Title: The Beach
Summary: A memory and a revelation.
Author's Note: In response to MSR Preservation Society's 'Baby Fic Challenge' and XF Safe Harbor's 'Happy Memory Challenge'. Thanks to Cathey for betaing for me.
Scully made it all the way to the elevator before she lost it; the absurdity of their report finally getting to her. Mulder stared at her strangely and was only able to catch a few key phrases she gasped out. "Buck teeth... drugged..." Tears were now streaming down her face due to her laughter. She quickly wiped some of them away as she leaned against the elevator wall trying to catch her breath. "I'm sorry. It's just that... Oh, I just don't get you sometimes."
The elevator doors slid open and both stepped out onto the parking lot level. "Well we could always go to your place and try and solve a few mysteries," he said, waggling his eyebrows to go with the perfectly delivered innuendo.
"I'm not cooking."
She nodded, "Seven," and then, still smiling, went off in search of her car.
An hour later they sat curled up on Scully's couch, each with a plate of food and a glass of soda, watching the news. "So what was so funny this afternoon?"
"Oh, that. It was just that your parting shot in Skinner's office was too much on top of everything else. I mean buck teeth, Mulder?"
He didn't even pretend to look sheepish. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Actually, I think it's kind of sweet that you still get jealous after almost a year."
"Well I am freaking adorable."
This earned him a laugh and a peck on the cheek. "Yes you are." She turned back just in time to see a 'baby' commercial come on. "What would you do if you had a kid?"
"You mean as soon as they came out, or one thing I would want to do overall with them?"
He considered carefully. "Well besides the obvious of just trying to make sure they grew up healthy and happy..." he paused, collecting his thoughts. "Usually when I've thought of being a father trips to the beach always pop into my mind."
This piqued her interest; she'd been expecting something about baseball or B-movies. "Why?" she asked softly, not wanting to break the spell they had formed with the beginning of this conversation.
He looked at her out of the corner of his eye but then kept his eyes forward and adopted the face she had come to know as his 'memory face'.
"After Samantha was taken it was difficult for a long time. I remember both my parents trying to comfort me, but they were just as devastated as I was," he took a deep breath and continued. "One Saturday we were all just sitting at home, not really doing anything, and my dad looked up suddenly from his newspaper, looked outside and declared that we were going to the beach.
"My mom jumped on the idea immediately. She packed a picnic lunch, told me to grab some towels, and we loaded up our car and drove to the beach.
"We did everything. Joined a volleyball game, had a water fight, went swimming, but you know what I remember the most?"
Scully wasn't sure if this was a rhetorical question or not so she just shook her head.
The small nostalgic smile that had formed during his story broadened. "I built a sandcastle with my dad. We worked together for an hour or so, joking around, almost destroying it more than we were building it. It's one of my favorite memories. We were a family again."
Scully didn't know what to say at the end of his story so instead she gently reached out and put a hand on his cheek, turning his head. She kissed him softly and tenderly. When she pulled back she rested her head on his collarbone.
"So, should we be taking the kid to the beach weekly, or once a year?"
He pulled back so quickly that she almost fell over but he caught her by the shoulders and turned her so they were facing each other. "What?"
"Well I just wanted to know the plan," she answered, pretending she didn't know what his question really meant.
"You mean... you're... you're..."
"I believe the word you're searching for is 'pregnant', Mulder." Before he could answer she handed him a file folder that contained a sonogram. "The doctor was very amused when she heard I thought I had the flu and took great delight in proving my theory wrong."
He didn't answer; just stared at the still frame of their barely developed child. Just as she was starting to worry he let out a whoop of joy and grabbed her in a bone-crushing hug.
"This is unbelievable!"
"Can I quote you on that? I knew I'd find something you didn't believe right off the bat."