William had been waiting for this day as if it was Christmas: Parents Day. Only it wasn’t any other Parent's Day. This time around it was special.
His preschool teacher had asked her students to write something about their family – anything. It could be about their mom, their dad, or their shaggy dog. The only condition was that it had to come from the heart.
For William it was a no-brainer. He knew exactly what he was going to write about, and when Ms. Campbell told him that the other kids voted him as the one who had to read it out loud on Parent's Day – because they liked it or because they were too shy or didn’t want to read it, William would never know – he couldn’t feel more proud of himself. He told Mulder and Scully the news as soon as he got home – Mulder was at work, so he called him -, and they begged to know what he wrote about, but William just shook his head and said that it was a surprise.
So, when the day arrived, Scully couldn’t help but wonder out loud as she got ready. “Do you think he wrote something about us?” She asked Mulder – who was in the bathroom - as she put an earring on. He emerged with a towel wrapped around his waist and smelling of the aftershave that made her knees weak.
“Maybe. I hope he wrote about how awesome his dad is. In fact, I’ll bet ya dinner that he wrote about me.”
Scully eyed him suspiciously and walked closer to him. “Hmm... I don’t know. I think he wrote about me. You know, we have been spending a lot of time together.” She wrapped her arms around him and kissed his jaw.
“That’s only because I work 9 to 5.” Mulder defended himself and gave her a peck on the lips as Lily started to cry. Much to their surprise, William had become very attached to his baby sister. He had created a bond with her that left both of his parent's hearts swollen with love, especially after the nightmare he had back when Scully was pregnant, terrified that he was going to be overlooked by the new addition. But as soon as they brought Lily home, he got into full big brother mode and helped them as much as he could.
Scully chuckled at Mulder's weak argument and started towards the nursery. “Okay, Dolly Parton. You’re on.”
William was jumping on his seat as they drove to his preschool. Scully would sneak a peek at him every once in a while on the rear-view mirror and could see the look of excitement in her son’s eyes. She couldn’t help but smile. When they arrived, William practically ran towards his class as soon as Mulder unbuckled him from the car seat.
William’s classroom was packed with children and their parents – some had even brought their grandparents (Mrs. Scully stayed at home with Lily). He mingled with his friends, while his parents walked around the classroom, helping themselves with the breakfast treats on the tables and looking – sometimes amusing – at the student’s work. William’s drawings were hang up on the board, and Mulder and Scully couldn’t feel more proud of their son.
Some parents approached them and socialised with them for a while. A mother – Raquel Prinne – marvelled about her daughter in a way that Mulder hadn’t heard anyone marvel before. Sure, parents were proud of their child, and sure, all parents thought their child was a genius: but this woman thought her daughter was freaking Albert Einstein meets Steve Jobs meets Bill Gates meets God. He knew that Scully felt the same way because of the way she looked at the floor and raised her eyebrows from time to time, sometimes even covering her mouth with the palm of her hand.
“Well, I’m glad your daughter is so well achieved, Mrs. Prinne.” Mulder said sarcastically, which she didn’t understand.
“Oh, thank you so much. She really is, isn’t she?” Raquel turned to marvel at her daughter just as she was pulling on a boy’s hair and picking her nose. “Maia! Don’t do that!” She chastised – which didn’t work – and Mulder snorted. “Excuse me.” And with that, she left.
“Finally. Did you see that woman, Scully? Her daughter was practically Goethe to her and she’s over there picking her nose. I’m not one to judge, but that toddler doesn’t seem to have an IQ of 220.” Mulder pointed his thumb in their direction in disbelief.
Scully chuckled. “Yeah. And she’s no Picasso, either.” Both of them laughed as William came running to them, hugging Mulder’s legs.
“I’m about to read my story! I saved you the best seats! Come on!” He grabbed Mulder’s hand and dragged him towards the front. Scully followed them and sat on the front row seats that William had saved for them.
Mrs. Campbell - a young woman – maybe in her early 30’s –walked towards the front of the class. She greeted her students, “good morning, kids!”
“Good morning, Mrs. Campbell!” The children and Mulder replied. Scully looked at him and he shrugged.
“And welcome parents. It’s so nice to have you here on Parent’s Day; I hope you’ve had time to walk around our classroom and enjoy some of the brilliant work your little ones have made during the school year, as well as get to know some of the parents. Oh, and thank you to Mrs. Hall for baking all of these delicious treats!” Mrs. Campbell clapped and the parent’s followed. Many of them – including Mulder -, turned around looking for her and Scully rolled her eyes.
“Now, a little while ago, I asked the kids to write something about their family. After, they read it to their classmates and they had to vote which lucky student would read it out loud for all of you today,” Scully could feel tears starting to form, and her son hadn’t even come forward to read his story. “So, without further ado, please welcome our Story Telling winner… William Mulder!” She clapped enthusiastically and the parents joined her.
William walked towards the front of the class and his friends cheered for him. Mulder whistled in encouragement and Scully waved at him. He smiled, held his paper with more confidence and took a deep breath.
Mulder leaned closer to Scully and murmured, “stop at the groceries after this? Cause you’re cooking dinner.”
“ ‘Why My Baby Sister Is The Best’ by William Mulder.” William read. Mulder and Scully looked at each other, completely stunned, and then back at his son.
“My baby sister Lily is very little, but she is the best. She makes faces at me and laughs at everything. She rolls on the floor and I try to roll with her but I’m afraid to crush her, so I make funny faces and she laughs.” The classroom fills with laughter, and Mulder and Scully remember the day that Lily started rolling on the floor by herself and William being to afraid to be near her.
“I didn’t like her at first because I thought that she was going to be the worst, but I help my Mommy and Daddy take care of her and I like her a lot. I think she likes me too.” Scully was full on crying now and Mulder was about to follow her any minute now. “But the thing I like the most about her and the reason why she is the best sister in the world is because she doesn’t like my toys, especially my stuffed alien, Carl.” Everyone laughed again and Scully remembered the night that she went into labour and William offered Carl as a one-day present for Lily.
“I’m not going to let anything happen to her because I love her. Thank you, William Mulder.” He finished and set his paper down, smiling and breathing in relief. His friends cheered, the parents and Mrs. Campbell clapped, and Mulder and Scully jumped up and went to their son, hugging him and kissing him, staining his shirt with their own tears.
Mulder felt Mrs. Campbell standing next to him, so he let go. “Mr. and Mrs. Mulder. You have a wonderful son, you must be so proud.”
Scully wiped her tears with her sleeves and opened her mouth to speak, but instead more tears came out. She turned to her son and hugged him again.
“Yes we are. His mom and I had a bet on who he had written about, we never thought he’d write about Lily.” Mulder smiled at his son and Mrs. Campbell continued.
“Well, I leave you with your son. Please, help yourself with more treats.” She smiled, nodded and left.
They were driving back home with a sleeping William on the back seat when Mulder asked, “so, Scully. What did you think about Will’s story?”
She looked at him, “I wasn’t expecting a Lily story. It was amazing, Mulder. I hope Raquel was jealous.” They laughed.
“God, that woman,” Mulder shook his head. “So, guess we were both in the wrong. Who’s buying dinner?”
“Well, Lily is a baby, so she can’t cook. Mom’s taking care of her, so we could ask her.” Scully rationalised and amused. Mulder chuckled and held her hand over the console and kissed her knuckles.
“Dinner’s on me, Scully. You made them.”
“Well, if you’re going to base your decision on that, Mulder, then we both have to buy dinner.” Scully argued.
Mulder loved these moments. The moments where he teased her just to get her rattled up and competitive and argumentative. “Whatever you say, Honeybunch.”
“That’s right, Poopyhead.”
Lily was awake when they got home. When she saw William, her face beamed with excitement and she squealed. William went running towards her and greeted her with kisses. She retaliated with kicking her legs and arms, reaching out to grab his face, more squeals and blowing raspberries.
Mulder and Scully stood by the doorway and enjoyed the scene. She remembered the nights when she cried herself to sleep as quiet as she could so as to not wake up Mulder, afraid that their son's nightmares were actually sending her some kind of message that they weren't going to be able to handle two children. Now, however, she couldn't help but laugh at that Scully. They had gone through so much before William and Lily came along that handling a baby and a three year-old was a walk in the park.
William tickled Lily's tummy and she let out a very loud giggle, making Mulder laugh and bringing Scully out of her musings. It was that sight that made all of the worries of William getting along with his sister gone with the wind.