Title: Darkness Travels
Author: Cerulean1
Author's Page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/174516/
Category: X-Files
Genre: Sci-Fi/Romance
Completed: 04/21/2002
Words: 8806
Rating: PG
Keywords: Mulder/Scully romance

Disclaimer: WE all know the drill. They aren't mine and they never were nor shall they ever be. I hold no claim to any characters in here, except those you've never heard of before (in which case I made them up). Pleeease Fox, don't sue me, it's not worth it! Really!

Summary: Worlds collide when William finds out where his Daddy is. Set ten years in the future, William knows only a little about his father having seen him only has an infant and in pictures.

There was the sound of movement in the kitchen. William rolled over and looked at the alarm clock on his bedside table. It was nearing seven in the morning, but his alarm had yet to go off. 'Guess Mom turned it off,' he thought as he threw off the Knicks sheets he'd rolled himself up in. He grabbed his shirt off the floor and shoved it over his head as he made his way down the hall.

His mother was humming to herself. She was already dressed for work, although she didn't have to be there for another two hours. It was the first day of spring break, and the first spring break William would have to himself. No baby-sitter, no grandmother's house for a week. Just him, the TV and refrigerator until five when his mom came home. He couldn't wait for her to leave.

"Hey, Mom. What you doing up so early?"

"Making you breakfast. Are you sure you don't want to go to grandma's for the week? I'd feel better if there was someone to watch you."

"Mom! I'm FINE! I'm ten years old, I can handle five hours by myself. And, yes, I know your work number, and 911. I won't look for the 11, I promise. There's left over Chinese in the fridge, and frozen pizza in the freezer. I have 30 bucks left over from my birthday and if I'm in desperate need I can order a pizza. I'll be fine!"

He noticed the orange juice on the counter and willed it over to him. He grabbed it in mid-flight and drank from it. He set it down and it hovered in the air before settling down on the kitchen table.

His mother watched him, annoyed. "What have I told you about drinking straight from the carton? It's not like its that much work for you to get a glass." She reached up over her head and pulled down a glass tossing it toward him. It stopped in the air then flew back to the cupboard.

"To much like work. So, what's for breakfast?"

"Nothing, if you don't mind yourself young man."

"Yes, mother, anything you say mother."

They both smiled, and she laid pancakes eggs onto the table. They ate in silence, both simply enjoying the other's company. The boy smiled as they finished, and the plates flew into the sink seemingly of their own accord. The water turned on, and they seemed to wash themselves and put themselves the drying rack.

"I suppose you don't really need me around, do you?" His mother asked, almost dejectedly.

"I'll always need you mom, I still can't do laundry."

She laughed, and placed a hand on his shoulder as she went in search of her bags. William watched her go into the bedroom, then padded his way into the bathroom.

The water was scolding hot, but he barley noticed it as he sang in the shower. He scrubbed away a night of grime, singing as he did so. His mother cleaned the already spotless apartment, listening to him and thinking about the boy's father. If only he could be here now, to see his son grow up. She sighed, then continued with her work.

William left the shower and got dressed. As he opened the door to his bedroom he heard his mom call "Make you bed, young man!" and so he turned around and did just that. His mother was getting her jacket on, ready to leave as he came out for a second time.

"Bye, mom, have fun."

"Be good William. And don't watch too much TV. I'll be home around five and I'll bring dinner. Love you, be good."

"I will Mom! And I love you too. Bye."

Dana Scully closed the door behind her as she left her son at home for the day.

Chapter 2

William locked the door then turned around and jumped as high as he could. The entire day to himself! He couldn't wait to get started. He scanned the living room, looking for something to do. He gaze fell on the computer sitting in the corner. A devilish look crept into his eyes. He glanced around guiltily then sat down at the computer.

He logged on, and started browsing those things that ten years old boys are known for browsing. It was much more fun then looking through scrapbooks at his grandmothers or reading at the babysitters. There was something so daring in what he was doing, even though he couldn't put his finger on it.

He got bored easily, as boys are wont to do. Soon, though part of him was loath to do it, he left the playboy site and looked for something else to do. He had just found Jesusdance.com when the annoying chirp of mail arriving broke through the midi tack. It was from his father.

William's eyes became a thousand fireworks as he read the letter from his father. It was rare that his dad wrote him, and every letter on the screen in front of the boy was cherished. He read through the words of encouragement, the praise for the good grades he was getting. Mom must have been talking to dad more than William had thought. It hurt sometimes that his father didn't write to him as much as he did his mother. He understood that it was hard on his dad because it would be certain death if they were to meet.

His mother had told him most of what had happened, he thought. He knew that he wasn't allowed to write on the blackboard from his desk at the back of the room, and that he had to act like everyone else when he was at school. He didn't know why except that mom had told him that there were men who would kill him if they found out what he could do. William, and his dad, suspected that the men already knew.

The e-mail was short, but wonderful. William couldn't have asked for more. He scanned to the bottom of the page, even though he knew there was nothing down there except maybe the e-mail he had sent his father. This time though, there was something there. It was a phone number. Ten digits. Ten digits his father never would have sent him. William quickly closed the letter and shut off the computer.

His breathing became heavy, and in a flash all the blinds closed themselves. The lights throughout the apartment switched on, as did the T.V. It was still on the Sci-fi channel from the night before. The opening credits of "The Lazarus Bowl" were playing. Seeing it calmed William down. He remembered his mother telling him about that.

His breathing returned to normal and the blinds shot back up. The lights went out and the sound on the T.V. rose just a bit. William took a deep breath then went looking for the phone. It was nearing 11 now, and his mother would be in her office.

He picked up the phone just as it started ringing. He debated putting the phone down and letting the machine pick it up, but figured if it was his mother she would start panicking. He hit the talk button,



It was his father. He remembered the voice from when he was still baby.

"Who are you?"

"It's me, William. Your dad, I…I need to talk to you mom."

"She's busy. What do you want?"

"I'm coming home. Check your mail, I sent you my number, it's at the bottom of the page, buried in one of my old e-mails. I'm coming home."

"You can't. It's not safe. Call back later when mom isn't so busy. I have to go now." He hung up on the voice he had longed to hear for ten years.

He called his mother then, and told her what had happened. She was coming home immediately. So much for the day to himself.

Chapter 3

Dana Scully threw open the door to the apartment she shared with her ten year old son. The blinds were closed and the only light came from the television set. 'The Lazarus Bowl' was two-thirds of the way finished. Her mind wandered back to the days when it was still possible for her to relax like that. Relax with Mulder. Mulder. William had said he had said he was coming back. That didn't make sense even in her own mind.

William sat on the couch watching the screen flitter away in front of him. He had never been one for watching TV. He always said all he wanted to do was sit down and watch some crazy sit-com, but he never did. Late at night, if he didn't have school the next day, he would watch old sci-fi movies with her, but that was all.

Maybe it was the fact that the movie was loosely based on facts that had happened to her and his father. Maybe it was the fear in him that made him float popcorn to his mouth. In any case she dismissed the idea completely and sat down next to him.

"Tell me what happened, William."

"I got on the computer after you left. I looked some stuff up, ya know, this and that." He blushed, but the gloom of the room hid it, "I was just getting off when I received an e-mail from Dad. I read it, it was like all the others, ya know? Anyway, something compelled me to scan through the rest of the document. I'm not sure what, it was just old e- mails. Then, in the last e-mail, I saw this number. One number was in the front of each word in this sentence. It was obviously a phone number, it had to be. I went to call you, cause I panicked and then the phone rang. It was Dad, he said he was coming home and that his number was in the last e-mail he sent, and that he needed to talk to you and…and…"

He broke down then, sobbing almost uncontrollably. Dana stared off into space, digesting the information she had just been fed. 'Think about this rationally, Dana,' she thought. There had to be an explanation. Maybe he knew something she didn't, something that couldn't be told to a ten-year-old boy.

She stood up and started walking toward the computer. She centered herself and prepared for the worst. She was just about to sit down when she heard a small, fading voice behind her.

"I'm sorry mom, I had to."

She turned and saw her son fading into nothingness. No wonder he had been watching TV, reading would be to hard for his concentration. He was somewhere else, projecting himself into the room. "William, please don't."

"I'm sorry, I can't keep this form too long. It's too hard. There's too much I need to do where I am. I'll be good mom, and I'll try to be home before school starts." He faded completely then leaving only the bowl of popcorn and the sound of the TV to comfort her.

"William!!" Her scream died away, and she quickly turned to the computer. She signed on and hunted down the e-mail Mulder had sent his son. It didn't take long for her to find the phone number, and to realize it was not the one he had give her nine years ago. She hadn't expected it to be. A quick Internet search allowed her to pin point the area code, something she knew her son had done.

She was just about to leave when a rational thought finally crossed her mind. She went back to the computer and checked her mail. Her inbox was full, and one had Mulder's address attached to it.

I just sent an e-mail to William, if he's smart he'll find my new number in it. Don't allow him to go looking for me, it's still too dangerous. If I don't get a hold of you when I call, know that I will be coming home in a month. Until then keep an even closer eye on William. I love you and William, and will see you as soon as I can. Remember, don't let him look for me, but he can call now, whenever he likes. There won't be anymore phone taps.

Yours always,

It wasn't encrypted like most of the e-mails he sent, which led her to believe him. But William was gone. If only she hadn't left him alone today. There was only one thing she could do. She picked up the phone and called Agent Dogget.

Chapter 4

Agent Reyes walked into the basement office and hung her coat on the back of the chair. John wasn't in yet; he'd had a meeting with the brass. She threw herself down on the chair and started flipping through the papers on the desk. Nothing new, nothing exciting. How had Fox Mulder found all those X-files? Maybe that was just it, he'd found them all.

She sighed and spun in the chair to look at the posters behind her. John had never removed one of the pictures on the wall. Even the gaudy "I Want to Believe" poster that neither of them liked was on the wall in memoriam of the man who had sat behind this desk for so many years.

The phone rang.

"X-files office. Agent Reyes speaking."

"Monica. Is Dogget there?"

"No, I'm sorry Dana, he's in a meeting. What's wrong?"

"Nothing. It's William. He ran off, to look for Mulder. I can't find him by myself. I can't loose him Monica. I can't. He's heading to California. I can't say anymore over the phone. When Dogget gets in, tell him to call me."

The door swung open and Dogget stepped inside, looking the worse for wear. The years had been good to him, but a meeting with the Director can cause years to catch up with anyone. He gave a questioning look to his partner.

"I'll do more than that Dana. We'll be there in twenty minutes. Stay put."

She grabbed her coat and bag. Dogget was already out the door.

Dana paced the living room. She wanted to leave, she needed to leave, but she couldn't without help. She'd never find him alone, he knew her too well. She couldn't call Mulder, he'd just panic worse than she was. Her only hope was to wait for her and Mulder's replacements.

A knock came at the door.

She walked over and opened it, not even bothering to look who it was. The Lone Gunmen stood there, small smiles on their faces.

"We come bearing gifts, fair Lady." Frohike said, presenting a small wrapped package.

"Not now, guys. William ran off. He's looking for Mulder." She turned around and ran a hand through her hair. She walked to the window and stared down at the street.

"WHAT? How does he even know?" Byers went over to Dana and tried to comfort her. Langley ran over to the computer, while Frohike stood shell- shocked in the center of the room.

"Area code," Langley whispered, "he found the area code."

"Yeah, he just left. He just…he…" Tears finally fell from her eyes and she doubled over.

"Don't you worry Dana. We'll get him back." Byers moved her to the couch.

"I already have. He's booked on a flight to San Diego; it arrives there at five. It makes a stop over in St. Louis. I think we have him." Langley printed the page out and brandished it above his head.

"He wouldn't have booked under his real name."

"He didn't, Dana. It was under Elias Hompokker, his alias in the computer game we gave him. We…uh…we…gave him everything under that name, as a joke. I guess he found out what the limit on the card was." Langley's face fell, and another knock came at the door.

Frohike answered it, and allowed Reyes and Dogget into the room. They glanced around at the Gunmen. Dogget's gaze fell on the paper in Langley's hand.

"What's that?" He walked over to Langley and looked at the paper over the other man's shoulder.

"William. We found him. We can get the three of you on a direct flight to St. Louis. You've got a little boy catch."

Dana couldn't stop thanking them. In no time she was packed and ready to go. Reyes and Dogget would be meeting her there. While the plan was to go there and pick William up they were all certain that nothing could be that easy.

William looked around the terminal. People were rushing to their planes. He wondered why they didn't hang around longer; show up earlier and then read a book. There were empty restaurants around, they had been closed for years and never renovated. He wondered why. He wondered what it was like to travel before America entered the war. He had been in infant then. He saw pictures, sometimes, of the Twin Towers. They'd been rebuilt; there were five of them now. Adults laughed at them, William wondered why the center one was taller than the other four. His mother said it was an obscene gesture, but in the last ten years it had gone out of use. Except in the five towers that pointed to Eastern Europe.

He had fifteen minutes to get his plane. His flight left from the other side of the terminal but he was sure he could make it. He shouldered the duffle bag he had with him and walked down the dark hall. The fluorescents above him lit the dull gray carpeting, but to William the world had started seeming dark after he had walked out of the front door of the apartment.

He'd gone to his best friends first. Kalee told him to stay, told him that he should let his mother deal with it. He gave her the necklace he's bought for her a few months before, hugged her and promised that he'd see her in school the next week. Looking around at all the security milling about the airport he wondered if he would return. He had $30 in cash, a credit card the Gunmen had given him as a gift, and about $600 in his college savings account that he really didn't want to get into. He supposed it was enough to get to San Diego and back. He hoped it was.

He reached the gate with about two minutes to spare. He took a deep breath and looked around. His head hurt from having to project himself back home earlier. For her sake he hoped his mother wouldn't follow. He looked down at his boarding pass. It was now or never. He walked onto the on ramp.

Dogget and Reyes got Scully into the terminal about 45 minutes before their flight. They wanted to be early. Langley hadn't gotten the departure time for William's flight out and they hoped that they could catch him before he left. They caught the flight just as the doors were closing. Regulations said that it could not be reopened, not even for federal agents, unless they had a cause. The last they saw of William's flight before it took off was a man in a black trench coat, the last to board the plane.

Chapter 5

Dana slumped into a chair, her eyes focused someplace far beyond the walls of the airport. Her face was tight with agony, and she could barely breathe. They had just missed him. Five minutes earlier and they would have had him. Five minutes and William would be on his way home now.

Her phone rang. It was Langley. He had gotten the departure time for William's next flight. If everything went well then they would arrive just before his next flight left. If everything went well they would be on a flight home and be in time for dinner. If not, Langley had booked them seats on the next flight to San Diego, which left just after William's. It was only in case they didn't catch him. Which they would.

Dogget stood behind Dana, his hands in his pockets, his eyes downcast. Reyes sat beside her, wanting to help, but not knowing how. William was a special boy, and could take care of himself, but he was still only ten, and had the sensibility of a boy that young. They would find him and bring him home. They had to. For Dana's sake.

They still had about 20 minutes until their plane left. They hadn't gotten their boarding passes, since they had thought they would catch the boy before he left. Dogget placed a comforting hand on Dana's shoulder then went to get the boarding passes. Reyes turned to woman beside her.

"Dana, don't worry. We'll get him; he'll be fine. Everything will be fine. That boy knows how to defend himself, and he knows what he can and can't do. He only left because he thought he was doing the right thing."

"I know. It's not that I don't trust him, or don't know why he did it. It's just…I don't trust other people. People are such horrid beings, they hurt just for the fun of it, and to them, what could be more fun then hurting a ten year old boy that's traveling by himself?"

"Dana. Have faith, no harm will come to him, he knows what he's doing. You're too close to him to see it, but he could probably take down an army single-handed. No handed. I think you need to be more worried about how we're going to deal with him then how he's going to deal with other people."

Dana gave a half-smile. She knew it was true, deep down, but couldn't admit it. He was her little boy, and even if he could lift a house off it's foundation with his mind, in her eyes he could do nothing but spin a mobile. He was in danger, Mulder had said so, and the hidden groups within the government knew ways of keeping him for lifting buildings.

Dogget returned sometimes later. He glanced down at the two women and tried to smile, but couldn't find it in him. He too knew that William was strong enough to take care of himself, but he knew more than Reyes when it came to the government's tactics of getting what it wanted. He grabbed their bags and turned toward their gate. Reyes helped Dana up and led her carefully down the hall.

It was bright, the fluorescents casting a yellowish-green cast around the terminal. It was brighter inside then out. Clouds had rolled in promising spring rains. Outside it was gray, and the air smelt of water, inside it was the color of old school buildings and smelt of freshly shampooed carpet. It gave Dana a headache, one she promptly ignored.

William sat in the window seat three rows behind the wing. He watched the plane take off, and wished he was somewhere else. His mother had never been fond of flying, though she wasn't afraid of it. From what his mother had said, his father could sleep through the plane crashing. William was terrified. He couldn't stand heights, and the idea of being in the air inside a giant brick and supported by nothing made him uncomfortable.

A man in a black trench coat took the seat beside him. The man looked at William and gave him a small smile.

"Hi there."


"Name's Tyler. And yours?"

"Durden? William."

"No, not Durden. Although I have been told I look remarkably like Brad Pitt. So, William, what are your plans for St. Louis?"

"Never saw the movie, read the book. I'm not going to St. Louis."

"Then you got on the wrong flight." Tyler laughed and it was cheerful, and William started to like the man.

"I'm going to see my father in California. It'll be the first time I've seen him in a very long time."

"Oh. I'm sorry. I never met my father, ever. He left before I was born. I hope you two get along. I'm on my way to California myself. San Diego. I have business out there."

William glanced over at the man. For some reason it seemed like too much of a coincidence. He smiled, and then turned to look out the window again. His heartbeat rose a bit, and the fear was not just from the height.

Chapter 6

The plane landed in St. Louis early. William and Tyler and started speaking again, when William had calmed down. Tyler didn't seem dangerous, and William had an acute sense about those types of things. Since they were early they had more time to find their next gate. During the flight they had found they were on the same flight out to San Diego.

The St. Louis airport actually had a shop or two open on the terminal, unlike the Ronald Regean Airport. They stopped off at a small newsstand and grabbed some gum and the paper. They reached the gate with ten minutes to spare; it was more than good time.

"I noticed landing took you kind of hard."

"Yeah. I don't like flying. It seems way too dangerous. And don't give me all those statistics about it being more dangerous to drive a car, I know them all."

"I wasn't going to. When I was younger I was scared to fly too. Ten years ago, when the planes crashed into the old World Trade Center, I did quite a lot of 'I told you so'ing. AT the time everyone just glared at me, I guess they still do."

William smiled and opened the paper. There was nothing new and exciting. The president was continuing George W. Bush's war with great speed. Chaney, who hadn't wanted to run, but had been pressured into it, was doing a pretty good job of continuing to wipe out terrorism. If only he could find a way to make it ok for William to be who is was.

Tyler glanced over William's shoulder and read the article. He gave a small smile and then returned to his book.

Out of the corner of his eye William noticed something strange. He turned to watch and noticed that the pages of Tyler's book were turning themselves.


"Oh, the pages? I can do it with my mind. I can make things hover and move. It cared people when I was younger, but now they just ignore it. They like to ignore what they don't understand." He gasped suddenly as the book left his hands.

"I know." The boy dropped the book back into the man lap. He had stopped looking at him.

"You…you can do this too?"

"Yeah. For as long as I can remember. And I can remember back to just after my birth."


"Don't look so surprised. I can do some pretty amazing things with it. It's great for when I forget my homework at school. I can just make it appear in front of me." The boy smiled.

"Teleportation. I've never been able to…"

"My mom's friend says I'm the strongest telekinetic she's ever seen. She says that I can probably lift buildings"

Their voices had dropped to below a whisper. They had started talking with their minds, and hadn't noticed. To any casual observer they appeared to be absorbed in the test in front of them.

They had each, finally, found another—a friend.

A feminine voice pieced they're thoughts.

They were now boarding. William grabbed his duffel and the paper, and he flower Tyler onto the plane.

William looked around before getting on. It was so dark. It was like the darkness was following him. Part of him wanted to go home.

Dana paced. Their plane had been delayed because of the rain that had started just before take-off. They were now circling over St. Louis waiting to land. They had already missed William. She knew it. Even if his flight had been delayed here, buy the time they landed they wouldn't have time to catch his plane.

Dogget, who was seated a row behind her, glanced through the paper he had brought with him. It was boring, and dry, and he had already read it twice, but it was something to do. Reyes sat beside him, worrying about the ex-agent in front of her. There was a lost look in Dana's blue eyes, and it looked as if the life force was being sucked out of her.

Reyes couldn't wait to get on the ground, just so they knew they were that much closer to finding the runaway boy. She looked down at her hands. She wished there was some way that she could make everything better. Some way to turn back time.

The plane began its decent.

Chapter 7

The air outside the San Diego airport was cool and crisp. William glanced around and took in the sea air. It was different then Atlantic sea air. He just wasn't sure how. The San Diego airport wasn't large, nothing like LAX, but it functioned anyway. The smell of salt water and gasoline hung like a blanket.

"It smalls like this across the city. The closer you get to shore, the more it smells like fish, but otherwise it smells the same." Taylor readjusted the strap on his bag as he thought-spoke, "So, what direction you headed?"

"Um, I'm not sure. I have an address, but I'm not sure exactly where it is." William handed him a scrap of paper.

"Hm, no clue. You want me to go with you? Help you find it?"

"That'd be great! Thanks."

Taylor called a taxi on his cell phone, and the two of them waited for it to arrive. William felt uncomfortable being so far from home and having to rely on a stranger for help. He suddenly felt very cold, and started shivering.

"Hey Will, you look like a Popsicle. I've got a room booked just off of Sea World. How 'bout we head off there so you can get warmed up, get used to the climate."

"Yeah, I think that'd be good."

The taxi pulled up, and the sound of a plane engine close overhead cut through the air. William looked up as he started to slide into the car and felt a rush of relief for some reason. He quickly shook it off and fell into the false leather seat next to Taylor.

Taylor gave the driver the directions to hotel then leaned back.

"You ok, Will?"

"Yeah, I suddenly just felt so much better."

"Well, that's good. You really sure you're dad's out here?"

"Positive. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't."

"You're a very lucky boy."

The driver glanced back in the rearview mirror. A smile was spreading on the boy's face, as if someone had complimented them. The driver thought it weird that father and son weren't talking, but pushed it off. Maybe they'd had a fight on the plane. No one could know.

Dogget looked away from the window and rubbed his eyes. They were just landing. Monica was waking Dana up and in a few moments they would touch the solid ground again. And he had just seen William.



"I just saw William."

"What? Are you sure?" She was wide-awake now.

"Yeah, getting into a taxi with man in a black trench coat. WE were gone before he even got into the cab."

"Damn it!"

"It's okay, Dana." Monica tried to sooth the frustrated mother, "We'll get him. I think at this point the easiest way would be to find Mulder then work from there. We know that it's to Mulder that William's heading. In a city this size we'll be hard pressed to find him, but we know his final destination, so we can cut him off there."

"You're right, Monica. I'm just not sure how I can explain this to Mulder."

"Don't, I will. He doesn't like me anyway." Dogget half-smiled as the fasten seatbelt sign turned off.

The airport wasn't crowded, but it still took sometime to get through it. Dogget went to get a rental car as Dana and Reyes faced the telephones. Dana fingered a piece of paper, still trying to think of what to say. She had convinced Dogget that it would be a bad idea for him to tell Mulder what had happened. It was her responsibility and she had to live up to it.

The receiver looked so harrowing. It was now or never. She picked up the receiver and dropped the coins in. She dialed the number and stared at Reyes with lost eyes. It rang. And rang. And rang. Finally, Mulder voice, sounding tired and sleep ridden.



"Dana?! I was hoping you'd call! Where are you?"

"Umm…you see, I'm at the San Diego airport. We have a minor problem."

Mulder laughed. "How did I know calling would be a bad idea. I figure you already have my address. Guess it's time to see my baby boy again."

"That's just it, Mulder. I don't know where William is."

"Get here as soon as you can. You can't miss my place if you keep heading north on 8. Take the ninth exit, then take a left. It's bright blue. You can see it from the road. Get here as soon as you can."

The line went dead.

"I guess I'm driving."

"Dana? Is everything alright?"

"Yeah, I guess. If only William hadn't of run off. That boy gets himself into too much trouble."

Dogget walked up bouncing the keys in his palm. "Let's ride."

Chapter 8

"No, you want to take a left right here."

"A left-right?"

"That's real funny Jay. Thank you, you just missed the turn."

"I did not! Watch."

The car spun around, tires squealing, and a nearly ran into a bright blue rental car. Brakes sparked as the two cars slid to a stop. A petite redhead got out of the driver's side, a made a quick check of the car. A taller man and woman came toward the teenagers who were shakily getting out of the gray Toyota.

"You do realize that what you just did was illegal? That these guys could be cops and exactly WHAT am I going to tell my mother then? Tell me that Jay?" The black haired girl scratched and her once pale face turned tomato red.



The couple in suits reached them.

"Miss. Please calm down. We just want to make sure neither of you are hurt."

"I'm fine, SIR. But Jay needs his brain back, I think he lost it in Elementary school!"

"Alright. Please be more careful next time. Or you might not find someone so lenient. Agent Reyes, come along."

They turned to leave.

As the got back into the car they heard the girl scream "Agent! Look! They were probably Feds and they have our license and…damn it Jay! You're so fucking lucky that it's empty out here! Just take me the fuck home!"

Reyes smiled.

They got back on the road, Dogget driving now. Dana sat in the passenger seat, still looking a bit shaken.

"You remember being that young?" Reyes asked from the backseat.

Dana calmed down a bit. "Yeah, it was so long ago. That boy just screwed all his chances for the evening though. Here, you need to go right right up here. I think it's that one, up on the hill."

They pulled into the driveway of the bright blue house. The trees were neatly trimmed, the grass freshly cut. The front door opened as Dogget shut off the engine.

The man who walked out had a sad smile on his face. Ten years had done nothing to him except for a few gray hairs. He was the same man she had last seen a few weeks after Williams's birth. The same man who had taken one last shower then had kissed herb goodbye. It was the same Mulder.

Dana threw herself out of the car and into his arms. The tears wouldn't stop. She tried to explain everything between sobs, but Mulder just hushed her. He held her close and smoothed her hair like one would a scared child.

"It's okay, Scully. It's okay. We'll get him. Come on, inside." He continued to hold her with one arm, while he gestured to Dogget and Reyes to follow them in.

He already had some tea ready. It calmed Dana down enough that she could sit without being shaken by sobs. She looked up from her mug and into his eyes. "I never knew I could cry this much."

"Making up for lost time, Scully, that's all. But you shouldn't worry too much. After I sent that e-mail to you, I started thinking. I called up a favor, from an old friend in New York. He'll take good care of William. It might be a few days before he gets here though."

"WHAT?!? Mulder…."

"Scully, Dana. Calm down. Agent Reyes here actually knows him. Goes around in a trench coat all that time. Almost changed his last name to Durden after he read Fight Club." He glanced over at the female agent.

"Tyler! I remember him! William's in the best hands, Dana. You shouldn't worry."

Chapter 9

The hotel was small, but brightly lit in the coming gloom of evening. William looked around, and smiled at the gulls overhead. He'd be at his father's tomorrow. He had given Tyler the address and he had said he knew the place well. William had been surprised but hadn't asked questions. He wondered now if it was a mistake.

William set his bag down on the bed and went into the bathroom. He looked around it, and tried the window. It was unlocked and just big enough for him to squeeze through if need be. He hoped there wasn't a need.

Tyler came in moments later, his coat now hung over his shoulder. He looked menacing even without it, but William felt safe in his care. His mother had once told him he had a knack for figuring out people, and he hoped he wasn't being deceived this time. He doubted it; Tyler seemed to know his father, although he wouldn't let on. William watched from the bathroom threshold as Tyler threw himself onto one of the beds.

"So, kid," he said aloud, "it's getting pretty dark, but there is no site like the moon on the Pacific Ocean. Care to join me in some people watching?"

"Umm…I dunno. I just wanna lay down and go to sleep myself. I'm so tired right now, I don't know why. You go on, I'm gonna go to bed. We have to find my dad in the morning."

"Sure thing, but I think I'll join you here. People watching's no fun when you're alone. I claim this bed though, because I don't feel like getting up anymore." Tyler's smile seemed to brighten the room. William didn't know why, but it actually seemed brighter. Not that psychological crap where a pretty girls face lights up the room, but like each of his teeth was a tiny light bulb.

Who knew, with Tyler they probably were.

William grabbed some things from his bag and went into the bathroom again to change. He let the water run a moment before he started brushing his teeth. He though about a shower, but he was too sleepy to really go through with it. He hated jet lag. REALLY hated it. But a good nights sleep would do him good. Jet lag or no jet lag.

There was a knock at the door.

Over the sound of water in the sink he heard Tyler get up. He heard people talking. In his mind he heard one word:


William threw open the window and looked around. He didn't see anyone, and he could still hear talking in the other room. He slipped out of the window and landed in the gavel in his bare feet. It hurt a little. Mom had never let him run around barefoot except in the house and his feet weren't used to the tint rocks gabbing at his soles.

He started to run. He tripped and fell but ignored the pain at his now bleeding knees.

"Which way?" his mind hollered out to Tyler.

"Go to the beach! Run down the boardwalk until you come to a peer with a hotel on it. There's a shop out front. It sells shell necklaces and novelties. Go in and say tell the lady behind the counter that Durden sent you. She'll protect you. You can trust her. Hurry!"

William had never run so fast in his life.

"So, what it is you wanted again Agent…?"

"Thomas. Agent Thomas. We're looking for a little boy. Owner said he saw a boy fitting his description come here with you. So…where is he?"

"Who, John? I sent him off on an errand. Kid's my ex-wife's. Said it was my responsibility to take care of him even though he's not mine. Little whore. Pawning the kid off on me so she could go and sucker some other poor guy into trusting her. Hate her guts. But the kid's sweet enough. Don't know why you'd be looking for him though. Sheila wants him back?"

"We're looking for a boy going by the name of William. Ran away from home the other day. When's your son going to be back Mr. Anger?"

"Don't know. Sent him off for batteries and milk. He didn't know where to get 'em around here and I gave him enough cash to hook him up with some girl for the night, so if I'm lucky he won't come back. He knows I didn't really want milk." Tyler's own yell nearly made him wince.

"I see. You letting ten year old boys run around with prostitutes Mr. Anger?"

"TEN?! I wish the boy was ten! Then he may not get all these ideas of killing me in his head. John's nearly seventeen now. Short for his age, but seventeen none the less. Still underage I know, Agent Thomas, but I never approved of him doing what I've been suggesting he's been doing, just saying that if he doesn't come back then that's what he's doing."

"I see. I see. May I use your bathroom?"

"By all means, but its in St. Louis if you don't mind the flight. This one here's the hotels. But I'm sure they won't mind you using it either."

The agent glared at Tyler and walked over the bathroom door. The handle turned and Tyler thanked God that William hadn't locked the door when he went in there. It might have been disastrous. He went and sat on the bed as the man who called himself Agent Thomas used the lavatory.

William was asking him where to go. He told him the only place he could think of. Linda's. He hoped it wasn't a mistake. He hoped that there were other "agents" just around the corner waiting for William. He suddenly hoped William's shoes weren't around anywhere.

The agent came back in.

"You sending your son out barefoot?"

"Hardly. John has more shoes then pre-teen girl trying to style and failing. He wearing a pair of workin' boots if I remember correctly. Went in there to change his clothes from what he traveled in since they were dirty. Boy never cleans up after himself."

"I see. Well, that's it, I guess." He turned to leave. "Wait. You wouldn't happen to have a picture of your son would you?"

"Seeing as he isn't really my son…but no, I don't. Not a big picture man, always distrustful of camera's myself. Seem like the devil's work. But I can describe him to you." Tyler describe a young man that could easily be William, but obviously wasn't. He sat telling the officer, and hated himself for being so adept at lying.

The agent left. Tyler watched thought he sheer curtains as he got into a car with another man and drove away. When they were out of sight, he changed his clothes, and started walking toward the beach. Just a man out to enjoy the setting sun on the water. That was all.

He reached Linda's in no time flat, though. And smiled at the tall blond working the counter. It wasn't Linda.

"L around?"

"Yeah, she's in the back, handsome. What you doing back so soon. Thought you ran off to the east coat."

"I did. But our scavenger pal needed me to round up the livestock."

"The boy?"

"Yeah. He here?"

"Sho'nuff is," She said in a bad put on southern accent as she batted her eyelashes. Tyler was about to ask what the problem is when the door swung open.

"I'm looking for something for my wife. Can you help me?" It was the other man from the car.

"If you wouldn't mind waiting a bit. I'm dealing with another customer at the moment. Why don't you look around for a bit, while I help this man here, who was here before you?"

She all politeness; the man scowled. She walked over to Tyler and got real close to him making a point of showing him around and taking her time.

"No, no. This just isn't right. I want something larger! I have a large house to fill."

"Of course." She turned to the other man. "My apologies, I must show this other customer the back room. How about I get the owner out here to help you. She's on break, but I'm sure she won't mind."

She led Tyler to the back room, shutting the door behind them.

"Linda. Some creep just came in here. I think he's looking for Tyler here and the kid. Take care of him would you?"

"Sure, Liz." Linda stood up and pressed her body hard against Tyler, her mouth just inches from his ear. "Stay away from my girl, handsome. Wouldn't want any accidents."

Tyler laughed and saw William sitting on a small cot in the corner of the room.

"How are you, Will?"

"Ok, I guess." Williams's mouth trembled as he thought-spoke to Tyler.

"Alright. I know how to get us out of here, just follow my lead, ok?"

William nodded. Liz looked incredulously from one to the other, as they did nothing but stare at each other.

Tyler grabbed the boy's hand and took him out the back door. It didn't lead into the street but into a small apartment. They went out the front door there, and Tyler suddenly picked William up. The looked scared for a moment, then, getting the hint, pretended to be asleep.

Tyler hailed another cab, made sure he had some extra cash, and got in. As the car pulled away there was the sound of double gunshots, and the sound of a woman screaming that a man just shot someone, then himself and for someone to call 911. William smiled to himself. He had thought she was a resourceful woman.

Chapter 10 (finale)

The taxi pulled up out front. A man in shorts and sandals got out and paid the cabby. Then reached in and lifted a boy out of the back. The cab drove off and the man carried the boy to the door. When they were behind the line of trees, he set the boy down on his feet.

"I do believe this is where your father lives, Will."

William looked up at the bright blue house and sighed. He took the final steps to the door and knocked. He knew the woman who answered the door.

"Agent Reyes?"

"Oh, God! Dana! William's here! He's here!"

The screen door flew open and William suddenly found himself in the woman's arms. He hugged her back, finally relishing how much he wanted to see a familiar face.

He saw his mother standing there, then. And he felt horrible. Worse than horrible. He could have been killed. He hadn't even seen the man that Tyler was talking to but he knew that he had been no good. He stepped away from Monica and walked over to his mom.

"Mom. What are you doing here?"

"Saving you from yourself, William. What do you think you were doing running off like that! Do you have any idea how worried I was? You had the GUNMEN in a panic and you know how hard that is! Do you have—"

"Dana. Love. Shut-up. The boy's been through enough. Let him be. Tyler got him out of everything. He's safe now. We can go back to D.C. here soon, and everything will be fine. Okay? Leave him be."

Monica and Dana finally noticed the other man standing there. Dana simply glared, unable to trust anyone with her son. Monica engulfed him in her arms.

"Tyler. Long time no see. No coat. What happened?"

"Long story Monica. I'll tell you when we all head back east. Right now you need to send someone to pick up mine and Will's stuff from the hotel. And Fox, we need a clean up crew on the docks."

Mulder smiled at the younger man, "Already done."

He stepped inside to make a few calls.

The days wore on and before school started back up William and Dana were back in D.C. Mulder would be joining them in a few days. William went back to school. Dana went back to work.

Everything went back to normal. Except now, William would finally have a father. And Tyler had agreed to show him how to do use his mind to an advantage.

Finally, after ten years, everything was perfect.

But then, nothing is ever perfect, and from that point on the darkness seemed to travel over William. It was always dark. For every perfect thing, there must be a small evil. Or maybe Darkness simply has a way of traveling.

The End

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