Title: Glad to Oblige
Author: Gillian Leigh
Summary: What if Emily hadn't died, and Mulder and Scully cured her? What might life have been like?
"Mommy?" Emily Scully began, from beside her mother. It was a lazy afternoon, both Scully and Emily's favorite kind.
"Why don't fish have eyelids?" she queried, her head resting on her folded arms on the arm of Mulder's couch.
"I don't know, Em, why don't you ask the Fish Expert?"
"You mean Fox?" she questioned, turning to face Scully. The elder nodded, and the younger bounded off to find Mulder, whom she'd taken to calling 'Fox'. This seemed to be contagious, as Scully often caught herself addressing him or referring to him as Fox... Not that he seemed to mind.
"Fox!" Emily cried as she ran up to him in the kitchen.
"Yes, Princess Emily?" he asked as he scooped her off the floor. She giggled and said,
"I asked Mommy why fish don't have eyelids, and she didn't know, so she said to ask you. So why don't they have eyelids, Fox?"
"I'm not really sure, Em. But they don't sleep, so they don't ever need to close their eyes. Maybe that's why," Mulder said, carrying her into the living room.
"Fish never have to go to bed? That's not fair! Mommy always makes *me* go to bed before I get to watch the Powerpuff Girls!" Emily exclaimed shrilly, crossing her arms. Mulder looked with exaggerated, feigned shock from Emily to Scully and said,
"You're kidding me! Jeez, Scully, you're a mean Mommy!" Scully rolled her eyes and smiled as she rose from the couch. Mulder turned back to Emily, and whispered in her ear, "Next time you come to visit, you can sleep over, and I'll let you watch the Powerpuff Girls before you go to bed."
"Cool! Can Mommy stay over too?" Emily questioned, looking to her mother for approval.
"I don't think your Mommy's much on sleepovers, Em..." Mulder began, but Scully cut him off.
"No, really, F-Mulder. I'd love to." Mulder raised his eyebrows. She looked to her daughter before continuing. "We could make popcorn and watch movies in our pajamas." Emily looked practically giddy.
"That would be the coolest!" Both Mulder and Scully smiled at the little girl. Scully sighed, and said,
"Well, Em. We should be getting home. We'll see Fox tomorrow." Mulder smiled at the sound of his first name coming out of Scully's mouth. This gave him license to call her Dana.
"Bye Princess Emily!" he paused, and the little girl responded before he grinned slyly and said, "Bye...Dana." She shot him the patented ScullyGlare before leading Emily out the door. She'd gone no further than three doors from Mulder's when her cell phone rang.
"Scully," she answered quickly.
"So I'm thinking, Dana, that you and I can forgo the pajamas, and just have our own party one night," Mulder teased. He could practically hear the eye roll in Scully's voice when she said,
"In your dreams, Fox."
"You always are," he blurted, without meaning to. Scully stopped short and held in a laugh.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Mulder," she quipped, putting her cell phone back in her pocket.
Inside his apartment, Mulder slapped himself in the forehead and said,
"Stupid, stupid, stupid."
When Mulder approached Scully's apartment, he could faintly hear the Joan Jett and the Blackhearts version of "I Love Rock n Roll" . His eyebrows nearly hit the ceiling. He approached her door and didn't even bother knocking, because he knew it would be too loud for her to hear anything anyway, so he pulled out his key and used it. The sight that met his eyes as he stood in Scully's living room was so striking that he couldn't even begin to describe it. Before he was overcome with hysterical laughter he was able to comprehend what was going on in front of him. Emily, clad in her Powerpuff Girls flannel pajamas, was standing on a chair at the kitchen counter, dancing a little to the music as she stirred what appeared to be cookie dough. Scully, also clad in pajamas, though hers were amethyst-colored silk, was dancing to the song as well, and it came upon the chorus of the song, and Scully did a 180, and proceeded to lip sync into her wooden spoon. The sight of the two of them dancing and singing made Mulder burst into peals of hysterical laughter so severe he had to hold his stomach. Scully froze and turned red, before hiding the spoon behind her back, brushing her hair out of her eyes, and saying,
"Oh, F-Mulder, hi." He wiped his watering eyes and then managed a,
"Hi - Dana-" in between bursts of laughter. He recovered enough to say, "You know, I'm alright with you calling me Fox." She nodded. Emily noticed their visitor when her mother turned the CD down.
"Hi, Fox!" Emily said, enthusiastically waving a flour-covered hand at him. She had spots of flour all over her face as well. He waved back.
"Hey, Em. Having fun?" She nodded.
"Me and Mommy are makin' cookies! Wanna help?"
"Actually, I came over to see if you and your Mom want to go to the park and have a picnic," Mulder said, glancing from Emily to Scully. He was surprised when she grinned widely at him, and waited only for Emily to say,
"I wanna go! Can we go, please?" Before responding,
"Of course. Why don't you go get dressed, Em?" They turned and watched the little girl retreat into her bedroom. Scully looked up at Mulder, wearing an odd smile.
"Fox, I -um- wanted to thank you," she said, quietly.
"For making the transition so much easier for Emily, and for me. She's really gotten used to me, and to having you around. I just hope you'll stay a part of her life," Scully said, a tear appearing in the corner of her right eye.
"Dana, you should know by now, that I'm not going anywhere. The two of you are the most important people in my life," Mulder said, gently touching the side of her face. A few more tears slipped out, and Mulder hugged her. He placed a gentle kiss atop her head, and said,
"Go ahead and get dressed. Then we'll go shopping for lunch to take with us." Scully smiled at him.
"You're wonderful," she said, before heading off to her bedroom to get changed. Emily returned, wearing a purple tank top, denim shorts and flip flops. She approached Mulder, and clasped her hands, waiting for him to notice her.
"What is it, Em?" he asked, kneeling down in front of her. She looked down at her feet, and said,
"You and Mommy love each other, right?"
"Yes, Em. I love your Mommy very much," Mulder said, feeling free to do so because Scully wasn't in the room. Or so he thought. She was watching from her bedroom doorway, speechless. Mulder *loved* her. He just admitted that he loved her. Before he could see that she had been eavesdropping, she headed back into her room, and sat down on her bed. She smiled, feeling warm and tingly all over. Mulder knocked at her door, and then stuck his head in, with one hand over his eyes.
"Are you decent?" he questioned.
"Yes," she responded rising to her feet.
"Damn," he joked, removing his hand from his eyes. Scully smiled at him, and rolled her eyes; one of the standard innuendo responses. As he allowed her to leave the room before him, his hand resumed its usual place on her lower back.
"Can we get Lucky Charms, Mommy? Puh-leeeeeze?" Emily begged, holding the red box with the infamous cartoon leprechaun on the front. Scully laughed.
"Emily, we're not bringing cereal on our picnic! Now for the last time, put it back," she said, rolling her eyes as she put grapes in the shopping cart. Emily skipped back to the cereal aisle, while Mulder examined the fruit/vegetable scale.
"Hey Scully, this looks like the scale you use to weigh organs when you do autopsies." A brunette woman near them looked shocked and then disgusted, and gave the two of them a rather disapproving look before moving her shopping cart further away. Mulder shrugged at Scully, who simply shook her head. They moved to the cereal aisle, where Emily was having a very lively conversation with a blonde girl who appeared to be about her age, and the girl's mother. Mulder noticed that she still held the Lucky Charms box.
"Mommy!" she shouted. "This is Mandy, and that's her mommy, her name is Gabrielle! Mandy's four too, and she's starting preschool soon too, just like me!"
"Well isn't that nice," Scully said, smiling at her daughter, She knelt down to be on the level of the two little girls and said, "Nice to meet you, Mandy." Emily dramatically put her hand on her forehead and said,
"Oh, jeez, I forgot. Mandy, this is my mommy, and this is..." she paused. "...my daddy." Scully turned to Mulder, who seemed a little daunted at Emily's introduction. Gabrielle smiled at them.
"Hi, I'm Gabrielle. Emily's an adorable little girl. I can definitely see each of you in her features," the woman said, extending her hand to Mulder, and then to Scully.
"I'm Fox, this is Dana. Thank you. Mandy's adorable as well," Mulder said, smiling.
"Well, come on, Em. Put the Lucky Charms back so we can check out," Scully ordered gently. "Hopefully we'll see you again sometime," she offered to Mandy and her mother. The woman nodded, before taking her little girl's hand and walking away. Emily did as she was told, and followed her mother and Mulder, reaching for his hand.
Emily dropped off to sleep during minute seventeen of the forty-five minute drive, and Scully looked over at Mulder.
"She called you her daddy."
"I... I hope it didn't make you feel too uncomfortable. I mean.. I plan on talking to her about it anyway..." Mulder cut her off.
"No, Dana, I'm alright with it. It felt so great when she called me that. I've never gotten to be anyone's father-figure before, and it was just an added bonus when the little girl who's managed to steal my heart these past couple of months, called me Daddy."
"Fox, you really love her, don't you?" Scully questioned, taking his hand in hers.
"I'm crazy about her. I've never been more in love with anyone..." he paused. "...well with the exception of one other person." A list of names ran through Scully's mind immediately. Phoebe. Diana. Dr. Bambi.
"Dana, what's wrong?" he asked. It was only then that she realized she was crying.
"Nothing," she whispered, turning to look out the window. He looked concerned, and gently squeezed her hand, and raised it to his lips to kiss it.
"Fox...stop," she said again, her voice saturated with tears.
"Dana, what's wrong?" he questioned again.
"I can't let this go on if you love someone else," she said, covering her eyes with her hand. Mulder piloted the car to the side of the road, and shut off the engine.
"Dana, look at me." She turned slowly to face him, and he wiped away her tears. He smiled.
"I'm crazy about that little girl," he said, gesturing to Emily, who was sleeping soundly in the back seat. "And the one person I'm crazier about is her mom." Scully's breath caught in her throat. She looked at Mulder, wide-eyed.
"Really?" she questioned in a tiny voice. He laughed, and brushed a lock of hair out of her face, tucking it behind her ear.
"Really." He saw a flicker of a smile, and amidst a wash of new tears, she laughed, and said,
"Kiss me, Mulder." He was glad to oblige, and leaned into her, and she drew him in with one hand at the back of his head, and in that instant, they melted into one another.
In the back seat, Emily opened one eye, keeping the other squeezed shut, and smiled.
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