A New and Glorious Morn by Maureen B. Ocks Maureen_B_Ocks@yahoo.com 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. This is a sequel for Melting the Day Away which can be found at my web site and the fabulous ChronX. You don't need to read that to get this, but it does set it up. Keywords: Christmas, assumed MSR. Rated PG13 (it is Christmas). Author's notes at the end. x-x-x A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn Fall on your knees Oh hear the angel voices Oh night divine O night when Christ was born. -- Oh Holy Night x-x-x Dana Scully's apartment December 25th, 9:10am My favorite Christmas happened when I was 14 years old. We were in San Diego. My mother told us that Dad was coming home on December 29th. For the ten years prior to that, my father was never home in December. When I was eight, he left two weeks before Thanksgiving and wasn't back until three weeks after my birthday. But when I was 14, I got what I really wanted for Christmas. My father walked in the door on December 22nd. My mother, it seems, knew and wanted to surprise us. Even Melissa, who was beginning her anti-military-the Navy is full of fascists-Dad is wasting his life-phase, was thrilled. That Christmas, the Scullys as a family went to Midnight Mass on the base. My father went in his uniform, my mother in her new black coat from Dad. Bill went in his college interview suit, Melissa in this flowery thing that foreshadowed her signature outfit as an adult. Charlie wore his confirmation suit while I wore a green corduroy skirt, a nice white blouse and a pair of boots I spent all my babysitting money on the day after Thanksgiving. After Mass, we sang -- actually sang -- Christmas carols as we walked home. When ever my family talks about holidays, we talk about that Christmas. We never had a Christmas like that before. Even in the years before Dad was gone, Charlie and I were too young for Midnight Mass so Mom would go at midnight with the older kids while Dad took Charlie and me the next morning. We also never had another Christmas like that. Once Dad was stationed back in the States for good, the kids all scattered like the wind. Bill went to the Academy, Melissa just went. One year after we moved to Maryland, I volunteered to help winterproof some Appalachian homes with Fr. McCue's Teen Club over Christmas break. Then I went to college and med school, studying my way through the holidays while Charlie played on a couple of championship H.S. and JV college football teams. Adult life after school made things even more difficult at Christmas. Bill was now serving all over the world, I was working for Uncle Sam myself. Melissa was always into something new and Charlie was trying to get "jets". Since Dad's death, Mom has prodded, begged, cajoled, whatever, to put together family Christmases. We had one -- the year after Dad died and before Melissa did -- and it was nice. That was the year Bill brought Tara home and they made their engagement announcement. It was very nice. Bill and Charlie were both on duty the following year so Mom and I had a nice dinner at The Palm. Charlie joined us the next year and then there was the wonderful trip to San Diego. It wasn't my worst Christmas, though I'm sure my mother thinks otherwise. There was some hope that year. Emily, like Dad walking through the door 20 years earlier, was a welcome surprise. It was my worst New Year's though. Last year was nice. I missed Midnight Mass running through a haunted house with Fox Mulder -- Anti Claus. No, that's not true. Mulder was lonely and found a way to work me into his life. In a lot of ways, Mulder including me on that odd little adventure was as nice a gift as the beautiful Picasso scarf he gave me the next morning. It was our first Christmas Eve together. And this is our second. Tara is pregnant again. No one told me right away, which in hindsight would have made the next major family gathering interesting. After all, the last time I saw Bill, he had one kid. What were they going to do with the new one, pretend he or she wasn't theirs? Better yet, "Damn Dana, I knew we forgot to tell you something." I found out about the future Scully two days before Mulder returned to work after his latest brush with death. I was thrilled for Tara and Bill. I was also hurt that my family thought I was either so selfish or fragile that I couldn't be happy for them. Mom told me a few weeks ago over dinner that Christmas would be in San Diego this year since Tara is having a rough go this time around. Since Y2K contingency plans mean all leave has been cancelled from December 27th until January 2nd for FBI agents, I wasn't making San Diego this year. Mulder and I made Christmas plans instead. Well, I made Christmas plans -- Mulder's Christmas experience it seems started when Samantha was four and disappeared with her. Mrs. Mulder was afraid of offending her family in Brookline with things like a Christmas tree or lights; Mr. Mulder just didn't care. But bless his heart, Mulder tried. Last week we went tree shopping -- that was interesting. Fox Mulder has a lot of Charlie Brown in him. Every tree he picked was worse than the one before. Honest to God, one snapped in two when he picked it up. Mr. Tree Seller realized what a danger Mulder was to his business and quickly found us a nice six footer with most of its branches and tied it to Mulder's car. Mulder made up for his lack of tree picking skills with his tree decorating skills. He did a great job with the lights, managed to mix and match my growing collection of Christmas balls nicely and much to my great surprise, put the tinsel on in individual strands. After we went to bed that night, I got up and took a quick picture of the tree. I think I found the front of my cards for next year. Skinner threw the two of us out of the office at 3pm December 23rd, showing Mulder a memo he sent building security with both of our pictures on it and an order that we are banned from the building until December 27th. My guess is Mulder will try to sneak in on the 26th. I figured he did some last minute shopping Christmas Eve -- I was done in November -- because he sent me an e-mail telling me he'd be waiting for me after Midnight Mass. He lied. As I walked back from communion, I saw Mrs. Daley, the women in apartment 72, sitting several rows behind me. I tried to catch her eye to ask her if she needed someone to walk her home when I saw my Christmas miracle. Fox Mulder was sitting three rows behind her. Since half of Mrs. Daley's row left after communion, I sat next to her. Before I could ask if she wanted company on the way home, she offered to walk me home -- it was getting late and "We girls have to look out for ourselves." Mrs. Daley is 85 if she's a day. As Mass ended, I brought Mrs. Daley to Mulder. "This is my friend Fox Mulder," I began the introductions, "Mulder, This is my neighbor Mrs. Daley." Mulder was at his charming best, extending an arm to both of us and discussing how he was the envy of every man there with two beautiful women on his arms. He brought his car so we were home in less than ten minutes. Since Mulder "forgot" something in his car after we got to the building, I brought Mrs. Daley to her door. Not surprisingly, the elevator ride and the walk to her apartment was one of the most thorough interrogations I've been involved in. Mrs. Daley, it seems, thought Fox Mulder was a catch. Smart, polite and "not hard on the eyes". Now, I could have told her all about Mulder's aliens, conspiracies and occasional need for an attitude adjustment. Instead I wished her a Merry Christmas and returned to my catch. What Mulder "forgot" in his car was a beautifully wrapped box and a wonderful bottle of brandy. He also lit the tree, started a fire and had my favorite holiday CD -- Phil Spector's Christmas Album -- playing in the background. "Mrs. Daley likes you." I told him as he handed me a snifter. "I clean up pretty good." He poured himself a little. "Yes, you do. Were you there the whole time?" "I wanted to just stand in the back but there was this usher who just insisted all the standees find seats. He waved one young girl down front while her boyfriend was seated near the choir. When he got near me, I just found a seat on my own." I smiled. Mr. DeMarco could always squeeze an extra person in a pew. "Any reason why you were there?" He looked down at his socks -- his shoes were no where to be found, "This was something important to you. I wanted to see it." "You could have come with me." "I didn't know I was going until about 10:30. Then it became the most important thing I could think of." He shrugged his shoulders. "It was...nice." "It was." I stand on my tiptoes and kiss him on the cheek. "Even nicer when I found you there." We opened our presents after that. Mulder's good watch disappeared when he was transferred out of North Georgetown by his mother. He was wearing his yellow running watch lately. I found a nice Movado with a black leather band. Hey, I like Mulder in black, what can I say. Mulder bought me a beautiful black pashmina shawl along with a nice cashmere pullover sweater to wear with it. Mulder must like me in black as well. We watched a version of "A Christmas Carol" with Henry Winkler of all people on cable while enjoying a little more of the brandy before falling into bed. I dozed off with Mulder's arms around me. Which is why I'm fairly unhappy to be up and alone now. I thought maybe, just maybe he was in the bathroom but we didn't have that much to drink last night. And besides, the sheets are cold. So is the room -- he keeps opening the window a crack at night -- so the room is freezing. His trip away with the Morley Man suddenly made him a nut for fresh air but while it was invigorating in October, it is freezing right now. Wrapped in my comforter, I shut the window and decide on a shower. In his defense, I found a post-it note on the bathroom mirror telling me he was going for a quick run. After washing up, I put on a pair of jeans and a green sweater, turn up the thermostat and decide I need some coffee. In the living room I find that Mulder relit the tree and found a station playing Christmas carols on the radio. In the kitchen, he's already started a pot of coffee. I'm less unhappy after my first cup. I'm very happy when he returns. It seems Mulder's run ended at the Old Georgetown Bakery on M Street. Oh, the Mulderscent mixed with fresh pastries -- it is Christmas. "Merry Christmas, Scully." He places the pink box of goodies on the dining room table and kisses me thoroughly. "Merry Christmas, Mulder." I tell him after the kiss. I notice he is holding a sprig of mistletoe. Taking it from him, I toss it on the counter, "You don't need that," and I prove it. Mulder looks down at me and smiles, "I ran into your Mrs. Daley as I was walking in. She's thrilled you met a nice young man." "Obviously you lied about other things than just your age." "Ha ha. She was glad you had someone to spend Christmas with." Mulder walks into the living room, taking off his coat. "I waited with her until her cab came." I pour him a cup of coffee and take a peek in the box. Muffins! "That was nice." "Yea, her kids should pick her up though. Sending a cab is cold." "She's going to one of her friend's home for Christmas. She and Romey never had any kids." "Romey?" "Mr. Daley." "Romey?" Mulder comes up behind me and pulls me toward him, "What kind of name is Romey?" He breathes into my ear. "Well, Fox," I tease but turn and give him a quick smile. "Romey's real name was Jerome. Mrs. Daley never liked Jerry so she called him Romey." "What happened to Romey?" "Had a stroke about 10 years ago and died. He was 80, I guess. Taught at Georgetown. 800 people went to his funeral. She was alone when I met her. Alone but not lonely." "No?" "No. She was a social worker. She started the church's senior citizens center and even at her age still does a lot to run it." I think back to the day when I ran into Mrs. Daley in the laundry room. I was trying to wash the mud of the Florida woods out of my camping gear and she was washing table linens for the senior center's Octoberfest. Mrs. Daley started talking about her husband and their lives. "She told me once that she and Romey loved each other. Really loved each other." Suddenly I'm filling up with tears. "Scully?" "She told me that God decided they had so much love for each other, that they were so lucky to find each other, they knew more was expected of them. She worked in some of the poorest areas of D.C. He taught illiterate adults at night. God blessed them with each other so they thanked Him the best way they could." I look at the man that I love and realize I was blessed to find him seven years ago, blessed to love him and have him love me, blessed to have him find me when I was lost, blessed to find him when he was lost. Nearing the end of this century, I find myself held lovingly in Mulder's arms and basking in the glory of God's love on the day He sent His only Son. Mulder smiles, "Merry Christmas, Scully." "Merry Christmas, Mulder." x-x-x Author's ramblings: One early reader asked what a pashmina shawls is. Here is a good article about them: http://utah.citysearch.com/E/G/SLCUT/0000/09/33/cs1.html Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the wonderful folks on both XAPEN and Scullyfic. It is wonderful to be associated with such talented people. Also holiday cookies to Shari, Sherrie, Lyd, Micki, Lisa, Mara, Barbara, Gwen, Kat, Rachel, Andrea, Jennifer, Mel and Lesley for being just amazing women. Feedback is a wonderful Christmas gift without all that nasty wrapping business: Maureen_B_Ocks@yahoo.com.