Title: A Mother Always Knows
Author: Rachel Wilder
Spoilers: This is Not Happening

Summary: Maggie Scully is called to Montana.

Author's Notes: This story just kept popping my head when I thought about Maggie standing next to Scully at Mulder's
funeral. Many thanks to my beta, Gerry Hill. You make my words so much better!

I've met Walter Skinner on several occasions, but in my mind he will always be tied up with that horrible evening when Melissa was shot. His presence there was a comfort, but ultimately he could not protect her from danger any more than he could protect Dana or even Fox.

I was surprised to hear his voice on the phone. I could tell immediately that something was wrong. The voice was flat, empty.

"Mrs. Scully, I need you to come out to Montana."

Despite his wording, I knew instantly that the one who needed me was Dana, not Mr. Skinner. He shared the horrible details of the situation, but all I could hear was that my baby was hurting. I needed to go out to Montana. I don't remember much about packing or the trip itself; all I knew was that my daughter needed me.

Dana had always walked her own path. When people looked at our family they always saw Melissa as the free spirit, but in her own controlled way Dana was the one from whom you never quite knew what to expect. I would never have expected her to join the FBI. To be honest, I don't think it was that her father or I was disappointed, but rather that we were simply so shocked it was hard to recover quickly and express our delight that she had found a career she would find rewarding.

Her disappearance and subsequent cancer were a different kind of shock. Now that it's all over, I sometimes can push it so far back in my mind that I forget about it.

It hurt me that she kept her illness to herself, that she was unable or unwilling to talk about her abduction. I am her mother...if there was anyone she could go to, it should have been me.

The same was true for her pregnancy. Mom, I'm pregnant. That was it. No explanation, nothing, just a statement. I wanted to rejoice with her, but she just stiffened in my arms. I knew she was upset about Fox's disappearance, but there should have been some joy over this baby. It was what she had wanted for so long, something we thought would never happen. It was a miracle, but Dana acted almost as if it was a curse.

As I walked toward her hotel room, I wondered what I would find inside the room. Would she be the child who cried for me, or the one who stiffened against my embrace?

I pushed the door open. The room was dimly lit, but I could see Dana was lying in the bed. She was curled up under the blankets. It looked like she had tried to make herself as small as possible. I turned and thanked Mr. Skinner for taking care of her, then turned back to my daughter.

"Dana?" I walked to the side of the bed, sitting down next to her. I ran my hand down the back of her hair. Her eyes were open, but unseeing.

"I'm so sorry, honey."

When the assistant director called it all seemed so impossible. I had always assumed that Fox would reappear just like Dana had. I had never imagined that this could happen. I didn't know him terribly well, but I knew what he meant to my daughter and the thought that Fox was dead was overwhelming to me. I could only imagine the devastation it was causing her.

Mr. Skinner said Dana had retreated, that she had gone back to her room and had not been able to speak with any of them. He let this go on for a day, but when it became clear that she was not going to improve he sent in for the reinforcements...me.

"I know what you're feeling, honey. When your dad died, it just knocked the life out of me. I didn't know how I could continue without him, but I did and I know you can too. Dana, honey, you have to pull out of this. You have so much to look forward to now."

I pulled her close to me, leaning down to kiss the top of her head. I slid my hand down to rest on her belly. Beneath my hand there was a little flutter.

Dana turned to look at me, a look of surprise on her face.

"It's the baby, honey."

She answered with a nod and a tear running down her cheek.

Thank God for the baby. I don't know for sure how we would have kept her moving without that life within her. She was physically spent. Mr. Skinner told me he had worried how he would keep her from doing an autopsy on Fox, but in the end, we could barely get her to look at the body, let alone do a forensic investigation. When she wouldn't even look at the body, that's when he called me. It was clear that something was terribly wrong.

I made her go the second day I was there. I knew it was important for her to see him, to have that closure. It wasn't that she disagreed with me. Rather, she had no opinion. She had no opinions at all. She might never have come to terms if she had not seen for herself, that he was truly gone.

She walked up to the table slowly, touching his cold hand. I saw her trace her finger down the incision on his chest. It was clear that he had been horribly tortured while he was gone. When Dana came back there were no marks on her. I couldn't help but wonder who had harmed him this way.

After a couple of minutes, she pulled the sheet back up and turned to me. That was it. It was done.

We finally were able to make arrangements to transfer the body, but where? I knew his father had been buried in Massachusetts, but I wasn't sure where his mother was buried, if there was a stone for his sister, where he would want to be buried.

Mr. Skinner and I sat quietly discussing it in the coffee shop near their motel. Dana was asleep, again.

"Excuse me. I couldn't help but hear..."

"Yes, John?" Skinner said.

This must be John Doggett, Dana's new partner. She had not told me much more than his name. The man sat down at our table, taking the cup of coffee Mr. Skinner offered.

"What about the stone we received last fall? Their plot in North Carolina?"

"What plot?" I had never heard anything about North Carolina.

Mr. Skinner explained about Mulder's family stone, the plot they had discovered in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"In the absence of Agent Scully wanting to make other arrangements, we might as well bury him there," Mr. Skinner answered.

It would be much simpler. Dana was in no shape to handle this. We all agreed and Agent Doggett left to make the arrangements.

"I told you, Mom. I don't care."

I turned to watch as my daughter sighed one more time. I had finally convinced her to go over to Fox's apartment, to pick out something to bury him in. I think if she had gone alone she might have sent him to the hereafter in boxer shorts and a ratty Knicks t-shirt.

"How about this gray suit?" I asked, holding up a nice Armani.

"Anything. Just pick one," she answered.

This was so unlike her. I knew she had to care. When William died it was what I focused on. Even though we cremated him, I wanted him looking his best. I knew that deep down she had to feel the same way about Fox. His disappearance had been hard on her, but this activity seemed to be taking the last bit of life out of her.

"Dana, sweetie, I know how hard this is..." I started.

"You do? You think you know?" she snapped back at me.

I looked at her with surprise. She had never spoken to me that way.

"How could you possibly know," she responded, her hand dropping to her stomach, glancing over the small belly the baby was creating. "I work with this man for seven years. I love him, I trust him, I...I create life with him and then before I can say anything, finally be honest...he's just gone. How could you know about that?"

I moved across the room and sat next to her on the bed. "I may have had your father for a much longer time, honey, but we still had lots of things we left unsaid." I smoothed my hand over her hair, trying to take a little bit of her pain.

"Oh, Mom," she cried, finally letting go.

"It's okay, honey. It's okay," I repeated, running my hand up and down her back, trying to soothe her.

The day we buried Fox there was snow. I stood next to Dana, wanting to hold her hand, but understanding that she needed to stand on her own. She needed to honor Fox with her strength. I wasn't sure if anyone else at the funeral could fathom the depth of her pain, but I knew. A mother always knows.

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