Title: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Author: Kyouryoku Senshi

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: Three Words

Disclaimer: I own nothing!

Summary: Written for the Season Eight Missing Scenes Challenge Pack, Three Words: Telling Mulder. At some point Scully must have told Mulder who the baby's father is. Write a fic that includes a scene with this happening.

Scully had driven Mulder home that night in silence. What was upsetting to her even more was the fact that Doggett had been set up, which resulted in Mulder being set up. Despite Doggett's protests, she waited for Mulder to come out of the building after the whole ordeal. She was just thankful for him to be alive. He insisted that she drop him off at his own apartment, but she was forcefully adamant that he stay with her. She already almost lost him once tonight. Scully's hands tightened around the steering wheel as they drove through the wet night. She was angry, but at the same time relieved. Mulder stared out the window remembering his conversation with Skinner before he got into the car with Scully.

His former supervisor was pretty royally pissed. "Why is she with you?" he had demanded. Mulder shrugged. "Hey, I didn't force her to tag along, okay? I couldn't stop her from coming after me and waiting." Skinner had nailed him with a piercing stare. "But you didn't have to get yourself into this did you? You of all people should have realized this was a setup. Dammit Mulder, Scully sacrificed the safety of herself and the baby to come after you." "But I didn't-" Skinner held up a hand before Mulder could finish. "Don't give me that crap. Do you know how much Scully risked her life and her pregnancy when we were searching for you?" he demanded. Mulder swallowed and looked away. "Probably more times than I can count," he finished. "I did my best to try to stop her, to protect her while you were gone. When she was about three months along, I got a call in the middle of the night," he started. Mulder turned back to his superior's stern expression. "She told me she was having acute abdominal pain and I took her to the emergency room. Other than discovering you were missing, the possibility of also losing her baby was a major blow to her. I insisted that she take personal time afterwards. I can't tell you how many times she was injured during her pregnancy. She was thrown into a glass wall, abducted by some cult who put a slug into her spine along with being exposed to many other chemicals," before he could finish, Mulder interrupted. "They did what to her?" his voice rose. Skinner could almost smile at the hint of protectiveness in his voice. "Is she okay, is her baby okay?"

Skinner nodded. "She and the baby are fine as far as I am aware, but she's had a very difficult pregnancy. Her doctors say she is high risk. I know she did perform an amniocentesis out of fear to be sure the baby was human, because she couldn't trust her doctors at the time. I assure you that no one else in the bureau knew of her pregnancy other than me. She was afraid they'd use the baby against her, so I promised I'd keep her secret. She told me she was pregnant the day we discovered you were missing." He stopped and studied Mulder's reaction. He could tell his face had softened. Skinner couldn't be the one to reveal the nature of the child's paternity. Scully would tell him when the time was right. Mulder sighed. Just thinking about what his absence had put Scully through painfully gripped his heart. "Look, all I'm asking is that you don't put her through any more. If you can't do that, then walk away.

She's been through enough. It would destroy her to lose that baby." Mulder nodded and stared at Scully's car in the distance. He knew she was worried sick about him. All he wanted was for things to go back to the way they were, was that too much to ask? He sighed. Skinner nodded in the direction of Scully's car. "I think she's worried about you enough. Go home." And with that, Skinner walked away. By the time Mulder replayed the events with Skinner, Scully brought Mulder out of his reverie. "We're home," she whispered, gingerly touching his hand. "You okay, Mulder?" Mulder almost snatched his hand from under hers, but instantly regretted it when she flinched. "Sorry," he mumbled. "Just a little tired." They exited the car and made their way into her apartment in silence.

Once they were inside, Mulder plopped onto the couch. Scully placed her keys on the countertop and sighed, staring into the air. She ran her hand over her belly to sooth the rumbling that came from inside. Her hand never leaving her belly she turned towards Mulder. "How could you do that to me," she started off in a horse whisper.

Mulder turned towards her, expecting the worst. Once he caught sight of her hand on her belly, he averted his eyes. "I'm sorry, Scully," he mumbled.

"You almost got yourself killed!" she yelled. Scully felt tears in her eyes and did her best to wipe them away before Mulder saw. Mulder slammed his hand on the countertop, which caused Scully to jump. "Well, it probably would have been better if it stayed that way the first time, right?" "Dammit Mulder, don't say that to me. You have no idea," she said with a hint of anger in her voice. "Oh, but I do Scully, I've come back to nothing. Everyone has moved on without me," he said, indicating her belly. "So, what did my return make any difference? I have no family." Scully gasped and moved to sit next to him.

Mulder stiffened as her belly pressed against him when she gingerly wrapped her arms around him. "Mulder, you really don't have any idea. Oh Mulder," she sobbed. "The whole time you were gone, I prayed everyday for your safe return. I didn't tell anyone about the baby, because I was afraid they'd use it against me so I couldn't find you. I never stopped searching for you, Mulder, I knew I had to find you and not just for me, but for our baby…" Scully gasped and pulled away as those last words tumbled out of her mouth. Mulder whirled around to face her. "What, what did you just say, Scully?" Scully knew it was too late to take back the words she had said so impulsively. Instead, she reached for his hand and placed it on her abdomen.

She held it tightly, for fear of him pulling away. "You're wrong when you say you didn't have anything to return to, because you have us, Mulder," her voice broke with unshed tears. "How could you ever have thought otherwise?" Scully loosened her grip and Mulder didn't move his hand away like she had feared he would. Instead, he spread his hand so that it encompassed her entire belly as if seeing it for the first time. "But how, Scully?" he whispered, staring in awe at the girth of her belly. Scully smiled as a few tears escaped her lashes. "I've asked myself that same question over and over, but I don't think there is anything supernatural about this occurrence, Mulder," she turned a shade of pink. Mulder managed a small smile before looking back to her belly. He caressed it gently. "Is it okay, Scully, the baby?" Scully nodded. "Yeah," she whispered. "Are you sure? I know about some of the things that happened to you when you were looking for me. I know about how close you came to loosing the baby," he said softly.

Tears welled in Scully's eyes as she recalled how close she came to loosing the baby. She averted her gaze. "How did you know about that?" she asked, suddenly feeling guilty. Guilty that she didn't take care of the little miracle he had given her. "Skinner told me," he whispered. "Why did you put yourself through so much for me, Scully? You should have just thought about, you…our baby. You deserve to have this chance at happiness, Scully. Don't ruin it for me."

"I had to find you; I wanted you to know our baby. Of course, if this is too unexpected for you and you'd rather not be involved, I'll understand," her voice broke as she looked away. "I didn't tell you about the baby because I didn't know how you'd react or if you'd want to be a part of its life. You had so much going on."

Mulder gingerly tilted her chin so she was looking into his eyes. "Scully, like I told you once before, the answer is yes. I'll be involved as much as you'd let me, but would you really want Spooky to be the father of your child?" he chuckled.

She smiled. "I wouldn't have it any other way." "Good. So what is it, a boy or girl?" Scully looked down at her belly, where their hands rested. "I'm not sure, I wanted it to be a surprise, but I also didn't want to find out without you. It really doesn't matter to me though, as long as it's healthy and happy." Mulder smiled and then turned serious. "I'm really sorry Scully, for acting the way I did. I really hope you can forgive me. I'm sorry I caused you and the baby so much stress. God, I would never have left to go in those woods had I known," he lamented.

Scully smiled and touched his cheek. "Don't blame yourself," she whispered. "I should have been there, Scully. I would never have let those things happen to you or to the baby," he rubbed her stomach lovingly.

"I know I can't change that now, but starting today, I'm not going to let you worry or stress about anything other than midnight cravings." Scully laughed as he wiped away her tears.

"Deal."

"And you know what Scully?"

"What?"

"I love you and the baby more than anything. I know that's hard to believe with the way I've been acting lately. But I know where I fit in now and you're not going to get rid of me that easily."

Scully smiled. "Good and we love you too."

Mulder started to get up from the couch and reached to help her up. "Let's go to bed, Scully, you and the baby need your rest. And if you need pickles and ice cream at four in the morning, don't hesitate to ask."

Scully laughed as she held him tightly. "Done."

For the first time, Scully pulled Mulder into an embrace and kissed him long and hard. He felt the baby kick between them. When he finally pulled back, she smiled.

"Welcome home, Mulder."

END

A/N: Hope you enjoyed!