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Wastelands

Chapter Three

Central/Commander

Summary: XCOM is Earth’s first line of defense against the latest alien incursion.Shame the aliens aren’t their only enemy.

Notes: I’m in the middle of completely redoing everything I planned for Act Two of this. As much as I want to write a prequel series to show Weir’s backstory, it just wouldn’t be a good idea. So you guys are going to find out the sordid details of Weir’s past secondhand. You’ll see what I mean.

Also, this was not meant to be this long. But I wrote a scene, realized I broke the timeline I made. Instead of trashing everything I wrote, I decided to start tacking on other scenes to bring it up to speed. Because I am a smart human being.

Bonus points: if you can spot in which order these scenes were written.

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The Mulders

For @leiascully‘s XF writing challenge: 2017.

On New Year’s Day 2017, at precisely 12.04 a.m., Fox Mulder decides that this is going to be his year. Scully is in his arms, leaning against him, and he feels the smile on her face rather than he sees it. The fireworks blast colors into the sky, popping like popcorn on movie night. This is his life now. For once, he is not dreading the new year. He is not thinking about government conspiracies, little grey men or unmentionable monsters. No, all he thinks about is the woman in his arms, the love of his life, and their miracle standing a few feet away, lost in his own, new world. His mind, for once, is beautifully quiet, merely humming along to someone singing Auld Lang Syne. So yes, this is it, he thinks. This is the year of Fox Mulder.

“You’re awfully quiet.” Scully whispers against his chest, softly kissing him. He can feel her lips even through his clothes and after all this time, it makes him shiver. Mulder chuckles, running his hand over Scully’s back, slowly.

“I remember times you told me to shut up.”

“I never, Mulder.” There’s a smile in her voice. She tightens her arms around him, as if trying to keep them both in this moment forever. Or at least another minute. As they both know, there is no forever. The thought, however, no longer fills him with regret. Not too long ago, he was certain he would never feel the blanket of sadness ever lift off him. He thought he’d lost his son forever. In the end, forever is just another word. A concept, not tangible. Not real.

“Hm, of course not. You love my voice.”

“I do love your voice. So, what are you thinking? Any plans for this brand new year you care to tell me about?” She lifts her head, her chin on his chest, looking up. Her eyes sparkle brightly.

“Hm, no.”

“No?”

“No. Why does that surprise you so much?” Mulder laughs.

“I guess I’m more used to you spewing off ideas and theories.”

“I’m old, Scully. I leave the crazy ideas to the new generation.” Scully moves against him, stands in front of him now, her back to his chest. She’s warm, soft, and he engulfs her in his arms. Now they’re both watching the boy at the railing, smiling into the sky, watching the fireworks.

“He looks happy, doesn’t he?” She asks Mulder, gently stroking his arm that’s across her stomach. Her fingers tickle his skin, almost distract him, and he lightly tightens his grip.

“He does.” Will, just like the two of them, is not alone. There are other children next to him; kids, whose parents thought spending New Year’s Eve on a ship would be a good idea, too. Will had rolled his eyes when Mulder and Scully informed him about their plan to spend the day on a cruise ship. ‘It’s for old people’, the boy, who had complained. He was no longer the shy, quiet boy they had taken in more than six months ago. Will was a full-fledged teenager, who felt too old to spend New Year’s with his parents – on a ship of all places! Finally, though, he relented.

Looking at him now, Mulder knows their son is enjoying himself; he is drawn to water, the ocean, the love for it embedded in his genetics. His son is gesticulating wildly with his arms, his grin never leaving his face. Mulder knows his son well enough now to know that he’s explaining something to the girl next to him. A girl, he figures, who is around Will’s age. Her long, blond hair is waving around her, almost like a scarf, and she’s hugging herself, probably cold. If only he could tell his son that; tell him to give her his coat.

Instead Mulder, and Scully, can only watch. Just like the girl is watching their son. Her mouth is open slightly, as if to say something and yet not certain how to put it into words. Mulder remembers what this feels like; the newness of feelings you can’t place, that are difficult to understand. His son, bless him, has only eyes for the sky. For the science that is taking place there in the sky. Mulder knows what Will is telling the girl, because he explained it to him only last week. His son’s big blue eyes had barely blinked, too curious, too much in need of knowledge. Eventually he had sent him to Scully, who could fill the few blanks that he didn’t know about. 

“I wish we could have…” Scully starts, reminding Mulder of the present. She breaks off, clears her throat in an attempt not to cry. He knows what she’s thinking; he’s been thinking the same for so long. If only they could have. But that’s in the past now. This is a new year, his year, he reminds himself. There are no regrets. They can’t turn back the time; they’ll never know what it’s like to hear Will’s first words. To help him take his first steps. His first day of school is something Will can tell them about, but they’ll never know. But Mulder doesn’t have regrets now. They’ll be here for this instead. Will falling in love for the first time. His first heartbreak. They’ll teach him to drive a car. Soon, if Will has anything to say about it. He’s been begging Mulder for weeks now. They’ll see him graduate school. They’ll have a future with him.

“Hey, we’re here now. He’s here now. No regrets, Scully. That’s my plan for 2017.”

“No regrets?”

“Yes, it’ll be the year of no regrets. The year of Fox Mulder,” his eyes catch his son, the way he anxiously sweeps his chestnut hair out of his eyes, “the year of the Mulders.” He finishes.

“What?” Scully laughs.

“Yes, the Mulders. This is going to be our year, Scully.”

“I’m not a Mulder, you know. Not officially, anyway.”

“We can always change that.” He mumbles into her hair, kissing her, and reveling in the soft smell. A whiff of strawberry, but mostly her. He feels drunk on her scent.

“Hm, ask me again later.”

“You sound like a Magic 8 Ball, Scully.” Mulder leans down, kissing her neck. In that moment, Will turns to them. Seeing them being this affectionate, he screws up his face, and quickly turns back. Mulder chuckles.

“We’re embarrassing our son.”

“That’s fine with me.”

It’s fine with Mulder, too. He lifts his head, never letting go of Scully, and watches the fireworks. There are so many people they can no longer share this with. His whole family, Scully’s mother, little Emily. The losses are etched in every line on her face, and his, too. But now there’s hope. A lanky teenager, grinning at the sky, full of life.

Prompt:  AU, inspired by the promo photos for “The Wrong Stuff”: Astronauts Kate Beckett and Rick Castle lead a team of terraforming experts in a mission to colonize Mars.

Part 1 of 2

He still can’t believe they’re really here.  It’s been a year in transit, living in what Esposito’s taken to calling a huge tin can, monitoring the ship’s systems and trajectory, exercising to keep the return to gravity from crippling them, and getting in each other’s way.

It’s a wonder he still loves his wife.  Even more of a wonder that she still loves him.

Probably helps that sex in zero-g is spectacular.

They gather at the forward screen where the planet looms large, the brown-red of it tinting the stainless steel of the main control console.  Kate reaches for his hand, and the group of them float in wordless awe.

And then the automated voice of the navigational system interrupts with a warning.  Ten minutes to orbit entry.

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Greys were created by the Little Green Men and are made out of Little Green Men genes. Greys keep this a secret; though the LGM are an ancient race (with more than one gender and biological sexes, despite the nickname) in very high standings within the galactic community, the Greys consider it embarrassing to be a creation of such an excitable and scatterbrained species. Also the perceived social stigmas of being an artificial race.

This is why the Hybrid makes them nervous. If word gets out that Greys and LGM are close enough to interbreed, people might figure out that Greys are genetically engineered. And then the galactic tribunal will put an asterisk next to their name in the Big List of Intelligent Species. To a Grey, this is unthinkable. 

Meanwhile the LGM are ecstatic that the hybrid even exists.

Just thinkin

As I get older, I have come to realize why old people
bitch about ailments and such pretty much constantly,
it’s like their go to thing, a default setting.
it’s because as you get older, every fucking thing hurts eventually.
when shit breaks it takes for fucking ever to right itself.
like the cells are slower little old men with grey beards and tiny canes.
healing time like fatigue multiplies exponentially.
painful, slow and draining
so we bitch and laugh
because we know why now
and fuck you

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@legoule