Title: 3BR3BA
Author: Sagan
Rating: NC-17
Category: MSR, Smut, Baby
Spoilers: Have you seen Existence?
Disclaimer: Stop kicking me. I'm *not* gonna say it.
Distribution: Ephemeral, ATXC; others ask, but ok

Summary: The perfect house for a growing family.

Note: The title is shorthand for 3 bedrooms, 3 baths PS: More notes at the end.

"The second floor has two bedrooms and one and a half baths. The Master bedroom has walk-in closets and a full bath complete with Jacuzzi whirlpool," the realtor said as they walked through the front door.

They stood staring at the staircase, an elegant yet understated vine of rich cherry hardwood that extended from the foyer to the second floor.

Mulder imagined William, years in the future, bounding down the stairs a gangly nine-year-old, his little sister hot on his heels.

In her mind's eye, Scully saw a handsome teenager on the bottom step, every inch the image of his father, posing for Homecoming pictures with his date as Mulder straightened the young man's tie.

The room fell silent. Neither of them had heard a word the realtor had said and now she was looking at them. Mulder nodded at the realtor and motioned for Scully and a sleeping Will to follow their tour guide.

"This house is perfect for a growing family. The backyard is fenced in, oak and maple trees line the property along the back..."

"I can't keep them straight in my head anymore," Mulder sighed and flopped across their bed. She sat down next to him and pulled off her socks. "The split-level we saw last weekend was nice...not as nice as the one in Chevy --"

He smiled at her. "Ja-coo-zi, baby." She thwacked him in the shoulder with her sock. He grabbed her and pulled her on top of him. "You think that's the one?" he rubbed noses with her.

"I -- I don't know. The kitchen was beautiful," she braced her chin on his breastbone as he snaked his hand up the back of her sweater. "Okay. Let's buy it." "What? Just like that?" She rose on her arms and looked him in the eye.

"It's *not* 'just like that'. We've been looking at houses for months, Scully." "But, Mulder --" she slides down his body to get more comfortable.

"What?" "Are you sure you like it?" she asked, trailing the tip of her nose up the center of his chest as she pushed his t-shirt up and over his head.

"Oh yeah, I like --" his head hit the downy pillow with a light thud, his eyelids twitched when her tongue swirled around his nipple.

She bit down, enough to startle him. He lifted his head and looked at her. She smiled as she blew across his nipple. "The *house*. Are you sure you really like it?"

He caught her knees between his legs and flipped her onto her back. She sighed as the weight of him pushed her into the mattress. He unfastened the top button on her slacks with his left hand while his right was busy caressing her hip.

His answer came between their kisses.

"Yes <kiss> I <kiss> like <kiss kiss> the house." Nimble fingers found the zipper of her slacks and eased it down just enough to allow his hand to slip inside.

Her right knee languorously rubbed up and down his left thigh, brushing against the hard evidence of his arousal. Their kisses turned wanton; she traced the outline of his lips before sucking the bottom one into her mouth. He slid the tip of his tongue over the ridges of her soft palate, stroking lightly again and again, mimicking what their lower bodies were aching to do.

They gasped at the same time: "Scuh --"

"Mmmmulder --"

His warm fingers slipped inside her, drawing circles in the moisture there. She sighed into his mouth and replaced her knee with her hand, cupping him through his jeans.

"It's been weeks," he gritted around clenched teeth as she hit the perfect rhythm and combination of hand and knee. He dropped his forehead to hers and kissed her.

She arched her back and pressed her chest into his, continuing her ministrations to his increasing erection. "It feels like years."

Mulder pulled away from her, regretfully, painfully, and sat back, her leg still between his. He paused for a moment and looked at the nightstand. She rose up on her elbows.

"What's wrong?" she asked, her hair tousled and lips swollen from too many (or not enough) kisses.

"Nothing, nothing." He smiled and scooted back to put his feet on the floor. He hooked his fingers into the belt loops of her slacks and peeled them down her legs. "Lie back and enjoy."

He kissed the side of one knee and then the other before he set her feet flat on the mattress. He left wet, open-mouthed kisses along her calves and nibbled on her kneecaps. She giggled when he hit a particularly ticklish spot. The giggles quickly turned to sighs when his tongue traced the edges of the scrap of lace and silk that kept him from more delectable parts.

His hands left her knees and moved under her, slipping inside the back of her panties and slowly dragged them from her body. When she lifted her hips to help, he took advantage of her proximity and growled in delight at the absence of auburn curls. He trailed his tongue along the tops of her thighs before delving lower to taste her sex.

After he freed the panties from her legs, he spread her knees a little to allow better access. Her hands flew to his hair when his thumbs parted her, her center exposed to his curling tongue.

Her sigh nearly drowned out the small cry, but he heard it.

Mulder stopped his erotic assault, raised his head and dropped his chin on her lower abdomen, his eyes closed. He moved further up onto the bed and her hands fell away from his head. They exchanged pitiful smiles and looked at the baby monitor on the nightstand. They held their collective breath.

The light meter on the monitor increased from two green dots to five as it picked up another small whimper.

Sleeping-baby noises, sheets and sleeper rubbing together softly, and the fast, even susurration of baby breathing.

"He's fine," Mulder assured. He slid his hands up the backs of her arms until he was holding her head in his hands. His eyes were still dilated from arousal and he leaned in for a kiss. Before she could bring her arms up around his neck, Will cried out in earnest.

"I'll go," she said and felt around for her panties.

He kissed her cheek and rolled off the bed. "I'll take this one. You stay here. Hold that thought."

Mulder returned to the bedroom an hour later. Scully, scrubbed clean of her make-up and clad in his t-shirt, was asleep on his side of the bed.

After a trip to the bathroom to take a leak and to wash off the remnants of Will's last spit-up, he turned off the light and slipped out of his jeans.

She rolled over to let him under the covers and then rolled back across his chest. Once she drifted back to sleep, he leaned out of bed to reach the jeans he'd thrown onto the nearby rocking chair. He fumbled in the dark until he found the back pocket and removed a small box. He opened it.

The shiny key shone in the moonlight.

"Tomorrow." He smiled into her hair and kissed her head.

The smell of frying bacon and something that might have been biscuits baking in the oven stirred Scully from her sleep. She squinted around the sunny bedroom and tried to focus on the bedside clock. Eight thirty.

She laid back among the warm bed sheets for a few moments longer and listened to the sounds in the kitchen. She rolled onto Mulder's side of the bed and inhaled deep. His scent always set the tiny hairs on her arms at attention. A guilty smile crept across her face as she hugged the pillow close. She pulled on a pair of shorts and went in search of her family.

In the kitchen, Mulder and Will were having a conversation. Rather, Mulder was holding court and Will was busy focusing on his father. The baby was in a jumper seat on the kitchen table, Mulder leaning over him and talking while he scrambled eggs in a mixing bowl.

"No matter what your mommy says, when you get a little bit bigger, you can have Fruit Loops for all three meals, okay? It's okay if you don't eat oatmeal *every* day. Tell her oats are for horses, and you're a growing boy."

"Mulder!" her laughter nearly caused him to drop the bowl. "That's an awful thing to tell your son." She snaked her arms around his waist and tilted her face up to him for a kiss. He didn't disappoint.

"Good morning." He smiled. "Hey Will, look who's up?"

Scully unfastened the seat and lifted him into her arms.

"Good morning, baby," she said, kissing his cheeks and hands. "Are you hungry?"

"I really liked it. The last one, in Chevy Chase. It's just --"

"Just -- what? Too suburban?" he asked over his cup of coffee. She patted Will's back as he lay across her shoulder.

"I love the house, don't get me wrong," she said. "The driveway is *made* for a basketball hoop," he added. She smiled. "But it's so -- *normal*," she sighed and chuckled at the same time.

"And *normal* isn't something you want?" he asked, watching tiny milk bubbles form on Will's lips. Mulder reached out and caressed her cheek. She leaned her head into his palm.

"We're anything *but* normal, Mulder."

He nodded in a non-committal way, and finished his coffee as he stood.

"Sure you don't want a refill?"

She shook her head 'no' and sighed. "Think the realtor will think we're nuts if I call and ask to see the house again?"

He grinned at the coffee pot but steeled his expression before he turned back to her. "No. Go ahead. Give her a call. I'll take sleepyhead, here, and we'll get ready to go."

She slumped against the doorframe of the bathroom and slid to the tiled floor. Mulder had just put a fresh diaper on Will when he heard her disdained exhale.

"What? Scully, what's wrong?" He picked up Will and moved to where she sat, her arms wrapped around her knees.

"The house. It's sold. Someone bought the house," she sighed, her forehead resting on her knees. She was talking into her lap, her voice muffled. Mulder sat on the floor next to her and Will squirming out of his dad's grasp. Mulder pulled Scully close under his chin. She started to sniffle as they watched Will pull himself into a standing position.

"I'm sorry. If I'd known -- " he kissed her temple, his arms around her shoulders. He scooted over to the box of tissues on the vanity. "Here. Dry your tears. We'll find another house, if that's what you want." Will stood with the help of the baby-latched vanity drawer handles and followed Mulder's every move with huge, curious eyes. She sighed again and held out her arms for Will to walk toward her. "I really liked that neighborhood. I don't remember any other houses around it being for sale." Will let go of the drawer handles and took a tentative step before landing on his diapered rump. He rolled to his knees and crawled toward Scully.

Mulder shrugged. "We won't know until we ask, right?" He stood and helped her to her feet. Together they scooped Will from the floor and held his hands as he took wobbly baby steps into the bedroom. ~

"Mulder, why'd you stop? It's already sold." She pointed at the magnetic 'SOLD' sign stuck lopsided over the realtor's face on the For Sale sign. "See?"

He pulled into the driveway and cut the engine. "I wanted another look." He unfastened his seat belt and got out. Scully scrambled to get Will out of his car seat and catch up to Mulder.

"This is trespassing," she hissed.

He cupped his hands to the glass panel beside the front door and peered inside. Scully walked around to the front window and peeked in.

A moment, later he joined her. "I wonder if they left a spare key? Do you have your lock pick gun in the trunk?" he asked.

She gave him a pointed look.

"Scully, I know what this house meant to you, and I just wanted you to have one last look around before someone started moving in furniture."

They walked back to the front door and Mulder checked the mailbox. No key. Scully kicked some stones along the edge of the sidewalk, hoping for a hide-a-key rock. "Maybe the realtor had the only spare," she conceded.

Mulder leaned against the door and looked out across the yard. "Na, there's got to be a key around here somewhere."

He ran his hand along the doorjamb, no luck. Scully stepped back and toed at the Welcome mat with her shoe. She looked up at Mulder, eyebrow piqued.

"Surely not," he said, and lifted the rug. A brass key was duct taped to its underside.

She glanced nervously around the neighborhood, swaying Will in her arms. She half-expected blue and whites to roll in, an observant neighbor having called them after seeing strangers mill around the vacant house.

The key fit the lock, and in a moment they were inside.

Mulder flipped the light switch next to the front door and the foyer chandelier came on.

"The new owners must work for DC Gas and Light to have had the electricity turned back on so quick." Scully walked around the living room and through an archway to the dining room.

"Scully. Come here and take a look at this."

She walked back to the foyer and found Mulder holding a long sheaf of paper.

"What is it?"

"Looks like paperwork, a title or a deed. Have a seat," he indicated the step as he moved to join her.

She moved around him and started to sit when he handed her the papers.

He watched her brow furrow as she read. "Mulder, this *is* a deed. But I don't underst --" her eyes widened in disbelief.

Tears threatened to escape when she gazed into his eyes. Will stirred in her arms and she smiled down at his fuzzy head. She leaned forward and kissed Mulder then, long and sweet. The papers fluttered to the ground.

They pulled apart, and she bent to retrieve the deed when something shiny in the carpet caught her eye.

"Let me get that," he said, bending to retrieve the object. He looked at it in his hand, and at the papers in Scully's, and his chest tightened. Scully. William. His family. Emotions washed over him when he realized all that was good and right in his life. He couldn't find the words to tell her.

"What, Mulder? Are you okay?" She was worried and reached a hand out to his forehead. He took her hand in his and brought it to his lips, kissing the backs of her fingers. He fought the lump in his throat as he found his voice.

"Scully --" his twinkling eyes held hers. "I love you." She smiled, her eyes tearing up at the words. "I love *you*, Mulder." He opened his hand and held it up for her see the object. In his palm lay a half-carat diamond ring.

"Will you marry me?" She didn't hesitate.

END Note: Wow. Two completed pieces in one week. That's got to be one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse, right after the part about the moon turning to blood. Many thanks to beduini for her suggestions, and to Lari and Sybils and Melly (oh my!) for the cheerleading and spell checking. Duckies *rule*!

This is a prequel, of sorts, to another of my stories called "Mulder House Rules". It's archived in a bunch of places, but you can definitely find it permanently housed at http://www.twinparadox.org For the Anne Sullivan to my Helen Keller, Rah, what can I say? Merci buckets. Sagan, May 31, 2001

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