Spoilers for Existence, One Son, Two Fathers, and En Ami. William is still with Scully in this story, and it is set before the whole fiasco in Providence and Provenance. Thinking of doing companion pieces to this with the babysitter, any one interested?
She had called him just after the mother left, as she'd been instructed to by her father. Her dad said that he'd worked with the man in the past, and they were doing him a favor now. She rarely met anyone her father worked with, she didn't even really know what her father did, except that he worked at the Pentagon. It came as a surprise when they asked her to help.
She felt bad calling, and felt worse after the decrepit old man arrived. They'd swore to her that no one was going to hurt William, that no one was going to take him away. His grandfather just wanted to see him, and they knew Agent Scully would never allow it. When Adrienne had asked why she wouldn't, they hadn't answered, except to say that she didn't trust him.
Now the old man lumbered stiffly into the nursery, and stood by the crib, peering at the four month-old infant inside. William was asleep, cuddled under a blue blanket, one chubby thumb stuck between his tiny lips. The old man reached a hand in, and stroked the sleeping baby's back. He smiled, a look that was part awe and part pride.
Adrienne tensed, watching the scene, her hand on the pepper spray in her pocket. Agent Scully had given it to her the first time she watched William, instructing her not to open the door for anyone, and if someone did try to get in, she was to take the cordless, hide in the nursery, and call 911, then her. Adrienne had nodded, wondering about the woman's obvious paranoia, which seemed more than new mother fears.
Now, she wasn't so sure it was paranoia.
The old man smelled like an ashtray, and didn't look much better. His heavy black coat exaggerated the thinness of his body; muscle lost to age or illness, she wasn't sure which. He looked ancient and weathered, like a wilting tree, spent after years of surviving storms. In his eyes she saw loneliness, and longing, for company, for family, for something more than he had. But, she saw something else too. The man had had power once upon a time, and he'd relished it. She could feel a darkness around him, and it made her nervous.
If he hurt William, she'd never forgive herself. And, neither would Agent Scully.
She only let Adrienne watch her, because she grew up in the neighborhood where the agent had lived for a decade. Agent Scully had early on, made habit of visiting the local park, and just watching the children play, enjoying the sunshine. After the neighborhood kids learned she was an FBI agent, they'd swarmed her, begging for stories about chasing down bad guys.
Agent Scully had smiled at them, and patiently obliged--though she watered those stories down considerably. Adrienne had found that out after choosing to interview her for a school project, and researching her through newspaper articles. Holy god, was that the stuff of nightmares!
The day she'd come to the apartment to ask for the interview, Agent Scully's partner had been there, Agent Mulder. He'd teased his partner about it, but agreed very enthusiastically to be interviewed about her. Hell, the man had been very enthusiastic about the opportunity to talk about his partner, much to Agent Scully's embarrassment.
She hadn't seen him around for a while, but if Adrienne was a gambler, she'd put her money on him as William's father. Agent Scully never said anything about William's father, so it would make sense that it was her partner. She wondered if their boss found out, and split them up? But, that still didn't explain why he wouldn't be there to help with his son.
Still, it gave Adrienne all the dreamy and steamy fantasies a seventeen year-old girl could want about illicit affairs. Spending all day chasing bad guys together, and then sneaking into each other's hotel rooms for adrenaline-fueled sex. All of it culminating in the sleeping infant in the crib.
She thought it was all terribly romantic, and told her boyfriend as much. He'd shrugged, he didn't get it. Teenage boys don't get romance, as her and her girlfriends were quickly learning. Adrienne chose to believe that beautiful little tale in her mind, and decided that Agent Mulder must have a good reason for being absent.
Then she realized something.
"Are you Agent Mulder's father?"
He turned away from the baby, eyes wide in surprise. He offered her an almost imperceptible nod.
"Where is he?"
CBG Spender regarded the teenager. She was short, probably not much taller than Dana herself, and very slim, while still possessing the beginnings of womanly curves. Her dirty blonde hair tumbled just past her shoulders, and she was lucky to have escaped the worst of teenage acne, with only a little on her forehead and chin. She was a pretty girl, but also like the mother of the baby she cared for, she was strong. She might have looked fragile and innocent, but she carried herself with confidence, and her eyes said she meant business.
He understood why Dana would allow this young woman to watch William for her. For months, he was sure she wouldn't let anyone except her mother, or her three friends with FBI credentials near him. And, the weirdoes with the newsletter. He never would have been allowed to see his baby grandson.
He breathed in, "You'll have to ask Dana that."
William began to cry, awakened by their voices, or maybe something only he could sense. Spender back away alarmed, wondering what he'd done wrong. The teenager rushed over to the crib, and scooped him up, rubbing his back, speaking soothingly. She felt his diaper, and noted the warm squish that told her it was full.
He watched her minister efficiently to the child's needs, his crying quieting as he realized he had her attention. He blinked his bright blue eyes, and tried to eat his fist. William had his mother's eyes, and for the first time in eight years, those eyes looked at him without an angry glare. It reminded him of the day they'd assigned Dana to the X Files, when she was still had all the youthful energy and naivety of one ready to conquer the world.
Before, they'd put her through Hell.
He had few regrets in life, but giving Mulder the tools to save her was not one of them.
He followed the girl out to the living room, William balanced on her hip, as naturally as if she were his mother. The baby watched him with those piercing blue eyes, still gumming his own fingers. They stopped in the kitchen and he took a chance.
"May I?" He held his arms out for the baby.
It would be the only opportunity he'd ever get to hold the only grandchild he'd ever have.
Adrienne looked at him uneasily, but gently eased William into his arms. The chubby, tiny baby settled into his embraced, and offered a half-hearted whine. He regarded the old man with a wide-eyed gaze that soon traveled around the room. He was curious and excited by his world, like his father had been as a baby.
Mulder had been a restless baby, bubbling with energy and curiosity, and exhausting his mother. Spender had seen him three weeks after he was born, after Teena called him, and told him to come see his son. He wasn't much for babies, but Mulder was fascinating in the way that he stared at the room, and seemed to see things that no one else could. Wide hazel eyes just endlessly staring, studying his world. It was the first and only time he'd gone to see them, though as a friend of Bill's, he'd visited the house and had seen the Mulder children periodically.
Jeffrey on the other hand, had been as unremarkable as a baby, as he was as a man. He was thin and quiet, and slept like the dead. He hadn't seen all that much of Jeffrey either, just the few months he had stayed with Cassandra before the divorce. He'd expected Jeffrey to have the same verve, the same spark that baby Fox had possessed, but he'd been disappointed. Like Cassandra had been back then, he was submissive and easily pacified. He'd left them both, and been equally disappointed when he was finally reunited with his son.
William had that spark, something he got from both parents. Dana was certainly going to have her hands full. Good thing she had eight years of practice with Mulder.
"Do you want to feed him?"
The soft feminine voice startled him; he'd forgotten she was even there. "No, that's alright, I should be going."
If Dana walked in on him holding her son, she'd shoot him without a second thought. Well, she might hesitate long enough to get William away from him--but then she'd definitely pull the trigger. Hell hath no fury.
He transferred William to the teenager's waiting arms, and shuffled out of the apartment as stiffly as he'd entered it.
Mulder was his son, and Dana was alive because he chose her to be. The remarkable man and equally remarkable woman had created what he knew was a remarkable little boy.
He was proud. He had his legacy.