After that night with Kristen, David kept a light touch on Mulder all of the time. His depression scared David. He took total blame for Scully being taken, even though David couldn't follow the logic of that. Then there was the guilt of having a one-night stand with someone he was supposed to protect. Kristen's death was eating at him.
No, he wasn't going to leave Mulder alone any more than he could help right now. Mulder hadn't actually thought the word suicide, but it was there. Screw it if the PTB noticed he was distracted stuck here in this fucking school.
It was only a few days later that David sat down for breakfast, and felt Mulder's shock. Found? Mom was back? David wasn't even aware of his change in thinking of her name he was so stunned. He wasn't even aware that Kelly had slipped into the seat next to him and was pretending to have a conversation with him as he sat, concentrating on Mulder. She was alive, in the hospital but alive and, and home!
When breakfast ended, Kelly touched David's arm and he blinked at her, becoming conscious for the first time of what a disaster this could be.
"It's okay," she spoke softly. "They thought I was talking to you and you were concentrating. Are you okay?"
"I, I can't talk about it, but yeah. Something good happened."
That feeling didn't last long. The news Mulder was hearing was dire, and after fumbling twice, he forced himself to break contact with Mulder's mind for a little while. There was nothing he could do, and he did not want the testers back early again.
Kelly was waiting for him outside the locker room when he emerged. "It's not good anymore, is it?" At the shake of his head, she continued, "I have a project due in a couple of days, and I need to work on it in the library. If you could come with me, everyone would think you were helping me. That would give you an excuse not to be around anyone else for a little while."
He looked at her gratefully and nodded. He'd not really ever paid much attention to her. She was one of the very few who had a name of her own picked out, but he usually hung out with the guys more than the girls anyway, in his limited spare time. She had pretty brown eyes and he knew she was worried about him. He followed her to the library and they took a seat in the back, near a window and she laid out her books. Some she placed in front of him, so he would look busy as well, then she turned to her report while he concentrated on Mulder.
He couldn't reach Scully's mind no matter how hard he tried. At one point Kelly touched his hand, breaking his concentration and handed him a tissue to wipe the sweat from his brow. "Be careful, MS, please."
He nodded and dropped that attempt. Mom was beyond his reach and that terrified him. Her sister, his Aunt Melissa, was talking about dying being something natural but how could it be natural when he'd never even met her, touched her?
He jerked and Kelly took his hand. He was unaware of the contact, but gripped her hand tightly. His grandmother wanted to remove life support. He thought for a moment that Mulder's mind would break under the guilt and grief. He felt Mulder leave the hospital, unable to be there any longer. He searched for X, Deep Throat's replacement.
Finally he heard Kelly's voice. "MS, MS you have to hear me. We need to leave for now. Can you stand?"
He blinked and looked up at Kelly. "How long have we been here?"
"A couple of hours. If we're going to keep this quiet, we need to join the others for dinner."
He nodded, it had to be done. The testers would be able to get this out of him. It was too big to hide. While his mother had been missing, there had been hope, now there was none.
He moved through the next two days on autopilot; blatantly reading Kelly's mind for answers to questions he hadn't heard asked. Moving according to her light touches on his arm.
Mulder had found X and gotten the information that he needed. He was planning to murder the people that had taken Mom, but it wouldn't bring Mom back. They both knew that. He was first in bed that night, feinting sleep as Mulder sat waiting for the men at his apartment. The knock on the door surprised them both, but to find Aunt Melissa there was a shock. Their short fight had unsettled everything and David watched with a sense of relief and despair as Mulder left to sit at Scully's side.
David pulled back from the raw emotion of Mulder's words to her, from the pain of this last conversation and, exhausted, fell asleep.
He was jolted awake early the next morning by Mulder's mind. Awake? What? He had thought last night was the last time he would ever 'see' his mother. She was awake? She was okay? What the hell had Mulder said to her last night? He'd been unable to reach her mind, had Mulder succeeded. He'd had to, she was awake. She was awake!
Unable to contain himself, he raced to Kelly's bed and shook her awake. "She's awake, she's going to live," he whispered urgently.
"I, I can't tell you, but thank you."
At those words Kelly smiled and sat up. "I'm glad. I liked helping you."
"What are you doing over here?" The night nurse was approaching them and David rose from the side of Kelly's bed.
"Sorry, I just thought of an idea for her project and I . . . " he shrugged.
"You can talk at breakfast. Now go get ready." She eyed him suspiciously as he made his way back to his bed and picked up his supplies for his shower.
A few days later they pulled all of the girls out of class and had a meeting with just them. When they caught up at lunch, David asked Kelly about it. "What's going on?"
Kelly rolled her eyes. "They told us about sex."
"About what?" David choked on his piece of bread.
She helpfully pounded him on the back. "Sex. And I think it's our fault."
"Our fault? What did we do?"
"You sat on my bed the other morning before anyone else was up and we spent a lot of time together in the library. They thought you wanted to kiss me or something."
"Why would I want to do that?" he asked outraged.
"Well I don't know! I didn't think it."
Startled, he realized that he had hurt her feelings. She had thought about kissing him. Stuck and embarrassed he looked away.
"Anyway," she finally said, "they're going to fix the bedrooms, separate us into girl and boy rooms so we won't have to share anymore."
He looked back surprised again. "But we've always just had the one big room."
"We're getting too old for that now. Some of the teachers said it should have been done years ago."
David sighed, strangely depressed about the thought of being separated, even just this little bit from Kelly. Maybe kissing her wouldn't be that bad. She must have caught him looking at her mouth, because she blushed and stood up taking her half eaten lunch to another table and taking a seat.
Shit. What would Mulder have done? But checking in didn't do him much good. Mulder was sitting at his apartment, wondering why he hadn't stayed longer visiting with Scully now that she was awake and slightly resenting that her mother and sister had given them no time alone.
For the next few months, things were in an upheaval at school. Men came in and remodeled the dormitory room everyone had shared, making smaller suites and additional bathrooms. David began 'hearing' the girls talk about periods, which made no sense until he probed a little deeper and then quickly withdrew, grossed out and unsettled.
The workmen took longer than expected and everyone was on edge and irritable by the time they finally left. The girls loved it. They now had more privacy, sharing a bathroom with only three other girls as opposed to the whole group. The boys did too, but didn't really care. What was the big deal? David didn't bother to enlighten anyone.
They continued to grow and David continued to watch the lives of his parents. He saw them argue, but never with any real heat. He could feel Mulder's amusement most of the time, with just a touch of exasperation but always affection. He hadn't quite recovered from those missing months and appreciated her presence.
The other children at the school had matured. The girls, now twelve, were beginning to grow bumps on their chests and the boys had begun to squeak unexpectedly when they talked. David had noticed hair growing in places it hadn't before and he wished it were on his chest instead. He was growing, only two of the boys were taller than him and he seemed to be gaining on them. No one in the school was overweight - the teachers were very careful about that, but he was naturally slim like his father. The girls, other than Kelly were also beginning to notice him which was kind of nice and it was interesting hearing their thoughts on what they liked and disliked about the other guys.
David found Mulder in Skinner's office, being dressed down over the death of another agent. David felt Mulder's confusion. The agent had been fine when they'd seen him. They were investigating identical doctors that had been murdered.
He realized that he hadn't been paying a lot of attention to their cases recently with all the turmoil around the school. Mulder thought the doctors were clones and . . . Oh God! That wasn't a man. David had never seen one of these before, but it could change appearances.
He glanced over at Kelly and she met his gaze, nodding slightly. She'd cover his back, he concentrated on the case.
When he was up to date on it, he returned his attention to class. There was nothing else he could do.
Later that evening, when he was supposed to be studying, he returned to Mulder. They didn't know the man with them wasn't human. The doctors were clones, as Mulder had instinctively known. They wouldn't be able to get close, this . . . thing was seeing to that. He gasped as the car hit Mulder, then looked around. No one seemed to have noticed. He wasn't hurt badly, just the wind knocked out of him, but it could have been really bad.
It was the next morning when Mulder was called into Skinner's office. His dad had called? He'd never called that David could remember. Maybe that's why Mulder lost no time heading home. He'd check back in later. David quickly scanned the words he was supposed to read. He had managed to hide the fact that he could glance at a page and know it, but tonight that came in handy.
David was jerked out of sleep by Mulder's thoughts - Samantha! He could feel Mulder reeling from the words. It wasn't her, David was able to read her that close to Mulder, but she had come from her. David tried to probe her mind, to get some idea of where Samantha might be, but she didn't know and her memories began abruptly when she had been awakened.
Mulder didn't know any of this. He believed she was the real Samantha, his sister finally returned to him. David finally fell asleep, exhausted.
The next morning, he was the last to breakfast and still felt groggy. He snapped to when Scully opened the door to what she thought was Mulder. He glanced at Kelly and she started a conversation, drawing attention her way but David knew he had to step away from his mother. He couldn't help her, he'd have to rely on Mulder for that. At least she wasn't badly hurt, but what was he going to do . . . hostage? For the woman Mulder thought was Samantha? Shit. What was he going to do?
The rest of the day was shot for David. He barely managed to move through it, going to his classes more by rote than anything else. The few times he was called upon, Kelly fed him what was necessary, but they had no time to be alone.
Was twelve old enough to be out of here? He was tall for his age, but . . .
Samantha! Even knowing it wasn't her, he felt the agony Mulder felt when she fell over the side of the bridge. Scully was safe. How would Mulder tell his father what had happened? How could he admit he had allowed her to be sacrificed for Scully? David felt the familiar desperation of wanting to help and be totally helpless to do so.
When could he get out of here? He needed to figure out an escape plan, even if he didn't use it right away. Cash - that was going to be one of the biggest problems. He did have access to any money. That would take some thought.
David continued to follow his parents from afar. A lot of the cases were so strange he could barely credit them, except he could see them happen. Mulder had figured out that his old boss had been taken over by an evil spirit. That Patterson had taken over the murders of a man that Patterson himself had previously caught. He'd saved his current boss, Skinner, from being charged with murder. Mom's dog had been eaten by an alligator, but Mulder had managed to kill it.
He managed to stay distant from those investigations, just watching but he knew something could draw him in again and he knew he'd need Kelly's help when it did.
When Mom had become paranoid by the TV signals, he'd be scared, especially when she had pulled a gun on Mulder, but he had known even then that she wouldn't hurt him. She couldn't and fortunately Mulder had been able to help her. It had been a tense few minutes and he knew Kelly had caught it, but no one else had seen him zone out. So far his luck was holding.
They'd been working on a case of a shooting in a fast food place, where the people had been shot, but then healed by a man that had vanished. Since David hadn't been there, he didn't even know who to look for, but before they had gotten very far, he and Mulder had gotten the bad news that Mrs. Mulder, his other grandmother, had had a stroke.
Mom had stayed by Mulder's side, interpreting what the doctors told them and supporting him, like David wanted to. It was Mulder that made the leap that the man at the fast food place would be able to help his mother. It was so obvious after Mulder had thought it, but they had to find him first.
It was looking fairly routine, until the bounty hunter showed up. David recognized him instantly, but there was no way to get the information to them. Damn it, that was the main problem with being so fucking far away. He could help them. They were so vulnerable.
It was with great relief that David saw him release Mom, but now he was after Dad and that Jeremiah Smith alien. They were walking now, the car had run out of gas and they didn't know the hunter was behind them, well, Jeremiah knew, but not Mulder.
David headed to the library to 'work on his project'. Kelly was trying to find a way to get there as well, to keep others away from him. He gasped out loud when Mulder spotted Samantha. It wasn't her, it was a clone like before but even less. The one before had a mind, even free will to a point, but this one was just a, a drone. It looked like her, well on some level it was her, but not in any way that could know or even pretend to know Mulder. The fact that she was only a little girl didn't seem to bother him, it was the Samantha he remembered from that night when she'd been taken. David could have wept at Mulder's heartache.
The trick with the bees was cool, Mulder was good at thinking on his feet, but how much more effective would he be with David to help him? He hated being sidelined like this, but at least Mulder and Mom were safe again. His grandmother was in a coma, but stable. Now that he'd 'met' her he could look into her mind a little. She was having weird dreams but it was clear that she knew Cancerman, because he was in her dreams a lot.
That had been an incredible surprise to him, but even more of a jolt to Mulder when he'd realized that man had been with her just before her stroke.
The jolt of finding X dead at the entrance to Mulder's apartment had been devastating to Mulder, leaving him alone without an inside source again. David hadn't felt the same as when Deep Throat had died. Mulder had had a deeper connection with the older man, almost a father son relationship, that Mulder hadn't had with his own father. The relationship with X had been much more contentious, but he had been a source.
And time continued. He watched even more cases. He'd felt Mulder's abject fear when Schnaus took Mom, and Mom's fear as she faced something she couldn't face. She'd even turned away from Mulder in escaping that trailer, but it had been short lived and Mulder had kind of understood.
David had felt Mulder's utter frustration at the Teager case, but when they had investigated the cult, David had longed to face Mulder, beat him on the chest and have him wake up to the fact that Scully was so much more than a friend to him. Why didn't they just admit they loved each other? They did love each other, he could see that, why didn't they understand that they were stronger and better when they were together.
They seemed to have case after case right now, without even a break.
They were already tired when the case with Roche hit them. Mulder's dream taking him out to that running park and Mom meeting him there, helping him even though he was disturbing evidence, had been telling. She'd do anything, go anywhere for him.
The heart hadn't been Samantha's but Roche's sick delight in the game he was playing with Mulder's mind had infuriated David.
They were working on a routine domestic terrorist case, not an X-File this time, but someone was sending information to Mulder.
David did his routine check in and found that Mulder and Scully were with a swat team and he jerked slightly as gun fire sounded loud in his mind. Mulder and Mom were racing toward a large truck that had swerved to stop after the guns had stopped. "I counted two men. Get out of the truck."
Mulder and David drew in identical breaths as they recognized the man exiting the truck. "Krycek." Without hesitation, Mulder rushed the man, slamming the butt of his rifle into Krycek's stomach.
"Mulder!" Mom yelled but David didn't have a problem with it. This man had worked for Cancerman, he'd aided in Scully's abduction and other things that his parents were not even aware of. He wanted Mulder to hit him again. Instead he marched him over to Skinner's apartment and asked for permission for a safe house.
David watched in delight as Skinner slugged the man. He hadn't forgiven Krycek for what he'd done to Mom either. It didn't bother David that Skinner was a little bit in love with Mom, who wouldn't be. But she loved Mulder, that's what mattered.
David rolled over and went to sleep with a smile on his face.
next morning was busy. Testing, but not the kind the kids truly dreaded. The
state of Georgia had finally noticed them somehow and was requiring standardized
testing and forcing the school to become accredited.
There had been some talk of moving the school completely away, though none of the other kids knew about that. They had decided it was easier to comply and keep as low a profile as possible. The people in charge of this school wanted as little interference with the outside world as possible. At least the education here was top notch. More than once David had wondered why, since there seemed to be no exit strategy for them. He was going, but would he be able to take Kelly with him?
When he finally had the chance to check in with Mulder again, the contact seemed faint at first. He concentrated and the 'connection' seemed to clear up. Russia? Mulder was in a Russian prison with Krycek? He had thought leaving Krycek with Skinner would move things in a completely different direction. It was one of the reasons he hadn't been worried about being out of touch. What the hell had he missed?
The prisoner in the cell next to Mulder was warning him that Krycek was lying. David already knew it. The SOB didn't think in Russian. Mulder was hungry, but that wasn't at the top of his priority. They had taken Krycek away and Mulder was worried.
Where was Mom? He found her, in prison of all places. Contempt of congress? What the hell was going on? She was protecting Mulder. The congressman was demanding to know where he was and Mom knew instinctively that would be dangerous. She had wondered how far she could follow him. Did she know now?
But she didn't know what was actually happening to him. He was in a Russian gulag. How was he going to get out of that?
David fell asleep out of exhaustion. He couldn't help, but that didn't take away any of the guilt.
He woke in pitch dark and for an instant didn't know where he was. He couldn't move, not his head, not his body. Then the black stuff began to fall in his face.