“Scully, how did I get here?”
She glanced over at him. He wasn’t kidding. “Just relax, Mulder. Let’s get out of here. We’ll talk when we’ve put a little distance between us and them.”
She drove swiftly, wanting that distance as quickly as possible.
“Scully, pull over.”
“Mulder, we need - “ She glanced over. “Oh.” She pulled over at the first wide spot and he jerked open the door. He stumbled out and was sick by the side of the road.
He had his eyes closed, his hands resting on his knees when he felt the cool hand against his forehead. “Here, Mulder. Drink some of this.”
He squinted up at her and then took the proffered bottle of water. He rinsed his mouth out, and drank a little. It stayed down, so in a minute he drank some more.
“How are you feeling?”
“Come on back to the car. Let’s find some place you can stretch out. Or I can take you to an ER.”
“No! You, you could check me out, couldn’t you?”
“Well, yes, but . . .” His eyes, still bloodshot, were pleading. “Okay. Just try to relax.”
He nodded and let her lead him back to the car. He didn’t protest the passenger side, or make any comment when she buckled him in. He simply reclined the seat and closed his eyes.
She drove another thirty minutes. His pallor remained, so she began looking for a motel. God only knew what had been done to him.
She turned onto the business route and found a strip with fast food and motels. She chose one about half way down and pulled in. Mulder groaned slightly when she went over the hump pulling into the parking lot.
“Just stay here, Mulder. I’ll check us in.”
He barely nodded. She parked away from the door, then hurried to the entry. Leaving him alone didn’t seem like a good idea.
She got one room, a double. That wasn’t Bureau procedure, but there was no way she was going to let him out of her sight anytime soon.
Scully was back to the car in record time, having paid cash for the room.
She didn’t have much with her, but in these places luggage wasn’t really noticed. She opened his door and leaned in. “Mulder? Can you hear me?”
He started to nod, then thought better of it. “Yeah.”
“Can you walk?”
“Come on, I’ve gotten us a room.”
“A room? Why Agent Scully - “
“Mulder, come on.” She cut off his innuendo; her tone dry. She helped him to his feet and took his arm to lead him inside.
In the room, he sank down to sit at the foot of the first bed he came to.
“Do you think you could stand long enough to take a shower, Mulder? It might make you feel better.”
“Am I offending you?” His lips quirked at her.
“Do you need some help?” She ignored his comments again.
“I think I can handle it.”
She still took his arm to help him to his feet and walked him to the bathroom. “What about trace evidence, Mulder?”
“We know where I was and who had me. Maybe . . . Could you take some blood, for a tox screen? See what they shot me up with?”
“I don’t have my bag with me, Mulder. Let’s get you settled, then I’ll run out and get what we need for tonight.”
He nodded wearily and moved on into the bathroom. She stood just outside until she heard the water cut on. After a moment, she sank into the chair by the window. Damn, what the hell had they gotten into? The X-Files. She’d had no idea her assignments would be anything like this.
The man was insane. Okay, they hadn’t been partnered that long, but to break onto a military base, to see a UFO? She could request a transfer, get away from him. That would be the smart thing to do, wouldn’t it?
But it was still a new assignment. How would that reflect on her future with the Bureau? She still had no idea why she’d been assigned to Mulder. He was convinced she was a spy, which explained why he continually ditched her. Was that her assignment?
It hadn’t been spelled out, and so far her reports had not been sent back. She was trying to be impartial, stating facts and trying not to be too subjective.
Damn it, was Ahab right? She could have stayed in medicine. She could have stayed at Quantico for that matter. She hadn’t had to take this assignment. Okay, yes she was intrigued to meet ‘Spooky’ Mulder. He was the best there was when it came to profiling. But they weren’t profiling, they were . . . hunting aliens. Her shoulders drooped.
She sat up as the door to the bathroom opened. Mulder came out; he had a little more color in his face. He was toweling his hair dry, wearing just his boxers. She couldn’t quite stop her glance down. She didn’t think he noticed.
“Come on; you need to lie down.”
She hurried to the bed closest to the bathroom and pulled down the covers. He sank down, sitting on the edge of the bed. He let his face fall into his hands as his elbows rested on his knees.
“I’m sorry, Scully. I didn’t mean to drag you into something like this.” He was shaking his head.
“Lie down, Mulder.”
He did, letting the towel fall to the rug. She picked up the damp towel and took it back into the bathroom. She hung it up, took a steadying breath and returned to him.
He was watching, trying to read her. It was unnerving, more so because he usually got it right. Spooky.
“Try to relax, Mulder.” She picked up her handbag and started for the door.
“Scully! Where, what are you . . . “
The note of fear in his voice pulled at her. “I’m just going to run to the store. We need a few things for in the morning and neither of us has a suitcase. I won’t be long.”
“Yeah, okay.” He tried to ease back into the pillow but she could see the tension in his body. Did he really think she wasn’t coming back?
She returned to the bed and sat beside him. He moved slightly to give her more room. She took his hand. “I’ll just be a few minutes. You wanted me to take your blood. I need to get some supplies for that and maybe a toothbrush and a comb.” She smiled at him then.
He did relax at that. “You’re really going to pick up an Enquirer, aren’t you?”
“Ah, my secret is out. Close your eyes, Mulder.” She said dryly.
He obeyed her and she rose. When she glanced back from the door, he was watching her. Rather than speak, she opened the door and let herself out.
She got into the car and turned the key. Then she turned it off again and sat there looking up at their window. He thought she was leaving him.
Didn’t he realize what she’d just gone through to get him back? She had pulled a gun on a security agent of a secret military base. She had put her career, maybe her life on the line. No, of course he didn’t. He didn’t remember anything after heading for the base.
Hell, she wasn’t even sure why she’d handled things that way. She played by the rules. She always had. She didn’t trespass in forbidden areas, she didn’t . . . not break the rules, mutilate them.
She deflated then, who else had left him? Samantha of course, but that wasn’t the little girl’s fault. Surely something that had happened so many years ago didn’t still affect him this strongly. She really knew nothing about his personal life. What had caused this trauma in him? And why had he opened up that little bit and then clamped back down as though, as though embarrassed he’d said anything at all to her?
She looked up at the window again and saw the curtains move. He was up, he was watching her. She needed to hurry back, he needed her. Maybe she’d hang out for a little while longer.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.