Return To Oz, Part 3
Mulder and Robbie heard the snowplow grind to a halt
beside the car. Suddenly, it seemed as if the car
was surrounded by people. The driver's door opened
and Allen Stewart stuck his head in.
"Daddy!" Robbie exclaimed, climbing over the seat to
jump into his arms.
"Hey, Son! You okay?"
"Yes, Daddy! We had a 'venture, didn't we Mulder?"
"Guess you could call it that," Mulder answered,
trying to keep the pain from his voice.
"Mulder, you okay? You don't look so good," Allen
observed as he hefted Robbie higher into his arms.
"Mulder gots another boo-boo," Robbie explained.
"Yeah. He fell down and hurted his back," Robbie
supplied, hugging his father tightly.
"Must've twisted it when I fell," Mulder added,
hoping the explanation sounded better than the truth.
"Do you need to go to the hospital?" Allen asked, his
concern showing on his face.
"Yes," Scully spoke from her position behind Allen.
"He's been in quite a bit of pain."
"When did this happen?" Allen asked as he put Robbie
"A long time ago," Robbie informed his dad, reaching
out to hold him around the legs.
Allen looked to Scully for further information.
"It happened shortly after I got the car stuck, so
it's been around ten hours. Allen, I'm so sorry this
happened. I should have paid more attention to where
I was going," Scully apologized.
"Well, it doesn't look like Robbie suffered any harm
and besides, I should have insisted on loaning you
one of our vehicles. They both have four-wheel
drive. Those little Fords aren't much good in deep
Both Scully and Mulder shared a look of relief that
Allen wasn't mad.
"I honestly don't think I ever want to spend the
night in one of these little Fords again," Mulder
"I had fun," Robbie said. "I was scared at first,
but I decided to act brave."
"You are brave," Scully corrected. "You weren't
Robbie grinned and hugged his dad's legs harder.
"I'm hungry, though."
"I'll bet you are. Why don't you climb up in
Lynches' Jeep? He'll take you home to Mommy, and
I'll just bet she'll fix you something real good and
hot to eat."
"What about Mulder and Dana?"
"Well, we've got to get their car out of the snow and
get Mulder to a hospital to get that back looked at,"
"Okay." Robbie hugged his father again and turned to
Scully. "Will you visit me again, please?"
"I'm sure we'll see you before we leave, if it's all
right with your father."
"You'll need a place to stay until Mulder feels like
traveling. The motel's gone now," Allen reminded
"Thanks, Allen. Robbie, we'll see you later, then,"
"Goody! Come on, Lynch! Maybe my Mommy will fix you
something to eat too!" Robbie called, as he took off
running toward the Jeep.
The tall man standing next to Allen waved good-bye
and hurried off to catch up with Robbie.
"Well, we didn't bring the rig with us, so I don't
have any supplies. Mulder, can you walk?"
"Yeah, I'm just moving a bit more slowly that usual."
"Okay, let me get my truck and pull it closer, then
we'll get Mulder out and to the hospital. The guys
will pull your car out and bring it there. Sound like
"Works for me," Scully agreed.
By the time Allen pulled his truck around, Scully and
a few of Allen's friends had gotten Mulder out of the
car. Mulder found that he was no longer able to
stand on his own.
They carried Mulder to the truck under Scully's
watchful eye. She got into the back seat while
Mulder was gently placed into the passenger seat.
"You two ready?" Allen asked as he got Mulder buckled
Mulder tried to answer but couldn't quite get the
words out through the unrelenting pain.
"Yes, we're ready," Scully answered for them.
"Well, we plowed the roads as we searched, so it
shouldn't take too long. Hang in there, Mulder,
we'll have you feeling better in no time," Allen
assured him as he put the truck into gear.
At the hospital, Mulder had been examined, x-rayed
and medicated. They were waiting on the doctor to
decide what to do with him.
Mulder didn't really care at the moment. If being in
the hospital meant that he wouldn't have to endure
the excruciating pain he had experienced earlier, he
would willingly stay.
"Mulder, how are you doing?" Scully questioned.
"Just fine as long as I don't move. This pain
medication is good stuff. Think they'll let me have
some more?" He answered her question with a goofy
grin on his face.
"Mulder, you're higher than a kite right now. What
do you want to do, go into orbit?"
The doctor came in and sat on a stool. "Mr. Mulder,
did the Demerol and Vistaril help your pain?"
"Yeah, I'm fine as long as I don't move."
"Well, you have a decision to make. Since you are
visiting this area, your insurance will go along with
admitting you for a day or two until you can get
around a little better, or I can write you
prescriptions for a pretty strong pain killer and a
muscle relaxant, then send you to the Stewart's to
rest for a few days until you can travel. It looks
like you have a pretty severe muscle strain, so going
home is out of the question for several days at
Mulder found that he was having trouble keeping his
eyes open, let alone concentrating. The drugs had
made him very sleepy and he was just ready to go with
"Doctor, why don't you admit him overnight at least?
I honestly don't think we could wake him up enough to
"I did give him a pretty hefty dose."
Mulder began to snore loudly.
"Yep, he's really out of it," the doctor laughed.
"Let's do it this way. I'll admit him for two days
with physical therapy twice a day. They'll use moist
heat, ultra sound and massage to try and loosen those
muscles. If there has been some improvement after
the fourth treatment, you can take him to the
Stewart's for a couple of days. He should feel more
like traveling by then."
"That sounds like a good plan," Scully agreed.
"I'll write the orders then and reduce that pain
medication a little bit."
"Thank you, Doctor."
Mulder had almost decided that his back injury wasn't
so bad. The drugs were helping and keeping him
pretty relaxed. Now he was in physical therapy with
a lovely, young lady who had placed moist heat pads
on his back and had applied some kind of ultra sound
treatment that was pretty nice. She was sort of a
flirt and since Scully wasn't around at the moment,
he didn't see any harm in flirting back a little bit.
Amelia had just promised him a massage to end his
session and he couldn't wait to see what kind of
technique she used. She had promised him that she
would be right back, but he couldn't help dozing a
bit while he waited. He was startled from his nap
when the massage started. Amelia seemed to have a
pretty heavy touch. In fact, it downright hurt!
"Just relax, Mr. Mulder," a deep voice intoned.
"Your muscles are still pretty tight from those
spasms you've been having. It may hurt a bit at
"Hurt? That's an understatement," he thought. "I
wonder what happened to Amelia?"
Mulder managed to turn his head toward the door where
he saw Scully and Amelia talking.
"Well, that explains what happened to Amelia."
"Mr. Mulder, my name is Frank. I'm the other half of
the physical therapy team. Amelia has this afternoon
and tomorrow off, so I'll be handling your treatment.
I hear you're an FBI agent. I used to work for Uncle
Sam myself. I'm a retired Marine drill instructor.
Took up physical therapy after I retired."
Frank chatted away while he attempted to loosen the
muscles in Mulder's back. In the meantime, Mulder
was hoping for a quick end to this hideous massage
and more nice drugs when he returned to his room. He
also gave a thought to getting even with Scully, sure
that she was responsible for his current torture
after she saw him flirting with Amelia. He thought
better of it though when she sent a concerned glance
Scully ended her conversation with Amelia and quickly
strode to Mulder's side. She introduced herself to
Frank and asked, "Mulder, is the pain worse?"
He managed to gasp out an affirmative answer and
Scully quickly convinced Frank that Mulder needed to
go back to his room for more pain medication. Mulder
mouthed a silent "Thank you" to her as they waited
for patient transport.
It was almost forty-five minutes before Mulder was
back in his room and medicated.
"Scully, don't let that guy get hold of me again,"
"I'm going to talk to your doctor about that. I
think I can take over the massage part of your
"Thank you. I love your massages."
"It will still hurt a bit, Mulder. Those muscles are
so tight right now that there is no way to escape
some pain, but I think I'll have a much lighter
"You're such a lovely sight to gaze at, that I'm sure
I won't even notice the pain."
"Flattery will get you a lot, Mulder, but it won't
stop the pain."
"Envisioning you will certainly help."
"We'll see," she grinned.
Scully gave Mulder his next massage. Other than an
occasional grunt of pain, he tolerated it well. In
fact, by the end of the massage, he was snoring
softly. She gave him a quick kiss on the back of his
neck and settled into her usual place in the chair
next to his bed and let her fingers sift through his
Robbie was overjoyed the next day when Mulder and
Scully arrived to spend the next three days with the
Stewart's. He ran past his mom, who was carrying his
baby sister, and threw the front door open wide.
"Mulder!" he exclaimed, jumping up and down. "You
get to sleep in my bed and I get to use the new
sleeping bag that Santa broughted me!"
"Donna, we're really putting you out. Scully and I
can stay at a motel," Mulder protested.
"Nonsense, Agent Mulder. Come on in you two. Now, I
don't want to hear another word about it. You're not
putting us out."
Mulder walked into the house rather stiffly, followed
Donna put the baby in her playpen. "Let me have your
coats. Both of you have a seat. Agent Mulder, you
really look uncomfortable. Would you rather lie
"Thanks, but I'm fine, and please call me Mulder."
"Okay, Mulder. The recliner would probably be the
most comfortable chair for you," Donna decided.
Mulder sat down gingerly in the recliner while Scully
took a seat on the couch.
Robbie leaned against the arm of Mulder's chair.
"We're going to have fun, Mulder. Santa brought me
lots of board games, and we can watch TV and play
games on my Play Station."
"Robbie, Mulder is here to rest, remember?"
"That's all right, Donna. I think I might be able to
play a few games with Robbie. Lying around that
hospital wasn't much fun. I'm ready for a little
enjoyment," Mulder grinned, ruffling Robbie's hair.
"Good! I'll go get the Play Station ready!" Robbie
jumped up and started for his room.
"Whoa! Just a minute, young man!" Donna snagged him
as he rushed by. "Lunch first, then a nap. You know
"But Mommy, Mulder's here," he pleaded.
"Robbie, I'm kind of hungry and I think I'm going to
need a nap too. The doctor says I have to spend most
of the next two days in bed," Mulder explained.
"We'll play something after we both wake up. Okay?"
"Yeah, but we won't sleep long. Right?"
"We'll just see how it goes."
"Robby, why don't you come and help Mommy set the
table? Your daddy will be home from the firehouse
any minute and then we'll eat."
"Okay, Mommy," he agreed.
"Donna, do you need any help?" Scully questioned.
"If you wouldn't mind, could you keep an eye on
Lindsey Anne for a few minutes?"
"Of course, we wouldn't mind," Scully assured her.
"Wonderful. She was just changed and I'll send
Robbie in with some juice for her. That should hold
her while I get lunch ready."
"We'll be fine."
"Come on, Robbie. Let's get to work."
"Well, Mulder. It looks like you're going to be busy
for the next few days," Scully teased after Robbie
and Donna left.
"Hey, I can handle lounging around with Robbie and
his Play Station, Scully," Mulder grinned, putting
the recliner back.
"We'll see how you feel after a few rounds of Candy
Land and Chutes and Ladders," Scully laughed.
"Piece of cake."
Donna called for Scully to help with something in the
kitchen, just as Robbie came out with the baby's
"Mulder, you'd better hold the baby until I get back.
You might have trouble getting to her if I leave her
in the playpen."
"Okay," Mulder agreed, sounding rather unsure of his
"You'll be fine. Just hold her and let her drink her
bottle," Scully directed as she sat Lindsey Anne in
Mulder's face remained impassive, but Scully knew
that it was very close to his panic face.
"I'll be back as quickly as I can," she promised.
"Come on, Robbie. Let's see what your mommy needs."
Mulder and Lindsey Anne eyed each other warily.
Lindsey looked him over, then reached out and
squeezed his nose. She giggled, and then turned her
concentration to her bottle.
Mulder breathed a sigh of relief. "Did I pass
inspection, Miss Lindsey Anne?"
Lindsey Anne looked up at him when she heard her
name. She squeezed his nose again then continued to
make short work of her bottle. After practically
inhaling her juice, she let out a huge burp, causing
Mulder to laugh out loud. She leaned back against
him then let out a contented sigh.
Mulder gave her a big grin. "Nothing to this baby
stuff," he thought. He was quite pleased with
himself until the baby's stomach began to gurgle.
His smile quickly faded as his olfactory senses were
assaulted with one of the foulest odors he had ever
"Lindsey Anne, you didn't," he groaned as he began to
feel something warm on his legs. He managed a quick
look before he began to yell for help.
Scully and Donna both ran into the living room.
"Mulder, what's wrong?" Scully asked, looking them
both over for signs of injury.
"Either Lindsey Anne had an accident, or there's a
toxic waste dump in her diaper," Mulder answered,
barely able to keep from gagging.
Scully looked at the baby more carefully. "Well,
Mulder, I'd say it's a little bit of both," she
laughed, as the brown stain continued to spread
across Mulder's legs.
"Oh, I'm so sorry! She's teething and it upsets her
stomach. Here, let me take her. Robbie, would you
show Mulder where the bathroom is? There are towels
and washcloths over the toilet."
"I'll bring in your bags," Scully volunteered, still
trying to keep from laughing out loud.
"If you'll throw your dirty clothes into the hall
after you change, I'll wash them for you."
"Thank you, Donna."
"Come on, Mulder. You need to take a bath. You
stink," Robbie commented, wrinkling up his nose. He
gave Mulder a wide berth as he showed him to the
By the time Mulder had showered and changed clothes,
Allen had returned. He got up from his chair to
greet Mulder. "Well, Mulder, I was going to welcome
you back to our home, but I hear that Lindsey Anne
gave you a royal welcome," he grinned as he shook
"Is that what that was?"
Robbie came in from the kitchen. "Mulder, you smell
better now. Mommy said to tell you that lunch is
Three days later, Mulder and Scully were once again
driving across the flat land of Kansas.
"Well, I'll have to say that it feels good to be
headed home," Scully proclaimed, never taking her
eyes from the road.
"Yeah, I think Dorothy was right. There's no place
like home. Our turn-off should be coming up pretty
"Well, you survived our return to Oz in one piece,"
Scully pointed out.
"Besides the back injury, what was so bad about it?"
"Well, we could start with the nuclear meltdown in
Lindsey Annes's diaper. Next, we could add the 87
games of Chutes and Ladders that Robbie won, not to
mention the 53 times he beat me at that annoying Toy
Story game on the Play Station."
"But, I thought you were having fun. Every time I
looked in on you two, you both had big smiles on your
"Can't get anything by you can I, Scully?" Mulder
"Looks like you'd learn by now."
"You're right. I did have a big smile on my face.
It was nice to forget about the Bureau for a while
and just hang our with some of my favorite people."
"I hope I'm included in that bunch."
"After that hot and heavy make-out session on the
couch after everyone went to bed last night, you have
"A girl likes to be reassured every now and then."
"Then let me assure you, Agent Scully," Mulder said
as his left arm reached out and came to rest around
her shoulders, "In addition to being number one on my
speed dial, you are number one in my heart."
"I think I like the sound of that," Scully grinned as
she signaled a turn into a large rest area. "How's
your back doing?"
"It's really starting to stiffen up. I could use
another one of your relaxing massages."
"Then we have a decision to make."
"Oh?" Mulder asked.
"We can drive on through to the airport and get home
as quickly as possible, or we can stop here and spend
the night at that really, nice motel down the road."
"And why would we want to do that?"
"I just thought you might want to rest your back,
take advantage of the hot tub by the pool and get a
wonderful massage from yours truly. We're not due at
the office until Monday, and it is only Friday,"
A huge grin spread across Mulder's face. "Keep going
down the road to the motel, Scully. Oz is looking
better all the time."