Title: Merry Christmas, Mulder
Author: Eileen S. Whipple
Written: December 1998
Classification: V, a little UST
Rating: G
Keywords: Mulder/Scully friendship
Spoilers: "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"
Disclaimer: The characters in this don't belong to me although I wish they did. They belong to Chris Carter except for the Scullys I made up. Just the last name belongs to him.
Archive: Gossamer? Sure. Anywhere else, please ask.
Author's Note: I just started writing this because I wanted to try a post-ep fic (I'm not counting "Anticipation"). This was meant to be late though, to give it a real Christmas feel.

Summary: Post-ep. Scully brings Mulder along to her family gathering.

Thanks to Haven and Heather, for support and beta reading.

FBI agent Dana Scully watched as Fox Mulder tore his gift open. She was opening hers slowly; she was too busy smiling at her partner's enthusiasm.

"A book-on-tape copy of Fire in the Sky. Thanks, Scully."

"You're welcome, Mulder. Now you can listen to it on the way to work."

"Open your present, Scully," he urged.

She nodded and cut the tape on the cylindrical package with her fingernail. She ripped off the ends like it was a Christmas party cracker. "Mulder, I can't believe you bought this." She held up the tube of orange blossom bath powder.

"Well, I noticed your collection of bath stuff and I was out, saw this and I thought about how nice your bathroom smells." He shrugged off his leather jacket.

"That is so touching, Mulder. Thank you. I'm sure I'll need a long, hot bath after Christmas is over." She popped the lid off and sniffed at the powder. "This smells wonderful. You sure know how to choose the right scents."

He chuckled. "For you, anyway."

Mulder's apartment became silent for a moment until Scully stood up. "I must go play Santa Claus to my brothers' children. I hope they're not too disappointed I wasn't there this morning at six."

"No, they won't be, just as long as you show up with presents." Mulder rattled his box of tapes. "Have a good time."

Scully began to leave but stopped in her tracks. "Mulder, come with me. You can help be Santa."

"But Scully, this is your family Christmas. The last thing anybody would want is me there."

She grabbed his hand and pulled him to his feet. "Come on. You can meet my brother Charles and his family. His kids are so sweet. By the end of the day, you'll be part of the Scully family." She looked at him and squeezed his hand. "Besides, nobody should be alone on Christmas."

"Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas!" Scully bellowed in a deep voice as she entered her mother's house. She heard the little feet racing across the floor above her head.

Mulder held the box of presents. "Scully, you spoil your family rotten."

"Well, mostly my niece and nephews."

"Dana, sweetheart." Margaret Scully came down the stairs to meet her daughter. "We thought you weren't going to make it."

"Well, Mulder and I got a little side-tracked but as you can see, we made it."

"Hello, Mulder," Margaret said. "Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas, Mrs. Scully," he said, moving the box of gifts out of his face. "I hope I'm not a bother."

"I invited him because he would have just stayed home and ate frozen pizza today. I brought him to help me be Santa Claus to my little darlings." Scully smiled as a little red-haired girl romped down the stairs. "Mulder, this is my niece Olivia."

The girl was dressed in a flannel nightgown. She smiled as Mulder put down the box and said, "Hello, Olivia. My name is Mulder. It's very nice to meet you." He shook her little hand.

She stared at the many presents. "Are those for us?" Her blue eyes were wide with excitement.

"Yeah. They're for you. I think Santa left them at your aunt's house by accident." Mulder grinned.

Margaret hugged Scully tightly. "The rest of the family is upstairs. Daniel is showing them his new Lego set. Mulder, just put that box in the living room and have a seat."

Scully looked up the flight of stairs and saw her sister-in-law Tara coming down. "Look, Matthew. It's Auntie Dana," she cooed to her son. Scully beamed at the sight of her little nephew. "Daniel convinced Bill to help build a little castle." Mulder was still standing in the foyer. "Hello, Mulder." Tara smiled brightly as Matthew squirmed in her grasp. She placed him on the floor and he toddled away.

"He's walking?" Scully said in disbelief. "I've missed so much," she said, putting her arm around her sister-in-law.

"He's even talking." Tara looked over her shoulder. "Mulder, come on in."

"I guess Charlie and the will be down in a while. I can't wait for you to meet him and the rest of his family," Scully said, turning her head to face Mulder. "Just put the gifts by the tree."

"Guess what, Auntie Dana?" Olivia said as she began to dance around. "Grandma put up some mistletoe and she says that if a man and a lady stand underneath at the same time, they have to kiss."

"And where is this mistletoe?" Scully leaned down, putting her hands on her knees.

"Hanging in the dining room doorway." Olivia wrapped her arms around her aunt's legs. "Can I please open my presents or do I have to wait for stupid Daniel?" The child stuck out her lower lip.

"Just wait a little longer, okay, sweetie?"

"Is that my big sister?" a voice called from the stairs. It was Charles Scully. He raced into the living room to hug Scully. "Oh Dana. It's been so long since I've seen you. You look amazing."

She had to stand on her toes to put her arms around her brother's neck. "Charlie, you've always been a sweetheart. No wonder Marina married you." Scully let go of Charlie and motioned to Mulder. "Charlie, this is my partner Fox Mulder. Mulder, my brother Charlie."

The two men shook hands. "I've heard from my mom that you prefer to be called Mulder so I'll do that. It's nice to finally meet you. Dana always talks about how great it is to work with you."

"Oh, does she now?" Mulder flashed a grin at his partner. "I've met your daughter Olivia. She's a sweet little girl."

"Not when she's around her older brother Daniel. A seven-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl-not a good combination. Daniel's busy with his new Christmas presents so he'll have to meet you later. He convinced my wife, as well as his uncle, to watch him build his Lego."

Mulder shook his head. "That's fine. I know what it's like to be seven on Christmas."

Scully moved to pick up Matthew. "You're such a big boy now," she said before kissing his head. The child grabbed at her red hair and squealed. "I guess he likes bright things." She carefully loosened his grip on her hair.

Margaret was glowing with joy. "This is so wonderful, having the family together on Christmas. Even Bill and Missy are here." Scully knew what her mother meant; Margaret had many photos of her deceased husband and daughter around the living room.

Mulder straightened his back. He guessed he was included in the family. The Scullys treated him well enough. Scully's older brother Bill had a problem with him but Mulder figured that since it was Christmas, Bill would at least pretend to like him.

"Look, Danny. It's Auntie Dana." Scully whirled around and saw her other sister-in-law Marina. Her son Daniel ran into the room, followed closely by Bill Scully.

"Auntie Dana, did you bring presents?" Daniel asked.

Scully laughed. "It's nice to see you too, Danny." She handed Matthew to Bill. "Hey, big brother. How are you doing?"

"I'm fine, Dana. You look well." He acknowledged Mulder by nodding slightly. Bill, being so formal even to his sister.

"Hey Marina, Danny. This is my partner Mulder. He wanted to meet you both," Scully said.

Marina looked up from horsing around with her son. "Nice to meet you, Mulder." He waved slightly and watched the children on the ground; they were grabbing at presents and ribbons.

"Kids, you can open your gifts now." Scully went over to the box. "I'll get them all out and give them to you." She picked up a large rectangular package. "Olivia, this is for you."

Mulder's stomach was growling. The smells of Margaret Scully's Christmas dinner were wafting through the house. It had been a long time since he'd smelt something that good. He grabbed a candy from a small dish from the table beside his end of the couch.

Scully sat on the floor, playing with Matthew and the stuffed Teletubbies she'd gotten him for Christmas; she'd gotten him all four. She loved spoiling her nephews and niece especially when they were babies. She was enjoying herself with Matthew.

Margaret poked her head into the living room. "Dinner will be ready in about five minutes."

Charlie sighed. "Finally! Smelling it has been torture but we can eat it now." He picked up Olivia and put her over his shoulder."Did you have a good Christmas, girlie?"

The child laughed. "Yeah. It was fun, and Auntie Dana gave me what I wanted." She pointed to her new Tickle-Me Elmo. "I love him." She kicked her legs. "Auntie Dana's friend was nice to meet. He was fun to play with."

Mulder smiled. "Thank you, Olivia." He'd put on a little show with her new Barbie doll. "I'm just sorry you had to hear my terrible voice."

Charlie put his daughter down. "It's better than Auntie Dana's," Olivia said. Her aunt looked offended. "Somebody had to tell you, Auntie."

Scully laughed. "What are you teaching this girl, Charlie?"

He put up his hands and shook his head. "I didn't teach her that. I don't want to get hurt."

"Dinner's ready!" Margaret's voice rang through the house. Everybody got up and made their way to the dining room except for Olivia. She lingered behind Mulder and Scully.

The partners were in the dining room's doorway when they heard Olivia yell, "Stop!" She ran to them. "You have to kiss now. You're under the mistletoe." She looked up at the adults and smiled sweetly. She was standing between them.

"No way," Scully said. She bent down, grabbed her niece and planted a wet kiss on her cheek. "You're under here too."

Olivia squirmed and giggled. "Let go, Auntie Dana." After Scully went to join her family at the table, Olivia put her hands on her hips. "Well, Mulder. What are you waiting for?" She pointed to her cheek. The Scullys laughed as Mulder knelt down and gave the little girl a quick peck on the cheek.

"Mulder, I told you that we'd make you like a member of the family." Scully stole a glance at her older brother. Bill gave a small smile, perhaps an indication that he was beginning to understand the complicated relationship between his sister and Mulder. Bill would never like Mulder completely but this was a start.

This gathering was helping the agents clear their minds of the events from the night before, in the haunted house. It had been so desolate; Scully's mother's house was the antithesis. However, Scully and Mulder would always remember that Christmas Eve, even if they assumed it was just a dream. Everything had seemed so real...the blood, the gunshots but they were alive.

"Are you okay, Mulder?" Margaret asked. Mulder groaned as he sat down in a recliner.

"I'm fine. Your food was so delicious and I guess I overate. I probably won't eat again until New Year's Day." He looked over at the sofa near the Christmas tree. "Scully, I've never seen you eat that much."

"I haven't eaten since yesterday."

Bill appeared in the living room doorway holding a bottle of white wine and several crystal glasses. "Anybody care for some of this? It's been in the fridge since this morning."

Scully got up. "Pour two glasses, Bill." She waited for her brother to do so. "Mulder, one is for you. I hope you have room for it." She sat down beside her partner.

Olivia started singing "Away in a Manger" and most of her relatives joined in. Mulder leaned over and said to Scully, "Before you came to my apartment this morning, I was reading about this haunted cabin in Virginia. Two lovers killed themselves there on New Year's Eve. What are you doing that night?"

"Forget it, Mulder." She gently tapped her glass against his. "I know you're kidding. Besides, why would I want to leave this?" She motioned to her little niece who was dancing and singing. "They're only here until New Year's Day."

Mulder looked at Olivia, then back to his partner. "Merry Christmas, Scully."

"Merry Christmas, Mulder."


Feedback? Flames? "Put another log on the fire!" Quit staring at me. I'm fine! What were you expecting? Season's Greetings to Everybody!
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