Split Seconds (PG)


 

Why wasn't his door locked? He pushed it open cautiously, his gun already in his hand. He saw movement and the flash of metal. Whoever was here was armed. He saw the movement toward him and the sight of metal being raised. No! He fired two shots as he threw himself to the side. Mulder heard him fall and rose carefully to his feet. He flipped on the light and froze.

"Scully?" A whisper, then he was beside her, frantically searching for her vital signs. "Scully!" This time was a cry as though to call her back to him. No pulse, he ripped her blouse open. Blood, too much blood. Oh god, what had he done? He was performing CPR, nothing. Nothing! "Scully." This one was a sob. She was gone; he'd really killed her time. No dream. He pulled her up against him, but her arms didn't go around him and never would again. Never. Time disappeared as he held her.

He finally lowered her gently back down to the floor. He'd killed her, no one, nothing else to blame. He looked over at his gun where he had dropped it beside her as he tried to undo this horror.

He picked it up, examining it. Only two rounds used. Plenty left. He raised the gun to his temple. No reason to be here anymore. He wouldn't be with her, not in any afterlife he'd ever heard of but he couldn't live on here, not now.

He caressed her cheek one last time then closed his eyes. Too much blood, he needed to see her as he did in his fantasies. He began applying pressure to the trigger.

He felt something shove his hand away as the bullet exploded from the chamber and felt his hair move as the round went through it. He opened his eyes right into the terrified eyes of Dana Scully. "Don't." The sound came from her lips, with her voice. But he'd killed her. "Mulder I'm not dead. Mulder, can you hear me?"

He tried to move away from her. Was he dead? If he was where she was alive it didn't matter. "Mulder!" He reached for her as the blackness took him.

*****

"Scully. Scully can you hear me?"

She knew that voice, but it wasn't the one she wanted to hear, needed to hear. Scully forced her eyes open and managed to focus her eyes on the man leaning over her.

"Scully, it's okay. Just relax." Skinner took her hand. "How do you feel?"  

"Weak. Where's Mulder?" He chose to ignore the question.

"Can you tell me what happened?"

Her brow furrowed, trying to remember. "I was at Mulder's apartment."

Skinner nodded. "That's right. Anything else?"

She shook her head. "How did I get here? What's wrong with me?"

"Mulder's neighbors reported shots fired. When the police got there they found you two lying on the floor. You were covered in blood but there was no wound. Mulder's gun had fired three rounds but none of them have been found yet."

"Was Mulder wounded?"

"No, physically he's fine."

"Physically?" She was watching his eyes.

"He's upstairs. Scully he was talking out of his head. He's convinced that he killed you. He wants to kill himself." Her hand tightened around Skinner's.

"I need to see him."

"Scully, he's in restraints. You can't -"

"I have to." And she was going to whatever he said. No one was going to stop her, no one.

"Scully they still don't know what happened to you. Why were you covered in your own blood?"

"I’m okay, Sir."

"He's not allowed visitors." Scully forced herself to sit up. She was weak, but it didn't matter. "Scully, Dana, you need to rest."

"He wants to kill himself? And you expect me to lay here?" Skinner looked abashed. "Take me to him. Please, Sir."

Skinner looked around as though for rescue. Her hand grasped his arm. He reluctantly nodded. He'd have to pull some strings, but he'd done it before for this pair.

He guided her wheelchair to Mulder's room himself. He helped her to her feet and reached for the door.

"No. I need to go in alone."

"Scully, he's not himself. He could be dangerous."

"Not to me, and you said he was in restraints." Skinner was silent for a minute, then nodded.

She pushed the door open and let herself in. Was he asleep? She approached the bed, wishing he would look at her. "Mulder?"

He opened his eyes then and looked toward her with no expression on his face. "Mulder? Are you okay?" She touched the strap on his arm. "Talk to me, Mulder."

"You're dead. I murdered you." His voice was flat, devoid of all emotion.

"I'm not dead, Mulder." He didn't respond, so she took his hand. "I'm not dead. I'm right here, but I don't know what happened. Can you tell me?"

His hand was limp in hers, not grasping it like she was used to. She sat in the chair next to the bed. She waited; he would talk when he was able. He was the only one that could tell her what was going on.

It took awhile and though he didn't try to pull his hand away, he didn't respond to her touch either. Abruptly he started talking, every detail so vivid in his memory that the urge to die overcame him again. Tears were running from his eyes as he recounted his efforts to bring her back. Then he fell silent again as though his battery had run down.

She didn't realize there were tears in her own eyes seeing his anguish. She didn't remember what he was telling her. She didn't remember being shot but now she did remember opening her eyes to the sight of him holding a gun to his own head. That sight had scared her more than anything she could remember. It had been so close. She shuddered and he looked at her.

She wiped his tears away with her fingers. "You tried to kill yourself." He was watching her tears now, unable to brush them away himself. "Why?"

He didn't seem to understand the question for a heartbeat, then, "How could I live with that, with what I’d done? How am I supposed to live with you gone, gone because of me?"

"I'm not gone Mulder."

"You were dead. I did kill you." She had to look away from him then. Was it true? He was so damn sure. But that meant . . .

"You were dead." He repeated. "I performed CPR but you were still dead. I held you and you were gone." His voice broke on that last word.

She had to get him thinking again, break him out of this pit he was in. An X-File might do it and she needed to know his thoughts, his feelings about what might be happening to her, to them.

"Mulder, then how am I alive now? I am alive; you’ve got to believe me. I need your help, Mulder. I need you to help me though this." At least he was looking at her now.

"Do you remember Alfred Felig?" He nodded. "You know what we talked about. You know I dismissed it. But if you're this sure . . . "

"I am sure. And you were dead. But that mean, that means Felig did something to you. Changed you."

Clyde Bruckman’s words were in her head. They were at the hotel; Mulder was waiting just outside the door. "Okay, how do I die?" She’d finally asked.

"You don’t." She’d dismissed it as a joke, could she still? She’d never told Mulder about that conversation. He would have made too much of it. Now . . . now was there something to be made of it?

"Scully is it possible?"

"No. No, Mulder, it can’t be."

"If it can’t be, then you’re dead and I should be."

"No!" She slammed her hand down on the table beside his bed. "Don’t ever say that to me again. You shouldn’t be dead! No matter what happens or why, you shouldn’t be dead!"

He was thinking now, she could almost see his thoughts whirl.

"You won't . . . " He had to swallow to regain his voice. "You won't die? You'll never die on me?"

"Mulder, that's not. . . " His look stopped her. "If you and I can't share it, I don't want it."

For the first time he struggled against his bonds. She took his hand again, her other hand on his face.

"Please!" She didn't hesitate, immediately fumbling with the strap holding his arm.

When his first hand was free he was caressing her face, his other hand went to her breast, searching for the wounds he had created. She didn't pull away or make any move to stop him. He drew her into his arms and this time her arms did close around him, as they should.