Think Before You Use *That* Title 2: A Family Affair

Title: Think Before You Use That Title 2: A Family Affair
Authors: Jennifer-Oksana and FirePhile
Spoilers: Up to Red and the Black
Rating: PG-13 for language and naughty themes
Summary: The dinner party from HELL– starring the gang from Think
Before You Use that Title.

May 1, 1998
Margaret Scully’s House
6:49 PM

Margaret Scully stole a quick kiss from her boyfriend as she
straightened the candles. The last thing she wanted was a repeat of
her last dinner party, which ended after someone made a broad hand
gesture and the lit candles fell onto her favorite lace tablecloth.
It reminded her of the time when Dana, at thirteen, had thrown a party
for her stuffed animals and almost burned down the house.

Margaret looked over the table, which in her humble opinion looked
wonderful. She had out the fine china with a lovely flower pattern and
the good linen. Next to the grand table was a smaller one with only a
few seats, a disposable tablecloth, plastic rounded plates and cups
with tupperware “no spill” lids.

The food smelled terrific. Margaret felt an arm encircle her waist, and
she smiled.

“Mmm… this feels nice.”

“I wish those guests weren’t arriving so soon…” he whispered into
her ear.

“Are you nervous?”

“Margaret, the last time your daughter saw me…”

“She doesn’t know you like I do.”

“Do you think she’ll have a problem with…us?”

“Dana’s very accepting. It’ll be fine, Alex,” Margaret lied comfortingly.
She knew how her daughter would react, and made a mental note to
take all guns at the door. She patted his arm, making sure it was the
real one and heard the doorbell.

“The first guest is here.” She smiled and walked to the door.

Teena Mulder, smiling radiantly, pulled ‘Bob’ inside. Bob was not in the
best of moods. Between Teena and his son, he’d had to give up smoking–
again. He was chewing a very large wad of nicotine gum, but he did
try to smile at Maggie. She was such a nice woman, after all.

“Teena, how are you?” Maggie asked with a smile. “You look wonderful.”

“I feel wonderful. Has you-know-who shown up yet?”

“Nope.”

“Does she know about– well, does she know?”

“Know what?” Bob asked. “You’re not leaving me out of the loop
are you, ladies?”

“Maggie, baby, the vegetables are boiling!” Krycek called, coming
into the hallway. “And I think the bread’s done.”

“Okay, Alex, I’m coming!” Maggie replied, scurrying off towards
the kitchen. Teena smiled.

“They don’t know, do they?” Bob asked her. “Agent Scully doesn’t
have a clue.”

“Well, Fox doesn’t have a clue about how far our reconciliation
has gone, either,” Teena said, as he helped her with her coat. “This
is going to prove to be a very exciting dinner party. Is Jeffy
coming?”

“Jeffrey told me he’s bringing a date,” Bob said proudly. They had
been working so hard to– well, make the little squirt less of a
dork.

“Is she real or is she latex?” Teena cracked, just as Bill Scully
and his adorable wife Tara came up to the still open door. Bill shot
a look at Teena, who ignored him.

“Mom? Mom, are you here?” Bill called, trying very hard to ignore
Teena and her companion. Tara smiled at both vapidly, holding baby
Matthew and hoping someone would do introductions, because that would
be just darn neato.

There was no response from the kitchen, and Teena hid a private
little smile as Bill went down the hall to investigate, followed
by perky little Tara. Bob, confused, simply shut the front door,
and joined the Great Search for Maggie.

Three seconds later, it was over. Bill Junior was treated to the
image of his life– his mother, his *mother* kissing a man half
her age, and boy, was she kissing him.

“MOM!” he bellowed. Baby Matthew woke up and began to cry. Tara
looked confused.

“Bill, honey, who’s that?” she asked.

“Mom, show a little restraint!” Bill hollered.

“Shut up, Bill,” Krycek said, giving his girlfriend’s son a little
glare. “What, you’ve never seen your mother kiss anyone before?”

“Mom has a boyfriend?” Tara asked.

“Apparently so,” Bill said. “How long has this been going on?”

“Since about two weeks after our session with Dr. Vansen– the one
you snuck out of, young man,” Maggie said, recovering her
equilibrium. “Now, we’re all going to be very polite this evening.
I came up with this dinner party as a sort of follow-up to the
session, and I want it to go well.”

“You haven’t told Dana, have you?” Bill asked. “I mean. I mean–”

“Dana still carries a gun at all times, doesn’t she?” Tara asked.
Teena Mulder bit her lip to keep from laughing. But Tara’s vapid
comment reminded Maggie of the way her guests acted normally. She
pulled away from Krycek and smiled at everyone.

“Oh, that’s right. I’m afraid I’m going to have to request all
weapons be left at the front door, in the coat closet. That means you,
too, Alex,” Maggie said, shooing her man down the hall. Teena gave Bob
a look. He rolled his eyes and started grumbling as he followed Krycek.

“Scully doesn’t know. She’s going to kill you. And Mulder will
kick your body a few times to relieve his feelings,” Bob told Krycek.

“I should say the same to you, old man. It looks like you and
his mommy are warming up the old home fires, shall we say,” Krycek
said with a leer. “Maggie thought it would be better if we didn’t
tell Dana at first.”

“Good plan. The woman’s a good shot with a nasty temper.”

“I don’t know where she gets it from. Margaret’s wonderful in
all senses of the word. Maybe Dana just needs to get laid,” Krycek
said airily. “And Lord knows that screwed-up little bastard Mulder
ain’t gonna be able to perform.”

“Alex, shut up,” the former cigarette smoker said. “I don’t like you,
and I’m not going to pretend I like you. You’re a sneaky, doublecrossing
son of a bitch, but for the sake of others, I’ll tolerate you.
Now, let’s disarm ourselves. I mean, who needs guns when we can kill
each other with kindness?”

“I couldn’t have said it better, old man. And if you really piss me off,
I can take you out with my salad fork.”

They sullenly removed all guns, knives, brass knuckles, garrote wire,
and placed them in the closet carefully.

“Don’t you try to take any of my weapons,” they said together.

“I wouldn’t want your cheap stuff,” Krycek hissed.

“We’ll see, won’t we? After all, I know who’s got an eye for
quality around here.”

The doorbell rang, a long annoying ring. Both men immediately knew
who had arrived.

“Jefffffeeeeeeeee’s heeeeeeereeee!” Krycek called, scurrying back
toward the kitchen and safety. Which left Bob to open the door to
his son.

“Hey, Dad. You’re here early. Still off them cancer sticks?” Spender
asked, at his most annoying. His father stifled the urge to cuff him–
Disney security had been pretty pissed off after that incident on
“It’s a Small World” after all. <>

“Between you and Teena, I’m on the straight and narrow, son,” he lied.
He had several new incidents to take care off after dinner, and he
really did need to formulate something new and EBE-related for Mulder
and Scully to do.

“Dad, that’s great!” Spender said, giving him a hug. Bob suppressed
another bad Disneyland memory– <>, then disentangled
himself. “Dad, I want you to meet my date. Dad, this is Marita
Covarrubias. Marita, this is my Dad.”

Bob stared in horror at the blonde before him. Oh. Shit.

“We’ve met,” Marita said with a vapid grin. “Isn’t it so nice to
see you again?”

“The pleasure is all mine,” he lied wondering if there was a way
to keep Teena from meeting Marita. Damn that one night, two nights
okay maybe three that he’d spent with her. It wasn’t his fault she
wanted to sleep with every member of the consortium. Well, except
for First Elder (even he didn’t know his name), something about
those teeth turned her off. He would have paid to see that
conversation. He had been almost positive it was impossible for
Marita to be turned off by anything. Hell, look who she was here
with.

Spender was oblivious to anything going on between Marita and his dad.
He smiled goofily and walked off to see Teena. For some unknown
reason, she liked Spender. Then again, it wasn’t so mysterious when
you remembered who her son was.

This left Marita and Bob staring blankly at each other. He popped
another piece of nicotine gum into his mouth and tried very hard to
avoid eye contact. Luckily, Tara chose this moment to introduce herself.

“Hi, I’m Tara Scully!” She sounded way too excited. “Bill’s wife!
This is my son Matthew, wave Matthew, wave, come on wave Matthew!”
She talked incomprehensibly to her son, in one of the most
detested mother stereotypes. “Come on babywaveformammayesssyouwannawaveyes
you do!” They felt uncomfortable watching it.

It wasn’t quite cooing, it was just frightening. Marita went almost
pale and ran off to find Spender. Unfortunately, Bob was stuck with
Tara who was still trying unsuccessfully to get her son to wave.

“I tell you, I didn’t feel like a woman until I had Matthew, it was
like my life was incomplete I can’t imagine life without this little
ball of cuteness.” She bounced Matthew a bit on her thigh. Bob couldn’t
help but think that abducting this kid would be a mercy.

Meanwhile, Marita found Spender in the kitchen. He was with two
older women and– God, was that Alex Krycek wearing an apron and
oven mitts?

“Margaret darling, the turkey is almost cooked and how are the
potatoes look…”

“Alex? Something wrong?”

“No, nothing.” He walked over to Marita. “What are you doing here?”

Her normal expression was unfeeling, the look she was giving him
now could freeze lava in its tracks. “If you must know, I’m here
with Jeffrey Spender. So how long have you been sleeping with your
substitute mom over there?”

“Don’t talk about her like that, Marita. Anyway, you’re one to talk,
do I have to mention Mr. England?”

“Think before you use that title! He’s been an American citizen for
years now,” Marita whispered harshly. They stared at each other angrily.

“Please, there will be no fighting tonight.” Margaret put her arm
around Krycek and hugged him. She smiled kindly at Marita who regarded
her with the same cold look.

At the door, Mulder and Scully were arguing.

“I don’t see why we have to be here. I’m sure there are cases that
need my attention,” Mulder grumbled. He was still having nightmares
about the last time that he’d seen Mrs. Scully and the rest of the
family. That was an experience he never wanted repeated.

“My mom invited the both of us and the rest of the family to dinner
to meet her new boyfriend. If I show up alone Tara will be all over me.
Whenever she gets me alone she starts to talk about how wonderful it is
to have a child and makes me want to hurt her. I didn’t feel like
spending tonight in jail.”

“But why I do I have to be here? Couldn’t you have brought someone else?”

“Like who, Mulder? Should I have brought Skinner? Maybe Krycek would
have been available tonight? Mom invited you and if you turn down a
dinner invitation from Margaret Scully, she never forgets. I had a
friend in high school that refused an invitation and she was never
allowed in our house again. You do not want to get on my mom’s bad
side. Now, ring the doorbell, smile and remember this night will be
over in a few hours.”

Mulder gave his partner a look and rang the doorbell. Bob heard it
and nearly ran to get it. “I’ll get it, don’t get up!” he called to
the ever-perky Tara. He nearly flung the door open.

“You!” Mulder shouted. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Scully went white and prayed silently, please God, don’t let him be
my mom’s new boyfriend, I can take anything, but don’t let him be my
mother’s boyfriend.

“Dana’s mother invited your mother and I to dinner. Oh, and she
wants me to tell you, all guns and other weapons must be checked in
the front closet.”

“You’re nuts!” Scully cried. “I’m not taking off my gun if you’re
at dinner–”

“Dana, do what he says!” Maggie called from the kitchen. “Do you
hear me? Fox, too.”

Mulder glared furiously at the black-lunged SOB, who gave them
both a nasty little grin. They reluctantly disarmed themselves
and put their weapons in Mrs. Scully’s coat closet together.

“Your mom’s here, my mom’s here, that black-lunged bastard’s here,
I wonder who else?” Scully muttered as she surveyed the piles of
weapons. “Looks like someone who knows how to pack heavy artillery.”

“Guess what, Matthew! Auntie Dana’s here! You wanna go say hi to
Auntie Dana?” Tara’s voice called.

“Oh. God. No,” Scully whispered.

Scully made a sound that sounded like something between a moan
and a growl. Mulder had a momentary nasty thought, but banished it in
the name of partnerly solidarity.

“Come on, Scully, braveness counts. Out of the closet. Ow! I didn’t
mean it like that!” he gasped as her sharp little elbow gouged
his stomach.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell, Mulder,” Scully said, shoving past him.
“Hi, Tara. How’s my favorite nephew?”

“He’s your only nephew,” Tara said, smiling. “And he’s just all fine
and dandy, isn’t my little bubby bear googooboo? Isn’t he?”

Mulder looked at Scully in shock. “But– wait– he’s your– what?”

“Later, Mulder–”

“But– Home– you– no nephews?” Mulder asked, reeling.

“What’s wrong, Fox? Cat got your tongue?” Bob asked. “Wait until
you see who’s here.”

“But– Babe–”

“Shut UP, Mulder!” Scully snapped, striding off towards the
kitchen. “God, I need a driiiiiii–”

Her voice faded as though someone had snapped a switch. Bob looked
alarmed and pulled Mulder along with him. “God damn it, boy, you
better be there when she faints!” he snapped.

“Scully doesn’t–”

Just then, the stalwart Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully,
forensic pathologist, witness to the remains of dozens of foul
and gruesome crimes, swooned, but did not faint. Mulder pulled a
heroic last minute catch to keep her from hitting her head on
anything, but it wasn’t but a few seconds later she pushed him
off of her.

“Get away from me!” she snapped. “Get away from me. I didn’t just
see that–”

She was absolutely reeling, and Mulder had no idea why. He just
watched her as she moved into the dining room, and headed straight
for Captain Scully’s old liquor cabinet.

“Fox, is she all right?” Mrs. Scully asked, concern evident
in her voice.

“No, but she’s standing, and getting herself a drink. She’ll be fine,
I think. What happened?”

“Oh, she must have just seen Alex being frisky,” Teena Mulder said,
emerging from the kitchen.

“Alex?” Mulder asked. “Is that your new boyfriend, Mrs. Scully?”

“Yes, Mulder, it is,” Krycek said, with a small sneer on his face
that he erased the moment Mrs. Scully could see him.

“Alex Krycek is your new boyfriend?” Mulder asked, forcing a smile.

“Yes.”

“Oh. Okay,” he said. “Scully. Scully, wait, I need a drink.”

He hurried over to where his petite partner had poured herself a
glass of wine.

“Krycek is my mom’s new boyfriend,” Scully said. “Alex I’m-a-murderous-
SOB Krycek.”

“I know, I know, I saw, I saw. What does your father have here?”

“Rum.”

“Good man,” Mulder said, pulling out a glass. “What’s with the
extra table? Since you have only one nephew, I see no need for a
kid’s tay– Scully.”

“Tay-Scully?”

“We’re sitting at the kid’s table.”

“What?”

“Your mom has very nice placecards out. Apparently, we don’t
qualify as adults.”

Scully gulped back the wine, and took the rum from Mulder. She
poured herself a shot, and looked at the kitchen. “Probably because
if we sat at the big table, we’d kill our table mates. I mean, I could
kill a man with a salad fork, you?”

“Only if that man were Krycek or– Bob.”

“Plastic dinnerware– very chic,” Scully said, looking at the place which
said Dana. “And spill-proof cups!”

She drained her rum without even taking another breath. “So, hmm,
who are we expecting tonight? Let’s see– my mom’s at the head of
the table– Alex at the foot, Bob and Teena, Spender and date–
Jeffy’s date, hmm– Bill and Tara– and, who? Charles and Sami. Mom?
Who’s Sami?”

“Sami is Charles’s girlfriend,” Maggie called. “Dana, you shouldn’t
drink so much.”

“I’m not drinking!” Scully replied, pouring herself more of Ahab’s
rum. “Mom, why are we at the kid’s table?”

“I ran out of room, honey.”

“Okay,” Scully replied. She glowered at Mulder. “So long. I’m gone.”

“You can’t leave me here!” Mulder hissed.

“You can come with me.”

“You can’t ditch your mom’s dinner party!”

“I’m not watching my beloved mother play house with Krycek!”

“And what about Vansen’s session when my mother and Bob made up?”

“I got you out, you nancy boy!” Scully said, a touch louder
than she’d expected.

“What was that?” Marita asked. “Ah. Agents Mulder and Scully.”

“Marita?” Mulder asked. “What are you doing here?”

“She’s my date, you cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, so stop eyeing
her,” Spender said.

Scully smiled. “Oh. She’s your date. Okay. Would you two like
something to drink? If you don’t, I’ll drink it for you.”

“How about a nice martini?” Marita asked hopefully, butchering
nice into a thousand splinters.

“Sorry. My dad didn’t go for fancy drinks like that. Want some
gin?” Scully asked, rustling through the bottles.

“Dana, honey, dinner’s ready.”

Scully poured herself another shot, gulped it down, and felt a
bit woozy. However, it was still not enough alcohol to deal with
the thought of Krycek and her mom. She sat down as smoothly as
possible, not wanting to draw attention to herself. For once, she
was pleased with her short stature. Mulder on the other hand was trying
unsuccessfully to sit in his chair. He finally managed to get his
long legs under the small table.

The others joined them, quickly taking their seats at the larger table.
There was a bottle of wine at the table and cups were quickly filled.
Except for Spender’s and Tara’s– they didn’t drink.

“Alcohol is bad for the body and I want another child.” Tara took a
sip of her water.

“I’m not using a spill-proof cup,” Mulder growled to Scully. She had
become very interested in her place card all of the sudden.

“Dana honey, could you help me bring in the appetizers?” Maggie asked
from the kitchen.

“Sure Mom.” She stood up and would have agreed to anything that
would get her out of the room at that moment. However, she was
beginning to think that the last shot hadn’t been such a good idea.
*Don’t have quite the tolerance you did in college Dana*, she mused.
She stood up and walked to the kitchen.

Mulder momentarily thought about stealing her seat. His was too close
to Krycek for his comfort. Then again, being in the same town as Krycek
was enough to make Mulder uncomfortable.

“I was surprised when Maggie told me about you two, Alex. Then again,
you two were close during the session at Vansen’s.” Teena sipped at
her wine.

Mulder suppressed a shudder at the memory. Marita looked at Teena
questioningly.

“What is Vansen’s?” she asked, managing to make it sound more
like Vanssenss.

“It’s where I met Margaret.” Krycek took a sip of his wine.

“It’s where Bob and I got back together.” Teena placed a hand on Bob’s
arm and smiled at him. “We all had major breakthroughs. Well, almost all
of us.” She looked pointedly at her son.

At that moment, the appetizers arrived.

“Plenty more where these came from.” Scully announced, placing them
unceremoniously on the table. She was unable to ignore the looks
that her Mom was giving that murdering bastard Krycek. They were lustful
and another shot sounded like a great idea. What she said was true, her
mom was famous for making way too much food every night. They had two
fridges downstairs just to hold the leftovers and it wasn’t uncommon for
people to find themselves laden down with packages while leaving the house.

Scully made her way back to the kid’s table and sat down. Maggie took her
place at the head of the table and gazed lovingly at Krycek.

“So, you and Alex met at a therapy session Mom?” Tara asked and
took a sip of her Evian.

“Yes, I fell in love with him there and I was afraid he would
reject me because of my age. But Alex sees beyond that.”

“Oh God, I’m going to be sick,” Scully whispered to Mulder. She
needed more alcohol.

“Awww…how romantic!” Tara replied. “Was it truly love at first
sight?”

“For me it was,” Krycek answered.

*This is not happening, this is not happening…* Scully chanted to
herself.

“Yessss how romantic.” Marita gulped down her wine, this was making
her a bit queasy. The thought of Alex with that woman was almost too much
to take.

“Someday that could be us, Marita,” Spender whispered to her hopefully.

“Perhaps someday Jeffy.” Marita was already starting to regret saying
yes to him. However, perhaps this night would give her the chance to
‘get to know’ Mulder better. She smiled at Spender.

“How long do we have to stay here?” Mulder asked, trying his appetizer.
It did taste delicious.

“Until dessert, that’s it, after dessert we can leave.” Scully
whispered, trying to ignore the fact that her mom loved seven
course meals.

Everyone began snacking on appetizers, and despite Mulder’s
silent wish that Skinner would call and they’d have to leave, he
had to admit, the appetizers were good.

“Mom, these are sooooo scrumptious,” Tara said. Scully hid a
glare. Could her sister-in-law be any more annoying? “And Matthew
thinks so, too, don’t you, Matthew, don’t yoooooo?”

Okay, spoke too soon. Scully noted that Bob didn’t think much of
Tara, either. He looked about ready to spew– or light up a
cigarette. Which reminded Mulder of something.

“Hey, you black-lunged SOB,” Mulder said. “Where’s your cancer sticks?”

“Teena and I made Dad give up smoking. It’s bad for the health,”
Spender said. “I don’t understand how anyone can pollute their body
with things like tobacco and alcohol.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Bill Junior asked.

“Bill!” Tara cried. “I think that’s wonderful. More people should
realize that you don’t need those poisons to be happy.”

Scully noisily got herself another glass of wine. “Cheers to you,
Tara hon,” she said. Mulder hid a grin.

“You’re smashed,” he mouthed at her.

“No I’m not!” she said aloud. “Can I have more appetizers? These are
deeeeelicious.”

“Well, thank you, Dana,” Maggie said. “Alex helped me make them.”

“Oh,” Scully said. “I don’t want any more of them, then.”

Mrs. Scully gave her daughter a sad little look, but Krycek’s
gaze resembled a leer. A “you’re tasty” leer. Scully pretended
she didn’t see it, and began sipping at her wine. She did intend
to get smashed silly– the only way to deal with a world as insane
as this– but spewing at your mother’s dinner party was
very immature.

“Did you see that?” Scully murmured to Mulder.

“What?”

“Krycek. He was giving me the eye.”

“He was not,” Mulder said. “You think? Nah. He was giving me the
eye, I bet you. I mean, dang, he is bisexual.”

“No he’s not. He’s *dating* my mother, hello?”

“What are you two crazy kids talking about?” Maggie asked, a
hopeful smile on her face.

“Hacking into the Department of Defense and finding the truth
that Bob here is more evil than Hitler, the government is covering
up proof of extraterrestrial existence, and the fact this wine is
definitely drugged, hoo boy,” Scully said in a rush.

“Dana, don’t you think you’ve had enough of that?” Maggie said.
“We do have a while left ’til dessert, and you want to remember
dessert. I made your favorite, triple fudge brownie cake with swirls.”

“Did Alex help?” Scully asked, deadpan.

“No. I swear before holy God, my boyfriend, who makes me happy,
treats me well, calls me on a regular basis, helped me with dinner,
and happens to be sober, did not make my selfish, drunken
daughter’s favorite dessert. Will you eat it now, Dana honey?”

“Whoa, your mom’s pissed off at you!” Mulder said.

“Fox, would you stop that?” Teena asked. “It wouldn’t hurt you
to act like a normal human being instead of a paranoid charismatic
conspiracy theorist who’s never gotten past the loss of his sister
and is emotionally arrested at twelve.”

Spender could barely hide his glee. About freaking time someone
told those arrogant jerks Mulder and Scully they weren’t all that
and more. He turned his radiant grin on to Marita, who rolled her
eyes and went back to contemplating Mulder– good Lord, he was hot!

“Mom–”

“Mother–”

“Eat your appetizers,” Teena and Maggie said together. Mulder
and Scully sighed, and sullenly went after the appetizers.

“Grandma, Matthew thinks it’s time for the soup and salad,”
Tara said, her annoyance level rising yet again. Even Maggie couldn’t
quite take this with a calm face.

“Yeah. Okay. Soup and salad– Bill, could you help me?”

“Of course, Mom,” Bill said, thanking God he had earned the
favor to escape the room. Mulder, on the other hand, was feeling
his legs ache from the ungodly position he was keeping them in.

“Hey, Scully, does your brother Charles ever show up for dinner
parties? Is your mom just punishing us?” he asked.

“Fox– Dana, why don’t you practice talking to the rest of us?”
Teena said.

“Yeah, Dana, Fox, why not break those barriers of isolation and show
the world what wonderful people you are inside,” Spender piped in.
He grinned at Teena, his dad, and Marita. Bob and Marita tried very
hard to hide their irritation.

“So, okay, let’s talk,” Scully said, finishing her glass of wine.
“What do we want to talk about? What do people talk about at dinner
parties, anyway? Shallow stuff, goofy boring crap that no one in
their right minds really cares about, Tara, Jeffy, I’m looking to
you for guidance.”

“Dana, would you please not ruin your mother’s dinner party?”
Krycek asked, punctuating his request with a glance at her breasts.
At least, Scully thought so. “I think you’re a little tipsy
there, missy.”

Missy! Of all the– “I’m not tipsy,” Scully said. “And you’re
not my father, and don’t you dare tell me what to do, you
sister-murdering– Mom! Bill– ooh, what kind of soup are we having?”

“Bouillabaisse,” Maggie said. “Is everyone happy?”

“Yeah,” Krycek said. “We’re all happy as clams here, aren’t we, Dana?”

“Don’t you call me Dana,” Scully said. “Mom, he’s looking at me!”

“Who’s looking at you, Dana, you’re acting like an eight-year-old.”

“Maybe it’s because I’ve been relegated to the kids’ table,” Scully said.

“Dana Katherine Scully, I’ve never been so embarrassed by you in
my entire life! You’re going to have to just stop this nonsense
immediately!” Maggie shouted.

“Fine. Would you excuse me for a moment? All this family love is
making me a tad nauseous,” Scully said, standing up and sweeping
out of the room.

“Must be that time of the month,” Spender said.

End 1/2

Think Before You Use That Title 2: A Family Affair (2/2)
by Jennifer Stoy and Rachel Ehrentreu
disclaimer et al in part one

Once inside the bathroom Scully stared into the mirror and
locked the door. Maybe she could just hide the rest of the
dinner party — yes the bathroom was looking more and more
attractive. God knows she didn’t eat that much anyway.

Meanwhile Mulder was trying very hard to avoid Krycek’s gaze.

“This is delicious Mrs. Scully,” he said keeping his eyes on
his plate, who knew soup could look so interesting? Actually,
it reminded him of an alien virus — yes, that’s how it was
transmitted! Soup! He absently wondered how much he’d had to drink.

“Bill and I are going to have more children, lots and lots
more. When are you going to have kids, Fox?” Tara asked suddenly.

Mulder managed to resist the urge to get out of his chair,
take Matthew and run as far away from the house as humanly
possible. “Last time I checked men can’t have children, Tara.”

“Well I didn’t mean *you* — how about Dana?”

Count to ten…”I think she’d have to answer that.” Proud of
himself for his restraint.

“Tara, eat your soup,” Maggie said from the head of the table.
“And you too, Fox.”

He murmured something under his breath and continued sipping his soup.

“So — Alex, what are your plans for the future?” Teena asked,
noticing the lull in conversation and seizing on it.

“Well Teena, I was thinking of taking over Bob’s place after
I kill him.”

Everyone laughed, even Bob. Not bloody likely that someone like
Krycek could ever take over his place! Besides, One-Armed Man
didn’t sound as good as Cigarette-Smoking Man. No, Bob thought
dejectedly, make that Nicorette-Gum Chewing Man.

Mulder noticed that Marita was staring at him so intently
that the soup on her spoon never quite made it to her mouth.
It dripped onto the tablecloth making a little pool next
to the bowl.

“Alex, you helped with the soup?” Tara asked taking another
huge spoonful and feeding some to Matthew because he just loved
soup *so* much.

“Yes I did,” Krycek said proudly, gazing lovingly at Maggie.

Mulder dropped his spoon quickly and took a large gulp
of wine to kill the taste. God knew what that rat bastard
put in the soup. There were all these weird things floating
in the liquid, he wasn’t taking any chances.

“Is something wrong Fox?” Maggie asked concerned.

He shook his head, not trusting himself to speak. Would Krycek and
Marita *ever* stop staring at him?

“Alex could you help me with the salad?” Maggie stood up and
walked towards the kitchen. Krycek left with her. Mulder was
grateful for the brief respite. Until he realized that his
mother was exchanging googly eyes with Bob.

Suddenly, food sounded like a very bad idea. Oh God they were
holding hands and doing God knows what under the table. How could
everyone else just look blithely ahead eating their soup? Didn’t
they notice what was going on? His stomach turned just
thinking about it.

“Salad’s here!” Maggie announced putting a huge bowl of
field greens onto the already stuffed table. Krycek brought
in the homemade raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Mulder looked longingly at the front door — which he could
almost see from his vantage point. A few steps, it wouldn’t
take long, he could outrun them. Speaking of which– where
was Scully?

“Do you want some salad Fox?” Teena asked, concerned that
her son wasn’t eating enough.

“No thank you, Mother,” he managed to get out.

“Mom this dressing is yummerific!” Tara squealed taking another
bite of what looked like greens which had been mowed, washed
and served.

Maggie beamed. She had gotten the recipe from the latest issue of
“Martha Stewart” and had been dying to try it out. Actually,
that was her secret motive for the dinner party.

Marita eyed the salad like it was going to sprout legs and
walk off the table. Besides, trying to stare lustfully at Mulder
and eat was obviously not working.

Krycek was never a big salad eater but to make Maggie happy
he’d do anything so he took a big forkful of the greens and
instantly regretted it. The dressing was sweet — way too sweet
but he forced himself to smile at Maggie and pretend to like it.
Why was Mulder staring at him? He always knew something was wrong
with that man. “So Mulder, how are you doing? Still trying to stop
that alien colonization thing?”

“I’m going to check on Scully,” Mulder answered, standing up.
Or at least trying to stand, his legs had cramped horribly so
he fell on his way out of the room.

“I’m alright.” he called back and started crawling towards
the bathroom.

Scully had been trying to focus during her time in the
bathroom. “I am soooo drunk,” she told her image in the mirror.
“I am wasted like a sorority pledge on bid night. I am trashed
like Mulder’s apartment after we pick up important evidence. I am–
I am not going back to that party.”

A quiet little knock stopped her reverie. “I’m busy!” she called.

“Scully, it’s me. Help,” Mulder whispered. Scully groaned
and reluctantly unlocked the bathroom door. Mulder paused only
a minute and let himself in. Then he swiftly shut the door and
locked the door behind them.

“Mulder, what are you doing? This is so inappropriate!”
Scully whispered to her partner.

“I’m hiding,” Mulder replied. “We have to get out of here,
Scully. It’s vital to our sanity. My mother is playing smoochies with–”

“Your mother?” Scully hissed. “My mom’s new boyfriend is
Alex Krycek! We already knew your mother was a–”

“Don’t say slut,” Mulder said. “Don’t you dare.”

“I’ll do what I want to!” Scully said, a little louder now.

“Oh, you will?” Mulder asked, belligerent.

“Mulder, don’t you dare!” Scully squealed. “Mulder, what are you doing?”

“Shh, Scully, don’t clue them in,” Mulder said, pointing to the
bathroom window. “If you just stay quiet, we’ll be able to do this.”

“But my mom will kill us!” Scully replied, trying to get quiet.
“No, Mulder.”

“Come on, Scully. Be brave,” Mulder replied, pushing past her to
get to the window.

“Dammit, Mulder, you are so pushy,” Scully replied, hopping up
on her mother’s immaculate counter. “If I weren’t so drunk, I’d kick
your ass for suggesting this. But– what the hell.”

Mulder climbed up on the toilet and opened the window. “Space
may be a problem.”

“Oh, just push hard, you baby,” Scully replied. “It’s easy. Even
you can do this.”

“What if I hurt myself?”

“I’ll go first,” Scully replied. “Come on, Mulder. This was your
idea, hurry it up!”

In the dining room, eight people sat, too stunned to eat the
main course Maggie had brought out. Tara was munching away on the
turkey and mashed potatoes, though.

“I cannot believe this,” Teena said. “I cannot believe the sheer–”

“Rudeness,” Maggie finished. “This is what I think it is, right?”

Scully, from the distance, let out a throaty little grunt– the
result of trying to reach the window and fit through. “Mulder!
Help me here!” she called.

“I thought they swore on a stack of Bibles they weren’t,” Bill
said, chuckling grimly. He picked up a turkey leg and took a large,
lusty bite out of it as Mulder replied– “Almost there, Scully,
you’re doin’ great– come on, just a little more–” He could now
kick the spooky bastard’s ass without excuse.

Marita pouted. She was stuck going home with her date. She could
have sworn on a stack of surveillance tapes Mulder and Scully were
just friends, but apparently–

“MULDER! Mulder! Don’t stop!” Scully cried quite loudly. “Just
like that–”

Spender’s eyes were huge. “Oh my God!” he said suddenly. “They’re
having sex in there, aren’t they?”

Tara dropped her fork. “What?” she cried. “They’re doing what?
Right in the room next to my baby?”

“Scullee, you’re killin’ me! You’re absolutely killin’ me– we
shouldn’t have tried this– no.”

“Mulder, you cowardly son of a bitch,” Scully said, wedged in
the window. “Fine. I think we’re done here.”

Mulder helped her down from the window. Scully was quite a mess now.
Her skirt was hiked wrong, her hair was tousled and messy, and
her shirt had rumpled. Also, her heels had gotten kicked off
during her frantic attempt at escape. She stood before Mulder in
stocking feet, arms akimbo– it was actually quite sexy, Mulder
realized. Her breathing was also a little heavy from her exertions.

“I don’t think we’re cut out for this sort of thing,” Mulder
replied calmly, surveying himself in the mirror. A little worse
for the wear, but nothing that dramatic.

“We were doing just FINE until you lost your nerve,” Scully
replied. “Oh, God. Everyone’s going to know what we did. Look
at me!”

“Let me help clean you up,” Mulder replied. Maggie lost it at
that point, and got out of her chair, striding madly for the bathroom.

“Mulder, it’s not your fault. It was just a difficult
operation,” Scully said.

“What’s so hard about fitting tab a into slot b–”

Maggie pounded on the door. “You two get out here! Right now!
I mean it!”

Mulder and Scully looked at each other in absolute horror.

“Oh, shit,” Mulder said. “We’re so dead.”

“Well, come on. Let’s not keep everyone waiting,” Scully
replied. “Coming, Mother dear!”

“What are we going to say?”

“The truth,” Scully said.

“You’re way god-damn drunk,” Mulder said, as Scully yanked open
the door, to her mother’s shocked stare.

“Dana Katherine Scully, what sort of daughter did I raise?”
Maggie said in a low, serious voice. “Look at you. I can’t believe
this. And Fox, I cannot believe that you think you can do this
sort of thing as a guest in my home.”

“Mom, we– I– we’re sorry. It was a mistake,” Scully said. “I’m
just really drunk and when Mulder suggested it, I– well– it
sounded like a good idea at the time.”

“Sorry, Mrs. Scully,” Mulder added, looking anywhere but at
the woman.

“All right,” Mrs. Scully said severely. “I will go and calm
my dinner party down, and then you two will come out and act
like decent human beings for the remainder of it. I don’t want
to hear one smug, superior comment from the either of you. I
don’t care if Tara starts speaking in tongues; you will smile and
act polite. Do you hear me? Fox? Dana?”

“Yes, Mom,” the pair said in unison. Mrs. Scully nodded and
strode back out to the dinner party, smile fixed in place.

“It’s all right. Everything’s fine. Dana’s contact fell out,
and Fox tried to help,” she lied. Everyone tried to act like they
believed it, but that became significantly more difficult when
Mulder and Scully walked out, looking– well– mussed.

“Oh, Mom, the main course looks fantastic!” Scully said, hoping
that God would just strike her dead now. She sat down and put on
her most dazzling smile and aimed it right at Tara.

“It’s yummdillyumptious,” Tara replied. Scully bit back a Ned
Flanders comment and stepped on Mulder’s foot. This didn’t do too
much with Scully being barefoot.

“I bet it is,” Scully said, and dug in. Krycek turned and
smiled at Scully with sheer lust. Scully looked at Mulder,
unspoken communication in that glance. Mulder had noticed the
glance, but figured it was aimed at him, somehow.

“Wow, Alex, you helped with this dinner?” Mulder asked, figuring
he owed Scully for saving him from Vansen’s. “You’re quite a cook.”

“Why, thank you, Fox,” Krycek said. “But Maggie really deserves
the credit. She’s showed me so much–”

Scully bit her lip harder. This was not happening. This was a
hallucination brought on by some Consortium-manufactured drug
in her booze. Or maybe it was just the booze. Yeah, that was it.

“Matthew, are you numming your tatoes? Oh, yes, that’s my big
boy!” Tara cooed. Scully sighed. No, not even the best LSD could
manage to make her trip like _that_.

“These really are great potatoes Mom– creamy just the way I like
them,” Scully ate enthusiastically, thinking the quicker she ate
the quicker she could leave. “And this turkey is incredible —
melt in your mouth good!”

“I second that Mrs. Scully. Have you ever thought of cooking
professionally?” Mulder added, really laying on the charm.

Maggie beamed and ate some of her food. Everyone was silent, each
person trying to avoid looking directly at Scully or Mulder and
failing miserably.

“So Fox, how are your cases going?” Teena speared a piece of white
meat turkey with her fork.

“Good, Mother, we caught a serial killer a few days ago. We
also have a very interesting case file that just came in…” he
babbled.

“Dana, eat your vegetables. You missed the salad,” Maggie
reminded her miserable, messy daughter.

Scully nodded and mechanically ate the green beans and whatever
else was on her plate, God how embarrassing– how old was she,
seven?

Marita kept looking over at her jealously, she should have known,
heck she remembered many times where she’d wound up in the bathroom
with some guy. One of the guys happened to be sitting directly
across from her and sleeping with a woman twice his age.

“This really is delicious Alex,” Marita praised, trying to get
Spender’s hand off her leg discreetly.

Krycek nodded and continued eating. Dammit, cutting food was so hard
with one arm.

“So, anyone seen any good movies lately?” Scully asked after a long
lull in conversation.

“I saw a good movie yesterday…” Mulder began. “Wait, never
mind.” No one wanted to hear about those movies.

“We watched Barney’s Big Adventure a few days ago didn’t we,
mycutewittlebabywaby…,” Tara answered but her speech
became indecipherable.

“Yeah, it was great,” Bill said sarcastically spooning more
stuffing onto his plate.

“Marita and I saw Titanic again last night!” Spender announced,
totally oblivious to the fact that his date was licking her lips
and staring intently at Mulder.

“I love that movie! Oh the ending scene with Jack and Rose,
Jack! Jack!” Tara interjected, her eyes tearing.

Scully rolled her eyes and bit her lip. She checked her watch. No,
that’s impossible, it had only been two hours? Was slow time an
X-File? Yes– this was definite fodder for a case. She caught
Mulder’s eye and they exchanged more silent communication.

“It was so sad — wasn’t it, Dad?” Spender added.

Bob wished he had a gun with him, just a small one, a leg wound
might shut his son up. “Yes, yes it was.” This was ruining his
reputation.

“You sobbed so much during the last half of the movie I thought that
I was going to need to get more napkins…,” Spender continued,
oblivious to Bob’s murderous stare.

“It was a very sad movie,” Tara said in Bob’s defense.

For their part Mulder and Scully stared straight ahead and smiled
at the other table. They didn’t trust themselves to speak.

“I found it– uh, sad, too,” Teena chimed in, trying to help her
boyfriend retain his reputation.

“Wasn’t it so romantic how they were married by love?” Tara asked
no one in particular.

“Yes, yes it was.” Maggie gazed lovingly at Krycek.

“You know, someday that could be you and I, Margaret.” Krycek
replied, wishing he was closer to her.

“I’m going to be sick,” Scully whispered, very, very softly.

“If your Mom and I got married Dana, I’d love it if you called
me Dad.” Krycek turned towards her, looking up and down her body
appreciatively. Again, Mulder somehow thought this was directed at
him. His hands fisted under the table, before this night was over
he was going to kill that bastard.

Scully sputtered, coughing on the wine that she was drinking. But
she was too stunned to speak.

“That would be so wonderful! Then maybe Teena and Bob could get
married and Jeffy and Marita and Fox and Dana and then we’d all
be one big happy family!” Tara squealed with delight.

“Yes, that would be wonderful,” Marita purred, looking over
at Mulder who appeared to be shell shocked.

“If you don’t want to call me Dad, Uncle would be okay Dana.”

If looks could kill, she’d be autopsying him. She bit her lip harder.

“I just realized! You and Fox are like Jack and Rose!” Tara grinned.

“How is that Tara?” Mulder asked after a few measured seconds of
silence.

“Well, you’re in love and you mean a lot to each other. Oh and
just like Jack and Rose you also,” she covered Matthew’s ears with
her hands and whispered, “had sex in an odd place.”

The room went silent. “What…what odd place is that Tara?”
Scully asked, digging her fingernails into her palm.

“We all know what you were doing in that bathroom,” Tara answered
matter of factly.

Scully and Mulder both went a peculiar shade of red. Forks
dropped onto plates loudly.

“Tara!” everyone at the table shouted and then stared directly
at the kid’s table.

Scully prayed for alien abduction and Mulder wondered if that
timetable for colonization could be brought up a few years.

“Oh my God,” Scully whispered. She seemed absolutely stunned
by this new accusation. Mulder took one look at her big, perfectly
round blue eyes and realized it was up to him to save them this
time. He awkwardly stood up and glared at the table of family
and enemies.

“Are you all insane?” Mulder asked. “We didn’t have sex in
the bathroom! What do you think we are, a pair of hormonally
charged teenagers?”

“Well, you were both looking rather tense at the table–” Teena
said lamely.

“Could it possibly be because everyone here is out of their mind?
I mean, God damn! I’ve never been at a scarier gathering! This makes
the Jerry Springer show look like Full House! This makes a Star Trek
convention look like Boy Scouts! Do you want to know what we were
doing in that bathroom, in all honesty?”

“YES!” several voices chorused in unison.

“We were trying to escape out the bathroom window. We didn’t
fit,” Mulder said.

“You tried to escape a dinner party by jumping out a window?”
Spender asked incredulously. “What the hell is wrong with you two?”

“You wanna know what’s wrong with me? You people! I mean, you,
Jeffy Spender, I mean, do the words weenie boy mean anything to
you? I’ve met houseplants with more testosterone than you! And your
ho-bag date, she’s such a ho that when people pass her on the street
they say, “God damn, that is one trashy ho!” I mean, who haven’t
you slept with at this table besides me, Marita?”

“Umm– the women, and Jeffy?”

Bill Junior turned a deep dark shade of red. Damn his Navy
buddies for that bachelor party! Tara’s mouth dropped, but
before she could make a noise, Mulder wheeled on her.

“And you, have you ever heard of tact? I mean, Scully cannot
have kids, you know that, yet on and on and on you yammer,
motherhood makes you whole, I never knew what being a woman was
until I had Matthew– why don’t you just take your steak knife,
cut Scully with it, and pour salt on the wound? It would be
quicker! By the way, you are a bore, and your husband is an
asshole, and I have nothing more to say to you!”

Teena shook her head. “Bob, you have no taste.”

“Mom, you have no taste,” Mulder replied. “Mrs. Scully, you have
no taste. What is wrong with you two? Do you guys actually realize
how bad these two are? They’re evil, E-V-I-L, EVIL! For heaven’s
sake– Scully?”

Scully had risen rather unsteadily. “I have to go now. Thanks for
dinner, Mom, sorry I can’t stay for the dessert.”

Outside, the roar of a motorcycle engine was rising as Dana Scully
walked rather unsteadily out of the door. Charles Scully and his
new girlfriend had almost reached the house.

“I’ve got to warn you again. My family is insane. My brother is an
asshole, his wife is an airhead, my sister is– well, God talks to
Dana, or at least, when God talks to someone else, he’s really
talking to Dana,” Charles said. “My mom is okay. She’s got a new
boyfriend, and she warned me he’s half her age.”

“Good for your mom,” Sami said. “I don’t know anything about my
family. I ran off from them as soon as I could. I had a brother,
can we say psycho? And my mom, nothing’s wrong with her a lot
of Valium couldn’t cure.”

“Families suck. That’s why I don’t go to parties very often,” Charles
said. “Let’s be mutually brave, mutually sane, and move fast.”

He pulled his shining Harley into the driveway and the two of
them pulled off their helmets, just as the door burst open.

“I’m going away! God, I can’t believe this, why me? What have I
done to deserve this?” Scully said rather loudly, stomping off
across the lawn. Sami’s eyes went wide.

“Oh, my. This is going to be fun,” she said. “Not.”

“Dana?” Charlie called. “Are you okay?”

“No! I’m not! And you know what? You’re an asshole! Because of you
and your date, I had to sit at the freakin’ kids table tonight! You
will pay for that, Charlie! Now I’m out of here– where are my keys?”

“SCULLY!” Mulder cried, hurrying to the front door. “SCUL-LAAYYY!”

“Who’s that?” Sami asked. Mulder caught a glimpse of her and
paled. Scully had seen Mulder and started walking a lot faster.

“Samantha? Samantha? It’s me, Fox, your brother. Would you do me a
big big favor? Stay right here. I have to go catch Scully, then we’re
going to talk. Mom is doing your Dad again, and we have to stop it.
Immediately. And your half-brother is in there, too. So– just, don’t
go anywhere.”

Mulder started running after Scully, who could run pretty fast in
bare feet. Charles Scully and Samantha Mulder stared at each other
in absolute silence for a moment. Then they put on their motorcycle
helmets.

“I saw a bar on the way here,” Charles said.

“Good idea. So she’s your sister?”

“And he’s your brother?”

“Why does this make sense at this point?” Charlie asked.

“I don’t know. You wanna get out of here?”

“Yes,” they said together, and just started laughing. Then they
got on their motorcycle and drove off into the sunset together.

Back inside the house, everyone was silent for a long long while.
After a while, though, Mrs. Scully cleared her throat and stood up.
She surveyed her guests. They looked like they had just survived a
hurricane. Hurricane Dana. She forced herself to smile a little.
Everyone looked at her expectantly. Finally, she just said it.

“I don’t think those two spoilsports should ruin our party. Anyone
for dessert?” she asked. “It’s triple fudge brownie cake, and it’s
absolutely delicious…”

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