When he entered the apartment that night, carrying a box of pizza, he called out, “Where are my girls?” Emily raced from the kitchen, followed by her grandmother. “Mrs. S - Maggie, what a great surprise.”
Scully was behind her. “Pizza?”
“I figured with all the shopping you were doing, you wouldn’t have time to cook. Did you find a dress?” He turned to Emily as he put the pizza on the table. She jumped into his arms.
“Yes! We all found beautiful dresses.”
“Well, do I get to see them?”
She shook her head, “You can’t see them until the wedding. Don’t you know that?”
“I might have heard that somewhere, but does that include me?”
“Of course it does. You’re the man we’re marrying!” Emily explained.
He chuckled and gave her a hug, then set her on her feet. He spotted Maggie moving toward the door. “Won’t you stay? We have plenty.”
“Thank you, Fox. Not tonight, I have a lot to do to get ready for Saturday. Charlie and his family will be here Friday. We’re going to have dinner at the house. Will your mother be able to join us?”
“Uh, no, she won’t be able to come until Saturday morning, but thank you.”
“What about your other guests?” She pressed.
“Well, I’ve invited Walter Skinner, John Byers, Ringo Langly and Melvin Frohike.”
“Fine, please invite them over to the house as well. We’ll eat around seven. Dana, I’ll be in touch with you tomorrow.” She held out her arms to Emily and this time, the little girl came to her immediately.
Once she left, Scully sent Emily on into the kitchen to get plates for them. When she was out of hearing, Scully turned to Mulder. “What did you tell your mother?”
“That I was getting a commendation and I wanted her there.” He saw the expression on her face. “It’s better that way. And she will be there.”
“I know. I just feel strange about you not being able - “
“Scully, it’s safer that way. Please don’t worry about it.”
“Thank you.” He looked confused at that, “for understanding. I know it’s hard - “
He leaned over and kissed her quickly. “This is important.”
The rambunctious-ness of her new cousins startled Emily, and as Sam raced by, she reached out and grabbed Mulder’s leg for security. When she looked up, however, a very tall, very bald man was looking down at her. Before she could react, the older boy, Will, headed her way chasing his younger brother. The big bald man picked her up, protecting her.
“Hi,” he said quietly. “I’m Walter Skinner and I work with your mother and Mulder.” She relaxed at his name. She’d heard it many times.
“I’m Emily,” she said seriously.
“I’ve heard about you. I’m very glad to finally meet you,” he responded just as seriously.
She nodded, “Those boys are my cousins. They’re loud.”
Skinner stifled a chuckle at the understatement and nodded.
“I have an Uncle Charlie. He’s their daddy and an Uncle Byers and Uncle Langly and Uncle Hickey.”
“That’s a lot of uncles.”
She nodded, “Are you one too?”
Startled, he smiled. “I’d like to be. Would I be Uncle Walter or Uncle Skinner?”
She thought about that for a minute. “Uncle Skinner,” she stated; the name she was more familiar with.
“Uncle Skinner it is, then.”
“Mulder says that after the wedding, I can call him Daddy.”
“I think that would make him very happy.” Emily beamed at him.
Scully hurried up then, looking for Emily. She stopped at the unfamiliar sight of her daughter in Skinner’s arms.
“Hi, Mommy.” Emily waved, apparently quite comfortable in her current location.
“Uncle Skinner rescued me.”
“Rescued?” Scully’s eyebrow rising at his new title.
“Her cousins were a little intimidating,” he offered. Her look asked the question she couldn’t - ‘and you weren’t’? Skinner grinned. “I believe gray slacks all look alike at a certain height.” Scully chuckled at that.
“Well, dinner is ready and Mom sent me to find everyone.” She held out her arms for Emily and the little girl came to her.
She turned in her mother’s arms. “Thank you,” she said to Skinner.
“My pleasure.” He followed them into the dining room and watched as Mulder took the child and settled her in a booster seat. It was obviously not the first time. Skinner nodded at his competence with Emily.
Everyone settled around the table. Maggie made sure that everyone knew each other, introducing her daughter-in-law, Mary, to Skinner.
There were toasts and congratulations all around; as well as Charlie telling embarrassing stories until Scully put her foot down. Laughing he turned to Mulder, “So, where are you going on your honeymoon?”
The bride and groom stopped in mid sip and looked at each other. “We, uh . . . “ Mulder started, but trailed off.
“We can’t get away right now,” Scully finished for him.
“Well, okay.” Charlie looked back and forth between them. “But you’ve got to have a wedding night, right? We can keep Emily for you, can’t we, Mom?”
Scully’s eyes widened and she automatically looked to Mulder. “Scully hasn’t been away from Emily yet. We don’t want to upset . . . “
“Mulder, I can secure the house, if you’d like.” Skinner spoke up, realizing the real dilemma immediately.
Mulder looked over at Scully. Her cheeks were pink, but she wasn’t dismissing the offer out of hand.
“Are you sure? We don’t want to take advantage.” Mulder turned back to Skinner.
“It’ll be my wedding present.” After a moment Mulder nodded and looked back at Scully. She agreed with her eyes.
“Do I want to understand that? ‘Secure the house’?” Charlie asked.
“Probably not.” Scully said crisply. “Just appreciate it.” She turned to Emily. “Would you like to spend tomorrow night with Gramma and Uncle Charlie and Aunt Mary and Uncle Skinner?”
Mulder looked up quickly at that last name, then smiled.
Emily nodded, “Will Uncle Hickey and Uncle Langly and Uncle Byers be here too?”
“We will be if you need us, Sweetness,” Byers answered before the others could.
Emily smiled then, not seeing her mother nod her thanks, or the suspicious wetness in her eyes.
Mulder met the plane and walked his mother to the luggage pickup. They hugged and she accepted his kiss on her cheek. “You look very nice, Fox.”
“Thanks. It’s a new suit.”
“This must be a very special award.”
“The most important one I’ve ever gotten,” he agreed and led her to his car. He checked her in at her hotel.
“Fox, I’d like to change before the ceremony. Will I have time after lunch?”
“That might be cutting it close. Why don’t you go ahead and dress now, then we can have a more leisurely lunch. We need to be there by two. I can wait for you in the lobby.”
“All right. I shouldn’t be too long, but I want to look special for you.”
“You always do, Mom.” He gave her another kiss, which seemed to surprise her, then let himself out. He thought about waiting in the bar, but decided against it. He finally took a seat in the atrium and picked up a discarded newspaper.
True to her word, she didn’t take long and Mulder admired her elegance when she exited the elevator. She had style. Maggie was warmer; more of a ‘Mom’, but his mother had nothing to be embarrassed about in the looks department. He rose to greet her and she smiled, moving toward him.
“I made reservations at that little tea room you like,” he said as he took her hand.
She laughed slightly at that. “You hate that place, and it turns you into a bull in a china shop.” She remonstrated him.
“I’ve matured a little since I’ve been there. I’m sure I’m no longer banned.” He grinned and led her to the car.
They had a nice lunch without him spilling or dropping anything, though she noted he seemed to be growing more nervous and checked his watch a couple of times.
“Fox, why don’t we go on over? I don’t want you to be late.”
He smiled his relief, “Me either. Thanks.” He paid the bill and escorted her back to the car.
She looked over at him surprised when he parked in the church parking lot. “The FBI is holding a function here?” She seemed more puzzled than upset.
He turned off the motor and removed the keys, then turned to face her. “I need to confess something, Mom. I got you here under false pretenses.”
“Yes. There is no FBI awards function. It’s, it’s more important than that and I really wanted you here.”
“Fox, what’s going on?”
He took a deep breath. “Mom, I’m getting married.”
“M-married? Is this a joke?”
“No ma’am. I’m marrying Scully today.”
“Scully, your partner?”
He nodded, “I’ve known that I loved her for a long time. When I almost lost her to cancer . . . well, I realized I was in love with her.”
“Your partner had cancer?” Teena looked confused now.
“She’s in remission.”
“Fox, why now? What’s the rush? You could have told me and, and I could have planned something.”
He took another deep breath and blew it out. “Scully found out a few weeks ago that she has a daughter. She’s trying to adopt her, but they keep putting up roadblocks. Once she’s married, all of their ‘objections’ go away but we didn’t want to give them time to come up with new ones, so we’re doing this quickly.”
“Why would anyone want to come up with other objections, and did you say ‘found out’ she has a daughter?”
He managed a small smile at that. “Yes. Remember when she was abducted a few years ago?”
“Abducted, Mom.” He stood firm but his voice remained gentle. “They did . . . testing on her and, and they stole her ova. Emily is a product of that abduction.”
At those words Teena turned away from him and stared out the window.
“She’s not your child.”
He shook his head, regret showing on his face. “No, but she’s the only child I’ll ever have. The testing left Scully barren. It’s a miracle that we found Emily at all. She’s Scully’s biological child, and that’s good enough for me.”
Teena opened her mouth to say something, then changed her mind and her lips snapped shut.
“Mom, please don’t be upset with me. It’s my wedding and I want you here.”
He saw her shoulders droop slightly and after a moment she turned back to him. “You’re right, Fox. You are an adult and can make your own decisions. You always have anyway. Let’s go inside.”
He closed his eyes for an instant, then got out and moved around the car to open her door. She was quiet, but not hostile as they entered the church. Maggie was just inside the door with Byers and Skinner. Mulder made the introductions and managed not to wince at his mother’s very proper tone.
Maggie was wearing a peach rose corsage and reached into a small white box on a chair, pulling up an identical one for Teena. “May I?”
“Thank you.” Teena allowed her to pin on the roses and seemed to relax a little. Maggie then pulled out two boutonnières for Mulder and Skinner, again peach roses.
“You’ve gone all out, Maggie. Thank you.” He leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek, then one for his mother.
While Maggie and Teena were talking, he got Byers aside. “Don’t let my mother get to a phone.”
“Mulder - “
“Don’t, it’s okay. Just, just keep an eye on her. Please.”
Byers nodded and returned to the group. Frohike and Langly appeared and were introduced as well. When Father McCue joined them, hasty introductions were made, then he asked Mulder and Skinner to join him in the small room off of the chapel.
“Is Mr. Skinner acting as best man?” Teena asked surprised.
“Yes. I’m not sure what their relationship is exactly, but Fox seems to trust and respect him.”
Teena nodded but added nothing further. Mary appeared then, with the boys in tow. “They’re ready.”
“Maybe we should take our seats now.” Byers said quietly, holding out his arm for Teena. Frohike did the same for Maggie and escorted them into the chapel, as Will imitated them and held out his arm for his mother. Sam held her other hand.
After they were seated, Father McCue walked out, followed by Mulder and Skinner. Soft music began to play and Mulder looked over to see an organist mostly hidden in the flowers. He looked over at Maggie and nodded his thanks. It might be a small wedding, but Scully’s mother had made it memorable.
The music changed as the doors opened and Emily stepped into the aisle. She was wearing a long peach dress with an empire waist and looked like a princess. There was baby’s breath in her hair and she was smiling brighter than the sun.
Mulder watched her walking very properly toward him, a small bouquet of peach roses that matched the corsages, in her hands. She came to stand across from Skinner and beamed at them both.
The change in volume of the music drew their attention back to the door and Scully stepped into the aisle on Charlie’s arm. Mulder felt his mouth drop. He’d realized long ago that Scully was beautiful. He wasn’t prepared for this.
She had allowed her hair to curl and the same baby’s breath adorned it. Her dress was cream, a sheath overlaid with lace. It was tea length with a kerchief hem and the details were completely wasted on him. He was transfixed with her face, smiling at him, healthy and happy - nearly as happy as him it seemed - on this occasion.
She couldn’t look away from the joy on his face and for the first time, she was completely grateful that Charlie was there to guide and support her. With their eyes locked on each other, she wasn’t sure she remembered how to walk.
Maggie had been watching her daughter come down the aisle, but at her expression had turned to see Mulder. Tears came to her eyes then and she put aside the last of her reservations.
Teena was transfixed by the child and her expression was unreadable. She nearly forgot to look up as the bride passed her.
The ceremony was short, they exchanged vows and rings that Skinner held for them. Mass was not celebrated, but Maggie was comforted that they did marry in the church.
Then Father McCue said those fateful words, “You may kiss your bride.”
With what looked like awe, he leaned toward her and gave her a chaste kiss with the promise of things to come. Then they heard Emily’s delighted laughter and broke apart, looking over at her. At their smile, she raced toward them and Mulder lifted her into his arms. “Daddy!” Tears did escape Scully’s eyes then and Mulder winked at her as he tried to control his own emotions.
Father McCue chuckled and looked at the small gathering of friends. “Allow me to introduce the Mulder family.”
Frohike was on his feet clapping then and everyone joined in, then he began snapping pictures. Mulder watched her blush leave her cheeks rosy with health and happiness. He took her hand then, their fingers automatically entwining and with Emily in his other arm, walked back down the aisle.
Charlie took his mother’s arm as Skinner bowed slightly to Teena and escorted her out of the chapel.
In the vestibule, Mulder approached his mother, Emily still in his arms. “Mom, I’d like you to meet a very special person. This is Emily, our daughter.”
Teena looked at him for a long moment and Scully tensed, fearing she would hurt the child’s feelings. Then the older woman nodded slightly and looked at Emily. “I’m Teena Mulder, Fox’s mother. I’m pleased to meet you.”
“Pleased to meet you too.” Emily responded. “Will you be my Gramma too?”
Teena’s eyes flicked to Mulder and Scully took an involuntary step toward her. Mulder just kept his eyes on his mother. After what felt like a very long time, Teena nodded. “Yes. I am.”
Scully relaxed slightly and let her hand rest on Emily’s leg.
After the hugging and kissing, Maggie started moving everyone to the cars for the small reception at her house. “Emily, would you like to ride with us?”
Mulder felt her arms tightened around his neck and Scully saw a little fear in Emily’s eyes for the first time. “Mom, she can ride with us.”
“Okay, we’re going to head on over to the house. You won’t be long?”
“No, we’re right behind you,” Scully assured her.
Again Skinner took custody of Teena and led her to his car.
Mulder settled Emily into her car seat as Scully watched. She glanced down and her eyes widened. When he shut the back door and reached for the handle of Scully’s door she stopped him. “Are you armed?”
He shrugged, “Seemed like the thing to do. So was Skinner.”
Her hand caressed his cheek. “I can’t believe you. But I’m so glad you’re in my life.”
He blinked at that, then leaned in and gave her another kiss. “We need to get to your mother’s house.”
“Right.” She stepped past him and he pulled open the door, seating her and squeezing her hand. He hurried around the car and got in himself.
After pulling away from the curb and settling into traffic, Mulder glanced into the mirror. Emily’s look of fear startled him. “Kiddo? What’s wrong?”
She shook her head, but didn’t answer. Scully turned in her seat. “Emily? What is it?”
“You, you’ll only be gone one night?”
Scully looked quickly over at Mulder, then back. “That’s right Baby. One night, and you’ll be with Gramma and Uncle Charlie and Aunt Mary.”
“And Uncle Skinner, right?”
“Yes, Uncle Skinner too.”
“You won’t forget to come get me?” She sounded close to tears.
“Oh Baby - “
“No. Kiddo, you are way too important for us ever to forget. Think about it, your Mom would never have married me without you.” He watched her in the mirror and winked at her. “You know we’re a family, right?”
“That means we stick together. Tonight, your Mom and I are going to have a short honeymoon. It’s what people who just got married do, but we’re not going to be away from you but one night. Tomorrow night we’ll go to your Mom’s apartment and start living together, like a family does. Okay?”
She seemed to relax at his words, and nodded.
Scully reached into the back seat and took her hand. “Are you okay, Baby?”
Emily smiled slightly then. “You and Daddy will come back to get me tomorrow.”
“That’s right.” Scully watched her and realized Emily understood. They held hands until Mulder pulled up in front of Maggie’s house.
He took Emily’s hand as he helped her from the car. “Emily, it will be after lunch, but please don’t get worried. You know we’re coming for you.”
He looked up at Scully and saw her blink back tears as she smiled at him. He swallowed hard, then stood up straight and settled Emily on his hip, then escorted both of his girls inside.
Champagne and hors d’oeuvres awaited them. Again Mulder marveled at Maggie’s organizational skills. He had envisioned standing in front of a justice of the peace. Instead she had created memories that he and Scully could share forever.
In a few minutes Langly and Frohike put their glasses on the table and looked over at Mulder. “We need to get out of here. We have important work to do.” Mulder nodded and held out his hand.
“We want to do it, Big Guy. You deserve this family. We’re gonna make it happen.” Frohike gave Mulder a quick hug and Langly clapped him on the back. “Now I want to kiss the bride.” Frohike leered in that direction and Mulder’s eyes narrowed.
Scully moved in their direction, chuckling. She gave Frohike a kiss on the cheek, then did the same for Langly. Langly’s scarlet face drew a smile from Mulder.
“What about Byers?”
“He’s gonna hang around here and escort your mother back to the hotel. Skinner thought he’d be the best choice, since Skinner can’t leave. He’s taking Scully’s car so she won’t have to ride in the van.”
Mulder chuckled at that, “Probably a good idea. Be in touch.”
“We will. You take care of your family.” They headed out, already bickering about the websites they needed to ‘explore’.
Emily was with Maggie. She took the plate Maggie handed her and carefully carried it over to Teena. Mulder couldn’t hear what was said, but Teena accepted the plate and they talked for a few minutes.
While Scully was speaking with Mary, Skinner approached Mulder. “Why don’t you guys go ahead and get out of here.”
Mulder glanced at Emily, then nodded. He drew a piece of paper from his pocket. “This is where we’ll be if you need us.”
Skinner unfolded the paper and glanced at it, his eyes widening. “You’ve been saving up. We’re not going to need you tonight. Just relax and enjoy yourselves.”
“Thank you.” Skinner merely nodded and stepped away to speak to Charlie.
Mulder came up behind Scully and slipped his arms around her, then leaned down to whisper in her ear. “Ready to go?”
She hesitated for an instant, then relaxed against him. “Yes.”
“I’ll get your bag.”
“My bag? Aren’t we going to the apartment?”
“Nope. I made other plans for tonight. Your mother packed for you.” She felt her face grow warm and she glanced over at her mother. He leaned in again. “Am I going to find out your mother’s kinky?”
She gave him a light punch in the chest. “Shh.”
His smile only grew. He followed her saying their goodbyes.
He thanked his mother again for coming, Scully noticed, and reminded her that Byers would escort her to the hotel. Scully stood back until he had moved on, then approached the woman. “Mrs. Mulder, I’m very glad you could be with us today.”
“Thank you. I hope that you and I will find a chance to talk some time soon.”
“I’ll make the time.” Scully nodded and gave her a light hug. When she turned Emily was in Mulder’s arms. “Are you okay, Baby?”
“I’m fine, Mommy.” She didn’t see and wouldn’t have understood the face Mulder made at those words, but saw the smile on her mother’s face.
“Okay, we’ll see you tomorrow. Be good for your Gramma.”
“I will.” They hugged and kissed, then Mulder’s hand took its customary site on Scully’s back and they moved to the car. Charlie and the nephews were lying in wait and pelted them with birdseed as they hurried to the car.
Skinner saw Emily watching from the living room window as the car drove off, and squatted beside her. “Emily? They’ll be back tomorrow.”
“I know.” She turned to smile at him. “We’re a family now, all of us.”
Skinner nodded and picked her up, to give her a hug.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.