Time of Your Life Ch2-Not Alone

by Emerald Starburst


Six Weeks Later

Mike crouched over the toilet and tried to will his stomach to stop heaving. It didn't listen. He continued to retch miserably for several minutes before he could safely walk away. He splashed water on his face and tried to rinse the taste of bile from his mouth.

"Hey, Mike," Frankie yelled from the other side of the door. "Are you okay? You didn't fall in, did you?"

"Funny, Silvera." He opened the door and his partner nearly fell in. "Didn't your mother ever tell you never to hang around the men's room?"

"I never listen to my mother. My grandmother, on the other hand, was a great old broad." She presented Mike with a metal thermos.

"What's this?"

"My grandmother's cure for a queasy stomach. Ginger tea. Her own recipe."

"Give it a rest, Frankie. It's just that bug that's going around."

"That lasts for two or three days. You've been upchucking for the better part of a week. Try it. It helped me when I had morning sickness." At Mike's look, she shrugged. "Hey, nausea is nausea. Give it a shot."

"If it'll get you off my back," he grumbled. He poured a half cup into the lid, blew on the hot liquid, and sipped.

"Well?"

"It's not bad," he admitted. "And my stomach is settling a little."

"Told you. Ready to go?"
"Sure. We have lawnmower thieves to catch."


Twelve Weeks

"I don't believe it! I don't fucking believe it! We bust our asses to nail that bunch of lawnmower thieves, and now that it turns out they're dealing crack on the side, Narcotics takes it away from us! This sucks!" He kicked the trash can by his desk so hard it bounced off the far wall. Fortunately, no one was in the way.

Frankie marched over to her partner, grabbed him by the arm, and said, "Break room. Now."

Mike's temper flared for an instant. Then he saw the concern in his partner's face and it died. "Fine."

The break room was empty at that time. Frankie shut the door and confronted her partner. "Well?"

"Well, what? Okay, I was pissed, I lost my temper. It's not a secret I've got a short fuse."

"Not like this, Mike. You've been acting weird for weeks now."

"Oh, come on!"

"Mike, last week you nearly took off Pirretti's head for taking the last jelly donut. Two days ago, I had to stop you from shoving that perp's face through a wall because he spit on your shoes."

"Yeah, that's really uncharacteristic."

"Mike, you've got a temper, but you're not stupid. Except for that time you punched out that city councilman, you know where the line is. You like to dance on the edge, but most of the time you don't cross it. Lately, you've been crossing. And then there's what happened yesterday."

"What? What happened yesterday?"

"I saw you take off. I followed you to the car. Mike, you were sitting in the car, crying, for no reason."

"I don't want to talk about this." Mike made a move to leave, but Frankie grabbed his arm.

"I'm not finished! First, I thought you were getting burned out, then it hits me. You look like crap, and you're losing weight. You're still throwing up, aren't you?"

"No, I am not still throwing up." Though if they stayed in the break room much longer, he probably would. The smell of cigarettes and coffee had been making him nauseous recently, and the break room reeked of both.

"Then why did you ask me for my grandmother's recipe for ginger tea? Don't think I haven't noticed that humongous thermos you keep in your car. You're chugalugging that stuff by the gallon, aren't you?"

"I decided to cut out the coffee for awhile. That's not a crime. I'd know, I'm a cop. Can we go back to the job now?"

"Mike, as a friend, I'm asking you. See a doctor. Maybe it's something that can be fixed."

//And what if it can't?// crossed his mind. Mike kept his expression blank, but a cold chill filled his stomach, threatening to set off the nausea Frankie's tea had been keeping at bay.

"Look, Frankie," he said aloud, "I admit, I haven't been feeling great lately, but it's no big deal. I'll stay in my next off day and spend it sleeping in and getting rested up. If it doesn't help, I'll see a doctor. Okay?"

"Okay," she agreed reluctantly. "But if you don't feel better soon...?"

"I'll see that doctor. Let's go back to work."

That night, Mike pulled Mulder's letter out of his bedside stand. He ran his fingers over the worn paper, staring at the words as if the message would change. He reached for the phone. Picked it up. Hung it up without dialing. He turned out the light and went to bed, hugging his pillow and thinking about Fox Mulder's hands.


Eighteen Weeks

Mike didn't know how he dragged himself out of bed that morning. The nausea had finally stopped plaguing him, but his appetite had decided to take a vacation.

Before work, he made himself eat half a plain bagel and had a glass of milk to wash it down. He had a headache from caffeine withdrawal because he still couldn't stand the smell of coffee, he felt weak as a kitten, and Silvera was furious with him.

"Dammit, Mike, you look worse than ever. You need to see a doctor."

"I don't need to see a fucking doctor. Get off my case, Frankie." His fear put an edge of warning in his tone, but Frankie wasn't having any. She was about to lay into him again, when the lieutenant addressed them.

"I called you two into my office. Am I keeping you from your kaffeeklatsch?"

"Coming," said Mike. He stood up, and a wave of heat and dizziness engulfed him.

"I...I..." Mike tried to say something, but he couldn't get the words out. Then the floor leaped up and hit him and the world faded to black. Mike was in a world of warmth and soft darkness. It felt good. He heard voices, but they seemed to come from a long way off, and he ignored them. Suddenly, his nasal passages were on fire.

"Christ!" he swore, shot straight up and nearly banged heads with a man leaning over him. The man, wearing a paramedic's uniform, calmly disposed of the ammonia ampul.

"He's awake," he announced to the room filled with gawking detectives.

"Oh, really, do you think so?" Mike growled.

The paramedic ignored his sarcasm and spoke into his radio. "Patient is now conscious. We are ready to transport."

"No way!" Mike found to his embarrassment he was already on a Gurney ready to be wheeled out the door. "I'm not going anywhere."

"Sir," said the paramedic, "I think you should reconsider. A healthy adult just doesn't pass out for twenty-eight minutes without a reason. Plus, your blood pressure..."

"What about my blood pressure?" The paramedic hesitated, and the lieutenant spoke up.

"What's he's saying is that you're a stroke waiting to happen. Go to the hospital, Logan. Don't come back without a doctor's okay, or I'm going to declare you unfit for duty and chain you to a desk. Is that clear."

"Yes, sir," Mike said with poor grace and lay back down on the gurney. "Silvera, go with him."

"Yes, sir."


Hegel Place
Same time

Fox Mulder was running late for work. He dashed out of the bedroom and stopped dead. Alex Krycek was lying on his couch, glaring at him.

Krycek sat up and spoke coldly. "Mulder, you have so screwed up."

"Nice to see you, too, Krycek. Being dead agrees with you. If you don't mind...?"

"I <I>said</I> you screwed up. The Powers that Be wanted things to happen naturally. I knew you'd mess it up somehow, but you surprised me at first. You actually managed to pull it together at just the right time. But you didn't follow through, dammit!"

"What are you talking about?"

"The future of humankind, you ass. Only the most important element in the fight against the alien threat, and thanks to you its very existence is in question!"

Krycek had stood up and started stalking toward Mulder, and now they were standing eye to eye. "We haven't given up fighting, Krycek. We have our group. We're building alliances..."

"Yes, I know. Your little tete a tete's with other UFO loonies. Encrypted websites. Cell groups. Copied and hidden computer disks. All very nice. And all useless unless a real leader is there when the time comes!"

"Nice spiel, Krycek. If you could come to the point sometime this century?"

"Mike Logan."

Mulder was brought up short. "Mike? What's he got to do with this?"

"Doesn't matter right now. I've said too much as it is. What does matter is that he needs you. Right now." When Mulder started to protest, Krycek interrupted him, "You'll find him at St Mary's Hospital in Staten Island."

"Hospital? He's hurt?"

Krycek smiled. "Mulder, that sounds like concern. Good. Go to him. Now. Before it's too late." Before Mulder could question him further, Krycek disappeared into the shadows.

Cursing Krycek, the Powers that Be-whatever the hell that meant, and stubborn detectives who refused to call, Mulder ran down the stairs to his car. He called Scully on his cell phone to ask her to call in sick for him and started the four hour drive to New York.


St. Mary's Hospital

Detective Frankie Silvera nodded wearily as her commanding officer continued to yell at her over the phone."Lieutenant, I'm sorry, but I can't tell you what I don't know. I know he's been here all morning. Yes, they've done every test I think they can do. What? No, sir, he's sleeping now." Frankie gave her partner a worried glance. "Yes, sir, the doctors took one look at his blood pressure and admitted him. Look, I'll call you as soon these doctors tell us something. Yes, sir. Bye." She hung up the phone with a sigh.

"I'm awake." Mike opened tired eyes and looked up at his partner. "Still no sign of the doctors, huh?"

"Not yet." If anything, Mike looked worse. He was deathly pale and there were dark circles under his eyes despite his two hour nap. "I think they're still evaluating the test results."

There was a quick tap at the door just before it opened. Mike was expecting a doctor or a nurse. What he didn't expect to see was Fox Mulder.

"Hi, Mike. Silvera."

Mike was speechless, so Silvera spoke up. "Mulder, what are you doing here?"

"I heard Mike was sick and I came as soon as I could."

"How?" Mike asked, finally finding his voice.

"I have my sources," he said with a faint smile. "What's wrong?"

After a slight pause, Mike said, "The doctors haven't said anything yet."

"But you think you have an idea?" Mulder persisted.

"Maybe."

Silvera looked from her partner to Mulder and back again. There were very strange vibes coming from the two men. "Mike, you think you know something, don't you think you should tell the doctors?"

"Maybe Mulder has something he needs to tell 'me'." The tone was sarcastic, but Mulder could detect the underlying fear. Then it clicked.

"AIDS? You think I gave you AIDS?"

Mulder started laughing to Mike's consternation and fury.

"You think this is funny!"

"God, no, Mike. You don't get it. When I returned to D.C. I went straight to a clinic. You know, where you can be tested for AIDS and STDs anonymously? I was tested, retested, and triple tested. If you have AIDS, you didn't get it from me."

Mulder walked over to Mike and cautiously laid a hand on his shoulder. When Mike didn't flinch, he pulled him into a light embrace. "If you had called me, I would have told you."

Something inside him seemed to shatter at Mulder's touch, and the man was so gentle and ..."Oh, God," said Mike and sagged into Mulder's arms. "God! God! God!"

Frankie stood there, slack-jawed, as Mulder held Mike and rubbed his back. //Mike slept with a guy. Mike is gay. Mike is gay and slept with a Fibbie.// She truthfully didn't know which part boggled her mind the most.

"Dammit," said Mike. "If I don't have AIDS, what the hell is wrong with me?"

"Perhaps I can help?"

All three of them jumped. While they had been distracted a short, thin, black woman of about forty-five had entered them room. She looked at them severely through her horn-rimmed glasses, then she smiled and offered her hand to Mike.

"How do you do, Mr. Logan. I'm Dr. Irene Temple. I was called in as an ... expert."

"An expert in what?" Mike asked cautiously.

"Mr. Logan, may I suggest that your friends wait outside while we talk?"

"No! Mulder," he said, grasping his sleeve, "if it's bad news, I'd just as soon you stayed. Okay?"

Mulder nodded his assent.

"Frankie, you too. If you still want to stay." Frankie shook his head to clear it. Well, Mike was the only partner she'd ever had who had treated her like an equal. Hell, that should have told her something! "It's alright, Mike." His relief told her he understood she'd meant it to be more than just about staying.

"Right. It is bad news, isn't it?"

"Not really. It's just that I think you're in for a surprise." She sighed. "I'm afraid there's no easy way to put this. Mr. Logan, you're pregnant."

"Very funny, now tell me what's really going on."

"Mr. Logan, I do not joke about these things. My area of expertise is Dual Sexuality. You are Dual Sexed. You. Are. Pregnant."

Silence.

Then, "Jeeze, Mulder, you knocked Mike up!"

Both men gave her a look that would have frozen the East River. "Sorry. It's just...sorry."

Mike buried his face in his hands. "This is not happening."

"There are experts?" Mulder said in honest surprise.

"Well, I'm the closest thing there is at the present time. I've helped three men through their pregnancies. All of them delivered healthy babies." She directed the last statement to Mike.

"Since you're the damn expert," said Mike, uncovering his face to glare at Dr. Temple, "why did I pass out?" He was tired, frightened, and embarrassed, and it pissed him off.

"Mr. Logan, you're suffering from exhaustion, malnourishment, and severe anemia. I'd venture to say you've been functioning on sheer willpower for several weeks and you've had no pre-natal care. Also, your blood pressure is 220 over 115."

"I've never had high blood pressure," he protested.

"You've never been pregnant before," she pointed out. "It's no wonder you passed out. The hypertension could be stress-related, or it could be an early sign of pre-eclampsia. I'm also guessing you didn't know about your Dual Sexuality?" Mike mutely shook his head.

"Dr. Temple," Mulder said, desperate to understand what was going on, "how could he not know? Shouldn't Mike have had some inkling he was Dual Sexed?"

Mike's hostile look was replaced by an amused one. "Mulder, don't tell me there's actually some arcane knowledge you haven't investigated?" Mulder was about to give Mike a smart retort, but Dr. Temple headed him off.

"No, Mr. Mulder, there is no way to tell from an external examination that a person has Dual Sexuality. Shall I give you the short lecture?"

"Yes, please," said Mulder, eager to have some sort of explanation for this highly unlikely situation.

"Dual Sexuality, or DS, was first discovered about twenty years ago. No one knows why this particular mutation suddenly appeared, though I and several colleagues have their own theories. We do know it occurs in one out of ten thousand male births." Dr. Temple had shifted into doctor/lecturer mode. Scully often did the same thing, and it annoyed him to no end. Scully, had she known, would have found that amusing, since he often did the same thing himself. "The DS individual appears to be a perfectly ordinary male, but he possesses the functional internal reproductive organs of both male and female."

"So, why not call them hermaphrodites?" Mulder asked.

"Because that would be incorrect. To be a true hermaphrodite, the individual would also have to possess both the male and female external organs, which Mr. Logan obviously does not." She gave him a look that said, 'May I continue now?' Mulder shrugged, and she took that as a positive response.

"Dual Sexuality is usually discovered as an incidental finding during an ultrasound or abdominal surgery. Accidental pregnancy is rare."

"Lucky me," Mike muttered.

"There are approximately two thousand Dual Sexed in the United States," Dr. Temple stated. "We don't have an exact figure because many individuals remain undiagnosed."

Mulder sighed internally. This was one of the things he and Scully had never had the time to fully investigate, but they were fairly certain that this was one of the byproducts of the Syndicate's attempts to create human/alien hybrids. One or both of Logan's parents had probably been infected when they were immunized for the smallpox virus, a method the Syndicate had used to 'tag' humans and possibly introduce other things. Like extra genes. He wondered how many generations humanity would be cleaning up the messes the Syndicate had made. Mulder forced his mind back to Dr. Temple.

Dr. Temple removed her glasses and looked Mike directly in the eyes. "Mr. Logan, all of your adult life you've been certain of your place in the reproductive cycle. You've just had the foundation of that certainty shattered. You have to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. You're stressed. You're exhausted. You're frightened. All of that is normal."

"Normal, huh? Well, what if I don't want to deal with it? What if I want an abortion?"

"I'd say that would be your choice," Dr. Temple answered smoothly. "Unfortunately, you don't have that option."

"What are you talking about? What about pro-choice?"

"I am very pro-choice, Mr. Logan. But...You wouldn't happen to know when conception occurred?"

"December 25th," Mike said resignedly.

"Oh, yeah," agreed Mulder.

"That tallies with the ultrasound results. You're at eighteen weeks, nearly halfway through the pregnancy. It's too late."

"Fuck!"

"Okay," said Mulder, feeling a need to take some control, "Mike and I haven't had a chance to talk privately. Could we have a few minutes? Please?" he asked the two women.

"Of course," said Dr. Temple. Frankie gave Mike's shoulder a squeeze, and they walked out of the room.

"Alone, at last," Mulder ventured as a feeble attempt at levity. It fell flat.

Mike started picking at the sheet, declining to add anything to the conversation.

"Mike, my feelings about this situation are a little mixed. Hell, the fact you can even be pregnant is blowing my mind. And when you get to know me better, you'll realize that's saying something. Do you really want an abortion? Even if you could?"

Mike shrugged. "I guess not. Even though I don't believe in it anymore, I was raised Catholic. I couldn't live with myself after. My God, what am I going to do with a baby? The thought of me being a parent is ludicrous." Mike rubbed his face with his hands to hide the fact he was about to cry. "Do you want me to have it?"

"I think so. It's a shock for me, too, but I think I want this child." Mulder raked his finger through his already dishevel hair. "Why didn't you call me? Back in December, I left my phone number and my address. I left a note asking you to call me. I know it was just the one night, but I thought it might be a beginning. When I didn't hear from you, it hurt. I thought I was just another notch on Mike Logan's bedpost."

Mike muttered something that Mulder couldn't quite make out.

"What was that?"

"I couldn't," Mike repeated. "I was too ashamed."

Mulder felt his stomach twist. "You're ashamed you had sex with another man?"

"No! I mean, I was ashamed because I...used you."

"Excuse me? 'You' used 'me'? Mike, you were drunk. I was relatively sober. 'I' fucked 'you'. Obviously. Most people could make a good argument for my using you."

"You don't understand!"

"Mike, please, calm down. You're right, I don't understand. Explain it to me."

"I just...I just wanted the nightmare to go away." Mike was shaking. He pulled his knees up to his chest and started to rock. Mulder the psychologist put the pieces together and came up with a very sick picture. Carefully, he returned to Mike's side. He put his hands on Mike's shoulders, prepared to draw away if he startled. Mike seemed to accept the touch, so he pulled Mike into an embrace. Mike didn't resist, but he didn't fall into it either. Mulder decided that it would do for the moment.

"Mike, please, tell me. What happened?"

"I...I like men. I always have. But every time I thought about having sex with another man, the face would turn into...his."

"Whose face, Mike? Can you tell me."

Mike didn't answer at first. He rocked, but allowed Mulder to continue the embrace.

"He hurt me," Mike said at last. "I told him he was hurting me, but he wouldn't stop."

"How old were you, Mike?"

"Twelve."

Mulder gritted his teeth and held back his outcry. Mike didn't need his rage right now. "Who was it, Mike?" he asked, hoping the pervert was in prison and thus saving him the trouble of killing the bastard.

"He's in jail, Mulder. He didn't stop with me. It finally caught up with him." Mike sighed deeply. "I was an altar boy..."

Christ! It was almost a fucking cliche.

"I am so sorry, Mike. That sounds so inadequate, but it's all I can say."

Mike shook his head. "No, you don't get it. You're the one who changed everything. When I met you, I knew you were different. I could feel you were attracted to me." Mulder shifted slightly. "It's okay, you weren't the first guy to be attracted to me. But you didn't push it. You backed me up when everyone said I was wrong."

"You weren't wrong."

"You think the higher ups care? Once again, Logan was bucking the system! Screw the truth, just don't let Logan be right. You didn't let what anyone else said about me affect how we worked together. Mulder, you're passionate about your work, you care about people, and I felt myself drawn to you. For the first time, I could think about another man in a sexual way without puking. So, when I realized we were alone in my apartment, I went for it. And it was wonderful."

"You don't see that bastard's face anymore?"

"No. Now all I see is you." Finally, Mike relaxed into Mulder's arms. Mulder gently stroked Mike's hair as they rocked together.

"Fox," said Mulder.

"What?"

"Call me Fox."

"I thought you didn't like your first name."

"I don't, but it's ridiculous for someone I've been intimate with to call me by my last name."

"Scully doesn't call you Fox."

"I never slept with Scully."

Mike pulled back and stared up at him wide-eyed. "I thought you said she had your baby?"

"In vitro fertilization. She wanted a baby. I supplied the sperm." Okay, it was the Reader's Digest version, but it was the truth. "I love Scully, Mike, just not that way. We thought it would turn into a relationship, but it didn't work out."

"Then there's really nobody else?"

"That depends, Mike. How about us?"

"Us? I don't know, Mulder...Fox. We barely know each other."

"We'll take it a step at a time. For now, let me take care of you. Just until you get back on your feet," he hastened to add before Mike could protest. "Let me help you take care of our baby. It will be much easier if there are two people involved, and I want to know this baby."

Mike swallowed. "If we do this, you can't just walk out on me,...Fox. I don't think I can do this alone."

"You won't be alone." Mulder made it a solemn vow.
 

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