Langly was there when she woke and her memory returned immediately. "The baby?"
"Heís fine, Dana. Donít worry about him. Iím not sure Byers will ever be the same though." She smiled up at him, remembering Byersí face just before the baby had arrived. He was probably right.
"Can I see him? And is Mulder awake?"
"Iíll check and no. But Frohikeís with him. Thereís nothing you need to worry about."
"Mulder was right, you guys look after me very well." She watched the color stain his cheeks, which surprised her. He was the quiet one; she really didnít know how he felt about her and her intrusion into his life. She felt better about him suddenly and reached out to take his hand. "I canít thank you enough."
"Uh yeah, Iíll go see if theyíll, you know, the baby." And he ducked out the door. She grinned, and Mulder thought he was uncomfortable around women.
He and the nurse were back shortly wheeling a bassinet. Langly raised her bed to a comfortable position and the nurse handed her the infant. "Oh my god." She stared down fascinated. "Is he . . .?" She looked back up at the nurse.
"Heís doing great. Six pounds two ounces, and the first baby born on fourth floor ever. Congratulations."
"I want Mulder to see him. Can I take him up to my husbandís room?"
"Is that where he was born?" Dana nodded, "Itís against hospital policy for the babies to leave this floor, but let me check. Maybe theyíll make an exception."
"Iíd really appreciate it."
The nurse nodded. "Now, are you planning to breast feed?" Dana had to chuckle as Langly, whoíd just gotten comfortable again was on his feet and out the door in one swift movement.
The nurse helped her adjust her hold and observed them for a moment. "Iím going to give you a little privacy. Iíll be just down the hall, ring if you need anything, but you guys look like you can figure it all out. Iíll check on your trip upstairs."
It was Byers that tapped on the door after she finished nursing and entered at her call. He was shocked to find her on her feet, changing the babyís diaper. "Should you be out of bed?"
"Iím doing wonderfully John, thanks to you." She noticed he was having trouble looking her in the eye, so she approached him. "I canít, we canít, ever thank you enough. If you hadnít been there . . ." She rose up and kissed his cheek. "Want to see him all cleaned up?"
He nodded, not daring to speak and followed her to the bed. The tiny red thing didnít have a lot of resemblance to the pasty thing heíd caught earlier. This is what a baby was supposed to look like; he was actually kind of cute. "His head isnít pointed."
"There wasnít time." She remarked dryly and he looked up startled, then smiled with her. "Think you could pilfer a wheelchair? I want Mulder to see him. I know he hasnít woken up, but Ė "
"I think he did. I distinctly remember looking over at Mulder when the baby was born and his eyes were open, he had turned his head. But now . . . "
"So it wasnít just me." He looked up from the baby, "I thought I dreamed that. He was with us for a little while anyway. I need to get back up there."
"You need to look after yourself. Frohike hasnít left him alone and I think thatís where Langly was headed when I came in here."
"But I need to see him and he needs to see his son. Come on John, after what youíve already done today this should be a snap."
He chuckled then; she was right about that. "Iíll see what I can do." It didnít take him long. "The nurse is a friend of yours. Sheís going to look the other way." He placed the wheelchair next to her bed and helped her into it, then handed her the baby. He felt easier about handling him each time; maybe he would get the hang of it. He headed them to the elevator and werenít bothered by anyone even when they reached Mulderís floor. Both of the other guys were in his room and Frohike quickly stood and approached them.
"I wanted to see the little guy close up." After a quick inspection, "He looks like Mulder around the eyes."
"He does, doesnít he." She smiled down at her son sleeping in her arms. "I need Mulder to wake up. What are the doctors saying?"
"Heís coming up. The chemicals in his bloodstream are down. He has REM sleep now."
"What chemicals? I wasnít able to really focus earlier." Byers rolled his eyes at the statement as the other two laughed. Then Frohike pulled out a file. She handed the baby back to Byers and took it from him immediately scanning the information.
"These are fairly common tranquilizers, but in massive doses." She sighed. "They were right not to try to stimulate him. His heart . . . " She had to swallow. "It should wear off shortly." She checked his oxygen.
"What if they gave him something now to wake him?"
"No. I donít want to risk it. Weíre lucky you got him to the hospital as quickly as you did."
"Huh, Dana. We didnít bring him here. He was found unconscious in the ER."
"He what! Who brought him in? Where has he been?"
"We donít know, but he didnít escape, not like this. He was released." He watched her reaction, there wasnít a lot more to say. Not yet, anyway. "Weíre gonna leave you two alone with him for a while. One of us will be right outside, call if you need anything."
She nodded, not taking her eyes from him. "You shouldnít stay long Dana." She nodded again but didnít commit to anything and took her son back from his arms. When the door closed behind them she lay the baby on the bed in Mulderís arms.
"Mulder, please wake up. You need to meet our son. Please." She gently touched his face as she ran his hand over the babyís body. There was no response and with a sigh she gingerly lowered herself into the chair she had used earlier. She glanced over at the window and noted that the small couch was gone from the room.
"Mulder, heís beautiful and he waited for you to return to us to be born. Your friends are incredible Ė theyíve taking such good care of us. Please wake up, I need to see your eyes Mulder."
The baby squirmed, freeing one arm and waving it in the air. Mulderís arm tightened protectively. "Mulder! Mulder open your eyes." This time he tried to obey her, his eyelids fluttering with the effort. She leaned over him now, kissing those lids and cheek and finally lips Ė which responded with light pressure.
Now his eyes opened and took in the sight of her smiling face, tears running freely down her cheeks. "Dana." His voice was rusty, unused and the most beautiful sound she had ever heard.
"Iím right here Sweetheart. We both are." That took a second to penetrate, then he seemed to notice the squirming bundle at his side for the first time.
"The baby?" His look of awe renewed her tears as she nodded. He started at the window for a long moment; then, "It wasnít a dream."
"No." His grip tightened on her hand.
At that she chuckled. "Yes. Iím not sure heíll ever truly recover."
"I should have Ė "
"Mulder, stop. You were here, you were with me. You canít know how much help that was to me. Please donít beat yourself up over this."
He looked deep into her eyes and finally nodded. "Are you okay?"
"Iím wonderful now." The baby cried out, demanding his share of the attention and Mulder jumped. "Itís okay, heís fine."
"He?" No other sound seemed able to emerge as she nodded.
"We need to name him. I think John Melvin Ringo Mulder is a little much, what if we go with John Fox Mulder?"
"Yes. I like your name even if you wonít let me use it." The smile seemed to fade slowly from her face and she lowered herself back into the chair.
"Iím a little tired, but Iím okay."
"You should be in bed." He reached for the call button but she stopped him.
"The guys are right outside. Iím not here officially, we donít want to get a nurse involved." She looked over at the door. "John?" She had barely raised her voice but the door opened almost instantly.
"I was just coming to get you." He glanced over at Mulder and grinned. "About time you showed up."
"Do you know where Iíve been?"
"We can get into that later Mulder. I need to get your family back to their floor and safely tucked in." They both looked over at Dana and each thought separately that she looked pale and exhausted. Without another word Byers moved to her side and lifted her to her feet, placing her gently in the wheelchair, then lifted the baby from Mulderís arms and placed him with his mother.
"Keep an eye on her." He whispered to Byers, who nodded solemnly.
When Mulder woke again it was to see Byers reading quietly at his side. "Is Dana okay?" Byers looked up quickly.
"Yeah, yeah sheís going to be okay." He put the magazine down and stretched.
"Going to be?"
"Sheís tired. She had a long day following an exceptionally long night. The doctor checked her over, she just needs to rest."
"I need to see her."
"Not tonight. Youíre still stuck in that bed for awhile and she really canít make the trip right now. Sheís got the baby in the room with her and Frohikeís with her right now. Weíre taking turns. Langlyís passed out on the couch in the waiting room."
"I owe you guys."
Byers grinned, "More than you can ever replay. If youíre not good to them, weíll steal her and the kid from you."
"You donít have to worry." Mulder didnít smile and Byers nodded, pressing lightly to his friendís shoulder.
"Hey Mulder, youíre gonna love this. Oh . . ." Langly stopped short when he realized Dana and the baby were in the room.
Mulder glanced over at Dana, then back at his friend. "What?" Heíd automatically taken her hand.
"Well uh, it seems there were some shootings, while everyone was so busy last night and the news is just now leaking out. They seem to coincide with your appearance here."
"Who?" Mulder asked, causing Langly to look over at Dana again.
"Itís okay Langly," she spoke firmly, "Who?"
"Your former father-in-law for one."
"What?" She couldnít have heard him correctly. "They shot him?" Langly shrugged. "Is he okay?"
"Uh no. He was . . . he was killed and he was in distinguished company."
"What do you mean?" Mulder glanced away from her though his grip on her hand tightened. He thought sheíd be okay, if anything sheíd feel guilty for her lack of grief.
"You know that list of men weíve been compiling? From the fraternity? Well, most of them died too - from all over the country, hell all over the world, some highly pedigreed men." He handed Mulder a list. "It was definitely an organized hit. First you get turned loose and then these guys buy it. Oh . . . and Diana . . . "
"What about her?"
"She was one of the victims."
"Dianaís dead?" That caused the wheels to spin in his head. "How? How were they killed?"
"Evidence looks like they were all killed with an ice pick to the back of the neck. Ever heard of that form of execution?" Mulder shook his head, his thoughts racing.
"Mulder, are you okay?" Dana sat on the edge of the bed ready to give what comfort she could.
"What? Yeah, Iím fine, itís just Ė that proves she was involved. Thereís going to be repercussions at the Bureau."
"Then theyíll need you to come back Mulder. We can come home."
He looked over at her and smiled. Home, with her and their son. There would be a lot of work to do and he needed to find out who his friend was in the group Ė the person that had gotten him free, brought him here. The group they had been investigating had apparently been decimated, along with people they hadn't known were involved. Yeah, he had a lot of work to do but he also had a life to live now. Things were going to be different for him, for them. He couldnít remember when he looked forward to something this much.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.