Title: A Man Who…: Epilogue
Author: DC Luder
Disclaimer: FM, DS, MS, WS belong to them crazy CC and Co. out in LA.
Summary: The epilogue to the events in A Man Who through Scully's eyes.
Author's Note: I want to thank everyone who has read, reviewed and commented on this story. The very first chapter had been nothing more than a writing assignment for class and I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams that it would have grown to this size. Fan fic readers… I salute you… 3 DC
The September sky was warm and cloudless that afternoon, the sounds of laughter and a basketball match interrupted the quiet air. I sat on the swing porch, dressed in jeans and a light blue tee and sipped icy pink lemonade. I rocked back and forth; the only sound heard was that of the creaking swing, even with the boys giglging and calling out "Pass to me!"
A warm hand gripped my shoulder and was followed by a hard flat stomach pressed against my back. I leaned into it, feeling the comfort envelope me. I could sense the smile that I presumed to dominate his face. I was about to ask him what he was thinking when the warmth disappeared. I turned to see…
Mulder, a dollop of frosting in the corner of his lip. He had been inside, getting Will's birthday cake ready for the party. He had also cooked on the barbeque in the back yard, and now the neighbor hood smelled of chicken and grilled vegetables. He put his hands on my shoulders and kneaded softly, "What's the score?"
"Last I had was eleven billion to twelve gazillion, but who can keep track?" I replied as I turned and sat back in the swing, forcing his hands off of me. I pointed at my own mouth and commented, "Missed a spot, Mulder."
He smirked and wiped at his face, then licked his finger, "Frosting good."
"Did you leave any on the cake?"
"A bit, enough to write 'hapi b day w.' Think he'll mind?"
"I doubt it. He's too sugared up as it is thanks to your 'Happy Birthday Breakfast Root Beer Float,' I'm surprised he's not in a sugar coma."
Mulder smiled at his handy work and then glanced back into the house. He listened quietly and then blew a low, quick whistle. I listened to the clatter of toenails and awaited the arrival of Rocky. The beagle popped out of the open door and wiggled his way over to me. I scratched his ears and patted his back before he spotted Will and then rabbited over to his favorite human.
Shortly after we had moved to Virginia, Mulder had picked Will up from school and had taken a slight detour to a farm three miles out of the way. When I had gotten home from work at the hospital, Will was in the backyard trying to teach the chubby pup how to play fetch. Although not the Doberman he had wanted, Will loved that little dog with all of his heart and would always plead with Mulder to take him to the park so he could walk him.
It had been three years since Mulder had come back into my life. For the first year, he had rented an apartment in town in New York and had slowly gotten himself acquainted with his son. When I had told him my secret, I had expected anger, but what I had gotten was tears of joy. I had never seen Mulder happier, and I had doubted that I ever would.
Two years ago, I filed for divorce with Dave.
He said he understood, but I doubted that. No one understood the relationship between Mulder and I. Afterall, we were just about as clueless as anyone else. He stayed in New York and visited us regularly. During summer breaks, Will traveled up north on the train with me and he stayed to be with Dave while I returned home to Mulder.
And there, in the quiet rural home, Mulder and I lived quietly and peacefully. We had no plans of marriage and I doubted he ever would. We were fine just the way we were, together after all the time apart, we didn't need the paper to demostrate our love for one another.
And for our son.
I watched as Mulder stared off at the boys playing basketball in our driveway. He glanced back at me, an eager smile on his face, "Can I Mom?"
I laughed and slapped his sholder, "Go on, don't get dirty."
He took the porch steps three at a time and jogged over to the drive. Will waved at him before making a jump shot and another point for his team of three. Now nine years old, Will was big into sports, especially with Mulder support for him. Dave had always loved them, but as a spectator, not a participant. In the fall, Mulder often took Will to the golf range on Saturday mornings and they would spend a few hours together on the green.
Making up for lost time.
Mulder joined Will's team and the opposition whined and then decided to attack Mulder. They clamped their arms around his legs and tried to weigh him down to the pavement. He laughed at them and passed the ball to his son. Mulder then grabbed Will and lifted him up next to the rim, allowing him to make a slam-dunk.
Everyone cried out at once, the winners with victory screams and the losers declaring a need for another match. I laughed as Rocky began barking and jumping on Mulder's leg. He rubbed the dog's head, "Looks like we've got ourselves a cranky referee." The dog got down, shook his head, and then trotted over to the grass and began attacking a fallen tree leaf.
Mulder seized the ball and dribbled a few times. I heard Will's best friend, Ray, ask Mulder to do a penalty line shot. Mulder dribbled a few more times, passed the ball between his legs and then stepped back to the chalk drawn line. He set up carefully, and shot the ball, grinning as it cleared the hoop without touching the rim at all.
Will cried out, "Nothin' but net!"
Before the boys could ask Mulder to do anymore "amazing feats" a car honked from further down the road. I rose, setting my cup down and made my to the yard. Skinner's black SUV pulled up and parked next to our mailbox. To my surprise, my mother came out of the driver's side and Skinner was on the opposite part of the vehicle.
Will noticed them as well and called out "GRANDMA!"
I watched him race across the yard, leapt over Rocky and then embraced my mother.
Mulder entertained the boys Will had abandoned by spinning the ball on his pinkie finger. I called out, "Boys, why don't we go in and wash up, then we can eat and have cake."
"CAKE!" the screamed in unison and trampled towards the house. I nodded at Mulder, telling him silently to manage the herd. He saluted and followed them in, shutting the door behind him.
"Hello, sweetheart," Mom grinned as she released Will and took me into her arms.
I kissed her cheek, "Good to see you."
"You too, and look at this child, you seem much bigger than when I saw you last!"
Will giggled, "That was last week."
Skinner walked over and pinched Will's bicep, "My word, stronger too. Been working out?"
"Mulder takes me to the gym every week, we pump it up!" Will's face went serious and he flexed his arm, showing off a miniscule arm muscle on his lean arm. "Grr!" he declared. Will had decided to keep calling Dave "Dad" and had asked if it was okay to call his father "Mulder". Neither of us had minded but in the last few weeks, Mulder had reported to me of thirteen accidental slip-ups where Will had called him "Dad."
Skinner, in his polo, pulled back a sleeve and flexed his own bicep, with superimposed Will's by at least ten times, and then growled just as Will had. As we laughed, I spotted movement out of the corner of my eye. A blue sedan, rental by the looks of it.
There was only one guest who needed a rental car to get here.
"Dad!" Will cried out as he raced over to the just parked car. Dave stepped out, wearing jeans and a tan striped polo, and took Will into his arms before getting all of the way out of his seat.
"Hey, kiddo, I've missed you!"
The three of us watched their quiet embrace and I appeared to be the only one who didn't feel out of place. I watched as Will followed Dave when he popped the trunk and retrieved a large box wrapped in reflective blue paper. "You'll have to wait though, okay, until after cake."
"I know, but can I shake it?"
Dave laughed and handed it to Will, "Sure, go put it with the rest of them inside, okay?"
Will grinned and then took off with the gift and disappeared into the house. Dave shut the trunk then walked over to me, "Hi, Dana."
"Dave," I kissed him and hugged him. He was hurt when I left him for Mulder, but since then he had found a new life. Director of the hospital in addition to his continuation as chief of emergency medicine. And a fiancée. "Allie couldn't come?"
"Nope, she wanted to but she ended up getting the shift I took off at the ER. Luck of the draw."
I released him and Mom moved right in, "Hello, David, so nice to see you."
"You too, Margerat."
Skinner, still not all to friendly with anyone he hadn't known for at least five years, settled on shaking hands instead of a friendly hug. The air had grown quiet, with the boys inside and the road free of traffic.
"Hey, I made need some back-up in here, they saw the cake and I think anarchy is a brewin'."
We all looked to see Mulder in the doorway, with kids running around behind him.
He spotted Dave and gave a curt nod. Dave responded in the same manner.
Although far from friends, they had decided to be as amiable as possible.
For me. For Will.
"Well, we better go help, hate to have them wreck the house too much," I sighed and lead the way through the yard. Once on the porch, I retrieved my glass and then allowed everyone to file in as Mulder held the door. He spoke as the moved through, "Food's set up in the kitchen: hotdogs, hamburgers, the works."
When it was my turn to walk in he held his arm in the way, "Password?"
"The Truth is Out There."
He laughed, "Close, but not quite."
"Do I get a hint?"
"Do you need one?"
I finally said, "I love you."
He leaned over and kissed me on the lips, "That's not it but it works for me." He moved aside and headed towards the dining room where the boys had begun to see who could eat a hot dog the fastest. I watched as he calmed them down with the promise of cake and a movie if they could remain civilized for at least fifteen minutes.
He was indeed a man of many talents, my Mulder.
A man who had the heart to take me back after I had left him so many years ago.
A man who had the quiet hands to raise my son and hold me in his arms at night.
A man who would mine, now and for always.
"I made this!"