"Are you nervous?" Mulder asks me, smirking.
"A little bit," I nod, confessing.
"That's sweet," he smiles at me, putting his arms around me.
I rest my head against his chest, enjoying the embrace. Samantha will be here with Nicholas soon; it's my first day of babysitting.
"You'll do fine, Dana, I'm sure of it. He's a Mulder, he's sure to like you."
"You're silly," I giggle and give him a little kiss.
"Silly about you," he says, kissing me back.
There's a knock on the door. We move out of our embrace and Mulder goes to open the door.
"Morning, buddy," he chuckles as Nicholas runs into his arms.
"Fox?" Samantha's surprised to see him. "I thought you'd be at work already."
"My lessons don't start till 12 today so I thought I'd ease Dana into things."
"That's great," she seems relieved not having to hand her son over to me just yet - let's face it: I'm basically a stranger.
I'm really glad I have Mulder to help me out as well. Samantha gives me some quick instructions before she has to leave in order to be on time for her first day of work. Nicholas hugs his mother tightly and it's clear that this is hard for Samantha. At last she leaves and Nicholas turns around and eyes me curiously.
"Mom said I had to be nice for you," he tells me, scratching his blonde hair.
"That's right," I say, crouching down so we're eye to eye. "But I'm sure that will be no problem, you're a sweet boy, right?"
"Yes," he smiles proudly.
"Sweet?" Mulder laughs and picks up Nicholas, tickling him so he giggles loudly. "This isn't a sweet boy, this is a rowdy and wild kid."
"No, Uncle Fox," he screams through heartfelt laughter.
The scene makes me smile greatly and I can't help but laugh with them.
"Be careful, Mulder," I chuckle.
"Careful?" he says, placing Nicholas over his shoulder as if he were his gym bag. "Careful with what?"
"With me!" Nicholas giggles from his back.
"With you?" Mulder chuckles, taking him off his shoulder to place him on the floor. "Of course I'll be careful with you, little man."
"I wanna go fly!" Nicholas says bouncing up and down on the floor with his arms reaching up for Mulder.
I sit down in the couch to watch as Mulder picks up Nicholas and runs around the room with him, both of them laughing loudly.
At last Mulder tires of this and plops down on the couch next to me with Nicholas in his arms.
"I can't fly anymore now, Nicholas," he says tiredly.
"Because you're old," Nicholas snickers, looking at me for confirmation.
I smile and nod at him.
"You two," Mulder sigh.
"Come on, Nicholas," I say and get up from the couch. "Let's give your old uncle some rest, come draw with me."
"Yay," he cheers and runs to the table where I've placed some paper and crayons.
"What are you drawing?" I ask him as he eagerly picks up crayons and starts on a drawing.
"You," he simply states.
"Really? Me?" I chuckle. "That's sweet."
I go to the kitchen to make some coffee while Nicholas is drawing by the table. I had some difficulty sleeping last night so I could really use the caffeine. As the machine starts brewing Mulder hugs be from behind. I hadn't even heard him get up from the couch in the other end of the room, caught up in my own thoughts.
"Great, I could use a cup as well," he says before kissing my cheek.
This all feels natural but I remember we're not quite alone. I eye Nicholas still drawing by the table not far from us but he's absorbed with the task in hand.
"You're so good with him," I tell Mulder as I turn around in his arms.
He just shrugs but I can see he likes the compliment.
"He's my nephew."
"He's lucky to have you," I smile at him, putting my arms around his neck and giving him a quick peck on the lips.
"Thanks," he nods, his ears reddening as they do when he's flushed.
"Dana!" Nicholas calls for me.
I quickly detangle myself from Mulder and move to the table.
"Yeah?" I smile at him.
"Look!" he holds up his drawing for me to see.
I take it into my hands. I must admit, I can't really see the resemblance. I can see he's drawn a woman with red hair, so far so good.
"It's nice," I smile at him. "Maybe you could color the background too. Make a blue sky and maybe a sun."
"Alright," he nods and eagerly takes the drawing back to finish it.
I walk back to the kitchen part of the room where Mulder is pouring us two cups of coffee. I grab some milk from the fridge and pour a little into one of the cups, making it my cup.
We go to sit by the table with Nicholas. Mulder sits down next to his nephew, putting his arm around him as he takes a sip of his black coffee whilst eyeing Nicholas' drawing.
"Is that Dana?" he asks him.
"Yes, do you like it?" he looks up at his uncle expectantly.
"It's really good, buddy," he says and ruffles his hair.
Nicholas beams and continues coloring the sun yellow.
"Aren't you gonna draw?" Nicholas asks Mulder and me.
"Sure," Mulder grins, picking up a piece of paper for me, and one for him. "What do you think I should draw?"
"You can draw Dana too," Nicholas suggests.
"Really? You have to be pretty good to draw someone that pretty," Mulder smiles at me.
I roll my eyes at him and take a sip of my coffee before starting on my own drawing.
"You really think Dana is pretty?" Nicholas asks after a few minutes of silence.
"Very pretty," Mulder nods, engrossed in his drawing. "Don't you think so?"
"Maybe," Nicholas shrugs and blushes.
I look over to see Mulder's drawing. It's actually quite beautiful. He's drawing with a pencil, putting a lot of detail into a portrait of me. I didn't know he could draw or do anything artistic like that - it's new information about Mulder, and getting to know him better warms my heart.
"Wow, Mulder, that's good," I tell him. "I didn't know you drew."
"I use to in high school," he shrugs. "You really like it?"
"Yeah," I smile at him.
"Good," he chuckles and leans in, kissing me sweetly.
He gets back to his drawing and I continue with mine.
"What are you drawing?" he asks me.
"A dinosaur," I say.
"You are?" Nicholas sounds excited. "What kinda dinosaur?"
"A brachiosaurus. Do you know which one that is?"
"Hmm, is it the one with the long neck?" he wonders.
"That's exactly right. Well done," I praise him.
He smiles greatly, proud of himself.
"I've finished drawing you, Dana. Can I do a bracho-saurus too?"
"Brachiosaurus," Mulder corrects him chuckling.
"Of course you can," I tell him.
We spend nearly an hour drawing. Mulder's portrait of me is really beautiful and I decide I want to keep it. He signs his name and the date on it and gives me a kiss before handing it to me.
"Sorry, I couldn't quite make it as beautiful as you are," he says honestly.
"Mulder, it's perfect. I don't even look this pretty," I chuckle as I look at the drawing.
"Seriously, Dana," he shakes his head at me. "You have no idea how beautiful you are."
"Hm," I shrug, as I admire his drawing. I can see a resemblance; he's even drawn the mole on my upper lip - the one I usually cover with makeup but which he's seen. "You drew my mole."
"Mole?" he chuckles. "Does it have hairs growing out of it?"
"It's a beauty mark, Dana, and I happen to like it. A lot. You don't have to cover it up, you know."
"Maybe I won't then," I shrug and smile at him - he really knows how to make me feel beautiful.
"Good," he grins.
"My dinosaur isn't as good as yours, Dana," Nicholas sighs.
"Well, I've drawn nearly a hundred dinosaurs and this was your first one - I'd say you've done quite well," I tell him and I mean it, he's actually pretty good at drawing considering his age.
"Which other dinosaurs can you draw?" he wants to know.
I move over to sit on the other side of him instead of next to Mulder. I draw quick sketches of a tyrannosaurus rex, a velociraptor, a triceratops, and a stegosaurus. He seems impressed and wants to draw a stegosaurus next.
Before long I make us some lunch and right after we've had our sandwiches Mulder has to leave for his lessons.
"Be good for Dana, okay?" he says to Nicholas, ruffling his hair.
"Okay," he smiles at him.
"See you later, Dana," he says and gives me a kiss on the cheek.
"I'll have dinner ready when you get home," I tell him.
"How domestic of you," he teases me but moves out the door before I can smack him.
We close the door after him and I look down at Nicholas.
"And then it was just the two of us," I grin.
"Yep," he smiles up at me. "Can we go outside?"
"Outside?" I hadn't imagined going out, but considering his age and the wonderful weather, I realize it's probably impossible to keep him trapped inside this apartment for a whole day. "Sure, just let me get us some sunscreen."
When we've put the sunscreen on and found a hat for Nicholas to protect his face from too much sun we go out for a walk. We walk past my house and I tell him that's where I live this summer with my family. We walk past the swimming pools as well and he asks me if we can go in.
"Do you know how to swim?" I ask him.
"Yes, Uncle Fox taught me," he says proudly. "He can swim really good."
"Really well," I correct him. "Maybe we can go one day then, I'll have to ask your mom first, okay?"
"Okay," he smiles and takes my hand as we walk on.
I look down at our linked hands and smile. He's such a sweet kid; I already care for him a lot. He's like a little Mulder, really. He has the same mischievous glint in his eyes, exact same eyes for that matter, and the same kindness.
We walk for a good while before Nicholas gets tired. As soon as we get home, I put him down for a nap in the bedroom. He's out like a light the second his head hits the pillow. I move a strand piece of hair out of his face before going to the living room. I leave the door open so I can hear him snore slightly.
I pick up the drawing Mulder made for me earlier and smile. To know that this is how he sees me makes my stomach flip. I remember what I confessed to myself last night, causing my sleep problems. I love Mulder. It's a bit scary but also quite nice. I roll the drawing up and put it into my purse. I find the book I'm currently reading and sit down with it in the couch.
When Nicholas wakes up from his nap, I'm only a few chapters from finishing the book. I put it down and open my arms for him. He comes over to give me a shy hug.
"Did you have a good nap, sweetie?" I ask him.
He nods and rubs his eyes.
"Are you thirsty?" I ask him, finding him absolutely adorable.
He nods again and sits down on the couch.
I get up and fetch him a glass of water. I hand it to him as I sit down next to him. He takes two big gulps before setting the glass down on the coffee table and wiping his mouth clean from the water on his upper lip.
"When is my mom coming?" he asks.
"At 7," I tell him. "That's four hours away. Do you know how long that is?"
He raises four fingers and I nod in confirmation.
I ask him if he's good with numbers. He tells me he is and he counts as high as he can. He tells me he knows the alphabet as well and goes to pick up a book from his bag.
We open it together and there's a list with the letters of the alphabet on the first pages. He points to the A and says: A. Then to the B and says: B, and so on.
"You're good at that," I tell him and he nods.
"Can you tell me a word that begins with an A?" I ask him and point to the A.
"How do you mean?" he frowns.
"An A sounds like this," I say and make an A-sound. "Can you think of a word you know that sounds like that?"
"A-a-a…" he wonders several seconds about this. "Animal?"
"Yes, that's right," I cheer him on and pats his shoulder. "How about B?"
"B-b-baby," he says and laughs.
"Yes! Wow, you're good, Nicholas," I praise him.
"I learned something new," he seems excited.
"Now C, that's a tough one because it can sound quite differently," I tell him. "Let's save that for a bit later. How about D?"
"Dana!" he says instantly. "Your name is a D-word."
"Exactly," I chuckle.
We keep practicing the alphabet, finding words to match the different letters. I'm impressed at how fast a learner he is.
Before I know it, it's getting late and it's time to start making dinner. Nicholas moves to the table close to the kitchen with his alphabet book and keeps practicing while I start cooking.
I'm making chicken with a summer salad to go with. I'm done at 5.30 and a few minutes later Mulder comes home.
"Hello!" he greets us as he enters the apartment.
Nicholas immediately runs to him with his book, telling him to say a letter from the alphabet. Mulder gives him an S and Nicholas quickly says: summer.
"Nicholas, that's great," he smiles widely and picks him up hugging him. "How about P?"
"Police," he beams up at his uncle.
"Amazing," Mulder states as he puts him down again. "Did Dana teach you that?"
"Yes," Nicholas jumps up and down in excitement.
Mulder walks over to me and gives me a tight hug.
"Mulder," I chuckle.
"Thanks," he whispers.
"He did all the work, I just guided him," I say in all honesty.
"He's a talented young man," Mulder states as he pulls out of the hug, kissing my cheek.
"That he is," I agree. "Now sit down, you two, I have dinner ready."
They do as they're told and we enjoy the dinner I've prepared. After dinner we clean up and Nicholas sits down to draw some more. Before we know it, it's 7 o'clock and Samantha enters the apartment.
"Hey," she says. "How's my little baby been?"
"I've been good," Nicholas smiles and gets up to give his mom a hug. "Baby is a b-word."
"Well, yes it is," Samantha seems taken back. "Have you learned something new today, sweetheart?"
"Yes," he chuckles. "Say a letter from the alphabet, mom!"
"Okay…" Samantha ponders this. "How about an I?"
"Ice cream!" Nicholas says proudly. "Dana taught me how the letters sound."
"I'm impressed," Samantha addresses me now.
"I hope I didn't overstep my bounds, I…" suddenly it occurs to me Samantha might have wanted to teach him this herself.
"Not at all!" she cuts me off with a laugh. "So have you been good for Dana, Nicholas?"
Nicholas tells her all about our day, while Mulder and I clean up the last few things in the kitchen.
"It sounds like it's been a good day," Samantha finally says when Nicholas is done rambling.
We all sit down by the table for a cup of coffee while Nicholas has a glass of milk. Samantha tells us about her first day and Nicholas shows her some of the drawings we did.
"And that's a brachiosaurus!" he tells her, looking at Mulder to make sure he's pronounced it properly - Mulder gives him a nod in the affirmative.
"Wow, that's good," Samantha sounds quite impressed. "We should save that for grandma to show it to her when she gets back home."
"Okay," Nicholas nods enthusiastically. "Maybe I can even do a better one if I practice drawing it."
"That would be nice," Samantha encourages him.
"Dana has drawn more than a hundred dinosaurs!" he tells her making big gestures with his arms. "And she can draw them perfect! I can become that good too if I practice!"
"That's right," I chuckle.
"Oh, Dana, we've kept you so long, you must want to get back home to your family, I'm so sorry!" Samantha shakes her head at herself.
"Ehm, no, actually…" I look to Mulder for help - I can't very well say I'm waiting for her to go home first so I can bang her brother.
"I promised to help Dana…" Mulder says. "With an… a resume."
"Yeah," I go with it. "I've never done one before so I could use a bit of help with the outlay and stuff."
"Oh, all right," Samantha nods, apparently buying the story. "Well, we need to get home soon too actually. I'm glad it went well today."
"Nicholas is a sweet boy, it's been a pleasure," I say in all honesty, smiling at Nicholas.
We get up and say our goodbyes. Nicholas wraps himself around my legs.
"See you tomorrow, Dana," he says sweetly.
"See you, Nicholas," I chuckle, ruffling his hair.
Suddenly it's very quiet in the apartment, with now only Mulder and me in it.
"You're great with Nicholas," Mulder says, pulling me in for a kiss and a hug.
"Mmh," I mumble against his lips. "He's such a little charmer."
"Well, he is my nephew," Mulder smirks.
"He does remind me of you," I admit, leaning in for another kiss.
"Really?" he chuckles.
"Well, he's cuter," I shrug, running to the bedroom before he has time to register what I've said.
"Hey," he objects, running after me. "Oh, you're gonna pay for that!"
"Nooo," I chuckle as he wrestles me and we fall down on the bed.
He tickles me and I struggle to get him off me, feeling tortured but deliciously so.
He grabs my wrists and places our hands over my head on the bed. He dips his head down and our lips connect. I can't help but moan into the soon heated kiss we share. His tongue is caressing mine and he's lying between my legs. Before long I can feel him quite hard against me. I roll my hips, causing him to break the kiss off to groan. We sit up slightly and he lifts the t-shirt over my head before unhooking my bra and throwing the clothing to the floor. I lay back down and he peels the shorts and underwear off of me as well. I peel his own t-shirt off his upper body and open his shorts, sticking my hands into his boxers to feel his erection.
"Fuck," he groans and stands up to remove his shorts and boxers. He grabs a condom from his nightstand and rolls it onto his length before joining me on the bed again.
I open my legs slightly for him to fit in between them. He fits perfectly there. His head is at my entrance but we're in no hurry. We kiss languidly before he moves his kisses down to my neck and ears. I love it when he kisses my neck and ears. I can feel my wet center become even wetter for him and I can't help the small appreciative sounds that escape me.
While he's still kissing right beneath my right ear he moves gently into me. I moan at the feeling of him entering me. He moves in and out of me, slowly building the pace. A little faster and harder for each thrust. I move one hand into his hair and pull his head down to mine to kiss him while my other hand moves down his back to end up squeezing his butt as he continues to thrust into me. Our bodies are sweaty against each other and it feels amazing. We're both breathing hard and I can feel my orgasm build. I move my head up to give his earlobe a little bite. He groans loudly at this and starts pounding into me.
"Oh, God, YES!" I scream and moan as he continues his unrestrained pace, finally pushing me over the edge and soon following himself.
"Fuck, Dana," he whispers into my ear as we've somewhat regained our breaths.
"You just have," I chuckle and he laughs with me.
"So cheeky," he says getting up - I instantly miss his warmth - to discard himself of the condom.
He sits back down on the edge of the bed pulling me sideways into his lap. I put my arms around his neck and sigh content. We stay like that for a few minutes. Happy just sharing these moments in each other's arms.
"How do you know so much about dinosaurs?" he chuckles.
I give him a swap across the chest for teasing me but laugh myself.
"I always listened when we had science in school," I tell him.
"And you drew dinosaurs?"
"All the time," I confirm.
"Dorky," he says but smiles greatly.
"Yup," I chuckle.
"Where did you put my drawing? I couldn't find it," he wonders.
"I put it in my purse," I tell him, giving him a kiss. "I really like it, thank you."
"You're welcome," he says, kissing me back. "I can do more."
"Sure. I use to draw in high school but then I sort of forgot about it."
"Yeah, it happens," I nod. "So what do you want to draw?"
"Maybe you. Naked."
"Really?" my stomach fills with butterflies at the mere thought of such erotica. "Have you ever done that before?"
"Hell no," he laughs. "I only dated one girl in high school and she wouldn't have liked that."
"No?" I can't imagine anything more erotic. "Why not?"
"Well, she wasn't very open about sex. I spend a year trying to get into her pants and when it finally happened she wasn't up for much. But it was just sex, and I really liked her, so I didn't mind. I didn't know what I was missing anyway," he chuckles. "It would be harder now."
"Yeah, I can imagine," I say. "I kind of went through the same with Marcus. Well, not spending a year to get into his pants, that was fairly easy. But he didn't want to experiment or try something new."
"What about Oliver?" he asks me and I can see he doesn't necessarily wants to hear the answer by the look on his face.
"Oliver was different. He had more experience and he had no problem trying new things. It was nice. I just didn't have any feelings for him besides the physical attraction."
"I don't like to think about you being with anyone else," he admits.
"I know, I feel the same about you," I tell him and kiss his cheek and jaw.
"How many…" I can't quite get myself to ask him the question but I've been wondering about it and I do want to know.
"Four," he says.
"Four?" I'm relieved. "You've had sex with four women?"
"Yeah," he smiles, "Sara Jensen; my high school sweetheart, Phoebe, Diana, and you."
"Phoebe?" I ask, the only one I haven't heard of previously. "Who was she?"
"The biggest mistake of my life?" he offers.
I raise my eyebrows at that and he shakes his head.
"I dated her for a while in England when I attended Oxford. Let's just say she wasn't good for me."
"Okay," I say after a little silence.
"And I'm your number three?" he wants confirmation.
"Yup," I smile at him. "Third and best."
"Good," he smirks.
"Very good," I say and kiss him again.
"I hate to do this but I have to leave soon," I sigh.
"I know," he sighs as well. "I know it's hard for us, not being able to spend the night together, always having to cut things short, but I think we should remember how lucky we are to have found each other."
I think about what he's saying. Focus on the positive? "Yeah," I agree. "It's been an amazing day. I'll see you tomorrow as well."
"Yeah," he smiles and we get up from the bed and I get dressed while he only puts his boxers back on.
We kiss goodbye and I walk the small distance home.
"Finally," dad greets me as I walk in the door. "I expected you home around 7."
"Oh, sorry," I mumble, and look at my watch; it's nearly 10. "We got to talking, and… well, you know how it is."
"Sure," he chuckles. "How did it go?"
"It went great," I smile. "Nicholas is the most amazing kid ever, dad! I can't believe how cute he is and so kind for someone his age as well."
"Sounds like it's going to be a good summer job," he smiles at me as we move to the living room.
"Yeah, it should be," I agree, thinking about Nicholas but definitely also about his uncle and how much time this means we'll get to spend together.
The week goes by fast, spending my days with Nicholas and my evenings with Mulder. Nicholas and I grow closer as the days pass and I love spending time with him. He gets better with the letters of the alphabet and when we turn the page in his book there are pictures of things, showing us how they're spelled. I have no doubt he'll be spelling words by himself soon.
Most days Mulder has already left for work when I come over in the morning, so I wait for Samantha to let me into the apartment. Thursday his exercises don't start till 9 though, so I came over a bit early that day. We'd only just got our clothes back on when Samantha knocked on the door, making us run from the bedroom, eagerly trying to look inconspicuous.
Saturday has arrived and since Mulder has the day off he'll be looking after Nicholas. I'd have joined them but today is the day my mom and Charlie get here. I've really missed them both and I'm well excited to see them.
Right before noon dad finally comes back from the train station with the two of them. Mom runs to Melissa and me, hugging us both tightly. It has been a while since we've seen each other.
"My girls," she whispers. "I've missed you so much!"
"I've missed you too, mom," I tell her and hug her back with as much excitement.
"Can't. Breathe." Melissa gasps for air making us all break out of the hug laughing.
"Hey," Charlie says awkwardly, pushing some hair out of his face.
"Charlie-boy!" Melissa pulls him into a hug and he pats her back while rolling his eyes.
Charlie is 15 years old and not much for affection. It's good to see him, nonetheless, and I settle for giving his shoulder a squeeze so I don't cause him too much torment - even though I'd like to hug my baby brother.
"How have you been?" I ask him.
"Fine," he says and shrugs.
"He's a bit cross he had to get up early today," mom tells us.
"It's suppose to be my summer vacation," he groans. "Getting up before 6 in the morning isn't a vacation."
"The kid is right," Melissa chuckles. "Don't worry, Charlie, from now on you'll probably get to sleep in."
"Awesome," he smirks.
"Well, you shouldn't sleep the day away, Charlie," mom says as we move inside - dad carrying most of the luggage.
"He's 15, of course he should sleep the days away," Melissa snickers.
"Really, Melissa, don't encourage him," mom shakes her head at us as we all laugh. "Some days he hasn't been up till noon!"
"Let's save the arguments for later," dad chuckles. "Right now, let's have some lunch and catch up."
"Sounds good," mom says and looks up at my dad before planting a big kiss on his lips.
"Eww!" Charlie, Melissa and I exclaim in unison.
"You might as well get use to it, because I've missed my husband," mom giggles while dad's looking at her with so much affection I can't help but smile.
"And, Charlie, you get to sleep in the room next to those love bunnies," Melissa winks at him, making Charlie scrunch his face in disgust.
"Melissa, be good," mom shakes her head at her, blushing slightly.
"It's no use telling her," I inform mom, and Melissa just winks and elbows me gently in the side.
We make our way to the kitchen and despite our protests mom wants to make us lunch, even after spending the whole day on a train.
It's so great catching up with mom and Charlie. Even though it's limited how much Charlie is willing to share about his very secretive teenage life. I can't help but inwardly laugh at the fact I use to be just like that - it feels like a billion years ago, when in fact it's no more than a few.
Bill and Tara have an engagement in town so they're not joining us until dinnertime. In the meantime we're sat out in the garden, enjoying some lemonade mom made.
It's late afternoon when there's a ring at the doorbell. We all wonder who it could be and mom goes to answer it.
"Dana, it's for you," she yells from inside the house.
I get up from the bench and jogs into the house and to the front door. Mom is standing in the door chatting to Mulder.
"Mulder?" I say surprised to see him.
"Hi, Dana," he says with an apologetic smile. "Sorry to disturb you, but Nicholas forgot what the dinosaur with the horns is called and he threw a little tantrum when I told him I didn't know…"
I look down and see Nicholas standing there with big puffy eyes, it's clear he's been crying.
"That's the triceratops," I tell him with a smile.
He just nods his head. Suddenly very shy. I guess because my mom is standing right behind me.
"This is Nicholas," I tell her.
"Hi, Nicholas," she says and extends her hand down to him. "I'm Dana's mom."
He shakes her hand real quick before hiding behind Mulder's leg.
"Sorry," Mulder says to me. "I didn't want to disturb you but I just… I didn't know what else to do."
"Don't be silly," I chuckle. "I'm happy I could help."
I smile down at Nicholas and he smiles shyly back at me.
"It was nice meeting you again, Mrs. Scully, I won't take up any more of your time now," Mulder addresses my mom and moves to head off.
"Oh, you don't have to leave on my account," she says and I look surprised at her. "Come on in, stay for dinner."
"No, I couldn't possibly…" he starts but mom cuts him off.
"Of course you can, come on in, it'll be nice to have a little one in the house again."
She ushers them inside, leaving them no choice in the decision. Mulder sends me a surprised little smile and I can't help but chuckle - this is typical Margaret Scully.
"Come on," I say and grab Nicholas' hand. "We're all sitting outside in the garden."
He just nods and squeezes my hand tightly.
"Everyone, this is Nicholas," I tell them.
They all greet him but he doesn't say a thing. Suddenly I can see what Mulder meant when he told me he was shy. I've never seen this side of him before since he opened up to me within the first few minutes after meeting me.
I sit down on the bench next to Charlie and Nicholas instantly crawls into my lap. They all smile at me at this, and I'm sure they think he's just as adorable as I find him. Mulder sits down next to me and greets everyone.
"I'm beginning to think this was all about seeing Dana," he says to Nicholas.
Nicholas shakes his head.
"No?" Mulder laughs. "Alright then."
We all sit and talk and before long Nicholas falls asleep in my lap, resting his little head against my chest.
"Mulder, hasn't he napped today?" I ask him.
"Ehm, no…" Mulder bites his lip. "He said he wasn't tired."
"No wonder he threw a tantrum," I chuckle. "The poor kid was just tired."
"You should find him a place to sleep," mom says.
"Yeah," I say and get up from the bench carrying a sleeping Nicholas.
Mulder gets up to follow me and we move into the living room where I put him down on the soft couch.
"I'm sorry," Mulder shakes his head at himself.
"Don't be," I tell him and step into his arms. "It's always nice to see the two of you."
"Good," he smirks and bends his head to give me a gentle kiss.
I move my hands from his chest to around his neck. We deepen the kiss and I run my hands through his hair.
"Mmh," he groans as he pulls out of the kiss. "Your family is just outside."
"Right," I sigh.
We walk back into the garden where we enjoy the afternoon before mom and Melissa go inside to start cooking dinner. Dad has bought a new board game and asks us if we want to play it. Charlie rolls his eyes but agrees.
"It's called Trivial Pursuit," he says as he comes back out into the garden with the game in hand. "It's supposed to be quite good, it's very popular these days."
We read the rules of the game and decide to be in teams. Since Charlie and dad are sitting next to each other on one side of the table, it's them against Mulder and me.
It's actually a really good game and we quickly get into it. Before we know it, dinner is ready. We pack the game away, even though we haven't finished, and go inside.
Mulder and I go to wake up Nicholas. He says he's hungry and I say that's lucky because dinner is ready. Mom and Melissa have outdone themselves with a roast dinner. We place Nicholas between Mulder and me but he quickly crawls into my lap.
"No, Nicholas," I tell him. "You have to sit on your own chair for dinner, okay?"
"Okay," he nods his head and crawls back into his own seat.
Just as we're about to begin Bill and Tara joins us. It turns out their engagement dragged out but they're just in time for dinner. Mom gets up and gives them both big hugs. Charlie just rolls his eyes when Bill asks if he's missed him.
"Mulder!" Bill says surprised as he sees our special guests. "And who's this little guy?"
"This is Nicholas," I tell him. "Mulder's nephew."
"Oh, right," he nods his head.
"They came over to see Dana so I asked them to join us for dinner," mom says happily. "Now dig in everyone!"
We all enjoy dinner immensely, and the conversation is flowing freely.
Finally I have my whole family together again. It makes me feel warm inside and throroughly happy. I look over at Mulder and I can feel the butterflies in my stomach - to have him here makes it all better. He catches me looking at him and we give each other a knowing smile before returning to dinner.
Sometimes it dawns on me that I'm actually sleeping with Mulder. It's kind of hard to believe after having had a crush on him for nearly a year. It's like suddenly being in a relationship with your movie star crush. All those scenarios of first kisses and intimate situations you've imagined countless times are suddenly being played out and experienced in real life.
And what's even harder to wrap my head around: for the first time ever I'm really in love. The way I feel about Mulder and the way he makes me feel… it's without precedent, it's incomprehensible - like nothing I've ever experienced before.
"Thank you for dinner, Mrs. Scully," Mulder says as we've all helped clean up. "We should get home now."
"It's been a pleasure having you over," mom says lovingly. "Are you sure you won't stay for a cup of coffee?"
"Nah, thanks but no thanks. Nicholas' mom gets off work soon so we should really get home."
"Well, okay then. It was nice meeting you, Nicholas," she says sweetly to the shy little boy.
"You too, Mrs. Scully," he says politely - the first words he's spoken to anyone besides Mulder and me today.
"I hope to see you again soon," she tells him smiling greatly.
He just nods this time.
Mulder says goodbye to everyone and I say I'll follow him and Nicholas out.
"I'll see you tomorrow," I tell Mulder. "I'll probably come over in the afternoon or after dinner."
"Great," he smiles at the notion of seeing each other again so soon.
"And I'll see you Monday, Nicholas," I say and pick him up to give him a hug.
"I'll miss you, Dana," he says sweetly.
"Aw, really?" I find that endearing.
He nods his head against my shoulder.
"Well, I'll miss you too, Nicholas," I tell him and I mean it too.
I put him back down on the ground and give Mulder a quick kiss before they leave.
When I get back to the living room Charlie's gone upstairs. I decide to follow him.
I knock on his door and he tells me to come in. He's unpacking his things as I enter his room.
"It'll be nice to have a whole room to yourself," I say, noticing that there's just one bed in here - there use to be two the last time we lived in a house like this but I guess that was because Bill lived there too.
"I'm use to having my own room now," he shrugs. "It's been years since I've shared."
"I guess," I realize he's right. "So how are you, Charlie?"
"I'm good," he smiles.
He's a bit easier to talk to one on one. I have a special connection with all my siblings. Bill and I have the same mindset and demeanor and he's always been looking after me. Melissa is my sister - we can talk about things I can't talk to anybody else about and I've always looked up to her. Charlie is my baby brother. Even though he's taller than me now - it was bound to happen really - he's still my little brother. I was four years old when he was born and I went from being the youngest to being an older sister. He taught me about responsibility just by being born and unlike Bill and Melissa I never teased him for being the youngest, making me his closest ally and the only one he confided in. Even though it's been a while since I lived at home, I know that hasn't changed.
"How are things going with Amanda?" I ask knowingly.
Amanda is the girl he had the biggest crush on all of freshman year.
"I finally asked her out," he chuckles, sitting down on the chair by his desk.
"That's awesome, Charlie," I say excited, sitting down on the bed. "What did she say?"
"She said yes," he beams. "We've been going out for a few months now."
"Sweet," I smile greatly at him. "Does mom know?"
"No," he blushes. "I just tell her I'm going to hang out with a friend or something when I go see her."
"Yeah, I didn't tell her I was dating Marcus until we'd been going out for five months," I chuckle - not telling him that she'd already figured it out, which is probably the case with him as well.
"Are you seeing anyone?" he asks me.
"Actually I dated someone not too long after I broke it off with Marcus," I tell him. "But it didn't work out. I wasn't in love with him."
"And now?" he smirks.
"Now?" I find it getting hotter in here, and finding it impossible to lie to Charlie. "I might be seeing someone."
"Yeah?" he chuckles. "Is it Mulder?"
I think my expression says it all. It's a mixture of surprise and not being able to stop giggling.
"I saw you kiss him goodbye when I went upstairs," he reveals, and I'm glad that's why.
"So we're not being obvious or anything?" I wonder.
"Well, I had no idea before I saw you kiss him," he shrugs. "So I don't think so."
"Good," I nod.
"How long have you been seeing each other?"
"Today it's been two weeks," I do the math in my head. "But I've always had a little crush on him."
"That's sweet," he chuckles. "Have you slept with him yet?"
Oh, little brother…
"Yeah, I have," I nod my head.
"And?" he seems eager for details.
"It's good. Really good actually," I can't keep the smile off my face.
"Nice," he can't help but laugh a bit.
"You haven't slept with Amanda have you?" I hope not.
"No, she's a year older than me but I don't think she's ready for that. She's never had a boyfriend before," he tells me.
"What about you? Are you ready for that?" I wonder.
"I'm a guy," he shrugs. "And I'm 15, nearly 16. It's practically all I think about."
"Well, just be careful and remember to respect Amanda's wishes."
"Of course," he nods. "I'd never do anything she doesn't want to. I really like her."
"That's good to hear," I feel proud of him - he's such a nice young man.
I take a good look at him. He's quite tall and his hair nearly reaches his shoulders: it's not the same red as mine but a darker red, nearly brown, much like Melissa's hair. His eyes are a piercing blue and he has quite nice skin for a teenager, no acne. He really is quite handsome, I realize.
We talk for nearly two hours before I finally head to bed. I can't believe my little brother is already dating. I was 17 before I had my first boyfriend. But he's a sensible young guy and I trust him to do what's right. It was nice finally talking to someone about Mulder. It seems more real somehow when you tell people about it. Not that I'm ready to tell the world yet, not at all. I look forward to seeing Mulder again tomorrow and as it's become custom, my last thought before I fall asleep is of Mulder.