How Monica Reyes Stole Christmas

by Adrian D. Ives

     Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 6:12 PM
     Title: How Monica Reyes Stole Christmas
     Author: Adrian D. Ives
     Version: 01
     Rating: NC-17 USA/CAN; 18 EU
     Content Codes: Scully/Reyes F/F CONS
     Summary: Reyes and Scully are planning on enjoying a quiet
     Christmas together, but there's always something ...
     Chronology: This story is set post the series finale, and
     follows on from "Back to the Quagmire"
     Distribution and Archiving: Anywhere.
     Disclaimer: Not produced for profit.  All copyrights
     Based upon the characters created by Chris Carter for the
     Fox Television Series "The X Files"

How Monica Reyes Stole Christmas
by Adrian D. Ives

Reyes strode into the lounge in fine spirits. She was singing "Jingle Bells", had a generously poured vodka and lime in one hand, and a frosted glass bowl full of savoury treats in the other.

From her position slouched across the big sofa, Scully watched her nimbly navigate the present-strewn area around the tree and somehow manage to select and load a CD into the music system, all without putting down either of the things that she was carrying. Scully uttered a tiny moan of suffering in the hope of attracting her partner's attention.

"Dana?" Reyes popped her head out from behind the tree. "Are you OK? Would you like another aspirin?"

"Is it absolutely necessary to sing so loud?" Scully responded, her normal vocal clarity severely diminished by the heavy head cold that she had been so unfortunately smitten with.

Reyes set the bowl of crackers and nuts down on the small table near the patio doors. "How about a hot Lem-Sip?"

Scully groaned. With a weary sigh of resignation, she covered her forehead with her hand and closed her eyes. The first track of "The Greatest Christmas Album Ever - IV" started playing; a 're-imagined' rendition of "White Christmas" that offered sufficient evidence to Scully that the album's producers were at the very least guilty of Wilful Misrepresentation under at least three different State and Federal regulations.

"Physician, heal thyself," she muttered under her breath.

A moment later, Reyes was by her side, kneeling down to plant a gentle kiss on her cheek; short, and exquisitely delicate.

"Do you think it was such a good idea to follow Ewan Trenchard into that storm drain?" Reyes asked.

Scully opened her eyes again. "Monica, I caught this cold from AD Skinner, who, for some reason which I am completely unable to fathom, found it necessary to venture into the office even though his own doctor had strongly advised him to take the week off, thus contributing to one of the highest weekly sick absence reports in the bureau's history."

"Men." Reyes grinned. "They're such slaves to work aren't they?"

"However," Scully continued, "getting soaked with freezing rain water, and then being trapped under a fallen street grating for two hours didn't exactly improve the situation."

"At least you fared better than Trenchard." Reyes kissed her again. "They're still fishing bits of him out of the Potomac."

Scully became curious about what Reyes was hiding behind her back. "What's that you're drinking?"

She carefully raised her drink to Scully's lips, and allowed her to sip some of the chilled vodka and lime. Only when the crushed ice fell softly against the redhead's lips, did she pull the glass back.

"Mmmmn. That's nice," Scully purred, her eyelids flickering sleepily.

Reyes leant towards her and kissed her moist lips, finding the taste of lime and the chill of melting ice still lingering there. "I'll fix another. You finish this one."

As Reyes made her way back to the kitchen, Scully called after her. "Speaking of men who are slaves to work, didn't you say that Agent Doggett was calling round later?"

Reyes' out of town 'place', which she had inherited a few years earlier from an aunt that she had never known, was a long drive from Washington, in a small town that the map makers had apparently overlooked. Once found, though, it was a place that never wanted to let you go; secluded, calm, and offering the most breathtaking ocean views.

She'd never asked her partner if Doggett had been there before. There was some history between the two agents, but she had carefully avoided seeking out any more details than Monica had been prepared to volunteer.

"Oh, right. Um ... no, actually ... he called to say he wouldn't be able to make it."

"Oh?" Scully sipped some more alcohol. The warmth that was slowly spreading outwards from her belly was already helping to dispel some of the depression that had come with the cold, but she knew that she would pay for it later.

"Elizabeth invited him down for the Christmas break."

"You wouldn't be referring to that waitress from the Twelve Grey Wolves Hunting Lodge on Lake Mumbles?" Scully was thinking back to the recent investigation into a giant alligator that had been unwittingly released by a scientist researching the natural antibiotics found in reptile blood.

"Only it turns out she wasn't just a waitress. She actually owns the place." Reyes came back into the lounge with another drink in her hand. "Which means," she indicated to Scully that she needed some room on the sofa, "that we'll be lucky to see another living soul until New Year."

Scully tucked her knees into her chest, so that Reyes could sit down. "Can we bear the isolation?" she asked, dryly.

With her free hand, Reyes began gently massaging one of Scully's bare feet. The drowsy redhead uttered a soft moan of approval.

"You have such cute little feet, Dana," Reyes told her.

Scully opened one eye and peered suspiciously at her. "Please don't tell me that you're becoming a foot fetishist."

"Foot massage is one of the oldest forms of therapy on the planet." Reyes rested her drink on the arm of the sofa so that she could concentrate on massaging Scully's arches with both hands. "Did you know that seven thousand years ago-"



"Isn't it time to unwrap the presents yet?"

Before Reyes could consult her wristwatch, the wall clock began to chime midnight. Almost to the instant, a cascade of fireworks erupted over the bay, flashing a glorious wash of reds, greens and yellows across the cloud laden sky.

Scully was impressed by somebody's impeccable timing. "Merry Christmas, Agent Reyes."

In an unexpected gesture, Reyes kissed the toes of Scully's right foot. "It will be," she grinned.

An intrigued look came over Scully's face, but she had no opportunity to question her lover further; Reyes had already vaulted off the sofa, and was sliding across the floor to where a small pile of beautifully wrapped presents were stacked like a scene out of some children's story book.

She found the largest one there and brought it back to Scully, reminding her partner of a faithful puppy returning the stick that its master had just thrown.

"Merry Christmas, Dana."

Scully sat upright and took the package from her. She shook it close to her ear, listening for clues. There were objects moving inside. Seeing the look of anxious expectation on her partner's face, she decided to move straight to the opening, instead of the usual game of sparring and teasing that they sometimes engaged in.

Piercing a single strip of clear tape with her nail, she slid her thumb under the golden wrapping paper. It made a wondrous rustling sound as it parted ahead of her moving finger. "I'm intrigued," said Scully, as she peeled away the top layer of decorative paper to find an inner layer of plain brown beneath.

Reyes watched Scully's every move, as the lovely redhead somehow managed to remove all of the paper without tearing it even once. Beneath the wrapping, Scully discovered a finely polished rectangular wooden box. She held it up to the light; a picture of an old water mill set amongst rolling hills had been expertly carved into the lid. There were further carvings along the sides of the box, all of them scenes from a long bygone age. The fine brass hinges and catch had been polished almost to the colour and clarity of pure gold, and the wood had the faintest smell of beeswax about it.

Scully thumbed open the catch and carefully lifted the lid. The inside of the box was richly lined with a dark crimson velvet, and divided up into neatly segmented compartments, each of which contained one or more instruments of the type that a surgeon from that same bygone time as depicted on the outside of the case might have used.

"Monica, this is just beautiful." Scully's face was momentarily lit by light reflected from a silver plated surgical knife. "But... how did you find something like this? The quality of these instruments ..."

Reyes went to her side and showed Scully a small slip of fine parchment tucked into the lining of the lid. "This tells you all about the doctor who owned these things, Dana. He lived in Sheffield, England, over a hundred and seventy years ago."

"Doctor William Richard Ellman-Brown," Scully read out loud. "1788 - 1832. Monica, I don't know what to say. I ... this is too much. I don't -" Just in time, Scully prevented herself from completing the sentence; from telling Reyes that she didn't deserve a gift like this, or maybe that she was uncomfortable with the commitment that came along with accepting it.

"I bought you some boring old things as well," said Reyes. "Some perfume and Belgian chocolates and -"

Her sentence was cut short by the kiss that Scully delivered so delicately, yet so exquisitely forcefully, to her lips.

"Thank you," Scully whispered.

Reyes could feel her cheeks blushing, and her heart quickening. "When you look at me like that, Dana, I just go all to pieces."

Scully eased herself off the sofa and made a dive for the remaining stack of presents. "Right ... Monica, you're the most together person I know."

"Even if I do position my bed on a ley line?"

Scully found the present that she was looking for; a small rectangular package wrapped in shiny deep red paper, with a bow of gold ribbon. "Especially because you position your bed on a ley line."

She handed the small package to her partner, whose eyes lit up when she read the inscription on the attached label. "Didn't you tell me once that you weren't good at the sentimental stuff?"

Scully had retrieved her drink and was now sitting on the carpet, her legs crossed in front of her. "I've been practicing."

In complete contrast to her partner's slow and methodical unwrapping process, Reyes simply tore the paper away with considerable force, uncovering what looked to be a case holding an item of jewellery. With uncontained excitement, she opened it, revealing a slender gold neck chain made from tiny interlocking segments that gave the object the appearance of a fine stream of flowing, molten metal.

"Oh, wow, Dana. This is exquisite." She took it out of its case and carefully draped it around her slender neck. "So beautiful. Thank you. Thank you so much."

Reyes started a move towards the redhead, intent upon demonstrating her appreciation, but Scully dodged her and rose to her feet. "I - uh - need a refill," she explained, awkwardly.

Reyes watched her head out to the kitchen, puzzled by what had seemed to be a sudden cooling of the fire that she was sure she had seen burning in her eyes just a few seconds earlier. She waited a moment, then got up and followed her.

She waited in the doorway for a few moments, while her partner seemed distracted by her own reflection in the kitchen window. "Is there something wrong, Dana?"

Scully gave a short sigh. "It's just that ... I was thinking of William opening his presents, and those presents won't have come from me, and he won't know me; he won't know that I care.

"He probably doesn't even remember me now. And he'll be smiling and laughing, and I won't be there to see those things; to see the look that I just saw on your face, Monica." When she turned to face her partner, there were the first traces of tears in her eyes. "And .. it makes me ... feel so ..."

Reyes ran to her and cradled her in her arms. "Oh, Dana, I'm such an idiot. I should have been more -"

Scully raised a finger to her partner's lips, preventing her from completing the thought. After a moment, some of the despair seemed to fade from her face, and her expression became one of distance and detachment.

"Even if you're not with him, I'm sure your son feels your presence," Reyes assured her. "You have such a strong spirit, Dana."

Scully looked sceptical. "Is that what I have? Mom's doing triple somersaults right now, about what she sees as my gross irresponsibility, and I don't need that. I need a little ... simplicity ... in my life."

Reyes gently wiped a tear from her partner's eye. "Simplicity, huh?"

They both started grinning at about the same time, but it was Reyes who first broached the inevitable. "Hey, I know a really good way of getting back to simplicity."

"Why do I not find that at all surprising?"

Reyes began to unbutton the front of Scully's top. "About the most simple thing that there can be between two people."

"Which is?"

A broad smile began tugging at the corners of the brunette's mouth. "Would you mind very much if I took you to bed, Agent Scully?"

"So that we can get simple?" Scully popped open the top button of Reyes' loose fitting Levis.

"You won't believe how simple."

"I'm a hard person to make into a believer, Agent Reyes."

"I know," she kissed her on the lips, "but life is nothing without challenges."

In their haste, they left a trail of discarded clothes behind them, and by the time they reached the bedroom both were naked. Reyes found herself caught off guard by the sudden forcefulness of her partner. She had previously found that Scully preferred to be the one who was led, and Reyes had always been eager to oblige, having found the act of seducing the lovely redhead one of the greatest pleasures she had ever experienced. But here, in the small hours of Christmas morning, this was a different Dana Scully; she was as bold and as strong in her sexuality as she was in those other aspects of her character that so fascinated Reyes.

Scully pushed Reyes down onto the bed, kissing her firmly on the lips, her tongue parrying and probing the willing mouth of her partner. She slid one hand between Reyes' legs, quickly finding her sensitive clitoris and teasing it with the tip of her thumb, as her remaining fingers began slipping between her moist lower lips.

Reyes, although surprised by the sudden contact, didn't resist her lover's attentions, instead parting her thighs to allow her better access. Scully responded by dipping three fingers between her folds; she moved her mouth to Reyes' rapidly hardening nipples, gently tickling the hard buds with the tip of her tongue, attending to each in turn until they were fully erect and aroused to the point where just the slightest touch caused Reyes to gasp with delight. She captured her left nipple between her teeth, and squeezed just hard enough to make her partner utter a short cry of surprise.

"Oh, God, Dana!" Reyes moaned, pushing up with her hips to increase the pressure between her legs. "This is great. I love what you're doing to me!"

Encouraged by her partner's words of approval, Scully attended to the brunette's right nipple with equal enthusiasm, rolling the wonderfully hard bud between her teeth until Monica yelped with delight, then soothing the slightly sore nipple with a gentle wash of her tongue. At the same time she continued to pump her fingers into Reyes' moist opening, all the while keeping a constant pressure on her pulsing clitoris with the tip of her thumb.

"Oh, Jesus! Oh, Dana!"

Scully could feel the tension mounting rapidly in her excited lover, like the early shifts in the tectonic plates that came before an earthquake. Quickly, she shifted her position so that she was now crouching down between Reyes' spread thighs, leaving the brunette to twist and tease her now abandoned nipples between her own fingers and thumbs, while Scully's mouth went to work on that most sensitive place.

When the moist, warm tip of the redhead's tongue began a frantic dance over her throbbing clitoris, Reyes cried out, "Oh YES!" It was the signal for Scully to become even more adventurous with her lover. Carefully, she captured Monica's slick bud between her lips and sucked gently, teasing it out still further from under its hood and into her mouth. Reyes was quick to give her approval, basically giving the redhead carte blanche to abuse her body in whatever way she felt able and willing to try. Scully added a fourth finger to those already inside her lover and began pushing herself in deeper and harder, at the same time sucking her clit between her lips, and teasing it with her tongue.

"Oh, Jesus, yes! Dana, that's so great!"

She had almost the whole of her hand inside her lover's body, when the violent spasms of release began. Suddenly, Reyes' vaginal muscles clamped tightly around Scully's slender wrist, trapping her inside for the duration of the cataclysmic climax that now wracked the gorgeous brunette's naked body.

It was quite some time before Scully was able to carefully withdraw her clenched fist, and when she did the taste of Reyes was still thick on her lips, like honeyed nectar from heaven. Reyes made a point of kissing her after that, not hiding her obvious arousal at tasting herself on her lover's lips.

"Dana," she murmured, contentedly, "that was exactly what I like. You were fantastic!"

"Well, I hope you're not too tired, Agent Reyes," said Scully, provocatively, "because there are some things that I like too, which I haven't told you about before."

Reyes' eyes widened with interest. "Wow! Tell me all about it, Dana. And just remember that I'm a girl who is always eager to please."

Was she awake? It seemed like she was awake. She closed her eyes and opened them again, but that didn't help. She should have found Monica lying next to her, her naked body still glistening from the heat of their sexual encounter, but instead she was alone.

This was not her partner's bedroom, in the secluded chalet at the end of Abbotts Ridge Road, overlooking the bay. This was a larger, taller room; a different place altogether. It felt older. Much older.

The air smelt unfamiliar to her. Not the scent of her lover, nor the salt of the ocean spray, but the fresh tang of newly mown grass.

The room was full of things that had no place being there; or perhaps it was she that was the anachronism. She walked slowly around this strange, unfamiliar place, stopping to look at some medical journals stacked neatly upon the shelves of a high, glass-fronted bookcase. They were old books, and yet their covers were as bright and as clean as if they had only recently been printed.

She crossed to a small, round table. There was a wooden bowl of fruit in the centre; an apple, two pears and some raspberries. She leaned forward to sample their scent, and found them fresh and inviting.

Then suddenly she became aware that she was not alone in the room. Slowly, she turned around. Instinct made her bring her right hand to where she would normally have found her weapon holstered, but instead her fingers closed around nothing more substantial than the air she breathed.

There was a woman looking right at her, and a young girl tugging at her long skirt, crying as she buried her face in the folds of her mother's garment. They seemed like the characters from a period costume drama; yet they moved slowly around her without moving at all; ethereal, wraith-like things that were possessed of no anchor to the world that she knew as real.

Scully tried to speak, but the words that she heard were not her own. The woman looked frightened now. Terrified. She was shaking her head, and sobbing almost as much as her child, who had now moved to place her mother between them. There were noises coming from somewhere outside. Scully heard them like the jumbled fragments of a half-forgotten melody; disjointed and incomplete. Crying out to be heard, yet unhearable.

And then came a violent hammering on the wooden door, and a sudden, crushing sensation of impending violence. She saw her own hands reach out in front of her, pushing the woman away, forcing her towards the door at the other side of the room. Scully knew that these were not her actions, yet it was her body that was performing them, acting through a volition not her own, like a puppet at the call of its master's strings. The panic in the woman's eyes was as terrible to behold as the cries of her young child; both wanting to understand, yet fearful of what that comprehension would bring.

The door was open. Had she done that?

Ignoring their pleas, she pushed the woman and her child into the secret room, locking and bolting the door behind them, incarcerating them in the darkness. Then she swung the bookcase across the door, completely concealing its existence.

The key was still in her hand, when whatever had been pounding at the other door finally broke through. She saw its face, just scant moments before the sharp steel flashed horribly before her eyes, and she tasted the coppery tang of her own blood on her lips.

Reyes carefully wiped the blood from Scully's bottom lip with a moist paper tissue. She was relieved to see that the other woman was finally regaining consciousness.

"Monica?" Scully's voice was unsteady, her eyelids flickering, and her breathing laboured.

"It's OK, Dana. I'm here." Reyes slipped her arm under Scully's shoulders, and helped her to sit up, pushing a pillow behind her to add support.

"What just happened?"

"It looked like you had a pretty bad dream to me."

Scully shook her head. "I was somewhere else."

"You haven't been anywhere, Dana; except here in my bed. Which, I might add, you made a pretty wonderful experience for me." Reyes held a tumbler of water up to her partner's lips. "Here. Drink this."

Scully sipped the cool water, and was surprised to discover just how thirsty she was. She quickly emptied the glass.

"Should I get you some more?" Reyes asked.

She shook her head again. "I just need to freshen up. I feel like shit."

"You know where everything is." Reyes helped her out of bed and onto her feet. "Are you sure you're OK, Dana?"

As Scully made her way towards the bathroom, she seemed oblivious to the fact that she was still completely naked, and attracting a stare from Reyes that combined concern, love and lust in equal measure. On the dresser she noticed Monica's present to her: the box of antique medical instruments. Something about the engraving on the lid seemed familiar to her now; something about the place that it depicted. She'd been to that place, surely?

She went into the bathroom and ran the cold tap for a few seconds, splashing water over her face and neck until finally she cleared the muzzy haze that had been fogging her thoughts. She looked at herself in the mirror. Her long red hair was falling untidily over her face, and her eyes were swollen and dry. She looked drawn and tired; exactly what she would have expected from a heavy cold that she had refused to allow her body to fight by resting.

She didn't want to disappoint Monica, but it looked like she'd be spending the whole of Christmas day in bed. On her own.

And then the face in the mirror was not hers any more. Perhaps it was no longer a face at all; so dark and quick to disappear. With its passing, a sudden, terrible coldness clutched at her heart, and Scully felt herself falling into some dreadful abyss.

Some time later, when she realised that Monica was cradling her in her arms, she became aware of having lost consciousness; but the memory of what she had seen remained horribly etched in her mind.

"Yes, the Kersh trial was big news here as well." Scully seemed impatient to end the telephone conversation. "Well, thank you very much for your co-operation, Inspector. And, again, I'm sorry to have interrupted your Christmas."

"Well?" Reyes had been waiting patiently, but now the call was over she wanted to know exactly what her partner had learned from her second long distance telephone call in six hours.

"The South Yorkshire police had an open case on their books at the end of 1832: the murder by persons unknown of William Ellman-Brown, a local doctor. At the same time, his wife and daughter went missing. Neither were ever found."

"And he was the same doctor who owned those medical instruments?"

"It seems so. The old mill is still standing, though it's been boarded up for the last fifty years because of a land slip that makes it impossible to sell. The police found the door to the safe hole behind a bookcase, exactly as in my nightmare. When they broke it down, they discovered two bodies inside."

"The wife and the daughter?"

Scully nodded gravely.

"Dana, that's terrible."

"They also found a note written by Ellman-Brown's wife. In it she explained how her husband had made her and her daughter hide in the safe hole, because he feared for their lives after some roaming travellers had called at their home looking for work. Apparently, they made threats of violence when the doctor refused to pay them for cutting the lawn; a job which they were never asked to do.

"She never saw her husband again, nor was she able to open the door from the inside because she'd neglected to take the key. And, by that time, her husband was dead and there was nobody to let them out, or even to know that they were there."

"Well, I've been doing a little research of my own," Reyes admitted, pulling her laptop across the coffee table towards them. "The late Doctor Ellman-Brown had an almost fanatical obsession with the concept of preserving the human soul beyond death. He believed passionately not only in an afterlife, but that he could find a way for souls that had passed on to communicate with the living. He wrote several papers on the subject, and was condemned by his colleagues for indulging in Speculative Medicine."

"Are you suggesting that somehow Ellman-Brown's consciousness lived on, associated in some way with these instruments that he used in his work; that he waited for somebody to come along who was, what? in tune with his thoughts?"

Reyes shrugged her shoulders. "Dana, you can't discount everything just because there isn't a scientific basis for it."

Scully frowned. "Why not?"

"Because ... well ... because it would make you a very boring person."

"Monica -"

"And you're not a boring person, Dana." She leant over and kissed her partner. At first it was a gentle, delicate thing, but the mutual hunger quickly overwhelmed them and it was some time before they reluctantly parted.

"I'm sorry about your present." Reyes nodded towards the box. "I should get you something else, given it's awful history."

Scully carefully snapped the lid of the box closed. "Whether it was Ellman-Brown's immortal spirit calling to me across time, or perhaps just my unconscious recollection of a case I'd previously been made aware of, I get the distinct impression that this box has told all the stories that it has to tell." She kissed Reyes softly on the lips again. "It's a wonderful gift, Monica, and I'll always treasure it for the thoughtfulness and affection of the person who gave it to me."

"Wow." Reyes looked at her in awe. For a moment, just a fleeting moment, it looked as though there might be tears in her eyes. "Dana, with lines like that ... I'm yours."

As the two women fell into one another's arms in front of the crackling log fire, the first flakes of snow began falling on the roof, their soft patter accompanied by the melodic peal of church bells ringing out from some not too distant place.

And then the music system decided, entirely of its own volition, to start playing "The Greatest Christmas Album Ever - IV"; all over again.


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