TITLE: The Return of Our Existence
AUTHOR: Dyann Zimmerman
SPOILERS: At this point, who cares?
DISCLAIMERS: Please sue me. I'd love my fifteen minutes.
NOTE: William is very present in this story, but I wouldn't call it baby-fic. E-MAIL: philer@onemain.com

SUMMARY: Mulder and Scully have returned to their lives, but something is missing.

Sunday morning, May 20, 2003

"Here," Scully said, handing Mulder another cup of coffee.

"Thanks," he replied, barely looking up from his newspaper. Scully settled back into the couch next to him, taking a tentative sip of the hot liquid in her cup.

Scully picked up her section of the Sunday Post and glanced at the television, some Sunday morning pundit trying in vain to trip up a politician. "Why do they even give that man a forum?" she asked idly.

"Who?" Mulder asked, looking up from his paper to glance at the television, seeing Bill Frist's condescending smirk. "He's someone people like to hate, I think. You tune in hoping someone will get the best of him."

"Well, turn it. I can't stand to even listen to him," Scully said, her irritable mood very obvious to Mulder. He glanced towards her and then pointed the remote to find Charles Osgood introducing a piece on Woody Allen.

"Better?" Mulder asked, laying down his paper, turning towards her, his arm sliding along the back of the couch behind her. "You know what Woody Allen said when Elvis died?" Scully didn't answer or even acknowledge him, seemingly absorbed by what she was reading in the Post. "Good career move... Pretty funny, eh?" he said, trying to tease her; get her attention, but only serving to piss her off.

Scully gave him her best dirty look and tossed her paper to the coffee table, picking up her coffee mug and heading for the kitchen without saying a word. She didn't have to; he knew what the matter was. Mulder took a deep breath and folded his paper, taking his time to follow Scully into the kitchen, trying to put his thoughts together.

"Scully..." he said as he moved to stand next to her at the counter.

"Don't, Mulder," she said, moving out from under the hand he put on her shoulder.

But he didn't let her avoid him, simply moving closer to her and wrapping his arms around her as he spoke. "Scully, talk to me. I know what's wrong..." he started, just holding her. "I know what today is, too, you know," he said softly.

Mulder could feel her relax her resistance, her arms wrapping low around his waist, returning his embrace. "I'm sorry. I know you do..." she said into the fabric of his t- shirt. "He's two today..."

"I know... I know," he said into her hair, not really knowing what else to say. Mulder moved out of his embrace just enough to give her a soft kiss which she returned.

"I guess I thought maybe it would get easier, Mulder. I thought his first birthday was horrible, but today..." her voice cracked, Mulder enclosing her in his embrace again. "I just miss him so much. I can't make myself believe that I will never see him again."

"We'll see him again, Scully. When he's older, we'll see him; he'll come looking for us," Mulder comforted her, truly believing his own words.

They held each other for several long moments, both of them thinking of their son, various memories flashing through each of their minds. Mulder didn't have many actual memories, only having been with his son for a few days. But his memories of those days were strong in his mind and he felt like he could remember every minute he was able to be with him. And Scully had made an album for him, believing he would return and wanting him to have the memories of their son that she had. "Scully?" Mulder asked.

Scully moved back from him, looking up into his eyes. "What?" she asked, seeing that something was on his mind.

"We could adopt. We could get married and we could find a baby who needs a couple of weird parents," he told her quickly, almost teasingly, but meaning every word. "We would qualify."

Scully chuckled and reached up to give him a soft kiss. "No, Mulder..." she answered sadly. "We had our son and maybe God meant for that to be all for us."

"I'd do it if you wanted," he told her and the love and sincerity behind his words got the best of her. She wrapped her arms around him again and he could feel her soft sobs against his chest. He held her for a few minutes and then bent to pick her up, carrying her to her bed. He sat her down next to the bed and pulled back the covers and helped her to remove her robe. "You need to sleep, Scully. You were up half the night," he told her as he covered her and she lay on her side facing him, her head pillowed on her arm.

"I was hoping you hadn't noticed," she said to him when he sat next to her on the bed.

"Of course, I noticed," he said, petting her hair. "I'll get you a pill," he said, heading for the bathroom, knowing she wouldn't sleep any better now than she had last night without it.

She told him she was fine, but took the pill anyway, knowing he was right. Mulder kissed her before he moved to leave her to sleep, lowering the blinds before he did. "Do you ever think about him?" she asked into the dark.

Mulder returned to stand beside the bed, "Everyday of my life, Scully," he answered honestly. "Now, go to sleep..."


"What are you watching?" Scully asked as she entered the living room, lifting his feet from where they were lying on the couch, placing them on her lap as she joined him.

"Hi, um, Red Sox and Cardinals, inter-league game," he said, rolling to his back from his side where he laid on the couch. "Feel better?"

"Yeah, much," she smiled to him, massaging his feet as they lay in her lap, thinking how manly they were. "Thank you, Mulder," she smiled, reaching for his hand. "I needed that and I wouldn't have done it if you hadn't made me."

Mulder moved his big feet and scooted to sit close to her, his arm going around her back. "I'm glad you feel better," he said, giving her lips a soft kiss, several more down her neck. "I could make you feel even better," he teased, kissing her chin, his hand rubbing her stomach through her pajama top.

"You could, huh?" she teased back, moving her head to give him full access to her throat. "Actually, you're already doing a damn good job of it," she told him when his hand moved to her breast.

"If we move this to the bedroom, I can really show you my stuff," he said, slowly unbuttoning a button on her top as he continued to kiss and nuzzle her.

"I've seen your stuff," she mumbled, his mouth doing wonders for her arousal level.


"And I wouldn't mind seeing it again," she chuckled, both of them heading to the bedroom.

Soon they were naked and both snuggled together in the center of the bed. "When's the last time we had afternoon sex, Scully?" Mulder asked, his hands moving over her skin.

"Um... two Sundays ago," she retorted, surprised at Mulder's lack of remembrance of their session on the couch in his apartment.

"Oh, yeah," he said, Scully now realizing he had been teasing. "Ouch!" he chuckled as she squeezed him a little more firmly.

Scully resumed stroking him, feeling him become firmer and larger in the palm of her hand, loving that he responded so quickly to her. Mulder kissed down her neck, his warm lips finding a nipple, his tongue massaging as he sucked. "Mmmmmmm," Scully moaned when his hand slid between her legs, his fingers slipping through the slick fluids in her folds. "You know what, Scully?" he mumbled next to her ear. "Maybe we'll get lucky again; maybe this will be the time."

"Mulder... don't. I don't want to think about it," she told him softly, her arms moving to embrace him above her. "Please..."

Mulder looked at her and nodded, giving her a small smile before giving her a long, slow kiss, his hand working between her legs just as slowly. He moved fully on top of her then, her legs opening to make room for his hips. Scully reached for him, both of them placing him at her opening, his penis easily sliding in. "Nnnnnn, Scully," Mulder moaned at his entrance.

Scully's hips met the rolling thrusts of Mulder's movements, their bodies moving against each other in an easy rhythm. "You feel so good, Scully... always; always so good..." Mulder murmured into her ear.

Mulder liked to talk during sex, Scully never really sure if he actually knew what he was saying, but he talked and soothed her all through their lovemaking. On the other hand, Scully wasn't verbal, barely making any sounds at all until her climax had built almost to release. But she loved hearing Mulder; what he said, sometimes loving, sometimes silly. She figured what she liked most was just hearing his voice, the lilting timbre resonating next to her ear or against her skin.

"Doin' okay down there," he asked softly, moving his body up just enough to look at her.

Scully smiled at him, her eyes half closed from arousal, her words slurred. "Mmmmm," she nodded, raising her head from the pillow just enough to give him a soft kiss. Her hands were holding on to his thighs as he moved, the movement of the hair of his body against her softer skin feeling absolutely wonderful.

Mulder felt himself getting closer, wanting Scully to be at least as close as he was. "Need anything else?" he asked, pushing deep, his hips flush against her. He figured she must not have heard him as she didn't answer; her only sounds an occasional moan or sigh through her breath. He moved up over her, locking his elbows, his arms straight to give his hips better leverage, more power.

"Ohhhhhh," she moaned, her head turning into the pillow at the change in position. His thrusts became more unpredictable, his hips circling against her; hers mirroring his movements.

"Uhhhohhhh," she sighed, the breathy high pitch of her voice telling him she was close. "Oooooooo." She grasped his biceps, her hands clamping on with all she was worth as she pulled herself up, her arms going around his neck as she climaxed. She held her breath as her hips shuddered, her muscles contracting in rhythmic spasms that sent warm sparks to every recess of her body.

Mulder couldn't stop his thrusting to let her ride it out, the low burn in his back telling him he wasn't far behind her. He managed to move to his elbows to lay Scully back down against the bed and began to push harder against her. "Scully... oh, god, you're... Uhhhhhhhhhhh," he groaned as he let loose, shooting into her with a deep thrust. He jerked into her a few more times, finishing his climax, his movements forcing their liquids out of her with each push into her.

Mulder lay over her with his head buried next to her neck as he panted, as they panted, through the downside of their orgasms. He moved up enough to put his lips to hers and they kissed for a long time, rolling their hips together as he softened, giving her a chance to come down.

Mulder mumbled silliness in her ear as he moved off of her causing her to chuckle, rolling him to his back, climbing over him as she laughed. She kissed him for a long time in that position, her breasts pressed against his still gasping chest. "You are crazy," she mumbled to him.

"I thought you would've noticed that before you let me get this far," he teased, his hand rubbing the length of her back to squeeze her bottom.

"Yeah, I must be as crazy as you," she smiled, kissing him again before moving off of him and snuggling into his side. She placed her palm against his cheek and turned his face to look at her. "That was wonderful," she told him softly. He smiled at her and they kissed again several times, Scully moving up a bit to have better access.

She was half laying over him again, neither seeming to be able to stop kissing, stroking each other's skin. Finally, she moved up enough to look at him and her smile grew into a grin. "I'm cold," she told him. He sat up to grab the sheet and spread to pull over them, Scully lying back down on the bed. "I was thinking more along the lines of a warm shower," she smiled. Mulder grinned and both of them headed for the bathroom.

The next day

During the time Mulder was in hiding, after he had to leave Scully and William, he had always hoped that he could return to his life; return to his family and his job that had been his life. But he never really believed that it would happen. But after it was proven to the powers that be that he had been railroaded and wasn't guilty of murder, he and Scully had received word that it was safe to return home.

Kersch had helped them and had been instrumental in alerting honest factions of the government to the infiltration of super soldiers and an all-out effort had been made to identify and kill them. It was felt that there were still a few splinter groups of them, but the threat of an overall invasion was over. And Mulder and Scully were able to return to live a fairly normal life, except they would have to live it without their son.

The X-Files had been re-opened and Mulder had been put in charge again and had, much to Scully's surprise, asked both John and Monica to work with him. And occasionally, often more frequently, she was called in to consult to do an autopsy or analyze forensic evidence. Sometimes, she would be called in by Skinner to do nothing more than to keep Mulder on track, but those consultations generally weren't totally official.

During most of the day, they had busied themselves working on a couple of possible cases, making some phone calls, doing some internet research. John had been called in to assist on a kidnapping case in Connecticut, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, and he had left mid-morning, leaving Monica and Mulder in the office alone for most of the rest of the day.

"How's Dana?" Monica asked Mulder when she had returned to the basement after attending a meeting.

"Good. Why do you ask?" Mulder responded, wondering why Monica would ask since she'd just seen Scully the previous Friday.

"I'm aware of what yesterday was and I just wanted both of you to know that I was thinking about you," she told him directly, always one to get straight to the point.

And Mulder then realized that, of course, Monica would remember Will's birthday; she had delivered him. "Thanks," Mulder said, truly appreciating her sentiment but not able to say much further. About that time, his computer beeped, indicating that he had a new email. He was tempted not to even check it, figuring it was some FBI directive about expense report filing or something, but opened it anyway.

'Agent Mulder; Your son isn't with who you think he is.'

Mulder just sat there in stunned silence, unsure of what to do next.

One hour later

"We'll find out where this puppy came from, Mulder. Count on it," Langly said, his fingers flying over the computer keyboard in response to his latest challenge.

"So, Mulder, what do you think this means?" Byers asked, wanting to know what direction Mulder's mind was taking.

"It's pretty obvious, isn't it? Scully was told William was adopted by an average couple in an unsuspecting place," he said, his hands clasped in his lap, his feet dangling from the stool he sat on. "I would guess someone's trying to tell us that either that isn't where he is or they aren't who they were supposed to be." Whatever the exact explanation, someone was trying to tell him something that may indicate that William wasn't as safe as he and Scully thought he was.

"Scully know about this?" Frohike asked point blank.

"No, and I don't want her to know," Mulder answered quickly. "It would just upset her and I need to find out more first."

Frohike and Byers exchanged a look Mulder couldn't quite read but felt they were both thinking the same thing. "She's gonna kick your ass," Frohike told him, his irritation obvious in his voice.

"He's right, Mulder," Byers said, moving around the large table to stand next to Mulder. "And, um, we're not really comfortable with keeping things from her," Byers confronted him, Langly looking over the top of his glasses to see Mulder's reaction.

"What?" Mulder said, not really understanding what Byers was actually trying to say.

Byers looked toward Frohike and Langly and they both stopped typing, all three turning their attention to Mulder. Frohike spoke up first, "You know, while you were gone, after we thought you were dead, well, Scully became our friend, too."

"Yeah," Langly chimed in.

"What we're trying to say is, Mulder, that we will help you AND Scully check this out," Byers continued.

Mulder stood up, his look one of incredulity, but then one of fond understanding. And he suddenly felt like a heel. The Gunmen were more respectful of Scully's feelings than he was being and he felt like a grade schooler who had just been put in his place. "So, unless I'm honest with her, you won't help me," he said to no one in particular but all of them in general.

"That about sums it up," Frohike answered, looking at Mulder. "She's a big girl, Mulder. She's been through worse and handled it all without you."

Mulder looked at all three of them and realized how much he valued their strange friendship and felt some odd sense of pride that they were defending Scully, their friend, too. Mulder took a deep breath and spoke, "You're right. I, um, old habits are hard to break, I guess." Mulder found his coat and slipped it on, searching his pocket for his car keys. "Let me know as soon as you find something. I'll talk to Scully. Maybe she can help us with the adoption records." On his way out the door, he could hear the tapping of the computer keyboards, his, and Scully's, friends working to help them once more.


Later that evening Scully was surprised to see him, Mulder letting himself in her apartment with his own key, tossing his coat into a chair, finding her on the couch reading. "This is a nice surprise," she smiled to him, sitting up from her recline, setting her book on the coffee table.

Mulder sat down next to her and she could sense that he was tired, tense and had something on his mind. "What is it, Mulder? Is something wrong," she asked. Mulder leaned over a bit, his hand digging in his pants pocket and pulling out a paper.

"I got this email today at work," he told her, his eyes never leaving hers as he handed her the print out from his computer. Scully read the short statement, her eyebrows narrowing as she did.

"What is this supposed to mean?" she responded, her voice shaking with emotion.

"That's what I want to find out, Scully," Mulder said calmly, trying to diffuse her obviously escalating emotions. "But I wanted you to know."

Scully stood from the couch, reading and re- reading the paper as if it would say something different if she read it just one more time. "But, Mulder... William... What does this mean?!" she pleaded, not really knowing how to react.

Mulder went to her, grasping her shoulders and moving her gently to sit on the couch, taking the piece of paper from her hand. Her mind was reeling, her heart about to pound out of her chest. "I've got the Gunmen working on tracing the email. When they find it, they'll contact us," Mulder said quietly. "And we'll go from there."

"Mulder..." she sighed, her voice cracking despite her efforts to hold herself together. Mulder moved to hold her, Scully returned his embrace as she softly cried, all kinds of thoughts spinning through her head and her heart. "What if... what if this means he's in danger? What if someone's hurting him?" her tears flowing freely now.

"Scully, we'll get to the bottom of this. Both of us together," he comforted, his hands soothing up and down her back. "We'll make sure he's safe..."

They talked for a long time, Mulder trying to glean any information he could about William's adoption. "It was through my church. It was the only place I felt couldn't be touched by those who were trying to harm him."

"I think that was a good place to do it, Scully," Mulder told her, wondering how difficult it would be to get at their records. "But it might prove difficult to get any information from them."

"They promised me it was a good family and that my name would never be found in any of the records... or yours," she told him. "They promised me it would be registered as an anonymous adoption in their report."

Scully's comment sent Mulder's mind into another direction, having always wondered what she had listed as William's last name, if she had listed him as the father. But he also knew this wasn't the time to ask. "Well, we'll need the exact date of the adoption; the name of the person you talked to; anything that we might use to track things," Mulder told her. "We'll get that information to the Gunmen and use whatever resources we can tap at the Bureau."

Scully stood and moved toward her desk, her mind anxious to remember everything it could. She got a small locked metal box from out of the back of a bottom drawer and removed a folded document, two small feet printed on the back. "This is all I have. I figured since they obviously knew he was born, it wouldn't hurt to keep it," she said, giving him a sad smile as she handed him the paper.

Mulder looked at her for confirmation that it was okay for him to look at it and she nodded. He was surprised to feel his breath shorten, surprised also that he was so nervous about finally knowing the answer to his question. Mulder slowly unfolded it, his eyes not finding William's name until the fourth line and he felt a lump form in his throat. 'William Scully Mulder' it read, no hyphen. Three more lines down, 'Fox William Mulder' was listed as father. Father. He'd never actually seen it in writing by his name before.

"Think you wouldn't find your name?" Scully asked, giving him a soft knowing smile. Mulder gave her a nervous laugh, but she knew that was what he was looking for.

"Just call me 'Mr. Insecure', Scully," he joked uncomfortably.

Scully moved closer to give him a soft kiss, laying her head against his chest as she held her hand on his as they just stood there and looked at the only proof they had that they had created another life together. "Don't ever doubt that we made him, Mulder. Please," she told him.

"I never doubted that, Scully. I just wasn't sure whether you saddled him with my name," he chuckled as he held her.

"It's his name, too," she responded, her voice cracking. Mulder enveloped her in his arms, his mind drifting again to the email message and everything it could mean. He hoped they could make sure William was alright, but what would they do then?

The next day

They had given all the information Scully could remember from the horrible days surrounding William's adoption to the Gunmen and they were still trying to track down the origin of Mulder's email. Langly had located the hotmail account, but found a fictitious name that had been registered in a Washington internet cafe.

"You're going to go blind," Mulder said when he walked into the office seeing Scully stilled glued to her computer; just where he'd left her several hours before.

"Did they find anything more?" she asked him, Mulder having gone up to the communications department to see what the FBI could officially find out.

Mulder leaned against the desk where Scully was working and looked down at her tired expression. "Let's go home, Scully. You look like shit."

"Did they find anything more?" she asked, ignoring his remark and still making no effort to gather her things to go home.

"Langly found the origin of the email," he started, Scully reacting excitedly. "Before you get your hopes up, it was a fictitious hotmail account."

"From where?"

"Here in Washington."

"Well then let's go," Scully answered, standing and turning to gather her jacket from the back of the chair.

Mulder put his hands on her shoulders and guided her back into the chair. "Scully, you've been here for twelve hours. We can get a fresh start tomorrow," he told her calmly.

"We may find someone who remembers who used the computer or..." she said, knowing she was grabbing at straws.

"Scully, we'll go in the morning. First thing," he said, almost pleading with her. "Have you even eaten today?"

"Have I eaten? Is that what you're thinking about; whether or not I've eaten?" she said, her impatience with him very obvious.

"Come on, Scully. You're tired," he said, reaching over to turn off the computer monitor.

"Stop it, Mulder," she said angrily, turning the monitor back on.

Mulder was as angry as she was and stood to get his coat to leave. "Scully, dammit. Go home. You can't even see that stuff anymore," he said, irritated.

"He's my son!" she yelled, her voice almost desperate from fatigue.

"He's mine, too!" he yelled back.

"Well, you don't seem to care!" she shouted, standing to meet him as close to eye to eye as she could.

Mulder didn't say anything for several long moments, her last comment cutting him deeply. "Don't you dare say that to me," he said sternly, moving to walk out of the office. He turned back to look at her, still standing behind the desk with her hands on her hips. "You have no right to say that to me," he finished, his voice almost sad as he turned to walk out of the office.

Scully fell into the chair, burying her face in her hands as she sighed, so tired she couldn't even cry. She didn't mean what she had said to him, knowing he was as worried as she was, but just dealing with it in a different way. She leaned back in the chair and closed her eyes, rolling her head on her neck in an unsuccessful attempt to work out some of her stress. She knew that Mulder was right; wearing herself down to the point where she would be no good to anyone was not the way work to find their son. She sighed deeply and relaxed into the chair, just wanting to close her eyes for a few minutes...

Later that evening

Mulder had been irritated and angry and pissed and... feeling so bad about fighting with Scully that he stopped off for a drink, several actually, before he headed home. He was as mixed up about everything as she was, but for some strange reason, he was the one who was trying not to be impulsive and reckless for a change. He knew she was damned near panic stricken and he should be supportive, not treating her like she was some child who needed to be told what to do.

When he got to his apartment, he found the door unlocked and immediately pulled his gun, slowly turning the knob before swinging the door open with his foot. He could faintly hear the television on in the bedroom and knew instantly who was there. He slowly walked in, tossing his coat on a chair, gradually opening the bedroom door. Scully was on her stomach on top of his bed, very obviously sound asleep.

"Scully?" he said softly, sitting on the bed next to her hip, touching her shoulder. "Scully?"

"Mmmmm," she mumbled, rousing from her sleep, blinking a few times before orienting herself to where she was. "Mulder..." she sighed as she turned over to her back. "Where've you been?"

"I stopped for a beer. I didn't expect you to be here..." he told her honestly.

Scully sat up and scooted against the headboard, her hands finding each other in her lap. "I, um, didn't want to leave things the way we left them at the office," she told him. "I owe you an apology, Mulder. I didn't mean what I said; I know you care."

"Apology accepted," he said, leaning in for a soft kiss. "We can't do this alone, Scully. We need to stick together," he smiled.

"I know..." she sighed, her eyes half-closed. "I'm just so tired... and irritable... and..."

"And scared. I know; so am I, Scully," he told her, taking her hand in his. "But we need to keep our heads about this."

"You're right," she said, moving towards him to slip her arms around his neck, laying her head on his shoulder.

"How about you get into bed and I'll go shower the cigarette smell off and I'll be in in a few minutes," he told her and she nodded her agreement.

Later, Mulder came out of the shower with a towel slung low around his hips and Scully was undressed, looking in his dresser drawer for something to slip on. "You got a t-shirt or something?"

"No. I don't have one thing that you could wear," he grinned, dropping his towel. "We'll manage..." Mulder led her to the bed and they both crawled in, snuggling together in the middle, Scully smiling as she laid her head in the crook of his shoulder.

They lay silently for a long time, neither of them sleepy and each knowing that the other was still awake. "I'm sorry you had to go through everything with William by yourself, Scully," Mulder said into the darkness, imagining Scully crying to herself alone, torn by her decision.

"I missed you so much..." she admitted, burrowing further into him.

"You aren't alone this time; we'll get through this together," he told her, turning to face her, wrapping his arms around her back. "We'll find him; we'll make sure he's safe."

Scully kissed him softly, her hand stroking his cheek, noticing how smooth it was. "You shaved," she smiled. "Hoping to get lucky?"

"Any time I have with you I consider luck," he told her sincerely.

"Jeez, Mulder, you really are wanting to score," she teased.

"I'm serious, Scully. I know we aren't much on the mush, but..." he hesitated, seemingly truly not knowing how to say what he wanted to say. "You do know that I love you, right?"

Scully kissed him again, trying not to let her tears come. "I've always wanted you to," she responded.

"Well, I do," he told her, the look on his face almost childlike, Scully thought.

"And I love you, Mulder," she finally told him, giving him a soft kiss, snuggling closer, squeezing him tightly.

Mulder returned her full embrace, his hands stroking against her skin, down her back, across her bottom. "I still can't believe I can touch you like this," he whispered, kissing along her throat as he pet her body.

"I wish you didn't feel that way, Mulder," she said, pulling back just enough to look at him.

"What? What do you mean?" he asked, thinking she misunderstood him.

"I wish you didn't feel like I'm doing you a big favor by being with you," she told him, touching his cheek. "Will you ever understand that I love you just as much as you love me? That I WANT to make love with you?"

"Probably not," he smiled, squeezing her bottom.

"Just as much as you want to make love with me?" she finished.

"No way that is possible," he teased. "No way."

"Well, way, Mulder. And someday, I will convince you of that," she told him, her mood earnest.

"Wanna start tryin' now?" he smiled, his hands moving over her again, moving to her breast.

"Dammit, Mulder, I'm serious," she sighed, taking his hand in hers and removing it from her breast, wanting to keep her thoughts from wandering. "It bothers me that you don't feel I care for you as much as you think you care for me. Why can't I make you understand that?"

Mulder could tell that she was serious and wasn't going to be cajoled out of her mood. He didn't know if he could ever explain to her about his feelings of being undeserved and why he felt that way. He'd never been able to explain it to anyone else. But this was Scully. And she had never left him and had told him she loved him.

Scully saw Mulder's thoughts spinning and it only took her a few moments to know what he was saying to himself. "Mulder, I will never leave you. I love you and I will never stop loving you. I need you," she smiled. "Haven't you figured that out by now?"


"Mulder, I'm not anyone else. I'm me and I'm not going to do to you what everyone else has done," she told him softly.

Mulder looked at her for several minutes wanting to see the confirmation in her eyes that he needed and found it. "Promise?"

"Promise," she smiled, leaning in to kiss him, softly at first and then intensifying things as she snuggled her body closer. "Now, let me show you..."

Three days later

The computers of the Catholic Church proved to be a formidable challenge to the Lone Gunmen. Langly figured the church hierarchy had access to the best computer people in the world and had good reason to need to make sure their private records were well-hidden; especially in the U.S. They were able to find one lone lead that an adoption was made on the date of William's in the northern Midwest, so Mulder and Scully had made the decision to start there.

"God, Mulder, I can't believe how nervous I am," Scully sighed, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath to calm herself. Their flight was lowering in altitude as they became closer to the airport and they were both strapped in, ready for the landing.

"Yeah," he said, taking her hand as they felt the landing gear drop down. "But I think we've got a good lead, Scully."

"I don't know, Mulder. I feel like we may be looking for a needle in a haystack," she sighed.

"But, at least, we got an idea where the haystack is," he smiled, giving her hand a reassuring squeeze.

They had gone to Pierre first since the diocese they had tracked the date of the adoption to was located there and they really didn't know where else to start.

"Yes, Father, I understand that, but we have reason to believe the boy may be danger," Scully said to the priest, trying her best to use the influence of her FBI credentials and authority.

"But, I'll reiterate, Agent Scully. I have no authority to release church records no matter what the reason. The Bishop can't even authorize that. You will have to petition the Vatican," he explained, seeming almost uninterested in her plight.

"But that could take months, even a year," she said, almost pleading. "This boy may not have that much time."

But, as they had expected, Scully got nowhere with the honest, direct approach, so she and Mulder had planned a midnight search. Mulder had gained entrance to the Diocese office easily, his lock-picking skills well-honed, and had located the archival records within only a few minutes.

"God, there's a lot to weed through here, Mulder," Scully said, taking in the rows of file cabinets and stacked shelves. "It could take all night."

"Find the most recent stuff. Maybe either the date of adoption or his birth date. We'll go from there," Mulder said, already looking, trying to find the church's system of organization. "If we don't find anything, I'll try the computer."

Later, Scully was on the floor several rows over from where Mulder had finally booted up the computer. "Scully, come here," he said excitedly. She came up behind him and immediately knew which entry in the directory he was keyed up about: *Adoptions- 2000-2002*

"Can you get into it?" she asked, her quickening heart rate almost taking her breath away.

"I'm not sure. It's password protected and it's networked to somewhere. We could set off an alarm if we mess with too much," he said, trying to think of another way.

Scully pulled out her cell phone and dialed the Gunmen, not even thinking about the time. Byers sleepily answered, "Scully?"

"I need you to see if you can hack into a computer network we've found in Pierre," she told him, passing her phone to Mulder to relay all the necessary information.

They had gone back to their motel and waited to hear from the Gunmen, hoping that they would be able to get in to the Diocese computer system. Scully had her laptop booted on the small table and Mulder was lounging on the bed surfing through the television channels.

"Scully, nothing is going to come up quicker on that computer just because you're staring at it," Mulder told her, flipping off the TV with the remote. "Come over here and try to get a little sleep. It could be hours before we hear from them."

Scully sighed, knowing he was right, but feeling that they were on the right track and that the Gunmen were going to find something. She kicked her shoes off and went in the bathroom to ready for bed, slipping off everything but her panties. She grabbed her pajama top and crawled into the bed, nestling in next to Mulder.

"Scully, we ARE going to find him. I promise," he said, moving her to spoon up behind her.

"And then what?" she asked softly.

"We'll make sure he's safe," Mulder told her next to her ear.

"And if he is, then we just leave? I'm not sure I can do that," she said, saying what both of them had been thinking, but neither had dared to yet say.

Mulder kissed her cheek as he thought about what to say next, unsure if he could see him and walk away either. "We have to, Scully. We have no rights over him if he is with who he is supposed to be with and is safe."

Scully turned to her back to look at him, "What if he isn't?"

"Then we'll do what we have to do, whatever that might be," he told her, bending to give her a soft kiss.

"God, this is so hard," she said, her voice finally cracking.

Mulder pulled her to him, his hands trying to soothe her. "Yeah, it is..."

They had only managed to sleep a couple of hours when Mulder woke first to the sound of Scully's cell phone ringing on the nightstand next to him. "Yeah," he answered groggily.

"Mulder, my man," Frohike's voice boomed on the other end of the line. "I think we got something." By this time, Scully was awake and immediately went to her computer to see if they'd sent anything. Mulder moved over behind her and watched the monitor as Frohike continued to talk. "We found an entry for April 28, 2002 for a baby, doesn't say what sex, that went through the Diocese to a Parish in Wyoming. I'll send you the link, but it won't tell you anything more."

"No name on the adoptive parents?" Mulder asked, hoping against hope that things would be that easy.

"Nada. But there may be something at the Parish office which we tracked down to Newcastle, just over the border into Wyoming." The file Frohike sent came up as Scully opened it, but as he'd said, didn't tell them much beyond what he had already relayed to them. But there were no other adoptions within months of that date listed through that Diocese, so it was either this one or they were totally on the wrong track.

The next afternoon

They had rented an SUV in Pierre and decided to drive to Newcastle rather than trying to catch a commuter plane which, no more frequently than they were scheduled, probably would've taken longer anyway. Mulder had suggested that they get settled into a motel first and then send Scully on another mission to the Parish office, both of them knowing they would probably get no further than they had at the Diocese office. But it was an easy way to check things out and get a minimal idea of the layout of the place.

And, as expected, Scully had made absolutely no headway with the local priest, but had found out that he lived above the Parish office, so she and Mulder would have to be a bit more creative in getting to the records.

"So what's for dinner, Scully?" Mulder asked as they had left the Parish office, Mulder never missing a chance to think about his stomach. Scully smiled, finding some kind of comfort in Mulder's predictability. "We probably have a choice between bison and buffalo. Or, if you prefer, we might be able to find a bison burger," he teased her.

"Yum..." she replied absently, her attention elsewhere. Mulder glanced over at her and could see she was deep in thought, inattentively staring out the window as he drove toward the motel. "It's beautiful here..." she spoke, her voice almost a whisper. "Maybe he's been happy... content, living a good life."

"Maybe," Mulder answered, hoping it was true, but fearing that their son had just continued to be a pawn in someone's sick game.

They had decided just to grab a sandwich at the diner at the motel, and had returned to their room, deciding to wait until the next day to try to get to the Parish records, planning to wait until the Priest would be out. "I think I'll go for a walk," Scully told him, slipping on her jacket.

"You okay?" he asked softly.

"I'm fine; just a little restless I guess. Hopefully, the fresh air will make me tired," she told him, giving him a slow smile before she gave him a soft kiss.

"Need any company?"

"Will you try not to take it personally if I say 'no'?" she smiled to him.

"Bring me back an iced tea," he answered, returning her quick kiss before she walked out the door.

Scully had walked for almost an hour, finding a well-lit park close by, stopping in a coffee shop for a short cup of decaf. She felt the brisk air had cleared her head a bit, giving her soul some peace she knew she had to have to deal with what they may find in the days to come. And suddenly, she just wanted to get back to Mulder.

At the last minute, she remembered his iced tea and stopped off at the motel diner again. "Two iced teas to go, please," she told the woman at the counter, glancing around the room at the few scattered patrons. Scully handed the woman a couple of dollars and when she held out her hand for her change, a couple of the coins fell to the floor, bouncing against the tile.

"I'm sorry, ma'am," the woman told her, bending to pick up the rest of her change. And that's when Scully saw it, the tell-tale malformation on the back of the woman's neck; she was a super-soldier. Scully tried not to let her inner fear become outwardly apparent to the woman, simply taking her change and her teas and leaving.

"Scully, what's wrong?" Mulder said immediately after Scully entered their room.

"Mulder, we have to get out of here," she said, going to the closet to get their suitcases and tossing them on the bed.

"Scully, wait... What is wrong? Tell me," he said, grasping her shoulders to calm her down.

Scully leaned into him, resting her forehead against his chest as she tried to breathe and still herself. Mulder wrapped his arms around her loosely, now very worried about what must have happened. Finally, Scully looked up at him and he could see the abject fear in her eyes. "Scully?"

"The woman in the diner is a super soldier. She bent over and I saw the protrusions on her neck, Mulder," she said in a rush, moving back over to the suitcases on the bed. "We have to get out of here."

"You're sure?"

"No doubt."

"Did she seem to recognize you?" he asked.

"No. She was the same woman who waited on us at dinner. Did she seem odd to you then?" she asked, taking their things from the dresser and putting them in their luggage.

"No, but I'm not sure that means anything," he said, reaching to finally help her pack. "Look, I think we need to call Doggett and Monica. I think this may be deeper than we may have thought. There may be more and we could use some help," Mulder told her, Scully surprised to hear him admit it.

"I think that's a good idea," she said, zipping her larger bag closed. "We'll find another motel and work from there."

Three days later

John and Monica had arrived on the previous day, both flying into Casper and driving to meet Mulder and Scully at their new location. All of them checked in under fictitious identities, the necessary ID's being provided by the Gunmen via John and Monica. The four of them decided to check things out, wondering how many super soldiers they may have to deal with.

"I thought they were dead; that they weren't a threat anymore," Monica said as the four of them sat at the table in Mulder and Scully's room eating a light dinner.

"Most of them are," Mulder answered. "But we knew there were still a few strays living here and there. As far as anyone knew, they had just blended in, not bothering anyone since their leaders had all been killed. They were all just drones and with no one to lead them, well, no one gave the remaining ones much thought."

"Well, maybe they should have," Doggett said, his mouth full of his hamburger.

"I don't know. Maybe the woman Scully saw in the diner was just a coincidence," Monica said. "Maybe she is one who just faded into society with no agenda."

"It's possible..." Mulder replied.

"Well, I'm not counting on it to be a coincidence. We need to be as cautious as if every person we meet could be one of them, including the people who have William," Scully said, her voice almost breaking.

"At least we know how to destroy them now," Mulder added. During the military annihilation of the super soldiers, it was discovered that the only way to kill them was to immolate them.

"You know, I heard about this ammunition that will cause burning when it strikes. They even have one that will explode when it struck," John offered, remembering his days in the military. "It's a large gauge bullet, 30mm if I remember correctly, so it couldn't be fired out of our personal weapons."

"Well, Agent Doggett, we are smack dab in the middle of second amendment country, so finding any type of ammunition or firearms shouldn't be any more difficult than shopping for vegetables," Mulder pointed out.

"Yeah, I'll see what I can come up with tomorrow," Doggett added.

Two Days Later

Doggett managed to get a couple of weapons and the igniting ammunition without calling attention to himself and he felt they could deal with anything unexpected. They felt mostly helpless, just hanging around, doing essentially nothing. No one was sure who to trust, who may or may not be super soldiers. But they hadn't seen any more and they were all feeling somewhat better that the woman they had seen in Newcastle was just a coincidence, a super soldier who was simply living an everyday life. But they could never be sure.

Mulder and Scully had been into Newcastle a couple of times, just checking out the neighborhood businesses, chatting with the locals. They hadn't seen anything out of the ordinary, hadn't had anyone treat them suspiciously and they were fighting not to become disheartened. They hadn't had an opportunity to get into the local Parish office, the Priest barely leaving his rectory due to an illness, Scully found out from a woman after an afternoon Mass.

But then they heard from Langly. He had managed to find a saved copy of a small article in a Parish newsletter from 2001 that to most people would've seemed as innocuous as any other local news, but to him felt like the holy grail.

*Mike and Nancy Van De Kamp of St. John's in Gillette, are the proud new adoptive parents of an eleven month old baby boy, blessed upon their family on April 29th*, he read to Mulder over the phone. "That would make him born in May of 2001, wouldn't you say?" Langly asked.

"Shit, Langly... You got an address?" Mulder asked, thinking to himself he couldn't believe they may have actually found his son.

The next day

They had found a 'St. John's Catholic Church' located in Gillette, but realized that out in the middle of almost nowhere, people may drive from miles around to attend church, so locating a specific parishioner may not be all that easy. But the four of them had moved to a nice motel just outside of town, a small resort actually, and were posing as average tourists. Strangely, they hadn't yet been able to locate an exact address on a Mr. and Mrs. Van De Kamp, no one by that name listed in the local phone book.

Scully had gone to the church, lighting a candle for William, trying to talk to a few of the other patrons. She didn't want to seem too obvious, especially since enough attention was already drawn to her being a stranger. They knew that flashing any FBI credentials in a small, isolated place such as Gillette would get the whole town buzzing and they didn't want to scare anyone off. Unfortunately, the Gillette church was also covered by the Priest who had the Newcastle church, so there would be no new information to be gathered on that front. But Scully just knew they were on the right track to locate William; she could feel it.

Monica had also been mixing with the locals, visiting the coffee shop, an LL Bean, several other small clothing stores. But as she was entering a quaint little book store, she held the door for a woman carrying a large bag in one arm and a smiling toddler in the other. And as soon as Monica saw him, she knew it was William; the crooked Mulder grin plastered right on the baby's face.

The woman thanked her for holding the door and hurried into the front seat of a waiting pick-up, apparently headed home after a day of shopping. Monica was so stunned she was barely able to respond but was able to gather herself enough to get a good look at the man and woman and the vehicle and couldn't get back to the hotel fast enough to find Mulder and Scully.

As Monica pulled into the parking lot of the hotel, she spotted Scully getting out of her car. "Dana!" she shouted, Scully almost startling at hearing her name being called. Monica jogged toward her, taking her by the elbow as she hurried them toward the room door.

"Monica, what is it?" Scully queried, wondering what the hell was up.

"Let's go inside," Monica said, Scully still looking at her oddly as she opened the door with her key. "Where's Mulder?" Monica asked quickly.

"Uh, he and John went to the county courthouse. Monica, is something wrong?" Scully said, setting her packages on the bed.

Monica hoped that Mulder would be in the room so that she could tell them both what she'd found, but knew the news couldn't wait. "Sit down, Dana," she said softly, finally calming herself a bit. Scully followed her to the chair at the small table, still wondering what was on her friend's mind.

"I think I saw William. Actually, I know I saw William," Monica told her, figuring the only good way was the direct way.

"Wh, what? Where?" Scully asked, her voice almost a gasp, her heart beginning to pound.

"I ran into a woman at the bookstore carrying a baby, a small boy and it was William, Dana; I'm sure of it," Monica told her as calmly as she could. "You know I'd know him."

Scully's mind began racing, not knowing what to ask first. "Where... Did you follow them?" Scully asked finally.

"No, I didn't want to seem too obvious. But I got this," Monica smiled, pulling a piece of paper from her pocket, handing it to Scully. Scully looked at it, immediately recognizing it as a license plate number.

"Wyoming plate?" Scully asked, getting up to boot up her laptop on the desk.

"Yep. A blue Dodge Ram pick-up, fairly new model, I'd say," Monica said as she stood behind Scully, watching as she accessed the Department of Motor Vehicles files with her FBI credentials. They both stood silently, waiting for all the files to be searched and then it hit.

"Bingo," Scully said, almost under her breath. "Oh, my god..." There it was on the screen, confirming everything she had been afraid of. *2002 Dodge Ram Truck, VIN DO1933H4767F7602; Purchased 4-28-02, Registered to: C.G.B. Spender*

"Jesus," Monica said, seeing everything Scully had. "There's no address."

"Go figure," Scully said, knowing it probably wouldn't matter if there was one. "I can't believe this," Scully sighed, her emotions finally catching up with her. "Mulder's email was right; William isn't with who we thought he was. We've got to find him, Monica," Scully said, looking up at her friend with a desperate gaze.

"We will, Dana. We will," Monica assured her, turning as she did to the opening of the room door.

Mulder and John entered, carrying several take-out bags filled with dinner, no doubt. "What?" Mulder said, immediately recognizing the scared expression on Scully's face.

"I think we've found him," Scully said, her voice as strong as she could make it.

"Holy shit," John said, depositing his bags and coming over to see what was on the computer monitor.

"I saw him today in town," Monica told them, Mulder sliding his hands onto Scully's shoulders as he looked at the screen. "I got the license plate number."

"Did you notice...?" Mulder asked, unable to finish before Monica spoke, already knowing what he wanted to know.

"I couldn't see her neck, Mulder. She came out of a store and got right into the vehicle," Monica said. "She looked like a typical local; nice, old-fashioned mid- western look."

"Yeah, don't they all," John quipped.

"Well, we need a plan," Mulder said, trying to focus his thoughts where they needed to be.

They decided Monica should go back to the book store and see if she could get a name or an address on the customer she had passed. She had an idea to present to the store clerk, hoping that she wouldn't seem too obvious.

"Um, ma'am, I bumped into a woman and her young boy here earlier and found that this had fallen into my bag and thought maybe you could help me," Monica said, holding up a small wooden toy of a white buffalo she'd picked up at the store next door.

"Boy about two?" the clerk asked.

"Yes, I'd guess about that," Monica said, trying not to show her excitement. "A man picked them up in a blue truck."

"Sure. That was Nancy Van De Kamp. Comes in here all the time to buy little Billy books. Quite a reader, that kid," she smiled.

"Well, I'd like to return it to her. Could you tell me where she lives?" Monica asked, trying not to seem obvious, but not wanting to appear too nonchalant either.

"She and Mike live on the old Hilton road, about six miles out," she told her easily. "But you could just leave it here. I'd get it back to her; she'll be in again in a few days. Always does."

"Yeah, thanks, that would be great. Save me a trip," Monica smiled, handing the small toy to the clerk feeling it would be less obvious than for the woman to think she wanted to go to the Van De Kamp's home just for the return of an inconsequential toy. Monica bid farewell and exited the store, thrilled that she had gathered the information she needed.

Two hours later

The four of them had cussed and discussed just how to proceed with the information they now had, John and Monica knowing that, ultimately, it was Mulder and Scully's call.

"I think we need to inform the local law enforcement, Mulder," Scully told him. "If we don't, we'll be nothing more than a couple of vigilante parents wanting their child back."

"I agree with Dana," John added. "And if either of these people are super soldiers, we may need the help."

Mulder sat on the bed, his hands dangling between his knees as he stared at the floor, trying to process everything that was happening, weighing all of their potential options. "We'll have to check them out; make sure they're honest, not connected to Spender in some way," Mulder finally spoke up.

"Or super soldiers," Monica added.

"Yeah," Mulder sighed, the enormity of every decision they were making almost overwhelming him.

Mulder and Scully had made an early evening visit to the local sheriff's office and John and Monica had taken a drive to locate the old Hilton road. The sheriff's office was no more than a plain store front, a place a person wouldn't have figured for a police station if not for the sign above the door. There was one lone desk inside, a young deputy pecking out something on an out-dated computer. "Can I help you folks?" he asked, his voice friendly.

"I'm Agent Mulder and this is Agent Scully. We're with the FBI," Mulder introduced, both of them showing their badges.

"Okay," he responded, offering a handshake. "Deputy John Fitzgerald. What brings the FBI all the way out here?"

"We're looking for a suspect from a case in Washington," Scully answered, not exactly truthful, but not really a lie either.

Mulder tried to get a read on the deputy, noticing that he seemed open and honest, not hesitant or intimidated by their presence. "We're not really advertising our being here," Mulder explained and the deputy nodded. "You had any new people move to the area in the last year or so?"

"Only a couple or so. This isn't exactly a bustling town. Mostly ranchers and tourist related stuff. Everybody just tries to make enough to live on," he smiled.

Scully sat down in the chair next to the desk and the deputy returned to his, seeming comfortable. "Could you give us names, addresses?" Scully asked casually.

The deputy thought for a few moments, apparently searching his memory. "Well, we had the Bennett's move back here earlier this spring. Her mom's been sick and they've been here taking care of her. Umm, Charlie Barr moved here from Cheyenne; got tired of the rat race, so he said," the deputy relayed, those two seemingly the only names he could remember. "Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. Mike and Nancy Van De Kamp moved here about a year ago, bought a small farm. Kinda stick to themselves; Mike and the Sheriff are good friends though."

Scully tried not to show any recognition of the names and changed the subject. "You the only one who works here?" she asked, giving him an obligatory smile.

"Oh, no. Sheriff Perry's in charge. He's usually here during the daytime," the deputy relayed.

"You worked here long?" Mulder asked.

"This'll be my tenth year," he smiled, seeming proud of his experience.

"How about the Sheriff?"

"He's only been here a year or so. Brought in after Sheriff Ellis died. Strangest thing; never sick a day in his life," he said sadly.

"Brought in?" Scully asked, standing to walk around the back of the deputy, taking a look at the back of his neck down the open collar of his shirt.

"Yeah, appointed by the governor or some damned thing. Very political and I just stay out of that stuff," he finished.

"Listen, Deputy. I would appreciate you keeping our presence here quiet, even from the Sheriff. Think you can do that?" Mulder asked.

"No problem, Sir. Whatever you say," the deputy replied, almost eager to comply with a request from FBI.

"If we would need your help tomorrow, how could I reach you?" Mulder asked. The Deputy wrote down his home phone and cell number and told them to call; he'd be happy to assist the FBI anytime...

Monica and John had located the Van De Kamp house, their name proudly displayed on their rural mailbox. It was a modest farm house out in the middle of nowhere, no neighbors in any direction for miles. The Hilton road hit a 'T' only about a mile further down from their house, the left hand turn finally leading them back to Gillette. The four of them had met back at the hotel and they exchanged the information they had.

"The Deputy is okay but I'm suspicious about the Sheriff," Mulder told the rest.

"Yeah, I'd have to agree," said Scully. "And I think it's obvious that the Van De Kamp's showed up here at the same time William was adopted."

"So, whatda we do now?" John asked pointedly.

Mulder looked at Scully and could see that she was about as weary as she had been since they had left Washington and knew they all needed some down time. "I think we sleep on it and meet at breakfast to decide how to proceed," Mulder said, not really giving an opportunity for discussion. Monica and John seemed to understand, saying their good-byes and leaving fairly quickly.

"You okay?" Mulder asked, bending to her level where she sat in the desk chair.

"I don't know what I am, Mulder," she sighed, closing her eyes and leaning into him.

"Well, I know that you're tired," he told her softly. "Come on; I'll wash your back." She gave him a soft smile and stood, following him into the bathroom.

After they'd showered and Scully had dried her hair, they lay naked in the middle of the bed, holding each other, but not saying anything for a long time. Finally, Scully spoke, "Mulder, I couldn't be doing this if I didn't have you. You're the only reason I can hold myself together," she told him softly. Mulder was almost shocked that she had admitted that to him, knowing it took a lot for Scully to confess her inner feelings, even to him, even now.

"And I couldn't do this without you," he told her, leaning in to give her a soft kiss. He was surprised when she intensified it, wrapping her leg over his hip, pressing her breasts into his chest as she enfolded him in her arms. She shifted her body against him, rubbing her mound against his groin, her gesture telling him what she wanted. "I thought you were tired."

"No, you thought I was tired," she told him, the corners of her mouth trying to smile. "I need you..."

Mulder laid her on her back, his arms so strong. She would never tire of the power of his shoulders, the long muscles of his biceps. Those treasured arms surrounded her now as he kissed her mouth hard, plunging his tongue deep within her. Her hands moved possessively over his back, his shoulders, as she relished his kisses. No one's lips felt like Mulder's. His late night shadow of facial hair scratched at her skin, burned her lips as hers moved against his mouth. His hands were in her hair, his grasping fingers claiming her.

Scully rolled her hips against him again, felt him moan into her mouth at the contact. She wanted to surround herself with him.

"I need you," she breathed into his ear.

"You have me," he whispered huskily, reassuring more than her physical needs.

She kissed his chest, bit gently at his nipples, circled them with her tongue and pleasured in the soft sounds she brought from his lips. She wanted as much of him as she could get. They were entwined beneath the quilt, lost in one another.

She was still half drowsy, moving and acting on pure instinct and need, letting herself have this moment, fears lost with the feelings of loving Mulder and him loving her.

Mulder was kissing her skin now, drinking her in, tasting her. He was at her breasts, lingering with kisses and touches and licks that relaxed her as she now lay on her back. He found comfort there, resting against her, feeling the warmth and safety of her body. The knots in her stomach were softening, as his mouth trailed down her stomach, strong hands kneading her breasts and the gentle circular motion of his hips against hers tightening her groin in needy anticipation.

She twined her fingers through his hair when his tongue lapped over her clitoris. "Oh, *God*..." she moaned, unable to silence the throaty sound. A thrill coursed through her body like a lazy wave and she tightened her fingers into the length of his hair. She needed this so badly; needed to be somewhere but in the conscious world which had put her child in harm's way.

He circled his tongue, eagerly tasting her. She watched the taught muscles of his back as he moved his fingers into her, her hips bucking from the mattress, her hands grabbing the bed sheets. "Mulder...Oh, God..." Her consciousness was drifting in the warmth and pleasure of the glide of his tongue and the purpose his fingers.

But this was too good, she was too close. Not yet. She needed the real thing. She dug her nails into his skin and pulled him up toward her. He complied after a few moments, missing the loss of sweetness he found between her legs.

"Love me," she breathed, lids hooded, breath uneven. He was hard as a rock against her hip as he held himself above her, his body resting on his forearms. The desire in his eyes seemed to overpower hers, but she got off on his arousal as much as her own. He kissed her again; hard and hungry as she pulled up to meet his lips.

She reached down and grasped his penis, enjoying the husky gasp brought about by her fingers and guided him into her.

Mulder grasped her hips and pulled her tight against him, their joining feeling like the ultimate collaboration. She could see already that he wouldn't last long. The need for closeness and connection had transformed into craving and desire and brought them both near the edge with unwelcome speed.

He made his first thrust all the way into her and she nearly lost what she was trying to hold back. He was right on her spot, pumping into her slowly and deeply, hard, just the way he knew she needed it. The utter power of his hips filled the deep ache between her legs and she knew she was almost there. She bit into his shoulder as he moved against her and he didn't flinch; he never did.

For Mulder, it was almost too much, needing her more than anything. He needed to feel her inner desires that she had so often masked in her life. Mulder was close, breath raspy, arms trembling as he drove into her. She gasped with each pull back, never wanting him to move away, needing him tight against her for as long as she could hold on. Mulder gripped the pillow, moaned softly close to her ear, and the break in his voice, the aching need of the last moments before climax, pushed her over the edge with him. The pleasure was almost too much to bear.

Scully clung to Mulder's back, capturing him deep inside her, riding out her orgasm as his own muscles pulsed against hers, holding him as close and as deep as she could take. They were breathless and wordless, softening in one another's arms as he kissed her ear, his hands threading through her hair. A thin sheen of sweat covered their skin, his weight pressed against her chest. She felt safe...


The next afternoon Mulder had called Deputy Fitzgerald and the four of them had met him at their hotel. They had filled him in on the important parts of their theory, quite a bit of talking necessary to convince him that they weren't crazy. Had he not read something about the government created soldiers months ago, they probably would've failed.

John had given him one of the high powered guns he had secured, him having the other and they drove out past the Van De Kamp house, parking down past the 'T' in the road to hide the car. All five spread out, but only far enough to still be seen by each other, and moved through the woods to stake out the house. The truck was in the drive and there were freshly washed sheets hanging on the outside clothes line, so it appeared that the family was home.

Scully tried not to let her heart pound, taking deep breaths to calm herself as they all sat camouflaged behind the tree line. Mulder glanced over at her, his nod to her saying so much more than the others knew.

Soon, the sound of a car coming down the gravel road echoed against the stillness of the countryside. As soon as it came into view, Mulder felt his stomach roll, his breath catching in his throat. It was the sheriff. He looked over at the deputy and he seemed as shocked as Mulder was.

The sheriff exited his squad car quickly, taking the front steps to the house two at a time. He was a big man, his hair shaved closely to his head, his eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses. They could see that he went into the house without knocking and all five of them had a sinking feeling that something was not right.

In only a few minutes, the sheriff and another man, a man the deputy knew to be Van De Kamp, came out into the yard and seemed to be discussing something very vigorously. Mulder moved quietly over to Scully and crouched down next to her. "Something's wrong," he whispered to her.

"I know, but what can we do?" she answered.

"I'm not sure we'll get another chance, Scully."

"I know... I know..." her voice cracking. "We can't let our chance get away, Mulder. We can't..."

"Then let's go," Mulder said, their eyes meeting in silent agreement. "Let's go!" Mulder said to the others and they moved toward the house in their pre-planned design.

When the sheriff and Van De Kamp saw all of them closing in, the sheriff pulled his gun and began to fire, Van De Kamp running toward the house for cover. Monica was able to shoot him, but, as expected, he was a super soldier and he merely stumbled from the impact of the ineffective bullet. "John!" Monica yelled and he turned and fired his special issue gun at Van De Kamp, hitting him squarely before he burst into flames. The sheriff hid behind his car, still shooting with all the firepower he had. He grabbed an assault weapon from the front seat, opening up a barrage as he ran for the house, all of them taking cover, unable to fire at him.

Suddenly a woman came out the door, "Michael!" she yelled, running toward her husband, now fully engulfed in flames where he lie on the ground. Scully had a clear shot and fired at the sheriff, causing him to stumble. His momentary hesitation allowed Monica and Mulder to move around to the side of the house, getting in better position. As they did, the sheriff opened fire again, one shot hitting Monica and she fell against the shrubbery next to the house.

John ran towards her, firing at the sheriff, his body jerking, staggering before it fell, and bursting into flames. But as he fell, his finger still wrapped around the trigger, the gun just kept firing, several rounds hitting Mrs. Van De Kamp as she had tried to cover her husband's burning body, hers collapsing onto his.

Knowing that all of the others were likely dead, Scully ran to Monica first, torn between going in the house in search of her baby and helping her wounded friend. "I'm okay, Dana. I'm okay," Monica said as she wrapped her jacked around her thigh, her wound apparently not life threatening. "Go find William."

John sidled up next to her, "You okay?" he asked, his breath panting.

"I'll be fine; go check Mrs. Van De Kamp," Monica told him, scooting to lean her back against the house.

Scully ran for the house, up the stairs and in the front door where she found Mulder, holding a squirming toddler in his arms. "Oh my God. Oh my God," Scully said, not really believing what she was seeing. But she saw what Monica had seen; this boy was indeed her son.

"Scully, it's him. It's him..." Mulder said, the wonder in his eyes almost more than she could bear. He handed William to her, Scully holding him to her as she rocked him, kissing everywhere she could find. Soon, the deputy came in the house, slowly walking toward the scene before him.

"That him?" he asked innocently.

Mulder and Scully looked at each other, and then turned back to the deputy. "Yeah..."

Three weeks later

After the scene of the shootings had been cleared, the body of Mrs. Van De Kamp being taken to the morgue, what was left of the sheriff and Mr. Van De Kamp was readied to be flown back to Washington to be examined at Quantico. Monica had been helicoptered to a hospital in Cheyenne, John going with her even though Scully had checked her out and knew she was going to be okay.

Despite pleadings from Mulder and Scully, William was placed in a county certified foster home until a custody hearing could be scheduled. They had called Skinner to let him know what had happened and, coincidentally, he had gone to college with a guy who worked in the Wyoming Attorney General's office. Go figure. Skinner had pulled what strings he could to expedite things and a hearing was scheduled within three weeks, lightening speed as far as the government was concerned.

Mulder and Scully hadn't been able to be with William alone, but had been allowed daily visits with him at the foster home along with a social worker. They had been lucky and felt that the foster parents were kind, caring people and the social worker had been understanding and accommodating. Deputy Fitzgerald had been helpful, keeping an eye on the foster house, stopping by every now and then himself.

Neither Mulder nor Scully had gone back to Washington, keeping their hotel room, not wanting to be very far away from William. It was the day of the hearing and Scully had left most of her breakfast in the john in their hotel room. She didn't think she had ever been more nervous, or scared, in her life.

"It's going to work out, Scully," Mulder told her as they drove to the courthouse. "We'll get him back."

Scully leaned her head back on the headrest, letting out a deep breath as she looked at him. "Promise me..."

"I know you think I can't, but I'm going to, Scully. We WILL get him back," he said, taking her hand in his.

When the hearing started, William still wasn't in the court room and Scully nearly panicked. "Where's William?" Scully whispered to the social worker where she sat behind her and Mulder.

"He's in the judge's chambers, Dana, with another social worker from my office. He's fine," she smiled and Scully trusted her; she had no real choice at this point.

Mulder and Scully's lawyer presented their case and DNA reports as evidence that they were his natural parents. Deputy Fitzgerald testified, as did another FBI agent out of the Cheyenne field office who had investigated the scene at the Van De Kamp farm house. The deaths of the two super solders had been explained and justified, several people in the courtroom shocked at the realization that two of their townspeople hadn't been who they thought they were. Mrs. Van De Kamp's death was ruled a terrible tragedy, but no one's fault except possibly the sheriff's. When it turned out she wasn't a super soldier and had been killed in the crossfire anyway, Scully felt great remorse and guilt. But on the other hand, she had to admit, if the woman would've lived, they may have had a much more serious fight on their hands for custody of William. She felt pangs of guilt for her feelings of relief as well, but needed to stay focused on her son.

Monica had recuperated well enough in a few days to be released, she and John returning to Washington, but flying back out to Wyoming for the hearing, both of them testifying as well. The state had no real reason to fight Mulder and Scully's petition to get William, actually understanding that they had been the ones to suffer the greatest injustice.

"In all my years on the bench, I have never had a case that was as strange or unbelievable as this one. What's even stranger, however, is that I believe what happened in this case. And as a member of humanity, I apologize for what has been done to you and your son," the judge told Mulder and Scully compassionately. "I hereby nullify the adoption of William Scully Mulder by Michael and Nancy Van De Kamp and return full custody and rights to his natural parents, Dana Katherine Scully and Fox William Mulder." And with the rap of a gavel, William was home again.

Two months later

*Now began our real journey. Hitherto our toil had overcome all difficulties, now difficulties would spring up at every step.

I had not yet ventured to look down the bottomless pit into which I was about to take a plunge. The supreme hour had come. I might now either share in the enterprise or refuse to move forward. But I was ashamed to recoil in the presence of the hunter. Hans accepted the enterprise with such calmness, such indifference, such perfect disregard of any possible danger that I blushed at the idea of being less brave than he.* Mulder read, William almost asleep.

"Mulder, you are going to give him nightmares," Scully whispered as she walked in the room.

"'Journey to the Center of the Earth', Scully. It's a classic," he smiled, closing the book. "Something every boy should read."

"Yeah, maybe when he's twelve..." Scully smiled, loving that Mulder spent every available minute with his son, but still questioning his skewed selection of reading material for a two year old. Scully bent to give William's forehead a soft kiss before reaching for Mulder's hand. "Come to bed," she smiled. "And put that damned book away."

The two of them had returned to Washington with William, both of them taking a couple of weeks off from work to regroup, take time getting to know their son all over again. It only took a few days for them to realize that neither apartment was going to be adequate, so they had found a larger one in Bethesda and they had both put theirs on the market to sublet until their leases ran out.

Scully's mother became William's babysitter after they had both returned to work and William was crazy about her and she him. She couldn't believe she had her grandson back. Monica had returned to work, desk duty only for a while and Mulder and Scully felt eternally grateful to her for helping them. Mulder had even admitted that he now saw what Scully had always told him John was made of but he still didn't often give John a break. It had become part of their relationship, Scully guessed.

Later, after Mulder had put Jules Verne back on the shelf, they lay together in bed talking, still in a state of wonder over their child. "I still can't believe it," Scully said, her breath tickling through the hair on his chest as she spoke.

"Believe what?" Mulder asked, having a general idea of what she meant, but wanting to hear her say it.

"That he's here with us and he's okay and not in danger anymore," she explained softly, her fingers moving idly against his abdomen.

"I wish Spender was still alive so I could kill him all over again," Mulder said. While they were waiting for their hearing to regain custody of William, they had found documents in the Van De Kamp home and more in the home of the sheriff indicating that Spender had, indeed, been involved in placing William under the supervision of his own hand-picked super soldiers. And what had made Mulder the angriest was that the only reason Spender had done it was just to keep the child away from him and Scully. No other reason.

The whole reason of wanting William for his 'powers' had become moot after Jeffrey Spender had given William the injection in Scully's apartment which had essentially nullified his 'specialness'. The elder Spender had just wanted to deprive Mulder and Scully of their child, their chance at a family.

"It' over, Mulder. He's dead and I don't ever want his named mentioned again. Okay?" Scully said, sitting up next to him to look him straight in the eyes to reinforce her point.

"You know, I've think I know who sent us that initial email, the one that led us to William," Mulder said, hoping she'd allow one last thought on the subject.

"Who?" she asked skeptically.

"Jeffrey Spender," Mulder said, having no real proof, but trusting his gut feeling.

Scully thought only a moment before she looked at him and nodded, her gut telling her he was probably right. "Well, we'll accept that as poetic justice and move on with our lives," she said, Mulder knowing also that that chapter of their lives was over.

She sank down into the bed next to him again, snuggling into him, her leg wrapping over his. "Love you..."

"Love you, too... Mom," he said, the word a soft caress carried on a gentle smile. His voicing of that word to her felt overwhelmingly intimate and she sensed something tight uncoiling within her, a soft smile finding its way to her own lips.

"Thanks... Dad," she whispered back.

She felt the heat of his lips as they drew toward hers, the delicious thrill at the moment of contact never lessening. She could still taste the sensations of their first kiss in each succeeding moment she met his lips. One soft kiss, then another, her fingers lacing through the fine hairs at the nape of his neck while she drank in the warmth of his lips.

And then his long fingers were beneath the quilt on her ribcage and his palm cradling the back of her neck and everything else was melting away. The hole in her heart, the void in her soul had been filled by the return of their son and the deep love she felt for Mulder.

Mulder knew what she wanted, always sensed what she needed and moved over her, settling between her legs. His foreplay, his painstakingly detailed efforts to get her aroused, ready for him was never really anything she needed, but she'd never tell him that. All he ever had to do was kiss her, barely touch her bare skin and her body immediately responded, readying itself for his entrance into her. But he always knew, also, when she didn't want that; just wanted him to push into her, wanted him to be joined with her totally.

Tonight, their loving was slow, but deep and hard, Mulder strong and assertive above her. He could be so gentle sometimes, other times being playful and silly, while being desperate and forceful the next time. He always kept her guessing. Finally, he began to move faster against her, his hips moving in a way she recognized as the beginning of his need to climax. "Uhhhh, Scully," he groaned, his face falling to the pillow next to her neck as he stopped, his hips pressed tightly flush against hers.

"It's okay, Mulder. Let go," she whispered to him.

"You," he was able to mumble, telling her what she already knew; he was trying to wait for her.

"I'm almost there. Just don't stop," she told him, moving her hips slightly so that he was rubbing on just the right spot when he began to move again. "Oh, yessssss," she sighed when he hit it.

And he climaxed hard, the combination of his last thrusting, his warm liquid going in and being pushed back out, sending her over the edge shortly after. Mulder felt like he could barely move, but kept rolling, undulating against her 'spot', prolonging her climax, her body shuddering over and over.

When they finally broke away, they didn't speak. Eye contact was enough, always had been. Soft hazel and thick lashes stared into azure eyes and expressive eyebrows and said as much as ever could be said with simple voice. Even though he was now her husband, the father of her son, he would still always also be the young man in the glasses who had greeted her with derision one sunny afternoon in the basement and shared a child's joy over an orange X on the pavement one rainy night. All of that was who he was to her... her existence.


Feedback welcomed and answered at philer@onemain.com

Read More Like This Write One Like This
Toddler William fics list
Get William Back!list
Christmas Reunion Challenge
William's 5th Birthday Challenge

Return to The Nursery Files home