Title: Without You
Author: MJ
Disclaimers: All main characters, but Rae, do not belong to me...they are the property of the all mighty Chris Carter! I also used a line from a song by Three Doors Down, which is where I got the title. And, no, I'm NOT making money off this!
Rating: R language and violence
Class: Adventure, Romance, Post Series, William

Notes: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me some feedback...I'm open to all comments-positive and negative! Email or IM me at VBMishi17@aol.com

Nearly 6 years later
The Flamingo Motel Wisconsin
December 3rd 2007, 2 a.m.

A little boy sits up in bed. His face is calm and patient as he cries out, "Mommy!" but his mommy doesn't come.

Fox Mulder wakes to hear the shower running.

It's 2 a.m. yet he's grown accustomed to these late night bathing rituals. A torrent of water is the only noise that reaches his ears, but he knows it conceals the sound of her anguished sobs.

She's had another nightmare, or maybe, a vision. Hesitating, he wonders whether to rise and attempt to comfort her, or to leave her with her grief.

Suddenly the bathroom door swings open; Dana Scully stands silhouetted in the doorway.

He lies motionless, watching her through half closed eyes; feigning slumber.

The water continues to run, and steam escapes from around her gaunt frame.

Years of traveling have worn away at her exterior, robbing her of sleep and appetite.

The water pools at her feet, dripping from her newly colored blond hair. Dark streaks trail down the curve of her back, off the tips of her fingers, and condense slightly on her upper lip.

Her head is tilted downwards, and he cannot see her face, yet he knows what expression it carries.

Shoulders rising and falling, her translucent skin stretches tautly over her ribcage with each suppressed sob.

Her knees buckle and she falls forward.

Rising instantly, he kneels down to face her. Prying her hands away from her face he leans his forehead against hers to stare somberly into her eyes. The sapphire sparkle they once held has long since extinguished; replaced with this red rimmed gaze brimming with tears. A hard knot rises in his throat. "I saw him, Mulder. I saw him again. He's calling for me...always calling...I can't do this anymore I have to see him," she croaks.

SUV heading west Outside of Park View, Iowa
December 30th 2007, 9 p.m.

"Jimmy said he'll meet us 3 miles down, in the county park." Mulder goes over the plan for the hundredth time. "It's going to be fine, Mulder. They're not searching for us...they think we're dead. Plus we're in the middle of nowhere."

Despite her own reassurances, Scully grips the steering wheel, white knuckled and breathless with adrenaline. She inadvertently speeds up the car to match her rapidly accelerating heartbeat. This is it. In less than an hour, if all goes well, she'll have the files. The files that took weeks of skilled hacking to obtain. The files that contain another new identity and the whereabouts of their child; the child that calls to her, invading her dreams; the child that she cannot forget, that she cannot relinquish. Her heart and mind have long since fused together, suffocating in anguish and yearning.

"Hey! Slow down, our turn's coming up, and we don't need to get pulled over," Mulder interrupts her thoughts.

"Right," she shakes herself, exhaling deeply.

Five minutes later, they enter Scott County Park. The park ranger peers curiously at them as he lets them pass through the gate, reminding them that the park closes at ten. Winding through the park they follow the wooden arrows, pointing to different shelters. "Buffalo Bill Shelter, this way." Mulder taps the window, pointing in the same direction as a large wooden bear.

They arrive and Scully hops out into the snow, "He's not here yet." She mutters, "Where is he?"

"He'll be here." Mulder makes his way through the snow to her side of the car and leans casually against it; his hands deeply in his pockets. Pacing, Scully checks and rechecks her watch. He reaches out and pulls her to him, brushing her hair out of her eyes. "Relax, it's going to be fine," he says kissing her forehead.

"It's going to be fine," she repeats, leaning her head against his chest. Headlights appear around the bend of the trail, snaking their way towards the shelter. Crunching onto the gravel, the car parks parallel to them, and Jimmy jumps out. "Jesus, it's cold out here!" he exclaims. He grips a small silver laptop to his chest, and his keys dangle loosely from his index finger. "Here," he hands them both to Scully, and she tosses him their keys "Thanks," they trade vehicles, and quickly retreat

Washington Elementary School
Horse Creek, Wyoming
January 5th 2008, 3 pm

The afternoon sun slants through the windows of a small corner office-merrily creating patches of light on the desk and floor. A pretty blond sits before the desk. Nervously she bounces her knee, waiting for the owner of the desk to see her. After what seems like an eternity of apprehension, a wrinkled old woman finally shuffles her way into the room, taking a seat behind the desk. "Well Mrs. Mohr everything seems to be in order.

Welcome to Washington Elementary, we're very glad to have you here."

She smiles and continues on, "We've been in need of a qualified first grade teacher for some time. Since Mrs. Louis passed away last term, we've had only temps and student teachers to fill in."

Looking down through thick rimmed glasses at the resume, she shakes her head, "With your prerequisites I'm surprised you've come all the way out here to teach. "Mrs. Mohr shakes her head reassuringly, "I love it out here, I'm from a small town originally, and it reminds me of home.

Plus, my...er...husband transferred out here for his job."

"Oh I see... well again welcome."

2022 Cheyenne Drive
Horse Creek, Wyoming
January 5th 2008, 4 pm

"Well Scully...I mean Mrs. Mohr, how was the first day of work?" Fox Mulder sits waiting on the small front porch of a one bedroom brick house.

He leans forward slightly, his gloved hands clasped loosely in front of him.

Already the color is returning to her face and she gives him a small smile and a kiss on the forehead.

He draws her into a tight embrace, breathing in the smell of her. "My day was fine. I didn't actually get to teach. But I received my lesson plan and class list."

She pulls it out and points to a name at the bottom of the list.

"William Van de Kamp."

Her voice cracks slightly as she reads the last name. She continues on, concealing her emotions "How was your day?"

"We're no closer to finding the answer than we were yesterday, or the day before that, or six years ago for that matter...Skinner contacted me today, through email. He's talking about preparing a sort of haven..." he trails off, realizing that Scully is no longer looking him in the eyes, she is faraway, lost somewhere in her thoughts. And her response reflects her attentiveness, "I wish it wasn't Friday, I'm going to go crazy this weekend."

"You'll have time to prepare...we'll have time to prepare." he answers, gently discarding the fact that she heard nothing he said.

Horse Creek, Wyoming Washington Elementary School January 8th 2008, 8 a.m.

"My name is Mrs. Mohr." Scully tries to speak to the entire class but her eyes keep returning to the little boy with the bright blue eyes and auburn curls.

She tears them away to write her name on the board, but turns back quickly as if afraid he'll disappear. He returns her gaze with a somber stare, years beyond his age.

She inhales deeply, her cool exterior uncharacteristically ruffled. "We'll take roll now, 'k? Emily Anderson."


"Jacob Beirnstein"

"Here" The names continue, and she grows impatient--waiting to call his name, to hear his voice.

"William...Van de Kamp," she breathes.

"Here...could you call me Will?" he questions, his voice a high treble. She revels in this voice, her little boy's, her William, not even hearing his words. She turns once again to the board, this time to hide her tears.

A knock interrupts her thoughts.

She knows who it is before looking up.

"Come in!" she beckons, almost too eagerly Mulder opens the door carrying a brown paper bag.

"You forgot your lunch," he mutters sweeping the room with his eyes before letting them fall on the little boy with his father's face and his mother's eyes and hair. He opens his mouth and closes it soundlessly, glancing at Scully incredulously.

Seeing her eyes filled with tears he pushes back his own need to cry, and gives a choked little laugh instead. The room falls silent as both parents gape astounded at their little boy.

The silence breaks as the paper bag falls from Mulder's limp hand to the floor.

Scully jumps slightly as Mulder bends down sheepishly to pick up the bag.

A couple children giggle, yet William remains motionless.

His wise little eyes are locked on the two figures before him, relentlessly questioning, astute, and exigent. "Well I guess I'd better be going," Mulder frowns.

"Wait, you haven't been introduced." Scully delays, trying to give Mulder time to meet his son, "Class this is my husband, Mr. Mohr. Why don't you all stand, introduce yourself...and tell us something that makes you different from everyone else?"

Again they tediously listen to each child's name; from Emily who- "was born with a 6th toe" to Peter who "has two mommies" they finally come to the name they have waited an eternity to hear. His face is screwed up with concentration trying to come up with something as good as Emily Anderson's 6th toe "My name is Will. Umm...I don't know what makes me different. I was adopted... is that good enough?"

Mulder clears his throat roughly. Goosebumps spread across Scully's thin arms and down her spine. "Yes of course. That's good enough, sweetheart," she murmurs

2022 Cheyenne Drive
Horse Creek, Wyoming
January 8th 2008, 6 pm 

He cradles her tenderly as she buries her face into his chest.

She is nearly finished crying, and gives a slight sob.

Tears trail silently into his newly grown beard, and he holds her tighter still.

Shivering he pulls a blanket tightly around their fused figures.

Their body heat radiating together creates a comforting warmth.

"He's so beautiful. Our baby. Oh God Mulder, I had to do everything in my power not to pick him up and run away with him." She says, her voice trembling. "I had the same thoughts," Mulder murmurs against her hair "The way he looked at us...it's like he saw right through us, it's like he knew. But how could he?"

"He was probably just wondering why we both stared at him like he was some freak show."

He mimics their previous expressions, dropping his jaw and widening his eyes animatedly, she gives a hiccupping giggle "It's nice to have some closure. To see him, and hear him. I was beginning to wonder if it wasn't all just a dream. He's so big, just how I imagined...he looks just like you."

"Poor kid."

She grins, "He's beautiful. You're beautiful."

"Oh stop, Mrs. Mohr, you're making me blush."

She kisses him lightly on the lips. "How 'bout I make us some dinner?"

"Cooking? I don't know G-woman, you up to the challenge?"

"Haha, I'll have you know I am the master of macaroni and cheese."

"I'm impressed. I never really saw you as the domestic type. But macaroni and cheese, well that says it all."

FBI Headquarters
Washington, DC
January 8th 2008, 8 pm

"They've been spotted. He's in Wyoming sir. It's only a matter of time now. Once the trap is set, we'll have what we want. They won't be able to stay away."

Washington Elementary
Horse Creek, Wyoming
January 9th 2008, 10 am

"Okay class, recess. Make sure you bundle up, it's cold!"

Fourteen children scramble to the coat closet racing to see who can make it to the playground first.

William waits patiently while the others push and shove.

He finally reaches his winter garments and sits quietly on the floor, fiddling with his snow boots.

His stocking cap is pulled askew over one ear, nearly covering both of his eyes-tufts of reddish gold curls stick out from underneath. He hums something sounding suspiciously like "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog."

It's here in the quaint little classroom that Scull finds herself alone with her son for the first time in nearly six years.

"You need help, William, ah...Will?"

"I can't get my shoe tied." She approaches him eagerly, kneeling down to help him.

He has that little boy smell--Ivory soap, wet mittens, and bubble gum.

She breathes in deeply, memorizing every feature--the dirt underneath his fingernails, the scar on his chin, his long eyelashes, rosy cheeks, and missing front tooth.

"There you go." she pauses holding him at arms length by his upper arms. He looks up at her from underneath a fringe of reddish eyelashes, studying her simultaneously.

Her breath quickens, and she impulsively presses her lips against his forehead.

"Well, there you go." she repeats weakly, straightening up He continues to stare.

Parent Teacher Conferences
Washington Elementary School
Horse Creek, Wyoming
2 weeks later

They sit down comfortably.

Her face has the rosy glow of someone who has just come in from out from the cold. His eyes hold a kind warmth that puts you instantly at ease. Scully stares at them with a smoldering ambivalence.

One side of her adores the couple sitting before her. Her son is theirs; they feed him, clothe him, comfort, and love him. They generously protect him in the home she had so wanted to provide for him herself.

Her other half detests them--resentment boiling over, coloring her face a deep crimson... their perfect life, with her and Mulder's beautiful creation, and their ignorance to her sacrifice and pain. Yet, their conversation is light, focused on the bright little first grader they all love. Scully asks the regular questions and comes to "Have there been any problems at home?" They both glance at one another.

"We just told him that he was adopted." Mr. Van De Kamp explains.

"He's a very thoughtful little boy," Mrs. Van De Kamp continues Scully's face burns an even deeper crimson and she can no longer look them in the eye. "He wants to meet his real parents..." Mrs. Van De Kamp trails off looking somewhat stricken. "We've talked to his pediatrician who referred us to a child psychologist. Often adopted children, when learning of their adoption, project their "real" parental figure on an admired individual of authority, such as a teacher or even a celebrity." she recites "...he must really like you Mrs. Mohr..." Scully feels vomit rising in the back of her throat and swallows hard to suppress it.

Her mind is racing, the connection she had felt was real, he had felt it...he knew the truth.

She forces herself to join in with the chuckling couple, but can find no words to respond to them.

2022 Cheyenne Drive
Horse Creek, Wyoming
January 24th 2008, 4 p.m.

"He wasn't at school today." Scully carelessly drops her purse by the door, and kicks off her shoes, vaulting across the tiny living room to the phone.

"William?" Mulder asks

"Who else?" she's annoyed.

"What are you doing?"

"What does it look like I'm doing?" her face turns indignantly red.

"It looks like your calling them...why are you calling them? He's a little boy, Scully, little boys get colds, they get the flu, they miss school. You're practically working in a petri dish! It's not your place to call them."

"It's not my place? I'm his mother! I want to know what's wrong...something is wrong!" she dials the number by heart, twisting the phone cord nervously around her finger. "Pick up, damn it!...

"You have reached the Van de Kamps..." William's voice answers brightly on the answering machine Scully slams the phone back in the receiver, "Shit, where the hell are they? Maybe we should check on him..." she goes to her purse to grab her keys, but Mulder is a step ahead, he dangles them frowningly.

"Scully, you're overreacting." he says simply.

"Give me the keys."


" Mulder, give me the keys!" her voice cracks He stares at her, gasping with exertion, eyes flashing dangerously like a woman possessed.

"Scully, this has consumed you. And for what? So you can have your heart broken all over again? He will always be our son, but we're not...we're not..." he trails off trying to find the words.

"We're not his parents..." she finishes "I'm not "mommy"...I'm Mrs. Mohr..." she bites her lip, covering her face with her hand "I just thought...Mulder I told you about what the Van de Kamps said...I felt something Mulder, I still feel it." she whispers.

"I think what you feel is a connection...a connection that is there because you gave birth to this boy. Because you have always loved him and have never stopped loving him. And you never will."

Later that night 3 a.m.

He's sitting cross-legged, a seatbelt across his chest. The snow from his boots stain dark spots all over the seat. He cries out, "Mommy!" though his face is calm-patiently waiting.

Scully awakes, trying to recall the details of the dream as they slip away. Sweat trickles down her back and between her breasts, which are heaving with each erratic breath. Mulder's arm lies heavily across her upper chest, imprisoning her in a tight embrace, his beard tickling the nape of her neck. Slowly she raises his arm, and slips out of bed. She has to get rid of this sour feeling in her stomach-telling her something is wrong.

Silently she takes her car keys off the counter and tiptoes across the kitchenette to the backdoor. Slinging Mulder's jacket over her pajamas, she promises herself that she'll only be a half hour, that she will resist the temptation to linger any longer than that. The cold bites her face and fingers, and her slippered feet ache as snow envelopes them up to her ankles.

Turning the key in the ignition, she points the car in the direction of the Van De Kamp farm, only to slam on the brakes. Mulder stands shivering, blinded by the headlights, in nothing but sweatpants. "Scully!" he shouts "Get back inside!"

"No!" she rolls down the window.

"C'mon, Scully, this is ridiculous!"

"Either get in the car or get out of my way, Mulder!" she revs the engine threateningly and Mulder can't help but smirk.

"Fine," he agrees, somewhat relieved. He hobbles barefoot to the car, blowing his hands for warmth. Glancing at her sideways, he fears for her, for her health and her mind. He fears he'll let her down-that he won't be strong enough for her, that his own sadness will betray him. For six years he's become her sole confidant, her only friend, her partner, and her lover. Yet, now she's blocked even him out. She sees their son everyday, and while he envies this, he also worries. She comes home each night more and more tortured. Her face has once again taken the look of suffering, yet this is a different torture. It is that of a person left on the outside, looking desperately in. And in her desperation, all her scientific rationalization has disappeared, replaced with someone controlled only by an aching heart; someone trying to fill the void where something, someone was ripped mercilessly away.

"Here," Scully takes off her jacket (or his rather), feeling somewhat guilty for not allowing him time to even grab a coat.

"Thanks." He says covering his bare chest. He can find no more words to say to her. She's made it clear that this is a hill she's willing to die on and she will do what she wants, with or without him-and he'd rather be with her. 20 minutes later, they arrive at the Van De Kamps.

"Scully, the front door is open." Mulder swallows hard. She forgets to put the car in park as she leaps out-making it to the door before Mulder can even get out of the car. He hears her muffled cry from inside, and sprints up the porch steps.

Scully crouches down beside Mrs. Van De Kamp checking her pulse; she lies facedown in a pool of dark blood. Mr. Van De Kamp lays sprawled beside her. "Oh my God, oh my God," Scully grips her chest, gasping for breath "They're dead...they've been shot!" she cries.

Mulder rushes by her, "William!" he shouts; Scully jumps to her feet.

They spend the next three hours examining the house, the barns, and the property-checking for shallow graves, spots of blood, or a ransom note. Nothing.

"We have to get out of here," Mulder mutters "The sun is coming up, someone might see us."

Scully opens her mouth to respond, but she's too tired. More tired than she has ever been, beyond physically, but mentally, and spiritually as well. Too tired, even, to notice old Mrs. Briggs walking up the back drive for morning coffee. As they drive away, Mulder catches a glimpse of her in the rearview mirror. "Shit! We've been seen!"

Mrs. Briggs stands stunned in the front doorway, watching a black Explorer race away. "She'll call the police; she'll report the car..." Scully stares straight ahead, her voice a dull monotone.

"And we won't be driving it. We're going to need to get a car...do you know where we can find a car?"

"The elementary has a van for field trips...it's only used sparingly, especially since it's winter...they won't miss it for weeks." Scully responds glumly.

"Ok, we're going to need to ditch the car somewhere, and then we'll have to walk..."

"Mulder, you're barefoot."

"We'll walk fast."

"This isn't random, is it? Who would come to the middle of Wyoming to kidnap a little boy? Those people have no enemies, Mulder. No enemies that would kill them execution style and then steal their child....do you know how long it's been since a murder was committed in this county? This is all wrong; they know...I don't know how, but they know Mulder." She speaks on the verge of hysteria, her eyes wide and paranoid.

"Scully..." he sighs shaking his head "Let's just keep our eyes open to all possibilities, we can't jump to any conclusions. I need you to be rational...if not for me, for him." Her jaw clenches and unclenches.

"You're right," she finally says, and her face is set, composure and determination washing away all frenzied tension.

Mulder pulls the car over, slowly steering it towards the cover of the trees. He takes off his jacket, ripping off its sleeves, and wrapping them around his feet. "We've got about a mile and we're going to need to follow the tree line in case we need to take cover."

They walk in silence, Scully stepping up to her knees in the footprints Mulder makes ahead of her in the snow. By the time they reach their destination, their bodies are numb and heavy--getting harder and harder to maneuver with each minute. Their lips, hands, and feet have grown a sickly blue. Shivering uncontrollably, they enter the shed where the van is housed.

"It's not even locked," Mulder stutters through chattering teeth.

"Yeah and the keys should be around here somewhere...here, in the ignition."

"This is too easy!" he exclaims.

"There's no crime here...why lock your doors, or your cars for that matter?...Let's just go." She fumbles with the door, trying to grip the handle with unfeeling hands.

"Ladies first," Mulder says as he opens it for her, and gives her a boost up. He starts the van, and they drive away unnoticed, disappearing once again without a trace.

The Antelope Hotel
Sand Draw, Wyoming
January 25th, 2008 6 p.m.

Scully stares blankly at an image of herself on the television screen.

"We are on an Amber Alert. Suspects driving a Black Ford Explorer--possibly escaped convicts, Fox Mulder, and Dana Scully. They are the biological parents of William Van De Kamp, the adopted son of Earl and Marlene Van De Kamp. Both Mr. and Mrs. Van De Kamp were found murdered in their homes early this morning. If you have any information, please call toll free, 1-800-555..."

Mulder switches off the TV. This is insane. How did this happen? His mind races with possible answers, though nothing can wash away the shock of seeing his own face plastered so painfully conspicuous on the television screen.

"Escaped convicts? They've criminalized us and taken our son in order to get our attention. In order to get everyone's attention. How did they know we were alive? How did they find him?" Mulder paces back and forth the small motel room "That was a top secret adoption, the hacking Jimmy had to do to get through broke about sixty different laws. Making such a connection between us and him before there's any hard evidence is beyond suspicious. You were right, Scully, they're behind this...we're just lucky they didn't know we were in town...or we'd be dead." Mulder continues on, "We have to keep moving. If we take back roads we'll avoid any roadblocks...plus they're looking for a Black Explorer..."

Scully sighs, her very soul seems to weigh her down. Each eye burns with exhaustion, yet she dreads sleep. She kneads the palms of her hands roughly into each socket.

Mulder grips her wrists, seizing them with sudden vigor; needing her to see him, needing her to be strong. "We're going to get through this, you know that right? Whatever happens, we're in this together."

She cannot look at him, wondering if he really understands.

Sand Draw, Wyoming
The Antelope Hotel
January 26th, 5 a.m.

He sits cross legged in a small room, his head resting against the leg of abed. "Mommy!" he cries out. But his face is calm, patient-trusting.

A man in a white coat stands behind mirrored glass, staring.

"...I'm here without you baby, but you're still on my lonely mind. I think about you baby, and I dream about you all the time..."

Scully rolls over to shut the alarm off. Pausing to listen to the lyrics, she slams the snooze button harder than intended. Mulder awakes with a start, rubbing his eyes and sitting up in bed. He clicks on the TV. "Let's see what they've uncovered now," he yawns

"Now, more on the William Van De Kamp case, Ed?"

"Thank you Nora, well it seems speculation about the perpetrators of this crime has been confirmed. While no trace of young William Van De Kamp has been found, the fingerprints of both his biological parents cover the property, leaving investigators to believe William was indeed kidnapped by escaped convicts and convicted murderers, Fox Mulder, and Dana Scully. An interesting twist on this story is the possibility that the perpetrators had been staking out the Van de Kamps for weeks, Dana Scully posing as William's school teacher."

Again, the screen flashes their images, this time of a blond Scully, and a bearded Mulder.

"The perpetrators are believed to be driving a 2003 Black Ford Explorer. If you have any information, please call, 1-800-555-4208. And now back to you Nora..."

"Well it's nice they found some evidence to back up their allegations...now that they know we're in the area, they're going to be back...looking for us. At least they're still looking for the Explorer."

Mulder stands up, his sweatpants are ragged and dirty, and he has no shoes. Her pajamas look no better. "It's barely above freezing, Mulder; you can't go out like that...It was bad enough that I checked in, in my pajamas last night, but shirtless and shoeless? We won't get very far."

"This place is a dump, and you heard the couple next to us last night," he smirks, tapping the thin walls, "I bet we can break the lock off the door that connects the rooms and get some clothes...that's assuming they weren't renting the room by the hour," he adds "All I need is something to break that lock off..." Mulder rummages through a drawer, discovering a pair of panties, an old razor, and a Bible. "Well we can always use these!" he grins sarcastically.

"Mulder..." Scully gets up from bed, examining the lock closer "...this lock is broken..." she finishes incredulously.

"Well then, after you," Mulder turns the handle, and the door creaks open ominously. Empty beer cans, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and various articles of clothing litter the floor. Scully jumps as a large snort erupts from the bed.

"Jesus, they're still in here," she whispers."

"And drunk as skunks," Mulder replies "C'mon let's get their clothes." He bends down picking up a rumpled t-shirt from the ground, Scully does the same.

"I don't think these are my size," she mocks, holding up a pair of large elastic waist jeans. Suddenly, the blankets tent around the head of the enormous man they were covering. He shakes the covers off, rubbing his protruding belly and staring hazily at Scully. "Who're you?" he drawls.

Scully presses her lips together, cocking her head. She finally answers, "Madonna."

"An' youuu?" the man continues, pointing a little to the right of Mulder.

"Richard Gere...you're dreaming so go back to sleep," Mulder orders seriously.

"Oh...'k," he flops backwards, nearly crushing his bedmate.

"Who said being a fugitive isn't fun?" Mulder jokes, steering Scully from the room.

They dress quickly, Scully hiding her hair beneath a hideous orange trucker cap, and Mulder carefully shaving his beard to a goatee. "You look hot, Scully."

"Shut up," she says, walking to the door, "How are we paying for this? " she swings around, looking suddenly worried.

Mulder pulls a beat up wallet from his new Harley Davidson jacket, opening it up. "Two hundred dollars...whew, we're rich!"

"We really are becoming criminals..." she frowns, feeling a guilty weight settle in her stomach, a guilt that runs deeper than the stealing.

"Desperate times..." Mulder shrugs.

They pay the old man at the front desk; his eyes are glued to the television screen, which is once again outlining the recent kidnapping. "What is this world coming to?" he shakes his head, handing them their change as their faces flash on the screen. "You two have a nice day, come again," he mutters, his eyes never leaving the television.

Van heading north towards
Wind River Reservation, Wyoming
6:30 a.m.

"Why are we stopping?" Scully sits up from her hiding spot in the backseat, her hat sits cockeyed over her eyes, and she has to tilt her chin up in order to see him.

"2.2 million acres of Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho territory. Did you know Sacagawea was buried here?" Mulder questions.

"That's all very interesting, Mulder, but this isn't really the time for sight seeing."

"I think we need to lay low for awhile, there are lean-tos up in the hills that they don't use in the winter...we could stay there for a couple weeks, until the excitement dies down a little..."

"There's a reason they don't use those huts in the winter..."

"Aw, c'mon, Scully you don't like camping?"

"I was cocooned alive the last time I went, but at least I was warm," she laughs.

Hut on a hill Crow Heart Butte
Wind River Reservation, Wyoming
8 hours later

After a quick stop at a gas station and a four hour hike, in which they narrowly avoid a tour bus, park official, and recognition from a nosy old lady, Mulder and Scully finally reach a suitable destination. A lean-to with no windows, heating, or plumbing grants them a welcome asylum.

"Well, it's not much," Mulder says pacing the dirt floor, "But the walls are solid, and if we can get a fire going, we should be able to last a couple weeks,"

Scully bends down examining the hearth. She pulls out a lighter from their supplies. "All we need is some firewood."

"I'll be back, let's hope I can find something dry or that chair's gotta to go." Mulder says heading out. She stands alone, shivering and looking around gloomily at her humble surroundings. Wind rattles shrilly through the rusty grate, stirring up dead leaves, animal droppings, and dust. The roof creaks ominously under the weight of its snowy exterior, water seeping through creating muddy puddles on the dirt floor. A soggy straw mattress rests against the wall, and a three-legged stool sits upturned beside it-the room's only furnishings.

Feeling the call of nature, and the need for some more fresh air, she retreats from the dwelling to use the outhouse. Crunching her way carefully through the icy snow, something darts out of the corner of eye. She spins around; hand going to the holster she doesn't have. Balling her fists, she strains her eyes to catch another glimpse, yet the thickness of the foliage obstructs her vision. "Mulder?" she calls, but he's nowhere in sight.

A dark figure dashes away from behind a tree.

"Shit!" she exclaims as she tears after him. Slipping and sliding through the woodland, Scully catches up quickly with her prowler. Taking out his knees, she sits on top of him, digging her knee between his shoulder blades. "Who are you?! How did you find us!? Answer me!" she screams pushing back his hood, revealing a mane of long black hair, and an adolescent, feminine face.

"Geroff me! I can't breathe!" the girl gasps.

Scully loosens her grip on the girl, "Oh God, this is not happening," Scully pushes her hair from her face keeping a firm grip on the girl's hands, who violently squirms under her attacker's grip. "I'm going to let you up, ok? I'm not going to hurt you."

"Too late."

Scully slowly rises off the girl, still maintaining a tight hold on her hands. "We're going back to the house," she directs, forcefully steering the girl back up the wooded hill. They reach the house and Scully barricades them inside, staring miserably at the girl. "Who are you?" she asks again "What are you doing all the way up here? "The girl sits stone faced, her nose bleeding profusely down her mouth and chin. "Here, I have a first aid kit," Scully gets up from her place in front of the door, but the girl lunges for the exit.

Scully must tackle her down again. Scuffling, they both freeze in alarm as the door scrapes open; Mulder stands stunned in the doorframe. "Shit!" he exclaims, dropping the firewood. "A little help!?" Scully strains to contain the girl, dirt and blood staining her face

Two hours later

The firelight flickers eerily, illuminating the faces of Mulder, Scully, and their young captive. She sits in a corner, head down, watching them through ebony strands. "They'll be looking for her soon," Scully paces back and forth, "I didn't know what else to do..."

"You did the right thing," Mulder sighs.

"...We should get out of here," Scully says glancing at the girl who looks at her with horror.

"They say you kidnapped a little boy, and killed his parents," she whispers, anger rising in her voice.

"Do you see a little boy anywhere?"

"...No." she sniffles, dragging her sleeve across her nose.

"We're looking for our little boy. Something's happened to him, and they say we did it, but we didn't," Scully murmurs gently, her eyes seem suddenly far away.

The girl knits her brow in a mixture of mistrust, sympathy, and confusion. "I heard about you, though. They say you did it." she answers weakly, yet she cannot tear her eyes away from the grief on Scully's face. Her heart feels suddenly heavy for the woman sitting before her-empathy replaces anger. Her eyes are so blue! Like polished turquoise. And yet...they are clouded-- wounded and lost. Understanding washes over her.

Mulder watches the girl slowly study Scully, realizing she perceives her pain. Reaching out with long brown fingers, she touches Scully's hand, awakening her from her trance. "You'll find him," she whispers The girl stands up, hastily wiping her eyes. "My name is Rae," she introduces solemnly, "Call it woman's intuition, or Indian magic or whatever, but it seems to me, you guys aren't what they say you are," she looks deeply into both of their faces "Maybe I can help you, but you're going to have to trust me."

Mulder gapes at her. She smiles reassuringly; suddenly looking years older-fifteen, maybe sixteen. Her face is clear and trusting-eyes sparkling with sudden determination instead of tears. "They've been snooping around here already, I don't think they'll be back," she continues.

"Who's been snooping around? The FBI?"

"Yes, two agents, a man and a woman."

"What were their names?" Scully stands up.

"Umm...Dog something or other, and Ray...like me,"

"Do you mean Doggett and Reyes?"

"Yeah that's it."

"Do you know where they are now? Do you know where they're staying?"

"Well there's only one motel in about a 50 mile radius, so they're probably still there," she answers "But like I said, I don't think they're coming back, they didn't get any answers."

"Rae, we used to work for the FBI. If you see them around, Agents Doggett and Reyes, not any other agents, you need to tell them we're up here."

"You want the FBI here? Now I know you're telling the truth! I'll see what I can do, ok?" she bounces excitedly on the balls of her feet, and Mulder can't help but laugh at her youthful enthusiasm.

After more discussion, Rae finally leaves with great reluctance, promising to return within the next few days with more supplies, and possibly Doggett and Reyes.

"How do we know we can trust her?" Scully worries.

"She's probably asking herself the same thing," Mulder replies

Hut on a Hill Crow Heart Butte
Wind River Reservation, Wyoming
January 27th, 1 a.m.

Scully awakens in the middle of the night, not from a dream, but from her own shivering. Mulder is up, feeding the fire. He turns around to see her watching him. She smiles, rubbing her arms for warmth. The sweatshirt she wears swims on her, its sleeves cover her hands, and the neckline is much too wide. It slips down, revealing one bare shoulder. "I think there's going to be a storm...listen to that wind."

"I hope Rae got back okay," Scully frets. "I'm sure she's fine,"

"I don't think I could stand anymore guilt," Scully murmurs distractedly "Guilt?" She inhales deeply, becoming suddenly fascinated with her hands.

"Scully, none of this is your fault."

"I know," she whispers, her voice choked "But, there's something else, Mulder. Something that...scares me."

"Tell me. Tell me everything," Mulder sits on the bed, he wants to know her again, he wants to know her guilt and sadness, for her to share it and be rid of it.

"When I saw the Van de Kamps, when I saw them lying there...I was horrified, but a part...a part of me..." she cannot bring herself to say it.

"A part of you was relieved," Mulder finishes.

A sob escapes and she covers her mouth quickly with her hand, squeezing her eyes shut. "They're dead, Mulder. Those poor people. I must be sick."

"Then I must be sick, too." Mulder replies. She looks up at him surprised, and he continues. "Those people are dead, I didn't want them dead, but now they are. And now he is our son...ours alone...you don't think that that was the first thing that crossed my mind? Scully, I love him, and want him back." His voice cracks tearfully. "I watch you and I ache. Your pain is so evident, yet you tell me nothing. But I feel it too...I want to know my son, I want to hold him, and protect him, and never let him go. I'm going crazy not talking about this...but I didn't think you could handle my grief as well... I just, I wanted to be strong, for you. You need someone to be strong."

"Mulder, I need this." She cups his face, tears pouring from her eyes, "I need us to be honest, always. I need to know that you're feeling the same, that I'm not going insane..."

"That we really are in this together," Mulder finishes, pulling her in tightly

Hut on a hill Crow Heart Butte
Wind River Reservation, Wyoming
February 1st, 6 a.m.

"Dana, Mulder!" Reyes bangs on the door, Rae stands nervously behind her and Agent Doggett. "They were here, I swear," she promises Doggett pulls out his gun, pushing the door open cautiously. Reyes follows close behind.

"Whoa!" he pushes Reyes back out, laughing.

"A little privacy?" comes a groggy shout from inside Two minutes later, Scully appears red faced at the door, welcoming them inside. Mulder sits on the bed, pulling on his socks and whistling. After many hugs, handshakes, and smiles the conversation turns serious.

"So, what now?" Reyes questions soberly "I assume you want to get out of here as soon as possible."

"We'd like to get out of the country for awhile," Mulder answers.

"I know a place, in Mexico, it's not secluded, but it's easier to get lost in a crowd. Gibson's there and they haven't got to him. Plus, you'd have the facilities you need, and you'd be out of FBI jurisdiction. We have everything you need, passports, identity, etcetera." Reyes offers.

"How do we get there?"

"We'll take you there," Doggett replies. "How do you know you're not being followed?"

"Officially, we're here on another case. Unofficially, we're here to find you guys. And this place, even outside the reservation, is a ghost town." Doggett answers. "...and we checked the car, no bugs." he adds, interrupting Mulder's beginning sentence.

Mulder looks at Scully, "What do you think?"

"How are we supposed to find him in Mexico?" she responds quietly.

"Right now, the best thing you can do is lay low, you're not going to get him back if you get caught." Doggett reasons.

"We're not going to find him if the trail's cold, either." Scully replies.

"The trail won't be cold, Dana, not with us on it." Reyes assures.

"We're gonna find him." Doggett's face is grave, his eyes haunted with exhumed memories.

"You know they did this, right? You know this isn't a standard kidnapping, this is to get at us." Scully's voice rises slightly.

"Yeah, we know. We also know that they're tryin' to draw you in...they want you to find 'em...they know you won't be able to resist. The clues will be there. He won't disappear without a trace." Doggett soothes

An hour later, Scully stands clothed in one of Reyes' dress suits; it hangs lankily off her hands and feet. Mulder squeezes into one of Doggett's suits, his ankles and wrists poking out conspicuously. Her hair is cut short, dyed a dark brown, his is peppered gray with the top shaved off, making him appear as though he is balding. He peers at her through thick rimmed bifocals.

"What do you think Scully?" he asks grimacing.

"Well, I do like older men..." she jokes.

Rae stands awkwardly outside the circle of agents, wondering if her task is finished. They turn to her, abruptly. "Rae, what's the fastest way out of here?" Scully inquires. "If we cross the Wind River, we'll be able to make it out of here in about two hours," she answers readily.

"Lead the way."

The sun rises welcoming the new day, as the group makes its way down the sloping woodland. They walk in silence, breathing in their exquisite scenery. Wet pine and earth blend together in a pungent medley. Sparkling frost, snaking its way up each tree trunk, transforms into beads of crystal dew under the pale morning sun. Swooping overhead, an eagle screeches through the pink stained sky. "A good sign" Rae explains happily. Her happiness soon fades when they reach their destination.

"Thank you, Rae." Scully whispers, pulling her into a firm embrace. Mulder joins, wrapping his arms around both of them.

"You'll find him." Rae repeats intently.

Shrieking its shrill cry, the eagle returns, bidding them farewell. All heads tilt up to watch it soar. "Rae, how did you find..." Scully begins. But Rae has vanished. "Wha..." Scully trails off, astonished.

"Where'd she go?" Doggett exclaims.

"She didn't leave any footprints." Mulder observes. They stand in stunned silence, peering around, as if expecting her to jump out screaming "boo!"

"...what case did you say you were on?" Scully muses.

"A kidnapping...um...they just uncovered a body up here." Doggett looks uncomfortable. "A 15 year old Arapaho girl was supposedly abducted and killed by an irate Shoshone after a feud over land-back in the 70's. Her parents were killed trying to protect her."

Reyes' eyes widen with speculation.

"What was her name?" Scully continues.

"Rachel Winema." Reyes responds.

"Rachel...Rae." Mulder gives a low whistle.

"You don't think..." Doggett ruminates.

"Let's just get out of here." Scully murmurs staring fixedly at the cloudless sky...it's so blue, like polished turquoise.

1 week later
Outside of San Diego, California
February 8th, 2008
9 a.m.

"Skinner made some phone calls; they're expecting four agents at the border, so we shouldn't have any delay." Reyes informs the young man waves them through, staring in awe. They traverse, unrecognized, flashing badges and passports confidently.

"Did ya see that, Danny? Real FBI agents...they're probably on some top secret case," he marvels.

Tijuana, Mexico
February 8th, 2008 Noon

"They should be arriving within the hour," Reyes assures them.

"We'll keep in touch, through them. Any information we find will go directly to you...we're going to find him." She hugs Scully in reassuringly, looking around the small apartment, before departing.

An hour later, a banging interrupts Scully, Mulder, and Gibson's conversation. "It's them," Gibson confirms.

Mulder walks to the door, opening it without delay. Jimmy and Kimmy tramp inside, arms full of equipment. "May the hacking begin!" Jimmy smiles.

"Where will you start?" Scully asks.

"Well, first we need to set up and scramble the signal, so they can't trace us. Then we're going to hack into anything and everything we can--the files on the kidnapping, maybe some personal files at the FBI..."

"And military bases, I want you to start with the Mt. Weather Complex." Mulder adds.

"Will do."

8 hours later

"How we comin' boys...?" Mulder smirks, though his eyes suggest another mood. He's worried. The unproven duo is no Lone Gunmen, and this task would be difficult even for them.

"It's unlike anything I've ever hacked into...it could take days, even weeks to do what you're asking," Kimmy responds.

"But you can do it, right? You've done stuff like this before?"

"Well...no, actually. Hacking into a state of the art military security system has never taken precedence over my busy schedule," he retorts sarcastically, "But we CAN do it," he glares around the room as if daring anyone to challenge him, "I just need time, and less breathing down my neck..."

12 hours later

Scully lays sprawled out across the bed, her arms flayed out above her head, finally surrendering to her drooping eyelids. Gibson, too, has surrendered. He sits on the floor, leaning against the bed, his head back and mouth open. Mulder lies on his stomach facing the opposite direction, his chin resting on his palms and his thoughts a thousand miles away. Remnants of empty pizza boxes, sunflower seed shells, and pop cans create a mosaic of trash on the floor. Jimmy and Kimmy huddle groggily around the laptop. The missions they'd been on in the past now seem like child's play compared to the task at hand.

7 hours later

"I...just...need...this...freaking...code," Jimmy pounds the keyboard with each word. The computer suddenly beeps in obedience, opening up the last file needed. "We're in! We're in!" He jumps up "Holy shit, we did it!"

Mulder has just slipped off to sleep and awakes with a start, as does Gibson, Kimmy, and Scully. Mulder stands, leaning over Jimmy blearily; Scully gets up to stand beside him. "Did you find anything? Did you find William?" she asks.

"Well...no. There's nothing on file that would suggest they're housing a little boy, but we can access security cameras...we can get into the building and dig around a little."

"Alright." He types furiously on the keyboard, the file opens, displaying hundreds of tiny moving monitors. "And this is just part of the west wing..." he types more, opening up 12 more screens"4,732 cameras, all with separate monitors, all here on our computer screen."

"All microscopic." Mulder frowns. "Ah yes, but..." he types more. "Voila." The screen concentrates on one monitor, enlarging it. They peer at an empty hallway."1 down, 4,731 more to go." Scully sighs

3 hours later

"I think I'm going to take a shower...call me if you find anything," Scully gets up, eyes burning from the glare of the monitor. She feels useless, unable to take action. This is a dead end-a search for the hypothetical needle in a haystack. Hopelessness sets in, along with doubt. Maybe he's dead, maybe they'll never find him, maybe he's the next Samantha Mulder. She stares at herself in the mirror for the first time in weeks. Her hair is greasy and unkempt, dark rings encircle her hollow eyes. She runs her hand over her abdomen, fingering each protruding rib.

"Scully! Get out here!" Mulder shouts.

Her heart flips into her throat, choking her with anxiety. "What is it?" They huddle around the computer, their backs towards her, obstructing her view of the monitor. "What is it?!" she puts her hand on Mulder's shoulder.

"It's him."

Toy trucks, coloring books, and Legos litter the floor of a small bedroom. The walls are painted with the same pattern as his room at home. A little boy lies on his stomach, absorbedly coloring. Scully sits down distractedly on Mulder's lap, nose inches away from the screen. She studies the screen, scrutinizing every detail with baited breath.

Suddenly, her eyes tear with sorrow."It's not him," she whispers.

"What?...Scully, look at him." Mulder exclaims.

"I know...from what we can see at this distance, it looks just like him..." Scully continues.

"Can we zoom in a little?" Mulder asks.

"No...it's not that. William is left handed, that boy is coloring with his right."

The group dispenses one by one, calling it a day. Mulder and Scully sit alone, staring at the image on the screen. Wordlessly they make their way to bed.

8 hours later

The sign reads Dayton Temporary Foster Facility. A little boy stares at the sign, holding a woman's hand with chubby fingers. They walk inside. "Daddy." he whispers, eyes wide.

Mulder sits up in bed. His t-shirt is soaked through, and he gasps for air. "Scully." He shakes her.

She opens her eyes, glaring up at him. "I'm not really in the mood, Mulder."

"He called for me. I saw him." he pants. "I saw him...I saw where he was."

She sits up while he rubs his fists roughly into his eyes.

"Damn it!...Damn it, damn it, damn it...I can't remember!"

"I can." Gibson stands in the doorway. "Dayton Temporary Foster Facility." He smiles, "You're a loud dreamer."

"Jimmy get up," Mulder stands over his bed.

"What..." he gurgles sleepily.

"I need you to hack into something, now."

"Now?" he rubs his eyes, staring at his alarm clock disbelievingly.

"Yes, now...and put some clothes on," he grins shaking his head

They sit in front of the computer screen once again."Little boy, name unknown...found on the street two days ago, newest addition to Dayton Foster Care, in Dayton Ohio." Jimmy reads.

"Can you access his medical records?" Scully inquires.

"Yeah...hold on," Jimmy types feverishly, eager to make a difference. "Here we go," he displays proudly. "Male, 6 or 7 years old. Red hair...blue eyes..." Jimmy reads.

"What's this?" Scully points to the bottom of the screen, Jimmy scales down, she reads aloud, "Note: Blood tests showed dangerously high levels of prednisone in his system...prednisone? Prednisone is a steroid used for severe asthma...William doesn't have asthma."

"Then it's not him?" Mulder sighs incredulously "I was so sure... "

"Well...I don't know, Mulder. Prednisone causes increased appetite in children. High enough doses can cause severe weight gain..."

"Which would alter his appearance." Mulder smiles.


"We have to leave now." Mulder demands.

"No..." she sighs "We can't risk it. Not now, not when we're so close. We'll contact Doggett and Reyes...Jimmy?"

"I'm on it," he grins.

Dayton Temporary Foster Facility
Dayton, Ohio
February 11th, 2008 Noon

Doggett sits in front of the Dayton Temporary Foster Facility, staring at a digitally altered photo of William Scully. Reyes is inside, undercover, staking out the premises, and confirming the boy's true identity. She walks out, finally, striding confidently to the car. "It's him," she states simply. "Tonight then?"


12 hours later

Quietly they pick the lock of the basement window. The building is old, and the security wiring doesn't reach certain parts. Slipping noiselessly through the small space, both agents tiptoe their way past a sleeping attendant to the second floor. "The doors lock from the outside, we'll have to pick the lock...room 103," she whispers "Here we are," she bends down, examining the lock, an easy deadbolt that creaks open within seconds.

The room is small, sterile. The bed is made, white sheets, white pillow, white walls. William sits in the center, fully clothed, staring somberly at his visitors. Unquestioningly he takes Reyes' hand, and they leave without a word.

Tijuana, Mexico
February 15th, 2008

Scully paces the small apartment, nervously smoothing her hair and clothes. Mulder sits on the couch, crunching sunflower seeds distractedly. "Scully, it's going to be fine. Come here," he pats a spot for her on the couch.

She sits down, resting her head on his chest. His heart pounds against her ear. She jumps as the pounding transforms into a knock at the door. They look at one another, unable to contain their nerves. "It's them," Gibson affirms.

They hold hands, making their way deliberately to the door. Her hand shakes, and she cannot grasp the door handle, Mulder places his hand over hers, turning the knob slowly. Light washes in from the hall, silhouetting three figures in the doorframe. Doggett steps inside, followed by Reyes, who holds the hand of a small boy. A boy with his father's face, and his mother's eyes and hair. He gazes at the couple before him. They drop to their knees, afraid to touch him, afraid that he'll vanish, afraid it's all a dream.

He reaches out, touching their faces gently. "I knew you'd find me."

Part II

Nothing Can Separate Us.

Tijuana, Mexico
March 1st, 2008
2 a.m.

"Dana?" William stands by the bed, gently shaking his mother awake. He wears one of Mulder's t-shirts for pajamas and it hangs to his knees, which are trembling uncontrollably.

Scully opens her eyes, "What's wrong sweetheart?"

"I had a bad dream again, can I sleep with you?" his chin quivers courageously against his tears.

"Of course," she draws back the covers, and he bounds into bed; immediately clinging to her, his head buried against her stomach. She pushes back his damp hair, tenderly rubbing his back and humming a lullaby. "Joy to the world...all the boys and girls. Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me." she sings softly, waiting for his shivering to subside; for his breathing to regulate. Mulder rolls over, spooning against Scully, and wrapping his arms protectively around both of them. William sighs, dropping off to sleep.

Gibson Praise lies in the next room; eyes wide, body near convulsion. The dreams which have haunted William these past few weeks haunt him too. Powerful, potent visions that rattle the brain, strangling him with an unspeakable trepidation.

"You alright Gibson?" The four of them sit around a small table, eating breakfast, and watching morning cartoons. "Gibson?" Mulder touches his arm, and he jumps.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he stares incredulously at William, who is giggling through bites of cereal at a Spanish-speaking cartoon character. He searches his mind-nothing, not even a trace of the dream.

"We're going to run down to the market for awhile, are you two alright to stay here?" Scully asks.

Gibson clears his throat, "Sure."


"Yep," William replies distractedly glued to the TV. "Okay, we'll be back soon." They grab their respective disguises, both giving their son a quick kiss goodbye, as they head out the door.

"Ah, Will..." Gibson switches off the TV, "I need to talk to you."

William turns to look at him, his eyes bright and happy, staring straight into his own. "So you have bad dreams, huh?" Gibson continues.

"Yeah..." his eyes suddenly shadow-mind racing with last night's dream, scenes flashing rapidly out of sequence. He grips his forehead, closing his eyes. The scenes disappear. Gibson opens his eyes, gripping his own head unknowingly. "They go away when I wake up."

"Do you have them every night?"

"No...sometimes they just talk to me."


"I don't know."

"What do they say?"

"I don't know. I always run away..."

"How long have you had these, Will?"

"Forever...Can you see what I see, like inside my head?"


"Then we're the same."


"Because I can see what you see."

Gibson blinks unbelievingly. William had not spoken those words to him, he had thought them. "How long have you been able to do that?" he sputters...how had he not sensed this?

"I try not to see what other people see...it scares me."

"Then you can control what mind you read?" Gibson's voice rises excitedly.

"I guess..." his eyes fill with tears, like a child being scolded.

"It's alright...you didn't do anything wrong," Gibson reassures.

"Don't tell them okay?"

"Why not?"

"Cause...I-I just want to be normal." William grabs the remote, switching the television back on. Ignoring Gibson's perplexity, he soon finds comfort in the uncomplicated characters on the screen-laughing just as before.

"Did we miss anything?" Mulder and Scully return shortly, carrying bags of fresh produce.

"Nope," Gibson answers quickly.

"What'cha doin?" Scully sits cross legged on the floor by William who is sprawled out on his belly in front of the TV. She touches his hair, resting her hand on the back of his neck. He looks up at her, he's lost another tooth, and she grins at his pumpkin smile. Her touch, her smell, her laugh-all strangely familiar-blur together with the memories of his mother.

They haven't yet talked about losing his parents, or the kidnapping, though she assumes that this is the source of his nightmares, since she can't get anything else out of him. Soon the nightmares will fade, and they'll talk when he's ready-about their relationship with him, his past, and his future. For now, they're allowing him to test the waters and get to know them, as people and as parents. Someday they'll be a whole family again, but they know it will take time.

"We've got mail..." The laptop alerts an incoming email as Mulder sits down, clicking on a message labeled "Urgent." The muscle in his jaw jumps tensely as he scans the letter. "What is it?" Scully stands up, going to stand beside him.

"We're getting out of here," Gibson answers from across the room. "Now. We have to go now. Pack what you can we've been warned, they're onto us...Gibson, what is it?" Gibson's face has drained to an ashen gray. He darts to the window, confirming his fears. A black sedan pulls up, and a dark suited man emerges.

"They're here."

"Super Soldiers?"

"No; regular FBI. One agent, but he's called for backup. U.S. Marshals are on the way...an hour, maybe less."

"One agent? You're sure? Is he waiting for backup?"

"No...he's young... he thinks he can handle this himself."

"Scully, take William in the other room, Gibson go with them." Mulder orders tensely.

"Mulder..." Scully takes a step forward.

"Just do it!" Scully scoops up William. He wraps his legs around her waist, and encircles his arms around her neck. "It's going to be fine, baby. We have to be really quiet, okay?"

Moments later, the door crashes open. "FBI, I'm armed!" A pair of arms and a gun obtrudes from the shattered doorway.

Mulder stands flattened against the wall. He pounces instantly, slamming the outstretched arms repeatedly against the doorframe. A reverberating snap assures a broken bone. The grip on the gun slacks, wrist flopping loosely above the joint. In a matter of seconds, Mulder has the gun to his head. "Rookie..." he scoffs

20 Minutes later

"What's wrong with him?" a border-security guard peers into a black sedan. Inside, a grubby looking young man sits in the back seat; he strains screaming against his gag, eyes bugging with exertion, head lolling from side to side.

"He's strung out on something...had to restrain him to keep from hurting himself, or anyone else for that matter. What do you expect from a convict? We're just taking him back home to good ol' Maryland Maximum Security Penitentiary to await trial. Isn't that right Mr. Mulder?"

"Mr. Mulder? Mulder...where do I know that name...oh yeah! That's the guy? And that's the chica? Man I saw you on T.V! You're in some deep shit muchachos." He points at a handcuffed Scully disgustedly, and then turns his attention to the small red-headed boy sitting in the front seat. "And that must be the little kid, Jesus, man, this is some deep shit. You know what I mean? He's gonna need some serious therapy."

Mulder rolls his eyes nonchalantly and flashes his badge and passport. "Can we get going?" he asks, impatiently pretentious.

"Well, man I gotta call this in. I can't just let you all through without any ID or anything..."

"Look, I'm in a hurry. Do these look like illegal aliens to you? How about I give you my badge number, you call it in, while we rendezvous with U. S. Marshals. This is a very sensitive case we're sitting on, and Lord knows what they gave the kid." He bobs his head in William's direction, "We have to get him checked out ASAP, if you know what I mean." The man exhales slowly, thinking it over carefully, "Ok, gimme your badgenumber...Jesus, nobody's gonna believe it, wait till I tell my buddies, man, they're not gonna BELIEVE this! This is some deep shit man...DEEP shit."

Twenty Minutes Later

"Well, it's the end of the road for you...man." Mulder says pulling over the car on the deserted highway. The FBI man's eyes widen in terror, and he chokes against his gag, tears spilling over. Mulder exits the car, throwing the cringing man out roughly by his collar. He wriggles helplessly on the ground-waiting for the fatal blow.

"You've got about a ten mile walk in that direction," Mulder continues He reenters the vehicle, squealing the tires in his haste to escape. "How fast can we get there?" he asks.

"15 minutes," Scully responds, situating William safely in the backseat next to a now unhidden Gibson.

Fifteen Minutes Later Plan B Meeting Place

"I was expecting you." A small Asian woman bustles them into her shop. She hands them two paper bags full of supplies and the keys to a beat up Honda. They exchange no more words as they follow her to the back alley.

"Thank you," Scully murmurs, gripping the woman's hands briefly in her own before departing

Two Hours Later

A mottled red sky stretches feebly between two crumbling horizons, threatening to collapse bleeding onto the desolate earth. The boy lies among the ashes, sifting his fingers through its silky filth. Face, hands, and mouth coated with powdered death-heart thudding in reluctant survival. Wake up...wake up!

"Wake up, Will!" Gibson hisses through gritted teeth, shaking him roughly.

William's eyes flutter open, wide and bloodshot. Perspiration beads on his pallid forehead, framing his face in dark, wet hair. "You okay, buddy?" Mulder peers at William through the rearview mirror. The boy has been through so much already, and the morning's events have probably left him terrified. Removing his jacket, he one-handedly spreads it over his shivering son. William breathes in the smell of the coat-a mixture of shaving lotion and fresh laundry; so comforting and familiar-the smell of daddy.

Navajo Nation
March 2nd, 2008 1 a.m.

Under the cover of darkness four weary souls make their way to a secret haven nestled somewhere deep in the Chuska Mountains. Magnetite veins pulse beneath the property, shielding them safely from unwelcome visitors. Prepared by friends, its use was not intended until later, but now grants them the ironly refuge.

"We're here." Scully whispers, shaking Mulder awake. He rolls over in the passenger seat to look at her. Relief has washed away the pinched worry on her face, and she sighs ruffling his hair. They turn in unison to gaze at their sleeping little boy.

"Let's not wake him," Mulder murmurs William finally sleeps soundly, still cuddling the jacket against his face.

They wake Gibson, and softly lift their slumbering child from his seat. As they walk up the drive, Gibson lags behind, watching the peaceful family uneasily. They look so content- walking in sync-right, left, right, left-Mulder cradling William securely against his chest, Scully draping her arm comfortably around Mulder's waist. Should he tell them of William's unnatural gift, so much like his own, yet even more advanced? Can he tell them of their son's visions? Nightmares that no person, let alone a child, should endure? He shivers, thinking of their possible meanings.

"Hey there." A dark figure emerges from the front door of the house. Scully steps in front of her family, grabbing for her gun.

"It's just Reyes." Gibson mutters.

Ducking beneath Scully's outstretched arm, he trudges gloomily into the house.

"What's his problem?" Reyes frowns.

"He's just tired, we're all tired." Scully walks up the stoop; Reyes pats her arm, guiding her and Mulder into the safety of the cabin. "I'm so glad you made it," Reyes smiles, her eyes tear, "We thought we were too late to warn you...Doggett's on the case now."

"On our case?"

"Kersh is heading the official investigation, and we asked to be assigned to it. It certainly takes suspicion away from us, doesn't it? If we're on the task force to take you out? And being on the inside has its advantages. We could have never warned you if we hadn't been on the inside."

Scully's eyes have adjusted to the dimness of the room, and she stares around wonderingly. Reyes is a miracle worker! The small room glows with fresh paint and the floors sparkle, freshly scrubbed. Articles from Scully's apartment sit scattered throughout the room-a rug, lamp, sofa-and pictures! Pictures of her mother, of an infant William, of her and Mulder. "My things..." Scully croaks tearfully "How did you..."

"Your mother," Reyes says simply "...she sent you this." She continues, pulling a letter from her back pocket.

Scully grasps it with trembling hands. "Thank you, this is all too much..."

Reyes shakes her head "The bathroom isn't even finished, so you'll have to go outside. And there's only semi-indoor plumbing...the pumps over there. But the generator is hooked up (she demonstrates by clicking on the lamp)...and well..."

"Monica..." Mulder interrupts. "This is wonderful, we've seen much, much worse...Thank you."

She smiles, lowering her eyes and nodding. "Okay, well, I have to get going. The fridge is full and there will be someone up here in a week to re-supply you...don't worry, he's to be trusted." She touches William's head. "Have the nightmares stopped?"

Scully shakes her head sadly.

"Are you going to talk to him about it?" she persists.

"We have..." she trails off, feeling somewhat guilty. Part of her likes being needed; to be the one he runs to when he's scared. "He just won't talk about it...but it's obvious, though, isn't it? I mean what kid wouldn't have nightmares after a kidnapping?"

"Dana, we've checked into his medical records. He has a history of sleep problems...from the time he was an infant."

"What?" Mulder frowns. "That doesn't make sense."

Scully shakes her head "He never had problems sleeping when he was a baby. The Van de Kamps never said anything about that..."

"Probably because they've never been able to determine exactly why he has sleep problems..."

"When did they start?" Scully asks suddenly.

"Dana...that's not..."

"When did they start? After I gave him up...right? Tell me Monica." Scully's voice rises.

"Dana, that can't be it..."

"I'm right aren't I? They started after I gave him up."

"Yes, they did, but..."

"Scully, it's not your fault." Mulder interjects, "Stop blaming yourself. Many people have sleep disorders, even children. You know that."

She wets her upper lip slightly, a habit when her emotions run high. "Right." She mutters.

Reyes kicks herself inwardly for bringing it up, but she's worried. Obviously they haven't experienced the full force of his night terrors-convulsions, panic attacks, hyperventilation. Yet, maybe Dana has the special touch, maybe she alone can take away some of his fear-maybe she already has.

Mulder and Scully put William to bed in a small room connected to theirs. Gibson opts for the sofa, leaving them alone to talk. Scully sits on the bed, deep in thought. "So what'd your mother have to say?" Mulder sits down hesitantly beside her.

"Oh! I can't believe I almost forgot!" she cries, pulling out the letter quickly. She sighs, smoothing it on her lap. The mere sight of her handwriting brings tears to her eyes-it's been over six years since they last spoke.

February 16th, 2003

My Dearest Dana,

What words can I use to adequately express what I am feeling now? A jumble of thoughts and emotions race through my mind; unable to pour from my pen quickly enough to write all that I wish to say. My heart is full with the news of your safety, and of your reunion with William. I send my love, how beautiful he must be now! How many times have I prayed that God would ease your pain? That He would grant you peace after so many years of such turmoil? Only you could survive such obstacles, my dear strong one-only you.

How do I tell you this? I haven't much time, baby girl. I will soon be leaving this world. I say this, not to encourage a foolish homecoming, but because you deserve the truth from me, and no one else. The diagnosis gives me a few short weeks, weeks that may have already passed once you receive this letter. But do not be disheartened--I am not afraid to die, Dana, for I know I will soon be in a better place. Know that I will always be with you, watching over you until we meet again. Know that I love you, and hold that close, forever and always. Nothing can ever truly separate us from the ones we love.

I love you,

The ink smears as tears dribble off the end of Scully's nose and lips onto the paper. "Are you okay?" Mulder asks lamely, he studies his hands, not knowing quite how to react "Yeah...um, yeah I'm fine." She wipes her eyes.

"What'd she say?"

"Just that she misses me and she's happy for me..." she evades. "It's been a long day, I just need some sleep," she folds up the letter furtively "Goodnight."


1 Hour Later

Mulder, My mother is dying, she may already be dead, but I have to see for myself. I took some money. Don't come after me, William needs you. I'll be back soon-I promise. Dana

Scully scribbles the note hastily; listening to make sure Mulder's breathing is still even. Her heart pounds-this is insane. She's risking everything, but this is her mother! This was not supposed to happen-it was not in the plan, they were to be reunited someday-in this world, not the next. Peeking in on a sleeping William, she pushes his hair back to kiss his forehead. "I'll be back soon baby." She whispers.

She tiptoes past Gibson on the sofa. "You shouldn't go." He sits up.

"Gibson, I have to...stay out of this okay? Just go back to sleep."

"He'll go after you."

"No, you have to keep him here, with William. Do whatever you can, just don't let him go."

2 Hours later

"Mulder...it's William."

Gibson stands nervously in the doorway of their bedroom.

"Huh?" he rolls over.

"There's something wrong with William."

Mulder jumps out of bed, turning to wake Scully. "Scully? Where's Scully?"

"Mulder he needs you now!"

He follows Gibson into the second bedroom. William shakes violently, his eyes are rolled back in his head, and his lip trickles blood from where he's bitten down. "Hold his arms, don't let him hurt himself," Mulder directs, firmly holding down an arm and leg. Gibson cannot bring himself to touch the boy; he slumps to the floor, clutching his head.

"Scully?! Get in here! Scully!" but Scully doesn't come. Finally, the boy's fit subsides, though he still trembles hysterically. "Hey, hey...it's alright, it's gonna be alright. Shhh..." Mulder cradles him soothingly, wiping his mouth "Gibson, can you find Scully for me?"

"...She left." He croaks, shaking almost as violently as William.

"What?" he stands, holding a now limp William in his arms.

"She left, Mulder. It's her mother...she knew you'd never let her go. "

"I have to bring her back!" he steps hastily over Gibson towards the door.

"Mulder, wait! Would you look at yourself? Just look at yourself. You have bigger responsibilities now. You can't leave him, and you can't take him with you."

Mulder gazes down at the bundle in his arms. Slowly he lowers to the floor, holding his son tighter. "I need to know...I need to know what's wrong with him, Gibson. I know you know...tell me, what does he see?"

"Mulder, I can't even begin to explain, I don't know myself. All I know is that the boy your holding isn't...he isn't...something is terribly different about him. No, that's an understatement. He can read minds, Mulder, with accuracy and on his own accord. He sees things, dreams things that would terrify even the strongest of heart."

"What things?" Mulder spreads his hand across William's bony little chest, feeling his heart pound strongly against his palm, his lungs filling and emptying evenly.

"They don't make sense, some seem related, others are totally separate-but all are equally terrifying. They're glimpses, running rapidly through his mind. He says sometimes they talk to him...they hadn't yet, until tonight."


"I don't know, Mulder. A light...a light that is bright and dark at the same time. It speaks, but he screams and cries. He begs it to leave him alone; I can't make out what it says."

Mulder falls silent. His whole world has crumbled once again.


Scully sits snugly on a train moving north. Her hair is pulled back in a black wig; dark, Jackie O. glasses cover most of her face. She chews her lip nervously, forming a rough plan in her head. She'll call from a payphone, to see if she's home. If not, she'll call the hospitals. In the back of her mind she prays she won't be visiting a cemetery.

Chuska Mountain March 3rd, 2008 7 a.m. s

Mulder lies propped up on his elbow, watching his son rhythmically take in breath after breath. He hasn't slept all night and it's given him plenty of time to think-to plan. "Mulder."

"What is it Gibson?"

"I think your plan will work; I think it's a good idea."



Once again, Scully stares at an image of herself plastered on the television screen. She sits on the train, the onboard television turned unobtrusively low for those who wish to rest. Nobody pays attention; nobody really cares-not here anyway.

1 Hour Later

William opens his eyes to find them staring into another pair, ones of hazel green. "Good morning," Mulder sighs, somewhat relieved "How are you doing?"

"Fine...can I have breakfast?" he pops energetically out of bed, pattering barefoot to the small kitchen with Mulder incredulously at his heels.

"Sure, what do you want?"

"I don't care."

"Pancakes, he wants pancakes." Gibson grins.

"Pancakes?" Mulder raises his eyebrows at William. "Why didn't you say so? I do pancakes."

William breaks into a now nearly baby-toothless grin.

"So Dana left?" William says licking syrup off his fingers.

"Yes, but she'll be back soon." Mulder patronizes. He's contacted Reyes, and his eyes glance every few seconds at the computer for a reply.

"No she won't..." William claps his hand over his mouth, looking suddenly ashamed.

"Why would you say that?"

"Sometimes I-I just know...she'll be back though, just not soon."

Mulder glances at Gibson; he takes off his glasses, wiping them hastily on his shirt. He had seen his vision--a vision of the future.


Scully stands in the Topeka train station. A pay phone shakes in her hand as she deposits the coins one by one. Dialing the number she counts the rings. One ring, two rings, three rings...(pick up!)...four rings, five rings, six rings... (please mom)...seven rings "Hello?" a voice croaks through the receiver.

"Yes, may I speak to Mrs. Scully please?" she asks, changing the diction and tone of her voice.

"This is her." Click. Scully brushes her forehead with clammy fingertips, collecting herself. She's alive.

Mulder- I can't believe what I'm hearing. Her mother said nothing of her illness when I last spoke to her, but that was a month ago-when she gave me the letter. If I had known what it said, I would have thought twice about giving it to her. The only comfort I can offer you is that John and I are going to do everything in our power to get to her first. We're requesting surveillance of her mother's right now. I have confidence that she'll make it, nobody is looking for a lone woman; they're looking for a group of three or four, one of which is a small boy. She should get lost in the crowd. Please stay where you are, Mulder. I know you'll do the right thing. Monica

Her mother will be under surveillance, and Scully knows this. Tomorrow she'll go on her own surveillance. She'll pose as someone-a door to door sales person, or Jehovah's Witness perhaps. Scully stands at Rent-a-Car, tapping a tethered pen nervously against the counter. "I need to rent a car."

"Well, you've come to the right place."

Later that night

Mulder and Gibson pull up chairs, sitting at the foot of William's bed. He sleeps soundly while they wait. Wait for a dream-a piece of the puzzle Mulder wishes to put together in order to profile William Scully and his dreams.

"He usually has them after midnight," Gibson whispers.

"How long do they last?"

"Not long, a minute, two minutes maybe...he usually wakes up."

"Except for last night."

"Yeah, that was different. It was like he was trapped...he couldn't wake up."

3 a.m.

"He's dreaming about Scully now, he can see her. She's driving..."Mulder rubs his eyes, resting his head against his palms. He doesn't notice Gibson stiffen beside him until he starts to speak, forced, and terrified. "He sees...himself, older. His eyes are open, and colorless...like the earth. He sees...red, the sky. He's lying in dust, powder, it's all over him. It chokes him. He wants to die. There is nobody else." Gibson shakes, trying to choke out more words, "Had this dream before...in the car." William's back is arched, he clutches the sheets with his fingers and toes, head rolled back rigidly. Mulder rises to wake him. "Wait...there's more." Gibson shudders. "He's turning his head..."William turns his head in bed, facing Mulder, he's holding his breath. "He sees...smoke. A black rock...no. It's...I don't know. It's far away, it's sticking up, out of the ground...a shadow, a long shadow falls over him...he's not alone."

"I'm waking him up, he's not breathing." Mulder stands up worriedly "Wait! His mouth is moving, I don't know what he's saying."

"'Why'?" Mulder interprets. "He's saying 'why'...William, wake up..."


A red-rooted head pushes through the collar of a hideous flowered frock. Gray spray-on hair dye (half off at Wal-Mart) hisses in application, clinging onto already brunette dyed hair. Scully pulls these short strands into a severe bun, checking her appearance in the reflection of a compact. Her disguise fools even herself.

6 hours later

The sun rises on the new day, as two women make their way to the same house. Monica Reyes relieves her partner of his surveillance of the kidnapper's mother. Scully's absence worries them both, she should be arriving soon.

2 Hours Later

A Silver Accord, revealing out-of-state license plates, pulls up slowly, deliberately, to the house of Mrs. Scully. Exiting from the car hobbles a petite, elderly woman, grasping a Bible in young hands. "That's her..." Reyes exclaims. "John, wake up, that's her."

"I'm awake...let's go." He reaches for the door handle.

"No, John we're here as observers, protectors...I think we should give her some time."

"That whole place is bugged, Monica. You know that."

"So does she. Give her some credit; she didn't work in the FBI for nearly a decade for nothing...plus I'm pretty sure she knows we're here if she needs us, she glanced at us through her rearview mirror."

The doorbell resounds off the walls of the residence of Mrs. Scully. Expecting a different visitor, she shouts to 'come in'. Scully hesitates, but chooses to keep her cover. She presses the bell again. After an eternity of shuffling steps and labored breathing, the withered face of a once vibrant Mrs. Scully appears in the side window. "Who is it?" she squints, her eyesight failing with each progressing day

"A friend." Scully answers.

While her eyesight fails, she still knows the voice of her baby girl. "Dana..." she whispers, unlocking the door with shaking hands.

"Shhhh..." Scully presses her finger to her mouth. "Hello ma'am." Scully struggles to steady her voice "I'm here to spread the word of God..."

"Dorothy? Dorothy Smith? Is that really you?...Do you remember me? Our husbands were stationed together in San Diego!" Mrs. Scully declares quickly "Yes, yes of course." Scully breathes, marveling at her mother's ingenuity. "Come in...it's so nice to see you again," she wraps her frail arms around her daughter for the first time in over six years. Scully buries her face into her shoulder, stifling a sob. "It's been so long." Mrs. Scully continues breathlessly.

"Too long." Scully whispers.

"It's dangerous...for a woman of your age to be going door to door."

"I couldn't stay away-from spreading the word of God, I've been traveling for ages, I know what I'm doing."

"Still, you could get hurt; somebody could recognize...that you're a vulnerable old lady."

"I'll take my chances for my cause."

"You always were a stubborn one...how have you been, how is your family?"

"I'm happy, and my family is beautiful. I have a um...grandson now, he's six...lost about seven teeth in the last two months, both his front ones-he has the most adorable smile. And blue eyes...he looks just like his father..." Scully rambles, catching herself before revealing too much. "And you? How are you?"

"I have good days and bad...I was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer...but treatment is working better than expected, they've projected another six months maybe."

"Six months? To live..." Scully covers her mouth; closing her eyes against her tears. "I'm so sorry..." she forces herself to say, "Don't you have anyone to care for you?"

"I just told my son, Bill. He's flying in from Denver...he moved there last spring. His flight gets in this morning...he'll be here any minute. "

"Then...I should be going, I wouldn't want to be in the way. But I'd like to catch up, how about lunch tomorrow...if you feel up to it."

"Lunch would be great."

Scully lays in a cheap motel room, knees pulled to her chest. She doesn't cry; she can't. True pain runs deeper than mere tears. Guilty thoughts race one after another through her mind-alone for six years, husband and child dead, one as good as dead, and two others sporadic and reluctant visitors. She deserves better...she deserves a family.

"Dana..." a light tap on the door startles her already jumpy nerves "Dana it's Agents Doggett and Reyes...please let us in."

Scully rises to open the door. "You shouldn't be here; it's dangerous...if you were caught..." she mutters.

"YOU shouldn't be here, Scully. What were you thinking?" Doggett interrupts.

"I was thinking...she's my mother, she's dying, and she has no one else."

Doggett opens his mouth, but closes it. He starts again."We were on surveillance at your mother's today."

"I know."

"...you can't go back tomorrow, it'll be too risky."

"I have to."

"Scully, if something goes wrong...anything at all, you're treading on very thin ice here."

"I didn't come all this way to abandon her again."

March 5th

"I don't know, mom. Are you up to this? Maybe I should take you back home, you look like you could use a nap." Bill Jr. rambles.

"No dear, I'm fine. An old friend..."

"Yes you told me, maybe I should stay. How are you going to get home?"

"She'll drive me...just drop me off here."

"I'll walk you in."

"No! No...that's fine. I can do it myself, really. Just drop me off, please."

"Alright...just don't overdo it. Call me if you need me. I'll be right there." She smiles and pats his cheek, "I'm glad you're home."

"You shouldn't have come here..." Mrs. Scully starts immediately.

"Mom I had to!" Scully interrupts.

"...I wrote that letter when I found out about the cancer. I never planned on giving it to you. But then Monica stopped by, and it was an impulse...I didn't think it through. What was I thinking? I wasn't. This is too dangerous, I want you to leave now, and never look back...I want you to be safe."

"Mom...I can't just leave you."

"You can...Dana, you'll always be my daughter and I'll always be your mother. Miles cannot change that. I will always be with you. Please, this is what I want...just go...Now," she whispers. Inside she weeps, wishing everything was different.

Scully rises silently. "You need a ride home," she mutters.

"I can ride the bus."

"No, I'm taking you. It will look suspicious if I don't..." she pleads. "Please it won't take long; I'm going that way anyway."

"Alright..." Mrs. Scully relents, and they walk hand in hand to the car.

Scully holds back her tears until they get inside. "Mom, I've missed you so much...just come with me. There's nothing that says you can't. It'd actually make me look less suspicious...because they're not looking for two women. This would be the best time...we're not even being watched really. Monica and John are on surveillance. We could get away so easily. You could spend your time with us...with William. Just think about it...I can take care of you. Mom did you here me?" she blinks away tears and turns to look at her, suddenly gasping in horror.

Her mother slumps in her seat, mouth gaping, eyes strangely unfocused.

"Oh God, mom!" she hits the accelerator hard, making the last few miles to the house in record time. Doggett and Reye's car screeches to a halt as Scully runs a blatantly red light-she's lost them, though unintentionally. Quickly and carefully, Scully hoists her mother's frail weight into her arms, kicking the front door open with frenzied vigor.

Bill stands stunned in the front hall, "What?..." he trails off as the blur of gray hair and skirts carrying his mother, streaks past him to the sofa.

"Bill...she's had a stroke, call an ambulance!" Scully lays her mother gently on the couch, checking her vitals, and elevating her feet.

"I can't believe what I'm seeing...is that really you, Dana?"

"Bill, no..." she suddenly realizes her predicament, motioning him to hush.

"What?...What?" he stares around sarcastically wide-eyed. "You think THEY'RE listening? While your mother lays there you're still this fucking paranoid? What is it, Dana? Aliens? Vampires? Blood sucking worms? Do you know what you've done to this family? To our name...my name!?"

"Shut up! SHUT UP! You bastard...I'll call them myself!" Scully makes her way towards the phone, but is blocked by her big brother. "What are you doing, Bill?" sudden realization dawning.

They lunge for the phone simultaneously, but he reaches it first-catching her off guard and shoving her roughly against the wall. Her head hits hard-too hard, and she drops to the floor, attempting to rise, but falling once again. He stands over her dazed form, mouth moving with nonsense words. "I didn't want to believe it, Dana. But I knew, I knew what they said was true. You, and that maniac, killed those people...you kidnapped their son. He's brainwashed you...you need help..."He dials 911 "Yes I need an ambulance, my mother has terminal cancer-she's having some sort of spell. I also need a police officer; I've caught an intruder in the house."

Police officers swarm the residence by the time Doggett and Reyes reach it. "Oh fuck..." Reyes exclaims, as a handcuffed Scully emerges, staring around in a dazed stupor.

Later that night
6 o'clock news Chuska Mountains

And now we have some breaking news. Dana Scully, one of the prime suspects in the William Van De Kamp kidnapping, has been detained today in her mother's home. Police have yet to release any information, other than that her alleged partner in crime-Fox Mulder is still at large...

Mulder closes his eyes. William had dreamed of this last night, though he had fought hard against believing it. He clings to the hope that his son gave him... 'She'll be back...' His thoughts are interrupted by the computer- Reyes has emailed him.

Mulder- They've moved her to the Mt. Weather Complex. Jimmy, Kimmy, and now Yves are on it. This is good news since they know how to break into the system. They've done it before, they can do it again. We'll stay in touch. Until then, stay where you are. Monica


"You killed your mother. Did you know that? She's dead. While you were scuffling with your brother, your mother lay dying...what kind of doctor are you DOCTOR Scully?" a military official sits leaning across the table, as he speaks, nose to nose with Scully. She stares him straight in the eye with unwavering defiance.

"Where is he?" the officer continues.


"Who?! Fox Mulder, who else?"

"I'm just surprised you wouldn't ask for the boy first...but that's not why I'm here, is it?...you know there was no kidnapping...no kidnapping by us!"

"Silence!" he knocks her off her chair, raising his hand to strike her.

"Stop." The man from the trial, the man who Gibson declared alien, enters the room. He grins smugly, offering her a hand up.

Scully scoffs, rising quickly to her feet. "You." Her eyes smolder with hatred.

"One down, one to go." He smirks. "It's only a matter of time; I hear he went to the ends of the earth to rescue you...literally-Antarctica! West Virginia should be a piece of cake."

"You'll never find him." She spats.

"No, but he'll find us."

March 10th

Gibson sits alone in William's bedroom; Mulder's preoccupation with Scully keeps him up through the night-no more time for dream interpretation. "Call me if it's anything big...otherwise write it down." He had told him, So there Gibson sits, waiting just as before, expecting nothing more than dreams of Scully...

A little boy screams at the black shadowed sky, fist raised in defiant anger. The very wind ceases to stir. A mass of huddled faces stare mutely upwards-all but the little boy's-the little boy screams, running back and forth in a frenzied rage. "Why?!" why can't they see what he sees? Then the blast...a white flash of human origin. Familiar arms unfold, pulling him silently, protectively in. They shield him as they die...Gibson sees himself through innocent blue eyes-watches his own flesh and bone turn to dust.

"Mulder!" Gibson screams, voice cracking in terror. "Mulder!"

Mulder rushes in catching an exhausted Gibson as he slumps off his chair. "He's still dreaming...he's still dreaming. A different place. A dark place. It's now...It's like...it's like he's really there, right now, he's outside his body...I don't understand. He's terrified, but...compelled...a wall, no a metal door, it's opening...wait!"

Mulder shakes William hard. He lies in a pool of red-tinged perspiration, his lips a bright blue, still mouthing the word 'why?' over and over. "He's sick..." Mulder snaps agitatedly, "That was much too long...two dreams? That's never happened before, it almost killed him...it almost killed you."

"Mulder, that was amazing..."Gibson shakes. "That was unlike anything I've ever seen before. He was there, Mulder...he was really there."


"The ship, he was in their ship. I'm sure of it. He was so angry, Mulder. He was marching right up to tell them. He was scared, but determined..."

"To tell them what?"

"We're going to destroy ourselves...colonization can't happen if there is no earth to colonize, Mulder...he's prophesized end times."

"End times...you mean nuclear fallout? That's impossible...mass demilitarization has taken place on nearly every continent. No bomb on this planet exists that could destroy the earth."

"Well obviously they're not going to broadcast a top-secret nuclear weapon..."

"They...who's they?"

"Does it matter?"

"Yes, it matters...you know what that could mean? A reformed syndicate. More men hiding behind a secret weapon, waiting for the world to end while they sit safely snug behind closed doors; cowards with power."

"Mulder, William can stop this. I know he can. He has power neither of us could have ever imagined. I think it's just been terribly repressed... He's just now learned to use it."

"What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that this boy may be the savior of both man and alien."

"How can we know that?"

"Because he's dreaming right now, Mulder."

Mulder stares down at his son's frail form, suddenly glowing with radiant resolve. "He's too weak to resist it any longer."


"The light, the light that is bright and dark."

"Show them the way..." William whispers aloud, before falling limply silent.

"I-I can't see anything." Gibson cries "It's like he's..."

"Dead." Mulder moans cradling William's lifeless form desolately. "No, no, no." he sobs

3 Hours later

Mulder sits in the front room, hysterically inconsolable. William lies nestled in shaking arms.

"He's still warm...he's still warm." Mulder sobs kissing his forehead and face repeatedly, "No, no this isn't... this doesn't make sense. He's just a little boy! You can't be dead...you can't be dead." He whimpers, touching his hands and face gently. "There was so much to tell you, to teach you. There was so much!" he screams, brutal anger and grief overwhelming his sanity, sobs racking his body convulsively. What will he tell Scully, assuming he ever sees her again? Will he spend his last days alone-his family suddenly, desperately torn apart?

"Mulder?" a small voice hiccups. Life saturates through William's little body as he gasps for a breath of air. Mulder jolts to his feet, shaking in breathless disbelief. "Don't cry," William whispers "...I'm back."

"How? From where?" Mulder sinks to his knees, touching his son cautiously, disbelievingly.

"The place of the dead." He takes a deep breath pulling Mulder's face in close to his with trembling fingers." They speak to us, you know. But nobody really listens. I tried not to for so long, but they were too strong."

"What did they tell you?"

"That I can show them the way."

"Who, the dead?"

"No, them..." he looks towards the window into the clear night sky. "I showed them...everything-all of my dreams...they listen to me, but they don't trust. I have to show them more."

"Show them what?"

"That this place is not theirs, that there is an easier way...I see the way, I'm the only one." He smiles sadly- knowingly.

"They're going to take you away."

"Yes...but then the dreams won't come true."

"When?" Mulder whispers.

"They will only wait four more years...otherwise, I can't stop them from coming here; I can't stop the dreams from coming true."

"Where will they take you?"

"I'll take them..." William corrects. "...Far away, to a better place."

Mulder lifts his son gently into his arms.

"I don't want to go, daddy," William whispers, hugging his neck tightly. 'Daddy'- the word sounds so foreign, yet so natural. Standing father and son, as if that is how it has always been.

"I don't want you to go..." Mulder stutters through tears of mixed sorrow and relief.

Motel 8
West Virginia
March 12th, 2008

"They've upped security in the eastern wing of building...schedule shows twice as many guards posted near halls C, D, E, and F," Kimmy affirms to a pacing Doggett. He's just arrived to yet another shabby, cramped motel room, where a week of hacking has already taken place. "So that's where she is?" he asks tensely.

"Yeah, here." He points to an enlarged window where a woman sits huddled on the floor. "Jesus, they've got three guards in there..."

"And six at the door...seventeen altogether, in the four halls alone."

"How have they been treating her?"

"They haven't beaten her up, if that's what you mean. But they might as well have. She hasn't eaten for a week, and they only gave her water yesterday when she blacked out. These guys are psycho...mind stuff, you know? Eating and drinking in front of her, keeping the room-temperature cold, they don't even allow her privacy at the toilet...and of course there's the stuff with her mom-they bring it up every chance they get."

"How has she reacted?"

"She hasn't..."

"This can't go on much longer; we've got to get her out of there."

"We're working on it, Agent Doggett-it's possible, but you gotta remember that this is probably the most secure location in the nation, if not the world. We got in, though-that was the hard part...it's only a matter of time before we can shut it down."

Motel 8
West Virginia
March 19th, 2008 12 am

Doggett and Reyes have come and gone seven times in the past week. Their stays must remain brief, to avoid any detection. On the fourteenth of these long, taxing days and nights, the system's weakness is finally detected-a blip in an otherwise airtight defense.

"Here's the plan," Kimmy starts immediately as Doggett enters the room.

"We have a plan?...You mean you did it?" Doggett's worried face breaks into a grin.

"Did you ever doubt us?"

"What's the plan?"

Kimmy beckons Doggett to a mess of charts, blueprints, and maps scattered on the bed. "Ok, you see this?" he points to a spot on the map "It's called a cattle-crossing...which is a short tunnel beneath the highway. Farmers use them to connect pastures without having to take their livestock across the road. Anyway, it's about five miles from the complex. We didn't really think anything of it, until we realized that there are no farms around the complex; there never have been...ever. So, Yves went to check it out, and guess what she found."


"What looked like a storm drain, until she opened it up. It's actually a passage branching off from the tunnel."

"A passage to the complex?"

"Yeah..." he shakes his head incredulously "There was nothing on recent blueprints that showed any sort of connecting tunnels into the building from that point. So, we hacked into their archives... seems this tunnel leads to the complex, but was closed off with a building addition in the late sixties...the east wing addition."

"How closed off are we talking?"

"Brick wall...a crumbling brick wall with space enough to get us directly to the crawlspace beneath the east wing."

"And then?"

"There's about 30 feet of crawlspace, which leads right into the ventilation system. We can get into her room, without shutting down security."

"Wait, we're not shutting down the system?"

"Not really. We're...tweaking it...the cameras that is. You've seen it in the movies...Oceans Eleven, Speed, Entrapment..."

"We're looping the tape?"

"Yeah, recording a small portion and repeating it over and over on the system."

"But there are still guards..."

"I was getting to that...there is a window of time, 4:27a.m. to 4:29ish, when the guards switch posts. They clock out down the hall, leaving guards outside her door, but not in her room."

"So when do I go in?"


"Yeah me, who else?"

"Yves. Why do you think she's here?"

"No, I wanna go in; it's my fault she's there, and I know what I'm doing."

"That's heroic and all, but Yves has experience too...plus she's the right size."


"You think those air vents are big enough for anyone? We're lucky it's Scully we're rescuing and not Mulder. Their going to be cramped as it is."

"Fine, but I want her armed, and I want radio contact with her at all times."

West Virginia
March 20th, 2008
3:30 a.m.

"Come in, Yves. You read me?"

"Yeah I hear you."

"You've got about three more minutes max, and you'll run straight into the wall."

"Right." Yves checks her watch, 3:30 a.m. on the dot. In a little over an hour, the mission will be complete. The dampness of the tunnel presses against her mouth and nose-stale air suffocating. She shivers in anticipation, shining her flashlight at the crumbling brick wall. Deft fingers pry each corroding stone away from a gap in its lower left corner-widening it to a space her small frame can slip through. "I'm in." she whispers, shimmying in headfirst on her belly.

"Ok, you know the drill. You've got about 200 yards. Get going." Doggett urges.

For ten minutes Yves creeps steadily towards her goal. She emerges covered in filth. Quickly, she unscrews the ventilation shaft, silently gliding into its metallic burrow. "I'm at the ventilation shaft," she whispers.

"Ok now..."

"I know- head east 50 yards," she checks her tracking device.

"That'll get you to the elevator shaft, four floors up-remember."

"I know." The vent creaks under her weight, and she must slide along slowly in order to remain discreet. 20 minutes later she finishes her trek through the vent. "I'm at the elevator."

"Ok we're tracking an elevator moving up...you'll have to wait."

"Right," she sighs impatiently tapping her fingers against the rim of the vent as the elevator passes by her "Ok it's safe."

Yves makes her way nimbly up the shaft, four floors up, to the next vent. "35 yards, take the left tunnel, you'll run right into it." Kimmy instructs.

"I'm there," she reports five minutes later "All we have to do now is wait...hold on. Jesus Christ, what the hell?" she hisses through her headset.


"Have you checked the cameras lately?"

"No we started the looping process, what is it?"

"They're hurting her," she whispers through gritted teeth. Scully huddles in the corner, three guards take turns kicking and spitting on her tiny form. Her lip and cheek have split open-hot blood mingles with angry tears. A sickly crunch verifies broken fingers, as they stomp on her hand. "They're going to kill her!" Yves cries. "We have to do something."

"No!" stay where you are, "They won't kill her, that's not in their agenda...they're breaking her, or at least they're trying." For five more excruciating minutes, three cruel thugs brutalize Scully within an inch of her life. Finally, these jeering hyenas exit, congratulating themselves as conquerors of the world.

Yves can barely contain her vehemence as she bounds from the vent. "Dana, do you remember me? I'm Yves...I'm here to get you out... Scully, you have to get up...c'mon, we've gotta get out of here," she pleads with no avail, "You have to get up, we don't have much time." Scully moans incoherently, trying hard to focus on the figure hunched over her.

"You've got one minute Yves...get her out of there!" Quickly and carefully, she hoists Scully's feeble weight into the vent.

"Wha-?" Scully mumbles.

"Go!" Yves urges, pushing her deeper into the vent. With sure hands, she guides the face-panel back onto the vent, just as the guards return.

"We did as you asked. Didn't say much...we beat her good though, you'll see..." the guard reports, opening the door "Where is she?" the alien from the trial barks.

"She's...um....well, she was here." The guard fumbles around the empty room, peering around its bare corners, as if expecting her to reappear. Yves inches Scully's dead weight noiselessly through the vent-the silence broken only by her ragged breathing, and the echoes of befuddled guards. Reaching the elevator shaft, she freezes-a muted shuffling grows louder with every second. Someone is following them.

Hastily, she drives her way through the tunnel with revived energy. Scully is becoming more alert, and she starts to push herself through weakly. "This seems somehow familiar..." she grins through cracked lips.

"Yves, we got an elevator heading down, you have to wait." Kimmy instructs.

"There's no time, we're being followed," She snaps. The elevator passes the vent, and she heaves herself and Scully onto its top-to ride it down. It halts on the third level to let its hurried cargo out. As they wait, a head appears from the opening of the fourth floor vent. A guard has squeezed his bulky frame through the vent after them, and grapples for his gun.

Yves reaches deftly for her weapon, but the elevator lurches downwards, causing her to lose balance and miss her target...3rd floor, 2nd floor, 1st floor. The gap widens rapidly, and she fires again-he ducks inside, giving her time to shove Scully into the 1st floor vent. Gunshots patter at her feet as she slips headfirst after Scully. "Go! Go! Go!" she encourages, her voice resonates inside the vent, which has fallen eerily silent-gunshots suddenly ceased. Looking over her shoulder, the menacing head and shoulders of the guard appear. She takes aim, but need not shoot.

Pulleys creak ominously, hoisting the elevator upwards with a swift, powerful force. The guard claws at the sides of the vent, but he's wedged in tightly. Now, screams of agony resonate, as his body-still halfway outside the vent- mashes against the top of the vent-finally ripping his lower half away with the elevator. His upper half flops lifelessly to rest on the floor of the vent-empty eyes staring, open mouth gaping in hushed anguish.

"Jesus." Yves mutters.

"Yves, you ok? What's going on in there?" Doggett demands.

"There was a guard...he's dead."

"Get going, there's sure to be more." Cautiously, Yves kicks the body from the vent-hoping to throw off their exit plan if anyone should follow. Adrenaline pulsates through her body, giving her strength she never imagined. Hauling Scully by her good wrist, she clambers headlong through the remaining tunnels at breakneck speed. Doggett waits at the beginning of the cattle crossing tunnel and carries Scully the rest of the way, to an awaiting car. Once inside, Reyes wraps her tightly in a fleecy blanket-holding her frail friend with a mixture of relief and worry. "She needs a doctor."

"No...no doctors," Scully groans "I just want to go home."

Holiday Inn

Three hours later Scully lays spread out on the hotel bed. She winces at her caretaker's touch-three broken ribs, multiple lacerations on the face and head, two broken fingers, and numerous contusions. Reyes gently sponges away the blood and dirt from her ordeal, bandaging them to the best of her ability. The locked door clicks open and Doggett returns with food and drink, sitting carefully on the edge of the bed.

"How's cleanup going?" he quips.

"I'm going to be fine," Scully croaks. "Please, let's go...I want to go home."

"We'll get you there, as soon as tomorrow even. But tonight we need to lay low, and you need to rest." Reyes soothes.

Chuska Mountains March 23rd, 2008

A black jeep climbs towards the summit of the Chuska Mountains, where a humble cabin awaits, nestled in the woods. "Home," Scully sighs, closing her eyes, as she spots the cabin William appears in the doorway, smiling from ear to ear.

"She's here, she's here! Daddy, she's back!" he squeaks, hopping ecstatically from one barefoot to the other. He tears through the snow, after the jeep which is pulling up a beaten path.

Tears flow freely from Scully's two blackened eyes-he called him "daddy." Mulder appears in the doorway, pausing momentarily, before catching up to his son, swooping down on him and lifting him up-jogging the rest of the way to the jeep.

Scully smiles tearfully, grappling with the door handle to exit the vehicle before it comes to a complete stop. Mulder eagerly jerks the door fully open, taking Scully's good hand to help her out. He grunts as she throws herself into his arms, her head buried deeply into his chest, arms wrapped tightly around son and soul mate. They stand that way for an eternity, soaking in the magnitude of the moment.

"This is how it will always be, whatever happens...forever...our family." She whispers finally, kissing them both over and over Mulder sighs; this is not the time to tell her. Instead he covers her mouth with his, running his hand along the curve of her neck. His friend, lover, and soul mate-his Scully- has finally returned.

For a week he allows her to live under the illusion that they will raise their child to adulthood; that they will always be a family. For a week her life is finally, completely whole. On the eighth day, they lie in bed, entwined together in body and spirit. "Scully, there's something I haven't told you, something I don't know quite how to say." Mulder struggles.

"What is it?" she turns to look at him with happy blue eyes, eyes that have never been quite so happy.

A hard lump rises, constricting his throat. "It's about William."

"What...what's wrong?" her eyes cloud.

"Dana, he's...um, when you were gone, he started having nightmares...worse than when you were here. Night terrors really, and one night he had a seizure. Gibson saw what he saw...he's not, we're not..." he sighs, grasping for the right words. "He saw things that can only be defined as...prophesies...What I'm trying to say is, he'll be gone soon. They, the aliens, they're taking him."

"No...no! We won't let them...we'll fight! Mulder, we can protect him, we can change that."

"If we change it, there won't be a world to raise him in..."


"William, is...actually taking them..."

"I don't understand."

"I don't fully understand either, but in four years..."

"Four years?" she inhales sharply.

"In four years, they'll be gone, and so will he."

She rises abruptly. Her stomach has handled years of blood, gore, disease, and death-this is its breaking point. The screen door screeches on its hinges, as Scully retreats to the frigid outdoors. He follows, urgent, to find her leaning over the porch railing, shoulders rising and falling with shivering sobs.

"Dana..." he brushes his fingers against her back, but she balks at his touch, staggering backwards.

"Don't...no, no..." she sobs, covering her face.

"Scully..." he reaches for her again.

"Stop!...just stop! How can you be so calm? What do you mean, four years? What does that mean?!"

"Mommy?" William stands shivering in the doorway. The word soaks through her entire body, warming her to the very tips of her fingers-"Mommy. "

"It's okay baby, I just needed some air, we're coming back in."

"Mommy, it's going to be ok...But you have to let me go."

"Why?" she whispers.

"Because it's the only way."

He's seven. The dreams have disappeared entirely, and they don't waste an instant of the precious time they have with him. Mulder plays catch with him in the backyard every evening until the sun sets over the mountains. He wears one of his old Nicks t-shirts around the house for days, before Scully can get him to take it off. Before bed, she reads to him from the same copy of Moby Dick, which her father read to her so many years before.

He's eight and for his birthday they arrange the purchase of a puppy. Much to Scully's surprise and delight, he names him Queequeg. He loves to draw and color. They take walks in the woods every Sunday evening as a family. Sometimes, Mulder takes him out to shoot cans with an old Beebe gun.

He's nine and growing fast, he'll catch Scully in a few years-though they'll never know. Sometimes they play board games-Monopoly and Stratego are his favorite. He wakes them in the middle of the night to watch a meteor shower. They stare at the glittering sky in mixture of awe and melancholy. He takes their hands gently, leaning his head against Scully's shoulder.

He's ten. For three days he talks only in his sleep. On the fourth day, his silence breaks with tears of despair. The time is drawing near.

Chuska Mountains
December 20th, 2012
11 p.m.

She hasn't moved from his bedside for three days, except to fetch the necessary articles to nurse her sick little boy. The fever that has ravaged him breaks on the fourth day. "Mom?"

"I'm here, I'm right here," she whispers sitting on the edge of his bed.

"Where's dad?"

"He went to get some medicine."

"When will he be back?"

"Soon, can I get you anything?"

"No, just stay..." he takes her hand.

"Alright." She smiles shakily, and he sighs, closing his eyes.

"Miracles..." he smiles sadly. "They're everywhere. They keep us alive...they give us purpose..." his voice breaks hoarsely, and he struggles to continue, "You are my miracle...you and dad. Whatever happens...whatever happens, you will always be my miracle." he opens his eyes, staring intensely into hers.

"William..." she breaks.

"Nothing...can ever truly separate us from the ones we love." He sits up, standing on trembling feet.

"No, no...William wait...please!" Scully cries, clutching his arm-refusing to believe.

He looks up at her. "It's time..." he murmurs, gently shaking her off and making his way to the door.

Two men- one older, one younger- pull up in a green pickup truck, to find a little boy standing barefoot in the snowy front yard. He gazes calmly into the clear night sky-waiting. Mulder bolts from the truck, stumbling in the icy snow towards his son.

"William!" he screams.

His skyward watch breaks to gaze upon his father for the last time. Eyes, hair, and skin-bleached with an internal glow. "Goodbye," he whispers, raising one white palm. A brilliant flash of foreign light blinds them as it bounces off their snowy surroundings-creating a temporary daytime for miles. Then it is gone.

They sit in the snow, hands sifting through powdered sorrow-cold in their hands, in their hearts, in their soul. But not alone. Hand meets hand, and they return to the warmth of one another.

The End

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