Disclaimer: If I owned X-Files would I be writing fanfiction?

Series: Eighth in the Fathers & Sons Series

Series Explanation: Father & Sons is a series of oneshots that span across many fandoms and detail various father/son relationships, some typical, some not. The only rule is that the Father and Son cannot be in anyway biologically related.

Summary: There is a day Walter Skinner dreads above all others.

Pairings: Skinner/Mulder Father/Son, Mulder/Scully

Safe-For Now

There is a day Walter Skinner dreads above all others.

It is the day that he knows is coming. The day he has always known is coming, right from the first day he was assigned those two impossible agents.

It is the day he gets that most impossible, most painful of all phone calls. The day where he gets that cal that tells him that Agent Mulder's desperate crusade has finally come to the bitter end he always knew it would.

Skinner dreads that day. He knows its coming, and yet, even the thought scares him. What will it be like when that day comes? When at last the multitude of enemies Fox Mulder has made over the years finally manage to silence him for good? What will happen when they take him down?

More than that… Will he take Scully down with him? Skinner thinks he will. He thinks that, in the end, Scully will follow her partner to the grave… And probably back again. Skinner wouldn't put it past them.

They love each other. Skinner is not an idiot. He knows that much. Has known it since the first moment he saw the pair. He's kind of worried about how far that love will take them.

Still, he supposes it's a good thing. He knows how fleeting love can be.

The day comes unexpectedly. He knows it's on its way, but yet it still manages to catch him by surprise. No amount of knowing that it's inevitable keeps it from striking him like an unexpected slap across the face.

All it takes is a singe phone call in the early morning hours. The metro police saying, far too kindly, "Mr. Skinner? I'm afraid we have bad news…" The second those words come through the phone Skinner knows. Fox Mulder is dead.

They tell him that his body way found in his apartment, cause of death an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He had been identified by Agent Scully, they tell him, although final confirmation will have to wait until they have a DNA match.

Skinner doesn't know what to think. He knows that Mulder has been having a crisis of faith lately, but… he didn't know it was this bad. What could be so bad about what Mulder had discovered that it would drive him to suicide? How could he. be so selfish? He has to know what his actions will do to Scully! He had to know that she would be the one to identify the body.

Skinner almost wishes that he had been the one that they called. That somehow he could have spared Scully that pain. Yet a much bigger part of him is glad that he didn't have to faith that pain. Skinner knows he cares more about those two than an assistant director technically should about agents under his command, but right now he's hurting too much to care.

Skinner doesn't know what to say to Scully. How can he ever find the words to convey the level of grief he knows they're both feeling? Eventually he settles on the safe route and tells her he's sorry, and offers time off. She just says "I'm okay, sir," and smiles, a sad smile like someone pretending to be brave.

Except… There's something wrong about it. Scully is in love with Mulder. She should be devastated. She should be showing something… more than this. Oh well, maybe she's just in denial.

Still something doesn't sit right with Skinner about this. The autopsy should be finished by now. He needs to see a copy of that coroner 's report. If only to prove to himself that Mulder really is dead.

So that's what he does. He looks at the autopsy report. And somewhere deep inside, his heart lets out a whoop of joy. The second bullet, the one that destroyed the face of the victim, was fired by Agent Mulder's gun. Post-mortem. The kill shot happened earlier, the bullet fired from a different weapon. Whoever this body is? It isn't Mulder. Mulder is alive. Fox is alive.

Now all Skinner has to do is find him.

AN: So FF is letting me upload stuff again! Yay! In celebration here is the first of the pieces I was busy typing up while I waited. It's the first time I've ever written for X-Files, so let me know what you think.

If you liked this story check out the previous stories in my Fathers & Sons Series:

The Only Thing That Matters (Lydecker/Logan, Dark Angel)

She Should Have Known Better (Gibbs/Tony, NCIS)

Never Prouder (Stark/Fargo, Eureka)

No Matter What the Cost (Jack/Daniel, Stargate SG-1)

Cookies Anyone? (Artie/Pete, Warehouse 13)

Memories of a Son Who Never Was (Carter/Zane, Eureka)

Apprentice (Tesla/Henry, Sanctuary)

These stories can be read in any order as they are only connected by theme.

See You Soon,

Regal

Up Next: Doppelganger (Tesla/Will, Sanctuary)