Her improvement was rapid following her return to consciousness. Dr. Mabry, Ken, spent a lot of time with them, especially after she was moved into a regular room, even eating with them occasionally. Scully allowed the two men to talk about their beliefs and experiences, usually not bothering to offer her side of the argument, just relaxing and regaining her strength from the sound of his voice.
She knew the baby was gone and that Mulder was keeping something about that from her, but she wasn’t ready to talk about it anyway. She had been able to keep the depression at bay so far and though she knew she would have to grieve eventually, right now she needed to regain her strength and distance herself from this.
It was only a couple of days later when the doctor brought up the possibility of her release. “Your recovery is almost beyond belief Lara. You need to take it easy for a while, but as long as you stay in contact with me, I think I can spring you tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” That from Mulder. “Isn’t that a little soon?”
Scully squeezed his hand. “Not for me.” Ken smiled, he liked this couple. They were different from most of the people he spent time with, and he liked watching them together. He almost hated to see her leave the hospital, his conversations with them had been fascinating and he didn’t want them to end.
He was there to see them off the next morning, watching Greg’s tender care of this woman he adored. He’d never had a relationship like the two of them had, and he envied it deeply. He shook hands with them both, reminding them to call with any questions or a change in her recovery.
Mulder headed straight for their apartment and bundled her back to bed despite her half-hearted protests. The assurances that she and Ken had given him hadn’t been enough; he didn’t think she should have been released - not as close as she’d come to dying.
“How do you feel?” He was tucking her in as she watched indulgently.
“I feel fine, Mulder. They wouldn’t have released me if they didn’t believe I was doing well. Did you check on the bill?”
He grinned at her; “Byers handled it for now. Our debt’s growing while we’re out here you know. You may have to sell one of those houses you own.”
She shook her head at him, but she was tiring. Her stamina was gone and now, back here in the room where she’d actually lost the baby; she could feel the depression pushing harder than it had before.
“If you’re really doing okay, I need to run out and get your prescription and some food.”
“We could have done that on the way here Mulder. You shouldn’t have to go out again. You can get it later.”
“I wanted to get you settled. Will you be all right while I’m gone?”
She pulled his face closer and pressed her lips against his forehead. “I’ll be fine. But thanks for worrying. Now stop it, okay?”
He grinned, no way, but she already knew that. He checked for his keys and headed out. She was just dozing off when the phone rang. She grabbed it, more asleep than awake. “Hello?”
“Is that . . . is that you? You’re out?” Frohike stuttered over the phone.
“Yes, I’m out. I can’t thank you guys enough for everything you’ve done.” She smiled indulgently at his voice.
“We wish it could have been more. Is he there?”
“Uh no, he ran out to get some things. What have you found?” She didn’t bother to sit up, rolling to her side and propping the phone on her shoulder.
“We’ve tested the . . . what he sent us every way we can think of. There’s no DNA from anyone but him.”
“What? What did you say?” Now she was sitting up, her knuckles white around the receiver.
“It’s got to be cloned tissue. It’s the only explanation for our findings.”
“It was Mulder’s baby?” Her voice sounded strangled, as though she couldn’t get her breath.
“Oh shit. He didn’t . . . Dana, I didn’t -“ The phone had gone dead in his ear. He turned a pale face to Langly. “I am dead meat.”
She had dropped the phone back into the cradle. She stared at it as though it were a foreign object, unrecognizable. In reality she wasn’t seeing it at all. The child she’d been carrying, that she hadn’t wanted, that child was Mulder’s? The child of the only man she wanted to have children with? No, not Mulder’s child, Mulder himself if Frohike was correct. And she hadn’t wanted it - had seriously considered abortion. But she hadn’t known! She would have done anything to carry Mulder’s child. Was this what he’d been keeping from her? He’d known, Frohike thought she did as well. He knew she hadn’t wanted it. Had she done anything? Had she inadvertently caused this miscarriage? Was this what it felt like to go mad? She couldn’t even cry. She was so deep in her pain she couldn’t remember any other feelings, that there were other feelings.
She didn’t hear Mulder return. Her lack of response to his greeting brought him to her side. “Scully?” Her color wasn’t good and in a panic he jerked the covers from her - memory of the last time fresh in his mind. She wasn’t hemorrhaging and her eyes were open, but she wasn’t seeing him.
What the hell had happened? He’d only been gone about twenty minutes. She’d been teasing him when he left. “Scully? Scully, please!” He had his hands on her now - no fever, no trauma. At least no physical trauma.
In desperation he finally took her arms in his hands and shook her. She blinked at that and he drew a breath in relief. She wasn’t unconscious. “Talk to me Scully. What happened?”
She blinked again. Mulder? He was here, when? How could he look at her, knowing she hadn’t wanted his child. How long had he known? Did he hate her for this?
“Scully, please talk to me.” He pulled her into his arms. She didn’t resist but she didn’t seem to take any comfort from it either. He felt lost, helpless. He lay her gently down on her pillow - no resistance. She didn’t seem to know he was really there.
She was beginning to tremble. Her eyes were still open, why didn’t she see him? What had happened? Her shakes were increasing though she didn’t seem to notice. Was she cold?
He toed off his shoes and crawled into bed with her, wrapping her in his arms. It didn’t seem to be helping, nothing did. “I’m here Scully. I’ve got you, I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”
Was Mulder still here? Why couldn’t she feel him? Why couldn’t she feel anything? It had been her fault; she hadn’t wanted the baby. Her body must have known that. She’d purposely gotten rid of the only baby she would ever have. Mulder must hate her now, knowing she didn’t want his child.
She did want it. Part of her had wanted the child, even though she didn’t know it was his. Knowing it was his, oh god . . . tears were forming in her eyes. Mulder, I did want it - I can’t ever tell you that, why would you even want to listen?
She was beginning to cry now and Mulder’s hand began caressing her back. He was watching her closely, she was still too deep inside of herself, non-responsive, but at least she was crying. If he remembered his psychology correctly that was a good sign. “Scully I’m here. Tell me what happened. Talk to me.”
She was beginning to sob now, the power behind her tears growing with each passing minute. He realized she was completely out of control and tightened his grip on her so that she couldn’t hurt herself. He continued to murmur in her ear, though he wasn’t at all sure she heard him. Her tears were beginning to slow down, but the shaking did not abate.
Ken, he needed to get Ken over here. He only released her with one hand and quickly dialed the hospital. Ken answered his page quickly.
“It’s Mul . . . Greg. Lara’s in trouble. Can you come?”
“I don’t know. I left her for a few minutes to go to the drugstore, pick up a few things. When I came back she was almost catatonic. She can’t speak, but she was crying hysterically a few minutes ago. She’s back to lethargic now.”
“Listen, I’ll be off duty in about ten minutes. Where are you?”
Mulder gave him the address and hung up, pulling her closer against him.
It seemed like a very long time before he heard Ken’s knock on the door. He hated moving away from her, but he, she needed the help. He opened the door for the doctor and moved back quickly to her side.
Ken’s eyes widened at the sight of her. What the hell? She hadn’t been like this earlier. He would never release a patient in this condition. This wasn’t the kind of place he had envisioned them living either. These people weren’t homeless, but this place was barely one step up. “Greg, what happened?”
“I don’t know. She was fine when I left to get her medicine. She was laughing at me, now . . . “
They both turned as the phone rang. Mulder picked it up as Ken began his examination.
“Is she okay?” It was Byers’ voice and he sounded . . . almost frightened.
“Listen, Frohike didn’t mean to - “
“What? What did he do?” The hair on his neck was standing on end. He knew what was going to be said and wanted desperately to be wrong.
There was a long pause, then Mulder heard his friend take a deep breath. “We didn’t know you hadn’t told her about the . . . the parentage of the . . . Shit, Mulder, we’re sorry.”
“Frohike told her the baby was mine?” Ken looked up startled both at the tone and words.
“Not yours, you. It’s cloned tissue, only your DNA exists in it.”
“Oh my god.” In his shock he didn’t realize he had used her phrase, but it seemed to fit. “I can’t talk now. We’ll talk about this later. I need to get back to her.” He hung up the phone without another word, turning hopeless eyes to Ken.
“I think you need to talk to me Greg. She’s stable for now, physically. It’s her mental state I’m concerned about.” Ken looked up from his patient. “Is she your wife?”
Mulder sank onto the bed beside Scully, automatically taking her hand in his. “How far can I trust you?”
Ken hesitated at those words. “Who are you really?”
Mulder looked over at Scully and sighed. He had to have help. “My real name is Fox Mulder, I’m a, I was an agent with the FBI before I was murdered.” Ken’s eyes widened at that statement. “This is Dana Scully, my partner.”
“Partner!” The word exploded from him. “You two aren’t . . . “
“We’re together. We love each other. But she didn’t know that the child she was carrying was mine.” Ken sat silent, waiting for the other shoe to drop. “What can you do for her?”
“Here? I’m not sure, but I’m also not sure we should take her back to the hospital. I know what your presence does for her. Why don’t we let her rest while you tell me what the hell is going on.”
Mulder finally wound down; his gaze was on Scully, his fingers caressing her hand. “So the child that she lost was . . . “ Ken prompted.
“Was me. I didn’t want her to know that. I didn’t even want her to know it was mine before we discovered the rest of it. That lab you sent the stuff to . . . they’re friends of ours and right now our only contact for information. Not being able to have a child hurt her deeply. We weren’t ‘together’ then and the way this pregnancy happened . . . she’s blaming herself. I know she is. That’s why I didn’t want her to know.”
Ken removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “I don’t know what to say.”
“You can get us killed. They went to a lot of trouble to ‘kill’ us and make sure the bodies were identifiable. I don’t know what happens now.”
“Are you safe here?”
Mulder shrugged. “We haven’t stayed anywhere this long, but her condition made traveling impossible. In other circumstances we would have moved on some time ago. We’re underground, we can’t risk . . . “ She stirred and his full attention was back on her. “Scully? Can you hear me?”
Instead of responding, she closed her eyes more firmly. Mulder turned toward Ken with a pleading look.
“I’m not a psychologist. If she is this traumatized by the loss of the child and the knowledge that contains, I’m not sure what to do. Except you need to stay with her. She’s not in physical danger, her blood pressure is good, her physical trauma from the miscarriage is healing. This is her mind we’re talking about.”
Mulder shuddered. He knew about trauma to the mind, he’d lived with it most of his life. He knew the feeling of guilt that couldn’t be overcome. For Scully to face that was unbearable.
He pulled her closer, trying to convey with his arms his support, his love for her. Ken wanted to look away, this was too personal, too intimate, but they had come to him for help.
“Let me make a couple of calls. Just hold her.” He rose from the bed and moved to the other side of the room, pulling out his cell phone.
After a few minutes of low voice conversation he was back. “I just talked to a friend of mine, OB-GYN. She recommended an injection of Elavil - it’s an antidepressant and sedative. She’s used it before for miscarriage cases. The injections work faster than the oral, and I don’t want to risk choking anyway. Have you ever given an injection? She’s going to need four a day.”
“Look at her Mulder.”
He nodded, “Can you teach me?”
Ken stood, “I’m going to go get the stuff you need, then I’ll show you. Don’t leave her, not yet.”
As if he could. Mulder just turned back to her, letting Ken find his own way out.
He released her only to let Ken back into the room. She was still unresponsive. He watched closely as Ken prepared her injection and administered it himself. “Think you can do it?”
Mulder gave a thin smile, “I’ve done it once. Whatever it takes . . . “ Ken nodded and moved back, giving them space.
He stayed for a little while, making sure that Mulder ate a little and that she had no adverse reaction to the drug. Eventually he stood. “She seems to be sleeping okay. You have my cell phone number. Don’t hesitate to call me Mulder. I’ll come by in the morning before rounds.”
Mulder stood and shook his hand. “Thanks.”
“Thank you, for trusting me. Remember, another injection in about an hour, whether she’s awake or not.”
Mulder nodded and held the door for the man. Ken hesitated, then patted Mulder on the shoulder and left without another word.
He thought about turning on the computer, maybe get a little work done but thought was as far as he got. He couldn’t leave her side, fondling her hand and trying not to go mad at the pain she was in. He wasn’t angry with Frohike, but he was furious with himself. Why hadn’t he been the one to break this to her? Maybe he could have softened the blow, something. He had just wanted to wait until she was a little stronger. Seeing this reaction, it wouldn’t have helped.
When it was time for the injection, he opened a sterile syringe and drew the correct dosage. He spoke to her, telling her what he was doing and after rubbing alcohol on her arm, administered the medicine.
It must have roused her a little because she seemed to be waking. “Scully? Can you hear me?”
She obviously could, she closed her eyes even tighter at the sound of his voice. “Scully, please. Talk to me, you can’t keep all of this inside.”
“Why are you here?” Her voice sounded scratchy from all of the crying she had done earlier.
He was speechless for an instant in relief. “Why? Scully, I . . . I’m here because I love you.”
Her eyes flew open then and immediately she turned her head away. “You should hate me, I killed your child.”
“Killed? Scully, no! You did nothing. It wasn’t even a child Scully. It was a . . . an experiment. Scully, think about all of the research you’ve done. Think scientifically for a minute - has what they tried to do ever worked? Think for a minute, don’t feel. The technology isn’t there. Even if we’d known from the beginning what . . . you could not have carried this . . . it wouldn’t work Scully. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Face it Scully, if you look at the science, I’m the one that almost killed you.”
She looked back at him then for an instant. “It’s true Scully. I nearly killed you - me, my DNA. You did absolutely nothing wrong. You’ve got to believe that.”
“I didn’t want it.” She spoke in a very low voice. “I didn’t know it was yours.” A tear escaped her eye.
“It wasn’t mine Scully. It wasn’t anyone’s, except maybe my parents, too many years ago to count. There was nothing to want. I need you to see this as a scientist Scully, not a woman. Yes, you have to grieve, so do I, but we’ve got to do it from a different space. Can you hear me? Scully, please?”
She didn’t respond, but he thought she heard him. He’d have to settle for that for the present.
“Scully, I have some broth. I want you to have some.”
She shook her head, not speaking.
“Scully, you need it. Please, just a few sips.” He put it on the bedside table and lifted her to a sitting position. “Come on, do it for me.”
Again she glanced at him but quickly looked away. He held the cup to her lips, and rather than fight, she took a couple of sips. Then she moved away from him. “Please, no more.”
He relented and laid her back. “We’re going to do this again later.” She didn’t seem to hear him. He started to rise and felt the pressure of her hand squeezing his. “I’m right here.”
But he wanted to be closer. He helped her back up and crawled in behind her, pulling her back to recline against his chest, seated in the v of his legs. They didn’t talk; she just let him hold her. Occasionally she would cry quietly, but she didn’t pull away as he lightly rubbed her arms, just letting him hold her. He was aware she dozed and woke, though she didn’t turn to him. She seemed to grasp at him as she woke, reassuring herself of his presence, accepting it.
When it was time for her next injection, he kissed her head and started to move from behind her.
“I’m not leaving Scully. It’s time for your medication.”
“Yes, Ken got it for you.” He handed her the bottle as he opened the syringe.
“What is it?”
“It’s an antidepressant.”
She seemed to think about that for a moment as she watched him administer the injection, “Ken was here?”
“I needed some help.”
She actually looked him in the eye then, for the first time. “What does he know?”
“We need to get out of here. We’ve been here too long.”
“No Scully. We’re not going anywhere for now. Not until Ken releases you and . . . and you’re feeling better. And then we’re going home.”
“Mulder - “
“No, you need to go home, you need to see your mother. We’ve got hard evidence; Skinner sent things to labs all over the country using different names and the guys have everything. If we have to go public, we can. To be honest, I don’t care anymore, I just want them to leave you alone, leave us alone.”
“What . . . what would we do?”
She wasn’t looking at him but he smiled. We, she’d said we. It took him a moment to find his voice. “We could still work on the X-Files. Not all of our cases involve global conspiracies. There are a lot of people that need to know what’s happening to them. With your scientific slant and my incredibly brilliant theories, we could help them.”
“What kind of theories?”
She wasn’t exactly smiling, but she didn’t look like she was going to burst into tears again, at least not immediately. He climbed back in behind her and when he was settled, with her against him, spoke. “I think you heard me.”
She made herself comfortable against him then and sighed. “Did you mean what you said?”
It took him only a second to realize what she was talking about. “Yes, I love you. I probably said it wrong though. Scully, I’ve loved you for a long time, what I meant to say was that I was in love with you.”
She went very still in his arms; he couldn’t even feel her breathing. “Don’t.”
“Don’t say it, don’t mean it. Please.”
“Scully - “ She stiffened in his arms.
"Okay, okay for now. Please don't pull away."
After a hesitation she leaned back against him again. "Have . . . have you had any sleep?"
"I don't sleep Scully. Don't worry about me."
"No. You should get comfortable."
"Scully, I’m very comfortable." She moved away from him again. "Scully?"
"I need to go to the bathroom." He rose then and helped her to her feet. She wanted to pull away, but physically she was too weak. Neither spoke and he was waiting for her when she emerged.
He saw the fresh tears in her eyes and folded her against him. She didn't try to pull away and after a moment her arms went around his waist. They stood that way for a little while, then he kissed the top of her head and put her back to bed.
Mulder got ready for bed then and joined her, holding her against him. He could feel her relax in his arms and relaxed himself.
They were both still asleep when the knock on the door woke him. She stirred as he left her side. "Mulder?"
"It's okay. Ken's here to check on you." She looked away and didn't speak.
Ken didn't speak until the door was closed behind him. "How's she doing?" Mulder shrugged and moved back over to her side. Ken followed and watched Mulder help her to a sitting position, then sat beside her.
"How are you feeling, Dana?"
She glanced up startled at the use of her real name. "It's okay Scully, remember, I talked to him." She nodded slowly and looked up.
"Can you tell me how you feel?" Ken took her hand and checked for her pulse as he waited.
"Tired. I haven't done anything, but I'm so tired."
"That's to be expected Dana. You've suffered a major trauma, both physically and emotionally; I need to examine you. Do you want Mulder to leave?"
"No." Ken looked over at Mulder, who nodded.
His exam didn't take too long and Mulder managed to keep quiet even when her grip tightened painfully when Ken palpated her abdomen. "Are you still bleeding?"
"Some." Mulder closed his eyes, but nothing took away the memory of that panic.
"When is your next shot?"
"It's past time." Mulder answered, "We overslept."
"Okay, I'll give it to you now."
"I don't . . . I don't want it."
"I understand Dana, but right now you need it. At least for another couple of days. We're not talking long term, but for now." He administered the injection, then sat beside her on the bed again. "Can we talk a minute?"
She looked up and both men saw the fright in her eyes. Mulder joined her and put an arm around her shoulders. "Dana, I did some research last night. I know you're having a rough time, but you need to know what happened to you. You did nothing to cause what happened. Your body could not do what it had been asked to do. You never felt it move." That wasn’t really a question.
She shook her head and pushed her hair back with a trembling hand.
"It wasn't a baby, Dana. I know emotionally you can't feel that, but it is a fact and you need to hear it. I know you're feeling guilty - that somehow you've let Mulder down. You need to know what he did for you."
"Ken - "
"She needs to know Mulder." Scully looked between the two and straightened up in the bed.
"Dana, what happened to you . . . it should have killed you. To be technical, it did. We lost you in the ER, you're a doctor, you know how it works. We had shocked you twice and were getting ready to hit you a third time. Then Mulder cried out your name. I didn't know he was even in the room, if I had known I'd have thrown him out - and I would have lost you. Your heart started when he called for you, we weren't touching you."
She looked up surprised, but Mulder wasn't looking at her. "We got you stabilized enough to move you to the ICU, but then you started bottoming out. We couldn't get your blood pressure stabilized. I finally came out and told Mulder there was nothing else we could do and he needed to call your family. He said there wasn't anyone and came to be with you. He took hold of your hand and . . . and Dana, you stabilized. I've never seen anything like it, but I got him a chair and he didn't leave your side for two days."
This time when he wouldn't look at her, she placed her hand against his cheek and turned him to her. "Scully - "
"You meant it." He nodded. Ken didn’t interrupt. "Why?"
"How can you ask that?"
She looked away then. After a moment Ken rose, "Physically you're healing well Dana. Especially considering what your body was asked to do. I'll check back later." Mulder squeezed her hand and rose to let the doctor out.
He stepped outside the door with Ken. "When can she travel? She needs to see her mother."
Ken thought for a minute, "Physically, at least a couple of days. Hell, maybe seeing her family can help her emotional state."
"That's what I was thinking, but I'm afraid to rush her."
"I want her on the injections for the next twenty-four hours, then we can cut back and see how things go. Are you thinking of driving or flying?"
"Which would be easier for her?" He glanced back at the door, already anxious to check on her.
"Let me think about it. Go on. Call me if you need me."
"Thanks." He headed back inside.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.