Disclaimer in Part One
Grandma Esther rushed to her granddaughter's side,
berating Jacob with every negative word in her
Jacob sank to his knees, his hands covering his face.
The man cried and asked God over and over to forgive
him for killing his daughter.
Scully managed to turn Mulder onto his right side and
hold him as the rhythmic tremors continued, her tears
forming a trail down her cheeks.
Naomi, awakened by the commotion, staggered into the
area. Even in her weakened state she could tell that
Mulder's fever had become dangerously high. Her
daughter had gone into a state of shock but was
already beginning to recover. Instincts urged her to
go to daughter's aid, but a special sense told her
that Mulder needed her help immediately.
She knelt slowly, reaching out to Scully to steady
herself. "Mother, Hannah will be fine. She just
needs to rest. Jacob, please carry her to her bed."
Jacob stood, wiped his eyes, and scooped his daughter
into his arms. He gently carried her away.
"Mother, I need a bucket of the water we were saving
for the wash. Bring it here quickly."
"But, Naomi, you are in no condition to help him,"
Grandma Esther protested.
"I'll be fine. Please, just get the water," Naomi
directed. "Miss Scully, pull the blanket back. We
need to cool him off."
Grandma Esther brought the water and set it next to
Mulder, who was still convulsing.
"Now, I need as many towels as you can gather."
Jacob returned. "Hannah roused up for a few seconds
and said she was tired. She went right back to
sleep," he reported.
"Good. You can help Mother gather the towels," Naomi
acknowledged, swaying slightly.
"Naomi, you need to lie down too. I'm a doctor. I
can take care of Mulder," Scully told her.
"There is one thing I must do and then I'll turn his
care back to you."
Jacob brought the towels that he and Grandma Esther
"Soak them in the water," Naomi ordered.
Jacob promptly complied.
"We need to cover him with the towels. Mother, as
soon as one becomes warm, please replace it with a
cool one. Miss Scully, bathe his face. Jacob, we
need to get him out of here. Run to Aunt Rebecca's
place for help."
"But, Hannah . . ." he protested.
"Will be fine. Please hurry, Jacob," Naomi implored.
"I'm leaving now."
"Miss Scully, I don't have much left to give him but
the convulsion isn't stopping on it's own. I'm going
to try to stop it and bring his fever down. I will
probably pass out. Please catch me and lay me down.
Mother will tend to me while you continue to help
Scully remained skeptical. She thought that Naomi was
wasting her time, but she also knew that it couldn't
hurt. Short of administering anti-convulsive drugs,
they were doing all they could.
Naomi held her hands over Mulder's head, a look of
fierce concentration on her face. After several
minutes Mulder's body grew quieter until finally, he
gave one last jerk, and the seizure stopped. The
healer took a deep breath and tilted to her left.
Scully caught her swooning body and eased her down to
the floor of the cave. Grandma Esther immediately
went to her daughter's side.
Scully turned her attention back to Mulder who was
lying quietly. She checked his pulse and found that
it had slowed considerably. His skin was warm, but
not scorching hot, as it had been only minutes
She continued to bathe his face, all the while
thinking about what she had just witnessed. Did
Naomi stop the seizure or did the effect of the cool
towels bring his temperature down? Weighing the
evidence, she still leaned toward the tried and true
She snapped out of her thoughts, surprised to hear
Mulder's voice. "Welcome back, partner."
"W-why? Where have I been? Ow!"
"Mulder, what's wrong?" she asked anxiously.
"Bad headache. Hurts to talk."
"Then, don't," Scully advised. "Here, drink this."
She lifted his head very gently and held a cup of
water to his mouth. "Slowly."
Mulder nodded slightly when he had drunk his fill.
"What happened? Feel like I missed something."
"You were the main attraction, Mulder. Your
temperature went through the roof and you had a
"Really. It was pretty scary for all of us. Jacob
totally lost it after Hannah tried to help you and
passed out. Naomi managed to get everyone back in
line and ordered Grandma Esther to help while we were
cooling you off with wet towels."
"Glad I missed it."
"How are you feeling now?"
"Fever's better. Hurt like hell. Shit! My back is
"You did quite a bit of thrashing around. You don't
feel any numbness or tingling in your legs do you?"
"Just pain," he grimaced.
"Follow my finger with your eyes but don't move your
"Head hurts," he complained.
"That's normal. A headache and drowsiness are quite
common after a seizure. All right, partner. Why
don't you rest while I check that bullet wound? I'll
be as gentle as I can."
"Easy for you to say," he grumbled.
Scully removed the blood soaked bandages. The
violent movements that accompanied the seizure had
caused some additional bleeding, but it had stopped
on its own. The skin around the small hole was red
and angry looking. Scully frowned as she observed
"It's bad isn't it?" Mulder asked, dreading the
"I've seen better," she sighed.
"Scully, didn't think I'd ever say it, but I want to
go to the hospital," he groaned, tears collecting in
the corners or his eyes.
"Oh, Mulder." Scully leaned down and placed a kiss
on his cheek.
"Sorry . . . acting like a baby," he sniffed as the
tears continued to fall. "Can't help it."
"Mulder, you're not being a baby. It's a natural
reaction to pain and fever. I have some good news,
"Could use some."
"Jacob has gone for help. They're going to carry you
out as soon as they get here."
"Good. Can't handle much more. Need drugs. The
good stuff. Need you to hold my hand, make it
Scully squeezed his left hand. "I'm here, Mulder."
Naomi stirred and pushed herself up on one arm. "How
"His temperature is down for the time being and he's
alert and talking," Scully supplied. "How are you?
What can I do to help?"
"Just help Mother get me to bed and get that man of
yours to the hospital," Naomi answered, sinking to
the floor as her arm gave way.
After helping Naomi to bed and checking on Hannah,
Scully returned to Mulder's side. Grandma Esther
shuffled over to them, carrying some clothes in her
"You'll need to get him dressed. Can't have him
traipsing through the woods naked as the day he was
born," she stated, shoving the clothes at Scully.
Grandma Esther nodded and shuffled back to Naomi and
Scully examined the clothes she had been given.
There were jeans, a flannel shirt, and a pair of
clean briefs. "Mulder, she's right. You need to get
dressed, although I don't even want to attempt
putting a shirt on you. You're in enough pain as it
"Thank you," Mulder mouthed, his voice giving out.
"You'll have to help me by moving your hips a little
"I'm sorry, it's going to hurt, but I'll move as
quickly as I can," Scully promised, kneeling down to
sort the clothes.
"More fun when you undress me," he gasped as Scully
moved the briefs up his legs to just below his hips.
"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, Mulder. You
can lose them as soon as we're at the hospital."
Maneuvering the jeans was a bit more difficult, and
both agents were perspiring heavily when the task was
completed. Scully grabbed one of the towels and
bathed Mulder's face and chest, whispering calming
words as she gently moved the towel.
"Need to come up with a story. Can't tell the
truth." He stopped to catch his breath. "Can't
expose Jacob's family."
"I know Mulder. We'll think of something before we
get to the hospital," Scully promised, wringing out
the towel before rinsing her own face.
They heard the sound of heavily booted feet. Jacob
had arrived with three other men.
"Looks like your ride is here."
Jacob looked around and spied Mulder's hiking boots.
"Don't forget these."
"Thank you," Scully replied.
"Ready?" Jacob inquired as Scully stood.
"I think so."
"You'll need these," he said and handed their
backpacks to Scully. "Nothing has been disturbed.
We didn't open them."
Scully opened Mulder's and stuffed his boots inside.
She strapped hers onto her back and slung his over
her right shoulder.
"Let's get you back to civilization," Jacob suggested
as each man grabbed a corner of the blanket Mulder
was lying on.
"I'm all for that," Scully agreed, following them out
of the cave.
Two days later in a West Virginia hospital, Scully
sat at her partner's bedside reading the local
newspaper. Mulder had just been returned to his room
following surgery on both shoulders, and was sleeping
off the effects of the anesthesia.
When he awakened, Scully was standing by with ice
chips to soothe has throat. "How are you?"
"Hurts," Mulder croaked. "You okay?"
"Yes, Mulder. I'm still a little tired, but much
better than yesterday. The doctors gave me a very
thorough examination, and other than a few scrapes
and bruises, I showed no sign of injury."
"You need rest."
"I've been resting. This recliner is quite
"Rest in bed. Go back to the motel," Mulder ordered.
"Nope. Until you can use at least one of your arms
you're stuck with me."
"What did the doctor say?"
"Your left shoulder wasn't too bad. He removed the
bullet and performed a wound debridement. You've got
some infection there, you know. Your right shoulder
was a mess. Dr. Clayborne said it was quite a
challenge to make all of the repairs and it's
possible you may need more surgery down the road."
"You'll probably start some form of physical therapy
to both before you leave the hospital. You may be
able to perform light tasks with your left arm in
several weeks; however, it may take six months or
longer before your right shoulder heals completely."
"Damn! Desk duty for that long? No way!" he
exclaimed, causing him to cough as his throat
Scully gave him another spoonful of ice. "Do you
remember what the doctor said about your back?"
"Yes, two hairline fractures in the lumbar region.
You won't need surgery, but you will need a brace for
a minimum of six weeks and physical therapy along
"Why don't you just shoot me again?" he groaned.
"Put me out of my misery."
"I'm going to see about some pain medication for
you," Scully decided. "I'll be right back."
Mulder began to think of the weeks to come. Damn it!
He couldn't even take a piss by himself right now.
He was afraid Scully would tire of having an invalid
on her hands.
Scully returned, followed by a nurse with two
hypodermics in hand. "I've brought your pain meds,
Mr. Mulder. It's Demerol and phenergan, so you
should go back to sleep in a few minutes. Would you
like some ice packs to put on your shoulders?" she
asked as she emptied the hypodermics into his IV.
"Yes, thank you. That might feel nice."
"I'll bring them in right away. We want you to be as
comfortable as possible."
"I'm all for comfort."
The nurse left to get the ice packs and Scully moved
back to the side of his bed.
"Sorry we didn't make it to that five star hotel,
babe. Wanted you to be pampered," Mulder apologized,
tears running from his eyes.
Scully leaned over him and gently kissed them away.
"None of that, Mulder. I almost lost you, and all of
the pampering in the world couldn't take the pain of
"Now you're stuck with a banged-up lover. Can't even
touch you. Want to hold you in my arms so bad."
"Let me do the holding," Scully said, encircling his
waist with her left arm while stretching to kiss him.
"Don't want you to spend all your time taking care of
me," Mulder said sadly.
"Don't I get a say in this?" Scully asked rather
forcefully. "In case I haven't told you enough, get
it through that thick, but handsome skull of yours.
I love you. That means we take care of each other."
"But . . ."
"No buts, Mulder. I thought we were in this until
the end of time. Together forever. That means if
you can't use your arms for a while, then I'll be
your arms. Let go and accept all of me."
"Thank you, Scully," Mulder acknowledged, gazing at
her tenderly. "Thank you for loving me."
"And thank you for letting me have that chance." She
kissed him again and straightened up as she wiped
away her tears. Spying the newspaper she had left on
the chair, she picked it up and unfolded it.
"Well, Mulder, you're front page news, at least in
this region," she grinned, holding the newspaper so
he could read the headline.
"Mysterious Mountain Man Aids Injured FBI Agent," he
read. "So they bought our story?"
"As far as I know everyone thinks he found you while
I was wandering around dazed, then found me a little
"Good, and what about Surface?"
"He was wanted for assault in several states and had
been in and out of mental institutions since he was
fourteen. They haven't ruled on the shooting yet so
I'm on paid leave until the board convenes."
"And it might take a while, Agent Scully," a man's
voice announced from the doorway.
"Hello, sir. I wasn't expecting to see you here,"
Scully replied as A.D. Skinner entered the room.
"Agents," he acknowledged.
"I'd shake your hand but . . ." Mulder grinned,
rather lopsided as the drugs began to take effect.
"I understand, Mulder. How are you doing?"
"I'm kind of tied up at the moment," he answered as
he nodded toward his right shoulder, which had been
bound to his chest. The left arm was nestled in a
"I see. It looks like you'll be out of action for a
"Several months at least," Scully explained.
Mulder tried to stay awake but lost the battle. He
began snoring lightly.
"Let's step outside, sir. Mulder was just given a
pretty substantial dose of Demerol."
"All right." When they reached the hallway Skinner
continued. "I have some news for you. It may be a
few weeks before the review board is able to review
"Two of the members are on vacation. One alternate
is on compassionate leave and the other had emergency
gall bladder surgery last night. I really don't want
to call anyone back from vacation."
"That's fine, sir. Mulder is essentially helpless
and will be for several weeks at least. I'd like to
be there for him."
"Of course. I'm glad it will work out for you then.
Agent, I've read your preliminary report. You had
quite a story to tell."
"Is there a problem, sir?" Scully asked cautiously,
hoping that she hadn't overlooked any obvious
contradictions in her report.
"No, no problems. I'd really like to meet the man
who came to your aid and thank him on behalf of the
"He's a real hermit. He disappeared as soon as he
got us to the ranger station," Scully explained.
"Well, I guess if he doesn't want to be found there's
not much I can do. I do have one question though."
"How in the world did you manage to come through that
whole experience with only a few scrapes and
"I keep asking myself that very same question, sir
and I haven't come up with an answer. I guess it was
almost what you would call a miracle," Scully hedged.
"I don't remember much until the man found me
wandering in the woods. I guess I was in shock."
"Quite an experience, Agent Scully. I haven't eaten
in quite a while and I'm sure you could use a break.
Why don't we go to the cafeteria and get something?
I could debrief you as we eat, then you won't need to
come into the office until your hearing," Skinner
"All right, but I don't want to stay away too long.
Since Mulder can't use his arms, he can't even push
the call button for help," Scully fretted.
"We'll let the nurse's station know he's alone. I'm
sure they'll keep an eye on him."
"Just let me get my purse."
When Scully and Skinner finished eating and returned
to Mulder's room, a nurse was holding a phone to
"Thanks, guys. I knew I could count on you," Mulder
said, then nodded to the nurse that he was finished.
"What was that all about?" Scully queried as the
nurse left the room.
"Just needed the guys to do a favor for me."
"I'm almost afraid to ask," she frowned.
"Then don't. It was nothing really. What kind of
trouble can I get into tied to this hospital bed
anyway?" he asked innocently.
Skinner and Scully looked at him and just shook their
Several days later Jacob found a message near his
cave. Since it was from Mulder, he gathered his
brothers and cousins and followed Mulder's
instructions to go to the base of the cliff where he
and Scully had been discovered. They found four
plastic storage boxes filled with paperback books,
magazines, clothes, blankets and canned food.
A note was attached to the largest one. It bore a
simple message. "Thanks for the miracle! M."
Jacob smiled as he and his kin picked up the boxes.
They started back to the cave confident that they had
finally made a friend they could trust.