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She opened the door.  “Hey, ready to roll?”  Mulder stepped into her place.

 

“Yeah, just need my keys.”

 

“Hey don’t forget this.”  He picked up one of the pillows from her couch, tucking one under his shirt.  “Relax the back, breathe in, breath out, hee hee hoo, hee hee hoo.”

 

“How do you know all these things, Mulder?”

 

“I’m unemployed.  I gotta lot of time on my hands.”  She just looked at him.  “Oprah, I watch a lot of Oprah.”

 

She managed not to roll her eyes.  “Thank you for doing this with me.“

 

Instead of responding to that, “What’s the matter?”

 

“I don’t know.  I, uh.”  She sighed, “Maybe it’s hormones or . . . I, I’m just feeling so strange about all of this.”

 

“This, having a baby this?”

 

“No, no leaving work I guess.  I mean, I walked out of that office feeling like a deserter.”

 

“You’ve paid your dues there Scully.  More than paid them.  You concerned about Agent Doggett?”

 

“You know, the entire time that I was down there, I had someone to watch my back.”

 

“I’m betting that Agent Doggett can take care of himself.  He’s a big boy.  You gotta worry about the little boy, or little girl.  Boy?  Or girl?”

 

She didn’t answer, giving him a wistfully indulgent smile.  She moved toward the door and felt his hand take its accustomed spot on her back.  God, how she had missed that.

 

She was quiet on the way to class.  He could feel how conflicted she was; her responsibilities were pulling her in too many directions.  He couldn’t help but wonder if part of it was also being here with him.  Would she have felt more comfortable with her mother? 

 

She’d asked him, he just hoped she didn’t regret it.

 

*****

 

“My name is Marcie and I’m your child-birth instructor.  I’m also a nurse practitioner and mid-wife with an OB-GYN practice here in Georgetown.  On the practical side, I have three children of my own.”  The petite brunette smiled at the five couples in front of her.  “Why don’t we introduce ourselves and tell us which baby this is for you?”

 

Marcie turned to the couple on her right.  When it came around to them, he spoke first, still feeling how uneasy she was.  “I’m Mulder and this is Dana.  This is a first baby.”

 

She glanced up at him and gave him a small smile, but there was a hint of sadness in it.  A first baby, not our first baby.  If he was unsure, why didn’t he ask?

 

Four of the five couples were having their first baby, so Marcie had everyone get comfortable on the floor with their pillows and began to talk.

 

“First, I want you to know I’m not going to talk down to you and use words like uncomfortable and pressure.  Having a baby hurts, it hurts like hell, but it is so worth it.  It’s also hard, they don’t call it a party, they call it labor.  There’s a reason.  But that’s why you’re here.  Knowledge is power.  If you know what’s happening with your body, you’ll be less tense and a relaxed muscle hurts less than a tense one. 

 

“That is the coach’s job, to try to get Mom to relax as much as possible and help her stay on top of her contractions, remind her where she is in the process and why she’s feeling what she’s feeling.  I’ve got a short film, no, not the film.  That one comes later, guys.”  She grinned at the slightly greenish faces on some of the men in the room.  “This one is on relaxation techniques.  We’ll watch it, then try it ourselves.  Partners, please sit behind the mother and let her relax against your chest.  That’s right.”

 

Mulder moved behind Scully and pulled her back against him.  Relax huh, hardly?  Was it having him here?  It had to be, she was a doctor and already knew this stuff, though that hadn’t been mentioned.  It felt good having her against him, even if it was in public, and it made him feel more real, more whole, with her relying on him at least this much.

 

At the end of the fifteen-minute film, Marcie had the mothers lie on the mats with the pillows supporting them.  “Now, partners, I want you to start with the feet.  Feel her body for tension.  When you find some, I want you to work it out, massage it, stretch it slightly, rotate it; whatever you think will help her relax.  Every woman is different, but you know this one.  Okay?”

 

As Mulder helped her recline, she whispered.  “I’m sorry about this.  I shouldn’t have - “

 

“Shh.  I’m supposed to be helping you relax.  Let me do my job, Scully.  I’m having a good time.”

 

She met his eyes then and saw that he was telling her the truth.  That did relax her a little, though she was still semi-mortified to be with him in such a situation.  Needing his help seemed, weak somehow, which even she realized was silly.  He wanted to be here, she knew that.

 

She needed to relax, forget about work, about everything except the baby.  Having Mulder here did help. 

 

They heard one of the mothers, over to the left of them, moan slightly as her husband massaged her foot.

 

“Hey, guys,” Marcie laughed, “This isn’t foreplay.”

 

Mulder looked up to grin at Scully and was startled at the flush on her face.  Interesting.

 

He worked his way up her body, gently and knowledgeably.  Before he had left they had only been intimate such a short time, how did he know so much about her body?

 

As though reading her mind, he whispered to her, “Years of fantasies, Scully.”

 

Her blush was deep then and she wondered seriously if she had lost her mind, asking him to do this.

 

He had moved back around her now and was caressing her neck and shoulders, down her arms and to her fingers, taking each one into his hands and massaging it tenderly.  God, she was ready to moan herself now.

 

“Am I doing it right, Scully?”  He asked in her ear, causing her to jump slightly.

 

Before she could respond, Marcie was speaking again.  “Now, everyone, get back in your original positions, where Mom is resting against your chest.  That’s right.  Now Mom, I want you to start massaging your baby, small circles, yes.”  She smiled, “Women just do that instinctively, I love to see it.  Now, partners, place your hands on top of hers and let her lead you.  This is one of the positions for pushing and relaxing might not be possible, but keeping her on top of what’s happening, helping her rest in between pushes, is one of your biggest responsibilities.”

 

Mulder had tuned her out, concentrating on this sensation.  His hands were so much larger than hers, and he could feel the child moving within her.  He was here to help her relax, but this was the best he had felt since his return and . . . and he’d discovered how the world was now.

 

Did she have any idea how much it had meant to him to be asked to do this?

 

She was relaxed now; did she know she was purring slightly?  She didn’t seem to be listening to Marcie very closely right now either.

 

“Mulder?”

 

“Umm?”

 

“Class is over.”

 

“Oh, uh, sorry.”

 

“It’s okay.”  He reluctantly took his hands from her rounded belly and after a moment, helped her sit up straighter and rose to his feet.

 

He helped her to her feet, then bent to retrieve the pillows.  Marcie was telling the others goodbye.  “I’ll get your coat.”  He leaned around her and said quietly in her ear.

 

“Thanks.”  She watched him walk away, and realized Marcia was beside her.

 

“I’m glad you could come tonight.”

 

“Thank you, it was very interesting.”  Scully smiled at the dark haired woman.

 

“You’re very lucky.”

 

What?  She turned to see where Marcie was looking.  Mulder stood on the other side of the room with her coat, watching her.

 

She had to swallow around the lump that suddenly formed in her throat.  “Yes, I am.”  She said it quietly.

 

Marcie gave her a moment, then touched her arm.  “See you next week Dana.”

 

“Yes.  Thank you.”

 

When Marcie stepped away, Mulder moved back to her side.

 

“You okay Scully?”

 

“What?  Yes.”

 

Mulder took the tear ready to fall from her eye onto his finger.  “Are you okay?”

 

“Just hormones, Mulder.  Let’s go.”

 

He let her get away with it, helping her into her coat.  He tucked her pillows under one arm, placed his hand on the small of her back and took her to his car.

 

*****

 

She opened the door and he followed her in.  “I’m in the mood for ice cream, Mulder.  You in a hurry?”

 

“I could be convinced to stay for a little while.”

 

She smiled at him and made her way to the kitchen.

 

“I could get it.”

 

“I’m not helpless, just big.”

 

“You’re not that big.”

 

“Nice try Mulder.  The bowls are up there.”

 

They ate on the couch, where he pulled her feet up into his lap.  She flashed back on the woman in the class for an instant and looked down, concentrating on her ice cream for a moment.

 

“Scully?”

 

“Yes.”  She looked up.

 

“It’s, uh, it’s been kind of a long day.  Mind if I crash here?”

 

“Of course not.  Are you okay?”

 

He looked down, and she sat up, taking hold of his hand.  “Mulder?”

 

He looked up at her then, with an abashed grin on his face.  “Actually, it’s the most okay I’ve been since I got back.”

 

That drew a confused smile from her, “What?”

 

“I don’t know, I just feel . . . closer to you.”

 

She blinked at that, “Because of . . . I thought I was imposing.”

 

“Dana Scully?  Impose on me?  Not in this lifetime.”

 

She swallowed then, “I, uh, I take up a lot more of the bed than I used to.”

 

His smile was broad now, “I think I can adapt.”  She answered with a smile of her own.

 

 

 

 

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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.


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