Title: Getting To Know You
Author: Waddles 52
Summary: Mulder and Scully get a chance to know each
other better when Scully volunteers to look after him
when he is released from the hospital following his
Spoilers: Post-ep for Beyond the Sea
Disclaimer: Just for fun. Not for profit.
Archives: After_the_Fact, Ephemeral, others please
Feedback: I'd love to hear from you.
Acknowlegement: Thanks to Lisa for the ideas and
beta. Love ya!
Scully had just finished meeting with her partner's
doctors and caregivers. She had been given the task
of presenting their suggestions to Mulder, and she
dreaded it. He wasn't going to be happy with any of
it and she couldn't blame him.
The near-fatal gunshot wound to his left leg had left
him weak and in constant pain, yet seven days later
the doctors were ready to discharge him. Actually,
the doctors were quite sympathetic to his condition.
The insurance company, however, had a different
Too soon she found herself outside of Mulder's room.
Scully took a deep breath and pushed the door open.
Mulder was seated in a wheelchair with his left leg
elevated. He had apparently been looking out the
window but now his head was bowed in sleep. She
turned to leave but Mulder's voice stopped her.
"How did the meeting go?" he asked in a voice that
still sounded weak to her.
"Well, Mulder, you are to be discharged tomorrow."
"Great! I was getting tired of this place anyway.
How soon can we get a flight back to DC?"
"Not for at least a week, I'm afraid," Scully
answered, waiting for Mulder's next question.
Right on cue he asked, "Why?"
"The danger of developing a blood clot is still
fairly high at this stage of your recovery. The
doctors have also ruled out traveling home by
automobile for the time being."
"That's just wonderful!" he exploded. "Why are they
letting me leave then?"
"Actually, your insurance company made the decision
for them. Your doctors think you should stay at
least another few days. They tried to get the
insurance company to reconsider, but to no avail."
"So, what do I do in the meantime? I can't stay here
and I can't go home. I feel like a man without a
country." He tried to make light of it, but the
smile quickly left his face.
"Mulder, you'll need to make some decisions."
"What type of decisions?" he asked warily.
"Your doctors would like to arrange for a week's stay
in a skilled nursing facility." Scully made the
announcement and waited for the explosion that was
sure to follow.
"A nursing home? Forget that!" he exclaimed. "What
other options do I have?"
"Mulder, you're going to need some care for a few
days at least. Your insurance would pay for the
facility. The only other option is to stay in
Raleigh for another week. Since you are from out of
town, your insurance has agreed to pay for a week at
someplace like AmeriSuites. They also agreed to pay
for a physical therapist to help with your ROM
exercises and to provide nursing care as needed. I
would be glad to stay with you and help in any way
that I can."
"Scully, I couldn't ask you to do that."
"You don't have to. I've already volunteered," she
"Are those my only options?"
"That's all we could come up with."
"Don't you think you should be with your mother right
now?" Mulder asked, a serious look on his face.
Scully's face reflected his seriousness. "If she
were at home, yes. She went to San Diego with my
brother, Bill. She's planning on staying for several
"What about work?"
"My assignment is to stay with you until you are
ready to return to DC."
"I see," Mulder paused to think it over. "We've
spent many hours together in the office and in the
field, but we always had our own space at the end of
the day. Do you think you can stand to be around me
"Mulder, I don't plan to sleep with you," Scully
"We'll be sharing a bathroom. That's almost as
intimate," Mulder said in his defense.
"I think I can handle it for a week," she assured
Mulder began to wheel toward his bed. "So, what do
we need to do to make this happen?"
"You just need to lie down and rest. I'll notify the
doctors of your decision and they'll take care of the
insurance company. I'll get your things together and
do some grocery shopping before you're released."
Scully watched over her partner as he maneuvered his
wheelchair beside his bed and put on the brake. He
carefully lowered his injured leg then grabbed the
nearby walker. After pushing himself out of the
chair, a few hops took him to the bed where he slowly
Scully moved the walker out of the way. "You're
getting pretty good at that."
"Just wait until they let me have crutches. I'll be
able to move a lot faster then."
"I wouldn't count on it for a few days at least. You
need to regain some more of your strength."
"As soon as I'm able to eat something besides
hospital food my strength will return pretty
"Speaking of food, I plan to cook for us while we're
at the motel. Do you have any particular likes or
dislikes? I'll probably go shopping in the morning
so I won't have to leave you after we check in."
"Are you a good cook, Scully?" Mulder asked as he
tried to raise his injured leg up to get into bed.
Scully moved in to hold his leg up while he brought
the good one over. "I haven't had any complaints so
far," she answered as she carefully lowered his leg.
"I'll eat just about anything," Mulder said as he
situated himself in the bed. "I'm sure whatever you
cook will be wonderful."
"All right, then. What would you like in the way of
snacks besides sunflower seeds?"
"Beer, pretzels, chips, pork rinds, beef jerky, stuff
"Mulder, have you ever heard of fruit, raw
vegetables, juices?" Scully asked.
"Sure, I've heard of them. I just don't consider
them to be snack foods."
Scully rolled her eyes heavenward.
"Hey, I'm just teasing. Anything you get will be
"I'll try to get a few of the items you suggested.
I'll make the arrangements then. Do you think you'll
feel like watching some videos? Not he ones from the
adult video list," she added quickly.
"Sure, just don't go overboard on the chick flicks."
"I think I can manage that, Mulder."
A nurse interrupted their conversation. "Mr.
Mulder, the doctor has ordered some blood work and a
CT scan to be completed before you are discharged.
Someone will be coming for you shortly. He has also
ordered oral pain meds instead of the morphine. I'm
going to be removing your IV, so why don't you get
one last dose of morphine from the pump and I'll get
Scully pushed the button for him. "Mulder, I'm going
to make the arrangements, then I'll run some of those
errands we talked about. I'll see you in the
"Sure, Scully. I'll be here. Ow!." He exclaimed as
the nurse began peeling the tape from his hand and
arm. "I'd like to keep that hair on my arm!"
Scully gave the nurse a sympathetic look as she
exited the room.
After a stop at the pharmacy and a quick trip through
the closest McD's drive through, Mulder was resting
in his AmeriSuites bedroom. He had the remains of a
Quarter Pounder with cheese in his right hand and the
TV remote in his left. After surfing the channels to
see what was available, he decided on ESPN.
After watching a few minutes of some obscure water
polo game, he wadded up the hamburger wrapper and
threw it toward the waste can. His aim was a little
off and he hit Scully square in the chest as she
entered the room.
"Sorry," Mulder said, sheepishly.
"That's okay, Mulder. It's just like the office,"
she replied as she bent over and threw the wrapper in
the trash. "I just wanted to see of you wanted a
pain pill and some water."
"Thanks, but I'm fine."
"Would you like for me to unpack your suitcase and
hang your clothes in the closet?"
"Scully, I don't want to put you to any trouble."
She lifted his suitcase up and put it on the stand.
She spent the next few minutes finding a place for
everything and hanging the contents of his garment
bag. Next, she unpacked his carry on and put his
toiletries in the bathroom. The rest of his things
went into a dresser drawer.
"Mulder, you didn't pack any pajamas," Scully
observed as she closed the closet door.
"Manly men don't wear pajamas, Scully," he answered.
"What do you sleep in?"
"As little as possible," Mulder grinned.
Scully raised her eyebrow, a little quirk of hers
that he sometimes found endearing.
"I guess that's not acceptable?"
Scully shook her head no. "I'll get you some.
There's a K-Mart the next block down."
"I'll just end up giving them to Goodwill as soon as
I'm home. They're just not comfortable."
"You're going to be in bed for a good part of the
next week or so and you need to be comfortable. It's
really too cool for shorts and you need something
with loose fitting legs to go over the bandages. You
only brought one pair of sweats and you're wearing
them. How about some flannel sleep pants and a T-
shirt?" Scully suggested, sitting down in the chair
across from the bed. "You can give them away when
you get home if you don't like them."
"Whatever you say, Scully."
"No, Mulder. It has to be whatever you're
"Okay, I'll give them a try," he surrendered. "But,
I'm not making any promises."
"That's good enough. I'll just get one pair to start
with and if you like them I can always go back for
"Before I leave do you need to go to the bathroom?"
"Scullee," Mulder whined.
"I just want to be sure you make it there and back
safely. I didn't plan on going in with you."
"All right, I'll go and then I'll take you up on that
offer of a pain pill."
"Good decision. You can rest while I'm gone. Need
any help getting up?"
"I think I can manage."
"Okay, but don't be shy about asking," Scully
"Just scoot the walker over a little closer and I'm
on my way."
When Scully returned Mulder was still sleeping off
the effects of the pain pill. She put a bag down
outside his door and went off to the kitchen to plan
the evening meal.
Mulder awakened to the smell of cooking. He looked
over at the alarm clock and was surprised to see that
it was 6:05 PM. "Wow, that was some nap," he thought
as he began to maneuver his way to the side of the
bed. When he looked up he saw Scully standing in the
"I thought I heard you moving you around," she said
as she came into the room. She put the bag from K-
Mart on the dresser. "That was quite a nap. Are you
ready for dinner?"
"Yeah, I think I could eat. What's on the menu? It
really smells good."
"Nothing fancy, just chicken breasts, rice and salad.
Why don't you wash up while I put on the finishing
touches? Do you want to eat here or at the table?"
"I think I'd like to eat at the table. This room
will get pretty boring after a while. Maybe I can
watch TV in the living room after?" he asked
"Sure, that's a good idea. Do you need any help
"I think I can manage it right now, although I won't
rule it out later on. It's actually a little harder
to get back into bed."
"That's why they want you to do the leg raises.
Well, if you don't need me I'll put the food on the
table. See you in a few minutes."
Although he felt hungry, Mulder found that it was
difficult to eat more than a few bites.
"Mulder, it's going to take some time before your
appetite returns to normal," Scully reminded him.
"But you went to all of this trouble," he started.
"It was no trouble, Mulder. I had to eat too, you
know, and we can have the leftovers for lunch
tomorrow. Let's get you settled on the couch, shall
While Mulder lay on the couch and played with the
remote, Scully put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher
and cleaned the kitchen.
Mulder watched TV for about an hour and announced
that he was ready for bed.
Scully rounded up his nighttime medications while he
was on his way to his room. When Scully arrived,
Mulder had the flannels out of the bag and was
staring at them intently.
"What's wrong?" she asked as she breezed into his
room with his medications and a glass of water.
"Uh, I was just trying to figure out how to get these
on," he sighed. "My left leg doesn't exactly bend
"I'll help you. Between the two of us I think we can
After some very gentle maneuvering, Mulder was
wearing his new sleep pants with a colored T-shirt to
match. Scully helped him move his injured leg onto
"Thanks, Scully," Mulder said as he scooted back to
sit against the headboard.
"Wait until you get my bill," Scully teased as she
placed some pillows behind his back.
"Uh, will I be able to afford you?"
"I think so. If not, I'm sure we can work something
"Like what?" Mulder inquired as Scully handed him his
medications and a glass of water.
"Well, you could clean up the office, clean out the
coffee pot, put the junk mail and old memos through a
shredder, re-organize and alphabetize the files."
"You don't come cheap do you?" Mulder asked. He
felt he should interrupt her before she came up with
"You're right. I don't, but I was really just trying
to have some fun with you. I wouldn't dare ask you
to change your filing system."
"Good." Mulder handed her the water glass. "But I
do agree that the office could stand a little
cleaning. I'll work on that as soon as I'm back on
"That sounds like a plan. Can I get you anything
else before I leave?"
"No, I'm fine. I'm just going to relax and watch a
little more TV."
"Okay. I'm going to unfold the couch and put some
sheets on it, but I'll probably be up for a few more
hours. If you need any help getting to the bathroom
let me know," she ordered as she turned to leave.
"Wait! Scully, you're sleeping on the couch?"
"Yes," she replied. "It's a sofa bed. They wouldn't
cover a two bedroom suite."
"Cheapskates. Those things have a reputation for
being lumpy. Why don't you let me take it?" Mulder
"It won't be any worse than some of the motel beds
I've slept on. Don't worry about it."
"But Scully, I do worry. I don't want you to suffer
because of me."
"Who says I'm going to suffer? Mulder, I went
through a medical residency, remember? I could sleep
standing up if I had to. You just concentrate on
getting a good night's sleep. Remember, if you need
help getting out of bed to go to the bathroom or if
you need help to move your leg be sure to call me.
I'm a light sleeper so I'll hear you."
"Scully, I . . ."
"I mean it, Mulder. Call me," she said emphatically
"All right. I can see that I'm not going to win this
"Now, you're catching on."
"Pleasant dreams, Scully."
Thank you, Mulder."
Mulder slept peacefully until the pain pill wore off
and his bladder began to send insistent messages.
"Damn, that foley. They always leave my bladder
irritated for a while."
He was able to see the hallway and determined that
all of the lights were off. Scully had turned in for
the night. He hated to wake her up. She'd been
through hell the past two weeks starting with her
father's death, then that bitch of a case and ending
up being his nursemaid.
He had promised to call her if he had to use the
bathroom, but he just couldn't make himself do it.
Mulder gasped as the pain hit his injured leg as he
began to slowly move it to the side of the bed. He
eventually was able to move it from the bed and let
it hang down to the floor.
"Oh, shit! That hurts!" He took a deep breath and
reached for the walker. He pushed himself up and
immediately wanted to sit back down. Another pain
pill was definitely in his future if he didn't chew
his leg off before he could find one.
Slowly, he made his way into the hallway. The
bathroom seemed miles away. He was panting with
exertion by the time he reached his destination. Why
was he feeling so weak?
He wiped the perspiration from his eyes and pushed
the walker to the side so he could have a clear shot
at his target. He leaned his arms on the wall as he
felt his weakness intensify. He finished his
business, but before he could even get himself tucked
back in he felt himself falling backward.
Scully suddenly awakened when she heard a loud thump
from the bathroom. "Mulder!"
She threw back the covers and shot out of bed. In no
time she reached the bathroom and pushed open the
door. She found Mulder slumped against the bathroom
wall across from the toilet. Her face turned bright
red when she saw that he hadn't been able to complete
his personal task. Ignoring that, she knelt beside
him and felt his pulse as she looked him over for any
sign of injury.
"Scully?" Mulder asked as he blinked his eyes in an
effort to rid himself of blurred vision.
"I guess I was a little weaker than I thought and I
blacked out." His face turned a deep red when he
discovered that his most private parts were
"Uh, sorry. Guess he needed some air," Mulder tried
to make light of it as he tucked himself back in.
Scully chose to ignore it. "Did you hurt yourself
when you fell?"
"I think I'm okay. My leg hurts like a son of a
bitch but it was killing me before I ever came in
"Let's get you up if you think you can make it."
"Yeah, I feel a little better now."
Scully helped him up as he pushed off with his good
leg. He was still a little wobbly as Scully
positioned the walker in front of him. She flipped
the lid down on the toilet and ordered him to sit.
"Just rest a few minutes. You're still pretty
"Mm . . .yeah," Mulder rested his head on the edge
of the sink. "Sorry about this, Scully. I should
have called for help."
"Now, 'Macho Mulder' knows better.
Mulder raised his head a few inches. "'Macho Mulder'
has given up for the duration." He lowered his head
back to the sink.
"I'm going to get you some orange juice and a pain
pill. Don't move."
When Scully returned Mulder was just as she had left
him. "Mulder, are you still with me?"
"Just getting comfortable. Can I stay here tonight?"
"Sorry, but I might need to use the facilities.
Raise up. I want you to drink all of this when you
take your pain pill."
"Then I'll just have to go again later," he moaned as
he sat up and took the glass and pill.
"Then I'll help you up when you call," Scully
emphasized. "Drink all of it. I think your blood
sugar is a little low."
Mulder complied and handed her the glass.
"Feel like trying to get back to bed?"
"Yes, let's do it," Mulder decided and pushed himself
"How are you?" Scully asked cautiously.
"Much better," he proclaimed as he began to hop back
to his room.
Scully straightened the covers for him and waited
until he got situated.
"No more nocturnal ramblings, right?" she asked.
"I promise. I will wake you if I need to get up
again," Mulder promised solemnly.
He slept comfortably for almost two hours until his
muscles reminded him that he needed to shift
position. Damn! This was a lot easier in the
hospital. At least he could pull up on that bar they
had attached to his bed. Shit! Why did this have to
hurt so much? "I'm not going to call Scully," he
thought as he tried to ease over onto his side. "Ow!
I'm not going to call Scully," he thought again as a
groan involuntarily escaped.
"Mulder, do you need some help?"
His angel of mercy appeared at his door and it scared
the crap out of him. "Scully?" he gasped as he
jerked in surprise.
"Sorry I startled you, but I heard you moving around
and I thought I'd see if you needed anything."
"Is it too early for another pain pill?"
"No. You're allowed to take two at a time and you
only took one."
"Good. I'd like another one and some help moving to
a different position."
"I'll be glad to help you, Mulder. I know how
difficult it is to move your leg right now. Let's
get you situated then I'll bring you some more juice
to drink with your pill."
"Aargh," Mulder groaned. "You had to mention juice."
"Want to make a quick trip to the bathroom while I'm
getting that juice?" Scully inquired.
Both agents slept a little later than usual.
Mulder's senses began to jump start at the smell of
coffee brewing. Since he was lying on his side it
was fairly easy to roll out of bed. He made his way
from his room and found Scully sitting in the small
kitchen, savoring her first sip of coffee.
"Did you leave any for me?" Mulder asked, sitting
Of, course. I made a whole pot." She put down the
complimentary paper and made her way to the counter.
Mulder rifled through the paper looking for the
"So what would you like for breakfast?" Scully asked
as she put a steaming mug of coffee in front of
He inhaled the aroma. "This will be fine."
"Mulder, you need to eat."
He made a face. "Maybe some toast? I'm really not
"All I ask is that you try." She dropped two slices
of whole wheat bread into the toaster. "What would
you like on it?"
"Uh, what's available?" he asked, expecting some very
healthy and tasteless choices.
"Well, we have margarine, strawberry jam or grape
"Ooh, Scully, would there happen to be any peanut
butter lurking around to go with that grape jelly
She opened a cabinet and presented him with a jar of
creamy peanut butter. "Mulder, I like to indulge in
a good P, B & J every once and a while, but for now,
what do you want on your toast?"
"Just margarine," he grinned as the toast popped up.
Scully quickly fixed his toast and margarine and put
it in front of him.
"Don't get crumbs all over the paper," she
"You actually read the sports section?"
"Mulder, I read all of the paper."
"Great, I just didn't picture you as a sports fan."
"I'm not particularly, but I like to keep informed.
You've got a busy day ahead of you."
"Yes. Your physical therapist will be visiting,
along with a nurse to assess your condition and draw
blood. She'll decide if you need daily visits from a
nurse, or if I can do what needs to be done."
"Peachy," he griped as he took a sip of his coffee.
"So I'm going to have two extra people poking and
pulling my leg around today?"
"Yes, Mulder. You know, if your pain medication
isn't doing the job you need to let the nurse know so
she can contact your doctor."
"I didn't get much relief last night and I've been
getting muscle cramps from not being able to move
around as much as I need," he admitted.
"Then perhaps we need to add some type of relaxant to
"Scully, I don't want to be comatose."
"I promise you won't."
"We'll see," he sighed, breaking a slice of toast in
"Mulder, you need to bathe before they arrive. Were
the flannel sleep pants comfortable?"
"Yes, they were. Thank you for suggesting them, but
I hate to put you to all of the trouble of going out
again to purchase some more."
"I have a confession to make. I purchased two
outfits, so we can get you cleaned up and dressed and
I can wait until this afternoon to go out again."
Mulder pushed the remains of his toast aside.
"Well, you managed to get most of it down, but you'll
need to do better for lunch."
"Are you ready for a sponge bath?"
"Sponge bath?" he asked, surprised. "I can't take a
"Now with that dressing on your leg. Come on, let's
get that taken care of. I don't know when the home
health people will be here."
"Let's get that taken care of?" Mulder questioned.
"I think I can give myself a sponge bath."
"I'm sure you can take care of most of it, but can
you reach your lower legs and feet? Can you get
"No, but this is kind of embarrassing," he whined.
"Mulder, after last night you have nothing to hide
anyway," she reminded him.
Mulder blushed deeply. "Scully, I'm sorry about
that. It wasn't intentional."
"I know that. Try to put that aside and remember
that I am a doctor. I think I can help you bathe
with a clinical detachment."
"But can I?" Mulder thought. He'd already found
himself aroused by her several times in the past few
months. It was fairly easy to hide while wearing
loose fitting dress pants, but if he had to bare it
all . . .Shit! He was in big trouble!
Mulder had to admit that Scully was very alert to his
embarrassment over the situation. She kept his lap
covered with a towel and encouraged him to wash as
much as he could reach. The only real problem
occurred when she checked his bandages and
accidentally brushed against him. He was afraid the
small hand towel wasn't enough to hide his
enthusiastic reaction, but Scully finished her task
and left him alone while she went to get his clothes.
He tried to coax "Junior" to assume a less obvious
position. Man, this was going to be tough.
He didn't have that problem with the nurses in the
hospital, but "Junior" was more than eager to stand
at attention when Scully was close. He hoped he
could regain some flexibility in that leg soon before
he really embarrassed himself.
Scully was quite aware of Mulder's physical reaction.
She tried to be careful when touching him, but she
noticed that the towel began to rise before she even
started. Was Mulder actually physically attracted to
her? If he was, the feeling was mutual she had to
admit. Next time she would fold up a larger bath
towel and let him cover himself.
Mulder had back-to-back visits from the physical
therapist and the nurse. Scully stayed to observe
the exercise routine so that she could help him
repeat it in the evening. She knew he had to be in
tremendous pain but he didn't make a sound as he
performed the movements.
The nurse was somewhat concerned with the level of
pain he was still experiencing. Before she left, she
had secured a prescription for Tylox and Valium from
Mulder's surgeon. She even volunteered to pick up
the prescriptions and have the agency pharmacy fill
and deliver them, thus saving Scully a trip to the
By the time they were gone, Mulder was ready for some
pain relief and a long nap. "Scully, how long will I
be like this?" he sighed as she helped him into bed.
"Mulder, I see improvement every day. You know, a
week ago you were in the ICU, so weak you could
barely talk. Today you're walking and talking. It's
going to be a slow process, but be grateful for each
small improvement you make."
"Yeah, considering the alternative. Ow!" he
exclaimed as Scully put a pillow under his leg.
"Sorry, Mulder. I'm going to bring you two pain
pills and some juice. Your new prescriptions
probably won't be delivered until this afternoon,"
"Thank you, Scully. I can't emphasize that enough."
"And I can't emphasize enough the fact that you don't
have to keep saying thank you," she added.
"But your family . . ."
"Is spread out all over. I'm going to check in with
Mom later on."
"Good, and if you need to go to her . . ."
"I know, Mulder."
The two pain pills did a great job for two hours and
then the muscle cramps returned with a vengeance.
"I can't handle this," Mulder moaned to himself.
"Got to get up and move around."
As he maneuvered his way into the living room, he
could hear Scully talking angrily to someone on the
Scully noticed Mulder when he entered. "Bill, I'll
call and talk to Mom again in a few days. I really
don't have anything else to say to you at this time!"
She slammed the phone down and turned to greet
"Did you get any rest?" she inquired, pasting a smile
on her face.
"My usual two hours. What's the matter? Is your Mom
okay?" The concern was evident on his face.
"Mom is doing well. Unfortunately, my older brother,
Bill, is being a royal pain in the ass as usual."
"Oh?" Mulder hopped over to the couch and plopped
"He just thinks he can boss me around like he did
when we were children," she explained as she put a
pillow under Mulder's leg. "But he's got another
"What is he going on about, if it's not too
"No, that's okay. He thinks I should quit the FBI
and move back in with Mom." Scully sat down heavily
in the armchair and crossed her arms.
"He's got his nerve, doesn't he?"
"Is this what your mother wants?" Mulder inquired,
shifting to find a more comfortable position.
"I seriously doubt it. She raised four children
mostly by herself. I doubt she's afraid of being
alone. It's just Bill's idea of what we should do.
I'm sure that's probably the last I'll hear of it.
Once he presents that plan to Mom she'll put him in
his place and I won't hear anything until he comes up
with a new scheme to control my life."
"You have other siblings, right?"
"An older sister, Melissa, and a younger brother,
Charlie. They manage to stay out of Bill's way as
much as possible," Scully explained.
"We could analyze my family's dynamics all afternoon
Mulder, and we would always reach the same
conclusion. Bill is a pompous ass. How about some
"It won't take long. Leftovers, remember?"
"Fine by me," Mulder agreed.
"And I expect you to eat something."
"I'll give it my best effort."
The two agents fell into a comfortable routine over
the next few days. As Mulder grew stronger they
spent time watching movies together. Scully began
to enjoy it as she got used to Mulder's sense of
humor. A lot of his comments were really off the
wall but she came to accept that as something that
was uniquely Mulder.
Mulder looked forward to spending that time with
Scully also. She was so easy to tease, but she could
also give as good as she got. He began to get a
glimpse of a more carefree, less serious side to her
By the time the physical therapist had Mulder up on
crutches, both of them felt they had turned a corner
in their partnership. A firm friendship was
beginning to take hold.
Two weeks later, Scully prepared to unlock the
basement office. She needed to check the mail before
she headed to her space upstairs. There was no sense
hanging around here if Mulder wasn't there. She was
surprised to find the door unlocked. She pushed it
open to find Mulder sitting at his desk, his crutches
propped against the side.
"Hey, Scully. I talked them into letting me do some
desk work during the mornings and physical therapy in
"I didn't think you'd be back this soon."
"My apartment was definitely beginning to close in on
me. Besides, I have a debt to repay."
Scully looked at him curiously.
"Remember our deal? I clean up the office. You boss
me around until it meets your approval?"
"Ah, I think I do remember something to that effect."
"Well, since I'm not exactly on my feet altogether
yet," he said pointing to the crutches, "I can't get
it all done today. However, I did put in an order
for a shredder, and if you will do the honor of
throwing the switch, I'll run through the first load
of things we don't need any longer."
"I'd be happy to turn it on," she smiled.
The shredder began to whir and Mulder began feeding
it old memos, some from several years back. Scully
nodded her approval.
"I'd also like for you to honor me with your presence
at lunch today. I'm buying and I'd like to take you
"Why, thank you, Mulder. I'd be happy to accompany
"Great! You know, there's a new version of Trivial
Pursuit out. Do you think you might want to come
over Friday or Saturday night and give it a try?"
"Sounds interesting. I'm game."
"I'll be looking forward to it," he grinned as he
shoved another paper in the shredder. "This is kind
of fun. By the way, there's a file on the corner of
my desk. How about looking it over and letting me
know what you think?"
"Guess it's back to business, huh?" she asked,
reaching for the file.
"I'm just happy that you have become a part of my
business," Mulder said. He blushed and fed another
sheet of paper into the shredder.
"Thank you, Mulder. I feel the same way."
Scully sat in the chair in front of Mulder's desk and
began to read the file. "Yep, here they were.
Business as usual once again, and it felt damned