Title: Losing It: Take V
Author: Zoë


Take V


**

Skinner

"So, how do you think we should handle Scully?" I ask Mulder softly.

"Well, we have to get in the door before we try to convince her or she'll just lock us out. Once inside, you can hold her down if we-"

"I am not assaulting Agent Scully," I hiss at him.

"Not assault her. But if she doesn't believe us, and we need time to convince her, what choice do we have but to restrain her until we can make her understand? Otherwise she'll just call the police and we're screwed."

He makes a good point. "Okay," I reply without enthusiasm.

"That means we've got to get Krycek's agreement to keep his mouth shut until we can convince her."

"I'm sure he'll cooperate once we explain it to him. The real issue is how do we get her to let us inside?"

"Tell her I sent us."

Glancing at Mulder, I find him smiling. "You mean, tell her we're delivering a message from you? Naturally, she's so used to you getting in trouble, she won't think twice."

"Thanks for the support," Mulder snaps. "Also, I think we present a pretty believable picture. A teenager, a kid and a baby. She'll probably be instantly pissed at me for getting children involved, then usher us inside so she can take care of us."

It's probably just that simple. I'm more nervous about this than I should be because we need her on our side.

We drive in silence for several hours. From periodic glances in the rearview mirror, I know Alex is awake, but completely silent. No doubt upset that he fell asleep. Or upset about the car seat. Or... Christ, I'm glad I'm not the baby.

Eventually, I have to stop for gas. I elect a touristy town with a very busy gas station, hoping we'll be too unremarkable to notice. Still, I tell Mulder to wait in the car. I pay for the gas at the pump, then run inside to get some food. I notice Mulder sprinting for the bathroom, so abandon my purchases and go back to the car.

I'm waiting outside the car when he returns. Alex is watching through the window with what could pass for a scowl on his face.

Grabbing Mulder's arm, I yank him toward me and growl, "What the fuck are you doing?"

"I had to piss... why do you care?"

"Because you left Alex alone." I force myself to watch my tone so people don't overhear.

"So?"

"Mulder, you idiot! How many children are kidnapped everyday?"

His eyes widen with shock. "Are you nuts? He's not a real baby."

"He looks like a real baby." He's being deliberately dense. I just know it.

"If someone tried to grab him, he'd speak and-"

"And they'd take him that much quicker. No longer a child, but a novelty act. We'd never see him again."

"Like that would be the worst thing," he responds childishly.

"Mulder, we are responsible for him." I've never been so tempted to hit him. "I'm telling you this as your superior... If anything happens to Alex Krycek as a result of your negligence, I will have you suspended without pay and place a reprimand in your file. Further, when you get back to work, it won't be to the X-Files. You'll be on wiretaps until your hair turns gray. You got me?"

"Yes, sir," he snaps. He knows I'm serious, but he's also pissed and sulking.

"Good. Now, get your ass back in the car while I get the food." I wait to see that my order is followed, then take a cue from Mulder and go to the bathroom before I get the food.

Once we're on the road, Alex finally breaks his silence with, "Nice bathroom break?"

I guess I'm a dense asshole, too. Fuck.


Krycek

Skinner glances at me. "Sorry. Why didn't you say something?"

"I did," I grit out. "Twice. To Mulder."

Mulder is suddenly very interested in the contents of the paper bag as Skinner glares daggers at him. I'm not exactly surprised at Skinner being annoyed. I heard bits and pieces of their conversation outside the car. Though, I was surprised that Skinner even gives a shit.

"We'll stop at the next rest area," Skinner promises.

"Don't bother," I mutter. That problem had to be resolved already. And that just makes me even madder. To hell with both of them. This whole day really sucks. Just about anything is preferable to this damn diaper thing. Even riding in this stupid car seat.

The smell of food distracts me and makes my stomach growl. Mulder hands Skinner a burrito and a Coke.

Just when I'm about to say something, Skinner reaches back, handing me two graham crackers. "Sorry... I know this isn't any fun for you. There's no way to do baby food in the car, so I thought this was next best. Though I did find one of those kid's cups." He flashes a red cup at me briefly. "So you can have some juice later. Oh, and I got you some Cheerios."

It takes me a few moments of intense frustration to manage, "Thanks." I realize Skinner is trying to make this easier. Still, I want to heave the graham crackers at Mulder's head. To hell with it, I'm too fucking hungry.

Silence reigns in the car until Mulder turns on the radio. An alternative station that Skinner rapidly changes to something like Muzak. I drink the juice, then manage to get Cheerios all over the car. I actually do throw a couple of those at Mulder, but am always industriously eating whenever he turns to scowl at me. You gotta enjoy the little things. Especially when you are a little thing.

When signs for D.C. start appearing, Skinner briefs me on their plan to get Scully to listen to us. "Alex, it's vital that you not talk until we've convinced her."

"Sure," I reply vaguely.

"This is in everyone's best interest, so would you just promise to not say anything?"

"All right!" Now I have to keep my mouth shut, too. Just perfect.

I'm jolted awake by the car stopping. My instinct is to reach for my gun, but of course, I don't have one.

Mulder and Skinner are both getting out of the car, so I assume we have arrived. I'm not surprised when Skinner leans in the back seat to get me out of the car. I am surprised when he doesn't let go of me.

"Put me down," I order.

"Shh. We need her to be able to see you... you're part of our harmless image," Skinner whispers in my ear. "No more talking until Scully's on board."

Mulder gets the bags out of the trunk. "There's a pacifier in here if you think that'll help you remember to keep your mouth closed."

You little prick.

I'm just about to break my promise to be quiet when Skinner says, "Mulder, shut up." They glare at each other for a second, then Mulder heads toward Scully's door.

He taps a couple times, then a voice from inside calls out, "Who is it?"

Mulder glances at Skinner who shrugs. "Uh, I have a message for Dana Scully."

"Oh, hold on," the muffled voice answers. "Dana, there are some children here saying they have a message for you."

Whatever Scully replies, it gets the door open. An older woman smiles at us.

"Oh hi, Ma-Ma'am," Mulder stutters. "We're looking for Dana Scully?"

She smiles directly at me. Am I supposed to do something? "Well, you can tell me and I'll get it to her."

"Uh, no... we were told to tell her in person. It's from Fox Mulder."

"Oh dear. That does make a difference. Why don't you boys come on in." She reaches toward me. "I'll take this little guy. What a sweetheart."

Oh barf.

Skinner gives me a warning squeeze before letting her take me. She steps back to allow Skinner and Mulder to enter while bouncing me on her hip. Skinner's watching me carefully.

Don't worry... I'll keep quiet.

The door closes. "Aren't you the prettiest little thing? And look at those eyes." She makes a couple goo-goo noises. "Dana, you need to come talk to these boys," she calls out, then looks back at me. "I'm Maggie. What's your name sweetie? Don't you talk yet?"

"Uh, no," Skinner replies. "His name is, uh, Alex."

"Alex... what a cute name. Come on little Alex... you feel like you could use a change!" She wrestles with Skinner for the 'diaper' bag. She wins.

Someone is going to die for this.

Mulder's trying to contain his mirth when Scully enters the room. Wow... the doctor likes her tops low cut at home. She's looking between Skinner and Mulder, an expression of confusion on her face. "What did you want to tell me?"

"We have a message for you from Fox Mulder," says Mulder tentatively.

Goo-goo woman takes me into the living room, so I can hear what's going on, but not see. My shorts are gone in an instant, then Maggie's rummaging through the bag.

"Oh, lord. Is he in trouble?" Scully sounds very copasetic about it.

"Sort of."

"Well? What's going on?"

Diaper is off! Kill me now.

"We, uh..." Mulder trails off, and I can hear the mental gears turning. "We promised we wouldn't get anyone else involved."

"Crap. He's in it now. Why don't you come with me into the kitchen-"

"No! Uh, I mean, I promised, uh, he said to make sure you were alone."

"All right." Scully sounds skeptical.

"Oh honey," Maggie coos. "You're getting a little diaper rash."

Fuck. Death to all mothers.

Suddenly, Scully's standing over me. "What a cutie." She rubs a hand over my head, then touches Maggie's shoulder. "Mom, I've got to take care of this. Can we do this another time?"

"I'd expect nothing less from Mulder, dear. Let me finish changing this little guy, then I'll collect my things." She smiles down at me and starts messing with powders and creams. "You know," she looks up at Skinner, "he's got quite an intense stare. It's a little disconcerting." Then she grins at me again and attempts to tickle my chin. "It's a good thing you're such a darling."

Cutie, darling, sweetheart, little guy, pretty. I may puke up my lunch.

Finally, she finishes with the fucking diaper, then picks me up and starts kissing on me. Eww.

I hear muffled laughter. Mulder.

Enjoy it now, Foxy. Just you wait 'til I have my gun.

When Maggie has slobbered on me enough, she hands me back to Skinner. I've never been so grateful to be with him.

In a few minutes Maggie is gone, but not without kissing me another 100 times.

"All right, boys," Scully begins in a stern tone. "What's the message from Mulder?"

Mulder asks to speak to her privately. With a frown, she follows him, but not before shooting a warning glance at Skinner. It clearly says, 'I have a gun.'

Skinner sits on the sofa, thankfully letting me sit on my own. "You okay?" He's still trying not to laugh.

I just glare at him. At least that much of me works.

It just makes him laugh more.

Mulder and Scully are gone for what feels like an eternity.

"You can't really expect me to believe this nonsense," her voice is getting closer, then she's in the room and obviously pretty upset. "You think I'm going to buy that you're Fox Mulder, and that," she points at Skinner, "is Assistant Director Skinner?" Unexpectedly, she picks me up. "Who's this? The Director?"

"No, Scully," I reply. "I'm Alex Krycek."

She screams and... lets go.


Mulder

Skinner and I lunge for Krycek at the same time. I manage to get a hand under him enough to prevent his head from hitting anything, but he still lands hard. Skinner picks him up quickly and I briefly catch sight of his face. He's crying... his breath coming in ragged little gasps.

"Oh my god... I can't believe I dropped him." Scully looks appalled, and a little frightened.

Skinner rubs Krycek's back and murmurs nonsense.

In a watery whisper, Krycek says, "I hate not having any control."

"Shh," Skinner reassures. "It doesn't matter."

I actually feel sorry for him. I'm glad I'm not the baby.

Scully seems to come out of whatever fugue she's in and tries to take Krycek again. He gives a yelp of protest and Skinner refuses to let go.

"I'm really sorry. But you have to let me check him out and make sure he's not injured. Come on," she coaxes, "I'm a doctor... I have to make certain that he's okay."

Reluctantly, Skinner hands Krycek over, though Krycek looks very unhappy about it. "I don't want you touching me!"

"I'm sorry... I promise I won't hurt you again." Scully actually looks like she might cry. What kind of fucked up world are we in?

I flop into a chair and watch as she checks the baby from head to toe. Krycek clearly doesn't like it, but he remains silent. Scully occasionally flinches under his stare.

"He's okay," she says with apparent relief.

Skinner immediately picks him up, then takes a seat on the sofa. It really surprises me how protective he is of the little rodent. Said rodent is hiding his face in Skinner's shirt. Father and son. How fucking cute.

Scully takes a chair as well, then rubs a hand over her face. "Okay... that was pretty shocking. You've got my attention enough that I'm not going to call the police right now, but you're going to have to provide more evidence than that." She gestures to Krycek.

I wish Skinner would put Krycek down in case we have to grab Scully. He doesn't seem to get the hint, just keeps rubbing the little idiot's back.

Forcing myself to focus on the important issues, I give Scully a rundown of all our cases, with Skinner chiming in what he knows. She asks a lot of questions to test us, but we're able to answer every one. Somewhere in the middle of it all, Krycek falls asleep again and Skinner cradles him in his left arm, away from Scully.

Maybe if we all just go to sleep, we'll wake up and everything will be back to normal.

Eventually, Scully looks semi-convinced. "And the baby is really Alex Krycek?"

"Yes," Skinner and I reply simultaneously. "If you'd like, he can give you a cursing demonstration later. Perhaps offer a treatise on firearms," I offer with a big false grin.

Scully frowns at me. What did I do? I'm just as much a victim of this catastrophe as Krycek is.

"So, if this is true, then..." Scully's clearly in business mode. "Then... I don't even... Blood samples. We need to get blood samples. We can at least compare yours and Skinner's DNA with what we've got on file. Also, we need to check for any thing... else."

"Hospital then?" I ask.

"No. I don't think that's wise. At least, not yet. I'd prefer to keep this under wraps for the time being. I don't want anyone getting curious and trying to be 'helpful.'" She ponders for a few moments. "I have a friend I trust implicitly. I'll draw the blood samples and he can get started on the processing. I'll give him a call now." She heads into the kitchen to use the phone.

I follow and she looks at me inquiringly.

"Thanks, Scully. I know this is way beyond, but we didn't know what else to do."

"Don't worry about it, uh, Mulder. We'll figure it out." After offering a reassuring smile, she picks up the phone and dials.

I wander back into the living room to find Skinner stroking Krycek's head as he lies sleeping.

That's it... this is the outside of enough! I'm gonna drop that little rat out a window.

**

End Take V

8 July 2004


Zoë

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