Title: Paper Angels
Author: piper maru duchovny
julia_scully87@yahoo.com
Dedication: To all the Paper Angels, past and present.
Disclaimer: Not mine.

Summary: What if Scully had been a paper angel when she was younger, and now she's set out on a crusade

Author's note: This song is inspired by Paper Angels by Jimmy Wayne and the fact that for all my seventeen years, I've been a paper angel for most of them. I urge anyone who can go out and help these kids, do it. You really can't even fathom the difference it makes in our Christmases.


"Mulder, wake up," Dana Scully said, shaking Fox Mulder's shoulder til he woke up.

"What?" Mulder groaned and glanced at the alarm clock, it was five am on November 28th, 2008. 'Black Friday' to every woman across the country. Dana was determined to get Mulder to go with her and get all their christmas shopping done, today.

"Get up," Dana said and sat on the edge of the bed, already dressed in a deep red sweater and jeans, her comfortable doc martens on her feet.

"Alright." Mulder sighed and tossed back the nice warm covers.

A half hour later, Mulder and Dana were fighting the crowds at their local mall. They were currently bickering over what was the appropriate gift for Scully's brother, Bill, Mulder had suggested 'surgery to remove the stick that was up his butt', but Dana put that idea to an end rather quickly.

"I don't get why we can't just get him a gift card," Mulder whined.

"Because it's im--" Scully trailed off, she came to a stop, starring up at the Christmas tree before them, swallowing hard when she saw all the paper angels with children's names on them and took a deep breath, fighting off a wave of tears.

"Scully, what's wrong?" Mulder asked, concerned, he rested a hand on her arm.

"I used to be one of those kids Mulder," Scully said, her voice thick with emotions.

"One of what?"

"A Christmas Bureau kid," Scully explained, "When I was younger, it was a tight budget, my mom was a full time house wife and a military salary was tight. It was hard for my parents to get extras for four kids." Scully explained, "So every year, we'd ask for something special and it'd get put up on a tree just like this one."

"Scully..." Mulder breathed, he had never known a life like that, his parents were extraordinarily wealthy and instead of giving love, they often gave gifts, particularly after Samantha had disappeared.

"I remember, how much my father hated it, he hated that he had to ask for help to get something for his children. He was a proud man. I asked him once, why he let us do it, if it bugged him so much. He said, he couldn't live with the idea of his kids not having much on Christmas morning," Scully explained, stepping forward, she fingered one of the paper cut angels.

"I remember this one Christmas, all I wanted was a doll, the kind that cried and made noises. I was nuts over it. I think I had been bugging my parents since July to get me one. So when it came time to write down what I wanted for Christmas, of course that topped the list. So I came downstairs and amidst all the standard Christmas clothes, that everybody gave us, was the doll. I carried that thing around til... I must've been eleven. Cause Melissa told me it was no longer cool for me to carry around my doll," Scully explained, "I want to help them Mulder. Give these kids the kind of Christmas they deserve."

"Let's do it then." Mulder stepped forward and took her hand, "Bill's gift can wait til we help out a couple kids." Mulder said, knowing how important it was for Scully that they do this.

"Thank you Mulder." Scully said, not wanting to be picky over which child they helped, they grabbed two at random, a boy and a girl, "William and Emily.... what were the odds?"

"Maybe it's a sign that we're doing the right thing," Mulder suggested and placed his hand on the base of Scully's spine, leading her away from the crowd and to the food court, "What did they ask for?" Mulder asked her as they stood in line.

"William wants a basketball and then they have his clothes sizes. Emily asked for Sleeping Beauty on DVD and then her clothing sizes are listed as well." Scully said as they both got a slice of pizza and drinks. Finding a table, they sat down, Scully took a few deep breaths, she felt good, really good that she could do this for these children.

"We should ask more people to do this," Mulder commented as he took a bite of his pizza.

"What do you mean?"

"There are so many kids on that tree Scully. We should get everyone we know, to join forces. I'm sure Skinner would help out and Monica and John too," Mulder continued. He had been moved by Scully's story and now he felt the urge to help these children out, it was like a fire was lit inside him.

"You're right, we should." Scully smiled, this was one thing she would gladly support Mulder in crusading for. She couldn't stop the darkness from finding her, but maybe she could keep the darkness from these children, at least for the holidays.


Several days later, Mulder and Scully sat, sprawled out by their Christmas tree, wrapping the gifts for the Christmas Bureau. They were surrounded by gift bags, big enough that it would fit all they had brought for the children, but still be in the 'see through' guidelines.

"Do you think we bought too much?" Scully asked softly as she folded a pair of jeans for the 'Emily' they were sponsoring.

"No such thing. Kids deserve to be spoiled every once in a while," Mulder told her with a reassuring smile.

"You're right. How goes the folding of William's clothes?" Scully asked.

"Oh it's fine. At least I can't get a paper cut from these presents." Mulder chuckled as he placed a pair of Chuck Taylor's in the little Boy's bag.

"Yeah, I think I got about twenty from just wrapping my family's," Scully said.

"So did I tell you, Skinner asked that any Agents who could, help out with this too?" Mulder said, Walter Skinner, John Doggett, and Monica Reyes had all taken on several 'angels'.

"Really, that's great!" Scully smiled as she glanced out the window, "Ooh the mail's here!" Scully said, she loved the mail this time of year. Christmas cards hung from every doorway of their small house.

"You should be on Blue's Clues." Mulder told Scully with a chuckle, she whacked his head on her way out the door. Mulder watched through the window, Scully made her way down the icy sidewalk carefully. He saw her frown as she flipped through the mail.

"What's wrong?" He asked as she came back inside, moving to stand and stretch his legs.

"Here." She handed him a slip of paper.

"What's so upsetting about getting half off of a carpet cleaning?" Mulder asked, looking at the flyer in his hands.

"Turn it over." She instructed.

"Oh." He breathed, when he saw the 'MISSING CHILD' printed across the back of the flyer, he swallowed hard. They had seen a lot in their nine years on the x-files, but nothing was as bad as cases that involved children. He sat the flyer down on the table, taking the rest of the mail out of Scully's hands, he lead her around the couch, sitting down, he pulled her into his arms.

"I wish I could save them all," Dana muttered as Mulder ran his hands over her head, messaging her tense spots.

"Anyone with half a heart does, Scully," Mulder reminded her gently, that she wasn't alone in her emotions.


"Walter Skinner." Walter Skinner sat behind his desk, head in his hands. It was Christmas Eve, tonight he would be going home to an empty house. Tonight, he would turn on 'A Christmas Story' and dream about the life he could've had, if things had only been different. For now, he would be staying as late as possible at work.

"Sir, I'm Piper Duchovny. I work for Child Protective Services in Phoenix, Arizona," the lady on the other phone said, "We have a situation here, I could use your help on."

"What does CPS need the FBI for?"

"We have a little boy here. He was an adoption placement, but his adoptive father was abusive and I was forced to remove him, from the home... tonight."

"I'm still not clear what you need me for, Ms. Duchovny," Skinner said, knowing that he was being short, but he was not in a good mood.

"Sir, I was searching for his biological parents. And it says they used to work for you, so I was hoping you might be able to help me contact them," Piper said softly, "Hold on William, I'm trying sweetheart," she whispered.

"William?" Skinner sat up straight.

"Yes. William, I am looking for Dana Scully or Fox Mulder."

"Where are you?" Skinner asked, grabbing a pen and a post-it.

"Phoenix Memorial."

"I'll be there in two hours," Skinner told her, glancing at his watch.

"Alright sir."


Skinner hung up the phone and grabbed his coat, sprinting out of the J. Edgar Hoover building and into the icy D.C. night. He caught a flight and hoped he was making the right decision, Of course you are making the right decision. Scully and Mulder never wanted to let him go in the first place. Skinner told himself.

When the plane landed, he quickly caught a cab, "Walter Skinner, FBI. I was told there would be a social services agent waiting for me," he told the clerk at the front desk.

"Agent Skinner?" A female voice called and Skinner turned around to see a young girl, she couldn't be much older than twenty. She had blonde hair and big blue eyes, she gave a warm inviting smile that showed how often she worked with children.

"Yes."

"Right this way sir." Piper said and led him back to a pediatric room.

"How is he?" Skinner asked, pausing outside the door.

"He's alright. A little shaken up and skittish, but that's to be expected. He has a broken arm, but that's it," Piper said, "Will you be able to take him to his parents?"

"Yeah," Skinner said and then Piper opened the door.

"William. This is Mr. Skinner, he is here to take you to your parents," Piper explained to the little boy sitting on the bed. Skinner took a deep breath, before him sat the most perfect little boy, he had light red hair, big blue eyes and Mulder's nose.

"Hi." William said softly, waving his casted arm that was wrapped in green gauze. He sat in Buzz Lightyear pajamas and flip-flops.

"Hi William," Skinner said softly, walking over he knelt before the bed, "I'm here to take you home to your parents. Are you ready for that?"

"YES YES YES!" William said excitedly, bouncing a little. The boy was petite for seven, but Skinner just figured it was because he took after Scully, "This is gonna be the best Christmas EVER!"

Skinner and Piper shared a smile, "Alright. Let's get your things and we'll go."


The next day, it was early on Christmas morning, Walter Skinner pulled up to the Scully/Mulder house on the outskirts of Falls Church. "William, wake up, we're here."

"Mmkay." William wiped his eyes on his sleeves. Skinner climbed out of the truck and opened the back door to the vehicle, picking up the little boy.

"Skinner... what are you doing here?" Dana Scully called from the front porch, but she stopped breathing when she saw him turn around with the little boy in his arms, "MULDER!" She called.

Mulder stepped up behind Scully, "Skin- what's going on?"

Skinner placed William down on the top steps, resting his hands on his shoulder, "William, I'd like you to meet your parents. Merry Christmas, guys."

the end



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