Mulder took a deep breath and leaned back. That was everything he could tell them. There could be no mention of the other, of where they were living now, or their friends that had helped them from here.
"I know you have questions, lots of them, but Doc is exhausted. This has been a very long day and she's not fully recovered from the birth. I'm going to put her and Will to bed, then I'll come back down and answer all of the questions that I can."
"Mulder, I'm - "
"Don't say it. Come on."
Dana smiled and looked over at her mother. "I guess I'm going to bed. I'll see you in the morning."
"He's right, Honey. Get some rest and we'll talk then."
Mulder helped her to her feet and waited as she kissed her family goodnight. He took the baby from her, then placed his other arm around her and held her close as he helped her up the stairs.
The Scully's sat quietly, absorbing the information they had received. Bill drained his glass and checked the bottle, it was empty as well. He rose and flipped on the TV, the others didn't bother him.
When Mulder returned, Mrs. Scully and Missy had retreated to the kitchen and Charlie had joined Bill in front of the TV. "She okay?" Charlie looked up.
"Yeah. Being here is the best thing for her."
"She should have been here all along." Bill muttered.
"I wish she could have been. I wish it had been safe for her."
Bill kept quiet at that and turned back toward the TV. "Hey, Mulder, have you heard this story?" Charlie increased the volume. "Labs all over the world have gotten these samples and they can't analyze them. I heard some of this on the radio on my way in. They're saying the DNA is weird. They were trying to say it was all a hoax, but the CDC, Walter Reed, and the Mayo Clinic have received this stuff. Now the news says its in London, Paris and Frankfort."
"They're saying it's not..." he chuckled, "not from earth. If that's true..."
"Who was trying to say it was a hoax?"
"Well, after they said it was extraterrestrial, some spokesman tried to. When the reporters started asking questions he retreated. Then they got word that the information was worldwide. The 'authorities' are regrouping, and they're calling on religious leaders."
"Religious leaders? Are they expecting mass panic or something?"
"Well, if we've got proof of ET, they might. A lot of people don't want to think that we're not alone in the universe."
Mulder nodded, he needed to get to a phone, talk to the guys, but he needed privacy for that. Besides, he'd promised to be here to answer questions. He looked up as Mrs. Scully joined them.
"Is she sleeping?"
"I hope so. She's very glad to be home."
"And we're very glad she's here and safe, she and the baby."
He noted that he was left out of that pleasure, but he wasn't surprised. He waited for a moment, then sat beside Charlie and looked up at their mother. "I assume you have questions."
"Yes, Mr. Mulder, but not tonight. I need to sleep on this and in the morning, I need to bring my husband home. I'd rather talk about this later. I think I'll go on to bed too." She turned to Missy, "You're welcome to stay here tonight. I'll find a bed somewhere, or you can sleep with me."
"I think I'll head on home, Mom. But I'll be here in the morning when you bring Dad home."
Mrs. Scully nodded, "Drive carefully." She walked her daughter to the door and kissed her goodnight. "Guys, you know where everything is." Both boys stood to give their mother a goodnight kiss. Mulder stood as well and she took his hand. At the last minute she brushed a kiss against his cheek. "Thank you for bringing my baby girl home."
He was speechless, but managed to nod. Once she was out of the room he sank back down onto the couch. Charlie grinned over at him. "She keeps us on our toes too."
"What about your family?"
"Well, you know about my sister. My father was...was murdered a few years ago. Then Mom died of a stroke shortly before I went missing this last time. Doc is my family, Doc and Will."
"I'm sorry." Charlie touched his shoulder.
Mulder looked up at him and gave him a sad smile. "She more than makes up for any loss."
Bill sat watching them, not speaking, just observing. He wasn't sure how he felt about this man, and he had tons of questions, but he did love Dana. Even he had to give him that.
"I think I'll go up." Bill stood. "Thanks for bringing Dana home. Dad needs this too." Mulder nodded.
After a few minutes Charlie spoke again. "You want me to hang with you, or do you want some time alone?"
"It's okay. It was a long day for you too. I'm glad you're part of the family Mulder, you make Dana very happy." He clapped his new brother-in-law on the shoulder and headed upstairs, not waiting for any comment.
Charlie headed for Bill’s room, and didn’t bother knocking.
“What do you want?”
“I want a promise.”
“A promise?” Bill didn’t bother to rise from his seat on the bed.
“Yeah. Dad’s coming home tomorrow. Don’t call anyone about Mulder.”
“He’s wanted by the military. He’s a threat to National Security.”
“That’s the story, yeah. You know my feelings on that; we don’t have to debate it now. I just want your promise that you won’t call until we know more. For Dad, Bill.”
After a long moment Bill gave a reluctant nod. "Not yet, but I’m not convinced he’s as innocent as you think he is.”
“Fine. I just don’t want Dad or Dana hurt if we can help it.”
“Go on to bed, Charlie. I won’t call yet. You have my word.”
Mulder relaxed back against the sofa, letting his head drop back, exhausted both mentally and physically. After a minute he sat up and reached for the remote, finding CNN. If this was the top story, he needed to know what was being said.
He listened for a while, a smile beginning to grow on his face. Then he reached for his cell phone. "Hi."
"Seen the news?"
"Oh yeah." Mulder's smile grew. "Did you send anything to Georgetown?"
"Nope, only the big research institutes. If we sent to them, it might remind them of the last time you surfaced."
"What are you hearing?"
"They jumped to the ET conclusion pretty fast after it became international. No one in the US would say it, but the people in Paris jumped right on it."
"What about Russia?"
"They got it, they're just not talking yet. Brazil seems to be asking the best questions - former Nazi's? We don't know."
"Are you safe?"
"Yeah. We covered out tracks a couple of thousand ways. Our DNA doesn't even show anywhere, if they go that far - and they will. How's Dad?"
"Good. He's coming home tomorrow."
"Do you want the house under surveillance?"
"Yeah, if you can manage it. If our good colonel shows up, I want a lot of noise about it - press, police, whatever. I'm not going quietly and if they mess with my family . . ."
"We get it. Relax tonight, no one's going to bother you."
"Our pleasure. Get ready for a second wave in the near future."
"Be careful." Mulder broke the connection and rose to his feet. The exhilaration hadn't lasted long. He was in a deadly game here, and his family was the only thing that really mattered. He climbed the steps wearily and silently made his way into their bedroom. He stripped down and crawled in beside her.
"Ummm, love you."
"Go back to sleep Doc." He spooned around her and to his mild surprise, drifted off to sleep himself.