Title: Monsters In The Dark
Author: Becka F.
E-mail: petitebec@gmail.com (formerly xfgurl@hotmail.com)
Written: July 2008
Classification: V, missing scene from I Want To Believe
Spoilers: I Want To Believe (2008)
Archive: Just ask!
Disclaimer: Seriously FOX, are you going to sue me?

Author's notes: I've been out of commission for a while. Since the series ended. I've missed it. I've missed the characters, and how they moved me. Inspiration has been hard to come by. Thank you CC for IWTB.

Summary: Margaret Fearon's son is dying from a devastating illness, and all I want in this exact moment is for her to recognize that we share something other than desperately wanting to see Christian get better.

After the first procedure on Christian today, I gave him an ultimatum.

The darkness or me.

And I've been hating myself for it ever since.

I sigh heavily and slip on my coat, slamming the locker door closed a little harder than I mean to.

I blame no one but myself for getting him involved.

And I've been hating myself for that the most.

I gave him an ultimatum today.

The darkness or me.

I thought I could convince him to forget who he was. Just for a little while. Just until this darkness passes and we can go home again.

I knew better. I've known better.

[Good luck to you too, Mulder.]

[Don't give up.]

Father Joe's words. The man to me is vile to the highest degree, but I can't get him out of my head.

It's late.

It's late, and all I want to do is go home.

The very thought going back to those dorms sends a familiar shiver down my spine.

But I need to know.

Father Joe's words. I need to know what they mean.

Maybe if I did, I could go home again.

At the top of the stairs, Mary's image in stained glass casts a comforting glow to the floor below.

I pretend I don't see her.

Not today.

I veer sharply to the left and head down the stairs, nearly bumping right into Mr. and Mrs. Fearon - Christian's parents - who were just leaving his room.

I see it in their eyes immediately.

Confusion. Despair. Fear. They are lost. They are losing hope.

They are giving up.

[Don't do this.]

They want to discontinue treatment, they tell me. And while they swear it's their decision, I know that Father Ybarra had a hand in this.

"If you were a mother, you'd understand."

Don't do this to me today, God.

My eyes pierce back and bore into the desperate young mother's.

For a split second - a moment in time that is so miniscule that no one but me would even notice - I hesitate.

[Don't do it, Dana.]

She glares back at me, and for a second, I swear she sees it in my eyes.

That recognition. That faint light we all share.

But she doesn't.

All she sees is her own desperation. All she can perceive is the abject powerlessness that comes only from having to watch your child suffer at the hands of a vicious, painful and devastating illness.

And just like any mother whose only child is slipping away from her, she sees nothing else.

Margaret Fearon's son is dying from an incurable brain disease, and all I want in this exact moment is for her to recognize that we share something other than desperately wanting to see Christian get better.

The thought is positively nauseating.

[This isn't how you should think of William.]

So I say nothing. Instead, I fall into my usual tirade of desperately trying to convince another set of heartbroken parents to continue treatment.

Or in this case, give a new treatment a fighting chance.

That's what doctors do.

[What if it did work?]

And what if I could save this boy?

I do understand, Margaret.

That's what mothers do.

By all definitions I am both doctor and mother.

Except one.

I stare blankly down the dismally-lit corridor after the Fearons. I've never quite gotten used to how dark Our Lady of Sorrows is.

[I don't want to give up now.]

My own words echo in my head. Over and over again.

I listen as ventilators and monitors keeping sick children alive rhythmically surround me, like a metronome keeping time with my heartbeat.

Except there's no music in these hallways.

I'm still chasing monsters in the dark too, Mulder.

The red 'exit' sign beckons me.

[Come outside. You can't save any more children today.]

A familiar voice snaps me out of it.

"Dr. Scully?"

It's muffled and weak, but it's unmistakable.

Christian isn't sleeping after all.

I hastily don a gown and gloves and enter his room, hoping he wouldn't inquire as to why I was just standing out there, temporarily rooted to the floor.

"Hi sweetheart," I reply, putting on my bravest smile. "Still thinking about how you're going to get out of here?"

"I don't like this room," he mumbles, referring to the new private room I had him moved into after the procedure, as a precautionary measure against infection.

"Why not?"

"It's dark ... scary," he replies, his words still slightly distorted. He blinks slowly and winces in pain as he tries to sit up. He can barely move - his head swollen from the procedure and bandaged tightly around the lesion near his temple.

His eyes dart wildly around the room, prompting me to come closer. As I approach the edge of his bed, he instantly relaxes.

I reach out and gently stroke his hair - allowing a few wispy strands sticking out from underneath his bandage to flow through my fingers.

"You need to try and stay as still as you can for me, okay?" I tell him.

"Okay." He smiles up at me, and my brave smile suddenly threatens to betray me. "Can you check the room for me, Dr. Scully?"

"For what, Christian?"

He looks up at me sheepishly.


"Monsters? There had better be no monsters in my hospital."

But just to make sure, I check.

Under the bed.

In the closet.

Behind the door.

After completing my inspection, I brush my hands together, dusting them off from the hunt, and return to his bedside.

"It's official. There are no monsters in here."

I wish that were the truth. I wish it were so much.

God, there are so many monsters in here.

He smiles up at me again. This time, his eyelids flutter. I can see him trying to form words, but it becomes more difficult for him when he gets tired.

After what seems like an eternity, he manages to get it out.

"You understand," he whispers softly, almost incoherently.

But I hear him.

"She thinks that you don't, but you do."

He sees that light.

I want nothing more in this instant to reach down and grab him and hold him. I want to wrap him up tightly in my arms and never let him go.

And thank him.

Thank him for his innocence, his simplicity, his incomparable, inherent intuition that so many of these incredible children share.

My hope for my own son is that he is just like this incredible little boy. That he too wakes up every day in a world full of pain and suffering, still managing to bring warmth and light to every single person he touches.

"I'm not giving up on you," I whisper, just as he closes his eyes. I fight the urge to crumble and let the monsters under the bed devour me whole.

And yet in the very same instant, I know that I won't. I can't.

Moments ago, what I needed more than anything was to know what Father Joe meant.

Now, I think I know.

[Never give up.]

I won't, Christian.



I promise.


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