Mulder’s Other Baby
Title: Mulder's Other Baby
Summary: On July 4th Mulder finally tells Scully about his other child.
Note: This fic is going to assume that the May abduction date given in "The Gift" is another CC & Co goof like the date Samantha died given in "The Truth." For purposes of this fic at least, Mulder was abducted at the end of August 2000, returned late March 2001, and William was born May 20th, 2001.
July 4th, 2004
They were experimenting with making fireworks look like something.
A spaceship shaped burst of light filled the night sky. Then another a second later, this one like a dragon. As the fireworks faded from the night sky, Mulder looked at Scully and realized it was time to confess. He’d been putting it off for years, and he just couldn’t bear the burden of secrecy any longer.
He didn’t say much on the way home, which made Scully give him several concerned glances on the ride home. When he didn’t make any stupid jokes as they got ready for bed, her concerned doubled. "Mulder, what’s wrong?"
Mulder sighed. It was now or never. "Dana. There’s something I’ve never told you."
His use of her first name worried her but she tried not to let it show. "What?"
"I have a son," he said softly.
Scully’s concern didn’t leave her face. Her first thought was that the brain problem he had was back. "I know Mulder, William is my son too," she said carefully. "I miss him too, and hope to get him back as badly as you do."
Mulder stubbornly shook his head, rejecting what she said. "I don’t mean William."
"Oh," she said, shock making her stupid. Never in a million years did she expect for him to make a confession of that nature to her. "How old?" she asked in a small voice. If the boy were born before she met him, it would be ok. At least that was the lie she immediately told herself.
"Three and a half," he replied, not looking her in the eye. "He’ll be four in January. New Years day."
The answer devastated her. Their son was only five months younger. That meant that she and whomever this other child’s mother was were pregnant at the same time. She fixed him with an accusatory glance. How could he have taken up with her, after all that time, if he was with someone who was already pregnant? Even if it was a one night stand, he should have mentioned it. And how did a man who was almost never involved end up in relationships with two women at the same time? She wasn’t sure she wanted to know the answer. "Do you ever see him?" she asked, feeling suddenly jealous of the possibility.
"I never did get to see him after he was born," he said sadly. If she was any less angry she might have felt pity for a man who didn’t know either of his children.
"Oh." She looked away.
"Scully, please. I’m not telling you this to hurt you, it’s just that it’s too much to keep the secret from you any longer. I never told you because I thought you’d be horrified…but things have changed, and I need you to know." Mulder gave her puppy dog eyes, and she wanted to hit him.
"If you feel you must..." she icily agreed. The theory she had about a one-night stand seemed more viable now, especially if he thought it would horrify her. She was suddenly glad that he’d gotten an AIDS test amongst all the other blood work they did on him. Settling sullenly against the headboard, she waited to hear a story about another woman. She only hoped she’d find a way to forgive him after hearing it.
Nodding resignedly, Mulder began to spin his tale. "It all started when I went back to Oregon-"
"You were involved with someone up there? How long did that go on?" Scully asked, thinking suspiciously of Theresa Hasckel. But her baby had been a girl, she thought, and probably four by now.
Mulder ignored her. "When I went back there, to the woods where we’d found Billy Miles, I knew with a sudden sureness that I was mistaken that they wanted you. They wanted me. Helpless to resist, I was drawn to a spot out in the woods. Others were gathered there, and we all knew. They were coming for us. I hear Skinner yell for me, but they were already there, and I already felt so far away so I couldn’t respond-"
"Mulder, that’s the story about how you were abducted by aliens. I thought you were going to tell me about how it is that you managed to father another son," Scully complained.
"I will, if you stop interrupting me," Mulder said, sounding much less contrite. "Anyway, I was out in the woods with all those other people, when they sucked us up into the ship. I’d always imagined that you’d slowly float in a tractor beam, but it wasn’t like that at all. One instant I was on the ground with the others, bathed in light, and the next I was on the ship being man-handled by two grays."
"Were they shape-shifters?" Scully asked. She still didn’t know why he was telling her about his abduction, but since he’d never shared the details before, she wasn’t about to demand that he stick to the initial topic.
"No. Just your standard garden variety grays. I’ll tell you, with those big almond eyes of theirs you’d think they’d be nicer than the ABH, but they were just as evil. It didn’t seem so at first, because they were actually almost nice to us as we got onto the ship."
"They showed us each to a room. Well, we each had a roommate, but it the accommodations were better than most of the immigrants to the US had a hundred years ago. Nice rooms. No TV though, just music. I didn’t care much for it because it was that new-agy techo stuff Reyes used to like so much-"
"Better than the whale songs," Scully muttered.
"My roommate seemed to like it. It was hard to tell for sure though, since she wasn’t human."
Scully’s indignation flared at the word ‘she’. "Was she a gray?"
"No, actually, she was a calf. She looked a lot like the cow that fell into my hotel room that one time. I never got to ask her if they were related, because, well, cows don’t speak. At least not English. And the grays didn’t seem inclined to translate," Mulder told her.
Scully looked at him like he was insane. "Your roommate was a cow? Did she sleep in the other bed?"
"Of course not," Mulder replied indignantly. "There was only one bed. And before you ask, we didn’t share it. There was a single bed for me, and a stall for her. It wasn’t as bad as you would think, bunking with a cow. She had nice eyes, reminded me of Diana for some reason-"
"You said they were nice ‘at first’. Does that mean that they weren’t nice to you all along?" Scully interrupted to ask even though she knew the answer already. She didn’t want to hear about Fowley because she wasn’t the mother of this other son given when she’d died, even if she did remind Mulder of a cow. Not that she wanted to hear much more about the young cow either.
Pain filled his hazel eyes. "They...tortured us."
"Oh Mulder, I know, your cheeks..." She was flooded with pity, even though she was still angry with him.
He shook his head. "No, not that. There were worse things than that. I would have gladly let them poke more wires into my face if that would have kept them from doing what they did to us… it was so horrible."
"I’m sorry," Scully said, even though she didn’t know what she was apologizing for.
His voice dropped to a whisper. "They made...us play on a game show."
"A game show?" she asked, trying to look concerned rather than laugh at him. What was so wrong with a game show?
"Yes, a game show. It didn’t make any sense! It was a quiz show, but the questions were bizarre. Things like ‘guess a square’ , ‘ what’s the speed of dark?’ ‘a tadpole or a frisbee if the swallow’s unladen?’ and ‘what color would it be?’ I guess I should have been thankful that the host asked them in English, but he didn’t open his mouth to speak, which was eerie. Almost as eerie as the fact that he was wearing a sweater vest and a red bowtie.
Even in English, we couldn’t answer any of the ‘questions.’ And it was even worse for the cows. I said the grays didn’t feel like translating, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t even know bovine. The cow answering would moo out what was probably a very reasonable answer, and they’d just frown and dump a bucket of catsup on them. People might think that cows don’t understand the implications, but I assure you, had you looked into their big liquid eyes, you’d know that they did. Fortunately, they gave up on having cows as contestants before they got to my roommate," he said, looking horrified. "It was the losing that was the worst."
"What happened to the contestants who lost?" Scully asked, wondering if she had the number to a good shrink handy. She’d gone to school with several people who taking that career path, so surely one of them was accepting new patients.
"If the contestant was one of the unfortunate cows, they were thrown out the ship’s hatch after losing once. I think they were just disappointed that the cows weren’t working out the way they thought they would. Watching the turkeys being thrown out of a helicopter on WKRP can’t compare to the poor cows. Given their weight they simply exploded upon impact. It was horrible."
"Did any humans lose?"
"I did," Mulder said, swallowing hard.
"Well, since it doesn’t look like they threw you out of the ship, what did they do to you?"
Mulder didn’t answer. Instead he remembered. Cold and naked. Strapped down to a table, screaming at the cruel grays to leave him alone, whimpering as a long fingered hand reached for his genitals...
"I don’t know if I can tell you, Scully."
"You have to," she insisted.
He sighed. "It depended on how many games you lost. The first time you lost they locked you in a room with a TV for 24 hours. At first I thought that it was just for a break or a treat. Then the TV turned on… it was chick flicks! And there was no off button, or volume button. You can’t sleep through Waiting to Exhale playing a full volume. You just can’t. Of course, that was just the first round. Things got much worse after that."
Scully gave him a sympathetic look. She knew that he truly considered sitting through any movie with Whitney Houston in it to be torture, so she couldn’t begin to imagine what he would consider "much worse."
"If we lost a second game...they then decided to make us ‘smile’ which is how I got those marks on my cheeks. They inserted wires into our faces and pulled until we were smiling…not that we wanted to. They would then hold up mirrors so we could see it, then they would tell us how much happier we looked." He said with a shudder. "I think they were jealous of us, with those tiny mouths that could never smile."
"How many games did you lose?" Scully asked, forgetting about the boy or how crazy the story sounded. He looked like he believed it was the truth, and that was enough for her, right then.
"Four," Mulder said, hanging his head.
"What happens if you lose four times?"
He ignored her. "If you lost three times they strapped you to a table and started to cut you up without anesthetic. It seemed to be like one of those dissect a frog projects we did in science class, except this was vivisection, of course. The grays wielding the knives were smaller, presumably younger. I take it from their reluctance to do the cutting, and the fact that there was a chart they were filling out too, that they were science students. It was horrible. If you were lucky you’d pass out from the pain, and wake up already stitched up."
Scully let air hiss between her teeth. She’d seen the scars all over his torso, but had never asked where they’d come from. "That’s horrible."
"But it’s not the worst," Mulder muttered darkly.
"What is the worst?" Scully pressed.
He didn’t know if he should tell her after all. But he’d come so far... "The worst is that if you lost four times, they used you for...hybridization experiments. They stole from you, Scully. Well, they stole from me too." He blinked hard, imagining cool fingers again, violating him.
"Oh Mulder..." Scully sighed, giving him a pitying look. "Are you trying to tell me that you other child isn’t human?"
"Not entirely, no. Half of him came from me, though," Mulder insisted.
"Of course," She said soothingly. At least her hybrid child had looked like a human being. She was afraid to ask about the boy. "I know it’s a sensitive issue, but...what did they do to create this child? Steal your semen from you and use it to impregnate a female gray?" she asked softly.
"No," he answered tonelessly.
"Use an artificial womb?" she asked hopefully.
"No..." He hung his head.
"Did they force you to...well, you and one of the grays...you know," she asked, trying to block out the idea of anyone being forced to mate with an alien. That had to be it, so she didn’t know how to ask.
"No." He still wouldn’t look up.
She gave him a puzzled look. "Then how, Mulder?"
When Mulder did look at her, she was scared to see that he had tears on his cheeks. "They, um...They said that they’d had some luck with hybrids, but the babies had a better survival rate if their fathers were the humans. The problem was that while human women are able to carry hybrid babies, the female grays can’t. Their bodies just reject them, before they’re even old enough to be considered a fetus rather than an embryo. It wasn’t beyond their technology to create an artificial amniotic sac, but a uterus wasn’t something they could make. They said, they said something about the liver being a good place for attaching a placenta," he broke off with more tears.
Scully wondered what he meant a first, then was horrified when the pieces fell into place. "You carried the baby?!" she blurted out her question before she could censor herself. "Why didn’t they implant the man-gray hybrid babies in the human females they took too?"
"They didn’t want to. Said something about how fewer babies would be produced that way, since they wanted the female losers pregnant with their own hybrids. And they were better at the game some how."
"Men being pregnant..." Scully said, shaking her head in disbelief.
"It was so terrible, Scully. I know that you had a few problems carrying William, but they kept me restrained to my bed the entire time. I know at first they were worried that I might harm the baby, and I don’t know, maybe I would have. The thought crossed my mind...I mean, who’d want to carry an alien hybrid to term?"
Scully just nodded, but thought about when the man had come to her and Doggett claiming his wife had had just such an infant stolen from her. She still wanted the baby anyway, knowing that. Maybe it was different for him; he could have other children.
"But by the time I could feel it wiggling around, kicking the crap out of my liver, I couldn’t have done anything to it," Mulder continued. "It was scary and unnatural, but it was alive. I tried not to think about how I’d have felt if I’d been bitten by the flukeman, and began to sort of like the idea.
"But even though I tried to explain it to the grays, they wouldn’t believe me. They wouldn’t even let me eat on my own. A gray keep feeding me hamburgers, and I’ll tell you, it made my roommate nervous. Smart calf, that one. At least you got to go out on cases, all I was allowed to do was lie around listening to that new-agey techo crap and get fat," he complained.
"Mulder, didn’t you say that your son was born on New Year’s day? That was only four and a half months after you were abducted. Babies take nine months to gestate."
"Tell that to an elephant." Mulder smirked, launching into lecture mode. "As you know, different creatures have different gestational lengths. While humans take nine months to gestate, grays take three. Guess our bodies just split the difference." He shrugged. "I would have lost my mind if it’d been a whole nine months."
"I can imagine."
"I gained a lot of weight. A whole lot. I don’t know how much since there were no scales and they wouldn’t have worked on the ship even if there were, but I couldn’t see my toes any more when I tried to look down past my belly. Good thing sweat clothes stretch, since that’s all they let me wear."
"I hear you."
"Eventually the grays came and got me. Two helped me waddle down the hall on the ship to an operating room. I tried to fight them to get away, thinking they were going to try to make me smile or vivisect me again, but one of them asked me if I’d thought about how the baby would come out. Then I went willingly, since I couldn’t imagine another way."
Scully did, briefly, but she didn’t share. "Mulder, was it terrible? Did they take the baby away?" she asked, thinking about the hazy birth she attended, when the baby might have been like Mulder’s, and her fear when William was born.
"Not really. This time they gave me something for the pain when they cut me open. It was very quick, then they were stitching me up. Then I got to meet the kid who’d been wreaking havoc on my body."
Scully didn’t say anything. She didn’t know if he’d been glad or not, since there had been little emotion in his response.
"I guess you could say he had a face only a father could love...at least he didn’t inherit my nose. He was as fair as me, but had a large head and almond eyes. Eight little fingers and eight little toes. You wouldn’t have thought he was cute, but I did," he said softly. "Not as cute as Will, but he did have a certain charm."
"Did they take him away after that?" Scully asked, knowing that they must have been separated at some point. Unless Mulder kept him hidden all this time… she gave the closet door behind her a nervous glance.
Mulder shook his head. "No. I got to keep him with me. All that time I kept wondering how I was going to explain to you and Skinner how I’d gotten that particular baby, and I made up a hundred stories, one or two of them even plausible. I couldn’t bear the idea of telling you that I’d gotten to keep my hybrid baby, instead of having it shipped off to strangers like your Emily was. And he wasn’t even sick, I knew that’d be hard for you to hear too. But all my worrying turned out to be for nothing. They decided to keep him when they let me go."
"But before they dumped me unceremoniously in that field, one of the grays I’d gotten to tolerate, if not like, gave me something. They didn’t have any cameras on the ship, but Erbinox, that’s the gray I mentioned, gave me something to remember my son by. It was a drawing he’d done. I was told to hide it, so I did. I still have it, would you like to see it?" he asked, giving her a hopeful look.
Every fiber in Scully’s body screamed no, but she put on a brave smile. "If you’d show me something that personal."
Mulder looked happy, and he went to their room. She heard him moving some boxes in the closet. A few minutes later he returned holding a small piece of paper. "It’s a pretty good likeness of what he looked like right before...I left the ship. I knitted the blanket he’s lying on myself," he added proudly.
Scully willed her hands not to shake as she took the picture from him. It wasn’t as bad as she was expecting, he actually was sort of cute once you got past his large dark eyes. She guessed it was true, baby anythings are cuter than their parents. Except baby arachnids. "He’s darling, Mulder. What’s his name?"
"Blix," Mulder replied.
"Blix," she repeated, trying the name out. It was a little odd, but she’d heard stranger names lately. "I’m glad you finally told me about Blix, but...why didn’t you tell me sooner?" She was beginning to warm to the idea of this other son, especially considering that poor Mulder hadn’t cheated on her.
Mulder shrugged. "Once I woke up and learned that you were carrying Will, I began to worry about him more. I knew my baby was safe with the grays, and was probably with his mother. No one was trying to hunt him down and kill him before birth, so it seemed a little tacky to be telling you 'oh, by the way, I have another kid who’s as safe as can be.' So I didn’t say anything. Then I went into hiding...and by the time I got back it seemed like I should have told you a lot sooner, so I kept putting it off..."
"So why tell me know, then?" Scully asked.
"Well..." Mulder hedged. "Blix’s mother is getting married, and her husband doesn’t want any kids. Especially a half-human stepson. So she sent him to me. Looks like I’ve got custody of him now. Blix, come out here!"
The closet door burst open, and a small creature that resembled the drawing ran to Mulder. He grinned and reached down, picking the "boy" up. "Son, I’d like you to met your new Mom."
Scully opened her mouth to protest the outrageousness of that, but she thought better of it and shrugged. She was the one always telling Mulder that they should adopt, after all. And inhuman children, who was she to cast stones?
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