From Sun Dec 29 14:54:47 1996
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Disclaimer: This work contains characters and situations of the televi-
sion series "The X-Files", which are the creations and intellectual
property of Chris Carter, Ten-Thirteen Productions, and FOX Broadcasting
Company. The author makes no claim to ownership over these elements, and
this work should be distributed only in a free manner without promoting
monetary gain.

Dedication: I would like to make mention of some people who have given
me the gift of support, both as fellow writers and as friends.
To: Laura Capozzola, Carol Gritton, Melody Lanier, Patty Hayes, and
Xphile324 - Thank you all!  :-D
And a special thanks to Patricia S. Martinez, the Disgruntled Law Student.

Classification: T S A

Rating: PG-13 For violence and a particular scene you may find disturbing.
Warning: Mulder angst.  Scully angst.  A hint of MSR and UST.

Summary: Mulder and Scully are taken prisoner and held against their will.

By: Deborah L. Wells
December 29, 1996

12:52 A.M. August 16th
Deep in the Woods
Hadden, West Virginia

Emily struggled to keep up with her older siblings as they trudged through
the forest.  It was the middle of the night and the air was quiet and flat.
It was still warm, but not humid.  She like the nights, especially nights
like these when the hot heavy air finally got around to cooling itself
down enough to be bearable.  She was falling behind again, as she half
ran on bare feet just to keep the rest of her family in sight.  She tugged
at the rope wrapped loosely around her waist, as she felt behind her for
the reassuring furry feel of Widgit her stuff bunny.  Her biggest brother
Ethan had fashioned the rope tether so she wouldn't lose him, as she so
often had in the past.  She would cry for hours until one or another of
her brothers or sisters would happen to stumble upon his missing stuffed
self, and would present it to her in exchange for no more tears.  She
smiled to herself.  Ethan was so strong and smart.  He was the eldest and
the head of their family.  Ever since their Ma and Pa had died so suddenly
they all looked to Ethan for the answers to all their needs and problems.
Emily fought a moment of panic when she snapped out of her rambling
thoughts and looked ahead of her.  She couldn't see hide nor hair of her
family at all.  She stopped in her tracks listening for their sounds,
but there was nothing to be heard.  Not even the wind was stirring to-

Suddenly from behind a nearby tree Ethan jumped out and gathered Emily
up in his well muscled arms.  She giggled delightedly and let loose with
a half-scared, half-relieved shriek.  "What did I tell you about lolly
gagging Em?", he said in a stern voice tinged with amusement.  "Sorry
Ethan, I won't forget no more", she smiled up at him.  He lowered her to
the ground and took her tiny hand into his large one.  "Come on now Em,
we still got us some work to do tonight."  She nodded silently as they
made their way down the barely discernible path leading towards the center
part of the woods.

Ethan and Emily came out of the woods into a small clearing.  There they
found the rest of their brood waiting patiently for their arrival.  Nine
children in all from eldest to youngest - Ethan, Earnest, Edgar, Eve,
Eloise, Emmet, Evangaline, Evan, and finally little Emily.  Their Pa had
been fond of "E's", as their Ma had never tired of telling them, always
followed by her inevitable laughter.  She had always surrounded herself
with smiles, up until the end when even she had been hard pressed to find
merry in the face of the sickness that stole her laughter as well as her
life.  Their Pa had followed her into the grave not long after that.
Died of a broken heart he did.  But all that was the past, as it had been
going on six years behind them now.  Em had still been just a baby.  She
couldn't remember her real Ma and Pa, but Ethan and the others always
play talked her the stories.  In that way at least, she felt she knew
them somehow, and Ethan took pains to make sure they never forgot.

Ethan had taken his rightful place as head of the Wilstead clan after
that.  Once he got grown in body they never questioned him.  Least ways
never twice.  He could tame a wild animal with just a look if he wanted.
And he could tan the backside of each and every one of them if they pushed
him to it.  Now as he bowed his head solemnly, the others soon followed
suit.  He began reciting the prayer for the dead from memory, as he had
no need to follow the book anymore.  Ethan, being the only of them that
could read, had memorized the few books his family had possessed.  And
this here particular ritual was becoming a familiar enough routine.
Ethan always insisted on seeing folks out respectable like in their
journey unto the next world.  After finishing up the prayer, Ethan nodded
over to Earnest and Edgar to help with the burying.  The two strapping
young boys moved forward, shovels ready in their well callused hands.  All
the Wilstead folk had work hands, which were rough and toughened from
many years of back-breaking hard labor.  They prided themselves on their
self reliance.  They would never dream of taking a hand-out from an
outsider.  It just wasn't done.  At first Ethan had been somewhat over-
whelmed at the responsibilities laid upon him by the passing of his
folks.  He had only been thirteen at the time his own self.  In the begin-
ning the others just jeered him when he tried to bring about some order
of things to their homestead.  They just plain refused to listen to his
preaching and prancing about being the man of the house now, when he was
only another child in their eyes.

Ethan had become afraid that if he didn't do something quick like his
family would be torn apart.  Each of them going in different directions
maybe never to be together again.  He couldn't let that happen.  It was
all up to him then.  But he had needed an adult to take the place of his
parents.  So the little ones would know their order in the matter of
things.  The first had come a little over five years ago.  Passing through
he had said.  A traveling salesman.  Ethan had seen him over at the
grocer's while he was turning in some deposit bottles that he had found
for change.  The nice man had ruffled his hair and grinned.  Ethan had
grinned back.  The stranger had a kind smile and had even reminded Ethan a
little of his Pa.  That's when the idea had come to him.  He took it as a
sign, that his parents were sending him the answers to his searching.  Here
was a way to keep his family together.  This man could be their Pa.  It
wouldn't be like taking help from an outsider, because the man would be
made part of their family.  He just knew it was for the best, as he followed
the man out to his beat up old car and plain lied to him outright.  He told
the man that his Ma would sure be beholding to him if he could stop on
by.  She was in need of some new sewing supplies, as she had just told
him that the other day in fact.  Wasn't that what he had heard him telling
the grocer?  That he was in the sewing supply business?  The man had come
willingly, eager to make a quick sell.

It had been so easy.  As were all the others that had followed since.
Ethan shook himself from his thoughts as he joined in with the burying
detail.  The clods of moist earth were arranged in neat piles beside two
open graves.  Ethan plunged his shovel into the nearest pile and began
filling in one of the holes.  He looked on over to Emily as she settled
herself down on a nearby tree stump.  She pulled old raggedly Widgit out
from his bonds and propped him up so he could watch the goings-on with
her under the light of the almost full moon.  He gave her a quick smile
and she waved at him from her perch.  She needed a Ma.  He had to keep
doing this he repeated to himself.  For the others.  For little Emily.
He had to keep the family together whatever it took.  He had promised
his Ma and Pa on their deathbeds.  He sighed loudly as he settled into
his work.  These two had lasted the longest.  Pert near seven months.
Ethan had thought they had been settling into the hard fact of things
quite nicely towards the end.  Then out of the blue they had made a run
for it in the middle of the night.  Ethan shook his head sadly.  When
will they ever learn?  Ethan and his family knew these woods inside and
out.  There was no place to run.


4:55 P.M. August 22nd
Hadden, West Virginia
County Road 5

Mulder removed one of his hands from the steering wheel and used it to
rub his sore neck.  He began stretching his cramped muscles one by one.
Scully was sleeping in a reclining position beside him in the passenger
seat.  She started awake from her light nap at his quiet movements.
Mulder smiled to himself.  Even when she was sleeping she wasn't far away
from full awareness.  A habit she had picked up from their routine need
to be ready for any emergency.  She yawned behind her hand and gave him
a lazy smile.  "Want me to drive for awhile Mulder?", she asked as she
ran her hands though her sleep-tousled hair.

"Well actually Scully I was hoping you could take a look at the map.  I
think we're lost", he said as he scrunched forward to get a better look
at the passing scenery.  "All I've seen for the last hour has been trees
and more trees.  I think I've made a wrong turn somewhere.  I can't seem
to shake this back road.  We should have come out on the main road by

Scully repositioned her seat setting from reclined to sitting as she
pulled the map out from the rental car glove compartment and began to
study it.  She smiled to herself.  "You know Mulder at least you were a
little original this time.  You could have just said we ran out of gas,
instead of dragging me out here to the middle of nowhere to investigate
reported UFO abductions.  Which I might add were proved to be totally un-
founded claims caused by mass hysteria."

Mulder feigned mock shock.  "What?  Are you doubting my motives to be
anything but righteously sincere?"  He turned to her and gave her a
lecherous grin.

Scully was about to tell him what he could do with his motives, but was
never able to complete the verbal jab.  From the corner of her eye she
caught a quick movement by the side of the road.  A small child had
suddenly appeared from within the dark coverage of trees.  She was moving
straight into the direct path of their on-coming car.

"Oh my God.  Mulder watch out!", Scully yelled.  Her hands shot out in a
reflex action to brace herself against the dashboard.

Mulder snapped to sudden attention at her warning, as he simultaneously
slammed on the brakes and fought the uncooperative steering wheel.  In
a mere split second he analyzed that there was no way to stop the car in
time to miss the child.  This fact assessed and no other options available,
he swerved the car away from the child over towards the side of the road,
straight into the path of a grove of massive trees.  "Hold on Scully!",
he managed to yell out just before the crushing impact.

Their car slammed head-on into a tree with a sickening squeal of burning
rubber and twisted metal.  Steam billowed heavily from the smashed front
end.  The hind end of the car was elevated somewhat on the uneven floor
of the forest.  The right rear tire spun endlessly and noisily around
and around, finally slowing and coming to a dead stop.  Then no sound at
all.  The sudden silence of the forest was replaced after many minutes by
the sounds of the coming night.  Birds chirping, and small animals scamp-
ering across the brittle dead leaves as the forest life resumed its
activity after the sudden interruption.


5:38 P.M. August 22nd
In The Forest
Hadden, West Viginia

Mulder tried to gauge the fogginess that was surrounding him.  His mind
was muddled.  His body and head were sore.  He could taste blood in his
mouth, and he strained against the sudden gagging sensation that followed
this realization.  After a moment when he felt more self-control return-
ing he opened his eyes to a view of the roof of his rental car.  He
lifted his head gently from the head rest, moaning with the stabs of pain
that accompanied this task.  He looked over to his right and saw Scully
slumped against the passenger door.  He reached over and felt for a pulse
in her neck, and was relieved to find a steady rhythm.  "Scully?"  No
answer.  She was unconscious.

He unlocked the buckle of his seatbelt as he moved over in his position
to get a closer look at her.  She was bleeding from a gash over her right
eyebrow.  But it didn't seem serious.  He winced loudly when he saw that
her right arm was bent at a very unnatural angle at the forearm.  It had
obviously been broken.  He reached between them and unbuckled Scully's
restraint as well.  Then he fumbled for his door release, but had to push
heavily against it with his shoulder in order for it to finally open.  He
fell heavily from the car unto a bed of pine needles.  He groaned as his
battered body screamed out its protest over his continued rough treatment
of his bruised shell.  He crawled on hands and knees over to the other
side of the car.  Reaching up he pulled on the door handle of the passen-
ger side until it opened.  He caught Scully's body as she tumbled out and
lowered her gently to the ground.  Trying his best to be mindful of her
broken arm.  Once she was settled to his satisfaction he began looking
around until he found two strong pieces of tree limb to use as supports.
Then he removed his belt and fashioned a makeshift splint which effectively
immobilized her arm for the time being.  He was about to reach into his
jacket pocket for his cell phone when he heard the unmistakable sounds
of breaking twigs and approaching footsteps coming from behind.

He turned around in his kneeling position and took in the sight before
him.  Children.  All ages and sizes.  They stood in a group fanned out
around the car.  He took an unconscious count and ended with nine.  All
no doubt from the same family as he could see similar features in
common.  Their clothes were thread-bare and had seen a lot of use.  Their
faces and hands were dirty and smudged.  There wasn't a shoe in sight.
The littlest one, a girl, stood in front of the tallest one, a young man.
She was jumping up and down in place with a huge smile of her face.
Mulder wondered if this was the same child that had caused their accident.
If so, she didn't seem the least bit scared or sorry for her actions.
She pointed at Mulder and Scully as she looked up into the face of the
young man standing behind her.  "See!  Didn't I tell you Ethan.  I done
caught me a couple my own self."  The young man silently nodded back at her
which caused her to giggle with delight.

Mulder stood unsteady on shaky feet.  He unconsciously moved himself in
front of Scully in a protective stance.  His FBI training as well as plain
old common sense was telling him something was terribly wrong here.  He
cleared his throat and gathered his thoughts before beginning.  He motion-
ed to Scully lying on the ground behind him.  "Listen, she's been hurt.
I need to call for an ambulance."  The young man stared at Mulder for a
moment before finally motioning to one of the older girls who came forward
at his beckoning.  "Eve here has got some doctoring experience.  She'll
see to your wife."  Mulder didn't bother to correct the young man's
assumption about their relationship.  He put his hands up in front of him
stopping Eve from coming any nearer to Scully.  He knew he was just fol-
lowing a gut reaction; but he didn't want this girl, or any of them for
that matter, touching Scully.  It may have only been intuition, but he
had learned to trust his intuition from his many years of field experience.

"I appreciate your offer.  But I think she needs some more professional
help", Mulder said as he started to reach inside his jacket for his cell-
phone.  Behind him he heard the unmistakable sound of firearms being
cocked for ready.  His hand froze in mid air.  He turned around slowly
to find two of the young boys armed with shotguns aimed squarely at his
back.  He turned back to face the young man who had come forward to
stand in front of him.  "Look", said Mulder.  "I don't know what your
game is here, but I don't want to play."

The young man looked Mulder square in the eyes.  "This ain't no game
Mister.  I promise you that."

PART 1/3



By: Deborah L. Wells
December 29, 1996

7:25 P.M. August 22nd
In The Forest
Hadden, West Virginia

Mulder's arms were beginning to cramp as he looked down at the still un-
conscious form of Scully he was carrying.  He was trying not to become
alarmed at the amount of time she continued to be out.  He stopped walking
for a moment so that he could reposition her body for better leverage.
After a moment he felt a prodding from the barrel of a shotgun in his
back.  "Keep moving", one of the boys said from behind him.

Mulder called out to the young man who was leading this group, wherever
the hell it was they were going.  "Hey listen, could we stop to rest for
a minute?  We've been walking for at least an hour."  The young man stop-
ped and then back tracked from his forward position to stand next to
Mulder.  "If you're spent I could carry your wife the rest of the way.
It ain't too much further."

"No.  I'll carry her", Mulder said stubbornly.  The young man shrugged
his shoulders and returned to his position at the front of the line.
Mulder sighed angrily under his breath before resuming the trek.  He
could just make out in the dimming light the shapes of his and Scully's
FBI badges and guns from within a sack carried by one of the children.
They didn't seem to understand their meanings, but they had searched both
him and Scully, as well as their car before beginning on this journey.
They had taken their cell phones, and everything else that could possibly
be used as a weapon.  And they had been amazingly thorough.  This thought
disturbed Mulder, because it meant they had probably done this kind of
thing before.


8:32 P.M. August 22nd
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Mulder's tired arms shaking in spasms by the time he was finally able to
lay Scully down on a bed.  He removed her shoes and then grabbed a patch-
work quilt hanging over the wooden footboard of the bed and spread it out
over her.  She had been stirring and mumbling the last twenty minutes or
so of their forced march.  It looked like she was beginning to come out
of it.  He hoped so.  He placed his palm over her brow, and smiled as he
confirmed the absence of a fever.  A good sign.  He checked the splint
again on her broken arm, making sure it wasn't cutting off her circula-
tion.  Satisfied, he grabbed a pillow from the other side of the bed and
used it to prop up her arm.  He racked his brain trying to think of any-
thing else he could do to make her more comfortable, but he knew he had
just about reached the extent of his boy scout first aid training.

He backed out of the bedroom and quietly shut the door, and then turned
to face his and Scully's captors.  Mulder felt suddenly disoriented,
almost as if he had walked through a time warp back into some bygone
era.  There was much activity and movement as the children went about
their chores in the cramped open living space of the wood cabin.  Mulder
surveyed the room starting with the stone fireplace, complete with a
heavy black kettle hung by a rod over a roaring fire, bubbling hot with
some unknown concoction.  Most of the rest of the room was taken up
with a large wooden table, sturdy and obviously built for many genera-
tions of use.  Several of the children sat there now on one or the
other of the two bench like pieces on either side that served as chairs.
Two regular type wooden chairs sat at each end of the long table.  For
their parents he wondered?  And if so, where were they?

The eldest young man came in through the door, carrying a bundle of
chopped wood for the already well-stocked fire.  He dropped his load next
to the fireplace, and then returned to the door.  He locked it with an
old-style bar bolt which he pulled from a box next to the door, shoving
it securely into place in its latches with a concentrated effort.  He
moved over to the table and sat down.  Almost immediately one of the girls
placed a piping hot bowl of some kind of mush or stew in front of him.
Mulder couldn't quite guess exactly what it was judging by the unfamiliar
smell.  But the young man dug in with enthusiasm.  Mulder took a seat
across from him, and was also presented with a bowl.  But he wasn't
interested in food.  He wanted answers.

And he could wait patiently for them if he had to.

Only after the young man had cleaned his bowl and promptly had it removed
for washing did he finally turn his attention to Mulder.  "My name is
Ethan.  These here are my brothers and sisters.  No need for their greet-
ings now.  You and your wife will learn their names in time.  I'll get
to the point here Mister.  It'll be hard at first, but as time passes
you'll both forget what it was like on the outside.  I have to tell you
it will set a might easier on the two of you in the long run if you
point your thinking in that direction right now.  Save a lot of sweat
and tears on both sides.  I guarantee it."

Mulder stayed silent, sensing there was more.

"We've always provided everything we need here for ourselves.  Food.
Clothes.  Everything.  But there be one thing we can't grow from the
earth or make from cloth."  He stood up and walked around the room as he
continued.  Mulder couldn't shake the feeling that this little speech had
been played out before with other unsuspecting victims right here in this
very room.  He wondered fleetingly what had happened to the ones that
had come before him and Scully.


Mulder's attention snapped backed to Ethan.  "What?", he stammered.

Ethan continued his stroll around the room patting the heads of the younger
children, smiling encouragingly at the older ones.  "We've been alone
for a long time Mister, but we can still pay honor to our folks.  They
tried hard to teach us the ways of life before they was taken away.  But
there is still so much we don't know and can't teach ourselves.  We...they
still need the firm hand of older kin, a Ma and a Pa, to show them what's
right and what's wrong.  They...."

Mulder stood up angrily interrupting Ethan.  "Well I'd be pleased to give
all of you your first lesson in 'what's wrong' now.  This.  This is wrong.
What you're doing is wrong.  Kidnapping me and my wife.  Denying
her proper medical treatment.  This is wrong!"  His eyes blazed with the
fury of his increasing helplessness in what was becoming a highly absurd
and disturbing situation.

Ethan sighed.  He had heard it all before.  They were always angry in the
beginning.  And he knew what would follow as well.  First they would make
pretend, acting sweet, seeing if they could just talk their way out.  Then
after that don't work they would start taking up secret plans to break
away.  But Ethan knew, it would come down to a matter of wearing down their
spirits, just like wild stock.  All just a matter of time.  He met Mulder's
fury with a calm patience.  "Best you go now and see to your wife.  Eve is
making ready and will be along in a bit to doctor her up.  There'll be
plenty of time for talk later.  Because the facts be that neither you nor
your wife are like to be going anywhere."

Mulder closed his eyes, trying to bring his anger in check, while consider-
ing his options.  Scully was in no condition right now to try and make an
escape with him from this parallel Walton Family universe that they had
somehow stumbled into.  And he would not leave her behind to try and go
get help by himself.  There was no telling what these 'children' would
do to her in retaliation.  There was also the fact that he didn't know
exactly where he was either.  He couldn't take the chance that he would
not be able to find his way back.  When she was stronger.

"In the morning Ethan.  We'll talk first thing in the morning."  He turned
and walked over to the bedroom door, opened it and went inside.


9:15 P.M. August 22nd
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Mulder closed the bedroom door behind him, fighting the urge to slam his
fist through the solid wood.  He would welcome the reality of the pain
right now as a counter balance against his intense anger.

"Mulder?", Scully called to him weakly from behind.

Mulder whirled around at the sound of Scully's voice.  He hadn't realized
until now how much he had missed hearing it these last hours.  He rushed
over and sat down next to her on the bed.  She was making an attempt to
sit up, but Mulder pushed her gently back down on the bed.  "Don't rush
it.  You need to rest.  How are you feeling?"

She took a deep breath before speaking.  "Okay I think.  I've got a killer
headache and my arm hurts quite a bit."  She looked around the unfamiliar
room.  "Where are we anyway?"

"Scully, we're in big trouble.  I'll need to bring you up to speed fast."

Scully assumed a questioning expression which continued to deepen as Mulder
summarized for her all that had transpired within the last few hours after
their car accident.

When he finished Scully continued to look at him in amazement.  "You mean
that little girl walked out into the middle of the road deliberately?  She
wanted us to crash?  And now they won't let us go?  I...I just can't
believe this Mulder.  Who are these...."

Their conversation was interrupted when the bedroom door slowly swung open.
Ethan, Eve, and few of the older siblings entered the room.  Ethan carried
a large bowl of steaming liquid.  Eve had toweling, cloth bandages, scis-
sors, and other assorted items obviously meant for use in medical treatment.
The last boy who entered carried a shot gun pointed in Mulder's direction.
He kicked the door closed behind him.

Ethan looked at Scully for a moment with a sad expression.  "Ma'm", he said
in greeting.  "I'm pure sorry that you've come awake just now.  It's gonna
make this terrible hard on you.  I'm heart grieved for that."

PART 2/3


By: Deborah L. Wells
December 29, 1996

Ethan carefully lowered the large bowl down to the table beside the bed.

"What are you talking about?", asked Mulder trying to keep the mounting
sense of dread out of his voice.

Eve, who couldn't have been older than fifteen by Mulder's estimation,
walked over to the bed and stood next to Scully.  "There be no other way.
We gotta set that arm of yours Ma'm.  I'm real sorry.  It's gonna hurt
like all get out, but if we don't it'll heal all crooked like and not be
at all useful to you."

"Listen to me", Scully began slowly, trying desperately to keep the growing
fear she was feeling from surfacing.  She couldn't stop the sudden images
from the books and films she had studied in med school about medical treat-
ment before the age of technology.  They were playing in her mind like a
bad horror film.  "I'm a medical doctor.  I can take care of myself.  You
don't need to do this."

Eve looked at Scully in a new light, with a mixture of awe and respect.
She had never met anyone who could share with her the love of healing.  It
was going to be wonderful to have a woman in the house to share her think-
ing against.  She gave Scully a shy, but regretful smile.

Mulder stood up quickly from the bed and walked over to Ethan.  "No Ethan.
I don't want you to touch my wife.  Leave her alone."  Ethan made a barely
discernible nod with his head and the young boy with the shot gun moved
forward.  "Take him on into the other room and make sure he's...."

"No", said Scully quietly from the bed, having made the rational conclu-
sion that there was no way out of this situation.  She didn't want Mulder
to get himself killed trying to protect her.  "I want him to stay with me.
Please."  She would need his support to get her through this ordeal.

Ethan considered her request and finally nodded his agreement that Mulder
would be allowed to stay.

Mulder walked slowly back over to the bed and gently set down beside her.
"Scully?", he questioned in a sad and guilty voice.

She gave him a weak smile, trying her best to be strong enough for both of
them.  "It's all right Mulder.  The arm does need to be set, and since it
doesn't look like we're going to make it to a hospital anytime soon."  She
paused, swallowing hard as she saw Eve and Ethan start to remove the
splint, which immediately awakened the pain that had been settling down
into a dull throb.  She bit her lip and turned her head away.

Mulder moved over as close to her on the bed as possible.  He lifted her
up until her head and shoulders were draped over his lap and they were both
facing the same direction.  He braced his back against the headboard, and
put his arms underneath her shoulders until they came out in front of her
on the other side.  She leaned against him, as she reached out with her
good hand and grabbed one of his within its grasp, clasping it tightly
against her chest.  He could feel the thunderous beat of her heart against
his hand.  He could smell her fear.  He hated these people for causing
her this terror.  And he hated himself as well, for not being able to pro-
tect her.

After the splint had been completely removed, Eve made quick and careful
work of cutting off the sleeves of Scully's jacket and blouse to expose
her broken arm.  Mulder's breath hitched when he saw the misshapen lump
that had formed at the point where the bones had broken in two.  The arm
had bruised and swelled to nearly twice its normal size.  Scully moaned
softly whenever Eve touched a particularly sensitive area.  Eve followed
the removal of the sleeves by gently washing Scully's arm down with the
hot water and a cloth.  When this was finally done she stepped back and
nodded slightly to Ethan that it was time.

Ethan joined Eve standing next to Scully.  He held out a strong tree stick.
"You can use this to bite down on when the pain gets too bad."  Mulder took
it for her and guided it to her mouth.  She bit down heavily on it.  Two
of the other boys came forward as each grabbed onto one of Scully's ankles.
Mulder held on as tightly as he could to Scully's upper body without crush-
ing her in the process.  He felt like he just couldn't get close enough
to her to satisfy him.  She in turn increased the pressure hold she had
on his hand.

Ethan reached out with both hands and took a firm hold of the end of
Scully's broken arm at the wrist.  He lifted his foot and braced it against
the bed frame.  "Are you ready Ma'm?", he asked her solemnly.

She nodded once quickly.

"On three then Ma'm"

Scully held her breath.


"Scully close your eyes", said Mulder.


Scully closed her eyes tightly.  A single tear escaped from underneath her
closed lids.  Mulder leaned down and kissed it gently away.


Ethan pulled back on her arm with a strong jerk, as Scully's world exploded
into a tidal wave of all-encompassing, searing, and unbearable pain.  The
stick fell useless from her mouth as she gave way to the torrent of her
agony, which filled the night woods echoing with her deafening screams.
Her body bucked violently against the injustice of the pain that she was
being made to endure.  She could feel the broken bones moving and scraping
against each other in her arm.  She wanted to cut her arm off.  She wanted
to die.  Anything, just to escape from the pain.  And still it went on as
Ethan pulled back roughly on her arm once more.  This fresh cycle of pain
hit her anew with heart-stopping fury.  "Oh! God! Please!", she screamed.
Over and over again.

Mulder held Scully down with every ounce of his strength, and still he
could just barely contain her.  He had never heard such agonizing, almost
inhuman screams before.  Made all the worse because they were being torn
from this woman.  This woman that he cared for more than anything else in
the world.  She was crying out from the very depths of the pain-filled
hell she had been thrust into.  Out of her mind with the agony.  He wanted
to stop this torment for her.  He wanted to take her place.  He would
give up anything right now to give her some peace.  His life.  The truth.
Sam.  Anything.

"Stop Ethan!  I heard it.  The pop.  The bones have snapped back into
place", cried Eve loudly in an effort to be heard over Scully's misery.
She rushed forward and began wrapping Scully's arm still in Ethan's hands
heavy cloth bandages and wood splints.  After sometime Scully finally came
down to a point in the pain where she was able to stop screaming, but she
continued to cry in shuddering spurts of anguish.  Mulder held her body
close, mopping her moist brow with a soothing touch.  Calling her name softly.
Trying to bring her back from that horrible place she had thrown into.  Soon
she quieted completely, as she was at last able to drift off to sleep in
Mulder's arms.

As he held her he made a vow <We'll get back home Scully.  I promise you.>

PART 3/3

By: Deborah L. Wells
January 4th, 1997

11:22 P.M. August 22nd
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

"She's journeyed past the hard hurt of it now.  She's like to be sleeping
deep tonight, maybe on into most of tomorrow I expect", said Eve as she
began to gather the materials she had used to fashion the heavy cloth
and wood splint on Scully's broken arm.  "I've mixed up a batch of tea.
It's made up with some herbs and moss, special picked for soothing raggedly
nerves.  I've left a cup here by her bedside.  If she stirs any with the
pain tonight try hard on forcing some down into her.  "It's supposed to
be drunk cold, and it tastes like pure sin, but it'll help her down the
healing path."

Eve paused in her tracks to give the man sitting before her on the bed
a careful look over.  He had his wife's body tucked in snug within his
hold.  His head was just touching soft near her cheek, as his fingers
worked quiet like on smoothing down her hair.  His eyes were grief filled
and worried.

She thought on it was possible he had suffered twice hard as his wife did
just being made to witness her through the hurt of it.  He hadn't moved,
not one inch from his place since the woman had settled.  He sat there
now, looking afraid she might break in two if he weren't careful like.
Eve had told him it wouldn't hurt her none to have him jostle the bed a
mite if he wanted to get up and stretch his legs a bit.  In the sleep
place she was now, she wasn't like to stir for awhile even if the Lord
Himself chose this day to end the world on.  But he wouldn't leave her,
not for one split second.  It pleasured her heart to see married folk like
these. They were one - these two.  What was her was him and what was him
was her. That was just the plain facts the whole world could bear truth

It was going to be hard on them she knew.  But at least they got to be
together.  One of the ones that come before them had liked to never stop
talking about his loved ones left behind in the outside world.  It had
pained Eve greatly to hear the breaking of his heart when he had finally
settled on the hard truth that he was never like to travel back home

He had been found stone cold dead one morning.  He had took his own life
of purpose, by wrapping the sheets tight around his neck, and up unto the
wood beams of the roof.  Eve had been the one to stumble onto him that
morning.  The picture of his body swinging still wove its way into her
night terrors now and again.

"Eve, hurry up and get along now", said Ethan as he came up behind her,
startling her out of her deep thinkings.  She stole another quick talk
at the poor man before leaving.  "Don't worry Mister.  Your wife's a
strong woman, that's the truth sure enough, and the worst part is past
now.  Any pain that follows for her now, she'll be able to match up
against the sorrow she had tonight.  It'll never be as bad for her.  I
promise you on that."

Mulder looked up for a moment at the slip of a girl standing before him.
He considered thanking her for her help.  She seemed like a nice enough
young girl, somehow mistakenly mixed in with the rest of her deranged
family.  But he couldn't bring himself to utter the words.  Somehow
thanking her for the horrific pain that Scully had been put through, how-
ever well meaning her intentions, seemed a betrayal to Scully in some
way.  Instead he just nodded his head, and gave her a slight smile as
she turned and left the room.

Ethan moved up to the side of the bed taking Eve's place.  Mulder fought
hard to contain the raging hatred he felt for this young man.  It was
because of *his* actions that Scully had been forced to endure their
backwoods idea of medical treatment.  He could not forget the heart
wrenching sight and sound of Ethan pulling on Scully's broken arm while
she screamed and screamed and screamed.

He closed his eyes tightly for a moment, knowing he would never be able
to erase that memory from his mind.  Or the echoes of her screams.  It
had seemed almost like she had been taken from him again, only this time
he had been made to watch.  Powerless to help her.  That part never seemed
to change.

"I'll be locking the door behind me.  The windows have been boarded down
strong with wood pine on the outside.  Don't waste time trying to break
through'em.  You and your wife are welcome to make yourselves to home in
this room.  It was our Ma's and Pa's in their time.  Now it's yours.  If
you have the need to visit the outhouse, knock hard twice on the door
and one of us will be in directly to see you there and back.  Until your
wife's able for herself, there be a chamber pot lying neath the bed for
her needs.  Eve can help her through it if she'd rather have a woman's
touch on that.  There's fresh water in the water pitcher over there on
the table, and some soft cloths to wash down with.  If there's anything
else you be wanting, let one of us know the need and we'll try right hard
to get it for you."

He stood there for a moment more, possibly waiting for some reply from
Mulder.  When none was obviously forthcoming, he turned and walked toward
the door.  Just as he put his hand on the doorknob Mulder spoke out in
a quiet, but deadly serious tone.

"If you ever touch her again Ethan - I'll kill you."

Mulder couldn't see Ethan's expression with his back turned toward the
door, but he saw that his shoulders twitched ever so slightly.  He said
nothing though, as he opened the door and walked out of the room.

The noise of a wood bar bolt being lifted and locked into place soon
followed his retreat.


3:25 A.M. August 23rd
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

"Don't.  Please."

Mulder eyes snapped open.  He realized that he must have fallen asleep
at some point with his head resting back against the headboard.  He
leaned forward, as he kneaded his neck trying to rid himself of the aching
crick he had gotten from being in the same position for so long.

He looked down at Scully asleep in his arms, illuminated only by the dim
light provided by the old-fashioned coal-oil lamp.  She looked deathly
pale in the somber glow of the room.  Her cheeks were sallow and drawn.
Her eyes were still closed; but they were scrunched together tightly and
her brow was furrowed deeply.  She must have been talking in her sleep.

"No more", she whimpered, stirring against him restlessly, as she began
to turn her head from side to side.  It was the fear he realized.
Invading her sleep and stealing her much needed rest.

A nightmare.

"Scully?", he called to her softly.  He wanted nothing more than to break
the hold the nightmare had on her before it became too intense.  He was
afraid that she might hurt herself further by thrashing about.  But he
wanted to be careful and not wake her up too quickly.

"Oh...God.  It hurts", she said a little louder and with increasing
anguish.  Mulder could judge by the rise and fall of her chest that her
breathing was beginning to become more rapid in response to the obvious
replay of the earlier events in her mind's scenario.  Her good hand rose
slightly in the air almost as if she was trying to ward off some imaginary
foe.  He grabbed it and held her hand tight against her chest.

"Scully?  Can you hear me?  Wake up", he called to her firmly, in a voice
just above a whisper.

She seemed to pause for a second as her eyes flickered.  The deepness in
the furrows of her brow lightened a measure.  She opened her eyes all
the way after a moment.  Slowly.  He could tell she was coming out of it
disoriented and confused.

"Scully, I'm here", he said as he squeezed her hand reassuringly.

"Mulder?", she questioned groggily, as his face hovering over her slowly
developed from a fuzzy focus into a clear picture.

He gave her a playful grin.  "You were expecting maybe the flukeman?"

She smiled softly at his attempt at humor, and then winced.


"Some.  It's not bad though."  She caught his worried expression.  "I'm
fine Mulder."

Mulder relaxed inwardly at her words, the tension built over the last
hours leaving his body at last.  This was just like the Scully he knew
so well, to cover up her misery with her casual 'I'm fine Mulder'.  It
spoke volumes to him about her recovering state of mind.

"Scully, I'm going to try moving off the bed for a minute.  Eve said if
you woke during the night with any pain that I should give you some of
her tea.  She said it has some kind of medicinal herb ingredients that
will help ease the pain.  I'll do my best not to cause you any more

It was only when Mulder made this statement that Scully even registered
the fact that she was still lying within him embrace.  The same place
they had last been when....She closed her eyes for a moment, not ready
yet to dredge up the jagged-edge memories of so recent an open wound and
pour salt into it with her reflections.

She pulled her mind back to Mulder.  She colored slightly with an unex-
pected moment of pure contentment, thinking of him holding her in his
arms during the long and painful night.  She unconsciously equated the
thought with feelings of peace and safety.  She hoped he wouldn't see her
sudden flush in the shadows of the room.

Mulder carefully extracted himself, one leg at a time, as he released her
hand.  Then he lowered Scully's head ever so carefully from his lap down
to the bed, resting it comfortably on a pillow.

Scully held her breath, refusing to utter a single sound in response to
the sharp stabs of pain issuing from her arm, caused by his slight move-
ments.  He had already done enough for her.  She didn't want to add to
the guilt she knew, without even having to ask him, that he was carrying.
He would probably be blaming himself for their predicament.  For all that
had happened since.  She would not contribute to his burden by succumbing
to the pain again now.

"Are you all right Scully?", he asked her when he had finally reached a
standing position by the bed.

"Hmm...Okay Mulder.  I'm fine."

He knew she was lying to him.  The way she bit her bottom lip and tightened
her hold on the quilt.  She was in pain.  She was just too stubborn to
admit it to him.

He picked up the tin cup filled with a thick liquid from the bedside
table.  He put his hand out and slid it under Scully's head, lifting her
up slightly from the pillow.  He brought the cup up to her lips, as she
reached out and grabbed it with her other hand.  He noticed that her hand
was shaking lightly from the effort.  She coughed and sputtered at the
bitter taste of the brew, pushing it away from her after only one sip.

"Just a little more Scully", Mulder insisted.

She managed to get down a couple of more sips before turning her head

"That's enough."

He nodded, lowering her head slowly down to the bed and setting the cup
back on the table.  He came back around the other side of the bed, and
gently sat down next to her.  "Is there anything else you need Scully?
Are you warm enough?"

"I'm just tired."  She sighed deeply.  "And...I feel so weak", she said
trying to keep her eyes open, but it was becoming a losing battle.  She
turned her head on the pillow in his direction.  She looked at his half-
lowered head.  She could see he was wrestling with his own pain.  it was
there in his eyes.  The guilt.

"It wasn't your fault Mulder.  There was nothing you could have done", she
said quietly, reaching out her hand to cover his fingers.  He shook his
head sadly, as he squeezed her hand gently in return.  He hesitated for a
moment, wordlessly seeking her permission.  She nodded her head slightly,
and he moved over to lay down beside her again, shifting her carefully
so that she could rest her head on his shoulder.

She relaxed against him, surprising herself at how easy it had become in
the last hours to change her mindset from the years of a partner-platonic
relationship to suddenly lying here on a bed.  Having him so close and
intimate next to her.

It was, of course, a not so completely unexpected reaction to the intense
trauma she had experienced.  She was just seeking comfort from him she
told herself.  And it was only this same comfort that he was offering
back to her in return.  Simple.  Nothing more.  She closed her eyes,
satisfied with her logical rationalizations to explain the feelings she
was experiencing.

They were both quiet for several minutes. Listening to the strange and un-
familiar night sounds of the woods. He thought she had even fallen asleep,
but after a moment she spoke.

"They're just children Mulder", she said softly, as her breathing began
to slow perceptibly, beginning to fall into that lulling pre-sleep pattern.

"They may be children Scully, but don't underestimate them.  You didn't
see them in action when they were searching us and our car, confiscating
our weapons.  They're armed and dangerous.  Don't let their years fool
you.  I think there's a lot more going on here than Ethan's willing to
let on.  He's got some kind of hidden agenda.  I just haven't figured
it out yet.  Tomorrow...."

He let his words trail off as he looked down at Scully.  She was fast
asleep.  He pulled the quilt up around her so that she was warmly
covered.  Then he leaned back against what was becoming the all too
familiar hard wood of the headboard, trying to get comfortable.

'Tomorrow', he thought.  'Tomorrow we'll get some answers.'



By: Deborah L. Wells
January 4th, 1997

7:35 A.M. August 23rd
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

"Eve", Ethan called out to her in a harsh voice.  "Get on in there and
fix that woman up with your sling.  Hurry on up now.  We've got a lot
to get on with today."

This was shaping up to be a worrisome day.  Ethan had woke up mad at the
world and ready to fight it square.  She knew what was ailing him too,
but none of her poultices or herbs could heal up his hurts for him.
That's cause they came from inside his own self.

He was thinking on the man and the woman.  They were different, nowhere
near like all the ones that had come before them.  They didn't fuss and
whimper over their lot of being brought here.  They took the truth of
things and dealt with'em up front.  And they was strong of heart and
spirit.  Like the woman stepping right up to it last night, knowing the
pain that was coming and set ready for it anyways.

But this morning it was the man that was working at tearing Ethan's insides
out. Ethan had been so long used to folks jumping up quick when he said
'git'. The man had pure hate showing plain in his eyes last night for Ethan,
and strong words too.  They had burned within Ethan's mind, she knew.  And
they had stayed on within him through the night and into this morning it
seemed.  His words.  His looks.  Ethan was plumb set on showing this man
the straight fact of the ways here.

Eve turned her mind's thinking back to the work at hand, as she picked up
a wooden tray from the table.  "I be set now Ethan."

Ethan pushed himself roughly back from the table, pulling out one of their
loaded shot guns from underneath it.  One of the other children rushed over
to pull back the bar bolt from the bedroom door, knocking on it hard twice
in warning.


Mulder sat up straight in bed, coming out of a almost completely restless
half-sleep in response to the knocking.  He could hear the sounds of the
bolt being removed from outside the door.

Scully stirred beside him, woken by his movements.  She struggled to bring
herself up to a sitting position, ignoring his reproachful looks of protest.
Finally he gave up and reached out to help her up.

The door swung open as Eve stepped into the room just before Ethan.

Eve carried the tray as she moved over to set it down on the bedside table.
She picked up the tin cup left there from the previous night, taking care-
ful note of the level of liquid left in it.  Calculating quickly in her
mind how much the woman must have ingested, and if it would be enough to
provide her with the expected healing results.  She finally looked over to
the man and woman sitting silently close together on the bed.

She smiled, right pleased with the rosy color showing up in the woman's
cheeks this new day.  "Morning Ma'm", she said.  "You sure do surprise
me some I have to say.  Look at you, all woke up and sitting here now
like last night was only another time much like any other night.  I'm
sure glad too you was able to get some of that tea down into you.  I know
of the bitter taste.  But I fixed it up from the root bark from off the
wild black cherry plant, as it helps to soothe the nerves and calm the
spirit.  But you gotta be careful that you use it fresh or its power will
draw off.  I'll bet on you slept right nice after your sipping of it too.
It has the sleeping power in it as well."

She moved forward to lay her hands gently on Scully's arm, checking the
bandages. Then she removed a hand-fashioned sling made of burlap from her
tray.  She pulled it over Scully's head, and helped her move her arm to
rest within its cradle.  Satisfied, she stepped back to admire her handy work.

"Later on I'll want to change the dressing off your arm, so I can rub it
down good with a poultice made up from witch hazel.  It works right well
to bring down swelling.  There's not so much swelling as there was before
but it's still far from normal sized as yet.  There be much pain troubling
you any now?"

"No, as a matter of fact there's hardly any pain anymore.  Unless I move
it too much.  And you're right, whatever ingredients you used in that tea,
wild black cherry plant did you say, put me right to sleep, and I'm
feeling much better this morning.  Thank you Eve, for all your help."

"Oh you're right welcome.  I was pleasured to help you out.  I love to help
folks feel right again."  She smiled at Scully warmly.

"You have some amazing medical skills for someone so young", said Scully.
There was something about this girl.  She was obviously smart beyond her
years, and she had a natural bedside manner.  Scully felt connected to
her on some level, as women, and with their shared love of medicine.
"Wherever did you pick up your knowledge of medicinal plants and herbs?"

"It was my Ma who started me out....", Eve began in answer to Scully's
innocent question, but was interrupted by Ethan's angry voice.

He stepped up next to the end of the bed, shot gun pointed slightly off to
the side.  His face was flushed with anger.

"Just cause we live here, away from your big city world, don't mean we
ain't any the less skilled in our ways of doing things", he fairly spit
at Scully.

Scully took in Ethan's anger with a deliberate patience.  He was a strange
and moody young man that was quite clear.  But there was more.  She knew.
Last night his words had been gentle when he had spoken to her of his
regret over having to hurt her in order to set her arm.  But there was
something else there as well.  Hiding.  Beneath the surface.  Something
going beyond the cover of his voiced apology.  Something she was positive
that Mulder hadn't picked up on yet.  It was no wonder though, because
he had been so engrossed with his worry over her these last hours.  Too
worried to see what was happening around them.  But she knew.  The same way
she knew that the sun would be setting this evening.  She knew.

Ethan had enjoyed what he had done to her last night.

She had seen it in his eyes.  First, when he had come into the room last
night and had seen that she was no longer unconscious.  She wasn't sure
then, thinking perhaps she had read his expression and body language in-
correctly.  But then later.  When he had a firm hold of her arm.  Getting
ready.  Asking her if she was ready.  Counting to three.  He was playing
it out.  Not for her sake.  But in answer to some inner and sadistic need.

She saw too.  His eyes glinting with half-disguised pleasure.  The deter-
mined set of his jaw.  The way his mouth had trembled with an almost
frantic anticipation, just before he had pulled back hard on her arm.  It
had scared her seeing the depths of violence in his eyes.  It was then she
had closed her eyes.  Only then.

He had wanted to hurt her, and he had loved every minute of it.

Finally, when it was over.  When she was climbing the walls from the
cataclysmic pain, just before she had all but passed out. She had struggled
to come out of it just long enough to focus on his face for one second.  And
then she knew for sure that she had been right.  He did have regrets.  But
his regrets weren't for her.

His only regrets were that it all had been over so soon.

Pushing these disturbing thoughts to the back of her mind, she addressed
his anger with a calm serenity.  "Ethan, I meant no disrespect to Eve.
In fact, I was complimenting her.  She's a very intelligent and talented

He stared back at the woman fiercely.  Hate and fire burning in his belly.
These two.  They had thoughts they were better than him and his. He would
have to bring them down a peg or two.  They still were playing with rules
from the outside world.  But things were different here.  He smiled. He had
broken better lot than them before.

"Eve, if she's feeling so spry, take her on out and get her taught on
helping you with the chores.  There's plenty enough work around here for more

Mulder stood up.  "Ethan, it's too soon.  She needs rest."

"No Mulder", said Scully, throwing back the quilt.  "I'm fine."  She stood
up on shaky feet, with a stubborn set to her features.  Eve came over to
her hooking an arm around her waist.

Mulder watched them as together they started to walk from the room.  And he
wasn't the only one.  Something about him and Scully was setting Ethan on
edge. Mulder could tell by the way he studied Scully and Eve as they passed
him on the way out.  Mulder was quite sure Ethan had never met a woman
quite as strong willed and capable as Scully.

Finally Ethan turned his attention back to Mulder.  "And you city man.
It's now on time we dirtied up those city bred hands of yours with some
real work.  Come on with me now.  The day's started late, but get used
to the fact from here on in.  You and your wife will be rising before the
sun's up and working clear on into the dark of night.  The wood's here be
a hard life.  Everyone's got to pull their weight of things.  Forget your
ways before now.  That life is over now.  This one's just begun."

By: Deborah L. Wells
January 4th, 1997

"Ma?"  "Ma?"

Scully turned around from the table where she was helping Eve prepare the
evening meal.  Emily stood there tugging on her skirt.  She held out her
stuffed bunny 'Widgit'.  His stuffing was falling out again and she wanted
Scully to help her push it all back into his well worn hide.  Scully took
the obviously well loved toy into her hands and set to work on it.  Her
mind wandered, as it did so often lately.  A way for her to escape from
her everyday reality.  She looked down at Emily, as she twirled around
and around in front of her, laughing out loud at the dizzying feeling it

Funny, she thought, how she still had trouble with that word - 'Ma'.
Would she ever get used to it.  Everyone else called her Scully, she had
insisted.  But little Emily had took hold of the word almost from the
first day, and just refused to let go of it.  Emily, along with Eve, held
special places in Scully's heart.  When she had first woken up into this
strange world so very long ago it seemed now, Mulder had told her that
the little girl who had walked in front of their car, causing their
accident, had done it deliberately.  That little girl had been Emily.
Scully had a hard time believing it at the time.  But now that she
knew Emily so well, it didn't surprise her a bit.  Poor Emily.  She
would never really grow up.  Her body would age with the inevitable time,
but her mind would always stay seven years old.  She lived in her own
little world, Emily did.  Sometimes, how Scully envied her that freedom.
She finished her task, patting  ole' 'Widgit' on the head for good
measure before handing him back to Emily's eagerly awaiting hands.
"Thanks Ma!", Emily cried, jumping up to wrap her tiny arms around
Scully's neck.  Scully hugged her back tightly, and then shooed her
away to play.

Eve called to her from across the room.  "Scully, you best go fix your
tea afore the rest of them get here.  They be back right soon."  Scully
nodded her head, and moved off to prepare the ingredients of her 'special
tea'.  After the first couple of weeks she and Mulder had been imprisoned
here, Eve had pulled her aside quietly into a corner.  She told her that
she had something special for Scully.  'Something to stop the babies
from coming until she and her husband was right ready for them'.  It
took a minute for Scully's mind to kick in that Eve was talking about
contraceptives.  She had handed her a box holding an assorted selection
of bits of plants and herbs.  Eve had gone on, carefully pulling out each
one, naming it for Scully, and explaining how they were prepared for
consumption.  'Rag leaf Bahia, Indian Paintbrush, Dogbane, Milkweed, False
Solomon's Seal', and several others Scully couldn't remember the names
of now.  She had almost blushed when she realized that she was being
schooled in the art of 'medicinal plant' birth control, by a fifteen
year old child.  And that Eve assumed Mulder would be the father of any
babies she would ever give birth to.  She had thanked Eve for her con-
sideration of her 'plight'.  She and Mulder had discussed the fact later
that they had to project the image to these people that they were a
normal, happily married couple.  Which meant making Eve believe that
they were doing the things that normal, happily married couples do.
But it had to be more convincing than just having Scully taking the
contraceptives Eve had offered to her.  It also included showing public
displays of affection towards each other as well.

>From the first day Ethan and the rest had made the assumption that
Mulder and Scully were married.  Mulder had never corrected them the
first time it had surfaced at the scene of their car accident.  And
later he had tried using this assumed relationship as a ploy, in hopes
of getting through to Ethan that Scully was his responsibility, and
Ethan did not have his permission to touch her when he made to set
her broken arm.  It hadn't worked of course.  Later, as time passed,
they had decided that if Ethan and his family ever knew they weren't
actually married, they would probably separate them from the bedroom
they shared.  Good old-fashioned morals coming into play, in that
they had become convinced that the Wilstead family would not take
kindly to Mulder and Scully 'living in sin' under their roof.  They
couldn't risk the chance because they needed the short time they
were allowed to actually be alone together each night.  To discuss
plans of escape.  To let down their defenses for a short time.  They
barely saw each other during the day because Ethan forced Mulder
along with him to 'chore' at the crack of dawn.  Mulder, Ethan and
most of the boys would be gone for the entire day, and sometimes way
past dark as well.  Scully was left back at the cabin each day, involved
in her 'choring' as well, guarded by shot gun from one or the other
of the boys each day.  It was a way, they knew, of keeping Mulder and
Scully in check.  Both of them knew that if one tried to make a run for
escape the other would be left behind to suffer the consequences.
Neither one ever considered the option though, as they refused to
put the other in jeopardy.

Scully continued with her musings as she went about gathering her
'special tea' preparations.  Heating the water.  Grinding the ingred-
ients.  Taking out a cup and a piece of cheesecloth to strain the tea
once it was ready.  She thought back on the first few days here with
the Wilstead family.  It had been well past sunset before Ethan and
Mulder returned the first time.  Scully had been sitting up in bed,
trying not to worry about him.  Ethan had been so angry at them that
day.  She half expected him to return without Mulder.  Ethan was
capable of muder, she had no doubt on that subject.  The thought of
Mulder dead, lying out there somewhere in the woods where he would
never be found again had frightened her down to her very core.

Later that night when the door was finally unlocked and Mulder was
pushed roughly through it from behind, she barely recognized him for
a second.  Her eyes widened and her breath quickened as she rushed
over to him.  The bolt was immediately locked back into place behind
him.  She reached him just as his knees gave way.  She followed him
down to the floor, wishing she was able to put both arms around him.
She had to settle for one though, as the other was hanging in its
sling, cushioned between their bodies.  His head hung low and she
had to lift his chin to get a good look at him.  His face was covered
with dried sweat and dirt.  His clothes were torn and filthy.  But
it was his hands that really shocked her.  They were covered with
angry red blisters, and embedded dirt.  From the looks of things he
had come as close to being worked to death as a person was liable to

Somehow she managed to get him over to the bed.  She spent the next
few hours tugging off his shirt, and washing him down as best she
could with one hand.  He had fallen asleep almost the first second his
head had hit the pillow.  Later, finally convinced she had done all
she could to ease his pain she had laid down beside him, cradling his
head in her lap.  Her turn now to minister to his wounds.  This ritual
repeated itself again and again for many days that followed.  Ethan
was trying his best to break Mulder's spirit and will.  Mulder refused
to kowtow to Ethan's less than subtle torture.  Each night he would
return to her physically exhausted and mentally fatigued.  She did her
best to soothe both damaged realms.  She wasn't sure when exactly it had
happened, but Mulder finally built up a tolerance for the grueling, and
back-breaking work he was forced to do each day.  His blisters hardened
eventually into calluses.  His muscles firmed.  His internal clock
attuned itself for the early morning to late evening schedule of work
so that he was able to stay awake for longer periods of time after he
was returned each night.

Her part had been no picnic either.  Eve was patient with her, and she
caught on quickly.  But it was the monotony of the work that wore her
down.  She was used to a life of applying her intelligence and instincts
developed from her many years associated with the FBI, as well as her
medical training.  Her world used to consist of mental stimulation and
using her skills as an agent, and a doctor, to route out clues and
solve cases.  Now it was just following a schedule, endless and tiring
work, and living with an almost abject boredom.  She wasn't meant to
be tied down by routine.  Neither was Mulder.  And both were suffering
from the increasing strain.  There were moments of course, when they
were actually able to forget their circumstances for a minute and share
a laugh.  She smiled now.  Like the time Mulder had come back one night.
She could tell by the way he had this mischievous grin plastered on
his face as he had walked into the door that he was up to something.
Later that night he stood before her with both hands behind his back.

"Scully, I have a present for you.  Can you guess what it is?", he asked

"A schematic of the woods, complete with an escape route drawn in blood
and a teaspoon to dig the tunnel with?, she had dead panned back at him.

"Nope", he said as he produced a rather large rounded pine cone from
behind his back with a theatrical flourish.

"Oh, a pine cone.  Well, that would have been my second guess."

He had gone on to explain that the pine cone was for her arm.  To
strengthen it with isometric exercises.  He had instructed her to raise
her right arm.  Which was no small feat in that it had still nowhere
near reached the level of 100% usefulness that it had once possessed.
She had struggled for a moment trying to get her uncooperative arm to
lift from her side to eye level, refusing to resort to a manual method
of using her other arm to help her lift it.  Mulder finally got tired
of watching the battle of wills in response to her frustration over
the slow healing process of her broken arm.  He came up behind her,
slipping his own hand underneath her arm, raising it to the desired
position using his strength as her leverage.

"That's cheating Mulder", she had told him playfully, using her other
elbow to nudge him in the ribs as he stood behind her.

"Yeah well, I don't have all night you know.  I've got me some pigs to
slop and cows to milk come the morning light.  The wood needs chopping.
The roof could stand some patching.  And don't even get me started on
the drainage ditch I have to dig for the outhouse."

She laughed, as he placed the pine cone in her outstretched hand, resting
atop his own.  "Okay now.  You need to work on building up the strength
of that arm.  Squeeze it as hard as you can."

Scully nodded, as she squeezed with all her power.  The hand barely
closed around the shape of the pine cone.  She relaxed her fingers and
tried again.  Repeating the exercise until a fine layer of sweat
began to break out on her forehead.  It had fast become a ritual for
her now.  The exercise.  They knew they would both need to keep in top
physical condition for the day when they could risk their escape from
the nightmare that had enclosed their lives for so long now.

Yes, she thought, they did still have moments of laughter, but they were
becoming fewer and further between as more time passed.  The first
marker of time, an unconscious anniversary of sorts, had been when they
could stop counting the days of their confinement on their fingers. After
that they made a point of not counting.  It was easier to lose track
of the passing time.  Because each passing day.  Each passing minute.
Each passing second.  All those measures of time, now only served as
reminders that another day of their lives was forever lost to them.
Another day they would never be able to recover.

Scully poured the boiling water from the fireplace kettle carefully
into the cup, straining the pulverized ingredients though the cheese-
cloth, just the way Eve had taught her.  'Her special tea'.  That was
another good laugh they had shared.  Back when they still believed with
a fierce devotion that they would find a way back home.  That they
would be searched for and found, and finally set free from their prison
any day.  But when each of their plans for escape had failed and no
one ever came, and time marched endlessly on, they silently and indivi-
dually began to lose hope.

Then the unthinkable started to happen.  At least it was something
Scully had never believed would manifest itself, but it had, as their
relationship had slowly, and perceptibly begun to change.  it was
moving from the serious and professional business partnership and
friendship that they had always shared into something different.  She
didn't know what to call it now.  Neither did he, she was sure.  But
it was there in the air between them.  Their public displays of
affection, which they had agreed would have to be shown in order to
cover the fact that they had not revealed the truth about their marital
status, were in part to blame for it she guessed.  Each day now when
Mulder returned from his daily trek she would approach him or he would
come to her.  At first, it had been agonizingly awkward for them both.
A forced display.  There was nothing behind their actions except self-

The first time his lips had touched hers there was nothing romantic
about it.  It was just a friendly kiss, only lengthened for effect.
It was probably the most platonic kiss she had ever given or received
in return.  But it had its desired effect on the Wilstead family as
they watched them playing out their little performance for their bene-
fit.  It was just another ritual she had told herself.  Another
monotony in her new life.  Put on the list of things to do - kiss
Mulder hello, and then checked off when completed.

Somewhere it had changed.  She couldn't pinpoint exactly when it had
happened - kiss #12, or maybe kiss #26.  She didn't know.  But it *had*
changed.  She did know that.  When had she started looking forward to
the kiss each day she wondered now.  When had he started to move his
hands to her hips, pulling her close.  When had she started to entwine
her fingers in his hair, bringing his head down to her in anticipation.
When had they both not wanted to stop at just the one kiss each day.

She sighed, returning the kettle to the fireplace rod.  She lifted the
steaming cup to her lips.  Then there was the 'special tea'.  She knew
that was a part of it as well.  The fact that they could if they wanted
to, without the fear of bringing a child into this nightmare life along
with them.  But they still held back.  Afraid to cross this last barrier
because of what it would mean for them both.  It would signal defeat.
It would be acknowledging that they were giving up on ever finding their
way back home.  Of ever returning to their normal life in the outside
world.  of ever reverting back to their platonic/friendship/partner
relationship that had been more than enough for them in that other
world.  And even if they did decide to carry over their new found close-
ness when they returned.  If they returned.  God, how she didn't want
to think of their first time being here.  If it should ever happen,
the memory should be special for them both, to be carried in their
hearts forever.  There was nothing special here.  Nothing she ever
wanted to remember.  It stirred little in her that she would want to
associate with her growing feelings for Mulder.  Here there was only
pain.  Only fear.  Only overwhelming hopelessness.

Only the hate that emanated from Ethan for them both.  The way he drove
Mulder down into the ground everyday with his demanding schedule of
work.  The way he took pleasure in having her serve him his meals or
clean up after him.  They hated being subservient to him and he knew
it.  He reveled in his power over them.  She still had never mentioned
to Mulder about her observations into the warped mind of Ethan Wilstead.
Her knowledge of the fact that he had immensely enjoyed inflicting
his sadistic pain on her their first night here.  She was afraid of
what Mulder would do with that information.  He and Ethan seemed set
on playing a game of one up man ship in testing each other's wills.
Everything that Ethan dished out for him Mulder followed through with
a home run effort, when a single would have fit just as well, and would
have saved them both a lot of time and sweat in the process.  They
were like high schools rivals sometimes.  It would be funny in another
setting.  A friendly competition between nemesis's.  But Ethan was a
very dangerous man.  It wasn't smart to engage him in games.  She no
longer thought of Ethan as a boy anymore.  There was nothing remotely
childish about him.  He possessed no innocence.  Sometimes she wondered
if he ever had.

By Deborah L. Wells
January 4th, 1997

She and Mulder had spent many nights lying in their darkened room dis-
cussing Ethan.  What his real motivations were for bringing them here.
His first night explanations that they had been brought here to fill in
for the missing elements of parents to the children just wasn't fitting
into the picture of all that had transpired since.  For one thing, Ethan
constantly went out of his way to belittle them in front of his brothers
and sisters.  Telling them not to listen to their 'big city ways', as
they were wrong and evil.  He had nearly exploded with rage when he
had found out that Scully had been secretly teaching Eve to read.  He
had taken the few books that Scully had found in the cabin, which she
had been using to teach Eve with, and thrown them into the fireplace.
Scully would never forget Eve's stricken face as she watched the books
burn.  Eve had just recently gotten a glimpse of the world waiting for
her there in the words.  She had just been beginning to grasp what
reading was all about.  And now it was gone, figuratively and literately
in a puff of smoke.  It was obvious to them that Ethan wasn't interested
in having them teach the children anything.  He would never relinquish
the power he relished so much, knowing he was the king of all he sur-
veyed.  Even if the subjects of his kingdom were a captive one.  Scully
thought back on the conversation she and Mulder had that same night.

"Eve told me there have been five other people taken and brought here
before us", said Scully, looking up at the shadows of the trees playing
in the wind, as they danced across the ceiling in the soft light issuing
from the window.  She could also make out the outlines of the boards
nailed into place on the windows as well.

"One committed suicide", came Mulder's disembodied voice from next to
her on the bed.

"Yes", she said, turning onto her side, trying to make out his form in
the subdued light.

"And the others?"

"She won't tell me exactly.  Just that they tried to run away and were
never heard from again.  I think she's holding something back from me.
Something she's too scared to share right now.  I'll keep trying."

She could see his shadow head nodding in agreement to her plans.  They
were both silent for a few minutes, as they treasured these times.  The
quiet.  It was hard to find quiet anymore what with living in a cramped
cabin, eleven people strong.  But it was more than that.  Once they
crossed this threshold into this room.  Their room.  Only then could they
truly be themselves.  They could talk to each other without wondering
if the rest of the inhabitant's would be monitoring their conversation,
making assessments on whether 'that' sentence, or 'this' intonation
would be one used from a husband to a wife, and vice versa.  In this
room, and this room only, normalcy resided.



"Do you think Ethan killed those other people?"


"You answered that question pretty fast", he said, propping himself up
on an elbow to face her direction in the dark.  He could see in outline
that she had her hands tucked under her cheek, angel prayer fashion.

"I've had more than enough time to formulate my opinions about Ethan.
He....", she paused.


"Nothing."  She was going to tell him about that first night.  Her pain,
Ethan's pleasure.  She had started a dozen different times, but something
stopped her each time.  Mulder could be very rash and impulsive when it
came to protecting her against anything threatening her in any way.  He
wasn't known for his prudence.  If he knew or even suspected that Ethan
had gone out of his way to induce and prolong her suffering, she didn't
want to think of what he might do.  And more than likely his lack of
judgement would only succeed in getting himself killed.

Maybe it was a selfish desire, but she was sure she would have gone com-
pletely mad a long time ago if it weren't for the fact that Mulder was
caught up in this insanity along with her.  It was her only saving grace.
Her only real reason for living anymore.  And a part of her knew she was
his as well.

Mulder reached out in the dark and placed his hand next to her cheek.
She closed her eyes savoring the feeling of his warm palm next to her
skin.  "You can tell me Scully.  I know there's something you haven't
been telling me.  What is it?"

Scully took her own hand and placed it over his.  "He scares me Mulder.
I don't think there's anything he isn't capable of doing.  And that
includes murder.  Yes, I think he killed those people, all of them.
They're probably buried out in the woods somewhere right now."

Mulder moved closer to her in the dark, as Scully shifted herself to
accommodate his body.  He gathered her close in his arms.  They had
spent many such nights lately, wrapped together in this way.  Seeking
comfort from each other.  Where else were they to find it?  This was
their only sanctuary.  Each other.  She felt his lips kissing the top
of her head.  She ran her hand down his back, feeling the strong expanse
of the muscles that had built up over the long and grueling weeks.  She
closed her eyes, knowing that tonight at least she was safe from the
nightmares that had been plaguing her sleep so much recently.  That was
all she could expect anymore.  One night.  Just one night free from the

Scully's returned to the present as Eve came up behind her.  "Penny for
your thoughts?"

"You're bidding on the high side there Eve.  They're not worth that
much."  Scully finished the last dregs of her 'special tea'.  Then took
the cup over to wash in the old-fashioned water pump sink.  Scully could
hear Emily outside playing an imaginary game of hide and seek with her-
self.  "One, Six, Ten, Twenty-five, Three", she called out the numbers in
the order that they were assigned in her universe.  "Ready or not I'm
coming.  Right now.  I'm coming."  Scully smiled.  This strange family
covered all the bases she couldn't help but think.  From Ethan's dementia,
to Emily's innocence.  The one's in between she had assigned similar
titles to as she had gotten to know each one in turn in the long days of
confinement.  Earnest was the provider.  He made sure there was food on
their table, and clothes on their backs.  Edgar was the musician.  He had
a beat up old guitar that he played sometimes, singing along in his strong
and clear voice.  Eve was her dear friend and a gifted healer.  She was
the core of the family.  She held them together.  Eloise was the tomboy.
Running after the boys trying to keep up with their games.  She reminded
Scully of herself as a child.  Emmet was the clown.  Full of mischief
and fun.  Evangaline was the shy one.  Afraid of her own shadow.  Locked
inside her self made shell.  Evan was the dreamer. The one most likely
to forget his own head if it wasn't attached to his neck. They were all
special children, except for Ethan.  They deserved better than what they
were getting.  Mulder and Scully didn't want to be here.  They didn't
love them the way parents should love children.  They weren't their

Scully caught her reflection in the window.  Her hair had grown out some
and she currently had it pulled back into a ponytail.  Her smart business
suits and taylored blouses had been replaced by thin cotton dresses that
reached down to her knees.  She was barefoot.  A sensation she still was
trying to get used to.  Ethan had taken their shoes and burned them.
Another measure to ensure it would be that much harder for them to run
away.  She knew without her customary make-up she barely looked older than
Eve.  Mulder's face had become covered with facial hair.  Not quite a
beard, but close.  It had taken her awhile to adjust to the scratchiness
of his stubble next to her face during their nightly kiss ritual.  His
suits and ties had been replaced with overalls.  The first time she had
seen him in them she had burst out laughing.  She smiled now slightly
bringing the picture to her mind.  There hadn't been much lately that had
moved her to laughter.  It was hard to laugh when you moved methodically
from one sorrow to the next.  She closed her eyes, feeling the tears
begin to fill up behind the lids.  It was becoming so hard to hold on
to hope.  God how she just wanted to turn around and walk out that door.
She missed the simple freedoms of her other life.  Being allowed to sleep
late.  Driving a car.  Reading a book.  Most days she steered away from
these kind of reflections.  It was too painful.  And it only served to
deepen her depression.  But sometimes it was impossible. Her head lowered,
as the first tear slipped out.

Then she felt his hands slipping around her waist from behind.  She hadn't
heard their return. She turned into his body wrapping her arms around his
neck tightly.  He held her close.  "Bad day?"  She nodded, as she suddenly
realized how normal those words would have been in their other world.  If
they had really been married.  If he was really returning to their home
after work, and had found her crying over the sink.  In that world it would
all fit. But in this world it only meant one thing - today the pain had
taken its toll again.  Today Ethan and his torture had won out over her
perseverance.  Today Ethan had won, and she had lost.  She wasn't actually
keeping score, but she knew he was gaining on her.  She gave way to the
tears as he held her body.


By: Deborah L. Wells
January 8, 1997

1:55 A.M. December 16th
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Scully turned over restlessly in her sleep, as her hand automatically
reached out, seeking Mulder's warm familiar form beside her.  Her fingers
traced lazy patterns in the wrinkles of the sheets before she realized
that he wasn't there to fill them.  She sat up looking for him in the
darkened room.  As her eyes slowly adjusted to the enveloping night, she
was just able to make him out, sitting on the floor very still next to
the window.  She threw her legs over the side of the bed, dragging the
heavy quilt behind her as she moved to join him.  She shivered violently
against the biting chill.  Her bare feet felt like blocks of ice as she
crossed the room.  How things had changed she couldn't help thinking.
It hadn't been all that long ago when she had been so sure that nothing
could rival the misery of the blistering heat and humidity of the long
and hot summer days.  But now that winter was settling in she was fast
coming to the conclusion that there was indeed some things worse than
the heat.

"It's cold Mulder" she said softly as she came up behind him, wrapping
the quilt around his shoulders.  He said nothing, instead he reached up
to her taking her hand, guiding her down to sit on the floor next to
him.  He extended the cover of the blanket's warmth to include her body
as well.  She followed the path of his gaze to the window, knowing ahead
of time what she would see there.  The moon.  A small sliver slice of
the moon anyway.  A tiny fraction of lunar brightness peeking through
a crack from one of the pine boards criss-crossed in front of the window.
It had always reminded her of a dandelion stubbornly growing half-hazard
through a crack in the sidewalk.  Defeating the odds.  Refusing to be
kept from its destiny.  Much like the moon's destiny was to shine,
whether or not Ethan tried to keep it from them.  It was a tiny view, but
their only untainted access to the outside world.  They sat together
in silence this way for many minutes.  Watching.  Hoping.  Wishing.  All
they myriad kinds of reflections that are saved only for moonlit nights.

"Have you ever noticed how short the nights seem here?", he spoke
quietly, almost reverently.

"And the days are endless", she added, comfortably finishing his sentence
for him.

He nodded, returning to his thoughts.  A part of him just now realizing
that he was trying to lengthen the shortness of the night by his sheer
will and stubborn refusal to sleep the short hours away.

"In the beginning, I used to think it was just me.  That the days only
seemed long because I am hardly ever allowed to go outside.  I miss the
feel of the sun on my face."  She unconsciously lifted her head towards
the window, seeming to strain, searching for the lost rays of the sun
that had been stolen from her for so long now.

He marveled once again at the complexities of this woman.  She never
ceased to amaze him.  They were so opposite, yet still so much a part of
each other that sometimes the depths of his feelings for her scared him.
Here he was pining for the quiet nights, while she was aching for the
warmth of the sun.  He looked at her closely for a moment, touching
her cheek lightly, taking his time as he made a careful inventory of her
face.  The way her hair had grown, touching just below her shoulders
now.  The angles of her face.  The sadness of her eyes.

"You've gotten so pale Scully", he said at last.

"I've always been pale Mulder", she breathed against his hand warmly.

He smiled slightly, dropping his hand from her face, leaving it to rest
in her lap.  "Maybe I just never bothered to notice before then.  But
you're even more pale now.  It's a different kind of pale somehow."

They let the word hang between them heavily.  Different.  A little word,
but it spoke volumes about their lives now.  Different.  Their thoughts.
Their relationship.  Everything was different now.

"I wish I could give you the sun Scully", he said after awhile in a
solemn seriousness.

She leaned her head on his shoulder.  "I know Mulder.  I know."

Their silence filled the room with its weight.  Then finally.

"Do you remember the song 'Killing Me Softly' by Roberta Flack?", he
asked her, as he quietly hummed a few bars off key.  "It's been going
through my head for hours now.

She nodded her head, smiling at his impromptu serenade.  "I know the

He turned his face away from her looking back at the moon before speak-
ing.  "He's killing us softly, Scully.  Slowly.  I don't know how long
it will take to finish us off.  But he's killing us softly."

"Only if we let him Mulder", she said as she reached out and turned his
face towards her, memorizing it, looking for the answers to her ques-
tions, reading the subtle lines of anguish that had only been added
recently.  "What brought this on Mulder?  Did you have a nightmare?"

"No", he said lowering his head for a moment.  "I don't have to go to
sleep anymore to find my demons.  They never go away now.  They've found
a way to bridge the gap between their world and ours."  He leaned
forward, touching his forehead to hers.  "I only have one unrealized
fear left now", he said in a voice barely above a whisper.

"What's that?", she asked, running her fingers lightly through his hair.

"That Ethan will take you away from me."

She smiled as she stood up, taking his hands in hers, pulling him from
the floor.  "I'm not going anywhere, not tonight anyway.  Come on Mulder.
It's cold.  It's late.  I'm tired.  let's go to bed."

He stood up with her taking the blanket and wrapping it around her
shoulders.  She faced him as he began walking her backwards towards the

"Agent Scully, I'm shocked.  What would Skinner say to such an indecent
proposition?", he asked her in a playful tone.

When her knees reached the edge of the bed, they folded and she dropped
across the expanse of the mattress, pulling Mulder down onto it with her.
She laughed softly, feeling his weight settle atop her body.  Welcoming
his warmth, covering her like another blanket against the cold of the
night.  But still not able to stop wondering when the strangeness of it
all would wear off.

"The hell with Skinner", she said.  "He has no power in this world."
She reached up with her hand moving a lock of dark hair away from his
eyes.  "No power here, just like us."

Her words were bold and brazen on the outside, but she was still trying
to get used to all this inside.  She and Mulder, together each night.
Moving ever closer each minute.  Together in spirit, as they had always
been, but now matching that closeness more and more intimately each
passing day with their bodies and hearts.  They had slipped only recent-
ly, almost quietly, like the turning of a page in a riveting book from
one chapter to the next, into this higher level of their relationship.
Closer, but still not quite all the way.  Yet still undeniably closer.
Just holding each other during the night had stopped being enough for
them one day.  And they had simply moved on.  Too little comfort spread
too thin trying to cover all the dark corners of their painful world.
Comfort had now transformed itself into a greedy monster that kept
demanding more and more of them before it would be sated.

Mulder's face turn serious as he leaned his head close, just touching
his lips to her, looking deep into her eyes before closing his own as
he pressed against her lips with a deepening kiss.  Scully's body
immediately responded to the kiss, as its tender and hungry effects
began to spread warmth into every region.  So different from that first
platonic kiss he had given her so many months ago now.  Different.
There was that word again.  But this different was good she thought,
as her heart began to flutter like it always did when he kissed her this
way.  But sometimes secretly she couldn't help but wonder.  If she had
been given a choice in the beginning.  If she had been forced to choose
between living in this nightmare world, but allowed her and Mulder's
growing closeness, or staying in their other world with only the
platonic/friendship level they had shared before.  Which would she
choose?  Which would he choose?  The road taken, traveled and familiar
to them leading through to all the carefully safe mapped locations and
landmarks of their past, without any surprises along the way?  Or the
road less traveled and new, offering possibilities of never before
explored territories and emotions?  Security or Possibilities?
Friendship or Love?

He began moving his hands down and over the length of her body, as she
shivered against the feel of his touch.  Her own hand found its way
inside his shirt, as she ran her fingers across the skin of his chest.
She loved the feel emanating through the heat of his skin, and the
resonant thumping beat of his heart pounding through her fingertips.
She returned his kiss with a fervent passion.  But as always their
combined desires heated up and moved things along too quickly.  Their
hunger, their need to transcend the boundaries of this world, manifest-
ing itself into an almost uncontrollable demand before they had barely
begun.  She could feel his need burning and growing with an urgent
insistence between them, and hers rushing to match its pace.  He groaned
quietly, breathing hard, as he buried his face against her neck, her
arms wrapped tightly around his waist.  Then with a mutual, but unspoken
agreement he pulled back, away from her, moving to lay down against
his pillow.  After a moment she lay down on her pillow next to him
with her front to his back.  Not touching.  Waiting for their breathing
to return to normal.  Controlling their desires.  It wasn't time.  Not
yet.  Not tonight.  But soon.  They knew.  It would be soon.

After many long minutes he turned back to face her, under control now.
He pulled the quilt tight around them, holding her in his arms securely
as they slept peacefully through the last few waning hours of the
night that were still left to them.


By: Deborah L. Wells
January 8th, 1997

2:45 P.M. December 16th
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Scully was bent over the fireplace stirring a concoction of Eve's design.
Some kind of mush that she was sure she was better off not being privy
to the list of ingredients it contained.  Suddenly the door burst open.
Earnest, who had pulled guard duty over Scully this day immediately
jumped from his perch in a chair across the room pointing the shot gun
in her direction.  It took him a moment to realize that the commotion
was not of Scully's making.

Ethan rushed into the room carrying the limp body of Emily.  Eve and
Scully raced over to him as he placed her rag doll slack body on a cot
near the fireplace.  Scully could see that her clothes were soaking wet,
and her lips had turned a bluish-gray color.  She was breathing though.
"Scully", Eve called out to her sharply.  "Get on to work heating up
the water til' it's boiling to the touch.  Go on now."  Scully turned
quickly, grabbing the kettle in one motion, as she took it over to the
sink and started priming the pump impatiently.

"What sorry did she come upon here Ethan?", Eve asked him, kneeling down
next to her little sister as she began working on removing her sodden
clothes.  She struggled with the knot on the ever present tether tied
to her waist, holding her beloved 'Widgit' in place.  She rolled Emily
over on her side just long enough to free the stuffed bunny from around
her waist.  He was dripping wet with the freezing water.  Eve tossed
him over her shoulders.  The toy landed close to Scully's feet who was
now standing next to the fireplace just putting the water on to boil.
She picked him up quietly.  She rubbed her hands over his worn stuffing
and wet material before laying him on the hearth to dry out, knowing
that Emily would want him back as soon as she was awake.

Ethan ran his hands through his hair frantically, looking as close to
attaining a human emotion other than his standard range of anger and
hate as Scully had ever seen.  He loved this child.  She had never
doubted that fact.  They all loved this child.  Kin and captive alike.
United together only by the innocence of a child.

"She was off make-believing in the woods like she always plays at.
Next thing I know I hear her a crying loud and miserable like.  When
I set off after her sounds, I come on her in the creek.  She must of
been playing on the stones, and just slipped right off."

"Did you pull the water on out of her, up through the stomach with
your hands Ethan, like I showed you?"

He nodded quickly.

"Did you see the water come bubble on out of her mouth?"

"Yes.  Yes.  I did, and she spit up a whole bucket full of it too.  But
she wouldn't answer me any when I called out to her afters.  She was
cold.  So cold Eve.  I run her back here right after that."

Eve stood up.  "Scully work on getting the rest of her clothes off of
her quick like.  Then dry her down right good with the cloths.  After
that dress her up warm, clear up to her neck and back, and cover her
warm deep with the blankets.  I'm going to set on mixing up a poultice
brew for her, to draw out the heavy mucus."

Scully nodded and set to work.

"Ethan, go on and stoke the fire til' it burns up the night sky.  It'll
need to be plenty warming for her for sure tonight, maybe straight on
into the next night and beyond.  Don't let it burn down none.  You make
sure on that Ethan.  Don't let it burn down."

Scully sat down next to Emily on the cot, as she started removing the
child's wet clothing.  She couldn't help but wince as she came in contact
with the iciness of her skin.  She estimated that her body temperature
had fallen by dangerous degrees.  She would be susceptible to hypothermia,
pneumonia, and several other possibilities that were competing for a
place of honor in her mind now.  She dropped the dress the child had
been wearing on the floor, picking up the toweling Eve had put out on
the table next to her.  She worked quickly, drying off Emily's skin.
Putting on heavy dry clothes.  Bundling her up with blankets.

Finally with her tasks completed, she lowered her head to Emily's chest,
trying to use her ears as a make-shift stethoscope.  She frowned.  Even
without the enhanced auditory aid she could hear the rattle in Emily's
chest.  Meaning only one thing.  Fluid in her lungs.  She used her
vision as well to help in her diagnosis.  She watched Emily's chest
rise with a ragged pull.  A struggle attached to every breath.  She
caught the faint whistling and rattling echo which followed these
efforts as well.  Finally, she placed her palm against her brow.  Fever.
A high fever. So soon too.  All of these observations added up to an
increasingly bad feeling in Scully's stomach.  This child needed the
attention of a well-staffed modern hospital if there were to be any
hopes of saving her life.

She looked over to Eve standing at the table.  She was flustered.
Obviously over her head on this one.  Trying desperately to match the
right herb or plant to Emily's symptoms, as Scully could almost hear
her mind turning over each possibility - dismissing that one, consider-
ing this one.  But time was not on their side here.  She turned back
to the child.  She hadn't stirred.  The bluish-gray color against her
lips still remained.  Scully had never felt so helpless in her life.
She was a doctor, but there was nothing she could do.  Not without
the proper facilities and medicine.  She stood.  There was only one
other possibility.  She had to try.

Ethan stood next to the fireplace.  Trying in vain to stuff one more
log into the already jammed packed roaring fire.  She knew he had heard
her approach, but he continued to ignore her.

She spoke to his back, refusing to be put off.  "Ethan, listen to me
please.  Your sister's life is at stake here.  She needs to be taken
to a hospital before...."

"No", he interrupted her, not loud, but final.  The tone leaving no doubt
that he considered the conversation to be over.

Scully clutched and unclutched her fists spasmodically.  Trying to bring
her raging anger under control.  The absurd futility and her own feelings
of helplessness in this situation were increasing in time to her weaken-
ing patience.  "Ethan, your sister is very sick.  She has fluids trapped
in her lungs.  Do you understand what that means?  She needs to go to
the hospi....."

He turned around and in one fell swoop back-handed her hard on the left
side of her face.  Her head snapped back painfully from the force of
the blow.  But she held her ground.  She could hear Eve's startled
gasp in the background.  She turned her face back to stare at Ethan with
hate-filled eyes.

"Your arrogant pride is going to get this child killed.  If she dies
Ethan.  You will be to blame.  Do you hear me?  You will be to blame."

For tense minutes they just stood there staring at each other.  Their
warring anger thick in the air.

"Get on into the other room.  Now Scully", he said finally between
clenched teeth.

Eve came behind her slowly as Scully made no move to leave.  She whis-

pered in Scully's ear, putting her hands on her shoulders as Scully
continued to stare darkly at Ethan.  "Scully go on now.  Things is bad
enough here.  Don't bring further worry to this mix.  Think on Emily
right now.  She don't need to wake witnessing all this bad air between
you two.  I'll cater to her now.  Go on."

Scully pulled her gaze finally from Ethan, as she looked over to little
Emily.  'I'm so sorry Emily', she thought desperately.  'I'm so sorry.'
She turned then and walked silently over to the bedroom door, opened it
and went inside.

Ethan bolted the door quickly behind her.


5:25 P.M. December 20th
In The Woods, Wilstead Family Burial Ground
Hadden, West Virginia

They stood together in the almost freezing mist falling steadily from
the sky.  The ground was already over-saturated, making the mud turn
into slush in places.  Despite the light rain, the sun was shining
brightly, almost as if the heavens were having trouble making up its
mind as to what kind of weather to send them on this solemn occasion.

The littlest ones were fidgety and restless.  They had yet to under-
stand the meaning of this day.  The loss it signaled for their family.
The turning point it would be in their lives.  They would come to
understand later though.  In small doses.  The empty place at the
dinner table tonight.  The bed still unslept in when they woke tomorrow.
The laughter that would never again ring out in the woods, echoing
with the pure unbridled joy of living.

The first fine, moist, clods of earth left the end of the shovel,
flying in slow motion before Scully's red and swollen eyes.  Falling
and turning in the air before coming down to cover the tiny body that
waited there for its cold embrace.  It would be her last blanket of
sorts, for her last sleep.

"Oh God wait", Scully cried rushing forward weakly.  "Not yet.
'Widgit' She needs him.  We have to...."  She suddenly forgot the words
she wanted to say.  She looked back desperately at Mulder behind her,
pleading with her eyes for him to help her find the right words.  In
a second he was beside her.  Holding her.  "Scully, it's okay.  He's
here.  He's right here.  In your hands."

She looked down.  He was right.  She was holding the stuffed bunny
tightly in her hands.  She noticed his stuffing was coming out again,
as she frantically started working to push it back inside.  Emily
would want her to fix it for her.

Mulder watched her shaking fingers desperately trying to fix the child's
toy one last time.  For Emily.  He wiped his eyes quietly, clearing his
throat against the sudden lump that had formed.  Then he reached out
and gently stilled her hands with his own.  Pulling the tightly held
bunny from her fingers and handing it over to Eve, before enfolding
Scully securing in his arms.

Eve quietly walked to the edge of the grave and placed the stuffed
toy beside her little sister's body.  "Bye little one.  You're always
be walking with us, near our hearts.  We'll not never forget you
darling.  I promise you on that."  She stood straight and returned to
her place.

Ethan formally began the prayer, as the other boys silently worked to
fill in the grave of little Emily Wilstead.  Scully turned to Mulder
unable to watch the outline of her sweet little face underneath the
burial cloth as it was covered with the cruel dirt.  She lowered her
face to his chest, covering her eyes tightly.  Her agonized sobs
tore from her body with painful jolts.  She was mumbling something so
low that only Mulder could hear, and even he had to strain.  When he
finally caught the words it nearly broke his heart in two.

"She didn't have to die.  She didn't have to die."  Over and over again.

"Scully.  Shhh.  It's all right", he said not knowing what to do to
soothe her tortured pain.

"He killed her", she said suddenly.


"Ethan killed Emily.  I....", she paused to looked up at him.  Her eyes
darted wildly, dazed with grief.  "She called me 'Ma' Mulder.  And I
didn't like it.  I told her not to at first.  But she did it anyway.
And I'm never going to hear her say it again.  Oh God, what
I would give to hear her say it again.  I feel like...."

"What Scully?", he asked brushing her hair from her eyes.

She searched his eyes, as her own clouded with fresh tears.  "I feel
like I've lost my own child."


By: Deborah L. Wells
January 11, 1997

8:25 P.M. February 16th
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Mulder's jaw muscles clenched and unclenched watching Ethan play out his
little game.  He looked at the young man closely.  It was becoming harder
and harder to believe that the seemingly unending depths of evil that he
was revealing more of everyday, could possibly be contained in a person
so young.  How could someone only nineteen years of age managed to acquire
so much hate in so few years of actual existence.  Mulder had never sub-
scribed to the idiom that people could be 'born bad'.  But Ethan was fast
becoming an exception to the rule.  Mulder tried focusing intently on his
food, stirring the bland stew around the bowl with a determined concentra-
tion.  But he wasn't hungry, and he couldn't force himself to eat around
the gnawing pain in his gut.  He hated feeling powerless in this manner.
His natural instincts were screaming at him to do something.  Stop this
game.  He turned slightly in his chair, bringing Edgar just into his line
of vision.  When he caught Edgar's gaze staring at him in return, shot
gun sitting at ready aim in his arms, Mulder turned his attention quickly
back to his meal.  It was just as he figured.  Edgar was watching him
very closely.  More interested in Mulder's reaction to the events unfold-
ing, rather than the actual events themselves.

Mulder sighed deeply in frustration.  Things were coming to a head.  The
tension of the last long weeks following Emily's death had been all but
crushing the occupant's of the cabin under its weight.  Ethan openly
blamed him and Scully for the child's death.  Despite the fact that
Scully had begged him to take the little girl to the hospital for treat-
ment.  It had been Ethan's decision.  It had been Ethan's fault.  But
somewhere in the illogic of his warped reasoning he had found a way to
blame them.  To punish them for his own misguided actions.  His justifi-
cation being that if he hadn't been forced to spend so much time and
effort guarding him and Scully he would have been able to prevent Emily's
accident.  It never occurred to him somehow that their captivity was his
making, not theirs.

Sometimes he punished them in little ways, like the subtle punishment
he was dishing out to Scully right now.  Sometimes though he punished
them in larger ways.  One of the first larger punishments had manifested
itself only a week after Emily's death.  One morning Ethan had just not
come for Mulder at dawn to 'chore' as had always been the rigid and
rigorous schedule for these past many months.  And Eve had never
appeared to summon Scully to her work as well.  They had just sat there
on the bed for several hours after the rising of the sun.  Waiting.
Wondering.  They were almost pathetic, he realized now, in their
resemblance to obedient children waiting to be told what to do.  But
they waited nonetheless, and still no one came.  Even when they had
banged on the door trying to get some answers.

Finally they had relaxed, as they tried to view this new turn of events
as a sort of vacation.  They had returned to bed and slept the rest of
the day away.  The first time in so long that they had been allowed to
sleep late.  But then later, as they awoke hungry and in desperate need
of a trip to the outhouse, they suddenly knew this could only be con-
sidered a punishment of some kind.  Ethan was angry at them again.  For
what, only he knew.  It was probably just some imaginary slight blown
out of proportion in Ethan's twisted mind.

The next morning the door was finally unlocked.  Eve rushed in with her
head lowered, obviously flustered, but not speaking.  She wouldn't even
look them in the eyes as she went about her task of removing the chamber
pot to empty.  He and Scully had been forced to use it the night before
for the first time ever since their imprisonment.  It had leveled them
with shame and embarrassment to have to sink to this stage.  Their simi-
larities to caged animals was becoming more apparent each day, as yet
another dignity had been taken away from them by Ethan's dementia. That
new day following their twenty-four hour lock-up had proceeded exactly
as any other before it.  No explanation.  No apology.  Mulder and Scully
had fairly inhaled their breakfast that day, they were so hungry after
the prolonged time without food or water.

As the days passed endlessly on, they could see a slow pattern building.
After the first day locked away, Ethan had been almost friendly towards
them for a day or so.  Then his anger and hate would return.  Slowly.
Building.  Spiraling towards the next outbreak of torture.  He was
especially hard on Scully.  Mulder felt sure this was more than likely
attributed to the fact that she had tried to challenge his authority
in order to try and get help for Emily.

Scully had told him hesitantly and only two weeks after the fact about
the way he had slapped her that day.  Despite this confession from her,
he still felt there was something she was holding back from him.  Some-
thing about Ethan she was afraid to tell him.  He had tried to push her
for more information, but she refused, insisting that was all she knew.
Mulder was sure Ethan had probably never had a woman stand up to him
before.  Mulder could tell that Scully's deep strength and intelligence
intimidated him.  Ethan went out of his way to flaunt her forced
subservience to him whenever an opportunity rose.  Just like he was
doing now.

"Scully, get me some more stew", Ethan ordered her now for the third
time.  He rarely ate more than one bowl, but he continued to force the
food down his throat tonight.  Just so he could have the pleasure of
making Scully serve him more.  Mulder watched Scully's eyes close for
just a split second in anger.  Eve started to rise in Scully's place,
a worried look on her face as she tried to play peacemaker in what was
turning into an increasingly stressful situation.  Ethan motioned to
Eve angrily to sit back down. "No Eve.  I want Scully to do it."

Scully stood up slowly putting her hands on Eve's shoulders.  "It's all
right Eve.  I'll get it."  Mulder watched a small smile work its way
to play across Scully's lips.  She was up to something.  He studied her
closer, almost afraid of what she might do that would work to set
Ethan off again.  It wouldn't take much.  Scully moved over to Ethan's
place, reached over him taking his empty bowl.  "My pleasure", she threw
back over her shoulder to him smiling, as she moved towards the fire-
place.  Mulder closed his eyes.  Oh yeah, we're in big trouble now, he
thought.  But a small part of him was relieved as well.  Emily's death
had taken a huge toll on Scully.  She hardly ever smiled anymore.  She
was losing weight.  Too much weight.  Her eyes were always cast over
with a sadness these days.  This was actually the first evidence of a
spark of life returning to her that Mulder had seen for weeks now.

She spooned up the stew carefully, filling it to the brim with the
steaming brew.  She turned and walked back over to Ethan, placing the
bowl in front of him.

"Is there anything else you would like me to get for you Ethan?", she
asked with the sweetness fairly dripping from her tongue.

"No", Ethan answered gruffly.

"Are you sure?", Scully continued innocently.

Ethan ignored her, refusing to look at her.

"Water?  Bread?"  Mulder almost laughed. "How about a fresh napkin?", she
went on relentlessly.

Ethan turned around in his seat roughly, giving her a hard glare.  "I
said no", his voice raised.  Scully only smiled back at him.

"Okay, but only if you're absolutely sure there's nothing else I can

"That's enough Scully", he said interrupting her, as the color rushed to
his face.  He harpooned the stew with his spoon in rage.  Mulder smiled
to himself.  Scully was turning the tables on him.  Using his own power
over her in this situation to play on his continuing demands of her.
Some of the younger children were snickering as well.  Ethan was just
about to reach the edge of his boiling point.  Then Scully proceeded to
make it worse.

She walked over to Mulder.  She stood behind him pressing herself close,
as she ran her hands down his shoulders and arms.  She leaned close to
his ear.  "What about you darling?"   Mulder's mind was whirling.
<Darling?>  Scully was never one for personal endearments, even in
light of the advent of their growing relationship.  She moved one of
her hands up to play with his hair, all the while watching Ethan out
of the corner of her eyes, watching her.  She spoke to Mulder in a deli-
berately seductive voice.  "Would *you* like some more stew?  Or is there
something *else* I could do for you maybe?  Anything you really *need*
right now?"

Mulder gulped noisily at her innuendoes.  Suddenly he realized what it
was she was doing.  She was showing Ethan that no matter how hard he
tried he would never own her.  He could force her to be his personal
slave, but she would always be her own woman.  And in some respects,
Mulder's as well.  But she would never be his.  Mulder took hold of one
of her hands, kissing the back of it lightly.  He looked up into her
face.  "No thank you Scully.  If I need anything, I'm more than capable
of getting it for myself."  She gave him a delighted and mischievous
smile, pleased that he was joining in with the mind games she was playing
on Ethan this night.  "I'm sure you are Mulder.  I'm sure you are", she
told him sweetly.

Ethan stood up suddenly from his chair.  "Eve, you and Scully work on
clearing this table up right.  Get on with it now."  He moved quickly
towards the door, grabbing his coat from the peg beside it.  He stormed
out into the cold night.  He slammed the door shut behind him with a
tremendous force.

Scully looked over at the door with a surprised look.  "Gee, was it
something I said?"


11:45 P.M. February 16th
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Mulder turned over on the pillow, reaching for Scully next to him.  He
had become sensitive to the signs now.  She was having the nightmare.
The one about Emily she had told him about back when they first began
plaguing her right after the child's death.  She had told him it always
unfolded in the same fashion.

She would be alone in the woods, just walking, in the middle of the
night.  It would take her a few minutes to realize that she was
searching for something.  At first, she was confused, not knowing
exactly what it was she was seeking.  Then she would hear the tiny


It was the ghost echoes of Emily's voice, once more alive and playing
her imaginary games.  The voice floated over and around her mixing and
repeating itself, confusing Scully as to which direction they were
emanating from.  Then the childish voice filled with joy would change
tone suddenly, turning into an agonized and desperate plea for help.

"Ma....Ma....I'm so scared afraid Ma....It's so cold.....Mmmaaaaa!"

Scully would start running towards the creek, knowing suddenly, with
the intimate and cruel fore knowledge that only nightmares can give
you, that was where the child was waiting for her.  She would
burst forth, panting and out of breath, from a grove of trees to find
Ethan holding little Emily's head under the freezing cold water.
The child's legs and arms thrashing wildly, desperate for air.  Scully
would run over with a frantic, tearing need to pull this demon off of
her child.  In her nightmare Emily was always her own child.  She could
even feel the link to the child's birth and growth in that moment,
known to her dream world heart as much as the pages of her own past.
But she could never reach her in time.  She was always too late.  She
could see Emily's fight go out of her, along with her last breath, just
as she reached the edge of the creek.  She would fall down to her knees
on the cold earth, breaking under the searing pain that only the loss
of a child could possibly tear from a mother's soul.

Then Ethan would turn to her.  Smiling.


By: Deborah L. Wells
January 11th, 1997

"Scully?", Mulder called to her.  She was moaning now, her breathing
coming in short gasps.  "Wake up Scully", he said again, shaking her
slightly.  Finally she opened her eyes slowly.  "Mulder."

"Was it the nightmare?  The same one?"

She closed her eyes for a moment, almost ashamed.  "Yes", she said
finally.  "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to wake you."

He moved closer next to her, as he brushed her damp hair from around
her face.  "You didn't wake me Scully."

She smiled sadly.  "You're lying."

"Creative embellishment I like to call it."

"Yeah, well a rose by any other name is still lying."

He looked into her eyes in the darkness, changing the subject of their
conversation purposely.  "We need to talk Scully.  You were playing a
very dangerous game with Ethan tonight.  That wasn't smart."  He could
feel her tense up, going on the defensive.

"Mulder, I don't need any lectures.  I can take care of myself", she
said in a suddenly angry voice.  She started to turn her face away from
him, meaning to roll over onto her side shutting him out with her
actions.  Mulder reached out grabbing her arm almost roughly, knowing
he had to get this out in the open between them before it was too late.

"Scully dammit, talk to me.  I know what you're trying to do."

"You don't know anything Mulder.  Let go of my arm."  She tried to jerk
it back, but he held on tight.  "Mulder I'm warning you.  If you think
what happened with Ethan tonight was dangerous ground, it's nothing
compared to where you're thinking of going right now."

"You want him to hurt you, don't you Scully?", he demanded of her
quietly, increasing the pressure on her arm against her attempts to pull

"You're crazy", she said, her voice rising.

"You blame yourself for Emily's death.  You've given up.  You don't care
now whether you live or die."

"Stop it Mulder!  I don't want to hear this", she said with all the pent-
up rage and frustration that had been building in her these last weeks.
She began to thrash about, trying to get away from him.

He rolled over on top of her, holding both her arms down.  "Scully, I
won't let you destroy yourself over this."

"The only one I want to destroy right now is you Mulder.  Why are you
doing this?  Let me go!"  He held fast to her arms.  She was beginning
to feel crushed and trapped under the combined weight of his body and
his words.  Then she began to sob, followed by even more anger directed
at herself for losing control and appearing weak.  She had never felt
such depths of anger.  She hated Mulder right now.  Hated him.

"It wasn't your fault Scully."

"Please....", she cried, struggling.

"There wasn't anything more you could have done to save her."

"Stop....Please....Mulder, I'm begging you", she pleaded desperately
with him.

He could feel her body shaking with her anger beneath him.  He hated
hurting her like this, but he was more concerned with her state of mind
lately.  He had to force her to work through the grief that had been
bottled up inside of her ever since Emily's death.  She had returned
from the gravesite changed in ways that scared Mulder to death.  It
wasn't just the fact that she never smiled anymore.  Or even that she
was losing too much weight.  She had simply stopped caring.  About
everything.  She had pushed Ethan tonight for one reason, and for one
reason only.  She wanted him to lash out at her.  To punish her for
Emily.  She wanted to be blamed, because she blamed herself.  And as
much as he didn't want to believe it - he felt sure she didn't want to
live anymore.  Even if she wouldn't admit it to herself.

"I won't let you go Scully.  You're not leaving me that easy."

"God, you're as sick as Ethan.  Worse, because you pretend to care about
me.  You don't own me Mulder.  I wish I had never met you", the words
left her mouth wrapped in venom.

And they cut through him like a knife.  He knew it.  She knew it too, as
she suddenly stopped struggling.  There followed a strange silence in
the air between them for a moment before Mulder finally broke it.

"I wish you had never met me either Scully.  You wouldn't be here right
now going through this pain if you hadn't", he said quietly.

"Oh God, Mulder.  I...I'm sorry.  I didn't mean....I was angry."

He lowered his head to her neck, burying his face in her warmth.  She
could feel his hot breath against her skin.

Her own breath caught in her throat, as she cried softly.  "Mulder,
please, I'm so sorry.  You were right.  I was pushing Ethan tonight
on purpose.  I was just so tired of the pain.....", she paused.
"Mulder.  Please.  Let go of my arms.  I won't walk away from this
now.  I promise."

He slowly eased the pressure off of her arms, raising his head, as he
propped himself up on his elbows.  He made no move to remove his weight
though, as he waited for her to continue.

"I don't know when it happened.  After Emily I'm sure.  But I finally
admitted to myself that we're never going to get out of here.  We're
going to die here Mulder."

"Scully.....", Mulder started, but she put her fingers against his
lips to quiet him.

"Mulder please, no creative embellishments now.  Okay?"  She nodded to
his unspoken agreement to let her have her say before continuing.  "We
were lost at the time of our car accident.  We were on a case investi-
gating possible UFO abductions, totally unrelated to where we ended
up.  It's not all that unusual around here for people to disappear and
never be found again. I mean look at the five people that fell into
this trap before us.  So first of all, any search for us would have
begun around our last investigation.  When that panned out, then it
probably widened into the general area.  But Mulder, we both know this
part of the country is covered with woods.  Miles and miles of woods.
Even it they had stumbled onto the right general area, it would still
be almost impossible for them to find us.  We don't even know for sure
where we are ourselves.  Eve told me that they went back during the
first week and camouflaged the car so well that nobody could possibly
see it from the road."

She reached up and draped her arms around Mulder's neck, as he rubbed
his own up and down the length of her arm.  "I know we said we weren't
going to keep track of the time.  But I can't help it, and I think you
know too.  It's going on six months now Mulder.  There are no more
search parties.  We've been given up for dead.  We no longer exist
anymore to the outside world.  I know it and you know it too.  We
tried Mulder.  How many times have we tried to escape?  Ten?  Twenty?
I've lost count.  But they've always failed.  Ethan's had a lot of
people to practice on before we came along.  He knowS our every move."
She looked up into his eyes, with tears coming back fresh into her
own.  "Yes Mulder, I had given up.  When Emily died....I wanted to die
too.  I was just so tired of everything.  I had failed Emily, and I
thought I wanted to join her.  By pushing Ethan...."

"Scully please...."

"Wait Mulder.  Let me finish."  He nodded.

"I don't want to join her anymore Mulder.  I mean it.  What I said a
minute ago, that I wished I had never met you.  As soon as I said it
I knew how wrong I was.  I have never in my entire life wanted to
retract something I have said so very much.  If I could go back again
to the beginning when we first met, even if it meant knowing I could
have avoided all of the mess we're in now - I would still, without a
single hesitation, open that door into the basement of the 'FBI's most
unwanted.  You asked me once before if I would ever change a day?
The answer is still 'no' Mulder.  Not a day.  Not a single day."

God, Scully I....."  She interrupted him again, but this time it was
to pull his head down to her lips.

Their kiss was deep and hungry, full of all the built up tension they
so desperately needed to release.  He could hardly control his passion
as she moved underneath him with an equal urgency.  He smiled into
their kiss.  She was back.  Scully was back from whatever hell she had
been living in since the days following Emily's death.

Then suddenly she reached between them pushing firmly against his
chest, breaking their embrace.  He pulled back slightly.  She looked
into his questioning eyes seriously.  He could feel the thumping of
her heart reverberated back strongly through his hands.

"Mulder, I think we've waited long enough", she said softly.

He looked into her face, searching.  Asking a million questions and
having them answered before he actually spoke out loud.  "Scully are
you sure?  We can just go on like it's been.  We don't have to go any
further.  I don't want those words to be ones you'll also wish later
that you could take back."

She smiled at his concern for her.  "I'm sure Mulder."

He nodded, as he sat up on his knees slowly.  Smiling down at her.  He
started to unbutton his shirt, but she reached up to move his hands
away so that she could finish the job.  She moved the halves of his
shirt apart and off of his shoulders, as she bent forward to kiss his
chest.  Her lips so warm and tender against his skin were enough to
drive him crazy.  As much as he wanted to draw this out, the sheer
fact that they had waited so long, he knew would ensure that this first
time was going to happen in a frenzy of passion that neither of them
was going to be able to control.

He shrugged the shirt the rest of the way from his body, as he pushed
her gently back down unto the bed.  He covered her mouth greedily,
barely allowing either of them a chance to breathe.  He ran his hands
down her body.  Almost lost in the realization that tonight he didn't
have to worry about control.  About stopping before they went too far.
He reached for the hem of her light cotton frock, pulling it back
and up over her body.  He could feel the tremors of pleasure running
through her body.  She broke their kiss just long enough to lift her
hips so that he could remove the thin garment over her body and off
in one motion.  Then she reached back up to him, pulling him down
until finally they were touching skin to skin.

It was too much.  The sensation of being this close to her.  He could
not wait any longer.  He paused though, long enough to look into her
eyes once again.  He could see and feel her passion mirrored back at
him.  He reached down between them removing the last article of her
clothing, before sitting up long enough to remove his remaining clothes
as well.

He leaned down, nuzzling her neck.  "Scully, I love you", he whispered
in her ear, just before they finally became one.