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Title:  Promise
                                    Author:  Waddles52
                                    Summary:  What happened after the rescue and Mulder's 
                                    declaration of love
                                    Spoilers:  Triangle
                                    Rating:  PG
                                    Category:  MSR, MT
                                    Disclaimer:  Just for fun.  Not for profit.
                                    Archives:  After_the_Fact. Others please ask.
                                    Feedback:  Why not? or
                                    Mulder had slept almost the entire time since he'd 
                                    been rescued.  He had been awake long enough to 
                                    ramble on about Scully saving the world and to 
                                    profess his love for her, then he slept again.
                                    Scully was once again at his side.  Skinner and the 
                                    Lone Gunmen had already headed back to D.C. and she 
                                    had requested some personal time to stay with a sick 
                                    friend.  Mulder was on vacation so Kersh was glad he 
                                    wouldn't have to bother with either of them for a 
                                    Mulder moaned softly as he attempted to turn over.  
                                    The soft moan turned into a loud groan as he opened 
                                    his eyes.  The pain in his chest was beginning to be 
                                    quite bothersome.
                                    "Mulder, are you okay?" Scully questioned.
                                    "I guess all of those drugs you thought they'd given 
                                    me have worn off," he answered sarcastically.
                                    "Mulder, I read your chart.  You had enough drugs in 
                                    you to stock a small drugstore.  That's why you've 
                                    been having such crazy dreams."
                                    "Dreams?" he asked, a confused look on his face.
                                    "Yes, dreams," Scully replied.  "About Nazis and 
                                    scientists.  Remember?"
                                    "Of course I remember.  I was there.  It wasn't a 
                                    dream.  I really did travel back in time, Scully.  
                                    You were there too."
                                    "Mulder, you weren't breathing when we found you.  
                                    Your brain probably created those images as a result 
                                    of oxygen deprivation and the drugs just intensified 
                                    "No, Scully," he insisted.  "I was not dreaming.  How 
                                    do you explain this bruise on my face?  You hit me."
                                    "Mulder, you're covered with bruises.  Even your 
                                    bruises have bruises.  It's just one of many."
                                    "You really packed a wallop."
                                    "Your boat looked like little pieces of kindling when 
                                    we found you.  The explosion caused your bruises, not 
                                    me.  By the way, in your dream," Scully emphasized, 
                                    "Why did I hit you?"
                                    "I sort of kissed you without your permission."
                                    "That must have been some kiss."
                                    "Only the best kiss I've ever had," Mulder smiled 
                                    broadly.  "Ow!"
                                    "Mulder, what is it?" Scully asked, concern evident 
                                    in her voice.
                                    "The place you hit me is really sore."
                                    Scully sighed loudly.
                                    Mulder attempted to change his position again with 
                                    the same painful results as before.
                                    Scully pushed the call button and asked the nurse to 
                                    bring something for pain.
                                    "Scully, I want to tell you something before they 
                                    shoot me full of drugs.  When I was awake before, I 
                                    told you I loved you.  Although it's not exactly the 
                                    way I wanted to tell you, I meant it.  I'm not high 
                                    on drugs now, or deprived of oxygen.  I hope you'll 
                                    believe me.  I. Love. You."
                                    "Mulder, I don't know what to say."
                                    "How about 'I love you too'?" he answered hopefully.
                                    The nurse chose that time to bring Mulder's pain 
                                    medication.  Scully gave a quiet sigh of relief.  
                                    Truth was, she didn't know how to answer him.  Did he 
                                    really mean it?  He still wasn't making a lot of 
                                    sense and she didn't want to encourage him if it was 
                                    the medication talking.  On the other hand, she 
                                    didn't want to hurt his feelings by making light of 
                                    what he said, as she had earlier.
                                    The nurse injected the medication and disposed of the 
                                    syringes.  "Let me know if you need anything else," 
                                    she said, then left the room.
                                    "Scully, we need to talk," Mulder told her.
                                    "Yes, we do, but not now.  Rest, and when you're 
                                    feeling better we'll talk about everything."
                                    "I promise."  Scully adjusted the covers and 
                                    straightened out the IV tubing.  When she looked back 
                                    at Mulder he was sleeping.
                                    Mulder woke with excruciating chest pain and 
                                    shortness of breath.  More blood tests and x-rays 
                                    were performed and by the time the results were known 
                                    Mulder was intubated and in the ICU, heavily sedated.  
                                    As happens with many near drownings, he had developed 
                                    a nasty case of pneumonia.  The only thing to do was 
                                    to support his breathing and bombard his system with 
                                    heavy-duty antibiotics and other drugs.
                                    Scully sighed as she sat by his bed.  Their talk had 
                                    been postponed, temporarily, she prayed.  If he would 
                                    get well she was willing to face her fears and 
                                    profess her love for him.  She had finally decided 
                                    that Mulder needed to know of her feelings for him 
                                    too.  He had to come out of this.  Too much had been 
                                    left unsaid on her part.
                                    Yes, she loved him more than life itself.  Had loved 
                                    him for years she admitted to herself as the 
                                    ventilator helped him take another breath.  Why 
                                    hadn't she been able to tell him?  One after another 
                                    excuses began to form.
                                    The timing wasn't right.  She wasn't sure he really 
                                    felt the same way.  She wasn't worthy of his love.  A 
                                    romantic relationship could ruin their work 
                                    relationship.  They would never get the X-Files back 
                                    if they were romantically involved.  The list seemed 
                                    On the other hand, they both deserved some happiness.  
                                    They'd both been through hell during the course of 
                                    their partnership, emotionally and physically.  
                                    Mulder blamed himself for most of her hurt, but it 
                                    wasn't his fault.  She could have walked away from 
                                    him and the danger he seemed to attract, but she 
                                    realized she wanted to be a part of his work.  
                                    Another argument for staying with him.
                                    "Come on, Mulder.  Fight this.  We have some 
                                    unfinished business," she pleaded.
                                    The only response was the sound of the ventilator and 
                                    Slow but steady progress was made over the next three 
                                    days.  The antibiotics were doing their job and the 
                                    respiratory therapists on his case thought it was 
                                    time to come off the ventilator.
                                    Scully was there when they pulled the tube.  Mulder 
                                    was still attached to what seemed like one hundred 
                                    other tubes and wires, but the sound of his 
                                    unassisted breathing was music to her ears.  The 
                                    sedation had been stopped and it was only a matter of 
                                    time until he woke up.
                                    She waited several hours and observed Mulder as he 
                                    began to awaken.  There were small movements at 
                                    first. Then he began to move his limbs.  At last she 
                                    heard a soft moan, then a gasp as he suddenly opened 
                                    his eyes.
                                    "Hey," he said weakly, trying to clear his throat to 
                                    get rid of the hoarseness.  "Ow."
                                    "Take it easy.  You've been intubated for the past 
                                    few days," Scully informed him.
                                    He cleared his throat again.  "Thought I recognized 
                                    that wonderful, plastic taste.  Water?" Mulder asked, 
                                    making a face.
                                    "Just a bit," she warned as she brought the straw to 
                                    his lips.
                                    Mulder took a couple of sips before she withdrew the 
                                    straw.  "Better?"
                                    "Yes."  He coughed and held his ribs.  "Sore."
                                    "Pneumonia will do that to you."
                                    "Aw, shit.  Respiratory therapy?" he groaned.  He'd 
                                    been down that road before.
                                    "For the next few days at least," she answered.
                                    "But it will help you get out of here faster," Scully 
                                    reminded him.  
                                    Mulder rolled his eyes.
                                    "Mulder, you need to rest.  You've been quite ill."
                                    "Figured that.  ICU, right?"
                                    "This is your fourth day.  They'll probably transfer 
                                    you pretty quickly," Scully smiled.  "You're much 
                                    "Our talk?"
                                    "Mulder . . ."
                                    "You promised."  He coughed again and Scully gave him 
                                    a few more sips of water.
                                    "You're right.  Why don't you listen while I talk?"
                                    Mulder suddenly realized he wasn't at all sure he was 
                                    ready to hear what Scully had to say, but he nodded 
                                    his head in agreement anyway.
                                    Before Scully could start talking a doctor and two 
                                    nurses came in for rounds.  That led to a rather 
                                    thorough examination.  A transfer to a room on the 
                                    med/surg floor was ordered along with frequent visits 
                                    from respiratory therapy.
                                    By the time Mulder was settled in his new room he was 
                                    fighting sleep.  "We were going to talk," he reminded 
                                    Scully, struggling to keep his eyes open.
                                    "Yes, Mulder.  I have some things to say, but you 
                                    need to sleep first."
                                    "Talk now," he yawned.
                                    "After you wake up."
                                    "Promise," Scully vowed.
                                    Respiratory therapy woke him fifteen minutes later.  
                                    After his treatment he again sleepily asked for 
                                    Scully to talk to him.  Once again she promised him a 
                                    nice, long talk after he napped.
                                    Mulder drifted off to sleep quickly only to be 
                                    awakened in half an hour for blood work, then forty-
                                    five minutes later for a vitals check and bath.
                                    Scully was glad for the added time.  She was still 
                                    unsure of exactly how she wanted to phrase her 
                                    statement and was using the time to prepare her 
                                    Mulder drifted off again, dreaming of Nazis with huge 
                                    needles and other medical devices of torture.  Scully 
                                    was wearing a ball gown and fighting them off with 
                                    her wrist corsage.  As he struggled to help her he 
                                    became short of breath.  He awoke with a gasp and 
                                    wheezed as he tried to catch his breath.
                                    "Mulder?  Are you all right?"
                                    "Dreaming," he answered.  "Nazis had needles.  You 
                                    were fighting them with your corsage."
                                    Scully noticed that he was still short of breath.  
                                    She pulled the oxygen mask down from its place on the 
                                    wall.  "Try to take some deep breaths."
                                    Mulder complied.  "Ready to talk?" he asked, then 
                                    proceeded to cough for several minutes.
                                    "Maybe after respiratory therapy comes back.  You're 
                                    not in any shape for conversation right now."
                                    "You promised," Mulder wheezed then began to cough 
                                    "You need to cough up some of that gunk so you can 
                                    breath more easily," she explained as she pushed the 
                                    call button for assistance.
                                    Mulder was exhausted after his treatment and went 
                                    straight to sleep as soon as the therapists left the 
                                    Mulder woke sometime later feeling a little better.  
                                    He looked for Scully and found her sitting beside his 
                                    bed, sleeping soundly.  He noticed how tired she 
                                    looked and didn't disturb her.  As much as he wanted 
                                    to hear what she had to say, her rest was more 
                                    important.  He felt like he could sleep a little more 
                                    himself, so he closed his eyes and did just that.
                                    When Scully woke, Mulder was sleeping peacefully.  
                                    She breathed a sigh of relief.  His color was much 
                                    better and his breathing less labored.
                                    Mulder sensed that she was awake, looking at him.  He 
                                    opened his eyes and smiled at her.
                                    "How are you?" she asked.
                                    "Better."  He stretched and took a deep breath.  When 
                                    he didn't cough he decided to go for broke.  "Scully, 
                                    can we have that conversation now?"
                                    "Yes.  I think it's time."
                                    They hesitated for a moment then Mulder took the iniative.
                                    "Scully, I've already told you how I feel.  Now I need to
                                    know what you think, how you feel."
                                    Scully paused to gather her thoughts, then sighed.  
                                    "Mulder, I don't  want to tell you what I think.  That's
                                    the biggest problem I've had.  I've been thinking too
                                    "Then tell me what you feel."
                                    "I feel like the luckiest woman in the world because I'm
                                    in love with a wonderful man, and I've just recently found 
                                    out that he loves me too."
                                    Mulder held out his arms to her and she sat beside him on
                                    the bed, encircled in his arms.  He moved over a bit and
                                    soon she was lying beside him.
                                    "I feel like the luckiest man in the world because I'm
                                    in love with a wonderful woman and I just found out she
                                    loves me too."  Mulder kissed her softly.
                                    Scully smiled.  "So, now what?"
                                    "So, now we love each other and face what comes together.
                                    I'd like to get on the hospital PA system and announce
                                    to the world the Fox William Mulder and Dana Katherine
                                    Scully are in love and ready to take on the world but
                                    realistically . . ."
                                    "What is our reality, Mulder?  Do we go back to the way
                                    we were?"
                                    "No, Scully," he stopped her.  "We don't go back.  Ever."
                                    "Then what?  Our chances of getting the X-Files back are 
                                    slim at best.  If it's known we have a relationship outside
                                    of work our chances are non-existant."
                                    "Then we'll be discreet.  I want to spend every minute with
                                    you, Scully, but if we have to play their game for a while
                                    then so be it.  We will be together as often as possible."
                                    "That brings up another question, Mulder.  What do you mean
                                    by together?  Do you want us to live together?  Do we meet
                                    at an out-of-the-way motel for a few hours?  What do you
                                    have in mind?"
                                    "Scully, I want it all.  I would like for us to get married,
                                    grow old together, the whole nine yards, but for right now
                                    we need to take it slow.  I'd like to live with you but I
                                    don't think that's practical right now.  I just want you to
                                    know that I want more than a physical relationship."
                                    "I think I know that, Mulder, but a physical relationship
                                    is important too.  Once we become lovers . . ."
                                    "Soon, Scully," Mulder whispered.  He stroked her jaw and
                                    placed a kiss behind her left ear.
                                    Scully cleared her throat.  "Once we become lovers will we 
                                    be able to keep apart at work?"
                                    "It will be difficult but I think we can manage it.  We'll
                                    just have to spend every non-working moment together.  I
                                    can't wait to make love to you, Scully.  If you only knew 
                                    the dreams, the fantasies I've had about you."
                                    "I've had a few myself, Mulder," Scully blushed.  "Some of
                                    them dealing with the basement office."
                                    "The desk," Mulder joined in.  "I know what you mean."
                                    "We can't let that get in the way of our work," Scully said
                                    "Then we'll just have to be sure we're satisfied at home."
                                    "I'm looking forward to that," Scully smiled then kissed him,
                                    lightly at first then deeper and harder.
                                    Mulder joined in heartily until he needed to get a breath.
                                    "Damn, do you know what you do to me?" he asked as he began 
                                    to cough.
                                    "I think I have an idea.  We'll have to explore that when
                                    your lungs are more cooperative."  She raised up to pour
                                    him some water.  "Here, drink this."
                                    Mulder took a few sips and settled back into the pillows.
                                    "Thank you.  Thank you for loving me."
                                    "Same here, Mulder."  She put the cup back on the bedside
                                    table.  "You're getting tired.  Why don't you rest for a 
                                    "Scullee," Mulder whined.
                                    "I know.  We have a lot more to talk about, but you need to
                                    get well so we can put our plans into action.  Rest now.
                                    I'll be right here beside you."
                                    "Forever, Scully?"
                                    "Yes, Mulder.  I'll be at your side always and forever."
                                    Mulder dozed off with a huge smile on his face.  Scully
                                    loved him too!  They both wanted to get the X-Files back
                                    so they couldn't take a chance on declaring their love 
                                    publicly just yet.  They still had a lot of things to work
                                    out, but he was happy to have a future with Scully, a
                                    future filled with love and promise.
                                    The End

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