About twelve hours later, Scully awoke with a start. A familiar, reassuring voice sounded next to her. “Hey, sunshine, did you sleep okay?” Mulder repeated.
Scully lazily opened her eyes and turned to Mulder without a word before looking outside of the tinted window. The sun was shining brightly above them and she almost felt a split second of happiness before she realized they were in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing but rural land. “Where are we?” she asked groggily.
The question was meant for Mulder, but Monica must have heard her form the driver’s seat as she stole a glance back at them. “Don’t worry, Dana, we’re almost to our destination. We’ve only got about an hour or so to go.” “Which is where?” Scully inquired, absently running her hand over the curve of her abdomen.
“We just crossed the border of Georgia,” Monica explained.
Scully sighed as last night’s events resurfaced in her mind. Worriedly, Mulder took Scully’s hand in his and gently placed it over her abdomen. “I think we should probably stop and get something to eat, Agent Reyes; I mean, according to Agent Doggett, this place doesn’t have too much in the way of supplies, right?”
“Yeah, there’s a grocery store coming up shortly, along with a few fast food places,” she responded.
Mulder looked over at Scully. “I know you’re going to give birth soon, but as long we have that extra passenger, you need to eat,” he whispered.
Scully turned from staring out at the road and down to their entwined hands. She hadn’t eaten anything for at least sixteen hours and decided that Mulder was right. “Alright, let’s stop for some burgers and fries. God knows that once I have this baby, I won’t have an excuse to eat like this anymore,” she attempted to make light of the situation.
Mulder chuckled. “Then its back to salads and good ‘ole yogurt, Scully?”
A few minutes later, Monica pulled up beside a combination McDonalds and gas station. Mulder followed Scully inside and waited for her right outside the bathrooms while Monica went to order some food. Scully used the restroom as quick as she possibly could. When she washed her hands, she was startled by a sudden pull right below her abdomen. Unfortunately, it was painful enough that she let out a gasp and clutched her belly. A taller woman who had been washing her hands right next to her, was instantly at her side. “Are you okay ma’am?” she gasped. “Do you need me to call someone?”
Scully took a deep breath and tried to compose herself as much as she possibly could. “Thank you, but I’m fine, just a false alarm. I’ve been having Braxton hicks frequently now,” she lied. Scully most definitely knew these weren’t Braxton hicks, but she did not plan on having the baby here.
The taller woman, who appeared to be around the same age didn’t look convinced, but conceded. She sighed nervously as she dried her hands and exited the bathroom. Once they were on the road again, they dug into their meals. This was the closest thing approaching a normal meal that they would be having for a while. The aroma of burgers and fries was almost overwhelming.
Once they finished, they were grateful that they were almost to their destination. Scully felt another contraction and gritted her teeth in an attempt to prevent cringing. She leaned forward and smoothed her hand over her distended abdomen. When Mulder looked over at her, panic griped him instantly. “Scully, what’s wrong? Is the baby coming?” he placed his hand gently over the spot Scully had been rubbing just a moment ago.
Scully knew she had to buy some time, but she wouldn’t be able to keep this from Mulder much longer at this rate. Exhaling, she squeezed Mulder’s hand. “Let’s hope not.” Mulder watched her worriedly, obviously not reassured. He gently stroked her fingers until they arrived at their destination. Desert went tropical when they arrived at several abandoned buildings in the forest. When they pulled up in front of a cabin-like building Scully nearly threw open the door. Her lower back ached with protest as she stretched and surveyed the surroundings.
Mulder rounded the car and was at her side instantly. “You okay, Scully?” She managed a small smile, despite her fears. It wouldn’t be long before the baby came and they were in the middle of nowhere. “Yeah,” she answered rubbing her belly.
Mulder gave Scully a look that told her he was not going to let her off the hook so easily. “Let’s get you inside and off of your feet,” he suggested. Knowing he wouldn’t take anything but yes as an answer, Scully nodded and followed him towards one of the deserted buildings. When Monica stopped following from behind, they stopped and turned towards the taller woman.
Monica had stopped at least a dozen feet behind them, staring up into the sky. “Is everything alright, Monica?”
Monica closed her eyes and shrugged off the unwarranted chill. “Yeah, yeah I’m fine. You guys go ahead. I think I’m going to have a smoke.”
Scully looked at her quizzically. “I thought you quit?”
Monica laughed. “Yeah, I did. I just…I guess with everything that’s going on, I really could use a stress reliever,” she pulled a single pack of Marlboro Reds from her pocket.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had so much excitement.”
Mulder nodded, obviously not reassured. Mulder had heard a thing or two about Reyes from Scully, about her sixth senses. Something wasn’t right. He had to stay with Scully. She looked from Reyes to Mulder and nodded.
They made their way to the nearest vacant vacation house. Mulder had easily opened the door with a twist. The sight of the house almost had them reeling back. With all the dust and cobwebs, it was obvious the place hadn’t been utilized in years; it was almost as if it had been abandoned.
Mulder could only wonder why Doggett had sent them to this place. He passed the old furniture and tried the closest sink in the kitchen. Just like he suspected, there were no running facilities.
Great, how were they supposed to deliver a baby in these obviously unsterile conditions?
Panic and worry gripped Mulder’s heart. It didn’t occur to him until now that there could be complications with the birth, even considering the difficult pregnancy Scully was having. He watched as she padded towards the closest bench and eased herself onto the mattress. She sighed and he knew she was obviously more troubled about something than she would let on.
“Are you okay, Scully?”
Scully shifted her gaze from her burgeoning belly to Mulder. “Yeah, I’m just a little tired.”
Mulder came up beside her and rested his hand upon her womb, as if he were reading her thoughts. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you, or our baby, Scully,” he whispered, smoothing his hand over the taught surface of her abdomen. Before Scully could answer, he suddenly felt the muscles in her abdomen constrict and she instantly doubled over.
“Scully…Scully, what’s wrong?!” he nearly demanded.
Ignoring Mulder’s protest, she gripped her belly as she tried to breathe through the contraction.
“It’s the baby isn’t it?” he whispered.
Scully looked up, knowing she couldn’t keep it a secret much longer. She nodded.
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” he demanded, not out of anger, but of worry.
“I just wanted to be sure,” she whispered.
“How long do we have?” Mulder asked, surveying the house.
“It shouldn’t be more than twelve hours, first time births can take up to twenty four hours, but judging by the length and time of the contractions, it’s not too far off.”
Mulder nodded, upset she hadn’t told him sooner, but he would have to let it go. She didn’t need the unnecessary stress. “We’d better get Monica back in here.”
Several hours had passed while Mulder and Monica cleaned the entire house, making it somewhat habitable. Scully had to admit she was quite impressed at how well Mulder and Monica got along.
Monica had managed to find some blankets and brought in the first aid kit. There was no way to tell how long they would be staying here, but Scully definitely wasn’t risking delivering her baby in a hospital. She cringed as she remembered the nightmares and stories she’d heard about women having their babies taken after birth.
Scully lay back in the birthing bed, her button down blouse open and exposing the white camisole she wore underneath. The contractions had started to become a lot closer in the past few hours and she suspected it wouldn’t be much longer. She smoothed her hands over the girth of her belly as she breathed through each contraction.
Mulder arrived at her side with a pail of lukewarm water. Thankfully, they weren’t completely barren of necessities as Monica had managed to find a water source nearby. They had decided Monica would deliver the baby with Mulder at her side. She couldn’t imagine being without him.
Dusk was starting to settle in as Mulder and Monica made their final preparations for the birth. Scully had finally removed her binding undergarments after the last contractions had passed; now wearing a gown she had packed.
Monica was sweating just as much as she was, obviously just as nervous. Scully smiled softly in reassurance. When Monica had made those whale noises earlier, she found it amusing, but at the same time, oddly comforting. Monica so much reminded her of Missy.
A subtle movement came from outside, causing both Monica and Mulder to jump. Scully’s breath caught in her throat. Not now. Monica turned back to Scully and swallowed hard. “It’s okay, Dana, I’m going to check out there. I’m sure it’s probably nothing,” Monica tried to assure her, although her expression had obviously given her away.
Mulder looked to Monica. “Will you be okay alone,” he asked, not wanting to leave Scully.
Monica swallowed. “You stay with Dana, if there is any sign of trouble, you lock this door, understand?” her voice wavered.
Scully was panic stricken through labored breaths. “You can’t go out there alone, Monica.”
If there was trouble, there was no way Monica would be able to handle it alone. Mulder had seen it with his own eyes.
“I’m sure it will be fine,” just as the words left her lips, there was a loud thump outside and the sound of a car engine and many others not too far behind. Without another word, Monica pulled her gun from its holster and made her way outside.
Looking from left to right, there was no sign of movement aside from a car down the road. According to Doggett, no one knew of this place. She refused to believe the cars coming in their direction were any sort of coincidence. A moment later, she heard a movement behind her and before she could fire off a shot, she was forced to the ground, her gun scattering across the sand. Using every bit of technique taught to her, she punched and kicked and barely scrambled away from her attacker.
When she looked up into the face of Billy Miles, she let out a scream. Scully’s blood went cold at the sound of Monica’s cry. Taking the cue, Mulder rushed to the door and locked it, before rushing to Scully’s side. “Mulder, you have to help her!” Scully screamed through labored breathes.
For the first time, Mulder had never felt so helpless and scared. Not for himself, but for Scully and their baby. Billy Miles couldn’t be stopped, yet they had no communication with the outside world. Mulder clasped her hands with his and fought back the tears. “I’m not leaving you!”
The car Monica had seen pulled up next to Billy Miles as he loomed over her. She fired several rounds, each doing nothing but make him falter in each step towards her. A blond woman exited the vehicle and Monica didn’t have to turn around to know there were more behind them. How in the hell did they find this place?
As Billy Miles lifted a hand towards her, she dropped the gun and tried to run towards the house. Like Mulder had instructed, the door was locked. Knowing it was useless, she still made a beeline to the back of the house. She needed to stall them and hope they couldn’t get to Mulder and Scully.
Mulder knew Monica was doing everything she could to stall the intruders and he bought the extra time to move furniture towards the door. He continued looking over at Scully. The contractions were gaining in intensity and he knew Scully would soon need to push.
Scully jumped as several loud bangs sounded on the door. “Where’s Monica?” she screamed.
Mulder swallowed tightly. After her two screams, he could only hope she had gotten away.
The sound of the incessant beating against the door made Mulder realize there must have been more than one intruder, if not many. Suddenly, all was quiet. Scully and Mulder started at each other before a shot was fired through the window. Monica’s gun.
Mulder leapt over Scully, sheltering her and their baby with his body. A moment later, she felt cool liquid on her chest and suddenly saw the gaping wound in Mulder’s shoulder. “Mulder!” she cried. Several more shots were fired until the entire window gave way.
Scully felt more cool liquid pour onto her shoulder and it only took her a moment to realize that it wasn’t blood. She looked into Mulder’s fear stricken face. He was crying for them and he couldn’t have felt any more helpless. Moments later, Billy Miles along with several other people entered the room. She let out a blood curdling scream. “No! Please don’t take my baby! Noo!” Through the tears, Mulder felt movement beside him and didn’t budge from Scully without a fight. He was vastly outnumbered and was eventually fought to the ground. One of them, who he could not identify, pulled Scully from the bed. She was too weak and close to birth to fight. She let out a scream as the muscles around her uterus contracted and she bit down on the offender’s arm. Mulder was wrestled to the floor, unable to fight the weight of all the bodies on him. “No! Don’t hurt her!” he screamed.
The offender screamed and swung Scully in front of him, so her feet were dangling beneath her. The intruder clamped her neck. Mulder watched in brutal torture as Scully’s face turned purple, her belly jutting forward. One of the other offenders’s produced a knife, holding it to Scully’s baby.
Mulder let out blood curdling screams. “No, I’ll kill you!”
Billy Miles laughed. “Even if she dies now, the child will live if we cut it from her womb!”
Before he could say another word, he felt a sharp object pierce into his neck and he collapsed instantly, dropping Scully to the floor.
The weight on top of Mulder lifted and he could see Monica standing behind where Billy Miles lay dissipating on the ground. She held a long silver object he had seen many times before. Relief overwhelmed him as Scully took in several gasps of air.
The others backed away from the fumes and towards the door, but unrelenting. A final grunt sounded from Scully. “I…I need to push…” Mulder and Monica eased her from the ground, away from the fumes and onto the bed. She handed the silver object to Mulder as she went to the edge of the bed. Monica lifted up the gown and saw the crown of the baby’s head. Oblivious to the watching intruders, Monica instructed her to push. “I see the head, push Dana!”
Mulder was back at Scully’s side, holding her hand firmly. His gaze never left the watchful intruders. He palmed the object in his pocket. Scully bore down and pushed, lying back in the bed. “Don’t let them take our baby!” She pleaded to Mulder through teary eyes.
Mulder managed a small smile. “I won’t, I promise, Dana, I won’t.”
“Keep pushing Dana!” Monica yelled.
Scully screamed. “This is my baby!”
Monica smiled. “It’s almost out, another push!”
Scully rested agents the headboard. She looked over at Mulder and, despite the circumstances, smiled. Mulder smiled through his own tears as he tucked a stray hair behind her ear. “Another push, Scully.”
Scully let out a final grunt before she felt the tiny life slip from inside her. Moments later, a cry filled the air. To both of their relief, there was nothing alien about it. It was a healthy human cry.
Monica wrapped the baby in a towel. “You have a boy!”
Scully and Mulder almost laughed in relief as the baby was passed to Mulder. Lights filled their surroundings and the intruders slipped out of the door. ‘Why?’ Scully had asked herself. As Mulder handed her the baby, none of it mattered. They didn’t come to take him after all.
Relief flooded over Monica as she heard Doggett’s voice calling her name in the distance. Scully needed to get to a doctor, now. As Monica slipped out of the door, Mulder cleaned off the baby before handing him back to Scully, who immediately started nursing him.
She was absolutely radiant as she looked from their nursing son, to Mulder. “They didn’t take him, why?”
Mulder shook his head, overwhelmed with emotion. “None of that matters now, Scully.” Mulder bent and gave her a long, fulfilling kiss.
“What are you going to name him?”
“William, after your father.”
Epilogue to be continued…