Title: Clash Of The Titans
Author: Sagan F
Category: MSR, V, H
Rating: PG-13 (two or three words)
Spoilers: Post-Requiem
Distribution: Ephemeral, Auto Archive, anyone who wants it can have it. Keep me attached, ok?
Disclaimer: Not mine. But then, how can you own another person? Slavery was abolished last century. Yeah, I know.
KUDOS: Rah, for being brave, being there, and for being my partner in crime <g> No betas were harmed in the posting of this fic. If there are errors, it's my fault.
Website: http://www.twinparadox.org


"RUN, you little shit!"

Scully turned and stared at the screeching woman, her mouth agape in disbelief.

"Grab him! DON'T LET HIM GET AWAY!"

Mulder could feel the anger coming off Scully in waves. He watched her knuckles turn white from the death grip she had on the stick in her hand.

"GET HIM!"

Scully compared this to the cult-like stoning of a town member meant to ensure bountiful crops in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." Her stomach was in knots not only because of the hunter/hunted mentality and inevitable bloodshed, but because Mulder chose to videotape it. "This'll be one for the annals, Scully," he had reassured.

The situation was out of their hands. They stood behind the barricade and watched helplessly as the boy was pursued. He had broken away, but the angry mob had quickly overtaken him. Scully covered her eyes when the boy was knocked off his feet and thrown to the ground.

"Mulder, I can't stand by and not do something-"

"You'll have to this time-"

A thunderous roar drowned out his reply. Adults craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the boy. A collective sigh escaped as the bloodthirsty mob stepped away from the body curled in a fetal position on the ground, protecting his middle with both ends.

The man beside her let out a grunt that would've made any testosterone-fueled manly-man proud, followed by a succinct, "YES". Mindful of his partner, Mulder smoothed a hand along too-tense shoulders and stepped closer to her while he continued to videotape with the other hand.

"Oh God, Mulder, is he alright?" Scully, eyes closed, asked around fingers clasped in prayer.

A group of boys ran towards their downed friend, yelling and screaming. The boy, surrounded by his attackers, jumped up at the sight of his friends. The friends grabbed him and hoisted him atop their shoulders.

"I'll say he's alright! WAY TO GO, WILLS!" he shouted. Mulder put the camera on pause and held it under his arm. He put his thumb and middle finger in his mouth and let fly an ear-piercing whistle.

The referee turned towards the sideline and raised both hands straight up.

Touchdown Titans.

Scully opened her eyes and looked toward the approaching boys. William Mulder, perched awkwardly atop his teammates' shoulders, gripped his helmet by the facemask and pumped it skyward. He made eye contact with his parents and Scully shook the maroon and white pompon-on-a-stick at him. They made their way through the crowd of overzealous parents to the sidelines.

Will's friends let him down before dousing him in blue Gatorade. Coach Marsh gave him a high-five and swatted him on the butt while Will mopped at the liquid stinging his eyes with the bottom of his jersey.

Mulder held the video camera above his head and took in the view of the celebrating Titans. Scully stood with her arms wrapped around his waist, waiting for Will to emerge from the team huddle.

He saw them first and made a beeline through the crowd. Will stretched his arms wide and ran toward them, wrapping an arm around Mulder's knees and holding the game ball in the other.

"Mommy! Daddy! Didja see that? Didja, huh? I caught it! I caught it!" his excitement and jubilation evident in the beaming smile he wore. He looked up at his Dad for reassurance.

Scully bent to his level and hugged him to her as Mulder ruffled the child's sweaty bowl-cut hair and continued to videotape his son.

"We saw you! We saw you catch it and run all the way down the field! You did great today, honey." Scully's heart melted as she took in the sight of her proud, grass-stained, front-teeth-missing six-year-old.

Mulder knelt and hugged Will tight. "We sure did! We are so proud of you! Lemme see those hands, big guy," Mulder rocked back on his heels and turned the recorder back on. Will held the football in one hand and brought the other up next to his face, a smile so wide his eyes nearly disappeared.

"Would you look at that, Mommy? His hands are almost as big as yours." Will's smile broadened as she leaned in to kiss him on the cheek.

"An' then they'll be almost as big asyours, Daddy! Then I can play baseball."

Scully straightened and stood up with her hand on Will's shoulder while he tossed the ball up and caught it. "You don't want to play football anymore, sweetie?" her brow quirked in question.

"I thought youliked football, kiddo," Mulder asked. He walked backwards in front of his family and continued to videotape as Scully and Will swung their arms between them. "But if you don't, you don't have to play next year."

Will squinted into the sun and watched the bigger boys in the JFL take their turn on the field while his father spoke.

"It's up to you, you know, but you're gonna miss the best part-" Mulder turned off the camera and reached out for Scully's hand, tugging them toward their car. Will was silent for a moment.

Curiosity won. "What's better'n playin' baseball? You said when I got bigger I could play."

"Cheerleaders are better than baseball, Will." Scully shot Mulder an arched look and he winked at her. She smiled and dropped her head and took in the perplexed look on their son's upturned face. Mulder continued. "Pretty girls in short skirts who yell for you and bounce around -"

"Girls?" Will's face immediately struck the pained expression he usually reserved for yams. "Yuck!" He let go of his mother's hand and ran ahead toward the car.

Mulder and Scully laughed quietly and continued to walk through the gravel parking lot. A heavy sigh from the child leaning against their car brought their attention to him once again. His look was pensive.

"Are there cheerleaders in baseball?"

Mulder immediately flipped through his mental images and recalled the baseball jersey (and nothing else) Scully had slipped into after he had given her the rest of an extremely late birthday present one year. She most definitely yelled and bounced, but -

"Well, notofficially, no. There are no cheerleaders in baseball." Mulder brought Scully's hand to his lips and kissed the backs of her fingers before he let them go.

They stood next to the car and Scully dug into her pack for the keys. Will opened the back door and Mulder helped him unbuckle the kidney- and hip pads. Scully tossed her pack into the floorboard on the passenger side and stepped around to help with the shoulder pads.

"Ever'body's goin' to Gino's for pizza. Can we go too?" Will asked while he pulled his jersey back over his head and shoved his arms up through the sleeves. "Please? This is the last game of the season -"

Scully thought about the child's favorite meal already prepared at home. Will made it a habit of requesting the same thing every Saturday - chicken casserole - and chocolate cake for dessert; all she had to do was pop the casserole in the oven when they got back. She smiled and nodded as they got into the car.

"Sure, why not? Pizza sounds good to me, how about you, dad?"

"If that's where the superstar wants to go, that's where we'll go. Seatbelts, please." Mulder reached over and gave Scully's left hand a squeeze as she fastened her belt. She looked sideways at him. He leaned in close and she leaned over to meet him.

"Yeah?" she smiled when he kissed the end of her nose. She nuzzled his nose with her own.

His voice was low. "Remember my Greys jersey -"

"Ithought you might have been think- " His mouth captured her words in a tender yet deep kiss. They pulled apart as the sounds of mock retching emanated from the back seat. Their chuckles turned to laughter when they looked back at Will; both hands were around his throat, eyes crossed comically and his tongue lolled against the side of his mouth, half in and half out.

"Think we can pull up lame, drop him at the pizza parlor and pay the Coach's wife to bring him home in a week?" Mulder teased and motioned towards the back seat with a tilt of his head before he sat up and pulled into traffic.

"Coach Marsh's son Scotty is a shithead," Will mumbled from his sprawled, melodramatic pose across the seat.

Mulder sucked his top lip into his mouth to keep from howling and Scully swallowed her urge to snicker. Instead, she admonished the child.

"Jacob! That's not a very nice thing for a little boy to say. We don't use that kind of language." Mulder glanced over his shoulder before he changed lanes, and caught a glimpse of his repentant child.

"I'm sorry, mommy," his voice both sweet and pitiful.

"Okay, but don't do it again. Do you hear me?" She gave him the mother version of The Look. Will's head bobbed up and down before his chin came to rest on his chest.

The ride through the suburbs was peaceful. Scully rested her hand on his leg as he adjusted the rearview mirror. Mulder could see him sitting quietly in the back seat. Like Scully beside him, their son stared out the window at the passing fall foliage. Mulder couldn't help but smile as he reminded himself this was no alternate universe. He is a father; he and Scully are parents to a normal, healthy child conceived the old-fashioned way - through lots of sweat equity, and lots of practice.

The boy became animated when he saw the restaurant's neon sign come into view. Mulder wheeled into a space next to a van and Will couldn't get unbuckled quick enough. The group of maroon-and-white jerseys moved en masse across the parking lot and gathered around the Mulder car.

Will saw his two best friends and his archrival Scotty Marsh standing outside his door. Scotty was smirking at him. He sighed and waited for his mom to get out of the car. Mulder started to get out as well when Will called out to him.

"Daddy?"

Mulder sat back down in his seat and turned to face him. He propped his chin on a fist along the back of the front seat. "Yeah Will, what's up?"

"Can I call him an asshole, instead?"

END


Note: Thanks for reading, and you can draw your own conclusions of marital status.

~Sagan (Shannon) October 2000


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