Title: Adopted Son
Author: Kel

Summary: Dana would be back soon, and Walter had been intent on showing her that he was capable of caring for their toddler on his own.


Walter struggled to put his son in the high-chair, but the little fellow kicked and hollered until he had to give it up.

"Okay, young man, suppose you sit right here on my lap and eat your lunch?" he suggested cheerfully.

"Gimme!" said Stephen, pointing to a closed cupboard.

Walter had never seen the like. This child was born with a craving for sunflower seeds. Dana forbade the seeds outright; the boy was too young to eat them without the risk of choking.

Of course neither she nor Walter had bought the taboo treat. Stephen had managed to filch a bag on his last trip to the supermarket, and it was hidden away until it could be returned. Somehow Stephen knew exactly where it was hidden.

"When you're bigger," Walter told the child. "Look what Mommy made for you!"

Walter took a plate of fish sticks from the microwave. It was Stephen's favorite lunch.

"No, no, no," said Stephen. "Go park."

"Now, Stephen, we will go to the park after you eat your lunch," Walter said reasonably.

"No!" Stephen screamed, swinging his Nike'd feet vigorously.

"Ouch!" cried Walter. Stephen was wriggling out of his grasp, and Walter let him escape so he could rub his injured knee.

Dana would be back soon, and Walter had been intent on showing her that he was capable of caring for their toddler on his own. The bruised knee and the uneaten fish sticks said otherwise.

Walter decided to wait a few minutes before dragging the boy back to eat his lunch, but Stephen reappeared on his own, carrying his little red baseball mitt and his plastic bat.

"Daddy, park?" he asked hopefully. "Park, Daddy? Park?"

The boy tilted his head to one side and then the other, as his father gave him a stern, reproving look. Stephen's lower lip jutted into a stubborn pout.

Walter sighed. This was the family that he never thought he would have. He loved his son and he loved his wife, too. He didn't want to doubt Dana's word, and she had sworn to him that his suspicions were untrue.

But damn, that kid looked a lot like Mulder.

fin

Feedback to ckelll@hotmail.com.

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