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Close to Christmas? Heck, It IS Christmas
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Title: Close to Christmas? Heck, It IS Christmas!
Author: Pattie
Rated: G
Category: Post-The Truth, AU (Only as long as they're in
limbo), Companion Piece to Close to Christmas.
Spoilers: The Truth.
Summary: Mulder and Scully find that it's not all glitter
and wrappings, but the spirit of the Season and love.
Feedback: trish59@444.net
Archive: Gossamer.  Any others please ask. I'll likely
say "Yes".
 
Disclaimer: All X-Files characters belong to Chris Carter,
Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox Studios, and they still
need their exercise. I do not get money to exercise them,
and no copyright infringement is intended.

LI'L ALE'I INN
ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO
DECEMBER 24, 2002
6:30 P.M.
It had been almost a week since Doggett and Reyes were there
to drop off a very special few things, including a rather
large box for Mulder and Scully, with explicit instructions
not to open it until Christmas Eve.
 
Scully sat writing in her Journal she had started after the
mad dash away from the place where C.G.B. Spender had met
his demise, and far away from the Military Brig. As she
wrote a short sentence to end her entry, Mulder opened the
door carrying their latest loads of laundry.  "Have fun?"
She quipped.
 
"Yeah.  Somehow, I really do miss my old laundry room. 
There's at least a modicum of decorum in the old apartment
building. At a laundromat, you just never know what lies
at the bottom of the washer." He set two hampers full of
clothing on the floor of the sitting room. "So, can we open
the box yet?"
 
Scully gave him a mock frown. "Mulder!  We've been so good
these past few days.  I think we can wait a bit longer. I
ordered some Chinese food, and it's in the kitchenette, so
I suggest we eat it.  I'm starving, because I was a such a
god girl, waiting for you to come back." She closed her
Journal and joined him at the table.
 
"Yes, I guess you have.  We've both been good. As a matter
of fact, I know that earlier today you went out to be good to
me, so I spent some time being good to you while the clothes
were in the back seat. And we're not opening our goodnesses until tomorrow morning!"
 
Scully broke open an egg roll. "Well, we were both good all
this time. I see no reason why Santa would miss our little
'home away from home' tonight, do you?"
 
"Well, no.  Why don't I just get us some of that wine we've
been saving?"
 
"Sounds good to me. What shall we drink to?"
 
Mulder filled the glasses and handed one to Scully. "Well,
I think... No, I won't say we'll drink to the end of re-runs
of 'It's a Wonderful Life'. How about faithful friends,
hope that never dies, and each other's company?"
 
"Sound good to me." Scully touched her glass to his. "As
soon as we finish dinner, we can open the box, I guess. That
is, if you've got no Christmas hauntings to go to, and I
sincerely think it would be dangerous even to think of
appearing, given the circumstances."
 
"That's right.  After all, we do have to hang our stockings,"
Mulder agreed. And, who knows what we'll find in that box."
 
"I'm pretty sure 'The Truth is in There'," Scully snickered.
 
"One sip, and you're blitzed. You're starting to get a bit
more like me."
 
"Don't flatter yourself, Mulder. I had a sense of humor
long before I net you. Eat up. I'm just as curious about
that box as you are, and, well, we're spending Christmas
Eve together," she whispered. Then she thought about the
meaning of her words. "You know, a year ago, I never would
have thought we would be together ever again."
 
"I know. At times, I felt the same way. When I felt I
had to stop the messages, it was because I thought it was
best for you and William. Look at us now. We're here, we're
alive, and there's hope."
                                ***
Half an hour later, Mulder brought the big box out of their
bedroom, while Scully was washing their drinking glasses.
 
"Mulder, I'd put my laundry away if I were you.  Santa
might not come if he knows you've been naughty," Scully
joked.
 
"I'm on it.  I just thought we should get cracking. It's
almost 8:00, the night is young, and so are we... "
 
"And the clothes are fresh. I guess I'm having a hard time
getting used to our relaxed rules, instead of the old routine.
Let's see what's in there. I'm dying to know, and so are you,
if you'd just say it."
 
It was a large, box, nothing special. It wasn't even
wrapped. Just a large, brown box, corrugated cardboard.
Mulder took his pocket knife and slit the tape along
the top flaps. "I do believe, Dr. Scully, we have the
makings of a Christmas Eve party for two."
 
Scully peered into the box. "Won't need any rubber gloves
for this case. Looks like," she gave one item a good tug.
"Looks like a picnic basket? Hmm... "
 
Mulder put his ear to the basket. "It's not ticking. But
that could still be set off on opening... "
 
Scully smiled. "Brother!  And you want to believe..." She
opened the basket and found two champagne glasses, a bottle
of champagne, a cheese basket with small jams, jellies and
crackers.
 
"These aren't ticking either." Mulder held two bright red,
fur-trimmed stockings, filled with ornate envelopes, candy,
and tiny packages. Their names were lovingly embroidered.
"Do you know a 'Dana" or a 'Fox'?"
 
"Oh, Mulder. We have to hang these up. Maybe under the
window sill, since we don't have a fireplace."
 
"Will do.  I think you can take care of the box one
box there."
 
Scully took a medium-sized box from the bottom of the
larger one. She quickly opened the plain, brown box, and
there were several artificial evergreen boughs, a trunk,
a stand, and about thirty tiny ornaments. "Mulder! We
have a Christmas Tree!" Her voice echoed the voice of one
very young Dana Scully. For a moment, Mulder thought he
was hearing a six-year-old's exclamation of delight.
 
"Scully, a few days ago, I would have thought this was
just something like Christmas. I don't know... not quite
an ersatz, artificial Christmas. Let's get that champagne
chilled, pop some corn up, and put the tree together. Heck,
this isn't just an "almost Christmas'." He joined Scully
who was sitting on the floor admiring their bounty and
kissed her. She smiled. "Heck, it IS Christmas!"
 
"You bet it is, Mulder. It is."

                              END