Title: Happy Birthday To Me
Authors: FBIWHISTLEBLOWER (aka Fibbie) and xphilernj
Written: October 2003
Rating: R (for language and one suggestive situation); Sallie!Safe
Keywords: MSR (RST implied); Bill & Tara Scully, Maggie Scully, Mulder's birthday, babysitting, Sally!Safe
Category: MSR, Humor, "Awwww-factor", Sallie!Safe
Archiving: We will archive at Ephemeral; all others please ask.

Disclaimer: Nope, don't own them. Just borrowing them and may return them intact and reasonably sober after Mulder's birthday bash. No promises will be made at this time.

Summary: This isn't how he'd planned to spend the weekend. It was his birthday, for crying out loud. He was supposed to be spending it with the love of his life, Dana Katherine Scully. Sigh.

Dedication: For Sallie. Just because.

Author's Notes: Well, the two of us issued this challenge for Mulder's birthday on the BTT list, so we figured we'd better answer our own challenge (challenge elements at end of story). Hope you like it. Again, SALLIE!SAFE!

October 13, 2000

If he had to watch another Gene Kelly musical, he was gonna go postal and blast the crap out of something. The man could dance, of that there was no doubt ... but he was sick and tired of watching that man slam around and Singin' In The Rain having fun when he, himself, was stuck in this apartment, definitely NOT having fun.

It was his birthday, dammit. He wasn't supposed to be here like this.

This isn't how he'd planned to spend the weekend. It was his birthday, for crying out loud! He was supposed to be spending it with the love of his life, Dana Katherine Scully. Sigh.

He DETESTED those movie musicals, but that's about all Dana Scully would allow her nephew to watch when she baby-sat, except for the occasional Disney cartoon, and even then, she had to be sure what it was about before she'd let his innocent little eyes behold any of ol' Walt's creations, pre- or post-death.

Frankly, Fox Mulder hated Disney cartoons anyway. They just did NOT have the sophistication and pinache of a good Looney Tunes cartoon. Bugs Bunny was devious. Daffy Duck was positively greedy. Taz was hungry and wanted to eat everything, including Bugs.

Sometimes, Mulder thought to himself, you're the Roadrunner. Sometimes you're Wyle E. Coyote. Tonight, he was the Coyote and he was waiting for the other anvil to drop.

Mulder absolutely ADORED Looney Tunes almost as obsessively as his search for The Ever Elusive Truth.

But could Matthew Scully see those? NO. They were too violent. It was his birthday, dammit! He should be able to watch what he wanted on TV.

Violent. Violence. He hoped the next time he saw Tigger, that damned Bengal tiger would revert to type and bite the head off of Pooh -- oh dear! -- and just get it over with. It was his birthday, dammit.

Mulder leaned back, his head resting on the back of the couch, closing his eyes, but that sound was back and he opened his eyes to stare at the ceiling fan in sheer hatred. One or more of the blades was loose and it reminded him of a squeaky windmill and was wreaking havoc on his nerves. If he thought Scully's upstairs neighbors wouldn't mind, he'd blast the crap out of that, too.

It's my birthday... Mulder's whiny inner child whined more weakly.

Mulder looked over at the little boy lying on the couch. Okay. So he could feel sorry for him. He could.

It wasn't Matthew's fault that Matthew's father and Scully's thoughtless brother, Bill-the-Bastard Scully, Jr., had dropped his kid off while Ma Scully was out of town and Bill-the-Bastard Scully, Jr. was in town. It wasn't Matthew's fault that Scully had had to cancel her reservations for his birthday dinner with him at his favorite restaurant. It was NOT Matthew's fault. But it was his birthday! Dammit!!!

It wasn't Matthew's fault Matthew had gotten sick. It wasn't his fault that Mulder just happened to be playing bucking horse, with Matthew on his knee, when the kid barfed -- out both ends. Damn. It!!!!!

It was definitely NOT his fault that Scully sent them BOTH to her shower with a bar of antibacterial soap and clean towels while she rushed to the pharmacy for a bottle of Immodium. She'd known from experience (she said) that it was the only thing that would soothe his upset tummy.

Peeling off his soiled clothing and Matthew's, Mulder wondered what it would take to soothe his upset tummy after he barfed from all the barfing. Some birthday, dammit.

But he'd gotten them both clean, dried off and sitting on the couch in large bath towels. He had both their clothes washing in Scully's little closet washer/dryer combination.

Mulder stared HARD at the television -- willing it, by osmosis, to change channels. Of course when he wanted something weird to happen, it never did. And now really was a perfect time for weird shit to happen. Scully wasn't here to witness it after all. She never witnessed the weird shit. She always missed it by seconds. And if he couldn't have his favorite food or his favorite redhead, he should at least get some weirdness for his birthday, dammit!

Mulder glanced over at Matthew. The more he thought about it, the more he felt sorry for the kid. He had a total, unrelenting bastard for a father, that was for sure.

Mulder took a deep breath, turned and leaned over little nearly three-year-old Matthew and asked, "How ya feelin', buddy? Any better?"

"Tummy huts," Matthew managed and Mulder actually understood him.

"Yeah? I'm sorry, buddy - your Auntie Dana is out getting something for you ... but I'll go see what I can find. Now you stay right there. Okay?"

Matthew nodded. "Promise?" Mulder asked. Matthew nodded again. "Good boy," Mulder smiled, patted his arm lightly and went to Scully's bathroom. Surely a doctor with a small nephew who she baby-sat would have SOMETHING for him to give to the child.

Mulder returned with a bottle of Pepto-Bismol and found himself staring between the bottle and the boy wondering how he'd get one into the other without a major mishap. He wasn't used to children. Then he got a bright idea and headed for Scully's cabinets, pulled out a teaspoon from the drawer, poured the horrid pink stuff in the spoon, and then into the shot glass twice. A shot glass was Matthew-sized, after all, and he felt sure little fingers could grasp it ... maybe with his help.

Mulder took a small sippy cup of water back with him as well. Hell, when would Scully get back?? DAMMIT! He didn't know how to take care of children! It was his birthday ... and he was 1000% miserable. But he knew Matthew was equally miserable. That only made him feel worse ... and very, very crummy about himself.

"Here ya go, buddy," he helped the little boy sit up amidst all the warm towels and held the shot glass up to his lips. "See how much of this you can drink. It'll help your tummy."

Matthew nodded and took the little glass, lifted it to his mouth, tipped it up and began swallowing.

Scully got her ass in high gear, as Mulder liked to say, in order to get back to her apartment as soon as possible.

She'd been nervous about leaving Matthew with Mulder, but she hadn't had a choice: Matthew needed Immodium and maybe some prescription medication and she felt she had to go get it.

Unfortunately, it was flu season -- friggin' flu season -- and dammit, half the universe, as she knew, it was at her pharmacy so there was a "bit of a wait."

Bit of a wait my ass, she thought. Scully had been at the pharmacy for nearly two hours when she finally pulled her credentials, announced an emergency and got her prescription filled pronto with a wink and nod from her favorite pharmacist, Sallie. She felt sorry for the other folks still waiting, who glared at her angrily, but she had a three-year-old taking care of a three-year-old. And she had to get home.

When Scully opened the door, put her keys and her purchases down, she looked around as she took off her coat and it took a full minute for her to realize the wreck that had once been her apartment.

There were pink stains everywhere. EVERYWHERE. On her kitchen table, on the floor, in the sink, along with a shot glass.

Towels were thrown here and there haphazardly and she felt her Irish rising as she noticed postage stamps -- from all over the world -- pasted with huge globs of paste on almost everything she owned.

Where the HELL was Mulder and what had he done with Matthew????

She turned to storm into the living room and stopped in her tracks at the sight that greeted her. And her heart melted.

There was Mulder -- a dead asleep Mulder -- with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist and his feet up on the coffee table, each toe and knee graced by a stamp and a glob of glue. There were stamps and glue in his hair, on his face and on his chest and arms.

He looked like a perfectly edible piece of U.S. Male.

Up on his chest, also wrapped similarly, but in a hand towel, was Matthew, his head tucked underneath Mulder's chin, his thumb in his mouth, his mouth sucking quietly.

Scully sat down opposite them and just looked. If he weren't so damned cute, she'd kill Mulder. And boy was Bill going to be pissed off. She had no idea that Matthew had his dad's stamp collection. And Bill probably didn't know either. He took it everywhere with him, so Matthew was undoubtedly familiar with it and where his daddy kept it. All the pictures and pretty colors had to be like candy to a three-year-old. And completely unable to ignore.

Like his father before him, for whatever arcane Scully reason, Bill kept them inside an old Christmas card of a Currier & Ives print and kept that inside an envelope. Easily, there had been well between three to four hundred stamps. Scully doubted much could be saved from the collection.

Scully was shocked out of her reverie by a light knock on her door. She looked at Mulder who only re-crossed his legs, rubbed his cheek into Matthew's baby fine hair.

Scully jumped up and ran quietly for the door before whoever it was knocked again. She looked out the peephole, felt her heart sink, glanced back at Mulder, straightened her spine and opened the door ....

....To Bill-the-Bastard, her brother.

"Dana!" he barreled in past her, "Hey, thanks for taking care of ..."

Bill-her-Bastard-Brother stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes taking in the sight in the living room.

First his jaw fell, then he regrouped, snapped that Navy jaw tight, grimaced, turned bright red and opened his mouth to start bellowing.

But Dana Scully was faster and she slapped her hand over Bill's mouth, caught him off guard and pushed him back against her front door.

"Not a word, Bill," she said through clenched teeth. "Not. A. Word."

He reached up to remove her hand, but to his surprise, he couldn't do it. For some reason, it made him think of those stories of people who can lift miraculous amounts of weight to save someone's life.

"I'm going to take my hand away, Bill," Scully intoned in her most professional and authoritative FBI Special Agent voice. "And when I do, you will listen to me. You will not say a word. You will NOT open your mouth without my permission. Is that clear?"

Bill-her-Bastard-Brother glared at her. "It's that, or you leave. NOW. Matthew can spend the night and Tara can pick him up in the morning.

Bill-her-Bastard-Brother looked over at the tableau and the thought of his son sleeping all night on Mulder's chest the way his son always slept on his own chest was just too much to contemplate. He closed his eyes and nodded.

Scully pressed harder against his mouth, making sure he felt his lips against his teeth. "I mean it, Bill ... one bad word ... you yell at Mulder ... ONE word and you're out the door."

She pushed her hand against his lips again and then let up, her hand hovering. Bill-her-Bastard-Brother glanced over at Mulder-the-Sorry-Sonovabitch who was actually touching his only child and said, under his breath, "What the hell is he doing here? Why's he dressed like that? Why is Matthew dressed like that? Where are his clothes? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!!" Bill's voice had been steadily rising.

Scully clapped her hand over his mouth again and pushed him back into the door, her right leg between his legs.

"Bill," she said, "I am an FBI agent. I am trained in hand-to-hand combat and personal protection techniques. I suspect I'm better at it than you are. Now, if you'll look down," he did, "you'll notice my knee is between your legs and while I may be over a foot shorter than you, I am perfectly capable of damaging your family jewels so badly that Matthew will be an only child."

Bill-her-Bastard-Brother looked down again, then into her eyes and realized his peril.

"Now listen to me. I'm only going to say it once," Scully said in a flat tone. "After you dropped off Matthew, he got very, very sick at his stomach. He had an accident on Mulder -- out both ends," she could feel the smile starting under her hands and she raised her leg to touch the jewels.

Bill-her-Bastard-Brother gulped. "Don't even think of smiling, Bill. While I went out to get medicine for your son, Mulder took him in the shower with him, bathed them both and that is why they're lying there like that. Their clothing is in the laundry. Mulder babysat your son while I went to get medicine. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

Bill-her-Bastard-Brother nodded. "Mulder has no reason to like you and he certainly has no reason to do you any favors, but he is a human and humane at that. I had to cancel dinner reservations we had because you just came in and left Matthew with hardly a word of warning so you could go play poker with some of the guys while you're in port."

She pushed off of him and moved her hand. "I hope you're happy. Despite my love for my dear nephew, I am not happy, Bill."

Bill-her-Bastard-Brother looked from Scully to Mulder-the-Sorry-Sonovabitch and back again, his eyes narrowing. "Oh gawd."

"Bill..." Scully warned. She knew what was coming.

"Tell me you're not ...." he pointed generally at Mulder-the-Sorry-Sonovabitch, "you're NOT screwing that nutball!!!"

"No, Bill, I'm not," Scully said and Bill-her-Bastard-Brother looked relieved until she added, "But we'd be doing that," she glanced at her watch, "right about ... now, if not for your thoughtlessness."

Bill-her-Bastard-Brother absolutely turned several shades of turnip-purple and Scully's knee came up as a threat. "Just 'try' me, Bill. Go ahead. I've been wanting some retribution for all the nasty things you did to me as a kid. Just give me a reason."

Bill stepped away from her and opened his mouth, but what came out of it was a knocking sound. Scully glared at him and shoved him out of the way, then went to the door and opened it.

What entered her apartment was a party consisting of two women, a cake, a load of presents and a cloud of helium balloons.

"Happy birthday!" Maggie Scully shouted, then stopped and looked at her son and daughter, puzzled. She looked at Tara who was looking in the living room with that melty look she got on the very rare occasions Bill-her-Bastard-Son did something really nice for Tara.

Maggie followed her line of sight and took in the view, her smile going melty, too. "Oh, Fox..," she said under her breath.

"Don't lust, Mom," Scully said, "He's mine."

Maggie laughed, "Dana. I'm old enough to be his mother."

Tara's voice was melty, too. "Should we wake him up? He looks so comfy there all cuddled with --"

"MY son!" Bill-her-Bastard-Husband said, grousing loudly.

"Bill," Tara chided. "Look at that. Matthew is perfectly okay. Mulder is holding him the same way you do."

"Yeah, I noticed," Bill grumbled.

"Well, do we wake him or not?" Maggie asked. She'd put her homemade carrot cake -- Fox's favorite -- on the table, along with a sack of presents. Tara had tied the balloon cloud to a chair.

"You know what," Scully said, glancing over at them, "I think Matthew tired him out and vice versa. Why don't you all come back tomorrow for cake and present-opening. About two o'clock sharp?"

Maggie and Tara nodded and Bill-her-Bastard-Husband, Son and Brother grumbled something vaguely obscene under his breath about Matthew being stuck to Mulder-the-Sorry-Sonovabitch like a remora on a shark and wondered how to disentangle them without waking either.

Tara solved the problem by going over to them and very carefully removing Mulder's arms from around her son. Mulder mumbled something quietly like, "Love you, Scully," and Tara actually got weepy, turning away from the man on the couch with her son in her arms. Matthew managed to sleep through the transition.

"What about my son's clothes?" Bill-her-Bastard-Brother demanded.

"I told you -- he got sick on them. They're in the wash," Scully had disappeared and reappeared with a huge fluffy blanket. "You can pick them up when come back for the party... at two o'clock sharp." Scully glared at Bill-her-Bastard-Brother, daring him to say anything.

"Okay, Dana," he turned to his wife and mother, "You got him wrapped up? It's cold outside."

Tara rolled her eyes and Maggie just smiled, "Yes, I know it's cold outside, Bill. I just came in from outside." She wrapped Matthew tighter in the blanket, leaned over and gave Dana a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks, Dana. And tell Fox thanks, too."

"I will," Scully smiled proudly at Mulder's accomplishment.

"See you tomorrow, baby," Maggie Scully hugged her daughter, "Don't let him sit there like that all night. He'll catch cold."

"I have every plan to get him out of those towels and into bed as soon as possible," Scully replied rather loudly. Bill-her-Bastard-Brother was already out the door, Tara and Matthew in tow, but he still heard that and made a choking sound.

"Mom! You can't be condoning this! You understand that they're fu--" whatever else Bill-her-Bastard-Brother said was cut off by the door shutting. Scully locked the door.

Scully leaned back against the door, took a deep cleansing breath -- something she always had to do whenever her love and her Bastard-Brother came in contact with each other. She pushed off the door and wandered amidst towels and crayon- and stamp-covered papers until she reached her couch. She sat next to Mulder and looked up at him.

Scully couldn't help but smile. She leaned over against him, laying her ear over his heart, placing her hand nearby, threading her fingers through his chest hair.

He looked ridiculous with all the stamps on him and some would have to be cut off. Hopefully, she could get the ones out of his hair with alcohol or some other nontoxic solvent.

"Mulder," she looked up at him, laughing to herself at the stamp from China on his chin. How appropriate, she thought. "Mulder," she said a little more insistently.

Mulder squirmed a bit and Scully reached up to slowly peel the stamp from his chin.

THAT woke him up. "Ow! Matthe... Scully?" he looked totally surprised. "Where's Matthew?" he was suddenly panicked.

"He's fine, Mulder," she smiled, "you took great care of him. He adores his 'Unkie Mulda.' But you've got a bit of a problem... you went to sleep on him while you were pasting stamps with him and 'you' became his stamp book."

Scully's smile widened like nothing before. Mulder looked down at himself and then up at her. "Omigod!" he cried, "I fell asleep on him? He could've been hurt."

Yep. That was her Mulder. All guilt, all self-sacrifice.

"Mulder," she turned his face back to him, "I got home and Matthew was asleep on top of you. You were both fine. Tara, Mom and Bill (-her-Bastard-Brother) came over a little while ago for a birthday party for you." She pointed to the cake, the balloons and the presents.

She poked him in the ribs and he squirmed, "Mom made your favorite cake, Mulder"

His eyes went wide and round, "You don't mean ... her homemade carrot cake .. do you?" he asked again, hoping against hope.

"Yes, she wants you to try it. But I made them leave. They're coming back tomorrow at two."

She waited and it happened. He looked between her and the cake several times and the bottom lip came out, "But Scully, it's my birthday, dammit!"

Scully petted his chest, admiring the stamp from Hong Kong on his left nipple. "I know, Mulder ... but Mom and Tara went to so much trouble ... it was supposed to be a surprise party. They didn't tell Bill about it because they knew he'd have a fit and Tara never figured that Bill would take the opportunity to 'dump' Matthew on me for a night out for him."

Mulder just looked at her, "But Scully," that forelock of hair fell forward, replete with a stamp from Jamaica, "it's my birthday ... dammit ...." He sighed and appeared to wind down.

Scully reached up and kissed him on the jaw sweetly. "Mulder, you were a very good boy. I know we didn't get to go out to eat, but I promise I'll get that reservation again at your restaurant."

"Pomise?" he asked, like Matthew.

"Pomise," Scully replied with a smile. "Now you're all nice and clean, you're already undressed -- well, mostly," she grinned at him -- he was still apparently unaware of his newly-stamped persona. "We can do one of two things: we can go get you a nice, greasy, artery-clogging cheeseburger somewhere--"

Mulder's eyes lit up.

"--Or," Scully stood, started unbuttoning the cashmere sweater she wore, the one he gave her for her birthday and the one she loved more for his reaction when she took it off, "We can go to bed. Early." Scully did a credible imitation of Mulder waggling his eyebrows.

Mulder was up and off the couch before she could say "boo," lifted her from her feet and headed for her bedroom. "I'm there, Scully!"

"Mulder!" Scully laughed, kissing him again, "Let me down, please. I need to get my scissors."

Mulder looked at her, just before he was about to lower her to her bed. "Dana Scully! You know I'm not into kinky stuff!"

Scully laughed again. "It's not that, Mulder. Sometimes .... sometimes you're just such a doofus."

His smile fell.

"But you're such a sweet doofus and I love you so much," Scully wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed the life out of him. "Now put me down, Mulder."

"Yes, ma'am," Mulder said and gently deposited her on the bed. She immediately stood, "apparently, Mulder, you fell asleep before Matthew."

He looked stricken, "Oh God, Scully! Did something...?"

"No, Mulder," Scully smiled, trying to hold down a laugh. "You and he were gluing his daddy's stamp collection, right?"

"That was his daddy's?" The Bastard, Mulder asked, then smiled mischievously.

"Uh huh," Scully said as she went to her bathroom for her "Emergency Mulder Medical Supplies" and returned with scissors and alcohol. "And, apparently after you went to sleep, Matthew kept decorating."

Mulder looked at her blankly.

Scully sighed and rolled her eyes. "Mulder, look at your feet."

He frowned at her, but then leaned over slightly and looked, only to find each toenail decorated by its own personal stamp ... and there were more and more stamps on his fingernails, his elbows ... one on each nipple.

Mulder sank unhappily onto the bed, "Oh God, Scully. I am such a dork."

"No you're not, Mulder," she pushed his legs apart and stood in-between them. "You're a sweet, loving, gentle, considerate man," she leaned over and kissed him, "and you're good with children.",

They looked at each other for a minute, a sorrow left unspoken between them, then Scully said, "But Matthew did a job on you, Mulder. You have them in your hair," he reached up to feel them, "they're on your knees, your toes, your chest. And if alcohol doesn't take them off and I can't cut them off without cutting you off..."

Mulder looked up at her and waggled his eyebrows, grabbed her hips and pulled her forward. "Are you saying, Dr. Scully, that you want to take a tour of the world??"

She ran a finger down his chest, "Oh yeah, Mr. Mulder. Now, your seat should be in its upright position and your tray table should be stowed."

"I think I'll have no trouble with the upright requirement," Mulder smiled.

"But I think you'd be better in a prone position ... so that I can get to all those countries easier," Scully said in a sultry voice.

"Don't have to tell me twice," Mulder mumbled and scooted back on the bed. Scully peeled off her clothes except for her brand new Victoria's Secret lacy under-things she'd bought for Mulder's birthday.

"Scully, you're killing me here," Mulder groaned, "can't we worry about the trip around the world later?"

"No, Mulder," Scully said, "If this glue dries too hard, the only way to get it off will be to pull it off."

"Did you have to say hard, Scully?"

She reached down and ran her hand along the obvious bulge on his lower abdomen. "I see what you mean, Mulder, but," she added, "the sooner I get through with this, the sooner we get to your birthday present."

"Oh Scully," he flung his arms wide and closed his eyes, "bring it on!"

Aside from numerous groans from places on his world globe that Scully removed a stamp and kissed it or licked it afterward, only heavy breathing and giggling was heard from the bedroom.

Until ....

"OH. MY. GOD!" Scully's voice all but shouted.

"What? What is it?" Mulder's voice strained.

"Mulder," Scully told him, laughing as she did so, "You have to be VERY still and when I say 'hold your breath,' I mean HOLD YOUR BREATH and do NOT move."

"Why? What's wrong?" Mulder's voice was panicked, as if he'd been slathered in black alien oil again.

"Um," Scully couldn't quite get her giggles under control. "Um, Mulder ... look..."

The apartment was quiet for a moment until Mulder roared. "SCULLY! Don't you DARE come near me with those scissors!"

"Mulder, I have to get it off!"

"Yeah, those were my plans, too, but you are not coming near me with those scissors!"

"Mulder," Scully's voice was still laughing, "It has to come off, Mulder. As soon as possible."

Mulder's heartfelt groan filled the apartment. "Okay, Scully, but ... be gentle with me. And if I find out you ever tell your Mother or Tara about this, I will tell her about how we did it in her bed that time we baby-sat her plants." Mulder's voice turned into a growl. "I mean it, Scully!"

"Okay, Mulder. I promise," Scully told him.

She went to work on him, telling him to hold his breath, taking extraordinary care with this particular stamp's removal because of its extraordinary location.

She wondered when and how Matthew had put it there. But little boys are little boys and somehow, he'd done just that.

She couldn't wait to see her Mom's and Tara's reaction when she told them exactly where on Mulder's anatomy the innocent little Matthew had put his daddy's stamp from Bangkok.


Authors' After Notes: Please don't come down on us because of our comments about Gene Kelly, Disney or Looney Tunes. One of us loves Disney, the other Looney Tunes -- and we *both* love Gene Kelly. We just figured Mulder might *not.*

Challenge Elements:

  • Immodium anti-diarrheal medicine
  • Bengal tiger
  • a Currier and Ives print
  • windmill
  • an envelope full of cancelled stamps
  • suspicious stain
  • movie "Singin' In The Rain"
  • reservation
  • shot glass
  • ceiling fan blade

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