The police burst in to find her holding the man, rocking him. "Get an ambulance." She handed Mulder's gun to the closest officer and turned back to Mulder.
"Don't leave me." He barely whispered the words.
"I won't. You try to relax." Good advice, too bad she couldn't follow it herself. Mulder had fired at her image if not at her. His pain was that deep. She'd never seen him in that kind of pain, and she didn't mean the physical.
He didn't speak, his face buried in his hands. Her arms went back around him, despite the officers. She could hear the siren approaching from a distance.
She watched closely as they put an IV in his arm and checked his vitals. Someone must have told them she was a doctor, because they turned to report to her. "His blood pressure and heart rate are elevated."
"Dangerously?" Maybe if she could concentrate on being a doctor she wouldn't crack in two.
"No ma'am, but we need to transport."
She nodded and watched them strap him onto the gurney and followed him to the rescue unit. She turned when she felt the hand on her arm, but it was just the sheriff assisting her into the unit. No one was trying to restrict her access to him.
She took the jump seat next to his head. His eyes opened for a moment, reassuring himself she was still there. She caressed his cheek and leaned down to whisper to him. "I'm right here."
The only response was the bobbing of his Adam's apple as he swallowed. She wanted to take his hand, but didn't want to get in the EMT's way. Instead she let her hand smooth his hair and she watched him.
They were pulling to the ER bay when the pain struck him again. He arched, straining against the straps that held him. The EMT looked up at her for guidance.
"We can't give him anything, not yet. Just get him inside."
A quick consultation with the resident brought him into agreement. The neurologist was called and he was admitted, monitors quickly brought in and attached to him.
He kept quiet, a wonder for him. In fact, she missed his complaints - would have welcomed them in fact, but he remained stoic. His only contact with the world was to look around until he spotted her, then he would relax back into his silence.
He needed to talk and she needed to hear him. They had made her comfortable, bringing in a chair and her meals. But it was the long silent periods that concerned her. She knew he was awake. The convulsions had nearly stopped and it appeared he would make a complete recovery once the chemicals were completely out of his body.
And still he didn't speak.
Something woke her, it wasn't a nurse. Since she was his private duty doctor on call, there weren't the numerous disturbances of a regular patient, but something had woken her. She turned to see that his eyes were open, watching her in the dim light of the equipment.
"I wasn't shooting at you. I wasn't even shooting at your reflection."
"Mulder, it's - "
"I didn't hit the mirror, you saw that. I was aiming at the wall beside it. There used to be a picture hanging there. A picture of my 'family'. The four of us. It's been gone for years. I guess Mom took it down after Samantha was . . . was taken. There's barely a light spot on the wallpaper any more."
Tears came to her eyes, but she kept quiet.
"Get me out of here Scully."
"Mulder . . . do you have any idea what you've been through physically?"
"No, but you do. Spring me Scully, I'll be good. I just want to go home."
Their eyes locked, and she was the one to look away first. "I'll . . . I'll talk to your doctor. But Mulder, I won't do anything to put you in danger."
He nodded, "Fair enough. You believe me don't you?"
She looked at him again, puzzled.
"You know I wasn't aiming at you."
"I . . . I hadn't thought that far Mulder. When . . . when I walked in there, and saw you . . . " She looked away and he waited. "When I saw you, I thought you were going to kill yourself. I didn't even think about me."
He took a deep breath, "The thought occurred to me. I don't deny that."
She shuddered, and he took her hand. "I didn't do it." He gave an ironic smile, "I knew you'd kill me if I did."
She sobbed a laugh then, and tightened her grip on him. "I've missed you."
"I've been right here."
"No, you haven't. You haven't said anything for two days."
"I don't . . . I don't know what memories to believe Scully, and I need to get out of here to find out."
"No. Mulder, you can't. You need to heal first. These memories, they're over 25 years old. Can't you give yourself some time?"
He opened his mouth to respond, but the look in her eyes stopped him. It took a lot to scare Dana Scully; he knew that, he'd seen it since they'd been working together. But he had scared her this time. He'd truly scared her. He closed his mouth.
He gave her a minute to regroup, then gave her a pale imitation of his dopey grin, "You're right, you know I hate it when that happens."
She drew a shaky breath. "Get some rest. I'll talk to your doctor in the morning."
The conversation wasn't going as he liked, but so far he'd held his peace. Scully could handle this.
"I'm against it."
"He's much better, the seizures are gone." Her hand rested lightly on his leg, near the foot of his bed.
"The seizures are not gone. They're markedly milder, but check the read outs, they have continued."
Scully looked up at Mulder quickly. He met her eyes and shook his head. "I'm not feeling any pain Scully, I swear."
She hesitated, then turned back to the doctor. "Do you think he's in any danger now?"
The doctor looked down and took a deep breath, "I don't think his life is in danger, but he should remain under observation."
"That's not a problem. He'll be with me."
Mulder watched her, but made no comment.
The doctor sighed, "I can't . . . if he suffers another seizure - "
"I'll get him to a hospital. We'll be in DC. Believe me, they're familiar with him there." She glanced at him with a cocked eyebrow.
He gave her an innocent look, and she turned back to the doctor.
"I suppose I can release him to you."
"I'd appreciate it. He'll do better at home."
The doctor nodded, "I'll get the paperwork started, then we'll go over treatment."
Scully nodded and watched him leave, then turned back to Mulder. "Be honest, have you felt these seizures? I'm serious Mulder."
"Scully, I can't say I'm not having them, but I swear I haven't felt them - not as pain. I've had . . . memories. Not as vivid as before, but . . ." he shrugged.
"Can I trust you not to run off from me again?"
"That I promise."
She seemed to relax a notch at that. "Okay."
His mouth quirked, "I'm in your custody?"
"Believe it G-man."
He nodded, then the doctor returned.
She didn't even smile at his attempt at humor about driving, and nearly confined him to the backseat. The trip back was made considerably slower than her frantic trip up to find him.
They were nearing DC when he mentioned it, "Scully, I'm good. Just take me to my place and I'll - "
"Don't even go there, Mulder. You're in my custody and you're staying there for now."
"But why don't we go to my place?"
"My place has food and it's clean."
"What about the fish?"
"We can call Langly."
"Come on Scully, just for a minute. I need some more clothes."
"You're telling me?" She didn't look over but could feel his gaze. "Besides you have clothes at my place."
"I have clothes at your place?"
"You have a tendency to leave things in motel rooms Mulder. Things that need to be thrown into a suitcase at the last minute, usually mine." She glanced at him again at those last two words.
"And you keep them?"
"Yes Mulder, stalking hasn't been enough." She deadpanned, "I've started on a shrine."
He laughed then, the first she'd heard in ages and she reveled in the sound. He relaxed back in the seat. "Fine, your place."
"Thanks," she said sarcastically.
His smile lasted for a while, then he turned back into himself and she felt her own mood plunge. When she parked in front of her apartment building, he just sat looking at the building.
"Mulder? You okay? Tired?"
"Yeah, I'm a little tired."
"Why don't you take a shower and eat a little something, then go on to bed."
Just okay, no banter. Okay was the last thing he was. She took the bags inside, stopping his protest unspoken with one look. He slipped off his jacket and without a word headed for her bathroom.
When the door shut, she shook herself, then continued on to the bedroom with their things. She pulled out the sweatpants and t-shirt she'd washed but not returned to him and laid them on the bed. He could sleep in that while she washed.
She dumped his bag out and took the dirty clothes to her washer and set it, then pulled a container from the freezer and set it to thaw in the microwave.
When she heard the shower cut on, she moved back in that direction and tried the door, unlocked. She slipped in and took the clothes he had dropped to the floor, then pulled the door closed behind her.
She realized she was going through the motions, allowing mundane chores to keep her from thinking. She was terribly worried about him. He hadn't mentioned his mother and that altercation. The two of them had a strained relationship at best - Mulder, the dutiful son, still seeking on some level to win her love.
Scully heard the shower cut off and started the washing machine, then stirred the soup and continued to heat it.
She turned when she heard him enter the kitchen. He had a towel around his waist and was using a second to dry his hair. She couldn't help it, her eyes flicked over him. He was wearing the same thing as when she's caught up with him at the motel and he only seemed to be in a better place. As for the once over - sue her, she was still breathing.
He had a faint smile on his face when she met his eyes. "If you don't wash these Scully, you can add them to the shrine."
"Right." She knew there was more color in her face but neither commented.
"Speaking of which, where is this shrine? I need some clothes."
"In the bedroom of course."
His smile grew then, in response to her active teasing. "I'll be right back. That smells good."
"Homemade chicken soup. Mom's homemade chicken soup." She amended when his look turned incredulous. "Go get dressed Mulder." But she did smile when the left the room. Having him here wouldn't be much of a hardship.
By the time he returned, the soup was ready and she had it on the table with a basket of crackers.
He tasted, testing for temperature. "Another Scully triumph."
"Yes, we all have our talents," she agreed.
"Sure, if I ever need anyone to kick your ass." She looked down at her bowl.
"Scully! Do you think he could take me?"
She shrugged, "you just better be good to me so we don't have to find out."
He sobered then, "I promise." His voice was soft.
"Mulder, I was kidding."
"I know." He returned to his soup and after a moment so did she.
When they were through, she stood, taking his bowl. "Into bed with you, Mulder."
"Scully, I can sleep on the couch."
"Mulder, look at you, 6'1", couch 5'5". You're taking the bed."
"What the hell were you thinking when you bought that thing anyway, Scully?"
"Temporary insanity Mulder; the fact that I'd never met you should never have entered the equation."
He snorted, then looked at the offending couch again. "You've had this longer than you've had me?"
"Sorry, but you can help me pick out the next one."
He met her eyes then, "Promise?"
She nodded, it looked like a solemn vow. After a moment she mentally shook herself. "Go on and lie down Mulder. You don't have your stamina back yet."
Rather than argue, he nodded. "Aren't you going to tuck me in?"
Her lips twitched, but she caught it in time. "I'll come check on you and bring your meds."
"Don't argue. Go on." After a last look, he did.
She finished cleaning up, transferred the clothes to the dryer and got his pills out, then headed for her bedroom.
He was in bed, lying on his side and looking toward the window, but she could tell he wasn't seeing it. He looked tired, no weary, world-weary as though thousands of years old.
"Yeah, Scully." He didn't turn to look at her.
She took a seat beside him on the bed and let her hand come to rest lightly on his shoulder, then let it caress down his arm. "Talk to me."
He shook his head. "You're tired too. Go on to bed."
He wouldn't meet her eyes, so after a moment she squeezed his arm and rose.
"Scully, do you need anything from in here?"
"Oh, I guess I should get something to sleep in." She moved to her dresser and pulled out a pair of pajamas pants and a matching tank top. He watched but made no comment. "Good night, Mulder."
"Nite." She hesitated at the door, but he didn't speak, so she let herself out and shut the door softly behind her. She was tired, but not sleepy, and she was damn worried about him. He was so withdrawn. She glanced at the door to the bedroom again, then went into the bathroom and got ready for bed herself.
When she turned to the living room, she put on a CD of light jazz very low and brought the clothes from the dryer into the living room. She folded the dry things and hung his jeans over the shower to finish drying. She stacked the folded clothes in the chair, then looked around. There wasn't really anything else to do now, and she realized she�d left her book beside the bed. Maybe she could sleep.
She flipped the music off and made herself comfortable on the couch, pulling the afghan down over her. He was here and he'd promised not to leave. He'd never broken a direct promise. She turned off the lamp and closed her eyes.
She stirred, she was on the couch . . . oh yes, Mulder was - then she spotted him sitting in the dark, in the chair. The pile of clothes now on the floor beside him.
"Mulder? Are you okay?"
He didn't speak, just sitting there.
Scully sat up then, and moved toward him. Her hand came up to touch his head, but his hand caught hers, holding it away.
"Mulder, what's wrong?" Was he having another seizure?
"I just want to be out here."
He didn't want to be alone, she realized. He hadn't been since she'd caught up with him at the cabin. She'd been beside his bed whenever he was awake.
"Sure. You want to sit over here?"
He hesitated, searched her eyes in the dim illumination from the streetlight. She wasn't sure what he was looking for, but he must have seen it, because he rose and sat on the couch near her.
wouldn't look at her, but after a moment he spoke. "Why are you still here?"
"What?" He couldn't be talking about the apartment, it was hers.
"No one else . . . everyone else is gone - Samantha, my . . . my 'father', now my mother has an excuse to hate me, but you're still here."
"Of course I am, Mulder."
"Mulder, don't you . . . I want to be with you."
"But why?" His eyes seemed to probe hers.
She moved closer and he stiffened slightly. She didn't let it stop her, putting her arm around him. "You're important to me." She smiled slightly, "I guess you've become the most important person to me."
He blinked, but said nothing.
"You know that don't you? There's no one else I would race to Rhode Island like that for. Mulder?"
"I'm important to you."
"Mulder, you're essential to me." She knew she shouldn't be talking like this, being this honest, but his depression was truly frightening.
"I've been alone my whole life. It's all I know."
"You're not alone, Mulder. You haven't been for years."
He looked up then and met her eyes. Did she really mean it? "You're not leaving, getting the hell away from me?"
"Mulder, if I'd wanted to go, I could have taken advantage of all those times they've separated us, or tried to. There's nowhere else I want to be." She let her head come to rest on his shoulder.
He looked down at the red hair, the only color in his life. Slowly his arms went around her too and she made herself more comfortable against him.
They sat in silence, just being together until he realized she had finally fallen asleep. He marveled at the feel of her in his arms. "You make my life better, Scully," he whispered, "You keep away the demons and make me feel safe. I love you, Scully." He closed his eyes, making them both comfortable on her little couch.