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Visitor in the Desert: Chapter Eleven

Author: Gillian Leigh

Summary: Christmastime

Author's Notes: Ah, I bet you thought I forgot about that Christmas picture Rhiannon gave Mulder, didn't you? Well, I didn't, and here's an epilogue to prove it.

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            Scully woke as Mulder rolled over and the weight of his arm fell over her. She smiled as he instinctively tightened his grip around her waist, drawing her into the warm cocoon his body made. The light which streamed in through the window illuminated her beside table, and she could see the pictures which rested there. She smiled at the sight of a picture from their first Christmas above ground, which sat beside the one Rhiannon had given him. The two were nearly identical, except that in the one not given to them by Rhiannon, Mulder looked ready to pass out, and she was laughing hysterically after breaking the news to him that she was pregnant. She had a hard time believing that that was four years ago.

            Gently, so she did not wake Mulder, she slid out of bed, and felt the cool hardwood floor beneath her feet. She smiled at the sight of him, his bare shoulders sticking out from under the comforter. It amazed her that as much body heat as he generated, his feet were always ice cold. She kissed his shoulder blade before stepping out into the hallway.

            On her way to the staircase she passed the bedrooms of her five children, and paused to check on each. Leyla's room was nearest theirs. She walked in and leaned over the rail of the crib, and stroked her one year-old daughter's hair and covered her once again in her favorite star blanket.

            Her next stop was Rhiannon's room. The five year-old slept peacefully, her arms wrapped around her stuffed alien-- a first birthday gift from her Uncles Ringo, John and Melvin. The little girl's deep auburn hair had turned brown before she could walk, and she wore it in long curls. Smiling, Scully knelt beside her bed and gently kissed her forehead before leaving the room.

            She found herself next in the room that the twins shared. Wading through the pile of toys that they left in the middle of their room, she stood before their bunk beds and watched them as they slept. Jack and James, like Will, were carbon copies of their father, from their unruly hair right down to their big feet. The only things it seemed they got from her were their eyes and the light dusting of freckles they had on their noses and cheeks. She rose up on her tiptoes to cover Jack with the blanket he kicked off in his sleep, and then knelt down to cover James with his. Blowing them both kisses she left the room, closing the door quietly behind her.

            Lastly, she came to Will's room. She lingered for a long time, watching her firstborn sleep. He was her first miracle, and certainly not her last. She was blessed, and she knew it, with her healthy children, a wonderful marriage and a safe, albeit interesting job. It wasn't the X-Files, but it didn't have to be. Working as the head agent in the FBI's newly formed Paranormal Science Division provided the steady predictability of a nine-to-five job without the monotony. She had a hard time believing as she watched him roll over in his sleep that he was going to be seven years old in less than two months. Pushing his hair off of his forehead, she placed a gentle kiss on it before leaving the room.

            She stopped at the top of the steps, closing her eyes and waiting for the feeling of dizziness to pass. Once it had, she noiselessly descended the hardwood stairs, and found herself in the living room. The sight of the Christmas tree silhouetted against the bay window made her smile. She and Mulder had put the kids to bed at nine, and stayed up until just after midnight making all of the preparations for their chaotic Christmas morning. Moving to the kitchen, Scully pulled the pitcher from the refrigerator and filled her glass with water.

            Standing in the living room, she flashed back to the first Christmas they spent in the house. They were above ground by Thanksgiving, and moved into the house on the third of December. They paid a ridiculous amount of money for their Christmas tree, because they waited until Christmas Eve day to buy. The house was in rural Georgetown, and back then it had seemed almost too big for them, with its three bathrooms, five bedrooms and office space. Of course, there were four of them back then... currently there were seven. Their house had been full and nearly bursting. Her brothers and their families were there, and Samantha brought her husband and their children, her mother and A.D. Skinner came, and Monica Reyes and John Doggett were there as well, newly married. That night, it snowed heavily, and the whole lot of them was forced to spend the night until the roads were cleared. She shook her head and smiled remembering the sight of her nieces and nephews camped out on the living room floor, with Monica and John asleep in one of the recliners.

            Smiling again, she thought about how Rhiannon had most definitely been right about some things in the future. There had been those that they changed by be part of the Underground. This world was definitely happier than the one that Rhiannon had spoken of, and more importantly, it was free. Their world was free. Their visitor from the future had failed to mention that Maggie Scully and Walter Skinner would end up falling for one another and get married, just as she had failed to mention that Monica and John's eldest son would have the same birth date as the twins. But they were minor discrepancies. Ascending the staircase, Scully walked silently back to her bedroom and set the glass of water on her bedside table, careful not to disturb any of the pictures which remained there. As soon as her body sank into the bed, Mulder's arms reflexively reached for her, and he woke, looking up at her.

            "You okay?" he asked sleepily. She nodded.

            "I'm fine. I just needed a drink, and I checked on the kids. They're all sound asleep." He nodded and closed his eyes again.

            "Good. Then let's get some sleep," he replied, resting his head on her pillow near hers. She smiled and turned over so her back was facing him, moving more into his embrace. Scully sighed, thinking about how lucky she was to have what she had. For the billionth plus time in her life, she counted her blessings. Closing her eyes, she realized she should get some sleep before the kids all barged into their bedroom shouting about Santa Claus and Christmas presents. Christmas was crazy enough with five kids... she couldn't imagine what it would be like with six.

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Author's Notes: Oh, my God! It's over! I can't believe it! That was definitely my favorite fic of all I've ever posted, LOL. (By the way, that was my most creative proposal scene! Teehehe.) Wow, I'm all giggly. I guess it's because I'm done, and I'm excited and nervous cause I hope you liked it lots, and I need your feedback to know whether you did or not. So you can review if you'd like, or email, or hell, if you're really ambitious, you can do both! :o) So at any rate, thank you so much for sticking with me throughout this, and I'd like to extend my thanks to all of my reviewers, in chronological order!

Thanks to Katie, jinxd n cursed, divad, dana-maru1, CeilidhO, fae-de-luna, Reina, Sci Fi Fan Gillian, Sleep_Deprived_Alien, Gem6, ATX, MulderScullyDoggettReyesMaggieWalterfan, MoonGoddess25 [BTW, to answer a question you asked in your first review, I got the name Rhiannon from Celtic Mythology after studying it in English class], Jyllian, BrokenHeartsandShatteredDreams, Gothic Spook, MulderScullyFan, Samantha, Daydr3am3r, NightBloomingJasmine2, Lissa P. Squirt, Emma Barrows and aJ!!!

Whew, that's a long list! You guys rock!

And thanks also to those of you who review this last chapter, add your name to that list!

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