By Christine Leigh
Summary: Mulder and William trick-or-treating -- Halloween. Third of a series of vignettes centering around Mulder and Will that may also be read as a stand-alone. Set roughly two to three years after the end of the show.
"Go to the ones with the light on."
There were six units in the old building and only two that looked like anyone was open for business tonight, but Little Boo was having none of it. He ran to the top of the stairs before his dad called out one more time and knocked. Tonight was his night and he was experiencing it to its fullest. Didn't his dad know that the ones without the lights on were the scariest? He moved to peer through the shutters on the window that were closed. There was a light in there, he could swear. It was faint, but through the cracks, he saw it. Uh oh, here came Dad.
"What are you doing? I don't see a light on here."
"There's one. Inside." He yanked his dad's hand. "Look."
Mulder crouched down and peeked alongside his intrepid trick-or-treater. There was a light, probably coming from the bedroom or bathroom of the unit. They looked to be one- bedrooms, so that had to be it.
"I see. But that usually means that the person who lives here isn't home, or that if he or she is, that they don't want to be disturbed. I think I mentioned this already. Come on. There's a light on next door." Little Boo scurried across the porch, this time ringing the bell. The door was opened by an older woman.
"Well, aren't you the cutest goblin I've seen tonight." Little Boo's costume didn't consist of much, just a white sheet his mom had tailored to fit his five-year-old frame and a monster mask, but one thing he knew for sure was that he wasn't cute. He was scary. Dad had screamed when he saw him in it, and Dad was the expert on this.
The woman bent down and looked at him, and her expression changed to indicate an appreciation for this fact. "You sure are."
Mulder was grinning. His boy was something else. The woman turned to pick up a plastic jack-o-lantern full of candy. She held it out to Little Boo.
"Take what you would like, please, oh scary one." She maintained her demeanor, but it was difficult, as she watched the small hand reach in and fish out two pieces of candy. Most kids grabbed a fistful, but this little guy had obviously been coached not to be greedy.
"Happy Halloween." She closed the door.
"Where to next, or is it time to head home? Mom is probably getting lonely." Mulder asked this as they walked back down the stairs. They'd been at it nearly an hour and a half, and it was almost seven now. He was hoping for a 'yes.'
"Will, you made out tonight. Look at that bag. I've never seen a bigger bag of candy."
"Oh, sorry. Little Boo, you made out tonight. If Mom and I are very nice, will you share?"
The boy giggled at that. He knew his dad knew that he'd give him and Mom some candy, but he always asked first. It was all in good fun, but Will liked it when his dad treated him like a grown-up. His dad was the best.
"Yes, you can have some of my candy."
"But dinner first." They hadn't eaten yet, and Mulder knew that Scully had spaghetti and meatballs, one of Will's favorite meals, waiting for them at home.
"Daddy, will Frohike come see us tonight?" Mulder stopped at hearing that question. Their family circle certainly was an unconventional one.
"I don't know. You never can tell when he'll show up."
"I'll give him some candy, too."
Mulder smiled. "I'm sure he'd like that."
"He named me."
"I think I'm confused. Your mother named you."
"No, Daddy. He named me Little Boo."
"Ah, I see." Apparently Frohike had paid a recent visit. Two days ago when Scully had been fitting the costume on Will, he had said that this would be his name when wearing it, but for the life of her she couldn't get the boy to say how he'd hit upon that.
"So, tell me, Little Boo, is there a Big Boo, too?" He felt like Dr. Seuss.
Mulder couldn't see it, but through his mask Little Boo was giving him his 'Daddy, don't you know?' look.
They walked in silence for a minute.
"Let me guess, Frohike?"
"No." They were nearly home. Little Boo could see the light on their porch. He could hardly wait to show Mom his candy.
"Who, then? Or is it a secret?"
"No. He said I could tell you." He held onto his dad's hand and squeezed it.
"You, Daddy. It's you."
"Me? But, I don't have a costume."
"Frohike said you don't need one."
"Oh, he did, did he?"
Mulder looked at Will and saw a pair of happy eyes staring at him through the mask. This wasn't the life he'd have chosen for the boy, but it was somehow working out, and every day he and Scully did their best to continue believing that it would.
"Little Boo, if we leave some candy out tonight maybe that'll get him to come visit, kind of like we do for Santa with the cookies."
"Daddy, you think of everything."
"Well, apparently not quite, but this sounds like a good idea, I agree."
"Daddy, are you glad you're Big Boo?"
Mulder actually choked up a little before answering. And then he squeezed his son's hand.
"Very glad. Think Mommy's ready for a couple of scary guys at the dinner table?"
"I'm hungry." Mulder could sense Little Boo morphing back into Will.
"Okay then. In we go." Before closing the door, Mulder looked over his shoulder. There was no one there, but he spoke anyway.
"No costume necessary? Stop by later if you can."
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This story is (c) Copyright 2003 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.