When she came to, her head ached and she had no recollection of where she was. She was in a unfamiliar bed, and a small child with blonde hair was curled up next to her. She felt something move inside her, and put a hand on her stomach. No it wasn’t possible. She pulled up her pajama top and sure enough she was definitely pregnant. The last thing she remembered was being in Oregon with her new partner, Fox Mulder, driving back to their hotel in the rain. And then a bright light.
Not this, definitely not this.
The girl yawned, stretched and blinked her eyes open. “Mommy, can you make pancakes?” Her little voice asked. The girl, who couldn’t be more than four years old was the spitting image of her sister, Melissa. The resemblance was uncanny. The word mommy had caught her off guard. She wasn’t anyone’s mom. She was barely twenty-eight years old, a new field agent, and just beginning her career.
“Uh, sure honey,” she said, silently praying she sounded like the girls mother. Maybe this was a dream. It absolutely could not be real. The girl smiled and got out of bed, “I’ll have daddy help me get the mix.”
She just nodded and watched as the girl in the rose colored pajamas bounded down stairs. Taking a deep breath she surveyed her surroundings. She looked down at her hands, and couldn’t help but notice the engagement ring and wedding band set on her left ring finger. It was a gorgeous Victorian looking setting and something she would have picked out herself. On the night stand, was a picture of the girl and a man that looked shockingly familiar. He was tall, lanky and had a smile that made her knees shake. It couldn’t be.
The man whose arms were draped around her waist was none other than Fox Mulder.
It was becoming too much to process. I have to wake up now, she thought pinching her wrists.
It felt too real to be a dream. Was it some alternate reality?
Deciding to play along, she got out of bed and stood in front of the large mirror adorning the closet door. She looked pretty much the same, except for the fact that her hair was longer and in loose waves down her back, her face was slightly fuller, and she could just see the tips of her toes.
She lifted up her shirt and turned sideways. She had never imagined herself pregnant, or even cut out for motherhood. She was too ambitious, but now she could tell pregnancy suite her. The life growing inside of her gave a gentle kick, as if it were a subtle nod acknowledging his or her presence.
It was all just too strange. It was like she was a purveyor of someone else’s life. A life she hadn’t chosen.
She thew on leggings and a long tee shirt, and padded down stairs. Anxious of what she would find.
She could hear them talking, the girl was giggling and the smell of pancakes led her into the kitchen.
Fox was at the stove, while the girl was holding the spatula. “Hi mommy, daddy let me flip it.”
She chuckled at the mess of a pancake on the plate next to the stove. “Em has no patience and insisted that we start without you,” he quipped, as she took a seat at the kitchen island watching them cook. The girls name was Em, probably Emily or Emma. At least she could stow that information away.
He was in a gray T-shirt and sweatpants, similar to the outfit he wore when he’d knocked on her door inviting her for a run. This time it was sans sneakers and bare feet.
“I wonder where she could possibly get that from,” she said, with a grin.
“Not me, I’ve got loads of patience right princess?” He chucked, as Em tried again and unsuccessfully flipped the pancake.
She frowned, dejected. “Em, let me help.”
She got up and went over to the stove. Em wordlessly handed her the spatula. “The trick is,” she began, “you have to wait until the edges are slightly brown.” She gently slid the spatula under one of the pancakes and put the girls hand over hers. “Now, you slowly bend your wrist like this.” The flip was executed perfectly. Mulder laughed, “See Emily, that’s why I married your mom.”
Emily chuckled. “Can I try it next time by myself?”
“Go ahead, Em,” she said handing her the spatula. “Remember go slow.”
Ten minutes later, Emily had mastered the art of pancake flipping and proudly stacked them on the table.
Mulder handed her a cup of tea, as they all ate in a happy silence. It felt so normal, and familiar that she almost wished this was her real life. It couldn’t be possible but gave her a taste of what she could have.
After breakfast, Emily ran into the living room and put on cartoons. Something her and her siblings used to do too every Saturday morning.
She cleared the table, while Mulder did the dishes. It was all so domestic her head started to spin when he pulled her close, as she handed him a plate.
The kiss took her by surprise, it was gentle and soft. It left her breathless when he pulled away. Her body was suddenly wanting more, and she felt a swift kick to her rib cage, and winced.
He must of felt it too because he put a hand right where the baby had decided to play soccer with her internal organs. “This one is much more active then Emily ever was,” he grinned. She put her hand over his, and the baby decided to kick again reminding he or she was there too.
They both laughed. The kid already had a mind of its own. It was so alien to her, but she couldn’t believe that she actually liked it.
“Remember, your parents invited us for dinner tonight,” he reminded her as she handed him a dish. “And I think your sister is going to be there too.”
Melissa was home? Last she checked, Melissa was still in California doing some yoga retreat.
“So a full house then,” she sighed, suddenly wondering what she should bring or cook.
“Em will provide the entertainment,” he added with a smirk.
She didn’t mind this reality, maybe she’d wake up and have her old life back or maybe she wouldn’t. Either way, she couldn’t complain