A Gift for Christmas

by Mary Kleinsmith (Buc252@aol.com)

Category: Missing Scene, UST

Spoilers: The Ghosts Who Stole Christmas

Summary: Everybody's been wondering what Scully and Mulder's gifts were to each other. This is just my take on it.

Archive: Yes. Posted previously to MTA

Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, and everything related to them belong to Chris Carter and 10-13, with magic added by David and Gillian. I'm only borrowing them.

A Gift for Christmas

by Mary Kleinsmith - Buc252@aol.com

Scully and Mulder both smiled gleefully as they dug into their respective packages. Ribbon and paper fell away resignedly from their grasping hands, the flimsy decorations no match for them. Mulder's hands were bigger, and he reached his gift first.

"Scully, what is this?" he asked, turning the JVC videocassette over and over in his hands. The label read "November 14, 1994 - Minnesota Vikings Vs. Washington Redskins".

"It's a videocassette, Mulder," Scully said with a sparkle in her eyes, halting the opening of her own gift. "Why don't you play it?"

Hesitantly, he rose and strode to the VCR, turning on the television to the closing credits of the Charles Dickens movie he'd been watching before she knocked. Taking the tape out of the case, he noticed a post-it note fastened to it. "Go to 01:11:21" it said in Scully's practically illegible doctor's scrawl. Afraid to even look at her, knowing that if he did, it would quite likely spoil his surprise, he pulled the note off the tape and slid it into the machine, pressing fast forward. Mulder was glad that he'd opted to spend the extra money and get a top-of-the-line machine as he watched the numbers fly by on the LED display. It was hardly a minute before it approached the time for which he was searching. A click resounded in the room, followed by another, as Mulder first triggered the stop then the play button.

The counter on the VCR said 01:10:13, and he spent the extra minute left for it to play re-taking his seat on the couch next to Scully. He said a silent thank you that she hadn't resumed opening her present; he didn't want to miss either event as it transpired. They watched the football game together for a few seconds.

"Do you remember this game, Mulder?" Scully asked. Silly question - of course he remembered it. He remembered everything.

"Yeah. Don't tell me that you got me a tape of the game so I can finally see how it ended after we were called away?" he asked, incredulous.

"No, that's not quite it," she responded, motioning to the screen. There was a time out and the camera panned the crowd, skipping quickly over grown men shivering, shirtless, in the November snow. Finally, it settled on an unlikely pair in near-front-row seats, holding on them for almost a minute as the dark-haired man pointed out something on the field to the red-headed woman, who laughed as she pulled her coat closer about her. It had been an unusually cold November, but neither of them seemed to mind.

Mulder stared at it, speechless, until the camera finally panned away from their own images to resume coverage of the game. The value of this documentation of their partnership was not lost on the agent. "Scully," he finally began as she smiled at him warmly. "Where in the world did you find that?" His smile told her that her gift was appreciated and would even be treasured - she read that in his hazel eyes.

"I ran into a friend of mine from college a couple months ago - a real football nut. He mentioned seeing me and 'some guy' sitting in the stands at a football game. The Gunmen have been working on it ever since." Then she surprised him further by reaching into her coat and withdrawing an envelope, which held a still shot of the two of them, taken from the videotape. "Here's a copy for you; mine is back in my apartment."

Mulder took it from her with gentle hands, fearful of crinkling or dropping it. It was the first picture he'd seen of them together outside of bureau-related photos, and that made it extra special. "Thank you," he responded simply, leaning forward to give her a peck on the cheek. She thought how he hadn't done that since she was sick.

The mood was getting too heavy, though, and she knew it was just a matter of moments before it got to her partner. "So, can I finish opening my gift now?"

"Of course," he stately quietly, shyly. He wore the same self-conscious smile he'd worn when he'd first handed her the wrapped package a mere fifteen minutes before. She resumed tearing off the colorful paper, revealing a rolled set of what appeared to be legal papers. Scanning them, she noted that they were legal rights and ownership of something, but nowhere did it indicate of what they gave her possession.

As she flipped to the final page, there was a simple piece of stationery in Mulder's writing. "Present this at 128 Downing Street to receive your present." She cringed, and fear took over Mulder's face at her perceived disappointment. She sensed it, though, and, as she had no desire to upset him, adopted a fake-sounding whine.

"Mulder this isn't a gift. Why can't I have my present now!" He laughed as she broke her concentration and began to giggle.

"That is your present! Granted, it's no videotape, but I think it's something you'll appreciate." Was that a bit of nervousness in his voice?

"But I'm sure this place won't be open until the day after Christmas. That means I have to wait over a day to find out what it is."

"I'm sure you'll survive," he smiled, then the smile faded. "Just think. . . you'll have all those presents from your family in a few hours to make you forget about it." She nodded silently, the look in her eyes reassuring him that she wouldn't forget. The silence pervaded the room for a few minutes, giving her time to think. And she knew what was utmost on her mind.

"Mulder, what were you doing when I knocked on your door just now?" She noted that he still wore the same outfit he had on during their brief ghostbusting session earlier that night; he hadn't even shed his leather jacket.

"I was watching that movie. A Christmas Carol. They show all those good old Christmas movies late at night, just for people like me who can't sleep and need something to pass the time." He'd lost the smile, knowing how Scully worried about his insomnia. Most nights, it was difficult for him to sleep - on Christmas eve, it was impossible.

"And how were you going to pass your time tomorrow?" She pushed on when he simply looked down at his hands and shrugged. "Do you even have plans, Mulder?"

"Well, I'm sure it's nothing compared to a Scully family Christmas," he said, forcing a smile that looked strained and artificial. "I bought some eggnog and ham from the deli down the street, and rented a bunch of Christmas tapes." He practically cringed, knowing the speech that was coming, yet disliking the pity he knew he would sense in her.

"You call that Christmas tradition?"

"For me, that is a Christmas tradition," he answered her, still not meeting her eyes. Here was where she'd invite him to spend the day at her family's house. Invite him out of pity, although he knew and believed she also cared about him. Truth be told, this loneliness, after all these years, was comfortable for him; anything else was almost scary.

But the invitation never came. Or, rather, it wasn't the invitation he expected. "Mulder, would you go for a walk with me?" Taken aback, he was speechless for a moment. Long enough for her to realize his surprise and take the opportunity to pull him up and head for the door, her Christmas present from him still grasped in her other hand. He didn't resist as she led him outside, realizing that it had begun to snow big, soft flakes that wafted down onto her red hair. She'd never looked so beautiful.

They walked silently, taking in the decorations adorning the neighborhood as well as the sounds of the church bells that pealed throughout the city in a never-ending symphony of carols. He played special attention as she pointed out each thing she found particularly interesting, stopping with her for a few minutes to listen to a group of carolers who were going door to door. Before he realized it, they'd gone around two blocks and were back in front of his own apartment, standing beside her car and his own, parked one in front of the other. After a long silence, she finally spoke.

"I'm going to go try to get some sleep before roll call. It'll only give me a few hours before I have to be up, but I wouldn't have traded the last two for anything." He glanced at his watch and realized they'd been walking for better than that. "If you feel like you'd like to, please come to Mom's house for Christmas dinner around 3:00. The kids will be crazy, giving us all headaches and making us exhausted just looking at them, but I promise the eggnog will be home made and the ham will be fresh out of the oven. Please think about it," she finished, kissing him on the cheek again before climbing into her own car and speeding away.

After their brisk walk, he found, surprisingly enough, that he was able to sleep, and he slept in until a respectable 10:30 the next morning. How to spend the rest of his day was a difficult decision until his eidetic memory reminded him of the words spoken by the ghosts they'd encountered. Was that just last night? He had agreed with Scully that none of it had happened, but he didn't really believe it. It was just too real.

The ghost had been right, though. He was afraid of the loneliness, but when it came right down to it, only he could remedy that. Scully had done all she could; now it was his turn.

As he was washing his coffee cup, his eyes fell on the large, blooming poinsettia plant that had come from the landlord. Each tenant got one the day before Christmas eve, left on their doorstep from the building manager. He'd take it to Maggie. It would just die here like all the previous ones had, and after all, he couldn't go to dinner empty handed. He glowed with excitement and nervousness as he set the plant next to the door and went to choose what clothes to wear to Christmas dinner with his partner's . . . no, his best friend's . . . . family.

Dana Scully smiled fondly as she stood at the door beside her mother, kissing each member of her family good-bye as they left. It was still fairly early, but the children had been active since 6:00 am and were now nestled soundly asleep in their parent's arms. Bill and his family were first out, and she hugged him and whispered a grateful "thank you" into his ear for having not chosen this special day to resurrect his disagreements with Mulder. Bill and Tara left amid promises to come back again before he had to return to his base. Charlie was much more jovial, bidding Mulder a fond farewell before kissing his sister and mother and departing with his own wife and kids.

Scully couldn't help but be a little disappointed when she saw that Mulder stood in line for "goodnights" right behind him. Her mother made an offer before she had the chance, though.

"Are you sure you can't stay a little longer, Fox? After all, you did arrive later than the rest. There's still plenty of eggnog and punch, ham for sandwiches, and we can even start a fire in the fireplace." She smiled as warmly as she always did for him, and he blushed at her obvious affection.

"I appreciate the offer, Mrs. Scully. Really, I do. But Mom said she'd call at 8:00 and I want to be home to talk to her. It's been a rough year for both of us, so I don't want to disappoint her."

Maggie Scully nodded her understanding, kissed him on the cheek in what he thought was an amusing imitation of her daughter, and left to go into the kitchen, leaving Dana alone with Fox.

"So, I'll see you Monday morning at the office," he stated as fact, realizing that tomorrow was Saturday and he had two more days to fill before he could go back to work.

"Bright and early," she said, smiling and giving his arm a squeeze as he walked out the door. She shut the door and watched out the window as he brushed the snow from his car, then climbed in and pulled away. Turning back to the tree, her eyes found the rolled parchment she'd stood underneath it. She knew what she was going to be doing first thing in the morning.

128 Downing Street was a respectable old building that housed several businesses, none of which Scully recognized. Approaching the receptionist at the front desk, she presented the paperwork Mulder had given her and been instructed to proceed to a large suite on the second floor. She sat in a chair at the main entrance, her knees bouncing nervously and her curiosity just about driving her crazy, until a young woman appeared and showed her into the inner sanctum. She was led to a small office with a desk and a pair of file cabinets, where she took a seat.

She only waited a few minutes before a kind-faced woman appeared and sat across from her, behind the desk. "May I see your papers, please?" she inquired. Scully was puzzled, but handed over the sheets that Mulder had given her the night before last. "Everything appears to be in order," the woman, whose name badge said Jane, said. She handed Scully an envelope which felt thick enough to contain several sheets of paper, and announced that she would give Scully some privacy while she read it. This just kept getting weirder and weirder. Leave it to Mulder!

The envelope gave way quickly under her sharp fingernails, and soon she was unfolding the enclosed pages. The first began in Mulder's writing.

Dear Scully,

I'm sorry for stringing you along for so long on this gift, but, to be completely honest, I was afraid to be here with you when you were presented with this gift; and while I believe it's something you'll cherish, I fear that my silence over it for this long will incur your anger, and rightfully so. Please know that my failure to reveal this information to you before now was due not to my desire to control your life, but my fear that, at first, you were too sick to believe you'd ever be able to use the knowledge, and then, after you were cured of your cancer, that too much time had passed and you'd hate me for not revealing it sooner.

But my life, and our relationship, as always been based on the truth, so here it is. Forgive me for not giving it to you in person.

The papers enclosed in this envelope are title to the contents of a freeze-vault maintained in this medical facility. Enclosed in this vault are two vials of frozen ova, taken from you during your abduction and liberated by me on an aborted raid of a facility where records of some of the research from abductions was kept. The doctors here say they are viable, healthy ova, and while I know it's not exactly the "old-fashioned way", when you feel ready, you will be able to have the children I know you want through their use.

Well, I guess I'd better end this, before I say something to make you even angrier. Just know that you are the most important thing in my life, and I hope you will forgive me for keeping all this from you. The staff will come back now and take you to see your vault; all the ownership papers are signed so you only have to confirm to them that they should maintain the same procedure as has been for the past two years. Merry Christmas.



Scully flipped through the remainder of the paperwork, swallowing hard to keep her composure in front of these strangers. And as Mulder said, Jane returned a few moments later to take her on a private tour of the facility.

Mary Bailey had just announced to her husband George that they were going to have a baby when a knock sounded on Mulder's door. It startled him, but he quickly settled his nerves and shut off the VCR. "Who is it?" he asked as he opened the door, not knowing what hit him as a red-headed ball of energy threw herself into his arms.

He held onto her, her feet not touching the floor, and waited for her to speak, but she never did. A moment later he realized that she was weeping. Lowering her to the floor, he held her in his arms, whispering reassurances and asking her what was wrong. She was obviously distraught over something.

To his surprise, though, she had a beaming smile beneath the tears when she pulled away to face him. "What do I say to a man who gives me the future as a Christmas present?" she said as her smile grew even wider and she jumped once again into his arms. She whispered in his ear. "Thank you just doesn't seem like enough, but it's all I can say."

"It's all you need to say," he responded, pulling her closer, unaware of the tears that coated his own cheeks.