Home for Christmas
She moved into the bedroom she was using. Finally a breather, and she could use it. She was out of practice being with a large family, but it was fun.
She sat on the side of her bed and pulled out her cell phone.
“Scully.” She could feel the smile through the line. “Having a good time?”
“Yes, but I’d forgotten how rowdy kids can be.”
Mulder chuckled, “Really wired, huh?”
She sighed “Well, right now it’s quiet. All the men are ensconced in the den in front of a football game.”
“All the men? Even Matthew?”
“If he’s still awake.”
“What about the ladies?” She could feel him getting comfortable on the couch, to visit with her.
“Mom wanted to go somewhere, see some lawn decoration they had in the paper this morning. Mary threw herself on the grenade so Tara and I wouldn’t have to go. I think Mary enjoys it too. She doesn’t get to spend that much time with Mom anyway.”
“What about Tara?”
“She’s taking a nap.”
“Matthew wore her out?” He grinned.
“Partially. They announced this morning that Matthew is going to have a brother or sister in June.” She spoke matter of factly.
“Scully?” She could tell he was no longer slouching on the couch, but sitting up at attention, listening to every nuance of her voice.
“I’m very happy for them.”
“I know you are. I just . . . “ his voice trailed off, unsure what to say.
“So, what did you do?” She changed the subject and he allowed it.
“I saw the guys last night. We had a good Christmas Eve. Had to keep an eye on Frohike or I’d still be under the table.”
She chuckled and he reveled in the sound. “Did you wish them a Merry Christmas for me?”
“Sure did. Oh and Frohike left a package for you.”
“Yeah, it’s not vibrating.”
“Oh god.” But he could hear the humor in her voice.
“When are you coming home, in case there’s an expiration date?”
Home. The word caught her off guard, because it was his apartment that came to her mind. Was that home now? “I’m ready. Wonder what the flights would be like if I tried to move my ticket.” She hadn’t known she was going to say that.
“Are you . . . really?”
“Yes.” It was true she realized. “I’d like to come home. I had a great visit with everyone, but it would be nice to have some time at home.”
“That would be . . . I’d love to have you come on back. Maybe we’d have some time before Skinner calls.”
“We’ll have some time. Skinner went to visit his sister for the holidays.” She offered.
“Oh. He told you that?” He felt slightly uncomfortable to hear about this degree of intimacy between Scully and Skinner.
“Um hum, he asked my plans and offered his. I had the impression he hasn’t spent much time with his family in years. He was looking forward to it.”
“Well, good.” He decided a change of subject was in order, “So what did Santa bring you?”
They visited for a few more minutes, then Scully laughed, “Why don’t I check on the flights. We could have this conversation in person?”
“Don’t like phone sex?”
“Mulder." Her tone was only slightly warning.
“Right, your Mom’s there. Call me, let me know if you can make the change.”
“It would be late, Mulder.”
“Call me anyway.” He reluctantly let her off the phone.
She made her call and found a flight that would work. Now she had to tell the family. Charlie would be okay with it, even Mom would understand, but Bill . . .
Scully stuck her head in the door and caught Charlie’s eye. He nodded and after a minute made an excuse and left the room. He found Scully in the kitchen, “You okay?”
“Yes. I made arrangements to change my flight. I want to go on home tonight.”
She hesitated, then met Charlie’s eyes. “Yes.”
He nodded. “Thanks for admitting it to me.” He smiled as her cheeks colored.
“I don’t do that often.” It was almost a question.
“Nope. But Mulder’s different. He’s gotten so far under your skin, you can’t shake him. He’s one brave dude to keep after you that way.”
“That’s it, spoil the moment.” She spoke dryly, her eyes narrowing.
Charlie chuckled. “Hey, I admire the man.”
“What do you think everyone else will say?” The uncertainty was back in her voice as she glanced toward the den.
They turned as the door opened. Bill joined them, carrying the empty beer bottles. He stopped when he saw them. “What?”
“I, I was thinking of heading on home.”
Bill’s eyes narrowed, “Work?”
“No. Mulder.” She looked him straight in the eye.
Bill placed the bottles on the counter and glanced over at Charlie. “You want to leave early?”
Bill sighed, “For that SOB. I don’t like the guy.”
“Come on Bill, how do you really feel?” Charlie grinned moving closer.
“Bite me Chuckles.” Bill didn’t even glance over at his younger brother. “I was going to say, I don’t like him, but . . . shit I saw how he was when Matthew was born.”
“Emily.” She said quietly.
“Yeah. I didn’t know a person could get from DC to San Diego in that amount of time. He couldn’t have taken the time to take a piss. All you said to him was, ‘I need you’. Maybe he got some of his little green friends to lend him a transporter.” Bill sighed. “It’s what I would do for Tara. He didn’t hesitate. So, I don’t like the guy, but . . . hell he’s good to you. Better than - “
“Than I deserve?” she asked quickly.
“No! You definitely deserve someone that loves you that much. If you two would quit interrupting me, I was going to say, better than I thought possible. He, hell he impressed me. I still don’t like him, but you do. I didn’t ask you to fall in love with Tara for me.”
Scully knew her mouth had fallen open.
He spotted her coming down the ramp from the plane. She hadn’t seen him, but she wasn’t expecting him. Mulder’s mind returned to earlier.
When the phone rang, he’d lunged for it. “Scully?”
“Yeah, Bill Scully.”
He didn’t hesitate, “Is she okay?”
“Yeah. She was able to change her flight.”
Mulder remained quiet, waiting.
“It’s okay Mulder. We got to see her for the holidays and we had a good time. Problem is, she’s not going to land until 2 a.m. I don’t know if she was planning to surprise you or just didn’t want to bother you, but even if she is a big bad FBI agent, I didn’t like the thought of a woman with luggage having to hail a cab at that time of night. Would you mind picking her up?”
Mind? Had Bill just asked if he’d mind picking up Scully? “Uh, it’d be my pleasure, Bill. Thanks for giving me a call.”
“Yeah, well, Merry Christmas.” He sounded uncomfortable now that Mulder had agreed with him.
“Merry Christmas to you. Oh and congratulations on the new baby.”
“She told you?” He shouldn’t be surprised, Dana must tell him everything.
“Thanks. Don’t leave her standing there.”
“I won’t. Thank you Bill.”
There seemed to be a mild harrumph, then the phone went dead.
Mulder focused on her again. She was beautiful and she’d come home to him. There wasn’t a better Christmas present.