The door opening surprised him, no one ever came to see him, at least not voluntarily. He looked up into Scullyís flushed face and the quip died on his lips. "Scully?" He rose and took her arm.
"I think itís started."
"What? Whatís started?"
"Here." She handed him copies of messages sheíd received. Bulletins of outbreaks of extremely rapid and virulent smallpox. "It looks like it started in St. Petersburg, but news from there is sketchy. Then it hit Frankfurt and London, New York, Atlanta and Chicago. Weíre just now getting reports from Los Angeles."
"Shit, Scully! Theyíre not ready." He couldnít take in what this meant. The whole world was going to be affected.
"I know. Mulder, everyoneís going to die. Everyone!"
"No! Scully youíre immune, youíve had the vaccine, and I should be from the black cancer in Russia. We should be okay."
"What about my mother! Bill and Charlie! Their kids."
That drew him up short. She had family, people she cared about, not like him who had only her in his life.
"Do you and your mother have the same blood type?"
"Yes." She answered absentmindedly, already attempting medical research in her head.
"Well, what if you tried injecting her with your blood. It might not work, but itís worth a chance." That brought her back to the present.
"Yes, yes I can do that."
"Is it bees?"
"They werenít mentioned in the first dispatches, but London made a short report of them. Then bees were released into the subway system in New York. There was panic. Communication is not working like it should, the CDC is just now gearing up. Why werenít they ready, or was that the plan?"
"Well itís too systematic not to be planned." He was studying the papers she had handed him. "I just wonder if this plan was handled by our Ďspecialí friends, or someone else that got hold of it."
"Would it be better if it were the devil we know?"
He looked up then and gave her a lopsided grin. "Doesnít look like it. Iím bypassing Kersh, have you seen Skinner?"
"What do you think he can do?"
"Try to locate Cancer Man. See whoís responsible."
"What good will that do?"
"Not a lot, if they werenít ready. The vaccine worked damn quick on you, but I only had 96 hours to find you. Scully, youíre right, a lot of people are going to die."
"I need to head over to Georgetown. Iíll swing by Momís on the way."
"Do you want me to go with you?"
"No. You need to look for Cancer Man and see whoís behind this. Find a supply of vaccine somewhere."
"Sure, if thatís all you need." He grinned then quickly sobered, "Scully, be careful. Stay armed even at the hospital. If thereís panic. . . " She nodded. "And keep your phone on. Call me immediately if you need me."
"Who else would I call?" She squeezed his hand and turned to leave. When he didnít release her she turned back. "Mulder?"
"Yeah, okay." He reluctantly let go of her hand. "Scully, check in with me."
"I will Mulder. And you let me know what you find." He nodded and she left the room, as usual leaving it twice as empty as before sheíd come.
He sank back into his chair. Theyíd done it. Those bastards had really done it. He picked up the phone and gave a terse message to Byers, then began to search for Skinner.
Skinner was in a high level meeting with the other A.D.s and not available, even to him. Fine, he had other avenues, heíd use them.
She was so far beyond tired she was really afraid to drive. She should have stayed at the hospital to sleep, but she had to get away. She needed the peace of her apartment for a little while, try to put this away from her.
The ring of her cell phone caused her to jump and realized again how dangerous she would be on the roads if there were any traffic. Everyone had been advised to stay home. She was sure martial law would be declared anytime.
"I thought you were going to check in!" He sounded frantic.
"Mulder, Iím sorry. I havenít stopped since I left your office. It was incredible at the hospital."
He relaxed a little at the sound of her voice. "How bad is it?"
"We lost everyone, Mulder. 100%. I had them try the hypothermia, and those patients lasted longer, but. . . "
"Everyone? Are you okay?"
"No. Mulder what are we going to do?"
"I donít know, Scully. Cancer manís gone, I even went to his apartment. His furniture is there, but I donít know what else he might have taken. He only has the one suit, right?"
"I think so." Just listening to his voice was reviving her.
"Skinner has been incommunicado all day too. All the bigwigs have. Iíve worked through the guys to learn what I can. Which is next to nothing. Oh, did you see your mother?"
"Yes. Sheís worried about the boys. I had to force her to take my blood, she wanted me to save it for them." There was a small silence. "Itís too quiet out here Mulder. Thereís almost no traffic."
"The TV is running constant bulletins to stay home. They arenít talking about how itís transmitted."
"No mention of the bees?"
"None. People probably think itís airborne. That could be good, everyone avoiding everyone."
"Except people wonít rush to the hospital for a bee sting. Maybe if we could get them into hypothermia faster. . . "
"Youíre off duty now, Doc. Go on home and rest. Call me when you get there, so Iíll know youíre in and safe."
"Will do. I could use a good long soak tonight."
"Need anyone to scrub your back?" He couldnít pass that comment up.
"Iíll get back to you on that." She said dryly.
"Goodbye, Mulder." She punched the button to disconnect them and actually smiled just a little. Only Mulder could get even a partial smile from her today. She savored that leering tone he had used and sped up. She really wanted to be home.
When she did get there, she immediately dialed his number. Busy. So she ran her tub and relaxed back into it. Sheíd call him when she got out. She really needed this. She managed to push the horrors of the day back a little as she soaked her exhausted body.
Guilt over not having talked to him forced her from the tub. He would be worried and right now he had reason, and hearing his voice never hurt. She belted her robe around her and walked to her living room.
The arm that snaked around her was strong, too strong, but she didnít have time to analyze it before she felt the gun against her head. "Get Mulder over here."
"Krycek?" She started to turn, but the gun was pressed harder into her flesh at her movement.
"Okay, just relax."
"Iím as relaxed as Iím going to get for awhile. Donít tempt me." She nodded and picked up the phone.
Mulder answered on the first ring. "Scully? Where have you Ė"
"I need you over here, Mulder. Now." Krycek jerked the phone from her hand and hung up for her.
"That should do it. Now, why donít you have a seat and wait with me." He pushed her down on the couch and seated himself beside her.
"Scully! Scully what! Damn it!" He was already on the way to the door. What the hell had happened? She was immune, she had to be, she just had to be.
Traffic was even lighter now and he took full advantage of that fact. She wouldnít answer either phone. He could not panic, he couldnít waste precious time on that. Just get there!
Krycek smiled when he heard the tires squeal in front of her apartment. He checked his watch, good time even for Mulder trying to get to Scully. He yanked her up from the couch and they retreated from the door.
Krycek had been right, Mulder wasted no time with the niceties of knocking, shoving his own key into the door and forcing his way in.
"Good to see you again, Buddy." He watched as Mulder took the situation in, his arm around Scully, the gun at her temple.
"Let her go, Krycek. Anything you need, you get from me."
"You sure, Mulder? The way things have worked out there may not be many women left soon. You might have to get used to sharing her. Unless of course youíre offering more than I realize."
Mulder took another step towards them. His face was carefully impassive. "You touch her and I will kill you."
"No one else can play with your toys, Mulder?" He watched Mulderís hands fist at his words. "Iím not kidding, sheís going to be a valuable commodity soon. Young, female, attractive, immune. All the necessary attributes. If we stick together we could pimp for her."
He took another step toward her. "Mulder, heís trying to get to you. Donít let him." Scullyís voice was soothing, making sense. He stopped, she was right. He had to stay in control.
Mulder took a deep breath, "Why are you here?"
"They double-crossed us, Mulder. They moved up the date and didnít tell the group. Thereís not enough vaccine and what there is isnít available to the public. This planet, for all intents and purposes, has been shafted. You can count the number of people whoíve been vaccinated without removing both shoes at present. Statistically some people will have natural immunity, but the human race as a group is going the way of the dinosaur. I know we donít have a great relationship, but weíre going to have a lot in common very soon. Weíll be the ones alive.
"Itís not going to be that bad." Scully kept her voice from shaking.
"Oh my darling Dana, itís already that bad. I doubt thereís 2,000 people still alive in St. Petersburg. Less by morning. The delivery system they used is more advanced than the one they shared with us. They gave us just enough to keep us on their leash." He spotted Mulder move toward them again.
"Put your gun on the table Mulder. Now." He tightened his grip on Scully.
Mulder stopped and slowly removed his gun from the holster and placed it on the table when Krycek indicated.
"Both of them Mulder." He pushed his gun into her skin and she winced.
"Okay. Just let her go." He was removing his second gun from his ankle holster and laid it on the table beside the first one.
"Now move away. Come on Mulder, you donít want to try anything."
Mulder stepped back, as far from them as heíd been since heíd realized what the danger to her was.
"Fine." Krycek shoved Scully towards him, causing her to stumble on her robe. Mulder moved forward and caught her before she could fall.
"Are you alright?" He looked her up and down, taking in the robe and now that she was against him, the fact that she wore nothing underneath.
"He didnít hurt me." She met his eyes, trying to reassure him.
"I told you Mulder. I would never harm something so potentially valuable. A little trust, if weíre going to be allies now."
"Allies? With you?"
"Us against them, Mulder. The humans against whatever you want to call them. Think about it. Youíre used to being outnumbered, out-maneuvered. We could make a great team."
The two agents looked at him but made no response. He shrugged, "I guess you need a little time to think. Iíll give you that. But I will be in touch." He scooped up both of Mulderís guns and headed for the door. "Youíre going to need me, whether you want to believe it or not." He tossed both guns into the far corner and let himself out.
Mulderís random thought of chasing him left as Scully sagged against him. He scooped her into his arms and headed for her bedroom.
"Mulder, Iím okay. You need to believe that."
"Iím not going to start trusting Krycek now."
"He didnít do anything to me. He knew that nothing would keep you from killing him if he did hurt me." Mulder nodded at that truth. "What are we going to do Mulder?"
"I donít know. The European cities are decimated, just like he said. New York isnít a whole lot better and you know more about DC than I do."
She shivered at that. "Could you stay here tonight?"
"Sure no problem." He tried to hide the relief that sheíd asked, because he wasnít leaving in any case. "Why donít you try to get some sleep. Youíre exhausted."
"I donít know if I can sleep."
"Try Scully. Iíll be right here." He squeezed her hand and left the door cracked when he returned to the living room. He couldnít settle down. Finding Krycek here with her had affected him more than he realized. Finally standing in front of the window he watched the lack of activity outside. He didnít remember it ever being so quiet. A lot of cars were gone - people were leaving the city, just a trickle so far, but by morning the news would be out. The panic would kill even more. No one had believed them, what more could they have done?
He turned from the window and headed for the TV, maybe there was news. Then he heard her in the other room, moaning. A nightmare, no surprise there after what sheíd been through today. He hesitated at the door to her bedroom, then let himself in. She needed him.
"Scully, wake up. Itís okay, itís just a dream. Scully." He sat on the bed beside her, his hand on her cheek. She opened her eyes with a gasp and threw her arms around his neck, burying her face against him.
"Sc. . . Scully?" His arms automatically went around her. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, yeah Iím fine." She pulled away from him embarrassed.
"What was the dream?" He missed her arms around him, it had felt right.
She didnít look at him. "Everyone was dead, bodies everywhere. I was. . . I was searching through them for you."
"Oh Scully." He pulled her back against him. "Itís not going to be like that."
"Isnít it? We didnít save one today. Not one."
"Then you will tomorrow. Youíll learn how to deal with this. But youíll do better if you get some rest. Iíll be here Scully."
"Uh, sure. Until you fall asleep." He made himself comfortable beside her, his back against the headboard. She obediently lay back down, her back to him. He truly had meant to leave when she was asleep, but her warmth against his leg and her quiet even breathing relaxed him as well.
He woke to find heíd slid down in the bed and was lying very comfortably, too comfortably, beside her. At his movement she stirred and pressed her back against him. His reaction was immediate and, he was confident, unwelcome to her.
She stirred again, pressing her hips against him.
"Scu. . . Scully, wake up." His voice sounded strained.
"Mulder?" As she woke she drew away from him. She was going to blame him for his, could he explain? To his astonishment she rolled over toward him and buried her face in his chest. "Thank you."
Thank you? She wasnít angry? The relief was almost overwhelming. He wanted to pull her closer, grind himself against her. Sure, Mulder, ruin everything.
He managed to smile; "I slept pretty well too."
"Well, why donít you go ahead and take the bathroom. Iíll start the coffee."
"Yeah. Thanks." Sheíd given him an out and his gratitude knew no bounds. She left the room giving him the opportunity to rise with some modesty intact.
When he relinquished the bathroom she got ready and they ate a light breakfast while listening to the morning news. There was only one story and the stations had obviously been instructed to try to keep the panic down. It didnít seem to be working if you went by the shots of traffic leaving the cities.
Scully put down her English muffin half eaten. "I need to get back to the hospital."
"Iím coming with you."
"To the hospital? I thought youíd Ė "
"Scully, you saw the reports. I donít think we should be separated today. It could get ugly. I donít want to have to search for you too." She nodded. "I can be your own personal orderly."
"Okay. We donít usually get our very own." She tried to smile at him. He squeezed her hand and they rose.
They took her car since it had a full tank of gas, a detail he rarely contemplated.
The hospital was a zoo, the beds long full, most of the gurneys in use, the morgue overflowing and now patients on pallets on the floor. Mulder couldnít keep the shock from his face.
"It wasnít like this when I left. I need to find out whoís in charge." He nodded, ready to follow her wherever.
"Dr. Scully, I didnít expect to ever see you again. Dr. Jacobs is dead. Weíre still working on the hypothermia."
"Have you. . . ?"
"No, not yet. Iíve heard they have a patient in Atlanta thatís lasted over 24 hours. We havenít had that kind of success. We canít even make them comfortable anymore and weíre running out of everything." The man was obviously exhausted. "I suppose you want to head for the lab again."
"You need me on the floor I know, but. . . "
"Just for a couple of hours, to give these people a break."
"Of course. You could use one yourself." The man nodded tiredly.
"Thereís a sofa in my office. Iíll take a nap there if you promise to wake me."
She nodded and took the lab coat he handed her. "Come on, Mulder. Weíre needed in the ER."
The next hour was a blur to Mulder; he functioned on her instructions, helping in any way he could. The people were coming in too late. He was spending more time moving bodies than any actual help. He was returning from yet another trip to the makeshift morgue when he heard her call for him.
"Scully! Iím here."
"Help me." She was supporting a woman; he took her other side.
"No, sheís in labor. Letís get her in a cubicle. Hurry." The woman wasnít able to walk alone, but no wheelchairs were available. Mulder ended up carrying her to the only empty area.
"Mulder, get some sterile drapes. That drawer. Hurry. Can you tell me your name?"
When she could speak she gasped out, "Callie, Callie Fisher."
"Okay Callie, Iím going to have to examine you. Try to relax. Mulder, help me get these clothes off of her."
"Donít you want me to get a nurse?"
"There isnít one. You can do this."
"Scully. . . "
"You can. Come on." She slit the panties Callie was wearing and with Mulderís help slid a sterile drape under her. "Let her squeeze your hand, Mulder." She was digging through the drawers to find the supplies she needed. Her other patients today hadnít needed many supplies.
"Scully, I think we need you over here." The semi-controlled panic in his voice made her turn. She slapped on the rubber gloves and lifted Callieís legs into place.
"Well Callie, you didnít get here with any time to spare."
"Traffic was bad." She huffed. Scully grinned, the woman was obviously feeling more secure now that she had help. Scully decided it was no time to display credentials Ė a pathologist and a psychologist who was way outside his comfort zone wouldnít make things any easier.
"Not your first?"
"Third." She managed to get out before she was squeezing Mulderís hand and breathing heavily again. The groan that escaped her caused the blood to leave his face.
"Callie, youíre ready. I want you to bear down with the next contraction. Mulder you need to support her back. Thatís right, come on."
Mulder didnít try to decide if he was more horrified or fascinated. He suspected the former, but Scully seemed so calm, and Callie seemed to know what she was doing. He was just here to help out where he could and Scully thought he could do it.
"One more time, Callie. Thatís right. Yes! Stop pushing Callie." Scully quickly suctioned out the infantís mouth and nose.
Now fascination was taking over, a real person was being born. As he watched the baby turned slightly on its own and one shoulder emerged, then the other and the baby slid out into Scullyís hands. Callie collapsed back against him. Heíd nearly forgotten her as he watched Scully with this newborn in her hands.
"Itís a boy, Callie, He looks great."
"A boy. My husband wanted a boy." Scully glanced up to smile at Mulder and was stunned into immobility by the look on his face. Sheíd never seen such a look of naked hunger. She had to tear her eyes away. She couldnít think about this now. Later, if there were a later, theyíd have to talk about this.
She shook herself and placed the baby on Callieís stomach. She was back to business now and quickly clamped the cord and cut it. "Mulder, I need you to massage her stomach while I clean up the baby."
"What?" He could not have heard her correctly.
"Itís okay mister. Itíll help me deliver the afterbirth. You havenít done this before, have you?"
"Iím still glad you were here. Itís bad out there. I wasnít sure anyone would be here. I didnít want to do this alone. I hope my husband gets to see him. Heís out of town; I wasnít due for a couple of weeks. I donít know if heís still alive."
"Iím sure heís trying to get back to you."
"Yeah. Maybe heíll find us." She tried to smile at him, but tears had started to flow. "I think I need to push again."
Scully had been listening and turned back. "Letís finish this up and get you upstairs."
"Maybe I shouldnít stay."
"You need to be here for awhile. Let us observe you and the baby. You know that. Come on, one good push should do it."
Mulder had to swallow hard, then breathe through his mouth, but he hung in there. This had to be over soon.
"Why donít you go ahead and nurse him. Weíll find a gurney to move you upstairs." Mulder followed Scully into the hall. "Are you okay Mulder?"
"Yeah, sure." She smiled and didnít contradict him. Sheíd given him that answer often enough. They located an empty gurney and moved Callie up to the maternity floor, which was nearly deserted now, only one nurse still on duty Ė the others pulled to other areas. They told Callie goodbye and headed back to the ER.
"Itís past the two hours, I need to wake Dr. Adams." Mulder nodded and they headed toward his office. A nurse stopped them before they could enter.
"Iím sorry. Dr. Adams is dead."
"Dead? The virus?"
"No, it looks like a heart attack. I found him, already gone. Iím sorry." She repeated.
Mulder, behind her, saw her shoulderís slump. "Come on Scully."
"Weíre getting out of here."
"We canít! I still might Ė "
"No. Iím getting you out of here. Weíll pick up your mother and get out of town. Weíll find a place you can work."
"Mom. Yes, yes whatever."
"Wait right here Scully. Iíll be right back." He returned carrying a plastic bag stuffed with what looked like scrubs and they slipped out to her car.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.