Title: The Baby
Category: X-Files (MSR)
Summary: An after Existence story.
Rating: PG-13 for some relatively mild sexual terms.
Spoilers: It's probably best if you have already seen season 8.
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine, not even baby William.

Once again, this is a story written long ago. I would love feedback. Even if I don't respond by PM (I hate to clog up your inboxes unless you ask me a question), it means more than you know.

Obviously set fairly soon after Existence.

"Your turn to get him, Mulder."

Her lovely voice came with a slap in the face with her arm. I swear he had just fallen asleep ten minutes ago. Or was that me?


"I'm going, I'm going. Jeez…."

I get up from our warm, cozy bed and watch Scully fall right back asleep while I tend to the baby.

The baby. I used to say, "Scully's baby," when he was a basketball under her shirt. He slowly became, "the baby." I'm working on our baby. Someday I'm sure I'll call him my baby.

Right now though, all the baby does is eat, poop, cry and sleep, and usually in that order. Me getting up is a waste of time, really, because I'll just end up carrying him to bed so Scully can feed him. She doesn't want to feed him formula and he doesn't care too much for the bottle. At least I get a view of her breasts.

"Hey," I say to the squirming, red-faced baby. "Hey, buddy, don't cry. Come on."

I'm pretty good at holding him now. Scully trusts me with a lot of things. Picking him up, laying him down…. I guess that's pretty much it. I can sing to him, but I can't dance with him. I can wipe up his messes, but not give him a bath. I can take out the diapers, but not change him. Not yet.

So, I rock the baby. I whisper quiet things to him. I put the edge of my pinkie to his mouth, like Scully does, and he latches on. Boob time.

"Scully," I say, kicking the bed to wake her. She gets nervous when I hold the baby with only one hand. I only do that when she's not looking.

"Mmmph?" is my response.

"The baby's hungry."

"God," she groans. She sits up, and I hand him to her. "Your appetite, Mulder. That's what he has."

"Then better stock up on those jumbo Italian sausages. I'm going to get a drink, want one?"

"Yeah, please. Put the juice back in the fridge when you're done with it!" she calls as I walk down the hall.

Jesus, leave it out once by accident…. Instead of going straight to the kitchen, I stop by the computer to check my email. Before all of this, before I was abducted, before the baby, before I practically moved in with Scully, this is what I did. I stayed up all hours of the night watching TV and emailing people or researching on the computer. There is so much out there, I thought I would never stop, I could never stop, there was just too much to explore, too many unexplained things, too many ideas.

I still don't know how Scully got pregnant. Well, I mean, I know how. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl is abducted, experimented on, returned nearly dead, comes back with no recollection of what happened, her sister dies, she gets cancer, her ova are stolen, she finds a daughter she never knew she had, loses said daughter, boy is an asshole, she forgives him, she falls for him, he's scared shitless of her leaving him, they fall into bed, screw with no protection because of the previously mentioned stolen ova, boy is abducted, and girl winds up with a bun in the oven.

It's funny because Scully is the very first woman I have ever had sex with without a condom. Even the short time I was married I wore a condom every single time. Let that be a lesson. Wrap it before you tap it. Glove it before you shove it. Or the one touted the most in my high school: Don't be a dummy, come on her tummy. Don't think Scully would have appreciated that one.

I've got two emails from the Gunmen, one from Langley inviting me for a night of hacking and infiltrating government secrets from the comfort of their lair. Sorry man, my all night conspiracy days are over. Another from Frohike, a request for my services.

Since leaving the FBI, Frohike has been trying to convince me to go into a sort of private practice as a consultant. I know I have a few good recommendations I can use, maybe even an informant or two is still alive. But the game is changing. It's gone up a notch. Krychek is dead for one. I'm fairly certain our cigarette smoking friend is dead. The consortium is no more. I have no idea what happened to Marita. I don't even know that I care.

But, I guess I've gotta do something. Money isn't a problem, but boredom is. I'm no Mr. Mom, even if Scully would ease up and let me take over. I won't ever become my father, but I can't become my mother either. Bored and lonely, having an affair, depressed at her lack of control. I've got to do something. So, I email Frohike back. I'll meet him tomorrow to talk.

After deleting a few emails regarding the size of my penis and an offer for a discount on 'College Girls Bare All' – I was slightly curious, but I'm pretty sure Scully tossed my collection while I was gone and wouldn't appreciate me starting a new one – I grab a glass of water, and head back to the bedroom.

I may act frustrated. Hell, I may actually be frustrated half the time – Scully doesn't feel ready for sex yet even though the required six weeks passed two weeks ago. But nothing, absolutely nothing in the world, compares to this.

Last year I lost my family. This year, I gained a new one. William, the baby, is curled up asleep in his mama's arms. Scully, my… partner? Well, whatever. My Scully is wrapped around him like a protective lioness. And me?

Papa bear puts the glass on the table and climbs in. I know, baby, lioness, bear – but you catch my drift. I snuggle in close behind Scully and she turns her face slightly towards me.

"Okay?" she asks.

"I've got a meeting tomorrow morning. It shouldn't take long." She nods. I know all of this uncertainty makes her uncomfortable too. "I'm thinking about working again. I want to look into some options."

She takes a deep breath. "Okay."

"I want to support my family, Scully. It's important to me to feel productive."

"I know."

"I just need to belong somewhere."

"You belong here. With us."

"I won't disappear again."

She doesn't say anything, but squeezes my hand, the one that rests on her belly. I know she already knows about the offers coming in for my employment. I know she's afraid that not only am I not stopping the car to get out, I'm taking off without her.

I reach over her and stroke the baby's cheek.

"We're lucky," I say, "our baby inherited your narcolepsy."

She laughs a watery laugh, and I know she caught it. Our baby.

"When I start working again, maybe I can save up enough money to buys us a bigger house. Maybe I can save enough to buy you a ring."

Just a heartbeat goes by before I hear her breath out the word.