Title: Chasing Santa Claus
Summary: A brief Christmas Eve fic. This is for my good friend and Beta, thank you so much for helping me with my fic this year! Its so fun having a fellow fanfic addict to nut out the writing process. I'm sorry it is taking so long. I decided to take a breather from my long one and gift this to you. Happy Birthday :) And Merry Christmas fellow Xphile authors and readers x
"Hey I thought I'd find you down here." Scully swooped around the frame of the door that led to her partners' office. "You left the party, I just spent the last twenty minutes listening to Agent Simpson debunk the 'evolution theory'. Apparently a well-known geneticist has found evidence that man did not come from a primate union but rather a primate/Sow union, which is why we humans share some genetic traits as the common pig." She slowly paced toward his desk as she spoke, her hips swaying naturally in her long gown and high 'non work' shoes. "Imagine that Mulder. The beginning of the human race came from a funky one night stand between a pig and an Ape." She didn't think he was paying much attention. "I think we should recommend him for the x-files, he seemed really curious about our work." She paused to watch him shuffle files and skim reading pages, still apparently not really hearing what she was saying. "Actually he talked about you a lot Mulder. I think he may have a little crush," she teased as she placed two hands on his desk and leant towards him.
Mulder popped the lid of a highlighter with his teeth. "Have you been in the egg nog, Scully?" he muttered just coherently through the highlighter lid.
"No. Although I was tempted after you left I was forced to dance with Pendrell." He could easily picture a love sick Pendrell fumbling through a dance, the thought made him smile - poor Pendrell. "Anyway you better have a good excuse for leaving me alone up there. What are you reading?"
"Christmas parties aren't really my thing."
She sighed, paused to think about that for a few minutes. He had accepted the offer of Christmas Eve with her family this year and they were due at her mother's for dinner in a little over two hours. His acceptance had certainly surprised her at the time; it was therefore less surprising if this was now his way of telling her he wanted to retract his RSVP. "It was your idea to come tonight. You wanted us to mingle with our colleagues for a change?"
"I wanted to come because I thought that's what you wanted." He stopped highlighting for a beat to look up and gage her reaction to that.
Her shoulders slumped as if their weight suddenly became too much for her elbows. Nope she wasn't going to do it, he was trying to pick a fight and she wasn't going to let him. Its Christmas Eve and their first as a couple, she was happy and he was not allowed to spoil it. She circled his desk stopping behind him to knead his shoulders and upper arms. Her eye caught a few highlighted words on the pages in front of him making her hands stop suddenly, dangerously close to squeezing his larynx. "What are you reading Mulder?"
"The last two nights there have been U.F.O sightings over…."
She was shaking her head, moving around his desk and heading for the door. "Nope, no, no, nope not doing it, no lights, no sightings, no monsters in the dark, No ghosts, madmen, fluke men , little green men, I'm not doing it, No!"
She was almost at the door when he stood to follow "Scully.."
She swirled around to face him finger pointed square at his chest not allowing him any closer. "If you don't want to come to my mother's just say so. I'm not a fragile prom date who is going to break down just because her boyfriend doesn't want to spend Christmas with her family."
"Well technically no –one knows that you and I are… You know…." He didn't think it was safe to put a label on what they were right at this moment. "Do you get to say boyfriend or girlfriend when you are over 40, Scully?"
"I don't know Mulder, can you still call someone a 'chicken'?" she turned to make her way down the hall.
"Scully wait a minute." He caught her as she was pushing the button to the elevator. "You know I'm not good at family things, especially Christmas. You know Bill doesn't want me there, I just don't fit into the whole happy family thing."
The elevator seemed to be taking its merry little time. "Then just be honest with me and say that." She was grateful for the extra height of her shoes, so she could meet his eye. "Don't pick some wild goose chase; label it work and go hide behind it."
"It is a legitimate sighting Scully. I have an X-file with reports of similar light patterns in the sky from the same area around this time last year."
The elevator finally hit the basement floor and the doors opened. "Maybe its Santa." She said sarcastically.
He watched her enter the lift. "Where are you going? You came with me; I can still give you a ride home."
"I'll get a cab." The door began to close he stopped it with both hands and pulled it open.
The heavy doors began to slide shut again "Merry Christmas, Mulder."
Scully looked across the Christmas dinner table at her mother, who was positively glowing. Each of her brothers sat at opposite heads of the table dressed in their military bests, having just left their respective bases. Each had a wife and child sitting either side of them. Charlie's wife Julie and their three-year-old daughter May, who was sitting in her highchair trying to pull the bow from her hair and in the process was managing to smear mashed potato through her golden locks and over her frilly skirt. Bill had his serious face on as usual. Tara was fussing with Mathew's plate, trying to cut up his meat and convince him to eat his greens. The stubborn toddler had his arms crossed firmly over his chest and bottom lip as far south as his mouth would allow it.
Maggie looked up from her plate and smiled at Scully over the friendly noise and chaos. The Captain would be so proud she thought, just look at how his boys had turned out. These family reunions were always a gentle reminder of how she managed to disappoint everyone, even if no-one really brought it up any more. Maybe it was a good thing Mulder hadn't come.
"I want pesents Ganma!" Mathew yelled pushing his plate away.
"After dinner honey right before bed time, now you better eat some of your dinner. I'm sure Santa is already on his way to The States by now. You wouldn't want him to see you misbehaving at the dinner table now would you?" Tara and Bill exchanged a disapproving look and Mathew pulled his plate back towards him and began eating a slice of turkey. "Good boy."
"So Dana," Bill began when a rare comfortable silence covered the table. "Didn't you say your partner would be joining us this evening?" He continued to casually slice his meat to mask the obvious cynicism behind that statement.
Scully cleared her throat. "Unfortunately something came up at work."
"Ah," he replied smugly
She chose to ignore him and the silence that returned became tactfully uncomfortable.
Maggie stood asking "can I get anyone more wine from the kitchen?"
"Yes please," the three women chorused at the same time.
"I'll bring back the bottle." Maggie laughed.
"So May, what is Santa bringing you for Christmas?" Scully gushed at her beautiful niece.
"Really." she looked at May's parents for confirmation; they were both shaking their heads in time with each other.
"I don't think Santa can carry puppies on his sleigh, baby girl. It isn't safe for puppies to go flying."
"Look who I found lurking on my door step." Maggie walked back into the dining room with her arm looped through a very tidily dressed Mulder.
"Hi everyone." He waved awkwardly and locked eyes with Scully.
"You came." Scully sounded both shocked and elated.
"I hope that's ok?" He looked down at Maggie
"Of course Fox." She released his arm. "Let me just set you a place at the table." She started gathering a place mat, plate and cutlery. "What on earth have you been up to on Christmas Eve?"
He met Scully's eye again. "Chasing Santa clause."
She answered him with a smile.
Charlie stood. "The infamous Fox Mulder, we finally meet. I've heard a lot about you." The two men exchanged a firm hand shake.
"Charlie, Not all from your brother I hope."
Bill Scully's Jaw twitched and Scully's lower lip went between her teeth.
Charlie smiled mischievously at him. "This is my wife Julie." Mulder shook Julie's hand. He looked nervous when she stood and kissed him on the cheek, "and my daughter May." He gestured to his now covered-in-dinner daughter.
"Nice to meet you May, I like your dress."
"What your name?"
"Ah you can call me Mulder."
"Mad Da" she tried to repeat.
"That'll do." He laughed and turned towards the other end of the table.
"Tara," he greeted
"Nice to see you, Fox." She stood and kissed him on the cheek as well.
"Mulder." Both nodded at each other, neither attempted to shake the other's hand.
He ruffled Mathew's hair. "Hey dude, you got big." Mathew continued to stuff his meal in his mouth obviously not wanting to disappoint Santa.
Maggie had finished setting his place next to Scully. "There you go, Fox. You must be hungry, please sit, and make yourself at home."
"Thank you." He tucked his long legs under the table and pulled his chair beneath it. Before he returned his hands to the top of the table he secretly linked his fingers with Scully's and gave her hand a tight squeeze. Her eyes closed not sure how to describe how she was feeling in this moment.
"It all looks delicious, Mrs. Scully," he said as he began dishing vegetables onto his plate.
The fire was warming the room and their hearts as they sat around the tree sipping on tea and hot chocolate. May was fast asleep on Scully's knee and Mathew on his fathers. Each adult had a different colored Christmas themed scarf wrapped around their necks, a gift from Maggie. It was probably the first and only time each would wear it but it made her happy to see them all indulging her. Julie peeled her sleeping daughter from Scully's arms to carry her to bed and when she leant back against the couch she felt Mulders hand had slipped behind her. His thumb rubbed secret circles over her scapula; she moved just a little closer to let him.
Maggie yawned loudly and like falling dominoes each adult around the room followed suite.
"You know medical professionals still don't know why it is that we yawn or why yawning is contagious," Scully informed the group.
"Empathy," Mulder announced drawing the attention of the small crowd. "Empathy is a learnt characteristic that children develop from a nurturing and empathetic parent. Even though we can't explain the biology behind yawning Psychologists believe that empathizing with one another is why it is contagious." He circled the top of his mug with his finger.
"Interesting," said Maggie
"In fact the neglect of a child during early development may inhibit the ability to empathize with others and often leads to antisocial, psychopathic traits in adult hood." Everyone looked a little stunned. He laughed to try and lighten the mood "I'm just saying, if you are in a room full of people and everyone yawns just be mindful if the person standing next to you doesn't."
"Ha, well we must all be very empathetic people," said Maggie
"Or maybe it just means we are all tired," Bill was sure to get in the final word. "I think I'm going to turn in."
"I guess I better be heading off then." Mulder stood too.
"Nonsense," said Maggie, "there is plenty of room here. I'll make up the couch for you."
"You don't really have to do that … really I…."
"Nonsense, the weather out there is terrible, please I insist you stay. Spend Christmas morning with us. Unless….. I'm sorry Fox, how presumptuous of me, you may already have plans?"
"No, No plans."
"Good well if your analogy about yawning is correct I think it is safe to say you are safe tonight amongst present company," she joked "I'll go and grab you some bedding."
Scully was lying in the small single bed of one of her mother's spare rooms. The size of it seemed to make a statement about her marital status, especially since her brothers and their wives had the luxury of the bigger beds in the rooms either side of her. She wondered if the couch with Mulder would be more comfortable but couldn't imagine the look on her brother's face if he were to find her there with him. A small knock on the door interrupted her thoughts; the travel clock on her night stand told her it was a little after midnight. She tiptoed over to the door and opened it slowly to avoid the inevitable creak of the old hinges.
"Mulder, what are you doing?"
He was leaning on the door frame wearing a pair of borrowed grey sweat pants and nothing else.
"Merry Christmas, Scully," he whispered.
"Mulder, my brothers and sisters-in-laws are behind each of those doors." She looked to her left and right.
"And your mother is right down the hall," he finished "I can't believe I am sneaking into your bedroom in the middle of the night, Scully. It feels kinda naughty, I haven't snuck into a girls room at her parents' house since my senior year."
"And how did that work out for you?"
"Hmm. Not as well as I'd hoped."
She smiled "Well you are not sneaking in here either this bed is very small, go back down stairs," she hissed.
His arm appeared from behind the wall and in between his fingers was a moderate bunch of parsley. "I wanted to give you your Christmas present." He jiggled the herb above her head. "Mistletoe, Scully and it's the witching hour between Christmas Eve and Christmas day, there are powerful forces surrounding us."
"We are standing under parsley in the middle of the night; unless your present is a casserole you can't expect much from me with a piece of garnish."
"You'll just have to use your imagination then." Still holding the leaves above their heads he leaned down to kiss her on the lips. Their mouths moulded perfectly as they did every time starting a slow burn until tongues snuck out to taste and taunt. She angled her head allowing him to indulge himself deciding she was so pleased he had decided to come. His hand with the parsley found the back of her head pressing her just a little further into him. They stole a little breath from each other as they kissed and kissed both reluctant to pull away so instead rested their foreheads against one another's.
"That was a great Christmas present, Mulder. I may have got you something too."
"You did?" He pulled back to look at her.
"Mm hmm." There was mischief in her eyes. "I hope you are good at unwrapping though." She tickled the tight muscles along his abdomen coming to stand firm against his body. "You need to get through buttons and then a drawstring to un-wrap this present."
"Buttons are my specialty." He leant into her kissing her and walking her backwards into the room as he did, trying his best to close the door quietly behind them.
Bill Scully startled from a deep sleep. "Tara did you hear that? Tara?" He nudged his sleeping wife.
"Mmm what is it Bill," she drawled.
"I heard a door bang." Tara was silent, having started to drift back to sleep. "Tara!" His whispering was getting louder.
"Bill go back to sleep. It was probably someone getting up to go to the bathroom, lay down Honey and forget about it." She placed a reassuring hand on his elbow.
"I just don't trust that guy in this house, alone down there in the living room. Who knows what he might get up to?"
"I'm sure he has found someone's warm bed to climb into."
"What!?" His head snapped firmly in her direction.
"Nothing, I'm sure it was nothing. Go back to sleep honey." She rolled over fluffing her pillow under her head and settled back down to go to sleep.
"Wait a minute, what exactly are you implying here, dear?"
She really just wanted to go back to sleep, Mathew was bound to be up before the sun in the morning. "Nothing forget I said anything, just go back to sleep!"
"No you were implying something and I want you to come out and say it." Silence. "Tara say it!" His whispering got louder again.
She rolled onto her back to take her husband head on "Fine. I'm sure he is no longer on the couch, in fact I am sure what you heard was him entering your sister's room next door where he is probably now in her bed, with her, making her a very happy woman. There I said it."
"Tara please." He looked disgusted. "How could you think that Dana would… in this house… with that man….."
"I recall you sneaking into that room and spending a night with me on that little bed before we were married."
"Yes but they are not…. She is not….. "
She rolled her eyes. "You are really dense sometimes you know that? Now go back to sleep."
He lay down and pulled the covers right to his chin. "You really think…?"
"Bill, Sleep, Now!" She didn't whisper.
He was above her and all around her, filling every one of her senses at once. How did he always manage to get her there so quickly? It was probably a good thing this tiny bed wasn't going to stand much more of this, they were likely to end up with an injury in a minute but she didn't care. Her body was flooding with endorphins and oxytocin, the caring centre of her brain had been switched to only worrying about climbing this sweet plateau to the edge. "Oh, Mulder!"
"shhhh, someone will hear you."
"Oh god, I don't care."
"Sshhhhh, that's just your orgasm talking." She giggled briefly. "I like my Christmas present, Scully." He was breathless. "It's much better than the book you gave me last year."
"Oh god!" Her back arched beneath him, he placed his fingers gently over her mouth muffling the strangled scream that wanted to escape her lips and buried his mouth against her extended neck to do the same for him.
There was no way they were going to recovery lying side by side in this tiny bed so to avoid squashing her completely he gently flipped her to on top of him. Nestling her in the perfect spot between his chin and shin bone, her head bobbing up in time with his ragged breaths. He liked to close his eyes and savour these few moments in post coital bliss, there was no pain or stress here, just complete relaxation and contempt. Therefore he was completely vulnerable when she pinched him painfully in the ribs.
"Ow. What was that for?"
"That book was a limited edition, Mulder!"
He kissed the top of her head speaking into her hair "So are you, Scully."
"Tara?" A pause. "Tara?"
"Argh for goodness sake, what now, Bill."
"I think I heard a child cry out." He had sat up to scan the room for noises again.
"I'm sure it wasn't, I didn't hear anything."
"I definitely think I heard 'mumma.' Maybe I should check on Mathew."
"No." She didn't want him to see something he wasn't ready to accept. "I'll go check on Matthew. She climbed out of bed, taking her dressing gown from the back of a chair and tying it firmly around her waist.
As her bedroom door closed the door next to hers came open and out stepped a rumpled, shirtless Fox Mulder. Wow, that stomach, those shoulders, she was certain her sister in law was a very happy woman indeed. He was concentrating on tying the drawstring of his sweat pants and didn't notice her walking towards him. As she passed he looked up and almost walked straight into her. Shock registered throughout his entire body. "AH Tara."
"Hello, Fox," she replied casually carrying on her descent down the hall. "There's parsley in your hair."