Title: Snow Globes and Sea Ships
Summary: Who would have thought Mulder and Scully would be celebrating William's fifth birthday with him?
Author's Note: Written for The Nursery Files May Challenge to celebrate William's fifth birthday. Another story is upcoming with the birthday with William at ten.
The sun had barely risen when the alarm went off. Even though it was a Saturday morning, this day was special. Scully rose and quietly donned her robe, tip-toeing around the corner to the kids' bedrooms. Good. They were sound asleep. Perhaps the strong scent of the lilacs outside their windows proved more relaxing than the aerosol imitations.
She returned to the master bedroom and entered the en suite to shower and prepare for the day, smiling because she had her son and little girl and the man she had waited for. All things had fallen into place. The world was good, God was in his Heaven and... Suddenly, flashes of a fateful night five years ago in Democrat Hot Springs broke her train of thought. She dropped the soap, but left it on the bath mat. She closed her eyes and whispered, "That was long ago. Stop it! He's here. We're all here and we're all safe."
When she opened her eyes, she quickly rinsed off and put the soap back into the soap dish. She resolved not to let the intrusive memories rule this day. She would only remember the tender look in Mulder's eyes and the joy she felt when she first laid eyes on little William. She patted her slightly bulging belly and was grateful they would be expecting their third child. "No more negative emotions," she whispered. "Wait until your Dad hears about you."
Over a breakfast of blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs, William was all aglow in anticipation of the day ahead of him. "... and I invited Glen and Sally because they like the same flavor cake as I do. Can I help decorate the house, Mom?"
Scully smiled warmly and whispered, "Sweetheart, I'd really love your help, but this is your day."
"Besides," proud papa Mulder interjected, "We're going bowling this morning so Mom can bake your cake and hang the streamers and balloons."
"I can stay and help," Meg, now three, offered.
"Better come bowling," William told his sister sternly. "We have a tie to settle, and I'm going to beat my best record, too."
Mulder shook his head in mock derision. "Did you hear that, Mom? I figured on a basketball player and got a bowler."
"And a darn smart bowler," Scully added. "Well, you can't always get what you want."
"I wouldn't change anything for the world. Happy Birthday, William. Now, let's get cracking before 9:00. Your Mom needs the time."
"Okay!" William and Meg shot out of their seats and raced for the stairs to get themselves washed up.
Scully sipped her coffee and smiled. "I can't believe he's five, and we're here with him."
"We did it, Scully. We did it. I admit it was a bumpy ride along the way, but everything we did was worth our efforts. "And," he said, as he stood and hugged his wife, "You can't go back and fight the old demons. No more nightmares like last night. I swear you were a boxer in a past life."
Scully pulled away and look him straight in the eyes. "Again?" Tears filled her eyes, and her husband sensed her disappointment in herself.
Mulder nodded. "Again." He held her close and smoothed her hair. "They're all gone and William is safely home with us. The monsters are gone. Now, I just know you're going to make the best banana nut cake with vanilla icing the world has ever seen, so why don't I just get the kids outta here and leave the details up to you. You look kind of pale. Are you sure you're all right?"
"Yeah, I'll be okay once I start baking and decorating, and Mom's driving up for the day to help out. You get started. Oh, and I need a bag of paper plates and some plastic forks."
"Yes, Ma'am." Mulder saluted and grabbed his car keys from the hook on the wall.
By this time, the walls were decorated, a banner hung across the living room ceiling, and Scully was putting the last touches on the cake. Her mother had arrived at about 10:15 and the house was ready for a dozen active kindergartners.
"Sure, Honey. William's grown so much so quickly."
"I know. And then Meg. Just let me get the last little swirl here... and I'm done. Well, Mom? What's your verdict?"
Maggie Scully smiled and put her arm around her daughter. "You should have been an artist."
"No, Mom. Really... "
"You did a great job! Dana, I always knew you could do anything you put your mind to. You know, since I got here you've seemed a bit off-task. Is anything wrong?"
Scully spooned coffee grounds into a clean filter. "Everything's great. William's at the top of his class and Meg's coming along nicely." Then she turned around and told her mother what was on her mind. What had been on her mind in flashbacks and nightmares for five years. "Another one of those nightmares last night, Mom. When do they ever go away?"
Her mother sat down at the kitchen table. "Well, I guess when you make peace with yourelf or whatever the feelings in your dreams mean to you. If you're really worried about this, think about how well everything turned out. Think about how strong you were then, and how you got here today. You made it! Don't let the past make you a victim all over again, is what I'm trying to say. Want me to help you start lunch?"
Scully pressed the button on the coffee maker and smiled. "Sure. Mulder and the kids will be home soon, and I want to get something healthy into them before the party. Especially the big kid. Mom, where would I be without him?"
"In some hospital, stitching somebody up on a Saturday afternoon."
"I'm glad you're not Bill." She managed to smile.
William's guests were arriving between 1:00 and 1:30 as planned, and Meg felt a little put out because she wasn't getting any presents, but Grandma Scully had brought her a 'real cool' set of new crayons and a coloring book. The little red haired girl was happy yet still a bit jealous.
Gifts were placed in the living room, and that little miracle baby born in Democrat Hot Springs five years ago was now a happy, healthy and bright little boy.
Mulder smiled and watched with satisfaction as his son opened his gifts, smiled at some of the things he received and looked a bit puzzled at others, and of course disappointed that one gift was an item of clothing. Mind you, it was a Knicks jersey, and Mulder did remember putting that idea into one of the fathers' heads. One little game disc seemed a bit wild for a kid, but William's parents would see to it that they monitored William's computer games. The paint, pasted and pencil crayon art set seemed a bit much, but there would be some very unique thank you cards made. Scully would see to that.
Scully had seen to it that William would thank his friends orally when she had a little talk with him over lunch, and he didn't let his mother down.
"Thanks, Jimmy. But what am I going to do with these?"
"Well," a brown haired boy suggested, "You could put the stars and moon on the ceiling and when you turn out your light at night, they glow in the dark. Kind of green."
"Great! Hear that Dad?"
Mulder's thoughts had gone back to Democrat Hot Springs.
"Yeah. Oh, what was that?"
"We could put these on my bedroom ceiling!"
"And they'd look good there, too. Well, I think William's Mom is about to bring the cake out, so let's all get to the table." He shook himself out of the little deserted town that hadn't seemed to go away in his mind as well as his wife's.
Scully crept up on him and whispered, "You too, huh?"
"Every year at this time, Scully. And look how happy he is. It didn't affect him and I wont let him know about it for a very long time."
Scully smiled. "Neither will I. So, I suggest we get on with the party. I'll light the candles, you cue the choir."
By 4:00, the party had been declared a success. William's friends had left, the goody bags had been the best in the neighborhood, and Meg happily colored while William played with little cars and eyed the star set every few minutes.
The adults were safely seated in the kitchen over coffee and what little cake was left.
"Maggie, I'm glad you came. I think your daughter needs to take better care of herself."
"Oh, I'm fine," Scully laughed. "Really!"
"Okay, you two. You do look kind of tired, Dana. I don't think it's just those nights... Oh... "
"No, it's all right. I know about the nightmares. We're dealing with that," Mulder interrupted. "Sorry. I didn't mean to cut you off."
"It's all right," Margaret Scully insisted, patting her son-in- law's hand. "I was thinking about something much happier. Have you looked at Dana's ankles? Her slight bulge? I can tell... "
"Yes," Scully nodded with a grin. "I'm going to have another baby. I wanted to wait to tell everyone, though. I'm very, very healthy."
Mulder seemed shell-shocked. "Another... baby?"
"Yes. You know, just like the ones we had before?" Scully smiled warmly. "Mom, don't worry. I'm a doctor, and I think this man needs another coffee."
"I think he needs a bigger car," Maggie laughed. "Well, this is another reason to celebrate. By the way, has William opened his presents from you yet?"
Scully poured more coffee into Mulder's mug. "We're waiting until after supper, then we're watching 'Shrek'. Mulder says he had a very special present he wants to give to William. I can't even imagine what it is. This man can keep secrets like no other man I know."
Her mother just smiled knowingly at Mulder.
"Well, I knew from the moment I saw you two in the same room there was something he didn't have to say. Isn't it a miracle we're sitting here celebrating William's birthday after all we've been through?"
"Well, yes, Mom. But it may just be a manifestation of some- thing primordial and instinctive... "
Mulder quickly touched her arm. "Scully, we're not at work. So, put the scientific lexicon away and enjoy."
"You're right. And if you two don't get out of my kitchen soon, we won't be having dinner. So, scoot!"
"No, no," her mother insisted. "I'm staying right with my baby. I can get the rest of the dishes done while you start cooking."
William and Meg had a lighter dinner than usual, after the cake and ice cream they'd had at the party.
William had grown quiet since his fiends had left. In fact, he looked rather disappointed. "Mom?"
"Didn't you and Dad get me anything for my birthday?"
His mother smiled and his father placed his fork on his plate.
"Are you sure you can stand anymore excitement?"
"DAD! Don't joke about this!"
Mulder smirked and stood. "Okay, okay. I know when to stop. I was saving it for this moment." He reached into one of the upper cupboards in the kitchen, and produced a square, colorfully wrapped package.
"I bet it's a Rubic's cube," Meg declared. "I hope you mixed it up real good for him."
"Now, now. Just let your brother open his gift while I try to remember where I put my present," Scully teased.
"That's not funny," William whispered, staring his mother down in mock anger. "Wow! A snow globe! What's Allentown, Dad?"
At that moment, a figure very familiar to Mulder and Scully entered the room.
Mulder couldn't believe his eyes. "Jeremiah Smith?"
Margaret Scully stared at the man in disbelief.
"Yes. We've been looking in and you seem to be celebrating a very joyous occasion. Young William is now five years old?"
"Yes," Scully replied, smiling warmly. "And this little girl is our daughter, Meg."
"Well, I'm glad to see you have a happy family. I just wanted to offer my congratulations and say hello. And now, I must be leaving. Have a good night."
As Smith left the room, Margaret Scully remarked, "That man never ceases to amaze me, and he scared the heck out of me! Why does he do that?"
"Wasn't that one of those awesome guys you said did a lot for you and Mom so we could all be safe? A kind of special guy? I think it's so cool he'd want to see how I was on my birthday! Meg, Dad has pictures of him!"
"He's a very old friend, and it's in his nature just to 'do that'. We had a lot of help from him when we needed him the most."
"So, did you know him a long time before I was born?" William queried, wide-eyed and eager for a story.
"Before you were born," Scully began, "your father and I met Mr. Smith after he saved a man from a gunshot wound. Jeremiah Smith showed your father a lot of very important things we were going to need to know to solve a very big case. Well, not really a case, but... a big problem." She looked to Mulder for some help.
"C'mon, side-kick. I'm dying on stage here... "
"Okay, Mom. You go look for William's present. I can handle this."
"I'll just... take Meg into the livingroom to get things ready for the movie," Margaret decided. "C'mon, Sweetie."
"Aw, he gets all the good ones," Meg protested.
"Oh, I bet not, Honey. Let's go."
After Grandma had turned the corner with Meg, William whispered, "So?"
"So, where was I? Okay, you see that snow globe?"
"Yeah. It's cool. You shake it up and... "
"I know," Mulder chortled, "It snows. Allentown is a place we went to investigate some rather unique... people."
"You mean like X-Files, right Dad?"
"Uh huh. Well, it turned out that a lot of ladies had very bad experiments performed by... by bad doctors. They got very sick, and one day, your mother got just as sick as they did." Mulder found the story quite painful to relate, and he tried to keep it as simple as possible for his son's sake.
"But they all got better, right?" William shook the globe a bit, and watched the show fall once again.
Mulder suddenly felt a chill. "No, I'm afraid they didn't. But your Mom did, and part of what we were trying to find out about those women helped to make her better."
"And then you had me!"
"Well, not for quite a while... You were a miracle baby, you know." Well, he almost let too much out. "Well, all babies are miracles."
"Even Meg. You had a very special beginning, and that was five years ago today." He picked up his son and hugged him. "It just seems like yesterday you were being thought of. Hey Mom! Whatcha got there for the birthday boy?"
"Well, you'll just have to wait until he opens it, won't you?"
William took the rather large package into his little hands and found that shaking it yielded no clues. Pressing on the sides of the box offered no information. As he tore the paper from the package, his parents smiled and took in the child's enthusiasm and wonder.
Scully bent over her husband's shoulder and whispered, "Mulder! You pilfered evidence!"
"Well, accidentally. It sort of fell into my pocket down at that lab. Really. Besides," he whispered, "it made a great paperweight at the apartment."
She playfully patted his cheek and tried to summon up an appropriate, scolding lecture but just didn't have the desire or the privacy. All she could say was, "Okay."
William glared at his parents. "You shouldn't whisper when others are right in front of you, you know!" William. Yes, he was quite wise for his years.
Mulder put on his best contrite face. "You're right. That was very rude of us. So, let's see what's in the box!"
William used a butter knife to remove the packing tape from the top of the box, and his father helped him lift the styrofoam packing and whatever it was protecting out of the box.
"Wow! A Naval Destroyer!" the child cried in excitement. "I can add this to my collection of models!"
Scully kissed her son on the forehead. "You're grandfather was a sea captain, and I was so proud of him. Read what it says on the side."
"That's right," Mulder told him. "That was his nickname for your mother."
"And Ahab was my nickname for him."
William considered the meaning of the gift for a moment, then confessed, "Mom. I've been reading your copy of 'Moby Dick'." I found it on the book shelf in the living room. I hope you're not mad at me."
Scully laughed. "Oh, no William! Although I think now I can safely say you won't need the first grade. Maybe not even the second." She smiled at her Mom, who didn't seem the least bit surprised by William's intellect.
"Okay, so Starbuck wasn't a girl," Mulder explained, "but this Starbuck is my girl, and she's the best first officer on the ship." Mulder stood and embraced Scully, looked into her eyes and kissed her, then pulled away for a moment. "Tonight, your Mom's Ahab does the dishes. Now, off to the living room and get that movie running! That's an order!" Then he turned to Scully, held her face in his hands and said, "You are the most exceptional specimen I've ever pilfered from the evidence. And that snow globe's not going anywhere either."
- set your fic on May 20th, 2006
- William receives a very special gift. (which doesn't have to be an object. It could be alive or intangible) What is it? (The
- Someone William is very excited to see visits on his birthday. Who it? (Jeremiah Smith, for whom William's parents are very
- An adult tells William as little or as much as you like about the X-File of your choice. (A bit of history about where the