He stirred, his eyes fluttering open. Where was he?
The familiar and very welcome voice relaxed him. He opened his eyes fully and turned to look at her. “Hi.” He croaked.
She was on her feet immediately, and put a bent straw to his lips. He sipped the cool water gratefully. “Thanks.”
“How do you feel, Mulder?”
He thought about that for a minute. “Pretty good.”
She smiled at that.
“Uh, what day is it?”
“Sunday.” She watched him.
After another moment, he shook his head, “I think I need more than that.”
She nodded, “You’ve been in here for three days.”
“We wanted to make certain that all of the chemicals were out of your system. You haven’t had a seizure in two days.” Oh, Dr. Goldstein’s treatment, but she seemed pleased at his progress.
“That’s a good thing, right?” He grinned.
“Yeah, that’s a good thing.” She chuckled.
He nodded and waited a beat. “I, uh, I don’t suppose my mother called.”
Her smile faded. “No. I tried to reach her, but apparently she’s gone out of town.”
Mulder nodded, “She probably needed the break.”
She had no response to that, at least not one she could make in front of him. “Skinner has called several times though.”
He managed a grin then, “That doesn’t surprise me.”
“You do remember you were cleared in the shootings.” She took his hand then, her thumb caressing it so lightly he wasn’t sure she even noticed.
He nodded. “So, when am I getting sprung from this joint?”
“That’s being negotiated now.” Her eyebrow was rising, awaiting his comment.
“Do I get a vote?”
“Nope.” She responded. Her eyebrow was high now, challenging and he knew there was no hope of a quicker reprieve. He sighed and looked around the traditional hospital room. He’d seen way too many of them.
“Mulder, would you like to try to walk a little bit?”
He looked up then and nodded, “Yeah, I’d like that.”
She took the controls and inclined the bed to help him rise. “Uh, Scully, is there a robe or a pair of pants I could wear?”
She glanced toward the door, “I think there’s another gown in the drawer. You could use that as a robe.”
Mulder grimaced. “This is just a ploy for you to check out my tush.”
“Already done that Mulder and a fine tush it is. All the women say so.”
He blinked at that, “What?”
Scully rolled her eyes, “While you’re busy checking out T & A, Mulder, we ‘girls’ are doing the same thing.”
He kind of gaped at her for an instant. “I guess I should work out more.”
“Please don’t, we can’t have ladies swooning in the halls of the FBI, Mulder.”
He wanted to see her face then, she didn’t usually kid with him like this. Maybe he'd been sicker than he realized. But she was looking down, guiding his feet into the hospital issue slippers.
She took his arm and helped him to his feet. He was a little surprised at how weak he felt. Of course she noticed.
“Mulder, you’ve been flat on your back for three days and your body took some abuse before that. You’ll get it back.”
He just nodded and they walked slowly around the perimeter of the fourth floor. When they were nearly back to his room, she started steering him in that direction. “Scully, I think I can go another lap.”
“You probably can, but let’s not push it. We’ll try it again after you eat.”
He nodded, but stopped. They needed to talk, about what Dr. Goldstein had done to him, about what he had learned about his mother, and especially about the shot he had fired. He had to explain, make her understand. But she was here, with him, that said a lot.
“Scully,” She looked up at him. “Thanks.”
“My pleasure.” She squeezed his bicep and he felt . . . safe.