Have Yourself a Merry Little Try at Christmas

TITLE: ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Try At Christmas’


E-MAIL: sketchney@ntlworld.com

ARCHIVE: Exclusive rights and ownership to IMTP for the first two

weeks, but after that – as long as you let me know and keep my name

attached – it’s yours to archive!


SPOILERS: Nothing too specific, except a reference to VS10’s ‘Last

Kiss’. Also, might be worth having a basic knowledge of IMTP’s VS

seasons just for general character interaction.

SUMMARY: Will Bill Jnr. ruin yet ANOTHER Christmas for the two

agents, or can they make it work out in the end?

DISCLAIMER: As much as it pains me to say this, I don’t own any of

these characters – not a single one, dammit! The immortal CC, the

not so immortal Fox and 1013, and the irreplaceable DD and GA own

them (as well as a whole bunch of other people too numerous to

mention) I’m borrowing them without permission, but no copyright

infringement is intended so please don’t sue!

FEEDBACK: Oh, PLEASE!!! You know you want to! Go on, feel the

addresses sketchney@ntlworld.com or SketchShipper@hotmail.com

calling you!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Written for IMTP’s Virtual Season 11 Winter Special

Challenge with lots of hugs and special thanks to the team there for

all the work they do and keeping the dream alive 🙂

DEDICATION: A big dedication to all my special friends in

Pitneyville. They’ll probably never see this, but they’re the best

people I have the pleasure to know, and if it hadn’t been for them I

mightn’t have even been here to write this, so ‘Thanks’ guys and gals!




DECEMBER 23rd, 2003

8:56 AM

Over the years Dana Scully had come to expect that anything could

encounter her as she passed through the door into the x-files office

– Mulder interviewing somebody, Mulder in a bad mood, Mulder in a

good mood, Mulder ready for her arrival with a cup of steaming coffee

that she would eagerly consume as they sorted their workload for the

day. Once or twice she had entered to find Skinner in here, but it

was always Mulder that kept her wondering what would behold her each


What she saw today as she stood in the open doorway wasn’t anything

she had ever thought about seeing: her partner, tightly wrapped in

his black overcoat (scarf just as tightly wrapped around his neck),

standing on his desk pulling from the ceiling tile the pencils he had

thrown up there.

“Mulder, what the hell are you doing up there?” she exclaimed,

arching her brow and planting both hands firmly on her hips.

The sudden sound of her voice – no matter how pleasant he found it –

surprised him and knocked Mulder off-kilter as his head sharply

turned to look down at her. A foot slipped on something on the desk,

and his arms frantically propelled to try and regain balance. The

instinctive action was all in vain, though, and before Dana could

move to break his fall the deep sound of his impact with the floor

came from the opposite side of the desk.


There was a guttural groan from him before he shakily got to his feet

– using the wooden surface for support whilst the other rubbed the

back of his head.

“Mulder, are you okay?” she queried with genuine concern as she

stepped up beside him.

“What the hell you doing sneaking up on a guy like that?” Mulder

replied – still tentatively rubbing his injury. He let out a sigh

and was ready to wait for her answer, when his eyes suddenly fixed on

her. “Scully, there’s over two feet of snow out there and the

heating in this place isn’t exactly anything to boast about…How can

you stand there in just your suit?”

She gave a shrug and shot a glance at the small desk in the corner of

the room. “I was kinda anticipating a nice coffee for my arrival…

Pencils more important, I take it?”

His own brow sharply raised as he stared at her defensively. “I’ve

only just got here myself, and didn’t even get a chance to stop at my

place so I’m wearing the same suit as yesterday!”

“You left my apartment two hours earlier than me, Mulder,” she

frowned, pinning him with her glare. “How can you have only just got

here?… Unless there’s something you’re not telling m–”

“Hey! As I’ve already pointed out, there’s over two feet out there

on the ground, and whilst you may not have had too much trouble,

everybody seemed to catch the same early worm as me and left me

stranded in grid-lock traffic!” A pause, a shrug, and then, “Besides,

I bought you a latte from that little place down the block, but…”

He paused and awkwardly looked down at the frothy, hot liquid that

covered the floor, the bottom of his coat and the right leg of his

pants, “…some manic woman came bursting in and made me slip while

I was trying to re-stock on ammo!”

Feeling guilty for his fall and her wrong accusation, Scully

outstretched a hand to cup the back of his head (the tips of her

fingers gently running through his hair and over the growing bump

there). The office door was still wide open. and as they stared into

the depths of the other’s soul, both knew that they were taking a

risk, but at the same time they knew it was one worth taking.

“You can still drink it up,” he leered – eyes twinkling as he

slightly leaned in to her. “It’s not soaked in too much…”

He waited for her to pull away or to playfully nudge him or – more

than anything else – to lecture him on how they were at work and

needed to be careful in case they were overheard, but instead he

actually saw the corners of her mouth lift into a mischievous grin.

“Get through today and I’ll help warm you up later,” she whispered.

He leaned in even further, ready to press his cold lips against her

warm ones. With the door still open, though, that was when they knew

he’d crossed the invisible line they had had to draw in their

professional lives, and she stepped away – her hand lingering a

moment longer on his scalp before dropping down by her side.

“So, what have you bought my mother for Christmas?” Scully queried,

clearing her suddenly dry throat. “More to the point, what have you

bought me?” She smiled at him reassuringly to let him know it was

okay as she noticed the expression of guilt on his face – heck, she

had come close to reaching up and kissing him herself!

A sigh of relief escaped past his lips, but he didn’t reply.

Another set of plans for him to join the Scully family’s Christmas

gathering had been made, but as much as it made her happy to have him

there with her, and as well as he got on with her mother, the whole

idea made him cringe. Primarily because he knew Bill was going to

be there too.

“Mulder? Presents?”

“I got ’em…But you can wait til we’re there to see.”

Of course, she knew he was considering not going…Thinking up some

way that he could use to excuse himself from the gathering, but she

wasn’t ready to let him get that far.

“What is it this time?” she slightly snapped.


“I’ve been with you long enough, Fox Mulder, to know when you’re

concocting an excuse in that brilliant but often stupid brain of

yours! Why don’t you wanna come with me to Mom’s?”

“I do…but… Well, I mean, other than Bil–”

“How many times do I have to tell you I don’t care what Bill thinks –

I want you there and Mom wants you there and that’s all you need to

worry about?”

“I’m a little dubious about driving in this weather after the last


The trip back from her mother’s near the start of the year…The

station wagon across the icy road…Their overturned car…

Just thinking about it now made her shiver, but she had foreseen his

cause of panic and had made plans so that neither of them had to


Still he seemed to be thinking of excuses, though.

“And I just got word that they might have finally made some headway

reaching the bottom of the Money Pit, so it might be worth following

up those leads…D’ you know, Scully, still nobody knows who exactly

might have started digging that? Maybe if we solve it and they do

reach the bottom we’ll get a cut of the treasure!”

“Nice try, Mulder,” she smiled, shaking her head. “But I’m sure the

Money Pit can wait until after Christmas – it’s been hiding whatever

secret may be down there long enough…Another week or so isn’t going

to make much difference. Besides, you don’t need to worry about

travel – Skinner offered to drive us, and I think he’s filled his

vehicle with enough emergency equipment for a whole army.”


She hesitated slightly. “He offered and then Mom kind of invited him

to dinner so that he wouldn’t have to be alone…”

Yet another guttural groan from Mulder as he shakily lowered himself

into his chair. “Great, Big Bad Bill and our boss there to ruin my

fun… Can’t we just stop at my apartment and have some quiet time

together? Or, better yet, at your apartment?”

“Mulder, you spend so much time at my apartment your fish probably

think they don’t have an owner! Come on, it’ll be fun, and we’ll

make time for ourselves away from the others,” she coaxed, stepping

forward and reaching down for one of his hands.

“But the work, and…”

“You’re not getting out of this, Mulder, so you might as well give up

while I’m still being nice to you. The work can wait, and if the

Assistant Director can take some time off, I don’t see why we can’t!”

“You don’t wanna go to the Bureau party instead?”

“No, I don’t!”

That was the end of the argument, and the following day they were

packing things up to spend a long weekend at Margaret Scully’s house.



7:34 AM

To say the snow was barely passable would definitely have been an

understatement, and as Walter Skinner’s car carefully made its way

down the back roads with its three-person cargo, minds kept thinking

about what they knew was packed in the trunk and how much they hoped

they wouldn’t need to use any of it.

Scully sat in the passenger seat next to their boss, occasionally

glancing over her shoulder at Mulder – who sat in the back seat

clearly lost in his own thoughts. But nobody spoke for at least

three-quarters of the journey.

“Did you get any word about the Money Pit, Mulder?” Dana suddenly

piped up (unable to deal with the cold and awkward silence any


“Huh?” came her partner’s stunted reply as he snapped out of his

reverie. “Oh, no…No, that one fell flat. J-Just a load of hype to

keep people interested, I guess.” He shook his head and she thought

he was about to add more, but instead he flashed her a smile and then

turned to look out the fogged window.

She couldn’t figure out if it was the journey or the fact that they

were travelling with Skinner that was eating at him the most. For

that matter, she wasn’t even sure which of the two was eating at her…

“The Money Pit?” Skinner’s deep voice chortled. “I didn’t realise

your workload had been light enough for you to chase that one up?”

“Far from,” Dana mused. “Mulder was desperate for an excuse to worm

his way out of this excursion, and that was the only one he managed

to come up with.”

“No ghosts?”

“Sir, as surprised as I was at how desperate Mulder was to find an

excuse, there’s one thing I know he knows thanks to past lessons

painfully learnt: no ghost hunts at Christmas. I’ll leave it at

that.” Scully paused and cocked her head slightly to the side. “I

guess it could have been worse, though…it could have been something

involving the sighting of a real-life Santa.”

“Hey, I am here, you know!” Mulder exclaimed, perching himself on the

edge of his seat so that he could rest his arms over the back of the

ones in front of him. “Besides, we did get a couple sightings come

in, but I didn’t think you’d be interested!”

A loud burst of laughter exploded from the bald man driving the car,

and both agents turned their heads to stare at him with curious


“I’m sorry,” the A.D sniffed, sobering. “It was just, listening to

you two brought back some memories from my childhood…”

“Sir?” This from both Mulder and Scully.

Skinner shifted uncomfortably – wondering how he had gotten himself

into this – and then reached out a hand to turn up the car heater.

“When I was a kid – ’bout eight or so – there was this guy that lived

at the end of my block, and…Well, he was like the Candy Man – every

kid was his friend. And every year at Christmas he’d set up this

special grotto right inside his house with free entry…He even gave

out free presents…”

“You do realise these days he’d be suspected as a paedophile and

locked up, don’t you, sir?” Mulder interrupted, shooting a brief

glance at his partner.

“If you don’t want to hear this story, I’ll happily shut up now,”

Skinner snapped.

“No, sir, carry on,” Scully urged.

“Anyway, Cody Harris from next door started the rumour that this guy

was really Santa Claus, just hiding out undercover in suburbia so

that he didn’t get found out. We all argued with him about how full

of shit he was – after all, everyone knew Santa lives in the north

with Elves! But, of course, the rumour spread like wildfire

throughout the school. Our parents swore that he was just a man

who’d inherited a lot of money from somewhere and was kind enough to

share his wealth… After a while, though, they started to get a

little suspicious of his intentions and snooped around – stopped us

from going near him.” He cleared his throat and ran his tongue over

his bottom lip as he continued to replay the memory is his mind.

“Then, one day, he just disappeared and was never seen again. We all

blamed Cody and his damn rumour, but it did make us all start to

wonder as well.”

Dana gave a contemplative nod and Mulder settled against the back of

his seat once again as the dark silhouette of Maggie’s house came

into view through the swirling curtain of falling snow.

“All that should really matter is what you believed, sir,” Scully

sighed, a little distantly.

The car pulled up into the driveway, and Skinner let out a snort as

he reached to unfasten his seatbelt. “You know, the irony is that I

didn’t know what I believed and still don’t. I was one of the kids

that shouted Cody down – as far as I was concerned, the old guy was like

the uncle I’d never had…Yet, at the back of my mind when I saw him

at Christmas dressed up like Santa in that grotto, it was just too

realistic to not believe in.”

“I’ve been saying the same about aliens and the paranormal for years,

and still everyone thinks I’m a crank,” Mulder grumbled, pulling

their bags out of the vehicle.

Before Scully could reply with a dry retort, there was the sound of a

front door being opened and then her mother’s voice joyfully crying

out, “You made it!”

“Cold, but safe and sound thanks to our chauffeur. Hey Mrs. Scully,”

Mulder smiled as Maggie gave him a brief welcoming hug.

“Hey, Mom,” Scully also smiled, moving to embrace her mother. “Are

Bill and Tara here?”

“Hi, sweetie. Yes, they arrived late last night. Oh, I was so

worried that the Parkway had been closed off and you’d been stranded.”

“We took the back roads…They weren’t pleasant, but definitely the

better route if what we heard on the radio is anything to go by,”

Dana shrugged.

Maggie gave a nod and kissed her daughter’s cheek before turning to

face the assistant director. “Mister Skinner, thank you so much for

safely delivering possibly the nicest percentage of my family through

this storm, and joining us for this Christmas day!” she grinned,

outstretching a hand to shake his and then suddenly pulling him into

a hug.

Mulder and Scully stood still and shared a playful glance as they

noticed the sudden blush that had colored their bosses cheeks (though

at the same time knowing that if they ever mentioned it he’d

immediately blame it on the freezing weather).

Skinner’s feet awkwardly shifted in the snow as he glanced down at

the shorter woman and gently patted her back. “That’s okay, Mrs

Scully. Thank *you* for inviting me here…I don’t want to be any

trouble i–”

“oh, nonsense! There’s plenty of food and at least you can help if

another fight breaks out between Fox and Bill!”

“Make a cute couple, don’t you think, Scully?” Mulder breathed into

his partner’s ear.

She shivered at the feel of his warm breath against her skin and then

turned her head to stare at him. “Don’t even think about it,

Mulder. My father was one bald man enough for my mother, and I don’t

appreciate having the thought of our boss as my father-in-law

implanted into my brain,” she frowned sternly. Suddenly a smile

broke out on her face and he saw the thought of ‘But they do look

good’ lift her features.

“Now, hurry up out of this weather,” Maggie suddenly exclaimed,

brushing away the dusting of snow that had accumulated on her head

and shoulders as she stepped away from Skinner and regarded the three

of them, “before I have a family of snow-people in my front yard!”

“Knowing Mulder he’d still find a way for me to sign off on a 302 so

he could investigate that!” Skinner cracked.

Mulder remained silent as he picked up his and Scully’s bags and they

all entered the house.


After being blinded by the bright array of decorations and lights

that decked the rooms, ‘Hi’s and ‘Merry Christmas!’ greetings were

passed between Bill, Dana and Walter. The familiar hostile air

crashed down between Bill and Mulder, though, so after the FBI agent

had attempted a friendly ‘Hey’ only to be replied with a non-committal

grunt, he’d gently touched his partner’s arm and then moved out into

the kitchen where Tara was keeping an eye on the dinner.

Presents were handed out and eagerly unwrapped shortly after that.

“An alarm clock, Mulder?” Scully queried, first looking down at the

box in her hands and then up at her partner with a raised eyebrow.

“To replace the one I accidentally broke last week,” came his

innocent reply.

“Maybe if you didn’t keep her out on stupid cases at all hours she

wouldn’t need an alarm to get her up in the morning,” Bill snorted in


Mulder shifted uncomfortably on the couch and then looked down at the

sweaty hands that fidgeted in his lap. Why had he come here again?

Oh, yeah, Scully wanted him here. That was the only thing keeping

him here. Of course, if it made her happy he would stay…He just

hoped it all ended soon.

‘I don’t care what Bill thinks – I want you there and Mom wants you

there and that’s all you need to worry about.’

He kept repeating her words over and over in his head as his eyes

slipped shut, so much so that he hardly heard her as she started

“It’s wonderful, thank you, Mulder.” It wasn’t until he felt the

press of her lips on his cheek that he looked up.

Skinner watched Scully kiss Mulder and smiled – wondering how much

longer he could keep their secret until he cashed in on the Bureau



Dinner played host to just as many snide remarks aimed at Mulder’s

tortured soul by the unstoppable Bill Junior during the fun banter.

Tara tried to keep a reign on her husband, and Scully and Maggie kept

a concerned eye on Mulder (Skinner remaining silent when the fun talk

stopped so that he didn’t get stuck too far out in the middle of the

battleground) until the final blast came during the group’s sharing

of Christmas childhood memories. Mulder had been struggling to come

up with a good memory when Bill had snapped, “For God’s sake, stop

trying to make us feel pity for you! If you can’t join in, why don’t

you just shut up and let us carry on?”

“*BILL*!” Tara, Maggie and Dana had all exclaimed at the same time.

Even Skinner felt the need to slam his cutlery down onto the tabletop

to express his anger.

Mulder sat quietly for a few seconds – letting the words sink in and

contemplating his next move – before clearing his throat and raising

to his feet. “Mrs. Scully…Tara…Thank you so much both of you for

that beautiful dinner – I think that was the best turkey I’ve ever

had!” he awkwardly smiled, not making eye contact with anyone.

“Would you please excuse me? With the trip and sitting down here, my

legs are in dire need of a stretch. Plus, your a-million-times-more-

beautiful daughter gave me a head injury a couple days ago that still

aches a little, so I might go outside, if that’s okay…?”

“Well, of course, Fox…” Maggie hesitated, shooting her daughter a

worried glance, “…but that’s not really necessary – we have pain

killers in th–”

“No, really… Fresh air is the best thing,” he assured, stepping

back. “Even the cold might help clear out the cobwebs.”

Mulder was just about to turn away when Scully’s small hand suddenly

grabbed a hold on his arm. “You’re not going anywhere,” she almost

whispered. “You’re part of this family and have as much right to be

here as Bill. I want you here…” Dammit, she wasn’t going to let

her brother get to her – wasn’t going to let what he insisted doing

to her partner get to them – yet still she felt her voice hitch in

her throat.

He stared down at her and slightly bent to place his lips against her

ear. “I’m okay – just creating an easy diversion for that time away

from the others you promised me on Tuesday. Finish up and come out

front when you’re ready.” He kissed her and then slipped his arm

from her grasp as he left the room.

“Interesting manners you have there,” Skinner growled, staring coldly

at Bill. “I’ve heard about them, but always thought they were just

an exaggeration…until now.”

“How could you say that, Bill?” Tara blurted.

“Oh, I know,” Dana snapped, raising to her feet. “I know too well.

Every time you see him you have to see how far you can push him,

don’t you?” Her eyes fixed on those of her brother – the rage

building within. “Every Christmas you’re determined to ruin for us!

Is it because he was there to help me instead of you through my

difficult times? Was it be–…Wait a minute, I’m having a flashback

of asking these same questions time and *time* again before. You say

you care about me, Bill, but what you don’t understand is that

every time you take a swing and hurt Mulder you’re hurting me too!

Maybe you should try to consider *that* next time!” With a final

thump of her fist on the table, she turned away and left the suddenly

silent room.


“You didn’t have to defend me…I’m flattered – if not maybe a little

turned on – by the force with which you did it, but it wasn’t


He was standing out in the front yard with his back turned to her and

looking down at something on the ground when she stepped out onto the


Scully wrapped her coat tightly around her small frame and then

stepped out onto the snow that compltely hid the steps that led up to

the porch. One thing she’d learnt to notice over the years was when

Mulder was hiding his feelings…But he didn’t seem to be doing that

this time. She could actually here contentment in his voice. The

raw anger still inside her begun to slowly fade.

“You heard?” she quizzed with a curious quirk of her eyebrow.

“I think the whole block heard,” came Mulder’s chuckled reply, but

still he didn’t turn to face her. “I was waiting for them all to

begin chanting ‘Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!’…Maybe even to see Bill come

flying through the front window!”

“What you d–” Her voice cut off as she stepped up beside him and

looked down at what he had drawn into the snow with the large tree

branch he still clasped in his gloved hands.

It was essentially a love letter to her, and as she read it she felt

the tears begin to well in her eyes.

‘Memories from the past? I may not have good ones from

my childhood, but why would I need them when the best

times I’ve had have been with you in the here and now?

You’ve given me a reason to celebrate Christmas, to

celebrate life, and no matter what happens or what Bill

says, that is all I need to remember.’

“He…He shouldn’t have s-said what he did,” Dana choked, looking

up at him.

Slowly, he turned, dropped the branch and then tightly embraced her

in the warmth of his arms. He knew he took her for granted

sometimes, especially when he ditched her, but he also knew that he

would never be able to face the day when she wasn’t there for him to


“I was considering Skinner’s story earlier about the guy they thought

might be Santa, and I wondered if maybe Bill was the Grinch,” Mulder

smiled against her hair. “But I don’t care what he says anymore,

Scully…Maybe once, but as you said the other day, all I should care

about is the fact that you want me here, and it is – I wanna be

beside you every step of the way, and to know doing that makes you

happy is the most precious gift to me.” He paused and took a small

step away so that he could stare into her still-damp eyes. “You know

the clock wasn’t the only gift I got you, don’t you? In fact, I

didn’t have any intentions of letting you use it.” A mischievous

grin spread across his face as a hand reached into the pocket of his


“You’re here by my side, that’s the only gift I need,” she told him,

mirroring his own emotions. “I just wish others would accept how

special what we have i–” For the second time within the last four

minutes he managed to cut her voice off as he held out a small velvet

box. “Wh–”

“I didn’t wanna give it to you in front of Bill – that really would

have been the start of World War Three…The clock was just a decoy.

But, anyway, the store clerk said that if you don’t like ’em you can

get a replacement…”

Scully carefully opened the box and stared wide-eyed – mouth slightly

agape – at the beautiful diamond-studded, heart-shaped earrings that

lay inside. She wanted to say something – *anything* – but the

breath had been completely knocked out of her, and all she could do

instead was look up at him.

“Are they okay?” came his hesitant question.

“Mu…Mu…” She stopped trying to say his name and opted instead to

fling her arms around his neck and hold him, shortly before reaching

up onto tiptoe to press a kiss to his lips.

“I’ll take that as a yes!”

“They’re beautiful!” she gasped, pulling away to stare again at his

present. “God, thank you so much…for *everything*.”

“Thank *you* for being mine. I love you.”

Clasping the box in one hand, she reached out the other to grab a

hold on one of his. “I love you, too. Come on, let’s go back in

before the snow traps us out here or they think we’ve been abducted.”

Mulder nodded and gave her hand a squeeze.

“And, when everone’s gone to bed, I’ll give you your gift.”

There was nothing he could say to that without ruining the moment.

Then, as they moved toward the door he asked the question she was

surprised he hadn’t pitched to her a lot earlier: “So, did you

believe Skinner’s story? D’ you think that old guy could have been

Santa? …I mean, do you think Santa could be living undercover,

even maybe just a couple doors down?”

A brief pause before she nudged against him and simply sighed, “Who



The front door shut behind them, but as Mulder’s engraved words in

the snow filled up and the lingering sound of their voices

disappeared, the faint sound of ringing sleigh bells filtered the air,

and they were shortly followed by the deep chuckle of a large man…

…And was that a shadow passing the moon or a trick of the eye?…



AUTHOR’S NOTES (Part II): Thank you so much for reading this far.

Means a lot to my little soul 🙂 You could make it even happier by

sending me an e-mail to sketchney@ntlworld.com! The VS Winter

Special Challenge page set out suggestions for the stories: ‘A “cold”

case file, A Santa Claus sighting, Holiday party – either at the FBI

or at Maggie Scully’s, and Character musings on the holiday season

(from Mulder, Scully, Skinner, Krycek, CSM, etc.)’ but I got greedy

and decided to use them all in some way or another – LOL!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s