Title: Beautiful
Author: Becka F.
Written: July 2001
Classification: VR
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Existence
Keywords: Mulder/Scully romance
Disclaimer: William belongs to Mulder and Scully. Mulder and Scully belong to CC. CC belongs to whatever cloud he fell off of. Okay, so that's going too far. He just better not disappoint me next season! End rant;

Summary: They have a beautiful baby.

They had a fight today.

It was over something so trivial and pointless that Scully didn't even remember exactly what the fight was about.

All she knew is that he stormed out of the house, gym bag in hand, muttering he would be home later.

She knew it was coming.

She knew it was coming for quite some time now.

This was all so new to them. This life, this brand new existence. It was probably one of the hardest things either of them had ever had to do. That said a lot, considering what their life had consisted of for eight years.

Maybe it was the lack of sleep they'd both been getting lately. Maybe it was the constant demand from a life other than their own, and each other's. Maybe it was the absolute, unrelenting love they had for their son that was pulling on them from every possible direction.

Whatever it was, it was worth it, she decided, as she laced up William's tiny shoes.

Every minute.

She clumsily fumbled to reach the door handle, leaning awkwardly over her son's stroller. She finally managed to yank it open, closing it harder than she meant to behind her.

She had wanted to take William on his first walk with Mulder. But he was probably at the gym by now, shooting three-pointers like a madperson. She just needed to get out. Get away from it all.

So she decided it would just be her and William.

Just her and her son.

She smiled, wanting to say that out loud. Wanting to shriek it at the top of her lungs. She held back though, not sure the people in her apartment complex would appreciate it.

She wasn't angry. In fact, she really felt nothing. And she wasn't sure she liked it.

She told herself she would just walk around the block. Just once. It was warmer than usual today, and she didn't want William to get overheated.

She walked briskly, soon undaunted by the sun's harsh rays. She protectively shielded the baby from the sun by adjusting the roof on his stroller.

Scully soon found she had gone farther than she intended. She wanted to turn back, but something kept her going. She wanted to stop feeling nothing. She figured walking further and further away from her home would help.

When she spotted a Starbucks, she knew it was all over.

Soon she was clutching her frappuccino, shuffling her son's stroller back and forth mindlessly with her left foot, and staring out the window at the suits that passed by.

She didn't notice the young woman that sat down at the table next to her for quite some time. She continued to stare blankly out the window, unfeeling, unmoving, fiercely aware only of her son sitting an arm's reach away.

"You have a beautiful baby."

She wasn't sure if she was hearing things. She managed to pull herself out of whatever abyss she had fallen into and turned her head toward the sound.

She immediately met the eyes of the young woman, smiling brightly. Almost nauseatingly.


The woman seemed to be taken aback. Embarrassed, her eyes instantly dropped to her lap.

"I uh--I said you had a beautiful baby," she muttered, almost incoherently.

Scully sighed apologetically.

"I'm sorry," she told the woman. "I really wasn't paying attention. Thank you, thank you very much."

Suddenly it hit Scully like a slap in the face.

This was the first compliment she had received from a complete stranger.

Will's first compliment.

Surprisingly, she felt the mild sting of tears in her eyes. Embarrassed for getting emotional over something seemingly so insignificant, she cleared her throat and began to clear the table.

"You're welcome," the woman replied, eyeing Scully and delicately touching the sleeping baby's toes.

"Take care," Scully said gruffly, as she hastily began to squeeze through the row of tables to the door.

"Bye now. Bye, beautiful baby."

Any other time, Scully would have felt sickened by such a sweet gesture. A gesture she had insensitively rolled her eyes at many a time before.

Although she didn't show it, she was completely touched. Only because it had everything to do with her son. Her world revolved around him now. Her world revolved around Mulder, too.

Suddenly remembering Mulder and the fight they had earlier that day, she quickened her pace and shot out the door.

She didn't remember much of the long haul back to the apartment. All she knew is that William slept like an angel, and that she couldn't wait to get home.

She didn't expect Mulder to be home when she got there. She originally planned to creep back in without a lick of evidence showing that she left.

Unfortunately when she came back and found him sitting stiffly on the couch, she realized she was caught.

He jumped up at first sight of her.

"Where were you Scully? I was worried as hell."

She didn't want to explain. She felt she didn't really to explain. So she did the only thing she could.

She threw herself into his arms.

"Scully, are you okay?"

"I'm fine," she murmured into his chest.

Hell, she was better than fine.

All of a sudden, it didn't matter about the fight they had earlier.

Hell, the fight didn't matter in the first place. All that mattered was that she was home in his arms.

And that they had a beautiful baby.

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