New! The Barbecue Series 9: Wearin' of the Green
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999

Category: Story, MSR, MulderANGST, mild Sk/Maggie

Rating: PG-13 for some language.

Spoilers: Let's just say through season 6, to be safe.

Summary: It's a very Scully Celebration on the day of wearing green; too bad
Mulder finds himself wearing a little more than he'd intended.

Archive: Yes

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: It picks up in the Barbecue Series Universe and directly
follows the incidents of # 8, so you might want to read it prior to this one...

Vickie says this one needs a sugar warning for diabetics...and I don't mean for
sappiness... you'll see! <g> Thank you, Vickie Moseley, my resident Guinnes
expert! This one is really for you! <VBG>

The Barbecue Series 9: Wearin' of the Green
by Susan Proto (

Part 1/3

"Scully, so help me if I am forced to drink green beer, I am going to puke," I
say half seriously.

She just gives me one of her patented, 'Oh, Mulder, get a grip looks,' and
tells me to get moving, or we'll be late.

We're going to Mom's house for her annual Saint Patrick's Day Barbecue Bash.
The woman looks for any excuse to hold a barbecue, but I suspect this day has
got to be her favorite. I can only imagine what these bashes were like when
Scully was a child, and the patriarch, William Scully, Sr. was alive to
preside over the festivities.

"How long has Mom been having St. Paddy Day barbecues, Scully?" I ask

"Oh, God," she responds, "I think forever. People have been gathering in
Mom's backyard for St. Patrick's Day for as long as I can remember. You
know," she giggles, "she always makes this God awful piss green punch with
Mountain Dew (r) soda and lime green sherbet. It is so disgustingly sweet!"

"And you lapped it up," I tease.

"Well, as a kid? Damn straight!" Scully retorts with a chuckle. "But poor
Charlie used to get sick on it every year. We were actually grateful when he
became of legal age and able to drink beer. He never got sick on beer, just
Mom's punch." I watch my Scully smile over that childhood memory.

"I'm glad Charlie and Karen are coming," I say.

"I know. I've missed them a lot, and I know Mom is anxious to see the

"What about Bill and Tara?" I ask not quite as enthusiastically.

"Yep. Tara wanted to come in and make an appointment with Dr. Keely." I nod
my head as the memories of last month's scare come to my mind all too quickly.

"She told me the Palsy seems to have subsided a little bit," I remark. I've
come to really like Tara, and have made myself available as her number one
booster buddy via e-mail. I tell her about how my own mother dealt with life
when she had Bell's Palsy years ago, and I guess knowing my mother not only
survived it but was cured of it, makes her feel better. I hope so.

I grabbed my lightweight wind breaker to ward off any March chill in the air
and head out to the car with my gal. It feels good to be walking out of our
apartment independent of crutches, bandages, or extra medication. Oh, and
yes, I said 'our' apartment.

I still have the one in Alexandria, but that should only last until my lease
is up in June. I thought about trying to sublet, but I figure that's more
trouble than it's worth. So, for now, I basically use it as storage.

We climb into the car and I drive us to the Scully homestead. I haven't been
there since February, when Tara, Bill, and Matty were in for President's
Weekend, since we'd been out of town on a case. Though Scully got a chance
to meet Mom for lunch once, I hadn't had the chance, so I'm really looking
forward to some maternal attention.


We arrive at Mom's and I start chuckling out loud. There is green everywhere!
I know Scully said her family always went all out for Saint Patrick's day, but
I could never have imagined, in my wildest dreams, it would be quite as,
well, as _green_ as this is. I guess my mouth is slightly agape as I walk
towards the forked walkway that leads to both the front door and the
backyard. I see the flag of Ireland hanging by the front door as well as
bright, kelly green shamrocks stuck in little posts up along the entire path.

We walk around the back and I'm amazed to see the small green and white
striped tent set up with little green shamrocks and green plastic leprechaun
top hats hanging from the tent's sides. I had no idea she would rent a tent,
but there's enough of a nip in the early spring air, that I don't think it
will go unappreciated.

I walk inside it and see Mom is pouring the contents of a few bottles of soda
into a punch bowl along with a couple of gallons of green sherbet. Mountain
Dew (r) soda bottles line the ground under the table. She then picks up the ice
cream scoop and begins to scoop out mounds of lime green sherbet. It looks,
quite frankly, disgusting. However, that's probably because I look at it with
thirty-eight year old eyes.

I figure Daniel and Briana, (Charlie's kids,) and Matty (if his parents let
him have a swig,) will lap it up. Just like their Aunt Dana did when she was
their age. I chuckle a little to myself when I consider that. The idea of
little Dana Katherine running around with a green mustache after devouring
that green concoction brings a huge grin to my face. God, I love coming here.
It seems like I smile more here than anywhere else.

And it feels so good.


"Hi, Mom,'' I say quietly so as not to totally startle her.

"Oh, Fox! I'm so glad you're here," she says as she snares me into a
wonderful, loving hug. Yeah, I sure can get used to this 'family thang.'

"Have Charlie and Karen arrived in town yet?" I ask. I'm really eager to see
Charlie again. I haven't seen him in several months, and I miss having the
opportunity to converse with another man that's neither my superior (like
Skinner,) nor my adversary (like Bill,) nor crazier than me (like the Gunmen.)
We just have a healthy case of mutual like and respect for one another, and I
look forward to being able to touch base with him again.

"Yes," Mom says with a huge smile. Charlie's her baby, so obviously she's
just as anxious to see him, Karen and their kids too. "They're at the hotel
and should be here any moment. For some reason I can never convince them to
stay here. It drives me crazy!"

"Well, maybe they figure it would drive you less crazy to have them in a motel
then to actually be staying here the entire time," I say.

"I know, but I just get to see them so rarely," she sighs.

I suddenly feel someone's arm wrapped around my waist, and twist a bit to see
it's my Scully with one arm wrapped around me and the other reaching for a
bottle of Guinness beer.

It's at that point I see the bottles of Guinness in the coolers. One thing
wrong with that though. No ice. Of course, my years in England taught me the
so called proper way to drink Guinness is warm, but quite frankly, I never
could get used to that little tradition.

I'm not much of a drinker; Dad kind of turned me off to that at early age.
But when I do partake in the occasional beer, it's got to be cold. Ice, ice,
cold. I must make a grimace while I look at what's available on the table,
cause Mom, who's just finished making her infamous piss punch, smiles and
says, "Fox, go check out the bottom shelf of the fridge in the garage. Way in
the back on the __," she hesitates for a moment as she searches her memory,
"the right side." I look at her curiously, but she just waves me on.

I go into the garage and open up the old, olive colored refrigerator. I bend
down and scan the back of the shelf. I smile now when my eyes spot the
intended target. There's a six pack of Sam Adams, which are very cold to the
touch. You know? If I weren't so damned in love with Scully, I could easily
fall for her mother at this very moment. Leave it to that woman to think of
me every time.

I grab a bottle, open it, and take a satisfying gulp. I tend to drink beer a
little quickly, because like I said, I only like it when it's icy cold. If I
take too long to drink it, it gets too warm, and to my mind it becomes

As I walk back out to the tent, I notice a new car in the driveway. I see
Tara and Bill arrive with Matthew, as they're trying to unload the trunk of
the car. Bill and Tara will stay with Mom at the house. Apparently Bill,
unlike his younger brother Charlie, has never felt any compunction about
driving Mom crazy during his visits. I take a deep breath, smile, and call
out hello.

"Unkey Mulduh!!" squeals Matty. Well, at least I know one of the Scully boys
is happy to see me. I give the baby a huge smile and hold out my arms to him.
He comes running, and I sweep him up in my arms. I am happier than I thought
possible at being able to hold this baby in my arms.

Tara calls out to Matty and admonishes him to be careful and not hurt Uncle
Mulder. I have to laugh out loud at that. I mean, you know things get a
little harried when a mother has to tell her two year old to be careful and
not hurt me. Oh well, but the truth of the matter is, she's probably right.
It's only been a couple of weeks since the burn on my arm healed to the point
where the bandages could come off. I guess I'll keep my mouth shut and not
argue with the woman. Ironically, she seems to know what she's talking about.

She comes over to me, reaches up, and leans in to give me a kiss on the cheek.
I happily reciprocate the gesture. "Hi, Tara. Let me look at you," I say
with a smile. She's looking really good. The effects of the Bell's Palsy
seem to really be subsiding a lot. I still see a hint of a droop at the
corner of her mouth, but nothing like a few weeks ago.

"You look terrific, you know," I say sincerely.

"I feel pretty terrific," she replies with a huge grin. Last time I saw her
she could barely make a grimace. Now she's able to smile. "The doctor says
I was very fortunate. The quick steroid treatment apparently helped in
preventing the symptoms from getting any worse, and then my case was mild
enough that the symptoms started disappearing fairly rapidly. I'm practically
back to normal," she says.

"I'm really glad for you, Tara." I look at her and can't help myself. I
reach over, while still holding Matty in one arm, and envelope her in my other
arm in a hug. She deserves to be healthy and happy.

Suddenly I hear someone clearing their throat and realize Big Brother Bill is
trying to get our attention. I turn and nod my head. The last time I saw
Bill, we'd left our relationship in a somewhat tenuous truce. As I watch him
staring at me, holding his son and hugging his wife, I can't help but wonder
if he's ready to call a halt to the cease-fire. With Bill, I never seem to
know where I stand from one moment to the next. Finally, I hand Matty over to
Tara, and then I walk towards Bill with my hand extended. I offer to shake
his hand, and I wonder if he's going to take me up on it. He does, but not
without an ever so slight sneer as well as an unenthusiastic hand grip.

Oh well. I guess it's nice to know some things are consistent.

"Where's Dana?" he asks. Nice to see you again too, Billy boy.

"She's in the tent," I answer. He nods and walks away from me. I watch him
walk away and then look at Tara. "Is it me?" I ask bluntly. "Cause if
there's something I'm doing that's really rubbing him the wrong way, and I can
fix it, I will. So, is it me?"

"No, Mulder, it's not you. I'm afraid you're just going to have to accept the
fact that Bill is never going to be your best bud."

I start laughing at that. Leave it to Tara to call it like it is. I smile in
acceptance and ask her if there's anything I can do to help her since her
chivalrous husband pretty much left her in the lurch. She asks if I wouldn't
mind carrying in a couple of suitcases, so she can grab Matty's paraphernalia
and, of course, Matty himself.

After I drop the suitcases in the front hallway, I go back out to the tent. I
notice Bill and Tara are chatting with Mom while she's holding Matthew in her
arms. I then see Scully seated at the table with Irene, Mom's neighbor.
They're holding what appears to be a rather animated discussion, so I wander
around for a moment or two before I hear Mom call out for Irene to assist her
with some sort of food preparation.

I see Irene rise and as she's about to pass me she grabs me and gives me a
huge bear hug and a wet kiss. "Hello me darlin'," she says in the worst
imitation of an Irish brogue I'd ever heard. "I know, I know," she says with
laugh, "it's a terrible accent, but I've been coming to Maggie Scully's St.
Patrick's Day bash for the last ten years and I figure someday that brogue is
going to rub off on this little German gal!"

I laugh and tell her to keep practicing, and watch her go off to help Mom. I
look around and realize Bill, Tara and Matty are no where in sight. I figure
Tara must be changing Matthew and Bill is probably scrounging for something to
stuff in his face immediately. That's the usual pattern when the Bill Scully,
Jrs. come to visit.

I see Scully sitting at a table with a bottle of Guinness. She takes note of
my Sam Adams, and smirks, "Amateur." I figure she's right, because by now the
darn bottle has warmed up to an unpalatable temperature, so I just set it down
on the table. I notice there's an empty Guinness bottle nearby, and wonder if
my navy brat plans on drinking everyone under the table today.

"Second one already?" I ask casually.

"No," I hear her say, and I'm relieved.

"It's actually my third." So much for being relieved.

"Scully, don't you think you're going a little fast __," I begin.

"__Mulder, it's Saint Patrick's Day. I am the Irish twin in our little
partnership. Don't begrudge me my day of celebrating. Besides, I've just
appointed you my designated driver, so what's to worry."

"Scully, that's potent stuff," I admonish.

"Mulder, don't worry. If there's one thing I can do, it's hold my Guinness.
Trust me."

"I trust only you, Scully," I say with a smile, She returns it and begins to
lean into me when I suddenly see Bill reappear. He's got this grin from ear
to ear. I'm not sure exactly what it is the man is grinning about until I
hear an unknown voice coming from outside the tent.


Scully jerks up, and a deep, baritone voice repeats, "Danesy? Is that you?"

Scully squeals, "Chewey?!" She turns and looks at the source of the voice who
has just walked into the tent. "Ohmigod! Chewey!" She jumps up and leaps
into this person's arms. Literally. I mean she practically does a swan dive
into this guy's arms.

Wait a minute. Dansey? Did he just call my Scully 'Danesy' and live? I've
been shot for less than that.

Then I hear something that really blows my mind. Scully's giggling. I never
hear her giggle in front of anyone except me, and maybe her mom.

Who the hell is this guy? And why is my Scully snuggling right into his arms
and neck? I decide it's time to take some action here and go over to where
the superman wannabe is doing the tango with my almost fiancee.

Umm, yeah, I did say 'almost fiancee.' We'd talked about our future last
month right after Bill and Tara had returned to San Diego. Yeah. We finally
had _the_ talk. Still nothing definite, but we're almost there. So I
guess that's why I'm a little uncomfortable with this giant manhandling my

Though I suppose I'm more uncomfortable with the idea that my girl seems to
enjoy being manhandled by this guy.

"Umm, hello," I offer to anyone who will listen.

"Hello," young Goliath returns.

"Oh," giggles Scully once more, "Mulder, this is Chewey." Chewey extends his
right arm to me, while he effortlessly hold Scully in his left arm. Kind of
like how I was holding Matty. Only this guy is holding a five foot three tall
woman. Now mind you, Scully is just a little wisp of a woman, but still.
This guy looks like he could hold me up just as easily.

I'm about to introduce myself and let this guy know he'd better get his paws
off of my almost fiancee, when Scully cuts in on my thoughts and says,
"Chewey, this is Mulder, my___." She pauses.

She pauses?

"This is Mulder," she repeats, "my _partner_. From the FBI."

As I shake the guy's extended hand, I find myself ready to catch flies with my
now very open mouth. Partner? Yes, that's true. But what's this 'from the
FBI' crap? I find myself looking first at Scully and then at Chewey. Then,
from the corner of my eye, I see something that really disturbs me.

It's Bill. And damned if he isn't standing in the corner with the biggest
shit eaten grin on his face. He witnessed this entire scene, and I swear the
man is gloating over it. I'm not sure with whom I'm more annoyed with at the
moment. Scully, Neanderthal man, or my pain in the ass almost brother-in-law.
Or maybe the one I should be most annoyed with is me.

Yeah, me.

Here I am, ready to doubt my Scully, because her brother is looking like the
Cheshire cat who ate the canary. Of course the fact that Scully has shown
absolutely no signs of climbing out of Mr. Superhero's arms may have something
to do with my self-doubt.

"FBI?!" I hear Chewey exclaim. "Dansey! I can't believe you're in the FBI!
You have got to tell me all about it, sweety!" And he turns around, with my
Scully still in his arms, and walks over to the table.

Scully never looks back.


I stand off in the corner and watch Scully pick up her beer and finish it, all
the while yammering away with Chewey.

Chewey? I don't have a clue as to who this guy is, but I need to find out.
Unfortunately, the only source I have at the moment is probably the last
person in the world I want to talk to about this. Unfortunately, I feel as
though I don't have much of a choice either. I feel myself let out a huge
sigh, and turn to what appears is my own personal cross to bear.

"Bill? Who is this guy?"

"Chewey?" He sees me nod, and I wonder if he's going to have the decency to
answer. He gives me that little sneer again, and then says, "Chewey is one of
my best friends from High School. The man didn't look quite the same way back
then as he does now," he adds with a chuckle.

"Oh? How did he look back then?" I ask, curiosity getting the best of me.

"Well, he'd grown his hair really long, and had this ridiculously scraggly
beard. The guy looked really scruffy. One night?" Bill begins, but starts to
chuckle as the memories begin to form more clearly. "One night he comes over,
and his hair is down to his shoulders, and the side burns bush out to there,"
he says as he holds his hands about a foot away from his face. "And then
there was the beard. God, Brian had the most incredibly hairy face!

"He came over to hang out with me, and Dad was on shore leave. Now you gotta
understand, Dad always liked Brian, but when he saw his appearance, well the
man just about went ballistic. He started ranting and raving about how he
looked just like that Star Wars character, at which point Missy, Dana and I
all screamed out together, "Chewbacca! Needless to say, Brian was Chewey from
that day on."

Okay, that was a cute story. But there was still something that is not quite
clear to me. "So, umm, Brian, or rather Chewey, he's your friend, right?" I
see the wheels turning in Bill's head. Damn it, if he doesn't know exactly
what I'm asking, and why.

"Oh yeah, he's been one of my best friends for as long I can remember." He
pauses while I hold my breath. I swear, the man is playing with me. Yup,
he's definitely playing with me. I can take it. I think. I hope.

"But you know?" Bill asks rhetorically, "Dana always had the hugest crush on
the guy. I mean, it didn't matter how much hair the guy had on his head, on
his face, whatever. She was so in love with him, she'd pull all these little
shit games on us in order to be able to hang out with us.

"Poor Danesy," he says with a chortle. "Chewey always had eyes for Missy, who
of course couldn't stand the sight of him in a romantic sense. Unrequited
love all the way around," Bill concludes.

Oh. So this guy was some high school crush. Okay, I can live with this,
right? He can't hurt me. But then I look over and watch my Scully making
goo-goo eyes at this guy.

Chewey? He sure doesn't look like Chewbacca now. The guy has practically jet
black hair, and though it's quite short, it's just long enough to sport a hint
of a wave. His eyes are such a deep blue, I'm tempted to ask him if he wears
tinted contact lenses.
Milky white skin, with just a hint of a freckle, are the final pieces of proof
that Brian Chewbacca is most definitely of Irish decent.

"What's his last name?" I ask curiously.

"Kellechan." Well, that certainly seals the heritage question, doesn't it?

Brian 'Chewbacca' Kellechan. Okay, so he has every right to be celebrating
Saint Patrick's Day. Certainly more than Fox William 'O'Mulder.' I just wish
he wouldn't celebrate so damned close to my Scully.

End of Part 1/3
The Barbecue Series 9: Wearin' of the Green
by Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 2/3

I stand off to the side just watching for a bit. Suddenly, Scully calls out
to me, and I figure she's about to bring me back into the fold, so to speak.

"Mulder, would you mind bringing over a couple of beers?" she asks. Okay, not
exactly what I expect, but, at least she's asking me to do something that will
get me in their general proximity. I pick up a couple of the warm bottles and
bring them to the table. "Thanks," she says as she opens it and starts to

I think I've been dismissed, but I'm not really sure. I'm about to say
something when I hear Scully then ask, "Mulder, would you find out when my
mother is going to start the fire? I am absolutely starving!" I hear Chewy
immediately utter some syllables of agreement and then watch the two of them
return to their intimate conversation.

"Umm, sure," I say uncertainly, though I'm not sure if either of them bothers
to hear me. As I walk toward the house I veer off back to the garage. I
decide I need a refill myself, but besides that, something gnaws at me, but
for the life of me I can't quite figure out what it is.

I step inside the garage and begin to wrack my brain in order to figure out
what's niggling at me. As I reach in to grab the bottle, I once again thank
the powers that be for Mom and her thoughtfulness.

Then it hits me what's bothering me. Mom. Scully said 'my mom.' For some
reason, that really bothers me. It seems she's suddenly possessive of Maggie
Scully, and I feel like I'm being left out in the cold. My Scully is usually
so much more in tune with these kind of things, so I don't understand why she
is suddenly so unaware of my feelings.

"Yo! Mulder, is that you in there talking to yourself a mile a minute?" calls
out a new voice from the driveway.

Have I been talking out loud? Jeeze, the woman really does have me thrown for
a loop. I hadn't even realized it. Then the face behind the voice appears in
the garage. Oh, am I ever happy to see Charles Scully in the flesh.

"Charlie, if I am," I respond to his tongue in cheek question," it's probably
because I'm the only one who listens to me." I guess maybe I'm not speaking
with my tongue in cheek as much as I think.

"How ya doing, Mulder?" he asks with a smile and a handshake.

"Okay, Charlie, thanks. Where are Karen and the kids?"

"Oh, Briana lost a tooth on our way here, and she couldn't wait to show
Grandma Maggie. So, of course, Daniel figured if Briana was gonna get a
reward for Mother Nature's handiwork, he was going to try and reap some
rewards by virtue of association. Karen ran in with them to make sure Mom
didn't offer Briana the deed to the house as the Tooth Fairy's gift!" he said
with a chuckle.

I laughed in commiseration with him, and did that ever feel wonderful. I've
missed this Scully sibling, and I'm delighted we'll have an opportunity to sit
and shoot the breeze.

He takes note of the bottle in my hand, and says, "What's this? Cold Sam
Adams beer in Maggie Scully's house on St. Patrick's Day? This might be
considered heresy in some parts of the world, Mulder!"

I laugh, and then do the only thing I can do in response to that. "You want
one?" I offer.

"Hell, yes!" he exclaims. "I can't stand that warm shit!" He takes one of
the four bottles left and twists it open for a quick guzzle. "I don't think I
can handle Dana's taunting if she catches me with this, so if you don't mind,
I'd rather you keep it our little secret, 'kay?"

I give Charlie my best 'Scout's Honor' signal and then suggest to him he'd
better go inside and see Mom. Charlie agrees quickly, and we head inside.

I see Tara and Irene are busy pulling various salads and platters of raw meat
out of the fridge. Someone's got to bring the plates out to the barbecue. I
hang back a little, since I know it can't be me. One of these days red meat
and I may be able to stay in the same room as one another, but today's not the

Karen is nearby and calls out a greeting. She throws me a kiss and then
offers to bring out some of the meat platters, for which I am extremely

Next, I see Charlie walk over and watch Mom open her arms up to receive her
'baby.' I can only imagine the happiness Maggie Scully feels at having all of
her children home with her. Well, almost all. Melissa's presence, I'm sure,
is sorely missed on these family occasions.

I'm just about ready to invite Charlie outside to chat when Bill walks into
the kitchen. We meet each other's eyes, but I have trouble reading what they
say to me. All I know is, I don't feel anything good will come of it.

"Charlie!" Bill calls out in greeting to his kid brother, "It's great to see
you, man! Where ya been?"

"Hey, it's rush hour now, bro," he replies.

Of course, Charlie is right about that. Scully and I managed to complete our
housekeeping duties down in the basement and told the AD we were taking some
down time. He okayed it without a fuss. I suspect because he was going to be
doing the same thing and joining us at the barbecue. In fact, I'm kind of
surprised Skinner's not here yet. I guess the traffic really is bad, as I'm
sure he didn't get to leave the office as early as we did.

"Well, you're looking good, little brother," Bill says good naturedly.

"Thanks. Hey, speaking of good looking, where's my beautiful sister?" he asks
more of me than of Bill. But before I can answer, Bill steps in.

"Oh, you mean Danesy?" he asks with a bit of a smirk.

"Danesy?" Charlie echoes with surprise. "God, I haven't heard Dana called
that in years! Only person I knew who could ever get away with that was

"Yeah, well it's still the only person! He's outside in the tent keeping our
darling sister mesmerized, right Mulder?" Bill is enjoying my misery way too
much for his own good. Only problem is, the only ones who realize I'm
miserable are me and Bill.

Charlie practically squeals in delight. "Chewy's here? You're kidding,
right!?! He's here? Where?!"

"C'mon, I'll show you," Bill says as he gives me one last 'gotcha' look and
leads his younger brother outside to the tent.

Well, so much for a bonding session with Charlie.

I look up and see Mom hustling and bustling to get everything ready. She's
expecting half her neighborhood to show up within the next half hour, and
wants to get everything organized so she can enjoy herself. I don't blame
her, and I feel a little guilty about bringing up the subject, but I can't
help it. The guy is driving me crazy, and I've got to find out what the deal

"Hey, Mom?" I begin tentatively.

"Yes, Fox," she responds, but I can tell she's slightly distracted. I press
on anyway.

"Mom, what's the deal with this guy, Chewy? I mean, I've never heard of him
before, but he seems to be pretty special to Bill and Charlie." I pause here,
take a deep breath, and add, "Scully too, I guess. What's his story?" I ask
a little more tersely then I'd really intended, but I can't help it. The guy
is making me nuts.

"Chewy? Oh, Brian," she confirms aloud. "Well, he's Bill's friend from high
school, but I suppose you could say he's an adopted member of the Scully
family," she begins.

Well, I can relate to that. I mean, they adopted me, didn't they?

"Brian practically lived here after his father died. I guess Brian was a
freshman in high school, so he must have just turned fourteen when Mr.
Kellechan passed away. It was rather sudden. Poor man died of a heart
attack. Sudden and very unexpected," Mom says with a bit of a shudder. I
know she's thinking back to when her own husband died suddenly of a cardiac

"Well," she continues, "when Brian's dad passed on, it was up to Mrs.
Kellechan to raise Brian by herself. She had some insurance, but she had to
go back to work. You can only imagine how hard it was for her, as she'd
stopped working outside the home when Brian was born. It was certainly a
harrowing experience for her, but she tried so hard.

"She had to work evenings and nights, so Brian was here a good deal of the
time. He was a good boy, so neither the Captain nor I minded one bit. As a
matter of fact, the Captain had taken a real shine to the boy. Of course,
when he'd started to grow his hair so long and all of that facial hair, it
just about drove William crazy. But my husband also learned to pick and
choose his battles," she says. And then, as if she forgets she's talking
aloud tome, she whispers, "I only wish he'd have remembered when it came to

I cough a little, if for no other reason but to remind Mom she's not alone in
the room. She looks up at me a little startled, and then realizes what she
was talking about. "Well, where was I?" she asks quickly in an attempt to
cover herself. "Oh, well, yes, Brian and the Captain. Well, by the time
Brian had graduated high school and began college, the hair and the sideburns
were longer and bushier than ever. But he was doing okay in school, so we
decided it was best to let sleeping dogs lay."

"So what happened to all the hair?" I ask in my weak attempt to jokingly find
out what the hell turned this guy around.

"Brian had come to the Captain, only about a week before Bill's passing , and
had asked him for advice. My husband was always one to offer advice, even
when it was unsolicited. But this time, Brian came to him, and of course he
was delighted.

"Brian had asked the Captain if he had any advice for him on what he should
look to do for the rest of his life. He'd graduated with a liberal arts
degree, but he hadn't felt as if it really prepared him for a career.
Finally, Brian asked Bill if he thought Brian might be a good candidate for
the navy."

Mom sighs at this point. I can see she is reliving memories from the not too
distant past; long enough to not carry a heavy sting of hurt, but recent
enough to still be easily retrievable. She continues in a whisper.

"The Captain was beside himself. Of course, he told Brian he was excellent
Navy material, and he would find a good career in the navy if he chose to.
Well, Brian told him he was hoping the Captain would say that, as he respected
Bill as any man would respect his own father.

"Well, that was almost too much for my husband. He knew he'd always felt a
kinship with the young man, but he never thought it was reciprocated in kind.
William was so proud of Brian on that day. He told him he'd always thought of
him as a son, and he was so proud that Brian felt, towards him, in a similar
way," Maggie reminisced.

"I'm sure the Captain deserved the respect," I affirm quietly.

"Oh, yes, but so did Brian. The boy worked so hard under such adverse
conditions. I mean, his mother loved him so much, but she had to work so hard
to help him get an education. The Captain was proud of him then, but I know
he would be beside himself with pride over how he's turned out," explained

"I'm sure he would be," I reply quietly. I can't help but compare my own
childhood predicament with that of Brian Kellechan. I wonder if Maggie Scully
realizes, even with all of the adversity Brian had faced as a teenager, just
how lucky the guy really was.

I can't help thinking how much I wish there had been a William Scully for me
to have turned to when I, for all intents and purposes, lost my parents in the
early seventies after Sam had been abducted. Though Brian's mother wasn't
always available to him because of her work commitments, he never had to doubt
whether she loved him.

Brian never had to doubt whether his father, though taken from him way too
soon, ever loved him. And he had the Scully's to pick up the slack. He had
Maggie to provide the little extra maternal necessities which only mothers can
provide. And finally, there was the Captain himself.

I can't remember the last time there was any man I could look upon as a role
model; a person who I truly admire. And who shares with me mutual feelings of
respect and, apparently, love. Damn, given everything I've lived through,
Chewy boy's life was a piece of cake.

I suddenly realize Mom is asking me something, but I am daydreaming again.
"I'm sorry, Mom. What did you say?"

"I was just asking if you'd ever met the Captain."

"No, ma'am," I say a little reverently, "I never did have the honor."

"Oh, you would have liked him, Fox. You would have liked him a great deal."

For some reason I keep waiting for her to say something more. She finally
does, but not what I expect.

"Your Mr. Skinner reminds me a great deal of the Captain. Same stern, gruff
exterior, but inside he's a great big mush."

I have to laugh at this. I mean it's not everyday I get to hear Walter Sergei
Skinner described as a mush. He will probably have to kill me now because I
know this.

"Yes, it's true. But I'm sure you would have liked my Bill."

I stand there, waiting for the sixty-four dollar question to be answered, but
it's never even raised. And for some reason that really bothers me. I can't
help it.

I foolishly want to know if the Captain would have liked me as much as I would
have liked him. Maggie Scully does not offer me this information. I sigh and
chug the now almost too warm bottle of beer in my hands.

At this point I hear a deep voiced greeting. I quickly realize my boss has
arrived, and I turn to the entrance to see Skinner standing in the doorway in
a green tee shirt and blue jeans. I must be standing there with a very
surprised expression, since the AD looks at me and tells me to close my mouth
as I'm about to catch flies.

Okay. So I'm not used to dressed down Skinner, not yet at least. But I have
to admit it looks pretty damn good on him. The casual clothes give him a
softness I'd never noticed before. Or perhaps it's not the clothes; perhaps
it's the expression he shows every time he looks at Maggie.

The man melts. If it weren't so damned strange, I could find it rather
amusing. But, at the moment, I don't. Instead, I ask if there's anything I
can do, since I figure if I do something I'll get my mind off of how suddenly
depressed I feel.

"No, no, Fox. We've got everything under control. Tara is watching and
regaling the children with a Saint Paddy's story while Karen, Irene and I get
the food out to the tent. And Walter," she says as she turns to look directly
at him, "you are going to do the barbecue honors tonight, aren't you?"

There he goes melting again. I find myself smiling, but not so much as to how
much of a mush Skinner really is, but how pissed off BillyBoy is going to be
when he discovers the AD will be wearing the chef's hat tonight. This should
go over real well, and may even cheer me up a little.

I nod my head in understanding and turn to leave the kitchen. Instead of
heading directly out to the garage, I decide to make a rest stop in the
nearest bathroom which is in the family room. I walk in quietly and hear Tara
telling the tale of Saint Patrick to Briana, Daniel, and Matthew.

"Well, did you know our beloved Saint Patrick had a very adventurous
childhood?" I see Briana shake her head no, Daniel shake his, yes, and Matty
just start to jump around. "Yes, it's true! When Patrick was but a teenager,
he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery! It was during this time,
when he was forced to work as a shepherd, that he began to see visions from
God. He regained his faith in God and decided he had to serve God.

"He escaped and went to a country called France. He became a priest there,"
Tara explains.

"Like Father Jeffery?" asked Briana.

"Is that the name of your priest at home, Briana?" Tara asks patiently.

"Yes, Auntie Tara."

Tara nods in affirmation, and then looks at me with a great big smile. "Hi,
Uncle Fox. Did you want to hear the story of Saint Paddy?"

At this, Matty makes a bee line for me and practically knocks me over. This
is not helping my bladder problem at the moment. "Hold on, Matty. Let me
just go take a potty break, and then I'll see you. Okay?" The baby smiles
that irresistible two year old smile, and I guess I start to melt now.

Tara is chuckling out loud and when I look at her and ask, "What?" she says
two words and then starts cracking up all over again. "Potty break?"

I feel myself turning slightly red faced here. Tara says to me, "Oh, my dear
Fox, if ever there was someone ready to settle down and start a family, it's

I turn quickly only to hear her laughing a little harder as I enter the
bathroom. I take a deep breath and then take care of my business. I stand
there, wondering if someone is playing a really silly practical joke on me,
early. Way too early, but I can't imagine this day is turning out the way
it's supposed to.

I finish washing my hands and walk out the other doorway quietly. I leave
Tara to finish her story about how Patrick used a shamrock to win over
converts to the Catholic religion. I know I'm not one of the converted, and
it suddenly dawns on me that Scully doesn't know I'm actually Jewish.

I suddenly wonder what everyone's reaction would be if they knew. It's not
something I've consciously tried to hide; it's just never come up in
conversation. Strange. I don't know why it suddenly seems important to me
that Scully realize I am Jewish.

I wonder if it will change her mind about me. I wonder if she'll look towards
the incredible hulk instead.

I wonder if it will give her an out?

I go out to the garage and pick up another bottle of beer from the fridge. I
see Charlie has not availed himself of another one of my stash, and I think
I'm relieved about that. I got a feeling I'm gonna need at least another one.

I chug the entire bottle down in the record time of about fifteen seconds. I
raise my hands up to the imaginary crowd, who are going wild, I might add, at
my pseudo victory. I, Fox Mulder, manage to drown my sorrows with a bottle of

I know this is a pretty stupid way to deal with the situation, but at the
moment it sure seems the most, if not sensible, most immediate. I cannot for
the life of me figure out why I am feeling so sorry for myself. No one, and I
mean no one, is doing me any harm.

Scully is commiserating with an old friend. Okay, so she's relegated me back
to impersonal, FBI partner status, but I don't think she means for me to take
it personally, does she?

And Mom has told me the guy who is sweeping my Scully off of her feet was the
apple of Ahab's eye. Wonderful. I've got competition and the deciding judge
only had one witness. Of course, I would gladly tell my personal history, but
Billy the Bailiff most likely would not allow any more witnesses.

Damn. I have got to be the cheapest drunk around. I mean, I know I don't
drink much, but I've only had three, no, two and a half beers, so why the hell
do I feel so damned lightheaded.

As I stand there trying to debate what I should do next, I hear voices getting
louder as the people walk up the driveway and approach the garage. Happily
they bypass me, and they walk directly to the backyard. Suddenly, I don't
feel very sociable, and I decide now might be a good time to go for a walk and
clear my head a little.

I head out of the garage and walk down the driveway. I hear something, but
when I turn around I don't see anything, so I ignore the uneasiness I'm
feeling and keep walking. The evening air feels wonderful, and I'm enjoying
the clear night sky, as it's getting just dark enough for the stars to start
poking themselves out.


I must have been gone for about twenty, maybe twenty-five, minutes, but I feel
infinitely better. The fuzziness in my head as a result of chugging a couple
of beers has left, and I'm actually feeling a little hungry. As I walk up the
driveway, I see some folks milling about and wonder why they're not in the
back under the tent.

"Mulder, is he with you?" cries out Scully's voice.

"What? Is _who_ with me?" I ask.

"The baby. Matty!" she responds.

Matty? Why would Matty be with me? "Why do you ask? Isn't he here?" I ask
in total confusion.

"No, Mulder! No, he's _not_ here. That's why I'm asking you if he's with
you," Scully replies testily.

"Scully, he was never with me. Why would the baby be with me?" I ask a bit
angrily now. I don't like the fact that Scully's tone sounds a little
accusatory. She of all people should know the baby is one of the last people
I'd ever want to see come to harm.

"Fox," Tara interrupts in soft, but tense tone. "You told Matty you would
play with him after you came out of the bathroom. Could he have followed you
out? Did you see him when you left?"

I think back to when I'd come out of the bathroom and noticed Matty was still
bouncing around as Tara told her tale of the shamrock. I didn't interrupt
her, because I thought the baby looked okay. So, I'd kept on walking, stopped
off for a bottle of beer, and then went for a walk. I explain this and
everyone simply continues to stare at me.

Why do I suddenly feel as though I've committed a federal crime? I didn't
lose the baby. I didn't even know the baby left the house. I didn't see the
baby leave, and I didn't hear the___.

"ohmigod," I whisper. The noise I'd heard. Could it have been Matty trying
to get to me to play as I'd promised? "ohmigod," I repeat in barely a voice.

What if I did lose the baby? What if it is my fault. I did hear something as
we were getting ready to leave, but I ignored it. What if it was Matty?
Ohmigod, what have I done?

"What the hell is it, Mulder?" Bill Scully is staring me done with a look
that had daggers dancing out of his eyes. The man is looking at me with such
total animosity, I can barely make eye contact. The thing is, I have to agree
with him this time. I think it is my fault the baby is missing.

The baby is missing. We have to start a search team. I ask Scully if she's
organized a search plan yet.

"No, Mulder, I haven't ordered a search plan. I didn't realize I was going to
have to be on duty tonight," she says tensely. "I hadn't realized my partner
couldn't keep his sights on a two year old."

I know it's Scully's fear talking as well as a lot of beer that's giving her
that harsh, almost mean tone of voice. But, as much as it explains her manner
of speaking, it doesn't make me feel better. I feel like I'm twelve years old
again, and I'm being blamed all over for something I hadn't planned for.

My father continued to blame me all my life for not protecting Samantha. My
mother continued to allow him to do so. It hurt. A lot. Both emotionally
and physically. Mom simply gave up even attempting to mother me, and Dad?
Well, let's say Dad figured since I'd lost his only daughter, he didn't need
to treat me like a human being anymore, 'cept for the sake of company.

I remember praying for company to come, because it was the only few hours I
would know, for a fact, he wouldn't beat me within an inch of my life.

Due to Dad's constant anger with me over Sam's disappearance, my sister's
abduction itself, and my own inability to explain what had happened, Dad
constantly found new ways to humiliate me and hurt me. I guess I didn't have
much of a father, did I? And now I feel as if I'm being berated all over

It hurts. I mean, it really hurts. My stomach feels as if it's going to turn
itself over. I want to desperately start looking for the baby, but no one
seems to have a clue as to what to do next. I want to start directing the
people into teams, but I find my voice isn't drawing their attention. I don't
know if they simply can't hear me, or I've just become a non-person in
everyone's eyes.

As I try again to urge people to start looking for the baby as every minute
counts, I hear someone shouting. Chewey. Must be Chewey. And crying.
Shouting and crying. Must be Matty, I think to myself. Sure enough, I look
over at the front entrance, because now I see Chewey hoisting a squalling two
year old who's begging for ___.

Well, he's begging for something, that's for sure. However, between Tara and
Bill shouting out and thanking the great and wonderful Chewey profusely for
finding their long lost child, (who it turns out was merely hiding under the
couch from his cousins,) I cannot hear or understand what exactly it is that
Matty wants.

Well, Chewey is obviously a hero, while I remain the goat. I'm still not sure
exactly how I've earned this title, but it's apparent I'm still being blamed
for losing Matty in the first place.

To be honest? I'm tired of being blamed. I couldn't escape when I was a kid.
But now? Now I have the keys to the car, and I think it's time for me to take
my leave. I don't want to have to deal with Chewey's hero status and me
barely able to make it up from the level of a grub.

As I turn around and start walking toward my car, I hear Matty cry out one
more time. I finally realize what he's been crying for.

End of Part 2/3
The Barbecue Series 9: Wearin' of the Green
by Susan Proto (

Disclaimers in Part 1

Part 3/3

I don't even turn around.

Which of course makes me feel like even more of shit heel than I already feel.
I hear voices trying to comfort him; no one realizes Matty's calling for his
'Unc-key Mulduh,' or if they do, they're ignoring his pleas. I figure, for
whatever reason, I am now the scapegoat, since no one even tries to apologize
for wrongly accusing me of being irresponsible with the safety of my almost

Almost nephew. I wonder how accurate that label is at the moment. I sigh and
get into the car. I need to distance myself from what has happened here with
what I'm now feeling. I'm smart enough to realize I may be overreacting a
little bit, but all I know is I feel like I've been sucker punched, and I want
some time to get my feelings under control.

I realize no one knows 'Elvis has left the building.' I wonder, however
selfishly, how long it will be before anyone even notices.


I stop the car and wonder how the hell I managed this trick. I've driven
myself to Alexandria instead of Georgetown. Shit, I haven't been by the
apartment for weeks. Why would I drive myself here instead of Scully's

Whoa. Why do I suddenly feel like a man without a country? I park the car
and slowly walk into the Hegel Place Apartments. I take the elevator up to
number forty-two. It feels strange to be here; I don't belong here anymore.

Yet, I can't bring myself to go back to Scully's place in Georgetown.
Scully's place. This morning it felt like home to me, but now? I'm not sure
what to think at this point.

I pull my keys out and unlock the door. I walk in and immediately notice the
musty odor permeating throughout the apartment. And with the shades drawn, it
is as dark in here as it is outside at midnight. I go to the couch and find
it embraces me in all of the old points of comfort. I reach for the remote,
but I realize I'd turned the cable off last month, so all I get is static.

I search for a video, just to have some background noise, and I find one
Scully had brought over for us to share. Sound of Music. I laugh aloud,
because I remember giving Scully a look of disbelief no X-File could have ever

"Scully? The Sound of Fuckin' Music?" I'd said with not a whole lot of love
in my heart.

"Yes, Mulder, the Sound of Fucking Music," she'd replied with a bit of
haughtiness. God bless my Scully; she is not one to be intimidated. I
suppose that comes with being from a large family. You have to stand up for
yourself or you'll be trampled on all of the time. Given the fact she's also
a munchkin, it probably forces her to stand up twice as tall.

I snicker to myself as I make the pun. I know Scully would roll her eyes at
that one if she heard it. So, anyway, I remember I'd asked her, "Why?"

"Why not?" she'd replied. Well, I'd realized that was getting us nowhere
fast, and then I'd finally said, "Fine. Put the Nun's story on and we'll

It wasn't until we were half way through it that I'd finally realized why she
loved this movie. Good Catholic girl, falls in love, and acquires instant
family. Not one 'Emily,' but jeeze, six of 'em. I remember how I'd held her
as we'd laid on the couch and watched Julie Andrews sing her heart out.

I pop the tape in and lay back down on the couch, listen to the opening music
credits, and close my eyes. I fold my own arms over my chest in a futile
attempt to comfort myself. I miss not having Scully here to put my arms
around. I miss Scully.


I jump up at the sound of the buzzer. I am totally confused as to where the
hell I am. I illuminate my watch and see it says eight-fifty two. For a
second, I think it's the morning, but then I realize it's too dark outside for
that. Where the hell is that noise coming from? Is it a timer? I wonder if
Scully is cooking something and then had to go pee or something.

I stand up to go check in the kitchen when I bump into a chair that had never
been in my way before. I wonder why it's in the way now, until my eyes adjust
better to the darkness, and I realize I'm in my old apartment. I must have
fallen into a deep sleep, but now I'm up, albeit a little confused.

I hear the incessant buzzing and figure I'd better go contend with it. I
start for the door, when I hear a key go into the lock. I begin to feel really
panicky. I feel like I should go run and hide somewhere, but I don't. I sit
back down on the couch and wait to see the source of my anxiety.

"Mulder," Scully calls out. "Are you here?"

I don't reply, but I know she can sense my presence. "Mulder, please, answer

I swallow and swear she must have heard me gulp, since it sounded loud even to
me. "I'm here, Scully." God, that was so hard to say. Why? Why am I so
scared to talk to this woman.

Maybe because I've behaved like an idiot. I can't believe I did what I did.
I left Maggie Scully's house without a word to anyone. I drove while I was
under the influence. Instead of going to what has been home for the last
couple of months, I come here. The house of gloom The house of guilt.

"I'm so sorry, Mulder."

Excuse me? I didn't just hear what I think I heard, did I?

"Please, I feel so badly. I had no right to treat you the way I did," Scully

I'm sitting here, on this old, lumpy, disgusting couch, and my mouth must be
wide open. I don't understand. Why is she apologizing to me? Why isn't she
demanding I explain why I behaved in such a totally and completely
inconsiderate, unconscionable manner.

"Scully__," I try to say, but she cuts me off.

"__No, Mulder. Please, let me say this. I don't understand what came over
me. I mean, yes, I had a few beers in a rather short period of time, with no
food to speak of in my stomach, so the booze hit me rather quickly, but I
didn't think anything of it until Chewey came and then___."

"__Dana, stop." It is now my turn to cut her off, and I certainly catch her
attention with my use of her first name. Besides, I think she'd better take a
breath, or she's going to faint dead away on me from lack of oxygen. "First,
breathe. Second, sit. Third, listen." I wait for her to do all three, and
when she has settled herself in next to me on the couch, I start to speak.
Slowly, and deliberately. I want to, no I _need_ to get this right.

"I don't like myself very much at the moment," I begin. Scully takes a deep
breath. She wants to protest, but I quickly put my fingers gently up to her
lips to prevent her from speaking at this point. "No, Scully, let me finish.
I really don't like myself very much right now."

I don't know how to explain myself. How do I say to her I do begrudge her the
fact that she had a life before me? How do I tell her I am a selfish
sonofabitch who does not want to share her with anyone? I don't want to share
her with people from her past, I don't even want to share her with too many
people from her present if I don't like them. Okay, can we all say the name

How do I explain that I allowed jealousy to get the best of me, and as a
result I behaved in an irresponsible manner. I shouldn't have left the party.
I should have stuck it out. I insulted her, her brothers, our boss, but
mostly I insulted her mom. I never meant to insult Mom.

How do I explain this to Scully? As I attempt to find the words, she
interrupts my thoughts.

"Mulder, I'm the one who should be apologizing to you. When Chewey arrived__,
well, it was such a surprise."

"I know," I interject. "Mom told me how he was practically a member of your
family. She told me he had a pretty difficult childhood, and that you and
your family pretty much adopted him. She told me the Captain was like a
father to him." My voice cracks a little when I say this, and I wish I could
hold it together a little more.

"Chewey did have it hard as a child, Mulder. Not unlike someone else I know
and love very much," she responds.

Did she just say what I think she said? Oh, please, please let my hearing not
deceive me. I so need this woman to love me.

"When we finally realized you had left, no one could understand why. Then
Bill opened his mouth and said, 'Oh, the big, macho FBI agent is probably just
a little green...with envy. Our man Chewey makes Mulder look like a wimp.
Martha's Vineyard, indeed. Chewey never had anything handed to him on a
silver platter like Fox William Mulder had,' but at that point I'd screamed at
the top of my lungs for him to shut up.

"It wasn't until my shmuck of a brother had opened his mouth that I realized
what I'd done. I shut you out, Mulder. I shut you out like you were an
outsider, and that was so unfair of me. It was unfair and wrong." She looks
like she's going to cry, and I reach out to grasp her hand.

"Scully, all you were doing was visiting with an old, family friend. I
shouldn't have become so upset by that, but I was. I guess it's because I
have a hard time accepting the fact you had a life before you met me.

"Before me, you had a life that you obviously enjoyed, where there was
considerably less chance of you losing a loved one, or being given a horrible
cancer, or being abducted and becoming infertile. Oh God, Scully, how could I
blame you for wanting to go back for a visit with your past. You had a chance
for real happiness back then.

But you see," I explain softly, "that's the difference between us. My life
only just began after I'd met you."

"Oh, Mulder, don't you understand?" Scully is crying at this point, but that
doesn't matter; so am I. She explains, "I love Chewey and will always love
him. Yes, I had an incredible crush on him when I was a child, but that's all
it was, a childhood crush. Chewey was my past, Mulder, and he'll always be
tucked away in a small piece of my heart, because he's family.

"But you, my love, are my future. And you will not just be tucked away in a
piece of my heart, you are my heart. I love you, Mulder. And just because I
behave childishly and stupidly sometimes, doesn't change that fact," she says

"We both acted childishly and stupidly. I'm sorry for walking out on you," I

"I was worried, Mulder. I didn't know where you were," she says with a slight
quiver to her voice. I feel awful; I must have scared her to death.

"I know. I had promised you when we got together I'd stop ditching you, and
here I went and ditched you anyway. I won't do that to you ever again. If
I'm upset or angry, I'll let you know where I go to cool off," I promise now.

"Thank you for that, Mulder. I promise to do the same," she says with a small

I look at her and wonder what I should say now. I want to lean in and kiss
her passionately, yet I feel there's something else that I need to ask.
"Scully, is your Mom really angry with me? I mean, I didn't mean to ruin the
party or anything. I didn't ruin her barbecue, did I?" I ask tentatively. I
don't want to do anything to screw up Maggie Scully's opinion of me. If she
begins to think less of me, it would hurt way too much.

"Mom told me I should drag you back to the house so she could apologize to you
too," she responded.

"What?" I blurt out. "Mom has nothing to apologize for."

"Well, she feels like she neglected you too, and she wants to let you know she
intends to make up for it. Besides, she has twelve skewers of barbecued
shrimp that she'd made up just for you, and she expects you to get back there
and eat every last one," Scully chuckles.

I'm finally able to take a deep breath. The pain in the pit of my stomach has
subsided substantially, and I feel as though a great weight has been lifted
off of my chest. I smile to myself at the silly phrase that comes immediately
to my mind. 'They love me. They really love me.'

"So? You gonna make the long trek back to Baltimore with us?" she asks.

"Yeah, I guess ___." I stop immediately when I realize what she'd said. "Us?"

"Mulder, I was drunk as a skunk. You think my mother was going to let me get
behind the wheel of a car? She sent me with the designated driver," Scully
explained with a wry smile.

My first horrible thought is Chewey has driven her, but then I realize he had
even more to drink than Scully. Then a second horrible thought goes through my

"Tell me the AD hasn't been waiting in the car all this time," I say with
resignation, to which Scully nods. Oh joy.

"C'mon, G-Man, let's go par-tay!" She stands up and reaches out her hands to
grasp mine. She then pulls me up and I practically fall into her. Which is
fine by me. The woman feels wonderful as I feel her body practically fold
into mine.


The ride back to Baltimore is a lot more pleasant than I anticipate it would
be. AD Skinner is pretty tactful in that he doesn't bring up why I'd chosen
to run away, or rather, taken an early leave. Instead, we talk a little bit
about work. Actually, that's more true than you might think. I mean, we
really do talk very little about work; however our boss is one helluva a
pipeline to the gossip mongers around the bureau.

The man has dirt on everyone! He knows who's dating who from the mailroom to
the secretaries pool to the SACs and other ADs. The thing that's really
amazing is the absolute expression of glee he shows in divulging the
information to us. I guess he figures if there's anyone he can absolutely
trust to be discreet with the information, it's Scully and me.

I've got to hand it to him, he sure makes the car ride back to the Scully
homestead less stressful, not to mention a lot more entertaining, than I ever
thought possible.

We arrive back by around ten o'clock and, unbelievably, the party is still in
full swing. Charlie is dancing with Briana to some kind of Irish music.
Scully reads my mind and tells me Tara or Karen must have dug out Mom's
Chieftan's tapes. Somehow they're managing to dance to something called
'O'Sullivan's March,' which makes sense since it looks like young Daniel is
doing just that. Marching, and having the time of his life doing it, too.

I see Chewey is talking with Irene and a couple of the other residents in
Mom's neighborhood. He happens to look up and catches my eye. I see he's
excusing himself to the women and walks over to me.

"Mulder," he says as he extends his hand. I take Chewey's hand into my right.
"I am so sorry. I didn't realize you and Dansey__, I mean Dana were together.
I thought you were just professional partners. I am so sorry if I appeared to
be too forward."

"No, Chewey, it wasn't your fault. Neither Scully nor I were specific
enough," I say.

"To be honest, I was surprised you two were an item. I thought there was some
kind of rule about partners becoming involved," Chewey says curiously.

"No, not really. It's considered a little tacky if one is a supervisor and
one is a subordinate, but even that is not against policy if the relationship
is between two consenting adults. Hell, our boss is here and dates one of his
subordinate's mother. How more intimate can we get here, ya know?" Mulder

"You're right, of course," said Chewey. "Well, listen, I just want to make
sure there's no hard feelings. Dansey's a pretty damned special girl."

"She's a special woman, Chewey, don't forget that. And that woman carries a
gun," I say straight faced, to which Chewey bursts out laughing.

"I hadn't thought about that!" he says laughing out loud. We shake hands
again and he moves off to catch up with some other old friends. I feel good
that I've been able to clear the tension between Brian Kellechan and myself.
He's an important part of Scully's past, and I don't want any of her memories
clouded up because of me.

I amble over toward the table with drinks on it. I'm not much in the mood for
more beer, so I grab a can of iced tea and guzzle it down fairly quickly. I
take a look around the tent.

Tara is dancing with Bill while Mom 'dances' around the tent with a giggling
Matthew. Well, it certainly is nice to see I hadn't traumatized the kid for
life by walking away from him. I wonder if he'll remember and give me the
cold shoulder. As I finish up the last drops of the iced tea, it looks like
I'm about to find out.

Mom comes rushing over with the baby to give me a wonderfully comforting kiss
and hug. She pulls my ear to her mouth so she can speak without having to
shout above the music. "Oh Fox, I'm so sorry. I went on and on about Brian,
and I just didn't think. I didn't even consider what I was saying and how you
went through so much worse. I'm sorry, sweetheart. Can you ever forgive me?"

I am flabbergasted. Doesn't this woman know how much I love her and need her
in my life, and she is asking me if I forgive her? I pull away and look at
her. My mouth must be hanging open yet again today, and then I pull her ear
to my mouth so I can say, "Only if you forgive me for walking out without
saying anything. I'm sorry I ran off. That was rude and inconsiderate of me,
and I hope you believe me when I say I will never do that to either you or
Dana again."

"Oh, Fox, that's not necessary, but if it makes you feel better, of course I
forgive you. Now, tell me, you're hungry, yes?!"

"Well," I stammer, "as a matter of fact, I am a little hungry."

"Good," Mom responds with a huge smile, "It will take just a few minutes to
cook the shrimp through. Will you hold Matty while I put them on the

"Sure, if he'll let me," I say tentatively, but Mom just pops the little guy
right into my arms. "Hi, Matty," I say, and then add, "Wanna dance?"

Well, this apparently appeals to the little guy, and he starts bouncing up and
down in my arms. "Okay, little man, here we go!" I start hopping around in
time to the next set of Irish jigs. Matty is giggling and laughing and
bouncing around in my arms.

He feels so good in my arms. While I'm dancing around with their baby, I
happen to look over at Tara and Bill. I pretty much ignore Bill, who is
pretty much doing the same to me, but I see Tara is smiling broadly toward me.
It's nice to see Tara is able to smile again; it won't be long before her
smile returns in its entirety. Then I see her moving her lips, and I know
she's trying to tell me something, but I can't quite make it out.

I finally give up and do my 'O'Mulder' version of an Irish jig straight over
to where Tara and Bill are dancing. "What?" I ask.

"Potty break," replies Tara who is now laughing right out loud.

I understand immediately what she means. Matty feels so right in my arms. I
really do love having this child around. I love the idea of someday having my
own child in my arms.

And now that the only green my Scully and I are wearin' is on our clothing, I
can take a deep breath and consider what to do next. And as I shift a now
slightly sleepy, yawning Matty in my arms, I know it's not just time for
Matthew Scully to go beddy-bye.

I think it's time for another talk with Scully.


End of Part 3/3

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from the *O'Proto* family, our wishes for a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Make it a safe one, folks! Remember everyone should have their Designated
Skinner! ;-)