After the Future - VIII - Part 1 (PG)


Most of the people had already headed home

Most of the people had already headed home. It was getting colder by the hour and they needed to make sure their families were okay. Mulder knew that Maggie was at his house, so he stayed late, sending the others on, to make sure everything was secured. It definitely felt like a storm was coming,

Kelly had stayed behind to help him. The wind was picking up and they had to struggle the last few feet to the shelter to store the tools for the night. It took both of them to force the door open and it slammed behind them with enough force to shake the building.

Almost immediately they heard what sounded like an explosion. Mulder had time to realize that the tree just outside had let go. He glanced over at Kelly; her eyes were like saucers. He dropped the equipment he was carrying and knocked her to the floor, throwing himself on top of her. The debris seemed to fall for ages, but to Mulderís amazement the roof held.

He looked down at the woman beneath him, his eyes rapidly adjusting to the gloom. He was startled by the expression on her face, an expression that he couldnít quite place.

"All you had to do was ask, Mulder."

What? Then he became aware of their positions, he was sprawled atop her and she seemed very okay with it. "Uh, sorry."

"Donít apologize." Her arms went around his waist to hold him in place. Later he was to recognize his immediate reaction as panic, at the time he just wanted to get away. The stabbing pain in his leg forestalled that.

"Mulder? Are you hurt?" She squirmed out from beneath him then, using a lot more body language that strictly necessary. She was kneeling over his leg now. "Youíve cut it pretty badly, can you sit up?"

She had her arms around him again, and he moved to a sitting position. "You better take off your pants, let me get a look at you." She wasnít facing him as she said that, and after a beat or two he decided she was talking about his wound.

"I donít think that will be necessary." He reached down and ripped the leg of his pants open and away from the cut. It was deep, definitely needed stitches, but not life threatening. In the cold, the blood was already clotting. "Iíll live. We better get out of here."

She helped him to his feet though he tried to avoid it. After he was propped against the wall she moved to the door and tried to open it. When it didnít move, she leaned more firmly into it. "Mulder, it wonít open."

"What?" He hopped over to her and added his weight to the process. The door barely moved. "I think the tree has us trapped in here. It must have barely grazed the roof and landed right here. Damn!" He glanced around the structure, no windows. It was supposed to be just a tool shed. Itís a wonder the thing hadnít blown away already.

"Theyíll come looking for us soon, wonít they?" For the first time she seemed a little uneasy about the situation.

Mulder was listening to the weather outside Ė that was definitely sleet he was hearing. The storm was here. He hoped no one did come out to try to save them, he didnít want any of his people hurt and he knew Scully and Katy would be looked after regardless tonight. But would she stay awake worrying about him?

"Well weíre not getting out without some help, so you might as well get comfortable." He hopped back away from the door and slid down the wall to a seated position.

She pulled her jacket closer around her and joined him against the wall.

"You cold?" She nodded. What was he supposed to do about that. Sheíd already come on to him, he thought Ė it had been a long time since anyone had come on to him, college maybe Ė but he couldnít let her freeze.

He pulled her closer to him and put his arm around her. She snuggled in, getting comfortable. She didnít fit right Ė she was taller than Scully by three or four inches and quite healthy. Scully had lost too much weight. She was finally gaining again but slowly.

He felt Kellyís hand on his chest.

*****

"Mulder!" Scully woke with a cry and Maggie hurried into the room.

"Dana? Are you okay?"

"Mulderís in danger. Whereís Walter?" She threw the covers back and started to rise when Maggieís hands on her shoulders stopped her.

"Dana, calm down. You were dreaming. Mulderís working on the greenhouse Ė well he was. The weatherís getting worse. Iím sure heís on the way in now."

"Mom, he needs help. Somethingís wrong Ė " She stopped as they heard the front door open.

"Maggie? You here?"

"In here Walter." He came on in the bedroom still removing his coat and unwinding his scarf. "Is Fox with you?"

"No. He stayed behind to put the tools away and sent everyone home. Itís nasty out there. The wind cuts right through you and itís starting to sleet. Iím sure heís hurrying and will be here in a couple of minutes."

Scully shook her head. "Somethingís wrong. I can feel it."

"Dana, stay in bed. You could have been dreaming. Letís give him a little time."

Scully shook her head and the worry didnít leave her face. Walter watched her for a moment Ė he could see her concern growing. "Listen, Iím still dressed for outside, why donít I head back over that way and see if I can give him a hand."

"Would you?" She hated to beg, but she wasnít able to look for him herself and something was wrong, she knew it.

Walter smiled reassuringly at her. "Iíll probably meet him at the end of the driveway. Not much keeps him from you." He headed on out and turned immediately toward the construction.

It was really bad outside now. The sleet was mixed with snow and freezing rain. Back in DC, in their former life, this would have brought the city to a complete halt. Out here it wouldnít be much better. He was making very little progress moving forward, Scully wouldnít have been able to move at all. In fact, he was going to suggest that he and Maggie stay at their house tonight, he didnít want Maggie out in this.

Something looked different, what . . . the tree, that tree they had built the shed under, it wasnít there. He tried to pick up his pace; Mulder should have been here. He wouldnít go anywhere else in this weather except straight home to check on his two precious women.

He was close enough to see the tree now. It was down, he hadnít realized so much of it was dead. Heíd obviously lived in the city too long. At least the shed was still standing. Well, Mulder wasnít here; maybe heíd headed for the nearest house to borrow more clothes. Walter tried to visualize what heíd been wearing earlier while they were working.

He needed to get back inside himself. It was brutal out here. But what could he tell Scully? She thought Mulder was in danger, if he was out here she could be right. Maybe he should get some people out here to help him. He moved closer to the tree, Mulder wasnít trapped under it was he?

No. He moved around the shed to get out of the wind. He leaned against it to catch his breath. "Damn it Mulder, where are you?" The last thing he wanted to do was stay out in this if Mulder was in front of a fire somewhere.

What the hell was that? He realized he was hearing banging on the wall of the shed. "Is someone in there!" He had to yell to try to be heard above the wind.

"Walter! . . . that you?"

"Mulder?"

"Yeah . . . trapped . . . tree!" Tree? The tree was in front of the door. He moved around to see what he could do. Nothing, not alone. He returned to the side of the shed.

"Mulder, I need to get some help. Weíll have to cut the tree away."

" . . . morning. Too bad out here . . . Scully and Katy! . . . be okay until . . . ing."

It sounded like he wanted him to make sure his family was safe and get him out in the morning. "Are you sure youíll be okay until morning?" He was out of the wind, but there was no heat in the building. Walter tried to remember what else was in the building. There were some drop cloths and those work gloves. Mulder was resourceful, he could hold out until daylight. Then Walter could get out here with some men and get this tree out of the way.

"Look after Scully! Tell her Iím okay!" Well he heard that clearly enough. A strong gust of wind nearly knocked Walter off of his feet.

"Okay Mulder! Iíll be back at first light. Donít worry about Scully or the baby!" Mulder had been talking while he was and he missed whatever he said. "What?"

"Go! Youíll freeze . . . morning!"

Mulder was right about that. He was going to freeze out in this. "Keep warm! Iíll be back in a few hours!" He turned and began making his way back to Maggie.

"You didnít tell him about your leg." Kelly noted after they had settled back against the wall.

"I didnít want him to slip and mention it to Scully. Itís not that bad."

"You spend a lot of time protecting her."

"Sheís my life." He stated it simply, a fact.

"But she hasnít been a wife lately, has she? I mean first the baby and then the virus." She moved closer to him. "A man like you Fox, healthy, virile Ė I know you have needs. It has to have been a long time for you."

Needs? He looked over at her, uncertain what to say. "You want to have sex with me?" Smooth, Mulder.

"I probably wouldnít have said it quite so succinctly but, yes."

He just sat there looking at her for a long moment. "I . . . Iím flattered, really, but Iím married. In fact Iím probably the most married man youíve ever met."

"I know youíre married. But weíre alone here, no one would ever have to know."

"I would know." He removed her hand from his thigh. "Why donít we get those drop cloths over here and . . . "

"Fox? Your leg?"

"Yeah." He sank back against the wall.

"Stay still." She rose and took something from her pocket. "Here, take a swig."

"What is it?" He didnít reach for it, even with his eyes adjusted it was getting too dark to see.

"Jerryís flask. He had me slip it in my pocket when he climbed up on the roof. Go ahead."

"Itís too cold, it would be dangerous. But . . . " He took it from her and poured some on his leg. He hissed at the pain but continued. He didnít need an infection; he had too much to do right now.

"You okay?" She was dragging the drop cloths over to him now.

"Yeah." He knew he sounded breathless, but damn that had hurt.

"Just relax." She pulled the heavy canvas up over him, then crawled in with him and took him in her arms. She felt him stiffen, "I said relax. Iím not going to rape you Fox. Just know Iím available if you change your mind."

He decided against comment. Heíd made his position as plain as he could. There was no woman he wanted except Scully, no matter how long he had to wait.

*****

Skinner stumbled into the house and the waiting arms of his wife. "Itís bad out there." He managed to say as she helped him off with his coat and steered him toward the fire.

"Fox hasnít come home yet."

He nodded, trying to bring his shivering under control. "Let me tell this once." He turned to the bedroom, Maggie holding his hands to warm them. "Scully? I found Mulder, heís okay but . . . heís trapped in the tool shed. A tree came down, I canít get him out tonight but Iíve talked with him. Heís fine and he can stay warm enough with what heís wearing and whatís in the shed for tonight. Iíll get the guys out at first light and cut away the tree. Scully, he kept telling me to reassure you that he was fine."

"You talked with him."

"Yes. Heís lucky he was inside of the shed when the tree went down, otherwise he might have been injured. You need to get some rest, he was more worried about you than you are about him."

"Heís right, Dana. Just lie down. You know Fox can look after himself for one night. Walter and I will sleep here. Would you like me to stay with you?"

The worry lines didnít leave Scullyís face. Something was wrong. But Walter wouldnít lie to her about speaking to him. What was it?

"Come on, Fox will be very upset if you donít look after yourself. Heís okay or Walter wouldnít have left him." Her mother was tucking her in and her body was betraying her yet again. Her strength was used up and her eyes were closing. Mulder, what was really wrong?

The storm broke during the night and dawn did actually bring light, as well as the discovery of four inches of snow. Walter had kept his word and had a crew rousted and out at the shed as soon as there was enough light to see.

The surprise at finding Kelly there as well went unremarked, but not unnoticed. It was immediately shoved aside when Mulderís leg was uncovered. The wound was red and angry and there was the possibility of frostbite as well.

Mulder absolutely refused to be taken to the clinic, insisting that he had to see Scully and his leg wasnít that bad. He was so insistent that Walter gave in, sending Frohike to bring Beth to the house to stitch up the leg.

Kelly had no injuries and Mulder had obviously kept her warm, so Walter agreed with her returning to her own home. He would do some investigating as soon as possible as to why no one has reported her missing in last nightís weather. The Ďoversightí if thatís what it was, would not be tolerated in the future.

Mulder was carried, over his protests, to the house and Scully was awake and waiting for him when they brought him in. She was on her knees in the bed examining him practically before they laid him down.

"Your leg! Why didnít you tell Walter, this should have been treated."

"Donít I even get a kiss?" He pouted as she hovered over him.

"Oh god, Mulder!" She was in his arms, unable to stop the tear that escaped.

"Hey, Iím okay. Beth is on the way over to sew up my leg. Donít worry. We were fine."

"We?" She drew back slightly, "Who was with you?" The others in the room seemed to melt away, leaving them alone. Mulder glanced at the door, why was everyone leaving now? Thanks a lot.

"Uh, Kelly. She was trapped in the shed with me. We had been putting away the tools when the tree . . . " He kind of ran down, somehow it didnít sound as plausible in the light of day.

"Kelly?" The attractive brunette came quickly to her mind and the feeling of danger nearly overwhelmed her. This was the danger? It wasnít to Mulder; it was to her. Heíd stayed with Kelly all night, protecting another woman like he always had her. Well of course he had, they had been in danger, that didnít mean anything.

The vision of Detective White atop Mulder when sheíd walked into his motel room was back in her head. Nothing had happened there. The woman had thrown herself at Mulder and he had been able to withstand that. Surely now, now that they were a family . . .

"Scully? Are you okay?"

"Iím fine Mulder." She answered absentmindedly and missed the wince the words elicited from him.

"Scully, you know nothing happened, donít you? I mean, you trust me that much." He looked anxiously into her eyes.

"Sheís a very attractive, healthy woman Mulder. I wouldnít blame . . . I havenít been a wife in a long time, just a burden."

"Burden! Where do you get that?"

"Mulder, you were in danger, less than a mile from here and I couldnít even get out of bed to come help you."

He pulled her against him; "It was thoughts of you that kept me warm Scully. You always pull at me, keep me grounded. There is no other woman, there couldnít be. If you and I could never have physical love again it wouldnít keep me from loving you every night. Scully, please."

He hadnít realized how deeply she felt about this, that sheíd been brooding about it. Did she honestly think that he could love anyone else?

The tap on the door brought them both back to the present. Beth stuck her head in, "Can I work on the patient now?"

"Oh yeah. Come on in." Mulder regained his composure first.

"Beth, heís going to need novocaine and penicillin." Scullyís doctor persona had taken over, giving her breathing room. She was on her knees again, examining his wound.

"Wait, wait a minute. Just go ahead and sew it up, save the novocaine."

"Mulder," she looked up from his leg. "I think youíre going to want it."

"Youíre probably right, but Iíd just as soon save it in case you or Katy need it later." That brought immediate tears to her eyes. She needed to get her emotions under some sort of control, he was here, he was safe, and she knew he had not betrayed her Ė not this man.

"Beth, why donít you get Walter in here." She touched his face, the stubble felt good Ė she wanted to be alone with him again but this had to be done.

"Walter, why?" Mulder questioned but Beth had already turned toward the door.

"Because youíre going to need to hold on to something and youíd be afraid youíd hurt me. Right?"

He grinned at that, "Right. Letís get this over with."

She had to turn herself off to get through this with him. It did hurt, but he didnít make a sound. She saw his grip on Walterís hand tighten occasionally but made no comment herself. It wouldnít have done any good. When Beth was finished Scully gently wiped the sweat from his brow. "Thank you."

"For what?" His eyes were closing in relief.

"For being Fox Mulder." He gave a faint chuckle at that and took her hand.

"No problem."

Walter straightened up and flexed his hand. "They have some food for you. Iíll make sure itís ready." He gathered up the instruments Beth had used and carried them out for her.

"Did you tell him Beth was pregnant?"

Mulder shook his head; "Maybe he just assumes everyone is now. Itís safer."

"Idiot. Stay awake, Mulder. You need to eat." He nodded wearily but didnít open his eyes. Maggie brought in the soup and Mulder roused himself enough to eat a little and to ensure that she ate, then was out like a light.

"You should sleep too Dana. Walterís got Katy and thereís not much that can be done outside right now anyway." Scully nodded and curled in to Mulderís side. His arm automatically drew her closer though he didnít wake.

*****

Where was she? And why was she in such pain? Oh god, she had to be dying. The pain receded slightly and she was able to get a breath. She was lying on dirt, but there were walls around her. The pain gripped her again and she realized her body was pushing Ė she was giving birth and she was completely alone. "Mulder!" It was barely a moan. The baby was being born; she couldnít give in to the pain. There was no one else. She screamed.

"Scully! Scully wake up!" Mulder? He was here; she was in his arms. What the . . . she had done it again. It was like with Mary and Beth. It was the future. Her future. "Itís just a dream, Scully. Everythingís okay."

She was getting her breath back. The other visions hadnít been about her. Sheíd just been a witness. But it was going to happen, which meant her strength would return. She and Mulder would have another child together. That thought stopped her. However the child was born, for whatever reason she was alone, she was healthy enough to get pregnant, to carry the child to term. Thatís what she needed to concentrate on.

"Scully, you okay?" She was still shaking but seemed to be calming down. He felt thick, like he couldnít wake up. What was wrong with her? In all the years they had been together, heíd never heard her scream like that.

"Mulder, youíre running a fever." She was feeling of his forehead and the back of his neck. "Youíve gotten an infection. Where did Beth put that penicillin?" She was up and halfway to the bathroom before she realized she was walking.


She gave a half smile and continued on. She picked up the antibiotic from the counter and returned. He was watching her, mouth open.

"Maybe I just needed to be needed."

"You donít listen very well Scully. I always need you." His eyes were closing again. She shook him awake and had him take the medication and some aspirin Beth had left beside the bed, then watched him as he drifted off.

*****

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