~ The Real Version of the Truth ~
Notes: I'm still so damn mad over the episode known as 'William' that I had to write this.
The sun gleams off a sport-utility as it crosses the open desert. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully left the motel hours ago. Still dazed by events of the past week but happy to be together, they cross the vast expanse that is New Mexico. Scully dozed off immediately upon hitting the car seat, even though they've spent the night in a motel, they got very little sleep. Their lives such as they are, will at last be spent together.
Hours later Scully stretches out, loosening the kinks in her neck and back. "Where are we? She asks sitting up a little higher in the seat.
"Just outside the Acoma Indian Reservation." Mulder adjusts the air conditioning to help keep up with the heating of the day. Their closeness still doesn't cover the clumsiness between them, unsure where they fit into each other's lives but willing to try to find out. Scully looks around, seeing greener topography than she had seen this morning.
"Why are we here, Mulder?"
Mulder looks over at her. Her hair is messed up and she has a slight sunburn. "I need to pick up a few things. This is where I've been living."
Scully looks over at him with a wide-eyed stare. "Mulder do you think it's safe?"
"They didn't find me and I've been here for months. It won't take long." Mulder says as he runs his knuckles up and down her arm. Scully shivers at the touch she has missed over all those months.
Mulder turns off onto a barely discernible lane that leads over a low ridge to a small mobile home. "It's not much but it's home." He shyly grins at her. Scully returns a weak smile at him. "I'm so sorry Mulder."
"It doesn't matter now Scully." He reaches over and grabs her hand, tugging lightly. "Come on." They both exit the SUV. The dust swirls around their feet as they trudge up to the trailer. Mulder bends down, reaching under the trailer, he produces a key. "You can't be too careful." He grins up at her. Opening the door he steps in and turns back to grab Scully's hand, drawing her inside. The heat in the tin can is oppressive. Scully wonders how Mulder ever stood it. Scully looks around at the piles of files and sunflower seed hulls littering the floor.
"There is definitely evidence that you were here Mulder."
Mulder doesn't hear her. His head is thrusts into a box hidden under a floorboard that he's just removed. He starts bringing out files and photos and papers. "Scully you want to grab an empty box?"
Scully searches the trailer for a box. She finds one in the bedroom. Turning to bring it out, her eye catches a photo on a rickety dresser. It's of William and herself. Her thoughts drift back to the day it was taken. The Gunman had shown up 'on day two of the life of William' as Mulder had called it. They snapped several pictures of the happy family. They must have smuggled this one out to Mulder. Scully smiles at the homey touch in the stark bedroom.
Mulder appears at the door. "Did you find the. . . " Scully looks up, showing him the photo.
"Leave it." Mulder says.
"Mulder! Why. . ."
"Don't Scully, just don't."
Scully sets the photo back down, wiping the tears that well up in her eyes. She rejoins Mulder in the living room. Mulder begins placing the hidden items into the empty box. He pulls out a black case and flips it open. Scully looks down with her mouth hanging open. "Mulder! There must be over a hundred thousand dollars here.
"Over four hundred thousand to be exact."
"Mulder, how. . ." Scully crouches down next to him. He looks sadly into her face.
"The Gunman. Scully, they laundered my money. When my mother died I began to get my affairs in order and the guys have continued it for me. There were investments, properties, securities, and jewelry, you name it, I got it." He grins. "There's more off shore and in Swiss accounts."
Mulder tosses a few more papers into the box and places the moneybox on top of that. He gathers up a few pieces of clothing and a bag of seeds. "Come on, let's go."
Scully opens the door with Mulder trailing behind her. Mulder stores the boxes behind the front seat and starts the engine. He follows the lane out to the main highway, pulling back on to it. The silence once again returning, settling in like an old friend.
They stop a few hours later near Santa Fe. Scully has been staring out the side window, lost in her thoughts. Mulder pulls the SUV into a mall parking lot and kills the engine. Scully finally looks over at
him and much to Mulder's relief there is a small smile on her face.
Mulder reaches behind the seat and brings up the moneybox, digging in to it. He pulls out three bills giving them to Scully. "Here take this and go get enough clothes and supplies for two days and bring me some underwear and a couple T shirts."
Scully looks puzzled. "You're not coming?"
"Not with this stash we're sittin' on Trixie." Mulder drawls out with a grin on his face.
Scully gets out of the car and leans back in to kiss him. "Okay Mulder but don't ever call me Trixie again."
Mulder laughs, kissing her once more. He watches her walk away. Wondering if she really knows just how much he does love her?
A little over an hour later Scully can be seen coming out of the mall, her arms loaded with packages. Mulder starts the SUV, pulling up to meet her.
She opens the passenger side door and drops her bags on the seat, climbing back into the front, she remains quiet. The lilt Mulder had glimpsed earlier definitely gone.
Mulder looks over at her. "All done?"
Scully looks out the side window and shakes her head mumbling, "All done."
Mulder reaches over to touch her arm. "Scully, don't do this to yourself." Unlike in the past, this time Scully doesn't flinch. She seems to actually welcome the contact.
"I'm fin. . . okay." Scully tries to smile but he can see she has been crying. They drive away from the mall, hitting the road again.
Some hours later Mulder pulls up for fuel and food. They're undoubtedly used to spending hours together on seemingly endless roads but this time it's different, this time it's personal.
It's after midnight when they hit Liberal, Kansas. Mulder pulls into a motel parking lot and rouses a sleeping Scully. "Hey, sleepy head, lets stop here for the night."
"Anything you say." Scully yawns, clearing the sleep from her head. Mulder walks into the Happy Traveler motel office. Scully waits and watches Mulder through the glass. He returns with a door key and hands it to Scully. They pull around behind the motel and find their room.
Mulder unloads the SUV while Scully heads for the bathroom. He hears the water running but he knows it's just a cover. Mulder softly knocks on the door. "Scully." He knocks again. "Scully," the concern thick in his voice.
Scully appears at the door with her face freshly scrubbed but not hiding the tears she has shed. "What is it Mulder?"
"Are you okay?" Mulder knows that it has become a trite phrase to Scully but he still utters it. Scully pushes past him and grabs one of the bags she purchased earlier in the day. She pulls out a package containing a man's jersey pajama set. She tears it open and tosses the bottoms on the bed for Mulder. "Here's your half." She doesn't look up at him but turns back to the bathroom.
Mulder grabs the pants and closes his eyes as he sinks down onto the bed. Minutes later Scully come out of the bathroom with a wet head and clad in the man's pajama top.
Mulder opens his eyes, staring at her. She looks so tiny and fragile but he knows better then to ever tell her that. Whether by choice or fate Scully is now Mulder's and he is now hers. Mulder only hopes that the time will come when she will let him take care of her.
Scully turns toward him and stops combing out her hair. She sits down on the bed next to him. Mulder smiles at her and gathers him into her arms. The comb falls to the floor. "Scully, you're so damn beautiful, at times it takes my breath away." He kisses her head and rubs his hand up and down her arm. Scully grabs Mulder with both hands and crushes him with a kiss. Mulder reaches over and turns out the lights.
Morning dawns way too soon and Mulder is hell bent to be on the road again. Breakfast is fast food take out along with another tank of gas. The sun is high in the sky as they pass the outskirts of Liberal, Kansas. Heading north, they enter Trego County. The scenery is lusher and greener than New Mexico. Mulder turns off the main road onto a dusty dirt road. That's little more than a cow path. Scully is suddenly drawn out of her sedate state. "Mulder what are we doing here. I thought we were going to head north?"
"No Scully. The only place we will be safe is near the magnetite ore."
"Mulder. . . "
"Scully, hear me out. If the military really wanted us dead why didn't those black helicopters chase us down? They destroyed Spender but left us and Doggett and Reyes untouched."
Scully looks out the side window and sighs. "I hope they got out."
"I'm sure they did, no more rockets were fired after Spender was hit. If they use their wits, they'll be fine."
Mulder stops the SUV at a dip in the road. "Scully, the government doesn't care about us anymore. They have bigger problems. We aren't front page news, terrorism is."
Scully slowly shakes her head. "So what does that mean to us?"
"I've been thinking. If the magnatite is the only way to combat the super soldiers then we need to stay near it, to research it, to study it."
Mulder reaches over to grab Scully's hand. "That's where you come in."
Scully looks up at him with a slight smile. "So there is hope?"
"Scully, if we can integrate the magnatite into the lives of every man, woman, and child, we just might be able to save the world."
"Mulder." Scully looks at him with wide eyes. His rhetoric is similar to those wild theories he tossed out at her all those years ago. "And just how do we do that?"
"I don't know Scully. That's your job." He grins at her. "Okay, let's just say its fed into the water supply. They've been adding fluoride to the water systems for years. It could be done. This time I think we do have friends in the government."
"Mulder, this is all so new. I guess I need a little time to process it." Scully looks down at her hands.
Mulder lifts her head with a finger under her chin. "Scully, take all the time you need but I want you to know what ever you decide to do, I'll be right there beside you." Mulder moves over to place a hand along side her jaw and under her hair. He pulls her close. "You've followed me for so long, that I think it's time I return the favor."
"Mulder we've both lost so much." Scully says as she runs her hand over his chin.
"Scully we can't live in the past."
"I know." Scully says, wiping her eyes and her dripping nose.
Mulder kisses her lightly and hands her a handkerchief. "Here, you look like you could use this."
"Thanks." Scully chuckles as she wipes her eyes.
"We've got one more stop before we head back."
Scully looks at Mulder with determination in her red rimmed eyes. "I've followed you this far Mulder, I have to see where it all leads."
Mulder smiles down at her and starts up the SUV.
The road runs through a meadow and past a pond. They round a bend and spot a small house in a clearing. Mulder swings the SUV up to the front porch. A short, stocky, brown-haired woman appears at the screen door. Mulder shuts off the engine and removes his seat belt. "Stay here," he tells Scully, then he exits the vehicle.
"Mrs. Hanson?" Mulder yells.
"Yes?" The woman replies, moving to the porch, as the screen door slams shut behind her.
"I'm Fox Mulder."
The woman breaks into a smile. Scully watches the scene unfolding before her.
"You here for the gift?" The woman asks.
"Yes we are."
The woman steps off the porch. "The men who contacted me said you would have a code word. I need that first."
Mulder turns to Scully and motions for her to join him. He turns back to Mrs. Hanson. "The word is 'hope'."
Scully wanders up to stand next to Mulder.
The woman smiles and puts out one hand. "Stay right here." Then she returns to the house.
Scully turns toward Mulder with a frown on her face.
"Mulder, what are we doing. . . "
Just then the screen door slams. Scully looks up to see Mrs. Hanson carrying a child down the steps. "Oh my god! William!" Scully screams and runs toward the baby. She scoops him up, holding him close. She drops to the porch step. Cradling the baby to her, she just sobs.
Mulder looks at her with red rimmed eyes. Then he looks up at Mrs. Hanson. Softly he croaks out, "Thank you." Will begins to cry, unsure of what's going on around him. Scully rocks him back and forth. He begins to settle down. Mulder sits down next to Scully, placing his arm around her waist. He kisses her head and then Will's and softly says, "He's ours Scully. He's coming home."
"Mulder, I gave him up!" Scully chokes on the words.
Mulder shakes his head. "Scully the Gunman told me months ago that William might need a place to stay."
Mrs. Hanson speaks up. "Mrs. Mulder I run a safe house for kids."
Mrs. Hanson stoops down and plays with William's fingers. "I take in children that are running from abuse, neglect, kidnapping, that sort of thing."
Mulder rubs Scully's side with his fingers. "The guys set it all up so Mrs. Hanson would receive William and for all appearances he was adopted out."
Scully laughs, a tear filled laugh, but a laugh none the less. She gulps back the tears. "Mrs. Hanson, how can we ever thank you?"
"Don't worry Mrs. Mulder, seeing you two reunited with your son is thanks enough."
"Thank you Mrs. Hanson and it's not Mrs. Mulder, I'm Dana Scully. Mulder and I aren't married."
"Not yet." Mulder whispers. Scully lays her head on Mulder's chest as she rubs William's tiny back.
"Mr. Mulder, I have some things in the house for the baby."
"I'll be right there." Mulder lets go of Scully and starts up the steps.
Scully continues to hold Will close and whispers softly to him. "William, you are getting so big, I missed you terribly. Your dad and I will never let anything happen to you. You're safe, we're all safe."
Mrs. Hanson turns from gathering up the baby clothes. "Mr. Mulder, I have quite a large amount of money left from what I was sent. . . "
"Mr. Mulder, don't you even want to know how much there is?"
"It doesn't matter. You keep it, put it to good use."
"Thank you. This amount will go far."
Mulder and Mrs. Hanson load the back of the SUV with Will's things. Scully has moved inside where she is rocking the baby to sleep. Mulder comes in and stoops down beside the chair. "Scully, come on its time to go."
Scully strokes her fingers across Will's soft fuzzy head. "Mulder, I never thought we would see him again."
I know Scully. We've lost so many people in our lives that we will never see again, I just refused to believe Will would be one of them."
Scully looks up at him. "You Mulder? You refusing to believe." She smiles.
Mulder smiles back at her. "I guess I should have said 'I wanted to believe we would find him.'"
Mulder puts out his hand. "Come on."
Mulder places the last of the baby things into the SUV and sets a basket of food on the floor next to Scully who is sitting in the back seat not letting go of the sleeping baby. Mulder shuts all the doors and starts the engine.
Mrs. Hanson waves from her porch. Mulder waves back. He backs up the vehicle and heads back down the road.
Maybe there is hope after all.
~ The End ~
My work here is done. If anyone would like to take this premise and run with it, be my guest. GG7