Author: Waddles 52
Summary: Kersh takes advantage of Mulder and Scully
by sending them on a wild goose chase, while Mulder
wishes Scully would take advantage of him. Dangerous
climbs and forest fires add up to another typical
outdoor adventure for our two favorite agents.
Spoilers: Maybe a tiny one for Drive
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.
Archives: Please ask.
Feedback: Much appreciated DASWaddles52@aol.com
Dedication: To my son Chris, a hard taskmaster and
to Vickie for saving this from the shredder
"Would you mind telling me again what we did to make
Kersh dislike us so much?" Mulder asked, trying to
navigate a bumpy road.
"At this point I think all we have to do is draw a
breath, and what do you mean by 'we'?" Scully
answered, bracing herself for the next bump.
"Okay, what did 'I' do to piss him off?"
"As I said before, just living and breathing."
"Scully, what are we doing here?" The bouncing in
the car was quickly becoming uncomfortable. Time and
weather extremes had caused parts of the road to
disintegrate into seemingly bottomless pits.
"Our assignment is to find a cache of fertilizer and
other products used in bomb-making that is thought to
be stashed on federal property." Scully recited what
Kersh had told them.
"I know that, but what are 'we' doing 'here'?"
"The threat of domestic terrorism has become stronger
as each day passes. If we can find those materials
and the people who have hidden them, we can possibly
save many lives."
"Cut the Bureau rhetoric, Scully," Mulder demanded
angrily. "This assignment stinks to high heaven, and
it's not just the fertilizer."
"What do you want me to say, Mulder? I don't like
these assignments any more than you do, but the only
way we can get the X-Files back is to do what we're
told in the best way possible."
"Do you think that will be enough?" Mulder asked
while trying to dodge another huge hole in the road.
"I don't know, Mulder," Scully sighed. "At the
moment, I think it's all we can do. You need to turn
right pretty soon. That should take us to the ranger
Mulder saw the turn and maneuvered the car past
another hole. An hour later they pulled up to the
ranger station. It appeared to be deserted.
Mulder opened his door. "I'll go in and see if
there's anyone here."
"I'm coming with you." Scully opened her door and
followed after him.
The door to the station was unlocked, so they went
"Hello, anyone here?" Mulder called, looking around.
Scully spied a note taped to the back of the door.
She quickly read it.
"Well?" Mulder queried.
"There is a forest fire in a far western section of
the park and the rangers had to go there. They won't
be back until it is under control. They've left us a
map and some provisions which are located along the
back wall with the first-aid supplies."
They made their way over to the supplies. "I guess
these are ours." Mulder pointed to a backpack with a
map folded on top of it.
Scully was looking over the first-aid supplies.
"They're really well provisioned."
"I guess they have to be considering they're so
isolated." Mulder picked up the backpack and handed
Scully the map. "Let's go back to the car and
combine these supplies with what we brought with us."
Soon they had combined the supplies and were ready to
go. "It looks like we walk from here." Scully said,
balancing her backpack, trying to find a comfortable
"How far?" Mulder inquired.
"It looks like about 10 miles, but it's pretty rough
terrain for the most part. It's going to take a
while." Scully handed the map to Mulder.
"Damn," he muttered and began folding the map. "A
guide would have been helpful, but I guess we'll just
have to rely on your excellent navigational skills."
"Since I'm navigating, I suggest we get started so we
can find a place to camp before dark." Scully
started walking and Mulder followed.
Four hours later, they had just finished setting up a
light tent and Mulder was starting a fire. Scully
rummaged through her backpack, looking to find
something for their evening meal.
"Well, Mulder, we have a nice selection of MREs, some
freeze-dried meals and peanut butter and crackers."
"Just toss me one of the MREs. I'm too tired to fix
anything." Mulder was putting twigs on the small
fire. When it was going to his satisfaction, he
moved back and took the MRE from Scully.
He sat down, leaned against a log and opened his
meal. Scully sat beside him and did the same.
They ate within a comfortable silence. When they
were finished, Mulder took the packaging and tossed
it into the fire.
He came back to the log and sat back down by Scully.
"I can't believe we only walked three miles today."
"Well, it was pretty rough terrain. We have to get
over that hill tomorrow, then maybe the rest of the
way will be easier." Scully yawned. "I think I'm
ready to call it a night. Coming?" She stood up and
headed for the tent.
"In a minute."
"Suit yourself. Try not to wake me when you come
in." Scully gave him a big smile. "See you in the
Mulder made himself a bit more comfortable and began
to mull over the facts of the case. Soon he was
asleep in front of the fire.
After a breakfast of trail mix and coffee, they set
out, ready to tackle the hill. The ground was
steadily turning uphill and it was becoming harder to
find a good purchase. They both stopped and looked
at their destination.
It was going to be a difficult climb. The hillside
was littered with loose rocks and a few shrubs.
There wasn't much to grab on to.
"I'll go first," Mulder decided. "That way I can
pull you up if you need help."
"Thank you, Mulder. You know, I could do the same
for you," Scully protested.
"I'm sure you could, but I'm a little heavier. It'll
be a lot easier for me to pull you up."
"Okay," Scully agreed. "Let's take this slowly. It
doesn't look like this ground will be very forgiving
if one of us takes a fall."
They had been climbing steadily for a time. Both
were sporting various scrapes and bruises from short
slides in the loose rock. They were approaching the
summit and both were thinking about how good it would
feel to sit down and rest.
Scully's attention was turned to Mulder, who seemed
to be having a very difficult time. He was only
about 10 feet from the top, but could not find a
handhold or foothold. He began to slide, then quite
suddenly he rolled backwards and began to cartwheel
down the side of the hill. Before Scully could
react, he rolled a few more times and landed in a
heap against a bush near the bottom.
Mulder made no attempt to move. The pain in his
lower back and right ankle was excruciating. In
fact, there were few areas of his body that actually
registered no pain.
In a few minutes Scully was kneeling beside him,
taking off his backpack. "Mulder, don't try to
"I don't think that's going to be a problem, Scully,"
he groaned and despite her admonishment, tried to sit
up. His back screamed in agony as Scully attempted
to hold him down.
"Don't move! You may have a back injury."
"I do have a back injury." His teeth were clenched
and it was all he could do to speak coherently, the
pain was so intense.
"Where is the pain located?" she inquired.
"Lower back." He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to
gain some control.
"Mulder, can you hear me?"
"Um, yeah." He squinted up at her, still barely in
"Mulder, listen to me. I want you to try to move
your legs, very slowly."
He followed her directions. Very slowly he moved his
legs, then the pain exploded in his lower back and
down both legs. The control that had been hanging on
so precariously was now a distant memory as he
screamed and roared his discomfort. He quickly
grabbed Scully's left hand and held it, squeezing it
for all he was worth until the pain became bearable
Scully pulled her hand from his and began to feel
along his extremities. Silently she worked, feeling
nothing out of the ordinary until she reached his
right ankle. Her attempt to rotate it was met with
another roar of pain, so she set about removing his
hiking boot. After much painful pulling and tugging
it popped free, nearly causing her to lose her
balance. The swelling was evident even through his
thick sock. She gently removed it and saw that the
skin had already turned an ugly shade of blue and
dark purple. Closer examination revealed a slight
click upon movement. "At least one broken bone, and
probably some torn ligaments," she thought.
She needed to do one more thing, and it wasn't going
to be easy. She needed to examine his back. She
carefully straightened out his legs.
"Mulder, I need to roll you on your side. Don't
move. Let me do all of the work."
He barely acknowledged her. He had retreated to a
place in his mind that let him ignore most of the
pain coursing through his body.
Scully rolled him and pulled up his shirt. She
carefully felt the bones in his back, starting at his
neck and ending in his lumbar region. Thankfully,
she felt no deformities. There could still be
fractures, pinched nerves or muscle damage, but she
breathed easier after she finished. She left him on
Gradually Mulder emerged from his mental retreat.
"Well, what's the verdict, Dr. Scully?"
"You have at least one broken bone in your right
ankle, and none that I could feel in your back. You
won't be walking out of here," she summarized.
"Couldn't you splint my ankle?" he asked, grimacing
at the slight movement of his legs.
"Yes, and I will. It will make you more comfortable,
but let's face it. I don't think you can sit up, let
alone get up and try to walk. Although I didn't feel
any broken bones in your back, I can't rule out a
serious injury without a CT scan or MRI."
Scully pulled the cell phone from her jacket pocket,
hoping against hope that she would be able to get a
signal. It was useless. The hills and distant
mountains were blocking the signal. She put it back
in her pocket.
"Mulder, I think the best course of action would be
for me to walk back to the ranger station. They have
a radio. I'll call for help, and come back with some
of those first-aid supplies. I saw some Demerol and
morphine there, along with a few other things we can
"Scully, I don't know. I don't like the idea of you
being out there by yourself. What if you get hurt,
or run across one of those terrorists that are
supposed to be around here," Mulder said
"I think it's rather unlikely that I'll run across
any terrorists. This has been a wild goose chase
from the very beginning. It's much too isolated and
the terrain too rough to get enough supplies up here
to be any great threat."
"I'm glad you finally recognized Kersh's 'shit
patrol' for what it really is. Do you think you
could help me move away from this bush? It's really
uncomfortable." Mulder stated, trying to shift his
position. He was stopped by the intense pain that
the slightest movement caused.
"Yes, Mulder. I had planned on setting up the tent
and trying to get you comfortable before I left.
There's a clearing that's pretty flat about 20 feet
from here. I'll have to drag you, and maybe you can
use your good leg to help me scoot you back, but
first I want to splint that ankle."
It took Scully several minutes to find two branches
that were thick enough do any good. She brought them
back to Mulder. "I'm going to need something to tie
"I've got a t-shirt in my pack," Mulder offered.
Scully rummaged through his pack and found it on the
bottom. "This one?"
Mulder carefully nodded yes. Scully tore it into
strips, and as gently as possible splinted his ankle.
"Are you ready to move?" Scully asked.
"I'd rather not, but I guess I don't have a choice
unless I want to become a permanent part of this
"Let's get going then." Scully moved him to the
clearing. Mulder helped her as much as he could and
it cost him dearly. By the time they had reached
their goal, he was covered in sweat and was
Scully returned for their packs and wrapped Mulder in
a light blanket. "You're going into shock. Just
take it easy and try to warm up while I set up the
Scully set up the tent beside him. By the time she
was finished, Mulder was asleep. She spread his
sleeping bag out inside the tent, then emptied her
backpack of everything but a handful of trail mix and
some water. Although she was loathe to do so, she
woke her partner.
"It's time to move you inside the tent."
"Sorry, I must have dozed off for a minute."
"That's okay. Your body is showing you that you need
to rest. Let's do this the same way we did it
A few tugs, and Mulder was inside. The move caused
fresh waves of pain to wash over him. As she tried
to get him into a more comfortable position, he bit
his bottom lip and tried to keep from crying out.
Scully had enough on her mind and he didn't want to
worry her any more by showing that the pain was still
excruciating. Despite his efforts, the pain became
so terrible that he was forced to scream. "Scully!
No more! I can't stand it!"
Scully lay down beside him and put her arm around his
waist. She spoke to him soothingly. "Shh, calm
down. No more moving. We're finished. Try to slow
your breathing down. Take slow, deep breaths.
That's it. Slow and easy. You're all right.
"A little. Scully, I don't think I've ever had
anything hurt me so badly. I'm sorry I lost it, but
the pain was so overwhelming that it just took over,"
"I've heard that back injuries can cause some of the
worst pain a person can experience. Don't be ashamed
of expressing your pain."
"Thanks. I really wish you wouldn't take off on your
"Mulder, you need medical treatment. If we stay here
and wait for the rangers to return, it could be
several days before they realize that we're late
getting back. The longer we wait, the greater the
chance of permanent injury. I want you to be able to
walk into Kersh's office and tell him what a crock
this assignment was."
Scully sat up and began to pull items from Mulder's
backpack. She set several bottles of water, some
trail mix and an MRE within easy reach. She found a
bottle of ibuprofen in the small first-aid kit. She
shook a couple into her hand and grabbed a bottle of
"Mulder, I want you to take these. They might help a
"Okay. You'll need to help me raise up." She did
and he swallowed them down.
"I'm going to put them beside you. You can take some
more in about six hours. Try to eat something then.
"I'll try," he promised.
"Now, while I'm gone, rest and try to move as little
as possible. Do you understand? No unnecessary
movement!" Scully emphasized her last words.
"I understand. Believe me, I'm going to stay as
quiet as possible. I don't enjoy pain, and remember,
I want to walk into Kersh's office and tell him to
shove this 'shit patrol' up his ass sideways. I'll
be good," Mulder assured her.
"Okay. I'm going to leave. I probably won't be back
until after dark. I'll move as quickly as possible,
but I will be careful. Do you need anything else
before I leave?"
"No, I think you have taken care of everything I
could possibly need."
"Good." Scully leaned over and kissed his forehead.
"See you in a few hours."
It seemed like Scully had been gone for hours but it
had only been about forty-five minutes. Thunder
began to rumble in the distance.
"That's just great," Mulder griped. "Scully's going
to get soaked. Could anything else possibly go
wrong?" At about that time he thought he smelled
smoke but discounted that thought when he didn't
smell it again. Soon he was asleep.
Scully had been walking for about an hour when she
began to notice the faint scent of smoke. She
stopped and tried to determine its source. She
slowly turned in a circle, then stopped when she saw
smoke in the distance. It was in the direction that
she had just come. Lightning flashed on the horizon,
accompanied by a rumble of thunder. It was then that
Scully realized that the lightning had started
another fire and it was headed for Mulder! She
started running back to him.
Mulder was awakened when he began to cough. He
thought at first that Scully had returned and started
a campfire. He soon realized that there was too much
smoke for a small fire. It dawned on him that he was
in danger from an approaching fire. He would have to
move, and fast!
He made a slight motion to sit up, and the now
familiar pain exploded in his back. If a small
movement caused that much pain, then a bigger
movement couldn't cause much more, he reasoned. He
took a deep breath and rolled to his left side, then
quickly pushed himself into a sitting position. The
ensuing pain nearly caused him to black out as his
vision dimmed and the blood began to roar in his
head. He quickly shook it off. He could pass out
later. Now he needed to get to his feet and follow
He began to gather the supplies that Scully had
emptied from her pack. Mulder knew he would need
water and food. The rest would have to be left
behind. He filled his backpack and painfully
positioned it on his back. In one swift movement, he
shifted his weight to his right knee, holding his
injured ankle off the ground. He pushed up with his
left leg and was soon standing on it, crouched over
in the tent. He hopped through the opening and
looked around for something he could use to support
himself. There wasn't anything in the immediate
vicinity but a few bushes. He would have to head
downhill toward the trees they passed earlier.
Mulder tested his injured ankle by slowly putting his
weight on it. He felt as if it was literally being
torn apart. He would have to hop.
He hopped a few feet and lost his balance. He fell
to the ground and began to shiver despite the warm
temperature. The nausea that had been present since
he was injured intensified, forcing him to turn to
his side and vomit.
When the spasms in his stomach stopped, Mulder made
an attempt to move away from the mess he had made.
He scooted to the side a bit and could go no further.
An overwhelming dizziness forced him to close his
eyes. He began to spiral downward as the dizziness
and pain claimed his consciousness. He heard another
rumble of thunder and then was aware of nothing.
Scully stumbled into the clearing where she had left
Mulder and was surprised to find him lying outside
the tent. A few steps brought her to his side where
she collapsed, trying to catch her breath. She
pushed herself to her knees and began shaking his
shoulders. After a few nudges he began to rouse.
"Mulder! Mulder, wake up!" Scully screamed in his
Mulder opened his eyes slowly, not yet aware of his
"Come on, Mulder! You can do it! Concentrate!"
"Scully?" he slurred.
"Yes, Mulder it's me. I'm back and we have to move.
She pulled at him, trying to get him up.
"Can't move, Scully," Mulder moaned.
"Yes, you can!"
Mulder just looked at her as if she had grown two
"Mulder, if you don't move we will both be crispy
critters! Now get up!"
As if to emphasize the urgency of their situation, a
gust of wind blew a heavy cloud of smoke over them.
Mulder then remembered the approaching fire and
realized that their situation was becoming desperate.
"Scully, help me up!"
Scully pulled him to a sitting position and he got
his good leg under him and pushed up. Soon he was
standing, leaning heavily on Scully.
"Don't know how far I can go," Mulder gasped, trying
to push the pain away.
"Just lean on me partner and we'll go as far as we
have to." With that they started their journey away
from the fire.
After a few hours of stop and go travel, it became
apparent that the fire was gaining on them. Mulder
had once again stopped, trying to catch his breath
between the dry heaves wracking his stomach. Scully
was holding him up, breathing heavily, trying to
reach into her reserves for a bit more strength.
"Scully, can't go. Leave me," Mulder groaned as his
knees began to buckle.
Scully jerked him back up. "No way. We're partners.
We go together or not at all."
Mulder shook his head no.
"Yes, Mulder. Just take a minute to catch your
breath, then we'll start again." Her words were
accented by a loud crash of thunder, followed closely
by a powerful flash of lightning.
"Storm's about to break," Mulder panted.
Scully surveyed the heavy storm clouds. "Let's hope
those clouds are full of rain."
It seemed like they were suddenly at ground zero as
the sound of thunder, then a great flash of lightning
rocked their world. Then the heavens opened. Scully
and Mulder looked up, the torrents of rain taking
their breath away.
"Let's go partner. Let's hope the rain lasts for a
while." Scully began to move again, practically
dragging Mulder with her.
The rain continued to fall. Several times they
stumbled, and finally fell to the ground and rolled
down a muddy incline. They both lay at the bottom of
the small hill, panting. Scully turned over to face
"Are you okay?" she asked, pushing herself to a
"Fine and dandy. No new injuries, though," Mulder
answered, making no effort to move. "What about you?
Are you all right?"
Scully gave her stock answer. "I'm fine." She
looked behind them. Though it was difficult to see
through the driving rain, Scully was pretty sure that
the fire was no longer a threat. She turned back to
"I think we're pretty close to the ranger station.
It's getting dark so we need to get there and radio
for help and try to dry off." Scully got up and
offered Mulder her hand.
"You go. Get help. I'll be okay," Mulder said
weakly and closed his eyes.
"Mulder, stay with me!" Scully ordered. "Open your
His eyes opened and Scully again offered her hand.
Mulder reached for it and soon they were on their way
Less than an hour later they broke through the trees
and saw the ranger station, its porch light
beckoning. Scully tried to speed up as Mulder
struggled to keep up. Ten feet from the front door
Mulder slid to the ground unconscious. Scully bent
over, took his arms and began to drag him to the
Mulder felt something squeezing his right arm. He
tried to move away from it, but a strong wave of pain
jolted through his back, making him gasp. He opened
his eyes to find Scully at his side, taking his blood
"Welcome back, partner. You had me pretty worried."
Mulder looked around. He was lying on a cot. They
must have made it to the ranger station, although
he didn't remember it. He moved his left arm and
discovered that he was hooked to an IV. He looked
back to Scully with questioning eyes.
"You were in shock, causing your blood pressure to
drop. It's still a bit low, but the IV seems to be
"Did you radio for help?"
"When are we getting out of here?" He laid his right
arm across his eyes, shielding them from the bright
"Not as soon as I would like," she answered. "The
forest fire has pulled just about everyone from their
usual locations. All of the available choppers are
there, along with most of the rescue team. To top
that off, there is a storm front moving through.
Hopefully, they'll be able to send some people in by
late this afternoon. They'll call for a chopper when
they arrive, and we should have you in a hospital
"Sounds like a plan." He brought his arm down from
his eyes and looked closely at Scully. "Scully, why
are my clothes dry while you're still soaking wet?"
He could hear the rain beating heavily on the roof.
"I wanted to be sure you were okay before I changed.
It seems like our clothes were left behind, so I
looked around and found some clothes, probably one of
the rangers. They may not fit perfectly but they
appeared to be clean and most importantly they were
"I'm okay, Scully. Go ahead and change before you
catch a cold or something."
"All right, Mulder."
"I think I'll just close my eyes for a bit. Let me
know when you're finished."
"Sure, Mulder." Scully smiled. Mulder had seen her
unclothed on several occasions and she really wasn't
that shy around him. She was quite touched that he
would be that considerate. She quickly shed her wet
clothes and donned the ranger's rather large jeans
and flannel shirt.
"You can open your eyes now."
"You look a little more comfortable," Mulder
observed. "How many times did you have to roll those
"About the same amount as the shirt sleeves. I lost
count." She checked the IV. "While you were
unconscious I re-splinted your ankle and cleaned up
as many of your scrapes as I could. How is the
"As long as I don't move it's pretty much bearable,
but it does throb," Mulder answered.
"I think your blood pressure is stable enough to give
you a small dose of Demerol. Would you like for me
to do that?"
"I really don't want to be out of it, Scully. I
don't like to feel like that. Maybe a few more
"No ibuprofen, Mulder. Your stomach has been upset
anyway and they could make it worse. I'll give you a
very small dose of Demerol. It should make you feel
more comfortable, but you won't be totally out of
it," Scully explained.
"Just a pleasant, little buzz, huh?"
"Something like that." Scully filled the syringe to
the appropriate mark and injected it into his IV.
"There, that should work pretty fast."
"You wouldn't take advantage of me in my drugged
state would you?" he teased.
"Damn! What would it take?" he continued to tease.
"A strong uninjured Mulder and a nice, comfortable
place to stay." Scully played the familiar game
along with him.
"That could probably be arranged, sooner or later."
"When you get it arranged, let me know." She turned
to look through the medical supplies again.
"You'll be the first to know," he replied softly.
Scully turned back to him. "I think those supplies
will be more than sufficient until we can get you to
"Scully, why is it that every time we get sent on one
of these domestic terrorism assignments, things never
go as planned?"
"I'm not sure, Mulder. The last time you were bored
and got involved in another investigation, then wound
up having to drive all the way to the coast," she
remembered. "This time you were completely innocent.
Just a victim of bad luck."
"Yeah, that does seem to follow me around doesn't it?
He yawned. "Scully, are you sure you gave me a small
"Yes, Mulder, I'm sure. Why?"
"I'm really feeling sleepy."
"It might have something to do with the fact that
it's two in the morning, D. C. time, and the fact
that you are still weak from shock. I think you need
to pay attention to what your body is telling you.
You need to rest." Even as Scully was telling him
this, he was fast asleep. She pulled the blanket up
under his chin and laid down beside him on the floor.
By 5 o'clock, Scully had given up on getting any kind
of restful sleep. It seemed like Mulder was awake
every 15 minutes or so. He was very uncomfortable
and kept shifting slightly to find a better position.
Every movement was accompanied by a moan or a groan,
and sometimes a muffled cry of pain. She was about
ready to give him a double dose of Demerol and hope
for the best.
She finally sat up. She stood and began to look
around the station, hoping to spot a coffee pot. She
couldn't locate one, and resigned herself to a
morning without coffee. She peeked outside and noted
that the rain had stopped. At least there was that.
She briefly considered trying to get Mulder to the
car and driving out, then decided that the road was
too bumpy to torture him with. She heard Mulder
groan and turned back to him.
"Scully, what are you doing up?"
"I couldn't sleep so I decided to get up and see if
the storm was over."
"It appears to be. Why are you awake?"
"I think I finally decided to give up on sleep too.
I've decided that there is no such thing as a
"Maybe I could help you move a little. Perhaps we
could find a way to make you more comfortable."
"It's worth a try."
With some careful maneuvering they found a position
that was fairly comfortable for Mulder.
"Do you think you'll be able to stay that way for a
while?" Scully asked as she began to look through the
"It's the best I've felt in the past few hours.
Thanks." He smiled up at her.
"Good. I'm going to give you some more Demerol.
Maybe that will relax you enough so that you can rest
without waking up every 15 minutes."
"Only if you'll lie back down beside me. You've got
to be tired after hauling my ass around yesterday."
Scully injected the Demerol into Mulder's IV. "That
sounds like a good idea Mulder. I am pretty tired."
She laid down facing him.
"Comfy?" Mulder asked.
"Yes, I am. I think I'm too tired to even care that
I'm lying on a hard wood floor. How about you? Is
the Demerol starting to work?"
"Yes, Dr. Scully. I'm feeling more comfortable by
the second." Mulder smiled as Scully closed her eyes
and began to snore softly. He closed his eyes and
soon followed her to sleep.
Several hours later, Scully was awakened when she
heard voices outside.
"Special Agent Dana Scully?" called one of the
Scully stuck her head out of the door and was greeted
by two men.
"Agent Scully?" one of the men asked.
"You radioed that you needed some help?"
"Yes. My partner has a broken ankle and a back
injury. He's in here. You're here a lot earlier
than I thought you would be." She moved aside as the
lead rescuer went inside.
"Yes, ma'am. The rains last night just about put out
the fire so we were able to start out earlier," the
other rescuer explained.
Scully groaned inwardly as he called her ma'am.
Either rescue workers were getting younger or she was
getting older. She really didn't want to consider
The first rescue worker came back outside.
"Sean, you can radio the chopper now. Be sure they
bring a backboard," he directed.
"Sure thing, Smitty." Sean stepped back and began to
contact their base.
"How are you going to get him to the chopper? There
really isn't any place to land around here." Scully
"That's not a problem, ma'am. The chopper will come
in close and lower a basket and a backboard. We'll
put your partner on the backboard, carry him to the
basket, put him in and up and away he goes to the
"Will there be room for me?"
"No ma'am. You'll have to drive out. Sorry."
"That's okay. How long until the chopper gets here?"
Before Smitty could answer, Sean returned. "Chopper
should be here in about 30 minutes," he announced.
"I guess that answers my question. If you don't
mind, I need to get our things packed up and tell my
partner what is going on."
"Yes ma'am. Let us know if you need any help." Sean
Scully went back inside.
"Well ma'am," Mulder teased, emphasizing the ma'am.
"It looks like we're on our way out of here."
"Mulder if you keep that up, I may be forced to break
your other ankle," Scully threatened.
"Sorry. I didn't realize you were so touchy about
"I'm not touchy. I just wonder when I became a
"Instead of?" Mulder questioned.
"Oh, never mind!" Scully fumed, shoving things back
into their backpacks. "The chopper should be here
within half an hour."
"Okay. Where is it going to land?" he wondered.
"Nope. Afraid of heights?"
"Then you should be just fine." Scully finished
packing and sat down beside Mulder to wait
48 hours later
Scully opened the door to Mulder's hospital room and
was surprised to see him sitting in a chair beside
"Mulder, I'm impressed!"
"What a difference a few hours makes, huh Scully?" he
beamed. "I got my back brace and now I can move."
He pointed to the walker sitting beside his chair.
"I have to use this until I get used to this cast. A
few days of physical therapy and I get to go home."
"Good. I see your IV is gone and it looks like
you've showered and shaved too. Maybe I should leave
more often." Scully sat on the bed.
"Speaking of leaving, where have you been?" Mulder
asked as he pulled the walker around in front of him.
Scully crossed her arms and began. "I talked the
chopper pilot into flying over the area we were
supposed to investigate."
"And?" Mulder stood and faced her.
"Hills, rocks and more hills. I don't know where
Kersh got his information, but he needs to get a new
Scully stood and moved so Mulder could get back in
bed. He sat on the side of the bed and Scully moved
the walker out of the way.
"I guess the report on this one will be short and
sweet. Scully, could you help me move my legs up and
over? I still have trouble with that."
Scully complied and Mulder winced as the task was
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"Yeah. The pain passes pretty quickly now."
Scully pulled the sheet and blanket over him.
"Mulder, that report may be short, but it certainly
won't be sweet. And I intend to deliver it in
person!" Scully dropped into the chair and blew an
errant strand of hair from her eyes.
"Go Scully!" he laughed. "I wish you could wait
until I get back. I'd love to witness that."
"I think this is one time you'll be lucky to be on
Six weeks later.
Mulder left Kersh's office, limping slightly. Scully
was waiting for him.
"You got your cast off I see."
"Yep, and the back brace is gone too. Two weeks of
light duty, then I'll be ready for the field again."
He walked beside Scully as they headed for the
Scully pushed the button. "Did you see Kersh?"
"No. He had to leave in a big hurry. That wouldn't
have anything to do with that report you turned in
"I wouldn't know anything about that," she answered
The door to the elevator opened and Mulder pulled
Scully away from it.
"Scully, I need to talk to you for a minute."
"Are you familiar with the Great Smoky Mountains?"
"I've heard of them. Why?"
"You have some personal time left, right?"
"Mulder," she intoned suspiciously.
"Just hear me out before you shoot me down, okay?"
"Make it fast." Scully crossed her arms.
"All right. I don't go back to work until Monday. I
know you have at least two days of personal leave,
probably more, so. . ."
"Mulder." Scully began tapping her foot.
"Okay. The Lone Gunmen put me on to this."
Scully rolled her eyes.
"There have been reports of strange lights and the
bears in the park have been acting funny and. . ."
"Mulder, where are you headed with this?" Scully
demanded. "Kersh is not going to okay this and
you're not released for field duty anyway."
"I propose that we go down there, on my dime," he
added hastily, "And check it out. Look, I've already
rented us a nice little cabin. . ."
"Cabin, Mulder?" Scully interrupted.
"Yes. A two bedroom, two bath cabin with a Jacuzzi
on the deck and a whirlpool tub in the master bath.
We can cook there, or if you'd rather, it's close
enough to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge to drive in for
a good meal. I'd like to pay you back for taking
care of me in Idaho. Please say yes, Scully." He
gave her his best puppy-dog look.
"And the bears?" she queried.
"Just a quick side-trip. Two hours at the most."
"All right. But you're doing the cooking," she
"Of course," he agreed.
"Something besides canned spaghetti or TV dinners?"
"Just let me know what you want and we'll get
supplies on the way from the airport," Mulder
promised, a big grin on his face.
"Good. I'll make the arrangements for my personal
days and you can call me with all of the details."
Scully went back to the elevator and pushed the
button. As the door opened she put her hand on the
side to keep it from closing. She turned around to
face him. "Oh, and Mulder?"
"Yes?" he answered.
"You'd better be prepared because I plan to take
advantage of you any way I can." With that she
walked into the elevator and pushed the button for
The door closed and several passing agents stared at
Mulder as he pumped his fist and shouted, "Yes!"
Mulder was sure he had died and gone to heaven.
"Forget the bears," he thought. If he had any luck
at all, Scully would take advantage of him in such a
way that they would never leave the cabin. This was
one long weekend he hoped to remember for a long