half-light chapter 9
Melissa is the only one who actually knows they are living together - Scully has managed to divert all her visits with her parents to their house (“Are you embarrassed of my place, Scully?” “Our place, Mulder, and no… I’m just not in the mood to explain why we’re living together to my parents.”) but Missy had insisted on coming over and having coffee sometime last spring so Scully had disclosed her new address and made her swear not to tell. (“As a fellow older sibling, I can disclose that there is no way she’s not telling.” “Shut up, Mulder.”) Mulder isn’t actually sure when she is planning to tell them, but he’s guessing that she didn’t have Thanksgiving in mind, when Melissa accidentally slips up and mentions “Dana and Fox’s place”. (He swears that she calls him that just to irritate him, seeing as how Scully had introduced him as Mulder in this universe.) Scully’s father immediately gives him a look that makes him want to melt on the spot, followed by a similar look from Bill Jr. Meanwhile, Scully is giving Melissa a nearly identical glare. Maggie doesn’t say much in the moment, but she kisses Mulder on the cheek at the door and not-so-subtly slides marriage into the conversation, smiling in a way that manages to be encouraging encouraging and encouraging and threatening all at once. She’d probably buy him the ring.
“God, remind me never to do that again,” Scully groans into his shoulder when they’ve finally gotten back to their couch.
“Um, honey? Christmas is coming soon, so I think you’ll have to.” Mulder scoots out of the way of the jab aimed towards his ribs for the honey. “If it makes you feel any better, holidays with my family would be worse,” he says. “It’d be a series of coldness between my parents and out of context questions about our lives. Also, I can’t remember the last time I brought someone home for the holidays. Or… ever doing that, in fact.”
Scully sighs. “I’m so incredibly grateful that I have a family to embarrass me at holidays… but I’d forgotten how confrontational it could feel at times.” She turns her face into into the leather back of the couch. “So this is normal? I should be grateful that my family’s back and can torture me?”
“Exactly,” Mulder says, rubbing his warm palm up and down her bare arm.
“Mmm. Well, I guess that’s what I’m thankful for,” she says into the couch. “What are you thankful for?”
He trails his fingers along her cheek. “This. You. The chance to start over, have a good life with you.”