Author's Note: Let's pretend I posted this yesterday on the 20th.

Thanks to Sarah for being a fantastic beta! And thank you to Tay and Rose for answering my various baseball questions.

By the way, this is all fluff. Technically takes place in the same universe as Five Wishes and Pulling the Thread but doesn't really reference those fics at all. All you need to know is that Mulder and Scully have William back.

Waking up suddenly to Mulder shaking her was not one of Scully's favorite ways to be greeted in the morning.

She didn't move, hoping he would stop and get the message.

"Go away." She cracked a single eye open to see Mulder standing by her side of the bed in his pajamas, but far more awake than she thought was reasonable.

"You got a message. Skinner wants you to come in for a meeting this morning," he told her. Why did she have to cohabitate with someone who never needed to sleep? Why did he have to be so loud? Why did Skinner have to schedule a meeting on her day off?

"Euuugghhh." Scully closed her eyes and quickly mourned the sleep she wouldn't be getting.

"I'll start breakfast, g-woman." He chuckled to himself and left the bedroom.

Scully took a second to bemoan her luck and then slowly got out of bed to shower.

Not even twenty minutes later, she made her way downstairs. Scully walked into the kitchen to discover she was the last one to breakfast. She took the seat across from Mulder and began buttering some toast, and Mulder slid her a cup of steaming coffee with a sympathetic smile.

"But…fifteen and a half? Seriously?" came the voice from her left.

Scully laughed. It was this conversation again. "Regretting your east coast move already, Will?"

She received a loud, exasperated sigh in response. "Fine. Then we're going as soon as the DMV opens on November twentieth."

"I think that's a Sunday, kid," Mulder supplied.

Their son's face fell. "Fine. The next day then. The twenty-first."

"Already planning on skipping school?" Scully asked with a laugh.

"It'd just be for a couple of hours!" pleaded William.

She chewed her toast thoughtfully. "Mhmmm. We'll talk about it when it gets closer."

"Okay, okay," Will grumbled.

"I think you'll survive, honey."

"Somehow," Mulder reached over and clasped William's shoulder.

Will shrugged as if to indicate they would be responsible for his untimely death should his continued good health be dependent on him getting his learner's permit as soon as possible.

A quick glance at her watch told Scully she was going to be late for the meeting if she didn't leave in the next couple of minutes.

"Shit! I have to talk with Skinner before the CDC task force meeting at nine. I'm going to be late." She took one large last bite of her toast and stood up, picking up her bag.

"Scully! No swearing in front of the C-H-I-L-D." Mulder smirked as held out her large travel mug filled with coffee.

"You are so hilarious," Will deadpanned.

Scully was surprised how far back William could roll his eyes.

She pressed a kiss to Mulder's cheek as she grabbed her mug from him. "See you both after lunch." She turned to look at William. "Sorry I couldn't get out of the meeting this morning."

"'S okay," he shrugged in response.

Scully walked to where he was seated and bent over to place a kiss on the top of William's head. "Happy Birthday, baby."

The house was unexpectedly very quiet when she set her bag down by the front door and toed off her shoes.


No answer.


Nothing. And usually Daggoo was right at her feet the moment she walked in the door.

Scully knew they were home. Mulder's car was still there and neither of them had mentioned any plans for the morning. She was about to head upstairs to change out of her suit when she heard Mulder's voice come from the back of the house.

"Scully! Out here!" he yelled.

She followed the sound of his voice through the living room, the kitchen, and finally out the back door where she found Mulder and William pulling up weeds in the small garden they had put together when they moved into the house over a decade ago. Daggoo was curled up on the back porch watching them from the shade. His ears perked up at her arrival but he was too content to move to greet her.

It was a nice spring day and a welcome change from the rain they had received earlier in the week. The warm air smelled of cut grass and Scully knew she would have sat on the porch with Daggoo and watched Mulder and William for the rest of her life if it were possible.

"Really, Mulder? Making him pull weeds on his birthday?"

Bent over with his knees in the dirt, Mulder turned to face her. He raised a gloved hand to shade his eyes and his lips curled into a smile. He made a gesture toward her with his head and William waved. They both stood and tossed their gloves into the nearby bucket before walking over to where Scully stood on the porch.

"I get why those pioneers had all of those kids, Scully." Mulder grinned at William. "Free manual labor."

"I don't know Mulder. It'd probably be cheaper to hire a gardener. Haven't you seen how much the free manual labor eats?" she smirked back at him.

William rolled his eyes. They were a matched set, he and his father. They were both clad in dirt-covered jeans and t-shirts that had seen better days. Although it wasn't very warm, their faces and necks were red from the sun. Over the past couple of weeks Scully noticed the freckles on William's face had begun to multiply in the sun.

"Very true," Mulder responded.

She then caught the tail end of a look that passed from Mulder to William. Her eyes narrowed in confusion before she saw their son walk closer to her with his arms opened wide.

"Will, don't you even think about it." She backed up, moving away from the amused pair. In an attempt to save her suit, Scully held up a hand to block William from coming any closer to her. She fixed a hard stare at him.

"Awww, I just wanted a hug. Since it's my birthday today and all, I just thought…" William bashfully rubbed at the back of his neck and looked away as he spoke.

Scully immediately felt terrible and relaxed her defensive posture. William took advantage of the moment and quickly moved in to hug her. His arms wrapped her shoulders and when she returned the hug, she felt his chest shake with laughter.

Grinning, William let go of her and turned to Mulder. "Told you I could do it." Her son seemed quite pleased with himself.

Scully had the feeling she'd been played and her suit had paid the price.

"Well I didn't expect you to play the birthday card." Mulder joined her and William on the back porch.

"Gotta play to win," William answered smugly.

"We need to have a talk soon about that fierce competitive streak you've inherited from your mother's side of the family, Will."

Scully crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow at her husband. "Excuse me?"

Mulder met her gaze. "Because I'm the reason we don't play board games. Right."

"Whatever, Mulder." Scully rolled her eyes.

"You love me." Mulder stated as he moved in closer to her.

"Starting to regret it," she sighed dramatically.

"Too late. The proof's right over there." He gestured to where William was sitting a few feet away petting Daggoo.

"Did I not tell you about how back in 2000, Skinner and I-" Her voice was soft as she mocked him gently.

"Scully!" he exclaimed with an incredulous gasp.

"Oh be quiet, you're the one who started it." Missing her heels, she went up on her toes to kiss him. His hand found the small of her back as his other cupped her cheek. As they parted, he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.

"If you guys are done, I'm going to go up and shower," William told them as he purposefully stepped between them to make his way into the house with Daggoo right behind him.

Mulder reached up to cup her face in his hand. "Now, where were we?"

Before he could lean in to kiss her again, Scully put her hands against his chest to stop him. She wrinkled her nose. "You need to shower, Mulder."

"Okay, I'll go. Under one condition."

"What time is the first pitch?" Scully asked as she dried her hair. Once her hair was finally dry, she went back into the bedroom where she pulled out a pair of jeans from the dresser and a blouse.

"Not for another hour."

When Mulder had suggested to William that they see a Nats game for his birthday, he had enthusiastically agreed.

Scully shrugged into a navy blazer. "Is William ready?"

"I think so." Mulder watched as she applied dark lipstick and finished getting ready. Without a word, he handed her the small studs she wore most days. "He seems pretty excited. He's never been to a major league game before." Seeing that Scully had finished putting in hear earrings, he gestured for her to turn around so he could fasten her necklace.

She didn't move and motioned for him to hand her the necklace. She slid the ring off the chain and handed the necklace back to him and turned around so he could fasten it.

Mulder's eyebrows shot up when he saw she had slipped her ring on her finger.

"Okay?" she asked softly, not meeting his eyes.


Scully arms reached under Mulder's jacket and wrapped around his waist. She pressed her head against his chest as she hugged him tightly. His hands gripped her shoulders and she felt him kiss her hairline. She lifted her head from his chest. The tall wedges she wore made it so she didn't have to reach very much to place a soft kiss on his lips before looking at her watch.

"Shit Mulder, we need to leave for the game." Scully stepped away from him and glanced in the mirror to quickly smooth down her hair. "You get William. I'll go grab the tickets."

Mulder nodded his assent to her plan. "I'll drive."

"Not going to happen."

Scully put her sunglasses away in her bag. It was top of the third and Mulder had gone to find them food.

"Having fun?" she asked William.

"It's cool. You guys go to games a lot?"


She was interrupted by Mulder's return. He handed her a beer and a soda to William. Scully took the large popcorn Mulder was carrying.

"Picked up these as well," Mulder said as Scully felt something being placed on her head. She reached up and pulled the hat off her head. The navy hat had the large "W" for the Washington Nationals. Scully shot Mulder a surprised look when she saw he had gotten William the same hat.

After seeing Mulder was now the only one without a hat, she asked "Where's yours?"

Mulder was sitting on the other side of William. "Scully, I can't." He held his hand to his chest in mock indignation. "Bad enough my wife and child are now in Nats gear. I don't have it in me to betray the Yankees anymore."

"Oh. Right. Of course. How could I forget?" Scully rolled her eyes.

Mulder ignored her. "Will, did I ever tell you that your mom and I played baseball on our first date?"

"Really?" William asked.

"That was not a date, Mulder," Scully stated firmly.

"Then what was it?" he teased.

"It was…. We were just… Oh, whatever."

"Anyway William," Mulder fixed a hard stare in her direction before focusing again on their son, "So I took her to a baseball diamond and taught her how to swing."

Suddenly Scully turned her attention to the game in front of her. She sipped at her beer and watched the first baseman catch a foul ball.

She didn't take her eyes off the action on the field as she spoke, "Mulder, you really think I grew up on Navy bases with two brothers and didn't know how to hit just about every type of pitch?" Scully sighed. "Figures."

"What are you talking about, Scully? Since when do you care about baseball?"

"I don't. But I know how to hit a baseball, Mulder."

"But I spent so much time teaching you how to hit a simple changeup!"

She shrugged in response.


"What, Mulder? I thought you said it was a date anyway. Why do you care?"

"So you just let me think you didn't know how to play?"



"Shut up Mulder, I'm watching baseball."

Scully's neck jerked forward as Mulder put her SUV in park.

"Home." She felt Mulder look over at her. "Scully, time to wake up."

"'M awake," she replied.

After nine innings, the home team had won. A true Yankee fan, Mulder was quite happy with the Nats' victory over the Mets. Scully had handed over the keys to her car without a word and had fallen asleep against the window on the passenger side to the sound of Mulder and William reciting details of the game they had only just left.

The three of them made their way into the house; Scully's movements were still slow with the remnants of sleep. Daggoo was curled up on the armchair and was pleased to see them.

"He needs to go out," Scully observed.

"I'll do it. You go to bed."

Scully nodded.

"Thanks for taking me to the game. And for the hat. I had a lot of fun today."

Mulder smiled and hugged William before tousling his hair. "No problem, kid. Glad you enjoyed it."

Scully took William in a tight hug of her own and placed a kiss on the side of his head. "Happy Birthday Will." She looked over at Mulder and saw him trying to coax Daggoo up so he could let him out.

"He's worse than you, Scully."

"Ha ha, you jerk."

She turned away from Mulder to address William. "Get to bed. 'Night."

William yawned. "'Night. Love you."

"Love you too," they replied in chorus.