The car screeched to a halt and Mulder vaulted from it. There were police and emergency workers everywhere. He hurried toward the building, his ID in his hand. He heard a couple of the cops talking, the guy was dead. Well, that explained some of the activity. He raced up the stairs searching for her. If she'd had to shoot the guy she would need his support.
He followed the activity and forced his way into the apartment. He spotted the body of the older man lying near the kitchen counter. He was obviously dead but hadn't been moved. Pictures of the crime scene needed to be taken, besides that’s not where the activity was taking place. He turned and saw the red hair splayed out on the floor.
The universe shrank down to the size of the room and everything ground to a halt. The planet quit turning, air no longer moved, his heart quit beating and his lungs stopped the flow of oxygen to his cells. He felt himself move in her direction but it seemed to take centuries to make progress. His eyes devoured her, taking in the massive amount of blood covering her, her chest, her throat, the frothy blood at her lips. Her lips, that meant her lung was hit, what else? And why weren't they helping her, the only thing that still flowed was her blood. The gauze was soaked, why couldn't they stop the bleeding? Did she have that much blood? The paramedic had his hand on her wound, trying to staunch the flow, it wasn't working.
What had happened? Had Fellig shot her? Before or after she shot him? Why in all hell was he thinking about that, it didn't matter. Nothing mattered. She was in bad shape, they should be transporting her, getting her to the hospital, saving her. One of the EMTs slipped an oxygen mask over her nose and mouth. He wanted to ask her condition, but he couldn't make a sound.
"We've got to move her. She's not stabilizing, we've got to get her in." Mulder heard the words but they seemed to come from miles away. She's not stabilizing. They were losing her. They were losing her, why couldn't he move?
"On three." They had her on the gurney. The movement had caused her to lose even more blood. He could see the pool closing in on the floor where she had lay, coating the floor, probably dripping into the apartment below.
He was helpless, Scully, his Scully was dying and there was nothing he could do. He could feel himself start to die as well. He moved to follow them downstairs, but the fourth EMT, the one waiting with the second ambulance to transport the body stopped him. "Sir, you can't go with them. They'll be working on her the whole way. You wouldn't want to obstruct them."
Mulder tried to focus on the man; he was keeping him from Scully. No one did that. Too many had tried; it was never going to happen again. "Sir, please. You can join her at St. Andrews. Please, for her sake."
For her sake. The only phrase that could have gotten to him. He heard the siren start up. They had lost no time heading for St. Andrews.
Okay, he couldn't do a lot for her right now, but he had to be there. If anything did happen . . . No! He needed to get to her.
He turned toward the stairs when he felt the hand on his arm. He turned to see Agent Ritter. The man was white as a sheet and shaking. "It was an accident Mulder. I . . . I didn't think the bullet . . . "
Mulder's eyes widened and he looked more closely at the shaken man in front of him. "What happened?" The shorter man flinched at the tone, the intensity of the question.
"She was . . . she was behind him. I didn't know the bullet would go through him. I . . . I thought - "
"You shot Scully. You shot at a suspect, an unarmed suspect, while my partner was in the line of fire? Is that what you're saying? Is that what happened?"
Mulder seemed to grow in front of the frightened agent. "It was an accident, I - "
"An accident!" Now the furious man stepped toward him and he stumbled back. "Have you ever been on a case before! What the hell kind of training have you had!" His hands came up as though to throttle Ritter and two of the police officers stepped in to protect the man.
Mulder held up his hands to show that he wasn't going to hurt him, at least not right this minute. "Your ass is mine Agent Ritter. If Scully . . . if anything happens to Agent Scully, you will pay. You will pay with everything you have, right down to your dying breath."
Agent Ritter nodded, not doubting this man's word for an instant.
"I'm on the way to St. Andrews. I'll see to you later." Mulder turned then and moved toward the stairs, his speed picking up as he neared his car. He'd wasted valuable time on that fucking idiot, time he should have spent with her. If this delay had cost him any time with . . . He'd kill the man, in cold blood. He wouldn't be convicted. There wouldn't be time.
He found St. Andrews with no trouble. He's seen the signs on his way from the airport. He parked in the emergency lot, tossing his FBI parking sticker in the window. He didn't know how long he would be here and he wasn't about to be bothered by something as mundane as a car.
He realized he actually sounded calm when he asked for information about her. It was his badge that got it for him. They'd bypassed the ER, taking her directly to surgery. He was directed to the fourth floor, but no other information was available.
He was less self-assured by the time he'd reached her floor. Bypassing the emergency room meant . . . no, they had gotten her here alive. That's what mattered. That's all that mattered. She was alive. He tried to sit in the waiting room, but that was impossible. He rose, pacing around the room, which fortunately was empty.
His mind returned to Ritter and he felt the anger grow inside of him again. No, not now. He had other priorities now. That little asshole prick would pay, but later.
He made yet another circuit of the room. Time lost all meaning, he didn’t know if he had been there for five minutes or five months. What was happening?
He looked up to see a woman walking toward him. His fear tried to bring him to his knees and he saw her hand come out as though to support him. No! If she had news which would cause him to need support . . .
“Agent Mulder? I’m Pam Simons. I’m a patient advocate here at the hospital. Can I get you anything?”
Scully! I want Scully! But he kept quiet, merely shaking his head.
She motioned for him to take a seat and after a short hesitation he did and she joined him on the couch. “Agent Mulder, is there anyone I can call for you? Is Ms. Scully married?”
Yes! Again his mind leaped with an answer, another one he couldn’t give.
“Uh, no, Scully’s not married.”
“What about parents, siblings?”
“Are you saying I should get her family here?” He was surprised the words came out, his chest felt as though there was an iron band around it. Was that the symptom of a heart attack, or just of him dying along with her?
She looked away for a second and back. “Agent Scully’s condition is very serious.”
“Have you . . . have you spoken with the doctor?”
“Agent Mulder,” she hesitated, “Frankly the doctor was amazed that she survived long enough to go into surgery. She must be an extremely strong woman.”
He nodded, his eyes focused on the past, other examples of her strength.
“Would you like me to call her family for you?”
He straightened up. “No. No, I’ll call her mother. How much longer . . .?”
“Agent Mulder, there’s no way to know that.”
He took a deep breath and nodded, pulling his cell phone from the inside pocket of his suit coat.
“Mrs. Scully, it’s Fox Mulder.” How the hell was he going to do this?
“Fox, I . . . what’s wrong? Where’s Dana?”
“She’s in New York, New York City, at St. Andrews Hospital.”
“What happened Fox? How is she?”
“She was shot.” He didn’t answer the second question.
“But I thought you were on desk duty.” She sounded confused.
“AD Kersh gave her an assignment and - “
“Without you? He sent her out of town on an assignment without you!” He could practically see her steady herself. “You didn’t tell me how she was.”
“They, uh, they think you should hurry.”
“Fox, you’re there, aren’t you? You stay with her. Don’t you leave her side. I’m on my way.” The connection was broken before he could speak. He slipped the phone back in his pocket. Don’t leave her side. How could he?
It finally occurred to him that he hadn’t called the office. He was AWOL. When he’d gotten the information on Fellig, he’d walked out, trying to get to her. But he’d been too late. Was that what Kersh had in mind? Fuck him; he’d almost gotten Scully killed. He owed the man nothing.
He was seated on the couch now, his head back, eyes closed. He’d been here in this position for centuries. As much as he wanted word, he was terrified for them to speak to him. That’s why he kept his eyes closed - no one tried for a conversation.
The footsteps were approaching him this time. It was Pam. He hadn’t realized he’d already learned the sound of her. These footsteps seemed reluctant, hesitant. Oh god.
She touched his shoulder, “Agent Mulder?” He kept his eyes closed for a moment longer. If she didn’t tell him, then Scully wasn’t dead. Not yet, he couldn’t face it.
“Agent Mulder,” she shook his shoulder lightly. “Dr. Phillips is here to talk with you.”
Dr. Phillips? The surgeon. His eyes flew open at that and he came to his feet.
“Scully?” He wanted to ask more, but it was the only word that formed.
“Agent Mulder.” The doctor shook his hand, “Ms. Scully survived the surgery. She’s being moved to ICU.”
“She’s going to be okay.” It wasn’t really a question.
“There’s some reason for optimism.”
“Optimism?” They were going to think he was a moron, but he didn’t really care.
“Please, have a seat Agent Mulder.” Dr. Phillips gestured toward the couch and sat beside him. Pam sat in the chair nearest Mulder. “Don’t be disappointed in my choice of phrase Agent Mulder. I had very little cause for optimism about her condition when she arrived. We’re keeping a close eye on her, but she is not out of the woods. I’ll be staying at the hospital this evening to keep an eye on her.
Mulder nodded, “May I see her?”
“She’s in recovery now. Maybe in a few - “
“Please. I won’t be in the way. I need to see her.” His intensity startled the doctor and something made him think of the gun the agent was no doubt wearing.
“Agent Mulder, it’s against policy - “
“I understand that. If I get in the way, they can throw me out. Please.”
Dr. Phillips glanced over at Pam, who shrugged. After a long moment he nodded and stood. “The nurses will have the authority to evict you. If you give them any trouble . . . “ He left the sentence unfinished, the rest was unnecessary.
She looked dead, as white as the sheets covering her. Tubes were everywhere and the monitors traced bright colored lines. He moved to her side as the doctor spoke to the nurse. He didn’t bother to listen, he was here now and he was going to stay. He traced her cheekbone and bent down to whisper in her ear. “I’m here Scully. I’ll be here as long as you need me. Just relax and get stronger.”
He was as good as his word, moving out of the way whenever a nurse approached even before being asked. The thing the nurses noted, other than his ass, was that his hand never left her body - he touched her hand or leg, even foot, but remained in contact.
And she began a slow but steady improvement. It was nothing he could see, but when Dr. Philips returned, he was delighted with her progress. He was happy enough to have her moved to the surgical ICU and out of recovery. The doctor even had a chair brought in for him.
On the hour Mrs. Scully was allowed in. He looked up again as someone approached the bed. He was on his feet immediately. “Mrs. Scully, no one told me you were here.”
“It’s okay Fox. I’ve spoken with her doctor. He told me you were with her.”
“Here, please take the chair.”
They both jumped as she finally stirred. “Dana, Honey it’s Mom. Can you hear me?” She leaned over her daughter, willing her to speak.
He could hear the pain in her voice, and the fear. He brought his hand up to her cheek. “I’m here Scully. I’m right here.” They could see her relax and Mrs. Scully smiled her relief up at him.
He looked up as the door opened and his heart sank as he watched Bill enter the room. He hadn’t been aware her brother was coming.
Bill came over to his sister and lightly caressed her cheek, then hugged his mother. Mulder didn’t rise; he was fairly confidant that Bill didn’t want to shake his hand anyway.
“I see you nearly got her killed again.” Bill spoke low so as not to wake her. Mulder looked back down at her face and didn’t answer.
“Bill!” Mrs. Scully hissed at him; that was the only description of the sound she had made. “Come outside with me.”
“He’s the one that should step outside.”
“Fox is doing exactly what he needs to do right now and I want him to stay.” She had risen from chair on the opposite side of Scully’s bed, and moved toward the door.
Bill shot one more glare at Mulder and followed her. Mulder said nothing; there was nothing to say, not to Bill. Once alone with her again, he leaned in closer. “Your brother’s here Scully. You need to wake up and talk to him.” He squeezed her hand and continued talking, wishing the conversation was two-sided. That brief consciousness she had experienced two days ago was the only time she’d spoken. Even the doctor was worried at this point, though he tried to be positive in front of them.
It was some time before the door opened again. Bill entered alone.
“Is your Mom okay?” Mulder knew she usually had to be dragged from Scully’s bedside, not unlike him.
“She’s lying down for a little while. She’s exhausted.” Mulder nodded. “You look like you could use a break too.”
“I’m fine.” Scully’s phrase he realized, but it seemed to fit.
Bill sat in the chair his mother had vacated. “I . . . Mulder, I uh,” He looked up at Mulder who was watching him curiously. “I owe you an apology. Mom told me what happened. I’m . . . I’m sorry. This wasn’t your fault.”
“Yes it was. It’s all my fault.”
“How - “
“If I hadn’t been so busy fucking up my career, her career, all these years, I might have been there with her. I could have protected her, like I should have.” He was gazing at her face.
Bill watched him for a moment. “This one’s not your fault. Mom said her partner shot - “
“He’s not her partner.” Bill actually leaned back, away from him.
“No, he’s not. I apologize again.”
That startled Mulder, and calmed him down more than he could remember being in Bill’s presence.
“Why weren’t you there?”
“Kersh. He decided to try and save Scully’s career.”
“Damn, he’s worse at it than you are.” Mulder’s eyes widened, but he didn’t speak. What was there to say?
Bill was watching him now, silently, and it was making him more and more uncomfortable. He couldn’t leave her, he wouldn’t, but why was this man . . .
Finally Bill sighed, “You’re in love with her.” Mulder opened his mouth for his automatic denial. “Don’t bother, Mulder. I’m not happy about it, but that doesn’t make it untrue.”
“I’ve never - “
“I don’t know how she feels about you.” He continued as though Mulder hadn’t spoken. “You’re not exactly on our list of approved topics. She’s gonna live Mulder.” Mulder’s hand tightened its grip on hers and Bill noted it. “Mom says it’s because of you.” He ignored Mulder’s shock, “I don’t know about that either.” He sighed, “I suppose I should get used to you, it doesn’t look like I’m going to get rid of you anytime soon.”
Mulder didn’t comment, he was still feeling his way toward having this man here and less than hostile toward him.
“Mulder, take a break. You need to stretch your legs. Come on, I won’t leave her alone.”
“If she wakes up - “
“If she wakes up I’ll page you. I promise. Mulder, take advantage of having me here, I won’t let anything happen to her.”
The uncertainty on Mulder’s face actually touched Bill. He didn’t like the man, but his sister’s welfare was obviously Mulder’s only concern.
After a long moment Mulder rose. “You’ll page me.”
“You have my word.” Mulder nodded, looked down at her one more time and headed out of the room. Bill watched him, shaking his head, but would he be any different if it were Tara lying here?
Mulder hadn’t been gone ten minutes when she stirred. "Dana? Dana, it's Bill. Can you hear me?"
"Mulder." She hadn't opened her eyes, but she was restless, moving in the bed. That probably wasn't good for her. He pressed the call button and to his surprise received an almost immediate response. "I think she's waking up. Agent Mulder needs to be paged."
"I'm sure Agent Mulder will be right back."
"Do you want to be the one to tell him she was asking for him and you didn't page him?"
She looked up at him. "No."
"Me either." She smiled then and after checking the monitors left the room. "Mulder's coming Dana. Wake on up and open your eyes, please."
She continued to jerk in the bed, searching, her hand taking his and releasing it. They didn't have to page twice. Bill heard him coming and wondered idly if he'd hurt anyone getting back here.
He burst in the room and was at her side before Bill could speak. "Scully? I'm here Scully."
"Can't forget your name." Mulder looked up at Bill puzzled. "Don't want to live long enough to forget your name." A tear escaped her eye and her grip on Mulder's hand tightened.
"Scully, you're not going to forget my name. I wouldn't let you. It's just a nightmare. Come on Scully, wake up. You're only dreaming."
He caressed her cheek and Bill almost turned away. It was such an intimate gesture when Mulder touched her, even innocently. Her eyes fluttered and finally opened. "Mulder?"
His smile lit up the room. "It's about time you woke up. You've got a hell of a lot of paperwork to do, and I'm not going to get stuck with it."
"Where are we?" She sounded weak, but she was alive, awake.
"New York." Mulder had forgotten Bill was even there. Bill kept quiet just watching these two together.
Mulder's face hardened. "Don't worry about him."
"Did he . . .? Mr. Fellig, is he okay?"
"He's dead Scully." He looked away from her then and spotted Bill. His face reddened slightly. "Scully, Bill's here, and your mother."
She turned toward where he was facing. "Bill? How long have I been here?"
"Three days." Bill answered for him. "You were pretty sick."
"They called you to come?" Her grip tightened on Mulder's hand again. "Is Mom okay?"
"She'll be better now. I'll go get her." Bill moved toward the door.
Sitting up wasn't nearly as painful as it had been. Mulder was talking, but she wasn't listening to the words, just his voice.
They both turned at the tap on the door. Agent Ritter stuck his head in. He spotted Mulder and blanched. Scully noted the look of fear on his face. He obviously hadn't known Mulder was in here with her. She felt just a second of sympathy for the man. She had no doubt Mulder had reacted like the wrath of God when he found out this man had come so close to killing her. She looked down - there was no reason for either man to see how much that meant to her.
"I, uh, I'm sorry. I just wanted to . . . " Ritter stuttered to a stop.
She looked up, "Mulder." Mulder looked down and Ritter watched some unspoken communication pass between them. He'd heard about that, but he had dismissed it as another spooky legend. Well, this one was true.
"I'll be out in the hall." Mulder squeezed her hand and left the room after one last glance at the other man. He stood just outside the door; he could see Ritter talking to Scully. He kept a tight grip on his temper. If he assaulted the man here they'd probably be able to save him.
He wasn't in there long, and of course Mulder was waiting as he came out. He stopped and turned to face the taller agent. Mulder spoke quietly, devoid of emotion. "You're a lucky man."
Ritter nodded silently, grateful when nothing further was said, and made his escape.
Mulder returned to her room and took her hand back into his. "The coroner's report came back on Felig. It says he died of a single gunshot wound. That's all it said." He squeezed her hand again. "I talked to your doctor. He said you're doing great. You're making the fastest recovery he's ever seen."
"You know, Mulder, I don't even know how I entertain the thought . . . "
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.