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Spoilers: The X-Files, but I take into
account my Alternate Universe. I gave
them a family, and William's beagle.

Rated: PG because of a few bad words.

Summary: Scully is surprised to see William at
the mall, as she knows he dislikes shopping. But
Thursday was Mulder's birthday. Everyone had to
figure out what to get him. Fifty five already.


Archive: Gossamer. Just ask politely if you want it.

Disclaimers: The X-Files, Mulder, Scully and William
are owned by Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and
Fox Studios. Anyone else is mine.
See Author's Note at end.

9:35 A.M.

Breakfast had long been over. William donned his
jacket, and was ready to dash out the door.

"Hey, no good bye for Mom and Dad?" Mulder asked
Miracle Boy.

"Sorry. I need to shoot baskets with Tom and Jack.
Score to settle."

"Can I come? Your Mom's going out for food, and I
need the exercise."

"No, you'd be better off with the guys at the Y.
See you at noon." Slam.

Scully was ready to shoot out the door, kissed
her husband, and mentioned something about
Mandy and Alison watching the younger ones.

"Okay girls, I'm off to the Y. Take care of
Meg, Sammy Ann and James. Your turn to go out

"Aww," Mandy grumbled. "We wanted to go to
the mall." Dad Mulder's birthday was soon.
"This afternoon. I'm gone." She kissed them and
grabbed her sister by the arm to find their younger
sisters and take them out to play.


"Sorry. A bit angry about the deserters. Let's get
Meg and Sammy Ann's coats. James is ready."

Scully donned her coat, grabbed two canvas
bags and left. *I suppose I can do birthday
shopping Monday. What does he want?* She knew
he hadn't cared much about his birthday since his
parents' bitter divorce and sister's dis-
appearance. At least she was happy he didn't
mind a few gray hairs.

Once she walked through the doors, she saw
a familiar face near the news stand. "William,
You told us you were meeting the guys!"

"Sorry, Mom. Tom's parents decided he had to
show up at his Dad's parent's anniversary do.
I thought I'd look around a bit, maybe get some
Raptors trading cards."

"Why not the Knicks or some American team?"

"Read the stats, Mom. Gotta get there and then
I need some pens. See you at home."

"Did it ever occur to you I might need some help?"

"Yes. Do you really want it, Mom?"

"Go ahead and enjoy yourself, I need to go to
Filene's. You don't."

"If you're sure. Don't worry. Back by lunch."
One kiss while no one was looking and he was

Scully, Navy born and bred, had her list and
knew what was needed, and knew the store well.
Row by row she found everything needed. Since
it was cold enough for frozen food to stay in
the trunk a while, she slipped back into the

*Filene's*, she thought. *I need something
new. Besides, I deserve it. Mulder told me I
need to treat myself once in a while. Of
course, come to think of it, I'd bet Will
has the same idea I have! It's near
Mulder's Birthday. I'll leave it at that and
no questions at all.* She looked through a few
good dresses.

Meanwhile, William tried the pet store. No
mollies were available and might be arriving
within the week, but a little late for his
father's birthday. He asked a young woman what
would be compatible with mollies. As she was
only a high school student, she had absolutely
no idea. The guy had to wonder silently why a
person with very little experience is those
matters was working there. He looked at his
watch and time was passing too quickly, the
coming week would be too busy, and his schedule
wouldn't allow much time for much except more
studying and paper delivery. Maybe the sport
store would be better.

Scully had purchased two suits for work and
decided she, as well, had to be home. The
sun decided to chase clouds away and groceries
were in the car. Not seeing her firstborn to
offer him a ride home, she decided to leave
the place. It was getting rather crowded.

*New runners. I know Dad's size,* Will
decided. *Knicks Jersey because that old one's
a wreck. Order the cake from the bakery, Mom's
got her hands full. Mention it later.*

He chose the flavor, icing and inscription and
raced home.

Mandy and Alison tired of overseeing the younger
girls outside skipping rope and decided to take
them back into the house, believing the duelsome
pair would be fine in the playroom. Sammy Ann and
Meg decided to chase each other around the house
and a fight broke out. They managed to avoid
little James by a few feet.

Mulder was first home, and just as he thought
about the shower, the younger girls, Meg and
Sammy Ann were trying to actually get physical,
and Mandy and Alison were listening to music
instead of refereeing. "To your rooms, now! Mandy,
Alison haul your @##?# up here now?"

The pair quickly ran up the stairs.

"What do you think you're doing? You promised
us to watch them! You're too old for grounding,
so I suggest YOU make the flippin' lunch for the
rest of us. Don't even bother saying anything.
I'm off to the shower. ARGHH... " He darted up
the stairs. Then he turned. "And you left your
little brother alone in the middle of THAT?" He
muttered a few other expletives as he ran to the

"Guess we deserved it," Mandy told her double.

"Yeah. Mom, will side with him, too."

"Maybe she should. We were wrong."

James ran into the bathroom.He was sensitive and wanted
no part of hearing the others yelling. The little guy loved
everybody equally. *Girls. And I thought the boys at pre-school
were nasty. I'll wait for Mommy right here.*

By the time William arrived, he rushed to his room
with his purchases without a word to the girls. His
Dad saw and just grinned.

A few minutes later, Scully arrived with the
groceries to find the older girls at the stove
and wet-haired Mulder sitting in the living room,
arms crossed, frowning. *I guess the Filene's bags
can wait*. As she started unloading the food, she
knew something was wrong. "Okay. Looks like World
War 3 just broke out here."

The girls were silent. "Mulder?"

Wet hair and all, Mulder was still seething. "After I calm
down. Don't worry. Family meeting this afternoon. Time
to do some scheduling and planning. Will's back. Guess
the game was called, since he brought some packages

"I see," Scully replied. "Okay, you calm down. I
have frozen meats for the freezer. Won't be long
in the basement." *Now what's happened?* she
wondered on the way down the stairs. "By the way,
what a coincidence: I ran into William at the

"Strange. He hates shopping. We can leave him out
of the meeting, unless he's one for action and
drama. By the way, I think I know why he was there.
I don't mind another year, as long I'm with you and
the others."

"Be back in a few minutes. Frozen food. Wait. Why
are Mandy and Alison making lunch?"

"Later. Just do what you have to do. Family meeting
after lunch."

James ran out of the bathroom. "Mommy's home!
Why were you yelling, Daddy?"

"Don't worry, James. We all get that way, you know.
I had a reason. Don't think they were scared. I was
just worried about Sammy Ann and Meg fighting."

"Yeah. Why do they do that?"

"That's the way they are. Some day, I'll tell you
about something called sibling rivalry. I'll talk
to them later and the older ones."

"They were supposed to... I think I know."

"Every family has it sometimes. Let's just sit
at the table and wait for lunch."

"Already washed up."

Mulder smiled. The look-alikes were not happy
and silently made sandwiches. Not even a word
between each other.

1:30 P.M.

Will decided to return to his studies. "Physics is a pain.
I don't know why the course requires it," he told his

Scully hugged him. "Well, we know you can do it
well. Don't worry. If you put your mind to it, you can do
it. Your Dad and I have to have a few words with
Mandy and Alison."

"I believe it." He stared blankly then ran up to his room.

James was taken aside by his father. "Can you please
go play with Sammy Ann and Meg for a while?"

"Sure, Daddy. Long as they don't yell."

"They won't. They promised to behave or else
no video tonight," Mulder assured the boy.

"Okay. I like them anyway."

Mandy and Alison had no choice but to face the
music. Not their kind of music.

"Parenting 101," Mulder announced. "Scully, you are
next up. As you are both in your late teens, you should
know enough not to leave two little girls who are
most often at odds with each other. Mom."

"Some young ladies your age are already mothers
these days. When things like what I have just heard
happen, those women face charges of neglect and
some lose their children."

"I'm sorry," Mandy admitted.

"So am I," Alison added.

"Sorry doesn't always cut it," Mulder calmly advised
them. "Any suggestions, Scully?"

"Yes. Since your room is a pig pen, I would suggest
major clean up. Not now. Tonight when we take
Meg, Sammy Ann and James to a movie. Mrs. Evans
was widowed last year and would only be happy to
look in."

Mandy objected right away. "Oh really? We're too old
to have a sitter. We have jobs."

"Yes," Alison put in.

"Objection over ruled."

"But Dad..."

"We stand. That's it. Turn in the ipods, too."

The two figured there was no choice in the matter
and did as they were told.

Sitting silently in their room. "Still want to get him a
birthday present, Alison?"

"He's done a lot for us, you know that."

"I know. Man is he ever a hard ass."

7:30 A.M.

Scully had already been up and showered. As Mulder
showered he had been going the years, the hardships
and the rewards. After having dressed for work, he
was impressed with the streamers. Gifts were passed
to him. Mandy and Alison had surprised him with a new,
yet empty aquarium. He really appreciated Will's
thoughtfulness with the sports wear. Scully had binged
on two new suits. Meg and Samantha Ann gave him
aloe plants, purchased at school with their allowances.
A painting from Samantha and gift card from Jeffery,
and all seemed well with the world.

"I love all this! Thank you!" Birthday man exclaimed.

Scully had seen Will's cake. "Mulder, cake after supper.
I admit, I didn't have time to do it this time. Will knew what
you like. Don't worry, Mandy and Alison have no grudge."

"Oh? I am one lucky man."

Scully smiled. "More from me. A lot later. Not at the office.
Let's all leave together. Start the van. The kids deserve a
ride. Since it's your day, I'll drive."


Author's Note: Written for a Plot Generator Challenge:
Scully Sees William at the Mall. Post your kid fic and
family stories at
Contrary to Chris Carter's oopsies, everyone is alive
and well.