text file (8k)

all a woman's hopes and dreams for her child,
and then fate turns so cruel.
What must a mother go through?

SPOILERS: post-ep for William, allusions to seasons 4 and 5
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; they belong to CC, FOX, etc.

(Notes at the end)


There were many times over the last decade that Dana Scully had asked herself, "If I had it to do over again, would I choose differently?" In the early years, after another loss or setback, sometimes the answer would be "yes," but as time progressed she came to understand that there was only one answer. This was the path she had chosen, and there was no turning back. Like Lot's wife, the longing for another life, another choice could only lead to self-destruction.

But what if she had been given another choice for those who suffered in her wake? What if she could have saved Melissa? What if she could have protected Emily? What if she could have spared her mother so much heartache? It was impractical to ask such things, she knew, but her heart always answered, "Yes, I would go back and change it if I could."

"Is this what you want for your son?" The words of a deformed and twisted Jeffrey Spender echoed through her head. As much as she wanted to deny the truth, she would never be able to offer her son a normal life, whether or not he himself was normal. Melissa was ample proof that her loved ones were in constant danger, now that she was caught up in this life. If that weren't reason enough, the fact that William was Mulder's son, and possibly C.G.B. Spender's grandson, made the risk inevitable. He was an innocent born into a web of conspiracies and lies, where family members were sacrificed on a regular basis like pawns in a game. She was once an innocent in this game, too, but it had been her choice to stay, and she was willing to accept the consequences. But what of her son--what choice did he have?

Throughout the in vitro process and then the pregnancy, she had never let herself ask another question, one that she knew was hovering beyond her line of sight, waiting to confront her if only she would turn to look it square in the eye: "Is it selfish of me to bring a child into this world?" After all, she knew better than most what dangers lurked in the shadows, or more hideously, what monsters lay hiding in the bright light. She knew the truths and the dangers of her lifestyle. Was she really so na´ve as to believe that she could slip away to live a quiet life and simply be left alone? All that she had thought about was how she wanted to reclaim this one thing They had taken from her. She couldn't reclaim Melissa or Emily, but maybe she could reclaim her right to bear a child.

Had she really reclaimed it, or had They simply given it back to her to serve their own agenda? Had she somehow played right into their hands and once again become their lab rat? Whatever her son might have been, he was normal now--Spender had seen to that--but did that mean he could have a normal life?

Several months earlier, she had made what she thought to be the most difficult decision of her life: she sent away the man she loved in order to save him. And now, would she have to make the same decision again, to send away the person she loved most in order to keep him safe?

Imagine all a woman's hopes and dreams for her child, and then fate turns so cruel. What must a mother go through?

Surely she was not the first mother in history to be faced with such a choice. She thinks of the mother of Moses, who cast her son upon the whims of the waters for hope that he would escape the certain death that awaited him if he remained in her arms. He was raised as the son of another woman, but he lived to be a great man. Others had sacrificed their miraculous sons for the greater good: Hannah, Mary. To what fate would she be relinquishing her son, and would it be better than what she could offer him?

She closes hers eyes, and behind the shuttered lids hovers the vision of a little blonde girl. "Mommy, let me go. Mommy, please let me go." The soulful blue eyes are replaced by hollow sockets--she gasps and opens her own blue eyes with a jolt. She couldn't protect either of those girls. She couldn't offer them safety in this life, only hope for peace in the next. Missy could watch over them there; she could love and nurture them without suffering or pain--while Dana was left behind grieving, empty, barren. Could she really offer a better life to her son?

Another familiar voice echoes through her head: "I never saw you as a mother before."

Maybe there was a reason for that; maybe she was never meant to be one. Maybe it had been selfish to demand what she had been denied, to want what everyone else had. Maybe there was only one choice for her to make. And maybe this final loss would be the death of her, but it didn't matter as long as it meant the life of him.

A wise king once recognized that the true love of a mother is to sacrifice her own happiness for the life of her child.

Maybe someday her son would understand just how much he was loved.

* * *

A woman sits beside an empty cradle in the dark, slowly tapping the mobile suspended above, moving it inch by inch around its circuit, its gentle squeaking the only sound left to fill the void.

A mother's heart is bursting with joy as her empty arms are finally full. She'll give this precious boy all the love she can offer, to help him realize his hopes and his dreams. Someday perhaps she'll understand how much he has already been loved.



Author's Notes: I've never been able to rewatch "William" after the first airing because it was such a painful experience, but when it was on TV recently, I took the plunge and decided to watch it. I can't say that I suddenly approve of 1013's decision to remove their little "plot complication," but after watching the final few scenes again, I have a much better understanding of the difficult decision that Scully made. This vignette is my response to Scully's discussion with Monica and my ruminations on the thoughts that went into her final decision.

This short piece is full of references and allusions that I preferred to leave subtle in the flow of the narrative, but I'll make them all explicit here for the interested reader. There are two quotes from Mulder and Scully's "parenthood" conversation in "Home" (although I changed a word in one of them to better fit this context). There is also a quotation from and allusion to "All Souls." The biblical references are to Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis), Moses (Exodus), Hannah/Samuel (1 Samuel), Mary/Jesus (gospels), and Solomon with the two mothers (1 Kings 3).

All I have to say in final response to this episode is: Mulder thought that telling her about an alien invasion in TEN YEARS would crush her spirit? I'd say after everything this woman had been through over the last two seasons that her spirit had already been crushed (actually, "trampled" is more like it).