Email: all okay
Keywords: MSR, AU
Spoilers: maybe, not really sure
Summary: 'He never knew what a sucker he was for big blue eyes, until he met Dana and the most adorable little girl he'd ever seen, that is.'
Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Files, the X-Files characters. But I really wish I did.
A/N: I still have a weakness for AU stories. In this one, Mulder is the star pitcher for the New York Yankees. Scully is a doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital, with a 4-year-old daughter named Cassie.
Progress: In progress
Special thanks: to Gloria in German class for coming up with how they meet. Never could have done it without you.
"Mommy, can I have a puppy?" the four-year-old asked her mother sweetly as they walked leisurely through Central Park.
"Cassie, we've been over this. No one would be home to take care of it and puppies need a lot of care," Dana told her daughter. She tapped Cassie on the nose. "Just like you do."
"Can I ever have a puppy?"
"One day, we'll see."
"Promise?" Promises meant everything to Cassie. She never let people back out of them. But Dana never broke her promises. Besides, she could deny her baby girl almost nothing.
Mulder threw the ball across the grass, watching as his puppy, Snickers, ran as fast as an eight-week-old puppy could. He smiled when she struggled just slightly to bring the ball back. A little girl caught his attention out of the corner of his eye when he grabbed the ball back from Snickers. She had wavy light brown hair that came down past her shoulders. He guessed she was four, maybe five. And she was eyeing Snickers with such awe.
Mulder remembered those days well. He would always bother his parents about getting a puppy. Now he could buy as many of them as he wanted.
"Hi, there," he called out to her, slowly moving her way. Snickers promptly followed him. "My name's Mulder. What's your name?"
"Cassie," she told him, her voice beaming with confidence.
"It's nice to meet you, Cassie. Do you have a puppy at home?"
"No, but I want one. Mommy says I can have one when I'm older," she told him, her eyes never leaving Snickers.
"You want to play with my puppy until your mom gets here?" he suggested, glancing around for any sign of a distraught mother, possibly crying or screaming.
"Can I?" Cassie asked excitedly. Mulder nodded.
"Her name's Snickers and she's really friendly." Cassie tentatively reached her hand out to pet the puppy. "She won't hurt you."
He pet the puppy to show Cassie he wasn't lying. Snickers licked his hand when he started petting her, making Cassie laugh. "You want to try?" When Cassie nodded, he guided her hand to the puppy's soft head. Snickers immediately started licking her hand.
"It tickles," Cassie laughed.
Mulder shared her laughs. He always did have a soft spot for kids, little girls especially. They always managed to wrap him around their little fingers.
"Cassie, what's your mom's name?"
"Dana Scully. She's a doctor and she has prettyful red hair," Cassie shared. She picked up the ball Mulder had dropped. "Can I throw the ball to her?"
He spotted a redhead looking around frantically on the sidewalk. Damn, she's beautiful. Please let that be her.
"Sure, if you promise to stay here while I leave for just a second. I think I found your mom."
"I promise." And then he was totally forgotten as she played with the puppy. The smile stayed on his face as he quickly moved up the slop to the sidewalk. The woman had her back turned to him but he knew she was Cassie's mom.
He cleared his throat, startling the woman. "Let me guess, you have a daughter named Cassie with a certain penchant for puppies?"
The woman turned around and he was taken back. She had piercing blue eyes that he wanted to loose himself in. it was obvious who her daughter got her looks from.
"You know where she is?"
"Relax. She's down there playing fetch with my puppy," he explained. She noticeably relaxed.
"That explains why she stopped and I lost her," the woman reasoned, reminding herself that she wasn't a bad mother.
"She saw the puppy and couldn't resist. Stop thinking you're a bad mother, Dana."
Dana looked puzzled. "Do you read minds or something? And how do you know my name?"
"No and Cassie. She told me her mom is a doctor and has prettyful hair," he shared with her. "And I must say, I agree."
Dana tried not to but she blushed anyway. "Thank you. Now I think I'll just take Cassie and go."
"Let her play for a while longer; it's okay."
"No, really. I don't want to hold you back from your plans."
He waved her off. "It's no trouble. I don't have to be anywhere for another," he glanced down at his watch, "two days."
"Really?" Dana sounded unsure. Mulder nodded and assured her again. He led her down to her daughter, praising any god that she decided to stay.
Cassie spotted her in an instant. "Mommy, look! I'm playing with Snickers."
"I see that. Cassie, could you come over here for a minute?" Dana settled on the edge of a slope next to Mulder, watching her daughter's head hang like it did when she knew she was in trouble.
"Cassie," Dana started when her daughter stood in front of her, "you can't just run off in the park without mommy. It's dangerous. We were both lucky you found Mr. …"
"Mulder," Cassie and Mulder filled in for her.
"Mr. Mulder this time, but next time, we might not be so lucky. Do you understand?"
"Yes," Cassie nodded. "I'm sorry, mommy. I promise I won't do it again."
"I know." Cassie hugged her mom before Dana turned her back to the puppy. "Now go finish playing."
Cassie hurried back to the puppy, who had found leaves to play with instead. Her mother and her new friend sat in silence, just watching.
"She's a beautiful girl," Mulder said, speaking his mind.
Dana softened at that. "Thank you. Cassie is my world. I don't know what I'd do without her."
"How old is she?"
"Four. She'll be five in a few months."
"She's very polite for her age. Is that her mother's doing?" he teased.
Dana laughed. "Oddly enough, no. I do encourage it in her but she's like that on her own."
"Doesn't get it from her father, then?" he asked innocently.
"No, the only thing she got from her father is her light hair color," Dana quickly answered, wishing he'd get the hint and drop the subject.
Mulder glanced around. "Speaking of father, no one's gonna come running from the trees looking for you, is he? I'm not gonna have to defend myself, am I?"
Her eyes met his. "No, no one's going to come looking for you. You're safe."
He noticed how she closed herself off at the mention of Cassie's father. "Touchy subject?" he guessed.
"No," she said, shaking her head. "I've just learned to make peace with it."
"Tell me the story sometime?" he asked, his wishful tone obvious.
She arched an eyebrow at him. "Pretty cocky, aren't you?"
"No, just really optimistic."
She was momentarily frozen, speechless, at the sight of his smile. He had a welcoming presence about him, and even though she'd only spent maybe a total of ten minutes with him, she felt comfortable with him. Who knew her daughter was such a great judge of character?
"And, if I'm not out of line by assuming, I'd like o ask you out on a date," he said next, praying she wouldn't slap him. He was relieved when he saw her smile.
"Really?" was all she said. She wouldn't look at him, though. She kept her eyes on Cassie. He didn't know it that was good or bad.
"Yes, really. I'd love to take you out tomorrow night."
She turned her head to him. "Give me one good reason why I should say yes."
"You're tough. I like that," he told her, unable to keep the smile off his face. "You want a good reason? I'll give you a good reason. I am extremely attracted to you."
Dana laughed at him and he couldn't help but laugh as well. "That's your good reason?"
"Yes, I think it's a very good reason. And work the next morning is a very good excuse for you if you want to end the date early. But I'm hoping my charm will make you want to stay."
"You seem pretty sure I'm going to say yes, but I don't even know your name," she pointed out to him.
"If I tell you, will you say yes?"
Dana kept silent, keeping him in suspense. She already knew she was going to say yes but she couldn't figure out why. Ever since Cassie was born, she hadn't given men a second thought. They made advances and she ignored them. Cassie and her job got all of her attention and she was fine with that. But Mulder was making her want to break her own rules.
"Yes," she finally said, her eyes focused solely on his.
"Yes?" he repeated in case his ears were deceiving him. She nodded and was delighted to see his smile in return. His eyes were sparkling with delight. He held his hand out to her. "Fox Mulder, pleased to meet you."
Her brows knitted together. "I've heard that name somewhere. What do you do?"
"How I about I rephrase my answer? Hi, I'm Fox Mulder. I pitch for the New York Yankees. Bit I'm best know for stealing bases."
Recognition spread across her face. "That's where. My brother is a sports freak. He was going on and on with my father about the Yankees a couple of weeks ago," she remembered. "That Fox Mulder?"
"Yep, that's me. So, where's that yes you promised?"
Dana just pursed her lips and stood suddenly, leaving him no option but to follow. She called over to Cassie that it was time to leave, who promptly started to complain that she had to leave her new friend. She turned her attention back to Mulder when Cassie sided up next to her.
"Yes, I will go out with you tomorrow. But I warn you—I have a curfew."
"I promise I will get you back before curfew," he promised her. "Or as close to it as possible."
She smiled at his joke, fighting the normal impulse to pass it off. After giving him her address and agreeing on a time and place, she took Cassie's hand and started to leave.
"But Cassie had other ideas.
Mulder stood from where he was putting Snicker's leash back on. "Yes, Cassie?"
"May I play with you puppy sometime?"
Mulder smiled at her manners and approached her. He kneeled down to her level to make her feel more comfortable.
"Of course you can. How about I talk to your mom about it tomorrow night to work out an arrangement? Does that sound good?"
She looked so much like her mother when she smiled. "Yeah, that sounds good."
Mulder couldn't believe how much he wanted to be a part of this little girl's life. She already had him wrapped around her finger.
Continued in next chapter…….