The sound of the baby crying woke him. That didn’t sound like Lexie. Anne’s daughter! He shook his head to clear it. Anne had given birth here last night. He glanced over, but of course Scully was already up and gone. He rose himself and pulled on sweats. It was cool in here, but not too bad. By the time he was dressed, Walt and Lexie were stirring, so he quickly diapered them, Lexie first - Walt always demanded that, then carried them into the living room.
He stopped just inside and looked around at the semi-controlled chaos. Anne and Katy were on the couch, checking out the newest member of the community. Todd was adding wood to the fire and Scully was in the kitchen. For just an instant he flashed on his bachelor apartment in DC, how quiet it had been. Then Scully spotted him and smiled. And how lonely.
She met him half way and took Lexie after a quick kiss to both of her men. She joined the other women on the couch and then all three were nursing their respective children.
Mulder joined Todd at the table with Walt and looked over at the activity. “You know, Todd, back in my other life there were videos that I didn’t own, that didn’t show this much breast. This is a fantasy like I had never imagined.”
Todd chuckled. “Would you go back?”
“Not for a second.” He switched Walt to a different position, so that he could see the babies for himself and saw Scully watching him. She winked and he smiled again. Who would have thought he could live like this - kids and people everywhere, and it felt so damn right.
“How’s Anne doing?”
“She’s great. I wish I had gotten here sooner, but she said everything went very smoothly.”
“It did. I offered to go get you, but I barely made the big event myself. They wouldn’t let me leave.”
“I’m glad you didn’t. We both wanted you there. It just feels . . . better somehow. I’ll be there for the next one.”
“Still counting on five?”
“That’s up to her.” He grinned, “but I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Mulder nodded and stood, handing Walt to Todd. “Have you looked outside?”
“Yeah. Looks like at least a foot and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. You may be stuck with us for a couple of days.”
Mulder nodded and moved to the window himself to verify that information. He suddenly missed the telephone and ease of communication he’d once taken for granted more than usual. Was everyone okay? Maggie and Walter, Charlie and his family, Frohike and Beth and MJ? Damn, he sure wasn’t in Kansas anymore . . .
He felt Scully come up behind him. “Good answer G-man, about going to check out those videos you don’t own.”
He grinned and took Lexie from her. “Yeah, but what I wouldn’t give to have an hour alone with you.”
“An hour? Think we can still remember what to do for that long?”
“I’m not so old I’ve lost that much memory.” And enjoyed the color that rose on her cheeks. Hot damn, he could still make Scully blush. He pulled her to him for a quick hug and ran his hand over her hips as she turned to get Walt.
“Why don’t Todd and I make some oatmeal for the older crowd?”
“That would be good, nice and warm this morning.” She settled herself back beside Anne, as Katy left them to go help the men. Mulder put Lexie down on a blanket with Katy to watch her while they started breakfast and tea. Scully was right, something warm inside would be nice about now.
Almost immediately Katy stood and moved to the back door. “No Honey, we can’t go play in the snow. It’s too cold.”
“Sorry Honey, we can’t go see Kevin either. Maybe tomorrow.”
He looked over at Scully, who shrugged. There was no getting out; she was just going to have to be disappointed this time. Mulder took her hand to lead her back to Lexie, but she looked up at him and stamped her foot. Mulder heard Todd try to cover his laugh and shot him a “your turn is coming” look.
“Honey, we’ll see about Kevin later. You need to eat your breakfast first.” He picked her up and took a couple of steps away from the door, when he heard something outside.
Within a couple of minutes, a walking snowman waded onto the screened-in porch. “Keban!”
Mulder looked over at the two women, who automatically covered the children and nodded as Todd reached to do the same for Lexie. He opened the door and the snowman stumbled inside.
The young man nodded and Mulder began helping him undress, then moved him toward the fire. Once he was seated Mulder brought him a cup of hot tea, which he sipped gratefully.
“What in the world are you doing out in this? Is anything wrong?”
“Mmm, no, but that’s what I’m checking on. When people saw how bad it was getting, most of them headed to the clinic for the night. When you guys didn’t, we wanted to make sure everything was okay.”
Mulder clapped him on the shoulder. “We appreciate it. Especially knowing the others are safe. Meet our newest resident.”
Kevin looked over at the couch then and realized that Anne was holding a newborn. “Wow. I guess it was just as well you guys came here, huh? What is it?”
“A girl, Dana Ruth.”
Scully and Mulder both looked up quickly at those words.
Todd grinned, having joined the group, “We couldn’t figure out how to get Fox in there, so we went another direction.”
“She’ll be eternally grateful.” Mulder said dryly and took Lexie.
Katy had taken hold of one of Kevin’s hands and placed it on her stomach to warm it. “Oh, Katy, that’s too cold. Just a minute and I’ll hold you.” But she refused, looking after him as the others did their little ones. He looked up helplessly and Scully smiled at him.
“Between Mulder and I, she can’t help but be stubborn. Just go with it. Who went to the clinic?”
“Beth and family, all the Scullys and Scully-Skinners, Brittany. I stopped on the way here, Byers and Langly are fine. Didn’t head over to Bruce’s place, but they’re big guys. They should be able to look after themselves.”
Scully nodded. Her most beloved ones were safe, so that was one weight off of her mind. But how had Katy known Kevin was coming here? She’d been insistent, was it because she felt him, as Scully herself did on occasion?
She looked at both of her children, different as night and day in personality so far. Katy was much more demanding, sure of herself - the consummate princess. It wasn’t really fair to project a personality on Walt yet, but he seemed more self-effacing, making sure everyone else was okay before himself. She could no longer ignore the fact that he was good with babies. It made no sense, but it was almost as though he communicated with them. She cringed at the word that formed in her mind - telepathy.
Mulder saw that and frowned. What was wrong? He really did need some time alone with her. Hell, Kevin was here now so Katy was content, Walt would look after Lexie and Todd could play grown up.
She looked up at him, her thoughts interrupted. “Yes?”
He motioned for her to follow him into the bedroom, so after a quick look around at her charges, she did.
“I needed a minute alone.” He pulled her to him and she became aware of his arousal.
“Mulder, we have a house full of people!” She hissed at him, but he noted she didn’t exactly pull away either.
“Don’t worry, I’ll try to control myself, but what’s wrong?”
“Something’s bothering you.”
She looked down, away from his eyes. “How did Katy know Kevin was coming? She couldn’t have heard him.”
“Scully, I - “
“My babies cannot be using telepathy.”
Mulder blinked at that, and sat on the side of the bed, pulling her down beside him. “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?”
“It’s not funny, Mulder.” She leaned against his shoulder. “Katy could feel him coming.”
“You said you could feel the others that live here, in one degree or another. Why not her?”
Scully sighed against him. “I didn’t tell you what happened last night.”
His arm tightened around her, “What happened?”
She hesitated a second and then sank deeper into the comfort of him. “I got up, in the middle of the night, to check on Anne. When I got to the door, Walt just sat up, as though he’d been waiting for me and raised his arms to be picked up. I didn’t want him to wake you or Lexie, so I took him with me into the living room. Anne was asleep and Todd was sitting there, holding Ruth and watching them both. Mulder, Walt almost came out of my arms trying to reach Ruth. Todd didn’t seem to see anything wrong with it. Oh hell, there is nothing wrong with it, it’s just not normal.”
His hand came up and brushed that strand of hair off of her face, and waited.
“He just wanted to touch her, so we let him. Todd held the baby up to him and he touched her hand and her face. She squirmed a little, not like she was upset or anything, then relaxed back to sleep. Todd took her back to his lap and I put Walt down on the rug while I checked out Anne. Then I came back in here and I believe Walt was asleep before I put him in the crib.”
“He just wanted to make sure she was okay Scully.”
“He’s six months old. How can he tell if she’s ‘okay’ or not? And how did he get out of his bed to watch her being born? Mulder, he’s not even pulling up yet. Yes, he’s more advanced physically than Katy or Lexie, but still . . . “
“Scully,” She could see Mulder’s mind racing toward a theory. “He was born after you recovered. After you started . . . feeling the others. He had to have gotten it from you. Katy too, but to a lesser degree because it hadn’t fully formed in you yet.”
“What? What hadn’t formed in me? Mulder - “
He kissed her forehead. “I don’t know. But Scully, hasn’t it been beneficial? I mean, you were able to warn us about this winter, Walt cured Lexie’s colic - “
“But it’s not scientifically possible!”
He smiled at her then, “I haven’t heard you say that in years. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. Scully, if we’re talking scientific possibilities, how did you get pregnant in the first place? They’re our kids, look at them. But they’re not scientifically possible.”
Her shoulders slumped at that, she couldn’t disagree. She heard Lexie began to cry and started to rise.
“We do need to talk about this, Scully.”
She nodded and came into his arms once again. “I’ll meet you here later.”
“Good idea.” His lips sought hers and took possession of them for a moment, then he released her. Lexie was already quiet, obviously Walt had gotten to her, but they needed to get back to their company.
Kevin put Katy down and stood when they returned. “I need to start back. They’ll be worrying about me by now.”
“I don’t like you out there alone, Kevin.” Scully spoke immediately. “After you leave, how do we know you’re safe?”
Kevin grinned at her, “Well, I’m not planning on making the trip back and forth too many times just to prove I can.”
“Scully’s right though, we need to know you’ve made it back safe.” Mulder pursed his lips and looked over at Todd. “How do we anchor him here and still let him leave?”
“Anchor him? What about fishing line?”
“Yes! We can tie it off here and he can reel himself back to the clinic, then tie it off there. Then the next person - “
“Right! A guide back and forth in case of emergencies.” Todd grinned. “Even this wind won’t go though fifty pound test line.”
“That’s good guys, but how do we know he’s gotten there?” Scully asked.
“Okay,” Mulder looked back at Todd. “Flares?”
“You got any here?”
“I think so, from one of those car kits you brought in. He should take two. Kevin, if you get in trouble, set off one. We’ll follow the line to you. When you get to the clinic safely, set off both and we’ll know you’re there.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Kevin grinned, “cause much as I enjoy your company, I don’t want to do this again soon.” Katy pulled as his leg. “Except of course for you, Katy.” He picked her up and gave her another hug, then set about getting dressed to go back out.
Mulder located the flares while Todd attached the fishing line to the doorpost of the porch, wrapping the line around a large nail, then twice around the post and hammering it in.
“What’s the visibility out there Kevin?” Mulder tucked the flares deep into his pocket.
“About six inches. Don’t worry, but give me at least thirty minutes to get to the clinic. It is slow going.”
Mulder nodded and clapped him on the shoulder. This young man was technically young enough to be his son, but he’d become a valued friend and co-worker. Mulder had no doubt that he had volunteered to come check on his family.
“Take it easy, Kevin. Keep your nose and mouth covered.”
He nodded, already too bundled to do much more and after seeing that the kids were covered, plunged back outside.
He stumbled onto the porch and into Walter’s arms, unable to stop himself. Charlie grabbed his other arm and they helped him inside.
He dropped the reel of fishing wire from his numb hands and Will grabbed it up. “Does this lead to Mulder’s house?”
Kevin nodded wearily.
“Smart thinking. You okay, Kevin?”
He managed to nod. “You . . . you need to set off . . . set off both flares. They’ll know I made it.”
“I’ve got them Walter. You and Will get him on inside.” Charlie took the flares from his shivering hand and pulled his own hood back over his head. He set off both flares then wrapped the fishing line around a post on the front porch several times. It would hold until they could do something more permanent.
By the time Charlie got back inside, Kevin had been undressed and was wrapped in a blanket in front of the fire, a mug of hot tea in his hand.
“Don’t enjoy playing in the snow anymore, huh?” He joined the group around the shivering man.
Kevin shook his head. “I’ve had enough snow to last me for a while. Oh, Anne had a girl, Dana Ruth.”
“What!” That brought a flurry of excitement and at least a dozen questions.
Finally he held up his hand, “Everyone’s fine. Walt checked her out. Mulder and Scully delivered her at their house. Todd didn’t make it there in time, but he’s okay with it since Mulder was there.”
Walter shook his head and rolled his eyes. Maggie punched him lightly in the ribs. “Sorry, but wanting to have Mulder attend a birth is always going to be a little weird to me. I know, I know…” He grinned down at his wife. “Remember, he was a thorn in my side a long time before he became some kind of world savior.”
“Did you say Walt checked her out?” Mary asked, positive she had misunderstood.
“That’s what Todd told me. He got up with Scully in the middle of the night. She checked on Anne and he checked on Ruth. I swear, that’s what he said.”
“He had to be joking, right?” She looked around at the others in front of the fire.
Langly shrugged and Kevin noticed for the first time that he and Byers had made it to the clinic. “He’s Mulder and Scully’s son. I’m not planning to be surprised at anything he does. I do remember when he got Lexie to quit crying, and I for one am very grateful.”
Charlie grinned, “Hey, I think all the neighbors are pleased with that one. It would be Krycek’s daughter that kept us all up.”
Maggie tapped him on the knee. “She’s Dana and Fox’s daughter now.”
Charlie nodded, “You’re right. Sorry.” He lifted Missy onto his lap and as though attached by rubber bands, MJ moved to his other knee. He grinned and looked up at Frohike. “I always wondered what twins would be like, but I did expect to father them both.”
Skinner leaned back and watched the group laugh and felt the companionship. It was terrible outside. People were no doubt suffering from this storm somewhere. But he was here, home, with his family. Now he knew everyone was safe.