The Gift - Final Chapter, part 2 (R)


She had made no attempt to hide her identity at the airport. She wasn’t hiding from him, just getting away. It didn’t help to know that. He took the next flight to DC, he was a little over an hour behind her, but there was nothing he could do to close that gap. He’d been on overseas flights that seemed to last less time.

She’d landed on time. His flight had a slight delay. He felt as though he was foaming at the mouth by the time he’d gotten to his car. He lost no time heading for her apartment. What would happen there? He could no longer just let himself in. One of her first acts in trying to distance herself from him had been to change the locks. It was psychological, they both knew he could get in if he wanted – the fact that she didn’t want him to was the issue.

She was there. The lights were on. Now, should he force a confrontation or . . .


She wasn’t doing well at all. She had pushed herself too hard; her stamina was completely gone. The doctor part of her acknowledged that. Her body hadn’t recovered from the trauma surrounding William’s birth; being shot on top of that . . . William probably was the only thing keeping her alive.

He should stop. If he was working under the assumption she wanted to stay alive, he was mistaken. It was all gone – her ability to have children, to be a woman, a wife to Mulder. And he’d known. Mulder had known all along and kept it from her. To protect her. She didn’t want to be protected; she wanted . . . she wanted to die.

Somewhere deep inside of her, her rational mind was telling her it was just the physical weakness, the pain – both physical and emotional – that was making her feel this way. But that was too deep and the emotions were too raw, too in her face. Post-partum depression had her by the throat, compounded by the real life she was facing. Running away would take too much effort. Suicide would be easier. And then Mulder would have to go on with his life. He was with her out of pity anyway and her death would release him. Oh, he’d probably mourn a little, but with her really gone he would find a woman who could give him all of the things she never could.

He didn’t need her, being with her would cost him too much – it would cost him his immortality. And William didn’t need her either. Walter and Sharon were his parents now. She hadn’t seen him since she’d left Walter’s apartment – oh, she’d dreamed about him over the past few weeks, she’d been aware of him on some level in Des Moines as always. She’d tried then to stop him from interfering.

Why couldn’t everyone just leave her alone? Her body wanted to die, she wanted to die. If he were honest she was sure that Mulder wanted that too, as a relief from this impossible situation. Too bad she didn’t have the strength to get up and find something to take . . .


{Father!} What the . . .! He jerked upright. He was in his car. He shook his head to clear it. Where . . .? Scully’s apartment. Yeah, she had run away from him in Des Moines and come home. He’d seriously considered sleeping outside of her door, but didn’t want to be arrested for vagrancy.

{Father!} This time he grabbed his head in pain. What the hell was – William?

{Bring her to me. She’s dying} Dying? No! He was out of the car and sprinting across the street. He knew she should never have left the hospital, was she bleeding? Had she reopened her wounds? He didn’t have time to mess with supers and keys; he had to get inside. Without conscious thought to reached for the doorknob and nearly fell into the apartment when it opened at his touch. Unlocked? Scully? That wasn’t like her and in this city it certainly wasn’t safe.

{She wants to die}

Wants to? He was at her bedroom door now, {Why? Why does she want to die?}

{To free you, so that you will go on with your life}

{She is my life!}

{Her thoughts are dark, so very dark, and jumbled. They make no sense and she has always been the more logical of the two. This is very . . . disturbing. Even when she was contemplating terminating my life she was not like this. If she refuses to live, I do not know if I can force her}

Mulder was examining her now. Her wounds had not reopened; at least she wasn’t bleeding to death. {I’m bringing her over now, whatever it takes we’re going to do it. I’m not going to let her die} He wrapped her in the sheet and took her up into his arms.

The super stuck a groggy head out into the hall as Mulder headed for the door to the building. "Hey! What the hell . . . oh, it’s you."

"Agent Scully has taken ill. Can you lock up her apartment?"

"Yeah, yeah sure. Is she gonna be okay?" He was awake now and had stepped out into the hall.

"I don’t know." And he was out the door.

He made excellent time to Skinner’s apartment. The pre-dawn traffic was practically non-existent. The deja vu feeling of carrying her into this building, this elevator was washing over him. He’d come so close to losing her then and now here he was facing the same horror all over again. Except this time, she wanted it this way. How could she not know how he felt?

Skinner was at the door, waiting for him when he exited the elevator with her in his arms. "In here." He led the way to the bedroom.

Mulder carefully laid her on the bed and pulled the sheet up over her. He didn’t look up at Skinner when he spoke; his eyes still locked on her. "How much more can her body take? She’s not . . . "

"I knew she’d come back to work too soon, but how do you tell Scully that." Skinner was watching her too. Mulder nodded, he’d had the same argument with her.

{Her body is not the problem. I can keep that alive. It is her spirit that is dying}

"Well how the hell am I supposed to help there!" Mulder yelled into the room, causing Skinner to look up startled and move toward him.


"William. He . . . nevermind."

They both looked toward the door as Sharon entered, carrying the infant. Mulder’s entire body stiffened. He hadn’t seen the child since he had left this apartment to go to Scully when William was only a day old. He was now a few weeks old, but seemed older somehow, his movements were not the random movements of a newborn, rather more coordinated, controlled. And his eyes had no vacant look, watching and absorbing every bit of data around him.

His son. His and Scully’s. Plus whatever had made his conception possible. He was more than human.

{Actually all genetic testing would prove that I am completely human}

Mulder chose to ignore that, he couldn’t deal with anything else right now. {How do we help her?}

Sharon approached him then and placed William in his arms. They automatically closed around him and Mulder found himself yearning for . . . for something he couldn’t have.

{I believe that I can lead you through her thoughts, down into her psyche so that you can see what is troubling her so deeply. I can see those thoughts but I have no reference to reality in most of her experiences. I need you for that}

Mulder stared down at his son. No reference to reality in her experiences? Did he? And did he have the right to invade her privacy so thoroughly? He gave that thought about two seconds consideration. To save her life, hell yes. {What do I do?}

Sharon was back in the room with a seat for the baby. She helped Mulder settle him into it and lightly brushed the baby’s head as he looked at her. Mulder wasn’t privy to their conversation but she and Walter left the room together without another word.

Mulder wanted to be amused at the sight of his son in this bouncy little seat with the bright fabric, looking like a newborn. Later, if his life included a later, he wanted to remember this sight.

{You should be in physical contact with her} Not a problem, he glanced over one more time to ensure the baby seat was secure then pulled her into his arms as he reclined beside her.

{Let me lead you, time will have no meaning. You may feel as though you have been gone for days, do not worry. You will see her memories; we will begin at the earliest ones and move forward. It is my hope that what you observe will allow me to bring her out of this desire to end her life. Relax}

Relax? Knowing that the woman in his arms wanted to die, wanted him to go on living without her? He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

There was no sensation of movement, but suddenly he was in a yard, it was sunny and the grass seemed to be covered in children. She was chasing a larger boy, who was easily staying out of her way and laughing as an older redheaded girl urged her on. A dark haired woman came to the door, she was hugely pregnant. "Dana, Missy, come on inside. Mrs. Schrum is going to keep you while Dad takes me to the hospital. You behave for her, okay?"

The girl she had referred to as Missy leaned over and whispered to Dana, "She’s going to have the baby today. You won’t be the baby of the family any more."

Dana turned to watch her mother being helped into the car by her father. Mulder felt a tremor of fear pass through her. Mrs. Scully? That was Margaret Scully, going to the hospital to have Charlie. He wanted to reassure Dana that everything would be okay, but these were memories, he couldn’t influence them. So this was her earliest clear memory.

He became aware of a lot of little snippets of memories, a montage of faces and locations from the different bases on which she had lived. These weren’t especially happy memories; she had spent so much time leaving places she hadn’t had close friends. Melissa was the only constant friend. Mentally Mulder flinched; her relationship with him had cost her that.

High school was a little clearer, though not really more stable. Boys entered the picture and he watched her receive her first kiss with incredible regret that it wasn’t him. She was cute in high school, pixie-ish but as he watched her mature into college and then medical school where her beauty also grew into maturity.

Her relationships became more mature as well. She didn’t know him, hell, he wasn’t even in the country when these things had happened. He didn’t know this Dr. Daniel Waterson, but the relationship wasn’t happy. He was a sleaze, using her that way. She had never talked about this relationship, but then he’d never mentioned Phoebe to her prior to the woman showing up uninvited.

He had never been aware of the sexual harassment she had endured during medical school. She’d never mentioned it. It had been subtle, but ongoing. It wasn’t the kind of thing he had ever dwelled on. He’d known she was smart, but these classes, these grades . . . His pride in her grew.

The decision to leave medicine, move to the FBI had been such a difficult decision. The breakup with this Dr. Waterson had influenced her and on some level he was grateful to the SOB. It had begun the machinery that brought her to him.

The FBI had brightened her considerably. The work at Quantico had challenged her, at least at first. Her relationship with Jack had left her with ambivalent feelings. She’d been looking for someone to be in her life and again an instructor had taken advantage. Authoritative men attracted her, he hadn’t realized that. Too bad he didn’t come across more that way.

Then the brightest memory yet – he watched her let herself into Blevin’s office and be asked if she knew him. "Spooky" huh? She’d already know his reputation, but she hadn’t let it scare her off. She was so innocent. He’d never known that Cancer Man was present for that meeting. She’d never mentioned it, but she hadn’t known the man then. She hadn’t had an inkling of what was ahead.

Now the memories overlapped as he watched her looking at him. Damn he was so cocky. He was such a shit. Why had she put up with him?


All of these memories were brighter, clearer and he was in all of them. Even the bad things were . . . were lit by his presence. Her fear that night on their first case had truly dissipated when she’d run to him. Why? Why would his presence cause her to feel safer, especially then. She hadn’t known him at all.

He felt the fear again; knowing Tooms was in her apartment. Her fear was there too, but somehow she knew he was coming for her, that he would be there to rescue her. How? How could she feel that way about him? He hadn’t realized it. Maybe she hadn’t either, consciously.

When the Bureau had separated them her memories turned darker again, except for the times they had gone around the rules and worked together. He was humbled by the effect he’d had. He’d taken her too much for granted; she had realized their connection long before he had. Well, long before he had admitted it anyway.

Then the blank – no memory at all. She wasn’t hiding from these memories, they didn’t exist. She had thought he would find her, get to her before . . . before Duane Barry could . . . His guilt nearly overwhelmed him.

{Father, you need to concentrate}

He shook his head. William was right, now wasn’t the time.

The cancer, the cancer had hit her harder than he had ever realized. It wasn’t something he could fix. He hadn’t known that leaving him behind had frightened her more than death. That leaving him was her main regret.

She hadn’t been honest about her condition. He hadn’t been aware of how sick she truly was, how weak. The nosebleeds she had kept from him, the headaches – to protect him? And he had allowed it because he thought he was protecting her.

The tenseness between he and Bill had hurt her. She loved her big brother and knowing how he felt about the man she loved – loved! – had added to her stress. He hated that the controversy with the chip had caused such a rift between she and Bill, but not enough to let her die. Never that much.

Her recovery was the beginning of the true brightness, a whole new brightness that was a new closeness with each other. There were more and more bright memories. Nothing all that special had happened really, just a growing warmth between them. A relationship like none he’d known; hell, like none he’d imagined existed. They had fallen in love with each other. They hadn’t acted on it, but it had been there, waiting for them to acknowledge it.

Then William. She’d been so scared of his reaction, but she’d also been fascinated that he had known just by looking at her. He hadn’t thought about it too much – the fact that he could see her pregnancy before she was aware. Of course, he had been the one battling the morning sickness for her, and the doctor had planted the idea of a pregnancy.

A new brightness, one that overshone the brightness that had become normal, was there now. What? What memory was this? "It is my baby, Scully. I know it." "How? How could you possibly know such a thing?" "I don’t have a clue, but I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life."

Her brightest memory? Realizing that the child she carried was his. Before they knew everything else. These were her happiest memories, carrying their child, sharing his consciousness, truly being one with him. The birth itself . . . her memories were different from his. She really hadn’t been as scared as he was. She didn’t remember the pain the way he did either. Well that was probably a good thing.

The illness after the birth was a blur, not a memory at all; then his admission. "Where did you hear I was barren?" "Why does it matter? It’s not even true." "Mulder, please!" "Damn it, it was the clones, the hybrid clones. They . . . they said the same procedure that gave you the cancer also caused you to be barren." "When . . . when did you hear this!" "The night . . . damn it, Scully, the night Penny died."

The blackness started to grow then. The brightness fading with each day. Losing William, even knowing that it was the safest thing, found her slipping down an incredible slope. His admission caused the slope to steepen and her descent to escalate beyond belief.

Now he didn’t know where she’d gotten the strength to even go with him to Des Moines. Again he’d taken her for granted. He had wanted her beside him during their search for Kurt, so she had come. She had kept the fact that she didn’t care anymore from him.

This is what he had to fix. Okay, maybe he couldn’t fix it, but he had to make her see that this was only a set back. She needed to review the memories as he had. Yes she was devastated. He could see the depth of that now and he would be there for her, but she had to come back to him. She had to live, had to want to live, to give him the opportunity to help her.


{Let her sleep now Father. She has reviewed the memories with you. She needs to rest. Come back to now}

Mulder opened his eyes. He was lying on the bed in Skinner’s apartment; Scully carefully cradled in his arms.

"How long?"

{In real time, nine minutes}

"Nine?" Part of him wanted to laugh. Nine minutes, always nine minutes. He had relived years.

{You should rest now too}

"You’re the infant."

{Not exactly, Father. Rest, you have helped her}

His eyes closed again. He had a suspicion that he was helped with this easy relaxation, but he wasn’t going to complain. He was exhausted and he needed to be alert for her.

He woke a few hours later to find her in his arms watching him sleep. "I’m never getting rid of you, am I?" He shook his head, not sure what to say. She relaxed against him. "What happened?"

"I’m not sure. William . . . "

She nodded, "I hadn’t thought of some of those things in years." She sighed and settled herself more comfortably against him.

"Are you angry? That we . . . that I . . . "

"No. I went a little crazy Mulder. I’m sorry."

"Don’t be. You’ve been through so much. I just want you to understand what you are to me, and to stop worrying about things that don’t need to be worried about."

She blushed slightly, "I honestly thought you were with me out of pity."

His arms tightened, "More people would pity you for being with me. Scully, please, please know how much I love you, how much I need you."

She brushed her lips across his. "I do. I do know now. What we shared . . . what William let us share . . . I know how you feel and you know how I feel. And the Kurts are working on their process. This time we can assist them, so maybe we can give William a brother or a sister someday."

The relief and then joy caused the smile on his face to grow. This was his Scully, and now she really was his. Forever.