It was a typical night for Dana Scully, her family was seated around the dining room table enjoying the delectable cooking of Margaret Scully. Her son William, sat in his booster seat attacking his vegetables with his Scooby-Doo fork. Across from her sat her loving fiancée, Walter Skinner. Sometimes she said the word fiancée in her head and another name would enter her mind. A name that belonged to a love lost in time and more literally, lost in space. When she thought about how Mulder should be at her side, depression overcame her. This taught her to keep her longings for her former partner buried deep in her soul, only allowing him to visit her dreams or relive their adventures in stories that she told William.
Skinner caught her absent stare and smiled curiously at her. He was trying his best to follow William's long-winded tale about the adventures he had that day, but as is the case for most four-year olds, he wasn't making much sense. Superficially, the scene was perfect, as if it belonged in some long forgotten wholesome television show about the average American family. William began to use his food as props in his story eliciting a gentle reprimand from his grandmother.
"William, I didn't make the food so you would play with it. Eat!" The toddler began happily shoving a fork full of food into his mouth, staring at his grandma. Skinner asked Maggie about her garden, offering to help move any heavy bags of top soil if she needed it. Maggie listed all the things she was growing that year, and her desire to build a greenhouse onto her home. The chatter was light and ordinary, Scully chimed in a few times, but was happy to let her mother and Skinner monopolize the conversation. When Maggie mentioned a potential trip to the zoo, William squealed with delight. Scully smiled as she listened to William list all the animals.
"Panda, Tiger, Lion, Bear, Monkey…" His little voice continued naming all the animals he could remember when the penetrating ring of Scully's cell phone interrupted the family dinner. Worried that it might be work related, Scully excused herself and dug the phone out of her black designer purse.
"Scully" Glancing back into the dining room, her attention was still half devoted to the sound of her son when she answered. The woman on the other end of the line questioned if she had the correct person.
"Yes, I'm Dr. Dana Scully." As the woman spoke, Scully turned her back to the doorway, shielding her family from her confused face. She listened intently, only giving the needed replies when asked a question. Her sudden quietness made Skinner look for her, worried that something was wrong. From his chair, he could see her petite shape pacing in the kitchen and instantly knew something was bothering her. Maggie followed his gaze, turning to try and see what held Walter's attention so intently.
"Dana?" Maggie called lightly, hoping her daughter would turn around and flash a quick smile while holding up her index finger, her signal that everything was ok she just needed to listen. Scully didn't turn around, she didn't acknowledge her mother at all. Maggie and Walter shared a concerned and confused look, neither of them knowing what to do just yet. Scully reappeared in the doorway looking like a ghost. Her eyes were wide and brimmed with tears, her face had gone pale, her mascara streaked down to the top of her cheeks.
"Dana! What is it?" Both Maggie and Skinner rushed out of their chairs, filling the space on either side of her. She was completely silent, she was even holding her breath, not a single sound escaped through Dana Scully's parted lips. Skinner tried to gently lead her to a chair, but the physical contact unleashed Scully from her shock and her body collapsed to the floor in sobs. Her cries shook her entire body, scaring William who then began to cry from the distress of seeing his mother like that. William was screaming for her, not understanding what was happening. In one quick motion, Skinner lifted her small body up into his strong arms. She was a rag doll in his embrace, she made no move to hold herself up, giving her body completely over to the violent wails that bellowed from deep within her. They tried desperately to get her to respond to them, getting more frightened with each second that passed where they were ignorant to what was happening. Suddenly she hoarsely called for Maggie.
"Mom…..Mom" Maggie took Dana's hand in hers, and looked into her daughter's wildly pleading eyes. "Mom, please. I need to go to the hospital right now." Scully pushed away from Skinner, who set her on her still unstable feet. She grasped her mother's hands in hers, her voice desperate and shrill.
"Drive me. Please, Mom. I need to go right now. Right now!" Maggie nodded and ran to get her purse, grabbing Dana's as well. Scully was once again sobbing uncontrollably, blind to everything else around her as she deftly moved towards the front door. Skinner picked William up, and tried to whisper soothing words into the boy's ear. As Maggie rounded the corner, Skinner hugged William close.
"I will calm him down and then we'll head over. Just let me know where you are."
Maggie nodded as she placed her hand on Dana's back and guided her out the door.