Scully stretched lazily as she woke up, revelling in the feel of the sheets against her skin. She wasn't used to a single bed, and found that her limbs soon hit air much too cold for her liking. The invitation to spend Christmas at her mothers was one she never turned down, but it did require some getting used to each time. Curling back into the duvet she finally opened her eyes, and tilted her head to the side, trying to get a view of the clock. 8:15. Scully turned her head away again and sighed quietly, before bolting upright and grabbing the clock.

"Damn." She muttered, slamming the clock back down on the nightstand and swinging her legs out of the bed. She couldn't believe she'd slept this late, especially with Mulder coming to pick her up at 8, or at least his version of it. Skinner's unwelcome phone call the day before had resulted in the two of them agreeing to go into work the day before Christmas, to help sort out some rogue reports that, while having been completed down in the basement office, had never made their way up to him. Scully had a sneaking suspicion that Mulder was largely to blame for this, but she had no evidence, and if she left him to find them by himself the likelihood of them ever reaching their intended destination was about as high as her ever taking Frohike up on his offer of a date. As she scrambled out of bed and ran for the bathroom she heard the doorbell and paused at the top of the steps to let Mulder know that she wasn't exactly ready.

Mulder swung the car into the driveway and killed the engine. Pocketing the keys he hopped out and walked to the front door, checking his watch as he went. 8:15. Well, pretty on time for his standards, though Scully was no doubt standing at the door waiting impatiently. So sure was he that this would be the case, when the door opened to reveal Scully's mother he had to quickly backtrack on the apology already halfway out of his mouth.

"Yeah, I know, I'm late aga –, oh, Mrs Scully I'm sorry. Did Scully change her mind?"

"No!" Came a voice from the next floor up, and both Maggie and Mulder turned to see Scully hanging over the banister, still in pyjamas and looking decidedly unready for work.

"I'm sorry." She called down. "I forgot to set the alarm and overslept, just give me a few minutes ok?"

Mulder nodded and she disappeared again. Maggie smiled and shook her head in despair.

"Well Fox, it looks like you've got a wait on your hands. Would you like a cup of coffee?"

"No thank you, I have some in the car. But a piece of toast would be much appreciated?" He replied, allowing the use of his first name to slip by unnoticed as he always did with Scully's mother, the only person other than his own mother he allowed to use it. She nodded and headed to the kitchen.

Upstairs Scully was rushing to get ready. Squirting some toothpaste on the brush she shoved it into her mouth and went back to her room, changing her clothes as quickly as possible without getting them covered in the white paste. Fully dressed aside from her shoes she headed back to the bathroom and rinsed out her mouth, before splashing some cold water over her face and then putting on the little make-up she used to make herself look at least a little presentable. Checking her reflection she decided she'd do, and started down the stairs.

After Maggie had left for the kitchen Mulder made his way into the lounge. Knowing Scully's habit of kicking off her boots when she sat down he crouched by the sofa and, sure enough, there they were underneath it. Pulling them out he turned to go back to the hallway, but found his way blocked by a small boy.

"Look'ee." Stated the child, holding up a video for Mulder to see. Hearing Scully thump across the landing upstairs he decided he had time for this, and bent down to see what the kid was holding.

"The Lion King." He read, and the boy nodded happily, before opening his mouth wide and belting out what sounded like a very mangled version of 'The Circle of Life' as loud as his little lungs could manage. A few seconds later a harassed looking woman appeared and clamped a hand over his mouth.

"Shh, Mattie. We don't want to wake everyone up this early." Lifting him up she popped something into his mouth and turned to Mulder. "I'm sorry, he's been doing that all week. I think I'm going to have to get him singing lessons just so it stops being such an appalling racket." Grinning she left again, taking what Mulder assumed was her child with her, and he headed back out to the stairs, finding Scully on her way down them. As she reached the bottom he handed her the boots and she flopped down on the bottom stair to pull them on.

As she did so Mulder heard his name being called, and saw Maggie coming from the kitchen with a piece of toast on a plate. Smiling at her he grabbed the toast and handed it to Scully who had just finished putting her boots on. She shoved it into her mouth, grimacing slightly at the mixture of jam and toothpaste, and pushed her arms into the sleeves of the coat Mulder was holding out for her. Quickly giving her mother a peck on the cheek she headed out the door Mulder had just opened and into the car waiting outside, closely followed by Mulder.

Maggie watched as the car was backed down the driveway, still holding the plate, and jumped as someone touched her shoulder. Looking over her shoulder she saw Tara holding Mattie and smiled.

"What is it?" Asked her daughter-in-law. "You look a little shell-shocked."

"Oh it's nothing really." Maggie replied, closing the door and directing the other woman back into the lounge. "It's just that I've never known Dana to get ready so fast, and she never lets anyone help the way Fox just did. I was just wondering how she doesn't realise."

"Realise what?"

"That he's in love with her, and she with him. I can barely remember when it wasn't that way, and yet they still won't admit it, even to themselves."

Shaking her head Maggie sat down, preparing herself to sit through yet another viewing of Mattie's current obsession, and another of his renditions of his favourite song.