Melting the Day Away.
by Maureen B. Ocks

Disclaimer:  Fox Mulder, Dana Scully and all other familiar X
Files characters belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and
FOX.  No copyright infringement intended.

Archive -- Sure, just tell me and keep my name with it.
Spoilers:   Midseason 7
Keywords:  Angst, Christmas, Food, assumed MSR.
Author's notes at the end


December 7, 1999
Laurel Springs, Maryland

In sunlight the trees were crystal and glitter, as if they'd
sprouted from a fairy tale.  Now, in the moonlight, the branches
were painted a luminescent blue.  Laurel Springs would have
been the most beautiful place she'd ever seen, if not for all the
dead people.

At least that's what she told me when we pulled away.

Seems the Scully clan looked at living in Laurel Springs when
the family was relocated from San Diego to Maryland.  Mrs.
Scully had enough of base housing -- she wanted a home of her
own. The mid-six figure price tags on most of the decent sized
homes in Laurel Spring made that out of the question.  Scully
mentioned as we drove to the Belt from the Frazier home.  

The Frazier home.

Skinner's call came around 7pm while I was at the office. 
Scully mumbled something about plans and left "early" at 6pm. 
When I called, she said her plans could wait.         

Nick Frazier was a former ISU profiler.  He hit the wall about
six month before I signed on.  The final confrontation between
Frazier and Patterson was now FBI lore.  When I started at the
BSU, the story was Frazier threw a chair through Patterson's
office window with his letter of resignation stapled to it.  Ten
years later, the story now was that Patterson was thrown
through the window with the letter stuffed in his mouth. 
Personally, I like the newer version better.

Sadly the truth is Frazier resigned and Bill refused to accept it. 
Frazier's new wife was a lawyer and she had Patterson "served"
with Nick's second letter of resignation.  The man had style.


Frazier was found dead in his home, along with his wife, now a
Catholic University law school dean, her mother, and the
Fraziers' twin little girls.  Needless to say, this caught the FBI's

Scully figured out early what happened.  Frazier, who was a
vice president with a security group, was warming up his car in
the attached garage when he went back into the house for his
briefcase.  Frazier tripped on the stairs between the basement
and kitchen, knocking himself out.  With the garage door
closed, the house filled with carbon monoxide.

They never had a chance.

On the drive home, I want to stop and see Walter Skinner.  I
think of him as an ally but right now I'd love to kick the living
shit out of him for bringing us to this scene.  Two weeks after
Thanksgiving and just two weeks before Christmas, Dana
Scully and I do not need to walk into a house where two little
girls are in their matching footie pajamas and their matching
princess beds dead from carbon monoxide poisoning.

This is not to say that Scully was anything less than the absolute
professional at the Frazier home -- she was efficient and
effective.  I did the brooding in the house but get to - I'm

I think what bothered me most, besides the fact that a perfectly
nice family was wiped out, is that Frazier got out before
Patterson ruined him a decade ago and he died in what was
nothing more than a stupid household accident.

Life sucks.

So does death.

"It was their birthday." Scully tells me as we get back to D.C

I take my eye of the road for a second to give her a quick look. 
"The girls?"

"Yep.  They were nine today.  There was a nice ice cream cake
in the freezer."

"That awful."

"The whole thing's awful."  Scully is quiet for the rest of the

When I pull up in front of her apartment, much to my surprise,
she invites me in.  Since Antarctica, we've been known to spend
a work night or two together but usually at my place.  In fact, I
can only think of three nights in almost the year and a half we've
been, well whatever we've been, that I stayed at her place.

After hanging up my coat and her's, she walks to the kitchen.  "I
have half a tray of baked ziti leftover.  I was going to cut it in
half and eat it tonight and save the rest.  You want to help me
polish it off tonight?"

"Sure, sounds great."  Scully and baked ziti.  Gee, the Irish
aren't exactly known for their fine pasta meals but Scully was a
decent cook.  Like a good puppy, I follow her right into the
kitchen, "I thought you had plans."

Scully pulls a foil covered tray out of her refrigerator.  "I was at
Mass when you called."  She makes the easy transfer from the
fridge to the oven, fooling around with the temperature control
and the timer.  

"Oh Scully, you should have told me.  I would have called

"Skinner wanted us out there and I left my phone on at Mass. 
My guess is Father McCue will mention that to me tomorrow." 

"Why are you going again tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow's the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  I left
Mass before the gospel."  

I really hope Scully's God isn't that into accounting.  Scully's
God, "Even after last summer.   You're still going?"

On tiptoes, she tries to reach a pair of wine glasses on the top
shelf.  Since I'm here and want to be to be useful, I stand and
grab them.  She pulls out a bottle of  white burgundy, a 1991
Chassagne-Montrachet, and a corkscrew, handing them to me.  

"Earning my keep?"  I make fast work of the cork and pour us
each a glass.

"Something like that."  Not to be outdone, Scully makes fast
work of her wine.  

"You didn't answer my question."

She stares at me for a minute, honestly not remembering what I
asked.  When she does, it seems like she wanted to forget. 
"Yes, still going."


"Because I've always gone.  Because sometimes its an hour
where the FBI, my family, you, no one can..." She is stuck on
the word, "..disturb me.  Because sometimes there's comfort in
the rituals."


"Sometimes."  She looks at me, "And sometimes God answers
my prayers."  She walks to me and stands on her tiptoes again. 
"I found you." she whispers as she kisses my cheek.  Backing
away, she stretches a little, announcing, "I'm gonna take a
shower.  This needs to cook for about 15 minutes so just make
yourself at home."

I hear her change in the bedroom and move to the bathroom. 
Still in full good puppy mode, I make myself and the wine at
home on her couch, taking off my tie, belt, rolling up my sleeves
and toeing off my shoes.  Deciding to follow Scully's lead, I
drain my wine and poured us both another glass.  Not a bad
little wine.

She is a vision coming out of the bathroom.  No make-up, no
shoes, dark blue silk pajamas and wet hair.  If she thought
Laurel Springs was beautiful, she has no idea what beautiful is. 
Or how beautiful she is.

"You staying tonight?" she asks as she fiddles with the stereo.

"If you want me to." I reply as Teddy Pendergrass fills the
room.  I pass her the wine glass.

"I do."  She stands behind me and runs her free hand through
my hair.  

Scully, if you expect me to make it through dinner, you need to
stop now.  And stop doing that thing with my ear.

Right now.

No, I insist.  Really.  

"The ziti smells good." Yes, I, Fox Mulder, am smooth.

"Yea.  Let's eat."

Dammit, she stopped doing that ear thing.

I bring the wine back to the kitchen.  Scully pulls a rather large
tupperware bowl of salad out of the refrigerator along with
some shredded parmesan cheese and half a loaf of Italian bread. 
She pops the bread into the microwave for a minute while I take
a pair of plates out and set the table.  No one can say Mrs.
Mulder did not bring up a well-mannered son.

OK, half of all law enforcement, both federal and local, can say
that but I am trying here.

Scully puts out the bread and finally the moment of truth.  Ziti
ala Scully.  It looks good.  It looks really good.  It smells even

She gives me more than half of what's in the pan and takes the
rest for herself.  "Enjoy."

I do.  So does Scully.  

Ziti ala Scully is fabulous.  The sauce tastes homemade, the
pasta is good and the cheese is not only melted but browned to
perfection.  Just fabulous.  I tell her as much.

"You sound surprised."

"Scully, the fact that you do anything well is no surprise to me." 
That earns me a smile.  "It is terrific, but why'd you make
yourself a big plate?"

"I didn't really make it for me."

"Scully, are you entertaining gentlemen callers?"  I want to
sound suave.  I fail.

"No, my mother came by Sunday night.  I made dinner."

Oh.  "How is your mom?"

"Good.  Making Christmas plans."

Oh.  "Anything good?"

"Christmas is in San Diego this year."

Oh.  "Bill and the family aren't coming East?"

"No.  Tara's pregnant again and is having a tough time."

You know, this just gets worse and worse.  

Scully takes a sip of her wine.  "Mom wants me to go out on
Friday and stay for a few days but I told her about the cancelled

"Scully, I can get you the time off."

"No, if leave has been cancelled for all agents from December
27th until January 2nd, I need to be in D.C.  I have no interest
in flying across the country on Friday spending one day out
there and flying home the next."

"She alright with that?"

"Mulder, from the time I was born until I was fifteen years old,
my father was home for exactly two Christmases.  She's fine
with it."

"Are you alright with that?"

"Why do you ask?" She is annoyed but trying not to show it.

"Because I worry about you.  Because you lost your father and
Emily around the holidays..."

"Thank you Dr. Mulder but I made it through last year just fine
and I'm perfectly capable of doing it again."  

I lean forward, nearly putting my elbows in my ziti, "I never
doubted that you were perfectly capable and I know you are
always "fine"."  I take her hand, "I'm sorry I worry but I do.  I
care and I'm not sorry about that."

She gives my hand a little squeeze as she looks at me, "Sorry. 
The Frazier girls just have me a little on edge."

"That's O.K."  I kiss her hand and return to the ziti.  "Do you
want to do anything for Christmas?"

"Found another haunted house?"

"Ha ha."  That's my Scully.  "No, seriously, we could do

"Such as?"

"I'm light on Christmas experience Scully, your expertise would
be greatly appreciated."  I can see her wheels turning but I need
to be proactive here.  "Wanna go to New York?  Ride around
Central Park, go to St. Pat's, see the big tree in midtown, stay
someplace nice, the Four Seasons or the  Plaza or something. 
Maybe catch a Knicks game and drive home."

"I think I'd like to stay here."

"O.K."  Sadly, I finish my ziti.  Damn that was good.  I tear into
the bread to mop up the sauce left on my plate.  "Why don't we
get a room at the Hay Adams, breakfast in bed, mass at some
fancy cathedral, a nice dinner at some overpriced restaurant."

"I think I'd like to stay here.  As in my apartment.  You know,
Midnight Mass, a little eggnog before bed.  Presents in the
morning under the tree."

"I can do that.  We can play Mrs. Santa and the Naughty Elf."

She is desperate not to laugh.  "Only if you wear the shoes."

I wiggle my eyebrows, "And that's all I'll be wearing."

Scully takes a long sip of her wine.  "I'm all for the nice dinner,
you can work on that Mr. Elf."

"Why?  You make such great meals.  This was delicious."

"Thanks."  I could swear she's turning a little red but I'm sure
she'd blame the wine.

"I never really saw you cooking Italian food for your mother."

"Mom eats mostly sandwiches so I wanted to really cook
something.  Ziti is something we use to make the night before
my father came home.  We'd always have a great big welcoming
dinner so she'd make a tray of baked ziti the night before
because it was easy, filling and my dad loved the leftovers."

"And delicious."  I lean over again and give her a kiss on the
cheek.  "Lemme help you with the dishes."

"Doesn't get you out of Christmas dinner."  

I clear and Scully rinses.  Neither of us touched the salad so that
went right back into the crisper.  After Scully washes off the
dishes, I load the dishwasher.  Honestly those dishes will be no
cleaner when the come out of the machine than when Scully
finished "rinsing" them.

As she scrubs the baking pan, I come up behind her.  Wrapping
my arms around her waist, I give her a series of small kisses on
the side of her neck.  

"Mulder, I need to finish this."

I snake my hand under her pajama top.  "You have your needs,
I have mine."  

Although I can see her face doesn't react, I can feel her stifle a
small chuckle.  

After nibbling on her earlobe I beg, "Come to bed.  I need to
work off that dinner."

Now she's stifling a shiver, not a laugh, "So all I need to do is
feed you to get your full attention."

"Scully, all you need to do is crook one of those beautiful
fingers in my direction and I swear you'll have my full

She turns and gifts me with a magnificent smile.  After a long,
wonderful kiss I beg her to let the pan sit.

"You'll have to clean it in the morning."


I let her go long enough to dry her hands and turn out a few
lights.  She turns to me, "How did you manage to make this
perfectly miserable night better?"

"You feed me, I work better on a full stomach."  I pull her to

She stands on her tiptoes and whispers "Prove it" into my ear.

I plan on doing just that.

# # #

Maureen B Ock's 3 Cheese Baked Ziti (sorry, I'm mostly a

16 ounces (one container) of ricotta cheese.
2 eggs
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 box of ziti pasta
32 ounces (4 cups) of marinara sauce, heated but slightly
1 and 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions but make sure it is
al dente.  Remember, it is going to be cooked again. 
(Maureen's note:  Barilla pasta rocks my world).  Set aside in a
large bowl.

Combine the ricotta cheese, the eggs and parmesan cheese in a
separate bowl.  Take about 1/2 the sauce and combine with the
cheese mixture.

Mix the pasta and the remaining sauce.  Pour the cheese/sauce
mixture into the pasta/sauce mixture and stir well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spoon the mixture evenly into a 13x9 baking dish.   Once full,
cover the top with the mozzarella cheese.   Bake for 30 minutes
or until piping hot.



This is in response to the scullyfic challenge.  The required
elements were:

1.  "Melting" must either be the title or the story or the word
must appear as part of the title.
2.  The story must mention a birthday celebration.
3.  Dasha's element:  Mulder and/or Scully preparing the
author's favorite food with the recipe included in the author's
notes at the end.
4.  Shari's element:  Spooning! (Spooning is defined as a
physical position wherein one person's front is nested against
another person's back -- and Shari prefers spooning of the
Mulder/Scully variety, but I won't put that stipulation on the
5.  It must begin with this paragraph --
In sunlight the trees were crystal and glitter, as if they'd
sprouted from a fairy tale.  Now, in the moonlight, the branches
were painted a luminescent blue.  Laurel Springs would have
been the most beautiful place she'd ever seen, if not for all the
dead people.
6.  The story can be of any rating, any genre, any length you

I missed the deadline by a few days.  Sorry about that but it
took me almost 5 months to do a post Bio-Gen 80K story. 
What's a few days.

Happy Birthday to Shari and Dasha who run one hell of a list
with Jill.

Feedback is like the browned melted cheese on a baked ziti --
the best part!