Title: Damned Kid

Author: Charleyne Hall

Feedback: lazydark@aol.com

Summary: Okay, description. Before you read this, since someone asked kindly for us author's to do this, I'll describe it. Scully discovers a child that has unexplainable growth problems and leaves Mulder in charge for about an hour. Figure it out from there... :)

Author's Notes: Yaya!! Finally, I can get back to posting. Here's another quick one that I just thought up, and I wanted to share. By the way, here's a formal apology. To those of you who *hate* it when author's post their stories in parts and then never finish them, I must apologize. I am one of those terrible author's but only for one story by the name of Unforseen Quandary. I didn't realize it was such a crime and I vow never to do it again. Although, I do have to post some stories in sections because they are too long.

Anyway, that's that.... Hope you enjoy this one. This one is for Nita Dee, who actually decided to let us know how evil it is to post our tales in parts. Thanks for lettin' me know!

Disclaimers: Fox Scully and Dana Mulder... Er, ooops. I guess that's Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are all copyrighted to Chris Carter, 1013 and Fox Broadcasting Corporation. I hope that they won't sue me, because if they do I'd be delighted! Haha, okee.. Seriously, no infringements are really intended. I just wanna be like CC and have Fox and Dana for the duration of one measly tale!!

**

Damned Kid

By Charleyne Hall

 

Fox Mulder walked into the office to find his partner, Dana Scully, hunched over the desk, fiddling with something in a basket. Without thinking or even bothering to see what it was, he immediately opened his mouth.

"Are we going on a pic-nic Scully?" He asked. Before she said anything though, he instantly knew what the problem was. And a problem it *really* was. He noticed the small, light blanket hanging over her shoulder and when she turned around, he nearly fell over. She was holding a small child and patting its back gently.

"Pic-nic, Mulder? Not unless you like eating children." She said, her eyes flashing happily. She was obviously enjoying his growing discomfort.

"Uh, Scully, I never knew...." he began, but she scowled.

"Mulder, get with it! This isn't mine!" She cried, then the smile returned. "Not unless I was able to hide the pregnancy and have a child within the two days that I had off."

Mulder moved in for a closer look at the child, whose eyes were wide and staring at him. The child had the most incredible blue eyes he'd ever seen. They seemed very aware and he knew instantly that this was no normal child. Until, of course, it began to scream and slobbered all over the blanket on Scully.

"What's it doing here?" He asked, backing away. He was confused.

"Mulder, meet your youngest X-File yet." she said and his eyes widened.

"X-File?" He asked.

"Yeah. This child was born three days ago and it shows signs of being almost three months old. It's developing much too rapidly."

"Developing too rapidly? Meaning?"

"Meaning, Mulder, that in a month this child will be ten months old." Mulder sat himself down in his chair, putting his feet up on the desk and desperately searching for some sunflower seeds to munch on.

"Uh, so why is it *here*?" He asked, finding the seeds and eagerly popping them into his mouth.

"Mulder, we've been assigned to take care of this child since its parents haven't been located and no hospitals will take on the responsibility." She sighed.

"Why not? Shouldn't they have pediatric wards to take care of this sort of thing?" He asked.

"Believe me, I tried my damnedest to find one that would take the child in, but none want a strange child that might be diseased. They found him at the side of the road, bundled up in a blanket, yet he seemed to be perfectly healthy until they found out he was growing like a weed." she said, and finally as she patted his back once more, he burped, spitting white fluid onto the blanket. Mulder cringed and turned away.

"Why me?" He asked, shaking his head.

"It's not that bad. We'll only have him for a little while, until they can find a home for him." She said, as she pulled the baby gently away from her and placed him in his basket, where he happily gurgled and smiled at her. It almost made Mulder sick. It wasn't that he hated kids, it was just that he thought they were a messy waste of time.

"What's his name?" Mulder asked.

"Doesn't have one."

"No name brand children, eh? What will they think of next?"

"Mulder..."

"Sorry, couldn't resist." He said and let his feet fall to the floor again. Since the baby seemed a little happier, he was ready to inspect it again. Maybe he could write the report now and get it over with. "What are we gonna call him?" He asked as he stepped up to the desk and peered into the basket. "I can't just call him No-Name."

"I thought I'd leave that up to you. Now, I have to go do an autopsy--"

"Oh no, you're not leaving this... Thing with me. You saw how he screamed."

"Well, if you'd prefer to perform the autopsy for me..."

"Uh-oh. It's ultimatum time! I'll take the autopsy." he said, looking Scully in the eyes. She smiled at him and shook her head.

"Wrong! Sorry, Mulder, you get to take the kid." She said. She walked around gathering up the little things that had somehow gotten strewn around the room. She put them all into a shoulder bag and showed him what was what. She left him after making sure he knew how to change diapers. When she was gone, Mulder looked down at the kid who was now utterly silent.

"What have you gotten me into, kiddo?" He asked, his tone soft. The baby gargled and then spit up some more white stuff, which Mulder easily wiped up with a damp towelette from the bag of various baby-care items. "Hey, this isn't so bad." He said and smiled down at the child. The baby looked at him through the big blue eyes, then afforded him a mischievous smile. "So, what do you want to be called?" He asked, still holding the child's gaze.

"Here's the deal. I'll say a name and you choose which one you like by sticking your thumb up like this.." He said, fisting his hand and sticking his thumb up. Mulder thought he saw the child nod, so he began to reel off as many names as he could think of.

"Fox." The child didn't move.

"Joey. Peter. Calvin. Bill. Alex. Walter. Wil. David. Zach." He reeled off dozens of names, none of which the baby would respond to, until he was ready to give up. One last name popped into his head and he threw it at the child, as if willing it to understand. "Ahab." He said, and waited. Finally, the little tiny hand raised up and a thumb appeared. Mulder nearly applauded at the child, he was surprised it even understood. Wouldn't Scully be impressed?

"Ahab, it is then, kiddo." He said, and he stuck his finger towards the baby, whose hand clamped around it instantly. The child tried to put his finger into its mouth and then tried unsuccessfully to gum it. "Woah, not so fast." Mulder said, pulling back his finger. Ahab looked up at him and suddenly his eyes dampened and Mulder knew what was happening. His mouth opened and he began to wail.

"Shhh, I'm sorry. Here," he extended his hand again, "you can have my finger if you really think it's that important." The baby wouldn't stop crying so finally Mulder resolved to picking the child out of the basket and awkwardly held him to his chest, rubbing his back and whispering calming words in his ear.

After a few final ragged gasps for air, the baby stopped screaming and cooed at him. Mulder was relieved. He patted the child for a little longer, then he observed as the child's face twisted into a strange expression, then relaxed. A few short moments later, Mulder smelled a putrid smell.

"Oh man, you didn't did you?" He asked, the child, after pulling it gently away from his body and holding it at arms length. "You did." He said and placed the child back into the basket. <Oh God, now what??> He thought. He'd lied to Scully when he said he knew how to change the kid's drawers. Mulder searched through the bag, pulling out a pair of infant Huggies and some wet wipes. He grimaced as he laid the towel out, after cleaning a space on the desk, and gently placing the child on its back onto the towel. The child giggled, as if it knew what it was putting him through.

<Okay, now, you've seen this on TV. How hard can it really be?"> He thought to himself. He had seen a program on Discovery about mothering babies, although he'd fallen asleep halfway through it. He began to unbutton the little one-piece suit, which covered the bulky diaper. After successfully pulling it off the kid, he gently undid the tabs of the diaper and turned away as he lifted the child by the ankles in order to slide the diaper out from beneath him. He successfully wrapped the diaper into a plastic bag, which he'd found and deposited into the trash. Next he took to the task of wiping the baby. He wasn't too fond of the idea, but he supposed that he'd come this far, why not finish it? After little Ahab was a clean, Mulder reached for the fresh diaper but didn't get too far. Ahab began to wail again and Mulder sighed.

"What's the matter now?" He asked. "You can't be hungry, Scully just fed you. You can't be poopy, I'm trying to change you. So seriously, what's your problem?" Mulder asked, puzzled. The child continued to squeal, while Mulder completed the task. He buttoned up the suit again. He picked the child up, rubbing his back while trying to calm him down. This time there was no listening. Finally he put the kid back into the basket and sat down.

"You know what you need?" He asked, drawing out his back of sunflower seeds. "You need the daily fix of sunflower seeds." He used his teeth to shed the shells and put all the shell-less seeds into a pile. After that, he found a paperweight and ground them into a pulp. Finally he dug a spoon out of the bag and scooped up some of the mush, holding it close to Ahab's distorted face. Finally the baby moved and enveloped the spoon, closing his lips around it and pulling back, taking the mushy seeds with him. Suddenly from behind him, Mulder heard a gasp.

"Jesus, Mulder! What the hell are you doing?" Scully rushed around the desk and fixed him with an angry glare. "What *is* that?" she asked, indicating the crushed seeds.

"Sunflower seeds." He replied. Obviously Ahab loved them because his tear streaked face held a smile and he was smiling at Mulder.

"Oh God! I knew I shouldn't have left you with him." she said, throwing the files onto her desk and ushering Mulder away from the child.

"Oh, by the way, his name is Ahab." Mulder said, releasing a Cheshire grin.

"Isn't that sweet. Did you pick it?" she asked, thrilled that Mulder had used her fathers nickname.

"Nah, he did. He didn't like anything else." Mulder said and shrugged. Scully looked at him as though he were crazy, for a moment, then turned her attention back to the baby just as Mulder's cell phone began to ring.

"Mulder." he barked into the phone. Scully watched as he nodded his head a few times. Then he frowned and looked away. "Yes, I understand. Thanks." He said and hung up, putting the phone back into his coat pocket.

"What's up?" She asked.

"Skinner's found someone to take the child. He said we'd be able to study his condition further later on, when he's a little older."

"Oh, thank god." She said, tilting her head towards the baby. "Found you a home, honey." She said and touched his soft cheek. The baby gurgled and smiled at her. Mulder just stood and watched the two of them for a little longer. In such a short time, nothing had such an impact on him as that child had. Perhaps one day, he might consider having children of his own. Little Fox Mulder's running around his home, calling him daddy and playing with him. It could be fun, he thought, then he remembered this experience and shook his head.

"Nah."

THE END

Was that fun or what?? Yeeehaw!! Please, tell me what you think!! I need to know, it's important to me. Almost as important as sunflower seeds and the truth are to Mulder. Almost as important as finding out what happened to her is to Scully... Well, you get the picture. Please, write.

Thanks muchly.

Until next time,

Charleyne

chall@barint.on.ca LGW #41

SYX #276




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