To say that Scully’s proposal was unexpected was the understatement of the century. When she invited him over to her apartment one Saturday afternoon because she needed to talk to him, his mind immediately thought the worst: Did the cancer return? Was she leaving The X-Files hence leaving him and eight years of a wonderful partnership, friendship – and sexual tension if he had to admit -, behind?
She opened the door and she stared at the floor, avoiding eye contact. Clearly she looked nervous, which made him grow more and more anxious. Mulder made sure that nothing about her had changed: there was no hint of a nosebleed, her figure was stunning as ever, so he discarded cancer. The only thing left now was what he felt as abandonment.
He tried engaging in small talk, desperately looking to relieve the tension that was obviously hanging in the air, but he couldn’t think of anything other than ‘the weather’s nice’, ‘your hair looks shiny’, and ‘that blouse I got you for your birthday fits you like a glove’. He shuddered at the ridiculousness of the situation, finding it absurd that he couldn’t have a normal conversation with the woman he knew for eight years and who was currently answering his questions with nods and thank you’s.
Scully moved to the couch and sat on it, Mulder following her and grabbing a fluffy pillow, hugging it for some reason unknown to him. For comfort, maybe; to have something to hold on to.
Silence hang in the room and the awkwardness of it all had started to become painful. With and exasperated sigh, Mulder said, “For God’s sake’s, Scully, just cut to the chase and get on with it. What are you going to say? Are you leaving the X-Files? Is that it? Is that why you’re not looking at me and staring at the window? That’s it, isn’t it? I can’t believe you’re throwing away eight years of hard work. You know that by quitting you’re letting them win, don’t you?”
Scully put her palm in front of her in an attempt to stop Mulder’s rant which succeeded. “Mulder, stop it. I’m not leaving you, I called you in for a different reason. But it’s hard for me to talk about it and I don’t know where to start because it involves you. So could you please just give me a minute to organise my thoughts before I speak?” She snapped. Mulder blinked at her outburst and simply nodded, letting out a silent breath of relief.
After a moment, she took in a shaky, yet full of bravery, breath and started speaking, “I was hurt when you told me you already knew I couldn’t have children when I told you so. It was hard for me, and it was fucked up that I had to carry with that for so long and had nobody to talk to about it. And learning that you took my ova and had it tested to see if they were viable” she shook her head and huffed, “well it angered me in a way. You should’ve told me, Mulder.”
Mulder moved closer to her and took her hands in his, taking in her warmth. “I know, Scully, and I’m so sorry. But you were dying, I-I just couldn’t, I-I didn’t know how to tell you.”
“Mulder, let’s just move past it. What’s done is done.” She closed her eyes and sighed, clearly having a hard time letting go, but also showing how hard she was trying to.
Mulder smiled, “Let bygones be bygones, yeah?”
Scully smiled back. “Sure, Mulder.”
The air in the room started to get a little less awkward, but awkward still. There was still an annoying tension hanging over them, but it had started to become bearable.
“Anyways, I got a second opinion and was told they were viable and could start IVF treatment right away.” Scully informed, the thought of it making butterflies in her stomach fly out of control, making her feel completely nervous and almost nauseas. But not nearly as nervous as what she was about to ask Mulder.
Mulder beamed. His eyes had a spark in them that she had never seen. They were beautiful and she hoped that their future child had them for his or her entire life. “Really? Scully, that’s great! Who’s the lucky guy?”
She gulped and, to her, the air felt thick. All of a sudden it was hot and she wondered if it was a side effect of her nervousness or if she had turned the heating on. Collecting all the strength she had, she broke the silence and replied, “well, I was hoping if you could help me with that part.” She felt as if she had fucked up as soon as Mulder’s face remained stoic: aka, his panic face.
“You don’t have to feel obliged, Mulder. It’s just that you are the only person that I trust.” She uttered when he offered no reply.
“I-I-I don’t kn-kn-know what to say, Scully. I-I’m flattered,” he uttered. “C-Can I think about it?” He asked as he stood up.
“Of course, Mulder. I wasn’t expecting an answer right away anyways.” Scully returned, standing up with him.
Mulder headed towards the door and looked around the apartment nervously, patting his jean pockets before revealing his car keys. “We’ll talk soon, Scully.” He said, extending his hand for a handshake that made everything even more awkward and strange. Scully took it, shaking her hand firmly as Ahab had once taught her. Mulder smiled at her, pursing his lips, and left, leaving her standing by the door completely stunned at the situation.
A week later, Mulder called her, saying he had an answer to her request. She asked him back to her apartment almost in a rush.
He had a sense of déjà vu when she opened the door and avoided eye contact. Instead of walking towards the couch, they remained standing by the door. He declined her offer to take his coat, making up the excuse that he had to go to the office. Why? He didn’t know for sure.
Mulder started with a preamble about how weird it all was, and how flattered he was, and how he didn’t want the baby to come between them, which broke Scully’s heart. She didn’t want to go through a list of donners when she had the perfect donner standing in front of her; in fact, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to do this with anyone else but him.
He knew how she was feeling at that moment, and he couldn’t help but smile when he said that he accepted her proposal. Who better than Scully to have a child with? A perfect little baby with cherub cheeks, blue eyes, red hair and – hopefully – a nose that wasn’t his. How could he deny her wishes when he had seen what Emily’s death had done to her? He and Scully, they just fit together.
A million emotions crossed her face, and she hugged him. If it were up to him, he would’ve kissed her. I mean, they were going to be parents soon, things were definitely going to change. But they had to take things one day at a time. Baby steps.
First step: donation. And at that, he admitted, he was a pro.
When Scully came home after her check-up, the grin on her face told Mulder that in nine months they were going to be parents.
A week later, Scully had her first sonogram and she asked Mulder to come along, to which he eagerly agreed to go. After all, it was his child too and he wanted to be a part of Scully’s pregnancy in every way possible.
The blood work had come back normal which was a relief for both of them. All that was left now was to see how their baby was developing.
She wasn’t going to lie, Scully was nervous. All those years of suffering and conspiracies, she was afraid that something with her ova had been done, and she needed a confirmation that everything was fine. That two arms, two legs, ten fingers and ten toes were developing inside her perfectly.
The thump-thump-thump of the heartbeat revealed that a healthy baby was growing inside her belly. Mulder held Scully’s hand and she choked back tears, while Mulder held no fear in letting them flow.
“Wait a minute,” the technician said as she moved the wand around, “I’m actually seeing two heartbeats over here.” She announced with a smile, pointing at each heartbeat on the screen. Scully gasped with a smile, Mulder fainted.
People told him that pregnant women were very sensitive and hormonal and partners had to take good care of them, attend to their every need. But nobody told him about pregnant women carrying twins.
Scully’s hormones were through the roof: one minute she was laughing, the other she was crying at a cooking show because she didn’t like thyme in her food; she’d be angry for an entire day with him because he had folded a onesie in a way she didn’t like, another day she would be all over him.
Sometimes he felt as if he were going completely crazy. But then he’d hear Scully speaking to their babies or singing terribly to them, or folding pink and blue onesies and he’d move past everything. If she craved nonfat tofutti rice dreamsicles at three in the morning, he’d go to the supermarket and buy her a whole box that would last for a few days. If her feet hurt, he’d massage them.
A partial abruption rushes them to the hospital. The doctor’s assure Mulder that everything’s alright, but that they have to keep her overnight to make sure that she doesn’t start contracting.
When Scully awakes, they talk about what will happen once they become parents.
“What do you mean ‘what will happen’? We’ll have two babies under our care.” Scully rolls her eyes while drinking a glass of water.
“No, I know, Scully. I mean with us. I don’t want to be a father who sees his children two weekends a month. I want to be there with you all the way. When the IVF worked, I told you I was going to be by your side in every possible way, and I meant during the pregnancy and after the baby came.” Mulder admitted as he sat closer to her hospital bed, dragging the plastic chair on the floor.
“Okay. So what are you saying then?” She asked tentatively.
“Scully, I want us to move in together. I want to marry you. I want to live in a big house in the suburbs and send our children to a private school, drive our little girl to ballet lessons and the little man to soccer practice. Hell, I’ll even drive a minivan.” Mulder confessed and, Scully laughed not being able to hide tears. “I don’t want to chase little green men anymore. I’m done with living in the darkness. I want a normal life with you. What do you say?”
“You’re crazy, Mulder.” She sniffed, wiping the tears away.
William Mulder and Lily Mulder were born on May 17th 2001. William had been discrete, barely crying when he came into the world and looking up at his mother when he was placed on her chest; Lily was more vocal, making people know that she was born and wasn’t happy that she had been removed from the place she had known as home for nine months.
Both of them had blue eyes – something that Mulder cheered on until Scully told him that they can change -; William had black hair, while Lily had red hair and – as Mulder hoped for – none of them inherited his nose.
Scully was discharged two days later and they found themselves in her apartment surrounded by moving boxes. They had finally settled on a Spanish style home in the suburbs and were set to move in after they married the first days of June.
Life with new-born twins was hard, but they made it work. Lily seemed to like to be sung to sleep, so Mulder took care of her in that area, and William enjoyed being read to, to which Scully read ‘Goodnight Moon’ every night. They took turns when they needed to be fed, bathed and changed. They were a good team in every way.
One night both of them were standing in the nursery about to put their children to sleep. Scully was sitting in the rocking chair, holding an almost sleeping William in one arm and balancing the book with her hand, rocking gently back and forth. Mulder was walking around the room with Lily and softly singing Elvis’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’.
Hearing Scully’s gentle voice made him realise how perfect their situation was. How different everything would’ve been if he had said he wouldn’t help her fulfil her wish of becoming a mother. He once said that he had never seen her as a mother, and seeing her now reading softly to their son made him think how he hadn’t.
Lily whimpered and he realised he had stopped singing. He chuckled and kissed her head, taking in her sweet baby scent. Scully kept on reading and he could also hear William’s faint snores. Definitely a Mulder, he thought.
Being a mother came natural to Scully. Sure, he had some learning to do. But he was looking forward to that part. He was looking forward to spending the rest of his life with the love of his life.