Disclaimer: Don't own them. Never did.
Authors Notes: This is a universe of my own making. Here the Lone Gunmen never died. The decisions Mulder and Scully make after the birth of William decide their future. Nothing after Season 8 exists.
Decisions Part 1
I hear the bedroom door as she quietly pulls it closed. I brace my hands on the cold tile, letting my tears mingle with the hot water cascading down my face.
I can't do this. I don't want this.
I fight to pull myself together. My heart is in my throat as I try to choke back the sobs that threaten to break loose.
I don't want to go. I don't want to leave them.
My chest is hurting. My heart is breaking. My Scully. My son. My William.
I know I will miss them. I know because...I already do.
I hear him in the shower just as William decides to wake up. I pick up our son and cradle him to my breast, whispering comforting words in his ear.
I can't do this. I don't want this.
I fight to keep the tears from falling as I close the bedroom door as quietly as I can. William needs to be fed and my heart is aching.
I don't want him to go. I don't want him to leave us.
I slowly turn toward the couch and see his bags out of the corner of my eye. My heart starts beating faster and the tears stream down my face. I hold William tighter against my chest as he begins to cry.
Oh God! My chest hurts. My heart is breaking. I choke back the sobs as they threaten to break free, while the tears continue to fall. William cries harder.
I know I will miss him. I know because...I already do. We already do.
I reach out and shut the water off when I realize it's turned cold. My body is shaking. My tears refuse to stop falling. I feel like my feet are made of lead. I can't seem to move them. I open the shower door and reach for the towel, almost losing my balance.
I'm so tired. My head hurts. My chest hurts. I hurt all over. I feel sick; feel sick about leaving my family. Family. Will we ever get a break, Scully? How many times have we asked that? Why can't they just leave us alone?
Damn the F.B.I. Damn Kersch. Damn them all to hell! Damn me for being weak. Damn me for leaving.
I can't do this. I can't do this anymore.
Carefully I step from the shower and slowly dry myself. Slowly. Trying to slow time. Trying to stop the inevitable.
The bedroom is quiet. Too quiet. The bed is empty. The crib is empty. I'm alone. Alone with my thoughts. Alone. Oh God! I can't do this.
My clothes are lying across the bed where Scully has placed them. I feel lost. My heart aches for something I only dreamed about, and had within my grasp for such a short time. Par for the course; I always seem to lose anyone and everyone I ever loved. Why? Why do I have to lose this time? Why can't I for once have what I so desperately need and want with all my heart?
I run my hands down my face and wipe away the tears. I dress quickly and sit on the edge of the bed and pull on my tennis shoes and have a hard time tying them because my hands are shaking. I hear William crying. I close my eyes and take a deep shuddering breath, then open them and slowly walk to the bedroom door and grasp the knob.
I open the door. I see her and my son. She turns and there are tears running down her face. I can't breath.
His bags are still there by the door. Reality hits me and my knees go weak. William is still crying. I need to feed him but I can't pull my eyes away from the bags that prove my life will soon change forever; my life and the life of our son.
Why is this happening? Why can't we ever get a break, Mulder? How many more times do we have to suffer at the hands of an unseen enemy? How many times will our son be made to suffer because of our past?
I feel like I'm losing you all over again Mulder. I don't know if I can do this alone anymore. I don't want to do this alone anymore. I'm afraid. I'm afraid for myself; for you; for our son. If you leave, does this mean you will be safe? Will he be safe? We are never strong separated; only together can we live through this nightmare.
I don't know if I can do this alone again. I lost you once- although at least I hoped that you would return to me-only to eventually have to say goodbye. I thought at the time it was for good. Now that I have you back, I'm having to say goodbye all over again without even a glimmer of hope to reassure me that everything will be alright this time.
Damn the F.B.I. Damn Kersch. Damn them all to hell! Damn me for acting so weak. Damn me for letting you go.
I can't do this. I can't do this anymore. How much more do they expect us to take before we completely give up and say enough is enough?
I don't hear the water running. I hear him moving around the bedroom. Oh God! It's almost time. I hear the door knob turn. I turn and see him standing there. His eyes are red from crying. A sob escapes from deep within me and then I can't breathe.
I'm frozen in place by the look in her eyes and the tears flowing down her face. A little sob escapes her, and William's cries fade to little whimpers. I slowly cross the room toward them and gently take my son from her arms.
"Hey, hey. None of that now. Are you hungry?" William whimpers again and looks at me with such sad eyes. I gently place a kiss on his cheek and then look up at Scully.
"Why don't you go ahead and feed him while I get some coffee. You want juice?" Scully simply nods her head and takes William from my arms and moves to the couch.
From the kitchen I hear her talking to our son, and then hear her softly humming a lullaby. I grab the edge of the counter and try to take deep breaths. My heart feels like it is about to break into a thousand pieces.
The coffee maker finishes with a series of gurgles and I pour myself a cup. Grabbing the juice from the refrigerator I pour a glass for Scully. Returning to the couch where Scully sits with William, I'm stopped by the scene before me. My son is snuggled against his mother's breast. His little hand is curled around her finger as he feeds.
She looks up at me with a sad smile, and I finally move and sit down next to them. I set her glass and my cup on the coffee table. Unashamed, I watch this little miracle of ours until his eyes close. Scully lifts William from her breast and hands him to me. I lay him across my chest and gently rub his back.
This little guy is only a few days old and he still amazes me. I'm in awe of this little person. He is so small and seems so fragile resting against my chest. My hands seem so big and threatening across his back. He makes a little burping sound and then he rubs his nose into my shirt and settles in with a sigh. His little body is warm and soft, and I can't help but smile when he begins to softly snore.
Before I realize it, Scully is wiping a tear from my cheek as I watch our son sleep. I didn't even realize I was crying. I close my eyes and turn my cheek into her hand. I slowly open my eyes and see unshed tears in her beautiful blue eyes.
I don't think I can do this. I don't think I can do this to them.
Never in my life did I think that I would ever have a woman who loves me unconditionally, much less a woman who would give me such a precious gift. A son; my son. This little creature I hold close to me has completely stolen my heart within a short period of time, just as his mother did many years ago. Never did I think I would be a part of something so pure. How could I ever entertain the thought of leaving them.
I know what they said. I know what Scully said. My ever practical Scully thinks it would be best for me to leave so that I will be safe. But I don't want to go. I don't want to leave behind what I have only recently come to find. I can't stand the thought of losing her again, or William. And if I leave now, how will I know that *they* will be safe.
I can't do this. My heart just can't take it. I can't stand the thought of losing them. And I know if I leave I will be leaving more than them behind. I will be leaving my heart, my love and my soul behind. This would be the ultimate ditch. I can't do this.
I smile at her and she raises her eyebrow and cocks her head with a question in her eyes. I carefully place William into her arms and get up and head for the door.
"Mulder?" she softly calls my name. I can hear a little sob and hitch in her voice.
I turn to her and smile. "It's okay Scully. Everything will be okay," then I turn back and walk to the door and pick up my bags.
Decisions Part 2
There he is, standing there with red rimmed eyes staring at me, as tears stream down my cheeks. A pang of fear and angst hits me, as an unseen fist tightens around my heart. I can't breathe. William's cries have slowed to little whimpers and hiccups. I know I need to feed him, but I cannot move.
Mulder slowly moves toward me and I know the time has almost come. The time for him to tell me and our son goodbye. But he gently takes William from my arms and lovingly talks to him. Father to son. Then Mulder kisses his tiny cheek and smiles.
He hands William back to me while he goes to the kitchen to fix coffee for himself and juice for me, while I feed his son.
I move to the couch and bring William to my breast as I hum a simple lullaby. I hear Mulder moving around in the kitchen and then the gurgling sounds of the coffee maker. The sounds of cabinet and refrigerator doors opening and closing are somewhat comforting, at least for now. I relax into the cushions of the couch and continue to hum.
Having William at my breast is such an intimate and overwhelming feeling. And yet it's a comfort in the midst of the turmoil that plagues my mind. This solitary moment in time, it is just my son and I, forming a bond that will never be broken. But the bond I want so badly for William is the one between father and son. I look down into his eyes, and see so much of his father it makes my heart ache once more. His little fingers wound tightly around my own make me smile.
I see Mulder standing there staring at the two of us, with his coffee in one hand and a glass of juice in the other. He moves to the couch and sits next to us, placing the cup and glass on the coffee table, and then sits and watches us. A little smile pulls at the corners of his mouth as he watches his son with such love. It makes me ache deep inside that this will be the last time.
When William's eyes close and his little mouth loosens around my breast, I lift him and place him in his father's hands. Mulder lays his son against his chest and begins to rub his back. I'm in awe at how large his hands are compared to how small William is. I wonder what Mulder is thinking as he watches his son sleep. The look of wonder and awe on his face tells me just how much he wants to be a part of this little guy's life. It tells how much he is going to miss his son.
I straighten my clothes and look over and see the tears running down his cheeks when William snuggles into his chest. I don't think Mulder realizes he's crying. I reach up and wipe the tears from his cheek, and his head pushes into my hand. He opens his eyes and looks into my own. I can't do this. I can't let him go.
He smiles at me and I see something in his eyes I can't quite make out. I raise my eyebrow with a questioning look. He places William in my arms, gets up from the couch and heads for the door.
Oh God, no! I can't let him go.
"Mulder?" I choke out his name around the lump that has formed in my throat. The tears are falling again. I can't seem to stop them as I see him turn back to me.
"It's okay, Scully. Everything will be okay," he says to me with a smile, but he continues to the door and picks up his bags.
I want to scream. 'Don't leave me. Don't leave us again,' but I can't move. I can't breathe. My heart leaps into my throat. All I can do is sit, rock our son and cry.
The sound of the door opening and closing made her wince and pull William closer to her chest. No longer able to hold back the ache in her heart and sobs that threatened to choke her, her body began to shake uncontrollably. She felt the gentle touch of his hand against her cheek and jerked her head up. Watery blue eyes stared into brilliant hazel orbs.
Mulder took William from her arms. Cradled against his father's chest, William snuggled closer and sighed. Mulder took William to his room and gently placed him in his crib. He gently kissed his son's cheek. "I love you, son. I thought I could do it, but I can't. I just can't leave. I love you and your mother too much." Mulder placed another kiss upon the soft little cheek, turned away and closed the door to his son's room. He took a deep cleansing breath and began to make his way back to Scully.
She sat on the couch, not moving. Afraid to move. Afraid of what will happen next. Will he kiss her goodbye? She looked at the front door, there were no bags. She was confused. What is going on? She jumped up from the couch and headed for William's room. Just as she turned around, Mulder was closing the door to the nursery. She took a deep breath and stopped to stare at Mulder.
"Mulder? What's going on? What are you doing?" she asked as he reached up and cradled her face with his hands.
"This," he said bending down and kissing her. She wound her arms tightly around his waist, not wanting to let go.
His hands trailed down her throat and then his arms went around her small frame and pulled her closer. She moaned and opened her mouth. Their tongues danced and entwined. The heat and passion between them escalated to a feverish pitch. But he knew he had to stop. They needed to talk before they went any further. He pulled away, planting butterfly kisses across her face.
"We need to talk, Scully." He looked into her red rimmed eyes and she nodded.
Mulder led her to the couch, placing her in front of him with her head resting against his chest. He had his arms wrapped tightly around her. She raised her head and looked up into his eyes.
"Mulder...the longer you wait the harder it's going to be for me to let you go," she whispered, her eyes giving away the distress she was feeling.
"Shhh...I know...but...I have something I want to talk to you about, Scully." He ran his fingers down the side of her face and then through her hair. She laid her head against his strong chest.
"Scully...I can't do this. I can't leave you and William." Scully raised her head to protest but he placed a finger against her lips to keep her silent. "I know what you said and I know what Kersch said, but Scully I just can't do it. I've thought about this. Damn, Scully this is all I have thought about. I just feel like this is the ultimate ditch and I promised you a long time ago that I would never do that again. But most of all, I don't think I could live with myself if I left him too. It's not just *us* anymore. We have a little boy that is depending on both of us to keep him safe. And, if I leave now, how can I do that? How can I keep him safe? Keep you safe?"
"But, Mulder what about you? You won't be safe if you stay. I don't know if I could stand it if something was to happen to you if you stayed because of us," she quietly protested.
"Scully, who's to say this isn't exactly what they want. Kersch has made it clear he is not one of my biggest fans. So why help me now? Why is he telling me to leave for my safety? I think they want me to leave, disappear, so they can get to you or William. And I just can't let that happen," he said with determination and conviction.
Scully rose up once more to look into his eyes. So many things were running through her mind making it hard for her to keep them all straight. The doubts and paranoia came to a head as she listened. What if he was right? Since when did we stop trusting "no one"? Here they had listened to, and were prepared to trust, the one person who had given them nothing but grief from the very beginning. The one that didn't believe in Mulder, the one that threw Mulder out and dismissed him as if he never mattered to anyone but himself. Kersch. What if Mulder was right? What if?
Mulder could see it in her eyes as Scully's mind ran the gauntlet of possibilities for betrayal. He ran his hands through her hair and down her back as she mulled over what he had just said. A little smile played across his lips when she finally put it all together.
"Okay, Mulder. What do you want to do? Do we stay here together or do we leave...together, because right now I am not letting you or William out of my sight." A smile crept across her face as she tilted her head up and kissed him on the chin.
"Right now I don't know what we're going to do, but there is one thing I do know, I am not leaving you or our son again. I know I can't go back to the F.B.I. and I'm not sure I would feel comfortable if you did either." Scully frowned and stiffened in his arms. Mulder finished quickly. "But, we don't have to make any decisions right now. I just want to spend time getting to know our son and spend time with *you*. We can decide on our future tomorrow or the next day. Okay?" he asked with a hopeful look in his eyes.
"Okay. No decisions today, except that you are not leaving us. Mulder, I know I told you to leave. Kersch told you to leave because you would be safer if you did, but I don't know what I would have done if you had really walked out that door. Promise me...promise you won't leave me again, won't leave us. I don't think my heart could take losing you one more time."
With tears in her eyes she reached up and stroked his cheek. He bent his head down and kissed her.
"I promise." Mulder's heart pounded as he took her lips once more, and showed her the passion and love within that promise.
***** The End *****
Notes: What did you think? Hate it? Like it? I won't know unless you tell me - Please - very insecure writer on the loose here. xphilernj