"Get out Mulder, get out now!" Byers’ voice sent a jolt of adrenaline through his body. He didn’t bother to acknowledge the warning, turning back to the kitchen and grabbing her arm.
"Get on your shoes, we’ve got to get out of here."
"What?" She was just standing there, staring at him.
"Now! They’re on to us. We have to leave!" He was pulling her toward the living room. Whatever he was talking about he was nearly frantic and he’d been right every other time. She spotted her shoes and began shoving them on. He had left her side and was in the bedroom. He emerged seconds later carrying her overnight case. "Come on!"
They were out the door, not bothering with the elevator. He was practically pulling her on the way to the car. He opened the back door and threw her suitcase in as she scrambled into the front. He peeled off and she hung on, seat belts hanging loose, forgotten at their sides.
She wanted desperately to ask what was going on, but all of his attention was on driving and at this speed, it should be. She sat trying to calm herself, he knew what to do and he was used to making split second decisions. She had to trust him.
The farther they were from the apartment the calmer he seemed to become, finally reaching over and taking her hand but still not speaking. When she opened her mouth to ask a question he squeezed her hand and shook his head. Don’t speak? Okay, this was Mulder, do as he says. But her anxiety level rose yet another notch.
To her they were driving aimlessly around the city, but she realized he was trying to spot a tail. This was the kind of thing he wanted her to learn, so she too began watching the traffic. She couldn’t see anything suspicious but apparently neither could he.
When he was convinced they weren’t being followed he pulled into a large parking lot. He drove directly to an outer edge and parked next to a dusty SUV. He motioned for her to get out as he grabbed her bag.
Once in the other vehicle he finally spoke. "We should be okay now."
"Was the other car bugged?"
"I couldn’t be sure. It’s not worth taking the chance. We’ve got a couple of stops to make."
"What happened? Who called?"
"The guys I told you about last night – we work together unofficially. They help watch my back and they know you’re important to me. Byers called, he said to get out. He wouldn’t do that without a good reason."
"You trust him that much?"
Mulder looked surprised, "I guess I do. At least when it comes to your safety."
She was looking him straight in the eye now. She could no longer doubt his words where she was concerned. He loved her, it wasn’t up for analysis anymore, it was. And the best part was, she loved him too. It was nothing like the feelings she’d had, or imagined she’d had for Stan. This was . . . this was all consuming.
"So what do we do now?"
Mulder relaxed a notch. We, she’d said we. "I’ve known I’d have to disappear some time, maybe not for long but you never know. I’ve got some money stashed and some identification. The guys are working on some for you already, we’d discussed it before . . . We’ll have to go underground for awhile."
She swallowed hard, underground? "Okay. Tell me what to do."
He nodded and pulled out of the parking lot. "There’s a bag under your seat, get it out and go through it." She unzipped the bag; papers, two guns, extra clips, and cash. A lot of it. He nodded as she listed each item. "We’ll need more ammo, some clothes, a money belt for each of us." He began listing off the top of his head.
"Why more ammunition?"
"Your lessons start immediately; shooting, driving, hand-to-hand. It’s not play, it’s for your life."
"Our lives." He nodded.
After an hour of driving south they pulled into a large outlet mall and made the purchases they needed for now.
The lessons went well. He was amazed at her progress, but then she was completely motivated. There was no way she was going to let him down. There had been fun along the way as well. He’d done an excellent job of coloring her hair, which had led to some wildly erotic fun. Of course just being together seemed to lead to the same thing.
They had made cautious contact with his friends and her IDs had arrived along with the information that had been accumulated in their absence. Even Dana was having trouble discounting some of the information, especially after running her own somewhat cruder tests. She'd checked and rechecked Byers’ findings and could find no error. Whatever this "black cancer" was couldn’t be identified readily by her.
The names that appeared in the information surprised her as well, though she couldn’t say why. Her father-in-law had been a state senator yet he was involved with this conspiracy. Maybe not anymore after his son’s betrayal, but at one time. So these names should have come as no shock.
It was actually her suggestion that they investigate the laboratory the guys had located in eastern Indiana. It was probably already deserted if the location was known, but they could still check it out.
It would take a couple of days to get there; they never drove straight to anywhere. He looked over at her fondly as she napped beside him in the car. He’d never thought going underground could be a honeymoon, but it had been. Okay, no actual ceremony yet but he’d asked and she’d agreed. He just didn’t want her to have to take a false name and he didn’t feel it was safe enough to apply for a license yet. Maybe they could make their way to Nevada soon.
She stirred and sat up straighter. "Was I asleep?"
"Yeah. I must be keeping you up too late at night." She smiled and looked away. "You going to let me take all the blame?"
"No." She looked back and placed her hand on his thigh.
"You okay?" He was watching her now, concerned.
"Very okay. Maybe a little nervous about heading toward them instead of away."
"You don’t have to go. It shouldn’t take me more than an hour – "
"No! Not without me." His hand was now on hers still resting on his thigh. He squeezed her hand.
"Don’t worry, you’ll be there – where I can keep an eye on you."
"Not the other way around?" She asked lightly. There was something bothering her but she wasn’t ready to talk about it. He’d try to reassure her tonight.
Their lovemaking was as spectacular as always that night and as he held her close he murmured reassuring words in her ear.
She drew back from him, "Mulder, will it always be like this?"
"What? The way I love you, want you?"
She smiled and relaxed slightly in his arms. "I’m not worried about that."
"Good." He nuzzled her neck.
"I mean underground. Will we ever . . .?"
"Yes. I’ll take you home when I know it’s safe. I want us to have a home, have our work and you to have your family."
"I know. I guess – " He interrupted her with another kiss.
"I promise to give you a normal life as soon as I possibly can. You know that don’t you?" She nodded and burrowed into his chest.
He had her hand, hurrying her along. She couldn’t keep up with his strides. She was going to get them killed if she didn’t pick up the pace. She tried to lengthen her steps but the pain grabbed her again and she doubled over, pulling her hand from his.
"Dana? Dana, what’s wrong? Are you hurt?"
She couldn’t respond, the pain was too intense, it was all she could do to breathe. He had her by the shoulders now, supporting her. "Dana!"
The pain was lessening; she could draw a breath again. "I . . . I’m okay." Well, he obviously didn’t believe that, and she was grateful he hadn’t let go of her. She was pretty sure she would have fallen if he had.
"The car’s just over that rise. Then maybe we can relax." Without asking he had scooped her up in his arms. She should protest but didn’t have the strength, allowing her eyes to close and just be in his arms.
He laid her gently in the backseat and then took off. No one had appeared yet, but he couldn’t take the chance. The place hadn’t been as deserted as they had thought. Now they had seen the black cancer, the victims strapped to tables. If they had been found . . . And what was wrong with her? His first thought was that she had been shot even though he hadn’t heard the sound of a weapon. Then, that the black cancer, whatever it was, swimming in the victims’ eyes had gotten to her. The ice that had sent up his spine had nearly paralyzed him.
He spotted a dirt side road up ahead and pulled into it, then off the road behind some trees. That should hide them, it was getting dark anyway. He had to make sure she was okay.
He opened the back door of the car and slid in beside her as she sat up. "Dana, what’s wrong?"
She shook her head and wouldn’t meet his eyes. He saw the tear escape and track down her face. "Dana, please!" He pulled her close to him, willing her to talk to him.
She wouldn’t look up and he had to lean in to hear her. "I think I’m having a miscarriage."
"A mis . . ." The rest of the word stuck in his throat and his mind threatened to blow entirely. She was pregnant? But they’d been careful, except that one time, the first time. Speak, he had to say something to her. "Just relax, Sweetheart. I think there’s a hospital – "
"No Mulder. If I’m going to lose a baby this early there’s nothing they can do."
"Why didn’t you tell me?"
"There hasn’t really been a good time."
"Good time? To tell me you’re carrying my baby? God, Dana, I should be taking better care of you, you should be at home with a doctor you trust. I . . . "
"You’re taken excellent care of me. These things happen."
"Would it happen if we were in a stable environment? A safe place without the stress of running, being underground?"
"It could have. We’ll never know." She looked up at him now, her hand on his cheek. "This is not your fault. You’ve kept us alive, you and me. If children are in the future, then it’ll happen."
"Are you sure you’ve lost it?"
"No, not yet. But the cramps are getting worse."
"How long have you been having them?" He was appalled. How the hell could she have been going through this without him even being aware? What kind of a man was he, for the woman he loved more than life itself to be in this pain, emotional and physical and him to be unaware?
"Stop it! Stop it right now. I could have found a way to tell you. But you’ve had so much on your mind. You’ve had twice the stress I’ve had, and I’ve been of little or no help. We’re still alive because of you, your skills, your brilliance. Don’t you dare try to take blame for this."
"I am to blame damnit! Completely to blame. If I hadn’t asked you out, gotten involved with you, they would have left you alone. I got you pregnant, I didn’t use protection, now I’m dragging you around the country - "
"To save my life."
"And kill our child?" He held her against his chest, smoothing her hair. He felt her tense against him.
When she got her breath back, she pulled away. "We need to get going. Come on, if we’re caught now I’m not going to be much help." He closed his eyes, but she was right. They needed to put some distance between them and this place. He laid her down gently in the back seat and reluctantly left her side.
He thought she was resting, even asleep, until he heard her moan again. He had to get her some help but they were in the middle of nowhere. He changed course suddenly; they could be in Chicago in less than an hour. She was in no shape to protest anyway.
Eventually he realized she did actually drift off. When he was sure she was asleep he pulled out his cell phone. They used it rarely, always afraid, but he needed some help. A quick call to the guys got the wheels in motion. They’d come through; he had to trust someone.
She jerked awake with a gasp. "Mulder, Mulder this is something different. This is not a miscarriage."
He nearly drove off the road. "What? Tell me how to help you."
"I shouldn’t be in this much pain, Mulder. I think . . . " she was fighting for breath again, "I think it may be an ectopic pregnancy."
"I don’t – "
"A tubal pregnancy. The baby may be growing in my fallopian tube. If that’s it, the baby will grow large enough to rupture the tube."
His knuckles were white against the steering wheel. "What happens then?"
"I’ll probably die."
He closed his eyes against that pain. He had to sound positive, he had to keep her calm. Right, she sounded calmer than he did already. "We’ll be in Chicago shortly. I’m taking you to Mercy General."
"They’ll find us."
"No. I’ve gotten some help. Hang on, I’m going to get you help." She eased back down on the seat. There was nothing she could do to; in fact she wished she weren’t even conscious.
She barely was when he pulled into the emergency entrance of the hospital. He gathered her into his arms and hurried inside. "I need some help here." He had it immediately. They moved her into a trauma room.
"Talk to me." The ER doctor was already examining her, an IV being inserted, blood pressure taken.
"She’s pregnant. It may . . . she might be having a tubal pregnancy."
"Get the OB resident down here. She can’t be too far along, set up the ultrasound."
They hadn’t thrown him out, not that he would go anyway. He had been moved out of the way but where she could see him when she opened her eyes. They were bringing more equipment in now, and another doctor had joined them. They could have been talking Hindu for all he knew. They had exposed her stomach and were moving an instrument around on it. The sound of a rapid heartbeat filled the room.
"There, back there. The baby’s fine, good position, strong beat. So where’s this pain coming from?" Mulder had to grip the counter beside him to stay on his feet. The baby was still alive? He missed the next few minutes, unable to focus on anything but the sound of that heartbeat echoing through the room and now his head.
" . . . but surgery’s out. Find Dr. Blake, let’s get his take on it."
"Dr. Blake? Who’s he?" Mulder finally had his voice back.
"We think it’s a kidney stone, sir. But with the pregnancy . . . Dr. Blake’s the expert. She’s gotten some pain meds now so she’s not so uncomfortable."
Uncomfortable? Was that what they called it? An older man had entered the room now and was being briefed on her condition.
"Okay, let’s see the position of the fetus again." He had a decisive manner; Mulder didn’t know whether to be pleased or annoyed at his attitude. Then the room was filled again with the sound of his child’s heartbeat and his brain functions narrowed to watching her, wishing she were hearing this with him under other circumstances.
"Let’s move her to the tub, get his signature. Come on." And the older man was out of the room. The original doctor was approaching him now, standing in his way as they moved her out of the room.
"Sir, Mr. Uh . . ." The doctor looked down at her chart, "Mr. Lail, we need you to sign authorization for the lithotripsy." At Mulder’s totally blank look he continued, "It’s a procedure to break down the kidney stone, so that she can pass it."
"Dr. Blake will handle the procedure himself. Try not to worry. He’s the expert. We need your signature right away."
Mulder retreated into himself. She was the doctor, what decision would she make? But they knew about the baby and they were the experts. As the doctor touched his arm he shook himself, and took the proffered pen. Lail, they were using the Lail identity now, and the guys had come through.
"You can wait in here, Mr. Lail. This shouldn’t take too long. Someone will come for you as soon as you can see her." Mulder nodded dumbly. He was still in shock. Yesterday none of this had been a possibility, not even an unrealized dream and now Dana, his wife in every sense of the word was going through a ‘procedure’ he had never heard of with the added complication of pregnancy.
They’d never talked about children, not under the circumstances. He didn’t know if she wanted kids, or wanted kids with him at least. There had been no time to talk about it, no time to savor the fact that this had happened between them. His first knowledge of the child was the realization that she was losing it. But she hadn’t lost it, at least not yet. What was happening in there?
He wasn’t asleep; it was more of a stupor when the doctor from the ER approached him. "Mr. Lail? Can you hear me?"
He was on his feet and nearly went over, the doctor taking his arm. "My wife?"
"She’s doing very well. They’ve moved her to a room and she’s resting. Would you like me to take you to her?"
"I take it this is your first baby?"
"Yeah. It was kind of a surprise." The doctor grinned and they entered the elevator.
Just outside her room they stopped, "Just so you know, the procedure went very well. They’ve done another ultrasound and the baby’s doing fine. I’ll check in on her in a little while."
Mulder opened the door quietly, she was still asleep and he didn’t want to disturb her. He sat in the chair by the bed and just watched her. She was going to be okay, he could believe it now – the color was back in her cheeks, her breathing was easier, the lines around her eyes were gone – onto his face no doubt. He couldn’t remember ever being so scared.
But then there had never been anyone in his life like this woman. The most amazing thing though was that she wanted to be with him. She was carrying his child. He stared at her with awe. He’d never even considered children; it honestly had never been anything he thought about. Had she thought about it, dreamed about it? She certainly would never have had kids with Stan. Had that been part of her decision to marry him, that she wouldn’t have to . . . He wanted to touch her, but was afraid to wake her.
It seemed like forever, but according to his watch he had only been there about thirty minutes when she stirred.
He had his eyes locked on her abdomen, trying to visualize how she would look in a few months. This was so strange. When she opened her eyes she saw where he was focused and couldn’t halt a tear that slid toward her hairline.
"I’m so sorry."
"Dana, I didn’t know you were awake. How are you feeling?"
She shook her head, unable to answer. That’s when it hit him, she didn’t know. She still thought she’d lost the baby.
"Dana, you didn’t lose him. You’re still pregnant."
"What?" It was more breath than word. She knew he would never lie to her, but she couldn’t believe this.
"It wasn’t a miscarriage or a tubal pregnancy. You had a kidney stone. They did a litho . . . "
"That sounds right. You and the baby are okay." He watched the hope dawn in her eyes, rapidly replaced with joy. She was happy! She did want his child. He was on his feet; he needed to hold her. Her arms came up around his neck and he kissed her deeply and thoroughly.
"Ahem." The doctor paused just inside the door. "You say this pregnancy was a surprise?" They could hear the humor in his voice. "This right here is a major cause of it."
Mulder grinned at him and moved slightly away from her, though not far enough to have to release her hand.
"How are you feeling, I can see how he’s doing." The young doctor turned to Dana.
"I’m not surprised. You didn’t look that good when you got here. Your vitals are very good and the latest ultrasound showed no problem. Any cramping?"
"No. When can I leave?" Mulder turned to look at her.
The doctor folded his hands over her chart, "Well, we really don’t need to keep you at all, but I do recommend that you make an appointment with your OB-GYN to bring him up to date."
"I will. So . . .?"
"I can sign your papers now. I’ll be right back."
As soon as the door closed behind him Mulder moved back in. "Dana, don’t be crazy. We’re okay for now, I want you to stay here until you’re okay."
"I am okay, you heard him. I’ll feel better when we’re out of here."
"No one – "
"Mulder, please." She couldn’t ease the worried look but he did nod. When the doctor returned with the paperwork and a nurse, she rose and tested her ability to stand, then smiled reassuringly at Mulder and got into the wheelchair.Assignment 2 - part 2
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.