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family Christmas, A

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family Christmas, A

family Christmas, A

by laurel

Notes: Part of the foursome universe. Follows in order of appearance: A Christmas wish, a new love, that's what friends are for, Popsicle toes, twister, tangled up in blue, the list, the jazz singer, debut, meet the neighbors, war games, the art of seduction, summer's end, what are you doing New year's eve?, ruminations, in dreams; one martini, two martini, three martini, floor; the dinner party, fleeting moments, garage sale, feels like home.

The information about Scully's family was gleaned from internet sources. I don't remember much about her brothers except for that jerk-off Bill. He made an impression as he does here.

This is being posted way past the Christmas holidays but you know what us procrastinators say, better late than never!

I found the "alien love child" on the blowfish site.

Warning: Besides bad language, it contains homophobic and racial slurs.

Archive: Okay to DitB, WWOMB, fullhouse slash, anyone else just ask first.

The snow crunched beneath their feet, thick-soled boots sinking through the crust of ice and into the soft layer it covered. Their breath puffed out in small circles of fog that whispered away into the cold, crisp air into nothing.

John and Walter were laden down with boxes. Alex carried several bags of food while Fox had the gift bags.

Maggie opened the door and welcomed them in, hustling them out of the cold. Her medium length dark hair whipped around her pale face in the wind. She clutched at her light blue cardigan to keep the cold at bay.

Fox gave her a hug and her smile made crinkles appear around her eyes.

"Gamma, gamma!" Will called. "Da da!" he shouted upon seeing Fox and his companions. The toddler ran towards his smiling father. To Will they were all dada at the moment. They were still trying to figure out if he should call the other three by their names or if each man should be called by a separate title.

Walter liked papa for himself just because it seemed fitting as he was the oldest. John wasn't too sure about the whole thing and Alex was bewildered about parenthood. He was good at playing with Will and even when it came to taking care of his basic needs like feeding or singing him to sleep but being a stepfather amazed him.

The three men arranged gifts under the tree after greeting Will. Fox picked him up and snuggled on the sofa with him.

"Hey Fox, " Monica greeted him and gave him a hug. "Dana's in the kitchen. Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas." He hugged her back and Will joined in the embrace.

"Oh, Alex you didn't have to make so much," Maggie admonished. She peeked into the plastic bags.

Alex shrugged and blushed. "No trouble. I love to cook for family."

"Come in the kitchen and I'll help you get this stuff put away. Dana is stirring all the lumps out of my gravy."

"I'm sure your gravy doesn't have any lumps at all."

"Aren't you sweet?"

"He's a real charmer," Walter agreed and gave Alex a bear hug from behind. Alex squeezed his hand and nuzzled back. He was very pleased by this public display of affection from Walter. He gave him a peck on the cheek in thanks and followed Maggie into the kitchen.

Dana's red hair gleamed as the sun shone through the window and struck the sleek, auburn head. He set the bags down and began to pluck out the dishes and Tupperware.

He greeted Dana and she offered him a half hug while continuing to stir.

"I've got tiramisu, plus lemon squares and butter tarts and I picked up some cannoli at the Italian bakery. Oh and a box of chocolates." He pulled out a gourmet box of truffles.

"You know my weaknesses."

"We also brought some liquid refreshments. This is for the hostess." He took out a fancy gift bag.

"You didn't have to do that." Maggie slapped his arm lightly.

"It's the least we could do." He slid out a few bottles of red wine as well.

She untied the ribbon and pulled out a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream. "Umm, perfect. I was running low. Thank you."

"I figure we could have an ounce or two in our coffee later," he joked. "You know, reduce that holiday stress."

Maggie laughed and patted his arm. She put the bottle next to the coffee maker.

"Now this is more like it," Scully said as she studied a bottle of the wine.

Monica wandered back in. In her chocolate brown jeans and matching turtleneck she appeared even taller than she was. She towered over Dana and read the label over her shoulder. "This looks interesting. Ontario vineyard. Red, my favorite." She played with the exotic chain around her neck.

"How did I know this?"

"You're psychic?" Monica suggested.

"Naw, that's your department."

"Speaking of psychics, Fox asked me to co-write an article for a science magazine."

"He's been wanting to ask you for a while."

They heard the sounds of squealing and laughter from the next room.

"Will's showing the guys his toys."

"He got into some of his gifts this morning."

"Does he know what's going on?"

"Not really. But the present idea is okay with him." Scully smiled at Alex and went back to stirring. She picked up the glass of white wine at her side. The champagne colored liquid was gone in one smooth gulp. "Holiday stress," she explained.

"We're awaiting the arrival of her brothers," Monica explained.

"Ah, the big family reunion huh? I wonder how they'll react to seeing me here half the day."

"If either one of them gives you any trouble, just smack them."

"They're your brothers, Scully."

"Which means they deserve a good belt across the face. I've had enough bigotry and hatred to last a lifetime." She smiled again and this time the smile reached her blue-gray eyes.

"Me too," Alex agreed. "I'll take over in here if you want to join the rest of the family in the den."

"Sure. Here, have some wine." She poured out a small glass of wine that had a funny picture of a hippo or pig on the label.

Alex made himself at home in the kitchen while Dana took Monica's proffered arm. In her other hand she held the bottle of wine she had been drinking.

Maggie and Alex worked in tandem, checking steaming dishes, stirring, adding spices, tasting, arranging items on trays and plates and stopping only to exchange family holiday stories and sip at wine.

Bill Jr. and family arrived at the same time as Charlie and his brood. Fox thought they had probably grouped together outside and were about to storm the house like a military unit. Neither brother was too happy to see Mulder, especially Bill, and even though Charles was the more easy-going of the two, he had a murderous look on his face already. Alex was going to have a hard time of it. Not to mention Monica. Either they would be reminded of their kooky sister Melissa or their bigotry would just expand to include Scully's lover. The first meeting, at a crucial time like Christmas, was bound to end in disaster. Fox hoped Alex wasn't armed. He should have frisked him this morning before they left the house.

Maggie hugged her sons, then grandchildren and her daughters-in-law. Charlie's three teenaged sons had dark brown hair tinged with red. The oldest looked bored already and the middle child looked sullen. The youngest held a video game in his hands and was still bright-eyed with excitement.

"Mulder", Bill greeted him. His voice was full of venom. He may as well have said "mother-fucker".

Mulder got up and shook hands with Bill Jr. That manly squeeze that was bone-crushing or at least tendon-flattening told Mulder Bill was not happy. He shook his hand out and ruffled the kids' hair, one by one, until they resembled pissed-off roosters.

The youngest one smiled while the others grimaced. Riled up teens would piss off old Bill just a tiny bit.

Charlie mumbled a greeting. His wife kicked his shin and hugged Mulder warmly. Mulder got down to Bill's son's level and Matthew giggled and hid behind his mother's skirt. He shyly held out his hand. Mulder took it and wished him a merry Christmas.

They filed into the den like soldiers, Bill in front like the commanding officer he was. He shook hands with Skinner and was introduced to Doggett. He didn't mind shaking Skinner's hand. It wasn't as if the former assistant director was a real queer unlike fey Mulder. He wasn't sure about Doggett though. After all, the man was a former marine. He probably just got used to fucking guys when he'd been assigned overseas and maybe because of his failed marriage he'd never tried to be with a woman due to a psychological aberration.

Alex popped his head out of the kitchen at the commotion. He'd heard the rest of the clan arrive. He wiped his hand on a dish towel and marched straight up to Dana's family. She introduced him to her brothers first. He held his hand out to Bill. His left hand. The right still clutched the dish towel. Let the man squeeze the fuck out of his prosthetic. Bill gave a visible shiver of revulsion and quickly let go of Alex's fake limb. He grinned and turned to Charles.

Next were the wives and children. He shook hands with each of them and murmured polite greetings. He used his right hand this time. He didn't fuss over the kids. He'd been around teenagers enough to know they hated that kind of shit. No talking down or asking about school. No, gee you look just like your dad! Or so you got a girlfriend yet? wink, wink, nonsense.

He excused himself to check on the meal but kept the door open to listen for any trouble. Scully was being hugged by the lot of them. Her brothers looked genuinely glad to see her. Charlie greeted Monica politely and went to the sofa to play with his nephew.

The time before dinner was filled with little tense moments and subtle maneuvers designed to put the other party on the defensive. Bill was very good at this but then so was Mulder. Margaret's steel backbone came into play and Monica tried to defuse the uncomfortable situation with humor. Doggett talked about his marine days, while Skinner alternately glared at Scully's brothers and spoke about his work. He took particular glee in regaling them with tales of the interrogation he'd taken part of when they'd finally nabbed the suspect in Natalie's murder. He'd been hiding in sunny Mexico all these months. He'd be lucky to see a little patch of blue sky where he was being incarcerated.

The teens slouched down into the sofa to play video games and ignore the bickering and putdowns. Matt showed Will his new toys and they played together quietly while Dana kept watch over them.

Lunch was a brief respite but not even turkey and gravy with all the trimmings could stop Bill from mouthing off. After a couple of full glasses of wine his insults became bolder and his belligerence forced the boys to retreat to the den with plates stacked with dessert and a second helping of turkey to play video games again. Will and Matthew had been put down for naps.

"You know I don't think this is a very good environment for my nephew, being raised by a couple of lezzies."

Monica began to turn red as the wine in her glass. Dana turned a shade similar and slammed her glass down on the table. Margaret gaped with open-mouthed disdain and surprise at her son's behavior.

Charles grinned. Billy was just getting started and he'd tell Dana what was what. Luckily their wives were out of the dining room tending to the kids, otherwise they'd have gotten an earful or merely murderous glances that would announce no nookie tonight.

Alex had been silent most of the time, speaking quietly only when the conversation revolved around Mulder's x-files cases or Walter and John's work at the FBI and their detective agency. Most of the time he spent observing the behavior of the extended complicated family unit. He tried to keep the peace by helping Margaret stuff them so full of food they wouldn't want to fight, talking politely to Dana's sisters-in-law and asking the teens about their musical preferences.

"What the hell do you do in bed anyways? It can't be much fun, sis. You should get yourself a real man. Maybe convert old Johnny here back to his straight self."

Alex couldn't decide which was brighter: Dana's hair or her cheeks. John's blue eyes narrowed and his face tightened. Alex could just imagine a fist forming under the table and he discovered he was right when he saw Walter's hand suddenly clutch under the table and push John down into his chair.

"That's enough out of you," Margaret scolded. "How dare you come to my house and insult your sister and her friend in this manner, on this day of all days?"

"Come on mom, I'm just telling the truth. She would pick someone like Reyes. What kind of spic name is that anyways? You couldn't find yourself some all American lesbo I suppose? No you had to pick some kooky nut that channels spirits and carries amulets or whatever that necklace thing is just like Missy. And speaking of Missy, her fucking assassin is sitting at this table eating with us. The bastard should be locked up in some filthy prison to rot the rest of his life away." Bill stood up uncertainly, balancing his swaying body with a hand on the table. "Traitorous bitch must be good for something if you guys keep him around." He looked at Skinner and Doggett pointedly. "He must be a real slut in bed if you can ignore the fact of who he is and what he did."

Walter jumped up. The tendons in his strong neck throbbed in time to his racing heart. He huffed his breath, ready to beat the crap out of Bill. John had stood up as well, his lean body resembling the tight well-trained weapon it was. Mulder stood up as well, his body trembling with rage.

The women were silent, in shock. Margaret was on the verge of tears, Dana's hands were clutched in her lap, the short fingernails digging into her palms. She'd never wanted to smack someone so hard in her life. Monica's face was white now, drained of the blood that suffused it with outrage. She wanted to work some black magic on the homophobe's ass and started chanting some yoga meditations to keep the bad energy at bay.

Alex stood. He poured himself a shot of Bailey's and gulped it down. "Guys please sit down," he said quietly.

Bill had backed away from the table at the looks on the other's faces and was still swaying a bit from the alcohol he'd consumed.

"Bill there's been bad feelings between me and my lovers and Dana for quite a few years. I've made my peace with all of them, including your mother. Now I'm not saying they've forgotten what I've done, but they have forgiven me. I'm sure you miss your sister a great deal and I'm sorry for her death. It was tragic, as were all the losses that Dana and Fox have suffered along with John and Walter and yes even myself.

"I'm grateful that out of all that tragedy some good has come of it. namely Will. His existence is a miracle.

"But your mom is right. Today is a day to celebrate and make an effort at peace. And right I'm making an effort not to kill you." Alex's voice strained just slightly as evidence of the rage broiling inside of him. "So I suggest you sit down, shut up, finish eating, quit drinking, stop behaving like an asshole and apologize to your family for being such an ungrateful, irritating, drunken, homophobic lout."

Alex sat down, poured himself a generous helping of Bailey's and gave a glass to Margaret. She smiled at him and downed it in one shot. "Good stuff," she gasped. "Thank you Alex."

"You're welcome," he muttered. He was embarrassed now at being the center of attention.

"I'm sorry everyone," Bill apologized. His voice was barely above a whisper. He picked up his water glass and drank until his reddened face returned to a normal pallor.

Everyone nodded and looked at each other, then looked uncertainly at the remains of the meal.

"Dana, maybe you and your lady friend could help clear the table and set out dessert. We'll put the coffee on and oh by the way, maybe you should clear off the steak knives and other sharp utensils as well. Wouldn't want anyone to get any ideas about what to do with old Billy here." Alex couldn't resist one last shot.

Fox gave him a lopsided smirk. Walter cleared his throat and gave John a little nudge in the ribs. John let his knife clatter noisily onto his plate. Dana laughed at that and the tension was broken.

The three boys were crowded in the doorway, all wide-open eyes and spiked hair. They all looked at Bill who was concentrating intently on his plate. Alex shared a smile with Dana. Bill was practically eating the pattern off the china and for the rest of the day he didn't look anyone in the eye.

They decided to divide up the visitations. There was no way they could see all their friends and neighbors in one day when they traveled together.

John went to see his ex first. She was spending the holiday with her new beau. They had a friendly drink together and a slice of home-made fruit cake. Fox stopped by the gunmen's to share an hour with them and drop off gifts (a DVD set of Oliver Stone movies, some ties for John and a subscription to Hustler magazine). Alex dropped in on Mr. Svetlov, bringing along liquid refreshment for a gift (the finest imported Vodka). Walter stayed at home to make a couple of phone calls to family far away, including Sharon's.

When they met up at home again John went to see Mrs. Kowalchuk and her dozen or so cats (bringing along practical gifts-a carbon monoxide detector due to a gas leak scare and cat treats for the animals), Alex was in time to see Mona, Dirk and the kids before they left for the airport, Walter snuck in an hour with Hannah and Richard (bringing items from the Pottery Barn for her, video games for the boys and books for dad) and Fox went to the Harper house. Jane was dolled up in a new outfit and had make-up on, which made her look whorish but he supposed that's how teenaged girls looked these days. He complimented her on her new clothes but made no mention of the cosmetics. Alex had put together a little gift pack for Jesse from a fancy salon while Stephen got a subscription to a computer magazine and the girls were loaded down with all manner of goodies from gourmet chocolates to books and hair accessories.

Marcie and Jason weren't home so John ended up going back home after finishing his duties. Alex's last stop was at Lisa's house and he spent some time there with her before Byers came over for dinner with his girlfriend, helping her son put together a Monster Lego set.

They regrouped at home before heading for their final stop: a quick drink at Dinah's for her killer martinis.

After their last visit they walked home, snow falling in thick flakes melting into their hair. Fox and Alex made the other two laugh by running around in dizzying circles while trying to catch the flakes on their tongues.

The late afternoon sun made one last attempt at flashing its tempered brilliance across the drifts of snow left by the first winter storm. The sounds of Christmas carols were carried by the wind along with the scents of turkey dinners wafting through kitchen vents. Church bells chimed in the distance.

They had their own little celebration in front of a roaring fire to chase away the chill settling into the evening air. Spooky got presents too, including squeaky chew toys and catnip. They gave each other the usual sweaters, books, CD's, movie passes, theatre and sports event tickets, saving the gag gifts and naughty novelties for last. The gifts they'd brought home from Margaret's house plus all the stops they'd made along they way included more sweaters, scarves, ties, gloves, books, gift certificates, liquor, chocolates (which Alex promptly put away in the cupboard so they wouldn't tempt him), magazine subscriptions and food and spa gift baskets.

Alex looked on in anticipation as Fox opened his final box. He undid the wrapping eagerly, smirked at Alex, wondering what could top the Elvis tie with the tie tack that lit up and resembled a microphone.

He gasped as he pulled the box free of the tape and wrapping. "Holy fuck!" He showed the guys his gift.

It was an alien love child. No, not the kind that the tabloids said existed and certainly not an alien and human hybrid. It was actually a glow-in-the-dark white s-shaped dildo with a sort of smiling alien "face" and ribbed sides.

"Holy fuck is right and that's exactly what I'm going to give you tonight," Alex declared. He took the box away, pulled out the dildo and chased Fox all over the house until he caught him.

Alex liked to think that he was faster than Fox the runner, but Fox actually let himself be caught just this one time and boy was he glad he did!

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to laurel