Little House in the Desert
By Christine Leigh

Summary: A different teaser for William. Written for The Haven's 510 Words Do Over challenge.
Rating: G
Category: V, AU
Spoilers: None.

Undisclosed address
New Mexico

The day has been uncomfortably hot but now is starting to cool some. That they'd been hauling supplies from town for the better part of the week didn't help matters, but it was well-spent labor. They shouldn't have to go back again for at least a couple of months, Mulder had said. The truth is that neither of them knows for certain. A new world is on its way. One that the two of them welcome, but at the same time, hardly know what to expect of.

This Gibson knows: Mulder has returned to the living. The man he has been protecting and sharing quarters with for almost a year had been a ghost of the man he'd known before. Upon their meeting again it had been a shock to see the all-but-defeated look in his eyes. It didn't take Gibson long to understand. It was Agent Scully. It was all about her. But, no! This wasn't so. Discovering that there was another party involved had been a huge surprise. Gibson and Mulder never speak his name aloud, but he is the reason everything that had been happening during the past week had been rushed into place.

Now, as he sits outside on the steps to the little house watching the sun drop below the horizon, he is experiencing a myriad of feelings. He, too, is anticipating seeing her again. Her kindness to him when he'd been a child, and had been nearly killed by those butchers, had earned her a permanent place in his young heart. But at the same time he is feeling a touch of shyness. Will she find his presence now to be an intrusion? And he is worried. He and Mulder can compete in this area. He is worried that their plan, such as it is, won't work. He is worried that he won't be able to protect three people.

It's here. He's seen them. About ten minutes he guesses. He gets up and goes inside to the kitchen where Mulder is preparing food. He has been the chief cook in their operation, and an evening meal of salad and spaghetti will await her if she's hungry. Mulder looked up from his pot of sauce.

"Everything okay?"

"They're ten minutes away. Maybe closer."

Mulder's face tensed as he turned off the stove. He didn't speak, but as calmly as he could, walked past Gibson and outside to the steps. Gibson follows him, but stops short of going outside. They are very close. He hears the sound of the car's engine. Mulder probably does too; here in the desert it doesn't take special powers to hear these things, especially on a road that is so untraveled. Now they are a minute away, tops. He thinks that he should go to the kitchen, but can't seem to make himself move. Then he hears the car come to a stop. The sun is long gone, but the twilight lingers and Gibson can see Mulder opening the door to the car. Then she is out, and in Mulder's arms. Gibson turns away then, but not before spying the passenger that accompanies her. He's all right. Gibson hadn't felt that anything was wrong, but still, it is a relief to verify this in person. She takes him from the car, and then there are a few words exchanged with the driver, a man she is obviously feeling indebted to. Her voice saying thank you and good-bye is close to breaking. The car then leaves, continuing down the road in the same direction. Gibson wonders where the man will go next; anywhere but where he'd come from, he knows. He continues standing there and can't help but smile upon seeing the three of them enter the house. His shyness is still present, but so is something else. He is feeling a sense of home, possibly for the first time in his life.

Scully sets down the baby seat and removes its occupant, handing him to his father, who from his expression, is still a little in awe that this is really happening. Wordlessly, then, she crosses to Gibson and embraces the young man, who now cries in her arms. She holds him close, realizing that he needs this almost as badly as Mulder does. Then she returns her attention to Mulder, who is rocking his small son and blinking back tears. They all just need a few minutes more to calm down some, so stand there alternately grinning and crying, and then finally, talking. Mulder speaks first, turning with his bundle to face Gibson.

"Gibson, I want you to meet William."

~ End ~

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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.