It was late on a warm summer night and the chirping crickets seemed to be his only companion for the night. Well, they and the good bottle of Scotch he was desperately seeking to suppress the dark thoughts invading his mind. The last singers of the day were effortlessly rubbing their wings, performing raucous music while he was slowly sinking into drunkenness and self-pity. This case hit him too close to home. In general, he’s doing much better. He is trying to find activities around the house to keep busy. He is taking his meds and follows every instruction his therapist suggests. Also, being back at the bureau, working on the X-files, and seeing Scully every day are all helping him with his recovery. Not to mention the other night, that he got to spend at Scully's. But still, there are weak moments when nothing can stop his mind to go and wonder in the past. To remind himself of times when he actually enjoyed his life. Times, when he was really happy. Only so he can compare and realize it once again, how he ruined everything...
He and Scully were laying in the grass, listening to the sounds of nature around them. They were counting the shooting stars and were discussing the miracles of life. How they were happy that they are alive. How, in spite of everything that’s been lost, they still had each other to hold onto. It was one of those perfect nights they shared after moving into the farmhouse. They made love that night under the shooting stars. They really felt that they have everything. They were in love, they were safe and they had each other. Nothing else mattered.
He is back to reality when the phone starts ringing. He knows it's Scully and she would worry if he didn’t pick up. When he gets up from the chair, he is slightly disoriented. He stumbles into the house and picks up the phone.
“Hello, you reached the voicemail of Fox Mulder. I cannot come to the phone right now. If you wish to speak to Mr Jonnie Walker I’m more than happy to engage in a conversation, otherwise please call back tomorrow.” – He sounds quite drunk, actually. He probably drank more than he realized.
“Mulder, it’s me.” <Well certainly, he is not the only one who recognized how drunk he is.> He knows that tone all too very well.
“Scully, I…” – He is trying to say something. Maybe to explain why he needs to drink tonight. To tell her that he still thinks of William. Everyday. He didn’t put it behind him. He will tell her everything, the other night he couldn't. But he is too slow and she speaks before him.
“I just wanted to check how you’re holding up, Mulder. I wanted to thank you for the other night. For staying with me. And I figured you might wanna talk more... But I guess... maybe it’s better if I….” - He can hear her, hesitating on how to continue this sentence. Her tone always gives her away. He knows her too well. He should say something now...
“I’ll call you tomorrow. Take care, Mulder.” – He is too slow again. She hangs up.
He puts down the phone, rushes into his office, retrieves a book from one of the many bookshelves and opens it right in the middle. He walks back to the living room, puts it down on the coffee table and removes the photograph, the book’s been protecting. He is looking at the only picture he has left of his son. His hand starts shaking. William is only 1-month-old on it. Memories suddenly flood back and tears are gathering at the corner of his eye.
They exchanged 5 emails while he was on the run. The first one she sent had a picture of William, only 1-month-old. He was looking at it for hours and cried till he couldn’t anymore. He had to ask her not to send more. If Gibson wouldn’t have been there when he received the email, he’d have run home back to them. He wanted to die right there, the pain was so overwhelming. He needed a week before he could look at his son again. After that, he kept his photo with him all the time while on the run and talked to him every day. Shared the stories he would tell if he could be home with them.
This memory makes him wonder, how everything can change around you so easily. On the run, he needed to look at this picture every day to don’t feel lost and to remember who he is. Now, he has to keep it hidden until he can figure out who he is, and how not to be lost, how to lead a life again. Not until his next attempt to pour another glass of whiskey, he realizes that the bottle is empty. Defeated but not surrendered he goes to the kitchen and takes out a bottle of beer from the fridge. He sits down at the kitchen table and deliberately gets lost in his dreams while holding his son’s picture.
<In his fantasy he is happy and he is a father. He is a good father who is watching 2001: A Space Odyssey with William in their living room, blasting off a small model rocket in their garden and teaching him on how to have his own ideas. But, as always, happiness fades away and is replaced by nightmares. >
He is deep in his own misery when he sees headlights of a car appearing on the walls of the house. Suddenly, he can’t even hear the crickets anymore, only his own heartbeat. He smells her perfume, feels her presence, before even seeing her. When he turns around, she is standing in their living room with a worried but sweet look on her face. The first thing she notices is her thesis is on the coffee table.
"Dana Scully – Einstein Twin Paradox, A new interpretation.” - She reads it out loud and lifts it up from the table. She turns to him with a questioning smile;
“Mulder, what are you doing with this?” He just keeps gazing at her, not exactly sure how to say this.
“I keep something very important in there.” – He manages to babble out, but that doesn’t really move the conversation forward. Judging her facial expressions, she must think he went nuts. He slowly walks up to her and shows her the picture he is holding.
“You keep a picture of William in my thesis?” – She is flattered and crushed into little pieces all in the same second. Her eyes are filled with tears when she looks up at him. She drove out to see him, to hold him, to help him. She figured, the other night he was there for her, not it seems that she needs to be there for him. But she didn’t see this coming. She did not expect to see Mulder holding a picture of their son. He said he moved on...
And in this exact moment, she realises that it’s their fight. Not his fight, or her fight but their fight, and it’s damn time they start fighting it together. Their wounds will never heal without the other’s help.
“Come on Mulder. I’ll make some coffee, we sit on the porch, watch the stars and we talk. We have to start talking about William. Me and you. Together.”