Title: Labor Day
Author: kyouryokusenshi

Summary: Post MSIV. An unconventional labor for a very unconventional couple.

A/N: Written for the Nursery Files' Labor Day Labor challenge. Special thanks to K. Moland for helping beta and for her obstetrics expertise.


It was all carefully planned. The nursery was finished and they had just about everything they needed as Scully's due date was just two weeks out. The fact that she had a partial abruption and had hemorrhaging during childbirth the first time was concerning, especially at her age. As a result, she had increased her iron intake along with taking the her usual prenatal vitamins. She would be in a hospital with an IV and anti hemorrhagic drugs.

Until one day, Scully's water had broken amidst her incessant cleaning of the house, causing her to panic.

"Mulder!"

The panic in her voice had him racing down the stairs faster than the speed of light. His eyes went wide at the growing puddle on the floor between her legs.

"Oh God, Scully, is she coming now?"

Scully had started been having Braxton hicks contractions, which were common at this stage of pregnancy, but it was still too soon for her to make her debut.

"I...It's too soon, Mulder," she grunted between clenched teeth as she clutched her belly.

Mulder was making the panic face. "Shit. It's going to be okay Scully," he soothed. "Let's get you to the hospital...I'll grab the overnight bag." She knew he was doing his best to stay calm. It was still about a thirty minute drive to the hospital.

"Grab the bag of emergency supplies too, Mulder!" she ordered.

"Don't tell me she's coming right now," he called back down the stairs.

"I don't think so...but it never hurts to be prepared, Mulder," she feigned annoyance.

After a quick call to Scully's doctor, who was now on her way, Mulder managed to grab everything within a minute. He helped Scully change out of her wet clothes before throwing down some towels on the floor. It would have to do for now.

Suddenly, a contraction seized Scully and she cried out as the pain radiated from her lower back to her abdomen.

"Okay, now I'm making the panic face, Scully."

"YOU'RE panicking, Mulder? I'm too old for this!"

Mulder sighed, he had to save face for her. He needed to let her scream all the profanities at him while knowing every moment would bring him that much closer to meeting their daughter. The last item he grabbed was the car seat that he had barely figured out how to properly secure into the back seat. Why was kid stuff nowadays so complicated?

Scully clutched her abdomen as Mulder helped her outside and to the car.

"Oh you've GOT to be kidding me, Mulder! Not the Mustang!"

Mulder shrugged. "It'll get us to the hospital faster," he reasoned with a small smile. Ignoring the eye roll, he helped Scully get situated in the front seat before he placed the bags in the trunk.

Suddenly, Scully let out another painful groan. "Scully? Don't tell me that was..." he said as he came around to get into the driver's side.

"It was Mulder. We need to start timing them," she was suddenly in full doctor mode.

"Well, it's been a few minutes, right?"

He put the car into drive and hurried out of there, though never forgetting the precious cargo he was carrying.

The contractions became more and more frequent with every passing mile, driving Mulder's anxiety through the roof.

He looked over at the precious cargo next to him and extended his hand to which Scully gladly accepted.

"Breathe, Scully," he crooned.

She groaned in response and turned to look out the window in a lame attempt to distract herself. "I swear to God, if I see another fucking tree!"

"I'm sorry, Honey." Mulder hated seeing her in pain. He hadn't been there with William and nothing had quite prepared him for this.

Just as they were about to pass the Virginia border, Mulder slowed to a stop.

'Great, fucking Labor Day traffic," he thought, looking at the sea of cars in front of him.

"Mulder, WHY are we stopping?!" she managed between gasping breaths.

"I'm sorry...it looks like there's quite a bit of traffic."

"Thanks, Captain Obvious!"

"Another contraction? It's only been three minutes."

Scully clutched her belly. "All I wanted this time was a normal delivery, in a nice hospital bed with drugs and with doctors..."

"I know," he whispered, smoothing his hand over her knuckles.

Thirty minutes later and traffic had barely budged. The contractions were becoming rapidly closer together.

"Mulder, I–" she gasped. "I don't think we're going to make it to the hospital."

Mulder's blood ran cold. "What?!"

"She's coming, now!" she cried, feeling a strong urge to push.

Fuck.

"Shit!"

Mulder looked over, thankfully seeing a turnoff just up ahead from the main thoroughfare. A minute later, traffic had moved up just enough for him to get into the turn lane.

Thankfully, the area didn't have much traffic and he pulled over next to a small, grassy area. He looked over at Scully, whose face was drenched in sweat as she moaned in pain.

Looking over at him, she began to cry. "It's too soon Mulder, what if something goes wrong," she whimpered. The doctor in her knew that with each pregnancy the labor generally went faster, but the first was nearly eighteen years ago.

Mulder reached out and cupped her cheek with his right hand. "Everything is going to be okay, Scully. She's going to be just fine, okay? You just tell me what to do," he begged.

Steeling a deep breath Scully said, "Grab the supplies in the back, the towels and blankets."

Leave it to Scully to be prepared.

Mulder had placed a quick call to 911, he explained that his wife with a high risk pregnancy was in labor and was a few weeks early. Once they mapped their location using the GPS of his phone and gave him an ETA, he disconnected the call. He quickly went to fetch the bags from the trunk before he came back to the passenger side and opened the door before he got to work on putting down the blankets over the grass. As he moved to help Scully from the seat, he could see a pool of liquid on the seat.

Both were thankful that this road was hardly trafficked to afford them both some privacy. That, however, did nothing to alleviate Mulder's anxiety. Sure, he'd done the Lamaze classes with Scully, twice. The first time, he was unable to put that knowledge to use and considering how long ago that had been, they went through it again.

Scully wasn't thrilled about it due to their advanced age. They had been the oldest expecting parents in the room. Even though everyone was nice, both of them, especially Scully, were quite self conscious. It seemed as if older fathers were more readily accepted by society. Many fathers, including those in power had children well into their fifties, but it was very uncommon for women...though there were Janet Jackson and Brigitte Nelson. It was just another example of how amazing his Scully was.

After he helped Scully undress, he draped a blanket over her.

"I need to push Mulder, I need you to watch and tell me once you see her head."

Mulder nodded, suddenly feeling slightly awkward.

"It's okay, Mulder."

"Yes, Doc." That earned him a small smile. However, it was short lived as another contraction ripped through her, causing her to cry out in pain as she pushed forward.

Mulder lifted the blanket slightly to see she was crowning.

"I can see her head, Scully!"

Scully leaned back and took several deep breaths. She reached between her legs and she could indeed feel her daughter's head.

Mulder toweled Scully's head before she bore down and pushed again.

Looking up at her, he used his free hand to clasp Scully's for a moment.

"You're doing great, Scully."

Scully moaned, trying to picture the moment she was able to hold their child in her arms. The moment that rewarded those nine long months until now. The moment where she felt all of this was completely worth it.

"Dammit, Mulder. I ought to put another bullet in you for doing this to me."

In any other circumstance, Mulder would have laughed. If he did that now, he was sure Scully would follow through on that remark.

A few more pushes and Scully fell back. Her face was drenched in sweat and her hair was matted to her skin. She was crying.

"I don't know if I can do this, Mulder," she cried tearfully. "It hurts so much. I don't–"

Mulder stopped and looked up at her, stared into the depths of her eyes. Moving forward, he pressed a palm to her cheek.

"Honey, you can. We've been through so much worse. If anyone can do this, it's you. You're..we're so close. She's almost here." Suddenly, Scully was overwhelmed with another sudden urge to push. Memories from the first time she had given birth overwhelmed her and she tried to push those images from the furthest reach of her mind. Instead, she tried to focus on their daughter, imagining what she'd look like, warm and safe in her arms.

With one final push, she felt the baby slip out and suddenly the sound of an infant's cry pierced through the air. It was the most wonderful sound in the world. Scully watched wearily as Mulder looked down at the alien like creature in his hands. He too was crying now as he lifted their daughter up for her to see. The tiny being squirmed in his grip.

"We have a daughter, Scully," he said, unsure whether to laugh or cry, so he did a bit of both.

Scully let out a small laugh as tears flooded her vision.

After Mulder used the towels to clean her up slightly, he set the baby on Scully's chest.

"I need to keep her warm," Scully had said methodically. He remembered Scully telling him that newborns are unable to regulate their body temperatures. "The cord doesn't need to be cut right away. But you'll need to deliver the afterbirth." Mulder gently placed their mewling daughter on Scully's chest.

Scully looked down at her, her gaze filled with emotions she couldn't articulate.

"Hi...hi sweetheart," she whispered. "Thank you for choosing me to be your mom," her voice broke.

Tiny hands kneaded against Scully's chest as Scully held her close. Mulder gently wiped the baby down before placing a small blanket over them both.

"I love you," Scully said as the tiny eyes opened. "We both love you so much," she said before leaning down to kiss the tiny head that was covered in strawberry hair that matched her own.

Once Mulder had delivered the afterbirth and placed more towels between Scully's legs, he moved to position himself behind her, taking the weight off of her back and supporting them both.

He watched, completely mesmerized by Scully and their baby daughter. And that was when she finally felt the release of months and years worth of pain and fear. It all dissipated with a single glance at her newborn daughter.

"I can't...I can't believe she's here," Scully sobbed.

Mulder thought back to the moment Scully told him he was a father. The overwhelming grief and pain they both felt until they later realized William was alive. The shock and anticipation at the prospect of being parents again was also mixed with fear of losing the baby.

"She's so beautiful, Scully," he whispered, a lump forming in his throat.

Mulder moved to gently stroke the baby's tiny head with his finger and the baby mewled in response. Suddenly the struggle was lost and he could no longer fight the tears that made their way down his cheeks.

"I know, she's perfect. She's really okay," Scully whispered as she thoroughly looked the baby over. She too was feeling the impossibility of it all. "You have a brother, his name is William, but he goes by Jackson now. I hope you'll be able to meet him someday. You're going to meet him," she said with absolution.

Upon learning of her pregnancy, Scully was unsure how to feel and tried to remain detached for some time. After the events with William and her age being what it was, she felt she didn't deserve the baby and worse, that she might lose her. However, when she saw the tiny blobfish like image on the screen followed by a reverberating heartbeat, she fell in love. With each kick that love grew stronger and stronger. Looking at her daughter now, she knew she would do it all over again. Every bout of severe morning sickness along with constant worry and fatigue was all worth it.

Scully turned towards Mulder, angling their daughter so Mulder could get a better view and he surprised her with a gentle, but firm kiss to her lips. A moment later, he pulls back and Scully smiles at him, her eyes filling with tears.

"I love you," Mulder said. It was true and in that moment he felt he couldn't possibly love her more than he did right then.

The baby's eyes slipped closed and she relaxed against Scully's chest, comforted by the familiar sound of her mother's heartbeat.

"I love you too. I'm sorry about your car." There was a hint of a grin on Scully's face, making Mulder chuckle. The throwback wasn't lost on him.

"The upholstery took quite a bit of damage, but it's time for a new car anyways."

They were both thankful for the small amount of privacy awarded to them by the car as they lay on the grass next to it. Mulder had missed the birth of their first child and was there every step of the way this time, but this was definitely not something he expected. Though being the one to help bring their second child into the world was something he wouldn't trade for the world.

Mulder released a slow anxious breath as the ambulance pulled up next to the car.

'It's going to be quite a story little one, when we tell you about the miracle of your birth.'

The End

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