Title: An Anonymous Family
Author: Gina Rain (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Category: S, A, MSR (sort of)
Spoilers: The Truth, William, Jump the Shark, Beyond
Summary: My attempt at taking a sad song, and making
Disclaimer: CC and Company own it.
Special Thanks: To Carol, who shared an idea for a
post-Truth fic she'd like to read. I mutilated it
quite a bit but the spark was initially hers.
In an anonymous rural town, a rather anonymous
looking man walked into the local post office. He had
his mail transferred to a post office box months ago-
-"just in case." That was his sister's phrasing; his
crazy sister who, in spite of having her head in the
clouds most of the time, was remarkably talented at
He smiled as he thought of her. She was the only one
who could pull him out of the doldrums of his
everyday existence and into this cloak and dagger
He wasn't expecting anything after he put his own
bills and junk mail into the duffel bag he carried.
He had put the key into the lock of the second post
office box countless times and come up with nothing.
Not even his sister's use of the silly code sentence
during their weekly telephone conversation convinced
him that things were really going to change at this
The small door swung open. Two envelopes addressed to
"Gourmet Sunflower Seeds" lay in the steel box.
No return address on either one.
Holy shit. She was right.
He willed his hands not to shake as he attempted to
carry out his part of the job.
He walked over to the counter, transferred the
contents into plain, white envelopes--then placed
both in a preaddressed mailer:
"Missy's New Age Magik."
He dropped it in the out of town mail slot.
His first assignment was complete.
Maggie Scully took one last look at the headstone.
In a strange way, she was satisfied.
"Dana Katherine Scully
Fox William Mulder
Partners. . . in life
Followed by the pertinent dates of the beginning and
end of their lives.
They had a small memorial service. There were no
remains to bury. After the priest circled the grave
one last time, blessing it with the sweet smoke of
incense, there was little to do except share a few
words with the mourners. There was Bill and his
family, a small group of her own friends, some FBI
employees and the people who were really important in
Fox and Dana's lives. They were less than a handful
Walter Skinner packed a lot of emotion into a few
words. He gave her a firm handshake and told her she
would "always be safe." He'd personally see to it.
She believed him with all her heart.
After John Doggett kissed her cheek, he quickly
whispered in her ear.
"You are doing the right thing. The only thing you
And finally, Monica Reyes walked over and embraced
the older woman. She said nothing for a while then
stepped back and grabbed Maggie's hand with both of
her own. Maggie felt her slip something into her
"My brother sends his condolences," she said, and
hugged her once again. She whispered, "They came
Maggie slipped Monica's offerings into the pocket of
her suit jacket and continued saying her goodbyes. As
she finally seated herself in the back of Bill's car,
she quickly looked over the contents of her pocket.
One sunflower seed and a small picture of a baby boy
she knew quite well.
She allowed herself a small smile.
11 PM and an anonymous woman in an anonymous motel
room in an anonymous town stood by the bathroom
mirror to look for changes. Her hair was now a light
brown. The waves she'd been taming into submission
every morning for the past decade or so were apparent
even within the confines of the pony tail hairdo
which would now become her "signature style." Denim
A small gold band weighed heavily, but comfortingly,
on a formerly ringless finger. Bought as a makeshift
passport for traveling together with less
complication, its symbolism was not diminished. It
represented a promise no less sacred than those
blessed by both Church and law.
She stopped all action and thought to concentrate on
any sounds that might be coming from the next room.
There were none. The storm had passed. She had heard
the strangled sobs shortly after placing the hair dye
on her formerly red locks. She didn't go to him. He
was entitled to a grief that was his, and his alone.
She carefully opened the door.
"Mulder?" she whispered quietly. Their traveling
names were only to be used in public. No one was
looking for them. Not yet. Of this, they were as
certain as they could be.
She walked into the room. He was sitting against the
headboard--the closed photo album next to him. All
traces of his tears were now gone; the only thing
giving him away was the more pronounced shade of
green in his eyes.
"So, what do you think?" she asked, turning her head.
Her hair was long enough for her ponytail to bounce
against her neck as she moved.
"You look like a teenager again," he said.
"Liar," she responded, sitting on the bed next to
She put her hand out to take the photo album from him
but he stopped her motions by placing his hand on top
"Can you talk about him? A little?"
"Yes. Of course."
He looked down at the closed photo album. Ran his
index finger down the side of the binding.
"Was he. . .a good baby?"
"Yes. He was very good. Sweet. Curious. I was. .
.overwhelmed. But he took things in stride."
"He looked very happy in those pictures."
"He grew so much since I saw him. He almost looks
like another child."
"Well, he still had certain traits that he had on the
day he was born. He lost a great deal of his hair and
his eyes became a different shade of blue, but
otherwise. . .he was beautiful. beautiful," she
reminded herself. "I showed him your picture every
Mulder nodded slowly.
"He's going to hate us someday," he said finally.
"At least he'll be alive to hate us."
"Well, for the next ten years, anyway."
"Not if we can help it. But, if we can't, those are
still ten very precious years."
"Yes, they are."
Ten years they would miss. Mulder hadn't even had the
small amount of time she had with their son. He had
never seen William's first, genuine, non-gas related
smile. Never felt the child lean his head on his
shoulder. He would miss baseball lessons. Teaching
him to run, jump, play. He would miss sharing knock-
knock jokes and making him laugh from the strange
faces he'd make.
She mentally shook herself. Her heart would break all
over again if she continued to think this way.
She took the photo album and brought it across the
room . She carefully put it the travelling bag that
contained a few changes of clothing and her pictures.
That was all.
She re-zipped the bag and turned to him. His arms
were outstretched and she walked into his embrace.
Let herself be cocooned by his warmth.
"I can't stop touching you, Scully. I feel--so empty-
-when I'm not."
"No one asked you to, Mulder."
"I should. I'm scuffing you up."
She let out a small laugh.
"This fucking facial hair. Not only does it itch like
crazy but it's also leaving red marks on your face."
He rubbed his growing beard against her cheek.
"Yes. You will," he agreed. "We all will. We have
An anonymous couple put their baby boy down for the
Charles Van de Kamp turned to his wife and saw the
now familiar frown.
"Judy. . ."
"I can't help it, Charlie. I can't stop thinking
about her. About her loss."
"I'm sure she wouldn't want us to do this. I'm sure
she'd want us to behave like a normal couple with a
seven month old. Not like a couple waiting for the
invisible 'other shoe' to drop. It's not good for the
baby, and it's not good for you."
"You can find things out," she told him, staring him
straight in the eye. "You know how."
"Yes, I do."
"Well, then do it."
"That's not part of the plan. Not at all."
"The 'plan' was not part of our lives, either. We've
made adjustments. We can make adjustments again. This
is our life, Charlie. I don't want to live it without
knowing the full story. I don't want to live it
waiting for it all to fall apart."
"It could be dangerous."
"It won't be. Please, Charlie. We've. . .we know
Yes, they did. They were well trained. By several
"Fine," he said and went to the living room. He
needed time to think. He needed to plan this out to
perfection. Their lives depended on it.
Judy was right, of course.
Charles put the coded message on the Ramones message
board. The following day, he went to the prearranged
meeting place. A young man met him. Jimmy. Young,
enthusiastic. . .heartbroken.
The men who had helped him arrange his new life, and
years later, had rigged his house and land with more
surveillance equipment than he had ever dreamed of--
were dead. Mulder and Dana were thought to be dead as
well, but were not. The appropriate signal had been
sent through the appropriate channels.
Charles had only met Fox Mulder once. By then, he
already owed him his life. Charles was just an
ordinary man. He didn't have the mysticism of one
sister; the hard-nosed morality and structured life
of his brother; the brilliance of yet another
sibling. He didn't even particularly look like the
rest of his family. He was nondescript in appearance,
wasn't overly ambitious and didn't care to
distinguish himself in any grand manner. Living life
in the best way possible, treating others well--was
all he ever cared about. He took a government job
because of family connections. And he was in the
wrong place at the wrong time and found out more
information than he ever wanted to find out.
The decision to testify in such a high impact trial
was not difficult. It was the right thing to do. The
consequences, however, were devastating. His
testimony had pissed off a lot of people. The
government kindly offered him a new identity and he
took it. Well, he took them up on the offer to wipe
out all records of the person he had been. He let
someone else take care of the new identity part. On
the advice of his sister.
Dana had already learned enough on her new job to
know that the government wasn't entirely reliable.
She shared her fears with Mulder and he had his
friends contact her brother directly.
Charles Scully became Charles Van de Kamp.
The last name was Langley's idea. To remind him that
when the government "offers you a freebie, consider
their motives to be somewhat fishy."
He knew some of what went on in the lives of the
people he loved. There were various convoluted routes
to information sharing. A pain in the neck for all,
but a way to stay in touch. And there was always the
hope that they'd someday see each other again. It
had been hard to stay away. Melissa's death. The
arrival of Bill's children. Dana's cancer. Her
Charles took his new identity and moved to Wyoming.
In a couple of years, he had met Judy. She was a
nice, hometown girl. The Gunmen confirmed her
background. Bless their souls. She really wanted
nothing more than to settle down and have a brood of
children. Unfortunately, she couldn't.
They swallowed their disappointment and did what
other couples did--moved on and lived their lives.
Until they received a cryptic message from Fox Mulder
Charlie boarded a plane the next day and met him in
Arizona. For the very first time.
Mulder told him tales that would send most people to
the nearest psychiatric institution--to find backup
with butterfly nets to catch this strange man.
Charlie wasn't most people.
"You haven't laughed at me, yet." Mulder said to him.
"No. Dana shared some of your earlier adventures when
I was still in the loop. I found them strange but. .
.well, kind of cool at the time. Now, I find them
less "cool," equally strange but, surprisingly. .
Mulder let out a quick laugh and stared at his feet.
"I can see a little of Melissa in you."
"Yes. I guess the youngest child always carries tiny
parts of his older siblings with him."
"You don't seem to have any Bill in you. You haven't
shown any inclination to kick my ass yet."
"Nah. Bill is all right. He just takes life way too
"Maybe he's right. I think, for a few moments, we
forgot about how serious life can be. Scully--Dana--
and I, well, last year things became. . .different.
One part of what we were searching for was brought to
a conclusion. I found out what happened to my sister.
And even the "bad guys" were staying away for a
while. We thought if there was ever a time to have a
normal life. . . Our idea of a normal life included
the child Dana wanted so much. That I came to want
much. We were going to slowly step away from the
more dangerous aspects of our job but. . .it didn't
turn out that way."
"I gathered that when I got your little signal to
"All hell broke loose. I've had to leave Scully and
William. . .to keep them safe. I'm working like hell
to get back to them but. . .I just don't know. I
don't know how safe they are. How safe they will be.
Scully and I discussed this a couple of days ago.
Before I left. We needed to prepare for. .
.everything. And that's where you come in. If--
the situation becomes unbearable. . .if William is no
longer safe--we'd like you to take him, Charlie. We'd
like you to raise our son."
And after Charlie picked his jaw up off the floor, he
said yes. Mostly because this was something to say to
send Mulder on his way with a good sense of security-
-not because it could actually, really, happen.
Yellowstone National Park
"Slow down, Mulder. Please."
"Mulder. . ."
He eased his foot off the gas pedal. They were within
a few minutes of their destination. They couldn't
afford to draw attention to themselves now. Still, an
SOS from Charlie Scully. . .Van de Kamp. . .was not
something that encouraged calm driving.
"There," Scully spotted the huge recreational vehicle
before Mulder did. It was near a wooded area, but
close enough to a section where RVs were allowed to
park for the night. If asked, they could easily say
they were on their way to that destination. However,
there wasn't a soul in sight except for Charlie.
As Mulder put the SUV in park, Scully jumped out and
rushed to the brother she had not seen since shortly
after their father's funeral.
"William?" she asked breathlessly.
"He's fine, he's fine," he said, as he scooped her
into a tight embrace. She hugged him back and watched
as Mulder approached the door of the RV and stopped.
"Go on in, Mulder. Someone's waiting for you,"
"Scul. . ."
"No. Go in, Mulder. I'd like to speak to my sister
for a few minutes. Alone. My wife is inside. Go on in
and see your son."
A quick look passed between Mulder and Scully and he
opened the door and went in. Within seconds, Judy
walked out and nodded to Dana. Then she walked down
the small trail into the woods.
"Charlie. . .what is going on here? You. . .this is
very dangerous. You can't do things like this."
"Dana, I've been coming and going now for nearly nine
years. Granted, I can't pop up at Mom's place for
dinner, but no one is looking for Charles Van de
Kamp. And, at the moment, from all I've heard, no one
is looking for the two of you, either. So, if we're
going to talk, now is the time."
"Charlie. . .I want. . ."
"What? What do you want?"
"I want to see him. But, I'm so scared."
"Then put it off for a few minutes. Give Mulder some
time with his son. He's never been completely alone
with him, has he?"
"Not completely. No."
"Well, then. He needs this."
"Mulder. . .might be uncomfortable with a baby."
"Or he might not. You never know. Dana, Judy has not
been comfortable. At all. She wasn't comfortable from
the beginning and--well, I have to say that I didn't
help. I promised Mulder we'd do this before I asked
her. When I explained it all, she agreed. But, Dana,
she's not used to this stuff. That first day, when
William was brought to us, we spent the entire time
play acting. Frohike had told us about these high
tech gizmos that can be pointed at a house and allow
people to hear conversation inside. So, the minute
the signal went on that a car was approaching our
land, we started acting like we had no clue about the
child we were adopting or his parents. Just like any
anonymous couple whose baby was about to arrive. It
took us hours afterwards to be comfortable with the
idea that no one was listening. Even with all the
high tech stuff in our house telling us we were all
"I'm sorry, Charlie. I know it's a sacrifice. I just
couldn't give him to strangers. Not under the
"No. You're not getting my point. William is a gift.
He truly is. But I'm not sure he's still a gift that
belongs to us. We have to be sure you haven't changed
your minds. I had to give Mulder the opportunity to
be part of the decision making."
Scully looked at him with wide-eyed anger.
"You have no idea what I went through--what brought
me to a decision that damned near ripped my soul
"Dana. . .I understand that. I know you had no
choice. I'm not saying you did. But things are
different now. Mulder is back. And it's time for you
both to choose again. And for me to give you
"We could just keep driving," Judy suggested as they
drove Mulder and Scully's SUV down another path.
William's birth parents needed time to make their
decision without having his adoptive parents outside
the camper waiting.
"They know where we live."
"They wouldn't hunt us down, Charlie. By the time
they spent a few hours with their child, they'd
forget we even exist."
"Judy? Do you love him?"
"Of course I do. But ever since I found out that Dana
and Fox were out there. . .together. . .I can't help
but feel that I'm doing something wrong. Keeping them
"Well, I can tell you one thing with almost a hundred
percent certainty. We'll return to the RV--spend a
few days at Yellowstone and go on home. The three of
us. I know my sister. She has a world to save."
"Oh, is that all?"
Charlie burst out laughing.
"I'm not kidding, Judy. And neither is she. She can't
give me details but she doesn't exaggerate much.
Whatever they are doing is really important."
Judy nodded slowly. She turned to look at Charlie.
"What will we tell William?"
"We'll tell him he's adopted as soon as he's old
enough to handle it. And that his birth parents love
him very much. And later--when we're sure he won't
run into his classroom and use the story for show and
tell--we'll tell him that the short little lady and
the tall man who happens to have the same nose as he
does--the strange couple that pops in every once in a
while and leaves looking at him as if their world is
falling apart--that they are his birth parents. But
we are his mommy and daddy."
Judy looked straight ahead--a sudden mist of guilty
tears in her eyes.
"We have to do this, Judy. We have to free ourselves
to be that for him. He deserves it. And so do Mulder
and Dana. They have to be able to go out there and do
what they need to do--knowing that we are doing
everything in our power to give this child happiness
Scully took a deep breath before she had walked into
the RV. There hadn't been a sound from the interior
for the entire time she was talking to Charlie. She
was afraid of seeing Mulder with William. Afraid of
the look that would prove that he resented her for
her decision. Afraid for what he was feeling and
would continue to feel.
And she was afraid of her own feelings. Of taking a
still very much opened wound and prying it apart.
She stepped into the camper and found them both on
Mulder was holding his child while leaning against
the wall. His knees were up--probably to brace the
baby he had no intention of moving one inch away from
his body. William was playfully slapping this strange
man on both sides of his head. Mulder barely noticed
as Scully fell to the ground next to them, until the
baby's gurgling greeting made Mulder move his tear
streaked face away from the boy's.
He carefully handed William to Scully and put his
arms around both of them.
"He's so big," she said after a few moments of
cuddles and tears.
It was time to give him choices.
She knew the answers but Charlie was right. These
decisions had to be made by the two of them.
"Charlie. . .and his wife. . .Judy. . .have two
offers to make us."
Mulder looked up from the finger William had grasped,
and swallowed hard.
Was he ever going to say anything?
"One--I guess you can figure out. They are offering
to give him back--to take our car and leave us with
Mulder looked down quickly.
"Option two is. . .we all pile in their camper and go
off and live together--create a kind of compound
where we could assemble all the connections the
Gunmen left for us to contact. That we could go off
whenever we needed and they would watch William but
we would all. . .parent. . .in a way, together."
That got a small, sad smile from him. The few tears
that had been standing in his eyes spilled over and
kissed Williams' hair.
They were the only answers open to them.
"No matter what, Dana. Once or twice a year, I expect
us to meet. Either at our home or wherever you want.
You may think you don't have rights but you need
this. We all do. And, if there ever is a compound. .
.we'd be willing to live there. At that point, the
offer might be different as far as who is doing the
actual parenting, but you would still get to know
She threw her arms around her sweet, rather innocent,
brother. A child growing up with wide, open spaces or
one holed up with a lot of high-strung adults. Tough
choice. But the semi-annual meetings appealed to her.
She'd have to discuss it with Mulder. They would have
to find out if anyone was actually looking for them.
She went back into the trailer for their final
goodbye. For this time, anyway.
Mulder was already saying his. He was holding William
as he held him that very first time. William was a
bit confused, a little tired and a little curious
over the fuss that was being made over him.
"Daddy will love you forever," she heard him say. He
kissed him on the forehead and passed him to Scully.
The rest of the goodbyes passed in a blur.
Scully needed to leave. Badly.
She fiercely hugged the woman who would be her
child's mother. . .trying to give her all the
strength she could, in case she ever truly needed it.
She watched as Mulder approached Charlie.
"Thank you. . .you have no idea. . ."
"I have every idea, Mulder. And I just want you to
know, I will do everything. . .to protect him.
Everything. And if something happens to me, Judy
knows where to run and how to reach you. Try to put
your mind at ease."
Mulder nodded. He believed what Charlie told him.
They could not have made a better choice.
They were on the road for hours before either of them
spoke. The air had been filled with the sounds of
miles of road going by and an occasional sniffle or
"Are you sorry we did this, Mulder?" she asked
"No. If I ever had any doubts about exactly what
we're fighting for. . .I don't anymore. I'm ready."
She reached her hand across the seat and he took his
right had off the wheel and grasped hers.
He sighed heavily.
"Before we start, though, we need to find a jewelry
"It's not necessary, Mulder. . ."
"Yes. It is. It's part of who you are. Of who I
always want you to be."
She smiled softly and squeezed his fingers.
Another phase of life was about to begin.
Maggie Scully looked at the latest contribution given
to her by Monica Reyes. This time, she could smile
It was another picture. Little William--at home in
Wyoming. Sitting in a baby bathtub.
At the moment the picture had been taken, the
overhead light had created a tiny spotlight--on a
familiar gold cross that hung on a small chain around
the baby's neck.
Do you know why I generally write happy stories?
Simple. I get too emotional over angst.
I didn't intend to write a post-The Truth fic because
I liked the ending--given the circumstances. However,
a lovely lady named Carol shared an idea for a post-
episode fic she'd like to read, and I got so excited
over one part of what she said, that I was off and
running before the day was up. It helped me "fix" the
really sad tone to the last scene. Not that this
isn't equally sad but at least we know William is in
good hands and Mulder and Scully may have some future
contact with their son. Still in keeping with the
finale but making it just a bit better.
By the way, I sang "Hey, Jude" to myself while
writing most of this. Hence, the summary at the
beginning. No infringement intended there, either
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