Subject:The Barbecue Series-5: Holiday on Ice
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998
Category: Story, MulderTorture, Angst (for everyone!)
Rating: PG-13 for some language
Spoilers: Through Emily
Summary: Mulder is talked into spending Christmas with the
Family the WHOLE Scully Family Here we go again, folks!
Disclaimer: The names you recognize belong to 10/13
productions and Chris
Carter. I'm just borrowing them. I won't keep them. At the end of the
story you can have `em back, I swear, (unless you *want* to give `em to me.) All
other characters belong to me, and if Mr. Carter wants to borrow them, all
he needs to do is ask. <grin>
Introduction: The Barbecue Series, which of course when
abbreviated is The
BS, <eg>, is now five fold. It picks up in the Barbecue Series Universe,
after "A Quiet Thank You." You might want to read the stories sequentially
to avoid confusion. You can find them on my fanfic site (Thank you, Shirley
As always, thank you Vickie Moseley for taking time away from
Holiday story <VBG> to check this one out for me!
The Barbecue Series 5: Holiday on Ice
by Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)
I still don't know how the hell she convinced me to be on this
her. But that's my Scully; she can do things to me and for me that no other
person has been able to do in a long, long time.
The crazy thing is, she actually thinks this is a good idea.
It's not, of
course. It's not at all. I mean it's a bad idea to put Bill Scully, Jr.
and me in the same country, much less the same state, or worse, the same house.
But here I am, flying to San Diego, California, because my
Scully asked me
to. Okay, I made her plead. I know. That makes me a heel, or as Bill has been
heard to say, "One sorry sonofabitch." But I honestly couldn't imagine a
place I would rather _not_ be over the holidays, so poor Scully resorted to
begging and pleading, and you know I can't stand to see her look sad or,
heaven forbid, cry.
So, though it's definitely under protest, I am spending the
holidays in San
The holidays. Jeeze. It's been a long time since I'd spent the
with anyone. It's been a long time since I'd felt like I had anything to
celebrate. But I do now. And my reason for celebration is sitting right
next to me. Which is why I am sitting on this overcrowded, poor excuse for a
sardine can, and going to spend time with someone who dislikes me as much as
I dislike him.
Ahh, family is a wonderful thing, isn't it?
But Charles will be there, and for that I am extremely
grateful. I like
Charles Scully. I like him, and what's more, I think he sincerely likes me.
He treats me with respect, something Bill Scully wouldn't do for all the tea
in China, but Charlie? Well, he accepts me, for me. And as his sister's
Which is something else I don't look forward to dealing with
when I get to
San Diego. We've been told there's plenty of room at the house, and we're
expected to stay in Bill and Tara's home. I'm not quite sure how he figured
that out. I mean, it'll be me and Scully, Mom __, I mean Maggie. I gotta
remember to call Mom 'Maggie' in front of Bill. It's just not worth the
daggers he throws at me with his eyes to not call her 'Maggie.'
Anyway, as I was saying, it's us three coming from the east
and Karen and their two kids coming from Texas, plus the fact that Tara and Bill
have their own little guy, Matthew. That's a lot of bodies to have to pile
into one small, four bedroom house, right? So, why do I have a feeling Bill
and Tara will keep their room (granted, as it should be) all of the kids
will sleep in Matty's room, Charlie and Karen will get another room, and Maggie
and Scully will share the fourth room. Guess where that leaves me?
On the proverbial couch. And as much as I wouldn't have minded
months ago, I kind of mind it now. Oh, but not for the reason you're
probably thinking. Well, kind of for that reason, but not totally.
Yes, Scully and I have been sleeping together.
No, we haven't had sex yet.
We sleep together, for cripes sake, that's all. Don't get me
not like we don't want to take it to the next level. Oh God, we want to.
We _really_ want to.
It's just that, well, between my bum leg, which thankfully is
fully healed, and our case load being fuller than the load of crap congress has
been dishing out lately, well, we haven't exactly been able to manage to get the
Right. I know. Doing the wild thing does not usually take much
coordinating. Just jump in the sack and go at each other like boffing
bunnies. Well, maybe coordinating isn't the right word. Maybe coordination
is more appropriate. You see, I haven't exactly been at my one hundred per
cent physical peak these last few months, and well, even then, I mean, when
I did feel like I might be up to it, I __, I __.
I choked. Big time.
Scully was terrific about it. She said all the right things
and didn't make
me feel like a total asshole. I did that to myself just fine, thank you
very much. But I'm okay with it. I mean, I know when the time is right, we'll
make slow, passionate love to each other.
Or we'll have wild, no holds bar, raw sex. Or perhaps a
I don't care which it is, and neither does Scully. We've talked about it.
Whatever happens, happens.
I just know it won't happen if I'm sleeping on the God damned
couch in the
San Diego home of William Scully, Jr.
So much for my Christmas wish this year.
Of course, BillyBoy doesn't know this. Which on one hand is a
but on the other, more likely hand, it's a bad thing. I don't know if I'd want
to be in the same universe, much less the same room when BillyBoy finds out
his baby sister and I are even contemplating doing the wild thang.
I sigh out loud, and Scully looks at me. "You okay?" she asks.
"About as okay as I can ever be knowing I'm going to
spend five glorious,
fun- filled days at the mercy of your big brother," I say with a forced smile on
"Mulder, it's going to be fine."
"When did you become the poster child for Christmas
optimism, Scully?" I ask
a little more cynically than I'd intended.
"You promised me you were going to try, Mulder. Please.
He wasn't that bad
last time, was he?"
"Oh no, not at all. He just accused me, along with his,
intentioned, but totally incorrect wife, of being anorexic. And the only
thing that saved this past Thanksgiving was the fact he wasn't there, Scully. No,
I just had to endure the incredulous looks of our AD during that holiday!
"Look, I'm sorry. I know it seems like I'm counting my
chickens before they
hatch, but Billy and I in the same room together is like adding fuel to
Mom's, I mean _Maggie's_ barbecue!"
She looks at me quizzically now. I know what it is. I never
call her mother
by her first name anymore. It's Mom. Just Mom, and I suspect when Maggie
Scully hears me use her first name, she's gonna be really annoyed with me.
But you see, I know Mom will forgive me for my small transgression.
BillyBoy, on the other hand, won't give me the time of day, and I'd just rather not
deal with it.
So, in answer to her unspoken question, I explain, "Just
while I'm around
your brother. It really upsets him to hear me call her 'Mom', so I figure since
he's the host, I'd accommodate him, 'kay?"
She looks at me and wonders how the hell I make it sound like
thinking of Billy, when we both know it's my own personal psyche I'm trying
to save. She nods her head and then says, "You'd better warn Mom. She may not
be nearly as understanding as I am."
I look over at the woman I've adopted as my own maternal
savior, and who,
thankfully, has chosen to accept and adopt me as well. She is eagerly
studying a holiday cookbook she'd picked up on sale a couple of days ago,
hoping to find a new recipe to spring on us. Mom likes to use her children
as guinea pigs for new concoctions.
Yeah. I think of myself as one of her children. Can't let
BillyBoy ever know
that one either. Can't let BillyBoy know about anything that makes me
happy, now can I?
Damn! Why the hell did I let Scully talk me into coming to San
now I look at her, and I know why. I love this woman so much, I'd have
crawled there if she needed me to.
"Please fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. We
are currently in a
holding pattern but are do to land shortly. Stay in your seats now,
please," the flight attendant announces.
I watch as Scully checks her seat belt. She'd never taken hers
off. Ever the
little flyer, my Scully. Now, put her on a boat, and the woman is in her
element, but put her in the air, and she looks like a sad, little platypus
who has definitely lost her way.
She nudges me, and I realize she still wants me to talk to
Mom, but I shake
my head. It can wait. Or maybe she'll just figure it out. I hate like hell
telling this woman who I respect, admire, and love very much, that her first
born son is an asshole. An asshole who manages to make me feel like shit
every time I'm in his presence; who makes me feel guilty for calling his
mother, 'Mom'. An asshole who makes me feel it necessary to refer to 'Mom'
as 'Maggie for the duration of this visit.
The thing is I know in my heart she'd rather I call her 'Mom'
no matter what
her asshole son thinks. But I hate putting her in that position. You see,
Mom knows BillyBoy acts moronically sometimes, but he's still her first
born, and, rightfully, she loves him. I gotta admire a woman who can love her
idiot son unconditionally.
I wish I were so lucky. Well, in a way, I am. I've got Maggie
Scully to love
me without judgment. It just would have been nice if it had happened, oh
say, about twenty-six years earlier, but I guess beggars can't be choosy, right?
"Ladies and Gentlemen," says the flight attendant,
"we are now about to go
into our descent. Please make sure your trays are upright and your seat belts
are secure. Thank you for flying American Airlines, and have a very happy
holiday and healthy new year."
Okay. This is it. I'm really here, on the west coast. Oh, my
to be. Land of earthquakes and the three hour tape delay. Every time I've
ever been forced to visit the west coast, I've refused to reset my watch.
East coast time is the only real time in my book. I'd also rather face a
blizzard at Christmas time than an earthquake any day. Well, so much for my
Actually, that's true. So much for my wants, because this year
Scully and her wants. Her needs. This is the best present I can give her; I
promised her back in DC I'd be on my best behavior. She told me all she
wanted for Christmas was for me and Bill to get along.
Okay, she told me, if not get along, at least tolerate one
another while we
were in the same room. I told her I could do that for her. I could do
anything for her.
I don't mean to sound all mushy or anything, but that's what
the woman does
to me. She turns me to mush. Her love for me is my Christmas present, my
Hanukkah present, my Kwanza present, my New Year's present. I feel so rich
because of her love, I still wonder to myself if it's all for real.
She leans over and pulls my face down toward hers. She kisses
me on the lips.
It's for real. I thank what ever powers to be for my reality.
We disembark and I hear Tara's voice above the crowd, calling
Mom! Here we are! Matty, say hi to Grandma!" I look at the tall, red haired man
standing beside her, and see the man is actually smiling.
He's really not a bad looking guy when he smiles. It's just
that I so rarely
see him do so when I'm in his line of vision. Uh oh. Like now. I smile
meekly at him, and the smile he was wearing now melts into a scowl. Billy
stares at me with his mouth now seemingly frozen in a permanent frown.
Welcome to your Christmas cheer, Mulder. I've got to look for
a local motel
or something. Right. Like I'm going to find anything available two days
before Christmas. And the president is going to come out of the impeachment
process smelling like a rose. Maybe a dead, black rose, is more like it. I think I
need some air.
"Hello Billy," cries out Mom, I mean _Maggie_.
"Oh, Tara, you look
wonderful! And who is this beautiful, big boy?"
"Matty," he cries out in a much deeper voice than I
expect to hear coming
out of a one year old.
Then something amazing happens. The kid sees me. He starts
something and squirming. I don't understand what
the hell is wrong, but I'm ready to take off in the other direction because
I figure BillyBoy is certainly going to blame me for his kid's agitated state,
I look at Tara, hoping I'll find something of an ally there,
and I'm amazed
to see she's actually laughing. The kid is practically falling out of her
arms, but she's laughing. And then she looks at me, and, holy shit! She's
smiling. Man, this Christmas spirit stuff should be bottled and sold.
"Mulder, you'd better get over here and take him, or I'm
going to drop him
on the floor," calls out Tara happily.
I'm in daze. I think I just heard her say to take the baby, so
I do, and he
comes practically flying over to me. He's slobbering kisses all over me,
and then I realize what he's squealing at the top of his little one year old
lungs, "Unc-key Muddah!" over and over again.
I'm an Uncle. I mean, I really am an Uncle, but since my
she doesn't want me to a part of her or her children's lives, I've never had to
practice my 'uncle-ing' skills. Now, I guess I'd better start honing them,
since Matty has me as a designated uncle.
It's enough to make me not even mind him slobbering all over
me, or messin'
with my hair or my favorite New York Knicks tee shirt. Hell, I might even
reset my watch to be sure I don't miss out on anything with the little bugger.
I like this Uncle business. In fact, I'm eating this up.
And then I notice Billy staring at me as if I have three
heads. Those damned
daggers again. How is this man able to reduce me to feeling like a three
year old who's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar? I've done nothing
wrong, yet he looks at me and his own son as if we're both, somehow,
I give the little boy a peck on the top of his head, and say
aloud as I hand
him back to his father, "Okay kiddo, it's time for your dad to take over." I
hand him over, and then turn around. I don't even look for a reaction from
I think I could hate him right now. I could hate him for
thinking he has
exclusive rights on happiness. Why does Billy think I'm not allowed to be
I determine the best thing I can do is avoid the man at all
costs. If I see
him coming from one direction, I will go in the other. I figure it may be
possible to never have to be alone in the same room with him. I can get
through this. I can. For my Scully's sake, I can do this.
But is she ever going to owe me big time.
End of Part 1/3
The Barbecue Series 5: Holiday on Ice
by Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)
Disclaimers in Part 1
Scully and I follow Bill in our rental car. We arrive at the
house, and Bill
starts barking out orders for us to put our bags in the appropriate rooms.
Charlie and his brood haven't arrived as yet, but sure enough, I hear Billy
inform everyone they'll be sleeping in the guest room while Dana and Mom
will have the little office with the trundle bed.
Gee, I wonder where I get to hang my hat? I know I shouldn't
be offended. I
mean, I certainly didn't expect Billy to put his mother on the couch. I
certainly didn't expect Billy to openly invite me to sleep with his sister.
I just didn't expect him to take so much glee in designating
me as the family
couch potato, you know? But what really gets to me is I'm the only one who
seems to notice. I guess that Christmas Spirit shit also blinds you to
what's really going on around you. Oh, well, I'll have to deal with it. I decide
to be gracious about it, and ask Tara if she's got a set of sheets I'll be able
to use for the couch.
"Oh, Mulder," begins Billy, smiling broadly,
"Look, man, I figured you
wouldn't be very comfortable on that ratty old couch, so I made you a
reservation at the Red Roof Inn. We passed it on the way over, about seven
miles back. I figure this way you'd be able to get a decent night's sleep."
Everyone, including his wife, gapes at the man, standing
before us, with the
shit eating grin. He's proud of himself. He thinks he's succeeded in besting
me, yet still remain the total innocent. He's only being accommodating of
my needs. He's just being considerate, right?
Sonofabitch thinks he's gonna come off looking like the hero,
reality, he really looks like the moron he is. But you know what? I decide
to play along with it, because the thought of having to put up with this
bastard for the entire time I'm stuck here gnaws at my gut.
"This is really, really considerate of you, Bill," I
say ever so sincerely.
"Thank you so much. You know, ever since my leg got torn apart in that
little Fourth of July fireworks fiasco, I haven't been comfortable sleeping even on
_my_ own couch. So, you know what, I think I'll take a quick drive over to
the motel now and settle myself in. Figure dinner will be around five or
BillyBoy nods numbly, while I give each of the Scully women,
gape open even more at the moment, a quick kiss on the cheek and tell them I'll
meet them back here for dinner. I then pick up my bag and stride toward the
door. Suddenly I hear a high pitched wail, "Unc-key Muddah!"
I hesitate for a second, turn around, and see the baby is
uncontrollably in his grandmother's arms in an attempt to get to me. I
swallow the lump in my throat and call out, "Catch ya later, Matty," and
then head out the door.
I practically break out into a dead run for the car, because I
Scully right now. I didn't want to do anything that would give BillyBoy an
excuse to knock me in front of Scully and Mom, but I also didn't want to be
the cause of Billy getting berated by his mom and sister.
So, I took the high road. At least, I think I took the high
road. I hope the
others see it that way, cause if not, dinner ain't gonna be a very pleasant
I find the motel easily, and though I'm not absolutely sure
he'd really made
one, I find I do have a room registered under Bill Scully's name. The
bastard even prepaid the room. Isn't that special of him?
It dawns on me I won't see Charlie, Karen and his tribe until
makes me a little sad, but what frustrates me even more is I'm here in this
shitty motel room, and Scully's _not_ here in this shitty motel room. If
Scully were here, the room probably wouldn't be nearly as shitty. I smile
to myself as I wonder what we could do in here to improve the ambiance.
I also figure I'd better check my libido at the door when I
return to the
'brother from hell's' house for dinner. I just finish hanging up the one
suit I brought in case we went out to dinner somewhere more formal than a taco
stand, when the phone rings. I'm actually surprised it took Scully this
long. I half expected the phone to have been ringing when I'd first entered the
"Hello," I say when I pick up the phone.
"Are you okay?"
"Scully, I'm fine."
"That's my line, Mulder."
I chuckle at this, because it's so true, but I have to
reiterate it for her
benefit. "I know, but I need to borrow it, because I really am fine with
this. Scully, let's face it. I was dreading the thought of being cooped up
with Bill for five days. Obviously, he was dreading the same about me."
"But he has no right __!"
"__ Stop, Scully," I say as gently, but as firmly,
as I can manage. "He has
every right. Look, it's his home. It's his family. It's his right to have
a pleasant time at the holidays too, and if my not being underfoot twenty-four
hours a day is the solution, then let's consider it my little Christmas
present to him. Okay?"
"Are you sure you're okay with this?" she asks me again.
"Yes, and if you would consider some of the side benefits
of my having a
room, all to myself, with a lock and key __."
"__ Ohmigod, Mulder! You're right! I'm gonna go kiss Bill
right now, and
I'll be over in __! Shit, the doorbell! I think Charlie's arrived, Mulder.
Maybe we can have our little tryst after dinner?"
I can practically see her batting her eyelashes playfully.
Go say hi to Charlie for me, and tell him I'll be there around five."
"Okay, but I'd like it better if you made it back here
Matty has been absolutely distraught since you left. I think Tara would be ever
grateful for your 'Uncle-ing' skills."
I laugh out loud at this one. "Scully," I begin,
"since when do I have
experience at being an uncle?"
"Oh, I don't know, Mulder. Every time I've seen you
around kids, they've
always gravitated toward you. Even __, even Emily melted around you when
she'd first met you," Scully says to me.
I know this is hard for her to talk about. I know this is hard
for me to
talk about. Ever since Emily's death, and Scully learned about her frozen ova,
well, the idea of motherhood has been one that's always close to the
surface. But she's afraid. She's really afraid she wouldn't be able to hack it
because of her commitment to her job.
Oh, job hell. It's her commitment to me. Crazy, selfish, poor
excuse for a
person, sonofabitch, me.
So, I try and let her know I support her no matter what she
decides to do,
but it's a decision only she can make. In the end, it doesn't really matter
what I think; at least that's the way I see it.
"Well, I'm willing to use the old Mulder magnetism, even
if it does only work
on the under five set," I say, as I try to deflect some of the pain she goes
through every time she has to deal with a child that reminds her of Emily.
"Oh, I'd say that magnetism works on the over five set
too, Mulder. In
fact, I venture to say you'll have a lot to attract this evening, after dessert,
and everyone has gone to bed __."
My breathing quickens all of a sudden. "We'll eat fast, okay?"
I can feel her smile from seven miles away.
I ring the doorbell and Tara lets me in. She just looks at me
sorrowful eyes, and I lean over to give her a kiss. I whisper, "It's okay.
Really. In fact, Dana and I really _," and I emphasize the word really
quite a bit now, "like the fact I have some privacy away from mothers, and
brothers, and babies, oh my!"
At this, Tara bursts out laughing. She returns my kiss with
relish, and whispers back to me, "Oh, Fox Mulder, I knew there was a reason I like
you. Turn lemons into lemonade, will you! Well, good for you, and it
serves my idiotic husband right!
"Come, Charlie's been asking for you. And my son went
Now, I don't need to tell you how thrilled my husband was over that little
scene," said Tara conspiratorially.
I follow Tara into the family room and see Charlie and Bill in
animated discussion over something. Before I can say anything, I feel
something akin to a leech latch onto my leg. The bum leg, which thankfully
isn't so 'bum' anymore. I look down and I see little Matty holding on for
dear life. The last time this had happened there were two little screaming
meemies following him around and playing monster. I half expect to see
Daniel and Briana chasing him, but no, he's latched on just for the heck of it.
"Hey, Matty," I greet.
"Uppy." His arms reach straight up towards me.
"Okay, up we go," as I hoist him up to eye level. "How you doing big guy?"
"Unc-key Muddah, 'tay!" he says vehemently.
If I interpret the little bugger correctly, I think he's
insisting I stay.
"I'm not going anywhere right now, Matty. I'm staying here for now, okay?"
"Unc-key Muddah 'tay. Okay. Down."
Hey, I can take orders. I mean I work with his aunt and all,
so I put the
toddler down, and he turns to me and once more says, "'tay." I nod my head,
he smiles a perfect Scully like smile, and runs off to play.
"Looks like you've got a regular fan club there,
Mulder," says Charlie as he
stands up and offers his hand.
I grasp it in greeting, and say, "I've never had a fan
Surprised the hell out of me, I'll tell ya."
"You're not the only one," mutters Bill.
"Oh, Billy," I hear Dana call out, "Don't be a spoil sport!"
"Easy for you to say," Bill mutters some more, but
then his face brightens a
little and he announces, "C'mon folks. Dinner time!"
He then calls out to Tara and lets her know it's time to start
the food. I offer to help as does Charlie and Dana. We go into the kitchen
to see Karen already hauling out bowls of cole slaw and potato salad, while
Tara is trying to balance a bowl of macaroni salad with a tray of sirloin
"Mulder," Tara calls out, "would you mind grabbing the tray for me?"
I immediately walk over and pick up the tray. It's covered in
so it's a pretty safe bet I won't be spilling anything on my person (or
anything else for that matter) but I have to close my eyes for a second. The
steaks are defrosted and swimming in blood. Not exactly the kind of sight I
look forward to seeing nowadays.
I manage to carry out the tray without upchucking all over it
and lay it down
on the table next to the gas grill. Unlike Mo_, Maggie, who's obviously a
purist because of her refusal to use anything but a real charcoal grill,
Bill has the super duper deluxe model of gas grills. I think he really needs his
navigational skills to use the damned thing.
I watch him as he puts on an apron with one of those stupid
sayings on the
front, "Kiss the Kook," which of course I think is incredibly appropriate,
but I certainly will not be the one to point that out to him. I look around and
wonder if there's anything else I can do to help; like bring out something
other than a slab of bloodied red meat to throw on the ol' barby.
I don't want to ask Tara, for fear of embarrassing her in case
I've given up food that bleeds. I certainly don't want to ask Bill, since I
have a feeling he did forget on purpose. Okay. I guess it's time to take
that proverbial high road again and just keep quiet.
Now, if my stomach will only cooperate.
Everyone is chomping away on their steaks while I wrestle with the macaroni
salad. I never was much of a cole slaw fan, and the potato salad has a little
too much vinegar to my liking. The macaroni salad's not too bad, but an
entire meal it does not make. In a word, I'm starving.
Okay, that's two words. Doesn't change the fact I'm still starving.
It appears I'm on that high road all by myself though, since
no one seems to
be aware I'm going to start gnawing on the table soon. That is until my
"Mulder, that's all you're going to eat?" she asks
incredulously as she eyes
the tablespoons of macaroni salad on my plate. "Aren't you hungry?"
"Actually, I'm starving."
"Okay, so why don't you grab a steak and __." Scully
stops dead in her
tracks. "Oh, Mulder, I'm sorry. I forgot to remind Tara you don't eat
"It's okay, Scully. I'll grab a bite later on my way back to the motel."
"Oh, Mulder, there must be something in the fridge we can
cook up for you,"
"No, Scully. Please. I'd rather not make a fuss. I don't
want to do
anything to make Tara feel badly," I say aloud, and then to myself I think,
*don't want to do anything that'll make Billy feel good.*
"Well, if you're sure," she says. ''Oh, I'll be
right back. I wanted to
ask Charlie something about __. Be right back, Mulder!"
I watch her scurry off to speak with her brother. Scully is
never so animated
and relaxed as she is with her kid brother. She's not even this relaxed with
me or M_, Maggie. And certainly not Bill. Never with Bill.
Speaking of which, he looks me straight in the eye and asks me
how my steak
was. I think about it for only a moment. I reply,
It was delicious, Bill. Just the way I like it."
I then take that high road again and simply walk away.
Now if I can keep the stomach from growling, I might just get
away with this
I plead jet lag, and leave the Scully house around eight
forty-five. I pass
a deli on my way back to the motel and got a tuna fish salad sandwich on a
roll with lettuce, tomatoes, and extra mayo. Apparently Tara bought the
potato salad from this deli, so I abstain from that. I buy a couple of bags
of chips instead, and a couple bottles of iced tea.
I enter the motel room and place the food on the desk. I grab
a pair of
sweats from the drawer, as it suddenly got cooler. I can't believe how cold
the nights are in San Diego. It was a balmy seventy-three degrees this
afternoon, but now if feels half that.
As I pull off my jeans in order to change into the softer
sweats, I feel a
twinge in my leg. I lift my leg to put on the sweats. Okay, scratch twinge,
substitute lancing pain. Since the fireworks accident ripped apart my leg
this past July, I acquired my very own weather barometer. The damn leg
starts aching like a mother fucker when it's going to rain.
My very own precipitation forecaster. Which, quite frankly, I
give up for a pain free day. But right now, it looks like I'd better pray
there's some Tylenol in my overnight case, or I'm gonna have a helluva time
getting to sleep tonight.
I change and turn on the television. The remote allows me to
until I find my friendly neighborhood weather channel. I know. It seems
the last station I would have any interest in would be the weather channel. But
to be honest, I just want to check on the accuracy of my leg.
I munch on the tuna, which isn't horrible, but apparently they
don't know that
Hellman's mayo is the _only_ mayonnaise one should use to make tuna fish
salad. As I eat, I watch the television in amazement. The leg gets it right
again! Only the forecast is a pretty incredible one. There's been this cold
snap in the southwest of late. Hell, according to the map it's twenty-seven
degrees in Texas. Texas.
And Mother Nature is apparently pushing her little cold front
when mixed with the warmer air coming down from the desert, makes it appear
we're gonna have a white Christmas after all. Unfuckingbelievable. Snow in
San Diego. By morning. Will wonders never cease?
Scully and I were both too damned tired from the flight and
the day's events
to do much more than cuddle and catch some zzzz's when she'd conveniently
dropped in late, last night. She felt pretty silly having to sneak out, first
from the bedroom where Mag__, oh hell, where _Mom_ was supposedly sound
asleep. Of course, as Scully was just about to step out the door, she heard a
very soft, "Give Fox a hug for me too." God, I do love that woman!
Well, she then managed to get passed BillyBoy both coming and
she left here before dawn, kind of at my insistence. Bless my Scully, 'cause
she didn't argue. She knows as well as I do her brother looks for any excuse
to make my life miserable. I couldn't stand the notion of his passing some
kind of moral judgment over my Scully's character just because of me.
Especially not now; not at Christmas time.
So, even though she left here around four thirty in the
morning, she did
promise she'd drop by this morning to visit before I had to go back to her
I'd already gone out for a light run; couldn't do too much
because the leg
was protesting a lot this morning. Besides, it's cold. I heard on the Today
Show it's only thirty-one degrees, and it's threatening to drop even more.
I have my Egg MacMuffin unwrapped and ready to chow down when
knocking on the door. I open it, and feel my jaw drop.
"Close your mouth, Mulder, you'll catch flies," said Scully.
"Umm, Scully? When you said you were coming over early to
visit, I kind of
assumed it would time for just us?" I say as I look at the bundled up form
in Scully's arms.
"Unc-key Muddah!" Matthew squeals and attempts to
reach out to me, but he's
so bundled up with layers of clothing, it's kind of hard for him to move.
As I take his squirming body from Scully's arms, she explains
appearance to me. "I'm sorry, Mulder. I really, really am, but when he
heard me tell Tara and Charlie I was going to visit you, he became crazed again.
He just started crying and pleading to come with me to see you. I'm so sorry,
Mulder, but I couldn't resist. It seemed like such a simple thing to do,
and he became so happy." She pauses for a moment and takes in my own skeptical
"Fox Mulder, you are nothing but an old softie, and you
would have done the
very same thing, and you know it!" admonishes my Scully.
"I suppose you're right," I admit, and then I say
without giving it a second
thought, "God, Scully, our kids are gonna have us wrapped around their
"What?" she gasps slightly.
At this moment I wish I'd given what I'd said a second
thought. Shit! How
could I have said that out loud. How damned presumptuous of me could I be?
It also astounds me how insensitive I must have sounded. I mean, this being
near to the anniversary of Emily's death. I'm ready to crawl into a hole
about now. Just get me a shovel; I'm ready to dig.
"Scully __, Dana. I'm so sss__," but she cuts me off
before I can finish
"__Do you mean it?" she asks suddenly.
"Do I mean it?" I echo cautiously.
"Do you mean it. About having kids. _Our_ kids. Do you
mean it?" she asks
even more tentatively then me.
I simply look at her, and I wonder how she could not know. Am
I that closed
off to her about my feelings for her? What can I say to her to make her
realize I'd want to be the father of an entire football squad if she were
their mother. Oh, Scully. Look at me. Look at me and know how I feel.
But she's not saying anything, which means I'm gonna have to
break down and
actually verbalize how much I love her.
Not a problem.
"Dana, of course I mean it. I'd want nothing more than to
be the father of
your children. Dana, I love you. I've told you I love you; do you doubt
She looks at me with such an incredibly happy face, but more
than that, she
wears a content expression. Almost serene.
Oh, I like Scully in serene mode. I reach over to embrace her
in my arms
when I feel a little leach latch onto my bum leg again. Only this time it feels
like a bum leg. "Ouch," I mutter.
"What's wrong?" Scully asks with her doctor's tone
of voice, as she
unlatches Matty from my leg.
"Nothing. I'm okay. My leg's acting up a little, that's
all. The weather,
you know?" I say calmly and hope it rubs off on her.
"Did you run today?" she asks.
"Yes, but I warmed up and I cooled down, and it actually
felt fine earlier,
but now __," I begin. I bend over to rub it a little. It really is spasming
up on me now, and, all of a sudden, I'm pretty dammed uncomfortable.
"Have you taken anything for it?" she asks.
"Last night, I took some Tylenol, but I didn't need it this morning."
"Motrin's probably more effective for the deep muscle pain," she says.
"I probably have some of that too. I've learned from
someone near and dear
to me to always be prepared," I say with a grin.
"Need it now?" she asks, and I nod immediately.
"In your shaving bag?" she
asks, and I nod again to confirm her thoughts. She actually finds a bottle
of Motrin and watches me shake out four pills.
"I always take four," I hedge.
"It really hurts, doesn't it?" she asks quietly. I
simply nod and swallow
the pills down with some orange juice.
Scully insists I lay down on the bed with my leg propped up.
She wants to
examine me, even though I insist it's just the weather. She agrees that's
probably all it is, but suggests it won't hurt to check. She puts Sesame
Street on for the baby and demands I pull down my sweats.
"Scully, Matty's here," I remind her in an admittedly whiny tone.
"Mulder, I'm not looking to have sex with you."
"You're not?" I ask with my best puppy dog look.
"Not at the moment, my friend. Believe me, you'll know
when I'm looking for
sex. Now drop 'em!" she commands.
"Scully, you're turning me on, and quite frankly, at this
scares the hell out of me," I say chuckling as I pull down sweats. I watch as she
goes into doctor mode and immediately begins examining the scar tissue on my
leg to be sure it's free of infection and to make sure there's no unusual
Several minutes pass, and Scully pronounces my leg to be as
fit as to be
expected, and that, indeed, my extremity is a rather accurate weather
barometer. "I told you so," I tease. I then take a quick look over at the
Somehow, while Scully was concentrating on examining me, and I
concentrating on her, Matty discovered my Egg MacMuffin and is now happily
munching away on it.
"Hey, ya little thief! That's _my_ breakfast!" I cry out.
He looks so startled, poor little guy, that I immediately give
biggest smile to show him I'm not really angry. Hungry, yes, but angry, no. "Hey
big guy, can we at least share?"
No one ever told me the word 'share' is not truly a part of a
one year old's
vocabulary. On the other hand, 'tease' is very definitely in a one year
old's repertoire. Matty walks over with a piece of the muffin in his hand,
pretends to offer it to me, and at the very last second snatches it back and
chomps away at it.
The giggles are worth my feelings of starvation, but I finally
call a halt
to the game and insist we go out and get me a proper breakfast before I start
gnawing on the furniture.
"Okay, Mulder. Throw on some jeans, and let's blow this
joint!" says Scully
giggling. I love to hear this woman giggle. It has got to be one of the
sweetest sounds on this earth.
I do as told. Hey, I'm no fool. When my Scully talks, I
most of the time. While I throw on my sweater, Scully works on bundling the baby
up again. I can't believe it's as cold as all that, but Scully reminds me
Matty's not used to cold weather, so he'll feel any drop in temperature.
We decide I'll drive the rental, so I can return here anytime
I want. Scully
will drive the baby in Bill's van since it has the car seat. I pick up the
mini abominable snowman, he's dressed to the hilt for the unusually cold San
Diego temps. I open my motel room door, and am immediately assaulted with
cold air and big, wet, white splotches of precipitation. .
The baby screeches, "NO! NO!"
"It's okay, Matty, it's just snow," I say in an attempt to reassure him.
"'NO! 'NO! Down! Matty down!" he squeals with laughter.
"Oh! Yes, Matthew, it's snow," I respond as I
emphasize the 's' sound. I
hesitate to put him down though, as it's apparently been snowing since Dana
got here. There's a pretty good layer of snow on the ground.
"C'mon, Matthew," she says as she takes his
squirming form from my arms.
"Your father is going to have a heart attack that Auntie Dana has you out in
this weather! Let's go, little boy. Mulder, I'll meet you back at the
"Yeah. Hey, Dana? Be careful, it's pretty darn slippery
out here, okay?" I
"Yes, I will. You too, G-Man." I nod and watch her
walk deliberately on
the snow layered ground. She climbs in her car, and I walk with care to the
rental. We both pull out around the same time, and I figure we'll make it
back to the Scully house in about ten to fifteen minutes. Maybe a little
more, what with the snow and all.
When am I going to learn I should never assume anything?
End of Part 2/3
The Barbecue Series 5: Holiday on Ice
by Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)
Disclaimers in Part 1
I never see it coming.
The snow is coming down pretty hard now. I'm following the big
SUV Scully borrowed to get here, so it's kind of tough for me to see beyond
it. I've always hated those things, as well as vans and four wheel drive
models for that reason, unless I'm in one of them of course. But it's a
real pain in the ass to be stuck behind them. Especially in a snow storm, when
the visibility is for shit as it is.
So, I am concentrating so hard on keeping focused on her
vehicle, and trying
to figure out where the hell the road is, that I don't see it until it's way
The light hurts my eyes. I can only manage to open my eyes
into slits, but
it's just enough for me to realize there is much too much light out there
I try to get my bearings, but it's almost too much for me to
think about at
the moment. I feel dizzy, and I wonder why my insides feel as though they've
been turned and twisted about. I turn my head slightly to look out the window
of the car and find out.
I'm on my side, or rather the car is. I have a feeling this is
it was left in after it had flipped over once. Well, judging from the
pounding in my head, maybe it flipped twice.
I look around by turning my head slowly, as I don't want to
add to the already
loud timpani number jostling my brains, when I remember something very
Where's Scully. And Matthew. What's happened to them?
I start moving a little faster now, as I realize if Scully
were able to, she'd
be at my side trying to give me a medical examination. But she's not, which
means she must be __. Oh God, let her be all right. Let the baby be all
I manage to undo my seat belt and push the now deflated airbag
out of my way.
I push myself upwards toward the passenger door, and with strength I didn't
think I could possibly possess, I push the door up and open. I close my eyes
quickly as the light assaults my sensitive eyes all the more. The cold air
takes my now very shaky breath away, and makes it even more difficult for me
I pull myself out of the car. I do a preliminary check of
myself to make sure
I haven't sustained any other injuries. The bum leg is sore but no more
damaged than before. I thank the powers that be for small favors. Next, I
look for Scully's van. At first, all I see is a world of white. Snow is
everywhere, and it's still falling.
I look for the tall, road blocking, blue van but can't see it.
understand. She was driving right in front of me. If she saw my car hit and
roll over, she wouldn't have just left. Where is she?
I take a shaky step and find myself very lightheaded. The snow
around my face which makes it even more difficult for me to focus on my
surroundings. I feel as though I'm going to throw up when I look to my
Now, I actually do throw up. I can't control the heaving. I
what is probably my hundred and tenth concussion, and my unmitigated fear
for Scully and Matthew's safety, my body just gave up. When I'm finally to
catch my breath, I stand up and once again look to my right down a small, but
steep ridge, which had been blocked off by a flimsy metal roped fence. I work
hard to focus my eyes on the blurry images below.
One is red, the other blue.
It doesn't take me too long to get down the side of the ridge.
makes a wonderful icy pillow for me to slide down upon. As I get nearer to the
van I hear a wonderful sound.
Matty's screaming his bloody head off. I say a quick prayer of
that much. I then awkwardly move around the wildly growing brambles to get
to the van. I see Scully with her head leaning back on the headrest. I
next look over at Matty who's crying so hard he doesn't even realize I'm staring
at him through the window.
I rap on the window in an attempt to get his attention. He
doesn't hear me
at first, so I try to open the van door, which of course is locked up tight,
and bang on the door harder. This gets the baby's attention.
"Unc-key Muddah!" I hear his muffled cry and my
heart feels like breaking.
I walk around to the other side of the van and try the other door, but it too
is locked. The rear is also locked, and the baby's cries begin to escalate
I try to reassure him, but I'm not sure how much he can hear
me through the
closed windows and his layers of hat, muffler, and hood. I look once again
at Scully, trying to ascertain how seriously she's injured. I don't even think
about any other possibility, though I gasp a sigh of relief when I do
observe her chest rise and fall in a steady rhythm.
I don't know how to get to her. I look around for something
strong enough to
break the window. I wish I had a crowbar. Then I suddenly remember the other
car, the red one. The reason we're probably all in this mess in the first place.
I walk over, admittedly with a great deal of trepidation, to
the red car.
It's on its side and I have to brush away some snow to get a look at the
Oh, shit. It's a kid. It's just a kid, who's probably never
seen snow in his
entire life, and got stuck driving in it during this freak southern California
storm. I knock on the window and, thank you God, see him move a little. I
guess he's groaning a bit too, but it's hard to hear through the closed
window. I knock again, and this time the kid moves a little more.
"Open the door," I shout. "The lock! Open the
lock!" Amazingly, not a
moment later I hear a click, and I'm able to pull the door open. I ask the
kid if he's okay, and he mumbles something about his right arm. He's leaning
on it, and when I pull him up, he moans deeply, and I see the arm is dangling
at a rather precarious angle. This kid's definitely gonna be opening his
gifts up one handed, but from the look of things, that's probably the most
serious of his injuries.
Unless you count his car. Totaled. But I think he got away
I look down by the driver's seat, and sure enough see a trunk
I pull it and the trunk pops open. I look inside and see the object of my
desire. I pick up the jack handle and carry it to Scully's van. I go to the
passenger side and start rapping the window. Matty's quiet now, which calms
me down a little. I'm still waiting for Scully to show more signs of
consciousness, but I see she's still breathing, so I don't go into a total
state of panic.
RAP! RAP! RAP!
Nothing's happening, and now I'm getting frustrated. My own
head is reeling
a bit more from all of the noise and the exertion of energy, but I've got to
get to Scully.
I see the beginnings of a hairline crack and I begin anew.
The window splinters now. I pull my coat sleeve over my hand
push the shattered glass in toward the seat. I'm now able to open the passenger
door, and after I brush the glass off of the seat, I climb over to Scully.
"Unc-key Muddah, uppy!" cries out Matty.
"I will, big guy. Let me just check on Aunt Dana, okay?" I plead.
Miraculously, the baby quiets down and allows me to do my way
examination. I gently caress Scully's face with my hands and try to
ascertain if there's any cuts or bruises which would indicate head trauma.
I don't see anything, so I feel her head and discover a pretty
nasty bump on
the side of her head. Great! Twin concussions! I call her name softly,
but when I get no response, I call out a little louder. Finally, as I'm starting
to go into panic mode, she says, "Mulder, there's no need to shout."
I choke a bit on the last breath I'd attempted to take, and
lean down to give
her a kiss. "Sorry, but you were a little reticent about waking up there for
"I was? Why?" she asks with some confusion.
"Scully, do you remember what happened?" I ask a
little nervously. Amnesia
is not something I want to have to deal with.
"We were going back to Bill's house. It was snowing, and
it was hard to see.
I looked in my rearview mirror to make sure you were behind me, when __.
Ohmigod! Suddenly there was this other car! It was coming right toward me.
It was skidding, and I knew it was going to hit me, and, oh __!! Matthew!?
Matthew? Baby, are you all right?" she cried out all the while attempting
to twist towards the back to see the baby.
"He's fine, Dana. Those car seats really do their job.
See?" I ask as she
turns to the baby. "He's fine. Really."
"Aunty Dana! Go Boom!" said the baby. "Unc-key
Muddah? Uppy?" he now
"Soon Matty. I promise, we'll get you out of there
soon." I then turn to
Scully and ask her if she's okay to get out of the car. She nods yes, and I
offer her support, but allow her to get out on her steam. If she is injured
anywhere else, I don't want to exacerbate it.
Scully manages to stand on her own beside the van, and then
looks over at
the red car. "Did you check the driver?" I explain what I saw, and she asks me
if I could manage to deal with Matty while she goes and checks on the
driver. I tell her sure, and move toward the car.
I stop short. All of a sudden I'm feeling a little dizzy again
notion of throwing up again doesn't sound too bad. I move toward the back of the
van and do just that.
I'm still feeling lightheaded, but not as nauseous as before.
I find Scully's
cell phone on the floor of the car and, after I pull Matty out of the car
seat, call her back to the van. I don't want Matty to see the other driver
"Scully, I found your phone. Maybe you should call your
brother and 911," I
say. I lean against the van. I feel dizzy again, and I clutch Matthew,
like a shield, even closer to me.
Scully takes the phone from me and calls 911 first to report
She looks a little pale to me, but none the worse for the wear. I think the
force of the damn airbag knocked her out, she's so tiny. The van is in
pretty good shape considering. A lot better shape than the red car or the rental
I'm trying to figure out how my car sustained so much damage
when I hear
Scully say, "Hello Bill? Listen, I don't want you to worry, but there's
been an accident."
I hear the man scream at the top of his lungs, "WHAT?!"
"Bill, we're fine. Matthew's fine. I'm fine. The van's
even in pretty good
condition; it just has to be pulled out of the ditch, that's all."
Bill starts ranting and raving, when suddenly I hear Scully
Charlie, we're fine. No, Charlie I'm not hurt. Yes, Charlie, we were on
the way when I was hit by some poor kid who went into a skid. Poor thing had
only skied in snow; never had to drive in it.
"Yes, please. It's cold and the ambulance should be
coming soon for the
other driver. I want to wait with him until it comes. Also, we'll need some tows
for the van and the other driver's car." Scully sees me motioning and
miming something. "And the rental will need a tow too."
Remind me never to be on the opposing team of Scully's when we
play a round
of Charades. I smile now, or maybe it's a grimace, I'm not too sure any more.
Scully gets so wrapped up in dealing with Roger, the young driver, that she
doesn't have a chance to hover over me.
Which at any other time I might think is a good thing. Except
for the fact
I really feel like shit, and could probably use a good hover, ya know? But
Roger, who I find out is sixteen years old and has had his driver's license
for exactly a week and a half, is in a lot of pain.
Poor kid's also scared to death he'll be forty years old
before his father
ever lets him have the car again. He's even more scared he'll be fifty
before he actually _wants_ to get behind the wheel of a car again.
So, I can't fault Scully for wanting to mother him a little
bit. I hear
sirens now. I can't tell if it's an ambulance or paramedics or fire trucks,
or police cars. Considering the volume, it could be all of them. My head
is pounding again. I think I've been in an upright position for a little too
long. I lean against the car, still holding onto Matthew for dear life.
Then I hear a chorus of voices shouting down from up the
Matty! Dana! Where are you?" I know the loudest voice is Billy's, but I
hear Tara and maybe even Charlie's voice. Oh good. Reinforcements.
The cavalry has arrived, and not a moment too soon. I'm
lightheaded then ever, and Matty's starting to feel heavier and heavier to
me. I wouldn't mind if someone took the little bugger from me soon; like right
now would be good.
"Matty!" Billy grabs the baby out of my arms. I know
he didn't do it as a
kindness to me, but I'm grateful just the same. I feel as if my head is
reeling, and I don't know how much longer I'll be able to stand upright.
"Matty, are you okay big boy? Oh, you poor thing. Damn
it, Mulder, what
the hell did you do?" shouts Billy directly at me.
"Unc-key Muddah! Unc-key Muddah!" calls out Matty as
he extends his arms
toward me. Oh, that really pisses Billy off. Here he wants to desperately
think I'm the villain in this mess, and his kid wants me to hold him again.
Sorry, Matty, not right now.
I'm considering whether I should just slide down to the ground
or fall down in an awkward heap.
"Oh, Billy, knock it off. It was nobody's fault, least of
Mulder's," admonishes Scully.
The paramedics arrived and are now attending to Roger, teenage
Scully is able to come over and defend my honor. You go, G-Girl, and by all
means, wake me up when it's all over. I slowly begin my slide down to the
ground. I decide it's much more dignified.
"Mulder!?" calls out a new voice. Charlie?
"Mulder, you okay?" Yep, it's
good ol' Charlie. As a matter of fact, Charlie my friend, no. No, I feel
like shit. Does he hear me say any of this? No. I don't think I'm capable
of making intelligible sounds at the moment.
"Dana! Dana, help! It's Mulder!" Charlie cries out.
I knew I liked the
guy for a reason.
Scully runs over to my side and immediately checks my pupils.
dilated. What a surprise. I could have told her that!
"Oh, Mulder, why didn't you tell me?" she laments.
Sure. Ask me the hard questions, Scully. "The kid was
hurt, and somebody
had to watch Matty," I reply in only a modified gibberish. It sounds like a
reasonable response to me however.
"But you're hurt too, G-Man. When were you planning on
telling me you were
hurting too?" she asks as she gently massages the pain away from my forehead.
All I can do at this point is whisper her name, and finally, confess, "Scully,
I guess it's at this point I pass out.
When I wake up, I'm in a nice cozy hospital bed. They've taped
thingamagingies to my head to monitor me. I suppose my self-diagnosis of
concussion was on the money. I hate being hooked up to machines, but since
no one ever asks me my opinion on these things, I don't bother getting cranky
about it anymore. Well, at least not too much.
"Scully?" I call out. I'm all alone, and I'm not too
thrilled about feeling
all alone in a hospital room with only a God damned hospital gown to my
name. "Scully?" I try once more. Damn. Where is everyone? And how long have I
Did I miss Christmas?
I look around the room for any kind of a hint as to day or
time. I see it's
dark outside the window, and wonder if it's simply the same night of the
accident or, heaven forbid, if I've lost some days. I reach for the call
button and press it pretty insistently. Moments later, a tall, male nurse
enters my room.
"Well, welcome to the land of the living, Mr. Mulder.
You've been out of it
for a good bit of time there," he says.
Shit. I'm afraid to ask how long a 'good bit of time' is, but
I have to
ask. "How long?"
"Oh, well you were brought in eleven o'clock this
morning, and you've been
out of it ever since. It's a little after midnight, Mr. Mulder," he explains.
"That's all?" I ask almost gleefully. Just a little
over thirteen hours?
God, the man does not know the meaning of 'good bit of time,' does he?
"Isn't that enough?" he asks. I have to chuckle at
that, and I quickly
agree that it's more than enough. I then ask if Scully is around, and he mentions
she went to get a quick bite to eat in the cafeteria. "Do you want me to
"No. Let her eat. I'm sure she'll be back here soon
enough," I answer.
"Hey, any idea as to when I can get out of here?"
"I don't know, but I'm sure the doctor will be in later.
You can ask her."
I thank the nurse and watch him leave, all the while thinking there's only
one doctor I want to see walk through that door..
Luckily for me, my wish is granted not ten minutes later. She
walks in and
greets me with that perfect Scully smile.
"Hi," I greet in reply.
"How ya feeling?"
"Actually, I don't feel too badly. My head isn't pounding
at the moment.
Just a nice, quiet, manageable, dull throb."
"Tylenol, miracle drug."
"I guess they should pay me to be the spokesperson,"
I say, not quite
entirely in jest.
"I guess they should," she replies in kind.
I smile at her, and then ask the question most on my mind.
"How bad and how
"Mild, and overnight on the condition you're still stable
in the morning.
You'll have to be under constant supervision, however, which means only one
thing," she says with a slight glint in her eye.
"Scully, there is no way I'm moving into Billy's house
for the next few
days. I'm sorry. I can't. I won't," I say firmly.
"Who said anything about you moving in to Billy's? Hell,
no, G-Man! I'm
moving out. Looks like you're just gonna have to share that nice, private,
with a lock on the door, motel room. Can you live with that?"
"Umm, yeah. Yeah, I can live with that."
"Good. When you're released tomorrow, it's going to be
Christmas Eve. We'll
go over to Billy's and spend a nice quiet afternoon, have dinner and then go
back to the motel.
"Oh, and Mulder? If you're a good little FBI agent, you
may even get your
Christmas present early," she says as she bats those beautiful baby blues at
"Scully, are you coming on to me?" I ask in my usual leer.
And a Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a very good night!
End of 3/3
Please send all comments and feedback to STPteach@aol.com
And may I please take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and
healthy holiday seaon!