TITLE: Our Happy Beginning
AUTHOR: Mezzosoprano
FEEDBACK: mezzosoprano@blueyonder.co.uk
CATEGORY: MSR
RATING: PG (I think)
SPOILERS: Requiem, This is Not Happening, Deadalive, Existence; little one for Emily.
DISCLAIMER: Nearly all the characters in here aren't mine. They belong to CC, 1013, etc, etc, etc. (You know the script). No money being made, no infringement intended. M & S's personal wedding vows are taken from an episode of the Australian soap opera 'Neighbours' - again, no money made, no infringement intended.
DISCLAIMER2: 'Please Remember Me' is by Tim McGraw. I don't own it either, but I just really love it and thought it would work well in this story. Used without permission. Also, I don't know who owns the various religious vows here. They're also used without permission (and obviously not mine!)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Big apologies to the Catholic Church from the outset. Not being Catholic myself, I'm not sure how much of the following is accurate. I really and truly mean no offence. Let's file any misdemeanors under poetic license, shall we? This is post-Existence - the proverbial Happy-Ever-After fic.

SUMMARY: 'His mind said: His mouth said: "I Do."'


Scully had always liked Father McCue's office. It had a musty, comfortable smell; history and knowledge appeared to burst out of the bookcases that lined all the room's walls. When the sunlight filtered through the stained glass window, it seemed to envelope the whole area in an orange glow of warmth. Mulder, by comparison, had always been distinctly edgy in places of this nature. He had always felt as if the eyes of whatever person was depicted in the stained glass window followed him around; his views on organized religion notwithstanding. However, on this occasion, he had his family with him, and it actually felt pleasant to be there.

"Thank you for coming," said Father McCue.

"You've spoken with the Bishop?" asked Scully.

"Yes, I have," he replied.

"And?"

"There's a slight problem..."

"What kind of a problem?" Mulder wanted to know.

"Because you're not married," Father McCue told him. "The Church does not allow infant baptism unless the parents are married."

"Well, we'd planned to get married eventually anyway," Scully revealed.

"We'll just have to bring it forward, that's all."

"I had anticipated your reaction," Father McCue told her. "I said as much to the Bishop." Scully nodded.

"Yes... And?"

"There's still a problem," he replied.

"In what way?" Scully demanded; then, something fired in the back of her mind. She hoped she was wrong.

"It regards you, Fox," said the Priest. At that remark, Scully realized she wasn't wrong, and kept quiet. She wanted Father McCue to tell him. "It's because you are a non-catholic, Fox. For a ceremony such as this to take place in the Church, an application has to go through the Bishop." "And the Bishop is where at the present time?" asked Scully.

"In Rome," came the answer. Old feelings of anger towards the Roman Catholic Church were resurfacing for Scully. Old feelings of guilt were resurfacing for Mulder. Once again, there was a problem. And once again, he was the reason for the problem. He broke from his reverie when he realized Father McCue was talking to him. "I understand you won't be taking instruction to enter into our faith?" Mulder shook his head.

"I'm sorry, no. I mean no disrespect or offence."

"None taken," smiled the Priest, and he sighed. "All this draws the proceedings out, though." Scully looked at him. "The Bishop isn't expected back from Rome for three months." Mulder looked at his shoes. He felt Scully was being denied what she wanted because of him, and couldn't look her in the eye.

"So," began Scully. "To recap. We can't have William christened at the moment because we aren't married. We can't get married straight away because the Bishop won't allow it until he has spoken to us and the application goes through." Her voice was steady. Mulder was surprised at just how steady.

"That's about the size of it, Dana," Father McCue nodded. It was then that her composure slipped and her voice broke.

"But I'd like William baptized as soon as possible!" she blurted out. Looking over to the car seat on the chair beside Mulder, she added: "I'd feel that he'd be... safer." At the mention of his name, Will began to whimper.

"Hey Buddy," said Mulder quietly, offering his finger. Will gurgled happily up at his Daddy. Mulder smiled at him, and as he turned back to Father McCue, felt warm baby drool dribble down his digit.

"There *may* be something I can do for the three of you," announced the Priest. Mulder and Scully watched with interest. "I'll have to talk to the Bishop again, but he may just allow it."

"Allow what?" asked Scully.

"I can't offer you a church ceremony, Dana," he apologized. "Not at the moment. But... if the Bishop agrees... I can marry you and Fox at another location, then baptize young William."

"I would like the sacraments and your blessing, Father," Scully requested.

"You would have them..."

"...if the Bishop agrees." Scully finished his sentence for him, and turned to look towards Mulder.

"Your call," he told her, just happy that Father McCue could perhaps do anything at all. He motioned towards William. "We'll go with whatever you decide." Scully looked at their Son, practically lunching on Mulder's finger, and smiled.

"Yeah," she breathed, "..but a Church ceremony.."

"There's nothing stopping you having a Blessing Service when the Bishop gets back," suggested the Priest. "I'd try to make it as close to the actual marriage service as possible." He smiled at Scully. "You could still have your big Church wedding, Dana - with nuptial mass for all." She considered this.

"How soon could we have the ceremony?" she asked him.

"Just as soon as you can get a license," he replied. She looked over at William again, then Mulder, and finally came to a decision.

"All right. An intimate ceremony, William's baptism... and a Blessing whenever it can be arranged."

"No problem," Father McCue told her. "As I said, I still have to speak with the Bishop, but I'm sure that'll be a formality." He stood, and offered his hand - first to Scully, then to Mulder. "Congratulations, both of you."

"Thank you," Mulder told him.

"Father, before we go," began Scully. "Will you hear my confession?"

"Of course," replied the Priest. Mulder picked up William in the car seat, and followed Scully and Father McCue out into the main Church.

"I won't be long," Scully told him, and he nodded at her, smiling. She smiled back. Setting William down on a pew, he sat down also. He watched as Scully walked to the centre aisle and stood, looking up at the cross. He watched as she went down slightly on one knee and crossed herself, then got up and walked over to the Confessional, where Father McCue had already gone in.

"You've got the best Mommy in the world, d'you know that?" Mulder asked Will, who gurgled in the affirmative. "She's smart, she knows what to do if one of us gets sick, she can cook brilliantly... I know you can't get the benefit of that yet, but soon you will." William jerked his head then, almost a nod in agreement. "She can *run* in shoes with four-inch-heels too, did you know that?" he asked his Son, incredulously. Another gurgle. "And I'll tell you something," he went on, "... She can kick some serious ass in those shoes, too...." He looked down at William. "I'm so lucky to have you both," he said, and kissed his Son on the forehead. Hearing a noise, he looked up, and saw Scully coming towards him. "Back already?" he asked her.

"Yeah... I've been a good girl this week," she teased. Mulder stood and whispered in her ear.

"The hell you have! What about Tuesday night?"

"Mulder!" she giggled.

"What?" Then he realized he'd cursed. "Oh. Sorry," he apologized, looking around him.

"It's okay. He knows you don't mean it."

"He who?"

"Who d'you think?" she asked , rolling her eyes. At that point, Fr. McCue exited the confessional.

"I'll telephone you both in a few days," he shouted.

"Thank you," Scully shouted back. "Goodbye, Father."

"Bye Dana, Bye Fox." He smiled at William. "You look after your Mommy and Daddy, young man!" Mulder laughed as Scully smiled, and Father McCue went about his business. Before they left, Scully lit a candle. Mulder didn't even have to ask, because she leaned down then to speak to William.

"That's for your big sister, Sweetie." Mulder swallowed. Scully straightened up. "Come on," she said, taking Mulder's free hand. "Let's go."


William was asleep in his crib, and Mulder was helping Scully to clear out a few things. They'd decided the ceremony was to be at their apartment. He felt a little weird calling it *their* apartment, but Mulder had all but moved in anyway. He was subleasing his apartment for the moment. He had mentioned buying a house for the three of them, but Scully wanted to wait until everything was settled. She still had some maternity leave left, but she'd also taken long service leave. Unsure if she wanted to return to work at all, she was now putting off making the decision.

Upon clearing out one of her closets, she found a small package in an indigo-colored wrapping, tied with gold string.

"Mulder!" she shouted.

"Yeah?" came the reply. He was in the living room, going through some Bureau paperwork to see what could be thrown out. She came through to the living room.

"Any idea what this is?" she asked, holding up the package.

"Not a clue," he replied, his brow creasing. She came over and sat down on the floor beside him, and turned the package over in her hands.

"Oh well," she sighed, and proceeded to untie the string. Just then, Mulder had a major flashback.

"No!" he exclaimed, grabbing her wrist. She looked at him, strangely.

"Mulder?"

"I... I just remembered what.. I know what this is." He didn't want to upset her, having caught her comment about wanting Will to be baptized and *safe*. She was still concerned that he could be in danger in the future, but Mulder wasn't convinced. The threat from certain quarters just didn't feel as great now, he thought, going by his instincts. He realized Scully was talking to him.

"What is it, Mulder?" He swallowed, and licked his lips.

"Erm... before I was gone, I thought maybe there was a chance that what, as it turned out did happen, could happen. I came here the night before I left for Oregon and left it for you." Scully looked away for a moment.

"I remember now," she said. "I was at the Guys' that night, then I collapsed. I wasn't back here until after you were gone... I guess I must've put it away when I tidied up."

"Yeah, I'm ... kinda surprised now it wasn't opened." He paused. "I guess you'd better open it. I... I just don't wanna upset you." She looked at him, puzzled, then pulled on the gold string. Inside the indigo paper was a cd case with a cd in it, and a sheet of paper. She looked at Mulder, then back to the paper, and unfolded it. Mulder's handwriting was on it.

'To Scully,
To be played 'in the event'. Track 17.
Love you forever, Scully.
Mulder. X"

She glanced at him again, then, without a word, she got up and put the cd in the stereo and selected track 17. While checking that the door to the room where Will was sleeping was closed over so's not to disturb him, Scully asked:

"In the event, Mulder? In the event of what?...Oh." She had answered her own question. He looked away. Standing in front of the stereo, she pressed play. It sounded like a country song, and she listened as the words seemed to fill the room.......

"And all our tears have reached the sea
part of you will live in me
way down deep inside my heart
the days keep coming without fail
new wind is gonna find your sail
that's where your journey starts...
You'll find better love
strong as it ever was
deep as the river runs
warm as the morning sun
Please remember me..."

Mulder saw her back shudder as her silent sobs overtook her. Without a sound, he got up and came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her.

Soon, he was as lost in tears as she was.

"Just like the waves down by the shore
we're gonna keep on coming back for more
cos we don't ever wanna stop
Out in this brave new world you see
o'er the valleys and the peaks
and I can see you on the top..."

Visions of Mulder's 'funeral' flitted through Scully's mind. The Stars and Stripes on the casket, the biting cold of the snow, the inevitability and the finality of the event. She'd had no idea she'd repressed this much emotion, but it was escaping now. Mulder was remembering the conversation with Scully in Skinner's hallway, before he'd left. The fact that the consequences were irrevocable was weighing heavily on his shoulders when they'd embraced. And now, they unashamedly sobbed together.

"You'll find better love
strong as it ever was
deep as the river runs
warm as the morning sun
Please remember me...
Remember me when you're out walking
when snow falls high outside your door
late at night when you're not sleeping
and moonlight falls across your floor
but, I can't hurt you anymore...
You'll find better love
strong as it ever was
deep as the river runs
warm as the morning sun
Please remember me...
Please remember me."

Scully took in a deep breath.

"Well... I'm glad I never listened to this at the time; I might've gotten a teeny bit emotional!" Mulder laughed out loud. "God, Mulder..." she began, softly. "I missed you so much..." He tightened his hold on her. "It was so long, and I... I tried like crazy not to give up, especially with William inside me. But.. when they found you... when *we* found you in that field... not breathing, no pulse (she had never used the word *dead* and never would).. It was like someone had literally reached down and ripped out my heart..." she swallowed. They hadn't spoken about it all yet; at least, not like this. "...And I felt.. I felt like I'd failed...."

"Failed? How?" he asked, softly.

"Because, when I found out that I was pregnant, I quickly weighed up all the options why. And I just as quickly came to the conclusion that it was yours. The other options were all horrific, and besides.... I wanted it to be yours so badly. I decided that.... I mean, you would've been William's father no matter what, right? Helping me to bring him up and sharing everything that goes with that?"

"Of course I would've," he assured her.

"Yeah, I know. Anyway, I vowed to myself that I'd find you eventually.... and I'd end up handing you your child... And I.." she began to sob again, "...and when I... when I saw you in that field... I knew that was something you'd never do. I felt... I felt I'd failed you... that I was defeated..."

"But you did," he whispered into her ear. She felt his warm breath on her neck. "You handed me my Son for me to hold. You won, Scully... the three of us won." She smiled and turned in his arms to face him.

"Yeah... yeah, we did - didn't we?" "That must've been *so* hard for you," he said with feeling. "The funeral and everything."

"Harder on *you*!" she exclaimed, softly.

"Nah, I just went along for the ride," he grinned.

"Mulder!" They both laughed. "Just promise me one thing," she asked of him.

"What's that?"

"Promise me that I can go before you - 'cos I don't wanna go through *two* of your funerals in this lifetime!"

"Scully!"

"Okay, we could go together."

"What about William?"

"Oh, he'll be grown up with his own family by that time."

"I see - don't you want to be a grandmother?"

"Please - I'm just getting used to being a Mom!" He leaned over and kissed her on the tip of the nose, happy that this conversation was turning out so well.

"A terrific Mom." "Think so?"

"William's not complaining." They smiled, and wiped the last of their tears from each others' faces. He let his hand linger on her cheek.

"You're amazing. I love you so much."

"I love you too, Mr. Mulder," she told him.

"Yeah, that's right. Mr. Mulder and Agent Scully."

"I don't know yet," she warned him.

"Ok, Mr. Mulder and *Dr* Scully then." She sighed, exasperated. "Mulder -" she began, as if patiently explaining something to a young child - "If I *do* leave the Bureau, and *if* I use my professional title, then I'll only be Dr Scully at work, if I am at all. We'll be Mr. and Mrs. Mulder."

"Here's hoping we make a better job of parenting than the last Mr. and Mrs. Mulder," he told her, emphatically.

"Amen to that," she agreed, wholeheartedly. Suddenly, he picked up on what she'd just said to him.

"What did you mean, 'if you are Dr Scully at all'?"

"You have the right to call yourself 'Dr' as well remember," she told him. "Dr Fox Mulder PhD (Psych) Hons." She hesitated for a moment. "We could splice that with Dr Dana Mulder M.D., couldn't we?" He looked at her, letting her words sink in.

"That is one of the most amazingly wonderful things I have ever heard!" he exclaimed, grinning. Then he came back down to Earth. "But *only* if you quit the Bureau."

"Only then. Think you could get used to being Dr Mulder again?" He sighed.

"I wasn't Dr Mulder before, not really. Wasn't long back from Oxford 'til I was recruited by the Bureau." He mulled her question over. "It would be... It would be a fresh start."

"I think we need one of those," said Scully, half turning to switch off the stereo.


Bill and Charlie couldn't make it back in time for the ceremony, being at Sea. Mulder knew Scully was disappointed, so he tried not to show how relieved he was that his prospective elder-brother-in-law would be absent. He was also aware that the emotion was something more than relief where Bill was concerned, but he'd never tell her that. Nothing upon nothing would spoil this day. However, he was sorry that he still wouldn't be meeting Charlie. As he mingled with the guests in their living room, he recalled the conversation he'd had with Skinner the day before...

"There's the ring, Sir."

"Right, Mulder... no problem." Pause.

"You won't lose it will you, Sir?" He had never quite gotten out of the habit of giving his old boss his former title. It was at this point where Skinner's face had worn an odd expression, it had seemed to Mulder. Part indignation, part bemusement.

"Mulder," he assured him, trying all the while not to laugh, ".. I promise not to lose it if you don't." It took a second, but Mulder finally understood what he meant, and smiled.

"Erm, Sir- regarding another matter...."

"Yeah?"

"I'm not saying I'm worried, 'cos I'm not. Basically 'cos it doesn't feel like there's anything much to worry about at this point..."

"Mulder... what the hell are you talking about?"

"Let's just say that I'm determined that nothing will spoil tomorrow. For Scully's sake. And I need your help in making sure." Suddenly, Skinner understood. And for the last time, they slipped back into their roles as Assistant Director and Special Agent.

"Trust me, Mulder," began Skinner, "I would kill rather than let anything upset Scully tomorrow. You have no need to worry."

"I know - I'm not worried. It's just..." he seemed unable to explain. "I guess I'll just be busy doing other things, and I would appreciate another pair of eyes."

"That would make four pairs then, would it?" asked Skinner, a smirk in his voice. Mulder smiled and shrugged.

"The guys are always watching, Sir."

And right then, Mulder saw Langly take in another sweep of the room while trying to hit on a female guest. Langly, looking strange to say the least in a suit ("If it's Dana Scully's wedding, Langly... we're *all* wearing suits" Frohike had decreed) caught Mulder's eye and nodded imperceptibly. Mulder returned the communication, which Langly then spoiled by glancing at his watch and giving Mulder the "you're a condemned man and in under ten minutes you're going to be convicted" grin. Mulder smiled and, shaking his head, turned away.

Mrs. Scully and Ellen were in Scully's bedroom putting the finishing touches to her outfit. Scully hadn't wanted to go too overboard with it, intending instead to concentrate on her dress for the Church ceremony.

"Ow!" she yelled.

"Dana, I have to make sure that this is secure," her Mother told her, almost ramming the comb into her head. "You don't want it going to the floor when Father McCue is officiating, do you?"

"No, but my hair is red enough, Mom. I don't need blood through it too." Margaret Scully at last let go of the comb and leaned back a little to study her handiwork; the veil, such as it was. ("It's short, Dana - very short." "It's *supposed* to be, Mom." Pause. "Maybe *too* short..." "Mom!")

Tara was taking care of William in the living room, ably attended by Matthew. When her Mother was at last satisfied with the veil, Scully stood up, walked a little, and executed a slow turn.

"Well... will I do?" Ellen sighed.

"Dana.... you're beautiful. I've dreamed about this day."

"*You've* dreamed about it?!" exclaimed Scully, incredulous.

"You know what I mean," said Ellen.

"I think we're all happy that this day's here," interjected Mrs. Scully.

"And relieved," she added, glancing at her daughter, who nodded.

"I'll never be able to thank you both enough for everything you've done," Scully told them. "Today and before."

"You don't have to," her Mother informed her. "It's in the job descriptions- Mom and Friend." Ellen nodded and Scully initiated a three-way hug.

"Well," began Ellen, handing Scully her bouquet. "How about you go get married now?"

"Erm...... ok!" Scully replied, smiling.


From out of nowhere (it seemed), the Bridal March drifted across the room and everyone's' heads turned in the direction of the bedroom. Ellen and Mrs. Scully, both glowing in alternate shades of blue, came out first and took their places. Scully had decided she'd walk alone here. Each of the gunmen had offered, but she felt no-one could ever do the job her Father couldn't be here for. What would happen at the Church? Well, that was another matter - and not one that was up for discussion at the moment. She's take care of that later.

As far as Mulder could see... an angel had appeared. Scully's dress was ivory satin and hugged every curve on her body. It had a sweetheart neckline, an ankle length skirt and, he was to discover, a bow at the small of her back. Her veil - her *short* veil -, hung with Mrs.-Scully-precision, gave her face a misty, magical effect. Her hair was up, save for a few wisps framing her face. On top of the veil lay a small tiara that sparkled as she moved. (The Scully tiara - it had been her mother's). The flowers she carried were a mixture of gardenias, white roses, lilies and freesia. To finish off, complementing the earrings that had been a gift from Mulder... her gold cross nestled right in the centre of the exposed skin framed by that sweetheart neckline. She took her place beside him and he hoped his vocal chords would kick in again in time for him to actually use them. Walter Skinner, standing on the other side of Mulder, turned the ring over in his pocket. Ellen held the other ring. Father McCue began the ceremony.

"Family, Friends, welcome. We are gathered here today in the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses to join this man and this woman in holy matrimony." He proceeded to give the blessing. Then: "If any person here knows of any reason why this woman may not be married to this man, may they speak now, or, hereafter, remain in silence." Byers looked just in time to see Frohike actually start to raise his hand, and grabbed his wrist. His eyes flashed a warning to his friend, and Frohike looked sheepish.

"Fox William Mulder. Do you take Dana Katherine Scully to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold from this day forward; For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer; In sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, for as long as ye both shall live?"

His mind said: His mouth said: "I do."

"Dana Katherine Scully. Do you take Fox William Mulder as your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold from this day forward; For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer; In sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, for as long as ye both shall live?"

"I do." Mrs. Scully let out a sob. Father McCue turned Mulder and Scully to face each other and joined their hands together. They stared into one another's' eyes and, as so often when they did so, Mulder forgot to breathe. Somehow, the silent communication traversed the small gap between them, and he obeyed. At a nod from Father McCue, Mulder began:
"I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, Fox William Mulder, do take thee, Dana Katherine Scully, to be my wife. I will love you, comfort you, honor and cherish you for all the days of our life together." Scully swallowed.

"I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, Dana Katherine Scully, do take thee, Fox William Mulder, to be my husband. I will love you, comfort you, honor and cherish you for all the days of our life together." Mulder trembled, and Scully felt it. They smiled at one another.

"May I have the rings please?" asked Father McCue. Walter Skinner gave up possession of the smaller ring, placing it on Father McCue's open bible. Ellen produced the larger ring - but at the last moment, she handed it to Mrs. Scully, who placed it on the good book. "Dear Lord, bless these wedding bands today. May they be symbols of the love between this Bride and Groom, strong and unending." The Bride and Groom in question knew what to do. Mulder picked up the smaller ring and placed it at the top of Scully's ring finger. The ring itself was gold and was supposed to have kisses on it - but by now they both regarded them as tiny x's. Mulder's ring was the same. He was so choked up he could hardly speak; but speak he did - with reverence, and love.

"With this ring, I wed you; with my body, I worship you; and with all that I am and all that I have... I honor you." He quickly stole a glance in Father McCue's direction. The priest nodded. Mulder finished: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit - Amen." Scully's eyes grew wide, and a tear escaped. She picked up the larger ring.

"With this ring, I wed you; with my body, I worship you; and with all that I am and all that I have.... I honor you. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." She slid the ring onto his finger. Home.

"And now," announced Father McCue, "Fox and Dana would like to make their personal vows." Mulder took a deep breath, and began: "I promise- to respect you and to love you; to treasure your independence and your uniqueness as a human being. To be there when you need me, to keep faith with you. And to be your Husband." Scully next. "I promise- to share with you the good times and the bad; to respect the times we need to be alone, and to share the joy of being together. To comfort you, and to look to you for comfort; to love you, and be loved. And to be your Wife."

"What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Fox and Dana have accepted each other in marriage, by the joining of hands, and by the giving and receiving of rings. I therefore declare them to be Husband and Wife - in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You may kiss the bride!" Mulder slowly turned and lifted Scully's veil back, over her head.

"You're stuck with me now!" he whispered.

"Fantastic..." she whispered back, grinning. Then they kissed. Everybody applauded, hooted and hollered. The Bride and Groom hugged each other, and Agent Doggett received a small smile from Agent Reyes sitting beside him. He couldn't help but smile too. It was that kind of day. Infectious happiness.

"Now that isn't the end of the day's proceedings," Father McCue announced to the assembled throng. "There is the small matter of a christening. Where is Master William?" Scully turned round and leaned over to take William from Tara.

"Congratulations," smiled her Sister-in-Law. Scully, still grinning, nodded, and took William from his Aunt's lap.

"And the Godparents?" asked Father McCue. Ellen, her Husband Michael, and Walter Skinner stepped forward. Scully watched as Father McCue carried out the Baptismal Blessing, then turned to her. "What do you name this child?" Scully smiled, because she knew something Mulder didn't. She made the most of this feeling, because it was due to the last decision she would ever truly make on her own, by herself (she hoped). Enough ruminating. She answered her priest.

"William Walter Fox." Mulder looked at her in astonishment. She just grinned at him, and tried to stop herself from laughing. This *was* their Son's christening, after all.

"William Walter Fox Mulder. I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and grant unto thee his peace. Amen." William, being part (Dana) Scully and part (Fox) Mulder, didn't let his parents down. The holy water didn't faze him. He just yawned as Father McCue handed him to Ellen.

"And now," concluded the Priest, "My part in the proceedings is finished - or I'll be charging double my hourly rate!" Everybody laughed. As various conversations struck up again, Mulder pulled Scully to one side. She knew what was coming.

"William Walter *Fox* Mulder?"

"Well, he's already got William after your Dad," she explained.

"Although, to save arguments, and you know *who* I'm talking about, it's after *both* our Fathers." He nodded. "And Walter after the man if not for whom the two of us wouldn't be here today."

"Yeah, I know. We discussed all that. Well?" She sighed.

"William and I almost lost you, Mulder. I wanted him to have some part of his Father's name." Mulder looked at her for a second, then smiled. Leaning over to kiss her, he whispered:

"Well, I suppose you could hardly give him Katherine." Her response was an intentional but playful thump of the arm, which immediately joined the other one around her waist. "Well, Agent Scully. Happy?"

"Very. And it's not Agent Scully." He didn't know what to say.

"You... you *can't* be Agent Mulder?!"

"No, although I could." She paused. "As we're on personal time, I'm Mrs. Mulder; but even if it was work...... I'd be Dr. Mulder. I'm not going back."

"Decided, huh?" She nodded.

"You know, I realized today that we've been given a huge second chance - a new life. And if we interfere in certain matters it could be so easily taken away."

"Yeah, I know," breathed Mulder. "Fresh start?" he asked her.

"Fresh start," she agreed.

"We'd better tell Skinner."

"We'd better tell Agent Doggett and Agent Reyes," suggested Scully. She drew in breath. "We're leaving a lot behind, Mulder," she warned. "You discovered The X-Files. They were yours. If I relinquish my hold on them, that's it. No turning back."

"Maybe we are leaving a lot behind Scully," he told her. "But we're going forward with so much more. We've done what we could. Now it's time to pass on the torch. We've finally got our Happy Ending." She smiled broadly at him.

"No, Mulder. We've got Our Happy Beginning." With him nodding, and them both grinning like idiots, he swept her up into his arms for a bear hug.


Epilogue.. br>One Week Later:

"Hey Mom."

"Bill! Oh, it's good to hear you voice, dear. How are you?"

"Good, Mom." Silence. "So...."

"So.......?"

"Tara says..... I mean, did they..... are they.........."

"Yes, Bill... they are. Fox is now officially your Brother-in-Law." Silence. More silence. "Bill? Bill, are you there, Honey?"

"@


*%%%$$$$^^@@@


*........"

The End.

Hope you enjoyed it! As I said, the proverbial Happy Ever After fic. But that's what I wanted for Mulder & Scully all along. Hope you agree.




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