Title: Christmas Ghosts
Author: Donna
Email address: donnah@donnas-stories.com
Written: 2002
Rating: PG-13
Category: MSR
Spoilers: The Ghosts That Stole Christmas
Keywords: MSR
Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunmen and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.

Summary: After the episode

Please Archive - Anywhere, just let me know

He was tired of thinking about the comment. He let himself into his apartment and headed straight for the TV, not bothering to remove his jacket. "A Christmas Carol" fine, anything.

"I imagine people would rather stick their finger in a light socket than spend a minute with you."

Okay, there was probably more validity in that than he wanted to know, but not Scully. She didn't feel that way and she had met him out there. But he'd practically forced her. Did she think he was pathetically socially maladjusted.


He really didn't want to explore that. Okay, the movie was starting. He settled in to watch, pushing everything else aside.

The knock startled him; it was after three. Who the hell? He opened the door and blinked.

It didn't matter what they said. She'd come to see him. Yes, she was obviously still disturbed by the occurrences of earlier this evening, but she had come to see him. And brought him a present -

Now they were settled on the couch, Christmas paper decorating his coffee table. They were quiet, but it was a comfortable quiet. He hated to disturb it. He gave a small sigh.

"If you have to be at your Mom's by six, Scully . . . "

"I know. I should go home and change." But she made no move to leave, in fact making herself a little more comfortable on the couch.

At least she didn't seem anxious to avoid his company. Finger in a light socket indeed. He looked back as her head lightly came to rest on his shoulder. A smile played across his lips. She'd fallen asleep. Okay, he'd give her a few minutes, then rouse her and send her on her way.

As a Christmas present to himself, he let his arm go around her and cuddled her slightly to him. She didn't protest, in fact she seemed to like the sensation.

The phone ringing made him jerk and he opened one eye. His cell, he leaned forward, but something was obstructing him. Why was he asleep sitting up on his couch anyway?

His hand closed on the phone as he looked down. Scully? Scully asleep with her head in his lap? What the . . . The phone rang again.

"Mulder." He knew he sounded like he'd just woken up, voice rough with sleep, but why was anyone calling him so early?

"Mu . . .Mulder? What the hell are you doing answer Dana's phone?" The irate voice of Bill Scully blasted into his ear.

Scully's phone? Oh shit! "Just a . . . "

He shook her shoulder lightly, "Scully." He spoke low, but urgently.

She protested his movements with incoherent sounds and pressed her face into his thigh. Shitshitshit!

"Uh, Scully, come on. Bill's on the phone."

That brought her eyes open and to her credit, she seemed to know what had happened in the space of two heartbeats. Her eyes were wide as she reached for the phone, sitting up and brushing her hair back with the other hand.

"B . . . Bill?"

"We thought you were joining us for Christmas this morning." Bill's voice was barely contained fury. Someone must be close enough to hear him.

"What, what time is it?"

"Almost six thirty." She heard Bill, as Mulder mouthed the same information. The look of guilt on his face would have been comical.

"I can be there in twenty minutes. I'm . . . I overslept."

"Yeah, I got that."

"Bill . . . I'm on my way." She disconnected the phone and turned back to Mulder.

"Scully, I'm sorry. You went to sleep and it was so late, I thought I'd let you catch a few winks. I didn't think I'd go to sleep too."

"It's not your fault Mulder. Where's my other shoe?" She was working her foot into one. He reached under the coffee table and snagged the second and literally slipped it on her foot, then both stood.

"Are you okay to drive? Awake enough?"

"Yes, I need to - "

"Go splash some water on your face Scully. Take a minute."

"I don't have a minute."

"Take one anyway. The damage is already done."

She met his eyes then and had to agree. Damn, she'd woken up with her head . . . she blushed and he stood still, afraid to move. Then she nodded and he stepped out of her way to give her access to the bathroom.

When she emerged she couldn't tell that he had moved. She needed to reassure him, but even more she needed to get going. "Mulder, I'll talk to you later. Please, this isn't your fault."

"Yeah." He moved toward the door and she sighed, then followed him. He put his hand on the knob and her hand covered his.

"Merry Christmas, Mulder." She rose up on her toes to brush a kiss on his cheek. He turned, not expecting it and their lips met. And held. Without conscious thought, his arms went around her, lifting her to him.

When he lowered her back to her feet, they broke apart. Her eyes were wide with surprise, but he saw no anger. He realized he was holding his breath for her reaction.

"I . . . I really have to go . . ." He nodded and opened the door. She moved away without looking back and he didn't close the door completely until he heard the elevator shut behind her. Then he pushed it closed and leaned against it.

What the hell had he been thinking? Maybe he needed to splash water on his face or a cold shower. She was obviously more awake than he was, but she hadn't slapped him, or shoved him away. Well it was Christmas.

Bill opened the door for her and took the packages from her arms. His expression said it all, so she turned away to be tackled by all three of her nephews. "Aunt Dana!" Finally a smile came to her face. She didn't see these guys often enough and returned their hugs.

Her mother came out of the kitchen then, dusting her hands. "Thank goodness you're here." She smiled. "I thought we were going to have to tie the boys up and possibly drug them." Maggie ruffled the hair of her youngest grandson, Matt.

"I'm really sorry, Mom."

"Don't worry about it. You're here now. Merry Christmas Honey." She moved around the boys and hugged her daughter.

Rather than make the boys wait any longer, everyone gathered around the tree. Dana got quick hugs from her sisters-in-law and took a seat next to Charlie, who squeezed her tightly. "You owe me, Sis."

"I do?"

"I've been up since five, while you were sleeping in."

Bill turned away.

Charlie leaned in closer. "And what did you do to tick off Bill?"

She shook her head and turned away. Charlie let it drop for now.

Opening the presents was fun. It was great having children in the place. Scully managed to force memories of Emily down and appreciated the chaos. When the adults finally retreated to the dining room for brunch, Scully was ready for some quiet. She managed to avoid Bill, sticking close to Mary and Tara, and helping her mother in the kitchen. Charlie noted it, but decided to wait. Bill's temper was never pretty and he didn't want to subject the kids to it. But something had happened and Bill was ready to chew nails.

Scully picked up the pitcher to refill it with juice and took it to the kitchen. She was reaching for the door of the refrigerator when her cell phone rang. "Scully."

"Hi. Are you okay?" Mulder's worried voice warmed her incredibly.

"Yeah. I'm fine."

"Really fine or Scully fine?"

"Really fine." Scully smiled and he could hear it, relaxing for the first time since he closed the door behind her.

"You didn't have to check up on me."

"Hey, I've got your back remember?"

"Yes, I remember." She said it softly and he wondered if she sounded so sexy because she was trying to whisper or . . .

She looked up as her mother entered the kitchen and spotted the phone in her hand. "Is that Fox?" Scully nodded. "I didn't realize he was in town. Is his mother here?"

Scully put her hand over the mouthpiece. "No, she's down in Raleigh with friends."

"Then you tell Fox dinner will be served at three and he's to be here."

"Mom, he - "

"That's an order. Do I need to talk to him?"

Scully smiled slightly, visualizing that. "No, I'll tell him, but . . ."

"No excuse is accepted. It's Christmas and he shouldn't be alone." That was the tone they had grown used to as children. Ahab might be career Navy, but Maggie took no slack. Scully nodded and Maggie returned to the dining room with the juice.


"Yeah, what's going on?"

"Mom has spoken. You are to be here for dinner. We'll serve at three, so you need to be here by two thirty."

"No way, Scully. You know - "

"So this is having my back, huh?"

There was a hesitation then and she felt a frisson of guilt for her words.

"You really want me there?"

She felt tears prickle at her eyes at those words. Mom was right, no one should be alone today. "Yeah, Mulder. I really want you here."

Again there was silence as he absorbed that.

"Hey, as extra incentive, Charlie's here. You could finally meet him."

"Oh come on Scully, we both know there isn't really a Charlie Scully. It's just a ruse to keep me from thinking you're the baby."

"That's right Mulder, but don't tell Mom, she's gotten attached to him . . . Mulder, are you coming?"

She could feel his hesitation, but didn't dare press any further. He didn't like social gatherings or family get togethers. He'd had so little experience with them growing up. And she was putting him in the same room with Bill, when Bill was at his worst . . . But she did want him here. She held her breath.

"Yeah, okay. But if I make anyone uncomfortable - "

"You won't make me uncomfortable. I'll see you at two thirty, two if you can make it."

"Don't push it, Scully." But she heard the pleasure in his voice at her words.

"I gotta get back. Hurry, really. Bye." She disconnected and looked at the phone for a minute. Then she took a deep breath and returned to the dining room. Maggie looked up and Scully gave a slight nod. Maggie smiled and turned back to Matt, to wipe his face and hands so he could return to the living room.

Scully looked around the room, well she couldn't call herself lonely or desolate as Lyda had accused. There were conflicts, she glanced over at Bill, but love and caring. And now that he was coming over a feeling of completeness.

She caught Charlie's eye as he watched her and actually winked. His own smile grew dramatically. He glanced over at Bill, who was absorbed in something else and missed it. For some reason that gave him a sense of relief. When he glanced back her smile had dimmed slightly. Enough.

Charlie rose from the table. "Well guys, before Mom puts us to work, I want to spend a couple of minutes with Dana. I never get to see her, so if you'll excuse us . . ." His hand on her shoulder felt good. She looked up and nodded.

"Let me know when you want me to set the table or something. I'm not about to try to compete in the kitchen." She glanced over at her mother.

"Fine, but not too long. We've got a lot of company coming. Father McCue, Audra . . . " Scully tuned her out, these were friends of her mother's who, like her, were widows or had no family . . . like Mulder.

"Dana?" Charlie touched her elbow.

"I'm fine."

"Doesn't look like it. What were you thinking about?"

"Let's go upstairs."

He nodded and followed her up, turning her into the bedroom he and Mary were using.

"So, what's going on with you and Bill?" He sat beside her on the bed. When she didn't respond, he bent to look into her eyes. "You were late getting here, is there a connection?"

"I was, I was on a case last night."

"On Christmas Eve?"

"Mulder came up with this, uh . . . he wanted to check out . . . "

"Okay, you were on a case with Mulder. Is that what ticked him off? You having to work on a holiday?"

She shook her head, "The case was, oh hell Charlie, it was just strange. When I left Mulder I went home and started to get ready for bed. It was already after two. But I couldn't get it out of my head, and I hadn't given Mulder his present, so I went to his place."

"After two?"


"Sorry, go on."

"Anyway, after we exchanged gifts and talked a little about the . . . where we'd been, I was really tired. Mulder . . . I fell asleep on his couch and he did too. Bill's call woke him up and he answered my phone without realizing . . . "

The grin on Charlie's face stopped her and her eyes narrowed.

"So, Bill's Christmas present was finding out that you'd slept with Mulder." His grin was ear to ear now.

"We did not sleep together."

"You were both asleep on his couch. What do you call it?"

She sighed, exasperated. "You know what I mean."

"Yeah, you had a better Christmas Eve than I did."

She punched him in the arm then and he laughed out loud. She felt her own lips twitch.

No, she had not spent Christmas Eve with a couple of ghosts, it had been an hallucination from being in that creepy house, she brushed aside the half formed rationalization. It didn't matter anyway, it was Christmas and the people she cared about most were here or would be shortly.

Charlie saw the smile that had formed on her face and put his arm around her. "I'm glad we're together, and I'm glad I'm finally gonna meet this guy."

"Yeah, me too. Charlie, last night . . . I want Mulder to feel comfortable, welcome. He deserves to be happy at Christmas, not alone and not . . . not disturbed or dark or, or lonely."

"Dana, from what I've heard, all he needs is you. The rest of us are just icing."

"What? Where did you - "

"I have my sources. You just hang close to him, I'll handle the rest. Merry Christmas, Sis. "

"Merry Christmas, Charlie, and thanks." She said simply.

By quarter of two Charlie noticed that Dana couldn't keep her eyes away from the window, watching. He finally approached her, "He said he'd come."

She blushed slightly at being caught. "I know. This isn't a mistake is it? I mean - "

"It's not a mistake. Relax. It's Christmas and you need him here."

Need? Before she could ask what he meant by that, a cry from one of the boys pulled him away. By the time things had settled down again, she had moved from the window. Charlie watched Bill playing on the floor with Matt. There would not be a scene when Mulder arrived; he would not allow his big brother to cause Dana that kind of grief. Not today.

Charlie was in the chair, reading the directions for one of Will's toys, when the doorbell rang. Bill rose from the floor, but Dana flew past them both. "I'll get it."

Charlie glanced at his watch, 2:15. Apparently Mulder was anxious to see her too. When the man stepped inside, Charlie saw Bill stiffen and take a step in that direction.

"What's that son of a bitch doing here?"

Charlie's hand closed around his bicep. Bill looked down at him, his eyes narrowed. "You knew?"

"Come with me."

"After I throw that - "

"Now." Charlie was slightly shorter and a good deal lighter, but his grip tightened and he pulled Bill farther into the room. "Don't cause a scene."

"How could she invite that - "

"She didn't. Mom did."

Bill's eyes closed for an instant, shaking his head. "Why would she do that?"

"He's a friend of Dana's, a very good friend. And he was alone for Christmas."

"He should be. Everyone he touches - "

"Bill, I'm not asking you to adopt him. He's here to eat dinner with us, that's all."

"You don't know what happened last night."

"Actually, you don't know what happened. They worked last night. By the time they were through, it was late, very late. Too late for her to head home and still get here on time. She crashed on his couch. It was innocent."

"You believe that? Listen, I don't want him here."

"I know that. Just be civil to the man. If you can't do it for Dana, or Mom, then do it for the kids, Will, Sam, Matt . . . and Emily."

Bill drew back at the name. No one ever spoke of the little girl.

"Come on, Bill. You know better than I do how hard this time of year is for her. Don't make it worse. It's just one meal."

Bill seemed to deflate slightly. The mention of Emily had unnerved him. After a moment he nodded stiffly.

"Thank you." Charlie said and released his arm. Bill immediately started toward the couple and Charlie fell in behind him.

Dana looked up and instinctively stepped in front of Mulder. Bill felt a stab of regret that his sister felt the need to actively protect the man. He stuck out his hand, "Mulder."

Charlie saw the dark haired man's shoulders relax.

They shook hands, "Thank you for having me."

Bill didn't respond to that, glancing down at Dana. They were saved further conversation by Tara's call. "Bill, would you please come get Matt?"

"'Cuse me." He made a hasty exit and Charlie couldn't help but smile.

Charlie stepped closed, "Dana? You gonna introduce us?"

"Oh," she smiled, "Mulder, this is the man we've hired to play Charlie."

Charlie's arm stopped in mid reach. "What?"

Mulder grinned and his face colored slightly. "Old joke. I've given Scully, uh Dana, some grief about your existence. It's taken a while to meet you."

Charlie grinned. "Yeah, I guess it has. But I didn't realize my existence was in question." They shook hands. "It is good to finally meet the man who watches my sister's . . . back."

Scully groaned at the blatant innuendo and tugged at Mulder's arm. "I don't want you near either of my brothers, ever."

Both men chuckled at that. She turned away and almost ran into her mother's neighbor. "Audra, hi. I'd like you to meet Fox Mulder." She raised her voice for the elderly woman.

Audra leaned on her cane and gave Mulder the once over. And then again, appraising his body thoroughly. "So this is your friend?"

"We, uh, we work together. We're partners."

"Partners?" The woman sniffed, "I never thought you were a fool Dana Scully."

Scully stood there, struck dumb as the woman hobbled off after one more glance at Mulder's 'package'. Mulder's eyes followed the older woman until he saw Charlie leaning helplessly against the end of the couch, shaking with silent laughter. Mulder's face colored but he kept quiet.

Mary came out of the kitchen then and the sight of her husband's laughter caused a smile on her face as she joined them. Charlie straightened up and put his arm around the smiling woman. "This is my wife, Mary. Mary, this is Fox Mulder."

Mary's smile widened and she held out her hand, "Mulder, it's good to finally meet you."

Before he could respond, a young boy skidded to a stop in front of him. "Are you really Mulder?"

"Uh, yes." He glanced at Charlie.

"This is my son, Sam. He's named after Mary's father."

"Pleased to meet you Sam."

Sam nodded, his eyes wide. "Hey Will!"

Mary flinched, "They are never going to get poor little Matt down for a nap." She muttered.

Will trotted in from the kitchen, "Yeah?"

"It's Mulder."

Will stopped and looked up at the man, his mouth falling open slightly. "For real?"

"And this is my older son, Will. He's named after my father."

"Hi." Mulder said more than a little uncertainly.

"Did you really chase a giant worm into the sewers?" Will asked.

Mulder and Scully both turned to look at Charlie, who shrugged. "Uh, yeah. I did."

"Was it as big as me?" Sam asked quickly.

Scully sank onto the couch and let her face drop into her hands, shaking her head.

"Actually he was as big as me." Mulder replied.

"No way!" The boys exchanged glances. "Hey, did you bring your gun?"

"No." Mulder glanced over at Charlie again. "I didn't realize how much I'd need it."

Charlie grinned at him unapologetically.

"Hey, come see the game we got - "

"Hold it guys. He's not going off with you until he gets to tell your grandmother hello." Charlie laid a calming hand on Sam's shoulder.

"Oh, okay. She's in the kitchen. Come on." Each boy took a hand and tugged him in that direction. Scully rose from the couch.

"Just what have you told those boys?" She asked her little brother, as Mary waited.

"Only the 'G-rated' version of what you've told me."

Her eyebrow rose, but she held her tongue, for now.

The three of them were back quickly and Will looked up at his mother. "Can I sit next to Mulder at lunch?"

"Will, we've already had this conversation. You and Sam are going to sit with Matt in the kitchen. It's just for the meal itself - "

"Mom, I'm old enough to sit at the grown up's table."

Charlie shook his head, "You're old enough, there's just not room. We can't ask Mrs. Connelly to sit in the kitchen." Will sighed and gave up. Charlie looked over at Mulder. "You're sitting between her and Dana." He stepped closer and dropped his voice. "So if someone grabs you under the table, pretend it's Dana." He winked at Mulder's expression and stepped back as Scully moved closer, eyes narrowed.

"Now can he see our game?" Sam asked.

"Sure, go ahead."

Mulder followed the boys to the TV where the video game had been set up and took a chair. Scully watched him for a moment, then turned to Charlie. "Could you try to behave?"

"Moi?" Charlie asked innocently and she turned away to follow Mary into the kitchen. Charlie noticed Bill return to the downstairs, apparently Matt had finally fallen asleep. Bill headed straight for the liquor cabinet and poured himself a generous Scotch.

Charlie moved over to him, "A little early isn't it?"

Bill glanced over at him, but didn't respond, taking his glass to another part of the room. Charlie sighed, and joined the boys and Mulder at the TV.

When Scully came out of the kitchen with a tray of cheese, she moved over to them as well.

"See? We can't get past this point." Will complained to Mulder.

Mulder leaned forward, "See that rock wall, click on the stones near the bottom."

Will did as he suggested and a key appeared. "Hey! How did you know that?"

"Just try it." Mulder offered.

Scully leaned over the back of the chair. "How did you know that?" She whispered.

"Langly downloaded it a few months ago."

Her eyes widened, "You're a federal agent."

"He wasn't using it for commercial purposes." Mulder grinned and she rolled her eyes.

"Everyone," Mrs. Scully came out to the living room, "dinner is ready. Come on in and find your seat. Fox, you remember Father McCue. This is Sister Lillian." Mulder shook hands with a middle-aged woman with the brightest smile he had ever seen. Then he found his seat, as Charlie had said, between Audra and Scully. Bill joined the assembled and immediately downed his glass of wine and refilled it. Mrs. Scully watched him but said nothing.

Bill was on the other side of Audra with Father McCue at the head of the table. Tara was across from Bill, then Charlie, Mary and Lillian, with Mrs. Scully at the other end. Mulder realized he had been insulated from Bill to the best of Scully's abilities.

Charlie kept the conversation lively with stories of his students and had Mulder recalling stories from Oxford as well. Bill was quiet and Mulder knew he was on at least his third glass of wine.

"You know, Mom, you've got five doctors sitting around this table. Not bad," Charlie commented.

"Five?" Lillian asked.

"Well, Dana obviously. Mulder's got a Ph.D. in psychology, I have one in English Lit, Mary in nutrition and Father McCue in theology."

Mrs. Scully smiled, "Impressive. Of course, I also have a penchance for naval officers."

"Don't worry about it Mom. That wouldn't impress Charles," Bill commented, his tone hostile.

Charlie looked over at Mary and rolled his eyes, but kept quiet.

"Well, I'm very glad to have all of you here." Mrs. Scully looked around the room.

"We're not all here." Bill's voice was hard now and cold. "Melissa." His look settled on Mulder. Dana's hand came to rest on Mulder's knee and it helped more than he could have imagined.

"Bill." Father McCue turned to him, but Mrs. Scully spoke first.

"She's here in our hearts, Bill, just like your father is." That stopped him for a moment. "This is a wonderful time for family."

"Family." Bill repeated, "Mulder, why aren't you with your family on this festive holiday?"

"Uh," Mulder was caught off guard by the direct remark. "My mother went down to North Carolina to visit her cousin. She's been ill and Mom wanted to spend some time with her."

"And that was more important than spending Christmas with her only child?"

Mulder felt Scully's hand again. "Christmas isn't a really big deal for Mom, Bill. She's Jewish."

"You're Jewish?"

Mulder shrugged, "Half. We never practiced. In fact we usually did have a tree. Dad was Methodist I think. There were a couple of years when we didn't have trees . . . "

Scully's hand squeezed his knee lightly. They'd never talked about this. Samantha had been taken at Thanksgiving. That Christmas . . .

"If your mother's Jewish, then you are, right? You're whatever your mother is?"

Mulder faced Bill, "Then you are a very lucky man." He turned and nodded to a very surprised Mrs. Scully.

"Here, here." Father McCue said, raising his glass. "To Maggie Scully, our hostess and friend."

Mrs. Scully's face colored slightly as they toasted her, except for Bill, who once again had suffered an end run around his comments.

"Now," Mrs. Scully rose from the table, "let's have our dessert in front of the fire." The others rose as well and Bill hurried out of the room. Mulder followed a step behind Scully, and she hesitated at the door, surveying the room and its decorations.

"Hey, aren't you gonna kiss her?" Will looked up at them.

Mulder glanced up and spotted the mistletoe hanging in the doorway. Scully blushed slightly, and Mulder, aware of everyone's eyes, brushed a quick kiss on her cheek.

"Come on Mulder, I kiss her better than that. No wonder she was asleep on your couch." Charlie muttered to him.

The look Scully shot him was withering, but Charlie only grinned. Mulder met his eyes for an instant, then suddenly she was in his arms and his lips had taken possession of hers. She couldn't have pulled away even if she had wanted to. In fact she was, on some level, aware that he was supporting her.

He kept his hand on her when they finally broke apart, steadying her. Charlie was grinning ear to ear. Audra sniffed again, "I knew they didn't just 'work' together." No one noticed Bill had returned from the bathroom.

His outrage overtook him at the sight. Before anyone could move he was beside Mulder and jerked him around. "I have one question for you."

"Bill - " Charlie started, but it was too late.

"Were you Emily's father?"

Maggie gasped, but Mulder stiffened then turned to look down at Scully. Her face was ashen.

"Were you!" Bill's voice rose.

Mulder still didn't face him, causing Scully to look up and meet his eyes. "Only in my heart."

Scully's eyes widened and her mouth fell open but she didn't speak.

Charlie and Father McCue each took one of Bill's arms and forcibly escorted him from the room. Mulder's arm went around Scully and he led her to a wingback chair at the fireplace.

He knelt beside her. "Scully, do you want me to leave?"

"No. Please." Her hand grasped his. He looked up as Mary joined them. She handed him a brandy snifter.

"Have her drink this."

He nodded and took the liquor from her, then pressed it into Scully's hands.

Scully watched him as he moved her hands, bringing the crystal to her lips. She took a sip and coughed lightly. The others had stepped away, giving them space.

"Did you mean that?" The words were only a breath.

"I thought you knew."

The shake of her head was almost imperceptible.

"Scully, your mom wants to talk to you."

"Don't leave."

He managed a slight smile then, "Like you could get rid of me." He rose then and took the empty snifter from her hand. Maggie moved quickly to her side and he moved to the dining room to get rid of the glass. Charlie joined him there.

"Is she okay?" Charlie asked immediately.

"He caught her off guard. Where is he now?"

"Father McCue has him. I think your comment sobered him up though." Both men looked over at Scully as she spoke with her mother.

Things finally calmed, but the gathering was more subdued. Scully refused dessert or coffee, sitting quietly with Mulder leaning against her knee. Bill and Father McCue did not return.

After a little while, Scully's hand came to rest on his shoulder. "Mulder, I'm tired. Could you drive me home?"

"Of course." He rose to his feet.

"Charlie, how long will you be here?" She looked up at her brother.

"We leave the morning of the 28th."

She nodded. "I'll see you tomorrow then."

"What about us getting together for dinner tomorrow night, just the four of us. I think I can convince Mom to keep the boys."

Scully glanced up at Mulder, "Well I - "

"Sounds like fun to me." He looked over at Charlie and felt Scully relax.

"I could fix us something - "

"Nope, no fixing, no cleaning up. Let's go out and just visit." Charlie interrupted. Mary nodded her agreement.

Scully smiled, "Okay. We'll work out the details tomorrow, when I pick up my car."

They made their goodbyes. Bill and Father McCue had not reappeared and Tara started to apologize again, but Scully stopped her, kissing her cheek and moving on. She promised her mother she would see her the next day as well and finally slipped her arms into the coat Mulder held for her. Even through the coat, she could feel his hand on her back and appreciated it.

He opened the car door for her and she looked up a little surprised. "Hey, I have manners; I just don't get to show them off often."

She ducked her head and made herself comfortable in his car. When he got in she had her head back and her eyes closed. He opened his mouth to ask how she was doing, but closed it instead. He already knew what she would say.

He pulled away from the house.

When he parked in front of her apartment, she didn't stir. He reached a finger over and caressed her cheek. She leaned into it and opened her eyes.

"Nice nap?"

"Um. Come on in."

He didn't even hesitate, opening his door and following her inside. Once inside though he seemed uncertain. "Scully, you should get some sleep. I'll call - "

"You don't have to leave. You didn't get much sleep last night either."

"True, but I'm used to that." He was watching her; did she not want him to leave? Did she not want to be alone? Did she want to talk more about what he had said? "Listen, why don't you stretch out. I can . . . watch the last of the game." He finally improvised.


"Well you don't get the Spice Channel."

She rolled her eyes, then sighed.

"This hasn't been the merriest of Christmases for you, has it? I mean, what happened out at that house, then pissing Bill off, then really pissing Bill off." He shook his head. "Go on. I'll make myself at home if you don't mind. And if I get sleepy I'll come crawl in the bed with you.

"You know, if the game isn't real exciting, you could just join me now."

He stopped, the words penetrating his brain on some new level. His mouth seemed to form the word 'what', but no sound emerged. His eyes seemed to search her face and whatever he saw there relaxed him. She smiled as a look of delighted awe came over his face.

She took his hand and led him toward her bedroom. It was going to be a Merry Christmas after all.

The End

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Christmas & Kids
Young Relatives
Matthew Scully list
Pregancy/Baby/Kidfic plot Generator
Picture It Challenge, Christmas Edition
Merry Multiples Challenge
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