What Child Is This?
By Jeannine Ackerson
Rating: Somewhere between G and PG.
Disclaimer: The X-Files and it's characters are property of C.C., FOX & 1013 Prod., etc.
5th Season Spoiler Warning: This picks up after the first part of "Christmas Carol".
Relationship: UST intermixed with Angst.
Summary: The questions that follow Scully's discovery of her daughter and how this effects her and Mulder.
Hi all! For some strange reason, the Christmas carol, "What Child Is This?" came to mind when I finished watching this episode. And I thought that it made a good title for a story. (About time that you saw one of those from me, huh?) This is my take on what could have happened between the two episodes. Anyway, let's get to the story. . .
"According to this, *I'm* Emily's mother," Dana Scully told her family as she stood in her brother Bill's home in San Diego.
There was silence. Dead quiet. Stunned speechlessness. A void that no words could hope to fill. And in that long moment of utter emptiness, a truth was revealed to all.
Dana Katherine Scully was a mother. To a child that she never knew she had.
As they all looked at each other, the doorbell rang. Bill's wife sensed that neither her husband, mother or sister in law was about to break the stalemate of questions and answers that they were engaged in and got up to answer it.
Bill split his attention between watching his wife leave the room and focusing on his sister who stood before him with that pouch in her hands. If he had thought that the idea of Melissa being that child's mother was insane, this was even more so.
Finally it was their mother that broke the silence.
"How?" Maggie Scully asked dazedly.
"How what?" questioned a deep voice from the door that caused Scully to turn swiftly in surprise.
She looked at the man at the entrance to the living room where she stood with trepidation. It was one thing to try and explain this to her family, but to him. . . Once she found her voice again, she addressed him the only way she knew how.
"Mulder," she said quietly in the hushed room, "what are you doing here?"
The look that responded to her turned serious and then concerned in an instant. It was obvious that he was here for a specific reason. And that he knew more than what he was letting on.
"I. . . Some things happened back in D.C. that prompted me to get on a plane last night. Things that made me believe that I needed to be here. So, are you going to answer your mom's question?"
Scully pursed her lips, trying to chose between answering her mom and questioning Mulder more on his appearance. Then, logically, she realized that if Mulder didn't know what had led up to this question, his reaction could be. . . bad.
"I'll answer it as soon as you tell me why you're here. What happened in D.C.?"
With that, his head dropped a little, sending his hair falling across his face and hiding his expression from her. When he finally looked back up, he stepped towards her, coming within a foot of her.
"I received two phone calls yesterday. One was from Danny in the lab, saying that you'd been running genetic tests against Melissa's samples and a child here in San Diego. He made it clear that there was something. . . unusual about the results. Something that had me concerned," Mulder explained as he gazed in her eyes. "And then a social worker called me about my partner looking into adopting a child, and wanted to ask me some questions about our relationship and our work. Needless to say, that was all I needed to get me on a plane."
There was silence again that was less than pleasant for Dana Scully. She could feel her brother and mother's eyes staring at her, waiting for her answer about the bombshell that she'd just dropped on them. And before her, Mulder stood, wanting an explanation as to why she had been conducting tests and planning adoptions without her ever saying a word to him.
"Scully, what's going on?" Mulder finally asked softly, bridging the gap between them with a hand to her face.
She looked at him an wondered how she could say this without reopening the old wounds that were between them because of a favor he'd asked of her, and her willingness to do that for him all those years ago. How she could let them feel the pain and guilt again.
But she knew that she had no choice in the matter. Not now.
"According to the genetic tests that Danny ran for me, Emily *is* my biological daughter," Scully began, then turned to face her mother and brother, feeling Mulder's hand move from her face to her shoulder, the fingers tightening in her flesh. "And as to how mom. . . I believe that it must have occurred during the time that I was missing."
There was a moment when they all let the idea sink in. Dark memories for Mulder and Maggie Scully surfaced immediately. The months with no word and then the bedside vigil. And now this. . .
"Dana, you were only gone for three months. There's no way. . .," Bill began, then his eyes grew dark as they focused on Mulder. "Unless you were already pregnant *before* you disappeared. . ."
Maggie looked at her son with shock, as did his wife. Only Mulder and Scully had different reactions to her brother's suggestion. Very radical ones.
"Bill," Scully breathed in astonishment. That he could think. . .
Mulder's reaction was more. . . furious.
"You think *I* fathered your sister's child?" Mulder said with contempt.
"And then maybe you set up her disappearance to cover for your 'transgression'," Bill further implied.
"*Bill*!" Maggie exclaimed suddenly and stood to face her son. "How could you accuse Mulder, let alone your sister of such a thing? And how do you explain everything that Mulder did for me when Dana was missing? If he'd known where she was, he would have been with her. I know that as surely as I know that Dana was not pregnant when she disappeared."
Bill stood there, reprimanded but still suspicious. He had no doubts in his mind that one way or another, Fox Mulder was responsible for all the misery that his family had been through. And that there was more to this situation between his sister and this man than they were saying.
"But that still leaves the how open to question," Mulder said simply.
"In-vitro fertilization with surrogate motherhood? Or something more unbelievable?"
Maggie and Bill stared at Mulder as if he'd sprouted antlers or a second nose. What insane theory was he ready to offer them to believe as fact?
"You think they accelerated the growth process with radiation, don't you Mulder?" Scully announced as she moved away from his hand and spun around to face him. "And that's what caused my cancer. The excessive amounts of radiation that I was exposed to, as well as that genetic material they introduced into my system. . ."
Scully stopped in mid sentence. She'd been so wrapped up in the fact that she had a child, and how it had happened, she had skipped over the question she had to ask about the rest of its parentage. Or lackthereof.
Her eyebrows raised as the pieces began to fall into place. And when she looked in Mulder's eyes, she could see the same conclusion lying unspoken within. Her daughter could be only half human. And that other half. . .
"You said she was your daughter Scully," Mulder pointed out. "And the genetic tests that were done to confirm that were done with samples from after your abduction. Which means that the genetic material that you couldn't identify was in there."
"Which means that her genetic make-up is like mine," Scully remarked wistfully. The doctor at the medical research facility had said that Emily was a special case. She had no idea just how special she was. She was the living result of genetic experiments on a human being.
"What are you two talking about?" Bill interrupted, advancing on the pair. "This is insane. My sister has never had any children. Because of you and your crusade, she can't! I think you both have lost touch with reality!"
"Then you explain it Bill," Scully finally shot back. "According to the most advanced scientific test there is, that child is my daughter. Her adoption papers say she was born in November of 1994. The same time I was found in the hospital in Georgetown. Three months. That's it. There's no other explanation as to how. . ."
Before they could say anything else, the phone rang, splitting the tension in the room. Bill's wife went to answer it, then returned just as quickly.
"Dana, the phone's for you."
Giving her brother a scathing stare, she turned and headed to the hallway, Mulder in tow. She knew that she couldn't have got rid of him now, even if she wanted to. Yet if there was anyone that she could count on, could lean on, the man who stood behind her now was the one she'd chose. He was the one that she'd stood behind and beside for all these years. It was part of the reason they were so close. Closer than partners should be sometimes, she thought for a moment as she picked up the receiver.
"This is Dana Scully," she said into the phone.
There was a pause and then her face went pale. Mulder was at her side in a second, his arm wrapping around her shoulders as she concluded the call.
"I'll be there as soon as I can."
With that she hung up the phone and turned to look at Mulder. The light there that he'd seen ever so briefly was diminished, and it nearly broke his heart to see it.
"Emily's in the hospital. And they're not sure if she'll survive the next 48 hours," Scully told him.
There was no more discussion as Mulder took her hand and pulled her along, the two of them not pausing long enough to say anything but that there was an emergency and they'd call when they could.
And as Mulder pushed Scully into the passenger seat of his rental car, he sent up a silent prayer that Scully might have a chance for what she never thought she could have after the abduction and the cancer.
A child of her own.
Well, there it is. I hope you enjoyed, and if so, please make sure that you drop me a line or e-mail or whatever. I know I haven't been as reliable in putting out new stories, but hopefully the new year will change that. : ) J.
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