Scully turned from the stove when she heard his footsteps return from the bathroom. He was still rubbing his eyes and looked over at his father, and then away again.
“Sleep okay, Kiddo?” Mulder put his coffee down on the counter and stepped closer to the boy.
Danny wouldn’t look at him and Mulder took another step toward him. “Danny?”
Scully moved toward them as well. The boy seemed upset.
The boy did look up then and seemed to scan them both, then with an expression of total confusion looked down at his feet. “Did you two have a fight?”
Scully looked over at Mulder, he knew the boy so well, but he seemed at a loss too. “No Danny, we didn’t fight. What’s wrong?”
Danny scratched his behind and finally seated himself at the table. “I dreamed about you last night.”
“What was the dream, Kiddo?” Mulder sat beside him.
“You were crushing her and biting her and she was biting you back, but you didn’t seem mad.”
Mulder glanced up at Scully, who’s face was scarlet. “Yeah, I guess it did look like that. Danny, we weren’t fighting and we weren’t mad. That’s one of the ways that your Mom and I show how much we love each other. You could tell we were happy, right?”
The boy nodded, then peeked up at Scully as she took the seat on his other side.
“You were loving each other?”
“Yeah." Mulder nodded. "We were making love. I’m sorry if we confused you.” Mulder’s tone was calm and reassuring.
Danny finally faced him, “I love her too, do I have to - “
“No. Danny, no. Don’t worry about that. You and I love your Mom in different ways. See, I’m a grown up and I love her like a wife, but you’re still a kid and you love her like a Mom. When you grow up, you’ll find the perfect woman for you and then you can do what we did last night.”
Danny glanced over at Scully again. She was rubbing her forehead as though she had a headache. “Then why are you embarrassed?”
“Well, Kiddo, what we did last night is a real private thing. I know you were asleep and just dreaming, but it’s the kind of thing we wouldn’t want anyone else to know about. Do you understand?”
The boy nodded his head and sighed. “It’s another one of those things I’ll understand later, right?”
Mulder chuckled, “Yeah, Kiddo, it is. Wish I could explain it better, but just know we are not mad at each other. In fact I couldn’t be happier to see anyone than I am your mother.”
Scully rose from her chair then as though to regain control of herself. “Well, what would you like for breakfast, Danny? I have eggs or frozen waffles or . . . “ she shrugged, “I can try to make anything you want.”
“I like it when Daddy makes me a scrambled egg sandwich.”
“Okay. Want to come over here and give me instructions, so I get it right this first time?”
“Sure!” He was out of the chair again and Scully lifted him to sit on the counter to help her.
When breakfast was done to his satisfaction, Mulder ran him a bath and after washing his hair, came back out to the kitchen.
“You okay?” He bent down to look into her eyes.
“I think I will be in a year or so.” She gave him an embarrassed smile. “That was new.”
“For me too.” He leaned against the counter.
“He’s never been around . . . “
“There’s only been him and me.”
“You, uh, you’ve not been with a woman . . . “
He looked down at her and shook his head, “You know better. I waited nearly eight years for you the first time. What’s a little three year celibacy?” He tilted her face up toward him and kissed her. “But I’d rather not wait that long again. Is this going to bother you?”
“I don’t know. Can he . . . block things?”
Mulder nodded, “And he does when I tell him something is private or grown up. He’s three; I still have a little authority over him. Now when he’s a teenager, I make no guarantees.”
She rolled her eyes, but chuckled. Then she glanced toward the door. “Is he okay alone in the tub?”
“Yes, but I’ll go check on his state of cleanliness. Why wash what doesn’t show? You know?” He grinned. “Do you have much more packing to do?”
“No. Not if it’s going to look like I’m coming back.” He heard the sadness in that comment and put his arms around her.
"I know you're going to miss your family, Scully. I wish - "
"Don't. I want to be with you, I need to be with you and him." She gave him a wistful smile; "I'll be fine." She raised up on her toes and kissed him. "Where do we pick up your things?"
"Nothing to pick up. We have everything in the bags."
"What? Mulder, that's all you have?"
"Makes it easier to move."
"Why are you having me pack so much then?"
"Things will be different having you with us. More stable. Danny needs that, hell, so do I. And with two parents, at least one of us could get a full time job. That would make things easier too."
"How have you been earning a living?"
Mulder shrugged, "Let me get him out of the tub and we'll talk." She watched him head toward the bath, and it hit her just how much she had to learn about him, about them, again. Three years, and he'd been in a kind of hell too. Different from hers, but in many ways just as horrendous.
She could hear the two of them talking now. Had she made the right decision to send them off alone like that? She shook her head, how many times could she ask herself that question? It was done, history. They were here now and she was leaving with them. That was the only important thing.
Scully looked up as Mulder returned to the kitchen. "He okay?"
"Did he ask any more . . . "
"No, he's moved on. We're not angry with each other and that's really the only thing that matters to him. Ever since we knew we were coming for you, it's all he's talked about. Whether or not you would like him, if you still loved me. I wasn't concerned about the first."
"You had no reason for concern about either."
His arm went around her, pulling her against him. Her eyes widened and she looked toward the hall. "He knows it's private now, you'll see."
She nodded and relaxed a notch. "You were going to tell me about your job."
"Jobs. I've done a little of it all - short order cook, telemarketing, you name it. I had to have jobs where I could take him with me. I couldn't trust day care, he was only out of my sight when I slept for months."
"Oh Mulder. I didn't - "
"It was worth it. He was worth it. I never thought I'd have a child, Scully. Especially since you couldn't have children." He shrugged. "The only thing I'd change, would be to have had you with us."
She didn't speak; afraid her voice would break.
"With the two of us, things will be easier, better. Maybe I can get him some new clothes, things like that."
"Where, where have you gotten his clothes?"
"I've discovered that just about every town and city has consignment shops. You can get good kids clothing at those places; toys too, though he doesn't seem to care too much about that. Like I told you, his only precious possession has always been that picture of you."
"Things will be different now Mulder. And I have some money put aside. I’ve always known I might have to leave suddenly."
"You can't go to a bank and make a large withdrawal Scully."
"I won't have to. I keep it here, in cash. When I asked you to just get in your car and leave, I didn't know what I had asked - not at first. I've put some funds aside every month since then."
"How much are we talking about?"
"The last time I counted it, a little over $15,000."
"Did you say $15,000?"
"I haven't needed a lot of things, and I haven't felt like buying anything for a long time."
His hand caressed her face then. "We'll be together now. I hope. . I hope you won't be depressed any more."
"I may be home sick for a little while, but no, I felt the depression lift last night. And then I found you in my bed as an added bonus."
He chuckled at that and they both turned as Danny entered the kitchen. "Are we ready to go?"
Mulder moved toward the boy immediately. "Are they here?"
"No." The boy's gaze went inside. "But we need to leave before they do look for us."
Mulder nodded and turned toward Scully. "I trust him on these things."
"Then I do too. I'll start loading the car." She lifted the large black trash bag that held her clothing and took it out to her car, dumping it in the trunk as though it was of no consequence.
When she returned inside, one of her neighbors met her at the mailbox. "Dana, are you going to Goodwill?"
"Sure am." She smiled at the older woman. "Do you have anything you'd like me to take?"
"Would you? Don't worry about a receipt, I just want to get the stuff out of my apartment."
"I know what you mean. I should have done this ages ago." The words were true, even if the meaning was off.
When she brought a second load out, a box this time, the woman came out with her with a small bag, which they stuffed into the trunk as well.
"I hope you don't have much more, Dana. You're going to run out of room."
"I know, but I only have one box left. I need to move the car to the alley."
"Do you need any help?"
Scully froze for an instant, "No, thanks, Mrs. Hendrix. It's not heavy; it's just awkward. If I pull up to the back it'll be no problem."
"Well, thanks for taking it. See you later."
Scully nodded and waited for her to return to the building before getting in the car and starting the engine. She pulled into the alley just outside of her apartment and let herself in the back door.
"I thought we were going to have an extra passenger for a minute there." Mulder looked over at her.
"I couldn't refuse and it gives me a cover story. That and the fact that I do travel a lot in my job."
Mulder nodded. Danny was standing beside him, his bag in his hand. She could see the outline of the photo album through the canvas.
"I got your laptop."
"Good. I think that's everything. Danny, do you need to go to the bathroom?"
The boy looked up at Mulder and rolled his eyes. Mulder grinned. "See, I told you it was a normal question."
Scully punched him lightly in the arm. "It's a mother question. You both better get used to it."
Both of her men grinned widely, delighted at having a mother in the group now.
“Let me get the money, and something to put over you in the back seat.” She headed into her bedroom and pulled a box off the top shelf of her closet. “Mulder? Could you come here a minute?”
He joined her; “I love it when you ask me into your bedroom.”
She rolled her eyes, but grinned as well. “Do you have a money belt?”
“Uh, yeah.” He pulled his belt from its loops.
“Good, you take half. I’ll carry the rest.”
He smiled then. “It’s nice to be trusted.”
“I gave you our son, what’s a few measly thousand dollars.”
He nodded and took the cash she handed him. He placed it in the belt, then helped her fill her own. Then she pulled a quilt from the same shelf.
“This was my quilt as a baby. Mom gave it to me when I was pregnant. Could this cover you guys?”
“Yeah, this would be perfect.” He took it from her almost reverently. He remembered her showing it to him after the shower. She had been so pleased to get it, to finally have the opportunity to get it. “We need to get moving, Scully.”
“I know. One last thing. Can you reach that box in the back corner.”
“I’ll show you later. Let’s go Mulder. I’m ready.”
She preceded him to the back door. “Honey, get in the box, I’ll carry you out to the car.”
“You sure you can handle him that way?” Mulder questioned one more time.
“Yes. It’s not that far.” He didn’t bother to ask again, he recognized the determination in her voice. Danny climbed into the box and Mulder helped her lift the box from the floor.
She nodded, and let him open the door and move out of sight. She made her way down the two steps and over to the car. She let the box rest against the back fender as she opened the door, then slipped the box onto the backseat.
She slipped it all the way over, then adjusted the clothing on top. “You okay, Honey? Can you breathe?”
“I’m fine. Tell Daddy no one’s looking, come on.”
Scully grinned and nodded, then hurried back to the apartment. “He says to come on, no one’s looking.”
Mulder leaned down to give her a quick kiss. “Then no one’s looking.” He took the quilt and moved to the car. She took one last look around the apartment, and took a deep breath, then pulled the door closed and locked it. She got in the car and started the engine.
“Mom?” Danny’s voice was a little shaky.
“I’m fine Sweetheart. Really.”
“Head to the airport Scully.”
“Yeah, we need to ditch this car - “
“You expect me to steal a car?”
Mulder chuckled at that. “Would you? Nevermind, you don’t have to. The guys have rented a car and left it for us in long-term parking. We’ll switch and leave a path for the FBI to follow. Get moving Scully, this isn’t real comfortable back here.”
“Sorry.” She pulled out of the alley and turned toward the airport.
She found the car that had been left for them and a parking space close by.
“Take your roll around inside, Scully. Take the maximum from the ATM and then put a ticket on your credit card. Buy a ticket for - “ he tapped on the box. “Where should she be going Kiddo?”
“California.” He spoke immediately.
“Okay, buy a ticket for Los Angeles, round trip, coming back in three days. Danny and I will pick you up at the door. Right, Kiddo?”
“She’s okay. No one’s wondering about her.”
Scully smiled at that and got out of the car. She opened the trunk and removed her roll around, then headed toward the terminal.
She followed his instructions, heading for the ATM and withdrawing the maximum amount, then moving to the ticket counter. She purchased a ticket to LA on the next flight out and started for the gate, after she was out of sight of the counter, she reversed her steps and walked at a regular pace to the exit closest to the baggage area.
She spotted the car and waited as Mulder brought the car to a halt in front of her. She slipped the roll around into the back seat and slipped inside up front.
“You okay, Scully?”
She took a deep breath. “Yes. Glad to be back with you guys. Danny? Did anyone pay any attention to me?”
He hesitated for a moment and Mulder turned to look at him. “Are we okay, Kiddo?”
“Yeah. There was a man in there that kept looking at her bottom. He wasn’t very nice.”
She could feel Mulder relax beside her. “That’s because your mother is the most beautiful woman in the world, Kiddo. Men look at her all the time. The good news is, she doesn’t usually look back.”
Danny grinned then. “Yeah.”
Scully rolled her eyes. “Just what I need, two possessive, territorial men in my life.”
“And you’re stuck with us, Scully. Get used to it.”
She shook her head, then looked into the backseat. “It’s a good thing I love you two so much.”
Danny beamed at her and Mulder pulled out of the airport and into the future.