Title: Daycare
Author: Devin
Rating: G
Category: MSM, Family Fic, AU
Spoilers: None that I can think of
Disclaimer: I really wish I had but I didn't come up with any of these characters and therefore they are in no way shape or form mine. I'm going to go cry now, but you guys feel free to read the story

Summary: Sequel to 'Family Matters'. Emily's first day at daycare

Author's Note: I know you guys were expecting the next part of Destiny or TTH but I had to take a short breather from those two. Thanks Cathey for betaing thing for me.

"No way are you getting me to agree to child care."

"Scully, you are so exhausted from taking care of William during the day; you do not have to be running back and forth to pick up Em after school. This way she'll stay until I have the chance to pick her up and she'll love it, anyway." At her skeptical look he continued. "Half the kids in her class, most of which she's friends with, stay after school."

It wasn't that Scully didn't see the logic of this plan; in all honesty it made perfect sense. Emily was going to have to start daycare when she went off maternity leave anyway, so starting her now would almost be like easing her into it. The problem was that even in the short hours Emily was in school, the house seemed far too quiet and now to have that part of the day extended seemed almost like torture. In the end her logical sided won out. Sighing she turned to Mulder, who was waiting patiently for her answer, and conceded,

"Okay, we'll start her out next week but if she doesn't like it she comes home right away."

Both knew that they weren't going to have to pull her, but it was almost more comfortable to leave it unsaid.

Mulder pulled up in front of the elementary school where dozen of kids were still running outside in the yard because they hadn't lined up yet. Turning around in his seat to look at the little girl in the back seat he smiled and murmured, "Okay Em, you ready?"

A little groggy because it was Monday morning, all she managed was a nod. "And you know what you're going to do after school right?" After another nod he reached over to ruffle her hair and said in a mock stern voice, "Okay kiddo, get out."

Emily laughed and hopped out of the car and after tugging on her Powerpuff Girls backpack, which had gotten stuck under the seat, waved goodbye and ran off to meet her friends.

When Mrs. B. let them out of class, Emily almost didn't remember that she wasn't going to meet up with her mom. She probably would have made it out of the school if her friends Sarah hadn't run up to her and grabbed her arm, practically dragging her to the daycare center.

"I'm so happy you're staying," Sarah bubbled in a way only a five- year-old could pull off. "Mary and Lizzy are going to be happy too. We're going to show you all the best games. Most of the older kids get the better ones if you don't get there quickly. Luke always gets the checkers though."

Emily was usually a very quiet child, but whenever she got around her friends, who seemed to have enough energy to send a rocket to the moon, she quickly adapted to their speed. This was why she was highly disappointed when she was told that before they could have any fun, first came naptime.

Like every day since Scully's maternity leave had started, excluding the days he was working on a case, Mulder showed up at their apartment around noon. At first it had been odd how quickly they had settled into a "normal life" pattern.

He found both Scully and William in the kitchen. One of them making airplane noises in an effort to get the other to eat the contents of the spoon she was holding, and the other giggling his head off, but more interested in what the food would look like on the floor than what it would taste like. Fortunately most of it did end up in the child's mouth. Unless of course you were the child, then the fortunate part was debatable.

"Hey dear," he said in his best 50's sitcom voice and gave her an exaggerated kiss on the cheek. "You having any empty nest anxiety today?"

The death glare he received showed that his humor was less than appreciated. "Shut up, Mulder."

"That hurts, it really does," Mulder said as he walked over to the fridge to get sandwich stuff. "I come home filled with concern for my lovely wife. Sure that she'll be agonizing over the fact that our daughter will probably fall in love with daycare and never want to come home, and this is the thanks I get? There's just no justice in the world." He probably would have continued from there if baby food hadn't hit him square in the back of the neck and shocked him momentarily into silence.

"Oh, I don't know," Scully replied, trying to keep a smug grin off her face, "that seemed like justice to me."

"You are so dead," he said catching her up in his arms before she had a chance to get away.

Emily sat in a corner of the classroom with a coloring book and several crayons, though not all were intact, strewn out on the table. Most of her friends had been picked up a little while ago and now she, and a bunch of other kids whose parents also don't get off work early, were the only ones left. She was just waiting for her dad to come and get her.

When she was almost done making sure Spongebob was completely yellow, an older boy who looked extremely bored came over and sat down next to her.

"You want to play?" he asked, waving the checkerboard around.

"How do you play?"

"You don't know how to play checkers?" he asked incredulously, but before she could answer he kept talking. "Doesn't matter, I've beaten everybody else so I might as well teach you how so I can beat you too."

Emily might have been five but she wasn't stupid and she knew this boy was being rude. "Excuse me?" she asked in a voice she'd heard her mom use a couple times. "I bet I could beat you."

This only seemed to amuse the boy. "Well I guess we'll find out."

Ten minutes later they were so involved in their game that they barely noticed when one of the teachers yelled out, "Luke Doggett, Emily Mulder. Your parents are here."

"I guess we'll finish this tomorrow," Luke said as they ran over to their cubbies to get their things.

She smiled and waved goodbye before running over to where her dad was waiting.

"Hey munchkin. You ready?"

They walked to the car and once she was buckled in, Emily launched straight into the tale of how wonderful her first day was.

The End

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