. At least he had a summer job.
Author's Note: Based on a Challenge generator idea
from The Nursery Files, owned and operated by NeoX.
Skinner has a teenage son. Who knew?
July 23, 1994
"Mulder. We need more printer paper."
"Yes. Please go get it. Before I forget, I need to
wrap up the Rafferty case, and I can't leave anything
Scully frowned. The case had been long, and she was
tired after five days in Austin. "Aren't you glad it's
Mulder rubbed his eyes. "Uh huh. Brandon Rafferty
finally behind bars. I'll put the coffee on. Drug,
dealing, murder. Life in prison. Interstate. We
Need a break."
As she left the office she smiled and thanked her
As the elevator reached the seventh floor and she
proceeded to the Supply room, she saw a familiar
young man walking down the hall with three large
"Pardon me, but I think I know your face", the
"Well, my Dad showed me some pictures of some
of the people he supervises."
"Our supervisor is A.D. Skinner. My name is
"Nice to meet you. My name is Daniel."
"Daniel Skinner. I am so sorry about your
"No problem. I miss her. I have to deliver these
things to Accounting."
"Well, it was nice meeting you, Daniel. What are
you doing working here?"
"Putting my self through school. Teacher's
College. I'm running late. Gotta go."
"Okay. I'm sure we'll meet again."
Twently minutes later, she returned to the office
with the paper and loaded the printer.
Mulder removed a disk from the computer and poured
his partner coffee. "What kept you."
"Did you know Skinner and his wife had a son?"
"No. He never says much about his private life."
"I just met a summer student upstairs named
Daniel Skinner. Thanks for the coffee."
"Will wonders never cease."
"I remember seeing some pictures in the office,
come to think of it. Skinner's parents, and a
young boy." Mulder sipped his coffee. "I hope
he knows male pattern baldness tends to run
"Mulder! That's not necessarily true."
"Okay, I'd like to meet him. Now, let's just get
this finished. We're both tired and have things to
do like taking suits to the dry cleaners and then
our homes. By the way, what is he studying?"
Then there was a knock at the door.
"Come in. It's unlocked."
It was Daniel.
"Are you busy"
"We were," Scully replied. "Mulder, meet Daniel
Mulder stood and shook the young man's hand.
"How can we help you?"
"It's... my Dad. He's having so many nightmares
about the war and seeing a ghostly woman. I don't
think her ever got over my Mom. I know I am still
"He could see the Employee Social Worker. She knows
what she's doing," Mulder replied.
"From what I heard, you're a psychologist. Can you
"I am a profiler right now. I don't deal with
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."
"Your partner here is a doctor. Maybe she can help."
"No." Scully told Daniel. "My job is autopsies."
"I know, Dr. Scully. Your partner deals with the
paranormal from what I understand."
Mulder told the youngster sternly, "We are over-
loaded with cases right now, but I suppose I can
talk to him."
"That would be great, because since he works here,
he doesn't have much time for friends and does not
want to hang around with his old war buddies. I
have another delivery to make. Just try."
Mulder a took file and thought it over. "I will.
You have your mother's hair."
"Thanks. She was beautiful. See you."
9:30 A.M. NEXT DAY
Mulder pushed the elevator button and dreaded
going to his boss to find out what was happening
with him. Nightmares are bad enough. Reminders
When he entered the office, he saw a very tired
Walter Skinner. "Sir?"
"What is it, Agent Mulder?" He was on his second
coffee. "Another lead? I haven't sent you any new
"Well, I met a young man yesterday. Daniel Skinner."
"My son. He is working here for the summer to help
pay tuition. I am proud of him."
"He's worried about you."
"How did you find that out?"
"Scully met him on her way to supplies, and he
came to our office."
"I see. Don't worry about me, Mulder. I can deal
"Walter, despite the fact that I may be a
troublemaker sometimes, we are friends. You can
tell me anything you need to, and I do keep
Skinner took a deep breath, and thought things
"Well?" Mulder waited patiently for some
"Don't tell me that. You do not look okay. Meet
me tonight at Louie's and we'll have a couple
of beers? Around six."
"All right. By the way, I have a new assignment
for you and Scully. No rush." He handed Mulder
a thin folder.
"Thank you. Remember, Louie's at six."
''Yes. Please just go read the file. Mainstream."
As Mulder left the office, he wondered whether he
should call an old colleague who could be more
Skinner was already sitting at a table reading
an evening newspaper.
"Sorry I'm late, Sir. I had to break up a fight
between two teenagers in my building."
Mulder ordered two beers. "So, we never usually
do this. Daniel told us you're having nightmares
about that apparition."
"Yes." The man took a long sip of the beer. "I
told him not to worry about it." His tone was
"With all due respect, he loves you, and I doubt
either of you are over Sharon."
"We're trying." Still no sign of emotion.
"Have you eaten?"
"No. I wasn't in the mood to cook."
"Neither have I." Mulder signalled the waiter.
"I'll have a steak with onions and potatoes.
"A caesar salad, I suppose."
As the waiter left to process the order, Mulder
tried to think of a way to broach the subject
further. "Sir, you know it isn't doing you any
good to hold things in. And you don't seem to
be eating well, either."
"My background is Psychology, and I have a right
to worry about a friend."
"She just keeps coming back every night."
"No. That old woman."
"I see." A couple of sips of beer. "She keeps
reappearing to you in real life or in your
"Both. I really don't want to take it any
The meals came.
"You're only doing yourself harm. I think you
"I can deal with it." Another long sip of beer.
"Eat. I'm hungry. The murder case was rough."
"That reminds me," Skinner told hims as he picked
at the salad, "I'd like it on my desk tomorrow."
"Deal. Please, Walter, eat. That's not Play Dough."
"I'm only trying."
They decided to watch a baseball game and few words
were exchanged. They left the bar at 10:30 in
"Scully. You're late, Mulder."
"How did you know it was me?"
"You usually call around 10:20. Any luck with
"No. I have an old friend from Oxford who might
be able to help him."
"Try anything Mulder. We both consider him as a
friends, and his son is still to young to have
to see his father like this."
"I agree. Look, I'm calling from my call just
outside the bar. See you tomorrow." Click.
NEXT DAY 7:30 a.m.
Daniel Skinner was waiting at the door when the
agents arrived. "Any luck with my father?"
"No," Mulder replied. "I know someone who may be
able to help."
"Thanks for befriending my father."
Scully hugged the young man. "Take care of
yourself, Daniel. Your Dad is our friend."
"I'll try. I know, I have to get to work and
so do you."
"So who are you going to find to deal with
this, Mulder?" Scully, always the sceptic.
"When I was at Oxford, I met someone who
spoke fluent Sanskrit. He told me some things
about mythical things like African spirits,
healing entities, and I believe one thing
I remember about Sharon's death could apply
here. Remember Skinner said he had seen a woman
in red and thought it was his wife? It was an
"A spiritual entity that watches over a human
in trouble. I am not kidding, Scully."
"And I truly believe in leprechauns, Mulder.
There's one right beside you."
"I am serious. It may be crazy to you, but I
still have an email address for him."
"A voodoo master?" Now she was laughing.
No, an English student, and he is an expert
in African categories as well. Edward Milton.
I mailed him last week."
"Well, go ahead and make a fool of yourself
while I read our new assignment. This is real."
"I'll read it later. I have to contact
Edward." He starting typing; she started
Mulder was about to read the new assignment.
"So, did you contact your friend?"
"He's flying over tomorrow and wants to see
what is going on with Skinner. Almost lunch.
"Fine. Where are we going? I packed my
yogourt with bee pollen."
"Well, bring it with you. I want a big
cheeseburger. Let's go."
To their surprise, Daniel Skinner was there
with a girl. Gee, small world. "Agents Mulder
and Scully, meet my girlfriend, Maureen."
Skinner's son dating a gorgeous brunette.
"Hi. Nice to meet you. So you work for Daniel's
"Yes," Mulder replied.
"Did you find a way to help my Dad? Don't worry.
I told Maureen. Join us."
Scully told them the story and was surprised the
young woman believed it.
"So, how are you going to do it?"
"You don't need to know," Scully warned him.
"I need to know, dammit!" The kid was seething.
"I want to see for myself. I am the only family
he has left."
Mulder tried to calm Daniel down. "Let's just
"All right. But I need to see this. God knows I
"Can I watch, too?" Apparently curiosity was her
"We'll see. I've contacted an old friend, and he will
be here tomorrow. Look, it might scare you."
"Nothing scares me. Let's eat. I have a day off and
I want to be there for Dad."
Scully had to agree. "Are you sure? It might scare
"Nothing has scared me since I joined a fandom of
a science fiction show. Nothing."
*Oh brother*, Mulder thought. *Probably writes
fan fiction, too.*
NEXT DAY 11:15 a.m.
Mulder meet his old brown-skinned friend at the
airport. "Long time no see."
"Ten years. Just take me to a hotel and we can get
down to business. I need to shower and eat. Then
we can see your boss."
"Gotta warn you. His son and his girlfriend want
to see for themselves."
"Fox, I do not mind. I can deal with them."
"Well, after I give you a tour of the Hoover
Building, we can go to his office at around 2:00
this afternoon our time."
"Already set my watch."
"Let's go to the motel. Is he ready?"
"Yes. Please, be easy on him. He feels haunted,
and is lacking a lot of sleep."
"Don't worry. I know what I'm doing."
Scully stayed in the office reading the file over.
*I don'T believe what he's doing.* Mulder could
not convince her of anything lately, even after
everything that had been seen and done in just
over a year into their partnership. Still, she
had a soft spot for the guy.
Skinner and son were in the office talking over
coffee as Maureen read a woman's magazine.
Mulder and Milton knocked on the door.
The men entered the office. "Sir, I'd like you
to meet my friend, Edward Milton."
"Nice to meet you. Do you need help?"
Skinner seemed on edge.
"Well, no. But I may able to help you."
"Daniel, please take Maureen to the park or
wherever you want. It's your day off."
"Dad, we're staying."
"Dad. We are. We all want to help you."
Milton stepped in. "It's alright. I see
something here. A woman."
Maureen saw her as well. "Yes. Beside
Milton said something to the spectre in
Skinner was shocked. "What was that all
"She's gone," Maureen said.
"It seems so," Skinner said.
Milton explained his words. "I told her,
she's an Avatar who was trying to protect
you, that she is not needed. She understood
"Well, I never thought that would happen. I
guess I should thank you." A wave of relief
swept over Skinner.
"You are quite welcome."
Mulder, Daniel and Maureen thanked him as
What are family and friends for? Love and
help, even if you don't want it.