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Confessions Of A Prying Mother by CindyET
Summary: Maggie Scully inadvertently interrupts an intimate moment between her daughter and Fox Mulder.

Title: Confessions of a Prying Mother
Author: CindyET
Rating: G
Classification: V, AU, What If, "Caught In the Act" Fic
Spoilers: None, but takes place sometime after "all things"
but before Scully becomes (obviously) pregnant.

Summary: Maggie Scully inadvertently interrupts an intimate
moment between her daughter and Fox Mulder.

Disclaimer: Do these characters really belong to Chris Carter,
FOX and 1013 Productions? If so, no copyright infringement
intended. Fun, yes. Profit, no.

Confessions of a Prying Mother
By CindyET

I have always tried to respect my children's privacy. Like most
mothers, I've occasionally stumbled upon a secret or two
while putting away laundry or making the bed. A Playboy
magazine tucked beneath the mattress, a pack of cigarettes
hidden in the sock drawer. But I've never gone so far as to read
my girls' diaries or my boys' love letters.

Not that I didn't want to.

But I didn't. I didn't pry into their personal affairs when
they were youngsters. And I certainly don't do it now that
they're grown. It's a matter of trust. I trust them to know
the difference between right and wrong, to make reasonable,
appropriate choices, to act in moral ways. Their father and I
taught them these things.

Or, at least, I thought we had.

"Let me fix you some eggs." I set a cup of coffee in front of
Fox. It smells bitter and dark. He stops rubbing sleep from
his eyes to blink at the steaming cup. Sitting at Dana's
kitchen table, he is wearing nothing but a pair of wrinkled,
cotton undershorts.

Dana is in the shower, giving us "a moment alone," at Fox's

Pale morning sun floods the apartment and paints a silvery
halo around Fox's dark, rumpled hair. It's an illusion.
Looking as uncomfortable as I feel, he is no angel. "You don't
have to cook for me," he says, softly, politely.

Yes, I do. Otherwise I'll pour this entire pot of hot coffee
in your lap.

A quick search of Dana's cupboards yields a fry pan and
spatula. Keeping my back to Fox's undershorts, I light a
burner on the stove and set the pan on it to warm.

Butter...butter...where does Dana keep the damn butter? I peer
into her refrigerator, checking the dairy shelf, which is

"Behind the OJ," Fox says, sounding contrite.

As well he should after what he's done...Dana's done...they've
done together.

The butter is exactly where he says it will be. I try to glean
some small satisfaction in that. It implies he visits Dana
often enough to be as familiar with her refrigerator as he is
with her bed. At least last night's sleepover was not a
one-night-stand. Knowing this, however, offers little
consolation. There is no ring on my daughter's finger and sex
before marriage is a sin. When I turn to glare at him, his
ears flush bright pink.

He clears his throat and hides behind his cup of coffee.

I take a butter knife from the drawer and slice a couple of
tablespoons from the stick. It sizzles when it hits the pan.

Imagine my shock when I walked into Dana's bedroom a few
minutes ago, intending to hang her dry cleaning and water her
plants, only to discover she was no longer in Cincinnati,
working on her case. She was in bed with Fox Mulder. Her FBI
partner. They were both as naked as newborns.

One look at Fox Mulder's bare backside and I dropped both
the watering can and the laundry, then ran for the kitchen.
Yes, I ran, I literally ran.

"Shit," I heard Fox hiss as I was bolting down the hall.

My heart was pounding and my face was on fire. It still is,
damn it.

While the butter melts I locate a mixing bowl, wire whisk, the
eggs and milk.

I've seen my fair share of naked men, so it wasn't Fox's
nudity that upset me. And I'm not so old fashioned as to think
this sort of thing never happens. I do sometimes watch General
Hospital, after all. It's just...I had no idea Dana and Fox

"Fox, I'm sorry I walked in--"

"You have nothing to apologize for, Mrs. Scully."

Maybe not, but I plan to anyway, which is exactly what you
should be doing, too, young man...to me and to Dana.

"I was returning Dana's dry cleaning," I try to explain. "She
asked me to pick it up while she was away."

He nods.

I break eggs into the bowl, cast their crumpled shells into
the trash. Fragments cling to my hands. It's a mess. I wipe my
hands on a towel and then begin to beat the eggs. The whisk
clatters frantically against the glass bowl. The butter smells
like it's burning. "I didn't expect her to be home until

"We finished early...uh...the case, we finished the case

"I just thought it would be tidier to hang the clothes in the

"We caught the killer, so we came back."

"What was I supposed to do, drape them over a chair, let them
get all wrinkled?"

"We don't always do that, you know."

I stop my furious beating. "Don't always do what?"

"Catch the bad guys."

Oh. "Well...I'm glad things worked out this time."

He scratches his bristly jaw and offers me a nervous smile.

I glance at his underwear. Good God, this can't be happening.
I've never been so embarrassed -- or angry -- in my life. Bill
Jr. was right. Fox Mulder is nothing but trouble. I dump the
eggs into the hot pan, where they blister and sizzle.

"How do you like your eggs," I ask without thinking.

"Uh...didn't you scramble them?"

Yes, that's right, I did. "Dry or wet?" I ask, hoping he
thinks it's the heat from the stove that's making me blush.

Lord All Mighty, I walked in on them! This is a nightmare.

"Wet would be fine," he says. I look over my shoulder at him.
His hands are trembling. "Or dry; however you like them," he

I'm scaring him.


That makes us even.

"Toast?" I ask, squinting meanly at him.

"Please don't go to any trouble, Mrs. Scully."

"Where's the toaster?"

"Second cupboard to the left. Middle shelf." He pushes back
his chair and begins to stand. "Let me help you."

"I can manage." I wave him back into his seat, having already
seen my share of his nudity. I shut off the flame beneath the
pan and give the eggs a final stir before letting them sit
while I toast bread. I find the breakfast plates and locate an
almost untouched jar of marmalade.

"Juice?" I ask.

"No, thank you. Coffee's fine."

The toast is ready. Dana's shower is still running. I dish up
two plates of eggs. When everything is on the table I slide
into the chair opposite this practically naked man who has
been sleeping with my unmarried daughter for who knows how
long. Shaking too much pepper onto my eggs, I turn them black.

"Fox, I want know your intentions." There. I said it. Call it
prying, I don't care. Dana is my baby girl and I have a right
to know.

He shovels a forkful of eggs into his mouth and then grimaces.

"Too dry?" I ask.

"No...they're fine." He looks straight at me. Serious, sad-
eyed and honest. To my chagrin, I find myself not hating him.
"I'd marry Dana in a heartbeat," he says, "if she'd have me."

My eyes begin to water. Must be the pepper. "Have you asked

"Yes. Twice."

This surprises me. Dana never mentioned a proposal...but then,
she hasn't told me much at all about her private life.


"She didn't say yes, did she?" I ask, overstepping the bounds
of Dana's privacy. This is her personal business, not mine. I
feel like I am unlocking her diary.

He shakes his head, looking even more forlorn, if that's
possible. "No."

More than anything I want to ask why. But that would be going
too far. I'm already wandering in a gray area somewhere
between finding my cigarettes in Dana's sock drawer and
actually reading her diary.

"I haven't given up yet, though," Fox adds, lips curving into
a tiny smile. "I'll wear her down eventually. That's the way
we do things."

"The way...?" What sort of odd relationship is this? "I don't

"I present my ideas, she refutes them, then I hound her until
she admits I'm right. It works for us. Really." He finishes
the last of his eggs and then takes a big bite of toast. I
watch him chew and swallow. Finally he says, "I never intended
to take advantage of her, Mrs. Scully. I love her. I've loved
her for a very long time." He washes down his confession with
the last of his cooling coffee. Setting the empty cup quietly,
carefully on the table, he says, "Dana... She needs to do
things her own way, you know? In her own time."

Trust is like an eggshell, I realize, fragile and so easily
crushed. Once broken, it's impossible to repair. Fox Mulder
knows this and he's trusting me to understand it, too, to not
interfere, to be okay with the way things are between him and
Dana, at least for now.

I rise from my chair to refill his coffee cup.

Dana emerges from the hall. She is dressed in her bathrobe,
hair wrapped in a towel. Pink and still damp from her shower,
worry peaks her brows, but she is beautiful just the same. And
I'm not the only one who thinks so. Fox is gazing at her and
his love is obvious.

Sex before marriage. It's not the best way to begin a
relationship. But then I suppose it's not the worst either.

"Everything okay here?" Dana asks.

I nod. There is no reason to pry further; I've seen enough.

"Let me make you some breakfast, sweetheart." I reach for
another egg, but hesitate before breaking it. Cradling it in
my palm, I turn to look at them. I catch Dana placing a gentle
kiss on Fox's cheek. His eyes are bright with affection.

Not quite ready to let them off the hook, I clear my throat
and say, "Fox, please put on some clothes."

"Yes, ma'am." He grins and winks at Dana.

I can see my daughter has made a wise choice in this man,
whether she realizes it yet or not. Fox Mulder is honorable
and patient. He loves her and I believe he will eventually
convince her to marry him.

In the meantime, I'll scramble this egg and try to stay out of
their business.


Authors notes: This scenario has been nagging at me for some
time, despite the number of times I've seen it written about
by other, more competent authors. When I recently saw some
readers asking for it again on one of the lists, I decided to
finally purge myself. I'm mildly disturbed that this
particular story line interests me at all. If you have a good
explanation as to why you enjoy "caught in the act" fic, I
would love to hear it. Perhaps it would make me feel less
perverse, voyeuristic and alone. ;)

Feedback, good or bad, is welcome on this or any of my
stories. Send comments to cindyet@tdstelme.net.