- Deslea's URL is now http://www.deslea.com or http://fiction.deslea.com.  
- Email address is now deslea@deslea.com.
- May be archived by Scully/Skinner specialty archives only.

This information supercedes all other information found in this file.

Someone I Trusted X:  Through Darkened Glass *NC17*
Deslea R. Judd
drjudd@primus.com.au drjudd@catholic.org
Copyright 1998


This work is based on The X Files, a creation of Chris Carter
owned by him, Twentieth Century Fox, and Ten-Thirteen
Productions. Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Walter Skinner,
Kimberley Cooke, Nurse Owen, Cigarette Smoking Man,
and Sharon Skinner remain the intellectual property of those
parties and are used without their consent and without
commercial gain.   Susannah  Skinner is my creation and may
not be used elsewhere without my consent.    Some parts of
this work are verbatim extracts from the show and are also
owned by the parties mentioned.

OK to archive/forward.

Spoilers: Pilot, Erlenmyer Flask, One Breath, Blessing Way,
Paper Clip, Nisei, Piper Maru, Apocrypha, Avatar, Tunguska,
Terma, Leonard Betts, Never Again, Memento Mori, Small
Potatoes; also Christmas Carol (minor spoiler).

Category:  Story,  Romance (Skinner/Scully).

Rating:  NC17 for adult themes.    No sex this time - story-wise,
it just didn't work - sorry.

Summary:  Sequel to Someone I Trusted I-IX, in which Scully
remembers her abduction.  NOTE: This differs from the
previously advised summary, but it's a better story, so just deal
with it :-).

Author's NB:  The text makes this clear, but for the sake of clarity,
in this universe (actually, all my universes) the Smoker's name is
Sarron Andrews.

Fan mail is always appreciated!!!  My e-mail is
drjudd@primus.com.au or drjudd@catholic.org.
This and my other stories may be found at
http://home.primus.com.au/drjudd (shameless plug).

Someone I Trusted (The Blessing Way), in which Scully pulls a
gun on Skinner...and surprises him
Someone I Trusted II: The SSR File, in which Scully and
Skinner discuss their coupling and try again
Someone I Trusted III: Always, in which Scully and Skinner
resume their affair and discuss children
Someone I Trusted IV: The Apocryphal File, in which Scully
decides to try for a baby, after all
Someone I Trusted V: Sharon's Reprise, in which Skinner is
torn between his past and his future
Someone I Trusted VI: Interlude, in which Skinner and
Scully holiday with his daughter.  Mulder finds out about
their affair.
Someone I Trusted VII: Terma's Shadow, in which Scully
answers Skinner's jealousy with a commitment.
Someone I Trusted VIII:  Memento Mori, in which
Scully and Skinner discover she can't bear children.
Someone I Trusted IX:  Susannah, in which Susannah
Skinner comforts her father and Scully.

Someone I Trusted X: Through Darkened Glass *NC17* 1/3
Deslea R. Judd
drjudd@primus.com.au drjudd@catholic.org
Copyright 1998


        Scully sat in the window seat, her head in her hands.
        She wanted to be drunk, or asleep, or dead.  Anything, anything but
awake to this searing pain at her core.  But inebriation and sleep were not
options open to her, and she would be dead soon enough.  At this juncture
that possibility seemed to her a relief.
        There was a sound outside the door, and a rattling of keys.  She
breathed deeply as the tumblers turned.
        With cool deliberation, Scully turned.  "Walter," she said evenly,
in what she hoped was a good imitation of loving salutation.  "How was your
day?" she asked, careful to hold his gaze with her usual serene smile at
his approach.  //Don't flinch, Dana,// she told herself smoothly as he
leant to kiss her forehead tenderly.  She pulled back involuntarily, but
managed to mask it, saying, "Let me look at you!"
        He humoured her with a smile.  "Not bad.  I had a run-in with that
idiot Blevins, but nothing of interest.  Did you get lots of work done?" he
asked, and she felt a pang.  It didn't matter how mundane her day had been
(and despite - or perhaps because of - working with Mulder, paperwork still
accrued with monotonous regularity), he would ask her about it, what she
had done, whether she had felt satisfied with her day.  How she had loved
him for that.  How stupidly, criminally naive she had been.
        She nodded with practiced calm.  "Yes, I did.  Without Mulder
rabbiting in my ear I got a week's worth of reports on file.  It was
great."  She had a pile of reports Mulder had, under duress, written and
delivered to her that day beside her computer; but she hoped he wouldn't
question her further.
        She was in luck; Skinner rarely discussed work at home - certainly
not such peripheral details as paperwork.  Instead, he gave a snort of
amusement.  "You should work from home more often."
        Scully smiled faintly, but said nothing.
        As it happened, Scully had not so much as opened her laptop that
day.  She had spent most of the morning conferring with Dr Pomerantz, the
psychiatrist she had seen at Melissa's request two years before; and most
of the afternoon at the Bureau's archive facility in (ironically) the
Watergate building.  Upon her return home she had wept hysterically for an
hour, certain her heart would break; until, with that hard, flint-like
streak of self-preservation deep in her stomach she both needed and hated,
she had risen; cool and ready to face the man she loved.
        The man she now knew was her betrayer.
        God alone knew why she was surprised.  Trust no one had been
Mulder's mantra; she had heard it on their informant's dying lips.  But she
had trusted their most direct official contact, surely the most obvious of
all possible foes.  Trusted him, made love to him, adopted his daughter,
and ultimately asked him to marry her.  Tried to make a child with him at
his bidding, surely knowing that she was infertile.  And now she was dying,
and it was his doing.
        How she hated him.
        And, God help her, how she ached for him to take her into his arms
and explain himself; to tell her something smoothly rational which would
allow her to love him and need him once more.  Even now, how she wanted to
believe in him.
        But after all she had learned, such a thing was impossible, she
thought wretchedly, her heart twisting with anguish.  She watched
discreetly as he lay his tie and jacket over a dining chair, saw the faint
flex of the smooth, golden arms she had so often allowed to cradle her, the
hands that had brushed her every curve with lightly cherishing sweetness.
Even now, perhaps especially now, when she needed comfort so badly, her
body cried out for him, begged him to swamp her, drown her with his loving
        If only it weren't too late.

        It had been twenty hours earlier when first she had suspected.
        It was just over a month since Scanlon's sustained medical assault
on her.  Her immune system had recovered, more or less; her T-lymphocytes
were sitting around the 1000 mark.  She was back at work, and while the
curious, concerned looks persisted, life had returned to some sort of
        In other words, crazy.
        And, oh God, she had needed rest.
        The phone call last night had ended all likelihood of that.  She
had left Walter and Susannah at Crystal City and arrived home late in the
evening, intent on getting some much-needed sleep, when her sister-in-law,
Tara, had called to tell her she was pregnant, news that had hit her like a
slap in the face.
        They had been trying for a long time, she knew (and, knowing her
thug of a brother and his sweetly bucolic wife, she had wondered more than
once whether ignorance of the reproductive act might be responsible), but
now, a miracle.  Despite her most generous intentions, Scully was helpless
to quell the waves of hostility and rage that had swamped her.
        All her ova were gone.  There could be no miracle for she and
Walter.  And she may not even see this child of theirs come to birth.  It
wasn't fair.
        She had made appropriate noises of joy, and then she had hung up.
Crawling into bed, she had wept steadily for the better part of the
morning.  Never had she felt so acutely that which had been stolen from
her, ripped from her body as though by brute force, as she had that
morning.  She had, in her wretched delirium, taken too early the morphine
she now took to ease the wracking pain she got in her cancer-ridden sinus;
and in her dazed, emotionally butchered state, she had remembered.


        As I lay there on my bed after I hung up from Tara, curled up under
the quilt, my eyes streaming, I was wracked with thick, hard sobs, shaking
with unbelieving horror.  What had been done to me finally made itself
known in my tightly protected heart, and I felt sure it would break.
        And that was when I heard her voice call my name.
        I looked up slowly, and then I saw her.
        She was younger then, by about three years.  Her body, thin with
stress but not ill, showed none of the wasting of her last days.  Her hair
was long and heavy, just as mine had been, and she said softly, "Dana?  I'm
Penny Northern.  They want me to look after you...to comfort you."
        The Place.  Penny had called it The Place.
        Shaking, my tears forgotten, I watched as the scene unfolded in my
mind.  Then, with a sudden, necessary volition, I backtracked, and lived it
from the beginning.
        That was the day my heart broke.

        I opened my eyes.
        There was a hissing sound, and my vision was blurred.  There was
something in my line of sight, something flesh-coloured.
        I blinked slowly.  I had been drugged; I needed no-one to tell me
that.  My dreamy, somewhat befuddled yet enjoyably giddy state made me
suspect pethidine.  //Great//, I thought mildly.  //I'm gonna have one hell
of a monkey on my back when I get out of here.//  The thought held no
conviction, for I had no real idea of how I might get away; I only knew
that pethidine was one hell of an addiction to kick.
        My vision became clearer, and that was when I understood that the
flesh coloured thing in front of me was my own stomach, standing high and
proud, and that the hissing noise was my stomach being inflated with air.
        They would insert a fibre optic cable through an incision in my
navel.  They would look at my uterus, my reproductive organs.  With rising
panic, I made a Mulder-like leap of logic and I understood what they were
doing.  I didn't know why or how, but they were taking my ova.
        //Don't be silly, Dana.//
        //Well, what the hell else would they be doing?  Entertaining the
kids?  Unless I've developed sudden endometriosis, there's no reason for
them to be looking around in there!//
        "No," I said weakly as a man in scrubs approached.  He was Oriental
in appearance.  "No," I implored in a whisper.  "Not my babies.  You can't
take my babies."
        "You are weak," he said in a thick voice.  "We will use a local
anaesthetic.  We must not risk a general.  You could die."
        My voice shuddered with the effort, but I managed to cry out, "You
take my ability to be a mother and you may as well kill me anyway."
        The man said implacably, "You will not always feel that way,
Doctor."  I felt the apparatus being removed, replaced with long, delicate
fingers sheathed in latex; and then that strange sensation of my body being
moved, parted, but no pain.  "There will be some slight discomfort," he
        I wept hysterically for what seemed like an eternity.  Visions
haunted me, visions of a fully formed child being ripped from my body.
Some darkly unfeeling corner of my mind insisted, //Just cells, Dana, just
cells; they aren't sentient, they don't care, they don't die.  They're no
more yours and no more human than the dead cells in your hair.  Just relax.
Let them take them.  Maybe they will give you back your life if you do.
They don't matter.//
        But it was no good, because they //did// matter.  I wanted to be a
mother.  Childlessness, one way or another, had cursed our family; Bill and
Tara had had no luck, Charlie and Fiona were pregnant for the fourth time,
but three miscarriages made that an unlikely prospect, and Melissa was too
busy looking after her own inner child.  And me?  I was too damn busy
looking after Mulder.  But...one day...
        //Oh, God, please let there be one day...God, please, please, You
are the God of creation, of life...and I have to bring forth life just as
You did, because that is why we're here...to create, to give.  Please don't
take this from me now...//
        That was my prayer as they ripped the life out of my womb.

        At some point, I must have passed out.
        I was woken by a familiar voice.  Raised voice.
        "Damn it, you son of a bitch, that wasn't what we agreed on!
Scully comes with me, //now//!"
        Flick of a lighter.  A flash of light in the corner of the room,
gone before the silhouettes could be identified.
        "You're a part of this now.  She stays here."
        "I'm not a part of your abhorrent methods.  She'll die here.  Now
you give her to me or we'll see just how long it would take security to
respond to a gunshot."
        There was a pause and a sigh; and I could see the Smoker exhaling
curling white smoke in my mind's eye.  "Your precious Scully has had
medical procedures.  She needs specialist care."
        "That's my problem," he retorted in a snarl.
        That was when I remembered.
        Suddenly, deep in my stomach, I felt a cavernous pain, an aching
void.  As my mind struggled with what had been done to me, one word
resounded in my mind.
        They had entered me, stolen from me, taken what I had to give to
the man I would love and trampled on it.  Penis or medical instruments; the
weapon made no difference.  It was still rape.  In horror, I sat bolt
upright and screamed with sudden hysteria.
        I screamed over and over again, my mind retreating from what I had
become, from the cracks in my over-extended sanity.  I tore out my drip and
monitors, and beat against the soldiers who burst in and attempted to pin
down my arms and clip on the restraints.  I lashed out fervently, suddenly
sure they would rape me once more, this time in the usual sense.
        And then I was restrained, and they were gone; and still I shook
and wept in keening moans.
        More voices.  I wept heedlessly; but that little part of me that
had withdrawn and decided to stay sane must have listened, because I
        The man in the shadows of my room was furious.  "You get someone in
here to her now while we make the arrangements."
        The Smoker sounded defensive.  "My men are-"
        "Your men are thugs!  You get a real nurse in there, someone
sensitive who will take care of her.  A woman."
        The Smoker retreated behind petulance.  "I don't have any nurses."
        "What the hell kind of operation are you running here, Sarron?  I
don't care who you get in.  That's your problem.  Just do it."
        //Sarron//, I thought now, after the passage of years.  //Sarron.
That's his name//.  But then, I only wept harder.  This man in the corner
was part of this - and higher up than the Smoker, it seemed.  And now I was
to go into his care.  What more could they do to me?  What more could they
take?  At this rate Mulder was going to turn out to be the mastermind.
        But that thought, darkly hilarious now, only made me more
hysterical.  Mulder was the only one who could rescue me now, and he seemed
so very far away.  As long as they had me drugged like this I could never
get away myself.
        I was still weeping, shaking with sobs, when the two shadows showed
Penny in.  "Dana?" she called softly.  She sat at my side, and slowly
removed my restraints.  "Dana?  I'm Penny Northern.  They want me to look
after you...to comfort you."
        I blurted out, "My babies, my ova, they-"
        She nodded slowly.  "I know, Dana.  Me too."
        My tears forgotten, I stared at her in horror.  Shaking, I pulled
her close, clinging to her for dear life; and she clung to me the same way.
Staring over her shoulder, I met the eye of the man who was soon to take
me away; the man who stood against the light, familiar yet hidden.
        //Who are you?//

        It was perhaps ten minutes after this memory when I stood dumbly
beneath the streaming water.
        I didn't move.  I //couldn't// move.  I had half-heartedly washed
my hair, but when I'd picked up the bar of soap, my hands had been shaking
so badly I had dropped it.  So I stood there, hugging myself with my arms.
        I thought back to that one, disasterous attempt at regression
hypnotherapy which Melissa had convinced me to make.  Dr Pomerantz's voice,
smooth and leading.  "You entrust your life to others every day in your
work at the Bureau.  Could it have been one of them?"
        "I had to trust someone," I had sighed painfully.  "I was helpless-"
        And then, a shape.  A silhouette which had haunted my dreams.
"Damn it, you son of a bitch, that wasn't what we agreed on!"
        A match being lit.  The Smoking Man.  He started to speak, and then
I woke in shock.
        I had fled from Pomerantz's rooms in distress at that which I could
not recall.
        Shivering slightly, I turned the hot tap on full.
        Penny Northern as she lay, dying.  "They allowed me to comfort you
in the Place.  I don't know why."  Yes, I remembered that now.
        Nurse Owen speaking to me as I lay dying after it was all over.
Calling me back from my father to remain in my life.  And overlapping that,
another memory...a memory of her face, this time seen with my eyes, not my
        I shook my head.  Nurse Owen?  Jeez, I really was losing my mind.
        With methodical care I put together what I knew to be fact and
attempted to make sense of it.
        Three years before, I had been abducted by the people behind the
awful conspiracies Mulder and I investigated, the people we lived to
expose.  They were in some way involved with defence, we knew that.  It was
definitely a covert government agency.  The Smoking Man remained, as
always, the key to it all.  It was no surprise to me that he would be there
in my memories.
        We knew there had been medical procedures, which had extracted all
my ova for their evil purposes; and we knew they had left a strange implant
in the base of my neck.  We also knew those same procedures had left me
with the cancer which now invaded my body.  We knew there were others, all
now dead from the same cancer.  I had never told Mulder or Walter this, but
I also knew that Penny had believed she had been allowed to comfort me.
She had said that that was out of the ordinary.  And now I knew that was
        Strangely, I had been left dangerously ill.  The other women had
been returned alive and well, but I had hovered, comatose, between life and
death for a long time.  I had been returned to a hospital by person or
persons unknown, where, against all the odds, I had recovered.
        I tried to reconcile my fragmented memories with this picture.  The
strange, haunting silhouette, protesting angrily, " Damn it, that wasn't
what we agreed on!"  Someone involved in what had been done to me, someone
who possibly also took care of me - and now that I thought about it, I
could remember my forehead being gently wiped by the same shadowy figure.
And deep inside, I was sure it was someone I knew.  He was...familiar.
        The obvious name leaped to my lips, and I swallowed it.
        //No.  Not Walter.//
        //Yes, Walter,// my mind echoed back with deadly certainly.
        //Look at the evidence, Agent Scully,// my mind argued, strangely,
in Skinner's voice.  //He's the Assistant Director of the FBI - your
superior, yes; but also high enough in the power structure to be involved.
You've always known you were put on the X Files to report on the validity
of Mulder's work - why not him, too?  Why wouldn't he have been put there
to bring us down once they realised I was on Mulder's side?  He shut down
the X Files on the Smoking Man's orders once.  He could have abducted you
on the same basis.//
        //Walter loves me,// I argued back.
        //Yes, he does,// that voice conceded.  //But how do you know
that's not in spite of his orders?  How do you know he didn't fall in love
with you after it had been done?  Worse, how do you know he isn't still
working with them now?//
        I fell back against the tiled shower wall, my head lolling back and
forth hopelessly.  "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no," I moaned hysterically.  I hung my head in my hands.  "Please, not
        I began to sob, and once again, I was in Penny's arms; and this
time, I saw the face of the man who stood in the shadows of my room.


        It seems so long ago.
        There was a time when I had her fate, and possibly her cure, within
my grasp.  That haunts me.
        I was married when I met Dana Scully.  It was not a happy marriage,
to a woman who cared little for me and less for our child.  It was not her
fault, scarred by a terrible past of her own; but that made it no easier to
live with.  Nonetheless, I loved her; and in whatever limited way she
could, Sharon loved me.  I never cheated on her.  Never.  After fifteen
years of marriage without so much as a thought of it to enter my mind, I
could not imagine there being another woman for me, one who could love me
with all the abandon and passion I in turn had to give.
        Then...then, I met Dana Scully.
        I am a man who has survived by my wits, and it took mere intuition
to tell me she was good, honourable, brilliant.  It took my learning it
first-hand, however, to make me fall in love with her.
        I'm not sure exactly when it became love.  There was no consious
moment of realisation until the moment I told the object of my affection my
feelings, after Sharon had walked away.  Beyond the occasional male
fantasy, fruit of an idle mind, there were no longing glances after her, no
lumps in my throat when I addressed her.  I regarded her with tender
affection, and I felt great calm and peace in her presence.  But love?  If
you had asked me, I don't know what I would have replied.  You see, it
never even occurred to me.
        But when she disappeared, brutally abducted by a psychopath who
claimed he had given her over in price for his own freedom, I was left
bereft.  When Mulder took to wearing her cross about his own neck, I felt
an irresistable urge, one which I had to resist anyway, to reach out and
touch it tenderly.
        I can admit the truth after the passage of years.  It was my
conduct in those appalling months which led Sharon to finally leave me.
The endless nights out without explanation, the odd phone calls from women
she had always suspected...who, really, could blame her?
        But it had to be done.  If I hadn't done it, they would have killed
her.  I believe that now.
        Once Krycek disappeared, proving to my satisfaction his involvement
in Dana's abduction, I knew that the Smoking Man was involved.  For seven
long weeks I staked out his home, shadowed his car at night, waiting for a
time to make my move.  He had the instincts of a hunter; I would get only
one chance.  I took to hiding in the back seat of his car, hoping for that
split second when I could safely strip him of his gun and hold my own to
his head.
        At last, it came.  Late one night in light traffic, an oncoming car
ran a red light, narrowly missing us.  Sarron swerved with an oath.  I
acted without thinking, and had him at my mercy before I was conscious of
the fact.  His normal cool shattered, he shouted, "Skinner, what the hell
do you-"
        I cut him off, brutally digging the gun even further into his
throat.  "Shut up, you son of a bitch.  You're going to take me to Scully
and you're going to take me now."
        The Smoker's face went an awful shade of pink, his usual confidence
gone.  Much later, I would learn that he had survived an attempt on his
life by strangulation.  It was my assault on his throat, not his surprise,
which had unnerved him.  He said in a strangled voice, "You know I can't do
that.  Even I have people to answer to."
        I dismissed this.  "Let me tell you something.  Right now, I don't
give a fuck about whatever it is you're doing.  I only want Scully back.
You give her to me, and we wipe the slate clean.  I'll get you one day, I
promise you; but it won't be over this."
        He considered this for a long moment.  He started to shake his
head, when I jabbed the gun even deeper into his throat.  His veins pulsing
visibly, he said quickly, "All right.  All right!"  He paused, thinking.
"I'll take the dirt roads and the back streets.  I don't want you being
able to find your way back here again."
        I growled, "I don't care what you do.  But I want her, and I'm not
taking this gun out of your neck til you give her to me."
        "It will be several hours," he said slowly.
        "Fine," I snapped.  "Start driving."
        It was a long trip, me twisted awkwardly in order to keep my gun
trained on him.  When we needed fuel, I didn't bother with subtefuge.  I
kept my gun trained on him even while we were served, flashing my badge at
the wide-eyed teenager.  He tried to refuse my money, shaking with fear,
but I made him take it.  I may have lost all sense of perspective (or
gained one at last?), but Walter Skinner is not a thief.
        We drove in silence for a long time, but finally he said softly,
"She's really gotten under your skin, hasn't she?  It never occurred to me
before.  A large oversight on my part."
        "Shut up and drive," I growled.
        He spoke again shortly after.  "I should warn you, Mr Skinner, that
your Scully is very ill.  She is going to need a lot of care, preferably by
those who have experience with her illness."
        I snapped at him.  "Look, don't even bother.  I'm not leaving her
with you."
        His voice was low...persuasive.  "Mr Skinner, she is in the middle
of procedures which if left unfinished will leave her sick...perhaps dead.
We won't be able to rectify that until we have monitored her and know what
the effects of that are."
        "I don't believe you."
        He gave up, shrugged, and that was that.

        When we arrived in the Place, he took me to her.
        She was on a hospital gurney, hooked up to an IV.  I took a look at
the bag.  Pethidine intravenous solution.  I frowned.  They were giving her
too much; she would become addicted.
        Sarron noted my attention.  "Leave her with us for a week.  We'll
wean her off it."
        I dragged him over to the corner, out of the sight of the soldier
at the door.  "Damn it, you son of a bitch, that's not what we agreed on!"
        "You're a part of this now.  She stays here."
        I snapped, "I'm not a part of your abhorrent methods.  She'll die
here.  Now you give her to me or we'll see just how long it would take
security to respond to a gunshot."  I risked pressing the gun a little
deeper into his side, my eye on the soldier.
        Sarron blew a wafting trail of smoke.  Fuck it, this was - loosely
speaking - a hospital!  Asshole.  "Your precious Scully has had medical
procedures.  She needs specialist care."
        "That's my problem," I growled.
        Suddenly, Scully sat bolt upright in her bed and screamed.
        Shaken, my grip on the gun loosened, and the Smoker managed to
break away.  I hauled him back by his collar and dug the gun into his neck,
unnoticed by the soldiers, who were restraining Scully.  She was still
        Horrified, I cried furiously,  "You get someone in here to her now
while we make the arrangements."
        Sarron sounded defensive.  "My men are-"
        "Your men are thugs!  You get a real nurse in there, someone
sensitive who will take care of her."  I glanced at Scully's terrified
expression as she beheld her assailants, and added in a flash of
inspiration, "A woman."
        Sarron said petulantly, "I don't have any nurses."
        "What the hell kind of operation are you running here, Sarron?  I
don't care who you get in.  That's your problem.  Just do it."
        He thought about it, then asked a soldier to fetch one of the other
women.  We escorted the woman they brought into the room.  With a baleful
glare at us, she went to Scully's side.
        "Dana?" she called softly.  She freed Scully's hands and touched
them gently.  "Dana?  I'm Penny Northern.  They want me to look after
you...to comfort you."
        Scully gave a sudden sob, and cried out something I could not
decipher.  Penny nodded slowly.  "I know, Dana.  Me too."
        My heart ached, but I trampled on it with ruthless efficiency, and
turned my attention back to the Smoker.

        I didn't like it, but I had no choice.
        Sarron drove me back to Washington with Scully.  We spent most of
the trip in silence.
        Close to DC, he commented, "You know, I really don't want her to
die.  Not if we can help it.  She's a nice lady.  I actually rather like
her, fiesty temper and all."
        I glanced at her, sprawled across the back seat.  "You wouldn't
want to run across her in a dark alley," I said with dry malice.
        He gave a short, sharp laugh at that.  "No, that I wouldn't."  He
paused.  "Mr Skinner, you have no reason to trust me now, but there will
come a time when I am your only hope.  When Scully becomes too ill for you
to look after, you get me a blood sample, and I will get you your cure."
        "Why don't you give it to me now?" I demanded suspiciously.
        "Because if I give you the wrong one, she'll die.  There are only a
finite number of changes which occur in the blood in these cases, but there
are several different ones which may occur.  The wrong drug will not cure,
but kill.  That's why I need the blood sample."
        "How do I know you don't want it for your project, whatever the
hell it is?"
        "Don't be ridiculous.  We've had her for seven weeks.  How much
more blood could we need that we couldn't have already taken?"
        He had a point, I supposed.  I simply snorted and fell silent.
        We arrived at my car, hidden two blocks from his home, a short time
later.  At my bidding, the Smoker put her into my car, then stepped away.
"Believe it or not, Mr Skinner, I wish you luck." He looked on her with
musing - fondness?  Surely not - as I got into the car, my gun still
trained on him.  I started the ignition, and drove away.

        We arrived at my cabin, deep in the forest in Virginia, four hours
        Scully was in a deep sleep, and she did not wake as I bundled her
into my arms and brought her inside.  I laid her down on my bed and watched
her thoughtfully.  She didn't stir.  Finally, I covered her with a thick
quilt, and went to the miniscule lounge.
        I lit a fire and went outdoors with my torch to investigate my
supplies.  I couldn't have the electricity connected; it would be like a
neon sign announcing our presence.  I hoped no-one had broken in during the
years since I had last visited.  I was in luck; the generator was intact
and in reasonable condition, and the petrol pump was almost to capacity.
The pantry was filled with nonperishables.  We could live here for a few
weeks without difficulty.
        Hopefully, that would be enough.
        I went in and warmed myself, my brow furrowed.  We would have to
trust someone.  I couldn't stay here for so long.  And I couldn't leave her
        Every man needs a handful of people he can trust.  A handful of
people who will, unquestioningly, fly halfway across the world on the basis
of a telephone call.  A handful of people he can trust with his life and
his secrets.  A handful of best men.
        My two best men were women, and I called them both.

        They arrived just before dawn.
        They drove up, their headlights dimmed as I had instructed, and I
opened the door before they had time to knock.  To my relief, both women
were there; Kimberley, and Lavinia.  They brought supplies, medical and
otherwise; in addition, Kimberley brought her kitten, Siobhan, a little
ball of Burmese fluff which was too young to be left alone.
        I embraced them in turn.  "Thank you, Kim," I said softly to the
woman I viewed as a daughter.  Then I turned to the woman who had reared
        "My dear Nurse Owen."
        I had graduated to calling Nurse Owen by her first name a long time
before; but still the old name persisted as an affectionate nickname.  She
was a real nurse, a nineteen-year-old pediatric nurse engaged to help care
for me when I was born two months prematurely to a mother with postpartum
complications.  I had recovered; my mother had died; and Lavinia Owen
remained as my nanny until I left for Vietnam.  By then, of course, her
title was 'Housekeeper' - boys of eighteen do not readily accept that they
are still boys - but still, she was mine.  She loved my brothers and sister
as a caring young woman loves motherless children; but she was mine first,
and we both knew it.
        And now, as ever, I needed her.
        I sat them down before the fire, and gave them soup.  They gave me
fresh supplies - milk, bread, fruit, medical supplies.  And then they asked
the question they had every right to ask.
        Kimberley was elated and horrified in turns, demanding to see Dana
at once.  They were not close friends, but they were on good terms, and Kim
had been distressed at what we had all presumed to be her death.  She
hurried into the bedroom, and stayed there a very long time.
        Lavinia and I remained by the fire, silently regarding the flames.
We were very alike, she and I, but she had a peace and an inner silence of
which my reserve was but a poor imitation.
        She spoke.  "You love this woman, Walt?"
        I said tonelessly, "I've never cheated on Sharon, Lavinia."
        "I'm sure you haven't.  I brought you up better than that.  But
that's not what I asked."
        I shrugged.  "I can't answer that.  I haven't loved anyone in a
very long time.  I don't think I know what it feels like anymore."
        She smiled faintly.  "Oh, I think you do."  She rose.  "I want you
to go home, Walt.  Not now; sleep first.  But then go home to your wife and
tell her you're safe, and go to the office as though nothing has happened.
Your Kim is a nice girl.  She and I will care for this woman."
        Wearily, I nodded.  "I'll be back tonight," I said.
        "I know."
        I hesitated, then handed Lavinia a gun.  It was an untraceable one
I had taken from the body of a drug dealer years before for just such a
purpose.  "Take it," I told her quietly.
        She shook her head.  "No, Walt.  I will not use a gun.  I don't
even know how."
        "Kimberley does.  I taught her myself.  But her gun doesn't have
the range this one does."  She nodded slowly, but still she wouldn't touch
        I left it on the table, and I went to her room.  I smiled.
        Next to Dana, on a chair, sat Kimberley, her head slumped on the
bed at Dana's side.  I got on the other side of Dana (when had I started
calling her that, anyway?), slid under the covers, and dreamlessly, I

        I remember only fragments of those five weeks at the cabin with
Dana.  I slept no more than four hours in any forty eight hour period, my
nights at the cabin and my days at work.  In the middle of this, Susannah
needed me at school in Zurich after she was found with Ingrid in her dorm;
necessitating a three day absence.  When I returned, Sharon and I
separated.  By that point I didn't much care.
        There were times when I tended Dana myself, bathed her forehead and
cradled her as she went through withdrawal from the pethidine.  She slept
far too much, perhaps a result of stress.  She was awake at times, but very
distant.  She seemed to believe that Kimberley and I were part of the
conspiracy which had caused her to be in this situation.  I didn't know
why.  She asked for Mulder; but he had taken time off work and was nowhere
to be found.
        She did, however, appear to trust Lavinia; and she loved Kim's
kitten, Siobhan.  She began to rally.  Her weight, which had fluctuated
wildly, began to stabilise.  Lavinia suggested that she may have been given
hormones of some kind.  After several weeks, she was free of her pethidine
addiction, and her body had begun to recover.  Still she eschewed my
company, but there were fleeting moments when she allowed me to comfort
her.  She wept hysterically in my arms once, but refused to say why.  I
wondered painfully whether she had been assaulted in some way, either by
Duane Barry or by one of Sarron's thugs.
        Her recovery was slow, and we were still completely in the dark as
to what was wrong with her.  Lavinia theorised that possibly there was
nothing physically wrong; that she was suffering from trauma, pure and
simple.  But this theory seemed negated when she caught a headcold from
Kimberley which rapidly turned to pneumonia.  Alarmed by her apparently
poor immunity, I took a blood sample to work and had Pendrell test her
T-lymphocytes, which proved dangerously low.  Frightened, I then had him
run a test for HIV, which was thankfully negative.
        Weakened, but still strong enough to fight, Scully beat the
pneumonia.  But just when I began to think she was well enough that we
could bring her home without risking her abduction once more, she reached a
similar conclusion, and slipped out of the cabin.  We found her collapsed
in the unseasonably early snow the following morning.
        Lavinia took her temperature.  "She's hypothermic," she said
sharply.  "Quickly; let's get her inside."  We rushed her into the lounge
and lay her down as close to the fire as we dared.
        Lavinia fussed over her, taking pulse and temperature and looking
in her eyes and God only knew what else.  "Scully, don't you die on me
after all we've been through," I warned her desperately.  "Don't you dare."
        Lavinia touched my hand.  "Walt, she's in a coma.  She needs
warmth.  Hold her, please."
        So I held her, cradled her tightly in my arms, trying desperately
to transmit my warmth, my life to her.  I talked to her, Lavinia and
Kimberley drifting in and out of the room, and it was then that I told her,
and myself, that I loved her.
        If only she could have heard.


        "She's in a coma, Walt."
        I listened in horror as I absorbed my state.
        I was conscious.  I could hear and feel; yet my body would not
move.  It was like being imprisoned, and my soul cried out for release.
        But my body was silent.
        Walter spoke. "No.  No!  I won't accept that.  She's no longer
hypothermic.  She'll come round."  His voice was desperate.
        Nurse Owen spoke gently, and there was a brushing sound as I
presumed she touched his arm as she had so often.  "If she was going to,
she already would have, Walt.  We've known for a while that her immune
system was deteriorating.  This hypothermia was probably the last straw.
Something is happening to her, and I don't know what it is, and I can't
save her.  We have to get her to a hospital, and we have to do it now."
        I heard a wretched sigh, and then he spoke.  "All right."
        Nurse Owen asked softly, "How are we going to do it?"
        There was a long silence - a very long silence.  Finally, when it
seemed I could bear the silence no more, Walter spoke.  "I can get an
ambulance.  I have someone who owes me a favour.  You will drive her in and
admit her to fit with shift change, and then you'll stay with her.  Pose as
a temp nurse, a locum.  Take her to Holy Cross at Georgetown - that's her
        Nurse Owen spoke thoughtfully.  "All right.  But let's make it
Georgetown Medical Centre ICU instead.  I've never worked at Holy Cross -
it will be more difficult for me to pass there.  I don't know the admin
procedures, the people, the layout, anything."
        Walter made a sound of agreement.  "Yes, all right."
        And then I was being moved, and I felt myself being held, felt his
breath on my cheek.  "You have to look after her, Lavinia.  Once she's at
Georgetown, I can't.  There would be too many questions.  I just heard
yesterday that her partner is back on duty.  He's going to pounce on this
like a hawk.  You have to stay away from him."
        Nurse Owen told him gently, maternally, "Walt, I won't let anything
happen to her."  She said fondly, "You do love her, don't you?"
        He gave a deep sigh, exhaling against me.  "I suppose I do."  His
voice was regretful.  "She'll never forgive me.  She believes I had
something to do with what happened to her."
        "Did you?" she asked softly.
        "I suppose I did, though I didn't mean to.  Sarron, the man who did
this, is uncontrollable.  I learned that just a little too late."
        My heart sank.  My impression that day in The Place, when he had
been ordering the Smoker around, was correct.  Walter was higher in the
chain of command.  He was behind the awful things they did to the women
there, regardless of his desire to protect me from them.  And despite his
seemingly genuine confusion that day I broke down in his arms, he knew what
they had taken from me.  He must.
        And, God help me, I had begun to love him.


        We did as we had planned.
        As Sarron had predicted, Scully's condition deteriorated, and at
last, I had no choice but to trust him.  However, when a man attempting to
steal a blood sample from her was killed; whether by Mulder, I was never
able to determine; I knew that he had pre-empted me.  Enraged, I betrayed
his location to Mulder.
        But to my surprise, presumably after another, successful attempt at
stealing her blood, Sarron presented me with a vial.  I was terrified by
the prospect of using it; but Lavinia, who knew of my dilemma, assured me
Scully could die at any time, and that the extremity of her condition
warranted the risk.  So I entrusted the solution to her, and she used it.
        Scully regained consciousness that night.
        To my relief, she remembered nothing.  Lavinia obediently vanished
from sight, and Kimberley, thankfully, returned to her position at my side,
the irritating temp transferred sideways to Section Chief Randolph.  We
spoke nothing of her disappearance from my office; and few even noticed her
absence.  As far as Personnel was concerned, she had never been away.
        We wondered about her amnesia, all of us.  Lavinia suggested that
the events of the previous three months had just been too much for her, and
I concurred.  To this day I fear there was some assault on her before I
reached her.  And I wonder whether it has anything to do with the
infertility and the cancer we learned of only a month ago.
        If only I had reached her earlier.
        If only I could have prevented it.
        Maybe she would not be dying before my eyes.


        Scully was devastated, but she was still a scientist.  She was not
so reduced as a person to forget that.
        She had investigated her findings that day.  Beginning with Dr
Pomerantz, she had retrieved as full a picture of her memories as she could
in two hours, working earnestly with him to remember.  Her mind had been
surprisingly co-operative now that the floodgates had been opened.  Later,
aware that memories could be suggested or fabricated, she had done some
research.  From the Personnel archives dating back to 1994, she had
discovered that although Kimberley was still supposedly working during the
weeks leading up to her reappearance, there had also been a temp hired in
Skinner's office.  She also learned from Kim's medical carrier that in
November 1994, she had been treated with antibiotics for a mild attack of
toxoplasmosis, a flu-like infection carried by kittens; and the firearms
database informed her that Kim was an accomplished markswoman with several
national pistol shooting titles to her credit.  Scully wasn't really
surprised.  She remembered finding Kimberley asleep with one hand beneath
her pillow, presumably closed around her gun, more than once.
        She had turned her attention to Lavinia Owen, and there the
information was far sketchier.  However, she was able to discover from IRS
records that Lavinia's home address had been the same as Walter's until
Walter had turned eighteen, and that her employer had been one Albert
Skinner.  She described her position as "pediatric nurse" for the first
year and "nanny/governess" for the rest.  She also confirmed, as she
already knew, that Svetlana Fadeyev Skinner had died shortly after giving
birth to Walter.  Those same IRS records also told Scully that Lavinia had
indeed been a nurse with a private agency in Georgetown, and a phone call
confirmed that Lavinia had taken two months off in late 1994.  She had then
been fired because a fellow temp had seen her at Georgetown Medical Centre
and had accused her of stealing agency work and pocketing the commission.
However, she had been reinstated after Georgetown confirmed Lavinia had not
been employed with them during that period.  The pieces fit, and the ways
in which the women's involvement had been covered up were clear.
        It wouldn't stand up in court, but it was enough for Scully.  Her
memories of Kimberley and Lavinia, and even Kim's cat Siobhan, were
genuine.  That meant her memories of Walter were also real.
        Appraisingly, she watched him out of the corner of her eye.
        He was talking animatedly to Susannah, and she could not help but
feel reluctant affection.  Her mind chattered, an eternal loop of debate as
her logic and her heart and her will battled it out in an endless search
for answers.
        Some compassionate, forgiving part of herself pointed out that even
though Walter had taken her ability to have children, he had also given her
a daughter in this exquisite child-woman she idolised.  And though he had
shortened her life, he had enriched it beyond measure.  And who the hell
was to say he hadn't got sucked into the whole thing and been incapable of
extricating himself alive?  Who was to say that protecting Susannah and
Sharon hadn't been part of the picture?  She realised morosely that no-one
could say, because she could never ask.  To ask would be to cut short even
further her own life, and possibly Mulder's, too.
        Susannah intruded on her thoughts.  "Cat got your tongue, Dana?"
she asked gently.  Her stepdaughter had been worried about her for weeks
now, and her behaviour this evening probably wasn't helping.
        Scully forced a smile.  "Just thinking.  I'm okay, Susannah,
really."  She gave a deep, shuddering sigh which she attempted to pass off
as a yawn.  "I might go to bed.  I'm wasted."
        "You okay, Dana?" Walter asked.
        "I'm fine," she said with supreme self-control.  "Just fine."
        Rising, Scully went to the kitchen and took her morphine.  She
regarded her usual dose of a single tablet with a shrewd eye, then
dry-swallowed two.  Walter opened his mouth to comment, then shut it again
at her expression.  Thoughtfully, she took a mouthful of port straight from
the bottle just for good measure.  Making her way back to the table, she
kissed the teenager goodnight, and made some mild comment to Walter.  She
shut herself in her bedroom and leaned shakily against the door.
        //Dear God, what the hell do I do now?//

        She lay in his arms.
        Her brow was furrowed, and her joints were tense, but Scully felt
only the tightening grip in her chest as she tried to reconcile what she
had recalled.
        //Walter had been involved in what had been done to her.//
        That wasn't the real problem, though.  The problem was that he had
ordered it.
        For a long time, Skinner had played an uneasy role in her work.
Just like her, he had been placed at the helm of the X Files project to
keep her and, more importantly, Mulder in line.  That was understood.  Had
he in some way unwittingly co-operated with her abduction, that she could
have forgiven.  But ordering the project...calculated knowledge of it...no.
Unforgivable.  And that he would make her dream of a child, when surely he
knew she could not bear children...that was beyond cruelty.
        And yet he had taken care of her, and how she loved him for that.
        Loving him, hating him, fearing him - she had to have him near her.
So when he had come to bed, she had made room, allowing him to cradle her
even as her heart and her mind twisted with anguish.  She had been quiet,
and he had let her have her space; and she ached even now with love and
pain for this man who knew her better than she knew herself.
        He kissed her.  "Dana," he said softly, "What is it?"
        She shook her head.  "I can't," she whispered.  She stared up at
him with mingling love and fear and betrayal, longed to bury herself in
him, or to throw him off the bed and rail at him, destroy him as he had
destroyed her.  She felt the threads of santity being stretched ever
thinner as her mind and her heart and her iron will fought against one
another, her body collapsing in on itself, it seemed, with the effort to
protect her from being physically ripped apart.  "No, no, no, no, no, no,"
some monotonous, childlike voice chanted in the recesses of her mind in
complete denial, and she felt an insane urge to slam her own head against a
wall to silence it.
        But she didn't do it.  Instead, she turned to the only man she ever
had.  Her comforter.
        Her betrayer.
        "No words," she whispered after a moment.  "Please, Walter.  Please
just make love to me."
        He frowned slightly.  Dana didn't look like a woman who was
aroused.  She looked like a woman in deep despair being forced to perform
some hated act to survive.  "Are you sure?" he asked softly.
        "Walter," she said desperately, "do you love me?"
        He gave a perplexed look.  "You know I do."
        "I want to believe," she implored, at last, so late in her
shortened life, understanding Mulder's obsession.  "Make me believe. Show
        He drew her close, baffled by her words which seemed hopelessly
cryptic, but knowing she could probably explain herself no better.
Finally, he said slowly, "I'll keep you safe, Dana.  Always."
        It was the right thing, maybe the only right thing he could ever
have said.  She stared up at him.  Yes, he had kept her safe, as much as
ever he could.  Even if he were dirty, he loved her, and she could take
this comfort from him now.  Because against all sanity, she loved him too.
        But could she ever forgive?
        Shunting this painful thought aside, she leaned up, and she kissed
his lips.

Someone I Trusted XI: Ground Zero, in which Skinner deals for
Scully's life - and fertility
Someone I Trusted XII: Redux, in which Scully turns on
Someone I Trusted XIII: Tergiversate, in which Scully
learns the truth from an unexpected source
Someone I Trusted XIV: Pendrell's Legacy, in which Sarron's
meaning becomes clear

A Marriage Of Convenience (Scully/Skinner, post-Redux, follows mytharc)
Offspring (Scully/Skinner, XF, mytharc novel, Piper Maru backstory)
On The Outside (mini-novel, Offspring prequel, mytharc, Sam/other, Colony
One Endless Night (Skinner/Scully, some mytharc Colony to Emily)
The Field Where My Love Died (TFWID vignette, implied MSR)
The Field Where My Love Prevailed (TFWID vignette, implied MSR)
Someone I Trusted (Series) (Scully/Skinner, follows mytharc)
A Soul, Unbound (Emily vignette, missing scene, Scullyangst)
A Teletubby X File (Humour, story, XF/Teletubbies crossover)
Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?  An XF Primer (Humour)
Borderline (unfinished mini-novel, MSR, some Sc/Sk)
Lyrics of the Heart (unfinished mini-novel, MSR, characters die, lotsa
Smokin' Maggie (unfinished mini-novel, mytharc, MSR, not yet available)
Evolutions (unfinished novel, not yet available, Offspring sequel, mytharc,
Sk/Sc,  Samantha, Redux backstory)