TITLE: Nine Months, One Day

AUTHOR: devout2David

Summary: Scully has found out that she is pregnant again. Share the journey.

Rating: MSR, post-IWTB, some angst, some mushy romance.


ONE MONTH…

She paced; anxious, frightened…

Alone.

Her bare feet had lost their warmth on the cold tiles. She didn't care.

She watched the slim piece of white plastic sitting on the bathroom sink nervously; taking to biting her cuticles, a nervous habit she hadn't done for years but suddenly felt compelled to do now as though the occasion called for it.

She watched the strip.

Please, please, please…

She didn't have her watch on her, but she wasn't about to go get it. She didn't want to wake him.

She paced again; counting to herself as though she could time it all so perfectly. An invisible clock that ticked off the seconds in her head.

She glanced out the bathroom's window, watching the moon cast its shadows across their front yard and the car sitting silently in the driveway.

She could easily hop into it right now. Go away. Leave and not return until…

Fool.

She shook her head at such thoughts. She wasn't a silly school girl knocked up by the high school football hero. She was a grown woman and such thoughts were simply foolish.

She peered over at the test strip laying there so innocently, so casually…

Had enough time passed?

She looked away, waiting a little longer just to be sure.

A breeze stirred the leaves of the trees and it rattled the wind chimes on their porch. A light sound like glass bells.

Was it ready?

She glanced over at the sink again.

A few more minutes. What's a few more minutes just to be sure?

She bit down too hard on her cuticle and tore the skin. Blood: tangy on her tongue.

"Dammit," she hissed and went over to the medicine cabinet. She opened it quietly and reached in for the box of band-aides. She took one out and laid it down beside the strip.

As she started to apply it to her wound, she glanced over at the strip, forgetting.

She froze.

No…

She slowly picked it up and stared at it, letting out a breath she didn't know she had held. Tears came to her eyes then.

"Oh, my God…"

She turned, frightened, by the knock at the door and a deep voice which called her by name.


He awoke feeling cold.

He reached over, his hand searching for her and found her side of the bed empty, the covers bunched at the foot of the bed.

"Scully?" he called softly.

No answer.

He sat up and swung his feet over the side of the bed. He stopped and listened to the sounds of their house very carefully.

"Scully?" he called out again, still soft.

He stood up on unsteady legs and shuffled over to the bedroom door, finding it closed all the way and not cracked open as usual.

Odd, he thought.

He turned the handle and slowly opened it so as not to make the antique hinges of the door creak.

He glanced down the hallway and saw the bathroom door was closed. No light gleamed from under it.

He shuffled down the hallway, careful not to allow his feet to fall too heavily on the wooden floors. The sound would echo through the hall and if she was in the bathroom, he didn't want to frighten her.

He lent an ear to the door and listened. She was in there, wasn't she?

He carefully rapped on the door; not too loudly but enough that she would hear him and not be startled.

"Scully?" he called to her.

No sound came from the other side.

Then he heard the toilet flushing and running water. The bathroom door suddenly flew open and she walked straight into his bare chest.

"Mulder! What are doing?" she hissed at him.

"I woke up and you were gone," he explained. "I didn't know where you were."

She shoved passed him and headed back to their bedroom. "I had to use the bathroom."

"Okay," he shrugged as he followed her.

She took off her bathrobe and slipped into bed, fluffing her pillow and smoothing the sheets.

He stood on his side of the bed for a moment. "Are you okay?"

She didn't look at him, she simply laid back against her pillow and turned her back to him. "I'm fine."

He stood there, looking at her silently. The moonlight streaming in through the window cast its beams of light across their bedroom floor.

She turned over and looked at him with annoyance. "Are you coming to bed?"

He slipped in beside her and spooned against her back. She shivered against him and he laid a comforting arm around her.

She laid there, drinking in his body's warmth.

What was she going to tell him?

What was she going to say?

How would he take the news?

Her mind refused to still itself and she laid there with him breathing into her hair, watching the moon's light move across the floor until it disappeared.

She glanced out of the bedroom window and saw the first glints of dawn in the sky and on the horizon beyond.

Morning had come without any resolutions and he would be awake soon.


With coffee brewing and ESPN on, she didn't think it would be a good time to attempt to say anything to him just then. He was more interested in last night's game scores and she was not functional in the morning without her first cup of coffee.

Not that she didn't think she should try but this was something where she needed his undivided attention and right now, she really didn't think she'd get it…

"Mulder?"

He didn't stir as he listened intently to the sports caster on the screen.

"Mulder?" she called to him, a little louder this time.

"Yeah, Scully," he said absently.

"I have something I need to tell you…" she began.

He didn't move.

"I think you may want to turn the TV off though," she said as she gripped her coffee cup.

"Oh, yeah, sure," he said. "I just want to hear what happened with last night's game in Tampa…"

She took a deep breath. "Mulder, I-I think you may want to-"

"Ooooohhh!" he hollered suddenly. "What a shot!"

"Mulder-" she sighed.

He turned off the television. He knew that tone all too well by now.

"Right, sorry," he said. "You know me and basketball."

She looked down at the cup in her hands and smiled. "Yes, I do. More than I'd care to admit."

"So, what is it you wanted to tell me?"

She sat down opposite him on the couch and set her cup down on the coffee table. She reached into the pocket of her bathrobe and removed the test strip.

"What's that?" he asked.

"Well, it's--um--" She stopped then. She took a deep breath and blurted it out in a rush of words.

"It's a pregnancy test and I'm pregnant." She exhaled and allowed the news to sink in.

He sat with a stunned expression on his face, not moving, not blinking. "Um…" was all he could say.

"Yeah," she said.

"How did this… I mean…How…?" he stammered.

She sighed. "I don't know how or why it happened but---"

"But this is a good thing, right?" he asked her. "I mean, you did want to have more children…right?"

That question caught her off guard.

"I-I don't know…" she said. "I-I never gave it much thought. Not after…"

She couldn't say it and he wasn't going to make her. He knew already what she wanted to say but couldn't.

Not after William.

He moved over to crouch before her and took her hands in his.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

She nodded, her eyes filling with tears. "I guess, I mean, I didn't think we could-but I suppose it's another miracle."

He smiled up at her. "Of course it is."

He reached up to grip her face in his hands and kissed her squarely on the mouth.

"We're going to have a baby!" he announced proudly.

She smiled at him.

Inside her head, she prayed.

Please God…don't take this child away too…


TWO MONTHS…

"Well, Dana, from the tests and from what you tell me, I'd say that you could be looking at an early Spring baby," her gynecologist said cheerfully.

She sat up on the examination table. "Really?"

"All signs point to either late March or early April," the doctor confirmed.

The news stunned her. She hadn't thought she would be looking forward to such an event.

"So, then I'm--?"

"You're about eight and half weeks along and are doing just fine."

"Two months??"

"Yes," the doctor confirmed again.

She couldn't contain her shock.

"And of course it's too early to determine the sex of the baby but we can do that if and when you're ready," the doctor continued to explain to her.

She still sat dumbfounded by the news. The doctor looked at her amused and smiled. "I take it this is your first one?"

She shook her head. "No, this will be my-"

Her second? Her third? How should she answer?

"M-my second," she said.

The doctor nodded at her then and wrote it down on her medical chart. "Good, then you're an old hand at this."

She said nothing.

"Now, Dana," the doctor continued. "I want you to know there is absolutely nothing that I want you to worry about."

"Worry?"

"Yes, worry," the doctor said. "I've delivered several babies by women who were quite a few years older than you are now and they all had healthy babies."

She nodded, acknowledging that she had heard what the doctor had said, but the sting of fear that gripped her then sent a chill through her.

"B-but you don't think that anything could go wrong, do you?" she asked.

The doctor smiled at her. "There are no guarantees in life, but at this point, I don't see anything and I don't want you to worry about any possibilities. We'll cross the bridge when we come to it. For now I just want you to take it easy, get plenty of rest. How's the morning sickness?"

"I actually haven't experienced any just yet," she said.

The doctor nodded. "Hmm, well, just be prepared in case that changes."

"Right," she said.

The doctor wrote a few things down on in the medical file and then looked up at her with a smile.

"I'll see you back her next month, okay?" the doctor said cheerfully.

"Yes," she answered and stood up to leave the exam room.

"See my receptionist to make the appointment," the doctor instructed before heading down the hall to the next patient she had to see.

Scully walked out to the counter where the nurse asked her what time would be good for her; morning or afternoon.

"A morning would be fine," she told the woman.

She was handed her appointment card and dismissed in lieu of the next patient who stood behind her, waiting.

As she exited to the waiting room, she saw him sitting there, flipping through a magazine on parenting. It made her smile.

She cleared her throat, causing him to look up. He put the magazine back on the coffee table before him and came over to her.

"Everything okay?" he asked her.

Uh-huh," she said simply. "I come back again next month."

He laid a protective arm around her small shoulders and guided her out of the office and towards their car.

"You didn't have to come with me," she told him. "It's too early to find out the sex of the baby."

He almost looked disappointed. "Oh, I-I know, but I wanted to come."

There was a pause and then he asked her. "So? What did the doctor say?"

"I'm fine and the baby's fine---"

"That's it?"

She nodded.

"We don't know if it's a boy or girl?" he asked anxiously.

She almost laughed at him for asking such a question but stopped herself because she knew that he was ignorant of such knowledge.

He hadn't been there during those months while she carried William. He had missed so many of the things that they would have shared back then. She didn't fault him his ignorance. She felt sorry for him and it endeared him to her heart to know that he would be there now to share this pregnancy with her.

She felt her throat swelling up with emotion as she thought of the first time she had felt William move inside her, the first kick, the first little hiccup…

This time, Mulder would know.

He squeezed her hand as they walked. It felt warm and it shot a shiver through her to know that here he was and he wasn't going anywhere any time soon.

She squeezed his hand back.

When they reached their vehicle, she started to walk towards the passenger side, but he hadn't let go of her hand. She turned to look up at him, puzzled. He smiled down at her.

"What?" she asked.

He gently pulled her to him. She went willingly until he had her encircled in his arms. He held her gentle but tight.

Safe, she thought.

This was how she had wanted to feel all along. This was how she had wanted to feel with William. She treasured this feeling now, treasured this moment of complete warmth and love.

"I love you," he whispered into her ear.

She closed her eyes and drank in the moment and wishing it would never end.


THREE MONTHS…

It hit her like a ton of bricks.

Bile rising, rising in the back of her throat.

It burned her esophagus.

She ran to the bathroom just in time to fling her head into the toilet bowl and lose her breakfast.

Spasms overtook her body.

Once, twice, three times…

Her forehead beaded with sweat. Her nose running. She reached for a washcloth hanging over the safety bar of the shower. She wet it in the sink and placed it to her face.

Her stomach rolled.

Oh shit, not again…!

She hurled once more into the bowl.

Breathing, she came up for air and felt his hands pull her hair back away from her face, holding it in a ponytail behind her neck. She looked up at him then and shook her head, horrified.

"Don't…" she said and pulled away from him.

He gave her a comforting smile and took the washcloth away from her. He went to dampen it again at the bathroom sink and came back to kneel beside her and wipe her face gently.

She was surprised that he didn't recoil from her in disgust. She was surprised that he wasn't repulsed by the smell of the contents she had left in the toilet bowl.

He said nothing to her, his focus solely on her face as he reached over and flushed the toilet, sending what was left of her breakfast swirling down the pipes.

He helped her stand and walked her towards their bedroom and he helped her into bed and covered her up.

"Can you handle a cup of tea?" he asked.

She nodded against the cool pillow.

"I'll be right back," he said and left the room.

He was sweet. He was helpful. He was… so fucking domesticated!

She wanted to laugh. She had never seen him like this before. But she was afraid she might dislodge something else in her stomach. Not that she had anything left in there.

Was this what she had missed the first time around? Would he have been this attentive to her with William as he was with her now? It was so odd.

He returned with a hot mug of tea and set it on the nightstand. He sat down on the edge of the bed and took the washcloth from her.

She sat up…slowly.

"You okay?" he asked.

She nodded. He handed her the steaming mug carefully. She took a cautious sip.

Sweet.

She took another sip and eyed him. "You haven't been abducted by aliens and replaced with this more domesticated version of Mulder, have you?"

He made a face and laughed. "No."

"Okay," she said and took another sip from the mug. "I was just checking."

"If I had been, do you think I'd actually admit to it?" he asked.

"Not likely," she shot back. "But still, I was just checking."

"Does my manly domesticity bother you?" he asked her.

She shrugged. "I'm not sure. I could either love it or hate it. It's too early to tell. I'll have to get back to you."

He nodded. "Well, if I start walking around in a frilly maid's uniform, will it bother you or turn you on?"

She snorted. "Strictly speaking, if you walked around in a frilly maid's uniform, Mulder, I'd have you committed for observational purposes."

"Seriously?"

She said nothing, just raised her eyebrows at him over the rim of the mug.

"Okay, forget the frilly maid's uniform. What about an apron… and nothing else?" He waggled his eyebrows at her.

She giggled. "Mulder," she sighed, "On any other day, this would be a topic we could discuss at great length, but…"

"…but you're not feeling up to it right now," he said. "No problem. I understand."

She set her mug down on the table and reached out to stroke his cheek. "I appreciate everything you're doing for me. It makes me love you more and more each day."

"But it doesn't turn you on," he said.

"Not right at this moment, no," she said.

"Damn," he quipped.

She snuggled down into the covers again.

He got up and headed out of the room.

"Mulder?"

He stopped at the door and turned toward her.

"Soon," she said.

He pumped his arm back and hissed: "Yes!"


FOUR MONTHS…

Padding barefoot into the bedroom, she dropped her robe along the foot of the bed and began to dress. She stopped, however, when she caught a glimpse of herself in the floor mirror in the corner of the room.

She turned sideways to look at her profile in the mirror and ran her hand down over the small bulge protruding from her belly.

She noticed the silvery markings from her previous pregnancy snaking like spidery veins on her lower abdomen and traced a rather large one with the tip of her finger.

She cupped her belly and rubbed around it, feeling the growing lump inside her.

Her baby.

Their baby.

She let her hand trail upwards and felt her bare breast, noticing the areola was already beginning to darken slightly, her nipples pinker than usual.

She cupped one and noticed them feeling rounder, more voluptuous and a bit tender.

She jumped when he suddenly appeared behind her, his hand coming round to not only cup her other breast but to rub his other hand against her belly and feel the bump too.

"You're showing," he said, stating the obvious.

"Yes," she said. "I guess that means I'm pregnant."

He smiled at her and leaned down to kiss her neck.

She sighed.

"Guess that means I have to make an honest woman out of you," he murmured into her ear.

"I think it's a bit late for that, don't you?" she teased.

He turned her around and pulled her close. She could feel the hard ridge hidden beneath his pajama bottoms and its heat burned into her thigh.

He caught her in a kiss that astounded her, she gasped against him as he pushed gently against her.

"Mulder," she moaned.

He pulled back to look at her. She desired him, wanted him but she was afraid.

"Can we…?" he asked.

She nodded. "Just be gentle. Nothing too rough."

"You tell me," he said. "I'll do whatever you want."

"Anything?"

He nodded.

She pulled him back against her and kissed him.

God, how she loved him. He completed her in every way possible. She would die for him and he for her. She was his touchstone and so much more.

His touch sent chills up and down her spine. His hands roaming all over her body, caressing her in her most intimate places, burning her as a flame. She relished it, embraced it, desired it.

Even when he entered her and began the slow, rhythmic dance she loved so well, she felt an overwhelming sense of complete satisfaction that he was hers now and always.


FIVE MONTHS…

"Dana, there may be a problem…"

She shivered at the doctor's words.

"Now, I'm concerned but not worried and I don't want you to be either."

"What sort of problem?" Mulder asked.

The doctor folded her hands atop her desk and looked at them both soberly.

"I'm a little concerned that the baby's heart rate is a little on the low side. Not by much, just slightly. It could be nothing or it could be something. I just want to monitor you overnight to see if I'm right in assuming there may be a problem," the doctor explained.

Silence.

"I'd like to admit you right now and get you settled in," the doctor further explained. "It's just a precaution. Nothing more."

More silence.

Mulder turned to look at her. He reached for her hand and squeezed it slightly. "Scully?"

"Uhm, yes. Of course. Whatever you think is best," she answered.

The doctor stood up. "Then its settled. I'll have you admitted for observation and we'll discuss the results tomorrow morning. Is 10 o'clock all right for you?"

Mulder nodded. "I'll be here."

"Good," the doctor said. "Let's go get you settled in, Dana."

They followed the doctor out of her office and straight down the hall to admitting.

A quick ride in the elevator via wheelchair and she was settled into a private room within moments.

Mulder stood by silently as he watched her being hooked up to monitors. A steady little thump, thump, thump suddenly reverberated in the room. Once everyone had left, the sound echoed throughout the room.

He walked over to the monitor showing the baby's heart rate and watched the machine's read-out. Numbers flickered up and down and the tape pumped out of the machine, sliding into a pile on the floor.

He glanced over at her. She could see a look of confusion on his face.

He said nothing and came to sit in the chair beside her bed. He reached out to hold her hand, his thumb tracing little circles inside her palm.

"Mulder," she said to him softly. "You don't have to stay."

"I want to," he said.

"There's nothing you need to do though," she reasoned.

"I know," he said. "I just---"

He looked up at her and swallowed hard.

She knew without even saying another word. He was worried and afraid. She squeezed his hand.

"I'll be fine," she assured him. "We'll both be fine."

He leaned down to kiss the top of her hand, holding it to his lips longer than she would have liked but understanding his need to do so.

"Please," she said to him. "Go home. Get some sleep and come back tomorrow morning. There's nothing more you can do right now."

He looked at her then, his eyes glistening, and then he finally nodded.

"Do you need anything?" he asked.

"A few things for tomorrow. Can you hand me that notepad over there?" she asked him.

He went over and picked up the pad and pen left on the dresser, bringing it over to her.

She scribbled down the things she needed for him then handed him back the notepad. He took it from her and silently read it over.

"Okay?" she said.

"Yeah," he answered.

"Just the basics," she said.

"Okay," he said. Then he looked at her.

She said nothing then. She could see the worry etched into his expression. She gave him a reassuring smile.

"I'll be fine," she said.

He leaned down and kissed the top of her forehead; slowly, sensually…

Then he left without another word.

She watched him go.

Please God, don't let there be anything wrong with the baby…Please…


She had been unable to sleep, her mind active from the time Mulder left until the first signs of dawn creeped through her hospital window.

She had laid there against the pillows thinking, pondering all that could possibly be wrong with the baby.

What had she thought she was doing not protecting herself? Why hadn't she taken the necessary precautions? Had she not thought of the ramifications of what having a baby at her age could mean, not just for them but for the baby as well?

The tears came then. She didn't stop them, let them slide down her cheeks freely. What if the child had serious health issues? What if the child was sick and needed round the clock care? She felt physically up for that challenge but mentally, how could she cope?

And Mulder…

How would he feel about a child not able to run and play like other children?

She worried he would not be able to handle all that comes with caring for a child hampered by its own inadequacies.

She bit her lip as she worried that Mulder would not accept the baby if it was born with Down's syndrome or autism or with some other physical handicap.

"I can't," she murmured aloud. "God, I can't do this."

She looked down at her belly and placed her hand atop the sheet. She began to pray aloud then.

"Please, let this baby be all right. Don't let this baby have anything wrong. Bring him or her into the world healthy and without any sort of complications. Please."

She covered her face with her hands and wept openly.

"I can't…I can't… I can't… I can't…" she murmured as a mantra to herself.


They sat together before the doctor's large desk. He held her hand in his. She held his loosely.

"Okay," the doctor began. "Here's what we discovered."

She held her breath. Mulder squeezed her hand slightly.

"I thought I might have detected a slight murmur in the baby's heart but after monitoring you overnight, it isn't anything with the baby…"

She exhaled in relief as did Mulder.

"You, Dana, on the other hand, are my primary concern right now."

That stopped her cold. Mulder blanched at the doctor who continued.

"Your cholesterol level is not where it needs to be and I'm detecting the onset of gestational diabetes, which we can control. Dana, you need to take better care of yourself if you want to deliver a healthy baby."

Mulder glanced over at her as she stared at the doctor.

"What do we need to do?" he asked.

We?

She turned to look at him as the doctor explained what needed to be done. He listened to her intently and nodded now and again at her suggestions.

"So, are we clear on that, Dana?" the doctor asked her.

She nodded automatically, having not heard one word of what she had said for the past ten or fifteen minutes.

He looked down at her questioningly, searching her face for some sign that she had heard the doctor's instructions.

"I'll make sure she does what she's supposed to," Mulder said, seriously.

"Good," the doctor said, standing up. "I'll see you at your next appointment then."

He led her out of the office and towards the exit. He guided her to their car. As they drove home, her silence bothered him.

"You still with me over there?" he asked, a teasing lilt to his voice.

She didn't respond to him right away until he touched her hand and she turned to glance at him.

"Yes," she said and turned back to look out of the window at the passing scenery.

"Just making sure," he murmured.

Once home, he helped her take off her coat.

"I'm going to go lay down for a little while," she said as she started to walk up the stairs.

"Hey," he called to her.

She stopped midstride and turned to look down at him.

"You want anything special for lunch?" he asked.

She shook her head. "No, I'm not hungry. I just want to go lay down for a little while."

"You sure?" he prodded.

She gave him a look that told him not to push the issue and started back up the stairs.

He stood there, watching her ascent and sighed.

What now?


She laid on their bed, covered with the handmade afghan her mother had made and wept. Her thoughts returned to those she had pondered overnight. The worry for her baby's safety and health strickened her to the very core of her heart.

How can I possibly do this? How can I possibly expect Mulder to do this?

All the fears she felt, all the worries she had, they beat down on her like a great hammer.

She looked down on her growing belly once more and ran her hand across it.

"I'm sorry, little one," she whispered. "I am so sorry."

She closed her eyes then and allowed everything to disappear in a wave exhausted sleep.


SIX MONTHS…

She stood under the warm spray of the shower and let the warm water run over her for several minutes. She silently wished it would wash away her inner turmoil.

She had worried and fretted over the health of the baby ever since her overnight hospitalization last month.

Tests had proved that she was indeed positive for gestational diabetes and now had to take insulin twice a day and watch her diet. Her cholesterol level had become too high so it now required her to be on medication to control it. Careful monitoring by the doctor had now become the requisite and she found not only having to monitor those things but also scaling back on her work at the hospital. A decision that came close to breaking her.

It wasn't for forever, she told herself that morning before the meeting with her boss. Just until the baby is born.

Her boss had been more than happy to keep her on, even if she wasn't allowed to perform any operations due to the danger of pre-eclampsia.

"Stay off of you feet as much as possible between now and the birth, Dana," the doctor had told her. "Worse case scenario is that you quit working until after the baby is born so you can stay in bed completely."

"Is it as bad as all that?" she had asked, concerned.

"Not yet," the doctor had replied. "But staying off your feet as much as you possibly can is necessary. Try putting your feet up for a while during the day."

"Not exactly what I'm used to doing," she quipped.

"Which?"

"Putting my feet up," she had answered.

"Well," the doctor smiled, gently. "In your case, it is imperative."

She had reluctantly agreed to do this and now spent most of her workday holed up inside her office, reviewing files and catching up on paperwork. She half smiled to herself thinking of her days in the FBI when she and Mulder had spent many a late night catching up on reports and organizing their extensive file cabinets of cases that were either resolved or remained open to this day.

She turned off the shower when the water began to run cool and carefully stepped out of the stall to wrap herself in a large fluffy bath sheet.

Her hair dripped down her back. She reached for a smaller towel and began to dry her hair, rubbing vigorously at it until it was simply damp.

She padded into the bedroom and began to dress. She then pulled her hair back into a ponytail and headed downstairs. Holding the railing, she took each step carefully and cautiously.

Near the bottom, she heard him rustling around in the kitchen. The smell of eggs cooking wafted into her nostrils and she reached the bottom step with her stomach just starting to rumble and the flutter beneath her ribs reminding her she would be eating for two.

She smiled and rubbed her belly. "Mommy's hungry too, sweetie. Let's go see what Daddy's cooking."

As she entered the kitchen, she could see that not only was Mulder cooking breakfast, but he had also set the table beautifully, complete with a bouquet of flowers. She wondered to herself where they had come from since nothing was in bloom as of yet in their backyard.

She stood in the doorway and simply smiled at the scene before her. It took him a moment or two to notice her standing there and when he finally did, he shot her a boyish grin that made her heart leap.

"Good morning!" he said to her cheerfully. "Sleep well?"

"Mmm, I did," she said as he came over to lead her to the kitchen table. He pulled her chair out for her and carefully slid it under her as she sat.

"I was planning to serve you in bed, but…" he said.

She chuckled. "I'm perfectly capable of coming to the table, Mulder."

"I know," he said. "But you know the doctor told you to stay off your feet as much as possible so I was going to serve you in bed. Thought it would be fun to have a picnic in the bedroom."

She smiled. "While I appreciate the thought, I'm not fond of finding toast crumbs between the sheets at night when I'm ready to go to sleep."

"Oh, I would have changed the sheets to prevent that from happening," he quipped. "Besides I'm not fond of the idea of an English Muffin stuck to my ass either."

She chuckled. "Yeah, I can see where I would not be able to look at their nooks and crannies in quite the same way ever again."

He let out a small laugh at that.

"Is there any juice?" she asked him.

"Got it," he said and went to the fridge to get out the orange juice.

He poured her a generous glass and set it before her.

"Good morning," he said and leaned down to give her a soft, sensual kiss. She caressed his cheek softly.

"Good morning," she said as he pulled away.

"So, eggs or waffles?" he asked as he went back to the counter.

"Uhm, neither," she sighed. "Can't have the syrup that goes with the waffles, remember?"

He turned to give her a startled glance. "How could I forget? Dammit, I'm sorry, Scully."

"No, no, it's okay," she said reassuring him. "You can make them for me another time."

"I'm sorry," he said again.

"Don't worry about it," she reassured him again.

He served her up scrambled eggs on a plate with two pieces of bacon.

"Uh uh, no eggs and bacon," she said.

He looked crestfallen. "Your cholesterol," he said.

She nodded.

He took her plate away and scraped everything onto his plate. She got up from the table. He jumped up from his place.

"Whatever you want, I'll make it," he said quickly. "What would you like?"

She stepped back away from him. "Just some tea and toast with jelly."

"I'll make it for you," he said.

"I can do it, Mulder," she said and walked around him to get to the toaster on the counter.

When everything was prepared, she came back over to the table and sat next to him. She looked at him with a smile.

"I like this," she said.

"What?"

"This."

"You mean breakfast at the table?"

She nodded. "Yeah."

"Just wait ‘til the baby comes," he said.

She laughed. "Well, I promise he or she will not be throw toast across the table at you."

He looked at her, perplexed. "What?"

She started to laugh at the memory. "When Charlie was a toddler, Mom would make him buttered toast and he would eat everything but the crust. He used to fling it across the table and it would land in Ahab's coffee mug. Melissa and I would sit there giggling, waiting for him to take a sip so he'd find the crust floating in is coffee."

Her eyes turned misty as she continued.

"I can see Charlie sitting in his highchair, squealing and Ahab choking on a piece of toast. He didn't scold Charlie, he simply said, ‘Young man, we do not throw food across the table'. Of course Ahab couldn't really be mad at us and certainly not Charlie. Charlie was just a baby and didn't know any better."

He sat there listening to her intently and eating his breakfast.

"Mom would pretend to scold Charlie but of course, she would wind up laughing at him and Charlie would do it again until Ahab had to leave for work."

He chuckled then. "Well, remind me not to feed our son or daughter toast. Or if I do, remind me to cut off the crusts!"

They laughed then, picturing their little one flinging bread crusts across the breakfast table.


SEVEN MONTHS…

Not thinking, she reached for her shoes at the foot of the bed and a wave of nausea hit her like a sledgehammer. She rose slowly and felt her head swim.

"Dammit," she murmured to herself and she sat on the edge of the bed, holding her head in her hands.

He found her as he came into the bedroom. "Are you all right?"

She looked up. "Yeah, I just…forgot…"

"Forgot what?"

"To not bend over too quickly and then stand up too fast," she said. "I just got dizzy."

"Are you okay now?" he asked, worried.

She nodded.

"Well, let me help you," he said and bent to slip her shoes on one foot at a time.

"Mulder," she said, impatiently. "I am perfectly capable of putting my own shoes on."

"Not if it's going to cause you to be light-headed," he said firmly. "I don't want to have to find you passed out on the floor… or worse."

She blushed as he finished with the last one.

"There," he said, finally. "Ready to go?"

She nodded.

He helped her stand and gently guided her by the arm downstairs.

She allowed him to help her put her coat on and although she wasn't able to button nor belt the front of it due to her ever-growing belly, it still was not warm enough outside to go without it. A surprising cold snap had hit the area making it extraordinarily cooler than normal for the time of year.

He helped her out to the car and held her hand as she got in.

"So, where are we going again?" she asked him as he got into the car himself.

"Not saying," he said, a hint of playfulness in his voice.

"Mulder," she said, immediately suspicious. "What are you up to?"

"About 6 feet and an inch," he teased.

"You know what I mean," she said. "I don't like surprises."

He smiled devilishly at her: "You'll like this one."

She frowned at him. "Mulder, where are we going?"

"You'll see," he said, trying to hide a hint of a smile that played along the lines of his mouth.

She sat there contemplating every scenario she could think of as to where they could be on a journey to and came up with nothing.

It wasn't until they began driving through the mountains that she seriously became suspicious. She shot a glance his way and only looked away when he caught her watching him.

"I'm not telling you," he said.

"I didn't ask," she said.

They drove on for slightly over an hour or so before they came to a fork in the road, he made a right turn and followed what seemed like a long driveway. It was not until a large stone mansion came into view that she felt surprise and then delight.

"We're here," he said as he pulled slowly up to the front door of the building and were greeted by a valet who opened the car door for her with a warm smile.

"Welcome to the Quiet Valley Inne, ma'am," he said warmly and offered his hand to help her out of the car.

She was taken aback at the gracious treatment as she accepted his hand and stepped carefully out of the vehicle. Mulder came round to her side as he handed the valet the car keys and told him there was one bag in the backseat.

He took her arm and lead her up a grand staircase and inside the mansion as the valet followed behind them.

As they approached the front desk a young woman greeted them in the same manner; who looked much like a younger version of Skinner's secretary, Kim.

"Checking in?" she asked them.

"Just the lady," Mulder answered and noticed her surprised look up at him.

"You're not staying with me?" she asked, surprised.

"Well, see, that's the surprise," he explained, with a wink to the girl behind the desk. "This is a free weekend for you of pampering before the baby comes."

"Oh?" she said.

He nodded. "You will have a full weekend of spa treatments, massages, beauty treatments and all the pampering you can handle…at least until Sunday afternoon. Then I'll pick you up and bring you home."

She was speechless.

"I figured you've had enough to think about and enough to worry about over the past couple of weeks and you needed a break," he said.

"What are you going to do all weekend?" she asked.

"I'll find something to do, don't worry about me," he said.

"I can't do this…" she stammered.

"Sure you can," he said, and kissed her. "I made all the arrangements, so, go and relax a little. I'll be fine."

His smile at her was just too irresistible and she blushed as he looked at her with that boyish grin, his hazel eyes dancing with delight.

She sighed. She wasn't going to argue. How could she? She knew it would be a futile attempt and not wanting to appear ungrateful, she agreed.

"I'll pick you up Sunday afternoon around 2 p.m.!" he said with a wave as he went out the front door, leaving her to the care of the inn and its employees.


Her skin tingled all over her face. The mudpack cleansed her pores deeply and she sighed with pleasure as the masseuse gently massaged her shoulders and around her collarbone. Her pedicure tickled and she resisted the urge to pull her foot away.

She sighed again.

"Everything all right, madam?" the woman giving her the pedicure asked.

"Hmmm, yess," she answered in total bliss. "It just feels really nice. I haven't had pampering like this in …well... I don't think I've ever had this before."

"Well, I'm glad we can accommodate you," the woman assured her.

"I may have to make arrangements to come back though," she said as she wiggled her toes.

"We'll be happy to have you," she answered her and smiled up at her as she finished buffing her toes and began to apply a bright ruby nail polish. "I assume it will be after the baby is born?"

She rubbed at her belly and smiled. "More than likely."

"When are you due?"

"Two months," she answered and rubbed her belly again.

"Do you know what you're having?" the woman asked her.

She shook her head. "No, we haven't found out yet and I'm not sure I want to know at this point."

"Just want a healthy baby, right?"

"Yes."

God willing, yes…

"You must be so excited!" the woman gushed as she applied a last coating of nail polish.

"I-I haven't really …I mean, yes, I am," she answered.

"Have you thought of any names?"

She hesitated in answering. "Umm, no, he and I…we…haven't really had a chance to discuss names yet…"

The woman smiled then and said: "Well, picking names isn't quite as difficult as one would expect. Little boys are easier than little girls. You just name them after their fathers or grandfathers."

She felt a pang in her chest.

I already did that … once…

"Little girls you can be a little more creative with."

She smiled down at the woman. "Well, we've been so busy that we just never took a moment to thing about it."

"Well, sweetie, don't wait too long to decide. My sister waited until TWO DAYS after her son was born…"

She tuned the woman out then, not wanting to listen to anymore of her banter. She tried to lay her head back and close her eyes to drown out the rest of her conversation. But the woman's words made sense and she knew they had never thought of names for this baby.

With William, it had been no contest. She automatically knew that William would have Mulder's name. It was as natural as breathing.

With Emily, even though she had not had a hand in naming her, she felt sure that she would have chosen her daughter to have that name as well. It was perfect and suited her so well. A sweet name for an angelic little girl.

Now, with the impending birth of this child, having to chose a name seemed a daunting task. The best ones had already been given away. What was left?


EIGHT MONTHS…

"Mulder! I need your help!"

She stood hunched over, hand firmly gripped around the bedpost as she tried to catch her breath.

Breathe, breathe, breathe…

His heavy footsteps coming quickly towards the bedroom and the look on his face at her posture when he entered the room was something she would never forget.

"Christ!" he said, as he rushed to her side. "Are you all right?"

"I don't know," she said, a little out of breath. "Give me a minute."

He sat down on the bed and watched her intently, worried.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath inward. The pain subsided in her back and abdomen and she straightened up. Her protruding belly practically poking him in the chest.

She gave him a reassuring smile then. "Okay, I'm better."

"Were you having contractions?" he asked as he reached out to touch her belly.

"Just Braxton Hicks," she said and took another slow breath in and let it out slowly.

"Do we need to call the doctor?" he asked, worried.

"No," she said, shaking her head. "It's just false labor. I just couldn't catch my breath and I thought I was going to pass out. That's why I called you."

Now it was his turn to let out a breath of his own.

"Did I scare you?" she asked.

He looked up at her and nodded. "I thought it was time."

He reached out, pulling her into him, his arms encircling her belly.

She smoothed his hair. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."

They stayed like that for a few moments before he pulled away as though shocked by an invisible current.

"Did you feel that?" he asked, excitedly.

"All the time," she answered.

He laid his open palm onto her abdomen and waited. Then he smiled broadly. "I felt that!"

She laughed. "Yeah, so did I."

"No, no, I mean, I felt it."

She laughed again. "I know. I did too."

"I think we may have a football player in our midst," he said.

"Disappointed?" she asked, teasing.

"No," he said, simply. "I'll find a way to get him---"

"---or HER," she corrected.

"---or her, the finer points of B-ball," he said. "No one can pass up a game of ‘horse'."

She laughed then as he laid his ear against her belly and felt the baby's movements against his cheek. She sighed.

"Okay," he said suddenly as he pulled back. "Time to figure out what we're going to call this little bundle of trouble."

She sighed again and eased herself down on the edge of the bed.

"Boys names?" he asked her.

She shrugged. "I have no idea."

"Well, haven't you been thinking of names?"

"Not really, I'm sorry to say," she admitted sheepishly.

"Well, I can't say that I haven't been…thinking, that is," he said.

"Always a dangerous thing whereas you're concerned," she quipped.

He shot her a withering look, then said: "Okay, smart aleck, you go first. Tell me what sounds good to you."

She was quiet for a little while, then she said: "I like Robert or maybe Richard."

He made a face at her. "No, I don't think so."

"Well, you give me an idea of what you've been thinking then."

He smiled and said: "Tristan or maybe Trevor. Or how about Ted?"

She almost laughed in his face, but thought the better of it. "No."

"Well, what about Michael?" he offered.

She thought for a moment then nodded her approval. "I think that will work. After Mike Huckabee?"

He snorted. "No, Michael Jordan. C'mon, Scully, you know I like Mike!"

She giggled. "How could I forget?"

"Haven't a clue," he said. "Girls names?"

She made a face. "Oh, I don't know. Jessica?"

"No," he said. "Reminds me of a girl I went to school with who refused to go to the junior high dance with me."

"Really?" she said, sounding surprised. "A smooth hoofer like you? I find that hard to believe."

"No, it's sad but true," he said. "She was the cute little blond who sat ahead of me in English class. I used to stare at the back of her head every morning and would send her subliminal messages to go out with me but she never even bothered to look my way."

"Strange girl," she said, amused.

"Yeah," he sighed. "She was more interested in the captain of the junior varsity football team than me."

"Wow," she said. "She preferred Grid Iron padding over those sexy basketball shorts and sleeveless shirts? Hmm, strange girl indeed!"

"Yeah, well," he said. "All in the past. I got me a better girlfriend."

She giggled. "A girlfriend who is about to be the mother of your child… a child who still needs a name…"

"Right," he said. "Back to work. Where were we again?"

"Girls' names," she said.

"Right," he nodded. "We agree the name Jessica is out…"

"Yes."

"What about Felicia?" he offered.

She frowned. "Okay, let me just say that anything sounding like a porn star's name is out based on the fact that it would be wholly inappropriate as far as I'm concerned."

"So, then you don't like Felicia?"

She shot him a look.

"Okay, then how about Elizabeth?" he asked.

"Maybe, but I like something that isn't wholly traditional. What about Moira?"

Now it was his turn to make a face. "Moira??"

"It's Irish," she said.

"I know it's Irish, I'm just not sure if I like it."

"Well, how about Bridget?"

He burst out laughing. "Why do you hate our daughter?"

"I just want to give her a more unique name that bespeaks my Irish heritage," she explained. "What's wrong with that?"

"I just keep picturing Bridget Jones and I hope to God our daughter doesn't grow up to live the life of a character in novel."

She rolled her eyes.

"What about Jaime?" he offered.

She shook her head.

"Kelsey?" he asked.

Another shake of her head.

"Your turn," he said.

"Grace," she said.

He was quiet for a moment then nodded. "Maybe. What else have you got?"

"Lisa," she said. "or maybe Sarah?"

"I like Sarah," he said. "What about Simone?"

"Sounds like a French hooker's name," she scoffed.

"Ohh, be nice!" he scolded.

"I am being nice!" she protested. "I don't like the name."

"Well, then say you don't like it," he said.

"I don't like it," she snipped.

"Fine," he said.

"Fine."

"What about Audrey?" he asked.

She shook her head. "Too close to Aubrey."

"Right," he agreed.

"What about Renee? Or maybe Rebecca?" she asked.

He shrugged. "Does nothing for me."

"Well, it isn't supposed to DO anything for you!" she snorted. "How about Janice?"

"Ick." He shuddered. "Iris."

"Ick. Hillary."

"ICK! Jeanine."

"Oh! Double ICK!" She pretended to gag herself.

He laughed. "Is the word Ick starting to sound good to you?"

Now it was her turn to laugh. "That would be constituted as child abuse, don't you think?"

"Hmm, maybe. What about Tara?"

"After my sister-in-law? Ah, no. I'm sure she would be flattered but no. I prefer our child to have her own name."

"Lulu?"

"Now you're just being silly," she huffed.

"Spike! I like Spike."

She gave him a look of disdain that made him stop short.

"Sorry," he apologized. "just trying to keep it fun."

"Mulder," she sighed. "Choosing a name for our baby is serious. I don't have to explain to you why, do I?"

"No, of course not," he said.

"Well, then let's try and keep it reasonable, okay?" she said seriously.

He nodded. "Sorry."

"Don't be sorry," she scolded. "Just be serious about this."

"Well, you gave two names that seem reasonable," he offered.

"Which ones?"

"Sarah and Grace," he said.

She pondered each name. "Well, I actually like the name Sarah."

"Really? It's not too Biblical for you?"

She shook her head. "On the contrary, I actually like the name: Biblical or not. It's pretty. But how would it be spelt? There's two ways to spell it."

"The way without the ‘H' I think would be best. Keep it short and simple," he said.

"Okay," she agreed. "Then it's settled. If we have a boy, his name will be Michael and if it's a girl, she'll be called Sara."

"Wait a minute," he stopped her. "Our boy will be named ‘Michael Mulder'?"

"You just agreed a few moments ago that name would work," she said, obviously upset. "What is it about the sound of it that bothers you now?"

He shrugged. "Just it didn't occur to me the way it would sound: Michael Mulder. Mike Mulder."

"What's wrong with that?" she asked, now visibly annoyed.

"I don't know, I guess it just doesn't roll off the tongue as good as say…Fox Mulder?"

She looked at him as though he'd had grown horns. "What are you saying?"

He stared at her, his eyes boring down into hers. Then it came to her.

"No," she said and shook her head profusely. "Absolutely not."

He looked at her then, a slight pout to his mouth. "What? You don't like the idea of another Fox Mulder in the house?"

"Isn't one enough?" she quipped.

"Does it hurt to have one more?" he asked, seriously.

She looked at him sadly. "Our first child was named after you. Don't you think this one should have his own name?"

A shocked expression briefly crossed his face then he turned sullen. "William."

She nodded as tears came to her eyes. "I know he's no longer with us…here…now, but it would be wrong to name another son after you when we already have one that is. Even if he isn't living with us, he will always be William and it will always be a name I chose because of you and associate with him."

"You're right," he said and hugged her then. "I'm sorry. I didn't think of it that way."

He held her, quietly, allowing his touch to soothe her sorrow.

"You know," he murmured into her hair. "We don't have to decide this right now. We still have a little time yet."

"I know," she said and sniffed. "I didn't mean to turn this into an argument."

"You didn't." He kissed the top of her head. "I didn't think we were arguing, did you?"

She shook her head. "No, not really."

"It was a discussion; plain and simple." He smiled down at her. "Are you hungry?"

She nodded. "Starving!"

"How about we go order take-out," he said. "Mu-shu chicken?" he asked.

She laughed. "General Tse-o's."

"Deal!" he agreed and stood up, offering his hand to her to help her stand.

"No soy sauce!" she called out to him as he headed downstairs to make the call.

"Right, I'll tell them," he called over his shoulder.


NINE MONTHS…

She dreamed; dreamed of water flowing over her, under her, and all over her body.

Ocean waves crashing over her as she laid naked on the sand. Sea foam dripping down over her and catching in her hair make it smell of the salty brine of the water.

Then she was in a mountain stream. Cool, fresh water that ran down off a waterfall and onto her body. It cooled her skin and rinsed through her soul; cleansing her of whatever negative feelings she felt.

The stream changed into a lake. A lake that stretched out as glass against the sky reflecting the light of coming dawn.

"Scully? Wake up! The bed is all wet!"

She opened her eyes. "What?"

He was sitting up beside her. The comforter and sheet were bunched at the foot of their bed. The cool air within the bedroom chilled her and she quickly realized he was right. The bedding beneath her was soaked.

"I think your water may have broken," he announced.

She felt between her legs and felt a slightly warm trickle of liquid still streaming downward to the mattress.

"I'll call the hospital," he said and leaped out of bed to grab the phone.

She eased herself up and sat on the edge of the bed. She felt no pain, no contractions, just a small dull ache in her back. She reached back and rubbed it.

"I guess this is it," she said, more aloud to herself than to him.

She slowly stood and felt the baby shift inside her. She pulled her nightgown up and saw the amniotic fluid puddle slowly on the floor as it trickled down the inside of her thighs.

"Dammit," she hissed to herself.

Padding barefoot towards the bathroom, she felt a twinge that made her stop. It crested like a wave and crashed slowly within her. She felt the contraction and breathed through it, allowing it to pass on its own.

She heard him coming up the stairs and gasp at her standing in the middle of the hallway.

"What are you doing?" he asked a hint of panic in his voice.

"I just wanted to get a towel to mop up the floor," she answered. "I think my labor has started already. I just had a contraction."

He came to her side and helped her back to the bedroom. He spotted the small puddle on the floor and stepped over it.

"Look, I'll take care of the floor. You get dressed so we can go to the hospital," he instructed her.

She nodded and reached for her clothing draped over a chair sitting in the corner of the room.

As she dressed, she watched him sop up the fluid from the floorboards and toss the soiled towel over in the corner with the other dirty clothes.

"I'll take care of that later," he said when he caught the look she gave him.

"Aren't you getting dressed too?" she asked, pointing out the fact that he was still wearing his pajama bottoms.

"Oh! Yeah, right," he said and went to grab some clothes to put on. As he pulled on his blue jeans, she caught hold of the bedstead and gasped inwardly.

"Owwww," she hissed. Half-dressed, he went to her. She grabbed his hand and held it fast.

"Breathe," he said, showing her how to take her breath in slowly through her nose and letting it out slowly.

"Focus on me," he said and they breathed together again.

After a moment she nodded at him. "Okay, I'm okay now," she said.

"We need to go…now!" he said and helped her down the stairs and into the car.

She gripped the dashboard every few minutes and breathed as they drove to the hospital.

"You okay?" he asked her and stepped a little harder on the accelerator.

"Just get us there in one piece, okay?" she quipped.

He eased off the gas but still pushed it to the speed limit.

When they arrived, he dashed around to the passenger side and helped her out of the car, taking her gently by the arm and walking her slowly into the emergency room entrance. A nurse saw them enter and came around the desk to help.

"Dana Scully?" she asked.

"Yes, she is," Mulder answered quickly.

"Let's get you upstairs and settled in," she said to them both and led them over to another nurse who helped her into an awaiting wheelchair.

As she sat, she reached out for Mulder's hand. He looked down at her and their eyes met.

"I'm right here," he said and gave her palm a gentle squeeze.


She grunted. Her breathing laboring as though she were running in a marathon.

"Okay, now, Dana, let's try again, and…PUSH!" the doctor said.

"one, two, three…" he ticked off the numbers to her as she bore down hard.

"…eight, nine, ten!…Breathe!" he said as he felt her grip relax on his hand.

"You are doing fantastic, Dana!" the nurse beside her said reassuringly.

She didn't feel fantastic and as the next contraction hit her fast and furious she had barely a second to catch the rest of her breathe before the doctor was telling her to push again.

"I can't…I can't…" she huffed.

"Yes, you can," he said suddenly in her ear. "C'mon, Scully, you're tough. You've taken on worse than this. You've kicked ass before and you've even kicked mine. This is a cake walk…"

"Yeah, right!" she said trying to not laugh between breathes. "You switch me places…right here…right NOW! You push a basketball through your ass and then we'll talk!"

He knew she didn't mean what she was saying. He knew it was just her trying to talk through her pain and it wouldn't last long. It was almost over.

"C'mon, Scully! You can DO this!" he said, and gripped her hand again. "Just a little more…"

"One more push, Dana, and the baby will be here," the doctor said.

She bore down and pushed as hard as she possibly could, feeling as though her insides were being turned out and set afire. She let out a long hard yell that let them know she wasn't playing around. She WAS trying her damnedest to push this baby out!

Then she heard the doctor say: "She's out!"

She?

A cry filled the room.

The baby…our baby…

"Would you like to cut the umbilical cord, Dad?"

She watched as the doctor handed him the scissors and watched as he cut the slippery lifeline of their child.

A squirming pink bundle of flesh was laid on her chest and a nurse rubbed it vigorously with a towel as it continued to squeal with high pitched squeaks.

"Her coloring looks good but she may have a little fluid still left in her lungs. Other than that, she looks perfect!" the doctor announced triumphantly.

He was beside her then as the baby continued to scream. His joy was obvious as tears streamed down his face as he looked from the baby to her and back again.

"A little girl," he said to her then. "We have our own little girl!"

She smiled at him, too tired to say anything. She was happy but tired and she closed her eyes, happy in knowing that she was finally done pushing. She sighed and felt herself drift off; floating on a cloud of peace and calm.

"Scully? Are you okay? Doctor!" she heard him scream.

A hand to her wrist, then a cold feel of metal on her chest.

"Dana? Dana? Can you hear me?" the doctor's voice sounded so far away.

A loud beeping sounded.

"Dammit! Her blood pressure is dropping!"

Another sound of beeping. This time higher pitched.

"Doctor, her heart rate is fluctuating! She's going into cardiac arrest!"

An alarm went off suddenly.

"CODE BLUE! CODE BLUE!"

"C'mon! We're losing her!"

"Gimme the paddles!"

And out of all the voices shouting orders and trying to talk to her, his rose above them all…

"Scully?!? Don't you leave me! Scully?!? Stay with me! SCULLY!!"

Then there was darkness. Cold, black darkness…


ONE DAY…

"…and the wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round…All through the town!"

She opened her eyes and saw him. The sweetest image she had ever seen of him in all the time she'd known him.

There he was standing before the window, holding their baby and singing to her.

She watched him holding the tiny infant in his arms, looking down at her in amazement and amusement as he cooed to her.

"…and when Mommy wakes up, we'll have to tell her that you've already said your first word! Yes, you have! What a good girl you already are! Yes, you are!"

She said nothing as she watched this intimate bonding moment between the new father and infant. She didn't want to disturb them with girlish giggles nor make him feel self-conscience as he talked ‘baby talk' to his newborn daughter.

Watching them, she was endeared by his gentleness and amazement at the tiny bundle in his arms as she cooed and gurgled up at him. A tiny hand reaching and touching his rough chin. The delicate fingers tapping his hours-old beard, his lips kissing the tiny appendages.

She lay there in bed, smiling at them. A feeling of contentment washing over her.

He glanced over at her then and a smile lit up his face. He came over to her then and laid the new babe in her arms.

"Someone has been dying to meet you," he said.

She held the baby lovingly in her arms and took in all of her features; from the tufts of golden blond hair at her forehead to the rosebud pink mouth that puckered as though suckling and then relaxed as though giving her a coy smile.

"Hi," she whispered into the baby's ear and kissed the soft skin of her forehead. "My sweet baby girl…we've been waiting for you!"

She felt her eyes tear and she looked up at him then. He wasn't any more dry-eyed than she and he smiled at her broadly as a single drop slid down his cheek.

"We have our family," he said.

She nodded and returned his smile. "Yes, we finally have our family."

"She's beautiful," he said. "Just like her mother."

"I'm so happy," she sighed contentedly.

"I had no doubt you would be," he said, then frowned. "You almost died though."

She looked up at him sharply. "Why?"

"The doctor said it was eclampsia. It was touch and go for a while and we almost lost you. But I knew you would be all right. You beat cancer and I knew you would beat this." He came over to sit on the bed beside her. "And you did."

She smiled, her face glowing. "God blessed us."

He looked up at her and then down at their baby girl. "He certainly has."

He ran a finger over the baby's cheek and then said: "I was never a great believer in the Almighty, but I think this has finally swayed my opinion that there is a higher power in the universe besides alien life."

She looked up at him suddenly; slight amused, slightly shocked by the revelation.

"Really?"

"Uhm-hmm," he said nodding. "Never thought that would happen in a million years, did you?"

"No," she said.

"Doesn't necessarily mean you'll see me at Mass or anything like that but I'm open to the possibilities."

The baby suddenly began to fuss and the beginnings of a cry emanated from her. She adjusted the baby in her arms and began to lower the front of her gown.

"I think she's hungry," she told him.

He didn't look away from her. He didn't look at her or the baby uncomfortably. He simply locked eyes onto hers and watched her as the baby began to feed from her left breast hungrily. She winced slightly as the baby latched on and she relaxed as the baby finally suckled, making tiny smacking noises as she fed.

He said nothing, just watched them.

It was a moment he knew that there was more to this life than conspiracies, danger and death.

"I love you," he said suddenly.

She looked at him and as the baby fed from her body, she reached over and touched his scratchy cheek gently.

"I love you," she said.

He leaned in to her and touched her lips with his.

His life was now complete as was hers. A new family had been born and this would remain the happiest day of his life.

END


AUTHOR'S NOTE:

I know this maybe a rather weepy/mushy story, but I think Mulder and Scully are entitled to SOME happiness and don't necessarily have to be tough, stoic or ridged.

If you enjoyed it, GREAT! If not, well, sorry about that. To each his own. But thanks for reading it anyway!

My MUCHO GRACIAS to fellow Philer, Lisa, for beta-ing this for me! Damn, girl! You're QUICK!

FEEDBACK: stilldevout2david@yahoo.com

In addition, as a matter of record, http://www.healthscout.com/ency/68/203/main.html says here Insulin may be necessary to control gestational diabetes but not always in every case. Its only if dietary changes will not help.




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