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Rated PG-13
By Suzanne L. Feld


What was I doing here, I thought tiredly, giving birth to our child with a man I was madly in love with, yet had never had sex with much less married?

Even though the fruit of our efforts was on his way into the world, I was still frankly amazed that the A.I. had worked the first time out and even more so that Mulder had stuck by my side during the whole thing. Though I had always planned to fall in love, get married, and have children in that order, as usual my life hadn’t played out quite the way I’d hoped.

“Here we go again, Kate, I think just one or two more and we’ll have a baby,” Dr. Towhees said, smiling at me over the gigantic mound of my belly.

“We’d better have a baby soon,” I gritted out, feeling the pain begin to rise again. “If it’s a puppy or a kitten I’m suing you.”

Mulder, back against whom I was resting, snorted laughter until I squeezed his hand so hard that he gasped. I had already passed transition and the baby was finally in the birth canal, but I was so tired I wasn’t sure I could find the strength to push him out.

“Remember, don’t fight the contractions, Kate, push with them; listen to your body and do what it asks,” Dr. Towhees said as the pain began to peak. “The more you fight, the more it’ll hurt. Push as much as you want, now, don’t hold back.”

I wanted to make a smart remark again but I couldn’t speak; I had my teeth gritted and was concentrating on pushing as hard as I could as my body took over with the irresistible urge to push. Though I was so tired I felt like I was about to collapse I also wanted this baby out of me, at this point more to get out of labor than to see the child I had worked so hard for. But I’d been laboring for almost sixteen hours, the last two in hard labor, and so I’d had about enough.

“That’s great, excellent! One more like that should do it; the baby’s crowning,” the doctor said, sounding pleased. Of course he was, I was doing all the damn work, I thought as the pain receded and I relaxed back against Mulder. I looked up in the mirror that was angled to show me what was going on down there, and sure enough I could see something dark bulging from my vagina; it felt like my lower half was going to split apart. He was, really, almost here. “Catch your breath, Kate, and then let’s have this baby.”

“Mulder…” I half-whimpered, not sure who I was angrier with more, the annoyingly cheerful doctor or the man who’d done this to me. So I had asked my partner to be the father, but that was beside the point at the moment.

“What can I do for you, Scully?” he breathed in my ear low enough that no one else could hear what he called me, brushing my damp hair back from my forehead with his free hand. “More ice chips?”

“I wish my mom was here, but since she can’t be, I’m glad you are,” I panted, feeling the contractions returning. “Oh, God, here we go again.”

I gathered my flagging strength as much as I could, feeling Mulder tense behind me. “This is it, Kate, one good push and it’s over,” Dr. Towhees said in that all-too-cheerful voice. “Let’s get this over with; you’re almost done.”

I swore I would strangle him when this was over.

I closed my eyes and pushed for all I was worth, letting out a breathless near-scream, clutching Mulder’s hand and curling forward over my belly even as I felt the head pop out. But I didn’t stop; I kept pushing even as the contraction waned, and felt the rest of the baby slide from me.

“Stop, Sc—ah, Kate, stop, the baby’s out!” I heard Mulder saying from behind me, both awe and laughter in his tone. Even as he spoke, the unmistakable cry of a newborn filled the room, the high, angry wails from a set of healthy lungs. “It’s a boy—we have a son!”

I already knew that, I thought, but didn’t say so as I heaved a deep breath, craning my neck to see the baby although I could have seen him in the mirror. “Is he all right?” I asked breathlessly.

Dr. Towhees handed the baby to the pediatric nurse standing by, who wrapped him in a blanket then took him over to the neonatal table. I only caught a glimpse of waving pink limbs as he was whisked away. “He’s fine, but you’re hemorrhaging a bit,” the doctor said distractedly. The staff here knew I was a MD and didn’t have to explain everything, and I made myself relax and lay still against Mulder as I felt tugging and pressure from my otherwise-numb perineum. “Nurse, get ready to prep for surgery in case I can’t stop the bleeding.”

“Dad, why don’t you come over here and meet your son while the doctor works on your wife?” the neonatal nurse said from across the room as the other attending went to a bank of cabinets on the opposite wall and began to pull down pale green linens. “Mom, he’s got an Apgar score of nine-point-eight, so don’t you worry about him. You have a perfect, healthy son, eight pounds six ounces and twenty-three inches long.”

“You okay if I leave you, Kate?” Mulder said, leaning forward and looking down at me worriedly, brushing the damp hair back from my forehead.

“Go ahead, it’ll be easier for them to work on me if you’re not in the way,” I said, keeping myself relaxed as he eased out from behind me and laid me down gently on the bed in a semi-reclining position. “Good thing we finally agreed on a hospital birth, and not a home one.”

“I just wanted to make sure you’d be all right,” he said, taking my hand and then leaning down to kiss me on the lips; it was like the brief, sweet kiss we’d shared on a New Year’s Eve that seemed like forever ago. When he lifted his face from mine he whispered, “I love you, Dana Scully, don’t ever doubt it.”

I stared after him as he went over to the table where our son was still shrieking his displeasure with this strange, cold new world. We’d never said a word about our feelings for each other after his drugged declaration of love to me in the Bahamas a few years back, which I hadn’t believed, but this one I couldn’t write off to him being doped up. We’d gotten closer living together as my pregnancy progressed and I knew I had fallen hopelessly in love with him, but I refused to let myself even think about it until he made the first move.

Which he just had. I would definitely have to think about this when I got a moment.

“Okay, I think that’ll do it,” the doctor said, almost startling me as I was lost in thought. “You should start feeling contractions to deliver the afterbirth, but don’t push too hard, okay, Kate? I had to tie up a loose blood vessel but you should be fine now.”

Mulder turned around carrying a now-quiet, blanket-wrapped bundle in his arms and walked over to me, the biggest grin I’d ever seen spread across his face. “Mom, meet your son,” he said, handing me the bundle. A few curls of wet, reddish hair stuck out from beneath the tiny blue cap they had put on him, and the triangular, pale blue eyes stared up at me like he knew who I was. I felt a surge of emotion like I never had before in my life, a blossoming of love that was all focused on this small being we’d brought into this world. My exhaustion vanished and I suddenly felt excited and more alive than I ever had before. “He’s beautiful, ah, Kate, he’s got your hair and, I think, my eyes.”

I was partially sitting up, enough to lay him on my stomach and unwrap him, checking to make sure he had all fingers and toes, even a perfect little penis and testes. “And neither of our noses—yet,” I said, entranced with the tiny red face as I wrapped him back up and cuddled him close. Our son, I thought almost disbelievingly as I pressed my lips to his petal-soft-skinned forehead. Mulder and I had a child.

Just then I felt a light but unmistakable contraction, more like a cramp, and reluctantly handed the baby back to Mulder who was hovering over us. “I’m about to deliver the placenta,” I said, looking down at Dr. Towhees, who still waited between my legs, then back up at Mulder. “You might not want to see this.”

He quirked an eyebrow at me and I knew what he was thinking, that he’d seen plenty worse in our time on the X-Files. But we were supposed to be an average couple, not one who were used to dead bodies and slimy freaks and liver-eating mutants. Cooing to the baby he moved away, going to stand by the neonatal table.

To my relief that was over with no further problems, and I dozed as they sewed and cleaned me up, and then transferred me to my room. Our insurance was good enough that I had a private room and when they rolled me in, the first thing I saw was Mulder sitting in a large high-backed chair in one corner beyond the bed, holding our son who was waving his little arms and fussing; not quite crying, but getting there.

“Hey, there’s your mom,” he told the baby as the nurse carefully helped me stand, then over to my bed. Though most people used birthing rooms these days, due to my high-risk pregnancy we’d had the birth in a delivery room with everything ready for a C-section in case something went wrong. I’d originally wanted a home birth, but had been talked out of it between Mulder and my OB/GYN; even licensed physicians and alien hunting FBI agents can be irrational when pregnant because I eventually realized how stupid that would have been. “I think this boy is hungry,” Mulder said, getting up and coming over to the bed as the nurse helped me into it. “You going to nurse or bottle feed?”

The nurse looked at us oddly so I quickly said to her, “I finally decided to breastfeed. I drove him nuts with my indecision.”

“It’s much better for the baby, and you’ll bond faster and better,” the nurse said approvingly as she tugged the covers up to my waist. “I’ll call the leche liaison, there’s always one here to help the first time. I’ll be back and let you know how long she’ll be.”

Once she was gone I looked up at Mulder, who was holding the baby with no signs of letting me have him. “We’ve got to be careful about saying suspicious things,” I warned him in a low voice. “We can’t afford to have anyone think twice about us.”

He nodded, still gazing down at our son. “Did you ever decide on a name?”

I grinned up at him. “Yes. William after our fathers, and Michael after my grandfather.”

“Thank God. I was terrified you’d name him Fox.”

“After all the fuss you’ve made about it? I don’t think so. Hey, Mulder?”


“Think I can hold him for a while?”

“Oh, yeah.” He grinned, looking kind of embarrassed, and handed William over. Then, to my surprise, he perched on the bed next to me, putting an arm around the headboard and resting his other hand on my shoulder to gently press me back against him. I looked up at him with an eyebrow quirked, and he said, “You don’t want us to draw any more suspicion, do you?”

I sighed. Having lived with Mulder for the past four months pretending to be husband and wife in close proximity to him had been trying, mostly because I was busy hiding my growing feelings for him. But as my pregnancy progressed, so did my love and admiration for him. He hadn’t had to go into hiding with us; he could have stayed in D.C. and helped figure out what was going on, why Krycek and the Consortium were so interested in our son. But instead he’d come with me despite Skinner’s protestations, and mine. I knew he was bored in the menial job he was doing now, which was only for show until I was safely delivered, but he never complained. I had been staying home the last two months after I’d had a partial abruption—where the placenta separated from the uterine wall, which could start labor prematurely—and put on restricted activity for the duration of my pregnancy.

William was fussing loudly now, on the verge of crying, turning his head every time something brushed his face and smacking his lips. “He’s hungry. Wonder when that breastfeeding person is coming?”

“They had me give him a little water while we were waiting for you, but he wasn’t too happy about it and didn’t drink much,” Mulder said, leaning down and letting William grab one of his fingers in a tiny fist. “None of that now, big guy,” he gently admonished the baby, who actually quieted a little at the sound of his voice.

“Mr. and Mrs. Sully? Mike and Kate?”

We both looked up at a short, rotund African-American woman in nurse’s scrubs standing in the doorway, beaming happily at us. “Michael, if you don’t mind,” Mulder said. “I go by my full name.”

“Oh, sorry. I’m Alisha Cuthbert, the La Leche League liaison for this hospital. Can I give you a hand with your baby’s first feeding?” She stepped in, closing the door behind her.

I glanced up at Mulder, but he didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Of course, I was sure that if he could get a glimpse of my boobs he was going to take it. “Yes, I’d like that,” I said. “And in case no one told you, I am a M.D.”

“But a new mother as well, and that’s why I’m here,” she said comfortably, coming over to the bed. “Let’s get you into position. Dad, why don’t you slide up behind her so that your wife can lean back against you. ”

I was wearing a hospital gown and now plucked at the thin, damp material, which I had sweated through. “Shouldn’t I change?”

“Oh, of course! Here, let me hold the little guy while your husband helps you,” she said, coming over to take William out of my arms. “What a beautiful baby! What’s his name?”

“William,” Mulder said as he got up and went over to my suitcase, which was still sitting packed against the wall next to the chair. “William Michael Sully.” Later we would legally change his surname to Scully-Mulder, but for now he had to have his birth certificate filled out with our fake name.

“Nice. I have to say, I don’t find most newborns to be very pretty but your little boy is the exception,” she said, standing with her back to us by the door. “He’s got the cutest little face I’ve ever seen, well, except on my own babies.”

Mulder brought me a nightgown with an elastic neckline, which was exactly what I needed. But as I went to wiggle out of the hospital gown I got stuck, as it was twisted around my legs. He had turned his back but now I poked him in the side and when he looked back at me quizzically, I tugged on the gown to show how it was stuck. To my surprise, he flipped back the covers and simply lifted me with one arm beneath my knees and the other around my back so that I could reach down and untangle myself. “Thanks,” I whispered to him as he set me down.

“Anytime, ‘Kate’, anytime at all,” he said softly as he smiled at me, then his face went serious again and he leaned down to kiss me before moving away, just a brief press of his lips on mine but electric nonetheless. I looked up at him wide-eyed as he moved away, and then smiled so he knew that I both liked and approved of the unexpected but sweet kisses. Our eyes locked for a moment but then I looked away, feeling unaccountably shy as he turned away and I removed the dank, sweaty hospital gown.

Once I was ready and we’d called Alisha over she had Mulder sit half-behind me, with me leaning back on him and his arm supporting mine that would be holding William. She laid the now loudly fussing baby in my arms, showing Mulder how to help hold him, and assisted me in pulling the neckline of the gown down, baring my left breast.

Alisha was talking about how breastfeeding helped bonding for both parents; I was distracted because I felt my face and chest warming as I brought William closer to my bare breast and knew I was blushing bright red, but there was nothing to do for it. I certainly couldn’t hide my breast from Mulder under a blanket when we were supposed to be married!

Then, with no help from anyone, William’s check brushed my turgid nipple and he turned his head, latching on like a starving fluke-man. I let out a gasp of surprise at the sudden tugging and Mulder chuckled as the baby began to suck strongly, curling his little fists up next to his face. “Wow, he didn’t need any help,” my supposed husband remarked. “He’s a natural—like me.”

Alisha laughed. “He is,” she agreed. “He won’t nurse long at first, but try to get him to go at both breasts and get a burp if you can. Once your milk comes in he’ll nurse longer, and the burp will be more important. I’ll bring by some brochures in the morning, but in the meantime you three relax and enjoy your quiet time.”

Once she was gone I let myself relax back against Mulder, sighing deeply. “I almost can’t believe I’m here, hell, that he’s finally here,” I said, using my free hand to brush William’s soft, curly red hair; the little blue cap had disappeared, which I didn’t mind at all. Now dry it was almost the same shade as mine, though interestingly enough both Missy and I had been born with blonde hair that later turned red.

“That we’re here,” Mulder said into my ear, his voice low and gravelly. “Scully, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m in this with you for the long run. Unless you don’t want me to be.”

I turned my head, nearly bumping noses with him. “I want you to stay with us, but don’t you need to get back to D.C. and start looking into all this?” I said, equally low. The nurse had left the door open and we were, understandably, paranoid about being overheard. Our original deal had been that Mulder would stay with me until the baby was born, at which time he’d go back to D.C. and start investigating why our child was suddenly the object of so much dangerous interest.

Just then William let go of my nipple with a pop and blinked up at me. With my free hand I pulled the gown up over my breast, then lowered it over the other one and shifted him to that side. He didn’t show much interest and wouldn’t latch on, so instead I covered up again, carefully lifted him to my shoulder and patted him gently on the back. I didn’t expect much of anything, so the fairly loud belch that resounded in my ear came as a surprise. We both laughed and then Mulder carefully got out from behind me and took the already-dozing baby from my arms, settling him on his back in the bassinet between my bed and the chair.

Then, to my surprise, he perched on the bed near my hip facing me and took one of my hands in both of his warm, strong ones. “Scully… I have to know, do you want us to be a real family? Do you want me to stay with you?”

I was shocked; I had no idea that this was coming despite the earlier kiss. “I thought you—“

“Not what you thought. What you want. What your heart tells you.” He was looking at me openly, but his brownish-green eyes were hesitant. It hit me that he was afraid, afraid of what I might say. Earlier he had declared his love to me and I didn’t think it had been spur of the moment or a joke; he’d likely been waiting for the right time to tell me, when I wouldn’t blow him off or not believe him. He’d found it.

I bit my lower lip, and then decided that if I didn’t tell him what was on my mind and in my heart I would be missing an opportunity that would probably never present itself again. Stepping from the edge of the cliff into the abyss I made myself say, “Yes, Mulder. There’s nothing in this world I’d love more than for the three of us to be a real family, to go on as we’ve been the past few months for as long as we can. In case you hadn’t noticed… I love you too.”

He stared at me blankly for a moment then croaked, “Say that again?”

“What, that I love you? That I’m in love with you? You act surprised,” I couldn’t help smiling, delighted by his response. My heart swelled with emotion and for the first time I didn’t shove it back or try to ignore it. I let the feeling sweep over me, and knew my smile had turned into a full-out grin. “I think everyone who knows us knows that… except you.”

“You love me?” he said, his chameleon eyes, now mostly green, clearing and beginning to sparkle but still with a disbelieving look on his face.

“Good God, what do I have to do to prove it to you?” I said with some exasperation, wriggling my hands out of his and lifting them to his face, cupping it. His cheeks were rough, unshaven, as I rasped my thumbs over his cheekbones. I knew what his problem was; for all his bravado, Mulder is the most insecure person under the façade he shows to the world. I’ve suspected that he probably doesn’t believe he’s worthy of love, doesn’t even know he thinks that, but I will take care of that. I brought his face to mine, pausing before our lips touched though our breath blew warm on each other’s faces. “Will you believe me now, Mulder?”

“Yes,” he breathed, and closed the gap between us as he reached out and cupped the back of my head gently. His lips were firm and warm and non-demanding, like our New Year’s kiss had been, and that wasn’t enough for me. Still holding his face I opened my mouth beneath his, hearing/feeling his intake of breath as he followed suit. Our tongues met hesitantly, and then with more purpose and determination as we both deepened the kiss.

“I think your little guy’s going to have a brother or sister before long if you two keep that up,” a voice nearby said. We broke apart startled, letting go of each other. It was a nurse we hadn’t seen before, a tall thin blonde who was grinning at us. “Sorry to break it up, but I need to take Mrs. Sully’s vitals,” she said as she wheeled a blood pressure unit over to the bed. “I’m Nurse Tunstall, I’ll be taking care of you tonight.”

When she was gone Mulder came back to sit on the side of the bed again, leaning over me with one arm braced near my hip and the other taking my hand. “If you mean it, Scully, I’ll get hold of the Gunmen and let them know that I’ll be staying for a few more months,” he said, looking at me hopefully. “I will have to go back eventually, but it doesn’t have to be right away. Besides, I was a little nervous about leaving you all alone with a newborn baby.”

“You do remember that I can kick your ass with one arm tied behind my back, right?” I asked dryly. Despite his having the advantage of weight and height on me, I used to beat him soundly in almost every bout of kickboxing or wrestling we practiced. I couldn’t outrun, out-lift or out-swim him, but I could beat the crap out of him in just about everything else. “Are you insinuating that I can’t take care of myself?”

“After what I just saw you do, I think you taking it easy for a few weeks without having to worry about kicking someone’s ass would be worth me staying for in itself,” he said, sidestepping the question. Wisely. “Let me do all the worrying for once, okay? You just enjoy being a mom for a while before the world comes crashing back in.”

I raised a brow at him, but exhaustion was catching up with me fast and I’m sure the yawn I let loose with rather diminished my stern look. “Okay then. How long do you plan to stay before heading back to D.C.?”

He gave me the biggest shit-eating grin I had ever seen on his face. “Well, at least six weeks. After that, I’ll probably want to stay longer.”

I frowned slightly, and then it hit me. “How did you know that a woman is supposed to wait at least six weeks after giving birth before having sex?”

“I read all those books you left laying around everywhere. Of course I was referring to the fact that you can resume most normal activities after six weeks, not just sex.” He gave me the innocent face, the one that I knew meant he was lying.

“Ri-i-i-ght.” I yawned again, and then shook my head. “Fascinating as this conversation is, I’d like to get some sleep before Himself wakes for his next feeding.”

“I’ll let you get some shuteye and head on home to shower and change. Do you need me to bring anything when I come back?”

“Not that I can think of. If I do I’ll call you.”

This time I wasn’t surprised when he leaned over and kissed me, non-demandingly but with open mouth and tongue that I met with my own. We kissed long and slow, our mouths assuring and reassuring each other of our feelings, which we’d been hiding so carefully from each other over the last few months but which had burst free with the birth of our son. When he leaned back a little, I cupped the side of his face and smiled up into his eyes, telling him wordlessly what I thought. In his eyes, now a deep slate gray, I saw his love for me shining. I had no further doubts.

Before leaving he went over and gazed down at William, brushing one hand lightly over his soft curls and kissing him lightly on the cheek. The baby hiccupped a sigh but didn’t wake, to my relief, and after Mulder left I lowered the bed and squirmed around carefully, getting comfortable. Now the soreness was coming to haunt me; so much had happened since the delivery that I’d been distracted from it, but not for long.

I really wanted to lie on my stomach after months of being unable to, but it was too much trouble and I was too tired, so I rolled onto my side and relaxed. But my mind was going mile-a-minute, racing like it did when I was close to figuring out a case and running over the evidence in my head.

But these questions were different.

What if the A.I. hadn’t taken? Where would I be right now? What if Mulder hadn’t agreed to be the father—would I really have used an anonymous donor? What if, God forbid, Mulder hadn’t wanted anything to do with the baby? Where would I be right now? Facing single motherhood with my usual determination, but certainly not as overwhelmingly happy as I was right now, knowing that he loved us and wanted to be with both of with us. All of that I could now let go, and stop thinking about. Mulder was staying and all was right in my world for the time being as far as that went.

Then there was the Consortium’s interest in my child; they were concerned enough to have Krycek try to kidnap me for some insidious purpose I was afraid of but that we would have to investigate. That was why we’d gone into hiding; it was the only way we could think of to keep the baby and me safe. Mulder and I suspected that their interest was because of my abduction/bee sting and his immunity to the black oil; between us, we might have created the first human being naturally immune to the black oil/alien virus or, God forbid, the first true, perfect alien-human hybrid. But whether or not we had, all we cared about was keeping our child safe and raising him as normally as possible. We were as sure as we and the Gunmen could be that we were safe for the time being; we had done everything we could to mitigate the risks. So despite having to be so careful and missing our friends/family, it was worth it until we were sure it was safe to go back to our old lives.

I could hear William’s breathing from just a couple of feet away; every so often he made a little snorty noise that reminded me of how Mulder sounded in his sleep. Though we had never been intimate, we had often shared a bed later in my pregnancy when I’d had difficulty sleeping; curled up against him I had been able to doze off with little trouble no matter how uncomfortable I was. The thought of really sharing a bed with him from now on, even though we couldn’t have sex for nearly two months, caused a shiver to go through me.

I was beginning to doze now and let sleep take me over, knowing that when I woke it would be to my son and his father. It didn’t get any better than this for me right now, although I suspected that it would in the near future.