Title: Life's Little Quirks, part 5
Pairings: M/Sk, M/K (and a tiny bit of D/Sc)
Summary: Mulder gets more than he bargained for when the truth is revealed about his pregnancy.
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, they own me. Otherwise I might have a life of my own. Not that I'm complaining...
Warnings: M/M slash, mpreg, angst, h/c, relationships, love triangles and scheming aliens. All the really great stuff. : )
Author's Notes: Plenty of action and revelations in this one, folks. : ) Also, // means telepathy just in case that wasn't obvious. This story shifts in points of view - a break in the story usually marks a shift in pov - I hope this isn't too difficult to follow.
Once again - I want to remind you that I am altering events past season 8 - making up my own mytharc as I go from there. No supersoldiers, Knowle, or any of that silly season 9 junk. I find the Smiths, hybrids, and the bounty hunter far more interesting, personally. I've manipulated the myth to my own ends. Enjoy.
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Mulder shoved the last of his and Walter's clothes into their bags, wanting to get out of the cabin as soon as possible, but as he zipped his bag up he felt a sudden wave of dizziness and had to sit down on the edge of the bed.
He briefly considered calling out to Walter, but decided he just needed a few moments alone. The tension and animosity between the two men in the other room was wearisome. But he couldn't help but think of the events that were quickly changing his life in a matter of hours.
Alex Krycek had decided to pop back into his life again. It really should be no great surprise to him since the man always seemed to turn up like a bad penny in his life, but this time had been different - he'd saved him from the Bounty Hunter and seemed genuinely concerned about him. The thoughts and emotions he'd sensed from the man upon waking up (other than hostility to Skinner) had been solely concerned with Mulder's health and well-being.
Mulder had been taken aback at sensing such a depth of emotion - he'd pushed deeper into Alex's mind, hoping to finally get the truth from the man, and found that those feelings extended into the past and how much Alex regretted how his actions had betrayed Mulder's trust. But the flow of thoughts and emotions had stopped suddenly as soon as Mulder had revealed that his regained abilities. Alex was somehow shielding everything from him. Mulder wondered at the possibility of blocking...could it work in reverse? He might need that skill if the thoughts of others became a problem for him again - he'd do anything to avoid the pain and illness he'd suffered the first time he'd experienced this ability. The idea of ending up in a padded room again was enough to make him shudder.
Curious, Mulder decided to check on Alex's ability and tried once more to sense the young man in the next room...he was still blocked. In contrast, Walter's emotions were broadcasting loudly, Mulder flinched as the waves of anger, resentment, guilt and fear hit him. Mulder stood, ignoring the renewed wave of dizziness and headed back towards the kitchen. The first two emotions didn't shock him much, after all - Alex was out there, but the last two...
"...going to protect him?!" Alex yelled.
As Mulder reached the doorway, he saw Walter stalk forward, grabbing Krycek's jacket and shove him against the wall. "I will," he growled.
// Stop it! //
Walter's grip loosened slightly as he turned to look at him and Alex suddenly shoved the older man backwards, freeing himself.
Mulder stepped forward, but suddenly lurched and collapsed to his knees. The room was spinning. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to keep his stomach from churning along with his head. Hands touched his shoulders and face and voices murmured incomprehensible syllables, but he was unable to respond he was so focused on his inner turmoil.
After a while, he had no idea just how long, but it seemed like hours, he became aware of the commotion he'd caused around him. Walter was picking him up off the floor and Alex was barking out questions and orders that made no sense to Mulder. But it was the emotional chaos of the two that made the biggest impact on him. The broadcast of emotions and thoughts were so loud they worsened his burgeoning headache.
Concern, fear, love, impatience, want, urgency, worry...the emotions were mixed and varied from one moment to the next. As Mulder focused on trying to sort out the emotions and chatter of thoughts, he realized that he was receiving from 'both' men. Whatever barrier or shields Alex had put up before were gone and he was broadcasting as loudly as Walter.
Mulder lifted his head and looked at Alex. The younger man's face was open for the first time since Mulder had known him. A vulnerable mix of love, concern and worry - at that moment Mulder felt his own heart pound with the dawning realization that he felt the same love for Alex...
"Fox? Are you all right? Should we call a doctor?" Walter asked uncertainly.
Mulder looked over at his lover, wondering if Walter had noticed his reaction to Alex. It was tough to tell - his lover looked concerned but there was also something else - something harsh in his tone. Mulder blinked and focused on the question.
"Yes, I'm fine. I don't think doctors or hospitals are going to be in my near future, anyway. It's too risky. Besides, I just got a little dizzy, I'm tired and I moved too fast. I feel a bit better already."
Walter had felt his heart jump into his throat when Mulder had collapsed in front of them moments ago. He should have realized that Mulder was worn out and feeling sick, but instead of taking care of him, he'd been wasting time fighting with Krycek. Not wanting to make the same mistake again, he watched Mulder closely for further signs of illness, but his lover did seem a little better. The color was back in his cheeks and his eyes were focused.
"Are you sure?" Walter frowned down at his lover in concern, but Mulder simply nodded.
"I'm sure," Fox answered a bit impatiently. Walter decided that Scully would be better able to determine Mulder's health than he could.
"Then I guess we should get going. Scully's expecting us..."
Fox looked over at Krycek at that point and Walter slowly turned to look at the other man as well.
Where he and Mulder were going, back to his apartment which he now shared with Mulder - back to their life together, Krycek had no part in and Walter could see the realization come across his face like a physical blow. The younger man nodded curtly in acknowledgement and headed towards the door.
Mulder stood suddenly and Walter felt his heart begin to pound. As Fox stepped forward and Krycek froze, turning back to him. He wondered if they were communicating telepathically, but in the next moment Mulder spoke.
"Alex...thank you. You were there for me today." Krycek nodded, his face a stone mask as he continued to stare at Mulder.
Walter cleared his throat. "Yes, I want to thank you, too..."
Krycek's eyes darted in his direction and he gave one last jerk of his head in acknowledgement before he headed back towards the door.
"Alex, wait!" Mulder reached out and grabbed the sleeve of his jacket - stopping the other man in his tracks.
"What?" The tone was choked, but still abrasive. Skinner felt shocked at the level of hurt he could hear in the man's voice - was he really that human...that vulnerable?
Mulder tugged him back in, holding both shoulders now. "You'll always have a place in my heart, Alex...I do love you," and kissed him briefly on the lips.
Walter was jealous, of course he was, his lover had just kissed his archrival in his attentions and said he loved him.
He was jealous, and yet - even now, Mulder was letting go of Krycek's jacket and backing up a step. Krycek's eyes flashed on his own once more before whirling away from both of them and slamming the door behind him. Walter looked from the door to Mulder, who had wrapped his arms around himself, his knuckles white as he gripped his biceps. Reaching out, he pulled Mulder close to him and wrapped his own arms around the now trembling man. Mulder resisted at first, but then buried his face in Walter's neck.
Why did love have to be so damned complicated?
Scully tapped her fingers on the dashboard of her car as she stared at the entrance of Skinner's apartment. She sipped her Starbucks coffee and wondered for the hundredth time just 'how' long she was going to have to wait. Skinner's two hours had expired over an hour ago and she was getting restless - not to mention the fact that she 'really' needed to use the bathroom by now. She put her coffee back into the cup holder and returned to her rhythmic tapping.
A pedestrian passed her car as he walked down the sidewalk and she briefly glanced at him out of boredom. She only got a glimpse of his face and then the back of his head as he walked away from her - did he look familiar? She glanced back to take another look, but he was gone. She looked around but couldn't see him in any of the cars near her or on the stoops of any of the buildings near her. Mentally shrugging, she turned her gaze back to the apartment across the street.
'Come on, come on...' she chanted in her head.
Finally, another twenty minutes later, she recognized Skinner's car pull into the apartment's parking lot. Pulling her own car into the lot behind him, she pulled into the first visitor's spot she saw and walked over to the car.
Skinner emerged from the driver's seat and she opened her mouth to call out to him, but froze as the passenger door opened to reveal another occupant.
"Mulder!" she exclaimed.
"Hi, Scully...heard you were looking for me."
Irritation and relief warred for dominance as she reached Mulder's side. "Where in the hell have you been?"
He shrugged and smiled lopsidedly. "Walter wanted to show me his cabin and my cell phone hasn't been working, apparently."
Walter? Scully stole a glance at the A.D. to see his reaction, but he had a pleasant face on as he removed luggage from the trunk. Raising an eyebrow, she stepped back and observed the situation with a discerning eye. Something was going on - both men wore casual attire, there were bags for both of them and as Skinner closed the trunk and walked around the side...he stood awfully close to Mulder. Almost as if...
"Scully? I think we've got a lot to talk about," Mulder said just as Skinner put an arm around his shoulders.
'Oh my god...'
Walter hung up the phone and listened absently to the muted conversation in the next room. He'd ordered pizza and salad for the three of them while Scully examined Mulder in the living room. He hadn't wanted to leave, but Mulder had informed him that he was starving and wanted a Hawaiian pizza with extra cheese and pineapple - right that minute. Skinner knew it was mostly a plea for privacy, but he couldn't help but wonder what exactly Scully was doing in the next room.
She had taken the news of their relationship fairly well, that is to say that she hadn't fainted or run screaming from the building yet. Walter could tell that she wasn't thrilled - perhaps it was her Catholic upbringing...or maybe it was because she wanted Mulder for herself. But as she'd stared at Mulder's hangdog expression, she'd slowly nodded and congratulated the two of them.
As if that hadn't been enough to absorb, they had then shared the news of the encounter with the Bounty Hunter, Alex Krycek's return and rescue, and finally - Mulder's revelation. Scully's immediate response was her classic eyebrow raise followed shortly by a demand for evidence to support his wild claim. Mulder had listed all of his symptoms as well as his theory for it being the reason for the attempted abduction.
And now...she was examining him. As much as Scully might doubt Mulder's pregnancy, she 'had' looked concerned at his list of symptoms - chronic nausea, dizziness and headaches. They hadn't even told her of his renewed telepathic abilities yet...Mulder was likely saving it for after dessert.
There was a soft cough from the doorway.
"Uh, sir? You can come back in now." Scully stood at the door looking a bit discomfited.
He followed Scully back into the living room where Mulder had a sardonic grin on his face as he pulled his shirt back down. He winked at Walter and then patted the seat next to him on the couch.
"I think Dr. Scully's about ready to eat her words about now," he joked.
Skinner sat down and couldn't help an inward smile at the exasperated look on Scully's face.
"Mulder - all I said was that what I found in your exam...I'll admit, I can't readily explain. You need to see another doctor, have some tests run-"
"No. No hospitals. No other doctors...what do 'you' think."
Scully sighed and sat down on the chair opposite of them. "What I found...I...if you were a woman...I'd say you were likely pregnant, but, Mulder, this doesn't make any sense! How? You say the Bounty Hunter is somehow involved in this - why? Why would they do this?"
Mulder shook his head. "I don't know...maybe it has something to do with my abduction...maybe this has even happened before - I need to look into all recent abduction reports. All I do know is that I only started noticing this a couple months after the abduction."
Scully glanced at Skinner and then back at Mulder. "Was this after...?"
Mulder smirked, "No, before. Everyone's pretty quick to blame Walter."
"Who's everyone?" she asked.
"Just Alex." Mulder looked uncomfortable at having mentioned him again. Scully noticed this and there was another glance in his direction.
"Mulder...why is it you think you can trust Krycek? He's betrayed us over and over again, just because he 'seemed' to help you this time - "
Mulder leaned forward in his seat. "Well...there's something else I haven't told you..."
Mulder kicked off his shoes with a tired groan. He was exhausted; the day had been one of the longest ones he could remember and certainly one of the most taxing. He could hear Walter showering in the bathroom, the rhythmic patter of the water was lulling him to sleep sitting up. He took off his T-shirt and lay down on the bed.
Scully had finally left after talking and experimenting with his telepathic abilities for a couple of hours. She now believed him on that note - it was kind of hard to ignore his voice in her head - but she was still skeptical of the pregnancy and was planning on running several tests on him as soon as she could arrange them privately.
Mulder wasn't looking forward to that part, a flash of memory concerning a bright light and the sound of a drill made shake his head viciously. 'No...it's not going to be like that at all...'
The shower stopped and Mulder turned in the bed so he would face the door when it opened. Skinner's silhouette made him smile and forget his momentary anxiety.
"I thought you'd be asleep already," the other man said with a touch of amusement.
Mulder pulled back the covers invitingly and chuckled as the other man hopped into bed. "I was waiting for you..." and leaned over and kissed him, moaning appreciatively at the hand trailing gently along his side. He sighed as the kiss ended and rested his head on the hairy chest and asleep as a hand softly stroked his hair. Safe.
Mulder had the misfortune of waking with morning sickness once more that morning, but Skinner had been most considerate and had even brought him saltines. He'd followed that with some toast and decaffeinated coffee - apparently things were going to get rather healthy around the apartment if Walter had any say in it.
But now he was safe and sound in his office and his A.D. lover was upstairs and quite busy with own work...
"No caffeine, Mulder."
Mulder jumped at the voice and glanced wildly over his shoulder.
"If you 'are' pregnant...and I'm not saying you are...then you shouldn't be drinking regular coffee." She stared pointedly at his cup, which he'd been just about to fill.
"Party pooper," he said and thrust the pot back into the machine. Filling his cup with water instead, he sat down at his desk with a sigh. "So what're you doing down here? And where's my partner?" he asked with an afterthought - no sign of Doggett and the man tended to be painfully punctual.
Scully frowned and sat down opposite of his desk. "I don't know, actually. I left him a message that I'd contacted you and told him to call A.D. Skinner if he needed to talk to you."
Mulder wondered just what else she'd left in the message, but then turned his thoughts back to the man in question. "He didn't answer his cell phone? Did you try his apartment?" he asked as he picked up his own phone. Both numbers went to answering services and he hung up in frustration.
"Looks like we've got another missing person..."
Doggett shifted in the chair uncomfortably and stared at the man - or whatever he was - before him. "So, are you the same Smith that disappeared from our custody?"
The man seated across from him smiled politely. "No, I am another - he died bravely. He did not betray the resistance."
John sighed, "So, why am I being kept here? I told you - Mulder's missing. I'm trying to find him, myself, I can't help you."
"He will come soon enough. I do regret detaining you, but he is under rather close surveillance by multiple sources. I am hoping it will be easier for him to come to me. I have much to tell him."
"Mulder, I really think I should drive. What if you have another dizzy spell?"
Mulder gave her a sardonic glance as he drove down the highway. "Scully, are you trying to tell me a pregnant person is crippled in some way? Doesn't sound like the feminist I know and love. I'm fine. Besides, I told you - the seat adjustment bar doesn't work in this car. It is stuck permanently in just the right position for my legs."
"A likely story..." she muttered, but turned back to look at the passing scenery. They were headed towards the last known heading of Doggett by the local PD. He had been heading to talk to one last witness before his planned return to D.C. Apparently, he'd never made it, but Mulder was following his own hunch as usual.
Several moments of sullen silence passed before Scully finally deigned to talk again. "So...did you tell 'Walter' where you were going?" She smirked at his irritated scowl.
"No, I report to Kersh, who happens to think it's a worthy cause to look for my own missing partner. I didn't bother to mention that you were coming - he might have had second thoughts."
"I see. And the fact that we're heading back to the area of abductions - an area you should probably avoid considering your own recent predicament - you don't think this would concern your...lover?" she nearly choked on the last word, but managed to level him with a pointed look.
"I'm a big boy, Scully. Besides," Mulder slipped his plam out of his coat pocket and handed it to her, "I came prepared."
They pulled onto a gravel driveway of a rundown secluded house. The windows were grimy and the paint was crumbling off, but otherwise it appeared whole and livable. Mulder surveyed the surrounding property before heading up to the front door, Scully at his back.
The door creaked open at his knock and Mulder was surprised to see John's tired face peaking back at him.
"So...he was right. Where have you 'been'?"
Mulder opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by the face that appeared next to his partner. Smith. His fingers itched to reach for his plam, but merely waited for the morph to speak.
"I am sorry for the deception, Mr. Mulder, but I must speak with you, won't you please come in?" Smith moved carefully back, inviting them in and showing them his weaponless hands.
Scully moved first, her eyes watching both the morph and Mulder carefully as she spoke to Doggett. "Are you all right, John?"
"Fine, just tired. What about Mulder? Where was he?"
Smith closed the door after them. "Perhaps you two could discuss that in the next room, I wish to speak with Mulder in private."
Mulder nodded to the other two and they reluctantly moved towards the back of the house. Smith gestured towards two chairs on the other side of the room and Mulder shook his head impatiently.
"What is it you have to say?"
Smith remained standing as well, his face impassive. "I understand you had an unfortunate encounter with the bounty hunter recently. And that you might have some clue as to why."
Mulder narrowed his eyes, his hand brushing against his stomach. "Some clue - I suppose I do. What do 'you' know about it?"
The morph sat down on the chair with a sad smile. "That is a long story..."
Mulder sat down with a growing feeling of both dread and raging curiosity. Finally, he might get some answers, but he suspected he wouldn't like some of them.
"You know by now of the collusion between the Syndicate and the Colonists in return for the safety of their families and a select few through the process of hybridization. The Colonists deluded these men into thinking that this was the only way their race could survive the colonization force."
Mulder leaned forward in his chair, "And it isn't?"
Smith shook his head, "Haven't you ever wondered the reason why the colonists would bother with the Syndicate? Why such a powerful and technologically advanced race such as they would need human help in their endeavors? And yet - they have been on this planet for a long time - their plans for colonization have been delayed and altered numerous times. They continue to need to study and experiment on humanity - why? The real reason behind their experiments and the delay in colonization lies in humanity's own ability to successfully resist colonization - the key is in their own dna."
"What do you mean?"
"Of all the planets the Colonists have seeded and exploited to their own ends, only Earth has ever shown a natural resistance."
"What of the rebel aliens? The ones with whom you claim to fight with against the Colonists?"
"They are resisting, that is true, but their resistance comes in the form of technology and strategy. They fight back consciously. Humanity has a natural resistance. In your own work, you came across several instances of seemingly unnatural abilities and transformations by otherwise ordinary human beings. These people are considered freaks, their existence hidden from the rest of 'normal' humanity..."
"Like Gibson Praise," Mulder whispered.
"One of several, but yes - he's an excellent example. He possesses abilities that go far beyond the current level of human evolution, but he is far from alone. Humanity has great potential and the Colonists fear this. If humanity were to discover this - if these 'mutations' were to become more prevalent..."
"And these 'mutations' - they can somehow stop the Colonists? How?"
Smith shook his head, "Not on their own, no, but together - if these mutations were encouraged, utilized efficiently...perhaps. The greatest hurdle for the Colonists has been that they do not understand the mutations or how to irradiate them from what they consider their 'cattle' - they cannot risk using them without first removing the threat and those that are naturally resistant to the oil. The vaccine alone isn't as much of a threat."
Mulder sighed and rubbed his head. "And how does any of this lead to my current situation?"
"There are those that have the most advanced mutations - those that have already proven resistant to the virus, if they were to propagate and increase the numbers..." Smith smiled at Mulder's exhalation, "Yes, you are one of them. You have proven it time and time again. As a child - you were the chosen child for hybridization. You were tested many times and showed naturally evolved traits that fascinated the scientists assigned to the experiment. Only you didn't respond as hoped in the manipulations as an alien hybrid test subject. Samantha Mulder took your place - she was moderately useful."
Mulder choked down on his rage at the dispassionate denouncement of his sister. He thought back to all of the holes and conflicting memories of his childhood - it was possible... He looked down at his belly, resting one hand there; he was beginning to feel the odd flutter there again.
Smith continued, "We first intercepted to aid your attempt with Miss Scully to produce a child. The first attempt by regular means failed, you were unlikely to have a successful birth using current human technology. We improved the process and it seemed successful at first - we were very hopeful at first...but she failed to deliver a healthy child. You, on the other hand, are stronger and healthier - you will succeed where she failed."
Mulder pushed himself up from the chair and leaned forward threateningly at the morph who simply stared back placidly. "I'm not a broodmare - or some Virgin Mary for the second coming! Whose child am I carrying?!" Mulder's voice was panicked.
"Yours. And those who were chosen to protect you. You know them."
"Them? More than one? Who?!"
"We have taken steps to further improve the chances of a successful birth."
"The chosen barer is stronger...more mentally in tune with the child and its needs..."
Mulder grit his teeth at the implication that Scully had been weak and unsuited. He slit his eyes,but stepped back from the chair and gestured for the alien to continue.
"...And the chances have been doubled in this particular endeavor."
"You carry two viable fetuses within you. The chances are doubled for a successful birth."
Mulder's mouth went dry. "Twins?" he choked out. His hand automatically went to his belly as if to confirm it.
"Fraternal. They both contain your genetic code, but with different fathers. Again, this increases the chances of a successful product. If one does not successfully integrate the desired traits and strength, the other should."
To Be Continued...
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