Title: The Return
Author: Philemom
Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully are not mine. Well, Mulder is in my dreams but that's beside the point. This work is for fun and I am making no money from it. For ownership, see 1013, Fox or Chris Carter. Yada, yada, yada.
Time Period: Post-Requiem
Spoilers: Requiem only. This is my own little glimpse into their lives, in my own little world. No mention of any eps past Requiem.
Category: MSR, a bit on the angst side of Fluff
Archive: If you really want to, just let me know.
Rating: PG

Summary: Something happens while Scully is writing a letter to her unborn child.


Dana Scully sat down at the small desk in the main room of her apartment. Pushing aside the real world for a while, she picked up the letter she had begun earlier that morning. Little one, This is a hard thing to do. But I feel the need to get my thoughts together now, so that I can explain them to you when you are older. There are things you need to know, things about your father. I only wish that you could have the opportunity to know him, but I fear that you will only know him through my memories. I have exhausted all avenues in my hopes of finding him and I am now trying to find the strength within me to carry on his quest alone.

I received the news that he was missing on the same day I heard of your pending arrival. Mulder would love an irony like that. Mulder. We rarely used each others first names. At this moment, I can only think of one or two occasions your father called me Dana. I can't remember a time that I thought of him as anything else. Never in my life did I believe that my last name could be a term of endearment, but it was when he spoke it.

We had such a bond, Mulder and me, that at times we needed no words to communicate. A look could say volumes, and often did. The sometimes dangerous and usually confidential nature of our work only strengthened it. Ours was not a pairing full of passion, but one deeply rooted in friendship and respect. We stumbled into love, a love that remained unspoken. That is my greatest regret.

Wherever your father is, whatever he is enduring, he doesn't have the memory of soft words from me to draw on. Only an embrace in the FBI hallway. I tell myself that that is enough. I had less during my absence from him, but the strength of a touch to my hand brought me back. Back to him, and to our work together. I can only pray that lightning strikes twice.

Rereading this letter, I realize that I have generated more questions than I have answered. That was not my intent. But perhaps it will serve its purpose, and open a dialogue that will bring closure to us both.

Scully leaned forward again to finish when a chill ran down her spine.

She heard the voice that haunted her dreams, and nightmares whispering through her head. Even though she knew she was alone, she turned in her chair and surveyed the room. Then she rose, crossed to the door and opened it before she realized what she was doing. She was just about to close it again, when a huddled form at the end of the hallway caught her eye. The overhead light was out and she couldn't see who it was. Until he lifted his face.

"Mulder," Scully breathed in disbelief and prayer.

Rushing as fast as her pregnant body could take her, Scully slipped an arm around his waist and led him into the apartment. "Mulder?" she said again, trying to get any sort of reaction from him, but he remained mute. Nearly catatonic thought the doctor in her.

Not knowing what else to do, Scully led him to the bedroom as she had once before. She backed him up to the bed and gave a slight shove to make him lie down. He did without protest, curling into a fetal position and closing his eyes.


For the next 48 hours she did little but watch. Watch him sleep, watch the steady rise and fall of his chest, watch the second hand as she checked his pulse. Watch the hour hand crawl around the clock face. Emotions coursed through her ranging from elation to doubt and panic. In the height of her doubt, she unbuttoned his shirt and checked for the scar she had put on his shoulder when she shot him. In the height of her panic, she changed clothes trying desperately to hide what wouldn't be hidden. Finally, he woke. Scully, who had been sitting next to him, stood suddenly. Mulder met her eyes for a long moment. Neither spoke, nor did they need to. Six months apart hadn't lessened their bond, Scully noted, relaxing a bit.

That's when Mulder's eyes widened. "Something you want to tell me, Scully?" he'd said after a long pause. Just the sound of his voice, hoarse as it was, caused her to sink to the bed and dissolve into tears.

And then, after Scully's long vigil over Mulder, it became his time to take care of her. He sat up and pulled her to him, cradling her head onto his shoulder. He said nothing knowing that empty words were not likely to comfort her.

When the tears were spent, Scully pushed away from him. "I'm sorry for that," Scully said in a voice roughened by tears.

"That's a change," Mulder responded, placing a finger under her chin and forcing her to meet his eyes.

"What is?" Scully's brow furrowed in confusion.

"All I usually hear is 'I'm fine, Mulder'."

Scully laughed briefly then turned serious once more. "Mulder," she said, "I need to know what happened."

"That should be my line," Mulder quipped, his gaze indicating her swollen abdomen. "We'll get to that next," Scully said with finality, indicating that she wanted her question answered. Now.

"I don't know," he responded. "The last thing I remember before seeing you in the hallway was standing in the forest with Skinner." "Missing time," Scully muttered, using Mulder's terminology for abductees with no memory of the event. And however frustrating it was to her, Scully knew that no question would clear away that mental block. She herself refused to even try. How could she ask any more of him? Based on what they had pieced together about her abduction, she had come to the conclusion that she didn't want to know.

And she doubted Mulder did either. Searching for the truth was one thing, reliving torture was another.

"So," Mulder said abruptly, his eyes once again drawn to her stomach.

A small smile tugged at the corners of Scully's mouth as she took his hand and placed it over their growing child. Perfect timing, little one, she thought as the baby chose that moment to shift positions. Mulder's hand flew from her stomach as if He'd been bitten.

"Whoa," Mulder whispered, then placed his hand back where it had been. "How did this happen?" he asked, his voice still a whisper.

"You mean to tell me that with all those videos you like to watch, you honestly don't know?" Scully smiled again, trying to lighten the mood.

"I told you those weren't mine," Mulder responded in his "that's my story and I'm sticking to it" voice. "I thought you couldn't have children. That's why we didn't..."

"I thought so too," Scully cut him off, not entirely sure she wanted to have a post mortem on an event that took place seven months ago. "I saw my doctor right after I found out and he did an ultrasound. It seems the human species need to procreate is a strong one. He found no evidence of sterility. Whatever they did to me, it seems to have reversed itself."

"And, um..." Mulder cleared his throat. "I guess that means..."

"You're going to be a father, Mulder."

Scully barely got the words out before her throat closed with emotion. After that, the words came easier. Scully brought Mulder up to date on her recent cases. She touched on the basics only, not wanting the real world to intrude into their reunion. Once Agent Doggett and Skinner found out he'd returned, all hell would break loose. Scully wanted to savor their time alone. For as long as she could. A comfortable silence surrounded them. But the events of the past two days caught up with her and she leaned her head back, letting her eyes drift shut.

"I'm sorry, Mulder, but I can't keep my eyes open," Scully said softly.

"Then don't," Mulder responded, matching her soft tone. Scully drifted off to sleep, happy for the first time in months. Her last conscious sensation was Mulder's hand on their baby.


A few hours later, Scully sat bolt upright in bed. Shaking her head slightly, she glanced at the other side of the bed. It was empty. Melancholy filled her as her mind tried to tell her it had been a dream. "But it seemed so real," Scully said to the empty room.

"What did?" Mulder asked, walking back into the room and shutting the bathroom door.

"Nothing," Scully smiled, trying not to exhale too loudly.

The room filled with the faint sounds of bedsprings and sheets rustling. Mulder lay next to her, with both of them on their sides. Scully marveled at how right this felt, how sure, lying in bed with Mulder's hand covering their child.

"Did you think I'd left?" Mulder asked.

"I thought it was a dream," Scully clarified.

"Do you want me to leave?"

"Never."

"Scully?" Mulder asked.

"I mean it, Mulder. Don't ever leave me again." Scully once again found her throat constricted with unshed tears.

"I'm not going anywhere, Scully. And I'll promise that in front of any one, any where, any time."

"Mulder?" Scully sat up and turned on the nightstand light, not sure exactly what he was saying, afraid to even hope.

"Well, we've been partners for seven years, Scully. Don't you think it's time we made it official?"

Scully could think of no words that would fit this moment. She couldn't even bring herself to answer. Instead, she placed her hand on the back of his neck, threaded her fingers through his hair and pulled him to her. It surprised her when she felt resistance.

"What's wrong?"

"I won't go any further until you say you'll make an honest man of me, Scully."

Scully smiled until the smile burst into a laugh. "Of course I will, Mulder," she said, then paused. There had been no words of love from him, only a backhanded marriage proposal. It wasn't that she expected hearts and flowers, that just wasn't Mulder. But a small doubt had crept into her thoughts and refused to be dislodged. "Maybe I should say we will."

"I wasn't asking SJ," Mulder said, his eyes fixed on hers. "I was asking you. You have to know that I love you, Scully."

"I do?" She paused and let out a sigh. "I do," she said with conviction. "And I love you. I have for so long, I don't remember a time that I didn't."

Another silence descended. This time, an unsettling one. They were on unfamiliar ground. Neither was the romantic type, and words like this didn't come easy. On the other hand, both knew they needed saying.

"Same goes. So we're agreed?" Mulder asked, an almost childlike uncertainty on his face.

"We're agreed."

And they sealed the agreement in the most fitting way.

Later, as Scully drifted closer to sleep once again, she turned to face Mulder. "SJ?" she asked, confused over the initials he'd used earlier.

"What else?" he responded.

"Scully Jr.," they said in unison.


Months Later

"Hey, Mrs. Mulder?" a voice called from the back room.

Mrs. Mulder. Scully shook her head at Mulder's new pet name for her. After much internal debate, Scully had decided to keep her maiden name after they were married. Professionally, it made the most sense. Not that that stopped her partner. He only used it occasionally, but it was becoming more of an endearment to her than "Scully" was. They still called each other by their last names. Scully guessed they always would.

Explaining that one to the PTA was going to be interesting, she laughed to herself.

"What?" she called back.

"Whatever this little guy wants, he clearly doesn't want it from me," Mulder said, his voice getting clearer as he approached.

Scully turned in her chair to look at him. Jeans and a grey t-shirt. How many times had she seen him dressed like that? Only this time, the t-shirt was stained with something vaguely resembling milk, and he was cradling a baby in his arms. The bottle he was supposed to be feeding his son was in his one hand, still full.

The piercing wail of a hungry baby put all other thoughts away, and she took the child from him. "I guess he's not quite ready to give me up," Scully grimaced as the baby latched on.

"Can't say that I blame him," Mulder grinned and Scully swatted at him with her free hand.

"By the way," Mulder said, "this came in the mail."

Scully took the piece of paper from him and scanned it. A slow smile crossing her face.

The baby's birth certificate. They'd talked for hours on end about what to name their child. There were so many names to consider, names of honor to those that had died or touched their lives during their quest for the truth. Samantha, Melissa, Emily, Penny, Bill, Walter, Albert, Jeremiah. But all were discarded for the same reasons. They simply couldn't choose. How could you honor one without honoring all?

In the end, they had chosen Stephen James. Neither name had any strong connection, but had a private meaning for them alone.

As if he could sense his mother's thoughts on him, SJ chose that moment to disengage from his lunch, arch his back, and let out a resounding belch.

His father, standing behind them with his hands on his mother's shoulders, could only grin once more.

"That's my boy."

--End

That's it. My first attempt at X Files fanfic. I wrote this for myself...mostly to get it out of my head so I could return to the things I'm supposed to be writing. I hope you liked it, but if you didn't move on. Life's too short.


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