She woke to see Mulder watching her from the chair beside the bed. Heíd obviously been crying.
"Mulder? Whereís the baby?" Her voice rising in fear.
"Shhh. Heís asleep over there. I didnít mean to wake you."
"You had a bad case of the Ďwhat ifsí, didnít you?" He gave a slight nod. "You know, this morning I thought I loved you as much as it was possible for one human to love another. I wasnít even close. Come here."
He joined her on the bed and she held him as he tried not to cry into her breasts. "Itís okay, Mulder. You were wonderful. I could never have gotten through it without you. You couldnít have shown me your love any stronger. Please, Mulder." She was kissing his head, trying to comfort him. "Our son is perfect, thanks to you, Mulder."
"Heís . . . heís awfully small."
"He didnít feel that small coming out."
Mulder winced at that, until he saw her smile.
"Could you get me a cloth? I seem to be leaking."
"Oh?" He pulled the smock apart and lightly tasted the milk beading on her nipple. "Itís sweet."
"Mulder, thatís not for you." She brushed his cheek.
"Everything about you is mine. Everything. Iíll share with him and him alone." She almost drew back from the intensity in his eyes. He lowered his head again to her breasts.
"Is Fox awake?"
For a second he was confused, they hadnít agreed to name the baby Fox, then he realized what she meant. "Ignore the little jerk-off, he has no self-control."
"Well, it is reassuring to know you still want me."
"Scully, Iím going to want you after Iíve been dead a hundred years."
They both turned at the mewling cries of their son. "I think our first-born is hungry."
Mulder had started to rise, but stopped at her comment. "Our only child, Scully. Iím not putting you through that ever again."
"Todayís not the day to make that decision, Sweetheart. Just bring him to me, okay?"
When he had finished nursing, they lay him between them on the bed and thoroughly checked him out, counting fingers and toes.
"His fingernails are so tiny. Heís so. . ."
"Donít cry, Scully."
"I want Mom to see him. Please take me home, Mulder."
"In a few days, Scully. Not yet. Youíre in no shape to drive back to DC."
"I know. Youíre right, but soon Mulder. Please."
"Right now I want to take both of you to the hospital. You need to be checked out, and he is early."
"As impatient as his father."
"Iíve always made it to the hospital on time myself."
"Great, youíre telling me heís going to be worse than you."
"Itís those Scully genes." He kissed her and went to retrieve a fresh diaper.
At the hospital a few hours later the doctor congratulated him on his medical expertise and pronounced both Scully and the baby in wonderful shape. If he was surprised at the tests and samples they requested, he kept it to himself. Mulder supervised the packing and rather than use the delivery service that the hospital offered, decided to take the samples with them and send them from another location. No precaution was too much.
Scully refused to stay and as there was no medical reason to do so, the doctor released her with warnings, unaware of her medical background. Mulder dropped his package off and they returned home.
He tried to take the burden from her, but with the baby wanting to eat every couple of hours there wasnít a lot he could do. He knew she must be dragging by morning so he leapt to answer the phone on the first ring.
"Email." And the phone went dead. He scrambled from the bed and pulled out the laptop the guys had secured for him. He opened his hotmail account and found his message.
He looks good to us, but we would like a sample of your and her blood for comparisons of certain findings. Please send asap.}
He didnít acknowledge the message. They would know that he had read it. But why did they want her blood or his for that matter? And should he even mention this to her? That question answered itself when she joined him at the table.
"I thought youíd get a little more sleep. Did the phone wake you?"
"Maybe a little, but you werenít in the bed. That always wakes me." She smiled at him.
"You need your rest."
She decided to ignore that, it was a constant theme with him anyway. "Was it the guys?"
"Yeah. They send their congratulations."
"And?" She needed to get back shape soon so she could kick his ass. This protection thing had gone on so long that it was going to be hard to whip him back into shape. His having to handle the delivery hadnít helped, but there hadnít been a lot of options at the time.
He sighed, "They want a sample of your blood and mine to compare with his. No explanation, theyíre keeping their communications tight."
"Well," She laid her hand lightly on his arm, "We know itís not a paternity test." He grinned at her then and leaned over to kiss her. They were interrupted mid-kiss by their son demanding attention. "Looks like I have two high maintenance men now, and both seem to have a breast fetish. This could get rough."
"Yeah, and right now he gets priority." He tried to look mournful but couldnít pull it off. She chuckled and rose from the chair. He had his hands on her, helping her immediately and she leaned against him slightly.
"Iíll draw the blood when heís eaten. When you drop it off thereís some things I need you to pick up." He nodded and walked her back into the bedroom.
It was late the next day before he received another email. This one was considerably longer and he as much as he hated not being able to shield her, he needed the medical slant on this.
"Okay, from what Byers says here, Wills has remnants of the virus in his blood stream. Heís speculating that heís going to have an immunity due to the vaccine you gave me. The thing is, you have it too."
Without thinking Mulder nodded, "Yeah, from the vaccine I got in Russia."
She turned then to look at him. "What vaccine?"
"What? Oh." Shit, he hadnít talked about that with her. It wasnít exactly a high point for him. "Uh, remember when I went to Russia with Krycek? Well, a lot happened."
"Apparently." She was ticked; he was going to have to come clean. She leaned back to listen, the narrative only interrupted when he stopped to bring the baby to her. She tolerated a very short interruption and then was demanding answers again.
When the baby was fed and settled in the carrier Mulder had brought out she turned to him. "Damn you Mulder." She said it without heat, almost resigned. "How could you keep something like that from me? Torture, the black cancer. I thought . . . I thought we were past that."
"Iím sorry. At the time I just wanted to forget it had happened and later, well, there didnít seem to be much point Ė "
"Okay, poor choice of words. Scully, I screwed up and Iím sorry. "
She looked over at their sleeping son. "Well, it explains why they wanted him so badly. If he does have double immunity from the two of us, theyíre going to want to do a lot more testing than weíve done so far. How do we handle that Mulder? How do we keep him safe?"
"I donít know yet. But we will, I promise you that." He folded her into his arms. He would keep them safe; it was the only future that mattered to him.