Who I am
Story: Who I am
Summary: The final part in the trilogy. This the end of the road for many, and a new beginning for others, as finally the longest case the X-Files has had comes to a head. Will Reyes pull through? Will William be taken by social services? And will any of them ever be truly safe even when this threat is gone? The answers are here.
Two Weeks Ago...
Gibson was stood alone in the desert, his back to the wind, the sun blinding him as he looked up at it. He could hear the faint sound of the familiar mixture of the engine and the tires rotating on the sand. As the sound drew closer Gibson turned around to see the black estate car coming to a steady stop. The distance between the car and Gibson was enough to see and hear the other person quite clearly. Gibson could see the license plate of the car and could see that like all the cars the FBI used it had 'Lariat Rentals' embossed on it.
The person driving the car opened the door, their foot reaching the sand and their hand grasping the top of the doorframe. As their whole body had emerged from the car Gibson was taken aback slightly, but even though he was taken aback he wasn't shocked. He was expecting this; the person he had agreed to meet had alternative motives of his own. As he hadn't known who the driver was, he was kind of excited now to see him. The driver had now stepped away from the car and was in Gibson's full gaze. Both of them took off their glasses and met each other's eye lines.
Gibson could read his mind, to find the driver had nothing but admiration for Gibson, the driver certainly wasn't afraid of him. This disappointed Gibson, as he was now the new alien race that was more powerful than anything else the X-Files had ever seen, and he expected to find people afraid of him, not glad to see him.
"Well, well, well. Gibson Praise."
"Do we really need introductions? I know who you are, you know who I am, can we get on with this?"
"You grew a pair with adolescence did you?"
"I've been through enough to know that no one has the right to give me any crap. And right now you know that too."
"I gotta say, I was surprised to be told you wanted to see me. How did you even know?"
"I've know since the day Skinner shot you. There was no way they'd let you die." Krycek smiled. He liked this boy now more than he ever had before.
"So, why me? What exactly are you playing at?" Gibson smiled and then offered the passenger seat in his car to Krycek.
"Let's go for a ride."
"Just get in the car Alex."
"You know, your buddies, Mulder and Scully, would be so disappointed if they knew what you were doing behind their backs, consorting with the enemy."
"I don't care what they think, in fact I'm looking forward to them finding out the truth."
"Yes. Get in the car Alex."
"What if I don't?" Gibson smiled and turned back toward the car.
"You will Alex. You don't know when to stop. That's always been one of your biggest problems."
"If you're reading my mind then..."
"I don't need to read your mind Alex, why do you think I called you? You're the greediest and most selfish man in America. You're just what I need." Gibson got into the car and started up the engine. Krycek hesitated and then slowly walked to the car and got inside. He looked at Gibson as he sped off through the desert, he didn't like being so easily read and interpreted, but he was also more excited about Gibson's new look on life than anything he had ever been through during his time through this unfathomable conspiracy.
Mulder sat up in a cold sweat waking from a nightmare. In the nightmare he saw Gibson and Krycek talking together in the desert, but he couldn't hear a word they were saying. This entire situation scared him, but now he had even bigger problems. He looked over his shoulder to look at Scully lying beside him, but she wasn't there. He got up and went into William's room. Scully was sat beside William's bed just watching him sleep. Mulder ached for her and yet he had no answers or solutions for what they were now going through.
"Mulder don't, you only ever use my first name in bad situations. Don't make this harder for us."
"It's ok, a bad pattern we got into from day one I guess."
"No I don't mean that, I mean this. You, watching your son sleeping for fear of losing him again due to my relentless search for answers and a way to stop the end of the world." Scully smiled at Mulder and he managed a small laugh as he walked over to her.
"I even sound crazy to myself now. That never used to happen."
"Things are different now."
"I know. But my heart isn't in this anymore. It's with you, William, and our baby." He placed his hand softly on her tummy and she joined his hand with her own as they held onto some hope of a brighter future.
"I know this will be hard for us both Mulder, but we fought to get our son back, I will not lose him again. Not now."
"I gotta say I can't believe how calmly you're taking this."
"If I didn't stay calm I think I'd lose it completely. I don't know that I can keep pretending
that this is making me feel about ten years older than I really am, but I'm tired, and I want
us to be safe, and away from the bureau and happy. For once in my life I want my family to be happy." Mulder pulled Scully towards him and she leaned on him as they both watched William. They were still holding hands and they gave each other a reaffirming squeeze to show that they were in this together and that nobody was taking their boy away without a fight.
"I'm gonna talk with Skinner tomorrow. I'm gonna leave the bureau and stay at home, keep an eye on William, and wait for news on Monica..." Scully sat upright with a startled look on her face.
"No Mulder you can't."
"What? But you never even wanted me there in the first place?"
"If anyone's leaving the FBI it's me. I can't cope with it anymore. I've already written Skinner my letter of resignation, I want to be with William, and I want to take care of myself so that our baby comes into this world happy and healthy."
"Are you sure about this?"
"Certain. You need to be in the bureau Mulder, it's not a career for you anymore, it's who you are. And the best place for you to protect your family from is in that office with the FBI's resources at hand. I know I was angry at first, but I realize now that this is how it was supposed to be. You belong on the x-files and I belong at home with our son." Mulder smiled. He agreed with everything Scully had said and despite the circumstances surrounding them he couldn't have been happier. As long as they stayed strong together they wouldn't let this beat them. They sat quietly watching William sleeping and they both knew what it was that they had to do.
When Monica's parents came into her room John didn't want to have to leave her bedside so that they could sit beside her, but he knew that it was the right thing to do. As Mr. and Mrs. Reyes stood over their little girl he couldn't stand what it was doing to them to see her like this. And he couldn't cope with all of the waiting. When he had informed the doctors that Reyes' parents were on their way, they had refused to give him any more news on her condition saying they were waiting to talk to her immediate family. It didn't matter that they had been living together and were in love, it was her parents they were willing to discuss her with.
John watched them as they stroked her face and touched her hair softly. Her father held her hand and said something in Spanish, which made her mother start to cry. John couldn't stand it. He turned to leave the room just as Monica's doctor walked in.
"Mr. and Mrs. Reyes?"
"Yes, I'm Monica's father, please doctor, why is she not awake?" John felt his breath catch in his throat, if he lost her his life would be over.
"Mr. Reyes your daughter was shot in the chest and it took us a long time to remove the bullet and stabilize her. The next few days will be critical. If we don't see any improvement or signs that she will wake up we will have to talk about our options."
"Options? What are you talking about options? She is our daughter, she will be ok from this!"
"Mrs. Reyes we conducted a preliminary test to check for brain activity in your daughter and the results were not good. But we will keep a close eye on her and run more tests through the coming up hours. I'm afraid I have to just ask you to be patient. Excuse me." The doctor left and Mrs. Reyes found her husband's arms and he looked over at John for answers.
"John, how did this happen?" Doggett didn't know where to start. They still didn't know about Reyes looking for her real mother or that she had discovered she had become friends with her half brother.
How did he even begin to try and explain this to them? And was it even his place to try? All he knew was that he loved their daughter and after everything they had been through together he was not prepared to let her go.
"I don't know what to tell you both, I really don't. But I love Monica, and we were doing just fine... and we'll get through this, she'll get through this. She's a fighter, she knows what she wants and she gets it. She doesn't want this, she'll be fine. She's just tired. Just tired." Mrs. Reyes turned to Doggett as he spoke and she cried as she rushed over to him and hugged him tightly. Doggett was startled but grateful. At last there was someone in the room with him who loved Monica as much as he did, who understood how awful it would be to lose her. Together they were stronger.
Mulder watched Reyes' parents with Doggett and envied him. He got to support her parents through this hard time and yet Mulder shared blood with Reyes and was watching from a closed hospital room door. It hardly seemed fair. But he knew it would be unfair for Reyes to wake up and have to deal with all the questions her parents would have if they knew the truth about her search for her birth mother. For now he would have to watch from the outside and concentrate on Scully and William. This was fine by him, this was his family, but so was Monica. No matter what her parents did and didn't know, she was still his family.
"I can't hide how disappointed I am Agent Scully, it goes without saying."
"Thank you sir."
"But I understand your decision. And I'm very pleased for you and Mulder, about the new baby." Scully smiled at Skinner and it suddenly hit her what she was leaving behind. Skinner had become a surrogate father figure to her and watched over her for years, now she was stepping out on her own from under the FBI's watchful eyes.
"It's the right thing to do. I have to think of William. I can't lose him again."
"Of course not. I wouldn't have expected you to make any other kind of decision, and Mulder's behind you on this?"
"Absolutely. I was out of my depth when I first started on the x-files with him eleven years ago, I'm right back where I started, only older and I hope wiser." Skinner nodded his head.
"And Mulder wants to stay and handle this Gibson business?"
"Understandably. I still can't quite believe it, and you know Mulder, he won't ever doubt someone until he has proof of their deceit. Part of me hopes he doesn't find it. We protected Gibson, he was our friend."
"I know, but he's just a boy."
"He's in his late teens sir, he has his own mind and after all these years of being dragged around and hiding from the worst fears imaginable its no wonder he has decided to take a stand for himself."
"Well I hope that if Mulder does find him he's able to find out what's happening, because if the FBI gets to him first, Mulder wont get a look in. He must know that."
"He does. But between me, William, and seeing Monica in the hospital, his time is limited." Skinner nodded.
"Any news on Agent Reyes?"
"No. Nothing new. John won't leave her side, and her parents arrived this morning, so I have no idea what's going on. Mulder's there now." A silence encircled them and it was unpleasant for both. Skinner was the one to try and move the conversation along.
"What will you do? After you've had the baby I mean?"
"Be a mom. I never realized how bad a job I was doing until now, William needs me, especially now, I can't have him see me with another child and wonder why he never got that opportunity with his mom."
"You're a terrific mother Dana, you have to believe that, everyone around you does."
"Thank you. It means a lot to me, and I umm, I just want to say I hope that it doesn't mean I wont see you as a friend. I know I'd miss having you in my life, you've done so much for me, and for Mulder."
"I would never let that happen, after all what would William do without his Uncle Walter?" They both smiled and Scully rose from her chair hinting that it was time she should leave. Skinner walked around the other side of the table and held out his hand to Scully, she laughed slightly and instead pulled him into a hug where they just stood and held each other, knowing that they wouldn't be standing here now if they hadn't supported each other and been allies through their hardest times in life. It said a lot that they were still friends and still cared about each other. Whether Scully worked at the FBI or not
nothing would change that.
"Take care of yourself sir."
"You too Agent... Dana." Scully turned and opened the door and smiled to see William playing with his toys sat on Skinner's secretary's chair. He beamed up at her and held out his arms. She picked him up as the secretary returned, and thanking her for watching her son Scully left the building and shed a tear for the last walk down the FBI corridor's she ever hoped to take.
William was startled by all of the people around him in suits and looking serious and boring. He knew that his parents worked here, but they smiled and had fun too, he knew they did. So why were all of these people so bland and dark? He could feel his mom was worrying too; he always felt it when she was upset. And he didn't want her to worry because he knew that there was another baby. He knew that there was another person inside his mom. He could hear her.
Gibson looked around and when he was sure he wouldn't be seen by anybody he snuck into the FBI lobby. He looked around again and slowly made his way towards a dark corner he had noticed before that the security cameras did not pick up on. This was all about him now, not about conspiracies or the government. He was not human, he accepted this, and the only thing that was a threat to him was the FBI, so he simply had to remove that problem. He had lost contact with Krycek, and was angry that he had not kept up his side of the bargain. But as he himself was now doing, Krycek ran a one-man show, and he only looked out for himself. Gibson suddenly saw that this was not a bad way of living. It wasn't a hard job to remove the FBI from his path. He knew which files he was looking for, he knew what he had to do to Kersh to get the entire FBI manhunt cancelled and leave him to carry out his tasks in peace.
As he slid along the darkened wall something caught his eye and made him stop. What was she doing here? And him too! That boy made him nervous, the only thing left that Gibson couldn't figure out was William Mulder. Mulder and Scully's son was the only mind he had never been able to read, not ever. And as he watched Scully carrying the small boy from the FBI's halls he shivered. And she was pregnant now too. What the hell did that mean? It had to be a normal kid, conceived naturally, although it was still a mystery how she was able to conceive at all, but that didn't concern him. So long as William stayed out of his way, the baby stayed normal, and Reyes stayed in a coma nothing could stop him from carrying out his duties. The only person he owed anything to was himself.
When Scully had left the building he continued his path until he reached a stairwell. He quickly opened the door and began his ascent to the deputy director's floor. Then it was down to the basement to take care of business down there. It didn't matter if there was someone around, or people began to turn their heads as they realized who he was, because when you can read people's minds you can always be two steps ahead of them whilst they screw up there attack. As he opened Kersh's office door he smiled at seeing the man vulnerable and alone. This was going to make things so much easier. He closed the door behind him and thrived on how scared he could sense the man was. He continued to walk closer and closer, until he was almost touching the desk, which was the only thing between the two of them. Gibson smiled and Kersh panicked as suddenly for him, everything went dark.
Kersh was the only thing standing between Gibson and the completion of his power over the FBI's entire system. With Kersh disabled it was all systems go and he was now in control of everything that a deputy director could overlook and command.
Scully sat with Reyes and sighed. Doggett had stepped out to go to the bathroom and her parents were checking into a hotel somewhere locally. She had agreed to sit with Reyes for Doggett; he refused to leave her alone. William stood beside her standing on his tiptoes to get a clearer look at Monica. He didn't like it when adults lay down during the day, he knew that this meant they were sick, and being sick was a bad thing. He was confused, and his trail of thought was interrupted as Mulder walked into the room and made a fuss of the small boy before going over to kiss Scully softly. They turned to look at Monica and William did the same. Why couldn't his parents hear her like he could?
"How did it go with Skinner?"
"As I thought. He was sweet, it was hard, but it was the right thing to do."
"Yes. Why? What's wrong?" Mulder hesitated for a second and took her to one side away from William's prying ears.
"I just got off the phone with Skinner. Kersh is dead." Scully felt her knees buckle as she unconsciously heard what Mulder had said over and over again in her head. He could see how unsteady the news made her, it had had a similar effect on him, but he pulled her into a hug anyway to make this seem easier on both of them.
"What the hell is going on Mulder?"
"I don't know. But I think Gibson was there."
"There was a message on a piece of paper by the body, Skinner retrieved it before it got taken as evidence."
"What did it say?"
"I got your back." Scully looked up at Mulder and frowned.
"What does that mean?"
"I have no idea, but I still don't feel convinced that Gibson is behind all of this."
"I know, I know. And I will be careful, and I wont ignore what the evidence shows me, but I have to give him a chance to explain. I think I know how to begin tracking him down too..." As Scully and Mulder continued to talk they didn't notice that by climbing onto a chair and then pulling himself up onto the bed, William was lying over Reyes listening to her heartbeat. When they finally turned to observe the quiet boy they were startled and rushed to remove him but he gripped firmly to the bed sheets and they had no choice but to stand and watch.
"Mon'ca likes me. She wanted a hug." Scully felt tears in her eyes as Mulder moved closer to his son and took one of his small hands into his own.
"What else did she say buddy?"
"Look after her mommy and daddy. And Uncle John needs to eat something. Mon'ca say so." Scully was furiously wiping her eyes as Doggett walked back into the room and was startled by the scene before him.
"What's goin on?" William finally let go and Mulder picked him up and went to stand beside Scully.
"He just wanted to see her, we turned our back for a second..."
"Its fine." Doggett smiled at the boy and he smiled back.
"Uncle John you have to eat something. Mon'ca told me." William held out his hand and offered the sweets that he had merrily been munching on to Doggett. Doggett smiled and took the boy into his own arms for a hug. He was grateful for such small honesty around him.
"John, you should know..."
"About Kersh, yeah I just spoke with Skinner myself. You gotta find him Mulder, I don't care whether he's guilty or not, he's the one we need, you gotta find Gibson."
When Mulder and Doggett arrived at the bureau they didn't expect Kersh's body to still be in his office. They walked past the police tape simply flashing their FBI ID and could feel something eerie as they stepped through the door. Mulder had persuaded Doggett to take a break from his vigil by Monica's bedside when her parents had re-arrived. He wanted to look out for Doggett, but at the same time he hated being referred to as a work colleague of Monica's, her parents looked at him suspiciously whenever he was around, if only they knew the truth. Scully had taken William home and was in need of a break herself, upon Mulder's insistence she had gone for a lie down.
Doggett walked over to the body and slowly pulled back the sheet covering it. He was startled by what he saw and couldn't cope with the sight of it for long.
"Man, its as if someone just came in and twisted his head right the way around before shooting him."
"Well when we get a bullet we can get a gun, and then we can get an owner."
"A little optimistic for my liking, there's a lot of evidence in this room that we'll probably never find."
"You mean like this?" Doggett looked over at Mulder and when he saw what he was holding he walked over and took the object himself.
"What the hell is that?"
"I have no idea, but it looks an awful lot like an implant."
"So what, Gibson's gone on a killing spree because of an alien implant?"
"No, maybe Kersh had one. Check the back of his neck."
"Its kinda hard to tell what's the back and what's the front." Mulder walked over to the body and pulled back the sheet, Doggett was right. He struggled for a while figuring out what was supposed to go where, but he found a small scar on the base of his neck, with a recent scratch.
"This must be how they kept Kersh in their hands, how Gibson knew where to find him, what he was doing and when. He didn't stand a chance."
"Sympathy for Kersh isn't something I ever thought I'd feel. But that's a bad way to die."
"No kiddin'." The two men circled the body again and were startled by the coroner arriving rather quietly behind them.
When the body had finally been removed they were able to look underneath the scene of the crime and they found even more evidence to add confusion to the scenario.
"What the hell is that?"
"That is green alien blood, but why the hell its not melted into the carpet I've no idea." Mulder looked around the room. And he finally noticed what was going on. There were small scenes from various x-file cases lying all around him, almost like a museum of his career. The green alien blood, the implant, then there were pencils poking out from the ceiling, a boost bar that Pusher used to eat, the tool that Gerry Schnauz had used to insert in his victim's eyes, there was a bee flying around in a small container on the window sill, the exact same gifts that he and Scully had exchanged for Christmas when they had met that ghost couple who tricked them into thinking they had killed one another.
This was personal; this was personal stuff that wasn't just related to the x-files but their lives. Doggett was having the same concerns as he noticed things from his own work on the x-files lying around, his numerology sheet that Reyes had worked out, a picture of the third eye reminiscent from the nightmares he had had after not long joining the x-files. They were both alarmed by what the room was telling them.
"What the hell is this all about Mulder?"
"I'm not sure, but I think I have a pretty good idea who does."
Mulder looked at the screen and reached for Scully's hand without even thinking about it. It was an automatic reaction to being able to see his child at just thirteen weeks old. He could see it perfectly, and as the tears formed in the back of his eyes he couldn't help feeling certain that this was all a dream, that there was no way on earth he should ever be lucky enough to be with his soul mate, to have a beautiful son and a healthy second child on its way. Of all the highs and lows in his life, this one moment made every second of sorrow and pain worthwhile. Every other little event in his life had led to them being here at this moment in time, and he wouldn't have changed any of it for the whole world.
He had missed out on so much when Scully had carried William, hell he had been dead for most of the term of her pregnancy. So as well as making sure he showed William how much he adored him whilst he breathed and walked around home, he had to make sure that his second child did not fear for only having one parent. He couldn't handle that, not again. This time he would do it right, and he would do it proud. What the hell did he have to stay quiet about? Other men would kill to be his shoes, and she picked him. Dana Scully picked him.
The midwife left them alone for some privacy as they sat and admired their baby as any parents to be would. They had already made their request to have a photograph and Mulder was insistent that they get a copy of the video too. Scully had laughed at him but felt so complete at having him beside her, this time it was all going to work out ok. Mulder looked at her and she smiled, she was glowing and he had never been more in love.
"I can't believe that's our baby Scully. Its so small."
"I know. Its pretty amazing."
"Wow, why did we not do this sooner." He was making a statement not asking her for an answer, it made her feel that the most important woman in the world, and she dared to think that in Mulder's world she was.
"Well we got here eventually, I think that's the most important thing."
"It'll be different this time, it'll be better. And I'll be here, the whole way, I'll be here."
"I love you so much." He looked at her sparkling blue eyes and the smile that she couldn't hide at seeing her healthy baby on the monitor. He took her hand and kissed it softly.
"When Monica gets out of the hospital, you know what the first thing I want us to do is?"
"Get married. We've put it off for long enough."
"We haven't put it off, there have just been more important things."
"Well there shouldn't be! This is important, us. When Monica's fully recovered, we're getting married."
"Can't do it without the whole family there right?"
"Right." He kissed her again and they both instantly turned back to the monitor. They truly wanted this time to be easier, it made Scully feel slightly guilty, almost as if it made her sound like she resented William's birth and the time she carried him, but she had been alone. She had been afraid and alone and there had been nobody for her to confide in. There may now be a search on for a serial killer that had once been their friend, but their family was safe, and this time it was for good. They had their guardian angel watching over them, and it was doing a great job.
Doggett sat with his back to Monica's parents. He didn't do it to ignore them, he did it because it was the only way that he could keep both eyes on Monica at all times. They had been so sweet to him, and had made a fuss of him, in his opinion so that they felt easier about being able to do nothing for their daughter, but he didn't mind. If it was making life easier for them then so be it, it certainly wasn't doing him any harm being allowed to watch her sleeping day in and day out. It had been a week now and she showed no signs of waking up. Nobody could explain it. There was nothing wrong that the brain scans could show, every scan, test, examination, they all came back blank, not a doctor in the hospital could explain why she was not conscious.
Of course as she was an FBI agent nobody at the hospital made any kind of fuss about them leaving a patient wasting a bed or taking up valuable space that another patient could have been using.
Doggett had almost lost her once before because of a doctor eager to cut her up, this time he had her parents on his side, and he wasn't going to stand by and watch her slip away. By sitting with her she would know he needed her back, she would know that she had no choice but to wake up and pick up in her life where she left off. It was a horrible thing to say but he was grateful she was in a place where she could be watched twenty-four/seven, where she could be protected, kept safe until Gibson Praise was apprehended.
As he worked the knots in his neck he felt Monica's parents staring into his back. He turned around slowly and they both smiled at him.
"John I have to ask, who is that man that keeps stopping by?"
"Who? You mean Mulder?" Her mother nodded.
"Yes. I walked in yesterday and he was crying by her bedside, tell me, you weren't having problems, he isn't another love interest?" Doggett smiled, and it hurt because he hadn't smiled in days. But how did he answer this without telling them everything. Maybe he should just come out and tell them. Would it really be that bad?
"Fox Mulder is another agent at the bureau. He worked on the unit Monica and I are way before we came along on the scene. He's a good friend, and he and Monica had become close over the past couple of months."
"But why? What happened?" Ok, he had to tell them now. He wasn't one to get a reputation for lying. They had a right to know what Monica had found out about where she came from.
"Monica looked into her past just after Christmas last year. She had discovered with the help of a DNA test conducted within the bureau that she and Mulder shared the same birth father. She went looking for her birth mother and discovered she had passed away, but she had a sister living in the same house and she got closer to her, and who she really was. The aunt passed away a few weeks ago, and since Christmas Monica and Mulder have been getting to know each other better, as a brother and sister. That's why he's been stopping by so often, because he's family. Because he wants her to wake up just as badly as we do." He stopped talking and realized maybe he should have taken a break sooner because Monica's parents looked horrified.
When her mother ran out of the room in tears he turned quickly back to Monica and replaced her hand in his own. Maybe that hadn't been the best idea after all. But when her father stood up and placed his hand on Doggett's shoulder he turned to look at him and was surprised to receive an understanding nod as the man walked out of the room in search of his wife. Doggett prayed that somehow this would all pan out for the best. Things certainly couldn't get much worse.
Reyes had seen the girl three or four times now. And every time she would simply just smile and then disappear. Not all dissimilar to what had happened with Audrey, but this was different. She was in a playground, with swings and slides and sandpits. And she didn't know how long she had been there but she knew that she couldn't leave. Not yet. Sometimes she could hear other voices. These voices sounded like John, and Dana. And sometimes she thought she could see Mulder crying, but none of it was real, it was as if it were a dream. But which part of this wasn't a dream?
She remembered the bullet, time had stood still and if she didn't know any better she could swear that she saw the bullet enter her, she had felt it pierce her skin, enter her chest and lodge itself there. Everything after that moment was a blur. She had come close to death she knew that for certain, for she had watched herself wheeled into the hospital from the distance, everything was from a distance, so far away from her that she could do nothing but watch and wonder.
She had seen other people. She did not know who they were but she had seen so many faces walking around the park that she did not understand what this place was. She had seen her aunt. The only living blood relative, apart from Mulder, which she had ever met. And she didn't want to believe it but her aunt always came by with another woman, they never looked at her though, not like the others. When the others walked by they nodded and smiled at her, as if she was doing something commendable, but her aunt and this other woman walked by without once looking at her. The thought that this woman may be her mother scared her. Because that meant she was closer to death than she liked to believe she was.
Despite her concerns she was not afraid, not once had she been startled or feared for herself. Something was at work to keep her safe, somehow she felt safer here than she ever had in the 'real' world. But why? What was she supposed to do here? And for how long? If she was lying in a hospital bed somewhere was it simply a case of waiting and seeing if some doctor somewhere, or God forbid, her family and friends, to decide she was gone? Would she even know if they let her go? She had no idea about anything. But still she was not afraid; there was nothing here that promoted a reason to be frightened or anxious.
The one thing she desperately wanted to know was who that little girl was. She looked to be about eight or nine years old, and there was something oddly familiar about her, as if she should know whom she was without needing to think about it. All the girl had ever done was smile at her and then disappear again, as if she was biding her time to get Reyes to do or say something that would explain what all of this was. Somehow Reyes knew that this little girl was the only person walking around this park at intervals throughout the day that she needed to pay attention to. And she only hoped that soon she would know why.
Scully opened the door and wasn't surprised to see Doggett still irremovable from Reyes' bedside. She walked over to him and placed her hand on his shoulder. He didn't turn to her but he reached his own hand up and placed it over hers. He knew she was there if he needed anything, that was all that mattered. When Mulder walked in close behind he smiled at Scully and took her other hand and kissed it as Doggett turned around. He smiled at them both and stood up.
"You get the sonogram?" Scully nodded her head slowly. She didn't want Doggett to have to force himself to be pleased at a new life coming into the world when nobody knew if Reyes would be coming back into it or not.
"Can I see it?"
"Please, I want to see it." Scully released her hand from Mulder's and took out the small photograph from her pocket. She handed it to Doggett and a huge smile spread across his face.
"Wow, you can really make out the detail here, this kid wants to be seen, obviously gonna take after his dad." Mulder smiled proudly and he felt a deep need to give the man a hug, but he resisted. Now wasn't the time, and certainly not the place.
"Is everything ok so far?" Doggett directed the question to Scully, not only as a concerned mother but also as a doctor, a part of her that he knew she never left far behind.
"Yeah, everything's fine. We're doing good."
"Good. I'm glad." He looked back at the picture and then towards Mulder.
"There's something I need to tell you both, something I did this morning, that I'm not sure I should have."
Mulder stood level with Scully and retook her hand. It made Scully smile that he couldn't keep his hands off her, almost as if his touch was a way he could communicate with his unborn child as she carried it. They turned their attention to Doggett as he prepared himself to explain.
"I told Monica's parents about the situation here."
"What situation exactly?"
"With Mulder. And Monica looking for her birth parents." Mulder took a deep breath and Scully did the same but a little more discreetly. The news had made a huge impact on both of them.
"I know I probably shouldn't have, but they keep asking so many questions about you being here and why you show so much concern for Monica, I didn't know what else to say. There was nothing I could do to put them off the truth." Scully sat down on the chair at the back of the room and left Mulder and Doggett looking at each other square in the eye.
"Thank you." Mulder offered out his hand.
"I've spent all this time here feeling like an intruder, like I don't have a right to be concerned or upset, or to want her to wake up as badly as you do. But you've change that now. You've allowed me to feel like her family." Doggett nodded his head in an understanding and took Mulder's offered hand.
"It was the right thing to do, Fox."
"And I appreciate it John." Scully fought back the tears in her eyes as she watched the two men put their differences aside, the use of first names seemed to be something on the x-files that did not come into play, ever. So when it did on the odd occasion it was with good reason, and this was a perfect example.
As Mulder and Scully walked out of the hospital to collect William from Scully's mom, he placed his arm around her and she leaned into him, just like any normal happy couple would. They were both thrilled about the baby, but it was agony to feel such joy so closely along side the pain and fear that such an important person in all of their lives may be gone forever.
Scully and Mulder sat down with William and were all ready to tell him he was going to be a big brother. They had agreed that the time was right, and that they should tell him together, but Mulder was working against the clock, he had a meeting with Skinner about Gibson, and he was hoping to get a copy of the report on Kersh's death too. So they sat down and William looked up at them from his favorite spot in the middle of the living room floor with his toys. He smiled at his parents contentedly. It was nice to see them together, and even better to see them happy. But he knew what they were going to tell him, he had known before they did.
"William, come and sit with mommy." He walked over to his mom and she pulled him up onto her lap for a big hug. He laughed and then reached for his dad too so that he could feel them both close, the whole family together.
"William your mommy and I have something to tell you, some exciting news."
"Then can I play with my toys again?" Mulder laughed at his son and tickled him.
"Yeah you can kiddo." He looked at Scully and they both smiled at one another adoringly.
"William, mommy and daddy are going to have another baby."
"And that doesn't mean that we don't want you, or love you any less."
"Scully he's three..."
"Humor me." Mulder laughed at Scully's concerns for William feeling left out or unwanted, but he didn't believe that the small three-year-old would entirely know what was happening anyway. So when William smiled and put his hand on Scully's stomach both she and Mulder felt their breath catch in their throats before he spoke to them.
"I knowed it already. I talked to her in the morning." He kissed Scully and Mulder before joining his toys again and giggling up at them suddenly. "She says that she liked it when mommy sang to her in the shower." Scully couldn't stop the tears that ran down her face with no control at all. Mulder was awe struck as he watched his son carry on playing with toys as if talking to his unborn sister was the most normal and natural thing in the world. He took Scully's shaking hands into his own and pulled her close as they sat together admiring their boy, and at the same time being terrified about what this meant for him and his future.
They were preparing themselves for an interview with a social worker in just three days time, and if William acted differently to any other three-year-old boy then they risked losing him, again. Mulder knew Scully's fears without her saying them out loud. He had those same fears. But right now Mulder was pinning all of his hopes and faith on Skinner and the meeting he was going to. Doggett was supposed to be there too, but nobody expected that he would leave Reyes. So Mulder prepared himself to hear what Skinner had to say and prayed that it was good news.
Reyes had walked around the park and covered its entire area at more times than she could count. And there was no way out, no way in, and no sign of where she was or what she was supposed to be doing. But still she remained calm, she felt tranquil and happy, it confused her and she wished that she was in control of her feelings, but it was more than clear she wasn't. She didn't even know what day it was, there was no night and day in this place, and her watch hadn't worked since she had been shot. So how long had she been here?
When the little girl came over to her again, she followed her when she tried to disappear. She was gaining on her, she was sure that this time she would reach her and find out who she was. She finally caught up with her and the girl turned around before Reyes could reach out to touch her, almost as if she was pre-empting what Reyes was doing, she knew that she was being followed, that Reyes wanted now was the time to turn around and answer her.
When Reyes saw her face she still wished she knew why the child looked so familiar. Something somewhere inside of her said that she knew who this small girl was. The girl simply looked at her and said hi.
"Who are you?" The girl continued to smile as she spoke.
"My name is Emily."
As Scully kissed Mulder goodbye he promised to call from the FBI as soon as he had finished his meeting with Skinner and told her not to worry. He didn't want to leave her at home knowing all she would do is sit and worry about William, and whether he would be with them much longer, or if they needed to be concerned about his claims he could hear his unborn sibling.
With Mulder gone Scully sat down and placed her hand on her stomach, she could feel a slight bump already and it sent a happy tingle throughout her body. But as she watched William the skeptic in her said that he couldn't possibly have been communicating with her baby. The part of her that was still routed in science despite everything she had been through, repeatedly told her that her son was normal, that the only voices he heard in his head were his own. But the part of her that had grown with Mulder, that she shared with him now as he shared in her science, told her to be realistic, and that if she wanted to keep her family together she had to be honest with herself.
Staring at the four walls of her apartment was making her feel dizzy. She put some things in a bag for William and placed him into his stroller. Some fresh air would do them both good instead of being cooped up indoors all day.
As they went through the park together William fell asleep, and Scully was relieved that his mind was getting some rest. If he really was reading people's minds then he needed all the rest he could get. She watched him sleep for a while and didn't want to stay out too long in case Mulder called. So as she stood up to walk home she didn't expect somebody to grab her arm and tell her to act natural so nobody would get hurt.
"Just keep walking Scully, over to the car parked across the street. We're going for a ride..."
"If you think I'm getting into a car with you then you've seriously misjudged me..."
"Don't argue with me, I'm doing this for your own good. Gibson Praise is on the other side of the park; he's been here waiting for you all day. Just get into the car." Scully didn't like how her arm was being pulled in a direction she had no desire for herself and her son to take.
"Listen to me Krycek I don't work for the FBI anymore, so you can't get anything out of me because I don't work for the government now."
"I don't care about that, and even if I did you're practically married to the only man inside the government that has any power right now, so you'd be the perfect person to target an attack on."
"Are you threatening me?"
"I'm trying to save you, both of you. Now get in the car." As they reached the outskirts of the park Scully managed to pull her arm free and stopped steadfast before she was forced to do anything else. She was sick of being pushed and pulled around.
"Just leave us alone Krycek, is that really such a hard thing for you to do?" Krycek didn't do anything, he simply nodded his head in a particular direction and Scully turned behind her to see Gibson Praise. Nothing that made any sense in her head told her she was safer with Krycek than with Gibson, no warning alarms came on, she just did not want to get into a car with Alex Krycek.
"You expect me to find you less threatening than a boy that we still have no hard evidence for his crimes?"
"He's afraid of William."
"He can't read your boys mind, the only person in the whole world who he can't read and he doesn't like it. William is the one thing stopping Gibson from being the ultimate power, if anything happens to your son, nothing will stop Gibson from controlling every single alien race that has ever visited this planet, and then it's the end for all of us." As she looked into Krycek's eyes she wished she could see some element of honesty, anything that showed her he was genuinely concerned for her safety. But still she remained standing on the sidewalk.
It was at that point that a car came speeding around the corner and screeched to a halt beside Scully and Krycek. The passenger door flew open and Scully slowly looked inside and was startled to see Mulder driving the car.
"Get in the car Scully! Now!"
As Scully loaded William quickly into the car, with Krycek's help, Krycek then ran to his own car and sped off just after Mulder slammed the pedal to the floor to get the hell out of there. The sooner he got his family away from the open space and the dangers of the predators around them the better. His meeting with Skinner had proved to give him news that he did not want to hear. It made sense in its own twisted way, but for all the years they could have prepared for something like this, they never had, and they had never dreamed to have such an enemy grow from such a friend.
As he sped along the streets he could see Scully out of the corner of his eye wiping tears away and resting her head against the window in sheer exhaustion from fighting this fight. She had believed these kind of battles were over, they both had. But to hope for such news was to hope for a miracle. For they both knew they would always be running, always be hiding, and if they ever truly wanted it to stop, there was only one thing that they could do. One way that once they had removed the obstacle in their path now they could be a family. And they could be safe. The question was which one of them was going to bring it up and make the suggestion that would change their lives forever.
As they pulled up outside their apartment they all got out of the car and Scully got William's things together whilst Mulder watched in understanding as Krycek pulled up behind them.
"Don't start with me Mulder. I just saved her and your kids ass."
"I know." Krycek wasn't one to receive agreements from Mulder, so it took him a few seconds to take this is and watched as Mulder guided his tired family indoors. Krycek knew when to cool off so he didn't throw any kind of witty comment back at Mulder. For now he was grateful that he wasn't being excluded from talks about what was going to happen.
Scully put William down for a nap in his room and closed the door softly to join Mulder and Krycek staring across the room at each other. She didn't have time for Krycek, she never had from the day she had met him, and she didn't intend on giving him any credit now.
"Mulder, what the hell was that?"
"I had to get you away from Gibson."
"But why? He's just a boy..."
"No he isn't. Not anymore."
"What are you talking about?"
"He's it Scully, he's everything. Everything we've ever looked for, everything we've ever fought, joined forces with, our dreams and our nightmares. Gibson Praise is the world."
"Think about it Scully, he can read everybody's mind, he can tell what every person on this planet is fearing, dreaming and thinking about. He can control the world by circumventing everything to go against us. Against mankind."
"But I don't understand what that has to do with us." Krycek stood up and looked at Scully.
"I told you in the park Scully. Your boy is the only mind that Gibson can't read. Until he gets him out of his way he can't move forward with his plans. William is the key to Gibson's demise or his success."
Scully looked at Mulder with tears in her eyes and he couldn't bear to see her like this. What made things worse was he knew what she was going to ask him.
"Mulder... Is this true? Is this what Skinner found out and told you about today?" he couldn't answer her. There were no words to tell her the truth. He simply nodded his head and watched as she walked away and closed herself in the bathroom.
Gibson hated when things went wrong. There had been so many contradicting thoughts between Krycek, Scully and Mulder that he had been unable to determine whether she would run, or afterwards where they all went. He could make an educated guess that they had gone home, but it was too risky for him to go there. After all, he was just a boy still, and they could finish him off quite easily, if they managed to stop him from reading their minds and plans that is. Which for him was very good news. Nobody could stop him now. Nobody but that boy, and this was a problem with a very easy solution.
He had been out walking for hours now, thinking about Scully and Mulder. As he walked down the street he was lost in his head, thinking about how this was all going rather well considering that by now they had had so many chances to stop him. All they had to do was talk to William, William knew everything, and he knew how to stop Gibson. He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't notice he was being followed. He crossed over the street and started to walk down the alley where he had found an abandoned room he was sleeping in.
He was very tired, another reason he probably wasn't aware he was being followed. There were so many people walking around him he had gotten so used to closing out the thoughts that were random and unimportant to him. So when he suddenly sensed a threat he was unprepared and certainly not ready for the hands that grabbed him from behind, the hands that covered his mouth and dragged his small frame into a corner where they were all safely out of sight.
As Gibson looked at the two men he wanted to laugh. But instead he just stared at them. He could read every thought in their heads and it was most amusing to him. Mulder and Doggett didn't find any of this amusing, and as they stood with him pinned against the wall, demanding answers, they both knew they wouldn't learn anything new from him, but Mulder had a crying lover at home, and Doggett had a lover near death at the hospital. Neither of them was in a hurry to think about the reality they were both fighting against. Gibson loved how weak they both were, that they had turned to violence and hunting him down to get some kind of release from the evils of the real world.
"I want answers from you Gibson."
"I know what you want Mulder. I always know."
"Don't give me any of that mind reading crap. I understand what's going on, I know what you want, I know who you fear, and I know how you plan on making this fight your last. But what I don't know is why. I mean, what the hell happened to you?" Doggett watched as Gibson stared at Mulder and he was anxious for answers himself, it was Gibson's desires that had led to Monica being in the hospital. So the sooner Gibson spoke the better.
"You already know Mulder. You know everything. You have the questions and the answers, the problems and the solutions. You just don't know it. And yet its so obvious where this all lies."
"Enough of the BS Gibson, we protected you, we helped you, and this is how you repay us? I swear to God if Monica... if she doesn't pull through this I will kill you myself do you hear me?" Mulder put his hand on Doggett's arm and the two men gave each other an understanding look.
"It's William isn't it. He knows what's going on, what you want."
"He's just three years old. How could you possibly ask of his help." With his last remark Gibson walked free and Doggett watched him resisting the urge to pull out his weapon. They couldn't bring him in. If the FBI got a hold of him they'd never let anyone talk with him, and there was no evidence pinning any of this on him. So for now, he walked. But as he did so he did it with the satisfaction that he had left Mulder and Doggett knowing that they were powerless. For once, there was truly nothing they could do.
Reyes never walked alone now. Emily was with her, by her side, every minute of every day. But there was so much to be said, to be interpreted that Reyes was tired of walking, tired of listening to the small girl. And yet at the same time, there were things she needed explaining, and more than anything she wanted to know if she was ever going to get out of this. Whether the answer was what she wanted to hear or not, she needed to know.
"Monica, you must know now that I am here to be your guide."
"You're just a little girl."
"I am the only link between you and your fate. The path that you are walking is a dangerous path. I'm here so that if anyone tries to stop you from the other side, to end your duties, I can prevent them from getting to you."
"But where is this, what is this?"
"This is limbo."
"Are you serious?"
"Not the limbo you're thinking about. We're not trapped between life and death or heaven and hell. We're here to do a job Monica. I'm here to do the one thing for my mom I couldn't do before."
"Give her a daughter." Reyes looked at Emily and sighed, this was a lot to take in.
"How long have you been here?"
"Only a few days longer than you. I was at peace, in a white place, but then I was sent for to protect you. At first I was supposed to protect her, but that was too hard, and I couldn't get near her like you can. You were the next best thing."
"So you're saying I got shot, almost died and then brought here for a reason that I couldn't stop?"
"Yes. Understand Monica that this is not going to be easy. We have a long journey ahead of us, and if anything goes wrong, it's the end for both of us."
"But what am I supposed to do, why am I here?"
"You're here to protect her. You're the only other female Mulder. You're her blood, there's a connection that no one can destroy, it's new and it's strong. You're the one Monica." Emily stopped talking but Reyes couldn't stop hearing her voice over and over again in her head. This was the most bizarre and surreal thing that she had ever been conscious of. There had been some strange events in her life, but this took the cake.
She was in some kind of world half way between reality and whatever the hell existed opposite it, and she was supposed to be protecting her family and the people that she loved dearest? And who was the mystery female that Emily had been referring to?
The person that Reyes' bloodline was akin with and would therefore save her life? The more answers she was given the more questions she had. How much longer she could go on like this she didn't know. But she hoped it would all be over sooner rather than later.
Emily took her hand and they sat down on a bench positioned by a small stream that Reyes had grown fond of whenever she wanted to think things over in this strange place. Emily knew this, and that was why she had sat them down here.
"Monica I know this is hard. I'm nine years old and I'm expected to lay all of this on you and have you take my word for it. But if you don't there will be no tomorrow for any of us, not in this life or the next."
"I just don't see what I can do from here."
"You will. But first I have to show you what will happen if you let this responsibility slide."
"What are you the ghost of Christmas yet to come?" Emily laughed, she may have died young but her adoptive parents had both read 'A Christmas Carol' to her several times, the joke here was not lost on her.
"You have to trust me Monica. There's no one else here for you but me."
Scully sat down with Mulder and Doggett watched them both with deep concern. He couldn't distinguish between his concern for them and for Reyes; all he knew was they were not a happy group of people as they sat in the hospital waiting room. It had been almost a week since their attack on Gibson. And Doggett knew that Mulder and Scully had come up with some answers to their problem regarding the safety of their son. He just knew he wasn't sure if he'd like the answer or not.
"Any news John?" It was still special of Scully to enquire after Monica, knowing full well that there was no news, but it made John feel hopeful that some time soon there would be news.
"No. But from what I can gather its you two who have the news."
"You could say that."
"So what's the big story? I mean, apart from the obvious." Mulder looked at Scully and she took the lead with this one. She was the one with a deeper friendship with John, he didn't want to step on that or undermine it in any way. He had a working relationship with Doggett, and that suited him just fine. So as Scully sat forward in her seat and clasped her hands together in front of her he knew that she was ready to do this.
"John, Mulder and I have had a lot of thinking to do. About William, about our situation, and about being here."
"In DC. Which is why we've made a decision that it would be best for all concerned if we left this part of our lives behind."
"What are you saying? That you're leaving Washington?"
"We have no choice John."
"So you're going to let them win, let them push you out of your home, the lives you've worked for."
"We don't have a life that we desire, you can see that. I see it in your eyes every time you see me with William and pity how hard it is to be a parent for us, you wish things could be easier for us just as badly as we do, and it means so much to me, you know that. I know that you will understand this, and that you will appreciate how hard a decision it was for us to make." John looked into Scully's eyes and saw what she had just described. Why did she have to be right? Why did they have to leave him? The only friends he had, and the boy he loved as a nephew. He did understand, of course he did, but if they left and if Reyes... well it didn't bare thinking about. But he couldn't stay here alone; this city would drive him to his own demise if he stayed in it alone.
"When?" Scully was taken a back by his sudden reaction to her news. But she was aching on the inside to have left DC years ago.
"When we've removed Gibson from any immediate danger."
"And what about Monica?" Scully couldn't answer this. She had no answer. And she could feel Mulder's breath catch beside her. His biggest heartache in leaving had been to leave his sister. Again. But he had agreed that this was their best move regardless. And he had to be the one to talk about the one connection he and Doggett shared.
"We can't risk it Agent Doggett. I can't tell you how badly I want to be here for when she wakes up. But I have to put my children first. As any parent would, and I know that you can understand that. From one father to another."
Playing the father card with Doggett had led to his complete understanding and support in Mulder and Scully's decision. He would have done anything for his son, how could he expect two people who were the most determined and strongest couple he had ever met to do any differently? So as they all sat together in Monica's room there was sadness in the air that was greater than normal. A sadness that was only going to grow in magnitude.
Doggett stepped outside for just a moment that was all he needed. One moment in time to be able to think about everything that was happening in his life right now. He was watching the woman he loved die in front of his very eyes, he watched her parents suffer with the knowledge their daughter was keeping secrets from them, he watched Mulder long for her to open her eyes and smile at him so he could experience the act of having a sibling again, and he watched Scully battle with her feelings for the only female friend she had ever gotten close to taking charge over her longing for a safe and protected family.
This was all so screwed up. He felt a small part of him just aching to walk away. The support he had been receiving from Mulder and Scully had stopped him from going crazy. But it had been weeks now, and still no change in Monica's condition, and still Mulder and Scully were determined to leave and put this entire event behind them.
Gibson had disappeared for all they could tell. But if he knew how ready they were to take him out he wasn't about to come and turn himself in. It made Doggett so mad to think of the boy he had protected walking around thinking he was the king of the world. Over his dead body. He was not letting him win this, no matter what happened with Monica he would not let Gibson ruin anybody else's life.
So much had happened to all of them, too much to sit and think about and try to rationalize, but there was a part of him now that wanted Mulder and Scully to go, and for Gibson to be dead, and for Monica's parents to leave him alone. He wanted Monica to himself. He had to have to her to himself. There was no other way he could possibly be expected to live. But John Doggett was a fighter, not a quitter. He would stick with the battle until it was over. He owed it to Monica; he owed it to Mulder and Scully.
As he stood lost in a pool of random thoughts Doggett didn't notice somebody appear next to him and gently place his hand on Doggett's arm. It was only when he heard his name being called that Doggett turned and saw the polite face of Monica's father.
"John, you shouldn't be out here alone."
"I just needed to think."
"I know. We all feel we should be doing something."
"There's nothin' anyone can do. It's up to her now."
"She's a strong one John, she won't give up this easily."
"You think this has been easy? It's been three weeks since she was shot, she just lies this, I don't know if she even knows I'm with her."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because I know my daughter. I know how much she loves you, and I know how much you mean to her. You're her whole world, she won't move onto the next one without you." Doggett looked at Mr. Reyes and he was smiling at him.
"I just can't stand waiting around, I fight myself wanting to grab her and shake her awake."
"I know. But if we stick together, we'll beat this." He turned to leave and Doggett turned back to his observation of the car park, but Mr. Reyes came back.
"One more thing John, I wanted to thank you for being honest about that Mulder individual, I know you felt bad at my wife's reaction, but it's given her something else to focus on. She's even more determined for Monica to wake up now so that she can tell her how disappointed she is in her dishonesty." It was meant as a joke and both men did manage to laugh.
"I haven't had a real conversation with my wife in days, she just sits praying, and God forbid I interrupt her. Pray for Monica, John. She can hear you. I'm sure of it."
Mr. Reyes left Doggett alone after that and he tried to take in everything that the man had said to him. He appreciated his kind words and his offer of a way to release his frustration, but what answers had he provided? None, there were no answers. They were all stuck here until Monica either woke up, or died.
Scully didn't like spending nights alone in her apartment anymore. But Mulder had gone off for the night with Skinner on a lead that might help them find Gibson. She kept reminding them that they still had no evidence that would hold up with the law to bring him in for the crimes he had committed, but that didn't matter to Mulder. Gibson had operated so far outside of the law that Mulder was prepared to break as many as it took to avenge his crimes, and there wasn't a soul that would dare stand in his way. So as she lay in bed staring at the clock, wishing it to run faster through time, she wasn't prepared for the knock she received on her front door.
William was sleeping beside her having wanted to be near his mom and she had been delighted to have her son so close to her. But who knocked on the door at 3am and expected to be let in? Gibson. That was all she could think, that he'd seen Mulder leave her for the evening, he was here to take William, or even to... no, she mustn't think like that. She got out of bed and left William sleeping, she softly closed the bedroom door behind her and took a strong grip around her gun.
She had been in these dangerous situations a thousand times; it just felt so much harder with her son sleeping in the next room. She made her way to the door and rather than asking who it was, or looking through the peephole, she decided to go for the element of surprise. She counted to three in her head and with one forceful pull the door was ripped open and she stood holding her gun to the head of her visitor.
"Agent Doggett?" She slowly lowered her weapon and didn't know what to say or to do.
"I know it's late, I'm sorry, I should go..." He'd quite obviously been drinking and he looked a mess.
"No, it's ok, come on, come in." He stumbled into the apartment and Scully had to guide him to the sofa as he leaned on her for some support.
"I didn't know where else to go, I'm sorry..."
"You came to the right place."
"I was just, I was just drivin' around, you know, and I couldn't, I couldn't go home, and I couldn't go back and watch her lying there, so, so helpless..."
"You shouldn't have been driving at all..."
"Why won't she wake up Dana? Why is she doin' this to us?" As he burst into tears and leaned forward to Scully, she put her arms around him and wished that there were something more she could do. As a doctor she could block out personal feelings when it was absolutely necessary, but as Monica's friend, and someone who had a deep feeling of gratitude and respect for John, it was difficult to not want to just cry with him.
"John, let me make you some coffee..."
"I have, I have a drink..." He lifted a brown paper bag from the inside of his jacket and unscrewed the lid from the top of the bottle as it crept out of the bag. He took a sip but then had in taken from him, he barely even noticed.
"You don't want to drink anymore of that, believe me." She went into the kitchen and took two cups from the cupboard; so long as she was up she may as well join him for coffee. Besides, it wasn't as if she was about to leave him alone for the night.
"Dana, you've lost so many people in your life, how are you still here?" Scully turned to look at Doggett; he had followed her into the kitchen and proceeded to collapse into a chair at her dining table.
"I don't know that I understand your question." She was concerned about him, but she was in no mood for this to turn to her own feelings, she did just fine by bottling them up.
"You lost your dad, your sister, your daughter, you lost Mulder twice, how is it you still seem so together and in control?" Scully leaned against the worktop and folded her arms. The way she always did to show she was going to precede with personal caution, she didn't like making anything about herself when she could avoid it, and she had no intention of making exceptions tonight.
"I guess I just always had faith."
"In the assurance that things would get better, that for all the suffering I was enduring, I
would get to the other side and I would have paid my dues."
"You mean like God?" Again she paused before answering. For so many years now she had found the struggle to separate her science from her faith increasingly difficult, and then to include the unexplained that she had been thrust into, where did the line between each become less of a blur?
"Over the years I have taken comfort from my faith in God, and in my family, and in Mulder. I guess somehow you just find a way to move through it, you know that it can't get worse, it has to get better."
"But how many times have you told yourself it has to get better and it hasn't?" Another pause. Why did drunken Doggett make so much sense when posing these questions? Instead of dismissing him in his drunken state she was pondering his questions carefully.
"I was taught to be strong. I went through Med. School and was taught to block out the human instinct to cry at death and feel pity. I went through the FBI academy and was taught to leave my emotions at home, and to face life through my job. I have conducted autopsy after autopsy, I have spoken to hundreds of people who have been victims or relatives of victims in the cases we investigate, and I have suffered personal losses that cannot be forgotten. But somehow I fought it all. There was always something to pull me back."
"You mean someone." Scully managed to somehow smile, but it was an involuntary reaction when refreshing the memory that Mulder loved her.
"Yes. If I didn't have Mulder, I would not be standing here right now."
"That must feel nice."
Scully turned to make the coffee and when she turned back Doggett had moved back into the living room. She put the coffee down in front of him and noticed that he had picked up a photograph from her windowsill.
"This is your family right?"
"Yeah. That was taken at the last Christmas my brothers and sister and I spent with our parents. It was a long time ago."
"I have a photo at home just like it, but I know what's really happening whenever I look at it, my sister clearing the plates from the table alone so that she can sneak the leftovers into a bag to take home to her half assed husband who wouldn't come for Christmas dinner with our family, my brother and my mom arguing over the TV remote and my dad sitting in his chair drinking so that he can block out the noise of the house, while I sit and watch them all, and they have no idea, how lucky we are." He was crying again and Scully sat beside him so she could hold him. She knew well enough to understand that sometimes a hug was all you needed.
Doggett was somewhat sobering up and he didn't like it. The more he spoke the more he felt less drunk. So he sipped his coffee slowly as he tried to stop crying. He was a mess, and he just didn't care.
"Dana, do you believe in prayer?"
"I believe that prayer can be a powerful thing, and that it can help people through troubled times."
"But do you think it works? Do you think there's someone up there counting how many times we pray for something, and if we pray enough times we get given it?"
"I don't know that it works like that, but I believe that we are rewarded for our recognition of the parts of our lives that are out of our control."
"Do you pray when you want something?"
"Sometimes. Not so much now. It feels wrong since I slipped away from my church."
"Can I ask you to do something? Can I ask you to pray with me? For Monica?" Scully sat up and Doggett watched her carefully. If she said yes then he would actually freely believe that prayer would accomplish something, if she said no, then it didn't matter what any of them did. Monica was gone.
Scully looked at photograph in Doggett's hand, and then up into his tear stained eyes. She took his hand into her own and smiled softly as she began to cry. And they stayed this way until they fell asleep some time later, after both praying that Monica would be ok. Scully hoped that Doggett was right, if they prayed enough times someone somewhere must be keeping count.
When Mulder opened the front door the last thing he expected to see was Scully sleeping on the sofa with another man. But when that man turned out to be John Doggett he wasn't concerned at all. As he stood watching them both sleep he could sum up what had happened by looking at the scene around him. There was an empty liquor bottle in the kitchen, a photograph between them of Scully's family, and two coffee cups. Doggett had needed comforting, he had needed a friend and someone he could turn to and lean on after weeks of standing alone. He couldn't help but take the opportunity to think about how things had changed.
It wasn't all that long ago that he hated Doggett, but circumstances being what they were, he couldn't help but like the guy and respect his strength, although if he had found help in Scully's companionship he could understand it. He had spent more nights than he cared to remember thanking the heavens for having her beside him every step of the way. The only thing in his whole life that had ever meant anything to him was Scully, and the chance she had given him to have a family.
As he watched them both he walked quietly towards the kitchen, he had forgotten that Skinner was with him, so when he turned to see a tall figure he jumped slightly.
"It's ok. I just got a little distracted."
"Yeah. Looks like it was a rough night. The liquor bottle is a bad sign."
"Can you blame the guy?"
"No, but I don't recall ever seeing you turn to drink to solve your problems."
"A person doesn't turn to drink to solve their problems. They do it to try and forget them for a couple of hours. And believe me, I've been there." Mulder took a soda can from the fridge and offered Skinner one, which he took without hesitating. It had been a long night.
"Are you going to tell them?"
"Yes. Of course I'll tell them."
"I think the sooner they know the better."
"What you want me to wake them now or something?" Skinner was shocked by the outburst and Mulder could see it in his face.
"I'm sorry. It's been a long night."
"I know. I didn't mean to push. But if you and Scully are sure about leaving, the sooner we finish this the better."
"I know. Its just that, it's still so unreal."
"I know, it's Gibson." Mulder was comforted in a weird way by Skinner's immediate understanding of how he felt about the whole situation.
"I still want to protect him. Is that weird?"
"We protected him for so long, it's natural to still feel something for his safety."
"I still can't believe this is happening. So much has happened in the last month."
"I know this has been a strain on you and Scully, but if I'm honest with you, I think you're doing the right thing by leaving."
"Yeah. It's too dangerous for you to stay here. And it's no place to raise a family." As Mulder looked at the surrogate father figure before him he started to speak but was interrupted by a startled William running into the kitchen.
"Daddy!" He lifted his arms to be picked up and Mulder did as commanded and held his boy close.
"You ok William?"
"There was a man. He tried to hurt aunt Mon'ca." As Mulder and Skinner listened to the small child they both knew they would have to wake Scully and Doggett, and they hoped that William's dream had really been just that. A dream.
After Mulder explained about William's dream to Scully and Doggett Scully had taken William and dressed him whilst trying to distract him from the images of Monica he had from his nightmare. He was afraid and she held him tight as he calmed down whilst secretly hoping holding her son would allay her fears too. Doggett was in the bathroom freshening himself up. His head was thumping and he felt like crap, but William's cries of scary men hurting Monica had soon sobered him up and he was determined to get back to the hospital.
Skinner was trying to call and get news on her condition but there was no one picking up at the hospital switchboard. They were all afraid to think about what could have happened, they were trying to concentrate on what rational explanations would lead to William's dream and back to the hospital.
Everyone was on edge as they locked the apartment door and the large party made their way to their cars to get to the hospital. The sooner they got there and put this whole sorry mess behind them the better. Mulder and Skinner kept their news to themselves for the time being. Neither Doggett nor Scully brought up any questions about where their lead had taken them, and until they could determine whether everything was ok at the hospital they were not going to make anybody panic anymore by telling them what they had found out.
William sat in his seat in the back of the car with his mom holding his hand. His dad was driving and Uncle Skinner was here too, that meant it was bad. Uncle Skinner always came to see them when something bad had happened, and he hoped that it wasn't his scary dream that had made everyone so afraid. He could feel his mom and her worry, he had been able to do that from ever since he could remember, even when he had been taken away from her he could feel her and the empty space in her life that he had left her with. But now he was back and he was supposed to help them all, he was supposed to help protect them, but he was just a baby, how could he possibly get anyone to let him make all of this go away.
As they got closer to the hospital William could feel something bad. He could feel a bad person; a negative energy and he knew right away that the boy he heard everyone refer to as 'Gibson' was close by. It frightened him; it frightened him so much he hollered for him mom and she carefully took him from his seat and held him close to her to settle him. But it didn't make much difference. William knew what had happened even before his dad drove the car around that final left turn.
They pulled up as close to the hospital as they could get. They all looked horrified at the sight before them. The hospital was gone. All that stood in its place was ash and debris. Somebody had made sure that no one got in or out of that hospital ever again. As they all got out of their cars Scully found that Mulder's hand was clasped firmly around hers at the exact moment she became afraid and wanted to feel him by her, with William safely between them both they couldn't move from the spot.
They didn't look at each other as they watched the scene around them. There was nothing they could do, and the only thing that drew their eyes away from the empty space where the building had once stood was Doggett as he stood crying staring at the same empty space, but with so much happening in his mind and in his heart that he felt certain he would fall to his death on the spot.
Nobody knew what to say or what to do as emergency services flooded the scene. Even if they had wanted to, Mulder, Scully, and Doggett couldn't have got anywhere near the building or offered their services to anyone to help. But in all honesty, none of them had switched into FBI agent mode; they were all in grieving mode. There was no doubt about what any of this meant. Monica was dead. She was gone, it was no longer a case of waiting around and believing that she would wake from her comatose state, it was over.
Skinner had fled from them upon pulling up at the scene. No one had noticed him go, and nobody really looked for anyone in their desire for this to be a horrible nightmare. William clung tightly to Scully as he sensed the upset and heartache around him, he didn't like it one bit and he knew that it was all because of his bad dream. He wanted this to stop, he wanted to go to sleep again and try to make the dream go away so that people felt better around him.
Mulder and Scully still held tightly onto each other's hands. Of all the tragedies they had been through together, this one was right up there with the worst of them. How in the world were they supposed to get through this, what were they supposed to do for Doggett. Mulder turned to Scully and looked at her with tears in the back of his eyes. She hated it and she reached up to stroke his cheek. He appreciated the gesture and kissed her hand as she pulled it away.
"Not now. I'm going to ask you to do something you're not gonna want to do."
"I'm gonna ask you to leave, to take William home."
"I said no. This isn't like everything else, this is different. And just because I don't share blood with her it doesn't mean this doesn't matter to me. I'm not leaving."
"Give me your cell phone." He handed her his phone and she immediately dialed a number.
"Who are you calling?"
"My mom. She can get a taxi and take William to her place, he'll be better off there than stuck at home without us."
"I still think you should just leave until we know what the hell happened, I won't have you putting yourself in danger."
"You're not putting anyone in danger Mulder. Don't push me away. Not now." As her voice trailed off her mom answered and she handed William to Mulder as he fussed around in her arms. Mulder held his son close and let the stray tears that he had been holding back in front of Scully fall freely down his face. He'd lost another sister.
Half an hour later Mrs. Scully had been and gone with William and Mulder and Scully were ready to become investigators. As they walked towards Doggett they held hands again. Doggett hadn't moved from the spot since they had arrived, and they both knew what he was going through after the countless times they had lost one another. But at least they were always given another chance.
"John..." As Scully started talking to him they all saw Skinner coming towards them. He looked serious and he was clearly taking his Assistant Director of the FBI position. Mulder was glad that someone they could trust would be able to look at this objectively.
"Agents, I've spoken with the agent in charge here, it was a bomb, detonated to go off about an hour ago. They're doing all they can to work through the wreckage, but it's going to be a painstaking process to identify all of the victims. Most aren't even bodies anymore." Scully let out a gasp and couldn't stop herself burying her face in Mulder's comforting frame as he held her tightly against him.
Doggett just stared ahead of him. Watching people working, lifting debris, trying to make this all seem repairable. Well it wasn't. None of this could be repaired. Not now and not ever.
It was hours before night fell and the search for victims slowed down as they prepared to accept there wasn't much anyone could do until light came again. Mulder and Scully took Doggett home with them, there was no way he was going to be alone tonight, they didn't care how many objections he threw at them. But when they told him to get in the car and that they wanted him to stay with them, he just did it without any word of argument. That was their first sign that this was an impossible situation.
William was spending the night with his grandma at her insistence, she had been watching the news all afternoon and knew all about Mulder and Reyes being brother and sister, and she knew about Doggett's relationship with Reyes, so she didn't think it would be a great environment for William to be in. She had plenty of spare clothes and toys that had been left there from previous visits. She instructed her daughter to take care of her big boy and not worry about her little one. So Scully sat with Mulder on their bed as he buried his head in his hands. At first she just watched him, and then he began to cry.
He was sobbing heavily and all she could do was take him into her arms and rock him as he let everything out. There was never going to be an end to their suffering, they knew that, but they didn't have to like it.
Doggett wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to do or to say. He had called Reyes' parents upon arriving at Mulder and Scully's home, but there had been no answer at their hotel and he knew what that meant. They had been at the hospital with their daughter, where he should have been. If he had been there he would have been able to protect her, protect her from what he couldn't say. The truth was he knew he couldn't have done anything, but to die beside her, with her, would have eased his pain completely at being alive without her. There was no reason for him to continue living now, none whatsoever.
Scully came out of the bedroom and looked at Doggett as he sat staring out of the window. She had left Mulder trying to get some sleep, it had been a long day and his tears had encouraged a tiredness in him, which had urged Scully to help him undress and get into bed. So now she could try and salvage some kind of understanding from the day with Doggett. She could at least try.
"John, can I get you anything?"
"Don't make me do this Dana."
"Talk about it. Make some sense from it, rationalize it, all the things you're so good at. Just don't ask me to do that."
"I wasn't going to ask you to do anything."
"Good. I just need to be alone."
"Ok." She walked into the living room and sat down beside him. He didn't look at her but she heard him sigh and she wasn't about to let that make her move. After almost half an hour he broke the silence, but he still wouldn't look at her.
"I love her so much."
"I don't wanna do this without her, I can't. I need her Dana, I need her back." Cue crying man number two. And as Doggett cried, Scully cried too. There was nothing else she could do for Doggett. There were no words. For all of them there was nothing.
When Doggett woke for the second time in two days next to Scully on her couch he knew that he couldn't go on like this. The quicker he got used to life alone the better. What else could he do? As he looked at Scully still sleeping, he got up softly and went into the kitchen, he figured he make his way around easily enough without having to ask where the coffee and cups were kept. So he did. He busied himself in the kitchen, but all it took was two minutes for him to lose it, the coffee cup he had been holding fell to the ground and he couldn't handle his failures all staring him in the face.
He looked at the mess he had made and started trying to clear it away, but instead all he could do was cry again, his vision blurred and he cut his finger, he didn't notice nor care as he continued to pick up the broken pieces of china. Obviously the smash had woken both Mulder and Scully, and they appeared in the kitchen together, Mulder placing an appreciative arm around Scully and kissing the top of her head, he was lucky he thought, the woman he loved was still here.
Doggett looked up at them and automatically Scully took the role of doctor looking at the wound and being a healer, and Mulder cleared away the rest of the broken cup. The last thing they wanted was for William to hurt himself on sharp pieces lying around on the floor when he played with his toys. Mulder looked at Scully attending to Doggett's cut and he wished that things were so different for all of them.
Through the night he had even wished that he had never found out about Reyes being his half sister, if he hadn't maybe none of this would have happened. But there was nothing he could do about that now, right. He'd done what he thought he was supposed to do; there was no going back. Doggett looked up at him and he managed to compose himself as Scully informed him his cut wasn't deep and would not require stitches. The last place any of them wanted to be was a hospital.
"I'm sorry Mulder, it just slipped right through my fingers."
"It's ok, it's only a coffee cup."
"I shouldn't even have been going in your things anyway." Scully patted his arm.
"It's not important John."
"It's important to me!" Mulder didn't like Doggett losing his temper with Scully; it brought out primal urges to inflict pain upon anyone that would dare raise their voice to her. But he needn't have worried, it was a split second before Doggett turned and apologized for his anger.
"I need to get out of here, I need to go home." He stood up and before anyone could object he was out of the door and out of their reach. Scully stood up from the table and turned to Mulder as he walked over to her.
"Do you think he'll be ok?"
"Honestly? No. No I don't. If it were me and I lost you, well I'd... I just couldn't do it." Scully smiled briefly before remembering how horrific this all was. She rested her head on Mulder and again he held her close. Somehow the touch of one another helped with the pain. What if they were in Doggett's position? It didn't bare thinking about.
When Doggett got home the first thing he saw was Reyes' jacket hanging on the coat stand. He took it down from its peg and sat by the door holding it, holding her, to his chest. He was there a long time before the dog came bounding over. But even the dog knew something was wrong. Somehow a dog always knew, and as Doggett threw his arms around Oliver and held the dog close as he cried again he couldn't help but have thoughts that the only solution to this pain was to end his suffering, permanently.
He knew that he would never take his own life. He had lost his son for crying out loud, he could grieve and move on, but it didn't make the immediate pain in his chest any easier. It was an impossible situation.
Finally Doggett stood up and still holding the jacket he walked through the house and could feel the emptiness take a hold of him. One thing he noticed was that he knew she wasn't with him. For all the teasing and ridiculing he did about Monica and her 'feelings' her way to communicate much further and stronger than any of the rest of them, he wanted his proof to be her. He wanted to sense that she was still with him, that her spirit was in their home that she would always be with him. He never realized what a romantic he was, but he couldn't just let her go and be done with it, where was she? Why wasn't she giving him a sign that she was ok?
This was his proof that he had been right all along. The only things you should believe in are the things that can be proven. There was no proof for him that a person's spirit lived on after their death, Reyes should have been the one to prove it to him, but she couldn't because there was nothing. And it angered him that she had wasted her time on this spiritual crap, and it worried him to think about where her soul really was.
As he put food down for the dog and opened the door so that he was free to run in and out of the house when he pleased, Doggett sank into the couch in the living room. His favorite picture of Monica was in one hand, and in the other a glass of bourbon. He didn't even usually keep alcohol in the house, but he had been given this bottle a long time ago and it had been maturing at the back of the kitchen cabinets. Now was as good an excuse as he was going to get to allow himself to be absolutely smashed.
The picture of Monica symbolized everything he loved about her, or at least it made him think about all the things he loved about her, and he didn't like the idea that he was going to have to let all of that go. The thought that he would get over this and move on with his life made him feel like the worst traitor in the world. Getting a divorce and loving someone else was one thing, but losing the woman you love to death and finding someone else seemed like such a betrayal, he loved Monica and he always would. There would never be anyone else.
As the house grew dark Doggett didn't care for any lights or to draw the curtains. Oliver had settled by his feet knowing not to get onto the couch unless invited, but Doggett hadn't even noticed the dog enter the room. The alcohol he had consumed had taken a strong hold on him and he didn't notice anything. When the phone rang he ignored it, he didn't think he could answer it even if he wanted to, his body was stuck to the position he had held for the entire day drinking more than half of a bottle of bourbon.
When the answer machine clicked on, a familiar voice began to speak and Doggett couldn't quite place it through the banging in his head. The rhythmic thuds had made his thoughts less conscious, but now he wanted to figure out who was leaving him a message. He looked over to the machine and tried to focus on it, he could see the number of messages said seven, seven messages? And then he got it. The voice on the phone was Reyes' dad.
Doggett leapt out of his seat scaring the dog half to death and grabbed the telephone desperately trying to stop the regurgitating feeling in his stomach.
"John is that you?"
"Yes, sir, I'm sorry, I was in the bathroom."
"John, have you received the messages I left? I thought you'd have called by now, I thought you'd have been concerned."
"I'm not sure I understand sir, I haven't listened to my messages."
"Oh my... well then you don't know... we saw it on the news last night and we've been trying to call you ever since. Mrs. Reyes had Monica transferred after you left the hospital the other day because she had a bad feeling about Washington, we're in Mexico. Monica's fine John, she's with us. Did you hear what I said? John?" John heard every word, but all he could do was sit down on the floor and cry again, the dog came over to him and lay on his lap. Suddenly Doggett was a new believer.
John stepped off the plane and the heat hit him hard. This was a lot warmer than the days he was used to in DC, Mexico had a humidity about it that he knew if he had to live with all year round he would actually miss the rain and the snow. For now the weather was not important. He was here to reunited with Monica. She may still be comatose but she was alive. And that was all that mattered. He wasn't expecting anything from his time in Mexico other than a waiting game. He didn't care what happened in DC behind his back; his soul purpose was to be here until the day she woke up.
As he collected his luggage, which consisted of one large bag he'd stuffed as much and as little as he thought he'd need, he moved outside to hail a taxi and was surprised when a hand appeared on his shoulder.
"I thought you might like a ride to the hospital?"
"That was the general idea, but you didn't have to drive all the way out here. Besides I was gonna check into a motel first."
"You can stay in Monica's room."
"Excuse me sir?"
"My wife is taking this all very badly, when you came to take Monica home in the New Year, she liked you very much, and we could see how happy you made her, we knew it wouldn't be long before you were a part of our family." John didn't know what to say, he continued to listen to Mr. Reyes attentively not wanting to change the man's opinion of him.
"But when you told us about this business with your co-worker and her search for her birth mother, well, it shook my wife and her faith in the kind of daughter we had. We raised her to be honest with us John, and my wife thinks that you have something to do with why Monica wasn't honest with us."
"She blames me?"
"Let's just say, it was her decision not to inform you we were bringing Monica home. I wanted to call you before we left, but I didn't, and then I saw the news and I knew I had to tell you."
"Well I appreciate that sir. I love your daughter very much, I want you to know that I would never willingly let anything happen to her."
"I know that, I can see it in your eyes. Just as my wife's parents disapproved of me, I will not do the same to you. I know what it feels like to be in love and not have the approval of your love's parents." John was speechless, of all the things he had expected to hear this was not one of them. It made him even more certain of his love for Monica to know that her father was on their side.
"There's just one question I have to ask of you John, without my wife knowing."
"All this, everything that's happened, the shooting, the search for her birth parents, this Mulder character, is it all linked? Is my girl in some kind of trouble?" John thought for a second, he didn't want to lie to this man, but on the other hand he had caused trouble in the Reyes family by being so honest about things in the past. How was he supposed to play this one out and not offend or upset anyone? There was no question really, no going back, he had to be honest.
"Yes sir. I think she is, but you have my word that I wont let anyone else hurt her. I'll do everything in my power and whatever it takes to protect her."
"I know John. Come on."
Mulder sat Scully down with Skinner beside him as they prepared to tell her what they hadn't been able to on the morning the hospital had been bombed. After hearing about Monica's safe removal before the incident there had been a lot of smiling faces and newfound faith in everything turning out for the better. It went without saying that no one tried to talk Doggett out of flying to Mexico, and as much as Mulder longed to see that Monica really was still alive, he knew that his place was in DC.
"Any news from John yet?" Skinner hadn't had much contact with any of them since the bombing, he'd been working day and night to try and piece things together, this was the first time he had had the opportunity to check in with everyone.
"He called from the hospital when he got there, he says there's no change in Monica's condition. But under the circumstances it was a blessing to hear that." Mulder felt a warm fuzziness in his stomach as Scully spoke about their relief at Monica's condition.
"Good, I'm glad. Its just such a shame that this ever had to happen at all."
"Well it goes without saying sir."
"You can drop the sir now Scully, it's just plain old Walter or Skinner for you now." Scully smiled, and then Mulder sat slightly forward. It was time for the serious stuff.
"Scully, when Skinner and me went chasing that lead the other night, the one about Gibson, we found out where he is. And we found out what he wants."
"He's in DC. He's never left. He's making his final arrangements and the only thing missing from his plans is William."
"What?" Mulder paused for a long time and stared into Scully's tired eyes. Tired though they were they still looked as beautiful to him as they ever had, but he couldn't continue with this easily. Skinner noticed and took over.
"William is the only person so far as we can tell who's mind Gibson can't read."
"What are you talking about?"
"The reason that Gibson is threatened by William is because he holds a power over him that he can't change or control, to stop William from putting an end to his plans he had to be removed."
"He's three years old, what can he possibly do to stop this?"
"We have to ask him that." Scully looked at Mulder and couldn't believe the last sentence had just left his lips. Was he crazy? Had all of this stress finally pushed him over the edge enough to make him lose it completely?
"You have to listen to what we're saying Scully."
"This is crazy!"
"Gibson can read minds but not William's, William doesn't read minds, but he knows exactly what Gibson is thinking and planning. It's the only way we can come through this better off."
"He's my son! I will not let him be dragged into this anymore than he is already!"
"He's my son too Scully, do I get a say in what happens?"
"You are not asking our baby if he knows how to stop Gibson from succeeding with whatever it is he has planned. I don't care whether we have any other options. I won't let you."
"Well then there's no world for any of us. It's over. We may as well just sit back and enjoy the ride."
Scully wanted to yell, she wanted to scream, and for the first time in a long while she wanted to physically hurt Mulder for saying these things to her. How could he? In two days a social worker was coming to see them, to talk about William, how would they turn around and say 'we're currently hoping our three-year-old will help us stop the end of the world'? It was insane. And she wouldn't hear anymore.
"I have to get out of here." Mulder didn't try to stop her; he sat back and watched her with a heavy heart. But Skinner stood up and addressed them both.
"There's something you both need to know. Something I've found out during my investigation into the bombing. Scully, I think you should sit back down."
"All due respect sir you're not my boss anymore."
"No. But I still care about you Scully, please hear what I have to say. It's important."
Monica knew she had moved. She could feel it. But she had been asleep, and she didn't remember having done that in here before. Either way, something was different. And she actually felt that this was all going to be over soon. The park had gone and now she was in a deep forest with trees as far as the eye could see in all directions, including up to the sky. In fact she couldn't see the sky, but she could hear the birds, it was so peaceful here, much more calm than the chaos of people walking around the park. One thing she noticed was she was alone, and in a panic that her guide was gone she looked around to find Emily standing behind her.
"Where are we?"
"We had to move."
"'We' or me?"
"You I guess. Something in the physical world changed and we were unstable in the park. We'll be safe here, in fact I don't know why I didn't just arrange for us to meet here in the first place."
"So, nothing's changed? I'm not, dead, or anything?"
"No. Everything is the same. But there won't be much longer before your friends work is done, and you will have to continue the fight alone."
"What are you talking about?"
"I can feel that the physical plane is getting ready for some big changes. Changes that could work either way for the preservation or destruction of mankind."
"And what are you saying? That from wherever the hell I am I have to make sure that it goes the right way?"
"No. Your job is separate to that of Mulder, Scully, and Doggett." Doggett. Wow. Monica hadn't thought about him in a long while. It made her feel bad. Because she knew that wherever he was and whatever he was doing he would be doing it for her. She was stuck here with a mission she still didn't understand.
"I just want to go home."
"I know. But you can't. I have no fear that things won't work out for all concerned. In the world you're missing from your friends will take care of everything, in this world, you have to take care of them."
"There's something you're not telling me. You know what exactly I'm doing here, and you won't tell me. Why?"
"Because I can't."
"Don't give me that. You've been twisting words and giving me riddles instead of answers ever since I got here, I don't care whether you're a child or not, I want you to tell me why I'm here and what it is I'm supposed to be doing." Emily considered things for a moment. Then her eyes closed, it was almost as if she was having a conversation with someone that wasn't there. And finally she opened her eyes and nodded.
"Ok. Here it is in the simplest terms we have it in. You're being held here to protect Mulder and Scully's unborn child. Their daughter. If you were to be killed in the physical world, or you went back there prematurely there would be consequences that would have a greater effect than anything anyone else could possibly inflict on the world."
"How soon is prematurely?"
"You can't leave until the baby is born. Until she is safely in the arms of her mother, where she can be protected by all of you."
"John where are we going?"
"It's a surprise."
"I don't like surprises."
"I know, that's why I planned it this way." John smiled cheekily and Monica laughed at him. He had woken her up early and said that he had something for the two of them to do together, that was all the information he had given as he quickly loaded them both into the car and drove to his designation.
Monica watched his concentrating face as he drove them along the winding roads. They were way out of DC and she had no idea where they were headed but she didn't care. Having John wake her up in her apartment this morning was nothing short of perfection. They may have only been together for a few months but things were wonderful between the two of them. Letting each other into their homes with their own keys had become the most natural thing in the world. Well, it's what people did when they were in love.
When John finally stopped the car outside a big shopping mall he grinned from ear to ear. Monica looked at him and then the big building that would be full of people rushing around and acting as if this was the only day in the world they had left to shop.
"You bought me shopping?"
"No. You hate shopping, I know that."
"Well..." She pointed to the big building and he just smiled at her. He was being very secretive and it made Monica smile at his ability to completely surprise her and make the whole world seem like it was made for two. He took her hand and led her over the shopping mall, and rather than going inside he took her around the back of the big brick walls to where they were completely out of sight and she tried to let the thought he had something sexual planned pass her by, but she giggled effortlessly as they walked along together.
When they finally stopped they were outside a door with no indication of where it led or what was behind it.
"Close your eyes."
"Come on Mon..."
"Where are we?"
"Close you eyes and all will be revealed." Monica raised an eyebrow before doing as she was told and having John take hold of both of her hands as she heard the door open and the sudden surge of voices. She kept her eyes closed and was careful as John led her into the building. She could hear children running around and parents yelling after them, she had no idea where John had taken her.
"Ok. Open your eyes." Monica opened one eye first and John laughed as he wrapped his arms around her from behind. She looked at the store they were in and she couldn't help laughing in complete confusion.
"A pet store John?"
"Yeah. I figured, a dog person should get a dog right?"
"Only, I thought maybe it could be our dog, I think we both make pretty good dog people. How about dog parents?"
"Ok I know it's lame, help me out here Mon, what do you think?" Monica turned around so that she was facing John and she kissed him.
"I think it's the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me."
"Geez, you've lucked out on the dating thing then huh?" She jabbed him playfully in the ribs and they moved deeper into the store.
They walked around for a long time, but they both spotted the same adorable puppy from across that store that they would take home with them as Oliver. It was perfect. Oliver was theirs. They were in this for good, they were in love, and nothing would ever be able to change that.
Mulder walked into the bedroom and looked at Scully as she sat on the edge of what was now their bed. It still felt weird for him calling this place his home, but home it was, and for now he had to try his best to make this the safest home he could for his family. It had been two days since they fought, again, and she had been ignoring him. He'd let her. He didn't want things to get worse.
Skinner had told them that Gibson set off the bomb at the hospital. He had called the FBI and confessed to the whole thing. He knows he has more power over them than they could ever hope for to try and stop him. Unless of course they played their best card. William.
Mulder hated the idea of using his son as a pawn in a game just as much as Scully did, he knew she didn't think that but it was true. Something he wished more than anything was that he and Scully had been honest with each other about how they felt for one another long before they actually did. Maybe then they'd find being honest with each other now so much easier.
"Don't Mulder. I can't."
"I know. I'm not here to ask you to do anything."
"Ask me? You always lay this one me, the family decisions are always mine. Why?"
"I don't know. Because you're good at it?"
"Well I'm tired of it. I had to make all the decisions when you were gone and I gave William away. I don't want anything like that on my hands again. Not ever."
"You won't. Despite what you may think my goal in life is not to make your life a complete misery. To torture you with these ridiculous battles and fights we just can't win."
"What are you saying? Because we've been here before too. You telling me that it's over, that we won't fight anymore. That we'll just get on with our lives, be a family. Let's be honest Mulder, we're not going to leave DC, you won't leave the x-files or the FBI, this is our life. We chose it, we made it this way, we can't run from it."
"That doesn't mean we should just run straight into a trap either."
"Trap? Jesus Mulder, we've been in a trap for eleven years. You're dreaming if you think that by eliminating Gibson our lives will suddenly be perfect. It won't be. There'll always be something or someone else. We'll never be happy."
"Really? See that's funny, because I always thought my life was perfect, and you and William make me happier than I ever thought I would get to feel in my life. But yeah, I can see how that wouldn't seem like the American dream."
"Do we have a dream Mulder? Because when I close my eyes at night all I have are nightmares."
"What are you saying? That this is not what you want anymore?"
"When did I ever want this?"
"I love you Scully."
"I know. And I love you. But I don't think that's enough for us anymore. This is too hard."
"Don't throw clich�s at me Mulder. I'm trying to make this easier."
"No. You're trying to say you're leaving me."
Scully was still sitting; Mulder was still standing in the doorway. They couldn't look at one another, they couldn't move. And as they let the silence eat them up there was a knock on the door that they both knew had the social worker behind it. The person who was going to decide whether they could be a family or not when they weren't even sure if they could do it themselves.
Mulder stepped off the plane and the heat consumed him. He had wanted fresh air and a change of scenery to clear his head. Maybe this hadn't been the right call to make. But he had spoken to Doggett on the telephone and he had seemed eager for some company in Mexico, and Mulder was sure that if he saw Monica and how much she needed him to keep fighting he would be able to do so.
The meeting with the social worker had not gone well. As parents they had excelled they had spent weeks planning for it. But as a couple they stank. And there was nothing they could do about it. If they lost William now it really would be because of them and their behavior towards one another. There would be no one else to blame.
When the social worker had left Scully had refused to continue the conversation they had been having before his arrival. Mulder took this to mean she had said all she had to say and she wasn't prepared to tell him he was wrong about her wanting to leave him. It would kill him. She knew it, but he knew she had to do what she felt was right for her. He was going to let the decision be hers. It was the least he could do. So Mexico was their 'trial' separation. This was bad.
At the airport Mulder collected his luggage, which only consisted of one bag, and he spotted Doggett leaning against a rental in the car park.
"Mulder, how was your flight?"
"It was fine."
"I gotta say I was a little surprised to get your call about coming down here."
"Not as surprised as I was to have you say you'd appreciate my company."
"Well any company is better than Monica's mom looking at me as if I'm the devil."
"She blames you for this?"
"She blames me for a lot of things. Come on, I made your reservation at a motel near the hospital, I assume you wanna see Monica?"
"Yeah. I do."
Doggett drove Mulder to the motel he had made a reservation for him at. He hadn't told Reyes' parents that he was coming, he was too nervous. So he was going for the 'it was a spur of the moment thing' approach. Monica's mother couldn't dislike him anymore than she already did so he wasn't too concerned right now. He just felt obliged to help Mulder out and do him this favor. He had sounded so desperate on the phone.
When Mulder had dumped his bag he and Doggett went straight to the hospital and luckily Monica's parents weren't there. Mulder didn't know it but Doggett had planned it so that her parents wouldn't be there asking too many awkward questions.
"Has there been any change in her condition at all?"
"None. But they say that's a good sign, you know, that she's not getting any worse."
"Yeah. That's great."
"How's Dana?" Mulder winced at hearing the name of his only love being spoken so intimately. It was foolish, but hearing someone call her Dana made him worry about her, it made her seem so fragile and vulnerable. Besides, he didn't really want to tell Doggett everything that he'd missed in DC over the past few days.
"She didn't mind you coming down here? I mean, it's not great timing with Gibson and everything."
"I know. She umm, she understands that I... that we needed time apart."
"What do you mean?" Ok, so maybe he was going to have to give more of an explanation than that.
"Let's just say things got worse, God only knows how, and this is what she's calling a 'trial separation'."
"I wish I was. I think I may have really pissed on it all for good."
"But you two have, well you're both, you love each other."
"Apparently that's not enough."
"Well then make it be enough." Mulder looked at Doggett and was taken a back by his exclamation of disappointment in Mulder just sitting back and letting this happen.
"You two have been through the ringer more times than you both probably wanna know, but you came out on the other side every time. How is that not enough? You're living proof that all a relationship needs is love because you sure as hell haven't had any other kind of security to hold onto with each other over the last eleven years, all you knew was how you felt. You've come this far; I can't see how suddenly love isn't enough. Of all the fights you could possibly face or have faced already, the fight for your family, for the woman you love and your children, should be the most important fight of your life, it sounds to me like Dana doesn't think it is anymore. You gotta make her see that it is."
Doggett sat down beside Monica's bed and held her hand in his own. Mulder watched him and ached for Scully. Relationship counseling from John Doggett? It didn't matter. He was right. He had to show Scully she was his world.
Scully walked around the empty apartment and listened as William played with his toys in his room. Mulder had been gone for three days now and she had left William's bedroom door open just so that there was another voice in the apartment than her own. She was lonely and she only had herself to blame for it. But she had done the right thing. She didn't know how Mulder felt or what he was thinking but it wasn't important because she wasn't even sure how she felt herself.
Yes she had been here before, yes she had always made the best out of bad situations, yes she had always trusted Mulder and his decisions, but she was a grown woman, she was supposed to be his equal now, not the agent placed to spy on him. So what the hell was going on? What was going so terribly wrong that she hadn't stopped him from walking out like he had? She wished she had someone to talk to, someone to tell her what to do, to tell her whether she was being silly and needed to just trust that this time everything would work out as it had every time before.
She was so lost in her head that she didn't notice when the front door opened and closed quietly and she didn't even notice when Mulder was standing directly behind her as she cradled a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. It took his hand on her shoulder for her to turn around and see him. The coffee went everywhere.
"Jesus Mulder!" She stood up and moved to run her burning hand under the cold tap. Mulder followed and tried to take her hand to look at the glowing red palm but she pulled away.
"I'm sorry, I thought you heard me."
"Well I didn't."
"I'm sorry." Calming down Scully turned off the tap and walked into the bedroom to change her stained blouse. Mulder followed again and watched as she carefully unbuttoned the shirt and removed it. It fell to the floor and she moved to the wardrobe to pull out another.
He watched in complete awe at being able to see her like this. For so long he had wished they would take the next step and they had. And look where it had gotten them. But she wasn't shy, she didn't hide her bare back or chest covered only by a seductive black bra, because she still trusted and loved him. He wanted to hold her, to kiss her, to tell her how sorry he was, but that was old to her now. He'd gone past the point of apology. Now it was time for actions to speak for both of them.
He walked over to her and held her hands down as she began to fasten the blouse. She looked up to him and was about to object but Mulder's lips against her own prevented any words escaping. He kissed her passionately, not softly like she was used to, his kiss told her that this was more than a kiss, and then his hands moved around her waist and then underneath her blouse, up and down her spine. Her legs started to weaken as they always did at Mulder's touch against her skin, her own hands had moved up around his neck and she was pulling him closer to her, he felt so good.
They somehow made it to the bed where Mulder lay her down and she reached to unfasten the button and zipper on his pants. He was already more than ready for this she noticed as she pulled the pants down, and without her even realizing he had somehow removed her pants too. He still kissed her persistently, then his lips moved from her mouth down to her neck, her chest, her breasts, down to her naval, he knew exactly what he was doing, and Scully writhed beneath him as his touch set her alight.
He moved back up her body fast and returned to kissing her lips, he caught her by surprise and her breath caught in her throat as their tongues joined and explored each other's mouths. With one hand Mulder pulled down Scully panties and then pulled down his boxers, he was completely in charge of the situation and Scully didn't care. As he finally entered her she convulsed on the bed and their bodies were crushed together. They were both panting and holding onto each other tightly as Mulder thrust himself in and out in perfect time with the movement of Scully's hips against him.
As they moved almost rhythmically with one another, dancing against one another's bodies, they reached their climax together, something that made their love making all the more special. Mulder slowly lowered himself down over Scully's body and she nuzzled into his chest as he gently pulled out of her and turned to lie beside her. He pulled her to him and they lay together basking in the aftermath of their lovemaking.
"It's ok Mulder..."
"But..." Scully placed a single finger on Mulder's lips.
"Shh. I was wrong. I love you. It's always been enough. And it always will be." Mulder looked at her and kissed her softly this time on the lips.
Some time later, neither of them were sure when, Mulder and Scully got dressed and went into the kitchen. Mulder moved to clean up the spilt coffee from when he arrived and Scully checked on William. When a knock came hard and heavy on the door they stood together again, Scully closed the door of William's room and they walked to answer the door. Mulder took out his weapon and Scully opened the door fast.
"What?" Krycek moved into the apartment and didn't give Mulder or Scully time to object.
"Gibson is on his way here, now. He's coming for William. You have to get him out of here. Before it's too late." Mulder didn't move. Scully looked at him and was sure her heart was beating twice its normal speed.
"It's ok. Scully, we gotta get Skinner here. And I need you to trust me."
"What are you talking about?"
"Do you trust me?"
"You know I do." He walked over to her and kissed her again. It was a surprise; they never showed affection for one another like this in front of people before. But the kiss didn't allay Scully's fears that this was the end or the beginning. And it didn't stop her being afraid.
When Gibson walked into the building he could sense the fear, he could taste it. He loved it. For years it had been him who was afraid, he had run for his life he had done everything he had been told. But one day it had hit him that if he was so important he had power. And he could use that power. So that was his plan. Stop the running and the fighting. Sure he was still only young, but he was old enough to know that this was his game now, and he controlled all of the players.
He reached out his hand on the off chance the door was open, of course it was locked. They were stupid but not that stupid. He knew that the whole family were inside; he could even sense the unborn one. He just wished he could hear her like William could. Picking the lock with great ease he then opened the door slowly so as not to alert anyone to his arrival. He was confused at how many people he thought were in the apartment, but it didn't matter. He was here for William and he wasn't leaving without him.
He went straight to the boy's room and was slightly surprised to find Scully standing holding the boy in her arms. He was in a blanket and by the looks of things he was being rocked to sleep. Gibson wanted to laugh; did she really think that if he were sleeping William wouldn't feel the pain? Wouldn't know what was going on? She didn't know her son at all. He crept up behind her taking his time and then quickly and with complete precision he lifted his arm and pushed Scully to the ground. She let out a startled cry as Gibson reached down and grabbed the bundle from her arms.
"What is this! You tricked me? How the hell did you even know I was coming!"
"I've been waiting for this for weeks Gibson. You should know me better than that."
"You always were so easy to read. You wore your heart on your sleeve and it's your biggest downfall."
"Well, I managed to make you think I was holding William just now, I can't be that transparent." He didn't like that.
"It doesn't matter. I'll find him. I can promise you that."
"Is that right?"
"Yeah, you ruined my life, you and Mulder, and you're conspiracies, well now I'm here to ruin yours! I'm tired of you getting away with ruining everything for everyone around you! This is where it ends! You won't have to die, but your children will, and any children after that, because when you're gone, the problems gone. You and Mulder, when I've wiped out your family line it's over, this whole thing is your fault, both of you!" As Gibson yelled at Scully she didn't know how she was keeping so calm and still. But she could see what Gibson couldn't. She could see Mulder and Skinner getting closer to Gibson, getting ready to grab him. Gibson's mind was so full of fury and anger for Scully that he didn't pick up on the others gaining in on him.
Gibson was so fired up in fact that he didn't know there was anyone there until Skinner and Mulder had jumped him from behind and he was lying flat on the ground. Everything went very black as he was knocked unconscious.
Mulder and Scully sat together on the sofa for a long time. Skinner was sitting in the kitchen on Gibson watch duty. He was still out cold. Scully couldn't look at him. She still couldn't accept that the Gibson in her kitchen was the same boy she had helped to take care of for so many years. She lay with her head on Mulder shoulder; he was holding her hand and stroking her hair. It was oddly the most relaxed she had been in a long time. But things needed to be said, this needed to be over.
After an hour Skinner could be heard standing from his chair and Mulder turned to look at him and then at Gibson, he was waking up. He lifted up Scully softly from him, she had fallen asleep. It pained him to see how exhausted she was, she was pregnant and he was putting her through this, he was a jerk. But he was a jerk who was trying to make amends. Resting Scully's head back down onto the couch he stood up and walked over to Gibson and Skinner. Gibson was fully awake, and he was pissed.
"So, what? I'm your prisoner now? You gonna keep me here forever?"
"No. For now at least."
"You can't keep me here, I'm just a kid."
"With nowhere to go and no one to miss him, isn't that right?" Mulder was not going to take any crap this time, no emotional heartstrings were to be pulled, he'd end this for his family.
"I don't care what you think you can do to me, I'll win this, you know I will."
"Why'd you do it?" Skinner was as shocked by this as anyone, he wanted answers too.
"The hospital bomb, Monica's shooting, pursuing William? What on earth happened to you?"
"My life was screwed over by all of you. You made me the key to the entire conspiracy, they want me every time, no matter who else is involved, it was always me who they came back to. You think I wanted my life to be that way? I wanted to be a regular kid; I wanted to have everything that all the other boys my age had. But I couldn't because you wouldn't stop trying to protect me. Your protection only placed me constantly in more danger! So I figured it was time for a change. The last five years of my life have been miserable, it ends now."
"You still haven't explained what Monica has to do with this? Or why you blew up the hospital?" Gibson laughed and Mulder had to fight the urge to hit him, this was his sister, his family, and Gibson found the whole thing amusing, it made him feel sick.
"There is a connection between all of you, Doggett, Reyes, Mulder, Scully, the four of you have always come together. In your past lives, everything you've ever done, the four have you have always been allies. There is a spiritual connection between you. The only way I can eliminate that is by killing Monica first, she's the conduit between you all. She has never died first, if she does, it's over. This life will be your last. The only threat to me is your son, and your unborn daughter. I can't hear what they're thinking, but they can communicate with each other in a way I don't know of. I can't win this with William or his sister alive, and I can't kill your daughter until Monica is dead. She is the only other female blood Mulder, she is connected to the baby and so long as she lives, the baby will live."
Scully had been listening to all of this. And at the news of her baby being completely safe despite her best friend lying in a coma, she stood up to join the conversation in the kitchen. Mulder took her hand and Gibson again laughed.
"You two are so predictable. You're the ones who always end up becoming romantically involved, not always Doggett and Reyes, but you two, you can never stop yourselves. And you screw it up every time, without fail. It's ironic really that you always fall in love, but you never managed to really love each other, there are too many things that have happened to you both to let it go and just love one another. Well, I'm ready for this, I will win, I can take over the whole damn planet, I just gotta get all of you out of my way. It's payback time."
Monica woke up with a jolt. It was the first time she had fallen asleep since arriving here, she had never slept at the park, but something about the dark enclosure of the forest had lulled her into a nap. It was Emily that had woken her now, with a serious and startled look on her face.
"Monica you mustn't sleep, it will make the baby vulnerable."
"What are you talking about? I'm tired..."
"If you sleep your connection with the baby is weakened." Monica sighed and stood up. She was fed up of this; she didn't care who she was supposed to be looking after, spiritually or not.
"You know I'm not sure that I can take much more of this, I still don't understand what I'm doing here or what you're telling me! How can I be protecting an unborn child when she is safely tucked away in her mother's womb and I'm here, from all accounts knocking on death's door!"
"You don't understand do you?"
"The connection between you, your partner, your brother and... and my mother. You are connected to this child in a spiritual way. You don't see it, but you feel it, I know you do. You can feel the energy of the baby, not yet grown, not yet ready to be alone."
"But the baby is no where near me, I don't understand."
"I told you, you don't exist on the physical plane, well neither does the baby, not yet, your body is here, talking to me now, but your spirit, your soul and your passion is with her, she is holding onto it, and I can sense that it won't be long now."
"What are you talking about?"
"It's almost over. And when it is I'll be gone."
"You're gonna leave me?"
"My job was to protect you so that you could protect the baby, when the threat to you is gone I can leave you to protect the baby alone. To concentrate your energy on her."
"But you can't just leave me here until the baby's born, it's months away! You can't leave me alone."
"Think about what I've said to you Monica. You won't be." Emily sat down and looked up at Monica as she watched her.
"Why don't you take a look around, there's no one else here, and the sooner you're ready to move around here without me to guide you the better. But no more sleeping." Monica looked around her and sighed heavily. Maybe this did make sense after all. It's the kind of thing she'd have believed in a heartbeat if she were able to talk about it with someone, but being asked to believe it herself had seemed completely unrealistic.
The more she thought about it the more it seemed feasible. And he more it seemed feasible the more certain she became that she could feel a connection back to her body and to a place where a tiny life was growing and would continue to need her support for now and always.
Mulder looked around the room almost as if he were looking for a way out. A big glowing red 'exit' sign. But there was nothing, and there was no easy way out. He was ready for whatever it took. Scully was beside him. There was a distance between them that Gibson's words had created, but it was something that they both understood didn't need addressing right now.
Skinner felt uncomfortable being in the same room as these people. He fought his compelling hate for Gibson because it felt wrong to hate the boy, but then he looked at Scully and saw her pain, the trauma she had been through with William, and with Mulder, and now her second child. She needed closure. And then he looked at Mulder. A man he had grown to admire rather than object to. So much had happened to all of them. This was the icing on the cake; of all the people in the world Skinner thought they might come up against Gibson was never one of them. Never in a million years.
Gibson looked at the three adults in front of him. He was reading all of their thoughts and all he wanted to do was laugh. They were still preoccupied by the smaller and insignificant things in life, like love and children, and friendship. None of that mattered now. How could it? He could see the end, he may not be able to tell the future but being able to read people's minds was a definite bonus on being able to plan for world domination.
"Are you all just going to stare at me forever? You can't just leave me here."
"Sure we can. No one knows you even exist outside the world of conspiracies and aliens that you're so akin to. Who's missing you?" Mulder was leaning in close as he spoke.
"I don't care about that, you just can't keep me here, and I know you wont."
"Because she's telling me so in her head. Not directly. But she's afraid of me; she doesn't want me to be near William or the baby. It's sweet actually. You tried to mother be until you had a baby of your own. Then I was kicked aside." Scully looked at him and walked close to him. She stared at him as she spoke.
"Yeah and look at all the thanks we've got for helping you in the past."
"Yes! If it weren't for us you'd be long dead!"
"Maybe that's my point!"
"Well if that's your biggest problem it's easily resolved!" Scully felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see Mulder pulling her back. She never lost her temper. But she was ready to snap and if she had to listen to anymore crap from this boy she'd finish him herself.
"One way or another I will win. I've said it a thousand times already and I'll keep saying it until you accept it." Skinner took over the reigns as Mulder calmed down Scully.
"Well then I suggest you get comfy. You won't gain anything from any of us."
"Really? How about your gun?" They all turned around to watch as Gibson rose from his chair and grabbed Skinner's gun from his holster. No one was quick enough to try and stop him; it was easy for him because he knew what they were all thinking.
Gibson held the gun up and pointed it at Scully, she froze on the spot, her mouth agape and her hands finding her stomach in a motherly instinct to protect her unborn. But the bullets were ready to fly. Tried to fight for the gun back but it was no use; it was easy for Gibson to outwit them all. He held the gun at her and grinned. And the bang from the gunshot that followed silenced the room for all of them.
The bang echoed for what felt like a lifetime. But as Mulder put down the gun in his hand Skinner checked Gibson for a pulse and shook his head. He was dead. Scully looked at Mulder and she saw something in him that was different from any pain she had seen before. Something in him made her feel to blame and she couldn't help but cry. Cry with relief that this was over. Finally it was really over. As Mulder turned and saw her crying he rushed over to her and pulled her into an embrace that cemented everything they had together.
"It's ok... it's over now. It's over." He whispered into her hair as she shook in his arms. He hoped to God that it was all over. He loved this woman more than anything in the whole world; he'd committed murder for his family's safety. It had to be over.
Skinner pulled his cell phone out and started doing the 'I'll take care of this' business, for which Mulder and Scully were entirely grateful. The sad fact was this would be the easiest murder in the world to cover up and make disappear. Nobody knew Gibson, he had no family or friends, he wouldn't be missed by anybody, not even those that had once been his closest allies. Skinner made a lot of calls as Mulder stood still shocked by what had happened.
Gibson was prepared to shoot Scully; he would have, if Mulder hadn't shot him first. It was his only option. Scully was shook up too, seeing the man she loved kill a young boy isn't exactly something that will help a relationship along. But there was nothing they couldn't get through. It was only now that they both truly believed this. After this they could fight the whole world if they had to.
Each in a different area of the apartment the three of them grew cold, almost as if they could feel Gibson's spirit leaving them, moving on. Scully remained silent but still cried, Skinner was on and off his phone and checked his watch every ten seconds. Mulder stood staring at the body. They hadn't covered him up, he just lay there. He looked so young and fragile. It infuriated Mulder to make him think he had had to resort to this. Murder. Well he knew that in an instant he'd have done the same thing given the chance again.
A knock on the door startled them all and they all looked at the door before edging towards it. Skinner stood forward to answer it thinking it was someone coming for the body, the less Mulder and Scully had to do with the aftermath the better. But upon opening the door a smile greeted him and Doggett was ushered into the room.
He looked at them all and then at the body. His breath caught in his chest and then he took a deep breath.
"This over now?" He directed the question at Mulder.
"Yeah. It's over." Scully walked over to Doggett and he pulled her into a hug. She was glad to see him.
"John, when did you get back?"
"I flew back with Mulder, didn't he tell you?" Scully pulled back and looked at Mulder.
"Well we got a little distracted as you can see." John nodded his head.
"So what's gonna happen now?" Mulder shrugged and Scully excused herself and made a phone call. Skinner took the front again.
"I've made some calls, someone is coming to collect the body."
"You mean to just get rid of it right?"
"Yeah. We have no choice."
"I know. It's exactly how this should have ended. I'd have killed the bastard myself given the chance."
Mulder heard this and the two men shared an understanding nod of the head. It felt good to know that Mulder wasn't just a cold-blooded killer.
Another twenty minutes passed before the next knock on the door. This time Scully answered it. She knew who it was. Her son was home. She opened the door and her son was returned to her arms in an instant. Doggett watched the reunion and smiled.
"Where was he?" In answer to Doggett's question Krycek walked into the room.
"Him? You sent your son away with him? To what? To keep him safe?"
"We had no choice John. It was either that or let Gibson... we couldn't let Gibson find him." Doggett looked at Scully's tearful eyes as she spoke and nodded his head again. She in return nodded thanks to Krycek before disappearing into William's bedroom.
Mulder walked over to Krycek and Krycek nodded his head also.
"I know, you don't have to say it, I'm gone."
"Good. I don't want to see you anywhere near me or my family again, are we clear on that?"
"Yeah." Krycek turned to leave and Mulder held him back.
"Hey. Thanks." Krycek left the apartment and bumped into someone at the door.
It was the social worker from the other day. He handed Mulder a letter telling him they were his recommendations and then he left. Mulder closed the door and turned to find Scully behind him. The look on his face must have said a thousand words.
"Mulder? It's William isn't it? Open it."
26 weeks later.
Scully sat on the edge of the bed and couldn't help but let the smile on her face broaden. She glanced at the clock on the bedside table, it was almost 3am, and Mulder was fast asleep beside her. She didn't want to wake him until she was sure, but then she felt it again and she knew that it was time. She leaned across him and stroked his hair across his head.
"Mulder..." He stirred slightly, but not enough to be an indication he was prepared to open his eyes. "Mulder... wake up..." He turned over and suspiciously opened one eye and looked at Scully.
"What time is it?"
"Gees Scully, what is it, you need a hand getting to the bathroom or something?"
"No, I need you to take us to the hospital."
"What? Why? Is it... is it time, is it contractions?" Scully nodded her head and Mulder shot out of bed and threw clothes on faster than she had ever seen. She shuffled around the bed, her large and over-due bump carefully caressed in front of her. Mulder helped her throw some clothes on and grabbed the over night bag they had had prepared for three days now. It was a cold December morning and he was in too much of a hurry to allow anyone to wrap up warmly. He ushered Scully into the living room and she grabbed the phone.
"Scully what are you doing?"
"Calling my mom."
"We can call from the hospital, come on."
"Wait, aren't you forgetting something?" He shook his head in an 'I have no idea what you're talking about kind of way' and she slowly walked across the apartment and pushed open a door. The door revealed a sleeping William wresting soundly in his room. Mulder went a strange pale color as he realized he was about to become a father for the second time and had managed to forget all about his son. He grabbed the phone and called Mrs. Scully himself and within minutes Scully's mom was there to watch William whilst Mulder drove he and Scully to the hospital.
Doggett had traveled to Mexico every weekend for the past six months. Working in DC during the week and visiting Monica whenever he had any time to spare, never giving up on the chance that she might wake up. It had been a long and tedious process, and one that he unfortunately become used to. Monica's father met him at the airport every weekend and informed him there was no change in her condition. But that the doctors still held hope of her waking up. Doggett wasn't about to second-guess them, not if it meant that he'd get the woman he loved back.
He'd felt bad coming this particular weekend though. Scully was overdue by three days and they were all anxious about the baby's arrival, but she had insisted he go saying they'd call if there was any news. He'd spent a lot of time with Mulder and Scully over the past six months. He adored William, and once the mess with Gibson was cleared away their lives had calmed down considerably. Things could only get better right?
He stroked Monica's hand in his own and watched her as she slept peacefully. That's all this was right? A really long sleep. But she looked different tonight. She had a little more color in her cheeks and unlike the other times he'd visited and she'd actually looked ill, now she really did look like she was just sleeping. He lived in hope.
Mulder wasn't sure about the whole being in the room when Scully gave birth part of fatherhood. He wasn't squeamish exactly but there was something about it that just didn't sit right with him. However, he had somehow been ushered into the delivery room with Scully when she was fully dilated as she screamed out his name and demanded that he not leave her. Part of him felt guilty that she was thinking about when she had given birth to William, Mulder had been absent then, well not this time. He was actually going to see his daughter born.
It amazed him as the midwife, nurses and doctors stood around telling Scully she was doing a great job and that she had to try to push. She was gripping his hand so hard he thought that she was going to break it. He was very relieved to be a man. No way could he go through childbirth. As he watched Scully he felt weird because he had never seen her look so beautiful. He told her all the time that he loved her. Well it was true. But right now she looked stunning, she radiated throughout the room and he was almost hypnotized by her.
After four hours of screaming, shouting, gripping of hands, poking, pulling, and passing of scary looking instruments, Scully gave birth to Olivia Hope and Mulder watched as his daughter took her first look at the world. She didn't cry, she simply looked around the room and upon glimpsing Mulder he was sure he saw a smile and he suddenly found himself bombarded by tears. The baby was passed to Scully and she cried too. Mulder stroked his little girl's hands and she gripped his finger. Wow. This was love. Scully smiled up at him and he leaned in and kissed her. They didn't need to keep telling each other they loved one another. It was blatantly obvious.
Doggett sighed deeply and rubbed his ever-tired eyes. It was late and he wasn't sure he could stay awake much longer. He stood up and stretched before resting his eyes on Monica. He blinked and couldn't believe his eyes. She was awake. I mean wide-awake. He rushed closer to her and stroked her hair softly as tears welled up in his eyes.
"Monica, Monica can you hear me?" She looked at him and smiled.
Seven months later - July 4th.
Scully turned and smiled to the crowd before her. She hadn't been able to remove the grin from her face for a long time now. She believed it could actually be a sign that her life was finally working out just how she had hoped it would. This may not be what she had dreamt of as a little girl, but little girls re na�ve and impressionable. Dana Scully was none of those things now. She turned and smiled to Mulder standing beside her. He leaned in and kissed her again and there was a rapturous round of applause from the people gathered with them. Finally they had made it down the aisle.
They held onto each other's hands as they walked out of the church, their friends and family following close behind. As they climbed inside the car waiting to take them to their wedding reception they both saw Doggett and Reyes among the first in the crowd, they were looking after William and Olivia, along side Mrs. Scully. At the sight of so many people wanting her to be happy Scully's grin grew even wider. Mulder saw her smile and smiled with her.
"I finally did it. I made an honest woman of you."
"Took you long enough."
"So, do I have to call you Dana now?"
"Well, you're Mrs. Mulder now, won't it be kinda weird if we still call each other Mulder and Scully?"
"I don't think so. Besides, it adds to the uniqueness of our relationship."
"Uniqueness? Is that what you're calling it now?" They both laughed and then Mulder adopted a serious look in his eyes and Scully stared deep into them. The car was well on its way to the hotel and he took her hands into his and kissed them.
"I can't tell you what it means to me to be this happy. I never thought I would find this."
"I know. I had the same fears. But that we made it this far, and survived the things we have. Makes me hopeful that the path ahead will be smoother."
"I hope you're right. I'd do anything for you. You and our children." Scully smiled and Mulder wiped away the tear that was sliding down her cheek. She leaned forward and kissed him and they remained that way until the car pulled up at their wedding reception.
The party was a huge hit. There weren't a lot of people there, but anyone that mattered in Mulder and Scully's lives were there, making the day all the more special. Both of Scully's brothers were there, which she had been absolutely thrilled about. Bill had taken Mulder to one side and given him a brotherly warning just the day before the wedding.
"I've never liked you, and I don't know that I'll ever accept you as a part of my family. But I can see plain as day how besotted Dana is with you and I wouldn't do anything to ruin her happiness. So let me tell you this Mr. Mulder, if you ever put one foot out of line with my sister I will make your life a living hell, I'll hurt you more than you could ever imagine."
"She's lucky to have you Bill. And if I were you I'd hate me too. But I do love your sister, more than life itself. And there is no way you could possibly hurt me that would be more painful than losing her. So you see I don't plan on stepping out of line. But I appreciate your concern."
Naturally Scully's mom was there, she was thrilled by the whole occasion. Skinner was there, and a few other people that they knew work related, who were there to make up the numbers really. And of course Monica and John were there playing aunt and uncle to William and Olivia. The past seven months had been phenomenal. With Monica's sudden full recovery and her knowledge of Olivia's birth as she awoke, everyone had been walking around on clouds during the wedding preparations. Monica hadn't told anybody about what happened whilst she was in a coma. There was no need. Emily had been right all along. And as Monica held a sleeping Olivia in her arms now she knew there was no other place in the world she would rather be.
John watched Monica cradling her niece. It made his heart melt. They were happy, very happy and as much as he knew nothing would change that he couldn't help the thought in the back of his mind always telling him to be careful, to watch his back. He had had to tell Monica everything about Gibson and the bombing and concerns over William and Olivia, but she had handled it all so well. He knew there were things she wasn't telling him that she could remember from her coma but he honestly didn't feel any concern over not knowing what those things were. He had her back that was all that mattered.
Monica turned from her careful watch of William running around the dance floor and smiled at John as he blushed at having been staring at her.
"John, what is it?"
"I was just thinking."
"You. How much I love you. How lucky I am. And how absolutely stunning you look." Monica blushed and looked down to the baby before back into John's eyes.
"I can't know how hard it was for all of you waiting for me to come back, I guess some part of me always knew I would so it wasn't a problem for me. But I couldn't imagine my life without you John, I love you so much." He took one of her hands and kissed it softly.
"I never want to know what it's like to not wake up beside you in the morning, or to work without you by my side, or to go on vacation leave you behind. You're my whole world Monica." He leaned forward in his seat and Monica moved as much as she could without waking Olivia as they kissed softly. Maybe happily ever afters did exist.
As Mulder and Scully took their first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Fox Mulder Monica and John watched in complete awe. Mrs. Scully came over to relieve Monica of babysitting and John lead her onto the dance floor as couples were invited up to join the newly weds. Mulder and Scully caught the eye of Doggett and Reyes and there was an understanding smile or nod passed between each of them. They all had all they could ever want from their lives. Nothing was going to change that. And anyone that watched as Mulder and Scully danced together felt that little bit better about their own live. Because if they could make it work, then anyone could.