Title: Quiet Christmas
Author: Susan
E-mail: susanf34@comcast.net
Classification: Christmas vignette, sequel to "White Christmas"
Archive: No archive without permission.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to each other, not me.

Summary: Outside the snow was slowing down for the night. Inside two people sat in front of the fire.

Author's notes: I originally wrote "White Christmas" two years ago. At the time I didn't think I'd ever be writing a sequel to it, but I guess this year my muse had other ideas.:) Enjoy...

Outside the snow was slowing down for the night, its white flakes softly resting on the oak tree branches.

Inside two people sat in front of the fire.

"Did you have a good time today?" he asked, patting her leg.

"You sure did," she replied, gently nudging his shoulder. "I don't know who played with Kevin's new blocks more...him or you."

"I had important things to build, Scully."

"Yeah, I saw how you took all the big blocks and left your grandson with all the small ones."

"Hey, I needed them for my space station," he retorted, "And besides, you know Kevin...after about five minutes, he'd already moved on to one of his other toys anyway."

"He is a busy little boy, isn't he," she commented.

Mulder lifted his arm back over her head, put it around her shoulder. "Like father, like son. Do you remember what William was like when he was Kevin's age?"

"Yes, I do," she said, nestling her head in the crook of his arm and draping her arm around his waist. "He was always on the go, always asking questions, always moving on to something new... just like *his* dad," she teased.

He pulled her closer, kissed her temple, and for a while the two of them simply sat in silence, watching the fire.

"Sometimes I still can't believe it all, you know," she said quietly.

"What's that?"

"That we have a son who's happy with a wife and a child of his own." She brushed her fingers along the tie on his robe and bit her bottom lip. "I never thought I could have this, Mulder, and now that I do, it just...it's just sort of overwhelming sometimes, you know," she added, her eyes beginning to well up with tears.

"Hey now, it's Christmas...and last time I checked, there was supposed to be rejoicing on Christmas, not crying," he said, putting his finger beneath her chin and tilting her head up so he could see her eyes.

"I'm sorry," she sniffled.

He leaned over and kissed her. "I'm not."

"What do you mean?"

"Seeing you this way, being with you here like this is something I never thought *I* could have, Scully," he replied, kissing her again, this time on the forehead. "And now that it's 12:05 a.m., I guess it's official."

"What's official?"

"We just made it through our 25th Christmas together as husband and wife," he said proudly.

"That long, huh?" she remarked, wiping away the wetness around her eyes, then sitting up straighter. "It feels longer than that," she added, smiling at the wonderful man beside her.

"Hey, if I wasn't still so full of holiday cheer and good will right now, I'd be hurt by that remark, Scully," he said playfully.

"And if I wasn't feeling so full of love for my husband tonight, I wouldn't have said it," she retorted.

He smiled back at the woman beside him, at who she was now, at how much their lives had changed over the years, then leaned in and kissed her a third time.

"Geez, are you two making out again?" asked William, his voice startling them both as he came down the stairs. "Every time I leave the room and come back again, you guys are at it," he teased, poking at the nearly burned out logs in the fireplace, then plopping in the chair across from the couch.

"Watch and learn, son," said Mulder, pulling Scully into his arms and diving in for another kiss.


"Hey, I was just trying to give you the benefit of my experience."

"No, you were just trying to get in an extra kiss, Mulder," she teased, the crinkles around her eyes deepening as she laughed.

"Well, that too, I guess," he conceded, squeezing her shoulder. "Sarah still awake?"

"No, I think Kevin wore her out today. She conked out about an hour ago."

"So, why aren't you in bed too?" asked Scully.

William leaned back in the chair, put his legs up on the stool. "I couldn't sleep."

"Everything okay?" asked Mulder.

"Yeah, things are great. I guess I'm just having a hard time adjusting to the time change, that's all. It still feels like it's only about 9:00 to me."

"Are you sure that's all it is?"

"Yeah dad, I'm fine. So, why are you guys still up? I would've thought two old-timers like you would've gone to bed a long time ago," he said dryly.

Scully smiled at her son, then looked over at her husband, at his light brown hair now peppered with white hairs, at the way the light from the flames flickered across the gray stubble on his chin, at the hazel eyes that had mesmerized her for nearly thirty-five years now.

"I guess I was just enjoying the view too much to go to bed," she said simply.

His eyes fixed on hers, Mulder softly brushed his palm over her now nearly all white hair. "And so was I."

Seeing his parents like this, so contented with each other and the life they had together, William wondered if twenty five years from now, he too, would be lucky enough to be sitting in front of the fireplace sharing a quiet Christmas with Sarah.

And he smiled.

He stood up from the chair, walked over by the couch. "Well, I think I'm going to go get a snack, then head on back to bed. You two don't stay up too late, okay?" he said, bending over to kiss his mom, then hug his dad.

"We won't," said Mulder, looking over at the slowly burning logs in the fireplace. "We'll see you in the morning, okay?"

"Okay. Merry Christmas, Dad...Mom."

"Merry Christmas, son," she said, giving his fingers a quick squeeze, then watching him as he headed out to the kitchen.

The warmth from the fire making her sleepy, she pulled the quilt up higher over her lap and nuzzled her body closer to his. "Happy 25th Christmas, Mulder," she whispered.

"Happy 25th, Scully," he whispered back.

And together they sat on the couch and watched the fire burn.


*Thank you for making 2004 so wonderful for me. I enjoyed reading each and every one of your letters over the past year, and I appreciate your support and encouragement more than I could ever express. I hope that you have a safe and happy Christmas.:)

Originally posted December 2004.

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