The Question (PG-13)

He looked up as the door opened.  She was late this morning; she’d said something about an appointment.  But the look on her face . . . “Scully, you okay?”

“Uh, yeah.  I had an appointment with Dr. Parenti this morning.”

Her gynecologist?  He felt a faint increase in his heart rate.  “Is every . . . is everything okay?” 

“Yes.  In fact he gave me good news.”

Good news?  Damn, how would she look if she’d gotten bad news?

“He, uh, Dr. Parenti thinks that the ova you rescued are viable, and . . . and he wants to attempt the in vitro.”

Say something, Mulder.  She’s waiting for you to say something.   “That’s, hey, that’s great Scully.”  He hoped he sounded sincere, he felt like he’d been kicked in the gut with no warning.

She nodded, “Mulder, I, uh, I don’t think I’m going to be very productive today.  Would you mind if I took off?”

“No problem, Scully.  There’s nothing going on I can’t handle.”

She gave him that tight smile and nodded.  “Thanks.”  She turned and left the office before he could say anything else.

Of course, that was assuming he'd had anything else to say and that he could have said it.  He sank back in the chair.  He should have seen this coming.  Ever since he’d confessed that he had the vial, she’d been quiet, distant even.  Could he really blame her?  But he hadn’t allowed himself to believe she would do this.  He just hadn’t wanted to believe, not about this.  If she, when she got pregnant . . . how would he handle that?  She’d have to leave the X-Files.  There was no way she could continue out in the field with him.  As lead agent he couldn’t allow it.  As her friend . . . But it wouldn’t end with the pregnancy.  There would be a baby. 

Everything about her life would change, and therefore so would his.   Stop it.  He had to think about this from her perspective.  She wanted the change, a baby, a family. 

A baby.   Had she already contacted a sperm bank?   There were lots of choices now.  There was that one with the Nobel prize winners, or the members of Mensa.  Both of those would appeal to the scientist in her.  Or maybe she had someone she knew in mind.  Oh that made him feel better.  Shit!

He went through the motions for the rest of the day.  He didn’t bother to leave the building for lunch, just grabbing a sandwich from the cart.  He forced himself to hang around until five, though he could point to nothing he had actually accomplished.

He let himself into his apartment wearily.  He tossed his keys on the table and turned into the kitchen.   He opened the refrigerator and spotted the paper container of leftover Chinese.  He pulled it out and opened it.  Too late, there was a grayish-green fur over it.  He tossed it in the trash and shut the refrigerator door.

He wandered into the living room and sank onto the couch.   He picked up the remote and flipped on the TV.  He didn’t even bother to surf, he didn’t want to watch anything, he just wanted the noise.  He had to keep his mind occupied. 

He almost didn’t answer the phone when it rang, but just before the machine clicked on, he grabbed it.  “Mulder.”

“Uh, hi.  I was beginning to think you weren’t there.”

“Sorry, I was in the other room.” 

“Are you . . . are you busy?”

“Uh, no.”

“Could I come over?  I, uh, I just need someone to talk to.”

Talk to?  He closed his eyes.  This was the last thing he wanted to do, but how could he refuse her? 

“Sure Scully, come on over.”

“Thanks.  I’ll be there shortly.”  She hung up and after a moment so did he.  Then he forced himself from the couch to make some tea.  She’d appreciate it and it gave him something to do.

He had barely put the pitcher in the refrigerator when she knocked on the door.  She must have called from the car, great.  He took a deep breath, then opened the door.

“Hi.”  He motioned for her to come in.

“Thanks Mulder.  I . . . There’s no one else I can talk to about this.”


She moved into the living room and then turned to look up at him.

“You, uh, you want some tea?”  Yes, he was stalling, so what?

“Thanks.”  She sat on the couch and he turned into the kitchen.  Shit, what was he supposed to say to her?

When he joined her, she had taken off her shoes and had her legs curled up under her.  He handed her the glass and sat beside her.  She took a sip, then put the glass on his coffeetable.

“I’ve, I’ve spent the afternoon making a list.”

“A list?” 

“The . . . the pros and cons of, of Dr. Parenti’s suggestion.”

“And?”  That’s it, keep it simple, let her do the talking. 

“Well,” she smiled ruefully at him; “I came up with about 7,000 cons and only one pro.”


“I want this, Mulder.  It’s insane, I know that.  My career, my lifestyle.  Nothing would be the same if I had a child.  I don’t even know if I could be a decent mother, but I want this.  I want to be a mother.”

“Then you should be, Scully.”  What was he saying?  “And I can’t imagine a better mother.”

She looked up at him,  “But that means . . . Mulder, what about the X-Files?”

He shook his head, “No.  Scully, you’ve sacrificed enough for them.  You’ve never wanted them to be your whole life and I don’t blame you.  You can’t pass up this chance, Scully.”

He saw her eyes glistened with tears, but none fell.

“Come on, Scully.  You know you can do this.  There’s nothing you can’t do, especially for a dream this important.  I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.”

After a moment she nodded.  “I guess I needed to hear you say it.”


She rose then, slipped on her shoes and headed towards the door.  Startled, he followed her; she’d just gotten here.  She put her hand on the knob, then stopped to look up at him once more.  “I need to ask you a favor, Mulder.”

Probably to keep this quiet.  No problem there.  “Sure, what do you need?”

“Think about this before you answer, Mulder.”

“Uh, okay.”  He looked puzzled.

She took a breath, then spoke swiftly, as though anxious to get the words out.  “I would like for you to be the biological father of my child.  I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”  She pulled the door open and was gone.

She left him with his mouth falling open as she rushed to her car.  She needn’t have rushed.  It was several minutes before he was capable of speech and even then he didn’t know what he would have said.  But for some reason, he felt a smile grow on his face.