a/n: I'm so sorry that this update has taken forever. this chapter had a direction, and then I decided that it wasn't the path. as a thank you for your continued support, you get two chapters tonight!

Mulder had been in a terrible mood all morning, and nobody could blame him. Even Scully had backed off on their interactions because she knew extended conversation would only lead to one of them being nasty to the other, and she didn't want that. Her back had been cramping up all night before, and she'd gotten little sleep. Not only that, her mind had been on the day ahead. While for Mulder, resigning from the bureau and shutting down the X-Files was about assessing what the personal cost of his professional life was, the men he had been working against for so long finally getting what they wanted, and another roadblock in his search for the truth, for her it signaled the close of the most important chapter in her life. She remembered walking through the door for the first time all those years ago, into the dark and dank basement office that she would come to love. Seeing Mulder for the first time… she'd had no idea then that she was meeting her partner for life that day. It certainly hadn't felt like it. She hadn't even thought he would be her partner for a year at the time.

There was her desk, which she'd won after a brutal argument and some bad decisions on her part. That wasn't long before her cancer, which led her to the small medical supply area in the back where she would normally retreat to when she didn't want Mulder to know her nose was bleeding. She started taking books off the bookshelves and paused when she grabbed on to Jose Chung's book From Outer Space. He'd sat not five feet from where she stood and began the preliminary research for it with her assistance, though once the book had come out, she realized that her scientific commentary made up a surprisingly small part of it.

Her stomach was getting in the way, so Mulder handled a lot of the lower stuff. Like the bottom drawers of her desk, where he pulled out unused, "It's a boy" and "It's a girl" birth announcements. He looked at her suspiciously while she blushed.

"So which ones can I throw away?" he asked, not intending to sound as hostile as he did. Thankfully, Scully paid him no mind.

"I wouldn't throw either of them away," she answered coyly.

"Scully, I'm the father. I want to know."

"I thought you didn't want to know?"

"You know."

"Well, I didn't really have a choice."

"I thought you said that if I ever changed my mind, you would tell me?"

"You're going to meet him soon enough, why not just wait?"

"Because I've lived for seven months without—wait. Him?" Mulder smiled. How close he came to not catching that.

"Him," she smiled back.

"We're having a little boy?" he asked in disbelief. He had expected at least two more months of waiting. Scully nodded, loving the shocked look on his face. One reason she'd kept the sex from everybody was because she wanted to make sure there was no way it would get back to the kids. Zach and Megan had been on shaky ground ever since they learned Scully was pregnant. They had been way more accepting of the idea recently, but it was still a big adjustment. Scully thought that touting around the baby's sex would have worried the children even further, and so they had stuck to referring to him as "the baby." It was less threatening. But when she saw the delighted look in Mulder's eyes, she knew that she'd made the right decision in telling him.

"It's very fitting tha

t we would have this conversation in this office," Mulder laughed, swiping at his eyes.

"Why?" Scully smiled.

"Because this baby was supposed to be impossible. But here we are, both knowing the truth."

Now it was Scully's turn to laugh. "You finally convinced me of something."

Wrapping his arms around Scully, Mulder leaned in to kiss her deeply. "I'd say it was more like good teamwork."

Hearing her laugh at that moment was worth every ounce of pain they'd had to go through to get there. The office they were in the process of dismantling made him understand just how close they'd come on multiple occasions to not reaching this moment, and for that, he would be forever grateful. Yet, Mulder was shocked to realize just how little despair he now felt at leaving the FBI. It was those moments that he was so grateful for that scared him the most. During their time on the X-Files, it had been the world on the line. Now, it was their world on the line. The risks were so much greater, now, as were the rewards. Hearing Megan's giggles when he made funny faces, watching Zach grow and develop into a young man, feeling his son kick… these were things he was unwilling to trade for anything.

And later that night, when Scully had left the dinner table for the third time to use the bathroom and Zach and Megan were in the midst of a burping contest, Mulder would sit back and ask himself "still better than the X-Files?"

Smiling, his answer would always be yes.

sorry about all the cheese :)