Title: Carpe Diem
Author: Winnie Kruger
Feedback: gillians_gal@bigpond.com
Rating: M
Category: angst, S/R slash
Spoilers: Season 8 and early season 9
Post: Anywhere, as long as credit goes to me
Written in response to Soliel's challenge on the ReysculsFF list.
"Nappy" is the Australian word for "Diaper"
This hasn't been beta read, but if you ask me it isn't too bad.

Dana lay against Monica's warm stomach. The pair bathed in the afternoon sun that filtered through the half-closed blinds. Scully stirred, lazily kissing Monica's bare skin, then her half closed mouth. Monica reciprocated, gently stroking Dana's right breast. The pace was languorous, slow and loving sex. As the women shared their Sunday ritual, a less than impeccably timed knock drew Dana back to reality. 

"I'll be back soon." she whispered silently as she rose, grabbing her terrycloth robe from the rocking chair.

Scully swung the door open impatiently. The identity of her visitor shocked Dana so much she lost her grip on the door. It swung towards the wall, knocking over her coat stand.

"Mulder?" mouthed Scully uncertainly.

He smiled smugly, stepping into her relieved embrace.

"Is it safe, for you to be here?" Scully probed.

Mulder's expression turned stony. "We need to talk."

Scully nodded, understanding that someone might be listening.

Mulder leaned in to kiss Scully, at the same time trying to pull the robe from her shoulders.

"No Mulder." Scully resisted. 

Mulder pulled back and searched her eyes for an explanation.

"You're my best friend, but I don't love you." Scully explained.

"Don't or won't?" asked Mulder, making a poor attempt at masking his anger.

Scully gave Mulder a pleading look.

"Dana, bed's getting cold" Monica teased as she strode out of Scully's bedroom, swinging a pair of handcuffs.

"Damnit Scully" Mulder exploded. 

He threw a small package wrapped in baby paper at Scully, then left, slamming the door behind him.

Scully eased herself down onto the rug. The tears pouring from her eyes did little to ease her anguish. Monica's hand grasped Dana's shoulder reassuringly. Scully shrugged it away with a sob. 

When Scully fell asleep, Monica picked up a striped throw from the sofa and draped it over the redhead's tiny body. She kissed Scully's cheek and retreated to the bedroom.

William's cries pulled Monica from a troubled dream. She turned on the lamp and squinted from the sudden light. Monica's feet found the floor and she stumbled towards the cradle, willing herself awake.

"Hey William" she cooed "looks like you need a change". 

Monica Reyes had encountered many less-than-pleasant substances in her job, but none of them had prepared her for the stench of baby poo. She lifted William onto the changing table and undid the tapes holding the diaper on. Monica gritted her teeth as she got as much of the crap into the nappy as she could. After 5 months of practice, things weren't getting much easier.

Monica gave William a smile as she dumped the soiled nappy into the garbage. She took a baby wipe and began to clean William up, talking to him in a motherly voice. Finally, she took a clean nappy and fastened it securely. 

"There, all better" she grinned.

Monica put William in his cradle while she washed her hands, willing him to sleep. She had no such luck. As his piercing cries began again, Monica strapped on a baby harness. She lifted William into the harness and walked through the darkened house to the kitchen.

Monica mixed up some formula milk in a bottle. She set the microwave timer and softly sang to William as she waited for the milk to warm. The sharp bleep interrupted Monica's tired rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". She flicked a few drops of milk against her skin to check the temperature. 

"Shit" Monica cursed under her breath as the hot liquid scalded her. 

She let the bottle sit in the fridge for five minutes. After checking the temperature for the second time, Monica was satisfied and held the teat to William's lips. As Monica turned to leave, she saw Mulder sitting at the table. 

"God!" she gasped in surprise.

"I need to explain myself" Mulder gestured at an empty seat. "All I want is for Scully to be happy, even if I am disappointed that she isn't in love with me anymore. I just wanted to make sure you rally cared about her, that you wouldn't break her heart."

"Of course I care about her, but if you care so much why did you act like such an asshole this afternoon?" asked Monica, taken aback by Mulder's suspicions.

"It was a surprise. I didn't know Scully liked women. I came because I needed to see her, to hold her. The stress in these last months has been damn hard, and I needed to ground myself." Mulder's head bowed in shame.

"Hey, don't worry. I can understand how you must've felt, you just shouldn't have taken it out on Dana." Monica consoled Mulder.

Mulder smiled with relief. "I saw you looking after William and your devotion has proved your worthiness. Besides the fact that no-one changes a dirty diaper unless they care or they're getting paid, of course."

Monica smiled back at Mulder. "I'll take care of her Fox, I promise." For once, Mulder didn't cringe at the use of his first name.

"Get some sleep Agent Reyes." advised Mulder

"Call me Monica." she replied, passing William to his father.

After Monica returned to Scully's room, she fell into a peaceful sleep. She was no longer burdened by the guilt of "stealing" Scully from Mulder.

Mulder sat at the kitchen table and watched the sun rise, keeping an arm protectively around William. 

Scully awoke in the grey half-light of dawn. Her head rested on the package Mulder had brought the night before. Dana rose; retying her robe and wrapping the thin throw around her shoulders. She wiped the sleep from her eyes as she plodded wearily into the kitchen.

"Mulder, I'm sorry" Scully began, but Mulder quieted her.

"Scully, it's not your fault. I was a fool to think things wouldn't change." Mulder said with a yawn.

Scully seated William in his high chair. "I still love you Mulder, I'm just not in love with you." She filled the kettle and put it on to boil. "It wasn't easy for me to get over you, and I still need to know you support me," Scully filled the teapot "you're still my touchstone, but so is Monica. She helped me find you, and eased my pain when we thought you were..." her voice trailed off. Mulder hated talking about that time. "Once you left, she was the only one who understood why, and then there was nothing holding me back. Like you, she's seen me at my best and my worst. Please don't make me choose." Scully's eyes welled with tears.

"It's okay Scully. We talked. It'll take some time but I can get used to it. Besides, she seems to have a way with William." Mulder gave Scully a reassuring hug.

Monica stumbled into the room in her blue-striped PJ bottoms and singlet top. Her daggy appearance was completed by a tangled mass of brunette locks, her hair. She greeted Scully with a warm kiss, though not so warm that Mulder would lose his temper. Scully poured tea for the adults, Mulder made toast (the limit of his cooking ability) and Monica mixed another bottle of milk for William.

Peace was a rare thing in Scully's life, but for now it existed. The constant threat hanging over Dana did nothing to dampen her mood. 

"How 'bout a picnic lunch?" she suggested, smiling at her new lover, her son, and Mulder.

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