Pirates, Ties, and Imperfect Circles
By Christine Leigh
Summary: Father's Day. Eleventh in 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, would you be open to reconsidering our plans for this afternoon?"
Going to the movies had seemed a fun idea a few days ago when they'd first discussed it, but now Mulder felt the urge to do something else. The trouble was, he had no clue as to what that would be. He glanced down at Will, still sticky around the mouth from the maple syrup that had been poured so generously over his pancakes. He sat down and motioned to his son to do the same. Together they sat and thought. It had been a lazy morning with only Kaylene waking before eight, and Will had given his dad a bonus gift by entertaining his little sister for an hour. He didn't know that, of course, but he did observe that Dad and Mom were smiling their special smiles at each other when they joined the party. Father's Day had seemed to be off to a good start.
"We're not going to see the pirates?"
"Well, it's not as if they won't be there next weekend."
"Why not today?"
Mulder didn't really have a good answer for this. It was something that had come over him during breakfast. Following the private celebration there had been orange juice and presents. Then there had been pancakes and bacon, and his favorite French roast. Aside from the presents it wasn't all that different from many other Sunday mornings in recent years or even Father's Day Sunday mornings. They'd been living a good life, all things considered.
"I don't know." His fingers wandered to the tie in one of the boxes on the coffee table. The feel of the silk brought back memories -- both of the life he'd left behind and of other fathers, other ties. Imperfect circles. Scully said that it was Will's idea. Ms. Evans had told her kindergarten class a story of how she and her sister had always competed to see who could give their dad the funniest tie on Father's Day. Will had had a big crush on Ms. Evans, so the story stuck, even after school had ended for the year. His mom had talked him down from funny to practical. Dad had plenty of funny ties, she'd said, stashed away somewhere.
"What'll we do then?"
"Would we have to do anything?" This was not a good question to ask a six-year old boy as was made apparent by the little eyebrow that shot up. For the umpteenth time Mulder wondered if Kaylene had inherited this talent as well.
"We can't just sit here all day." There was an adult tone in the young voice that couldn't help but make Mulder smile. And something else. His heartstrings were being played today, that was for certain.
"No, that wouldn't be much fun -- I guess. What about swimming? We could go to the pool again." They'd spent three hours there yesterday. His son definitely took after him in that area. He loved the water.
"We did that yesterday. Dad, don't you want to see the pirates?"
"I do, Will. I just had a change of mind this morning for some reason. I don't know. I may be getting old."
"No? You sound very sure."
"You don't have white hair like Tom's grandfather." Tom was his best friend.
"You swim good."
"Well. 'You swim well' is the right way to say that.
"You swim well. And you run fast."
"Not as fast as I used to be able, but still not coming in last. That's something."
"Mom said you're the best looking of all the dads in my class."
"She did? When?"
"When she picked me up after school. Some of the other kids' dads picked them up and after she saw them, in the car she told me. She said it was between us, and that I shouldn't tell anyone. I think she meant the other kids, though. It's okay to tell you, isn't it?"
"Yes. I think it's all right. And you know what else?"
"My mind has changed again. How about those pirates? You're sure you can handle it?"
"Go get unsticky and dressed then. We'll aim for the two o'clock show."
"It'll be great."
"Remember, if you have to close your eyes at times, it's okay."
"I won't. I want to see it all."
"Will, thanks for talking your dad out of being a couch potato today."
Mulder watched the boy run upstairs. Yeah, he was being played like a violin today, but it felt good. The elusive something else had fled for now, and he and Will would have one of their adventures -- this one in the dark with plenty of popcorn, buttered.
Pirates, ties, imperfect circles -- Happy Father's Day, indeed.
~ End ~
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This story is (c) Copyright 2007 by Christine Leigh. "The X-Files" and the characters of Mulder, Scully, and William are the property of the Fox Network and Ten-Thirteen Productions and are borrowed here without profit or intent for profit.