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Close to Christmas

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Title: Close to Christmas

Rated: G

Category: Angst, Story, post The Truth.

Spoilers: The Truth.


DECEMBER 18, 2002

It seemed as though they'd been hiding for ages, although
it had been only a few months after Mulder and Scully had
left the Military Brig, and the pueblo where Spender had
been hiding. As long as the enemy believed them dead, they
would have a chance to help prevent the Final Invasion and
the subsequent Colonization that was to come.

There would be no merry making this Christmas. Mulder
felt extremely guilty that Margaret Scully, her son Bill,
and his wife Tara would not be celebrating with Dana
Scully this year.

The running, searching and covering their tracks had taken a
tremendous toll on both of them. Even Scully was looking
less than enthusiastic, yet it was she who had told Mulder
that they were looking for the same thing: A power greater
than all of them to help prevent the inevitable Armageddon.

This was their second time back at the motel. The first
time, the night after the Pueblo had been destroyed,
was when Scully had convinced him not to give up, to keep
looking for answers, clues, anything that would help.

They did know quite a lot, and there was hope that one
of the Consortium members had been smart enough to stay
alive and have the vaccine closely guarded. Then, there
was the hope they could once more muster up a resistance,
using the vaccine and the metal that was fatal to the
aliens and their "supersoldiers".

Doggett and Reyes were keeping Mulder aprised of what
had been happening in the research end of things, and
there was hope.

Still, it was close to Christmas.

As Mulder walked around the motel room, Scully turned
from the book she'd been reading. "Restless?"

Mulder shrugged. "Yeah. I guess. I know it can't be
easy for you right now, Scully. This being the holiday
season and all."

"Well, no, it isn't. I can't lie to you and say I don't
miss the family get together, and I can't say this is my
ideal vacation spot, either. But you're free, Mulder.
We're alive, and we're going to make the best of it."
She closed the book and approached Mulder.

"All this time, out of touch with your family, and you
would rather be with me still chasing monsters with a
butterfly net. I have no family anymore, can't really
say I'd like to look anyone up right now to go out
and celebrate, raise a cup of cheer and all that. But
I've done you out of Christmas." He stuck his hands into
his pockets and began wandering the room again, but
Scully soon stood in front of him.

"Look, I can't say I don't miss it, but I'm thinking
that Christmas is a lot more than roasting a turkey,
toasting the season, and giving and receiving presents.
I have all I want right now, Mulder. After all the things
we've been through, we're looking for the same
thing. Isn't Christmas a season of hope? I was taught
that the first Christmas brought hope to a world that
had felt hopelessness, that not to spread that hope was
not celebrating Christmas. So, we're going to have
motel food at Christmas. At least we won't go hungry.
At least we have each other."

Mulder pulled her into an embrace, looking into her clear
blue eyes. "That will never change. That in itself is
worth celebrating." They kissed briefly, and Scully
smiled warmly. "And William is safe. He's the best gift
you ever gave me."

"Same goes for me. Say, I thought that Appollo 11 thing
was pretty special." Mulder had a more relaxed expression.

In fact, a full-fledged smirk quickly appeared.

"It was, it was. But in a different way." She held his
hands in hers and silently thanked God they were safe.
"Look at it this way, Mulder: We avoided the Christmas
shopping, the icy roads, all the fuss..."

Just then there was a knock at the door.

"Put your best Maggie Freeman face on. Let's not take any

"I'll get it, Billy." When Scully opened the door, she
couldn't believe her eyes. John Doggett and Monica Reyes
were standing outside with arms full of bags and boxes.

"C'mon in, there's plenty of room at this inn." Scully
smiled and hugged Monica. "What's all this?"

"We thought we'd bring you some Christmas, considering
the circumstances." Doggett placed a large box carefully
on Mulder and Scully's kitchenette table. "I hope you
like Christmas cake."

Mulder's eyes were wide with curiosity. "What IS that?
Don't tell me you kidnapped Santa!"

"Well, it's for Christmas Eve. So don't open it until
then. I can tell you that some things in that box are
fragile, so no shaking," Monica scolded. "And one of
these needs chilling." She placed the bagged bottle on
the table.

Monica handed Scully some bags. "This is sweet of you!
You shouldn't have! Thanks."

Doggett smiled. "We can't have you going to bed
Christmas Eve without hanging your stockings. No

"Can I get you guys a beer or something?"

"Yeah, thanks, Mulder. We've been driving since this
morning." Monica sat down in the living room. "We do
have one request of you. No talk of alien conspiracies
and no sad faces. We can stay for supper. We'll even

"I can't argue with that." Mulder handed Scully a beer.
"We were kind of thinking the same thing. So, what's...
I mean, how have you been?"

"All in all, I'd say pretty good," Doggett replied. "Which
is why we decided to give you a Christmas this year, since
you've been through the wringer and can't have one at

Mulder sipped some beer thoughtfully. "Hopefully, next
year, we'll be safe, home and all of this will be behind

Scully smiled, looking at a picture of William, then at
her cross. "I have a feeling we will."


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