Maternal Instincts

 


She shifted in her chair again, it wasn’t comfortable, but that woman would look at her, try to make her feel guilty if she left. Of course being here wasn’t doing any good. He was unconscious, he didn’t know if they were here or not.

But the woman had called her and said she had to come. Why did she keep insinuating herself in their family? She’d even attended his father’s funeral when he was missing, telling her that he was fine. Why would Dana have known that? Why hadn’t he called her first, she was his mother!

And Dana kept talking to his doctors, excluding her. So what if she was a doctor herself. Fox was her son; she should be making the decisions.

How long was she going to have to stay here? And why was that woman holding his hand? She should be doing that. That woman always wanted to show how much more she cared for Fox than his own mother. No one could care more for a child than his mother. Maybe she wasn’t as overt as this woman – but then Dana hadn’t lived the life Tina had. She had no children. That redhead hadn’t lost her only daughter to unknown people, never to be returned. Leaving her with only a boy, and a very strange child at that. Fox had never been normal, even before Samantha was taken, and afterward – well, he was more like his father than he was her. And he was a boy, weren’t they suppose to be closer to their fathers? It had probably been a mistake to demand custody of Fox when they divorced, but she couldn’t just let Bill have him. How would that have looked to their neighbors, their friends?

She shifted in her chair and caught Dana looking at her again. They couldn’t be that close, no matter her attitude. Fox called her by her last name and she did the same to him. What kind of relationship was that? Even after they divorced, she still called Bill by his first name. That was normal. It did seem she’d heard Fox ask to be called by his last name once or twice, no she probably imagined that. There was nothing wrong with the name Fox.

Dana was looking at her again. She’d never really cared for redheads, too opinionated. She’d come with Fox to the house that day he’d accused her of having an affair and lying about his paternity. His own mother! And she’d just stood there listening. It had been none of her business, but she had stood right there. And then when Fox had rushed out and left her, Dana had had the audacity to ask to borrow her car. Acting like she was worried about Fox, that he was acting strangely. Well of course, he had been acting strangely. He’d just accused his own mother of infidelity, of lying about who his father was.

She hadn’t seen Fox for months after that. He’d barely called. Well, maybe she could have called him, but it was the child’s duty to stay in touch. She’d always told him that, drilled it in to him.

Why didn’t Fox wake up? Then she could go get a decent cup of coffee, stretch her legs. It felt like Dana was holding her prisoner here. She looked at Dana again, so sanctimonious, acting like she was so much better for Fox than his own mother. Dana looked up and caught Tina watching her.

*****

Scully kept her face bland. She should never have called Tina, but she was his mother, the only family he had. Well, the only biological family anyway. The doctors had said call his family – it had been that close. It was still touch and go. She wasn’t leaving his side until she knew he was going to be okay. He had to be okay. He’d taken the bullet for her, stepped between her and the shooter because there wasn’t time for anything else. He shouldn’t have done it. But she knew she’d have done the same thing – she couldn’t have done less. He was her life.

Tina was squirming around like she’d rather be anywhere else than here. She’d sounded positively annoyed when Scully had called, as though something of ultimate importance had been interrupted. How could she want to be anywhere else?

She’d heard Mulder defend this woman so many times. Of course almost all abused children loved their parents on some level – taking the responsibility for their pain on themselves rather than admit their own parents didn’t. . . no, she was projecting. He’d never said his mother abused him. But she’d seen their relationship; she knew what he wasn’t able to admit to her, maybe even to himself.

Come on Mulder, wake up. Let me see into those beautiful eyes of yours. Then I’ll know you’re going to be okay. Maybe she should offer this seat to Tina, then she could hold his hand and talk to him. That didn’t seem to be her desire. Tina had barely looked at Mulder after that first wincing glance. Of course he looked bad, he’d nearly died. What had the woman expected? Did she think Scully had lied to her to force her to come here? Oh hell, who knew what the bitch. . . sorry, the woman thought. Don’t let her get to you Scully. You need to stay calm and focused on him, pouring strength into him as he has done for you so many times.

She brushed her hand against his cheek again, then pushed back the hair on his forehead that continually fell forward. He did have a little color back in his face. With the respirator she couldn’t tell if his breathing was easier, but it seemed to be, at least to her.

She realized her hand was trembling and put it in her lap. No need for Tina to see that. It might upset her if she knew how worried Scully had been and, face it, still was. He should be waking up. His vitals had stabilized, at a low point true, but. . . Damn it Mulder, I need you to wake up!

She was a little self-conscious talking to him in front of his mother, but talking was important. She’d heard him when he brought her back from her coma. He was hearing her too.

She’d moved aside when the doctor came in to examine him. Another scar to add to his collection – she knew them all, had memorized them. After conversing with the surgeon she’d tried again to explain what was going on to Tina. It had looked like she was boring her. No Scully! Don’t let your redheaded temper get the best of you. Don’t add to his stress. He was better, they were going to remove the respirator, put him on oxygen.

Tina’s question about removing life support had nearly frozen her blood. That wasn’t going to be necessary, how could she think it! Hell, she wouldn’t even be involved in the decision – Scully was the witness to his living will, his power of attorney, hell, even his next of kin according to the Bureau. What kind of a mother was she? Mulder would have been better off if she’d called her own mother. She loved him more than this frozen bitc. . . Stop it! And they called her the ice queen.

Maybe he was aware Tina was here and that was keeping him from waking? Would he do that? She could get Tina a room, give her an excuse to leave. Then she could really talk to him. Without bothering to ask, Scully rang for the nurse. Her request was a normal one and there were rooms set-aside for family of critical patients. The nurse left to make the arrangements. Scully certainly wouldn’t miss her company.

*****

Tina seized the opportunity to get out. It was depressing here and he was just sleeping. They hadn’t even let her finish her question about life support. They made her feel she wasn’t as involved as all of them. Well, they could just talk without her now. Tina was at the door, making her escape when he finally stirred.

Scully was on her feet immediately. "Scu. . . "

"Right here, Mulder. I’m here. Don’t try to talk if it hurts."

"Don’t leave."

"I won’t." He struggled to open his eyes and saw three or four tears escape and roll down her face.

"Dying?" It was hard to talk, but he needed to. Just to hear her answer. His eyes almost looked amused.

"Of course not. I just remembered I forgot to program my VCR and I’m going to miss my movie." She dashed the tears away and smiled at him.

"What movie?"

She actually laughed then, thinking quickly. "Kalifornia. There’s a really hot guy in it I wanted to watch."

"Be jealous?"

"Of course you should be. He’s tall, dark and handsome." Mulder’s eyebrow rose. "And he doesn’t have any bullet holes in him."

Now his eyes did smile as they caressed her face, then immediately began drooping again. "Don’t leave."

"I won’t Mulder. I’ll be right here."

*****

They’d both forgotten her presence. Ungrateful children. She probably treated her own mother as badly as she did his. Besides it had to be an act, no woman could love a man that much. It wasn’t even decent. Well, he was awake, maybe she could go on home tonight. . .