When Katie woke the next morning she heard the soft click of another door. Her eyes widened and she froze for a minute then looked at Kyla sleeping soundly next to her.
Unsure what to do she climbed carefully over her friend and ran to the door. She didn't know what to expect but smiled widely when she saw her daddy obviously trying to tiptoe quickly past her door.
"Daddy!" She grinned and then shuffled quickly out into the hallway, tripping slightly on her lose socks.
"Baby Girl!" Mulder smiled and tried to hide his panic when Katie leapt into his arms.
"Why are we up, Daddy?" Katie asked and bounced in his arms.
"Well…" he looked over towards the living area and spun Katie around when he saw Scully, Tara, Dre and Laura run into Margaret's room before quickly and quietly pulling the door closed. "Well, I heard a noise and thought I'd come and check to see if Santa had been…" Mulder improvised quickly.
"Ooooh! Has he, daddy? Do you think he's still here?" Katie said with excitement and wonder.
Mulder bit his lip, "You know what? How about we go and clean up and brush our teeth? Then we could go and look together?"
Katie looked unimpressed; "You want us to clean our teeth for Santa? Are we sure?"
"Well, I know if we find presents you'll want to open them…so…erm…then we'd need to wake everyone…and if everyone is getting up there'll be a queue for the bathroom…and…well…we could beat that queue…and go wash up now…" Mulder's pained expression gave away the fact that he knew he was sinking fast on this one, but Katie saved him.
"Daddy, if you would like to clean your teeth I will come and keep you company…" Katie smiled and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck," …carry me!"
As soon as Mulder and Katie were enclosed in the bathroom Scully, Tara, Dre, Laura and Margaret all slipped out into the living room, Margaret still in her dressing gown.
"Fox had me worried for a minute then," Margaret whispered and grinned broadly.
Scully smiled widely, "Me too…he's such a baby elephant. I'm not surprised she woke though, even after the excitement of the night before she still went to bed very early last night."
A door in the corridor opened and Matt and Sam poked their heads out and looked down at the family.
"Are we getting up?" Sam asked quietly.
Matt looked over at the girl's room, "Where's Katie?"
Dre walked closer and pointed at the bathroom door, "She woke up," he mouthed silently, "...in there with Uncle Mulder."
The boys nodded and pointed back into there room to ask if he wanted them to hide.
Shaking his head he pointed a the exit, then stepped a little closer, "Uncle Walter, Matt's dad and Sam's mom…" he whispered, "can you go wake them and tell them it's time for roll call under the tree? Tell them to hurry, Katie is up."
Matt and Sam nodded and quietly rushed out of the door as Dre opened Kyla and Katie's room. "Kyla, baby…" he whispered into the darkness.
"Daddy?" Kyla stirred sleepily and then seconds later, "Where's Katie?"
"She heard her daddy and came out, Uncle Mulder has made an excuse and taken her into the bathroom but we need to get up now," Dre explained softly.
"Mmmm…'kay, Dad…be out in…a minute…" Kyla replied sleepily.
Walter and Bill arrived through the door in their PJs and dressing gowns, quickly followed by Sydney, similarly attired and still brushing her hair.
"She still with Mulder?" Sydney asked quietly as she approached Scully.
"I heard the shower come on, so I think he must have convinced her that Santa brings more gifts to clean little girls and boys!" Scully chuckled quietly and Sydney laughed.
"It's a good job it was Mulder she found, that little girl would believe the sky was made of candy floss if her daddy told her so," Sydney smiled.
"Her daddy means the world to her," Scully beamed with pride.
"She adores you too, sweetheart...you're her hero," Sydney added.
Scully laughed softly and squeezed her friend's hand, "Oh, I know…and her daddy means the world to me too, like mother like daughter."
Kyla shuffled through sleepily and claimed a bottle of water from the mini-fridge. "Time is it anyway?" She asked with one eye still closed.
"Half five," Skinner replied softly as Kyla flopped down next to him on the sofa.
"HALF FIVE? Half five in the morning?!" She exclaimed quietly and then dramatically dropped her head against Walter's arm. "Who gets up at half five in the morning?"
"I do…quite often actually…" Skinner whispered and laughed at his young friend.
Kyla smiled up at him, her head still resting on his arm, "Well, I always thought you were a bit weird Uncle Walter…"
"Hey!" Skinner laughed and tickled her side.
"Shhhh!" Scully hushed them loudly and pointed at the bathroom.
Both Skinner and Kyla looked guilty, then they both pointed at the other and smiled.
Scully shook her head with amused despair.
Suddenly the bathroom door opened and Katie's voice floated through, "Daddy, please…I don't need a braid…I just want to go see Santa!"
Scully, Laura, Dre and Margaret lost their self-control at that point and burst out laughing.
The door swung open widely just as Matt leapt forward and flicked on the Christmas tree lights.
"Oooooooooooo Daddy!" Katie gasped when she found her whole family arranged around the tree surrounded by beautifully wrapped gifts.
Mulder followed her out and looked amazed at the sight before him, Scully had worked another miracle. He smiled at Scully and mouthed, "Sorry."
Scully shook her head and walked around to curled into his side and whisper quietly, "Don't be silly, you did really well to distract her for as long as you did…"
They watched Katie climb and jump between everyone and then finally land on Dre's lap. She looked up at her mommy and daddy and grinned broadly, "Santa came! Can we open presents now?"
Mulder sat down in the last small gap on the sofa next to Laura, and then Scully sat comfortably on his lap.
"Tell you what, how would you like to go through all the presents and deliver them as well? Just like one of Santa's little helpers," Mulder suggested with a smile as he wrapped an arm lightly around Scully's waist.
Katie nodded excitedly, "YES, Daddy!" She squealed and then rushed to start digging through the gifts and looking at tags.
Scully laughed and rested her cheek against Mulder's temple as she watched her daughter go to work.
Mulder pulled Scully closer and wrapped his arms around her waist. Scully smiled and lifted up her feet, resting them lightly on the side of Laura's thigh and smiling warmly at her friend when she looked back at her.
"Are you doing okay this morning?" Laura asked with genuine warmth and concern as she thought back to everything her friends had been through while she and Walter had lain unknowingly in bed.
Scully smiled and nodded, "Everyone's okay, that's the most important thing."
Laura nodded and patted Scully's ankle gently, "Very true..." she looked up at Mulder, "…and you?"
Mulder smiled, "I'm fine, Laura, thank you" he patted his hand on Scully's waist, unintentionally telling his friend exactly why he was always more than fine.
Laura nodded happily and then jumped when a beautifully wrapped parcel landed in her lap, "For YOOOUUUUU, Auntie Laura!"
"Careful, baby," Scully reprimanded softly, "remember grown-up gifts could be delicate and you don't want to break anything."
Katie slowed and looked back at Laura apologetically, "Sorry, Auntie Laura, I promise if I broke anything you can have one of my favourite presents instead."
Laura laughed softly, "I'm sure it's fine, sweetheart, it feels all soft and squishy!"
"Oooo good!" Katie smiled and then carefully walked back towards the tree.
After several minutes they all looked down to find themselves surrounded by tiny parcels.
Scully smiled at everyone, "So shall we open one at a time or just dive in?"
"Dive in?!" Dre and Tara suggested simultaneously.
Everyone laughed and within seconds the room was filled with the sound of paper ripping...people chatted, laughed and thanked each other in a din of happy revelry.
After a few seconds of pulling awkwardly at a parcel from around Scully, Mulder chuckled and gave up.
"Do you want me to get up for a while?" Scully suggested with a grin.
Mulder shook his head and leaned to kiss her jaw softly, "Absolutely not, I already know what my favourite gifts are, they're the same every year…" he squeezed her hip again for emphasis and Laura looked back at them and smiled.
"Want to open it for me?" Mulder suggested.
"You don't want to open it yourself?" Scully smiled.
Mulder leaned close and whisper quietly into her ear, "I'll open my favourite gift later tonight, right now I'm happy to just hold you close."
Scully blushed slightly and glanced around to find only Dre smiling at them both knowingly. Then she put her gift to one side and pulled the familiar paper away from Mulder's present.
Scully tilted the box towards him and Mulder chuckled when he saw a tiny little telescope, "What's this?" He asked with a smile and picked it up.
"Well, your real gift is at home…this is just…representative…" Scully explained with a little embarrassment.
"Scully? You got me a telescope?!" Mulder gasped excitedly, "A real one?"
"You got Mulder a big boy toy?!" Dre asked with a smile.
Scully grinned at Mulder, "We can watch the stars together…"
Dre rolled his eyes and smiled, then went back to work on his gift.
"As long as it doesn't distract you from your other duties," Scully teased.
Laura laughed, "Like that would ever happen!"
"You got a toy, Daddy? Can I play with it?" Katie called over from near the tree as she tugged at a large box with Kyla.
"It's an expensive toy for grown-ups, baby, but when we get home you and me can try it out together…okay?" Mulder negotiated.
Katie grinned, "Okay, Daddy!"
Scully smiled at Katie and then watched her wrestling with the box. "Are you okay girls?"
Matt looked over at the girls struggling and then smiled up at his auntie, "You stay with Uncle Mulder, I'll help them."
Scully smiled gratefully and then reached for her gift from Mulder and started carefully unwrapping. The small box opened at the front and Scully flipped it to find an emerald necklace sparkling up at her. It was simple and stunning... She gasped, "Mulder!"
Everyone looked up at them and the room went quiet.
"Mulder, it's beautiful! How on earth did you...?" She reached out and touched the emerald gently.
"Let's just say I kept a discretionary fund back, just for you, when we joined our accounts," Mulder smiled secretively. "I want us to share everything, but occasionally I just want to spoil you rotten."
Scully laughed, "This is too much…"
"Nothing is too much for you…" Mulder argued and reached around to carefully pick up the pendant. He leaned back, brought the chain behind Scully's neck and unclasped in before gently brushing her hair to one side and securing it carefully.
There were a few gasps around the room and Scully blushed and lifted her fingers to touch the jewel. "I don't know what to say…" She whispered softly.
"You don't have to say anything, Scully," Mulder teased and kissed her shoulder gently.
"I love you, so much," Scully said tearfully and turned to wrap her arms around his neck.
"Best gift ever…" Mulder laughed and returned her embrace.
Later that night they sat sleepily on the sofas again.
Katie and Kyla lay sleeping on pillows next to the tree; Matt and Sam were in their room; Skinner, Bill and Mulder were dozing off; and Scully, Margaret and Laura were chatting in one corner, Sydney, Dre and Tara in the other.
Scully suddenly yawned loudly and then apologised, "Oh, I'm sorry…I guess the day is catching up with me…so much food!"
Margaret smiled, "Why don't you go and have an early night, Dana? I'll put Katie to bed, she'll probably hardly wake anyway. You can leave Fox to sleep and when he wakes we'll tell him you went to bed."
Scully looked back at Mulder dozing happily on the sofa behind her and smiled, "I think I'll take you up on your first offer…but I reckon I'll take this one with me…"
Laura smiled, "Six years and you still can't leave this man alone for more than 10 mins."
Scully laughed, "He'll only get a sore neck," she looked back at him and smiled, "besides he slept on the sofa enough before we were a family."
Margaret smiled, "You wake Fox and go have an early night, sweetheart. We'll meet you downstairs for the late Boxing Day brunch at a little before 11."
She smiled and turned to face Mulder, reaching up she gently brushed the side of his face, "Mulder, Mulder…baby…wake up…"
"Scully…?" He stirred sleepily.
Laura glanced at Sydney and smiled as they watched their friends.
"Mulder, I'm tired…do you want to come back to the room with me or stay and sleep a while?" She asked softly.
Mulder's eyes blinked quickly and he started to sit up, "Oh…no…of course…I'll come with you…wow…did I fall asleep…?"
Dre smirked at Sydney, "So whipped."
Sydney laughed, "So are you."
"I know it," Dre grinned and kissed Sydney gently.
They smiled back at their friends as Mulder took Scully's hand and she pulled him to his feet.
"Night guys," Mulder looked around at them sleepily, "sorry for being anti-social."
Laura laughed and nodded at Skinner and Bill, "You weren't alone."
Mulder smiled at his friend and brother-in-law, then held out his hand for Scully to hold. "We'll see you all first thing?" He quietly asked the conscious members of his family.
Margaret nodded, "Brunch."
Mulder looked down at Katie, "Do you want me to carry them through?"
Laura shook her head, "Let them sleep...if they don't wake Walter and I will stay with Margaret and carry them through before we leave."
Scully nodded gratefully and then followed Mulder to the tree, they both crouched down.
Mulder kissed his fingertips and then gently brushed the hair off Katie's face before touching her forehead softly, "Sweet dreams, baby…Happy Christmas."
Scully leaned down and kissed her cheek, "Goodnight sweetheart, sleep well, I love you…"
Then they both smiled at Kyla, whispered goodnight, and got up. Hand in hand they walked to the door and quietly smiled and waved goodnight.
Once in their room Mulder turned and took both of her hands. "Still sleepy?" He asked with slightly droopy eyes.
"Well, the walk did me good…" Scully grinned and followed him as he walked backwards.
They opened the balcony and stepped outside.
Scully looked out to sea as Mulder wrapped his arms around her from behind and then started to kiss along the side of her neck.
"You're so beautiful, Scully, you still take my breath away," He murmured softly.
She watched the water ripple in the light from the moon and enjoyed Mulder's soft lips on her throat. Then lifted her hand back to her emerald and smiled. "I love my necklace, Mulder, it's perfect."
"You're perfect," Mulder smiled against the skin behind her ear.
"Sooooooo…early night?" Scully turned in his arms and smiled up at him, her eyes sparkling more brightly than the gem.
"Oh, Agent Scully, you come up with all the best ideas!" Mulder grinned broadly.
"You haven't called me that for years," Scully grinned as she backed him towards the door.
"Do you still have any of those suits at home? We could play dress up when we get home…wait till Katie is out and…play FBI Agents on one of the desks in the new office…" Mulder leered down at her as they approached the bed.
"Mmmmm…that sounds fun…" Scully grinned and then her fingers nimbly removed Mulder's shirt and quickly disposed of his pants and boxers before she watched Mulder flop back onto the bed and tug a gift-wrapped box out from under his pillow.
"What's this?" Scully asked with a broad smile.
"Just one more little present…" Mulder propped himself up on the bed with his hands behind him.
Scully kicked off her sandals, pulled off her top and started to quickly remove her shorts and panties. "You shouldn't have, you've given me more than enough…" She smiled and began to carefully remove her new necklace.
Mulder shook his head, "Leave it on, I want to think of you like this every time you wear it…"
Scully smiled and moved to straddle his lap, "You're so gorgeous…" she leaned to kiss him softly.
"Open your gift…" Mulder smiled against her mouth.
Scully chuckled and sat back on his knee, "You really shouldn't have," she rebuked warmly.
"It's 50% for me anyway…" Mulder teased and then smiled when she lifted out a shimmering emerald green silk slip.
It was lighter than air and so soft that Scully could hardly even feel it in her fingers. She smiled down at him, her long wavy red hair glowing as brightly as the silk.
"Put it on?" Mulder asked, his eyes skimming her flesh hungrily.
Scully raised an eyebrow, "You want me to put clothes on?"
"Please," Mulder smiled and the watched as Scully knocked the box to the floor and then lifted the slip over her head. The material flowed down and gripped her curves just as Mulder had imagined. The emerald in the necklace glowed next to the silk. "Perfect…" He whispered and surprised himself when his voice caught a little with emotion.
Scully rose up on her knees a little and slowly guided him into her core, she hummed as she felt him stretch her as she welcomed him home.
Mulder ran his hand up Scully's back and into her hair, pulling her down for a long slow kiss, "We still have over a week of vacation sex…" he smiled up at her like a kid on Christmas morning.
Scully licked his lower lip gently, groaned and flexed her muscles around him, "Baby, the way you…mmmmm…keep on you'd think…oh yeah…you never get any…at home…"
Mulder chuckled and watched her taut nipples sliding smoothly under the green silk, "I could never get enough…of you…" he murmured softly against her lips and then began to thrust up into her more firmly.
Smiling at him lovingly Scully pulled up and spread her legs, enjoying the short sharp thrusts into her body, "That's good," she groaned.
"You're good…" Mulder grinned and kissed down her neck tracing the path of her cross and necklace. "Gonna come…" he warned as he sped up a little.
"Yeah..." Scully smiled and dropped her head back as her climax quickly followed his.
Minutes later Scully lay peacefully on top of Mulder, his cock still buried deep inside her. She smiled softly and ran her fingers lightly over his ribs, "I love you," she whispered, not wanting to break their peace.
Mulder smiled sleepily and nodded, "You too, baby…"
"I have one more gift for you," Scully said with a smile and then bit her bottom lip, "I was going to wait until we got home, but I can't, I can't wait…I need to tell you."
She sat up and looked down at him, suddenly feeling unexpectedly nervous…and she didn't even know why.
Mulder groaned and felt his cock react to her movement, then he looked up and saw the serious look on her face and tensed, "Scully? What is it…?"
"Better than last time, last time was good…amazing…but you know…complicated…it got better of course…" Scully rambled and Mulder looked at her with complete confusion.
She smiled at him adoringly and rested her hands on his chest before trying again. "I'm having a hard time explaining it…or believing it…" Tears welled up in Scully's eyes and she shook her head in exasperation as she tried to control her emotions and get the words out. She laughed a little breathlessly and then looked into her partners loving yet concerned eyes.