Title: Matthew

Author: Ms. AM

Email: ALMowry@pathway.net

Rating: R for some language and sexual situations.

Archive: Gossamer, Ephemeral anywhere is okay with me.

Category: A, MSR

Spoilers: Anything up to Goldberg Variation is fair game.

Summary: Some secrets may be better left hidden. Authors Notes: This is just a little idea I've had running around in my head for awhile and wondered how it would play out.

Feedback: Would love to hear all comments, of course!

Matthew


Prologue:

If you ask people what moment had a life altering impact on their lives, you'd most likely get a multitude of answers. The day I started my new job or the day I fell in love. The day I got married or the day I got divorced. Perhaps the day my child was born or the day a loved one died. It could be something as simple as the day I had my first date or the day I got my first kiss.

Overall, I'd have to say I've had many of these moments. Looking back I think it all started the day I tried to 'fit in' with my brothers, shot a helpless snake and watched it fight for its survival. That was the first day I helped to take a life and I knew I never wanted to do that again so I chose to become a doctor.

Yet life and its contradiction, death, still fascinated me and as I studied, I became enthralled with not just preserving life, but to find a cause and perhaps prevent death. Being a pathologist was the next step and as I witnessed the atrocities that the victims suffered prior to death, strangulation, beatings, slashings made by razors and knives, shootings, drowning in water and other liquids and rapes to name a few.

I wanted to use my knowledge of death and its causes for justice, if I could help even one person from becoming a victim it would be worthwhile. Logically at least to me anyway entering law enforcement was my next step and I enrolled in the FBI. I actually had despaired of ever being a field agent as I taught my students during my stint at Quantico all I could about forensics.

Enter Section Chief Blevins and unbeknownst to me at the time a certain chain smoking bastard, my assignment to the X Files and one Special Agent Fox Mulder. Not what I had envisioned I'll tell you, babysitting the once famed boy wonder of profiling now dethroned and possibly on the verge of insanity.

Then I met him, talked to him and touched him, just a simple handshake, but from that first meeting, my life seemed to become one life altering moment over and over. We've investigated just about everything it seems, aliens, ghosts, mutants, monsters and various other paranormal forces. Ultimately the human monsters have taken the biggest toll.

I've been kidnapped, shot at and shot, my memories stolen, suffered through my sister's death and cancer. I've been 'gifted' with the knowledge I can never have a child and then seen and touched such a child, Emily, my daughter. Thinking about her still brings such strange pain to me for while I knew she was mine biologically my feelings for her and about her were, are, still confusing.

Through all of this one would think I am crazy for continuing and I almost did give up, if it wasn't for Mulder, saying words to me I still cherish and attempting to touch me in a way we never had...until a bee sting. Such a common thing really, but in my/our lives it wasn't. Mulder came for me, my own knight in shining armor, well warm winter clothes anyway and dragged my frozen ass out of, what...a spaceship...I don't know, I can't remember.

After everything I've seen I still can't admit to the possibility, it's almost like the day I do...I'll crumble. Lately I'm not as terrified of that I know that Mulder will be there, for me, and I will be there for him. We've had several realizations and admitted some things to each other, quite recently actually. Our 'relationship' hasn't been purely professional for a long time. We love each other. I'm not entirely sure when I admitted that to myself, I think I've always felt love for him as a partner, a friend, as another human being.

Seriously it's hard to not love Mulder, the man is infuriating at times, but I've never met anyone with a purer heart, who for all his paranoia about trusting no one, trusts too easily. Who holds the ideal that saving one life just as important as saving a hundred, Mulder truly hates to take a life, he can empathize with just about anyone or thing, and only does so when absolutely necessary.

Mulder has changed though, especially when my life is in danger, Donnie Pfaster still sits in jail while Gerry Schnauz lies six feet under. Gerry was far enough away from me, Mulder could have shot him in the leg or shoulder, he didn't, he heard my cries for help and the minute he stepped into the doorway I saw his eyes turn, hard, cold. The shot rang out, Gerry fell and Mulder turned to me his eyes soft and watery, full of emotions I wasn't ready to process.

Human monsters, yes, they hit us the hardest and today another life altering circumstance took a slam at us, us, whatever affects me affects Mulder and vice versa. This problem is a big one...

End of Prologue


Chapter One:

San Diego, California
San Diego Memorial Hospital
March 3, 2000

I've been sitting by his beside for the last five days. Mulder ended up with another gunshot wound and of course ultimately a scar to add to his collection. The way things are going the two of us could act out the scene from Lethal Weapon 3 with no problem at all.

"Scully?" he croaks out. I rise from my chair leaning close so I can hear him better; his throat is still raw from having the ventilator tube removed. "Yes, what do you need, Mulder?" I ask, running my fingers through the hair along his temple.

I bring the straw to his lips, holding the back of his neck as he drinks. Actually the gunshot wasn't life threatening, Mulder had a reaction to the anesthesia and went into cardiac arrest. Thank God they were swift in diagnosing the problem, but not before pneumonia set in. He smiles up at me now that he's done drinking and when he speaks his voice is much clearer.

"Scully, when are you springing me from this place?" I cross my arms and reply. "Well Mulder, if your fever stays down and your blood work shows the antibiotics are doing their job and your x-rays show your lungs to be clear...maybe a few more days."

"A few more days!" he exclaims, but then relaxes and looks resigned, in my experience that usually means something is up. My suspicions are soon confirmed. "Well then I'm going to need something from you Scully." He motions me forward with his finger and I follow. "And pray tell, what would that be, Mulder?"

He points to his forehead. "A little kiss, right here."

I lean in. "Oh, I think I can manage that." I press my lips lightly to his forehead then pull back slightly.

"That was nice," he sighs. "But, how about right here?"

I grab his finger and kiss his cheek where indicated. "How's that?" I ask.

He smiles up at me. "Scully? Why don't you pick the next spot?"

I can't help teasing him. "Who says I want to?" That earns me the pout, which I quickly claim for my own by capturing his lips with mine.

Mulder isn't docile his hands cradle my head as our lips slide slowly back and forth, his breathing and my own changes, grows almost deafening in the room. I finally pull back my heart beating rapidly; my hand on Mulder's chest feels the answering rhythm of his own against my palm. Mulder shifts restlessly and I'm suddenly concerned.

"Mulder? Are you okay?" He bites his lower lip and closes his eyes momentarily.

"Umm...Scully...I don't think we should have done that?"

I'm confused. "Why?" I inquire. "Because, because...well," he sighs and lifts his head, his eyes looking down.

I follow his gaze and realization dawns on me. OH...Mulder seems to have sprouted some kind of sheet 'prop' around his hips. I know I'm blushing when I look back at his face. "See what you do to me, Scully?" He whispers. I bend over giving him another quick kiss on the lips I'm pulling away just as the door opens.

Nurse Simmons enters a rather large woman, almost manly in appearance, but I've come to discover very good at her job. She smiles at me and glances at Mulder her voice is gruff when she speaks. "Well good to see you awake Mr. Mulder, I guess we can give you that sponge bath now, I'll be right back."

Turning back to Mulder after she walks away, I see his 'panic' face as he grabs my arm. "Scully," he whines. "Don't let her give me a bath...couldn't you do it?" he adds with a leer.

"Now Mulder, that wouldn't be a good idea...considering your...ah, condition. I'm sure Nurse Simmons knows how to alleviate the problem."

Mulder grimaces. "Oh, Scully believe me just the thought took care of that."

I hear the door opening again so I pat Mulder's hand before standing. "I'm just going to go get some coffee. I'll be back in about fifteen minutes."

I can't help but laugh at the expression on his face just before I close the door caused by Nurse Simmons loud voice. "Okie-dokie, Mr. Mulder...what you bashful? Don't worry about it honey. You don't have anything I haven't seen before. I've seen hundreds of young men naked in my day."


I end up taking a walk; a walk that leads me to the pediatric ward and what I see shocks me. Tara and Bill, Tara is crying, her face pressed into Bill's chest. I've been here almost two weeks and yet I didn't bother to call, although I knew mom had been staying out here since Christmas.

My heart feels tight, something must have happened to Matty.

"Dana? Dana didn't you hear me?" I turn and see mom standing to the side of me.

"No, I didn't. I'm sorry mom...what's wrong?"

I see where I get my fortitude when my mother swallows and blinks her eyes holding the tears at bay. "Matty has leukemia."

I gasp. "Why, why didn't anyone call me?"

My mother looks slightly angered. "Well Dana you've pretty much shut yourself off from the family. Besides there's nothing you could have done anyway with your job...by the way why are you here? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Mom. Mulder was shot, we were out here on a case...but if I had known."

Crossing her arms, my mother glares at me. "You would have what, Dana? Dropped everything? Flew out here to be supportive? You haven't spoken to your brother since Christmas and even that was strained with the two of you glowering at each other." She sighs the anger draining out of her voice. "Besides we've grown used to coming second in your life."

The inflection that it's Mulder and not my job comes through loud and clear in Mom's statement. I don't want to argue and here isn't the time or place. "How long has Matty been sick?" I ask.

"Tara became worried when he wouldn't eat and he kept getting colds and finally a fever three weeks ago...I guess a couple of months. We just found out the test results, I guess you know what he needs, Dana."

"A transplant, are they testing all the family?" I ask. "Yes, I just came back from getting my blood drawn." I look in at Tara and Bill. "I'll go down too...chances are one of us will be a match, what about Charlie?"

Mom shakes her head. "No remember he had hepatitis when he was young and...Dana...remember...your, cancer...you wouldn't be able to donate either."

Oh Shit...how could I forget, I sigh. "Right...but I can still donate blood if he needs it. I have to try Mom."

She nods and I kiss her lightly on the cheek.

When I turn Bill is standing behind me. "Dana is going to have her blood tested, just in case." She says. Bill stares at me.

"Why bother? She can't donate even if she is a match and we owe it all to her partner. Why are you here, anyway, Dana? Shouldn't you be off chasing some aliens, I mean that is your job, isn't it?"

My fury is rising, how dare he! Mom calmly puts her hand on Bill's chest. "Dana is here because Fox was shot and he's in the hospital here."

Bill smiles. "Well damn, maybe I'll just pay him a visit and let him know how much I appreciate the fact that my son has leukemia and how you may be a match, but unfortunately you can't donate because of everything that's happened to you by being involved with him, the bastard."

"Don't you EVER talk about him that way again! Bill, my career has been MY choice, not Mulder's and if you have a problem with that then get angry with me not him."

I turn and start to walk away before stopping and turning back. "No matter what you think, Mulder is important to me and he is a part of my life now and will always be. So you better just get used to it."


Two Hours Later

I've had my blood drawn and told Mulder everything; he tried to assure me everything would turn out okay. There's a knock just before the door opens and mom sticks her head in.

She must notice Mulder's pallor and her countenance softens. "Oh Fox...how are you feeling?" He smiles back.

"I've been better, but I'll survive. Thank you, for asking, Mrs. Scully."

"Dana, the blood tests results are back. I thought you could be there and help explain things."

I turn to Mulder.

"Go Scully, your family needs you right now and I'm not going anywhere...maybe I can even talk Nurse Simmons to give me another sponge bath," he tells me, trying to lighten the mood. It works, for me anyway. I bend over and kiss his lips chastely, yet longer than considered just friendly.

"Thank you, Mulder." I follow Mom out of the door.


When we get to the office both of us hear Bill's voice, booming, anger and frustration evident. "What the hell do you mean that can't be FUCKING possible!"

The doctor is clearly flustered. "Please calm down, Mr. Scully."

Mom calms Bill down almost as soon as we enter. "Now Doctor, could you please repeat what has my son so upset."

"Of course, I've already told him we will run the tests again to be sure. I have the compatibility ratio from each blood sample given by every member of the family. I have used a percentage scale to make it easier for you to understand. Of course it's an approximation. Mrs. Tara Scully 10%, Mr. William Scully 20%, Mrs. Margaret Scully 20% and Miss Dana Scully 60%."

"So you are saying that Dana would be the best candidate for a transplant."

The doctor nods. Mom seems to digest this for a minute. "But that's not all is it?" She's shrewd, my mother, she knows something other than that has my brother ready to throw furniture.

"No it isn't, I asked your son and daughter-in-law if Matthew was adopted?"

Mom gasps, but regains her composure quickly. "Why would you ask that? We all were here two Christmases ago when Tara gave birth."

The doctor, Spaulding I finally notice the placard on his desk, clears his throat before continuing. "With the results I'm seeing here...the only conclusion I can come to is that Tara and William Scully are not the child's biological parents. I will need to do a DNA test to be sure, however, there are certain markers we look for when testing for donor compatibility and neither Tara nor William has these."

Tara clears her throat. "We underwent IVF, we'd been trying for so long...it was an experimental program. They told us we were perfect candidates and it worked the first time. But we were told it was my egg and Bill's sperm." She looks into Bill's eyes. "Oh Bill...what did they do?"

Doctor Spaulding speaks, again. "I know this is a shock, to all of you. However, I do have some good news. This hospital is connected globally and we have actually found a donor with an amazingly high compatibility, 85%, right here in this hospital. The patient is currently recovering from...well my notes don't say, but perhaps the patient would be willing to be the bone marrow donor you need."

Bill and Tara's gazes hold and I see the love they hold for Matty and each other. Both of them speak simultaneously. "Do you have a name for this person who may save our child's life? I think we'd like to speak to him or her."

I have stood up, intending to ask for the test results, when Doctor Spaulding replies. "Normally I can't give out that information, but the patient is registered as an organ donor and considering the line of work the patient is in. He'd probably be happy to help...His name is Mulder. Fox Mulder."

I see the floor coming at me, but I can't stop myself from impact and the darkness that envelope me...


Well it's been two hours since Whirlwind Scully breezed into my room, muttering about those damn incompetent hospital lab analysts and informing me of her need to take my blood. My blood, I mean Christ haven't they been taking two or three tubes a day, if I had a little gauge on my body somewhere I'd expect it to be reading about 3/4 of a tank.

I noticed how pale her face was the moment she opened the door and my first thought was about her nephew, the news must not have been good. I was just about to ask her when she reached in her pocket and started rambling while taking a sample of my blood.

I didn't even flinch.

Honestly, Scully is very good at taking blood, she never seems to have to wiggle the needle around in my arm like some of the technicians or nurses do. Of course maybe that's just because, she's had to take my blood more than once and it's like field experience or something.

She thanked me, kissed my cheek and hurried out of the room.

I must have dozed off at some point and when I see the door opening I smile, thinking it is Scully. Nope and I don't have my gun handy.

"You won't be needing you're weapon, Agent Mulder. I've just come to check on your recovery."

I snort. "Glad to see you're so concerned about me especially after leaving me for dead in that operating room. I'm touched, really."

"No, need to be sarcastic. It was up to you to pull through, I've learned not to under estimate you, Fox."

"DON'T call me that!"

"Why? You didn't seem to have a problem with the Diana calling you by your given name...But then again I don't think you allow your partner, the lovely and steadfast Agent Scully the same privilege though...do you?"

He's smirking at me trying to bait me, does he know? Does he know that Scully and I are becoming more? I'm not going to fall into the trap.

"What do you want?"

"I already told you just seeing how you're coming along and I need to talk to your partner...You wouldn't know where I could find her?"

My eyes burn into his with all the anger I'm feeling. "Stay away from her," I enunciate each word and wish now more than ever that I had my gun or my cellphone at least, so I could warn Scully.

"I'm not going to harm her Agent Mulder, calm yourself. I just need to speak with her. It's of some importance."

"What?"

He tilts his head, thinking? Maybe figuring out how much to reveal to me. "Agent Mulder, I just think you should think twice about certain things...the virus you were exposed to...we still don't know it's exact nature or what long term effects it may have."

"On me you mean? Didn't you solve that problem when you cut out a piece of my brain? Right before killing Diana?"

He starts shaking his head. "You have always been a poor judge of character, Fox. Diana was expendable she betrayed you...and she betrayed me." He chuckles softly. "I'm actually hurt that you're partner believes Diana sent her the key to finding you."

I wonder if my face looks as surprised as I feel right now. "So you're telling me that it was you who helped Scully find me?"

"Of course. You might not believe this, but I admire you. You're tenacity, you're hope...I've given you so much..."

My voice grows louder. "Given Me So Much...and what precisely have you given me?"

"Don't you know? I made you, Mulder. Without me, you'd probably be some college professor instead of who you are...a worthy opponent. I'd still like to change that to adversary...Don't suppose I could interest you?"

"Get the FUCK out!" I yell and buzz for the nurse. "Nurse! Nurse!"

Nurse Simmons ducks her head in.

"Is there a problem Mister Mulder, you're disturbing the other patients."

Before I can speak, good old Smokey chimes in. "Agent Mulder was just a little agitated, but I'm leaving so he can get some rest." The old bastard sure knows how to turn on the charm. "Take care, Fox."

The door closes with a soft snick behind him. I'm still reeling, Scully was right. Diana had betrayed me. I feel sick thinking back to Scully standing in my hallway, pushing aside her own feelings to empathize with the death of someone important to me. Not important to me, Diana was in the past, Scully, Scully is important to me.

There is a soft knock and Mrs. Scully sticks her head in.

"Oh...Fox I was just looking for Dana. She must not be back from the lab yet." She turns to leave, but my voice stops her.

"Mrs. Scully...I, I just want to say I'm sorry...sorry about Matthew."

She nods before smiling at me. "Thank you, Fox." She is so serious almost like she's thanking me for doing something great, something more than just expressing my empathy for her grandson.

She leaves and now I'm more confused than ever.


My eyes are tired and I rub them with my fingers although I know I shouldn't. Sighing I pick up the two results, the comparisons of Matthew's DNA with all of ours. The first folder was the one Dr. Spaulding gave me with the HLA results. The other holds the DNA and MLC tests that I personally witnessed.

It's true. Everything I denied or tried to rationalize as I listened to Dr. Spaulding and his recitation of the lab tests. Funny I was there to make sense of all the medical mumbo-jumbo and break it down for the rest of my family and what I heard shocked me so much I passed out.

Me, Dana Scully...boom out cold on the floor. I made some excuse about low blood sugar, no breakfast or lunch and was reprimanded by my mother, brother and Tara.

Bill couldn't fathom how I could be a better match than he was, but Spaulding answered and told him it wasn't that uncommon. I just nodded my agreement. Spaulding went on to explain that the tests weren't conclusive that more thorough testing needed to be done.

Preliminary tests indicated Mulder with a high compatibility but until they specifically looked for the D antigen we wouldn't know how great the immune factor would be.

Holding these test results I find myself staring at another life altering moment and trying to determine how to proceed...How do I break the news to Bill and Tara...my mother...and Mulder.

I'm glad I'm alone in the lab at this moment. I feel the tears pooling in my eyes at the injustice, the betrayal...the truth. Perhaps that's why his voice startles me.

"What is more important, Agent Scully, one life or hundreds?"

I turn; my eyes now cold and hard to face the person who must have known this all along. "You."

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Good question and a fair one, Agent Scully, but I don't think I have time to go into all the details. Just let me say it was a secret never meant to come out...sometimes being in the dark is preferable...don't you agree?"

"You don't have time for explanations or details? Yet you are able to create the situations Mulder and I find ourselves in repeatedly. It wasn't enough to just involve the two of us? Now my family is involved in one of your little experiments too?"

He actually has the balls to grin at me. If I had my gun right now... "Your family has been involved for a long time. I would think you'd be grateful. The boy has a loving home. They're not some strangers... Like we used with Emily. My question is what are you going to do?"

"I'm going to tell the truth."

"Perhaps you should take some time and think about your decision. After all there is more than just your feelings, or Mulder's, at stake in this. You shouldn't be too hasty."

I've had enough. I take the files and stand right in front of the old bastard, daring him to try and stop me.

"I'm going to talk with Mulder and I'm going to tell him we, WE, have a decision to make. There will be NO MORE SECRET...no matter how you look at it, a child's LIFE is at stake..."

I move to exit the room and he grabs my arm. "Listen to me! Do you really think Mulder is ready to give up the X Files? Do you think he's ready to stop the damn car get out and live something approaching a normal life? Do you think he is ready to make a commitment to you?"

My eyes must show my shock at his knowledge of the conversation Mulder and I had while we drove to Area 51. "How, how did you know?"

He shakes his head. "Agent Scully NOTHING you or Mulder does is private, if I wanted to I could even find out exactly how many sheets of toilet tissue you use to wipe yourself with. Yes, I know the two of you are becoming more than partners, actually I'm surprised it took the two of you this long. You may think the two of you are ready for the truth, but you're wrong. You're deluding yourself."

I jerk my arm out of his grasp. "What Mulder and I may or may not have between us is NONE of your business...but what you've done, IS!"

With that I storm out, but I hear him calling after me.

"Go on! Tell him the boy is his son! You'll regret it."

Not just his son, you Son-of-a-Bitch, our son...

I knew something important had been revealed to Scully the minute she walked into my room holding a file. She walked over and sat down on the bed, taking my hand in hers.

"Scully? I just want you to know if there is anything I can do, anything that will help...Just let me know."

Scully laughs; the tone isn't of happiness or humor, but of resignation. "Oh Mulder, if only you knew, what truth those words hold. God, this is hard. I don't know how to tell you."

I squeeze her hand gently. "Tell me what, Scully?"

She takes a breath; her whole upper body seems to move with the effort. "Mulder, Matthew has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. It's the most common form of leukemia found in children and usually can be cured through a bone marrow transplant. In fact at his age Matty stands a very good chance, but only if a compatible donor can be found."

"I'm listening Scully." She squeezes my hand back before placing our clasped hands against her chest and seeming to draw strength, she continues. "Mulder, you are the match Matty needs."

My mouth drops open even as my eyes widen in surprise. "So that's why you tested my blood you wanted to be sure of the results?"

Scully has looked away from me and when she turns back I notice her eyes shine with unshed tears.

"What is it, Scully?"

Her voice is small and slightly choked when she speaks again. "Mulder, Bill and Tara underwent IVF to conceive Matty."

My brow furrows, I mean so what? Plenty of couples need a little outside help. It's not so uncommon anymore. "What, are you saying their fertility treatment has something to do with his illness?"

Scully's eyes bore into mine. "No Mulder, what I'm saying is that Bill and Tara aren't Matty's biological parents, but they thought they were. Mulder, I had the second highest compatibility for donating Marrow for Matty, higher than Bill, Tara or my mother. That's why I had to do a DNA test."

"Scully?"

"Mulder...Matty, Matthew...is ours. He is our son."

I feel like ten tons of cement has just been dumped on my head. I have a son...Scully and I have a child, our child is being raised by her brother of all people and he hates my guts. Suddenly my impromptu visit from Spender makes a hell of a lot more sense.

"Scully...did C.G.B. Spender come to see you?"

Her eyes flash with anger, but not at me. "How the hell did you know?" She waits for me to answer, her body language showing all the tension she must be feeling.

"Because he was here." I sigh. "And now his whole conversation makes more sense to me." Scully leans closer her hand tightens on mine. "He warned me about the virus, Scully, specifically that no one knows the long-term effects on my body."

Scully nods, chewing her lip as she digests what I've just told her. "Mulder, he's right, but I also know that the chances of finding another donor with a compatibility as high as yours is astronomically impossible. Matty is very sick...I don't think he'll live without a transplant. This isn't just Bill and Tara's decision anymore...it's ours too...isn't it?"

She seems so unsure, yes of course now that we know. He's our son and if I can help him live, but what about the virus...has, it affected me genetically? I don't care life is better than death. "Scully? I'd like to go see our son."


It is scant minutes later that Scully confiscates a wheelchair and the two of us are in a small private room with a sleeping Matthew. I don't think either of us are breathing as we try to see ourselves in this child. "Are you ready to go?" Scully whispers in my ear and I nod my head affirmatively.

We are almost out the door when we hear a whimper and what sounds like "Ayna." Scully turns me around and we see a wide-awake Matthew staring at us through the bars of the crib. "Ayna," he repeats and holds his arms out to be picked up.

Scully pushes me closer before reaching into the crib and collecting a much happier Matthew. She sits in the chair beside me and kisses his head as he snuggles back against her chest. "Matty, this is a friend of mine...his name is Mulder. Can you say Mulder?"

Matty hides his face behind his hands, but he keeps moving them and grinning at me, I can't help but smile. I reach out and poke his stomach. "Peek-a-boo to you Matthew."

He giggles, but when I stop he pouts and says. "More, Mud-er." Therefore, I tickle him again.

It isn't long before he's wiggling to be let down and Scully sets him on his feet, he takes two steps and raises his arms to me. Scully smiles and lifts him onto my lap, I wrap my arms around him and he settles against my chest. He yawns, just before starting to suck his thumb and pats my forearm. I find myself swallowing the mysteriously reappearing lump in my throat repeatedly.

"Scully? Is he, is he small for his age?"

She smiles at me. "He might be a little on the low side of the norm, but not much." I go back to nuzzling my chin on his head as Scully looks wistfully at the two of us. We don't hear the door as it opens.

"What the FUCK is going on here!" Bill strides into the room, startling Matthew who begins to cry, Tara and Mrs. Scully stand just behind him.

"It's okay, Matthew... Shhh... don't cry," I whisper in his ear. Scully is standing now facing her brother.

Bill steps forward and for a moment I think he's going to hit me, but he pauses when Tara lets out this kind of gasping sob. "Tara? Honey?" He's suddenly concerned and watches curiously as Tara walks over to us. She gently traces Matthew's cheek with a finger, before tilting her head thoughtfully and cupping my cheek as well, her thumb stroking back and forth.

"I always wondered...where..."

Bill takes her by the upper arms. "Tara? What are you doing?"

She looks at her husband tracing his features with her eyes. "I always wondered where Matty got his birthmark, I mean no one in my family or yours...don't you see Bill?

Look at them together."

I sense Bill's scrutiny and I feel genuinely sorry when he makes the connection, Matthew's mole and mine, the shade of his hair, his pouty lower lip. "Oh, God," he gasps before stumbling back against the wall and sinking to the floor.

"Bill, Tara, mom...it's true. I ran the blood tests myself," Scully says quietly. "Matthew is Mulder's biological son and...I am his mother."

Mrs. Scully, though shaken, walks over, takes Matthew from me and places him back in the crib. She lays a firm hand on my back before speaking. "I think we all need to go somewhere and talk. Fox. you are pale as a ghost. Dana, why don't you take him back to his room and we'll all meet you there in just a little while."

Scully nods and pushes me toward the door.

"Dana? Mr. Mulder, are you going to take Matty away from us?" Tara looks at us expectantly; Mrs. Scully gently takes her by the shoulders when her face crumbles due to our non-response.

The question is what are Scully and I going to do.


What are we going to do?

The question is still revolving around in my head two months later. Mulder has been supportive and yet I still don't know exactly how he feels. We are heading back to California tonight, it seems like a long time, but Mulder needed the time to recover from the gunshot and Pneumonia before he would be allowed to donate.

Tara has been keeping us updated. Matty slowly regained his strength and the doctors feel the time is right to begin the pre-treatments he will need before Mulder's bone marrow can be harvested and then transplanted into Matty.

I'm standing here waiting for Mulder to finish packing, leaning against the doorway watching the smooth play of muscles as he reaches for the shirts stacked beside his suitcase.

Stretch, retrieve and re-stack, over and over, without thinking I find myself creeping toward him, my hands seek and find the supple skin of his back. He stiffens, I wonder if my hands are cold, I know the rest of me isn't. Not at this moment.

I feel warm.

I feel liquid.

I want him.

Now, before we get on that plane. My fingers trace the waistband of his jeans, from the back to front, my palms finally resting on his firm stomach even as I kiss the center of his back. He gasps when I begin nuzzling between his shoulder blades.

He turns in my arms, his own hands cupping my face. I see the questions in his eyes, why...why now, Scully? I twist my head into his right hand and when his thumb grazes my lips, I draw it into my mouth. My own hands have already opened the fly of his jeans and I gently knead his penis through the material of his boxers.

He is hard and swells further with each stroke; my eyes have traveled down from his face over the firm chest and now rest watching the movements of my hand as I pleasure him.

I hear him moan and glance up to see his head thrown back.

His hand grabs mine and pulls it away effectively ceasing my motions. "Scully," he whispers against my lips just before claiming them. I hadn't realized how ragged my own breathing had become until our mouths fused and our tongues clashed.

He insinuates one leg between my own before pressing me back, lowering us both to the bed. His lips break away from my own, gliding over my chin, back to my ear nipping at my earlobe before descending lower.

Lower...lower, his fingers unbuttoning my blouse, hands pulling the material apart. Palms gliding over the cups of my bra, reaching in drawing my breasts out before his lips finish their downward spiral to encircle one nipple sucking and licking it deep within his mouth.

"Oh!" I gasp as the heat of his mouth encompasses me, even as his hips rock against me. I can feel his erection pressed against me when he draws one leg high over his waist. He moves to bathe my neglected nipple and the cool air against the first sends tiny tingles all through me.

"Scully," he chants as he suckles and our hips move as one. I moan as he raises his head. He draws in a breath.

"Scully? You're crying."

What? I'm crying? I must be as his lips kiss the wetness I can now feel under my eyes.

He rises to his knees drawing me with him, pressing my head to his chest. "Oh, Scully...we, we can't do this." I draw back, confused and he hastens to continue. "Not like this, Scully. When the time comes, I want us both to be very sure that we're taking this step for the right reasons."

"But, Mulder...I."

He places his finger over my lips. "Scully, I know you want me...and I want you. Don't ever doubt that. However, you, we, are both lost right now over finding out the truth about our son and what the future holds. Not to mention the questions what we want to do, what we should do and what is the right thing to do."

I nod my head, knowing that everything he is saying is rational and logical, yet at this moment I feel anything but. "Mulder, what do you want to do?" He looks in my eyes and for the first time, I see clarity. "I want our son."

"So do I." His gaze softens at my echoed sentiments and I know our decision is made. I button my blouse and he finishes getting ready, I guess I knew from the first moment we found out about Matthew's parentage how our decision would affect the future.

Mulder closes his door behind us, setting his suitcase down in the hallway before drawing me into his arms. "I'm sorry, Scully."

I raise my head from his chest. "It's for the best, Mulder. Some things just aren't meant to be."

His eyes shine with tears in memory of his own words, at least the context, before kissing me gently. He reaches for his suitcase and we head down the hall.


San Diego Memorial Hospital
May 25, 2000

It's been about 24 hours since I had my bone marrow removed. Matthew is still in the special ward, but so far, he seems to be doing well. I've told Scully that she needs to go back to the hotel and get some sleep, but she refuses to leave my bedside for any length of time. She only leaves long enough to check on Matthew's condition.

She's sleeping now. Only after I hounded the nurse on duty to have someone drag one of those couch-like things, they have in the waiting rooms in here. She's so beautiful.

I'm crouching beside her, something I really shouldn't be doing, yet. I mean I'm not in a lot of pain it's just a kind of dull ache. She was moaning a little while ago and I made my way over, shushing her and caressing her face until she quieted.

I didn't know I had an observer.

"You're not supposed to be out of bed yet, are you?" Bill Scully questions from the doorway. I raise my finger to my lips, figuring he knows the sign language for being quiet.

I walk over to him slowly, I mean I really don't want an argument and I'm not in any shape for a fight. Bill sighs and I recognize the haunted look in his eyes, I still see it sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror.

"Is everything, okay? Is Matthew..." I trail off.

"No he's alright, I mean he's doing as good as can be expected right now. Mr. Mulder, may we talk?" Bill's voice is soft and I nod.

He grabs the wheelchair by the bed, using a head movement I've seen Scully use, meaning I should sit in the fucking chair because I'm not going to win. Gingerly I sit and Bill wheels me out into the hall.

We end up in a deserted lounge. Bill parks me and stands a few feet away staring out the window, gathering his thoughts. "I, I want to thank you. For what you're doing...for my, our...I mean...Fuck this hard." He looks right at me, no right through me.

I clear my throat. "Bill...he is your son. Yours and Tara's if it hadn't been for the leukemia...No one would have ever known. I mean biology aside, the two of you are his parents, you're all he knows..." I curse the sudden frog jumping around in my vocal cords.

I'm shocked when Bill places his hand on my shoulder, I look up and our gazes lock. "You love her...don't you?"

I swallow. "With everything I am." He nods and I feel some acceptance from him.

"Mulder...Mulder." We both hear her voice at the same moment. "There you are...I was worried." I think we both see the curiosity burning in her eyes.

Bill speaks first. "You were finally catching some Zzz's Sis and Mulder needed a little fresh air." I smile up at him and when I look back Scully is standing with her hands on her hips.

"Uh-huh," she says. I guess she isn't convinced.

Bill walks over and kissed her on the cheek before looking back at me. "Well since you're here now, Dana I don't have to escort him back...I'm going to check on Matty." With a nod in my direction he's gone.

"Is everything alright Mulder? Really?" she asks before walking towards me.

"For now, Scully, for now."


Mulder and I remained in San Diego for three weeks. Matthew grows stronger every day and shows no signs of rejection. We stayed at Bill and Tara's at Bill's insistence to say I was surprised would be an understatement. Tara and I had just gotten back from the grocery store and I overheard some of Mulder and Bill's conversation.

"So Mulder, when are you going to make an honest woman out of my sister?" Mulder must have been drinking something because I swear I hear him spit it out.

"Jeez, Bill."

"What? I mean you love her, right. I don't see what the problem is."

Mulder sighs. "It's not that Bill, I do love her, but it's complicated. I mean we wouldn't be able to work together anymore."

Tara pushes into the room and I follow, taking notice of Mulder's red face, I'm sure he wonders how much the two of us heard. Tara sits on the arm of Bill's chair and I sit beside Mulder on the couch.

Tara whispers to Bill and he nods. She speaks in a soft voice. "Mulder, Dana..." She clutches my brother's hand tightly. "Bill and I...when we underwent the IVF...what I'm trying to say is that well we always knew we would try the procedure again if it didn't work and even if it did...Matty should have a sibling."

OH MY GOD.

Why didn't I think of this before? I feel so stupid. At some point I've grabbed Mulder's hand and am squeezing it for all I'm worth. "Hey, Scully I need that hand to, well...to do things with." I drop his hand like it's on fire.

"How many?" I ask looking into Tara's face.

"After Matty...twelve."

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Twelve...twelve...twelve...

One dozen...

Eggs...

Eggs come in a dozen...

You can get them from the grocery store even...

Fresh out of the dairy case...

Eggs...eggs...my eggs...

I think I'm rocking, but it's Mulder holding me, rocking me. Tara kneels in front of us. She takes my hand in hers.

"Dana...when you're ready...if you want...they're frozen all twelve of them just waiting. The clinic we used didn't have a storage facility for already fertilized ova, so we had to find our own storage and we have paid to keep them frozen since that day. Hopefully the people who used us all have nothing to do with our choice, we checked last week and they seem to be fine."

She tilts my head up. "They are waiting to be born. They're waiting for their mother." She looks at Mulder. "And their father." Mulder pulls my lips up to his, I taste his tears and he tastes mine.

When we part, Bill and Tara are holding each other. "We knew Matthew was a gift...and even though he isn't ours biologically, he's even more precious to us the second time around. You've given him and us another chance at life."

Tara's voice cracks and Bill continues. "I, we just want you to know...both of you. We want you to be a part of his life and when he's old enough to understand everything, he will know the truth."

Mulder swallows before replying. "Thank you Bill...Tara." Mulder looks at me his hand resting on my stomach over the womb I always thought would be barren and tenderly kisses me. It's a kiss of layered meanings.

Hope.

Promise.

Love.

Moreover, of a possible future.

For us...together.

The end..




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