TITLE: Your Father Came Home

AUTHOR: Lorri

RATING: Mild PG

KEYWORD: MSR

FEEDBACK: Feedback is the spice of life, and I could really use some spice in mine. Send comments to: coates@tdsnet.com

DISCLAIMER: They're not mine. So I infringed a little. Go ahead, sue me. All you'll get is a fuzzy tic tac.

ARCHIVE: Absolutely. Just let me know where and when and keep my stuff with it.

AUTHOR NOTES: Sequel to "Wait Until Your Father Gets Home".

DEDICATION: For Ingrid, because you asked so nice and provided the title.

SUMMARY: A father comes home.

**

When the phone call came I was asleep over my keyboard after spending another night searching for your father. It's amazing how you can find anything and everything on the internet, but no one could help me locate one missing man. I picked up the phone with a sleepy "hello". Skinner only spoke two words, but they were the words I'd been waiting to hear for seven long months. "He's back."

I jumped out of my chair and began to slam around the apartment, trying to pack. You didn't think a woman nearly 8 months pregnant could move that fast, did you. I must admit, I was rather surprised myself. All Skinner could tell me is that your father and two other abductees were found in the woods near Bellfleur, unable to remember how they got there. Apparently, Mulder is physically fine except for being extremely confused. He's not aware of how much time he has been missing. I tell Skinner to book me on the next flight out before he gently reminds me that I am too far into my pregnancy to fly. Mulder is being checked over by doctors and being debriefed in Oregon and will be coming home tomorrow.

"He's demanding to see you," Skinner informs me.

"Does he know?" I ask.

"No. I thought it was best for you to tell him."

"Thank you."

"He's home, Scully. Finally."

"No, sir. He's not home yet. But he will be."

I hang up the phone and look around my apartment through my unshed tears. He's coming home. Oh, my God, he's coming home. I rub my swollen tummy. We have lots to do, you and I. Your daddy is coming home and he is in for one hell of a shock.

I spend the rest of the night cleaning obsessively and trying on every outfit in my closet to see which one makes me look the least fat. It's no use. I am a house in all of them. You, my baby, have made yourself very noticeable. I settle on a simple suit, not unlike what I always wore to the office before I had to start wearing kangaroo pants.

I call Skinner every hour until he can tell me when Mulder will be home. His plane won't arrive until nearly noon, but I am dressed and waiting for him by 6 a.m. At 7:15 my phone rings again. I answer it and hear a long pause, then "Scully it's me." I feel like I am going to pass out. My arm instantly drops to my belly and I cradle you in an unconscious gesture. Mulder tells me he is on the airplane, on his way home. There are so many things to ask him, but they can all wait. Right at this moment all I can do is savor the sound of my name in his voice. "Hurry," I tell him. "Hurry."

By noon I have re-fluffed every pillow in the apartment and changed outfits twice more. At 12:30 I'm about ready to start cleaning the cupboards out again when there is a gentle knock on my door. I freeze in mid step and turn as the door opens. I resist the urge to grab a pillow and cover myself with it.

"Scully?" Tears fall from my eyes and suddenly I am in Mulder's arms. I cling to him and he holds me just as tightly. I'm almost afraid to look at his face, afraid that I'll see a stranger looking back. Mulder must sense this and pulls away just far enough to lift my chin with his finger, forcing eye contact.

"Hi."

I look deeply into his eyes. "Mulder, it is you in there, isn't it?"

"It's me. I missed you Scully. I missed you so much."

This brings fresh tears, which he gently brushes away from my cheeks. I pull him in close for another long hug. His arms envelop me, resting on my back. Suddenly he freezes, going completely still. His right hand moves from its position at my back and slides around to my side, finally resting against my

stomach.

I loosen myself from his grip and step back. He'd been so intent on looking at my face that my pregnancy went unnoticed until he felt my belly press against his.

He takes several steps back and looks me up and down. I stand with my arms at my sides, letting him study me. I feel a blush rising to my cheeks and struggle not to turn away. He deserves to look all he wants.

His eyes finally meet mine again and he opens and closes his mouth several times before he is able to speak. He swallows hard and his voice cracks on one word.

"Mine?"

"Yours. Ours."

"When?"

"I found out right after you disappeared."

"Oh my God, Scully. How did this happen?"

"Well, first I fell asleep on your couch. Then I woke up and climbed into bed with you. Then..."

"You know what I mean."

"I don't know Mulder. Maybe when they did their tests, when they harvested me, they missed some. Maybe Cancerman was lying the whole time."

Mulder shakes his head as if to clear it. "How far along are you?"

"Nearly eight months."

Your father stares at us in silence, his eyes not leaving the sight of my abdomen. When he speaks again it is so softly that I almost don't hear him.

"Can I see?"

Without hesitation I take off my jacket and unbutton my blouse. I shrug the shirt from my shoulders and let it fall to the floor. I stand as still as I can, my heart pounding in my chest. Mulder steps forward slowly. He kneels before me as if in slow motion. He's face to face with you now, my baby. Our baby.

He places his shaking hand against my stomach. At his touch you give a strong kick as if to say, "Hey, Daddy. Where ya been?". Mulder jerks his hand away and stares down at his fingertips, almost as if he expects to see a tiny footprint imprinted there. I reach my hand for his and once again place it against my belly, holding it against the spot where I feel you moving inside me. He is enraptured. Tears trickle from my eyes as your father feels you move for the first time. He leans forward and places his lips against my skin, kissing both you and I. You give him another kick in return.

Suddenly Mulder begins laughing. Not the quiet chuckle I am used to hearing from him, but a full-out belly rumbling laugh. He tosses his head back and roars with it. Tears wet his cheeks as he pulls me to the floor. He takes a pillow from the couch and motions for me to put my head on it. I lie back and he lightly rests his head on my chest. I stroke his hair and he cradles you with his large hands. Listen closely, little one. Listen to your father laugh.

**

What do you all think? Should there be a third installment with the birth? Let me know at coates@tdsnet.com

 




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