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Blood on the snow (By Waddles52 and truthwebothknow1)
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Joint Winner Best Mulder and Scully story.
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Title:  Blood On The Snow
Author:  Waddles52 and Truthwebothknow1
Summary:  Mulder and Scully must spend Christmas at the office when all vacations are cancelled.
Rating:  PG13
Category:  MT, MSR
Disclaimer:  These characters belong to Chris Carter
and 1013 productions.
Archives:  Written for the MR December Fic Challenge.Please ask afterward.
 
 
 
Scully watched, exhausted, as they took her partner
away.  Swirling dust made a whirlpool in the half-
light as he was lifted free.  Later, she would recall the rescue, the climb over debris and the pain she felt herself, both physically and emotionally.  The
feel of a hand at her back and an arm around her
shoulders guided her along the ground into the frigid
December night, feet crunching on snow now instead of glass and splintered wood.  Not Mulder's hand, her
brain screamed.  Ahead of her she saw his arm slide
limply from under the blanket they'd placed over him,
watching as if outside her own body as blood dripped
from the bandages, dotting the snow, leaving a trail
to the waiting ambulance.
 
 
Hoover Building 9AM, several days earlier.
 
The meeting was dismissed and the F.B.I. agents made their way out of the conference room noiselessly.  AD Skinner felt like he was probably the most hated person in the building at that particular moment.  He was Ebenezer Scrooge and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas all rolled into one miserable excuse for a human being. 
 
Although he was only following orders, he had just announced to the agents under his supervision that all Christmas leave was cancelled, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
 
In the hallway the saddened agents were still in
shock.  Not a word was said as they made their way
back to their offices.
Although Special Agent Fox Mulder really couldn't care less whether he had to work during the holidays, he was extremely upset for his partner.  Christmas was a big deal to Special Agent Dana Scully and her family, and she had already made plans to spend it with her mother, brothers and all of the sister-in-laws and nieces and nephews.  Now, it looked like she'd be lucky to find the time to call them on Christmas Day.
 
Mulder wisely refrained from saying anything to her. 
In this situation it would be best to let her speak
first.  They rode the elevator to their basement
office in silence.  Mulder unlocked the door and
Scully plopped into her chair and sighed loudly. 
 
"I guess I should cancel my flight," she stated,
reaching for her organizer to look up the number. 
"Maybe I can still get a partial refund."
 
"I'm sorry, Scully.  I know how much you look forward to Christmas with your family."
 
"Thanks, Mulder.  It's too bad that terrorists have
no respect for our holidays."  She found the number
of the airline and punched in the numbers angrily.
 
Mulder took his seat behind his desk and tried to
appear busy while she cancelled her plans.  He
wondered what he could do to take some of the sting
out of the situation; however, he was nervous about
broaching the subject.  "Here goes," he thought. 
"The worst she can do is say no."  He took a deep
breath and let it out.
 
"Scully, I know this is a pretty poor substitute, but
I'd like to take you out for a nice meal on Christmas
Day."
 
"Oh, Mulder.  I think it's a wonderful idea.  What
did you have in mind?"
 
"Well, I happen to know that several of the nicer
hotels have an all-day Christmas buffet with turkey,
ham and all the trimmings.  If you like, I can make
reservations for that evening after we get off from
work."
 
"Yes, please do.  I'd love to spend Christmas evening
with you," she managed to smile.
 
"Great!  I'll take care of that now." 
 
Mulder couldn't believe his incredible luck as he
searched for the number of the fanciest hotel in the
city.  He usually sat in front of the TV with a
Hungry Man turkey dinner and a beer, but this year
would be special.  He would be spending it with his
best friend who also happened to be the love of his
life.  Maybe he would even get up the nerve to tell
her how he really felt.
 
The next few days seemed to drag by.  The mood in the Hoover Building was definitely not filled with
Christmas cheer.  Even though the agents brought in
treats, and drank hot chocolate and eggnog, the
overall feeling was one of gloom.  Even the promise
of snow on Christmas Eve didn't cause the normal
excitement.
 
Although Mulder griped and complained around the
other agents, he was actually walking on air.  He had
found the perfect present for Scully a few months
back.  It was a book of poetry about the sea and he
planned to give it to her at dinner on Christmas Day.
At the same time he found the book of poetry in a
small antique shop, he also spotted a small painting
of a seascape.  He couldn't decide whether to give it
to her for Christmas or hold it until her birthday. 
Well, he had two days left to decide.
 
At last, Christmas Day arrived and the agents were
still grumbling.  Despite being on alert and chasing
down hundreds of tips and false leads, not one
terrorist plan had been stopped, or even found for
that matter.  Christmas was ruined for nothing.
Skinner had arranged for his division to be fed that
day.  Even though it wasn't the traditional Christmas
meal, there were trays heaped with cold cuts and
cheese.  Several types of salads were provided along
with Christmas cookies and pumpkin and pecan pie. 
The same agents who had griped and complained about their supervisor all week didn't seem to have a
problem chowing down on the meal he provided. 
 
As a special treat, he had even managed to round up
several large containers of eggnog ice cream, hand
made at an upscale dairy bar in the suburbs.
Although they were tempted, Mulder and Scully just
nibbled on a few of the goodies.  They were both
looking forward to the sumptuous buffet with all the
trimmings.  Their reservations were for 7PM and they intended to leave plenty of room for the more
traditional Christmas fare.
 
Shortly after 4PM, Mulder had just finished another
game of solitaire on his computer.  Scully had been
cleaning out some of the file cabinets and shredding
some of the papers they no longer needed.  When the machine stopped, Mulder heard footsteps on the
stairs.  That was rather unusual, as they were rarely
used.  He listened carefully and heard the sound of
someone running up the stairs.  Someone was
definitely out there.
 
"Scully, stay here.  I'm going to check that out." 
Mulder got up from his desk and unsnapped his holster to provide easy access to his gun.
 
"Mulder," Scully chuckled.  "It's probably some of
the guys from the bullpen horsing around.  They're
just as bored as we are."
 
"Maybe, but I'm going to check it out anyway."
 
"Suit yourself."  She shrugged and reached for
another stack of papers to run through the shredder.
The machine whirred to life once again.  It was so
loud that she didn't hear the sound of Mulder's
hurried footsteps as he burst through the door.  He
pushed her under the desk and she thought she heard him shout, "Bomb!" before the building came crashing down on top of them.
 
The explosion was deafening and Scully was amazed
that she was still alive by the time all of the debris stopped falling.  She expected to find her partner squeezed in beside her under the desk, but she soon realized that he hadn't made it to the safety it had afforded her.
 
She experienced a moment of panic as her brain
processed everything.  Mulder!  She had to find him. 
Dazed and shocked, she began to scan what was left of their office.
 
As the dust began to clear she found him lying a foot
away from her, almost completely buried by debris. 
Only his left leg was visible.  The smell of blood
permeated the dust still swirling through the dim
light.  Since she wasn't hurt badly herself, that
only meant one thing. 
 
Scully crawled out from under the desk wincing as the cuts and bruises on her hands and knees began to make their presence known.  Truth be told, she hurt all over, but there wasn't time to dwell on her minor injuries.  She needed to get to her partner and begin removing the debris that covered him. Choking back dust and tears she started pulling off rubble, one piece at a time.
 
After what seemed like hours, but was probably only a few minutes, she had cleared enough of the wreckage that was once their office away from his head and upper body that she was able to shakily reach out her hand to his neck to feel for a pulse. 
 
The female agent almost collapsed with relief when she felt it, a little fast but strong. There were small cuts and bruises all over his face and the back of his head.  He was lying face down so it was difficult to see all of his injuries at first.
She continued to remove the debris piece by piece
until she had all of the debris off of him.
Mulder was lying with his right arm tucked underneath him, his white dress shirt red in places where the debris had dug into him and broken the skin on his back.  Blood running down his face mixed in with the dust and debris from the ceiling.  Scully continued to evaluate the injuries she could see, taking note of his right ankle, which appeared to be dislocated. 
Her eyes traveled up his body once again and she was horrified to discover a growing pool of blood coming from what appeared to be his right arm.  She was preparing to roll him over when he coughed, then moaned loudly.
 
"Mulder, don't try to move.  You've been badly injured."
 
"Mmm, yeah.  You okay?"  He coughed again, attempting to remove more of the dust from his lungs.  "Damn, that hurts."
 
"Can you tell me where you hurt?"
 
"My head, my entire right side.  Something big hit
me."
 
"I pulled your office chair and your computer monitor
off of you."
 
"That would explain it.  You didn't answer me.  You
okay?" he demanded, breathing heavily. 
 
"Just some bumps and bruises.  Thank you for shoving me under the desk."
 
"Wish I'd had time to join you."
 
"I need to roll you over.  You're bleeding and I need
to see where it's coming from."
 
"My right arm really hurts.  Must've broke it when I
fell."
 
"We'll see when I get you turned over.  Let me do all
of the work.  Don't try to help.  Do you understand?"
 
"Uh-huh."
 
"On three, okay?  One, two, three."  She log rolled
him onto his back, trying to keep his head and neck
steady, aware that she was still shaking herself, all
the time knowing he must be in terrible pain if his
cries of agony were anything to go by.
 
Blood was pouring from a large gash on the right side of his forehead.  Scully's eyes moved down and took
in his blood soaked shirt.  Right below the rolled up
sleeve on his right arm was a sight that made her
gasp.  Mulder's arm was severely broken, one of the
bones protruding from his skin in a compound
fracture.
 
"Oh, shit," he moaned when he saw it, his face
turning a sickly shade of pale.
 
"Hang in there, partner.  I'm going to look around
for something to use as a splint and get you patched
up.  Just lie very still."
 
Scully turned 360 degrees in her search for material
suitable for making a splint.  She finally spied a
couple of old magazines under a pile of near-by
debris.  She quickly pulled them out and folded them
in half so that the back page advertisement was
showing.  Mulder might get a little upset at the
sacrifice of two of his 'Celebrity Skin' monthlies
and she certainly didn't want to stare at a scantily
clad beauty until they were rescued.
 
She took off her jacket and began unbuttoning her
blouse.  Mulder watched her wide-eyed, puzzled as to why she was removing her clothing.  With her blouse off, she put her jacket back on, buttoning it
quickly.  She removed a clean handkerchief from her
right pocket and pressed it against the gash on his
forehead.
 
The doctor, turned F.B.I. agent, began tearing her
blouse into strips.  "Mulder, I'm going to make an
effort to pull that bone back into place, then splint
it.  I don't think I have to tell you that it will hurt like the devil."
 
"Go ahead," he nodded then closed his eyes, taking a
shaky breath.  He knew it was going to hurt like a
son-of-a-bitch and he just hoped that he wouldn't
embarrass himself by screaming too loudly.
 
Taking a deep breath, she pulled on his arm and
maneuvered the bone back into place.  Mulder cried
out in anguish, then thankfully lost consciousness. 
His partner worked quickly to get the arm splinted
before he came to.
 
With that task accomplished, she pulled up his shirt
to examine his chest and abdomen, noting the livid
bruise across his entire right side.  At least one
rib was fractured, maybe more.
While he was still out, she turned her attention to his right ankle.  It slipped back into place easily due to his relaxed state.  Using one of the remaining strips of cloth from her blouse, the doctor tied it around her partner's head to hold the handkerchief in place.
 
When she finished, she allowed herself a moment to
rest and look around their totaled office.  Outside,
sirens were screaming.  She prayed that their rescue
would be a swift one.  Water poured down the side of the wall, mingling with the dust, and she found
herself wondering how safe the rest of the building
was. 
 
Would the rescue workers be able to reach them?
Mulder coughed again and groaned loudly from the pain it caused.  He opened his eyes, immediately searching for Scully.  She took hold of his hand and stroked the part of his head that seemed to be uninjured.
 
"I'm here, Mulder.  You've been unconscious for a few minutes.  I splinted your arm and put your ankle back into place.  You have at least one broken rib so
don't try to move.  Just stay still and calm.  You're
going to be okay.  I can hear the rescue workers
trying to make their way through."
 
Her fingers stroked through his hair, stiff and almost white from the dust. He nodded that he understood, the pain keeping him from speaking for the time being.  He heard the sirens outside and hoped that they would soon be getting out. Clearing his throat, he finally managed to make his voice work. 
 
"What time is it?"
 
"A few minutes after five."
 
"If they hurry we may still make dinner."
 
Scully looked at her partner as if he'd just grown
another head.  "Mulder, the only place you're going
is to the ER.  That arm will require surgery and
you're acting as if it's nothing more than a paper
cut."
 
"Wanted tonight to be special."  Tears of pain and
disappointment began to form in the corner of his
eyes.  Scully felt like crying herself at the sight
of him.  Another trip to the ER at the worst time of
the year, with Mulder in agony, life sucked
sometimes.
 
"I know you did, partner."  She gently wiped his
tears away.  "How about this?  I'll fix us a great
Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings as soon as
you've recovered enough to enjoy it.  We can have our own private Christmas celebration."
 
"Sounds nice.  Thank you."  He listened to the sirens
and the sounds coming from outside the building. 
"Rescue team should be here soon."
 
"Mulder, it might take them a while to get to us."
 
"Don't think it was much of a bomb.  The stairs and
the hallway probably took most of the blast."
 
"It did quite a number on this office too.  The
doorway is blocked.  Did you see who was on the
stairs?"  Scully checked the splint on his arm,
concerned that the wound was still bleeding heavily.
 
"Looked like Joe Melton."
 
"From accounting?" she asked, her surprise quite
evident.
 
"Yeah, don't think he made it though.  He ran back to
check the timer, then tripped on the stairs.  I
didn't stick around to offer my help."
 
"Why would he want to bomb the Hoover Building?"
 
"He was upset about working. No idea other than
that."  Mulder coughed again, grimacing with the
pain.  His grip tightened on Scully's hand.
 
They were both startled by the sound of breaking
glass. 
 
"Agent Mulder!  Agent Scully!  Can you hear me?"  Skinner's concerned voice boomed through the
small window in their office.
 
"Yes, we're here!" Scully shouted.  "Please hurry! 
Agent Mulder is badly injured and needs medical
attention now!"
 
"Agent Scully, listen to me.  The stairway is blocked
and we can't use the elevator until it's been checked
out.  We'll have to get you out through this window. 
It might take a while to get the debris out of the
way.  Can Agent Mulder walk?"
 
"No, he can't.  He's losing a lot of blood from a bad
compound fracture.  Please hurry!"
 
Both agents waited in silence for a few minutes,
wondering when the rescue effort would begin.
Skinner's voice broke the quiet.  "The rescue team is
going to send in a paramedic.  Hang on, okay?  He'll
have to climb over a lot of debris to get to you."
 
Scully sighed and turned her attention back to her
partner.  "Mulder, how're you doing?"
 
"I'm okay."  Scully raised an eyebrow. 
 
"The truth, Mulder."
 
"I'm freezing my ass off since they broke the window.  I've got the mother of all headaches.  My arm hurts like a son-of-a-bitch and I can't take a deep breath without expecting a rib to puncture a lung.  Other than that, I'm fine."
 
Scully chuckled at his list of complaints.  "I'm glad
you're not in bad shape then."
 
"Agent Scully!" a new voice called.
 
"Over here!"
 
"I just needed to get a fix on your location.  I'm on
my way with blankets and medical supplies," the
paramedic called.
 
For the next few minutes he moved objects aside and scrambled over others.  Mulder held onto Scully's hand tightly, the pain from his injuries reaching an
excruciating level.
Suddenly, two blankets landed beside Scully along with a backpack.  She looked up and a uniformed man climbed down from a pile of debris. 
 
"Agent Scully?  I'm John Winston.  Agent Mulder?  How are you doing?"
 
"I'm okay," he grunted through the pain.
 
"Well, since I'm here anyway, why don't you let me
take a look at you?"
 
"Whatever.  Just get us out of here.  We've got
somewhere to go and we're running out of time."
 
The paramedic looked to Scully for some
clarification.
 
"Mulder, settle down.  We're not going anywhere until you get checked out, so why don't you let Mr. Winston do that?"
 
All at once Mulder's defense against the pain
shattered.  "Okay, my arm does hurt a little."
 
"I'll bet it does.  Let's take this from head to toe. 
Agent Scully, AD Skinner informed me of your medical
background.  Why don't you fill me in?"
 
Scully gave him the rundown on Mulder's injuries as
the paramedic took his pulse and blood pressure. 
"Well, Agent Mulder, it looks like your partner did a
kick-ass job of first-aid with little to work with."
He opened his backpack and began pulling out
bandages, IV solution, splints and other medical
supplies that might be of use.
 
"Did you bring any pain medications?"  Scully was
very concerned with the amount of pain her partner
was dealing with.  When he admitted his arm hurt it
signaled that he had just about reached his limit.
 
"Yes, I did and the hospital gave special permission
for you to okay their use.  That's slightly illegal,
but due to the fact that it might take a while to get
you two out of here, we're going to take a chance. 
Now, he has a head wound.  Has he shown any signs of concussion or skull fracture?"
 
"No.  Although he was initially stunned, he never
fully lost consciousness and he's been oriented and
responsive since."
 
"All right, then.  It's your call.  I have morphine,
Demerol or Toradol."
 
"Start an IV, wide-open and we'll go with morphine."
 
"No drugs, Scully."  Mulder had begun to shiver in
earnest from shock and the cold seeping in through
the broken window.  Snow was blowing in onto the
rescue workers who were trying to clear a path.
 
"Mulder, I know you're hurting and I won't allow you
to suffer unnecessarily."
 
"Agent Mulder, I'm going to clean your wounds and put on new bandages.  There's no way around it.  It's going to hurt like hell."
 
Mulder thought it over for a few seconds.  As much as he hated drugs, he realized that this would be one
time to make an exception.  "Okay, just don't knock
me out."
 
"You'll be pretty woozy, but you should be able to
talk to us.  Hang on, now.  I'm going to start that
IV."
 
A loud crash sounded across the room.  "Scully, the
files, are they okay?"  Mulder's panicked voice ate
right to the core of her.
 
Scully stood up on her tiptoes to get a look at that
area of their office.  One of the cabinets is on its
side, but the others are upright.  I think everything's intact."
 
"Can't handle losing them again," he shivered, his
teeth chattering with shock.
 
His partner grabbed one of the blankets and spread it over him.  "Hang in there, Mulder.  He's got the IV
running and he's preparing the morphine."
 
"Scully, you need to check the files.  Have to be
sure everything's okay.  Can't let them get wet. 
Make sure they don't get thrown away.  Move them to a safe area."  His voice disintegrated into a cough.
 
"Mulder, take it easy.  Those files are important to
me too.  I'll make sure they're stored in a safe
place.  Just rest and let us help you."
 
They were startled by the sound of another loud crash followed by the tinkle of breaking glass.
Mulder jumped and tried to sit up.  "Gotta save the
files!  Ahh . . .shit!" 
 
He cried out in pain as Scully helped him ease back down, doing her best to reassure him.
 
"Mulder, those sounds you hear are the rescue team.  They're trying to clear a path through the debris to
get us out.  The files are safe."
 
Scully lovingly caressed her partner's face and
thought back to a time several years back.  He'd
been devastated when a fire destroyed their office. 
Working an untold number of hours, he was eventually able to restore some of the files which were now stored in fireproof cabinets.  She would do anything in her power to insure that his life's work remained safe.  She was afraid that Mulder couldn't survive that much emotional trauma again.
 
"Morphine's on board," Winston announced.
 
"Relax Mulder, everything's under control.  I want
you to think of that Christmas dinner I'm going to
prepare.  I have a present to give you and I think
you'll really enjoy it."
 
"I've got something for you too, something very
special."
 
"Oh, really?  Do I get any hints?" Scully teased.
 
"No, no hints, but I may save one of your gifts for
Valentine's Day instead."  He grinned goofily as the
morphine began to take hold.
 
"That sounds intriguing."
 
"I meant for it to." 
 
John Winston began arranging the items he would need.  He really didn't want to listen in on what was
obviously a very private conversation.  "Agent
Mulder, is the morphine helping?"
 
"Not much.  My arm still hurts like a mother."
 
"I'm sorry.  Agent Scully, do you want me to give him
a little more?"
 
"Yes, I think that might be wise."
 
"Okay, here goes."  He injected it into the IV port
then carefully began removing the bandages from
Mulder's head.  As he began to clean the wound,
Mulder roughly grabbed for Scully's hand, worrying
her fingers as he held on tight.
 
"I know this is really uncomfortable, but if you can
just hang on I should be finished pretty soon."
 
"I'm trying, but it really hurts."  He was gasping
for breath.  Scully squeezed his fingers, the contact
with her the only thing holding him together.
 
"The morphine isn't helping?"
 
"Don't know.  Just hurry," he groaned.  Scully
thought her hand would break from the pressure he was applying.
When he was finished, he took Mulder's blood pressure again and was surprised at the reading. 
 
"It's a little lower than before," he whispered to Scully.  "We need to do something to slow down that bleeding from his arm."
 
"I agree.  It's going to be very painful for him though.  Why don't you start another IV, wide open?"
The paramedic started the additional IV in Mulder's
left leg, barely getting a response as the needle
went in. Winston looked at Mulder who appeared to be sleeping. 
 
 "Agent Mulder, can you hear me?"
 
"Mmm," was the only answer he received.
 
"Looks like that's the best we're going to get as far
as pain relief."
 
"He has a very high tolerance for pain meds." Scully
explained.  "He's not out of it as much as you think."
 
"Then let's take advantage of what we have.  I'm
going to remove your excellent splint and clean the
wound.  I'll bandage it with a pressure dressing and
put on another splint.  I don't think that morphine
will hold him so you need to keep him as calm as
possible.  Okay?"
 
"Yes, we're old hands at this.  Ready when you are." 
Scully took a deep breath to steady herself. 
Mulder's pain was her pain.  Even though she wouldn't feel it physically, his suffering would shake her to her very core.  The realization that she and Mulder were one hit her full force.  Her eyes blurred for a second at that revelation.
 
There had been something between them from the very moment they met, and it had grown stronger as the years passed.  Today, in the rubble of their life's
work, she realized that she was in love with Mulder. 
"What a time for an epiphany," she thought sadly. 
Staring into each other's eyes over Christmas dinner
would have been so much nicer, but as she had found on their very first case together, they couldn't count on anything or anyone but each other.
 
Mulder stirred uncomfortably as the paramedic began to untie the strips of Scully's blouse.  By the time
the wound was exposed the agent was writhing in pain.  Scully held his hand and softly stroked his jaw with the other hand over and over, speaking soothing words of comfort.
By the time the wound had been cleaned, bandaged and splinted again, Mulder was practically out of his mind with excruciating pain.
 
"Let's take a break before we start to work on his
ankle," Scully suggested.
 
"Good idea.  I think we all need to rest for a few
minutes," Winston agreed.  Despite the cold, snowy
air blowing in through the broken window, all three
of them were perspiring heavily.
 
"You finished?" Mulder gasped.
 
"Almost," the man answered.  He wiped his brow on his sleeve and began to arrange the medical supplies in the order they would be needed.  "How're you holding up?"
 
Mulder rolled his eyes in response.
 
"Agent Mulder, you're doing just fine.  Splinting
that ankle should be a piece of cake.  Your partner
already did all the hard work."
 
"She's good."  He turned his tortured eyes to Scully. 
Through the pain, his love and admiration shone
through.  "Couldn't make it without her."
 
"Then we have something in common."  Scully's eyes
showed the same love and admiration.  "Because I
couldn't make it without you either."  His fingers
tightened their grip.
Though neither agent spoke the word 'love', each knew what the other was thinking.  Tears welled up in both their eyes.  Mulder's left hand squeezed Scully's, hand gently.  She returned the gesture.  Each understood it was the equivalent of a first kiss.
 
Mulder's breathing and heart rate slowed considerably as Scully continued to comfort him.  The rescue team seemed to be making progress, inching ever closer. Feeling much more secure, knowing that Scully returned his love, and the fact that the rescue crew was getting closer, he allowed himself to relax.  He was dozing within seconds.
 
The paramedic hadn't missed any of their unspoken
communication.  "Agent Scully, I'm glad you're here
for him.  You really helped him handle the pain."
 
"Mulder has a high pain threshold.  I think he would
have done just as well if I wasn't here."
 
"Having you with him didn't hurt though.  Damn it!" 
He checked the bandage on Mulder's arm and found that the blood had already soaked through despite the pressure wrap.  "The bone must have nicked a blood vessel."
 
Scully nodded in agreement, worry creasing her brow. He stood up and peered over a mound of debris. 
 
"How much longer until we can get him out of here?
 
"Don't know, Win.  We're having to hand a lot of this
junk out through the window to make a path"
 
"Be safe, but hurry it up.  This guy needs to get to
the hospital like yesterday."
 
"Okay, I think there's enough room now to bring
someone else down to help.  We'll get there as fast
as we can.  Hey, Win, the captain wants to know if
you need any more supplies."
 
"Nah, I think we're okay for the time being but we'll
need a backboard and neck brace when we're ready to move him."
 
"All right.  I'll pass that along."
Win turned back to the two F.B.I. agents.  "I'm ready
to splint that ankle now.  Just keep on with what
you've been doing, Agent Scully.  You seem to be good medicine for him,"
 
Mulder's ankle was splinted in record time with only
a few moans and groans.  Scully decided to take his
pulse just to satisfy her curiosity and became quite
concerned when she found it weaker. 
 
 "Can't you get them to hurry it up?"
 
"They've put another man on the detail, but remember, they have to look out for their own safety and ours," the paramedic explained patiently.  "Now, how about helping me clean up all of those little scrapes and cuts?"
 
"Yes, of course."
 
After cutting his shirt off, they cleaned and
disinfected every visible break in Mulder's skin,
periodically stopping to take his pulse and blood
pressure.  Neither was improving.  Scully gently
spread the blanket back over him and covered him with it.
 
"Mmm, Scully?"
 
"Right here partner."
 
"Cold," he shivered.
 
"It's snowing like crazy and very cold outside,"
Scully explained.
 
"You always wanted a window that you could open." 
Mulder's teeth chattered as he spoke.
 
"Well, they say to be careful what you wish for.  I
guess I learned my lesson.  Would you like another
blanket?"
 
"No, you need it."
 
"I'm really not that cold."  Scully spread the other
blanket over him.  "Better?"
 
"Yeah, thanks.  What time is it?"
 
"Almost 7:30."
 
"Guess we missed our dinner.  Ahhh, my arm hurts."
 
"I know it must really be painful, and there will be
other dinners you know."  Scully pasted a smile on
her face, determined not to let him see her worry. 
It was taking too damned long to get them out and his condition was dangerous to say the least.
 
There was some movement behind the paramedic and a new face appeared.  "Hey, Win.  You ready to get out of here?
 
Scully turned to her partner, ready to share the good
news with him.  "Mulder, did you hear?  We're getting out of here!"
His eyes were closed and he gave no indication of hearing her.  "Mulder?"
 
Her hand went to his throat and found his pulse
barely there. 
 
"Win!  I need some help here!"
 
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
 
"One one thousand, two one thousand," chanted Scully, tears running down her cheeks as she pushed hard on Mulder's lifeless chest.
 
The second she'd turned her head to call for help
she'd lost his heartbeat and immediately started CPR, fighting her growing panic while Win breathed his own strong breath into Mulder.
 
One giant fit of coughing later confirmed that miraculously, they had him back.  Scully sent up a silent prayer for her Christmas miracle.  Tears
rolled down her dirt-smudged face as she worked on
autopilot beside Win while they stabilized him.
 
"It's okay, Mulder.  It's okay now," she whispered,
holding on tight to his wrist, feeling the thrill of life affirming pulse beneath her fingers.  She became
aware of the paramedic putting a comforting hand on her arm and she blew out the breath she hadn't
realized she'd been holding.
 
"You did great, Agent Scully.  Now, let's get him out
of here."
 
Getting them all out, Mulder especially, was
precarious at best.  It took five other paramedics
and rescue workers to get him through safely.  They
had strapped him up as best they could and then
hastily transferred him to a backboard once they were clear of the debris field. 
 
It was freezing outside and Scully shivered from the cold and shock. Mulder remained unconscious for the most part except for a lucid moment when an artic blast peeled back the blanket from his body a little.  His eyes opened and immediately sought out Scully who was by his side, tucking the blanket back over him.  He gave her a tight smile, his eyes full of love.
 
"My one in five billion."  He trembled as they lifted
him up and headed hastily toward the waiting
ambulance.  They moved away from the Hoover Building as if in slow motion, or at least it felt that way to Scully.  The doctor in her began to shout that she
must be in shock herself.  If asked about that later,
all she would remember was the blood, Mulder's blood, red on white and glistening in the glare of the
police and ambulance lights.
 
The next minutes were spent in a blur.  The trip
through driving snow to the hospital, the cold feel
of Mulder's limp hand as she held onto it like it was
the only thing grounding her to the planet, the soft
instructions of the paramedic crew as they fought yet another Mulder crisis made time seem as if it was
standing still.  Scully's mind chanted, "Hurry up,
hurry up, hurry up," until the ambulance pulled into
the hospital.
 
Countless cups of bad hospital coffee and the comforting presence of Walter Skinner got her through the next hours.  He never left her side during the six plus hours of emergency vascular and orthopedic surgery that Mulder underwent, getting reports in person from several agents.
 
Joe Melton, from accounting, had constructed a bomb in his apartment from instructions garnered from the
Internet.  Disjointed ramblings in his personal journal recounted harassment from some agents who were determined to bully and run roughshod over the
normally mild-mannered man. 
 
 He thought he could bring the whole building down by planting a bomb at the bottom of the basement steps.  The terrorist alert would hopefully cover his tracks. The bomb was too small to achieve that lofty goal. 
He only succeeded in killing himself and injuring
Mulder, who happened to be one of the few men who had treated him with respect.
 
Exhaustion finally claimed Scully.  She was sound
asleep and covered by a blanket around her shoulders when the doctor came to tell her that Mulder was out of danger and in recovery.  She wept in Skinner's arms, not caring who saw her tears, finally giving way to the untold stress she had held inside while her boss whispered quiet reassurances to her.  He had cheated death yet again.  She could scarcely believe it.
 
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
 
 
Mulder's investigative mind got the distinct
impression that Scully was being secretive as she
pushed his wheelchair up to her apartment door.  He
hadn't wanted to travel home in a wheelchair, but he
acquiesced once she gave him a look that brooked no
challenge.  With a struggle, she had managed to get
the contraption in the elevator.
 
Scully was making a big deal of looking for her keys. 
Mulder was just about to reach into his pocket and
hand over his own when the door was opened by an
overjoyed Frohike, wearing an apron, no less.
 
"Hey, Mulder man, good to see ya, and the lovely
Agent Scully."  Mulder grinned as his height
challenged friend came outside to assist wheeling him in to what Mulder could only describe as the most
romantic setting he had ever laid eyes on. 
 
When he looked up at Scully, she was only able to nod, her eyes full of tears at what Frohike and company had managed to achieve in only a few hours.  It was utterly beautiful.  The tree, the table exquisitely set for two and the candles looked perfect.  Their friends were miracle workers and certainly lived up to their promise.
 
"Scully, it's fantastic!  You did this for us, Fro?"
 
"Yeah, yeah, sure.  You are one lucky son-of-a-bitch,
you know?  You have a wonderful lady there.  She told me about your interrupted plans for a romantic soiree, so the guys and I decided to bring the mountain to Mohammad.  Didn't think you'd want to go cruising with all that bruising, man.  How ya doin'?"
 
"Im . . .I'm good.  Thanks. My bruises kind of blend in with the tree decorations, and as much as I loved the
holiday food in the hospital, I'm . . .what are those
amazing smells coming from the kitchen . . .geez, you
cooked to?"  Scully chuckled behind him, wiping her
tears.
 
"Yup, the food is all ready and just needs to be put
on the table, and I even took the liberty of fetching
the Christmas stocking with Scully's gifts like you
asked me.
 
Mulder looked sheepish as he turned to Scully's
questioning smile.
 
"...Mulder?"
 
"You're not the only one who can make clandestine
phone calls, Scully.  Merry Christmas, a little late. 
I love you."  Scully squealed with delight as Frohike
handed Mulder the gifts to give her.  Then he blushed
as she flung herself into Mulder's embrace.
 
"Uh, this night belongs to the two of you.  I may be
a jackass but I can cook.  Enjoy and have a wonderful, romantic evening.  You lucky dog," he
whispered as an afterthought in Mulder's ear as the
little man made his exit, yelling ho, ho, ho loudly
as he made his way down the hall.
 
"Night Fro and thanks."  They both laughed, hugging
each other.
 
"Scully, I love you so much." Mulder took her hands
and pulled her to him.
 
"You know I love you too, more than you could ever imagine.  Together we will rebuild the X-Files.  We are together in every sense of the word now."  She hugged him again as he blinked back tears. 
 
Somehow the wrecked office seemed less important tonight.  He had all he wanted right here.
 
"I know, but for tonight we have this and there are a
few things I've been longing to tell you.  My heart
can't hold them in anymore."
 
"That's wonderful, Mulder, because I want to hear
them.  I want our truth."
 
"The truth is in here."  His hand closed over hers
and brought it to rest over his heart.
Together they celebrated their Christmas miracle over a wonderful, magical meal, watching the growing love they had
for each other reflect in each other's eyes, listening to the snow fall softly against the window.
 
The End