Title: Back Where He Belongs
Author: Poor Mulder
Rating: PG Category: MSR, a touch of MT.
Spoilers: The Truth
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Chris Carter and 1013 productions

Summary: Strangers' fatal car accident gives a haunted Mulder the chance to make ammends.

Notes: Written for the Mulder's Refuge April 2003 challenge

"Maybe there's hope."

They had fallen asleep after making love for the first time for months, in the motel room where they had taken refuge.

Mulder awoke startled, his body soaked with a soft sheen of cold sweat, with the images of the nightmare, which had haunted him, despite Scully's presence warm by his side. He rubbed at his face with his hands and rose quietly, trying not to wake her. She slept peacefully on; so beautiful in the half-lighted room. He brushed her hair away from her face in gentle strokes until his fingers slipped down, barely brushing over her lips, still swollen by the memory of his kisses.

He moved slowly towards the bathroom, his body heavy and exhausted by the unrelenting drama of the last few days. He hadn't eaten a thing since his jail break, and their subsequent flight to freedom, and he was staggered by a wave of dizziness, forcing him to hold onto himself by the door jamb, to avoid falling down. He waited a few seconds for the unpleasant sensations to disappear, before starting to run the shower. He took off his boxer's slowly; avoiding looking at his body in the mirror. The multi colored reminders that he still bore the marks of his ill treatment, undergone during his detention.

He closed his eyes against the cascade of hot water, and he tried in vain to forget the memories and sadness that assaulted him, before being overwhelmed by a fresh onslaught.

"No light!"

He had remained for days in the wet blackness of his cell, deprived of the simple pleasure of daylight.

"No food!"

They had him slowly starved to accentuate the effect of their cruelty.

"No clothes!"

They had humiliated him by stripping him and leaving him naked, shivering on the ground, hoping for the moment when he would finally reach breaking point, when he would blurt out the confession that they were waiting for.

"I'll make you talk, bastard!"

Each time they opened the door of his cell, he tried to pull fetal-like into a tight ball, as an attempt to protect his body from the blows he knew were a heartbeat away; but each time the hard rib-breaking boots of the soldiers assaulted him. He was too weak and outnumbered to try to defend himself. The pain, bitter cold and hunger; the humiliation of lying naked and helpless on the cold cement as the blows reigned down, had finally vanquished his courage, allowing fear to bleed all over his sweat soaked body.

Words escaped his lips in a litany of self-betrayal.

He gave them what they wanted. It was the only way to escape their mental and physical tortures.

He had almost cried with relief when they had dragged him roughly, still naked, into the jail's corridor towards the showers. He had swallowed his shame, his modesty and submitted to being washed under the scrutiny of their salacious eyes, with barely tepid water, hands vigorously scrubbing at his soiled body, their cruel laughter and bawdy jokes taunting his spirit and dehumanizing his struggle since his incarceration.

He had feared that they would try a last, more odious humiliation, when he stumbled frozen and weak out of the shower, but they had finally given him clothes and he'd dressed as quickly as possible, still fearing their abuse but reveling again, even in the simple pleasure of the rough prison-issue fabric on his damaged skin. The soldiers had then brought him back to his cell, and had given him food for the first time in days. His stomach, empty for so long, had almost revolted, but he'd overcome his nausea and literally scarfed down the disgusting meal. He had to gain his strength again if he wanted to face them with determination.

The memories of his detention were being erased little by little; his heart racing wildly as almost scalding hot water gushed down on his tense muscles. He was free. Even as the thought went through his mind, he could hardly dare believe it, that Scully was back by his side and the future awaited them. Even if that future was filled with uncertainty.


He startled, hearing Scully's voice through the bathroom's door. Dragging himself out of the shower, he got dressed quickly.

He didn't want her to see him like this, his body covered with hideous bruises. A few hours earlier, in the half-lighted room, she hadn't noticed his bruised body amidst the racing hearts and urgent caresses, their joint need had dictated. He opened the door and let her come to him in the steam-fogged room.

"I saved you some hot water."

She smiled tenderly, running her fingers softly over his rough cheek, noticing the sadness that dampened his sparkling eyes. They were almost gray, their once vibrant green/hazel faded by exhaustion.

"Are you ok?"

"Yeah. Just dog tired... and I'm starving." He managed a small grin. He wanted to be honest with her. She deserved it.

Her smile widened.

"I can fix that. Why don't you lay down, while I go find some breakfast?"

"Good idea, Scully. "I'd say its definitely love."

He returned her gesture, caressing her cheek, the emotion of the moment catching up with him, suddenly finding themselves in a tender hug, tears threatening to choke both of them before he pulled back finally, leaving a light kiss on her lips. She leaned back for a moment, taking in the reality that he was here in her arms, her head leaning slowly into his warm chest, enjoying the contact of his thin, but nevertheless, muscular body. Breathing his healthy odor; a heady mixture of hotel soap and shampoo, she released herself gently from his embrace, leaving him a last desire filled gaze of her eyes.

"Just rest, ok? I'll be back in a few minutes."

"Careful Scully."

He nodded, lying down on the bed. He was asleep before she'd even left the room.

She let herself back in ten minutes later; her arms loaded with brown paper bags filled with pleasing aromas of breakfast food. She left them on the bedside table and went to sit by his still sleeping body. She hesitated a moment before waking him. He seemed exhausted and troubled, even in his sleep. His face was lined by new wrinkles, his eyelids encircled by gray shadows. Softly, she caressed his hair. She'd missed him so much...

He blinked, slowly opening his sad eyes, finding her deep sea blue ones settling intently on him. His hazel ones became animated as a wave of joy passed through him. They were really together again; after months of doubts and sadness. His presence beside her again, gave Scully strength and hope; She felt able to overcome any hardship they'd endured so far, and their journey to come.

They ate in silence; Mulder wolfing down the breakfast she'd brought, with renewed enthusiasm for the luxurious taste of decent food again. Scully ate hers slowly, enjoying the simple happiness of the moment and being together with the man she adored, hardly able to believe he was truly here. Finally satisfied, he again began the conversation she'd tried desperately to avoid since the day before.

"Scully, we've got some important decisions to make." She shivered inwardly at the serious tone of his voice.

"I'm an escaped murderer, Scully. Even if they don't start a manhunt, they won't let me go. I don't have a future as Fox Mulder. That old spooky guy is officially dead now. I have to give up my old life."

"I won't leave you, Mulder."

"Have you thought of the consequences if you do decide to come with me?" She lowered her head, frightened to hear the thoughts and scenarios that kept turning over in her mind since their escape.

"If you choose to go on the road with me, Scully, you'll be giving up your family, your work, your friends, your home. You will have to leave everything and everyone. I don't want to ask you to do that. I don't have that right."


"I don't want to endanger you anymore than you are already, Scully. We' ve... You've lost so much because of me..." His voice was a sad whisper as it trailed away.

"But I also earned so much, I love you." She entwined her shaking fingers with his and held on tightly, her eyes boring deeply into the pain she found in his, watching the unshed tear amass in the corners of his dark lashes. "You're my soul mate... the man I love and need and want to be with for the rest of my life... As short it will be.

"Don't say that, Scully. I'll do everything in my power to offer you a better life..my love.." He looked at her sadly, and caressed her tear moistened cheeks; he caught one between finger and thumb, rubbing it together as she watched his ragged breathing, the sincerity that oozed from his heart and threatened to bulge out of his eyes in a torrent.

Her voice broken by emotion, she spoke again.

"I suppose that you planed for everything." A shy smile took shape on Mulder's lips.

"We're going to find William," he said after what seemed like an age.

She gasped with surprise. That wasn't what she had been expecting.

"When I knew that... that you... had sent him away to a safe place, my heart was broken. I almost hated you in the moment I heard... But I also knew that it was the only way at the time for you to ensure he had a life without danger. You did what you could, as only any mother could. But he's our son, Scully. Our child... My child...I want him back. We need to have him in our lives. Of all the people he relies on, there's no one like us to protect him, ultimately. I refuse to let him grow up without us. We're going to find him. I know where he is."

Scully stared at his face like he had sprouted two heads. Her heart started to pound alongside the hope his words evoked. She pulled him slowly to her body, needing the closeness. Her legs felt unsteady and weak at his words and their implications; her heart overwhelmed by roiling emotions. She felt the shame of having given up her child; the deep pain of knowing that his proud father wished for him more than anything in the world, and the hope that he now offered her that their dearest wish might become a reality... dare they even breathe in that hope?

Suddenly they were both sobbing, caught in a savage embrace in their desire to become one being,.one flesh.

They hit the road again quickly; the early dawn sun just poking through under an overcast sky, silence permeating their thoughts and anguish, fear, excitement. Scully was still in shock at his revelations. He'd told her that after leaving, a short time after William's birth, he'd had the Gunmen create new identities for them all; False names, legal' papers such as passports, social security cards, drivers license. Everything that they would need for themselves and their son, a foresight made in preparation for an eventuality Mulder knew was almost inescapable, even that far back.

He had also revealed her that he had invested his vast wealth; inherited from his parents, safely in stocks and accounts in numerous locations around the country and beyond, keeping them clear of any financial problems. They could go anywhere they wished if they made it quick and got under everyone's radar.

In a shy, almost awkward way, he had shown her a document that she had to read over several times before finally understanding it significance.

Officially, they had now become Mr. and Mrs. Kane.

They had driven for several long days before reaching their goal, stopping only at discrete 3rd rate motels; listening to radio information to check that if their names were mentioned, or not. So far, so good. Nothing they heard made them think that they were still being pursued, but they were very careful, all the same; not letting their guard down for a moment, knowing that the danger could come from everywhere, at anytime.

Scully, who was now * Dana Katherine Kane *, wore a bandana covering over her blazing hair to hide the color. Mulder, now * Ira Kane *, let his beard grow, knowing pertinently that their small strategy would not resist a thorough investigation, if it came to that, but they hoped that time would be on their side, and play out smoothly for them. It was necessary to travel quickly to implement the project which was so dear and important for them; more important than their own lives.

They arrived in the early morning light after the 3rd day of traveling, not far from the house where William was living, since his adoptive parents had died in a car accident. Mulder had explained to his partner how he'd succeeded in obtaining this information. Unbelieving at first, she'd had a hard time believing that Gibson had succeeded in locating their son, before trusting Mulder's revelation completely. She hardly dared hope it was true.

Hand in hand, their eyes locked on each other's gaze, seeking the determination and strength they both needed from each other to go through with this; their last hurdle to be with their beloved son. If Scully had been reticent at first, she was now more resolute than ever, knowing that it was the only way and only one outcome would do; The safe retrieval of their child she'd given away, after almost an eternity of tears ago.

It was now or never, their last objective before they burned their bridges on the way to beginning their new life. They took a deep breath in unison. They could not fail while they were this close.

All day, they thoroughly prepared each other for their commando style operation. The small reception facilities at the home appeared easy for them to tackle, but the success of their plan was based on them being discrete and stealthy in their approach. It was vital that that nobody. Absolutely nobody saw them.

Just past midnight, they had entered the large house, both dressed totally in black; the first thing they had done was to make their way to the administrator's office, and snag their son's file. Silently, they had entered the children's nursery room where their child was sleeping, unaware that his young life was about to change irrevocably again, this time into the loving arms of his real parents.

Mulder leaned over the tiny blonde head tussled on the pillow, emotion eating into him unexpectedly. Instinctively he knew this was William. His heart told him so. With an infinite gentleness, he lifted the baby into his arms and wrapped him in a dark blanket. The child didn't even stir but sighed and drooled contentedly, face snuggled against his fathers pounding heart ; eyelids not even flickering as he registered instinctively that he was safe.

They were out of the building in minutes like silent black cats, slinking away into the cover of night. The silence pounding Mulder's ears in contest with his heart, as he fought his panic under control. Almost there. They were hardly daring to breath. Their son gave out a huge baby sigh that Mulder somehow managed to stifle without waking him up.

They were delighted and amazed not to encounter anyone in the corridors; security had been taken care of with some application of Mulder's old FBI bag of entry breaking tricks. Luck had smiled on them every step of the way. He was theirs, all theirs. Mulder and Scully almost sobbed with joy to feel their son in their arms again, a day they thought they would never see as they took in his precious, tiny face, fingers and baby curls. Mulder gazed adoringly from William, to his partner and mother of his child; Her beautiful face momentarily obscured by his tears. His smile of joy was enough to open her own floodgates before they made it back to the safety of their car, and away into the darkness of the road ahead.

They had driven until dawn, swallowing miles and miles of nondescript farm country and deserted back roads; going several times in a zigzag pattern in case they were being followed. Later when the sun had risen, William had opened his huge astonished blue eyes, before starting to cry. His happy parents had looked at each other in shocked awe, before bursting out laughing, releasing the tension that had held them in its grip for longer than they could remember. Their little one was simply hungry.

They were parents again; nothing would ever separate them again. That strength of determination and undyig love they had for each other, would see them through troubled waters ahead!!

Scully yawned and awoke, stretching, her eyes swollen by sleep. In the bed, she groped around to find the reassuring presence of Mulder's warm skin, and abruptly opened her eyelids when she found nothing. The early morning sun flooded the room as she threw on her nightdress; one of her, two sizes too big, Mulder sweaters, before padding, still half asleep into their son's room. The bed was empty, but the sheet still carried the imprint of his small body. She smiled; knowing where she was going to find the two great loves of her life.

Silently, she went downstairs to the living room, heading towards the half-opened French window. Without a sound, she crossed the terrace facing the sea, and her heart swelled with such happiness on discovering the scene her eyes suddenly fell upon.. She gasped, breathing in the salty air.

Mulder was lounging on the white glide hammock, rocking gently. His serious, but relaxed face turned towards the pale morning sun, basking in its warmth, his son peacefully sleeping in his arms, completely relaxed against the rise and fall of his father's chest, his tiny mouth half-opened, his hair appearing even fairer under the sun's rays.

Scully's eyes filled with tears of happiness, rolling slowly down her cheeks. She wiped them with the back of her hand, before going to Mulder's side. Mulder tilted his sleepy face up at her and she gave him back a marvelous smile; one which chased away the melancholy glint, she could so often see in the depth of his eyes.

"He woke up around 4am. I gave him a bottle of milk and some oatmeal. I wanted him to watch the sunrise with me. Father and son bonding, ya know. Obviously, daddy's appreciation for beautiful landscapes and nature is something that junior here, has yet to acquire."

She suppressed a small giggle and curled up against her husband's shoulder; playing with her son's blond wispy curls and enjoying the contact of Mulder' s sun-warmed skin. Without disturbing his son, Mulder carefully slipped his arm around her, their lips coming together by consensus and their quiet breathing in sync now.

"You missed the sunrise, Scully, but we will have others. Lots of em; all of us together."

"Is it a promise?" Her fingers absently stroking the fabric of Mulder shirt, over his heart, as they both contemplated their miracle.

"You bet." He nodded at their still sleeping son, both of them marveling at the wonder they had created and the fact that he was finally back in their loving embrace; back where he always belonged.


Author's note: English is not my first language. So Toomsie had translated and Lisa has done a great job to help us to make it coherent. Gratitude for my friends.

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