Trust, Love and Happiness, too Pt. 14

by Nikita

Title: "Trust, Love, and Happiness, too." Chapter 7 and Epilogue

By: Nikita

Series: 14/14

This is a sequel to my first series: "What We Need Now is Trust." Available at Down in the Basement, Slashing Mulder, or at my own website: http://www.koukla.net/nikita_slash

Archive: Anywhere that wants it, but it would be great if you told me so I can come and visit!! : )

Spoilers: Season 7.

Disclaimer: I do NOT own the X-Files or any characters, plot lines, etc. They belong to Chris Carter, Fox, and the wonderful actors themselves. This is an unauthorized story for entertainment purposes only. I'm but a poor humble grad student struggling to make ends meet. Writing this stuff and keeping a website actually costs me money. But I do it as a labor of love.

Warnings: Slash. M/M relationship, sex, language. Schmoop, angst, plot, all the good stuff. Mpreg., aliens, etc. etc.

Feedback: Yes, please, may I have some more?! nik_cleo@hotmail.com

Summary: The ending...but new beginnings as well. Finally we arrive to the happiness part of the story...right?

^ Still means telepathic communication ^

' still means internal thoughts '

Author's note:

Finally, an update...and it's the ending! Thanks to all of you loyal readers out there that took the time to tell me how much you enjoyed the series. I can honestly say I would never have made it this far without you!! Your kind notes often cheered me up during stressful times and kept me on track...

XXX

Skinner carefully balanced the heavy tray as he knocked quietly on the door. The faint murmuring he had heard before he had knocked stopped suddenly.

"Yeah?" A haggard voice asked.

"Lunch."

"All right, come in."

Skinner opened the door to the same sight he had seen for the last thirteen days. Alex sat in bed with one of the babies on his lap, half-empty bottle sitting on the bedside table.

Next to Alex lay Mulder, his face slack and unresponsive as his eyes stared up at the ceiling. The sight disturbed Skinner deeply. The once brash and irreverent man that once had so much energy and enthusiasm he practically bounced up and down on his feet when solving an X-File now lay like a vegetable, unknowing or caring of his fate.

Skinner set the tray down on its customary place on the bedside table and looked back at Mulder.

"Stop it" Alex growled softly but threateningly. The baby stirred but didn't wake; Skinner looked at Alex and saw barely checked fury.

"What?" Skinner frowned.

"That look. That god damned look you give him 'every' time. You're ready to cart him off to the nuthouse. He doesn't need your negativity."

"Alex. You're exhausted. Why don't you take a break, Scully and I-"

"I'm not going 'anywhere.' He needs me. And if you think I'm going to leave you alone with him... This isn't the first time you've tried to lock him up in a mental institution. But this 'is' the last time. Get. Out."

Skinner opened his mouth to let the son of a bitch have it when the baby in Alex's arms stirred and began to cry. Scully came in within seconds and held her hands out.

"I'll take him. Frohike's got Danny and I think Misha's probably ready for a change, aren't you?" she cooed to the wailing baby. Misha didn't stop crying, but the wails were a little less frantic. She gave both men a glare as she walked out the door.

Skinner followed her with one last glance at the men in bed. Alex was shakily lying back in the bed, one hand going to Mulder's shoulder. He shut the door and followed Scully down the stairs. As she began to change the diaper he turned to duck out the front door for a walk.

"We need to talk, Walter." He froze and turned back, crossing his arms defensively. "I heard what Alex said and he's right. You 'do' plan to admit him to a hospital, don't you?"

"I never said that. But the man is in need of psychiatric care, Agent Scully. You of all people should be able to see that. He hasn't talked or responded to anyone, not even to Alex...or the babies, or Kat. He's barely functioning at all and Alex is simply too close to see it. We owe it to Mulder to get him the proper care."

Scully finished fastening the new diaper and picked up the sniffling baby. She patted its back absently and turned to face him, frowning slightly.

"I happen to agree with Alex for now. He needs rest and time to recuperate...and above all he needs his family. He 'is' functioning on some level. He lets Alex feed him and help him to the bathroom. He walks as long as Alex holds onto him and he's gotten back some color in the last few days..."

Skinner frowned and shook his head. It wasn't enough. They hadn't had one glimpse of the man that he had been. The man needed professional care but the others were in denial.

Scully watched him closely and finally sighed, "I think Alex is right, you should go. Mulder needs our support and I won't have you ruining that by fighting us every step of the way. You may feel guilty for ignoring him and Kat all this time, but you can't make it up to him by throwing money at the problem and locking him up without his family."

Skinner opened his mouth to protest but Scully held her hand out. "I think you should say goodbye to Kat and go back to D.C. We'll keep you posted on how he and the babies are doing."

XXX

Alex lay with his head on Mulder's shoulder, his arms holding his lover tightly as he felt a shudder run through him. Skinner was just waiting for Alex to break...to leave the house or let his guard down and then BAM: Mulder would be swept up into a nursing home or the psych ward of some hospital.

'I can't let that happen...he's been through so much...and so much of it was my fault...What am I going to do?...Oh, god, Fox, I need you.'

A hand reached up and settled on the back of Alex's, a light touch but it stayed there. Alex jerked his head up and stared at it for a moment before searching Mulder's face.

^Lisa? Can you hear me? ^

But Mulder's face and mind was as unresponsive as before. This was the first time Mulder had touched him or even moved without prompting from Alex himself. Alex found his hopes rising, it wasn't much...but it was a start. Proof that Skinner was wrong. Mulder was still in there. His lover was still there and with a little time and hope...they'd be together again.

XXX

"You're leaving?"

Skinner glanced up from his suitcase and saw Kat standing in the door. She was clutching a doll as she stared at him with accusing eyes.

"Yes. I need to take care of some things in D.C., right now, but Aunt Dana is staying with you and your daddies and the babies." Skinner dropped the pair of pants he had been folding and sat down on the bed. Kat walked into the room but stopped several feet away from him. She clutched her doll tighter, twisting her fingers in its dress.

"But why can't 'you' stay?"

Skinner sighed and while he wished he could blame this on Alex he knew that both he and Scully were right, he wasn't capable of handling this situation. He couldn't stand to see Mulder like this, but even so...he felt horribly guilty for leaving Kat. "I have to go, Kat. But I promise to come back and visit soon, okay?"

Kat frowned but nodded and Skinner smiled at her. Standing, he leaned down and kissed her on the forehead before returning to his packing.

XXX

Skinner tossed his bag in the trunk of the rental and walked to the driver's side. Glancing back at the house he saw a curtain fall back into place where Kat's room was.

Scully stepped out of the house, and waved.

"You'll call me if anything changes." It wasn't a question.

Scully smiled and nodded, "I'll call you 'when' something changes. Take care, Walter."

XXX

Frohike hummed as he flipped the last pancake over. Cinnamon-apple pancakes made the kitchen fragrant, but it was the crisp bacon that really had his mouth watering.

"Oh my god... Tell me that's all for me!" Scully leaned over the counter and sniffed hopefully in the air. Frohike's heart skipped a beat at the sight. Would he 'ever' stop falling for the woman?

"Enough for everybody. Alex already has his and Mulder's. He said that Mulder really liked pancakes..."

Scully sighed at the mention of Mulder but nodded wistfully. "Yep. He used to order them all the time when we'd stop for breakfast on cases out of town." She pulled out a plate and started eating a pancake. Her eyes closed with bliss. "But these are the best pancakes I've 'ever' had. Where'd you learn to make them?"

Frohike snuck another glance at her before turning off the burner and setting the last pancake on the plate. "My mother. She was quite a cook. Taught me everything she knew. Sit down, Red. You've been on your feet all night."

Scully didn't even protest the nickname, just sat down and took another bite, chewing slowly to savor it. He sat down across from her and plopped some bacon on her plate. Kat finally skipped in and Frohike handed her a plate of smaller pancakes he'd made just for her in the shape of rabbits.

"Ooh! They're too pretty to eat!" Kat squealed but then negated her own comment by picking one up and chomping off its head.

Scully watched with a smile and sipped at the coffee Frohike pushed towards her. The two adults ate in silence as Kat prattled on and told them stories. Once finished she ran upstairs to tell her papa about the breakfast.

Frohike dumped the dishes in the sink and started filling it with suds and hot water.

"Let me do that. You cooked." Scully pushed him gently aside and rolled up her sleeves. He stepped back but picked up a towel instead.

"I'll dry, then."

They worked quietly together for several minutes. "Melvin..." Frohike's brows rose at his first name but he stayed quiet. "...I was a little surprised that you stayed. Byers and Langly said that you guys were well behind your deadline for your work...not that we don't appreciate your help. But Alex and I can manage-"

Frohike put a glass away in the cupboard and shook his head. "Mulder's my best bud. He'd do it for me. And anyway, the guys can handle a few editions without me holding their hands...I've sent some articles in and I'm needed more here. You and Alex can manage just fine, I know, but you could use the help. Babies are full time jobs on their own...and Kat needs a baby sitter when you two are busy. I'm happy to do it."

Scully rinsed the last pan and turned off the water. "You're a good friend, Melvin. And Mulder's a good judge of character. All these years I didn't really see it until now..."

Frohike squirmed slightly and knew he was blushing. He took the pan from her hands and wiped it dry. He wasn't sure what to say...his automatic reaction would only ruin the moment...

"You're just dying to make an innuendo, aren't you?" came a dry voice behind him.

He grinned and turned to face her. "You know me too well, Red. We were meant to be together. Wanna step upstairs for a moment?" he waggled a shaggy eyebrow at her.

She snorted and tossed a towel at him.

XXX

Alex gave a weary sigh as he turned off the light. Dead tired. No other way to describe it. Even with help, he was still taking care of two newborn babies, Kat, and Mulder. Scully was trying to get him to go out for brief walks, "Just get some air...get out of the house, Alex. You need to stay sane." Maybe so...but the very idea that something might happen while he was gone was enough to keep him rooted to the house.

"Goodnight, Fox" he pulled the covers up and curled up next to Mulder and fell into a deep sleep.

XX 2 Hours Later XX

"ALEX! AALLLEX!!!" Bolting out of his bed Alex stared at Mulder stunned. The other man was screaming on the top of his lungs, his eyes wide open staring at the ceiling. His body was taut; his muscles straining against unseen restraints, his arms and legs were spread out in the same way that they had found him on the metal table days ago. "ALEX!"

Alex opened his mouth to speak, but he didn't get any further as the babies began to scream in the next room. Scully came racing into the bedroom, Frohike poked his head in and left, presumably to take care of the children.

"What's going on?!" Scully went over to the bed and touched Mulder's forehead. He continued to scream for Alex who continued to stare at him in shock.

"Alex!" This time it was Scully, she kept a hand on Mulder, but tried to make eye contact with Alex. "Speak to him!"

Alex blinked, "Fox! Shhh, it's okay, Fox. You're safe..." he knelt back on the bed and stroked Fox's arm, he continued to strain against imaginary bonds.

^Lisa! ^

Mulder gasped and stopped screaming, his body trembled and then suddenly collapsed onto the bed, slack. He was panting from the exertion. "Alex..." it was a broken whisper.

^I'm here...^ Alex let out a sound that was half relieved chuckle and half sob. He pulled Mulder into his arms and began to rock, tears streaming down his face. ^Can you hear me?^

^Yes...^ Mulder's arms came around Alex's back and squeezed.

XXX

Mulder lay propped up on pillows in bed. On his chest, curled up, was Kat. Her hands were fisted in his shirt as she clung to him in her sleep. He looked up as Alex walked into the room with his arms full of the babies.

"I think they're ready to meet their daddy..." Mulder shifted up and Kat reluctantly moved off his chest but only moved as far as his side, both arms clutching her father still. Mulder gave her a kiss on the top of her head and then reached out for the babies.

"Oh, god...they're so small...so perfect." Mulder held them as tightly as he dared, feeling as if they'd be ripped from him at any moment. He looked up briefly at Alex whose eyes and nose were red from the earlier crying. He was beautiful. His entire family was a precious gift he'd thought he'd lost during those terrible dark days, trapped in his own mind.

"Um...which one's which?"

Alex chuckled and sat down at the foot of the bed and spent the next several hours telling Mulder everything he'd missed.

XXXXX Epilogue XXXXX

"Danny! Misha! Get your butts in here now!!" Mulder stood at the back door, one hand on his hip. The two boys resembled Alex more and more each day. Not only in looks, but in the sheer amount of mischievous trouble they got into everyday. Of course - Alex and Scully insisted that this trait was from 'him' but one glint of their green eyes and you just 'knew' they were Alex's boys.

"Aw, dad! We were playing spies! Larry and Tom wanted - "

"You can play with them later. Aunt Dana and Uncle Melvin are here."

Mulder shooed his two sons into the living room where everyone was waiting. Scully and Frohike - perhaps the oddest couple imaginable...after he and Alex, of course. But once you saw them together...he worshipped the ground she walked on...and she needed a little worshipping now and then. And if you saw the pride in Frohike's eyes when he walked into a room with Scully on his arm...

But it wasn't shallow. Frohike gave her the respect and kindness she deserved. He was an excellent cook and a great father. Their two adopted daughters, Melissa and Emily, were very happy. Frohike was a stay-at-home dad while Scully had decided to enter pediatrics. They were a happy family. Scully was as happy as Mulder could ever remember seeing her.

"Finally! We're starving! Let's go!" Both families were herded into minivans. It was the twin's 8th birthday party. As Alex herded Kat and the twins into the back, Mulder headed towards the driver's seat.

"Why do you always have to drive?" Alex asked as he shut the back door.

Mulder just grinned and hopped in. Alex shook his head and climbed into the front seat. The twins were annoying Kat in the back seat and she whined in her teenaged voice why she had to sit in the back seat with them.

Ah...family life...

Trust, love, and happiness, too...what more could anyone ask for?


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