Title - All Around My Table
Author - Miranda
E-mail - miranda119@juno.com
Rating - G
Category - V
Spoilers - Fight the Future, Momento Mori
Keywords - Mulder/Scully married
Summary - Mulder looks around his table one evening in the future, and is
amazed by what he sees.
Disclaimer - These characters belong to Chris Carter but I'll be really
nice to them.  Probably nicer than he'll ever be!  

All Around My Table She lost me about 15 names back. "So then I said 'Well, maybe he likes Angie' because he's always looking at her during social studies but then Jordan said that she heard Alexis say that Brandon said that Justin said he likes me! I was so freaked out then I asked Kaylie to ask-" "Melissa!" I hear my wife say in an amused, yet stern voice. "Less talk, more eating." "Mo-om!" Melissa whines in a tone I don't think I'll ever grow accustomed to. "This is important! Don't you care about my life?" "Of course I do." her mother replies evenly as she spoons a few peas into Emily, our two year old daughter's mouth. Emily promptly spits the vegetables on to her high chair. "Yucky." she declares and tightly presses her lips together. Undaunted, Mom returns to her own food until Emily realizes she is not being fed. "Daddy?" I hear another voice, and look at my six year old daughter Samantha. Her red hair glistens in the light of the sun shining into the dining room as her blue eyes sparkle. "Daddy, I got picked to be line leader today." That is my Samantha. Never have I known such a sensitive human being. Everything is important to her. Everything means the world. I momentarily wonder if her teacher realizes that she has, most likely without so much as a second thought, given a little girl a treasure she will store in her memory for a long time. Samantha sees the joy and the hidden wonder in everything about living. She makes me stop and ponder things I would have otherwise gone through my entire life never thinking without her presence and influence on my life. My dear little Samantha. "So what?" Melissa laughs, but cuts off the rest of her remarks to her younger sister as she catches the warning signal her mother flashes wordlessly at her. Melissa is my impetuous daughter. She is ten and knows everything there is to know and has long since declared she is no longer in need of her parents. She may be outspoken and tactless and naive right now, but Melissa will eventually outgrow this awkward stage and will accomplish great things. She is talented and persistent. She is a leader and a motivator. She will make us proud. "Yucky." Emily announces again in a huff and tries to cross her arms across her chest for effect as she spits a second spoonful of vegetables onto the high chair. At two, we can already see the hint of a very stubborn little girl in our youngest. She knows what she wants and she is determined to get it. I guess I see myself in her the most of all three of my girls, because I know my own tendency to stubbornness to the point of foolishness. I would have gone through life alone had it not been for the wonderful woman sitting across the table who showed me in her wisdom and quiet strength that I am not always right, that I do not have all the answers. She balances my weakness, she makes me whole and complete. I wish for my willful baby girl a soul mate as mine, who will take her will and soften and refine it, bringing out the good and suppressing the bad as her mother has done for me for so many years. I look around my table at my four 'women' who have become my world, and tears fill my eyes. Melissa has resumed her story, Samantha is now staring dreamily out the window, and Baby Emily is nodding off in her high chair, so only my wife sees the moisture that brims in my eyes. She understands my emotion. These girls, this life, this family - is a miracle. A miracle straight from Heaven's hand that in all normal circumstances could not have been. A marriage that was delayed years because of hardship and trouble and all the problems of the world that Dana and I had to solve first. Three beautiful daughters that caught us completely by surprise every time, since Dana had been rendered barren and without means of reproduction years before we were even married. "What a miracle.." I mouth to my wife. She is used to hearing me say this. She smiles, and my heart leaps. My heart always leaps, without fail, when I see her smile. Maybe the greatest miracle of all is how this beautiful and intelligent and caring and admirable angel ever could have loved a man so inconsiderate and driven and attached to as many demons as I was when she found me. I don't deserve her devotion, but she has always given it. And she was so patient. She has since told me that she was ready to marry me only a couple years into our FBI partnership. It took me five more to realize the same thing she had known all along. The truth that was so obvious to everyone but me... I sought my fulfillment in finding out conspiracy and chasing ghosts from another time, and all the while the only thing I needed for fulfillment stood next to me. Quietly, calmly holding my hand as we trudged along the path of life together, never asking more of me than I could give, never for a moment giving up on me, always there when I needed her. And I've needed her always. Suddenly I'm filled with an overwhelming desire to hold her in my arms. She knows this, and she is clearing the dishes and food away, and instructing Melissa to put Emily in her crib and do her homework and for Samantha to take a bath. Moments later we are alone and I draw her into my arms, pulling her tightly to my chest and threading my fingers through her silky red hair. "I love you so much." I whisper close against her hair. She hugs me tightly in response. A moment later I gently push her back and place a loving kiss on her familiar mouth. As I delight in the feel of her lips against mine, I remember the first time I touched them with a kiss. I was in a dark place - I was about to lose her. I was forced by the circumstances to tell her what she really meant to me, and I had started to kiss her. It had only been an instant our lips were together, but the moment had locked within it the truth about our everything I was searching for. I needed her, and nothing else really mattered when it all came down. I had to be with her. And now our three daughters are the proof, the scientific evidence and production of that love. They only have lived because we have loved. And that is an amazing thing to me. "I love you." Dana says softly when our lips have parted. And I have that feeling of peace and rest. She loves me. She will be there. And there is nothing else I need. "What a miracle..." I whisper again, and she smiles. And my heart leaps. THE END

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