A/N: Written for Schmoop Bingo. Prompt: baby – adoption
Jess quietly walked down the hallway. She’d finished up the case report and called Skinner before coming to the hospital. She stood at the door to the PICU – the pediatric intensive care unit – and looked in through the window. Dana had spent every spare moment at the hospital. It was obvious that she had become quite attached to the one-month-old baby – Lily.
They had caught their perpetrator, but not before he’d killed again. They found Lily in the arms of her dead mother. She’d had a fever and was dehydrated, but was responding well to the care by the NICU, and by Dana.
Jess recognized the look in Dana’s eyes – she’s seen it in her old partner’s eyes after his son was born. She was concerned about her lover. They hadn’t really talked about kids, or the possibility of kids in their future, but Dana had mentioned she couldn’t have a baby. Dana didn’t go into any details at the time and Jess hadn’t pressed for any. Having come to terms with not being able to have children herself, Jess had assumed that Dana had also come to terms with it.
But seeing Dana with Lily let her know that Dana had not yet made peace with it… at least not completely.
Lily finished her bottle so Dana set it aside and brought the baby up to her shoulder to burp her. As she lightly patted and rubbed Lily’s back, Dana saw her partner through the window and smiled. Jess pushed on the door and entered.
“I need to talk to you. It’s about Lily.”
As if on cue, the baby burped.
“Okay. Just give me a second to put her down.”
After putting Lily back in her crib, Dana followed her partner out into the hallway. “What’s up?”
“Dr. Dixon said Lily is ready to be discharged.”
Dana sighed. “Yes, she is. I just hate the thought of her going to a foster home. If I…” She closed her eyes as she trailed off.
“Dana, Lily isn’t going to a foster home,” Jess said softly.
“The victim’s sister is here. She’s been granted custody. She’ll be here in just a couple of minutes, so you might want to say goodbye to Lily,” she said.
Dana was surprised at how much the thought of saying goodbye to Lily saddened her. She couldn’t speak around the lump that suddenly formed in her throat, so she simply nodded, turned, and went back into the PICU. She picked up Lily and noticed she had a wet diaper. She moved to one of the changing tables and managed to change Lily’s diaper, despite the tears welling in her eyes that blurred her vision. She no sooner picked Lily up again when the door to the NICU opened.
Introductions were made and, dropping a kiss on Lily’s crown, Dana handed her over to her aunt. She watched silently as Deidre Larson walked away with Lily in her arms. Dana inconspicuously wiped the tears from her eyes as she turned and left.
Jess found Dana at their hotel, standing out on the balcony. Jess stepped out and slipped her arms around her lover from behind.
“Are you okay?” she asked softly.
Dana simply turned in Jess’s embrace and clung to her. After a minute she pulled back and wiped her face. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be. Come on; let’s have a drink and talk.”
They went inside and Jess prepared a couple of drinks from the mini bar. She sat next to Dana on the small sofa.
“Lily really got to you.”
“I know you said you couldn’t have a baby, but you never explained why.”
“It’s a long story.”
“I’m not going anywhere, Dana,” Jess gently reassured.
Dana explained about her abduction by Duane Barry; the loss of several weeks of her memory; the microchip in the back of her neck; the cancer; finding out her ova had been stolen in a ‘procedure’ she couldn’t remember; Emily, the child conceived of her stolen ova; and everything else that had happened to her while she was partnered with Mulder.
Part of her had dreaded telling Jess about everything. After all, they really hadn’t known each other that long. But after telling her lover, holding absolutely nothing back, Dana felt a weight lifted from her shoulders.
Jess gave Dana’s shoulders a gentle squeeze and kissed the top of her head where it lay on Jess’s shoulder.
“I never actively thought about having children until the choice was taken away from me,” Dana explained.
“I understand. I didn’t either.”
Dana’s head jerked up and she looked Jess. “Oh, God. I’ve been so selfish. You–”
“Came to terms with not being able to have children a long time ago,” Jess said, cutting Dana off. “I’ve had a lot longer to deal with it than you have.”
Dana laid her head down on her lover’s shoulder again. She let out a sigh. “You know, it’s not like I have a strong desire to have a baby. It’s just… not having a choice about it.”
“It’s okay, Dana. What you’re feeling is perfectly normal.” She paused. “I haven’t given much thought to being a parent, especially since I was so young when things happened, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something we can discuss and consider. There are ways to have children without giving birth.”
“You mean adoption.”
“There are always children in need of a good home.” When Dana didn’t say anything, Jess shifted, nudging Dana’s chin up with a crooked finger. “Dana?” She tenderly wiped away a couple of tears that were slowly trailing down Dana’s cheeks.
“I can’t believe you would make that offer.”
“Why wouldn’t I?” Jess asked, genuinely confused.
“We haven’t been together that long.”
“Dana, I love you. If you want a child, then we’ll look into adopting.”
Dana reached up and caressed Jess’s cheek. “I love you.” She leaned in and kissed her. “But it’s too soon for us think about a child.” She cutoff her lover’s response by placing a finger across Jess’s lips. “I’m not ready to be a mother.” She again lovingly caressed Jess’s cheek. “I love you so much for giving me back the choice.” Dana kissed her.
Their tender, emotion-filled kiss quickly turned passionate. They shed their clothes on the way to the bed, where they reaffirmed the bond of their love.