Relationship Reality (PG-13)

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Scully supported him as they raced from the trailer.  Esther wasn’t going to make it but she had to get Mulder out of range.  They turned as they heard the beam strike and ducked as the trailer exploded in a ball of fire.  They managed to stay on their feet, Mulder’s arm over his eyes, then Scully was tugging him away.  “Come on!”


“It, it’s a crime scene,” he protested.


“I’ll call it in.  You need to be in a hospital.”


He was quiet then, allowing her to lead him to the car.  She saw him wince as he opened the door and remembered the burns on his wrists.  She slipped into the driver’s seat and reached over to buckle him in.  He had settled back into his seat and closed his eyes.  Scully pulled out her phone.  No service, damnit!


After a couple of miles she finally got reception and dialed 911.  “This is Special Agent Dana Scully, badge number JTT0331613.  There’s been an explosion on highway 620 at the 14 mile marker.  We need fire and police.  I’m transporting one victim.  I need directions to the nearest hospital.” 


She glanced over at Mulder as she listened to the directions.  She could see the pain on his face and pressed harder on the accelerator.  “The police can meet me at the hospital.”


There were no wheelchairs in sight when she pulled into the ER area.  She parked next to the building and hurried around the car to help him out.  He was no more steady on his feet and she took on as much weight as she could.  They headed inside and her badge got them quick attention.  He sank into the wheelchair finally provided and closed his eyes again.  She followed the nurse into a cubicle and began examining his wrists herself.


The doctor cleared his throat when he appeared at the door.  “Excuse me.  I’m Dr. Adams; I believe this is my patient.”


She turned to him.  “I’m Special Agent Dana Scully, I’m a medical doctor.  This is my partner, Agent Mulder.  He has at least second degree burns to his wrists and ankles, he’s been drugged with an unknown substance and I’m concerned about his eyes.”


The doctor blinked, but then moved into place, and ordered Mulder’s blood be drawn.  While he was examining Mulder’s eyes he spoke to Scully.  “Want to explain what’s going on here?”


“It’s a case.  I’m not at liberty - “


“Okay.” The doctor cut her off.  “Get Dr. Schrum down here,” he spoke to the nurse.


“Who’s Dr. Schrum?”


“Ophthalmologist,” was his one word answer and Scully’s fear spiked.  What the hell had that machine done to him?


Another nurse stepped into the area then.  “Agent Scully?  There’s a police officer here to speak with you.”


No, not now.  She couldn’t leave him now.  The nurse stood waiting.


“He’ll be okay.  We’re going to bandage his wrists and ankles.  You’ll just be a few steps away,” the doctor assured her, seeing her reluctance.


After a moment she nodded, but stepped closer to Mulder.  “I’ll be right outside, Mulder, talking to the police.  I’m not leaving.”  He nodded and started to open his eyes.  “No, leave them closed for now.  I’ll be back in just a few minutes.”  She kissed his forehead, ignoring the others in the room, then followed the nurse to the waiting room.


The information she gave the officer was accurate, but incomplete.  Yes, she had been in the trailer, but seen no explosive devices.  There were two bodies in the trailer; one already deceased prior to the explosion.  She had only been able to get Mulder out.  “I’ll be submitting a written report to my superiors and I’ll have a copy sent to your offices.  Right now I need to get back to my partner.”


Since she outranked him, he kept quiet and watched her walk away.


Mulder was alone in his cubicle, bandages now covering his eyes, arms and legs.  She started to turn around and demand to see the doctor when he spoke.  “Scully?  Scully is that you?”


“Yes, I’m right here.”  She moved quickly to his side and saw he was trembling slightly.  “What did they say?”


“Nothing to me.”


“Okay, I’ll find out.”


“Stay here,” he said quickly raising his hand to her.  With his wrist bandaged she hesitated.  “Scully?”


“I don’t want to hurt you.”


”You won’t.” He reached for her again and she took his hand gently in hers.  “Talk to me.”  His voice sounded weak, frightened.


Oh god, he was blind, at least temporarily.  The man who had slept on the couch with the TV on for years, never in the complete darkness, couldn’t see.


“Should I describe your nurse?” she teased.  “She’s quite attractive.”  Scully wasn’t prepared for the gasp of fear.


“Scully, am I out of there?  Is this real?” his voice was quavering now.




“Are you real!” he demanded, his grip on her painful.


“Yes, Mulder, you’re out of that place.  We’re here in the hospital.”  She returned his grip, and he seemed to calm slightly.  What had happened to him in that place?  What had that machine done to him?  “It’s okay, it’s okay.” 


“Let’s get out of here, Scully.”


“No way, Mulder,” she let her free hand caress his shoulder.  “I’m sure they’re going to want to keep you overnight.  We don’t know what kind of drugs you were given and I need to talk to your doctors.  Don’t argue,” she continued when he started to interrupt.  “I want you healthy.”


He subsided, but didn’t release her hand.  She needed to talk to his doctors, but she couldn’t leave him.  He had fallen asleep by the time a bed had been located and didn’t wake as he was being moved.  That bothered her.  She still didn’t have the information she wanted, but she was with him and wouldn’t be leaving his side.  She asked the nurse to page Drs. Adams and Schrum for her.


Dr. Adams responded almost immediately.  They stood near the door, talking in low voices, but she refused to leave the room.  “The drugs were just a sedative, over the counter, but a large dose.  I don’t believe Dr. Schrum is available right now, but I spoke with him.  There was no damage to the retinas; he felt that rest would be the best thing.  The bandages are to make sure he rests them.  He didn’t seem to be the type to follow orders easily.”


Her relieved chuckle brought a smile to his lips.  “You can head on home.  He’ll probably sleep through the night.”


“I’m not leaving, but thanks.”


“He’s in no danger.  Honest.”


“I believe you, but I can’t leave.  Thank you.”


Dr. Adams shrugged and assured her that he and Dr. Schrum would check back in the morning.  She resumed her seat.




It was late when he stirred.  “Scully!”  He jerked awake.


“Right here, Mulder.”  Her hand pressed him back into the pillow as she tried to soothe him.


“Take them off, the bandages!  Scully, I need to know if I can see.”


“The doctor - “


You’re my doctor.  Please, I need to know if I’m b-blind.”


He was working himself up and he reached for the bandages himself.  “Okay, okay, try to relax, Mulder.  Let me adjust the lights.”  Her hand left his and he tensed, but she was back quickly and caressed his cheek.  Carefully she removed the gauze from around his head.  “Close your eyes.”  She lifted the pads from his eyes, shielding him from what little light there was in the room.  “What do you see?”


“A beautiful red head.”


She shook her head indulgently.  “I’m going to replace the bandages - “




“It’s protection, Mulder.  You shouldn’t try to use your eyes right now anyway.  Get some sleep.”


“Are you leaving?”


“No.  Just relax.”


Finally he did, allowing her to rebandage his eyes.  As soon as he was in the dark again he reached for her hand.




They stood looking at the ashes of the trailer.  “Well, if Esther wanted to leave her body, she got her wish. At least that part of it,” Scully said quietly.

“I wonder,” Mulder mused, not looking at her.
“Mulder, she’s dead.”
“What if she managed to establish an uplink, Scully? A satellite transmission?”
“Mulder, are you telling me that Esther may have . . . that she may not be dead?”
“Artificial life.  It could exist.  It could be here among us, evolving.”
“Electrons chasing each other through a circuit?  That isn’t life, Mulder.”
“Not like we know it, no.  But if it worked, Scully what if it did and she and David are together, intertwined for an eternity.”  
She turned to look at him then, there was a wistfulness to his voice. “Mulder?”
“Well think about it.  Nothing can separate them now.”
“But they aren’t . . . they have no physical bodies.  I don’t think you’d enjoy that very much.”
He winked at her, “No, I guess there are advantages to the physical, but eternity with the person who makes you whole . . . “
She blinked at that, speechless.
“Come on, Scully.  Let’s get out of here.”  He draped an arm around her and guided her back to the car.  They were together, as much as two reality beings could be.  It was enough for now.


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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.