The door opening woke him and he turned. Oh yeah, he was at Scully's. She'd gone to . . . She'd obviously been crying. Shit, that wasn't good. "Scully?" He rose, ready to offer her whatever comfort she would accept from him.
He'd expected this. They had told him the eggs weren't viable. That's why he'd kept his secret as long as he had. His Scully couldn't just accept that. Still seeing her like this was crushing.
"No." She managed to say, a smile breaking through her tears. "These are happy tears. Mulder, I'm pregnant!"
Her arms went around his waist and his arms closed around her but this mind was still trying to catch up. Pregnant? Oh shit! She couldn't be. This was not a good time. The X-Files were reopened; they had so much to do. Pregnant? His mind reeled.
She led him to the couch and sat down, drawing him down beside her.
Say something, you have to say something!
"Are, are you all right, Scully?"
"Yes." Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears. "I'm in perfect health. The due date is the end of February and they'll be doing an ultrasound next week. I have to stop by and get some vitamins and - "
She continued talking, nearly babbling but he wasn't able to follow it. A baby? He and Scully had made a baby? Damn. He thought he had this whole thing thought out. He'd certainly told himself he had. He hadn't just agreed to something like this blind . . . had he?
They hadn’t discussed anything in reality. No logistics at all.
“I know I’m babbling, Mulder. There’re just so many things going through my mind.”
He was able to nod at that.
“Did I tell you Dr. Parenti wants me to come in next week for an ultrasound? He wants to make sure there’s only one fetus - “
Only one fetus? Did he suspect more? Twins? Shit, they’d implanted four, right? That’s what she’d said, four. Quadruplets? No, no way. Her body was too small. It had to be only one.
“ - not sure how to tell Mom. I mean, part of me didn’t really think, I never really thought it would . . . you know?”
Oh yeah, he knew. Tell Mrs. Scully? Shit, the one person in her family who kind of liked him and now she had to find out he had knocked up her baby girl. And not even in a normal relationship - he’s gotten her pregnant on purpose, using a damn cup, without any discussion of . . .
He caught her yawn out of the corner of his eye. “Scully, you’re tired. You should get ready for bed.”
“No, I’m not tired. I’m too excited to sleep.” She looked down at her hand, caressing her abdomen.
He swallowed hard, watching that movement. “Really, Scully. Go get in your jamies and at least stretch out.”
She tried to hide her next yawn, but reluctantly nodded her head. “I guess I am a little sleepy. So much excitement.”
He nodded, hoping his smile didn’t look fake.
“Do you have to leave?”
“No. I’ll hang around for awhile; at least until you fall asleep. Go on.”
She gave his hand a squeeze and nodded, then headed for her bedroom. He stood there, afraid to let any of his thoughts congeal. Not yet.
Scully was back shortly. She looked adorable in her men’s pajamas with the legs rolled up. She hadn’t bothered with a robe.
“Can I get you anything? Some milk?”
Her soft smile grew at that. “Maybe that would be good.”
“Put your feet up.”
“Mulder, I’m - “
“Please, just let me do this.” She watched him move away toward her kitchen and smiled softly.
He poured the milk into a glass, refusing to think. Not yet. He returned to the living room and handed her the milk. She dutifully drank it down, chuckling just a little.
“Now, to bed.”
“Mulder.” Her eyebrow rose.
“Go on. Get in bed.”
She cut her eyes at him, but allowed him to lead her into the bedroom. He pulled the covers down. To his surprise, she scooted over, giving him room to sit beside her. She stretched out and he took the seat she left him.
“Mulder, is it going to be okay?”
Instead of a direct response, he kissed her on the brow, “Close your eyes, Scully.”
She smiled and nodded, cuddling close to his hip, one hand was below her cheek; the other rested on his thigh. It surprised him a little that she would be this close to him, but she was obviously emotional and . . . and she did have his child growing inside of her.
She fell asleep much quicker than he expected. When he was sure he wouldn’t disturb her, he eased from the bed. He needed some time. She rolled over into the warm spot he left and sighed slightly. He stood there looking at her for a long moment. Scully was pregnant?
He let himself out of the apartment silently and headed for his own place. Damn, a million thoughts were trying to crowd each other out for top place in his worries.
She couldn't go out into the field anymore, it wouldn't be safe. She'd have to ride a desk and keep herd on him long distance until after . . . would she come back to work then? How could she be a field agent and a single mother?
Child support. They hadn't discussed it but he needed to set something up. That damn financial advisor had been calling him to do something better with his mother's money. He'd know how to set something up. A college fund, and, and a trust fund for Scully and the baby. That way if anything happened to him, they'd be looked after.
She'd need a crib and, and one of those changing tables and . . . and baby clothes, babies needed a lot of clothes, didn't they? They spit up all the time and had to be changed. And diapers, tons of diapers. Would she expect him to change diapers? Would she allow him to change diapers? Would she allow him within a hundred yards of the kid? All of that wasn't going to fit into her apartment.
The kid couldn't sleep in the living room. She'd need a bigger place, two bedrooms at least. He could help out with that, if she'd let him. He needed to get more responsible about his money, about everything. On some level at least, he was going to be a father.
How much maternity leave would she take? Was it paid? She should take as much as she wanted; she'd waited so long and had too much taken from her not to take every minute . . . but what would he do?
He let himself into his apartment and sank onto the couch. His mind still whirling. When would she have to quit working? She was healthy so . . . she was healthy. Would the pregnancy do anything to mess up the remission? After all that her body had already been through, what would this do to her? Hell, would the kid be healthy? She had the damn chip in her neck, she'd been inoculated with god knows what kind of crap in the Antarctic - by him! He felt a cold sweat break out - no, don't go down that path . . .
If she came back to work, no when she came back to work, she'd need day care. Where in hell were they going to find a day care secure enough for their kid? Would he have any say in the matter? Would he have any say in anything? Would be he 'Dad'? Mulder? God, not Uncle Fox! He shook his head trying to dislodge those thoughts.
Could she live alone? Maybe she'd want to move in with her mother. He shook his head; no Scully was too independent for that. But could she look after herself? Who would go out to buy pickles and ice cream at two in the morning? Did people really do that?
They'd allowed him back in once she was covered. She was lying on an examining table and the woman was squirting some kind of goo on her belly. Now they were running an instrument around on her stomach. He started to hang back, unsure of his true welcome, but she glanced over at him. He moved closer. Now her eyes were glued to the monitor. There was a flutter there, fast. The technician turned on the sound and a rapid beat was heard.
"That's your baby's heartbeat."
He saw her hand come out, searching for him and he grasped it. He glanced at the screen, but was more interested in watching her. She was mesmerized. He knew she had what she had always wanted.
She had her hands on her hips, her frustration obvious, but he had put his foot down. She wasn't to lift a thing. He had back-up this time, as Byers and Langly moved past him carrying a large box. Skinner and Frohike were arguing in the background of the best way to move something. He tuned them out. He and Maggie would unpack everything, she could supervise.
He knew she was embarrassed to have all of this help, too confident that she could handle this alone. He'd had to do plenty of cajoling to get her to move to a new apartment in the first place. Now, watching her with her nicely rounded belly covered by one of his old t-shirts, he could only grin.
He’d be the one to run out and get blueberries and cashews - her preferred 2 a.m. diet. When he’d screwed up his courage to ask to move in, he’d visualized himself on her new couch. It was the one piece of furniture he had insisted on and it was long enough to accommodate his long frame. But she had made the comment that they would probably still both fit in the queen-size bed. He had not corrected her.
He watched her waddle toward the bed. That was the only word for it. She truly did look as big around as she was tall. Words that would never leave his lips. He was too fond of the family jewels. She climbed in and sighed. He immediately took up his duties of massaging the abused muscles in her lower back.
She shifted, giving him better access. The very act of rolling over in bed was a two or three step process now. He could feel her slipping under, so he moved closer, slipping his leg between her thighs. It was a position she found most comfortable and he watched as she abandoned herself to his arms.
He opened the door and spotted her on the couch. She didn't turn to greet him, just continuing to rub circles on her huge, there was no other word for it, stomach. "Scully?"
She didn't speak; her breathing sounded . . . "Scully?" She raised one finger to forestall him and he froze. Twelve heartbeats later she opened her eyes and smiled at him.
"Scully? Are you . . . why didn't you call me!" He was beside her now, clasping her hand.
"Because I wanted you to make it home safely." She said dryly, but the sparkle was in her eye.
"I might have stopped, gone by the guy’s . . . " Her eyebrow stopped him. Okay, he's been racing home for weeks now. When February had ended and March begun, he'd had to force himself to leave the apartment at all.
"Did you call the doctor?"
"Yes." She nodded, "Right after my water broke."
"Your wat . . . Damn it, Scully!"
"You were already on the way. Help me up." She spoke matter of factly, but it wasn't helping his nerves.
"What about your mother?" He lifted her gently to her feet and held her until she was steady.
"I thought you could call her after we were settled. I'm going to the bathroom now, Mulder. Try not to panic." She waddled away as he watched, feeling helpless. The baby had dropped since this morning. The baby. Not an abstract concept for much longer.
While she was out of the room, he made his own phone call, setting his security into motion.
Good god, how was she doing this? Fifteen hours, fifteen of the longest, most painful hours he could remember. He'd tried to override her objection to pain killers, but her pregnancy hadn't weakened her stubbornness at all.
He'd seen Maggie look at him with sympathy, but she'd sided with her daughter. He'd never won against one Scully female; two were odds he couldn't calculate.
"Okay, Dana. It's close. I want you to try a mild push for me." The nurse was there, but no doctor. Was she crazy?
Obviously he was the only one who thought so, as Scully tucked her chin to her chest and pushed.
"Okay, stop. I need to get the doctor." She slipped from the room and Mulder wiped Scully's brow again.
"You're doing beautifully, Dana." Her mother spoke softly.
Scully nodded, her eyes closed, grasping at the few precious minutes she had to rest. Her grip on his hand didn't relax.
The doctor entered and smiled over at them as the nurse tied his gown. "Ready to have a baby, Dana?"
Damn ready, he thought, but she only nodded. The doctor took his seat between her legs. Maggie moved to hold one of Scully's legs and the nurse the other.
"Okay, on the next contraction give me a push, Dana."
She seemed to whimper, then pushed, gripping Mulder's hand for all she was worth.
"Good, that's good. Give me another one. This baby's ready to come out." The doctor pattered on.
Mulder knew slugging him would not help matters.
"Ah, dark hair." The doctor smiled. Hair? He could see . . . "Dana, give me your hand."
Her eyes were wide open now and she complied. "Oh my god!" She felt the wet hair and soft scalp of her child. "Muld - "
He understood and let the doctor take his hand. Shit! The baby? His baby, Scully's baby right there, ready to be born.
"Give me another push, Dana. Hold it as long as you can." Mulder took up the count again, his eyes on her face. She seemed locked on his eyes, unable to break the connection.
"Okay, the head's out. Don't push."
The head was out? Mulder glanced down, yes, dark hair, but mostly gloved hands were in his view. He wasn't willing to move from her side.
"Dana, no evidence of the cord. Let's get the shoulders out, then we'll have a baby."
She nodded and focused on his face again. The determination in her eyes giving him the strength to see this through.
"There we go! It's a boy!" And there was a red, squalling, nicely-endowed, boy in his hands. The doctor lay the baby on her chest as she shifted her eyes from Mulder.
"Oh my god, oh my god, Mulder. He's beautiful!" Mulder wasn't sure that was the term he would use, but he wasn't about to argue with her now. Her hands went to the baby, taking his with her and she touched his cheek, cooing something Mulder couldn't quite hear.
He didn't see Maggie wipe the tears from her face as she watched this strange, lonely man who loved her daughter cry freely.
"Cut the cord here." A pair of scissors was thrust into his hand and he glanced at Scully for permission. Another thing they hadn't discussed. She smiled through her tears and nodded.
He did as he was bade, then watched at the nurse gathered the baby and towels and whatever and moved the baby away. His eyes followed, but hers were back on him again. "Go with him."
He looked down startled.
"Stay with him."
"But you - "
"Mom's here, you're not leaving the room anyway." She smiled. He couldn't help himself, he leaned down and kissed her gently, then wiped the tears from her eyes.
She nodded and he followed the nurse to the far side of the room. He watched as the boy, as his son, was weighed and measured, six pounds, ten ounces, 18 inches long. Then diapered and finally swattled. The nurse picked up the infant and placed him in Mulder's arms before he could protest. "Here Dad, take him to say hi to his Mommy."
Mulder stared down at the squalling baby and instinctively cuddled him closer, talking to him, introducing himself. The baby quieted and seemed to look into his eyes. For a long moment he just stood there, then remembering Scully, he looked over at her abashed.
She was smiling ear to ear through tears that didn't seem to want to stop. He brought the boy to her immediately and lay him gently in his mother's arms. Damn, how could he feel this way, this protective, this . . . this loving of a person he had known, what, seven minutes?
The door opening woke him and he turned. Oh yeah, he was at Scully's. She'd gone to . . . She'd obviously been crying. Shit, that wasn't good. "Scully?" He rose, a feeling of dread coming over him. "It didn't take, did it?"
"I guess it was too much to hope for." His arms closed around her as she broke down. "It was my last chance."
"Never give up on a miracle."
She silently shook her head. It hadn't worked. He gathered her against him as she gave in to tears. He was completely unprepared for the wave of grief and emptiness that washed over him.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.