Hello. Just a little 'Behind The Scenes' type oneshot about the events leading up to Samantha's abduction. I wrote this 'cause I wanted to work it out in my own head and I'm putting it up because I thought others might like to as well. Well, enjoy. Fav if you liked it, or review if you have the time. Either or any way, thank you for reading.
11.28pm, November 26, 1973
"Star light, star bright, the first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight."
Twelve year old Fox Mulder turned on his side in bed and looked over at his sister. Samantha was kneeling in bed, looking out the window up at the night sky. It had been raining earlier, and the sky was still pretty cloudy. Fox looked out and up too, and saw that the skies were clearing.
"Samantha?" he whispered. Samantha whipped around in bed and shushed him, one finger pressed against her lips.
"Shh, Fox," she whispered hurriedly. "Don't wake Mom and Dad."
Fox frowned and lay back on his back. He directed his concerned glare at the ceiling, not wanting to worry his sister. Their parents had been fighting again today, quite harshly. Something about Fox and Samantha, but Fox could never get close enough to find out what exactly.
Today had been the worst so far. Mom and Dad had been at it for almost a week now, but Fox knew that whatever they were fighting about was getting worse because they'd almost come to blows today. They probably would have too, if it wasn't for his Uncle Charles. His Dad's friend, the one who almost always had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth (Fox had told him a thousand (well, three-hundred-and-eighty-one counting yesterday's) times that they were bad for him but his Uncle just smiled and told him he knew, each and every time), had come over earlier and talked to both Fox's parents. Probably trying to make them see reason; Uncle Charles was good like that.
He'd even comforted Samantha, given her a reassuring hug when their parents were simply ignoring them. Fox loved his Uncle very much, and at times like this, he thought his Uncle loved him and Samantha more than his own parents did.
Fox gnawed slowly on his lower lip. He was worried about his parents. He knew Samantha was too. They had no idea what was going on but he knew it was bad. Before this – whatever this was – his parents never fought.
"Hey, Fox?" Fox looked over at his sister, who was also frowning up at the ceiling. Samantha had this habit of copying Fox's mannerisms, but Fox didn't mind. He loved his sister, and, unlike other kids his age, he liked her as well. They were friends. Best friends, really.
Samantha looked him in the eye, her gaze sincere. "If you could wish for anything in the world, what would it be?"
Fox grinned at her. So that's what she was doing. He'd thought maybe she was wishing for their parents to stop fighting, but she was actually just doing her usual ritual of wishing on the first star she saw for the chance to meet the crew of the USS Enterprise herself. Both Fox and Samantha were avid Star Trek fans. His favourite character was Spock (he even had an official costume!) while Samantha's was Nurse Chapel. Both wanted to beam aboard the Starship Enterprise themselves, and meet the crew. To travel amongst the stars was their dream, but while Fox dedicated his time to studying outer space so he could make their dream come true himself, Samantha (being the younger of the two at eight years old) had promised to wish on the first star she saw every night that one day they would go up into space together. Fox planned to make that dream come true. Even if he never did meet his hero, he would make certain that one day they could go into outer space together.
"Well," Fox said, like he actually had to think about it. "I guess I'd have to say… that we can go into space and meet alien races and explore new worlds together." Samantha beamed at him, and Fox knew he'd cheered her up more effectively than even Uncle Charles had. Talking about the stars always made them feel better.
"Me too." Samantha lay back on her bed and pulled the covers up. She turned on her side so she could smile at Fox as she drifted off. "'Night, Fox."
"Goodnight, Samantha," Fox returned.
Fox watched his little sister as her eyes closed and she entered dreamland. Samantha was smiling even as she started to snore lightly. Fox's smile grew at the familiar noise and he too closed his eyes so he could sleep. Tomorrow, he'd talk to Uncle Charles and see if he couldn't get Mom and Dad to stop fighting. For now, he would rest easy knowing Samantha's mind was at ease.
9.37am, November 27, 1973
Fox was sitting at the kitchen table counting out sunflower seeds in lots of one hundred when his Uncle Charles stepped through the front door. Fox looked up as the familiar smell of cigarette smoke invaded his nostrils. His Uncle looked around and upon seeing Fox a smile broke out on his face.
"Good morning, Fox," his Uncle said warmly as he walked over and took the seat across from Fox.
"'Morning, Uncle," Fox returned, equally as warmly. He smiled at his Uncle, glad he was here.
"So, sunflower seeds, eh?" Observant as ever, Fox thought. He felt colour rise to his cheeks. He never liked being caught out by his Uncle, and his habit of stealing his father's sunflower seeds – shells and all – wasn't something Fox felt like sharing. But Dad was out and Mom was sleeping so Fox hadn't thought much about a little comfort food. "Aren't those Bill's?" That was the one thing about his Uncle, Fox had always noticed but never asked him about. Uncle Charles never once called Dad anything but Bill. Fox hadn't ever thought much of it, but he liked to file away little details like that for later.
"Um," Fox answered eloquently.
His Uncle chuckled softly and dabbed out his cigarette in the ashtray that had long since taken up residence on the kitchen table. "Don't worry, Fox. I won't tell." His Uncle laughed again, smiling at Fox playfully as he picked up a seed. He observed it for a moment before passing it to Fox. Fox took it quietly, offering his Uncle a grateful smile. His Dad never noticed when he took the seeds (he had bags and bags of the things) but that didn't mean he wouldn't be annoyed that Fox was sneaking them. So, Fox was grateful his Uncle was so kind. He was much nicer than his own Dad. Greater company too. All Fox could talk to his father about was baseball.
"Thanks, Uncle," Fox murmured around the sunflower seed. It crunched in his mouth and Fox blushed at the loud noise. His Uncle didn't say anything though; he just pulled out a new cigarette.
"Uncle," Fox said, tone scolding as he eyed down the infuriating rolled-paper of death. "You know those are bad for you." Make that three-hundred-and-eighty-two. "I don't want you dying on me." It was true. Fox would miss him, and he knew Samantha would too. She may not like Uncle Charles as much as he did, but she still loved him very much.
His Uncle smiled around his unlit cigarette. "Oh?"
Fox's gaze slipped down to the tabletop and he began counting out sunflower seeds again. "It's just…" Fox's sentence drifted off in a whispered mumble. His cheeks were burning and he hated himself for it. He knew blushing was a sign of weakness – hadn't his father always told him as much? – and he didn't want to appear weak to his Uncle. Or anyone. But his Uncle was a special case. He wanted to impress his Uncle, as illogical as the urge may be. And Fox needed him right now, to help him and his sister through whatever problem their parents were having with them. He didn't know if he could handle it alone.
"Fox?" His Uncle's hand came under his chin, tipping his face up until Fox had no choice but to meet his eyes. "What's wrong?"
Of course his Uncle knew. Of course. Fox couldn't hide anything from him.
"…" Unable to meet his Uncle's concerned gaze, Fox centred his vision on the end of the cigarette hanging out of his Uncle's mouth. He imagined it slowly burning down, smoke calmly drifting up and away, and though it was nothing more than a death stick, it was his Uncle's death stick and that thought gave Fox the courage he needed to speak.
Still not meeting his Uncle's eyes, Fox quickly summarised his worries; about his Mom and Dad, and Samantha and himself; about what was going on. By the end of his story, Fox was feeling ridiculous and embarrassed. Ridiculous because whatever it was that was going on couldn't be so bad he needed help to deal with it, and embarrassed because he was being so weak in front of his Uncle of all people – it was almost as bad as his Dad!
When his Uncle wasn't forthcoming with an answer, or a response of any kind, Fox dared to meet his gaze. His Uncle Charles was looking at him in a way Fox had only ever caught glimpses of before; it wasn't amused or friendly or smiling or even that weird, sinister look his Uncle sometimes treated the mid-distance to – it was this look, of pride maybe, or love. It was how Fox wanted his father to look at him but never did. It made him feel like he'd done something right, even if he had no idea what.
"Fox William Mulder," his Uncle's voice was so quiet Fox almost missed it, "you have nothing to worry about. It'll be over soon, and one day you'll understand what this was all about." Fox opened his mouth to protest, to say that he was ready to hear it now, but his Uncle slipped a finger over his lips, silencing him. "I can't say that these times won't be stressful or upsetting, because I have no doubt they will be, but Fox, know that you and your sister will be safe. I promise."
"But-" Fox started.
"I promise," his Uncle stated firmly. Any arguments Fox had died in his throat under his Uncle's warm and sincere gaze. It was so strong – his Uncle was so strong – how could Fox doubt a word he said? If his Uncle said things would work out all right, then things would.
"Okay," Fox whispered against the finger that was still pressed softly to his lips. His Uncle slowly removed the digit and Fox shrank back into his chair, ducking his head to hide his face. He knew it must be red again, but this was how he wound up half the time with his Uncle anyway and he really should be used to it by now.
"Good," his Uncle replied brightly, pulling out his lighter. He clicked it on and lit his cigarette. "Now, Fox, what do you know about the FBI?"
"Not much," Fox answered honestly, a little caught out by the question but relieved for a chance to change the topic to something that probably wouldn't result in his imminent embarrassment.
His Uncle offered him a sly smile and Fox knew this was going to be good.
8.53pm, November 27, 1973
The news show on the television was typical for this time. It was about the Watergate Scandal that Uncle Charles had been telling Fox about. Fox was interested in it, as he was interested in politics. After all, you couldn't go to outer space without the government knowing about it so he had to keep up with the times. Also, as Fox had learnt well, anything his Uncle told him about was bound to be interesting.
Right now, however, the young Mulder boy was much more interested in the game of Stratego he was winning against his sister. She was a most formidable opponent so Fox took every opportunity to win because otherwise he felt he never would!
"...she had erased a conversation between President Nixon and H.R. Haldeman while transcribing the subpoenaed tape. Woods testified that she had erased only about five minutes of the conversation but the tape contained an eighteen-minute gap. Under investigation..." the newsman was saying. Fox half listened out of one ear, his eyes glued to the board as Samantha made her move.
"Scout," she told him promptly.
"...from Senator Howard Baker, H.R. Haldeman reiterated the White House explanation that Rosemary Woods..." the newsman continued, oblivious to the children's game.
Fox reached out and took a piece, flashing a smile at his sister. Samantha was frowning at the board, a little miffed she was losing so easily today.
"Do we have to watch this, Fox?" she grumbled.
Fox shrugged. "Leave it," he told her brightly, "I'm watching 'The Magician' at nine."
Samantha scowled at him. "Mom and Dad said I could watch the movie, buttmunch," she informed her brother firmly, using her favourite insult.
"They're next door at the Galbrands and they said I'm in charge," Fox reminded his sister coolly.
Samantha gave him a look and got up. She walked straight to the TV and changed the channel to the Western she'd wanted to watch. Fox sat up, scowling at his sister. How dare she! Just because he was winning at Stratego it didn't mean she could be so mean! Fox knew for a fact she had seen the movie before and she always watched 'The Magician' with him!
"Hey!" Fox snapped, down to his last nerve. "Get out of my life!" He knew he didn't mean it, not really, but he wanted to let Samantha know just how annoying she was being – and for no good reason too!
Fox changed the channel and the buzz of static filled the room. Samantha screamed in his ear, but Fox just changed the channel back to the news. He stood then, towering over his little sister. He was older than her; their parents had left him in charge! And Samantha was being ridiculous!
"I'm watching 'The Magician'," Fox asserted. He began to walk away, knowing they needed some space, when the power went out.
And there went Fox's last nerve.
"Now, look," Fox groaned. "The fuse is blown." And Fox had no idea where the key to the fuse box was. Great. Now they'd miss their show, all because Samantha was unhappy about one stupid game of Stratego. Fox promised himself they wouldn't play Stratego for at least a week.
Fox was wondering how much trouble he'd get in if he left Samantha in the house while he went to ask Dad where he kept the fuse box key when something really weird started happening. Something Fox would never, ever forget.
The painting of himself and their dog that hung on the wall started shaking like there was an earthquake.
"Fox!" Samantha screamed, turning her terrified eyes on her brother as an eerie hum, electrical and engine-like started outside.
Both children looked around the room as the rest of the room started shaking. The pieces on the Stratego board slipped around and toppled over, even as the photographs and knickknacks from the fireplace mantel smashed against the ground. The plug in the wall socket exploded in a shower of sparks and the two children flinched away from it. Weird red and blue lights were flashing through the window, like a police car's lights only… not. Fox knew something strange was happening. He glanced at Samantha who was looking out the window like him, trying to figure out what was going on. Was there an earthquake and the police had come to evacuate everyone? It seemed like the most logical explanation, but just in case Fox moved over to the window and looked through. The chandelier overhead started shaking and Fox cast a look at it, concerned. If it fell they'd be covered in glass. They had to get out of here, and fast!
Like the world had read his mind, a weird glow started emanating from behind the door. Great. The last thing they needed was a fire. Fox hoped the police had brought a fire truck with them.
The doorknob turned slowly, and Fox thought briefly that someone had come to get them out if here, then the door opened and a bright light shone in. Fox raised a hand, shadowing his eyes against the harsh light.
Fox's eyes blew open wide as he made out the strange-looking silhouette of a man. Only… only it didn't look like a man, not really. Its head was much too large; his limbs too long and thin. If Fox didn't know any better he'd say-
Samantha scream cut through his thoughts like a knife through butter and he turned to her.
Samantha was suspended in the air, held in a yellow light. Fox could just make out the dark metal of something hovering outside the window.
"Samantha!" he yelled, as she floated towards the window. "Samantha!" Fox climbed up onto the chair next to the cabinet and threw down the case he knew held his father's old service gun. The case broke upon impact with the floor and Fox dropped to his knees, grabbing the exposed gun. He looked up at the figure in the window, his hands shaking as he raised the gun. The figure raised a hand up invitingly and the white glow filled the room. Fox could just barely see well enough to watch helplessly as his sister moved out through the window, through the very glass itself like she was nothing more than a ghost.
"Samantha…" Fox sobbed. "Samantha! No!" But there was no-one left to answer his cries. Fox was alone, in the blinding white light, kneeling on the floor, the useless gun in his useless hands. He dropped it to the floor, dropped his head into his hands and cried.
Samantha's would be a ghost who would haunt Fox Mulder for years.