Title: There's A Different Kind Of Hush
Author: XSketch
Written: March 2006
Feedback: XSketch@hotmail.com
Website: http://thesketchfiles.bravehost.com
Category: MSR. A
Rating: G
Archive: You're welcome to it, but keep my name attached and please let me know where it's going :)

Summary: An unnecessary trip to realise some truths.

Author's Note: This is a follow up to 'Enjoying A Different Kind Of Existence', which was the sequel to 'A Different Kind Of Christmas'. I never intended for this universe to become a series, but sometimes the muse just works that way LOL

He hovered above her silently, carefully - licking his lips in anticipation of kissing her soft skin and watching those beautiful eyes gently flutter to life. It didn't matter that they'd been together for thirteen years, or that for the last six (albeit disrupted by a couple of extended absences) they'd been able to share their love instead of hide it: every day, minute, *second* was better than the last. In a world where almost everybody lived in ignorance of the coming enemy and threat to Mankind's existence, they savored and treasured every moment of their lives together - *nothing* was taken for granted...

...Especially not moments like now, when night enveloped them and light from the moon or some other source would dance across her relaxed features...

Closer, so that her perfume fills his senses. Closer, so that he can feel the warmth radiating off of her body.

As cliched as it was, these fleeting instances were timeless in their own little world, and--

"Daddy, what ya doin'?"

Lips just a hair's breath away, Mulder sharply lifted his head back and turned it to stare at the nearly five-year-old boy on the back seat of the car. Life had been far from easy or perfect since they'd become fugitives (certainly even moreso since the wheels of rebellion against the coming invasion had been set in motion), but they'd been so blessed with their lives, each other and their son that the luck afforded them overwhelmed him to near-respiratory failure whenever he looked at either William or Scully.

The intimate moment was gone, but he smiled with love and pride at the cause of its disappearance nevertheless.

"Watching your mom sleep," he whispered, lifting a finger to his lips in hope that it would shush the boy.

"Can I watch, too?"

In the dark, silent car, the small voice was loud enough to wake the dead, and Mulder quickly glanced back at his partner's lax face in time to see it slowly stir - blue sapphires lazily blinking for several seconds until they focused on him. The unfulfilled desire to kiss her became too much and his lips finally descended to press sweetly against hers,

"Mm...You know, I should start charging for these staring sessions - I could make a fortune," Dana teased, grinning as she raised a hand to wipe the sleep from her eyes and then stroke his stubbled cheek. Her body shifted in the car seat and a frown quickly creased her forehead. "Mulder, why are we in the car?"

With an enigmatic quirk of his lips, Mulder dropped back into his seat and silently turned the key in the ignition.

William's brow furrowed, and he stared at the back of his father's head. "'Home'?"

Mulder shot a glance over his shoulder, hoping his son could hear his unspoken plea for secrecy.

As dictated by his genes and age, Will was naturally inquisitive about practically everything, but his troubling, developing 'abilities' anchored him, in a way, so that if he sensed he was nearing a painful or unspeakable subject with his questions, he would back away. Topics already stored in his 'do not touch' list included his mother's health, the whereabouts of his parents' families, and if he would ever have a brother or sister, among many others.

And, now, the need to keep their trip to Washington D.C a surprise.


When Will nodded, Mulder relaxed and turned back to face the road - ignoring Scully's need for an explanation also.

It wasn't long before Dana fell asleep again, and silence enveloped the vehicle once more.

Mulder drove them from state to state, stopping at motels or rest stops whenever he became too tired. Scully asked over and over again as to where they were going and the reason for the trip, but he refused to give up any information, and she was only able to discern that they were heading east from state and city signs. He had his reasons, she was sure, but hated the secrecy.

As Dana slept and the sun began to rise on the sixth day of their journey, they finally reached their destination.

Nothing had changed. It had been four and a half years since he'd walked away for the last time, and yet as he looked up at the black, looming building, it seemed like only yesterday.

*Mulder! I need your help!*

*Did he hurt you?*

*It was my last chance...*


*The truth we both know.*

"You have to leave - go into hiding...*

*I love you.*

Mulder's eyes clamped shut as the painful memories haunted his soul. So much had happened here, both good and bad, and right now he wanted nothing more than to drive back to their bayside home in Freesol on the other side of the continent, but they had to be here. The past four years on the lam may have had its ups and downs, but at least they were nicely settled where they wanted to be and not constantly driving from town to town, motel to motel; were very fortunate and happy with what they had, especially under the circumstances.

At least, that was what he'd believed until the ghostly visitation of Melissa Scully two weeks ago with the cryptic message 'You both have unfinished business, something to learn and truths to explore.' He'd wanted to ask what that meant but Dana had returned with William and several bags of groceries, and the apparition had disappeared into thin air. Later that evening, though, as the couple had snuggled together on the couch in front of the television, she'd stiffened at the mention of Georgetown on the news and he'd come to the realization that maybe their past wasn't as forgotten or behind them as she'd made it out to be.

If here was their 'unfinished business', here was where they had to be. And if Scully wanted to be here instead of Freesol...they would just have to find a way for that to be possible - their safety was important, but not as much as the happiness of his son and partner.

On the back seat, William began to fidget and shift nervously. It wasn't something unusual, due to his fear of the night and the anonymous shadows that lurked unrestrictedly under its black blanket, but Mulder suspected there was a lot more causing the increasing panic pumping through his son's veins, and that hunch was confirmed when William whispered, "Bad place."

Slipping slowly from the car so as not to awaken the lightly- snoring figure slumped in the passenger-seat, Mulder opened the back door and reached in to lift William out. "No, not a 'bad place'," he quietly assured, crouching down - the small chunks of gravel under his feet crackling and breaking into even tinier pieces. "Just..."

*Donnie Pfaster would've surely killed again if given the chance*

*I'm fine*

*I just wouldn't want this to come between us*

*What the hell is this thing, Mulder?*

*I swear I'll be back as soon as I can*

"...It's just, uh, that there are a lot of memories here, both good and bad. That doesn't make it a bad place, though."

"Not home." William defiantly folded both arms across his chest and stamped a small foot on the ground - the scowling pout easily transforming his face from a look-alike of his father's to an unmistakable replica of his mom's. "I wanna *really* go home - to *our* home. You do, too!"

More than anything, he really did, but the happiness of his family was paramount - it had to be: his life depended upon it. "I want whatever your mom wants, and right now I don't know what that is." Mulder let out a deep sigh, knowing that not even he really fully understood the reasoning for their being here, so it would be impossible to try explain any of it to their four-year-old and then expect him to comprehend any of it. "This was Mommy's home for a long time, and she had - *has* - a lot of connections here, like Grandma Maggie...She has every reason to wanna live here..."

Will's face scrunched up even further in confusion. "But...but it's not our home...Doesn't Mommy wan' to live with us anymore?"

"Of course she does - in fact, she never wants to let her baby and his dad out of her sight," Scully started as she moved around the front of the car with both arms folded to mimic her son's stance. "She just wishes Daddy wasn't so silly most of the time."

Silently, Mulder stood back up but lowered his head to evade the brief glare she shot in his direction.

The sound of her approaching feet scuffing across the gravel came to a halt before she crouched down in front of Will and distractedly fiddled with his jacket.

"Sweetie, could you get back in the car while Daddy and I have a quick chat?" she asked, pulling the child against her for a quick hug.

"I wan' to go home."

"And we will, in a minute. But, please, just sit back down in the car, okay?"

When Will, with a nod of his head, had finally agreed and gotten back into the vehicle, Dana waited a moment before sharply turning on her partner, snatching his arm up into her tight grasp and pulling him towards the front of the car.

"What the hell were you thinking?" she ground out in a hushed whisper and gesturing toward the apartment building. "Just... J-just...wh-why?"

"I had another ghost visit me," Mulder hesitated, tentatively lifting his head, "and...and what she said made me realize that maybe you're not as 'fine' with our situation as you make out."


That word alone had managed to block out the rest of his sentence and send all emotions - including her heart, she wondered - dropping leadenly into the pit of her stomach. Seven years may have passed, but Dana still feared both the idea and memory of a certain deceased Agent Fowley - what her role in Mulder's life had been. If that was the 'she' he was referring to now, Scully knew she wouldn't be able to stop herself from bursting into tears and running in the opposite direction.

"'she'?" She inwardly congratulated herself for managing to hold back the choke and fear from her voice. When Mulder's head lowered again and he shifted irritably from one foot to the other, she held her breath in anticipation of the answer that could bring the world crashing down around them.

"Melissa...Your sister."

The force of the whoosh of air escaping her lungs could have started a hurricane, or at least blown him over. Missy.... He'd confessed several times to having seen the ghosts of her sister and father, but the thought still bore a twinge of longing and regret that they appeared to him and not her.

"She...She t-told you I was unhappy?"

"She said we all had 'unfinished business'," came his explanation - tired eyes raising once more to stare at her. She looked neither convinced or appeased by it, however, and for the first time Mulder wondered if he should have mentioned this a lot sooner. The decision to drive back to a place where they would probably (most certainly, in his case) be shot dead on sight hadn't been made lightly, but he hadn't approached her with the dilemma, let alone ask the truth from her - instantly eliminating the one opinion that had ever meant anything to him - and now he was beginning to see the consequences swirling in her mixed expression. "And then you became antsy when D.C was mentioned on the news and..." His voice trailed off. Was that frustration creasing her brow?

"You thought I would rather be here than the home we've lived in for the past three years?" At his nod, Dana let out a groan of exasperation and turned to look at the building. Of course she missed her mother and brothers. Of course she wished that they could go wherever they wanted to without fear. Of course there were times she became nostalgic when Will would ask for one of their FBI stories.

But she didn't regret leaving to go on the run with Mulder, she didn't regret any of the decisions they'd made over the last three and a half years, and she certainly didn't regret a single second of the life they'd lived together as a family in Freesol. No matter how much they felt cursed, they were also blessed, and this was *their* life - no matter how different it or they may be. She would trade any of that for the world, so why would she leave it for a home or life that meant nothing more to her now than their past?

Straightening her back, Scully turned to face him again, but her expression softened as she reached a hand up to pull his head down for a chaste kiss.

"I ju-just...W-well.... Why wouldn't you?" her tall partner stammered, pulling back only a fraction. "This was your life..."

They hadn't had this argument for some time, and for a fleeting moment Dana wondered if he was more worried about her missing the D.C/FBI lifestyle, or himself.

"No, this is where I lived," she corrected, gesturing toward the building with a dismissive wave of her hand. "*You* have always been my life. You and William - wherever you two are, that's home for me. I know I may not be all that good at expressing my feelings, but I had hoped to have gotten that point through by now."

"Your sister said--"

"Mulder, Melissa liked you - she saw the connection between us long before I ever did, and made me realize that you weren't as arrogant as I used to occasionally believe - so why would she say that I'm unhappy when I'm everything but?" A pause and deep breath before, "If you're having problems letting this go, I understand...Maybe this is *your* unfinished business because of--...the connection left behind when you went into hiding--"

He shook his head, despite knowing deep in his heart that neither of them would ever be able to truly let this place go. "She told me that we all have something to learn - truths to explore. I just ...It's important to me that--...What?" She was backing away from him, seemingly panic-stricken. "Scully?"

Truths to reveal and explore? A couple more steps backwards, and both of Scully's hands subconsciously lowered to cover her stomach. They'd always been honest with each other, but for the last two months she'd been putting off telling him about a new development in their lives - worried about his reaction, especially as the date of colonization approached ever further and work to rebel against said date intensified...Last time had been different - they'd been purposely trying, and then - when they believed it had failed and all hope gone - Mulder had been abducted...

It was only a matter of time before he would query about her apparent gain in weight, runs to the bathroom would become more frequent, and her ankles would swell up again like something out of 'Tales From The Crypt', and God only knew she didn't want to hide this miraculous news from him any longer, but--

'Tell him,' something inside her whispered, and Dana faltered before taking another step away from him. 'Make him believe in the greatest glimmer of hope, and learn a truth you never knew you doubted.'

"Scully, what's wrong?" Firm but gentle hands grasped her arms to stop her backing up any further as she blinked several times and tried desperately to process the small voice.

Truth - their truth - to share and embrace forever. Wasn't that what they'd always vowed to have faith in between them? He'd driven them across the country and put his life directly on the proverbial line to ensure her happiness when he'd thought here was where she really wanted to be, so why was she so certain he would react badly to this?

"Mulder, I--..." Scully reached up to pull his hands away, intertwined their fingers together, and then lowered all four palms to press lightly against her still-unaffected abdomen - his growing expression of confusion a treasure to behold. "I know things are going to get tougher and tougher as the date approaches, and I swear that whatever you choose to do, I'll be there at your side every step of the way..." Confusion shifted to terror as Mulder's brain concocted a hundred different conclusions to what was being said, and she realized stalling was definitely not helping. "It's not safe out here, let's get back in the car."

"No, just tell me what it is!" Frantic - demanding, even.

"I...I'm pregnant!" There, she'd said it. Now, she just had to wait for the universe to come crashing down.

It didn't, though. Instead, Mulder dropped to his knees - his trembling fingers lightly stroking back and forth over the fabric of her t-shirt and tears beginning to well in his closed eyes.

He stayed there for long minutes, finding it difficult to believe that he would be a father again. Meanwhile, Scully's hands moved to slowly comb through his hair. A smile would have been nice - a whoop of celebration more than she could have hoped for - but this ...This was beyond anything imaginable.

"A baby - a little brother or sister for Will...I-I--...It's impossible..." he whispered before pulling away and looking up at her. "Is it okay?"

"I've not been to see the doctor about it yet - I wanted you to be with me at the first appointment - but I'm pretty sure everything's okay."

Mulder's heart swelled even further as he accepted her response and lowered his head again to rest against her stomach - fingers refusing to stop touching her. He wanted to ask why she hadn't told him sooner, but deep down he knew the answer and understood the fears they both harbored. In the end, though, all that mattered was that they were happy: any obstacle that gone in the way of that being possible would just have to be worked around or dealt with head on.

Even the question of 'how' was pushed aside by silent mutual agreement. So much time and energy had been needlessly wasted trying to determine the nature of William's conception when they'd known all along in their hearts that he was theirs, no matter what... It was time to accept, be grateful for, and enjoy any and all miracles they were given.

"A baby...." A chant of pure awe and fascination. Suddenly he pulled back again, though. "This...This is good news, isn't it?" It didn't matter how exultant he was by the news: if she wasn't, it would be her decision as to what happened next.

Dana smiled, surprised at how much the thought of the sacrifices she knew he would always make for them without pause still overwhelmed her. "It's the best news ever..."

The sound of screeching tyres cut short Mulder's shaky exhalation of breath and sharply dragged the two of them back to the shadowy, insecure reality of their surroundings. Both pairs of eyes intently scanned the area for any movement, any threat, whilst ears pricked to hone in on even the tiniest of sounds.

There was nothing to detect.

It was obvious they'd spent far too long here already, though, and Scully - a hand still clasping tightly and reassuringly onto one of his as he stood back up - moved back toward the car. When they were safely seated back inside its confines, Mulder dared to glance at his partner questioningly.

"Back west?" he hesitated, turning the key in the ignition.

"Home." When his gaze flicked down for an imperceptible millisecond to take in her abdomen once again, though, her earlier fears were unavoidably reignited. "Mulder...You are okay with this, aren't you? With me being pregnant?"

Mulder startled, quickly turning wide eyes on her - unable to believe that she could doubt for one second his skyward-bound gratitude for the second impossible miracle they were being granted. Rebelling the alien forces and saving the world was an important, necessary priority that could not be shunned, but it came second (though both linked) after the wellbeing, happiness and growth of his family - they would *always* come first...He just wished he'd realized that a lot sooner.

"Of course, I am!" he croaked, pulling his hand from the keys and reaching to clasp one of hers. "I'm beyond overwhelmed, even - I just want to be sure you're both doing okay."

"Daddy know about ma baby sister?" William suddenly excitedly exclaimed, bouncing forward to squirm in between their two seats.

"Sister?" both agents queried, looking round at him before shooting mixed glances at each other.

Before he could answer, the headlamps of another vehicle pulling into the car park illuminated them for an instant, and they all ducked down out of view.

"Take us home, Mulder," Scully whispered.

Her partner nodded, and it wasn't long before they were back on the freeway out of town.

They remained in companionable silence, each happy with the company of their thoughts and the presence of the other two bodies in the car; each happy with the secure knowledge that what they called 'home' really *was* Home, and that that was where they were going back to, more complete than ever before. Even the spirits that watched over them rested, their jobs - for the meantime - done.

As the war on Mankind kicked up a notch, bombs were going off, people were being slain and evil was rising, but until they had to face it head on, the Mulders were able to enjoy the silence and their own different kind of peace.

The End

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