DISCLAIMER: The X-files belongs to Chris Carter, no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks once again to Debbie, the super beta, for this very last minute read through.
CHALLENGE: Written for Passion & Perfection's Big 5000.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Left Behind
By Ann


The sedan slowed and pulled next to the curb, the driver scanning the area; her eyes zeroing in on the scene a few blocks away. The playground down the street was deserted, save for the redhead and her toddler. His cry for 'more' brought a smile to the watcher's face; he had grown so much since the last time she'd seen him. She kept her focus on the child, noting all the different physical changes, before she turned her attention to his mother. Monica sighed sadly; she'd really messed things up. She remembered the day clearly . . .

The bureau had called with her latest assignment, an undercover operation that would more than likely last for months. Monica had in turn called in a favor from a friend, managing to get reassigned to a local case. There was no way she was leaving Dana and William for a day, much less months at a time. When she'd turned to hang up the phone, Dana was standing in the doorway.

"Hey, do you think it's a good idea to piss off the new deputy director?"

Monica shrugged. "Now's as good a time as any."

Dana chuckled and walked further into the room. "That's true, but there's no need this time. William and I will be perfectly fine until you get back."

"I know that." Monica stepped closer. "I just don't want to leave."

"Oh, come on, Monica; it's been months since you've taken a case away from Washington."

Monica stayed silent; she wasn't about to let on that this wasn't the first time she'd rearranged her assignment to stay close to home.

Dana took her lover's hand. "Surely, you'd like to have some time alone for a change. I know you have to be tired of the same old dull routine."

"Routine? It's not a routine, Dana. It's my life, and I love it."

"You don't have to say that on my account. I know the grind has to be getting to you. I remember how much you like to travel."

"Let's just drop it, okay. I don't want to go."

"I think you should."

"Are you trying to get rid of me?" Monica didn't like where the conversation was heading.

"I just think that you should take advantage of the situation."

"Situation?" Now, she was upset. "You don't get it, do you? I don't want to go."

"You're being silly, Monica. William and I will be here when you get back."

"Damn it, Dana. I said I wasn't going. I want to stay here with you and William. I don't ever want to leave you. I love you."

Dana stared at her lover, and then pulled away. She moved to the window and looked out at the street below. Monica slowly followed.

"I'm sorry, Dana. I know we said we'd keep things simple between us, but I can't anymore. You and William are a part of me now."

"I can't, Monica. Mulder . . ."

"Mulder!" Monica began to pace. "You haven't heard from him since he walked out that door and out of your life. He hasn't phoned or sent a card. He hasn't been here when William's been sick or when you've been sick. He hasn't taken William to the doctor; he hasn't put him to bed every night; he hasn't cared for him or loved him. He hasn't done any of those things for either of you!"

Dana refused to turn from the window. "I just can't, Monica."

Deeply hurt and acting on pure emotion, Monica headed directly for the phone and punched in a series of numbers.

"This is Agent Reyes. There's been a change in plans; I'll be able to accept the assignment after all."

… The memories slowly began to fade as Monica wiped a tear from her eye. Dana had lied; she and William weren't there when she returned from her assignment. She'd packed their things and left. It'd taken Monica weeks to finally track her lover down, and now that she had, she didn't know what she wanted to do.

Dana gathered their things and took William by the hand. "Did you have a good time today?"

The towheaded little boy smiled at his mother. "Yeth."

Dana ruffled his hair and grinned. She'd had a problem with her s's when she was small, too. She was halfway down the sidewalk when she noticed the black sedan parked in front of her building. Her steps faltered.

Monica was so lost in her thoughts; she'd almost missed the pair walking towards her, but it was too late to drive away; Dana had already spied her.

Gripping William's hand, Dana regained her composure and continued down the sidewalk. She knew Monica would come looking for them; she just didn't realize it would be this soon.

Monica stepped from the car and waited. She couldn't help but break out in a smile when William spotted her.

"Monny!" He tried to pull free from his mother's grasp. "Go, Mommy; go!"

Dana reluctantly released his hand and watched as his excitement grew. "Monny! Monny!"

Monica swept the child from the ground and pulled him to her tightly. She could barely keep the sob from escaping as she burrowed her face into the tiny shoulder.

"Oh, William, I've missed you."

"Mithed you, too, Monny." William hugged Monica harder.

Several seconds past before dark eyes lifted to look into watery blue ones. Monica swallowed hard.

"You left."

Dana nodded sadly. "I was so confused, Monica. I didn't know what to do."

"Confused? You left because you were confused." Monica wanted to shout, but the arms around her neck kept her grounded.

"Yes, I know I should've left word for you, but I just ran. You scared me."

"Scared you? My loving you scares you?" Now, it was Monica who wanted to run.

"Yes! We were perfectly fine, and then you had to go and . . ." Dana cut off her own words; the confusion was back.

"And what, Dana? Ruin it for you? Well, I'm sorry if my love for you causes problems, but that's just too bad. I do love you, and I'm not apologizing for it."

"That wasn't what I was going to say."

"Then, what were you going to say?"

"You made me feel! You made me think!" Dana took a step closer. "You made me want you!"

"Mommy, you mad?" William turned towards his mother and laid his head on Monica's shoulder.

"No, baby, I'm not mad." Dana placed a hand on her son's back and rubbed gently. She looked up at Monica and smiled. "I'm just happy to see Monny."

Monica reached out with a shaky hand, and Dana stepped forward into the embrace as a strong arm pulled her into the group hug.

She kissed the top of Dana's head and gathered up her courage. "So, what now?"

Dana pulled away and took Monica's hand. "Let's go inside. We've got a lot to talk about."

William perked up once again. "Monny, you stay?"

Before Monica could formulate a reply, Dana opened the front door and pulled the pair inside, her reply wrenching a sob from her lover

"Yes, William. Monny's here to stay."

The End

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