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Author: SyndicateGirl
Archive: Yes, definitely! But please keep my headers attached and let me know where it is if you can. Thanks!
Spoilers: N/A
Rating: G
Classification:  Pre-X-Files story with a chance meeting of the mums.
Summary: A chance meeting of Teena Mulder and Maggie Scully, and of young Scully and Mulder. Teena Mulder helps Maggie be a better parent.
Disclaimer: The X-Files characters are Chris Carter's and 1013 Productions', not mine, unfortunately; no infringement is intended. Please don't sue - I'm a writer, and have no money! :D

Note: Archived at

TITLE: The Promise

Teena watched her little Fox run around playing "alien invaders" with some of the other remaining kids at the BBQ. It was summertime, and she and Bill had been expected to attend a celebratory gathering that had to do with the Navy and some of the US government's upper level organizations.

Truth be told, Teena wasn't entirely sure what the event was - they were at so many of these things lately that she had lost track.

Bill had simply come home the week prior, announced that the family was expected, and here they were a week later.  Teena knew how important these parties could be, and she had long ago accepted that it was her job as Bill's wife to show up and be pleasant now matter how great or terrible the event turned out to be.  

Bill, on the other hand, knew that it was his job to take them all out for ice cream afterwards.  It was a tradition that they had developed years ago when Fox had sighed loudly during the car ride home and announced, "No more boring parties!"

After laughing at his beleaguered outburst, they had pulled into the nearest ice cream parlor, and had been doing it after parties ever since.

Fortunately, this party was turning out to be anything but boring for her young son, though, and she watched as 4 year old Fox whizzed past her laughing, "Hi, Mommy!" his voice trailed off as she waved at him.  Fox was having the time of his life, running and playing in the dappled sunlight, and the sight of it made Teena wish that days like this never ended.

That Fox's innocent happiness could go on forever, never fettered by the complicated reality that adulthood brought in its wake.

A small sound caught Teena's attention, and she smiled down at little Samantha who slept peacefully in her mother's arms. It had been a long day already for Sammy (as Fox had taken to calling her), and all the giggling and staggering around the garden had left her exhausted.

Teena shifted Sam's weight in her arms a bit, and settled in at one of sun chairs in the shade of a large umbrella.  A few of the other wives stopped by, and they chattered on for a bit about the party, the weather, upcoming summer vacations, and other pleasant party topics befitting of women in their circle.

Some of the women were far less than interesting to talk to, but it was a fairly relaxing way to spend the afternoon.  Sitting by the water, listening to the waves in the distance lap against the sand...It made her long for the Vineyard, and she found herself more than a little excited at the prospect of heading home soon.

By the look on Bill's face, he felt the same way, and she smiled back at him from across the lawn as a young upstart at the State Department tried his best to flatter his way to the top.  She could tell Bill wasn't buying it.

As the hour passed, the party began to thin out a lot more, and many of the children had headed home for the day.

Samantha gradually began to stir, and started to get a bit antsy, so Teena excused herself so that she could get her young daughter something to eat.  

She filled up a small plate with a few different fruits, and speared a piece of banana with her fork, holding it up to her daughter's mouth.

"Do you want some banana, Sam?"  

"No, no, nonono..." Samantha said in a hushed, sing-songy tone that made Teena laugh, "I guess no banana, then. Hmm...watermelon?"

The squeal of a delighted, "Yes!," followed by Samantha opening and closing her hands excitedly, told Teena that watermelon was a hit, so she loaded up with a few more pieces before moving them both to the shade.  

She set Samantha down near the little seats at the small child's table, and Samantha sat down with a grand, exaggerated, ladylike flourish.  Teena laughed, "Watermelon, your highness..."  

Sam let out a giggle, and started in on her beloved watermelon.  Teena picked at the fruit her daughter didn't want as she watched Fox play.  She noticed that, by now, a sweet little red-haired girl was running along, trying to keep up with him.

He would slow down his run long enough for her to catch him, then gently tag her as she laughed.

Teena felt a wave of pride envelop her heart. He was such a sweet little boy, and she knew that he would grow into a very caring, responsible young man.  

She actually knew it for a fact back when she and Bill had first brought the newly born Samantha home.  After saying his hellos, he dutifully went into the kitchen - with Teena and Bill in tow - and promptly turned the pan handles inward "to keep the kids in the house safe."

Such a young boy to take on such responsibility.  Teena watched as the little red-haired girl once again chased after him, giggling loudly.  The two were now headed straight towards her and Samantha, when the little red-haired girl's brother appeared and stuck his foot out, tripping her, pushing her on the way down.  

The little redhead went flying and her brother laughed at her as she tumbled.  

Teena got to her feet, but Fox was there in an instant, making sure that she was all right.  Moments later her tears were dry, and she was back on her feet, running once again.  She jumped and tackled Fox from behind.

Meanwhile, Teena watched as the little redhead's brother disappeared behind a nearby tree, obviously talking to a couple who were his parents.

Suddenly, the little girl stopped, watching something behind that same tree.  The boy strode away grinning, and there now stood the man and woman Teena assumed were the girl's parents.  The two were fighting, and the man seemed as though he had just a little too much to drink.  

He wavered a little on his feet, and his speech was ever so slightly slurred.  Teena had seen this behaviour all too often in her own parents, so the body language was familiar to her.

The man wore a now rumpled naval uniform, and was talking about how he thought his daughter shouldn't be playing so rough with the other kids, and how poor "Bill Jr." had been hurt by the ill behaved girl.

The woman, who Teena had gathered was named "Maggie," told him that she would take care of it, as usual.  

Maggie also said that maybe if he were home more often she wouldn't always have to take care of everything alone. She was clearly frustrated beyond belief.

Teena tried not to eavesdrop, but the couple was close, and neither seemed to be making much of a point to keep their voices down.

"Dana!" she heard the woman bark, "Stop playing that ridiculous game. There are no such things as aliens."

"I like playing Fox..." The little girl's head dropped, and she shuffled over towards the tree.  

"Are you talking back to me, young lady?! I am losing patience with your attitude these days. And stop bullying your brother!"

Dana turned, and said something Teena couldn't quite make out from the distance.

Maggie's face turned red, "What did we tell you about lying?! Thou shalt not lie and thou shalt honour thy mother and father."

Dana started to run off, but a hand shot out, and grabbed Dana's arm, jerking her out of sight behind the nearby shed.  A series of "whack whack" sounds followed shortly thereafter, followed by a shrill scream and crying.  

Fox's mouth was agape, and he stared towards the shed before running for his mother. "Mommy! She's hurt!"

Teena, smoothed back his hair, noting how worried he looked. Teena wanted to put a stop to it, but it wasn't considered proper to intervene in another parent's private business, punishments included.  

Then again, Bill had reminded her jokingly, on several occasions, that she could often be anything but proper.

"Mommy, please fix it."  Fox tugged at the hem of her skirt.

Teena planted a kiss on the top of his head. Sure, Fox had gotten punished a few times, but nothing like that, and never in public of all places.

CSM walked over from the nearby buffet table, "What on earth is going on over here? I thought I heard screaming."

The little redhead ran from the shed, tears streaming down her face. Her scowling mother was motioning for her to come back.  Teena and CSM looked at each other frowning, then shifted their gazes back towards the little girl.

Dana cast about frantically for help, and Teena looked over at CSM, "Could you please watch the little ones for me?"  CSM nodded.

Teena leaned down, "You two stay with your Uncle Spender for a bit, ok?

They nodded, and Teena smiled up at him before going towards Dana.  

"Dana, honey?" the little red-haired girl jumped, and looked over at the smiling brunette who was headed towards her.  She was pretty, and had on a soft pink dress. Her long, slender arms were outstretched like she wanted a hug.

Dana knew that she shouldn't be talking to strangers, but she didn't care, and ran towards Teena, sobbing the entire way.  

Teena leaned down, and gave her a hug, "Shh. It's okay, honey. You're all right..."

"She's fine," Teena heard a voice behind her, and turned, Dana still clinging to her. "She's just a little dramatic. We have a hard time controlling her."

"My name is Teena Mulder. Are you this sweet little girl's mother?" You could almost feel the chill coming off of Teena's voice, anger barely contained.

Her own mother had a history of harsh punishments, and this was reopening a wound too painful for Teena to acknowledge this second.

"Yes, I am. My name is Margaret Scully. I believe your husband has worked with mine on a few projects this past year."

It was true. Both Bill and Spender were heading the projects that the navy had been brought in on over the past 6 months. Something about collecting some specimen from the deep sea.

Teena shook her hand politely, "Yes, I do believe your husband has been working for mine these past months." Teena hoped that the Scully woman caught the emphasis, and that she would think twice before essentially beating her daughter in front of her husband's boss' wife.

Teena continued, "Dana is such a sweet little girl, just a little rambunctious and enthusiastic about the party..."

Maggie arched an eyebrow, clearly irritated, "Punishment is not a crime, Mrs. Mulder. Dana gets out of control, just like you saw, she bullies her poor brother, and I'm at my wit's end..." Maggie sighed, "She is to be brought up respecting authority."

"Respecting, not fearing," Teena countered in a hushed tone that she forced into sounding much gentler than it was intended.

By now the two women were flanked by their respective husbands, and Teena could see Bill Scully Jr. lurking in the background. The stony glare she fixed on him sent him running.  

Bill Mulder looked at his wife who was now giving him a pleading look, and he nodded almost imperceptibly.

Bill cleared his throat, "Captain Scully, why don't you come with me. We need to discuss a few things."

Teena threw a look of thanks at Bill, and the two men walked away.

Maggie looked visibly anxious by now, and Teena hoped deep down that she feared for her husband's future career prospects.  

Truthfully, though, Teena was just happy to see the frustrated woman's expression soften a bit, and figured that this was her chance to extract herself and Dana from this uncomfortable situation.

Maggie continued, "It's just so frustrating to raise 4 of them alone. Bill's hardly ever home..."

Teena smiled sympathetically, "Look, Mrs. Scully, why don't I take Dana over to the kids' table with Fox and Samantha, get her something to drink, and calm her down a bit."  

She breathed a sigh of relief when Maggie nodded, " time try to take a deep breath. I know they can be a handful sometimes, but think of all the love they have for you..."

Maggie looked on the verge of tears, and excused herself.  Teena took Dana's hand, and led her back to the small table under the tree.

Dana's little face brightened when she saw Fox, and she plopped herself next to him. Samantha giggled, and said, "Hi!" loud enough to make them all jump.

"Thank you," Teena said to the tall figure in the too-short chair.

CSM nodded, smiling, and took another long drag of his Morley as he looked down at the faint bruise on Dana's little arm, "It was nothing, you know I love spending time with the niece and nephew."

He stood, Now, if you'll excuse me, I should stop in with Bill and have a talk with Captain Scully myself."

He winked, and strode off towards the 2 men.  Teena knelt by the table.

"Thank you bery much, Mrs. Teena," Dana said, legs swinging wildly under the table.

Teena smiled at her, "You're welcome very much, Miss Dana." she pushed an errant red curl behind the little girl's ear,  "And I know that you didn't hurt your brother."

Dana beamed. Normally her tiny protests were ignored in her large, boisterous family, but right now she was being listened to and believed.  "Thank you!" she squealed, "I didn't!"

Teena left briefly, and returned minutes later with drinks in small cups, one for each child at the table.

Dana kissed Fox on the cheek as Teena set down the drinks, "I wanna marry Fox!"

"Ew," Fox chirped, mouth full of strawberry.

Teena let out a laugh, "Wonderful, little dear. Just promise to take good care of him."

Dana giggled, slurping down some of the juice in front of her," I will!"


Teena, set the large vase of flowers by Dana's bedside, wondering if she remembered that long ago summer afternoon.

Whether she did or not, Teena was forever grateful that Dana had kept her promise. She did take care of Fox, and Teena loved her for it.

"Get well, soon, little Dear. Fox needs you."

CSM: Nothing vanishes without a trace...burn it!

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