Title: A step in the right direction
Author: Tanja
Date: Jun 7th, 2001
E-mail/Feedback: xfshippers@writeme.com or tanyavoet@hotmail.com
Distribution: Please archive at Gossamer
Keywords: MSM (Mulder/Scully married), Kidfic
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Existence
Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, the Scully family and all the other X-files characters aren't mine and I believe this is the first time I've actually said this. But way to go Chris :)
! Author's notes: Okay, so I changed my mind. I know I said I would probably stop writing, but how was I supposed to know that Chris Carter would come to his senses and give us the decent happy ending nobody was expecting? And wasn't it a cute end scene? I was bouncing up and down when my computer finally finished downloading it and I saw it <g> So that does give me some rights, right? ;)

Summary: The introduction of baby William to his uncle.

Dedication: To Jo, one of my best friends. 

A friend is a treasure
A friend is someone we turn to
when our spirits need a lift
A friend is someone we treasure
for our friendship is a gift
A friend is someone who fills our life
with beauty, joy and grace
And make the world we live in
a better and happier place

Happy birthday Jo!

A step in the right direction

It was a quiet Saturday afternoon and the first time in weeks that she was home alone. Scully had been pretty tired, so Mulder had told her to lie down for a nap, while he would go out to pick up the groceries and he would take William with him. He had left, after reassuring her several times that they were going to be just fine together.

She sat on the couch, pretending to be reading a book, but the book was long forgotten as her mind had wandered of, thinking about Mulder and their son. She smiled softly. She had always known that Mulder would be a good father, but things were going beyond expectation. From the day William was born, almost six weeks ago now, Mulder had thrown himself with heart and soul into the role of being a father and he was doing a pretty good job at it too. Unlike the stories she had heard from friends and her sister-in-law about their husbands, Mulder didn't have any problems with changing diapers or getting up in the middle of the night to fetch their son and bring him to his mother to be fed.

After eight years of running around and chasing the truth they were perfectly happy with the way their life was right now. Spending time with William, cooking together, cleaning the house, talking, laughing, friends visiting, a normal thing to most people. But for a long time it had looked like they would never have it and now that they did, they would not take it for granted.

Mulder, no longer with the FBI, had no idea yet what he was going to do about work in the future. And it wasn't something he was worrying about right now either. It was not exactly common knowledge, though it was no secret either, that Mulder's family had money. He had never cared too much about having money or not, but right now he was grateful for the inheritance his parents had left him after they died. It allowed him and Scully to enjoy this time and take it slow when it came to deciding what they were going to do about work. Heck, if they wanted, they wouldn't even have to work at all. Though eventually they'd probably get bored with just doing nothing.

Scully was interrupted from her thoughts, by a knock on the door. Figuring it was Mulder, who forgot his key, she got up to open the door for them. "Hey, did you ..." She stopped in the middle of her sentence when she realized it wasn't Mulder, but her brother Bill standing there.

"Bill?" She asked, surprised and not too thrilled to see him. He was her brother, but his behavior towards and opinion about Mulder had not exactly meant a step forward in their relationship. Over the years things had gone from not so good to bad and though her brother had known about her pregnancy and Mulder's disappearance she had 'forgotten' to tell Bill certain things about her relationship with Mulder.

When her mother had asked her why, all Scully had said was "I have more than enough on my mind Mom, dealing with Bill on top of that is not what I need right now." She was sure her mother had called Bill to tell him about William, but because of her strained relationship with her brother she had not spoken to him or seen him herself yet. And now here he was all of a sudden. She wondered what he was doing in Washington anyway.

"Hey, Dana. How about a hug for your big brother?" He smiled at her.

She gave him a quick hug and asked him to come in. "What are you doing here, Bill?" She asked him, as they made their way into her living room. She noticed how his eyes scanned the living room, probably looking for signs of the baby. A playpen was standing in one corner of the room, Mulder had taken the baby carrier that usually stood there with him.

"How are you doing, Dana?" He answered her question with one of his own, still looking around.

"I'm fine, Bill. So, what brings you to Washington?"

"I had to be here for work, so I thought I'd come by to meet my new nephew and see how you are doing." All of a sudden he realized he had brought something with him, which he was still holding in his hand. "Ehm ... Tara asked me to give this to you." He handed her the package.

Scully smiled and unwrapped the package. For a moment she looked surprised, then she started to laugh. Either Tara had had a talk with her mother or somehow she had just known, otherwise she never would have gotten something so fitting. She held up a miniature version of a Knicks t-shirt, complete with a tiny cap, knickers and cute bootees. She grinned, Mulder was going to love this one. "Thanks, Bill. This is great, I will give Tara a call later to thank her too."

He nodded. "Is the baby sleeping?"

"No, they're out ..." Before she could say anything else she heard the door of the apartment open and she knew Mulder and William were back. She got up from the couch, knowing that Bill was probably wondering where on earth a 6-week old baby would go to without his mother. "Be right back."

She quickly walked to the hallway to help Mulder with the baby and the groceries. Stopping dead in her tracks she looked at them and started to giggle. They were worth a picture. Mulder had given whole new meaning to their baby carrier. William was fast asleep in Mulder's arms and in the baby carrier, which he was holding in his other hand sat the groceries.

He gave her a lopsided grin. "Hey, Scully."

She laughed. "Mulder, do I want to know why not William but the groceries are in William's carrier?" She took the carrier out of his hand and put it on the ground, then took over her sleeping son, so that Mulder could take of his coat.

He grinned. "Well by the time we arrived at the supermarket he woke up and started crying. So I took him out and he obviously preferred that above the carrier, so ...." Mulder looked up when he heard something in the living room. "Do we have company?"

"Bill's here." She whispered.

The laugh disappeared from Mulder's face. "Ehm ... maybe I should leave again?"

"Like hell you will, you're not going anywhere."

"But, Scully ..."

"Mulder, you're not going anywhere. If anybody's leaving it will be him, not you. Understood. You live here too, remember?"

"But ..." Mulder mumbled, not really looking forward to a confrontation with Scully's brother.

"He will have to find out some day, so why not now? We can't hide this forever, Mulder. Besides, I do not even want to hide any longer. This is my life and it's quite simple. Either he accepts it or not and in that case he can leave." She was still whispering, but the whispering had woken up the baby anyway. But he did not cry, William just waved his tiny fists in the air and his blue eyes went from his mother to his father and back again. Scully smiled and walked into the living room, Mulder right behind her.

"Dana, where did you ...?" Bill started to ask, when he saw Mulder walking in behind her. "What is he doing here?" He demanded to know, then "Wait a minute, you said the baby was out. Did you let that lunatic go out with your baby?"

Mulder didn't say a thing. Scully on the other hand was fuming and somehow the baby sensed it too. William's lip began to quiver and he started to whimper.

"Scully ..." Mulder said softly.

"No, Mulder." She said to him, without turning around. She looked at her brother, obviously furious over the remark he had just made. William's cries started to become louder. Mulder quietly touched her shoulder and she looked up, her anger for a moment disappearing when she looked in Mulder's eyes. "I'll put him to bed, it's time for his nap anyway." He told her softly. She nodded and handed him the baby.

Mulder carefully cradled his crying son against his chest, which immediately seemed to comfort the baby. With one last look at Bill and an "I'll be right back" to Scully, Mulder left the room with William. Leaving a fuming Scully with her equally angry brother.

"Dana ...." Bill started.

"Shut up Bill!" She told him harshly. "You're going to shut up and listen to what I have to say. And for once you will not interrupt me, because this is important and I am only going to say this once, so you might want to pay attention to this."

"But ..." Bill sputtered a little, then wisely decided to keep his mouth shut for the moment. As Mulder had once said "she doesn't get angry soon, but once she does get angry, you'd better go hide and not come back until much later. Much much later!"

"I've totally had it with your behavior towards Mulder, Bill. I've had it with your snide remarks and name-calling and I'm tired of having to defend myself again and again for living my life the way I WANT to live it. Being with Mulder is MY choice, not his, not yours, nobody's choice, but mine. I stay with him, not because I feel I have to, but because I want to.

Because I can't imagine my life without him anymore. I need him, Bill. I need him like he needs me. I love him like he loves me. It's as simple as that. And no matter how many times you disagree, I don't care any longer. It's not your life, it's mine. Ours."

Bill interrupted her. "Do you even hear what you're saying, Dana?"

"Yes I do, do you?"

"Dana, you don't know what you're saying. You don't need this right now. He ruined so much already, you have your son to think of too, Dana. Do you want his life to be ruined before he even had the chance to start it? You..."

"Mulder loves William, Bill. He loves him and he would do anything for him. Even put his own life on the line, if it would save William's. He would never do anything to hurt him. And .." she spoke more softly now "that lunatic as you just called him, wasn't a lunatic. It was a father, out with his son. A husband who wanted his wife to have some time for herself. And for that he does not deserve to be called a lunatic. It's only one of the many things I love him for."

"You're kidding me, right? You do not seriously want to tell me that the two of you are married, pretending to be a happy little family. Sheesh, Dana. I know being a single mom isn't an easy choice, but still you could do ..."

"Could do what, Bill?" This time it was Mulder's voice, who interrupted the conversation. He had been standing there for quite some time already, but felt that now it was time to give his point of view. He quietly moved to stand behind Scully, putting an arm around her shoulder to calm her down a bit.

"She could do so much better than someone like you. She ..."

"I agree with you." Mulder said calmly. Scully's head turned around and she looked at him to say something, but his eyes told her that it was okay. "I agree that she could do much better and I often ask myself what I did to deserve someone like her to love me."

"Mulder ...." Scully whispered.

"Shhh, Scully." He told her and continued. "But for some reason she does and for some reason she decided she wants to be with me. And every day I wake up and find her asleep next to me I thank God for bringing her into my life. I have taken too many things for granted for too long, but not anymore. And I know how you feel about me. But never ever underestimate my love for your sister. She is everything and even more than that to me. I'm sure that this will disappoint you, but yes we are married and William is in fact my son too. Sorry Bill, but that is as good as it is going to get." He stopped there, listening intently when he heard sounds coming out of his son's bedroom. Looked like the kid didn't agree with his father's idea to take a nap at all. "I will be right back." He told them. Scully nodded, tears in her eyes, but smiling.

When he had left the room once again, Scully looked at her brother. "That is as good as it is going to get, Bill." She smiled, softly repeating Mulder's words.

"Why ...? Dana, why didn't you tell me about this before?"

"Because I knew you were going to react like this. I knew you would try to turn something this good into something bad."

"When did you get married?"

"Right before Mulder disappeared."

"Does Mom know about this?"

"Yes, she does. She was there."

"I thought you said you had IVF?"

"We tried, three times and it didn't work."

"So you mean that ...."

"The old-fashioned way, Bill. Simply the good old-fashioned way. But it wouldn't have mattered anyway."

"What do you mean?"

"It doesn't matter how. One way or the other, Mulder would still have been the father."

"You really love him, don't you?"

She nodded. "Yes, I do and I'm sorry but you will just have to accept that or ...." She didn't finish, but she didn't have to, because he understood. She gave him the choice to either accept this or not and in that case he would probably never see his sister again.

"Well at least he loves you." Bill mumbled, which in his case was as close as admitting that he could have been wrong.

"He does, he really does." She smiled and turned around to see her husband walking in again, their wide-awake son in his arms. He moved to her and handed her the baby, his eyes asking her if everything was alright. Her smile told him she was fine.

She turned to her brother, still smiling. "Bill, I would like you to meet your nephew." She carefully placed the baby in Bill's arms. William whimpered a bit, looking up at the man who was holding him. Trying to decide whether this was a good or a bad thing. Then Bill was graced with a toothless baby smile and two tiny fists waving at him. And even Bill couldn't resist that. He looked down on the baby and then looked at his sister and Mulder, smiling.

"I'm sorry, Dana. I might not agree with the choices you made, but it's your life and I can't say I will always agree, but I am sorry and I promise I will try to do better in the future. And Mulder?"


"I owe you an apology too. Like I said, I do not always agree, but I can see that you love my sister and my nephew a lot. So, I'm sorry. But if I ever hear anything else from Dana, I will be there, understood?"

"Understood." Mulder said, smiling at Scully. He and Bill would probably never be best friends, but at least they were trying. And that was one step in the right direction.

The End

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