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Author: SyndicateGirl
Archive: Yes, definitely - as long as you promise to feed and water it every day! :) 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.  Two report cards, two households, two very different reactions. One in a series of Mulder/Scully household comparisons!
Summary: Two report cards, two households, two very different reactions. One in a series of Mulder household / Scully household comparisons!
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

TITLE: The "B"





***** Scully Household - 1972 *****

William shook his head, looking up at his daughter. He tried to hide the bitter disappointment on his face, but failed miserably, "I expected better, Starbuck. A "B" in math? Were you not paying attention in class? Why did this happen?"

William took a breath and let out a low sigh, "We expect better of you."

He dropped the report card onto the table like a piece of discarded litter.

8 year old Dana's eyes followed the drifting piece of paper as it landed gently on the oak table top.  Her eyes traced the corners of the paper, and a small frown started to form on her face.

Dana forced her eyes up, and looked to her mother for help. Support. Anything that would ease the tension of the situation.  But she found nothing but sad disappointment on her mother's face, too.  

Finally Maggie gave her a small, forced smile.

"Dana, we're not angry. Just disappointed that you didn't try harder. So close to straight A's. So close to being perfect with these grades. You just fell short..." her mother's small smile disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.

Dana shuffled her right foot back and forth, looking down for a moment again before speaking, "Billy got two Bs and a C..."

"This isn't about your brother," William interjected a little harsher than he had intended, "Bill's in the scouts and plays sports. He's a busy kid."

"But," Dana started, "but, Missy got a B..."

Maggie shook her head and sighed, "Dana, this isn't about your sister. Melissa is a lost cause with all of her constant daydreaming." Maggie sounded annoyed, and Dana could see her mother fidgeting with her wedding ring, "This is about you, Dana. You need to try harder. You want to make us proud, don't you?"

Tears prickled at the back of Dana's eyes, and she nodded her head, desperate to get out of the room before the tears really started.

William let out a long breath, "All right, young lady, you're excused. Go finish up your homework before dinner. I want to see something that will make us proud on that next report card"

Dana nodded again, and bolted to her bedroom where she threw herself on the light blue comforter of her twin bed.

Nothing ever seemed to be quite good enough for her parents, no matter how hard she tried. But she would keep trying. She would try harder than ever now.

Dana buried her face in the fluffy pillow that smelled slightly of lavender, and finally let her tears flow.

One of these days she would make them proud.  She could be a scientist, a doctor, even a surgeon...anything that would finally make them proud.

***** Mulder Household - 1972 *****

11 year old Fox dumped his bookbag and sports equipment on the floor of the kitchen with a huff.  The wooden baseball bat made a hollow thumping noise on the wood floor, and Teena turned from where she stood at the stove stirring a pot full of some type of red sauce.

"Hello, Fox," Teena wiped off her hands and gave him a quick hug.  He was starting to get to an age where he protested with an "Aw, Mom...the guys might see!"  But today, no protests.

Teena felt a little pang of worry, and gave him a small smile, "You're home just in time to wash up for dinner. How was the game with your friends?"

Fox's eyes cast downward, as Samantha ran into the kitchen, making a beeline for the cookie jar, "Nice try, young lady," Teena said, kneeling down, gathering Sam up in her arms, and spinning her back towards the living room, "Why don't you finish that drawing for your Dad you've been working on while I finish dinner?"

Sam nodded, all grins, and started back out of the kitchen arch.  Then she stopped abruptly, and turned back, "And why don't YOU show mom your report card, Buttmunch?"

Fox made a motion to chase after her, but was stopped by his mother's voice, "Fox, I didn't know it was report card day for you. Let's have a look at those high marks of yours. And as for you, young lady..."

Samantha took her cue, and dashed out of the kitchen archway before her mother could say another word.

Teena turned her attention back to a now pouting, frowning Fox who was shuffling the document back and forth on the table, "Do you really need to see it? I mean, who cares about some stupid grades anyway? Especially social studies..."

Teena smiled, "Fox, really, I'm sure you did just fine. Let's see it."

Fox reluctantly handed the crumpled envelope over to his mother's waiting hand, and flopped himself into a chair at the kitchen table.  

When he heard the screen of the front door slam shut, he jumped a foot out of his chair, and practically let out a full on yelp.  

Teena looked up from the now opened envelope, "Honestly, Fox, what's gotten into you today? It's just a report card, for goodness sake..."

Fox had always been a perfectionist, but these past few years he was worse than ever. Sometimes beating himself up over even the smallest of mistakes.

And, like clockwork, twice per year he would shakingly hand over what was always a magnificent report card.  

Teena gave Fox a sympathetic smile, and pulled out the sheet of paper.

Fox's head dropped onto the cool cherry wood of the table as he braced himself for his mother's reaction.  

"Why, Fox, you did wonderfully this term!"

She moved forward and gave him a little hug.  

Was his mother going crazy?
Did she not see the black marring of his otherwise spotless academic record?!
A "B" in social studies, and she was acting as though he was a genius.

Bill made his way into the kitchen, tossing a sport coat onto one of the kitchen chairs "Hello, Teena," he kissed his beaming wife, then turned his attention to his son, "Fox, how was the game?"

Fox stared at him, still speechless, and was thankful when his mother broke the awkward silence, "Fox brought home his report card today."

Teena handed Bill the paper, and Fox watched as his father's eyes scanned the information.  A smile made its way onto Bill's face, and he gave his son's hair a little ruffle, "Nicely done, boy. You make a father proud."

Fox looked up at his parents, his father's arm around his mother, both watching him proudly, "Ya...ya really mean it? I mean, I did get that B in social..."

"It is a wonderful report card, my darling boy," Teena made her way over and kissed him on the head.

Samantha chirped up from where she had been standing in the archway just out of sight, "Are you sure you saw the B?" she asked, all innocence.

Her parents looked over at her, as she skipped in.  Bill smiled at her, and picked her up, "Hello, you little troublemaker. Yes, we saw your brother's entire report card."

"And we couldn't be prouder," Teena smoothed back her daughter's braids, "Of both of you."

"Yeah, Buttmunch," Fox piped up with a grin, "even if you did get TWO Bs this term, and got in trouble for disrupting the class with your constant talking!"

Bill chuckled, relieved to see the smile once again return to the face of their nervous little perfectionist.

***** The End *****

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

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