Thanksgiving, Scully Style
By Sis Spooky
Disclaimer: I do not own the Mulder or any member of the Scully family. Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and the folks at Fox Broadcasting own them all. They are, however, letting me borrow them for this little story since they know that I do not intend copyright infringement nor will I make any profit. Nope, not one red cent, and now, on with the story.
Author's Notes: It was suggested that I clearly mark the daydream sequences in this story, a suggestion which I greatly appreciate. It was an oversight on my part. While this is only fan fiction and I won't realize any profit, I still want to do my best work. Thanks to everyone who has taken time to read and review. It's the reviews that make me want to keep writing.Georgetown
"Mulder! Hi! Come on in. I was just putting the turkey in the oven. I didn't expect you until later." Scully quickly pulled off her oven mitt as she stepped aside to permit him entrance to her apartment.
He stepped inside and pushed the door to behind him. Readjusting the grocery bag in his arm, he moved toward the kitchen. "I could always leave and come back. I realized when I got home last night that we had forgotten a bag of groceries in my backseat and thought I'd bring them by."
Scully wore very simple attire compared to her usual business suits. Jeans, a loose sweater, and a pair of thick socks combined to make her look more like a teenager than a grown woman. Her hair was pulled back into a makeshift ponytail and the make-up was minimal if at all existent. Mulder smiled at the sight of this rare glimpse into his best friends private life. Her trademark three-inch heels had become such a habit for her that he had envisioned that even her house shoes would have a chunky heel to them. He had forgotten how small she actually was until the moment she moved over to the kitchen table and stood on tiptoe to peek into the bag he had put down.
"No, no, don't leave. Stay, I'm glad to have the company, actually. So, what did I forget?"
"Probably nothing important. Cranberries, canned pumpkin, pecans, canned, fat free, evaporated milk. By the way, are you sure this stuff is safe for human consumption?"
Scully grinned and swatted at him playfully with her oven mitt. "Very sure. Asparagus, green beans, onions, celery. Mulder, I think you saved Thanksgiving."
"Yep. If you hadn't brought this over, we wouldn't have had pumpkin pie, pecan pie or dressing, cranberry salad, steamed asparagus, or green bean casserole."
"Mmm, pumpkin pie. Wait, did you say pecan pie?"
"Yeah. Mom loves pecan pie; we have it at every family gathering. Oh no, I forgot the vanilla bean ice cream."
"I'll go. Have we got Cool Whip?"
"You should probably get another container. Are you sure you don't mind running to the store?"
Mulder grabbed a scrap piece of paper and jotted down the items he needed to pick up. "Not at all. Anything else?"
"Not that I can think of."
"Okay, I'll be back in a few minutes."
The whole scene seemed so domestic and out of character for the duo on one hand. But on the other hand, it seemed so very natural that neither of them gave it a second thought. Scully went back to the stove and began fixing the next major item on her list. While she worked, her mind drifted back to the night before – another very domestic moment between the two.FBI Headquarters
Night Before Thanksgiving
"Finally. Mulder, this report is finished. I hate to rush, but I have to get to the grocery store before they close." Scully grabbed her coat from the rack and pulled it on.
Mulder closed the file he was working on and pulled his sport coat from the back of his chair. "Want some company?"
"Huh?" It wasn't that she hadn't heard him, but that she was stunned he would offer to help her shop.
"Do you want some company?" He repeated. "I do shop you know."
"Sure, company would be great." She smiled as she slung her briefcase on her shoulder and made for the door.
"Besides, I drove this morning and I don't think a cab driver will help you haul those groceries into your apartment. Anyway, I want to."
"Well, I'd love the company, and the help."
Scully and Mulder walked through the automatic doors of the grocery store. To their left were the shopping carts and Mulder walked over and selected one. Three carts later, he found one that didn't squeak or thud and joined Scully in the produce section. "Sorry it took so long, they've got a sad selection of carts out there."
"It's okay, I've been going over my list. First I need some asparagus, broccoli, celery, cranberries, onions, potatoes . . ."
"Scully, did you alphabetize your shopping list?"
"Uhm . . .well, yeah, sort of. But I don't forget anything this way."
He sighed a little and walked over to the asparagus and broccoli. "You need to let go, Scully. So what if you forget the onions or the cranberries? Would Thanksgiving be ruined? No, it wouldn't, Scully. Because the holidays are about friends and family, and being with people that you care for and that care for you."
"Its just that I have never hosted a holiday since Dad . . .and I want this to be as close to perfect for Mom as it can be."
"I understand, and it will be. Because you are a perfectionist to a fault." He put his arm around her shoulders, "and we all love you anyway. Don't worry so much though, okay. Take time out to enjoy the day off."
"Okay, I promise to try."
"I'm not asking for any more. Lets get the rest of this list so we can haul that fifty-pound bird into your apartment before midnight."
By the time they made it to the canned food aisle, Mulder had made detours through the bakery, the packaged cookie aisle, and the candy section. Scully made the mistake of leaving him alone for five minutes while she went back to get a second bunch of celery and the forgotten baby carrots. He was waiting patiently in a fairly safe place when the chip aisle caught his eye. A lopsided grin took over his face and he made a beeline for the sunflower seeds section.
Scully returned and dropped the items into the cart. "I can't leave you alone for two minutes. How many bags of sunflower seeds do you have in here anyway?"
"Four; two original, one barbeque, and the new cheese flavor. I just couldn't resist." He flashed her his best grin and she wrapped her fingers around the wire rim of the buggy. "Thanks, Scully, you're the best shopping buddy ever."
She rolled her eyes, "oh brother. Don't think you're going to spit the shells out all over my apartment either."
"That's what pockets are for."
"That is just gross."
"I'll bring my very own Dixie cup."
She couldn't argue with that and smiled. Scully knew she couldn't deny Mulder anything, especially his beloved sunflower seeds. "How long have you had this obsession anyway?"
"Since I quit smoking. A long, long time ago. The best way to quit a bad habit is to replace it with a much more acceptable habit. Instead of chewing on pencils, which is probably worse than smoking, I started with the seeds and have been addicted since."
"Oh. I didn't know you smoked."
"Yeah, stupid to start and hard to stop. I don't recommend it."
"Been there. When I was about fourteen, remember?"
His eyes widened and he nodded his head, "that's right. Dana "The Rebel" Scully, how could I have forgotten?"
Scully shrugged and went over her list again. "Lets get the turkey and get out of here. I still need to put all of this stuff away."
"How much turkey do you need? Thirty, forty pounds?"
"Yeah, if I'm feeding the entire bureau. I think fifteen pounds will be good enough. Unless you like the dark meat, just get turkey breast."
"Me?!" Mulder questioned in mock surprise.
"Yeah, you're taller."
"Oh, okay." He got to the cooler and leaned in to begin his search when he looked back to an amused Scully. "And how does my height figure into all of this?"
"I . . .don't . . .know, exactly. But if you really need an answer, I'll have a full report for you tomorrow before dinner." Scully smirked as she checked her final item off the list.
"How's this one?" Mulder held up the largest turkey breast in the bin. He didn't bother to turn around and face her or even straighten up. "Its only a little over ten pounds."
"Looks good from here." She smiled to herself, appreciating the view. "Ten pounds should be plenty."
Mulder walked back over to the cart and added the entrée to the pile. Gripping the handle, he began pushing the food toward the checkouts.Noon Thanksgiving Day
"Honey! I'm hooo-ooome!" Mulder called playfully into the apartment, using his best Cuban accent.
"Mulder?!" "Fox?" Dana and Maggie Scully called in unison.
Maggie shot her daughter a quizzical look. Scully shrugged and went back to stirring the food on the stove. "I had to run back home and grab the bottle of wine I got to go with dinner before I went to the store." Mulder quickly explained. "Mrs. Scully! Hi." He had missed her when he first walked in, and hadn't heard her call his given name in response to his greeting.
"Happy Thanksgiving, Fox. It's nice to see you again."
"Happy Thanksgiving," he hugged the woman in return. "It's nice to see you too. How have you been?"
"Fine, fine. And you?"
"Good, thanks." Mulder moved to put the ice cream in the freezer. "So, is there anything I can help with?"
"Uhm, no, I think I've got it. There's probably a game on, if you want to watch it." Scully responded, giving Mulder a reprieve from her mother's inevitable questioning.
"Are you sure?"
"Yep. I insist. You know where the remote is."
"Uh huh, on top of the TV, in the cabinet."
Scully nodded, "beer, soda, and water in the fridge if you want anything to drink."
Mulder opened the door and saw a pitcher of iced tea sitting in the middle of the top shelf. He poured himself a glass and moved to the sofa. Maggie Scully waited until he left the room and went to stand next to her daughter at the stove. "So, when were you going to tell me?"
"Tell you what, Mom?"
"That you and Fox are . . ." she made a gesture with her hands that could imply almost anything.
"Are . . .what? Partners? Best friends?"
"No. A couple."
"A what? No, Mom, Mulder is just here for Thanksgiving."
"And he always announces himself with 'honey, I'm home'?" Maggie asked, not at all convinced that Mulder and her daughter were just friends.
Scully made brief eye contact with her mother and looked back to study the pot she was standing in front of. "That . . .was just Mulder being Mulder."
"He had to run back home before he went to the store?" She asked, pointing out what could have been another tell tale sign that the two were more than just friends.
"Mulder came by here this morning to drop off a bag of groceries I left in his back seat last night. I realized I had forgotten the ice cream and the whipped topping and he went to get it for me."
"Uh huh," Maggie said with a knowing smile.
Scully's eyes went wide and she let out a small gasp. "Oh! No, he uhm . . .he didn't spend the night here."
"And how did your groceries get in the back of his car?"
"We went shopping together. Mulder came by and picked me up yesterday morning. He drove me to work and it was either let him bring me home or take a cab. He wanted to go with me to the grocery store so I let him. It was nice to have the company and the help carrying things in."
"Mmm hmm," Maggie mused. "If you say so, but I think there is more to your relationship with Fox than either of you are willing to share." Scully opened her mouth to protest and Maggie held her hands up in defense. "And it's your right to have secrets from your mother. I understand that there are just some things a daughter can't talk about with her mom."
"It isn't like that at all, Mom. You would be the first to know if Mulder and I were . . . a couple." Scully's cheeks were turning a brilliant shade of pink so her mother decided to let the subject drop. "Well, you would." Dana added, trying to sound convincing when even she wasn't sure how to define what she shared with her partner.
"What can I help you with, Dana?" Maggie asked in an amused tone as she rolled her sleeves up.
Scully took a break from the kitchen and walked in the living room to check on an all too quiet Mulder. She stepped up behind the sofa and looked down to see him napping. Amazing, she thought to herself, perfection. And he's asleep on my couch. Maggie Scully stepped up behind her daughter, "are you sure you and Fox wouldn't like to spend Thanksgiving alone?"
Dana gasped, "No, Mom, we wouldn't."
"Just checking. I want to get a paper to look over before dinner so I'm going to run to the news stand before they close for the day."
"I've got a paper in my room."
"I want the Annapolis Gazette." Maggie grabbed her purse and patted her daughter's arm. "I'll be back in a few minutes."
Scully nodded and turned back toward the kitchen. "Be careful, Mom."
"Do you need anything?"
"No." Scully didn't know why she was so embarrassed. It wasn't like Mulder was an unattractive man, or that an attraction to a member of the opposite sex was an unnatural thing. After giving it some thought, she decided that she was embarrassed because it wasn't true. It wasn't true and she didn't want Mulder to overhear anything that might make him think Scully had led her mother to believe they were anything but friends. Still, she had never felt this way before and Mulder wasn't exactly the first man she had been accused of having interest in. No, things with Mulder were different than any relationship she had ever before experienced.
She heard movement behind her and guessed that Mulder was up. When the TV switched off, the doors of the hutch closed a moment later, and a few moments after that her bathroom door closed, she was certain Mulder was awake. Several moments passed and she found herself elbow deep in broccoli casserole. Mulder came out of the restroom and strolled into the kitchen. "Didn't mean to doze off."
"Its all right. That was probably the safest thing you could have done."
"Is Mom in rare form today?"
Scully softly chuckled. "I wouldn't call it rare form. She's being Mom. I think it was the 'honey, I'm home' that set her off."
"Sorry," Mulder half-heartedly apologized while suppressing a grin.
"Its all right." The phone rang and Scully moved to answer it, forgetting that her hands were covered in cracker crumbs and butter. "Mulder, could you . . .?" She made a motion toward the cordless phone on the sofa table about the same time her mother walked in the door.
"Hellooo," Mulder called into the receiver merrily.
"What the hell are you doing there?"
"Scu . . ."
"Put my sister on the phone please," Bill Scully requested.
"Sure, just a minute." Mulder carried the phone into the kitchen. "Scully, its Bill." She wiped her hands on her apron and moved to take the phone. "Don't be too long, honey," Mulder followed with kissing noises so Bill would hear and passed the phone to his partner.
Scully shot Mulder a look that could have killed. "Bill, hi!"
"You and that Mulder character aren't a couple are you?"
"No, Mulder was just," she sighed heavily, "being Mulder. Are you all having a nice Thanksgiving?"
"Yeah. I was going to say I'm sorry we couldn't make it but if . . ."
"Bill, please. I really wish you could have made it. Mom and I miss you guys."
"Is mom there yet? I tried to call her house and wish her a happy Thanksgiving but didn't get an answer."
"Yeah, she's here. Hold on." Scully motioned for her mother to come to the phone. "Happy Thanksgiving."
"You too, Dana. We'll see you soon."
"Bill! How are things in San Diego?"
Maggie Scully walked into the living room and Scully whirled around to Mulder, poking him in the chest with a spatula. "What the hell was that about, Mulder?"
"I . . .uh . . .he's always on my ass, Scully. In place of a 'hello', I got a 'what the hell are you doing there'. The man wouldn't even let me explain before he cut me off. I'm sick of him treating me like I'm less than trash. Besides, it won't hurt for him to get pissed off now and again."
"Where you're concerned, he stays pissed off, Mulder."
"But I . . ."
"I don't want my family thinking things about us that aren't true. Mom already thinks you are practically living here and now Bill thinks we're . . .and we're not."
"We could be."
"Bu . . ." she wasn't even able to finish the first word of her protest before she dropped the spatula on the floor and stood with her mouth hanging open.
"Couldn't we? There's no law against it. You're an attractive woman and I'm a man."
"Ye . . .I ca . . .that isn't the point. The point is, Mulder, that we are partners and best friends. We aren't dating; we certainly aren't sleeping together, and most certainly aren't living together. My God, Mulder we haven't even kissed."
He slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her to him. He leaned forward so his lips hovered above hers and he studied her eyes. "I can fix that. We can fix that."
Her breath caught in her throat and she felt a blush creeping up to her cheeks. She couldn't find the words to respond or the clarity of mind to decide what she wanted. They were closer than they had ever been to a kiss and it all depended on how she answered.
Mulder broke eye contact by leaning in even closer. "What do you say, Dana? Should we start fixing the list of things we aren't doing?" Without waiting for her answer, Fox Mulder moved his other arm so that his hand would cradle the back of her head. His perfect lips exploded onto hers creating sparks of passion that would eventually create a full-blown blaze.
"Scully? Earth to Scully," Mulder waved his hand in front of her face. "Hey, are you okay?"
"What? I'm fine."
"You look a little flushed. Do you want me to turn the heat down?"
"Uhm, no, its okay."
"I'm sorry I upset your brother. That man just rubs me the wrong way."
Scully bent over and picked the spatula up off the floor, throwing it into the dishwasher. "Its okay, Mulder. I guess I just over reacted. Bill just doesn't know you and you're partially right."
"Yes. He treats you horribly and you deserve better than that. I'll talk to him when he's had time to cool off, okay?"
"Don't rock the boat, Scully. There's no need for him to be upset with you." Mulder reached around her and grabbed a cracker.
"Dinner will be ready in forty-five minutes."
Mulder leaned back in his chair and stretched, allowing his hands to fall back down and rest on his abdomen. "Scully that was great!"
"No, great is when Mom cooks. This was passable." Scully wiped her mouth with her napkin and stood from the table. "I'll clear the dishes and put some coffee on."
"What else does Scully family tradition call for on Thanksgiving day?"
Maggie stacked the remaining dishes into a pile at the far end of the table. "Well, usually we go out and get a Christmas tree and spend the evening decorating."
"We could probably skip that this year, Mom."
"No, I think it sounds like fun. There's a tree lot not very far from here. I bet we could tie the thing to the top of my car."
"If Fox is willing to come with us, Dana . . ."
"Mulder, a tree will scratch the roof of your car horribly."
"Nah, I'm not worried about that."
"Then lets get our coats. I'll put the coffee on when we get back."
Maggie coughed and followed it with a series of three sneezes and a sniff. "Why don't you two go on? I'll pull out all of the lights and decorations so we're ready to go when you get back."
Scully put her coat back on the rack. "Mom, if you're sick, this can wait until the weekend."
"No, I'm fine. I have the beginnings of a cold and don't think I should be out risking pneumonia." She gave Mulder a look that nearly pleaded for cooperation.
"Come on, Scully. I've never had a tree shopping experience before. I was raised Jewish, remember?" He gave her a sad puppy dogface. "Please? I promise to be a good Mulder."
"All right, let me get my . . .coat." Mulder had reached around her and pulled the coat back off the rack.
"We'll be back soon, Mrs. Scully."
"You two take your time. Its still early in the evening and it won't take long to decorate the apartment." Maggie adjusted some of Scully's throw pillows on one end of the sofa and sat down. "Most importantly, have fun."
"Oh, we will," Mulder assured as he placed a hand on the small of Scully's back and escorted her to the door.
"I forgot my . .."
"Keys, I'm driving. Purse, I'm paying. Shoes, I'll carry you."
"No excuses, absolutely none. Let's go before they close."
"All right, Mulder lets go."
And so Mulder was treated to a traditional Scully family Thanksgiving. A tradition he could get used to if given the chance.