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Existence - Another Path

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Democrat Hot Springs

Something was wrong. Mulder knew it - could feel it. Something was wrong with Scully, with their unborn child. He threatened Doggett. Where is she?! Where had Reyes taken Scully? Doggett gave him a general location, but Mulder still didn’t have the exact coordinates even as he boarded the helicopter.

It was something, a headache, his heart - a calling. Mulder wasn’t sure, couldn’t explain it. He felt his heart beating - heard his heart beating.

Thump - thump - thump… a little fast but a steady rhythm.

It was the other beating that scared him, not matching his own. Was he imagining it? It was fast, so fast and faint 5 or 6 in between his own … thump thump thump thump thump…

That echoing thumping kept him company on the helicopter flight- it guided him and helped him direct the pilot - and stopped the minute the pilot set them down. He’d seen the cars from the sky and he ran weaving in and out of them - running to the wooden building they all seemed to be pointing at. He was filled with terror now.

How did they find her? She, they were supposed to be safe here! Was he too late?

He launched himself through the door and was immediately grabbed; Billy Miles and another held him back. He struggled to no avail, trying to get to Scully, he could see her laboring on an old wrought iron daybed.

“Scully! Let me go you sons of bitches! Scully!

Scully groaned as a contraction ripped through her she was so tired. “Mulder…” she looked around the room all the stone faces staring back at her with no human emotion showing. She looked at Billy Miles, “Please… I need him.” Her face suddenly contorted in agony, her back arching and Scully screamed, “Nooooo! Something’s wrong! Nooo! My baby….. MULDER!

Mulder was suddenly released he ran to Scully, sat on the bed, his arm immediately supporting her shoulders and back. He stroked her sweaty hair back from her forehead. “I can’t do it
Mulder. I’m so tired. Something’s wrong…”

Mulder pressed his lips to her temple whispering soothing random words to her. Time passed without a contraction and Scully began to sob and turned her face into Mulder’s chest. He glanced at Reyes, she shook her head, worry evident in her face. She’d never delivered a baby before, but she didn’t think active labor stopping was good.

“Our baby… Mulder…” Scully cried out, drawing from that deep well of agony everyone holds inside. Mulder felt helpless, what could he do? He wasn’t a medical doctor - the doctor was in his arms - trembling. Scully’s OB, a hospital was miles away, this wasn’t supposed to happen here.

Mulder had clawed his way back from abduction, torture and the grave - he couldn’t - wouldn’t give up now.

He closed his eyes and did the only thing that seemed natural he prayed to whatever power or entity that was listening. “Please,” he silently begged placing his hand, fingers splayed over the child in Scully’s womb. “Please!”

It was just a tingle, like the electricity crackling in the air before a storm. “Did you feel that Scully?”

“Yes! Oh my God! I need to push!” Scully replied, smiling even as a strong contraction gripped her. Mulder quickly got behind her. “Lean on Me Scully… you can do this.”

“I see the baby’s head!” Reyes shouted.

Mulder balled his fists up and dug them into Scully’s lower back, causing an appreciative moan to escape. “Thank you, that’s enough… hold my hands Mulder. Just hold my hands…”

“Push Dana! Push!”

Scully gave a nod, acknowledging Monica’s directions and pushed. Scully gripped Mulder’s hands - squeezing, her partner, her lover, the father of her child - together in all things. She felt the baby slide from within her and she allowed her full weight to rest against Mulder’s chest.

“It’s a boy! You have a son.”

A son. He was a father.

“A son,” he whispered into Scully’s temple, “We have a son.”

Mulder’s limited view only allowed him to see the baby’s head, but Reyes moved her hands over him doing whatever instructions he was sure Scully had drilled into her head. The baby didn’t let out a loud wail, but more like squeaks and grunts. Finally Reyes smiled at them, transferring the baby into Scully’s trembling arms. Mulder tightened his own under hers, his heart full, the lump in his throat threatening to choke him.

Looking down at Scully holding their son in her arms, Mulder couldn’t help but think that even in this abandoned village’s ramshackle building on a daybed used by others in the past with dozens of super-soldiers surrounding them - he was happy. Scully was sweaty, exhausted, the tangy smell of blood permeated the air and yet - Scully holding their son was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.

“I love you.”

Scully tilted her face back and looked up at him, she loved to hear those words. Mulder leaned down and their lips met in a soft, gentle and lingering kiss.

*****

“Dana, Mulder,” the urgency in Reyes’ voice caused them to pull apart. They looked up to witness all the super soldiers filing out of the room, none of them looked their way except for Billy Miles still standing sentry at the doorway. After the last one had exited Billy Miles also left, but his parting words lingered long after.

“It is not time yet we will always find you.”

Chapter Text

 

Weeks went by and it amazed Scully how completely Mulder had adapted to fatherhood. She always knew he would be an amazing father, but William had brought it all out so quickly and smoothly. Nothing made her breath catch more than seeing William asleep on his father’s shoulder, usually Mulder was nodding as well.

She on the other hand was having more trouble. It wasn’t Postpartum Depression, she knew it - it was something else. She bonded with her son. Breast-feeding him especially gave her that one on one time. Scully looked into his sweet face during those moments and saw not just a combination of DNA - random traits - she saw a mixture of both Mulder and herself. William was beautiful and all that was good and pure.

Oh how she loved her son…and his father.

Yet there was just that little bit she couldn’t seem to give, to open up fully. Something prodding in the back of her mind. She found herself packing suitcases, even carrying them into the living room and then not recalling why. She would stare out at the street, expecting to see a shadow? Billy Miles? She paid to have a better security system installed and more locks on the front door.

One day - the day she went for her 6 week checkup - everything changed. Her mother phoned, asked how her appointment went and mentioned a little slyly that a baby might hinder a romantic evening. Scully knew she just wanted to keep William for the night and it was a logical argument as well.

“Sweetheart I’ll just pop on over to your place and pick up that sweet grandson of mine and then you and Fox can have a little break and a nice romantic evening.”

“Okay Mom. I’ll call Mulder and let him know you’re coming.”

“No, no Dana I can do that you just go and do what you need to do. I’ll take care of calling Fox and arranging to pick up William.”

Scully smiled at her mother’s enthusiasm, “I love you, Mom and thank you.”

Scully decided to stop and get a spa treatment and then the grocery store. Strawberries and chocolate were on her list, to go with the bottle of wine Mulder had purchased the day before. She knew he was looking forward to tonight as well. They’d only made love three times after she assured him it was okay after the abruption scare - it was a long additional 6 weeks for her to heal after giving birth.

They’d mutually satisfied one another in other ways of course, but she longed to feel him inside her again, connected as close as they could be. Scully huffed out a laugh recalling the first time Mulder experienced her let down reflex when he gave a little too enthusiastic suckle.

“This is what my nourishes my son… Scully. I’ve now tasted every part of you - and you’re delicious.”

His tongue and lips had gone back to licking and sucking her nipples, travelling up to kiss her lips on a repetitive journey. Mulder hiked her knee higher on his hips as they mutually ground against each other until their orgasms ripped through them. Mulder had rolled until she was straddling him matching trails of breast milk on their chests, her nipples still leaking.

Scully leaned down and kissed Mulder softly then stood and grabbed his hand leading the way to the shower.

That was the last thought Scully had until she found herself miles away - pulled off to the side of the road. The large wooden sign in front of her left her shaking.

Skyland Mountain - Ascend to the Stars.

And a monotone almost robotic voice echoed in her ears… “It’s not time yet - we will always find you.”

Chapter Text

 

Scully drove back to her apartment, her mind turning over every scenario for the future. Every answer lead her to the same end.

She was the reason.

She was the reason they’d found her in Democrat Hot Springs. She was the reason they would never be safe. Why Mulder would never be safe … why their son would never be safe.

It was time for her to acknowledge an undeniable fact.

The chip that brought her back to life was now keeping her from living it.

Scully made two phone calls on the way back to her apartment - ones she foolishly believed she’d never have to use. The Sim card was dropped into a small bottle of acid - destroying any trace. There was no turning back now.

Scully closed her apartment door. Mulder was standing by the stove and smiled in greeting. She walked over to the stove, kissed him and turned off the burner. She backed him into the bedroom, clothing dropped to the floor on their journey. Scully used every trick in her arsenal and applied it fully to Mulder’s body until he passed into sexual oblivion.

The next day she began weaning William, mixing her breast milk with formula. William refused to accept the bottle from her, he fussed and his little hands grabbed at her top, she felt her breasts swell, nipples tingling. Before she could let out a sob she carried William out to the living room and handed him and the bottle to Mulder.

“Here please take him. See if you can get him to take the bottle.”

“Is something wrong Scully? Why start this today?” Mulder jiggled William gently trying to calm him.

“It’s time, Mulder that’s all. I’m going to take a bath.”

Confused Mulder nodded and Scully walked out of the room, “Hey little guy, none of that. How about taking this bottle for me.” Mulder paced the floor upset - his sons eyes were red and sad. His little chest rising and falling, in those little jerky stutters. Finally hunger won out and William started sucking strongly. Mulder watched the bubbles form and pop in the bottle, but his thoughts strayed to Scully.

Scully huddled in the bathtub stifling her sobs into a washcloth, her body trembling as the tub filled.

Three weeks later Scully entered the ladies restroom at a bistro, she was having lunch with her mother, and a woman pressed a note into her hand. Scully looked at it quickly before shredding it into tiny pieces and flushing it down the toilet. She washed her hands and splashed cold water on her face, the word on the note floating before her eyes.

Tonight.

*****

Scully had changed into a short green silk nightgown that grazed just mid-thigh, Mulder hummed in appreciation and followed her into the nursery. William was contentedly sucking on his pacifier as she placed him in his crib. Mulder slipped his arms around her waist, nibbling and sucking at the soft skin beneath her ear, his erection prodding her lower back. She turned in his arms as he began backing out of the room his hands stroking fire everywhere they touched.

They made it into the bedroom and Mulder pressed her up against the wall, stripping her nightgown over her head in one move. She pushed his boxes down until they dropped to the floor. “Now Mulder.” Mulder’s hands gripped her thighs as he lifted her and her legs wrapped around his waist. With a little guidance from her hand and a powerful flex of his hips they both groaned as he slid fully into her. Scully kissed him with all the passion in her and looked into his eyes, “Don’t hold back, Mulder. Fuck me.”

*****
They made love three more times until Mulder was sated. Scully would relish the accidental bruising and soreness between her thighs in the coming days.

She allowed herself a few moments to lay her head on his chest, taking comfort in the steady rise and fall beneath her cheek. Tears were streaming from her eyes when she retrieved the hypodermic syringe from the bag hidden in her closet. Mulder flinched and his eyes opened briefly from the sting, Scully kissed him quickly - running her fingers through his hair as a distraction, in moments he was in a drugged sleep.

She was still stroking his hair when the figures covered head to toe in black entered the bedroom. There was complete silence the plan in motion - would not - could not, be altered.

Chapter Text

 

Location Unknown

Mulder opened his eyes to bright sunlight and a pounding headache. Why did he feel so strange? Disoriented? He heard William’s whimpering little cries. He slowly sat up and saw a glass of water on the bed stand that he swiftly gulped down. As his eyes focused so did the room.

Where in the hell was he? He stood swaying a little before running out of the room yelling.

“Scully! William!”

Down a long hallway he ran following the sounds of his son, he stood in the doorway breathing heavily. William wasn’t crying, he was contentedly sucking a bottle, held in the arms of…

“Gibson?... I, is that you?”

“Yes. Hello Agent Mulder.”

A dozen questions flew out of Mulder’s mouth each one angrier than the last. Recognizing his father’s voice and with his tummy full, William smiled his gummy grin and milk dribbled out of his mouth when Mulder took him from Gibson’s arms.

“He’ll be asleep again soon Agent Mulder. Your clothes are in the room you woke up in. I’ll be waiting in the kitchen.”

William fell asleep, he was just like Scully in that way, and Mulder got dressed before entering the Kitchen.

“Gibson I want to know where the hell we are and where is Scully.”

“Agent Mulder you and your son are safe. You need to read this it will explain everything. I’ll watch over him.”

Gibson handed Mulder an envelope and left the room. Mulder recognized the writing - his name in beautiful flowing script - permanently stained in ink. His legs felt rubbery and weak as he made his way out onto a wooden deck, forest surrounded him on 3 sides there was a lake in the distance - more trees on the opposite bank. He sat on a bench before his legs gave out. His hands shook as he opened the letter.

Mulder,

I write this with a heart both full of love and heavy with fear. Love for you. Love for our son…and fear. Fear of the danger I have unwillingly placed you both in. Fear of never seeing you and William again…

Fear of you hating me.

I accept my role in what has come to pass - that you will be filled with feelings of anger and resentment. I know you will want to try and change my decision, but Mulder it’s the only one.

And I have made it.

I know you will not want to accept this, but I’m begging you to listen to my words. I need you to know William is the greatest gift I will ever have - and you made it possible. I am a mother, I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy because of you. Now - I am begging you to keep our son safe. You are the only one I trust to do that.

It’s the chip Mulder. That is how they found me - us - we would never be free. I don’t want that for our son - for you - and it doesn’t have to be.

I am removing myself from the equation. I am firm on this Mulder, that is why Gibson is there. He will know if you try and come back - I will disappear completely - cut off from everyone left in my life. My mother, my brothers…

Please don’t do that to me … I’ve already lost you and William.

William will never truly know me. I have made sure of that. There are no pictures but one, no documents, - nothing to identify me as his mother. In moments this letter will be gone too. Is the ink fading yet? Your touch alone is causing a chemical reaction...it’s always been your touch Mulder in so many ways.

I have one more request I need you to grant. I want you to move on. I want you to try and forget me…

Someday when the time is right and you can understand the wisdom of my actions - please show William this picture. I want him to know that at one time he held my heart - his mother’s heart - from the top of his head to the tiny feet I cupped in my hands.

I know I never said it enough and it will be lost in moments, but I love you, Mulder.

Always,
Scully

Mulder dropped the letter on the bench beside him. No, no, no… it was too late. He watched as Scully’s beautiful cursive faded completely the paper a pristine white one more, fresh and new. He reached into the envelope and pulled out the picture he’d taken with Frohike’s new 35mm camera.

Scully’s soft feminine hands cupped William’s newborn feet. Despair slammed into Mulder. He braced his elbows on his knees and he dropped his head. Mulder’s hands covered his face… he couldn’t suppress his misery any longer, the tears flowed and his body shook with tremors.

Mulder didn’t know how long it was he cried. Minutes? Hours? The squeak of the door and Gibson’s voice caused him to run his head. “Mr. Mulder?” Gibson stood with William wide awake in his arms. Mulder stood and walked over to take William onto his right shoulder. The feel of his son’s head in the crook of his neck, the warmth, his smell caused his eyes to burn and fresh tears formed.

Gibson read all the thoughts running through Mulder’s brain, so fast it was hard to hear everything distinctly. One thought, one feeling prevailed - hopelessness. Verbally Gibson asked, “Mr. Mulder … are you going to be okay?”

Mulder clutched William a little tighter before he spoke. “No Gibson. I won’t ever be okay again…”

Mulder walked to the edge of deck and looked down at the lake beyond the trees. He took in the crude bench - a wood plank on two tree stumps. Gibson glanced to the picture now resting with the blank paper on the bench and decided to pick it up and take it in the cabin.

Alone now - William perhaps sensed his father’s emotions and decided to join in the sadness, fussed slightly. Mulder rubbed his back soothingly and set off for the water, he kissed William’s head - whispering. “It’s okay baby boy. It’ll be okay, William …”

“Daddy’s got you.”