Title: Natalie
Author: little Starbuck*
Rating: PG
Category: post-ep.
Written: April 2001
Disclaimer: Not Mine (yeah I wish)
Spoilers: Anything leading up to this very moment (mostly season eight).
Distribution: I would be happy to share, please keep my name on it.

Summary: Post-Empedocles "pizza/gift" scene.

~*Pleeze Enjoy*~


6:15, Scully's apartment.

It made her queasy, the smell. It wasn't the same as her normal "veggie supreame" pizza. But, she wasn't going to complain, not after all that had happened over the past few days. She wanted to say something nice... to break the awkward silence.

"You never fail to surprise me, Mulder. I just wish I felt like eating it right now." The nausea was only getting worse.

"That's cool. You can wait for the cheese to congeal and eat it later." He said jokingly. There was another uncomfortable pause, "You miss your regular pizza man, don't you?" He suggested.

"Yes. But he's coming by later." She could see the jealously surfacing in his deep hazel eyes, "Kidding." She said as she giggled. He smiled back as he reached up behind her and presented her with the gift that he had given her a few days ago. The gift she hadn't had a chance to open. It made him shutter to think of that night, of the pain she felt, of his worry, or of the frightened look on her face right before she collapsed onto the floor. He had prayed then for God, for fate, for anything to save her, to keep her with him.

"I bet you forgot about that, didn't you..." He said as he handed her the package.

"No, I didn't actually, I thought about it a lot when I was lying in my hospital bed. Wondering what on earth you could have given me." She told him.

"And..." He replied. She unwrapped the delicate paper and opened the box. A smiling cloth doll's face peered out at her.

"Oh my God! Oh , Mulder." She was shocked that he could give her such a heart felt and thoughtful gift. Sometimes, it took moments like this for her to realize the amount of love and caring he had inside him.

"Is it what you imagined?" He asked hopefully.

"Not even close." She laughed as she remembered thinking of possible gifts he could have given her. She had imagined perhaps a small model of an alien space ship or perhaps another medallion like the Apollo 11 one he had given her years ago. She had never expected this from her strong willed, passionate partner, who seemed to be able to live through absolutely anything.

"Oh my... that's the wrong doll actually." He teased as her leaned over to see the face of the tiny treasure. She laughed and lightly hit him on the head with it. She was always careful now not to hit too hard, both physically and emotionally. He had been through so much and she felt that if she did hit too hard she might break him.

"But, then there's the other gift you gave me, Mulder. Courage to believe. I hope that's a gift I can pass on." She smiled and gazed at the precious doll.

"I think you can. Along with all of the other wonderful qualities that you posses. I think that's why I love you so much. Why I can't live... or die, apparently, without you." He spoke softly, his deep voice bordering a whisper. She could tell it was difficult for him to admit this.

"Thank you, Mulder. For this..." She held up the doll, "And for your love." She felt the warm tears forming in her eyes. She knew she wouldn't be able to hold them in much longer. Seconds like minutes, they didn't speak. They weren't sure of what to say...

"Samantha always used to call her "Natalie". She got her from her grandmother, who had received her from her grandmother, for her sixth birthday. She dragged her around with her everywhere. Mom tried to throw her away when... when we lost Sam. I couldn't let her. I dug her out of the trash and kept her in a box in my closet. I don't think my mom ever knew." He gazed sadly down at the floor.

"Why are you giving this to me, Mulder? I mean, this is one of the few things you have left of your sister... of your family." She tried to give him back the doll. He pushed it away.

"No, Scully... that's it. I'm giving you this because this child is going to be the closest thing I have to family. I mean, you are the closest thing I really have to family." He looked happily down at her abdomen, anticipation burning in his eyes.

"Mulder... I really should tell you something. I just found out when I was at the hospital. They did some DNA testing for me... Um, there's really no easy way to say this... Mulder, this is your family. This is your baby." She sighed with tremendous relief and yet, at the same time, the greatest fear and anticipation the world has ever seen was burning her from the inside out.

"Mine? But I thought that wasn't supposed to work. I mean the IVF didn't work... right?" He asked nervously.

"Well, no not the first time. And they had told me that it would have been my last chance. If it didn't work then, it probably never would. But when you disappeared, I couldn't just give up on you. So, I tried again... and it, obviously, worked." She smiled as she wiped the salty tears from her face. He exhaled loudly as if it could help him take in all of this information. It was too much, too good to be true. She waited for a response. None came.

"Mulder, please say something..." She placed the doll on the coffee table and folded her hands neatly in her lap trying to keep them from visibly shaking.

"I'm gonna be a dad!" he whispered to himself. She reached out and took his hand in hers. Maybe by touching him she could get a better sense of what exactly he was feeling. No such luck.

"Mulder, you don't have to be there for her. I just wanted you to know." She told him gently.

"Oh, I do want to be there. I want to do everything I can... everything you'll let me do to raise this child. Scully, do you know how long I've waited for this?" He smiled. She giggled at his obvious excitement.

"Good! I mean, I'm glad you want to help. Mulder, you've been the only person I've ever been able to see myself with for the past seven or eight years. In all of my dreams... you were the father and I was the mom." He tightened his grip around her tiny trembling hand.

"Same here." He replied. A good minute passed before either of them had the courage to speak.

"Wow, that was difficult." She giggled.

"I can imagine." He smiled and reached for the coffee table to pick up the doll. He held it close and closed his eyes. This was what he remembered Sam doing all those years ago. He inhaled deeply attempting to get a hint of a smell of his sister. He tried so hard. But, she was gone.

"Mulder, I also found out, at the hospital, the sex of the baby. I haven't told my mother yet... I think she wants to be surprised." She fiddled with the corner of her shirt as she spoke.

"You want to tell me?" He reopened his eyes.

"If you want to know." She said, her voice trembling.

"How about you give me clues and I'll figure it out on my own." He said playfully. That was one of the many things she loved about him. He could turn anything into a game. Even something as serious as this.

"Okay then... Hey Mulder, you know, I was thinking of names last night." Scully said sarcastically.

"Yeah?" He inquired.

"Yeah and there was one that I just kept coming back to." She smiled genuinely at his thrilled face.

"Yeah? What?" He put the doll back down and turned towards her.

"Samantha." She said quietly. She had actually had this name in her head all through the pregnancy, all along. But, she needed his approval.

"Really?" He managed while swallowing back tears.

"If you don't like it, I can think of something else... but..." She waited patiently for his emotion to pass.

"No. I do like it... I just haven't heard that name in a long time, I guess. No, Scully... that's perfect." He grinned in appreciation, "It's a girl then, I hope."

"Yes, she's a girl. I'm glad you approve." She stood, after a minute, and walked into the kitchen. His eyes followed her curiously. She reappeared about thirty seconds later with a relatively large purple book.

"What's that?" Mulder scooted closer to her on the couch once she sat down.

"A, uh, baby book. You know, where you put dates, heights, names." She told him as she opened to the first page. He leaned over to get a better look. He watched as Scully wrote the name Samantha in cursive on the first blank line of the book.

"It's a good name, Scully. She would have been honored." He turned his face to wipe away a fallen tear.

"I'm sure she is." She placed her hand on his knee. He turned to her and smiled. After all that had been taken from him... at least she could give this back.

"So... pizza?" He reminded her.

"You bet!" She reached over, with a bit of a struggle, and took a piece. He did the same.

They ate together in silence. There was nothing really left to say. He put on a happy face because he was glad to be there with Scully, with his best friend... But down inside he was crying. He couldn't tell weather it was in joy or in sadness, in pain or grief. But he knew it was there. Some sort of deep yearning for Samantha, for Scully, for something that he didn't yet know he needed. And then he realized... he had needed this child all along. And he knew it would come in time. It would be there, all red-faced and screaming up at him as he held it in his arms. It would be perfect.

He glanced over at Scully and his smile broadened. She was giving him the best gift of all... the gift of life.

The End

 

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