Telling The Story

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

4/11/97

 

Rating: G.

Disclaimer: The X-Files and it's characters are property of C.C., FOX & 1013 Prod., etc.

Relationship: MSR of course. (What else do you expect from me??)

Summary: Mulder tells his daughter a bedtime story, using his life and the X-Files as the subject.

Hi all! I was thinking about the G-Files archive, and I don't have anything really "children oriented" there. I've seen stories done similarly to this one, but I think I have my own unique twist on it. So here it is . . .

The time of day that Fox Mulder had learned to love was bedtime.

For a man who had gotten used to sleeping on the couch and watching TV until all hours of the morning, the fact that he needed eight hours of sleep nowadays was stunning. Of course, the little girl that he now led into her bedroom had helped normalize his life to a huge degree.

It was funny how he'd never seriously thought about being a father, but it came as easily as anything he'd ever done. He'd taken to it that first day with all the enthusiasm that he'd ever put into something he cared about.

And he cared about his daughter.

"Daddy," said the diminutive form of his daughter, her hazel eyes looking up into his matching ones. That and her dark hair made her the spitting image of her father. Daddy's girl.

She lifted her arms up to him, beckoning for him to reach down and engulf her in his embrace. It was a silent request, and one that he couldn't deny. She was like her mother in that way. He couldn't refuse either one of them what they asked for.

Smiling, he picked her up and carried her to bed, pulling aside the purple floral bed cover and tucking her in. The room was a little girls dream: white wood bed and furniture and floral print drapes and bed cover. He'd wanted her to feel like the special girl that she was, and had gone ahead and charged the whole room's furnishings in one spree, much to her mom's dismay.

"Ok sweetheart, what did you want tonight?" Fox asked as she scooted down in the bed, the flannel pajamas being swallowed up by the comforter and sheets. "We can read Goodnight Moon or Cinderella . . ."

She pursed her lips and thought about it for a while. Then he saw a look cross her face and knew he wasn't going to like what she had in mind. He'd been persuaded several months back to tell her a story. Not one of the ones that were written and that they could buy, but one that he made up for her.

When he'd ended up complying, she'd been delighted with the tale. Now, on occasion she would ask for another such story, created only by her father's mind and the limits of his imagination. Little did she know how much he could imagine, he thought as she began to make her request.

"Daddy, can you tell me one of your special stories?" she asked, her voice sounding both childlike in its plea and serious in her honest interest in his storytelling abilities.

A long sigh escaped him as he pulled over his chair, an old hardwood rocker that matched nothing in the room, and settled in for her story.

"Ok, let's see, what would you like tonight. Princesses? Sea battles and pirates? Magical horses? What?"

"I don't know. Something . . . interesting."

For a minute he wracked his brain for something to fit the bill. He'd been creative, God knew. With all the years he'd been a believer in more things that people thought were fiction, often science fiction, he'd gotten an idea as to creative. Then an idea came to him, and he smiled.

"Alright, I've got a story for you, but you have to promise to be quiet and listen. No interrupting," Fox said, looking to his little girl and getting a nod and a grin.

Making sure she was all settled, Fox began to weave his tale . . .

Once, long ago there was a family that lived by the sea. William, the young son was a bright boy, full of intelligence and insight. His sister Anna was the total opposite. She was childlike and carefree. All was well with the idyllic family until one day an evil wizard and his band came and stole Anna away. And although William had tried his best to stop them, he could not. So William set off that day to find his sister.

His travels lead him near and far, finally coming to rest working as a knight for a large kingdom. Over the course of his years and travels, William had stopped trusting people. And he'd also learned a lot about some spooky things. He'd seen dragons and ghosts and zombies. More unusual things than anyone could believe. And so when he arrived at the kingdom, he found people there very unkind.

In an attempt to hide from them, he found a little space in the dungeon of the castle. From there the Duke would send him out to take care of fairy uprisings and centaur disputes. William became very good at his job, but he still continued to look for his sister.

Through it all, William was alone. He would begin to get lonely, but the memory of how mean the people had been to him kept him to himself. That is until one day when there was a knock on the door to his dungeon room. The door swung open and on the other side stood a young woman. From her attire, he could tell she was a fine lady, who introduced herself as Katherine, but the fact that she was there surprised him.

Then he found out that she was a knight, just like he was, and that she'd come to help him. So, reluctantly William began to work with her. And to his surprise he found himself actually trusting someone. Trusting her. Together, William and Katherine began helping people and solving puzzles...

Fox gazed at his daughter, who lay tucked under her covers, enraptured by the tale. He could tell she was fighting to stay awake, but wasn't going to go down without a fight. Or until the story was over. Inwardly smiling, he couldn't help but think how stubborn she was. He guessed that she got it from both of her parents.

As time went on, the two knights made progress in their quest. They were very good at what they were doing. And through it all they continued to look for the evil wizard and his band as well as Anna. Along the way, they became the best of friends. Then one day the King's advisors told the Duke to divide the knights, which the Duke reluctantly did. But it was not enough to keep the friends apart. As it so happened, William stumbled upon a magical pebble, and he gave it to Katherine to hold for safe keeping.

It wasn't until later that he realized his mistake. For the wizard sent one of his henchmen to find the pebble, and when he did, he spirited Katherine away with him as well. Once he found that she was gone, William became desperate. He searched high and low for his friend and colleague. And it was while she was gone that William realized something about the two of them. He realized that he loved Katherine.

After what had seemed an eternity to William, Katherine reappeared magically, but she was in a deep sleep. Not knowing how to awaken her, William became scared. He was certain that she would never wake up, and that he would be alone again. But there was a magic that the evil couldn't defeat. Something between William and Katherine that was so good and pure that no amount of evil could destroy them.

And so William sat beside Katherine, holding her hand, and whispering to her of his belief in her. In them. And in his heart he was telling her how much he needed her, and loved her.

That love, that powerful feeling broke the spell and Katherine awoke.

Reunited, the knight and his lady knight returned to their lives and work renewed...

Mulder noted with a small smile the drooping eyelids, and decided to wrap up the story.

And so it was that they stayed together over many years, loving each other and working side by side. And eventually they found Anna and destroyed the evil wizard and his band. Then he and Katherine got married and they all lived happily ever after.

With the story ended, Mulder took a closer look at his now sleeping daughter. A gentle hand ran across her head as he gazed on her. The second most important thing in his life. Next to her mother.

Leaning over, he lightly kissed her forehead and then turned off the bedside lamp, bathing the room in darkness. As he got up, turning for the door he could see the petite figure silhouetted in the door frame, her red hair backlit from the living room lights. Even though he couldn't see them, he could feel the ice blue eyes gazing fondly at him. The lips pulled up into a sweet smile.

He had known she was there since almost the beginning of the story, listening and remembering like he had. Reliving the past through the present fantasy story he had created for their child. Remembering the dark times along with the bright ones. He walked towards her as if drawn. A moth to a flame.

"So Mulder, am I still the heroine in this story?" Dana asked quietly as they shut their daughter's bedroom door.

He smiled at her warmly, and received a loving smile in return.

"Always Scully," he remarked, laying an arm around his wife's shoulders and headed them to their own bedroom for the night.

"Always."

-End-

Hope you all enjoyed and got a warm, fuzzy feeling. That was the intent. J.

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