ext_20988: (12 days of x-files)
[identity profile] memories-child.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] 12daysofxfiles
Title: Three Times Teena Mulder Went Home with Bill
Author: [livejournal.com profile] memories_child
Spoilers: Little Green Men
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: The X Files, unfortunately, does not belong to me. Much as I'd love to say I came up with the idea.
Author's Notes: This was written for the 2012 [livejournal.com profile] 12daysofxfiles community. It hasn't been betaed because I was awful at getting it done on time so all mistakes are my own.



i. William Mulder is uncomfortable at the fun fair. His glossy leather shoes, shined that morning Teena would bet, slip over the mud as he struggles to direct her between the puddles. His hand hovers over her shoulder, her back, before settling at her elbow and tugging. He manoeuvres her towards the rifle range. She stops.

"What's wrong?"

"The rifle range?" She raises an eyebrow. "Don't you have enough of shooting guns at work?"

He shuffles and looks down, blushing.

"I was just teasing, Bill! But honestly, wouldn't the ghost train be more fun?"

He glances at the shack where a line of couples stand arm in arm. Teena spots her friend Janet, her boyfriend's hand wrapped possessively around her waist, and decides. "Come on. What's October without a good scare?"

She dances around the puddles, Bill following. As they climb into the car the first drops of rain start to fall and thunder cracks in the distance.

"Appropriate," Bill murmurs in her ear. She laughs.

The ghost train is, as most carnival ghost trains are, predictable. But she grips Bill's arm and turns her head into his shoulder and as the last skeleton is pulled away his arm encircles her. They descend from the cart and are met by a black sky, lit only by flashes of lightning. The puddles and muddy grass have become a bog, and Bill and Teena splash across the field. They slide into Bill's car with hair like rat tails. Bill turns the engine on and aims the heater at Teena.

"I can't go home like this," she says. "My mother would pitch a fit."

He glances at her, glances away, glances back.

"You can come home with me."


ii. They have packed everything up, diapers and nightgowns and booties for the baby. Her suitcase, the small blue one she used on her honeymoon, sits on the bed next to the bunch of wilting flowers Bill had bought her from the flower stall outside.

Bill has gone to get the car and for a moment she is alone. As alone as she can be with a son, she adds. The baby (Fox, he has a name) is sleeping in his bassinet. She perches on the bed next to him and rocks the stand.

"Daddy's gone to get the car to take us home, Fox. We've got a lovely nursery for you. Daddy spent a whole weekend painting it blue, and there are clouds up near the ceiling and a bright yellow sun on the wall."

The baby stirs and she stops rocking, holds her breath. He yawns, stretches tiny fingers, turns his head towards her.

"Maybe, when you're older, we can get a dog. We've got a lovely big garden for you to run around in, and there are trees to climb. And - "

"And who would end up taking the dog for a walk?" Bill appears behind her and places a hand on her shoulder as she turns.

"It was just a thought," she says. "I thought Fox might like a pet."

"Well, we'll see. Come on. Let's get you both home."


iii. They have searched for hours, she and Bill, the Galbrands, the local police. She told Fox to stay indoors with the doors locked while they searched and his pale face at the window haunts her. They trek again through the Galbrand's yard, down to the lake. John's rowing boat sits in its dock, bobbing gently in the cool breeze. Teena feels an irrational anger at the sight of it. Her little girl has gone missing and the lake is calm. The should be rain and thunder and a terrible wind - somthing to reflect the turmoil she feels.

"He was too young, he was too young," she mutters as she searches the shoreline. If Bill hears her he doesn't answer.

"Teena."

She starts at the voice.

"Teena, it's okay. We'll find her, I'm sure." Marge's voice is soft and comforting but Teena can see the pity in her eyes. Thank God it wasn't my daughter. She turns away.

"Samantha! Samantha!" Their voices echo over the quiet water and there is silence in return.

Teena sinks to the floor and Marge wraps her arms around her shoulders. The two women sit in silence, watching flashlights dipping and reflecting over the lake. Teena closes her eyes. When she opens them, Bill is crouching in front of her.

"It's getting late, Teena. We need to get home, back to Fox."

She nods and allows him to pull her to her feet. He snakes his arm around her waist and supports her as they walk home.

Date: 2013-01-07 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalnahurriyeh.livejournal.com
Oh, this is wrenching. It's such a sad portrait of a marriage that was never really what it could have been. I love the scene with baby Fox in the bassinet, and her inability to really understand parenthood (who does?) and how profoundly alone she is with that.

Date: 2013-01-07 05:36 am (UTC)
wendelah1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wendelah1
This is an incisive portrait of a failed marriage, stressed by extraordinary circumstances, but failed nonetheless. Their beginning is sweet and completely ordinary: going home with a boy, marriage, a baby boy. Maybe a dog.

By the end, the unimaginable has happened. I think in the face of such a tragedy, leaving aside the aliens and the Consortium and the global conspiracy, we're all standing with the neighbor: there but for the grace of God.

Thank God it wasn't my daughter.
Edited Date: 2013-01-07 05:36 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-07 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] charlottetrips.livejournal.com
there's such a hope in the beginning and then you see how the marriage doesn't really go how it should and it just ends up dying...which is sad. nicely done.

Date: 2013-01-07 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maybe-amanda.livejournal.com
As much as many of us ended up hating Teena, it's good to be reminded that once she was just a woman trying to have a life. Well done.

Date: 2013-01-07 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] szgrey.livejournal.com
Jeez, way to TEAR OUT MY HEART.
Ahem.
Sorry.
This is wonderfully executed- the sweet awkwardness of the first part, the slightly shadowed normality of the second- seriously, you pick that time to naysay the hypothetical dog? REALLY, Bill- and the third is crushing. I also get the sense that Teena is losing agency over the course of the relationship- in the first one she's leading, he's hesitant, and by the end he's leading her, literally holding her up- which should be a good thing, a loving gesture, but it feels more directive than supportive to me, with him not offering the emotional support she so clearly needs in that moment.

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