Title: 2012 - The Return
Author: lsgrimm91 (AKA: kaity)
Archiving: anywhere, just let me know and keep my name on it.
Feedback: yes please! Just said anything you're thinking' to LSgrimm91@hotmail.com
Rating: um...maybe an M for the later chapters, that's about it.
Disclaimer: you know how it goes... I don't own them. But if Chris carter came by it and wanted if for a third movie... take it!! I own nothing *pouts*

Summary: A story of the events predicted for 2012.

A/note: first bit of fan fic I ever wrote. I try and keep in character and please be aware, when I wrote it, I hadn't seen seasons 8 and 9. So some of my facts are a little off. Cookies to my beta tashy and my reviewer dana42. And NeoX for being very patient with me. Be nice, I'm still new to the x files, but a fast learner. I also got other stuff at www.fanfiction.net/~lsgrimm91

06:21 AM
January 8th- 2012
Mulder/ Scully residence, Virginia

Fox Mulder sat on the steps at the front of his house, wrapped with a blanket. He studied the beautiful, snow covered scenery before him, wondering once again, if this would be the last winter he would see. He had begun to think about the importance and value, of time. This year was the year Mulder was dreading. He closed his eyes as he recalled the cigarette smoking man's few last words to Scully, unveiling the truth:

"Ten centuries ago the Mayans were so afraid that their calendar stopped on the exact date that my story begins. December 22, the year 2012. The date of the final alien invasion. Mulder can confirm the date. He saw it at Mount Weather... where our own 'Secret Government' will be hiding when it all comes down."

He also thought about his age, he would be 51 In October. Half a century of living and what did he have to show for it? A lonely childhood, a missing sister, an oxford education, a long lost and sorely misplaced son. There was only one part that he did have going for him though, after all that he had lost in his life; Mulder still had one thing that he had been able to hold onto and cherish for nearly 20 years; his partner and soul mate, Dr. Dana Scully.

'Oh god', he thought; Scully was going to turn 47 next month. She had given him almost half her lifetime, the best 19 years of her life and a son too. This would all amount to nothing by December. She had always wanted to marry, settle down and have children; technically she had done most of those things, just in reverse order. She had two children; Emily, even though she didn't give birth to her, she was still her biological mother and still mourned her child's death; and William, her and Mulder's son, whom she had to give away to an anonymous family when he was a year old. She had settled down too, now that she was living with Mulder. She had a good job in a private hospital, far away from the dark corners of the X files division at the FBI. Now all she had left to do was get married.

Mulder looked up over the snow covered tree tops at the orange sky. He had started waking up early to watch the sun rise on these frosty winter mornings since last Christmas, he always left Scully to sleep in; she was far too precious for him to disturb her.

However, this morning, she woke up early too. Noting Mulder's absence, she went into the kitchen to make some coffee; and she spotted him on the porch through the kitchen window. 'So that's what he does in the morning'. As she grew older, she hadn't gotten any taller; but she had developed a fuller, but still athletic figure, so she wasn't so petite anymore. That didn't mean that Mulder had stopped fussing over her; but since it was one of his strange ways of showing his affection, she didn't mind.

Scully stepped out onto the porch with two coffee cups in her hands. Mulder turned and smiled at her, accepting the mug she handed him. She moved down the steps and sat in front Mulder, snuggling herself in between his legs and leaned back against his chest. She rested her free hand onto his knee, him sliding an arm around her shoulders and over her chest. Ten years of being a couple outside the X Files; Mulder still had this natural desire to protect her from the mysteries of the world.

"You're not too cold, are you?" He whispered into Scully's ear. She shook her head, squeezing his knee as a way of saying 'thank you for asking though.'

Together they watched the sun rise across the snow covered Virginian landscape. This was what life was about, these moments; bring on the alien invasion, they couldn't care less.

Mulder kissed the top of Scully's head, taking in the smell of her hair; after all these years, her presence still intoxicated him. "I love you Scully" he breathed, almost inaudibly. She turned her head to look at him with her steely blue eyes, his eyes could change color, but they were nothing compared to the intensity of hers. "Love you too Mulder." She said planting a sweet and expressive kiss to his lips.

At that very moment; Mulder decided exactly what to get Scully for her birthday next month. He was going to give Scully the last part of the life she wanted to lead; a loving husband.

11:36 PM
February 22nd- 2012
Mulder- Scully residence, Virginia

As Scully's birthday loomed closer, she became unbearably curious about what Mulder had gotten her and where he had hidden it. She even found herself searching their closet for any foreign gifts. Mulder had said that it was hidden in an obvious place, that it was secure because he really didn't want her to find it before the right time. However, If she 'accidentally' stumbled across it during the day, it wasn't technically her fault now was it? Unfortunately she didn't find it. There was one thing about Mulder she could have lived without; his cryptic way of telling her things. She hadn't directly asked him about her present, but there was an even more burning question she wanted to ask:

"Mulder?" she asked him, directing her attention away from her book. Mulder had been smiling all day, a mischievous little smirk that grew every time he knew Scully was looking at him. He was up to no good. He still had a rather childlike quality about him, but it had settled down over the last few years.

"Yes Scully?" he replied without taking his eyes off his magazine; 'popular science', go figure, he liked reading about new aircraft and stealth technology, since his obsession in government conspiracies had dwindled only slightly. His lips tightened as he tried to suppress another smile. He remembered watching her sneak around the house looking for his gift, like a young child at Christmas, trying not to get caught.

"Okay, Mulder" she put her book down and took off her reading glasses. "Why have you been smiling like you just met Santa, all day?" She was giving him the 'what are you up to?' look. His Lips grew into a wide smile, pausing he said "because I love you...", it was sweet, not the answer she was looking for; but still, "well I love you, too," she leaned over and gave him a peck on his lips, " now tell me the real reason."

Mulder chuckled slightly as he took off his own reading glasses, placing them on the table next to his side of the bed with his magazine, he turned back to face Scully. "I'm enjoying one of those rare moment when I know something you don't." he said proudly, sliding down the bed to lie on his back.

"Oh really, pray, what do you know?" she replied mockingly.

"What you're getting for your birthday and where it's hidden..." he said as he snuggled into the pillow behind his head, his hands resting lazily on his stomach; basking in the warmth of superior knowledge.

"Mulder, it's my birthday in," she looked over her shoulder at her alarm clock, turning back to him "twenty minutes, can't I just have it now?" she added a small pout for effect.

"Sorry Scully, you're just gonna have to wait. But trust me when I say you're going to like it, and it would mean everything to me to know that you like it. It's not much but it's pretty valuable. Just wait till tomorrow morning." He replied sleepily.

'What the hell does that mean?!' she thought. It better not be his 'I want to believe' poster or a rare alien picture. Mulder saw the look of bewilderment cross her face. He leaned up and kissed her cheek.

"Good night Scully" he said to her, he rolled onto his side, facing away from Scully and tucked a hand under his pillow.

Scully rolled her eyes and smiled. She put her book on the floor next to her bed, and then grabbed her case from her bed stand, snapping it shut around her glasses. Mulder never did this with his; he just put them anywhere and then forgot where he left them. At least before Scully found him or his photographic memory kicked in. He was pretty hopeless at the best of times.

Scully turned off the lamp next to her and laid down into her bed. Mulder's hand reached behind him and slid between the sheets to where her hand lay, entwining her fingers with his. Mulder always made sure that if they didn't fall asleep in each other's arms; he would at least hold her hand. Even after an argument, they still did it as their way of silently assuring each other that, 'I may be angry, but I still love you.' Tonight though, there was no conflict; Mulder's other hand was just occupied with something else under his pillow.

"Good night, Mulder." Scully whispered sleepily. Mulder smiled as his hand tightened around the little black velvet box hidden under his pillow. He knew her really well too. He knew Scully would look everywhere for her present; in his office, the car, the lounge room, but she would have never checked under his pillow, her own maybe, but not his. Admittedly, it wasn't there the whole time; it spent most of the time in Mulder's jacket pocket; it wasn't safe in his pants, she was near those quite often. He had only put it under his pillow this morning. Mulder drifted into peaceful slumber, fully content with his life; but he knew he would be far more content tomorrow.

08:32 AM
February 23rd – 2012
Mulder/ Scully residence

Scully slowly woke, her arms wrapped around Mulder's chest. She frowned as she felt Mulder play with her hair, her face relaxed; 'aww....' She thought, 'he missed the sunrise to sleep in with me'. She carefully opened her sparkling blue eyes, only to be met by his; bright green today, if she remembered correctly; green meant happy, brown for normal, and dark brown for angry or sad. This morning they were particularly green, almost emerald.

"Good morning," He said, leaning down to give her a peck on the lips, "and happy birthday." he went to give her another quick kiss, but she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him atop her. They lay there for some time kissing. He pulled away from a now disappointed Scully; she didn't want him to go, he didn't either, but he had to give her his well-protected gift. It was now or never.

"Now you have to give me my second present." She said cheekily. Mulder frowned slightly, 'when did I give her a first one?' he thought. Scully cocked her head to one side and rubbed his back; oh, now he understood, she meant him. He blushed at the thought; it was really flattering, after all this time that she considered waking up next to him like a birthday present. Truth was, he felt the same way about her. He loved waking up to her in the morning; he even got depressed when they were separated by work.

"Okay, but you're gonna have to close your eyes," she put her hands playfully up to her eyes. Mulder chuckled; he took one of her hands in his, pulling it away from her face, "just not yet, there's something I want to say first." She nodded.

"okay, today is your birthday; I could recount the day we met, or about all the wonderful years we've had together, I could spend a few years lying here telling you all the reasons why I love you;" she blushed at this, "or describe all the ways I'm sorry for the things I cost you over the years... but this you know already; what I know is that, if I only have 11 months-" Scully brought a hand up to his face, she knew what he was referring to; the invasion. He continued, "or 11 hundred years with you, there would be only one thing I would change..." this caught Scully's attention, she now had a slight suspicion about what Mulder's mystery gift was; but she didn't dare speculate, not yet. He smiled, "this is where you close your eyes."

Scully quickly obeyed, snapping her hands back up to her face to hide her joyous anticipation. Mulder slid his hand under his pillow, he pulled out the little velvet box and opened it with one hand, it made a small snap as he did so. "my life is already perfect with you in it, but I want to spend the rest of my life, no matter how long, or short;" he could tell that she knew what he was asking, tears were steaming out from under her hands, "married to you." She tore her hands away from her face and stared into his eyes.

"Dana Scully, will you marry me?"

All she could do was cry and nod profusely, too distracted by the gravity of the moment to speak. She gasped at the beautiful ring sitting before her; a large diamond sat between six smaller sapphires. Right now they matched her eyes, which had turned a deep ocean blue, filled with love and joy. Mulder let out a big sigh of relief, he tried to wipe Scully's tears away, but it was futile, they just kept pouring out her eyes. He took her left hand and slid the ring onto her finger; she closed her eyes to try to control her breathing.

She couldn't resist; once the ring was sitting snugly on her finger, she brought both hands up to his face. He rolled onto his back; taking Scully with him. They celebrated their engagement till they were interrupted, after 11 o'clock, by Scully's cell phone. Damn. She got out of there bed and walked to the dresser where it sat.


"Dana, it's me," Scully smiled, it was her mother; "I wanted to call you to say happy birthday."

"Thank you, Mom. Mulder gave me his gift; you will never guess what it was."

"Oh! He gave it to you already! Oh honey, what did you say? Yes or no?"

"I said- hang on, how do you know about the ring?!" Scully peaked over her shoulder to see a very guilty, yet adorable looking Mulder hiding behind her pillow, his nose and eyes looking over top.

"Dana, I'm surprised at you! Fox is a gentleman; he asked permission first." Mrs. Scully told daughter mockingly. Scully smiled, she should have known.

"I see. Well I said yes, Mom." Scully chirped into the phone, admiring her ring.

"Oh honey, that's wonderful! Look, Dana, I'm sorry but I have to go; but once again, happy birthday and congratulations to you and fox. I am so happy for both of you.

"Thank you Mom, I love you." Scully smiled.

"I love you too sweetie, both of you! Bye."

"Bye Mom." She hung up the phone and turned back to Mulder. He was smiling behind the pillow.

They spent the day together; accepting phone calls and visits from friends and family. Even bill called, Scully told her brother about her engagement to Mulder; needless to say, he wasn't happy about it, but he didn't want to ruin his baby sister's special day. By the end of the day; Scully was floating on air. Mulder left her to head into town to pick up a few things, after about half an hour since he left; Scully's phone rang again. 'Who could that be?' she thought as she picked up the phone.


"I'm calling for a Miss Dana Katherine Scully?"

"You got her." She replied cheerily as she once again admired her wedding ring.

"Miss Scully, my name is detective Murphy. I work in the Baltimore precinct; I regret to inform you that there has been an accident."

Scully stopped cold. 'Oh god no' she thought

06:58 PM
February 23rd – 2012
Mulder- Scully residence, Virginia

Mulder opened the front door and dived into his nice warm house, slamming the door behind him to keep the cold air out. In one hand he held a bag of groceries; beer, a fresh bag of sunflower seeds and some ice cream. Why Scully wanted ice cream in this weather, Mulder couldn't understand, but he still got some. In his other hand, he held 3 DVD's; all of the ones she had asked for.

"Hey Scully! I got 'evolution', 'last king of Scotland' and of course, 'titanic'!" Mulder called through his eerily quiet house as he brushed some residue snow off his shoulders. Mulder wasn't going to try 'honey, I'm home!' till after they got married. Mulder didn't really know why she liked evolution, she said it was 'a scientist's kind of film', but Mulder believed she just liked looking at David Duchovny. "He's not that great." Mulder muttered bitterly as he walked into the empty kitchen; realizing he had gotten no reply, he put the DVD's and groceries on the kitchen counter.

"Scully?" he called again. He walked past the lounge room, the TV was switched off. He climbed up the stairs and moved towards their bedroom; the door was slightly ajar. The light was off, but it still wouldn't hurt to check. Mulder stepped up to the door, resting a hand against it, he pushed it open. The light from the hall filled the dark room, Mulder found Scully lying on their bed; her body wrapped around his pillow and her cell phone lying next to her knee.

Mulder's large frame cast a shadow over Scully's vulnerable figure; "Scully?" he asked again, as he stepped into the room. She didn't respond to his presence, still staring into open space; she had been crying, her eyes were puffy and bloodshot. "Dana?" Mulder tried again. Her eyes shot up to his at the sound of her first name; she threw the pillow over her onto the bed and sat up on the edge of the bed, arms outstretched seeking comfort. "Mulder..." she whimpered.

Mulder didn't even think about what he was doing; his instincts told him that Scully needed him and he dove to his knees in front of where she sat, allowing her to practically fall into his arms. "Scully, it's okay. I'm here, I'm not going anywhere." He assured her. There they stayed, Scully crying into his shoulder and him holding her tightly.

After about 20 minutes, Scully had calmed down, Mulder's knees were aching but he didn't care; he would stay for as long as he needed her there. "You okay to tell me what happened?" he asked soothingly. She nodded into his shoulder, pulling away from him enough to let him get up off the floor and sit on the bed next to her, but never breaking physical contact. Scully's face now looked flushed and tired; she still had some trouble controlling her breathing. Luckily her sense of professionalism allowed her to calm down further, Scully was nothing if not; a being of self-control. She regained her composure, swallowing, with great difficulty, she began;

"I, um... I got a call about half an hour ago from a detective in Baltimore," she exhaled a large breath, looking at her hands; Mulder rested an arm around her shoulder, "he said that my Mom, had had a stroke whilst she was down at a bus stop; apparently she was getting on a bus to travel down to see us," she closed her eyes and let another tear run down her face; "the ambulance that was called... never made it there in time." She looked at his, she didn't need to continue her sentence; "Mulder..." Mulder silenced her by pulling her into his chest; she began to cry again; Mulder held her tightly, as much to comfort himself as her.

Maggie was gone. Mulder felt a pang at his heart, he loved Maggie as a mother, she always treated him like family, even when he screwed up she forgave him because she knew how much he loved her daughter. He couldn't help letting tears fall from his own eyes, he held his fiancé tightly.

They sat together for what felt like forever.

10:43 AM
March 11th- 2012
Virginia state cemetery

It was a cold, cloudy day; stereotypical weather for a funeral. Overcast and depressing made it a perfect match for the emotions that plagued Scully's heart. She stood in the cemetery, wearing black pants, a deep purple button down shirt and a black jacket. Perhaps the most ironic article of clothing was the grey windbreaker she had dug up from her closet. It was one of the ones she wore when she had worked on the X Files; allowing her to better remember a time when both her parents and her sister were alive. This situation had an uncomfortable familiarity to it; but that feeling went away when she felt Mulder's hands come to rest on her shoulders.

Mulder stood behind her, offering his silent support. He was wearing his own windbreaker over top one of his business type suits. They looked like the FBI agents they once were, but had left far behind them. Many old faces had attended the service; Walter Skinner, now married to his secretary Arlene; John Doggett, who still worked for the FBI in the violent crimes sector; Monica Reyes, who worked in the X files division, taking up old cases; father Macue, even the lone gunmen arrived to stand in the background and pay their respects.

Bill and Charlie attended with their wives and families, but stayed only briefly. Once the crowd had dissolved and disappeared, Mulder and Scully were left in silence at the grave. Mulder's arm wrapped around her; assuring her that he wasn't going anywhere. But eventually they too, had to leave.

"You okay?" Mulder asked, concerned for his fiancée's welfare. They walked hand in hand up the rolling hill to where their car was parked.

She sighed heavily and nodded, "yes, I think... I think I will be. I know people often regret not having the chance to say goodbye. But at least, in a way, I did." Mulder's hand squeezed hers. He knew she was referring to when she had spoken to her mother over the phone. Even though it wasn't really an 'I'll never speak to you again' goodbye, Mulder agreed that because those were the last words they had said to one another, she was right. Mulder also knew Scully well enough to know this was her way of protecting herself emotionally, and if that was how she drew comfort from the situation; he wasn't going to argue.

They arrived at the car; Mulder opened the door for her. Maggie was right, fox was a gentleman. As he went around to the driver's side door he took one last look at the cemetery. Scully wouldn't look back, she couldn't. Mulder stopped inside the car door before he sat down; he watched as two people approached the new grave. "Who the hell are they?" Mulder said to himself. He was perhaps more curious about why these people had waited for everyone to leave, before they approached the site. Years of tracking secret government organizations and trying to uncover 'the truth'; makes a man very paranoid.

"Mulder, what wrong?" Scully asked from within the car. She hadn't noticed the two people how standing by her mother grave.

"I'll be back in a minute, Scully," said Mulder as he shut the car door and began trotting down the hill.

She forced herself to look back and see what had suddenly caught Mulder's attention, she looked out of her window; she saw the two people at the base of the hill, a young woman with long auburn hair and a black suit held the hand of a younger, dark-haired boy; he was wearing a grey suit with a red tie that flapped in the strong wind, as he placed some flowers by the tombstone. They hadn't heard Mulder approaching.

Scully opened her car door and stood next to the car, watching and wondering.

Mulder walked up behind the visitors, he didn't recognize either of them from behind; the older of the two was a fairly short girl, she looked only 17 or 18. Next to her was a younger boy of only 10 or 11, though he was quite tall looking. Neither acknowledged Mulder's arrival, mostly because of the wind, which rustled the surrounding trees, drowning out any quiet noises. Mulder stood only a meter behind them. They still didn't notice him.

"Hey!" Mulder said loudly; startling them both. They turned towards him; the young boy raised his hand out in front of him and the girl, palm pointing at Mulder's chest. Mulder felt his lunged tightening in his chest; he would have collapsed from the deafening and excruciating pain, if not for the fact that something was physically keeping him from doing so. A force now supported his body, keeping him mostly stationary.

Mulder's opened his now watering eyes, he looked at the boy who was apparently doing this to him, but what he saw shocked him more than the possibility of dying; he saw his own eyes reflecting right back. The boy looked back at him; his face changed sharing Mulder's fear.

The young women saw his eyes too. She grabbed the young boys hand; "William, No!"; Mulder fell to the wet grass, breathing cool air into his now very relieved, but still aching lungs. He lay panting on the ground, willing himself not to fall into unconsciousness; not after what he had just seen and heard. Was this really happening? Did this actually just happen? Better question: what just happened? He was still too much in shock to open his eyes, or speak for that matter.

Scully, who had witnessed the event, but not heard what was said, had run down the hill and slid on the slippery grass to help Mulder. She cradled his weak body in hers arms; not looking at the two figures before her. The young boy looked up to his accomplice; tears pouring down his pale face "are they... is that..." he didn't finish his sentence, words were too difficult right now. The young girl looked back at him; she nodded at the boy, "yes, Will. That is fox William Mulder, and Dana Katherine Scully..." the boys widened and he gasped slightly, "your parents. "

Dana looked up at the two before her, not believing what she just heard.

The wind calmed to a slight breeze. The casual rustling of the leaves over head was the only noise that penetrated the silence that had befallen the four figures in the cemetery.

Mulder's breathing had returned to now returned to normal; but the shock of what had happened kept his mind in a numb state. Forgetting the residual pain in his chest he sat up in Scully's arms; still grasping at him tightly. Her attention was no longer on his injures, but now focused with his on their now much older son standing before them.

Scully felt Mulder's movements under her, as much as she was concerned for his safety; she too couldn't resist looking at William. She soaked in his appearance; he had thick brown hair, similar to his father's but minus the few random grey hairs that Mulder had started growing. His eyes were a beautiful green color, clear as glass. Simply looking at him, Scully realized exactly how much resembled he Mulder. She felt compelled to hold William in her arms again; feel the changes he had gone through over the last ten years.

"William?" Scully managed to whisper. The boy shuddered a breath and tried to take a step towards her, tears streaming down his face. He was held back by the teenage girl beside him; Still holding onto his arm. Scully finally turned her attention away from William, to the girl. She looked into hers eyes; they were a bright blue, almost like ice. If William simply resembled Mulder; this girl was Scully's twin. She looked exactly as Scully had looked like when she was a teenager herself. The similarity was almost disturbing; Scully could have sworn she was looking at an old photo of herself.

"William. We can't. You know that." The girl said, now looking back down to William. He looked up at her with a look of defeat across his face, his eyebrows arching in a silent plea. She even sounded like Scully, except with a slight English accent.

Then it dawned on Scully. She now recognized this young woman before her. But it was impossible. She had died all those years ago, hadn't she? Was it possible? Could she actually be standing there, in the flesh before Scully? Only one way to find out, Scully figured. She had to know. "Emily?" Scully whispered desperately. Both of them looked down at their mother. Mulder was now kneeling next to Scully; she was ashamed to admit once again, she didn't notice him move. She blindly took his hand in hers, sharing her shock.

William looked back up to his sister, desperate to get her permission to proceed. "Em, they know! We can't change that, we can't go back now!" she raised her eyebrows at her brother, she looked more like Scully than ever. She knew he was right, but she knew the risks too. "Look! They can help us and I want to know my parents before the return! Please Emily!" William pleaded again.

Emily knelt down in front of her little brother and held one of his hands; the other brushed a stray hair out of his face. She took a large breath and looked into his eyes; "you're a smart boy William... I know you understand the risks involved if we bring them into this."

William nodded, wiping away his own tears.

Emily smiled at him. "okay then, let's do it.", William's face lit up.

Mulder and Scully had no idea what they were actually talking about. Rising to their feet, they could only watch their son and Scully's daughter before them; alive and together.

Emily stood, still holding Williams hand; they turned towards Mulder and Scully. They stepped forwards together and stood, looking up at Scully; who had shuffled forwards herself. She began crying and wrapped her arms around both her children, "oh my God." she uttered into Emily's shoulder.

Mulder still stood in the background; watching the scene unfold before him. He suddenly felt a little left out. William must have sensed this because he quickly broke away from his mother and stepped up to Mulder. He stood in front of his father not moving, not crying, not looking Mulder in the eyes. Eventually he did look up at Mulder, held his arms open and spoke them one word Mulder had always wanted to hear. "Daddy?"

All composure Mulder was holding onto flew out the proverbial window; he fell to his knees and pulled his son into his arms, William returned his father's embrace eagerly and tightly.

All worries or sorrow Dana and fox felt up till that point in time disappeared; Maggie's death, the inevitably alien invasion, all of it faded as they held onto their children. If the aliens returned tomorrow, they would have laughed at them.

05:52 PM
11 march- 2012
Mulder/ Scully residence

The sun was lowering on perhaps one of the most emotionally diverse and interesting days, either Scully or Mulder had experienced in many years. After the reunion in the cemetery; Mulder and Scully brought Emily and William back to their house. At the time, they asked no questions of their children's sudden return. Their children. Mulder may not have been Emily's biological father but she was Scully's child and the sister of his son; yes, it could have easily been said that both William and Emily were their children.

Emily sat on the front porch with her mother. They drank some coffee and were blissfully content watching Mulder and William running around on the lawn, playing football of course. They each liked what they saw; Scully hadn't seen Mulder this energetic or enthusiastic in many years, he ran constantly and couldn't stop smiling at his son every time he got a good kick in. Emily in turn noticed her brother's sudden change in attitude. She had never seen him this happy. He was always on edge, never allowing himself much time to enjoy himself, always training himself to control his powers better, make them stronger. Physically, he was a normal 11 year old boy, but in every other regard; he displayed the wisdom beyond his years and a seriousness that matched Emily's, if not outdoing hers entirely. Emily was glad to see her little brother so playful and care free, finally enjoying his childhood.

Emily sighed; "I suppose I better explain all this?" Dana hadn't heard her; she was smiling at her boys in front of her. Mulder had picked up William and put him on his shoulders, and let William reach up to get their football out of a tree. "Miss Scully?' Emily inquired.

This made Scully turn to her daughter. "Emily, I'd much rather you call me Mom." she smiled encouragingly.

Emily smiled and looked at her now empty coffee cup, she looked back at Scully. "Okay... Mom." she replied.

Scully's smile widened, embracing her new title, her face softened again; "You're right though. I would like to know what's going on." Scully said as she put her coffee cup on the ground. She looked back at Emily, her face now bearing a look of utter seriousness; a look Emily knew too well, she saw it every time she saw herself in the mirror.

"Where do I begin?" Emily chuckled nervously. "We all have a story, you especially. Me, William, you, the syndicate, everyone; all connected in some way or another. Amazingly, Mulder actually has the smallest part. But it all comes together in December this year." She turned to face Scully.

"I'm listening." Scully simply replied.

Emily took a heavy breath. "Okay. Let's start with you, Mom. Because believe it or not, you're at the center of all this." She paused, Scully remained silent. "Alright; obviously I didn't die that year in 96'. I now understand that I am a human clone alien hybrid. The result of combining alien DNA with human DNA; specifically I am... you. I am you're clone, the only reason I survived was because you are incredibly unique."

Scully smiled and looked at her hands in her lap; recalling the words Mulder had told her all those years ago; "my one in five billion." She whispered.

"Pretty much," Emily said, "Mom, your DNA, for some reason, is entirely compatible with alien DNA. But by the time the syndicate worked this out; it was too late. So all they had was little old me; I didn't have any... powers, I guess you can call them; at that age. Mulder's DNA isn't as perfect as yours, which is why Samantha's clones not only eventually died, but didn't develop any abilities."

She continued, "They performed so many tests on me. Eventually they decided I was no use to them until my powers developed; so they gave me to a family in England. I became the adopted granddaughter of one of the elders of the syndicate, I was young; but I remember that he was a very kind man. I remember a day when we went to visit him in Somerset; I watched my older 'brother and sisters' running around on the lawn, I was too young to play with them, so I just watched.

That was the day my 'brother' broke his leg, I remember that day because it was the last day I saw my adoptive grandfather. The next day he went to America and was killed in a car accident. The reason I'm telling you this is because the man I had accepted as my grandfather was incredibly wealthy and left a significant inheritance to his grandchildren, including me." Emily paused for a breath.

"As soon as I turned 13, I had gained enough control over my powers, so I took all my money and my knowledge and fled to America. It took a while to find William, but I knew about him. He was very important to the syndicate. When I was about 14, I found him. He was nearly 7 at the time, but he had endured as many tests by that age as I had in my life. He had already developed his abilities and gained control over them. They are a part of him, they can't be simply be switched off.

"We met and we connected. We bonded instantly; he ran away with me and we moved underground. It wasn't hard to get by; I was able to support us financially with my inheritance."

Scully sat in brilliant awe of her daughter. Emily had been caring for William for all these years; she had endured painful test in search of all these answers. Oh yes, she could have easily been Mulder's daughter. She suddenly felt a new found respect for her daughter's strength and determination.

"But wait! There more!" Emily cried comically.

Dana raised her eyebrows, silently saying 'you're kidding'

"Ah... oh yeah; let's talk about Antarctica. When you were cured of the alien virus, it did something weird. Like I said your body is completely tolerant of alien influence. The vaccine, being of alien origin itself, left like a permanent mark on not only your immune system, but in your genes."

Scully gave her a confused look. She was a doctor, and this sounded weird. But to be fair she was a human doctor, so she couldn't speculate how an alien vaccine worked.

Emily saw her mother's confusion, "okay um... did you ever watch that show Stargate SG1?" Scully nodded in reply. Mulder watched it, so she knew the show well enough. Emily continued "well Sam Carter got taken over by the tok'ra, jolinar, and when jolinar died, it left a kind of protein marker on Carter's DNA; allowing her to use alien technology." Scully's face was blank. "Mom! You are still immune to the alien virus! William is too, you passed on that immunity when you gave birth to him."

Scully now understood what her daughter was saying, it finally registered. Whoa, she thought.

Emily began "and whilst we are talking about William..." she stopped when Scully gave her a look that screamed 'you have got to be joking, there's more?!'; Emily smiled, " no turning back now Mom"; Scully slumped her shoulders in defeated acceptance. She did ask for all this, after all.

"William is important, the aliens that are born from the alien virus and the ones that are returning to 'kill us all'," she waved her hand mockingly. "Are entirely separate to the ones protecting us. William is a new kind defense; instead of copying people and then adding the alien DNA, the aliens tried something different. They found a compatible human, added the alien influenced gene, and then let natural take its course. William is yours and Mulder's son; but he is also part alien and immune."

"Oh lord. Scully whispered in shock. This was almost too much; it was a lot to take in. She looked up and saw Mulder carrying William on his back as they walked up the dirt road, she wondered, where Mulder sat in all this.

"What about Mulder? Does he play any part in all this?" She asked.

"Honestly, I don't think so. But when December comes around, he will be able to help. Do you remember the ship you were in in Antarctica?" Scully thought hard; no, she was unconscious at the time. She shook her head. "Exactly, but Mulder's eidetic memory will help us out when the time comes. I think there is a way to stop the invasion. But it involves getting into one of those colony ships"

Scully considered this, she didn't totally understand. She was tired and honestly didn't want to talk about the impending apocalypse. It was too depressing. Mulder and William approached them; puffing and panting but looking genuinely disappointed the daylight was fading. Mulder dropped William in front of Scully; he came up and collapsed into his mother's waiting arms.

"Come on you, let's get you cleaned up and ready for bed" said Scully taking William in her arms and walking inside. Mulder went to follow them but was stopped by Emily's arm on his wrist. "There's one thing I wanted to ask you;" she said shyly. Mulder smiled sympathetically. "I was just wondering... well, considering you're going to marry my mother and you are William's dad..." Mulder stopped her with a slight giggle. "Emily, you can call me dad. In fact; I was hoping you would." He said reassuringly. Emily smiled widely and cuddled Mulder, entirely relieved.

That night, Dana relayed everything Emily had said to Mulder. The next morning; the four of them cleaned out the spare room and went into town to buys some beds and clothes. By that night the house had finally transformed into a home.

07:40 AM
18 march- 2012
Mulder/ Scully residence, Virginia

Almost a week had passed since Emily and William had moved into Mulder and Scully's house. It felt awkward at first; but soon it felt like they had always been there. They shared a bedroom together and didn't mind at all. Emily had been sharing a room with her little brother since she was 14. The room was now fully furnished and they had complete wardrobe to match. William adjusted to living with his parent easily, he quickly became a playful child, but still quite mature in his own way. He still asked permission from Emily when he wanted to do something, rather than asking Scully. Eventually he started to ask for her permission as well as Emily's. Emily, one the other hand; was having trouble relaxing, she had had to be William's surrogate mother and father for so many years, she was having trouble releasing that burden. She constantly felt like she was intruding on Mulder and Scully's entitlements, she just could not seem to shake the feeling of responsibility.

Mulder had woken up every day that week looking absolutely radiant. Not only did he have his son back, but he had a daughter too. Perhaps the most memory of this new experience was when willing came bounding into his and Scully's room at 5AM, just say good morning to both of them. Mulder liked his sleep in's; but if William woke him up, he was more than happy to start his day, no matter what time it was. He felt like he was 21 all over again; full of life and energy, and completely; even more so, if possible, in love with Scully. Words were always insufficient to describe the way he felt about her, they left it as an unspoken statement. A small glance or a touch said far more than simply "I love you.", but now it seemed he was entirely beyond expression. She had given him this family, a new lease on life filled with laughter and happiness. He was truly indebted to her, and no simple act could fully express his gratitude.

Scully was also enjoying motherhood. It had become a sad memory, a long lost dream of hers since she gave up William. But now, after a week of living in a house with a man who loved her and two children she cherished more than life itself; she couldn't imagine life spent without them.

Having this sense of fulfilment had added a new dimension to her and Mulder's relationship. Some people would describe love as a flame; but with Mulder and Scully, it had always been a bonfire. She still felt dizzied by his touch, still found herself watching his in desire when he wasn't looking, she still fell head over heels for him after so many years.

In the last week it felt like someone had added a whole lot of fuel to that fire. She felt a new sensation when she was with him, one that could only be described as perhaps... completion?

Emily had finally decided that she was there to stay, and decided one night to hand over the remainder of her inheritance to her parents. She originally received over $800,000 from her grandfather; but after so many years of constant travelling, temporary accommodation and simply caring for herself and William, her fortune had dwindled to around $380, 000. She gave the money to her parents under the presence that it was to help cover the added financial burden she and William had given them; Mulder and Scully of course, didn't care about the money.

She also had to sit down with her parents and discuss some aspects of William they didn't already know. Oddly enough; William had eidetic memory like his father, which gave him terrible recurring nightmares about the testing he endured as a child. But since he moved in with Mulder and Scully, the nightmares had seemed to stop. Also a topic of great importance was the fact that neither she nor William had been in school for 4 years. They agreed if they were alive and well by next year, she and her brother would go back to school. They didn't tread any further into the subject, for now.

The days passed slowly, Emily became far more comfortable with her surroundings. She hadn't stayed in one place for long amounts of time since she had fled England, and she had never felt as welcome as she did here. She had begun to bond more with Scully. Whilst she may have been her clone, they were still two different people. Yes, there were similarities; she had Scully's independence, her intelligence, her strength; but they had differences too, different tastes, different skills, different goals; Emily had always wanted to be an artist. They could definitely pass for a mother and daughter. Though technically they weren't, they agreed it would be more appropriate and comfortable to think of it that way.

"I think I would prefer you to be my mother." Emily admitted.

William had finally found his favorite room in the house; ironically, it was Mulder's office. He loved looking at all the posters and articles on the walls. Mulder even surrendered his 'I want to believe' poster to William, which annoyed Scully entirely. Great, two Mulder's in one house. William hadn't used his powers since that day in the cemetery, simply because for once he felt he didn't have to. But it was agreed that they would have to do something if they were going to survive December. They knew they weren't going to be able to save the world alone.

07:19 PM
24th march- 2012
Mulder/ Scully residence, Virginia

Skinner pulled up to the rusty gate that guarded the dirt road to Mulder and Scully's house. He opened the gate, drove through, and shut it behind him; as he continued driving along the dusty trail, he recalled the cryptic phone call he had received from Mulder the day before;

'Skinner.' He still answered his phone like an FBI agent.

'Sir? It's Mulder.'

'Mulder? How are you and Scully doing?'

'As of late Scully and I are fantastic. You know about our engagement; but something else has come up. That's why I called.'

'Care to share, Mulder?'

'Actually Sir we were wondering if you would be available to come over to our place. There are a few things we need to tell you, Sir, but I think it would be easier to explain it in person.'

'I'll be free tomorrow night. Arlene is out of town though, but she'll be back late tomorrow night. How about I drop by at around seven? Is that okay with you and Scully?'

'Yes Sir, there's also two people we would like to introduce to you. Well, actually you've met one of them before'.

Skinner considered asking who Mulder was referring to; but thought it would be better just finding out when he got there. He knew it wasn't a baby; Scully didn't look pregnant when he saw her three weeks before hand.

'I guess I'll meet them tomorrow night then, see you tomorrow Mulder.'

'Yeah definitely Sir, have a good night.'

Skinner pulled his car up at the front of the house; Scully's car has parked in front of him. He left his car and walked up to the house; he sighed, and knocked on the door. He heard footsteps approaching the door and laughter could be heard from the back yard. Scully opened the door;

"Sir! Good to see you, did you get here okay?"

Good to see you too Scully. The trip was quiet. You know you and Mulder don't work for me anymore; you can call me Walter you know." He said as he stepped into the warm house and removed his jacket.

"I think that will happen the day you call us fox and Dana, Sir. Do you want a coffee?" she replied; taking his coat and putting it on a coat rack. She looked rather domestic in her attire; she had boot cut jeans and a black long sleeve, button shirt; but the apron had caught Skinner off guard. He nodded and followed her to the kitchen.

"Good point. Old habits never really die. I have to admit Scully; I'm quite curious- "he paused when Scully pulled a plate of cookies from the fridge. The apron he could get over, but cookies? What happened to her? She was going all Stepford housewives on him. He continued; "curious... about what it is that you and Mulder have to tell me."

She offered him a cookie. Chocolate chip. Now all he needed was for Mulder to walk in saying 'honey! I'm home!' to complete the look. He took a cookie and sat down on a stool near the bench. Scully left the plate on the counter. She took off her apron and put it on the counter. She grabbed a cookie for herself and walked around to sit next to Skinner.

"Sir... do you remember Emily?"

"Your daughter? The kid died in like, what... 97'? Yeah I remember the case on her. I never met her but I know the story. Why?"

Scully want up and added the hot water to his coffee, she came back, handing him the mug; "I know you remember William, you met him when I had him."

Skinner sipped the coffee. "Yeah, I do. Scully... why are we talking about your kids? One of which is dead, and the other is living in Wyoming? What are you pregnant?" He took another sip of coffee.

She giggled; "no Sir I'm not pregnant..."

He looked at her over the top of his mug. She sighed and continued; "the reason I'm talking about my kids is because they're in the backyard with Mulder."

'WHAT!?' Skinner thought as he coughed into his coffee, spilling some of it. He quickly withdrew the cup from his lips and wiped his wet jaw with his hand. "Excuse me?!"

Scully tightened her lips to stop herself from laughing like a mad woman. "On the day of my mother's funeral; Mulder and I were the last to leave. We spotted them walking up to her grave, their grandmother's grave; we investigated and had a very interesting reunion. It would be better if Emily explained how she survived and how she found William. There's more Sir;" Skinner let out a small desperate chuckle. "There's something we learned of after we helped Mulder escape from prison, but never told you. I think Mulder can explain it better than I can."

"You don't have much to explain." He stared wide eyed and disbelievingly at her. Was this possible? He saw Mulder come back from the dead. It is possible Emily did too; and William was alive and had been living across the country. This was possible, but the odds were incomprehensible. She smiled and looked out the kitchen window. She turned back to him;

"Well...Would you like to meet them Sir?"

Skinner raised his eyebrows, "definitely" he nodded. Scully stood and walked to the back door that led out to the decked patio. Skinner followed her and watched her walk down the back steps. He watched William drop his baseball bat and run into her open arms. Mulder was on the grass teaching Emily how to pitch a baseball. Skinner slid back to reality and took a few awkward steps to the edge of the steps. He never thought he would see Mulder and Scully, standing before him; with their children. It made him want a child of his own.

Emily and Mulder spotted Skinner and walked back towards the house; grabbing the abandoned baseball bat on their way passed. Scully walked back up the steps with William on her hip. Skinner saw his face, his eyes, and his hair. Oh, he was very much Mulder's son. Scully stopped in front of him. William smiled at Skinner, "I know you. You're Walter Skinner. You were in the paper from..." he looked up thoughtfully. "2008. You helped catch the guy who tried to hurt my dad." Skinner was astounded. He looked at Scully.

"He also inherited Mulder's eidetic memory." She replied. Skinner lifted his chin. Ahh.

Mulder walked up the steps with Emily in tow. Skinner looked at Emily in pure amazement, she looked exactly like Scully. She just looked younger. He looked at Scully, then back at Emily. Emily, noting his obviously astonishment; held out her hand to him;

"Nice to meet you assistant director Skinner. I understand how hard it is to get your head around this, but everything will be clear by the time you leave tonight." He shook her hand.

Scully spoke up "I'm going to take will up to have a bath and get him out of these clothes. That should be enough time to bring Sir up to speed." Mulder and Emily nodded. They all walked back into the house. William whined "Mom! I don't need a bath. I'm not dirty. I swear!"

She went to the counter and picked up a cookie, holding it up to William, his eyes widened; "one now, and two after your bath." William considered his mother's offer; he bit his lip, a habit he inherited from her. He took the cookie from her "alright", easily persuaded, like his father.

Scully walked upstairs with a very happy William in her arms. He had a cookie; he was entirely satisfied with the agreement. Mulder, Emily and Skinner went to sit in the lounge room. They began the tedious process of telling him; everything. The alien invasion, Scully and will's immunity, will's powers, her inheritance, the tests; everything.

William was tired after playing baseball with Mulder for two hours; so he went to bed after his bath. By the time Scully had returned to the room; she found Mulder laughing and Emily giggling like a child. Skinner was even chuckling and shaking his head. Scully couldn't help but be curious.

"What did I miss?"

"Scully!" Mulder stood and walked up to her, he gave her a peck on the cheek, still laughing. She raised her infamous eyebrow at him. "Did you know that Doggett and Reyes are together!?" He took her hand and led her to the couch. She had to laugh too. She didn't know why but, it seemed that laughter was infectious. "Apparently, they were arguing so much when they were working the X Files, that they moved Doggett to the violent crimes section; one week later, they're together!" Now Scully understood. Definitely funny. Mulder laughed with her. "Even better! They're engaged!" Scully's head flipped back as she laughed whole heartedly. Nobody even noticed William sneaking down the stairway in his pajamas.

"You guys are really loud..." he said as he waddled into the room. Mulder saw him and leant forward on the couch. "Come here buddy." William walked forwards and crawled into Mulder's lap where he snuggled into his father's chest. Everyone quietened down for him.

"I must admit... I'm still curios about William's powers." Skinner said, placing his empty cup on the coffee table.

"So are we; the only time we've seen him use them was that day in the cemetery." Scully replied looking at Mulder cradling a sleepy looking William. Emily leaned forward and took Skinner's mug in her hands. She looked at it and then at William. "William! Catch!"

Williams tired eyes snapped open as the mug flew towards him. It stopped midair, about a foot from Mulder's head. Mulder brought his hand up and held t under the floating cup. The cup fell into his hand. Everyone, except Emily, stared at William in shock; he on the other hand, closed his eyes and rested his head on Mulder's chest.

Mulder looked at the cup now resting in his hand. "Wow that was cool!" He put the cup back on the coffee table and picked up will, carrying his sleeping body back up to his room. Skinner shook himself mentally and thought seriously. "If we are going to make it to next year, we are going to need some help. I think it would be wise to bring in Doggett and Reyes. They will be able to help us get information, I'm sure there is information on the ship that was buried in Antarctica. We also need to find exactly when, where and how many are returning. I haven't done this line of work for years. It will look a little suspicious if a suddenly take an interest. At least Reyes has easy access to the X Files-"

"Told you the truth was in there Scully" Mulder interrupted as he walked down the stairs. "I agree with you Sir, we need to get our acts together and start looking for answers. We need to start soon. But we can start tomorrow. I want to spend the last night of freedom with my fiancée' and kids. I'm sure you want to be with Arlene before all this begins."

Skinner sighed; "yeah, I kind of don't want to though. I don't want to risk losing my wife. That's the reason I'm a bit hesitant."

Scully spoke up. "This is why I'm doing this Sir... I have finally got Mulder and two fantastic kids that I have spent most of my life without. I'm not going to lose them to a little grey bastard from the reticulan galaxy. We at least have a chance if we fight. I want to watch my kids grow up. I want to see them graduate college and start their own families. And god forbid; I want to grow old... with my husband."

Mulder considered her attitude carefully. She fought for so many years to find other answers, but she was willing to dive head first into the dangerous world they gladly left behind; for their family. The sentiment made Mulder love her so much for her courage. Skinner agreed; he wanted a family of his own, he wanted to spend his life with Arlene. Emily found this heroic statement as humbling. She hoped this was the kind of strength she would inherit from her mother.

They agreed. They would call in Doggett and Reyes the next afternoon. The next 24 hours was a time to enjoy themselves before they began the long search for the truth. Emily went to bed; Skinner went home to Arlene. Mulder and Scully walked outside and stared up at the stars together.



He looked at her; "I just want you to know..." he trailed off.

"I know. I kind of wish this night would last forever."

He stood in front of her; his hands laced with hers; "Dana... I love you."

She released one of his hands and pressed it to his cheek. He closed his eyes and kissed her palm, truly grateful that she was there. The use of their first names was of deep meaning. They rarely did, but when the moment presented itself, it transcended the connection they had.

"I love you too, Fox... I always have." She released his other hand and brought it up to his other cheek. He leant done and kissed her, tears now rolling down his face. Scully's hand slid down and rested on his arms. His hands rested on her hips. They rested their foreheads on one another, as they had a hundred times; but this time it was the entirety of their souls pouring out of them. They were in love. Complete opposites, but complete none the less.

25th march- 2012
09:21 AM
Mulder/Scully residence, Virginia

"Scully, come out of there!"


"You can't stay in there all day.""

"I know, but I haven't looked this way for a very long time!"

Scully was hiding in the bathroom; she had been in there for almost an hour. Mulder sat on their bed; his glasses sitting precariously on the end of his nose.

"Scully, it's me! Are you saying, you don't want me; your fiancé, to see you like this? It's not that bad! It's not even dramatic!" Mulder cried, waving his hands towards the door dramatically.

Scully was silent behind the locked bathroom door. "I dunno, maybe." She said uncertainly. "I just am not used to seeing myself like this, it's been years Mulder. Since we just began seeing each other!"

"Come on Scully! I did it too!"

"I know! At least you look good!"

Mulder rolled his eyes. 'That's it' he thought. He got up from the bed and wandered over to the door. Her knocked politely and waited for a response. No response. He took a breath, "Scully, you look adorable. Please, just come out and let me see." He waited. She eventually unlocked the door and slowly opened it, Mulder gave her a very satisfied boyish grin.

She met his eye with a slight smile. God, her insecurity made her even cuter. She nibbled on her lower lip. She looked even sweeter when she did that; she had no idea what it did to him. "I haven't had my hair this short since I had William... that was a long time ago. It really looks ok?"

Mulder smiled and pulled her into his arms. It was true. She looked as beautiful now as she did the first day he met her. There were subtle differences; her hair was a little lighter, she was a little taller and more filled out. Even at her age; her face had only just started developing lines. She didn't have wrinkles or look tired; but she looked older, more mature, her face was more aged; but her eyes... they would never change. "Yes... it does." She pulled back from him and shrugged her appreciation. "Why do I feel like we're FBI agents again? Is it the hair or the drama?"

"I don't know. What do you think Emily and William have done to themselves? We haven't done anything that bad, but they're kids... he could have gone California blonde and she might have gotten herself a Mohawk, Mulder? What time are we picking them up from the mall anyway?" she sounded a little worried. She was so adorable when she panicked, but if he told her that; he'd pay the price.

Emily and William had gone into town early in the morning to get engagement presents for Mulder and Scully. They weren't totally comfortable with their children wondering town alone; but they remembered they had been doing this all their lives. That and William insisted that only he and Emily could go; so they could keep the gifts a secret.

They had all agreed to change their appearance in one way or another; hair was the simplest option. Mulder chose to cut his hair and grow back his sideburns; which Scully loved. She loved the way his hair spiked after he came back from jogging, the way his hand caressed his rough stubble; so she definitely couldn't help but stare.

'Thank god;' Mulder thought to himself. Scully and he leaned together against the hood of their car. William and Emily walked towards them, each carrying a wrapped box. Williams was a large box; Emily's was far smaller, she had a bag looped around her arm. 'finally she looks different.' ; he didn't say anything, he loved Emily as his daughter, but sometimes; when she giggled, or when she rolled her eyes playfully, or arched one of her eyebrows skeptically; she looked almost too much like Scully. 'Probably one the weirdest things I have ever experienced yet.' She reminded him of Scully, just far too often.

Now her hair was very short and had been dyed a chocolate brown color; it was curvy and silky; flipping freely in the slight breeze. William was less adventurous; he had cut his once wavy locks shorter and added faint light brown highlights. He hugged the wrapped box to his chest, like a footballer guarding the ball in the last few moments of the game.

They reached the car, everyone took a moment to admire there new looks.

"See Scully? No blonde!" he jested towards Scully. He approached Emily, "very nice, definitely you... it looks good."

"What about me? I did my hair too!" William stated; everyone giggled at his attention stealing whine. Scully took a knee in front of him. She ran her fingers through his hair as she did with Mulder's.

"You look very handsome will." He smiled widely. "So what did you get us?" William hugged the present closer to his chest.

"Well, we got your presents... and we got something for everyone. But we only needed three because you already have one, Mom." Emily interrupted. Scully looked up and tilted her head in confusion.

"Do we get them now?" Mulder asked curiously. Even he didn't know.

Emily looked at William, "first we'll put these in the car." Indicating to their protected purchases. Mulder unlocked the back door and let them put them in the car. Emily took three small boxes out of the bag around her arm. She turned to will, handing him one of the boxes; "give this one to dad."

William walked up to Mulder and gestured for him to lean down. Mulder got down on one knee; William opened the box and pulled out a golden chain. On the end of the chain was a small cross; identical to Scully's necklace. William unclasped the chain; Mulder leaned his head forward, as though he were being knighted. William fixed the chain around Mulder's neck, he looked up at his son; he couldn't help but let alone tear fall. He gave William a tight hug; "thank you will, this is an amazing gift."

Scully simply watched, until she was poked back into reality be Emily. "You want to do the honors?" She held out another box to Scully. Scully pursed her lips and nodded, momentarily closing her eyes. Emily handed the remaining box to Mulder. Simultaneously, Mulder and Scully placed the necklaces around William and Emily's necks. It was a moment to be memorized.

"It was William's idea... he thought it would be nice to all have one. Something to keep consistency, I think he couldn't have made a better choice." Emily spoke, breaking the precious silence.

"I agree." Mulder whispered.

25th march- 2012
02:34 PM
Mulder/ Scully residence, Virginia

Skinner, Doggett and Reyes were due at 3 o'clock; so they made it home with little time to spare. They took time to go through any spare details that they may need to cover; but Emily was adamant in her theory.

Emily and William were in their room changing into more neat attire. Mulder and Scully sat outside on the porch steps; talking about the thinks that they held between them.

"I don't know when we are going to have time for this wedding... everything is different now. We have the kids, and not to mention the world to save." Mulder said light heartedly. He held Scully's hand, entwining his fingers with hers. A simple gesture, but one that spoke in that hidden language he and Scully shared. He wanted to believe they would be able to save the day and walk away unscathed, but the fear of that not happening terrified him more than all his memories of the past combined.

Scully squeezed his hand. "I know. But the difference makes up for the loss. I'm not going to regret the time we will have between now and December... it will be a dangerous journey; yes, but if I can take it with you by my side; I'll have no regrets." She looked up at him.

"It's already been a long journey..."

"Then be better make it to our destination in one piece... we can do this"

Mulder smiled and rested his forehead on her shoulder. She was so strong, she would never give up. She had run on empty before, struggling without motivation; but now she had so much to live for; he had so much for her to live for. He ran his finger along the glistening chain around his neck; they were all connected in a way that he hadn't felt in such a long time. Not since she went missing for those three torturous months.

They were startled by William and Emily coming out the front door.

"Are they here yet?" William enquired. He slipped into his childhood since they had been all living together. "Hang on, there they are now." He pointed to a lone SUV trailing up the road towards the house. It stopped in front on them on the grass. Skinner hopped out of the back of the car; Doggett came out the driver's side and Reyes came around from the passengers. Doggett waited for her to come around the car before taking her hand.

Skinner walked up and shook Mulder's hand. Everyone stood, Monica let go of Doggett's hand and ran up to Scully, throwing her arms around her.

"Dana! It's been such a long time!" Scully hugged her back. She pulled away, and looked at William and Emily standing behind Scully. "Their good looking kids Dana."

Scully beckoned the kids forward. "This is John Doggett and Monica Reyes; they worked on the x files with me." Monica moved forwards to greet them properly. Doggett looked on inexpressively. He wasn't much for reunions.

They sat out the back of the house, at the wooden bench and table set. They talked, drank tea and coffee, they caught up. It was all rather informal, but comfortable considering the circumstances. Doggett even loosened up enough to have a few throws of a baseball with William. But all good things must come to an end, and they had to get down to business.

First and foremost; they needed information. Skinner had access to more classified documentation, but even still; it wouldn't be easy. They agreed to separate their efforts. Doggett, Reyes and Skinner; who still worked for the FBI, would work together.

Meanwhile; Scully, Mulder, Emily and William were going to go look in physical locations. Places like Tunguska, tatouine, Africa, even to Antarctica if necessary. But the first stop on their trip; was England. They were going to start in the facility that ran tests on Emily. They needed information about the colonist aliens, them they can gather Intel on the entities themselves and maybe some information on their vessels. Whatever they needed, they would find.

"So when are you guys going to tie the knot?" Mulder asked cheekily.

"Ah... we were thinking august. As summer ends so it's not too hot." Monica said, clamping her hand to Doggett's. He looked at her warmly, but not excessively. "I can't really wait."

"Neither can Scully and me, we haven't really discussed a date. We got a bit distracted." Mulder ruffled William's newly trimmed hair as he held the other arm around Scully's waist.

"You people make me feel so old! I'm already married... again, and listening to you four makes me feel ancient!" Skinner chuckled into his hands as he rubbed his face. "But I suppose I was, at one point, all your boss. I think that added a few grey hairs; dealing with all of you."

"Poor you! I can't imagine trying to deal with what you did!" Emily piped up randomly. Her information was accurate; she knew all of them and some of their backgrounds, the missions they went on. She and William hadn't been simply hiding; they had been tracking the five adults. But she still didn't know everything. One thing she was particularly curious about was the history of Mulder and Scully's relationship. She was still in England for that part in time. She wanted to ask; but the years of independence and responsibility still didn't give her the confidence she required to ask such a question.

It was close to midnight when Doggett, Reyes and Skinner left; but they walked away with a battle plan. First, gather intelligence. William had fallen asleep in Scully's lap a long time ago. Emily consider gather her own intelligence; she wanted to know the nature, the history, the beginnings of her parents bond. Mulder took William to bed; leaving Emily to clear the table with Scully;

"Hey Mom? There was something I always wanted to know about... I, um; I wanted to know your story."

What do you mean? You know more about me than I do." Scully replied without meeting Emily's eye.

"William always asked when he was younger, when he first learned about you and Mulder. I wanted to know the story about you and Mulder getting together. About when it all began." Scully met her eye now. The corner of her lips rose to a small smile. She was a 17 year old girl after all; she couldn't help being a hopeless romantic.

"It's a complicated story, it wasn't always so perfect. There were times when we had our doubt, but we knew there couldn't be any other person in the world. We had be through that much together." She said as she lead Emily back into the house and into the kitchen.

Emily threw the empty cups into the sink and sat down at the dining room table. Scully leaned on the counter and looked questioningly at her. She silently asked; 'it's a long story, you sure you want to know?' Emily tilted her head. She understood Scully's silent language. Must be a family thing.

"Okay then. Get comfortable." She said coming around the counter and sitting across the dining table form Emily.

01:46 PM
December 21st 2012
Mulder/ Scully residence

A thin layer of snow covered the normal thick green grass that surrounded Mulder and Scully's small isolated home. It was a calm day and the temperature was quite merciful. The skies were clear except for a few stray clouds that rode the horizon, creating a rather picturesque scene.

After months of struggle and dangerous adventure; everyone still found the time to celebrate. About twenty or so chairs sat under the large tree that stood in front of the house; filled with family and close friends. Doggett and Reyes; who got married in august as planned; and Arlene sat at the front of the group. Bill and Tara arrived with their three children; and Charlie and his wife, Anna, came with their two sons. The rest of the chairs were filled with old friends, some from the FBI or the hospital.

Scully's dress was simple; long sleeved and silky. It flowed flawlessly to cover her feet, blending with the pristine snow beneath her feet. Her hair was held up in a loose bun, with stray tendrils falling over her ears. She wore no veil, but she had a pearly white lace head piece that sat in her red hair perfectly.

Mulder's tuxedo contrasted his fiancé's gown well. It was a standard black one, complete with a bowtie and a pair of black gloves. His hair was still quite short, and rather tame; brushed well and made his look very handsome. A long scar ran across his brow and down the side of his face, about two inches long and already fading.

They didn't hear most of the words of the priest before them. They stood shoulder to shoulder, their hands laced together between them. They stood gazing at each other, remembering everything that had happened over the years; and how lucky they were to be standing there together.

Emily stood slightly behind Scully, in a white bridesmaid dress of her own. Her hair was still a chocolate brown, but slightly longer. Skinner stood behind Mulder, his hand resting on Williams shoulder; both in tuxedos that matched Mulder's.

Mulder and Scully were brought back to reality when they were asked to speak, the priest looked at them and smiled;

"Do you, Fox William Mulder; take this woman, Dana Katherine Scully, to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and in woe, for richer or poorer, keep your solely unto her for as long as you both shall live?"

Mulder smirked at every bit of irony the priest had just asked him; but still;

"I do," he leaned in closer to Scully, "definitely"

Scully smiled at his add on; dear Mulder, always a rebel. The priest turned now to Scully;

"Do you, Dana Katherine Scully; take this man, Fox William Mulder, to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and obey, in good times and in woe, for richer or poorer, keep your solely unto him for as long as you both shall live?"

Scully smiled widely; "I do." Mulder grinned as if she had said she was pregnant or had met Elvis again.

They didn't hear the next bit about speaking now or forever hold you piece bit. William stepped forwards with a flat pillow that had two rings resting on it. He too was grinning like a child at Christmas. Mulder and Scully turned to face one another; Mulder took one of the rings and slid it onto Scully finger. Scully took the other and waited for Mulder to remove his glove; before placing the gold band on his finger. He held her hands tightly, taking in the beautiful bride before him; he felt the cool metal on his finger and felt his heart grow warm from the sensation.

"By the authority invested in me by the state of Virginia, I now pronounce you man and wife and what god hath joined together, let no man or woman put asunder."

"Or extraterrestrial..." Scully whispered. Mulder grinned even widener and tilted his head in agreement.

Mulder spent a long time thinking of how he was going to kiss his wife for the first time, but now the long awaited moment was upon him.

He stepped forward and cupped Scully's flushed cheeks in his hands; he leaned down and let his lips capture hers. She brought her hands up to back of his head. Mulder rubbed his thumb along her cheek as her hands slid forward onto his. He held her there for a moment, before he removed his hands from her face and wrapped both his arms tightly around her waist; she in turn wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer.

Mulder recognized his actions; this was the same way he kissed her when she found him in that prison; beaten and bruised, he still wanted nothing more than to hold her in his arms. This kiss felt the same, but somehow new. Like he had rediscovered her again, like he was kissing her for the very first time and wasn't willing to let her go. She was his wife, his 'Mrs. Spooky', his one in the entire universe.

The audience clapped and smiled. Their applause was short lived; the clear skies above them quickly became dark with thunderous clouds. Reluctantly, Mulder and his wife broke apart; they held onto each other and looked up. They looked back at each other, and sighed;

"I think that's our queue?" Mulder said sadly.

"Time to go save the world Mulder..." she said tilting her head to one side, licking her lips.

"And you'll be right by my side, Mrs. Mulder?" Scully grinned at the use of her new last name. She nodded;

"All the way; till the end of the world." The broke apart and turned to their anxious audience. Mulder held onto Scully's hand tightly, not wanting to ever let her go.

"Ladies and gentlemen, if you will excuse us... we have the world to save." They walked through the aisle; followed closely by Emily, William, Doggett and Reyes. Skinner was soon to follow; but he had to say goodbye to his wife first. They left the slightly bemused gathering and ran together down to the two SUV's parked near the dirt track.

Mulder helped Scully into the passenger's side of his black car, before jumping in the driver's side. Emily quickly jumped in the back seat next to the four small bags that were already there. William went with Skinner, Doggett and Reyes in the other car. Over the last few months; it was safer travelling with at least one of the kids per group. The car's flicked up gravel as they sped down the track.

They hadn't learnt much more than they already knew when they began their journey. But they had learned more about the colony. The ship Mulder saw in Antarctica was, like the hive ship. Where the virus and entities were grown, they learned more details about the ship; it seemed to be biomechanical, which explains why it left earth after Mulder injected Scully with the vaccine, it reacted to the vaccine like it was a virus itself.

The ship had an organic core, like a living power source. The plan was to infect the core with the vaccine, and hopefully infect all the entities onboard. Hopefully; they would get the idea and not return.

The virus grows faster in warm climates, so in was believed by the syndicate; that they would return to the desert.

It wasn't much of a plan, but a plan none the less.

12:00 pm
22 December- 2012
Waddn, Libya

The walls around them rumble like thunder. They could hear the screeching of the creatures closing in on them from all sides, they didn't have much time. They were tired and bloody, their magazines almost spent from simply getting there. The core ran the full height of the massive hive ship, with a gap in the middle. It was amazing to look at up close; the flowing energy was almost hypnotic. It looked like a continuous stream of shining blue gel, but at the same time it was like it didn't take a physical form.

They didn't plan on the core being this huge; they wondered whether the vaccine would work at all. Mulder pulled a pistol out of the holster on his side, the one containing a single dart that held the vaccine. He took aim at the core that sat 30 feet down below; the gap in the structure was about 12 feet tall, so he had a good chance of hitting it.

He took aim and fired. His aim was good and the dart went straight in the gap. The walls shook violently and the fluid energy turned sickly brown color. Everyone watched expectantly; as if waiting for it to explode. But it didn't, it slowly turned back to its former shining blue.

"DAMMIT!" Mulder yelled against the steadying rumble.

Doggett, who had been standing near the entrance of the tunnel with William, looked over his shoulder; "it didn't work?! What happened?"

Mulder couldn't answer. Last time, it had worked. It made them leave, and though they had planned on entirely destroying the bastards; making them leave again would have been an agreeable alternative. Mulder looked at Reyes as she held a nearly unconscious Skinner around her shoulders. Emily was on the other side of him holding what has left of his arm around her own, now blood stained shoulder. Mulder turned now to Scully, who stood by his side; her rifle resting against her thigh. He could see her mind working. He could always feel when she was thinking, and he could see it now too.

"Scully?" She looked at him, her face free of expression.

"One of us has to go in there..."

Mulder shook his head slightly "what are you talking about?"

"One of us who has immunity has to infect the core. It's the only way..."

Now he understood; she meant literally infecting the core with a foreign body. His eyes darted from side to side as he considered who had this immunity. It was going to be either her, or William.

Tears threatened to erupt from his weary eyes; "no... Scully... no, I'm not losing you or William."

She took the rifle sling off her blood soaked shoulder and threw it to the ground. "You won't lose William, Mulder. I could never live with myself for letting our son go again."

He couldn't stop them; the tears flowed down his face. He shook his head at her. "Scully, I can't let you do it. There has to be another way..."

"There isn't. This is it Mulder." she looked at his glistening eyes. She walked up to him and wiped the tears of his cheeks. "We'll meet again... I promise."

He shuddered a breath when she touched his face. "I want to believe that more than anything... I can't go on without you Scully; not after I just found you." He put his own hand over hers, feeling the cool metal of her ring touching his hand.

She took it and put both hands behind her neck. "We'll be together again..." She took off her necklace. She clapped it into his hand "whatever it takes, we will be together again."

He knew her. She was stubborn as anything, and when she decided to do something, not even he could dissuade her. "I believe you."

Mulder picked up Scully's rifle and slung it over his other shoulder. He leaned down and kissed her quickly, but affectionately. This was the last time he would get to kiss her; he wished he had more time.

He remembered the first time he had kissed her. Even though it technically wasn't her, he still believed, on some level that it was her. 'In case we never meet again...' he had said. Those words rang as true now as they did then. His memory flashed through every other time he had kissed her.

He rested his fore head on hers and closed his eyes, as they had done so many times before; "I love you more than anything in the world."

She held his face in her soft hands; "I love you too... now go."

The screeching of the creatures intensified. They were close now.

"I'll stay with her whilst you guys get out of here." Doggett said as he changed the magazine on his rifle. Mulder nodded and walked backwards down the tunnel, trying to take in the last image of his wife that he could. Emily, William, Skinner and Reyes went to follow him.

"Wait!" Monica yelled. She lowered Skinner to the ground and ran back to Doggett. She stood and pulled his head close to hers. She whispered something to him. He smiled quickly before planting a kiss on her lips. They broke apart and Monica ran back, resuming her place under Skinner.

Mulder looked over his shoulder one last time at Doggett and his beloved Scully. Then they ran down the tunnel, William in the lead with his hands in front of him, all too afraid to look back.

10 Hours Earlier

They arrived in Tripoli at two in the morning. A lot of people were leaving Libya and Tunisia. Something was spooking people, unexplainable weather and strange animal behavior. They took two four wheel drives, boys in one car, girls in the other; and drove along the dusty and deserted roads to a small sandy town called Waddn. They understood why people had left. People often said that some rain clouds look 'black', when in actual fact, they are simply a dark shade of grey; but the clouds that blanketed these skies were dark, like charcoal. They were angry and violent, threatening anything that came under them. They seemed to touch the desert horizon.

The arrived in Waddn just after six, when the sun was supposed to have risen, but still hadn't. Who knows, maybe it had, but if that were true, the light was not penetrating the cloud cover.

These roads weren't unfamiliar to them. They had travelled here a few times in the year gone, learning the landscape and moving weapons into an armory they had bought down there. They stopped at an inn, they knew the owner as Ahmed; he let them use the vault in his basement as an armory, for a price. He and his family had fled a few days before, after everyone else to ensure no one would break in.

They decided to move out at 9; leaving a few hours to wonder around, prepare the weapons and vehicles, go over any last details. They weren't sure exactly where to find the hive ship, but they did know they were close. They went into the foyer of the inn.

"I reckon I preferred the snow to all this heat and sand." Doggett said as he ruffled his hair and took off his sunglasses. Monica flopped down onto one of the couches and groaned. "You okay Monica?" John asked as he sat done next to her.

She went to speak but stopped herself. She smiled and rubbed his back. "I'm fine, it's just the climate, that's all."

Scully and Emily wandered in and simultaneously dropped their backpacks. William snuck out from behind them with a nearly empty bottle of Pepsi in his hand. Poor kid. Mulder and Skinner followed close behind and headed straight to the basement. Doggett got off the couch and joined them.

Now that the couch was once again free; Monica wasted no time in flipping her feet up and draping one hand over her eyes and the other over her stomach. Scully watched her and frowned, and then her frown disappeared when she understood Monica's behavior.

"Hey guys, why you don't head to the bar and get some bottles of water whilst I talk to Monica..."

The younger one followed their mother's instructions and left. Once they were gone, Scully went and sat on the couch next to Monica.

"There's something you're not telling me Monica..."

Monica took her arm away from her face and put it over her stomach with the other. "Is it that obvious?"

"I'm a doctor... of course it's obvious."

Monica pulled herself up on the couch till she was sitting. "I didn't expect this to happen. I thought I was too old, or he was."

"Does John know?"

"No. It would have been a distraction. We just got married and with this whole colonization-end of the world crap; the last thing he needs is to worry about me." She folded her arms across her chest.

Dana put one hand on Monica's shoulder. "You're gonna have to tell him, and we might not have much time to enjoy it."

They shared a glance and Monica nodded in agreement. They were interrupted by the return of Emily and William; carrying some bottles of water and soft drinks.

"I thought I told you guys to get bottles of water?"

"We did Mom." William said as a handed two water bottles to her and Monica. Emily put her arm full on the reception desk.

"And I'm guessing those are yours?" Scully said, gesturing towards the three bottles of Pepsi in Williams arms.

"Yup." William replied simply before flopping down onto the other couch.

"11 years old and already has a caffeine addiction..." a voice said from the other side of the room. The boys were back and they were packing heat. Each were carrying rifles, pistols, holsters, knives and a belt that had grenades clipped onto them. They looked like modern day Rambo's in their attire.

The wives mutually agreed that the boys looked pretty hot when they were all macho.

They had spent the next few hours in the bar. They joked and turned on the old juke box machine and danced around without a care in the world. It was a relief from the months of travelling and investigation they had done. It was just a time to enjoy good company and smile for maybe the last time.

They all silently understood that they may not all make it out alive. The risks were incredible and it still hadn't sunk in that this was the day they were due to die. But here they were; seven brave people who searched for the truth and fought the future. Once again they were forced to chase the monsters in the dark, but they prayed to whoever would hear that it would be the last time.

Everybody geared up in boots and lightweight body armor. The main plan was to force their way in through one of the access tunnels and push their way to the center to the core. They had acquired a vaccine from a laboratory in England and kept it under lock and key. It was put in a dart, like a tranquilizer that is used on elephants. Mulder put the pistol containing the precious vaccine in his holster and tucked it inside his black utility vest.

Emily and William didn't need any large weapons. They had their own. On the insistence of both of their parents they too wore protective vests and stowed a combat knife in each of their black boots, just in case. The rest of them sported a semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm. The men carried flash and frag grenades whilst the woman kept hold of the spare ammunition.

They all migrated to the roof of the three story building to look out over the desert. Lightning flash end struck the dusty ground many miles out. It seemed to hit the same spot over and over again.

"I'll put money down that that's where they are..." Mulder said as he stood behind Scully, looking over the top of her head.

"I'll second that. Should we get going?" Skinner asked as he slung his rifle over his right shoulder. His question wasn't directed at anyone specifically, they all looked at one another.

"Let's do this..." Emily spoke as she stared out at the violent storm that was intensifying with every strike. Her eyes were distant and expressionless, a deep blue that looked like a dark ocean. She was determined to be angry, she wanted to let every bit of frustration and hate she had been harboring vent in one bit bang. Now was that time, and she'd be damned if she was going to let it pass.

They walked away from the inn and down the road to a warehouse. Ahmed had left two vehicles in there for them, of course, at price. They were like dune buggies, wide jeeps designed for travelling across arid terrain. Doggett jumped in the driver's seat of one, he was soon joined by Emily and Mulder after they put their backpacks and rifles in the back.

Skinner went in the other with William, who insisted on the front seat; and Monica and Scully sat in the back. Now that Scully knew about Monica's condition, she elected to do exactly what John would have done if he knew; never let her out of her sight. For the fun of it, they burned some rubber as they tore out of the warehouse like mad teenage hooligans.

The buggies were trailed by an enormous amount of sand they flicked up. The two vehicles pushed through the terrain towards the center of the storm. It was dangerous to be out there; the clouds were thick and terrifying and the lightning had yet to calm. None of which succeeded in deterring them in the least.

As they got closer to the center of the violent storm, they saw a black shiny surface in the distance dunes. It stretched as far as they could see in either direction. It took nearly ten minutes to get close to the large object resting halfway under the red sandy landscape. They skidded along the dunes to stop. They exited their vehicles and slipped on sunglasses. It wasn't in any way bright outside; it was the wind that blew sand into their eyes that was the problem.

"Well would you look at that..." Mulder mumbled.

"It must run for miles across!" Skinner added as he looked left and right, trying to see the ends of the structure.

It was amazing, for lack of a more descriptive word. It was black, metallic and slightly domed. Vents of steam shot from everywhere, in intervals then easing for a few minutes then shooting a new jet of hot gas. Sand had piled up over parts of it, subtly hiding its top. The edge was about 3 meters above the ground, and that was on a low point. The ground shook steadily, like a rough vibration.

"Okay, everyone wait here..." Doggett said as he ran to one of the buggies and drove it around till it stopped flush with one of the edges. He swung his rifle around himself till it sat on his back and climbed onto the roof of the buggy. With a bit of effort, thanks to his vest, he climbed onto the edge of the hive ship.

"Come on, let's get a move on!" he yelled to them as he stood near the edge, gesturing them up to join him.

The girls hopped up onto the buggy; Emily went first, followed by Monica and then Scully. Scully wanted to keep the kids and Monica in the middle of the group, for safety's sake. John and the girls helped Skinner and William up. Mulder didn't need much help; he could reach as it was and climbed up almost entirely by himself.

"Let's get as close to the middle as we can before we go in. This heat isn't incubating them, it's accelerating their growth;" Mulder cocked his rifle; "meaning there is a lot of those little suckers in there."

They walked for about twenty minutes away from the edge, avoiding jets of randomly timed steam and doing all they could to avoid the lightning that was striking the surface. It seemed to focus on one point, which they could only guess was the center. Oddly though, the electricity wasn't conducting to them as they walked on the gently shaking surface.

The 'center'; or at least the strike point was still a good mile ahead, but they chose not to get too close.

"Do you hear that?" William asked as he stopped in front of an open vent. He jumped back when a jet of steam shot out and up into the dark atmosphere.

"Careful William!" Scully said as she walked back towards him. The rest of the group followed her.

The steam stopped and William got closer to the vent, turning his ear towards it to listen in. "can you hear that?"

"Hear what?" Mulder said as he stared at the watch on his wrist. "I reckon we go through this tunnel. But we wait till just after the next vent before we go in." He watched the rest of the group now surround the dormant vent. "Guys?"

He walked up to them and squeezed between Monica and William. Very faintly he could hear the sounds of muffled screeches. Like the one he heard in Antarctica, but these were more multiplied. The vent shook a hissing filled the small tunnel; "stand back!" Mulder yelled as another shot of steam vented out of the tunnel. Everyone took a few steps back.

The steam subsided again.

"How much time do we have?" Doggett asked as he and Mulder approached the now clear vent.

"About three minutes, but it's not long, we'll be fine." Mulder said as he lowered himself into the vent. It was still hot from the steam, but not totally unbearable. Doggett was next, and then Monica, Emily, William, Scully and Skinner took tail end Charlie. It was awkward moving through the tunnel with the rifles, but they made it to the inner opening intact.

Mulder poked his head and rifle through the opening. As quickly as he could he surveyed the room and flipped his rifle from left to right, and then left again. "Clear!" He wriggled back into the tunnel to turn around. In one swift movement; he slid feet first into the large empty tunnel. He could hear the loud screeches of the creatures in the distance. The tunnel was familiar, not filed along the walls with giant alien icicles, but a long humid tunnel with a rounded walkway. He continued sweeping his rifle along the length of the tunnel. Doggett jumped out from behind him, pausing momentarily to take in the surroundings. He too raised his rifle and looked warily down the tunnels.

The rest of them slid out the vent quickly, Scully; almost landing on top of William. It was horrible to be back here. The smell and the sounds made her body tense up. Although, when she was here last time, it was because Mulder had come across the world to save her. She relaxed at the idea that he was still here to save her.

"Okay, are we ready to move? Weapons ready?" Skinner said as he moved to the back of the group. Everyone checked their hand guns and rifles and rearranged themselves. Mulder and William at the front, Scully and Monica in the middle, and Emily stood between Doggett and Skinner at the back. They always chose this formation. Keeping one of the kids one each end and the girls in the middle.

"We're gonna head left first. From memory that will lead we in the direction of were all that lightning was hitting. Everyone ready?" He got no objection. He raised his rifle to his shoulder; "then let's go." He said determinedly.

The steady rumbling of the ship was almost nauseating. They jogged steadily down the tunnel towards the center, the sounds of the entities got louder as they went.

Less than ten minute from the point at which they started were they met by the creatures that roamed the tunnels. There were four of them, and they knew the humans were there before they did. They were quick in their attack, their sharp teeth and claws primed to kill. Luckily, William was quicker. He raised his hands and the creatures stopped abruptly. Mulder wasted no time in putting a few bullets through their heads. The creatures fell to the ground limply. The sounds of the gun firing would certainly have attracted attention.

They continued down the tunnel at a quicker pace. They came to a two way intersection. They stood and looked down both tunnels; "shit, which way do we go?" Doggett yelled.

"Doesn't matter, I think they both lead to the core." He turned around to the group that all watched him; "but I think we shou-" his eyes widened and he quickly shouldered his rifle; "Sir! Look out!"

Skinner turned around and only got a glimpse as one of the creatures lunged out of nowhere and took a swing at his head. He raised his arm to defend himself and the creature's razor sharp claws clipped his arm below the shoulder, almost severing the limb entirely.

Doggett took the creature down with a few shots to the chest. It hit the ground before Skinner did. Blood stained the floor around him as he cried out in agony. His arm hung of his shoulder by a few bits of bloody flesh. Scully took off her backpack and dove to his side. His body shook with blood loss and shock. Scully pulled a few bandages out of her backpack. She took one look at Skinners arm and shuddered;

"Scully, what's the hold up?! Just fix it so we can keep moving before they surround us!" Mulder yelled as he looked down the two tunnels.

"Murder! I can't save this arm! It's too badly damaged!" Mulder looked at her. He turned white at the sight of Skinner and the meaning of her implication.

"Do it..." he screwed up his face and looked back down the tunnel through the scope of his gun.

"Monica... I need you to hold him down." Monica looked green but nodded. Skinner was too close to passing out to notice or care. Monica knelt down and leaned onto Skinners chest. Scully removed the combat knife from her boot.

In one quick cut, his arm was separated from the reminder of his shoulder. Skinner managed to scream in pain again. Scully moved quickly in bandaging the end of his arm and wrapping it in fabric to slow the blood flow. It only took a few minutes before she was putting the backpack on and hauling a semi-conscious Skinner to his buckling feet.

The creatures had certainly heard Skinners screams. They crept down the corridor after the humans quickly, stopping momentarily to take in the stained floor. It enraged them, drove them, and turned them savage. They followed the trail of blood down the tunnels. They could smell the sweat on the back of the human's necks; how sweet the scent was.

They came to an end of the tunnel. They stood on a ledge and peered over the edge into the lengths of the ship. It was huge, bigger than the one in Antarctica; it was taller, but the center was not as wide. It was actually comparatively very small. They could hear the sounds of many creatures in the tunnel behind them.

"Em, come take over for me." Scully beckoned Emily to her. Emily came and swapped with Scully, taking hold of the shoulder of Skinners blooding and severed arm. He was pale and wobbling, but still standing none the less. William move to the back with John and Scully moved up from with Mulder.

She looked at the towering structure in the middle. It was almost entirely made from the black metal that surrounded the; except for a gap, where Scully could see energy flowing. It was almost beautiful, in an end-of-the-world-gonna-kill-us-all kind of way. The gap wasn't far away and she was sure Mulder could hit it. But she had a horrible feeling in her gut that the vaccine might not be enough.

Mulder took no time in taking out his concealed pistol containing the vaccine. He took aim and fired. The dart flew swiftly through the air and into the streaming energy core. 'Yes! Good aim honey!' Scully though triumphantly.

The fluid gel-like substance turned a horrible brown and the structure shook more violently. 'Take that assholes!' Scully thought as she signed. Her joy went as soon as it came, the gel turned blue again and the shaking subsided. She arched her eyebrows in shock. I didn't work.

"DAMMIT!" Mulder yelled next to her. Scully ignored Doggett as she stared into the energy core. It wasn't enough. It had worked, but it wasn't enough. They could go back now, there was no second choice.

A thought struck her, but she didn't want to face the reality of it. If she or William entered the core, it might be enough to infect the ship and destroy it. It would certainly kill them. But if it worked, one life was certainly no great price to pay. She knew who the only logical choice was and she mused on how to tell them.

"Scully?" Mulder said, pulling her slightly from her thoughts. Now was the time to tell him.

"One of us has to go in there..." she replied blankly.

Mulder shook his head in confusion; "what are you talking about?"

'Mulder, I love you; but sometimes you can be a bit stupid...' she thought as she looked at him. She sighed; "One of us who has immunity has to infect the core. It's the only way..."

She watched his eyes as she saw the gears working in his head. Okay, so maybe he wasn't so stupid, because he seemed to understand what she had said. Her heart almost broke then and there as she saw tears glisten in his gorgeous hazel eyes. Oh god, she would miss those beautiful eyes of his.

"No... Scully... no, I'm not losing you or William." He replied, shaking his head in denial.

Of course you're not going to lose William, I'd never let you lose him. She knew what she had to do. She pulled the rifle sling and dropped the weapon on the ground near her feet. She took a breath and swallowed; "You won't lose William, Mulder. I could never live with myself for letting our son go again." But I would happily die knowing you three are alive and well, she mentally added.

Tears now flowed down his sweat covered cheeks. Damn, her heart just broke in her chest. "Scully, I can't let you do it. There has to be another way..."

He whispered desperately.

'So do I...' she thought. She really did. She wished it had worked and they could walk away and live together happily ever after. But maybe it was never meant to be. "There isn't. This is it Mulder." She walked up to him, one painful step at a time. She didn't want to see him cry, not now. She brushed her thumb along his cheek and wiped away his tears. You have to be strong Mulder... ""We'll meet again... I promise."

She couldn't explain it, but she felt as though something in her past may allow her to keep her promise on some level or another. She prayed that that were true. She needed him to be strong, for himself, for their children, for the world. But mostly for her.

"I want to believe that more than anything... I can't go on without you Scully; not after I just found you." He put his hand over hers where it rested on his cheek. She felt his wedding band cool her hot skin. She knew what he meant; he had found his soul mate in her, and she in him. She was sure he could go on. He may never love again, but he would be alive, and that, she could live with, or at least die happily knowing.

She needed to reassure him. She took her hand from his and removed her necklace. That one small item had ventured to the edge of death with her many times over. Now it was time to give its luck to him. She took his hand and put the cross necklace it; "we'll be together again..." she closed his hand around her cross; "whatever it takes; we will be together again." She believed it. She wanted to believe, more than her belief in aliens, her belief in never giving up, or her belief in god. More than anything, she wanted Mulder to believe it too.

"I believe you..." Mulder said with his heart on his tongue. He knew Scully wanted him to do this; she wouldn't let it be any other way. He picked up her rifle and put it one shoulder. He leaned down and kissed her. She felt years of love and passion conveyed in that one brief kiss. She felt a thousand apologies and a thousand tears shared. Her mind flashed through every look, every touch, every unspoken word and every happiness they had shared. If only she had more time.

He leaned his head down on hers, silently saying goodbye. "I love you more than anything in the world." He whispered. She believed him with all her heart and soul. She felt the exact same way about him.

She cupped his face in her hands and looked him in the eyes; "I love you too..." she swallowed again. "Now go"

When he pulled away and lost contact, she felt part of herself die. She stood near the edge and looked at her Emily and William, her children. William was going to grow up to be exactly like Mulder; goofy, smart and brilliant. She then looked at Emily; she would be brave, logical and passionate. She felt her heart rip into tiny piece when the realized she would never see then grow up.

"I'll stay with her whilst you guys get out of here..." she heard Doggett say. He was a brave man, no doubt about it. The rest went to leave but Monica came back to John to tell him something. Scully had no doubt about what Monica had said, although she picked a hell of a time to tell him. Monica ran back to Emily and Skinner.

Scully watched as Mulder and her children moved away from her. She savored the last looks they gave her before the ran down the tunnel.

And then... they were gone.

Scully turned back to face the core. This was it. She was finally going to die.

A thought, no, a memory flashed through her mind. A memory that brought hope to her. She remembered back to 1997, back to when she worked on the X Files as a special agent. The memory brought upon a realization. Maybe she could keep her promise to Mulder after all. She turned to John;

"John, go. I'll be fine. Go help them get out." She said against the screeching of the approaching creatures. After a moment of gazing; he nodded and bolted down the tunnel.

She smiled and looked at the core. She took a few steps back and ran forwards, throwing herself into the open space and through the gap. She smiled as she hit the flowing energy core.


Mulder jogged down the steaming tunnel; tears flowing down his cheeks. He heard steps behind him in the tunnel. He turned;

"Wait up!" Doggett yelled as he caught up to them.

"YOU LEFT HER THERE ALONE?!" Mulder yelled as he advanced on Doggett. Just before he was ready to take a swing, the entire ship began to shake violently, almost knocking them all over.

"She told me to help you get out!" Doggett yelled loudly. Mulder was partly furious and partly broken. It was obvious that Scully had made it. He knew that she was dead.

"We don't have much time! We've got about eight minutes till this thing goes!" He yelled.

Mulder was angry beyond reason and he knew it. "Emily?! Can you support Skinner?" Emily nodded and moved away from Skinner, he floated in the air at waist height and she moved next to him. Monica stood on his other side and drew her 9mm. Doggett moved to the back of the group. "William, clear us a pathway." Mulder said seriously at his son. William looked forwards and held both hands in front of him. "Let's go!" Mulder roared.

The trip back was quick. They were met by many creatures along the way, but Mulder's anger and Williams powers help them bulldoze their way through. They sprinted the whole way and made it to an open vent in about three minutes.

It only took about another minute to get to the surface. Everybody ran on adrenaline and hate. The ship was venting a lot of steam and was rumbling more now, and the weather had gotten worse. They only had about less than five minutes. William ran up to the top of a pile of sand and raised his arms above his head. He looked to the sky.

"William! What are you doing?!" Mulder yelled. William didn't reply. A few seconds pass when Mulder saw a large object flying towards them at a very great speed. It hit the sand in front of them. Goddamn... it was one of the buggies.

Scully had once told his that William summoned a piece of alien metal to his crib when he was an infant. Apparently, he's now moved on up to vehicles too.

No questions were asked as they all climbed into the vehicle. Mulder hit the accelerator and drove quickly along the shaky surface. He did his best to avoid the air vents and shrinking dunes. Within two minute they were near the edge; but they will happen when one travels at 190 km/h. They slowed down and drove straight off the edge.

Only when they were in the air did Mulder realize how stupid that stunt was. They hit the dunes with a crash, but kept going. They managed to get about a kilometer away before....

The ship exploded in a huge thunderous boom, the center was the first to go and the explosion cascaded out to the edge in a ripple. They hid behind a large sand dune and held onto each other; blocking their ears. The sound wave was incredible. Even through their hands the sound was deafening. But the sound was blocked out by the crunching Mulder felt in his chest.

She was gone....

Two days later
Christmas eve- 2012
Waddn, Libya

It was hot out in the sun, the sand burned and the wind was cutting. It was painful to move as consciousness arrived.

Thoughts plagued every aching limb; but one single realization made life a lot better. 'I'm alive.'

08:10 am
February 23rd- 2013
Virginia state cemetery, Virginia

It was a cool morning. It was a sad day for Fox Mulder; he stood at the empty grave of his recently deceased wife. One year ago on this day did he propose marriage to his partner, Dana Katherine Scully. She had said yes, and made him the happiest man in the world. Now, she was dead.

He wasn't entirely alone though. He had his son, William and his not adopted daughter, Emily. As depressed as it was to walk around the empty feeling home every morning, at least he had his children.

William was so like him. He saw it more clearly now than ever. He sat on the porch steps with his son in the early hours of the morning as he had done with Scully the year before. No words were exchanged, but they found it slightly comforting. They soaked in the world around them that owed its existence to her.

Emily, she was strong through it all. She was like Dana in many ways too. She pushed on and never admitted defeat. It was hard, but she was determined never to forget, and never to break. She often did little things that reminded them of her, an eyebrow, a sigh, maybe even a hint of skepticism when she folded her arms. Either way, she had a lot of Scully in her.

Mulder did nothing to stop the flow of tears running down his cheeks. He missed her, badly. He wasn't sure how he managed to still be there after he lost her. He ran his thumb over his wedding ring. A widow, who would have thought? Who would have guessed, they he would be standing there, at the grave of his wife, mourning her loss? He would never have guessed.

He closed his eyes and let himself remember;

'Agent Mulder? I'm Dana Scully; I've been assigned to work with you...' the first time she stepped into his office and he looked up at her through his reading glasses. Whether either of them knew it, he was hers from that moment.

He remember how lost he felt when she disappeared for three months. He remembered slowly growing more attached to her. He remembered allowing himself to feel more than he should for her.

'I don't want to do this without you. I don't know if I can...' those were his words to her. Whether she knew it or not, he basically said he wouldn't be able to continue anything without her.

After that moment, they were more than simply partners. He needed her, and whether she would admit it; she needed him too. He thought about when thinks started to change. When he took her out to play baseball, when he asked her to dance with him, when he kissed her on that boat in Bermuda, when they played husband and wife in arcadia. He thought about when he kissed her for real on New Year's Eve, 1999. Yes, that's probably when everything changed. When they considered the possibility of admitting what they felt.

All those moments that they had shared, gone.

Mulder got down on his knees and placed some roses on the base of the marble tombstone. He read the words engraved on them, an act he was not unfamiliar with.

Dana Katherine Scully
23/2/1964 - 22/12/2012
Beloved wife, mother, sister and daughter

'The dead do speak to us'

Mulder believed this. He recalled sitting in the damned prison cell and having a lovely conversation with Alex Krycek. He saw his sister as a walk-in when he found out she had died many years ago. But as much as he missed her, he didn't want Scully to speak to him. He knew that, yes, the dead do speak to us, but he could live with pain of seeing her again.

He missed her so much. He would never be able to handle seeing her again. It would be far too painful. She was gone now, let her rest in final peace.

The cold wind bit into him, he didn't care. He stopped caring two months ago. His stood up again and looked down at the source of his pain. He looked up and found that his mind had betrayed him.

There she was. Standing in front of him, silent, and watching him.

Mulder looked back at the grave, he knew it wasn't her. She was dead. Sometimes the dead don't speak, sometimes they do. Sometimes, they are pale and ghostly, other times they look like living people. If there was anything he had let to say, now was the time to say it.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss you..." he looked up at her. She simply watched him; "I'm sorry for every minute I didn't spent with you. And every minute I didn't tell you how much I love you. I'm sorry I never thanked you; for loving me back, or giving me two children."

He shuffled his feet, but didn't hesitate to continue. "I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. I wanted to grow old with you, watch our kids grow up and have their own families. I wanted to sit in the sunshine and hold your hand. Most of all I guess, I wanted you to live happily. I would have never let you cry, or feel alone. I would have given you the world to see you smile."

He felt his heart tremble in his chest. He couldn't look at her, as much as he wanted to. "I want you to know some things. I want you to know, that I'm always going to be thankful for what you did. The sacrifice you made. I wanna promise you that no matter what... I won't forget you, nor will I stop loving you."

He looked up and saw that she had moved, somehow without him noticing, closer to him. She stood in front of him; her head tilted to one side and her eyes an icy blue.

He smiled and stuck his thumbs under his collar, and pulled out the two cross necklaces he wore. "You'll always be with me. You promised me that we would meet again. I believe you. I certainly hope we will, if not now. Maybe another lifetime perhaps." He chuckled. He signed "you promised..." he said sadly, looking into her eyes. She raised her hand to hover above his cheek.

He closed his eyes and prepared himself to open them and find her gone.

"I make a promise, Mulder," she whispered to him. At least he imagined she did. He nodded and opened his eyes, she was still there. But her eyes glistened with tears.

She put her hand on his cheek.

Mulder drew in a deep breath when he felt her warm flesh on his skin. It was impossible. She was dead. She couldn't be standing there, touching his face with her soft hands...

"The dead do speak to us... but those who don't die, live on." She smiled up at his pale face. She brushed her thumb over his wet cheek, just as she had done two months ago. His eyes darted across her face, his breathing quickened and he raised a trembling hand up.

His world began to spin, this wasn't happening. He ran his hand through her sort copper hair. It was happening. She was there, alive, but there none the less. He stumbled out a quiet; "how?"

"For once... I can't give an explanation. But I do know that there were many times when I should have died. But didn't. I know it goes back to that case I worked on in 99'. When I worked with Alfred Fellig. I cheated death that day, as I cheated death two months ago."

Mulder's brilliant mind had for the first time in his life; drawn a blank. He regretted asking, because he certainly didn't care. She was there. She had returned to him and he couldn't have given a damn how or why.

Scully sniffed and looked at him, silently asking him to speak. He didn't say a word, but he did lean down and kiss her. He vented every bit of pain into the abyss and expressed his unexplainable joy and love to her. They stood together there, each wishing that this wasn't some cruel dream that they would wake up from. But they never woke up, it was real. They held each other for what felt like forever, and they didn't mind a bit.

Eventually Mulder spoke; "I can't believe this is happening..." he mumbled into her shoulder.

She pulled away from him so she could look him in the eye. He sniffled; "I can't believe you just said that Mulder... aren't you the one you believes the unbelievable?"

Mulder looked at her for a moment before he laughed out loud. For the first time in what felt like too long; he felt happy. He laughed with her and hugged her. He felt his heart pull itself back together and start to heal. He remembered something; and pulled his hands away from her. She held him around the waist, afraid to let him go.

He removed on of the necklaces around his neck and held it in front of her; "I reckon this is yours..." she smiled widely and tilted her head forwards a little. He happily put it back where it belonged; around her neck and resting on her heart.

They stood together, on her 49th birthday, one year after he asked her to marry him, in the graveyard where her mother was buried and were her own tombstone rested. They stood forehead to forehead, loving each other and silently promising never to let one another go ever again.

It was a promise they kept for the rest of their lives.

25 Years Later

The infant rays kissed her soft pale skin and set her auburn hair aglow. The sun rose over the treetops and came to rest across the hunched over figure that sat on the steps of the front porch. She breathed in the moist air and readjusted her grip on her well used pen.

'To say they live happily ever after would have possibly been far too clichéd; but then again... Mulder was the king of clichés.'

She finished the last word in her notebook and sighed. It had been hard work, but she loved writing. It was something she understood and was good at from an early age. Nevertheless; she was glad she had finished this particular story. It was the first story she had ever written, starting from when she was 14, till now.

"Katherine?" a gentle voice came from the door behind her. She turned around where she sat and smiled up at her grandmother.

She never let anyone except her grandparents call her by her first name. The same went for her twin brother, Charlie. They always asked everybody else to call them by their last names. She let her grandma and grandpa get away with it because, for her at least; she was named after her grandmother's middle name.

"Still writing that story of yours are you?" Scully asked as she folded her arms across her chest and wandered over to where Katherine sat.

Even at 74; she still maintained her professional standard of dress. She sometimes looked like a seasoned headmaster, and other times like professional cookie-making granny. Her fiery red hair had now faded to a gentle gold. Even in these cool mornings she still sported a black skirt and white blouse. She looked good for a woman her age.

"It's not my story grandma. I've told you before." Katherine said, closing her note book. "Besides; I just finished the final draft. Your story is almost finished."

"I think your version of my story is too romantic to be true. Your mother could have told you all about that, she was there for the worst of it." Scully remarked as she sat down next to Katherine and flattened her skirt out.

"Name one part about yours and grandpa's story that wasn't romantic... I'm a 17-year-old girl. Romance is my specialty."

Scully smiled and started counting on each of her fingers "well there was the flukeman, vampires, monsters, and all those wonderful diseases I was exposed to over the years, and of course we can't forget those lovely aliens your granddad is still chasing..."

"Ok, ok... I get it." Scully pulled a stray hair out of her eyes. "I still think all great stories deserve to be written though." She leaned against Scully and felt a comforting arm wrap around her shoulder.

Scully loved her four grandchildren equally. But Katherine was her favorite. Katherine to her, was like what she once was to Ahab.

Katherine was her oldest granddaughter. Emily met a young doctor when she began university. Chris Charles Spencer; (his last name had Mulder doing background checks) was studying to be a pediatrician. He was a typical, dark haired, hazel eyed, all-American boy. The two became close friends very quickly and decided to have a child. A decision, which ultimately resulted, in twins. With the addition of Katherine's brother, Charlie; Emily and Chris got married and finished their degrees together whilst building their lives as a family.

Scully, and eventually Mulder too, approved of Chris entirely. He was the kind of guy that would walk to the end if the world to buy his kids an ice cream. Probably the most assuring quality he had was his unbreakable devotion to his wife. So it was always a pleasure to have them all around.

Katherine was very much like Emily, and consequentially; exactly like Scully. She was level headed and entirely rational. She was independent, yet capable of deep and poetic thinking; and had great literacy skills. She looked a lot like her mother, except she was taller; standing a good two and a half inches above her parents.

Charlie was a unique combination himself. He had the bright blue eyes and endearing smile, sadly his eyes were often covered by his scruffy black hair. He was an unusual contrast to his sister, but they weren't the argumentative type. They, like many twins, had a language all of their own. A grunt, a look, an eyebrow or simply a twitch of the head was all they needed to talk to one another.

William was also married, with two boys of his own. Billy, the oldest of his sons; looked similar to his father, except his hair was strawberry blonde. He was the impulsive one with a mischievous look about him. But can you expect any less from a ten year old? Apparently not. Williams younger son, John, was only seven, but intellectually equal to Billy. He was the 'good son', the one that did as was told and never mucked around; unless influenced by Billy, of course. Many of Mulder's features weren't lost on John. He had inherited the ever changing eyes and the distinct nose.

William met his wife when he was in high school. Sarah carpenter; a clever young girl from DC. She was well built and had glossy brown hair and steely grey eyes. She and William were stuck together as partners for science on day one. Although they weren't immediate friends, they grew inexplicably close over the years. Eventually they ended up dating and continued the relationship for many years.

William was offered a promising career in the CIA; but turned it down for a more 'close-to-home' job as a police officer in a small precinct. He enjoyed the work and loved being close to his new family.

Neither he nor Emily had used their abilities since that fateful day in Waddn in 2012. They simply had no need to.

When Katherine went back to school, she left the final copy of her unnamed story at Mulder and Scully's house. She did it deliberately, in hope that they would give it a title that was appropriate.

Scully sat on the back veranda with a cup of black tea in one hand and rested the other on her cheek. Her glasses sat halfway up her nose and she read the amateur biography with a critical eye. It was a still afternoon and she had grown to enjoy the scenery around her house, taking in all its beauty.

Mulder came outside and wandered around to the other side of the table. He sat down and ran his short stubby fingers through his almost entirely grey hair. At least he hadn't begun losing hair. Scully could live with the grey.

"One of the few documents that we feature in, that actually tells the story without editing or amendment." Mulder dead panned. He hadn't lost his humor over the years, although he had grown up significantly. He was no longer the boyish FBI agent who disregarded the rules and ditched his partner. He had become simply a man who had seen too many things and experienced too much loss to let life pass by easily. He had made every moment meaningful, and each day significant.

"At least it's well written and is only moderately symbolic."

"Can you imagine what could have been written had history taken another course? What if we took a different path?" he asked over the top of his own glasses. Scully remembered the sinful joy she felt when he was told to wear them permanently. She liked them.

Scully looked at Mulder and allowed her mind to remember a conversation she had once had with him. A talk they had had many years ago.

"I don't think you can know. I mean, how many different lives would we be leading if we made different choices? We... We don't know."

"What if there was only one choice and all the other ones were wrong? And there were signs along the way to pay attention to."

"Mmm... And all the... choices would then lead to this very moment. One wrong turn, and... We wouldn't be sitting here together. Well, that says a lot. That says a lot, a lot, a lot. That's probably more than we should be getting into at this late hour."

She didn't hear the rest of what he had said; she had fallen asleep against his shoulder. Perhaps for the first time, in a long time; she could rest.

She nodded and put the manuscript on the table. "As long as I ended up here... I don't care what path I could have taken. I can't imagine not being here, or now."

Mulder smiled and leaned back in his seat, casting his gazed up and down over his wife. "I think that's something we can mutually agree on." He put a hand across the table and let it rest palm up in front of her. She slid her hand across the table to slip into his.

This was what she had wanted all her life. A caring husband. A wonderful family. Shamefully, she had to admit; when she first imagined how everything would turn out, Mulder wasn't the person she expected to spend the majority of her life with. But in no way did she regret it.

She remembered something she had written down once; a long time ago, in her journal the night before she joined the FBI...

'My life is beginning and I only really know how I want it to end. I think if I can look back on my life and be happy with my achievements, I would be content. My time on this world is what I make it, but I'll know when I've left my mark. Most of all, I want to grow, have a family, and have someone to hold my hand when I'm old and walking those last few steps. Someone who will walk the journey with me...'

She also remembered her first impression of Mulder. Needless to say, he wasn't exactly trying to get into her good books. But people change, and the journey was long and hard, and particularly scary a lot of the time; but luckily Mulder was there to hold her hand whenever she needed him to.

The sun was setting and it was a bit cooler. Mulder sat on the porch steps with his elbows resting on top of his knees. He thought about many things. His sister Samantha was never really found, in his mind. He thought of his friends; and how their lives had changed after 2012.

Skinner returned home, and he and Arlene adopted a young boy. They were too old at the time to have kids of their own, and a baby would be a lot to handle, so they chose a 12-year-old boy named Ryan. They were dedicated parents and Ryan grew up to join the FBI, as his father had. Ryan was doing well and looking forward to a promotion to assistant director. It seemed as though there would always be an assistant director Skinner at the FBI, in one sense or another.

John and Monica gave birth to a son of their own, whom they named Lucas in remembrance of his lost brother. Lucas Doggett had just finished his university degree in education. He was going to be a high school physics teacher. His parents approved of his decision, as they had told him from an early age, not to work directly for the government.

Mulder was rather glad that everything had turned out as well as it had. He watched the sun begin to close in on the distant treetops. He turned his ears towards a sound that came from behind him, but turned his attention back to the lowering sun. He didn't have to guess who it was; no one else was going to be sneaking up on him.

Scully moved down the steps and sat in front Mulder, snuggling herself in between his legs and leaned back against his chest. She rested her hands on his knees; he wrapped both arms protectively around her shoulders and over her chest. Old habits die hard, I guess.

They watched the sun slide down behind the surrounding pine in silence. All that remained was an orange glow and a peach colored skyline. Mulder looked down at the top of Scully's head. Her hair was a shiny copper color, like it once was. He closed his eyes, leaned forward and planted a little kiss on her crown.

"You're not cold, are you?" He muffled into her strawberry scented hair. She gently shook her head to the negative and he pulled his head back; running a hand across the silky top.

Their journey had begun with a sunrise, and here they sat as they watched it set. Life was a journey, now and forever. He was there when the world had nearly ended, and she was there when he lost faith in it. They were balanced and peaceful. They spent the remainder of their lives in content and happiness...

Except for the sunflower seeds, Scully could have lived without those.

The End

Dedication: gold medal thanks to DanaKMulder for Betaing and keeping me on track, Dana42 for writing probably the most details reviews... ever and listening to my rambling and Xfileslover777 for helping me come up with some of the storylines. You guys rock!!

I reckon it important that thanks go to you, the reader. This was my first story and I wanna thank you guys for following the story, keeping me motivated to finish and reviewing. It means a lot. :oD thanks for reading!!!

Reviews for the story in general are welcomed and vastly appreciated!!


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