The Truth Hurts
by m. butterfly
walfox@yahoo.com
Rating: PG for implied m/m, mild language
Category: M/Sk
Spoilers: Existence
Archive: Yes
Summary: Family and friends visit after Scully gives birth.
Author's notes: Welcome to my version of the Dallas shower scene. (It's the only way I can cope, okay?) BTW, this is *not* part of my Resuscitation universe.
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to Elizabeth for lightning-fast beta and never-ending encouragement. This is for everyone who wanted to throw something at her/his TV set at the end of Existence.
Disclaimer: The characters of Fox Mulder, Walter Skinner, Dana Scully, Maggie Scully, Alex Krycek and John Doggett are the property of Chris Carter, Ten-Thirteen Productions and Fox Broadcasting. I'm just borrowing them (and treating most of them a helluva lot better), but not making any money off them.


The Truth Hurts
by m. butterfly
walfox@yahoo.com

"Mom? What are you doing here? Where am I?"

Maggie Scully crossed herself and scooted closer to the bed. "Shhhh, Dana. It's all right. It's all right."

But it wasn't. Everything was all *wrong*. What the hell was she doing in a hospital, hooked up to an IV drip, instead of in the nursery? She tried to sit up but couldn't. Damn. She felt as weak as a--

"Baby!" She grabbed her mother's wrist with surprising strength. "Mom! Where's my baby? And Mulder? Where are they?"

"Calm down, honey." Maggie stroked her face, pushed damp hair back from her forehead, but it didn't soothe her. "You've been through so much."

No, this wasn't good. Not good at all. There were tears in her mother's eyes. Tears and concern. Huge concern.

"Mom," she said as steadily as she could manage. "Where's my baby? Where's William?"

Maggie choked back a sob. "Oh, sweetheart. You named him after your father! He would've have loved that. Only if..."

"What, Mom?" The panic was coming back into Scully's voice. Her gut. "Why won't you tell me where my baby is? And why isn't Mulder here?"

Again, her mother tried to comfort her. "He *is* here, Dana. Some of your other friends are too. I'll go and get Fox in a minute. But first," she said, picking up her daughter's hand and squeezing gently, "we need to talk."

"Mom. Please." Oh, God. Why was this happening to her now? Just when she was starting a brand new life? The life she'd always wanted? Krycek had called her mysterious pregnancy a miracle. But what if it was really an abomination that was never meant to be?

"What's the last thing you remember, Dana?"

"We were in the nursery--me, William and his father. Frohike, Langly and Byers had been visiting, and Mulder had just come home--Mom? Why are you looking at me like that?"

Maggie wiped at her eyes with the back of her free hand and swallowed thickly. "Honey, listen to me. You had a very difficult delivery and you lost a lot of blood. They almost didn't get you to the hospital in time."

"Where am I?" It wasn't the question she really wanted to ask. That would come soon enough.

"In Washington. They transferred you from Georgia once they got you stabilized."

"And--and the baby?" She clutched at the neckline of her drab green gown, inadvertently twisting the fine gold chain she always wore.

"Oh, honey," Maggie cried softly. "He never made it home."

Scully could feel the blood drain from her face. "No. No, Mom. No! I saw him after he was born! He was fine! He was perfect! I brought him back to my place."

Hadn't she?

Maggie got up from the chair and sat down on the edge of the bed, gripping her daughter firmly but carefully by the shoulders. "There were complications, Dana. There was something wrong with his little heart. He needed emergency surgery. By the time they got him to the hospital, it was too late."

"No. No! They lied! He was fine! They've taken him away from me! I know--"

The tears were now flowing freely down Maggie Scully's anguished face. "No one took him from you, sweetheart."

Oh, dear Jesus. It was starting to come back to her. The night in that deserted, miserable town. "How do you know? You weren't even there!"

"Mulder was there. He'll tell you. I'll go and get him."

"You do that," Scully told her mother. "*He'll* tell me the truth."

But when her partner entered the room a few minutes later, the look on his long face said it all, dashing any remaining hope she might have had.

"Scully," he said quietly. "I'm so sorry. Agent Reyes did everything she could. Everyone did."

She closed her stinging eyes and turned her head away from Mulder. It was too much. Too much loss. Too much pain. It even hurt to look at him.

"Where--where is he now?" she finally asked.

She could hear Mulder shifting uncomfortably as he stood by the bed. "Downstairs. In the, uh, morgue. Once you're feeling better, you can start making the funeral arrangements."

*Arrangements*. This was her baby he was talking about. And his? No. Maybe not. And, yet, she'd been so certain...

"Agent Scully?"

She opened her eyes and focused them on the new but familiar voice. "Sir. What are you doing here?"

Walter Skinner looked at least as tired as Mulder did, but there was a nasty gash on his forehead that hadn't been there the last time she'd seen him. "I wanted to make sure you were all right and, uh, pay my condolences." He walked all the way into the room and stood next to her partner. "I'm terribly sorry for your loss. We all are, Dana."

"Th--thank you." He'd always been kind to her--kinder than she'd deserved most of the time, she had to admit. Taken a bullet for her and done God-knows-what else. "You should go home," she said, examining his healing injury with her eyes. "Get some rest."

The last thing she expected was for Mulder to answer for him. "No, Scully. We'll stay for as long as you need us."

*Us*?

Then she noticed that Mulder's hand was resting atop Skinner's shoulder, that their hips were touching. For the first time, she was able to put a name to what was really going on between the two men. What had been developing for years. What all three of them had chosen to ignore. Until now.

And that made her feel even more empty and devastated. And impossibly sad.

She sighed. "I'm sure my mother won't mind staying. Please go. I'll be fine."

Her colleagues glanced at each other briefly, came to a wordless decision, then turned back to her as one. "Okay," Mulder acquiesced. "But we'll be back in the morning."

Again with the *we*.

She nodded weakly and bit her bottom lip to keep it from quivering.

Both men bade her good-night, Mulder kissing her forehead in a brotherly fashion, Skinner patting her hand paternally. As they left the room, they wrapped their arms around each other and leaned in close so that their heads touched. She closed her eyes again, shutting out the image that cut away at her heart.

"Dana, honey." She was glad her mother was back. This time, she'd accept all the nurturing she was offered. "Do you feel up to seeing one more visitor?"

"Oh, Mom," she cried softly. "I'm so tired."

"It's okay, Mrs. Scully. I'll come by some other time. If you'd be so kind to give her--"

Scully's tear-filled eyes flew open. "Agent Doggett?"

He was standing in the doorway, more out of the room than in, holding a spectacular bouquet of spring flowers. "Sorry to disturb you, Agent Scully. I was just leaving."

"No." She almost smiled at the startled looks her mother and Doggett gave her. "Please. Come in."

Maggie took the flowers. "These are beautiful. I'll go find something to put them in."

"Sit down, Agent Doggett," Scully instructed after her mother had left them alone.

He obeyed instantly. "Thanks. I, uh, I won't stay long. I just wanted to see how you were doin', and tell you how sorry I am about your baby." He cleared his throat, but never once dropped his eyes from hers. "I know what it feels like to lose a child, so if you ever need someone to talk to about, well, any of this, or just need a shoulder to cry on, I'm here for you."

Unlike Mulder's, damned if John Doggett's eyes weren't red and a little swollen.

"John?" She was losing it--big time--but didn't give a damn. "Is that shoulder available right now?"

"Uh-huh."

So Scully gave in and grieved, loud and long, for her dead baby, and for the man and the life she would never have, either.

But, while there would be no more babies, there were more men than Walter-Skinner-loving Fox Mulder out there. And one--a damned good one--was letting her cry herself to sleep in his arms.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The End
May 22, 2001

=====
I wanna be the minority
I don't need your authority
Down with the moral majority
'Cuz I wanna be the minority
- "Minority," Green Day

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Archived: May 27, 2001