Title: After The Run Part 7.5: Meg, I Believe
Author: Pattie
Rated: PG-13
Category: Post-Series, Colonization Averted, Kid Fic, Angst, Holiday Fic
Spoiler(s): The Truth
Archive: Nursery Files, Gossamer, the usual places I send my stories. Anyone else who wants it, feel free to ask!
Feedback: Gracefully acknowledged at patfiler@hotmail.com
Disclaimer: The regular X-Files characters belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox Studios. Any other characters belong to me. I receive no money for writing these stories and intend no copyright infringement.

Summary: Several days before Christmas, Mulder and a very pregnant Scully treat themselves to a three-day visit to a spa. What could possibly go wrong on the drive home?

Author's Notes: Written for The Nursery Files Christmas, 2006 Challenge: No Room At The Inn. Challenge elements to follow at the end of the story. This one will fit in quite nicely between Parts 7 and 8 of my After The Run Series, written almost three years ago. It will be at Pattie's Pocketful Of X-Fics soon!


Mulder Residence
West Tisbury, Mass.
December 13, 2004 10:33 PM

Scully rinsed her mouth and cast the bathroom into darkness, imagining this very large child she was carrying would have a fascination for spooky, dark houses and ghost stories.

Mulder looked up from his latest copy of "Violent Predators in America" and smiled. "Well, Mrs. Mulder, how lovely you look."

Scully eased herself into the bed. "Thank you. I feel due any day now."

"Oh yeah. You did say you thought the dates were off, and the doctor could be wrong. Early January? Are you sure you're not carrying twins?"

Scully smiled and kissed his cheek. "I'm sure. One heartbeat. Maybe it was all that stress when Kersh called you back to deal with the Navajo for rights to the magnetite, all the tests and plans, then saving the world again..."

Mulder flicked the light off. "I guess that would throw things off but that's all over and done with, and I'd prefer to live in the present." He put his arm under her neck and decided this would be the right time to give her an offer she couldn't refuse.

"Speaking of stress, we'll both be off from teaching a few days before Christmas, you'll have finished the term at Quantico, and my marking will be done well before Christmas Eve. Dr. Scully. Mrs. Mulder, Mom, or whoever you wish to be called, congratulations! You and your husband are going for some R and R at a spa just outside of Boston, three days before Christmas!"

"Oh, that would be wonderful, but I promised William we'd build a gingerbread house next week, and he's looking forward to that... Then there's Mom, Bill, Tara, Matthew..."

"Already taken care of. Your mother arrives on the eighteenth, and Bill is bringing Tara and Matthew up here Christmas Eve. And before you say anything, let me remind you that you've been taking care of everyone else including me for so long, isn't it about time you took care of yourself?"

"Well, if you put it that way, when do we leave? All my shopping is done, the gifts are all wrapped, and I'm exhausted."

"That's my girl. We leave on the twenty-second."

Scully was outraged. "What? Mulder, that's too close to Christmas!"

"Everything is taken care of. You prepared Thanksgiving dinner; your Mom is preparing Christmas dinner. We're already booked and they have the cheque. C'mon, it'll be good to be alone together and have our every need attended to. Besides, baby will need you to be strong and energized for that big day."

"Welllll, I'll admit I need it... Let's do it!"


Mulder Residence
December 22, 2004 10:30 AM

This was the day. Margaret Scully hugged her daughter and whispered, "Don't worry. We'll be just fine. I'll have everything under control and William keeps me young. Have a wonderful time, Dana."

Scully patted her very swollen abdomen and smiled. "Maybe I DO need a vacation before the baby arrives."

"Well, that baby is one heck of an athlete," Mulder added, when he returned from packing up the car. "Ready for some well-deserved fun?"

"I will be, as soon as I say good-bye to William!"

William, now four, stood on the sofa and said, "If I stand up here, you can hug me without having to bend over!"

Scully smiled and put her arms around her miracle baby, kissing him on the cheek. "Well, just this time, young man. Now you be good for Grandma, and go easy on the treats, okay?"

Mulder ran his hand over the boy's reddish hair. "I think that was an order, bud. We'll call you every day."

William jumped down from the sofa and looked so excited about the holidays, Grandma and of course the presents. "We'll fill up that big space under the tree, too!"

"Well, we'd better go then, so you can get busy. See you in a couple of days." The boy's father put his arm around Mom, and they were on their way to regenerating their batteries. The driving would be good, and the weather was clear and milder than usual for the area.


Smooth Vibes Spa 2:53 PM

From the highway, one wouldn't know the big old house was a spa, but Scully admitted the grounds were immaculately kept, with lovely evergreens gracing the front lawn and beyond.

Mulder parked the car and removed the keys from the ignition. "This is the place. Are you ready to relax?"

Scully rubbed at her lower back. "I sure am."

The lobby was brightly lit with chandeliers, tall, shiny and green tropical plants surrounding sitting areas and leading up to the marble counter where Mulder signed the registry. "Reservations for the Mulders?"

A lovely blonde woman, in her thirties, clad in a black business suit and white blouse smiled at them. "Yes! We've been waiting for you. I'm Lucy Hayes, and I own Smooth Vibes. If there's anything you need just call the desk and we'll be happy to help you. You'll need these keys, and perhaps you should get settled in before we go over the various treatments and services we offer."

Scully was eying the elevator, and Mulder knew it. "I think that would be a good idea. So, the stairs or the elevator?"

"The elevator. Definitely the elevator," she answered, as she look at her swollen feet and ankles.

Their room was wonderfully inviting, nothing too lavish, yet not cold and barren either. There was a beautiful picture of a meadow filled with colorful flowers that caught Scully's eye. "It's beautiful, Mulder! Thanks for doing this for me."

Mulder hugged his wife. "I'm doing it for the three of us. Why don't you get comfortable and I'll get our bags, okay?"

"You bet." The first thing Scully did was kick off her shoes and ease herself onto the bed, placing her feet on a pile of pillows. The lovely picture was right beside the bed, and as she looked at it, she imagined that Heaven must be like that. The baby was very active just as she was getting relaxed, and she whispered softly, "Now you have four more weeks. You can rest while Mom rests." Somehow, she had the feeling she and the doctor had no idea how close this birth would actually be to Christmas.

Mulder returned with their bags and set them on the floor. "I overheard you. Did your little one answer you?"

"Well, no, he or she didn't. But I can't wait to hear her voice for the first time."

"Well, this is another miraculous Scully and Mulder production."

"To think that the metal from that ship on the Ivory Coast actually had some healing properties. It brought my ovaries back to life just as it did those frogs, Mulder."

He massaged her aching back. "Well, that was quite an adventure for me. Having those psychic powers for a while. A lot of things really are better left unsaid."

"Amen. You know, you could knead my shoulders a little harder. We won't break, you know."

"People get money here to do that," he teased.

"Yes, but I think you're my favorite masseur in the whole world," Scully managed drowsily. "That feels so good right now..."

Mulder saw her eyes closing and kissed her gently on the mouth. "I think I'm going for a run. I'll be back in about an hour. Scully? Are you still awake?" Since there was no answer, he went for a run.

When he returned and showered, Scully was still blissfully asleep, so he sat down and watched a basketball game as she dreamed.


Smooth Vibes Spa
Dining Room 6:15 PM

Scully was simultaneously disappointed in herself for having slept so long, and annoyed with Mulder for having let her sleep while he made the plans for dinner. "You really should have woke me after your run, Mulder. We could have taken care of the plans for the next couple of days, looked at our options."

"You should try the salmon, Scully. It's tender, and the Omega-3 fatty acids are brain food for the baby." Mulder didn't want to get into any arguments during this little vacation.

"You didn't hear me?"

"I knew you needed the rest, Scully."

"Oh, so you didn't think I could handle meeting with the owner and helping to set up our schedule?" She heard how she sounded. "I'm sorry. That wasn't fair of me. I'm just feeling a little moody lately. The fish is good. Not too dried out. I think baby wanted me to eat way too much fruit salad. Ohhhh..."

Mulder was by her side in a second, and put his hands on her shoulders. "Are you all right, Scully? Is it time?"

"I had you, there, didn't I?" She was smiling, but her husband was not amused at all.

He sat back down in his chair. "Don't you ever scare me like that again, Scully! I think we'd better discuss where we should go if you go into labor before we get home."

"Well, we could ask Dr. Healy to come out to the local hospital, or one in Boston. Don't worry. Every thing's going to be all right." She reached out for Mulder's hand, and his met hers.

"I know. What did I do to deserve such a bright mother for my kids?"

Scully thought about that, keeping him in suspense for a witty answer. "You made me believe in the most unbelievable, Mulder. You made me believe in you. That's why I love you. And you believed in me."

"I did, didn't I?" He knew she was right. "I am one lucky son of a..."

"Not in front of the baby, Mulder."

"Well, the sky is clear, the stars are bright, and I wonder if you'd care to join me for a walk."

"I'd love that. But first, let's call William. He'll be going to bed soon."

The evening ended with Scully snuggled with Mulder in their room watching 'It's a Wonderful Life'. They really did feel they had a wonderful life.


December 23, 2004 8:30 AM

Mulder woke early and looked out their window at the clouds forming in the sky. They were feathery and high, but there had been a little flurry while they slept. He wondered if that was going to be all the snow they'd see before Christmas. It had been relatively mild and dry for the season, but when is weather ever truly predictable?


10:32 AM

After a hearty brunch, the Mulders met with Mrs. Hayes in her office.

"So, it's okay for me to have reflexology?" Scully asked.

"Of course. And it's great for your husband, too."

"Count me in," said Mulder. "What about the massages? Can my wife be placed in such a way that she can be comfortable and safe?"

Mrs. Hayes smiled and nodded. "Of course. I think fathers worry more than mothers at this stage."

Scully nodded in agreement. "They most certainly do. IF anyone needs a nice relaxing massage, it's my husband. What about the hot tub?"

"We will set it to a very safe temperature for you. You have my word on that, Mrs. Mulder. You're a doctor, aren't you?"

"Yes, I am. I will be returning to work about a year after this baby is born."

Mrs. Hayes stood. "Well, now that your schedules are set up, I'll inform our therapists of your plans and you can see the reflexologist after lunch."

Mulder stood and shook the woman's hand. "Thanks for doing this for us."

"Oh. One more thing: It's noted you were in the dining room last night. I just wanted to let you know you can have your meals in your room if you wish. Just about anything you want."

"That's all right," Scully replied. "We had an enjoyable walk last night, and we might just take one tonight. You know how it is going to the room and then coming back down."

"I most certainly do, Mrs. Mulder. I have three children of my own."


Dining Room 5:35 PM

A fully refreshed Scully glanced at the dinner menu, and felt her belly tighten a bit more than usual.

Mulder noticed she was patting her abdomen. "Kicking?"

"No. More like the Braxton-Hicks contractions I knew started last week, and I told you about them, remember? But this was a little more than I experienced even with William. I feel so good, Mulder. Do you think we over-did it with the unexpected rendezvous an hour ago?"

"Well, you told me things were fine, the doctor wasn't that worried, so I'm not worried. We've been very careful this past month."

"Hmm. Well, I think I'll have the chicken tonight, with mashed potatoes and corn." She glanced through the large panes of glass and saw a few snowflakes fluttering around.

Mulder saw them as well. "Don't worry. There aren't any storms predicted until at least Boxing Day."

"Well, I think I'll skip the walk tonight. I'm afraid my balance is a bit off-kilter."

"Sure. Besides we can snuggle up, just you and me, and rest up for that drive home tomorrow. Got all your gifts wrapped?"

"You know by now I do. How about you?"

"Just one more I had to hide at the Addisons' house. William is very clever at snooping, and I didn't have a chance to wrap it. Tomorrow night, I'll be in need of your assistance before Bill blows in with Tara and Matthew."


December 24, 2004 9:30 AM

Mulder had planned to be up early so they could get a good head start against holiday traffic and be home before supper, but he became edgy when his eyes met the face of his watch. "Damn!" He gently nudged Scully's shoulders. "Scully. Scully, we have to go home! I can just wash my face and brush my teeth. We'll have to eat on the road. You can take a quick shower while I pack my things. I know you packed last night."

"Guess I should have packed for you, too. No sense worrying about it. Let's just get a move on."

By 10:30, they were on their way to West Tisbury, with coffee and fast food breakfast deals in their hands.

"I don't like the looks of that sky, Scully."

"Maybe we'll be all right. I have no idea what the forecast is, and you did say there wasn't any major snow expected for a couple of days."

"Yeah, well, nobody can really predict the weather. How's the baby holding out?"

"Still asleep, I think. At least all that time at the spa got the swelling down. I could hardly get into my shoes. There goes another famous Braxton-Hicks. I can't wait until the first week in January!"

Mulder was only half listening. "It's starting to snow. Big flakes. That's going to tie up traffic, and I know by now you want me to find a gas station. Am I right?"

"Well, maybe a coffee shop would be a better idea. Cleaner. It might be a good idea to grab something for lunch, too."

That errand went well, but the snow was starting to accumulate by noon, and the car stalled just yards away from a farmhouse.

"Great! I guess we'll have to call a tow truck and get home another way. C'mon, Scully. We can't stay out here in the cold. Looks like some body's home."

After he took Scully up to the door, they were invited inside by a woman in her mid-fifties. "Well, I hadn't expected anyone but my family, and they're late. I'm Liz Monahan."

"Fox Mulder, and my wife, Dana Scully. May we use your phone?"

"Of course. Please, sit down. I'll get the phone book. I don't know if you can get anyone out to fix your car today. The trucks are pretty busy. I just heard we're getting quite a snowfall."

Scully sighed and eased herself onto the sofa. "May as well call home, too, Mulder. It doesn't look like we'll be home for Christmas."

"We'll see. I'm going to do everything I can to get us there safely and on time."

Mrs. Monahan had been right. There were no tow trucks available any time soon, but she had overheard the Mulders talking and offered them the use of her car.

"Thank you very much, Ma'am. We'll bring it back out here as soon as we can."

"Be very careful out there. If you decide to stop driving, there's a motel about 30 miles down the road. That would put you about 30 more miles away from West Tisbury, but at least you'd be safe."

She was right about the snow. Things became more difficult as the miles passed, visibility was almost nil, and Scully was feeling a couple of contractions that were much stronger than the earlier one.

"Mulder?"

"Yes? Please keep in mind I'm struggling with the road here..."

"Keep an eye out for that motel. I don't want my water to break in Mrs. Monahan's car."

"This is for real this time, isn't it?"

"Yes. You have not been had. I see a sign! It's right over there, Mulder! The motel!!"

He soon know where she was looking, and pulled into the parking lot. A neon sign flashed "NO VACANCY."

"No room at the inn, Scully, but we're gonna make room if we have to."

They slowly entered the motel lobby together and approached the desk. "My wife and I need a room, and money's no object. We also need a doctor or paramedics!"

A young man at the front desk pointed to the sign. "All our rooms are full, and your situation seems kind of familiar on this particular day..."

"We need a safe place for my wife to have her baby!" Mulder shouted. "It's happening now, so where can we safely have this baby delivered?"

The young man was shaken by Mulder's tone of voice and pointed to the Manager's Office. "I know my boss isn't going to believe this one. I'll call the clinic. There's usually someone on call..."

"Thank God," Scully interjected. "I really mean that, because my water just broke."

"Welcome to Cranberry Cove Motel," said the man.

Mulder eased her onto the manager's couch. "It's all right. We're going to have a safe, healthy birth, Scully."

"Ohhhhh... Mulder I can't hold back very long. Get my medical bag from Mrs. Monahan's car!"

"I can't leave you here like this... just... don't push yet!"

Scully blew off the contraction, and tried to remain calm. "Please, just get my bag. I might need you to deliver this baby."

"Okay. I think that was three minutes. I haven't delivered a baby before. I'll get your bag, but you'll need to talk me through whatever I have to do."

About ten minutes later, Scully's medical bag was beside the couch as Mulder coached her in breathing. He had removed her clothes and placed clean sheets, courtesy of the motel staff, above and below her very busy body.

As he was about to check as instructed to see how far she had dilated, they heard a male voice just outside of the office. "I'm Dr. Lombardo. The clinic said there's a woman in labor here?" The man appeared to be in his mid-forties and definitely of Italian extraction.

He was ushered into the room immediately. "Hello, there. I see we're about to deliver", he said calmly. "Dr. Angelo Lombardo. And you are? Fox Mulder, and my wife, Dr. Dana Scully."

Dr. Lombardo shook Mulder's hand. I'm just going to wash up and have a look, okay?"

"Thank you," Scully whispered.

"Somebody up there likes us. He sent a doctor."

"Well, somebody down here is in one hell of a hurry! It's coming NOW!"

All Dad could do was hold her hand an encourage breathing and panting as Dr. Lombardo examined Scully.

"You're on your way, fully dilated. Now push!"

Scully pushed and grunted, pushed again, shouting with all her might.

"Okay, we're crowning. Now, bear down and yell whatever you have to."

"Uhhhhghhh!"

"That's great. Now I need you to hold back while I check the baby's neck. Looking good. Bear down as hard as you can and keep breathing with every push. That's it. You're a pro, I can tell."

"Did it once before," Scully managed to say. "One more time?"

"One more time. Now again."

"AHHHHHHHHH!"

A cry went out for all to hear.

"It's a girl. A beautiful baby girl." The doctor tied the cord off and offered Mulder the scissors. "Go ahead. You do the honors."

"Okay." He knew the cord had no pain nerves, that it was just a conveyance for blood from mother to baby and vice versa, but he reluctantly cut the umbilical cord while the doctor cleared the baby's nose and cleaned her up, then wrapped her in a bath sheet.

Scully smiled as she held the child, and looked up at Mulder. "Great Christmas gift."

"Fits both of us."

"So what is this little lady's name?" The doctor needed that for the birth certificate and medical report.

Scully kissed the little girl. "Oh, we were discussing names a few days ago. How about Sarah?"

"I was thinking more along the lines of Margaret, after your mother," Mulder replied, as he looked into his daughter's eyes.

"In this day and age? How about Meg?"

Dr. Lombardo had to clean up and return to the clinic. "That sounds nice. A pretty name for a pretty girl."

Mulder looked at the doctor, smiling from ear to ear. Yes. Meg, I believe."

"We need to get you to a hospital just to make sure every thing's okay. I see the ambulance is here. So, congratulations and it's been a wonderful experience on such a special day."


December 26, 2004

Scully and Meg were about to be released from hospital. The whole family had gathered to see the new arrival and William was fascinated with this wonderful Christmas present.

As Mulder, Scully, and the rest of them prepared to leave for the Mulder home, Scully stopped at the Nurse's Station. "Excuse me, please."

"Yes, Mrs. Mulder?"

"We'd like to thank Dr. Angelo Lombardo."

The nurse's face turned ashen. "Mrs. Mulder, Dr. Lombardo and his wife were killed five years ago Christmas Eve. Their car was hit by a drunk driver. He had just delivered a baby boy."

"There must be some mistake," Bill Scully insisted.

The nurse pointed to her own name tag. "Sheila Lombardo. He was my brother. I saw him buried."

"Must've been an impostor. I'm sure that was what was engraved on his medical bag, though." Scully usually believed in miracles, but this was a confusing thing for her to understand. Then it hit her: The prayer she had said in the car. "Maybe it was a miracle."

Mulder hugged her and agreed. "I know it was, Scully. It was a miracle in many ways."

END


No Room At The Inn Challenge

It's December 24th, in a year you've got to determine on your own. Mulder and Scully* are together on the way home for the holidays, but something comes up that throws a wrench in their plan to spend the next day with friends and/or family. And did I forget to mention that Scully's nine months pregnant? Whatever will they do?

Challenge Elements:

Place your fic after The Truth. It's now safe for Mulder and Scully to have a second baby. Why? Give at least a brief explanation as to how things have changed.

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