By Becka F.

Feedback: xfgurl@hotmail.com
Classification: V
Rating: G
Spoilers: The Truth
Summary: And for the first time, Xavier wasn't the special one. He was.
Disclaimer: Well, Chris' lease seems to be up, so I've decided to claim them as my own. Finders keepers:)

They adopted their second son nearly four years after William came to them.

Xavier, he was called, after the patron saint.

"His name means bold, bright," she said the night before he was to be brought to them. They were sitting around the fireplace with William, who would be turning four in the spring.

William was an exceptional child. Even as a baby, he was extremely attentive and alert, and he never fussed and hardly cried. He would study you with an intensity that just wasn't expected from a child that young. He was incredible.

As he got older, he only retained that intensity. There was no doubt about it; William was an extremely bright child. Her mother had even used the word 'gifted' to describe him once.

"How do you think he'll react to the baby?" he asked her, watching William's bright blue eyes dancing with the flames.

"I don't know," she replied. "All I know is four years ago I thought we'd never have a family, and look at us now."

They exchanged smiles and went back to ogling their son.

"Fire, Mom!" William squealed, looking up at her adoringly.

"Yes, William. Fire," she replied, taking her husband's hand and squeezing it tightly.

Fire, indeed.

He had been raised by good people.

Modest, hardworking and devoutly religious, they had devoted their entire life to their adopted son, who had brought them more joy in two short years than they ever thought possible.

After trying so hard to have a family for so long, William was a blessing. He was their miracle baby.

What they didn't realize at the time, was that William was already a miracle baby.

She was doing chores late one afternoon about two months later when she received the phone call.

It was her worst nightmare.

She only gave her first name. Dana.

"How did you find us?" she asked, as a cold chill ran down her spine. The adoption was closed. The only thing they knew about the mother was that she was single, preferred to stay anonymous, and that she had given him up so that he could have a better life.

"I've known where you are for quite some time now," the quiet voice on the other end of the line replied.


"I have means. Please, let's just leave it at that."

She didn't understand.

"What do you want?"

There was a long, drawn out silence. She blinked as she heard another end pick up.

"Who's there?"

"My name is Mulder," a male voice sounded. "I'm William's father. Dana and I are in the area for a very short time. We don't know how long we'll be here. We'd like to see him, if we can."

Her head was spinning. Her first instinct was to protect her child. Yes. Her child. William was her child.

"I--I'm sorry. I don't know who you are...I was told--"

"We understand," Dana interrupted her, reassuringly. Somehow, her voice was very calm. Very soothing. She instantly had a good feeling about Dana. "We know how unexpected this must seem. But we're so close--"

Her voice broke and her heart sank for the woman on the other end.

"All right," she heard herself say suddenly, grasping the receiver until her knuckles paled.

"All right?" Mulder repeated. He seemed as shocked by her near immediate consent as she was.

"Yes. You can come see him," she declared, tears welling up in her eyes.

"Really?" Dana asked.

"Yes. Really. Wait -- wait until my husband comes home. Can you do that?"

"Of course," Mulder said. "Thank you."

"Yes, thank you so much," echoed Dana.

"You're -- you're welcome," she stammered, her heart pounding in her chest. "Can I get your number, or--"

Mulder was quick to reply.

"No, no number. We'll call you. When is a good time?"

Slightly taken aback, she glanced up at the mantle above the fireplace. It had just gone five o'clock. Her husband would be home within the hour.

"Call at six," she told them. "We'll be here."

And then it was over.

She sat there for a while in stunned silence, still grasping the receiver, and trying to comprehend what had just happened. What had she done? She cursed herself for agreeing so readily.

A thousand different thoughts rushed through her head at once.

What if these people weren't really William's parents? What if they wanted to harm him? Wasn't she told that the mother was single?

She hung up the phone slowly and took a couple deep breaths, trying to slow her heart, which was pounding like a steel drum in her chest. She went into the nursery to check on William, who of course was wide awake, bemused with his mobile.

She shook her head and smiled.

William never slept.

In the back of her mind, it concerned her. Nothing William had done so far was typical. His sleeping patterns were irregular, he was way too well behaved, and he seemed to study everything with the wisdom of an ancient oracle.

She had tried to talk to her husband about it, but he wouldn't hear it. He insisted that he was normal. And he was, for all intents and purposes. But there was just something. Something she couldn't quite yet put her finger on. Something special.

She smiled and walked over to him and began to sing.

She stroked his head softly until he began to doze.

"That isn't necessary," she scolded, clutching William tightly on her lap.

"We don't know these people, honey. I've never had to use it, and God willing, I hope I never do."

It was his great grandfather's shotgun, passed down through the generations. He tucked it underneath the sofa and stood up slowly, looking down on his wife and child.

She shook her head sadly, but didn't say a word.

They had called a few short minutes before, letting them know that they coming. She'd attempted to offer directions, but they had insisted they knew the way.

He began to pace. Back and forth. Back and forth. William watched him with his trademark wide eyes, but it was clear he was becoming increasingly unsettled.

"Honey, relax. Please."

He glared at her, and then down at William. He reached down and touched his face.

"I'm sorry."

She shook her head and touched his cheek. He was taking this much better than she ever expected. She waited a little while after he got home that night to break the news. He was strangely quiet about it all. Resigned, even. Part of her wanted him to put up a fight; the same fight he had put up with her to get William. But the other part was happy he was so accepting.

"It's the right thing to do," she had told him.

And he agreed.

It was the first and last time they came to see him.

Much of the visit was one big blur to her. She was too busy trying to make sense of it all to comprehend anything that was going on.

They arrived quietly in an expensive looking black sedan, dressed in long black coats. She couldn't look at them for the longest time. It wasn't until formal introductions were made that she finally managed to make eye contact.

The second she locked eyes with the mother, she knew.

She knew all of a sudden how important she was to her. And to Mulder.

She didn't know why she was so important. She didn't even know to what. All she knew was that this was something big; something she probably would never understand.

And that was okay.

Dana embraced her almost immediately. She could feel her fighting back tears.

"Thank you so much," she whispered as she pulled away.

She looked down at the slightly younger woman. Just by studying her eyes, she could tell she had been through something. What that was, she didn't know. She just prayed that she was going to be okay.

She then glanced up at the man. Tall, lean and well- built, he initially seemed strong, even intimidating. But the more she looked at him, the more she saw the same tortured soul she saw in Dana.

She heard footsteps behind her, and wheeled around to find her husband carrying the baby.

"Here he is," he said, looking to her for approval before glancing at Mulder and Dana.

Dana inhaled a gasp, and Mulder's face immediately lit up.

"William," Dana breathed, looking up at Mulder and back down to William again before finally allowing the tears to escape.


He offered the baby up to her, and she embraced William with an intensity only a mother could possess.

She rocked rhythmically back and forth, murmuring incoherently to the baby, grasping him tightly, kissing him all over.

Mulder on the other hand, stood there quite awkwardly at first, not sure what to do. It wasn't until Dana presented their son to him that he opened up, and held him as though he were holding him for the first time.

The three of them stood there in the doorway in an embrace for what seemed like an eternity.

"I never want to forget this moment," Dana said, her voice muffled by Mulder's chest.

She turned to her then, her eyes full of gratitude and emotion.

"I want to thank you," she said, taking a step away from Mulder and the baby, towards her.

"What have I done?"

"You've given him a nice home," Dana replied, glancing around the tidy, country house. She studied everything, and smiled her approval. "A nice life. Both of you. You don't know what this means..."

She trailed off once more, overcome by emotion.

"I don't understand though--"

"You can't."

Mulder's voice rose above all, and they turned to look at him. He was stroking William's hair softly. He slowly sauntered towards Dana, who had joined William's adoptive mother and father in the living room.

"Just know that we can't be here with him right now, and we are very grateful that you are."

That was it.

That was all they needed to know.

They didn't stay for much longer after that.

After memorizing every possible inch of their son with delicate fingers and kisses, they were gone. Not without many more thank you's and grateful embraces, however.

They left broken, but repaired.

They left them with their son. And a promise they would be in contact.

And it didn't take a genius to figure it out.

They were on the run.

She didn't really expect them to keep in touch, but Dana called nearly a week later.

At first it was extremely awkward, talking to her.

Not knowing about her past, and just as unsure as she was about her future.

Mulder rarely came on the phone. It was Dana who did most of the talking.

She wanted to ask about Mulder. Why had Dana been a single mother to begin with? She had so many questions.

She never really got her answers, though.

But they did talk about a lot of things, and sometimes they talked about nothing at all. Sometimes Dana would call two or three times a week, and sometimes it would be nearly a week or two before she heard from her.

To be perfectly honest - although she could never admit it to Dana - at first she thought that her and Mulder were running away from the law.

She thought that they had done something terrible.

That they were criminals.

She condemned herself for thinking that, but she had so very little to go on. It all made sense.

But that was before she knew them.

After a while, she realized they weren't running away.

They were being chased.

At first Dana asked about William a lot.

What he was doing.

How he was doing it.

What he had for breakfast.

And lunch.

And dinner.

She never stopped giving her details.

It wasn't always like that. At first, she was hesitant. After all, she was breaking many a rule, here. William was her son, legally. Her son. She didn't want to share. She had been through hell to get him, so why should she have to?

But the more she talked to her, the more she learned what a wonderful and truly caring person she was.

Not to mention extremely selfless, putting aside her own happiness for the sake of her child.

She began to relate to her a lot, sharing stories of losing children.

Dana had lost a child, too.

She rarely ventured to ask Dana such intimate questions, however. It was always Dana who was first to broach the subject. And when she did, she only gave vague details. Even to her.

And that was how it was, for about the first year William was with them.

The phonecalls eventually slowed.

Dana would go from calling once or twice a week, to once every couple weeks, until she was only calling once a month.

It began to get hard for her.

Not only to find a phone, but to find the courage to get up another day without her son and have to hear about him from another woman.

She remembers it clearly now.

It was the day that William said his first word.


She was reluctant to tell Dana about it. She wanted her to know, but at the same time, she knew it would absolutely kill her.

And kill her it did.

"I'm sorry, Dana," she had told her, fighting back tears herself.

It wasn't until a few minutes later that she replied.

"I think we need to end this now."

At first she wasn't sure if she had heard that right. They had developed such a friendship over the past few months, such a bond.

It was good for both of them.

Or so she thought.

The truth was, each passing phone call was slowly killing Dana. Hearing about her son doing all these marvellous things. Sitting up. Crawling. Speaking. She just couldn't do it anymore.


She really didn't know what to say.

"No, it's okay. It has to end sometime. Truth is, it's gone on for much longer than it should have. It isn't good for anyone, anymore."

She knew she was right.

Time to say good-bye.

It was the hardest thing she had ever had to do. Second hardest for Dana, she was sure.

"Please tell him that we love him every day."

That, and the sound of the dial tone was something she would never, ever forget.

Xavier was a special boy.

That was how she had always described him to William so he could understand.

For the first year Xavier was with them, everything was wonderful. And William loved being a big brother, helping out in every way he could. It wasn't until Xavier was a little over a year old when they noticed something was wrong.

Shortly after his first birthday, Xavier went from a happy, babbling baby to a silent and withdrawn toddler who suddenly seemed to not recognize anyone, even his parents.

They decided they needed some answers. They began to make inquiries into Xavier's condition, making long trip after trip into town to see a pediatrician. Finally, Xavier was diagnosed as autistic.

The news came as a shock to the entire family. At first, they didn't know how to deal with it. But never once did they consider giving Xavier up. They were a family now, for better or for worse.

As they began to better understand Xavier's condition, things got easier. William was far to young to completely comprehend, so when asked about his little brother, he simply replied that he was 'special', or that God had made him that way, and that he loved him.

William truly connected with Xavier. Sometimes he would stay up until the early hours of the morning simply talking to him, or studying him. He was fascinated with the little boy, and Xavier, who usually shied away from any attention or affection from anyone, embraced William wholeheartedly.

Xavier's therapists and pediatricians were floored at his interaction with William. They simply deemed it 'incredible'.

That's what William was, she was quick to reply. That's what William had always been.


Not a day had gone by when she hadn't thought of them.

There was no doubt in her mind that she would honour Dana's request. Even before William could understand, she had told him every day about the people who loved him, and then some.

She rose above and beyond her duties the day she decided to tell him about 'real mommy and daddy'.

She began talking to him when he was just old enough to understand. William had sat and listened to her the entire time in absolute silence. Then the questions came. At first, he was full of them. At times, he even became angry and confused. She answered his questions the best she could, not really knowing a lot about Dana and Mulder to begin with herself.

Just as she knew he would, William eventually accepted her claims with quiet reverence. Real Mommy and Daddy soon became William's comfort zone. Sometimes he'd even casually mention them in conversation. They, just like his family at home, became a part of his everyday life.

Every night, William would crawl into Xavier's crib to say his prayers with him.

"God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless Xavier..."

They would stand in the doorway, arm in arm, watching them.

"God bless real Mommy and Daddy--"

It quickly became a nightly ritual. And he never missed a name.

On the eve of William's fifth birthday, he had driven into town to pick up a parcel from the post office. It was too large to be delivered to their house, so they had called that afternoon to inquire about picking it up.

Upon arrival, he discovered there was no return address on it; it was simply addressed to 'William', at their residence.

He returned home to find the boys awake. As usual, William had joined Xavier in his crib, and was in the middle of explaining to him what it meant to be five years old.

"Xavier, see my hand? It has five fingers. That's how old I'm gonna be. Five."

Xavier squealed happily in response, and reached up his tiny hand to touch William's fingers.

"Count them, Xavier. One, two, three--"

He was interrupted by soft footsteps behind him.

They appeared in the doorway to Xavier's nursery, hand in hand. He was still lugging around the parcel, and the minute William caught sight of it, his eyes grew wide with curiosity.

"Who's that for, Dad?" he inquired, gently kissing his brother on the forehead and carefully climbing over the bars of his crib.

He smiled at William's energy at nearly eleven o'clock at night.

"Well, it says, 'William' on it, and it's big and heavy. I don't know Will, who do you think it's for?"


"But it's not your birthday until tomorrow," she chimed in, mischievously.

"Mo-om!" he protested playfully, rolling his eyes. "Don't you know tomorrow starts at midnight? That's really soon!"

They exchanged knowing smiles. William was four going on twenty-five.

"I suppose we can let you open it a little early."

"Thanks Mom!"

After saying his prayers with Xavier, who had coincidentally fallen asleep halfway through, William ushered them impatiently back out into the living room. They followed closely, lugging behind the hefty package.

William waited until twenty three minutes to twelve until he succumbed to dire curiosity.

"Well, you beat least year's record anyway, kiddo," he chided, his mind drifting back to William's fourth birthday when he had discovered their secret hiding place in the attic, and opened every single present the afternoon before.

William seemed to ignore his remarks, and exuberantly tore away at the offending wrapping paper.

They didn't have to pretend they didn't know who it was from.

They hadn't spoken a word about it, though.

They didn't really have to. Or want to.

They were happy William was happy. And by the looks of things, he definitely would be one happy little boy after this gift was opened.

After a couple frustrated grunts, William got the first layer open. Out fell two notes, one addressed to them, and one addressed to William. William couldn't care less about two pieces of paper, so he absently shoved them aside and went back to finishing the task at hand.

She was quick to scoop them up, however.

She read theirs first.

We cannot even begin to express our gratitude. He
will be great one day, and it's all because of you.
With everything we have, we thank you. We will speak
--Fox and Dana

She chuckled amidst her tears.


He took his eyes off William for a second to glance at her quizzically.

"What's that, honey?"

She was too overcome with emotion to reply. She just shook her head and handed him the note.

She then peaked into William's envelope.

We are always with you. We have always loved you.
And one day son, we will see you again. Until then,
look out into the world with that unique wonder we
know you've always had, and never feel alone.
Because you aren't. Happy birthday, William.
--Mom and Dad

Thankfully, William chose that exact moment to shriek in utter delight, pulling her away from a certain breakdown.

She regained just enough composure to smile at him.

"What is it, William?"

"A telescope!" he exclaimed, jumping up excitedly, shredding off the last remaining pieces of paper stuck to the brightly coloured box.

She glanced at her husband in awe, and he patted her hand gently.

"It's beautiful," she breathed.

He slowly rose off the couch and joined William in examining the telescope.

"Assembly required," he muttered, scratching his head. But he was smiling.

"Oh, Dad, can we open it now? Can we?"

He sighed.

Of course he couldn't say no.

Of course they'd all be up until the early hours of the morning putting it together.

And they were.

At about two o'clock that morning, William took his first look through the telescope, up into the early morning sky.

"Wow," he breathed, his eye glued to the tiny peephole. "The sky is so big."

They each took turns looking through the strategically assembled telescope, gasping in awe at the images it returned back to them.

"I've never seen the sky quite like that before," she commented in awe, marvelling at the exquisite device sitting in her son's window.

"Amazing, isn't it?" he said to nobody in particular.

Xavier's cry was suddenly heard down the hall, and he rushed to check on him. He returned a few minutes later with the little boy in his arms, rubbing his eyes wearily.

William was too transfixed to notice Xavier had joined them, as he skilfully rotated the neck of the telescope left and right, examining every possible inch of night sky.

"Do you like it?" she asked him, after a few moments had passed.

William turned back to them, smiling in recognition when he saw a sleepy-eyed Xavier clinging to his father's shoulder.

"Best birthday present ever, Mom!"

That pierced at her heart, but she dare not let him know.

All she could do was nod.

"You know it's from real Mommy and Daddy, right William?"

William blinked, unfazed.

"I know," he replied, matter-of-factly.

Shocked by his casual response, but not really at all, they exchanged fleeting looks of amazement, and squeezed each other's hands tightly.

They watched him for a little while longer, completely and utterly mesmerized by his gift.

"Goodnight, sweetheart," she said, when Xavier began to fuss. They each planted a kiss on the top of his head and slowly made their way to the door.

"'Night," he replied absently, too absorbed in his new favourite toy to raise his head in acknowledgement.

"Say goodnight to your brother," he said, as he squeezed Xavier's hand gently.

"Goodnight, Xavier," William called, a hint of annoyance creeping in his voice.

Xavier blinked a couple times and babbled his response, flailing his arms and legs in William's direction.

William didn't notice.

Chuckling quietly, they let themselves out of William's room and closed the door behind him. After putting Xavier back to bed, the two exhausted parents climbed into bed and instantly fell asleep in each other's arms.

Meanwhile, back in his room, William was as wide awake as ever.

Looking out into the sky, he felt like the luckiest boy in the world. Watching the stars twinkle, he thought about real Mommy and Daddy, and smiled, knowing that they thought about him too.

And for the first time, Xavier wasn't the special one.

Not today, anyway.

He was.

Oh, Chris. Why must you have created William only to take him away?
I love feedback:) Drop me a line anytime at

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