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Mother Nature Rock&Roll
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Title:  Mother Nature Rock and Roll
                           Author:  Waddles52
                           Spoilers:  Drive
                           Rating:  PG 13
                           Summary:  Written for the MR  
                           "Act of God" challenge for April, 2004.
                           Classification:  MT, MSR
                           Disclaimer:  Property of 1013 and Fox.  No copyright 
                           infringement intended.
                           
                           
                           
                           Mulder had been driving for what seemed like days but 
                           in reality only an hour had passed.  He glanced to 
                           his right where his partner sat, ramrod straight and 
                           staring straight ahead.  To say that Dana Scully was 
                           pissed would be putting it mildly.  He thought of 
                           something to say, just to break the silence but 
                           decided at the last minute just to let it go.  Scully 
                           would speak when she was good and ready.
                           
                           Another hour passed and suddenly Scully turned to 
                           face her partner who was now prepared for the verbal 
                           onslaught he knew was coming.  "Mulder, of all the 
                           dead-end, crazy, hare-brained leads we've chased over 
                           the years, this one takes the cake.  You've brought 
                           us six hours from the closest town of any size for 
                           absolutely nothing.  That man was so drunk I'm 
                           surprised he only saw one flying saucer.  He could 
                           have envisioned 'The War of the Worlds' in 
                           Technicolor and I think you would have believed him."
                           
                           "You're right," Mulder agreed staring at the road 
                           ahead.
                           
                           "Of course, I'm right.  That's it?  No argument?"
                           
                           "No argument.  I admit that I should have checked 
                           that guy out a little more.  I just got caught up in 
                           his story and the chance to get out of that boring 
                           office.  I'm sorry."
                           
                           "Well, Skinner did sign off on it and the scenery is 
                           gorgeous."
                           
                           "We'll be back to civilization in a few hours and I 
                           promise I'll check us into a nice motel and spring 
                           for a decent meal.  In fact, I'll pick up the entire 
                           tab.  Uncle Sam can't afford what I have in mind."  
                           He turned to her and waggled his eyebrows.
                           
                           "And what do you have in mind?"  She countered with a 
                           raised eyebrow of her own.
                           
                           "One room, king-sized bed, hot tub, champagne on ice, 
                           you know, the usual."
                           
                           "I like the way you think but I doubt we'll find 
                           anything that luxurious in the middle of nowhere."
                           
                           "Oh, ye of little faith.  I already made reservations 
                           and we should be there in about five hours."  He 
                           chanced a glance at his partner and was pleased to 
                           note the smile on her face.
                           
                           "Right now I'd settle for a soft drink and a chance 
                           to stretch my legs."  Scully shifted in her seat and 
                           tried to stretch.
                           
                           "I've got a cooler with some drinks in the trunk.  I 
                           forgot all about them.  As soon as this road widens 
                           out a little I'll pull over."
                           
                           "Great!  It is a little narrow through here isn't it?  
                           It almost looks like we're in a canyon."
                           
                           Mulder looked up.  "Yeah, you're right.  Those rock 
                           formations are interesting.  I read that some of them 
                           have been precariously balanced for thousands of 
                           years and haven't budged an inch."
                           
                           "Yes, I've seen similar formations in the Appalachian 
                           Mountains.  It really makes you wonder how they defy 
                           gravity."  The tired and thirsty redhead looked out 
                           the passenger side window.  "Oh, look.  It seems to 
                           be thinning out on my side.  Maybe we'll be able to 
                           stop soon."
                           
                           "Maybe sooner than you think!"  Mulder slammed on the 
                           brakes and Scully jerked her head up in time to see 
                           one boulder after another tumble and bounce down the 
                           steep incline on Mulder's side.  With a sinking 
                           sensation she realized that there was no way to avoid 
                           the rockslide.
                           
                           A medium-sized boulder bounced off the hood as Mulder 
                           struggled to keep the car under control.  He thought 
                           he might have a chance until a whole assembly of 
                           rocks began to make their way down the hillside, 
                           chased by a monster-sized boulder.  Before he could 
                           even shout a warning, he felt the car being pushed to 
                           the side.  He put his right arm out to steady his 
                           partner and thought that he was glad he had purchased 
                           insurance along with the rental.  At least his estate 
                           wouldn't have to pay for a replacement.
                           
                           Taking a deep breath, he squeezed Scully's left hand 
                           and stared at her lovely face.  He wanted it to be 
                           the last thing he saw.  The crunch of metal and 
                           splintering glass was the last thing he heard as 
                           their car was pushed into the rock outcropping on the 
                           right side of the road.
                           
                           Scully choked on the dusty air, trying to manufacture 
                           enough saliva to rid her mouth of the annoying 
                           particles.  Thank goodness the rockslide ended 
                           quickly and she didn't seem to be injured.  Maybe the 
                           car wasn't too badly damaged and she and Mulder could 
                           move the rocks aside and be on their way.
                           
                           All such hopes were dashed when she turned to her 
                           partner and found him mere inches from her.   The 
                           large rocks had crushed the driver's side door, 
                           pushing him onto the console where he was held in 
                           place by his shoulder harness.  With trembling hands 
                           she reached out and touched his face.
                           
                           "Guess those rocks got tired of defying gravity," he 
                           winced.  "You okay?"
                           
                           "Yeah, I think so.  What about you?"
                           
                           "I may have a bruise or two.  Let me undo this 
                           seatbelt and see about getting us out of here."
                           
                           Before Scully could protest, he had the seatbelt 
                           unbuckled and was trying to extricate himself from 
                           the shoulder harness.  It was obvious that he was 
                           injured as he struggled to get the harness over his 
                           head.
                           
                           "Here, let me do that."  Scully had already removed 
                           her own seatbelt.
                           
                           "Thought you'd never ask," he gasped as she brought 
                           the harness carefully over his head.
                           
                           "A bruise or two?"  Scully cocked her eye brow as she 
                           looked him over.
                           
                           "I'm sure you'll find bruises."
                           
                           "And what else?  Where does it hurt?"
                           
                           "Pick any place on my left side.  Ow!  That's a good 
                           place to start!"  Scully had lightly grazed his 
                           shoulder as she struggled to get the seat belt out of 
                           the way.
                           
                           "Sorry."
                           
                           "We need to get out of here.  I think I smell 
                           gasoline," he pointed out.
                           
                           "I think you're right."  Scully looked around  "I 
                           think we'll have to get out through the passenger 
                           side window.  All of the doors appear to be blocked."
                           
                           "After you."  Mulder watched as his petite partner 
                           easily made her way through the window.  "This is 
                           really going to hurt," he thought as he pushed off 
                           with his right arm to work his way over the console 
                           and into the passenger seat.
                           
                           He quickly became aware of the extent of his 
                           injuries.  While he had initially thought that just 
                           his shoulder and ribs were involved, it didn't take 
                           long for him to realize that his left hip and leg had 
                           also sustained some damage.  Despite the pain, he was 
                           able to slide his body over the gearshift and come to 
                           rest in the passenger seat.
                           
                           "Mulder?" Scully questioned when he stopped moving.
                           
                           "Gotta rest . . .maybe a minute or two."  He tried to 
                           hide his pain from her but his body betrayed him as a 
                           groan escaped his lips.
                           
                           "Okay, rest a minute.  I'm going to see if I can get 
                           through to anyone on my cell."  She scrambled up the 
                           rocks to have a better shot at getting a signal.
                           
                           Mulder's head buzzed loudly and for a moment he 
                           thought he might pass out.  Damn, he hurt!  He tried 
                           to slow his breathing and will his pain away.  He 
                           still had to push himself through that window and it 
                           was going to take quite a bit of effort on his part.  
                           Scully's voice brought him back from his ramblings.
                           
                           "Please hurry!" she pleaded loudly.  A chill passed 
                           over her as she ended the conversation.  She had been 
                           informed that help would be forthcoming but it might 
                           take a while.  Severe thunderstorms were popping up 
                           all over the region and as a result all helicopter 
                           flights were grounded until the weather cleared.  The 
                           sun was quickly becoming obscured by an ominous 
                           looking bank of clouds.
                           
                           Scully carefully made her way back to the car where 
                           her partner rested.  His breathing had slowed, but it 
                           was evident that he was in a great deal of pain.  She 
                           glanced toward the sky and then back at the car.  The 
                           smell of gasoline was no longer prominent.  With 
                           threatening weather approaching it might be better to 
                           stay in the car.  "Mulder, we need to talk."
                           
                           She explained the situation.  "So, we have some 
                           decisions to make.  I'm not as concerned about a 
                           potential fire and explosion as I am about the 
                           weather right now."
                           
                           "Could be iffy either way.  Rain would dilute any 
                           gasoline that may have spilled and this car is wedged 
                           in tight.  I think we'd be safer from the wind and 
                           weather here.  On the other hand, a lightning strike 
                           or any spark could cause the car to go boom."
                           
                           "True, so I'll leave it up to you, Mulder."
                           
                           Mulder closed his eyes and tried to take a deep 
                           breath.  "The car . . .let's stay here."
                           
                           "I agree.  I'm going to get the first-aid kit from my 
                           suitcase and I'll be right back."
                           
                           Thunder began to rumble in the distance and the sun 
                           was almost completely covered by the rolling, black 
                           clouds.  Scully quickly located the first-aid kit and 
                           the cooler with the drinks.  Maybe she could use the 
                           ice on some of Mulder's injuries.  Pulling them from 
                           the trunk, she made her way back to the passenger's 
                           window.
                           
                           Mulder hadn't appeared to move an inch.  His eyes 
                           were still closed and his breathing was still rather 
                           fast and shallow.  His eyes quickly opened when 
                           Scully dropped the cooler to the ground with a thump.  
                           She leaned in and began to roll the back window down.
                           
                           "What're you doing?" Mulder inquired, his eyes 
                           squinting through the pain.
                           
                           "Unless you want to move back over, I'll have to 
                           climb in the back to get to the front seat."
                           
                           "Don't feel like moving."
                           
                           "I thought so."  She threw the first-aid kit onto the 
                           driver's seat and set the cooler in the back seat.  
                           Quickly hoisting herself up, she was in the back seat 
                           in no time and a few seconds later she was in the 
                           driver's seat, preparing to examine her partner's 
                           injuries.
                           
                           "Fill me in, partner."  She began to unbutton his 
                           shirt.  "And be truthful.  I know you're hurting and 
                           I need to know where and how much."
                           
                           "'Kay."
                           
                           Scully eased the man's shirt down his left arm.  She 
                           barely managed to contain her surprise when she saw 
                           the deep bruising that had formed in a matter of 
                           minutes.  "Start at the top, okay?"
                           
                           "Mmm, okay.  Shoulder hurts."
                           
                           The FBI agent/doctor began to gently examine him and 
                           stopped when Mulder cried out in pain.  "Your collar 
                           bone is definitely fractured.  Please don't try to 
                           move your arm.  That bone is really unstable." 
                           
                           "Not gonna be  . . . a problem."  He tried to steady 
                           his breathing after the strong waves of pain he'd 
                           just endured.  Before he could protest, his partner 
                           was pressing the area over his lower ribs.  The 
                           ensuing pain robbed him of the little breath he'd 
                           gotten back.  "Scully, stop!  Please!" he managed to 
                           wheeze and then began gasping for breath.
                           
                           "Slow it down, Mulder or you'll start to 
                           hyperventilate."
                           
                           "Trying . . .hurts!"
                           
                           "I know and I'm sorry.  I couldn't feel anything but 
                           I wouldn't rule out a couple of fractured ribs.  How 
                           about your neck and back?  Any pain there?"
                           
                           "No," he grunted, still trying to regain his 
                           composure.
                           
                           "Good.  Any place else hurting?  How about your 
                           stomach?"
                           
                           "Stomach's fine.  Knee and hip . . .pretty sore."  
                           His breathing was beginning to slow down to a more 
                           normal rate although he still couldn't breathe 
                           deeply.
                           
                           "Do you think your hip or leg might be broken?"  
                           Scully was trying to examine his hip through his 
                           jeans.
                           
                           "Hip's just sore . . .leg feels broken."  Mulder 
                           winced as she pressed the area over his hip.  Her 
                           hands moved down his leg and she had to adjust her 
                           position to feel his lower leg.  When the petite M.D. 
                           felt the lump on his left shin he let out a yelp of 
                           pain.
                           
                           "Looks like you might have a fairly serious break 
                           there.  I'll have to find something to splint it."
                           
                           Mulder tried to nod but was stopped by the pain in 
                           his collarbone.  There was a bright flash and an 
                           almost deafening clap of thunder.  "How's the weather 
                           looking?  Can't turn around."
                           
                           "It's not looking good I'm afraid.  It looks like 
                           we're in for a pretty strong thunderstorm.  I can't 
                           seem to find anything close to make a splint.  I'll 
                           have to search some more after the storm passes."
                           
                           "Just stay with me for now."  He began to shiver.  
                           "Cold, damn it, hurts!"
                           
                           "I know.  Just try to keep your breathing slow and 
                           even.  You have some cuts on your face and head.  I'm 
                           going to clean and bandage them now."
                           
                           "Go for it."
                           
                           A gust of wind shook the car.  The agents looked at 
                           each other.  Mulder seemed particularly concerned.
                           
                           "Don't worry.  We're wedged in here so tightly that I 
                           don't think we're going anywhere," Scully pointed 
                           out.  "The sky is really starting to look weird 
                           though."
                           
                           Mulder gritted his teeth against the pain.  "Describe 
                           weird."
                           
                           "Well, the clouds are really rolling and the sky has 
                           this strange, greenish hue."
                           
                           "Damn!  Keep your eyes open.  Looks like we might be 
                           in for some real trouble."
                           
                           "What do you mean?"  Scully took another long look at 
                           the sky.
                           
                           "Maybe a tornado."
                           
                           "And if it is?"
                           
                           "Let's hope this car is wedged in as tightly as we 
                           think it is."  His words were accented by a huge 
                           crash of thunder as huge drops of rain began to 
                           pepper down.
                           
                           "Looks like it's just about here."  Another gust of 
                           wind caused the car to shudder.  Both agents were 
                           startled by a loud crash and then another.  The 
                           already splintered windshield threatened to give way 
                           as golf ball sized hail began to bounce off the car.
                           
                           "Can you see the clouds?" Mulder asked anxiously.
                           
                           "It's hard to tell.  Everything seems to be 
                           swirling."
                           
                           "Scully, get under the dashboard!" Mulder directed.
                           
                           "What?  Are you crazy?"
                           
                           "No!  Just do it!  Curl up into a ball and cover your 
                           head.  Hurry!"
                           
                           "But . . ."
                           
                           "No buts, Scully.  There isn't much time."
                           
                           She began to position her body under the steering 
                           column, an area made even smaller when the boulder 
                           crashed into it.  "Mulder, what about you?  Can you 
                           get under the dash on your side?"
                           
                           "Don't worry . . .putting my seatbelt on."  It took 
                           every ounce of willpower and strength that he 
                           possessed to maneuver the safety harness back over 
                           his shoulder and abdomen and secure it.
                           
                           Mulder wanted to cover his partner's small body with 
                           his own.  It was his stupid lead that had brought 
                           them here and with the full force of the storm upon 
                           them, all he could do was hope and pray that the car 
                           would stand up to whatever Mother Nature decided to 
                           throw at them.
                           
                           Scully had shoved herself under the dashboard as far 
                           as she possibly could.  Always the curious scientist, 
                           she wanted to observe the meteorological turmoil that 
                           was upon them while her heart wanted Mulder beside 
                           her, holding her close to protect her.
                           
                           Though she rarely admitted fear, this situation was 
                           pushing her to the limit of her endurance.  Not only 
                           did she fear for her partner's life, but her own was 
                           in peril as well.
                           
                           Mulder tried to cover his face with his right arm but 
                           it wasn't enough.  He felt the sting of tiny pieces 
                           of glass as the windshield began to collapse under 
                           the weight of baseball sized hailstones.  The 
                           stalwart agent cried out in pain as the changing air 
                           pressure made his eardrums feel like they were 
                           bursting.
                           
                           "Scully," Mulder screamed, hoping he could be heard 
                           above the roar of the wind.  The thunder and 
                           lightning were almost continuous and he could feel 
                           the car straining against its rocky prison.  Fear 
                           that his love would be sucked from the car into the 
                           storm's heart urged him to call again.  Damn the pain 
                           and the dust that threatened to choke the life from 
                           him.  He had to know that she was all right.
                           
                           After what seemed like hours, he felt her small hand 
                           on his left foot.  She gave it a reassuring squeeze 
                           then all went black as the rear window gave way and 
                           he was pelted with glass and debris.  His body 
                           slumped to the left, saving his life as a large tree 
                           limb flew in from the back window and embedded itself 
                           in the hood of the car, coming to rest where his head 
                           had been minutes earlier.
                           
                           Scully held onto Mulder's foot for dear life.  
                           Somehow she felt that as long as she could feel him 
                           they would both be all right.  Minutes later the wind 
                           and hail ceased and the sky became lighter.  Only 
                           then did she allow herself to relax.
                           
                           The small FBI agent pushed herself out from under the 
                           steering column and gasped when she saw the tree limb 
                           occupying Mulder's space.  Fear once again reared its 
                           head as she brushed broken glass aside and forced 
                           herself onto the driver's seat.  After rising to her 
                           knees she opened her eyes.  Tears of joy slid down 
                           her cheeks when she saw that her partner was still in 
                           one piece and breathing.  With a mighty heave she 
                           pushed the limb through the windshield and onto the 
                           hood of the car.
                           
                           Mulder's neck and face were covered with new cuts and 
                           scratches but Scully was encouraged by the steady 
                           rise and fall of his chest.  She combed the glass out 
                           of his hair with her fingers and began to look for 
                           the first-aid kit.  Amazingly, it was right where she 
                           had left it.  She pulled out what she would need and 
                           began to clean the numerous cuts and scratches on his 
                           face.
                           
                           Mulder had been sure that his life was over when he'd 
                           slipped into unconsciousness so he was quite 
                           surprised to feel the sting of the cuts and 
                           antiseptic as he returned to awareness.  "Sc-Scully?"
                           
                           "Shh, you're okay.  The storm's over and you just 
                           have a few more cuts and bruises for me to practice 
                           my skills on."
                           
                           "You're all right?  We're alive?" he asked 
                           incredulously.
                           
                           "Yep, we're just like a Timex watch.  We take a 
                           licking and keep on ticking."
                           
                           "Can't believe we lived through that."
                           
                           "If we hadn't been wedged in here so tightly from the 
                           rockslide, we'd be goners."  She cleaned the last of 
                           his facial wounds and eyed the tree limb on the hood 
                           of the car.  "The twister even delivered your 
                           splint."
                           
                           "Just about took my head off."  Mulder grimaced when 
                           he tried to turn to face her.
                           
                           "Don't try to move, okay?"
                           
                           "No more reminders needed.  Got any painkillers in 
                           that kit?"
                           
                           "Uh-huh, but nothing injectible.  You'll have to 
                           settle for the Vicodin you refused to take when you 
                           sprained your ankle three months ago."
                           
                           "Thought I pitched those."
                           
                           "You did."  Scully shook the brown prescription 
                           bottle.  "I rescued them, all 36 of them."
                           
                           "This is one time I'm glad you went behind my back."
                           
                           "She shook three of them into her hand.  "I don't 
                           normally recommend going against the prescribed 
                           dosage, but in this case I think you need a little 
                           more of the narcotic effect until we can get you on 
                           an IV and pump you full of the good stuff."
                           
                           Scully reached into the back seat and found the 
                           cooler lying on its side still tightly closed.  
                           Grabbing a couple of drinks, she turned back around 
                           to face her partner.  After opening one of the cans 
                           she placed the tablets in Mulder's mouth and held the 
                           drink while he washed them down.  Setting the opened 
                           soft drink on what was left of the dashboard she 
                           opened the other one and slugged down almost all of 
                           it, following it with a rather unlady-like burp.
                           
                           "Why, Scully," Mulder grinned.  "I don't even think I 
                           could top that."
                           
                           "I always won the burping contests at home and later 
                           in my dorm."
                           
                           "Bet you were the life of the party."
                           
                           "Want to hear me belch the alphabet?"
                           
                           "Um, no, I'll take your word for it.  Could I have 
                           another drink please?  Hurts too much to reach for 
                           it."
                           
                           "Oh, sorry.  Sure."
                           
                           Scully was certainly full of surprises and such fun 
                           when she let herself go.  After a few sips, Mulder 
                           had all he could handle.  "We'll have to set up a 
                           contest of our own when my ribs heal."
                           
                           "You're on, partner, but you know you're gonna 
                           loose."
                           
                           "We'll see."
                           
                           "As soon as those Vicodin kick in, I'm going to 
                           splint your leg."
                           
                           "Okay.  What about the weather?  Are we in the clear 
                           now?"  Mulder hated not being able to turn around but 
                           he disliked the pain even slight movement brought to 
                           his shoulder and ribs.  Scully would have to keep him 
                           apprised.
                           
                           After a long look at the sky behind them, Scully 
                           informed him that there were no more threatening 
                           clouds, only the rain that pattered steadily against 
                           the roof of the car.
                           
                           "How long before help arrives?"
                           
                           "The state police dispatcher promised to have a 
                           chopper in the air as soon as the storm passed 
                           through their location, so I'm hoping no longer than 
                           an hour."
                           
                           "Gonna take some manpower to get to this car."
                           
                           "Yes, I'm sure it will take a little work, but 
                           they're prepared for it."  The doctor in her surfaced 
                           again as she felt for his pulse, relieved that it was 
                           strong and steady.  "You're doing all right though.  
                           You're pretty banged up but you don't seem to have 
                           any life threatening injuries."
                           
                           "I'm getting a little woozy from the pain pills.  
                           Time to get that splint on."
                           
                           The next few minutes were the things nightmares were 
                           made of.  Scully found that she needed more room to 
                           maneuver, which meant moving Mulder's seat back.  His 
                           injuries prevented him from moving so she had to do 
                           it herself.  Of course, the seat jerked when it 
                           moved, adding more pain.
                           
                           Mulder tried so hard not to show the overwhelming 
                           torture that movement had caused.  He thought he was 
                           doing an excellent job of hiding it until he felt 
                           Scully wipe his tears away.  "Sorry . . .can't help 
                           it . . . trying not to."
                           
                           "Shh, Mulder, it's okay.  You don't have to hide it 
                           from me.  I'm a doctor and I know what kind of pain 
                           you're in.  Just let it out.  I won't think any less 
                           of you for it."
                           
                           "Love you."
                           
                           "And I feel the same way.  You're a very brave man, 
                           partner."
                           
                           He managed to raise his right hand to capture her 
                           small, left hand.  "Think I'm ready for that splint 
                           now."
                           
                           "Are you sure you don't want to rest a few more 
                           minutes?"
                           
                           "No, let's go for it."
                           
                           After breaking off two suitable lengths of wood from 
                           the tree limb, Scully climbed back into the front 
                           seat.  Grabbing a roll of gauze from the first-aid 
                           kit she took a deep breath and positioned herself to 
                           straighten Mulder's left leg.  As she tugged on his 
                           limb to bring the ends of the bone back into 
                           alignment, she realized that her friend had just 
                           about reached the limit of his endurance.
                           
                           His screams for her to stop made her pause and 
                           consider doing just that.  The part of her that was a 
                           doctor waged a fierce battle with the part of her 
                           that was Mulder's friend and lover.  She cried 
                           herself as she secured the splint with the roll of 
                           gauze.  As soon as she finished Dana Scully was back 
                           at her partner's side, speaking to him softly, trying 
                           to soothe him.
                           
                           Although he was trying his best to ignore the 
                           excruciating waves of pain that riddled his lower, 
                           left leg, Mulder couldn't work through it.  He began 
                           to shiver almost convulsively as his body began to go 
                           into shock.
                           
                           "Mulder, are you still with me?"  Scully was becoming 
                           more anxious as he was unable to respond.  She felt 
                           his pulse and found it so rapid that she had trouble 
                           keeping up with it for a count.  "Come on, now.  Try 
                           to concentrate on my voice.  Let's talk about what 
                           we'll do after we get you patched up.  After those 
                           ribs heal a little I thought we could find an out of 
                           the way cabin with a big front porch.  You could prop 
                           your leg up on the railing and catch up on your 
                           reading, or maybe if it has a phone you could surf 
                           the web for all of those crazy websites you like to 
                           visit."
                           
                           At first Scully's voice seemed far away and barely 
                           audible over his pounding pulse, but his 
                           concentration began to improve when she mentioned 
                           getting away to an isolated cabin.  "What kind of 
                           bed?"
                           
                           His voice was weak and a bit short of breath but his 
                           partner was thrilled to hear it.  A huge grin spread 
                           across her face as she answered, "King-sized, of 
                           course."
                           
                           "Jacuzzi?"
                           
                           "On the back porch.  We can wrap your cast in plastic 
                           to keep it dry."
                           
                           "Fishing?"  A grin managed to form to replace the 
                           painful grimace that had at once covered Mulder's 
                           face.
                           
                           "I don't think you'll have time to fish.  Physical 
                           therapy will take a large portion of the day."
                           
                           "Oh, as in re-hab or Dr. Scully's patented method?"
                           
                           "A little of both, with much more emphasis on Dr. 
                           Scully's methods of exercise and body manipulation.'
                           
                           "Count me in but please pick a warm location without 
                           tornadoes or rockslides."  The injured agent 
                           continued to shiver, though not as violently as 
                           before.
                           
                           "I'll be sure to pick a warm locale."  Scully smiled 
                           again.  "Because clothing will be optional."
                           
                           Mulder's eyes had been drooping but both of them 
                           opened wide at Scully's last declaration.  "You're 
                           not making this up are you?"
                           
                           "No way!  As soon as we get back to civilization and 
                           I know you're stable, I'll get in touch with a travel 
                           agent.  Any suggestions on the location?  I was 
                           thinking maybe the Poconos or the Adirondacks."
                           
                           Mulder thought it over.  "Both of those are still too 
                           close to home.  What about Hawaii?"
                           
                           "Um, that's a possibility, but I'm not sure that the 
                           Scully budget can handle that.  Kersh wiped me out 
                           when I had to pay expenses on the Crimm case," she 
                           sighed.
                           
                           "Bastard," Mulder groaned as he tried to shift in his 
                           seat.  "Don't worry, though.  If you really want to 
                           go to Hawaii, the Scully-Mulder budget can handle it 
                           quite comfortably."
                           
                           "How do you figure that?"  Scully normally kept to a 
                           strict monthly budget and was just beginning to 
                           replenish her savings account after Kersh had 
                           punished her for Mulder's ill-advised involvement in 
                           a case that took him through several states behind 
                           the wheel of a stolen car, and ended at the Pacific 
                           Ocean with a dead passenger.
                           
                           "I sold all of Dad's property and stocks.  We could 
                           go to Hawaii quite comfortably on the monthly 
                           interest alone."
                           
                           Scully's jaw dropped in surprise.  "I had no idea.  
                           Why do you still live in that small apartment and 
                           drive that crappy car?"
                           
                           "For the most part, I use that money to work against 
                           Them."
                           
                           "Is that how you were able to get to Antarctica so 
                           fast?"
                           
                           "Yes."
                           
                           "Mulder, that was a lot of money . . .I'd."
                           
                           "Now, listen to me for a minute.  Skinner was able to 
                           get most of that money refunded and anyway, you're 
                           worth it.  I'd spend every penny of mine and my 
                           father's if it meant having you safe by my side."
                           
                           "Thank you, Mulder."
                           
                           "So, are we on for Hawaii?" Mulder asked hopefully.
                           
                           "Hawaii sounds wonderful."
                           
                           "Good, first class all the way?"
                           
                           "You bet."  Scully smiled broadly.
                           
                           Both of them were startled when Scully's cell phone 
                           chirped.  Mulder was still surprised that she had 
                           been able to get a signal in the middle of nowhere.  
                           
                           She spoke briefly and then turned to him.  "That was 
                           the state police dispatcher.  The chopper is in the 
                           air and will be meeting up with a ground crew near 
                           our location.  It seems there's no place to land the 
                           chopper close by.  It could be another half hour to 
                           forty-five minutes before they reach us."
                           
                           "What about the weather?"
                           
                           "The front has passed us.  We're in the clear."
                           
                           "That's a relief," he sighed.  "Could I have 
                           something else to drink?  All of a sudden I'm really 
                           thirsty."
                           
                           Scully checked his pulse again then noted the beads 
                           of perspiration on his brow and upper lip.  "How are 
                           you doing?" she asked as she held the soft drink 
                           while he drank.
                           
                           "Starting to feel a little shaky."
                           
                           "I thought as much."
                           
                           "Can't get anything by you."
                           
                           "That's so right and you should try and remember 
                           that.  Now, what's different from a few minutes ago?"
                           
                           "Starting to feel nauseous.  Might be the pain meds."
                           
                           "That's a possibility.  Are you having any difficulty 
                           breathing?"
                           
                           "No."
                           
                           "Hang in there, partner.  It won't be as long as it 
                           has been."  Although Scully's smile returned she was 
                           still concerned that she'd missed something.  She 
                           began to go through a mental inventory of symptoms 
                           and what could be causing them.  None of them left 
                           her with a particularly good feeling.  "Just close 
                           your eyes and rest.  I'll be right here with you to 
                           watch your back and make sure the rescue team gets 
                           you out."
                           
                           "Never had any doubts.  Gotta rest, Scully."  His 
                           eyes closed as he lost the battle to stay conscious.
                           
                           Scully checked his pulse and reminded herself that 
                           she needed to put a blood pressure kit in with her 
                           first-aid supplies.  She went over all of his 
                           injuries and symptoms again in her mind and began to 
                           suspect that he might have some internal bleeding, 
                           probably from his spleen.  Hopefully the rescue team 
                           would shave a few minutes from their expected arrival 
                           time.  Mulder needed every minute they could spare.
                           
                           She debated leaving her partner for a few minutes to 
                           go to higher ground to make contact with the state 
                           police dispatcher and urge them to hurry, but she was 
                           afraid to leave his side.  She got her answer when 
                           Mulder groaned loudly and opened his eyes.
                           
                           "Scully?"
                           
                           "I'm still here," she assured him.
                           
                           "Don't leave," Mulder was barely able to get the 
                           words out.
                           
                           "I'm not going anywhere."
                           
                           "Hurts . . .bad.  Need another pill."
                           
                           "Where does it hurt?  Can you show me?"
                           
                           He tried to move his right hand to show her but found 
                           that he was suddenly so weak that his body wouldn't 
                           cooperate.  "Left side . . .under my ribs.  Make it 
                           stop!"
                           
                           "Mulder, listen to me.  You may have internal 
                           injuries.  I'm afraid to give you anything else by 
                           mouth."
                           
                           As if to illustrate her fear, he began to retch, 
                           bringing up the soft drink he'd recently downed all 
                           over the front of his shirt.  "Sorry," he moaned, 
                           observing the mess he'd made.
                           
                           "That's okay.  You couldn't help it.  The rescue crew 
                           will have to cut your clothes off anyway."
                           
                           "Gonna be much longer?"
                           
                           "They should be here any minute."
                           
                           The sound of a helicopter could be heard in the far 
                           distance.  "Do you hear that, Mulder?  The rescue 
                           team is almost here."
                           
                           "They'll give me something for pain?"
                           
                           "Yes, I'm sure they'll give you something to make you 
                           feel more comfortable."
                           
                           Mulder closed his eyes again.  "Come on, partner.  
                           Try to stay awake until they get here."
                           
                           "S'hard.  Hurts . . .so tired."
                           
                           "I know you are but just try to hang on for a few 
                           more minutes."
                           
                           "I'll try.  Promise me."
                           
                           "Promise you what?"
                           
                           "If I can't go, you go anyway . . .Hawaii."
                           
                           Anger flashed in Scully's eyes.  "No, I will not 
                           promise you!  You're going to recover and go with me.  
                           Nothing else is acceptable."
                           
                           "I'll try."
                           
                           "Stop with this 'I'll try' shit!  You will recover.  
                           Do you hear me?"
                           
                           "Loud and clear."
                           
                           "You need to suck it up and hang in there for a few 
                           more minutes."  She paused.  "I can hear them coming 
                           now."
                           
                           Her attention was drawn to a sound on the other side 
                           of the rockslide.  "Agent Scully?  Agent Mulder?  
                           We're going to start clearing these rocks away.  
                           We're sending someone over with supplies to start 
                           treating your injuries.  We'll have you out of there 
                           in no time!"
                           
                           Scully looked back at her partner, best friend and 
                           lover to find that he had slipped back into 
                           unconsciousness.  Fearing the worst her right hand 
                           went to his neck, searching for a pulse.  She sighed 
                           with relief when she found it, weak and somewhat 
                           irregular but there.
                           
                           "Please hurry!  Agent Mulder doesn't have any time to 
                           spare!"
                           
                           XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
                           
                           Mulder sat on the patio of the beach front rental, 
                           his broken leg propped up on another chair on top of 
                           several pillows.  "Scully, are you sure I can't go 
                           parasailing?  We could wrap my cast up in lots of 
                           plastic.  Please," he pleaded.
                           
                           "Fox Mulder, you are certifiable!  You've only been 
                           out of the hospital for ten days.  You have pins in 
                           your collarbone.  Your ribs are still healing and I 
                           just removed the staples from your spleen repair this 
                           morning!"
                           
                           "And your point is?" he asked innocently.
                           
                           "My point is that you are in no condition to do 
                           anything but sit here and soak up some Hawaiian sun.  
                           Besides, I just heard the weather and it looks like a 
                           typhoon is headed this way."
                           
                           "Uh, Scully, as much as I love this house, don't you 
                           think we should be heading inland?"  Apprehension was 
                           evident in his voice.
                           
                           "Relax, I'm way ahead of you on this one.  I've 
                           booked us into a first-class hotel toward the center 
                           of the island.  We've lived through two natural 
                           disasters in the past month and I intend to sit out 
                           the next thing Mother Nature throws at us in comfort.  
                           Come in and change clothes.  The cab will be here 
                           soon."
                           
                           "All right, but can I go parasailing once the typhoon 
                           is over?"
                           
                           Scully shook her head in disbelief.  "No way!  I am 
                           glad about one thing, though."
                           
                           "Oh, what's that?"  Mulder limped over to her and 
                           enclosed her in his arms.
                           
                           "That you're recovering well and you haven't changed 
                           a bit."
                           
                           "Oh?"
                           
                           "Yep, you're my Mulder and I wouldn't change a thing.  
                           Now, hurry and get changed.  The faster we get to the 
                           hotel the quicker we can start the next phase of your 
                           re-hab."
                           
                           "Hmm, that sounds interesting."
                           
                           "Now that your incision is healed we can step up your 
                           program."  She gave him a quick peck on his cheek 
                           which he returned.
                           
                           "I'm all for that," he smiled.  "Guess I'd better 
                           change then so we can get going.  Can't wait to see 
                           what that new program entails."
                           
                           Scully watched as he limped into the house.  "I'll 
                           help you get dressed and fill you in on the details."  
                           She followed him through the door a smile on her face 
                           and a lilt in her step.
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           End