Title: Bedtime Story
Author: rabidcrazygirl

Summary: Darling William gets a bedtime story from his mystery parents.


"Daddy! Tell me a story!"

The boy's father paused in the open doorway and looked back on his son. He'd just finished tucking him in for the night, and the little boy looked so tiny, completely surrounded by dinosaur sheets and a rocket bedspread. The man chuckled.

"Come on, William. Mommy's waiting for me."

"Just a quick story?" William pestered, willing to try anything to postpone the lights going out. He knew that as soon as the lights went out, his day was over, and he wanted to avoid Going To Bed for as long as possible.

Giving a longing glance out into the hallway, the man heaved a sigh. "Alright. A quick story." Striding back across the room, he lay down next to his son and put an arm around him. William looked up at him with pure adoration and hero-worship sparkling in his eyes-- his father was his idol, what he hoped to be when he grew up.

"So," the man said, ruffling the boy's hair. "What'll it be?"

The boy knew exactly what he wanted. "The one about the Truth!" he cried, bouncing up and down in eager anticipation. This story was obviously his favorite, one he'd heard a million times and had never grown tired of.

The man laughed again and sat up straighter, clearing his throat. "Okay," he said. "You asked for it." William nodded, his large blue eyes gleaming in the semi-dark as he waited for his father to begin the story.

"Once upon a time, there was a very lonely knight," the man began. "All he had in his life was his work-- it consumed him and threatened to eat him away, and leave him a shell of what he had once been. He was searching for his missing sister, trying to figure out exactly what had happened to her on the night that she'd disappeared, so many years ago. And so, every day, he would journey forth to his place of work, in the bowels of an immense castle. All the other knights who worked in the castle scorned him-- they thought that he was foolish for what he wanted. They didn't understand him, and therefore they feared them. But one day--"

The silouhette of a woman appeared in the doorway. "There you are!" she exclaimed. "What are you two doing?"

The man grinned at her, his hazel eyes sparkling with an intense amount of love. "One day a beautiful warrior woman appeared to him," he continued, eyes fixed on the woman in the doorway. "She offered to help him. At first, the lonely knight rejected her, but he slowly grew to appreciate what the warrior woman had to offer." The woman, obviously recognizing the story from its numerous tellings, gave a small laugh, and crossed the room to sit on the bed next to her husband.

"The warrior woman didn't always agree with the lonely knight," she said, taking over the story. "He had some ideas that seemed, frankly, utterly ridiculous. And the knight didn't always agree with the warrior woman. He couldn't understand why she insisted upon disagreeing with him at every turn. But their differences eventually made it clear that they needed one another to make each other whole-- they trusted one another more than they trusted anyone else in the world."

William watched his father and mother as they recited the story to him. They weren't aware of it, but the seven-year-old boy was quite aware that the story he requested so often was about his parents. It was utterly obvious to him-- and it was why he asked for it so often.

"So what happened to them?' he prompted, breaking a brief silence that had fallen over the room as his parents gazed at one another, reliving nightmare moments in their past that they couldn't tell one as young and vulnerable as their son. His father blinked, and his attention switched back to William.

"The warrior woman helped the lonely knight along on his quest," he said in a distant voice, like he was speaking from far away. "And nothing could come between them, though many people tried. Manipulating women, evil men--" William saw his mother make a slight gesture with her hand that looked as though she was miming smoking a cigarette. He wondered if that was the reason why his parents would never go near cigarettes-- or someone smoking a cigarette.

"Eventually, forces beyond man's control conspired against them," William's father continued. "They took the lonely knight away to a place where-- where--" The man stammered off, and William leaned forward, listening intently. He'd never heard this part of the story before.

The woman, seeing that her husband was unable to continue, quicky took over. "The warrior woman searched for him, day and night, and never gave up. She had help, too, from men and women who she came to trust. Another lonely knight and warrior woman joined in her quest for the Truth, along with a lord who had been there with them all along."

William filled in the names inside his head. Uncle John. Aunt Monica. Mr. Skinner.

"Finally, the first knight returned," the man said, shaking his head. "But the troubles weren't yet over for the truth hunters. There was still a great deal more for them to do--"

"And it can wait for another night," the woman said, standing and breaking the spell. "You've put off Bedtime long enough, William. Come on, Mulder. Leave him be." She grabbed her husband's hand and dragged him out the bedroom door, pausing only for a whispered "Goodnight," and to turn off the light.

William listened intently to his parents' whispered conversation outside his room. "Do you think he knows that it's us?" he heard his father ask.

His mother paused, considering before answering. "I actually think that he might. He's a really smart kid. Gets it from me, I think." William heard her giggle, as his father prodded her.

"Come on, Scully," his father said. "This lonely knight wants a happily ever after."

"Lead the way," his mother replied. Laughing quietly, they walked down the hall.

The End

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