Title: Black and Blue Christmas
Author: Estrellita
Rating: G
Category: S, R, H
Keywords: MSR (established relationship), humor (I hope)
Archive: Wherever you want!
Spoilers: None- well, maybe for Existence
Disclaimer: I don't own Mulder, Scully, William, Bill, Tara, Matthew, Mrs. Scully, or Aunt Olive (even though she was only mentioned for two seconds in Rain King). However, I am the proud owner of Mary, Maude, and Martha, along with Scully's other relatives.

Summary: It's Christmas 2001 and we've got an engagement ring; a ladder mishap; three aunts named Mary, Maude, and Martha; Bill Scully being Bill Scully; and a partridge in a pear tree.

Author's Notes: Please read this story the whole way through! Also, I wrote this before the ninth season, so it's obviously a little different from reality


"Mulder? Mulder, can you come here and give me a hand with this?" Scully called.

Mulder appeared at the foot of the stairs. "It's Fox, honey, remember? You're the one who's been saying we should practice calling each other by our first names."

Scully laughed. "Well, really, -Fox-," she emphasized, "I know we'll be calling each other by our last names until we're in our nineties, but I don't think it would go over too well with my relatives tomorrow. Most couples who've been engaged for seven months and lived together for three do call each other by their first names."

He smiled. "Dana, when have we ever been most couples?"

She laughed. "Only on Christmas Day."

"So what did you need a hand with?" he asked.

She indicated the wooden ladder leading to the attic of their suburban Maryland home. "Can you just hold this ladder for me so I can climb up here?"

"Okay." As she ascended, he called, "What are you getting up there?"

"Christmas tree ornaments," she yelled back. "I can't believe it's Christmas Eve and our tree's not decorated yet."

"Who's got time to decorate when there's a house to move into?" he replied.

"I think we're sufficiently moved in." Scully picked up a large box from the attic floor. "Here, M-Fox, can you take this?"

Mulder stepped out from behind the ladder. Scully took a few steps down and handed him the box. The weight of the box caught him a bit off-guard, however, and he stumbled backward.

Scully started back up the ladder, but without Mulder there it was a bit unsteady. Her foot caught in a rung of the ladder, and she cried out as the ladder slipped and fell forward, crashing to the ground.

Mulder quickly dropped the box and rushed over to her. "Scully! Scully, are you okay?"

Scully shakily got up. Gingerly, she touched her eye and forehead, where bruises were forming, and looked in dismay at the blood on her fingers after she touched her nose. She rolled up her sleeve, rubbing a sore spot on her arm, and cautiously flexed her wrists to test them.

"I think I'll live," she replied finally. "I just need some ice."

"You don't think anything's broken?" he asked in concern.

"No," she replied. "I think I'm fine."

"You're -sure-, Scully?"

"I'm -fine-," she said impatiently. "And it's Dana."


Scully was hoping that in the morning, she'd show no signs of her ladder mishap.

Unfortunately, the next day she looked worse than ever. Her eye and forehead were covered with a gigantic bruise that shined with every color of the rainbow. The bruise on her arm wasn't much prettier.

She groaned as she stared at her reflection. -I look hideous-, she thought, but then she remembered that it was Christmas. And it was their son's -first- Christmas.

Scully went into their baby's room. "Hi, sweetie," she said softly, picking him up from his crib. "Merry Christmas."

William took one look at his mother's black and blue face and burst into tears.

Scully closed her eyes. -It's really that bad-, she thought miserably.

She and William headed back downstairs, to where Mulder was sitting under the tree.

"Merry Christmas, honey," he said, getting up to give her a kiss. "You look beautiful."

Scully groaned. "I look like I've been mugged!"

"Hey, Will," Mulder said gently, and Scully handed him their son. Mulder gave him a kiss. "Merry first Christmas, William."

"Look at all the presents, Will! Look at all these presents for you!" Scully and Mulder knelt down by the tree to unwrap the presents they'd picked out for William.

"Dana," Mulder said as they went on unwrapping William's presents, "I know we said Will would be the only one getting presents this year, since we have to pay for this house and our wedding, but I-"

"Mulder, you didn't!" she cried.

He smiled. "It's Fox," he said, "and no, I didn't. I just wanted to let you know that I do have something picked out for you," he continued, thinking of the gold bracelet he'd get for her. Maybe he'd even have it engraved. "For when we have the money."

Scully smiled. "I have something picked out for you, too," she said. She'd get him tickets to the next Vikings-Redskins game, to make up for the one they'd missed six years ago.

They had to be at Mrs. Scully's by noon, so as soon as they finished unwrapping William's gifts, they got dressed and headed for the car.

"Now, you said -three- aunts will be there?" Mulder asked as they drove there.

"Yes."

"And their names are?"

"Mary, Maude, and Martha."

Mulder groaned. "You couldn't have made this a -little- easier on me?" he asked, and Scully laughed. "Are they all your mother's sisters?"

"No, just Aunt Mary."

"Good," said Mulder. "I was beginning to think your grandparents were excessively fond of the letter M." Scully laughed again.

"No, Aunt Maude is my father's sister and Aunt Martha is my mother's sister-in-law."

"Your -father's- sister-in-law?"

"No, my mother's."

Mulder swore under his breath. "And your cousin's name is Joelle?"

"No, Janelle. Joelle is her daughter."

"Her daughter," Mulder murmured. "And Joelle's husband-"

"-Janelle.-"

"-Janelle's- husband's name is-"

"Jim."

"Ah. And is her mother Mary, Maude, or Martha?"

"None of the above," said Scully. "Aunt Olive."

"Aunt Olive?"

"Yes. My mom's other sister. But she's sick. She won't be able to make it."

"And neither will Charles?"

"No, his whole family's in Germany. He's not coming."

"But Bill is?"

"Yes."

Mulder sighed. "So I'll have to deal with Bill -and- keep everybody's names straight, Scully."

"Dana."

"Right."


Margaret Scully greeted them with hugs at the door. "Dana! my goodness, what happened to you?"

"Fell off a ladder yesterday," she said ruefully. "But I'm okay now."

"Well, I'm glad you're okay. Hello, Fox," she said, giving him a hug.

Mulder somehow never minded when Mrs. Scully called him Fox. "Hi, Mom," he said, hugging her back. He had called her Mom ever since he and Scully had become engaged.

"Hi, William," Margaret exclaimed, looking at her grandchild, who was asleep in the baby carrier. "Oh, you're getting so big."

As Mulder and Scully went into the house, the first person to greet them was Bill Scully, Jr.

"Hi, Bill," said Scully, moving to hug him.

He hugged her back, then drew back in horror. "My God! What happened?"

"I fell off a ladder," she said.

"You fell off a -ladder-?" Bill repeated incredulously.

"Yeah, my foot caught in a rung and I fell," she said in explanation.

"Hi, Bill," Mulder broke in, extending his hand.

Bill narrowed his eyes at Mulder, then turned and walked away.

"Well!" Mulder murmured under his breath. "Good to see you, too."

"Never mind him," Scully said to Mulder out of the corner of her mouth. "You have to meet the rest of my relatives."

Scully led Mulder into the family room, where the rest of her family sat, chatting. After she'd hugged and said hello to everyone, she introduced Mulder. "This is my fiance, Fox Mulder. M-Fox, this is Aunt Mary, Aunt Maude, Aunt Martha,"

Mulder groaned inwardly. All three aunts were short and stout, with short gray-blue hair, as if their names didn't make it hard enough to distinguish between them.

"My sister-in-law Tara, my nephew Matthew," she continued, indicating the almost-four-year-old playing with Matchbox cars on the floor.

"And you must be Joelle," Mulder said to the tall, blonde woman Scully had not yet introduced.

She looked at him blankly. "No, I'm Janelle. -That's- Joelle," she said, pointing to the three-year-old playing with Matthew.

"And this is Jim," Scully said hurriedly, as Mulder mumbled an apology.

Mulder glanced at Bill, who was sitting in a chair. Bill's eyes were narrowed in Mulder's direction. -Geez-, Mulder thought. -What have I done to piss him off this time?-

Dinner was at three o'clock, so it was more like "l'inner," Mulder thought later, since it was a sort of cross between lunch and dinner. It was, to say the least, interesting.

"Is the Bulls game on?" Jim asked loudly.

"Of course it's not on," snapped Janelle. "You checked the TV Guide a million times. It hasn't changed."

"Oh, you like the Bulls?" Tara commented in a polite and innocent voice that betrayed exactly what she thought of the Bulls.

Jim gave her a hard look. "Do you mean something by that?"

"I went to see my doctor the other day," Aunt Martha began. "He says he'll have to-"

"Aunt Maude, could you please pass the potatoes?" Mulder asked Aunt Martha.

"And that changing my medicine will be-" Martha continued.

"Um, Aunt Maude?" Mulder pressed gently.

"That's Aunt Maude over there, dear," Aunt Mary told him helpfully.

"Oh, sorry," he mumbled. "Aunt Mary, may I have the potatoes?"

"-I'm- Aunt Mary, dear. That's Aunt Martha."

Mulder gave a little nod with a tight smile as the potatoes were passed to him. -I'll shut up now.*

"Sorry I had no to make dessert," said Margaret Scully apologetically, "but I picked up an apple pie from Kate's Cakes."

"That will be great, Mom!" exclaimed Scully. She turned to Mulder beside her. "You have not lived until you have eaten an apple pie from Kate's Cakes, Mul-Fox."

"I'll have to try it, then," he said with a smile.

Bill did not say one word through all of dinner and all of dessert. He just sat there, glaring at Mulder.

After dinner, they all sat around in the family room, watching TV but not focusing on it. Jim flipped through the channels, not finding anything much. A Christmas music special here, a football game here, maybe an old movie somewhere.

"Where's the paper?" Aunt Maude asked suddenly.

"Hmm?" Mrs. Scully raised her eyebrows.

"I -said-, where's the newspaper, Maggie? You always have the paper when I'm here. Now, where is it?" Maude snapped.

"I'm sorry, Maude, I didn't get it today," Margaret replied apologetically.

"I could go get it for you, Aunt Maude," said Bill, standing up. "There's a convenience store right up the street. It would be no problem."

Maude's face brightened. "Why, thank you, Bill!" she exclaimed.

"My pleasure," said Bill. He glanced at Mulder. "Why don't you come with me, Fox?" he asked. "It's in walking distance."

A look of complete surprise came over Mulder's face. Scully looked at both Mulder and Bill warily. "All right," Mulder said cautiously.

"We better hurry," said Bill. "It sells out fast on Christmas."

Outside, the two of them walked along the side of the road in silence. "So," Bill said finally, "Dana fell off a ladder yesterday?"

Mulder looked at him, surprised. "Yes," he said slowly.

"How'd that happen?" Bill asked.

"Her foot caught in a rung of the ladder and it crashed down," Mulder replied in bewilderment.

"Why was she climbing a ladder?" Bill pressed.

"She was getting Christmas tree ornaments from the attic."

"You hadn't decorated your tree on Christmas Eve?" Bill questioned skeptically.

"Well, we've been so busy," Mulder started to explain, "with work and moving into the house."

"You're telling me you couldn't have found a -little- time to throw some red balls onto the tree?"

Finally, Mulder looked Bill in the eye. "May I ask what's with the third degree?"

"Oh, I'm just wondering if this is something she does often," Bill replied evenly. "Falling off ladders."

Mulder stopped in his tracks and looked at Bill. "What?"

"Walking into doors," Bill continued. "Stepping on rakes."

The wheels in Mulder's head clicked and he finally understood. "Are you asking me if I hit her?" he asked in disbelief.

"You said it," Bill responded smoothly.

Shocked, Mulder stood silent for a full ten seconds. "How-" he stopped, at a loss for words. "How could you even -think- I would do that?"

"Why not?" replied Bill coolly. "Every other time she's gotten hurt it's been because of you."

Mulder's face contorted. So mad he couldn't see straight, he began to walk swiftly ahead of Bill.

"I am not even going to dignify that with a response," he said angrily. "You think whatever you want to think. But," he continued, turning around and walking backwards so he could address Bill to his face, "I'm the one who'll know the truth that you're too stubborn to believe, you son of a-"

Mulder turned around and walked indignantly ahead.

Straight into a telephone pole.


Scully was in the kitchen washing dishes with her mother and Tara when the door suddenly opened.

Scully turned around. There stood Mulder, his eye swollen and his nose badly bleeding.

"Mulder!" she cried, forgetting to call him "Fox." She set down the dish she was washing and ran to the freezer. "Mulder, we have to get you some ice."

Margaret and Tara stood looking at Bill, who was standing in the doorway, with incredulous expressions on their faces. "Dana, Fox," said Margaret without looking at them, "could you excuse us for a minute? Tara and I need to speak to Bill privately."

"Okay," Scully called over her shoulder, and she and Mulder left the room.

No sooner had they left than Tara burst out, "Bill! I can't believe you! How could you -do- such a thing?"

"Do what?" Bill asked in honest confusion.

"William Scully," Margaret began angrily, "I am ashamed of you. I know you have a temper, but I can't believe you would behave in such a way- to your future brother-in-law! I raised you better than that."

"Wait," Bill said, suddenly understanding. "You think I hit him?"

"What, are you going to tell us he walked into a tree?" said Tara sarcastically.

"No," Bill mumbled. "A telephone pole."

"Bill!" Tara exhaled in furious exasperation. "What kind of example are you setting for Matthew? And Joelle and William? Do you want them to think they can solve their problems through violence?"

"Not to mention," Margaret continued, "that I have always wanted peace in this family, and here you are, fighting like a ten-year-old boy instead!"

"Where's my paper?" Maude's impatient voice came from the family room.

Tara sighed. "Don't worry, Aunt Maude," she called, throwing an angry glance at her husband. "-I'll- go get the paper for you." She got her coat and pocketbook and headed out the door.

Margaret gave Bill a long, hard look. "I'm disappointed in you, Bill. I really am."

With a dejected sigh, Bill headed out of the kitchen, through the family room, where several relatives stared at him in bewilderment, through the living room, where Scully sat on the couch with Mulder, who was holding a bag of ice to his eye, to the stairs.

When he got to the top of the stairs, he stopped. Mulder and Scully didn't see him listening in on their conversation.

"So what did you and Bill talk about?" Scully asked.

Mulder sighed and was quiet for a long time. "Nothing worth mentioning," he said at last. He sighed again. "Your family must think I'm insane," he said.

"No, they don't!" Scully replied. "They were actually just talking about you, after you left. They thought you were cute."

"But Bill." Mulder exhaled and lay his head back on the couch. "Your brother hates me, Scully. Let's face it. No matter what I do, he's always going to hate me."

Scully looked at him, love shining in her eyes. "Mulder, how could anyone hate you?"

At the top of the stairs, Bill stood and watched as Mulder and Scully shared a long, loving kiss.


It was time to go home.

Scully went through everyone, hugging and kissing them goodbye. Mulder decided to make one last try at everyone's name.

"Goodbye, Mom," he said, giving Mrs. Scully a hug goodbye. "Bye, Aunt Maude," he knew her from the newspaper incident, and he guessed at the next aunt, "Aunt Mary," when she didn't say anything he assumed he was correct, "Aunt Martha. Bye, Jim," he guessed at Scully's cousin's name, "Janelle, and Joelle." -Seven for seven,- he thought. "Goodbye, Matthew, Tara," At last he had gotten to Bill.

Mulder looked Bill Scully square in the eye. "Goodbye, Bill," he said, and extended his hand.

Bill looked right back at him. He shook Mulder's hand. "Goodbye, Fox Mulder." He smiled at him. "Merry Christmas."

The End


Please review this! Did you find it funny? I intended for it to be somewhat funny, but I've read it over so many times that I can't even tell anymore. Please tell me what you thought of this story, whether it was good or bad.

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