Title: The Bet
Author: Gillyfan
Written: April 2010
Rating: PG
Keywords: Mulder/Scully romance, Alternate Universe
Archive: Sure, just please let me know where so I can go visit!
Feedback: Any feedback would be welcome at gillyfan79@aol.com
Spoilers: None. It's an A/U piece.
Disclaimer: I don't own them - the characters of Mulder and Scully belong to Chris Carter, though it wouldn't hurt him to share them now and again.

Summary: "Was that another contraction?" He took a seat next to her, placing one hand on her protruding stomach.

Author's note: Oh and I've never given birth. So I apologize in advance!

Fox Mulder walked towards the front door of his mother-in-law's house and set down a small black suitcase. Standing up straight, he made his way into the living room and towards the sofa where his petite red-haired wife sat patiently, her hands resting on her stomach. She had her eyes closed, though she wasn't asleep - that he knew for sure. "You ok?"

"Mmm," Dana Scully sighed deeply, keeping her eyes firmly shut.

"Was that another contraction?" He took a seat next to her, placing one hand on her protruding stomach.

"Just a little one." She took hold of his hand and opened her eyes, looking down at where their fingers were laced.

"Should we make a move now?" Mulder chewed his lip nervously. He wanted to stay calm through this, but could feel his heartbeat pounding. He had to stay strong - for Scully - but she now appeared to be in labour with their first child, who was set to be two weeks early (obviously inheriting its mother's penchant for punctuality), and he could feel the nerves building.

"Not yet, the contractions are still quite far apart. And my water hasn't even broken yet. We've got a while."

"Are you sure?"

Scully smiled sweetly at her husband. "Pretty sure."

"It's just this kid seems determined to surprise us." The pair of them had spent Christmas at Scully's mother's house, with Maggie more than happy to play host during the festive period, and they'd hoped to stay for New Year too, particularly as Scully's younger brother Charlie was visiting over the weekend. It wasn't meant to be. Sensing his nerves, she squeezed his hand gently, then leaned to rest her head on his shoulder. "I'm scared too Mulder."

"I'm not scared." The shakiness of his voice suggested otherwise. "I'd just rather a professional delivered this baby, not me."

"And they will." She sighed again, shifting in her seat. The baby had been lying awkwardly for the past few months - despite Scully's small frame, the doctors estimated that her child would be of at least average size - taking after its father in the height department. "Where is everyone?"

"Out back. The kids are building a snowman. Bill's instructing them..."

"I bet," Scully grimaced slightly. "He was always the bossy one.

" "

Well, he's trying to instruct them. Last I saw Charlie was firing snowballs at him to put him off."

"Glad to hear it."

"Speaking of Charlie...' Mulder lifted his arm to place it around Scully's shoulders. "He and I were just having a chat."

"About?" She pulled back to look at her husband.

"The baby."

"Oh? What about the baby?"

Mulder smiled as he saw his wife raise her eyebrows. "He and I were having a little wager."

"A wager?"

"Are you going to repeat everything I say?"

"I'm about to give birth to your baby. I can do anything I want."

He nodded. "True."

"So...a wager on what? The sex?"

"Not exactly. He thinks the baby will be born on New Year's Eve."

"And what do you say?"

"I think it'll be tomorrow."

"Well thanks for your support." Scully smiled to signal she was joking. "Why not today?"

"I don't know. I just think it would be better for the kid in the long run if it was a New Year's Day baby."

"And how do you work that out?"

"Well think about it. If the baby's birthday's on New Year's Eve, it'll be so expensive for him or her to celebrate, where as if it's New Year's Day, he or she can celebrate two night's running."

"So you want me to be in labour for at least the next 15 hours, just so you can save money on throwing birthday parties in the future?"

"No...I...You're always so skeptical," Mulder began backtracking.

"Obviously the less time you're in labor, the better."

"How much have you bet on this?"

"I...Not much."

"How much?"

"It was Charlie's suggestion."

"How much?"

"A hundred dollars."

"A hundred dollars?" Scully's smile faded. "You bet one hundred dollars of our money - of your child's inheritance - on something you can't control?"

"I've got a feeling about this."

"And what happens if your feeling's wrong? If it comes today?"

Mulder winked. "You could try keeping your legs shut."

"I should have done that nine months ag-..." Scully trailed off, her hand pressing hard against her stomach. She closed her eyes again, taking long, deep breaths, and threw her head back against Mulder's arm. "Ooh."

"Another one?"

She nodded through the pain, still breathing heavily. She squeezed Mulder's hand tightly - he wasn't sure if she needed to or if she was punishing him for his bet with Charlie.


"Mmm." Slowly the contraction subsided and she opened her eyes.

"Worse than last time?"

"A little."

"Do we need to go to the hospital?"

"Mulder!" Scully laughed gently. "If you're going to ask that every time I have a contraction, it's going to be a long day." She let go of his hand and shifted to the edge of the sofa. "I need the bathroom."

Mulder stood up, helping his wife to her feet. "Are you ok to go alone?"

"I'll be fine. If I need anything mom's upstairs anyway." Maggie was currently upstairs checking on her youngest grandchild - Charlie and his wife's four-month-old son Louis - who was supposedly fast asleep. Stretching, Scully slowly waddled out of the room, ignoring her husband's laughter at the sight of her waddling. It was going to be a long day.

"Fox!" There was an edge of panic to Maggie's voice and Mulder jumped up from the sofa, practically running out into the hallway. He took the stairs two at a time, arriving at the top of the landing to meet his mother-in-law. "Is everything ok?" Scully had been upstairs for a while, but he presumed she was resting or chatting with her mother.

"Dana's water has broken."

"Oh." Mulder didn't think it was possible for his heart to beat faster, but apparently it was. "Is she ok?"

Maggie shook her head, her eyes full of worry. "She's a little upset. She's asking for you." Mulder knew it must have been tough for his mother-in-law - wanting to comfort her daughter but not being able to.

"Ok." He smiled gratefully and placed an arm on Maggie's. "Thank you. For everything." He entered the bathroom, stopping short as he took in the scene. Scully was sat on the floor, with her back to the bathtub, her legs stretched out in front. She was reaching for a towel, and was crying, hard. She made no effort to wipe the tears from her flushed cheeks, instead letting them fall onto her navy blue dress. "Scully." At the sound of her name, she looked up, seeing Mulder standing in the doorway, and began crying harder. "Hey." He crossed the room in two strides, and sank down onto his knees next to her, his arm reaching around her shoulders to pull her in towards him. "What's wrong?"

"I'm having the baby, Mulder," she answered between sobs, her shoulders shaking uncontrollably.

"I gathered that." He began rubbing Scully's arm gently, trying to soothe her.

"And I'm...I'm scared." She sniffed hard, lifting a hand to finally wipe away some of her tears. "I'm so scared."

"Of what Scully?" The truth was, Mulder was scared too. In fact he was petrified.

"What if I can't do this Mulder?"

"This birth? I know it'll be tough Scully, but if anyone can do this it's you. And once you hold our baby in your arms-"

"What if I can't be a good mom?"

Mulder pulled back to get a good look at his wife. She didn't look him in the eye, her gaze instead trained on her protruding bump. "Are you kidding me?" When she didn't answer, he continued. "Scully you're going to be the most amazing mom."

"How do you know?" Her voice was barely there but Mulder could hear the hesitation.

"Because I do. Scully you're amazing at whatever you put your mind to. You never give up and you put a hundred and ten percent into everything. And you love this baby already. I know you do. You've protected it and nourished it and loved it for the past nine months, and I know you'll do the same for the rest of its life." He pulled her close again, his free hand clasping hers and moving to rest on her stomach. "I know you can do this Scully. You're the most perfect mother, and I wouldn't want anyone else to have my baby."

Scully laughed shakily, fresh tears cascading down her rosy cheeks. "No one else would be willing to have your baby, Mulder."

He nudged her shoulder playfully, glad he was able to make her smile. "The truth hurts Scully." He sighed. "I'm scared too. I'm scared I'll screw up this little kid's life. But then that's another reason I'm so glad I've got you, because you can keep me from doing so."

"You're not going to screw up Mulder." She turned her head to the side, pressing a watery kiss to his cheek.

"I know the next few hours are going to be tough Scully. But you'll get through this. And if it's any consolation, I'm going to be here for the duration." He paused momentarily. "I figure if I can stomach autopsies and alien goo, I can watch the birth of my child without fainting."

"You'd better," Scully warned, her tears subsiding. "Because if I have to give birth alone, as soon as you come round, I'll shoot you."

After another two contractions, which were closer together, both Mulder and Scully decided it was time to finally leave for the hospital, with Maggie in tow. Scully wanted her mother there for at least some of her labor, while Mulder was grateful to have some moral support. They were waved off by both Bill and Charlie - who cheekily reminded his sister of his little wager with her husband as they departed. Mulder drove while Scully sat in the back with her mother, who helped her through the few contractions she had on the way. He dropped them off at the front of the hospital, ensuring medical staff met them on arrival, before parking the car. When he returned, he made his way to reception to track down his wife. He was directed to her private room in the maternity ward, entering her room just as she was getting changed into a gown, her mother assisting her. "Hey." He smiled as Scully looked up, her face still flushed, as though she'd just had another contraction. "You ok?"

"Couldn't be better," she replied dryly, moving carefully to the bed. With both Maggie and Mulder's assistance, she sat down on the bed, bringing her legs up onto the mattress. "The doctor's coming back in a second just to do a check-up."

"Do you want anything in the meantime Dana?" Maggie asked, fussing over her daughter.

"Some water would be great."

"I'll get it," Mulder volunteered, sensing Scully wanted some time alone with her mother. He kissed his wife chastely on the forehead and then left the room in search of water.

"How are you feeling sweetheart?" Maggie brushed a strand of her daughter's damp hair out of her face, helping her to get comfortable.

"How much longer is this going to go on?" Seeing her mother's sympathetic smile, Scully rolled her eyes. "I know, I'm a doctor, I should know this, but mom, I really don't know how long I can do this for. How did you do this four times?"

Maggie chuckled. "It hurts now Dana, but I can honestly say, it's worth it."

"Really?" She didn't look convinced.

"The moment your child is placed in your arms, you forget everything. All that matters is that little bundle in pink or blue, and you can't even think about anything else. That baby becomes your whole world." She smiled. "And the man holding your hand the whole way through." Scully smiled. "You know Mulder's put a bet on as to when this baby's going to be born?"

"So I heard."

"You did?"

"I did. Charlie seems determined it's going to be today though."

"It had better. I can't believe Mulder said it's going to be a New Year's Day baby."

"It could be worse. Bill thinks it'll be the day after tomorrow."

"The little sneak!" Letting out a deep breath, Scully stopped talking as another contraction hit her. Since her water broke, they were coming a little quicker now, although she knew the labor was far from over. Maggie held her hand throughout, wishing she could help take away some of the pain. "Are you ok Dana?"

"As the pain subsided, Scully cleared her throat and nodded. "Four times? Seriously mom, how did you do it?"

"Dana I promise you. Give it a year or two and I guarantee you and Fox will be thinking about having another."

Scully shook her head firmly. "After this I'm not letting him anywhere near me ever again."

Maggie laughed as the door opened and the doctor walked in. "Famous last words Dana. Famous last words."

Six hours later and Scully's contractions were getting stronger, though it appeared she was still no closer to actually having the baby - she still had a way to go before she was ready to deliver. Doctors were monitoring her closely, and had remarked that if she was no further along the next time they checked on her, they'd consider giving her a caesarean. Maggie had left the pair of them to grab a bite to eat in the cafe, leaving Mulder by his wife's side. It seemed as though he was set to win the bet with Charlie, though he was beginning to wish the baby would hurry up. Scully was incredibly tired and in need of a rest - she'd tried to sleep in between earlier contractions but was unable to drift off - and in a lot of pain, even though she'd agreed to the doctors administering pain-relief drugs. And she had been squeezing his hand so hard, he feared it was now broken, though daren't raise his concerns to his wife for fear of her murdering him.


"Hmmm?" Flexing his left hand, he ran his right hand through Scully's damp and tousled hair.

"I've had enough."


Scully's lower lip trembled. "I want this to stop. I can't do this."

"Hey." He leaned forward so his head was resting on the edge of the bed, his left hand now resting on her stomach. "Of course you can."

"I just want this over with."

"I know. I know. And it will be. Soon."

"I want it over now. Why isn't it coming?"

"It is. The baby's just taking its time."

"This is all your fault you know," she replied breathlessly.

"I know. I'm sorry for impregnating you, but from what I can remember, you weren't complaining at the time."

Scully narrowed her eyes. "I mean it's your fault this baby is so big. This is why it's taking so long."

"I'm sorry, I really am."

"I don't want a caesarean."

"It won't come to that."

"I want to walk."


"I want to go for a walk."

"Are you sure that's a good idea?"

"Gravity might help."

"Ok." After the next contraction abated, Mulder helped Scully off of the bed and onto the floor. He stood to the side with his arm around her, and let her lead the way out into the corridor. "Where are we going?"

"I don't care, I just want to walk." They maintained a slow but steady pace, stopping every few minutes when another contraction hit. Each time Mulder insisted on them returning to Scully's room, but she was having none of it. It seemed that a heavily pregnant Scully wasn't about to take orders from anyone. They made it to the ladies' toilet when she shrugged off Mulder's embrace and pushed open the door. "Scully?"


"Where are you going?"

"I need some water."

"You've got some back in your room."

"Not to drink."

"I...you're not going in alone Scully. Something might happen."

"Well come with me."

"I can't..." As Scully turned back he gestured to the sign.

"Why not? It's not as though we're about to get up to anything naughty in here." Her eyes pleaded with him. "Please Mulder." She knew he couldn't say no. Hesitantly Mulder followed his wife into the bathroom, lurking behind her as she walked over to the sink and turned the tap on. She splashed cold water on her face and back through her hair and then rinsed her hands, trying to cool herself down. Mulder was by her side in an instant as she fell forward, collapsing onto the sink. "Scully!" He threw his arms around her and lifted her up, feeling the swell of her stomach tense up as she experienced another contraction, which appeared even stronger than the last. As she groaned, Scully moved to face her husband, slowly lacing her arms around his neck, resting her forehead against his chest. Mulder's hands automatically moved round to her back, and he began rubbing gently. "That's it, breathe through it, just breathe." All the techniques he'd learned during Lamaze class went out of the window the moment Scully announced she was in labor earlier that morning. He vaguely recalled how she was supposed to breathe and pant her way through the contractions, so attempted to mimic the instructor, feeling a little foolish, and wishing he was able to help more - to do something to take away her pain. Eventually Scully's breathing returned to normal but she made no effort to pull away from the embrace. As he heard a sniffle, Mulder realized she was crying again. "Hey," he whispered against her ear.

"You're doing brilliantly Scully." He swayed her gently in an attempt to calm her down. "It won't be long now, I promise." She nodded against his chest, not attempting to speak. "Hey, it's like we're dancing. Remember the last time we did this? At our wedding?" He sighed, remembering the warm spring day the previous year that he and Scully had said their vows in front of close friends and family. "You looked so beautiful in your dress, with your hair doing that little curl thing? I honestly thought you couldn't get any more beautiful-"

"Gee thanks," she murmured, her face still hidden.

"And then you agreed to have my baby. And I saw your body expand-"


"There's a compliment here Scully. Trust me. Particularly when I'm talking about your chest." He smiled as she nudged him, resting his chin on the top of her head. "And our baby started growing and moving and kicking. You know, these past nine months you've had this glow about you, honestly. I've never seen you look so happy. And you've made me so happy too."

She pulled her head back to look up at him, a faint smile on her face. Her tears had stopped, but more were threatening her eyes again at her husband's words. "I love you."

"You took the words right out of my mouth." He leaned down to capture her lips, but Scully pulled away, letting her hands fall back down to her stomach. "I think we'd better go back."


"I think it's....the walk seems to be doing the trick." This time Scully didn't argue as Mulder led her back to her room, to prepare to give birth to their son or daughter.**

"It's crowning." Shortly after Scully's return to her room, the doctor came by to check on her once again - this time pleased that she'd dilated further. A few hours later and although she was exhausted, she was fully dilated and ready to deliver. Maggie had wished her daughter and Mulder good luck and decided to stay in the waiting room, insisting that Mulder was the only one his wife needed. It had been tough to see Scully in so much pain and to feel so helpless, but he wouldn't have missed it for the world.

At the sound of the midwife's voice, Mulder leaned forward, speechless as he saw the top of his baby's head emerging.

"See that Scully?" he whispered, his voice raw with emotion. "That's our baby. Just a couple more pushes sweetheart and it'll be here." He leaned back as another contraction overcame her, wincing as she grasped his hand so tightly he feared his blood supply had been cut off.

"That's it Dana, you're doing well."

"Not long to go."

"I want it over with now," Scully cried, feeling exhaustion set in as she began to push again.

"That's it. Just one more push."

"I can't!" Tears of frustration were cascading down Scully's bright red cheeks as she braced herself once again.

"You can Scully." Mulder rubbed her back in a bid to soothe her and also relieve the pressure. "If anyone can do this it's you. Just one more push and we'll get to meet our baby."

"I can't." But Scully's body was already betraying her, instinctively getting ready to push that final time. "I can't."

"Yes you can." Mulder took his eyes off his wife momentarily to look down, watching as their baby finally emerged and took its first breath. Everyone told him that witnessing the birth of a child was a truly magnificent event, but it wasn't until baby Mulder was born that he finally believed it. For a moment, he forgot to breathe, so intent as he was gazing at his child. There was no sound at first, and he almost feared the worst until he saw the baby take a deep breath before letting out a piercing wail. At the same time, he felt Scully collapse back onto him, exhausted at her hard work. He grasped her arms firmly, holding her to him, then moved his head to press his lips to hers. "You did it Scully," he whispered as he kissed her again. "You did it."

"What is it?" Scully struggled to regain her breath. Her body was spent but she wanted to see what was going on. She wanted to see her baby.

"It's..." Mulder looked up, suddenly realizing he was so caught up in the moment he didn't even know what the sex was. "What is it?"

"It's a girl." The midwife smiled at the couple as she tended to the baby. "Did you want to cut the cord dad?"

*Dad*. Mulder's eyes widened as the enormity of what was happening sunk in. He was a father - a father to a beautiful baby girl, who owned an impressive set of lungs. He felt Scully nudge him with an elbow, and he slowly rose from the bed, making sure not to disturb his wife. He took in the image of their daughter - a tiny, shrieking, bloody little human being, who was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever seen in his life. He could barely see to cut the cord from the tears that clouded his eyes and cascaded down his cheeks - tears which increased as the baby was passed to him. Slowly walking back to the edge of the bed, he took a seat, before handing the baby over to her mother. He Scully again, watching as she covered their daughter in kisses, then counted her tiny fingers and toes. So many emotions flowing through Mulder at that very moment - he was overwhelmed, and completely and utterly smitten with the two women in his life.

Ella Grace Mulder was born at 10.18pm on 31st December, weighing in at an impressive seven pounds and ten ounces. Shortly after her birth and Scully had delivered the placenta, she was cleaned up and moved back to her private room, where Mulder was allowed to join her. As he pushed open the door, he saw a small cot placed next to Scully's bed. She was sat up, propped up by pillows, and engrossed by a small bundle in her arms. She briefly tore her eyes away from her daughter to look up at her husband approaching the bed. "Hey." She smiled sleepily, her eyes sparkling despite all she'd been through that day.

"Hey." Mulder looked down at their sleeping daughter, dressed in a cream sleep-suit and matching hat, and wrapped in a white blanket. Scully's eyes followed her husband's gaze and her smile widened. "How are you both doing?"

"We're fine." She sighed contentedly. "Good actually."

"Glad to hear it." Mulder sat down on the bed then leaned forward and gently placed his lips to his daughter's forehead. As he pulled away, he moved in to kiss Scully. "How are you feeling?"

"Incredibly sore." As if to prove her words, Scully winced as she shifted on the bed. "But I'll survive."

"And tired I bet."

"A little."

"I'm so proud of you Scully." He placed his hand on top of Scully's which was supporting Ella's body. "You were so amazing today. I don't know how you did it."

"Well let's just say I won't be doing it again in a hurry."

Mulder smiled. "I daresay this little one will keep us busy for a while."

"You wanna say hi to her?" If Scully didn't know the answer to her question already, the smile on Mulder's face told her all she needed to know. "Yeah." He held his arms out and carefully took hold of his daughter so she was resting in the crook of his right elbow. Their daughter. "She looks..." he began, but his wife cut him off.


"I was going to say like a wrinkly potato."

"Mulder! If you weren't holding her, I'd hit you."

"I'm kidding." He kissed his daughter once again. "Ella knows I'm only kidding, right?" He took in the rounded shape of her face, her fair eyebrows, small button-like nose and full lips, which were moving gently as she slept. "She's just like you Scully."

"I don't know." Scully's hand reached out and took hold of her daughter's, marvelling at how tiny they were. "Sadly I think she's going to be tall like you."

"I wouldn't be too sure - she doesn't look that big." He was amazed at how small she was.

"Believe me Mulder, she is big. I have the stitches to prove it."

"Ok, ok, I'll give you that." He sighed contentedly. "And I am impressed Scully, honest. In fact I'm in awe of you. I couldn't have done it."

She shrugged as though to tell him it was nothing, but they both knew she was still in pain and would be for some time. "She was worth it."

"Yes she was." His smile widened as Ella began to stir, and he saw her little blue eyes flutter open. "Hey princess, how are you doing?" She opened her mouth wide as she yawned. It was one of the most beautiful things her mother and father had ever seen. "You're tired, huh? I guess you and mommy both had a big day today."

"And daddy too." It had been a long day, but one that he'd happily relive again and again. Though he felt helpless seeing his wife in so much pain, the end result was worth all of the blood, sweat and tears.

"Mmm. I'd better go and find your grandmother soon, and take her home. I think the nurses will be kicking me out any second."

"I'm sorry Mulder." At Scully's words he looked back up at his wife, his eyebrows knitted in confusion. "You can't help the visiting hours."

"I know. But I'm sorry, because I gather that thanks to me, you're a hundred dollar's poorer."

"Ah, yes. You really should learn to keep those legs closed." He waggled his eyebrows, smiling at the evil look his wife was giving him. "I'm kidding. You know, some bets are more than worth losing." His eyes caught sight of his wristwatch, and he took note of the time. "I wasn't that far out though."

"Really? What's the time?" She settled her head back down on the pillow, feeling her eyelids drooping.

"About two minutes after 12."

"Is it that time already?"

"Yeah. Happy New Year Scully."

"Happy New Year," she replied sleepily. Mulder stood up and leaned over her, watching as Scully gently kissed her daughter goodnight. By the time he'd moved to place Ella back in her cot and settled her in, both mother and daughter were fast asleep. He kissed them both and then walked out of the room, his wallet a lot lighter, but his life a lot richer.

The End

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