After the Run, Parts 5 thru 8

by Pattie

Title: Fulfill the Prophecy, Part 5, After the Run Series. Author: Pattie
Rated: PG
Categorization: X-File, Post-Truth.
Summary: Only Mulder can ask the Navajo for their co-operation in the efforts to mine a recent magnetite bonanza vital to the right against Colonization.
Spoilers: Anasazi, The Truth.
Archive: Gossamer, any other nice home. Please let me know. Disclaimers: They all belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Studios.

The flight into Albuquerque was relatively uneventful. Fox Mulder read up on the Navajo and Anasazi and made some mental notes to prepare himself for the task at hand: securing the co-operation of the Navajo for mining rights to the magnetite. John Doggett made an effort to understand the prophecies stated in the book, but was not certain he fathomed any of the events that Mulder said had led to this day.

As Mulder knew the way to the reserve well, he drove the rental car to the home of Eric Hosteen, son of the late Albert Hosteen. As Doggett flipped the pages of Scully's book on the ancient people, he came across a piece of paper that had some translations and the key to the pronunciation of a special phrase.

"So, what's this got to so with the mining rights?..."

"Well, there's a custom set out in the prophecy that I must utter those words with the correct pronunciation and tone of voice to the elders,as I represent those who will fight in the big battle, as told in the Anasazi accounts. Loosely translated, they mean that I am there to fulfill the prophecy, and that I am asking that they key to the weapon be given to those of us who have come to defend."

"A savior."

"Not really," Mulder continued. "A symbol, sign, go-between, facilitator, I guess."

"Must be nice having such an honour."

"Not when you miss your wife and son and you really miss many of your loved ones. In my search for THe Truth, I found that the Truth hurts a thousand times over. Even the ones you love who are still living are paying a price.This is it for my quest. And this is where we stop."

As the car pulled to a stop in front of the Hosteen house, eric was fixing his motorcycle. He turned and said to an elderly man in the Nacajo tongue, "He's here, as you said he would be."

Mulder and Doggett approached young Hosteen and each shook his hand. 'Oky, Eric. Let's get on with this so I can see my wife and child."

Eric led the two men into the house and the elderly man followed.

"We have much to do to prepare you. Tonight, you will meet with the elders and tell them what you have to say. You remember the Meeting House, Mr. Mulder."

"Yes, I do, Eric. It was where your father took me during my recovery from the fire. Reic here found me, John, and they saved my life."

John Doggett felt quite out of place. "I, uh, I read the files that you wrote after Scully came out here looking for you. It was quite a report. Look, I have to ask about Gibson."

Eric put a pot of coffee on the stove. "Gibson told us you were on your way out here. He is well and safe. He cannot be here with us, but he says the aliens are unaware of what is to occur. They believe they have control. Thier mission is their only concern. They are unaware of this magnetite deposit."

"They must know of its power," Mulder reminded him. "They destroyed the pueblo where Spender was hiding."

"They destroyed the one who told you the truth and they thought they had destroyed you and Agent Scully. That was thier goal at the time. They believe that you will never know what to do with it, how to use it to destroy them.
Gibson and the resistance aliens are keeping them busy in their thought and thier control of the governments. Will you have coffee with me and my uncle and then we will prepare for the ceremony?"

The Metting House was already full of elders and thier future successors when Mulder, Doggett, Eric Hosteen and his uncle arrived there after dark.

"We could smell you coning, G-man," one said,

To which Mulder replied, "Yes, but I changed to Sport Scent."

There were a few chuckles in the room. They remembered their first encounter with Mulder years ago.

"I don't understand," a befuddled Dogget whispered to Mulder.

"An old joke. I'll tell you later." Mulder took a seat at one of several tables that the Metting House had set up. "I'm ready. The magnetite location is needed by those who are fighting back. "I understand you know where it is."

An elder stood, He was in full ceremonial dress. "It is first your duty to utter the words that the ancestors said we would hear."

Mulder recited a long phrase in the language of the Anasazi.

"You could almost be one of us," the elder remarked, smiling broadly. "Fifteen miles north-east of this place, you will find an impressive source of what your people call 'magnetite', My fellow elders have received a request, and we will sign two copies of it. This form will be returned by your friend to the men who will need it in the up-coming battle."

"That, Mr. Doggett, is all I came here for." Mulder shook hands with several of the men. The elders lined up to sign the agreement.

"Short but sweet, Mulder. So, we take this paper... "

"No," Mulder corrected him, "YOU take this paper and I go back to Scully and William. I have a family, a neew baby to look forward to, my family and a job."

Later that night, Mulder and Doggett were sitting at Eric Hosteen's kitchen table before retiring forthe night, and Doggett brought up a taboo subject. "When this is all over and done with, you should consider going back to the Bureau."

"Or, I should consider shooting you for suggesting that, John. Seriously, I enjoy my new life."

"There are no surprises, no mysteries. No weird things to investigate. Nothing drove you more than the need to know!"

"There are surprises every day I look at Scully, her ever growing belly, and William. Even the birds in the trees surprise me now. I am not the old Mulder, the old "Spooky" who wanted to chase down leads for his sister, all the while following flukemem, gender-switching cult members, genies, and fat-sucking goons. I am a family man and I am happy now investigating what it's like to have a nornmal family."

"You're sure of that. I can see it. But you are a born profiler and investigator. Well-educated and with keen instincts... "

"And that is why I chose to teach. I can pass on those skills to young people ready to enforce the laws of the land. That fulfills my need to work, and there is always something new on the horizon. The newertechniques are thingsI need yo keep up on. That is my investigation. My job now is to pass on the skills and practical use of the new techniques. I never had a normal family life. Scully and William have given me that and so much more."

"So, that's a 'no'. Well, I can tell Skinner I tried."

"Yes. Well, I'm beat. We can go to the airport tomorrow morning, and be at our own homes by dinner time."

"Sounds good to me." Doggett put an empty cup into the sink. "Good night, Mulder."

"Good night, John." Mulder stayed seated at the table as John went to bed. He sipped his cold coffee thoughtfully. "I have everything I could ever want. Now, I just hope we can save it all." That said, he stood and put the cup into the sink, turned out the light, and headed off to bed.


Title: In the Here and Now, Part 6, After the Run. Author: Pattie
Categorization: MSR married, X-File, Post Truth. Summary: The Mulders hear good news about the fight to prevent Colonization.
Archive: Gossamer. and any other nice home. Fill me in! Feedback:
Disclaimer: The X-Files. all characters and references to original plots, X-Files Myth-Arc scenarios and the like are owned by Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Studios. Mulder and Scully were well-interpreted by DD and GA. I make no money and intend no copyright infringement.

Scully-Mulder Home,
West Tisbury, Massechusettes.

William had a great time playing with a new Tonka Truck his grandmother had given him for his birthday. He was hauling a stuffed cuddly he referred to as 'icky', which was, loosely translated, actually 'Trixie',after a friend down the street. A three-year-old girl who he just adored. Oh, he had other cuddly toys, but none as soft and huggable as this little dog.

Dana Scully-Mulder was now six months pregnant and beginning to feel uncomfortable when trying to sit and dine. She would laugh it off when something fell onto her clothing and joke, "Can't dress me up and take me anywhere", or, "This material is highly absorbent andmakes it easier for my skin to reap the benefits of oatmeal... "

When the phone rang, she expected to hear that Fox had been delayed at work by exams and would be home by bedtime. However, this was no such call.


"Dana!" It was Monica Reyes. "I hope I'm not catching you at a bad time... "

"No, actually. I was just watching William play a bit and grabbing a couple of pillows for my legs. It's great to hear from you. I've been thinking about you."

"Well, I have some very good news. You will never guess. This is so good that I'd like to send you an email about it because it is that good, and we don't want to share, if you get my drift."

"Indeed I do. Can I share it with my loving husband?"

"Yes, and that is a MUST! You know, I think this might just make your day!" Monica was smiling as she looked over to Doggett, who was busy filing a report on video copyright fraud.

"I do look forward to good news," Doggett played along.

"So, I will send you the good news immediately and while you and your hubby celebrate, John and I will be so happy to have made your day!"

"This sounds really good," Scully commented. "Is it about new 'medical' breakthroughs in disease prevention, by any chance?"

"Why, yes. Gotta go. Have an email to send. Bye, Dana."

"See you soon, Monica. Thanksgiving is coming up, and the invitation still stands."

"Gearing up for it. Bye now."

"Bye." Scully put down the phone and went over to the antique desk Mulder's father had left at the house. She opened their email account and sat on the couch chatting to William as he was playing. It wasn't long before the 'ding' arrived, heralding the arrival of a new email. She read it immediately and her face lit up like a Christmas tree. A big Christmas tree like the one in New York's Central Park. How she just couldn't wait to spring this one on Mulder!

She grabbed a small plate of cookies and poured some milk for William and herself. The little one inside of her was now kicking more and especially active at night. "God bless you," she said to the big unborn child.

Mulder arrived home at the usual time, 8:00 p.m. William was in bed, and the couple had Irish stew for supper. She just seemed to be so happy she looked as though she was going to burst. "And just what is that little smirk I see, Mommy?"

"Oh, a little email that came for the two of us from Monica Reyes."

"She twisted Doggetts arm and got him to marry her?"

"No. Even better than that."

"Are you going to talk dirty?"

"This is the best news since we found you alive and well in the prison. Mulder, I want to let you read it and get the same satisfaction as I did. It has to do with our antibodies and that's all I will reveal. Now, get thee to that monitor!"

"Yes, Ma'am!" Mulder hoped it was about a delivery system for the anti-viral. He quickly opened the mail and went to the one sent from Reyes. "Hey Scully! Everyone who gets a 'flu shot this year gets the anti-viral without knowing! Mandatory 'flu shots for everyone between ages 2 and the very elderly will be required beginning this Thursday, with no exceptions. They're going to call for the worst season ever with an expecially virulent strain of influenza ready to hit North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia... well, at l ast we've found the delivery system!"

Scully brought Mulder a slice of cake. "Yes, and the next question is: How do we distribute the magnetite, how much is needed, and when can we all go on with our lives--hopefully long past 2012."

"We can find out, Dr. Scully. I have some sources... "

She leaned over to hug her husband. "I know you do. And I know you miss working at the F.B.I. and you know it, too. So, why are you in such denial? Mulder, there's been a lot of pain, you were horribly set up and so was I. But YOU were the one who finally got them on your side, Skinner, Kersh, me, Reyes, Doggett. You found evidence no one could imagine finding, explained some seemingly inexplicable things, and convinced the most skeptical people in the Bureau to believe!"

"Maybe your brother Bill, someday, too."

"Don't joke about this. I see the gleam in your eye when you speak of "that basement office". Last night, you dreamed about kicking the file cabinet and you ended up on the floor of our bedroom."

"All right, I admit it. I miss my disorganized file cabinet. But I love this cake, and I would miss you and William a lot more than that job."

"I have a few fond memories of it myself," Scully admitted. "You know, I met you... "

"And you got to slice and dice... and see some very gruesome, slimy, liver-sucking... "

"Not really a good time to say that, Mulder."

"Sorry. I forgot about the nausea. What did the doctor say, anyway?"

"Our baby and I are fine, Mulder. Some women have morning sickness more than others. He said we are growing well and there's nothing to worry about. In three more months, we'll be in the labor room. This time, I want no unwelcome on-lookers, if you know what I mean."

Another email came up on the screen. Mulder opened it immediately as it was from Walter Skinner.


"Yeah. I think I could use a coffee along with this cake. Maybe it's just the same news Monica gave us."

"Well, open it up and find out. I'll put William to bed and make some fresh coffee. After this cup, I'm afraid I'm past my limit."

Mulder waited as Scully took William upstairs and read a story to him. Good news or bad, he owed it to his life partner to share it with her. He decided they could read the email together. "I'll make the coffee!" He shouted up the stairs. "The email can wait."

As Fox placed the coffee grounds in the filter he thought of the years he'd spent tracking down his sister, all the false leads, the alien chasing, the losses he and Scully had endured over the years. "It's a wonder I wasn't put in a straight jacket years ago," he thought. He filled the coffeemaker with water and pressed the 'brew' button. As he looked out the kitchen window at the dark, moonless night sky, he felt torn between two worlds. He wanted to give Scully and their children a peaceful homelife. By the very nature of the work, F.B.I. life was often the cause of widows,widowers, and orphans. Even dealing with drug dealers could mean one less husband or wife going home from the field. Then, there was the issue of the alien shadow government within the F.B.I. The thought of that made him angry.On the other hand, if he hadn't found out about it, who would? Would that person have endured what he and Scully had endured? Would they have had the same outcome?

"All tired out and went down without a fight," Scully declared, as she poured coffee into the mugs. "Well... Hey, where are you?"

"Oh, somewhere between here and there. I like it here better. Let's see what ole Walter has to say."

The message was short and direct. "Magnetite spraying to start this fall as fruitfly control in U.S. and Canada, parts or Europe and Asia. There will be nighttime spraying in countries not currently harvesting fruit and vegetables due to season and climate. Tell your friends to get their shots."

Mulder turned and rose to kiss Scully. "Call your mother and tell her to get immunized, okay?"

"You bet."

"That's my girl. Looks like we have a long future right on our doorstep."

"I like seeing you smile, Mulder. You've had me worried for a few months."

"Well, I am about to become a father again. I have to look out for our brood." He hugged her tightly and smiled. "I haven't felt this hopeful in a long time. It's a great feeling."

"You don't know how long I've been praying for all this," she beamed. "I feel like everything is falling into place so nicely. All it took was a bit of faith."

"You're right. Now, I just need to ckeck for a few emails from the college, then I want to massage your ankles."

"I'll leave you to your mail. I think I'll soak in the tub and count my blessings. You are number one, of course."

"Sometimes I think I was a curse... "

"What has happened has happened. Let's make a promise to each other to live in the here and now, okay?"

"The here and now? Where's the mystery, the excitement, the thrill... "

Scully pointed to her abdomen. "Right here, and right upstairs. And right behind those beautiful eyes of yours. See you in a while." She was half-way up the stairs when he called to her.



"I love you."

"I live you. Here, now, and forever."


Title: I Believe in You, Part 7, After the Run Series. Author: Pattie
Rated: PG
Categorization: Post Truth, X-Files type, MSR married. Summary: After Thanksgiving at the Mulder house, things heat up as Doggett makes an offer Fox wants to refuse, but not Scully! Archive: Gossamer, and any other nice home. Please, tell me if I've travelled.
Disclaimers: Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Studios own the characters and original ideas. I just like to embroider in my spare time.I do not reap any monetary rewards, but if you DO sue me, I have 65 cents on the American dollar times two.

Mulder-Scully Home,
West Tisbury, Massechusettes.
6:00 p.m. Thanksgiving.

John Doggett and Monica Reyes for dinner in West Tisbury. There was a time when Mulder would shudder at the very thought. Now, all four of them were the best of friends. They had seen one another through some very hard times. Doggett was a believer after all he had seen, after all he had read, and after all the things that had happened those fateful days of Mulder's trial and escape.

The table was set for the very best Thanksgiving dinner Scully had planned. Maggie Scully had even convinced Bill to venture out with his wife and children. After all, William was his nephew, she had emphasized, and Bill had a duty to be as good an uncle as he, his sisters, and brother had known.

Holding a glass of wine high, he offered a toast as Mulder carved the turkey, "To my sister, truly a miracle worker, and her husband, who, I must admit, hasn't let her down. And, to my nephew and his little brother or sister as yet to be born. Cheers!"

"Cheers!" Everyone echoed. Settling down to the turkey, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, cornbread and pumpkin pie, all made sure to show the hostess she had made a splendid feast.

Over coffee, Scully raised her cup. "I'd like to propose a toast to the warmth of family and friends."

"To the warmth of family and friends!"

"Seconds, anybody?" Mulder offered.

"After all that tender turkey, I think I'm going to burst. No thanks, Mulder." Doggett sat back and tugged at his waistband.

Bill and everyone else waved off Mulder's offer.

Maggie was ever so curious as to the identity of her unborn grandchild. "Dana, honey. I asked this the last time, and I'll ask it again: boy or girl?"

"It's a surprise, Mom." Scully smiled and popped a chocolate into her mouth. "And I assure you, it is human."

Bill didn't seem to like that remark. "Well, why WOULDN'T it be, Dana! Are you still all wrapped up in that alien... "

"Shut up Bill!" This came calmly and sternly by one Dana Katherine Scully-Mulder, who had never in her life ever told Bill to 'shut up'.

"I'll have to back her up on that one," her mother said with a straight face. "Bill, you will also just have to live with the fact that your sister is happy with Fox. End of row."

"I'm hoping for a girl," Fox interjected. "And I hope she's as pretty as her mother."

"You might want another boy," Monica added.

"Or twins," Doggett said. This remark had everyone doing a second take. "Just a thought. After all, it does happen, and, well... "

"I do feel that big. However, the last ultrasound says one very healthy baby. Only three weeks to go, give or take a couple. Anyone want some ice cream?"

"After all that? No, thank you," said Bill's wife.

"Ditto," Reyes and Doggett said together.

"Well, now that the kids are down, I'd be glad to stay here and watch them if anyone wants to walk the meal off," Maggie offered. "And Bill here can help his Mom and wife with the dishes."

"Well?" Fox asked Scully, Doggett, and Reyes.

"Yeah. Mulder. I think your wife needs the fresh air. And I know Monica loves the landscape out here. Let's go. We can talk."

"I'm all for it," Scully smiled. "Could you get my coat?" she asked Fox. "I just want to thank my Mom." Scully walked carefully into the kitchen.

"We have word," Doggett whispered.

"Good news?" He donned a jacket and held Scully's fall coat.

"I think you'll both be pleased." Doggett went to grab his jacket and Monica joined him. "Why do I get the feeling Bill Scully isn't quite enamored with Fox?"

"Must be the Navy."

"That's right. Coming from an old Marine, why am I surprised? I think he's just been overprotective for so long, being the eldest male in the family."

Scully returned and Fox helped her with her coat. "Okay, all ready to go."

The four of them walked a while before Monica Reyes broke the silence."You know, it's odd how the director, five senior Bureau members, sixteen Interpol agents, and twelve associates of well-known world leaders just took ill, collapsed, and disappeared, right in front of their colleagues' eyes these past few weeks."

"Really?" Scully thought it odd. She hadn't anticipated what she was about to hear next.

"Magnetite," Doggett replied. "They were walk-ins. We're trying to find out what they did with the people they were impersonating. My guess is they met the same fate as Knowle Rohrer and all the others."

"Sounds promising--I mean about the aliens. I hear the fruit fly population suffered a tremendous drop," Mulder remarked, smiling wryly.

"Yes," Scully said with a smile. "Supersoldiers, walk-ins and aliens just disappearing. Marvelously well-executed. I think some congratulations are in order to the men and women who made this all possible, including those scientists and resistance aliens who put it all into action."

Monica hugged John Doggett spontaneously. He didn't flinch. "Yeah, we all have a lot to be thankful for. And you'll be glad to hear several ships were seen high-tailing it out of here. Unofficially seen, of course."

"Of course," Mulder echoed. "And I gather they were filled to the limit with passengers."

"Well, we didn't get the passenger list," Monica cracked, "but we can hope that was the case!"

"So what happens next? Who makes the decisions that need to go into effect to undo the damage?" Mulder inquired.

"There's a metting of the U.N. General Assembly on Monday," Doggett informed him. "There's also an all-departments meeting at the F.B.I.on Wednesday, if you'd like to attend, and the White House and several other governments will be regrouping to take a look at the situation."

"Maybe we should drop in on the Bureau," Scully suggested, kicking away long-dead leaves. "For old-times' sake?"

"I don't THINK SO!" Mulder was appalled. "After all that's taken place I'd rather be here and I'd rather you were safely here with me. I have had enough of the F.B.I. for a lifetime!"

"Mulder, that's not you speaking. Tell me it's not," Scully whispered. "You built up seniority there. You saved the damn place, even if it DID bite you in the ass. Admit it just this once: Fox Mulder wants to go back to work for the F.B.I."

"No," Mulder said softly. "No."

Scully looked at Monica and shrugged. There was a long silence that none of them dared to break. It was a long, quiet walk back to the house.

Margaret Scully had coffee ready in the livingroom when they returned. Bill and his wife had retired to one of the spare rooms. "Well, I thought since it was nippy out there, you could use something to warm you up." She saw the looks on their faces. "What is it?"

"I think we're all just tired, that's all Mom."

"All right. Well, help yourselves. I'm going upstairs to soak for awhile and then to bed."

"Goodnight Mom."

"Thanks, Mrs. Scully!"

"Monica, it's Margaret, remember?"

"Yes, Ma'am. Well, I'm taking John down to see my parents tomorrow. We promised to have a turkey dinner with them. I think I'll turn in, okay?"

"Yeah, good night," Scully saud to her. "John? How about a coffee?"

"Well, I guess I can handle one coffee before I turn in."

Fox motioned for Dana to sit down and he poured Doggett's coffee, and one for himself. "Look, I really appreciate the thought, and I know I've been a pain, but I think this career change has been good for me."

"It wasn't your choice," Doggett reminded him. He got up and went to the coat closet, looking for something he had hidden carefully when he arrived. "When someone like you says something like that, I have only one thing to say." Doggett unrolled Mulder's "I WANT TO BELIEVE" poster."This was the only thing they left in the office when they closed it for the last time."

Fox wanted to tear it up, and Scully knew it. "That was a gift to replace the old one. Don't you dare tear it up!" She glared at him until she was certain the poster was safe.

"You keep it, John." Mulder appeared resigned from notion of ever investigating paranormal phenomena again. "My job with all the paranormal investigations, U.F.O.s and the unexplained is done."

Scully was good and angry at that statement. "So, you think just because you found out Samantha was dead, we saved the world and Eugene Tooms doesn't eat liver anymore there aren't any unsolved cases being sent in to the F.B.I.? They were there decades before you were even thought of, and I am surprised you want us to believe you are no longer interested! That is unadulterated crap!"

"C'mon, Scully. We both wanted a normal life. We have one now. It's time to turn it all over to someone else, if they ever decide to re-open the X-Files."

"I think they will," Doggett said matter-of-factly. "There were some things left in the files that proved quite interesting. And until the day they shut us down there were reports of all sorts of things being addressed to either you personally, or Scully. Someone believes in you."

"That comes about fifteen years too late, John. There are other people just as curious and just as qualified who can do the job."

"All right. Have it your way. I've said what I wanted to say. I have a turkey dinner to attend tomorrow with Monica. Good night." He went up the stairs and left the pair to ponder their discussion.

"Good night, John. Mulder, I don't believe a word you said, and I think I need to get another partner when I go back to work."

"YOU want to go back to work at the Bureau?" The strangest look came over Fox Mulder's face. "This is a nightmare. I just know I'm going to wake up, but when?" By now, his face was in his hands and he was questionning his own sanity. "This can't be April First. I know your mother and William and everyone else are upstairs sleeping off the turkey dinner, so it must be Thanksgiving. Scully, are you crazy?"

"No, far from it. I think you've been running away. I see the job offers from the Bureau you've been throwing away lately. You're going to have to learn to empty the wastebasket before I get to it. This past week Skinner called, and asked if we were getting our mail. Then his secretary called to make sure she had our proper address. Finally, I got to thinking: You gave me the child I wanted and a family life. Why can't we have that family life in Washington? They need a good forensic pathologist, and I happen to know an excellent profiler."

"Don't do that for me," Mulder begged her. "Stay out here with me, for me, for us."

"I can stay with you anywhere. You KNOW that. All I ask is that you consider the possibilities. I want to believe you can do that. I believe in you."

Mulder tenderly patted his wife's belly, then snuggled with her on the couch. Tenderly kissing her warm lips, he replied, "I've corrupted you."

"Definitely. Shut up Mulder, and kiss me."


Title: Part 8: After the Run, Epilogue, Yes We'll Return. Author: Pattie
Rated: PG
Spoilers: The Truth. X-Files Entire Series. Categorization: Post-Truth WIP, MSR married, A. Summary: Mulder and Scully are offered jobs at the F.B.I. Even after being honored, decorated and celebrated, will they take up the offers? Archive: Gossamer, and any other nice home. Please let me visit. I bring my own plam.
Feedback: Pattie@
Disclaimer: All characters, except for Meg Mulder, and all original plot devices and the X-Files are property of Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Television. I make no money and only attempt to salute the characters and the actors who gave them life.

It wasn't unusual for the occasional registered letter to arrive at the house. There was always some piece of correspondance from the College, a notice of the Medical License Review, and matters involving the Estate of William Mulder. The man had planned well for a son who was not even his own. Perhaps he foresaw that the future would be rocky at best, and feared it would be deadly.

This letter, despite the fact that such pieces of mail were not unexpected, was viewed with caution, concern, perhaps even distrust-- if the couple were to admit it.

The turmoil this pair had been through for years on end was fading from memory ever so slowly, and old wounds, while occasionally felt, were no longer as painful or consuming. Still, certain names, situations and locations stirred the pot and rekindled the embers of fear held dormant in their minds. One such location was their former place of employment.

Fox William Mulder arrived home dog tired from a day of lectures, editing a book due for publication, (esential to keep his tenure at the college), and traffic headaches. He checked the mailbox as Scully was often too busy now, with William and newborn daughter Meg. (Meg, after Margaret Scully. It was Fox's idea). He slit open the envelope marked "Registered" and scanned the letterhead and text.

"Yeah, it's just great to have friends who never give up on you," he mumbled.

"That you?" Scully was folding towels and trying to teach William about being patient. "No, honey. You can have a drink with supper. Supper is soon."

"Thirsty now! Juice!" The toddler demanded.

"Okay, that means you go sit in the chair over there for a minute."

Little William stomped off to his chair and made the biggest pout he could muster.

"Yeah, I just got in. Get a load of this latest joke from the office of Walter!"

Scully decided the laundry would take over diner hour, so she set it aside, turned down a burner, and joined her husband in the livingroom. "Is he still sending the office joke memos? Mulder, some of them are really in bad taste..."

"No. Scully, we have another request to accept reinstatement with full seniority and benefits back at the Bureau. I said to him no, no, no. Time and time again, I refused this and so did you. The last time we talked about it, you know what I said. I know you think I secretly can't wait to get back there, but I already have better things to do."

"Well, it seems we are the type of people they want. William, stop whining! One more minute."

"Couldn't they set their sights higher?" Mulder quipped. "They'redesperate. They really are."

"We were pretty good agents. And we did have the highest apprehension and conviction rate in the entire Bureau, Hon."

"Mainstreaming it, we really did. But, I am not thinking about going from place to place anymore following leads and staying in motels all over the country. And don't bother even thinking desk job. As William says, 'Eeeew!'"

"Well, I still have my medical ficense, and Quantico could use a goodinstructor in Forensic Medicine. You could teach profiling right therewith me, and we could have a house not too far from there. We could at least think about it." Scully rubbed Mulder's shoulder as he sat at his father's old desk. "You KNOW the Director and even the President said we could have any reward we wanted on top of the dinner, he Medals ofHonor, and the rubber chicken eat-and-speak circuit. Will you just think about it? For the girl who was sent to spy on you, the one who believed you from the beginning. and the one who loves you?"

"Would you really want to go back there, too? Because this family is together for good now. William and Meg need us."

"We can do that and work for the F.B.I. Please, just think long and hard about this. Now, I have supper just about ready and William in a time out. See if the rest of the mail is anything better." Scully set off for the kitchen to leave Mulder mulling over his true wishes and the past few years of pain. He was good at what he had done, and Scully was an expert in her field. Together they were a formidable team. It was just the memories of all the pain and suffering she had undergone while being his partner in the field that were fuelling his misgivings.

What if they were needed in the field again? Would someone get hurt again? Would the children lose a mother or a father? How about re-opening the X-Files? Would some unexplained freak of nature harm the kids? What about THEIR reputations? "Spooky's Kids". What a label.

In the days ahead, Mulder grew more moody and restless, finding little distraction in his work and even less sleep. Scully, too, was having her memories of a job well done, the challenges each new case brought, and the situations that had put her in jeopardy. It wasn't the F.B.I. that had had her kidnapped, and they were not to blame for their infiltration.The prospect of the peace and quiet out there in West Tisbury was so appealing, so conducive to raising healthy, happy children. Yet, there was a calling that she had answered many years ago, and it was still strong-- medicine. She knew her calling for that was as strong as her husband's calling for investigations--paranormal and otherwise. Then, there was the issue of Jeffery Spender, Mulder's half-brother. His face had been reconstructed, and his skills were hardly proven at the F.B.I., yet he had managed an above average entrance scrutiny. His academy grades were in the top twentieth percentile. He ought to have his job back, Mulder decided.

It was four months before they came to any concrete decision. The pros and cons were talked over at supper, breast-feedings, even over the phone when Fox was between classrooms full of idealistic young Criminal Psych. majors. Scully decided that she could have a short work schedule and give the children more attention. She could have her mother sit with them until they were both in school. Mulder decided, with some negotiatong with Skinner and the others involved, that he could profile from a desk. Some day, perhaps he and Scully would have another office together and be a team again. For now. the proposal they sent tothe F.B.I. would fit into their lives nicely.

The Mulders searched out realtors who could find them a reasonably-priced house in Alexandria. While they did have to haggle considerably, a deal was worked out to Fox and Dana's satisfaction. The house in West Tisbury would serve as a retreat for the Mulder family.

As the car was koaded up with carseats, books, toys, snacks and cassettes, Mulder turned to Scully, who already had her seatbelt fastened. "Are youabsolutely sure you want to do this?"

"I am absolutely positive, and I want nothing more than a normal life with the man I love, the kids I love, and the jobs we love. Are you ready, guys?"

Meg gurgled and trilled, and William called out, "Drive, Daddy! Vroom!"

Mulder smiled warmly and kissed Scully on the cheek. "I'll take that as a yes."

As they drove down the road, a female robin happily fed her brood outside the kitchen window of the Mulder estate. Fragrant flowers seemed to be waving "good-bye" to the family. A pure white dove peerched atop the rail on the front porch of the empty house. Only she knew what sign this was. Her gentle cooing said it was a good omen.


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