The message had been cryptic, “meet me”, and it had come from Reyes, not Scully. What did it mean? Had the baby been born? Was she okay? Was it okay? He’d retraced his route three times, no one was following him and no one knew he had been contacted, not even Skinner or Doggett. He couldn’t talk to them until . . . until he knew something.
There, that was the motel she had mentioned. He parked around back and walked to the room she specified. No one was around; at least that he could spot.
He took a deep breath and tapped on the door. Monica opened it immediately and motioned him to enter.
There she was, Scully, alive and holding . . . holding her child. She looked up at him, frozen just inside the door and managed a tremulous smile. That gave him back the ability to move and he was at her side.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, Mulder. It’s a boy.”
“A boy.” He repeated, looking at the child with wonder.
“Scully, I don’t know anything about holding babies, especially one this tiny.”
“You need to learn Mulder. Take him; support his head. That’s right.” She watched Mulder take the tiny boy into his arms, awkwardly at first, but with more confidence as he cuddled the child to his chest. Fresh tears welled up in her eyes, but she brushed them away in a business like manner.
“Mulder, I have to ask you a favor.”
He looked up from the baby’s face, “Of course, Scully. Anything.”
She swallowed and seemed to have trouble forming the words.
“I need you to take him and disappear Mulder.”
“What? What did you say?”
“You heard me, Mulder. I can’t keep him safe. If he stays with me, he’ll be taken . . . or killed. You’re the only one with no connections Mulder. You can vanish and hide. You can keep him safe from them.”
It took him a moment to find his voice. “I can’t take your son. Scully.”
“He’s your son. I give him to you. Mulder, there isn’t anyone else that I . . . that I could ever trust with this but you.”
“Scully, I don’t know anything about babies.” He fell back on the practical, unable to deal with her full request.
“You’ve raised as many as I have Mulder.”
Still unable to process the request, he sank onto the bed, facing her, the child still in his arms. “Scully, I - “
“Mulder, I’ve given this a great deal of thought. In fact, I’ve not been able to think about anything else since we were in Skinner’s office listening to Krycek. Mulder, he’ll never be safe with me. Do you hear what I’m saying? Everyone needs to think that he died, was stillborn. It’s the only way. If . . . if I know he’s with you . . . “ Her voice broke then along with his heart.
This was not what he had wanted for her. Yes, when he had been returned and seen her, he had been shaken, even hurt that she would move on without him. Even now, knowing what had really happened he had kept a slight distance, no longer able to read what she was thinking, wanting. But he had seen her as a mother, even to the fantasy of the picket fence and his presence in her child’s life. Now that was destroyed for her as well.
Could he do this? Could he raise an infant, could he keep this incredibly precious child safe? He looked up from the child’s face to see Scully watching him, a look of calm coming over her face.
“Scully, I - “
“I’ve packed what you’ll need for a few days. I was nursing him, but you’ll have to get him to take formula. Monica’s put the car seat in your car by now. You need to go.”
“Now? Just like that?” His look was one of shock now. She couldn’t mean this minute.
“Yes, just like that. I’ll think of something to tell everyone. Don’t worry about that.”
“Scully - “
“Mulder, you’re the only one that ever understood what was happening. I know that now. That’s why you’re the only one that can evade them now. If you ever think it’s safe, maybe . . . maybe you could contact the guys. They could get a message to me. Mulder, I’ve already mourned you, buried you. Don’t make me . . . When he’s older, could you, could you tell him that I love him?”
“Every day Scully.’ He stopped at those words. Had he just agreed to this? Tears filled her eyes but she was smiling as well.
“The two most important men in the world, together. Let me tell him goodbye.” She reached for the infant and he surrendered him to her without hesitation.
“You be good to Mulder,” She spoke to her sleeping son, memorizing his features one more time. “Just because he doesn’t sleep doesn’t mean that you can’t. Cut him some slack, okay?”
“What’s his name Scully?”
“I didn’t name him. You need to do that, and I probably shouldn’t . . . “ She had to stop there, her throat closing. She handed the baby back to him and rose to her feet. “You need to go.”
He looked deep into her eyes then and moved closer to her, taking her into his arms as well. “I love you Scully.” He placed his lips against her forehead.
Her arms went around him, holding him tight for an instant. She kissed the baby’s face and moved away from his embrace. She looked toward the door, but didn’t speak. After a moment he turned away from her and moved in that direction. At the door he stopped and looked back at her, his shoulders slumped against the burden he now bore. She shook her head but didn’t speak.
After a moment he opened the door and let himself out, the child held tight against his chest. He closed the door carefully behind him. Though he heard the sob that escaped from her, he made himself keep moving.
She sank back into the chair and whispered, “I love you too.” Then allowed herself to dissolve into tears.
Author’s note - I can’t see CC giving us a happy ending, in fact I feel like he’s written me into a box and this is what I see on the horizon. I hope I’m wrong…