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Title: Empty

Sub Title: Will’s First Words

Author: Sara B.

E-mail: sabo727@tampabay.rr.com

URL: http://sabo727.tripod.com/

Rating: Over 14 – Foul Language

Category: Angst, MSR

Spoilers: None

Feedback:  Okay, I’m not proud so I will just spell it out:  I – Want – Feedback!  I’m addicted to it so throw me a crumb, PLEASE

Summary:  Mulder’s returned but he’s so cold and removed that Scully doubts her place in his life.  Is it over for them? 

Archive: I would be honored, just let me know.

Disclaimer:  The recognized characters are used Without Prejudice and are the property of C. Carter, Fox and the wonderful actors who breathed life into written words, most notably G. Anderson and D. Duchovny who were able to make us believe in the improbable.  No Infringements of these copyrights are intended, and are used here without permission.  The story and before unknown characters belongs to me.

Gratitude: To Kim Knight, you are the best, thank you.  To my Dennis, enough said.  To CC and Company, who created the X-Files.  Lastly, but my no means least, to the readers, you make this hobby of mine have meaning.

Empty

Sara B. Sept. 05

 

Scully stared at the door Mulder had just walked through; her hand soothing her rounded belly.  It used to be when Mulder left a room she felt the emptiness he left behind; now rooms were more empty with him in them.  It was a torturous thought, but as horrible as it was, it had almost been better when he was dead.  At least then she had the illusion he’d loved her.

Mulder was back from his abduction and, miraculously, his death but still she felt empty and cold.  Mulder, the sun she’d rotated around for years, no longer provided warmth. 

Mulder had gone through something that no one, except Lazarus, could understand but he wasn’t even trying to sort through it.  He was so self absorbed that he gave nothing to anyone else, most particularly her. 

He never asked her about what she’d gone through.  What it was like to find him and then have to bury him?  Why she’d kept his apartment and all his possessions when there was no hope he’d ever need any of it again?  How she felt when she sat in that attorney’s office and not only found her his sole heir but that the attorney was an old lover?  Beyond one caustic comment when she first took him to his apartment he never mentioned the baby.  Mulder rarely looked at her and he never touched her.

Tonight she forced him to come over because they needed to work out how to repay the insurance companies and reactivate his various accounts, basically to have him declared alive.  She’d gotten affidavits to prove it had not been some outrageous insurance scam.  

Luckily, she’d not touched any of the money.  Everything had been placed in accounts waiting to be used for their child; a child that, it seemed, Mulder would rather forget, or at least ignore. 

Scully walked to her bathroom to begin her evening ministrations.  As she looked at her visage in the mirror, she was stunned to see tear tracks branding her cheeks.  She quickly washed away the tear’s remnants along with her daily mask.  The face underneath was pale from too much worry and too little affection. 

She ached for Mulder’s touch.  A brush of his fingers on her cheek. His knee bumping hers in a not so accidental fashion.  Anything from him to show that maybe he no longer loved her but at least he still cared.

The face in the mirror challenged her; she needed to find some peace.  Earlier in the day her doctor lectured her about her stress and ordered her to start her maternity leave.  Tomorrow, Thursday, she was going tell Skinner and Doggett that Friday would be her last day.  She had plenty of time with maternity and saved vacation days, and her budget seemed sufficient.  Friday night she was taking the train to visit her Grandma Bridie.  Tonight she’d almost asked Mulder to join her but she was too fragile to take another of his rejections.  Besides, if she needed to reduce her stress she needed to be away from its largest cause: Mulder.

 

Scully watched the train station getting further into the distance.  Her mom made her spring for the roomette rather than a regular seat and now that she was on the train she was thankful for her mother’s insistence, she needed a nap. 

Her thoughts returned to her earlier in the day.  Packing up her office things had a feeling of finality and, when she was honest with herself, she knew she would not be returning full time to the X-Files.  Soon she would be answerable to someone besides herself.  From now on ‘her’ child came first.

 

-x-

 

Mulder heard his stomach rumble so he ventured into the kitchen for food only to find his refrigerator and cupboards nearly empty.  A year ago that would have been the norm but after Scully and he had ‘finally’ gotten together she’d made sure he always had an ample supply of food.  Since his return she’d been doubly tenacious, often using grocery shopping as an excuse to visit.

Scully, he hadn’t heard from her. . .  That can’t be right, since the night they filled out the paperwork to get him declared alive?  Mulder quickly went to his computer and checked the calendar.  Today was Wednesday and the night he went over to her place was, Wednesday.  He hadn’t seen or heard from Scully in a week.  He called her and got the machine, he next tried her cell and it went straight to voice-mail.  He called work and Doggett answered.

“Agent Doggett, it’s Mulder, put Scully on.”

There was a short moment of silence before Doggett answered.  “Agent Mulder, Dana isn’t here.  Her doctor made her start her maternity leave, last Friday was her last day.”

Mulder was dumbstruck.  Scully shouldn’t have had to start her leave yet, not unless. . .

It was as if Doggett read Mulder’s mind, “I don’t know how much Dana told you about this pregnancy but she’s had a rough time of it.  She almost lost that baby a number of times.  Her doctor has been worried about her stress level and last Wednesday she ordered Dana to start her leave.  Dana decided to take a few weeks and visit her Grandmother’s place in upstate New York.”  He paused for a moment to let what he said sink in.  “Mulder, I thought she would have told you about all this.”

“I, well uh, things have been complicated.”  Mulder stammered as the magnitude of what Scully had done engulfed him.

“No crap.  Mulder, I think you should talk to Assistant Director Skinner about what Dana went through while you were away.”

Mulder found himself being transferred and a few minutes later Skinner’s booming voice came over the line.  “Not over the phone, I’ll pick you up in an hour.  We can grab some dinner.”

 

-x-

 

Skinner took the seat facing the door and Mulder sat opposite.  The car ride had been quiet with no more than respectful greetings between them. 

They ordered and Skinner sat back.  “I have to say both Doggett and I were surprised you didn’t know Scully’s plans.  But it sort of makes sense since you were her biggest source of stress and that was why her doctor forced her to start her maternity leave.”

Mulder didn’t know what to say so he stayed silent.  It was clear that Skinner was on a mission and something in Mulder told him he needed to know what was on his boss’s mind.

“She found out she was pregnant fifteen minutes before those friends of yours told her you’d gone missing.  Fifteen minutes from soaring the heights to the depths of despair.  It was a real roller coaster ride.” 

Skinner paused long enough to sip his draft.  “A day later we were called in to give statements on your disappearance.  They’re okay now but Doggett and she didn’t start out on a very good foundation.  He’d been told some things about Scully and he went after her full bore.  He tried to trick her.”

Mulder huffed, “bet that went over well.”

“She threw a cup of water on him.”

“That’s my Scully.”  Mulder’s eyes went unfocussed as he pictured the scene in his mind.

“Funny you should say that, Mulder.  From my conversation with her last week, she’s pretty much under the impression you don’t really give two shits in the wind about her or the baby.”

Mulder was at full attention, his eyes bore into Skinner but the man didn’t back down.  “Mulder, Scully left Friday and it has taken you five days to realize it.  Do I really need to say any more?”

The server came with their meals but Mulder’s appetite was gone. 

“Sir, would you tell me about,” he paused and cleared his throat, “about how she was while I was gone?”  Mulder pushed his food around his plate, taking the occasional bite.

“She was desperate.  The only people who knew about the pregnancy were her mom, your friends and me.  Doggett found out by accident.”  Skinner smiled, “I sort of think until then he harbored some hope for a relationship with her.”

“Great, another reason for me to hate that bastard.”

“Hey, hold on there Mulder.  Doggett has been good with Scully.  He’s had her back and supported her as much as he could.  They have some issues but they’ve become friends.  He turned down a promotion to stay with her on the X-Files.  Besides, if you took out all the men at the bureau that had ideas about Dana Scully at some point half the agents would be dead.  Including me.”

“Sir?”

“That can’t be a surprise, Mulder.  Scully is beautiful, smart and sexy as hell.  Or maybe you haven’t noticed?”

“Yeah, I’ve noticed.” Mulder smiled then he got pensive and started moving the food around his plate.  “I think I may have really pushed too far this time.  I’ve kind of been acting like an ass toward her.”

“I’m glad you finally realized it.  We’ve all been lining up to kick your ungrateful ass.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“Dana.  She made us all promise not to do anything or even talk to you about it.  She said that after everything you’ve been through you deserved a break.  Thing is, is she’s been through a lot too and she deserves a break too.”  Skinner drained the last of his beer and motioned to the waitress for another.  “You should have seen her.  I’ve never seen her more determined yet unfocussed.  One day she was elbows deep in files about alien abduction the next she was on her knees cleaning your apartment.  Frohike found her there surrounded by a pile of your magazines and tapes just crying.  She’d thought you had gotten rid of them.  He offered to take care of it for her but she refused.  She made him go get several clear plastic air tight boxes and she sorted them and stored them in your bedroom closet.”

Mulder smiled as he remembered running across the boxes a week after he’d gotten back.  “I always figured she hired a cleaning crew.”  His expression clouded and Mulder avoided Skinner’s gaze, choosing to look around the restaurant.  “Sir, do you think,” he took a deep breath and started again.  “Do you think she’d welcome a visit from a self absorbed, paranoid, asshole who is just realizing what a shit he’s been?”

“She might but I have to tell you she can’t afford anymore stress.”  Skinner paused for a moment and seemed to debate over telling Mulder something.

“Sir, if it is about Scully or her baby you have to tell me; I need to know”

A small sneer appeared on Skinner’s face.  “That’s just it, Mulder, that baby isn’t just hers it’s yours too but you don’t seem to realize that.”  Mulder was clearly shaken by this news.  “Certainly you knew?  What did you think?  That she hooked up with someone while you were missing?  Hell, Mulder, from what I saw and the little you two have shown, it took seven years for the two of you to get together.  Did you really think she would . . .”  He left the rest unsaid.

“To be honest, I guess I didn’t think anything.  At most I assumed she’d gone through another in-vitro procedure.”

“In-vitro?  I never knew you tried that.”

“Yeah, months before we actually got involved.  It didn’t work.”

Skinner chuckled confusing Mulder.  “Sorry, it was just you saying about you two ‘getting’ involved threw me.  You may not have gone to bed together but you two were involved since that first year you worked together.”

Skinner reached into his inside jacket pocket and pulled out a legal sized envelope.  He looked at it for a moment before putting it on the table.  He kept his hand on top of it.  “I talked to Maggie before picking you up.  She said I was to use my judgment, don’t make me regret this.”  He pushed the envelope toward Mulder.  “There is a plane ticket for tomorrow morning, a car rental reservation and directions to where Dana is staying.  I’ll call Maggie and tell her to call her mother-in-law to let her know you are coming.  I expect a positive resolution to this situation.”  Skinner stood and threw money on the table for the bill.  “Come on, you have to pack.”

 

-x-

 

Mulder drove up the dirt driveway.  Lilac bushes flanked both sides and the fragrance nearly overwhelmed him.  The house came into view and one thought came to him, ‘home.’  It wasn’t because the house was so welcoming but because he knew Scully was here; Scully was home.  He’d been a fool for not realizing it before; Scully was his home, the only one he’d ever known.

Mulder looked around to see if he could see Scully, but she was no where around.  He climbed the four porch steps and knocked.  A lovely older woman came to the door.

“May I help you, young man?”

“I, I think you are expecting me. . .”

“You’re my Dana’s Fox?  Come in, come in.”  She opened the screened door and ushered him in.  “Dana’s out back taking a nap on the screened porch.  Set your bag down there.”

Mulder expected her to show him to the porch but she diverted him to the parlor.  “I need to talk to you before you see her.  She’s hurting pretty bad and I have a feeling it has something to do with you.”

Mulder’s head hung.

“Now stop that right now.  I’m not trying to admonish you but I just want you to know that Dana is a Scully through and through and that means she has the Scully temper and the stubbornness.  Oh, I see from your face you are well aware of that.  Okay, so you know you might have a hard road ahead of you to make whatever is wrong between you right.”

Mulder nodded, “it’s all my fault.”

“I doubt that, my Dana can cause a lot of her own problems.  She’s always been so closed about herself and her feelings.  I supposed it is the curse of being a middle child and too smart for her playmates.  She learned to keep to her own company at a young age.”  She took Mulder’s hand, “I understand you’re pretty smart yourself.  I guess my girl finally found someone to talk to.  Just think how smart that baby of yours is going to be?”

Mulder’s face broke out into a huge grin.

“Come now, I’ll take you to Dana.  Then you give me ten minutes to get my old body out of here.”  She forestalled his question, “I’m going to stay with my sister on the other side of town.  You two need some time alone.  Speaking of which, give me your car keys, I’ve already got Dana’s.  Neither of you are going to be able to leave here when things get rough.”

 

Mulder sat next to Scully’s chaise and watched her.  He’d heard her grandmother’s car leave about ten minutes before but he just wanted to take in Scully.

He had no idea how he’d not groveled at her feet.  How had he gone a week without missing her?  Scully was essential, Scully was his Scully and that said it all.

Moments later Scully languidly stretched and her eyes opened.  A smile lit up her face then just as quickly it was gone.  “Mulder, what are you doing here?” 

She struggled to sit up and Mulder jumped to help her.  His hand glanced her stomach and rather than pull away, as she expected, he placed it firmly on the bulge.  “Ours,” he said reverently.  Then he completely blew her away by raising her shirt and leaning down and kissing the exposed bulk.  “God, Scully, you are so damned beautiful.”

He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small velvet box.  “I ordered this before I, uh, left, it was in my safety deposit box.  I was going to ask you as soon as I returned but, well a few things sort of got in the way.”  Mulder kneeled next to her chaise.  “Dana Katherine Scully would you . . .”  That was as far as he got before he found himself on his back with Scully in his arms.

 

-x-

 

They drove down the snow covered dirt drive.  Mulder looked at their son in the rearview mirror.  “You see that house up there?  That is where your old dad finally got his head out of his ass and asked your mom to marry me.”

From the back seat Will looked between his parents and said his first word. “Ass, ass, ass . . .”

“Mulder!”

“Oh, shit.”

From the back seat, “thit, thit, thit. . .”

 

End Story

Sara B.

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