Mulder knocked at her door, yeah he probably should have called first but it wasnít that far out of his way and he wanted her to see the fax heíd received after she left the office.

"Scully, sorry for dropping by but. . . " It took that long to register what she was wearing. Too dressed up for a normal evening at home. Softer than what she wore around him, so she must have company. Who?

"Billís in town, Mulder." Sheíd seen the curiosity flare in his eyes when heíd processed her outfit. Jealousy too, though neither of them would ever admit it, even to themselves.

He looked up away from her face when he heard Bill return from the kitchen. Billís expression was carefully neutral, though inside he was seething that this jerk would just drop by and expect her to be here for him.

"We were just getting ready to go to dinner, Mulder. Want to join us?" The tension level in the room jumped dramatically at that question.

"Thanks, Scully, but I wouldnít want to intrude. I didnít realize you were in town, Bill."

"Just flew in today and wanted to spend some time with my only sister."

Scullyís heart sank, and Mulderís face lost all expression. Bill was never going to give Mulder a chance, but to go out of his way to deliberately hurt him. . . She put her hand on Mulderís arm. He looked down at her hand on him then into her eyes and slightly shook his head.

"Can I see you for just a minute, Scully?"

"Sure." He started for the kitchen and stopped, because her bracelet was caught on his coat. He looked down again, she wasnít wearing a bracelet. He shook his head and stepped into her kitchen. She followed.

"I wouldnít have just shown up if Iíd known you had company, Scully."

"I didnít know he was in town until I got home. Iím sorry for. . ."

"Itís okay, Scully. Weíre not bound at the hip. Iím sure you two have plenty to talk about and I should let you have the time with your family. This isnít that important."

"What are you going to do tonight?"

"How do you know Iím not late picking up my date?" He tried to grin, it almost worked.

She rolled her eyes at him. "Mulder, leave the file here. Iíll look it over later, after dinner." He couldnít hide the relief in his eyes quite fast enough, she wasnít angry that heíd dropped by and interrupted her family time.

"Well, if youíre sure." He stepped back into the room and laid the file on the coffee table. "Have fun. Iíll see you tomorrow. Good to see you Bill." He managed to say, then couldnít get out fast enough. Scully took a tight hold on her temper; she didnít spend much time with Bill and should try to enjoy his company. Of course when he acted like a total jackass. . .

She gathered up her bag and coat and Bill shut the door as they made their way to the car.

The waiter had served their drinks, but not yet taken their dinner order when her cell phone trilled. Mulder, she immediately thought. She should have been expecting this.

She smiled her apology at Bill as he scowled and pulled the phone from her purse. "Scully."

"Dana, this is AD Skinner."

"Sir?" She automatically sat up a little straighter in her seat. Her eyes already looking worried as she glanced over at Bill.

"Thereís been an accident."

"Mulder?" It was more whisper than word.

"Yes. He was in a traffic accident."

"Where have they taken him?" At her words, Bill was downing his drink, preparing once again to be abandoned because of this moron she seemed bound to. She hadnít been like this with other men, at least not that heíd ever seen. This warped bastard seemed to possess her and she allowed it. Couldnít she see he was the worst possible choice for a long-term relationship? The asshole had their mother fooled too. Neither of these usually very bright women would listen to him. What the hell bound her to someone as weird as him?

"They, um, they havenít been able to extract him from the vehicle yet." Skinner responded carefully.

"Oh my god! Where, where is he?" She wrote the directions down quickly. "Are you there?" She gave him instructions to pass on to the paramedics and had him repeat them to her.

"Okay, Iíll handle this until you get here. And Scully, you be careful."

"Yes sir." She was halfway across the restaurant already, Bill hurrying to catch her.

He took her arm to try to slow her down and get her attention. It couldnít be that bad, not if it was Mulder. He couldnít be that lucky. She pulled away and jerked on the door handle of the car. Bill capitulated and seated her quickly. He got in himself, then turned to her, "Whatís happened, Dana?"

"Mulder," she stumbled over the name and stopped to draw a breath. "Mulderís been in an accident and heís trapped in the car. I have to get to him."

"Let me see where weíre going." He sighed and pried the directions from her fingers then pulled out of the parking lot.

It took her ID to get them past the roadblock. There were enough blue lights to light the sky for a mile away. Bill, being taller, saw the car first and took her arm without thinking, knowing instinctively what the sight would do to her. Skinner spotted her and hurried over to head them off.

The sight of what was left of the car had drained the blood from her face. "Scully, heís alive. Theyíre working as quickly as they can."

"Is he conscious?"

"Off and on."

"His blood pressure."

Skinner nodded. "They have the pressure pants ready as soon as they get him out, just as you requested." He had unconsciously taken her other arm.

"How long," she swallowed, "how long has it been?"

Skinner didnít even have to check his watch. "Nearly an hour and a half." Both men tightened their grip on her as she swayed. She closed her eyes and they watched her take control of her body and then move forward to take control of the situation.

There was a cry of triumph when the roof was finally peeled back and they had better access to him. His partner had been right; they would definitely need the pressure suit that had been suggested and a lot more if he was going to make it. The EMTs had him as immobile as possible, he was just going to have to live a little on his own. The redhead was beside them, helping them now.

"His pressureís bottoming out!"

"Get that suit on him." Scully was calling the shots. They worked well as a team, inflating the suit the second it was in place.

"Heís in defib. Get another IV in him, weíve got to shock." The paramedic had taken charge now and was dialing up the charge. "Clear!" The team applying CPR rocked back on their heels to give him room to work. "Nothing, recharging. Clear!"

Skinner moved closer. This was taking too long, they were losing him and he wasnít sure how Scully would take it. If Scully could take it.

The EMTs exchanged glances. He was gone, but. . .

"Go to 400." She ordered. They did with no effect.

"Maíam, Iím sorry."

"Go to 400 again." The command in her voice was compelling. The large bald man behind her was the clincher though. No reaction.

"Again!" The EMT sighed; they could do this for hours, but. . .

"Iíve got a pulse!"

Skinner moved in swiftly to keep Scully on her feet. Bill moving to her other side. She allowed herself to lean against Skinner while they loaded him into the ambulance, then without bothering with permission climbed in after him leaving the two men to watch as they raced to the hospital.

"What is it? What does he do for her that causes her to act like that?" Bill asked Skinner without taking his eyes from the ambulance.

"I donít know. Iíve never seen two people bound like that."


Where was he? God, he hurt! He struggled to make sense of what he could feel. He was lying on his back, and he was on the ground. He could feel the cool dirt beneath him, and he seemed to be nude. What the hell had happened? He couldnít hear anyone around him, had he been dumped somewhere?

Finally he was able to open his eyes. Nothing. He could see, he thought, but there was nothing to see. There was pain in every part of his body. He was having trouble moving his head, but his eyes seemed to be adjusting to the available light. No sky, why was there no sky when he was lying on dirt? Hell, it didnít matter. He closed his eyes again, trying to concentrate on anything besides the pain.

"Mulder!" His eyes flew open again. Scully? Where was she? He needed her, but he didnít seem to have the strength to answer her. Sheíd find him, he let his eyes close again.

"Mulder!" She sounded frightened. What would scare Scully? He needed to find out. Oh god, it meant moving. But if she needed him it didnít matter.

He attempted to lift his arm, but it seemed to be caught in something. He forced his head to turn and heard a tearing sound. He could finally see his arm, but it didnít help. He seemed to be bound to the earth by. . . hell it looked like little white roots, binding him to the ground. They were everywhere, and now he could feel them creeping up over his body, securing it more firmly. No way!

By sheer effort he was able to tear his right hand free of the roots. They could be broken. He just needed to do it before they became any stronger. Well, it gave him something to think about besides the pain. Where the hell was he and why?

With his right arm free, he could use it to pull at the roots holding his left arm and chest. It probably didnít take as long as it felt like, but finally he was free enough to sit up. He forced himself up and looked down at the rest of his body.

He shuddered; he was completely covered in the little roots. They looked like grubs against his genitals. He was already exhausted and he wasnít even able to stand yet. He fell back on one elbow, he couldnít do this. Immediately he felt the roots reaching up to bind him again.

"Mulder!" Scully again. Where was she? Was she hurt as well as scared? Was that why she hadnít come to him? Was she caught in these roots too? He had to get free and find out.

He wrenched his arm free again and began tearing the roots from his hips and legs. Tenacious little shits, even as he worked to free himself, they continued to try to bind him back. He stumbled to his feet and fell against the wall closest to him. Rock? He was inside a cave? Where was the light coming from?

Which direction should he go? There didnít seem to be a source of light, just a glow over everything. And what looked like a tiny golden thread when he turned his head a certain way. Nothing made sense, quit trying to force it. Find Scully. Thatís all that mattered. She needed him. She had sounded almost frantic the last time he heard her.

He stumbled forward, standing still wasnít helping and if he fell he wasnít sure he could free himself again.

He had no concept of time. He didnít know if heíd been wandering for minutes, hours, or days when the sharp pain in his chest sent him to his knees. Immediately he felt the roots creep over his calves and wrists where heíd fallen.

"MULDER!" Her scream was truly frantic this time. He tried to take a breath and could feel the pain subsiding. Whatever was wrong with her was getting worse, he had to get to her. But he was beginning to believe that wasnít going to be possible.

When he got his breath back he pulled free from the roots and managed to regain his feet. He leaned against the rock face of the cave he was in for a moment and then trudged on. Was it getting lighter? Yes, a little and Scully seemed to be in this direction, though he hadnít heard her call since he regained his feet. Was he too late? He tried to hurry and stumbled as the ground changed from dirt to a different texture. Where was she? Please be close, Scully.



He was on his back again, but on a bed this time, not the ground. He could feel the bindings again, but they felt different. They were lighter and warmer than before. He should be able to break free of these easier. Where was Scully? He still had to get to her.

He felt a hand on his brow and struggled to open his eyes. Damn his eyelids were heavy, but he managed to open them just a slit. He could see his hand on the white covers and someoneís hand on his. The bindings? They even looked different, finer and. . . and golden, like cobwebs. They were binding him to this hand now, not the ground and there was more light.

His eyes opened wider and he realized this was Scullyís hand on his and on his brow and the golden bindings were filling the air between them, growing even as he lay there watching them. Some were larger, older than others but new ones continued to span the space between them.

"Mulder, can you hear me?"

He was able to look up into her eyes at the sound of her voice.

"These bindings are beautiful." He whispered, his eyes showing the awe and pleasure at whatever he was seeing. Then he was asleep again, but his vitals were improved and his breathing easier. She started to let go of his hand, to let him rest, then glanced down at it.

What the. . . ? For a second it looked like a tiny golden spider web wrapped around their hands. She shook her head; she must be getting punching from lack of sleep. But he was better, he was going to make it. She could get a little rest now.



Author's note - I dreamed this one, just go with it.