What They're Thankful For

Rating: It should be okay.

Disclaimer: I don't own them.

Summary: Mulder and Scully spend Thanksgiving with Scully's family.

A/N: I know this is such a popular type of fic, but I needed something easy and light to write so I could get back into my writing groove. :D


It was Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. She loved this time of year, despite ever really showing it. She went through the motions of getting scented candles that reminded her of the holidays, cooking big dinners, getting in touch with her family; all of it excited her and reminded her how close her favorite holiday was, Christmas.

In her current situation, though, it felt so far away. She stood from her desk and walked over to her office window where she looked out and saw more people than usual roaming the streets. Most of them were college kids, goofing off with their friends and playing in the park.

"Please tell me why I'm still here," she said into the cell phone she had been holding up to her ear for the past ten minutes.

"Where else would you be if you weren't?"

"Not here, that's for sure."

"You've only got four hours left."

On the other line, Mulder sandwiched the phone between his shoulder and cheek as he tried to cut out a recent news article about conspiracies that could possibly be linked to the oil spill in the Gulf. Even for him, he knew it was a long shot but it kept him occupied.

"That's four hours too long." He smirked at her impatience. He knew why she wanted to come home so bad. Her 19 year old niece, Maura Scully, was flying up from her first semester of college to spend the winter holidays with them. She was arriving tonight, spending the night at their house, and then in the morning, all three of them would load up the car and drive to Scully's mother's house. "Mulder, what are you doing?"

"You know, Scully... work."

"Put down the newspaper and scissors. Clean something." She knew asking Mulder to clean was like asking a brick wall to move, but she had to try.

"Come on, Scully. I'm sure Maura has seen worse. I bet her dorm room would give our house a run for it's money. It's not like she'll care anyway. She's a teenager!"

"Fine. Just the dishes. Please?"

When five o'clock came around, Scully grabbed her purse, car keys, coat, and headed for the parking garage of the hospital. Maura's flight wasn't coming in until 6:30, so she had plenty of time to go home and change. When she walked through the front door of the house, she stopped dead in her tracks. The living room was spotless and smelt heavenly. She slowly walked in, set her things on the nearest table, and softly closed the door behind her. She tiptoed into the kitchen to find Mulder drying and saving the dishes.

Slowly, she walked up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. He stopped and turned in her arms, wrapping his own around her tiny body. She smiled at him and let her head fall against his chest. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head and leaned against the kitchen counter.

"How was work?"

"Torturous." He chuckled against her hair and pushed her back gently to look at her face. "Thank you for cleaning up."

"Don't worry about it. Go relax. We've got to leave in an hour to pick up Maura." She nodded her head and reluctantly let go of him. As she left the kitchen and headed for the stairs, her phone began ringing. She dug in her pocket as she climbed the stairs and saw Maura was calling.

"Hey Maura."

"Aunt Dana! Hey! You busy?"

"Not at all."

"Okay. I was just calling to make sure you and Mulder were still coming get me."

"Yes. Actually, I just got home from work and I'm taking a quick shower before we leave."

"Oh, I didn't mean to interrupt you!"

"Maura, you didn't. I'm glad you called."

"Still... I'll let you take your shower and everything. I'll call you when I land?"

"Sounds good. I'll see you in a few."

"Bye, aunt Dana."

"Bye, Maura."

An hour and a half later, Mulder was parking the car in the pay-lot of the airport. Scully all but jumped out from the car as Mulder shut off the engine. It was 6:30 and Maura's plane was landing any minute. Mulder caught up with Scully as she pushed her way through the crowded airport in search for her niece.

"Did she tell you what gate she would be at," Mulder asked, searching the crowd for a younger Scully look-a-like.

"She told me she would call when she landed, but I just wanted to get here early." As if on cue, Scully's cell began vibrating in her pocket and she frantically dug it out, excitement taking over her. She answered the call quickly and looked around the airport once more.

"Hello?"

"If I didn't know any better, I'd mistake you for two parents looking for a missing child." Maura's voice over the line was a huge relief for Scully. She hated traveling by herself, so she could only imagine how her 19 year old niece felt. "Don't look so worried. I'm right in front of you."

Scully focused on the gate in front of her, across the airport and saw her, suitcases by her side, purse hanging from her shoulder, and cell phone pressed to her ear.

"Hi." She hung up the phone as they started walking towards each other. When Mulder had spotted her, a huge smile spread across his face and he began moving with Scully. When the two women met in the middle of the airport, their arms went around each other in an ecstatic hug. They squealed, laughed, smiled, kissed each other on the cheek, and hugged one last time before they finally separated. Maura moved onto Mulder without a second thought and wrapped her arms around him, surprising him a bit. "It's good to see you, Mulder. I missed you guys so much." Mulder returned the hug and smiled at the girl, then leaned back to see just how much she had grown.

"You're starting to look more like your aunt every time I see you."

Maura smiled and tucked her dark hair behind her ears. With the exception of her dark brown hair that fell below her shoulders and a smaller nose, she shared almost every quality with her aunt. They both had the famous Scully eyes and freckles. When Maura smiled, her lips would curl up into the grin that Mulder had seen countless times on Scully's face. If you didn't know any better, you could mistake her for Mulder and Scully's daughter.

"Well that's a good thing," she replied back while pointing a finger at Mulder. "And I've got stories to tell you about one of my professors." She turned to her aunt and smiled, then hugged her again. "I'm so excited! This is gonna be so much fun!"

"I agree."

The three of them talked for a while longer until the airport grew too crowded. Mulder grabbed the bags and the two girls walked in front of him, headed for the car. Scully had admitted sympathetically that she didn't have much food at the house to cook, so that they would have to eat out. Maura had no problem with it and seated herself in the back of the car, talking a million words a minute about the college life, her classes, and boys.

The morning came quickly for all three of them. Scully nearly had to drag Maura out of the bed. It was 5:30 in the morning, but they would have to leave in thirty minutes to make it to the Scully house on time. It was always a tradition for everyone to get there before lunch so the younger kids could play together and the adults could catch up. It wasn't unheard of for last minute grocery trips either, since Charlie would always forget something.

"Maura, wake up."

"You wake up," the teenager mumbled and pulled the covers over her head, trying to block the bright bedroom light her aunt had turned on seconds ago. "What time is it anyway?"

"5:30."

"5:30! Woman! Are you crazy!"

"You know how your grandmother is if everyone isn't there before 12!" There was no reply from the heap of blankets on the bed. "Maura, I'm going to count to three and if you're not out of that bed and dressed by the time I do, I'm getting Mulder in here."

"He won't do anything," Maura replied back, smirking under the covers. Scully sighed and Maura threw the covers away from her body. "Fine, fine. I'm up."

After she had gotten dressed, Mulder helped her with the overnight bag she had packed. It was also tradition for everyone to sleep over at the Scully house on Thanksgiving. The adults took their old bedrooms and the kids all slept in the living room. Once the house was locked up and everyone was ready, the three of them got into the car and started the trip to Scully's old house. When Maura had buckled herself in, she put her earphones in and fell asleep instantly to the sound of her music.

After a few minutes of silence, Mulder looked into the rear-view mirror and smirked.

"I heard her giving you trouble this morning." Scully smiled and settled herself in the front seat. "It was funny, to say the least."

"Just Maura being Maura." She reached over and grabbed his hand, lacing her fingers in with his. "Thank you for coming with us." He looked over quickly, seeing her smile was all he needed. "I know how... uncomfortable things can be with Bill there, but-"

"As long as you're there, I don't mind at all."


A/N: I'm not finished, I'm not finished! I didn't want a huge one-shot, so I decided last minute to turn it into a chapter story. It won't be a long story, though. Maybe two more chapters and that's it. I fully intend to finish this by tomorrow, too. So you guys might even get the last two chapters soon! :)

Oh, and btw... this story is a prequel for another one that I'm writing called Moth's Wings, which you guys will love. It was kind of a plus that I could introduce another character, Maura, into the story. You guys will see more of her later.