Life's Little Quirks, Part Two

by Nikita


Title: Life's Little Quirks...Part Two Author: Nikita
Pairing: M/Sk
Summary: Someone's not happy with developments...

Website: http://www.koukla.net/nikita_slash Feedback: nik_cleo@hotmail.com

Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, but they own 'me'.

Author's Note: Sorry this chapter took so darn long - I was suffering from severe doubt over how I wanted the story to go and if it was even worth continuing...ugh. But I've worked hard on it and finally decided to just go full speed ahead...

AU notes - takes place after M's been dug up - but conveniently 'forgets' what happens after that although pieces and parts may pop up in mutilated versions. In my world - Mulder went back to the X-Files and Scully was bumped aside to the labs while Doggett becomes his partner. The way I think the show really 'should' have gone.

Dedicated to: JoB. For the wonderful, wonderful fic that she wrote: 'Life From the Ashes', which woke me up to the fantastic world of Mpreg and for her continued efforts on the Mulder slash front. From one Mulder lover to another.

XXXxxxXXX

Someone was gunning a motorcycle next to his ear. Mulder cracked an eyelid and noted that the unearthly loud roar was in fact Walter Skinner snoring. Loudly. Smiling ruefully, he pushed on a shoulder until the other man rolled over onto his side, facing away from him. The snoring eased into an occasional soft rumble.

Waking up in someone's bed was a fairly unusual experience for him. No, scratch that - waking up in a 'bed' was unusual for him. He'd never been able to sleep well in one and he never really wanted to think about why - he just couldn't. So waking up in a large warm bed next to a large warm man - make that 'naked' man, was an experience that he needed practice with.

Lots of practice.

"Mmmmm," Mulder moaned happily and rolled over to drape his arm over the other man's side, fingers brushing a large furry chest. 'Mine, all mine...' he thought. A ridiculous and rather delicious thought - to think of having Walter Skinner all to himself...to know that the other man had instigated their current relationship. Wanted to be committed.

To Fox Mulder.

Someone really should really warn the guy - Fox Mulder isn't known for being all that stable. Definitely not relationship material. But just now, right before dawn, he was quite content to let that matter lie.

"Hm. What time's it?" Walter's voice was low and husky from sleep.

"Too early. Go back to sleep" Mulder's arm tightened, trying to restrain the other man from getting up.

It failed to keep his lover from seeing the alarm clock, however, and his arm was soon being pushed aside.

"Can't. Got an early meeting I need to get ready for."

Mulder let him slide out of bed, but propped his head up with a pout. "Aren't you A.D.'s supposed to be ready for these kinds of meetings ahead of time?"

Skinner glared at him before disappearing into the bathroom. "Well, 'someone's' been doing a good job of distracting me in the evenings lately..." came a scolding voice through the open door.

Mulder smirked, "Guess I'm doing my job right, then..." but even as he said it, he began to feel a familiar churning in his stomach. 'Don't...not yet...not yet...' he chanted.

Walter poked his head out of the bathroom, mouth full of toothpaste, his toothbrush in hand. "You've always excelled in that task, Mulder."

Mulder smiled weakly and was relieved when Walter ducked his head back behind the door. Getting up from bed, he tiptoed past the door and hurried down the stairs. Rushing into the half-bath, he turned on the faucet before finally throwing up in the toilet.

XXX

Damn it...he was living a secret that he knew he couldn't keep much longer: he was still sick.

Nothing helped - he ate better, tried to get more rest, avoided truly disturbing case photos...damn it - he was even taking a multivitamin for the first time in his life and nothing, NOTHING was helping.

It was enough to drive him to confessing to Scully. He needed help. Badly.

"What other symptoms do you have?" Scully asked as she took his temperature. Why did she do that - ask him questions with a thermometer in his mouth? If she had to interrogate him at that moment she could at least have used one of those ear-thermometers.

" 'maptsmstvinkrd"

"What?" She removed the thermometer and checked it.

"I SAID - my appetite seems to have increased. I'm hungry all the time. After I've thrown up in the morning, at least. I've developed a strange craving for Snickers and Mars bars. My sunflower seed supply is dangerously depleted and I can't seem to skip a lunch or dinner lately."

Scully raised an eyebrow at that. "Considering the fact that you usually work right through those meals, I'd say it's an improvement on your diet, Mulder. But I never knew you to be a candy bar freak. I thought you didn't like chocolate."

Mulder shrugged. "I don't usually crave it, but I don't dislike chocolate... I just prefer salty snacks usually. But lately...just about anything looks good and I crave chocolate with nuts."

Scully wiped the thermometer down and pursed her lips. "You know...you remind me of how I felt when I was pregnant. I ate all of the sunflower seeds in your desk and you 'know' I don't usually like sunflower seeds.

Mulder nodded, but inside he felt terrible thinking of Scully alone and pregnant in their office, digging through her missing partner's desk for stale sunflower seeds. He should have been there for her. When he'd agreed to 'donate' for her, he'd always imagined helping her out with pickles and ice cream on late nights.

He'd wanted to be a part of that pregnancy. She'd wanted him to be a part of it, too. That was why she'd picked him.

"Was it...was it awful? Being pregnant, I mean." She looked so sad suddenly, that he immediately regretted his question, yet he was dying with curiosity.

Scully shrugged, but her face was tense with emotion. "No...it was damn inconvenient at the time. I was so worried for you and... But no - I liked it. I guess I didn't mind all the aches and pains and nausea - I'd been wanting a child so badly..." She choked on the final words.

He reached a hand out and took her little one in his. She squeezed back hard - a tear escaping before she cleared her throat, pulled her hand back and wiped it away. "I'm concerned about your long term nausea Mulder, are you sure it's only in the mornings?"

"Yep. Like clockwork." This morning had been a close call. Normally he woke up before Walter did and managed to toss his cookies downstairs before returning to the bed. Skinner hadn't noticed his morning queasiness yet, but it was only a matter of time... There was a knock on the door and their impromptu examination was interrupted and both were too busy to talk about it the rest of the day.

XXX

It was only later at night that he remembered her words.

'You remind me of how I felt when I was pregnant.'

As Skinner grunted and turned over in his sleep, one arm coming to rest on Mulder's stomach, Mulder's sixth sense suddenly gave him the utterly ridiculous, but no less true explanation to the problem.

"Oh, shit" he muttered.

XXX

The Next Morning

No one would believe him - it couldn't possibly be true. It was absolutely ridiculous and completely improbable. But since when had that stopped him from believing?

He was pregnant. No doubt in his mind now. A hand on the now slight bulge of his midriff gave him irrefutable evidence. And even more damning - he could feel it. The slightest flutter of life within - only now making its presence known.

Where had it come from? The birds and the bees were no help just now. If he went by the nausea - he must be at least 3 months or more along. And his sex life was only just now being revived after an absence of roughly 3 years. The abduction? Hard to say - he'd been 'dead' and buried for months and he hadn't had the nausea until roughly four months after that.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, he wished desperately he had someone to share this scary information with. Scully was his obvious choice, but proving it would be a pain in the neck - she'd put him through a battery of medical tests before she'd even 'think' of believing this. And the problem with that was the fact that ever since his abduction - no even before that - he'd come to dread hospitals and all they stood for. The tests he'd had for the brain tumor were simply to fresh in his mind.

He didn't want to ever be subjected to those kinds of medical examinations again...and this would certainly require some major medical probing and scanning. If this were true, how on earth would he give birth to it?

He was still a man; he had no qualms about that. And certainly Skinner would have told him if he'd changed at all in the obvious spots, so how exactly would his body handle this? So many questions and all of them led to telling Scully.

Eventually.

For now, he pushed the matter aside and focused on his most recent X-File: a few sightings in Maine and a disappearance, which he knew were linked.

XXXxXXX

John Doggett was a private man, definitely not the type to intrude on another man's business normally. But after watching Mulder eat three chilidogs in a row plus a large bag of BBQ potato chips, he'd finally felt the need to intervene.

"Mulder, you sure you want to eat another one of those chili dogs? We're about to visit a crime scene..."

Mulder gave him a dirty look and ordered a corn dog instead. "I'm hungry. Besides, the crime scene consists of a rather large empty field with a few burnt trees - I think I control my gag reflex, thanks."

John threw up his hands in surrender and sat back to watch the corn dog rapidly disappear with a generous amount of ketchup. This kind of behavior was rather unusual for a man that normally had to be reminded to take a lunch or dinner break on a case. Maybe he had one of those tape worms. He certainly wasn't fat; in fact...he looked good. Too good. His skin looked rather...tanned, maybe. He seemed happy, too. Definitely a rare sight. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Mulder didn't seem to be living at the office anymore. Not that the man didn't still work obsessively, he just seemed to have something to go home to at the end of the day.

It was a bit of a mystery and one he wasn't likely to hear a word about from Mulder himself. The agent was an intensely private man; he never spoke to John at all about his personal life. If anyone knew, it'd be Scully.

Opening the case file again, he reviewed the facts of the case they were currently investigating.

"So Mulder, what are your feelings on this case?"

Mulder wiped his mouth and tossed the napkin on the plate. "The sightings reported all match with the records listed with MUFON for the area three years ago. There were no disappearances at the time, but just last week a man named Jonathan Davids disappeared during the evening on his way home from work. His car was found abandoned on the road just outside the forest where three of the sightings were reported. You really need to ask me what I think?"

XXX

Mulder was right; the crime scene was nothing more than a set of tracks that led into a clearing of the forest where the footsteps ended. Beyond that there were no clues beyond a few pine trees half burnt at the tops. Doggett glanced around the edge of the forest with little interest, as Mulder seemed lost in thought, staring at the center of the field.

He was therefore shocked when Mulder suddenly grabbed his belly with a grunt, squeezing his eyes shut.

"Mulder! You okay?" John ran up to him and tried to pry Mulder's fingers away from his stomach, looking for a wound.

Mulder gasped, tears squeezing out of the corners of his eyes as he jerked his head back. His hands finally released their grip and Doggett frantically pulled the man's shirt up to look, but there was nothing but a smooth expanse of skin. Pressing his hand just to be sure, he was surprised at how hard the belly seemed despite a slight bulge.

Looking back up at Mulder's face, he noticed that the man's hands were now clutching his head tightly. "What's wrong?!"

Mulder shook his head savagely and then turned away, throwing up on the grass beside him. Slowly...jerkily...he took deep stuttering breaths until his head slowly dropped, muscles relaxing. Belatedly, Doggett remembered his phone and pulled it out.

"No. I'm fine..." Mulder shook his head wearily.

"You are NOT. I'm calling an ambulance."

Mulder grabbed his phone, canceling the call. "I'm fine," he pushed himself to his feet and John followed him towards the car. The other man sat down shakily in the passenger's side and waited for him to get into the driver's seat.

As they drove down the road towards the town to the interview with the missing man's wife, Doggett found himself casting worried looks every few moments.

Mulder just shook his head ruefully. "Guess you were right about the chili dogs, huh?"

XXXxxxXXX

They finished the interview with Mrs. Davids and returned to the motel room with no further incidents. Mulder managed to finally convince his partner that he simply needed rest before shutting the adjoining door.

As he sat down on his bed shakily, he wearily remembered what had happened earlier that day. The clearing...it had reminded him of the one in Oregon. The one where he watched Billie Miles first walk into the light. He'd been thinking about that when he'd felt the first pain grip him in the belly.

He hadn't even been aware of Doggett approaching him. Only that the pain had suddenly shifted to his head. The pain... Mulder touched his temple gently, but the pain had long since dulled to a faint ache. It scared him, though...it was the pain he had felt before...during his illness right before his abduction.

His cell phone rang and he absently pulled it out. "Mulder."

"Hey, got a minute to talk?" It was Walter, making sure he was free to talk privately. Smiling at the interruption, Mulder glanced at the closed door between his and Doggett's door before answering.

"Sure...miss me?"

There was a small chuckle on the other end. "Miss what? The piles of laundry you leave around the place? Or maybe your chewed up sunflower shells on my couch?"

Mulder stuck out his bottom lip, even if the other man couldn't see it. "No, I was thinking more along the line of the incredible blow jobs I give you in the shower..."

"Mmm, yeah, I must admit, I 'do' miss that...How's the case going?"

"Fine, fine. Walked the scene and interviewed the wife. Tomorrow I'll check up on the sightings and interview the witnesses...but I don't really need to. It's one of the hot spots...I suspect there'll be more disappearances over the next few weeks. I've already warned the local pd, not that it'll do much good."

They talked for several more minutes and Mulder contemplated telling his lover about the incident on the site, but finally decided it would necessitate revealing his condition and he simply wasn't ready yet. Besides, it was something one did face to face...not that he had any experience in the matter.

"...Alright, I'll let you go...be careful, Fox."

Mulder frowned at the name and didn't respond right away. There was a tense silence before he finally muttered, "Okay, goodnight."

XXXxxxXXX

Walter listened to the 'click' of the line closing and slowly put the phone down. He hadn't really meant to use the name, but even so...he'd secretly coveted being able to use it. It was something taboo to all others and he wanted to be the one that was allowed to use it.

Still, he should have asked first, obviously. The pause on the other end had been excruciating. It was one of the few things he really couldn't understand about his lover. Why was he so ashamed of the name? So it was a bit odd - so was the man, but he never seemed to care what others thought. The name suited him: unique and sexy.

"Fox..." he said to himself, enjoying the way the name sounded so foreign, yet so right. Surely Mulder would get over his strange little quirk about his name if his lover wanted to use it.

XXXxxxXXX

Two Days Later

Doggett shut his suitcase and glanced around the room one last time to make sure he had everything. Knocking on the adjoining door, he wondered what was keeping Mulder.

"Mulder? We've got to get going if we're going to make our flight." He grabbed his jacket and luggage and paused by the door again, knocking. There was no answer so he tried the door. It swung open and he found the bed empty, sheets strewn all over and trailing towards the bathroom.

"Hey, Mulder?" He cautiously peeked into the bathroom, which was open. Mulder sat on the floor with his head resting on the bathtub. Doggett wrinkled his nose and reached over, flushing the toilet.

Mulder tilted his head slightly to give him a weary smile before closing his eyes. His face looked flushed and sweaty.

Doggett shook his head, "I told you not to eat those burritos last night."

Mulder's brow furrowed before he scrambled onto his knees and retched over the toilet once more.

"Sorry..."

XXXxxxXXX

Crystal City
4:58 p.m.

Mulder wearily shrugged out of his coat and placed his keys on the small table by the coat rack. It had been a long drive and his partner was driving him up the wall with his patronizing eyes about everything he ate. It was bad enough that the man had to witness him getting sick twice, but now it seemed like he watched what Mulder ate like a hawk.

Picking up his suitcase, Mulder headed towards the bedroom. Over the last couple of weeks, Walter had encouraged him to leave more and more clothes and belongings at his apartment. He'd all but moved in by now. Only returning to his apartment for files or to check his messages.

Right now he just wanted to take a nap and forget about the case and all the paperwork he had waiting for him tomorrow. Walter would be home in a few hours and maybe they'd order a pizza.

A large pepperoni pizza...with black olives and mushrooms and... Damn, but he was hungry. He opened the door of the bedroom and stepped inside.

And was quickly grabbed from behind.

Dropping his suitcase he reached up to break the hold the other man had on his shoulders.

"I missed you, sexy..." Walter's voice was low and husky in his ear. It took Mulder a minute before he relaxed into the arms.

"What're you doing home? Is the FBI aware of - mmmph" The rest of his sarcastic comment was lost as Skinner spun him around and silenced him with his lips.

Forgetting what he was going to say anyway, Mulder gave in and wrapped his arms around his lover, deepening the kiss.

When they finally came up for air, he was amused to note that Skinner's lips looked quite swollen, he looked well-kissed. "So you 'did' miss me..."

Walter growled and backed him up, throwing him down on the bed and then pinning him at the wrists. "Shall I show you how much?" Hips ground against hips as the two battled for dominance in the position.

Later, as they lounged in bed eating pizza and watching the news, Mulder found himself humming with contentment. No matter how bad a case or how bad he was feeling about his own problems, Walter always seemed to make him feel secure somehow. Setting his piece of pizza down, he leaned over and kissed his lover's greasy lips.

"What was that for?" Walter smiled, a bit surprised at the unexpected affection.

"Just because..."

Skinner smiled and kissed him back. Mulder idly wondered if Skinner had ever wanted kids.

XXXxxxXXX

Crystal City
10:13 p.m.

Alex slipped inside the apartment and shut the door. The noises from up the stairs made him grind his teeth. A month - one fucking month he was gone and the rug had been pulled out from beneath him.

Mulder was in Skinner's bed. Living with the bald son-of-a-bitch. Playing house. It was so fucking domestic, it made him sick. Or as close as Mulder ever was to being domesticated. He was still haring off on his own whenever he smelt an X-File in the wind, but from what Alex's sources told him...he always returned to Skinner's apartment.

And this ate him up inside. He'd never imagined Mulder would go back to Skinner. That they'd had a disastrous affair once had been bad enough. The sounds upstairs finally ceased and Alex smirked. 'Can't keep it up for long, huh, Wally?'

Alex was tempted to creep up the stairs and take a peek, but decided he wouldn't be able to keep himself from putting a few new holes in the thick-necked bastard.

Besides - he knew his Fox. Settling back into the shadows he waited.

Sure enough, fifteen minutes later a soft creeping figure came down the stairs, heading towards the living room. The TV flickered to life, muted and Alex watched from his hiding place as Mulder lay down on the couch, head on the crook of his elbow, staring mindlessly at the screen.

Alex squinted in the dim light, trying to gauge just 'how' satisfied Mulder was these days. A sudden noise on the stairs again sent him ducking back behind the Ficus plant.

"Mulder?" Skinner asked with a sleepy low rumble.

"Oops, caught," a dry chuckle as Mulder sat up, clutching the remote.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing. Just couldn't sleep. Sorry I woke you."

Skinner shook his head and walked over to the couch, holding his hand out. "I missed you, that's all. Come back to bed."

Alex watched with slitted eyes as Skinner led the other man back to bed like a recalcitrant child. Didn't Skinner even know about Mulder's rampant insomnia? That he didn't like lying in bed, staring at the ceiling all night with no hope of respite? The nightmares that plagued him when he 'did' finally fall asleep? That he couldn't be held too tightly at night - be crowded in - trapped when he woke from those dreams...

Alex knew.

Knew everything about Fox William Mulder. He'd been studying the man for over 10 years and he knew the man's past - his fears - his needs... He knew every idiosyncrasy...every quirk.

And as he watched the two disappear up the stairs, he felt the burning rage within grow - he knew Fox Mulder perfectly.

And Fox Mulder was HIS.

XXX

To Be Continued...
 

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