Chapter 1

 

 

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Pittsfield, VA

November 15, 1999

 

As we walked down yet another hospital corridor, I sent a prayer of thanks that neither Mulder nor I were the ones admitted.  So we walked, in our normal, customary way; with his hand at the small of my back. I'm tired of this way considering we've grown closer than ever before, and we've been lovers for years.  When I grabbed his hand from my back, he looked stricken and I smiled reassuringly to relax him.  We usually never touched while on a case.  I wrapped his arm around my waist, settling his hand on my stomach, and leaned into him, placing my arms around his waist.  He smiled, lifting an arm to cup my head and kiss my cheek.

 

“You know, it’s amazing.  We actually managed to stay out of here.”

 

“In a patient capacity you mean, Scully?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

We continued out of the hospital, clinging to each other like the teenagers we once were.  We reached the car and I reluctantly released him.  I unlocked the doors and opened the driver’s side door.  I prepared to slide in when, when Mulder grabbed my wrist and pulled me into the backseat.

 

“Mulder!” I laughed against my will.  Mulder settled me onto his legs.  He brushed my hair back from my face tenderly.  I smiled at his wistful expression.

 

“So you’d really be happy with an old man like me?” I smiled slightly as I slid my hands up from his chest to his neck.

 

“Mulder, you’re only two and a half years older than me.  If you’re old, so am I.” I told him as I ran my fingers over his jugular.

 

“Okay.” He conceded.  “Maybe not old.  But I’m not your average fifteen year old.” I grinned as I leaned over to whisper.

 

“You must remember Fox.  I’ve known you for almost our entire lives.  I know what you were like when you were a teenager.”

 

“I remember.  I remember that you saw me in my completely gawky stage.”

 

“And I remember that you weren’t gawky.  You were my best friend and kind of shy and reserved.  But not gawky.  You are as young as you were when you were 17 and you ran ten miles to stop me before I made the biggest mistake of my life.  And if not in body, then in spirit and mind.” I kissed his cheek.  “I love you as much now as I did then, when you pulled that stunt and broke up my first date.” His grip tightened on my waist.

 

“I’m touched that you remember my act of heroism.” I grinned.

 

“Oh I remember everything about that night Fox.”

 

“You do?” He feigned surprise.

 

“Yes.  Of course.  I got my first kiss that night.” He smiled.

 

“And your 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th, and 5th, and 6th, and 7th, and even 8th and 9th kiss too.”

 

“It’s also the first time we ever said we love each other.” I told him seriously.

 

“Ahh yes.” He joked, “I think I remember that night.  But you may want to refresh my hazy memory.”

 

“Since you asked so nicely, I guess I’ll answer.  You followed me on my first date.  You broke my date’s nose and I wanted nothing more than to break yours.”

 

“Oh thank you.”  Mulder snorted.

 

“That’s how I felt at the time.  But then you told me that you love me and I melted.”

 

“Remember anything else?” He asked coyly.

 

“You kissed me.  Sorta like this.” I brushed his lips sensually with mine.

 

“Oooh.  Very good.”

 

“That’s what I thought.” I slid off his lap and straightened my suit.  He did the same and then wrapped his arms around my waist.  I grinned into his chest.

 

“You’re stalling Mulder.  We have children at home waiting for us.” I commanded softly.  “I’m anxious to see what insanity Kiera has created with her sisters today.”

 

“Let Kiera do her thing.  She’s seventeen.  And if I remember correctly, you weren’t exactly the most normal teen on the block.”

 

“Yeah, I guess I wasn’t.  We were the weird duo.” He reached over and grabbed my hand.

 

“Still are?”  He asked softly.

 

“Always Mulder.  Oh shut up.”

 

“Yes dear.  You just wanna be home to watch Stargate.”

 

We pulled into the driveway of the Mulder household about ten after ten.  After I’d stopped the car, Mulder went around to the back and grabbed our overnight bags.  I yanked mine out of his hand and started up the steps.

 

“Scully I can get it.”

 

“No.  I have a feeling about how we’ll be greeted.”

 

“Whatever you say.” Still he pouted a little and I found it irresistible.  I unlocked the door to the house that only a handful of people know about.

 

“We’re back!” I called from the foyer, trying to be heard over the Stargate SG-1 theme song.

 

“Mommy!!! Daddy!!” Emily screamed from the living room.  “You’re home!” Without warning our five-year-old came flying through the air and into Mulder’s arms.

 

“Told ya.” Was all I said.  I gently took Emily from Mulder.  He smiled and kissed her face.

 

“It’s good to be home.”

 

Next Emily hugged my waist.  “I missed you mommy.”

 

“I missed you too Emily.” I stroked her head.  “Have you been good for your sisters?” Emily nodded.

 

“They’re watching Stargate.” Mulder started up the stairs.

 

“Fox?  Can you take my bag upstairs with you?”

 

“Sure sweetie pumpkin,” he took my bag before I could throw it at him for that, and playfully pouted.  ”What is it with women and Richard Dean Anderson?  The man’s name is mentioned and every female in the house turns into a puddle of goo.” Emily giggled.

 

“That’s 'cause he’s cute daddy.” I laughed at my husband’s reaction as Emily energetically pulled me along into the living room.

 

“Hey what’s happened so far?” I greeted my eldest daughter as I sat down on the couch.  My eyes never left the TV screen.  Emily settled herself on my lap, careful not to block my view.

 

“Mom.” Kiera greeted me with a nod.  She quickly explained what had transpired in the first ten minutes of what was by far, our favorite show.

 

“Shh.” Our middle daughter, Amara ordered.  Amara’s ninth birthday is in two weeks.  She has an amazing way of putting everything in perspective.  Mainly that we need to shut up and watch the TV.  Amara is the bossiest of our children.  Fox says this is because Amara inherited most of my traits and Kiera and Emily got his.  Amara looks more like me than she does Mulder, facial feature wise, but she has his hair color and from the time she was younger I could already tell that she’d be taller than both Kiera and me.  Where Kiera bonded with Mulder at birth, Amara is more attached to me.  She scooted closer into the spot between the left side of the couch and me.  We all sat in silence.

 

About ten minutes later Mulder came into the room holding our new black lab puppy in his hands.  We still hadn’t named him yet and Kiera was leaning toward something Stargateish.  Mulder sat down and kissed Emily’s cheek softly.

 

“Daddy.  Lemme see the puppy.”

 

“Me too!” Amara yelled.

 

“No.  He’s my puppy.” Emily argued.  Mulder handed me the pup and took Emily into his arms.

 

“I think someone needs to go to bed.  Kiera, did she have a nap earlier?”

 

“Yeah.” Kiera answered in monotone, saying she definitely wasn’t listening.  I nudged her foot sharply and she broke her intense gaze with the television.  “Kiera, please pause your love affair with my Jack to listen.”

 

“What mom?  Your Jack?”

 

“Yes.  My Jack.  And did Emily have a nap after she got home?” I asked irritated.

 

“Yeah.  She did.”

 

“Alright.  Resume.” Kiera faced the TV again.  Mulder and I turned back to Emily.

 

“Daddy.  Please don’t send me to bed.”

 

“Alright Emily.  You don’t have to go to bed.” I told her.

 

“I’m sorry if I upset you mommy.”

 

“I just don’t like it when you fight with your sister.” Emily smiled.

 

“I’ll try not to anymore mommy.” I smiled, knowing that this was a promise she couldn’t keep.

 

“Okay.  Now let’s watch Stargate.”

 

Toward the end of Stargate, the still unnamed puppy needed to go outside.  I carried him to the back door and set him down while I put on my coat.  Once I returned, MacGyver had been switched on and I pushed Kiera out of the reclining chair.  About midway through, I stood and motioned for Mulder to stand with Emily sleeping in his arms.  I shook Amara gently to wake her from her slumber.

 

“Come on Ames.” I whispered using her nickname.  “Time for bed.” She opened her clear aqua eyes slowly.

 

“Mommy.”

 

“Yep baby.  Now up.” I took her hand and pulled her up.  She held out her arms for me to pick her up.  I lifted her slowly, trying not to hurt myself.  As I carried her, I whispered.  “You know, you’re really getting too big for this Amara.”

 

“Yes mommy.”

 

Mulder and I carried out two youngest children to their rooms.  I kissed each of our babies on the forehead before returning downstairs to my oldest baby.

 

Once we returned to the couch, Mulder pulled me into a loose embrace as we finished watching MacGyver.  He dropped feather light kisses on my neck every time I got too engrossed in Richard.  After the end credits, Mulder pulled my lips into a hungry kiss.  I guess it’s his way of claiming possession over me.  I couldn’t help but blush as Kiera hooted.  Mulder playfully slapped her knee.

           

“Can it Kid, you’re embarrassing your mother.” She laughed once more and I was reminded of how much of a culmination of Mulder and me, Kiera really is.  She has her father’s sense of humor and his eyes.  Her hair is like mine now that it’s back to normal anyway.  For the last few years, Kiera has been dying her hair black with a bluish tint.  She’s since let it wash out as she claims being a redhead isn’t so bad.  I yawned.

 

“Well, I’m going to go upstairs now.  Mulder, you can stay down here with Kiera for a little while longer if you want.”

 

“Mom, please stay down here just for a bit more.”

 

“Alright Kiera.” I sat back down.  Mulder motioned for Kiera to come sit by him.  She complied and regained her spot as Daddy’s-not-so-little-anymore, little girl.

 

“How was your day?”

 

“Pretty good.  Mila and Cora transferred into my “gifted” classes.  Emily seemed a little odd today.  Amara seemed okay.  She was excited about you coming home.”

 

“I’ll talk to Emily tomorrow.” I mumbled.

 

“That’s good.  She seemed a little out of sorts.  I didn’t catch it all, but I think someone made fun of her or something.”

 

“Okay.”

 

“Daddy?” Kiera whispered.

 

“Yeah Tiger?” Mulder answered in a tone equally as soft, using the nickname he’d given Kiera at birth.

 

“We’re going to have to start filling out college applications.”

 

“Where we you thinking of applying?” I asked curiously.  Kiera was a junior, but had been working so hard, going to summer school when she didn’t need to, that there was a possibility of her graduating early.  Whether it be a semester, or a full year, we didn’t know.

 

“I don’t know.  I kind of want to stay closer to home.  I don’t want to miss my little sisters’ childhoods.”

 

“So it has absolutely nothing with missing your dear old parents.” Mulder teased.  Kiera hugged us both.

 

“Oh Daddy. Of course I’d miss you and mommy.  I didn’t mean to imply that I wouldn’t.”  I stroked her head gently.

 

“Kiera your father was joking with you.  We know that you’d miss us.  I think that was your father’s way of saying that you can go anywhere you want to and we’ll support you.”

 

“Thank you mommy.”

 

We sat there talking for another half hour before Kiera yawned and I sent her into her room to get ready for bed.  I knocked gently on her door and waited for her signal before entering.  Kiera sat on her bed looking through her CD’s.  I walked over to her and brushed her soft hair back from her face.  She’d managed to keep it beautiful looking even as it got longer and longer, something I’d never succeeded in doing.

 

“Hey kid.” I sat down next to her.  “What’re you doing?”

 

“Looking for the CD you said you wanted to borrow.  It was Third Eye Blind right?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Hey are you going to need me tomorrow night?” I shook my head no.

 

“Dad and I can handle it.  Why?”

 

“I have a date.”

 

“Oooh what’s his name?”

 

“Evan.”

 

“Is he cute?”

 

“Looks just like my Jack.”

 

“Your Jack?”

 

“We’ve been through this before.  Oh whatever.  Your Jack.”

 

“Thank you.  Tell me about Evan.” Kiera began to tell me about her date for tomorrow evening.  We talked until Mulder came in and made his goodnights, urged me to do the same and stood outside Kiera’s door.  We left and started to walk toward the top floor.  I couldn’t resist the urge to jump on Mulder’s back.  At first he protested saying that he couldn’t carry me because he was too out of shape.

 

“Fox.  Do you remember when I was pregnant with Kiera?” he chuckled.

 

“Do I ever.” I swatted his shoulder.  He laughed.

 

“That’s not what I was referring to Fox.  What I was talking about is when I was about six months along and the elevator was broken.  Do you remember what you did?”

 

“I picked you up and carried you up four flights of stairs.” He nodded and brought my palm to his lips.  He put the pieces of what I was trying to say together.  “Dana, I was 21.  I’m going to be 39 this year, I don’t think I can.”

 

“I think you can Fox.  Do it for me.” I kissed behind his ear.  He tilted his head back and I pressed my lips to his lightly.  Mulder began to climb the stairs while I hummed the first few bars of some song I’d heard on the radio on the way home.

 

I still remember the first time for everything Mulder and I have shared.  Fox and I have been through hell and back together and we’re ever stronger for it.  We first met right after Samantha’s abduction.  Fox was in a state where I was the first to really get through to him.  Our friendship began one night when I’d gotten lost while wandering around my new home.  I found him sitting on a swing in the park crying.

 

End of Chapter 1