Okay this one goes out to the best fake twin sister ever, Teliko.x3 on her eighteenth birthday. I love you, Sis! I'm so proud of you and everything you've accomplished. It's going to be a great year so enjoy it. Love you lots. Chris Carter, Mel Gibson, & Grapes - always.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.



Dana Katherine Scully had had more than her fair share of bad birthdays. There was her sixth birthday when she got the chicken pox, her thirteenth birthday when they played spin the bottle and her lip got stuck in Jimmy Bryan's braces, her seventeenth when her boyfriend had broken up with her, the nineteenth when her secondhand car broke down in the middle of nowhere and, of course, any of the many birthdays when her father had been at sea. In summation, Dana Scully was no stranger to crappy birthdays – however, it appeared thirty-eight would take the cake for 'worst birthday ever'.

It was three forty-seven in the morning on February twenty-third and Scully lay awake staring at the glowing numerals on her alarm clock. Everything had changed in the last year; she was a single mother, hedging forty, and the love of her life was out there, somewhere searching for whatever the truth may be. Turning on her side and fingering Mulder's shirt, that had lost his scent ages ago, she tried to force herself to sleep. Just as her eyes began to flutter close the baby monitor roared to life with the cries of her son. Throwing back the covers she padded down the hall to his nursery.

"William." She breathed and lifted the screaming child from his crib, "Did you have a nightmare?" She crooned as she bounced him, "It's okay. Mama's here."

Taking a seat in the rocking chair, Scully stared at the one picture of the three of them. It had been taken with the Polaroid and now sat in a frame next to William's crib. Scully grabbed the blue frame and held it in front of William's face, "Look, William." She tapped the picture with her finger, "That's Daddy."

As if he could tell Scully's need for affirmation, his chubby hand stretched out alongside hers and tapped the frame. Her head rested against her son's wispy silk locks and tears pooled in her tear ducts as she rocked him. William's small hand wrapped around his mother's pointer finger as she sang, "William was a bull frog," Her voice barely above whisper, "Was a good friend of mine..."

"Dana?" Monica Reyes let herself into the apartment, "Dana?" She kicked the door shut with the heel of her Converse and set the balloons and flowers she had bought on the kitchen table. Still not receiving an answer she padded down the hallway to the William's nursery, pushing the door open slowly. Monica smiled at the sight before her; Scully asleep in the rocking chair and William wide awake, gumming his mother's fiery locks.

William cooed at his surrogate aunt and Monica carefully extracted him from Dana's arms, "Hi William." Monica blew against the boy's plump cheek, nuzzling him softly, "You're such a good boy." She lay him down on the changing table, making quick work of his pajamas and giving him a change. When he was dressed, Monica returned her attention to the woman she now referred to her as her best friend, "Let's go make your Mama some breakfast."

Scully woke up nearly an hour later with a crick in her neck and exhaustion clinging to her heavy eyelids. Her heart raced when she realized William was not in her arms but then she heard Monica and her little boy laughing at his silly aunt. Smiling to herself and stealing in the alone time she went to take a shower and get dressed before joining them in the kitchen, "Good morning."

"Morning." Monica smiled and handed her a plate of pancakes, "Happy Birthday, Sleeping Beauty."

"Mon, I don't even want to think about today being my birthday." Scully sighed, looking at the balloons that cluttered her table, "Please?"

"Not happening, Danes." Monica shook her head and tore up more pancake for William to chew on, "I know that if I let that happen you're going to sit around this apartment all day and think about Mulder and how much your life sucks."

"So?" Scully raised a brow as she stabbed at her pancakes.

Monica's eye roll was practically audible, "So after you finish your breakfast, we're taking Prince William to your mother's and we're hitting the town."

"Mon..." Scully groaned, "Please, the stars are stacked against me, I want to get back in bed."

"Not happening, Mary Chapin Carpenter." Monica shot back, wiping William's face with a wet rag, "You need to have some fun. Your mother agreed with me. We're even going out to dinner tonight."

"Monica, no." Scully's blue eyes pleaded with her.

"Look," Monica placed her hands on her hips, "It's your birthday and as much as it sucks that Mulder isn't here to share it with you, he wouldn't want you to mope around like some schmuck."

"It's scary when you start making sense..."

"There is no way in Hades I am wearing this to dinner!" Scully protested, pulling at the straps of the slinky black number Monica had forced her to try on.

"Yes, you are." Monica replied, glancing at her watch, "C'mon, Danes. We've got reservation's at eight and it's already four. Pick one."

"Fine." Scully growled and turned to look at the dresses she had tried on, "I guess this one is better then that green thing that made a slip seem modest."

"Perfect!" Monica threw up her hands in frustration, "C'mon!"

"I don't know what you have up your sleeve, but I'm officially concerned Monica Juliette." Scully emerged from the dressing room in her street clothes and the dresses tossed over her arms.

Monica chuckled, taking the rejects from her, "Love you too, Dana Katherine. You're going to love it. Trust me."

"Those are dangerous words coming from you." Scully pulled her cellphone out.

Monica grabbed it, "What the hell are you doing?"

"Calling my mom to check on William." Scully said as Monica stuck her cellphone in the back pocket of her jeans, "Monica!"

"Dana." Monica grabbed her friend by her shoulders, "Your mother raised four children I am sure she's just fine with her grandson for a few hours."

"I know she is." Scully ran her hand through her fire engine curls, "I'm just going through William withdraw."

"You'll be fine." Monica reassured her and pulled her into the line at the register, "You'll see your boys in a few hours."

Returning to Scully's as the hand etched dangerously close to five thirty, Monica shoved Scully into the bathroom with strict orders to change so she could do her hair. Monica pulled out her phone and made a quick call to her accomplice – making sure everything was still safe for all parties involved. Dana stepped out of the bathroom in the dress and heels that she feared would break her neck, "Why aren't you dressed, Mon?"

"It's a surprise, Danes." Monica retorted, "Now, sit."

Eying her friend suspiciously, Scully took the seat in front of her vanity mirror. Monica made quick work at curling Dana's hair and pulling the front half back and pinning it. Scully glanced in the mirror and trailed her finger along the gold chain of her cross necklace, curious as to what her best friend was pulling as Monica removed a bandana from her pocket.

"Ready?" Monica wrapped the bandana around her head, securing it over her eyes.

"Monica," Scully growled, "Remove this."

"It's not a surprise if I let you see." Was all Monica said, taking Scully by the wrist and leading her from the apartment, "I probably should have let you get down the stairs before putting that on you, Oh well." She shrugged, "Step."

They managed to make it to the car and as Monica fastened her seat belt she was grateful that the bandana also blocked her from Dana's soul piercing glare. Popping the car into drive, she pulled off in the direction of what could only be described as the boondocks. They drove for a long while, Scully playing twenty questions along the way. When they rolled to a stop almost an hour later Scully could hear the tires rolling on the gravel.

"Can I take this off yet?" She sighed.

Monica shut the door and walked around to help her out, "Afraid not. You have to wait until we're inside."

The room of the small family owned restaurant was aglow with several candles as the smell of pasta permeated the air. Her hands shaking with her own excitement, Monica undid the bandana tied around Scully's eyes, "Open your eyes."

Forcing her eyes open her senses almost overloaded at the site before her. Sitting at the table was Fox Mulder, their son sitting on his lap and chewing on Mulder's tie. Her hand flew to her mouth as the tears slid down her cheeks, "This...but...."

"You guys have a couple hours." Monica gave her a light shove, "This is for real, go to him."

That was all the encouragement Dana Scully needed as Mulder stood to catch her when she practically flew into his arms. Her arms locked around his neck as she pulled him into an intense kiss and her fingers gripped at his collar. When they managed to separate, she breathed, "You're here."

"Happy Birthday." Mulder whispered against her lips.

William cooed both of his sticky hands patting against his parents cheeks. Scully laughed and kissed her son's cheek, "Hi, Baby." She nuzzled his sweet cheek, "You pulled a fast one on Mommy."

"Are you mad?" Mulder asked, helping her into her seat and placing William in the high chair.

Her eyebrow quirked, "Why on God's green earth would I be mad?"

"Because I know how you hate your birthday and you hate to be left out of the loop." Mulder explained as he cut up William's noodles for him.

She shook her head through the tears, "I'm not mad."

"I've missed you." Mulder reached across and took her hand, "Both of you."

"We've missed you too." Scully said, poking at her food. She was far more happy to just sit there and be a family for the next two hours.

"We're getting close," He whispered, "Soon, I'm going to be with you. I'll get up with him at three am and I'll rub your back – don't give me that look, I know it's bothering you."

She smiled, "I love you, Mulder."

"I love you too, Scully." He leaned over, kissing her as William giggled.

Through the entire evening she only had one coherent thought, This is the best birthday ever.


Okay, here's hoping it didn't suck cause I'm uber sick. Hope you liked it, Brit. Love you all - J.