“She needs to be in a hospital.”
He nodded and moved on into the building. This was no place to give birth. His fear, which had subsided slightly when he’d seen Reyes, was back in full force as he saw her pale face, eyes closed, clutching the bundle in her arms. Blood, Scully’s blood, so much of it.
He was at her side now. “Scully?”
She opened tired eyes and he glimpsed a tiny bit of what she had endured in them. “Mulder.” She closed them again. “Thank God.”
Thank God? For him? He should have been here. He didn’t think he could have been of any practical help, but he should have been here.
“I’ve got a helicopter outside. I’m taking you to a hospital.”
She nodded and he realized Reyes was beside him. “Dana, I’ll take the baby.”
Scully’s arms tightened instinctively around the bundle in her arms.
“Scully, it’s okay. Let Reyes carry the baby. I’ll carry you.” She looked into his eyes then and after a moment, nodded. He watched as Reyes bundled the baby and a lot of bloody . . . stuff into her arms. Placenta. Well, his cram course in emergency childbirth hadn’t been completely wasted.
He lifted her as gently as he could, but she couldn’t quite stifle the moan. He kissed her forehead. “I’m sorry Scully.”
“S’okay. I’m just glad you’re here.”
He absorbed that in silence, then moved toward the door. Scully’s eyes were following Reyes and he knew if Reyes were to make any suspicious moves, despite her physical condition, Scully would be after her.
“It’s okay, Scully.” She glanced up at him and relaxed another notch. Now he watched Reyes as she held the baby tightly against her chest with one arm and allowed the pilot to help her on board with the other. She took the co-pilot seat, leaving the rear, which had more room, to Mulder and his own precious burden.
He started to place Scully in one of the seats, but she clutched at him and he changed his mind, seating himself with her cradled against him.
The pilot glanced around, saw that they were settled and lifted off. There was too much noise for a conversation and there were no words he could say now - not in front of the others. He pressed his lips against her forehead again and she looked up at him, then she snuggled into his chest and finally closed her eyes.
Reyes turned to look at them and for the first time tears formed in her own eyes. She couldn’t remember ever being as scared in her life as in the past twenty-four hours. The baby moved slightly in her arms, and she cuddled him closer. She couldn’t think about all of this now. She just couldn’t.
Mulder could tell the pilot was on the radio, but he couldn’t hear him. Just let him get them to the nearest hospital. She was still in pain and pale and it seemed to him she’d lost a lot of blood. His arms tightened around her involuntarily. He should have been here.
Shortly he saw the light from a landing pad of a tall building. Reyes turned to him and mouthed the name of the hospital, but he couldn’t make it out. He looked down again and saw a team assembled at the door, away from the landing area.
Then they were down and a man in a white coat stuck his head in the door as the sound finally diminished. “Gurney or wheelchair?”
“Wheelchair.” Scully answered before he could. After a second he nodded and climbed from the helicopter with her still in his arms. He placed her gently in the chair, though he would have felt better carrying her personally.
When she was seated, she reached for the bundle in Reyes’ arms, checking the child out as soon as she touched him. They were all moving now, toward the elevator; Mulder’s hand on her shoulder after she’d looked up to locate him.
Once in the labor and delivery room, much too late in Mulder’s opinion, a nurse reached for the child. Scully’s grip tightened. “It’s okay. We just need to check the baby out. We’ll bring it right back.”
She looked up at Mulder, her fear plain on her face. “Stay with him Mulder.”
“Uh, listen.” Mulder spoke finally, “couldn’t you examine him here, with her? She’s had a rough time.”
The doctor nodded, the anguish on this man’s face was impossible to miss.
“Yes, we can do a prelim here. But if more is needed . . . “
Mulder nodded and Scully gave him a tired smile. She seemed willing to let him handle things. She must be completely exhausted.
She finally surrendered the child to the waiting nurse and watched her move to the far side of the room. Scully glanced at Mulder and he moved in that direction as well.
He stood obviously on guard where he could see them both easily. He wasn’t armed, but if anyone made a wrong move, he knew he would kill them easily to keep these two safe. The nurse unwrapped the baby and saw that, though the cord had been tied off, it had not been cut. She quickly applied clamps and Mulder found a pair of scissors in his hand. What?
“Cut right here.”
“What?” His eyes widened.
“Cut the cord, right here.”
He looked over at Scully. She was watching him, but he couldn’t read her expression. “Yes, there.” He did as she bade; then laid the scissors aside. He didn’t know how to feel about that.
The nurse was talking again. “Seven pounds, one ounce, 18 ¼ inches long.” She was swaddling the baby tightly now. “Good strong heartbeat; strong lungs. A fine big boy. Here you go, Dad.”
The nursed placed the baby in his arms. He again looked over at Scully. There was a slight smile on her face, but she didn’t speak. At least she hadn’t corrected the woman. He cuddled the tiny boy to his chest and the child seemed to look up at him.
“He seems very alert.” The nurse said as she glanced down at him in Mulder’s arms. Mulder nodded, and moved toward Scully. She reached for the child and he put him gently in her arms. She looked so natural holding this baby.
He was safe with his mother now, so Mulder stepped over to the doctor. “Is she okay?”
The doctor glanced over at Scully, “Her temperature is slightly raised; probably from the trauma. I’d like to keep her here for a few hours, give her some antibiotics, make sure she doesn’t start to bleed.”
He looked up at Mulder then and saw the near terror in his eyes.
“Hey, it’s not . . . I didn’t mean to upset you. She’s doing very well considering what she’s been through. She didn’t even need any stitches. I’d just feel better if she stayed here a little while; let us keep an eye on her.” He patted Mulder’s shoulder. “Don’t you worry about your family; they’re in good hands.”
The doctor left the room then and Mulder moved back toward the bed. The nurse was helping her position the baby to breastfeed. He found he couldn’t look away. She looked up, her cheeks coloring slightly.
“Scully, do you want me to . . .” He gestured vaguely toward the door.
She shook her head, “Stay with us, please.”
He nodded. He didn’t want to talk in front of the nurse anyway. After a moment, the nurse smiled and left to give them some privacy. He still didn’t speak, sitting quietly beside her and savored the intimacy of their togetherness. When she moved the baby to her other breast she shyly asked for a washcloth, which he got for her immediately. It was shortly after that, that she looked up at Mulder. “I think he’s fallen asleep.”
“Kids today, they don’t know when they have it good.” He grinned at her and she smiled back.
As he watched, she moved to leave the bed. “Whoa, hold it. What do you think you’re doing?”
“He needs to be changed.”
“I’ll . . . I’ll do it.” Her eyebrow rose. “Well, I’ll try.”
She allowed him to take the baby from her arms, and offered no directions or warnings, trusting him with this child as she trusted no other.
She didn’t allow the smile in her eyes to reach her lips. When he was finished, he brought the sleeping child back to her. She kissed the infant’s forehead, “Go ahead and put him down; let him sleep.”
He did as she bade, moving the bassinet closer to the bed. “You should sleep now too.” He lowered the head of the bed.
“Will you stay?”
That brought a smile to his face, “Of course.” He moved to the other side of the bed and took the chair. She let her eyes drift closed finally, even as she reached for his hand. He took it, cradling it in his own tenderly as she slept.
When the baby stirred, he lay her hand on the bed and rose, not wanting him to wake her. He carefully scooped the boy into his arms and he quieted immediately. Mulder returned to the chair, and sat holding him, watching him sleep.
When he felt her eyes on him he looked up, and grinned sheepishly. “Hope you don’t mind.”
“No.” She shook her head, “I don’t mind. Mulder, I want to get out of here. I want to go home.”
Concern immediately clouded his face; he placed the child in her arms and kissed her forehead. She knew the reason for this was two-fold. One reason was to check for fever, but Scully didn’t call him on it.
He tried to hide his relief that her temperature seemed normal.
He opened the door to her apartment and let her in. She stopped just inside the door and looked around. “Scully?”
“It’s just good to see this place again.”
The thought sobered him. He hadn’t allowed any other possibility to completely form in his mind. “You should be in bed.”
“No, I need to take a shower and get into my own clothes again. You know, you could use a shower too.”
“Are you saying I’m offensive?”
“Well, yes. Go on home Mulder, get cleaned up. I know you’ll be back in a little while.” She smiled at him.
“I . . . you shouldn’t be alone.”
“Mulder, it’ll be okay. I’ll take him into the bathroom with me. Go on, then you can come back.”
The indecision tore at him. She pulled him down with her free arm and kissed his forehead. “Go.”
He took a deep breath and finally nodded, then let himself out. He stood in the hall until he heard the deadbolt engage then moved on to his car. Maybe he should get the guys over here, just to keep an eye on the place.
She had been right; he had taken very little time to make his way back to her. His overnight bag was in his trunk, awaiting her permission.
He watched their three friends leave her apartment, then centered himself and moved into her bedroom. Her smile broadened when she saw him. She looked like a goddess, as though the trauma she had been through had never happened, except of course, for the precious child in her arms.
“How’s everybody doing?” He asked. She rose from the bed and approached him smiling.
“We’re doing just fine.”
The baby fussed mildly at the movement. “Now, now, none of that.” She placed him, all clean and wearing one of the outfits she’s picked out for him, into Mulder’s arms. “Hi.” He seemed to hum to the baby for an instant. “What are you going to call him?” He hadn’t even thought to ask that until he had left her apartment. It had worried him the whole time he’d been away, that somehow she would think he didn’t care. But then neither had asked any questions of the other for some time.
“William . . . after your father.” His smile grew.
“Um, I don’t know. He’s got your coloring, your eyes, but he looks suspiciously like Assistant Director Skinner.”
They both laughed at that, the tension evaporating.
She shook her head, her smile fading. “I don’t understand Mulder. They came to take him from us. Why they didn’t . . . “
“I don’t quite understand that either, except that maybe he isn’t what they thought he was. That doesn’t make him any less of a miracle though, does it?”
Scully smiled again. “From the moment I became pregnant, I feared the truth about how and why, and I know that you feared it too.”
“I think that what we feared were the possibilities. The truth we both know.”
“Which is what?” She asked as he leaned down and took possession of her lips.
When the kiss ended, he looked deep into her eyes. “Scully, I . . . I don’t want to be away from you. I want to stay here tonight. Please. I can sleep on the couch and - “
“Mulder. I’d appreciate you being here and you don’t have to sleep on the couch. We both know the bed has plenty of room.”
His smile was the brightest, the happiest she ever remembered seeing on his face in all the years she had known him. He pulled her close to him again for another kiss.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunmen and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement in tended