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From: ephemeral@ephemeralfic.org
                                    Date: 22 Apr 2002 18:22:59 -0000
                                    Subject: Curve Ball by Waddles 52
                                    Source: direct
                                    
                                    Reply To: www.DASWaddles52@aol.com
                                    
                                    
                                    Title:  Curve Ball
                                    Author:  Waddles52
                                    Summary:  Another bedside vigil for Scully as Mulder 
                                    recovers
                                    Spoilers:  Post-ep for Brand X
                                    Rating:  G
                                    Category:  MSR
                                    Disclaimer:  No copyright infringement intended.
                                    Archives:  After_The_Fact, others please ask
                                    Feedback:  Yep.  DASWaddles52@aol.com
                                    
                                    Scully sat down heavily on the chair at Mulder's 
                                    bedside.  The past 24 hours had been harrowing.  She 
                                    had come within a breath of losing her partner, best 
                                    friend and lover.  He was resting now, able to 
                                    breathe without the respirator, but still wheezing 
                                    and coughing; moaning from time to time and muttering 
                                    about tobacco beetles and cigarette smoke through the 
                                    oxygen mask covering his mouth and nose.
                                    
                                    Occasionally he would rouse from his drug-induced 
                                    sleep and search frantically with his eyes until he 
                                    located her.  She would hold his hand, smooth the 
                                    hair back from his forehead and offer reassuring 
                                    words.  That was enough.  He returned to his slumber, 
                                    leaving Scully to continue her bedside vigil.
                                    
                                    It had been a rough year.  This was just the last of 
                                    a long string of bedside vigils.  Unauthorized and 
                                    unknown brain surgery, numerous snakebites and 
                                    several minor injuries.  Mulder always bounced back, 
                                    ready to take on the world, but would there come a 
                                    time when he wouldn't, couldn't fight any longer?  
                                    The thought sent shivers through her, and she could 
                                    barely control her tears.
                                    
                                    She was tired, physically and emotionally.  How much 
                                    longer could this go on?  She was deeply committed to 
                                    her partner, friend, and lover.  Together they would 
                                    continue what started as his quest and was now theirs 
                                    to share.  That they had found a deep love for each 
                                    other was an unexpected gift, but also a detriment.  
                                    She wanted them to grow old together, to have 
                                    children someway, somehow, to live life to the 
                                    fullest, but it always seemed that an unexpected 
                                    curve ball was thrown their way.
                                    
                                    Scully sighed heavily and reached for Mulder's hand.  
                                    His fingers curled around hers and he coughed and 
                                    opened his eyes.
                                    
                                    "Still here?" he asked, his voice barely a whisper.
                                    
                                    "Of course.  Where else would I be?"
                                    
                                    Mulder smiled and closed his eyes, slipping back to 
                                    sleep.
                                    
                                    Scully continued to sit by his side, for where else 
                                    could she be?
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    End