Title: The Baby Dance

Author: Ericka D

Rating: G

Category: MSR

Disclaimer: not mine, although they visit often.

Summary: Scully's thoughts to William after Mulder was returned.

Spoiler: Do these still exist? You just read the summary, so you're spoiled.

Archiving: Yes, just let me know so I can come and see.

Notes : This one wrote itself. Props to The Zygote Chronicles, by Suzanne Finnamore. Neat book, and it planted the seed for this story. Feedback is printed out and framed at BKRI77@aol.com. Thanks to Theresa for keeping me in check.

The Baby Dance

I watch as he sleeps, counting the rise and fall of his chest. I cannot believe he is here. Back. With me. With us. Your father has been returned to us.

I apologize for not telling you much about him before. You see, it was too painful, You are a miracle, true, but someone I believed your father would never know. To speak of him was almost like jinxing his life. I wanted to wait, so you could get to know him yourself.

Now, he sleeps. Warm and safe in my bed. He should still be in the hospital, but he protested about losing so much time already that I had him discharged into my care. He does that a lot, your father. He protests.

I long to curl up beside him, to reassure both of us that this is real, a dream no more. But you are restless, poking and kicking and doing your baby dance. I pace, hoping the rhythm will lull you to sleep.

I stop, noticing a change in your father's breathing pattern. His eyes are sleepy, at half mast. But he is awake, and watching me. I wonder what I look like to him, standing in front of the window, hand over my engorged belly, encased in a huge white nightgown that has the stunning effect of making me look like a marshmallow.

He calls me by my surname, and I wonder how that has become endearing to me. We have never been Fox and Dana. They are foreigners, unwelcome guests in the strange world we have created.

"Come to bed, Scully."

"I'm trying to get the baby to sleep."

He raises up on one arm, as if to get a better look. "Doesn't that only happen after it's born?"

I waddle over to the bed and reach for his hands, placing them on my belly. I can hear him gasp in surprise and his eyes widen at feeling you move. He is transfixed, as if it's finally real to him now. "Can I try?"

I have visions of him strapping your weight onto his belly and trying to walk you to sleep. I smile. He would do that. For me. For you. He is amazing, your father.

He tugs me down onto the bed next to him. It takes us several minutes and lots of pillow arranging but we finally find a comfortable place. He on his left side, me on my right. Pillow between my legs and under my belly. We are as close as we can get, yet we are still a foot apart. But this is good. This is enough. More than I dared hope for. Ever.

He stares at me, like he's never seen me before. Maybe he feels what you will be feeling when you are born. Thrust in a new, unfamiliar world. His hand finds my belly again, finds your foot kicking rhythmically against my rib cage. I have a vision of you in grade school, listening to the teacher, foot banging against the leg of your chair.

"Hey there."

He's talking to you now. In that low voice you will come to know well. "I'm . . . um . . . " he pauses, looking to me for direction, assurance. I nod softly. "I'm your daddy." He starts making circles, big and small over my belly. "Sorry I wasn't here earlier. But your mom. She's taking good care of you, I see."

I want to cry. And not just of the hormones you inspire. He scoots down low in the bed, so his face is level with you. He's still rubbing my belly. I feel like Buddha. He's really talking now. If there's anything your father loves in this world, it's a captive audience. He tells you about baseball, and the Knicks, and other fatherly concerns. I feel like this should be private, like I should leave the room. But how could I? As he talks, I feel you settle inside, the insistent kicking becomes a dull push.

He looks at me, from the moonlight in the window I see his eyes filled with tears. "I think the baby is asleep now, Scully."

I laugh softly, as if I might wake you. He bends forward and kisses you, my belly. "Sleep now baby. Mom needs her rest." I feel something in my chest snap, as if my heart has broken open and all the love inside pours through me. He crawls back up to the head of the bed and begins to kiss my nose, my cheeks, finally my lips. The last time he and I kissed, you were conceived. I wonder what miracle will result tonight.

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