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Sweet Sunday

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Sundays have become her favorite day of the week. She wakes slowly, a smile spreading on her face despite the fact that Mulder’s side of the bed is empty. On Sundays, it always is. She doesn’t check the time, yawns and stretches. It’s not often that she has the bed to herself. No Mulder, no baby, no dog are in the way this morning. Her eyes drift closed again and it sharpens her other senses; the voices downstairs are unmistakable. Mulder’s low, rumbling voice and Katie’s happy gurgling are more melodic than the most beautiful composition she’s ever heard.

She gets up and grabs the first garment she finds to put on. It’s one of Mulder’s shirts. She can’t help but smell it, closing her eyes. It smells like him. Two years ago, when she didn’t live with him, when she and Mulder weren’t sharing a bed, she would take a shirt here and there. Just to pretend he was close. She always knew it was up to her, coming home. He was waiting for her with open arms and an open heart. But she needed time. That didn’t mean she wasn’t missing him. The shirts were all she allowed herself. It was easier to steal them once they were working together again. He never mentioned missing a shirt and never accused her of taking one. The smile he sported the first time she wore one of his shirts back home, after a night of languid lovemaking, said everything; he’d known all along.

Before she came back, her Sundays looked differently. They were quiet, too. But mostly, they were lonely. Now, she has Mulder waiting for her downstairs, making breakfast and entertaining their baby daughter. Later today, Jackson will show up, eating as if he hasn’t seen food all week, and smiling his mischievous smile that reminds her so much of Mulder. Thinking of food makes her stomach rumble and she decides to join her family. She’s been alone long enough.

“There she is,” Mulder greets her with a big, bright smile. He’s wearing his apron, holding up a spatula. Katie, in her high chair, turns and wears the same smile. Unlike her father, she has jam all around her tiny mouth.

“Mamamamama,” she chants, tapping her spoon against the table.

Scully kisses her sweet, warm head. “Morning, baby.”

“You need to kiss the cook, too, Scully,” Mulder says with a pout.

She walks over to him, slides her arm around his waist and gets on tiptoes to press a kiss against his cheek. “Better?”

He nods and turns back to the stove. “Much. Did you sleep well?”

“Hmm, very. What are we having for breakfast, Katie?” The little girl holds up her pudgy fist and offers her some jam. “Jam?” The baby nods and, too impatient and too hungry, sucks on her own knuckles. Scully chuckles, overwhelmed by the love she feels for their daughter. When she found out she was pregnant, against all odds considering her age and her medical history, she tried to keep her feelings in check. Just in case. The chances of losing the baby, of anything going wrong, were much greater than everything working out fine. It was Mulder who gave her the confidence, the braveness she needed. She looks over at him, his back to her. He seems to be gently swaying back and forth, maybe hearing a song in his head. Or maybe he’s just plain happy.

“And Katie didn’t give you the whole breakfast menu,” Mulder says, their daughter’s eyes growing wide upon hearing her name, “we’re having pancakes with jam.” Much to Katie’s delight, he puts a plate down, full of cute little pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse. Katie squeals and claps her sticky, jam covered hands together. Without much preamble, she digs into the pancakes, foregoing the spoon. She gurgles happily while she chews on one of Mickey’s ears. Scully is about to reach for a Mickey Mouse, too, when Mulder stops her.

“You get your own pancakes,” he says.

“I don’t get Mickey Mouse?” She looks at Katie’s plate and the girl, seeing her mother’s face, quickly grabs another bite and stuffs it into her mouth.

“No,” Mulder says, leaning down to her. He smells sweet, like jam and vanilla. "You get something else.“ His breath tickles her cheek. He is gone for just a moment and then there’s a plate in front of her and she can’t help but giggle.

"Oh Mulder,” she says, still smiling.

“You get my heart,” he whispers with a kiss against her ear. They both look at the pancakes, all shaped like little hearts.

“This is more than one heart."

He shrugs and grins. "I had some dough left. My love for you can’t be contained in one single heart.” Watching them, Katie gets impatient. As much as she loves Mickey Mouse, she wants the pancakes from Scully’s plate. She leans forward as far as she can, almost tipping over her juice.

“Mamamama,” she says, her voice demanding.

“You’re right,” Mulder remarks, “you get a piece of my heart, too.” Katie yanks the pancake out of Mulder’s hand and puts it in her mouth. Half of it falls out again as she chews. Next to her, Scully hears Mulder chuckle.

“Come on, sit down and have breakfast.”

“You’ll share your pancakes with me?” Mulder asks, reaching for the jam. Briefly, Scully wonders what happened to the maple syrup. That’s a question for later.

“I’ll share my pancakes with you.” And my whole life, too, she thinks, smiling up at him.