After the Future - VI part 2


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"She didnít find anything. She kept good notes, but thereís nothing here." Byers turned to Walter. "Frohikeís gone over the data too."

They all turned as the door opened and a distraught Mulder walked in. "What have you found?" Byers glanced at the other two men in the room.

"Mulder . . . "

"Donít tell me nothing! Donít!" He advanced on Byers and Walter stepped between them. "Heís got to find something." Mulder turned to Walter.

No one had noticed Maggie enter with Beth. "She injected me with her blood when the virus first broke out. What if I gave her my blood now?"

"Maggie, I canít take enough of your blood to make a difference. Maybe if we transfused her whole body, but you canít give that much." Beth responded.

"I can! Take what you need Ė "

"Maggie!" Walter had his hands gripping her arms.

"Maggie, no. You canít." Mulderís shoulders were slumped, his voice was low, defeated.

"Sheís my daughter, I have to. Just as she would for Katy."

"Katy!" Everyone turned to look at Byers as he spoke. "Katy might be the answer. We saved her stem blood, remember? Just in case she ever needed it in the future. If we used that and a pint from Maggie . . . "

"Charlie and Mary have the same type as well." Maggie offered.

"Okay. Get them over here. Mulder, I donít know, but I donít have any other suggestions."

"Do it."

Byers sent Langly over to begin thawing the stem blood, after taking him aside and warning him to only thaw half. Might as well hedge their bets. Beth began sterilizing the instruments necessary for the transfusions. Mulder had retreated into himself, staying where he could touch her, speak only to her.

They took Maggieís blood first, with Walter standing over them ensuring that they didnít take more than a pint. Charlie and Mary brought Katy with them when they came to offer their blood. Byers decided to hold them in reserve. He wanted to try Katyís blood first. Then . . . then theyíd go to plan B. Maggie slipped the baby into Mulderís arms, which closed around her as though drawing strength from her.

Finally he looked up from his daughter. "Whereís Langly?í

"It takes a while to thaw the stuff under controlled conditions Mulder. But her temperature isnít rising anymore. I think weíve bought her some time."

"Is it enough?" Byers and Walter exchanged glances. "Nevermind, I donít want to hear." Mulder collapsed into a chair and took the cup Beth handed him. He couldnít stay away more than a few minutes and was at her side again. The others settled in to wait.

Walter brought Maggie a cup of tea where she waited with her feet up at his insistence, "Drink this, Maggie. Will you eat anything?"

She shook her head. "Not exactly the wedding night you imagined." He squeezed her hand. "Iím sorry, Walter Ė "

"Shh. Donít give it another thought. I married into the whole family Maggie; Iím as worried about Dana as you are. And Mulder. I donít know how much more his mind can take. If anything happens to her . . . "

"We canít let it Walter. If she needs more of my blood, Iím going to give it to her. Donít Walter." She took his hand as he started to protest; "Thereís no way I can live with myself if I donít do everything . . ."

"Letís give Katyís blood a try Maggie. She should have a double immunity. Itís the best hope." He folded her into his arms and they held each other, no other words to say.

After a few moments she pulled away. "Try to talk to Fox. See if you can get him to eat or rest."

Walter sighed. "Iíll try." He had no hope that any words would move him from her side, but Maggie was right. He needed to at least lie down a few minutes. Mulder didnít even acknowledge his presence, continuing to caress Scullyís face murmuring to her in too low a voice for Walter to hear. After a couple of attempts he retreated back to Maggie shaking his head.

Langly arrived shortly after and Byers hurried to him to take the precious blood he brought.

"Mulder? Weíve got it, why donít you leave? Weíll call you." The look on Mulderís face froze any further comments. He looked over at Langly and inserted the container of blood into the shunt Beth had placed in her arm.

It took an agonizingly long time watching the blood make its way into her system. Beth kept a close watch on her vitals and Mulder tried to keep from asking for details every two minutes.

Finally Beth looked up, "Her temperatureís down half a degree." Walter and Byers exchanged glances, that could be from the icy water in which she was still submerged, but they could hope.

After thirty minutes her temperature had dropped nearly three degrees. "Mulder, sheís doing better. You need to lie down for a while, before you fall down."

"Iím fine, and Iím not leaving." He didnít bother to look over at Walter.

"What if we bring a cot in here. Youíll be right here, Iím not asking you to sleep, just rest a little. Beth and Byers will watch her." When Mulder didnít protest, Walter motioned for Kevin to bring in the cot. They wedged it in at the side of the tub so that Scully could be accessed, and like an automaton he lay down. Maggie placed a blanket over him.

He did fall asleep clutching her hand. When Scully's temperature had dropped another degree Byers approached Walter and Maggie who were dozing on the couch.

"I want to remove her from the tub. We need to know whatís bringing down her fever Ė the tub or the transfusion."

"But what if her fever goes back up?"

"I just want to lift her out of the tub. We donít have to move her away. We just need to monitor her vitals out of the ice."

"Walter?"

"We need to do it Maggie."

"Should we wake Fox?"

"No. It wonít help either one of them. Letís run the test, try not to disturb him."

They were careful. She was lifted from the tub and wrapped in another dry sheet. Langly and Kevin held her as Beth began monitoring her temperature and pulse constantly.

Finally she looked up and smiled, "Itís continuing to drop. Letís move her to a bed. Make sure Mulder doesnít wake up and discover her gone. Heíll lose it for sure then."

No one tried to dispute that. The men carried her to a bed in the infirmary while Walter bent over Mulder. "Mulder, sheís better." Not even bothering with niceties. He needed the essential information to wake up to. "Mulder, did you hear me? Scullyís improving. Weíve moved her to a bed. Wake up."

The word Scully penetrated wherever he was and he jerked awake. Walterís hand was on his shoulder. "Sheís improving Mulder. We moved her to a bed so that Beth could look after her easier. Do you understand?" Mulderís eyes were still glassy.

"Sheís not dead."

"No, Mulder. Sheís better. Come on, Iíll show you." Walter helped him to his feet and walked him to other room. Mulderís grip didnít loosen until he saw her in the bed, an IV in one arm and breathing.

"Mulder, come over here." Beth beckoned him to the bed they had pushed up to her bed and he lay back down, Mulderís fingers intertwined with hers and he was asleep again.

"Beth?" She looked up at Walter. "Did you slip him something?"

She blushed but her head came up. "Yes. He needed to slip away for awhile; especially if she died and thatís what I thought was going to happen. It wonít last long and if you donít say anything, he wonít ever know."

"Youíre probably right, but letís discuss it next time. Okay?" She nodded, abashed until he smiled at her. "It was a good idea."

No one knew what to expect in the way of a recovery. As far as they knew she was the only person ever to recover from the virus. If Mulder was suspicious that he had been taken out of the game it was never mentioned.

Scully opened her eyes finally several hours after being moved to the bed. Beth noted the time and realized that Mulder was probably the only one that had slept in nearly 36 hours. She commandeered Mary and Anne at that point to watch over her patient and sent everyone else, including herself off to sleep. Theyíd learned so much, but for now they needed to rest

*****

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