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Category : MT Angst Humor and X file. M/S/SK Friendship
Summary: Mulder’s at it again. This time his misbehavior lands him in a rather unusual situation. Of course that’s normal for our favorite agent.
DISCLAIMER: The X-Files, the episodes referred to, Mulder
and Scully and all other characters from the show belong
to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox
Broadcasting, and are used without permission. No
copyright infringement is intended, no profit will be
gained. Characters not recognized from the show are mine.
Special Agent Fox Mulder of the FBI was investigating something he wasn’t supposed to be investigating. Of course this wasn’t anything unusual for him. Fox, or Mulder as he preferred to be called, knew he shouldn’t be doing this. This time his boss, Assistant Director Walter Skinner had told him to stay away from this case. He had been very adamant about it. It was the weekend though and Mulder felt that since it was his free time, he should be allowed to do what he wanted to do. However, that thought didn’t get rid of the knot in his stomach that was telling him just how much trouble he’d be in if he got caught. At least this time if he did get caught he wouldn’t also be getting Scully in trouble. She was on vacation in Spain. He had been surprised when she told him she was going there. Even more surprised when he found out it had been a lifelong dream of hers.
out of the car he climbed up the small hill and came to a flat area. It would be
dark in a few hours and that’s when Mulder expected to find what he was
looking for. Grabbing a blanket out of the trunk he spread it out over a
smooth spot away from the trees.
The air around him suddenly began to change, like an approaching storm accompanied but a buzz like many insects descending towards him. For a moment that air stilled and he couldn’t breathe. The last thing he remembered was thinking, “Uh Oh . . .”
Slowly Mulder came to. His head hurt and he groaned as he opened his eyes. “I must have fallen asleep,” he thought as he sat up. He went to stand and tripped, sitting down hard on his butt. “Ow!” Slowly his eyes drifted downward and his gaze took in the clothes he was wearing. They were huge on him. His mouth dropped open and he began to examine himself in earnest. He found his body wasn’t what it was when he’d first got to this place. In its place was the body of a small child. “This has got to be a dream. Please God, let it be a dream. I’m going to be in so much trouble if this isn’t a dream.” Dream or no dream, Mulder started to struggle out of the clothes he was now thoroughly tangled in.
Redressing himself in his shirt and jacket, he picked up his discarded pants and dug through them, finding his cell phone. As he sat on the blanket he hesitated. “Okay, just who do you think you’re going to call? You can’t ask Scully to come all the way back from Spain just to haul you out of the woods. And I doubt if your cell phone will reach her anyway. Lone gunmen? Maybe . . .” He frowned as his thoughts continued. “You have to call for help. You can’t get out of this alone. You’re a kid for Pete’s sake. That also leaves out driving the car home. You can’t reach the gas and see out the window at the same time. You can’t walk out. It’ll be dark soon, it’s getting cold and you’re barefoot.”
“Where in the world did you come from?”
Mulder jerked as the voice from behind startled him. Twisting around he found a man and a woman standing there looking at him.
Speaking again the woman asked, “Hey sweetie, where are your parents?”
“Uh Oh.” “Hi.” Feeling stupid, he wasn’t sure just how to answer that question. “Um. I’m not sure.”
“Do you have a name?” She had knelt down so she was eye level with him.
“Fox.” He decided not to elaborate. In his head he was visualizing police, child protection people and foster care. Nothing that he wanted to get involved with. He thoughts were wild as his tried to figure a way out of this one.
The couple moved over a few feet but not so far that he couldn’t hear what they were saying.
“Come on Patty, we can’t get involved. You know we have to keep moving before the police catch up with us.”
“Well we sure can’t leave a baby in the woods. Alone.”
“He’s not a baby. I bet he’s at least four or five years old. He probably just wandered away from his house and he can just wander back. We have to move on I tell ya.”
“How can you be like that? We have to do something. I don’t want to get caught anymore than you do, but I’m not leaving him here alone.”
“They’re in trouble?” He decided to make that call while the couple was arguing only to discover with dismay that his phone was dead. “Can this get any worse?”
He didn’t realize the couple had come back over to him. The woman surprised Mulder by picking him up. “Oh you dear sweet thing. Who are you trying to call?”
Mulder had stifled a yelp at finding himself held aloft. “Uh . . . 368-2279” It was Skinner’s number and it was all he could think of at the moment.
“Look Carl, he’s memorized his phone number.”
“So, let the kid make the call if he’s so smart.”
Glaring at her companion she took the phone out of Mulder’s hand. “Who am I calling sweetheart?”
“My . . . uh . . my . . . my uncle Skinner.” Mulder held his breath. He had given them Skinner’s cell number instead of the office number. If they were in trouble they would bolt at the first sound of “FBI, how may we help you?” And right now they were all he had. If these people could talk Skinner into coming out here then maybe there was a way out of this mess after all. He really didn’t want to call his boss, but he knew deep in his heart that if the Lone Gunmen showed up that woman wouldn’t hand him over to the trio.
Discovering that the child’s phone wasn’t working she pulled one out of her knapsack and called the number.
“Skinner.” The woman frowned as the Assistant Director of the FBI barked in the phone. Mulder hid a smile. He was used to that bark and knew instinctually what the woman was frowning about.
“Uh . . . sir, I have your nephew, Fox. We . . . Uh . I found him in the woods and I think he’s wandered off from his home. He gave us your number and you need to come get him.”
Mulder could imagine the puzzled frown on Skinner’s face as the all too familiar Fox headache started to form. “Nephew? Fox? Where exactly is he?”
As she described where they were Mulder cringed. Trouble with a capital T. Yes sir, that ‘s what I’m in now.”
“We’re . . . um . . . There is a car at the bottom of the hill and you can pick him up there.”
“I’ll be there in about 45 minutes. You tell my nephew he’s not to move from that spot.”
Mulder was thinking it was a good thing they didn’t mention it was a small child he was picking up. This was complicated enough as it was.
They escorted him down the hill to his car, opening the door they ushered him inside.
“Now sweetie, we can’t stay with you but your uncle is on his way. He said to tell you not to leave here and he should be with you soon, okay?” She leant over and gave him a kiss on his forehead.
Mulder mumbled, “I’ll be good.” And then sighed adding, “I’ll stay put.”
Left alone Mulder had no choice but to sit still and do just that. All the while thinking, “If I had known they were going to leave me alone I could have had them call the Lone Gunmen. I just can’t win.”
* * * * *
Skinner pulled his jeep onto the side of the road. A small hill was to his right, though there was no sign of Mulder, just his car. Taking a closer look he finally spotted Mulder inside.
“Hey, hello there.” Opening the car door he bent down to Mulder’s level. “Are you all alone?” Looking around he was beginning to wonder where his agent was.
“Uh, sir. It’s me. I’m Mulder.”
“Yeah, right. Okay, I can take a joke as well as the next person but where is he? And why have you been left alone? He shouldn’t have done that.” Cupping his hands around his mouth he yelled out, “Mulder!”
“Really sir, it’s me. I must have gotten knocked out and when I came to I was like this.”
Skinner’s mouth dropped open, still wondering if this was a joke.
“If you are Mulder then can you explain to me why you’re here? In this place? The place I forbade you to come to?”
“Sir, that alone should make you realize it’s me in here.”
Still not believing this was his problem agent, he called out for him again. He knew he had to be around someplace because his car was here. He was finding it hard to believe that Agent Mulder would leave a small child alone.
Thirty minutes of looking Skinner finally gave up his search. It was getting dark and he needed to do something about the child in front of him.
“Sir, please. It’s really me. I’m not sure what happened but it’s amazing. We need to figure this out. Now if you would just . . .”
He didn’t get to finish that thought because Skinner had picked him up. Carrying him to his car he was mumbling, “I really need a car seat but maybe I can secure him in the back seat. When I get my hands on Mulder . . . ”
“Well, young man. What am I going to do with you?”
“Sir, please. It really is me.”
“It’s nice that you want to play along with Agent Mulder but I really need to get you someplace safe. Can you tell me your name?”
Lower lip out as far as it could go, Mulder was in full pout mode. “My name is Fox William Mulder. I wish you would believe that.”
Trying not to loose his temper AD Skinner frowned. Normally it would be impossible to believe what this child was telling him. But he’d been Mulder’s boss long enough to see some really bizarre things happen. The child did resemble what Mulder would look like as a young boy. If this was Mulder he needed to get him checked out. Normally he’d have Agent Scully for that, but he wasn’t ready to spoil her vacation just yet. Deciding against a civilian hospital he settled on taking him to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. At least there he could keep a lid on things.
Mulder’s headache was getting worse as he dozed fitfully on the drive back to Maryland.
Once they were at Bethesda, to his chagrin, Mulder was forced to submit to a battery of tests. A DNA test being at the top of AD Skinner’s wish list.
Mulder was begging Skinner to just take him home to his apartment when the doctor came into the room to talk to them.
Taking a seat the doctor began reading from his report.
“His potassium is really low. Which would explain the headache he’s been complaining about. His electrolytes are all out of whack, which can cause serious trouble if we don’t get that fixed. I plan on keeping him overnight, maybe longer. He needs a potassium drip and we need to watch him closely.”
“Well, that takes care of the problem of what to do with him tonight.” Thought Skinner as he brushed the hair back from Mulder’s forehead. “And the DNA test?” He asked.
The doctor gave him a look he couldn’t decipher. “I redid the test twice. It’s Fox Mulder all right. I have no idea of why or how, but that’s him.” He continued, “As for his age, I would say he’s about four years old. Although his features are closer to three, the x-rays show his bone growth to be more on the level of a four year old.
“Good Lord.” The words came unbidden from Skinner’s mouth.
“Somehow I doubt if the Good Lord had anything to do with this.”
Mulder hadn’t said anything during the exchange of information. He was feeling worse by the minute and just wanted to sleep. Again, Skinner brushed the hair back on his forehead almost paternally. Mulder, finding this strangely comforting, closed his eyes.
I’m going to leave for the night and you get some rest.
Is there anything you want me to bring you from home?”
It was hard for Mulder to think. But he answered, “Toothbrush, I guess. And some clothes. But I don’t think you’re going to find anything in my apartment that will fit.”
Skinner could tell Mulder was not feeling his best. Giving his shoulder a squeeze he said, “I’ll be back first thing in the morning.”
A mumbled, “yes sir.” surprised Skinner. He was expecting more of a fight.
Skinner left as the nurses came in to get Mulder settled for the night. He had been changed into children’s Pjs. Mulder didn’t even mind the teddy bear pattern. He was just glad to be wearing something that fit. The potassium drip had been started and his headache was already starting to ease. Finally able to sleep he drifted off for the night.
Mulder woke up the next morning as breakfast was wheeled into the room. Sitting up he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. He grimaced as he accidentally tugged on the IV, causing it to pull and hurt.
“Easy there, young man.” The nurse spoke as she elevated the bed up so he could have support for his back while sitting. “You just let me do all the work, okay?”
She took the cover off his breakfast, revealing oatmeal, toast and orange juice. Mulder just stared at it. “Yuck.” He may have thought the word but his face said it all.
“Now, now, we can’t get well if we don’t eat.” Pulling up a chair she scooped up a spoonful of cereal and held it up to his lips.
“I can feed . . .” That’s all he got out before the unwelcome spoonful was slipped into his mouth. He gagged, gained control and swallowed. It didn’t stay down. Gagging again he brought it up.
“Oh dear. Maybe we should just try the toast.”
Mulder had to agree. Not wanting her to feed him further he quickly picked up a slice of toast and took a bite. He waited a minute. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to stay pu . . .” ….and promptly threw that up as well.
Cleaning up the slight mess he’d made the Nurse cleared his breakfast tray and said, “Now you just rest. I’m going to get in touch with the doctor and get something for that tummy of yours.”
Glad to be left alone he realized he really didn’t feel that bad. As long as he didn’t try to eat anyway.
Mulder’s nurse arrived back in the room carrying a tray containing a couple of needles. Fortunately for Mulder they were inserted into the IV that was still in the back of his hand.
About an hour later Mulder had to admit he was feeling better. He had managed to get some dry toast down and had even talked the nurse into letting him have some caffeine free tea. The nurse from hell finally went off duty and he liked the new nurse much better. For one thing her vocabulary wasn’t riddled with “we” this and “we” that. And she treated him like a person instead of a baby.
She gave him a sweet smile as she sponge bathed him. Helping him into some clean pajamas she asked, “Well, kiddo. Do you want the TV on?”
With a nod from Mulder she turned it on and then showed him how to work the remote. “You’re pretty smart for a little guy.”
“Have you seen my uh . . uncle? He was supposed to come back this morning.”
“I’m not sure but I think he’s down the hall talking to Doctor Baker. I do know he’s in the hospital. He’ll be in here soon.”
Frowning, Mulder was a bit put out that Skinner was here but hadn’t bothered to come see him.
Once again he was in full pout mode when Skinner finally entered the room.
Noticing the lower lip and knowing a snit when he saw one he stopped in his tracks.
“No, sir. No problem. I don’t want to intrude on your time so you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to.”
One eyebrow rose as Skinner looked at him Mulder’s nurse took him by the arm, pulling him back out into the hall. Mulder had turned and faced the wall so didn’t notice his departure.
“Mr. Skinner, you’ll have to excuse your nephew. I’m afraid I let the cat out of the bag and told him you were in the hospital. I think he’s upset that you didn’t come to see him right away.”
“For the love of . . .” Not finishing he went back in the room, and walking over to Mulder he sat on the edge of the bed.
“Mulder, look at me.”
Mulder continued to glare at the wall.
“Fox! Look at me. Now.”
The use of his first name got his attention and he rolled over facing Skinner. “Sir?”
“Don’t you want to hear what the doctor told me this morning? That’s where I was, you know. Seeing if I could bust you out of this place.”
OH! What did he say?
Do I get to go home? Can we
leave now? I need some clothes, and some shoes but I can go like this.
Where’s your car? You are driving me home?
Right? Let’s go.”
put a finger on Mulder’s lips to slow him down, if not to stop his tirade.
“He said your test came back normal. He said you can leave the hospital
once the paper work is done, I brought clothes but I will also need to get shoes
for you on the way home, I didn’t know what size to get.
My car is out front and yes, I’m driving you home. And when we get
there you had better have some answers ready for me.
“Oh oh.” Thought Mulder. He knew this was coming. He was just hoping he wouldn’t have to come up with an answer for his behavior before the situation could be fixed, if it could.
Mulder happily rode in the kid size wheel chair. Now that he was feeling better the impact of the situation he was in hit him fully. Most people would be horrified but he had experienced a lot of strange things since working on the X-Files and this particular agent was finding this fascinating. He chatted non-stop on the way to the car. Only pausing when he spied the child size car seat.
“Oh, that’s cool. I can see why you would have to use that. And I’ll be able to see out better too. Where are stopping for shoes? I want the kind that light up.”
Skinner was letting most of his chattering go over his head but the last comment got his attention.
“The kind that light up?”
“Yeah, you know. When you step down they light up. I’ve always wanted some but I’ve been too old for them. They don’t make them in adult size you know. Now I can get a pair that fit.”
Skinner’s real nephew had a pair like Mulder was talking about. He thought they were kind of cool too and told Mulder so.
Pulling up to Shoe City they went in. Since Mulder was still shoeless Skinner carried him inside.
“This is weird sir. Although I have to admit it’s nice to be lifted up here so I’m not looking up all the time. I had forgotten what it’s like to be so much shorter than everyone else. I wonder what size I’ll wear. Oh look, they have a lot with the lights.”
Skinner was starting to wonder if Fox talked this much when he was with Scully. It didn’t take them long to find a pair that fit, lights and all. He had to smile as Mulder looked all of four years old stamping his feet with glee to make the lights work on the shoes.
“Okay Fox, Oh, don’t look at me like that. I’m not calling you Mulder when you’re this size. It’s weird enough as it is and I’m not calling a four year old Mulder.”
Indignant, Mulder protested. “I’m still me. I may look like a child but I’m a grown up.”
Skinner was thinking, “Yeah, and just a few minutes ago you were the four year old you looked like. But then sometimes the adult in you acts like a four year old so who am I to judge?”
Back in the car Mulder finally calmed down from his incessant chattering to take notice of the route they were taking.
“Uh, sir? Aren’t we going home now? My apartment is the other direction.”
Sighing, Skinner answered, “I’m taking you to my place.” Stopping the protest he knew was coming he continued. “What do you think the authorities would do once they found out you were living alone? How do you think you would manage? The minute you try to go out for supplies you’d be picked up by the cops.”
Mulder was pouting again, but had to admit that Skinner had a point. He realized that if he did manage to talk Skinner into taking him home he’d be trapped there with no way to get anywhere. It was strange though, to think of living with Skinner.
“Will I still be able to go into work, sir?”
But just long enough to point out what files you need me to bring here. I
figure you can work from home using my computer. I expect you’ll want to work full time figuring out what
the heck happened to you.”
Mulder thought that was a good idea. But he sure didn’t like what Skinner said next.
“I can’t leave you alone here anymore than you can stay by yourself at your apartment. So I’ve arranged for a baby sitter for you. Since Agent Scully isn’t available, Agent Marcell will be coming over and staying with you while I’m at work.”
Skinner expected a protest and he got one.
“Sir! Come on! I don’t need a baby sitter. Can’t we call Scully and have her come stay with me?”
Stating what he thought was obvious, Skinner answered. “Scully is still in Spain. You know she’s been waiting years to take this trip. And since you aren’t in mortal danger I wasn’t about to spoil her trip by asking her to come back early. She’ll be home at the end of this week. If she wants to, she can take over baby sitting duty then. I’m sure she’s going to want to work on this with you anyway.”
he had pushed the subject as far as he dared Mulder decide to drop the argument
for the moment. They were pulling
up to Skinner’s apartment and quickly pulling into a parking space Skinner
unfastened his seat belt and went around to the back seat and lifted Mulder out
of the baby seat. As they went into
the building Mulder was introduced to the doorman as Skinner’s nephew.
inside the apartment though, Mulder finally found himself facing the music.
He had climb up on the couch sitting with his legs tucked under him.
Skinner took a seat across from him.
“Okay, Mulder. It’s time
for some answers.”
“Yes, sir. What would you like to know?”
Face settling in a frown Skinner answered, “First of all, let’s state the obvious. You were under strict orders to stay away from that place. Yet you disobeyed me. And now look what’s happened.”
I know this looks bad. I know I had
no business going out there without your permission.
But If I hadn’t done that it might have happened to someone else.”
you think it’s okay that it happened to you instead?
And we aren’t even sure what it is that’s happened, except that
you’ve been changed into this, this . .”
“No sir, I don’t think it’s okay it happened to me. I just said it was good it didn’t happen to anyone else. I told you I had heard that something was going on out there. Something that should be investigated and . . .” He didn’t get to finish.
you just did what you wanted to do, regardless of what I tell you, you just run
off and do your thing? You could
have been killed. We have no idea
what has caused this. You said
yourself you were knocked out. You
may still be in trouble medically. We
won’t know for sometime if you’re going to be okay.
And what do we do with you in the meantime?
You do this junk and leave the rest of us to figure out how to get you
out of these messes. How are we
going to change you back? What do
we do with you if we can’t? What
if this ends up killing you?”
feel fine, Sir. As for getting back
to normal, I’ll figure it out. At
least I hope so. If you don’t
want me here I can stay in my own apartment.
Whoever you want to stay with me can just stay there.”
his hands over his head Skinner tried to take some deep breaths before
answering. “It’s not that I don’t want you here. Right now this is the best place for you.
And I’ve seen your apartment. I
wouldn’t ask a dog to stay there.”
Noticing Mulder’s face at the disparaging remarks about his apartment, Skinner just shook his head. “The point is, your in subornation has finally reached its limit. If we do figure a way out of this mess, you can plan on being assigned to tape surveillance until you are old and gray.”
Later that afternoon Skinner was fixing them lunch. Mulder found he couldn’t see over the counter and was seriously getting underfoot. Frustrated, Skinner reached down, picked him up and sat him on the counter top. “Don’t fall off.” He ordered as he went back to making sandwiches for the two of them. Finally, when he’d finished he put Mulder down and started to set the table. Mulder was surprised to find a booster chair waiting for him. Climbing into it he got settled at the table as Skinner put a plate in front of him.
“Eat up.” Skinner said, as he sat down next to Mulder. “I hope you like grilled cheese and tomato.”
Taking a bite Mulder chewed, swallowed and then proclaimed, “Hey, this is good. I like grilled cheese but never had it with tomato before. Adds a nice touch.”
He reached for the glass of milk by his plate. Misjudging the length of his arm he knocked the glass over. Skinner reacted fast, pulling Mulder away from the table to keep him from getting soaked, then grabbing some paper towels mopped up the mess.
“I’m sorry, I swear I don’t know how that happened. I’m usually not that clumsy.”
Refilling the glass and handing it to Mulder, Skinner assured him, “Don’t sweat it. You just need to adjust to being this size, that’s all. I probably should have picked up a few sippy cups while I was getting in supplies.”
Still embarrassed, Mulder replied, “Uh . . . I think we can skip the sippy cup idea, sir. I’ll just be more careful. And let’s hope this is just temporary and I don’t have to adjust to it too much.”
“Come on Fox, I know this has got to be hard for you. But no one is going to think anything odd with you in booster seats, using sippy cups, shoes that light up or anything else we have to do. All they’re going to see is a little boy doing what little boys do.”
Mulder gave him a small smile and finished his lunch. Going into the bathroom to wash his hands and brush his teeth he found a set of plastic steps going up to the sink. He was glad he could reach without help and very grateful there wasn’t a potty chair. At least he was past the age of having to use one of those.
Skinner was waiting for him when he came out of the bathroom. “Okay Fox, I want you to take a nap and once you’re up we’ll see about going into the office for awhile.”
Mulder was appalled. “Sir. I don’t need a nap. I’m not tired so let’s just go on over to the office now. Okay?”
Shaking his head no, Skinner replied, “Nap first. Doctor’s orders. And you may not feel tired, but the body you’re in needs rest. You don’t want to get sick and end up back in the hospital. So no argument, let’s go.” Taking Mulder by the hand he led him into the bedroom. “Let’s get you undressed and under the covers.”
Protesting that he could undress himself, Mulder did just that. He knew he had no choice and had to admit that he really was tired. He was asleep less than a minute after crawling into bed.
An hour later, wide-awake, Mulder was up and driving Skinner nuts nagging him to take him to his office. Skinner wanted to get some things done around the apartment first but finally realized that he’d get no peace from Mulder until they got the promised files so his charge would have something to keep him busy.
There were few people in the building because it was Sunday and the few they ran into just smiled at Mulder as they rode in the elevator towards the basement and to Mulder’s office. Surprised at the number of files Fox kept adding to the already large stack Skinner finally put a stop to it.
“Fox, that’s enough. Any more and they won’t fit in the car. I can always pick up what you need next time and bring it home to you.” Fox was busy adding yet another file to the pile when Skinner reached out and against his protest, picked him up. “I said that’s enough. Behave or we’ll leave them all here.”
Realizing Skinner meant business Fox relented. “I’m sorry, I just wanted to make sure I had everything.”
Skinner had found one of those wire carts on wheels to use and together they loaded the files into the basket. He still had to carry some of them in his arms. Fox couldn’t help much but he had about four files himself.
Two days later they were making yet another run to the office. It seemed as if Mulder was determined to bring his whole office home with him.
“Just what do you hope to find in all these files?” Skinner asked, looking at the huge pile with amazement.
“I’m not sure, sir. In the back of my mind I know there has to be something. I’m not sure what, I just know I need to keep searching.”
With a sigh, Skinner said, “And this is plenty of stuff for now. We need to get home.”
Mumbling Mulder couldn’t help but comment, “Yeah, and you just can’t wait to put me down for another nap.”
Skinner chose to ignore him this time. Besides, he wanted to get Mulder home and back in time for his surprise for him.
As they arrived at the apartment Skinner wasn’t surprised to find the door unlocked. Mulder was doing his normal chattering and didn’t notice. He didn’t even notice the person in the room at first. When he did, he dropped the files he was carrying.
“Scully! When did you get back? How come you’re back already? Did Skinner call you? Can you believe this? I’m sorry you had to cut your vacation short. I’ll make it up to you I promise.”
Fox finally stopped to breathe, and Scully took advantage of the pause to get in a few words to Skinner.
“Oh. My. God. It really is him! Only Mulder can talk like that.” Stating the obvious she exclaimed, “He’s a child!”
Skinner smirked when he answered her. “It’s him alright. The DNA tests proved that.”
Kneeling down to her partner’s level she put one finger under his chin bringing Mulder’s face upwards. “Couldn’t stay out of trouble, could you? As much as I loved Spain it was getting old and believe it or not I just had a feeling I was needed here.”
Putting his puppy dog look to good use Mulder nodded at her. “Spooky, isn’t it? You knowing I needed you?”
“Actually, Skinner called me.” She answered with a smile.
Interjecting his own opinion Skinner stated, “I’m the one that needed you. Mulder needs your help finding out what happened and how and if we can reverse it. And I need you to stay with him during the day so he doesn’t have to stay with a baby sitter he doesn’t know.”
Mulder’s face blushed bright red at the thought of Scully being his babysitter. There were other ways he would rather think of her and babysitter wasn’t one of them.
Noticing his embarrassment Scully gave him a hug. “Well partner, you really did it this time. Let’s get these files organized and see what we can do.”
Turning to Skinner Mulder protested, “But sir, I don’t understand. “You said you weren’t going to interrupt her vacation.”
Smiling, Skinner explained, “I got to thinking how Scully would feel if I kept her in the dark about this. And she was so close to coming home anyway. So I called.”
the two agents, one big and one small, got to work Skinner left the room to do
some work of his own.
Due to the long hours working and the naps Mulder was forced to take causing them to only work on and off, they decided it would be better if Scully slept over. Skinner soon realized the best way to keep Mulder quiet was to put him to work investigating something. If he were truthful, he’d have to admit he was worried. He was already trying to come up with a plan of what to do if they couldn’t change Mulder back. The most important thing was Mulder’s living arrangements should he not return to his normal size. Skinner realized that he was enjoying having Fox stay with him, despite the unusual situation and even though he could talk a blue streak if he wasn’t kept busy. He was bright and engaging company. He just wasn’t sure that Fox would be happy here full time. And a small Fox could be just as aggravating as a big Fox. Although at this size he was easier to handle. He was smiling as he recalled their visit to the mall the Mall the day before.
Thinking back he remembered . . . Not in the best of moods Fox was protesting loudly, “I don’t see why I couldn’t stay home. I needed to look over some of the stuff you brought home today.”
Walter had reached his limit and hoisted his miniature agent up. Protesting, Fox demanded, “Put. Me. Down. I’m so tired of being yanked off my feet every time I do something someone doesn’t like.” His kicking feet made contact with Skinner’s midriff as he was unceremoniously dumped into the stroller they had rented, more to carry packages they had purchased than to transport Mulder.
Skinner didn’t say a word but Fox knew he had better keep quiet. He had a feel for when he’d pushed Walter as far as he dared and even though he was upset and frustrated beyond words, he also knew when to shut up. He would never admit it, but his legs were tired from trying to keep up with Walter and Scully as they trailed through the mall. It felt good to ride for a change.
Walter was remembering how easy it was to just put him in the stroller, stopping the tantrum in progress. That wasn’t something you could do with a full size adult. He realized though, that he had been taking the easy way out at times, picking him up or putting him in a stroller during walks, or even putting him down for a nap, just to stop him from vocalizing his anger over being treated as a child. He vowed that he’d try to do better but knew in his heart it was probably going to be impossible to follow through with that plan.
Three days later they were back in the den. Scully finally stood and stretched her back, getting the kinks out of it. “Mulder, I’m stumped. Your blood work is still in the normal range, although your potassium level keeps trying to drop. But there isn’t any indication of what caused this or what to do to change you back. I’m not even sure what we’re looking for.”
Sighing Mulder ran his hand through his hair. “I know there’s something here. Or in the X files. It’s got to be. I . . . I feel that I’ve done this . . . um. . before. It’s like there is a memory there, but I can’t retrieve it.”
Eyebrows raised Scully exclaimed, “Are you trying to tell me you’ve been changed into a child before?”
“No, not a child.” Shaking his head he continued, “Just changed. I know it doesn’t make much sense, but I just have this gut feeling I’ve been through something like this.” “And I know it has something to do with that damn water bed. I just don’t know what.” He thought, but didn’t say that part out loud.
Smirking Scully said, “Not while we’ve been partners, you haven’t.”
“No Scully, I’m serious. I can’t help thinking I need to go back.”
Back where?” Scully had
her hands on her hips. Not a good
“To where it started.” He tried to explain. “The same feeling that I’ve done this before just makes the feeling that I have to go back to where it happened really strong. That if I don’t I’ll never be me again.”
Hands still on hips, Scully argued, “Walter is never going to let you do that. What if you do change but keep getting younger? Or even worse you get older. So old that it kills you?”
Putting his bottom lip to full use again, he retorted, “That’s just a chance I’ll have to take.”
Just as Scully predicted, Skinner was quick to dismiss Mulder’s idea.
Mulder was in full argument mode. “Sir, I don’t know what else to try. I just believe that whatever did this may still be working out there. I need to go back and I can’t think of anything else to do. I appreciate every thing you’ve done, taking care of me like this but really sir, do you want to be taking care of me for the next fourteen years? Puberty, college fees? Or see me stuck in foster care somewhere? Come on. I need you to help me out here. Please.”
Against his better judgment Skinner finally relented. Scully was a littler harder to convince but finally all three of them headed for the woods.
Arriving back where it all started, Mulder, Scully, and Skinner climbed the small hill.
Skinner’s help, Fox settled into position and waited while he and Scully moved
away to what they thought would be a safe distance.
All were apprehensive. Anything
could happen. From nothing to the
worse fear of him being killed in the attempt.
again the air around him suddenly began to change, like an approaching storm
accompanied but a buzz like many insects descending towards him. For a moment
that air stilled and he couldn’t breathe. His mouth opened to call for Scully
three came to at the same time. As
hoped for, Fox was back to normal. Fox
took one look at his boss and uttered, “Oh Shi** and then noticed his partner.
Another expletive came forth.
first thought was for Scully. She
was old. Very old. He ran
to her, grabbing her hand. “Scully,
are you okay?” Of course she
wasn’t. He could see that. She just sat there looking at him in utter stupefaction.
Finally she spoke. “Mulder, I’m going to kill you.”
He had to grin at that. But
then got serious again. “Just sit
tight. Okay? Let me check on Skinner.”
Walking over he picked up the very small assistant director of the FBI saying, “Come on boss. We’ll stay at your place. It’s a lot bigger than mine and all the baby stuff is still there. Scully, you wait here and I’ll come back and help you after I get Lil Walter here….I mean Skinner settled.”
to Scully’s side he held his hand out to her.
She took his hand in hers, noticing how gnarled hers was with age.
Helping her back to the car he couldn’t help mumbling to himself about
how he always managed to get himself into trouble. He couldn’t help but smile though, looking at his painfully
young boss and poor elderly partner. For
once he really believed “It isn’t always about you, Mulder.”
overnight trip to the hospital got both Skinner and Scully stabilized.
It almost took an act of congress to get them discharged to Mulder’s
care, however, three days later they arrived back in the woods.
This time Mulder left them there while he parked a mile down the road.
He saw the flash of light from his parking spot and nervously took off to
retrieve the agents. Thankfully and
to his great relief, both were back to normal.
Scully had turned her back while Skinner finished dressing in the man
size clothes they had brought for him.
to find things back to normal he was a little surprised when Skinner snatched
the car keys from him and snarled at him to get in the car.
couldn’t help quipping, “Everyone okay now?”
in the review mirror at Mulder, Skinner answered, “We may be, but you’re
looking at tape surveillance for the rest of your life.”
for Mulder, his punishment only lasted for three weeks, during that time Scully
took all the baby stuff Skinner had given her and donated to her mother’s
local church bazaar. Back in the
office together Mulder was being on his best behavior.
Although she appreciated having a well behaved partner she grinned to
herself, thinking about the office pool, betting on when Mulder would be in