227700 Wallis Rd.
Farrs Corner, VA
“Where are we going on vacation this year, Scully?” Mulder mumbled into her hair as she nestled contentedly in his arms. They sat on their new porch swing; both of them watched as William chased Maggie around the yard. He caught her and swung her high into the air and she laughed, out of breath, screaming in delight, “Again!” And the game started all over.
Mulder and Scully had faced and overcome obstacles that would have torn other couples apart and they were, for a brief time. When events in 2016 brought them together again in a seeming never-ending tsunami of danger, secrets, and lies, they had become closer than ever.
Their reunion with their son had been a wish, a dream, a deep hope, but not what they had wanted or expected for him. The devastating pain of losing him again tore at the seams of their hearts and their very existence. Except for an unexpected spark, a true miracle, for them to be granted Maggie in their 50’s ... dare they risk the happiness they have and hope for more?
Mulder would be 62 in October, Scully turned 59 a few months ago, and Maggie, born in 2018 … his - their little girl was almost 5 years old. How did time go by so fast?
Maggie’s birth had been the catalyst to bring William back into their lives. It wasn’t easy, there wasn’t a book available guaranteeing steps to success. How do you connect with a child, now a young man, you didn’t raise, but loved with all your heart? It took time, faith, and even a little luck.
The real answer they found seemed to be hard work, understanding, and danger, factored in, unfortunately, with more secrets and lies- truths uncovered. And an unexplainable bond between a mother and son that Mulder didn’t have, and wished at times, he did. Then there was Maggie, she was the light of all their lives and had helped them bond as a family, not a traditional one, but one created like the intricate fiery colors of a setting sun.
Out of breath, Maggie skipped up onto the porch, “Daddy! Daddy!” and grabbed Mulder’s hand.
“Yes, M,” he answered, as he turned his hand over and squeezed her tiny one. “Time for Spirit!”
William had followed her up the porch steps and leaning against the railing, rolled his eyes. His sister had watched that movie dozens of times. Maggie’s impatience started showing, and she used both her hands, trying to pull Mulder up, “C’mon Daddy … C’mon.”
Scully sat forward as Mulder slowly stood, and looked at Maggie, “What do you say Maggie?” she prodded gently, but firmly.
Maggie gave the tiniest huff, “Please …. Daddy?” She slowly blinked her eyes up at him, but her jubilant bouncing up and down on her tiptoes in excitement never ceased. Mulder was putty in their daughter’s hands.
Scully smirked up at him, watching, as Maggie dragged Mulder to the door. “She gets that from you, Daddy.” Mulder gave a little shrug and then smiled, “Yeah, maybe, but she also already knows how to use her feminine wiles on me; and that’s all you - Mommy.”
William sat on the swing beside his mother and both listened for the opening strains of Maggie’s favorite movie of the month- well the last 3 months- ‘Spirit.’
“How can she watch the same movie so many times?” William shook his head. He loved his sister. He felt her the moment she was born. It was something more than simply knowing - he couldn’t explain it really, it just was.
Scully smiled gently at her son as they heard Maggie scream out, “Look Daddy! Look at Spirit!” Mother and son chuckled lightly, Scully bumped her shoulder against William’s. “Mulder and I were talking earlier about our family vacation this year… do you have any suggestions?”
William thought, in a way, a vacation was silly. They’d gone to Glen Echo Park last year - just in Maryland, Maggie was 3, he didn’t think she’d remember any of it and he told his mother as much.
His mother had replied, with a slight tremor in her voice, “She won’t remember all of it, of course, but some - we have photos … and it’s just as much for us as it is for her… and you William.”
He recalled Mulder holding his sister on a giraffe and waving every time the carousel brought them into view. Only later, would he recall Mulder talking about the carousel and its history, almost like he’d memorized every word from the website.
They heard a slight thump from inside the living room, bringing William back into the present. Both of them turned to see Mulder, with Maggie on his back. She pointed and laughed, “No Daddy I, I mean Horsey! Go that way!”
Scully shook her head, “I hope he’s careful. He had bruises on both his knees last month, but she likes to pretend she’s riding a horse. We got her a toy one, but she said it’s not the same as when Daddy does it.”
“There’s your answer.”
“What answer William?” Scully looked up into her son’s face. Why did she have to be so short and why did all the men in her life have to be so tall?
“Vacation… we could go to one of those Bed & Breakfast places that’s a converted farm, one with horses, with ponies for Mags.”
Before Scully could reply, William had gone into the house, asked Mulder for the laptop, and was back outside on the swing beside her. He typed quickly and turned the screen towards her. There was a picturesque photo of a lovely Bed & Breakfast, hiking trails, swimming, boating on the lake… and horseback riding with optional lessons.
“It’s perfect. Georgia it is,” Scully said with a grin, lifting herself from the chair. “Lets go tell your father and Maggie.”
They wanted to get an early start since it was such a beautiful day - Mulder knew his son was excited about driving the first leg of their journey to Georgia.
William and Mulder had packed the SUV the night before and Mulder had tossed him the keys:
“I thought maybe you wouldn’t mind driving and I’ll sit in the back with M for a while,” Mulder had said to him. William couldn’t stop the grin from forming, “Yes… Dad, I’d like that.” Mulder had cleared his throat, hearing the word Dad from his son, however tentative, and somewhat new, was a moving experience.
Maggie, however, had other ideas about what an early start meant- they told her to get in the car and she did... but with the dog.
William was anxious to get on the road. “Mags we can’t take Q2, it’s a long drive.” Maggie huffed a bit at her brother before she looked away from him and turned to address the man who she could ask for the moon and he’d try to get it for her.
“Why can’t Q2 go with us Daddy? Who will take care of him?” Mulder looked at his daughter and he repeated something similar to William’s comment. Maggie looked at her father and Mulder had to do a double take; her expression was pure Scully with the exception of his own hazel eyes staring back at him.
“Daddy, he likes to go with us in the car when we go to the park. Don’t you, Q2.” Glancing at Scully, Mulder could see she was stifling a laugh. His daughter had her arms wrapped around Q2’s neck and she was hanging on with all the strength a 4yr. old could muster.
Mulder took a breath and tried again, “M honey, this is our family trip.” Oh no. That was evidently the wrong thing to say. Tears pooled in Maggie’s eyes and her voice was a sad whisper. “But … Daddy, you told me Q2 - is - is - *sniff* - a, a part of our family.” One of Mulder’s downfalls, was his little girl crying. Maggie began shaking and sobbing and Mulder broke down. “Ahhh, M… baby.”
It was the strangest thing whenever Maggie was highly emotional. Mulder swore he could feel the corresponding tug on his own heart. Right now, all he wanted to do was hold his little girl and kiss away her tears. He was certain it would take away the sluggish beating of his heart. Scully moved forward intent on diffusing the situation, when Maggie launched herself at her father. Scully and William both watched as Mulder carried Maggie away from the car, holding her tightly and speaking to her softly as he paced through the grass.
John and Monica pulled up as they were having their meeting and Q2 leapt out of the car at the sound of John’s voice. “What’s wrong? Is something wrong with Maggie?” John asked, his face forming lines of concern.
The dog barked excitedly and ran circles around Doggett’s legs until John reached down to give him a good belly scratch. Q2’s response was immediate: rolling over and pumping his leg repeatedly in the air, in delight.
Maggie lifted her head from Mulder’s shoulder when Q2 started barking, her eyes were red, but she smiled as she watched Q2’s antics. Mulder took advantage of the opportunity. “See M, Q2 is excited for John and Monica to stay with him. It’s like a treat for him… sort of a long slumber party.”
Mulder walked back towards the car, Maggie squirmed and Mulder set her on her feet. She ran over and hugged Q2 as the dog licked her face in return. Only then were they all treated to her infectious giggles. Scully walked over and hugged Monica, William followed, stooping down to give Q2 a few rubs and to receive his own slobbery kiss.
“Thanks for doing this for us,” Mulder said shaking Doggett’s hand.
“Hey, it’s our pleasure. I brought my fishing gear. I thought Q and I would head on down to the pond and see what I can catch.”
Maggie overheard, clapped her hands, jumped up and wrapped her arms around Doggett’s legs. “OH! Uncle John! Q2 will like that ever so much.” Maggie tilted her face up to meet Mulder’s before taking a few steps and tugging on his hand. “Daddy? I’m ready. Let’s go. C’mon.”
The adults chuckled and shrugged before piling in the car. Maggie waved furiously at John and Monica, yelling out the window as they drove away, “Bye Uncle John. Bye Aunt Monika. Bye Q2, I love you!”
They weren’t even out of the driveway before his daughter flipped down the video screen built into the car seat. “Daddy! Let’s watch Spirit! Please.” Scully laughed, William rolled his eyes and Mulder shrugged his shoulders before smiling. “Okay M.”