Sent: Monday, July 24, 2000

Title: First Steps
Author: Vickie Moseley
Summary: What was lost is found.
Category: Scully Angst
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Even I have to admit that I'm getting more excited about this
new season. I was dreading it, but I'm trusting you, Carter. Don't screw
this up! You did so well with Requiem, don't let it be a waste.
Meanwhile, I'm still not making any money on these.
Comments: Read the whole thing before you yell at me :)

First Steps
By Vickie Moseley

He stood in the doorway, frozen in his steps. There before him was a
nativity scene tableau. The Madonna, eyes shining, hair like a glowing
halo surrounding her gentle face, staring with rapt attention at the tiny
life bundled in a white blanket, clutched tight to her chest. Rocking in a
steady rhythm, slowly, back and forth.

Above her, the Protector, or so the man in the doorway knew he fancied
himself to be. A guardian angel, suddenly in the picture, to stand guard,
to defend.

The man in the doorway closed his eyes with the pain tearing at his heart.
At one point, he would have had a part to play in this recreation. But he
threw that away in a fit of . . . what? He couldn't even remember anymore.
He just knew as surely as he knew anything in his life that he'd tossed
what he had to the winds and never looked back.

The images tore at him. Times he'd shared with this beautiful woman. The
way he could make her smile just with a tilt of his head. The way she
looked up to him, respected him. Seen him as a protector. Those were the
times that he cherished now, realizing that he'd thought so little of them
when they were actually happening.

What he wouldn't give for one more chance. One more time to see her look
up and catch his eye as he entered a room. One more time to see her smile,
knowing it was just for him.

But the other man on the scene made that wish all the more impossible to
ever see fulfilled.

She accused him once of jealousy. Of course he was jealous! Was she
insane? This man, this interloper, had snuck into her life like a thief in
the night, stealing all that was his. Her playful glances, her laughter.
How could he not feel jealous of that? That this man before him had taken
up his own place in her universe, and regardless of what that did to her,
he appeared to be there to stay.

The tiny bundle in her arms wiggled and let out a mewing cry. She smiled
indulgently, and gently shucked the robe off her shoulder, offering the
insistent little mouth its sustenance at her breast. The man above her
smiled and stroked her hair as he watched, unashamed. The man at the
doorway averted his eyes in a flush of embarrassment. It had been a
mistake to come here. He turned to leave.

The sigh caught him as firmly as any rope or lasso. He had gotten no more
than a foot from the door, out of sight of the inhabitants of the room,
when he heard her sigh. A voice, soft in deference to the suckling infant,
broke over the quiet creaking of the rocker.

"He's not coming," she said. It wasn't the words, as much as the tone, the
emotion behind them. Wistful. Resigned. Sad. Yes, enormously sad.

"He'll come around, Sweetheart. You know in his heart that he loves you."
The deep voice was soothing and was like a balm on a tender wound.

"He just can't accept this. I understand, on some levels, but can't he see
what he's doing? Can't he see how this is tearing us all apart?"

"He's hurting. He's used to having you all to himself. You can understand
that, can't you?"

She sighed again, and it sounded like a heart breaking. He wondered if it
was hers, or his own.

"I do understand. But so much of the anger between us was of his own
making. He never wanted me to live my life. It was always about him.
What he wanted for me, what he thought was best for me."

The deep voice chuckled slightly, breaking the tension. In a moment, she
joined in. He stood in the hallway, trembling with rage at the thought
that they were laughing at him. He crept closer to the door, intent upon
making his presence known, giving voice to his own feelings.

But he stopped short at the view. His foe was clutching her free hand to
his own, bringing it up slowly to his lips to place a gentle kiss on her
knuckles. She was smiling still, indulgent.

"But at least you knew enough to keep your opinions to yourself," she
assured him.

"Face it, we're more alike than you'd ever want to think. Certainly more
than he would ever admit," came the deep voice, still rich with good humor.

"I sure know how to pick 'em, don't I?" she responded with a tearful smile.

"Well, one of us you didn't pick, and the other you got by default. I
think you just have lousy luck," came the mirthful reply.

She turned her palm and clutched his hand to her mouth, mimicking the
movements he'd just made. "No, I think I'm the luckiest woman alive!" she
told him emphatically.

The man in the doorway stood there, knowing that it was up to him. This
was his decision; he had to make the next move. She'd made the first move
when she'd made the invitation. She was leaving it all up to him, a
courtesy that he'd never managed to extend to her.

Straightening his shoulders, rotating his head as if walking onto a
battlefield, he drew in a deep breath. Then, with trembling hand, he
knocked firmly on the doorjamb.

Her eyes shot up first, and caught his. There was a twinkle, a smile, that
he knew was his and his alone. No matter who else might enter her life, he
would always be there, unless he carelessly pushed her away. His actions
always spoke louder to her than any words he'd ever uttered. He knew that
now, and knew that what he was about to do would change everything. But in
that change, maybe something could be regained.

He plastered on a smile that became more natural with every step across the
floor. Extending his hand, he waited breathlessly for the other man to
take it, to clasp it. He wasn't disappointed, though the surprise was
evident on the other man's face.

"Welcome home, Mulder. And welcome to the family," Bill Scully said,
grasping the startled man's hand as if it were a lifeline. In a heartbeat,
Mulder's hand tightened and a smile lit his face.

"Thank you, Bill, thank you. Let me introduce you to your nephew, William
Scully Mulder."

Through her tears, his little sister smiled up at him, just for him. What
was lost was now found and would not be allowed to slip away again.

The end.

Baby Name Note: I know, I know, there are those who can't stand the
thought of naming the kid William. Well, look at the track record, folks.
<G> Not a one of us would have dreamed of naming MaMulder 'Teena' now,
would we? And it does seem that, with a few exceptions, Carter is stuck on
the name William (William Mulder, Capt. William Scully, William Scully,
Jr). So I think there is precedent set and I'm just following the lead.

Story Note: Did I get ya? <VEG> Who did you think it was at the doorway?
Mulder? Did you think the guy beside her was the new guy? Skinner, maybe?
Now, you know me better than that!


Let's get this straight for anyone who might be 'confused':

1. They did it more than once. They've been doing it a long time!

2. The baby is Mulder's! Scully's doctor LIED about her fertility!

3. Scully will HATE who ever they partner her with

4. The baby is NOT an alien and will not be abducted BEFORE it's born.

Now, any questions? Then go check out my site for further proof.

It's brought to you by the fabulous Shirley Smiley with graphics by the
extremely talented Shannara!