He took her in his arms and held her for a moment before he dipped his head to meet her lips. “I hated being gone so long,” he whispered.
“You weren’t the only one.” She smiled up at him.
“Where are the kids?”
“Mom and Walter have them. They thought we needed a couple of minutes alone.”
His grin widened. “We’ve got very smart kids.”
She chuckled as he lifted his bag to place it in the back of the SUV. They let themselves into the vehicle. They were quiet, just being with each other. After he was out of the airport traffic, he reached for her hand and placed in on his thigh, covering it with his own hand.
When he turned away from home she glanced over at him. “Where?”
“Thought you might share a dessert with me; something from Ganache?”
“Hey, I could suggest the Motel 6.”
She rolled her eyes, but didn’t protest.
He parked and led her inside of the tony eatery. They took a seat off to one side and he ordered coffee for both of them and a rich chocolate dessert for her. “You know I can’t eat that in the middle of the day.”
He winked at her. “I plan to work it off for you later.”
That drew a chuckle from her. “So, are you going to tell me how it went?”
“You probably already know all of it. Danny kept a close eye on all the candidates.”
“I know, and I know you found several, but I’d still like your version.”
He smiled gently and after the dessert had been delivered to their table, watched her eyes dilate. “Eat first.”
She picked up the fork and took a bite. He had to smile; he usually only saw that expression in their bed. His mind lightly probed hers. She wouldn’t mind, but he didn’t want to alert her. Bill wasn’t on the top of her mind for which he was grateful. Bill was still giving her grief over what they were doing and it hurt her.
Instead he found only a few minor annoyances at the complex.
Jeremiah left them after a little while. The boys wandered off to the far side of the suite again while the adults sat uncomfortably quiet. Abruptly, Bill rose and headed for the door.
“Bill?” Tara’s voice was shaking.
“I need to get out of here for a little while.”
Walter rose as well and moved toward him.
“I don’t need a sitter,” Bill spat at him.
“No, but you may need a designated driver.”
Bill’s eyes narrowed, but he didn’t dispute it. Walter looked over at Danny, who nodded to him and they left the suite without another word. Walter motioned to one of the smaller bars away from the casino and Bill led the way.
He took a seat at the bar. Walter took the seat next to him after glancing around. “Double scotch, neat,” Bill said to the bartender.
Walter stifled a sigh. “A beer,” he pointed to one of the taps.
Bill’s drink arrived first and was gone before Walter’s beer was in front of him. “Another one.”
Walter didn’t comment, taking a sip of his beer. When the third drink arrived, Walter rose. “Let’s move over there.” He pointed to a small booth toward the back.
“That’s too far from the bar.”
“You can manage.” Walter took his arm and pointed him toward the booth.
Walter slid into the booth opposite Bill and took another sip of his beer. “Go ahead,” he said, looking Bill in the eye.
“This shit is real?”
Walter nodded, waiting.
“You were in the military,” Bill met his eyes. It wasn’t a question.
“How can you buy this? How can you - “
“I didn’t. When I found out the X-Files had been assigned to me, my first thought was it was a punishment.”
“You don’t know Mulder. I realize you don’t want to, but it might help you understand. Mulder is brilliant, not in an Einstein kind of way, but brilliant and definitely outside the box. We were talking about him when he was still in the academy. He didn’t get the nickname Spooky because of the X-Files, though that enhanced it. He was Spooky when he started profiling. He was making connections where the rest of us didn’t even see clues. It was his success that brought him to the X-Files. I didn’t know about his sister then; I didn’t realize she was the reason he had joined the Bureau. When he found his sister Samantha’s file in that pile of garbage, he found too much. The Bureau couldn’t afford to let him walk away, his work was too good, too valuable, so they ‘indulged’ him. But he found answers.” Walter took a long drink of his beer.
“Assigning Scully to report back on Mulder’s work was their biggest mistake. They had no idea what they created when they paired those two. Reading Mulder’s reports was like reading science fiction, but then add in Scully’s science and even if it didn’t make sense, you, I couldn’t dismiss it.”
“I don’t want him in my family. I don’t want my son - “
“You don’t have a choice there, Captain Scully. Your son is what he is. You probably can do some of this - “
“No. I can’t - “
“It’s not a bad thing. Look, you don’t have to be friends with the man, but she will always be your sister and your son will be able to help with what’s coming.”
“An alien invasion,” Bill spat.
“Will you keep it down,” Skinner cautioned as he looked around the room.
Bill looked up then and faced Walter, blinking as he shook his head.
“What?” Walter’s eyes narrowed as the man in front of him shook his head again.
“I’ve had too much to drink. For a minute there . . . “
“You didn’t look like yourself.”
“I guess you have had too much.” Walter glanced over at the mirror over the bar and stifled a smile. It didn’t look like him. The changes were subtle, but this was the reassurance that Danny had meant when he and Bill had left the room. The camera was no doubt picking up the changes or some sort of static. “Why don’t we go back to the room? You have to face them sometime.”
Bill slumped, his elbows now on the table, and let his face fall into his hands. “Shit.”
“Your wife needs you. She’s had a shock too.”
Bill looked startled at that, then he nodded. He slipped out of the booth and steadied himself with a hand on the table.
Mulder hung up the phone after ordering dinner. The boys were still off by themselves in the corner. He took a seat on the couch beside Scully and took Katy from her. After a moment Tara took the seat beside him. She couldn’t help another glance over at the boys before looking over at Mulder.
“What will he actually be doing?”
“We’re not going to put him in danger, Tara,” he said gently. “What we need him to do is help us locate other kids with the potential to do what our kids can do.”
“How can he do that?”
Danny and Matt joined them then. “It’ll be easy, Aunt Tara,” Danny assured her. “Now that he’s aware of what he can do, he’ll be able to spot it in other kids.”
“Right,” Mulder joined in. “And then . . . then I’ll go out and see them.” He looked over at Scully. “I think I’ll have to dust off my suit.”
“What are you thinking?” Scully looked between Mulder and Danny.
“Good question. I’ll have to have an excuse for meeting with these kids after they’ve been identified. I’ll need the guys to come up with an identity. Looks like I’ll finally be able to use that psychology degree.” He grinned.
“You’ll go to their school? But you can’t do anything in a visit at their school.”
“No, we’ll have to figure out a way to spend a little time with them.”
“A camp!” Danny grinned. “We identify the kids, then invite them to a special camp. The parents will be all happy that their kids are special or academically advanced or something . . . “
Mulder looked over at Scully. She was beginning to smile. “Do you think we can pull that off? It’ll take some money.”
“Yeah, but if the uncles do it right, the parents will be happy to pay for such a prestigious opportunity.” Danny was nodding now, then he looked back over at Matt. “The ‘uncles’ are friends of Dad’s. They help us a lot.”
Mulder realized that a great deal more was shared between the two mentally but knew Danny would protect the ‘uncles’ identity.
“You’re going to have to quit your job, Mulder,” Scully mused. “We have enough savings for a few months, not counting our emergency funds.”
“We’ll need a place - “
“Near a park, Dad, a big national park. That way we can use that land and won’t need as big a place.”
“Are you talking about buying a place for this camp?” Scully looked between her two men.
“I, I don’t . . . can we?” Mulder asked.
“Can we what?” Maggie asked as she rejoined them.
They brought her up to date, Mulder and the boys’ enthusiasm growing. Even Tara joined in the brainstorming. That’s what they were doing when Walter and Bill returned.
Bill was obviously feeling less pain, but seemed steady enough on his feet. He sat quietly as they brought Walter up to date.
“Could we keep a complex like that safe?” Walter asked looking over at Danny.
“Yes, Uncle Walter. We can do that.” Danny assured him, his tone completely serious now. “That would be the most important thing.”
“Then we need to think about the money,” Scully said after a moment.
“I want to help,” Maggie looked over at Danny.
“Mom, we can’t take - “
“I’ll sell my house. In that neighborhood it should bring a nice return.”
“Do what?” Bill sat up straight then. “Sell the house?”
“Yes. I’ve only stayed in DC so that when Dana came back she would be able to find me. There’s no one, no family there. If you’re really going to have a place like this you’re going to need a cook and housekeeper.”
“Mom,” Scully sat forward taking her mother’s hand, “you can’t - “
“I can. I want to be with my grandchildren and if you’re right about what’s coming, I especially want this time with my family.”
Everyone was silent for a minute, taking in the implication of her words.
“Maggie, I don’t know what to say.” Mulder looked more stunned than the others. Scully leaned against him and his arm went around her.
“We can do this, Mulder,” Walter said then. “I have some money now too. We look for an out of the way place. Do you want me to have the guys’ start?”
Mulder took a deep breath. “Yeah, let’s see what we’re talking about. Remember, I’m pretty good at construction now.”
“We’ll have twelve coming to the camp this first time. Six boys, six girls,” he said after they pulled away from the restaurant.
“I’m glad you found some more girls,” she commented.
“One of the problems with the age of our ‘recruiters’,” he grinned.
She chuckled. “Good point. Maybe these girls will bring in some more.” Her hand went back to his thigh. “When will you be going out again?”
“Not before I have to. We’ve covered the kids Matt knows. Now I need to concentrate on getting the place ready.”
“Walter’s been working hard, and Mom has the kitchen all set up. Jeremiah was in touch with Danny. He’s very pleased. Mulder, are we really going to be able to pull this off?”
“Yes.” He squeezed her hand. “It’s a new beginning, kind of like when you gave me Danny. But you’re with me, we have a family, your Mom, Uncle Walter,” he grinned. “We’re going to make this work. We’re going to win, you just have to believe.”
That brought a smile to her face. “I’ve been doing that for a long time, Mulder.”
He brought her hand to his lips.
Mulder opened the door to the house and heard the running footsteps. Katy’s tottering run was helped by Danny’s hand as they raced to greet him. Mulder grabbed them both up, hugging them tight.
“I was gone too long. Look at you, Katy, running like a track star,” he nuzzled his daughter’s baby neck. She giggled, hugging his neck.
“You did good, Dad.” Danny hugged him as well, then stood beside him. “And you’re right. We will do this, we’re a family.”
Mulder looked back out at the land they had acquired for this incredible venture. He could hear Maggie laughing with Walter as they came toward the house to greet him as well. He pulled Scully closer to him. Yes, they were a family and they were home.
Author’s note - I may revisit this universe, do a story about the camp or something if it feels right, but essentially this is the end of the series. Thank you for sticking with me so long. I love Danny and I appreciate all the support for this story. Thank you all so much! D
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.