Title: For the Good of the Child
Author: Aislinn Carter
Category: MSR romance, Future, post X/F, William
Spoilers: Pretty much thewhole series, cancer arc, William, the Truth
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters except the ones I made up. Chris Carter and 1013 and all those people own them, and I am not making any money off of them nor do I have any money to be sued for. Mulder, Scully,Bill, Tara, all of them belong to other people. I'm just borrowing for a little bit. Believe me, if I did own them, they'd be married with six kids and a dog instead of running from the law.
Archiving: Sure, post it wherever, just let me know where
Feedback: Please please please give me feedback. I'd really like to know what people think. Bad or good, input is always welcome at Kara669 @aol.com.

Summary: Bill Scully's life changes for the better three years after he last sees his younger sister.

Bill Scully nervously tapped his foot, his eyes on the terminal door a few feet away. Tara placed a hand on his shoulder, rubbing it gently. He smiled wanly at her, t hen looked down at his son. Matthew held on tightly to his mother's hand, looking decidedly uncomfortable in his little dark suit. But Bill had insisted. He'd insisted they all look their best on this day. A part of him couldn't help but smirk at the irony of the situation. Here he was, nervous about welcoming a Mulder.

Bill flashed back to the events of the last week or so. The phone call from his mother, from the lawyer in Montana. The red tape and paperwork. The apprehension. Were they doing the right thing? Would it work out okay?

Bill looked over at Matty again. His only son would be seven in four months, just after Christmas. He was a Scully through and through, from his iron rod posture to his intent blue eyes, and of course that red hair. On Matty, though, it was a strawberry blonde, and there was a little more imp in his pale eyes than there had ever been in Bill's, or his brother Charlie's. Matty was a Scully, all right; but there was more of Tara and even Melissa than Bill would have expected.

The girls were different. Mary and Elizabeth were barely a month old, with shiny tufts of blonde hair and sparkling green eyes. They were home with Grandma, too young to be in an airport. If Matty had only a hint of an imp in him, these girls had a full dose. Managing the three children, while a joy to Bill and Tara, was nowhere near easy. And now, to take this on...

But Bill wouldn't have it any other way.

The plane touched down, and they watched as it pulled up to the gate. A flood of people came out through that door, greeting relatives and friends. Soon, only a few trickled out, and it was nearly the end of the line when they saw who they were here for.

The woman smiled, and walked over to them. "Mr. and Mrs. Scully?"

Bill nodded mutely.

"It's nice to meet you. I'm Anne Young. And this...this is William."

Bill looked down at the three-year-old boy clinging to Anne's hand. His heart melted. A Mulder, yes, but also a Scully. A perfect blend of his baby sister and the man she had loved. Dark auburn hair, a smattering of freckles across his cheeks and a nose a fraction too big. His eyes were that indecipherable green that had been Mulder's, changed from the bright blue they had been as an infant. His lips were the image of his mother's. He would have her smile, Bill knew.

The call had come out of nowhere. But that's how most things concerning his sister had been, out of nowhere. He'd just walked in the house one day, rushing around to grab Matty's karate gear before leaving to get him from school, when he heard his mother's voice on the answering machine.

"Bill? Bill, it's Mom. Umm...Listen, I don't know what to do. I can't raise a child. I mean, I'd love to, but I'm getting too old...I probably wouldn't make it to his 18th birthday. All right, I'm not that old, but he deserves a normal upbringing. I mean, he's just lost his parents...You're going to have to call me back Bill, right away. We need to-"

He picked up the phone. "Mom? What are you going on about?"

"Oh, Bill. It's just terrible for the poor child."

"What poor child?"


Bill felt his throat close with emotion. He had met his nephew just once, when he was baptized. They hadn't stayed long after the ceremony, especially once he started arguing with his sister. "And who is his father, Dana? Huh? It's that Mulder, isn't it? Where is he? Why isn't he here with his son?"

Dana had run from the room with her son in her arms, silent tears running down her cheeks. His mother had more or less thrown him out, asking Tara to please take him out of her sight. "I'm so tired of being ashamed of you, Bill, of the way you treat your sister. Can't you see she's hurting?"

William's birth had been a shock to him, and not just because Dana was supposedly barren. It had shocked him that this child, a child from a good Catholic woman, was a child born out of wedlock. But even his mother had scorned him when he had voiced his opinion on that.

"This is the miracle Dana had given up on, Bill. Join the 21st century; lots of women raise children on their own today."

Then Mulder had been found dead. Hate him as he did, Bill would never have wished death on the guy, and his sister's sorrow broke his heart. He hadn't been at the funeral, but his mother had gone. It had wounded Maggie, as well. She hadn't been the same for a long time.

And then he was alive again. Bill didn't understand, didn't want to understand. He chalked it up to a hoax, maybe a way for Mulder to get out of the burden of having a wife and child. But Mulder had stayed put. And then William was born, and Mulder was gone again.

Dana had told the family that an important case had her precious Mulder undercover, and she wasn't sure when he was returning. Of course, Bill knew better. They would never see Mulder again, because the man was a coward. An asshole in every way. He had run from his responsibilities, and one day, Dana would realize how lucky she was for that. Nine months later, he received a phone call from his mother, a tearful sobbing phone call.

"I just don't understand, Bill. She won't help me to understand. How could she give away her son? How could she give up that baby?" Maggie had shrieked over the line at him.

It had stunned the entire family at what Dana had done. Tara held on to Matty even tighter after that, and she confessed to Bill one night that Dana must have gone as cold as ice to give her only child away without batting an eyelash. That's when Bill decided he'd had it. He had just been promoted to Commanding Officer of a base in Southern California, which meant he had more freedom to travel at will, and so he took the first available flight into Dulles International.

He surprised her at work. At first, he slipped into her lecture hall to observe her unawares. She was thinner than he had ever seen her, even during the cancer, and paler as well. Her deep red hair was pulled back tightly from her face, accentuating her frailty, and her blue eyes were flat. She lectured in a flat monotone, not really looking at anything and not really seeming to care.

He watched for a few minutes, then slipped back out to wait for her in her office. He didn't have to wait long until he heard the soft, slow footfalls coming down the hall. She came into the office, then stopped still, staring at him. It wasn't that she looked unsurprised; it was that she looked like she didn't care.

"Hello, Dana," he said in a low voice.

"Bill," she said evenly. "What are you doing here?"

"I think you know."

She nodded. "You've come to tell me what a sinner I am. Well, you can save it. If Mom, Aunt Opal, and Father McCue couldn't make me see what a sinner I am, then I don't think you'll have much luck."

"How can you be so cavalier about it?" he hissed at her. "How can you give away your only child - the only child you'll ever have - and stand there not caring? Who are you?"

"I'm sorry," Dana said harshly. "But were you there? Were you with me as the events unfolded to that decision? Were you holding my hand when I decided to give him up? No, you weren't. You have no idea what I went through when I gave him away. You don't know why I gave him away, and I doubt I can make you understand. Just go, Bill. I don't have the energy to do this."

Bill had softened. He stood up and took her cold hand. "Help me understand, Dana. I need to understand. I want to understand. Make me see how my sister could do something like this."

"Look, I know you don't believe anything about the work Mulder and I have done. When I say he's on a mission you don't believe me. You think what everyone else does, that he ran off, left us. But you need to believe this: my baby was in danger. Do you understand that, Bill?" she looked up at him, her blue eyes begging him to believe her. "Mulder and I have made a lot of enemies, and William was not supposed to have been born. He's ...he was special, there was something different about him. They wanted him, and they never stopped trying to get him. Once we made him...normal, I knew they would still come for him. Don't you see, Bill? William would have never had a normal life. Ever. I gave him life; I had to ensure that he kept it. I think about him every day, and it tears me to pieces to think about him being raised by anyone but me, but I knew I couldn't keep him. Believe me about this, Bill, if about nothing else: your nephew's life was in danger."

And he had believed her. She had opened up to him that night, letting out all her grief over Mulder and William, Melissa, Ahab, Emily, these 'Lone Gunmen' she was babbling on about. She let out all the hysterical sadness that she had been holding in for probably nine years. They started to repair the rift between them.

He went home.

And then, she was gone.

To this day, he didn't understand what the hell had happened. Those other two agents Dana had been working with, that Doggett and some woman named Reyes...They had gone with Skinner one day to tell Maggie that Mulder had come back, and Dana was with him.

They were on the run, dead as far as the government was concerned. Dead as far as everyone was concerned, and that was most definitely for the best. "No one will look for them now, Bill," Maggie had whispered when she had brought him the news. "They can be together now. They won't go looking for them."

Lunacy. It was all lunacy, and they had even gotten his God-revering mother involved in this. Dana was dead. She wasn't on the run from those fabled aliens, she was dead. Or at least, she had been until the day a year ago when his mother flew out to California -- permanently, this time - and showed him the video postcard that John Doggett had passed along to her.

A small video cassette, slightly dented, but not enough to prevent viewing. He popped it into his VCR one night, opened a beer - rarely heard of in his house - and settled back to watch his carefully constructed fantasy crumble around him. The time stamp on the carefully smuggled film was December 25th, 2002. It was seven months after Dana had disappeared. It had taken nine months for the video to reach him.

It was Dana and...and that Mulder, sitting on a bed in a non-descript hotel room in Anywhere, U.S.A. They were both tired looking, but they were holding hands. Their eyes were happy.

"Hey, everyone," Dana said softly. "Merry Christmas. I hope this gets to all of you, to someone we care about. I hope it finds everyone well. We miss everyone, but this is for the best." She looked at Mulder and sighed. "I don't know if we'll ever be able to come home. I don't even know if you'll ever hear this. Maybe it'll fall into the wrong hands and we'll be hunted down and killed immediately. If everything went according to plan, we're presumed dead now. Monica and John, I don't know what you told my family, but if you told them the truth, then please give them this.

"Mom, I'm so sorry. I wish I could see you, be held by you. I'll never too old to be held by you. You've lost both your daughter's, and I had too big a role in everything to stamp down the guilt I feel. But I love you so much, and just know that we're safe and happy. We get information about William, and he is growing up beautifully. He's ...he's better off. God, we tell ourselves that every day, but it always sounds so hollow," Mulder squeezed her shoulder. "We love you, Mom. And, God willing, we will meet again in this lifetime."

"Monica, John, Skinner," Mulder grinned. "How's the hair, Skinman? Listen, I'm sorry to deprive you guys of such a marvelous asset as Agent Scully here, but I'm sorry. I love her, can't live without her. Mom, I would make an honest woman out of her if it didn't mean we might get tracked down and killed. Can't make it legal if we're dead. But we did have a small unofficial ceremony by a priest in...Well, there was a church and a priest and us. He didn't even care that I'm not Catholic. Anyway, I hope you guys are carrying on the work. If you're not, if it's too dangerous, we understand. We do what we can, but it's not like information is anywhere near our fingertips anymore. We just have to see what happens. And, if we get annihilated in ten years, at least we have those ten years. But do what you can. Fight the future, fight their future. Because the future should be ours to make, shouldn't it? "

Dana cleared her throat. "Charlie, I hope you and Ellen and the boys are doing well. It's been so many years since I've seen you...We didn't keep in touch much, but you are my baby brother, and I love you. I love all of you." She glanced at Mulder, and he shrugged. She sighed and turned back to the camera. "And Bill. I know that right now, if you're watching this, you're thinking what a load of horseshit this is. You're thinking that someone fabricated this video, that this is some kind of insane joke. I really don't know how to convince you its not. I hesitate to bring up things I know about you that no one else knows about, in order to save face for you. I guess I'll have to, though. Okay, remember when I was in eighth grade? I came home from school one day, and you were the only one in the house. I went looking in everyone's rooms to try to find someone, and I walked in on you..."

Dana blushed, turning almost as red as her hair. "You had a Playboy. Enough said. I hope that's good enough for you to realize I'm me and I'm alive and well, and hopefully will continue to be so. I hope you realize that everything we worked for all these years wasn't complete crap, and that there are things out there that exist even though you don't believe in them. You believe in God, but have you ever seen him? Have you ever seen concrete evidence that God exists? I don't think you have. Just because we're not alone in the universe, just because we share it with hostile beings, it doesn't mean there is no God. It doesn't mean he's abandoned us. It just means we have a new challenge to face together, that humanity has to face together. There is work being done all over the world by different groups to try and combat this threat. One day, it may become public knowledge. You have to prepare for that, and you have to prepare for December of 2012. You all do.

"So take care. Matthew, Happy Birthday, sweetie. Be good to your mom and dad. I love you all."

"Yeah, and Bill? Don't worry. You know I'd give my life for her." Mulder said intently, his eyes gleaming green.

Bill had been forced to reassess his take on the situation. There were a lot of things he believed in that he had no proof of, things he took on simple faith. Why was it so hard for his mind to take this leap? Dana had always been level headed, always scientific. And yet, she believed. He wanted to believe, too.

Something changed inside him after that. His marriage to Tara had been waning in the last few years. They rarely made love anymore, and when they did, it was void of the passion they had once felt for each other. Bill decided to remedy the situation, and next thing he knew, their rediscovered passion had resulted in twins. He got to know his mother, really know her. He realized she hadn't just been his father's wife and the mother of four; she was a person with thoughts and dreams and ideas and goals. She taught a self defense class for women that Tara had been taking until her pregnancy took over, and she helped out at the church shelter, where she had a 'male friend' who helped as well. She had made friends quickly in California, and in the upscale apartment complex where she now lived. She went out with her friends, did a lot of activities and enjoyed her upcoming golden years. She wasn't just Grandma; she was Maggie.

He slowly morphed from the CO everyone hated to the CO the officers could relate to. He was gentle with his son, where once he may have been harsher than necessary. He was just so different. Now, when he spoke of his sister and her...husband? Well, in any case, he spoke of them with fondness instead of bitterness. He even asked those three agents, Skinner, Reyes and Doggett, to fly out for the New Year. He doubted his sister would recognize him now.

He wondered if she would be proud of him.

He wondered if she was alive.

He wondered if the date was still set.

The three agents had gone underground just a few months ago. He didn't know why, or if he would ever hear from them again. He hoped they were with his sister and Mulder. Then, last week, that phone call from his mother. He had thought of William over the years, but he knew the child was gone from his life, most likely permanently.

One night last week, William's adopted parents, the Van Dekamp's, had died in a car accident while William was with a sitter. They had no other family. The adoption was sealed, all records closed, except for one contact number. The number was for a Walter Skinner. Skinner was gone, but the call was forwarded to his former secretary, who had known Mulder and Dana all those years, and knew that Dana had put the baby up for adoption. She contacted Maggie Scully, and Maggie called Bill, tearful, unsure of what to do.

"She gave that baby up for a reason, Bill," Maggie cried when he got to her apartment. "I don't know if we should take him back. Maybe another family would be better suited-"

"Better suited than his own? Mom, we're in California, not D.C. We'll just say he's the child of a relative who passed on, and no one will ask any questions. I think...I think that Dana would want this. This feels like the right thing to do."

"But who will raise him? Charlie's in Europe now, we can't send the baby there. Ellen has more than enough to handle. And you and Tara just had the girls-"

"Mom," Bill held her close to him. "I'll speak to Tara. But I think she'll want this, too. I think she'll understand."

Now, here he was, little William Van Dekamp. Well, William Scully, now. Bill wished he could give the child his real name back, but that would never do. Mulder was a suspicious name, and he had no idea if any of them were lurking around. This was risk, but it was a risk they were more than willing to take. William was blood; he was Bill's little sister's child.

That was all that mattered.

He crouched down in front of the small boy. "Hey there, Will. How you doing, buddy?"

"Okay," the child answered tentatively.

"I'm your uncle Bill. Do you know about that?"

The little boy nodded. "You're my real mommy's brother."

"That's right."

"My other mommy called me Billy, but that's like your name."

"Well, we can call you Billy, if you want. I know my sister called you William, but you were just a baby. You don't remember."

"I remember," his nephew said, puzzled.

Anne laughed lightly. "Sweetie, babies don't remember things." She took a bag off of her shoulder, and handed a folder to Tara. "This is William's carry on. Mr. Scully, why don't you and William get better acquainted, while Mrs. Scully and I go over the final paperwork. And I'm sorry, but I will have to see some identification for both of you."

Tara nodded and gently pushed Matthew towards his father. She went and sat with Anne on some plastic chairs, and the two boys gazed at each other quietly.

"Matt, come here." Bill gestured for his son to move closer, and he did. "William, this is my son, your cousin, Matthew. We call him Matt, or Matty. Matt, this is William." Bill grinned at his nephew. "But I think we'll be calling him Billy."

Billy grinned. He did have Dana's smile.

Billy was just as articulate as Matt, even at three years old. Bill could immediately recognize an elevated intelligence in this child, and he wondered if perhaps they could skip him with his schooling. He made a mental note to have an equivalency exam prepared for Billy, at the same time realizing that skipping him ahead would be beneficial for everyone. He was as tall as a five-year-old, at least, thanks to Mulder, and Billy being thought of as older might throw anyone off track who was trying to find him. Bill decided that whatever grade Billy was placed in, that would be his new age. He would see that the birth certificate was doctored appropriately.

Billy and Matt jabbered at each other the whole way home, finding much in common with each other. Bill's eyes teared when they pulled in the driveway, and he heard Matthew tell Billy, "Well, we'll be brother's now. You can be my new best friend, because that's how brothers should be, and we'll love each other, okay? And we'll love our sisters, too."

Billy replied in kind with "Of course we'll all love each other. That's what families do."

It was the way he should have been as an older brother, openly loving his siblings without judging them or berating them. It suddenly struck him that this new Scully family would be remarkably similar to the one it had branched off from: two boys and two girls. But I'll protect them, he vowed. I'll never lose these girls, not like we lost Melissa and Dana. They're all mine, now. I'll take care of them.

Swifter than he cared to think about, the years passed. He had been right about Billy. His nephew was labeled with an I.Q. nearing the genius level, and Bill suspected that the boy had actually held back. The necessary adjustments were made to William Van Dekamp's birth certificate, putting him in Kindergarten that fall, with Matthew in first grade, being held back due to his late December birthday. Bill also arranged to have the Van Dekamps replaced on the birth certificate as parents with he and Tara, and they told the story that Billy had been living the past few years at a school for the gifted, but he had wanted to come home badly.

No one questioned it, even if they thought it was odd that in three years, the Scully's had never mentioned another son. Of course, he looked so much like the rest of them, except for his nose and eyes. Those were all Mulder.

Maggie welcomed Billy when they came home with sobs of happiness. They bonded instantly, and Billy said he 'sort of' remembered his grandmother. "I think you babysat me a lot. That was when I was called William."

They all realized that no matter what lengths had been taken to make William 'normal', he was still a special child. Maggie said that once, William had moved things with his mind. He no longer did that, but his intelligence was far beyond that of a three years old's. Other than that, Billy was an average child, happy and well adjusted, despite the loss of his adoptive parents.

Bill spoke with it about him after he was settled in, but the child just shrugged. "They loved me, but I always knew I wasn't really theirs. I could remember my real mother, your sister Dana. Just a little bit. I missed her. I miss them, too. They were really good to me. But I know my real mom will come back one day."

Bill's breath caught in his throat. "You mean we'll see Dana again?"

Billy nodded. "Yeah. I always knew I'd see her again. Her and my real dad, that guy on the video you showed me. I don't know when, but I just know I'll see them." Then Billy wandered off to find Matt, leaving Bill to stare into space and wonder.

Billy understood that he had to pretend to be five instead of three, and to be Bill and Tara's son instead of the son of the two sets of parents who had loved him first. He didn't have a problem calling them Mom and Dad, and especially not with calling Maggie Grandma. He took to her very quickly; they were like old friends. He and Matt became brothers and best friends, with each very overprotective of the other. They had similar friends, and a few years later, Billy was skipped ahead into Matt's grade, which they were both overjoyed about. Bill knew that Billy was still holding out, and suspected that he wouldn't reveal his real genius until adulthood, trying to remain a normal kid for as long as possible.

He took to the girls', as well, and they to him. He and Matt, as over-protective as they were of each other, were even more so of their sisters. The girls adored both their brothers, and they grew up always knowing and believing that Billy had always been with them. The only people who knew Dana and Mulder were Billy's parents were Bill, Tara, Maggie ,and Matt. The three agents never resurfaced, and Bill eventually gave up asking about them at the F.B.I. He rose through the ranks, making general six years after getting Billy, but even his connections there didn't help him. He never heard from Dana and Mulder again either, but Billy was convinced that they were fine.

Their family expanded, with Michael joining them two years after Billy's arrival, and Katherine a year after that. They moved into a bigger house, and Maggie eventually moved in to help them. The Scully clan was well respected, well liked, and happy. They all loved each other very, very much.

Charlie, Ellen, Thomas, John and the new addition from their European years, Bridget, came home during those happy years. Charlie was stationed in California after that. The family thrived, the children growing up together. Melissa and Dana, and Ahab were spoke of often, but no longer with the heavy grief that once had accompanied their names. Charlie and Ellen knew about Billy, but their children didn't. Billy often asked Charlie for 'Aunt Dana' stories. These were happy years. Bill had not forgotten what Mulder had said; if the date was correct, they had precious little time together. Or maybe the date had been changed. Bill didn't know, but he wasn't willing to waste time wondering about it.

One day, when Billy was seven years old (although everyone really thought him to be nine), he went in search of Bill. He found him out in the backyard with Tara, who was enjoying a rare moment of quiet and relaxation before the four youngest Scullys woke from their joint nap. They were sprawled out in lawn chairs, their faces basking in the late afternoon sunlight. Matt was at karate, and Maggie was off on an errand somewhere. Billy could always be trusted to go about on his own, so his supervision was minimal. Even though they hadn't seen him since he got home from school, they weren't worried. Billy always came home just when they were about to call for him. And if any of them found that at all odd, well, they just pushed it out of their heads.

Bill's eyes were closed when Billy approached them, but he could tell the sun had been blocked, and he opened his eyes to see his nephew gazing down on him. He grinned.

"Hey buddy, whatcha up to?"

Tara opened her eyes and smiled. "Billy," she said, reaching a hand out to him. He took it and allowed himself to be pulled onto her lap.

One thing that hadn't surprised Bill was how affectionate and cuddly Billy was. Matt was affectionate, too, but if his mother ever tried to hug him outside of their home, he would pull away with a look of horror and hiss "Mo-om!." But Billy never got embarrassed if they showed him affection in public. Bill suspected that it was because the child knew how easily those he loved could be taken from him. He had already lost two sets of parents. Bill knew that Billy wanted to make sure that they never doubted he loved them, as if they could. Bill and Tara were the same way; they wanted to make damn sure that Billy knew how much he was loved.

Billy cuddled up to Tara, his head snuggled under her neck, but kept his mossy green eyes on Bill. Bill smiled, but then he began to grow ill at ease. Billy could show intensity like no one Bill had ever met, and right at that moment, he was throwing his most intense gaze on Bill.

"Is something wrong, son?" Bill asked quietly. Tara frowned and looked down at Billy, waiting for his reply.

"I had a bad dream," he said softly.


"Just now. I went into the playroom and laid down next to the playpen so I could take a nap with the kids. They always have good dreams."

"How do you know that?"

Billy blinked. "I just do."

Bill exchanged a look with his wife. "Well, what was the dream about?"

"My real daddy. The one whose with my real mommy. Mulder. That's his name, right?"

"His name is Fox, actually. Mulder is his last name." Bill felt his heart rate speed up. "What did you dream about?"

"You were in it. It was a long time ago. Your hair was all red."

Bill smiled wryly. "Yes, well, you'll have some gray hair, too, when you're my age."

"It was in a hospital. My real mommy was sick. You were yelling at him." Billy look at him, tears coming to his eyes. "Why were you so mean, Daddy?"

Bill could always remember the first time Billy had called him Daddy. It had been a few days after they brought him home. Bill had taken Matt and Billy to a nearby playground, and left the girls home with Tara. Take them, she had said. Do some male bonding. So he had packed them up in the car, and they spent the day running around, going down slides, and swinging, among other things. He was pushing Matt in the tire swing when Billy called out to him.

"Look, Daddy! Look at me!"

Bill had glanced up at the monkey bars, where three-year-old Billy was making his way down the line, one hand after another. His heart had swelled, and he could feel the telltale prickling of tears in the corner of his eyes. Never would he have thought it would feel so good to have Mulder's son call him Daddy. It felt right.

But now, with the resonance Billy put on the word, he felt shame. He didn't deserve this child's love and respect, after everything he had put Billy's parents through.

Bill cleared his throat. "Billy, I was a much different person then. You have to understand the way I was raised. The way we were raised, my sisters and my brother and I. We had faith in God, and in each other, but I don't really think, looking back on it, that we had faith in much else. We were only to believe what we could see, and chalk everything else up to fables and fairy tales and crackpots. My father was a firm believer that we were the only life in the universe. When they started teaching evolution in the schools, he was one of the parents to protest. As the oldest, I was expected to be another version of my father, to share the same ideals as him, and to never question what he said.

"And until Dana joined the F.B.I., she was the same way. Well, sort of. She had out parents' faith, but she did not take our father's word for gospel the way I did. She went against his wishes when she joined the F.B.I., and she argued a lot with him about scientific facts. It was a scientific fact that evolution was a real process, that the earth hadn't been created in seven days, and that the universe was most definitely not here just to service us. She was a scientist, but she was also a Catholic. And there were some things that the catholic in her wouldn't let the scientist believe. And that's why they paired her up with your father. She was assigned to debunk his work, to make him out for the fool everyone believed him to be. He claimed to have seen his sister abducted by aliens when they were kids; he claimed there was a government consortium working with these aliens.

"Dana assumed this would be an easy assignment. When I spoke to her about it, on the rare occasions that I would let her speak of her work in the F.B.I., she just laughed and said it would be quick and easy to debunk Mulder's work. She said she hadn't met him yet, in fact she had just received the assignment minutes before she called me, but that she had heard he was a firm believer in little green men. She laughed about it. Laughed. Imagine my surprise when we were arguing about him one time, and I threw that in her face, and she retaliated with 'They are not green, Bill. They are gray!

"They were involved with a lot of shady stuff, things which I'm sure I don't know a quarter about. I had Walter Skinner send me some of the files they worked on, which were labeled as the X-Files. It was its own separate unit of the F.B.I, and after seeing those files, I could understand why. It was all the weird, unsolvable cases the bureau had come across, and Mulder had more or less assigned himself to them. I can't claim that I believe everything I read, but I did read my sister's notes. Through her, I began to see more of the world, that there really were things that none of us knew about, and that it was for the best that we didn't. "A lot happened to them. Dana was abducted early in their partnership. For three months, we didn't know where she was. Mulder claimed she was abducted by aliens, too. Then one day, she just turned up in a coma at a hospital. Completely out of nowhere. She woke up with no memory of what had happened. Soon after, she discovered a metal chip had been implanted in her neck, and she had it removed. Apparently, the removal of the trip triggered the onset of cancer, and Dana began to die.

"I didn't know all of this. All I knew was that she had cancer, and I knew that somehow, it was Mulder's fault. I confronted him in the hospital, tell him more or less that he had ruined my sister's life, that she didn't need him around to make things worse. I regret what I said now, because I know my sister made her own choices. Had she chosen to leave him, he would have let her go. If she had really wanted out, nothing could have stopped her. But I know now that she had found something bigger than any of us to believe in, and that was why she stayed. She knew there was a truth out there, and she wanted to help him find it. And he did save her. He found another chip, and after it was put in her, the cancer went into remission.

"At the time, I chalked it up to a miracle, and I absolutely did not want to believe that Mulder had any part of her recovery. And time went on, and I saw her become more and more involved with him. She was always at his beck and call, and I thought it was pathetic. He said jump, she said how high."

"Why would he want her to jump?" Billy asked, puzzled.

Bill laughed. "Not really jump. What I meant was, she did whatever he asked of her. And then, he was gone. Supposedly, he was abducted by these same aliens that had taken his sister and mine. And then she found out she was pregnant with you, when she supposedly couldn't have children. It was all very confusing. Then Mulder turned up dead, and they buried him, and then he wasn't dead anymore. I can't really explain any of this, because my mind has never been able to really comprehend it. The most I'll give it is that he was in some sort of suspended animation. But whatever the case, he was there again. And then you were born, and he left. And then she gave you up. I know now that she did it for your own good, but it killed my mother. None of us could understand. I think none of us wanted to understand."

"So you hated my daddy?" Billy asked in a small voice.

Bill sighed. "I guess I did. It wasn't just Dana, it was your aunt Melissa, too. Dana said that Melissa was shot on accident, because the gunman was trying to kill Dana. And he was trying to kill her because of what she was involved in, because of Mulder. And I always blamed him for Melissa's death. I still do. I'm sorry, but that will never change. And had Dana died I would feel the same way. He got involved with things he shouldn't have, and my family paid that price.

"But he was - is - a good man, Billy. Don't get me wrong. But even good men make mistakes, and I do think Mulder made a few. But hell, I make mistakes. We all do. And I couldn't hold on to that anger anymore. I don't hate your father, Billy. He did what he did because he believed in it, and I can't fault him for that. But do you understand why I was being mean?"

Billy nodded. "Yeah, I get it. You were upset, and people do things when they're upset that they don't always mean, and probably shouldn't do anyway. It's okay, Daddy. I know he would forgive you, especially because you take such good care of me and love me so much."

Bill smiled tearfully. He glanced up to see tears streaming down Tara's face as she stroked Billy's hair. "I sure do love you, buddy. We all do, very much."

"I know, Daddy." Billy smiled, then laid his head back on Tara and fell asleep.

Bill never questioned how Billy had dreamed of an event that had happened so many years before his birth. He never questioned a lot of things in life anymore, but he especially didn't question things where Billy was concerned. He took it on simple faith, and of course a now extensive knowledge of the lives his sister and her partner had led. Billy was a special child, and that's all there was to it. And as Billy grew up, Bill could tell that he tried hard to fit in, to be like everyone else. He fooled most people, but Bill knew the truth. He knew that their boy was just different, and that it wasn't a bad thing at all.

2012 came, and passed quickly. December was a tense month. One day, a few days after Christmas, Bill was washing the car with Billy, when Billy suddenly stopped and paled. He put a hand to his forehead, then rubbed his temples.

"What's wrong, son?" Bill asked, concerned.

"I feel funny, Dad." Billy slowly fell to his knees, leaning his head against the car. "Can you get me some aspirin?"

"No, come on inside. We'll get you some aspirin inside." Bill helped Billy up and led him into the house. They were the only ones home.

Billy rested on the couch for a few hours, the color gradually returning to his face. Bill sat with him. "Do you feel better?"

"Yeah," Billy stared at the ceiling. He was eleven years old, but had already reached the height of Matt, who was nearly fifteen. His voice had even started to change. He was in ninth grade, and no one ever knew how old he really was. And sometimes, that bothered Tara. She often told Bill that she felt they had robbed Billy of something by taking those extra years of his childhood from him. But Bill gently reminded her that the alternative - them finding out about Billy - was so much worse than a few lost years. Besides, he didn't think Billy would have been satisfied at the level of children his own age.

Still, no matter how old Billy was, or how smart he got, Bill would always think of him as that little boy he met in the airport. And of course, as the baby his sister had held in her arms.

"Dad..." Billy narrowed his eyes. "I think...I think we won." He looked into Bill's eyes. "I think we'll being seeing my parents soon." December melted in January, into the new year, and they never heard a word of aliens or the end of the world, except for a few nuts who spouted some garbage about the Mayan calendar or whatnot, saying the world had been preordained to end in December of 2012. But it didn't, and soon it was February, then Dana's birthday. She turned forty-nine.

Spring came, not that it made a difference in Southern California. All the seasons were the same. Billy became more and more antsy. He would pace across the front yard at night, pace across the living room during the day. Tara, Bill and Maggie knew what Billy was waiting for; of course, the other children didn't. They had been told that their aunt Dana had died years ago. It was safer that way. But Billy was waiting for them, for his parents.

It was May. They had kept his birthday the same, and celebrated it publicly as his fourteenth, even thought it was really his twelfth. He had a wonderful day with his family and friends. That night, there was cake and presents at the house, with his parents, grandma, and brothers and sisters. Charlie and his family had already headed back to San Francisco, which was where Charlie was currently stationed. Billy was surrounded by his loved ones, but now, more than ever, he wanted his parents.

Around nine that evening, the twins came bouncing into the living room where the rest of the family was watching television. They were nearly nine years old now, with long blonde ponytails, wide green eyes, and identical grins. They would grow up to be amazingly beautiful women, but right now, they were Billy's little sisters. And they were interrupting the T.V.

They were babbling at their parents, one overlapping the other, as they often did. Tara and Bill had learned to tune them out, but Billy, extremely on edge, glared at them.

"Can you guys shut up? Go in the playroom with Mike and Katie. You're getting on my nerves."

"But Billy," Elizabeth said enthusiastically. "There's people outside."


"People! There's people outside. We were watching them. They're just standing there." Mary said, bouncing up and down.

Tara shot a glance at Bill. "Bill, go check that out," she said, worried.

"See?" Elizabeth stuck her tongue out at Billy. He rolled his eyes, then got up to assist his father.

They had reached the front door when Billy suddenly grabbed Bill's arm. Bill looked back at him, and noticed the pallor of Billy's face. "What is it?"

"It's them." Billy locked eyes with Bill. "It's them."

Bill used only a moment to take that in before thrusting the front door open. There, at the bottom of the porch, stood a man, a woman, and two children. It had been nearly ten years seen he had seen his sister, and that had been on a video. It appeared as thought she and Mulder had barely aged a day. But their appearances had changed. Dana was very thin, her hair very long, a deep chocolate color. The light shining out the front door glittered on her eyes, now brown as well. But it was still Dana. It would always be Dana.

Mulder was blonde, his hair very short and spiky. His eyes were a brilliant, startling blue. He was thin as he had been, with the addition of some extra top bulk. Mulder appeared to have done a lot of physical labor over the years, and his physique had changed. Yet as different as they would appear to everyone else, Bill still recognized them. They had with them a boy and a girl, both auburn haired and green eyed, both appearing to be ten or eleven, twelve, even. They cowered close to Mulder and Dana, their big eyes on Bill and Billy.

"Dana," Bill breathed.

Tears leaked from her eyes. "Bill. I'm so glad we found you. You weren't at the address Skinner gave us..."

"We moved. We...had an expanding family."

Billy moved closer, into the light. Dana clutched Mulder's arm. "I would ask if you were Matthew," she said faintly. "But I swear, you're more Mulder than Mulder is."

Billy stepped out of the house. "My adopted parents died when I was three. You left Walter Skinner's number in my files. His secretary contacted Grandma, and Uncle Bill and Aunt Tara raised me."

Bill felt no sadness at being referred as 'Uncle'. It seemed right, like the way it was supposed to be. He had always known that Billy belonged to Mulder and Dana. They had just been keeping him safe for them.

Mulder shot a sharp glance at Bill. "You raised my son?"

"I did. And I did it with pride. I couldn't love him any more if he were my own, though I've never forgotten for a day that he was yours." Bill ruffled Billy's hair. "He's too much of a pain in the ass to forget that."

Dana and Mulder looked at him in disbelief. "Are you really my brother?" Dana whispered.

"Let's just say, that video you sent went a long way in opening my eyes."

"You got the video? We were never sure..." Dana glanced down at the silent children in front of her. "Bill, William, this is Christina and Anthony. They're twins, they'll be ten in August. I was pregnant with them when we sent the video, but we didn't know...Apparently, I'm actually quite fertile. I don't know why I was led to believe other wise...I guess they knew that if Mulder and I conceived...Well, I guess we'll never have all the answers."

"We sent for John and Monica when we found out about Scully's pregnancy. Skinner came with to help out. It's been...It's been a really hard ten years. No real life for the kids, but we're hoping to change that." Mulder sighed. "We're hoping to change a lot of things."

Dana's gaze was on Billy. "William...I just don't know what to say..."

Billy smiled at his mother, the same smile as hers. "You don't have to say anything. You did what you had to do, and I've never doubted you did it out of love. And call me Billy; everyone does."

Dana raised her patented Scully eyebrow. "Billy?" She smiled. "Yes, I suppose you are a Billy. You look so much older than twelve. And, Happy Birthday."

"Thank you. Actually, everyone here knows me to be fourteen. I...I placed in Matthew's grade...It seemed the best way to go."

"But you could place higher, couldn't you?" Dana asked her son intently.

"I could. I chose to hold off on that. There was no need to draw any more attention to this family."

"I agree." She smiled tearfully. "May I hug you?"

"I'd like to hug both of you, if that's all right."

Mulder and Dana both nodded, smiling softly. Billy walked down the steps, and right into the open arms of his parents, and his brother and sister. And as Bill looked on, he realized that he had never doubted that that was exactly where Billy had always belonged. Maggie and her daughter had a sobbing, joyous reunion. As much of a daughter as Tara had become to her, and even Ellen, Dana was still her little girl. They didn't let go of each other for much of the night.

They all had a lot of healing to do. Mulder and Dana hadn't been seen or heard from in a decade, and they had changed so drastically. Then there was Billy to consider. Because of his heightened brain power, he had always had a peripheral sense of who his parents were, in the same way he had always known they would come home. But he didn't really know them, and there was a lot of catching up to do.

And there was also Anthony and Christina. He had never known they existed, although he had always had a feeling that his parents weren't alone. The twins were very quiet, and didn't allow themselves to warm up to anyone for quite a while. Billy realized that they were afraid of being ripped away from yet another place, yet another life. Dana told her son, one night a few weeks later, that the twins had always been moved around.

"They've never had a real home," she said quietly. 'They never let themselves get too attached, because they knew we'd never be in one place for very long. They weren't planned, and they knew it; as much as it kills me to say it, they were an inconvenience. They didn't deserve this life, and when they were born, all I wanted to do was drop them off on a doorstep. But they didn't have that shot that your uncle gave you, and we didn't know if they would have any...enhancements. But maybe that was just our excuse. I couldn't bear to give another child up, and I knew that it killed your father -- killed him - when he found out you weere lost to us forever.

"We considered tracking you down and giving them to your adoptive parents, so that you could all be raised together in a normal, secure, loving environment. But we didn't know where to start, and we didn't want us contacting them to put you in any danger. Besides, I...I couldn't. I had given up one child; I knew I could never forgive myself for that, and doing it again would be a death sentence for my soul. So, we kept them. As wrong as we knew it was, we kept them. They became the only thing we lived for, our salvation. But I often wondered...who would be their salvation? Where was their life?

"But they weren't like you, Wil-...Billy. Maybe...Maybe whatever you had, maybe it had been split between them. They didn't even need neutralization. They're a little heightened, yeah, but mostly, they're just extra sensitive. They don't move things with their mind like you did. They do have a connection, but they're twins. It's so...deep, though. I don't think they even have to use words with each other. It's...spooky." Dana's mouth quirked in a half smile. "They're not like you. But they're so, so different form us. I don't know why. I don't even know why any of you are here.

"I was told I was barren. I chalked you up to an act of faith, a miracle. I didn't want to explain you, because I was afraid of the explanation. But there wasn't even a shadow of an explanation with the twins. We weren't near any of the people or circumstances we had been involved with when you were conceived. With you, there was the threat hanging over our heads that my pregnancy might have been orchestrated in some way, that your biological grandfather might have had an embryo implanted in me when...well, never mind. I tried to stay positive with you, even after your powers started showing up. Deep down, though, I always wondered. I was barren!

"But I had to believe you were my reward, and that's part of the reason I let you go. I had been given the joy, short lived as it was. You gave me that. And you were the reason I went on. I had something to fight for. I had a reason to try and save the world, because you were out there. I had to make sure you stayed safe, even though I would never see you again. I gave you up, even though it killed me, even though your father didn't have a chance to say good-bye and only had two or three days worth of memories of you. But I knew I had to give back to you what you had given to me. I couldn't be selfish. You couldn't remain with me - or with us.

"And when they were born, we weren't at all sure it was best for Christina and Anthony to be with us, either. But we needed them. We were so unhappy at that point, and so lonely. We made contact with John, Monica and Skinner, and they came to be with us. We all raised the twins while trying to do what we had to do. We found others with the same agenda as us. We built up a huge, covert underground resistance, and the twins grew up in the middle of that. "Many times I thought about sending them to be with Mom, or even Charlie or Bill. But, as selfish as it is to say, even if I had known you were thriving here with them, I still wouldn't have sent them. They were our life; they kept us going. They kept us strong. You were our inspiration, keeping the world safe so you would grow up safe. They were our strength. I couldn't send them away. I couldn't do it twice.

"When I figured out I was pregnant - at four months along, I might add; some doctor I am - we were so scared. There was no explanation, no theories. That can be seen as a good thing, I guess. We didn't have to worry about alien embryos, or super soldier babies, or anything like that. But we had to worry about where they came from. We weren't really able to go to an obstetrician or anything like that, so we came up with our own theory. We figured that I was mislead into believing I was barren either so that I would never try to get pregnant, or that I wouldn't ever worry about getting pregnant. Maybe they wanted you born, maybe they didn't. They tried to kill you, to take you, but then they didn't.. I don't know. It was very confusing, and I was always unclear as to what they wanted with you. In either case, I was misled. I think that's why the in-vitro with my harvested ova didn't work: I don't think it belonged in me anymore. I think I had been altered - both your father and me - and not only wasn't Mulder's sperm able to fertilize my original eggs, but my body was no longer able to nurture it.

"I think, that if Mulder or I were ever to try to get pregnant with an average person, that it would be impossible. We were altered for each other. They knew; they knew all along, even before we did, that it was inevitable. We were meant for each other. We can probably only have children with each other, not that that's a downside. So instead of being barren, I think that the remaining eggs they left me were altered. There are probably significantly fewer than before my abduction, but they are stronger and enhanced and probably - in their eyes - genetically superior. I don't know if you were designed to be our downfall or our savior. I don't know who set this all up. All I know is, twice I became pregnant with special children, when I was told I couldn't get pregnant at all. And I don't know what it all means. I don't think I'll ever know, and that's fine with me. I have my children, and the world will go on spinning. The human race will never know how close they were to being no more.

"I can't get into how we beat them; I won't be able to do it for a long time. We lost everyone we loved there, people who had just followed us without asking quest ions, who had made us their reluctant leaders. Monica, John, and Skinner are all dead. But so are they. Your children can grow up safe, darling. No one will ever come for us, or you, or them. This is why we gave you up. This is the gift we wanted for you, for giving us so much joy. Everything will be all right now."

With his position in the Navy, and the numerous government contacts he had acquired over the years, Bill Scully was able to start Dana and Mulder's lives over again. Whomever had been working against them in the United States government were gone now, and they were able to resume their lives, officially "un-dead." William's birth certificate was changed to now read his true parentage, and his little brother and sister were issued birth certificate's and social security numbers. They had their lives back, their true, real lives. They rented a house at first, with Billy living with the Scully's for the remainder of the school year.

Then, around late June, their next-door neighbor, also in the Navy, was transferred to another base. Billy had an inkling that Bill may have had something to do with the transfer, bit when asked, his uncle just shrugged and smiled. "Lieutenant Lock is a young woman who didn't really need all that space. And she's been requesting a transfer for a while now. It's just luck, Billy."

So Mulder, Dana and their children moved into the house next to her brother, and their oldest son soon joined them. It wasn't much of a transition. As the Mulder twins adapted to their new family, they soon opened up and became cheerful, rambunctious children. The houses always echoed with the happy shrieks and running sounds of the Scully and Mulder children. Billy went back and forth between houses, getting to know his new family, but still spending time with his old one. It was a peaceful, idyllic set up, and neither the Mulder's or the Scully's could ask for more.

Dana and Mulder were married in October, in the large backyard of their new home, under the trees. It was a beautiful, simple wedding, one that should have taken place so long ago. For over twenty years they had known each other, worked closely with each other, and loved each other. Now, they were pledging to continue doing what they had been doing all those years. And, of course, satisfying Maggie with a legal, Catholic ceremony.

They lived in a very close military community, where mostly everyone knew everyone else's business. Initially, they weren't sure what story to put out about why Billy was living with the Mulders, or how Bill's sister was all of a sudden alive after being 'dead' for ten years. So they decided to tell people the truth, or a version of it, at least. They admitted that Billy was not their son, that he was Bill's sister's son. People, when they asked, were told that Dana and her husband, two former F.B.I. agents, had been placed in the witness protection program due to a case they had been working on, and had been forced to give their son up to her brother. They had moved into this neighborhood after Billy had come to them, so nobody knew that Dana and Mulder had disappeared two years before they had received Billy.

People accepted this story, and forgave the Scullys their deception, and Billy moved seamlessly from being a Scully to being a Mulder. After a while, it was if it had always been that way, with the Mulder's living next to Bill and Tara, with their three children.

Over the years, they all got bits and pieces about the Mulder's lives, both before and after they disappeared. Billy eventually was able to get all of it out of his parents, from the day they met to the day they returned. It was a lot to take in, and afterwards, he almost wished he hadn't asked.

Billy and Matt graduated high school. Billy was only fifteen, although his birth certificate, while now listed with his biological parents, still said he was seventeen. But he was tall enough to look it, at five foot eleven and still growing. His doctor suspected he'd reach six foot one, possibly two, and he said the same about Anthony. Dana had just shrugged and smiled.

"Well, hopefully Christina will stay short, so I won't be the only midget in this family." But the twins were almost thirteen, and already they were taller than their mother. And all three of them were incredibly good looking. Mulder often said that for an awkward looking giant and a petite little dwarf, he and Dana had certainly made some very aesthetically pleasing children.

All three were tall and slender, with Christina already developing quite a figure, and Billy well muscled. She had long hair so dark auburn that it nearly looked purple, and almond shaped bottle green eyes. Everyone knew Christina was going to be just as beautiful as - and maybe more so than - Mary and Elizabeth, who were twelve, or Katherine, who was nine. The twins had silvery blonde hair and green eyes, and Katherine had strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. But while they were all American girls, Christina was clearly destined to be a temptress.

The same was true of the boys. Matt was tall, and after years of football and karate, he had the large, toned physique of an athlete. But he had such a pleasant, open f ace that people rarely noticed the hulk that he was an instead always saw the Matt within, which was a rare thing. He had strawberry blonde hair and honest blue eyes, and Tara always said that Matt was the guy every girl was going to want to marry.

But if girls wanted to marry Matt, they were going to want to tumble with Billy. With a physique just as athletic as his cousin's and his height steadily growing to match, Billy portrayed less of the honest guy and more of the sultry. Even at fifteen, he had that slow, lazy smile that had once had legions of women falling over themselves to bed his father. His eyes were seductive, a swirling green that no one could ever penetrate, and his hair, just the color of his sister's, fell in a casual lock over his forehead. Dana hadn't really noticed what a man her son had become until his graduation day, when she saw the way the girls behaved over Matt and Billy. Surprised, Dana realized that Billy was now in every way his father's son. She saw it in the way he perused the girls - who, unknown to them, were so much older than him - and in the way he walked, confident and aware of his own good looks.

She wondered if Anthony - who was a carbon copy of his brother if there ever was one - would be like this one day. That worried her. Billy was nearly grown when she had met him again, but she had raised Anthony. He truly was her baby, as he was a full twelve hours younger than his sister, and the realization that one day he would be just like Billy - a man - scared her. It made her feel old. And Christina especially worried her. At twelve, she was far too aware of her own stunning looks, and Dana could tell she used it to her advantage. She saw it every time Christina wheedled something from one of the male members of the family. Mulder was impossible when it came to their only daughter. He just couldn't discipline her, and instead indulged her every whim. Billy was no better. He had always been bad with Bill's daughters, indulging them and letting them get away with murder, but with his own baby sister, he was worse. Christina had every man in sight wrapped around her finger, and Dana wasn't sure to be impressed and proud, or deeply worried and irritated.

But then, she would think to how it had been, when instead of worrying about her daughter getting herself pregnant or her son making the basketball team (although that was laughably never really a worry, with that Mulder height), she would worry instead if they would have enough food for the month, or if this would be the day that the aliens finally found them, or that Mulder wouldn't come home from a mission, or that they would have to pick up and leave again. Or that they would never have a normal life, and she would never see her family - and William - again.

And more than anything, she realized how much she loved this life, and how lucky they were to finally have it. With every school play, and football game, and every A and every F, she realized more and more how lucky they really were, and how close they had come to not being that way.

On the day the boys graduated, she looked out at a sea of thousands of faces, but just a drop in the bucket of all the faces in the world. And everyday, as she headed to work at the military hospital where she was an emergency room doctor, she would gaze out at the children riding their bikes and the elderly couples sitting on the porch swing with the newspaper. She would look around while she was stuck in traffic, at the suit on his vidphone, and the mid life crisis in his convertible, at the soccer mom in her mini van. And she would come home, and find her husband writing his latest sci-fi novel, or his latest paper for the psychology journals, and she would see Tara through her window, making dinner or helping the girls with their homework, and Matt and Billy would be outside at the basketball hoop with Bill, and Michael and Anthony would be playing hockey in the street with the other kids on the block. And Stacey or Kendra or Madeleine would call for Billy, and Christina would be upstairs listening to CDs with Tanya or Faith, and her giggles could be heard all through the house and straight into her mother's heart. And Dana would put her briefcase down, pat the dog's head, and ruffle Mulder's hair. He would look up, grin, and grab her hand to kiss it. They smiled at each other, she with her full, wide smile, and he with the slow smile their son had inherited. She would know what that night would hold for them, after the kids were all asleep and the world was dark and quiet, and all they could hear was there two hearts and all there would be was each other.

But right there, in that moment, Dana Mulder would know that her husband had a deadline, and the kids needed to be fed or they would gravitate over to poor Aunt Tara for food, and Rusty needed a walk, and she had to finish cleaning up dinner so she would have enough time to go over those patient's files she had brought home with her. And God knew Billy had a mountain of laundry to be done, which she was positive had been there since he had moved in three years earlier. My God, had it only been three years? It felt like a lifetime. A long, happy lifetime.

And she would love every minute of all of it.

Out front, Bill stood with his two sons. The evening was turning to twilight, and the hockey players had given up hours ago. Tara and Dana had both called them in for supper, but supper had come and gone, and still all anyone could hear was the sound of the ball on the blacktop. Matt passed to Billy, and he sunk a shot right in, then turned to grin at Bill. "Getting a littler old there, eh Uncle Bill?" he teased.

"Not so old that I can't still take you down, runt." Bill grinned.

Matt snorted. "Show us what you got, old man."

The kept playing, Bill just short of them. As old as he was, he could hold his own, but he was no match for them, and he loved it. His two boys. He'd never intrude on Mulder's fathering of Billy. He was his son, now, as really, he always had been. But Bill had raised Billy, and he would always be a little bit his. And while that might kill any other man, Bill knew that Mulder would always allow him that. Mulder had never been jealous that his son had another father.

Instead, he had been proud, and grateful.

"Hey, you guys mind if another old geezer joins in?"

Panting, Bill turned to see Mulder, in shorts, a t-shirt, and sneakers, striding towards them.

'It's about time," Bill managed to get out. "They're killing me."

"They're your sons," Mulder smirked. "You taught them everything they know."

"Yeah, but that one's yours, too," Bill pointed at Billy, who was grinning. "He's got that damned Mulder gene in him."

Mulder laughed and clapped Billy on the back. "Giving the old man hell, boys?"

"Hell yeah," Matt said. "It's his punishment for all those groundings."

"Well deserved groundings." Bill pointed out.

"Well deserved payback." Billy said slyly.

"Come on, Bill," Mulder said. "Let's give 'em hell."

The sounds of the basketball were heard on the blacktop until well into the night. Two sets of brothers playing against each other, the sounds of their laughter heard over the crickets and the warm summer wind. Dana and Tara would wait up, and Matt and Billy would go out with their friends, doing whatever it is recent high school grads do on summer nights, but for that moment, they were together, just four men and the game. Two sons, two father, and four brothers.

Bill would always wonder who he had been, and how he had become who he was now. He had welcomed the son of a man he hated into his home, and not once had he ever looked at Billy and thought of him as Mulder's son, or if he did, he thought of it with kindness and love. And he had welcomed Mulder as his brother, which had surprised Mulder more than anyone.

He reluctantly gone with his wife to her brother's house after the conspiracy fell, expecting a resentful, bitter, hateful welcome. Instead, he found his son, and open arms from the man who once hated him. And Billy had been raised so well, with so much love, and so much guidance. He had become a good man, and Mulder knew he had Bill to thank for that. But knew that no matter how he had felt about Mulder, he knew what had to be done, he had known the right thing to do. For the good of the child, he had put aside his anger and resentment, and because of the child, he had overcome it. Without Billy, Bill knew he might still feel anger toward Mulder.

But now, all he felt was friendship, and thanks. He was thankful to Mulder, for giving him Billy to raise, even if he hadn't known about it. And time would march forward, as it usually did. Bill knew the children would grow up, although what would become of them was for the future's eyes only. He didn't know his oldest son would be a pro football player, or that Michael would become a lawyer. He didn't know that his twins would both become teachers, and raise many beautiful children with their loving husbands. Katherine would travel the world, and have more life experiences than Bill could possibly imagine, before finally settling down to write all of them. And although he wouldn't have a child to follow the Scully naval career, Matt would.

And like he didn't know about his children, Dana and Mulder didn't know a bout theirs. They had no clue that Anthony, even with his athletic prowess, was a burgeoning physicist. Or that Christina would be married four times and have a child with each one before finally finding the one man she could tolerate for life, and giving him three more children. And that even with her huge brood and her hectic life, that she would spend much of her time helping others, unloading the large fortune she'd gotten from one particularly generous ex-husband on dozens of different charities and organizations.

And what none of them knew, and what they wouldn't know for some years, w as that Billy would join the F.B.I, become the V.C.U's golden boy, and rise swiftly through the ranks. By forty-five, he would be director of the F.B.I, and a career in politics would follow shortly after. Eventually becoming the Governor of New York, he would follow it with a run for the presidency. And he would win.

And, perhaps more important than all that, is that he would fall in love with his first partner at the F.B.I, and marry her. They would have many children together, and she would make a fabulous first lady. Her name would be Samantha, and they would live happily ever after.

And when President Mulder stood at the window of his oval office, staring out at the kingdom that he would rule for two very successful terms, he would remember those who had brought him to this place. His wonderful family, his wife and children and brothers and sisters and grandmother. And his two sets of parents. And of course, his two fathers. The two men who made him the man he would become.

The End

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