- By Unruhe and Lywendre
- Rating: NC-17 And we mean it!
- Disclaimer: We don't own them.
- Category: S
- Authors' Notes: We know, we know - the characters are acting somewhat
- 'out of character.' Give 'em a break, it's been a long hard summer.
- It's the holidays. Let them enjoy themselves for a change! What
- we're trying to say here is that there is, in fact, no redeeming value
- to be found here. Think of this as a smut dish lightly sprinkled with
- 'plot'. Very lightly.
- Please note: No cocker spaniels or spoons were harmed in the making
- of this fanfic. Thank you.
- A bunched fist on the end of a heavy, muscular forearm pounded on the
- thick wood again. As before, there was no response. However, it was
- obvious that there were people home from the dull roar of the
- television and the scratching on the other side of the door.
- Assistant Director Skinner let his mind wander as he waited for enough
- time to pass before knocking again. From the ineffectual, ignored
- whining, the animal registering his presence was probably a smaller
- breed. 'Why didn't they answer?' he thought again. Irrelevantly, he
- thought again about the dog. Probably had floppy ears and mournful,
- too-wet eyes, he thought. The balding Assistant Director stomped his
- booted feet impatiently on the concrete steps and watched his breath
- cloud in the cold. Finally, he knocked even more forcefully, rattling
- the door in its frame and sending the animal opposite into a paroxysm
- of loud whimpering.
- The door swung open abruptly, ending his ruminations. Agent Dana
- Scully leaned against the door, grinning. Her cheeks were flushed,
- matching the rosy color of her sweater and skirt, and her eyes were
- lit with amusement. Until they saw him, that was.
- The smell of turkey and assorted baked foods rolled from the doorway
- to assault his nostrils. Skinner wondered dimly when the last time
- he'd celebrated Thanksgiving was. Not since Sharon... he registered
- the bewildered expression on Scully's face and got down to business.
- "Agent Scully."
- "Sir," Scully's voice registered her surprise. "What's
- something happened to Mulder?" Registering the cold air, she caught
- herself. "Please, come in." Skinner complied.
- As he stepped in, he saw a small, boneless lump of fur flop down in
- the middle of the living room. The cocker's wet eyes gleamed wimpily
- up at him from a safe distance away. Skinner stared his contempt at
- the dog, and fuzzy paws went to cover its muzzle. That's right,
- Skinner thought, you'd better hide. Then, at Scully puzzled look, he
- realized he was playing mind games with a dog. The holidays were
- already getting to him, he thought disgustedly, and it was only
- "Sir, if there's something I should know-" Scully's voice
- slightly alarmed.
- Skinner cleared his throat. "Well, actually, I was hoping you
- have some idea of Mulder's whereabouts, Agent Scully."
- Slowly, she closed the door and said, "The last thing he told
- that he would be spending Thanksgiving with his mother in Chilmark."
- Her forehead furrowed.
- "Dana, honey, who was that at the door?" Dana's mother, Margaret,
- asked as she turned the corner from the kitchen. Still wiping her
- hands on her apron, she stopped abruptly when she saw the tall form
- the Assistant Director of the FBI looming in her front hall. Since
- her daughter was obviously safe, standing right there in front of her,
- Margaret asked the only logical question, "What is it? What's
- happened to Fox?"
- Since no one, even his partner, ever referred to the FBI's most
- troublesome Special Agent by his first name, it took Walter Skinner
- moment to realize whom Mrs. Scully was asking about so worriedly.
- Wishing once again that he'd never come, he raised his hands to try
- calm the two women before him. "No. Nothing's happened to Agent
- Mulder. I needed to speak with him and when I couldn't contact either
- of you by phone, Agent Scully, I thought he might be spending the
- holiday here with you."
- "Sir, like I said, he told me he would be heading up to Chilmark
- Margaret interrupted what looked to be a long discussion with, "Mr.
- Skinner, won't you come in? There's no reason to stand in the hallway
- to talk."
- Skinner tried to refuse with a polite, "No, thank you, Mrs. Scully.
- shouldn't have bothered you with this. I'll just be on my-"
- "Nonsense, Mr. Skinner. Here, let me take your coat." Before
- what hit him, Skinner found himself divested of coat, gloves, scarf,
- and boots and was headed for a cup of coffee in the den to continue
- the discussion with the redheaded agent.
- Dana settled down in the plush chair opposite her boss and curled her
- feet underneath her. Walter Skinner tried not to stare, but he'd
- never imagined the always so proper Agent Scully curling up in a chair
- like a cat. Feeling like an idiot, he sipped the freshly brewed
- coffee and tried to focus his thoughts.
- The doorbell rang. The dog again skittered across the wooden floor
- the hallway to investigate.
- "Now who could this be?" Dana asked. "Excuse me, Sir,"
She exited to
- answer the door. Unlocking it, she pulled open the heavy door to
- reveal another tall figure stamping his feet on the front porch.
- "Hey, Scully, it's me," said her partner, FBI Special Agent
- Mulder, with a small grin as he handed her a bottle of wine.
- The compact woman opened her mouth, balancing the large, foil-wrapped
- bottle in one hand. After a long, awkward silence, she closed her jaw
- with an almost audible snap and walked into the kitchen to deposit
- The next sound in the hallway was of a wet throat clearing. "Well,
- Agent Mulder, what a coincidence." The tone in the AD's voice
- suggested that he was not a big fan of the phenomenon.
- Mulder looked up from tugging at his wet gloves at Skinner.
- "What are you doing here, sir?" Gloves in one hand, Mulder
- of his coat and casually hung it on the oak coat tree. As he hung it
- up, Skinner watched him, thinking.
- "I was looking for you, actually. I wanted some confirmation on
- expense report so I could clear my desk before the weekend." The
- ex-marine crossed his arms, making his tailored shirt stretch tightly
- over his chest. He glared at Mulder. An alligator ate his cell
- phone, indeed.
- Mulder only nodded, much to Skinner's secret relief. The agent had
- been known to work straight through the holidays on occasion himself,
- and Skinner appreciated his lack of judgment. He fully intended to
- take the agent to task for the report, but he momentarily decided to
- bend to his surroundings. What the hell, the AD thought, it was
- Thanksgiving. Mulder could give thanks for keeping his hide. For a
- little while longer, anyway.
- "Agent Scully was telling me you were going to your mother's for
- Mulder frowned. "No, I remember telling her that I was going to
- my mother..." He frowned. "At least I don't think-"
- abruptly as Scully entered the hallway, trailed by Margaret.
- Scully's mother beamed. "Mr. Skinner, I could have sworn I left
- the den. What am I going to do if I keep misplacing people like this?"
- At Skinner's bewildered expression, Scully coughed lightly to let the
- serious AD know it was a joke. Finally, Skinner smiled, his forehead
- still furrowed.
- Margaret tried again. "Fox, Mr. Skinner, everything will be ready
- just a few minutes. Why don't you both join us in the dining room in
- the meantime? We've set two extra places, you're both more than
- welcome." Seeing Skinner open his mouth to decline, she said tartly,
- "I will not listen to anything negative over the holidays. This
- that you are forced to stay and celebrate Thanksgiving, Mr. Skinner."
- At her tone, the AD allowed himself to relax slightly. "In that
- call me Walter." Mulder shot an incredulous glance at Scully,
- see her eyeing her boss with a look that could only be called
- Skinner saw Mulder's smirk and eyed him pointedly. "I guess that
- you're staying too, Fox." The older man placed unnecessary emphasis
- the agent's first name.
- Mulder took the hint and said with unexpected mildness, his cheeks
- coloring, "I guess I am, Sir." He knew better than to use
- If he did, Mulder had a feeling he would be hearing his first name
- night. From Mrs. Scully, it was barely tolerable. From his
- boss...Mulder's thoughts trailed off as Scully gestured for the AD
- her partner to precede her into the dining room.
- On the way in, Scully allowed her eyes to trail down the starched
- white cotton shirt Skinner was wearing and back up again, admiring
- Skinner's musculature. It was rare that she'd seen him from this
- angle, and she decided that she liked the view. He had really nice,
- thick shoulders, she thought. Then, catching her thoughts, she
- decided she'd had too much wine. As Mulder and Skinner sat at the
- places her mother had set, she went to open another bottle.
- Just then, either two low-flying jets or two speeding children zoomed
- into the dining room ahead of their slower moving parents. Whichever
- they were, the two objects dropped from light speed to a full stop,
- careening off the doorway and china hutch when they caught sight of
- the two strangers in the room.
- Dana moved towards the two towheaded boys. "Ryan, Jason, come
- I'd like you to meet a couple of friends of mine." Shyly, they
- over to their Aunt Dana and peered up at the two tall men. "Say
- to my partner, Fox Mulder, and our boss, Mr. Skinner." Putting
- hand on a shoulder in turn, she said, "Sir, Mulder, these are
- nephews Ryan and Jason."
- The taller boy, Ryan, approached the intimidating figure of Walter
- Skinner. With wide eyes, he bravely stuck out his hand and said, "How
- do you do, sir? Are you really Aunt Dana's boss? At the FBI?"
- Skinner suppressed a smile as he gravely shook the small hand and
- said, "Hello, Ryan. Yes, I'm their boss." A little voice
in the back
- of his head giggled hysterically. 'You're more like Pecos Bill riding
- a tornado!' it laughed. The Assistant Director ignored the little
- voice, just like always.
- "Cool." Ryan turned to the other man. "Is your name
- he asked as he again extended his hand.
- Solemnly, Mulder shook the offered hand and replied, "Yes, it
- Then he leaned closer and said, "but *you* can call me Mulder
- your Aunt Dana does."
- "Awright!" He bounced away.
- Jason silently followed in his big brother's footsteps and shook hands
- with both Skinner and Mulder before retreating to the other side of
- the table where Ryan was standing.
- Dana continued the introductions. "And this is my brother, Charlie,
- and his wife, Colleen." Charlie's red hair gave away his relationship
- to the petite FBI agent, while Colleen's pale blond hair stood out
- this crowd. Smiling, they moved forward and greeted the two.
- "It's good to meet you. We've heard so much about you both, it's
- to see you really do exist," Charlie joked.
- Skinner's eyebrows shot up and Mulder grinned as they both looked at
- Dana. Blushing furiously, she gestured towards the table. "Let's
- sit down, shall we? I'll just go help Mom...."
- Colleen followed her sister-in-law into the kitchen, saying, "Here,
- let me help, too," leaving the men to their own devices. When
- caught up to Dana in the kitchen, she whispered, "Lucky you. He's
- Still blushing, Dana whispered back, "Mulder? I know."
- "Not him, he's okay. I meant your boss. I wouldn't mind having
- report to him!" she grinned.
- "And what are you two whispering about over here?" Margaret
- saved Dana from having to respond by handing Colleen and Dana two full
- serving dishes each before turning them around and pushing them back
- towards the dining room.
- In the dining room, Charlie separated his two sons. "Jason, you'll
- sit here, next to me. And Ryan, you take that seat. You can sit next
- to Aunt Dana."
- "Aw, Dad. Can't I sit next to Mulder?" he asked.
- Mulder volunteered, "Why don't I just switch places with Aunt
- She'll sit over here, and I'll sit next to you, OK?" Both Ryan
- Mulder looked to Charlie for a reaction. When he nodded his approval,
- both broke into big grins and Mulder moved to sit next to Ryan. Just
- then, the three Scully women entered carrying the serving dishes.
- After finding room for the dishes on the table, Margaret moved to her
- place at the head of the table and Colleen moved next to Skinner,
- across from her husband. Dana took the only place remaining, between
- her mother and Walter Skinner, across from her partner, Fox Mulder.