Title: Family Ties
Author: e.b.e.
Written: May 2000
My take on this most popular of themes. Feedback muchly appreciated. :)
Rating: PG
Category: Post episode (NoRomo friendly)
Keywords: UST, S, mytharc
Spoilers: Big time - Sixth Extinction, En Ami, Requiem
Disclaimer: Do we have to go through this every time? Delusions of grandeur aside, none of the characters herein belong to me, and never will.
Archive: Why not?

Summary: Paternity resolved

Author's notes: My take on the issue of the paternity of Scully's child. I like the idea that it's Mulder (boy, do I ever like that idea), but given CC's staunch refusal to date to allow our favorite repressed characters any sort of sexual relief, I decided to look to the less plausible possibilities...

**

"Are you sure you want to do this? Time is against us, and I don't need to tell you what will happen if his condition deteriorates much further."

He waits in respectful silence for the other to answer. The response slow in coming, the doctor fidgets nervously, shoving twitching fists into the pockets of his long white lab coat. The other man remains silent, lined gray face calm and deliberate as he fishes a pack of cigarettes out of his shirt pocket, taps one filtered stick out into his waiting grasp.

Acrid flicker of gas and flame and the Morley is lit then raised to the man's pale, eager lips. Deep inhalation, soothing burn in his lungs, comforting wreath of ghost gray smoke around his head. Then and only then does he answer the doctor, glowing tip of his cigarette dangling from his mouth.

"We've performed the procedure hundreds of time before. I see no reason to skip it this time."

"Sir, with all due respect, the circumstances this time are singularly unique. We have to perform the brain surgery soon, or the transfer of tissue will be impossible, and he will die. It hardly seems worth the risk."

The older man's smile is tight, mirthless. "I decide whether the risk is worth it or not. Procure a sample of his genetic material without delay so that we can begin the operation."

The doctor bowed slightly, scuttled off to make the necessary arrangements. His superior sucked in another breath of harsh chemicals and tobacco, finding the resulting tingle and tickling cough oddly comforting. He walked slowly down the hall to his own room, where someone was waiting to help him with his own medical preparations.

"Are you getting the sample?" she asked, pushing long brown hair behind one ear.

"You doubt me now, Diana?" he smirked, dropping and grinding the cigarette into the pristine white tiles.

"Of course not. However, the timing is less than optimal. And I wonder what you even hope to accomplish. At this stage of our plans, we have little need for it."

He sighs dismissively. "You do not know the whole picture. There are still things left undone, debts left unsettled. Think of this as my gift to them."

Her eyes narrow, jealousy a dark glitter. "You'll never accomplish it. Another abduction would arouse too much suspicion."

Laughter, low and humorless. "You really do doubt me. Your lack of faith is troubling. But it matters little what you believe me capable of accomplishing. It will be done. What's more, she will come to me willingly, though of course my true objective will by necessity remain secret."

Diana shook her head, fighting an inexplicable surge of bile. "You would do that to them. For them."

He laughed again, and she left him to his plots and devices, silently crying.

______________________________

"Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but he looks like you. Don't ask me how, but he does."

She sits in the chair everyone has come to accept as hers, the torn vinyl pulled up close to his hospital bed. Her voice is just loud enough to be heard over the devices which monitor his condition. Far fewer now, no respirator to aid each struggling breath, no advanced life support tethering his fragile life to this plane of existence. He is better now, fully capable of sustaining his own involuntary bodily functions.

She sighs and shifts the sleeping child in her arms. Such a beautiful boy, everyone tells her, downy wisps of red and deep hazel eyes. Hazel eyes. William Charles Scully sleeps soundly in his mother's arms, oblivious to the turmoil in her heart.

Grateful, so very grateful for everything that has happened, and yet it is not enough. Is it greedy, she wonders, to yearn for more when you have already received more than you ever dreamed? A child, a miracle, a joy she had given up all hope of ever knowing. And her partner, alive and whole, returned from the mysterious unknown on the very day her son entered the world. Truly a blessed day.

But still there is discontent, anxiety. She worries about her partner, her friend, who though alive and recovering physically has yet to awaken. And this precious child she clasps unconsciously closer, whose gift is he? So many questions unanswered, clouds which darken her sunlight delight.

She glances at the clock on the wall, and the butterflies flutter up to her throat. Time for her appointment, the results of the genetic testing she ordered performed on her infant son. Fear, so much fear as she contemplates the results. What did happen when she so foolishly trusted a man she knew to be the most heinous of liars, when she woke up with only hazy memories and a profound sense of unease? The thought that he may have...she is nauseous with violated rage, self-depreciation for her own naivete. But not knowing would be worse. This child was conceived somehow, and she has no delusions of being the Virgin Mary.

A nurse appears as if on cue to take little William back to the nursery. "I wish you could be with me, Mulder. I could use your strength right now." He remains mute, and her sore and battered soul wrenches, desperate for his return. Stoically she rises, turns to go. To go alone, to learn the truth about her son.

______________________________

"The paternity test came back negative. CGB Spender is not the father of your child."

Your child. She finds the phrase ironic, for William is truly hers and hers alone, created by unknown means, to unknown ends. She shivers as the cold dark fear gnaws at her mind, but mostly there is relief. The Smoking Man may well have had a hand in this, but it is not his seed she bore. Thank God.

The lab technician, an ally in her cause, shakes his head nervously, clearing his throat slightly to indicate there is more. "There were, however, some similarities in the DNA sequences. Not enough to be a match, but indicative of some blood tie to the father. Perhaps a brother, or a son..."

His voice trails off, cheeks flushing. No easy way to broach such a delicate subject. "I know I asked this before, about the possibility of Agent Mulder being the father..."

"No, I don't see how. We never...it wasn't like that between us."

"And Agent Spender, I know he was killed long before this happened."

Her nose wrinkles in disgust as the dead man's face flares in her mind's eye. "Yes, long before."

The technician makes a non-committal noise in his throat, feeling his face burn to the tips of his ears. "Agent Scully, I ran another paternity test. Not because I doubt your word, but given the strange circumstances of your pregnancy and the anomalous results of the first one..."

And she knows. She has always know, it seems. Even as her mind seeks to rationalize it all, formulate a cogent theory, her heart embraces what has not yet been spoken, all the while shouting for glee, the sentiment echoing in her brain.

'I told you so.'

'I told you so.'

A sheaf of papers and test results is pressed into her hands, the truth blaring in black and white. "I don't know how, Agent Scully, but I ran this second possibility three times just to be sure. There's no mistake. Agent Mulder is the father of your son."

The room spins about her, lost in a whirlwind of confusion and an elation she doesn't dare to examine too closely. 'He's the father, Mulder's the father...' But how? Why? And she thinks she does not care, because it is him, and when did anything ever make sense where he is concerned?

The door swings open, banging into the wall with a jarring crash, a breathless nurse popping her head into the room. Brief rush of irritation at the interruption until Scully recognizes her as one of the shift nurses from Mulder's floor, a regular to his room during her numerous visits. The smile on her face delivers the news before her gasping voice can, and Scully is running out the door almost before the message is audible.

"Dana, he's awake, and he's asking for you."

______________________________

"Scully, I don't know what to say. I'm...overwhelmed, to say the least. I thought you couldn't have children. I saw your ova..."

She cannot stop smiling. He is sitting up, back braced against a mountain of pillows, holding William. The child snuggles instinctively closer to the warmth of his chest, holding fast to the pinkie finger dangled against his tiny fist. Mulder grins and coos to the boy, who gurgles in reply.

"Your son, Scully. God..."

A tear slips down her cheek as she drinks in the sight of them. Long lost partner, miracle child. Father and son. "There is more, Mulder. Think you're up to hearing it?"

He nods, still staring at then soft wriggling bundle in his arms. She tugs at his wrist, the one attached to digit her son holds captive, and reluctantly he pulls it from the infant's grip, sliding his fingers between her own. Rapture, this feeling, to be with him again. So long since they spoke, since she could touch him. And now, this news...

"He's yours, Mulder. Yours and mind. I don't know how that's possible, but I looked at the test results myself. You are William's father."

There is silence, impossibly heavy against her struggling breath, her pounding heart. Then his incredulous smile crests like the rising sun, and she can see the sincerity of his happiness in those liquid hazel eyes. "Me? You're absolutely sure?"

"Yes. You." Only you.

His laughter is choked, giddy. "I was trying not to be jealous of the daddy. I didn't even want to speculate..."

"Me neither."

"How? How is it possible that this wonderful boy is mine?"

His laughter is contagious, bubbling out of her soul. Cathartic after these days of misery, so marvelous to feel happiness with Mulder, with their son. "I wish I knew. It hardly seems fair though, does it?"

He raises an eyebrow. "Fair how?"

"Usually the pain of labor is caused by more pleasurable activities that, sadly, were absent here."

His eyes sparkle mischievously. "Scully, are you saying you would like to engage in such activities with me? I mean, it'll probably be a little while before I'm up to it, so to speak, but let me talk to the doctors..."

William's cry prevents her response, but the warm rush continues unabated. Mulder cradles his head, transferring the boy gently, smoothly, into his mother's waiting arms. Suddenly shy, she turns away, prepared to leave in order to feed her son. Too presumptive, she thinks, to expose herself like that. Too intimate.

"Scully."

"I have to feed him, Mulder."

"Don't leave. I'd like to watch."

Her eyebrow raises now, and his flush colors his paler than normal face. "I don't mean it as anything...sexual. I just don't want you to feel like you have to hide. I want to be here for as much of this as you're comfortable allowing. I want us to be...."

It catches in his throat, so momentous, so terrifying, but he has never wanted anything more. And neither has she. "I want us to be a family."

So she sits by his hospital bed and feeds their son, his presence reverent, comforting. So much yet to decide, to discuss, to learn. Truths about his abduction, everything that has happened to them both. But none of seems to matter at that moment, both of them content to bask in each other's presence, love for each other and the new life between them.

Their son.

Finis

End notes: Sorry if I got any medical facts wrong. I'm not a doctor. Frankly, I blatantly pilfered the paternity test idea from the show. But since I stole the story line and the characters, I figured what's one more theft between friends?

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