Scully opened her office door and let them in. “This is more private.” Megan and Greg sat in front of her desk, so she sat behind the desk. This obviously was an official visit. She should have realized it by the way they approached her.
“So, you wanted to talk to me?”
“Well, yes.” Megan looked down at her hands. “We, uh, we’ve been . . . we want to have a baby and . . . “
Scully blinked. Now that wasn’t a problem she had encountered before. Not
here. “Okay, I’ll need to take a medical history. Listen, would you mind if
Walt were in here, while we did this?”
Megan and Greg exchanged looks. “Walt? Uh, no, I guess not.”
“Good, I’ll be right back.” She let herself out of the office, shutting the door behind her. There weren’t many secrets here, but this didn’t have to be broadcast.
Scully found Walt playing in the classroom and he came to her as soon as she opened the door. She smiled and took his hand. “We’ll be back in just a little while.”
“Sure. He hasn’t had his lunch.” Frohike advised her.
“Okay. I’ll feed him before we come back.” She pulled the door closed and they walked back to the room she used as an office. Just outside the door, she knelt down. “Honey, Megan and Greg are in there. They want to have a baby, like Frohike and Beth, but they can’t. Do you think that we could help them?”
The young boy smiled at her, but of course didn’t speak. It was rare that Walt even said “mama” or “dada”. Lexie made up for it, talking all the time, so things evened out. She rose to her feet and opened the door.
The nervous couple still sat where she had left them, but they were holding hands now. “Sorry for the interruption.” She picked up Walt and handed him to Megan. The baby made himself comfortable in her lap and Scully resumed her seat behind the desk.
“So, how long have you been trying?” If it was just since they’d been here, it wasn’t that long.
“Well, when we arrived and, and felt safe . . . I know it hasn’t been that long.” Megan mirrored her thoughts.
Megan stopped as Walt started to climb out of her lap. They all watched as he made it to his feet, and walked over to Greg. He started climbing into Greg’s lap and the young man lifted him up and placed him on his knee.
Scully couldn’t think of anything to say, but then neither could the other two, so all three just sat watching the boy. Without warning, Walt scrambled down and stood between Greg’s legs, then his small hand closed on his groin.
Greg jerked, his eyes huge, but he managed not to pull away and hurt the boy. “Scully?” His voice was a little high. “What’s going on?”
“I . . . I don’t know. He’s never - “
“Warm, warm! He’s, uh, Scully . . . “ His voice went up another octave. Greg was torn between jerking away from Mulder’s son without hurting him or getting back possession of the family jewels.
Then, as suddenly as he began, Walt released the man and wandered over to the basket of toys in the corner behind his mother’s desk. No one else moved for a long moment.
Scully managed to recover first. “Greg? Are you . . . “
“Maybe we should go.” The problem was, he wasn’t sure he could stand.
Scully wasn’t sure either, so she continued to talk, grasping at her atrophied memory of infertility classes. “Greg, did you have mumps as a child?”
“Uh, no. I had a shot.” He forced himself to lean back and try to relax.
“What about an injury in your groin area, football or something?”
“No, not that I . . .” he stopped then, and glanced over at Megan. “In basic training, I was on an obstacle course and had to climb this wall. As I was going over the top . . . “ He stopped then and met Scully’s eyes. “Do you think . . .”
“Greg, I honestly don’t know what to think. I haven’t examined you and in light of what just happened, I don’t think today would be a good time. I think you should go on home, and refrain from physical relations tonight. If there is no change . . . just continue as you normally do, tomorrow or the day after. Let’s see if Walt did anything. For now, that’s all I have to suggest. Let me read up . . . “ She glanced at the boy for an instant, “and maybe I can teach him a better bedside manner.”
Greg attempted a weak smile, Megan not even that, then both rose from their chairs. Scully rose as well and walked them to the door, shutting it behind them. Scully made her way back to her chair and collapsed into it with a huge exhalation of breath, then turned to Walt.
He looked up and abandoned the toys moving to her side.
“Walt, what did you do?”
He looked up at her solemnly, then climbed into her lap. She felt herself relaxing immediately. They sat that way for a little while, then she remembered that he hadn’t had lunch, so they moved to the kitchen.
Beth was there, scrapping dishes from the other kids’ meals. She stretched as she straightened up, massaging her lower back a little. “Dana?”
“Just need to feed Walt.” Scully deflected Beth from asking what she’d been doing. “How are you?”
“Pregnant.” Beth answered, rubbing the small mound that appeared as the child within her extended an arm or leg. “Very pregnant.”
“Well not for much longer.” Scully offered as she settled Walt at the counter.
“I hope not. She’s already bigger than MJ was. I’m sure of it.”
Scully watched Beth’s face, “But how do you feel?”
“Oh, I’m fine. Melvin was freaking this morning. I had three Braxton-Hicks in a row, pretty close together, then nothing.”
“Well, I’d eat light for the next several days if I were you.”
Beth nodded, then waddled off down to the hall toward the clinic.
"Come in." Scully responded to the tap on her door, and smiled when Megan stuck her head in.
"Are you busy?"
"Nothing that can't wait. I was going to look for you in a little while. Is Greg okay?"
"Yes and no. Walt really caught him off guard." Scully visualized the look on Greg's face when Walt had grabbed his manhood and mentally shook her head.
"I think he did all of us, Megan. No aftereffects?"
"No, we, uh, like you said we didn't . . . last night . . . "
"That was probably an unnecessary precaution, but I knew he was . . . rattled by events."
"Rattled is one word for it." Megan finally gave her a small smile. "Do you, do you think it could have helped?" The words spilled out.
"I don't know Megan. I wish I did. The fact that Greg remembered an injury is significant. I'm sure Walt - "
"I know I shouldn't be so anxious." Megan interrupted her. "But now that we're here, it seems so important, more than when we were out there. You're so fortunate to have all of your children here, healthy and safe."
All of her children - the words were like a blow. No, all of her children weren't here, nor healthy and safe. It was like a physical blow. How long since she'd thought of Emily? What kind of woman was she to have kept the thoughts of her first child at bay for so long? She closed her eyes at the pain the memories generated in her heart.
"Scully?" Megan's voice brought her back to the present. "Are you okay?"
"Yes, I'm fine. A little headache. Megan, the last thing you should do is get anxious about this. I went over the information you left Beth, and your cycle seems regular. You should be at a good time to try in a couple of days. We can check on things then and see if there's anything more we . . . Walt, could do. In the meantime, try to keep busy."
Megan nodded, "That's not a problem. I should get over to Brittany's. We're still doing inventory on all of the things Greg and the others brought in." She rose from the chair, "Anyway, Greg's calmed down. That's what I really wanted to tell you. That and thank you."
"I haven't done anything. Go on, tell Brittany I'll be over later."
Megan smiled and let herself out.
Scully's eyes closed again. Emily. As though the loss were fresh, grief flooded her as well as guilt. The little girl could have been so happy here, with all of these people to love her, be her family, instead of the short, painful life . . . How could she have put the child out of her mind? The child hadn't even had a proper burial, stolen in death as she had been in life. Tears made their way down her cheeks.
Katy watched as Anne took the cookies off the cookie sheet. "They're cool enough now."
"Can I take Momma one?"
Anne smiled, "Of course you can. Which one?" Katy pointed to the biggest one on the plate and Anne chuckled. "Okay and how about this one for you?"
Katy nodded exuberantly and took the cookies, one in each hand, then jumped down from the stool and headed toward her mother's office. "Thanks!"
"You're welcome." Anne called after her and turned back to the oven.
Katy hurried down the hall, anxious to show her mother her latest baking creation, but stopped half way to the room. A frown furrowed her brow. She stood shock still for a long moment, then whispered, "No!" She turned and raced out of the clinic, the cookies in her hands forgotten.
Kevin stretched and rubbed his neck, looking away from the work chart he'd been assembling. So much to do. Everyone worked, the people here were responsible and eager to make the place better, but there was always more than they could do.
He jerked as the door burst open and the dark haired little girl raced around the desk and threw herself into his arms. "No! I'm Momma's daughter."'
Kevin blinked, his arms automatically going around the precious child. "Katy? What are you talking about? Did Lexie . . . " That was dumb, the kids here got along perfectly - almost too well. It was as though they couldn't fight because they knew each other too well.
“Baby, talk to me. What happened?”
Kevin shook his head, “I don’t know an Emily. Where did you hear the name?”
“Momma was thinking about her, about how she was Momma’s first baby.”
“Katy, I don’t . . . I’m sure you are your Mom and Dad’s oldest child. Maybe she was - “
“Momma was crying because she was dead.”
Dead? Had Mulder and Scully had a child before? No, nothing had ever been said. But what about Scully? Had she . . . What would have caused Scully to think, or cry, about something like that today?
“Maybe you misunderstood Katy. Come on, let’s go find your Dad and talk to him.”
“No. I don’t want to. They didn’t tell me. I told them about all the other kids we know. Why didn’t they tell me about her?”
Kevin was at a loss now. He didn’t for a moment doubt what Katy had ‘heard’, but how was he supposed to handle it? He cuddled her against his chest trying not to feel. He certainly didn’t want Katy picking up any judgment on his part, especially concerning her mother. Besides Scully had a life before Mulder, if she’d had a child . . . Did Mulder know? He pushed it aside, comforting Katy.
Mulder tapped on Scully's office door. "Busy?"
She looked up and managed a smile, "I think I can work you in."
"Why don't we take dinner home tonight? We can tuck the kids in early and . . . "
"And, Agent Mulder?" Her eyebrow rising.
"I have a new theory to run by you, maybe even a slide show." He nodded rapidly.
She couldn't help it, she laughed. Then she rose and settled herself in his lap. "You are just what I needed."
"I've been telling you that for years."
She sighed and the smile slipped from her face.
"Scully?" His arms tightened around her.
She took a deep breath, "Megan came by earlier. She said something . . . "
His brow furrowed, Megan? What in the world had that meek little woman said to Scully? He wasn't sure he'd heard a full sentence from her since he'd gone to welcome them. "Baby, what did she say?" He tucked the hair behind her ear and saw the tears in her eyes. "Scully?"
"She didn't know, she didn't . . . she congratulated me, us, on having all of our children here and safe." A tear escaped. "Do you know how long it's been since I thought about Emily?"
"Oh Scully." His arms tightened around her.
"We haven't talked about her, I haven't . . . how could I forget her?"
"You didn't forget her. She's always with you. You've been involved with everything here. Emily is safe now. You've been busy keeping the rest of us that way."
"Mulder, I haven't even - "
"You haven't tortured yourself. You love her, you always will. Don't do this Scully. Megan caught you off guard, but look at what a wonderful mother you are."
She buried her face in his chest.
"Come on, let's go home. We can cuddle with our kids and they can tell you what a great Mom you are. Scully, Emily is part of our family. She always has been and she always will be. I'll get dinner, you round up the kids." He kissed her and set her on her feet.
Scully met him in the kitchen a few minutes later with the two little ones. "Is Katy here?"
"No, I haven't seen her. Anne?"
"She was here earlier. She helped me bake some cookies. She didn't come back after she took yours to you."
"Katy didn't bring me a cookie."
Anne looked up, concern evident on her face. "I . . . she was just going down the hall."
"Anne, you didn't do anything wrong. Maybe she went home. It's safe here. We'll go check." Mulder picked up Lexie as Scully took Walt into her arms. "Come on."
Scully seemed to be in a fog. He waited until they were alone, "Scully?"
"Is she okay?"
"Scully, you know she is. You'd know and look at Walt. He's not concerned."
She looked down at the little boy in her arms. His eyes, so like his father's met hers and smiled. Her chest eased.
They both went silent when she wasn't at the house. "Mulder, she's okay, but she's not here. I want - "
The knock at the door caused her to spin, but Mulder was already moving. "Kevin, Katy! We were . . . worried. You shouldn't go off without telling us. You know that Honey." She looked up at him and he saw the tears. "Katy? Baby what is it?"
"Um, she's a little . . . confused and . . . Maybe I should go." Katy gripped Kevin's hand.
"I think we all want you to stay, help us understand what's going on."
Kevin looked decidedly uncomfortable, which surprised Mulder.
"Katy, uh Katy heard you earlier today." He glanced at Scully and quickly away as though he didn’t want to face her.
"She thinks you had . . ." How was he supposed to confront Scully with this? Having a child with another man. Did Mulder even know? This was none of his business. He looked at Mulder and his anguish caused both adults to move closer to him. "Emily." He said miserably.
"Oh my god." Scully looked at Mulder, then down at Katy. "I'm sorry, Katy I'm so sorry you found out like . . . " She looked up at Mulder again.
"Katy, come here." Mulder took her into his arms, and sat on the couch with her. He motioned for Kevin to take the chair. Scully sat beside Mulder.
"Who was Emily?" Katy looked up at Mulder.
"She was your sister. She died a long time ago."
"Why didn't you give her your blood?"
"It was different. Our blood couldn't help her."
"Did you love her?"
"Yes." He answered immediately, "But I didn't know her very long. She wasn't born like you and Walt were. She was mom's baby, but Mom didn't have her."
Kevin blink, but Katy seemed to understand, from whatever Mulder was thinking.
"They stole her before she was born?" Katy asked.
"Yes. We didn't even know about her until she was three years old. She was really sick then, and . . . and we couldn't save her."
Katy searched his face, "Were you her Daddy?"
"Not like I am yours and Walt's. But she was part of your Mom, so she was automatically part of me."
Scully's eyes widened, but she couldn't speak.
"We should have told you about her before. She's not a secret, Honey, we . . . "
"We're sorry Katy. Can you forgive me?" Scully spoke finally.
"Will you tell me about her?"
Scully nodded, "I have a picture. Would you like to see her?"
The little girl nodded and took her mother's hand. They went into the bedroom. Kevin sat, not sure what to do. Finally he met Mulder's eyes. "I'm sorry, I . . . "
Mulder shook his head, "She was Scully's. Katy picked that up. We didn't mean to keep her a secret. It hurts Scully to think about her. She was . . . created, not born. Maybe her adoptive parents loved her, but nothing could give her a life."
"I should get out of here."
"She ran to you for comfort, and you gave it to her. We appreciate that."
Kevin shrugged, "I guess we bonded that week, when she was so little."
Mulder nodded, then both men turned as Katy and Scully returned to the room. "Kevin, want to see my sister?"
Kevin saw the tears form in Scully's eyes. "I sure do."
Katy hurried to him and showed him the picture. "She doesn't look like me, but Momma says she looks like my Aunt Melissa. That was Momma's sister."
Mulder moved to Scully and pulled her against him. "You okay?"
Her arms tightened around him, but she didn't speak. Finally Mulder sat her on the couch. "Kevin, we haven't eaten yet. Why don't you join us?"
"No, really I should - "
"Please, Kevin!" Katy implored.
"Yes, please Kevin. We'd love to have you." Scully spoke softly.
He met her eyes and after a moment nodded. Why had it even crossed his mind that this woman would keep anything from Mulder? That was a mistake he would never make again.
Scully looked up surprised when the door opened. “Hey, I thought you were asleep.” She spoke to her oldest daughter.
“Beth needs you.” Katy looked over as Walt and Lexie joined her.
Scully looked over at Mulder, “I knew it wouldn’t be long.”
“Mom, she wants you to hurry.”
That startled her and she turned to Mulder. “Come on.”
He nodded and picked up the two little ones. “What about coats.”
“Let’s just go.” Scully had the door open and Katy took off first.
Mulder went after her and Scully shut the door. “Who’s at the clinic tonight?” He asked as he fell in beside her.
“Well, Alex will be there. I’m not sure who’s in the lab.”
“Okay. He can keep an eye on the kids.”
Scully nodded, her mind already on the upcoming birth.
They opened the door to find Alex reaching for the knob. “Hey, I was just on my way; Frohike brought Beth in.” He looked down at the kids, “But you already know that. I don’t know, but you might want to go on in.”
Mulder handed over both little ones and hurried after Scully.
Beth was hunched over the bed, supporting herself on her arms as Frohike rubbed her back. “Hey guys, I’m glad to see you.” He glanced over at them.
“Let me check you out Beth.” Scully motioned for Mulder to help Frohike get her on the bed. “Has your water broken?”
Beth shook her head, another contraction already in control. Scully felt her abdomen, it was a strong one.
“I don’t think this will take long, Beth. Try to stay on top of it.”
“Umm.” Beth took a cleansing breath. “I already want to push.”
Scully’s eyes widened. “I’ll hurry, try not to tense up.” She did a very quick exam. “How long have you been having contractions?”
“They just started, but they came on with a bang.” Beth started to smile, but it was cut short.
“Well you’re already at eight. I don’t want you walking around. If I break your water . . . “
When Beth got her breath, she nodded. “Do it.”
Scully nodded, this was already intense and there had been no easing into it. She broke Beth’s water quickly and Beth moaned as another contraction seized her.
“I know there’s not much time, but try to relax between them Beth.” She turned to the cabinet and spotted Mulder’s face. This never got easier for him, and she knew that every contraction reminded him of what she’d gone through alone. He met her eyes and she smiled at him. He approached her.
"Guess Katy was right."
She nodded, "It's good to have a short labor, but this . . . "
Scully’s attention was wrenched back to Beth. “I see her Beth. Push gently, not too hard.”
Frohike was supporting her, and while Mulder was trying to stay out of the way, Scully needed things. His hand closed on the bulb syringe as he heard Scully.
“Beth, the head’s out. Don’t push okay? Let me . . . “ She took the bulb from Mulder’s hand and smiled her thanks, quickly suctioning the nose and mouth. The infant took a breath and cried out.
“Hey, wait until you're born kid.” Mulder muttered, but by the time the words were out, so was the child, red and squalling and pinking up beautifully.
Scully laid the tiny girl on her mother’s stomach as Beth reached for her. Frohike’s hand came up as well to touch their miracle. The baby calmed then, hiccupping as warmth returned with their hands and then towels.
Scully quickly tied off the cord and handed the scissors to Frohike, who made short work of severing the umbilical.
Mulder watched Beth gaze at her daughter, tears escaping her eyes. “Mulder.”
He turned to Frohike then, whose face was streaming with tears. “Damn man, without you . . . “ He threw his arms around the larger man. Mulder returned the hug; his own eyes beginning to prickle with unshed tears.
Scully cleared her throat, forestalling her own emotions. “Let’s finish this up.”
“Yeah.” Frohike wrapped his daughter and placed her easily into Mulder’s arms, then was supporting Beth again.
Mulder looked into the baby’s eyes. She returned his gaze and seemed to find him acceptable, yawning and closing her eyes. Mulder almost chuckled, Frohike’s daughter for sure.
“Mulder, can you take this to the lab?”
“Sure.” He gently returned the baby to Beth’s arms and picked up the basin holding the placenta and cord. He placed a sterile cloth over the container and turned to the door, but Scully’s hand stopped him. She rose up on tiptoe and kissed him.
“Without you . . . “ She shook her head and he gave her another kiss, then opened the door.
He glanced toward the main room and stopped. “Scully, come here a minute.”
She looked up at him, then turned to see where he was looking.
The main room was full. Every child was there, even Ruthie.
MJ looked up, “Is she out?”
Mulder grinned, “Yeah, she’s out.”
MJ rose to his feet and dusted off his pants, and took a step toward the door. He turned back then, to Missy. “Come on.” She took the hand he held out. The others rose as well, with Katy walking over to take Ruthie in her arms. Then all of the children moved toward Beth’s room.
Scully just stood there, mouth agape. Will approached Katy, “Want some help, Squirt?” He took Ruthie from her, since the baby wasn’t that much smaller than the little girl.
Katy allowed it, but narrowed her eyes at him. “I am not a squirt.”
“Yes ma’am.” He grinned.
Mulder turned to Todd after they had entered the room to inspect their newest arrival. “What was that all about?”
Todd shook his head. “Damned if I know. But Ruthie was coming here whether we brought her or not. Anne looked out the window and saw the parade.” He shrugged, “They’re connected.”
Mulder nodded, “I thought it was just Walt.”
Charlie chimed in, “Nope, they were the same when Ruthie was born, they just couldn’t get to her in the snow. I guess Walt was their designee.”
Mulder looked back at the room. “I better get back in there.”
“Yeah, I'll take the cord to the lab.”
“Oh, thanks.” Mulder returned in time to see each of the children touch the infant, as though bonding with her somehow. The adults in the room were quiet, watching. Almost immediately upon completion of the ‘ceremony’, Ruthie fell asleep and Lexie’s eyes began drooping.
“Come on guys, it’s past bedtime.” Will herded them toward the door with Tricia and Sam’s help. Each of the older ones taking a baby in their arms. “We’ll put ‘em down in the classroom, Mulder. Good night.”
The door closed and the four adults looked at each other.
“Well,” Mulder finally spoke. “I’d say everything’s done here. Have you named her?”
“Oh yeah.” Frohike spoke up, “We thought about Foxy, but the connotation . . . .”
Mulder glared at him as Scully chucked. “We decided on Dana Louise. Louise was my mother’s name.” Frohike glanced back at his new daughter safe in his wife’s arms.
“Beth, you don’t - “
“We want to Dana, and Anne didn’t mind. We’ll probably call her Louise, like they use Ruthie.”
“Thank you.” Scully looked embarrassed, but pleased.
With Byers in the lab, and Frohike at Beth’s side, not to mention all of the children tucked in, Mulder was able to convince Scully to use one of the upstairs rooms for the night, just the two of them.
It was only about a week later when he came out of the bedroom to see the kids at the table, having their breakfast. Scully looked up and smiled, his grin widened. He planted a quick good morning kiss on each of the children's heads, then let his arms snake around her from behind and nuzzled her ear.
"You were in a great mood last night."
"Shh." She hissed at him, even as she moved her hips against him.
"Oh come on, you're so purple even I can see it this morning."
"Mulder - " her tone was warning, which didn't intimidate him in the least.
Something made them glance over at the kids. They had all stopped eating, Lexie with spoon in the air. Then Katy grinned and the other two smiled at her.
"What?" Mulder finally asked.
"We have a new sister."
Scully felt Mulder stiffen behind her, his whole body tense, even as his big warm hand covered her abdomen protectively. She glanced up at him, but he didn't seem to notice.
"You, you mean your Mom and I - "
Katy looked surprised, "No, she's not here."
"I don't understand." Mulder sank into his chair at the table, pulling Scully down into his lap.
Katy looked at the two little ones, but they weren't much help. "The babies that are born, out there, the ones after the shots. We call them our sisters and brothers."
Mulder glanced at Scully, whose mouth had fallen open.
"You are . . . aware of these kids?"
"Sure. It's like . . . they're like little birthday candles. But this new one, she's the strongest yet, like, like three candles. She's almost as strong as Ruthie."
"Ruthie." Scully finally spoke.
"Yeah. They're getting stronger."
"What do you mean Honey?" Mulder asked quietly.
"Well, it seems like the longer since the Mom and Dad had the shot, the stronger the . . . " She shrugged.
"Signal?" Mulder offered.
"So, huh, who's the strongest?"
"Me and Walt of course."
"Walt and I." Scully said automatically.
Katy rolled her eyes slightly, but dutifully repeated, "Walt and I. Then Lexie, then Ruthie or Louise. They're about the same, then MJ and Missy. The others, the ones that live away, are weaker, but we can feel them.
"Lexie's that strong?"
"Yeah, her Alex Daddy had the shot a long time ago."
"Her Alex Daddy." Mulder said.
Daddy, she understands.
Mulder nodded, yeah but did he?
Scully touched his cheek to draw him back. "You can all feel them? MJ? Everyone?"
"Sure." Mulder repeated. "Uh, listen, we need to finish getting ready. You guys eat and your Mom and I will get dressed."
"You're already dressed." Katy offered.
"I think I want to change." He put Scully on her feet, then took her hand and led her into the bedroom.
"What do you think of that?" Mulder asked as Scully sank onto the foot of the bed.
She closed her eyes and shook her head. "I can't feel them. I don't doubt it, but I can't . . . “
"When do I quit being surprised at what these kids can do? Do we tell everyone about this?"
"Maybe just Walter for now?" She asked.
"Yeah, for now. I like that." He leaned over and kissed her, then turned toward the closet.
He stopped and looked at her. "Yeah?"
"Your, um, your reaction to the thought that I might be pregnant. Would it be that bad?"
"We, uh, we agreed no more - "
"I know, and three kids are plenty, but . . . God, Mulder, that was your panic face."
"No. No, I wasn't . . . okay, I have a little hang up about you having kids."
"A little hang up."
He sighed and sat beside her on the bed. "You are the most important thing to me. You know that. And when I remember . . . Scully, right after Katy was born was when you got so sick. For weeks I was afraid to close my eyes in case you weren't there when I woke up."
She blinked at that, but didn't interrupt.
He gave her a half grin, "And we both know I was more traumatized than you were by Walt's birth."
"Mulder." She caressed his shoulder.
"Just for the record, I want all the kids you'll give me."
She smiled then and let her head come to rest on his shoulder. "I knew about Walt. You should have told me about Katy. I didn't realize."
He pulled her close. "Any time you're in danger, I'm traumatized. You know that."
"Yes, I know that."
"Do you want another baby?"
"I . . . not really. I think we have a great family."
"Okay, I . . . "
"You understand, don't you? My reaction? You know it's not . . . "
"Yes, I understand. Thank you."
He leaned in to kiss her. "You're welcome." He rose to his feet and held out a hand to her. "You know I'm always willing to try . . . "
She swatted at him, the twinkle in his eyes relaxing her the rest of the way. Funny, she'd never associated her illness with the birth, but they had come close together. Katy had only been a month old. Yes, she could see what he meant. She stood watching him as he pulled on a sweater.
He turned, "What?"
"Just admiring the view."
"You better be careful, my wife's the jealous type."
"Don't think I could take her?"
"I don't think I can take her. Scully, you know we've left the kids out there feeding themselves."
"Oh my god!" She was out the door even as she heard him laugh behind her.
"So I have all these grandchildren I haven't even met yet. Is that what you're saying?" Walter watched Mulder.
The comment finally brought a smile to the younger man's face. "Yep. If we ever get a presidency going again, you can be the real father of the country."
"Thanks, but no thanks. You haven't told anyone else?"
Mulder shook his head. "The scene when Louise was born seemed to freak a few people out. I'd just as soon hold off."
"I agree. You know Maggie was one of the ones freaked, don't you?"
Mulder looked him in the eyes then. "No, I hadn't realized that."
"She knew about what you and Scully did for a living, in a way. Then we were colonized, for real, and she handled it. But the Bill thing . . . she's better, but Mulder that shook her to her core. She . . . she may never completely recover from that. The kids . . . 'powers' are just a little too much for now."
Mulder nodded, "Should I say anything to Scully?"
Walter shook his head. "No. Wouldn't do any good. At least she's able to talk to me about it some now. I will look after her."
"I never doubted it." He smiled at Walter then, "What's on for today."
Mulder put the kids' ability aside, there was always plenty of work to do, and there wasn't anything he could do about it anyway. He was helping patch a roof when it happened - Katy's voice screaming in his head. He dropped the shingles and turned to Kevin, "I have to . . . the clinic." And he was racing in that direction.
Katy was in the kitchen with Anne, getting out the spoons and forks for the lunch crowd when she stopped and whimpered. She let the silverware fall to the floor and ran from the room.
"Walt!" The other kids were already moving toward her and everyone at the clinic looked up startled when Louise and Ruthie both began to howl. No one could remember either baby ever doing that.
Beth and Anne both raced for the classroom. Katy already had Ruthie, but MJ wasn't able to get Louise from the crib. Beth picked up the infant. "MJ, you know you can't carry her."
"Then you bring her. Come on!" The boy demanded, following Katy and the others from the room.
Beth blinked, but found herself doing as he said. The children were now assembled on the large couch in the main room, watching the front door.
Scully, as startled as the rest, moved to Katy. "Honey, what is it?"
"She's burned. We have to - " Mulder burst into the clinic at that point and looked at Scully questioningly.
She shook her head, at a loss.
"Here! Daddy, sit here." Katy pointed to the center of the couch. She gave him Ruthie, then turned to Beth. "Give him Louise, hurry." Beth didn't hesitate. The other children crowded around him then, Walt and Katy on either side with MJ, Missy and Lexie at his feet. All had both hands touching him. Walt closed his eyes first, then the others followed. Mulder's eyes closed last after a look at Scully.
The adults stood silent, watching the tableau in wonder. As other adults converged, seeing Mulder race for the clinic was enough to stop all work, they remained silent.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Mulder opened his eyes. All of the children seemed to sag against him. Even he sounded exhausted. "Nurse the two little ones, then put them to bed. We need to make pallets for the others. Keep them together, let them sleep on the floor of the classroom."
The others hurried to obey. Kevin lifted Katy into his arms as Walter took Walt. Alex picked up Lexie and Byers hefted MJ into his arms and helped Mary lift Missy. Langly and Becky rushed to lay out mats and blankets.
Scully approached Mulder and had to help him to his feet. Then held him as Todd and Charlie rushed to stand at his side. "I'm okay, just tired."
"Come lie down." Scully led the way as the two men supported Mulder to the examining room. He sank onto the bed. "Would you rather go home?"
"Couldn't . . . make it. Need to sleep." His eyes were already closing.
Scully pulled a blanket over him and looked at Charlie. "We'll stay here, Sis. Go check on the kids."
She nodded, but couldn't seem to make herself leave his side. Finally Charlie put his arm around her and led her to the door.
"We won't leave him."
"Check his vitals. I'll be right back." She drew on her doctor persona and forced some steel into her spine.
The children were all asleep, with their worried parents watching over them. Maggie sat in the chair between the cribs and looked pale. Beth straightened from checking Missy.
"They're okay, just asleep." She reported to Scully.
"You're sure?" Beth nodded. "Then they should have some quiet. Beth, you and Anne stay here. Everyone else should wait out in the main room. I'm not asking you to leave, just . . . just let them sleep for a while. Don't worry, we'll keep a very close eye on everyone. Please."
She herded Byers, Langly, Kevin and the others toward the door. She hesitated when she spotted Mary. "If you want to stay - "
"It's okay. Beth's here. I know she'll look after Missy like her own. I think I'll get everyone something to drink. We need to relax."
Scully nodded. "Thanks." She turned back to Beth. "We okay here?"
"Yes. Go check on Mulder. If I need you . . . " They squeezed hands and Scully returned to the other room.
Mulder hadn't moved. Todd rose when she entered. "The kids?"
"They're asleep too. I guess we wait."
Charlie took her arm. "Here, sit."
She did and closed her eyes for a moment. When she opened them, she managed a small smile for the two worried men. "Go find your wives. Anne's with the kids, I think Mary's in the kitchen."
"If you want me to stay - "
"No. Go on. I'd like to be alone with him. Don't worry, I'm fine." Charlie nodded and followed Todd to the door. "Charlie," he stopped and looked back, "Check on Mom."
"Sure thing. We're right out here." He closed the door quietly behind him. She sat watching her precious husband sleep as the scene she'd witnessed kept replaying in front of her. When he finally stirred, she was on her feet immediately.
He opened his eyes, obviously trying to place himself. He spotted her, "Scully? What - "
She sat on the side of the bed. "It's okay Mulder. How many fingers - "
He closed his hand around her fingers and drew them to her lips. "Hey, I'm fine." To his utter shock, she burst into tears. He sat up quickly and drew her into his arms. "It's okay Baby, it's okay. Sssh." He held her until she could get some control and only released her when she pulled away.
"What happened? Mulder, what the hell was that?" Her voice was still shaky.
"I don't know for sure. Esther, she was screaming."
He shrugged. "We're going to have to talk to Katy."
"The kids all fell asleep too. They're together, like you said, in the classroom."
"Like I said? Listen, I'm okay. We should go check - "
"Everyone's here. They saw you tearing for this place and they all followed. They all saw . . . "
"What did they see?"
"You, with the children around you, touching you. Then you opened your eyes and told us to put the kids down. It took Charlie and Todd to get you in here. The kids were asleep before we could move them."
He shook his head. "Whatever it was, we can't hide it. We need to get out there. It would probably help if they didn't see you've been crying."
She nodded, dashing the remaining tears from her cheeks. He kissed her cheeks and eyes, and finally lips. “I am okay. So are the kids. You can feel that, can’t you?”
She seemed to go inside of herself for a moment. “Yes.” She said faintly, “I was just so scared.”
He pulled her close again. “Come on.” He rose and put his arm around her, then moved out into the hall.
The large room was amazingly quiet to have so many people in it and it went silent at the sight of him. That brought a grin to his face, “Why couldn’t I do that when I worked at the Bureau?”
Walter responded dryly, “You were the only Spooky one then.”
Mulder chuckled. “Hey guys, I’m fine and so are the kids. I don’t have an explanation. We’ll have to wait for Katy, but we’re okay. I am hungry though.”
Becky rose instantly and headed for the kitchen as they made room for him on the couch. The others kept their questions to themselves as he ate. They believed him that he had no explanation, but it didn’t help.
They all jumped when the classroom door opened and Anne came out, holding Katy’s hand. “She’s hungry too.” Mulder spoke immediately and a sandwich appeared almost instantly.
Katy, rubbing her eyes, crawled into Mulder’s lap and ate quickly. When she was finished and relaxing contentedly against him, he finally spoke. “Katy Sweetie, we need to know what that was all about.”
She sighed, “Esther was burned.”
“Who is Esther?” Scully had her hand on the child’s leg.
“She’s one of our sisters.”
The others in the room exchanged glances at that, but seemed afraid to ask. Mulder looked over at Scully, then turned to the assembly. “The kids that have been born to vaccinated parents. The kids here know about them, they call them their brothers and sisters.”
“How long have you known about that?” Charlie asked quietly.
“About a week. A girl was born while the kids were having breakfast. They stopped and smiled at each other. Scully and I saw them and, and we asked.”
Charlie and Mary exchanged glances, “I know when you mean.” He said and Mary nodded.
“They, the kids, are communicating with these other children?” Todd asked.
“I don’t know about communicating. The ones out there are all younger than Missy and MJ. You know when the vaccine runs started.” Mulder reminded him.
“So what did we watch?” Todd asked.
Mulder looked down at Katy. “She was burned. The old lady pulled a pot of soup over and it burned her. She was screaming. We had to help her.”
“You helped her?” Scully asked quietly.
Katy nodded, “But we needed to reach her, that’s why we needed Daddy.”
Mulder blinked, “Katy, I can’t do what - “
“Sure you can, you just don’t.”
“So you, you healed her?” Scully asked again.
“Walt did, but he needed our help. She was too far away. But Daddy was strong enough to reach her.” She looked up at her father’s stunned face. “Daddy, she did it on purpose.”
“The old lady. She burned Esther on purpose, because Esther knows about us.”
The place went utterly silent then for a long moment. “This old lady knew that Esther had . . . abilities?”
Katy nodded, “She wanted to kill her, but Esther’s going to be okay now, thanks to us. She needs to come here to live, so she’ll be safe.”
Mulder noted that Walter slipped his arm around Maggie. If she’d been freaked before . . .
“Do you know where she is? I mean, could we go get her?”
“Mulder,” Scully looked up at him, “we can’t - “
“We can’t let someone murder a child because . . . “ because they were like his children, but how did he say that out loud? “It’s something we need to think about. Katy, is Esther safe for now?”
Katy thought for a moment, then nodded. “The old lady is scared now.” She smiled, “Esther is okay and everyone thinks it’s a miracle except for the old lady. I think she knows we caught her.”
“Katy, are the other kids okay, Lexie, MJ, the babies?”
“Oh sure, they were just tired. We hadn’t done that before and they are just little kids. When we get bigger it won’t be so hard.”
Those words seemed to resound around the room. When we get bigger . . .
After a moment Mulder cleared his throat. “Well, I’d say we need to get back to work. Everything’s under control here and we need to get that roof finished before it gets dark. Okay? Then, why don’t we meet back here for dinner tonight. I know you all have questions, I’m not promising answers, but maybe we should all be together tonight.”
“Yeah, I think that’s a good idea.” Charlie rose from the chair. “Will, why don’t you help us finish up with that roof.”
“Charlie,” Mulder moved over to him. “I can do it.”
“I know you can, but it might be a better use of your time to be here when the kids wake up.”
“He’s right Mulder,” Walter joined them. “They’ll probably be better than we are, but you were the focal point of the . . . whatever they did. They might need you.”
Mulder looked over at Scully and spotted the hint of tears in her eyes. “Okay. Make sure everyone comes back for dinner. We need community to get through this.”
“Now that’s a new and improved Mulder.” Walter spoke dryly to Charlie, then moved over to Maggie. He kissed her and held her for a moment, then joined the ranks heading back to work.
Mulder tapped on the door, but let himself in. Maggie was in the kitchen and watched him approach her. "Fox, I'm okay."
She looked away. "You should be with Dana and the children."
"I will be, but I needed to talk to you first. Mom, please."
She sighed and sank into a kitchen chair. "I knew what you and Dana did, to some extent, when you worked for the FBI. At least I thought I did. The things that are happening now though, Fox you've always believed in them, known about them. So did Dana, a little."
He grinned slightly, "She didn't want to believe."
Maggie shook her head, "She's always believed in you. Maybe because she's loved you so long." His smiled softened. "The chip was only one example."
He closed his eyes at that memory.
"I think I accepted what Dana could do, knowing about the babies and things, because she's a doctor, or has good intuition. Even with your injury, I explained it to myself because of how close you two are. But Fox, if what I just heard is true, those children healed another child hundreds of miles away."
"You knew Walt could - "
Maggie waved her hand and he stopped.
"Fox, they're my grandchildren, and I love them, but . . . but I'm also a little afraid of them."
"Mom - "
"I don't want to be. I think I'm just too old to accept all of this the way you do. It . . . it's contrary to everything I was raised to believe."
"Mom, the kids, Katy and Walt, they're miracles. You know that. You knew Scully couldn't have children. Couldn't . . . couldn't they be God's plan to defeat the aliens?"
Maggie blinked at that. "I don't believe I've ever heard you mention God before."
He shrugged, "We're not close, but I made a kind of peace with him when Scully recovered."
She nodded then, "You think this, the children, are part of a divine plan?"
He smiled, "It's as good an explanation as any. The kids are helping people, me, Esther. They're not doing anything wrong."
Maggie reached out and took his hand. "I'm very lucky to have you in my life, my family. Dana couldn't have found a better life mate." She took a deep breath. "You've given me things to think about. Now, go, be with your family. Walter and I will meet everyone for dinner.”
He was still in shock from her statement. She leaned over and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "You heard me, get out of here."
"Uh, yes ma'am." He rose. She stood as well and he gave her a hug. "Thank you."
"Fox, I was just speaking the truth. And thank you." She held the door open and after a moment he nodded and headed back to his wife and family.