Title: Christmas Revelations
Author: Jumella1
Rated: PG-13 for a swear word
Disclaimers: As much as I love those crazy kids, Mulder and Scully, I wouldn't even dream of claiming they are mine.
Spoilers: Mild ones for "Within"

Summary: Scully goes to visit her brother Bill over Christmas and finally gets fed up with his remarks about Mulder.

Feedback welcome: Jumella1@aol.com

Scully sat in the living room as Tara got her a glass of water. Bill sat on the couch, absently watching Matthew play with the toy truck Scully had gotten him for Christmas.

"How's your new partner?" Bill asked.

"Fine," Scully said. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Tara setting down the glass of water on the table beside her; she smiled her thanks. Tara smiled back, then went over to pick Matthew up. "It's your bedtime, young man," she said. "Now say goodnight to Aunt Dana and Daddy."

"Night, AnnDana. Night, Daddy," Matthew said sleepily, allowing his mother to pick him up with none of the "I don't want to go to bed" protests that were typical of two-year-olds.

"Goodnight, Matthew," Scully said.

"Night, slugger," Bill said. No kiss or hug, Scully noticed. Bill was as undemonstrative toward his son as she remembered their father being to him and to Charlie. He showed more affection toward Missy and me, Scully remembered, and once again she was reminded of not only the loss of her father but of her sister. No matter how many Christmases passed, the pain caused by their absence never lessened.

When they were alone, Bill started in with the more pointed questions, as she had almost known he would do.

"This guy...Doggett? Is he anything like your last partner?"

"Bill..." Scully said in a warning tone.

"I mean, where the hell is your last partner, Dana? He just up and disappears, leaving you in the lurch. I knew he'd do some shit like that someday."

"Watch your language, Bill," Scully said. "Unless you want Matthew to overhear."

Bill scowled.

"Well, where is he, Dana? Did he drop off the face of the earth, or did he run off with some bimbo..."

"That's enough," Scully said, gripping her glass of water a little tighter than was necessary. What, are you afraid you're going to throw it in his face like you did with Doggett? she asked herself, and bit the inside of her cheek to keep from smiling.

Bill continued as if she hadn't said anything: "...or did he get abducted by those little green men he was so fond of?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact, that's exactly what happened to him," Scully snapped, and the words escaped her mouth before she could stop them.

Bill stared at her, his mouth open slightly. "I was making a joke, Dana," he said in disbelief.

"Well, I wasn't," Scully said, her face burning. She drank some water so she could have an excuse not to look at him.

"So now you believe in that nutty alien stuff just like your nutty partner?"

"His name is Mulder, Bill," Scully put in, but he ignored her.

"For God's sake, Dana! Why did you continue to stay with him, anyway? He's the reason you got cancer, he's the reason Missy got shot..."

"Mulder is not responsible for my cancer, or Missy's death. Those things happened because of forces outside of his, and my, control."

"But they wouldn't have happened if you weren't working with him. You and Missy were sacrifices he made for his sicko quest. He's hurt this family enough, and now he just runs out on you, and you're making excuses for him, even adopting his beliefs?"

Scully's temper was close to snapping. Bill was her brother and she loved him, but she was sick and tired of his jabs at Mulder, not to mention the underlying lack of respect he had for her choices. Despite being the oldest, Bill had never taken the protective older brother role with his siblings. In fact, he'd picked on and teased them mercilessly while they were growing up, and it hadn't been until they were all adults that he'd made an effort to be close to any of them. Now Bill was assuming the protective older brother role, and acting like it had always been thus. Scully found it hard to tolerate, especially since he was pontificating about subjects that he had no knowledge of--like her relationship with Mulder, and their work.

Bill was still ranting, his voice raising in pitch and volume: "What on earth did he do to you, Dana? Did he brainwash you?"

For the second time, Scully's mouth acted before her brain could stop it. "No, he just got me pregnant!"

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