Guess who's back!
"And you have our number for our cell phones and the hotel," Scully lists off for the tenth time to her mother who is holding Audrey in her arms. Chuckling, Maggie answers, "Yes, dear. I do."
"Scully, come on! We're going to miss our flight," Mulder states as he gently pries his girlfriend away from their baby. Scully reluctantly acquiesces before following Mulder to the car. Getting in, Scully watches as her mom raises her youngest's hand to wave goodbye causing Scully to sigh.
"We could still take her with us," Mulder suggests. Shaking her head, Scully answers, "We need that producer to be convinced we're not a couple. Besides, if Skinner saw her with us he'd have a fit."
Chuckling at his girlfriend's logic, Mulder remarks, "I meant to the airport."
Taking Scully's hand, Mulder squeezes it knowing what it's like to leave your baby for the first time. Looking in the back, Scully sees Chloe has already put her headphones on and is listening to whatever CD is in her CD player. Turning back to Mulder, Scully asks him what it was like leaving Chloe for the first time.
"Awful," He says. "Leaving her with a babysitter to go to work, I think I called the house at least four or five times that day."
The car is quiet for a moment before Scully remarks, "I wish I could've been there when Chloe was a baby. I sometimes feel bad I don't have those memories with her."
"Well you have all the other memories. I'm glad we have you now," Mulder supplies. Smiling at him, Scully answers, "Me too."
When the couple and their oldest daughter finally arrive at the airport, Skinner is waiting for them in the lobby.
"Agents, Chloe," Skinner greets them, a model of professionalism. Rolling his eyes, Mulder answers, "This is basically a vacation, Skinman. Lighten up."
He receives a glare from both his girlfriend and his boss. Deciding to check in their suitcases, Mulder heads over to the desk.
"I have your tickets here," Skinner tells Scully who takes the tickets from him. Putting the items in her purse, Scully smirks a little as her daughter asks why she is not given a ticket.
"Because I don't want anyone to lose them. Do you have your license ready?" Scully asks as she sees Mulder come back from checking in their suitcases. Nodding, Chloe pats her pocket and says, "Right here!"
Exploring their hotel rooms, Mulder's right next to Scully's to keep away any suspicion from the bureau about their relationship, the agents and their oldest daughter get settled before Skinner tells them all to meet him in the lobby in fifteen minutes. When the family enters the lobby, Skinner tells the adults they will be meeting with the actors and director while Chloe is given a sightseeing tour of L.A. with Skinner as her chaperone. Before the teen can make a remark about the choice of chaperone, she quickly notices her mother's look and quickly stays quiet.
"Where do you want to go first?" Skinner asks once he is left alone with the second to youngest Mulder. Raising an eyebrow, Chloe asks, "You don't have an itinerary?"
"No Mini-Scully, I don't. Knowing your parents, I figured you'd have it all planned out."
"I can go by myself," Chloe deadpans causing Skinner to shake his head explaining he does not want to get in trouble with her parents.
"Is there any place you want to see?"
"I guess the sidewalk with all the names and stuff," Chloe answers unable to think of anything else. Nodding, Skinner leads Chloe to his rental and they head off to downtown Los Angeles.
As they walk down the sidewalk, Skinner makes sure to keep a little bit of distance between himself and Chloe.
Chloe shrugs. Unimpressed by the touristy things she laments, "L.A. is pretty boring."
"We could go to Disneyland," Skinner states remembering they are not too far away. Eyes lighting up, Chloe asks, "Can we?"
"Sure. Let me call and get tickets."
Entering the park, Chloe immediately heads off toward the rides leaving Skinner to follow behind her.
"C'mon, Skinner, you have to get on at least one roller coaster!" Chloe exclaims after she rides five roller coasters while he holds the cotton candy and popcorn she convinces them to buy.
"Please?" She begs. When she receives a blank stare, the teenager changes tactics. "If you get on the ride I choose, I'll ride a ride you choose."
After a few moments, Skinner smirks answering, "Deal."
"Oh, and also, the person who yells first has to ride the Small World ride twice in a row."
Noticing Chloe is still gone when she and Mulder get back, Scully decided to make use of the bathtub. Starting the water, Scully puts her hair up, pours herself a glass of wine, gets out of her clothes and soon luxuriates in the bath. Opening her eyes, Scully finds a phone nearby and decides to call her and Mulder's room.
"'Hello?'" Mulder answers embarrassed to answer the phone in the bathtub, despite the fact that it's big enough to basically be a jacuzzi.
"'Hey, Mulder, it's me. What are you doing?'"
Smirking at his girlfriend's calling him, but not sure how she will like his taking over the bathroom if she comes in, Mulder answers, "'I'm, uh, working at the, uh, computer. What are you doing?'"
Not wanting to reveal she is taking over their daughter's bathroom, Scully answers, "'I'm, uh, packing. Just, you know, getting ready for our trip back to D.C. tomorrow.'"
Knowing that her suitcase is in their room, Mulder wonders what his girlfriend is really doing. Deciding not to delve to deep in her whereabouts, Mulder asks, making fun of their trip on set, "'You know, Scully, I was just thinking about Lazarus, Ed Wood, and those tofurkey-eating zombies. How come when people come back from the dead they always want to hurt the living?'"
"'Well, that's because people can't really come back from the dead, Mulder. I mean, ghosts and zombies are just projections of our own repressed cannibalistic and sexual fears and desires. They are who we fear that we are at heart- just mindless automatons who can only kill and eat.'"
"'Party pooper. Well, I got a new theory. I say that when zombies try to eat people, that's just the first stage. You see, they've just come back from being dead so they're going to do all the things they miss from when they were alive. So, first, they're going to eat, then they're going to drink, then they're going to dance and make love.'"
With a smile at her boyfriend's last comment, Scully remarks, "'Oh, I see. So it's just that we never get to stay with them long enough to see the gentler side of the undead.'"
Mulder is about to say something more when call waiting on his phone beeps
"'Hold on a second, that's my other line'," He tells Scully. Answering, the agent is surprised to find Skinner on the other line.
"'I hope I didn't catch you at a bad time'," Skinner remarks.
"'No, sir, I'm just at the, uh, computer'," Mulder lies feeling more embarrassed.
"'Listen, I just wanted to apologize for coming down so hard on you during the Hoffman slash O'Fallon case'," Skinner apologizes referencing the latest case Mulder, Monica, and Scully work on.
"'Oh. I appreciate that, Skinman'," Mulder states glancing at his beer wondering what would happen if he took a sip with his boss on the other line.
"'Don't call me that.'"
Remembering his faux pau at the airport, Mulder replies, "'Yes, sir. Um... Uh, where are you now?'"
"'I'm right underneath you. I'm in L.A., at the same hotel as you. Right below you and Agent Scully. Federman got me an Associate Producer credit on the movie.'"
"'A.P. Skinner, huh?'" Mulder jokes. Realizing his boss is not laughing with him, Mulder asks, "'Uh... So what are you up to right now, sir?'"
"'I'm taking a bubble bath'," Skinner answers truthfully. Surprised, Mulder immediately asks for Skinner to hold the line as he clicks over to Scully.
Grinning, Mulder delightfully states, "'Hey, Scully, Skinman is calling me from a bubble bath.'"
"'It's still me, Mulder'," Skinner announces unamused. Embarrassed, Mulder tries to switch over again and tentatively asks, "'Scully?'"
"'Yeah'," She asks happy to be off hold. Delightedly, Mulder tells her, "'Yeah, Skinner is calling me from a bubble bath.'"
Taking a sip of her wine, Scully almost deadpans, "'Wow, he's really gone Hollywood.'"
"'Totally'," Mulder announces taking a look at his surroundings. In a teasing nature now, Scully remarks, "'You know, Mulder, speaking of Hollywood, I think that Tea Leoni has a little crush on you.'"
"'Oh, yeah, right. Like Tea Leoni's ever going to have a crush on me.'"
Teasing him more, Scully remarks, "'I think that Shandling likes you a bit, too.'"
"'Really?'" Mulder asks, "'Cause I have a crush on you."
Almost snorting out a laugh, Scully asks, "Really, Mulder? That's what you're going to go with?"
"Is it working?"
"No, but I know what will. Give me ten minutes and I'll be over to our room."
Excited, Mulder hangs up the phone, takes a sip of his beer, and decides to get out of the bath. Putting a towel around him and putting on some cologne, Mulder is surprised to hear Scully's voice call out, "Mulder?"
"In here!" He replies. When Scully comes into the bathroom, she is fairly pleased to find Mulder in a towel. Smiling at his girlfriend, Mulder asks, "You like what you see?"
Nodding appreciatively, Scully walks over to him and kisses him stating, "I do."
Later that afternoon, the couple wakes up to a knock on the door.
"Mom, Dad? Have you seen my straightener?" They hear from Chloe's room.
"Just a minute!" Scully answers before getting out of bed and throwing on a shirt of Mulder's she finds on a chair. Looking back at Mulder, she remarks, "I can't believe we get eighteen more years of this."
Mulder simply laughs before watching his girlfriend leave through the adjoining door.
Coming home from California, the family immediately goes to Maggie's who not only has a room ready for them as well as dinner. When they finish eating, Maggie sits at the table listening to Chloe and Scully tell stories from their trip. As Scully keeps hold of her five month old who happily plays with a teething toy, Chloe keeps her grandmother occupied with stories about Disney Land.
"It was great! Uncle Skinner–"
Raising an eyebrow at the new moniker, Scully looks over at Mulder who stands off to the side, a dish towel still in his hands from doing dishes, and shrugs. They look back at their oldest daughter who continues, "Then we headed for the tea cup ride. I wish you could've been with us, Grandma."
"Thank you, Sweetie. I actually took your mother and her brothers and sister there once when we were stationed in San Diego. It was a few days before their dad was supposed to deploy again, and the kids weren't really taking the news well on top of our recent move."
"I remember that!" Scully states. "Missy and I bet the boys we could out spin them on the tea cup ride."
"Who won?" Chloe asks. Laughing, Scully answers, "They did, but couldn't walk straight for about a minute after. I think Charlie threw up."
Just as Scully was about to start another story, Audrey begins to cry. Walking over, Mulder offers to take his youngest and leaves the room to change her.
"He's so good with her," Maggie admires. A small smile playing on her lips, Scully remarks, "He's a great dad."
Yawning from her spot at the table, Chloe tells them she will head upstairs to bed. After their trip, the teen wants to sleep for a week. That, and she has no desire to hear how good a father her dad is.
"Goodnight, Baby. Sleep well," Scully states before kissing her daughter goodnight. Then, kissing Maggie goodnight the teen heads upstairs leaving Maggie and Scully at the table.
"It sounds like Chloe had fun."
"She really did. Although, I feel bad we left her with Skinner that one day."
Shocked, Maggie jokes, "You didn't go to any Hollywood parties?"
With a laugh, Scully explains that the couple ended up having a date night.
"It's nice to be back though. I missed Audrey."
"I know. I wish I could've afforded long distance for you to talk to her. I can't get over how good she is."
"I know! It must be in Mulder's DNA. I don't think Chloe was that hard to deal with either."
Mother and daughter sit silently for a moment enjoying the silence.
"Do you think you'll ever have another one?" Maggie asks after a moment. With a small laugh, Scully replies, "I don't know. Get back to me when Audrey's at least a year old."
No sooner does she say this then Mulder comes in the room sans the baby.
"Poor kid could barely keep her eyes open, so I put her down in our room. She fought to go to sleep though."
With a small smile, Maggie looks at her daughter.
"That she gets from you," Maggie states. "You never wanted to miss anything."
Getting up from the table the matriarch states, "I'm going to head to bed. Turn out the lights when you leave."
A round of good nights ensues before Mulder takes the tea mug sitting on the table to the kitchen sink. Following him with her own mug, Scully states as she enters the kitchen, "Thank you for doing the dishes."
Shrugging, Mulder takes his girlfriend's tea mug from her hand and puts it in the sink. Yawning as he rinses out the mugs, Mulder remarks that he may be heading to bed himself. Nodding toward the kitchen doorway, Scully remarks, "I'll get these. You go to bed."
She nods before giving him a kiss goodnight. As he leaves, Scully takes her boyfriend's place at the sink. A few minutes later, with the tea mugs washed and on the drain board, Scully dries her hands, turns out the lights, and heads to bed herself.