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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.
                                    
                                    "Oh, really?"
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    down.
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    snow."
                                    
                                    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 
                                    groaned.
                                    
                                    "I had fun," Robbie said.  "I was scared at first, 
                                    but I decided to act brave."
                                    
                                    "You are brave," Scully corrected.  "You weren't 
                                    acting."
                                    
                                    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," 
                                    Allen explained.
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    her.
                                    
                                    "Thanks, Allen.  Robbie, we'll see you later, then,"
                                    Scully promised.
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    a plan?"
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    in.
                                    
                                    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.
                                    
                                    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
                                    
                                    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?"
                                    
                                    "Maybe."
                                    
                                    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 
                                    least.
                                    
                                    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 
                                    the flow.
                                    
                                    "Doctor, why don't you admit him overnight at least?  
                                    I honestly don't think we could wake him up enough to 
                                    move him."
                                    
                                    "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."
                                    
                                    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
                                    
                                    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 
                                    first."
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    his way.
                                    
                                    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," 
                                    Mulder pleaded.
                                    
                                    "I'm going to talk to your doctor about that.  I 
                                    think I can take over the massage part of your 
                                    treatment."
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    touch."
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    hair.
                                    
                                    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
                                    
                                    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 
                                    by Scully.
                                    
                                    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 
                                    down?"
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    the rules."
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    juice.
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    self.
                                    
                                    "You'll be fine.  Just hold her and let her drink her 
                                    bottle," Scully directed as she sat Lindsey Anne in 
                                    Mulder's lap.
                                    
                                    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 
                                    encountered.
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    bathroom.
                                    
                                    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 
                                    Mulder's hand.
                                    
                                    "Is that what that was?"
                                    
                                    Robbie came in from the kitchen.  "Mulder, you smell 
                                    better now.  Mommy said to tell you that lunch is 
                                    ready."
                                    
                                    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
                                    
                                    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 
                                    soon."
                                    
                                    "Well, you survived our return to Oz in one piece," 
                                    Scully pointed out.
                                    
                                    "Barely."
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    faces."
                                    
                                    "Can't get anything by you can I, Scully?" Mulder 
                                    chuckled.
                                    
                                    "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 
                                    to ask?"
                                    
                                    "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," 
                                    Scully coaxed.
                                    
                                    A huge grin spread across Mulder's face.  "Keep going 
                                    down the road to the motel, Scully.  Oz is looking 
                                    better all the time."
                                    
                                    
                                    The End