Title: If You Believe
Authors: Anonymous and Lizzi
Written: July 2001
Spoilers: Unnatural, Millennium, a few others, minor spoilers though Requiem
Disclaimers: They're not ours, we're only borrowing them for the duration
Feedback: Anonymous: rabid_bull@hotmail.com, X-Files Lizzi: xfreak82517@hotmail.com
Rating: NC-17 for smut

Summary: Mulder plans a trip to Aspen for Scully and her family for her birthday.


J. Edgar Hoover Building
Fox Mulder's Office
Friday, February 22
4pm

One day, one more day and she will be another year older, another year gone of her life, and at her age, what did she have to show for it? Nothing. Sure she has a wonderful career, a partner she adores working with, and a supportive mother, but all things considered, she didn't even come close to what she thought she would have by this age.

She had always dreamed of the perfect life, a high paid successful medical career, a loving husband at home, and children. Children were always factored into the picture. The FBI wasn't a high paying successful medical career, yes she enjoys it, but looking at it critically, she knew that she could have climbed the proverbial ladder up long ago if she didn't stay down in the basement with Spooky Mulder.

Mulder.

Now there was an interesting topic. He has his days really. Some days he can be the sweetest person she knows, walking in and bringing her coffee in the morning attached with a "Hey Sunshine," and always the gentlemen, holding the door open for her, guiding her with his beautiful hand on the small of her back, but other days he infuriates her to no end.

Today was one of those days.

She hadn't heard so much of a peep out of him, he was too engrossed in whatever case file he had found interesting. Probably something to do with flying saucers and little green men...oops, sorry, little gray men according to him. May as well get it right. He hadn't even said hello, he just looked up from his notes when she entered in the morning and that was all the acknowledgement he gave her.

"Hey Scully, I've got something here for us."

He speaks. "What is it this time?"

"A case in Aspen, Colorado. I've already got the okay from Skinner, we fly out tonight at 6. I suggest we go home and pack."

"Yeah" she rose from her seat and grabbed her bag, following Mulder out the door.

Great, Happy Birthday to me she thought bitterly.

The information that was contained on the papers in front of him had Mulder so intrigued, so engrossed, that when Scully finally entered their office, he could only manage to look up and smile. All words had deserted him. This weekend was certainly going to be interesting.

Unbeknownst to Scully, Mulder had been darting looks at her all morning. He was mesmerized by her beauty and could keep his eyes off her only long enough to read over the details that he had been sent.

She thinks I've forgotten her birthday he thought to himself, relinquishing a smug smile. I can't believe she thinks I'd forget the most important day in her life, in my life. 23rd February 1964, the most intelligent, strong, beautiful woman in the world was born. How could I forget that? Oh but I have, I forgot all right!

"Hey Scully, I've got something here for us."

"What is it this time?" she asked him. Please don't let it be some wild goose chase involving little gre...gray aliens, please she silently begged.

A weekend we'll never forget, he thought, then verbally replied with "a case in Aspen, Colorado." He proceeded to inform her of the good ahead from Skinner and the details of the flight. Then he added, "I suggest we go home and pack."

"Yeah," was her only reply. Great, Happy Birthday to me she thought bitterly. This is gonna be a weekend I'm never gonna forget.

Oh Aspen, wonderful Aspen Mulder thought. This is gonna be a weekend I'm never gonna forget.

Scully spent the entire car ride home spitting out every swear word she had in her navy brat's vocabulary at the man who was dragging her away to work on the one weekend of the year where she should have the right to relax.

Well, he wasn't technically dragging her away, she knew she could stay home if she wanted to, so why did she agree to go then? The question ran through her head all the way home and into the bedroom where she began packing her overnight bag. Mulder had given her the barest of details about the case, telling her he'll review it with her over the plane, he just told her to pack enough cloths to spend a weekend in Aspen, which meant with snow around, she'd have to pack twice as many. Knowing Mulder like she did, and with her luck so far this weekend, she'd probably be changing in and out of them multiple times daily.

She pulled out her large suitcase and stuffed it full of sweaters, jeans, slacks, and long johns. She wasn't about to get frostbite being dragged around in the snow everywhere. She walked to her phone and decided to call her mother to let her know that her plans have changed. She got the answering machine, "Mom, it's me, Dana. The dinner we had planned for tomorrow night has to be postponed. I'm sorry, but Skinner is sending Mulder and I on another case in Aspen. I'll call you tomorrow night." Well if it wasn't one thing, it was another. First is Mulder dragging her into the cold, and now the one person she knew who could calm her temper down about the weekend wasn't home.

A knock came at the door and she knew it was Mulder, a few minutes late as usual. As she walked to the door, the question came back to her. Why was she always agreeing to follow him even when she knew it was against her better judgement?

She opened her door with a sigh and spotted Mulder standing there. "Ready to go?" he asked, dressed warmly in his winter coat and jeans, grinning ear to ear.

Looking at him, she knew why she never turned him down.

She never can resist me he thought to himslef as an ear to ear grin played on his face.

Mulder spied her suitcase on the floor beside her. Being the gentleman that he was, he picked it up and waited patiently by the front door. Scully took one last tour of her apartment reassuring herself that everything was switched off and safe to leave for the weekend.

Scully walked back to a grinning Mulder and locked her apartment door. He lifted her suitcase and almost dropped it again. "Geez Scully, what have you got in here? Bricks? We're only going for the weekend you know. i did tell you that, didn't I?"

"Well, with you around Mulder, I have to be prepared for every event imaginable, including an invasion of little gray men from Mars. Now, can we go?"

"Sure."

Mulder escorted both Scully and her suitcase to his car. He loaded her baggage into the trunk while she made herself comfortable in the passenger seat. On returning to his seat, he started the car and they were off heading directly to the airport.

"So, lovely weather we've been having hey?"

"Mulder, it's been raining non-stop for the last four days, the temperature is freezing and they are forecasting snow next week! Lovely weather my a$$!"

"Okay," he replied, and without they were silent for the remainder of the journey.

"Mulder? What's the case about anyway. You haven't said anything to me yet except that we're going to Aspen." The seatbelt sign had been turned off on the plane and passengers started to get up and wander around the cabin.

"It's not much really Scully. Something small, that's why we're only out for the weekend instead of the week. Besides, don't you want to see what the Rockies are like there? I heard it's the best place to go to and relax in the winter." Mulder was racking his brain for excuses not to tell her anything.

"That would be Hawaii Mulder where it's nice and warm and all I have to do is lie on the beach all day sipping Mai tai's. Seriously, what's the case?" She looked at him expectantly.

He looked downcast at his twiddling thumbs on his lap. "Lights have been spotted and one kid said he thought he saw an unidentified flying object." He was lying through his teeth, he just didn't want her to see it.

"A UFO Mulder?" Her eyes were wide with anger. "You drag me across the country on a friday night no less for one weekend to investigate what a kid MIGHT have thought was a UFO?" He continued to nod. "Meaning we fly out friday night, return sunday and go back to work on Monday?" He still continued to nod. "And where abouts in this alien chasing am I supposed to relax? It is the weekend you know, why couldn't we have at least taken a flight out Monday and come back Wednesday, that way I could have had the weekend to do whatever I had planned."

"Well Skinner okayed it, but he said it had to be done on our own time, not bureau time, that's why" the lies were coming out easier and easier.

"Just great Mulder" she was really pissed. "Did you even stop to think that I might have had plans this weekend?" She hoped he would at least get a clue.

"No, you've never had plans before." The words came out of his mouth before he could even stop them. Could it be possible that maybe she had planned something with another friend to celebrate her birthday without him knowing?

"Next time Mulder, ask before you book a flight." She turned facing her back to him seething. Of all the nerve of that man. She turned back to him. "You know Mulder, you can be a real inconsiderate ass sometimes. What am I going to say to my friends now? That I spent my birthday weekend, the one I'm entitled to relax on, chasing down aliens with Spooky Mulder? You didn't even remember did you?"

Mulder turned away, hurt. He had expected her to be a bit touchy, afterall he is dragging her across the country, but the one thing he didn't expect was her to attack him like she just did. The Spooky Mulder hurt, he never expected her to use that nickname against him.

He only hoped she would come to understand once they arrived in Aspen.

The rest of the plane trip was carried out in utter silence. Scully was ashamed with herself for her sudden outbrust. As much as he deserved it, she didn't want to hurt him, and she knew she had, badly. She just prayed she could make things right again when they got to Aspen.

Thankfully, the journey seemed to fly by. They still weren't talking when they arrived in Aspen, yet the air was somehow less thick between them. They were silently starting to forgive each other. As in the past, they had never been able to stay angry at each other for long.

They walked off the plane in silence and then over to Baggage Claim. Scully's case came around first, but still be in a mood with Mulder, refused his help when trying to lift it from the conveyer belt. It was painfully obvious that she wasn't strong enough, but still she refused his help.

Eventually, her suitcase came free from the belt and she wheeled it over to Mulder. "Are you ready now?" Mulder asked.

"Yes."

"Fine, you wait here and I'll go rent us a car."

Mulder wandered off to find a rental car counter, leaving Scully standing guard of their luggage on the luggage cart. When he return, he caught Scully's attention and tossed her the keys.

"What's this? You're letting me drive? Sure my little feet will reach the pedals?" she inquired dryly.

"Alright Mulder, where am I heading? I can't very well drive if I don't know where we're going now can I?" She sat in the driver's seat impatiently.

"Just keep going down the interstate until we hit exit 84, then go off on the ramp. I'll let you know where to go from there."

She placed the keys in the ignition, moving the seat all the way forward and left the airport enjoying the view of the Rockies ahead of her and glancing at Mulder every now and then. She really did feel bad about the comments she had made back on the plane. He was her best friend, and although they had laughed about the nicknames they were given many times, he had trusted her not to use it against him, yet she did anyway. What am I going to say to my friends now? That I spent my birthday weekend, the one I'm entitled to relax on, chasing down aliens with Spooky Mulder? The harsh words came back to her. She really didn't mean it, and she had hurt him in the process of venting herself. I am such an idiot sometimes, why can't I control my temper?

She pulled onto the ramp on exit 84. "Okay, make a right Scully, go straight then there will be a large rock ahead that says welcome to Aspen. Just past that there's a road, make a left, continue to go straight and we'll be there."

"At the motel or your informant's place?"

"The informant's place" Mulder lied easily now. She'll understand once we get there.

She pulled up to a large wooden cabin midway up one of the mountains. "Wow!! Maybe I should believe in UFO's, our government salary doesn't even come close to making a down payment for a place like this." Her breath was taken away by the beauty in front of her.

"Come on, we don't want to keep him waiting" Mulder walked ahead of her to the door and knocked. "Hello?" he shouted through it. Scully stood next to him impatiently. She really didn't want to be talking to this guy, she wanted to be exploring the mountains, enjoying the view and fresh air. "It doesn't look like he's home Scully."

"Hello??" Scully knocked even more impatiently. They had come all the way up to talk to this guy and talk to him she was going to do! She banged slightly harder and the door opened wide. "Hello?" she called into the empty space.

Mulder placed his hand on the small of her back and led her through the door into the dark room.

"Surprise!" Her entire family jumped out. Her mother, Bill, Tara and Matthew, Charlie, his wife Amanda, and their 10-year-old twin boys, Edward and Howard.

"Happy Birthday Scully" he whispered as he led the amazed Scully into the living room.

"You?" was all Scully could managed when she looked towards Mulder. A sudden amount of guilt washed over her. She had insulted the most important person in her life, and why? Because she thought he had forgotten her birthday, when really he was taking her to the best birthday party she could ever ask for. "I'm sorry," she whispered.

"No need. Now, do I get to hug the birthday girl?" Scully smiled at him. She welcomed him into her embrace. "All is forgiven. Just promise me you won't call me Spooky Mulder again, okay?"

"I promise. I'm sorry I said the things I did."

"Hey, shh. None of that now. You can apologize to your hearts content later, but right now, enjoy your birthday."

Mulder relinquished Scully from his grip with a smile. She shared several more hugs and kisses with the rest of her family. It was a very rare occasion that the whole Scully clan could gather together. It happened only once a year, Christmas, and not always then.

"Bill honey," Mrs Scully called out. "Would you help Fox get the bags from the car and take them to the two end rooms upstairs." Bill shot his mother a warning glace. "Please?"

"Sure mom."

With that, Bill and Mulder left the warmth of the cabin and made their way to the car. The rest of the family made their way into the kitchen to continue the activities they were doing before Scully arrived. Scully remained where she stood with her mother by her side.

"By the way sweetheart," her mother called as she walked into the kitchen, "you rooms have connecting doors."

With a smile planted firmly on her face, Mrs Scully retreated to the safety of the kitchen, leaving a very dumbfounded Scully behind. She didn't quite know how to take her mother's last comment, and went to uncover the true meaning of her statement.

Bill and Mulder stepped outside into the frigid air to retrieve the bags, Bill grimacing along the way and Mulder trying to stay silent so as not to set him off. He knew he was forgiven for everything that he had done to set Scully off earlier by bringing her here, but he didn't want to give her any new amunition to set her off while she was here. Mulder popped the trunk saw Bill lean in for the large suitcase and the larger of the two overnight bags. "The suitcase and small overnight bag belongs to Scully" he tried to be as civil as possible, working hard trying not to laugh as Bill switched overnight bags.

"I think I know my own sister's luggage" he growled and slammed the trunk shut before Mulder could reach in for his own.

Mulder reached in and popped the trunk to grab his bag before following Bill back inside, but Bill stopped him at the door. "What gives you the right to intrude on a family weekend huh Mulder?"

"An invitation by your mother" he responded dryly.

"You think you can just barge in whenever you want to, knowing you, you're going to spoil this weekend just like you have ruined her life aren't you? I'm not going to let you ruin my little sister's birthday you sorry son of a b**. You can bet on that."

Mulder placed his bag on the ground and looked Bill in the eye. "Scully is my partner and best friend Bill, I wouldn't dream of ruining her birthday, especially since I was the one who came up with the idea! You're mother just put the plan into motion." He grabbed his bag and went inside ahead of him.

"Fox, Bill," Mrs. Scully's smiling face greeted him at the door. "Dana's room is the first on the right. Bill you can just put her bags in there. Fox, your's is the one right next door." She retreated back to the kitchen to make some cocoa with Scully and the two of them left down the hall.

Mulder entered his room and placed his bag at the foot of the bed and noticed the connecting door, smiling at Mrs. Scully's choice of rooms.

"MOM!" He heard Bill's roar from the next room. Yep, he had noticed the connecting door too.

Mulder heard heavy footsteps along the hallway, the sound of a teenager in a stupor because they didn't have everything their own way. Mulder stayed his room gauging when it was safe to emerge. Bill was clear downstairs so he ventured out. Bill stormed into the kitchen. The family looked up at him over various platters of delicious food. "Mom," had announced as calmly as possible. "May I speak to you for a minute, in private." Everyone took that as their cue to leave, and did so.

As Mulder descended the staircase, he could hear Bill's deep voice echoing in the kitchen. The rest of the family was now dispersed throughout the rest of the house. He came face to face with Scully. She gave him a questioning eye.

"What did you say to him?"

"Nothing, honest. I swear to God."


"What's the matter Bill? What did you need to talk to me about?"

"About the sleeping arrangements."

"What about them?" Mrs Scully asked innocently.

"I don't like them. Dana, that guy, the connecting doors. Do I need to spell it out for you? I don't like it, it's not right! And I won't allow it to happen. I won't have that bastard ruining her life. He's done that enough already."

"For Heaven's sake William! Dana is a grown woman, and she can do what she likes. I think it's about time you realized that she is not five years old anymore. The only one around here who seems to be some immature is you! Now if you don't straighten up your attitude William Junior, you will have me to deal with, got it?"

Mulder stood in the doorway of the living room with Scully, answering her silent questions.

What did you say to him?

Nothing, honest. I swear to God.

She sighed and took a seat on the sofa across from Charlie and his wife. "Mulder, this is my brother Charlie, I don't think you two have met."

"Nice to meet you" he extended his hand and grasped his.

"Likewise Mulder, do you mind if I call you Mulder? My sis here says you don't like being called Fox and Mr. is too formal if we're to spend the weekend together."

"Nope, Mulder's fine."

"Great, you can call me Charlie," he motioned to his wife sitting next to him. "My wife Amanda, the boys are outside playing in the snow with Matthew, Edward and Howard, although you won't know who's who until probably just before you leave tomorrow."

Mulder gave them a questioning look.

"Identical twins" Amanda filled in for him. "Mulder, tell us about yourself, Dana speaks a lot about you over the phone, but it's nothing like getting to know the person yourself." Scully blushed at the comment and excused herself before Mulder could catch her reddening face.

She decided at trip outside to cool was in order. She could also spend some time with her three nephews. After adorning her jacket and gloves, she walked outside. The cold air made her shiver, although it seemed to have no effect on the three boys happily playing in the snow. Scully found her sister-in-law watching over the children.

"Hey Dana," Tara called out.

"Hey."

"What's the matter?" Scully's gaze raised to me Tara's. "Let me guess, Bill's kicking up a fuss over the sleeping arrangements."

"You've got it in one."

Scully turned back to see the progress the children had made with their snowman. However, the first thing Scully saw was a clump of icy snow as it hit her square in the face. All three of the children burst into laughter. Tara tried hard to stifle a giggle. That was until a fly snowball hit her. Then it was Scully's turn to laugh.

"Right you guys," Tara called out, "this means war!"

Both Scully and Tara ducked down behind a row of bushes. The children then hid behind their snowman and the mound of snow they have managed to build. Scully gathered the nearby snow and formed the ammunition, while Tara took aim and fired. After several missed attempts on Tara's part, Scully took over the throwing. She threw a snowball and hit Edward clear on the back, then Howard on the arm. The last snowball however, went askew and hit Matthew on the head. The child instantly burst into tears.

"Okay boys, peace is declared! This war is over. You win!" Tara shouted.

Edward and Howard returned to the cabin delighted in the fact that they beat the adults. Scully was the first to Matthew's side, with Tara hot on her heels. Scully lifted her nephew into a warm embrace.

"I'm sorry sweetie. I kinda didn't throw in a straight line, did I?" she asked brushing snow from his hair.

"I want my mommy!" he screamed.

"I'm right here baby," Tara called out as she took her son from Scully. "You see this is what happens when you play with the boys and girls. Come on, let's take you inside."

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay Dana," Tara reassured her. "Honest. Kids are much tougher than they make out to be."

Smiling, Tara left the cold outside with a sniffling infant in her arms. Scully remained alone staring at the snowman the children had worked so hard on. A feeling of guilt came over her, although it was quickly washed away with regret and emptiness. No woman is ever prepared for the news that she cannot have children, but for Scully, motherhood never came into her life. She had a career to think about. But now she couldn't have the one thing that made her a woman, she realized how much she did want it, how much she truly wanted to be a mother.

While Scully went outside, Mulder had decided to stay in and get to know Charlie a bit better. It was nice having a Scully brother around that wasn't threatening to kick his a$$ every time he was seen near his sister. "..well that was three war games won by us in a row set a new standard in the navy and because of one of my maneuvers in one, they made me Captain of my own ship. Of course I didn't play the way I did to become Captain, one of the other final ships we were playing against belonged to Bill and I just wanted to beat him at his own game here" he gave a triumphant smile. Mulder was really enjoying himself, and Charlie's navy career was definitely not boring. "Mulder, you're turn, tell us about some of the adventures you and Dana go on, I bet some of them are exciting." Charlie looked really interested.

"All of them are exciting in their own weird way, we just don't think about it while on duty. It's when we're off duty when we think wow, we just did that?!"

"Well tell us some, Dana never speaks about her work, she's always work at work and personal at home" Amanda said.

"Well yeah, I can relate to that. There was one on New Year's Eve last year where one government shadow group called the Millennium Group tried to bring the four horsemen of the apocalypse back to life, but Scully set them straight. I had been trapped in the basement with the zombies and she came and killed every last one of them, saved my butt, and the world at the same time. There was another one where I was trapped in a virtual reality game that was really killing it's players, and I mean they came out dead, literally, Scully performed several of the autopsies. Well she came in like a commando woman and got me out of that jam too, she's really a wonder like that."

"Yep, that's our Dana, when she sets her mind on doing something, she'll do it. Although I'm still not quite sure about zombies and live VR games."

"Neither is Dana" the three of them had a good chuckle.

"Don't you two ever spend any personal time together?"

"Well yeah, I took her out for her birthday last year, went to go play baseball. You know Scully's never hit a ball in her life? She wasn't very good at it."

Now it was Charlie's turn to laugh. "She got you Mulder, she got you big time." He walked to his bag and pulled out a large photo album and opened it to a page. "Dana was MVP of the navy base's rep baseball team when she was 15." Mulder looked down and sure enough, it was a young Scully standing at the plate with her bat up.

"Excuse me" he said stunned, "I gotta use the little boy's room."

Scully entered the cabin considerably more depressed than when she left. She found Charlie and Amanda listening intently to Mulder as he recalled events from the past. They were all quiet when she entered the room, sending her suspicious looks. She seemed to miss the stifled laughter. She had other things playing on her mind. Mulder could see and sense the worry in her eyes.

"Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I just need to go and rest for a while. I'm still a little tired."

"Sure."

Scully turned her back on her family and climbed the stairs to her room, leaving her family exchanging amusing stories with Mulder, and visa versa. On entering her bedroom, she moved the suitcase deciding to unpack later. At that moment in time, she didn't feel like unpacking her life and examining it. She just wanted, no, needed to cry. So, she curled on the bed and allowed her pent up emotions to escape once and for all. She maneuvered herself under the covers, and was sobbing into her pillow. That way if anyone was to enter her room they would think she was asleep and leave her. Mulder had excused himself from Charlie and Amanda and was on his way to the little boys room, when he had a sudden urge to check on Scully. He didn't know what it was, but he had a feeling something was up. Taking a detour to the bathroom, he went to Scully's door. He gently opened it in case she was asleep. He was relieved when he saw a mass huddled under the covers. He smiled to himself, and stood in the doorway a little longer to watch her sleep.

Movement caught his eye. He looked harder at the covers. There it was again, the movement, almost like someone jerking their shoulders. As Mulder strained his ears, he could hear soft, muffled whimpering. As he tiptoed across the bedroom, the sounds grew louder and seemed to emanate from the bed. Mulder grasp a corner of the bedcover and pulled it back to reveal a hunched up Scully. Her body immediately froze upon her discovery.

"Scully?" he asked both concerned and gently. She still said nothing and remained frozen on the bed. Mulder placed a hand on her shoulder and gently rolled her over. He instantly detected the tears in her eyes. "Oh Scully. What's wrong? What's happened?" Without warning, another wave of tears took over, and Scully launched herself into Mulder's arms. He pulled her close and allowed her to cry on his shoulder. After several minutes of soft reassuring words on Mulder's part, Scully began to relax. Mulder took that as his cue to find out the trouble.

"So, what's this all about?"

"Everything and nothing." Mulder slowly began to rock her back and forth. She sunk deeper into his embrace, gaining the courage she needed to tell him everything. "I was outside with the boys, having a snowball fight, and, well I hit Matthew on the head with a snowball." Mulder bite back a snigger.

"I thought you had a better aim than that."

"It wasn't funny Mulder! But it made me realize something."

"What?

"That no matter how much I try and deny it, I can't. There's still one thing I don't have in my life that I want so desperately."

"And what's that?" he whispered, knowing full well what her answer would - the thing on earth he couldn't give her, and all because of their work.

"Children," she plainly replied

"I know, I know." Mulder's hand went to her face, and he caressed her cheek. "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"Well, if you'd never met me then you wouldn't be working on the X Files. You'd be, I don't know, you'd probably be assistant, no director of the bureau by now. You'd probably have a loving husband, a big house, a dog, a white picket fence, and children. Children by the bucket load. You'd be incredibly happy..."

"I am incredibly happy," she quickly shot back, gazing straight at Mulder. Their gaze remained fixed.

"W...well, put it like this, you would be even happier if it wasn't for me.

"No Mulder, you're wrong. If I didn't have you, then I would never be this happy. You make me this happy Mulder."

Scully swallowed the lump in her throat. It was obvious how responsible Mulder felt for everything bad that had happened to her, but never once had she thought him the cause of it all. Not once. She had to show him that it wasn't his fault and there was only one way to do that. She licked her lips and parted them slightly. Then, leaning towards Mulder, she hovered a scant inch away from his lips. Her eyes closed, and before she knew it, he placed his lips on hers.

Several minutes later, they came up for air. "Are you all right now?" he asked.

She smiled back. "Yeah, thanks Mulder."

"Good, because I really have to use the bathroom now."

Scully's smile grew even wider. She dried her eyes and Mulder rose from the bed. Footsteps on the stairs alerted them to someone's arrival. Mulder opened her bedroom door to be confronted by Bill. Mulder smiled to Scully as he squeezed past Bill and headed towards the bathroom. Bill's eyes remained on the messy appearance of his sister.

"Is there something you want to tell me Dana?" Bill stood in the doorway looking at Mulder leave down the hall and back at Dana again, hair mussed up from the pillow and deshevled clothes from lying in bed. Although that's not quite how he sees it.

"Not really Bill" she patted the bed next to her. "Sit a spell, haven't heard from you or Tara lately, how's it been going?"

"Navy's treating us right, might be switching ships though, a naval base in Conneticut has a brand spankin new ship they want a captain for. According to the higher ups I might just be that captain."

"That's great, but is Tara willing to move halfway across the country with you, I mean she really seems to like San Diego."

"Yeah she does, and we've talked about it. As much as we hate moving Matthew around, we figured out what would be best for him. Conneticut has a better schooling system, and honestly, captaining the new ship would give us better pay, but they haven't decided yet, I won't hear word of it until next month."

"Well that's great, I'm happy for you! Keep it up and you'll be just like dad one of these days."

"What about you Dana? Dad always thought you were destined for great things, yet here you are stuck with this loser."

"He's not a loser Bill, and I'm happy where I am, really. I learn new things everyday and see and experience things most other people don't, all because of Mulder."

"Yeah,but look at everything else, it's enough to make a big brother worry. We never talk anymore Dana, you used to tell me things that now you're probably telling Mulder."

"We never talked to begin with Bill, it was always Melissa, Charlie, mom, dad, then you. You always played the overprotective brother, I don't need an over protective brother, i just need a brother I can rely on."

"Well just watch out for him, he's bad news. What was he doing in your room anyway?" Scully sat there, trying to come up with something that wouldn't p** Bill off. She knew the truth would set him off even more about Mulder. "I was apologizing to him, I kind of treated him horribly on the way here."

"Well that must have been some apology" he muttered.

"Excuse me?"

"Look at you, you look like a girl who's just got laid, I don't want him touching you Dana. It's bad enough you've got connecting doors, but to actually think you--"

Scully cut him off. "As if it's any of your business Bill, nothing happened. We were talking, nothing more, trust me, when I do get laid as you so romantically put it, you'll hear me screaming down the hall, that's when you know it happens. Get out please, I don't want to talk about this anymore."

"I'm trying to watch out for you Dana, I'm going to speak to mom again about these rooms!" He stormed out leaving Scully fuming on the bed.

Bill stormed downstairs and headed straight to the kitchen where he knew his mother would be preparing the supper. Mrs Scully was busing herself with a bowl of fresh salad while Tara was putting the finishing touches to the fruit tray. Bill's footsteps echoed on the wooden floor.

"Tara, will you give us a few minutes?"

"Sure, honey." Tara gave her husband a peck on the cheek as she left the kitchen.

As soon as she was out of ear's shot, Mrs Scully spoke. "No Bill!"

"But..."

"I said no, and that's final. Just leave them alone will you. You can be such a spoilt child sometimes. Dana doesn't need a over protective brother."

"That's exactly what she said."

"Then try listening, will you?" Bill said nothing. "Will you help me take the food to the table?"

Mrs Scully and Bill picked up as much as they could carry and took it to the table. Mrs Scully placed the food on the table. She cast her eyes around the room and saw that the chair beside Mulder was not being occupied. She caught Mulder's eye and sent him a questioning glance. He shrugged his shoulders in return.

"I'll be right back," Mulder announced to everyone as he left the table.

Mulder walked away from the table, and climbed the stairs in search of the birthday girl. He knew exactly where to find her. He knocked on her bedroom door and entered. Mulder found Scully sat in front of the mirror trying to brush out a knot from her hair. If she brushed with any more anger, then she was going to yank out her hair.

Strolling across the room, he went and stood behind her. Taking the brush from her hand, he began to gently brush the knot out, all the while maintaining eye contact with her in the mirror. He revealed in the feeling of her red hair between his fingers. He continued his gentle attack. She smiled as she finally felt the brush slid straight through her hair.

"Thank you Mulder."

"You're welcome." He leaned over her shoulder to return the brush to the counter. As he did so, he whispered seductively in her ear, "I could make your hair a whole lot messier. Just give the word."

"Mulder!" she exclaimed, playfully jabbing him in the arm. "I can't believe you just said that!"

"And I meant it," he said, his expression suddenly turning serious. They locked gazes once more. "I...we...supper's on the table," he managed to stutter out. Swallowing hard and taking a deep breath, he tore his gaze away from Scully's and headed quickly for the door. "I'll be waiting downstairs," he said. "Don't be too long, or it will all be cold." With that, he left the room, pulling the door closed behind him. As he entered the hallway, he felt for the wall behind, and rested on it. He needed several deep breaths before he was ready to face Scully's family downstairs. Meanwhile, Scully was experiencing the same problem. Her cheeks were now as red as her hair. She leant back in the chair and released a deep sigh. Leaving her chair, she made her out of her bedroom and down to supper.

Scully had managed to pull herself together for dinner and walked into the dining area, face slightly flushed, but much better than it was a few minutes earlier. She had also noticed that her mother had saved her a seat next to Mulder. Her mother had gone all out like she usually did for family meals, preparing chicken, salads, potatoes, carrots, and a New York Style cheesecake for dessert. "Mom, look at this, you really don't have to cook this much for us" Scully was absolutely marvelled at the selection.

"Nonsense Dana. It's a big family filled with lots of men like Bill, Charlie, Fox, Edward, Howard and Matthew who are all growing and need plenty to eat. Now help yourselves, I've got plenty more if we need any."

Hands were stretched out across the table in every direction, grabbing different bits of food and chatter had managed to build up from quiet to loud, Mrs. Scully wanting to catch up on the adventures of her son's lives and the children talking about the latest cartoon show they watched.

Not once throughout the dinner though had Mulder and Scully made eye contact, and they kept conversation between them to a minimum. Their heated gazes earlier had been enough to cause a stir between them, and the slight brushing of their hands while passing servings to each other was not helping to calm the situation. With each passing brush, a tingle ran through their hands and right down the spine, causing Scully to jump and blush several times, fortunately not to the notice of anybody but her mother. She wasn't surprised though, her mother always noticed these things, and like previous times, she would speak to her later about it.

The family had finally separated after stuffing themselves full and Bill had gone to put Matthew to bed while Charlie stayed in the living room speaking to Mulder and Amanda and Tara set work on the dishes. Her mother had a different agenda however. "Dana, grab a jacket and step outside please?" Scully knew what was coming.

"I know what you're going to say mom" she stepped onto the balcony of their cabin. "It's nothing, really."

"Dana, you've been acting like your 15 again. Even at 15 I've never seen you as jumpy as you were tonight. Did something happen between you and Fox?"

"No, nothing happened." She turned around to go back inside.

"But you will tell me if it does, right Dana? I only want you to be happy."

"I wouldn't keep anything as important as that away from you mom, not for a minute."

"Good, it's late now and I know with work you've had a long day, why don't you head up to bed now."

Scully removed her jacket and said a quick goodnight to both her sisters in law and a laughing Charlie and Mulder, and headed up to her room. Her mother was right, she was exausted, and sleep sounded just about right.

Mulder was lying in bed staring at the ceiling. Sleep was elusive at the best of times, but tonight, with Scully next door it was even harder to sleep. He had memorized every single line on the ceiling and he'd only been in bed for an hour. He still several long, tedious hours to go before he could get up. He climbed out of bed and started pacing the bedroom quietly, as not to wake anyone. His eye fell upon the door, the door that led to Scully's room.

He headed for the door and reached out to grab the door handle. He turned it slowly and quietly. The door popped open. He was thankful that she hadn't locked the door after Bill's outburst. That had to be a good sign. He peered into her room to see her fast asleep. The moonlight shone through the window and bathed her in a milky white light.

He looked at his watch that now read 1:01am. Taking a few steps towards her, he bent down and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. "Happy birthday Scully," he whispered.

He quietly returned to his room, and climbed back into bed. Sleep was still elusive once again. However, as his thoughts drifted to the beautiful woman lying next door, his mind gave way to a peaceful slumber. A slumber that was full of sweet dreams. Sweet dreams that were filled with Scully.

"GOOOOOOOD MORNING SUNSHINE!" Scully awoke with a jolt when she heard the ever familiar voice of Mulder entering her room, invading her senses and slowly warming her body like a sensual caress.

"What time is it?" she asked groggily, covering her eyes from the bright sunlight entering the room.

"why Miss Scully, it's 9am, can't you tell time anymore" he grinned ear to ear, a smile turned slightly mischevious.

"Not when I'm woken up so abruptly. 9am really?" At his nod she stared at him stunned. "I've never slept till 9am before. I must have been tired."

"I figured that much, and I also figured that being so tired you'd be reluctant to leave your bed, so..." he stepped out of the doorway and came back in rolling in a trolley full of food. "I figured breakfast in bed should be in order."

"Mulder, thank you" in her seven years of working with him she had never known him to be so considerate as to bringing breakfast in bed. The closest he ever came was dropping by a bagel on his way to work if she was sick, but a full breakfast, never. Mind you, it wasn't like it was the average weekend either. How many average weekends are spent in Aspen, Colorado with the people you love when you all live spread out across the country.

"Don't thank me, your mother cooked it, I'm just the delivery boy" he had a sheepish grin on his face now. He removed the cover from her breakfast tray to reveal perfectly scrambled eggs, three slices of bacon, homefries, toast, and a glass of coffee on the side. "I know you don't like greasy food" he gestured to the bacon, "but I figured that you could indulge us just once."

She smiled appreciatively, then she only noticed one tray. "Where's yours Mulder? You aren't joining me?"

"I already ate, your mom made me eat breakfast as soon as I got back from my run this morning. She didn't even let me shower first" he wrinkled his nose. "I felt pretty sorry for her having to deal with a sweaty me."

So much like Mulder she thought. There could be a raging blizzard outside and he would still find time to run. "Well how about indulging in a little conversation then, such as today's plans."

"Ah Scully, that's a surprise now. I can't reveal everything to you." He rose from his seat on the bed and headed toward the door. "I'll let you finish eating and get ready. I'll be in the living room with your brother, the nice one" he added. "Oh, by the way, look under your plate." He smiled then left, leaving Scully wondering what could be under her plate. She lifted the plate from the tray and saw a folded piece of paper underneath. Removing the paper, she unfolded it and smiled at the message.

::Happy birthday Beautiful - M.::

"He's too kind for his own good," she thought to herself.

She gazed at the breakfast before her. She knew that despite what he said, it was all his idea. Of course her mother had to cook it, if he had done so, then there would be little more than charred remains on her face. And that wouldn't have been very substantial for a breakfast meal. The thought made her smile.

After she had devoured the contents of her plate, she made her way to the bathroom that had been deemed hers and Mulder's. On entering she found the bathroom counter littered with Mulder's toiletries while hers remained in a neat, tidy pile at one end. It was plainly obvious he used the room not so long ago. His scent was still fresh. She took a deep breath lingering on the smell. His smell.

Climbing into the corner shower, she turned on the water. The warm wet sprays hammered onto her still sleepy body. The water began to wash away the sleepiness. Taking a handful of shower gel, she began to cleanse her body. She could just do with a handsome, tall, dark man to wash her back for her. A smile crept on her face as she thought of Mulder doing the job for her.

"Stop it!" a voice in her head cried out. She mentally slapped herself. She shouldn't be thinking about him like that. He was her friend, her soul mate, her work partner for God's sake. But he was so much more. And deeply, she wanted him to be much more. She was just unable to admit it.

She quickly finished up in the shower and climbed out. She dried herself off quickly, changed and beautified herself, not wanting to keep her family waiting any longer. She didn't bother with her make up and resorted to just brushing her hair and teeth. If anyone, especially Mulder, didn't like her for who she really was, tough.

As she brushed her hair in the mirror, her thoughts went back to the previous night when Mulder had brushed it for her. He was so gentle. There were other parts of her body he'd like him to brush. As she looked at herself in the mirror, she could see the blush rising in her cheeks. She quickly turned on the cold tap, filled the sink, took a deep breath and buried herself in the water. She had to stop thinking like she was. Pulling the plug, the water in the basin receded. She placed her dirty things in the laundry basket, and examined her appearance in the mirror once more. Her cheeks were still flushed, but nowhere near as red as they had been. She gave herself a few minutes to mentally prepare for going downstairs.

Scully left the bathroom, making a quick pit stop to her bedroom, to gather some of her things, and went downstairs. On entering the living room, she found everyone gathered together, all dressed in their jackets, hats and scarves. Bill, Tara and Matthew were playing together with Bill sending the occasional warning glance in Mulder's direction. Charlie and his family were happily chatting to Mulder. The only person missing from the picture was her mother, who soon afterwards entered from the kitchen carrying a large box.

"Oh, there you are sweetheart. Grab your jacket Dana."

"Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise. We were just waiting for you."

"Why didn't you tell me you were all waiting for?"

"Because it's your birthday, and you have the right to take things slow and relax," her mother explained as she went to the door. "Ok everyone, let's go. Oh and Fox, could you carry this to the car for me?"

Mulder nodded his head and took the box from Mrs Scully. Everyone rose from their seats, and headed towards the door. Charlie and his family and Bill and his family went to their car, leaving Mulder and Scully to travel with her mother. Just as Mulder was about too leave the cabin behind everyone, Scully pulled him over to one side.

"What's up?"

"Nothing. I just wanted to say thank you Mulder. And in answer to your little message earlier, yes, this is the best present I could ask for," she smiled.

Mulder set the box on the trunk waiting for Mrs. Scully to catch up. "Oh no Fox, not there." He looked at her dumbsruck, wearing an expression saying if not here, then where? She unlocked the front passenger door of her car, sticking her hand in the to open the back locks. "The trunk's frozen shut, I tried it this morning when going to pull out blankets. Place that in the front seat here so it doesn't fall over, and you may as well bring the seat all the way forward to, I know how long your legs are."

It was Scully's turn to look at her mother dumbfounded. She knew what was up her mother's sleeve, and she knew her mother had a can of ice thawer for car locks and doors. Although, sitting next to Mulder, she wasn't about to complain. He had been nothing but the perfect gentleman to her since she arrived, not even giving a second thought to her Spooky Mulder comment, despite the hurt she caused and the way she acted.

"Where are we headed mom?" she asked as she climbed into the backseat behind her mother.

"The ski slopes. You don't come to Aspen without skiing at least once."

"We've never been skiing before, we don't even own skis"

"Correction Dana, you've never been skiing before. Your father and I spent our winter vacation here several times before we got married, and before we had Bill. You can rent the stuff inside and there are bunny slopes."

"It'll be fun Scully" Mulder joined in. "I've never been skiing before ,but looking forward to it. Besides, if you fall, I'll catch ya!" he winked at her.

Great she thought. That's all I need, Fox Mulder catching me on the way down, I'll turn into a big pile of Scully goo after last night and this morning. She began to think of his arms wrapped around her, even if there were piles of clothing separating them, how strong they would be, how close she would be, then her thoughts went back to her mother's earlier comment about Mulder's legs. It was innocent enough at the time, but the more she thought about them, the more she wanted to feel them alongside hers, in ways she shouldn't even be thinking about her partner, her best friend.

"Scully?" Mulder's voice interrupted her thoughts. Well technically added to them but she immediately tried to block them away. "Are you alright, your face is all flushed." His face had a knowing smile on it.

"Yeah, I'm fine, sorry, must be the drastic change from cold air to the heat in the car." She placed her hands on her cheeks, embarrassed at being caught by Mulder while thinking about him.

"Anyway, we're here, come on, I can't wait to get out there." Scully couldn't wait either. Whether it be because of her thoughts or not, being out in the cold now was the perfect cover up for any more blushing she may do. Her cheeks would either be covered by a ski mask, or the wind will naturally flush them for her.

Everyone arrived safely at the parking lot of the lodge. The family gathered inside the log building and began to queue, Mrs Scully taking lead of the party. They were all kitted it out with snow boots, skis, ski poles, snowsuits, sunglasses, gloves. The women and children opted to hire earmuffs and ski masks too, although Scully declined on the ski mask. The cold wind would prove the cover she needed if Mulder got too close to her. Bill, Tara and Matthew made their way to the family changing area, while Mulder and Charlie, Edward and Howard went to the men's changing area, leaving Mrs Scully, Amanda and Scully to go to the women's changing area.

Edward and Howard were quickly changed and left the changing area, waiting in the lobby for the rest of the family. Charlie and Mulder remained behind, still only half changed. Mulder's thoughts had turned to Scully. He imagined her getting changed at the same time, but only getting unchanged, never actually getting into her outfit. A wide grin played across his face. A tap on his shoulder brought him to reality with a bump.

"Mulder?"

"Huh, sorry. I was miles away."

"I can see that." Charlie took a deep breath before he continued. "Mulder, I don't want to seem the over protective brother, Bill does that job nicely," he smiled. "But I need to know something."

"What?"

"How close are you and Dana? Really, I mean?"

Mulder suddenly felt a flush rise up his neck and face. He'd barely blushed in his life, but Scully seemed to have that effect on him. His thoughts went back to the previous night and the supper they had shared as family. He thought of the way he acted around Scully, and suddenly things clicked. Of course the poor guy was gonna ask, the way they were behaving was like they had committed adultery in that very cabin.

"You want the truth?" Mulder asked.

"The truth would be nice."

"You're telling me," he mumbled. "The truth is, she's my friend, my only friend, my best friend. I trust her with my life, and she trusts me with hers. We have such a special bond, its inexplicable. I don't know if I can say I love her, I don't know what love is. I didn't grow up with such a wonderful loving family as yours so I never learned what unconditional love is, but I do know how she makes me feel. And by God does she make me feel wonderful, and special. She gives me a reason to live, a reason to be me. She's the reason I get up in the morning. She keeps me sane, and grounded. So, if that's how Amanda makes you feel, then I guess you can say I'm in love, head over heels in love with your sister."

"Yep. Amanda makes me feel the exact same way. I think it's safe to say you're in love Mulder, and unlike Bill, I want to wish the two of you all the luck in the world. It's not often a person finds true love."

Mulder and Charlie exchanged handshakes, and a brotherly hug then continued getting ready. Shortly after, they went out to the lobby. Amanda was already waiting and sat on the bench in between her two sons. It was evident they had had a disagreement and been caught dealing with it in an aggressive manner, by the somber looks they wore on their faces. Bill, Tara and Matthew came out shortly after Mulder and Charlie. Now, for the second time that day, they were waiting for Scully, and her mother.

Charlie gave Mulder a nudge in the ribs. "They're probably in there having a mother and daughter chat, and you know the only subject they'll be talking about is you. In fact, mom's probably giving her the birds and the bees lecture again!"

Once again, without being in the room, or looking at him, Scully had caused him to blush. "Shut up Charlie!" he playfully replied.

Charlie broke down in a fit of laughter. It was at the moment, Scully and her mother decided to make their appearance, Scully looking somewhat flustered.

"What's going on out here then?" Mrs Scully asked staring at her laughing son.

"Oh nothing mom, Mulder and I were just discussing a few things," he replied as he made his way over to his wife and sons.

"Alright then everyone, let's get going," Mrs Scully called out. Mrs Scully strolled out of the lobby and out into the snow, followed by everyone else. Once everyone was together, she began to explain the details. "Ok, we're going to go up to the bunny slopes and the instructors are gonna meet us up there. I think there will be three of them I'm not to sure at the moment. But we need to get up there first, so follow me."

The all did as they were told and followed Mrs Scully to the ski lift entrance. As the chairs came down, around, and went away again, it was obvious that there was only room for two people in each chair. Charlie and Amanda decided it better to sit with one son each, especially considering their pervious outburst. Tara had offered to take Matthew with her, which was fine by Bill as he was intent on going with his little sister. However, Mrs Scully had other plans.

"Bill, you can come with," she called out.

"But mom, I was gonna go with..."

"I wasn't asking Bill," she threw an angry glare at him, and he walked, defeated to his mother. But vowed to himself that if that Mulder creep laid a finger on his sister, then he would pay dearly.

Being slightly shorter than everyone else, Scully knew she was going to find it harder to get into the chair. And now her mother had doomed her to share a chair with the one person she didn't want to be so close to.

When it was their turn, Mulder and Scully made their way to the chair. Before Scully knew what was going on Mulder grabbed her around the waist and lifted her into the chair. Their gazes locked for a few seconds, until Mulder realized that if he didn't get in the chair soon, it would be gone without him. He reluctantly looked away from Scully and jumped onto the seat beside her. They continued their accent to the top of the bunny hill. When they reached the top, Mulder jumped out first, and once again helped Scully out.

"Thank God I refused the ski mask," she thought as she felt the heat in her cheeks rise. Having his hands on her body, almost put her over the edge, and it was still only early in the day. There were at least another 10 hours left with this man. She didn't know how she was going to make it, only praying that she could without making such an idiot out of herself. Her thoughts were cut short when the rest of the family gathered around her as they waited for their instructors.

The entire family stood at the top of the smallest bunny hill waiting for the instructors to show up. Tara had Matthew standing by her feet while Bill stood talking to Charlie and Amanda and Maggie tried to keep the twins under control. Mulder and Scully stood on the outskirts of the crowd, mainly because Bill was talking to Charlie and Mulder didn't want to interfere and set Bill off, and Scully was to flushed to do anything remotely sensible.

"Scully family?" an older gentlman in a bright red ski suit approached them, followed by a younger man, probably no older than 26, in a blue ski suit, and a younger woman, probably no older than 23, in a yellow ski suit. Maggie nodded. "Great! I'm John Berlinger," he pointed to the younger man "This is Riley Moher, and Celia Sexton" he gestured to the younger woman. "We'll be your instructors for the day.

"Wonderful!" Mrs. Scully immediately went to work in dividing the crowd up for the lessons. "Bill, Tara, Matthew, you three go with Ms. Sexton, Charlie, Edward and Howard, you three go with Mr. Moher, and Fox, Dana, you two can ski with Mr. Berlinger. Amanda and I are going to head up to a higher hill."

Charlie's eyes widened at Amanda, "You can ski darling?"

"Been skiing for years, just haven't gone since we've started dating dear." She kissed him on the cheek "good luck with the boys!" she whispered.

"Hey Mulder!" Charlie called out upon looking at his two sons fighting in the snow already. "Wanna trade places?"

"Not on your life!" he flashed a smile back at Scully and walked over to greet his instructor.

"Fox Mulder" he shook hands with the older man. "My partner Dana Scully" he said out of habit, however forgetting that when yes, while presenting FBI status, the idea of a partner was widely understood while when off-duty, partner can mean many a different thing.

"Partner?? How long you two been married for?" he asked, obviously mistaking the term.

Scully flushed again. It was a really good thing she opted out of the mask, the cold air was perfect. "We're not married sir, just friends, partners at work, we're FBI agents" she explained.

"Oh, my mistake, I'm sorry, I misunderstood you."

"Quite alright," Mulder replied wearing an ear to ear grin. "Lets get this show on the road shall we, I'd like hit the hills as soon as we can."

John led them away from the other two groups and started working on explaining techniques to them. "It's simple really, and once you're on the hill you'll have loads of fun. A few rules." John went over all of the ground rules of safety, such as not cutting each other off, don't steer toward trees, and not to head in the direction of other skiiers, basic instructions of commen sense. He taught them how to ski, how to stop, how to steer, and how to turn. "You two think you got it now?"

"Yeah, I think so" Scully said.

"Well how about a run down the hill, I'll go down along side each of you."

The first ski run went down pretty smoothly. Mulder had almost lost his balance twice, but regained it each time before he could really fall, and Scully had been nothing but a pro.

"You sure you've never skiied before Scully?" he asked at the end of three runs.

"Positive."

"Yeah, just like you were positive about never hitting a baseball Miss. MVP??"

Scully just blushed and headed back up to the ski lift, ready for another run.

They had taken two more runs down the hill before John had deemed it safe to part with them. He knew Scully was able to ski well, but it was Mulder he was concerned with, and just thankful that he wasn't a James Bond double considering he wouldn't have made it past the first evil doer without falling flat on his face.

"Thanks a lot John" Mulder had waved goodbye at the bottom of the hill and made his way back up with Scully. "How about we find a quieter part of the hill. Without John to keep me up anymore, I really don't want Bill seeing me fall flat on my face. I'd be in for it for sure then when we get back to the cabin."

"Relax Mulder, Bill's not paying any attention to us, he's too busy watching Matthew learn how to ski like the proud father he is."

"Like hell he isn't watching us Scully, he hasn't taken his eyes off of me since we arrived in Colorado. He's already seen his mother regarding our connecting doors."

"Well I put him in his place regarding the connecting doors Mulder. We only have one more night here, Bill's not going to do anything that will risk ruining the weekend for me. That's why he's been civil so far."

They found a quiet slope and Mulder, eager to get used to the skis started to push his way down before Scully could stop him. "Race ya Scully" he yelled on his way down. Scully shook her head and raced toward another hill, unlike her, Mulder had obviously not seen the sign to the left of them. MOGULS.

"Mulder!" she shouted once again, hoping to stop him. Too late.

Mulder was having the ride of his life, not losing his balance once yet, and he was half way down. He soon realized though that Scully was not behind him. He looked ahead to keep his attention on the hill so he wouldn't slip, but before he knew it, he went over a small bump, than another, and another. It dawned on him and before he knew it, he was panicing. "Shit, Scully!!" he shouted, skis going over various mounds and he was losing his balance quite quickly.

"Mulder!" Scully called from the bottom. She had taken the quickest way down and had removed her skis to run to the bottom of the mogul hill. "You've got to calm down Mulder, don't panic or you'll fall."

"Easy for you to say" he shouted back. "You're not the one who's flying over thousands of little mountains."

"Do what John said, steer to avoid the objects. Keep your knees bent and look for the smallest mounds to go over."

Mulder was doing just that. He had managed to regain his composure and was going over the smaller hills until he came upon the final one, that propelled him three feet into the air. He kept his knees bent, skis straight, and screamed like he**. He landed on the ground safely with a thump, then fell backwards into the soft snow below him.

"You okay Mulder?" Scully came running to his side checking for broken bones.

"Hi Scully," he said rather dazed.

"Hi Mulder. You want to go back to the lodge now? We're supposed to meet mom there soon anyhow."

"Lodge sounds good, no more skiing."

"I thought so" she started to chuckle and helped him remove his skiis before helping him up. "Can you walk?"

"Yeah, thanks Scully."

"No problem, just read before you leap got it?"

"Yeah, read before I leap, got it" and they walked toward the lodge, Scully picking up her skis along the way.

On arriving back at the lodge, Mulder and Scully found Mrs Scully and Amanda sat chatting, with the box at their feet. They were already changed and were waiting patiently for the rest of the family. Mulder was still a little messed up from his tumble and limping slightly on his left leg. Amanda and Mrs Scully exchanged knowing glances.

"Oh my Fox? What have you been up to? You're limping. Did you two take a quick tumble in the snow?"

"Mom!"

"What? I was just asking. I know how easy it is to fall over out there," she explained the most innocent expression she could master playing across her face. "What did you think I meant?"

Scully glared at her mother, as her cheeks began to flush. Feeling the rising heat, she quickly excused herself, and went to get changed. Mulder did the same. As soon as the two were out of earshot, both Amanda and Mrs Scully burst into hysterics.

At that moment, Bill, Matthew and Tara entered the lodge. "What's going on in here?" his voice boomed out.

"Oh nothing Bill, nothing." Mrs Scully and Amanda regained their composure. Bill took his family and went to change. Charlie, Edward and Howard followed close behind, Charlie marching his sons straight through the lodge and to the changing area. "Doesn't look like it went well."

"Don't worry. If it didn't go well, they'll know it soon enough. I may be a bit of a push over, but Charlie will have none of it."

Scully entered the lodge from the changing area, followed by Mulder, then Edward, Howard and Charlie, and then finally by Bill, Tara and Matthew. Bill's gaze remained on Mulder the whole time they were together. With the snow longer able to prove a cover up for her flustered cheeks, she tried to stay as far away from Mulder as possible. But she had to travel back to the cabin with him right next to her that was going to be hard, very hard indeed.

Once everyone had convened together, Mrs Scully directed the group to a small room. A fire blazed at the far end of the room. Bill had taken the box of goodies from his mother, carried it into the room and placed in on the table. The children all sat down patiently at the table, while Mrs Scully began unpacking the box's contents.

Charlie took Amanda by the hand and led her to the fire. Charlie sat down and pulled Amanda with him, settling her down between his legs. They bathed in the warmth the fire provided. Bill followed his brother's lead and taking Tara, sat down next to his brother. As Bill past Mulder however, he shot him a look, which screamed, 'do this with my sister, and you die'.

Mulder swallowed the lump in his throat. As much as he wanted to sit on the floor with Scully sat between him, he wouldn't. He had promised not to do anything to antagonize Bill and he wouldn't. This was Scully's birthday treat, and he wasn't going to ruin it for her by getting into a fight with her brother. So he took a seat across the room from Scully on the couch.

Mrs Scully placed a marshmallow in each mug, and then handed them out, first to the children to keep them quite, then to Charlie and Amanda, and finally to Bill and Tara. Mrs Scully brought Mulder his mug, and bent to whisper in his ear. "It's her birthday Fox, she shouldn't be sitting on her own. Her mug is on the table. Why don't you take it over to her, and sit with her? I would if I could, but I have this lot to look after," she replied gesturing to the three boys. "Unless you'd rather look after them."

"Ok, ok."

"She likes her marshmallows."

Mulder smiled at Mrs Scully then rose from his seat. He walked to the table. Taking the marshmallow bag, he slipped an extra couple into her mug, and headed in her direction. He didn't need to look at Bill to know his eyes were focused hard on him. Luckily for Mulder, Tara noticed where he husband's attention was, and snapped him out of it by giving him something else to look at.

It was hard for Mulder not to break his promise about Bill, especially when he had meddling mothers to deal with. That was one thing he was grateful for in his life. He had never had to experience his mother's teasing or meddling. But then he'd never learnt to love either, and that was something he did regret. He pushed his thoughts to the back of his mind, and concentrated on Scully.

He handed her the mug, and sat down next to her. "You're mom said you liked you marshmallows, so I slipped you an extra few," he said with a wink of his eye. She gave him a wary smile. "Trust me Scully, this was your mother's idea, not mine."

"Just like breakfast in bed was my mother's idea?" she countered him with a smile.

"Well" he grinned sheepishly, "I may have to take credit for breakfast but the hot chocolate is definitely your mother's."

"That's what I thought." She looked over at the table,spying on her mother blowing on Matthew's cup while sternly lecturing the other two. "Charlie didn't look so enthused about Eddie and Howie when he came in, I wonder what they were up to."

"Beats me, probably doing the same things I was with my sister when I was their age."

"Which would be?"

"That's classifed information Agent Scully, if I tell you, I may have to kill you" he was wearing his goofy grin.

She looked back at Bill with his wife, and Charlie and Amanda spooned up against each other in front of the fireplace. They looked so cozy and comfortable with each other. She honestly wished that Mulder would pull her down right there with them, but she knew him better than that. Yes the tension was up this weekend, but she knew it wasn't his style. A man like Mulder doesn't want to curl in front of the fireplace, he'd be more comfortable chasing aliens in the arctic than sitting by a nice warm fire with his partner. She did take the moment though, despite her better judgment to lean her head against his shoulder, trying to enjoy the moment. She knew he wouldn't deny her this, especially since it was her weekend, and he didn't let her down. Instead of stiffening at the contact like she thought he would, like he had so many times before, he relaxed, and placed his arm around her shoulder pulling her closer. It may just be the atmosphere of the lodge that's making him like this, but she wasn't going to question it, just enjoy it.

Mulder was shocked to say the least when Scully had rested her head against him. It was unexpected, especially after what had happened last night in front of the mirror, but he wasn't going to pull away or make some stupid comment to stop it. Instead he did what felt natural, what felt right. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her closer, smiling at the feel of her curled around him. He did notice out of the corner of his eye Bill glaring at him, and he just smiled in return and focused back at Scully drinking her hot chocolate next to him.

He knew it had been a good idea to take her here the minute he suggested it to Mrs. Scully while planning her birthday. He had never really seen her quite so happy, and a small part of him wanted to believe that it was because he had tagged along, but he knew it was only because her entire family was there with her.

Before they knew it however, Mrs. Scully had started rounding up the family getting ready to leave the lodge. One look at Bill's face and she announced "same vehicles we came in, Bill, and family, Charlie and family, and Fox, Dana and I" she saw him grimace as he dropped the invitation he was giving Dana to join them in their car. "Fox, Dana and I will be a little late getting back however. We're going to stop into town and pick up a bite to eat for everybody, cookies and hot chocolate is not considered a well balanced meal." She handed Mulder the box with the thermoses and left over cookies and headed to the car, her family following behind going to their respective vehicles.

"Trunk working yet mom?"

"No Dana, checked it earlier, still frozen, Fox, just strap the box in the front here, and climb in the back, once again I'm sorry for the leg room, but it'll have to do."

Scully sat next to him, upset that her mother had mentioned his legs again. Unprofessional thoughts had once again entered her mind, and she did not need the man causing them sitting in such close proximity to her.

The other two cars pulled into the cabin driveway and unloaded. "I'm putting Matthew down for a nap" Tara called out to Bill. "The skiing exausted him out and he's becoming cranky." She walked past him, but not before he could stop her and kiss her a little on the cheek and ruffle Matthew's hair.

"We'll be right in, I'm gonna help Charlie with those two, they don't seem to be behaving well." He walked over to Charlie's car and opened the door, watching a morose Edward exit out of one side and a Howard out of the other.

"Listen you two, when you get inside you are to take off your boots, AND place them nicely on the rack, and hang up your coat, then you can go to your room and think about what you two did. Maybe next time you'll think twice about throwing snowballs at other skiers, you could have hurt one of them you know!" Charlie's voice was raised and came through in a no nonsense tone.

"Yes sir." The boys walked slowly back into the cabin and did as their father told them to do.

"Kids" Charlie shook his head at Bill.

"Hey, we used to do the same thing when we were younger."

"I know" Charlie grinned, "and I still remember hearing the Captain's words over it when we were caught."

They sat on the couches inside waiting for the others. "Charlie? What do you think of Mulder, you seem to be getting along with him pretty well aren't you?"

"Yeah, he's a nice guy, I'm glad Dana has a friend like him. Why do you ask?"

"Cause he's an asshole and I'm worried about Dana that's all. I don't think she knows what she's getting into with him."

"I think she does, she's not a little girl any longer Bill, she's 37 years old."

"Still, I don't like this Mulder. He's caused her nothing but grief, he killed Melissa, he gave Dana her cancer, he made her barren."

"Well Bill, I don't necessarily think it was Mulder himself. I mean, he didn't pull the trigger on Missy or anything like that."

"Yeah, well he may as well have as far as I'm concerned."

"I think you gotta calm down about this. This is exactly the reason she never introduced you to any of her boyfriends, she was afraid you'd clobber them."

"And you've met all of them?"

"Yeah, I have, and I even managed to sneak them into clubs where I knew people. You've got to lighten up, Dana needs an older brother to be supportive, not a protective one. Mulder can protect her just fine, he's been doing that for seven years now."

"Not nearly well enough."

"Well he cares about her, that's all that she needs right now. Calm down will ya?" They heard an engine pull into the driveway. "Mom's back, no more mention of this okay, you know she'll kick you in the arse good if you continue to rant like this." He got up and opened the door and smelled the sweet smell of chinese.

With dinner out the way, Matthew asleep in bed and Edward and Howard banished to their rooms, the adults were left to their own devices. Mrs Scully pulled out a game of Monopoly, and they all sat down to enjoy a family game. It was several hours later when the game finished, and Charlie came out victorious with both Bill and Amanda being totally bankrupt.

Mrs Scully had declared that presents and cake would come with supper, and until then, everyone was free to do what they wanted. It was then Mulder excuse both himself and Scully. Mulder grabbed his coat, as did Scully on his instruction. Before leaving the house, Mulder also picked up a box he had picked up from town earlier.

Mulder led Scully across the snow-covered path, and to a small frozen lake. A wooden barrier lined the outer limits of the ice in a circular formation. Several Victorian styled lights were dotted around the place, and between each one, and string of mutli-colored lantern shaped lights hung.

They sat on a bench a little away from the entrance to the rink. Mulder placed the box on the snow, opened it and produced two pair of ice skates. They both sat down and put of the skates. Scully was having trouble with hers so Mulder bent down to do them up so that she wouldn't break her ankle when she got on the ice. He then got up and walked over the rink, and stepped on.

Mulder did a full circle of the rink before Scully had even managed to stand up. She half walked half jumped her way to the wooden barrier and then guided herself to the entrance, holding tightly to the barrier. She thought that if it was this hard to walk on the ground, what was it gonna be like on the ice. She prayed she wouldn't make a total ass out of herself. Mulder skated over to the entrance where Scully was hovering.

"You can't skate without getting on the ice."

"Are you sure? Can't I just stay here, where it's safer?"

"Nope. This is the one thing your mother assured me you can't do."

"And she's right," Scully replied as she stepped onto the ice, and her foot slip out from under her. "Oh crap! I'm gonna break my ankle before the night is over."

Unceremoniously, she grabbed the barrier and held on for dear life.

"Oh come on Scully. It's not that hard," he said as he came gliding towards her on one foot.

"Mulder stop showing off and help me, will you?"

"Sure." He forced himself to a stop next to Scully. He held out his hands to her, and she took them, her feet still not having control under her weight. "Just relax. The more tense you are the harder you'll find it."

Once she was in an upright position, he placed his hands, one on either side of her waist, resting slightly on her hips. "Just stand still and let me do the work," he whispered as he pushed off with his feet. He guided her around the rink twice, and then brought her to a stop at the entrance.

"There, that wasn't too bad, was it? Now it's your turn," he replied letting go of her.

Feeling more confident on her feet now, she pushed off from the side. She was steadily gliding across the ice, and was set to make it when all of a sudden she lost her balance. Her arms went every which way possible trying to regain her balance, but it was no good. Her feet went out from under her and she felt backwards onto her butt. She tried to get back on her feet. Placing one foot firmly on the ice, she pushed herself up, and fell straight back down again. Mulder continued to skate circles around her, watching her attempts to get up. She tried three more times, each with no success. The only thing she succeeded in doing was sending Mulder into hysterics. Finally she admitted defeat.

"Okay Mulder, help me."

"Are you admitting you need help Agent Scully?" he asked playfully.

"Yes, now get me up. It's freezing down here."

"That's because you're sat on the ice," he said as he extended a hand to her.

"Ha, ha, very funny Mulder." He pulled her to her feet and she began to brush herself off.

Mulder gave Scully a little push and slowly she slid away from him. She started moving her feet, and going a bit fast. Mulder the meanwhile was skating circles around her, trying to purposely make her fall again. At one point he got so on her nerves, she started to chase him. Not the best thing she could do. That was learning the quick, but hard way.

Mulder had stopped in the middle of the rink. Scully was weaving all over the place, still not in control of her actions. Without being able to change direction or stop, she headed straight for Mulder. This time he let her catch him. Scully crashed into him with a bump, and almost fell over from stopping so suddenly. But Mulder grabbed her and held her steady.

Scully's heart fluttered in her chest, and she could feel the heat rising in her cheeks. She couldn't handle be this close to him, but it felt so right. She fitted perfectly against him. She didn't have the strength to move, she barely had the strength to breath. Her gaze remained anywhere but his face. If she looked into those hazel eyes, just once, she'd lose it.

She felt his finger slip under her chin, and her head arch backwards as he lifted it. Her gaze fell to the side, and she refused to look at him. "Hey, Scully, I..." he said. He noticed that his still didn't have her full attention, and he wanted it for what he was about to say. "Will you look at me?"

Slowly, she lifted her eyes and met his. She felt her heart jump to her throat, flip flop and then return to its rightful home, although it was now going at an unhealthy rate. Her breathing had increased, and she was on the verge of turning to Scully goo. He smiled his goofy smile. That was it she was gone. She melted to a puddle of Scully goo. Thankful he had his arms around her, for if he didn't then she would be a puddle on the ice.

He could sense the tension in her as he held her close. He could feel it in himself. The cold air turned their breaths to white clouds. Seeing that the clouds from her mouth were speeding up, he smiled, knowing for sure that it was because of him she was like this. It was then he felt her turn limp. He just held her close as her body formed to the contours of his.

That was it. With Scully melting in his arms, all promises were off. "Happy birthday Scully," he grinned, and planted his lips firmly on hers.

Scully froze solid at his contact, but as he worked his lips against hers she gave in. Her mouth opened wider and he took that as a sign to attack, and attack he did. A battle of tongues went on in her mouth as she brought her hands around his neck, lifting herself closer.

Her eyes opened slightly as they continued their actions. In the distance, she could see the cabin. A shadowy figure stood in the window watching them. Even from the distance she was, she knew it was Bill, and she could feel the look on his face, his angry eyes staring hard at them.

"Mulder," she whispered as she parted from their kiss.

"What?"

"We have an audience. Bill is watching us."

"Then we should give him something to look at."

With that, he bent her to the floor, still kissing her, and then returned them both to a standing position. He spun her around slightly so she could no longer see her brother, and he could only see her back. Still kissing her deeply, he let his hands travel up her back and then back down to her buttocks. He grabbed a full handful of her flesh and pulled her closer to him, lifting her slightly off her feet.

"Mulder!"

"What? You can tell me you're not enjoying this."

"Well, I can tell you are!" They were so close now Scully could feel his every moment, some more than others. "But you're right, I am enjoying this." Their lips re-connected and another war of the mouths, and tongues, began.

Bill went from angry to stark raving mad. He wanted to go down there, pull them apart and punching the living hell out of Mulder. After all, Mulder was handling his sister and he had no right to. Bill made a promise to himself that once he had Mulder alone he was going to teach him a lesson or two. Mulder was going to pay for his actions.

"I think you've really upset Bill now," she smiled as she savored the feel of his body so close to hers.

"As long as I didn't upset you, I don't care."

"No, you didn't upset me. But if you start anything with Bill, then I will be. Even if he starts it, you got it?"

"Yes." He bent down and kissed her once more. "Come on, your mom will kill me if I don't get you back soon."

Mulder and Scully had walked back to the cabin hand in hand with their skates flung over each shoulder, Mulder trying to pay attention to Scully rather than the angry Bill standing at the window. Before they entered, Mulder leaned over and whispered into Scully's ear, "whatever you do, please don't leave me alone with your brother. He may be strong, but I pack a gun and don't want to use it for self-defense if you get my grip."

"Yeah I get it, don't worry, I really don't want to explain to Skinner when we return how my partner was suddenly murdered on an innocent weekend to the Rockies."

They opened the door to the fresh aroma of pasta in the oven, Rigatoni in a vegetable sauce and smothered with cheese to be exact. "Did you two enjoy a nice skate outside?" Mrs. Scully called from the kitchen.

"Yeah, it was gorgeous out there" Scully removed her jacket and walked to the kitchen, with Mulder following close behind.

"Judging from Bill's reaction it sounded like you two were having fun" she winked at Mulder while Scully blushed.

"Yeah well Bill doesn't really know what he saw mom" she mumbled.

"Like hell I don't Dana" he stormed into the kitchen, but before he could get in a word edgewise, Mrs. Scully had handed him a pot of pasta and told him to go and serve it to the others. The look on her face told him she wouldn't accept any other response.

He had maintained an air of civility all throughout dinner as well, sending the occasional glance to Mulder who could only read his facial expression as 'you're a dead boy now'. He had been thankful that Scully had picked the opposite end of the table to sit instead of close to Bill, else he probably wouldn't be alive eating this meal.

Thankfully, dinner had come and gone without incident, and Mrs. Scully had the entire family gathered around the fireplace in the cabin ready for Scully to open her gifts. "You guys really shouldn't have done this" she insisted. "It's great enough as it is being here this weekend with everyone I love. You didn't need to do anything on top of this." Matthew however had misinterpreted this as 'Auntie Dana does not want to open her birthday presents so I can' and darted over his mother's lap, grabbing the first one and tearing the paper off, receiving a laugh from the entire family.

Scully reached over and picked him up placing him on her lap. "You want to open my presents up for me Mattie?" With a nod he began tearing paper away from the first one, from him, Tara and Bill, revealing a small sunflower windchime. Charlie and Amanda had given her some Indian silk he had picked up while his ship was on shore leave in India. The boys gave her a personal organizer, which she promised to keep on her at all times, her mother gave her a certificate to a beauty parlor in DC, and Mulder a bath basket filled with facial products, bubblebaths and soaps to help her relax after a long and stressful day with him as he called it.

She thanked every single one of them before stifling a yawn and deciding to callit a night. Mulder, noticing the company he was still in, with Charlie and Tara putting their boys to bed, and Amanda helping Mrs. Scully, decided to follow Scully, not brave enough to be left alone with Bill just yet. He shut and locked the door to his room and sat on his bed, going over everything that had happened today.

Scully was sat in bed reading her book, although she could barely concentrate on the words in front of her. She had now read the same paragraph four times, and it had yet to make sense. Her mind was too preoccupied with the events that had transpired during the day. She kept reliving certain actions over and over again. Her gaze then fell on the connecting door. All that separated her and Mulder was a plank of wood. If only he would knock and come in.

As if they shared a psychic connection, and a common intent, there came a soft knock at the door. It sprang open and the bright light from Mulder's room spilled into her dimly lit bedroom. Mulder stood in the doorway wearing only a pair of silk black boxers.

"Can I come in?" he asked, not too sure of her mood.

"Sure," she smiled in return. Mulder entered the room and sat down on the bed next to Scully. "So, what's up?"

"Nothing. I couldn't sleep."

"Me neither. What's keeping you awake?"

"Probably the same thing that's keeping you awake. I can't get my mind off that kiss Scully."

"I know."

"Maybe..."

"Maybe what?" she asked hopefully.

"Never mind. It's just, maybe..."

"Yes?"

"Nothing."

They sat in silence. Mulder unconsciously placed his arm around Scully's shoulder and pulled her close. Scully naturally accepted his advances and placed her head in the hollow of his neck. Mulder began to massage Scully's neck with his hand. Scully closed her eyes, and allowed herself to go along with it, letting out a deep sigh in the process.

On stopping the relaxing massage, Scully opened her eyes and looked towards Mulder, sending him a questioning glance. There was a tense few moments between them. Then, without warning, Mulder leaned forward and gently pressed his lips to hers. She quickly returned the gesture letting her tongue delve deep into his mouth in search of his.

"Oh God Mulder, I want you," she mumbled against his mouth. "Make love to me."

Mulder pulled back, and gave her a startled look. "Are you sure? I mean, your..."

Before he could continue his protest, Scully had grabbed his head and pulled him back to her mouth. Mulder smiled against her mouth. He placed his hands under her knees and pulled her down the bed, rolling her onto her back at the same time. Her kisses started moving around his face, on his eyes, his nose, his chin and eventually down to his neck.

"You should know by now Agent Mulder," she huskily whispered between kisses. "In the end, I always get what I want."

"Then you'd better keep quiet!" he ordered as he once again placed his mouth over hers, his tongue sinking into her mouth to taste the sweetness that was Scully, and only Scully.

While Scully was caught up in the tongue-wrestling match, Mulder let his fingers wander to her pajama top buttons. It was the only thing that kept her body from his. Slowly, he undid each button with care. When he undid the last button, he pulled open her top. The cool air rushed against her skin and she shuddered. Goosebumps covered her body. Scully pulled her arms away from Mulder's body and wiggled out of her top throwing it across the room. Delicate pale flesh was revealed to Mulder.

A low groan came from his throat as he bathed in the wonder before him. "God you're so sweet," he whispered. "But you're still wearing more than me," he said as his hands found the waistband of her pajama bottoms.

She lifted her hips of the bed, making contact with his groin. She could feel his growing arousal through the thin material. A jolt of electricity ran threw her body. His hardness pressed against her was such a good feeling. He had maneuvered her pajama bottoms over her hips and fanny, but was unable to completely rid her of them because of the contact they had at the particular moment.

"Down baby," he whispered in her ear. Unwillingly, she lowered her fanny onto the bed. Mulder yanked her bottoms off and chucked them in the opposite direction of her top. "There, that's better. Now we're even."

Mulder's hands wandered freely over her now naked body, closely followed by his mouth. His hands wandered to her breasts, his fingers starting to manipulate her nipples that had grown hard with the cold, while he concentrated his mouth, teeth and tongue on her earlobe. Her body arched towards his, seeking more of the pleasure he was supplying. Another jolt of electricity went traveling through her body. It was a feeling she'd never felt before in her life, and never would again, unless Mulder was with her.

"Oh Mulder!" she cried.

He continued to kiss and nibble her earlobe. Only after he was satisfied with her reply, did he move to the other ear. Moans and groans continued to escape her throat. He then trailed kisses down her cheekbones and then into the pit in her neck. His tongue traced small circles and another cry escape from her throat.

"Oh my God!"

Mulder's hands slowly made their way down her body towards his ultimate goal. He trailed his fingers along the inside of her firm thigh and to the small silk material. He slid his finger beneath the waistband of her panties, and slid them down her legs, feeling her along the way. Once her panties were out of the way he sort her divine area. Finding the folds of her womanhood, he set his fingers to work, moving in and out, back and forth, round and round. Wet heat. More passionate moans escaped from his partner, and Mulder reveled in the fact that he was the cause of her pleasure.

Her hands ran up and down the defined muscles on his back. It was an effort not to melt away into the puddle of Scully goo she was close to turning into. It was her turn for some fun she decided, and started pulling down the boxers that kept his wonder hidden.

As she pushed then down his body, she allowed her hand to graze past his full arousal. He sucked in a deep breath, relieved that finally he was no longer constricted to his boxers. He finished the job she started and kicked his boxers to the floor after untangling his feet. He quickly returned his attention to Scully.

His kisses trailed down her body too, stopping at where his hands had left off. As his tongue played and antagonized her nipple, she arched her back thrusting her nipple deeper into his mouth. He took her nipple between his teeth and gently tugged at it. Suddenly, his need to taste every sweet inch of her took over, and he began to suckle.

"Oh my God! Oh my God!" she screamed.

Mulder reluctantly took his hand away from between her legs, and slapped it down hard across her mouth trying to stifle her screams. "If I'd known you were gonna be this much of a screamer Agent Scully I would have brought a gag."

"So shut me up," she quipped back from under his hand.

"No problem."

Mulder bent down and moved to his target, her mouth. He instantly deepened the kiss, and she allowed it. Her pleasured moans escaped into him rather than the night air of the cabin. He breathed in her pleasure deeply, and sought to heighten the satisfaction she was receiving in the only way possible between man and woman. He pulled back from the kiss. He needed to know that she wanted this, in this manner.

"Are you absolutely sure about this?"

"Yes," she replied breathlessly. "Definitely."

It was the only invitation he needed. She was ready for him, and he knew it. No, strike that, she was well past ready for him, and him for her. He lowered himself over her, and using his shaft gently nudged at her opening. He took a deep breath and slowly eased himself forward. Scully's breath caught in her throat and a slight trace of pain feel across her face, although her eyes remained closed. Mulder ceased his actions. He dare not move scared he would hurt her more.

"Scully?"

"What?" she asked dreamily.

"I can't do this." She opened her eyes, and stared into his worried hazel brown eyes. "It's hurting you," he explained. But before Mulder could say anymore, Scully bucked her hips and impaled herself on him, causing him to rip straight through her maidenhood. "Jesus Scully!" he whispered. "Are you all right?"

"Hummm," she smiled with pleasure, her eyes heavy. She wiggled around enjoying the feeling of him inside her. Both were suddenly overtaken by the passion and desire they now felt. Mulder withdrew almost fully. Her heavy eyes fluttered slightly open on feeling his weight disappear, and his shaft withdrawing. She then asked innocently, "Where are you going?"

He quietly laughed and smiled seductively. "Hold on baby, it gets better."

With one hard surge forward, he buried himself deep inside her femininity. Her eyes shot open. The force of his action caused her to cry out loud. It was one cry she couldn't hold back. "Oh God!" Her body immediately tensed, almost sending Mulder over the edge, while her heart slammed vigorously against her chest.

Mulder withdrew a little. "Relax will you?" he whispered in her ear.

He began a gentle backward and forward motion, easing Scully into the situation slowly. And it was working. Her body began to relax and she was able to enjoy the feelings that were burning inside her. As the need inside him built up, his thrusts became deeper, harder and faster. Scully lifted her hips from the bed to better accommodate him. Mulder placed his hands either side of her on the bed to keep his balance. He continued his rhythm, deeper, harder, faster. He felt Scully's femininity tighten around his shaft, and it almost send him over the edge. However, he held off, promising himself he wouldn't go over the edge until she was ready to go with him.

"Oh God yes!" she cried. "

"Shhh," he managed to whisper, and planted his lips on her once again to stifle her growing cries.

To intent on giving Scully the birthday present of her dreams, he was unable to speak anymore. The only sounds that came from him were grunts and groans of passion. He concentrated solely on the job in front of him and the woman he loved. A few more thrusts, and that was it. He could hold it back no longer. They both lost it. Pure Heaven. Pure Hell. Ecstasy.

Their bodies went into spasm in the aftermath of their recent actions. They lay spent in each other's arms. Slowly, their heart rates and breathing returned to normal. A new wave of emotions washed of them, a sense of belonging, of fulfillment.

After a few minutes breather, Scully turned on her side to face Mulder. She traced small circles on his hairy chest. "My turn," Scully smiled her voice still thick.

"You don't give a guy a chance do you?"

"Not up to the challenge Agent Mulder?"

"Always," he smiled as he leaned forward and started to eat her, mouth first. Scully parted from the kiss and pushed Mulder back on the bed. "I love it when you take control."

She straddled him resting a few inches from his manhood, which now lay lifeless between his legs. However, as Scully's body grazed the limp flesh, it sprang to attention and a low moan was emitted from deep in Mulder's throat. She grabbed his shaft and guided it inside herself. Then, she allowed the rest of her weight to drive it deeper. She quickly built up a rhythm, riding him for all he was worth. Mulder just lie there and let her do the work this time.

"Oh my God!" she cried out loud. She bent to his ear, still keeping his manhood inside her. "Now Mulder, now," she whispered. "And that's an order!"

"Yes ma'am," he replied saluting her. He grabbed her by the hips and pulled her deeper into him. He continued his assault, bucking her from underneath, continuing the rhythm she had originally started.

He was ready to make his second release, when all of a sudden Scully's bedroom door flew open, and in the doorway appeared her mother, Bill, Tara, Amanda, Charlie, Edward, Howard and Matthew. Everyone stared wide-eyed at Mulder and Scully, and they stared back just as wide-eyed. Suddenly, all passion drained away.

All blood had drained from their faces and before they knew it, each of them were clutching sheets suddenly feeling very exposed.

Matthew took one look at the two of them and bounded for the bed. "Auntie Dana, can I jump on the bed too, it looked like lots of fun." and he started bouncing around.

"What's going on?" Scully had managed to find her voice.

"Well we heard screaming and..." it suddenly dawned on Bill what exactly was happening, and his sister's earlier comments. "I'm gonna kill you" Bill muttered through clenched teeth and was about to advance when he felt a firm grip on his shoulder hold him back.

"You'll do no such thing Bill" Mrs. Scully restrained him, the biggest grin set on her face.

"But mom, look at them!" he gestured to the bed.

"I see them dear, but now is not the time, nor the place to be discussing this, I'm sure they'd like their privacy returned to them."

"I agree mom" Charlie walked over to the bed and scooped up Matthew, but not before winking at Scully, "way to go sis" he whispered, loud enough so only the three of them could hear and walked out the door behind his family.

Mrs. Scully was the last one out, ready to shut the door behind her when she turned back to them, "glad you two could make use of the connecting doors" and left. Scully could feel the heat rising her face. She had imagined being with Mulder in a thousand different ways, but not one of them ever included having her family walk in on them. "I better go Scully" Mulder bent down to pick up his boxers from the ground.

"Don't Mulder. Stay." her voice was soft, as if she was still unsure about everything.

"I shouldn't, Bill's going to kill me in the morning"

"He's going to kill you anyway, whether you leave or not, so please, stay."

He took a good long look at her, her eyes pleading along with her words. It didn't take him very long to drop his boxers back to the ground and climb back in next to her, drawing her into his arms.

"How are we supposed to face my family tomorrow morning?"

"You can face them however you want Scully, I'll be skipping town first thing before Bill even knows I'm gone."

"You will not" she swated his bottom at that comment.

"You're right, I won't, I'll just keep my gun on me at all times" he chuckled.

"I think that would be a wise idea" she yawned and fell asleep.

The morning came too soon for them and before they knew it, her mother was banging on her door telling them to get up for breakfast.

Each took their respective showers and entered the dining area, all eyes on them. Amanda approached her spoke quietly to her. "Nothing to be ashamed of, you two weren't the only ones indulging in a bit of passion last night." Scully then remembered her appearance at the door, hair dishevled, her in a robe and Charlie in just his boxers, and suddenly blushed at her comment.

Breakfast had been completely uneventful, with the exception of the glaring looks by Bill and the twins snicking every time one of them spoke.

The weekend was almost over, thankfully for Mulder, he quite frankly didn't want to see another Scully, other than Scully for a while, not after last night, or early this morning he should say. The family was moving around the cabin, cleaning up after themselves and packing their bags, ready to leave for the airport to their various desinations. He had hoped it would be enough to distract Bill but unfortunately it wasn't. Bill had caught him off guard while he was outside making room in the trunk of their rental car.

"What do you think you were doing last night with my sister you little shit?"

"I'm sure you know what it was Bill, just as I'm sure you and Tara have done the same thing multiple times" he responded dryly.

"Don't give me that answer. I told you I didn't want you to have anything to do with her!"

"I'm tired of this Bill, it's getting old. Listen, I know what the older brother in you is like so I'll tell you this. I love your sister, I'll always love her, and while I can't promise to keep all harm away from you, just like you can't with Tara, I can promise that I will do my best to keep her safe, and I'll always stick by and be there when she needs me."

"Not good enough" he growled, but was stopped by Scully, who without any of them knowing, had listened to the entire exchange.

She placed a hand on Mulder's shoulder and quietly told him her bags were waiting inside her bedroom. He caught her drift and left the two of them alone. "Now what is this all about Bill?" she was not amused.

"I think you know what this is about. I don't want him anywhere near you."

"He's no danger to me if that's what you're thinking."

"He is, he caused Missy's death, gave you you're cancer..."

"and took it away" she continued. "Listen, I won't let you deny me this little bit of happiness in my life. Mulder has never been responsible for anything that has happened. The only thing he is responsible for is the pleasure I got last night, and the respect, truth and loyalty I receive from him everyday. I'm a grown woman and make my own choices. Those things happened to me because I chose them too, and with the exception of Missy's death, which was unfortunate, I wouldn't change any of it."

"But Dana..."

"No buts Bill. I'm going to go inside and finish packing. I don't want to hear another word from you regarding Mulder and I. Not one. It's our last day here, my birthday weekend, please try to be civil."

With a nod from him, she turned and walked back inside.

Mulder had headed back to the cabin on Scully's instructions, and went to his bedroom. He did a quick tour of it and then of the bedroom, checking that both he and Scully had picked up all of their belongings. When all was in check, he returned to Scully's bedroom. He took one last look around the room, and a smile crept on his face as his thoughts went back to the previous night, before they got caught.

There was a knock at the door, and Charlie entered. "Hey there!" Charlie exclaimed. "I saw you out there having a barney with Billy boy. Did everything go all right?"

"Well, he didn't kill me and I didn't kill him so I guess it went ok."

"In that case, there's only one thing left to say. Welcome to the family, 'bro'." Charlie and Mulder exchanged a brotherly hug. "So, when you gonna slip a ring on her finger? She is supposed to be a good little Catholic girl, but I guess she's let a few things slip, especially after later night's little fiasco."

Mulder smiled a goofy smile, and replied. "Yeah, I guess you could say that."

"I really do wish you two all the luck in the world. And despite what Bill says now, once he sees how happy you make Dana, he'll come around, in his own sweet time?"

"Do you think it'll be before he gives up the ghost?"

Charlie laughed out loud at Mulder last comment. "He damn well better. Otherwise family meetings from now on are gonna be interesting."

"What's gonna be interesting?" Scully asked, sticking her head through the door. She strolled across the room, and slipped her arm around Mulder's waist.

"We were just talking about the future." He winked at Mulder, before excusing himself, and leaving them alone.

"This feels good," Scully stated.

"What does?"

"Having my arm around you, and yours around me. It just feel so right, so..."

"Perfect," he whispered, finishing her sentence for her.

As much as they hated to admit it, last night's little rumble may have resulted in them getting caught by every Scully family member, but at least now they didn't have to hide their feelings. They were free to be who they wanted to be. They were free to love each other the way they had dreamed of for so long. Reluctantly they parted. Mulder took Scully's bags and they headed downstairs, first to the car to deposit the luggage and then back to the cabin for the final family dinner.

"Everybody sit down" Mrs. Scully called from the kitchen, pulling out the meatloaf she had spent the morning making out of the oven.

"Mom" Scully walked into the kitchen to help. "It's amazing, we're all scheduled to be at the airport in two hours and you still manage to make a real dinner for everybody."

"What? You expect me to pop a pizza in the oven Dana? It may be convienant, but not exactly healthy. Everybody is to eat healthy and well while you're under my care. Besides, honestly, when is the next time you and Fox are going to eat like this?"

She had Scully there. "Probably next time we come to your place for dinner." She grabbed several plates from the pantry and placed a piece of meatloaf on each as well as some vegetable, handing them to Tara to pass out to the rest of the family.

"Did you enjoy the weekend here?"

"Yes, thank you for planning this mom, it was more than I could ever ask for."

"Don't thank me, thank Fox, he suggested it and even planned it, then he wasn't even planning on coming since it was to be a family thing. It's a good thing I insisted though, he's good to you."

"Mulder planned this weekend?" Scully stood amazed.

"Yes he did, I'm sure you'll thank him later properly for it too" she said with a knowing wink. "Now go join the others before you dinner gets cold."

Dinner went as planned, children complaining about going back home, Charlie lecturing the boys about how meatloaf is to be eaten and not shaped into meat creatures, and the usual glare from Bill to Mulder. Nothing was out of the ordinary.

Final goodbyes had come and gone, each Scully member promising to do better in keeping in touch and a handshake from Bill to Mulder, a truce of sorts, but Mulder's hand was still in pain after Bill let go, a warning as well. Within a few minutes, Mulder and Scully had found themselves at the airport, ready to catch their flight home.

Mulder and Scully sat seated on the plane in first class. Mulder had kindly offered to take the window seat so that she didn't have to look out as they took off. Flying was never her strong point, and still wasn't, not even after eight years flying around the country. The plane was quiet. Most of the passengers were asleep. It seemed to be only Mulder, Scully and the cabin crew that were awake.

"Hey Scully?"

"Yeah?"

"Ever thought of joining the Mile High Club?"

"Mulder!"

"Well, we did start something we didn't get to finish last night," he said with a wicked smile playing on his face.

Scully didn't know what it was about her, but all her morals and high standards suddenly went out the window. She put it down to the intoxicating feeling she had whenever she was in Mulder's presence. She felt like a giddy teenager all over again. Except this time, she knew things would go further, much further, and that he'd still be there in the morning.

"I'll meet you in the end one in a few minutes," she smiled.

"God I love you," he answered placing a gentle kiss on her lips.

Mulder left his seat and traveled down the aisle and occupied the end toilet. Several minutes passed, and finally a soft knock came on the door. Mulder pulled the door open only as far as he needed. Grabbing Scully by the arm, he pulled her into the toilet with her. Within the confines of the toilet, they managed to make exception use of the limited space. Resulting in instant membership to the Mile High Club. Twice in fact. Once with Mulder in charge, the second with the roles reversed.

Mulder left the bathroom first, leaving Scully behind to both freshen up and make herself look more presentable. She returned to her seat a few minutes later, much more together than when Mulder had left her. A stewardess came over to them and offered them both a glass of iced water, giving them a knowing wink in the process. Slightly embarrassed, Scully let her head fall onto Mulder's shoulder and her gaze went to the clouds outside the window. Mulder placed his arm around her and pulled her close. In each other's arms they fell asleep and woke only on arrival in D.C.

Mulder dropped Scully's bags off at her apartment before turning around to go back to his car. "Do you want to come in Mulder?" she asked rather nervously. She honestly didn't know why she was nervous though. It's not like Mulder has never been in her apartment before, in fact he's slept over several times, once even on her bed years ago when he was from the lsd lace in his water supply at his apartment. But this time it was different. This would be the first time he's ever been inside as more than a co-worker, as more than a friend.

His face brightened up considerably at her proposal and he dug into his bag for one last thing before following her in.

"Mulder, I just wanted to say thank you for this weekend, bringing together the entire Scully clan is no easy feat, I mean we don't even get together like we did this weekend for Christmas, and it's thanks to you." She walked up and kissed him lightly, and gently.

He wrapped his arms around her and held her small frame. "It was nothing Scully, really, I just wanted to see you happy for your birthday that's all."

"I was happy, it's probably been the best weekend in a long time."

"Well that's all that matters." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a little box.

"Mulder, this isn't what I think it is, is it?"

"No" he pulled out a small silver band, with an aqua coloured stone weaved in and out of it. "It's a promise ring Scully. It's my promise to you that I'll always stick by, even though we resolved the matter regarding Samantha, I'll still be around, and it's my promise to you that someday, we'll have that normal life that I think both of us have always wanted."

"It's beautiful, thank you," She turned around and dug through her back and pulled out Mulder's gift to her earlier. "You know Mulder, somebody was nice enough to give me all this bath stuff this weekend for my birthday" her eyes glinted mischeviously, "and I think it should be made good use of, my bathtub's big enough for two if we squeeze in just properly and I can't think of anyone else I'd like to share it with."

"Bring it on G-woman" he took the bath goods and ran the bath, letting Scully change out of her cloths and pin her hair up.


3 Months Later

It was a Saturday morning, and for the first time in a long while, they had been given the luxury of a lie in. Mulder woke first at around 10:15 the following morning. He was awoken by a tickling sensation under his nose. He lifted his eyes sleepily and saw the wonderful sight his eyes could ever see. Scully.

She lay snuggled in his arms, her back to him. His arm lay draped across her midriff and their legs were slightly entwined under the bed sheets. He felt her small body rise and fall under his big hand. He felt so at peace lying with Scully like she was, and he knew she liked it. He also noticed the way her body seemed to be radiant, almost glowing that morning.

Every since they had returned from the weekend in Colorado, things were different between them. It was a good difference, but a difference all the same. They were even closer than they were. The bureau had overlooked their relationship on the grounds that they were the bureau's best agents. Thankfully, the bureau wasn't willing to put their partnership or their skills in jeopardy by splitting them up.

Scully woke up shortly after Mulder, just laying in his arms a little longer. When they were a little more awake, they left the bedroom and headed to the kitchen for breakfast. Mulder started on the toast, while Scully made them a fresh cup of coffee. The phone ringing in the hallway interrupted their morning actions.

Scully left her post and went to answer it. Mulder followed her, unable to stay away from her that morning. She picked up the phone and held it to her ear. "Hello?"

"Hey sweetheart!" her mother's voice chirped down the phone.

"Mom! It's great to hear from you!" Mulder's arms snaked around her waist and pulled her closer to him. She felt his chin rest softly on her shoulder. In the next instant, she felt his hot, wet mouth on her earlobe. She sucked in a deep breath. "Mulder!" She whispered. "I'm on the phone."

"Umm," he mumbled as he began nibbling. "And it's our day off."

Scully took a deep breath as she tried to refocus her thoughts. His attack was sending electricity through her body as she was unable to think clearly. Deep breath, then another. "So, umm, mom, what's the reason for calling?"

"Does there have to be a reason?"

"Yea-s," her voice shot up at the end of the sentence as Mulder sucked at her lobe. "There does. You usually call in the evenings unless there's something you're not telling me."

"Well, actually there is something."

"What mom? What's the matter?" she asked, her voice panicked slightly.

"It's nothing bad sweetheart, relax."

Scully's heart rate returned to normal. She now found Mulder attempting a hickey on the dip of her neck. She gave his cheek a little swat with the back of her hand. "Stop it," she whispered, as small smile played on her face. She took a deep breath. "So mom, what's up?"

"I just got of the phone with Charlie and Amanda. And..."

"What mom?" The tension of her mother's phone call was winding her up. And Mulder's roaming hands weren't helping the matter. Mulder's hands were now on her hips, pulling her back into his groin. If he didn't stop that soon she was going to have to take him to the bedroom and beat it out of him. "Well mom?"

"I'm gonna be a grand mother again!" she sung. "Amanda and Charlie are having another baby!"

"They're not the only one's mom."

Mulder had heard something about Amanda and Charlie but nothing in depth. Then he heard Scully's reply, 'they're not the only one's'. "They're not the only one's doing what?" he thought. He gave the matter a few minutes thought, but coming up with no answers, went back to feeling Scully. "God you felt good," he whispered quietly and smiled.

"Dana?" her mother questioned. "What are you talking about?"

A wide grin spread across her face. She knew there were better times to tell Mulder the news, but no time like the present, right? "Well mom, Mulder and I..." At the sound of his name, he looked up and caught the beautiful smile she wore on her face. She made eye contact with him and continued the conversation with her mother, aiming her next conversation at both her mother and Mulder. "Well, I'm pregnant."

Scully saw Mulder's whole body freeze, a goofy expression on his face. "Really?" he questioned.

"Yeah, really."

Suddenly, so happy about the news, Mulder flung his arms around Scully and picked her of the floor into a bear hug, and then swirled her around the room. The phone fell from her hand and crashed on the floor. She heard her mother's startled gasp and called out saying she'd call her later, and that there were other things she needed to do at that moment in time.

Mulder, after five twirls around the living room, returned Scully to her feet. She reached down to the phone. Her mother had already disconnected, and replaced it in its cradle. She promised herself she would call later and explain. But right now, there was someone else that needed her attention. Mulder.

"Is it true? Really true?" he asked, needing to know before he could truly believe.

"Yes," she said as the smile across her face grew even wider. "We're having a baby G-man."

The End
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