Spoilers: Per Manum
Disclaimer: Still don't own them and I always put them away dry after playing with them
Beta Kudos: to xdks, Tali, Siggy, Any left over mistakes are mine.
"I'm not going fast."
Scully tried to lean over and check the speedometer, but was frustrated by the still healing incision from her C-section. It was even more difficult to try and glimpse the two little bundles in the back. Twisting around was nearly impossible, though she didn't know what good it would do her; the babies were practically invisible with their seats facing towards the back.
"Here." Mulder reached across and angled the rearview mirror towards her.
"Oh!" She could see both babies reflected in mirrors attached to the headrests. "Wherever did you get the idea?"
"Fisher Price. They are like gods of the baby world."
"I love it."
"They had something called an Auto Nanny Cam, but I wasn't sure I could get the thing wired right."
"This is great." She smiled at the two sleeping babies, their faces barely visible underneath hats and blankets. "Do you think they're too warm?"
"They're fine, Scully. Relax."
"How can I relax when you're speeding?"
"Speeding? Scully, I'm doing 20. If I don't pick it up the guy behind in the Yukon might just ram me."
Scully adjusted the pillow underneath the seat belt. She was still sore and moving around was only aggravating things. Leaning back, she closed her eyes; getting from the hospital to the van was exhausting. The van was a shock. Mulder had more surprises up his sleeve than David Copperfield.
"What else did you buy?"
"You heard me. This is a side of you I've never seen, all this shopping. I mean, come on Mulder, a nanny cam? You're beginning to scare me and I've had enough surprises for one day." She indicated the brand new Odyssey van with a sweep of her hand.
"Hey, I couldn't have you transporting the babies in something that wasn't safe."
"And I appreciate it, all of it. But --" she wanted to ask him what it all meant, but that was far too loaded a question right now. "What else?"
"Well -- I sort of, maybe kind of, hired someone to help us out."
"A -- you did what?"
"Sort of like a nanny."
"A nanny?" She groped for something to focus on other than the image of wet nurses and Fran Drescher.
"More like a housekeeper, and before you go accusing me, it was your mom's idea for a baby gift. She had someone all picked out and the boys ran all the checks. A Mrs. Macintosh."
"Lani. She goes to the same church as my mom." She supposed if she had to have someone, Lani Macintosh would be a good choice. Truthfully, she felt a small amount of relief. Besides feeling somewhat overwhelmed by all she had to do, her hormones were as erratic as they had been during the first part of her pregnancy. Worse, actually.
"Scully, you okay with it?"
A snuffling noise from the back of the van caught her attention. "Mulder, pull over."
"They're fine, Scully. We're almost home."
Almost home. That was the crux of the thing. Whose home was this?
Hers? His? Theirs? She'd resigned herself to some semblance of shared responsibility for the twins, even existing under the same roof to do so, but how would it all work out? Where would they sleep? Spooning up together while she was pregnant was one thing; her size ensured things were kept strictly platonic, but what about now? Would he expect a different kind of relationship with her? Could things be more complicated? That their relationship was unconventional was an understatement; perhaps weird was a better description.
As Mulder pulled the van into the driveway, the garage door opening with a click of the remote tucked into one of the overhead pockets, Scully felt cold fear grip her. She was a mother. A. Mother. Coming home to this strange place with two babies who depended upon her for their very survival. Her mouth felt dry and her eyes burned. Oh God. How was she going to be able to pull this off?
She knew by the tone of his voice that she'd missed something he'd said, and her brain refused to pull it up. Mulder's voice was far too cheerful, too confident. She looked into those hazel eyes and promptly burst into tears.
It had taken some maneuvering, but eventually Mulder managed to get the babies, Scully, and their assorted bags into the house. He was never so glad to see Maggie as he was at that moment. It was a toss-up trying to decide who to help first, babies or partner, but he'd never known Scully to cry much and his skills were limited. He left Scully with her mom and took the babies to their new room, still snuggled up in their carriers. It was beginning to look like they'd inherited their mother's ability to sleep through just about anything. Which was a good thing at the moment. The thought of three females crying at one time made him shudder.
After getting them out of their sweaters and hats and tucking both girls into their cribs, he took up sentinel duty in the rocker. Truthfully, he didn't know what the hell he was supposed to do now. The pregnancy, house buying, and all the business associated with both those activities had kept him occupied for the last few months. Here they were, parents, without ever having shared more than a few snuggles as part of Scully's sleep therapy.
A soft cry pulled him from his thoughts. Abigail. It was a mystery, how he was able to tell the difference between the two girls by sound alone. Scully claimed it was some primal thing.
Rising, he made his way over to where she slept on her back. Her face was scrunched up and one hand had come out of the mitts she wore. He slipped the hand back in and stroked her hair. He was convinced it was going to be red and as much as Scully bemoaned
it, he was glad.
"Everything okay, Fox?"
"Fine. She settled right back down."
"That's good." Maggie stood at the door looking a little tired.
"How's Dana?" He pulled the blanket back up around Abby.
"I tucked her into bed. I think she's feeling a little overwhelmed."
"I guess so." He gave a clipped laugh. "I'm feeling a little out of my element myself, but I don't have all those wacky hormones to contend with. I'm surprised she listened to you."
"She was too tired to argue."
"I'm afraid to leave them." He indicated both cribs.
"They're beautiful, Fox, my two little angel grandbabies. They'll be fine. I imagine the device your friends gave you will pick up any little sound. Just turn it on and join me in the kitchen. I've made some tea."
"Actually, I'm deathly afraid of what it might do that I don't know about. You've met Frohike." He chuckled and pointed at a Fisher Price monitor behind him. "Just don't tell the boys, Scully didn't want to hurt their feelings." He flipped the switch to on. "Tea sounds really good."
"Come along then. You won't get a moment's rest when they wake up."
He placed a soft kiss on each head before closing the door softly and following Maggie down the stairs.
Things settled into somewhat of a routine. Mulder had surprised Scully by taking some time off. She couldn't remember when his precious files had taken a back seat to anything. Living together was less awkward than she imagined it might be. Although they had separate bedrooms, she had yet to sleep by herself, and she had to admit, she liked it. She'd gotten used to being wrapped up snug against him. Of course, Mulder said it was just easier this way; he'd insisted on being involved and was getting up to bring the babies to her when they woke to nurse.
She'd long gotten past the embarrassment of baring her breasts in his presence. At two in the morning, barely awake, she was on autopilot. At least they'd gotten the girls on a bit of a schedule, so she was taking care of both at once. That had been Lani's doing. Her second pregnancy had produced twins, so she was full of all sorts of helpful hints.
Lani had proved to be invaluable around the house as well. She took care of the wash -- the hamper always seemed to be full -- and the cleaning up, which meant Scully could rest. Her mom was supplying dinners and for once, Scully sat back and allowed herself to be taken care of. Of course, Mulder had insisted that if she didn't she'd be stuck with the three stooges filling in, so she took what was offered. Even though her mom could drive her crazy at times, she had to admit that home cooked meals beat take out right now. Never mind what the effect might be on the babies. She'd given in and had a coffee one morning and paid for it the better part of the day with a fussy Amanda. She couldn't imagine what Thai or Chinese spices would do.
She snuggled into the warmth of the bed. It was afternoon naptime; only, she was far from sleepy. A low baritone voice drifted through the open door and faded. She hadn't heard the doorbell, but clearly someone had come in.
She glanced at the clock and decided to get up. A quick glance in the mirror told her a hair band would take care of her unruly hair and a sweatshirt would turn her pajamas into something resembling loungewear. She was just glad none of her coworkers would see her like this.
She made her way down the stairs towards the family room where she could hear low voices.
Her brother unfolded his tall frame from where he sat. "Danes." He passed the baby he held to her mom and enveloped her in a hug.
"When did you get here?" She took in his uniform. "I thought you were stuck on a ship for the next month."
"I am. I have an overnight before I head back out and Tara insisted we come visit. Rank," he indicated the stripes on his jacket, "does have some privileges."
Scully realized she'd missed her sister-in-law sitting in the rocker with Abby. "Tara, I didn't even see you there. Don't get up. Were you going to let me sleep all day?"
Just then Mulder entered, a tray of drinks in hand. "Scully, did we wake you?" He set the tray down and straightened up to face her.
"Couldn't sleep." She took a seat, realizing neither man was going to sit down until she did. She was mildly amused to see her brother's expression as Mulder fussed over her. He seemed almost benign.
"They're beautiful, Dana." Tara ran her fingers through Abby's hair. "This one seems to have the Scully hair."
"And this one is all Fox," Maggie supplied.
Scully was surprised to get no reaction from her brother. Well, not exactly _no_ reaction, just not the one she expected. He seemed almost pleased. She watched Mulder hand out coffee and then return to sit down beside her, draping his arm around her shoulder. For some reason the display brought a smile to her brother's face.
"They certainly are beautiful, Danes. Matty was upset he couldn't come and meet his new cousins, but we promised him next time. Right, Tara?"
She nodded in response. "Definitely next time."
Scully was finding the whole scene just a little weird. Almost like there was a script everyone but her had been handed. She glanced at her mom, rocking Amanda, and at her partner who seemed lost in his head.
"Sure, next time," she echoed.
It wasn't until much later, after Bill and Tara left, that his conciliatory behavior was explained. Never put it past her mother to know exactly how to get Bill to behave, and her partner to want to keep the family peace at all costs.
"Did it ever occur to either of you that I would have liked to have some say about who we chose as Godparents?"
"That was my idea, dear, although I just hinted at it. It was Fox who made it official."
"Scully, we've got two here. I figured letting Bill and Tara be Godparents to one of them would go a long way to keeping the peace."
"They're not a pair of -- of -- a matched set -- or something." She felt her face flush with anger.
"Now calm down, Scully. Getting all worked up isn't going to be good for --" a piercing cry interrupted him. "Right on schedule. Feeding time."
She stood up. "I'll get her. This isn't over, Fox Mulder. And you, Mom -- going along with him."
Another cry joined the first one, prompting Mulder to stand up with her. "I'll help."
She opened her mouth to protest and closed it quickly. She wasn't going to have time to hash this out with him now. Together they made their way to the nursery.
Maggie began gathering the dishes from their light lunch. It had been nice seeing Bill and Tara. Even nicer had been watching the two couples interact with no animosity. And yes, Fox and Dana were most certainly a couple.
Watching Dana move into motherhood was comforting. Truth be told, she'd had her doubts about the transition, wondering how maternal her youngest daughter really was. She never did buy into the idea that motherhood was instinctual for all women. For some it may be, but she'd known her fair share of young women who'd struggled with their identities as mothers when the feelings didn't match up to expectations.
Dana's career had been so all-consuming since she graduated from medical school, and she seemed to absorb the role of mother much like she did anything. First, she attacked it from a learning angle. All that bed rest had given her ample time to read, and read she did. Maggie browsed through some of the volumes and couldn't believe the number of books and the variety of subject matter. Many she found far too technical, others were so much more like something Melissa would select she found it astonishing that Dana would choose to read them. She wondered if some of those might actually belong to Fox.
She filled the sink and added the silverware to soak. It was very sweet of Fox to try and smooth things over with Bill by including him in the christening. And though she knew the move was calculated to make things easier between Dana and her brother, she knew there was a big part of Fox longing to belong, to be part of a family.
Despite the misgivings she'd had regarding the conception, and she had quite a few of those, it seemed to be working out for the best. There were a number of single moms at St. Monica's, and when Dana first discussed joining their ranks, she couldn't help but worry. The thought of her daughter shouldering that responsibility all on her own was a little distressing. When she came to realize Fox would be the other half of the equation she relaxed. It had been obvious for the past couple of years that he cared deeply for Dana, and she was confident he wouldn't leave her alone to fend for herself.
The two were certainly a matched pair. She was aware that their relationship was still developing, but if Fox had his way things wouldn't remain the way they were for long.
"Wait until she hears what else Fox hinted at." Maggie's words fell into the silent room and she began gathering up the rest of the dishes, a knowing smile on her face.
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