The cab dropped her off at the entrance to the hospital and she hurried to the door. It had occurred to her once she was on the plane, that she didn’t have anything with her, not a toothbrush, not a change of underwear, but it hadn’t mattered.
She moved to the visitor’s desk and asked for his room number. It took a moment to locate his name, then she was told he was in recovery.
Her credentials got her a chair inside the recovery room. She was there when he began waking and shortly thereafter she was allowed to accompany him to his room. When he woke for real, she was holding his hand.
He turned his head and his eyes widened. “You’re not a dream,” he rasped at her.
She shook her head, her throat tight.
“Are we in Philly?”
“Yes, and you’re going to be fine.”
“I know that now.” He squeezed her hand lightly, his eyes already closing again. “Will you be here?”
“Right here. Rest.”
He was already asleep.
When he woke again, she was asleep in the chair. “Hey, Scully,” he said softly.
“Mm, Mulder. Sorry.”
“Don’t be. What time is it?”
She glanced at her watch. “After lunch. You missed your Jell-O.”
“Damn. When did you get here?”
“Around seven. You were in recovery.”
“Didn’t you work all night?”
“Mr. Skinner called me just as I was getting off.”
Mulder’s face colored slightly. “I should have - “
“Thank you.” She rose then and gave him a light kiss on the lips. “I need a favor.”
“Don’t get shot again.”
“Yes ma’am.” He smiled at her, pulling her down for another kiss. “Have you really been here all along?”
She nodded. “As quick as I could get here.”
He looked into her eyes for a long moment. “You should go get something to eat. When they do bring my Jell-O, I’m not gonna want to share.”
“Yeah. I’ll wait right here.”
“You better. I won’t be long. I want to be here when your surgeon comes by.” She gave him one more quick kiss, squeezed his hand and let herself out of the room.
When she returned, she met the nurse leaving the room. “Is he okay?”
“He was experiencing a lot of discomfort. I gave him some of his pain medications. He’ll sleep for awhile now.”
Stricken, she hurried on into the room. She immediately took his hand. “Mulder, why didn’t you tell me you were in pain?”
He opened his eyes and blinked at her. “Wasn’t . . . when you were . . . here.” He was asleep then.
She stared down at him for a moment. The memory of the sudden stab of pain in her leg returned. She hadn’t seen his wound yet, and since he was out, now was as good a time as any. She carefully removed the bandage from the surgery site. Color was good, the scarring should be minimal, and it was exactly where her pain had occurred.
She looked up startled when the door opened. A distinguished looking older man entered. He paused when he saw her. “Checking out my work, or his?” He asked with a leering smile. It looked predatory to her.
“I’ve been appreciating his work for some time.” She looked him straight in the eye, her voice frosty.
He nodded and moved closer. “He was lucky. They had an ambulance on sight. He could have easily bled out. I’m predicting a full recovery. He’ll need to be here for several days, and he’ll need crutches for a short while. Are you his wife?”
He held out his hand then. “Dr. Samuel Dwoskin.”
“Dr. Dana Scully.”
His eyebrow rose. “Doctor?”
“I’m at Georgetown Memorial in DC.”
“Surgery?” He glanced down at his work again.
“Pathology.” She admired the surprised look on his face. She saw it a lot.
After an instant he nodded and turned to his chart. He gave Mulder a quick examination, then nodded to her and left without another word. She found herself amused by the attitude, but relieved that he’d found nothing troublesome. She settled back into her chair.
When he woke again it was to find her smiling at him. “How’re you feeling?”
“Really good now.”
“You will tell me if you’re in pain.”
He blinked at that. “Sure. Why?”
“You didn’t before.”
He looked puzzled at that. “I don’t remember any pain when you were here.”
She squeezed his hand and didn’t pursue it.
“So, when are you breaking me out of here?”
That startled a laugh from her; her first in several hours. “Don’t even think about it. You need some recovery time.”
“I’m not good in hospitals, Scully. My couch is the best place for me to recover.”
“Your couch? Mulder, don’t be ridiculous. When you get out, you’ll come to my place. I can keep an eye on you while you recover.”
“Okay, now I really want out of here.” He leered at her and she sank into the chair she’d used earlier; relief sapping her strength for a moment.
She swallowed, the smile negating the tears that had fallen from her eyes. “I was so scared,” she whispered.
“It’s not your fault,” she laughed shakily.
“But I should have warned you about using your name, for my emergency call.”
“I’m glad you did that.”
He gave a small sigh of relief. “I still should have asked.”
“The results would have been the same.” She took a calming breath. “The surgeon came by while you were sleeping.”
“Did you approve of him, or her?”
“Him. Yes, it looked like he did a good job and you should have very little scaring.”
Mulder’s hand touched the bandage at his groin. “You, uh, you checked?”
She made her face serious as she could, though her eyes were twinkling. “I noticed everything I needed to.”
He mock glared at her, but seemed to relax a little. “I really do want out of here.”
“I know,” she said softly. “Just get well, promise me.”
She held the door open as he maneuvered into her apartment. He had obviously used crutches before. That was something she wanted to ask about some time. He hopped the last couple of steps to the couch.
“Mulder, you should go on to the bedroom. You’ve been up a long time.”
“Come on Scully, just a little while. All I’ve done for days is lie in bed without you. You haven’t done a lot of resting either. Please, come sit beside me.” He gave her that puppy dog pout and she melted.
“Stop doing that, Mulder. I haven’t built up an immunity to it yet.”
He nuzzled her neck. “I hope you never do.”
She allowed him to sit there for a little while after she left his side, taking the time to change the sheets and turn down the bed. She also laid out a towel and washcloth for him.
She insisted then that he go to bed after a stop in the bathroom. He stopped just inside her bedroom and surveyed her preparation for him. “Sorry there’s no chocolate on the pillow. I didn’t think of it in time.”
“Not a problem, Scully. I’d rather have red hair any day.”
She was smiling as she helped him maneuver into the bed. “I need to change your dressing.”
He looked up startled. “It’s, it’s fine, Scully.”
Her eyebrow rose and his face colored. Without a word she left to get her supplies. He sank back against the pillow. He hadn’t thought about this. That wasn’t the kind of doctor he wanted her to play in that particular area of his body.
He opened his mouth to protest one more time when she returned, but her expression shut him up quickly. She changed his bandage efficiently with a detachment he envied. Then his eyes were startled open when she lightly caressed his balls. His cock sprang to attention and he watched her smile grow.
“Good, no problems in that area.” She pulled the sheet up over him as he gaped in disbelief.
“You’re going to leave me, like this?” he managed to croak out.
“You can’t move that leg around too much.”
“That ain’t my leg, Scully.”
She grinned then. “I think I’ll get ready for bed . . .” He watched her slip from the room, smiling himself now.
Having him in the apartment was surprisingly easy. Having him in her bed was incredible, even with his injury. They worked out a good schedule. She was still on the graveyard shift, which did work nicely. At night while he slept, she worked, coming home to crawl into bed with him for a few hours before he got up.
He couldn’t drive himself to physical therapy, but didn’t want to inconvenience her. He made arrangements for some friends of his to pick him up.
“Come on, Mulder. No one who lives in a classy place like this is gonna hang out with you.”
“I beg to differ, Fro. I know how to be charming.”
“He certainly does,” Scully spoke from the bedroom door. The three men turned at the sound of her voice. She was tying the sash around her waist.
“Scully, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
She smiled. “You didn’t.”
“Mulder, she’s hot,” the short one said, eyeing her without restraint.
Mulder took hold of his shoulder. “Back off, Frohike. I want to make a good impression. Now she’s going to realize I know you.”
Scully chuckled but with Mulder there she felt comfortable enough to approach them.
“The respectable looking one is John Byers, the troll is Melvin Frohike.”
“Pleased to meet you.” She shook both of their hands.
“There’s another one, but he couldn’t come. That’s probably to my benefit.” Mulder maneuvered over to the couch with his crutches. “You’d throw me out and I’d have to stay with them.”
“Don’t worry; I’m not throwing you out. Would you like some breakfast?” Her smile made it clear that she included all three of the men.
“Thanks, but we need to get moving if we’re going to make his appointment,” the respectable looking one said.
Mulder sighed and levered himself back up off the couch. “Go back to bed, Scully. You didn’t get enough sleep last night.” He leaned over and gave her a kiss.
“If I’m not awake when you get back, wake me up. We’ll eat together.”
He smiled and cupped her cheek. “You got it.”
“It was very good to meet you,” she said as Mulder headed for the door. Frohike moved over closer, but Byers’ hand clamped down on his shoulder.
“It was nice to meet you, too. We’ll get out of your way now.”
“Dana, I’m just saying if you really are committed to one another - “
“We’re together, Mom. Please try to understand.”
“He calls you by your last name.”
“I call him by his last name too. It’s, it feels right.”
“You’re an adult; I know that. I don’t have to tell you about ‘buying the cow’ - “
“All right, but I felt like I needed to say something to you about this.”
Mulder quietly stepped back out into the hall before she could answer. He leaned heavily on his cane for a moment, eyes closed. He took a steadying breath and knocked loudly on the door as he opened it. “Scully, you here?”
“In the kitchen,” she answered and he moved in that direction.
“Maggie, I didn’t realize you were here.” He hugged her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “My two favorite women, in the kitchen - “ He waggled his eyebrows at them.
Maggie chuffed. “I don’t know who’s the bigger flirt, you or Charlie.”
“Charlie, by a mile,” Mulder assured her.
One of her eyebrows rose, but she didn’t dispute it. “Do you two have big plans for this evening?”
“That depends, where would you like to go?”
“Oh, not me. I need to get home. The captain has probably put out warning flags already. You two have fun.” She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, then turned to Dana. “Think about what I said.”
“Yes, mother,” Dana replied dutifully and walked her mother to the door. Mulder sank against the counter once they were out of sight. When the door closed, he straightened up.
“So, it’s just us, where would you like to go?” He pulled her against him, taking his welcome home kiss.
“No where I have to wear shoes,” she sighed.
“Three autopsies. I need to be barefoot.”
“Your wish is my command. Go put your feet up. I’ll order in.”
“You don’t mind?”
He chuckled. “They’re probably ready to put out an APB on me from Chao’s. That or they think I’ve starved to death somewhere. Go on.”
He placed a quick order. She smiled when he ordered her favorite without asking. Then he joined her in the living room and pulled her feet up into his lap. He untied the sneakers she wore to and from work, and peeled off her socks.
“What are you doing?”
“Pay attention.” He began massaging her right foot. His eyes crinkled at the tiny moan she allowed to escape. He brought her foot up and kissed her instep.
“Now I know you really like me,” she quipped, then met his eyes. The smoldering look took her breath away.
“Yeah, I do,” his voice was husky, low and the shiver that went up her back wasn’t quite hidden from him. They were quiet then as he soothed the ache in her feet and ankles.
The lids of her eyes were low, but she was watching him. He didn’t go into great detail about his work, just as she didn’t, but something was bothering him. Her lips parted to ask when the doorbell rang.
“Ahh, dinner is served.” He lay her feet on the couch and rose. She started to stand, but he wagged his finger at her. “I’m in charge of dinner tonight. Stay.”
“But - “
“Stay.” He moved to the door then, not bothering with the cane. He carried their dinner to the kitchen and dished it up, bringing a plate to her.
“What in the world have I done to deserve this?”
“Put up with me,” he said quietly, then returned to the kitchen for his plate and drink.
She was sitting up, but her food hadn’t been touched when he took his seat beside her and handed her a napkin.
“What does that mean?” she asked finally.
“Eat. It’ll make your feet feel better.” He took a bite and grinned at her. It took a second or two to realize it hadn’t reached his eyes.
She began to eat, but her appetite had diminished. They ate in silence for several minutes before she put her fork down. He looked over startled.
“Talk to me, Mulder.”
He sighed, placing his own fork down. “I am committed to you, Sc-Dana.”
Her face flamed. “Oh god. You did hear . . . “
“I’m sorry. Mulder, I’m so sorry. She had no right - “
“She has every right. She’s your mother, she loves you and she’s worried about you.”
“I’m an adult. I can make my own decisions.”
“But you’re wondering why I haven’t - “
“No. No, I’m not. I know you care about me. I hope you realize how much I care for you, but on the evolutionary scale, we’ve known each other mere seconds.”
He shook his head. “We’ve been through things together. I’ve told you more about me than anyone, ever.” He looked down at his hands then, “Which is why I’m always a little surprised you let me in your place.”
“Mulder - “
“I want to be with you, but . . . “
“But what, Mulder?”
“I think you deserve a safety valve.”
“I . . . I never forget for a minute that I’m ‘Spooky’ Mulder. I know what I’m like when I’m wrapped up in a case. No one should be required to put up with me when - “
“You think I couldn’t handle the worse in ‘for better or worse’?” She tried to keep her tone light.
“I’m thinking you shouldn’t have to.”
“I always assumed that would be my choice, if someone asked me.”
He gave her a crooked grin then. “Maybe that’s why I’ve been afraid to ask.”
“Then I guess we should spend some more time getting to know each other,” she said softly. “I don’t see any need to rush.”
The coughing woke him and he sat up. “Scully? You okay?”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you,” she managed to get out between coughs.
“Are you okay?” Mulder flipped on the light. “Scully?” He reached for her, touched the crimson stream on her face. “You’re bleeding.”
“What?” She wiped at her face and looked at the blood on her fingers.
“I’ll get you a cloth.” He was out of the bed before she could stop him. He returned with a warm damp cloth and dabbed at her face.
“Here, let me.” She took the cloth and cleaned herself, then wiped at the pillowcase. She looked up at his concerned face. “It’s probably just too dry in here. I’m fine, really.”
After a moment he nodded. She was a doctor and that made sense. “Come here.” He took her back against him and they eventually slept again.
The next night when he came home he found her in the kitchen. She tried to hide the bottle in her hand, but he moved around her. “What’s this?”
“Just aspirin. I’ve had a headache most of the day.”
His brow furrowed. “You don’t have to hide things from me, Scully. Why don’t you go lie down, I’ll fix dinner.”
“You don’t - “ She stopped when his lips pressed against her forehead.
“I want to. Go on. It might not be gourmet, but I won’t poison you.” He grinned and turned her toward the bedroom. She gave him a tiny smile and left him.
He assembled the meal that she had laid out and dished it up. He started down the hall to check on her when he heard her coughing. He hesitated, then opened the door. She was sitting on the side of the bed, a tissue at her nose.
He sat beside her. “I think you need to see a doctor.”
She cut her eyes at him. “Do I point out the obvious?”
“Don’t even try. Doctors are the only patients worse than me. You have a friend or two in the business, right? Just have them check you out. Maybe you’re allergic to me or something, and you need shots.”
“Shots? Rather than have you move out?”
“Shots,” he said definitively.
She nodded. “Okay. I’ll see if Karen can prescribe something tomorrow. It’s probably just a sinus infection.”
“Good. I don’t like my woman being under the weather.”
“’Your woman’, huh?”
He grinned. “Feel like eating?”
“Yeah, I think that’ll help.”
He helped her to her feet and took her in his arms, surprising her a little. “You don’t really mind being ‘my woman’ do you?”
“No. Not at all.”
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.