He woke and reached for her, but the bed was empty. Before he could rise, the door to the bathroom opened and she moved toward the bed. He smiled at the sight of her. He would never use the term ‘waddling’ but if he safely could, that’s what she was doing.
He rose from the bed and hugged her. “I prefer to wake up with you in my bed.”
She smiled slightly, “Might not have been comfortable wet.”
He chuckled and kissed her.
“You have big plans today?” She leaned against him.
“Kevin has us all working in the gardens, getting ready for planting.”
She nodded, “Could you help me with something first?”
“I thought you might want to be a Dad again today.” She was watching him, a wistful expression on her face.
His smile slipped away and his eyes tracked down to her abdomen. “Are you okay?”
She nodded. “I’d say I’m fine, but I don’t want to upset you.”
His smile returned then, “Finally you catch on.” He caressed her stomach. “Did your water break?”
“No, but I am having contractions.”
“They just started. Why don’t you get the kids up and take them over to the clinic. You and - “
“No.” She looked up surprised. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“Mulder.” She let her fingers trace the stubble on his cheek. “She’s not going to fall out while we’re not paying attention. You have time to take the kids - “
“Scully, our kids can find their own way to the clinic. You’re not getting out of my sight this time.”
She opened her mouth for one more protest, but his lips on hers silenced her. “No.”
After a moment she nodded. It wasn’t that big a deal and obviously very important to him.
“You know you could have Walt here.” He offered.
“Mulder, I know what he can do, but he’s still a child, practically a baby himself. I’m his mother, I don’t want him to watch me go through that.”
Mulder grimaced, but held his tongue.
“Come on, let’s get them ready.” She moved toward the door.
“I’ll get them ready. You can watch.”
She rolled her eyes, but then her breathing changed and she focused on his lips. His hands lightly massaged her shoulders, keeping them from tensing. When the contraction ended, he leaned down and gave her another kiss. “I love you.”
They walked slowly out to the main room and saw all three of their children up and dressed. Walt and Lexie were at the table eating a slice of bread with honey drizzled on it that Katy had made them.
She was just finishing one for herself, but all three looked up when Mulder and Scully entered.
Mulder chuckled. “When am I going to realize we don’t have to tell you guys anything?”
Lexie jumped up and ran to him, hugging his leg, then lightly rubbing Scully’s stomach. He picked her up and kissed her, then sent her back to the table.
“We’ll be over at the clinic.” Katy informed them. “Don’t worry about us. We’ll send Beth and Grandma over when it’s time.” She looked her mother in the eye. “We know you want to be alone with Dad for awhile. Don’t feel guilty about that.”
Scully blinked moisture from her eyes as Mulder’s arm encircled her. She nodded.
“Come on guys.” She motioned to the younger two to get on their coats and take their bread with them. All three kissed Scully goodbye where she sat in the chair Walt had vacated, and touched her stomach gently, then gave Mulder a hug.
Mulder checked buttons and scarves, then walked them to the door. “Just be with her, Dad.” Walt said quietly, squeezing his hand. Mulder was surprised at how little reassurance he felt, but he kept quiet.
He watched the three of them head toward the clinic. “They are so - “ he turned and realized Scully was having another contraction. He was at her side instantly. He squatted in front of her, his hands on her abdomen, his eyes locked on hers.
In a moment she smiled, a little weakly he thought, and caressed his face.
“What do you want to do, Scully? We can get bundled up and go walking, or - “
Scully was shaking her head. “I know I should, but . . . would you mind if we just stayed here? I just want you to hold me.”
“I’d never turn that down.” He said lightly, but her words disturbed him. He helped her to her feet and walked her to the couch. He sat in the corner and seated her in the V of his legs.
She leaned against him and sighed as his arms came around her. He couldn’t stop himself. “Scully, are you okay?”
Instead of answering him directly, she snuggled back into his chest and took his hand in hers. She touched his fingers tenderly, turning his hand and looking at it from several angles. “You have beautiful hands, Mulder.”
He frowned, since she couldn’t see it. She was acting strangely. Before when she had gone into labor she had been excited, happy. Now she seemed . . . wistful. “Scully - “
“Just hold me, Mulder.”
He recognized his fear now, but she didn’t want to talk about it. He didn’t want to let her get away with it, but she was in labor. She had the right to act any way she wanted. The kids hadn’t been upset. He had to hold onto that. His arms tightened and she turned her head, rubbing her cheek against him.
He barely managed to keep his voice steady, “Are you crying?”
“Maybe, just a little. It’s okay. Put it down to hormones.”
His lips pressed into her hair. “I love you.”
She didn’t respond, just pulling his arms tighter around her.
She was unable to speak now, the pain, the intensity unlike either of her other deliveries. She was aware of Mulder and his attempts to help, but nothing was working and she was beyond exhaustion.
“Mulder.” Beth spoke in a low voice, trying to keep stimulation to a minimum, “I think the baby’s head is tilted. That’s why she can’t get her out. We need to try to turn her just a little to help Dana.”
Mulder nodded, his face pale, remembering Missy’s delivery. “Go ahead.” He whispered. Beth glanced over at Maggie, then touched his arm.
“You’re going to have to do it.”
He looked at her with total disbelief and horror. Surely she was kidding and now wasn’t the time. “Beth, you - “
“Look at your hands, Mulder. You have long thin fingers, slender hands. Mine are short, stubby compared to yours.”
“Beth, don’t ask me to hurt her.” His eyes pleaded with her.
She struggled with her own emotions for a second, “It would only be for a little bit. It has to be done Mulder. We have to get that baby out.”
His expression was pure anguish. Scully’s groan pulled him back. “What do I do?”
Beth closed her eyes for an instant in relief. Before she could speak, Maggie rose and moved to the door. That surprised Beth, though Mulder didn’t even notice, his concentration focused on Scully.
Maggie opened the door and saw the children, waiting, the older ones looking after the younger ones. They didn’t look that disturbed, but Walter and Charlie’s faces were white and drawn. “Walt, Honey.” She held out her hand to her youngest grandson and he came to her immediately, taking hold. She felt more confident immediately. “Honey, you need to help your mom.”
He nodded solemnly and moved into the bedroom. She didn’t take the time to reassure the men, hurrying back to Dana’s side. Walter and Charlie exchanged glances and Walter sank onto the couch, his hand rubbing across his bald pate. “Damn.”
Mulder was listening to Beth, but looking at Scully and dying a little at each sound. He was startled when the bed dipped as Walt climbed on. He blinked and watched as one of Walt’s hands touched his mother’s stomach. She did seem to relax slightly at his touch. Then Walt’s other hand came to rest on Mulder’s leg. Knowledge seemed to flood his mind. Mulder’s eyes closed for a long moment, then he opened them and touched Scully’s cheek.
“Scully, I’m going to turn the baby. You need to try to relax, let Walt help you. I love you.”
She met his eyes, but speech was still beyond her. He could see her trust in him and he nodded. He slipped on the gloves Beth held out to him and carefully felt for the baby’s head. He felt Scully tense instantly and looked down at Walt. Immediately Scully was able to relax a little more and his task was made that much easier.
In between contractions, which were coming with alarming frequency in his mind, he was able to bring the baby’s head into a better position for pushing. Then he felt Walt’s hand squeeze his leg.
“That’s enough, Dad.” The boy smiled at him. “She should push.”
“Scully, hear that? You need to push. She’s right here. Come on Baby, you can do this.”
His heart plummeted at her whimper and both of Walt’s hands moved to his mother. Beth supported her shoulders and Scully’s body took over.
The head was out in two pushes. “Mulder, see if you can ease the shoulders out.” Beth’s voice was still low, still calm.
Mulder nodded, and helped the child rotate as Scully’s body pushed again. Then the infant was in his hands. Mulder drew in breath, unaware he’d been holding it. “Scully, she’s out.” He cut the cord then looked up in time to see Scully’s head fall back against Beth’s chest and her arm drop to her side and off the bed.
“Scully!” He shouted frantically, clutching the infant to his chest.
Beth’s shaking hand searched for her pulse and found it after a few heart stopping seconds. “Mulder, she’s fainted, she’s just fainted. Look at Walt. She’s okay.” She slipped out from behind Scully to lower her head.
Mulder’s eyes flicked up to Beth’s face. She saw the terror in his eyes, could he even hear her? “Mulder, she’s alive. She just fainted.”
It seemed to take a long time for the information to sink into his brain, but Beth saw when it did, and moved quickly to take the child from his arms in case he passed out as well.
At Mulder’s cry, Walter and Charlie exchanged glances and raced to the door. They burst in to see what looked like Scully’s lifeless body on the bed. They heard Beth’s words to Mulder, and Charlie took hold of the door frame to steady himself.
Walter sat abruptly in the rocking chair by the door, rubbing his shoulder. Walt scrambled off the bed and ran to his Grandfather, climbing into his lap.
“Walter.” Maggie barely breathed the word, hurrying to his side as well.
Beth looked up from the baby and paled slightly. Mulder hadn’t noticed anything except Scully. He was beside her, one hand touching her face, the other on her chest, feeling her heart beat. When he looked back from watching her chest rise and fall with her breathing, he realized he’d left a smear of blood on her face. He swallowed hard, and reached for a towel. Then he noticed the activity near the door.
“What?” He glanced over at Beth.
She met his eyes, then laid the baby on the bed beside Scully and joined the others to examine Walter.
“I’m fine, quit fussing - “
“Be quiet Walter.” Maggie said gently, “Let Beth check you out.”
“But I am fine, right Walt?” He cuddled his grandson close.
“I’m sure you are, but I want you to go to the clinic and - “ Beth started to speak.
“I’ll just go home and - “
“You will go to the clinic. You will get undressed. You will lie down and wait for me there.” Beth’s voice was raised and emphatic.
They all turned to look at her, startled.
“It’s been a long day and I’m not in the mood. Charlie, take him to the clinic. If you have to tie him to the bed, do it.”
“Yes ma’am.” Charlie didn’t even attempt a wisecrack.
“Mary, take the baby out and let the others greet her, then bring her back in here. Mulder, we need to deliver the placenta and get the cord blood over to John. No more home deliveries.” She muttered to herself. “Dana will have all of her babies at the clinic like everyone else.”
“Don’t worry; she won’t be having any more.” Mulder responded quietly as he watched Mary take the baby into the other room.
Beth nodded, but made no comment. She knew his feelings on the matter.
He sat beside her on the bed, watching her nurse their newest baby girl. “Mulder, you’re staring again.”
“I love to watch you.” He said simply.
“I’m fine and so is she, thanks to you.”
He looked away then. The strain of earlier events still evident on his face, but he was a little better.
“Mulder.” She reached for his hand and squeezed his fingers.
The movement caught his attention. “My hands. You were watching them earlier.”
“Was I?” She demurred.
His eyes widened, “You knew. You knew something was wrong.”
She looked down at their daughter suckling at her breast. She could feel his eyes boring into her and finally looked back at him. “How’s Walter?”
“Walt’s with . . . who told you about that?” He blinked.
“I need to know how he’s doing.”
“Let us worry about him. You need to - “ He stopped staring at her. “You knew about that too. You see the future and I handle medical emergencies.” His voice was less steady now.
“I . . . I felt like, like something was wrong. It’s always confused when I’m involved.”
“You were . . . you were telling me goodbye earlier. You thought you were going to have the heart attack.” His breath was coming rapid now. “You thought you were going to die.”
“No, no Mulder. I was only telling you how much I love you.”
He shook his head. “You don’t protect me, Scully. You don’t keep things from me.” She saw that his hands were shaking now.
“Mulder, I’m sorry. I didn’t know what was going to happen. You know it gets jumbled. But the children weren’t upset. I knew you were worried about me, I didn’t want to make it worse.”
“Make it . . .” he bit his lip and a tear trailed down his face.
“Can you forgive me?”
“We can talk about this later. You need to rest.” He forced composure upon himself.
“Muld - “
“We never really decided on a name, Scully.” He looked down at the tiny girl, changing the subject.
“I know. I wanted to see her. I do have a suggestion.” She accepted the change of subject, he was shaken and she needed to give him space. She looked up at him, “Christina.”
“Christina? After . . . “
“After your mother.”
“I don’t know how I feel about ‘Tina’. I’m not sure . . . “
“I wasn’t thinking of calling her Tina, I thought Chrissy. None of the boys are called Fox, but it’s part of their name. What do you think?”
“Chrissy, huh?” He took the infant into his arms. She looked so different from the other kids. Both Katy and Walt were dark, like him. This baby definitely had Scully’s coloring. He had his red-headed daughter now, with her mother’s blue eyes.
“Dana Christina.” He looked up at his wife. Their eyes held a long time, everything that needed to be said, unspoken, but understood.
After a moment she nodded. “Dana Christina Mulder.”
“I’ll put her down.” He rose from the bed, comfortable holding this child to his chest. He changed her quickly and put her in the crib. As he watched, the tiny girl got comfortable, her head tilted back. He looked down, shaking his head.
“What?” Scully asked, not concerned, just curious.
“She’s got her head back, like she did before.”
Scully closed her eyes for a minute. She knew what he had been faced with to deliver this baby. “She was probably like that for some time.”
“Yeah. Think I’ve convinced you that we have enough kids?”
She shrugged with a grin. “I’m not anxious to get pregnant again right away.”
He shook his head. “Think Walt can do for me the opposite of what he did for Greg? I’m not sure I want Beth performing surgery in that particular area.” He managed a small smile.
“No.” She looked straight into his eyes. “No way.”
“We don’t have to discuss this right now. You should be resting.” He helped her recline in the bed, caressing her cheek lightly.
“I’m not ‘resting’ until you understand. No vasectomy for you, ever. A man can sire children into his 70’s.”
“Seventy huh? Earlier you said eighty. You’ll only be 67.”
“I’m serious, Mulder. You can have children for a long time. If anything should happen to me - “
He stiffened and rose from the bed. “Stop. Stop right there.”
“I’m not trying to upset you, Mulder. I’m being practical. Your children are very special, and - “
“Our children. Our children are special.”
She closed her eyes, this wasn’t an argument she’d meant to start. But she’d been caught off guard by him. He couldn’t have a vasectomy. She would have to make him see that. For now, she’d be quiet.
“I’m sorry, Mulder. I don’t want to fight. Please. Could you lay here with me for a little while?”
He nodded and took her into his arms. She saw that his hands were shaking again and she silently cursed herself for making any comment. Yes, she had been through the wringer today with Chrissy’s birth, but so had he.
Beth had taken a few minutes to describe what had happened at the birth. Passing out like she’d done had affected him profoundly. She needed to treat him with kid gloves for a little while.
And Walt was with Walter. He could do more for his Grandfather than anyone else, so she had to let it go for now.
Beth had admitted that she had never seen Walt move so fast or be so shaken. It had been a heart attack, possibly a bad one, but the damage seemed to have been repaired before they even took him to the clinic.
She moved closer to Mulder, resting her head against his chest, listening to his heart beat strongly. They were quiet for a while, then she looked up at his face. He was watching her breathe.
“What?” He met her eyes.
“Thank you. Beth told me what you had to do. I was kind of out of it at the time.”
He started to respond, then couldn’t and buried his face in her neck.
“Oh Mulder. I’m good, Chrissy is good. You need to be good too.”
“Walter, I want you to just lie here and rest. Don’t argue with me, Dear.” Maggie’s hand on his shoulder was firm. Walter sighed and laid back, knowing it would do no good to oppose her.
“I’ll be good and stay here, if you’ll go lie down in Scully’s office for a little while. It’s been a long day for you too.”
Maggie opened her mouth to protest, but he took her hand. “Do it for me, so I don’t have to worry about you.”
She hesitated only a moment, then nodded. “I’ll be right next door. Do not get out of this bed.”
“Yes ma’am. Don’t worry, Walt and Esther are here.”
She kissed him and ran her hand over his forehead one more time before she turned to leave.
Once the door shut, Walter closed his eyes.
He’d forgotten George. He was on the other side of the room and the curtain had been pulled, separating them. “Yes.”
“Don’t be afraid.”
“What?” He opened his eyes and looked in that direction as George drew the curtain aside.
“You don’t need to be scared. You’re the grandfather to all the kids here, even the ones that aren’t Mulder’s. They all love you. They’re not going to let anything happen to you. Look what they did for me. I’m universally hated but they saved my life. You just don’t need to worry.”
“You’re not universally - “
“It’s close. I . . . I hit Julie. I was friends with Ian.”
“You made mistakes in judgment.” Walter responded.
“Thanks. I wish I had that much confidence in myself.” George looked up at the ceiling for a moment. “Your wife is right, you should get some rest. If you need anything, let me know, but I’m sure the kids will know before you do.”
“You don’t sound as . . . “
“As pig headed about the kids?”
“Yeah.” Walter admitted.
“We can talk about that later. Get that rest. I don’t want anyone getting after me.”
“Do you think I had a heart attack?”
“Yeah, I do. But I think you’re fine now.”
After a moment, Walter nodded to him, then let his eyes slip closed.
Charlie entered the clinic. He wanted to check on everyone one last time before he got some sleep. It had been a hell of a day. He had been uneasy all day, which was normal with his sister in labor. He hadn’t forgotten Missy’s birth. It had marked him. He had no doubt that Mulder was now marked just as deeply. A problem with Walter’s heart had never crossed his mind.
He loved the man. Walter was so good for Mom and a man he could admire. Charlie had seen how quickly Walt had moved to get to his beloved grandfather. Walter was asleep now in the classroom, and Esther was asleep in the chair between Walter and George, giving Walt a break.
He cracked open the door to Dana’s office and looked inside. Maggie was standing at the window, staring out into the darkness. “Mom?”
She turned at the sound of his voice and he saw the tears streaming down her face. “Oh Mom.” He took her into his arms. “Come here, sit.” He held her and rocked her as she sobbed. “He’s okay. Walt made sure - “
“It just brought back everything that happened with your father. There was no warning then either. And then he was gone. I still miss him. I love Walter, I can’t go through . . . “
“I know. He is going to be okay. I’m worried about you right now.” He brushed her hair back from her face. “I’m not going to ask you to go home, but you have to stretch out here. I’m going to get you some tea, then I’ll sit here with you until you fall asleep.”
After a moment she nodded and reclined on the couch. Charlie pulled the coverlet down over her and moved toward the door. When he opened it, MJ and Missy slipped in. Charlie made no comment, just watched them take up their posts beside her, Missy taking her hand and MJ stroking her hair. Charlie turned away then, to hide his tears.
By the time he returned with her tea, she was asleep. Charlie put the tea on the desk and motioned for the kids to step outside into the hall with him. “Did you guys get her to sleep?”
MJ nodded, “She needed to rest, just like Granddaddy.”
“But she’s okay.”
“Grandma’s sad and worried about Granddaddy. She feels guilty that she hasn’t checked on Chrissy, but she’s okay.”
Charlie nodded. “I guess you two want to stay here tonight.” They nodded in unison. Charlie sighed, he wanted to curl up next to Mary and feel safe himself, but he understood. “I’ll send your Mother home with Sam, then set us up some mats in the classroom. We need to be quiet, Walt’s already asleep.”
They seemed to smile at him, but didn’t argue.
Katy joined Mulder on the couch after Lexie was in bed. Kevin had gone home after Mulder had returned from checking on Walter. She scrunched up next to him, to comfort him. “It’s okay, Dad.”
He gave her a sad smile and pulled her into his lap. “What is, Kiddo? Walter? I know Walt fixed him up. He said to tell you goodnight.”
Katy shook her head. “Mom knows you only want babies with her. She just wants to make sure there are enough of us.”
“Enough of you?”
Katy nodded. “We are winning.”
Mulder looked closely at his oldest daughter, “Winning?”
“Yeah. Most of the babies born now are like us.”
“Their parents have had the shot. People who haven’t had the shot don’t have many babies. The ‘others’ use them. They can’t use us.”
“Can’t use . . . “ Mulder was stunned at the turn of the conversation. He was on shaky ground here.
“The black oil dies in us, so they can’t get inside, and the virus doesn’t make us sick. Nothing makes us sick.”
Mulder absorbed that in silence. He had known that, but hadn’t truly thought about it. The kids were never sick. The only injury had been Esther and that had been premeditated. Winning, the humans were winning.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.