Take Me Out With The Ball Team

TITLE: ‘Take Me Out With The Ball Team’

AUTHOR: XSketch

EMAIL: XSketch@hotmail.com

WEBSITE

Artwork: mercimulder

SPOILERS: General knowledge of the show – particularly the Biogenesis trilogy necessary. Also a brief poke at VS12’s ‘Finding The Future’

by Traveler, and a tiny reference to ‘Resist Or Serve’ (the video game) you’ll only notice if you’ve played it and paid attention 🙂

RATING: PG

CATEGORY: S, MSR, MT, A

SUMMARY: She prays for the time when they can share a ‘normal’ day out together, but it looks like she’s not going to be answered today.

FEEDBACK: Big hugs are offered in return for this holy gift!

DISCLAIMER: None of the characters herein belong to me – all characters from The X-Files are property of CC, Fox, 1013 and co.; all baseball teams, players and field remain property of Major League Baseball and their affiliates. No infringement’s intended,

and I guarantee I’m making no monetary profit for writing this.

ARCHIVE: Two weeks exclusive to IMTP’s VS12, and then it becomes a free agent for anyone to host as long as my name stays attached.

AUTHOR’S NOTES: Written for the VS12 ‘Spring Sports Spectacular Special’

DEDICATION: To the forever-great Sue Briscoe and Gene Pitney. Thanks

sooooooo much for everything and being the people you are. Mr P: Get better soon and have a safe journey back from Oz! 🙂 Sue: Hope to see you again soon!

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Take Me Out With The Ball Team

YANKEE STADIUM

BRONX, NEW YORK

APRIL 3rd, 2005

He was like a child, and if she hadn’t known or seen who was sitting beside her she would have guessed that he was a little boy.

He wriggled, he hummed, he tapped his feet, he occasionally bounced up and down on the seat…

It made her smile, but God did it ever annoy her!

Scully eyed her partner yet again as he stood up and then disappointingly sat down – having missed his chance to appear on the large video screen.

“Wow! Please, Scully, if I’m dreaming *don’t* pinch me!* Mulder beamed, turning to face her.

By some miracle, she’d managed to get a pair of tickets to the New York Yankees’ opening game of the baseball season against Boston off

eBay, and to say Mulder had been over-zealous when he’d opened the envelope on Valentine’s Day would be a bad understatement – he’d

lifted her up into his arms, spun her around, kissed every millimetre of her face and then carried her into the bedroom to show how happy

she really did make him. Now, dressed in faded jeans, baseball shirt and matching team cap, as he stared into her eyes, she understood that this man had never really had a childhood after the abduction of his sister, and what she saw now was that locked-away boy finally being let free – despite the pain and turmoil the older version of

him suffered.

It made him look relaxed.

It made her feel relaxed.

And all irritation was forgotten…at least for now.

He swallowed hard and ran the tongue he’d burnt with a hot dog shortly after their arrival across the roof of his mouth. “You know how grateful I am, don’t you?” he asked quietly, sincerely.

“Your excited and restless bouncing beside me was a small giveaway,” Dana chuckled, reaching out a hand and entwining their fingers

together. “Just try not to injure yourself any more, please – it’s *our* day, and I just wanna enjoy it, okay?”

“Yes, ma’am!”

Giving her hands a gentle squeeze but refusing to let go, he turned back to face the baseball field just as Randy Johnson stepped up to pitch for the Yankees.

“Come on, guys – we can show them who the true kings of this game are!” Mulder whispered through grit teeth – beginning his session of bouncing once again.

Scully just smiled, shook her head and settled to watch the game as well.

By the seventh inning stretch, everything had remained so perfect that it had become easy to forget who they were – the evening weather was unseasonably tranquil, she was in the company of this beautiful man, and the game had been entertaining. Boston had taken an early lead, resulting in the most grumbling, whining and shouted expletives she recalled ever hearing pass Mulder’s lips, but it had only taken New York a couple more innings to regain their hold on the game and score a two run lead – much to her partner’s boyish excitement.

Perfect.

…A little too perfect…

“Ooh, need to drain the lizard,” he suddenly exclaimed, standing up. “Want anything while I’m gone? Soda? Popcorn?”

With a slow shake of her head, Dana replied, “No, thanks. Their popcorn’s far too buttery for human consumption – it should be made illegal.”

Mulder let out a loud, relaxed chuckle and shook his own head.

“Ugh! I really need to work harder on changing your opinion about that!”

“You won’t get far.”

“Sure you don’t want anything?”

“No, I’m fine, really.”

Adjusting his jeans slightly, Mulder made his way to the aisle, gave one last look in her direction over his shoulder, and then disappeared just as the visiting Red Sox ran back out onto the field.

A curious glance sideways fifteen minutes later, she spotted him making his way down the stairs toward their row.

“Next to bat, the first baseman, number 25: Jason Giambi,” the announcer’s voice boomed over the loudspeaker.

The crowd cheered, and Mulder’s pace quickly increased. Scully turned away briefly to watch the first pitch, but looked back at her approaching partner as a strike was called.

“Took your time,” she joked as he made his way down the line.

There was the sound of bat hitting ball and the crowd became even more excited. Mulder desperately tried to get past the now-standing,

mitt-raised fans without losing his footing, replying, “Damn queue,” at the top of his voice so she could hear, before a sharp pain ripped

through his skull and everything went to black.

Scully’s eyes opened as wide as possible, and she dropped to her knees beside his motionless body. “Mulder?” No response.

“Mulder!” She gently patted his face several times, and was rewarded

with a low groan.

“Is he okay?”

Only just realising that everybody in their row, the row in front and the row behind was interested in the health of her injured partner, Dana raised her eyes to stare at the small boy that had asked the

question and gave a weary smile.

“He’s gonna be fine,” she replied, quietly – unsure if she was trying to convince the boy or herself more. “Just a big lump on his head is all he has to look forward to – that’ll teach him to be more aware of his surroundings next time, won’t it, Mulder?”

Another unintelligible groan of pain from the barely conscious FBI agent.

The boy – at least five years old, if Scully had to guess – glanced up at his father with a frown, but then turned back and gave an accepting nod of his head before returning to his seat.

“You sure you okay there with him, ma’am?” the man that had been sitting next to Mulder and was now being forced to remain standing by the body at his feet queried.

“He’ll be fine,” she repeated, making a closer examination of the growing lump on the left side of Mulder’s forehead. “But I’d be grateful if you could help me get him back on his seat.”

Without hesitation, the stranger obliged, and it wasn’t long before Mulder was seated beside her again.

“Mulder, can you hear me?” she whispered in his ear.

He made some kind of grunting sound and let his chin drop to rest against his chest, but it took several minutes before his eyes opened

and he blinked several times.

“Mul–” Her voice died in her throat and she froze as he looked up at her and she saw the completely blank expression on hi face – there

was just nothing there…

Absolutely nothing.

No recognition, no compassion, no familiar spark burning behind his eyes, no sign of the twelve years-worth of memories that she has

shared with this man through thick and thin – no sign, in fact, of any memory whatsoever in his life. Everything gone as if the slate had been wiped clean.

He glanced down at the hands she rested on his forearms, then frowned at her – silently asking, ‘who the hell are you?’

Her heart broke into a million pieces then and there.

*crack*

The crowd immediately burst into enthusiastic cheering once again as another ball was hit, and Mulder turned away to look down at the

players on the field. All Dana could do was watch him intently as he tilted his head a fraction to the side, then glanced down to examine the clothes he wore, and then turned his attention back to the

players – unsteadily standing up.

“Mulder, what ar–”

But he was already gone – quickly making his way back down the row and then running down the stairs toward the field.

“Oh, God, no…”

It took several long seconds for her motor functions to kick in, and by the time she was on her own feet and awkwardly trying to squeeze

past the people, Mulder had already jumped the wall onto the field, and was casually making his way to the right fielder – security in close pursuit.

“I’m a federal agent, and he’s my partner,” Scully frantically explained to the first uniformed man that grabbed her to stop her going out onto the turf also. At his doubtful frown, she pulled out

her ID wallet (thankful she’d thought to keep it upon her person today.)

“So, what? That gives you the right to jus’ go wherever you wan’?” the officer angrily replied, shaking his head.

“No, of course not, but Agent Mulder was struck on the head by the last home run, and I have reason to believe he may be suffering from amnesia.”

The tall, broad, officer frowned and glanced over his shoulder at the men now forcing Mulder off the field. He had a job to do and order to uphold, but as he looked into the fear and anger-filled eyes of

this petite woman, he had no choice but to let her go to her partner and order his colleagues to let their captive go.

Mulder shrugged the retreating hands away, and then watched as the small, red-haired woman he’d been sitting next to earlier approached. The expression on her face begged him to remember her, and the increasing rate of heartbeat indicated he more than likely should, but his brain just refused to retrieve the necessary information… Hell, he didn’t even have a clue as to who he was!

The woman stopped directly in front of him, and one of her slim hands reached out to touch his arm. His heart almost flipped at the contact, and he fixed his gaze on her face – frowning at the

unexplainable sensations her proximity was rousing within him.

“Who–”

“It’s gonna be okay…Let’s just get you to the hospital,” Scully somehow managed to choke out – unable to hear those words passing his lips, despite all they’d been through together. Now was when he would need her strength and support the most, but that empty look had taken so much out of her, she didn’t know if she could offer him

anything. “We’re gonna need to do an x-ray and scan on your head to see how much trauma that baseball inflicted.”

His frown deepened even further. She was a doctor? Did that mean he was a doctor also? And, if so, what were they doing here?

“Is that okay, Mulder?”

‘Mulder’? Mulder…Mulder… Nope, nothing familiar about that.

With a hesitant nod of his head, he allowed her to guide him out of the ballpark.

XxXxXxXxX

“What is your name?”

“Uh…That lady that came in with me kept calling me ‘Mulder’, so I guess that’s what it is…unless that’s some kind of nickname or… uh…or pet name…” The last two words came out in a bare whisper (part-embarrassment and part-anger at the fact that he couldn’t remember something as important as that) and his face blanched

considerably.

Dana – unable to watch any longer as the doctor questioned her partner in his hospital room – turned and left, quietly pulling the door shut after her.

Her cellphone picked that second to ring to life.

“Scully.” Tired and emotionally drained, she mentally congratulated herself for managing to get the word out at all.

“How’s he doing?”

“Sir? How–”

“Agent Scully, it’s Sunday evening and the first day of the baseball season. Assistant directors of the FBI do try to have lives as well, every now and then, and even find the time to interested in things

other than paperwork,” Skinner’s deep voice chuckled over the line before sobering a minute later. “I was watching the game on TV,

and saw Giambi’s ball knock Mulder down. Is he okay?”

“He’s…” She hesitated momentarily and sighed as she cast a glance over her shoulder at the closed entrance to Mulder’s room. “He’s functioning, but…He can’t remember anything – not who he is, what day of the week it is, who…who I am…It’s as if the ball hit a ‘reboot’ button on his head and all information’s been lost.”

Now standing up, Skinner nervously begun to pace the length of his apartment and wiped a hand across his fry mouth. “Jesus, Dana. Have

the doctors done tests? Do they know how long it’ll last?”

“They’ve run x-rays and MRI scans on his head, but apart from the large bump on his forehead, there’s no other signs of trauma that

would explain the amnesia. As for how long it will last…I really don’t know…”

Skinner remained quiet – unsure of what to say.

“My fear is that the encounter with the artifact at the start of the year left his brain so vulnerable, any little thing could have triggered this.”

“You want me to come up there?”

“No, sir. I..I just wish I knew…” Scully’s voice trailed off as the doctor stepped out of Mulder’s room. “Sir, I need to go. Can I call you back in a few minutes?”

“Of course. You take care and keep me updated,” the older man sighed, desperately wishing there was something more assuring he could say or do.

“Agent Scully?” Doctor Homer Muzzy started as he watched her put away her cellphone. “Can I talk with you in private?”

Dana’s level of panic heightened, and a ball of dread formed in the pit of her stomach. “Why? I know he can’t remember anything, so what else is there to discuss?” She didn’t mean to be so sharp with the defenceless man, but at the moment all that mattered was that she got back to her partner and helped him recover.

“The scans showed no swelling, no blood clots – nothing. There’s no logical explanation for this extent of memory loss,” Muzzy explained.

She’d been about to make a joke about nothing to do with Fox Mulder ever being logical, but then she realised what the doctor was getting at…

“You think he may not regain his memory?”

Muzzy’s shoulders shrugged and then sagged considerably. “If there were visible signs of internal trauma, we could make an estimation on

how long this would last, but without those, and the fact that he can’t even remember his own name… I’m sorry, but you may have to prepare yourself for the possibility that this will be permanent.”

Scully shook her head and set her jaw. She couldn’t accept this; she *wouldn’t*. She’d once told Mulder that she wouldn’t pick him up off

the floor again, but she wasn’t about to stand aside and watch him fade away like his memories

Wouldn’t give up on him.

Wouldn’t give up on them.

“There’s got to be another way…”

“I–” Muzzy cut off as his pager bleeped. “I’m needed elsewhere. I’ll come by later to check up on him and consider releasing him from

my care, but really: consider what I’ve said, and think about how you’re gonna help him fit back into society.” With that, he turned and disappeared down the corridor.

Stepping toward the room entrance, Scully paused and took a deep breath. Just the thought of staring into that emptiness again tore at her, but she fought against it and opened the door.

“Hey,” she smiled, moving with forced confidence until she stood directly in front of Mulder.

His lowered head raised so that he can stare into her sky blue eyes and feel the love he saw there warm his heart. “Hey. I thought you’d have run a mile away by now.”

“You really have forgotten who I am, then.” The chuckle lacked all trace of humour, and yet – ironically – felt natural.

“No, I haven’t.”

Her eyes widened in surprise. “What?”

“That’s…That’s the thing…I know I know you and that you mean…” He hesitated and blinked several times to clear the wetness beginning to form in his eyes. “That you mean the world and

everything else to me, but only because that’s what my body and heart are telling me. Ask me to recall your name or when I was born or how we met and I’ll only be able to answer with a blank expression. I musta been pretty crazy before this if this hasn’t scared you off.”

Tears begun to blur Scully’s vision also at his words and the sight of his shy smile. Her mouth opened to reply, but suddenly the door

opened and a man dressed in a baseball uniform entered. Both agents turned simultaneously to frown at the intruder.

“Hi, I’m Jason Giambi,” the man smiled, turning slightly to reveal the name on the back of his jersey, as if that was validation enough

of his identity (seemingly forgetting, in the process, that you could buy a identical one from the local sports store for eighty dollars).

“Bud from security told me, after the game, how you got knocked out by my home run,” he explained, facing them again. “We managed to

retrieve the ball and I figured the decent thing would be to return it to its rightful owner.”

Several blue flashes filled the room, and Scully turned her head to see five photographers standing in the doorway. Mulder kept his

attention on the ballplayer and watched in awe as he offered a signed baseball. The frequency of flashes increased and Scully decided it was time to bring the circus to an end.

“Well, thank you very much, Mr. Giambi, but Mulder really needs to rest now,” she started as politely as possible, outstretching a hand to shake the visitor’s.

Giambi hesitated, frowned at her and then gave an acknowledging nod of his head. “Of course. I just thought I’d stop by,” he smiled, accepting the proffered hand. “It was nice to meet you both, and

hope to see you at another game some time.”

After several more minutes of stalling so that the journalists managed to get as many photographs as possible, the celebrity sportsman left.

“Wow, an autographed baseball,” Mulder exclaimed, examining the black ink inscription between the two seams. “I take it from the clothes

I’m wearing that he plays for the team I like?”

Scully was still staring thoughtfully at the closed entrance.

“Ma’am?”

That word coming from his lips and referring to her caught her attention immediately, and she sharply turned to stare at him.

“Sorry, but I still don’t know what your name is,” he quietly

apologised.

“Scully,” she almost whispered. “It’s Dana Scully, but you’ve always called me just ‘Scully’.”

“Scully…” He tried it out, and the sound of it on his lips felt familiar, but it still didn’t conjure up any memories. “Scully…”

“It’s gonna be okay,” she quickly cut in, although this time definitely to reassure herself more.

He stared at her thoughtfully, and the sinking feeling in his stomach made him feel guilty. The words “I’m sorry, Scully,” escaped before

he even had chance to understand why he was saying them.

Tense silence rested between them for long, seconds as they simply stared at each – Scully desperately searching the depths of his soul

for the flicker of flame that made him him, whilst Mulder frantically seeked the lighter in hers. Despite the fact that she knew she probably shouldn’t, Dana felt herself drawn towards him and took several steps forward so that she could reach a hand up to cup his cheek.

“We’ve been through everything together – literally to Hell and back – for over twelve years, Mulder, and I’ve never wanted to turn away

from you…*We’ve* never turned our backs on each other, and I certainly don’t intend to start now,” she almost choked.

“Especially when now is probably the time we need each other the most.”

The warmth of her skin against his kicked his heart into a fast beat yet again, and the top half of his body begun to lean forward – his face resting more fully in the cradle of her palm.

“Scully…” It was suddenly the only word he could say despite his brain’s refusal to remember it, and the autographed baseball fell from his grasp.

“Scu–”

*thud*

The ball hit the ground, and at the instant of impact Mulder’s body suddenly jolted upright – his head shaking several times in a desperate attempt to dispel the waves of giddiness now over-whelming him.

Unsure of what was happening, the hand that had been resting against his cheek moved up to press against his creasing forehead.

“Mulder, what’s wrong?”

Frightened eyes to needed to blink several times before they could focus properly fixed on her and silently begged her to make everything better.

“We were at the game,” he whispered through grit teeth. “It was supposed to be our day out…”

“Mu–?”

“I promised I wouldn’t injure myself anymore after burning my tongue, an–”

The ball slowed before bumping into the wall on the opposite side of the room and stopping. All the muscles in Mulder’s body relaxed and his head dropped to rest against the top of his chest.

“‘And’ what?”

His head shook, but did not lift. “I can’t remember.”

Feeling the same desperation she sensed in his voice, Scully looked around the room and fixed her gaze on the discarded projectile that had caused all this in the first place. She frowned and stepped over to bend and pick it up.

Something didn’t feel right.

It felt too heavy – moreso on one side than the other.

The frown deepened and she lifted the ball to shake it by her ear. There was no audible sound coming from within the object, but she saw a shiver wrack Mulder’s frame at exactly the same moment.

“Jesus…” The coincidences were too great, but she needed one more test to be certain, so her hold loosened on the ball and she purposely let it drop to the floor.

*thud*

“And, God, I love you so much, Scully! Please, make this stop!”

A hand shot up to cover her mouth whilst the other reached out to rest on something and support her weight before her knees gave way.

“Oh, my God…”

Exhausted and nauseated, Mulder collapsed onto the bed so that he was laying down – both hands coming up to cover his sweating face.

“What the hell’s happening to me?” he begged to know, sobbing.

Unable to answer, Scully shook her head and eyed the ball that had stopped rolling at the foot of his bed. She didn’t have a clue how to explain this; all she knew was that they had to get out of here as

soon as humanly possible.

Taking a second to regain her balance, she let both hands drop down by her sides and approached him.

“Mulder?” she whispered in case somebody else should be listening in. “Mulder, we need to get out of here, now.” He didn’t respond, so she tenderly combed her fingers through his hair. “I know you–… you don’t remember me, but please trust me.”

The hands slowly lowered away from his face and hazel, red-rimmed eyes sought out her watery blue ones. “I…” He paused and swallowed hard. Emotions he didn’t know and couldn’t explain surged through him, and yet – despite the ball of confusion engulfing him – there was one thing he knew with the certainty he should have had for his own name: this woman was the truth and could save him from this nightmare.

“I’ve always trusted you,” he croaked.

With a sad smile, Scully nodded and helped him to his feet – only leaving his side briefly to pick up the baseball and carefully place it in her purse.

A few minutes later they were out of the hospital and on their way back to D.C.

XxXxXxXxX

RESIDENCE OF THE LONE GUNMEN

TACOMA PARK, WASHINGTON D.C

“Holy kamoly.”

All still dressed in their pyjamas, the three paranoid geeks gathered around the baseball they’d carefully dissected the top off of and

stared with awe at the exposed mechanical interior.

“I take it that’s not normal?” Mulder started uneasily from a short distance away, wincing whenever one of the other men poked a pencil

at the ball’s contents.

“Man, we’ve never seen anything like it!” Frohike exclaimed, reaching out to touch the oddity again. Having seen the affects their earlier probing had had on her partner, though, Scully stopped him in mid-air and shook her head. “I mean, are you sure this isn’t another of your tests to try keep us up to speed?”

Mulder shrugged his shoulders and looked away.

Byers stepped away from the magnifying glass he’d been using to examine the electronic device more closely and folded both arms across his chest. “The circuit looks designed to process the cosmic galactic radiation from the small piece of the alien ship into microwaves and direct the signal to only affect a particular part of Mulder’s temporal lobe.”

Having been up for twenty hours straight – including a long, exhausting journey home from New York – Scully was pretty much at the end of her tether, but she tried to stay as polite as possible… After all, the guys were helping.

“But the tests showed no abnormalities in his brain at all,” she countered, reaching for the magnifier so she could look at the baseball also.

“That’s what we got suspicious about when you first called,” Langley explained, “so we hacked into the hospital medical records and–”

“Surprise, surprise, there’s no record of any such tests being done on Mulder at all. Whatever they showed you were either fakes, or they ‘accidentally’ mislaid his results,” Frohike cut in,

bitterly. “I’m sure you can guess which one we subscribe to.”

“And, in case you’re in any doubt, we tried checking up this Doctor Homer Muzzy dude and, nope, he doesn’t exist,” Langley added. “We

got a couple of interesting results when we searched the net for that name, but no doctors, and certainly not at that hospital.”

Scully stared at the single symbol engraved on the piece of artifact and frowned, but then looked back up at the Gunmen. “They’re not trying to kill him,” she uttered, distantly. “They’ve tried that and

it didn’t work, so they thought…” Trailing off, she cast a sideways glance at Mulder, who was looking back at her over his shoulder. “They thought if he completely forgot who he was, he’d no longer be a threat…”

“Nice to know I’m so popular,” the dry retort came from the other side of the room.

“But how do we stop this from shutting down his memory banks?”

“Well, you said on the phone that when the ball incurred damage, he remembered things again,” Byers hesitated.

“No,” Dana quickly replied. “No, there has to be another way…You didn’t see how much pain his body went through during those moments…

I won’t let that happen again.”

“But maybe that was because when the microwave processors malfunctioned the C.G.R took control of him as we’ve seen in the

past,” Byers went on, more confidently. “Maybe if you were back at your place – away from the artifact – it wouldn’t have the same effect. Then we could get rid of the piece so he was completely in

the clear.”

Close to falling asleep whilst still standing, she desperately tried to process it all into a logical order.

In the end, there was no denying it was probably the only answer.

“Oh-kay,” she exhaled, taking a step back. “Call me as soon as it’s done.”

Arrangements were made, and all Mulder could do was watch as decisions were made regarding things to do with his brain that he probably should have had more input on, but he put his faith in

Scully and five minutes later she was driving them to what she called ‘their home’.

XxXxXxXxX

3605 N STREET NW

WASHINGTON, DC

APRIL 4th, 2005

Mulder looked around the living room like a child seeing the wonder of Christmas properly for the first, and Scully was reminded of his excitement at the baseball game yesterday before this nightmare began.

“I thought you said we were FBI partners?” he queried, looking at the comfortable furniture. She nodded, but he remained unconvinced.

“You sure we’re not married?”

“In your dreams, Mulder,” Scully chuckled, watching him to settle down on the couch before pacing out into the kitchen. “No, we’re just FBI partners that took seven-and-a-bit years to confess their undying love for each other.”

“You don’t make it sound very romantic,” Mulder snorted in reply as she re-entered the room carrying a bottle of wine. “What’s that for? To numb my brain in case this ‘plan’ doesn’t work?”

She sat down beside him – grimacing at the sarcasm in his tone – and shrugged, “Well, you never know.”

He shrugged also and let out a burst of laughter, but then fell very serious. “You know how much I love you, don’t you? Please say I’m not that crazy a person to have not proven it to you…”

Scully frowned, suddenly afraid of where this conversation might go.

“Of course you have! Often more times than necessary!”

“I just–…I mean, since the ‘accident’, I’ve not known a single thing about you, but my heart always reacts in a different way to

your presence and it told me when I saw you that you were important – that I did know you, even though my brain couldn’t or wouldn’t.”

“Mulder, what–”

“What I’m getting at is if this thing doesn’t work, and I’m stuck like this, I want you to walk away.”

Her jaw dropped, but no words could form.

“I can’t dump the responsibility on you of trying to bring me back up to speed on a life I’m not sure even belongs to me anymore…”

*If I quit now, they win*

He was gonna let them win! After everything, he was–

“No,” she said simply. “You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“Maybe now’s when–” He stopped as his body stiffened and then began to shake. The fit lasted for several minutes, and when it ended he was unconscious.

“Mulder?” Dana whispered into his ear, reaching for one of his hands. “Mulder, you have to wake up.”

The persistent ring of the phone went on…

But then she heard it: slow and low, but definitely coming from her partner:

He was humming the tune ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game’.

When he finished, one eye opened and fixed on her. “D’you think we should maybe try for a mid-season game next time?” he asked, trying

not to smile as the memories he couldn’t believe he’d ever been able to lose came back in their full Technicolor glories and terrors.

All the air whooshed out of Scully’s lungs, but as ever she couldn’t be reassured by the first words out of his mouth, and her eyebrows raised in question.

Knowing that look too well, Mulder grinned and sat up so that he could stare at her and pleaded, “*Please* tell me the guys kept Giambi’s autograph intact?!”

It was enough, and her arms tightly wrapped around his neck as her face burrowed against his heaving chest – the annoying phone now

completely forgotten.

“Don’t you *ever* do that to me again!” she chided as his hands an up her back.

Somehow, though, he knew it was about his trying to make her walk away, not the fact that their trip out together had been ruined.

“I promise.”

XxXxXxXxX

“Another one of your supposedly ‘great’ plans going down in flames,” the man shrouded in shadows laughed sarcastically as he reached to

light another cigarette and turn off the video display of Mulder and Scully in each other’s arms. “This technology is not a toy you can just distribute however you feel like it. You know what happened to John Gillnitz when he played with this technology?”

The other man threw down medical charts and scan results. “The technology worked. If they hadn’t figured out how to shut it off, he

would have remained neutral.”

“But that’s the point: they *did* figure it out – a little too easily, in fact.” The seated man exhaled a cloud of smoke and spun round on his chair so that he faced in the opposite direction.

“Don’t bother coming back until you have something a little more complex than a puzzle a five-year-old could solve. Your sister became an important player in the larger picture when she joined the FBI, so stop trying to save her.”

Charles Scully’s shoulders squared before he cursed the seated man through grit teeth and then reluctantly left the room.

Darkness reigned in his departure as the lone figure reached for the phone and started to make his own plans.

XxXxXxXxX

THE END

AUTHORS EXTRA NOTE: This was inspired by an episode of Futurama, a little too much baseball hype (hey, I’m a British gal that supports

the Boston Red Sox – I can’t begin to tell you how painful writing parts of this was LOL), and just the sadistic need to torture Mulder a bit <EG> I figured these characters sometimes think too much using

instead of listening to their hearts, so I wondered what would happen if our favourite g-man only had his gut instinct to rely on; this was the result. Please let me know what you think of it at

XSketch@hotmail.com

– I’m begging on my knees! :-p

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