Uh...Mom? (1/1)
An Admission Interlude
by Aries

Rated NC-17 for language and strong, m/m sexual images

Summary: From the world of Admission, this interlude finds the boys back from the Bahamas and
ready to deal with real life...starting with, Ma Mulder.

Disclaimer: As much as I wish they were, they aren't mine. They're *his*. Even though they have
much more fun with me...

Archive: Allslash, Archive X, TER/MA, All Things Rat. Anywhere else, please ask me, first.

Thanks to Nic and Orithain for wonderful beta. And as always, thanks to the lovely Pat for
encouragement. Kissy, kissy!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"She's gonna hate me, Fox, I know she is."

Alex stood in front of the mirror, fussing with his hair for the umpteenth time.

Fox came up behind him and draped an arm across his chest. "If she does, try not to take it too
much to heart. She's not really fond of *me*, either."

"Oh, I feel so much better, now. Thank you."

Fox kissed the side of his lover's neck and moved away. "Leave your hair alone, and let's get the
table set."

"But it's doing this *thing* on the right side. Looks like I just woke up."

The older man walked back and scrutinized Alex's reflection. "No, it doesn't."

"Yes, it *does*. Look." He pointed to the strands in question. "Right here. You can't *see*
that?"

Fox rolled his eyes. Hooking his hand under Alex's arm, he pulled the younger man out of the
bathroom. "Your hair is fine. God, I bet *Scully* doesn't spend that much time on *her* hair..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alex jumped at the sound of the doorbell. He looked to Fox, wide-eyed. The other man placed a
steadying hand on his shoulder, gave him a quick kiss, then headed for the door, taking a couple
of deep breaths, along the way.

The silver-haired woman looked up at her son, as the door slowly opened. He gave her a
tremulous smile and stepped forward.

"Hi, Mom."

She remained stiff as she briefly put her arms around him, then withdrew.

"How are you, Fox?"

Her eyes answered her question.

There was a healthy glow to his skin, and it looked as though he might have put on a few pounds.
And although he seemed a bit nervous, there was an overall serenity to his expression that she
couldn't ever remember seeing.

"Good. Good...uh..." He stepped aside, allowing her to enter. "Come in."

She entered, giving the apartment the once-over.

Clean.

Pristine, in fact.

He must have been cleaning for two weeks straight, to get the place *this* spotless.

And those aromas coming from the kitchen...he must have had dinner catered...

"Thank you for coming, Mom."

"Well, you said it was very important."

Fox nodded, then moved to take his mother's coat. He hung the garment in the closet, then
steered her toward the sofa. "I,ll be back in a minute, okay?" He disappeared quickly into the
kitchen, where Alex was hiding.

"What are you doing in here?"

"Checking the roast."

"Yeah. *Right*. I *thought* you were behind me when I went to the door."

Alex searched for a response, but all he could manage was an apologetic shrug.

Fox jerked a thumb toward the door. "Let's go."

Alex whined softly, as his lover shoved him out of the room.

Mrs. Mulder rose to her feet, momentarily confused as a man who was not her son, practically fell
into the room. Fox immediately followed, ignoring the other man's glare.

"I,m sorry," she said politely, casting an unsure glance at the dark-haired man, who had come to
stand a couple of steps behind Fox. "I thought we were alone."

"No. Uh...Mom? This is Alex. Alex, my mother."

Alex moved past Fox and offered his hand. "Very nice to meet you, Mrs. Mulder."

"Nice to meet *you*, Alex...do you have a last name?"

"Krycek."

She nodded, withdrawing her hand. "I don't think I've ever met any of my son's friends before.
Well, except for his partner."

Fox ushered his mother back to the sofa, then took a seat beside her, while Alex sat across from
them in the chair.

"So. How long have you two been friends?"

Alex's mouth dropped open as he thought of something to say.

"Alex and I go back a few years, Mom."

"Really? So, you're good friends."

Fox looked to Alex, raising his eyebrows. "Yeah. Very good."

Alex fidgeted in his seat.

"It's nice to have a good friend. I know you're close to your partner Fox, but she's a woman. I
think it's easier to share certain things with someone of your own gender..."

Alex closed his eyes and bowed his head, then snapped it back up when he heard the oven timer
going off.

"Dinner's ready. Excuse me."

Before Fox could say a word, the other man jumped from his chair and practically ran into the
kitchen.

"*He* made dinner?"

"Mostly..."

"A*very* good friend. Did he lose a bet or something?"

Fox smiled down at the floor. "No."

Before his mother could ask any more questions, Alex poked his head into the room. "It's ready."

Fox rose and directed the unsuspecting woman toward the dining table. "I,ll be right back." He
vanished into the kitchen, where Alex was busy filling platters and bowls.

"How's it going?"

Fox threw up his hands and whispered, "How the hell am I going to approach this? I was sort of
hoping that just your presence would get her thinking, then maybe it wouldn't be *such* a shock,
but..."

"Why would she? As far as she knows, you've never had any such inclinations."

"I don't know. Scully's always telling me how obvious we are, even when we're trying not to be.
I just thought she'd see *something*.

"Looks like you're just going to have to come out and tell her."

"God."

"When? So I,ll know when to disappear..."

"Oh no you don't, you're going to sit right there and face this *with* me."

Alex blew out a long breath. "Maybe it won't be as bad as you think."

"Right. Maybe it,ll be worse."

Alex picked up two bowls and nodded at the platter on the counter, beside Fox. "Let's see."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"This is very good, Alex." Fox's mother commented halfway through the virtually silent meal.

"Thank you."

"Did your mother teach you to cook?"

"My grandmother, actually."

"I suppose I should have taught Fox. But then, I never thought he'd be single this long..."

Fox twisted his bottom lip and looked away.

"Are you married, Alex?"

"No..."

"A handsome young man like you? Surely you've got *someone* in your life."

Alex cleared is throat. "Well...yes..."

"I,ll bet she appreciates the fact that you can cook."

"Mom." Fox broke in. "Umm...how's Aunt Greta?"

His mother shot him a surprised look. "She's fine. As a matter of fact, she called me last week.
Bobby is engaged."

//Great, Mulder. Now you did it.//

"Really. Good for him."

Mrs Mulder turned to Alex. "Bobby is Fox's cousin. We all thought he'd never get married. Not
exactly a *catch*..."

Alex nodded mutely, risking occasional glances at Fox, who sat with one hand shading his eyes.

"That's everybody, now. Well...almost..."

Dinner came to a conclusion...finally, and Fox rose to help Alex clear the dishes.

"Let me do that," Mrs. Mulder rose to help, but Fox refused.

"No, Mom. We've got it. Why don't you go back into the living room and relax? I,ll bring you
some tea in a minute."

The older woman cocked her head. "All right." She nodded her thanks to Alex, who pulled her
chair out as she rose from the table.

When his mother was out of earshot, Alex turned to Fox. "That wasn't *so* bad."

"Are you kidding? She mentioned my *single* status, every chance she got. She does seem to like
you, though...for now."

"Jeez, you dangle the hope in front of my face, then you snatch it right back."

"Sorry, but...trust me. Our news is *not* going to thrill her. Let's get this stuff cleaned up and get
this over with."

Twenty minutes later, they returned with a cup of tea for Mrs. Mulder, and dessert.

Alex set the cup down in front of her, followed by a slice of key lime pie.

"That looks good."

"Hope it *tastes* good. It's a first attempt."

"You *made* it?"

Alex nodded, seating himself across from the sofa.

"I hope that young lady, whoever she is, holds on to *you*, with both hands. Now..." She turned
to Fox, who was rubbing his knuckles against his temple. "What did you want to talk about? I
gather it's nothing you can't discuss in front of your friend, or he wouldn't be here..."

"Yeah." Fox closed his eyes, then opened them, slowly. "Yeah, uh...Mom...I've spent a long, long
time trying to find the best way to say this to you..."

Mrs. Mulder furrowed her brow. "Directly, is always the best way, Fox."

"Right." He got up and started to pace. She followed him with her eyes, impatience just starting
to creep into her voice.

"Fox?"

"Alex is here for a reason, Mom. He's not here as a chef, or for moral support, though he *is*
that for me, quite often." He glanced down at the man who sat quietly, his eyes cast down toward
the floor. "He lives here...with me."

"A roommate?" She still wasn't getting it.

"Y-yeah, Mom. We share a room..." He drew a deep breath and released it. "The bedroom."

Mrs. Mulder's eyebrows drew down into a distinct frown. "Fox, what are you saying?"

Fox stepped behind the seated man and ran a hand gently across his tense shoulders. The contact
gave his courage a needed boost. "Alex and I are lovers. We have been for almost a year, now."

He watched as all the color drained from his mother's face.

"You...you're..."

"Mom, are you all right?"

"All *right*?" she gasped. "No, I am not all *right*. How *could* you, Fox? How could you do
a thing like this, to me?"

Fox closed his eyes and dropped his head. Alex covered his mouth with one hand and kept his
eyes to the floor.

"I didn't raise you like this, Fox. I don't...I don't understand. What did he *do* to you?"

Fox spoke softly. "All Alex has done is love me."

"Oh," she shook her head in disgust. "Oh my...*God*. This can't be, this can't...this is a
nightmare. But oh dear Jesus, I can't wake up."

"Mom..."

"I thought that after losing your sister...my heart could never be broken like that, again. But
*this*..."

"Come on, Mom..."

"You're father must be turning over in his *grave*..."

"Oh, give it a rest, would you?" Fox's voice boomed, the explosion startling both his mother and
Alex. "Every time I tick you off, you bring *Dad* into it. What the hell for? Can you stand there
and honestly tell me that you'd give a *shit* what he'd think? You divorced him for Christ sake,
and the split was far from amicable. So, what is it with you and your, "dearly departed, sainted
father, routine?"

The shocked woman looked from her son to Alex, then back again. "This is *no* time for
discussing such things."

"Why not?"

"I will *not* air our dirty laundry in front of strangers."

"Alex may be a stranger to *you*, Mom...and he probably always will be, but that,ll be because
it's *your* choice...but he's no stranger to *me*. He's shared more of my life in the ten months
we've been together, than you *ever* have! And what do you mean, this isn't the *time*? The
timing was just fine for the rant you went off on just a couple of minutes ago..."

"Fox," Alex broke in, trying to somehow smooth this mess over. "Your mother has just been
handed quite a shock. It's an awful lot for you to expect her to absorb..."

"She could have from now till next Christmas and she *still* won't have *absorbed* it, because
she doesn't *want* to!" He turned back to his mother, the anger giving ground to pleading.
"Most mothers wish for happiness for their children. I've *got* that, Mom. Alex has given that to
me. Can't you find it in your heart to be the tiniest bit happy for me?"

"I just find out that my son is sleeping with another man, and you want me to be *happy*?"

"I've been screwed up in one way or another, for over ninety percent of my life, Mom. Until I met
Scully, I thought that my dysfunctional relationships were *normal*. Now I know that they
weren't. For the first time in my life, I had a real friendship. And now, for the first time, with
Alex, I've got real love..."

"Real *love*? He's a *man*, Fox! How can you stand there and tell me that you're in love with a
man?"

Fox shook his head and turned away.

"And *you*!"

Alex looked up.

"You're going to tell me that *you* love *him*?" She motioned toward her son, who watched
the exchange carefully.

"Yes, I do. Deeply."

"This is sick." She glared at Alex. "My son was *fine*. Whatever has happened to him is *your*
doing!" She rose to her feet and screamed at Alex. "Leave him alone! Take your perversions
somewhere else, you sick, *vile*..."

"Enough!"

The infuriated woman looked up at her equally infuriated son.

"That's enough! You know, I knew this wouldn't be easy. And I knew you'd be upset. I was
ready for that. But I *will* not have you insulting Alex. He doesn't deserve your contempt. It,s
*me* you can't stomach. You haven't been a real mother to me since Samantha was taken. I
tried. I tried so goddamn hard to make you proud of me. To try to make it up to you. But it was
never good enough, was it? *I* was never good enough!"

"Your father *took* my daughter from me, because *you* were the one, he said, who would be
able to stop whatever mess they started and *bring* *her* *back* to me. Well, what have you
done? *What*?" Now, I know. You've been busy playing sick little games with your boyfriend
here, while my daughter is God knows where! I can't forgive you for that, Fox. I will *never*
forgive you for that!"

Fox stood staring mutely, as the angry woman whirled around and headed for the closet. She
snatched her coat off of the hanger and fled the apartment.

After she was out the door, Alex approached his lover carefully, and eased him down into the
chair. He kissed the side of Fox's head, then turned and walked out the open door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Mrs. Mulder."

She ignored him, frantically pressing the elevator button.

"You and I need to talk."

"No, we don't. Stay away from me."

"Yes, we do." Alex reached her and slipped his hand between her finger and the button.

"I have nothing to say to you," she spat.

"Fine, I,ll do the talking. What kind of a mother are you?"

"How *dare* you..."

"Oh, I dare. Where Fox is concerned, I dare a lot. How can you hurt him like that and just walk
away?"

"What about what he did to *me*?"

,*What* did he do to you? Tell me."

Mrs. Mulder let out an exasperated breath and turned her face.

"Can't answer?"

Still, nothing.

"Of course, you can't. Because he's done nothing to you. The loss of your daughter is terrible,
but it's not his fault. And his father had no right to pin all that responsibility on him. And *you*,
as his mother, shouldn't *let* him try to live up to all those expectations. You're just as
responsible as your husband was, for screwing him up."

"You have no right to speak to me this way..."

"I have *every* right." He pointed toward apartment forty-two. "I love that man in there. And I,ll
do whatever...take on *whoever*, to protect him."

"He's *my* son..."

"Yeah? Gee, you know, you really could have fooled me. I've never seen a mother cut her child
down like that, before. Do all mothers do that, or is it just a Mulder family thing?"

"You *impudent*...no wonder, he's attracted to you. You're just like him."

Alex gave her a hard smile. "No, not *just* like him. You don't want to see the ways that I,m
*not* like him..."

Mrs. Mulder snorted. "Please step aside. I've heard just about all I care to."

"How was your Christmas with Aunt Greta?"

"What?"

"Must've been one hell of a party, that you couldn't take two minutes to wish your son a happy
holiday..."

"He just tells you every little thing, doesn't he?"

"Yes. But he didn't have to tell me that. I was there when he called you. And when you hung up
on him, I was there to put my arms around him and comfort him"

"So Fox went trotting off to the tropics with *you* on Christmas, and *I* should be sensitive of
his feelings..."

"We didn't *trot* anywhere. I took him there for a very good reason.....you have no idea what,s
happened to him over the past ten months, have you?"

No answer.

"Unbelievable. He could have been dead for *months* before you found out."

"What are you talking about?"

"Fox was shot in the back, last summer."

A look of shock crossed the woman's face, then she quickly masked it. "He never told me."

"No, he never did. I can't imagine why. But he was in the hospital for *weeks*. A person would
think that in Fox's line of work, if his mother didn't hear from him for a few weeks, she'd try to
find out if everything was all right. But you never did." Alex shook his head. "He almost died, you
know."

She squared her shoulders. "But he didn't. You obviously are as good a nurse as you are a cook."

Another shake of the dark head. "No. I had nothing to do with his recovery. By that time, I had
dropped out of his of life. It's a long, drawn out story, but I blamed myself for the shooting, and I
took off. I was afraid that if I stayed with him, he'd get hurt again. I was all wrong, but I didn't
come to that realization until five months later, and by then, he was fully recovered from the
gunshot wound but was a complete, emotional wreck. And it had taken a terrible physical toll as
well...but all of this is still new to you, isn't it? Of course. Anyway, we finally got things straight,
and I took him away, to the Bahamas, away from work, away from stress...to recover. Not just
for the holidays, for two *months*. You didn't know he was gone that long, did you? I didn't
think so."

"All of this is over and done. He's fine now. He looks fit to me. So, why do you feel the need to
tell me this?"

Alex had all he could do to keep his temper in check. "I don't know. I just thought that you might
like to know...him being your *son* and all, I thought you might *care* that he almost died. I
thought you might *care* that he was so sick. I guess I was wrong."

"Don't you presume to tell me what my feelings are."

"Okay." Alex threw up his hands. "You've got the information. What are you going to do with
it?"

"That's none of your business."

"See, that's where you're wrong. Fox *is* my business. You're going to leave here. You're going
to go home, be pissed off for a little while, then you,ll just dismiss the whole thing and not think
about it again. But me? I,m going back in *there*. I,m going to look into those hurt eyes and try
to explain away his *mother,s* inexcusable behavior. Then I,m going to put him to bed and wrap
my arms around him and hold him all night long, while he stares into the dark, at nothing. Then
maybe sometime next week, or next month, at some early hour in the morning, while you're fast
asleep, I,ll be comforting him after he's had a nightmare about his sister's disappearance. He has
those, every once in a while. You didn't know that either, did you?"

The older woman looked away.

"Right. So you see, your son and anything that happens to him is very much my business. I won't
stand by and watch him be hurt like this. Not as long as I can prevent it." He leaned in closer to
the woman, speaking in a confidential tone. "You will never again treat him the way you have
tonight, Mrs. Mulder. Are we clear on that?"

Alex held her eyes for a number of seconds before he backed away, allowing her to ring for the
elevator. She gave him a last, hasty glare before boarding and letting the doors close.

Alex clasped his hands behind his head and arched his back. "Well, that was pleasant." He turned
back toward the apartment, entering to find Fox in the same chair he'd left him in, staring at the
floor. He approached his lover and squatted in front of him.

"Hey."

No response.

Alex rubbed his thigh. "Come on, lisa. Talk to me."

"I,m sorry, Alex. This was a bigger disaster than I thought."

"Forget it. You tried."

"And failed miserably. Just like always."

"Only in *her* opinion. Which, I gotta tell you honestly, shouldn't mean jack shit to you. The
woman is completely unreasonable."

A tiny, sad smile curved Fox's mouth. "Told you."

"Yeah, you did."

"Where'd you go?"

"To talk to her."

Fox looked up at him.

"I couldn't let it hang like that. She was dead wrong to say the things she did, and I couldn't let
her behavior go unanswered..."

The older man's gaze dropped back to the floor.

Alex rose and moved to the the back of the chair, wrapping his arms around Fox's chest and
murmuring against his cheek. "I won't let her or *anyone* hurt you."

Fox grasped Alex's wrist, leaning into his whisper. His eyes dropped shut, and he drew a deep,
shaky breath.

Alex rocked him very slowly, from side to side, still speaking softly against his skin. "Let it go.
It's not worth the pain..."

Fox's body began to sag, as the satiny smooth voice blanketed him.

"You did what you needed to do, and now it's finished. Let it all go..."

The older man's grip on Alex's wrist loosened but did not release.

"Tired?"

Slight nod of the golden-brown head.

"Come with me."

Taking Fox's hand, Alex led him down the hall and into the bedroom, where he helped the older
man undress and get into bed. Then, stripping his own clothing off, he slid under the blanket,
beside him.

Fox curled himself into Alex's side and lay his head on top of his chest. "I've seen my mother
today, for the last time," he said, his voice almost too soft to hear.

"Not necessarily." Alex gently combed his fingers through Fox's hair. "People have changes of
heart all the time. She might come to realize one day that she was wrong."

Fox shook his head. "Not *my* mother. "She's written me off for good."

Alex went silent for a moment, then said, "You could probably smooth things over with her..."

"Yeah, only if you and I..." Fox's head jerked up, realizing that Alex had started to make the same
point. He looked his lover square in the eye. "Never."

"Fox..."

The other man drew himself up, so that the two were now face to face. ,*Never*."

Alex's gaze dropped away.

"Alex...promise me that you won't go and take off on me, to try and *save* my relationship with
my mother." When he received no answer, he placed a hand on either side of Alex's face and
lifted. ,*Promise* me."

Alex looked into frightened hazel eyes. He raised a hand, anchoring his fingers in the thick fringe
of hair at the back of his lover's neck. "Only two things could make me leave you."

Fox stared at him, shocked that he could even come *up* with two reasons.

"One...if I was dead. Two....if you made me go....and that *second* one..." He shook his head
doubtfully. "We'd have to fight about that one."

Fox tried to smile, knowing that was Alex's objective. The younger man frowned and pulled Fox
down to him. "Come here..."

Their lips met in the faintest whisper of a kiss, then parted. One brief, heart-melting look between
them, and they came together again, slowly. Savoring the taste and texture either of them would
know, blind.

Fox moaned softly, shifting his body so that their rapidly growing erections brushed each other.
He then began a slow, seductive grind, as his tongue swept the interior of Alex's mouth.

Alex pulled Fox away by his hair and looked up at him. "I thought you were tired," he breathed
softly.

"I was. But you've got this amazing ability to wake me right up." Fox pressed down a little
harder, rocking his hips from side to side.

"I wouldn't do that again, if I were you."

"Why not?" Fox grinned down at him. "Hair trigger?"

"Uh, yeah. Just don't..mph...shit! Cut it out!"

Fox laughed, then shifted off center, taking the pressure off of his lover's screaming erection.
"Touchy, touchy."

"I got your touchy..."

"Yeah?" Fox lowered his head, covering Alex's mouth with ravenous kisses, as his hands
wandered, stroking and caressing every inch of exposed flesh within reach.

"Mmm..." Alex's hands clenched in Fox's hair, pulling him away. "Fox, I..." The words died on
his lips and were replaced by a stream of unintelligible sounds, as the older man moved down his
body, leaving a moist trail of kisses and nips along the way.

Fox listened to the soft whimpers and moans and smiled against Alex's chest.

Power. It was a heady thing. And he had it over this man...in spades.

Alex's mouth dropped open on a long gasp, as Fox made it down to one brown nipple, teasing it
to almost painful hardness with the flicking tip of his tongue. When he thought he'd sufficiently
tortured that nipple, he moved to the other, repeating his performance.

Alex gritted his teeth, making a conscious effort to let Fox move at his own pace, doing what he
had to, to hand back to him some of the confidence and control that one gray- haired woman had
so deftly stripped from him.

Fox moved on, following the hard planes of Alex's stomach, tickling the smattering of sable hairs
that led down and disappeared into the darker patch that surrounded his cock. The thick shaft
twitched at the feel of warm breath, and Alex moaned, arching slightly, seeking out the mouth he
so desperately needed to feel around him.

Fox heard the sharp intake of breath as he swirled his tongue around the velvety head of his
lover's cock. His lips closed around it and sucked gently. The loud groan brought a smile to his
face.

"Fox," Alex choked. "Fox..."

Fox pulled away, leaving Alex twisting and moaning and completely frustrated. He lowered his
head again, this time to lick the fuzz-sprinkled sac that rested heavily on the mattress. While he
did that, his fingers wrapped around the solid shaft and gingerly stroked up and down the length
of it.

,*Please*..."

"Shhhhh."

Fox let his tongue wander up his lover's cock, back to the head. He teased the moist tip for a
moment, then relaxed his throat and slid down over the entire length.

Alex's hands clenched in the sheets, and he arched up off of the bed. There was a sandpaper
quality to the sound that ripped from his throat, as his cock was enveloped in wet heat.

"God...oh, Christ...lisa, please..."

Fox picked up speed, his head rising and falling quickly, as the man beneath him sobbed his need.
Then suddenly, the intense pleasure was gone.

,*No*!"

"It's okay..."

"No, it *isn't*! I need...Fox... let me..."

Fox turned Alex over onto his stomach, then scooped an arm under his hips, lifting him onto his
knees. Alex buried his face in the pillows, whimpering into the puffs of cotton...waiting. He heard
the quick swish of a drawer opening, felt a little movement, then a slick, hard presence, slowly
entering him.

Roars of pleasure echoed through the room, as Fox buried himself deep inside of his lover. The
tightening of his body told him that there was no way that this was going to be a long, leisurely
session. He reached around, taking a firm grip on Alex's cock, and began to move his hand in
time to his hips.

"Are you ready, baby?"

,*Yes*! Oh *God*, yes..."

"Let's do it, then. Come on..."

Fox worked Alex's cock as he plunged into him, again and again. Their breaths came harder and
faster, until they would not come at all. It was as though a vacuum had suddenly descended on the
room, sucking out every last bit of air. Fox came first, falling onto Alex's back, shuddering
violently. His hoarse cries were soon joined by Alex's screams, as he came, shooting over his
lover's hand and onto his own chest.

Both men collapsed on the bed, the air coming back to them in a rush. Fox kissed the sweat-slick
valley between Alex's shoulder blades and rested his head there. The deep, rumbling purrs
vibrated against his cheek, bringing a satisfied smile to his lips.

When he'd finally regained the use of his muscles, Alex turned onto his back, drawing Fox into a
protective embrace. "I love you, lisa," he murmured sleepily into his lover's hair.

And this was what mattered. His mother's angry dismissal, his friends, apprehension...even
Scully's staunch support, as thankful as he was for it, all faded into the background, shadowed by
these four words, whispered so lovingly.

Fox closed his eyes and slept.