Title: Blessing
Author: KS
Timeframe/Spoilers: season 11

Summary: Post MSIV. Mulder and Scully try to make sense of everything.

Author's note: Much thanks to my Beta reader WildWingSuz!


Mulder and Scully were frozen in that moment and it felt as if time had stopped. The emotions they were both experiencing seemed endless. Shock, happiness, anguish and grief hit them both all at once. Scully's revelation to him only ended in heart wrenching sobs. He cried silently with her as he held her tightly, protectively, for what seemed like an eternity. She had tried to be strong for him by telling him she wasn't meant to be William's mother either. He didn't understand how she could sound nonchalant after all this time, so distant and cold.

He knew what she was trying to tell him when she kept saying "William...William isn't..." She couldn't get the words out, but he could see it in her face. He wasn't William's father. He saved her from having to say anything further with a defeated nod to indicate he knew what she meant. It changed nothing and everything at the same time. Any child of Scully's was his, no questions asked. He had been fully prepared to be a father to Emily as well, all that time ago. But for almost eighteen years he thought he was a father.

Both he and Scully had suffered so much for so long with the decision regarding William's adoption. They equally shared that quest to reunite with him. Those moments before Scully shared her news with him were agonizing. William had been the piece that helped them stay together despite everything that had happened between them in recent years. Their shared journey kept them together. What would Scully possibly want with him now that piece was gone? "If only you had walked away sooner" he recalled saying.

William had died for him. He saw it. William was him, pretended to be him to the smoking sonofabitch. Instead of using his powers to defend himself, he allowed himself to be shot. He was just glad Scully wasn't there in time to witness that. Her sobs finally ceased, but her breathing remained heavy. He could feel her shivering against the iciness of the night in his arms. "It's c-cold," she whispered against his chest.

That was when he realized his hands were numb. He gently pulled back. "Yeah, we should go. It's probably not good for you," he watched her as she looked up. Her face was red from the tears and from the cold.

"Skinner!" She said with sudden realization. She hadn't seen nor heard from him since the gunshots.

"Skinner's with you?"

Scully nodded. She grabbed onto his hand and they began running back the direction from which they came. As they got closer to the alley, Scully had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach and she began to feel nauseous. "Walter!" She cried out. She saw his car in the alley from a distance and one right behind it.

As she got closer, what she saw filled her with dread. Mulder tried to keep hold of her arm, but she managed to pull away and run towards the car. She covered her mouth, feeling bile creeping up. She shouldn't have been out here. Her doctor had told her to take it easy. It was why she had hesitantly sent Mulder alone in the first place. She saw the form wedged between the two cars. "Oh God," she tried keep her fear at bay, but the hormones were having their way with her tonight. Scully sank to her knees and peered underneath. The front end of the black car and the bumper of the other car seemed to create a bridge between one another. Scully ran to the other side. She could see Skinner's lifeless form more clearly.

Scully could see Skinner's lifeless form on his stomach. She reached out as much as she could to feel for his pulse.

She could hear Mulder on the phone with 911 while she did this. Suddenly, Skinner started to move. "Scully," came a strained, hoarse reply.

Scully gasped in relief. "Sir, don't move, help is on the way. I promise," she said as she quickly looked him over. The fender of the SUV and bumper of the car were his only saving grace.

She couldn't tell the extent of his injuries, but she thought he would survive.

Once Mulder got off the phone, he walked around to the driver's side of the SUV. What he saw made his heart drop and he didn't realize how they didn't see it sooner. He opened the door to the driver's side of the car and behind the wheel was Monica Reyes. He saw the bullet holes in the windshield; the bullet had grazed the side of her forehead and there was a gash of blood on the side of her head. Otherwise, she looked exactly the same as he last saw her sixteen years ago. Mulder felt for a pulse and she moaned, clearly in pain.

Scully heard Mulder's gasp and walked over to where he was standing. "Oh God, Monica!" Seeing her friend for the first time in well over a decade was surreal. Scully quickly looked over the other woman. The bullet wound suggested it was very close to have done fatal damage. She likely had other injuries from the accident as well, but nothing that wouldn't heal.

"You're going to be okay Monica," Scully whispered.

"Dana," came her weak reply.

Even if they didn't entirely understand her motivations, Mulder assumed that she was in a position much like Skinner was, but never failed to come through to help them.

Minutes later, ambulances arrived and Skinner and Monica were taken to the hospital.

It was quiet for the longest time on the drive back to their home in Farrs Corner. Mulder was going crazy with questions. He knew he should broach the subject another time, but his obsessive personality had his mouth running before he could pull the words back in time.

"I know you said William was part of an experiment. I already knew that…we knew that from that case that brought us to Norfolk the first time. My black lunged bastard father was involved in Project Crossroads. But William has your DNA, Scully. He's still your child, so why did you say those things?"

Scully opened her eyes wearily. She wasn't ready for this conversation, but she knew it was coming. As it was, she was barely processing the fact that she was a victim of medical rape over seventeen years ago. Her thought processes had all but shut down when Skinner told her the truth. She was still in shock.

She placed her hands on her abdomen and took a deep breath. "He told me we can't protect him and that he knew I loved him, but we needed to let him go."

Mulder fought back tears and concentrated on the road. "So if I'm not his father..." his voice broke. He couldn't finish the question, but Scully immediately started crying again and he instantly regretted bringing it up. He gripped the steering wheel, hard, fighting his anger down for Scully's sake. He blinked away unshed tears.

"The smoking bastard-" Scully started between sobs. Mulder shook his head and reached over, taking one of her hands in his own. "He- I'm so sorry Mulder. I'm so sorry," she cried.

He swallowed a lump in his throat. He was the one who was sorry. Sorry that he didn't make her walk out of that basement sooner. He should have unloaded his entire clip into that bastard before pushing him off the ledge. Part of himself wished he could bring the sonofabitch back only so he could murder him slowly and ensure his death was miserable.

The knowledge of Scully being horribly violated in this manner was worse than a knife being twisted repeatedly in his heart. This child she had been impregnated with had changed everything in their lives for the past seventeen years. And by his own fucking father. It was sick and disturbing in the worst possible way. He had his fears, but he always reserved them for Scully and assumed parental responsibility. He would do it all over again, but he really couldn't blame Scully for her reaction at the dock.

"I talked to him, Scully, he was clearly troubled. But he was a good person."

Scully stopped sobbing and looked over at Mulder as he spoke.

"He protected me at the motel when I should have been the one protecting him. He was right, we can't protect him, Scully. I was followed and he killed those people instantaneously while I was powerless to do anything about it. And...he allowed himself to get shot by Spender, as me."

It was then that Scully realized it. William shared her visions. He knew what was going to happen. Did he make them all see him as Mulder, expecting to take that shot for him? She thought back to their encounter in the factory. She had heard Skinner's gunshots and was about to go back him up. Instead of taking his chance to make a quick getaway right then, William stopped her from leaving and talked to her until the real Mulder showed up.

Then she remembered the visions she'd had at the house when she was in the bathroom, feeling sick and nauseated. Amidst everything, she had a vision of an ultrasound and saw herself giving birth. Her visions come from William, so was it possible he already knew about the baby she was carrying? It was the only explanation. It was one of the reasons she stayed home in the first place until she couldn't sit back any longer. The fact that she had gone with Skinner and spent so much time chasing William around already had already been a huge risk, but she had to take it.

Scully closed her eyes and sighed. "I had a vision earlier at the house today about the baby. When I came to the factory, I saw you or I thought it was you. Before he ran off, I heard gunshots outside and was going to help Skinner. I don't know why, but he stopped me from going when he could have taken off right then. And seeing what happened out there, he probably saved me from the unthinkable," she whispered.

She suddenly felt horrible for saying those things on the dock in a moment where she was overwhelmed with Skinner's revelation. She tried to block it out as long as she could after Skinner delivered the news, but it hit her full force when she saw Mulder alone on that dock, telling her that her son had just been shot. She had to distance herself emotionally, but she didn't get far before she lost herself entirely in Mulder's arms after telling him about the baby. It was not how she envisioned giving him the news, but how else was she supposed to respond to his dejected statement about not being a father? It was clear to her now that William truly did know she loved him and that he loved them in return, even if he couldn't be with them. They brought danger to him when they chased him, and he knew that their being around him would be dangerous for them as well. If the vision she had of Mulder dying had come to fruition, what would she have done? Now that William's stem cells were out of the question, it terrified her to think that she wouldn't have been able to save Mulder. William had taken the bullet that was meant for him.

Mulder pulled up in front of their house. They were both silent for several minutes before Mulder spoke again. "Biology doesn't matter, Scully. It doesn't matter how he came to be. He'll still always be our son."

She nodded. "I know," she whispered as her breath caught in her throat. It was true. Mulder was the biological son of the smoking bastard, but he was nothing like him. And she knew in her heart that despite the troubles and darkness in William's life, he was a good person too. "Except that if that virus was unleashed I wouldn't have been able to save you," she began to sob. "I wouldn't have been able to get you those stem cells."

Mulder looked over at Scully. She may have been right. William had taken the bullet that was meant for him. The boy had even spared him from the heartbreak of telling him that he knew who his real father was. In that moment, he thought of the mannerisms Scully and William shared. A small smile spread across his face. He didn't want to think about the disturbing way he and William were related, but they were in the technical sense and he swore he saw some similarities to himself as well. Scully closed her eyes and tightened her grip on his hand. He killed the engine and went around to open the door for her before they went into the house.

It hurt. Mulder had set out with intention of bringing William back to her, but now he remembered something else. She didn't go with him, but rather told him to 'Come back alive'. She had also told him that everything in the world depended on them ensuring no one else got to William first. He thought her choice of words was strange at the time, but didn't question it even though he had a feeling she was holding something back.

He thought it could have been the cancer, he never would have guessed she was pregnant. It was impossible, or more than impossible, as she put it. It was truly a medical miracle. The last time he left when she was pregnant, he was abducted. William said he would die. Both William and Scully had shared visions of everything that happened, but thing was different. William had taken that bullet that was meant for him. His son was the reason he came back alive.

It hurt finding out he wasn't a father after seventeen years after sharing this quest with Scully. He hadn't given much thought into having more children. Maybe it was because he couldn't fathom having more children with anyone else Scully, so he accepted that it wasn't meant to be. But when Scully took his hand to her abdomen and he felt the slight bump that was not there before, he fought a sudden pang of emotion and didn't really realize until that moment how much he had wanted this with her, no matter how impossible it seemed or how old they were.

They both changed, eager to sleep. Scully started to feel nauseated again and quickly ran to the bathroom. She braced herself on the sink, staring back at her reflection once more as she took several deep breaths. It was then that she saw another vision, another ultrasound and a newborn, a girl? She wasn't sure. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes. That was when she realized it. William was alive.

"Scully?"

She didn't realize Mulder had come up from behind her. "He's alive," she whispered, and more tears threatened to fall. "He's okay," she let out a sob.

Mulder gazed at her in stunned confusion. She turned to look back at him and she could see the relief filling his features as well. "Are you sure?"

"I just had another vision, Mulder. I think he wants us to know he's alive. Even if we can't be together as a family."

He sighed and looked down at her and he saw the tears in his eyes that mirrored his own. He pulled her into a quick embrace and settled his chin on her head as he held her tightly. She was wearing her usual silk pajamas. He wasn't sure how he didn't notice before, but he could feel the small bump against him. He moved back slightly and placed his hand on the same spot Scully placed it earlier. He really couldn't believe he didn't notice before. "Scully, how far along are you?"

"Thirteen weeks." Scully was still in shock. They only had six months' time to process and prepare for a baby, assuming nothing went wrong. She didn't want to admit it, but for a woman her age, the odds of complications seemed to be stacked against her. She had only known about the baby for hours even though she had suspected for some time longer, but she already felt attached to the tiny life growing inside of her. She didn't want to imagine the possibility of something going wrong.

Mulder smiled as he thought for a moment. It must have been while they were out on that doppelganger case. "And you said you weren't sure if you believe in miracles," he smiled at the irony.

"I admit that I had lost faith for a while after everything that's been taken from us. I didn't want to believe in anything anymore. Set your expectations low and you won't be disappointed." She hated to admit it. It was one of the reasons she'd felt a prompt to go to confession recently. And that was also around the time she started feeling sick, but pregnancy was the last thing that had come to mind. She was afraid it could have been the cancer. Scully was still in perimenopause and for most women, it was not impossible to have an oopsie if not careful. Not for a woman like her who had had all of her ova taken, however.

Scully had expressed her desire for them to be together again as a family in the church. To retire from the FBI and live a life with some normalcy. She'd never expected to have to let William go. Not after all these years of searching. She was heartbroken, paternity aside. But it was reassuring that he knew she loved him and maybe that would be enough.

Scully thought back to her mother's last words. About parental responsibility. How it was their responsibility to know he was okay even when they couldn't see William or be with him. And though she hadn't seen him properly, she had followed through on her mother's wishes and knew that William would be okay.


Two Months Later

The X-Files had been closed and it was for the best. Skinner decided to retire after various threats from Kersh. Even though Skinner made it clear why he helped them, Scully and Mulder felt terrible for not trusting him for as long as they had.

Monica Reyes also recovered and managed to reconnect with John Doggett. Scully had decided to return to Our Lady of Sorrows, but not until well after she had the baby. Her OBGYN had informed her that since the pregnancy was very high risk due to her age, she couldn't be on her feet for long periods of time.

They did an amniocentesis to make sure there was nothing abnormal about the baby that indicated Down's syndrome or other fetal abnormalities. To be on the safe side, Mulder and Scully mutually agreed that a maternity and paternity test would be performed. Scully had no doubts on when this child was conceived and had zero evidence of outside manipulation, but they needed that peace of mind. Mulder was still figuring things out, but he decided that perhaps it was time to write that book she'd told him to write. And it would be good for him to be home so they didn't have to worry about the baby while she was away, even if she planned on going back part time to start.

Mulder had begun decorating the nursery. They hadn't confirmed the gender of the baby, but she had a strong feeling that she knew already. Scully stood in the doorway, watching the room come together, a hand on her hip and the other on the doorway. The walls were a midnight blue and there were glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. The plan was to put in planets and other decor. William's room at his adoptive parents' house had been the inspiration. Knowing Mulder though, spaceships and aliens would be coming next. He already had a whole theme going on, but it made her happy that they weren't doing the traditional pink or blue.

Mulder looked over at her. She mostly wore baggy sweaters nowadays, but she looked good in them. Perhaps that's why he hadn't noticed any changes in her body yet. They also hadn't officially gotten back together romantically until shortly before she found out she was pregnant, so he didn't notice those details as they weren't regularly intimate then.

Scully was beginning to outgrow that favorite sweater of hers though. At five months along, he could start to see the subtle shape of her belly pressing against it. He still woke up every morning, not believing this was happening. Scully was really here, sharing a home with him again like they had never separated in the first place. There were a few conditions to that, though, such as appliances getting updated, moving his desk back into his office, doing something about his clutter of VHS tapes, UFO newspaper clippings and of course, cleaning up after himself. He had teased her that this house was far from being like her smart house with every bit of technology available that could be imagined.

In all honesty, she wasn't sure why she picked that place. Maybe because it was optimal to use as an Airbnb and it had top notch security, but it never felt like a home. Not in the way this house did. This was the type of house she wanted to raise their child in.

Mulder looked at her all of a sudden, as if he remembered something. "Oh, why you were out earlier, a box came for you."

Scully eyed him curiously. "Really?"

He nodded and she stepped aside as he moved past her. He went downstairs and retrieved the box from his office and set it on the dining table. She came up behind him a minute later and looked suspiciously at the box.

"There's no return address and I'm not expecting anything," she said as Mulder looked at her. "Other than the obvious."

Scully couldn't help but feel a little sad at the knowledge that their baby wouldn't really have any other close relatives. Charlie was out of the picture and Bill was in Germany, though that may have been for the best. She was sure her brother would be committed for murder if he found out Mulder impregnated his 54-year-old sister. There would be no baby shower or baby registry. They would have to be enough for their child for now.

Mulder looked at her and sensed something was off, so he tried to lighten the mood. "Maybe it's a little pink vibrator?"

She was caught off guard and knew she should be well beyond embarrassment at this point, but couldn't help turning slightly red at the memory.

Mulder stood behind her as she opened the box. Scully dug around through packing paper until she found the object. It was heavy in her hands as she unwrapped the bubble wrapping. What she saw next she was completely unprepared for. It was a large snow globe with a teddy bear on the inside.

On the base of the snow globe was a mix of yellow, blue and pink patterns that includes stars and hearts. There was a pink bow and an inscription that read "You are loved, today, tomorrow, and always".

Scully looked at the front of the box and only saw a generic shipping center from Washington DC. She set the globe down and pulled out more packing paper and found a small card on the inside. Mulder wrapped his arms around her from behind and read it with her.

"I think this would look nice in the baby's room. Even though I can't be with you guys, just know that I'm not far away."

Scully's knees went weak and if it wasn't for Mulder next to her, she probably would have fallen to the floor. She felt tears streaming down her face and started sobbing. Mulder pulled her towards him and wrapped her in a loving embrace.

Their son was alive. He knew about the baby and he loved them. For the first time in years, they knew everything would be okay.

END

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