Title: Another Lullaby
Author's notes: This is a sequel to Juliettt's story Marriage Series: Lullaby http://members.aol.com/julietttxf/general/lullaby.txt and *is* written with her permission and posted with her blessing(I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!). When I read that story it reminded me of my own father and what he used to sing to me, and I had to write this. No Irish tunes this time, I don't know any:-)
Disclaimer: The X-Files and all 'show' characters are copyrighted to Chris Carter and his posse, the idea is Juliettt's. The songs are, as far as I know, public domain-Goodnight My Someone is from the musical The Music Man which is unforgivably corny and wonderful.
Rating: CU for corny and unworthy, or ST for plenty of sexual tension. CUST? Oh well...
Summary: It's Mulder's turn to sing a lullaby.
"I don't wanna take a nap!"
Mulder looked up from where he was slumped on the couch, exhausted, and managed a smile. Scully was going to have her hands full with that one.
It was evening, still a little light out, and of course no child in his or her right mind would want to go to bed while there was a shred of light left in the day. As long as there was pink on the horizon, it was still playtime.
It was the day after Thanksgiving; in a stroke of luck, Brian had managed to wrangle another day before heading home, and they had all wasted the morning eating leftovers and goofing off. The afternoon had been spent helping Margaret Scully clean the house, no small task after a horde of children and relatives had gone through it. Scully had threatened him again, and he decided escape from cleaning duties wasn't worth losing an arm. Of course, since Mulder was tall, he was given the tasks of putting pots away, taking down boxes to pack the decorations in, and putting them back. In the attic. He felt like *he* was the one who needed a nap.
Brian's younger son, Cori, was throwing a fit and not even Aunt Dana could get him to quiet down. She was going to try, though.
"Cori." Scully leaned over and gave him a Look reminiscent of many she'd given Mulder. "You have to take a nap so you'll be ready to ride home tonight. You don't want to miss the ride home, do you?"
"Don't wanna." Cori cried, and ran to the nearest non-threatening adult...of course, Mulder, who looked slightly surprised to have a sobbing five-year-old in his lap.
Scully pursed her lips and walked over to him. "Cori-"
They exchanged startled looks, first with each other, then directing them at Cori. Of course, Melissa and Margaret had insisted on calling him Fox, as had almost the entire Scully clan, but the children...Uncle Fox? He tried to disentangle the small child, unsuccessfully.
"Cori, why don't you want to take a nap? You'll still be able to play afterward." Mulder reasoned. The little boy shook his head and burrowed into his shirt.
Dana got an idea. "Cori, what if Uncle Fox put you to bed?" she asked sweetly.
Mulder shot her a look that clearly said, 'I'll get you for that.'
"Unc'l Fox?" the sobs ceased. "You put me to bed?"
"Of course." Mulder agreed, still glaring at Scully. Cori suddenly brightened and jumped off his lap. Mulder, feeling slightly stupid, followed the little boy up the stairs to the spare 'nap' room.
Cori climbed up on the bed and squirmed between the covers, grinning. "There, in bed!"
"You certainly are." Mulder observed. He switched the light out and turned the lamp down, headed for the door-
"Aren't you gonna sing?" a young voice asked from the pillow.
Mulder turned. "Hm?"
"Aunt Dana always sings to us."
Remembering yesterday evening and the Irish tunes Dana had sung to Krista, he smiled. "I don't know any of Aunt Dana's songs."
"Do you know *any* songs?"
"A few." He admitted. "But they aren't like hers."
Mulder sat on the edge of the bed. This hurt. He could walk away...but Cori was cute, and he wanted a song. One couldn't be that bad...
"Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Scully wondered what had happened to them. It couldn't take this long to turn off the lamp and close the door. Maybe Cori was being difficult again, and she knew Mulder didn't know how to deal with that sort of thing.
But as she reached the top of the stairs, she heard his voice coming from the half-open door.
In Dixieland where I was born in
His voice was rough, not unpleasant, but he wasn't Pavarotti. It was a sort of gravelly tenor, and he was almost whispering the words. She leaned in the doorway and smiled. It wasn't a great voice, but it was sweet.
The song ended, and Cori asked for one more. Mulder sighed and obliged.
"Goodnight, my someone, goodnight, my dear sleeptight, my someone, sleeptight, my dear I wish I may, and I wish I might, Goodnight, my someone goodnight....
He ended and turned-his face reddened as he saw her leaning in the
door. "I was just-"
She pointed to Cori, who was fast asleep, and shook her head. He stood and closed the door after them.
"I never thought of you as a southerner, Mulder." She said as they walked down the hall.
"I'm not." He frowned. "When I was younger and it was hot-it bakes in Massachusetts in the summer-we'd get restless...mom would come in and sing to us; her mother was from Georgia. Dad sometimes did too. Samantha loved that one. Then, after...well, dad didn't sing anymore."
She couldn't think of anything to say. He put his hands in his pockets and walked downstairs slowly, looking more tired than before.
Dana stayed and looked out the window near the top of the stairs, over the wilderness outside the house. She realized how lucky she had been, to have her father sing to her even when she was old enough not to need it. And she had many, many more memories of him singing her to sleep than Mulder ever would of his own father-she could sing her songs without such horrible memories associated with them. True, she remembered her father's death with them, but it had been natural, and after a full, loving life. Bill Mulder had had no such life.
She walked down the stairs and rejoined Mulder and Brian, who were watching the re-plays from yesterday's football games.
Mulder was very quiet for the rest of the evening.
It was late, and he should be in bed-he had to get up early to drive back to Washington tomorrow with Scully-but he couldn't sleep.
*Nothing new there* he thought wryly and opened the door. Everyone would
be asleep, and he could check up on Scully-
Oh, she'd kill him for that if she knew he'd thought it. But...it couldn't hurt.
He lifted the door handle, using a trick he'd learned to keep the hinges from squeaking. The moonlight was the only real light in the room.
Dana was for the most part lying still, but her head was moving alarmingly and the look on her face was one of fear. She must be having a nightmare. The idea that she was suffering the kind of thing he went through every night disturbed him, and he put a hand on her arm to wake her. She continued to toss her head.
"Shh...Scully, wake up..." he whispered. Her head stopped moving, but her eyes didn't open. After a few seconds, she started to thrash again.
"Scully, it's a dream..." when he talked, she calmed down.
He smiled gently and started to sing, as low as he could.
"Goodnight, my Dana, goodnight, my dear sleeptight, my Dana, sleeptight, my dear, I wish I may, and I wish I might, so goodnight, my Dana, goodnight..."
He worked through three verses before he stopped. This time, she stayed calm, and even smiled a little.
Almost regretfully, he stood and left her sleeping peacefully. In the dark, moonlit room, Dana slept and dreamt of fathers and friends.