Best Damn News of All, The, Pts. 1 and 2.

by Pattie

Title: The Best Damn News of All, 1/2.

Author: Pattie

Rated: G

Category: Post-Truth, X, AU (?)

Spoilers: Post The Truth, after the aliens went packing.

Summary: After Mulder has returned to the X-Files Office, he is contacted by the person he least expected to hear from again, and had accepted as long dead.

Feedback: trish59@444.net Tell me what you thought, and tell me what you'd like to see written. Feedback helps me guage the audience preferences.

Archive: Gossamer. Others please ask and ye shall receive.

Disclaimer: All X-Files characters and offices belong to CC, 1013, and Fox Studios. I don't receive or even charge money to do this, and I don't mean to infringe on any copyrights. *"Spidy Sense" is a copyrighted phrase from Stan Lee and his "Spiderman" comics. He is no longer with us, yet brought me some entertainment as a child, and thrilled my children as well.

OFFICE OF THE X-FILES,
10:30 A.M.

Lately, the office had been extremely busy, and Fox Mulder was feeling extremely over-worked. Ever since the Colonization had been prevented, he found himself wishing that there weren't so many unusual phenomena still out there. It wasn't that these things still didn't fascinate him. That was far from the truth. He just felt overwhelmed with the latest deluge of mysterious sightings, reports of voodoo spells having been put on errant husbands or wives, psychic phenomena, protoplasmic appearances of odd-looking beings at Stonehenge, and assorted tabloid stories of sewer dwelling rat people.

He and Dana Scully-Mulder had managed to have three children together. That he enjoyed to no end, because there was a time, not so long ago, he had felt all alone in the world. Especially after he had accepted his sister's death, he felt truly alone. But the miracle of William, then Meg and Samantha Elizabeth had changed all that. His life was complete. Watching his family grow with the woman he loved had made him complete.

Still, as Scully was only working part-time in order to be with the children, Mulder's work load was heavy. He sat back in his chair and pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes for a moment to ease his eye strain. A nice, hot cup of coffee was a good idea, so he poured himself a mug and went back to the desk.

Maybe, just maybe there was an inter-office joke, or even an amusing cartoon being passed around on the computer. That would keep him from hunching over all the papers on his desk.

He didn't have anyone to complain to at the time, so he decided it was all right to think out loud as he went through his various messages. "Spam. Delete. Spam. Delete. Bachelor party... Save. Accounting Department. Read later, jack-asses. Spam. Delete. Latest Male En-...Delete. Just To Say We Love You. Save. Print and frame later. Thanks, honey. It's Me, Your Sister... What? Is this some kind of sick joke? Read it anyway."

As he read the short note, a chill ran down his spine. This was his "Spidy-Sense*" chill, not the ordinary chill he felt when things were going terribly wrong. He'd been fooled before by false information, misinformation, and even disinformation. This feeling he had was something akin to the feeling that something profoundly wonderful and joyous was about to happen, yet there was an underlying skepticism. He had been fooled and misled before.

The message was short, yet beautiful: "Fox, now that I need no longer hide, I want to see my terrorizing big brother. Love, your 'Little Pest'. Further contact in a while. I know this is a bomb shell."

Bomb shell? It was most certainly that. He had based his career on a life-long search for his tested, tortured sister and believed her to be dead. He had even made peace with the acceptance that she was in a much better place, dead, and no longer suffering. So, was this a hoax? A sick joke? One thing that stood out was the term 'Little Pest'. Only she would know and remember that nickname, as Mom and Dad were deceased. Even the clone posing as his sister long ago did not refer to herself as the 'Little Pest'. A sense of elation swept over Mulder, and he found himself grinning as he saved the message, tears of joy and consternation filling his eyes.

"Pull yourself together," he told himself. "Should I tell Scully? Maybe I should wait for the next contact. There's no legitimate address to respond to. Maybe someone is still trying to keep me hanging onto false hope. No, I'd better calm down and wait for another message. I still have files to sort."

He sipped the tepid coffee and began going over 'worthwhile' versus 'read later' files and folders. Scully wasn't going to be in the office today, anyway. He had to keep a promise he'd made to her to do his share of the sorting and filing. Still, his thoughts were of Samantha's abduction and his paralysis back then, and the idea that Samantha had been strong enough to escape her tormentors, survive and thrive. If she had fled at age 14, where would she have lived? Who would have protected and sheltered her? Had she been picked up by some generous family and raised as their own? Had she been educated and loved? "Files," he reminded himself.

That day he had read the message over twice. He went over it before leaving for lunch, and again before he went home.


MULDER RESIDENCE,
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA
6:03 P.M.

Something smelled absolutely delicious when Mulder walked into the house. He put his briefcase down for a moment to hug two very active little children. "Will, Meg, easy on the old man! I have room for both of you, but you squeeze so hard!"

Will broke away first. "Okay, I'll go easy on ya. Meg, let Daddy go!"

"Never, never. never. Well, I gotta go anyway. Daddy, I colored a really big picture at school just for you," the tiny read-head squealed.

"And I tried out my teacher's piano and she says I can sign up for lessons!" William declared.

"You did? That's great! So, where's your Mom?" Mulder removed his coat and hung it in the closet.

"Mom's just getting Samantha Elizabeth ready for supper," Meg said. "She sure sleeps a lot."

"I know," Mulder whispered. "All babies sleep a lot. They grow when they sleep. Better watch out, she's catching up to you two."

Scully came down the stairs with the baby in her arms, and kissed her husband. "Hey, how was your day?"

"Lots of filing to do, but I think you'll find I did a good job when you walk into work tomorrow. What smells so great?"

"Just a pot roast, baked potatoes, the usual salad and p-e-a-s."

"Hey! I know what you said!" William protested. "Ew..."

"Well, at least try them with cheese sauce, but you do need them to grow big and strong."

"Yeah... " William ran off to play, and Meg followed.

As Scully strapped Samantha Elizabeth into the high chair, Mulder began to remember when his sister was that age, with his mother spooning baby food into her mouth. He smiled warmly and put his brief case on his desk in the den. He avoided the temptation to go into the email again.

He debated whether to tell Scully about the message, but decided to keep it to himself in case this was just another ruse.

He knew one thing: Even if this was just a ruse, he was no longer alone. He had his family. If things turned out well enough for him to have the pleasure of showing them off to Samantha, it would be a gift from God. Perhaps God had been protecting his sister all these years.


NEXT DAY
OFFICE OF THE X-FILES
8:30 A.M.

As Scully dropped William and Meg off at school, and took Samantha Elizabeth to her mother's, Mulder decided to check for any new communication from this person who had claimed to be his sister. He deleted the junk mail, spam, saved a few inter-office messages, and deleted more mail that was unnecessary. Yes, there was another message. "I want to assure you that it is me. Tell me when and where we can talk and I will be there. Reply to me here... Your 'Little Pest'."

Now, Mulder needed to think of a place that this person could easily locate. There was a well-known coffee shop just minutes from the office. He typed the name and address, a time, and sent his reply. Scully would be leaving the office just at lunch hour, and Mulder thought it best he act quickly. He had a nagging suspicion that if this person was indeed his sister, there still might be people not wanting them to find each other.

At 9:05 Scully entered the office, and began looking over her messages. There was also a folder from Quantico she had been expecting. "Well, our kids are growing up so fast, Mulder. Would you believe William has an admirer who is very cute?"

"Yeah, I would. I mean, he has such an attractive set of parents," Mulder said, as he walked around to Scully. "I think that little girl is as lucky as I am." He kissed Scully and looked at her folder. "That's the Evans Case. We should have the report all wrapped up by the end of the day. I have some things to add, and I know you're nearly finished."

"Well, I don't know about you, but I'm hoping for a lull in the action. It's been crazy around here the past few weeks. Every time we catch up, we just seem to hit another wave of cases."

"I think we're going into a slow period. Why don't we take some time off? Kersh hasn't sent anything down here lately, and I don't see a problem with us taking some family time."

"You want to take time off? Maybe I should take your temperature." Scully smiled and went over to feel his forehead. Mulder pulled her into an embrace.

"No, I just think we need to spend time together as a family. It's been a long six months, tomorrow's Friday and there's nothing much to do around here. I'll tell Kersh we need some time off later today, and then it's just you and me while the kids are at school, and all of us the rest of the time."

"To tell you the truth, I thought you could use the time off. All those back-logged cases were driving us both up the wall, anyway. Sure. Let's do it. Now, I need to get this finished before I delay the vacation time any further."

*This would be a perfect time to bond with Samantha if it really IS her,* Mulder thought. "The pictures are on my desk, then. I'll pour the coffee while you get started."

"What are you up to?"

"What? I just wanted a coffee, and thought it would be rude not to offer my wife some."

"No, there's something going on inside that transparent head of yours... "

"Transparent head... that explains why all the ladies upstairs turn away when I walk the hallowed halls." Maybe dismissing it with a joke would throw her off of her suspicions. Mulder handed Scully her mug.

"C'mon, stop kidding. I know your mind's on something. I wasn't born yesterday."

"Okay." He had to think quickly to find an effective response. "It's a surprise," he decided. "Telling you would ruin the whole thing, Scully. So, get back to that case so we can take off after tomorrow."

"All right." Scully turned back to her work. "But if this is something that you think you can protect me from and pay for later... "

"It isn't. Seriously."

"All right then. I get the hint."

As the clock was slowly ticking toward noon, Mulder had to wonder if he was letting himself in for a big disappointment. To really find his sister alive, well, and without danger would be the best damn news of all.

The Best Damn News of All, 2/2.

ABBIAMO CAFE,
WASHINGTON, DC
12:33 P.M.

The cafe was fairly busy when Mulder arrived. He looked around for Samantha, then decided to find a table if he could. Since there was no sign of his sister, he ordered a coffee and sandwich and reminded himself that he had been duped numerous times in his life. As he lazily stirred the cooling coffee, he saw a woman looking around the place. Her dark curls seemed familiar yet shorter, and the shape of her face caught his attention instantly. Was this woman his sister?

The woman caught sight of Mulder, and smiled. "Fox! Is that really you?"

Mulder stood politely. "Yes, but are you really who you claim to be?" He sat down again after she was seated.

Her smile faded. "I should have prepared myself for that. Yes, I'm Samantha Ann Mulder. I haven't seen you since that night during the Watergate hearings, and I didn't know about Mom and Dad until I came back to America. That was in 2002."

Mulder nodded. He waved for a waiter. "So, how did you find me?"

"I must admit I didn't want to find you for a long time. All those years of suffering made me very aware that I would never be free if I contacted you, whether it was before I ran away or after that, when I could barely move. There was a diary I kept, and I hid it figuring someone might come some day. I really hoped Dad would rescue me, what with his connections. Some Daddy he was, huh?" The color had left her cheeks, and she stared down at her hands, then looked up at the waiter. "French Vanilla, cream, please."

"Do you realize that I was totally convinced after years of looking, that I finally accepted what I thought was true? I finally believed you were dead, that I was free from the guilt I felt when I couldn't stop them from taking you to be their guinea pig! And that diary was very hard to read. Then, I saw someting that convinced me you were dead. I thought I had finally accepted something I had refused to believe despite all warnings!"

Samantha was silent.

"This time, I need to be sure. Turn around."

"What?"

"Turn around, and lift your hair up. I need to find something missing."

"Okay." She did as she was asked, and there was no sign of a bump, or metallic vertebra. THere was not a scar in sight.

"Samantha. I'm sorry... I just had to... " He was on the verge of tears. Guilty tears and tears of joy. "Considering all that's happened, I need to be very sure. Can you come back to work with me and have a few tests done?" He held both of the woman's hands in his. "Please. I'll let you decide what to do from there."

"Of course," the woman smiled understandingly. "When I was in the U.K., I learned a few things about what you were doing from a man who knew someone you worked with a long time ago. A woman from Scotland Yard. You were looking for evidence that I was a clone or a super soldier."

Mulder smiled and shook his head. "We know they're all gone. I had to be sure. Besides, I have a reputation of being paranoid. I can't believe it. Why did you wait until now?"

"If I had known sooner I would have come. I had to be sure you would be safe. It didn't really surprise me when I heard what you and the FBI were up against, and how you and your friends managed to stop the... Well, you did, and I'm so proud of you. Is there anything new and interesting in your life besides fending off the enemy?"

"So much. My lunch hour is over. Will you come with me for a few hours?"

"Sure. I know what you need to do. I don't have any children to go home to, I just moved to Washington. Show me around the Hoover Building, Fox!"

Mulder paid the cashier and took Samantha straight to work.


HOOVER BUILDING
1:29 P.M.

Mulder escorted Samantha straight to the laboratory, and told the technician he wanted genetic testing, blood typing, and tissue tests.

"I need to do a few things. You'll be all right. I just need to take care of some business."

"I'll be all right, Fox. I'm not a little girl anymore. Go on. I'll be fine."

"I'll be back very soon." Mulder left Samantha in the lab as the technician began taking samples.

The first order of business was to call Scully, and he did so on his cell phone on the way to the office. "Hi. Look, I'm going to be a little late tonight, I have some things to wrap up, but I'll bring home something very special."

"Oh, I like the sound of that," Scully anwsered in a sexy tone. But all I really want is you."

"I know. Something just needs to be taken care of. and I do plan to ask Kersh for the time off. Just let me take care of it all, and then it should be smooth sailing."

"Why do I have a feeling there's something you're not telling me?"

"There is, but if it's what I think it is, it's good news. Just go ahead and feed the kids if I'm later than usual, and I promise you won't regret it."

"Okay. Well, I hope you're finished there as soon as possible. See you later."

"Give my love to the kids. The rest goes without saying."


Mulder gathered his reports from the office and made his way to Kersh. He walked into the assistant's office and asked to ass his boss. It was just his luck to be waiting a half hour, with everything that was running though his mind.

The agent who had been meeting with the man finally left the office, and Kersh ushered him into the room. "I take it this is the report for that last case you were on? The Evans case?"

"Yes, Sir. Everything is complete, and I need a favor."

"A favor, Agent Mulder?"

"Well, it's more like a request for a couple of weeks off."

"You're asking for a vacation? I never thought I'd hear that from you, Mulder. However, seeing as it is slow down in your department, and we have more than enough field agents than we need right now, I suppose two weeks would be fine. Is everything all right at home?"

"Actually, it's never been better, Sir. We just thought we'd take the time off, and we do need it."

"Besides, it's almost time for me to order you both to take one," Kersh interjected.

"Precisely. One thing you should be made aware of: I have been contacted by someone who I thought was dead. A family member."

"Who?"

"When I'm one hundred per cent sure, I'll let you know."

"Of course. We've all been through a lot." Kersh stood and stared out the window. "I never thought things would be as bad as they became, and I hadn't thought things would be resolved. It's ironic."

"Well, I think you suspected a few things when you were given some orders you couldn't refuse. I need to be somewhere, so if you have any further questions, I'll be in the building."

"Thank you. I hope you find the answers you're looking for."

Thanks, Sir."


FBI FORENSICS LABORATORY,
4:15 P.M.

The last of the samples had been taken, and Samantha sat waiting for her brother. She had a lot of questions as well as a few surprises. She wanted nothing more than to tell him where she had been all those years, and how she had survived. He'd been so full of questions, she hadn't had the time to tell him everything she had been through. She was lost in contemplation when Mulder returned to the lab. In fact, she jumped when he spoke to her.

"You okay?" he asked.

"Oh, Fox, you startled me. They're analyzing everything now."

"Samantha, I know this sounds premature, since we just met downtown a few hours ago, but will you come home with me?"

"Sure. If that's okay... "

"As soon as we hear anything, I can take you to pick up some of your things, and... it's really a long story, but I'll tell you all about it on the way there."

"I understand. It must have been a shock to hear from me, and when you saw me, you looked kind of guarded. I've been living in Manhattan for a few years, and I know you have a lot more questions. I was... "

At that point a lab technician approached Mulder and Samantha. "Congratulations, Agent Mulder. This young lady could be your half-sister. We found nothing anomalous compared to the previous files you provided regarding the... other business."

"Half-sister?" Samantha didn't like the sound of that. "Fox?"

"Yes."

"Through your mother," the technician confirmed. "You have a lot of catching up to do. Agent Mulder, I'm afraid the test results for the other matter you asked about confirm what you suspected."

Samantha was scared to death. "Hey! This is about me! Will you tell me now?"

Mulder put his arm around his sister, "I'll tell you when we get to my house. I wish it could be something happy, I really do." He kissed her on the forehead. "Let's go. I know you want your own clothes, and frankly, I think I could use a long drive."

As they left the lab, Samantha stood her ground in the corridor. "What is the big bad news, Fox"

He felt as though he was going to cry. "Whoever did all those tests took all of your ova. I'm sorry."

"So, they left nothing behind."

"It was all destroyed just before we got rid of them. Everything. Their records, hundreds of women's eggs. All the clones, even their ova. There was nothing to save by the time we got to all of their locations."

"Well, if it's final, I can't do anything about it. We should get going."

"Yes. Are you okay?"

"I will be."


MULDER-SCULLY RESIDENCE,
9:35 P.M.

As he pulled into the driveway, Mulder noticed the lights were still on in the house, so Scully hadn't gone to bed angry. That much he knew. He got out of the car and opened the passenger side door for Samantha, then grabbed her bags from the car trunk. "Well, home sweet home. It's full of surprises, too, Little Pest."

"Okay, okay. I admit I was a pest, and you loved it. This is such a beautiful neighborhood, Fox. I'm sure you don't have the whole house to yourself."

"Well, you're about to find out." Mulder let himself in and Samantha followed. Scully was sitting in the livingroom rocking the baby. "Just stay by the door for a second," he whispered. "Scully?"

"In here, the baby's a little fussy, so... " Scully stopped dead in her tracks. "Mulder?"

"Samantha Mulder, Dana Scully, my FBI partner, wife and best friend, and this little girl is Samantha Elizabeth."

Samantha smiled at Scully. "I knew Fox had a family just by looking at the house. So, you landed my big brother!"

Scully was too shocked to say much, other than, "Please, let's all sit down. I had... no idea... Are we sure?"

"Positive," Mulder confirmed. "We put her through every test back at The Bureau. Sam, we wanted to name our second girl after you. William is our first born and then there's Meg, who looks incredibly like her mother."

Scully was still in shock, still rocking Samantha Elizabeth even though she had fallen asleep. "Well, where were you all these years? We understood you had died as a result of experiments."

"You know about the diary, I suppose. What you don't know is that I managed to escape. There was a freighter to Spain, and I spent some time in Madrid, then went to France. I managed to find work as a street vendor, selling fruit for some farners, and I was very lucky to find someone who spoke English, and teach me the rest of high school. He was a local priest. After that, I worked my way through Europe, went to university, and graduated with a degree in chemistry. I worked for a pharmaceutical company in Manhattan until I was sure, absoluteley sure... When I heard Spender finally died, I knew I could start looking for my family. He had a son... "

"Jeffrey," Mulder interrupted. "My half-brother."

"Than son-of-a... he was your father? Omigod, no. I mean, I knew Mom and Dad had died, but I never thought... "

"It happened," Mulder stated firmly. "Jeffrey managed to survive the experiments, and he worked for the Bureau as well. 'They' had other plans for him, and he was punished, but he's doing quite well."

"We see him quite often," Scully added. "Would you two like something to eat? You must be starved."

"We could both use a good meal. C'mon, Sam. I'll show you where you can sleep. Want me to take the baby, Scully?"

"That's a good idea. Oh, and Samantha?"

"Yes, Dana?"

"I have a lot of things to tell you about your brother, but for now, I think this is the best thing that's happened to him in a long time."

"As I remember it, for the longest time, it was my life's mission. Sometimes, if you try too hard, you end up nowhere. Sometimes you have to just wait and trust."

"Amen," Scully said. "We always had hope."

END


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