table setting

Title: Thanksguesting
Author: XXXXgizzieXXXX
Written: November 1997
Category: S
Rating: G
Spoilers:none

Summary: a lonely guy and Thanksgiving Day disclaimer: They are not mine, and they're not coming for dinner.

Thank you for flying gizzie net. "If you love me, let me know." gizzie@ix.netcom.com


He started to watch the Macy's parade, hoping for an escaped float or some such excitement, but an hour and a half of Katie Couric's toothy grin was all he could take. He cleaned the fish tank--two more fatalities--and took a half-assed stab at cleaning the apartment, even picking up the scattered videos from around the television cart. Wiping a hand across the dusty face plate of the VCR, he saw it was only 11:30am. WAY too early for a beer. Maybe make some tea. No. He sighed and "poor me" slumped into the beat up barrel-backed chair.

Holidays. Why did they FEEL so different? He'd lived alone for over fifteen years, and even treasured his solitude, truth be known. But holidays always brought this pall of wired tension, a low-grade anxiety that he should be SOMEWHERE, doing SOMETHING besides playing in his own head. It was all the result of commercialism, he knew that--buy, buy,buy and do, do, do, 'till he thought he'd scream if he saw another commercial for self-basting Turkeys or that friggin' little dough guy giggling and rubbing his belly. But still.....

He thought about his own holiday feast--he'd splurged, and bought the Hungry Man "extra portion" Turkey Dinner, mostly white meat, WITH the cranberry-apple cobbler. Yum. That would still be an improvement over last year, when he and Byers had taken their sorry selves to The Limerick Tavern for what Byers, uncharacteristically cynical, had dubbed "The Thanksgiving Day Losers Special." Byers, the poster boy for conservatism, had had one too many Guiness, shucked his tie, rolled up his shirt sleeves, and delivered several rollickingly filthy limericks of his own. That would have been okay, except he'd also delivered most of his dinner back onto the back seat of the car halfway home. He shook his head, remembering Byers' mortification the next day, and the promise that he would make good of it next year. Of course, this year, now, Byers had Becca, and they were so nauseatingly in love, he doubted they would even come up for air 'till Monday. Long weekend, indeed....

Enough of this. He grabbed his jacket and keys, and set off for the office. He'd just go in for a few hours, kill some time, and check some files. There was a new abduction website he wanted to check out, anyway, and the web browser on the office computer was far superior to his at home.

The streets of downtown D.C. were deserted. He parallel parked on Lincoln, just for the novelty of it, fed the meter, and walked the three blocks back to the office. It was eerily quiet in the basement office and he fiddled with the radio, bypassing his usual contemporary rock for a soothingly mellow classical station. Ahhhh...Valium for the soul. He plopped into his comfortable leather tilt chair and hit the toggle for the PC. The modem connected with a whir and a rhythmic chirp, strangely syncopathic with the haunting strains of Ravel. The information super highway was deserted this holiday afternoon, also, he hit site in seconds, but the image was not as clear as it should be. He tipped his glasses up to the light, frowned, and rubbed them ineffectually against the front of his t-shirt. He really did need to get to an eye doctor--one of these days....

The timeless black pit of the internet swallowed him whole. The abduction site linked to MUFON, which linked to a conspiracy site, which linked back to still another paranoid government site, which linked to...

"Hey."

He jumped and almost tipped the chair over as he swung up and out of the seat. His hand scrabbled across the desk, grasping for SOMETHING...."Scully!"

She raised a hand, palm forward "Sorry...I didn't mean to scare you." She shivered and glanced around "It *is* kinda...spooky in here..."

"Yeah." He puffed out a long exhale and rubbed a palm across his chest. "Scully, what are you doing here?"

"The door was open. If you're here alone like this, you really SHOULD keep that door...."

"No...I mean...WHY are you here?"

"I was....in the neighborhood," she hedged.

"From Annapolis?"

"It's only twenty five minutes, with no traffic," she grinned, "fifteen, if you drive like me. Besides, we ran out of foil."

"And they don't sell foil at the Kroger on Chesapeake Blvd.?"

"I like D.C. foil."

He grinned and shook his head "Why don't I believe you?"

"Because I'm a lousy liar....most of the time." She sighed and studied her nails. "I overheard you telling Frohike you were going to your mom's for Thanksgiving."

"And?"

"And I knew it was a..." She tipped her chin and raised a brow. "I knew it was not exactly true."

"And you knew this how?"

Scully shrugged. "I just DID."

"How'd you know I'd be HERE?"

"I just...KNEW.... " They locked eyes, stared, and he looked away first. She reached out and touched his arm. "I want you to come to my mom's. We have plenty, and you won't be...."

"Scully." He pulled away and fiddled with the computer mouse. "I'm not good with these big family deals. And I...I DO kinda have plans..."

"With who, Mrs. Paul??"

"Umm....a Hungry Man, actually."

"Yeah, right. I bet you bought one of those Hostess cardboard pumpkin pie things for dessert, too."

"I like mincemeat pie...."

"We HAVE mincemeat pie--and Chocolate Silk--and wet and dry stuffing."

"How 'bout yams....with little marshmallows on top??"

"Marshmallows AND brown sugar." She shuddered and crossed her eyes "I'm about to go into a diabetic coma just thinking about them. C'mon." she touched his arm again, and he didn't pull away this time "Come with me. You won't be the only one who's not family, either, so don't worry about that.""

"What," he chuckled," is your mother taking in strays?"

"Something like that. She has the gas station owner from down the street, he's a widower, and I think she has her eye on him. Bill hates him. And there's a friend of Charlie's from high school, he was making eyes at me all morning....actually, coming to find you was a good excuse for me to get out from under the hot eyes of Larry the Lecher." He laughed and Scully grinned and poked a finger into his shoulder "And you're not gonna believe who ELSE is there--our boss."

"Who? SKINNER?? Nuh-uhh!!"

"Yeah...in BLACK JEANS! My sister-in-law Coleen almost wet her pants."

"I think *I* may wet my pants..."

"You'll come then?"

"I...thanks, but no, Scully, I...."' "No." She raised her chin stubbornly. "I won't accept 'no.' You're sitting here by yourself, surfing the net, probably going blind in this light, contemplating frozen sodium and a bad video for dinner....no. C'mon."

"But I'm dressed like a slob."

"I don't care, I just told you, Skinner's wearing JEANS ...and a Henley. God, he's built....c'mon, let's get out of here." She bent down and switched off his computer.

"Hey!! You can't just shut it off like that...."

"Yeah, well, I just did. It would have shut off that quickly if there had been a power failure, it'll be fine. Where's your coat?"

"Here."

"THAT??" She fingered the thin denim of his jacket and shook her head. "Honestly, it's amazing enough of you men live long enough to propagate the race. Lock the door."

"Yes, sir."

"Smart ass."


He sighed as they ascended the stairs to street level. "I feel like I'm being abducted."

"Yeah, well." Scully smirked, "just keep the back of your neck covered."

"My car's three blocks away."

"Leave it. You can ride with me, there's enough people there coming back this way, someone can give you a lift."

"But I'm parked at a meter, I'm gonna get a ticket."

"God, you're a worry wart! We KNOW people, don't sweat a crummy ticket." Scully stopped beside a tiny, beat up red convertible and fiddled with the lock. "She SAID this damn thing sticks, I hope we don't have to slit the roof or something to get in."

He looked the small car up and down "What the hell is this?"

"It's an old Capri, it's my sister-in-laws, and she loves it to death. Just pray it doesn't snow in the next twenty minutes, she calls this thing 'The Skate', that should tell you something. "

"Wonderful."

Scully snickered and whipped the little car out onto the street. "Hang on, pal, Mom said be back for dinner by three o'clock. I bet this little sucker would REALLY go if this was a stick," she muttered as she floored it, and threw him back into the seat.

It seemed moments later that they pulled up in front of Scully's mother's house in Annapolis. Scully checked her watch and smiled smugly. "Ah, fourteen minutes. YES!! She sets a new record."

"Yeah, but I think we left my stomach back there somewhere around the Lincoln Memorial."

Scully patted his knee. "I'm proud of you, you never hit the invisible brake once."

"I trust you with my life, Scully."

She flashed him a two hundred megawatt smile that totally negated the cool terror of the Capri ride from hell. "C'mon, we have ..." another glance at her watch," eight whole minutes to spare."

"Are all these cars for you folks?"

"Well...yeah. There's...like...a LOT of people here."

"What's 'a LOT of people'?"

"ohhh....twenty..."

"TWENTY!!"

"Well, a lot of them are kids...lots and LOTS of kids." She hooked her arm through his and practically dragged him up the steps. "You'll be fine...just don't recite any of Byers' limericks."

"You KNOW about those?"

"I know everything, bud, I just don't let everyone KNOW I know..."

Scully pushed the front door open, and at first glance of the tableau inside, he almost DID cut and run. There were children on every conceivable flat surface, and several running wild up and down the winding staircase. He was struck dumb by the sight of Skinner, indeed bedecked in tight black jeans and a muscle-hugging navy blue Henley, standing in the middle of the crowded living room, arms outstretched, with a child hanging from each bicep. A woman who had to be Scully's sister-in-law was sitting directly behind Skinner, unabashedly ogling his butt in open-mouthed admiration.

Scully poked him and pointed "There's someone else you know."

He nodded acknowledgment, not at all surprised to see the tall, dark haired agent here, but surprised to see him lying prone on the floor, buried under a pile of giggling kids. You just never knew.....

"I'm gonna go find Mom, she'll want to meet you. Make yourself a drink, the bar's over there, and you're not driving, so knock yourself out." She flashed him that killer grin again, and disappeared in the gaggle of taller Scullys.

"Hey."

He looked down into a pair of serious grey-blue eyes, framed with the thick Scully trademark burnt sienna lashes. Only the stand-up military brush cut hair distinguished this beautiful child as a little boy.

"Hey, yourself. Who are you?"

"Brendan. I'm HIS son." The boy cocked a thumb over his shoulder at a tall, broad shouldered red-haired man in Navy dress blues. The man gave him the once over, stared pointedly at his hair, and barely contained his curled-lip little sneer. This had to be Scully's tight assed brother Bill. He smiled and nodded, the sour-faced man looked away, and he turned back to the boy child.

"I don't think your dad likes me."

"He don't like Aunt Dana's other boyfriend, either...that guy...." He tipped his pointy little chin toward the dark haired man who was trying in vain to rise from amidst the pile of children. "He likes that big guy with no hair, though. I'm...kind of afraid of him. He's scary. He talks like he has jujubees stuck in his teeth." The child was serious, so he bit back his laughter. Brendan stared at him with a frankly appraising gaze. "I like your hair."

"I like YOUR hair."

"My hair sucks. Red hair sucks."

"Hey!! I resent that!" Scully said, coming up behind the child and squeezing him against her.

"Not you, Aunt Dana...you're a GIRL. Red hair is ok for girls."

"Well, I'm sure glad to hear THAT." The voice came from behind him, and he turned to find still another short red headed woman. This was the one who had been studying Skinner with such delight, and she now regarded him with laughing brown eyes. "You must be the prodigal friend."

"And you must be the owner of the Uber-Capri."

"That would be me," she laughed and pulled the little boy out of Dana's grasp. "Brendan, go wash your hands, and grab Meghan and Cassie on your way. Where's Tim?"

"I think he's playing with that Miller guy."

"It's MULDER, Bren," Scully corrected.

The little boy sighed wearily. "Whatever." He turned back into the living room to find his missing sibling, and he barely got out of ear shot, before the three adults craked up.

"He is SUCH an old little soul," Scully laughed.

"The fruit of my womb." Coleen smirked. "Honestly, if I didn't have the stretch marks to prove it, I'd swear these kids were mothered by gypsies." She paused and regarded the blond man with a quizzical little tip of her head. "Soooo....are you, like, undercover FBI, or something."

"No...no...." He pushed his glasses up his nose and wrinkled his forehead in thought. "I'm...kind of a consultant...kind of..."

"That's one way to put it," Mulder said, clasping a hand to his shoulder. "Good to see you, buddy, I wasn't sure I was gonna live through that wrestling match to say hello." Mulder pulled him away from the woman, into the alcove of the formal dining room. He gave his shoulder a little shake, then tapped him lightly on the bicep "you ok, you look a little shell shocked?"

"No, I'm ok...I just..." he shook himself and smiled weakly "I just didn't expect...ALL this."

"Yeah, it is a bit over whelming, the first time."

"The FIRST time?"

"Oh, yeah.....Mrs Scully adopted me three years ago. After Scully was returned, well..." He broke off, and shook the bad memory away. "She's great...the best."

"How 'bout that brother?"

"He's a jerk.....no, that's not really fair...he's not a jerk. He's just ....concerned. Here, first his little sister's partner almost gets her killed...more than once...he chases little green men.... and then she goes out on Thanksgiving Day and brings home a long haired hippie freak. I kinda feel sory for the guy."

"I'm staying away from him, he could easily kick my ass...yours, too, Mulder, you better stay away from his kids."

"His kids LOVE me." He smirked. "How could they NOT?"

"Fox?" Mrs Scully pushed through the swinging door from the kitchen, burdened with three serving bowls. Mulder rushed to help her, but she brushed him aside, setting the bowls on the buffet. "Is this your friend? Hi, I'm Margaret Scully, everyone calls me Maggie." She took his face in her fingers and kissed his cheek. "We're SO glad you decided to come. What's your first name, dear?"

"It's....it's just Langly, ma'am. Langly." He blushed and looked away, pushed at his glasses and ran a hand through his long blond hair self-consciously. "I even made my parents call me 'Langly.'"

"Well. then, Langly...would you honor us by lighting the Thanksgiving taper?"

"I certainly would. Thank you, Mrs Scully," he turned to his friends, caught Scully's eye. "Thank you."

The End


ha, ha, fooled you.........

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