Once her eyes closed, he glanced over at the bassinet and slipped out of the room, leaving the door ajar. Beth looked up immediately. “Is she . . . “
“She’s asleep. Is Katy still with Frohike?”
“Yes. Kevin was just here, he’s gone to get her.”
“Mulder, you okay?”
He shrugged, and turned back toward her room. Beth started to speak again, but decided to hold off. He was consumed with guilt and there was nothing she could say that would help right now.
He returned to her room. She hadn’t moved. He glanced again over at the baby sleeping near her, but couldn’t make himself approach him. Instead he took his seat beside her again.
It wasn’t long before he heard a tap on the door. Kevin stuck his head in. Mulder motioned for him to stay quiet and to come on in.
He entered with Katy in his arms. Her hands were pressed over her mouth, but her eyes were dancing.
“Hi Precious.” Mulder whispered as he took her into his own arms. “Mommy’s sleeping.”
Katy was pointing toward the bassinet. Mulder took a deep breath and took her over to see the baby. While they looked at him, Beth came in to check on her patients.
Katy was smiling and very gently touched the baby’s face. “Baby.”
Kevin leaned over and looked at the infant too. “That’s your brother, Katy.” She touched him again and smiled over at Kevin.
“Katy, you need to go on with Kevin. Mommy and I’ll be home to tuck you in.”
“Mulder,” Beth spoke up then. “I want Dana to stay here tonight.”
Mulder glanced quickly down at Scully. Kevin reached for Katy. “Beth?” She shook her head slightly. “Katy, why don’t you go over to Grandma and Granddad’s tonight?”
“It’s okay Mulder. I’ll take her home. I can sleep on the couch. Don’t worry about her.”
“Yeah, okay. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Katy, give your Mom a kiss and let’s go home.” Kevin held her as she leaned over and placed a wet kiss on Scully’s cheek. Scully barely stirred. Kevin exchanged a quick glance with Beth and left with Katy.
“I’m sure she’ll be fine, Mulder, but she’s running a slight fever.”
“A fever.” He stepped even closer and touched her face. It was warm. “Why?
“There could be several . . . the birth was in a non-sterile environment, we don’t know how long before the birth that her water broke . . . Mulder, I’m sure - “
“What can you do for her?”
“I’ll try to keep her fever down with cool cloths. Right now I don’t want to give her anything, she is nursing.”
“Forget about the nursing.” He didn’t even look over at the baby.
“Mulder - “
“She’s what’s important.” Beth stepped back at the intensity of his voice. Rather than comment, she dampened a cloth and placed it on Scully’s forehead.
He started to protest, but the door opened again. “Fox? Is she awake?”
“Maggie. Come on in.” He turned toward his mother-in-law and her smile faded.
“What’s wrong? The baby - “
He’s, uh, he’s fine.” Mulder motioned toward the bassinet.
“Then . . . “ Maggie looked over at Beth.
“Dana’s running a slight fever. The birth was . . . traumatic.”
“What? What happened?”
“Krycek happened.” Mulder spoke through gritted teeth. “He took her while she was in labor, she delivered alone, in that shack outside of - “
“Fox! Alone? Oh god.”
“Maggie, calm down. I’ve checked her, she’s talked to us, nursed the baby.”
That seemed to relax Maggie a little.
“Mulder, she thinks Krycek saved her, saved us all.” Beth looked over at Mulder.
He turned away from Beth then, and touched Scully’s face again. Maggie looked between the two, clearly puzzled. She made the decision not to ask any more questions right now. Instead she moved over to the baby.
“Oh Fox, he’s beautiful.”
Mulder didn’t look up from Scully’s face. Maggie looked over at Beth disturbed at his attitude. Beth shrugged.
“Fox, I don’t want to wake her, but tell her I was here and I’ll check back in a little while. Where’s Katy?”
“Kevin has her.”
“Okay. If you want me to sit with Dana - “
“I’ll be here.”
Beth followed Maggie out of the room. “What’s wrong?” Maggie turned to her as soon as they were out of hearing distance.
“He’s . . . he feels terribly guilty about not being there for her.”
“But if Alex took her - “
“She’s grateful to Krycek. She thinks by taking her, he saved our community. She says he killed the man and woman who came for him. He might be dead as well.”
“Why is Fox acting that way about his son?”
“He . . . he seems to resent the baby . . . maybe for the pain she endured. Mulder found her, apparently just minutes after she delivered. He heard her scream; he had to deliver the afterbirth. She passed out in his arms when he brought her in.”
“Oh my god. But he . . . he can’t blame the baby?”
“I don’t know what he’s thinking. This fever isn’t helping any.”
Maggie sighed, “The fever . . . “
“It’s not the virus. Like I said it could be trauma induced. I want to keep her here until it breaks.”
Maggie nodded, “I’ll go tell Walter and the family what’s going on. Do you have anyone here to run for you?”
“No. Do you think Mary would mind if Will or Sam slept here?”
“I’m sure she won’t mind. I’ll send one of them over. What about MJ?”
“Frohike will bring him over in a little while to nurse. Don’t worry about him.”
Maggie squeezed her hand and let herself out of the clinic. Beth looked back over at Dana’s room and shut her eyes, marshalling her strength.
Mulder sat beside her bed in that place between awake and asleep. His hand rested on hers.
He was startled into full wakefulness when she suddenly became restless. “Mul . . . Mulder?”
“I’m right here Scully.” She didn’t hear him, moving in the bed, as though searching for something. “Scully, wake up.”
Her free hand moved to her stomach. “Baby. Mulder’s baby.”
“Scully, the baby’s fine. Save your strength.”
“Mulder’s son . . . where . . . “
Mulder glanced over at the door as Beth entered. She hurried to the bed to check her temperature. “Baby . . . “
“Mulder, get the baby. Bring him over here. She’s not contagious.”
He looked at Beth for a moment.
“Mulder, she’s searching for the baby.”
“Yes . . . Mulder, he’s Scully’s son too.”
He looked up at her startled.
“She needs the baby, your baby Mulder. Get him.”
He moved away from her then, though he was loath to release her hand. He gathered the baby into his arms, though not against his chest as he had always held Katy. The baby squirmed at the sudden change, but didn’t cry out, just watching his father’s face.
“Scully, the baby’s right here. He’s okay. Can you hear me?" He started to place the child on the bed beside her, but her agitation grew suddenly and she flailed her arms. He pulled the baby back instinctively protecting him and found him cradled against his chest. He looked down and saw that instead of being disturbed by all of the movement, the baby was completely relaxed and even closing his eyes, safe in his father's arms.
Scully's child - the child she had carried and delivered at such risk. His arms tightened around the baby.
"Mulder . . . “ but her restlessness eased and, as Beth watched, her fever broke, drenching her body.
Beth stood there, stunned. The fever had broken when Mulder accepted the baby. She'd witnessed it, though she had no proof. It could have been a coincidence, but . . . She loved Melvin and she knew he loved her. They were a family, and MJ was the light of both of their lives, but these two . . . their love, their relationship - it was, it was spooky.
After a moment, she got her voice back, "Mulder, her fever's broken. I think she's going to be fine. Help me change her."
He nodded and returned the child to his bed, caressing his head softly. He and Beth changed her gown and bedding. When they had her settled again, she opened her eyes.
"Right here. And the baby's fine. Don't worry."
"I feel so weak."
"You had a fever, Dana." Beth spoke quietly. "It broke and I think you're going to be fine. Why don't you try to get some more sleep?"
"Doesn't he need to be fed again?"
"He hasn't complained. We'll wake you when he does."
She nodded and let her eyes slide closed, reaching for Mulder's hand.
When she woke it was to the sight of Mulder holding the baby, the most earnest expression on Mulder's face.
He looked up at her and smiled. "Hi, how do you feel?"
She took a minute, obviously checking herself out, "Better. He's got to be hungry now."
"I'd say so. He still hasn't complained, but what breathing male Mulder could ever refuse a Scully breast?"
She laughed lightly and held the baby as Mulder arranged the pillows behind her, then brought the baby to her breast. After he was settled, she looked back up at Mulder.
"I feel like I interrupted some major male bonding. What were you guys talking about?"
"Well, you know guys don't want to tell their mothers everything, but . . . I was telling him that he shouldn't rush women, you know, he should have taken a little more time, like we did."
"You wanted me to be in labor for seven years?" Her eyebrow rose, but she couldn't keep the amusement from her eyes.
"Hey, half of that was your fault. I was ready in Oregon when you came in the room and did the strip tease for me."
"Strip tease, huh?"
"Yeah. I knew you wanted me then, but I'm not that kind of guy."
"Right. Don't talk to my son any more."
He laughed out loud then, and the baby let go and turned to look at him.
That shocked Scully, her mouth falling open. "What . . . what else did you talk about?"
"Just sports." He continued on in the light vein, for some reason this show of dexterity didn't surprise him.
"Baseball. He's a little short." He ran a finger tenderly over the baby's arm.
"That probably won't last. Not with you for a father." She changed sides and looked up at Mulder again. "When can we get out of here? I want to see my baby girl."
"Oh, she was here last night. She met her little brother and seemed to like him."
"Did she stay with Mom and Walter?"
"I don't think so. She was after Kevin to stay at our place."
Scully smiled, "She's going to be devastated when he meets the right woman."
Mulder nodded, but his mind wasn't on it. "I'll get Beth. I don't want you to leave until she gives the okay."
Scully didn't bother to disagree. He wouldn't listen anyway.
She lost on how to get home as well, finally submitting to being carried. It embarrassed her, but it wasn't worth a fight. And she knew he was still very upset about her being alone when . . .
Scully smiled when her mother opened the door. “Dana? Are you - “
“I’m good Mom.” Mulder placed her gently on her feet. “My husband however, needs therapy.”
“Yeah, massage therapy.” He pretended to rub his back and she turned to glare at him. He mock cringed and moved behind a laughing Maggie.
Walter shook his head and moved over to Scully. “So this is the lump you’ve been carrying around all these months.”
“This is him.” She placed the baby in his arms. She saw how comfortably he held him; having three grandchildren in a little under three years had worked wonders on the man’s ability to handle infants. “Walter, I’d like you to meet Walter Fox Alexander Mulder.”
Walter’s head snapped up. Had she said Walter?
“He’s named after three of the most important men in our lives.”
Walter looked over at Maggie, whose eyes were suspiciously wet. “Did you know about this?”
“I knew about most of it.” She decided not to comment on the Alexander part. Maggie moved over and put her arm around him.
There was a light tap at the door as it opened to let Mary and Charlie in. “Look, they’re pawing each other again. Sheesh!” He looked over at his mother who swatted at him. He turned to Scully, then, “I hear you decided on the do-it-yourself route this time.”
Scully glared at him. “Why are you in such a good mood and are you ready to leave yet?”
“Children . . . “ Maggie’s tone was warning.
Mulder just leaned back against the counter, watching this, feeling such a part of it. Scully had added so much to his life; but, she needed to be resting. She’d get after him. He smiled at the thought.
“What?” Scully looked over at him. “Are you going to make some crack now?”
“Who me? Actually, you do need to lie down.”
"I don't want Katy to see me in bed again. I'm not sick and she needs to know that." That eyebrow showed she had no intention of backing down.
He frowned but decided to give a little on that point. Kevin brought Katy home shortly and she ran to her mother and climbed up into her lap before Mulder could stop her.
Scully's look stopped him. "Hi Baby Doll. Did you get to meet your little brother?" Scully unwrapped him and Mulder watched as his two special women checked out the tiny boy. He looked over at Kevin and they grinned at each other.
Scully looked over at Kevin, who shrugged. “It’s as close as we could get to brother.”
Mulder chuckled and put his hand on Kevin’s shoulder, "I'm going to make her some tea, want anything?"
"No, thanks. You guys need to be a family for a little while. If you need anything, let me know."
Mulder nodded and moved toward the kitchen. The others drifted off shortly, leaving dinner to be warmed when they got hungry.
Both of the children were asleep and Scully had started for the bedroom to get ready for bed herself when they heard the knock at the door. Mulder looked over at her and at her nod moved to answer it.
"Kelly?" He stepped back to let her in.
Scully moved back into the living room. "Kelly, are you okay?"
Kelly smoothed the fabric over her own protruding stomach. "Uh, yeah. I was . . . I was wondering if, if you've heard from Alex since, since . . . "
"Have a seat Kelly. Can we get you anything?"
Kelly shook her head. Mulder's expression was clear, he didn't want this interruption now. He wanted Scully to be in bed and resting.
"No, I don't . . . Alex hasn't been home. I'm worried about him."
"Kelly, I haven't seen Alex since he left me at the . . . the shack, to lead the people after him away from me."
"Do you think they hurt him?" Scully looked over at Mulder and Kelly saw the exchange. "You do." Her breath got shallow. "Is he . . . is Alex dead?"
Mulder moved over closer to Kelly. "Look, we don't know and we have no reason to believe he is. I didn't . . . I wasn't involved in the search today, but I'll check into it first thing tomorrow. I need you to try to relax tonight. Krycek can take care of himself, he has for years. If he's lying low, it's because he has a very well honed survival instinct. He wouldn't want you to worry. You know that."
Kelly nodded and took a deep breath. "I shouldn't have bothered you tonight. I'm sorry. Is . . . is the baby okay?" She looked over at Scully.
"Yes, he's fine. And you need to make sure your baby is too. Let Mulder lead the search for him tomorrow. Okay? Do you have anyone that could stay with you tonight?"
"I'll be okay. I'm not afraid to stay at our place alone."
Scully nodded, they had always been pretty safe here. They were even more so thanks to Krycek. "Why don't you come back in the morning? You can help me with the kids, keep your mind occupied."
Mulder looked over at her in surprise, but Scully ignored him.
"Are you serious?"
"Of course I am. And you'll need the practice for your own in a few months."
Kelly glanced over at Mulder and then back at Scully. "Yeah, I'd like that, if you're sure."
"I am. Mulder's going to walk you home, but I'll see you in the morning.
Again Mulder's expression showed surprise, but he managed to hide it before Kelly turned. "I can get home okay."
"It's dark, Kelly and the ground is uneven. Let Mulder see you home."
"Kelly, she's right. It's no problem."
After a moment Kelly nodded and stood. Mulder leaned over and gave Scully a kiss. "Go on to bed, I'll be right back."
She nodded and let Mulder help her to her own feet. "Goodnight Kelly."
"Goodnight, and thanks."
Scully nodded and watched them leave the house. Mulder turned back to look at her one more time, then pulled the door closed.
Mulder came home around lunchtime and was relieved to find the three members of his family asleep and Kelly washing dishes in the kitchen.
“Hi, everyone doing okay?”
“Yes. Babies are a lot of work.”
He grinned, “yeah, but worth it.”
“Are you ready for your lunch? I can dish it up.” Kelly moved toward the stove.
“Has Scully eaten?”
“Yes, after she nursed the baby.”
He nodded and moved into the kitchen with Kelly. “How about you? Have you eaten?”
“I’m not really hungry.”
“You know you have to eat now.”
“You sound like Dana.” She smiled faintly at him.
“I should, she’s been training me for over a decade now.”
“About time you noticed.” He turned as he heard Scully’s voice. She came on into the living room to join them.
“Did I wake you?” He moved toward her and put his arms around her.
“I knew you were here, but I’m not sure I heard you. Come on Kelly. Sit and eat, then Mulder can tell us what he found.”
“I don’t think I can - “ She looked over at Scully’s face and subsided. Mulder took the bowls from her and filled them himself, first one for her, then one for him.
She did manage to eat some and when Scully nodded, she leaned back and turned toward Mulder. “Please.”
“Kelly, he may be in hiding. We found two body shaped burns in the weeds, damn close to the shack where . . . The acid ate into the vegetation, but there was no blood at the site. Not even much sign of a struggle. He got them, that’s obvious, but there’s no evidence he was injured in the process. I’m thinking he’s scouting around to make sure no one else was with them.”
“From what I saw, and knowing Krycek’s ability to keep turning up, that’s what I think.”
Kelly turned to Scully, “And you? What do you feel about it?”
Mulder watched Scully struggle with the question. People were asking her things like this more and more often. She was totally uncomfortable that people now seemed to see her as some sort of psychic.
“Kelly, I can’t say that he’s dead. I don’t know where he is though. I knew the other two . . . I knew that he had killed them but I can’t feel him.”
Mulder glanced over at her at those words. Feel him? Did she feel others in the community? They hadn’t talked about this; she was uncomfortable about it and he hadn’t pressed.
Kelly sighed and nodded. "I'll let you guys visit. Mary said she'd be by with supper later."
"There's no need -"
"Thanks Kelly." Mulder interrupted and Kelly rose from her seat at the table.
They watched her leave, then Scully turned to Mulder. "I'm fine, I don't need people bringing meals in."
He ignored that, "You don't feel Krycek?" She blushed then. "Come on Scully, you feel him?"
"I feel everyone here now." She wouldn't face him then. "It started out knowing things, like the babies, but it's because I feel them. I said you didn't wake me when you came in, and you didn't, but I was aware of you here. You're the strongest, I feel you with every breath, then the children, and then everyone else to some degree or the other."
"Why didn't you say something?"
"Because I don't want to believe it."
He chuckled then, "Now that sounds like the Scully I've loved all these years."
"Mulder, do you think I'm crazy?"
"Never. Scully, you're the only person anyone knows that's survived the virus. You're immunity, through the vaccine, has created a way to save humanity. I believe anything you say to me."
She didn't look at him; only reaching out for his hand. He took it and she clutched at him. "I don't want this."
"It'll be okay Scully."
She sighed and nodded. He believed her, that was the most important thing. She had held this back from him and that had been a mistake. Sharing it with him didn't make it go away, but it did make it bearable.
"Go back to work Mulder. We're fine and I promise to rest while the kids are asleep. Okay?"
He smiled and leaned over to kiss her gently. "I won't be late."
"When are you ever?"
He smiled then and kissed her again, then forced himself back to work.
He, Skinner and Kevin were in his office when they heard the door burst open. Skinner and Mulder had their guns out even as they rose. They were both startled as Todd and Anne appeared in the door.
"You're alive." Anne was staring at Mulder, her hand to her throat.
"Yeah, what's going on? We weren't expecting you back for a couple of weeks."
"Where's Krycek?" This from Todd.
"We don't know. He's missing. What's going on?"
"Is Scully okay?"
"She was an hour ago."
"Is she alone?" Todd was already moving toward the door.
"Not for long." Mulder met him at the door. "What's going on?"
"I'll head on over." Kevin moved past them, stopping at his desk to get his own gun.
Mulder nodded, "I'm right behind you."
"Mama Ruth said he was going to kill a man and a woman. Anne and I were afraid it was you and Scully."
"Look it's a long story, but you're safe and now you've been warned."
"Krycek did kill a man and a woman. He did it to save Scully, they had come to get him and he didn't want them to know . . . to know about Katy and Walt."
"Walt? Dana had the baby?" Anne clutched Todd's arm.
Mulder nodded, smiling. "It sounds like we have a lot of information to share. Why don't you guys go get cleaned up and get some rest? Then come over to our place for dinner. Walter, you and Maggie should join us too."
"I would love a bath. Come on, Todd."
That was the most Skinner or Mulder had ever heard from Anne, and her self-confidence was startling. Todd nodded and followed her out after a quick hug for Skinner.
"I guess it wasn't a mistake to pair those two."
Skinner grinned and nodded.
"I'm heading home. I don't think Krycek is a danger right now, but - "
"But you'd use any excuse to spend time with your family."
Mulder grinned and nodded, self consciously holstering his gun.
"That was a wonderful meal, ladies." Skinner leaned back, "Leave the dishes and we'll take care of them after we talk. I want to hear about this Mama Ruth."
The group settled around the living room. Mulder had just seated Scully when they heard Walt demand attention. "May I get him?" Anne started to rise.
"Of course. And could you bring that shawl on the bed?"
Anne returned with the baby and exchanged glances with Todd. A blind man could have seen what passed between them and Mulder started to make a comment before Scully kicked him in the shin.
Everyone turned to look at him. "Why don't you tell us about Mama Ruth." Scully looked at Todd as she adjusted the shawl and began nursing Walt.
When he finished Todd leaned back and put his arm around Anne. "Did I forget anything?"
Anne shook her head, "No, I think that's everything."
"Mulder, do you remember this woman?" Scully looked up at him.
Mulder shook his head, "I'm trying to remember a case, but - "
"She said she never got to meet you, she only saw you once. You must have made a hell of an impression."
Mulder looked uncomfortable at that and Scully took his hand. "You say she asked about creating the vaccine?" Scully decided to change the subject.
"Yes. She knew we had come from Mulder before we even opened our mouths. We hadn't mentioned your names, we never did at any of our stops."
"We know that Anne. I'm pleased that she wanted the information."
"She assured us that she would send people out to continue with the vaccine. The only personal question she asked was if 'that pretty redhead he loved so much was with him'." Anne smiled as she watched Mulder look over at Scully and their son.
"Yeah, she is."
"It's getting late, I'm sure Scully would like to go on to bed while we clean up the kitchen, but Anne and I do have one request. Mama Ruth, she performed the ceremony, marrying us."
"Anne! That's wonderful!" Maggie hugged this woman who had become another daughter to her.
The couple accepted congratulations all around. "Thanks, but, but we were wondering if, Mulder if you would give us your blessing as well. It would seem more . . . "
Mulder looked up stunned, then looked over at Scully who nodded. "Of, of course if you want it."
"Yes." Maggie spoke up then, "We need to celebrate your joining as we did with Walter and I. Fox can bless you then, and everyone can welcome you home."
The women were all talking at once then. Mulder, Walter and Todd moved over to the table and began taking up the dishes and food. They were finished before the women had completed their discussion.
"Come on Maggie. You can finish this up tomorrow. Let's let these young people all get some rest."
"Of course, I'm sorry. Dana, go on to bed, I'll come by in the morning to see if you need anything."
"Thanks Mom, love you." She took Mulder's hand to help her to her feet. She stepped over and gave Anne a hug. "I'm so glad you're home safe and so moved that you were worried about us."
Anne nodded and returned her hug, then whispered, "Dana, Mama Ruth said, she said I was still able to have children. She, she said I was going to have five. Do you, do you . . . "
Scully looked deep into her eyes for a moment, "Yes. Yes, I see it. And maybe sooner than you think."
Anne's eyes gleamed and she nodded gratefully.
Scully was asleep before Mulder got to bed. He lay down beside her carefully and smiled as she automatically moved into his arms, not waking.
Her agitation a couple of hours later woke him. "Scully? You okay?"
"Our daughter. Fine . . . not too early."
That woke him up completely. Another child? They'd agreed not to have more, but . . . "The fish! The fish could save us."
What the hell? Had . . . had she said fish? She was relaxed again and hadn't awakened. She needed the sleep. He could ask about this tomorrow. For now, he just pulled her closer and held her.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.