Title: A Wonderland Life
Author: Kristen
Feedback: Yes.E-mail: Cookie8302@aol.com
Catergory: VR
Keywords: SSmarried, babyfic
Archive: Sure

Summary: Scully goes into labor earlier than expected, but not to worry, the Skinner family is more than ready to welcome it's new arrival.

Stories in this series: Wonderland Lodge
A Wonderland Life
A Wonderland Life II

Scully lay curled into her husband's side, her head pillowed by his shoulder, his hand cupped around her hip, snug and warm against the frigid mountain night. Their child was nestled between them, growing from beneath its mother's heart. Their child would be big like its father, she suspected, judging from how she was carrying. It would be active as well, like both its parents, judging from the way it frequently kicked her.

Skinner could feel his child kick against his hip and stirred in his sleep. Instinctively he tightened his arm around Scully and placed his other hand on her swollen belly. Gently he began to trace the child's kicks with his hand soothing the baby back to sleep just as he often soothed his wife when the babe's pressing and moving kept her awake.

Scully whimpered and moaned in her sleep, causing her husband to become more alert. He pushed himself up on his elbow and looked down at her. For the first time he noticed the sweat that beaded her brow, her hair damp and sticking to her forehead. He smiled to himself. She must be having a nightmare. She'd had them often during this final stage of her pregnancy and when she did, he'd wake her and cuddle her to his chest until she settled down again, dream forgotten, into a peaceful slumber.

"Dana," he whispered, leaning over her, caressing her face with his hand, "Come on, Love. Wake up."

Scully stirred but did not wake completely yet, so he tried again, this time he kissed her eyelids and cheeks and whispered against her ear, "Dana, wake up. You're dreaming again."

Scully opened her eyes and looked at him. "Wal..." she whispered, the tapered off with a moan, "Oh, Walter, the baby."

"Ssh," he soothed, "It was only a dream, Love, only a dream."

Scully shook her head furiously, "No, Walter," she said firmly, "It's the baby. I can't..." she trailed off again, letting out another moan of pain.

Realization dawned on Skinner's face. It hadn't been a dream he was waking her from, it was labor he was waking her to.

"Dana?" he asked once again, just for final confirmation.

"Yes, Walter. It's time. Your child is about to be born and if you don't quit staring at me it's going to be born right here in this bed."

That did it. Walter jumped from the bed and pulled on his pants and his robe and headed out of their room and down the hall to his parents.

Walter felt like a child, quietly approaching his parents door, cold and afraid, only this time, he didn't need his Mama to slay a nighttime monster, he needed her to rescue something even dearer to him than his own life.

He startled his parents out of bed when he knocked on their door.

His father grumbled and approached the door, "What's the racket this time of night?"

"Daddy," Skinner said, looking at his father's surprise to see his fully grown son at his door instead of one of his grandchildren, "We need the truck and I need Mama. Dana says it's time."

"Irena," Walter Sr. yelled for his wife, "Get up woman. Your grandbaby is coming."

Within thirty minutes of Skinner awakening Scully, the entire family was in a flurry of activity. Maggie Scully was sent for and brought to the main lodge. It was snowing again, almost as bad as it was the time that Scully had gotten lost in the blizzard.

"Walter, it's no use," the older Skinner told him, "The roads are too bad, it's too dangerous to drive down the mountain in this weather."

Scully, who still lay in their bed upstairs, let out a shrill scream as she was gripped by yet another contraction.

"Dad, she needs a hospital. Listen to her. She can't have the baby here," he gestured around with his arm indicating the accommodations

"And why not, boy? You're Ma had all seven of you kids at home. Your grandmother believed in home births. Looks like we're about to have another one," Walter Sr. chuckled.

Maggie Scully came down the steps just then to see Skinner worry a hand over his face. She could tell he was upset that they couldn't get Dana off the mountain to a doctor.

"Walter," she said softly, "Walter, Dana's asking for you." Maggie said gently, touching his arm.

"Why?" he asked. "Is everything alright? What does she need?"

Maggie smiled and shook her head, "You're her husband, dearest. She wants to have a crack at your hand for a bit."

Skinner turned and headed upstairs to the bedroom, taking the steps two at a time. Maggie watched him go and turned to the older man.

"You raised a good boy, Walter. He loves my daughter very much."

"I know he does," Walter Sr. said. "He's so afraid that something is going to happen to her."

"Can't we at least try to get her to a doctor?" Maggie asked, "The contractions are coming fast, she doesn't have any time to rest in between. Your wife and daughter are doing everything they can, but they aren't doctors."

"Maggie, I wish there was a way but there just isn't. It's too dangerous for someone in decent health to try and drive down that mountain in weather like this. My wife delivered my first grandchild she can deliver this one. You just have to keep the faith." Walter Sr. set his arms around Maggie Scully and gave her a supportive hug. They just had to keep the faith.

Dana was lying in bed, her face beaded with perspiration. She was breathing deeply and crying out in small whimpers with each contraction that gripped her belly.

"Walter," she murmured again as Mary Ellen dabbed her brow with a cool cloth, "Walter."

"He's coming child," Irena soothed, "Your Ma went to get him."

"I'm right here," he said, approaching the bed and sitting down next to her. She reached for his hand and he held hers securely in his, kissing the back of it.

"Walter? When's the doctor going to get here?" she asked weakly.

"Sweetie, you seem to have the knack for getting into trouble during snowstorms. The doctor isn't coming, Love. You'll have to stick with our Ma's and Aunt Mary here," he smiled, trying to hide his fear.

Scully's grip on his hand became stronger with the next contraction, her other hand gripped the pillow her head lay upon.

"Breathe short, Dana quick little breaths, Dana," he reminded her, "In and out just like in class, that's it." He tried to keep his voice soft and thick as not to worry her.

Dana did as he said, but soon her breathing became quicker as the pain increased. Scully fought against the scream building in her throat. She didn't want to cry out and upset her husband even further. He was trying to be so brave and not let her know he was frightened, if it didn't hurt so much she'd have laughed at him.

Finally it was too much for her to bear and she let out a soul shaking scream. Skinner leapt off the bed, his heart beating hard in his chest. "Mama, can't you do anything?"

"There's nothing to do. It's nature's way," she smiled sympathetically.

Maggie Scully rejoined the group around her daughter's bed and held the hand that had been gripping the pillow.

"How much longer?" Skinner asked, getting anxious.

"Should be soon," said Mary Ellen, "She's almost fully dilated."

"Walter," Dana called weakly from the bed, "Go and wait downstairs."

"Dana, I want to be here with you," he told her gently.

"Walter, please. I can't...not in front of you. Please leave, wait with your Dad," she begged, "Please, leave me alone."

Skinner looked as though she'd struck him and retreated from the bed. He felt horrible leaving her alone when she was so tortured by giving his child life. Yet she requested that he leave her and so with a kiss on the forehead and a whisper of his love he did.

Hours later, Maggie once again came down stairs. She was ashen faced and looked exhausted. "Walter, I'm going to boil some more water. The last of it has gone cold."

"Maggie, it's taking too long isn't it?" he asked. He'd been waiting alone, his father and brothers having fallen asleep long ago.

"It's her first and she's small. It takes time," she smiled reassuringly. Then from upstairs, "Maggie, come quick!"

Skinner felt his heart clench. He knew it. He never should have let her come out here. He should have listened to his own instincts. He was going to lose everything he'd ever loved once again. Then he heard it, a sharp slap and a shrill cry. He couldn't stop himself, it seemed his legs and feet moved of him of their own accord as he dashed up the steps desperate to reach his wife and child. He neglected to knock on the closed bedroom door and opened it.

"Dana?" he asked expectantly.

Dana turned her head away from the tiny bundle in his arms and to meet his wide fearful eyes, "Walter, I'm fine," she whispered exhausted, "And so is your new baby daughter. Come here, Papa and meet your new baby daughter, Laura Irena Skinner."

Skinner kissed Scully's damp forehead then took the bundle and cuddled the child close. She was so tiny, yet so perfect. Her tiny features blurred through his tears, just as the sun rose on the horizon. He lowered his face to nuzzle her tiny cheek and whispered, "Merry Christmas, Little Love."

The End

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