The phone rang and she looked up at her mother who nodded. "Hello?" A big grin broke out on her face. "Okay." She turned and handed the phone to Scully. "It's Daddy."
Scully's eyebrow went up and the little girl ducked her head, still smiling. "Hi. You gonna be late?"
"No, I'm already on my way. Just wondered if you needed anything."
She chuckled at that, "No, we're fine."
"Did she call me . . .?"
"Yeah, she did."
"I'll be there as quick as I can. Love you."
"I love you too." She hung up and started dinner.
She heard the garage door open. "He's home!" The little girl raced to the door and flung it open.
"Hi Peanut." He swung her up into his arms. "Did you have a good day?" She nodded. "I heard you called me a name." She blushed and hid her face in his neck. "Come on, what did you call me?" He tickled her lightly and she laughed, squirming in his arms. "Well?"
"Daddy." She whispered. He squeezed her and let her down. "I made you something." She hurried from the room.
He turned toward Scully. "How about you? Have a good day?" His arm snaked around her and he kissed her. Then he pulled back and placed his hand on her slightly rounded stomach.
She smiled up at him; "We're fine. We had a very good day."
"A little. That's normal you know."
"Just don't overdo. Promise me." She nodded and he kissed her again.
He chuckled as they moved apart. "Yuck? What's yuck?"
"Kissing." She giggled.
"You just wait. Is that mine?" She nodded and handed him the picture she'd drawn. "Is this me?" He spread the picture on the counter and lifted her back into his arms.
"That's you and that's me. That's Mommy and that's the baby in Mommy's tummy." She pointed to each figure.
"It's beautiful Emily. Thank you." She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him. He looked over at Scully, who's smile looked slightly wet. If he mentioned it, she'd blame hormones. He couldn't remember ever being happier in his life.
She looked over and watched him sleep. He was really too long to sleep in the front seat of a car. He was dreaming - a good one apparently, he was smiling.
Ah, he must be dreaming about one of his video women.
"Emily, thank . . ." He moved in the seat, getting more comfortable.
She nearly lost control of the car. Emily? He'd said Emily quite clearly. Not . . . not her Emily. He wouldn't dream about . . . Her hands were shaking. No, she was shaking all over. She pulled the car off the road. She couldn't drive, not right now.
She sat, trying to calm herself. Her eyes were on him, trying to fathom why he would say Emily. Why he would have a dream about her.
The lack of movement woke him and he stirred, stretching. He turned and looked at her. She was facing him, but her mind was obviously miles away. She didn't even see him.
"Scully?" She started violently, "Scully! What's wrong?" He was wide awake now, his hands on her upper arms.
"What, what were you dreaming?"
It was back in his mind then - the dream. What had he said? "Scully . . . "
"Tell me. Please." She wouldn't look at him and her voice was tight, constricted.
"It was just a dream Scully."
"About Emily?" He nodded reluctantly. "Have you ever had it before?"
"Scully." Now she was looking at him, her eyes demanding answers. "Yeah. I've had it before."
She turned away from him, exiting the car, and walking into the field. After a moment he got out and followed her. "Scully, please." He was standing close to her, too close. "I didn't mean to hurt you. I thought . . . I figured why mention it. It would only cause you pain." She tried to move away from him, but he took her arm again and wouldn't allow it. "Scully, it's just a dream. Why are you so upset?"
"I'm . . . I'm okay. It caught me off guard, hearing you . . . hearing you say her name."
"I never hear you mention her."
"I . . . I don't . . ." She seemed to droop in front of him. He pulled her against him, supporting her, giving her what he knew she needed, even if she didn't want it. After a few minutes he leaned down, "Let's go somewhere you can get comfortable."
She didn't respond which he took as no resistance and he headed her back to the car. He seated her on the passenger's side and took the keys.
She said nothing though he kept glancing over at her. They'd been driving about twenty minutes when he spotted a motel and pulled in.
"Mulder, I'm okay. There's no need - "
"I think there is." He got out taking the keys with him. He returned shortly with two room keys. "Come on."
"Mulder, I - " He shook his head and she sighed. This was the last thing she wanted to do, so of course he would push it. He had his hand on her back leading her.
They stopped at the first of the rooms he'd taken. He opened the door and let her in. She sat on the edge of the bed and he disappeared into the bathroom. He returned immediately with a glass of water. She took it and he could see her hands were shaking slightly.
"What is it you want Mulder?"
"I want you to talk to me. Mumbling Emily's name in the car while I was asleep should not have had this kind of effect on you. Not if you were really okay. Talk to me, please."
"I don't want to get into this, now is not - "
"When is? Scully, look at me. When would be a good time for the two of us to talk about Emily?" She did look at him for a second, then away again. He sighed and drew a chair up close to the bed. He sat facing her, giving her a little space.
"Scully, you lost a daughter. Losing a sister isnít the same, I know that, but I remember how bad that felt, how helpless and hurt I felt. And I remember having no one to talk to about it, for years. Then they gave me you and I could talk about her and you listened. Let me listen to you now. Please?"
She didn't realize tears had spilled from her eyes. "I miss her." It was barely a whisper. "I don't have any right to. I only knew her a few days. If I hadn't gone to California she would have lived her entire life and died and I would never have known about her. But I did know . . . "
"You have every right to miss her. There was a connection, however brief. You were her mother." He brushed a tear from her cheek and she reached up, realizing her face was wet. She wiped at her tears with both hands and then sat looking at them.
"No one else seemed to think so. They wouldn't let me . . . "
Mulder felt his anger build again at the bureaucracy that had hurt her this badly, this deeply. How could they not have seen what an incredible mother she would have made for that little girl? He pushed aside his thoughts of having her leave him in order to do that. She'd deserved that chance. She had more than earned it with the pain she'd borne just being with him.
"I'm sorry to fall apart like this. I didn't mean to - "
"Scully, you didn't fall apart. I upset you and you reacted. That's normal."
"This isn't normal, not for me. I'm . . . I'm embarrassed that you're seeing me like this." He reached out and took her hand.
"You never have to be embarrassed with me. You've certainly seen everything . . . " His voice trailed off and she tried to smile at him. It didn't last.
"She was my only chance Mulder. I'll never have a family of my own, a baby. Most of the time I think I'm handling that and it doesn't matter. A lot of women can't or don't have children, their lives go on." She looked so small sitting there, so hopeless.
"Scully, if a family means that much to you, you should pursue it. With the medical advances today, there's practically nothing that can't be done."
She shook her head. "No, I can't . . . I don't want to do that alone. A family means a father too, to me anyway. I just - Mulder could we drop this now?"
He looked at her; she was pleading with her eyes. She really didn't want to talk about this and he had no business pushing quite this far, he never had before. Finally he nodded, "For now. But Scully, you need to talk about her. She's not willing to let her memory hide in some dark corner any more. If you can't find anyone better, I'm always available."
She mumbled something he couldn't hear, so he moved to the bed, closer to her. "What?"
"I said there isn't anyone better." She leaned against him, exhausted and closed her eyes as she felt his arm go around her. He had no comment to that; in fact he wasn't sure he could have made one even if he'd been able to think of one, so he just held her in silence.
He knew eventually that she'd ask about the dream, what it was that had made him say Emily's name. He dreaded that, it would be as painful for him as it was for her. He would never have that wonder of family either. But he couldn't lie to Scully.
If only she'd meant that, about no one being better. He'd go through it with her. Hell, he wanted to go through it with her. The dream had made it impossible to dismiss this truth. But that wasn't what she wanted from him. He would be there for whatever she did want from him. That was a promise he had made to himself.
"Why don't you lie down Scully." He was removing her shoes and laying her down on the bed. He stood and pulled the extra blanket from the closet shelf. "I'll go get us something to eat."
She nodded and closed her eyes. Why was she being like this? Why had she ever said that about no one being better than him? That wasn't what he wanted, he didn't want a family, a baby with her, even if it were possible. She felt the tears start up again and hoped he wouldn't notice. She was just tired.
He had noticed, but made no comment. If anything he felt like crying himself. What would happen if he told her the truth, that he wanted her as his family with or without kids? No, why make things worse. She was embarrassed just talking about this with him, how much worse would it be if she knew how he felt about her for real and she couldn't feel the same? At least they had this; it would have to be enough for him. With the dreams.