Title: An Xmas Carol
Author: Elle G.
Written: December 2003
Feedback: ellegoldman@hotmail.com
Category: Slushy Christmassy MSR Story/Romance/Angst/Humor
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: They aren't mine, way to high maintenance! Bless um... :)
Spoilers: Everything from season 7 didn't happened.

Summary: Believe it or not this is VERY loosely based on The Muppet version of A Christmas Carol, but with no songs and absolutely NO talking animals!! Lets just say it was inspiration!

Author's Notes: Used to read fan-fics a couple of years ago and even wrote a few! But due to very busy career etc have not had time lately...was off ill this week and was inspired by watching The Muppet Christmas Carol (GO KERMIT!!) so this has filled in my long, lonely and very bored days off...

Grab the sick bags and here we go! :)


December 24th 2002
Basement, FBI Headquarters, Washington DC

Bill Mulder was dead to begin with...

Agent Fox Mulder was a cold and lonely man, damn-right Spooky if you listened to his fellow agents. He sat alone behind the desk in his cold dark office, it was getting late but Mulder liked it that way - he enjoyed the solitude and evenings were a great opportunity to catch up on work. Christmas was just an excuse to get in some extra hours. He shivered and got up to turn up the electric heater in the corner of his office. He walked by the other desk in his office without even noticing it...it was empty and gathering dust, sometimes it occurred to him he should get it removed but never got round to it. He worked for several more hours then gathered his things and headed out, he passed the custodial staff in the building without a word, went to his car and drove home. He arrived home and dropped on his couch with out eating and feel asleep...

Midnight

He woke with a start and grabbed for his gun, "Who's there?" he asked into the darkness. Silence. "Who the hell is there? I can hear you! Come out where I can see you!" As his eyes adjusted to the dark Mulder could see a figure standing near his window, it stepped into the light and he saw a face he never thought he'd see again...he was silent for several seconds then quietly asked, "Dad?"


"How...what...I...I don't understand..."

Bill Mulder looked at his son with more love in his eyes than Mulder could ever remember.

"What are you doing with your life son? Running around chasing monsters and aliens? Didn't you learn anything from me? I lost all of life to this cause; I lost my family to these people long before we even lost Samantha. I didn't realise until it was all over what a waste my life had been. My one true prize in life could have been your mother, and you and your sister - but I lost it all...and now I can see your life going the same way. Who do you love son? Who loves you? Who do you have in your life to make your existence worthwhile?!"

"I don't need anyone! I like being on my own, it suits me just fine...I don't need people dragging me down and holding me back! Why let people in when they all leave me in the end? You where never there, neither was mom really, Sam was taken away from me and..." Mulder stopped mid-sentence, it wasn't necessary to go further down that road, and the fact was they all left. Bill Mulder sat down next to his son and for the first time Mulder registered he hadn't even questioned his fathers visit from beyond the grave. "What are do doing here, how is this possible, what do you want?!"

"Tonight you are going to be visited by three spirits."

"Gee, three? Do you mind if I pass? The first one has been just about all my nerves can take...three just mite push me over the edge and..."

"YOU WILL BE VISITED BY THREE SPIRITS!"

"Ok, three, I've got ya..." Mulder wasn't in the mood for arguing.

"The first will come at 1am, the second at 2am and the third at 3am."

"Hmmm...are you sure we can't do them all in one go and get it over with? I know I'm not much of a sleeper but I do have work to do tomorrow."

"They will be the spirits of Christmas past, present and future I hope they will be of help to you son and you can avoid the same fate as me...goodbye." With that he disappeared and Mulder came to the conclusion his final request had also been denied.


1am

Christmas Morning Mulder didn't sleep well at the best of times and having been told he was to expect a ghost within the hour he figured it might be worth staying up. On the strike of one a small girl appeared to him, she looked no older than Samantha when she was taken. "How can you be the spirit of Christmas past?" Mulder asked, "You're only a little girl."

"I can remember over 2000 years, Fox."

He flinched at the used of his first name but didn't comment. "Why are you here?"

The spirit smiled, "To aid your welfare," she replied.

"Huh, a nights unbroken sleep would be good for my welfare!" Sneered Mulder.

"For your salvation then," and the spirit came closer, "are you ready to take a look at your past Fox?"


Before he could answer Mulder found himself back in his childhood home surrounded by decorations and the smell of Christmas dinner. A small girl that he realised he could only barely remember from pictures ran by him and along the hall followed by a boy shouting, "Come back here you little brat, I'll tell mom!"

Mulder couldn't believe his eyes, "That's Sam," he needlessly told he companion, "it must be the year before she was taken...and that's me." He pointed to the boy chasing behind. "She was always being a pain and getting under my feet."

Mulder then heard his mom shouting from the kitchen, "Samantha Mulder! Come in here now and help me with the dinner, stop annoying your brother!"

"Awww mom, it's not fair - I was only playing!" the little girl replied, "Where's dad, when's he coming home? It's almost time for dinner."

Mrs. Mulder walked through from the kitchen and kneeled in front of her daughter, "Daddy won't be home till this evening Sammy, he has some very important work to do that can't wait till tomorrow so we'll have to cope without him."

As Mulder watched his younger self walk slowly by him and back to his room he thought back to the number of Christmases it had only been the three of them. "Before Sam went, mom and I always made the effort even though dad rarely made it home until Christmas evening, after she wasn't there anymore no one bothered. Christmas was cancelled in the Mulder household - no point anymore."


The scene faded and next Mulder found himself back in his basement office at FBI headquarters. He could see himself, maybe fifteen years younger than he was now, he was sitting behind then desk working, just as he had been earlier that night. Then he heard laughter coming from the corridor and the door swung open.

Diana Fowley came, or rather fell, into the room with two other agents. "Foooox" she slurred, "the parties only just startin', leave all this and come for a drink, or three!"

Mulder looked up wearingly from his work, "Diana, there's to much to do, I really think I'm on to something here. If I can just figure out what..."

"BORING!!" shouted one of Diana's cohorts, "Come on Di lets get back to the party and leave Spooky to his work!" Diana laughed with the others and left as soon as she had arrived, seemingly forgetting the reason she came down in the first place.

Mulder sat alone again. "I hated those office parties" Mulder said, watching the lonely figure carry on working, "I'd always sooner get some work done. I never really understood why they even bother to ask."

His ghostly friend smiled. "But there was someone you seemed to find more difficult to turn down, wasn't there Fox?" There was a spark or recognition in Mulder's eyes, then the scene before them started to fade.


The new scene was pretty much the same as the old, although Mulder could see he had aged several years. As he watch himself working in solitude the quiet was only broken by a sole familiar click of heels approaching the door. Mulder felt his heart clench... He watched the door as it opened then turned to look at himself as his looked up from his work. He saw he light flicker on in his eyes. And he speechlessly watched the scene before him unfold. Mulder saw himself smile a smile he'd forgotten existed, "Scully!" he got up from he desk and walked round to where his partner was standing. "I thought you had drinks with your family tonight, one of the famous Scully Family Christmas rituals!"

Scully smiled and sighed, "I did, but I left early. I somehow thought I would find you here, you promised me you would finish early tonight."

"I know, but I didn't see the point, going home to an empty apartment on Christmas Eve isn't really appealing." Mulder hadn't realized how honest he had been with Scully, even about how lonely he could be, he never usually allowed people to see that.

Scully smiled sadly then her smile brightened, "Well then I'm glad I decided to leave early and come find you. Come on, pack up your stuff your coming back to mine and I'll cook. We'll stop by yours to pick up some clothes then you can sleep on the couch at mine and come over with me for Christmas dinner at my mom's..." she seemed to hesitate, "that is if you want to, I understand if you have other plans for tomorrow."

Watching the scene Mulder could feel the joy he had felt at that moment like it was only yesterday and watched as his previously lonely self lit up from the inside. "I don't know what to say Scully, you really left your family tonight to come find me? And you want me to join you for Christmas? I can think of nothing I'd love more but are you sure a won't be intruding?!"

Scully walked over and pulled her partner into a hug, "Yes I left to find you, I wasn't enjoying myself as much as I usually do tonight and it took me half the night to figure out why...one of my family wasn't there Mulder." She shifted to lay her head on his chest and said, "You are part of my family Mulder you are never intruding, ever. Christmas wouldn't be the same without you there."

Mulder watched as Scully and himself gathered up his things and head out of the office talking about whether there was time to stop for Mulder to get her mom a gift on their way 'home'. Mulder and the young ghost were left standing alone in the dark office. "Things changed over the following year didn't they Fox?" the spirit asked not really expecting an answer. "She told she loved you, and you loved her didn't you?"

"Of course I loved her!" Mulder shouted and his voice echoed in the dark room and then went quiet. "I'd forgotten" he said quietly, "I'd forgotten how much I loved and needed her. I'd forgotten how much she loved me, I'd never been loved like that, and I never will be again..."

"There was of course another Christmas Eve with this young woman a year later, in this very room."

Mulder looked up in horror, "No please, I beg you please don't show me that night!"


Mulder watched himself sitting behind the desk alone, again. He heard those same familiar footsteps. The door opened and Dana Scully stepped into the room, she looked tired and much thinned than he had seen her moments ago, "Mulder, you promised you would finish early tonight and come round to my mom's for drinks."

Mulder sighed and looked up at her, "Scully you know how much work we have on, we can't afford to be frivolous and waste time on these things."

"I don't think it's wasting time, it's Christmas and I want to be with my family."

"Then go be with them, Scully. I'm not forcing you to be here."

"But I want you to be there too, what is so important that it can't wait?" Mulder didn't answer. "Mulder you promise that once I got well you would cut down on work and we would spend more time together. You always said finding Samantha was the goal. I know what finding about her did to you, but surely now you must realise how important it is to spend time together?"

"My work has always been the most important thing in my life, Scully, you knew that when you first met me, why did you think that would change now? I still have so much to find, so much to do." Mulder stood in the corner listening to what he said and he barely recognised the person he had become, but what he broke his heart the most was the look on Scully face - she looked like he had just shot her, why did he not see it at the time?! He watched as he continued to talk, "I can't allow myself to be distracted...this is for you too, I love you Scully." He said the words but there was no meaning or soul in his voice.

"You did once." Scully said sadly as she swallowed hard and moved round the desk to kneel in front of him, she put her hand on his face and moved his head to look into his eyes, "What happened to you Mulder, what happened to us? I can't even start to imagine what the last few years have done to you - your mother dying, finding out about Samantha...everything else." She saw no emotion in his eyes, no change at her words, "but you need to talk the me Mulder, let me know what you are feeling. I need to know you still need me, just as I need you! I can't keep doing this to myself!" He just sat there not saying a word, staring at her, "Mulder, there is such distance in your eyes! I can stand this pain anymore, always hoping and praying that you'll allow me in - do you have any idea how much I love you? How much your love and strength keeps me going?!"

Mulder smiled vaguely, "I can't have this conversation right now, Scully, I'm so close to something here", he looked back at his work and continued without looking up. "Maybe once this case is over we can talk..." His words drifted off towards the end and he never looked up.

He never saw the tears fall down her face or the look in her eyes as they drained, he didn't even notice her leave the room. Mulder watched himself sitting alone again in the corner of the room, "Why didn't you stop her you idiot!" he shouted at himself as he continued working without care.

The spirit came close, "You barely seemed to notice she had gone when you came back to work two days later, you'd been out of town on a case and when you got back she had left."

"I...I...didn't know what to think, I had got used to people leaving me - I expected it sooner or later. I just got on with my work and tried to forget." Mulder turned away from he cold person sitting at the desk and looked at the door Dana Scully had just walked out of, "I haven't seen her since."

A single tear slipped down Mulder's face. "WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME?!" he screamed at the spirit.

"I told you", the spirit said calmly "these are shadows of things that have been, that they are what they are do not blame me."


Mulder was back on the couch in his apartment crying gently, the spirit has left him now and he lay like that for sometime until the clock stuck 2am...

Mulder's apartment filled with light and he awoke from a fitful sleep to the sound of jolly laughter. "Ho-ho-ho!" Mulder sat up and rubbed his eyes. "I am the spirit of Christmas present," said the jolly, large man with a long beard. "I live in the present and this present is Christmas! I have something special to show you, Fox."


Mulder was in a house he didn't recognise, there was laughter and music. Children where playing and running around the house. Then he saw someone he did recognize and his heart jumped, Maggie Scully rounded that corner with a bowl of sweets for the children and they all swamped her. "Is this now spirit? Is this tomorrow morning?"

"Yes, do you recognise that person, Fox?"

"Yes, yes of course I do...where's..."

At that moment he heard a screech and three children ran round the corner heading for the sweets followed closely by, "Auntie Day, Auntie Day!! Run faster!" screamed the boys.

Scully flopped down on the sofa near where Mulder standing. "I give in, boys!" she laughed, "I'll sit here for ten minutes, the sweets are yours - I'm not as fit as I used to be remember!" She sat laughing as the boys raided the sweets. Mulder looked at her, she looked thinner, tired, and her hair was longer, past her shoulders - but she hadn't changed. Mulder felt better just for looking at her.

Bill Scully walked in bellowing, "Come on, come on, enough of that! How about a game?!"

"Dad!" shouted one of the boys, "let's play the 'Yes/No' game!"

"Good idea honey" said Maggie Scully as she joined the group. The room was now practically full.

"Bill you go first you always thing of good ones!" shouted a man at the back that Mulder suspected to be Charlie Scully.

"Ok" agreed Bill, he thought for a second then smiled and said he was ready.

"Vegetable?" shouted someone.

"No."

"Mineral?"

"No."

"Animal then?"

"Yes!" and he laughed. "Is it a popular creature?"

"Definitely no!"

"A pest then?"

"YES!"

"Something you would exterminate?"

"Hopefully, yes!"

"A rat?"

"No"

"Fleas?"

"No."

"Cockroaches?"

"No!"

"Urgh Dad!" shouted one of the boys, "This is getting boring! What is it?!"

Bill laughed and said, "That Fox Mulder, Dana's ex-partner!!"

Mulder stood in shock, he felt sick - and then he turned to look at Scully. There had been I few laughs in the room, until the few laughing had seen the look on Dana's face and quickly silenced.

Scully got up and walked out. Mulder followed behind Maggie Scully who had gone after her daughter. "I'm so sorry sweetie, I don't know why he brought him up, I shall be having strong words with your brother later!"

"Oh mom, how is it possible that I'm still missing him so much?!" Mulder couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"Oh Dana, your tired. You've been over doing it, I told you not to run around with the boys like that. You need your rest!"

"Mom, I'm ill and I'm not dead! So the cancer is back, if I do die this time I want to make the most of it before I go...and that is not why I miss Mulder. I never told you this but we were together before I left, I loved him and still love him so much. I just feel it now because I need him, I need his strength to get me through this...and I need to see him, I can't bare the thought of dying and never seeing him again."

"Oh my lord, Dana, why did you never tell me? I knew you were close and I always hoped...but I never thought...! You were so upset when you left and we moved here but as you didn't want to talk about it I thought I should leave it up to you to bring it up, but you never did. Can't you go to see him sweetheart, talk to him?"

"He doesn't want me, Mom, I just drag him down and hold him back! His work is his life." Mulder cringed to hear her used the same words he had used earlier when talking to his father...Scully was ill again...she could die...and she needed him and he had abandoned her!

Just then a voice came from the kitchen, "Right come on everybody, DINNERS READY!!" So everyone crowded round the large table in the main dinning room and the supernaturally large turkey was brought through from the kitchen.

Margaret Scully clinked her glass and everyone around the table went quiet, "Before you all start I would like to ask Dana to give the Christmas Grace.

Everyone around the table went quiet as Scully panicked for a second trying to consider what to say... "Life is full of surprises, but every day is a gift. Please lord bless all of us, the loving family we hold dear. We have so much to be thankful for, most of all each other. We pray for absent family who can't be here today, we pray that they somehow know how much they mean to us and that they will always be part of our heart and soul. Amen."

"Spirit, will she live?" Mulder asked as he watched the scene through misty eyes as they began to eat.

"That is the future, my realm is the present. However, if these shadows remain unaltered I believe the young women will die... But if she's going to die she'd better get on and do it, you don't need her, just one more person to drag you down and hold you back!"

Mulder's face shot up in anger, then melted into despair, "Oh god..."


Mulder found himself back in his apartment thinking through what he had just seen and heard. The spirit had gone but the things he had just seen where still with him, he lay down and closed his eyes...


Mulder woke in cold dark cemetery, near him stood a tall dark hooded figure. "Are you the spirit sent to tell me about my future?" Mulder asked, "I can't say I'm looking forward to what my future might hold."

The spirit didn't answer and simply pointed to a spot under a tree where two men were filling in a grave.

Mulder walked over and listened to the two men talk as they worked. He could almost guess what was coming, "Poor bastard."

"Yeah, I was talking to the guys from the funeral home earlier and they said the funeral service was empty. Just one late middle-aged lady sat in the back row, they said she looked the right age to be his mother but they had never met her. He had left all the arrangements for the funeral and they had sorted everything."

"Imagine getting to that age and having no one who loves you, no one who cares enough to even arrange your funeral. He must have known that...suicide wasn't it?"

"Yeah found alone in him apartment two days later, he worked for the government or something - the police were notified when he didn't show up for work." They started to pack up their things and walked away, "No one will miss him much then, was probably a blessing. Wonder who the old woman was in the church?"

As they disappeared into the mist a figure stepped out from behind a tree and walked down to the graveside.

Mulder recognised her straight away and moved closer, "Oh Fox..." Maggie Scully placed the flowers she carried by the mound of earth. "I hope you knew I was there today, I know it meant a lot to Dana that I be here. She just didn't have the strength to make it herself...I don't know how she could have coped." She slowly walked round to the other side and was facing Mulder now as he continued to listen, "If you could have seen what your death did to her, it knocked her back further than even I expected, she gave up what little desire she had to live. I've always loved you like a son Fox and I always will, but I don't think I can ever forgive you for what you did to her. She was the strongest person I have ever known, she fought so hard against everything thrown at her - but when she lost you, when you abandoned her, she lost a little bit of her soul. Everyday she got weaker; everyday she asked herself what she had done to push you away. When the cancer came back she had lost so much of herself she didn't have enough left to fight, she tried, but only for me and I wasn't enough!"

Tears had been falling down Mulder's face as he watched this strong lady break down in front of him and now as he watch her cry uncontrollable he couldn't stand to see it anymore and turned away.

Maggie continued talking, "When I had to go in and tell her what you had done she was going through her last treatment, I almost didn't tell her but felt I owed her the truth...now I wish I hadn't. Oh Fox, she blamed herself! She said she should have done more; she should have kept fighting for you! I watched the rest of my daughter die that day, her body is still fighting but her soul is gone." They stood like that for many minutes, Maggie Scully looking at the grave in silence and Mulder standing with his back to her and eyes close.

Then Mulder heard a noise, "Dana!" Exclaimed Maggie and Mulder spun around the see a frail women being pushed down toward the graveside by a nurse. She was so thin, her face was gaunt and she worn a scarf round her head. Mulder sucked in a breath; he would barely have recognised her if he'd passed her in the street! But he moved closed and could see her eyes, her beautiful eyes stills seemed to have something of the soul that he remembered - but they were dark and had no spark.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Scully, I told her she shouldn't travel but she wouldn't listen to me. She was getting so worked up the doctors decided we would have to let her come or it would do more harm."

"I am here you know!" Scully snapped from her chair, " You don't have to talk around me! What do you think the trip will do, Mom? Kill me? I'm dying anyway, you know that!" Maggie walked up and hugged her daughter and Mulder heard Scully whispering she was sorry in her mom's ear. Then Scully looked at both of them and asked, "Leave me alone? Just for five minutes, then I promise I will leave quietly."

Maggie and the nurse nodded their consent and they walked away, just in sight of Scully. Mulder waited to see what Scully would say, but she said nothing. She just sat and looked at the mound of earth, tears slowly falling down her face. There was nothing more to be said. After a few minutes they came and got her and they left.

Mulder went to the spirit. "These things can be changed? They won't happen will they? I will have another chance to put this right? To wipe the tears from her eyes and make things ok?" The spirit did not reply. "TALK TO ME DAMN YOU! What went wrong? How can I fix this? SEND ME BACK SO I CAN MAKE THIS BETTER!"

Mulder broke down and fell to his knees, what had he done... How could he have let this happen...


Mulder woke up in his apartment with the sun shining brightly through his window, he ran to the window and looked out at the show. He picked up the phone and called the operator. "Hello?"

"Yes, how can I help you?"

"What day is today?"

"I'm sorry, sir?"

"What day is today!"

"It's Christmas Day, sir."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes sir, very sure!"

"Thank you!" And he hung up. Now for the next call. Mulder held his breath. "Walter Skinner."

"Sir, it's Mulder. I need your help!"

"Agent Mulder, it's Christmas Day. I have already told you I no longer want you to contact me at home, this is unacceptable behaviour. Now if this is not urgent, AND I MEAN LIFE THREATENING, I shall be back in the office on the 27th."

"Sir, I need to know where Agent...I mean I need to know where Scully is. You are the only person I could think of who might know."

There was silence. "Agent Mulder, I can't imagine what brought this on but I must say I am very pleased. I do know where Dana is, she told me when she left the Bureau - I had the feeling at the time that she told me in the hope you might someday want to find her."

"Thank god, where can I find her?"

"She moved to Florida with her mom within a few days of submitting her resignation. Her brother Charlie lives there with his family."

"Sir, would you know if she was ill again?"

"No Agent Mulder, but I can assure you that if I had received such information I would have informed you - in spite of any work related conflicts we might have. Would you like her telephone number? I believe I have it here..."

"Thank you sir, but no. May I ask one more favour?"

"You can ASK, Agent Mulder."

"I'd like to request two weeks leave starting today."

"Do you plan on going to see Dana in person?"

"Sir, I plan on booking the next flight!"

"Then you have my permission...and Mulder?"

"Yes sir?"

"Don't let her go again."

Mulder smiled. "I think you know I couldn't live without her. The past two years have proved that."

"I'm glad you have realised that Mulder." His voice suddenly seemed less hostile and more informal. "Good luck Agent, hope see you BOTH when you get back." The phone went dead.

Mulder was surprisingly touched by Skinner's faith in him, in both of them, he wished he was that hopeful. Mulder immediately dialled and booked his ticket. Then he realised he would have to do a trace for her address to; Florida's a big place!


She'd forgotten how much hard work children were, but they were keeping her going lately. They didn't treat her like her was ill. She loved that the rest of the family cared so much but it was only when she was with the children that she could really even pretend she was all right and live a little. She was outside riding one of the bikes the boys had got for Christmas when they heard the commotion when her mom brought out the sweets.

"Auntie Dana! Beat ya there!" They'd shouted as they ran towards the house.

Scully laughed and went to chase them in. As she put the bike down and turned round her heart stopped.

"Scully." Mulder smiled, but a little nervously. She hadn't been called that in so long. To be honest she didn't know how to react. Her mind was telling her she should be angry. He'd abandoned her, let her down, and treated her like she was nothing. She'd needed him so much in the last two years and he hadn't been there. He'd let her go and broken her heart. But Scully had spent the last two years yearning for this moment and she did something the old Scully rarely did, she went with what her heart was telling her. She smiled. Not a 'hello' smile, or a 'nice to see you' smile but one that displayed every ounce of love and emotion in her body - a big mega-watt Scully smile!

Then she ran into his arms and held him so tightly it was as if her life depended on it. She felt deep down that maybe it did... After a couple of seconds of shock Mulder responded with equal enthusiasm. They pulled apart slightly and Scully looked up to him, "How did you know?" she asked simply.

"Know what?"

"How much I need you."

"I...I need you Scully, I always have I just lost sight of it for a while. I've been running on empty for the last two years. I need my soul back."

"Are you with me now Mulder? For good?"

"Forever, I'm so sorry."

The tears began to form in his eyes and Scully reached up to brush them away. "Shhh...I love you Mulder...so much."

"I love you more!" Mulder joked but smiled softly.

"Not possible!" Scully stated as she pulled Mulder down for a kiss. As their lips met the electricity sparked and as they pulled apart breathlessly Mulder picked up Scully gently and spun her around. For the first time in two years Scully felt alive, and for the first time since she'd found out the cancer was back she didn't feel like she was dying. She laughed. There souls were reborn. Together.

The whole family came to the window when they heard the commotion. Maggie's heart swelled, her Dana had found her will to live. And Bill? He smiled too, in spite of himself - what else could he do as he saw his sister who he had been slowly been watching whither away come back to life? Maybe this Mulder guy wasn't so bad after all. This definitely needed further investigation...

THE END

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