Summary: When Mulder is injured Scully must care for
him. Add a safe house, the attempted murderer still
on the loose, and a chance to develop their
relationship. Will romance blossom?
Category: MT, MSR
Distribution: Please ask
Feedback: Always welcomed at DASWaddles52@aol.com
Basement Office, Hoover Building
Scully was staring at an untidy pile of cash register
receipts, charge slips and a wide assortment of paper
scraps with various notes and dollar amounts that
Mulder had just dumped in front of her. She gave him
a frosty stare.
"What?" Mulder asked. "You said you needed those
receipts for our expense report. I spent quite a bit
of time making sure I had everything before I gave
them to you."
Scully sighed wearily. "Mulder, did it ever occur to
you to organize them by case number and date?"
"Why would I need to do that? I know the case number
and date for every one of them. All you have to do
is ask." Mulder leaned back in his chair and began
lobbing paper wads at the trash can, missing the
Scully stuck her arm out and caught one in mid-flight
and chucked it in the can.
"Scully scores from three point land and the crowd
goes wild," Mulder said in his best announcer's
Scully gave him an extra frosty stare. "Mulder, I
can't believe you are taking this so lightly. We
just spent the last hour in Skinner's office getting
chewed out for every past transgression and anything
we might even think about doing in the future. This
expense report is due at 9 o'clock sharp tomorrow.
We do not have time to play!"
"You're right, Scully. I'm sorry. Look, it's lunch
time and I'm hungry. I think I'll work much better
if my stomach isn't growling every two minutes. Why
don't I go out and get us something to eat?" Mulder
"Oh, no you don't! I'm not letting you out of my
sight. You'll get sidetracked and I'll end up
staying here all night finishing this report. If
you're going out then I'm going with you. Consider
me your shadow."
"Okay, shadow. The cafeteria is closed due to a
chlorine leak in the dishwasher so the quickest lunch
would probably be the hot dog stand down the street.
Scully turned up her nose.
"I'm just trying to save some time so we can get back
to work on that report. You can get sauerkraut on
your dog so you can get your veggie fix. Okay?"
"All right," Scully agreed. "But you're buying."
They grabbed their coats and were out the door.
"I'm serious, Scully. My apartment building is
really getting wild." Mulder finished his hot dog
and threw the wrapper in the trashcan by the curb.
"Really, Mulder? You're usually the cause of the
wild things that take place there," Scully teased.
"Not last night. I had to break up a domestic
disturbance right outside my door."
"Really? What happened?" Scully finished her meal
and deposited her trash. They began to walk back to
the Hoover building at a slow pace.
"My new neighbors decided to have a knock-down drag-
out right in front of my door. I broke it up before
any real damage was done and escorted the wife back
to her apartment," Mulder explained.
"Did you call the police?"
"It turns out that the husband is a police officer."
"Yeah, right. Real convenient. This morning I went
out to my car only to find a "Denver boot" on it and
a citation for unpaid parking fines on the
windshield," he grumbled.
"Let me guess. You haven't had any parking tickets."
"Bingo! I had to take the Metro in today. You
wouldn't happen to know anyone who could help me get
this fixed?" Mulder asked hopefully.
"Not right off hand. Sorry," she apologized.
"I may have to visit him at the station and tell him
about all of the IRS agents I know."
"That might work," Scully grinned.
They continued to walk slowly. As they approached
the far end of the Hoover Building, their attention
was drawn to a car pulling out from the curb,
squealing its tires as it accelerated.
"D.C. drivers are getting crazier every day," Scully
thought. She noticed a flash from the passenger side
window, then felt herself being pushed to the
She heard two loud cracks at the same time Mulder
Scully pushed herself up and looked around as the car
sped away. Several people were beginning to gather
around a figure lying on the sidewalk.
"Mulder!" she screamed, as she got to her feet an ran
Mulder was curled on his right side, his right hand
gripping his upper, left arm, blood bubbling out
between his fingers.
The spectators parted to let Scully through.
"Someone call 911!" she ordered as she knelt beside
Mulder. She tried to pull his hand away, but that
only caused him to grip even tighter.
"Mulder, let me see."
"Nooo, can't let go," he groaned.
"Mulder, I need to see how bad it is. Just relax,
"Can't. Think it's broken," Mulder gasped as she
began to pry his fingers loose.
Scully could see where the bullet entered. "Mulder,
I need to look for an exit wound."
Very gently she moved his arm. Mulder bit his bottom
lip so hard it began to bleed. She could feel the
bone move as she lifted up his arm. She saw that the
bullet had exited inside his arm, then let out a gasp
of surprise when she saw that it had re-entered his
body through his chest.
She gently laid his arm down and pulled his tie loose
and began unbuttoning his shirt. She saw blood
welling from a small hole in his upper, left side.
"Mulder, are you having any trouble breathing?" she
"Can't tell. Don't think so. Arm hurts so bad,
can't tell," he answered through clenched teeth.
Tears had formed in the corners of his eyes and began
to run slowly down his face. Scully wiped them away
with her left hand, her right hand smoothing the hair
back from his forehead.
"Take it easy, partner." Sirens began to wail in the
distance. "You'll do just about anything to get out
of working on that expense report," she teased.
"Rather be. . . working now."
The sirens became louder and louder and soon an
ambulance screeched to a halt beside the curb,
followed closely by a police cruiser.
Scully moved back to let the emergency workers move
in. She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned
around to see Skinner.
"Agent Scully, what happened?"
"It was a drive-by shooting, sir. It happened so
fast that I didn't get a good look at the car. A
dark sedan, I think. Mulder must have seen the gun
because he pushed me out of the way," Scully
explained, trying to keep an eye on the emergency
"Were they aiming for Mulder or someone else?"
Skinner queried, looking over the crowd that had
"As I said, it happened so fast I couldn't tell."
The EMT's had already cut Mulder's jacket and shirt
away and were turning him to look for another exit
wound. There was none.
"Sir, I will be glad to talk to you later, but right
now I'd like to see how Agent Mulder is doing and
accompany him to the hospital."
"Of course, Agent Scully. I'll see you later at the
hospital." Skinner left her and began talking to one
of the police officers.
Scully walked back over to Mulder. The EMT's were
working feverishly, one establishing an IV in
Mulder's right hand while the other was putting on an
oxygen mask and applying cardiac monitor leads.
"What are his vitals?" Scully asked.
"And you are?" The EMT finished taping the IV line
and turned to Scully.
"I'm his partner. I'm listed as his next-of-kin and
I'm also a medical doctor."
"His pulse is 110," he answered, looking at the
monitor. "Jeff, did you get his BP?"
"Yeah, 100 over 60."
"We're going to transport him to Georgetown," the EMT
informed Scully, gathering up his equipment.
"I'm going with you," Scully insisted.
"Okay, just stay out of the way." He pulled the
stretcher over and the two of them placed Mulder on
it, eliciting a cry of pain as he was moved.
Scully was standing outside of the trauma room,
waiting impatiently for the x-rays to be completed.
As soon as the portable unit was out the door, Scully
was in. She saw that they were preparing to insert a
chest tube. She went directly to Mulder's right side
and took his hand, careful of the IV.
"Mmm," he moaned.
"How are you doing?"
"Hurts. . .bad. Hard to breathe."
"I know, Mulder. The doctors are going to insert a
chest tube. That should make you feel better. Just
hang in there," Scully implored.
"Mr. Mulder?" the doctor asked.
"Just Mulder," he answered.
"Okay, Mulder. Your left lung is giving you some
problems. Probably some blood from the bullet. We
need to put in a chest tube. We're going to give you
some pain medication and numb the area pretty well,
but I won't lie to you. It's going to hurt like
hell. Why don't you keep holding the lovely Dr.
Scully's hand and we'll get this taken care of as
quickly as we can." He nodded to the nurse and she
injected the pain medication into Mulder's IV.
The doctor waited for a few seconds and began to
inject an area in Mulder's upper, left side with the
numbing medication. Mulder's eyes were closed and he
appeared to be sleeping. When the doctor finished
injecting the site, he began to swab it with a
betadine solution. When he completed that task, he
took a scapel from the tray and made a small
Mulder's eyes opened and he moaned loudly. When the
doctor inserted his finger in the incision, Mulder's
eyes opened wide and he screamed in pain.
"Mulder," Scully called. "Mulder. listen to me.
It's almost over. Just a few minutes more and
they'll be finished. You need to lie quietly. The
more you cooperate, the sooner it will be over."
Mulder nodded yes and squeezed Scully's hand so hard
that she knew she would have a bruise.
"We're finished, Mulder," the doctor said as he tied
the tube in place.
The x-ray tech brought in the films and Scully went
over to view them with Mulder's doctor.
"It's pretty much what we thought we'd find. His
humerus is fractured, and will require surgery. The
bullet re-entered his body here," he pointed out to
Scully, "Fractured these two ribs and imbedded itself
in his left clavical. I'm willing to bet there is a
laceration on the lung. We need to go in and take a
look around and repair what we can."
Scully shook her head in agreement.
"Shirley, call for a thoracic surgery and ortho
consult," the doctor ordered.
Scully walked back over to Mulder and took his hand
in hers again. "Feeling better?" she asked.
"Some," he answered. "Still hurts like hell."
"I imagine it does. I'll ask if you can have more
pain medication, but first I want to tell you what is
Mulder nodded yes.
"As you know, the bullet entered your left arm. It
caused a fracture which will require surgery. The
same bullet re-entered your body through your chest.
It traveled upward and fractured two ribs and
probably lacerated your left lung. That's why you
were having trouble breathing. They are calling in a
thoracic surgeon who will explore the area and make
any necessary repairs. The bullet finally stopped at
your collarbone. An orthopaedic surgeon will repair
your arm and your collarbone if necessary." Scully
finished her explanation and smoothed Mulder's hair
"Is that all?" he asked sarcastically.
"I think that's quite enough." Scully turned to the
nurse to ask for more pain medication. As she turned
back she saw Skinner enter the room.
"Agent Mulder, I see you've found another excuse for
avoiding your quarterly expense report," their
supervisor said sternly.
"No, sir. As far as excuses go, this wasn't exactly
what I had in mind," Mulder answered.
The nurse injected more pain medication into his IV,
then hung a unit of blood and began to connect it to
"What happened, Agent Mulder? Was the attack meant
for you?" Skinner inquired.
"I don't know who the target was. I just saw the gun
"Can you think of anyone who might be going after you
"Only the usual suspects," Mulder yawned. "Sorry,
sir. I'm starting to feel really sleepy."
"The nurse just gave him more pain medication,"
"Why don't you rest, Agent Mulder?" Skinner
suggested. "I need to speak to Agent Scully outside.
I'll send her back when we're finished.'
"'Kay," he mumbled, drifting off to sleep.
Scully followed Skinner to the hallway outside of the
Skinner spoke first. "How is he doing, Agent
"All things considered, he's actually doing quite
well. His upper left arm is broken, along with a few
ribs and his collarbone. His left lung is lacerated
and he will require surgery to repair his lung and
arm. Of course, he is in considerable pain, but they
are being pretty generous with the pain medication,"
Scully explained. "Do you have any ideas on who
might be responsible for this?"
"No, I really don't. This is not the consortium's
style. They have much more subtle methods at their
disposal. As far as I know, no one with a grudge
against Mulder has been released from prison or
escaped. I honestly don't know if Mulder was the
target, if someone else was, or if this was
completely random. No one got a good look at the car
or the shooter, so right now we have nothing to go
on. Just to be on the safe side, I'm going to assign
a guard to Mulder. If the attack was meant for him,
the shooter may try again."
"Thank you, sir."
"Keep me informed of Agent Mulder's condition,"
Skinner ordered. "I'll be in my office."
Scully nodded as he headed for the exit.
Georgetown Memorial-Surgical Waiting Area
Scully had just finished her fourth cup of waiting
room coffee. If she had a stomach lining after this
it would be a miracle she thought, and looked at the
doors leading to the OR for what must have been the
thousandth time in the last five hours. Mulder's
thoracic surgeon, Dr. Metz, had already been out to
talk to her. Mulder had done so well during the
surgery to repair his lung that the orthopedic
surgeon had decided to go ahead with his part of the
repair. She thought that they should be wrapping up
soon. Seconds later the door opened and a man in
surgical scrubs came through.
"Mulder family?" the man inquired.
Scully walked toward him. "I'm Mr. Mulder's next-of-
kin. My name is Dana Scully."
"I'm Dr. Sanchez. I just completed the surgery on
Mr. Mulder. We were able to stabilize the bone in
his upper arm with a plate and a few screws. We
removed the bullet from his collarbone. It was
fractured but didn't require extensive repairs.
"All in all everything went well. It will probably be
several months before that arm is back to normal and
the collarbone should heal within four to six weeks.
For the time being we have completely immobilized Mr.
Mulder's arm. I think he will be much more
comfortable that way, considering the many fractures
he has. They will easily be able to reach his chest
tube and surgical incision. He'll be in recovery for
an hour or so, then he'll be moved to an intermediate
care room," the doctor explained thoroughly.
"Thank you, Dr. Sanchez. Could I stay with him in
the recovery room? I'd feel much better if I could
be there when he awakens. There is also a
possibility that another attempt could be made on his
life," Scully stated.
"Well, since you put it that way, I guess it will be
all right. Just try to stay out of the way. Come
Dr. Sanchez took her to the recovery room where
Mulder was the only patient.
"Jeanetta, this is Miss Scully. Miss Scully, this is
Jeanetta Slocum, one of our best recovery nurses.
Jeanetta, I told Miss Scully it would be all right to
stay with Mr. Mulder until he's ready to go to his
room. She has promised to stay out of your way," Dr.
Sanchez made the introductions and left.
"I'm sure you won't be in the way," Jeanetta said as
she brought a chair for Scully. "He's a little gruff
at times but he's one of the best orthopedic surgeons
"Thank you," Scully said as she took the chair.
"Mr. Mulder should be waking up soon. Do you have
any questions about the monitors or the surgery?"
"Actually, Dr. Sanchez was quite thorough when he
talked to me and I'm familiar with the monitors. In
addition to being an F.B.I. agent, I am also a
medical doctor," Scully explained.
"That seems like an odd combination," Jeanetta
remarked as she recorded the readings from the
"Not really. I'm a forensic pathologist. It comes
in pretty handy in our line of work."
Mulder moved his legs and groaned softly.
"It looks like he's waking up," Jeanetta noticed.
"He's awake," Mulder said hoarsely, opening his eyes.
"Hey. How are you feeling?" Scully asked, standing
up and moving to his side.
"Like an elephant sat on my left side." He tried to
move and gave up quickly when the pain overwhelmed
him. "Why can't I move my arm?" he gasped.
"Mulder, take it easy. They immobilized it. You
have so many fractures the doctor thought it would be
more comfortable," Scully explained.
"Mr. Mulder, my name is Jeanetta. I'll be taking
care of you until you go to your room. You have a
patient assist device to administer your pain
medication." She placed a control in his right hand.
"All you have to do is push the button and it will
administer a pre-set amount of medication. You can
use it every eight minutes if you need it. You can't
overdose on it, so use it as often as you need to.
Mulder nodded yes.
"Mulder, use it," Scully directed. "Okay?"
"Okay," he agreed, and pushed the button.
"You should be feeling more comfortable soon,"
Jeanetta promised. "I need to get your temperature,
then I'll leave you alone for a while."
She finished and went off to record it in Mulder's
"How are you feeling now?" Scully inquired.
"Must be getting some pretty good stuff. Feel like
"Why don't you quit fighting it? Just close your
eyes and float on off to sleep."
"Sounds like a good idea." He closed his eyes and
Room 332, Intermediate Care Unit, Georgetown Memorial
Mulder opened his eyes and found that his
surroundings had changed again. "Crap," he thought
as he took inventory of the same tubes, wires and
monitors that he'd had earlier. "This doesn't look
like the ICU, though. Wonder where Scully is?"
He tried to turn his head and found that the pain in
his collarbone prevented that. He heard the door
open and relaxed as he heard the familiar footsteps
approach his bed.
"Oh! You're awake," Scully observed, surprise in her
"You caught me."
Scully set her coffee down on the bedside table. I
thought you would sleep a little longer. How are you
"I've been better. That coffee smells good," he
"Don't let the aroma fool you. It's typical hospital
coffee, and I don't think your stomach is ready for
that yet. How about a nice, refreshing spoonful of
"I guess I'll have to settle for that," he answered,
making a face.
Scully fed him a few ice chips and watched as he
allowed them to melt, then swallowed. "More?"
"Yeah. Feels good."
She gave him more. "How's the pain?"
"The elephant is still sitting on my left side, but I
think I'm getting used to it." He tried to shift in
bed but gasped when the pain hit. "Bad idea."
"Yes, it was. The control for your PAD is on your
right bed rail. Can you reach it?"
Mulder raised his right hand and found the control.
"Yes, I can."
"Then use it. It's there for your comfort." To
emphasize her point, Scully reached over and pushed
"Sculleee," he whined.
"Mulder, efficient pain control is essential for your
recovery. Use it when the pain is bad."
"Yes, doctor. When can I get out of here?"
"You just had over five hours of surgery, Mulder.
You're not going anywhere until the chest tube is out
and you can move a little more easily," Scully
"Wonderful," he griped. "Any news on what the
shooting was all about?"
"At this time it appears that it was totally random.
Skinner has assigned a guard, but if nothing turns up
soon he will probably be re-assigned."
"I agree that it was most likely a random shooting.
It was just my usual luck to be in the way. I'm
really starting to fade out here. Think I'll rest
for a bit." Mulder closed his eyes. "Scully, go
home. I'll be okay."
"I think I'll stay for a while longer."
"Suit yourself." He began to drift off, pleased that
Scully was staying.
Mulder drifted in and out of sleep during the night,
rousing when the nurse came in to check him, and
going back to sleep after a mouthful of ice chips and
another dose of pain medication,
Shortly before dawn, Scully decided to go home for a
quick shower and a change of clothes. Mulder was
sleeping soundly as she told the guard she would
Minutes after Scully left, the guard received a call
relieving him of his duty. He told the nurses good-
bye and walked away quickly, happy to soon be off his
feet. A nurse checked on Mulder once and then
returned to the station to complete her chart notes
before the shift change.
Scully returned, feeling more comfortable and
relieved that it seemed so quiet on the floor. As
she pushed the door to Mulder's room open an alarm
sounded. As the door opened, she saw a man dressed
in the maroon scrubs of the nursing staff holding a
pillow over Mulder's face. Mulder was struggling
weakly, trying to bat the man's hands away with his
As Scully reached for her gun, the man turned from
Mulder and threw the pillow at her, then charged her
and pushed her against the wall as he ran out of the
room. By the time Scully picked herself up, he was
gone and the room began to fill with nursing
The monitor stopped its alarm as Mulder's heartbeat
and breathing began to return to normal. Scully was
quickly at his side.
"Where the hell is the guard?" she demanded as she
observed Mulder closely.
"He was sent home," one of the nurses explained as
she reapplied one of the cardiac monitor leads.
"Mulder, can you hear me? Are you all right?" Scully
asked as she smoothed the hair back from his
"I think I'm okay," he answered, still breathing
"Just take it easy. You're safe now," Scully said in
her most soothing tone.
"What was that about?" Mulder inquired, trying to
slow his breathing as one of the nurses put an oxygen
mask over his mouth and nose.
"I don't know, Mulder, but you can be sure it won't
happen again. Take slow breaths, in and out, in and
out. That's it. Keep slowing it down. You're doing
One of the nurses left to call the doctor, as the
other one stayed behind to continue monitoring
"Stay here," Scully directed her as she left the
room. She grabbed the phone at the nurse's station
and called Skinner. After filling him in she went
back to Mulder.
Mulder was breathing normally once again and the
oxygen mask had been removed. "Well, that was
certainly an interesting start to the day," he said,
"It certainly was. I'm sure it didn't do anything to
help your pain." Scully reached for the PAD and
Mulder grabbed her hand.
"No. I need to be alert."
"I'm here now and Skinner is on his way with more
guards. You can relax. Let me push the button.
There's no sense in suffering if you don't have to."
Mulder moved his hand and allowed Scully to push the
"Did you recognize him?" She asked, sitting down on
the chair beside the bed.
"Are you kidding? The only thing I got a good look
at was the pillow. I could identify it anywhere.
What about you? What did you see?"
"I saw the back of a very large man, maybe 6'2" and
250 pounds. He tossed the pillow at me and pushed me
down on the way out."
"Are you okay?" Mulder asked, concern evident in his
"I'll probably have a few bruises, but no permanent
damage," Scully responded, taking his hand. "I'm
more concerned about you. The doctor should be in
shortly to check you over."
"I think I'm all right. My left side hurts like
hell, but that's nothing new. You saved my ass
again. I couldn't fight him off. A few more minutes
and . . ." Mulder didn't finish. He squeezed
Scully's hand and she squeezed back.
"That's what partners are for,' she smiled and leaned
down to kiss his forehead.
"I don't know what I would do without you." He
reached up and stroked the side of her face.
"Nor I you," Scully agreed, leaning down to brush her
lips lightly against his.
"Scully, if I weren't trussed up like a Christmas
turkey, I'd take you in my arms and show you how much
I can't do without you." Instead he pulled her down
for another brief kiss.
"Can I have a rain check on that offer?" she asked.
"Of course, any time or any place."
"Well, since Skinner is due here any time I think we
should put this conversation on hold." Scully pushed
the button on his PAD again, sending another dose of
painkiller into his IV.
"Scully, if I didn't know better, I'd think you were
trying to dope me up so you could take advantage of
me." He gave her a lopsided grin as he began to feel
the drugs coursing through his system.
"Mulder, somehow I think that I wouldn't need drugs
to bring that about."
Mulder closed his eyes and began to snore softly.
Scully kissed his forehead and straightened his
covers. She took his hand in hers and sat back down
to wait for Skinner.
Scully didn't have long to wait. Within five minutes
Skinner knocked on the door and motioned her outside.
As soon as she was in the hall he began to question
"What the hell happened, Agent Scully?"
"Evidently, the guard got a message to terminate his
assignment. Shortly after, a man dressed in nursing
attire entered Mulder's room and attempted to
suffocate him by placing a pillow over his face,"
Scully explained. "I startled the intruder and he
pushed me over before I could draw my gun."
"Is Mulder okay? What about you? He didn't hurt you
"Mulder was a little shaken up, but seems to be
recovering from that quite well. I'm fine sir.
I'll probably have a few bruises, but nothing
"Did you recognize the intruder?"
"No, sir, and Mulder didn't get a look at him
Skinner crossed his arms. "This doesn't seem to be a
professional job. It's been too sloppy from the very
beginning." He opened the door and looked in on
Mulder who was still sleeping. "Agent Scully, can
Mulder be moved?"
"I wouldn't recommend it until the chest tube is
"When will that be?"
"Well, the bleeding has stopped and there has been
very little drainage since the surgery. I would
think that it could probably be safely removed
sometime today. What are you thinking, sir?" Scully
"A safe house," Skinner replied.
"Mulder is still quite ill. He's in considerable
pain and can't move very well. In addition, he's
still very weak from blood loss, and infection is
always a risk," Scully explained.
"In your opinion could he recover satisfactorily
outside a hospital environment?"
"Yes, sir. He's stable and as long as he has
adequate pain control, hydration and antibiotics he
will probably be all right. Of course, he couldn't
travel far. The safe house would have to be fairly
close and he would need skilled nursing care for a
"Let's talk to his doctor then. If he agrees, I'll
make the arrangements."
"Let me get this straight," Mulder said. "We're
going to pretend that I died from complications due
to the attempt on my life?"
Scully nodded yes.
"You're going to sneak me out of the hospital through
the morgue and take me to a safe house in a hearse?"
"That's right, Mulder."
"Whose brilliant idea was this?"
"It was my brilliant idea, agent," Skinner said as he
entered the room. "Do you have a problem with it?"
"No, sir. I've always wondered what my final journey
would be like. Thank you for giving me that
opportunity," Mulder answered facetiously.
"You're welcome, Mulder. I would suggest that you
prepare yourself for that journey. As soon as the
gurney arrives we'll transfer you to the morgue,"
Skinner informed him.
Skinner went back to the hallway to wait for Mulder's
The door opened and two agents disguised as orderlies
brought in the gurney.
Safe house-Falls Church, Virginia
The hearse quickly deposited its occupants behind the
house and left just as quickly, trying not to draw
attention in the quiet neighborhood. Scully held the
back door open as Skinner helped Mulder up the steps.
He was leaning heavily on Skinner, using what little
strength he had in reserve.
"Damn, Mulder! You're heavier than you look,"
Skinner huffed as they reached the top step.
"Must be all of that good food we eat when we're in
the field," he explained sarcastically.
"Agent Scully, there's a bedroom just on the other
side of the dining room. It should be set up and
ready to go. If you could get the bed ready, I'll
have Agent Mulder there as quickly as I can."
"Yes, sir." Scully moved ahead of them to find the
"Sir, if it's all right with you, could I sit down at
the kitchen table for a few seconds?" Mulder asked,
breathing heavily. "I've got to rest."
"You won't get any arguments from me." Skinner
pulled out a chair and helped Mulder sit.
The short walk up the stairs had just about done
Mulder in. He was beginning to perspire heavily and
could feel nausea rising in his throat. The pain was
about to overwhelm him again and his vision was
beginning to waver.
Scully came back in to see why they had to stop.
"Mulder, what's wrong?"
"Think I need to lie down. Starting to feel sick."
With that he began to heave and Scully grabbed a
nearby trashcan just in time as Mulder began to empty
the contents of his stomach. There wasn't much to
come up, but the dry heaves continued for several
"Shit!" Mulder exclaimed shakily when he was
finished. "I've got to get to bed before I pass
Skinner hauled him up by his good arm and Scully put
an arm around his waist. Together they were able to
get him to the room and sit him on the side of the
Skinner grabbed his legs and swung them around while
Scully supported Mulder's back as they eased him into
a prone position.
"Damn, shit, hell . . .arrgh, it hurts!" he cried out
and began to heave again.
"Mulder, calm down. Remember to take slow, deep
breaths. I'll give you something for the pain and
nausea as soon as I get your IV going again."
Scully quickly got the supplies for the IV together
and attached the tubing to the hep-lock that was left
in place and started the flow. She then prepared
injections of phenergan and morphine and added them
to the solution already running. She smoothed the
hair off his forehead and prayed that the medication
would soon help.
Mulder visibly relaxed as the medication began to
work its magic. His eyelids fluttered, then closed.
Soon he was sleeping soundly.
Scully pulled the covers up and checked the IV pump
to be sure the settings were correct.
"Is he okay?" Skinner asked, not bothering to hide
"I think so. I believe it was just too much exertion
for his weakened condition. I'll check his vitals,
but I think he'll be all right after he sleeps for a
"I'll leave you to it then. I'm going to call and
see when the nurse will be here. You're dead on your
feet. I want you to rest as soon as he gets here,"
"Thank you, sir. I am rather tired."
When Skinner returned from his phone call, Scully was
sitting beside Mulder with her head on the side of
the bed, fast asleep. He closed the door softly and
went back to the kitchen to wait for the nurse.
When Scully awakened she found herself in a nice,
comfortable bed. "How did I get here?" she wondered
as she looked at her watch. "Damn!" She pulled
herself up as she discovered that four and a half
hours had passed. "I've got to check on Mulder."
She made her way down the stairs, trying to figure
out where everything was. She found Mulder's room
and looked in. After she was satisfied that he was
sleeping peacefully, she made her way to the kitchen
where she found Skinner drinking coffee with another
man wearing surgical scrubs.
Skinner looked up. "Agent Scully! I didn't expect
you to awaken so soon. Sit down and let me get you a
cup of coffee."
"Thank you. That would be wonderful."
Skinner rose and went to the counter to pour her a
cup. As Scully sat down he introduced her to the man
seated across from her. "Agent Scully, this is Chris
Smith. He usually works in the infirmary at
Quantico, but I asked him to help us out."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Agent Scully," Chris
said extending his hand. "I've heard many good
things about you."
"Thank you, Mr. Smith," Scully smiled, taking the
coffee from Skinner and shaking Chris' hand. "How is
"Please call me Chris, and Mulder is doing well
considering what he's been through. He's been
sleeping since I arrived."
"Good. He needs the rest." Scully turned to
Skinner. "Sir, how did I get upstairs? I don't
remember walking up there."
"You fell asleep with your head on Mulder's bed. You
were so tired that I couldn't rouse you, so I carried
you upstairs where you would be more comfortable,"
"Thank you, sir; although, that really wasn't
"Agent Scully, you haven't had any sleep in over 24
hours. You won't be any help to Mulder if you
collapse from exhaustion. In fact, you should try to
get some more sleep. Mr. Smith is here to give you a
break. You can stay with Mulder when Mr. Smith
takes a break. That is an order, Agent Scully."
"If you put it that way, I don't guess I have much
choice. I would like to check in on him before I go
back upstairs," Scully stated, taking another swig of
"I think that will be acceptable, but no more than
five minutes. I sent someone to your apartments to
bring back some clothes and toiletries for you and
Mulder. I hope you don't mind.'
"No, sir. A hot bath and a change of clothes would
feel heavenly right about now." She rose from her
chair. "Thank you, sir for being so thoughtful."
"You're welcome, Agent Scully. I'm going back to the
office to see how the investigation is going. When I
return, I expect to see you well-rested."
"I'll try, sir"
"Don't try. Do it," Skinner ordered. He turned and
left through the back door.
Scully started to move towards Mulder's room.
"I'll come with you, Agent Scully. I can show you
the chart I've started and fill you in if you have
any questions," Chris offered.
"That would be nice, Chris. It would also be nice if
you would call me Dana."
When they entered Mulder's room he was beginning to
awaken from his long nap.
"Hey, partner. How are you feeling?" Scully inquired
as Chris handed her Mulder's chart.
"Well, I don't have a pillow over my face, so I guess
I'm feeling pretty lucky." He looked in Chris'
direction, trying to figure out what he was doing
"Mulder, this is Chris Smith, a registered nurse from
the infirmary at Quantico. He's going to help with
your care for a few days until you're stronger,"
Scully informed him.
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Mulder. I must say you're
quite a legend at Quantico."
"Call me Mulder. I guess 'Spooky' Mulder will always
be fodder for some pretty tall tales. Don't believe
everything you hear, especially if it's something
"Mulderrr . . ." Scully groaned.
"I must admit I've heard some unbelievable stories,"
Chris grinned as he put a blood pressure cuff around
Mulder's right arm. "How is the nausea?"
"It's not giving me any trouble at the moment. In
fact, I'm rather thirsty," Mulder replied.
"I think we can probably let you have a little bit of
water. How would you rate your pain on a scale of
one to ten?"
"Mulder, tell him the truth," Scully warned.
Mulder sighed. "Yes, Dr. Scully. I'd rate it around
"Mulder," Scully started.
"All right, all right." He rolled his eyes at her.
"Maybe it's more like an eight. Satisfied?" he asked
"Mulder, you need to be truthful. Your recovery will
move along much faster if the pain is under
Chris finished taking Mulder's vitals and recorded
them quickly. "I'm going to get you some water and
prepare some anti-nausea and pain medication to go in
your IV. I'll be right back."
As soon as Chris left the room, Scully bent over
Mulder and gave him a kiss, which he gladly returned.
"Scully, a few more of those and I'll forget about
"Well, that will have to hold you for a few hours.
Skinner has ordered me to get some more sleep."
"Need any help?"
"Mulder, with you in my bed, I doubt that either one
of us would get any rest," Scully smiled.
"You're probably right, but I wouldn't mind trying."
He tried to shift onto his right side so he could see
her more clearly. "Ahhh, shit!"
"Mulder, if you'll wait until Chris returns, we can
shift you to another position."
"I'm all for trying new positions," he panted, trying
to bring the pain under control.
Even though he was in considerable pain, Scully knew
that he was getting better. His innuendo gland was
functioning again, and quite well too.
Chris came back with a pitcher of water, a cup and a
straw. He set them down on the bedside table.
"Before I go upstairs we need to move Mulder onto his
right side," Scully said.
"Okay. I'm sure you're tired of lying on your back
so long. Ready, Mulder?"
"Just let us do the work," Scully directed. "Don't
try to help."
"Okay, Doc," Mulder agreed.
Between the two of them, the task was accomplished
quickly. Chris poured a cup of water, placed a straw
in it and held it so Mulder could drink.
"Thanks, Chris. That really hit the spot."
"Dana, you need to get back upstairs. Remember AD
Skinner's order," Chris reminded her.
"You're right. Mulder, I'm going upstairs and relax
in a nice, hot bath, then sleep for a few hours.
Chris will stay here and take care of you."
Mulder looked disappointed.
"Mulder, I know you'd rather look at Dana, but AD
Skinner left orders for her to rest. She'll be back
in about four hours. Until then you're stuck with
me. I'm going to give you your medication and you'll
probably sleep for about the same amount of time. As
soon as Dana wakes up, she'll take over while I rest.
Can you live with that?"
"Of course. Scully needs to rest and so do I." He
looked at Scully. "Hear that? Follow Skinner's
orders and rest up."
"Okay, Mulder. I'm on my way. You rest too and
don't give Chris any trouble," Scully agreed. "See
you in about four hours."
"I'll be waiting," Mulder smiled and closed his eyes.
Four and a half hours later, Scully felt rested,
refreshed and ready to tackle anything. When she
entered Mulder's room she was surprised to see Chris
hard at work taking Mulder's temperature and bathing
his face with cool water. He turned as he heard
Scully enter the room.
"Oh, Dana. I'm glad you're up. I was just about to
come and get you."
"What's wrong?" she inquired, moving quickly to
"He's started to spike a fever."
"How high?" She reached out to feel Mulder's
forehead and found that it was quite warm.
"It was 102.8. I've started cooling measures and
have given him a Tylenol suppository."
"It could be a reaction to all of the exertion today,
or he could be losing blood or developing an
infection. I think we need to draw some blood and
get it to the lab," Scully thought out loud.
"I'll do that while you continue to bathe him."
Scully took the washcloth and basin from Chris and
ran the cloth around Mulder's face and neck. Mulder
sensed that she was back and opened his eyes.
"Scully, I'm so cold," he shivered.
"I know, Mulder. You have a little bit of fever,"
she explained symphathetically. "Chris gave you some
Tylenol so you should be feeling better soon. In the
meantime, I get to give my favorite G-man a sponge
"As much as I've dreamed of your hands roaming all
over my body, I'm just a little too cold to enjoy it
right now," he shivered again as Scully pulled the
covers back to bathe his legs.
"Just remember that when your fever breaks and you're
so hot you can't stand it."
Mulder felt something cold on his inner arm, then
gasped as Chris slid the needle in to draw blood.
"Shit! How about giving a guy some warning next
"Sorry, Mulder. I'm kind of in a hurry and I thought
you were so distracted that you wouldn't notice."
Chris finished up and began to label the vials.
"Dana, I've got a courier coming to pick this up. I
put in a stat request and they'll call us with the
results as soon as they're finished.'
"Thank you, Chris," Scully acknowledged as she
continued to bathe Mulder. She finished and reached
for the thermometer and put it in Mulder's ear. The
readout indicated 102. "Well, Mulder, it's coming
down. There may be hope for you yet."
Chris took the basin from Scully. "I'm going to
empty this and fill it with fresh water."
"Scully, could I have my blanket back, and maybe some
sweats or pajama bottoms? I'm freezing," his teeth
chattered as he talked.
"I know you're cold, but we've got to give your body
a chance to cool down. I'll put the sheet over you
until your temperature is closer to normal."
"I guess I'll have to settle for that then."
Chris came back with a fresh basin of water along
with two hypodermics.
"It's time for your pain medication, Mulder," he said
as he handed the water to Scully. "I'm also going to
give you more anti-nausea medication. Between the
two of them you should sleep for a while and maybe
your temperature will be down when you wake up"
"Okay," Mulder sighed. "Maybe I won't feel as cold
if I'm asleep."
Chris emptied the hypodermics into the IV port.
Scully continued to bathe Mulder's face and arm until
he dozed off.
"What was his last blood pressure?" Scully inquired,
sitting down in her usual place by Mulder's bed.
"It was 112 over 68," Chris reported, handing her the
Scully looked it over and handed it back.
"Everything looks fairly normal for a post-op
patient. I'm hoping he's just worn out."
"We should know within a few hours," Chris said as
the doorbell rang. "That must be the courier." He
started for the door.
"Wait!" Scully pulled her gun. "We can't take any
chances. You open the door and I'll cover you."
After a very thorough interrogation, it was
determined that the courier was legitimate. Chris
handed over the blood and they both went back to
"Chris, why don't you take a break? I'll call you if
I need you," Scully offered.
"I think I'll take you up on that. Be sure to call
me if you need me.'
"I will," she promised as he left the room.
Scully sat with Mulder. After a while he began to
become restless and moan from time to time. She took
the aural thermometer and placed it in his ear.
After a few seconds she read the results-100.2. She
breathed a sigh of relief. She noticed that Mulder
was beginning to perspire and had kicked the sheet
away. He groaned loudly and opened his eyes.
"Hot," he sighed, wiping his forehead with his good
"Actually, hot is good. Your fever is breaking. How
about another sponge bath?" Scully suggested.
"Sounds good. Where's Chris?" Mulder queried,
"He's taking a break. Why, would you rather he gave
you the sponge bath?"
"No! It's just that I uh . . ."
"I uh, need to, you know . . ." Mulder squirmed.
"You need to what?" Scully grinned.
"I need to pee!" he exclaimed, clearly embarrassed.
"Mulder, you have a catheter. If you feel like you
need to go, just go right ahead." she laughed.
"It's not funny," he pouted. "I thought they took it
out before we left the hospital. Who put it back
in?" he asked cautiously.
"Relax, Mulder. Chris put it back while we were both
sleeping. Why are you so embarrassed?"
"Scully, although I'd love for you to become very
familiar with that part of my anatomy, that wasn't
the way I had in mind."
"I understand. Now how about that sponge bath and a
"I would like that very much, but how about some
sweats or pajama bottoms instead?"
"Not until the catheter is out."
"Please," he pleaded.
"No, sorry. We need easy access," she said firmly.
Mulder looked like he was going to say something,
then clamped his mouth shut. Scully was quite
surprised that he would pass up a line like that.
"Mulder, are you okay?"
"I'm fine. I just realized that I'm in a no-win
situation at the moment; but be warned, I will
eventually come out on top," he grinned as Scully
picked up a spare pillow and gently swatted him with
"Ow! Take it easy!"
"Sorry. I didn't hit you that hard."
"How about that sponge bath?" He wiped the
perspiration from his forehead again.
"Let me get some fresh water and towels. Don't go
anywhere," Scully directed.
In a few minutes she returned with the supplies.
"Let me get your vitals before we get started." She
took out the blood pressure cuff and stethoscope.
After she had finished and recorded her findings, she
began to bathe Mulder's face and neck.
When she had finished there she pulled his gown down
to his waist and after rinsing the cloth ran it down
his right arm and the chest area that was free of
"Mmm, that feels good. I don't suppose you could
remove some of those bandages?" he asked hopefully.
"It's kind of itchy."
"Sorry. Not for a day or two, and before you ask;
the arm has to remain immobilized."
"I didn't know you were into torture," he teased.
"There are a lot of things you don't know about me,"
she replied, pulling off his gown.
"This is getting interesting," Mulder thought. "I
can't wait to see where she goes next."
To his disappointment, Scully pulled the sheet up
over his legs and folded it discretely over his lap.
She gave him a sly grin and began to bathe his legs,
stopping just a few inches past his knees. She dried
him off and pulled the sheet back down, then grabbed
the clean gown. "Put your arm through."
Mulder complied, disappointment evident on his face.
Scully brought the gown around and tied it in the
back. "I think we'll let Chris take care of the rest
of your sponge bath."
"What's the matter, Scully? Can't trust yourself
around me?" Mulder decided he might as well joke
"Mulder, you know me too well," she answered.
"Besides, we don't want that catheter to irritate
you, and I think there is less of a chance of that
happening if Chris is in charge." She leaned over
and kissed him lightly.
Mulder pulled her in closer and deepened the kiss.
After a few seconds Scully pulled back and smiled
broadly. Mulder smiled too as he pulled her back for
an even longer kiss. After a few seconds more.
Scully broke it off.
"Remember what I said about catheter irritation?' she
"Too late," Mulder grinned.
"If we keep this up you'll need another sponge bath."
"I wouldn't mind," Mulder answered, trying to pull
her close again.
"I'm sure you wouldn't, but we need to keep your
temperature down." She left his hold and began to
gather up the towels and basin. "I'll be back in a
few minutes to take your temperature again. In the
meantime you need to rest.'
In a few minutes she returned, her right hand behind
her back. "Guess what I have for you."
"The way my luck has been running it's probably an
"No, that would be Chris's department anyway," she
laughed. She pulled her arm around to reveal a
plastic cup of strawberry Jello.
Mulder was relieved it was nothing that would
torture him, although it came close. "What, no
"Not this time. How about it? Do you think you can
keep it down?"
"I think so. I'm really feeling weak though. I
might need a little help holding the spoon."
"Poor Mulder. I'll just have to see if I can help.
Let's get your temperature first." She took it. "I
think you're going to live. It's 99.8. Now let's
see how this Jello goes down." She pulled off the
top and proceeded to spoon feed him until he finished
"Thanks, Scully. As much as I detest Jello, you made
"Well, I'm glad I'm good for something."
"Oh, I think we haven't even started to tap into your
She handed him a glass of water. "Drink this and try
to rest for a bit," Scully ordered.
"Okay. I am a little tired." He accepted the water
and took a few sips.
"How's the pain?'
"Good. Let me know if it gets worse. You rest and
I'm going to see if they have the results of your
bloodwork back." She kissed his forehead and waited
until he closed his eyes, then went in search of a
The phone rang before Scully could find it. She
followed the sound of the ring and located it. It
was the lab. Mulder's blood count was close to
normal, with no sign of infection. "Maybe our luck
will begin to change," she thought as she made her
way back to Mulder's room.
Safe House-Falls Church Virginia
"What a difference 24 hours makes," Scully thought as
she entered Mulder's room. Chris had relieved her at
midnight and she had gone straight to bed and slept
until 7:30. After a quick shower she was ready to
take over Mulder's care for the day.
"Hey!" Scully called out her greeting. She was
surprised to see Mulder sitting in a chair beside the
bed. His gown was gone and he was wearing a pair of
gray sweatpants and white socks. His chest was bare,
revealing the many bandages. "Damn!" she thought.
"Even with all of those bandages and a serious case
of bedhead, he is still the sexiest man I've ever
laid eyes on!"
Chris interrupted her thoughts. "Mulder wanted to
surprise you. I took the catheter out after his
sponge bath and helped him dress and get in the
chair. He's been sitting for about five minutes," he
"I am surprised. I wasn't planning on getting you up
"I'll have to admit I'm pretty bushed," Mulder said,
" but it feels so good to be out of that bed."
"I told Mulder if he ate a good breakfast and lunch I
would help him walk to the bathroom this afternoon."
"Well, I guess I'll have to get busy and prepare
something," Scully grinned. "You're going to need
more than Jello if you begin moving around. Do you
think you could handle some scrambled eggs and
"I'm willing to give it a try," Mulder answered as
his stomach began to rumble.
"I guess that makes it unanimous," Chris laughed.
"I'll help him back to bed while you work your magic
in the kitchen."
Fifteen minutes later Scully entered Mulder's room
with two plates of scrambled eggs, toast, orange
juice and a cup of coffee for herself.
"I thought I'd join you," she said as she set the
tray on the bed table. "Chris, I left you a plate in
the kitchen. Don't bother with the dishes. Just eat
and get some rest.'
"Sounds like a plan. I'll see you around 4:30,"
Chris agreed as he left the room.
Mulder had already reached for a slice of toast. He
quickly took a bite, set it down, took a sip of juice
and after putting down the glass grabbed a fork and
tore into the eggs. He was able to finish half of
them before pushing his plate back. "My compliments
to the chef, Scully. It was wonderful, but I'm just
too tired to finish." He shifted uncomfortably on
"I think you did pretty well for your first real meal
in several days. How's the pain?" she inquired,
slipping back into doctor mode. "How would you rate
it on a scale of One to ten?"
"About a six," he answered truthfully.
She flipped through his chart as she finished her
toast. "You're due for some more pain medication."
"It can wait until you're finished with your
"Thank you, Mulder."
He watched her as she daintily ate her eggs and
sipped her juice. "Damn!" he thought. "She even
makes eating breakfast sexy!" He shifted in bed
again, causing a small gasp of pain to escape.
Scully finished her last bite of toast. "I'll get
your pain medication now."
Scully got up and got the vial of medication and a
syringe. She noticed Skinner standing in the
doorway. "Good morning, sir. I was just getting
Mulder his medication," Scully explained.
"You're looking better than the last time I saw you,
Agent Mulder. How are you feeling?"
"Better, I think. I've had some excellent care,"
"How is the investigation going?" Scully asked as she
put the medication in Mulder's IV.
"It's going nowhere. We know there is a threat, but
we haven't been able to turn up anything," Skinner
answered. "I'd like for you to stay here until
Mulder is stronger. Maybe we will make some
progress. We're not going to let this drop."
"Thank you, sir," Mulder said.
"Agent Scully, if you would make a list of any
supplies that you need, I'll make sure that they are
delivered later today."
"Yes, sir. I'll get right on that."
"I'll meet you in the kitchen when I'm ready to
leave," Skinner announced. "I'd like to talk to
Agent Mulder for a few minutes."
He made himself comfortable in the chair. "Is there
anything you'd like that would make your stay here a
"I really can't think of anything, sir. Agent Scully
informed me that there is a pretty extensive video
and DVD collection for when I'm feeling better, and I
really don't have much of an appetite. If I think of
anything I'll let you know," Mulder promised.
"Fair enough, Agent Mulder. In the process of
investigating this case, we found that one of your
neighbors committed suicide."
"Who?" Mulder asked, a surprised look on his face.
"A Mrs. Helena Delgado, in number 45. It seems she
used her husband's spare service weapon to re-arrange
her sinus cavities and brain," Skinner explained.
"When did this happen?"
"The ME estimates the time at mid-morning the day you
were shot. Most tenants were at work, so no one
heard anything. Did you know her?
"Not really. I stopped her husband from beating the
shit out of her the night before she died, but that
was the only contact I had with her. I didn't
realize she was in such bad shape emotionally. Maybe
I could have done something . . ."
"Mulder, stop!" Skinner ordered. "Don't blame
yourself for this. You barely knew her. You
couldn't be expected to know what kind of problems
she had. It sounds like the husband should be
shouldering most of the blame. Just put it out of
your mind and concentrate on recovering."
"Yes, sir. I'll try," Mulder said softly.
"Don't try. Do it!" Skinner rose from the chair.
"You look like you need to rest. I'll see Agent
Scully on my way out and send her back when we're
"Thank you, sir." Mulder closed his eyes.
"Take care, Mulder."
Skinner found Scully in the kitchen. "I think I've
written down everything we need," Scully said,
handing him the list.
Skinner glanced at it and put it in his inside suit
pocket. He proceeded to tell Scully what he and
Mulder had discussed. "I should have known better
than to say anything. He thinks he should have been
able to help her, even though he didn't really know
"Leave it to Mulder to lay a guilt trip on himself.
Thanks for telling me, sir. I'll try to help him
"I'm sure you will, Agent Scully. I'll send those
supplies over later today, and don't let your guard
down. Even though we haven't turned up anything, I
feel that this isn't over," Skinner warned.
"You're right, sir. I'll try to stay alert," Scully
"I'm sure you will."
Skinner left and Scully went back to Mulder's room to
check on him. He was sleeping so she gathered up the
breakfast tray and went back to the kitchen to load
the dishwasher. When she finished straightening the
kitchen she went back to Mulder. He was still
sleeping, but not comfortably. Scully knew that a
nightmare was coming on and decided to wake him
before he started to thrash around and hurt himself.
"Mulder, can you hear me? Wake up."
He slowly opened his eyes. "Scully, what . . .what's
"You were starting to have a bad dream. I didn't
want you to hurt yourself," she explained.
"I was dreaming about Mrs. Delgado."
"Mulder, I want you to stop this. You need to think
of yourself for a change. There was nothing you
could do to help her. Worrying about it won't help
your recovery. Let it go. Please . . .for me?" she
He reached for her and she very carefully enfolded
him in her arms. "Scully, I'll try not to think
about it. I don't want you to worry about me.
"Mulder, I do worry about you. I just want you to
"I am getting better, Scully. Just having you here
makes me better." He held her tighter. "I couldn't
make it from one day to the next without you." He
kissed her forehead.
"And I want to be there for you, Mulder." She kissed
him softly on the lips.
He returned the kiss. "Could you hold me for a bit?"
"Why don't you climb up here with me?" he suggested.
"I think there will be plenty of room if I just scoot
over a little."
He moved over very carefully. Ever so slowly and
gently she eased herself in beside him. After
arranging the IV tubing so it wouldn't become
tangled, she leaned against his right shoulder and
carefully put her right arm around his waist. "Am I
hurting you?" she asked.
"No, Scully. It feels good having you this close,"
he sighed contentedly.
"Try to rest then. I'll be right here."
Mulder closed his eyes and was soon snoring softly.
Mulder was awakened by the sound of Scully's
footsteps. He opened his eyes to find her putting a
tray on the bedtable.
"Hello, sleepyhead. Did you have a good nap?" she
asked, smiling broadly.
"Yes, I did. It must have something to do with the
company I keep. Is it lunchtime already?"
"What's on the menu? I actually feel somewhat
hungry," he proclaimed.
"Don't get too excited. It's just chicken noodle
soup from a can and crackers. I want you to take it
easy on your stomach for the rest of the day. After
Skinner sends the supplies, I should be able to fix
something more substantial tomorrow. Do you need any
"I don't know. I'm kind of off-balance with my arm
unable to move," he hinted.
"Then I'll help you. I don't think you want a lapful
of noodles," she laughed.
"You're right. Feed me woman," he teased.
"If you keep that up you will have a lapful of
noodles," Scully threatened.
"All right," he sighed. "I'll be good."
With Scully's help, Mulder made quick work of the
soup and crackers.
"Wow! I'm impressed. Would you like seconds?"
"No. That filled me up. Thank you. Uh, Scully, is
there any way I could take that walk to the bathroom
a little early?"
"No," Scully decided. "I really think we should wait
for Chris, just in case you need help."
"Please," he begged.
"Sorry. Here." She handed him a urinal. "Use that
while I take the tray to the kitchen. I'll empty it
when I get back."
"But, I only have one hand."
"I think you can handle it, big boy." She patted him
on the head and grabbed the tray. "I'll see you in a
When Scully returned she was in doctor mode. She
took Mulder's vitals, asked him to rate his pain, and
checked his incisions.'
"We'll probably change the bandages this afternoon,
then get you up for your walk and let you sit for a
while. How does that sound?" she asked.
"I think I can live with that," he answered, shifting
to find a more comfortable position, wincing as he
"Mulder, let me help you move onto your side," Scully
"I think I'll take you up on that. I've got a cramp
in my back and my butt is going numb," he explained.
"Poor Mulder." She helped him maneuver onto his
right side. "Better?"
"Let me get your pain medication then I'll give you a
Scully put the medication into his IV and began to
gently rub his back.
"Mmm, don't stop. Feels good."
She continued to massage the kinks out of his back as
the medication took hold. Soon Mulder was sleeping
soundly, a smile on his face.
Scully sat down in the chair by his bed and took his
hand and intertwined her fingers with his. After a
few minutes she leaned her head against the bed and
was soon sleeping too.
At 4:15 Chris entered Mulder's room and found that
Mulder and Scully were still holding hands and still
snoozing. As he walked across the room to take a
look at Mulder's chart, his patient groaned and
opened his eyes.
Mulder moved his hand and Scully straightened up and
opened her eyes. She yawned, looked around and
"Sleeping on the job, Agent Scully?" he teased.
"You caught me. I've probably slept so much that I
won't be able to sleep later. Chris, if you don't
mind, after you help me change Mulder's bandages and
walk him to the bathroom, I'll stay with him through
"Sure. I'll rustle us up something to eat later on
and then check out that video collection and big
screen TV until around 11. Is that agreeable?"
"Yes. Mulder has done quite well today. His vitals
have been good and his appetite is returning," Scully
"That's me, your star patient," Mulder beamed.
"Chris, while I'm washing my hands could you take
Mulder's vitals and gather up the supplies we'll
Several hours later Mulder and Scully were enjoying a
dinner of vegetable soup, crackers and applesauce
while Chris put away the supplies that had just
"You know, Mulder, you're doing so well that we'll
probably remove the IV tomorrow morning," Scully told
"I wouldn't be upset if you removed it tonight."
"Not so fast. You still have another dose of
antibiotics later on, and the IV pain meds will help
you sleep better. Tomorrow will be soon enough."
"It was worth a try," he said.
"I wouldn't expect anything less, Mulder."
The next morning Scully was finishing up breakfast
when Chris came in.
"Good morning, Chris," Scully greeted him.
"And a good morning to you too, Dana. Mulder had a
very good night. I've already removed the IV and we
have a surprise for you."
"Morning, Scully," Mulder grinned as he walked slowly
and carefully into the kitchen.
"Well, this is quite a surprise. Sit down Mulder and
I'll pour you a cup of coffee."
Chris helped Mulder into the nearest chair while
Scully brought him his coffee.
"Is this the real thing?" Mulder asked.
"Yes, Mulder. I thought we'd celebrate your return
to a regular diet."
"Wow, caffeine. Be still my heart," he joked.
"I've got some eggs, bacon and biscuits to go along
with it," Scully informed him.
"Bring it on."
Mulder continued to gain strength during the day and
by lunchtime was able to roll out of bed without any
help. Scully talked to Skinner and they agreed that
Chris was no longer needed. Skinner promised to stop
by in the evening and update them on the
investigation and make plans for the next few days.
After dinner Scully helped Mulder get situated on the
couch in the living room. "Comfy?" she asked as she
placed a pillow behind his back.
"No. Something's missing," he pouted.
"What did I forget?"
"I won't be totally comfortable until you're snuggled
up next to me," he answered, patting the space beside
"Let me find us a movie to watch first. Any
"No, I'll let you choose. Nothing too girlie,
"You mean I can't watch "Titanic" again?"
Mulder rolled his eyes upward. The finally settled
on 'Dr. Dolittle', of all things. Scully started the
movie and was on her way to the couch when the wail
of sirens caught her attention. She turned to look
out the window.
"What's going on?" Mulder inquired as the sirens
Scully looked out and saw several fire engines rush
by. They came to a stop just down the street.
"It looks like a trash fire," Scully reported.
"I guess they can handle it, then," Mulder commented.
"I hope so. It looks like they have quite a few
onlookers to contend with."
"They'll be all right. Come on. The movie's
Scully turned around and saw a man standing in the
doorway leading from the hall. It was the man who
had tried to kill Mulder in his hospital room. She
made a move to reach for her weapon.
"I wouldn't do that, little lady," he warned, showing
her his gun.
Scully put her hands by her side as Mulder slowly
"Delgado!" he exclaimed.
"Evening, Agent Mulder," he sneered.
Suddenly it all made sense to Mulder. "Your wife
didn't commit suicide. You killed her!"
"That's going to be hard to prove. You're the only
one who knew about that little argument and you're
going to be out of the picture pretty soon. All
right, little lady. Raise your hands and turn
"Now, back up over here to me," Delgado ordered. As
soon as she was close enough, he pulled her gun from
the holster, pushed her over to the couch and sat her
"Scully!" Mulder exclaimed, trying to stand up.
Delgado pushed him down, sending waves of pain
through his left side.
"Leave him alone!" Scully screamed.
"I'm okay, Scully," he gasped.
"Not for long, fed. You guys are always sticking
your noses where they don't belong. This time you're
going to pay."
"It won't work, Delgado. They'll figure it out,"
Mulder told him, still breathing heavily, trying to
get the pain under control.
"You feds aren't as smart as you think you are. I'm
the grieving husband. I'm the last person they'll
"You're not smart enough to pull this off," Mulder
badgered him. "Your diversion won't be enough to
keep the guards occupied for long. They're probably
already on their way back and they'll check on us
"Shut-up!" Delgado screamed and clipped Mulder on the
temple with his gun. Mulder fell over on his right
"Stop it!" Scully screamed as she brought her feet up
and shoved them into his stomach.
Delgado fell backward, but didn't lose his grip on
the gun. He brought it up and pointed it at Scully.
His finger tightened on the trigger.
"No!" Mulder yelled, his scream punctuated by the
sound of a gunshot.
Delgado looked down at his chest, surprise on his
face as he saw the rapidly spreading crimson stain on
his shirt. He fell back to the floor, then was
Scully whirled around to see Skinner in the doorway,
his gun still pointed at Delgado.
"Agents, are you all right?"
"Mulder!" Scully exclaimed, moving over to kneel by
"I'm okay, Scully," he assured her as she helped him
"Are you sure? You've got a pretty big lump on your
"Nothing that an ice pack won't help."
Skinner knelt down beside Delgado and checked his
pulse. There was none. "I presume this is Harlan
"Yes, sir. I told him you would figure it out,"
Mulder said, trying to move away from Scully's
"Yes, Mulder. It seems that you weren't the only
witness to their altercation. Their next-door
neighbor also witnessed it through her peephole, and
the next morning heard him threaten to kill his
"What took Mrs. Greene so long to come forward?
usually right in the middle of everything."
"She went to visit her sister and just returned this
afternoon. As soon as she heard about Mrs. Delgado
she contacted the police. When she told them about
your involvement it all fell into place and a warrant
was issued for his arrest. I came here to fill you
in. You're lucky I didn't stop for dinner along the
way," Skinner explained.
"I'll be glad to fix you something as soon as we get
this cleared up," Scully offered.
"I may take you up on that, Agent Scully. Why don't
you check out Agent Mulder to be sure he's okay, and
I'll call the police and see about getting this mess
cleaned up." He turned to look at the TV where the
movie was still playing. "Dr. Dolittle?" he
"We thought some comic relief would be nice," Mulder
grinned. "Ouch! That hurt!"
"Come on, Mulder. Let's get some ice on that and get
you a pain pill," Scully said, helping him up.
"Sounds like a plan, Dr. Scully. Lead on."
By the time everyone had been questioned, crime scene
photos taken, evidence gathered and the body removed,
it was well after midnight. Mulder was resting while
Scully fixed Skinner a sandwich.
"That hit the spot, Agent Scully. Thank you,"
Skinner acknowledged as he rose from the table.
"I've got to go to the police station and give a
formal statement. The outside guards have been
released and I will be talking to them later today
about the proper way to guard a safe-house."
"That might be appropriate, sir," Scully agreed.
"I've been thinking," Skinner started.
"This place is well-supplied and very comfortable.
Why don't you and Mulder stay here for a few more
"I don't know sir. I'll have to see how Mulder feels
"See how I feel about what?" Mulder asked, slowly
making his way into the kitchen.
"AD Skinner has offered us the use of this house for
a few more days. I didn't want to give him an answer
until I checked with you," Scully explained.
"It's fine with me. It's a lot more spacious than my
apartment. It'll be much easier to maneuver around.
Besides, we didn't get to watch our movie."
"It's all right with me," Scully agreed. "We may as
well stay here until Mulder's first check-up."
"Fine. I'll send over a car for your use, just in
case you need some transportation. You can call me
when you're ready to leave."
"Thank you, sir."
"Don't mention it, Agent Mulder. I'm just glad
you're on the mend and didn't suffer a serious
setback due to the guard's fascination with fire."
Skinner opened the back door to leave. "Agent
Scully, I'll see you in my office to talk about re-
assignment during Mulder's recuperation as soon as
"Well, that was quite a surprise," Mulder stated.
"I agree. How are you feeling?" Scully inquired as
she began to clean up the kitchen.
"A little more beat up, but nothing I can't handle."
He walked over to Scully and put his right arm around
her waist. "Why don't you leave that until later?"
"Fine, Mulder. I am a little tired. I think I'll
call it a night." She put the dishcloth down and
turned to face him.
"Scully, did you know that there is another bedroom
downstairs?" Mulder asked, kissing her on her
"Yes, I did, although I really haven't checked it
out," she answered, kissing him on his left cheek.
"Well, I did while you were talking to Skinner. It
must be the master bedroom. It has a king-sized bed,
an entertainment center and the bath is huge. It
even has a Jacuzzi," he told her and then kissed her
softly on the lips.
"Oh, really?" She returned his kiss. "You can't get
your incisions wet, you know," Scully informed him as
she gave him another kiss, lingering just a bit
"I know. I'm not ready to give up my sponge baths
just yet." He kissed her again, much longer and
deeper than the first. "I just thought you might
like to relax in it. I could sit beside you and
massage your back, maybe read to you or feed you some
of those strawberries I saw in the fridge." He
leaned in to kiss her again and Scully came to him
"I think I would like that," she said after they
broke the kiss. "Do you think you would be
comfortable sleeping in a regular bed?"
"As long as you're there I'll be fine," he assured
Scully began to place little kisses on the right side
of his neck and then moved up to his mouth once
again. She kissed him passionately and then put her
hand on the back of his neck and carefully pulled him
forward. "Why don't I give you another sponge bath
before we go to bed? I need to check your injuries
again, and I'm a little concerned that there might
still be some irritation from the catheter."
"Oh, I can guarantee you that there is a lot of
Scully put her left arm around his waist and began to
guide him toward the bedroom. "I think I want to
cash in on that raincheck."