It’s hard to meet John’s eyes while he holds our son. Mulder is attempting to look casual on the couch but I can see he feels it too, the ghost of Luke Doggett. We feel guilty for William’s chubby legs and pink mouth. We feel guilty that he is alive. I remember all the parents I hated, holding hands with their laughing daughters.
“Nothing like it, is there?” John remarks. His smile is real and he is better than I am.
“The diapers are still giving me hell,” Mulder says, throwing him a softball.
John chuckles, cupping William’s rounded feet in his hands. “We had a bunch go right up the back. I can break down an M14 with my eyes closed and I couldn’t put on a damn diaper! You learn, though. You learn.” His eyes cloud and he lifts William upright, rests the downy little head against his neck.
Hear me out. Doggett would have been the best uncle substitute for William. Uncle John would have taken William fishing when his parents wanted some alone time together. He would have told him about all the cool stuff he did as a cop when he was at the NYPD. They would have talked about how Uncle John helped his mom to find Mulder and how lucky he is to have parents who protected him when bad guys wanted to harm him. Uncle John would tell William about what his son Luke used to do at his age and William would ask where Luke is and Doggett would reply “he’s with Auntie Samantha and Melissa”.