Close to Christmas

by Pattie

Title: Close to Christmas

Author: Pattie

Rated: G

Category: Angst, Story, post The Truth.

Spoilers: The Truth.

Summary: Mulder and Scully will face this Christmas without celebrating. Or WILL they?


Archive: Gossamer. Any others please ask. I'll likely say "Yes".

Disclaimer: All X-Files characters belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox Studios, and they still need their exercise. I do not get money to exercise them, and no copyright infringement is intended.

DECEMBER 18, 2002

It seemed as though they'd been hiding for ages, although it had been only a few months after Mulder and Scully had left the Military Brig, and the pueblo where Spender had been hiding. As long as the enemy believed them dead, they would have a chance to help prevent the Final Invasion and the subsequent Colonization that was to come.

There would be no merry making this Christmas. Mulder felt extremely guilty that Margaret Scully, her son Bill, and his wife Tara would not be celebrating with Dana Scully this year.

The running, searching and covering their tracks had taken a tremendous toll on both of them. Even Scully was looking less than enthusiastic, yet it was she who had told Mulder that they were looking for the same thing: A power greater than all of them to help prevent the inevitable Armageddon.

This was their second time back at the motel. The first time, the night after the Pueblo had been destroyed, was when Scully had convinced him not to give up, to keep looking for answers, clues, anything that would help. They did know quite a lot, and there was hope that one of the Consortium members had been smart enough to stay alive and have the vaccine closely guarded. Then, there was the hope they could once more muster up a resistance, using the vaccine and the metal that was fatal to the aliens and thier "supersoldiers". Doggett and Reyes were keeping Mulder aprised of what had been happening in the research end of things, and there was hope.

Still, it was close to Christmas.

As Mulder walked around the motel room, Scully turned from the book she'd been reading. "Restless?"

Mulder shrugged. "Yeah. I guess. I know it can't be easy for you right now, Scully. This being the holiday season and all."

"Well, no, it isn't. I can't lie to you and say I don't miss the family get together, and I can't say this is my ideal vacation spot, either. But you're free, Mulder. We're alive, and we're going to make the best of it." She closed the book and approached Mulder.

"All this time, out of touch with your family, and you would rather be with me still chasing monsters with a butterfly net. I have no family anymore, can't really say I'd like to look anyone up right now to go out and celebrate, raise a cup of cheer and all that. But I've done you out of Christmas." He stuck his hands into his pockets and began wandering the room again, but Scully soon stood in front of him.

"Look, I can't say I don't miss it, but I'm thinking that Christmas is a lot more that roasting a turkey, toasting the season, and giving and receiving presents. I have all I want right now, Mulder. After all the things we've been through, we're looking for the same thing. Isn't Christmas a season of hope? I was taught that the first Christmas brought hope to a world that had felt hopelessness, that not to spread that hope was not celebrating Christmas. So, we're going to have motel food at Christmas. At least we won't go hungry. At least we have each other."

Mulder pulled her into an embrace, looking into her clear blue eyes. "That will never change. That in itself is worth celebrating." They kissed briefly, and Scully smiled warmly.

"And William is safe. He's the best gift you ever gave me."

"Same goes for me. Say, I thought that Appollo 11 thing was pretty special." Mulder had a more relaxed expression. In fact, a full-fledged smirk quickly appeared.

"It was, it was. But in a different way." She held his hands in hers and silently thanked God they were safe. "Look at it this way, Mulder: We avoided the Christmas shopping, the icy roads, all the fuss..."

Just then there was a knock at the door.

"Put your best Maggie Freeman face on. Let's not take any chances."

"I'll get it, Billy." When Scully opened the door, she couldn't believe her eyes. John Doggett and Monica Reyes were standing outside with arms full of bags and boxes.

"C'mon in, there's plenty of room at this inn." Scully smiled and hugged Monica. "What's all this?"

"We thought we'd bring you some Christmas, considering the circumstances." Doggett placed a large box carefully on Mulder and Scully's kitchenette table. "I hope you like Christmas cake."

Mulder's eyes were wide with curiosity. "What IS that? Don't tell me you kidnapped Santa!"

"Well, it's for Christmas Eve. So don't open it until then. I can tell you that some things in that box are fragile, so no shaking," Monica scolded. "And one of these needs chilling." She placed the bagged bottle on the table.

Monica handed Scully some bags. "This is sweet of you! You shouldn't have! Thanks."

Doggett smiled. "We can't have you going to bed Christmas Eve without hanging your stockings. No peeking."

"Can I get you guys a beer or something?"

"Yeah, thanks, Mulder. We've been driving since this morning."

Monica sat down in the livingroom. "We do have one request of you. No talk of alien conspiracies and no sad faces. We can stay for supper. We'll even buy."

"I can't argue with that." Mulder handed Scully a beer. "We were kind of thinking the same thing. So, what's... I mean, how have you been?"

"All in all, I'd say pretty good," Doggett replied. "Which is why we decided to give you a Christmas this year, since you've been through the wringer and can't have one at home."

Mulder sipped some beer thoughtfully. "Hopefully, next year, we'll be safe, home and all of this will be behind us."

Scully smiled, looking at a picture of William, then at her cross. "I have a feeling we will."


Author's Note: I don't usually use Doggett and Reyes, but I had to waive my usual credo to do this one. Merry Christmas, everybody.

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