Mirror, Mirror

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Title: Mirror Mirror

Authors: Susan Proto and Vickie Moseley

Summary: Scully finds herself in a strange place.

Rating: PG

Category: SA, MA, X File

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.

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game of ‘Barbie and Ken’ in town and we love you!!

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out any old time.

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Mirror, Mirror

By Vickie Moselely (vickiemoseley1978@yahoo.com)

& Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)

Teaser

Friday

The Morgue

Scully watched awestruck at the clockwork precision with

which the team worked. When she’d walked into the room,

someone handed her a lab coat unceremoniously and she put

it on. She noticed an identification tag with her name was

already attached. Odd, she thought, but she then noticed

that everyone wore nametags and so she put the puzzle aside

for that moment.

A young man worked quickly putting a toe tag on the still-

clothed body that lay on the cold slab, while a young woman

began taking the necessary identifying photos. Once she’d

finished getting the front view, she called out to a co-

worker for assistance in turning the body and continued

photographing.

Next, the clothes were removed from the corpse and pictures

of the body, both front and back, were once again taken.

Other members of the team moved the body to the scale for

weighing and x-raying.

A pair of workers was carefully going over every item of

clothing and documenting any and all characteristics of the

items. Scully remained standing in the center of the

hubbub, not quite sure exactly what her role was at that

moment. The group surrounding her seemed to work like a

well-oiled machine.

“Hey, doc? We’re ready for you anytime you want to begin

slicing and dicing,” called out a young man.

“Okay,” she said without looking directly at the source of

the voice. Scully remained mesmerized by the flurry of

activity and the fact that she was apparently in charge of

it.

“You okay, doc?”

“I’m sorry,” she began and looked at the nametag clipped to

the lab coat, “Kevin,” she stammered. “I don’t know where

my head is today”. She looked over at the nude corpse and

announced, “Let’s get started, shall we?”

The forensics specialist set to work by turning on the tape

recorder and by referring to the file identified the case

number and stated the victim’s name. “John Pratt.”

I know that name, she thought with a start. “John Pratt

was a golfer,” she murmured.

“Why Doctor Scully, your forensics expertise never ceases

to amaze me,” called out a familiar voice from the

entrance.

Thinking quickly, she pointed to the body’s right arm and

noted that it was slightly more muscular than the left.

“It’s not quite as built up as it would have been if he

were a tennis player…”

“I see.” The voice held a hint of amusement in it.

“Well, it just fits,” she said and looked up. When she

looked up, Scully’s eyes grew wide at the figure before

her. Like an old habit, she felt the animosity rise along

with the color of her cheeks, but just as quickly she

tamped it down.

“You never cease to amaze me, Scully, to find the smallest

clue and make it answer the big questions.”

“Well, I guess Mulder’s rubbed off on me,” she murmured.

“Gee, you think?” He laughed and was about to offer his

own reasons for Scully’s uncanny ability to weave answers

out of the air when the trill of his cell phone interrupted

the exchange. He opened up the channel and identified

himself.

“Krycek.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Act I Scene 1

Earlier that day

“It’s just the calm before the storm, Scully. Trust me on this.”

She nodded, but couldn’t help wonder exactly which storm Mulder was

talking about.

They’d had a rare few days of blissful quiet. Sure, they were spent in

the office, but after their last case everyone had managed to steer

clear and leave them to writing expenditure reports, organizing their

files, and simply decompressing. It was a rare gift, and both agents

were wise enough to take advantage of it. They knew their next X-File

was just around the bend, which justified Mulder’s ‘calm before the

storm’ observation.

But it was now 3:45 on Friday afternoon and they were clocking out

early for their trip to Maryland.

Hence, storm number two.

They pulled out of the Hoover’s parking lot and into the Friday

‘getaway’ traffic. “I suppose it wouldn’t have mattered what time we

left today…” grumbled Mulder as he pulled in behind the largest SUV

he’d ever seen. “I swear, people are driving small semis nowadays…”

“Well, at least we were able to get an early jump on the traffic.”

“I hate to break it to you, Scully, but trust me, we’re not jumping

anywhere.”

She nodded and understood his exasperated tone was directed at the

multitude of cars in front of them and not at her.

“Scully, you did remember to put your Mom’s present in the trunk,

right?”

She nodded.

“I’m sure you’re looking forward to seeing your family. I can’t

believe your mom is going to be sixty.”

Once again, she nodded.

“Only having met Charlie two years ago, and under extreme conditions,

I’m still not convinced he’s not a figment of your imagination,” he

said, his tone turned teasing.

Scully’s reply, on the other hand, was more somber. “With the notable

exception of our trip to space, the last time I saw him was at Dad’s

funeral.”

“Well, I’m glad he’s able to make it for a happy occasion,” he replied,

softly.

Scully smiled and said, “Mom is so happy that she’s going to have us

all there. It’s been too long since we’ve all been together.”

Bittersweet memories of lost sisters touched them both, and for a short

time kept their thoughts to themselves.

Finally, Mulder broke the silence. “Scully? About our discussion from

this morning…”

Let the deluge begin, thought Scully.

“Mulder, there is nothing to discuss. I’ve told you how I feel, and I

expect you to respect my feelings on this.”

“Just help me understand, okay?”

“What is there to understand? I’m not ready.”

“For what? Scully, I’m not asking you to pick out china patterns; I

just want your family to know we’ve made a commitment to one another

beyond the office.”

“Mulder, it’s not necessary.”

“How can you say that?”

“Easily. I’ll show you. ‘It’s not necessary.’ See?” she retorted.

“No, I don’t see. Damn it, it’s necessary if I want to hold your

hand!” Mulder took a deep breath and then added, more softly, “I just

want to be able to hold your hand in front of your mother and brothers.

That’s all.”

She looked at him with a softness that hadn’t been there since he’d

brought up the subject that morning. “Oh, Mulder,” she whispered back.

“I just don’t think it’s the right time.”

“Oh, for crying out loud, this is the perfect time. Your whole family

will be there; we can let everyone know at the same time.”

“Are you forgetting that Bill will be there?”

“Hell, no! In fact I’m counting on your mother to protect me when you

tell him that we’re together!”

She laughed. She couldn’t help it. The image of her five foot nothing

mom shielding her six foot something partner from her older brother was

just too funny to maintain her dour mood.

“See, the entertainment value alone makes it worth telling them,” said

Mulder.

“Oh, Mulder, I know you want to tell them, but I just think we should

keep this to ourselves for now.”

“Scully, our relationship is not exactly a state secret anymore. The

Gunmen know, Susanne Modeski knows, and in case you’ve forgotten, our

direct superior now knows for a fact what I suppose the rest of the

bureau has suspected for the last ten years.”

“Don’t remind me, Mulder. I still have some regrets that Skinner

knows, but what’s done is done.” Scully decided to take another tack.

“But that’s not the only reason I want to hold back on the news.”

Mulder looked questioningly at her; traffic was moving so slowly the

brief distraction from the road proved to be of little danger.

“It’s Mom’s day. I don’t want anything to detract from her birthday.”

Mulder reacted quickly; he giggled.

“What?” she asked.

“Scully, you’re going to tell me that your mom wouldn’t appreciate

hearing that you and I were in a relationship after all of these

years?”

“To be honest, Mulder, once Bill got wind of it I think the news would

prove to be a whole lot more stressful than you can imagine, and I

don’t think it’s fair to subject my mother to those kinds of worries on

her birthday.”

“So, we just tell her and not the others,” Mulder suggested.

“No. It would be too hard for her to keep that a secret, and besides,

we still wouldn’t be able to hold hands with my brothers there.”

“Scully, I really think you’re wrong. I think we – .”

The trill of a cellular phone filled the air and both reached for their

pockets. “I win,” Scully said as she opened the line.

“Scully.”

“Yes, Agent Scully, this is Kim. Please hold on for AD Skinner.”

“Yes, Kim,” she replied, but to Mulder she mouthed, ‘Shit, it’s

Skinner’.

“Agent Scully?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I take it Mulder is with you?” the AD asked.

“Yes, sir, as a matter of fact he is.”

“Good. I need you both back in my office ASAP.”

“Excuse me, sir, but we’re on our way to Maryland even as we speak. We

have a family function to attend.”

“Sorry, Agent Scully, but your plans have changed. I need you back

here.”

“But, sir, it’s my mother’s sixtieth birthday; my entire family will be

there.”

“I understand, and I am sorry – .”

“- Charlie’s only going to be there tonight,” she mused aloud. “I

haven’t seen him in so long.”

“Agent, I regret the inconvenience, really.”

“Sir, I cannot believe this can’t wait till morning. Mulder and I

haven’t had a weekend off in weeks.”

“I’m sorry, Scully. I have my orders and now you have yours.”

“But, sir -”

“- Agent, I’ll expect you p/d/q.” In an effort to take the edge off of

his brusque demand, he added, “Oh, and make sure ‘lover boy’

accompanies you.”

Unfortunately, Scully could not see the affectionate smile that

accompanied the AD’s last remark. She hung up without a word.

“What?” asked Mulder.

“We’ve been called in.”

“I figured; do you know what it’s about?”

“I don’t really give a damn what the case is about.” She couldn’t

decide what she was more upset about – being unable to visit with her

brothers and celebrate with her mother, or Skinner’s seemingly

harassing remark.

“I’m really sorry, Scully. I know how important this family gathering

was to you.”

She reached over and squeezed Mulder’s knee in acknowledgment. Scully

knew he meant it and wanted to let him know she appreciated his

support.

“Well, apparently the question to tell or not to tell my family about

us is now a moot point,” announced Scully.

“True but there’s always the next time, Scully.”

Thinking about Skinner’s callous remark, she said, “I doubt it’s going

to be anytime soon, Mulder.”

“Aw, c’mon, Scully. Trust me – your mom should be told.”

“What happened to ‘trust no one’, Mulder?” she asked. Her eyebrow was

cocked in her typical skeptic mode.

“Remember, this is me you’re talking to, partner. If there’s one thing

I’ve learned in the last ten years, it’s that sometimes you’re left

with no choice but to trust someone.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Act I Scene 2

Skinner’s Office

Kim smiled at them and nodded her head toward the closed door. “He’s

on the phone with the Director. It’ll just be a moment.”

Scully sighed and took a seat on the faux leather sofa. Mulder

stretched and shifted from one foot to the other. The fact that he

hadn’t sat beside her got her wondering. The last thing she wanted was

to let their conversation of the morning and in the car come between

them. She’d just have to do her best to show him that she loved him,

regardless of who knew or didn’t know about them. But that was the

point, she admitted to herself. It all came down to the Truth, with a

capital T. Truth was his religion, he told her that often enough. To

him, all they were doing was hiding the Truth. But Mulder never

stopped to consider the consequences of exposing the Truth.

The door opened and she jerked her head up. Skinner stood in the

doorway, an impatient look on his face. “Agents. I haven’t got all

day,” he said brusquely and returned to his desk as they shuffled in

and took their usual seats.

Skinner handed the folder to Mulder. “I just got off the phone with

the Director. This one is being watched closely, both of you, so try

not to turn it into a three-ring circus. Seems one of the missing

persons is the nephew of an influential individual, one with very deep

pockets who is not above putting heat on the administration to get this

cleared up.”

“Missing persons?” Scully asks as she leaned over and read from the

file Mulder was holding.

“Four so far. All employees of the same company, Glass-glo Industries.

They have a contract with both Department of Defense and NASA,” Skinner

supplied with a nod.

“Defense contracts? Could it be espionage?” Scully asked as Mulder

flipped the page.

“The four individuals were never seen leaving the building,” Mulder

commented, his brow furrowed in concentration.

“That is the case. Security monitors show all hallways and exits.

Initial investigation shows no tampering with the equipment. These

four people just disappeared into thin air,” Skinner said. “Basically,

I want you two to go over there tonight, talk to some people, check the

place out.”

Scully’s head jerked up. “Sir, it’s Friday afternoon!”

“Yes, I noticed that, Agent. And the Attorney General wants action on

this. Need I say more?” was the gruff reply.

They left the office without further discussion. Mulder could see the

steam coming out of Scully’s ears as they walked toward the elevator.

She almost put her dainty little index finger right through the button

to call the next car. He felt the need to do something, before that

wrath was turned upon him.

“Say, let’s run over to the company, see if we can have a chat with the

nice Mr. Bradley Kensworth, III, CEO and general manager,” he said

reading directly from the file. “And then, since there really isn’t

much we can do until tomorrow at the earliest, we can still high tail

it out to Baltimore and not miss the whole evening.”

She drew in a deep breath. It was a plan. Not the plan she’d hoped

for the evening, but a plan nonetheless. And Mulder was pretty darned

cute standing there all hopeful looking. God, he was so easy some

times.

“You’re on, G-Man. But if this character keeps us there one minute

past 6 . . .”

“We handcuff him to a radiator and come back to get him in the

morning,” Mulder said dryly, which drew a few surprised looks from the

other occupants of the just arrived elevator.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Act 1 Scene 3

Glas-glo Industries

Falls Church, VA

4:45 p.m.

The receptionist in the front lobby of the totally glass building

smiled brightly at them, handed them both matching visitor’s badges,

and then gave them directions to the fourth floor executive office of

Bradley Kensworth, III. Mulder straightened his tie in the mirrored

glass of the elevator. Scully tried not to look overly bored.

“Nice building,” Scully did finally comment as they made their way down

the hall to the appointed office suite.

“Bet it costs a fortune to cool,” Mulder said casually. He pointed to

the patch of undiluted sunlight on the floor. “All that radiant heat.”

“It’s thermal insulated glass, actually,” a voice came from behind

them. “Radiant heat has always been the problem in glass buildings

before, but here at Glas-glo we’ve developed a product that reflects

the heat back into the atmosphere. Or space, as the case might be.

It’s being used on the space station.”

Mulder spun on his heel and came face to face, or rather chin to top of

head with a small man dressed in a very expensive silk suit. The man

congenially stuck out his hand in greeting. “Brad Kensworth. And you

must be the FBI agents sent to look into these disappearances.”

“Agent Mulder, and this is my partner, Agent Scully,” Mulder said,

shaking Kensworth’s hand. Kensworth smiled and offered his hand to

Scully, who shook it briefly.

“Come on down to my office; can I offer you something to drink?”

Kensworth asked as he led them down the hall.

“No, thank you,” Scully replied politely. They entered a wooden door,

the only non-mirrored surface in the building appeared to be the doors,

and into a spacious office decorated with mostly glass furniture.

Kensworth directed them to sit on what looked like glass and steel side

chairs. Scully sat down, Mulder was a little more hesitant, but

finally sat down gingerly, as if expecting the chair not to hold his

weight.

“This is all my own design,” Kensworth said, noting their curiosity

toward the furnishings. “Much of it was done during college. You

know, you sit around the dorm room and think up new ways to use glass.”

“Or not,” Mulder said with a smile. “Mr. Kensworth, let’s get right to

the interview so we don’t take up anymore of your time.”

It didn’t take long for the agents to pick up on the fact that

Kensworth thought there were perfectly logical explanations for the

disappearances. Two of the employees, Henry Polanski and Leslie

Rosten, were rumored to be in a torrid affair and since both were

married, it was easy to assume they’d finally run off together.

Another one of the missing employees, John Pratt, had been spotted

spending several weekday nights at the local off-track betting parlor

and had come in twice asking for advances on his pay. The last missing

person, Larry Sisk, had talked for months about ‘just getting away from

it all’ and taking a long vacation in the Bahamas.

“It just seems a little odd that all four employees would go missing in

such a short space of time,” Scully commented after Kensworth concluded

his statement.

“Well, coincidences do happen, Agent Scully,” Kensworth said with a

condescending smirk.

Scully visibly bit her tongue to keep from replying. Mulder had to

swallow back his own retort to Kensworth’s comment.

“Would you mind if we had a look at the area where the missing

employees worked?” Mulder asked.

Kensworth frowned, but it was quickly replaced by a helpful smile. “Of

course not. The company is empty at the moment. We let everyone in

the company off at 3 on Fridays. Sort of an added employee benefit my

grandfather began when he started the business. But I’d be happy to

show you around.”

The ground floor of the building opened up into a huge work area with

glass enclosed offices lining the exterior walls. Scully checked her

watch and followed the two men to the back wall where three offices

were located. Kensworth pulled out a set of keys and unlocked the door

to the left.

“This is R and D, Research and Development,” he said, allowing the two

agents to enter the room before him.

“All four employees worked in the same area?” Scully asked, surprised.

“Yes. They were one of our research teams. We have several teams

working all the time. They might have an entire project or only part

of a larger project,” Kensworth explained.

“What was this team working on?” Mulder asked as he wandered the room.

It was about 12 foot by 15 foot, white metal tables with glass tops,

electron microscope on a table by the back wall. It looked like any

high school science lab.

Kensworth had yet to answer, so Mulder asked again. “What were they

working on, Mr. Kensworth?”

The small man looked uncomfortable, even going as far as to pull

slightly at his tie. “I’m afraid you don’t have the proper security

clearance for that information, Agent Mulder,” he said apologetically.

“But suffice it to say that this is not a case of corporate espionage,”

he added hastily.

“How do you know that, sir?” Scully asked, suspicion tingeing her

voice.

“For one thing, this team was working on a small part of a larger

project. It was done in that manner, breaking up the parts, for the

express purpose of avoiding any leaks. And none of the other teams

have experienced any problems. As I told you in my office, we just had

the horrible bad luck to put all our rotten apples in the same basket,”

Kensworth said with a shrug.

Scully caught Mulder’s eye and exchanged a silent thought. Mulder

nodded slightly and went back to examining the room. He was halfway

around the room to his starting point when a partially open desk drawer

caught his attention. He tilted his head toward it in a manner that

Scully could see his intentions, but hopefully Kensworth could not.

“What is that?” Scully asked suddenly, pointing to a large sheet of

glass propped against a piece of equipment just outside the door to the

lab. She moved toward it, hoping Kensworth would have the common sense

or paranoia to follow her, thus allowing Mulder a little time to look

in the drawer.

“That is an optical mirror, Agent Scully,” Kensworth said, doing

exactly as she hoped and following her into the main company area.

“Like the ones on the Hubble telescope?” she asked, standing in front

of Kensworth so that his back toward the lab door.

“Well, if we’d had the contract on the Hubble, it never would have

experienced the initial problems it had,” Kensworth huffed. “But yes,

it’s just like that. We’re working on this one for NASA.”

Mulder was still riffling through the drawer and glanced up at her,

begging her with his eyes to keep stalling for time. She glanced

furtively around the company floor again. In a far corner, out of

sight of her partner, she saw a glint of green colored glass.

“Now this is interesting,” she said, walking toward the large sheet of

emerald glass. It was at least 7 feet tall and four feet wide, but

seemed to be paper-thin.

“Oh, Agent Scully, please don’t touch that!” Kensworth pleaded.

Just then, Mulder walked out of the lab, pulling his hand out of his

pocket. “Well, Scully, I think we’ve taken enough of Mr. Kensworth

time, don’t you?” he rushed out in one breath.

Kensworth spun on his heel at the sound of Mulder’s voice. “Well, I do

have a dinner engagement in an hour,” Kensworth said with a shrug.

“No need to worry about us. We’ll see ourselves out,” Mulder said

cheerfully.

Kensworth looked dubious for a moment and then walked toward the doors

at the far end of the company. He stopped and turned to the agents

again. “Will there be anything else, any other questions for the

investigation?”

Mulder was looking like the cat with a canary caught between his teeth.

He looked over at Scully. “Nothing that I can think of, can you, Agent

Scully?”

Catching the hint, Scully shook her head. “Nothing that I can think of

Agent Mulder.”

Kensworth nodded. He accompanied the two agents out of the R & D

office space, locked it, and headed toward the elevator.

“What did you find?” Scully hissed as she saw the little man hit the

elevator button and enter the car.

“Well, I didn’t find evidence of a torrid affair. I found several

pictures of our two missing employees, and their respective spouses.

Not something you’d be likely to keep around if you’re avoiding

suspicions of hanky panky,” Mulder said, handing her one of the photos.

If anything, the two employees seemed casual friends at best.

“This is pretty circumstantial,” Scully commented, handing back the

photo.

“And the guy with the gambling problem? Pratt’s a golfer. Every

night, from the score cards in his desk.”

Scully pursed her lips. “Pretty hard to play 9 holes . . .”

“Eighteen,” Mulder corrected.

“OK, 18 holes and still spend the night at the track,” Scully conceded.

“And the guy who ran off to the Bahamas? Well, Sisk apparently just

bought a bass boat complete with trailer. The bill of sale as well as

the model brochure was in his desk.”

“Don’t these people ever do any work? All their personal effects seem

to be in their desks,” Scully smirked.

“The decay of the Protestant work ethic, Scully. What can I say?”

Mulder responded.

“So, if you’ve found evidence to blow holes in all of Kensworth well

thought out explanations, where does that leave us?” Scully asked,

chewing on her lip.

“I don’t know what to tell you, Scully. But I would like to look

around this place a little more.”

“Mulder, I really don’t want to be caught here, and besides, he locked

the door . . .”

“Nor do I, Scully,” Mulder replied as he took out his lock pick, “and

since when did a little lock ever stop us from doing the work of the

FBI?” He heard the click and opened the door with a flourish. “There

you go. We’ll just nose around a little more. Besides, if we tried to

get on the B-W Parkway at this hour, we’ll be there for ages. If we

leave in say fifteen minutes, I bet we can make it to your Mom’s before

Bill has a chance to say ‘sorry son of a bitch’,” he grinned.

She glared at his joke and ignored it. “So, what do we look for?”

Mulder shook his head. “I don’t know, anything out of the ordinary.

Just poke around. I want to see if I can get into the other lab, the

one that has more of this project. Maybe I can find some notes or

something.”

“Just be careful,” Scully warned. She watched him cautiously pick the

lock of the lab next to the one they’d already seen. When he was

inside the lab, she turned back to the plate of green glass in the

corner.

The glass was incredible. It was green at one angle, almost black at

another, then silver if she shifted more in either direction. The

surface didn’t appear solid, but almost seemed to slink and slither as

she looked at it. She remembered the windows in her grandmother

Scully’s farmhouse, how the panes were rippled at the bottom from age

and gravity. But this glass wasn’t old, and it wasn’t ‘liquid’ in the

sense that normal glass can be. This glass was moving right before her

eyes. She reached her hand up and came within an inch of running her

index finger down the plate.

“Find anything, Scully?” called out Mulder.

Though it wasn’t much louder than a stage whisper, it was enough to

have startled her. She tried to prepare herself for falling onto the

glass so as not to break it nor harm herself, but it was to no avail.

Scully apparently lost her balance and quickly found herself on the

floor of the company.

Act II Scene 1

She was fully prepared to see shards of green glass all around her, but

when she looked up she saw that the emerald-colored sheet had remained

intact. Scully shook her head in bewilderment; she was quite sure that

she’d fallen into the glass hard enough to break it, yet she found that

the only sore part of her body was her derriere, on which she’d landed.

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Odd, she thought but decided it was best to be grateful that she was

free of any cuts from broken glass. The next thing on her agenda was

to find her wayward partner.

“Mulder? I didn’t find anything. What about you?” She heard no

response, so she called out again. “Mulder? Where are you?” Only

silence greeted her and at that moment she couldn’t decide if she were

more concerned or more annoyed with her apparently AWOL partner.

“Mulder, so help me, if you took off with the car, you are a dead man!”

hissed Scully. The glass company was no longer her first priority.

She started walking toward the exit, yet she still took the time to

observe her surroundings. Everything appeared as it was before she

fell. Before she lost Mulder.

There appeared to be absolutely no one in the area.

“Damn it, Mulder? What’s going on?” she whispered in consternation.

She retraced her steps to the door in which she and her partner had

entered. Just as she was about to turn the handle, she heard a deep

baritone greet her.

“Doctor Scully! I don’t know how you manage to always be one step

ahead of my department! Sometimes, doc, it’s downright spooky!”

Scully looked up at the tall, balding man who stood before her. Was

this some kind of bad joke? Given the tasteless reference he’d made to

‘lover boy’ earlier, Scully wouldn’t have put it past him.

“Sir? I don’t believe that’s appropr -”

“Sir? What happened to Walter? C’mon, doc, we’ve never been one to

play with titles. Just because I’m a captain doesn’t mean I’m not a

regular down to earth kind of cop.”

And then Walter Skinner did something he rarely ever did before. He

smiled. It was a big, beautiful, light up your face kind of smile.

And Scully knew something was very, very wrong.

“Um, Walter? I’m not sure what you mean by my being ‘spooky’,” Scully

said.

“Oh, well, I was called by the Chief who had been raked over the coals

by the Commissioner over at the Mayor’s office to find out what the

hell is going on with all of the dead bodies they keep finding in this

God forsaken monstrosity they call a building.”

“You were called by the Police Chief?” And then something reverberated

in Scully’s ears from moments ago. “Because you are a police captain?”

Though she tried to maintain a declarative, her confusion was all too

obvious to both of them.

“Doc, are you okay?” asked Captain Skinner.

“Um, I thought so. I fell before,” she stammered, wondering if indeed

her earlier fall involved more than just landing on her butt.

“Well, why didn’t you say so? Come on – let’s get you sitting down for

a minute.” He led her to a stool and gently pushed her into a sitting

position. “Now, did you hit your head?”

Scully laughed. “Sir, isn’t that usually my question?”

“Sir, again? Doc, I think perhaps you did hit your head.”

Scully giggled again; she knew something was definitely off-kilter, but

for some reason she did not feel as though she were in danger. Mulder

would probably have a chuckle over that thought, too, given her earlier

misgivings regarding Skinner’s knowledge of the ‘relationship’.

“No, I’m fine,” she said. Skeptical eyes met her blue ones. “Sir –

Walter, I’m okay.”

He nodded. “Good. Now, would you kindly tell me how you came to beat

me over here?”

“Actually, I thought I’d gotten the word from you that something

strange was going on here.”

“Hmm, no, that was probably my renegade detective, dear man that he is.

If it weren’t for the fact that he was so damned effective in getting

the job done, I’d have booted him out on his ass a long time ago.”

Scully nodded. She was afraid to ask just who that renegade detective

really was.

“Why exactly did you want to see me in the first place, sir – um, I

mean, Walter?”

“There’s another mysterious death coming out of this place. Fourth

one, to be exact and I don’t understand it. You and your team found

some kind of poisonous cocktail was the cause of death for the other

three, but no clues as to who or why. I figure it’s got to have

something to do with the work place, considering they all work here.

Nothing else makes sense.”

Scully nodded in agreement. To her mind it was getting stranger by the

minute.

“Um, Doc, I’m actually more than a little surprised to see you here. I

thought you were going out of town for some Medical Examiner

Symposium?”

Scully’s eyes widened, but she quickly concealed her surprise. Medical

examiner? Is that what he thinks I am, she wondered. She stood up.

It was time to figure out what in the hell was going on.

“Um, Walter? Who told you I was going out of town?”

“Why, the Professor, of course.”

“The Professor told you?” Confusion blanketed Scully’s face. “What

Professor?”

“You’re scaring me a little, Dr. Scully. What Professor do you think

I’m talking about?”

Scully could do nothing more than shrug her shoulders.

“Your husband, the professor.

Scully collapsed back onto the stool.

Act II Scene 2

Scully’s Residence

Georgetown

Skinner kept giving her furtive glances as he negotiated the streets to

her apartment. She couldn’t decide if that infuriated her or scared

her. He seemed to be normal in all ways, except for the fanciful tale

he wove about being a policeman. It was a dream, she had almost

convinced herself. But she didn’t remember a dream where the back of

her head hurt, and at that moment she was the victim of a killer

headache.

The car pulled up to the curb and Skinner killed the engine, and then

raced around to open the door for her before her hand had even found

the latch. “Are you sure you don’t want me to help you to your door,

Doc? Maybe I should call your husband, have him get down here.”

Scully felt her throat tighten. She wasn’t at all sure she wanted to

find out ‘who’ her husband was at this point, but it seemed inevitable.

At the very least, she could manage to get to her own door by herself,

though.

“No, thank you, s-Walter. I’m fine, really,” she tried to assure the

man giving her worried looks and stuffing his hands in his pockets to

keep from carrying her up the steps.

“Well, you seemed pretty out of it back at Glass-glo. Maybe you need

to lie down a bit, relax. Make the Oxford graduate fix dinner for a

change,” he added with a sly grin. “Tell him I said it was a police

order.”

Oxford graduate. Her ears picked up on that immediately. She only

knew one Oxford graduate, so maybe this dream had some redeeming

qualities. “I’ll be sure to tell him that,” she agreed.

Skinner watched her from the curb, biting his lip. She turned to wave

goodbye and he reluctantly stepped around the car to the driver’s side.

“Get some rest,” he called. She nodded and stood there for a minute,

expecting him to drive off. He sat where he was, not even bothering to

start the car. Realizing his intention to watch her all the way into

the door of her apartment building, she pushed open the front door and

closed it behind her. She could hear him pull away.

His words were ringing in her ears. “The Professor. Your husband.”

Could it be?

She walked up the flight of stairs and had just found her key to put it

in the lock when the door flung open. A very worried looking Fox

Mulder towered over her for a split second before throwing his arms

around her in a bear hug. “Are you all right, sweetheart? What were

you doing at that glass company? Why aren’t you in San Francisco? Why

didn’t you call me from the airport; you know I would have picked you

up!”

“Mulder, please, give me a minute,” she gasped and he let go of her

long enough to give her a stern look.

“You do look pale,” he announced, as if agreeing with someone else.

“Damn it, Dana, I know Alex is a friend, but if he called you back to

do some stupid autopsy and you tired yourself out because of it, I’ll

wring his scrawny little neck myself!”

“Mulder, I’m fine. I just need to sit down,” she told him, but allowed

him to take her arm and lead her over to the sofa. He helped her sit

down, then leaned down and grabbed her ankles so he could take off her

shoes and rest her feet on the coffee table.

“Don’t move. I’m getting you something to drink.”

“I’m not really thirsty,” she told him, but he was already running

water from the tap. “Mulder, I said I’m not really thirsty,” she tried

again when he returned and placed the glass of ice water in her hand.

“What did I do?” he asked, a sheepish expression on his face.

“Whatever it was, I apologize,” he added before sitting next to her.

“You didn’t do anything,” she told him as she sipped the water. It was

cold and felt good on her throat, even if she didn’t want to admit it.

“You only call me by Mulder when you’re mad at me, so I had to have

done something. If it’s about the hotel room, I can explain. The Dean

of Faculty knows the concierge at the Hyatt in Frisco and he told me

he’d get you an upgrade. I didn’t think you’d mind, I mean it came

with an in-room whirlpool and all.”

She looked at him closely. He looked just like always, but there was

something different. If she was being honest with herself, he was

hovering and it was getting on her nerves.

“Dana, why did you come back? When we talked last night, you were

having a good time. Did you get sick?” he asked anxiously.

She was about to answer him when the phone rang. He patted her leg and

left to get the call in the kitchen. It gave her a minute to look

around. There was a picture on the end table, next to the sofa, a

formal wedding picture. She was in the middle in a beautiful full-

length gown. Her hair was pulled up and crowned with a flower-bedecked

veil. Mulder was incredibly handsome in a black tux with cummerbund.

Next to him was his mother and . . . father? She picked up the picture

to examine it more closely. On her right were her mother, and her

father. Then, as she looked at each face, she saw her brother Bill,

her brother Charlie and on the end, Melissa!

Her hand flew to her face as she dropped the picture. It bounced off

the sofa cushion and fell to the floor, face down.

“That was Bill. He was on his way over here, but I told him you were

home early and not feeling well. He said he’d catch us tomorrow at Mom

and Ahab’s. Honey, what is it?” Mulder asked, concerned, when he saw

her stricken face.

“Did you say ‘Ahab’?” she asked, her voice thin and reedy.

He grinned his normal lopsided grin. “I know, I know. I would never

call him that to his face, sweets. I value my life.”

“Ahab’s alive,” she muttered. “Missy, your father, they’re all alive.”

“Baby, maybe you should lie down. Walter didn’t give me a lot of

details when he called but . . .”

“When did he call?” Scully demanded.

“From the curb, when he let you out. You really scared him,

sweetheart. And cops don’t scare that easy. What happened? Why won’t

you tell me?” He noticed she was staring at the upside down picture

frame, so he bent to pick it up and put it on the end table again.

“Geez, Sam should have tamed that hair a little before she got to the

church,” he said with an affectionate smile. “Looks like she had it

done in a wind tunnel!”

She snapped her eyes back to the picture. On the far left of Mrs.

Mulder was a young woman with a face she’d seen before. Samantha

Mulder.

She closed her eyes tightly. “It’s just a dream,” she chanted. “Just

a dream.”

An over timer went off and Mulder glared toward the kitchen over his

shoulder. “Damn it. Honey, just sit right here, don’t move. I’ll be

right back!” He hurried off to the kitchen, leaving her alone again.

She was drawn to the mantle over the fireplace. The entire shelf was

covered with photo frames. Stepping gingerly around the coffee table,

she went to get a closer look. Mulder’s graduation picture, obviously

from Oxford. His mother and father were on each side, smiling proudly.

Another picture of him and Samantha. There were other pictures with

Scully in them. The two of them holding each other while standing on a

bridge, obviously a studio shot. Then, a picture of their wedding. At

first she thought it was Mulder she was dancing with but on closer

inspection . . .

“Krycek! That rat bastard!”

“I knew it. He called you back, didn’t he?” Mulder exclaimed from the

doorway. “That does it, Dana. I like the guy, too, but this is taking

friendship too far. He knows you’ve been feeling under the weather and

I wanted you to go on this trip as a vacation, a chance to relax. Man

doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘vacation’ himself, but the least

he can do is respect our wishes!”

She spun on her heel. “You like him? Since when?” she clucked.

Mulder came up and took her in his arms again, kissing her softly on

the lips. “Since the day you agreed to marry me and left him in the

dust,” he said, punctuating each word with more kisses. “Hmm, you

smell great, sweetheart. But dinner’s ready. I just reheated some of

that meatloaf from Monday, but you should still eat.”

She let him lead her to the table and sat down obediently. He filled

her plate and then filled one for himself, sitting down to her left.

She watched him as he dug into the meal.

“Mulder,” she started, but at his hurt expression, she changed it.

“Fox, sweetheart, what did you do today?” She wanted to come out and

ask him exactly what he did for a living, but decided that might get

her a trip to the nearest psychiatric facility, one way.

“Oh, not much. The Deviant Behavior class started their projects. One

of the teams determined that I’m the classic profile for a serial

killer,” he quipped, and wiggled his eyebrows. “I told them it’s been

said before.”

He’s a professor of psychology, she concluded. I’m a Medical Examiner,

Skinner is a police captain, she mused silently. It only made her head

hurt more. And Krycek danced with me at our wedding, she reminded

herself. It all had to be a dream! But it was the longest darned

dream she could remember.

The phone rang again. “Damn it, can’t we have just one meal,” Mulder

cursed as he reached over to answer it. He scowled when he heard the

voice. “What’s the meaning of calling her back like that, Alex? She

wasn’t due back until tomorrow.” He was silent for a minute and then

looked curiously over to Scully. “Okay, I guess, but I really don’t

think she should go out again tonight. She’s really not herself.”

Finally, he sighed. “This is going to stop, and soon, you know,” he

warned, then handed the phone over to Scully.

Scully took the receiver as if it were a live snake. She stared at it

a minute before putting it to her ear. Mulder muttered another curse

and picked up their plates to clean them off in the sink. She turned

her attention back to the voice on the phone.

“Bunnykins, you there?”

“Krycek?” she squeaked. He could not have called her what she thought

he just called her.

“Bunnykins, if you’re sick, just hand this back to the Fox man and I’ll

get someone else to slice and dice. It’s just that when the Cap’n told

me you were back, I wanted to see if you could take a look at this body

we turned up.”

“Body?” she asked. She was chewing her lip and noticed when it started

to hurt.

“Just like the other three. Dead, in a storage closet at Glas-glo

Industries. Cap’n said you were at the scene when he got there. You

know you aren’t supposed to play “Crossing Jordan” without me, Bun!

So, do you want the honors, or should I call Gilman.”

“Gilman,” she huffed. She was all too familiar with the District of

Columbia’s head of pathology. She remembered butting heads with him on

many occasions. “He couldn’t find the funny bone in a game of

Operation,” she snapped.

“Not a nice way to talk about your boss, Bunnykins, but I’ll keep that

little tidbit between the two of us. Now, am I to take that as a yes,

you’ll come?” Krycek asked, sounding hopeful.

“I’ll be there. DC morgue, right?” She felt like she was finally

getting some control over this dream.

“Yeah, I’ll be there in 45. Hey, give the tall guy a kiss for me,” he

said with a grin in his voice.

She didn’t know quite how to answer that so she just hung up the phone.

Mulder was leaning against the counter, arms crossed and glaring at

her.

“I told him I’d come down and do an autopsy,” she said sheepishly.

He nodded, but his expression didn’t soften. “I heard.”

“It’s my job,” she said meekly.

“Yeah, that’s what you’ve told me before,” he shot back. Obviously,

this was not a first time discussion between the two of them.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can,” she told him.

clip_image006

He grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him. His eyes lightened as he

stroked her hair. He leaned down and kissed the crown of her head.

“You can’t stop me from worrying. Especially now. And don’t forget,

we have your Mom’s surprise birthday party tomorrow. First time the

Mulder and the Scully clans have been in the same house since New

Years. And this time, I remembered to alert the fire department,” he

added with a chuckle.

“All of us?” she whispered.

He tilted her face toward him. “Yeah. All of us. So try to be home

early so you can get some rest, OK?” He kissed her passionately, and

the let her go. “Go on, get out of here before I drag you off and have

my way with you,” he teased.

Act II Scene 3

The Morgue

Scully watched awestruck at the clockwork precision with which the team

worked. When she’d walked into the room, someone handed her a lab coat

unceremoniously and she put it on. She noticed an identification tag

with her name was already attached. Odd, she thought, but she then

noticed that everyone wore nametags and so she put the puzzle aside for

that moment.

A young man worked quickly putting a toe tag on the still-clothed body

that lay on the cold slab, while a young woman began taking the

necessary identifying photos. Once she’d finished getting the front

view, she called out to a co-worker for assistance in turning the body

and continued photographing.

Next, the clothes were removed from the corpse and pictures of the

body, both front and back, were once again taken. Other members of the

team moved the body to the scale for weighing and x-raying.

A pair of workers was carefully going over every item of clothing and

documenting any and all characteristics of the items. Scully remained

standing in the center of the hubbub, not quite sure exactly what her

role was at that moment. The group surrounding her seemed to work like

a well-oiled machine.

“Hey, doc? We’re ready for you anytime you want to begin slicing and

dicing,” called out a young man.

“Okay,” she said without looking directly at the source of the voice.

Scully remained mesmerized by the flurry of activity and the fact that

she was apparently in charge of it.

“You okay, doc?”

“I’m sorry,” she began and looked at the nametag clipped to the lab

coat, “Kevin,” she stammered. “I don’t know where my head is today”.

She looked over at the nude corpse and announced, “Let’s get started,

shall we?”

The forensics specialist set to work by turning on the tape recorder

and by referring to the file identified the case number and stated the

victim’s name. “John Pratt.”

I know that name, she thought with a start. “John Pratt was a golfer,”

she murmured.

“Why Doctor Scully, your forensics expertise never ceases to amaze me,”

called out a familiar voice from the entrance.

Thinking quickly, she pointed to the body’s right arm and noted that it

was slightly more muscular than the left. “It’s not quite as built up

as it would have been if he were a tennis player…”

“I see.” The voice held a hint of amusement in it.

“Well, it just fits,” she said and looked up. When she looked up,

Scully’s eyes grew wide at the figure before her. Like an old habit,

she felt the animosity rise along with the color of her cheeks, but

just as quickly she tamped it down.

“You never cease to amaze me, Scully, to find the smallest clue and

make it answer the big questions.”

“Well, I guess Mulder’s rubbed off on me,” she murmured.

“Gee, you think?” He laughed and was about to offer his own reasons

for Scully’s uncanny ability to weave answers out of the air when the

trill of his cell phone interrupted the exchange. He opened up the

channel and identified himself.

“Krycek.”

He nodded while holding the phone to his ear and then said, “Good.

Show him downstairs.”

“Send who downstairs?” asked Scully, more confused than ever.

Krycek smiled. “Our corpse.”

“Our…what the hell are you talking about, Krycek?”

“Now, Bunnykins, you’ve got to calm down. Please. You’ll see for

yourself in another – .”

“Call me that one more time, Krycek, and I will make sure you’re lying

on one of these tables and no jury will would find me guilty either,”

seethed Scully.

“But, I always call you Bunnykins, and you always call me – .”

“Excuse me,” said a man standing, hesitantly, by the doorway. “I was

told to come here to identify a body. But I don’t understand. No one

will tell me who it is. My God, is it my wife Audrey?”

Scully felt lightheaded when she looked up and saw who was standing at

the door. It couldn’t be, could it? she wondered. “No, sir, it’s not

Audrey,” she assured him.

“Then, who?”

“Mr. Pratt,” began Krycek, “do you have a brother? A twin brother? An

identical twin brother?”

“Identical twin? No, of course not. I have a sister, and a couple of

first cousins, but that’s it.” He looked from Krycek to Scully, still

in a state of total confusion. “Why? What’s going on?”

“Mr. Pratt, I want you to step over here and tell me if you recognize

the body lying on this table.”

As Pratt stepped closer, the attendant who had thoughtfully covered up

the body with a sheet upon hearing a ‘civilian’ was entering the

icebox, stood ready to uncover it.

Thank God I hadn’t made the Y-incision yet, thought Scully with some

relief. Since it was always a shock for people not desensitized to the

presence of dead bodies, Scully moved closer to John Pratt. The live

John Pratt.

“Sir,” she said softly, “I’d like you to take a deep breath and then

let it out slowly. What you’re about to see will most likely be very

disturbing to you.”

“Please, just show me, already. I can’t imagine it being much worse

than being kept in the dark!”

“Okay.” Scully nodded toward the attendant and he slowly folded the

covering down just below the victim’s face. “Mr. Pratt, do you

recognize this person?”

Pratt had turned his head away; the thought of looking at a cold,

vulnerable, dead body lying on a metal table was not something he

looked forward to. When Scully called his name, he forced himself to

turn his eyes toward the victim. The morbid curiosity people feel when

viewing a horrific scene was no different for Pratt. He stared down at

the face that lay on the table.

His expression showed little if any recognition of the double that lay

before him. Seconds ticked by when slowly a look of shock, and then

horror, began to register on Pratt’s face.

“Oh, sweet Jesus,” he gasped out. He then proceeded to upchuck the

contents of his last meal on what was once a pristine floor.

Approximately twenty minutes later, after the floor was swabbed down

and disinfected, John Pratt was brought to an office that Scully had

soon realized was hers. After a brief interview, Scully and Krycek

learned that the other three dead bodies currently in the morgue were

the body doubles of John Pratt’s three research associates over at

Glass-glo Industries. He was shown Polaroid shots of the victims, as

neither Krycek nor Scully felt it necessary to put Mr. Pratt under the

stress of seeing three more dead bodies.

Though the identification process for the last three victims was

certainly less traumatic than the first, it nonetheless left Mr. Pratt

weak-kneed. Krycek suggested that he be driven home in a black and

white, and that arrangements could be made for someone to pick his car

up later. Pratt nodded, his pallor still somewhat chalky, and left

with a DC uniformed cop.

Scully sat quietly at the desk, her desk. She still had difficulty

wrapping her mind around whatever was going on, but one thing was

certain; this was no dream.

“So, Dana, what half-looped theory do you have for this one?”

“You act as if all of my theories are out there,” she retorted.

“C’mon, Bunnykins, this is you we’re talking about!”

“Stop with the Bunnykins already!” She was ticked. The problem was

Krycek had no reason as to why.

“What’s with you? I know the Cap’n was concerned that you’d hit your

head or something, and now you’re getting me worried. Dana, I always

call you Bunnykins and you always call me BunnyBoy,” he said. When she

looked at him with an expression of total incredulity, he added, “Well,

almost always.”

“Aha.”

“We don’t use our pet names in front of Fox. He never did appreciate

them.”

“Fox doesn’t like them?” she echoed, her confusion apparent.

“Dana, those were our nicknames in college, remember? I mean, they

weren’t exactly our idea…I mean, they were kind of laid on us by our

very good, well-meaning friends who had very warped senses of humor,

but shit, if the shoe fits?”

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Are you saying we – !”

” – humped like little bunnies all the way through our junior and

senior years!”

“But, what happened?”

“Fox Mulder happened.” Krycek wore a bittersweet smile. “You met him

when you entered medical school. He was working for one of the profs

in the pysch department and you met him while taking one of your gut-

level psych courses. The rest, as they say, is history.”

“Oh.” He’d swept me off my feet even in this world, she mused to

herself. This world. “Oh, shit,” she muttered.

“What?”

“Krycek -”

“Look, I know something is off here; I get that. But please, you stop

calling me Krycek. The way you say it – I don’t know – it sounds

almost like an obscenity coming off of your lips.”

“I’m sorry; I don’t mean to, it’s just that I can’t call you -”

“Call me Alex, okay?” He smiled, brighter this time.

“Okay, Alex it is.” She took a deep breath and felt more relaxed than

she’d felt in the last couple of hours.

“So, back to the business at hand. Do you have any theories about all

of this, half-looped or otherwise?” he asked.

“Well,” she hesitated. “As a matter of fact, I do. And I suspect this

one’s going to seem more off the wall than usual, so try and keep an

open mind, okay?” At that she chuckled; never had she thought it would

be necessary for her to use that particular line regarding one of her

theories.

“Hey, you’ve yet to steer me wrong, Bunny-, Dana.”

Dana acknowledged his correction with a small nod and then went on to

explain. “Okay, first, I’m not exactly who you think I am.”

“Okay.”

“No, really.”

“The mind is still open, Dana, but you better start clarifying for me

or it’s going to get plugged up really fast.”

“Alex, it appears that I come from a place very much like this, only a

little different.”

“Really.” Now he was getting really worried. The woman was delusional

and definitely showing signs of a head injury.

“Yes, really. Alex, I am not a medical examiner. I am a forensic

pathologist who is also a special agent – ” Given the total look of

disbelief Krycek displayed, Scully decided it was best to provide proof

positive of her identity. She pulled out her ID and then, slowly, very

slowly, she pulled out her weapon.

“Holy shit, Dana! What the hell are you doing with a gun?”

“I’m an FBI agent, Alex. I have a license to carry this and to be

honest, I’m a pretty damn good shot.”

“FBI?” he repeated as he reached out for the identification badge.

“This is unbelievable.”

“Tell me about it,” she murmured.

“Okay,” he stammered, “let’s assume this badge is for real and that gun

isn’t something you picked up at the costume shop just to scare the

crap out of me.”

Next, he took a couple of deep breaths. It was obvious to Scully that

Krycek both wanted yet couldn’t quite believe what she was purporting.

She had no problem relating to his dilemma.

“Dana, why are *you* here and not the real, I mean, other Dana Mulder.”

“Well, my guess is that the other Dana is still in San Francisco

attending her conference. She’s probably going to be in for a rude

awakening if she comes back and sees me.”

“Not to mention Fox,” Krycek added.

“Oh, boy.” Scully let out an unexpected giggle at that thought.

“What?” asked Krycek who too was now smiling.

“The Mulder in my world always had enough trouble handling one Scully

in his life. I can only imagine what it would be like for him with

two.”

“Hey, but then there’d be one for each of us!”

“Sorry, Alex, I’m a one Mulder kind of gal.”

“Figures, my luck I lose out to Mulder in two worlds!”

She shook her head, having decided not to elaborate any further on her

relationship with the Krycek of her world.

“Okay, now here’s the situation.” Scully went on to explain her theory

that the bodies lying in the morgue were those of the four missing

Glass-glo research associates from her world. The fact that John Pratt

walked in alive and well and confirmed that his three associates were

in the same state only served to bolster her theory.

“But how did the bodies get here? Hell, how did you get here?” asked

Krycek, as he tried to make sense of it all. “How were the victims

killed, and why were the bodies brought here?”

“Okay, I think I can more easily answer your last questions first.”

She rummaged through the files on her desk and discovered the ones she

was looking for in the box marked ‘current’. “According to the

autopsies on the first three bodies, the toxicology report states that

all three ingested a combination of poisonous substances that rendered

their bodily functions useless.”

“Okay, poisoned to death. And I assume they were brought here to hide

the bodies from law enforcement in your world, right?”

“That would be the most logical assumption.”

“Okay, but, Dana, who would do this? What’s the motive?”

“The only suspect that I have on my list is Bradley Kensworth.”

“Kensworth? You’ve got to be kidding! He’s one of the most respected

businessmen in this city. Dana, not only is he brilliant in his own

right, but the man runs a multi-million dollar company and has more

friends in this town than he knows what to do with!”

“Alex,” she said gently, “remember, you’re describing the Bradley

Kensworth of your world. He didn’t quite come across that way in

mine.”

“Oh. Damn, you don’t think – ”

“I think there’s a very real possibility Mr. Kensworth will be

prosecuted for the deaths of five people.”

“But there’s still the ‘how’. How the hell did you and those bodies

get here?”

“I think the answer to that question is at Glass-glo Industries.”

“Okay,” Alex said after taking a deep breath. “I suspect the best

thing for us to do is to try and find this guy Kensworth and bring him

in for questioning.”

“I think that’s a very good idea. Let’s go.”

“Excuse me?” Alex looked definitely amused.

“I said, ‘Let’s go’.” Scully definitely did not.

“Dana, this could be dangerous.”

“Alex, I’m an FBI special agent, remember?”

“Oh. Well, you probably don’t have jurisdiction here, right?”

“I’m sure if there are any incidents, once all is explained, all will

be forgiven.”

Alex noted the look of determination on Scully’s face and he knew there

would be no changing her mind. Well, better that she be with him, he

thought, so he could keep an eye on her.

Act III Scene 1

Leslie Rosten was pacing the small lab at Glas-glo Industries. At one

of the microscopes, Henry Polanski was hunched over the lens,

scribbling hurriedly on a note pad next to him. Larry Sisk was playing

‘one on one’ with the nerf basketball set attached to the door of the

lab refrigerator.

“I don’t like it. John is never late,” Leslie said for the third time.

Larry shook his head. “At least not before the first trifecta,” he

chuckled. “He probably decided to have a late lunch, Les. Relax.

It’s not the first time we’ve had to cover for him.”

At that moment, Brad Kensworth tapped on the glass window to the lab

and opened the door. “Anybody home?”

Leslie shot Larry an ‘I told you so’ look and pasted on a fake smile.

“Brad, hi! Yeah, the gang’s all here. Oh, except John. Unexpected

dentist appointment,” she lied neatly.

Kensworth smiled thinly. “Oh, well, hopefully he’ll show up soon. So,

how’s the application of the new product going?” he asked casually as

he wandered around the lab, even moving Henry aside to glance down the

microscope.

“You know, Brad, we’re years away from commercial application of the

green glass. The prototype works and that’s wonderful, but we’re going

to need the engineers in here to take a look at the specs and see how

to mass market it,” Larry said lazily. He made a basket, nothing but

net, and pantomimed a cheering section.

Kensworth strode over quickly and grabbed the basketball hoop off the

refrigerator, tossing it in the garbage can. “I told you I wanted

those specs NOW, Larry. I’m not waiting around for some dumbass

engineer to tell me he has to have half a million dollars in

unnecessary equipment changes before we can hand this stuff over,” he

growled.

Leslie shifted uncomfortably on her feet, backing up to stand close to

Henry. “Brad, you act like someone wants this stuff. It’s just R & D

at this point. It’s never been sent out for contract.” She glanced

over to her companions. “At least, _we_ never saw the proposal.”

A swift kick to the garbage can and everyone jumped. Kensworth was

visibly trying to calm himself down. “I know it’s just R & D, Les.

But we can’t let this stuff sit on a drawing board forever. The

commercial applications could make this company millions, billions, I

would dare say. It would put us on top, we’d be up there with Corning.

Glass is the future, you all know that!” He dropped his hands to his

side. “And besides, there are hefty, and I mean hefty bonuses to all

of you coming very soon, if you get me the correct specs.”

All three researchers exchanged nervous glances. Henry put his hand on

Leslie’s arm, but spoke directly to Kensworth. “I was playing with it

the other night, Brad.” He turned and rifled through a desk draw,

coming up with a file folder. He took the three steps and handed it to

his boss. “It’s rough, but I think it’s enough to get started. I

agree with Larry, though. I think the engineers . . .”

Kensworth grabbed the file and smiled excitedly. “Oh, this will be

enough, Henry. Thank you. I appreciate this. You have no idea how

much I appreciate this. Well, you will, in your next paycheck. Now,

all of you, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Oh, and Leslie, tell

John I hope that tooth gets to feeling better,” he said brightly and

left before anyone else could say a word.

After the door closed, Leslie slumped. “My god, what just happened?”

she exclaimed.

“I’ve never seen Brad act like that,” Larry agreed, going over to

inspect the garbage can. “Wow, he really did a number on this. We’ll

need a new one,” he said sorrowfully.

Henry was deep in thought and Leslie touched his arm to get his

attention. “Why did you give him that folder, Hank? I didn’t think

you had all the kinks worked out.”

He met her gaze finally and smiled. “I don’t. I just didn’t like the

way the conversation was heading. Guys, I think something is rotten in

Denmark.”

“Oh, shit, we’re starting the literary references again,” Larry howled.

“You know, we all weren’t English majors at Princeton before we

discovered the science lab!”

Leslie chuckled at the joke but then turned serious and faced Henry.

“What are you saying?”

“I don’t think that’s Brad.”

Larry started laughing. “Well, it sure wasn’t Brad _Pitt_. If it

wasn’t Brad, who the hell was it?”

Leslie had already caught on. “Hank, are you saying what I think

you’re saying? That the person just in this room was . . .”

“Another Brad Kensworth. But not ours.”

Leslie dropped to the desk chair and put her hand to her mouth. “Oh,

my god!”

Larry was standing, watching Henry like he’d just spouted the cure for

the common cold. “Hank, that’s . . . man, that’s nuts!”

“Not if our findings are right,” Henry said slowly. “Not if Brad

succeeded in finding a way to another parallel dimension.”

“But Brad would never have allowed another guy to come back with him.

I mean, he would have had more sense then to . . .”

“Unless something’s happened to _our_ Brad,” Leslie said, tears forming

in her eyes. Suddenly, she jumped up off the chair. “Oh god, Hank!

What if something’s happened to John? What if this Brad . . .”

“Les, relax, honey, it’ll be okay,” Henry said, taking her in his arms.

Meanwhile, just beyond the closed door, within ear shot but undetected,

Brad Kensworth smiled evilly. “Just keep telling yourselves that, my

little friends. I’ll be dealing with you very soon.”

Act III Scene 2

He stepped through the solid emerald waterfall and emerged

on the other side. His world. It was good to be back,

even if it’s just for a little while. He picked up his

pace as he realized he’d been out of touch with his workers

for quite some time. In fact, he began to jog a bit when

suddenly, he felt as though he’d ran into a brick wall.

“Jesus H. Christ!” Kensworth felt the knocked out of him.

“Where the hell did you come from?” demanded Mulder.

“Where’s Agent Scully?”

“Agent Scully?” he asked, not having to feign innocence

given that he had no idea of the answer. “Besides, what

are you doing here in the first place? This is a secured

area; I brought you here earlier out of courtesy and my

desire to find out what happened to my team. But you,

Agent Mulder, are trespassing on private property.”

“Hey, you’ve got government contracts with NASA, so the

private property clause no longer applies.” Mulder wasn’t

positive if this was actually the case or not, but he

figured if he said it with enough confidence, Kensworth

just might buy it and not call security.

“Look, I don’t want any trouble, Agent Mulder. I’m going

to ask you politely to leave.”

Mulder wasn’t sure if his ploy worked or if it just bought

him a little more time. “Mr. Kensworth, my partner and I

are merely doing our job. However, I’ve apparently lost

track of her whereabouts; you haven’t seen her around here,

have you?”

“No, and I can assure you that if I did, I’d be requesting

she leave the premises the same way I’m asking you to do

so. Now, do I have to call security? Because NASA

contract or no NASA contract, you do not have security

clearance to be here on your own and I have work that must

be done immediately.”

“No, that won’t be necessary. If you do come into contact

with my partner, would you let her know that I’ll be

waiting for her by the car?”

“Of course. I’ll walk you to the elevator,” and Kensworth

led the way to the corridor that held Mulder’s ride to the

main lobby.

They both heard the ping that alerted riders an elevator

was available. After a terse ‘good day’, Kensworth hurried

off to the left of the bank of elevators without ever

looking back.

That worked to Mulder’s advantage, as he had no intention

of leaving the area without his partner. The agent decided

that Mr. Bradley Kensworth probably knew more than he was

letting on. Mulder did the only sensible thing he could

do; he followed Kensworth at a very discreet distance, with

his weapon in a moment’s reach.

Kensworth went left and entered a hallway that was

unfamiliar to Mulder. Mulder watched Kensworth pull out

his security keycard and swipe it at the entrance way to

the secured corridor. He was granted access and pushed his

way through the double doors with his eyes forward the

entire time.

Mulder managed to remain just close enough to be able to

snag the doors before they completely closed and he quietly

slipped through. Both Kensworth and Mulder repeated this

process two more times.

Finally, Kensworth stopped before the final door and once

again swiped the keycard; only this time he pressed his

palm against a sensing device located above where he’d

swiped his card. Again, Mulder managed to follow him

through the doors, which led him to wonder just how good

Glass-glo security was if he was able to gain access to the

entire high security area.

Mulder entered and noted Kensworth’s back was to him.

Mulder quickly slipped behind a row of shelves that allowed

him the ability to watch his subject in action.

And what action it was.

Mulder watched as Kensworth pulled out a sheath of what

appeared to be hastily folded papers from his suit jacket.

After he smoothed the material out as much as possible, he

next pulled out what seemed to be a small piece of green

gemstone. It was opaque, yet there appeared to be fluidity

to it that Mulder couldn’t explain.

He watched as Kensworth put the small, emerald object onto

a small platform encased in a machine unlike any Mulder had

ever seen before. He noted four, what appeared to be,

electrodes sticking out, surrounding the sample.

“Okay, now let’s see what my beautiful electrostatic

levitator can do,” whispered Kensworth, while he

unknowingly gave Mulder a play by play of what was going

on.

“Once you’re turned on, my beautiful little ESL, you are

going to confirm the answer to my prayers and make me a

very, very rich man.

“First we get the position right with the shadows from the

lasers, and then we start charging my beautiful liquid

transporter with all of your electrical charges. Make sure

the arc lamp is ready to shine, shine, shine and then all

of those electrical charges being sapped away from my

little beauty are replaced.

“Okay, now I just wait for the digital feedback to do its

thing and control the whole system. This has got to be it.

They must have figured out how to reproduce it; it’s my

ticket out of here!”

Suddenly, without any warning, there was a small explosion

inside the chamber area of the ESL. “Oh, God, no! NO!

That was my only sample of their replication. Damn it!”

cried out Kensworth in obvious anger and frustration.

Kensworth then continued his running monologue. “Okay, you

sonofabitches, it’s time for me to stop playing games. You

will give me the information I need or you’re going to find

yourself right next to your ‘doublemint’ twins. I am going

to get this information if I have to kill each and everyone

of them to do it.”

With that, Kensworth made sure all power was off in the

levitator as well as the lab itself. He turned and gave

nary a glance to the rest of his surroundings. Mulder

pressed himself up against the shelf as much as possible to

prevent his quarry from seeing him or his shadow.

He watched as Kensworth left the room without any security

protocol to follow, which made it that much easier for

Mulder to stealthily follow the man back to the first lab

area.

Act III Scene 3

“Could you move this car a little faster?” Scully asked as she looked

over Krycek’s arm to the speedometer.

“Look, I don’t know how they do it in your ‘universe’, but around here,

we try to obey traffic laws,” he told her with a mirthful grin.

“Ha!” she shot back. “Like you’d ever obey any law,” she muttered.

“I heard that!” he growled. “From what I’ve seen, you sure don’t seem

to like ‘your’ Alex very much, do you?”

Scully looked at the man to her left and thought about that question.

What good would it do to try and explain all the hate and mystery tied

up in the person that was Alex Krycek in her world. But the Alex

sitting next to her wasn’t about to give up.

clip_image008

“Is he that big of a creep?” he asked, wincing involuntarily.

“In a word, yes,” she said and turned her attention to the road.

“I’m sure Fox Mulder is some knight in shining armor, right?” Krycek

continued, a bitterness edging his voice.

“Look, I’d rather not . . .”

“Are you two married over there?”

That question hit her out of the blue, too.

“No,” she replied quietly.

“Is he gay over there?” Krycek asked with a mischievous grin

She glared at him. “No, he is not gay. We just . . . we haven’t taken

that step,” she said, wanting very much to change the subject, or stop

talking all together.

“Good. Maybe my twin has a shot,” he grinned. At her very sour look

he shrugged. “Or not.”

“Can we just get to the company?” she pleaded.

“Sure thing, ‘Special Agent Scully’,” he said and pressed the

accelerator closer to the floor.

Act IV Scene 1

Mulder stood in front of the slab of glass and wondered if he was

making a mistake. He saw Kensworth push forward and disappear into the

emerald sheet, but he still couldn’t believe it.

This was pretty ironic even for Mulder, given his pension for wanting

to believe in extreme possibilities. It was with that thought that he

drew out his weapon, took a deep breath, and propelled himself through

the fluid wall.

His disorientation lasted only moments, when Mulder suddenly found

himself facing Kensworth and three others. When he took a closer look,

behind the comfort of his glock, Mulder realized that Kensworth also

held a gun, and it was pointed in the direction of the three, apparent,

hostages.

“Agent Mulder? How did you – What are you -?” stuttered Kensworth.

“I followed you, like any good agent of the FBI should, Mr. Kensworth.

And since I’m trained to use deadly force if necessary with the very

weapon in my hands, I suggest that you drop your gun and turn yourself

in for the murders of four people.”

“I didn’t murder anyone. The team is right here, Agent Mulder.”

“I see only three.”

“Trust me, all four are alive and well.”

“Why don’t I believe you, Mr. Kensworth?” asked Mulder with a forced

grin.

“Believe what you want, Agent Mulder. But right now it appears that I

have the upper hand, as I don’t believe you’ll take the chance of

harming innocent people, now would you?”

“Look,” said Henry Polanski, “I know you want to help, but this guy

seems to mean business, you know? He’s already killed our boss.”

“Shut up! Shut up! I’m your boss! Do you hear me? I’m Bradley

Kensworth and I’m your boss!”

“Hey,” began Leslie Rosten, “you may look like Brad, and you may sound

like Brad, but trust me, you don’t have half of the brain power Brad

has, or rather had. I know Bradley Kensworth, and you sure as hell

aren’t him.” Leslie tried to remain stoic, but she couldn’t and finally

gave in to her sorrow and fear, and broke down.

“Leslie, are you okay?” called out John Pratt as he entered the room.

When he took note of the stalemate between agent and hostage taker, he

demanded, “For crying out loud, what’s going on here?”

“John, get out of here! Please!” cried out Leslie.

Instead of leaving, John Pratt moved closer to the group. He looked

over at Mulder and wondered who the unknown face in the group was, when

Kensworth suddenly became jumpy.

“Don’t move any closer, Pratt!”

“Bradley, what is it that you want from us?” asked Pratt as he moved

slowly closer to the group.

“What do I want? I want data. I want the data that will make me a

very rich man, John.” He paused but then turned his gun toward Pratt.

“And I distinctly remember telling you not to come any closer.”

“Kensworth, put the gun down now,” Mulder ordered.

“Go to hell Agent Mulder.”

“This is going to end now, Kensworth. Don’t let it end badly. Put the

gun down.” Mulder stood steadfast with his weapon trained on

businessman’s head.

“Oh, this is bullshit! You’re right, Agent, but every ending has to

have a beginning and I’m going to start with you.” And in one fluid

motion, Bradley Kensworth pointed his gun toward Mulder and ready to

cock the trigger.

Act IV Scene 2

Glas-glo Industries

They heard voices near the labs. Raised voices. Scully was certain

she’d made out Mulder’s voice in the mix. She pulled her weapon and

motioned for Krycek to follow her. He gave her a raised eyebrow, but

didn’t voice any objection. He pulled his own weapon and moved quietly

behind her.

As they crept across the cement floor of the industrial complex, Scully

grew more and more concerned. It was Mulder, she could hear him. He

sounded angry, it was his panic voice even though it would have

appeared in control to anyone else. She moved faster, still making

sure not to give away her and Krycek’s position.

At the window to the lab, she saw Kensworth. He was pointing a gun at

the researchers and then suddenly, he swung and he took aim at a person

whose back was turned to her but was still as familiar as her own

reflection.

“Mulder!” she gasped. She grabbed for the door, but was shoved aside

by a sudden impact. She skidded across the floor a few feet and when

she managed to get into the room it was to see the aftermath. All

action had ceased.

Mulder stood over Kensworth, who lay dead on the floor.

With a murderous glare, Mulder had his gun trained on the sudden

intruder, Alex Krycek.

Krycek was trying to appear composed in the face of what had to be a

totally incomprehensible situation. The man he’d almost surely

considered a ‘pansy assed professor’ was taking a bead right on his

heart.

Four researchers stood huddled and frightened in the corner.

Scully stepped in the room, holstering her weapon. Mulder noticed her

immediately, but didn’t break his stance.

“Scully, be careful! It’s Krycek!” he shouted.

She shook her head as she walked over to her partner. Slowly, she

brought her hand up and grasped his extended hand, bringing the weapon

down to his side. “Yes, Mulder. I know. He’s been helping me,” she

said in a calm voice. She looked up into his shocked eyes and smiled.

“It’s okay. He’s not our Krycek. He’s not that much of a jerk, at

least from what I’ve seen. Mulder, he just saved your life.”

Mulder seemed to take that in for second and then returned to the

bigger question in his mind. “The glass . . .” Mulder started, but

couldn’t complete the thought. It was too incredible for even him to

believe at first blush. Scully’s grin grew larger.

“Basically, it’s a portal between two dimensions. Two parallel

universes,” she said simply.

“Not two different times?” Mulder asked, relaxing more with each word

she uttered.

“Nope. Two perfectly parallel worlds,” she said with a shake of her

head. Her eyes brightened. “Just like I proposed in my senior

thesis,” she added with a wink.

“Well, I’m so happy we could finally put that whole issue to rest,

Scully, but next time find a less terrifying way to go about it,”

Mulder gritted out, finally feeling safe enough to put his gun away.

“So, I assume this was the Kensworth from ‘our’ universe,” he

concluded, nodding toward the body on the floor.

“And I’m pretty sure he’s responsible for the death of four people from

your universe,” Krycek said, coming forward slowly, so as not to

startle Mulder again.

“And one from your universe,” Scully said to Krycek. Then she turned

to her partner. “I’m sure if we looked, Mulder, we’ll find the body of

Brad Kensworth from this world in a locker at Glas-glo on our side.”

“I’m getting a headache,” Krycek said with a heavy sigh. “How the hell

do we explain this thing? The Captain is gonna have a shit fit!”

Mulder broke out into a bright smile. “Gee, it’s not the first time

we’ve had a case remain unsolved. Must be an X-file,” he said to

Krycek, whose response was an expression of utter and complete

confusion. “I think our work is done here, Scully. We have just

enough time to get back to our universe, make our own explanations to

Skinner and get over to your mom’s house.”

“What? You aren’t leaving this mess for me to clean up, are you?”

Krycek beseeched Scully. “Bunnykins! C’mon!”

“Bunnykins?” Mulder repeated, reaching for his gun again. Scully put a

hand on his arm and he hesitated, but dropped it finally.

Scully walked over to Alex and did something that was unexpected, even

to her. She reached up on tiptoe and placed a chaste kiss on his

cheek. “Thanks, Alex, for everything. Oh, and don’t forget. You

still have to explain _my_ appearance to _your_ Mulder.”

Krycek closed his eyes in exasperation. “I’m a dead man. Can’t I come

over there with you? And what about this guy! Who the hell has

jurisdiction?”

Mulder’s smile couldn’t get any bigger. He took Scully by the elbow

and walked over to the glass, just outside the lab. He motioned to the

cluster of researchers and Leslie Rosten walked over cautiously

avoiding Kensworth.

“When we get through, break it,” Mulder directed.

Leslie gasped. “But shouldn’t we . . .”

Scully reached out and touched Leslie’s hand. “No, he’s right, Dr.

Rosten. Break the glass. We’ll break the one on our side. We just

aren’t ready for this yet. But maybe . . .”

“Never,” Mulder said firmly and with a glance of goodbye, together they

stepped into the glass.

And into an empty company floor. Taking the butt of his weapon, Mulder

hit the glass at the edge and watched it shatter to the cement below.

Scully sighed in relief. Mulder had his eyes closed and she reached up

to touch his cheek. “We’re home,” she told him quietly.

“Are you sure?” he asked tightly.

She took his hand and walked him to the exit. Pushing open the double

doors, she pointed to their bureau rental, parked right where they’d

left it. “Yeah. I’m sure.”

“Scully, I still don’t quite understand.” Mulder was chewing on his

lip as he searched for the keys in his pants pocket. “Krycek was

helping you? And what was with that kiss?”

Scully smiled at him affectionately. “I’ll explain it all on the ride

to Mom’s.”

Epilogue

Maggie Scully’s House

Baltimore, MD

The doorbell rang.

“Oh, that must be them,” called out Maggie Scully, happily.

“Sit, Mom, I’ve got it covered.” Bill Scully, Jr. stood up from the

couch.

“Bill, please…,” Maggie said softly.

“Don’t worry. I’m just going to open the door to let them in,” he

assured.

He left the den where everyone had retired to enjoy their coffee. They

were holding off on the birthday cake until the rest of the family

could join them. Now, they were finally there. Bill opened the front

door.

“Dana,” Bill said warmly as he enveloped his little sister into his

arms.

“Hi, Bill, it’s so good to finally be here,” she said with a hint of

fatigue.

“You sound tired,” he said.

“I won’t lie; I am. We didn’t get a chance to get much sleep on this

case, but thankfully we were able to wrap it up quickly.” She took a

quick glance around. “Where is everyone?”

“In the den having coffee. Come, Mom’s really anxious to see you.”

Mulder cleared his throat. “Um, I’ll be right there. I have to use

the little boy’s room.”

Scully rolled her eyes and smiled. Bill just rolled his eyes.

“Go on, Scully. I’ll be there in a second.” As she started to walk

away, Mulder touched Bill’s shoulder. “May I speak with you for a

moment?”

“What’s there to say? You want me to thank you for finally getting my

sister here a day late? She missed our brother because of your stupid

case.”

“Excuse me? Did you say *my* case? I thought you’d figured it out by

now, Bill, but they’re not *my* cases. They haven’t been for a very

long time. They’re *our* cases. It’s our job to follow through on

these cases.

“Bill, you’re in the navy. Surely you, of all people, understand that

when your direct superior gives you an order, you obey it. Our

superior gave us an order. We didn’t have the luxury of saying, ‘Oh,

no, not today, boss.’

“We were given orders and we followed them. Happily, the good guys won

and won pretty quickly, but not before five people were killed. . Our

case wasn’t something we did on a whim, and certainly not on *my* whim.

The Assistant Director of the FBI ordered us to solve those murders,

and we did. We’ve been working our tails off all day locating a missing

dead body and filling out a multitude of paper work just so we could

get here tonight. Scully and I are both bone-tired, but we’re here

because we wanted to be here.

“So, instead of bitching about why *I* kept your sister from her

mother’s party, how about you going in and congratulating her on a job

well done.

“And this is the last cross exchange we’re going to have tonight. This

is your mom’s night, and I think our getting along would be in her top

five most wanted gifts, don’t you?”

Mulder held out his hand and waited.

Patiently.

It seemed like an eternity passed, when in reality only moments had,

and Bill extended his own hand. Their grasp was firm, and though it

held no promise for beyond that night, Maggie’s celebration would be a

happy one.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really do need to use the facilities.”

Bill nodded and left to return to the den. He moved to sit down next

to his sister on the love seat when Tara called him over to sit back

down next to her on the couch. He did and Mulder entered the room just

as he sat.

“Fox, your timing is wonderful. We’re just about to have birthday

cake.”

“Great! I’m starving.”

“You haven’t had real food yet, Mulder, and you are not going to fill

up on birthday cake!” admonished Scully.

Tara Scully chuckled, reached for her husband’s hand, and then looked

directly at Mulder and Scully. “You two sound like an old married

couple!”

“Sometimes it feels like we’re an old married couple,” said Scully.

Mulder looked at her questioningly; she smiled in silent response.

“Well,” he pronounced, “I’ll just have my dinner backwards, if that’s

okay with you Mrs. Scully?”

“Yes, Fox, that’s fine with me.” The matriarch of the Scully clan

found herself smiling. No matter how many times she’d told Fox that it

was okay for him to call her Maggie, he never did. Someone had

obviously drummed some manners into that man a long time ago and it

stuck.

“How about you, sweetheart? Do you want to join Fox in a rewind

dinner?” she asked her daughter.

“Oh, sure, why the hell not?” she replied, and threw her hands up in

defeat.

“Good. Now, let’s bring out that cake so I can start opening up

presents!” declared Maggie.

The candles were lit and wishes were sealed as the grandchildren, both

Bill’s and Charles’ boys, helped to blow them out. Bonnie, Charles’

wife helped her Mother-in-law by handing over the gaily-wrapped

presents.

“I can’t believe how big the boys have gotten, Bonnie,” as she admired

the framed photograph of her two eldest grandchildren. “Thank you,

dear. Tell

Charles I say thank you, too.”

“I will, Maggie. I know he’s so sorry he couldn’t make it for the

entire weekend.”

“You mean he wasn’t here last night?” asked Scully, startled.

“Well, yes and no,” Bonnie replied. “We’d just arrived when he was

called out on orders at the last minute. He insisted that the boys and

I stay, though.”

“Oh, I’m sorry you didn’t have much of a chance to visit with him

either, Mom,” Scully said sympathetically.

“Hopefully we will next time,” responded Maggie, as she put down the

last of her unwrapped presents.

“Well, we have some news we’d like to share.”

Maggie turned with anticipation. “Oh?” She smiled.

“We’re pregnant!”

“Oh! Oh, Tara, I’m so happy for you; I’m so happy for you both!” She

stood and grabbed her daughter-in-law in a hug and then drew her son

into a loving clasp as well. “This is lovely news. A new grandchild!

What a wonderful birthday present! Thank you,” she said, smiling

through her tears.

Everyone sat back down chattering quietly about the happy news. Scully

looked around at her family and realized that she hadn’t felt that good

in months and months. This was what it was all about.

Family.

Sharing.

And trust.

Scully reached over and took Mulder’s hand. His expression was

priceless and she smiled to reassure him.

“Mom, I guess Mulder and I have one more little present to share.”

It was time to trust.

The End

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One thought on “Mirror, Mirror”

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