How does Stella find out about Mulders abduction and Scullys pregnancy? Does she visit or help with the investigation? Does Reyes presence alter their dynamic?
She comes for Scully’s first Lamaze class because she doesn’t want Scully to have to go alone.
“Are we pretending we’re a couple?” Scully asks on the way over.
“If that’s so horrifying to you, pretend I’m the au pair.”
“It’s not horrifying, it’s just awkward, considering, you know.”
“You can go in alone. There’s a bar right next door.”
“I thought I might need a drink after two hours of talking about childbirth. But during is even better.”
Scully half-smiles, half-pouts and Stella hopes for her sake she never teaches her kid this trick.
“No, I want you to come in. You speak French?”
“Seulement dans d'horribles circonstances.”
“Of course you do.”
They do the breathing and the talking and at 5:05 pm, she makes Scully sit at the bar drinking a Shirley Temple while she sips a vodka martini. Even this is for Scully’s benefit. It’ll be months before she can so much as take a lime in her water without everyone giving her dirty looks.
And after that, she gives foot rubs, she buys ice cream, she visits the babygap website where she makes good-natured fun of argyle sweaters, she watches movies she would normally veto, she asks the questions she’s supposed to ask about favorite names. She does the things Mulder would have wanted her to do. Would want, she corrects herself. They are going to find him. She’s called in every favor she could think of to make sure of it – Scotland Yard, Interpol, MI5. Scully, though grateful, seems to think every one of them is looking in the wrong places.
Last minute, she manages to get Monday off as well.
“I can take you to your doctor’s appointment,” she tells Scully.
“Was that a pause?”
“Well, it’s not a regular appointment. It’s the second sonogram.”
Stella shrugs, walks a pot over from the stove, and gives Scully a wooden spoon to lick hot chocolate pudding off. She loves the shit Americans will powder and put in a box.
“Then I’ll take you to that.”
But she knows what Scully’s thinking, that she won’t be able to muster the proper emotional reaction for the event, that she’s too squeamish, too cold to look at a photograph of a miracle and know what to do with it. Mulder would probably have wept. Weep, she corrects herself.
The doctor looks amused when she looks from Scully to Stella and back and Stella almost smacks her.
“No,” Scully says and doubles down, takes Stella’s hand and folds their fingers, doesn’t bother to offer any more explanation than that. Scully’s hand is clammy, squeezing, nervous, even more nervous as the jelly spreads. Her breath hitches.
“You don’t have to lie and say you see it or how cute it is or anything like that,” she says softly over her shoulder.
“I won’t, I’m sure.”
“That’s fine. This is just a part of the process, it’s about making sure the fetus is okay, that’s all.”
And Scully follows her gaze up to the monitor, laughs when she sees it, like it’s making a funny face.
“Boy,” says the doctor, and she may be the first person in the world that Scully allows to forget she is herself a medical doctor, can read a damn sonogram just fine.
Stella doesn’t see the funny face or the sex, doesn’t see much of anything at all. She doesn’t even realize she’s really looking until Scully’s fingers are on her face, wiping the tears from her cheek – no, not wiping, just touching them, like she’s making sure they’re real. Then she starts to cry too, pulls Stella’s face in, doctor’s confusion be damned, and kisses her not briefly but quietly on the mouth.
Simple, a seal on the moment, something to help Scully remember it fondly, remember it as something other than Mulder’s absence. It’s what he would have wanted. Would want.