Choices (PG-13)


 

It had taken them longer than they had estimated to finish up their questioning, so they decided to grab a bite to eat together before heading home.  Now they were walking to the car and having a friendly debate over whether or not to turn in the fleet car tonight.  He had finally conceded that he should take it home with him after dropping her off, and if necessary she could take him home tomorrow evening.               

The friendly bickering over her driving continued as they moved down the street.  The man lunging from the side street, gun drawn, caught both of them off guard.  “Give me your money!”

Their assessment of the situation took only seconds.  This man was in very bad need of a fix and not someone to be reasoned with.  “Yes sir.   We don’t want any trouble.”  Mulder reached into his pocket to retrieve his wallet.  Scully noted that he had moved slightly in front of her, shielding her, maybe giving her enough cover to draw her own gun.

The shaking man grabbed the wallet.   “Where’s her purse?”

“We left it in the car.  She didn’t have any cash anyway.”  Mulder’s voice was soothing, attempting to calm the man down.  Their assailant’s eyes widened as the sound of a siren started up, seemingly from just behind them.  He fired the gun almost by accident and took off running.

The impact of the bullet shoved him into her and took them both down as she tried to take on his weight and hold him.  The police car raced past them oblivious to what had just taken place.

“Mulder!  Mulder hold on!”  She had him in her lap now and had removed his tie and torn open his shirt.  Oh shit!  “Mulder, can you hear me?  I’m right here.”  She jerked his phone from his coat pocket; it was easier to reach without having to move him too much.

“911”

“I have an officer down.  We need an ambulance.”  She rattled off the address and dismissed the operator’s words after the confirmation, her attention devoted entirely to Mulder.

“Can you hear me Mulder?  Help is on the way, you have to hang on.”  His wound looked bad.  An abdominal wound was never good, but she knew too much anatomy to fool herself.  He was in trouble.  She had to keep that out of her voice.  “Mulder, talk to me.  I need you to stay awake.  Do you understand?”

He managed to open his eyes and look up at her.  His eyes were glazed with pain but he saw her, he knew her.

“Mulder you have to hang on.  I need you.”  She realized her voice was shaking now, but fear was overtaking her.  Where was the damn ambulance!  “Mulder, let me know you can hear me.”

His lips moved but the bloody froth did nothing to ease her fear.

“Mulder, you can’t leave me.  Do you hear me?  You cannot leave me, I love you Mulder.  Don’t you dare leave me alone.  You do know I love you, don’t you?  Mulder?”

She saw his lips form her name though no sound emerged.  She had been oblivious to the crowd that had gathered, but realized they existed when they parted to let the EMTs approach.

“We’ve got him ma’am.  If you could just step back please.”  One of the men standing there helped the EMT lift her to her feet and though she straightened up and stood on her own, the man stood close by, just in case.

The EMTs were working quickly and efficiently; probably only Scully realized that they were also working frantically.  IV’s were started and almost before she was ready they were loading him in the ambulance.  Without conscious thought she clambered in after them.

“Ma’am – “

“I’m a medical doctor.  You might need me.”

They exchanged glances.  She hadn’t acted like a medical doctor, but this man obviously wasn’t just a patient.   They moved over and allowed her a seat on the side near his head.  She kept up a conversation with him, even though he was obviously unconscious by this time.

They were met at the ER door by the chief resident and a bank of nurses.   The doctor acknowledged Scully; they had worked together a couple of times. Then they were off with him, leaving her standing there, shaking.   

She needed to get control.  She wasn’t helping him this way; hell she wasn’t helping him now anyway.  She needed to call . . . he had no one, except her.    Skinner, she needed to call Skinner.

The call was short, it sounded like Skinner left his apartment on his way to her before they even hung up.  Good, he could handle the police; she wasn’t leaving this place until she knew he was okay.

After a million years and the blink of an eye, the resident was kneeling in front of her.  Why couldn’t she remember his name?  “Dr. Scully?   Can you hear me?”  She nodded, damn had she ever been less professional?  “Agent Mulder has been moved up to surgery.  He’s in good hands Dr. Scully.  Is there anyone you could call?”

“AD Skinner is on his way.”  Her voice sounded faint, even to her.  He patted her hand and asked the nurse to keep an eye on her.  She didn’t bother to protest; she probably needed looking after right now.

How could something like this happen?  It wasn’t even a case, a mugging for god’s sake.   How could Mulder be near . . . near death for a mugging?

She jerked as a hand touched her shoulder.  “Scully, it’s me.  It’s Walter Skinner.”  She looked terrible.  “Scully?”

“AD Skinner.”  She said it faintly but he was relieved just to hear her speak.

“Can you tell me what’s happening?”  Make her focus; he needed to get her into a professional mode.   She was obviously in shock; her hands were icy.

“He’s in surgery.”  She stopped again until she looked up into his face.  “It’s bad.  It’s an abdominal wound.  He was bleeding internally.”

“Scully this is Mulder we’re talking about.  He’s a strong man and I know you got him help as fast as humanly possible.  They’ll take good care of him here.  For now I’m going to take you home – “

“No!  I’m not leaving.”

“Scully, look at yourself.  You’re covered in blood.  You need a change of clothes.  You have to get your act together.  He’s going to need you.”         

She looked down at her hands and saw the blood dried there.  They started shaking then and she grasped them one with the other to still them.  “I can’t leave.”  It was only a whisper, but Skinner nodded.

“I’m sure they have some scrubs you can wear.  I’ll be right back.”  He was almost afraid to leave her, but she gave a slight nod.

 He was back very quickly with an aide.  He helped her to her feet and she left with the older woman.  When she returned, the police had Skinner cornered.  He spotted her and abruptly walked away from them to her side.

“Scully . . . Dana, you need to talk to these officers.  The sooner they’re looking for this guy – “

“I know.  I’m okay.”

*****

The surgery was not going as the surgeon wanted.  The bullet had done more damage than he had anticipated and the man was losing blood as fast as they could pump it in.

“Doctor, his pressure’s dropping.”

“Shit.  Get in another line.  Clamp.”

*****

The pain was gone.  That was his first realization.  The cessation of pain was all he could focus on for a moment.  Now he tried to look around.  He was . . . he was floating?  Where was he?   It looked like an operating room.  Why would he be floating near the ceiling of an operating room?   Was he . . . was he dead?  That question created mild interest in him and he watched the movements below him a little more closely.

“Clear!”

Well, he must be dead, at least technically.  Funny this wasn’t what he’d imagined.  He hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought.  If anything he was surprised at any consciousness at all.  Scully had once shared her beliefs with him.  She believed that her loved ones would be there to greet her and lead her forward.  Not a big surprise that there was no horde of loved ones coming for him.  His father hadn’t spent a lot of time or energy loving him.  But his mother, surely she . . . Samantha, where was she?   He would have sighed if he’d had a body.    No, he was alone, as alone as he’d been before Scully came into his life.

“Go to three hundred.  Clear!”

Scully.  That brought happiness if not a physical smile.  Scully, hadn’t they been together?  Had she been injured?  Unease became his predominant feeling now.  No, no she had looked after him.  Yes, he remembered now, he had been lying on her in the street.  In too much pain to appreciate the fact at the time, but she had been okay.

“Again!  Clear!”

She’d said something to him.  What was it?  It had been important.  Now he was clearer in his thinking, she had said something important; he had to remember.  He felt something almost like adrenaline.  It had been important!  What had Scully said to him?

 Love.  Love?  Scully had said she . . . Scully had said she loved him.  He glanced down at his body again, they were still working frantically over him.  That was where the pain was, back in that body.  So much pain.   But that’s where Scully was.  It wasn’t really a choice.  Scully or . . . He started drifting down toward the activity, toward life with Scully.

 “Clear!”

 “I’ve got a pulse.”

 The doctor glanced up at the clock on the wall.  2:10 a.m., okay with no more complications . . . “Let’s finish this up.”

 ***** 

Walter rotated his shoulders and looked back at Scully.  He’d finally convinced her to stretch out on the little couch.   She’d fallen asleep, passed out actually.  He placed his suit coat over her, and glanced at his watch, 2:10 a.m.  Why didn’t someone tell them something?  She moved and he looked back down at her.  He saw her body relax, the tension leave her limbs.  And the lines in her face smoothed out.  There were even the beginnings of a smile on her face.  What would cause a smile now?  At least it looked like she was getting some real rest.  Maybe he could leave her for a minute now and see what he could find out.