Martin watched Sally as she walked with Amanda, laughing as
she "hinted" at the locations of hidden eggs and candy,
openly delighting in the glee the two and a half year old showed
at each and every "find".
<She loves this so much...> If he had been alone, if he had been Mulder, he would have thrown something in his anger at the forces which had kept this simple joy from her life for so long. <from our lives> Being Martin, in a sunny public park, he stood there, looking lost in thought, with a carefully schooled vacant expression on his face.
Something thudded into his legs from behind, startling him. He turned around to find another small child sitting on the ground behind him, crying in great bellowing shrieks.
"Hey!" Martin bent down to look at the little boy. The child's bottom lip pouted, quivering over his small chin between bellows. A spot of blood on the little boy's sleeve caught his attention.
"Hey Sally!" he raised his voice to carry across the park. "DOC!"
She looked up, evaluated the situation, and scooped Amanda up on her hip as she strode quickly across the field.
She deposited Amanda in Martin's arms. As she bent down to evaluate the small boy, Martin looked at Amanda and asked her, "Do you like to fly?"
Amanda looked at him with big eyes, not saying anything. He lifted her up over his head, and she grinned. He started walking her in a wide circle, making airplane noises, much to her delight.
Sally spoke to the screaming toddler. "Hey... you're okay.. I can fix it!"
"He's okay... When he really damages himself, he doesn't cry at all."
The little boy stopped crying as a shadow fell on the two of them.
Sally said "You sound like you have a lot of experience with injuries with this little boy." She looked up to see a woman standing between her and the sun. "I take it he does this often?"
The little boy reached his arms up to the silhouetted figure, and Scully stood, wiping her hands on her jeans.
She put out a hand, smiling, saying "I'm Sally Harrod."
Her smile froze on her face as the woman turned to face her directly.
The woman took her hand, and pulled her into a one arm hug. "I know. I'm Mandy Cavendish." She spoke directly into Dana's ear. "It's okay. Keep being Sally. You know who I am. The boy is David. My girl is Daisy."
Sally shook herself slightly, and made herself hug ...Mandy back as she regained her composure. She pitched her voice to carry.
"We... We weren't expecting you until tomorrow." She forced herself to breathe. "But I'm so glad you could come! Martin... He'll be thrilled."
"Speak of the devil," Mandy released Dana and set her son down on the ground.
Mulder stopped cold, arms still above his head with Amanda, slack jawed as he saw who Sally had been embracing. He gave himself a slight shake and forced his arms to gently lower Amanda to the ground. "Go find your mommy, honey," he said to the toddler. Amanda made a beeline to the small sandy-hairded boy, and took his hand.
Mandy looked at her little boy and spoke to the man staring at her. "David's already a little-girl magnet... Guess he's taking after his Uncle Marty..."
She smiled broadly, and opened her arms wide. Mulder stumbled forward, and caught her up in a fierce hug. She whispered in his ear. "I'm Mandy Cavendish. You have to call me cousin... you have to keep being Martin. We're here to help."
"Sam..." He whispered the word into her shoulder. He felt a familiar hand on his back, and it grounded him enough to pull himself back together.
"Marty, why don't we go introduce Mandy to the Daldsens? 'Specially since little Amy here seems to be making plans with her son?"
He let go of Mandy and looked at her. "It's been so long! We weren't expecting you until tomorrow?"