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The Ordinary House

Chapter Text

It was late spring and the flowers (a collection of jasmine, lilacs, white roses and violets) that Scully had seeded, between the already full grown hedges, the previous year with her mother, Maggie Scully, were in full bloom and made a colorful border around the front of the Ordinary House. The handle bars of a child's bicycle were leaning against the railing of the front porch stairs and the back wheel was lodged in one of the hedges that bracketed the flowers, there was a baseball bat discarded on the lawn and dog bowl at the bottom of the stairs.

Mulder was sitting on a wooden bench, that he had built himself, on the porch with Ishmael (the chocolate Labrador, that they got as a puppy four years ago) at his feet, reading an email on his iPhone when Scully's black SUV pulled into the driveway.

He slowly raised his arm and waved at Scully (causing her to inadvertently smile, not that he could see that through the SUVs tinted windows), then stood up and walked down the steps.

Ishmael didn't move an inch, only willing to follow Mulder with his eyes.

Scully used her high heeled foot to kick open the door, while she yanked the keys out of the ignition and looked up at the rear-view mirror, at the 6 year old who had his pencil case open and was using his colored pencils on the first page of a new coloring book, in the back seat.

"Hey you..."

"I didn't hit you, did I? Sorry. I was on my feet all day and they are paying me back big time, right now!"

Mulder stopped the door mid-swing, resting his left hand on top of the frame, barring her way and smiled down at her.

"Nah. It's okay. Remind me, and I promise I'll do something about it later tonight"

She ducked under his arm and walked to the back of the car, to retrieve the groceries from the trunk.

"Sounds like a deal"

He pushed his cell phone into his pocket and opened the back passenger door... to help William out.

"Hey, slugger"

He reached out a hand for William to take.

"Hi, Daddy"

"Did you do anything fun at school today?"

William stood in front of him, making little kid thinking noises and shook his head side to side.

 

"Nope!"

"I don't see how that's possible..."

Without warning he tossed his navy blue backpack at Mulder, a cheeky grin on his face.

"A little help, Mulder"

"Coming..."

Mulder pulled the backpack up onto his right shoulder and made his way to the trunk of the car, where Scully was struggling with a dozen grocery bags, William following close behind.

"Are you sure? I thought you took something special to school today?"

"Oh. CUPCAKES! Uhm, Mrs Pearson let us eat Mommy's cupcakes... 'fore the bell went off... and everyone said they were yummiest they ever had"

Mulder ruffled William's floppy auburn hair, looked over at Scully and smiled. Scully had pretty much been forced to learn to bake ever since William started School. What with the constant avalanche of birthday's that came from his class and she had kind of mastered it even though she had a full time job, at Our Lady Of Sorrows Hospital caring for other people's sick children. Mulder spent his time researching X Files and compiling them into a book, to be titled 'UnXplained: The Truth', for his publisher and taking William to Little League and Swimming lessons on the weekends.

"It's entirely possible my Mother was more proud of me for learning to bake than getting a degree in medicine, or graduating from Quantico"

"I'm always proud of you, Scully. You're amazing!"

"Thank you"

William squished in between them and began searching for something in the mess of bags. Scully blindly thrust her right hand into one of the bags, and handed him the little bag of Lego they had got while at the Mall.

"Well, I think Mrs Pearson is gonna receive calls from some annoyed parents tomorrow but that does sound fun"

Scully laughed, the truth of Mulder's statement amusing her more than expected.

"I hope she doesn't forward any of the calls to me"

"I'll answer any and all calls regarding cupcakes, if you'd like?"

Mulder leaned over William (who had become stuck between them) and kissed Scully, softly on the lips.

"Ouch"

"Sorry, kiddo"

"Ishy, come!"

William wriggled out from between them, called out to Ishmael and bolted up the front steps and into the house. Ishy barked and ran in after him.

"Whoa, I'll take a few of those..."

"My hero!"

Mulder grabbed a bunch of the grocery bags, and ignored Scully's joke.

"Hey, remember when we used to just order in? Why'd we stop?"

Scully made a funny face at him, trying to remember when their lives changed from hotel rooms and take out to home cooked meals around the dinner table.

"Well, uh, probably around the time William started eating solids. Can't raise a kid on take out, Mulder"

"Right. I think I remember reading that... somewhere"

Scully hit the fob and the trunk slowly closed as they walked up the stairs together and into the house.

Chapter Text

Mulder placed the bags, that he was carryong on the wooden island that they had found at an antique store (in Philly, on a weekend trip with baby William) not long after they first moved in and Scully began putting all of the food away. She put all the frozen items in the freezer first, and then started piling the cupboards with mac and cheese boxes and fruit rollups (for William, and Mulder if she were being honest) like Mulder had already done with his bags.

"Wanna shoot hoops, Will?"

William was in the loungeroom with Ishmael and the TV blaring, trying to build his new Lego set.
Two Summers ago, they'd had concrete laid and a Basketball hoop installed at Mulder's insistence. He'd argued that it helped him to relax and that before long William would be old enough to enjoy it too.

"WILL?"

"BUILDING LEGO!"

"Hmm. Turn the volume on the TV down... please!"

"OK"

Mulder ran his hand along Scully's shoulders, pushing aside the long red ponytail and kissed her neck. Scully's legs buckled just a tiny bit, from the hard day at work and the feeling that he was slowly teasing out of her, and grabbed the metal handle on the 50's style refridgerator to steady herself.

"Mulder, that feels... so... good"

She turned around to face him and returned the kiss, with way more passion. Scully slipped both of her hands into the back pockets on Mulder's jeans, and pulled him closer. Mulder's right hand fell to the small of her back, brushing his fingers delicately across the tattoo of a snake eating it's own tail (the mythical Orboruous) and backed her up against the refridgerator.

"Mmm. Couldn't agree with you more, Scully"

"Will you make sure William has a bath before dinner?"

"Absolutely"

Scully stepped back, then suddenly threw her arms around his neck and hugged him. Mulder rested his hands on Scully's hips, and kissed her forehead. She poked his chest, and stood on her tip toes...

"We'll finish this later... after my foot rub. Okay?"

Mulder winked at her, and then walked into the loungeroom and sat down on the sofa.

"How's the building process going? Is Ishy helping you?"

"Look, it's Star Wars! It shoots lasers and goes really, REALLY fast. Umm, Ishy is looking after the bricks. I don't wanna lose any 'fore I'm done"

"Wow!"

William held up a small Lego Star Wars racer pod, that was about a quarter of the way complete and grinned at his dad. Mulder smiled back at William, then leaned down and patted Ishmael on the head.

"That's very Impressive, Will. Good boy, Ishy"

"Can we play basketball now?"

"Of course. Maybe you should take your Lego upstairs to your room, so Ishy doesn't accidently eat it...
it looks like candy, right?"

"No, it doesn't. You're silly, daddy"

"Well, maybe it looks like that to him. And so Mommy doesn't yell at me, can you change out of your uniform too?"

William giggled, and scooped up the remaining Lego bricks... just in case Ishy thought they were little bits of candy on the rug and took it all up to his bedroom. He changed out of his school uniform and put on some shorts and a New York Knicks jersery, that Scully and Mulder had given him for his fifth birthday and came back downstairs, a few minutes later.

"I'm ready to play now"

"You've come prepared, I see. Nice jersey, buddy. Should I be worried?"

Mulder pulled at the thin strap that covered William's even thinner shoulder, somehow he'd still hadn't grown into the jersey.

"Uh huh. Cos I'm gonna beat you.. by lots of points!"

"Oh, can I practice for a few minutes before we actually start the game? That's fair, yeah?"

"Hmm. Ohkay... but I'm still gonna win"

"Thems fighting words!"

William held the basketball, as they walked outside and down the porch steps with Ishmael following behind them and then around to the side of the house where the rundown garage/shed was.

"Sit, Ishy! We're gonna watch you practice, daddy"

"As long as you don't try and put me off my game, buddy"

"Nope. Ishy doesn't like cheating!"

"Someone to keep us both honest, eh? Good"

Mulder bounced the basketball, up and down on the concrete a few times and then went for a layup, the orange ball hit the backboard and circled the hoop, before fallin through. Ishmael barked and William touched the paw closest to him, calming him down.

"Yay"

"Not bad, huh? Still think you're going to win?"

"Maybe"

Over the years Mulder had tried to involve Scully in his physical pursuits, that included but weren't limited to Baseball, Basketball and Swimming but she wasn't particularly sporty. So, when William showed signs of being a future athelete, it had made it happy.

Chapter Text

William was chasing Mulder aorund the concrete court, trying to snake the baskettball from him but he was still too little to make much of a dent in his father's game. Mulder threw the ball in the air, above William's head and took a step backwards, waiting to see what he would do. He watched as the second grader jumped and reached for the ball, grabbing it and taking off towards the other end of the court.

"Great catch, buddy"

"I'M NOT LISTENING TO YOUUUUU! You're trying to trick me!"

"Why would I do that to you?"

"BECAUSE! You're losing... and want to make me miss the hoop!"

William stopped dead in his tracks, holding the ball to his small chest, panting and trying to find a place to shoot from because he was still too far away from the point line. Mulder took a couple of quick steps towards him, and knocked the ball out of his hands.

"You're right, Will. I am losing..."

"NO! AHHHHH! DADDY! Not fair... give it back!"

Ishmael barked really loudly, and Scully came outside to see what was going on.

"What's all the noise about?"

"DAD IS LOSING AND HE STOLE THE BASKETBALL FROM ME AND IT'S NOT FAIR! Ishy thinks so, that's why he barked. Mommy, tell him to give it back!"

"Mulder!?"

"The kid is correct, Scully. So why can't I steal once in awhile?"

"It probably has something to do with you being a grown ass adult"

William turned around, pushed his sweaty bangs out of his eyes and looked at his Mom. In that split second Scully realized what she had done or more specifically... said.

"Mommy, you cursed"

"I know, honey. And it was very naughty of me!"

"Don't worry, Daddy will punish Mommy later for that unwarrent slip of the tongue"

Scully stared daggers at Mulder, then went back inside to have a shower and get dinner ready.

Ishy was on the court, running around like a chicken with his head cut off and William used it as a distraction to get the ball back from Mulder and finally score.

"Ishy, go away!"

"Off you go"

Mulder grabbed a hold of Ishmael's collar, dropping the ball and moved him off the court, and back onto the sand under the part of the porch Scully was just standing on.

"HA! I've got the ball... you're gonna lose... SO HARD!"

"That was incredibly sneaky of you"

"Maaaybe"

William held the ball tighter, so it wouldn't be swatted out of his arms again. He ran straight past Mulder towards the hoop, jumping as high as his tiny legs could and tossed it at the hoop (the net hanging from it had seen better days) praying it wouldn't hit the metal ring and bounce off like it did the previous couple of times.

"UP HIGHER! GO UP, YOU STOOPID BALL!"

"William Christopher Mulder"

"But..."

Mulder hardly ever used William's whole name, as it was something Scully usually pulled out of her parental arsenal, when he acted out or wouldn't stop crying.

"You JUST called Mommy out for cursing, remember?"

"But... I didn't mean it. It was the stoo- it's the balls fault"

"Hmm. I'll let it slide, this one time but don't tell Mommy. Yeah?"

"Yeah. Is Mommy still gonna be in trouble?"

"Of course"

William picked the basketball up off the concrete, throwing it as high as he could and watched, along with Mulder as it clipped the backboard, succombing to gravity's pull and falling into the hoop... finally scoring him some points.

"I DID IT! I GOT THE BALL IN! I WIN! How much did I beat you by?"

"Umm..."

Mulder had never really kept score, because he wanted William to enjoy and learn the game instead of getting caught up in winning, losing and what the final scores were. Not that William got past the fact that you could win or lose, he was like Scully in that way. She caught the competative bug as youngster, because of her brothers.

"I lost track when Ishy barked and Mommy came out to watch us play. I think your score was 9 and mine was 6. You did win, buddy! Congrats!"

"You will never ever beat me, and I'm gonna get bigger and bigger and better at it"

"I should practice more, huh?"

"I think so, Daddy! Cos it wont be fair if I keep winning and you keep losing"

William smiled up at Mulder, adorabley unaware of the lengths his father went to keep the charade up. Soon enough, William would be as tall (or taller than) Mulder (who was also rapidly aging) and it would become difficult for him to keep telling, and believing the lie.

"Time for a bath, Willawesome! We don't want to be all stinky at dinner, because Mommy wouldn't be able to breath"

"Smell me? Yuck! You really stink, Daddy"

Mulder bent down and sniffed William (who unfortunately got a bigger stinkier whiff of his father), thankfully the smell wasn't that bad but Scully had asked him to make sure that William had a bath before they ate.

Chapter Text

Mulder followed William upstairs to his bedroom, so he could help get him undressed and into a bath.

"Put your dirty clothes in the washing basket, please"

"Ohkay"

"Thanks"

William's bedroom was ALL about outerspace; his bed was shaped like a rocketship and coevered in alien plush toys. There was a globe in the corner, that had the other planets swinging around it on metal rods and prints of old images of Mars and Earth (from the Viking misssion and the International Space Station) hanging on all the walls and glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. The nightlight plugged in beside the rocketship was even shaped like a UFO.

"Which bubble bath do you want to use tonight, buddy?"

"Superman!"

"You ready to hop in?"

Mulder knocked on his side of the bathroom door, and waited for a reply from the bedroom... none came but he heard a weird scraping noise, so he opened the door a little and peeked in.

"What are you doing?"

William was dragging the washing basket out of his bedroom, so Mulder or Scully could take it down to the laundry room.

"Helping!"

"Yeah, I can see. Well, I'll take that and you can get a towel from your closet and get into your nice warm, bubble bath"

"Yay"

Mulder hauled the basket, which was only a smidge shorter than William, out into the hallway and left it by the slightly ajar door, to his and Scully's master bedroom. And then checked on William to make sure everything was going smoothly.

"Got everything you need? DId you find your rubber ducky in a UFO?"

"Yupp"

William lifted his right hand out of the bubbles, and moved the UFO around his head while making ridiculous beeping and hissing noises.

"I'll be back in a little while to see how far you've gotten, in the cleaning process. Okay?"

"Daaaaad... the aliens are coming to get us! Woosh! Beep, beep, beep... RUN AWAY!"

Mulder left William to play around and get cleaned up for dinner. As he walked past the master bedroom again, he heard the ensuite shower running and could hear that Scully was singing. So, he walked in and stood by the fuzzy glass sliding shower door and listened some more. She was right, she couldn't hold a tune but he loved that she tried anyway.

"Isn't it ironic... it's like raaaaain... on your wedding daaaaay!"

"Scully?"

"Uhm. Dammit... my elbow. Yes, Mulder?"

Scully's blurry shadow almost jumped out of it's skin, because she was in her own little world at that moment. Mulder desperately treid to surpress a laugh, as he opened the sliding shower door.

"You ok, babe? Will is in the tub... and I'd like to get cleaned up, too. Can I join you in there?"

"Fine. I don't know why people call it the funny bone... "

"Yeah, that's a tad ironic"

"Get those clothes off, and hop in here"

Mulder rid himself of his clothes a lot faster han she'd seem him do, in a really long time. Scully leaned against the back wall of the shower, letting the very eager Mulder in.

"Hey, wait... how long were you standing there, spying on me?"

"I swear it wasn't long"

"Hmm, if you say so"

Scully dipped the top half of her body backwards under the showerhead, to remove the last of the shampoo from her hair. Mulder was frozen to the spot in front of her, taking in the gorgeous view; water was tricling down her naked body and he become mesmerized by it, following it from her neck to her toes and back up for the show to begin again.

"Jesus! Scully, how do you look like THAT... and I look like this?"

"What? Mulder, you look great!"

"Right... and Im really happy you think so but damn, you look fucking amazing!"

"Ditto!"

Mulder took a step closer to Scully (so he was under the large square showerhead with her), so their bodies were pressed together and every time he ran his fingers through her hair, and let his arms fall down her back, to get soap off her body, she shudder against him.

"So?"

"Soo?"

"Tonight!"

Scully rubbed her eyes, spat water out of her mouth and tilted her face up to look at him. Mulder slipped his left arm around her shoulder and brushed his fingers over the base of her neck, causing Scully's breath to hitch and making her blush.

"After we've all had the spaghetti I made, and William is in bed... I will make good on my offer"

"Me too"

Mulder cupped Scully's face in his hands and gave her a big. wet kiss on her warm, red full lips.

"I'M FINSIHED"

"Scully, you had better check on him and make sure that he's really done. I told him I would but... that's not going to happen now"

"Sorry"

"Oh, you did nothing... he gets excited all on his own these days"

Scully looked down at, well, little Mulder and silently promsied him that he'd soon be experiencing something pretty amazing, then hopped out of the shower and wrapped a towel under her armpits.

"'Kay. Hurry up, though"

"Will do!"

Chapter Text

Scully let her towel fall to the ground, while she searched for somethin' comfy to wear and then check on William, to make sure he really scrubbed himself clean. She found a pair of sweatpants and a black tee, that quite likely was actually Mulder's, as she didn't remember ever having worn it before.

"Ok, kiddo. Let's see ya. Come on, up and out"

"Careful, Mommy! I'm very slippery, see? I think it was the bubbles"

"Clean. Great job, Will"

William's feet were hovering above the edge of his bathtub, and his toes and heels constantly missed making solid grip on it. She lowered him a little bit and watched him run his feet over the edge, in wonder. Scully was always surprised by what amused little boys (and certain grown men that she knew, personally) and smiled at William, as she put him on the non-slip bathmat that covered a portion of the floor tiles.

"Wrap yourself up in your towel, to keep warm and I'll go find your jammies"

"Brrr, it's soo cold out here. I wanna go back in... with UFO ducky"

"No no no... stay out of the tub now, William"

"Alright"

Scully pulled open the middle drawer of his chesteddrawers, yanked out some pajamas with the solar sytem on them and went back into the bathroom to help William dry off more and get in his pjs for the night.

"One foot in, good... pull those up. Arms in sleeves"

"I can do the buttons, Mommy"

"Ready for dinner, WIll? Daddy's probably waiting for us"

Mulder was walking around the dinner table, in the dining room, scooping spaghetti onto their plates and into William's bowl. Scully had made vegie spaghetti, using eggplant instead of meat. William climbed up onto his chair, while Scully got him a plastic tumbler of water, and a bottle of beer for Mulder and then sat down.

"Thanks. This looks great, by the way"

"Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks"

"Mmm, it's yummy"

Scully smiled at Mulder and squeezed William's tiny hand, thankful that she had them both in her life, and that they believed in her without hesitation. Ishmael came and laid down near Mulder's feet, looking up at him every now and then. Scully got up, poured herself a glass of 7UP and sat back down. Aside from when they were all asleep, dinner time was the quietest time in the Mulder household. Scully was grateful that William never went through a picky phase, and that they all enjoyed eating anything and everything.

"I've got an early morning meeting at the hospital tomorrow, but I'll be back before pickup. Can you take Will to school in the morning?"

"Sure. Call from my publisher isn't until 11 am. Whaddya think, slugger?"

"Thank you"

"Umm, can I have pancakes for breakfuss?"

Mulder looked at Scully, and in one of their unspoken communication moments... they agreed, that just this once William could have pancakes for breakfast. Ishmael slowly made his way around the table to William, and sat up next to him.

"Just this once, 'kay?"

"And only if I don't burn them, otherwise you might be stuck with boring old Chex"

"Eww. Yay. Me and Ishy can watch the pancakes... so's they don't burned, Daddy"

William patted Ishy on the head, and then yawned. Scully checked how much of his dinner, that he had eaten (it was more than half), then leaned over and touched William's cheek.

"Are you able to finish that little bit of food? I think it might be time for bed, sleepyhead"

"Yes. Will you read me a story, Mommy?"

"Of course, sweetie"

Mulder was downing the last of his beer, and thinking about the chapter of 'UnXplained: The Truth' that he was currently in the middle of ( about a psychic preist that had helped find a couple of missing FBI agents), and the call to his publisher, as he was a little behind on the chapter deadline and wasn't exactly thrilled about having to sell the book again. He was going to have to do more research after dropping William off at school and before the call, because Mulder had other plans for later tonight and they weren't going to be disrupted by stupid work crap.

"Come on, you have to brush your teeth before storytime"

"I'll be up in a bit. Get Daddy to help you pick a book to read"

Scully began clearly the table and putting the dishes and cups in the sink, while Mulder ushered William upstairs and into his bathroom so he could brush his teeth. William grabbed his Superman toothbrush out of the toothpaste and toothbrush holder and Mulder squeezed the paste onto his brush for him.

"Minty! Make sure you get all of your teeth"

"Does Ishy brush his teeth?"

"Yupp, the dog groomer does it for him, after they wash him and cut his nails for us"

William giggled at the thought of Ishmael getting his teeth cleaned, and Mulder filled the holder with tap water, so William could gargle and spit the leftover toothpaste into the sink.

"Silly Ishy"

"Done?"

"Uh huh"

"Let's pick a book for storytime with Mommy, shall we?"

Mulder walked over to William's bookshelf and browsed the small library worth of titles. It was mostly kid books, like 'Where The Wild Things Are', 'Earth Children Are Weird', 'The Little Prince', 'The Hungry Catapillar', a dozen 'Mr Men' and 'Little Miss' books and then a few science and space related books that were sold for children of a slightly higher age group, but Scully and Mulder were absolutely fine with William reading, or looking at the images in them. William was kneeling next to Mulder, trying to decide what kind of story he wanted...

"Uhmm, that one!"

"Yeah?"

William nodded at his father. Mulder took the book of the shelf and read the title out loud, as William got into his bed and cuddle one of his plush alien toys.

"The Gruffalo, it is! Let's get you into bed, huh? Mommy will be up in a minute to read it to you. Goodnight, buddy"

Chapter Text

Mulder ducked into the master bedroom to grab their dirty towels from the floor, and throw in the washing basket with William's clothes. As he was walking back downstairs, to fill up Ishmaels water bowl, Scully suddenly appeared and stopped him.

"Did he brush his teeth properly?"

"Brushed like a pro, picked out a book and is waiting... in bed, for you"

"Great. If there's anything else that needs doing, before we turn in... do it, quickly!"

"Scully, wait a sec... "

Scully stopped, turned around and stared at him. Mulder lifted up is arms, and she could see something sparkly, dangling from his closed hand. It was Scully's gold cross necklace and she realized, in that moment, that she had forgotten to put it back on after her interupted shower. Scully stepped down a stair, to be level with Mulder, he leaned in and she lifted her hair out of the way, did the clasp up for her and then gently kissed her cheek.

"Huh, look at that... "

"You forget to put it back on? I don't think I've ever seen it off your neck, even when you were in hospital... dying"

"Well, you were VERY distracting earlier. It's your fault, babe"

Mulder smirked, remembering the how the water slipped down Scully's lithe, supple body and then pointed to the washing basket by their open bedroom door...

"Laundry. I will happily accept the blame, for YOUR forgetfulness... it was totally worth it"

"Agreed"

"I look forward to picking up where we left off"

Scully entered William's bedroom, and found him curled up with his soft toys and his chosen storytime book, 'The Gruffalo' in his hands. It was a picture perfect moment, he looked peaceful and adorable and she wished that he could just stay like that forever. She was tempted to go get her iPhone and take a sweet snap of him. Scully wasn't ready for him to grow up, she wanted him to be her baby boy, forever.

"Hey... which book did you pick?"

"Gruffalo"

"You look really tired, do you think you can make it through the whole story?"

William shook his head, sleepily, and rolled over to face Scully completely, who sat on the edge of the bed (not exactly the most comfortable spot but she didn't think she would be there too long, tonight) and handed her the book. Scully ran her fingers through the vaguely curcly, mop of auburn hair... pushing William's bangs back, and out of his face.

"I dunno. I am very sleepy. I love you. Gruffalo now, Mommy"

"Okay, baby. I love you, too. If you want to go to sleep you can, and I'll still read Gruffalo to you"

Scully flipped open the 'Gruffalo' book and began to read the story to him. A tiny smile appeared on William's face, and he reached for Scully's free hand and held it close to his chest. Scully felt his heartbeat and the warmth radiating from his body. She bent down and breathed in... sometimes, she could still smell that newborn baby smell, even though it was impossible, it took her right back to the first few days after William was born.

"Here we go 'Where are you going to, little brown mouse? Come and have lunch in my underground house'"

"Aww"

"'It's terribly kind of you, Fox.. but no, I'm going to have lunch with a Gruffalo'"

"Mommy, why can't the mouse eat with the Fox-y and Gruffalo?"

"I don't know, maybe he promised Gruffalo, or maybe they all have lunch together on different day"

"I hope so. Mrs Pearson says that it's rude not to ask e'ryone if... if... "

"Mrs Pearson is right, it's not nice to leave people out, if they'd like to join in"

William's eyelids fluttered closed, his tiny hand went limp in Scully's and he started to snore (something he got from Mulder) but she continued reading, lowering her voice to almost a whisper, like she promised.

"'A Gruffalo? What's a Gruffalo? - 'A Gruffalo? Why, didn't you know? He has terrible tusks... and terrible claws... and terrible teeth... in his terrible jaws'. Sweet dreams, baby"

Scully cuddled and kissed the sleeping William, and tucked his arms under his stars and planet covered blanket and then stood up and placed the book back on the shelf, turned on his UFO nightlight and closed his bedroom door, lingering for a moment... because, to be completely honest, she missed him when he slept even though he was a few steps away, at all times. She picked up the washing basket and went down stair. Mulder was relaxing on the sofa with Ishy, and the TV on an old baseball game.

"I'm just gonna throw this in the washer, and then I'll be up soon"

"Cool... I'll be waiting for you in bed, gorgeous"

Mulder went outside and carried William's bike up onto the porch, so it was out of the weather and then went back for the wayward baseball bat on the lawn and brought it inside. Scully was in the laundry room, just off the kitchen, tossing all their dirty laundy into the machine and hit start... and tip toed upstairs, to bed... to Mulder.

Chapter Text

Mulder had taken the stairs three at a time, just to get upstairs before Scully, raising his heartbeat and leaving him puffed. In his hurry to be presentable he had brushed his teeth, so fast, that his gums were kinda hurting now and he was regretting doing it, even though he knew she would appreciate the effort. Scully slowly pushed open the door to their master bedroom, and saw Mulder in bed... shirtless and ready for sexy shenanigans.

"Hey you... "

Scully walked towards the large queen size bed, seductively, while removing the sweatpants she was wearing, now only in black lace underwear and his random black tee.

"Hi... umm, what... what are you doin' with your pants, Scully?

"Oh, these?"

Mulder's eyes were SO wide, it was almost comical, and he couldn't stop staring at her sexy legs that were deceptively long, depending on what shoes Scully was wearing. Scully waved the pants around and then tossed them on the floor.

"Yeah"

"They were bothering me, so they had to go... "

"That.. that makes perfect sense"

"I thought so!"

Scully had a wicked grin on her face, as she lifted the purple silk comforter and cotton sheets up (manchester that she had chosen, not that Mulder cared as long as it kept them warm) and shimmied into the bed, with Mulder. She leaned closer to him, head resting on her hand... all "bedroom eyes and come get it". Moonlight was streaming in through the two small square windows above, and on either side, their bed. Mulder was in awe, it never failed to stun him, how gorgeous she was... sans make up, or pretence. He slipped a lazy arm about her waist and then dipped his face down to kiss her on those impossibly perfect lips, oddly.. taking her by surprise. It didn't take long before Scully's was scratching the back of Mulder's neck with her fingernails, then running them through his hair and occasionally pulling at it.

"God, Scully"

"Mmm... "

"You're... so... fucking... amazing"

"Hmm... you too"

Mulder tugged at the tee that Scully had on, eventually slipping a hand up there and playing with the front clasp on the matching black lace bra and every so often running a thumb across the top of her breast... teasingly. Painfully so. Scully was barely in control of herself, and she needed Mulder to get in the game, before she lost all of her self-control.

"Why don't you just pop that clasp, it's only in the way"

"Yes, Ma'am"

Scully licked the palm of her right hand and shoved it down Mulder's boxers, touching him and then slowly beginning to move her hand, up and down... repeatedly. Until they both couldn't take it anymore. Panting, she pulled her hand out and poked Mulder on the chest. Mulder's eyes were closed and he was practically breathless from the over-stimulation.

"You should take your boxers off... NOW"

"Yupp. Good idea! Can you take that bra off?"

"Deal"

Mulder pushed his boxers down his legs, kicking furiously to get them off completely, and Scully pulled her bra out through the neck off the black tee, throwing it over her shoulder and then pouncing on him.

"Whoa, you gotta warn a guy before you do that... "

"Why?"

"No reason... carry on, beautiful"

Scully was grinding into him, hard, and her lace underwear were starting to hinder their progress and really, REALLY annoy Mulder. Mulder grabbed Scully's hips, and dipped both of his thumbs between the material and the skin of her hips, drawing circles and trying to get her attention. Scully leaned down and stuck her tongue down Mulder's throat, then arched her back and removed the tee, revealing her breasts to him. Mulder forgot about the underwear for a moment and raised his hands up, to just under them and back down to her arse.

"Fuck! You're gonna kill me one day... you know that, right?"

"I always suspected that dying in bed would be your prefered way to go. Confirmation! Now shut up!"

"Not tonight, though. At least, not until these come off"

Mulder's hands were down the back of her lace underwear, unconciously massaging her arse. Scully rose, standing above him she pulled them down, slowly, and then sat back down on Mulder's naked lap... still holding them in her hand. Mulder bucked, at the first sign on skin on skin and Scully bounced up and instinctively reached for his upper arms to steady herself. The view from Mulder's angle was quite a bit different, it was all jiggly and perfect, because he hadn't realized that he nearly knocked her off the bed. Mulder's mind was elsewhere. Heaven, Nirvana or Wonderland. Didn't really matter what you called it, he was lost there and loving every minute of watching his stunning wife, moving her hips back and forth on top of him.

"Uh, mm.. you feel incredible, Mulder"

"What?"

"You heard what I said... "

Scully pressed her chest to his, and peppered kisses all down his neck, clavacle and chest. Mulder was sweaty, and smelled delicious and she loved it. Mulder pushed his hands up her alabaster thighs, until one hand found it's way back to her arse cheek (that he grabbed, roughly... to Scully's pleasure) and the other was in the crease between her thigh and his bliss, gently and delicately rubbing the place above where he called 'home'

"Scully?"

Mulder looked up at Scully, she looked like an angel sent from the heavens... his salvation. Scully licked her lips and smiled down at him. Still grinding against him, watching his hips buck when they moved in opposite directions, causing friction.

"Uhmm, yes?"

"Promise me... promise that no matter how bad the darkness gets, you will never leave. Scully, I need you... more than you know, more than you'll ever know"

Scully understood what he was saying, they had both lost pople and were only left with each other(save for Mrs Scully and Bill Jr and Charlie) and their son, William. Their very own miracle, one they both never gave up on. And were rewarded with, after so much heartarche. She had never figured out a way to prove to Mulder that she wasn't going anyhwere, and never would. Mulder was her touchstone, her constant and they were each others one in five billion. It was forever, they were a family and always would be... if she had anything to do with it.

"I would never leave you, or William and I would NEVER take him from you. You should know that by now, Mulder"

"I know... I know. I do... but promise me... anyway, please?"

"Promise. You're stuck with me!"

"Fuuuuck"

Mulder moved deep inside of Scully, making her body stiffen above him and it made him smile. Scully opened her eyes, and smiled back... then tapped Mulder's temple with her middle finger.

"Do you understand now?"

Chapter Text

Scully's right hand was resting over Mulder's heart, her right leg was drapped across his naked groin and there was a thin layer of sweat that had fused them together, while they slept. Mulder was snoring, but she didn't mind because they were breathing in unison and that always made her swoon. Their connection was the only truth, that Scully trusted and believed in 100%, after everything they had been through over the years.

"I love you"

Scully could hear Ishmael padding around downstairs, and based on past experience that meant that he would make his way up to William's room soon enough, waking him up. So, she placed a soft kiss on Mulder's neck and rolled out of bed, to get ready for work.

"Shh. In, Ish"

Ishmael was making whining noises, on the otherside of their bedroom door, so she let him and continued to get ready. Scully set out her outfit for the day; her favourite blue button up, black dress pants and a blazer. And then brushed her teeth and put a tiny bit of eyeshadow, eyeliner and lip gloss on.

"Are you hungry, Ish? Mulder will be up soon, don't worry"

Scully ran her hand down Ishmael's furry back, and went to find a pair of shoes. She sat down on the edge of the bed, waking Mulder. Mulder dragged his still tired body a few inches over, reaching for Scully's hand and gave her big loving kiss on the inside of her wrist.

"Mmm. Where are you going?"

Scully turned, leaned across the remainder of the bed and smiled at him. She tried to fix his bedhead, by flicking it back with her fingers (accidently grazing one of his eyebrows, with her manicured nail) but it didn't help and just reminded her of William and how much having her boys made her ache, deep in her soul; a painful sort of gratitude, for something she never thought she'd have in her life, not too long ago.

"Work"

"But... it's still dark out and I promised you a foot massage"

"Yeah, we got a tad carried away last night... "

"That's one hell of an understatement, Scully"

Mulder attempted to lure Scully back into bed, but she wriggled free and put on her black two inch heel pumps.

"but you can always make it up to me, when I get back later"

"Count on it"

"Can you put the washing in the dryer when the timer goes off?"

"Of course... and I love you, too"

Scully stopped in the doorway, and laughed. She should of known that he had heard her, even when he was asleep, he almost never made it to proper REM sleep and managed to hear outside voices when he technically shouldn't have been able. Ishmael jumped onto the bed with Mulder and snuggled with him, until he decided to wander off and see if William was awake yet.

"Can you keep Will company while I get dressed, boy?"

Ishmael wagged his tail, and walked into William's room. William stretched his arms and legs, then rubbed the scratchy stuff from the corners of his eyes and saw Ishy next to his bed.

"Ishy"

Mulder appeared in William's doorway, to see if he was up yet. William was sitting up in his bed, reading a book about Space, Ishmael curled up at his feet. Mulder thought back to his and Scully's last case, at the FBI. They'd recieved an unexpected call from Billy Miles, the subject of their very first case together, about a downed UFO in Oregon and his fears that it was all happening again. Scully had been unwell during the trip, but it wasn't until they returned to D.C, that Mulder insisted that she go see a doctor to figure out what was wrong... that was when they found out that she was pregnant, with their son.

"I think it's time to get dressed, Will"

"Okay, Daddy"

"And I'll get the pancakes started"

"Yay"

Mulder heard the washing machine timer go off and left William to get himself ready for school. William shooed Ishy off his bed, jumped out and grabbd his school uniform from the closet in the corner of his room. Mulder walked back into the kitchen, after moving the wet washing into the dryer, to find William sitting at the table. Mulder put the pancake shake mix under the tap, filling it with water and gave it to William to shake for a couple of minutes, while he buttered the frying pan and turned the burner on.

"I'll need you to keep an eye on the pancakes, so we don't burn them"

"Mommy never burns the pancakes!"

"And that's one of the reasons why we love her"

"I shaked it... can I flip it?"

"I don't see why not, would you like to pour the mix into the pan, too?"

"Yes"

William stood on a plastic footstool, in front of Mulder, so he could reach the stove and frying pan. Mulder handed him a spactular and watched him flip the giant pancake, making sure it didn't fly out and land on the floor.

"Do you think Mommy will mind if we put maple syrup all over our pancakes, if we also have some fruit with them?"

Chapter Text

Mulder and William sat quietly eating their fruity, syrupy pancakes and drinking OJ. Mulder thought back to the very first ultrasound appointment that he and Scully went to, they were both still so shocked that it was real and happening, after all the years of thinking that she was barren and the hopeless feeling that it was a miracle that might never happen. Scully was laying on a hospital bed, shirt pulled up to the underwire of her bra, stomach bare and covered in a cold, sticky gel. Mulder was sitting in a chair, right next to the bed, looking at the blank screen of the ultrasound machine, a little worried about what they were going to see. Scully reached out, slipping her hand into his and squeezing it tight, letting him know that she felt the same way.

"Can Ishy have some pancake?"

"Umm, just a little bite. We don't want him to get sick"

"Here"

William tore a piece off one of his pancakes, put it into the palm of his hand and let Ishmael eat it. Ishmael licked the sryup off William's hand, making him wriggle in his seat and laugh. Mulder smiled at the once impossible image before him.

"We should get you to school, buddy. Did you bring your backpack down?"

"Nope. I forgot... "

"Are you finished?"

"Mmmhmmm"

"Ok. Go upstairs, get your backpack and I'll clean up down here and then we'll head off"

Mulder got up, patted William on the back as he also got up and picked up his empty plate. William ran upstairs to his room, to get his backpack, Ishy following close behind. Mulder dumped their dirty dishes in the sink, ran water over them and walked into the laundry to turn thr dryer off, and fold the clean clothes on the lid, for Scully to distribute into the correct rooms and drawers when she got home later.

"READY!"

"You've got everything you need?

"Uh huh"

"Awesome"

Mulder buckled William into the back seat, walked back around to the drivers side, hopped in and started the car up. As they pulled out onto the main road Mulder turned the radio on, it was preset to the rock and roll station that he enjoyed listening to and 'Carry On Wayward Son' by Kansas filled the car. They arrived at the school, just as 'Thunderstruck' by ACDC ended. Mulder got out, helped William from the backseat, and walked up the front steps of the school and to his closed classroom door.

"Mommy will be here when the bell goes off. Have fun!"

"Bye"

William entered the classroom, hung his backpack up with the others and sat down next to another little boy. A little girl with green eyes and brunette pigtails at the group table in front of his, turned around in her seat and smiled (and waved) at him. William smiled at the little girl, and then grabbed a pencil from his pencil case.

"Hiiil"

"Lily, eyes front. Today we're going to write a story, about our favourite thing or what you want to be when you grow up or anything that interests you. Okay? If you need any help, just raise your hand"

They recess bell went off, William and the other children retrieved the various sorts of snacks from their backpacks. Mulder had put a fruit roll up in William's bag. Lily sat down next to William and ate her apple pieces, then gave her story to him, to read.

"You can read mine... if you want"

"Ohkay"

"That's you"

Lily pointed to the picture she had drawn on the lined paper, it was drawing of a house with herself and William standing in front of it. William looked at it, confused and tried to read some of it...

"I like your picture. Mines about space.. Imma go up there, when I'm a grown up"

"Wow"

"It's my birthday soon"

"I got a unicorn for my birthday"

"Ohh"

"I liked your cupcakes!"

Mrs Pearson ordered the kids back to their group tables. Lily held William's hand, hugged him and then got up and went back to her table, closer to the front of the room. William just stared at the back of her head, even more confused than before.

"Who would like to tell their story to the rest of the class?"

"Meeeee!"

"Fantastic. Come on up, Lily"

Lily got up, stood in front of the whitebaord and proceeded to tell the entire class her story... and show them the picture she had drawn. Apparently, she and William were going to get married and live together with both sets of their parents and pets.

"That was lovely, and very detailed, Lily. Ok, and does anyone else want to read their story?"

William wasn't sure what had just happened, but he knew it that annoyed him and some of the other kids were looking at him. A little boy with blonde hair raised his hand, prepared to read his story, about Dinosaurs, to the class. William avoided Lily the rest of the school day.

Chapter Text

Scully was sitting in her office, at Our Lady Of Sorrows Hospital, going over the case file for Christian Fearon, a sick little boy that only she dared to help. Scully thought back to the day that she found out she was pregnant, and what a complete shock it was. Initially, she thought it was stress (they were being auditored and the X Files was in danger of being shutdown again) and possibly the onset of the flu. Mulder had comforted her up in Oregon, and insisted she see a doctor when they returned to D.C. When the Doctor had told them what it really was, Scully didn't really believe him and Mulder had to ask if he was 100% sure.

"Dr Scully, the Fearon's are here"

"Thank you, Sarah"

Scully clicked the little X on the computer file, took a deep breath and walked out into the hospital hallway. She was worried that the Fearons were going to give up on the treatment for their son, Christian, like she had almost given up on the miracle that Mulder had asked her to keep believing in, so long ago.

"Dr Scully"

"Mr and Mrs Fearon. Hello, Christian... how are you feeling today?"

"Better"

"I'm glad to hear that, Christian. I'm going to talk to your parents for a minute, okay?"

The Fearon's followed Scully out to the hallway, arm in arm. They looked tired and done with the whole situation, which scared Scully. She looked them in the eyes, and put a hand on Mrs Fearon's upper arm.

"It's working, the treatment, so I don't want you to worry... it was the right choice"

"Are you sure? He's been sick for so long, and if this isn't helping we'd rather it be stopped, sooner than later"

"The truth is, it's going to take awhile... at least another 8 months, but he's responding to the treatment. Honestly, more than we expected him to this early on"

"That's a relief. Thank you, Dr Scully"

They walked back into Christian's hospital room, so she could explain what the next 8 months would entail, to Christian. The Fearon's stood beside their son, holding his hand and smiling. Scully thought back to the drive home from the Doctors, she hadn't really spoken since recieving the news and Mulder kept lookng at her. Sure, they had been sleeping together for awhile, but they thought she was barren and HOLY SHIT this could ruin the very tenative steps they had taken in their relationship. Scully looked across at Mulder, who was staring at the road ahead of him, oh the symbolism. She opened her mouth to speak and rested her hand on the top of his but she didn't have to worry, Mulder turned his head, smiled and told her that he wasn't going anywhere.

"I'm so glad to hear that you're feeling better, Christain. I've spoken to your parents and we think that continuing with the current course of action. It's still going to be a while until you can go home but we hope that you'll be well enough to go home eventually and never have to visit here again"

"Can go back to school... and hang out with my friends, Mom?"

"When you're better, yes"

Mulder was in his home office, spinning around on his chair, waiting for the call from his publisher and re-reading the research he had collected so far on the psychic preist case that he wanted to include in his book. There was a photograph of Samantha stuck to the back of the office door, and it made him pause for a moment. It had been seven years since Mulder found out the truth of what happened to Samantha, and it still bothered him that he hadn't answered his mother's call. He wondered, sometimes, whether she would of killed herself if he had told her about the diary that he and Scully were led to by the walk ins, or if it would of caused his mother more pain and ended the same way, regardless. Suddenly the home phone rang...

"Hello"

"How are you, Mr Mulder?"

"Oh, you know. Can't complain"

"I'm hoping to hear that you're almost done with the book, so are you?"

"Sort of... "

"That doesn't sound good, Mr Mulder"

"Well, I've decided to add another chapter and didn't think you would mind, Alistair"

Mulder spun around once, in his chair, and threw a pencil into the cieling. Alistair was silent, for a moment, on the other end of the line. Mulder was dreading the next question, he still hadn't figured out to work a real life case into a book, that was mostly about vampires, aliens and government conspiracies.

"Am I allowed to know what the chapter is about?"

"Sure. It's about a degnerate pyschic preist who seeks redemption for past atrocisties"

"Right. So when should I tell my bosses to expect this new chapter of yours?"

"Give me a few more weeks. It'll be worth it... the whole book"

"Don't get me wrong, we believe in the book. We wouldn't be paying you, otherwise, it's just we work on deadlines and you, obviously don't. It's been a learning curve for us but we know it'll make money"

"Great. Call me in six weeks. Nice talking to you, Alistair"

Mulder slammed the phone down and stared at the picture of Samantha again. Perhaps, one day he'd have the strength to delve back into the past and write the story of Samantha's disappearance and death, as cautionary tale to save others from decades of heartache and pain, and to honour his sister.

Chapter Text

Scully was waiting outside the school, when William and a few other little boys came crashing through the large, wooden double doors. Scully thought back to the very first ultrasound that she and Mulder went to, and how terrified she was about the possibilty that it was mistake, that it would be taken away from her... like Emily was. She had reached for Mulder's hand, worried about what might show up on the black and white static-y ultrasound machine and hoping to calm her nerves. When the technician waved the magic wand over her barely there belly, and the fuzzy image appeared. Scully closed her eyes, sighed and then opened them again, to look at Mulder, who was staring wide eyed at the screen. She turned her head to look at the screen too, and saw a tiny blob in a sack. And then she heard the heartbeat and began to cry... it was overwhelming. Mulder had been rendered mute, which was almost as impossible as the human life, growing inside her at that moment.

"Mommy!"

"Hey... I missed you. Hugs?"

"Eww!"

"Eww? Tell me what you did today"

William put his arms around Scully's waist hugging her tightly. She bent down and kissed him on the top of his head, making him squirm. Ever since William started school, he had started to pull away from being overly affectionate with Scully and, if she was being honest... it had stung.

"Mrs Pearson told us to make up a story, mines 'bout space"

"Did you have fun writing your story? It sounds fun! I think Daddy would enjoy hearing it"

Scully helped William into the backseat of the SUV, and smiled at him in the rearveiw mirror as they pulled out of the school parking lot. When William was a baby, it amused Scully to wonder what parts of her and what parts of Mulder would begin to appear in his personality as he grew and to her joy... he was the best parts of both them. William liked sports and science. He was full of courage, curiousity and care for others but he could also be stubborn and impossible.

"Uh huh. I don't want Lily to come to my party, Mommy"

"Honey, we sent your invitations out weeks ago"

"But... I don't want her to come anymore"

"Why not?"

"Cos... she's silly!"

Mulder was in the kitchen, washing the breakfast dishes in the sink, when Scully and William entered the house. William ran up stairs, to his bedroom, annoyed. Scully threw her purse down on the coffee table and walked up to Mulder. Standing behind him, she slipped her hands into his front pockets and pressed her body against his back, breathing him in... she was ready for that promsied foot massage now.

"Foot massage, now. Please?"

"Another busy day, shortstack?"

"Not particularly. I think it's just accumilated over the week. Don't worry about the dishes, I'll finish them later"

"Okay. Get comfy on the sofa. I'll be right there"

Scully kicked her heels off, and was flicking through channels when Mulder lifted her feet from the arm of the sofa, sat down and rested them back on his lap. Dr. Phil was on the TV, trying to explain to a pregnant teenger, that maybe just maybe, her parents weren't horrible monsters but were worried and cared about her. Neither of them were paying attention to the TV. Scully had closed her eyes, and was enjoying the massage and Mulder was looking at her... the way her eyelashes fluttered, the way she sucked in her bottom lip in pleasure and the way she clasped her fingers together over her stomach (her chest, slowly rising and falling).

"Does that feel good, Scully?"

"Mmhmm"

"And work... you got that sorted?"

"Uh huh"

Mulder pushed her pant legs up to her knees and ran his hands up both of Scully's calves, rubbing the tension out of them.

"Glad to hear it, babe. And why does Will appear to be in a mood?"

"I'm not entirely sure. All I got out of him, was that he doesn't want Lily coming to his birthday next week. I told him there wasn't anything we could do about that now"

Scully opened her eyes, pouted and wriggled her toes in Mulder's hands. Mulder had stopped rubbing them, as he thought about the situation. When Mulder was in elementary school, there was a little blonde girl called Grace, he was smitten and gave her a valentines day card but she wasn't interested and his reaction was much the same as William's.

"Mulder... don't stop"

"Sorry. If it's about a girl maybe I should talk to him?"

"Because you're such an expert?"

"Well, not an expert but I got you to fall for me, didn't?"

"Mulder, it took you seven years to make a move"

Mulder closed his eyes and sighed. God, he'd wasted so much time, time that could of been better spent together... and in bed, instead of alone and watching porn. Sure, he'd be burnt in past relationships... but he liked to think that he was brave enough to go after what he wanted, but he wasn't, not with Scully because he was terrified that he would lose her completely. And he'd rather have her in his life, than not at all.

"I'd like to point out that there was absolutely nothing stopping you from letting me know how you felt, you know"

Chapter Text

Mulder knocked on William's bedroom door, and waited. There was no response, so he opened the door and walked in. William was sitting on alien shaped beanbag chair, in the corner of his room under his bookshelf, putting the rest of his Lego Star Wars racer together and sulking. Mulder sat down beside him, made a mental note to take William to the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian, in D.C sooner rather than later and waited another beat before talking.

"I want to ask you something and I want you to be more honest with me, than you were with Mommy"

"What?"

"Why don't you want Lily to come to your birthday party?"

"Cos!"

"Do you like her?"

William scrunched up his face, confused. Of course he liked Lily. They'd met on the second day of first grade, when Mrs Pearson left the classroom for a moment and returned with Lily. She had missed her very first day of school, due to an unexpected case of chicken pox that her older cousin Noah, had accidently passed on to her during the summer. William liked meeting new people, a character trait that he didn't get from either of his parents (Mulder and Scully spent more time with their siblings than other kids, when they were younger and after a time living in the world, it had become difficult to trust anyone but each other).

"Nooo!"

"Are you sure?"

"Lily is my bestest friend"

"Doesn't that mean she should be at your party?"

"Hmm... maybe"

"What happened today to change that?"

"Mrs Pearson made us write a story... 'bout something we liked... mine was 'bout space. Lily wroted in that we lived in the same house"

Mulder had seriously misjudged the situation, it was nothing like what happened with Grace. There was no rejection, not the kind that he suffered through anyway. Scully was right, as always! And he would have to admit, to her, that he had no clue what he was doing. There was no way she wasn't going to use this against him in the future.

"I think Lily really likes you"

"It was a stoopid story"

"There's that word again. What did I say the first time? And you can't just uninvite someone because you had a fight with them, Will. It's not nice"

William huffed, stood up abruptly and walked over to his little wooden IKEA desk/chair combo and placed the completed Star Wars racer on the upper right hand corner of the desk, usually reserved for a cup. It was one of those weird ergonomic posture building sets, with the oddly slanting chair connected to the desk. Mulder was sure it was a joke among the furniture industry. It was a ridiculous contraption. Anyone over the age of maybe 7 or 8, had to pretzel themselves in and out awkwardly. And yet somehow, it had become the go to workplace desk, something about sitting down for extended periods being unhealthy for employees. He wasn't entirely convinced.

"Fine. Lily can come to my party"

"Glad that's been settled because she was never not coming, buddy"

Mulder chuckled to himself, as he stood up and winced at the pain in his knees. For a split second he thought that maybe there was something to the whole pretzel desk idea and then scoffed. Nope. Nothing looked more painful than the furniture equivalent of a cross between an Alice In Wonderland and Dr Suess story. It had to be a joke. He was sure that someone somewhere was laughing.

"Can I watch TV before dinner?"

"Sure"

Scully was at the kitchen sink, washing the dishes Mulder had started earlier. The 50's style radio (that matched their toaster, kettle and fridge) was on and 'Same Mistake' by James Blunt was softly flowing out of the speakers. She dried the plates and cups with a tea towel and put them in the cupboards. Ishmael was padding along with her, a shadow that wouldn't leave her side. Mulder and William made their way back downstairs and into the kitchen.

"Hey, Scully"

"Mommy"

"Everything get sorted out?"

"Yeah. I think so"

"Good"

William wasn't paying any attention to their conversation, he was too busy hugging Ishy. Kids were funny that way... one second they were mad, the next they were perfectly fine. It was either unpredictable tantrums or emotions that were as fleeting a ash in the wind.

"I said Will could watch some TV before dinner"

"Go on"

"Yay"

Mulder followed Scully into the laundry and watched as she put the clean, folded clothes into a basket to carry upstairs. As she put the last piece of folded clothing into the basket, he stepped towards her and placed his hands on her hips and then kissed her. She dropped the shirt into the basket and relaxed into the unexpected make out session. Mulder broke off the kiss, as unexpectedly as he started it. Scully put her arms Mulder's neck and smiled up at him.

"You were right..."

"Excuse me?"

"I had no idea what I was doing. Why did I think I could talk to Will about girls?"

"Told you. You were trying to help, and it sounds like you did. What was the problem, anyway?"

"William isn't a fan on PDA... kinda like you"

Scully furrowed her brows at Mulder and pinched his arm, making him yelp. She wasn't opposed to the occasional public displays of affection but he was mostly right, she liked to keep that stuff private. Probably had something to do with her catholic upbringing. Some things stick, and that was one of them.

"Ouch! Or not"

"Better!"

Mulder grinned, then pushed Scully up against the ceruluen blue laundry wall and kissed her again. This time she kicked it up notch, to prove him wrong, hooking one of her legs around the back of his upper thigh and pressed herself against him. His body was warm and it made it stomach do a backflip. Mulder leaned down and kissed just behind her left ear. Scully's hands had found their way under his shirt and her french tipped nails were digging into his sides.

"Mmm. That was nice! But I really have to take this basket upstairs and you need to start dinner"

"Okay, gorgeous"

Chapter Text

Scully came back into the loungeroom, after putting away the washed clothes and found William crouched down near the flatscreen TV looking through their DVD collection. There were a couple of historical documentaries, some rom-coms, old school comedies and a bunch of kids movies (Including a dozen of the most popular Disney movies from the last 20 years) and series (TMNT, Rugrats and Pokemon). She ran her hand through William's messy auburn hair and crouched down next to him.

"What are you looking for, Will?"

"Ninja Turtles"

"Oh. There it is... "

"Thanks"

"I think we have time to watch a couple before dinner is ready"

William grabbed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (the original 80's series) DVD, opened the case and put the disc into the player. Scully followed William over to the sofa and sat down with him, to watch along and spend some much needed quality time together. Scully's work at the hospital, really only left time for them just before William's bedtime (which is why she always read him a book) and when she would drop him off at schooin the morning.

"I like this one, Mommy"

"Okay, let's watch it"

William used the DVD player remote to hit play on an episode; 'Michelangelo's Birthday'. It was Mikey's birthday and his brothers Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael were pretending not to remember that fact, and it was annoying the usually chilled out orange turtle. It was a classic!

"Can we have mini pizzahs at my party, Mommy?"

"You can have whatever you want, baby. It's your special day"

"I want ice cweam and reese-y cups and pizzahs and gummy bears..."

"Whoa! Slow down, buddy"

Mulder was in the kitchen, making Chilli for dinner, when he overheard William's list of Birthday treats and walked over to the loungeroom, resting his elbows on the back of the sofa and looked at the TV and then to
Scully, who was trying to come up with a reason for why that was all just a bit much.

"That's a lot of sugar. What if it makes you feel sick?"

"I think Mommy is right, Will. You don't wanna be sick, do you?"

William looked at both of his parents, confused. It just didn't make sense to him, that on his birthday, sugar and loads of food would make him sick. It was his day, it was suppose to be awesome and not include anything bad happening.

"But... it's MY birthday. I can't get sick on my birthday"

"You can't fault the kids logic, Scully"

"So, I'm being outvoted on this?"

"I think so"

"Sowwy"

Mulder laughed, messed William's hair, and kissed Scully's cheek and then went back into the kicthen to finish up with dinner. She pulled William close, patted his hip and watched as the credits rolled on the first episode. Scully turned her head just in time to see Mulder put his infamous 5 Cheese Sensation in the oven. He had introduced her to this heart clogging creation the week she stayed at his apartment, after she had killed Donny Phaster. She had tried to tell him all the ways it could kill a man and that being a doctor she should know but he had continued to cook and eat it, while she sat across from him in utter shock.

"Another one?"

"YES!"

"Press play"

The following episode involved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles contracting Turtle Pox. Scully thought back to winter break, when William had come down with chicken pox... and then Mulder caught it the following week (somehow, he'd never had it as a child. Yet, it had ran rampant in the Scully household in Fall, the year Dana turned 5). You could cut peanuts from lunchboxes, but chicken pox was a little more unpredictable and it took a couple of weeks to appear as itchy red splotches. She was sure that William had caught it from a kid in his class before the break. Christmas 2007 wasn't the best, in fact on several occasion, while looking after her whiny boys, Scully certainly wished she was back in a haunted house being psychoanalyzed and thinking that she had been shot by Mulder. Actually, she wanted to shoot Mulder a number of times.

"Yuck. I didn't like being itchy poxed"

"I know and I don't think Daddy liked it either. It wasn't very fun"

"Why come you didn't get sick, Mommy?"

"I had it when I was little, like you... and Daddy didn't"

"Ohhh. Good"

"Ha. Thanks, Will"

Mulder walked back into the loungeroom, to relax with his wife and son, while the Chilli and 5 Cheese Sensation remained on the stove and in the oven to keep warm. William and Scully were cuddled up together on the sofa with Ishmael, so he sat on the arm of the sofa and watched the rest of the episode with them.

"Why are we watching this? It's giving me flashbacks! The itching, the scratching and the... "

"Complaining?"

"Yeah, that too"

Chapter Text

Scully threw together a quick leafy salad with balsamic vingear, tossed in a large wooden bowl with wooden spoon and placed it on the table, to balance out the unhealthy food. She looked at the 5 Cheese Sensation in horror and sat down.

"I still can't believe you eat this cheesy, artery clogging mess"

"I don't know what you're talking about, Scully. It's delicious!"

William nodded in agreement with his father, because he was currently eating a mouthful of the greasy dish. Scully looked at the both of them, like they were aliens. Over the years, she had noticed that Fox and William's pouty face was the same, they tended to eat the same foods and they even slept in the same position. They were SO alike!

"Mulder, it's disgusting"

"Hey, we don't mock the foods you enjoy eating... "

"Because I don't eat anything so ridiculously mockable and unhealthy"

Mulder thought about how Scully had gotten obsessed with Bee Pollen Yogurt, back in the day and narrowed his eyes at her.

"Bee Pollen Yogurt?"

"It was the 90s and it was very healthy for you!"

"Sure, but it was also ridiculous! Enjoy your salad, babe"

Scully looked down at her plate, it was mostly the rushed together salad but there was a nice portion of the Chilli too. She stabbed at some salad with her fork, and ate it. It made her feel good and it tasted amazing. IT REALLY DID! A smug smile spreading across her face.

"Will, I want you to eat all of your salad"

"Ohkay, Mommy"

"Don't push your healthy food agenda on our kid, Scully"

Mulder smiled and scooped some more 5 Cheese Sensation onto his plate, looking at Scully pointedly. He was determined to be proud of his hideous cheese creation, and wouldn't let it be known that he stopped enjoying it years ago. It had occured to him that it was a young man's hangover cure (in fact, he'd created it after a rather heavy night of drinking while still at Oxford University) and was completely gross and inedible now. Mulder ate a huge mouthful, trying not to gag and grinned. They were both stubborn enough to keep playing this particular game of chicken.

"Didn't you have something to show, Daddy?"

"I forgotted"

"You can go up stairs and get it if you want... "

"Yeah. We'll wait for you, slugger"

William scooted off the chair and ran upstairs to get the story from his backpack. Scully was standing at the kitchen sink, filling her glass with tap water when William re-appeared, smiling that adorable self-satisfied smile that he'd inherited from Mulder. She pulled out a chair closer to Mulder, and sat down again. William stood next to Mulder, pushed the sheet of A4 paper into his hands and waited expectantly for his father's opinion.

"That was awesome, Will"

"I really liked it too"

"I'm gonna be an astronaut when I'm older"

"You have to do really good at school, baby. It's an important job"

Mulder lifted William onto his lap, wrapped his arms around him and pointed to the little drawing at the bottom of the paper. Scully moved closer to Mulder, resting her chin on his shoulder and smiled at William.

"I think we should go to the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian, so you can learn what it takes to be an astronaut. What do you think?"

"Yeaaaah. I wanna see the rockets and meet an astronaut. Can we meet an astronaut, Daddy?"

"I dunno. If we're lucky, maybe we will"

"That sounds like a fun. You can go during the summer break, and visit Uncle Skinner. Make a trip out of it"

Scully walked back to her original chair, glass of water in her hand and sat down to finish her dinner. William slipped of Mulder's lap and went back to his chair to eat the rest of his salad, like Scully had asked and Mulder downed the last of his beer, to wash away the last of the 5 Cheese Sensation after taste.

"Finished"

"Good job, Will. Aren't you going to finish you Cheese pile, Mulder?"

"I think it tastes better as cold leftovers"

"Whatever you say, babe"

Mulder got up, went to the cupboard and grabbed the aluminuim foil and brought it back to the table to cover the absolutely digusting, not at all better as cold leftovers 5 Cheese Sensation caserole dish and carried it to the fridge, where it was likely to stay until it turned mouldy or Scully asked about why it was still not finished. Whichever came first.

"Bathtime... and then bed, Will"

"Goodnight, Daddy"

"Night, Buddy"

"Pick out your jammies. I'll be up soon, baby"

William gulped down the last mouthful of 7UP in his plastic tumbler, hopped off his seat and went upstairs, to wait for Scully to get his bath ready. Mulder grabbed another beer and sat down in front of the TV to watch the Washington Nationals VS Baltimore Orioles game. Scully dumped all the plates and cups into the sink, to soak and went upstairs to help William with his bath.

Chapter Text

Mulder walked out of the ensuite bathroom, a towel hanging precariously on his hips, with wet hair (which he slicked back by running his fingers through it) and a sly grin on his lips, only to find Scully already in bed; reading glasses perched on the end of her nose, bedside lamp on and obviously engrossed in 'Beautiful Wasps Having Sex' by Dori Carter. Undeterred, he casually let the towel fall to the ground, bare arsed and loving it, he looked back over his shoulder to see if it had caught her attention. It hadn't. So, he tossed the towel into the dirty clothes basket against the wall and searched for something to wear to bed, finding a pair of boxer shorts he stepped into them and crawled into bed with Scully.

"That must be a really interesting book, eh?"

"Yeah. It's really fascinating"

"I noticed"

Scully was wearing a tight purple tank top, and matching silk pajama bottoms. There was a pillow wedged between her back and the headboard, her long red hair hung delicately over her right shoulder. She turned her head, slowly tearing herself away from the page she was on, to face Mulder. She looked at him blankly.

"Huh?"

"Well, you missed my little "for your eyes only" peepshow"

"Sorry, babe"

Mulder leaned in, and kissed her on the cheek before scooting his arse down the bed and resting his head on his fluffy pillow. After years of sleeping next to Scully on an expensive, body conforming mattress, Mulder now regretted the time he spent sleeping on his uncomfortable leather couch. He had found that he slept longer, with her by his side and very rarely had terrible nightmares anymore.

"Ah, it's okay... If I'm being honest, I didn't really put my all into it"

"No... hey, I'm really disappointed that I missed it. Encore"

Scully looked at him sympathetically, and ran her fingers through his still semi-wet hair.

"Oh, now you want to see it? Well, it's too late!"

"What if I ask nicely?"

"No encores, this rockstar doesn't bow to audience peer pressure"

"Rockstar?"

"Yes. Allow me this one fantasy, I beg of you"

"Fine"

Mulder tapped Scully on the ribs to get her attention. She glanced down at him and smiled, it reminded Scully of the first time Mulder told her that he loved her, after being rescued from the Queen Anne in the berumda triangle. She'd tried to hide her feelings behind an exacerbated sigh and "Oh brother" back then.

"Hey.."

"Uh huh?"

"I love you"

"I love you, too"

Scully gently ran her nails up and down his back, in a soothing way. Mulder inched closer to her body, resting his head in her lap and left arm drapped over her stomach. It was nice. She liked the comforting silence they had cultivated over the years.

"Oh, how was the call with your publisher?

"I don't think Alistairs getting laid. That or the publishing world is worse than the FBI"

Mulder's eyes were closed but he wasn't asleep. He was just really enjoying being so close to her, it was reassuring to his restless soul. Mulder could hear Scully's heartbeat and his head would rise and fall with every breath she took.

"Well, that was more than I wanted to know. What about the book?"

"Told him about the new chapter, and asked for a few more weeks to work it out"

Scully paused and slipped the book under her pillow, lifting his head she stretched her legs and then let him snuggle back into her lap.

"So, he gave you extra time to work it out?"

"Yeah, It's not like I really gave him a choice. Which might backfire on me... "

Mulder craned his neck looking up at her, made a face and started playing with the gold cross around Scully's neck.

"Guess I'll find out in a couple weeks, whether it was a good idea or not"

"Well, you know how I feel about it"

"I dunno, Scully. Maybe Father Joe really was a psychic. We've investigated phenomenon that were far less credible or believable"

"Mulder, those things he did... to those boys that were William's age. The lives he destroyed out of selfishness and power"

"I absolutely agree, but it doesn't change the fact that he figured out where those missing agents were"

"All I know is, now that he is dead... God will judge him"

Scully glanced down at the top of Mulder's head, as he nodded it against her belly and hip. She picked up the book, again, and started reading from where she left of before the conversation about Mulder's book began. Mulder pushed the book forward in her hands...

"Read to me, Scully"

"Ok. Ready?"

"Yupp"

"Shhh..."

After reading half a chapter out loud, she realized that he had stopped moving and making comments. Mulder was fast asleep. Scully moved his head off her lap and onto his own pillow, her fingertips dancing across his cheekbone in wonder.

"Sweet dreams, Mulder"

Chapter Text

Mulder was sitting on the wooden bench, out on the porch (Ishy was laying down at his feet, snoring softly) drinking his morning coffee, popping sunflower seeds into his mouth and looking out at the mist- thinking about Samantha. Scully wrapped her purple silk robe tightly around her body, her hair was tied up in a messy bun at the base of her neck. She stepped over the threshold of the front door and breathed in, the cold air giving her pause and burning her lungs.

"Why aren't you wearing a jacket? It's freezing!

"Is it?"

"What are you doing out here, Mulder?"

"Just thinking... "

Mulder had obviously slipped on a pair of sweatpants (and socks, like she had) before coming outside but she still worried it wasn't enough to keep him warm in this weather. His legs were stretched out in front of him and he was holding his warm mug of coffee bewteen them, in his hands.

"Uh huh. About?"

"Uhm, mostly Samantha"

Scully rested her hand comfortingly on Mulder's shoulder, and smiled down at him sadly. She had to give him credit for trying and he really had tried, rather valiantly in fact... to move on after getting what he had considered back then, as the closure he needed about Samantha's death. But she had also seen him falter during certain moments over the years, since then. Like when William was born, or when they finally tied the knot and no one from his side of the family was there. Birthdays, Anniversaries and the BIG holidays. Mulder would always try to get into the spirit of such events but inevitiatbly he'd become moody and hide himself away in his study.

"Oh? What happened? I didn't sense you were restless last night... nightmare?"

"I dunno"

"Mulder? Honesty, remember?"

"Honestly, I dunno. I was talking with Alistair and started to think about her, and here we are..."

Mulder ran both of his large hands down his face, looked down at his sock covered feet and had a mouthful of his, now lukewarm, coffee. A couple of months ago, she had woken up alone in their bed and went looking for him, only to find him in the study, asleep on the leather couch that was squished in the corner behind the door.

"I think you should talk to someone..."

Mulder shook his head and looked up at Scully, like they had been over this before and they had.
Scully had told him that she was worried about him, but he would just shake his head and say everything was fine. Or would be... soon, if she just let him deal with it on his own.

"... no. I'm serious, Mulder"

"I let her down. I should of protected her better, Scully. I just ignored it, went to england. To college. And it was already too late"

"You didn't let her down. I read Samantha's diary too, remember? She loved you. It was the memory of her big brother that kept her going when she could of let it destroy her, you kept her alive all those years"

Scully sat down on the wooden bench next to Mulder, resting her head on his shoulder and entwined their fingers. When Scully had been returned to him, after being abducted, Mulder had almost had a nervous breakdown in his apartment and attempted to resign from the FBI, but Skinner wouldn't allow it. It was unacceptable. And he knew that Scully would agree.

"35 years. I have nothing to show for my quest but her diary. The cabal that kidnapped and hurt Samantha are still out there... and they hurt you. Jesus, Scully! I tried, god... I tried to find you and then your Mom asked me to go with her to pick up your headstone. It was too much..."

"I know. I'm okay. Mulder, we're okay"

"Scully..."

There were tears forming in Mulder's eyes, and the words caught in his throat. Remembering a time, when never having Scully in his life was too much. He had lived in this anxious state, ever since she was returned to him by CSM. And he knew that he bothered her when he check in, constantly, but he would rather she be annoyed with him than missing again, or dead. Scully turned her body towards him, and lifted her tiny legs up in front of her of her body, hugging her knees to her chest and looked up into his eyes.

"You can't keep doing this to yourself, Mulder. She wouldn't want this for you, this darkness. You have to stop blaming yourself for what happeend to Samantha, and to me. It was your strength that helped us both go on, when it didn't seem possible. I know how she felt about you, because I feel it too"

"I... I don't know why you so much faith in me"

"Because you don't give up. EVER! Even when you probably should, even when I wish you would. And that's why I wouldn't change a single day, good or bad. And you gave me William"

Mulder pulled her closer, to him and into a warm cuddle. Scully's head was nestled under his chin and resting against his chest (his heartbeat thumping so clearly in her ears). Mulder nodded his agreement into her hair, and kissed the top of her head.

"Let's go back inside, huh? It's way too cold out here, and far too early for this kind of wallowing and you should shave"

"No wallowing before 7am?"

"Yes. It's a House Rule, starting now"

Scully grinned up at him and brushed her left thumb lightly over his pouty bottom lip and placed a soft kiss on the five o'clock shadow covering his jawline. Mulder smiled, and rubbed his fingers over the place she had kissed.

"It's becoming scratchy, isn't it?"

"Just a little"

"For you, I will go shave"

"Thank you"

Mulder took Scully's hand, and followed her back inside (Ishy following behind them)... into the warmth of the house, the home that they had built together and the warmth of his family. The one he fought so hard to have, and would continue to fight to keep. Scully and William were EVERYTHING to him.

Chapter Text

Mulder stopped at the foot of the stairs, finding it difficult to let go of Scully's hand at this particular moment and pulled her body flush against his, breathing her in. She leaned her head against his chest, listening to his heart beat again, and tightened her arms around his waist to let him know she was there for him and always would be, even if the darkness told him otherwise from time to time. He rubbed circles on the small of her back, his chin resting on the top of her head, through her purple silk robe and matching tight purple tank pajama top. Scully tilted her head up, to look him in the eyes... those bottomless, hazel green eyes that she could get lost in if she let herself, a gentle and comforting smile appearing on her face.

"I love you, you know?"

"I know. And I'm grateful that you never listened to your brother... and that you stuck by me"

"Well, you're welcome. Like hell I was gonna give Bill the satisfaction of being right. Coffee?"

Mulder laughed. And Scully's face lit up, she hadn't heard Mulder laugh like that in awhile (that wasn't entirely true, he was always happy around William) and it gave her hope this feeling that he was wallowing in right now, wouldn't last much longer. She knew that he would never let the darkness that had touched their lives, ever get close enough to even reach out and lay even a fingertip on their son, William, and she was thankful but also sad that he held it all in so that they wouldn't be infected by it too. Mulder's love for their little family always made her chest swell with pride.

"Absolutely"

"Good. Now go shave!"

"Yes, ma'am. I'll get rid of this and see if Will is awake yet"

"Okay, babe"

Mulder grinned, and started to turn to walk away but was stopped by Scully slapping his arse and laughing at his shocked expression. He lifted his index finger to his mouth and tutted her, then carried on walking upstairs to their bathroom. Ishmael padded behind Scully, following her into the kitchen and watched as she prepared breakfast, which included turning the coffee machine on and placing some bread in the toaster to cook.

Before entering their master bedroom, Mulder carefully pushed opened William's bedroom door to check on him... maybe see if he was awake yet but he wasn't. William was still fast asleep, tangled in his doona and sheets, his soft bunny and plush alien between him and wooden edge of his bed. He looked adorable, and Mulder smiled at the view in front of him. His perfect, clever and happy go lucky, outgoing son.

"Love you, buddy"

He stood in front of the bathroom mirror, ran his fingers through his hair and then began applying shaving cream to the lower half of his face.
Mulder looked at his freshly shaved face, he still looked like himself (maybe a little older and more world weary) except that he didn't really feel like himself but that happened on occasion and it would pass eventually... or he would make it pass. He would push those feelings further down, so he didn't worry Scully or make his son a neurotic mess (or more neurotic than he was already going to be based on his genetics).

"Scully's right. Pull it together!"

Mulder splashed water on his face, then changed out of the sweatpants he slept in and into some casual weekend clothes, which consisted of a black tee and a pair of comfy old denim jeans (NO shoes or socks). He walked back down the stairs, forgetting to look in on William again... only to hear the TV blaring when hit the last level of stairs to the ground floor of the Ordinary House.

William was sitting coss legged on the rug in the loungeroom with a plastic bowl of cereal in front of him, watching Saturday morning cartoons. Scully was on the couch, legs crossed at the ankles on the coffee table, mug of warm coffee in her hands. Mulder snuck up behind them, leaned down over her right shoulder and placed a soft, delicate kiss on Scully's cheek... making her smile in surprise. And then walked around to sit down on the rug with Will.

"Morning, buddy"

"Hey, daddy!"

"What are you watching?"

"Powerpuff Girls"

"That's so cool. Which one is your favorite?"

"Buttercup!"

William beamed looking up at his father. Mulder patted his head and ran a finger down his little button nose and bopped it. Scully sat there quietly, watching her boys and basking in the glow of the little family they had created together. She never could of imagined that moments like these would happen all the time, and that they would never get boring or too sentimental. These moments made her happier than she ever thought possible!

"Really? I think the one with same colored hair as mommy is pretty cool lookin'. Is she the boss?"

"Yupp. Blossom. She's the leader of them all"

"Yeah, that sounds just like mommy! Don't you think, Will?"

"Kinda"

Scully tightened her grip on the mug of warm coffee and giggled behind them. Mulder turned around, squeezed her calf, and grabbed his coffee from beside Scully's feet. It was lukewarm now, but he didn't care because he was happy.

Chapter Text

Mulder was in his home office, researching the Father Joe incident on the internet and placing a call in to The Lone Gunmen at their warehouse hideout, to see if they could gather more information for him, on the case. While the Lone Gunmen did their thang, Mulder started thinking about William's first birthday and how magical that day was... with everyone (well, almost everyone) there. They had invited both of their families out to the Ordinary House, enjoying a BBQ (manned by Mulder and occasionally a nosy Bill Jr) with a massive chocolate cake (with a edible picture of the Cookie Monster on it) and lots of presents under a hired marquee in the backyard. All of William's older cousins were there, as was the new one Tara was baking in her belly at that moment in time (Baby Number 4 or 5. Mulder couldn't remember now, all these years later.. but it always amused him; how much they were really living up to the Catholic stereotype)

"You guys are still coming to Will's birthday, right?"

"Of course! (shouted Langley)... Wouldn't miss it (Byers said calmly)... Tell the little dude that Uncle Frohike wouldn't miss a chance to hang out and celebrate his special day"

"Uncle?"

"That's cold, man. I thought we were best friends..."

"Umm, that distinction very much goes to my gorgeous wife"

Scully popped her head around the corner of the door to Mulder's home office, surprising him as he spun around on his chair like a hyperactive child and threw a pencil up at the ceiling.

"Mulder? Can you keep an eye on Will while I have a quick shower?"

"Is that Agent Scully?"

Scully watched as he tried to stop the spinning of the chair... the pencil not connecting, then falling back down and bouncing off his forehead. She desperately tried not to laugh, while he rubbed his head.

"Ouch. Yeah. Uh, Why? And it's just Scully now, Frohike"

Mulder mouthed for her to come over to him (she mouthed "sorry" back and he winked at her in return), and he used his free hand to pull her down onto his lap, an amused smile on his face. Scully tilted her head down a bit, to hear the other side of the conversation. He ran his hand up and down her side, gently tracing her ribs on every second pass. She could smell the foresty notes of the aftershave that he had used, and it made her belly flutter.

"Scully, not Mulder? Does that mean she came to her senses and is seriously considering leaving your spooky arse?"

"No. It means shut up and email me what else you found out about the Father Joe case, you jackass!"

"Sorry, Frohike. Mulder's stuck with me!"

Scully put the iPhone on speaker, and dashed all hopes Melvin had of finally making her his. Mulder put his arm around her shoulders, brushing her long hair aside and placed a soft, delicate kiss on her neck (causing her to shiver in his embrace).

"Damn straight. Ya hear that, Frohike?"

They laughed together, like only old friends can. Scully went upstairs to have a quiet shower, alone, for once (If it wasn't William bursting in, it was Mulder and she didn't know which was worse, actually she did... Mulder was a worse interruption). Mulder ended the call with The Lone Gunmen and went in search of his clever but troublesome son, finding him outside in the front yard with Ishy. He stood on porch, and watched for a minute as William threw a tennis ball and Ishmael chased after it and then returned it to him.

"Will, come in here for a bit buddy. We don't want Mommy to get mad at both of us, do we?"

"Nope. Come, Ishy!"

William chilled out on the old brown leather sofa (from Mulder's bachelor days), while Mulder read the email full of information on the Father Joe case (making sure Will didn't read any of the adult content over his shoulder by passing him the basketball to practice spinning on his little fingers and let Ishmael back in a few minutes later to keep him distracted, once he had gotten annoyed at the ball).

"It just takes practice, buddy, you know that. You'll master it eventually, not that you need to.. you're already beating me on the court"

"Daddy, I wanna go back outside!"

"Ok, when Mommy is done with her shower we can go outside and play"

Scully checked in on her boys (she looked fresh faced and relaxed, in her denim short shorts and a dark navy blue tank top), giving them the go ahead to take their shenanigans out of the Ordinary House. William and Ishy were outside in a flash. Mulder lingered back and cuddled up to Scully (she felt so soft), her hair was only a little damp (and up in a braid) and she smelled amazing, like lavender and hope. She sighed against his chest, and he whispered something in her ear; then left her standing there stunned, so he could join their son outside.

"Do what you need to do, gorgeous. I'll make sure you're not interrupted"

"Thank you"

It was warmer outside now, so it was the perfect time to be out there and it helped because Scully wanted to clean the inside of the house without her boys getting in the way.

"Further. We don't want to accidently brain Mommy by tossing the baseball through the windows"

William laughed, then turned and ran further out towards the line of the property (followed by Ishmael). Mulder took a few steps forward too, and then swung the baseball bat over his right shoulder.

"ARE YOU READY, DADDY?"

"GO FOR IT, KIDDO!"

Scully heard a loud crack over the sound of the tiny vacuum in her hands, as baseball met bat and was grateful that they were not in the part of the yard that was directly off the porch. She turned it off, watching for a moment as her boys played catch in the distance, smiling to herself and then went back to vacuuming up Ishy's fur from the couch.

Chapter Text

Scully was in the kitchen just finishing up with mopping the black and white tile pattern linoleum floor and adjusting the dark lilac and white gingham tablecloth on the kitchen table, the radio was playing 80s girl power tunes softly in the background keeping her company. The house landline suddenly started ringing, pulling her out of her intense cleaning routine, she placed the mop into the dirty bucket of water and leaned the handle against the edge of the wooden table and walked over to the wall, picking up the cordless phone on the fourth ring. She could see Mulder chasing William (and Ishmael chasing the both of them) around outside in the front yard, through the sunlit kitchen window and smiled warmly at the image before her.

"Mom?"

"Dana, honey..."

"Where are you? What's all of that noise?"

"I'm at the Mall. Oh, is it really that loud? Can you hear me well enough?"

"It's OK. I can hear you just fine. Why?"

"I'm trying to pick out a gift for William... for his birthday and I could use your help. He can't hear you, can he?"

"No, Mom. Umm, he's outside with Mulder..."

She unhooked the white lace curtain and looked out of the kitchen window again, they were both now on the ground rough housing with Ishy jumping (and barking) all about around them, before stepping back and letting it fall across the wood panelling and rectangular glass muting the warm sunlight.

"... playing baseball. Oh, I'm sure anything you pick out will be fine"

"I would rather get him something he wanted. It was just easier to call, while I was here and see if there was anything you knew he definitely wanted. What do you think he would prefer... a book to read or maybe a toy to play with?"

Scully frowned when she noticed a collection of dust on the corner of the baseboard, bent down to pick it off and tossed it into the trash and filled up a tall glass with tap water while thinking about the question and then walked over to the sofa, putting her feet up for a few minutes to talk to her Mother. She plopped her bare feet (the black nail polish was missing in some spots; she had let Mulder paint them a few weeks ago) onto the coffee table and rubbed her temples.

"Hmm. Well, he really loves those complicated little Lego building sets, but if you'd like to get him a book... anything to do with bigfoot or aliens will be a winner in his eyes"

"He's becoming more and more like Fox every year"

"Yeah, he really is... and that's a good thing, right?"

Scully sighed happily, because as much as they were both handfuls she couldn't imagine her life without them. Maggie Scully chuckled down the line, amused.

"It's a wonderful thing, Dana"

"I know it is"

As if the Universe was listening and wanted to test to her fortitude; Mulder and William stumbled back into the Ordinary House flushed, panting and talking really loudly. She looked over at them, and Mulder felt the glare she was giving them both without needing to look up but he did and saw that she was on the phone, so he patted Will on the back to quiet him down.

"Is that William?"

"Would you like to talk to him?"

"Thank you"

"Will, come say 'Hello' to Grandma. She misses you!"

It had only been about three weeks since Maggie Scully had come to visit but Scully knew she missed ALL the time. William smiled and bounced over to his Mom and she handed him the cordless phone, watching as he climbed onto the now clean sofa to talk to his Grandma.

"Grandma? Hello. Yes. Ice cream cake"

Scully stood by the sofa, watching William as he talked and waved his arms around with Mulder-esque spirit.

"Come here, gorgeous"

"But you're all sweaty, Mulder"

"... And?"

He grinned and reached for her hand, trying to pull her into his sweaty embrace, Scully scrunched up her face but let herself fall against his wet t-shirt and chest. She pretended to wriggle out of Mulder's embrace, while smiling up at him sweetly and giving away the fact that she didn't really mind. He kissed the top of her head, and rested an arm around her waist. They stood there, watching as Ishy sat in front of William and barked every now and then.

"Nothing. Just happy you enjoyed yourselves out there"

Scully thought back to William's 1st Birthday; she had fretted about it the whole week leading up to the special day, and Mulder had told her repeatedly that he had everything under control and he did. He had gone out and hired the marquee and cleaned their BBQ and even tolerated Bill Jr on the actual day. Charlie had been invited, and showed up much to everyone's surprise and pleasure except Bill Jr's. Maggie Scully had doted on William, and Scully had spent quality time with Tara (who was a couple of months pregnant). It was one of the best days of her life, and it always would be.

Chapter Text

"Let's leave him to speak with your Mom alone for awhile, huh?"

"Hmm... OK"

Scully turned around and stepped back from Mulder, he was openly leering at her and somehow managed to hook his index finger in the loop of her denim short shorts, finally getting enough purchase on her again and pulled her flush against his body.

"Follow me, shortstack"

"Where?"

He walked them both the few steps over and into his home office, closing the door behind them (but failing to lock it) and before she knew what was happening he had her back pushed up against the closed door and his warm, sweaty body lightly pressed to hers almost pinning her between it and him. He tilted her face up and kissed lovingly across it starting with her cheekbone and then her temple, eyebrow and finally placed a soft kiss on her forehead.

"You taste like cherries... yum"

"Mm..."

She giggled, quietly and let her eyes flutter closed, exhaling a breathy moan against his clean freshly shaved cheek. He pulled back and smiled down at her watching as she bit down on her bottom lip, his thumb grazing the exposed skin of her hip, that was peeking out between her dark navy blue tank top and denim short shorts. Entwining their hands, he brought her left hand up to his mouth and kissed the inside of her wrist, his right hand still resting on the small of her back (the site of her act of rebellion early in their partnership, the Ouroboros tattoo).

"Did I keep the kiddo distracted long enough for you to get everything done?"

"You did. Thank you. Is this my reward?"

"You're welcome. It might be...

Scully looked at Mulder skeptically as he situated himself on the comfy brown leather couch and then patted the free spot next to him, beckoning her to his side, with a mischievous look on his face.

... sit"

"You're acting weird, why?"

"Am I?"

"Yes, you are"

She had a vague idea about why he was acting so strangely but wanted to see if he would admit to it; he didn't. She was standing between his parted knees and weighing up her options at this particular moment in time, she acquiesced but true to her form... she surprised him by pushing his knees back together and crawling onto his lap, smirking at him. He knew she knew what he was up to and was intentionally playing hard to get but he was more than up for the challenge.

"You're going get us into trouble..."

"Shush. Let's just enjoy the alone time, Scully"

He lifted her up, moving her closer to his body and settling her back down on his lap, and leaning forward just a little Mulder kissed Scully softy but passionately on the lips.

"You're...

She returned the kiss, slowly parting her lips and deepening the already heated lip lock.

... being incorrigible, you know that right?"

He pulled his head back, looking at her with mock indignation and she just grinned back him.

"No, I'm being adorable and you would see that if you..."

"Fine. You're being adorable, Mulder!"

"Why won't you let me take care of you, woman?"

"I'm all yours"

She wriggled in his lap letting go of the last bits of her resolve and then giggled, kissing him back but with more fervour and intent, giving in to his pleas... like he knew she would.

"So, what you're really saying is... I've won this little game?"

"Yes, you win. Do you feel better now?"

He very slowly and deliberately bucked upwards, receiving a raised eyebrow from her. Scully's knees were now either side of his hips, pressed firmly against them keeping him in place. His arms were looped lazily around her waist, fingers clasped at the small of her back. Her arms were resting on his shoulders, fingers dancing along the top of his spine and playing with the hair at the base of his neck.

"Kinda"

"Is there anything I can do?"

She lightly touched her fingertips to his pouty bottom lip and then kissed him... hard, biting and sucking the bottom lip she loved so much.

"Mm. This... is... good. Are you comfy there?"

"Uh huh"

He brushed aside a wayward braid and pressed his lips to her bare shoulder. He ran his rough hands up the backs of her calves and legs (gently tickling them along the way), up to her arse and staying there. Scully's hands were resting on his shoulders, bracing herself and keeping a slight distance between their bodies. He used his fingers to carefully caress behind her ears and down to the nape of her neck, while his thumbs brushed across her freckle dotted high cheekbones, he was smiling into the soft, wet warm abyss that was her mouth. Impressed that seven (well, technically fifteen) years and one kid later, they still let themselves make out like teenagers... when they could grab a minute alone together.

"Ow"

"What?"

Scully leaned forward and rubbed her knee, feeling in between the leather couch cushions for the culprit and pulling out a sharp, pointy sunflower seed shell.

"Oh my God. They're everywhere!"

"Ah, shit..."

Mulder slipped his right hand from her arse, down to her knee and gently rubbed the pain away.

... Sorry, Scully"

"I thought I'd gotten all of them. Did you give some to Will? Because found them in his bedroom too"

He couldn't help a slight laugh at her frustration, causing her to slap his arm and scowl adorably at him. She had found them quite literally everywhere, under the sofa in the lounge room, down the back of said sofa and between the cushions and in the wooden slats of William's rocket ship bed. Sure, it was funny... until the ants (and other bugs) showed up, and they had to stay with her mom for a week.

"We'll do better... promise. I'll explain to the kiddo that he should throw the shells into the trashcan"

"MOMMY! Grandma wants to talk to you aga- EWWW!"

William was holding the cordless, in his left hand and was looking at his parents in there precarious position with a look of utter horror on his adorable little face and threw the phone at his parents before running back out into the lounge room... to Ishy. To hopefully scrub this image of his folks out of his mind forever.

"Jesus!"

"OHMYGOD"

Mulder was squished into the back of the brown leather couch; Scully straddling his lap, his hands firmly grasping her arse, her tiny hand went straight to her open mouth, to stifle an embarrassed awkward laugh and she dropped her forehead onto his right shoulder. Yupp. This had the potential scar their son, presumably for life. William had only walked in on them once before (because they had intentionally been careful since then), he was almost three years old and had entered their master bedroom early in the morning without them hearing him (like a little ninja) and found them in a much more compromising situation than this one but it thankfully hadn't registered in his toddler brain.

"Dana?"

"Mrs Scully?"

He lifted the phone to his ear and held it there, while she pulled herself together taking deep breaths and trying to calm her heartbeat.

"Fox? What happened? Is everything OK?

"Yeah, we just gave Will a scare... is all. When Dana can breathe again, I'll hand the phone over. How have you been?"

"Wonderful... and busy. Thank you for asking, Fox"

"No problem, Mom"

Maggie Scully laughed down the line.