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The house was silent as Emily crept inside, shoes in one hand while the other clutched a backpack of random items that she gathered in the heat of the moment, tiredly slipping onto the sofa. In her head she wanted nothing more than to curl up in the comfort of her own bed, but knowing her parents, making her presence known would be wise to avoid any miscommunication that someone had broken in.

The young girl sat her boots down beside her and reached into the basket full of throw blankets that smelled like her mother’s citrus and lavender laundry detergent, pulling it over herself as she tried to calm her breathing. She could feel the familiar tension in her chest, pushing her exhaustion away as she stared up at the ceiling, her mind counting the seconds for no apparent reason, only wiring her further.

The tension contracted, leaving her struggling for air as she snaked a hand over her chest, the other resting on her equally tense belly, trying to center herself for what felt like the millionth time. She had slipped out, anger and heartbreak filling her heart as she forked over the seventy dollars last minute, catching the train to Union Station as the moon rose over the sky.

She couldn’t explain it, but as the feeling of impending heartache increased, she felt it morph into doom and terror, encroaching in on her as she struggled, needing to be safe in the confines of her home.

She shrugged off her jacket as her breathing became labored, moving onto her side to try and encourage more airflow through her lungs, shuddering as tears built inside of her. What felt like a hurricane all around her prevented her from hearing the footsteps that crept into the living room, poised and ready for an attack if need be.

However, upon identifying Emily, she was only met with two hands on her arm, causing a strangled gasp to fly out of her lips in fear, causing Scully to nearly leap back at the sound.

“Emily?!” She gasped, slowly moving around the back of the sofa with a hand on her chest, glancing at her sweating daughter on the sofa, concern now washing over the initial shock of her being home.

“Mom- I thought you were asleep?” Emily whimpered as the older woman took a seat slowly beside her, shaking her head as she moved an array of pillows around and behind her until she felt comfortable enough.

“Your sister has been causing my back to kill me all week, I couldn’t sleep.” She grumbled, swiftly changing the subject back to her daughter who had since sat up from her spot, pulling one of the blankets around her shoulders while Scully draped the other over her body.

“Why are you here?” Scully asked mildly, her question making Emily narrow her eyes before simply pressing them shut, allowing her tears to fall.

“Promise you won’t get mad?” She begged, her tone causing a lump to form in her mother’s throat before she took a deep breath and agreed.

“I’ve been seeing someone, for a while now. He said that he really liked me, and we had sex.” Emily declared, her words rendering her mother silent with initial shock, followed by ten seconds of stammering as she fought to find the right words.

“Oh- I see! Good, for you…I hope you’re being safe and responsible…” She breathed, squinting as she wracked her brain for anything else that she might have been missing.

“He knew I was a virgin, and that I wanted to lose my virginity to somebody that I love…” She began to trail off, dropping her eyes down to her lap as she recalled the real reason as to why she returned home.

“He lied to me, he made me think that he loved me, that I was special…” she began to cry, Dana’s heart splitting into two clean halves as she patiently listened.

“He had been cheating on me for two months, he said he was also a virgin when we met, and he wasn’t- mom I wouldn’t care if he was! But he lied to me, he told me what I wanted to hear!” She cried relentlessly, Dana’s eyes softening as she opened herself up for her daughter to lean into, despite the obstacles of her own body, still working around it as she softly rubbed her head.

“I know this hurts right now, and I’m really sorry.” Was what she managed to offer at the moment, knowing how sickeningly painful it was to go through that heartbreak for the first time, to learn that the one you truly loved hurt you so badly.

“I feel so dirty- so, so used! I’m so stupid!” She sobbed, chest shaking as she struggled to breathe, now gasping for air as Scully hastily helped sit her up to open her airways, rubbing a solid hand up and down her back.

“Emily you are not any of those things.” She began, her voice firm but gentle as her daughter stared forward blankly, not believing a word her mother had to say.

“I know you think I’m just saying that, but he didn’t do or change anything about you.” Scully began, careful how she chose her words in order to prevent any more heartbreak with her daughter who already seemed so emotionally fragile.

“You got your heart broken, and I am so sorry about that. But this boy, is not the one who gets to decide what is dirty, broken, used, or unworthy. Ever.” She tried, tilting her daughter’s chin up to face her as she stared knowingly into her bright blue eyes, watery with tears.

“Sex and relationships are only parts of our lives, but you are still a whole and beautiful person regardless, and any person who you decide to share that part of yourself with is lucky.” Scully repeated, her words firm, contrasting with the gentle brush of her fingers across her head.

The both of them sat in silence for a moment, Scully thinking as her sleep deprived brain struggled to think of anything more that she felt like she needed to share with her daughter.

“Thanks for saying all of the right things, mom.” Emily blurted out, making her train of thought crash as she stared down at her daughter lovingly, leaning over to plant a giant kiss onto the top of her cheek, resulting in a playful laugh, but she felt her daughter fight it less, accepting the comfort from her mother.

“Why aren’t you asleep, mom? Aren’t you supposed to be resting?” Emily finally shuddered as she wiped the last of her tears away, calming down enough to speak full sentences.

“My back aches all the time, plus, she’s awake mostly at night, that’s when blood sugar levels rise, making her more active.” Scully scoffed, resting her head onto the back of the sofa while Emily prodded at her middle, waiting for a response or movement, sure enough a foot coming into sharp contact with her hand.

“Sorry…” She muttered when she felt the force of the jab against her mother, just making Scully open an eye and smirk at her.

“Go to sleep, it’s our job to keep her awake after we’re born, not while we’re still inside…well I was never inside…kinda, never mind…” Emily whispered against her mother’s stomach, the sound of her voice causing the sharp movements to soften, growing drowsy with each word spoken.

“Keep talking.” Scully all but begged, her hand cupping the bottom of her stomach where she could feel the head twisting, turning, and descending for days, the slowing movements providing some relief.

“Umm, I am Emily…your sister, but I’m going to be much older than you by the time you’re my age, so hopefully by then both mom and I can give you some good advice about boys, so that you can be all empowered and stuff like that.” She rambled, moving her hand beside her mother’s to feel the shockingly present feeling of a head.

“Just relax and cut her a break, she’s tired and needs to sleep, so if that means that I chat with you at night then so be it, but just stop being a pest.” Emily bartered, now leaning up from her mother’s lap, softly nudging her until her eyes opened.

“You should get to bed, so your back doesn’t hurt.” Emily suggested, her mother nodding at the point she made, the both of them struggling to get her out of the confines of the sofa and onto her feet.

Noticing the now dry, but swollen nature of her eyes, Scully cupped her cheeks and rubbed her thumbs over them before pressing a gentle kiss on each.

“He’s not worth your tears, but if you need another day to let it all out and cry, I think we can arrange a girl’s day.” Scully winked, equally craving some time with her eldest to heal and be healed.

“I’d love that.” Emily smiled, insisting that her mother scurry off to bed while her voice hypnosis still worked, both women taking each other’s words to heart, both of them sleeping a little easier than before.