“Mom can I go out with Danny?” Will came to the living room, where the grownups were having their boring coffee.
“Where to?” Scully looked over Mulder’s shoulder, Will already had his jacket in hand.
“Just the park” Danny explained coming in after him “we’ll be back before it gets dark” he assured, glancing at his dad, who exchanged quick looks with Will’s mom.
“Okay, but don’t go far” she smiled and the boys ran off.
Mulder kept his eyes fixed on her, listening to the fumbling of shoes, mittens and jackets.
“Bye” they called and the doors clicked shut.
She didn’t have time to blink before he was on her, pulling her down on the couch, head on a throw pillow, lips on hers swallowing her surprised laugh.
Hands pulling at the hem of her sweater, tongue in her mouth. She couldn’t get enough fast enough, leg around his hips, silky smooth hair beneath her fingertips. He squeezed her breast, lace added friction to the experience. He was wonderfully heavy, and he smelled like heaven, the cologne she gave him subtle enough to mix with his warmth, she felt surrounded by him, sucked into him, and yet not powerless. Tugging gently at his hair, freeing her mouth, brushing his lips as he moved south.
“Mulder” sloppy kisses, soft, wet and warm traced a path down her neck, no need to mark her, he did that years ago “what if Emily comes back”
He followed the border between skin and lace with the tips of his fingers then pinched her nipple, squeezing again.
“She’s at Carols', she won’t be back before dinner” the tip of his nose pushed her head up, throat exposed he kissed her again, slower and more gentle, reassuring and adoring “we got time, ladies choice, bed or couch?”
“I want to feel you” she breathed, closing her arms around his shoulders.
“Your wish is my command” feeling him move away, Scully locked her arms and legs around his torso and he lifted her, almost effortlessly.
“You still work out” she praised, smiling and breathing him in again. Racing pulse woke his scent and her memories of summer nights in tents, naked between sleeping bags instead of sheets, times he carried her on his back, when she took a wrong step, sprained her ankle.
“Job requirement” he replied pushing the bedroom door open, and stepping inside he felt her slide to the floor.
Scully walked backwards pulling the navy blue V-neck sweater over her head to reveal sheer black lace, barely hiding pink nipples. Her round hips in a black skirt made his mouth water. She crooked one finger and he almost floated of the ground into her open arms.
She drew him in, painting the roof of his mouth with her tongue, distracting enough to turn them around and push him to sit on the bed. His hands were warm and calm sliding down her back, finding the zipper pull give easily, feeling the thrill growing with every inch. The fabric pooled at her feet and Mulder stopped, surprised by the bare skin where he expected fabric. He broke free and squeezed her ass glancing down, she wore panties alright, but that was far too many letters for the amount of cover they provided. Ready to reveal her surprise, Scully took a step back and twirled.
“You like it?” She asked looking over her shoulder to see him lick his lips at the sight of her hips wrapped in black lace, covering only tops of her buttocks, the curve peeking as if from beneath a curtain. Black thigh-highs and black lace bra made the ensemble look like something out of a magazine he probably kept somewhere near by. She finished the pirouette and gently ran the tips of her fingers along the edge of the cup and down between her breasts. His gaze burned, leaving her flushed wherever if went.
“I saw it one night in a store window and thought about you” bending down to picking up the skirt, legs straight and hair falling over one shoulder, she allowed the gravity to do the teasing for her. One step between his thighs to unbutton his shirt, she let him roam free over her body again.
“I ” he croaked, cleared his throat “I love it” fingertips outlining the edges of fabric. She tugged the shirt out of his pants and he leaned forward, kissing her belly.
"Mulder" a little surprised by his choice at first, she laughed, realizing he was kissing the faint lines of stretch marks, souvenirs from the pregnancy "you're still not over that."
"I'll never be over it" he nipped at her hip and reached for the bra hook "I ignored it before, but now I want to see you"
She let the bra drop to the floor and with arms around her middle he pulled them down, rolling around in sheets, both laughing. She giggled when he closed his mouth around her nipple and sucked, but then he nipped and licked it, and her giggle became a gasp. Trying to push the panties down he stopped her "Can I unwrap my gift?"
"I thought you forgot" he kept kissing her breast, looking at her from under his lashes, tongue laving at the pebbled nipple.
"I know, we ain't got all day" he moved down, caressing her sides, kissing each rib and stretch mark, tip of his nose tickled her abdomen, she sighed, ruffling his hair. Lingering nowhere for too long, kissing every inch of reveled skin, gentle fingers hooked beneath the lace and slowly pulled down her panties.
She lifted herself to her elbows wanting to watch, but his tongue was on her clit and her head fell back. She could feel him smile while making her writhe. He licked the inside of her thigh, letting her gather her thoughts.
"Don't stop" fingers in hair brought him back, two fingers taking over, stroking her from the inside.
"If you want more just ask" he teased surfacing for a breath, she searched for support, one leg hooked over his back as he knelt on the floor by the bed.
"More" she moaned, back arched of the bed, searching for that sweet spot he purposefully avoided and he obliged. Fingers finally pumping hard, tongue pressed to her clit, flicking it and circling, until she squeezed, pulsed in his hands with a clipped gasp "Oh God".
Climbing the bed to rest beside her, hear her panting as he stroked her gently, she looked flushed and dazed, otherworldly beautiful as he licked his fingers.
"I meant kids Scully, if you want more, just say the word" he leaned in and kissed her and the tangy taste of her sex was on his tongue.
"I will" she said pushing him to lie back, palming him over the denim of his jeans "but right now I want you"
Mulder smiled pulling her into his arms.
The park three blocks down shone white. Sun lurked just beyond the clouds when a cold breeze kept the snow from melting down. They raced each other from the door, competitive nature driving them forward, the swept pavement safe, Saturday early afternoon made the street almost empty for them. Everyone was already there, they felt it in their freezing cheeks and misty breaths.
"Come on Will" Danny called, surprised he didn't have to slow down for the kid.
"Right behind you" he laughed, swirling around the old lady who walked into his path, calling a quick apology as he passed.
They ran through green lights, the traffic gods watching over them right up until last crosswalk. Danny caught Will's arm and they waited.
"You think there's gonna be fireworks in the park tonight?" Will asked, catching his breath.
"They always have something going on, but it's not that big like downtown" the light changed and they walked side by side "I bet we'll go see it together"
"You do that every year?"
"No, we're at mom's usually, in California" he shrugged
"You miss it?" the snow crunched beneath their feet on the white path beyond the gate.
"A little, but I don't miss her boyfriend, and how dad would always somehow find a reason to work by now"
"He'd say something like, the bad guys don't do holidays Danny" he kicked a pinecone someone lost, picked it up "then disappear for the day, leaving us with mom and the rat"
"That sucks" Will stayed a few steps behind.
"Yeah, the rat's no fun, I like your mom better" he found another lost pinecone, pocketed it with the first one "and dad likes her too. You wanna build a snowman?" he asked without looking back.
"Sure" Will replied "how about now?"
A snowball hit Danny's back and he turned around swiftly, Will burst out laughing.
"I'll get you for that!!" Danny laughed and dropped to his knees, gathering snow in his gloved hands as Will ran, trying to reach the nearest tree to hide behind it, before he could make good on his promise. The snowball whooshed past his ear.
"You can try!" He called back reaching his hideout, preparing for another shot.
"Try not! Do" the last word came on a huff, snowball sent through the air by the best pitcher in his class, hitting the tree, Will fast enough to hide from it.
"Or do not" he finished the line, teasing. Will’s next snowball went sloppy, not even making it halfway across the distance. Danny laughed and threw another one, missing his target by a mile.
Gloves wet, snow flying back and forth, Danny moved closer with every pitch, sneaking up on Will, convinced that he’s safe behind his tree. Six feet between them, he kept quiet, soft snowball ready in hand.
"Danny?" the boy called out, suspicious of the pause between flying missiles.
He moved a little to the side, remembering how Will favored his right.
"Dan?" Will stepped out from behind the tree and fistful of loose snow splashed against his coat, dead center of mass.
"Bullseye!" hands thrown up in celebration as Will theatrically fell on his back, snow pillowing his fall "Sucker!" still laughing, hand reaching to help his friend up Danny instructed "never let your eyes off the enemy"
"Right" Will yanked at his hand making him slip and land right next to him, both of them laughing.
"Can I help?" Will asked looking a little bashful when Danny passed him with an armful of plates.
"Sure" kneeling by the oven Mulder glanced over his shoulder and nodded at the counter "you can take the glasses to the table"
"Okay" the boy smiled and picking up one in each hand, followed his friend. Scully walked into the kitchen, gently brushing his hair as he passed her.
"You raised him well" Mulder whispered getting up, the white apron he wore proclaimed his cooking to be out of this world.
"He was always like this" she smiled breathing in the yeasty scent of home made pizza “he just doesn’t like cleaning his room”
“I wonder where he got that from”
“I’m home” Emily called from the hallway, peeking into the living room.
“Just in time” her dad said with a hint of reprimand.
“Smells good” she smiled and waved “hi Dana”
“Hi” Scully smiled back, warmly and sincerely.
The phone rang and Mulder answered, his grin fading slightly at the voice on the other end.
“Hi Diane” he said trying to sound casual “how’s the vacation going?”
Standing close to him, Scully couldn't help but catch a thing or two, the woman seemed happy to hear him. Her insecurities bubbled like melting cheese.
“That sounds nice, I’ll give you Danny but please make it short, we were just about to eat” he handed the phone to the boy and noticed Scully’s mood slip downward.
“We made a snow man, mom” Danny said to the receiver jammed between his ear and shoulder as he took the last two glasses to the table “no, not Emily, me and Will”
"Hey, what's wrong?" Mulder rubbed her arm gently as she listened to the conversation with one ear, unable to stop herself, drifting away from him.
“Don’t worry” he said, leaning past her for a pair of oven mitts hanging above the stove, arm casually around her “she’s just checking in”
She glanced up and the warmth was still there, in his eyes, his smile.
"I feel like, this is a dream" she sighed, foolishness of her feelings hitting her.
"A very good dream" he supplied, pulling her into his side, fighting the urge to kiss away her doubts.
"Em!" Danny yelled at the top of his lungs, startling everyone.
"No shouting indoors" Mulder scolded. The bathroom door slammed as Emily came in and took the phone her brother offered.
"Hi mom" she knelt by the dog and scratched him behind the ears, getting next to no response because he was busy keeping a watchful eye over everything going on in the kitchen "no, we're staying home, dad is making pizza"
The timer chimed, Queequeg, following Mulder's each step, sat up on high alert, whatever fell of the table was fair game. Mitts on, Mulder opened the door and pulled out the pan, cheese still sizzling, green peppers, pepperoni and mushrooms, as fresh and hot as it gets.
"This looks amazing" Scully's mouth watered.
"Beats waiting for delivery too" he added.
"Mom, I gotta go, say hi to Alex" Emily's hand tightened on the dog's collar as her dad passed them "happy New Year to you too, love you"
"Boys, go wash your hands" Scully said and they both listened, almost tripping over their own feet in haste, as if the food would vanish before they came back.
Pizza in the middle, they took their places, Will next to Danny, Scully opposite Mulder, on each end of the table, Emily between them. Cutting the pie, apron hung over the back of his chair, Mulder glanced around the table at his kids, his love, and the home cooked dinner. Soft pressure on his knee saved him from tearing up, breaking the trance.
"You're here too?" he said to the dog teasingly "Sorry pooch, I don't think there'll be anything left for you this time" finally trusting his voice, he looked up "What are you waiting for?"
Cleaned up plates and happy sighs was all he needed to make it worth his while.
Quarter to midnight, they were walking down the street. The boys insisted on showing off their snowman, Emily walked behind them, hands in her pockets, woolen hat pulled over her ears half-listening half buffering their excitement. Scully with her hand under Mulder's arm soaked up the warmth, his and the moment's, ignoring the cold night. She bid farewell to the last twelve months with little sorrow. She finally felt at home and it was a wonderful feeling to hold on to.
They found the snowman amidst the crowd, holding a spot for them, staring into the night with his pinecone eyes and arms made of twigs pointing to the sky.
People began counting down, gathering loved ones into their arms.
Five people tied together with four bits of DNA, three kids, two adults, maybe one family some day. A flash of light ignited the crowd, rainbow of fire burned in the sky. Mulder hugged Emily kissing her cheek, then Danny and Will, his wonderful boys together in one tight embrace, and finally Scully, his long lost love, the one he waited for. The time felt right to press his lips to hers, in front of their children, the world and the stars above. He waited for the world to explode from all the joy in his heart, but it did not. She stayed in his arms, her back to his front and together they watched the sky burn bright.
The door to Emily's room was closed, she risked a peek into they boys’ bedroom, Danny in his bed, Will sprawled on the air mattress. Sheets tangled, bare feet peeking from under the blankets, both facing the door. If anyone saw them, they wouldn't be able to deny the boys shared a parent. Scully closed the door gently and pushed the last one open.
"Mulder?" It was barely a whisper but he was waiting for her. He pulled back the covers and she climbed in, between the sheets and into his open arms. It was muscle memory, the way their bodies fitted together, a kiss on her neck, shoulder. She shifted to glance behind her and even with eyes useless in the darkness he found her, mouth on hers for a lingering moment.
"The world didn't end" he whispered letting her go.
"No it didn't" she rested her head on the pillow, lacing her fingers through his.
"Happy New Year, Scully" he sighed slipping away, pulling her with him.
"Happy New Year, Mulder" she sank into his embrace, following him into the land of dreams.
Coming back from the bathroom Emily wandered to the living room, saw the pulled out couch empty and went back to bed smiling gently.
“We can’t be late” Scully was running around the apartment looking for car keys that somehow always had to hide when she was in a hurry. A phone call from the hospital asking her to come in early because her new boss was about to be called in to perform some emergency surgery. Will already dressed, finished his breakfast in double time although he didn't want the Christmas break to ever end.
“Mom, come on” he was waiting by the door, shoes tied, teeth brushed, unruly hair combed as best as possible, ready to face the new school “Mom, I can go alone!”
"No honey" she sighed, finding the keys behind the dish she usually left them in, relief palpable as she slipped on her boots "you shouldn’t go alone, it’s your first day too"
"But they called you, you can’t be late" he argued, another round of their usual tug-off war over him being old enough.
"And I won’t" she smiled and pulled the hat over his head "you got your mittens?"
"Mittens, backpack, lunch, everything’s here" he sighed, already picking up Mulder's habits "and I have time."
"No, we don’t, come on!" She smiled a broad smile, pushing him out the door, Queequeg barking one last goodbye.
Having fixed her lipstick in the elevator mirror, Scully found the phone and dialed.
“Hi, it’s me” Will looked up at his mom, watching her relax “I need your help”
The plastic chair in the clinic waiting room creaked as Will kicked his legs mindlessly. He watched the people around, the lady with a crying baby, the old man with a bag of peas against his forehead, a couple of teens the girl's arm in a sling, a folded magazine stabilizing her hand. And then at his mother, the man speaking to her in low voice, leaning in as if she couldn’t hear him otherwise. He didn’t like it, the man looked odd, stood too close, and mom didn’t like it either. He saw her like this with Uncle Bill, when they argued about something and she couldn’t say what she wanted. Mom was mad.
The man put his palm on her arm and she flinched away. Will was ready to get up, go to her but a long dark coat caught his eye, a familiar face smiled from the entrance, spotting him immediately in the crowd and walking swiftly to where he waited.
“Hey buddy, where’s your mom?” Mulder knelt by his chair and looked around the room just like Will had.
“There, with the other doctor” the boy nodded to the nurses reception desk.
Following his gaze Mulder frowned, seeing the exact same things he boy saw, only drawing far more accurate conclusions.
“Come on” he said taking the hat out of Will’s hands and pulling it over his head “Let’s go say goodbye and get you to school, Danny’s waiting in the car”
Putting one hand on the boy’s shoulder, Mulder led him through the crowd, muttering polite excuse me-s and flashing an occasional smile at a stray child. The guy was looming over her, taking advantage of his 6ft 10" but Scully stood her ground, back straight, head held high. Polite smile and a small step back brought her out of the man’s reach, using the moment when an orderly squeezed past them. Mulder wanted to shake the guy’s hand for giving her the chance to save herself, now he just needed to deliver his coup de grace.
Scully turned to scan the crowd and saw them standing five steps from her. He heard her excusing herself for a minute, the man nodded following her hasty retreat curiously.
“Hi” she sighed with a genuine smile “Sorry to spring this on you in the last moment”
“I don’t mind, we’ve been heading that way anyway” he leaned in and brushed a gentle kiss over her cheek.
“Mulder” there was a chuckle in those two whispered syllables, called out on his unusual public display of affection. He looked down at Will, fixing his hat unnecessarily; not risking pushing his luck any further.
“We’ll get going" he said casually, the act that wasn't and act taken down a notch but still going "I’ll call you around lunch with an update”
“Thanks” she knelt and kissed the boy’s forehead “Be good, sit still, listen”
“And say 'excuse me' if you fart” Mulder added, Will snorted she finally laughed.
“I’ll be fine, mom” the boy assured her.
“Danny will keep an eye on him too, no worries”
“No worries” Will parroted taking a step back and Mulder felt the boy’s small hand slip into his. He glanced down and saw a bright smile. The boy was playing the game with him making his heart stumble on pride and skip a beat.
“Okay” he squeezed the small hand with a nod “Let’s go then”
“Can’t be late on your first day” Scully said smiling at them.
‘We won’t” Mulder promised.
They left the hospital clinic, Will holding his father’s hand all the way to the car.