Title: Who You Are
Archive: Just let me know where!
Disclaimer: None of these characters were created by me, I am just borrowing them to tell a tale.
Summary: After Gibson's shock phone call a disruption in everybody's lives is on the cards. The truth will come out. But how much are Reyes, Doggett, Mulder and Scully going to have to sacrifice for those they love and for any chance of future happiness? Will Scully cope with William's further endangerment? And what exactly happened all those years ago when Reyes was adopted at four years old, when her mother tried so hard to find her?
It had been a long day for everybody. And not in a good way, not in the way that a fun birthday party for a three-year-old should be. William had been oblivious to the change in atmosphere when Reyes and Doggett had arrived. He had just walked over to the familiar brunette and allowed her to protectively swoop him into her arms as Doggett sat his parents down with a serious look on his face and began to talk about someone named Gibson Praise.
Reyes was unable to put William down, and he somehow knew that she was worried about him and he allowed her to show him the extra attention he was getting from her without fussing to be put down to play with his toys.
He had just begun to understand the novelty of birthdays and was already looking forward to the next one to get even more gifts like the ones he had received already.
William had seen his parents change when Doggett stopped talking to them. His mother had walked over and taken him from Reyes to hold him just as protectively in her arms. He didn't understand, but somehow this kind of panic and worry felt familiar, he remembered his mom and Reyes feeling this way before and then he had lost them. He didn't want to lose them again and had reached out for his father who he remembered to never have let him go despite not having seen him for some time.
Mulder felt bad for taking the small boy from his mother, but he could see that she was just as afraid to be near William as she was to be away from him. And she had quickly run into the bathroom to compose herself without betraying the strong image she had maintained with the room of people for so many years. Her own mother was the only person to go after her and she was doing so through her own need for answers rather than concern for her daughter.
William could only remember arguing and raised voices after his mom had run away from them. He had stayed quiet for the rest of the day and been passed around the group of upset faces throughout the afternoon. He didn't see Reyes' face for a long time and thought she'd gone, but she was still around, she was making every effort to be alone and he could sense that she felt something like guilt at what was happening. William didn't understand and didn't want to, but he knew that something wasn't right.
His grandma had been crying, and had stayed sitting in the same seat all afternoon. She was angry, he could feel it. And his parents hadn't spoken to each other much, mostly Doggett and Mulder did all the talking. Scully busied herself tidying up the apartment and didn't answer to Mulder's calls to sit down and talk with them. Everybody was upset.
William watched Reyes whenever he could find her. She was always looking at either him or his dad, and he wanted her to come and pick him up again as he sat with his new toy train set that Doggett had set up for him. But Reyes stayed away from the boy, and indeed everybody else in the room. Something was very wrong. And William hoped that it was all sorted out before someone decided to send him away again, he didn't like that very much before.
Maggie Scully left. Doggett took Oliver for a much-needed walk after being cooped up all day inside. And Scully took William into his room and sat with him as he slept in her arms. It had been an exhausting day, even for the small three-year-old. He had picked up on so much from the adults around him. It had been a hard day for him too because he hadn't understood anything. But he knew as his eyes closed that he was sleeping in his mom's arms, that was all that concerned him.
Monica was sitting in the dark by the window. Mulder had wanted to talk to her more than anyone else that day. And he understood her need to be alone, but he also couldn't help wanting to accuse her of being selfish, everyone else had been alarmed, and vocalized their thoughts and feelings. Monica had barely said two words since arriving. And it was now almost midnight. He walked over to sit opposite her and she didn't even notice him approach her.
Monica had spent the entire afternoon thinking about William, and her time in New Mexico in the New Year. William meant the world to Monica, she had been so elated for him to be home with his parents, and she had been doing well moving on with her life and not letting anything change. But the truth was the only reason she had been able to carry on at all was because she had managed to push what she had found to the back of her mind.
She didn't need a biological family to tell her who she was or where she came from. She had lived with herself for over thirty years, she knew who she was. Only now that all had to change. Now she had to face everything. The past and the future.
Mulder looked at Monica hoping she would just glance at him rather than him have to say something to initiate conversation. He was lucky. She sensed he'd come over to her and she looked at him with weary eyes and a pale face.
"How you doing?" Monica smiled none too convincingly and Mulder nodded his head to show he understood.
"Do we have to do this now?"
"I know that this has been a parents worse nightmare for you and Dana. And I know that the news John and I bought with us has ruined all your dreams of bringing up your son safely and protected from the forces we can't predict. But I can't talk to you about this now."
"About you and me. Our... relationship." Mulder nodded his head again but then sat forward in his seat and Monica could see the features of his face in the moonlight that shone through the window.
"Listen to me Monica, you seem to be forgetting something. Gibson told you that you were in danger too. Now I know that you've taken the attitude of ignoring what your past has shown you, and who you are to me. But you're my sister Monica. Maybe only by blood and not as a brother and sister should be family. But this is about you too now. Not just William, or Scully or me. You. You matter to Them. And you matter to me."
Monica wiped away a single tear that had slipped through the tight expression she was holding. She couldn't show how this was really affecting her. Not now. Not when there were a million and one thoughts racing through her mind. And at that point Doggett walked through the door with a panting dog and he slowly walked over to them.
"Everythin' ok?" Monica looked up at him and saw the concern and worry in his big blue eyes. It was her fault that he looked like that. That she had upset him and his life. She couldn't stop the rest of the tears that came, and Doggett sat down beside her as
Mulder looked on and wished so much that he could go back and take back everything he ever did in the FBI to make his life what it was today. He looked at the two people in front of him and thought about Scully and his son in the other room. It pained him to know that he would rather none of them met and be happy and safe with other people in another place than here now and so miserable and afraid.
Scully watched her son sleeping soundly in her arms and she was fighting the urge to run and hide. Nobody was taking her baby away from her, not after how she fought to get him back. She was trying to convince herself that Gibson was mistaken, that this time he was wrong. The only saving grace was that Mulder appeared to be safe.
They didn't want him now, but They still wanted her son, and what about Reyes? The two women had grown exceptionally close, and she knew how important it was to Mulder to have found the truth. To have found family. She would never make him choose between William and Monica, but she prayed that Mulder would provide the strength and safety she craved when she had felt compelled to give her son up before.
Mulder had left Reyes and Doggett feeling awkward about being with them. Half of him had wanted to comfort Reyes himself, his sister. But it would have been inappropriate, he knew that. He had been trying to talk to her all day, but someone else would say something to him and his chance was gone. No matter how awkward they all felt about this, Monica was his family, and she needed his help now. Along with his son.
Mulder watched Scully for a long while, thinking about what she had lost, and what they had fought to gain. Her desire to be a mother to her son was what had made the last few months of his life the best he'd ever had. There was no way he was going to let anyone or anything ruin what they had rightfully claimed as theirs.
He walked into the room and Scully looked up at him. He was pleasantly surprised to see a smile on her face. He didn't want to have to be the guy to make it disappear.
"How's everybody doing?" Scully looked back down to her boy as Mulder knelt on the floor beside her.
"I know. It's ok."
"How is it? How is any of this ok?" Mulder stroked his son's hair and felt the awe he had for this tiny person he had helped to create grow as he slept peacefully in his mother's arms.
"So I jumped ahead a little, what I should have said was, it will be ok. I promise. I would never let anyone hurt you or William."
"I just want this to be over. I want us to be a family."
"We are a family. No amount of government or alien conspiring will ever change that. Not now, not after what we've already seen and done. We'll get through this together. But I do need to talk with Gibson..."
"It's ok, I'll be there and back in a few days..."
"I won't let you leave, not again. What use are you to William or I if you're not here? If you go and They know we're alone and vulnerable They'll take him. You're here this time, I shouldn't have to do this alone again."
"You won't. I swear to you, I will not let anything bad happen." Mulder leaned forward and kissed Scully softly before standing up as his legs began to cramp. He looked around the room and admired at how well lived in it appeared. Anybody that didn't know the family would think that William had lived here his whole life. Mulder didn't want for him to not spend the rest of his life with them.
As much as he kept telling himself it was a duty and he felt he owed it to people, he was just as eager for this to be over as everyone else, he wanted to be a father and for his son to be safe. But right now he had to help figure out how to fight. He'd fought for so long and won so many battles. Now he had to win the war, for his own sake as much as those around him.
Doggett was relieved to be out of the apartment when he and Reyes had finally left. When she had stopped crying she had expressed a need to leave, and he had informed Mulder who saw them to the door with Scully after putting William down.
Doggett saw the different way in which Scully looked at Reyes, no longer as a friend, but as a threat to her peace in life. Another 'problem' for her to deal with as she continued to pay for her time and work on the x-files. Doggett understood completely how this had disrupted everything that they all had planned for their lives, but he didn't want it to disrupt the way they were with each other.
Mulder had spent the day reassuring everybody that he would fix this, but Doggett had seen in his eyes that this news had shaken him as much as the rest of them. They all needed to come together on this, not let it pull them apart.
Everybody's concern had immediately been for William's safety. Doggett had a great deal of affection for the boy, but the woman he loved had been told that she was in danger too. How could he make her his priority without making everyone else think that he didn't care for William? He had hoped to talk more with Reyes about this and about how he felt, but he was getting nothing out of her, at least not tonight.
As they arrived home they went straight upstairs to get ready for bed. They were tired but both knew they wouldn't sleep, Doggett had thought maybe Reyes would like to talk instead, but no such luck. Reyes placed herself as far to the edge of the bed as she could and Doggett didn't try to do anything to bring her closer. If she needed space she could have it, he'd give her anything she wanted and do anything she asked, he just wanted them to be happy. As he glanced at clock by the bed and saw the time show 1.52am, he closed his eyes and somehow fell into a dreamless sleep.
Monica couldn't sleep at all. She knew that Doggett had dozed off around 2am, and she finally got up so as not to wake him with her constant movement, at 4.30am. She went down the stairs and made sure the dog saw her before he started barking thinking someone had broken in. She made herself a mug of hot chocolate and curled up on the sofa with Oliver.
The living room curtains hadn't been drawn and she could see the stars twinkling in the sky. It was absurd but she found herself wondering if there really could be anything out there. Flying around in space, traveling around planets and galaxies, a whole other world where they weren't the invaders they were the invaded. Humans poked around in space too much, trying to understand things they had no business to want to know, and now space was fighting back, the other life forms out there were standing up for themselves.
Reyes wanted to laugh at herself for being so ridiculous and she tried to think about something else, but whenever her mind wandered onto another topic it was William she thought of. And it was the look on Scully's face as they had left her apartment. It was all she could see when she closed her eyes and finally drifted off to sleep just a short hour before the sun was going to rise on a whole new day.
Scully woke up with a heavy sinking feeling inside her stomach as she immediately felt forced to remember that things weren't going to be happy and simple like they had been when she woke the day before. She reached out a hand for Mulder's familiar and comforting touch but he wasn't there. She got up and looked around the room and walked through to William's room but he wasn't there either.
That's when she could hear William crying in the bathroom. She ran through the apartment desperate to reach him and tend to whatever ailment was making him cry out like this. When she walked into the bathroom she couldn't stop the smile that spread broadly across her face. Mulder looked up at her and he was not impressed.
"You know you could help instead of standing there laughing."
"Oh no, this is way too much fun for me to help you out of." William was covered from head to toe in flour. He had managed to pull the bag down from the table where for some reason it had been left since his birthday cake had been made. He looked like a ghost, as he stood very unhappy with his dad trying to pull his clothes off without getting the flour all over himself. William looked up at Scully as if he knew she could help make a better job of this but she wasn't about to give in that easily.
"Come on Scully, you're so much better at this than I am."
"Yeah, come on."
"I think it's gonna do you both some good to have this time alone."
"We're doin' great, but I've not read the chapter on mess yet."
"Oh and I did? You can handle this just fine..."
"But William wants you to help us out too don't you buddy? You want mommy to help us out here?"
"Mama!" William held up his arms to Scully and she couldn't resist any longer. She sat beside Mulder and together they undressed their little spook and cleaned him up.
As they went into William's room to pick out something clean for him to wear Mulder took Scully's hand and gave it a small squeeze. It made her heart tingle, as if he had known that she had reached for that very touch as soon as she had woken. Even now it sometimes astounded her how no words were needed for them to understand each other and their feelings.
They had come a long way, and even though she knew there was a long way to go she knew that she could do it with Mulder by her side.
"How are you doin' this morning?"
"Ok... I think. I don't think I should go to work today though. I should be at home with you and William."
"Are you sure?"
"Am I sure? Of course I am, Mulder, my son's life has been threatened, and not for the first time, you honestly think I could get anything done at work?"
"No, but I just want us to think about this before we act on it."
"Well it was ok for you to announce your trip to see Gibson last night, but I can't not go to work?"
"That's not what I'm saying. It's just that... We're not the only people we have to think about this time..." Scully looked at Mulder and she knew exactly who he was referring to, and she knew that he was right and felt glad that someone could understand for once what it felt like to be constantly in fear of your life. But for some reason she couldn't feel any sympathy for Reyes. She hadn't been able to the day before and she still couldn't now.
"You mean Monica."
"Yeah. She's still not prepared to talk to me, but I need her to. And we need to make sure that we keep all lines of communication open with her and Agent Doggett. They're gonna need our help."
"I know that. But William needs our help. And he's my priority."
"Of course he is, it goes without saying Scully. But to protect William I have a really strong feeling that we need to protect her too."
Despite Doggett's protests Reyes had got ready for work and had even insisted that she drive too. He had wanted her to take the day off, he thought she'd be in danger at the FBI, and Reyes had only been able to win the argument by stating that she was in more danger if she stayed home alone. When they got to work there was an atmosphere in the office that they both hated but could do nothing about without upsetting one another.
Doggett had been surprised to find Reyes sleeping on the sofa and hoped it had been a one off and not a sign of things to come. Reyes had explained she just couldn't sleep but was hesitant at releasing any information about what she had spent the night thinking about, mostly because she knew that he would have been worrying about everything that she was and she thought he could do without her thoughts as well as his own.
It was no surprise to either of them when Skinner called and asked to see them immediately in his office. They took the elevator in silence and were just about to inform Skinner's assistant they were there to see him when Doggett pulled Reyes to one side.
"John what are you doing?"
"I need to say something. I think we should tell Skinner about us."
"I'm serious, if he's pulled us up here to tell us that he's heard from Gibson the same news we have, then he needs to know everything Monica."
"John you're crazy, we could lose our jobs."
"I think it'll be ok, I think Skinner will understand."
"Skinner doesn't make the rules John, he could understand completely you're right, but he would be obliged to inform his superiors and we'd be out of here so fast that we wouldn't have time to find our ass' to land on."
"I don't wanna hide how I feel about you anymore."
"We don't have a choice." Reyes turned from Doggett and spoke with Skinner's assistant as Doggett watched her and wished that she had agreed with him. Now he was going to have to act like an FBI agent in front of Skinner rather than a guy who was scared the woman he now actually planned to spend the rest of his life with was going to get hurt, or worse...
As they sat down in front of Skinner they waited for him to finish his phone call and remained quiet until he gave them reason not to.
"I assume you both know why I've called you here?" Reyes nodded her head.
"You've heard from Gibson."
"Yes. And I am not comfortable with what I was told. I've just spoken with Mulder, he says that this has understandably shaken you all up, and I just want you to know that we're going to do whatever it takes to find these people and put a stop to them before anything happens."
"With all due respect sir, are you forgetting what it was like the last time we faced these super soldiers? This isn't going to be some nice walk in the park, it's war. And we're all sadly mistaken if we think there's some way out of it without somebody getting hurt."
Doggett looked from Skinner to Reyes as she stopped speaking. Her expression was hard and fierce. He hadn't seen her like this for a long time; everything in their lives had been so simple and easy. It scared him how quickly she had changed her composure, and it scared him even more to think about how much more she would change.
As Mulder and Scully walked through the park, with William watching the world go by from his stroller, they felt like any other ordinary family having a day out. It was a cool day and they all had coats on but were enjoying the refreshing breeze that blew against them. Mulder had persisted in them going out instead of climbing the walls at home worrying when there was nothing they could do just sitting there. Scully knew he had raised a valid point but had refused to say so and had just silently placed William's coat on before sitting him down in his stroller getting him excited about going outside.
Mulder still insisted that he was going to go and see Gibson. Back when Mulder had been protecting the boy they had made a deal for Mulder to always know where he was and when he was on the move. Right now he was staying put and Mulder was determined to get to him without making Scully too unhappy about it. He even thought about asking her to come with him but he wasn't sure that was such a good idea.
"So when do you think you'll go?"
"I don't know. I'll call Skinner again this afternoon and see how it went with Doggett and Reyes, and then I'm gonna go and see her."
"Yeah. If she won't come and talk to me then I have to make her talk by going to her. Maybe we should all go?"
"No. You go if you need to see her. My mom said she'd drop by tonight anyway, I hope you realize she's going to be spending a lot of time here now. Forever in fear of any of us getting hurt."
"Well whatever makes her sleep easier at night. I just hope she doesn't tell Bill what's going on. I don't think I could cope with him right now."
"Well I have no intention of telling him anything about my life that he doesn't need to know. This is one of those things he doesn't need to know." A small whimper from William drew their attention from their conversation with each other to their son staring up at them. He was waving his arms up at them and clearly had had enough of being pushed around and wanted a little freedom. Scully stopped pushing and Mulder bent down to unfasten the small boy. He stood him up and grabbed his arm before he ran off.
"Sorry little guy, you're not going anywhere."
"Yeah that's me. Come here." Mulder picked him up and despite the fact he still wasn't walking around of his own accord he seemed to be just as happy with his new found height as he looked around him seeing things from a whole new perspective.
William liked it when he was bigger, he hadn't quite figured out how it worked though and why he always seemed to get shorter again no matter how hard he tried to avoid it.
"I don't want to lose you or William, Scully. The sooner I see Gibson and find out exactly what's going on the sooner I can come back to protect you both and put a stop to this for good."
When there was a knock on his door Doggett was so relieved. He and Reyes had been sitting in silence since they got home from work three hours ago and it was driving him crazy. But she was still pissed at him wanting to tell Skinner about their relationship, and he wasn't going to risk saying anything else that she wouldn't like. He had learnt his lesson for today.
He opened the door to Mulder and was only half surprised to see him there. He was glad that someone other than him was eager to move on this and get something arranged in order to prevent any disasters. Reyes heard them talking and was tempted to leave via the back door. All day she had known that Mulder would persist in demanding answers from her about her past until she gave in and told him.
The worst part was the craving she had for a big family, whilst fighting her compulsion to ignore this entire situation. But she couldn't get her head around the fact that she and Mulder were related and that this meant something, it meant something to him she could see that, but right now she didn't know what it meant to her, she had chosen to forget about blood for months now, and it was working. But now all that mattered was who was biologically related to whom, and she knew it.
When Mulder walked into the room he looked at Reyes and she tried to look at him, to show that she wasn't intimidated, and that he couldn't force information out of her, but she couldn't do it for long. Her conscience now had to face the fact that her past was not only important to Mulder, but also to William. The reasons for her disappearing at four years old, and for her not remembering her biological mother, she could no longer carry on as if this didn't matter.
"Can I get you a drink Mulder?" Mulder looked at Doggett and shook his head.
"No thanks, I'm fine. I'd just like to talk with Monica. If that's ok?" Reyes looked at Doggett and he looked awkward, he excused himself saying he needed to walk Oliver and Mulder stood completely still as Reyes sat staring into the fireplace.
"How long can you keep this up Mulder?"
"I got a lot of will power, I can stand here all night if I need to. But I'd prefer that it didn't come to that."
"Well I don't know what else you can possibly expect to achieve here."
"Monica, don't keep pushing me out. The sooner you talk to me the sooner we can start to make this go away."
"Make this go away? You sound like Skinner. He was convinced that some magic spell would make this all go away."
"Yeah, I think he's been hitting the Harry Potter again."
"Well you just said..."
"I said we could make this go away, I didn't say it would be easy. So unless Skinner has a version of the Harry Potter books that includes hidden chapters on how to fight a government conspiracy without anybody getting hurt, this will be hard. It's a fight Monica, and you know by now how these fights tend to turn out on the x-files."
Monica looked up at Mulder and he was glad that they were finally making eye contact. She looked tired and he wanted to just leave and let her rest, but he couldn't go back to Scully empty handed. They needed something to go on.
"What exactly is it you want from me?"
"The truth, as ironic as that phrase is now. I want to help you, I want to protect you."
Mulder's eyes softened and he knew it was wrong but he felt so many of the emotions he had had regarding Samantha come flooding to the surface whenever he was near Reyes. "Because you're my sister."
"I'm not Samantha, you can't save my life and think that that will make your feelings for her and your guilt over her death go away. I'm a whole other person who until five months ago was just someone that worked in your old office and was friends with your girlfriend."
"I know that, and my need to protect you has nothing to do with Samantha. I'm here for William's sake, because for some reason the two of you are in the same danger. If you won't talk to me for me, then talk for him."
"Well I'm running out of fair cards to play. I tried nice, I tried caring, I tried honesty, I got nothing left but my son. Your nephew. So talk to me Monica. Talk to me so we can both protect William." Monica looked away from him again and back at the fireplace. Mulder didn't move, he had meant what he said, he was staying put for as long as it took. However it seemed that this wasn't going to be as hard as he had feared.
"Ok. I'll tell you whatever you want to know. Have a seat."
Mulder turned the small jewelry box over and read the inscription on the back. He had spent almost an hour talking with Reyes about what she had been told by her birth mother's sister, Sophia, in Mexico. Most of it had been relayed to him by Scully months ago, but somehow hearing Reyes telling him and her emotion made it so much more significant.
"I still can't quite get used to this."
"Yeah. I know."
"I mean, I know you must think I've been completely thrilled and laid back about this and the pressure I've put you under to accept you're my sister. When in fact I'm just as taken a back about this as you are. Seeing this photograph, the family that extends from you and our father... And this, this gift, I mean. This guy told your mother he didn't want anything to do with you, and yet here he's apologizing for not being able to stay with her."
"Mulder I've been through it a million times in my head, believe me it doesn't get any easier. At least not yet."
"I just feel so guilty, like some how this is all my fault."
"Well that's because it is." Mulder looked at Reyes and she was actually smiling. He didn't know it but she actually felt better for talking about this again. She had been acting like it didn't matter for so long, and with Doggett she had made him believe that she was strong enough to handle this alone. Somewhere a line had to be crossed and she had to let some of this out, or someone else in.
"There's so much more we need to know Monica."
"I mean, what exactly happened when you went missing as a child"
"I don't know. Sophia wouldn't talk about it and I didn't like to push her, I'd only just met her. All I know is that the woman who gave birth to me loved me and for some reason she wasn't the woman to bring me up."
"And your adoptive parents have no idea about what you were doing there"
"No. I have no intention of telling them either."
"But Monica, you know you're going to have to go back."
"Because you need to ask about your disappearance. We need to know what happened and if it had anything to do with my father or his work, for all we know you could have been abducted..."
"Mulder, just slow down."
"I don't have time to slow down! My son is in danger, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let anything or anyone harm a hair on his head."
"I would never let anything happen to William. But you can't just order me about. I have other things to think about, people to consider."
"John" Reyes paused a second before continuing. Discussing her love life with Mulder was not something she felt entirely comfortable with, brother or not.
"Yes. I don't know how to fit a boyfriend, a home, a job, and a government conspiracy that puts my life in danger, in all at the same time. I understand that you need to know more about my past, I need to know too but I can't answer anything for you that I don't know. Just let me do this at my pace and trust that I will do right by everyone."
Mulder looked at her and slowly nodded his head.
"Ok. But we've got no time to waste with this Monica. I'm going to see Gibson when he gets back to me that he hasn't moved. I tried to contact him earlier but..." Mulder's cell phone began to ring and he took it out of his pocket with an apologetic look on his face, it was Scully.
"Yeah... When? ... No... Yeah I'm still with Monica... I know... Ok, I will." He hung up the phone and looked at Reyes.
"What is it"
"That was Scully. Gibson called. He's in New Mexico." Reyes looked at Mulder and knew exactly what he was thinking. He was going to ask her to go with him to New Mexico. But she wasn't sure that she was ready for a brother/sister family trip.
"I know, this is the perfect opportunity for us both to ask some more questions. But I'm just not sure." Mulder could sense that Reyes was emotional drained after their long evening; suddenly he wondered where Doggett was. He didn't want to push her any further. This had been a step forward for both of them.
"Ok. Think about. I should go." They both stood up and Reyes was relieved he'd decided to call it a night. She was tired and this wasn't exactly a relaxing evening. Mulder opened the door and turned back to Reyes.
"I know that this was hard for you. I just hope that you know you're not alone." He walked to his car and Reyes closed the door. She shivered and went back into the empty house. She looked around and thought that Mulder had been wrong about one thing. She was alone.
Reyes was up half the night again. Thinking. Wondering what exactly it was that made a person so afraid to know about their past. To understand where they came from and how they ended up being the person they are with the people they know.
Why did it make her panic so much to think about going to Mexico again? Her parents were there, she always said she should see more of them. But Mulder was right that if she went back she would have to tell them why. No more lies.
She still hadn't been able to talk to Doggett about this. It was so frustrating that something was blocking the part of her that would usually reach out to him. He was the one person in her life who she didn't want to lose or upset, but she knew she was pushing him away and that she risked losing him. She spent half the night wondering what she was doing to their relationship, and she could only think of one thing that might make things less straining on how much they cared for one another.
"John, can we talk"
"Sure." He sat down on the bed beside her. He had just got dressed for work and been surprised that Reyes was still in bed but he didn't ask any questions.
"I've been thinking, and I don't like how things have become between us this past couple of days."
"So I think it would be best if I moved out."
"I'm going to Mexico with Mulder, to see Gibson and to ask Sophia more questions about my birth mother and the circumstances around my disappearance, and when I come back I'm going back to my apartment. There's three months left on my lease and I think it would do us good."
"Because right now the time I spend with you isn't for you. Or us. It's for me, and I can feel it pulling us apart. I don't want to lose you, and when I'm with you I want it to be because we're both committed to that moment together not because we live together and have to see each other."
"Monica, I know this has been tough on you but I've been keeping my feelings bottled up for two days now, you can't just announce this and expect no reaction from me"
"You're pushing me away we're not pulling apart, you're pushing us apart and if you move out you're only pulling us further away from each other."
"That's not true."
"Yes it is! You say this is for us, this is to make us closer, it's an excuse for you to wallow in self-pity and not let me help you. If you go through with this I don't know that there'll be much point is us seein' each other."
"John, I don't want to lose you."
"You move out and that's exactly what you'll do." Doggett stood up and went down the stairs. Reyes listened to him storming about until he finally left for work. An hour early. She sat in bed she began to cry, she didn't know what to do, she didn't even know what she wanted anymore.
*Chapter 6*: Part 6
Reyes knocked softly on the door and took a deep breath. Her heart was racing and she was physically shaking with nerves as she waited for someone to answer the door. When it finally opened she was surprised to be greeted by Scully. She had been expecting, and had hoped to see Mulder.
"Monica. Come in." She stepped inside and William came running over to her.
"Hey William" She picked him up and gave him a small hug before turning and seeing Scully watching her like a hawk. She put him down and he ran to his toys strewn across the floor. Reyes could tell that William's parents had had more important things to worry about than the state of their home and had let the boy run loose with his toys for a couple of days. William ran back over with his train from the train set that she and Doggett had bought him for his birthday, he grabbed her jacket and pulled her over to his toys, she sat down on the floor beside him and began to play with him.
For the first time in her life Scully felt guilt about how she had treated a friend. Her best friend at that. She watched Reyes playing with William and she couldn't believe how heartless she had been. More than anything Scully wanted for her son to be safe once and for all, but she hadn't been prepared to offer a single thought to Reyes or what she must be going through.
Her life was turned completely on its head and she had no one to ask for help who would understand. It was Scully's job as her friend to offer support, Reyes loved William to pieces, it was wrong of Scully to think or them as two separate issues when in reality they were both her family. She walked over to them and Reyes stood up promising William's cries that she would come back.
"Wait, I just want to apologize."
"Apologize? For what"
"The way I've been behaving, I should have been more considerate, God knows you've helped with William so much, in the past few months and when he was first born, I would imagine you were as worried about his as we all were, and on top of that you had to think about what this meant for you. I just wasn't prepared to see this as something I had to help you with as well as my son. I was wrong."
"You reacted how any mom would to that kind of news. I didn't expect you to act any differently."
"Are you always so damn understanding? Don't you want to scream and yell at me even a little bit" Reyes smiled and then laughed a little.
"No. You're my best friend, but I don't expect to ever warrant the kind of consideration that you constantly give your son."
"I wish I could yell at me for you! I was so cruel. You must be having such a hard time with all of this."
"Sounds vaguely familiar." Scully smiled slightly and was heartbroken when Reyes began to cry. Reyes' intention in calling round was to inform Mulder she would join him to New Mexico, but upon finding Scully home it had made her want to talk about the personal things that girlfriends did, the things that she and Scully had been able to discuss before. And now Reyes wanted more than anything to get her advice on her relationship with Doggett.
But at the moment she couldn't stop the tears long enough to say anything, and Scully simply sat the two of them down on the sofa and held eyes as she finally let everything out she had been holding onto for days.
Mulder was surprised to see Scully and Reyes sitting together talking on the sofa when he got home. He smiled shyly and walked in to be greeted by William who flung his arms around his father's legs refusing to let go until Mulder would pick him up.
"Hey buddy, you having fun down there"
"I play with the trains"
"Well as long as you stay away from the big real ones that could kill you I'm cool with that."
"Mulder" Mulder looked at Scully's warning expression, the expression that told him he was talking to William about something that not only he wouldn't understand but could possibly scare him and was irrelevant in a three-year-olds life right now. He put William back down to his toys and sat down across from the two women.
"So, you ok Monica" She nodded her head smiling bravely. Scully wished there was more she could do, but for now she could do nothing more than listen and maybe offer advice.
"I just came to tell you that I've thought about it and I'll go with you to New Mexico."
"But I'm not going to see my parents. I'm just not ready to tell them about any of this, none of it. So if you can live with that then so can I." Scully looked at Mulder and he saw again that just with a look she was warning him to be careful about what he said to this. He was terrified to open his mouth at all when Scully tried to silently warn him like this.
"Sure. Whatever you feel comfortable with." Scully smiled and Mulder relaxed a little. Reyes stood up and William looked at her daring her to leave.
"I should probably go, I should get into work this afternoon."
"No! Mon'ca stay and play"
"I'm sorry William, I'll play another day." William looked at his parents and was alarmed by their looks of complete adoration for him. He was always a little afraid that something bad was going to happen when his parents seemed overly affectionate. So he decided to let Monica go and didn't want to risk causing any problems.
Mulder and Scully showed Reyes out and then walked into the kitchen.
"That was a little unexpected."
"I think she was surprised to find me here. But I'm glad we had a chance to talk."
"So everything's ok"
"Yes. And well done you for not putting your foot in it. I know how much you wanted her to tell her parents what was going on." Scully walked over to Mulder and he pulled her into an embrace and they stood holding each other.
"I know, but for now I'm just glad she's gonna help us out."
"Don't let anything happen to her ok" Mulder looked down at Scully and frowned.
"I wont, but why the sudden concern"
"You were right, she needs our help, and just because she's not three years old or crawling around with a train set doesn't mean she needs any less from us that William."
"I know. As long as we all pull together we can get through this."
"Well that might be difficult. She's moving out of John's house."
When Doggett got home he wasn't sure what to expect. Whether Reyes would talk to him, whether she had changed her mind or whether she would still be adamant about leaving. What he certainly hadn't expected was for her to be already gone. He went up to the bedroom and found the short note she had left for him: 'John, I'm more sorry than you will ever know, if you need this to end now I understand, I love you so much, Monica xxx' He didn't know what to think or what to do.
Should he go rushing over there and drag her back? Should he call? Should he just leave things like this? He was so angry. Why hadn't he seen this coming? Why had he rushed out to work that morning expecting them to be able to discuss it when they got home? He knew it was a bad sign when she didn't show up for work, but he never dreamed she would have used the time off to pack up and leave.
So many of her things still lay around the house, she'd obviously only taken the essential items she would need right away. But what the hell was he supposed to do now? He went down the stairs and found a whimpering Oliver lying on the sofa with one of Reyes' sweaters. Doggett pulled it from beneath the dog and sat down with him.
"She's really gone." Oliver whimpered again and moved his head so it was on Doggett's lap. Doggett had grown so accustomed to Reyes being in his life. He'd taken waking up with her every morning for granted, and now more than anything he just wanted her in his arms. He'd blown it. But he couldn't let her go.
Reyes looked at the few boxes she had been able to fill and bring back to her apartment. She hadn't even contemplated opening them and unpacking. It seemed too final and too much of a sign that she had lost Doggett for good. She wanted him to call her, to beg her to come back, she wasn't sure that she would but she just needed to know that he wanted her. Why had she given up the only thing that made her feel she belonged somewhere?
Her parents weren't her real parents, her real parents were dead, she had family scattered around the country, she had a brother who demanded so much so soon, and a nephew whom she adored, and she wanted none of it. For the first time in her life when she was with Doggett she felt like she had found where she belonged. She was home and someone who she could share her life with and be happy with. But she had so quickly and easily thrown it all away.
What had come over her to become such a drama queen? If he didn't call her she had to maintain that this was right for them both. That this time away from someone she loved more than anything would make things easier for her to figure out. She wasn't sure that this was true but she had to give it a shot.
When Reyes decided to turn in for the night she walked into her freezing cold bedroom and pulled back the covers. It felt so strange to be getting into a bed that she hadn't slept in for so long, and to sleeping I a bed alone. As she snuggled into the bed's familiar comfort she was sure she heard a knock on the door but chose to ignore it thinking it was next door. But the knock came again louder and she knew that it was her door. She got up and with her gun firmly clasped in her head she slowly opened her front door.
"Monica, can I come in?"
She opened the door fully and Doggett walked inside fast as if he thought she might change her mind. He turned to look at her when she had closed the door and was determined to have his say and stop being such a push over.
"Look Monica, this is the most ridiculous thing I think I've ever known you do. You can't keep fighting the hard things in your life alone, that's why people get married and spend their lives with someone they love and trust, to share the pain as well as the joy. You shouldn't be alone, and I shouldn't have to just do as I'm told, so I'm asking you to come home. I'm not leaving without you."
"Well then I'll get you a blanket, the sofa can be quite chilly."
"Damn it Monica! Why don't you ever take me seriously!"
"I do! But you can't think you know what this is like for me!"
"Oh really? Your note, the one telling me that you love me, prove it!"
"I did by moving out!"
"That's BS and you know it! You moved out to protect yourself from any further possible heartache or loss because at the end of the day you're not sure that we're going to spend the rest of our lives together! Right!" Monica could feel herself getting angry, an emotion that she never felt before around Doggett. She couldn't admit to herself that he was right, let alone admit it to him.
"I think you should leave John."
"I already told you I'm not leaving here without you. Because you might not be sure that we're going to be together for the rest of lives but I sure as hell am. I'm not letting you go." Reyes walked up close to Doggett, they were almost touching as Reyes continued to talk.
"Why do I have to live with you to love you? I loved you for so long, long before we got together and I managed just fine not living with you! I need to do this, it's the right step for us!"
"No it isn't! Why wont you listen to me! Women complain all the time that men never tell you how they're feeling or what they think, well here I am Monica, my heart on my sleeve, I want you to come home with me."
"I can't do that!"
"You mean you wont."
"No, I mean I can't."
"Don't play with words, it means the same thing! My God, I never in a million years thought that when it came to the two of us you'd be selfish and make our entire relationship all about you. This is about two people Monica! You and me, that's what this is about, not just your own needs and desires!"
"I know that!"
"Really! You're so screwed up about your past that you can't even begin to see any kind of happy future, because happy is new and different and you're just used to pain!"
"I don't think so. If you wanted this to be over you could have made it a lot easier on both of us by just saying so instead of playing this game with me!"
"I'm not playing games! I'm so sick of you being like a big puppy dog around me! You're not half the man you were when we met! I'm a grown woman; I don't need taking care of by you John! I mean what is this, you screwed up so badly with
Barbara that you want to prove to the world you can make it work with a woman? I'm not your wife, I'm certainly not Barbara and I don't need this crap from you! Your past is just as screwed up as mine John! Would you even know what to do in a happy content relationship!"
Reyes turned to walk away but Doggett grabbed her wrists to stop her and she was shocked at how forceful he was. He was holding her tight in his hands and his face was full of anger. Reyes was almost afraid to move as she watched his breathing grow heavy, he didn't loosen his grip on her and she didn't know what to do. She'd never seen him so angry, but then they rarely fought. She continued to watch his face, her wrists were effortlessly trying to wriggle free when Doggett pulled her right up to him and began kissing her.
He finally loosened his hold on her wrists but she didn't pull them free, she continued to kiss him and the anger that they had both worked themselves into was still boiling inside. Their anger had transformed into passion as they had stood glaring at one another, Doggett pulled Reyes away and stared at her again before picking her up and carrying her into her bedroom. He dropped her down onto the bed and ripped her nightgown from her as she quickly unbuttoned his trousers and ripped off his t-shirt.
They had both heard people say that the best part about arguing with your other half was the making up process and they were keen to agree as they repeatedly made love in the midst of their first ever row, they'd both said more than enough for one evening, now actions were doing all the communicating they needed.
Doggett lay with Reyes sleeping over his chest. The rhythmic beating of his heart had lulled her to sleep when they had finally collapsed from their exertions. But Doggett couldn't sleep. He was replaying their argument again and again in his head. He was trying to understand it, to make sense of what they had said to each other.
Occasionally it got too hard to figure out and he'd let himself think about the making up process again. That part was easy to understand. But he had been mean, he was not that kind of guy, had that been what Reyes wanted more of in him? She said he was being a 'puppy dog' around her. He'd been animal enough for one evening.
He stroked her back without thinking about the act of doing so and he couldn't begin to think about not having her in his life. Did he really have to let her do this whole independent woman thing to get her to come back to him? He wanted them both to be back at his place, he didn't want them to be apart like this. But he wasn't going to fight anymore. If he wanted her to respect him and his feelings he had to do the same for her.
Reyes woke up and hadn't slept so well for days, she felt so relaxed and peaceful. At first she wondered why she seemed to be raised slightly from the mattress beneath her, but then she looked up into the big blue eyes looking down at her and she simply smiled. She climbed onto Doggett and lay on him to hug him, he didn't know what to do or to say so he just put his arms around her as she did the same with him.
Making love with your partner could be amazing, but sometimes just being close and holding one another was all that was needed. Doggett could smell her hair, he knew he'd remember that smell all day, her scent would be all over him, even after a shower he'd be able to smell her on him, she'd drive him crazy all day without even knowing about it.
Doggett was still confused and a little upset at how things had gone the night before. He slid from underneath Reyes gently and sat on the edge of the bed. Reyes sat up behind him and kissed his shoulder. When she got no response she sat back and pulled the sheets around her. This was the part she hadn't been looking forward to.
"You're not coming home with me are you?"
"Well then I should go. I should let you do whatever you need to do." Doggett stood up and searched around for his clothes. He threw them on hurriedly and didn't stop to look at Reyes as she watched his every move. A big part of her wanted to rush back with him to his place right that second, but she had to stick with her gut instincts, and she believed that this was right for them as this point in their relationship.
Reyes threw on a pair of pants and a t-shirt to see Doggett to the door. They hadn't said a word to each other and both of them were trying to figure out what the right thing was to part with.
"I'm sorry John."
"I know. Me too." He kissed her softly on the lips and stroked her face with the back of his hand.
"Just promise me one thing Monica, promise me you'll remember that I'm waiting. I'll always be waiting, no matter how long this takes."
"I promise. I love you." He kissed her again and then turned to walk back to his own place where the only living thing waiting for him to get back was his dog. The thought of that made him walk slowly rather than catch a taxi.
Reyes watched him walk down her street until he was out of sight. She went into the very empty kitchen and rummaged around in the boxes marked 'kitchen' for some coffee. She couldn't find it. She didn't want to find it. Why was she even thinking about coffee? She caught her reflection in the mirror and shouted out at herself as she threw the boxes across the room and watched as everything that could have broken broke. She fell to her knees in tears and ignored the telephone as it rang in the other room. She didn't care who it was or what they wanted. She just didn't care.
"Try her again!"
"Mulder I've called her five times in half an hour, she isn't home."
"Well try Doggett again!"
"Also called five times and no answer. Would you relax please?" Scully watched as Mulder threw things haplessly into a bag on the bed. He'd booked tickets for he and Reyes to fly to Mexico at four that afternoon. He had booked them with a bad feeling in his stomach that Reyes would change her mind, and now that she was apparently unreachable he was sure his gut feeling had been spot on.
"I just don't want this to go wrong. I want us to be in and out of there in a few days at the most."
"Monica will see that we've called and she'll call back, just take it easy before you give yourself a heart attack." At that moment William came bounding into the room full of energy and only stopped when he was faced with the challenge of walking through the bed. Mulder picked him up and William looked from his father to his mom and then at the bag on the bed.
"Dada go away?" Scully smiled. Her intuitive three-year-old son was impressive, although she was slightly concerned with how perceptive he was. She didn't say it to brag but William had intelligent parents and was brought up around a lot of complicated words, stories, and theories. If they weren't going to shield him from things like this then he was bound to start picking up on things. But should he really know that kind of things that he was clearly showing an understanding for?
"My boy's bright aren't you buddy?"
"Dada stay with mommy." Scully's smile faded as she walked over to the two most important males in her life. The three of them sat down on the bed and William looked concerned. This was another one of those times where they'd talk to him and try and explain something that was important by saying it wasn't a big deal.
He loved his mother but she wasn't the best at hiding fear when it came to his dad. And his dad always went over the top with reassurances supposedly for his benefit but William knew these references were to allay his mother's fears more than his own. Hell he was three years old; so long as wherever he was going his dad came back he was ok with the whole situation.
"So you see William, it'll just be you and me for a couple of days."
"Yeah, you and your mommy will have tons of fun, and you can tell me all about it when I get back." William wriggled free from them both and managed to land on his feet rather than his head when he slid from the bed. He left the room but came back quickly with his new train.
"Dada have it."
"Sure Will, dada will take good care of it."
"No, choo choo take care of dada." William ran off again and could be heard playing with his less favorite trains on the train set that he hadn't left alone for a second since his birthday.
"I'm gonna have severe words with Doggett for turnin' my boy into a train geek."
"I'm kidding. This choo choo might save my life."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well at least this time whilst I'm away from him I'll have something of his to remind me of him."
"Hey, don't cry ok? I'll be back before you know it. But, I wouldn't mind a little something to remember you by..."
"Now! Oh... oh, ok now..."
"Hi." Reyes had called them back just as Scully had said she would when she had seen that the reason her phone kept ringing was because they wanted to talk to her.
"Mulder has the tickets for Mexico. You fly at four."
"Ok, well I'll come over to your place and we can leave from there."
"Well see ya..."
"Are you ok?"
"I'm fine. I'll see you in a couple of hours." Scully put down the phone and Mulder pulled her back into the bed beside him.
"Yeah, she's gonna meet you here first. She sounded, odd."
"Well, she's not exactly having the time of her life is she. Especially if she's having problems with Doggett."
"I guess so." Scully kissed Mulder and then moved to get up.
"Where you goin'!"
"Mulder, we have a son in the next room who wont be content with his train set for the entire day. Besides, it's almost lunchtime."
"Well I'm not hungry... not for food anyway..."
"Mulder! I'm getting up now." She got out of bed and quickly got dressed. She felt so guilty having let herself be so easily swept into the moment with Mulder. She couldn't resist him when he became seductive, and then she felt like a terrible mother for leaving William alone. But as she walked back out into the living room William was fine playing with, yep, trains.
William could tell when his mother and father had been alone in their room. His mom's face was red and her hair was ruffled and she made a fuss over him because she'd left him for a while to his own devices. His father would look very happy with himself and also make an extra fuss of William but that was for his mom's benefit so that she would rest easy knowing they were a family. William liked it. It felt nice when he could see his parents were happy, and he was happy too.
But he didn't want his father to go away. He had a bad feeling about it but didn't know what it meant or why he felt this way. And it wasn't as if he could sit his parents down and tell them how he was feeling. He'd just have to let the grown ups take care of this themselves. He liked to hide when he felt like this. Hide before anyone took him away again.
When Reyes knocked on the door with her small overnight bag Scully greeted her with a smile and they walked into the front room. William was sleeping on the sofa and Mulder appeared from the bedroom with his own bag. He threw on his jacket and took Scully into his arms. She blushed because Reyes was standing close by but Mulder didn't care as he kissed her and held her for a long while before finally feeling ready to go.
"Your mom's coming over to help with Will right?"
"Yes, she'll be here later on tonight."
"Ok, and you know that this isn't like last time, you can call me if you need me ok?"
"I know, you should go, you'll miss your flight." Mulder kissed her again before gently stroking William's hair and walking out of the apartment. Reyes smiled shyly and turned to leave but Scully held her back.
"Does John know you're going?"
"Do you want me to tell him anything?" Reyes fought back the tears and took a deep breath.
"If he asks. Only if he asks."
Scully sat and watched William as he played with his toys and was expecting the tell-tale signs that he was tired at any minute. It had been a long day and she was feeling the weight of it on herself so surely the three-year-old in front of her was ready to turn in for the night. Her mom was running late but had promised to still get there that night so that Scully and William weren't alone. Scully had told her mom to not fuss and wait until the next day but she had insisted that Scully needed her to be there 'just in case', Scully hadn't wanted to ask what the 'just in case' was her mother referred to because she was already fearing what might happen in Mulder's absence.
It was only six o'clock and Scully was on pins waiting for a knock on the door or a phone call. The phone call she expected to receive from Doggett. She felt certain that he would want to know how Reyes was and if she had been ok when she left, but she also felt that something big had happened between the two of them and she hoped that they'd be able to figure it out because she'd hate to see a couple so obviously in love go through the games that she and Mulder had been through before getting where they were now. They may still have had one hell of a fight ahead of them but they were together and in love, that counted for more than any fight they could win or lose. As far as she was concerned so long as she Mulder and William were able to live together as a family she'd already won.
William had kept himself occupied all day. He knew that his parents had needed some time alone, so that they could say goodbye to each other. He also knew that his mother was upset, it was what he remembered the most from before he'd been sent away. Of all the things he could recall whenever he saw the familiar redhead he loved so dearly he associated it with pain and worry. He didn't fully understand exactly what this meant, but he knew it meant his dad had had to go away again and that could only be a bad thing.
Playing with his toys had kept him from thinking about his dad and being scared he wouldn't come back. And it allowed him to let his mom have some personal time to sit with her own thoughts rather than entertain her son. He didn't mind, he knew that she loved him and that she'd never let anything happen to him.
Sometimes it was almost as if he could hear her thinking about him.
When there was finally a knock on the door Scully realized how much she had wanted her mom to arrive as she looked forward to some company. She hadn't spent a night without Mulder in a long while, she knew that this was going to be difficult for everyone, but she couldn't help feeling selfish and wanting people to remember how much she had already been through.
Scully opened the door and couldn't believe who she saw standing before her. Her jaw dropped and she tried to get the words rushing through her mind to form a sentence that wouldn't generate pure panic and fright in herself or her son. The person at the door just looked at her and tried to smile, something he wasn't used to doing but from the look on Scully's face a smile from him would show her that she needn't be so afraid. He just hoped he'd gotten here in time, there had been no time to call and warn Mulder, he'd had to come straight away.
"Agent Scully? Are you ok?" Scully nodded her head slowly before quickly ushering her guest into the apartment.
"Gibson, what are you doing here? Mulder got a flight to Mexico this afternoon, he's supposed to meet you."
"I know. But there was a small change of plans."
Doggett had been surprised to receive Scully's call. He had expected, and hoped, that it was Reyes calling him, but Scully explained that Reyes had gone with Mulder. No chance of a reconciliation now then. She was gone and he had to wait God only knows how long before he could try and make her understand what he was feeling for her. And now he was alarmed to have been told Gibson was in DC, for what purpose he only felt apprehension and anxiety about.
He knew it couldn't be good news, and it certainly wasn't good news that Mulder and Reyes were on a wild goose chase. Scully had told him she had been trying to call Mulder since Gibson arrived but his cell phone was switched off, she had insisted he would call when it was convenient but this hadn't put Doggett's mind at ease at all.
When he pulled up outside Scully's apartment he walked the familiar late night route to her door and knocked softly knowing that William would probably be sleeping. Scully opened the door and smiled with the expression he'd seen before to mean there was no immediate cause for panic.
"Thanks for coming John."
"Not at all, what's going on? Where's Gibson?"
"He's in the bathroom." Scully's mom walked out of William's room and smiled at Doggett before resting her hand gently on Scully's shoulder.
"He's sleeping Dana, shall I make some drinks?"
"No thanks mom, we just need to talk."
"Well then lets sit down."
"I know, this is work related, you don't want me to get involved, well I'm sorry Dana, but you're my daughter and William is my Grandson, I am involved, so I suggest that you get used to having these little private chats about your work a little less privately."
"Jesus mom, how long have you been working on that one?"
"Don't make fun of me Dana."
"I'm sorry. Fine, lets sit down." The three adults moved to sit on the sofa just as Gibson appeared from the bathroom. He glanced around the room and took a minute before joining everybody.
"You know I gotta say it's not a great feeling to know that I provoke such fear in people whenever I show up."
"Gibson, that's not true."
"Yes it is. I know what you're all thinking. Remember." It wasn't a question it was a statement. Of course they all remembered he could read their minds. Not so much Mrs. Scully but she knew by now not to make a bid deal out of anything that didn't make sense to her so long as it made sense to her daughter.
"In all honesty Gibson I'm glad you're here."
"Only because you think Mulder will come straight back now. But he's right to pursue Agent Reyes' past, she won't do it alone, he needs to make sure she follows it through."
"What the hell are you talking about? Monica knows what she's doing." All eyes turned to Doggett as he exclaimed his confidence in Reyes being able to handle herself through this, he knew that he didn't even believe it himself so it was pointless trying to convince everyone else. He didn't say anything else and avoided making eye contact with anyone. Scully turned her sympathetic gaze back to Gibson and prepared for all the questions she had.
"Gibson what's going on, what are you doing here?"
"I can't stay. I have to find somewhere new, somewhere they haven't thought of before, they don't like how much I know."
"Who doesn't? The super soldiers?"
"No. A new force, another race that has big plans for our planet. I know less than they think I do, but I do know that the remainder of the super soldiers are afraid of something, something that's never been here before, so they don't know how to deal with it. It's this new force that wants William and Agent Reyes out of the picture. They've no interest in Mulder because all of the other alien conspirators have had a decade to make use of him and have so far failed other than your own simple act of making a child with him. Turns out you did their job for them." Scully blushed, she didn't wish to discuss her private life with a teenage boy.
"Mulder is the only one that can protect them, but the new force haven't figured that out yet, the super soldiers know that Mulder can beat this force and will contact him with information, but not here in Mexico, they know where he is, that's why I had to leave, it couldn't look like he was there to see me, it had to be that he was there with Reyes."
"So let me get this straight. A new force wants Monica and William out of the picture, and Mulder's the only one that can beat this new force to protect them, and the super soldiers want this new force gone so they'll help Mulder? That makes no sense."
Doggett had seen fit to chime in again but the looks he was getting made it clear he should have stayed quiet. He just couldn't sit there and take this crap though.
"So what exactly are Monica and William a threat to now?"
"I can't answer that. All I know is that the answers are in Agent Reyes' past, in New Mexico. And you have to make sure that they find them, before it's too late."
Gibson slept quietly on Scully's sofa with blankets and cushions lying around here there and everywhere because Scully had wanted him to be comfortable. Doggett was more than ready to go home, mostly so that he could get himself on the first flight to Mexico, which is exactly why he was staying put. It wouldn't do any good at all for him to go rushing off to bring her back, it was selfish of him and there was more at stake here, he knew that, he just wasn't ready to accept it yet.
Scully still couldn't reach Mulder on his cell phone. She remained calm about it though and wasn't prepared to worry just yet. He hadn't been gone that long, it was too soon to jump to conclusions and expect the worst. But she was feeling forced into a state of concern by Doggett's constant frowning and solemn face. She couldn't ask him to leave, and she was grateful to have a man I the apartment, but she wished that he'd think about someone other than himself during this.
"Are you ok John?"
"Me? Yeah. I'm sorry; I know there's no point in my being here. Just not ready to go back to an empty house just yet."
"I didn't mean that, I meant you've been quiet and not really very..."
"Supportive?" Scully smiled slightly and felt embarrassed.
"Something like that, yeah."
"I'm sorry. It's not intentional I swear."
"Well maybe you should talk about what you're feeling, might help."
"I don't know, never been one to say what I feel, doesn't end well."
"Well it's no use bottling things up. You've got friends who care John. Monica'll be fine. I know that's what you're worried about." This time Doggett tried to smile, he didn't want to tell Scully that the last time he wore his heart on his sleeve he had had a very passionate evening in Reyes' bedroom, but he was crying inside for someone to listen to him and to take notice.
"I just want her back. When I got divorced I never thought I'd be lucky enough to love again, let alone have someone love me back. She means the world to me, and I don't think she realizes it. I love her more than anything, what we have is so unique and special, I'm not going to let some other worldly force take her away from me, I've lost enough for one life time, Monica and I belong together."
"Wow. John, you've been on the x-files too long, you just said other worldly force."
"Yeah well, I'm not thinking straight."
"I think you are. Any fool can see how much you two love one another. You're a fool if you think you're going to lose her. I can see something in the two of you not all that different to what Mulder and I have, but you're lucky enough to not have played chase for more years than you can count."
"I don't know about that. I don't think there'll ever exist another relationship like yours. You guys have something so different, it goes deeper than any love or friendship, you could have been born on opposite sides of the world and I still think you'd have found each other and spent your lives together."
"John you're an old romantic, I'd never have guessed."
"Yeah well on that note I think I should go home and do something manly." Scully raised an eyebrow and Doggett smiled cheekily.
"Not that kind of manly activity."
"I wasn't speculating."
"I'm sure. Thanks for listening Dana. I'll come right round in the morning, I'll make sure Gibson gets away safely and hopefully you'll have heard from Mulder."
"Sure. Goodnight John."
"Night." Doggett left the apartment and went out to his car. He got in and rested his head on the steering wheel for a moment before starting the engine. It was almost midnight and he was tired, but he just couldn't face going home to his empty house. It echoed around him making a mockery of his loneliness. Even the dog was moping around feeling sorry for himself. It was a very unhappy place to be and he had no urge to rush back to it. He pulled out into the street and decided to go for a drive, hoping it would clear his head. As he drove around the back streets and quiet areas his cell ringing startled him. He answered it with a gruff tired voice and knew he'd start to make his way home now.
"Monica? Is that you?"
"We've been trying to reach you, Scully needs to talk to Mulder, shall I drive back to her apartment now so you can talk to her?"
"No Mulder's on his cell to her now. John I called to talk to you. I had to tell you something."
"John, I love you."
"I love you. More than anything else in the world I love you. And I just needed you to know that."
"I love you too."
"Well I knew that, I don't tell you enough and I should. I gotta go, but I'll call you tomorrow."
"Bye." Doggett dealt with the message from Reyes and enjoyed the silence of his car before smiling and making his way home.
Reyes wasn't quite ready when Mulder knocked softly on her motel door to leave for the day. She hadn't slept well through the night after talking with Doggett, and then hearing about Gibson and his message, it had been a long night and now all she wanted to do was sleep. But as she opened her door claiming she'd be just a minute she knew that she couldn't give up now, she had come this far.
Mulder waited patiently for Reyes and sat on the edge of her bed. He hadn't slept at all but somehow he always worked better on less sleep than if he had had a full nights worth. All he wanted now was to talk to Reyes' aunt and get home to Scully and their son. He was missing them terribly and was frustrated by Gibson's sudden arrival in DC, he knew that the trip wasn't going to be completely worth while but his main goal was to see Gibson, no chance of that now.
When Reyes was finally ready they went down to the car and Mulder threw the car keys over to her and she only just managed to catch them.
"Thanks. I guess I'm driving then?"
"Lead the way Agent Reyes."
"Sure thing Fox." Mulder smiled and for a second actually felt as if he could have been talking to a sibling, teasing banter with names, and then Reyes smiled at him and he knew that he couldn't allow himself to bask in the rare moments when he could enjoy his family until his family were safe.
When they arrived at Reyes' aunts house they stood patiently waiting for someone to answer after knocking several times, but nobody came. They exchanged concerned looks and then Reyes took out her gun as Mulder reached out and opened the unlocked door. As they walked inside they both felt uneasy, not only because they had just broken into someone's home without probable cause, but because something felt off about the whole situation.
They explored the rooms of the house separately, Mulder took upstairs whilst Reyes carried on through to the kitchen praying that they'd find something and nothing, that the woman she had known for such a short amount of time was putting out some washing to dry or was on the telephone and too busy to answer the door. But when Mulder's voice called out her name and told her to call an ambulance she knew that they were too late.
Reyes found Mulder in the main bedroom; Sophia Courtez was lying on the ground holding Mulder's hand.
"I'm sorry Monica, I think she's had a heart attack, she's in and out of consciousness. She said she knew me, that she knew who I was..." Reyes knew that Sophia was about to die, but there was something else, something about the situation that she had a strange gut feeling about.
"No, wait." Reyes sat down beside Mulder and took Sophia's hand from him to place in her own. Sophia looked at her and smiled. She was weak and could barely keep her eyes open to speak to Reyes.
"Monica... I'm so glad I got to see you again before I went... I'll be sure to tell your mama how beautiful you are and how proud of you she can be..."
"Sophia what happened?"
"I just collapsed... no big mystery... it was just my time... there's a package in the other bedroom for you, I put together all I could find for you about the first four years of your life... I'm so sorry that our family never got to know you and be with you Monica... but I knew that some day I would meet you and I would be the one to make Maria feel at peace with losing you..."
"Sophia listen to me very carefully, did anybody come to the house before you collapsed? Anybody at all?"
"No... I don't think... oh wait there was that young man this morning... he was selling insurance, he came inside for a chat... I told him I was putting a package together for my niece at the FBI and he asked if he could see it... we talked for a while..."
"Sophia? Sophia no! Wait, just hold on!" Reyes held tighter to Sophia's hand but it was no use, she was getting weaker and at the end of the day Sophia was ready to go, she had been ready to die for a long time, to be with her sister and brothers. But Reyes was not ready to lose her, not just to ask her questions but to get to know her. She was family. Mulder disappeared into the other room and came back with a box that had Reyes' name on it, he nodded his head to confirm that it was full of papers and photographs, she nodded back and looked back down at Sophia.
"She's here Monica... she's here now... she's the one coming for me, I knew she would be... take care my darling... be happy, and your mother says good luck with the baby..." Reyes didn't understand what the hell was going on, baby? But it didn't really matter. Not right now. Sophia was gone.
Reyes didn't move from the bedroom waiting for the ambulance. Then the coroner. Then when the room was empty and the medical examiner asked for next of kin Reyes didn't know what to say. She answered to being Sophia's niece and signed the required forms as she showed him to the door. When just she and Mulder were left in the house she looked at him and he had a sympathetic puppy dog look in his eyes. What now?
"I'm so sorry Monica."
"I know, but it's not as if I knew her all that well. I just, I don't know what I'm supposed to do now, she had relatives all over the country, am I supposed to contact them? I mean what would I say? Hi I'm Monica Reyes your long lost relative; by the way Sophia is dead? She has a daughter in L.A. I just don't know that it's right for me to do this." Mulder stood up from the table he was sat at and couldn't stop his instincts telling him to be supportive, so he placed an arm around Reyes and to his surprise she turned and hugged him as he offered her the kind of support he had only ever dreamed of being able to offer a sister.
"Call Sophia's daughter, you don't have to tell her who you are, just tell her what's happened and then leave it at that. You don't have to tell them anything you don't want to."
"I know." Reyes pulled back from the hug and laughed. "I'm sorry."
"What are big brother's for?" This time they both smiled and then they turned to the box of things that Mulder had been sifting through on the table.
"So what's in there?"
"It's mostly photographs, the names of the people are written on the back of them all, most of them are your mother... But there are some papers too, your birth certificate, some medical history from when you were a baby, there's a photocopy of the police report into the search for you when you disappeared... There's a lot to go through, but you wanna get out of here?"
"Yes I do." Mulder nodded his head.
"Yeah, me too." He placed a supportive hand on her back and lead Reyes out of the house with the box under his arm. It was going to be a long day.
As they sat in a small café eating lunch it was the most surreal experience of Reyes' life. She had just watched her aunt die with her half brother. How the hell did she ever get to this point in her life? She had a brand new alien force out to see her to her death because of who her birth father was, and she was supposed to be looking after William and being a grown up as well as living a normal life. It was overwhelming and sometimes a little daunting to think about waking up to face another day.
"I do have a question for you though..."
"What did Sophia mean when she told you your mother said 'good luck with the baby'?" Reyes shook her head forcefully and felt the color drain from her face.
"I have no idea, I'm not pregnant... I'm sure of it... I don't know what she was talking about, and right now I have more important things to worry about."
"Point taken, but if it was me I'd want to know."
"If it were you we'd all like to know, some secret love child, maybe it runs in the family."
"Ha! Scully'd kill me! My God, I'd be horrified if some kid turned up on my doorstep claiming to be my child..." Mulder subconsciously bit his tongue and looked at Reyes' forced smile.
"It's ok. I know you didn't mean me, but you're the one who started all of this, don't ever forget that. If it weren't for you I wouldn't have known about any of this."
"And Sophia would have died alone." Reyes nodded her head feeling a sadness she'd never dealt with much through her life. Grief, bereavement. It was all new to her, her adoptive parents were both alive and well, and it was then that she felt guilty about being in Mexico and them not knowing.
"How much longer do you think we'll be here for?"
"There's no real reason to stay any longer at all. We can take the things that Sophia gave you back to DC to look into them, it's not important to be here now. I spoke to Scully again this morning and she said that John had taken Gibson to get to his next 'safe' hiding place. So I wont get to talk to him, but he had a message for me and I don't know if I like what it means."
"Why what did he say?" Mulder paused and looked at Reyes with a sparkle in his eyes that she had never seen before, she had always thought that he'd have that kind of look about him when he was excited about a case or made a break in an x-file. She had often wondered what he had been like before his time on the x-files had made him the man he was now.
"Gibson told me that I have to fight from the inside."
"Fight from the inside?"
"It's the only way we can win this. I have to get back into the FBI. I have to be working on the x-files again."
Scully knew that it was selfish of her to be glad that Mulder was on his way home, but she was passed caring what the world thought of her when the world obviously cared so little for her. She had been sorry to hear about Sophia's death, and was glad that Mulder had been there to help Reyes. She wouldn't wish dealing with a family death alone on anybody. Mulder had explained about the box of momentums that Reyes had been given and made it clear that it was safer for him to be protecting William from DC and examining the box's contents from home. Scully had been delighted and had sat with William as they basked in their relief that Mulder was safe and would be home in no time.
Reyes hadn't called Doggett to tell him she was on her way back to DC. She felt a little foolish about her exclamation of love over the phone and didn't want him to assume that she would be going back to his place, she still wanted to be alone in her apartment, she'd be taking two steps back if she caved in and went back to Doggett's now. She hoped that he would understand and that he would give her the time and space that she needed. The only call she had made was to Sophia's daughter, Rose, she had cried with the young woman over the phone not wanting to have to explain that she was actually family too and would love to attend the funeral, Rose thanked Reyes for befriending her mother and said she and her family would be on the first flight to Mexico.
Reyes said nothing about who she was other than a friend of Sophia's who cared for her a great deal. Mulder had been incredibly supportive of her and also protective, constantly asking if she was ok and if she needed anything. She knew that he had a lot of experience coping with death; his parents were both dead, as was his sister, he had helped Scully deal with the death of her father and her sister, and he of course had had the unfortunate experience of dying himself. All of these events compiled it wasn't hard to see why he was so keen to help someone going through what he had taken more than his fair share of.
Mulder had considered carefully how he was going to talk Scully into believing he had to get back into the FBI. It was no use fooling himself into believing she would like the idea, he wasn't an idiot. She had sworn him to stay away from the x-files when they had returned to DC after being on the run for their lives. He didn't want to have to put Scully through anything like that again but he also had to stand his ground. The past year or so had been about making her happy and making up for all of the terrible things she had to put up with as a result of being unlucky enough to be in love with him, but now he had to ask her to trust him and let him take care of this. She had heard Gibson say so himself, Mulder was the only one that could end this and protect William and Reyes. So he had no choice but to make sure he didn't fail.
Doggett sat at his computer and felt his eyelids drooping but had no intention of making his way to the nice comfortable bed waiting for him upstairs. He hadn't been able to sleep in the bed alone since Reyes had left and had waited until he was almost asleep in his chair for the past few nights before finally going to bed. Reyes had been back in DC for two days now and the only contact he had had with her was a phone call from her apartment the day she got back to let him know she was ok and that she had missed him but had no intention of coming back to live with him. He had been confused by her message, he was thrilled she was back but didn't understand her explanations of being in love with him but keeping him so far away from her when he knew she'd never needed him more.
Scully had told him to be patient, to let Reyes work things out in her own time and let her come to him rather than him smothering her and being in her way all of the time. He understood that, and if one more person tried to tell him that all Reyes needed was some space he would shoot them. To hell with Reyes being alone and suffering in silence, she might be able to cope with that and be ok with it, but she was sentencing him to loneliness too, and he didn't like it.
As he walked Oliver around the park just after midnight he couldn't stop thinking about her, he had been alone long enough already, he had spent years thinking the rest of his life would be alone, but then he had been lucky enough to have Reyes love him and now he was in it until the bitter end, he was not prepared to let her rule their relationship, but he didn't want to argue either. He was a strong and independent guy, he wasn't about to go running to her with his tail between his legs. But if he did he felt sick at the thought Reyes might turn him away.
As Mulder lay with William sat on his lap sleeping he had never felt so peaceful. It had been an odd couple of days and he and Scully had talked very little about Mexico and Reyes or Gibson. He was worried she was trying to brush it all under the carpet, that she thought it would all go away and they could carry on regardless. Well he had to set the record straight. And he still hadn't informed her of his plans to somehow get the FBI to let him back onto the x-files. Something in his gut told him someone somewhere with enough power would let him back in, but he just feared who.
"Scully, can we talk for a minute?"
"Sure. What's wrong?"
"Something that Gibson said to me when you put him on the phone the other night had a hidden message in it, something I figured out right away but didn't want to admit to until I was sure."
"Mulder you're scaring me, is it William?"
"No, he's fine, it's me. Something I have to do. I have to fight them from the inside, that's what he said, Gibson."
"What does that mean?"
"I have to get back on the x-files Scully, it's the only way I can protect William, and Monica."
"I said no Mulder."
"But Scully I..."
"Mulder, I won't say it again. You are not going to work on the x-files. You did what you could down in that office I won't allow you to take those kind of risks again, and I don't want you to bring this up with me again." Scully took the sleeping William from Mulder's arms and carried him into his room. Mulder was speechless and very taken a back by Scully's reaction.
William opened his eyes briefly to see his father's expression and the tears in his mother's eyes. Up until now he had never seen them on such opposite sides to each other. He didn't like it and hoped they would have made friends by the time he woke up in the morning.
"Thanks for meeting me."
"Not a problem."
"I know it's early but..."
"Its fine, I haven't exactly been sleeping much since we got back." Mulder had called Reyes and asked her to meet him at the FBI parking garage early that morning. It was so early that the garage was practically empty. It was a cool morning and Reyes had pulled her jacket around her tight for extra warmth. This was her first day back at the bureau since being in Mexico. She'd see Doggett, and she was sneaking Mulder in to talk to Skinner. All in a days work.
"So what do you think Skinner will say?"
"Honestly? I don't know. I think Skinner has probably always wanted you back on the x-files, you're the best guy for the job no doubt about it, but no one else at the bureau with that amount of power will let you back in without a fight."
"If I don't get back on the x-files we'll lose this fight Monica. We'll all lose." The elevator doors opening for her so that she could look away from the fear in Mulder's eyes and not have to answer his comment relieved Monica. She was well aware of the stakes here, there were risks for everyone involved. She just didn't think that Mulder could walk back into the FBI and expect to be welcome into his old job with open arms.
Mulder hadn't told Scully where he was going. In fact he'd snuck out before sunrise leaving her a note saying he had something he needed to do and he'd be back by lunch. He had been upset by her reaction to him wanting to go back to the x-files; she had brushed him off all night avoiding looking at him so that she didn't have to talk to him. He knew the signs; he knew when she was upset and angry with him. He also knew what a risk he was taking doing this behind her back. But if he wanted to protect his son and Monica it was a risk he was prepared to take.
Skinner's voice bellowed from his office door as Reyes knocked softly. His assistant had not yet arrived, and Reyes had called the night before to inform him of her early morning visit. She opened the door and walked into the room, Mulder close behind.
"Agent Reyes, have a seat... Mulder? What are you doing here?"
"No wait, don't tell me. Somehow I'm not surprised that you're here. It saves me having to make a strange phone call anyway."
"Excuse me sir?"
"Sit down both of you." They did as asked and were both confused by Skinner's air of mystery.
"When I got here this morning there was a note on my desk from the deputy director telling me that an Agent Mulder would be beginning work on the x-files today. I called him to ask him what kind of game he was playing and all he had to say was that you were being reinstated with full pay and a clean record."
"Yeah that was my reaction too. But I assumed the two of you would know what this was about?"
"Not exactly. I was given a mixed message from Gibson telling me that I had to fight from the inside; all I could interpret from it was the x-files. I have to be working for the government to fight it."
"Well whatever the hells going on there are now three people employed on the x-files, and there is a meeting for all three of you with Kersh this afternoon at 2pm. I suggest you don't be late and that you have more answers for him than I think you're capable of giving." The room fell silent and Reyes and Mulder glanced at each other before understanding that this meeting was over and it was time to go to work.
When Mulder walked into the x-files office he felt as if he were trespassing. Ghosts flew at him from every wall, every memory of working down here with Scully all those years was flashing through his mind and it made him feel dizzy. He sat down at the desk he knew Doggett now worked at. It didn't feel bad, but it wasn't right either. And it was highly inconvenient when Doggett walked into the room to find his old rival sitting at his desk.
"Mulder? What are you doin here? Is it Monica?"
"No, she's fine, there's been a small event and umm, it seems I'm working here again." As he finished speaking Mulder watched Doggett's face turn white and then red with anger but before he could comment Reyes walked in with a box that she dumped on her desk before even acknowledging the tension between the two men. She was almost glad that there was something here to stop Doggett pressuring her into moving in with him again.
"John, Mulder's working on the x-files again."
"Yeah so I heard. Agent Mulder was just bringing me up to speed." The way Doggett said 'Agent' sent a shiver down Mulder's spine, he very rarely let someone's opinion of him make him uncomfortable, but he wanted Doggett to understand that he was here to protect his family, not to step on his toes and take over the office.
"Agent Doggett, maybe we should have a talk. Monica, could you give us a minute?" Monica was confused and half thought Mulder was joking, but she gladly walked out of the office closing the door behind her to leave them to battle it out. The last time the two men had been left alone they had come to blows, but she hoped it wouldn't get to that this time.
Mulder talked with Doggett for a long time, he explained to him everything about Mexico and all the things that Monica was holding back from him. They actually got on well together and both were relieved to be thinking along the same lines. It was clear they were both on the same page and Reyes was surprised to walk back into the office with three coffees to find the two men laughing and joking.
"Did I step into an alternate reality?"
"No, Agent Doggett and I talked, we came to an understanding."
"I actually think it'll be good to have him down here." Reyes looked at Doggett and frowned slightly.
"Yeah. He wants the same thing I do, to protect you and William."
"I know that but..."
"Besides, it'll be good to have someone here who actually tells me what's going on instead of avoiding me and making up crap to keep me quiet and out of the way." That hurt. Reyes knew it was a personal attack on her and it made her want to run into his arms and apologize for making him feel so bitter towards her. But she didn't. Instead she just walked to her desk as if it had never happened and took out an old newspaper from the box she had bought with her. Mulder watched her and looked at Doggett. He felt sorry for the guy and he recognized right away a family trait. The Mulder's sure liked to make out they could fight every battle all by themselves.
Scully couldn't believe it. She was in complete shock and had no idea what to say or what to do. How could this have happened? And why now? Of all times, why now? She looked again, making sure she'd understood it properly. It was definitely true, no doubt about it. This couldn't have happened at a worse time, and she never thought she'd find herself thinking that about something like this. Not after everything she went through to get William, to have her family together. But this was all wrong.
She walked out of her bedroom and into the living room where William was watching cartoons. She adored her son, he was her whole world. He saw her watching him and ran over to her, his favorite train grasped tightly in his hands. She was almost beginning to wonder if Mulder had a point in commenting on how much William seemed to love trains, but for a three-year-old boy she supposed they were quite fun. William hugged her as she lifted him into the air. It was almost lunchtime and she was expecting Mulder back any minute.
His note had startled her, but then she relaxed understanding that this was Mulder, a conspicuous note from him was not usually something to worry about, every other sentence he said was conspicuous. So instead she sat down with William and his toys and tried to understand his fascination with the train set that John and Monica had bought him for his birthday. It was weird to think of them living apart and being so alone when just a couple of weeks ago they had been the happiest couple in the world and were having such a great time together. She hoped that they would sort this whole mess out soon, she knew what it was like to be in love and keep your feelings hidden and to feel so trapped into a lie that you want to shout from the rooftops how you really feel.
William was her proof that all her years of keeping quiet appeared to be worthwhile now that Mulder and she had proven their love for one another. And now on top of everything that was going on she would have to tell him about this. How would she? What would she say, what words should she use? In the end she supposed that it didn't matter. Whichever way she cut it, she was still pregnant.
Reyes tossed her glasses to one side and rubbed her temples. She had a headache and it was no wonder given what she had just put together from records and searches on the Internet. Mulder had spent the morning going through the newer x-file cases, the ones that he wasn't familiar with, he thought maybe there could be a connection between a case here and what was happening now.
Doggett had stayed quiet at his own desk catching up on paperwork. All three were nervous about their meeting with Kersh and what was really the motive behind Mulder's reinstatement. Despite them all having so much on their minds, Doggett and Mulder both noticed when Reyes showed signs of frustration at her desk. Afraid of crowding her Doggett stayed quiet and was glad when Mulder asked her what was wrong.
"I've been going through the things in this box that Sophia left me. Most of it is just family keepsakes, but there was a newspaper in there from when I disappeared when I was four. It talks about another three children of the same age going missing all within the same year, and none of them were returned to their original homes. Through more recent files on the Internet and other online newspaper articles I've found that they were all adopted, each one in a different state. They all believed that they were alien abductees and belonged to MUFON."
"So take their addresses and we'll see if they have anything that can help us."
"Because they're all dead." Mulder and Doggett looked at each other before looking back at Reyes as she sat looking on the verge of a breakdown.
"When did they die?"
"Does it matter?" Mulder could sense Reyes' frustration with his question, but there was a good chance that it did matter.
"Yeah, I think it might."
"Within the last year. So, what does this mean? Why am I still alive?"
"Because none of the others had Bill Mulder as their father."
"Not this again. You still think that the almighty Bill Mulder being my father is why this is all happening?"
"I do, and until you can prove me wrong I wont change my mind."
"Well then give me time. And I will." Monica stood up and walked off as fast as she good. She never thought that by having just one extra person in the office she would find it so hard to breathe.
Doggett looked at Mulder and stood up from his own desk. Mulder watched him and assumed he was going after Reyes.
"Are you going after her?"
"Who me? No. Couple of weeks ago I'd be out there already. But she wants me out of her way, so I'm out of it. Until she gives me the green light I'm just some guy she works with."
"That's a little harsh."
"That's the way it is. Believe me it's not my choice."
"She'll come around, and speaking of women coming around I have to disappear to talk to Scully. I'll be back for this meeting with Kersh ok?"
"Sure. I'm not about to boss the infamous Agent Fox Mulder around in his own office."
"This is your office now Agent Doggett. I'll see you in a couple of hours."
"Sure. Hey Mulder, do you think there's anything in these other people being dead?"
"No I don't."
"How do you know?"
"I don't. But I have a very strong feeling that all those other people confirm is that Monica was abducted when she was four years old, and that the reason behind it was who her father was."
"You think she believes that?"
"I think she does. And that's why she wont talk about it." Mulder walked out of the office and Doggett looked around the empty room. He'd have done anything to make Reyes talk about this with him. But right now he was so relieved that Mulder was going to be around to make sure they were all communicating about this together, and that Monica was that little bit safer with her big brother around.
When Scully heard the door open she looked at William who smiled over her shoulder. Mulder was home.
"Daddy!" He ran over to Mulder and was scooped into the air. Mulder was glad for the chance to work out what he was going to say to Scully. The longer her could stand holding his son and thinking the better. Scully watched them both trying to smile and look calm, when inside she was a nervous wreck. The sooner she told him the better; she couldn't keep this to herself. She didn't want to, she went through her first pregnancy without Mulder, and she didn't want that to happen again.
Mulder walked over to her still holding William and he kissed her softly before putting William down and watching him run back to the TV.
"So, where've you been?"
"Umm, would you be mad if I said at work?" Scully frowned slightly not understanding what Mulder meant.
"What are you talking about?" Mulder took Scully's hand and they walked into the kitchen. Scully was concerned, she was panicking that he had found something out about William, or the people that now seem to want to harm him.
"Scully, just think about what this means before you yell at me and accuse me of not caring."
"Mulder enough with the cryptic clues, just tell me what's going on!" Mulder paused, something was wrong and it was something Scully wasn't telling him, he could just feel it, but right now he had to tell her his news.
"I'm back in the bureau."
"What are you talking about?"
"I went into the FBI this morning with Monica. I've been reinstated by Kersh, with a clean record and all we know is we have to be in a meeting this afternoon."
"Who's we? Who the hell have you been conspiring with about our lives?"
"I haven't conspired with anyone Scully, I asked Monica to get me in to talk to Skinner, then he told us what was going on. Agent Doggett, Monica and I have to be in with Kersh this afternoon."
"To talk about what? How to go behind your partners back and make decisions about their lives without consulting them?"
"No, Scully please, don't overreact."
"Overreact? Are you serious? You go and get your job in the x-files back without even thinking about telling me, and I'm not allowed to overreact? You know what, I think I'm under reacting!"
"Will you just take a second to think about our family! And consider that I'm doing this because I have to, because it's the best way I can protect our son, and my sister!"
"I know that, but I told you that I didn't want you to do this, and you haven't even considered how I might feel have you? I can't handle this again Mulder, I can't handle the risks on working down in that office."
"Well it's not you taking the risk! I'm the one down there, I'm the one who'll be fighting to keep the people I love safe and alive!"
"Oh I see, so you really didn't think about me at all did you? Because now you have your son, and your sister, and your precious x-files back."
"That's not what I meant."
"I know exactly what you meant Mulder. Well you go ahead and protect your family. I might not be blood related but so help me God I love you, and I can't imagine ever not loving you or even remember a time when I didn't. So I'll let you get on with everything that you want to Mulder, I'd hate to stand in your way." Scully grabbed her coat from the hat stand and left the apartment without looking back.
William looked at his father as Mulder stared at the door Scully had just left them through. William walked over to his father and tugged on his trousers. Mulder looked down and smiled at him.
"Looks like you're coming to work with your old man William, I'm sure that'll impress your mom."
"I don't know. But she'll be back, I promise." Mulder kissed Williams soft head of hair and made some lunch praying that Scully would come back before he had to leave and get back to the bureau.
Scully found herself walking through the park and wiped tears away that were falling down her face and making people glance at her as they passed. She felt so confused and upset. She knew that Mulder was only doing what he thought was best, but sometimes she couldn't help but feel that he still thought of her as just a friend, somebody he didn't have to consider in his actions. He didn't tell her how he was feeling; he didn't treat her any differently than to how they had been behaving for the seven years they spent denying how they felt. She made it more than clear that she loved this man, and that she would do anything for him. They were both well aware that they would lay their lives down for one another, but why did it sometimes seem such hard work to be in love?
And now he was back on the x-files and he had completely ignored her concerns and opinion. It hurt her feelings, if he had sat her down and talked about it again then maybe they could have discussed it in more detail, she knew she'd immediately thrown out the idea but it was a gut instinct, he should have tried again rather than going behind her back.
How was she supposed to tell him that she was pregnant? She wanted so desperately to not go through this alone, to not feel as if she were a single parent again. She wanted Mulder to throw his arms around her and be happy about becoming a father again. For him to be here and to support her through this was a big deal to her, and now all she could feel was that Mulder just wanted them to be how they were four years ago. Ignoring the truth, ignoring the love they shared. She sat down on a bench and watched the families that walked by.
Couples holding hands, fathers playing with their sons and kicking footballs around, mothers pushing their daughters on the swings. They all looked so happy, so complete. She'd bet her life that none of them were worrying about their partner's job and how dangerous it was, or whether their child was capable of paranormal behavior and was in danger, or that they were worried about telling the man they loved that they were pregnant.
Suddenly feeling sick at the sight of so many happy people Scully stood up and had to fight back the urge to bring up everything she'd eaten that day. She had no way of determining whether it was morning sickness or whether she was just in such an upset state she couldn't hold anything down. As she sped up her walk through the park she wasn't looking where she was going and ran into someone walking almost as fast as she was.
"Dana?" Scully stopped walking and turned to see Reyes looking almost as upset as she was. Both women moved to hug each other and burst into tears and then laughter at how pathetic they both felt.
"Wanna talk about it?" Scully nodded her head and hooked her arm through Reyes' as they walked to her apartment.
When Mulder walked into Kersh's office to find Doggett, Skinner and Kersh sitting around a table he felt so embarrassed that he almost walked straight back out again. As he finally found the courage to sit down and face the music nobody said anything, they were too confused and startled by their surprise guest.
William squirmed in his father's arms, he didn't like it here, and he missed his mom, he didn't like the man that was staring at his father with a frightening look in his eyes. He recognized his uncle John and Walter, and he tried to wriggle free to go to John because he could sense his father's frustration with what was happening. Mulder reluctantly let William go, he ran straight over to John who lifted him onto his lap where he sat quietly waiting for his father to take him home again. He didn't like it here, it was scary.
"I can explain sir, Scully wasn't feeling too well and I couldn't leave a three-year-old running wild around the apartment with her." William looked at his father and wanted to know why he was lying. He looked at John and he smiled at him, John guessed that William was ready to leave but he could no more walk out with him than Mulder could.
"Agent Mulder I hope you realize that you're back at the bureau now to be an FBI agent not a father."
"I understand that sir, but I really had no choice." Kersh observed the small quiet boy sitting with Doggett and felt uncomfortable at how William was looking at him. He turned his attention back to Mulder and accepted his explanation. There were far more important things that he needed to talk about, he wasn't sure how much a three-year-old would understand but he couldn't make allowances. He needed all agents on the x-files to be aware of what was happening.
"I'm going to assume that Agent Reyes is otherwise engaged and won't be joining us?" The question was directed at Doggett, but he looked away and playfully tickled William to avoid answering.
"Fine. I'll begin. You all know that I've become more involved in the x-files over the past couple of years. I am privy to certain information that no one else is, and that information is now crucial to the continuation of your work." Mulder looked at Doggett and they both looked at William. Whatever Kersh had to say to them they both knew that it was going to have a direct impact on the people that they loved the most.
Reyes had chosen to forget about the meeting it wasn't an innocent mistake. She was in no state to be at work and Scully needed a friend just as much as she did. So the two women sat in her apartment enjoying the men free environment and both hesitating before saying what was on their minds.
"So I'll share my bad day if you share yours?"
"Maybe we could trade?"
"Oh I don't think you'd be too quick to say that if you knew what I know."
"What is it Dana?" Scully paused and then took a deep breath.
"I'm pregnant. And I haven't told Mulder because we fought about him being back on the x-files and then I stormed out and I just don't know what he's going to say or do, I don't know what he's thinking or feeling anymore, this is so hard Monica, I want more children, but I don't know if he does, or even if this child will be safe." Reyes was listening, it didn't appear that she was but she was listening to this more than she had listened to anything before. There was only one sentence however that was replaying again and again in her mind - 'good luck with the baby'...
When Mulder got home he called out several times for Scully whilst William did a check of every room running around as fast as his little legs would carry him. The disappointment in his eyes when he couldn't find his mom really hurt Mulder; he didn't want to see his son like this. And he was worried about Scully, he needed to talk to her, to tell her about his meeting with Kersh, the sooner she knew about what was happening the better, and the more they could all come together to help make this all go away, for good.
Scully opened the door of her apartment and took a deep breath. No matter what Mulder tried to throw at him she just had to sit down and tell him. It was no use keeping this from him, especially if it had anything to do with the danger now facing William and Reyes. She walked inside and William ran over to her, she lifted him up and hugged him tightly, there was no greater feeling in the whole world than having your son in your arms knowing that he loves you as much as you love him.
Mulder watched in awe. He knew that Scully was an amazing mom, he always had believed that no child would be better off than with her as their mother, it was one of the things that had made him realize how much he loved her, in those early days when she first talked about having a baby and him being a donor, that's when he knew, he wanted her baby just as much as she did. But there was something wrong with her he could feel it, something she was holding back. Scully put William down and he went back to the TV set. She walked into the kitchen to Mulder and sat down at the table next to him.
"I need to talk to you."
"I need to talk to you too Scully."
"Wait Mulder, this is important."
"Well so is what I have to say." Scully looked at him with tears in her eyes, not tears to cry, tears to make her face tell Mulder that her heart was aching for release, all she needed to know was that he loved her and that this would all work out. But for that she had to tell him what was going on first.
"Mulder will you please let me talk first? Please?" Mulder nodded his head as if it was no question she could go first, she shrugged off his misinterpretation of the situation and took a deep breath.
"There's something I need to tell you, something I found out this morning and I wanted to tell you earlier but things got a little out of hand and I didn't think it was the right time."
"Scully what is it?" Now she really did want to cry but she didn't, still she held back and contained her emotions for as long as she possibly could. She looked over to William as he sat engrossed in the TV, she didn't want him to overhear anything that they said. But to be in danger of that she had to actually say something.
"Mulder. I umm, I'm... I'm pregnant..."
Reyes sat in her apartment scared and alone. Never so much had she wished she were with someone, anyone that could make the dark world she was living in seem a little bit brighter. Things seemed so bad that all she wanted to do was go to bed for a few months and wait and see how everything pans out. She had lost the ability to understand anything that anyone said to her or what people were hiding from her, and now all she could think about was the baby that was on the way and that their may be a connection between it and her.
As she finished her hot chocolate she yawned and flicked the switch off on the lamp she was sitting by. The apartment went dark and she made her way to her bedroom. That's when she heard it. A noise coming from outside her front door. She stepped closer and saw the shadow of someone's feet underneath. Reyes panicked and picked up the phone, she wasn't in the right state of mind to deal with this alone, and there was only one person that she wanted here to help her out of whatever this person outside her apartment wanted.
When Reyes heard the familiar voice she had called announce his presence outside her apartment front door she sighed with relief and realized how terribly afraid she had really been as she opened it and flung herself into his arms.
"Monica, it's ok. I'm here now, it's gonna be ok. I promise." Doggett walked her inside and closed the door behind them both. It felt good to be near her again, to have her need him and hold him as tightly as he wanted to hold her. They sat down on the couch and Reyes finally loosened her grip on Doggett so that he could lift her chin up and look at her.
"What happened Monica?"
"There was someone there, outside. I could feel something wrong, but after the day I've had I never gave it much thought. But there was someone there John I'm sure of it!"
"Ok, ok, hey, calm down, it's alright Monica." He pulled her close again and again she felt for a tight grasp around his familiar frame. She had missed him; she had been foolish to push him so carelessly away from her. It was ridiculous, and it had taken her all this time to figure it out. Coming back to her own place had been wrong from the start but she had been determined to see it through and make it home again. She had been an idiot.
"I'll take a sweep around the place, check out the alley round the back, I'm sure it was just a neighbor or somethin' Monica, you're just jumpy with everything that's goin' on. That's all."
"I'm jumpy because I'm alone." Doggett looked at Reyes again and she tried to find the right words for what she wanted him to know, but nothing would come out of her mouth. She just stared at him and he stared right back.
"What are you saying Monica? You want me to stay the night? I mean, I'll sleep on the couch, I'm not suggesting that we, well that we umm, I'll just sleep on the couch in case you feel unsafe again."
"I don't want you to sleep on the couch. I don't want you to sleep in my apartment." Doggett took a deep breath and then stood up. He put his hands on his hips and started to pace backwards and forwards.
"You know what Monica, next time you get scared of somethin' goin' bump in the night why don't you call someone who you actually want to be here instead of whoever you come first to alphabetically. I'm sick of being at your beckon call and then being thrown out with the trash because you need personal time. You don't know what the hell you want, I'm outta here."
"What!" Doggett was back by the door and Reyes had jumped up to stand beside him. They were close and they could both sense that this close proximity was pushing their will power.
"John the reason I don't want you to stay here is because I want to go home. I want us to go home. Together." Doggett's frown and heavy breathing disappeared slowly as he registered what it was that Reyes was saying.
"Home? Home to my place?" Reyes nodded her head.
"I don't want to be alone John, I never did, even when I was adamant I was ok I wanted to be with you. I'm so sorry John, please forgive me, take me home please." As Reyes began to cry Doggett pulled her to him and held her tightly trying to repair the damage and bridge the gap that had grown between them.
"Jesus Monica. I've never met someone so stubborn that actually disagrees with themselves. Let's get out of here." Doggett opened the door and with Reyes still clinging onto him they were both startled by the person who was standing on the other side.
Scully had been sitting on her bed for over an hour. Mulder had offered to get William ready for bed and settled down for night. Only when he had had a kiss and a hug goodnight from his mommy did he finally climb into bed and agree with his dad to get some sleep. Within minutes William was out for the count and Mulder watched him for a while before even thinking about talking to Scully about her news. He loved his son more than anything in the world, but another baby? Now? This was not exactly something that he had been expecting or that he even thought would happen. He knew he had upset
Scully by not saying anything to her about it; he had just stood up and began making some dinner for William.
William picked up on the atmosphere around him, he always did, and for once he wished he could fall asleep at night with his parents on good terms with one another rather than falling asleep and dreaming about the night that his dad disappeared for a long time and his mom had sent him away.
Mulder hadn't told Scully what happened with Kersh. There was no way he was bringing that up tonight, not now. He walked into the bedroom where he knew Scully had been sitting alone in the dark much longer than he should have left her for, but he needed to get things straight in his head before trying to make Scully feel better too. He looked at her and she didn't even turn to see him enter, she knew he was there.
"You finally figured out what to say to me now?" Mulder walked over to the bed and sat beside her. Still they didn't look at each other.
"I'm sorry Scully. I didn't mean to be so distant."
"I'm used to it Mulder, it's not a big deal anymore. In fact I think if you'd shown any kind of emotion about it then I'd have been in shock."
"That's a little harsh don't you think?"
"No not really. I can sit here carrying your child feeling terrified for the life of my son and I can still find it in me to tell you that I love you, that you are the one thing in this whole world that I have always been able to count on, but I'd be lying. Couple of years ago I could've said that. But things are different now."
"Yeah they're different, and different bad not different good."
"So you're not looking forward to being a dad again. I pretty much had that figured."
"Scully you think because I don't cry myself to sleep at night or tell you how much I love you every morning because I think there's nothing to worry about? Or that I don't care?"
"Well what am I supposed to think Mulder? You don't talk to me anymore, not like we used to talk."
"We weren't in love before! I don't care what anybody says it's harder to talk to your lover than your friend because you don't want to hurt your lover but your friends can forgive you." Scully looked at Mulder when he had said this and she knew exactly what he was saying of course she did, but she still wanted more.
"I want us to be happy and not have to watch our backs for the rest of our lives Mulder."
"Scully whether our family was in danger now or not we'd always have to watch our backs. And that isn't anybody's fault. If we hadn't been through what we have over the past eleven years then we wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have you, I wouldn't have William. And you know what else, I wouldn't have another child on the way. And I wouldn't change any of that for world."
"You wouldn't give it all up to make the running and the fighting end?"
"Never. I love you. I love you so much that sometimes I just want to run away with you and stop you from having to live this life. But we can't, I want to be with you until the day I die Scully, be that tomorrow or in forty years time, I don't care what happens between now and then, as long as I have you."
"But half the time I feel as if I'm still just your best friend."
"You are my best friend Scully. You're also the woman that I want to marry." They were both finally looking at each other now and as they both tried to take in what had been said and what they were feeling, nothing could cement the underlying message stronger than a hug, they held onto each other so tightly that they both managed to laugh.
"I love you Scully. And I love William, and I am thrilled that we're going to have another baby."
"Absolutely. But we should totally get married first."
Doggett stood between the doorframe and Reyes, protecting her from anything that might happen. They were both alarmed and knew that they were unprepared for whatever was going to happen next. The face that they saw in front of them had only ever bought trouble and violence, and as far as they were concerned he should already be dead.
"Surprise Agent Doggett. Although I gotta say I didn't expect to find you here, it was actually Agent Reyes that I was hoping to talk to."
"You got nothin' to say to her and no business bein' here." Reyes placed her hand warily on Doggett's shoulder wanting to get a better look but keep a safe distance back. How was this even possible? How was he here?
"You're dead, this isn't real..."
"Agent Reyes this is very real. And I am very much alive, thanks to the government doctors who still refuse to continue their project without me, they can even bring a man back from the dead."
"But you were shot, in the head, Skinner told us..."
"Skinner never found a body, and he's never been capable of killing anyone. Believe me."
"Don't give me that crap Krycek. Skinner knows how to do his job, he proved that when he shot you and left you for dead."
"He never even told you that there was no body did he?" Doggett wanted to turn around and look at Reyes to see if she showed any indication that she had been told Krycek's body had not been disposed of, but at the time everyone had been more concerned about the whereabouts of Mulder and the safety of William so he didn't expect her to know anymore than he did. But he was in no hurry to listen to Krycek or believe anything that he had to say to either he or Reyes.
Reyes clearly felt alarmed by all of this. She had seen someone outside her apartment, and she had not expected to find a dead man skulking around waiting for the right moment to talk to her. And of all people this one had the least credibility, from what she had heard about Alex Krycek the only battles that he was prepared to fight in were the ones that he could benefit from one way or another. So all indications showed that there was something he was after now, and that he needed her help to get it.
"Why are you here Krycek? Who brought you back?"
"It's not important, I'm the only one left that can control anything that the group want to happen, its every man, woman and child for themselves and only you can stop it."
Doggett turned to look at Reyes finally and she looked braver than he could remember her looking just a few minutes earlier. Something about a dead man turning up on her doorstep had obviously awakened the FBI agent in her that he had gotten so used to working and living with.
"Well then I guess you better come inside, and we should call Mulder, and Skinner..."
They all walked inside and Krycek closed the door behind him, Doggett was ready to pull his gun when it was necessary as he was sure that this was not going to be as straight forward and friendly as Krycek was insisting it could be.
"You don't call anybody until I tell you to, and certainly not until I'm long gone."
"You're not sticking around Krycek? That's too bad." Krycek looked at Doggett and sniggered.
"You can say or do whatever you like to me Agent Doggett, we're beyond that now, it's all gone past the stage where you can pick sides and choose your enemies."
"I didn't choose you as an enemy Krycek, I barely know a dam thing about you except you tried to get Mulder killed, you tried to get Scully's unborn child killed, you killed Mulder's father, you were involved in the murder of Scully's sister and you tried to kill Skinner."
"None of that matters now. If you can't see past all of that there's no point in my even being here."
"Well please don't let me stop you from using the door." Krycek didn't take his eyes from Doggett and Doggett was in no hurry to not have a keen eye on him. But suddenly Reyes came into focus for both of them and they couldn't help but divert their attention to her. She was looking at Krycek and had tears sitting at the back of her eyes.
"You killed Bill Mulder?" Krycek looked to the floor before looking up again and nodding his head. Reyes' breath caught in her throat and she had to sit down before she fell down. Doggett felt terrible, it was hard to keep track of who had killed whom and he had forgotten what an effect it would have on Reyes to suddenly be faced with her biological father's killer. Krycek walked over to Reyes and crouched down to look her in the eye. She wanted to look away, she wanted to push him away, but she couldn't move. One thing always lead to another and it was never anything that she had ever dreamt of
having to go through.
"I know who you are. I know who your father was; I know that you're Mulder's half sister. I know that They want you now, that you're the focus of They're work. And there's nothing you can do about it."
"That's not true. We got our sources, we know what we're doin'." Krycek turned his attention back to Doggett and his comment and he stood up and faced him.
"You've got Fox Mulder reminiscing in his old office thinking he can protect everyone that comes into his life. You've got everything so backwards. And when I've told you everything that I know you have to follow my instructions, or face the consequences and the part that you'll play in the end of the world."
"Mulder you're crazy!"
"Why am I?" Scully had jumped up from the bed and was staring at Mulder as if he had gone completely insane.
"Because we can't just rush in to this!"
"Rush into it? Are you kidding me?"
"You think that if we snuck off to get married that it would be rushing into it after being together for eleven years? After having a son together and expecting our second child, we need to slow down and think about what we're doing?"
"No you're absolutely right, I can totally see where you're coming from. I agree, we should just take a step back and think about how we really feel. You think we can get a refund on the pregnancy?" Scully couldn't help smiling at Mulder, and he was doing the same to her. He had stood up and placed his arms around her as he spoke, he was teasing her she knew that, but he had just out of the blue suggested that there was no better night to go and get married, it's not exactly how she had expected to have her big day. She kissed him softly and returned his gaze as they stood together in the moonlight shining through the window.
"Mulder, we can't do it like that. There are things you have to organize and arrange for a wedding. We can't just go and ask the minister in the first church we come across if they'll marry us. Besides it's hardly the big white wedding a girl dreams of..."
"Scully, I had no idea that you had had those kind of dreams as a kid..."
"Every little girl dreams of marrying prince charming Mulder, with a big white gown, and a horse and cart..."
"Horse and cart?"
"With all of our friends and family standing by happy for us and pleased to see us, to be spending our special day with us..."
"Wow, you're a little scary when you get that mushy loved up look in your eyes did you know that?" Scully playfully hit him and they made their way back over to the bed. As they lay down and spooned together Scully sighed and Mulder looked at her concerned.
"What is it?"
"This. This can't last, it never does."
"You mean being happy?"
"I just want what every woman wants, a family that isn't under threat from the US government or involved in an alien conspiracy." Mulder laughed a little and then kissed Scully to ease her worry.
"Everything will be fine, I promise. You'll get your happy and safe family, we'll get that together. And I promise we'll get married as soon as it's possible."
"With a horse and cart?"
"Absolutely." As they lay together knowing that they were not being entirely honest, that they were more scared than they were letting on they didn't seem to care, and for now they were willing to put it to the back of their minds so that they could have a peaceful nights sleep.
However when the telephone rings startling everyone in the house, including the sleeping three-year-old in the next room, no one is likely to get a peaceful night. And as Mulder got out of bed to play dad Scully answered the phone half asleep wondering who on earth would be calling at two o'clock in the morning.
"Dana? It's Monica. Is Mulder there?"
"He's with William, what is it Monica what's wrong?" There was a pause and Scully was in no mood to play games at this time of night.
"Monica, talk to me."
"I think you need to get over here, both of you."
"Please Dana, there's something you need to hear, something that we all need to talk about and be aware of."
"Monica its two am can't this wait?"
"No. I hate to be so strong about this, but it's important. Please Dana."
"Ok, ok. We'll be at your place as soon as we can." Scully put down the phone and rubbed her tired eyes with the back of her hand. Mulder walked back into the room holding a tired and upset William. When Mulder saw the look on Scully's face he seemed upset too.
"Scully what is it?"
"Get dressed. William too. We've been summoned."
Reyes looked at the ground because she couldn't stand all of the eyes staring at her. Even William was looking at her, and he couldn't have understood what she and Doggett had just relayed to the visitors in her apartment. She hadn't wanted to tell anyone, she had been on the verge of just disappearing but a clear thinking Doggett made it clear to her that by running now she would be running forever. But the way Scully was looking at her now was with the similar expression she had had the day they had received Gibson's message. And now they were all confused with the conflicting opinions and stories.
Where did they go from here?
"So let me get this straight. Krycek isn't dead, and he turned up here tonight claiming to be able to explain what was happening and what we could do to stop it?"
"Yes. And put alongside what Kersh told us, you have to wonder who the hell knows what they're talking about, if anyone does at all..." Scully looked at Reyes and held her hand in the air as if she wanted permission to talk.
"Wait a second, what did Kersh say? And when?" Mulder looked around the room as all eyes turned to him. He had cursed himself a thousand times for not telling Scully right away the news that Kersh had given them, but then in his defense Scully did interrupt his thoughts on conspiracies with the news she was pregnant, he thought his priorities were rather well organized.
"Mulder, what haven't you told me?"
"I didn't have the chance to tell you, what with your news and everything..."
"Mulder, don't lie to me, not now." He looked at her and couldn't understand why he even bothered trying to make bad news look good to her anymore, he knew he only did it because he loved her, but he also knew that she would never fall for his pretty lies when all she ever wanted was the truth, his own bad influence on her.
"Kersh told us that we can't win. He said that no matter what we throw at them, whether I'm in the bureau or not, whether we fight or not, we can't overthrow them this time. It's over."
"How can it be over? What aren't you telling me?" Reyes saw how much this was hurting Scully as she requested answer after answer, and she couldn't take much more of this. Her head found her hands to lean in for a seconds rest. This is not how her life in DC had looked in her head three years ago.
"He said that William and Monica will both die, that there's nothing anybody can do, for the conspirators or super soldiers to win they need Monica and William alive, but there is a new branch of power, a power that has our own government involved in its activities alongside a new race of alien, and they want Monica and William dead. According to Kersh there is no way to determine whom the people are that we need to come up against, or who the aliens are, they're un-detectable. Kersh says that its over, and that the only reason that I'm back in the bureau is because he thought it had a bitter sweet irony to it, that I should finish what I started, that there's no one else capable of seeing this through to the end."
Scully took a deep breath and stood up to pace the room. Everyone else was sitting down and she was free to roam wherever she wanted. As she spoke she didn't direct her comments at anyone in particular, but she sure as hell wanted someone to answer her.
"Ok, so we've got Gibson who seems to think that Mulder can save the day and keep everybody alive, we've got Kersh who says the games over and that both Monica and William will die so that this new conspiracy of aliens and government men can take
over the planet, and then tonight a dead man turns up and tells us that, somehow, he knows about my pregnancy and that it's Monica who will die, but that she will do so when faced with having to protect me and my unborn baby or William? And I'm the only one that's pissed off about this because?" Nobody spoke for a second and then Scully lost her self-control completely. "I don't believe this. I just don't believe it!"
"No Mulder! I don't care what you have to say or what you're going to tell me will happen so that we all live happily ever after. It's never going to happen, and I can't believe that you're all sitting here wondering who it is that's telling you the truth when it's quite clear to me that everyone you've all spoken with is talking bullshit! You can't have a kid who reads minds, a deputy director of the FBI and a double crossing son of a bitch like Alex Krycek all telling you different theories and giving you different outcomes for our families and mankind and not wonder if any of them have a clue what they're talking about!
And I am so sick and tired of being the one to point all of this out, maybe this is why working on the x-files gives everyone such a laughable reputation, because right now I'm the only one that's looking into them from the outside and I have a fourth theory to add to this game, that someone's playing a sick joke and knows that they can reel in whoever's on the x-files because you're all crazy and paranoid! Now if you'll all excuse me I'm taking my son home."
Scully picked William up and was out of the apartment before anyone could say anything to her or try and make her see what they saw. The only person who thought she could have a point was Reyes, and that was selfish of her because she just wanted someone to have a theory that meant her life wasn't in danger.
Scully was shaking when she got home. It was anger that she was riddled with and she hated it. She hated that she had lost her temper and she couldn't stand the fact that there were so many people who spent their lives telling her about her own life and what would and wouldn't happen to her and the people she loved. She put William to bed and sat watching him as he relaxed and drifted off to sleep. She could see his body physically let go of the tension he had picked up on all night and she felt like such a bad mother because of it. What kind of mother drags her three-year-old son around DC at two am and expects him to live his life that way? And she was going to bring a second child into the world, why? What could she possible give to any child that they wouldn't be better off without her for?
William slept soundly enough now, but what did he dream about? Was it about normal childhood things, or was it about his parents and the only people he was used to having in his life and their pain and arguing? All the thoughts running through her mind made her feel like a terrible mother and certainly not one worthy of having another child. Something had to change, a lot of things were going to have to change, she wasn't prepared to just step through life without a plan anymore, they needed to decide what they really wanted, and if all of these battles are unavoidable then why spend countless nights and days trying to figure out how to avoid something that would come with or without their interference?
As all of these thoughts were running through her mind she wished she had been writing them down so that she could use them as ammunition with Mulder, no more would she sit back and let him make all the important decisions. So when there was a knock on the door and she realized the Mulder had no key to get in she quickly got up to let him in so he didn't wake William, and so that she could talk with him before she forgot what she wanted to say.
Scully opened the door without asking who it was or looking through the peep hole and she was horrified at what she saw standing on the other side of the door, but there was nothing she could do about it as everything went black around her and the last thing she heard was William crying for her from his bed as someone else walked into his room whilst Scully was restrained and knocked unconscious.
Mulder felt terrible, he really did feel like the worst guy on the planet. He always put aliens and government conspiracies before his family. Well not anymore. He was going home and he was going to tell Scully that it was over, that he was out of the bureau and that if needs be they'd leave DC. He couldn't take anymore of this crap either, he just wanted a family and for his family to be safe. Reyes had gone home with Doggett, and they had agreed to wait until daylight to talk about this again and make a definitive decision. So Mulder got home and was willing to do whatever it
took to get Scully to forgive him. But when he got to the apartment to find the door wide open he called out her name and received no reply.
Mulder was sitting in William's room holding onto one of his trains. He just sat staring at his boy's bed, empty, and wanted so badly for the last three hours to not have happened. It had been an hour since he arrived home and now the apartment was riddled with FBI agents and there was nothing he could do to help because he didn't feel like an FBI agent, he felt like a man who had just lost his whole world.
Reyes and Doggett had been the first to arrive at the apartment with upset and worry, they weren't much used to the FBI's plan to find Scully and William and bring them home safe. Doggett was doing what he could, he found himself getting dizzy as he repeatedly checked on the silent Mulder, Reyes as she sat crying by the window, and Skinner who was running the hunt for the popular red head and her son. There was so much to take in and in so little time. This had gone beyond anybody's theories and ideas now, this was personal, this wasn't just about the x-files or the government, it was a hit at Mulder and his family.
When Reyes walked into William's bedroom she allowed her gaze to move past Mulder because she had expected to see him there, but her eyes were hurt to see her nephew's empty bed and the toys lying around that she had gotten so used to seeing him play with, and often she had played with him, but what now? She stood in the doorway for a while and then moved further into the room. As she got nearer to Mulder she could hear him crying. And when she was stood directly next to him he reached up his hand to her and she crouched down beside him as he moved close and cried onto her shoulder.
Reyes cried with him but she held Mulder close trying to ease his pain before even thinking about how she was feeling. She had wanted a family and to feel close to those that she loved, but her half brother losing his family wasn't how she had hoped she would be made to realize how important these people had become in her life.
Never in a million years did Mulder think he would be crying on his sister's shoulder over the disappearance on his fiancé and his son. He almost wanted to laugh at the whole situation, but somehow the fact that those that he loved most were missing and probably afraid for their lives was enough to keep the seriousness of the matter close to his heart. As he cried on Reyes' shoulder he was glad she was there and he knew that there would come a day when his family would be together and they would all be safe. After everything that he had been through over the past eleven years he felt that he deserved it.
Doggett walked into the room and waited for Reyes to notice his arrival rather than interrupting her and Mulder. When she saw him she stood up and walked out of the room with him without Mulder even noticing she had gone.
"Tell me we've got something John, please."
"We got something. Dana's car has been found abandoned about twenty miles from here, we're going to check it out now."
"I'm coming with you."
"Don't argue with me John."
"You should stay with him. He shouldn't be left alone." Reyes paused and then held Doggett's hands in her own.
"I have to do something John, you of all people should know how that feels." He nodded his head slowly and then kissed Reyes. They left together to go and see Scully's car, leaving Mulder alone in William's room, still holding the train, still praying this was all a bad dream.
Reyes' heart caught in her throat as she approached the car. It hadn't just been abandoned it had veered off the road and then left empty. To her this meant whoever had taken Scully and William wasn't alone, you can't move a woman and small child alone after a car accident. She had a feeling that they were close, that she could sense their urgent need for help. It made her want to be the rescuer, to save the day, but then that's how everybody was feeling.
"Monica. You comin' to check out the car?"
"Yeah. I just need a minute." Doggett walked down the small dip at the side of the road and disappeared momentarily from Reyes' sight, so she moved herself closer, allowing a better view of the car and the surrounding area. There were only so many placed that they could be, how hard could it be to get agents canvassing the area and trying harder than they already were to find them? She followed Doggett's footsteps and looked in the car. A shiver ran across her body and she was startled at the vibes she was getting from the car. She could sense Scully's control, that she wasn't afraid when she exited the vehicle, she had power. This confused her, but made her even surer that they hadn't gone far, and she realized something else as she looked in the front passenger seat and saw the train from the set that she and Doggett had bought William for his birthday.
"Monica you ok?" Doggett's words had made her jump and she turned to him feeling nauseous but firm in her belief.
"She was driving."
"Dana was driving, she took the car off the road so that she could escape, she had William in the front with her, no way would a kidnapper want to take care of a three-year-old, she did this so we'd find her."
"Monica, if she was driving then she wouldn't have just abandoned the car like this, she could have stayed with it, called for help."
"Not if the kidnapper was still conscious, or if she ran away for help he could have come to and gone after her. She's still here John, I can feel it." Doggett took Reyes' arms and turned her away from the open land she was staring at to look at him.
"Monica I know you want to find them, we all do, but you gotta let the bureau work this using the best tools and the best people they got. You should go back to Mulder. Let us work from this and wait for news." Reyes frowned and then gently released herself from Doggett's hold on her.
"You don't believe me?"
"I think you're upset and tired, and I think you might be picking up on things that aren't here. There's nothing we can get from the car Monica, I'm sorry."
"You're wrong John. I'm going to prove it to you."
"I'm going to find them."
"You think I'm going to let you go out there on some wild goose chase alone?"
"I'm not asking you to let me, I'm telling you what I'm going to do to find Dana and William. You should call the apartment and have someone tell Mulder what's going on."
"Monica, you can't just walk off like this! Monica!" It was no use, Reyes was already walking into the distance, nothing but open land ahead of her and she didn't answer to Doggett and she didn't care what anybody else thought about what she was feeling, she knew that she was right about this. And of all the people in the world to believe she didn't want it to be Alex Krycek, but maybe he was right, maybe this was her job to protect Scully, and to protect William. Wherever they were now they were vulnerable and they needed help.
When the cars and people she had left at the road side became blurry blobs behind her she knew that she was pushing her luck going so far alone, but the further she walked the more she could feel it. It was the same feeling she had at the car, that Scully was in charge somehow, something had happened and she was getting closer to the source of it. She suddenly noticed a small building, almost like an old barn, in the distance and she sped up her walking to a slow jog as she got closer. She took out her weapon and steadied her arm as she quietly got close enough to take a look inside. When she did she was startled, but she wasn't surprised at what she saw.
"Oh my God Dana are you ok?" Reyes ran into the old barn and couldn't help running over to Scully to hug her. Scully smiled as her friend expressed her concerns through the familiar bond she had grown used to from Reyes.
"I'm fine. How did you find us?"
"I don't know. And even if what I thought were true you'd never believe me. We should get you out of here. Where's William?"
"Mon'ca!" Right on cue William came running over, tired and afraid he was relieved to see someone that he associated with safety and Reyes picked him up and held him close to her. It was then that she noticed the body lying on the floor at the far side of the barn, he looked dead and she could see a lot of blood.
"Dana what happened here?"
"I shot him. I took the car off the road to escape, but it didn't work and two men lead me here, that one was holding William to get me to follow without arguing and it was more than I could take, so when he wasn't looking and William was out of danger I shot him, I had to."
"A mother's instinct. But where's the other man?" Scully frowned and the momentary tension release she had had came back and she was on full guard again.
"He was waiting for someone outside, I assumed that you took care of it getting in here?"
"There was nobody out there, who is he waiting for?"
"I don't know, but this goes right back to everything that we've been told. Turns out that everyone's being played. Gibson, Kersh, Krycek, they've all been told different stories regarding the four of us and William, and my baby, in an attempt to split us up, so that we're weak enough to take out. This is about us as a group of people not our work or a conspiracy. But for Gibson to have risked seeing us when he did and for someone to have been able to get a message to him in hiding, and for Kersh and Krycek to have believed what they were both told, this has to have come from someone with a lot of power, someone with the power to keep Kersh as an assistant director and to make sure that Krycek lived. I think that's who the other man is waiting for outside."
"Ok, but I didn't see anyone..." As she stopped speaking both women turned to look at where a shuffling sound had come from, but neither could see anyone or anything.
"We have to get out of here Monica. This is about the Mulder family that much I'm certain of, I just don't know why or which members are in most danger, and I don't really want to stick around to find out."
"There are a dozen FBI agents about two miles back, we just need to get back to them."
"Well we've got one dead body on our hands, will it really make that much difference if we take another one out?"
"Are you serious?"
"Well personally I don't want to think about what might happen if they decide to shoot to kill first do you?" Scully shook her head and took a half asleep William from Reyes' arms.
"I wanna go home." Reyes nodded her head and took out her weapon again. She'd take this other man out herself. It was the right to do to protect them all, and to guarantee their safe return home.
Mulder felt as if he were in a dream state when Doggett stopped talking. He couldn't control his emotions any longer, he stood up knocking the chair behind him to floor and he threw the toy train he'd been holding onto for hours across the room.
"How did this happen!"
"She went after Dana, she was certain she could find her and William, she had a sense of them close by. We lost sight of her, one minute she was there and the next she was gone."
"So you're telling me that now I've lost her too?"
"No, we'll find her, we'll find them all Mulder."
"You don't know that. Fortune has it that when people in my life disappear it's for good."
"Not this time. I don't care what your Mulder family history tells us, I won't let them go unfound."
"You don't understand, this is how my life works. I lose the things that matter the most to me, I should have known it would only be a matter of time before I lost the woman I loved, my son. And my sister."
"Mulder I know what it's like to lose someone, believe me, and you might have given up on finding them but I haven't, and the Mulder that I know wouldn't just sit here and let this happen. If you don't do anything, you will lose." Mulder looked at Doggett and calmed himself. Then he began to slowly nod his head.
"So where do you suggest we go Agent Doggett?"
"Back out to where we found Dana's car. Follow Monica's tracks and find them all, and bring them home."
"Sounds like a plan to me. Lets get out of here." The two men left the apartment unnoticed and made their way back out to the location of Scully's car. They weren't achieving anything by sitting around worrying.
At the roadside the other agents had disappeared. The car had been removed from the roadside and they were both staring at where it had sat. Mulder felt a lump in his throat as he imagined William afraid and confused about where he was and what was happening. He ached to have Scully beside him, to hold her and to cherish her as she carried his second child. So much he wanted to say and to do, he couldn't let this be the end, when the end came they'd fight harder than this, so why was he being so resistant to fight back now? He wanted his family back and whatever it took he would find them.
"Which way did Monica go?" Doggett looked around him for a second and then lifted his hand to point across the open land.
"She was right there, and then I turned away for a second and she was gone. But it's just open land for miles Mulder, I think maybe she found Dana and William and is waiting for us to bring them all back, otherwise she'd be back by now right?"
"Right. So lets follow her tracks." They headed into the distance and didn't look back once, not even to see how far they had gone. But when they saw the same abandoned barn that Reyes had seen they could only hope to find the people they loved most inside.
Reyes couldn't focus on what was going on around her. She could hear Dana's voice but she couldn't tell where it was coming from. Everything seemed so dark and all she could remember was the bang. It had been instinct. William had run towards Scully causing the man outside to come and see what the fuss was about. He aimed his gun at the boy with intent to kill. Scully had grabbed her son and shielded him with her body. The gun was on her now. And Reyes didn't even think about standing in front of the small family in an attempt to protect William, Scully and her unborn child. The bullet hit her square in the chest and she could feel no pain as she lay in a pool of her own blood as the room faded to black.
Four hours. Four hours and nothing. The man who had shot Reyes was in custody. He had been caught running from the barn by Mulder and Doggett who secured him and then ran to find a nightmare come true. Mulder had rushed to Scully's side and held her and his son so close that they were all startled by the show of affection. Doggett had sat by Reyes, her hands in his own, willing her to wake up, to smile at him and tell him she was ok. But she had remained still and unconscious until help arrived, and now four hours had passed since they had been found and Reyes was still being operated on.
Scully walked down the hospital corridor wide-awake despite how tired she was. It was almost midday and she was confused about the day and date, all she knew was that she owed Reyes her life. She arrived at the relative's room to find Doggett and Mulder sitting in silence with their heads buried in their hands. Mulder stood up and hugged Scully as she walked in and she smiled supportively and turned to Doggett.
"No." That was all he could manage. Nobody had told him anything and all he had been able to do was imagine the worst. Mulder turned Scully back round to him and frowned at her.
"What are you even doing here? You should be at home resting."
"I couldn't rest knowing that... I had to be here. My mom's sitting with William."
"How's he doing?"
"He's fine. He's tired, I left him sleeping. I only gave my mom a brief outline of events, I couldn't handle telling her everything and getting another lecture about how dangerous my life is."
"She's right though. Did you have a doctor check you over?"
"Yes. Mulder I'm fine, really. But I spoke to Skinner on my way over. The man you arrested isn't talking. He wont say who he was waiting to meet, he's just sitting in a holding cell. Skinner was on his way into the bureau to talk with Kersh before going back to the city lock up." Mulder nodded his head and took Scully's hand. They sat down together and looked at Doggett. He wasn't moving; he just sat there completely still. They squeezed each other's hands to show they were relieved to be together, to be safe. But no one dared to mention Reyes' name or the fact that this was no longer a case of no news is good news. No news now was lessening the chances of any of them seeing Reyes alive again.
When Skinner arrived at the hospital he really didn't know whom he should be asking for. Who should he tell the information to that he had been given? Finally they had a story that more than one person could verify, but it was a story that even he was having a hard time believing. But the accused party was the only person he hadn't been able to locate, suggesting that the stories were true, that they had a corroborating source and somewhere to go, someone to ask, for answers. Upon reaching the small room where Doggett, Mulder and Scully sat waiting for news in their fifth hour of wait, he stepped inside reluctantly and asked to speak to Mulder. After eleven years it could only be Mulder he could share this information with. There was no one else.
They stepped outside the room and Scully moved to sit beside Doggett. She took his hand and he smiled appreciatively but she knew that she wasn't really helping. Skinner took Mulder to one side in the hallway and took a deep breath.
"I had a meeting with Kersh just before getting here, and I don't know how to explain what I now know, and I don't know if you're even going to believe me, but we know who the man that shot Agent Reyes was waiting for."
"Gibson Praise." Mulder replayed the name in his head almost as if he should know of two Gibson Praise's because the one he knew was a friend and ally.
"Gibson is the person who contacted Kersh about the new alien race, Gibson contacted Krycek and told him that Reyes was the one to protect you all."
"Yeah, it's like Scully said, they wanted us all to turn our backs on one another, to make us vulnerable. But what does any of this have to do with Gibson? He's on our side." Skinner looked to the ground for a second as if even he needed to prepare to hear what he was about to say.
"Gibson Praise is the new alien race. And he has more power than any other race put together, human or not, and I don't know that we stop him. Certainly not without help from the shooter."
Scully stood looking at Doggett through the glass window of Reyes' private room. She was still unconscious but her operation had been a success and they had removed the bullet from her chest. Now came a waiting game. Tests were currently being run to see if there was any brain damage, all any of them could do was hope and pray. Mulder had told Scully everything Skinner had reported to him and she had been in shock at someone they had relied upon to be fighting their fight for so many years was suddenly their worst nightmare. Mulder had taken the news badly and wasn't prepared to believe it without talking to Gibson himself.
"Mulder, if he is dangerous you shouldn't go looking for him."
"The FBI has a manhunt for him Scully, if they find him first they won't care if he's dead or alive. He's allegedly behind the kidnapping of an agent and her son, and the reason that Monica is lying in a coma."
"I don't want you going out there alone when we don't know what he's capable of."
"I'm not prepared to turn my back on him until we know for sure, until we absolutely know that he's the one we're fighting now. I need proof Scully. Isn't that what you always strived for?" Scully sighed slightly and knew that she was arguing a losing battle. She was tired and all she wanted to do was go home and sleep, but no one wanted to leave Doggett alone in the hospital and she wanted to be here when there was any news on Reyes. But Mulder looked at her with such love and devotion in his eyes that it didn't matter where she was whilst he was beside her.
"Ok. I know you'll look for him anyway. But just try and work within the FBI Mulder, please. Just, just for me, use the help that's offered to you instead of thinking you can do everything alone." Mulder smiled and pulled Scully close to him for an embrace. It was unexpected but Scully was relieved they were doing ok with each other and she did love him so much. She knew that he wouldn't do anything and risk losing her, William, or their baby.
"I promise I'll play nice Scully."
"Thank you." As they parted a man in a suit was headed their way and they both felt as if he was coming straight for them. They were holding hands and tightened their grip as the man stopped in front of them waving papers around and smiling.
"Mr. and Mrs. Mulder?" Scully smiled and Mulder nodded.
"Yeah, you are?"
"I'm Alan York, I'm from social services. I'm serving you notice that you're on probation for the care and well being of your son William Mulder. I've made a field visit to your apartment and spent time with the boy and a Mrs. Margaret Scully, you'll receive further notice from our offices about the actions we are prepared to take should the child's lifestyle not be changed and his life threatened. Have a nice day." He thrust the papers in Mulder's hands and briskly turned away to leave a distraught Scully clinging onto Mulder through her tears whilst he tried to figure out who would do this to them, and how the hell they were going to get past this.
Doggett couldn't take his eyes off Reyes. Her long dark hair was lying around her shoulders and he just wanted to reach out and touch her. Hold her close and make everything go away. He knew that she had done what anybody would have done; she had protected a young boy and a pregnant woman. Further more those people were her nephew and as good as her sister-in-law. But why was she still fighting against everyone's will for her to wake up and smile at them? To ask how Scully and William were, to reach out for Doggett's hand and ask for her brother. Time was moving by so slowly, it was killing him to sit and do absolutely nothing for her. How and when was this all going to end?
Mulder and Scully were about to face their biggest fight ever, the fight for their son. Reyes showed no signs of improvement and everyone was anticipating the results of her brain scan. And the FBI manhunt was on for rebel ally Gibson Praise. The end is in sight for no one.
Story continues in Who I Am