Title: The Last Few Hours
Summary: A look at what happens between the end of existence and Mulder leaving at the beginning of season 8. How does he say goodbye to Scully and William?
Author's notes: I've been reading fanfic for years but this is my first posted attempt. I watched season 8 when I was last sick and felt there were huge gaps in certain scenes that just had to be filled. Hope this is filling for you...
Mulder wakes to the soft curdling sound of his ten-day-old son. He looks at the red figures on the clock. 3.51am. The moment dawns on him that today is the last day he spends with William and his mother. That, in a cruel twist of irony, his leaving increases the protection on his new family.
Mulder gently uncovers the blanket, careful not to disturb a sleeping Scully next to him. He looks at her briefly and pain seers through his veins piercing his heart. It was not meant to be like this. Life had been cruel to them both, so much lost, so little gained. And now, when at last they had comfort in each other, a child to focus their love, he had to leave.
Rubbing his weary eyes, Mulder moves to his son in his crib. Carefully, with the over-caution of a new parent, he lifts William and brings him to his chest. Turning to look at Scully, he selfishly goes to the living room to be on his own with his son. Mulder sits on the couch, with the moonlight encasing himself and his son. He lifts a wide-wake William to his face and looks at the tiny baby. He never thought he could love someone as much as he loved Scully. And yet, this odd bundle of small arms and legs made his heart swell. He is all mine, Mulder thought. His little brilliant-blue Scully eyes scans his father and Mulder looks back with an odd feeling of pure emotion.
It was Skinner who had told them. How he had been approached. How it had been decided that Mulder should be taken again. How, anyone with Mulder at the time would also be taken. At first, the selfishness want of staying outweighed the risks for both of them. But, deep down, he had to go. He had to go to save his son. Mulder had never seen Scully so torn, so emotionally drained from the decision they had made together: that he should leave and she and William should stay in Washington with the support from her mother and protection from the FBI. In the end, he had watched her shut down, like she had done so many times during their time together. He felt her distant herself a little and focus on William. And he did too, and in a way their son, over the past few days, provided a scapegoat to their feelings. For they had not seen or heard from nobody. It had been agreed, they needed some time as a family. Neither left the apartment. Both had spent they days like any ordinary young family, with nappy changes and 3am feeds and foot rubs and joint baths.
And today it was to end. Mulder's son yawns in front on him and Mulder breaks into a delighted grin. However, when realization permeates his heart, the smile crumples and tears begin to roll down his cheeks. Silently he grieves for everything they've lost and the memories that he is about to miss.
Scully is standing in the doorway, crying silently as she watches Mulder with their son. She had promised herself that she wouldn't get in this state, and she hadn't, that being strong she would ease Mulder's burden. Without sound, her body slides down the doorway and she shoves the back of her fist in her mouth to quieten the sobs.
Mulder knows she is there, and he needs her as much as she needs him, but he is desperately trying to record every minute detail of his son. His eyes skim over his perfect head and Mulder caresses his tiny hands in his own. William starts to feel hungry and whimpers for his mother. Mulder puts his index finger in the baby's mouth to pacify him, feeling his son gently suck. However, William is not easily fooled and cries out for sustenance. Mulder can feel Scully cross the room and without looking at him, sits down beside Mulder and undoes the top three button of her pajamas. Mulder hands the baby to its mother and Scully puts William to her breast. She leans into Mulder and he puts his arm around her, enveloping his family. He places kisses on Scully's head as they both gently weep while watching their son.
Mulder awakes as the sun rises. Scully is still in his arms, with William nestled in hers. He gently prizes himself away from the two and heads to the shower. Scully wakes to the sound of running water and puts a sleeping William back in his crib. She strips naked in the bedroom and goes to the bathroom to join Mulder in the shower. At first, he doesn't look at her, his face is upwards, allowing a jet stream of water to wash away the dry tears of last night. Scully moves in front of him and begins to wash him. He opens his eyes and looks down at her. Aware of his attention she looks up.
Slowly and tenderly their lips move closer. And without any tears they make out in the shower.
After, Scully leaves first, putting a dressing gown on and goes to the kitchen to make some coffee. Her eyes catch the luggage they packed last night and a knot tightens in her stomach. She exhales and finds some resolution deep inside of her that they will be together again. Scully pours herself some coffee as she hears the water cease in the bathroom. She hears Mulder go to the bedroom. She knows he is going to say goodbye to William. Not wanting to hear, she turns her back and starts to wash up last night's dishes.
Meanwhile, Mulder dresses and peers into a sleeping William's crib.
Mulder exhales and draws a deep breath. "I'm sorry to leave you like this. I'm sorry I'm going to miss all the important things in your early life like your first tooth or your first step. I'm sorry I got you into this mess." Mulder strokes the baby's soft red curls that frame his face. "I suppose I'm supposed to give you manly words of wisdom and not surprisingly nothing is coming to me right now." Mulder smiles at the sleeping baby. "Tell Byers and Langley to stop picking on Frohike - you little guys should look out for each other. You be a good boy and someday I'll teach to throw hoops. Maybe I'll even get you a dog. I always wanted a dog." Mulder chuckles at his own stupidity. "Make sure you get Uncle Walter to buy you an ice-cream now and then". Mulder's eyes swell with water briefly and then it recedes. "Take good care of your mother for me. She doesn't like people concerning over her so do it discretely." Mulder reaches down and places a gentle kiss on his cheek. "Be good, my beautiful boy."
Mulder picks up a bag and heads to the living room. Scully puts her coffee cup down and walks towards him, stopping in front of him. Their eyes meet. A knock at the door disturbs both of them. Scully answers in to find the pre-booked Taxi driver. She shows him the luggage and the driver makes his way downstairs laden with suitcases.
"Have you got everything Mulder?" she asks.
"Apart from my partner and my child I'm ready to go". Scully gazes quickly to the floor. He winces. "Sorry." He fumbles.
The taxi toots impatiently. They move to each other and hold each other closely. He grasps her head in his hands and kisses her on the lips and on her forehead. He picks up his bag and turns silently for the door. Scully closes it behind him.
She panics for a moment, desperate to run after him. And then William cries and she goes to him instead. Walking to the bedroom she hears the taxi pull away.