Title: Someone To Watch Over Me
Author: Starbuck
Author's Page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/31574/
Written: 02/10/2001
Rating: G

Summary: An old picture arouses a question from Mulder's son about the whereabouts of his mother.


"Daddy, can I have some more macawoni and cheeze peeze?" the young boy asked his father, lifting his empty bowl into the air as he begged. Fox Mulder consented and got up from his seat at the table. The tall man reached into the pot on the stove and replenished his son's supply of pasta.

"Eat your peas, Will," he said, glancing across the room at his offspring's plate. Will made a face by shriveling up his nose until his eyes were closed.

"Ewwww, I hate peas!" he declared, pinching his nose and nudging the plate away. "They is nasty!"

His father laughed and strolled back to the table with the bowl of macaroni and cheese. He ignored the yelps of their pomeranian puppy nipping at his heels for a biscuit and sat down adjacent to his son. Sighing, Mulder passed the bowl to his son, who gulped the contents graciously, and started to flip through the mail laid before him.

"C'mere Spooks! C'mere boy!" he heard Will whisper to their dog, Spooky. The pomeranian trotted over to his outstretched hand that held a handful of green peas.

"No ya don't, Will. Eat those right now."

The four-year-old miserably consumed the nutritious portion of his supper and cleared his dishes into the sink. He then sat down in the seat next the taller man who was sorting bills.

"Look, Daddy! Tha one gots my name on it!" Will said, reaching for a bill labeled "Fox WILLIAM Mulder".

His father chuckled and corrected him: "No, Will, that's me. You have my name, remember? And it's "has," not "gots"." Mulder was always the one to chastise his son on his grammar, however proud he was of the fact that his four-year-old could already read.

"Oh yeah, I forgets," he said, hopping out of the chair and landing with a thud on the hardwood kitchen floor. He proceeded to wander around the apartment for a while. His father finished sorting the bills and infiltrated the residence in search of his son. He found him standing at his height of three feet before a small framed photograph on a desk in the corner of their living room.

Mulder knew what was coming next.

"Daddy, who's dat lady in da pitcher?" Will asked innocently. He was staring at a tiny golden frame not six inches wide with a colorful photo enclosed in it. Mulder didn't know why his son had not noticed it before, but he didn't seem to care. At this moment, the only thing that mattered was deciding whether or not Will was ready to hear the truth.

The truth about where his mother was. About who had taken her.

Will picked up the frame with his miniscule hands and carried it over Mulder, who stood at least three feet taller than him. The child gazed up at his father with his pure hazel eyes and adorned an inquisitive expression. "She's very pretty, Daddy. Who is she?"

Mulder froze. He felt the wave of heat from head to toe that he always experienced in times of stress. Sure, he had thought over what he was going to tell his son when the right moment arose. Sure, he had everything planned out in his mind.

Your mother was killed in a car accident, Will. That's all.

But he knew he couldn't lie to those innocent hazel eyes. His son deserved to know the truth about why he didn't have a mother around to take care of him like other kids his age. He deserved to know why the woman that had brought him into this world was here no longer.

"C'mere, big guy," he said, lifting his son off of his feet and into the air. Will giggled as he was spun around and plopped onto the couch. Mulder sat down next to him and placed his son in his lap with a final sigh before he began the toughest bedtime story of his life.

"Let me tell you a story," he said.

"Is it about da lady?"

"Yes, it is." Breathing heavily, his mind raced, trying to recall the words he had planned to tell his son the day this question was aroused. "A long time ago, I was all alone. I didn't have a friend in the world."

"Not nobody?"

"Nope. No one I could trust. Not a single person I could confide in, share my feelings with, or even smile with. I had a little office in the basement of the FBI."

"You still do, Daddy. But you didn't have any of my pitchers den, did you?"

"No, Will, I didn't," he replied, referring to the drawings that now adorned his wall, slowly obscuring his posters and pictures. His son was quite the young four-year-old artist. "And then, the most wonderful thing happened. Something that changed my life forever."

"What was it Daddy?" Will asked, sitting up straight in his lap, his eyes bright with anticipation.

"I met your mother." This first mention of Scully hurt at first, but Mulder continued. "Dana Katherine Scully. She was a doctor, and she was assigned as my partner, to help me solve my cases."

Saying her name was like breathing for the first time in four years. He had vowed never to speak of her, never to let her name enter his words or mind. It was all part of his master plan to move on with his life and leave the past behind. What was done was done.

"Tell me some more abow her," his son requested, settling back down into his father's lap. He rested his head onto Mulder's shoulder and folded his hands at the base of his neck.

"Well, she was smarter than I am. And she was beautiful, as you can see," he told him, gesturing toward the picture in his lap. "She never broke the rules, and it was hard to make her believe anything. But I believe that she knew I loved her all along, as I knew that she loved me. And eventually, she broke down one night and told me that she was in love with me. I confessed that I had loved her as well, from the start. But not long after this night, I was taken away."

"Taken away? By who, Daddy? And where did dey take you?"

"Some very bad men, Will. Yes, there are bad men in this world who would do things like that. Sacrifice their families for their own survival. Let others die in the place of themselves. These kind of men took me away from your mother for a long time."

"How long, Daddy?"

"Almost seven months. But guess what I found out when they brought me home?"

"What?"

"I was going to have a baby boy."

"YOU were havin a baby?"

"No, silly! Your mother was. The baby was you," ...... said, pushing his finger against his son's belly button. He squealed and giggled and his father held him tightly. But he knew he had to finish this story, though it would be hard from here.

"Anyway, you were born a little while after I got home. I'll never forget that first time I got to hold you in my arms, Will. I have never been more proud to see a little me. A tiny little baby that would grow up to be just like me. For a few weeks, I was the happiest man alive. Your mother even told me once that if I had ever smiled as often as I did the week after you were born she would have given in much earlier than she did. Your mother loved my smile."

Give me strength, Scully, he mentally communicated to the picture in my hands. It's time for our son to know the truth "And then she was gone. They took her, too."

"Da same bad guys?"

"Yes, it was them. I waited for them to bring her back, Will. I waited and I searched and I fought and didn't give up for a long time. I just knew, somehow, that she would come back to me. I knew that, with all we had been through together, she wouldn't leave me here alone."

"But, she didn' come back, did she, Daddy?"

Mulder glanced down at the picture. Scully was smiling at him still. She was seated in front of her laptop on his couch eating a cup of yogurt. She hadn't known Mulder was taking the picture when he did. She never knew he had it. But it had stayed with him all those lonely nights when he was still looking for her, still searching. During those days when he hadn't yet given up.

"No, Will, she didn't come back. I never saw her again."

Silence.

Not a word was spoken for a while as his son contemplated this new load of information. His mother was gone? No one knew where she was? And why had his father stopped searching?

Mulder rested his chin on his son's dark brown locks of hair. He breathed deeply the smell of Johnson
Johnson's baby shampoo. (Will had never grown out of it.) His son was still a baby in so many ways, yet growing up faster than he could keep track of.

It was going to be hard for Will to live the life of a child of a single parent. What would Mother's Day be like? Who was going to sew his Halloween costumes? And what about all of the questions from his friends? When asked where his mother was, was he going to reply with 'I don't know'?

Scully, he said to the picture. You're missing out on a lot. Will's growing up and I want you to be here to see it. He just got potty trained and he's very proud of himself. He's doing exceptionally in school and can already read and write on a third grade level. Yesterday, he told me that he wanted to be a doctor. Just like you. He needs you back. Why did you have to go? Why did you have to leave us here? You've been gone too long, Scully. Life's not the same without you. There's this hole I've been trying to fill in my heart. Without you here, my life is empty. I came back, and now it's your turn. Now it's your turn He started when a tiny hand brushed his cheek, wiping away a newly formed tear streaming down his face.

"Don' cry, Daddy," his son whispered as he wrapped his hands around his father's neck and rested his face on his shoulders. "It'll be ok."

The reassuring words of his four-year-old soothed the man and dried the tears forming in his eyes. Now was the perfect time.

Mulder slowly unwrapped his son's arms from around his neck and reached around, searching the back of his collar. When he found the clasp, he unfastened it and removed the golden chain. Will held the tiny cross in his hands as his father lay in down on his son's palms. "This was your mother's, Will. I know she would have wanted you to have it."

The tiny boy was speechless. The little cross glimmered in the light, reflecting shimmers to all of the corners of the room. He could imagine what his mother would have looked like wearing the cross. As beautiful as in the picture, but even more with this tiny pendant around her neck. And now it was his, to always wear and remember her by.

Mulder slowly grasped the chain and fastened it around Will's neck. The boy gasped and smiled up at his father who smiled back at him. "Never forget her, Will. Never forget that there's always someone to watch over you, no matter what."

And with that, father and son slowly walked to bed, hand in hand. Though the woman they loved and the woman who had loved them was gone, her memory still lived. And the two learned to live and love together, and to cope with the loss of mother and lover and best friend.

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