Colonization - II MPOV (PG-13)

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He lifted the last suitcase from the trunk of the car and headed inside.  Scully was going through the stack of mail that had accumulated.  It was mostly hers, though he had a couple of magazines.  She turned and smiled when he joined her.


“Do we have to unpack?”


She chuckled.  “Yes, we have to unpack and do laundry.”


“What if I like having sand in my clothes?”


“Then you’re on your own, and out of my bed.”


“Laundry, right.  I’ll get right on it.” 


She shook her head as she watched him carry the suitcases upstairs to their bedroom.  Things were better between them.  The case, his first in so long, had unsettled things and she regretted the way she had acted.  Their time in the light had been just what they needed.


They loved each other, maybe it wasn’t a ‘normal’ relationship like her parents or her brothers had with their spouses, but it was right for them.  She looked up to find him on the stairs, watching her.


“Glad to be home?”


“You know, I am.  It was a wonderful vacation, but I like this home we’ve built.”


He nodded.  “Me too.  You have to go back Monday?”


“Don’t rub it in.”


“You could stay home and be my love slave.” Mulder waggled his eyebrows at her.


“Umm, I’m not sure that pays well enough.”


“There you go being practical again.”


“Sorry, but one of us . . . “




He spooned around her in the bed that night after some very nice homecoming sex and kissed her ear.  “Maybe home isn’t such a bad place to be,” he murmured to her.


“Told you so,” she said softly, nearly asleep.


“You know what would make it perfect?”




“If we got William back.”


She jerked awake and pulled away from him, her eyes wide.  “What did you say?”


“Okay, maybe not back here with us, but contact.  Or at least knowing where he is, how he is.”


“Mulder - “


“Yeah, I know I sprang this on you.  But I’ve been thinking about it since you mentioned not wanting the darkness in our home.  I agree, and I think that last bit of shadow, the inability to even speak his name, would help.”


“I, I don’t - “


“You know I don’t blame you for sending him to safety.  It was absolutely the right thing to do, but there’s a hole in us, in our lives without at least knowing he’s safe, happy with the people that have him.”


“What if he is happy?”


“I hope he is.  I don’t want to shake up his life, but I want to know about him, hell, I want to know him.”


“You didn’t get the time with him that I - “


“Stop it, if I don’t blame you, you shouldn’t blame yourself.  But now, we’re off the radar.  We can be careful.  Like I said, I’m not expecting to grab him up and run off with him.  That would be traumatic for the boy.  I just want to know where he is.”


“How?” she said it quietly, fearfully.


“I’d talk to Walter first.  But you have to be with me on this.   I’m not going behind your back and if you think it’s a bad idea, now’s your chance to talk me out of it.”  His arm tightened around her and she pressed herself back into his chest.


“Talk to Walter.”  It was just a whisper but it spoke volumes.


He was totally silent for a long moment, then he kissed the side of her face.  “Thank you.”




He called Skinner the next morning.  Scully tried to stay out of the room, but she gave in when she hear Mulder’s voice.  He hadn’t gotten a machine, so Walter had been home on a Sunday morning.  She wasn’t concentrating on the words, and looked up startled when Mulder hung up the phone.


“What - “


“He’s coming out here.  It’s not something we can talk about over the phone.”


She nodded.  “I should thaw something for lunch.”


“Yeah, go ahead.”  She needed something to think about.  He knew she hadn’t slept well last night.  He'd pretty much ruined her post-coital buzz with his conversation topic.


She had the place spit and polished by the time Walter’s car pulled up to the gate.  Mulder jogged down to let him in and rode back to the house with him.  Scully was on the porch waiting for them.  Walter smiled up at her as he approached the steps and she managed a slight smile in return.  He looked over at Mulder, who ignored him, loping up the stairs and putting an arm around Scully’s waist.  “Come on in.”  Mulder held the door for Walter as Scully entered before them.


Walter’s eyes narrowed for an instant, but Mulder gave nothing away.  Walter stepped inside and Scully held out her hand for his coat.  He gave it, trying to see her eyes, but she wouldn’t face him now.


“Tell me what’s going on,” he was using his marine, AD Skinner voice and Mulder grinned.


“Won’t work on us any more, Walt, but good try.  Scully’s fixed a fabulous lunch for us, so let’s eat, then we can talk.”


Walter looked over at Scully once more.  “Dana?”


She looked up.  “Lunch is ready.  Come on.”


He sighed theatrically, but followed Mulder to the table.  He accepted the seat Mulder indicated and watched as he helped Scully bring lunch to the table.


“Just FYI, the squash is from some I grew with my own little hands last summer,” Mulder commented and Walter had to chuckle.


They ate a friendly meal, Walter catching them up on the few people at the Bureau they cared enough to ask about.  They finished with pie and ice cream, and Mulder looked over at Walter.  “We’re definitely having you come over more often.  I haven’t eaten like this since - Ow!”  Her kick to his shin shut him up, but caused Walter to laugh out loud.


“I’ll keep quiet, but I haven’t eaten like this in years, so I really enjoyed it.”


Scully shook her head as Mulder carried the dishes to the kitchen.  He returned with coffee for refills and sat the pot on the table.


“Now for the main act?” Walter asked.


“We want to find William.”


Walter set his coffee cup back down on the table, happy that he hadn’t made it all the way to his mouth.  “Say that again.”


“Really, we want to know where he is, if he’s happy,” Mulder faced him straight on.




“Walter, if we’re going to be whole, we need to . . . “


“We’re not talking about taking him from his other parents, we’re not even talking visitation rights, but we have to know he’s okay,” Mulder explained further.


“And you think having that knowledge won’t put him in danger.”


Mulder took a deep breath.  “We all know the deadline.  I want to know how my, our son’s doing now.”


Walter had flinched at the thought, but Scully just sat there.  He turned to her.  “Talk to me, Dana.”


“I want to see my baby.  I want to know that he’s happy, healthy.”


After a long moment, Walter nodded.  “You know I don’t know where he is.  That was part of the deal.”


“But you’re our first clue.  You worked with them.  We need your help.”


“I can think of a better way.”


“What’s that?” Mulder sounded as suspicious as he had from the beginning of their association.


“I can put us in the right area of the country, but I think we might need Gibson’s help to really find him.”


They were both goggling at him.  Well, he’d finally rendered them both silent, and it had only taken fifteen years.


“Do you disagree?” Walter asked after a moment.


Mulder and Scully exchanged glances.  “No, we don’t disagree.  Where am I headed?”


“You’re not going without me.”




“I know I didn’t exactly perform my duties well last time I had your back in the field, but I need to make that up.  I need to check my schedule - “


“We can’t ask - “


“You didn’t ask.  It’ll take less time if there’re two of us.  God knows I have the time built up.”  He shrugged.  “I wouldn’t mind using it for this.”


“You, you’re serious,” Scully said a touch of wonder in her voice.


“I might as well finish this up.  I’ve been there since the beginning, the very beginning.  I feel . . . kinda like family.”


At those words, Mulder’s smile grew.  “Uncle Skinner, I like it.”


“So do I,” Scully said softly.  “So you’re going to help us.”


He nodded.  “I should head home.  I’ll call you after I look at my schedule.  We can probably leave Monday or Tuesday.”


“That would be good.  It’s time.”


Mulder and Scully escorted Walter outside and Mulder rode with him to the gate.  “Mulder, is she really okay about this?”


“She’s scared.  But this is eating her alive.  She still has such damn guilt over sending him away.  Hell, he’s the reason that when she returned to medicine, she went into pediatrics.  It’s not assuaging her guilt.  I think it’s making it worse.”


“It was the right thing to do.”


“I know, at the time it was.  Walter, I’d like to see him too.”


Walter nodded.  “I know,” he said simply.


“Let me know when you’re free.”


“I’ll pick you up here.”


“It’s too far.  I’ll ride in with Scully to the hospital.  She’ll need the car.”


“That works for me.  I’ll be in touch tonight or in the morning.”




It took a day for Walter to clear his calendar, but Tuesday morning Mulder was beside Scully as she pulled into her parking space at the hospital.


“You didn’t say much on the drive in,” Mulder mused as she removed the key.


“I don’t know what to say.”


“Are you sure you want me to do this.  I can pull the plug right now.”


“No, you can’t.  We finally brought this out into the open, out of the darkness as it were.”  She smiled sadly at him.  “You’re right; we need to find him, even if we can’t ‘have’ him.  He’s part of us, part of what we’ve become to each other over all these years.  I wish I could go with you, but I do believe Walter will have your back this time.  He’s a little afraid of me.”


Mulder chuckled.  “Only a little?”


“Thanks.”  Her smile faded.  “Call me whatever you find, and please, hurry home.”


“You know I will.  I don’t sleep well without my redhead beside me.”


“You don’t sleep well anyway.”


“When I do sleep, it’s because you’re there.”  He leaned over and kissed her.  When they broke for air, Mulder spotted Walter’s car pulling into the lot.  “Somehow I knew he’d be on time.”


“Once a marine . . .” she said.


“Yeah.”  He scanned her face once more, memorizing it again.


She looked down finally.  “We shouldn’t keep him waiting.”


Mulder nodded and opened his door.  He moved his bag to Walter’s car and then pressed Scully close to him again.  “I won’t be long.  Gibson will know what to do.”


“I know.”  She turned to Walter.  “Be careful, please.”


“Promise.  Come on, Mulder.  We have a plane to catch.”  He let himself back into the car and started the engine.


They were quiet for several miles, then Mulder glanced over at Walter.  “Did you find Gibson?”


“We think he’s back at the school.”


“We?” Mulder asked quickly.


“I contacted John, discretely.  That’s where he was going after the trial.”


“We’re flying into Albuquerque?”


“No, you and I are flying into Vegas for a weekend of gambling and male bonding.”


Mulder laughed out loud at that.  “I have taught you well, Grasshopper.”


Walter made a rude noise, but was grinning.  “It’s a day's drive, but - “


“No, it’s a good idea.  We’ll be driving, harder for anyone to track us.”


The flight was on time and neither man could spot anyone who seemed to be paying them any attention.  Their conversation during the flight was bland and if anyone was listening, boring.  When picking up the car at the rental company, Walter refused a map, since they would only be ‘on the strip’.  He’d paid with his own credit card, then took the maximum out of the ATM machine.


Scully had made a similar withdrawal for Mulder on Monday, so they wouldn’t have to use any credit cards in New Mexico.


Finally alone on the road, they discussed their plans.  “Of course I’m not sure William is still in the state, but originally he was taken to Wyoming. I don’t have a name or even a city, which is where Gibson comes in.”


“William’s not going to know who he is.  If everything is cool, he’s a well adjusted first grader, who’s loved by two good parents.”


Walter nodded.  “That’s what I’m hoping for, but his parents know he’s adopted, and that there were circumstances around that adoption that were ‘different’.  If I’m not mistaken, they may have also picked up on some things about the boy that are . . . also different.”




“You and Scully have never discussed what happened to him that led to her decision?”


“She can’t talk about him.  I don’t push.  What the hell are you talking about?” 


Walter glanced over at Mulder.  The younger man’s voice was suddenly tight and hostile.  “I thought . . . there were incidents that happened around the boy.”




“Mulder . . . Okay.  I know you remember the artifact.”


“Yeah,” Mulder said dryly.


“William called one to him.”


Mulder turned to look at him, and after a long moment found his voice.  “Called one?”


“I can’t explain it, but according to Dana, it was in a drawer.  It started rattling, forced itself out of the drawer and flew through the air to William, where it proceeded to rotate slowly in the air above him.”  Walter chanced a glance over at Mulder, who was sitting there ashen and bleak.  “Mulder, she couldn’t talk about it.  Only she and Monica witnessed it, but she . . . “


“She couldn’t tell me that?  The boy, our son, called the fucking artifact with his mind and she couldn’t . . . “


“She was freaked, Mulder, then when the boy was kidnapped - “


Mulder grabbed his arm and Walter nearly lost control of the car.


“Let me pull over, Mulder.”  He pulled into the next gas station and parked.


“Tell me everything,” Mulder growled at him.




They were back on the road.  The silence between them now was heavy.  Hell, Walter could feel Mulder thinking.  He didn’t interrupt, just eating up the miles.  After four hours, knowing they were half way to their destination, Walter pulled off for a break and some food.  Mulder followed him, automatically ordering a meal.  He consumed it in silence, then looked up at Walter.  “I needed to know this.”


“Yes, you did and if I’d known you were unaware, I’d have told you myself.  Please, don’t blame Scully for this.”


“No wonder she couldn’t talk to me about our son.  No wonder she thought she had to send him away to protect him, but I should have - “


“Yes, you should have.  You would have understood better than any of us.  But you weren’t here.”


Mulder’s glare was hot.  “So this is my fault.”


“No.  This is no one’s fault.  You left to keep them safe and to try to discover what the hell was going on.  No one, not even you could have foreseen what William was able to do.  It’s to our advantage now, it will help Gibson find him, then . . . then you and Scully can investigate.  No one else is able to do what the two of you do, you know that.”


“You, you believe that?”


“Mulder, I sent you out on that kind of assignment for years.  Hell yes, I believe that.  I’m just glad the two of you decided it was the right time to look for the boy.  Like you said, he’s going into school now, interacting with other kids on a daily basis, possibly for the first time in his life.  I think he’s going to need the two of you.”


Mulder’s mouth had dropped open at those words.  Skinner thought he would be good for his son?


“Come on, we have a long way to go.  I don’t think we ought to approach Gibson tonight.  I think you need a little time.”


“What?  Yeah, yeah, okay.”


They headed back out, Walter still driving.  There were long silences then.  Finally Walter broke that silence.  “What are you going to say to Scully?”




“Yeah, right, like she’s not going to know you’re upset.  Hell, she probably already knows it, with the way you two communicate.”


“Not about this.”


“Can you try to hold it in until you understand, give her a chance to talk to you?  Don’t you think that’s fair?”


Mulder laid his head back against the headrest with his eyes closed.  “It explains a lot.  I knew talking about William was hard for her, but it never occurred to me what she went through, what I put her through.”


“Don’t go there, Mulder.  You both did what you thought was right.  I can see where you were coming from, and I agreed with Scully.  She couldn’t keep him safe.  I couldn’t keep him safe.  Mulder, I couldn’t even keep you safe when I went with you to Washington.  I’m not sure a full time squad of Seals could have kept him safe.  And what kind of life would that be for the boy?”


There was another silence, then Mulder looked over at him.  “I didn’t realize you still felt guilty about my abduction.  I certainly don’t blame - “


“I know you don’t.  I don’t think Scully does on a conscious level.  I couldn’t let anything happen to your son.”  He felt Mulder wilt beside him.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t tell you this sooner, I’m sorry I didn’t realize Scully couldn’t.”


“Help me find him, and we’re even.”


Walter looked over at him and nodded.  “Deal.”


The younger man seemed to relax a little at that, and the silence became less oppressive.  Walter pulled into a motel in Dulce, New Mexico.  It was a little early, but both men were tired.  “Will you be okay, talking to Scully?”


“Yeah, I will be now.  She couldn’t handle that, not alone.  If she hears anything in my voice tonight, it’ll be nerves over the plan.”


Walter nodded.  “I’ll run get us some dinner; give you some privacy.”


“Thanks.”  Walter left him alone in the room and he picked up the phone in the room.  The land line at home was safer and he didn’t want anyone knowing his location.


She picked up on the first ring.  “Are you okay?”


“As okay as I can be, without you covering my back.”


“I’ve been worried about you all day.”


“Worried about me?”


“I should be with you; I should be helping with this.”


“You did all the hard part before, let me do this. 


"It doesn't feel right.  I remember what happened last time you went off on your own."


"I'm not sticking my hand in any alien force field this time.  Promise.  Scully, I love you."


That rendered her speechless for a moment.  Mulder didn't say things like that.  Before she could speak, he continued.  "I wish this trip wasn't necessary.  I wish I had stayed with you and William and - "


"Mulder, stop.  You had to go, we both knew it and you found the information you were looking for.  I'm the one that let you dow - "


"No, and we're going to make it all up.  Once we know William is happy and healthy, maybe we can both put our guilt away and not have to ever have this conversation again."


"That might be nice," she said softly.  "I wish you were already on your way home."


"Me too.  I won't be any longer than I can help.  I do need my redhead beside me.  Sleeping with Skinner tonight is not my idea of pleasure."


"That's why I've been worried, I'm jealous."


Mulder snorted and looked up at Walter entered the room.  "I've got company.  I'll talk to you tomorrow, after we catch up with our young friend and see what we need to do."


"Be careful.  I love you."  She hung up as he held the receiver taking in those words they still were reticent to use for some reason.




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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.