Title: How I Met Your Mother
Author: Topaz Twilights
Author's Page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/873967/
Written: 10/02/2005
Category: X-Files MSR.
Genre: Romance
Words: 918
Rating: G

Summary: Mulder comforts his daughter with a fairytale after a nightmare.

Mulder stirred quietly and rolled onto his back, silently glancing out the window at the rainy night. Lately he'd been a very light sleeper, awakening at the slightest sound or movement, and he was beyond annoyance. The rain had been just starting when he'd gone to bed, and it had seemed to maintain the same soothing pace, hour after hour. He wasn't sure what had woken him up, pausing to listen to any change in the weather. There was no thunder, and the wind was still, so it had to be something else. Moving only his head, he turned to glance at Scully, who lay on her side facing him, sound asleep. He couldn't help the frustrated sigh which escaped him, as he draped his arm over his eyes, commanding himself to fall asleep.

That was when he heard it. It was quiet the first time, and even as he sat up in bed, he wasn't sure he'd really heard it. But there was no mistaking the frantic small voice that drifted down the hallway to his ears. "Daddy?" it called, and then "Daddy, dark!" followed by a choking sob. Scully sat up as he climbed from the bed and clamored quickly down the hallway, tripping on Legos and Hot Wheels which lay strewn about the floor. He figured she'd gone back to sleep when he made it out of the room alone.

He conciously tried to step quietly, peeking through the first door he passed, catching a glimpse of the small, dark-haired boy sleeping peacefully, a stuffed dinosaur standing guard at the foot of his bed. Three steps away and across the hall he stepped through the door and was greeted by the frightened cries of his daughter, her chubby arms immediately reaching out for him. He quickly scooped her up, holding her close, and took a seat in the white whicker rocking chair by the window.
"Shh," he said, stroking her hair. "It's okay, Roman. Daddy's right here."

After several minutes, the child was quiet, clinging to her father's shirt desperately. Mulder patted her back, gently rocking the chair, hoping she'd fall back asleep quickly. She did not. Instead she sat up and looked him in the eye, her own eyes still wet with tears, her bottom lip quivering. "Daddy," she said, her sweet, soft voice barely a whisper. "Dark."

"I know, baby," he said, gently brushing the tears from her cheeks. "Did you dream something bad?"
Roman simply sniffled, and nodded her head. "What did you dream?"

The little girl looked away, shaking her head. Mulder sighed. He had vague memories of himself as a small boy, waking up from horrible nightmares, completely unWilling to recount them to whichever parent had rushed in at the sound of his screaming. He also seemed to remember that on every occassion that he didn't share the dream that had terrified him so, it almost always came back to him once he fell asleep. He remembered being haunted by his dreams. Roman had begun to take after him in so many ways, and he didn't want the ability to torture herself in her sleep to stick.
"Do you want to hear a story?" he asked, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. Roman sniffled again, and nodded her head, scooting closer to him and laying her head against his chest.

"Okay," Mulder said, closing his eyes and wrapping his arms around Roman. "Once upon a time," he began, rocking the chair gently.

The story flowed from him with no effort at all. He'd committed it to memory. It was the story of a young woman, and a young man, and a friendship they shared; a friendship unlike any either of them would ever experience again. It told of many great adventures, close encounters, and a miracle here and there. A secret love they'd ignored until even they couldn't deny it, and ultimately, a final miracle, which Mulder couldn't help but smile at, looking down at his daughter who'd fallen asleep in his lap.

Taking a deep breath, he stood up, holding her tight against his chest, and carried her to the bed with the mermaid sheets. He leaned down and kissed her forehead, before bending over and laying her gently on the pillows, pulling the blanket up to her chin. As he started to leave his foot brushed something soft in the floor. It was a stuffed lamb, Zuzu; her favorite stuffed animal. Mulder bent swiftly and grabbed the lamb, reaching down to tuck it under the covers with her. And gently stroking her cheek, he turned and left the room, leaving the door open.

Re-entering his own room, he glanced at the clock and sighed. He tried to be quiet climbing back into bed, but Scully turned to look at him anyway.

"Bad dream?" she asked. Mulder nodded. "She's asleep now, though. I just hope she stays that way."

Scully nodded, wiping her eyes. "Good." she said, leaning back against him. His arms instinctively went around her, pulling her back against him, and he kissed her cheek. She sighed in contentment, taking his hand and lacing their fingers together.

"Love you," Mulder whispered into her hair, but she'd already fallen asleep. He had a chipper feeling in his stomach, staring out the window at the rain, which eventually succeeded in singing him to sleep.

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