Welcome To The Harem

Final Truths by Lexy Torell and Psi Fi Part 4 of 4
Summary: Deslea's rec: "This Krycek/Other love story is a little sweeter than my usual tastes, but it meshes with a strong mytharc-based intrigue. Well-developed almost-original character and a nice balance of schmoop and angst. Mulder is a strong supporting presence."


Alex pulled up at the airport and parked in a rental
space. Andrea sat silently, having gotten her
reactions under control, damning the wild emotions
engendered by her pregnancy and wishing she had more
control of her feelings at the moment. Alex got out
and opened her door.

"C'mon, Andrea..."

She looked up at him, wanting desperately to tell him
the truth, but merely stepped out and glanced quickly
around, trying to look like she wasn't. Alex noticed
the look and, worried she would bolt, grabbed her arm.

"Don't try it...you're coming with me."

Andrea winced, acting like his hold on her hurt.

"Ouch, you're hurting me!"

Alex relaxed his grip just a bit, but not enough for
her to wrench free.

"I won't hurt you. Come on," he instructed, leading
her through the terminal to a private jet.

As soon as they entered the small terminal, Andrea
twisted her arm out of Alex's hand and took off
running, cursing her large stomach, as she couldn't
move as quickly as she normally could. Alex caught up
easily and swung her into his arms.

"You are coming with me, Andrea!"

Alex strode purposefully towards the gate. Andrea
fought against him, reaching up and slapping him.

"You don't understand, you can't do this!" she
hissed, realizing she was about to reveal too much,
began struggling even more roughly against him.

Alex felt a stinging in his eyes, the pain from the
slap more emotional than physical.

"Dammit, Andrea, stop! You'll make me drop you!" he
protested, panicking.

"Good, then maybe I can get away from here!" she
retorted, speaking quite loudly, hoping to draw some
attention in the almost deserted terminal.

Alex's tone went cold, as anger finally flared in him.

"You have the baby to think about. I won't hurt you,
but I won't let you go either!"

Andrea's voice hardened a bit, too.

"Don't you think it is the baby I'm thinking of?!" she
practically hissed at him.

"I don't know, I don't know what you've been told,"
Alex answered, his voice sad, regretful.

Andrea's eyes teared up as she looked up at him.

"Please, just let me go," she pleaded again.

"What is going on out here? Andrea are you okay?"
Mulder asked, walking out of the gate into the

Andrea groaned inwardly, knowing she should have
realized her brother would be here too. Krycek
glanced at Mulder despair in his eyes.

"She's been brainwashed."

"I don't know why you are doing this...please, let me
go," Andrea addressed Alex.

Mulder paled. Andrea closed her eyes, not wanting to
see the anguish on their faces, wishing she could tell
both of them the truth.

"Andrea?" Mulder asked gently, drawing her attention.
"Do you know me? I'm your brother."

Andrea opened her eyes and looked directly at her
brother, her heart breaking.

"I don't know you any more than I know him!"

"She doesn't know me...said the father of her baby is
dead," Krycek husked, the words full of pain.

Mulder winced.

"Andrea, please trust us..."

"I might trust you, if you weren't trying to kidnap
me!" she almost screamed.

Mulder and Krycek both flinched, staring at the few
passengers nearby. Krycek nodded Mulder ahead to the
plane and carried Andrea through the gate onto the

"Let me go," Andrea insisted, squirming, but she
couldn't move too well, her stomach and Krycek's arms
keeping her in place.

Andrea felt her stomach tighten, but didn't think
anything of it, considering the battle she had been
putting up. Krycek carried her to the main cabin of
the jet and laid her gently on the couch. Andrea
looked around her, knowing she wouldn't get away now,
and sighed softly. Mulder came and kneeled in front
of her, laying a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"Andrea? What happened to you? Do you remember
anything? Do you remember where you were seven months

"Yes, I do. I was transferring divisions and moving
to Germany."

Krycek grimaced.

"Seven months ago, you were on a mission with me to
retrieve a file, when you were abducted from your
hotel room."

Andrea looked up at him as if he were crazy.

"A mission? What sort of a mission? You mean like
CIA, spy stuff mission?"

Andrea wasn't sure where they were, so she wasn't sure
if it was safe to talk, even if she felt she could.
The Brit, finishing up talking to the pilot and giving
the order to take off, came to tell his son that they
were ready to leave.

"Who do you work for, Andrea? Can you tell me that?"

"What's wrong, Alex? Hello, Miss Spender. How are
you feeling?"

Andrea ignored Krycek's question and looked at the
well-manicured gentleman.

"Who are you?" she inquired, knowing perfectly well
who he was.

The Brit raised his eyebrows, not really surprised.
He had met her a time or two before, but he knew what
Spender was capable of.

"I'm a friend."

"She's been brainwashed, Father."

Andrea blinked at that, unable to hide her brief
surprise at Krycek calling the well-manicured man
father, but tried to cover her reaction.

"Look, I don't know what you all want with me, but if
you'll let me go, I'll make sure you are all well

The Brit sighed.

"My dear young lady, I assure you we are not after
monetary remuneration. Alex and Mr. Mulder have your
best interests at heart."

"If they did, they would let me go."

"Andrea," Krycek protested, his voice conciliatory,
"we just want to protect you from the man you *think*
is your father, but who is just using you!

Krycek hesitated, but then spoke, ignoring Mulder and
his father.

"I love you."

"Andrea, you're my sister," Mulder added. "I would
never let anyone hurt you."

Mulder gently touched her shoulder, again, offering
comfort. Andrea felt her heart crumbling inside,
wanting so desperately to tell him that she loved him
as well...so she did the only thing a self-respecting
pregnant woman can do. She started to cry again. Her
stomach tightened up again, this time with a little
pain behind it. Unable to resist, Alex hugged her
gently, being careful of her stomach, and kissed her

"Don't cry," he murmured soothingly. "Please don't
cry. It'll be all right."

Andrea leaned into him for just a second, then
realized what she was doing and pulled back.

"No, it won't...you don't understand...please, just
let me go."

"I can't, Andrea. I can't let that monster have my
child...you both mean too much to me," he whispered.

"Andrea?" Mulder asked. "Why won't it be okay? What
are you afraid of?"

Krycek glanced at Mulder in surprise, then realized
what she had been saying.

"What don't we understand?"

Andrea decided to take advantage of the contractions
she has been having for the past half hour and
suddenly doubled over with the next one, moaning.

"Andrea?! What's wrong?" Krycek cried out, alarmed.

Mulder gazed at Andrea in horrified amazement.

"Uh, oh..."

Krycek glanced at Mulder, going very still.

"What do you mean, uh, oh?"

Andrea looked up at them, feeling unaccountably smug,
"What, haven't you ever seen a woman in labor before?"

Krycek went very white and almost shrieked his
response. "Labor?!! We've already taken off!! We
won't land for hours!"

"I knew I should have brought Scully," Mulder mumbled.

Andrea looked up at Krycek, ignoring her brother.

"And whose fault is that?" she couldn't help but point

Krycek gulped, fighting panic.

"How long have you been in labor?"

Andrea felt her next contraction coming on, this one
intensely painful and moaned for real this time. The
Brit stepped in, sensing the young men weren't going
to be of much use.

"Alex, go get some towels from the supply cabinet."

"I've been on medication to keep the labor from coming
for four weeks now. I wasn't able to take this
afternoons dose and have felt contractions for about
thirty minutes now."

Krycek stared at her in horror. The Brit sensed that
his son probably hadn't even heard him, repeated
firmly, "Alex!"

Andrea gazed up at Alex calmly, still wishing she
could tell him what had happened, but just happy he
would be with her for the birth.

"I tried to tell you."

Krycek shook his head, bringing back focus and
realizing his father had spoken twice.

"Yes, sir?"

"Go to the supply cabinet and get some towels. It
seems we will be called on to deliver the baby

"Actually, it's babies," Andrea corrected, looking up
at Krycek specifically for his reaction.

Krycek's eyes widened and he once more ignored his
father's instructions.

"Twins," he whispered.

Mulder went to get the towels, giving Krycek time to
recover. Andrea smiled slightly, but hid it as she
doubled over from another contraction.

"I'm...already..." Andrea gasped as the pain suddenly
intensified, "dilated to six as of three days ago.
This could come quickly."

Krycek stood frozen, torn between joy, sorrow, and
terror. He smiled, then frowned. He watched his
father ease Andrea into a more prone position.

"Don't worry...I've witnessed births before and I'm
sure between them Alex and Mr. Mulder have enough
first aid experience to help."

Alex swallowed and tried to smile reassuringly,
reminding himself that he'd survived worse.

"Somehow that doesn't reassure me," Andrea told the
Brit, groaning loudly again.

"It can't be that hard!" Krycek protested. "I do know
first aid!"

Mulder returned and handed the Brit an armful of

Time passed quickly as the contractions steadily
increased in intensity yet quickened in frequency.
Andrea had been right. Her body quickly finished what
had begun a month before and soon felt herself needing
to push. Alex's father took control and kept both men
busy gathering towels and doing other mundane tasks to
keep them busy.

Alex had managed to find a First Aid kit and it
seemed to have many of the items they would need.
Finally, the three men settled in and waited for the
babies to decide to make an appearance. By this time,
Andrea was crying out in agony as her entire body
was wracked with contraction after contraction.

Without thought, she reached out her hand to grab
Alex's in the pain of another contraction, pulling him
over to her side and squeezing his hand in her own,
trying to fight the pain. Alex made a slight wince at
the pain he felt in his hand as his lover squeezed it
in her own pain.

Finally, it was time to push and the Brit got Andrea's
body into position and had her push as another contraction
overtook her body. After three pushes the baby
was pushed out and Krycek was amazed at how tiny the
little body was and wondered how any woman could
manage to do that.

Within minutes, the second baby was born and all three
men worked quickly to get the umbilical cords cut and
the babies cleaned up and warm. One perfect little
boy and one perfect little girl. The two younger men
were almost giddy in their happiness over the babies
in their arms.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

The British gentleman watched Alex and Mulder cradling
the newborns. He was hesitant to interrupt the tender
moment, but knew there were things the boy had to

"We need to talk, Alex. You have some important
decisions to make."

"I know," Alex sighed, still in shock at the reality
of the babies, looking down at the little boy in his

Mulder gazed, almost rapt, at his niece, but asked,
"What do you mean? What kind of decisions?"

"Decisions, Mr. Mulder, concerning the welfare of
these little ones...on how you're going to protect
them from my smoking associate."

Krycek looked up, his eyes hard.

"He won't find out about them!"

Alex's father shook his head.

"Silly boy, he already knows of their existence! You
must make sure he doesn't locate them and that no one
can get to them who would hand them over to him."

"He'll be looking for Andrea at the very least,"
Mulder added, worried.

Krycek gazed with concern at his sleeping lover.

"And with her possibly being under Cancerman's control right
now...we can't chance her taking them away either."

"I think it might be best if, for now at least, if she
is not left alone with the children."

Krycek and Mulder both nodded in agreement, though

"She wouldn't be the first parent he convinced to give
up a child," Mulder agreed.

"I think it would be best if she and the children
stayed at my private estate, Alex. That way, I can
help you protect them with my own resources," his
father offered.

"Absolutely. That would be the safest place. The
only problem is if he finds out she is there. He can
make things very difficult for you."

"Don't worry about me, son," the Brit countered,
amused. "I've been handling that old monster for
quite a few years now."

"We'll have to watch her like a hawk. She isn't going
to take to this easily, you know."

Mulder listened, saddened that his sister, niece, and
nephew would be so far away.

"I wish they could go back to the states," he said,
quietly. "My mom's a grandmother and she doesn't even
realize her daughter has been found."

"With any luck, we can get this situation under
control soon and then you can tell her," Krycek
assured him, sympathizing.

"I'll miss her," Mulder murmured, nodding reluctantly,
but giving his tacit approval.

"No, it won't be easy, but she'll get the best
doctors. I'll get her all the help she needs," the
Brit continued.

Krycek lowered his voice.

"I'm not convinced she has been brainwashed."

Mulder raised his head from contemplating his niece.

"You're not?"

Krycek shook his head.

"No, I'm not. I think she would like us to believe
she is. But, I don't think so."

"Why would she do that?" Mulder asked, confused.

"Depends on what she was threatened with, wouldn't you
say?" he responded, grimly, with barely held back

Mulder's eyes gleamed with rage.

"Yeah, that black lung s.o.b. could have said he'd
hurt us if she didn't play along, just in case we
rescued her before he *could* brainwash her."

Alex looked down at the tiny boy in his arms, a sudden
chill of horror and deadly fury shaking him.

"Or worse," he murmured, running a finger along the
cheek of his son.

Mulder shivered, understanding the implication. The
well-manicured man took his granddaughter from Mulder.

"Nothing is going to happen to these little ones. You
are both more than capable of protecting them...and
you won't be alone."

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Andrea yawned as she finished tucking in the little
ones, glancing up at Alex, who stood above the cribs,
gazing tenderly at his children. Noticing her
movement, he stared uneasily between her and the
babies, dreading what he must tell her.

"If you don't mind, I would like to get some rest
now," Andrea dismissed him coolly.

Alex took a deep breath.

"You must be tired. I'll ring for a servant to show
you to your rooms," Alex offered in a mild voice.

Andrea looked at him with surprise, confused.

"Excuse me?"

Alex sighed, then took her hand and led her to a

"You must understand, Andrea. We can't risk you
giving the babies to your...to the man you consider
your father. Until the brainwashing is healed and you
get your real memories back, we can't leave you alone
with the children. These are my quarters."

Andrea jerked her hand out of his and glared hard at

"You can't leave me alone with my own babies? What
the hell are you talking about?!? I am not leaving

Alex winced.

"No, we can't. If the Smoker got hold of them, he'd
warp their lives. I have to protect them. I won't
let my children be experimented on."

"We haven't even established that they *are* your
children..." she snapped, coldly, angry now and not
caring if she hurt him. "I would NEVER allow anything
to happen to my babies."

"I'm sorry, Andrea. But he has too strong a hold on
your psyche. You'll be able to see the children
whenever you want...we'll make sure one of us is
available at all times...if you were yourself, you
would know the children are mine."

"I had planned on breast feeding them. That isn't
exactly something *you* can accomplish, now is it?
And they need to be fed every two hours or so right

Alex struggled to keep his voice calm, fighting his
rising impatience.

"That's fine. You just put them to bed. When they
wake up in two hours, I'll bring them right to you."

"No," she protested, stubbornly, shaking her head. "I
am not leaving them. You will have to carry me
kicking and screaming out that door to make me do
that. And don't for one minute think that just
because you kidnapped me that you have all the control
here and are holding all the cards."

Alex shook his head, amazed that she would try and
bluff him.

"I'll do exactly that if you force me to, Andrea. I
can't rest myself until you go. But do you really
want to do that? It wouldn't accomplish anything and
it would wake up the twins. You have to put their
welfare before your anger."

"You don't think that is what I am doing? Hell, I
don't know who you are! I don't know if you are some
deranged lunatic who just wants to take my babies away
from me! I don't know what you will do to them if I

Alex winced and sadness made his eyes look ancient.

"I am so sorry, Andrea," he whispered. "I'm sorry
that bastard did this to you...but I can't help it. I
can't risk our babies just because you're confused. I
love them too much. I love you too much!"

Andrea's heart was breaking inside; she wanted so much
to tell him the truth, to reassure him that she could
be trusted. She knew that the possibility of this place
being bugged were slim, but Andrea also knew that her father's
reach extended way beyond what anyone could imagine and she
worried that someone there could be working for *him* and
pass along how she reacted. Her children were her first priority
and she wasn't going to risk losing them to her father.

"Don't do this," she whispered, pleading. "Don't
separate me from my babies, please."

Alex stroked her cheek, trying to soothe her, hating
having to hurt her.

"I'm not, Andrea, I swear. You can see them at any
time, you'll be with them...just not by yourself.

Realizing he wasn't going to budge on this, Andrea
merely nodded her assent, her tears flowing freely.
Alex stroked her arm, wishing he could make this

"A doctor is coming that my father trusts. He'll be
doing a PCR test to prove to you that the babies are

"You do whatever you feel is necessary," she stated, a
defeated tone in her voice.

"Andrea...please. If the tests show I'm the
father...will you at least consider what we've told

"While I am being held captive against my will...and
my babies are being kept from me, you won't get me to
consider anything," she vowed.

She stepped away from him and turned to the babies,
tucking them in and stroking their heads. Alex moved
up behind her and embraced her gently.

"We rescued you, Andrea. I will find a way to
convince you of that," he whispered in her ear.

Andrea wanted nothing more than to melt into his arms
and tell him the truth, but forced her body to not
respond, just standing there, waiting for him to
release her. Alex sighed, realizing it was too soon
and that he shouldn't push. He pulled reluctantly

"Do you want to see your rooms, now?"

"That would be fine."

Andrea closed her eyes for a second as she remembered
the feel of his arms around her and then turned and
waited for him to lead her out. Alex inclined his
head, motioning for her to go first, not wanting to
risk her shutting the door and locking herself in with
the children.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Alex stalked into the kitchen, a grim look on his face
as he walked over and poured himself a cup of coffee.

"Hey, Krycek...what's up?"

"Nothing...not a damned thing, Mulder. Everything is
exactly the same as it has been all week!" he growled,
slamming his cup down as he sat across from Mulder.

Mulder winced, noticing the cup was fine china.


Krycek glared at Mulder, sullenly.

"Who else?"

"You two have another fight?"

"No, Mulder, not another fight. I like to think of it
as just one long continuation of the same fight that
started when we took her from Germany."

Mulder sighed, saddened by the mess the Smoker had

"You've got to give her time, Alex...this is hard on
her. Remember, in her own way, she's trying to defend
the twins, too."

"Time," Krycek snorted. "I've given her time. I
wait...I leave it alone, but it's almost as if she
searches me out just so she can scream at me again! I
don't know what to do! At this rate, the twins will
be teenagers and we'll still be holding her here
against her will!"

"It's only been a week. She's hurting, Alex, and
she's angry. We're the only ones she has to express
that anger to...after all, Cancerman isn't here for
her to yell at."

"Yeah, well, I'm beginning to believe he *did*
brainwash her. Why else would she continue to be so
adamant about all this?"

Mulder flinched.

"I hope that isn't true...but if it is, then we'll
find someone who can heal her. It won't be forever,
Alex, but she needs you to hold together and not lose

"Not lose it? Come on, Mulder, when have you known me
to lose it?" Krycek protested, looking at him bemused.

"I plead the fifth on that one, Alex," Mulder
returned, dryly.

"Yeah, well, what the hell are we supposed to do in
the meantime?"

"Well, you could always refuse to fight with her.
Agree with her when she starts yelling, refuse to yell
back. That drove her nuts when we were kids!" Mulder
offered, grinning wickedly. "Just take it easy on

"Yeah...I will."

"I know it's hard...she told me off good the other

Alex held up his glass to take a drink.

"Yeah, well, you probably deserved it," Alex retorted,
grinning evilly as he took a drink.

Mulder raised his eyebrows in mock innocence.

"Me? What'd I ever do?" he inquired.

Alex shook his head, refusing to answer.

***** ***** *****

Andrea sat outside on a blanket with Alex and the twins.
Mulder wasn't too far away, watching the
four of them as he talked on the phone with Scully.
He knew he needed to get back to reality soon, but he
didn't want to let his sister out of his sight and as
such stayed on longer than he probably should.

Krycek looked down into his daughter's eyes and fell
in love all over again. He smiled at her and loved it
when she smiled back up at him. "So, are you going to
be a Daddy's girl?" he asked her as she made baby
noises back at him.

It had only been a few weeks since the birth of the
two babies and Alex found his life had turned upside
down in the best way possible. His resolve to help
save humanity had only been strengthened, but he
suddenly found himself wanting to find a way to fit
that in with a family and all the responsibilities
that came with that. The only problem was convincing
Andrea of that. The psychologist they had brought in
for her, she had refused to speak to so it had left
them all worried as to how they were going to help
her. If she truly needed help at all...which Alex and
Mulder weren't entirely convinced of. Right now, if
Krycek could just convince her of the fact that they
all would be safe he was certain she would finally
open up and admit to all.

Unfortunately, they couldn't get her to do that. At
the moment, that seemed to be the only disagreements
any of them had. If Alex were able to convince
himself that she wouldn't try to escape, he might even
relax the rules about the babies sleeping in his room.
But, he couldn't be guaranteed of anything right now,
so he chose to play it safe.

Andrea sat and watched Alex with their daughter and
smiled, drawing their son close to her, just enjoying
being with the ones she loved and knew loved her. So
many times in the past few weeks she had wanted to
open up to both her brother and Alex and tell them why
she was acting this way...but the hold her "father"
had on her was almost too much to bear. The fear he
had instilled in her was so fresh she could almost
imagine them all being killed and her unable to save
any of them. All because she refused to do as he had

Standing, Alex walked over and placed their daughter
next to their son and leaned down to kiss Andrea on
the top of the head. "I'm going to go check on lunch.
Maybe we can have it out here."

"I'd like that," she answered, smiling up at him,
battling the urge to lay her hand on his cheek and
return his kiss.

She watched him walk across the yard and couldn't help
but admire his best asset, when all of a sudden the
sound of a shot rang out into the air and Alex dropped
to the ground, his hand clutching his shoulder.

"ALEX!!!" Andrea yelled out in alarm, suddenly
realizing her worst nightmare was coming true.

Four men suddenly appeared and ran toward the yard
where moments before the small family had been
gathered. Andrea stood and leaned over to grab up her
babies, but Mulder was at her side in a heartbeat and
grabbed her son as she grabbed her daughter.

"Come on," Mulder hollered, grabbing Andrea's hand and
pulling her towards the house. Andrea ran with her
brother, trying to look back as she did to see if Alex
was all right.

The men continued to advance closer, guns at the
ready, but not firing at her or Mulder as they ran
inside. Almost as if they were trying not to hit the
babies. Mulder handed the baby over to one of the
house staff and pulled his SIG Sauer 9mm and ran back
outside to help Alex and the other guards. Andrea
stood for a second, torn between trying to help the
two men she loved and helping the two babies she would
give her life for. The decision was quick and Andrea
pointed up the stairs and led the way, with the woman
holding her son close behind her.

Once upstairs, Andrea led the way to Alex's room and
shut the door behind her, locking it. She took her
daughter and laid her in the crib next to the wall and
began searching Alex's room, knowing he would have
more weapons hidden somewhere. The maid stood just
inside the door, her eyes wide with shock, not knowing
what to do.

Andrea glanced up at the other woman and ordered, "Put
him over in the crib with his sister. We have to make
sure we defend this room in case they get past
everyone else."

As she said her statement, the maid nodded and did as
she was told and suddenly Andrea smiled in triumph as
she found what she had been looking for. Very well
hidden but Andrea knew Alex better than she realized
she had. There was a Sig Sauer 9mm and she took it in
her hand, checking the clip to make sure it was full
and took up a position where she could watch the door
and still keep her children in her line of sight as

Outside the battle raged, but it was over in minutes,
as Mulder, Krycek, and the guards made quick work of
the intruders. Krycek stood over the last of those he
had shot and shook his head. It had been too easy.
Something else was up. The pain in his shoulder
threatened to take control and he shook with the
effort to ignore the pain and keep going.

"Mulder, we gotta get inside. Something isn't right
here!" he shouted over at the other man.

Nodding, Mulder began running toward the house, Alex
close behind. Both got to the door at the same time
and they took up a stance on either side, entering
quickly with Mulder crouched a bit and Alex holding
out his gun above. Together they moved in synch,
listening for anything unusual, and exploring the
rooms for more intruders.

Andrea held the gun pointed at the door and when it
suddenly burst open to reveal two large men dressed in
black, she fired the gun in her hand with all she had,
instantly hitting first one, then the other, in the
chest, causing them to fall to the ground. She didn't
let her guard down, holding the gun facing the door as
her children started to cry from their cribs at the loud

Andrea knew her only line of defense was
to keep anyone from coming in through that door.

The gun remained pointed at the door when two men
suddenly appeared. Andrea sat there, as Mulder and
Alex walked over the bodies of the two men on the
floor and suddenly she started to shake, the
adrenaline in her body taking over. She found she
couldn't lower the gun, as much as she wanted to.
Her body suddenly seemed to take over. Tears started
falling down her face as she looked over at Alex, the
blood streaming down from his wound.

Mulder walked over and quietly laid his hand on top of
hers, slowly disengaging the gun from her shaking
hands. Then he laid both guns aside and pulled her
into his arms as Krycek finally lost his iron grip on

"Alex..." she cried out and pushed away from her
brother to go over to the side of the man she loved.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Andrea sat quietly in the garden next to a fountain,
lost in her thoughts as she puzzled through the mess
her life seemed to be in. Mulder walked up and
quietly laid a hand on her shoulder.

"Are you okay?"

She jumped, surprised out of her private thoughts.

"Yeah...yeah, I'm fine."

Mulder sat down next to her. Andrea pulled her legs
up and wrapped her arms around her knees.

"He'll be all right, Andrea."

She nodded, the relief almost overwhelming. Alex's
injuries hadn't been severe, but he hadn't regained
consciousness, which was worrying.

"I'm glad to hear it."

"He woke up a few minutes ago...he was asking for

Andrea had tried to hide the fact that she was crying
and now found herself crying for a totally different
reason. She wiped away the tears, trying to pretend
she was fine. Mulder reached out and wiped away her
tears with one finger.

"Andrea...you can pretend all you want, but I know you
love him. You're wasting time you could be together."

"Wasting time? I would almost say it is too late for

"What do you mean. You love him, he loves you,"
Mulder pointed out, shrugging. "Seems pretty clear
cut to me."

"It doesn't matter what I do, because he is going to
keep coming after us all regardless, isn't he?" she

She looked down at the ground; trying not to focus on
her brother at the moment, afraid she would confess

"Well, if that's true, then you might as well do what
you want and follow your heart, huh? Andrea...the
Cancerman can be defeated. You have me, Alex, and
Alex's father to protect you...and all three of us
have succeeded in defying him before. Just have some
faith in us."

"That's easier said than done...if you only knew..."
she stopped, realizing what she wanted to tell him and
stood up, walking a few steps away.

"I know you love him...I know you're worried for us
and your children...what else do I need to know?"

"Dammit, it isn't that simple, Fox! Can't you
understand that?!?" she seethed, whirling to face him,
her emotions raging across her face.

"Then explain it to me...let me help. You're my
sister...I just want you to be happy...and safe.
I've struggled for that my whole life!" Mulder beseeched,
yearning to help his sister.

"Don't you think I want nothing better than to run in
there right now and be with him? What do you think
would or could keep me away from that?"

"What is keeping you away from that, Andrea? You're
here, not there."

"You of all people should know what he is capable of."

"Yes, yes, I do. But I also know he is not
infallible...he can be beaten. I've done it before
and I will not let him run or destroy your life...or
the lives of my niece and nephew...who need both their
parents together...I know what it's like to have parents
who won't speak to each other..."

Andrea shook her head and turned away from him,
running her fingers through her hair."

"He wants the twins," she whispered.

Mulder's voice was determined, final.

"He can't have them...and he can't have you. Dammit,
Andrea! Go in there, tell Alex you love him, and
start living! Don't give any more of your life to
that cancerstick than you already have."

His sister turned and looked at him, tears running
down her face.

"You know, don't you?"

Mulder raised an eyebrow, trying not to smirk.

"I know lots of stuff."

She snorted a laugh and sort of rolled her eyes.

"Stop that...you know what I mean!"

"You mean that you're not brainwashed? None of us
believed it, not really. Did you think you
could fool the people who truly love you?"

"Then why didn't any of you call me on it?"

"We had to be sure...and would it have done any good?
You have to choose to trust us more than you fear him...
we can't make that decision for you."

She gave a thoughtful shake of her head.

"I'm beginning to realize that no matter what I do, my
father will betray me...so I might as well stand and fight
for my family."

Mulder smiled, deeply relieved at this proof of where
her loyalties now were.

"She sees the light!" he mocked tenderly, going and
giving her a hug. "It'll be all right. You'll see...I
can't wait to bring you and Mom together."

Andrea got pulled into her brother's hug and laid her
head on his shoulder, then her looked turned to one of
panic at his last words.

"Can't we just get through this first?"

Mulder looked deeply sad, ancient shadows from the
past darkening his eyes.

"Sure, for awhile, but...she loves you, Andrea. She's
spent twenty years mourning you. She hated Dad,
because he let you be taken...please, let's tell her
soon, okay?"

Andrea nodded into his shoulder and then pulled back,
looking up at him with a slight smile.

"We'll tell her soon," she promised.

Mulder looked relieved and much happier.

"I'm glad...now, why don't you go see that ratty
boyfriend of yours, huh?

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Andrea stepped quietly into Alex's bedroom and nodded
at John as the British gentleman had instructed her
and Mulder to call him. John was sitting next to his
son's bed, but stood, smiling, when she entered.

"Well. I'll see you later, Alex. I think you two
need to chat," he observed, patting Alex's hand.

"See you later, Father. Hi, Andrea," he greeted,

"Fox told me you were awake...I just wanted to check
to make sure you were okay," she offered, looking at
him, not sure what to say or do.

"I'm all right. Are you okay."

She nodded.

"I'm fine. I wasn't injured," she assured him, still
standing by the door.

Alex gazed at her sadly, the shadows making his eyes
seem like the dark green of the forest.

"Andrea? Will you come in and sit down?"

She walked hesitantly over to the chair that John had
just vacated and sat down.

"I'm just glad you're all right," she soothed, then
paused. "I was worried."

Alex looked touched, his eyes widening a little.

"I'm okay...I'm just glad you're all right. You
know...you were the true target of the attack," he
explained, keeping his voice soft and even, trying to
break it to her gently.

Andrea nodded, her eyes filling with tears again.

"I know...they wanted me dead and the twins kidnapped.
I've known that all along."

Alex sighed, knowing it wouldn't help Andrea for him
to curse the Smoker.

"I'm sorry, Andrea."

"Why should you be sorry? You didn't do this to
me...I did," she sighed, sitting back in the chair,
then whispered, "I made a deal with the devil and

Alex smiled, the expression almost sardonic, but still

"You mean the brainwashing act?"

"You knew, too," she voiced, the remark more statement
than question.

Alex nodded.

"We were pretty sure, yeah..."

Tears fell once again down Andrea's pale cheek.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, ashamed.

Alex reached forward and gently took her hand.

"Don't be...it's okay. I know you were just trying to
protect the kids and stuff. He's a difficult man to stand
up to."

"He told me he would kill you all...and that I would
never see the twins again. I...I thought I had no

"Andrea," Alex whispered softly, hurting for her. "I
know. We suspected as much. I won't let him hurt you or
our children...please. Trust me."

Andrea grabbed his hand and held on like it was her
only lifeline.

"I do...but, I'm still so scared of what he will do."

Alex gingerly sat up in bed and pulled her into an

"I know, love," he murmured, kissing her hair.

"Andrea," he started, and then paused, knowing she had
been through an emotional wringer. "You know that in
order to be free, we're probably going to have to kill him,
don't you?"

Andrea closed her eyes and nodded.

"Yeah, I was expecting as much."

"I'm sorry...I'd spare him for your sake. I *will*
spare him, if I can, but it might not be possible."

Andrea's eyes hardened, thinking of Alex lying injured
and unwaking in this bed.

"And if I had a chance, I would probably kill him

Alex shook his head, firmly.

"No. I don't want you to have to make a decision like that.
You've been through more than enough."

Andrea looked up at her love and then slowly lifted
her hand and softly caressed his cheek.

"Thank you."

Alex smiled, leaning into the caress.

"You're welcome," he husked in an intimate tone.

"I've missed you," she whispered, smiling softly.

Alex eyes shined with emotion, his eyes now resembling
the clearest of emeralds.

"I missed you, too. Andrea...will you marry me?"

She gave a soft laugh of relief, burying her face in
his neck.

"Yes, Alex," she agreed. "But you get to tell my

Alex swore, colorfully and imaginatively, laughing
with his love in his arms.

***** ***** *****