One hand on his dad’s left shoulder, the other at his elbow. Will’s eyes are closed and he knows it’s working. His blood cells are pushing the infection out. It’s all weirdly literal: when Will is working the stuff dripping from his dad’s arm is almost black; when he loses focus, it’s thin and bright red, normal blood again.
Will understands this, too: whatever he is made of, it’s not so different from the infection. The cells feel almost the same to him, as he moves them. They are fighting fire with fire. Where his mom drew his blood, at the crook of his left elbow, there is the disquieting sensation of wetness, a constant trickle from a pinprick wound.
His mom is just next to him and sometimes their arms brush as she reaches for a tool or moves to get a different angle. There must be sounds, but all Will hears is his dad’s raspy breathing and the blood rushing through his veins. Will reaches in to push the black out. He can’t control his dad’s cells at all, can’t do anything to stop the bleeding. That’s not your job, he reminds himself, and even with his eyes closed he knows his mom’s hands are at work.
They’re going to save him. Will feels a bright burst of pride. All of the weird shit he’s been able to do, all of the time he’s spent wondering where he really came from and who he really is. Maybe it really is worth something. Maybe he really is worth something.
“I need to sew things up, Will,” his mom says, her voice breaking his concentration. “Are you ready?”
Will re-focuses, seeking out the bad cells again, but they’re mostly gone. He catches one last clump just at the edges and pushes it out; hears one last drip as it hits the floor. “Yes,” he says, and he feels his mother gently pushing him back from the table. He collapses into the kitchen chair and doesn’t watch.
When he hears his mother sit down next to him, he finally opens his eyes.
His dad is lying still on the kitchen table, his skin pale and blotchy and his left arm gone just below the elbow. His chest rises and falls, steady, and his lungs sound clear. “He’ll be okay,” Will says.
“We’ll find out,” his mom says, but the relief in her eyes is as good as a confirmation.
“Maybe Skinner was right,” Will says.
Exhausted, she still corrects him. “Mr. Skinner.”
Will rolls his eyes and insists, “My blood helped. I mean, I did some of it too, but my cells were fighting back, it was working. We have to go back out there, Mom. If I can help. If it’ll really work.”
Settling back in her chair, she looks away from him. After a moment she says, “I have a computer chip in my neck.”
Will cocks his head, questioning. It’s a strange non-sequitur, and anyway what the hell does that mean?
She continues, “Years ago, when I had cancer.”
He knows about this, kind of. Grandma got teary about it once, years ago; his dad got tight-lipped and anxious whenever it came up.
“I thought I was going to die.” His mother stares straight ahead at the wall. She says it like it’s nothing, the same way she used to say We’re having salmon for dinner. “There was nothing left to try. But Mulder wouldn’t give up. He came across a vial with a computer chip, and a man – a man we knew said it would cure me.”
Will is sure that this depiction of events elides a great deal, but he doesn’t interrupt her.
“And it did, I guess.” Her forehead creases. “Maybe. It’s impossible to know, really. If it was the chip, or if one of the treatments finally worked, or – or sometimes these things just happen, the body finds some reserve of strength and fights back, and we call it a miracle.” Finally she looks at him.
Will reaches out and runs his index finger over the back of her neck. He can feel it there just under the skin, hard and square. He wonders how he never noticed it before.
His mom says, “We’ll never know for sure.”
Will is startled to find that he has his own reserves of strength, and that he knows what he believes. “You left it there, though. You never took it out.”
Their eyes meet. On the kitchen table Will’s dad breathes in and out, and for a moment it’s the only sound in the world.
I’ve been here since the very beginning, and I’ve watched this part of the fandom go from being very understanding and humble to vicious and just straight up nasty. Not everyone is this way, but we use to embrace the hate or ignore it. And now, people are deciding that it’s best to just fight fire with fire. It’s not the team delusional that was first created, and it’s not the team delusional I can say I approve of. And now, it’s become more about the Bethyl ship than the actual character! I’m very upset by this and can actually feel myself sliding down to on the fence/acceptance. The theories can be good most of the time, but they are slowly turning into excuses on how to get Beth back by some people. I might need to take a break from Tumblr, all because the bad seeds in Team Delusional are slowly taking over and infecting the rest.