Our Lady of
one week later
She stood, seeming to listen politely to the young couple, managing not to fidget or adjust her lab coat. They were so young and naive, so used to microwave ovens and remote controls that gave them what they wanted instantly. The Fearon's wanted their son healthy and they wanted it now. Christian was on the way back, they'd have to learn patience somehow. Margaret's voice tapered off as she saw that Dr. Scully wasn't listening anymore and slight smile had started on the doctor's face.
Scully turned and watched a tall man and a boy walk toward her. "Mr. and Mrs. Fearon, this is Mulder." There was something . . . scary about the man, but he smiled and gave a little wave rather than shake hands. They spotted the bandages peeking out from the sleeves of his light jacket. Scully's hand then affectionately brushed through the boy's hair and her arm went around his shoulders drawing him closer to her. "And this is our son, William."
"Oh, I didn't realize . . ." Margaret Fearon started, then stopped, her cheeks pinking as she remembered a previous conversation.
"If you'll excuse us." Scully walked away from them. She held William's hand in both of hers, leaning slightly toward him as though listening carefully to whatever he was saying. The large man walked beside them seeming somehow to loom protectively over them both, his hand resting lightly on her lower back.
"So, how did it go?" she asked anxiously as they headed for her office.
"Father Ybarra says he'll call us, but it's all formality now. Basically, he called Catholic Charities and they, in turn, contacted the Wyoming Department of Child Services. William will be placed with us as a foster child, pending permanent placement."
"So our son is our foster son?" she asked, dubious of the distinction.
"No, that's the way to get around all the red tape. As the good Father explained to me, the fact that you severed your parental rights at the time didn't impact my parental rights. Now that circumstances have changed -- there's no doubt in his mind that we'll be granted full custody of William. It's all just paperwork now."
She breathed a sigh of relief. "Who would have thought that Father Ybarra's strict interpretation of the law would actually come in handy," she chuckled.
"You owe him a lot of Hail Scullys on this one, you know," Mulder pointed out.
"Yes, I do know. Now, what was that surprise you said you had for us?"
when we get home," Mulder said with a cryptic smile.
The electronic gate was still in place but was standing wide open and an unfamiliar pick up truck was sitting in the driveway. Scully instantly tensed, but Mulder reached over and put his hand on her thigh. "It's OK. I know who it is," he assured her.
After parking the car, she followed him up the steps just in time to be met by Agent Drummy and Associate Director Skinner coming out of the house with obviously used painting supplies. "All set, Mulder. And if you don't like the workmanship -- "
"I know -- I get what I pay for," Mulder said with a grin.
Drummy stowed the paint cans and brushes in the back of the pick up and joined everyone in the foyer. "We didn't have time for a ribbon cutting, but why don't we let the guest of honor check out what we've done."
Mulder looked over at William and nodded toward the stairs. "You first, big guy."
They didn't even try to keep up with the boy as he bounded up the steps. When he reached his bedroom, he let out a whoop.
"This is GREAT!" he shouted to one and all.
Scully looked over at Mulder and hurried up to see what the commotion was about. When she reached the doorway to the room, she skidded to a stop.
The room had undergone a complete transformation. The previously dirty beige walls were now a soothing blue, as close to a robin's egg as she had ever seen. Along the top and about chair rail height was a border of space ships and stars. The cot had been replaced by a twin bed with a comforter that matched the wallpaper border. There was a dresser with each drawer a bright primary color and upon closer inspection, the pulls were stars and moons. Even the throw rug on the floor picked up the space theme.
"You can't see them now, but when it's dark, there are stars and moons on the ceiling, just like you requested," Drummy told the boy.
William was in awe, staring up at the ceiling.
"Will, what do you say?" Scully prodded.
The boy came back to himself and ran over to hug the agent's legs. "Thank you, Uncle Mose!" Not to leave anyone out, he turned and hugged the Assistant Director. "Thank you, Uncle Walter!"
"You are very welcome," Skinner said, patting the boy's back.
"Hey, how about we take these hard working decorators out for pizza?" Mulder suggested.
"Can I ride in the truck?" Will asked.
"In your booster seat, sure, there's room in the club cab," Drummy said. "If it's OK with -- "
Scully took that as her cue. "If you're buckled up, sure. We'll meet you there. Antonio's in Richmond OK with you, Walter, Drummy?"
"That works," Skinner said. "We'll see you there in a few."
Scully pulled on Mulder's arm as they watched everyone head down the stairs. "When did you do all this?" she asked.
"Well, I have to admit, I had help. Kim Cook found the border and the bedding and rug, Drummy's friend -- a very nice young woman named Jacklyn, is an interior decorator and found the bed and the dresser for us. Basically, I just signed a lot of credit card receipts," he admitted.
"But we didn't know -- we weren't sure if Wyoming would let us -- " She couldn't get the words past the tears clogging her throat.
Mulder pulled her into his arms, kissing the crown of her head. "I guess I just felt it would all work out. And everyone wanted to help, Scully. To be honest, the whole thing was Drummy's idea and when he called Skinner and Skinner called me -- what was I supposed to say?"
"Thank you," she said, looking up at him with moist, loving eyes.
"Exactly," he replied.
She pulled his head down to meet her lips. "No. Thank you, Mulder. Thank you," she repeated, kissing him again.
He chased her kisses for a while with his own before pulling back. "C'mon. We better get going before I drag you into the bedroom."
"You'll have to start watching yourself, Mulder. We have a young child in the house now. No more 'sex on the stairs', 'sex in the kitchen', 'sex in the -- "
"As long as we can still have sex somewhere, Scully, I'm happy."
She nodded. "So am I."