She wasn’t sure what woke her, but then she heard the door to the apartment open. Mulder appeared almost immediately in the bedroom door. “Hi. You doing okay?”
“We’re fine. I didn’t plan to sleep this long.”
“You needed it. Where’s Danny?”
“I, uh . . . isn’t he out there?” Scully struggled to rise and Mulder was there, helping her.
“Maybe he’s in the bathroom. You okay?” He made sure she was steady on her feet before letting go of her arm. She nodded and he moved away. “Danny?”
He was back in seconds. “He’s not here.”
“What do you mean, not here? He has to be here. We laid down together . . . Mulder?”
“He’s . . . he’s probably around back. I saw some kids when I drove up.”
“Danny knows not to go out alone.”
“I’ll run check. Don’t worry.” His own face belied that suggestion and he hurried to the door as she waddled toward the bathroom.
She had emerged from the bathroom and was making her slow way to the door when he returned. “Mulder?”
“He wasn’t out there. They said they hadn’t seen him.”
Scully felt her heart rate increase. “Mulder, we have to find him.”
“Yeah. Listen, you wait here. I’ll drive over to the park, see if - “
“I’m coming with you.”
“You need to be here, in case - “
“We’ll leave the door unlocked. Mulder, we need to find him.”
He nodded and took her arm. She seemed even larger than he remembered from her pregnancy with Danny, and moving slower. She should stay here, but he understood her need. Part of him didn’t want to be separated from her either.
He settled her in the car and raced to the other side.
“Mulder, he has to cross two streets to get to the park. He’s only five.”
“He’s a special five. He knows how to cross streets.” He glanced over at her and saw her white-knuckle grip on the door handle. “Scully?”
“I’m okay. It’s just a contraction.”
“A contraction? You’re having the baby?”
“Probably not. It could be stress."
“Mulder, let’s find Danny.”
He nodded and pulled into a parking space at the edge of the park. “Wait here.” It was definitely an order. “I’ll look for him.”
She nodded, she could feel another one building, but there was no need to admit that to him.
Mulder was out of the car and running toward the playground equipment. She watched him until her eyes closed in pain and she had to concentrate on her breathing.
He wasn’t gone long, though he’d been thorough with his search. He hurried back to the car to find her leaning as far forward as she could, her hands clutching the dashboard and her breathing labored.
“I, uh . . . I think maybe I am in the early stages of labor. Had anyone seen him?”
“No. Listen, I’m going to get you to the hospital and - “
“No! We have to find Danny. Let’s go back to the apartment. Maybe he’s come home.”
“Scully, if the baby’s coming - “
“She’s coming, but not yet. Please.”
He had to take her lead here, but he didn’t have to like it. “How far apart are they?” He pulled the car back out into traffic.
“We have some time.” Was her terse comment and rather than shake her, which was his first reaction, he hurried to get to the apartment.
Danny wasn’t there and Mulder felt panic clawing at him. He had to keep it together, for Scully’s sake, but Danny had never done anything like this.
He realized Scully was moving, slowly and it looked painfully, toward the hall. He had his arm around her to support her immediately.
“I just have to go to the bathroom.”
“Scully, I’ve got to get you to the hospital.”
“Babies take a long time, Mulder.”
“This is a second baby. They come quicker.”
“Not necessarily. I was Mom’s third, but I was her longest labor.”
“Why am I not surprised.”
She swatted at him then, and entered the small bathroom.
“Do you need me . . . “
“I can do this.”
She was in there a long time. He finally tapped on the door, “Scully?”
“I’m okay.” She sounded breathless to him and his anxiety hit new heights. She was in labor, Danny was officially missing now and he was completely helpless.
When the door opened, he was there and his arm went around her again. “I’m okay Mulder. Why don’t you check with the neighbors again? Maybe someone’s seen him.”
“I’m not leaving you.”
“Mulder, I’m not going to have this baby without you knowing it. Go check, then we’ll concentrate on this one. Please.”
He searched her eyes. She really needed him to do this. Finally he nodded. “I won’t be long.”
She tried to smile at him and shooed him out. Then she eased herself down on the edge of one of the kitchen chairs and clutched the table as she moaned to get through the contraction.
When it eased slightly. She forced herself back to her feet. There were things they’d need. She shuffled back to the bathroom and gathered up the alcohol, scissors, floss and towels. Holding on to the sink and swaying got her through the next one, but she knew she was running out of time.
She got her supplies to the bedroom and stripped the bedspread and top sheet from the bed, then arranged some of the towels she’d brought. She let her clothes fall to the floor and managed to slip on her gown.
Her knees buckled under the next onslaught of pain and she managed to ease herself onto the bed. This baby was anxious to get out. She wished desperately for Mulder to return.
When he did, it was to find her in their bed, lying on her side and panting, trying desperately not to obey her body’s demand to push.
“Oh shit. Come on, Scully. We have to go.”
“There’s no time, Mulder. I need . . . I need your help.”
“You can’t be serious. I don’t know what to do!”
“See if, oh god, see if you can see her head.”
She was that close? With trembling hands he helped her to her back. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it.” She said dryly. “Mulder, hurry.”
“Scully, you need to push. I can see her.” His voice was nearly steady.
She pulled herself up, clutching her knees. Mulder’s eyes widened as the head started to emerge. It slipped back as the contraction ended. “Push again, Scully. She’s almost here.”
Scully nodded and bore down again as another contraction took possession of her. “Scully, Scully the head’s out.”
“Check for the cord.” She panted.
“I don’t, I don’t see it or . . . or feel it.”
Scully nodded and began pushing again. Her groan nearly undid him. He was supporting the head and watched as a shoulder emerged. “You’re doing . . . you’re doing great Scully.”
She cried out then and the tiny girl tumbled into his hands and began to cry.
“Scully, I . . . I’ve got her.” Scully collapsed back against the pillow to catch her breath, then reached for her daughter.
Mulder placed the tiny girl on Scully’s abdomen. “What . . . Scully, what do I do?”
“Get a towel, we’ve got to keep her warm.” Mulder grabbed another towel from the dwindling stock she had brought. Together they wiped the blood from the child’s body. “Tie off the cord, Mulder. There and there.”
He did as she instructed, not attempting to hide the trembling in his hands. He cut the cord and Scully drew the child to her breast. The little girl seemed to know what she wanted and latched onto Scully’s nipple.
“Mulder, I need to push again.”
He looked up from the baby, startled for an instant, then realized what she meant. Once the afterbirth was delivered, he wrapped it in another towel and put it aside.
He returned to her side, to find her weeping quietly.
“Where’s Danny? Where’s my little boy?” She clutched the baby to her.
It was all back. He’d managed to shove it aside during the terror of the birth. Now the bottom fell out again. Their son was missing. He sank onto the bed beside her.
“I’m going to find him Scully. I want you to try not to worry about him right now. You need to think about yourself and the baby.”
“No. I have to help you. We have to - “
“Scully. Scully listen to me. You can’t help me with this, not right now, not physically. But I’m going to find him. Don’t doubt that.” She was sobbing now and he pulled her to him, his own tears falling unchecked into her hair.
The baby protested and Mulder relaxed his hold. “Lie down Scully. I’ll put her down. Try to rest.”
She shook her head, but allowed him to take the child and settle her in the bed. As he started to leave the room she stopped him. “Mulder are you going out?”
“No. I can’t leave you right now. I’ll . . . I’ll think of something.”
He pulled the door closed. He wanted to hold her, somehow comfort her and himself. Finding Danny was the only way.
He washed up in the kitchen sink. Hell, he had a new daughter, he and Scully had a baby girl and he didn’t even have time to enjoy it. Good god, he’d helped Scully deliver their baby, he sank into a kitchen chair, suddenly unable to stand.
A knock at the door brought him back to the present. He hurried to it and opened it to see a priest, and holding his hand, was Danny.
Mulder reached for the boy even as he leaped into his father’s arms. Mulder crushed him to his chest as the boy’s arms squeezed his father’s neck.
“Are you okay? Danny, what happened?”
“Daddy, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“You’re here. That’s all I care about.” He looked up at the priest who had stepped inside and closed the door.
“He’s fine, Mr. Petrie. I’m Father Charles, we found him asleep in the confessional. He said his mother was having a baby and he’d come to pray for her.”
Mulder blinked at the boy in his arms. “Your sister’s here.”
Mulder nodded. “We were so worried about you.” His arms tightened again.
“It looks like you’ve had a very big day, Mr. Petrie. I think I’ll clear out. My blessings on your family.” The priest crossed himself.
“Th . . . thank you for bringing Danny home.”
“It was my pleasure. That’s a very special little boy you have there.”
“You have no idea.” Mulder replied as he walked the older man to the door, keeping Danny in his arms. “Thank you.”
The priest shook his hand and patted Danny on his head, then left them alone.
“Your mother needs to see you.” He reluctantly put the boy back on his own feet.
“Is she okay?”
Mulder nodded, his throat suddenly too tight to speak. He opened the door to the bedroom and saw her, staring at the ceiling lost in despair.
“Scully. Scully?” She managed to turn her head. “Look who I have.”
Her eyes widened and she sobbed his name, holding her arms out to him. He ran into them and they closed tightly around him.
“Careful guys, let’s not hurt anybody.” Mulder moved to help Danny sit beside her. Mulder was crying now as well, though he hadn’t realized it.
Scully couldn’t stop crying. She wasn’t sure she’d ever stop crying. “Where were you? What happened?”
“I went to the church. The one around the corner.”
Scully’s brow furrowed and she looked up at Mulder, who nodded.
“I knew she was coming. You were asleep, but your stomach kept getting really hard and you made noises. She was scared, she didn’t know what was happening.”
Scully met Mulder’s eyes. “I thought it was fast.” He muttered.
“I was real careful with the fire for the candle.”
“You lit a candle for me?”
“Like you told me.”
Fresh tears leaked from her eyes.
“Hey, want to meet your new sister?” Danny nodded eagerly. Mulder rose and picked up the baby from her bassinet.
He brought her over and placed her gently in Scully’s arms. Her eyes opened and she seemed to look at them.
“Mom, does it hurt to have a baby?”
Scully brushed the hair from his forehead. “Yes, yes it does. But it’s so worth it.” She pulled him closer so that she could hold them both.
Mulder realized she had started to tremble. “Scully?”
“Take her.” She was shaking now, reaction setting in. He took the baby quickly, but he was afraid Scully was going to hurt herself.
“Danny, hold the baby.” He thrust the infant into his arms and wrapped his own arms around Scully. “Scully, try to relax. We’re all here, we’re safe. Danny, put the baby in her bed and come touch your mother. She needs you.”
Danny nodded and lay his sister gently in her bed, then rushed back and began stroking her arm.
“Scully, if you can’t relax I’m taking you to the hospital. Come on, you’re Scully. You can do this.” Her muscles seemed slightly less tense. “You’re okay. We’re all okay.” He was kissing her forehead, her eyelids, which were beginning to droop. “Go on to sleep now Sweetheart. It’s all under control. Danny’s here, our daughter’s here. You can rest now.”
Mulder looked over at Danny, who nodded. Mulder himself relaxed slightly at that.
She was drifting off now, the tension leaving her body. “Sleep my Love.”
When Mulder was sure she was asleep, he lay her down and motioned for Danny to be quiet. Danny nodded and slipped off the bed. Mulder carefully followed, pulling the covers over her.
He scooped up the baby and joined Danny in the living room. They sat quietly for a long time, then Danny took the baby’s hand. “She’s a little confused.”
Mulder looked over at him; “I’m not surprised. She’s had a rough day.”
“She likes Katherine Ann.”
Mulder smiled, “Then that’s what we’ll call her.”
“Is Mom okay?”
“She will be Kiddo, now that you’re here. You scared us pretty bad.”
“I’m sorry, Daddy. I was scared, they were both hurting."
“Yeah, they were. And you relaxed them both, didn’t you?” The boy nodded. Well, that confirmed it; Scully had slept through most of her labor, until it had become so intense there at the end . . .
“Is that why you went to the church?”
“Mommy said it would help.”
“I’m sure it did. Just don’t go without one of us next time, okay?”
“I promise.” Mulder pulled the boy closer, to hug him again. “She’s so little.”
“Yeah. You were just like this. I had to learn a lot when we took off together.”
Danny nodded soberly. “I can help you now. I’m big enough.”
“You sure are.”
“She’s getting hungry. Are you sure Mommy’s okay?”
“Why don’t we go check and let Katherine Ann get something to eat?”
“You can call her Katy. She likes that too.”
Mulder grinned, “She does look like a Katy doesn’t she, with that little fluff of red hair. Think she’ll have freckles?”
Danny grinned, “Yeah.”
Once in the bedroom, they approached the bed quietly, but Scully seemed to sense them and opened her eyes.
“Scully, are you feeling better?”
She nodded, “I’m sorry if I scared you.”
“Par for the course today. Danny said Katy’s getting hungry.”
“It’s short for Katherine Ann, Mommy. She likes it.”
Scully looked up at Mulder, who winked at her. She smiled and reached for the baby. Once the two girls were settled in the bed, Danny crawled in beside them and watched the process avidly. When Katy’s fist flailed the air, he touched it and she immediately grabbed his finger tight. Danny’s look of delight brought a smile to Mulder’s face. He looked over at Scully, to see that she was crying again.
She put her free hand over her eyes, as though to hide her tears, but her shoulders gave her away.
“She’s remembering.” Danny whispered. “She’s remembering giving me to you.”
“Oh Scully.” Mulder pulled her to him. “It’s okay. We’re all here. You can be a mother to Katy from the beginning. Don’t regret. Things are good now.”
“I know. I’m sorry, I can’t seem to . . . “
“It’s okay. You might even have a slight hormone imbalance.”
“You think?” She managed to chuckle and sob at the same time.
“When you finish feeding her, how about a relaxing hot shower?”
“I’m not sure I can stand that long.”
“I’ll take it with you. Danny, you wouldn’t mind watching over Katy for a few minutes, would you?”
“Really? Can I?”
“Think we can remind him of this in a couple of years, when she’s into his stuff?” Mulder nudged Scully.
“I doubt it. We should take advantage while we can.”
In a little bit, Danny watched his parents slip into the bathroom. He leaned over the bassinet to look at his little sister and began answering some of her questions.