Backyard Beach Boys
By Christine Leigh
Summary: Father and son talking on a summer night. Fifth of a series of vignettes centering around Mulder and Will that may also be read as a stand-alone. The series starts approximately two years after the end of the show.
Category: Vignette, AU
"Will, are you ready for bed?"
"No?" Mulder looked down only to be met with a countenance he knew all too well -- his.
The game is underway.
"No." Will paused. "I brushed my teeth, Daddy."
Mulder looked at his son's grin and could smell the toothpaste.
"Good boy. Now, why did you answer 'no'?"
"'Cause I want to stay and watch the sky with you."
"Come here, Will."
Will jumped into the arms Mulder held wide open. It was a beautiful summer night with a full moon and the scent of jasmine all around. They settled into one of the lawn chairs in the backyard.
"Will, you know you won't last. You never do." Mulder said this gently. He'd never turn Will away. No, to sit here on a night like this with his own son on his lap was something too precious to miss. Even if he would be carting a little sleepyhead inside within the next five minutes.
"Daddy, I'm not sleepy."
"Well, not now, but I know my son, and he's a lot like his mother -- he can fall asleep just like that."
"Like what, Daddy?"
"Suddenly -- fast. Your mom can fall asleep fast, and so can you."
"You don't sleep fast, Daddy?"
"Will, I sleep a lot faster than I used to, but you and Mommy will probably always beat me to it."
Will's eyes blinked, but he didn't show any signs of caving yet.
"Mommy said that she sleeps in the car."
"That would be a fact, Will. Mommy's an excellent car sleeper. Of course, not when she's driving. But she has a long history of sleeping while Daddy was driving." Some of those times seemed almost quaint now, but they were still among Mulder's most cherished memories of his years with Scully.
Will seemed satisfied in regard to the sleep habits of the Mulder family, and was quiet. Father and son sat in silence for a few minutes, and still, Will was awake.
"Daddy, will the moon burn us?"
"Burn us? Like the sun? No, Will. It won't burn us. The moon's different. You can get a moontan with no worry about burning."
Will laughed. He could sense his dad getting silly.
"There's no water. What if we get too hot, Daddy?"
"That won't happen. This is the moon we're talking about here. He, or she if you like, is smarter and friendlier to people than the sun. We'll stay cool, Will, I promise."
"And we'll get a tan."
"A moontan. That's only for very special beach boys."
"That's us, Will. We're the backyard beach boys. We have no surf or sand, but we have the moon, and we're cool."
Will liked the sound of that. His dad always came up with fun.
"Daddy, can Mommy be a beach boy?"
"If she would like to be."
"I'm sleepy, Daddy."
"Time for my beach boy to go to bed?"
Will nodded and closed his eyes. Mulder sat there a moment and then stood with his sleeping bundle. It was such a gorgeous night. Perhaps he could interest Scully in being a beach boy tonight? With that happy thought in mind, he headed indoors.
The moon shone on.
~ End ~
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This story is (c) Copyright 2004 by Christine Leigh. "The X-Files" and its characters are the property of the Fox Network and Ten-Thirteen Productions and are borrowed here without profit or intent for profit.