In Amor Vis Vires by Andrea

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In Amor Vis Vires by Andrea

In Amore Vis Vires cover

From: “Andrea” <> Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 18:36:26 -0400 Subject: Submission: In Amor, Vis Vires Source: direct

Title: In Amor, Vis Vires

Author: Andrea

Rating: PG-13, but eventually NC-17

Category: MSR, S, MT, Scully POV

Disclaimer: Whatever, sue me.

Summary: While investigating a case Mulder is injured. Scully takes drastic measures to protect him from further harm.

Notes: Thanks to Sybil, Aly, Jewel and Lari for beta reading. A special thanks to Lari for her medical expertise, as well. Thanks to Kell for moral support. I’d also like to thank Denise for her input.

Archiving: I’d be honoured, but I’d also like to know.

Spoilers: Through season six

Feedback: Yes, please!


Chapter 1

I was beginning to think I hadn’t done the right thing after all. At the time it had seemed like I had no other choice. What had possessed me to take a man who was barely twelve hours out of major surgery and fly him across the ocean? If he hadn’t been hooked up to so many monitors, I would have tried to get him out of there sooner. I’d panicked when I’d seen those men hanging around, trying to be inconspicuous. I’d seen too many of their kind to be fooled. Since I’d had plenty of time to reflect, I couldn’t help wondering if Mulder’s paranoia had started to rub off on me.

Laying my hand lightly on his chest, I felt Mulder breathing slowly, but regularly. We’d been here for two days and he still hadn’t regained consciousness. The sedatives I’d given him for the flight had long since worn off. I’d given him some painkillers, but nothing that would keep him out for this long.

It was a moot point, but I couldn’t help wondering if Canada might have been a better choice. The flight wouldn’t have been as hard on him, but I wanted much more distance between him and the men who had injured him. I’d thought Mulder was strong enough in mind and body to deal with this. I hoped to God I was right. The travel must have been harder on him than I’d expected. They didn’t teach this kind of thing in medical school. In fact, I could be in danger of losing my license if the right people found out what I’d done.

The beeping of the alarm on my watch reminded me it was time to give Mulder another shot of Rocephin. Since he’d suffered an abdominal wound, a heavy course of antibiotics was a necessary precaution, even though the surgeon had assured me the bullet had not perforated Mulder’s intestines.

As I injected the drugs using the port in the IV line, I noticed for the first time, Mulder’s eyes were moving beneath his lids. That was a good sign; his brain was starting the process of resurfacing.

“I’m here, Mulder. Everything is all right. You are safe. I’m taking care of you.” I hoped on some level he could hear me.

The gunmen had come up with the plan to spirit Mulder out the hospital. The scheme had been almost identical to how they’d taken it upon themselves to discharge him after I’d been stung by that bee, and it had worked like a charm. By the time those goons had realized what was happening, Mulder was in a van with Frohike and Langly on their way to Richmond.

Sitting here watching Mulder as his chest steadily rose and fell, I wondered again if I’d made the right decision. Why was it every time I had to save his life it seemed I had to risk his life? How many times had he saved my life? More times than I care to admit. I prayed with all of my heart the risk would be worth it. I don’t know what I would do if I lost Mulder now. It was only now I was beginning to realize what he meant to me. We had more than a partnership — more than a friendship, but I hadn’t been able to admit to myself how much more. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to confess my feelings to him since I can hardly accept them myself. At least Mulder’s kidneys didn’t appear to be suffering any adverse effects and there was no blood in his urine. I had enough IVs to last another 48 hours. If he didn’t regain consciousness soon, I was going to run out. I had more than enough antibiotics and sterile dressings, but if the IV fluids ran out, they wouldn’t do much good. Without fluid, in this condition, Mulder might last 2 days — 3 at the outside. The serene look on his face belied the truth. His condition had barely changed since we got here. I tried to console myself with the knowledge that his brain was attempting to help him heal. But knowing all I could do was wait was almost driving me insane.

Before making the switch, I had appropriated all of the medical supplies I would need. That was something else I could possibly be charged for when we got back home. I’d packed it all in my luggage, along with some freezer packs to keep it cool.

Looking at my watch, I discovered it was time to check Mulder’s vitals. Even with all of the antibiotics he was on, there was still a chance he could spike a fever. I was glad I’d remembered to ask Frohike to grab my medical bag when he’d gone to get my luggage.

“I’m just going to take your temperature,” I told him as I inserted the thermometer into his ear. I always told him what I was doing, whether I was taking his blood pressure, listening to his heart, changing his dressing, or giving him a sponge bath. I hoped the input would help him to regain consciousness. The most physically challenging thing I had to do was to move him from side to side. I was using rolled up towels under his hips and shoulders and a pillow between his knees to prevent him from getting pressure sores. In addition to that, I was bathing and massaging him regularly. I hoped I’d be able to have him up and around soon enough that it wouldn’t be an issue.

I recorded Mulder’s temperature in my notebook, and then took his blood pressure. It was low, but that was to be expected. Sitting down in the chair beside the bed again, I picked up his hand and looked at his fingernails. They had good color. It might have been crude, but without a pulse oximeter, it was the only way I had to judge his oxygen saturation level.

I couldn’t help thinking about how I’d stood there just listening and nodding as the Gunmen explained their plan. I was so desperate I didn’t care as they whispered about hacking IDs and special transportation for terminal patients. I couldn’t bring myself to ask how the Gunmen knew the airlines had the capability to handle such cases.

When I’d met up with Langly and Frohike in Richmond, they’d handed me all of the paperwork, including two passports and a stack of English pounds of varying denominations. It had astounded me that they’d been able to pull all of this together in such a short amount of time.

The passports they’d given me were Canadian, because apparently they were very easy to forge, and would get us into England with relatively little fuss. The papers said Mulder had terminal cancer and he was going home to England to die. Recalling that detail sent chills up and down my spine.

When I’d looked at my passport I was surprised to see the Gunmen had given Mulder and me the same last name. They’d claimed it was only because it would make everything much simpler. So Mulder was Jim Watts and I was his wife Natalie.

The movement of Mulder’s hand stirred me out of my reverie. While I’d been thinking I must have been caressing his hand, and he was responding by squeezing my hand very slightly. I found myself letting out a long slow breath. I was relieved to see another sign indicating that Mulder was starting to become aware.

“I’m here, Mulder. You are safe with me. I won’t let anyone hurt you,” I caressed his hand while I spoke to him. I couldn’t see any sign he had heard me, but he didn’t relax his grip on my hand either. “Please don’t leave me now, Mulder. We have come so far — I have come so far. I — I love you, Mulder.” My heart leapt when I felt his grip tighten at my words.

This small sign from him helped me relax. I closed my eyes and my mind drifted back to when the customs officer had opened my suitcase. I’d been sure he would realize the passports were forgeries and turn us over the British police. I’d shown him my ID when he asked for it. Luckily for me, the Gunmen had made Natalie Watts a doctor.

“Have you brought enough to last?” he’d asked when he handed me back my passport. He was still looking at all of the paperwork.

“I hope so,” I’d answered honestly.

“It’ll be almost impossible for you to get more, you understand don’t you?” he’d asked.

I’d only been able to nod my head.

“Part of the agreement he signed is that his death cannot be a burden to our healthcare system.”

“I understand.”

“And since your medical license isn’t valid here, you’d have to go through a private doctor, at your own expense and you’d have to go through a horrendous amount of paperwork. So all in all, it’s best to bring what you need.”

“I think I have.”

“He certainly looks like he isn’t going to last much longer,” he’d nodded towards the stretcher Mulder was lying on. “I hope he didn’t travel all of this way, not to even wake up and realize he’s home in England.”

“So do I,” I’d tried to say, but the words caught in my throat.

“I’m sorry, miss,” he’d looked at the papers again. “I didn’t realize he was your husband.” He’d looked genuinely sorry as he handed me all of the paper work.

“That’s all right.” I’d tried to put him at ease, having to blink my tears.

“I’m sure it will all work out in the end.” His tone had been gentle as he’d smiled softly at me.

“I hope so.”

The crackling of the fire brought me back to the present. Before I gave Mulder another sponge bath and a clean dressing, I’d have to build up the fire.

Setting Mulder’s hand back down gently, I got up to see to the fire. I hadn’t expected March in England to be quite this cold. While I waited for the room to warm up a bit, I sat down by the bed again.

All of the events that had brought me to this point in time had been playing back in my head again and again, as I’d tried to convince myself I’d done the right thing and Mulder would wake shortly.

The last part of the journey had been the least taxing. The Gunmen had also arranged for a prepaid ambulance to meet us at the airport and take us to the cottage. I’d sat with Mulder in the back for the two-hour ride. The dreary March weather left the countryside looking stark. All of the grasses were brown and the trees looked skeletal without their leaves. Even the whitewash on the Tudor-style cottage appeared dull under the flat grey skies. Once they had him inside, the attendants made sure Mulder was settled into bed before they prepared to leave.

“Is there anything else you need, Mrs. Watts?” the taller of the two had asked before they left.

“Actually, I was wondering how I was going to be able to get any supplies in. I don’t feel comfortable leaving M — my husband alone right now,” I’d hoped they might be able to help somehow.

“That shouldn’t be a problem. We can stop at the shop in the in the village on our way through and ask them to give you a ring,” the shorter attendant had replied.

So we’d hunted down the phone and they took down the number. Within half an hour the shopkeeper called me and two hours after that everything I’d ordered was stowed in the kitchen and bathroom with the help of the shopkeeper’s wife.

It didn’t seem unusual or questionable to anyone I’d dealt with, that I’d brought my husband here to die. Either it was a more common occurrence than I thought, or they felt so sorry for me, they didn’t ask.

That had been two days ago. Since the room still wasn’t quite warm enough, I took the opportunity to survey my surroundings. I’d barely had a chance to look around since we arrived. The floors seemed to be made of a dark hardwood; walnut I assumed. Embedded in the white plaster walls and ceilings were beams made of the same dark wood. Even the wainscoting that adorned all of the walls was that same rich color. The warm glow from the fire increased the cozy atmosphere in our sanctuary.

As soon as I was satisfied with the temperature I went to the kitchen to get the soap and water. When I got back I put on a clean pair of nitrile gloves — latex had been bothering my skin recently. I started by removing Mulder’s old dressing and then I carefully washing around his incision, always moving away from it. The incision was dry, another good sign.

I’d been afraid all of this travelling would result in some post-surgical bleeding, but so far so good. Reaching Mulder’s groin, I stopped to inspect his catheter. Holding his penis gently, I looked for signs of redness and irritation. The last thing I needed was for Mulder to develop a secondary infection from being catheterized.

I’d just carefully released his penis when he stirred slightly. Worrying that I might have hurt him, I stopped and watched his face. He slowly dragged his eyelids opened. I could see the confusion on his face as he took in his surroundings. Not wanting him to be totally disoriented, I began to speak to him as I drew the sheet back over his body.

“I was just giving you a bath, Mulder,” I told him softly. “Everything is okay — you are recovering nicely and you are safe here.”

“Scully?” His voice was raspy from lack of use.

“Yes, it’s me, Mulder.” I walked around to the head of the bed. His eyes followed me as I went.

“You look like hell, Scully,” he informed me bluntly.

His expression turned apologetic as I placed the thermometer into his ear. “Don’t worry about it, Mulder,” I assured him. “And you don’t look so hot yourself.”

My sleep-starved eyes started to burn with tears when I saw a smile forming on his lips. He really was beginning to feel more like himself.

“Where are we?”

I found the gravelly quality of his voice a little disquieting. It added to how weak and small he seemed to me. I tried to concentrate on how much better he was doing.

“I had to take you somewhere safe, so we’re in England.” I smiled at the look of shock on his weary face. “You just rest. I’ll explain everything when you’re stronger.”

“Kay.” His eyelids began to droop.

As I was brushing his hair off his forehead, his eyes slipped shut and his breathing became slow and regular once more.

After recording Mulder’s latest vitals in my notebook, I took a long shaky breath. I was so incredibly relieved he had finally regained consciousness that I was practically floating on air. He was probably right about how I looked. I needed to have something to eat, and I really needed a bath.

It still wouldn’t be a good idea for me to leave him alone for too long though, he’d probably be waking often now — at least I hoped he would. So after I cleared up from his bath, I took mine — quickly.

It wasn’t until I was done that I realized the only clean clothes I had were the ones Frohike had packed for me in my overnight bag. The thought of Melvin Frohike rummaging around in my underwear drawer made me decidedly uncomfortable. I don’t know why though, because aside from the occasional comment, Frohike had always been extremely polite to me. There had been a couple of times I’d caught him staring at me, but then he would look away quickly. Although I didn’t return his interest, I did find the attention kind of flattering. I still hoped he’d been in such a hurry when he was packing, he didn’t have a chance to investigate my underthings too thoroughly.

When I unpacked my overnight bag, I was pleasantly surprised at what he’d managed to pack. There were several pairs of underwear and socks, several bras, three pairs of jeans, a couple of sweat shirts, some t-shirts and a pair of pajamas. I don’t think I would ever have been able to pack all of those clothes back into that bag with a crow bar; I don’t know how he did it. When we got back to the States I’d have to ask for lessons.

After I pulled on a clean pair of jeans and a sweat shirt, I grabbed a banana and took it with me to the bedroom. Standing in the doorway, I ate while I watched him sleep. At least now I was more confident he was on the road to recovery. When I finished eating I went back to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. I could feel the exhaustion creeping up my legs. It was a sensation that warned me it wouldn’t be much longer before I’d be unable to keep my eyes open.

Now that I was no longer worried to death about Mulder, it seemed my body was demanding sleep. But there were some things I needed to take care of first. It was time to get Mulder off morphine and onto Demerol. His IV bag was almost empty too. This time I needed to hang a bag of Normal Saline. I was hanging one with every second liter of D5W, just to make sure he was getting at least some of nutrients he needed. I hoped he would be getting his nourishment by mouth soon.

After hanging his new IV solutions, I checked his temp. His next dose of antibiotics wasn’t due for another three hours. I’d already set the alarm on my watch in case I drifted off.

The final thing I had to do was empty Mulder’s catheter bag. Especially since I’d hung two IV bags; I didn’t want there to be a chance of any backwashing. That was one more thing that might lead to a secondary infection.

After I had finished everything I needed to, I went over it again, just to make sure I’d done it all. Then I collapsed into the armchair I’d dragged to Mulder’s bedside from the sitting room. I looked at him again. After I’d given him his bath I’d left him on his back. I hoped now that he’d regained consciousness, pressure sores would no longer be an issue. His color was improving – he no longer appeared ashen.

“You have no idea how relieved I am, Mulder.” Even in the quiet room my voice seemed small and far away. “I wouldn’t know what to do if I’d lost you. You mean more to me than I’d ever believed possible.” He stirred slightly and seemed to smile in his sleep at my words.

I desperately wanted to stay awake and keep watch over him, but I could feel my body shutting down. Then I thought maybe if I laid my head on his chest, I’d be able to hear his heart beat and reassure myself he was okay. With my last iota of energy I pulled the chair closer to the bed. As I slowly lowered my head to his chest, I told myself it would just be for a couple of minutes—I just needed to rest my eyes.

The sound of my watch alarm woke me. I had only meant to rest my eyes—Mulder’s heartbeat must have lulled me to sleep. I was very relieved I could still hear its steady rhythm. When I lifted my head the moisture under my cheek made me realize I must have been sleeping like a log. I reached for a tissue to wipe off Mulder’s chest.

“Why are you always drooling on me?” A scratchy voice asked.

“You’re awake,” I grinned. “How do you feel?”

“Like crap.” he informed me.

“You should start to feel better soon,” I tried to keep my voice soothing. Mulder did not need to know how worried I’d been. “Right now I need to give you another shot of antibiotics.”

“How come I’m not in the hospital?” He furrowed his brow as I injected the drugs into his IV port.

“It’s a long story, Mulder. Why don’t we start with what you remember?”

“Well, I remember getting the phone call. The one that gave me the address for that building.”

I nodded as he spoke.

“I remember going to your apartment and convincing you to come with me,” he paused for a moment. “Are you going to say I told you so?” He looked at me remorsefully.

“No, Mulder, I’m not,” I assured him. I might haul it out in the future if I needed to, but I didn’t tell him that.

“Then we staked out the building for a couple of hours and then I got impatient and I talked you into checking out the back of the building,” he continued. “We were just rounding the corner at the back when I heard the shot. I felt the round hit me at exactly the same time. I never saw the shooter.”

“I didn’t get a good look at him either,” I admitted. “I may have hit him—I got a few rounds off. But I was too busy with you to see. Do you remember anything after that?”

“I remember you telling me help was on the way and everything was going to be okay. But then everything went black.”

“You’ve been unconscious for a couple of days.”

“That explains why I’m so thirsty,” he laughed hoarsely. “And where is here anyway?”

“I’ll let you have a drink if I can sit you up a bit,” I promised, “And then I’ll explain where we are.”

“I can sit up myself,” he stuck out his chin defiantly. I watched in silence as he moved his hands to down to his sides. There was no point arguing with him, so I let him find out for himself. After he winced in pain, I waited until he opened his eyes again.

“Can I try now?” I tried not to sound smug.

“Okay.” He seemed to visibly droop.

After slipping off my shoes I climbed onto the bed and straddled his chest. Even as rough as he was feeling, Mulder smirked at me as I bent to slide my hands under his armpits.

“If you were wearing a low-cut shirt, this would have been much more fun, Scully,” he chuckled.

I let it go — I was happy he was getting better. I easily managed to lift Mulder up enough to rearrange the pillows so he was in a half-sitting position.


“Yup,” he nodded.

Once I’d retrieved a glass of water for him, I helped him take a few sips. Then I began to explain what had happened and how we got here. I had to keep it brief; Mulder was starting to drift off to sleep again.

While he slept, I had some soup. I hadn’t eaten much recently, so I thought it would be prudent not to shock my system. Then I was able to putter around the cottage, tidying up and washing the dishes. Mulder wasn’t recovered by any means, but he was definitely out of the woods and I was feeling like a new woman.

Mulder only dozed for a couple of hours. When he woke up he was thirsty again. Since he was taking fluid by mouth now, I decided I would be able to take him off of the IVs shortly. But first I had to break the news about the catheter.


Chapter 2: Mulder POV

Now that I was partially upright I got a better look at my surroundings. It seemed like Scully had a chosen a quaint Tudor- style English cottage. The kind I’d always wanted to stay in, but which Phoebe loathed. Too touristy for her tastes, she’d informed me tersely on many occasions.

A fire was crackling pleasantly in the hearth, casting dancing lights on Scully as she sat in the wingback chair jotting down something in a small notebook. She looked considerably better than she had the last time I woke up. The circles under her eyes had faded and there was a hint of color in her cheeks. But it wasn’t just that, her entire demeanor seemed different.

“You seem more relaxed now, Scully.”

“You think?” Her blue eyes sparkled in the firelight as she laughed.

“Were you worried about me?”

“What do you think, Mulder?” She rolled her eyes at me.

I didn’t say anything.

“What is that grin for?” She raised an eyebrow.

I hadn’t realized I was grinning. “I dunno — I guess I like it when you worry about me.” I tried to shrug, but the action sent a stabbing pain straight to my gut.

“Mulder!” Scully jumped up from her chair. “You have an abdominal wound. Try not to move.”

As she adjusted some pillows behind me I could see her brow furrowed with worry and her lips pressed tightly together. One slight movement and I had her looking all pinched again.

“It only hurt a little,” I lied. “How much longer will I need these?” I waved at the IV bags.

“Well, Mulder,” she settled back into her chair, “I’d like to keep the IV lines in for a while yet for a few reasons.” Her whole face changed as she slipped into her Dr. Scully persona. Her eyes didn’t sparkle anymore and her smile disappeared. I definitely prefer Scully to Dr. Scully, but at that point I was more in need of Dr. Scully’s skills.

“What reasons?”

“Primarily the antibiotics, but I could just leave the port in and administer them that way. Right now, I’m giving you painkillers intravenously, but I was going to give you your next dose intramuscularly.”

She chuckled at what must have been a look of distaste on my face.

“I’d also like to make sure you are keeping some nourishment down, too.”

“I’m drinking water now, and I wouldn’t say no to something to eat, either.”

“That’s good, but not enough. Tomorrow I’ll probably take you off IV fluids. But now that you’re doing better, I’d like to remove your catheter.”

“Catheter?” It came out as a squeak.

Scully nodded almost imperceptibly. Lifting up the sheet, I took a quick peak, and there it was — the white tube.

“Haven’t you been catheterized before, Mulder?”

“Not that I remember.” I thought back over my past hospitalizations.

“I’m sure you have been, you must be blocking it out.” She was trying to hide it, but I could see a smile twitching at the corner of her mouth.

“Will this hurt?”

“No, it’ll be more like an unpleasant sensation.”

It was difficult for me to believe having that tube pulled out of my cock wasn’t going to hurt. I had to wonder what Scully considered an ‘unpleasant sensation’.

“I promise, I’ll be gentle with you, Mulder,” she chuckled.

The tone of her voice made me smile. If she was joking about it, it might not be too bad.

“Just let me get my gloves and we’ll get this over with.” She stood up again.

“Gloves?” Suddenly I was confused. Why wouldn’t she want to touch me?

“I try to keep my hands clean, Mulder, but I don’t want there to be any risk of infection.” She was using her doctor voice.

“Oh,” my voice sounded tight.

I watched as Scully pulled on a pair of blue gloves and then lifted the sheet up from my feet. She left it bunched on my abdomen so I couldn’t see exactly what she was doing — not that I wanted to. Instead I kept my eyes on her face. She seemed to be concentrating on something, but I hadn’t felt her touch me yet.

“What are you doing?”

“I have to deflate the little balloon that keeps catheter from slipping out of your bladder and I’m done now.” As she finished speaking I felt her hand close around my shaft. Even given the state I was in, the thought of Scully’s hand on my cock was very arousing. I was terrified I was going to get an erection and embarrass myself.

“I promise I won’t hurt you, Mulder, but if you tense up like that, it may be a bit painful. Try to relax and if it hurts at all, tell me and I’ll stop immediately. Okay?”


“Take a deep breath and exhale slowly on my command,” she instructed.

Nodding, I waited for her command and then did as I was told. Until Scully mentioned it, I hadn’t realized I’d tensed up, but at least she thought it was because I was a wimp.

“Done!” her voice startled me out of my thoughts.

“Done?” I repeated in amazement. “I didn’t even feel that.”

“But you do have sensation in your penis?” She furrowed her brow as her gloved hand returned to my cock.

There was more sensation than I would ever admit to her. “It feels fine, Scully. I was really expecting it to hurt a lot more, that’s all.”

“Good,” she said briskly as she set my cock down and pulled the sheet back over me. “I’ll be right back.” She left the room carrying some medical implements I didn’t want to acknowledge. While she was gone all I could do was take deep breaths and be thankful that I’d been under too much stress to respond to her touch.

“Are you ready for something to eat?” I looked up into her smiling face.

“I’m sure I could eat a horse.” I patted my stomach.

“Well, I think we’ll have to start you off on a liquid diet and then move on to soft foods. I wouldn’t want you to get constipated.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. Scully was talking about my bowels. There was nothing more humiliating. I completely understood how the elderly felt. What dignity could you possibly have left when the ins and outs of your intestinal health becomes a topic of conversation? Again my feelings must have been evident on my face because Scully began to speak very quickly, although she did manage to control her volume.

“Look, Mulder,” I wondered if my cringe was evident too. “I know all of this makes you uncomfortable, but I didn’t feel I had any choice. Those men were hanging around your hospital room, just waiting for the moment they could finish you off. I wasn’t about to let that happen. Now that I have you safely out of their way, I have to give you the best care I know how. What would be the point of bringing you all this way, only to sacrifice your health because you find some of this distasteful?”

“You’re right, Scully, I’m sorry, but this isn’t a conversation I ever imagined having with you.”

“It will all be over soon enough. You’ll be up and around in no time, don’t worry. I’ll go make you some broth. You’ll be surprised how filling you find it after your stomach has been empty for a couple of days.”

Of course, she was right and after I drank a cup of broth, I drifted off to sleep feeling warm and content.

I’m not sure how long I was out, but when I fell asleep it had been dark outside and now sunlight was struggling to break through the clouds and illuminate the small bedroom. Scully had nodded off in the armchair beside me. It never failed to amaze me how the woman could fall asleep anywhere.

“Scully.” Not wanting to startle her, I kept my voice quiet.

“Mmm?” She blinked slowly and straightened up.

“I have to go to the bathroom, but I’ll need help getting up.”

“You aren’t going anywhere. I have a urinal for you to use.”

Before I could stop myself, I’d pulled another face.

“Why are you making this so difficult? I need to see what your output is compared to what you’re taking in.”

“If it’s any consolation, Scully, I’m a bad patient regardless of who the doctor is.”

I was afraid I’d pissed her off again so the sound of her chuckle eased my fears. I was lucky she considered me enough of a friend to tolerate my behavior and even forgive it.

She left me alone while I used the urinal. After I called her back, she left with the urinal in hand. Returning a few minutes later, she announced that everything was fine and the next time I had to go she would help me hobble to the bathroom.

“Before I give you something to eat, I’d like to give you a sponge bath. In a few days, when you’re stronger, you can shower.”

At least I think that’s what she said — my ears had instantly filled with white noise. I’m not sure if I answered or nodded, but Scully plowed ahead. She left for a minute and came back with a basin and some towels. First she helped me roll onto my side so she could wash my back. As she worked, she talked to me. I think I participated in the conversation. Scully was telling me about the customs agent and the owner of the shop in the village who delivered our supplies. She was still talking when she rolled me onto my back. Then I no longer heard what she said. I was too busy panicking. My cock was relishing Scully’s attention and she was washing my arms. I was sure she intended to give me a thorough bath, and if was getting aroused while she washed my arms, I was positive I’d have a raging hard-on by the time she reached my groin.

I was afraid to see if I’d pitched a tent, so I kept my eyes closed. Scully’s voice still filtered through the haze in my brain, but I had no idea what she was saying. Just when I thought she was about uncover my erection, I felt her start on my feet. For an instant, I thought I’d been granted a reprieve, but soon I realized she meant to finish by washing, as the British would say, my bits and pieces.

How could Scully not notice? I could feel my cock throbbing. I tried to think about dead kittens, the flukeman, even all of the disgusting slime I’d ever felt obliged to stick my fingers into, but nothing seemed to help — not even thinking about Phoebe.

Desperately, I clung to the faint hope Scully would avoid my erection, but when she lifted the sheet, she went straight in for the kill. So, not only had she seen it, she was washing it with soap and water. There was so little blood left in my brain, I’m surprised I was able to keep myself from moaning. What seemed like eon later she moved on to my balls, and I, being the gentleman I am, made sure my cock was well out of her way.

I was still swooning when I heard her voice again — something about dumping out the basin. After I heard her leave I dared to take a peak. It was worse than I thought. My tent could have successfully sheltered a family of six. I couldn’t fathom what Scully must have thought. She had never been shy in the past when it came to teasing me about my magazines or videos. She’d even roared with laughter when I told her about my “Nurse Nancy” dream. Maybe she was taking pity on me because I was injured or maybe it was because she was trying to keep this doctor/patient thing on a professional level. But now she knew the effect she had on me. Maybe that’s why she didn’t mention it. She’d made it clear in the past she didn’t reciprocate my feelings. I had to assume she thought it would be better just to ignore it.

By the time she got back, my tent was collapsing. Still, she made no mention of the wood I’d been sporting. She just smiled and sat down in the chair again.

“I can’t tell you how relieved I am that you seem to be recovering rapidly, Mulder. You didn’t respond well to the travel, so I thought your recovery might be slow.”

It almost sounded like Scully was saying she thought my reaction to the sponge bath was perfectly normal and it indicated something about my health. I didn’t have the courage to ask her if my assumptions were correct.

“Did you bring any clothes for me, Scully?” I decided to change the subject.

“Frohike packed a bag for you,” she nodded.

“Do you think I could put on a pair of boxers?”

“Sure,” she agreed. “As long as the waistband doesn’t come close to your incision. It’s probably a good idea. I doubt you’ll want to hobble to the bathroom naked.”

“Probably not,” I agreed as she got up to retrieve them.

When she got back, she immediately proceeded to lift the sheet and put my feet through the leg holes.

“I can do it.” I stopped her.

“Are you sure, Mulder?”

“Piece of cake.”

“Okay,” she shrugged and backed off.

When I tried to sit up to reach my feet a searing pain shot through my abdomen. Stifling a yell, I lay back and took some deep breaths. Then I tried to reach my feet by moving my hand down along my leg. That created another burning wave of pain.

“Can I help now?” There was nothing judgmental in her tone.

I could only nod. I didn’t have to fear another erection, I was in too much pain.

“Can you lift your hips?” Scully’s tone was gentler than I deserved.

Bracing myself, I raised my hips as best I could. Since there was no twisting motion, there was no increase in pain, but my earlier stubbornness had my left side throbbing. Scully quickly slipped my boxers under my ass and I let my hips fall back onto the bed. Again I took some long slow breaths, but the pain didn’t abate.

“I’m going to give you something for the pain.”

Scully read my expressions too well, I hadn’t said anything, but she could tell I was having a hard time. I could hear her doing something on the other side of the room and then she was at my side again.

“I’m going to have to roll you onto your side again.” The compassion in her voice was soothing in itself. The slight sting of the injection was barely noticeable compared to the burning in my belly.

After Scully rolled me onto my back again, I felt the bed dip beside me. Then I felt her hands on my head and then my shoulders, caressing me tenderly. I felt myself being drawn to her — her familiar scent and softness. She took my head and cradled it against her chest; still running her fingers lightly through my hair. Her warmth, her fragrance and her touch all served to keep the pain somewhat at bay until the painkiller had time to take effect.

I have no idea how long we stayed like that. No words were spoken, but Scully continued to hold me and caress me until I raised my head.

“Better now?”

She would likely never know how soothing her touch was to me. It worked just as well, if not better, than whatever she’d injected into my ass.

“Much,” I said through the frog in my throat. I tried to move back to my pillows, but I was surprised to find I didn’t have the strength. Scully gently helped me sit back and then we were quiet again while I let the drugs have their way with me.

“How is your stomach?” Scully broke the silence.

“I could stand something to eat,” I admitted.

“I meant had the Demerol made you nauseous,” she laughed. “But I guess you answered that question.”

I was a little disappointed when Scully showed up with another cup of broth and a glass of apple juice. As it turned out, I could barely finish both, so I was glad I hadn’t said anything. While I ate, Scully treated herself to some soup and half of a sandwich; hardly more than my meager rations. But I’d known Scully long enough to even dare thinking about calling her on it. I’d heard it all before. She knew exactly what she needed to eat to get her nutritional requirements and maintain a healthy weight. Then she’d always curtly informed me that I should pay closer attention to my own diet.

“What day is it?” I asked once Scully had returned from taking our dishes into the kitchen.

“March 21st.”

“First day of spring,” I smiled.

“Can’t tell from looking outside.” Scully nodded toward the window.

Although I estimated it to be around noon, it looked like dusk outside. The tiny buds on the trees were fairly drowning in the steady downpour.

“A couple of days of sunshine and those trees will be in full bloom,” I tried to console her.

“Two days?” she laughed. “I haven’t seen two hours of sunshine since we got here.”

“I’m sure the weather will turn soon.”

While we were talking, she’d been preparing a syringe. I was bracing myself for another needle stick, but she put it on the bedside table. Then she hung a new IV bag and stuck the syringe into it instead.

“I need to take a look at your incision,” Scully informed me after she’d disposed of the syringe.

The gauze she had covered it with was not taped to my skin, just laying loosely over the wound. When she lifted it off, she smiled.

“This is looking really good.” As she was bent over, peering happily at the healing gash on my upper left abdomen, Scully rested her hand just above the waistband of my shorts.

“Let me get some clean gauze,” she left my side for a second. “I may even take be able to take the sutures out in a couple of days. I was afraid you might heal slowly after the all of that turmoil, but you’re recovering better than I’d expected.” She placed the rectangular pad over me again.

I smiled inwardly. I don’t think I’d ever pleased Scully this much before. I’d have to remember to heal nicely for her more often. My thoughts were interrupted by a distinct gurgle from my gut. Looking up, I saw Scully’s eyes widen.

“I felt that,” she laughed. “But it’s a good sign. I was waiting for it, as a matter of fact. It means you can start on soft food tomorrow.”

“Define soft food.”

“Jell-O, porridge and maybe even some pasta,” she raised her eyebrows suggestively.

“Say it isn’t so,” I couldn’t help grinning.

“And in a few days,” she paused for dramatic effect, “solid food!”

“I have to admit, Scully, even though I know I couldn’t handle it right now, I’m having unwholesome thoughts about steak.”

“When I decide you’re ready, I’ll make a nice steak dinner for us,” she promised. “Right now you look like you should get some rest.”

“I am a bit tired, but you look like you need some sleep too, Scully.”

“I have dishes to wash, and I’d really like to have a bath.”

“Where have you been sleeping?”


“In the chair?” I was wide awake again.

“I was fine, Mulder.”

“Fine my ass! You need to sleep in a bed.”

“There’s only one bed,” she informed.

“And plenty of room,” I patted the bed beside me.

“Maybe tonight I’ll lay down on the floor.”

“You will not!” I protested.

“I’ll be fine, Mulder.” She waved me off.

“Look, Scully, if you don’t get into this bed, I’ll lay down on the floor. I don’t care how much it hurts.”


“Do you think I’m kidding?”

“What if I roll over and swat your stomach or something?” She attempted a feeble argument.

“Fine,” my voice was terse. I began to shift my weight so I could inch my way to the edge of the bed.

“Okay, okay,” she relented. “Tonight I’ll sleep in the bed.”

“Now,” I countered.

“Mulder, it’s barely 1 in the afternoon.”

I began to creep towards the edge of the bed again.

“Mulder! Stop that! I want to take a bath. And I have dishes to do.”

“I’ll wait.”

She let out a sigh of defeat. “Okay, I won’t be long.” She glared at me as she left the room.

I couldn’t believe she’d been sleeping in that chair this whole time. I’d assumed there was another bedroom and I’d just caught her napping in the chair. She must have been more worried about me than I’d thought. This went a long way toward explaining why she’d looked so bad. I wondered how long she’d gone without any sleep at all.

It seemed like she hadn’t been gone for very long when she showed up in the bedroom in her silk pajamas. I think I must have drifted off, because I could tell Scully had washed and dried her hair.

“Happy now?” she smirked as she slid in beside.

She had absolutely no idea how happy and for how many reasons, but I only said yes. Reaching out I took her hand and squeezed it. I was surprised she didn’t pull it away, instead she shocked me by squeezing back. The warmth that spread through me helped me fall asleep, still clutching her hand tightly.


Chapter 3: Scully POV

A gentle touch on my shoulder woke me out of a sound sleep. When I opened my eyes the first thing I saw was the orange glow of the setting sun through the small bedroom window. We must have been sleeping for almost four hours.

“Scully?” Mulder sounded calm, but I could hear a tightness in his voice.

“What’s wrong?” I sat up quickly, fearing his pain medication had worn off.

“Nothing’s wrong, I have to go to the bathroom.”

The tension that had built so rapidly in my every muscle drained away quickly at words. “I hope you didn’t leave it too long. It may take a while to get you there.” I warned him.

“How long?” He sounded worried.

“I’ll try to be quick, but you can’t get up too fast or you’ll get dizzy.”

“Okay.” In the fading light I could see a frown on his face.

“I could get the urinal,” I offered.

“No, I’ll be fine,” he quickly assured me.

“Okay,” I had to chuckle. “Let me start by giving your legs a quick rub — we need to get your blood moving.”

He nodded as I pulled the sheet off him. Starting at his thighs I gave each leg a short but vigorous rubdown, talking to him as I went.

“When I’m done I’m going to move you so you are still on your back, but with your legs hanging over the edge of the bed.”

I’d finished with his left leg and had started with right thigh when I felt him tense up.

“Mulder, I’m going as fast as I can, but I can still get the urinal if you need it.”

“I can wait,” he gritted his teeth.

“Okay,” I shrugged as I moved on to his calf. After another 30 seconds I was ready to move him. “Let me do the work, Mulder. Remember how much it hurt when you tried to use your abdominal muscles?”

“I remember all too well, Scully,” he paused for a second. “Is walking going to hurt?”

“You’ll probably only be able to shuffle and you won’t be able to stand up straight, but once you’re up it shouldn’t be too bad.”

He took a deep breath, “Okay, let’s do this.”

Straddling his chest, I leaned over so I could grab him under the arms again. Once I had him turned so that his legs were over the edge of the bed, I got behind him and then slowly and steadily pushed him until he was sitting upright.

“Are you all right?” I asked, still behind him.

“It hurt a lot less than I expected.”


Keeping one hand on his shoulder and then his arm, I moved off the bed.

“How is your head?”

“I feel a little woozy,” he admitted.

“Just give yourself a minute or two — take some deep breaths if you can.

After taking some slow breaths, blinking his eyes a few times and giving his head a shake, Mulder announced that he was ready.

“Now I’ll help you move as close to the edge of the bed as we can get you. That way you won’t have to bend very much when you stand up.”

With my help he ended up perched on the edge of the mattress. Then I bent to put my shoulder under his arm and my hand around his waist.

“Stand on three,” I instructed. He counted with me and on three, with the aid of a grunt, he was on his feet, leaning heavily on me.


“Yup,” he was breathing hard.

“Can you wheel your IV stand, or do you want me to?” I thought it would help him to balance.

“I think I can manage,” he nodded.

His first steps were tentative, but soon he was shuffling along at a respectable pace.

“Sit down to pee,” I instructed once we got to the bathroom.

“Yes, ma’am,” he rolled his eyes.

It was a tight fit in the tiny bathroom. Mulder and the IV stand barely fit, never mind me in there trying to help. So I left him facing the right way and closed the bathroom door.

“Call me if you need any help getting up,” I called through the door.

“Okay,” I heard him chuckle.

I took advantage of his being out of the bed to quickly change the sheets. Luckily the cottage had a washer and dryer. I couldn’t imagine having to haul laundry into the village to do it. I was putting on the last pillowcase when I heard Mulder calling me.

“Coming.” I hurried to the bathroom.

“Is there a toothbrush I can use?” The door was still shut.

“Yeah, just a second.” I ran to the upstairs bathroom and grabbed the extra toothbrush and the toothpaste. Originally this cottage must have had a bedroom upstairs as well, but I assumed the bathroom had been expanded to make it brighter and allow for the large claw-foot tub it now held. What little room was left was used mostly for storage. If I’d had time I wouldn’t have minded peeking into the two ancient steamer trunks I’d seen. There was also some lawn furniture that I hoped we’d be able to use once the weather was a little warmer and dryer.

When I got back downstairs the bathroom door was already open and Mulder was standing at the sink, hanging on with both hands.

“My teeth feel like they’re wearing little sweaters,” he wrinkled his nose.

I couldn’t stop the laughter from bubbling out of my mouth. “Do you need help?”

“I think I’ll be okay if you’ll get the toothbrush ready.” He seemed to be pleased that he’d made me laugh — a small smile still evident at the corners of his mouth. “And I could use a shave.” He peered at himself in the mirror.

“You can barely stand,” I pointed out as I squeezed some toothpaste onto his brush.

“I don’t like it — it’s itchy.” He lifted one hand from the sink to rub his jaw.

“If you like, I’ll give you a shave after you’ve had something to eat,” I handed him the toothbrush and turned on the cold water.

“That would be great,” he smiled broadly at me before he began on his teeth. He found it somewhat difficult to bend and spit, but made it through. After I got a glass of water for him, I rinsed his toothbrush and then helped him back to the bed. I was please to note that he seemed to be walking with more ease. Once I had him settled into the bed again he smiled up at me.

“Thank you.”

“For taking you to the bathroom?”

“No, for wearing that top. The view took my mind off the pain.”

“Mulder!” I felt my cheeks growing hot. “Why didn’t you say something?”

“I said thank you,” he pointed out.

“Oh, never mind,” I couldn’t get really mad at him when he was still recovering, and despite the fact I knew he was taking advantage of that, I changed the subject. “Are you ready for something to eat?”

“Any chance of anything a bit more substantial?” he sounded hopeful.

“I could break up a few crackers in your broth.”

“Wow, something I can really sink my teeth into.”

For once I didn’t mind his sarcasm; it was yet another sign he was on the mend.

“Tomorrow you can have some Jell-O, maybe some oatmeal and even some mashed potatoes,” I tried to console him.

“With milk and butter?” His eyes lit up.

“If you like,” I couldn’t help smiling at his glee.

“And when will the potatoes be just a side dish?”

“The day after tomorrow you could have some pasta with a bit of meat in the sauce.”

“That sounds good,” he licked his lips.

“I know you feel hungry, Mulder, but trust me on this. It would be more trouble than it’s worth to eat anything heavy right now.”

“A guy has to have his fantasies, Scully,” he winked at me.

Still chuckling, I made my way to the kitchen to heat up his broth. Not wanting to torture Mulder further, I quickly made myself a sandwich and ate it while I waited for the broth.

After finishing his apple juice and his broth with crackers, Mulder sighed and patted his belly. “I can’t believe that filled me up.”

“Don’t worry, you’ll be scarfing down pizza in no time,” I assured him.

“I can hardly wait, but now I’d like to get rid of this beard. It’s driving me nuts.”

It took me a few minutes to gather up everything I needed to give him a shave. Doing it over a sink is far easier. I needed a towel, a washcloth, a basin of hot water, the razor and some shaving cream. Mulder just smiled at me as I went in and out of the room, depositing all of the accoutrements. Before I began I went to bathroom and put a t-shirt on under my pajama top. I wasn’t comfortable with Mulder looking down my shirt and I didn’t want to give him the impression that I was. I had only very recently realized my feelings for Mulder were deeper than friendship or partnership, but I was not going to win him over by flaunting my body. It wasn’t the type of behavior I’d ever indulged in and I wasn’t about to resort to it now.

“So do you have everything you need?” Mulder interrupted my thoughts.

“Hmm? Oh yeah, I think I have everything.”

I started by wetting his beard with the damp face cloth. Kneeling to the right of him, I spread the shaving cream over his cheeks, chin and neck. As I smoothed the lather, ensuring I had good coverage, I was surprised to find that Mulder still had his eyes open.

“Should I let it sit for a while to soften your beard?”

“Nah, it should be fine.”

With one finger under his chin, I gently turned his face toward me and set the razor lightly against his left cheek. I’d never done this before so I had no idea how much pressure to use.

“You’ll have to push a little harder,” Mulder read my thoughts.

“I’m afraid I’m going to cut you.”

“I have faith in you, Scully,” he assured me in a steady voice and for a second I thought he wasn’t just talking about my skill as a barber.

“Don’t you doctors get a lot of practice shaving far more delicate areas?” he continued, a sly grin evident through the shaving cream.

“The nurses and orderlies usually do that,” I informed him with a smile. “Does my lack of experience scare you?”

“Hardly, Scully. You have the steadiest hands I’ve ever seen. You would have made an excellent surgeon.”

“Okay, now you’re starting to sound like my father,” I laughed.

“I don’t for one minute wish you’d gone in that direction. Then we might never have met. I can’t imagine my life without you.” His voice was thick with emotion.

“I can’t imagine my life without you either, Mulder.” It was out of my mouth before I could stop it.

I froze, fearing what Mulder might read into my words.

“I thought you imagined a more normal life all the time.”

“I don’t know what normal is anymore,” I chuckled. I wasn’t about to tell him that he starred in my “normal life” fantasies all the time. “Your beard should be pretty soft by now. Let’s see just how steady my hand is.” I changed the subject.

He stayed very still and I could feel him watching me intently as I worked. There was something mesmerizing about drawing the razor across his cheek; hearing the rasp of his beard against the blades and seeing the fresh clean skin emerge. The basin of water was on his bedside table so I had to reach across him to rinse off the razor. When I returned to his cheek I was surprised to feel him put his hand on my knee. I thought maybe he was hoping to steady my nerves as I got closer to his jugular.

“Am I scaring you yet?” I asked him in a low voice.

“I’m not worried,” he gave my knee a squeeze.

I lifted the razor from his jawline momentarily to look at him. My face was only about a foot away from his, and although his face was mostly white, all I could see were his eyes.They seemed to be radiating; like they were brighter than normal. When our gazes locked, I felt like I wouldn’t be able to keep anything from him. It was almost like he could see what I was thinking.

“I’ve always trusted you, Scully, right from the beginning. You never gave me any reason to doubt you, and when I was of sound mind, I never did.”

“I was surprised at how easily you trusted me, Mulder. I thought you might have been feeding me little tidbits of information to see what would happen.” I began to shave his neck in upward strokes.

“I had to trust you,” Mulder continued when I reached over to rinse the razor again. “We never would have accomplished anything if we hadn’t trusted each other. And don’t think I didn’t notice how thoroughly you trusted me.”

“Well, you may be a little flaky,” I laughed as I started on his right cheek. “But you are a trustworthy flake.”

“Thanks,” he laughed when I lifted the razor again.

I was glad we were laughing again. The intensity of his eyes had caught me off guard. We fell silent again as I finished shaving his right cheek. Then he lifted up his chin so I could do the rest of his neck. Then he drew in his top lip so I could shave between his nose and lip. The last thing I did was carefully shave his chin and wipe the stray shaving cream off his face.

It seemed strange to me that such a simple task could feel so intimate. Mulder and I had been through a lot together, but I don’t remember ever feeling this close to him. It was almost as though we were tethered together and as I backed away I felt the bond snap. The air around me felt cooler and an energy I hadn’t been aware of suddenly dissipated. If Mulder felt it too, he made no mention.

“How’s that?”

“It feels great. See, I knew you’d have no problem.” he grinned. “Even in the state I’m in, there is something very decadent about having someone else give you a shave. I really enjoyed that,” he waggled his eyebrows at me. Unfortunately I have to go to the bathroom again,” he sighed. “And it seems like I just went.”

“Time to stop the IV fluids,” I informed him. “But I’m going to leave the port in so I can give you your antibiotics that way. The Demerol you’ll still have to take in the ass.”

“That’s okay. After all these years with the Bureau I’m used to taking things in the ass,” he smirked.

While we were talking I’d disconnected the IV lines and in no time I had him sitting at the edge of the bed. It seemed much easier than the first time. He must have been helping me a little, probably without even knowing it.

Once he was in the bathroom I began to think about how he’d looked at me while I was shaving him. I’d never seen him look at anyone that way before, never mind me. I couldn’t stop myself from hoping that maybe he was starting to have some deeper feelings for me. I would have to make sure his feelings were genuine and not the result of my caring for him. It was a trap many doctors and nurses fell into. But I was jumping the gun, all he had done was look at me a little strangely. That was a long way from an admission of undying love.

“Hey!” Mulder’s voice startled me out of my thoughts. He was standing in the doorway to the bedroom smiling. “You didn’t hear me call you — you were a million miles away. What were you thinking about?”

While I’d been thinking, I’d wandered back to the bedroom, and I’d been staring out of the window into the night, not seeing anything.

“I’m sorry,” I hurried over to him. “Are you okay?”

“Yes and no. I feel stronger, but the pain has come back.”

“You’re using your muscles more,” I nodded. “But you went longer in between shots.”

“Is that good?” his voice was strained.

“A good sign,” I nodded again. “Let me give you the shot before you get back into bed. That way you won’t have to roll over.”


I gave him the injection quickly and then helped him back into the bed.

“Breathe in through you nose and out through your mouth and try to relax,” I instructed as I brushed some wayward hair off his forehead.

I straightened up and watched as he breathed.

“Don’t stop, Scully.”

“Don’t stop what?” I was confused.

“With my hair.”

“Okay,” I smiled. Then putting one knee on the bed, I slowly combed his hair with my fingers. “Does it help to distract you from the pain?”

“Mmm,” he nodded.

“I’m sorry I didn’t hear you and come to help.” It made me nauseous to think I’d caused this pain.

“I was hurting before I got up, but I was more concerned with getting to the bathroom at the time,” he confessed.

“Mulder!” I protested “It would have taken me two seconds to give you that shot before you went to the bathroom. The Demerol could have been working by now.”

“I didn’t think of that, but what you’re doing with my hair is helping.”

“You are your own worst enemy, Mulder,” I shook my head.

He didn’t respond, he kept his eyes closed and continued to breathe slowly and steadily. Ten minutes later I was still stroking his hair and my back was starting to ache from the position I was in.

“Hasn’t the Demerol started to work yet?” I was getting concerned.

“Oh yeah, a while ago. I was enjoying what you were doing.”

“Mulder!” I pushed his head into the pillow. “How long would you have let me keep going?” I straightened up and stretched my back.

“Umm….” He smiled up at me unabashedly.

“You are incorrigible, Mulder.”

He said nothing, he just kept grinning at me.

I plunked myself down in the wing-back chair, still shaking my head.

“What did you tell Skinner?” Mulder asked out of the blue.

“I didn’t tell him anything.”


“Nope, and I told the guys not to tell him where we were — just to say we were safe if they were asked.”

“Have you talked to them since we got here?”

“Didn’t want to risk it,” I shook my head.

“You really think they want me out of the picture that badly?” He looked at me doubtfully.

“I saw them outside of your room, Mulder. Do you think they stopped by to bring you flowers?”

“I had no idea when I took this case — it never occurred to me the big boys would be involved.”

“I thought she was suffering from some form of post-partum psychosis, or that she’d killed the baby herself.”

“You thought she’d killed her own child?” Mulder looked shocked.

“Unfortunately, its far from unheard of,” I reminded him. “And her story seemed so far-fetched.”

“Being hired to carry a child?”

“That, actually, didn’t surprise me. It was her description of the baby.”

“I didn’t think it was unheard of for babies to be born covered in hair.”

“It isn’t, it’s called hypertrechosis lanuginosa, but she said fur. Human babies aren’t normally born with fur.”

“So you thought she was nuts?” Mulder sounded a little disappointed.

“Well she did say she came out of the anesthetic early, so who knows what she really saw? She told us what she thought she saw. Those drugs can play tricks on your mind.”

I’d put my feet up on the mattress and Mulder was absently playing with the cuff of my pajama bottoms while we talked.

“I wondered about that too,” Mulder admitted. “But if that’s all it was, why would someone be trying to kill me?”

“I know. That made me rethink this case.”


“Well, they know how to gene splice.”

“Between humans and aliens,” Mulder specified.

“I don’t think it would matter. If you mastered gene splicing at that level, it would merely take some fine tuning to create a different kind of hybrid.”

Mulder’s eyes grew wide as I spoke. “A different kind of hybrid — you mean human and something else? But why, because they could?” “I don’t know, Mulder. If you knew an invasion was imminent and you knew your enemies as well as these men do, what would you be doing?”

“They screwed up joining them, so now they have to beat them. Is that what you’re getting at?”

I saw the recognition in his eyes and nodded.

“So you think they are creating a different kind of hybrid as a kind of weapon?”

“Sounds bizarre, I know, but if what Michelle Heath said was true…”

“No, it makes sense. Pay women huge sums of money to gestate these hybrids. Michelle thought she was carrying a baby for some wealthy person who wanted to remain anonymous. The cash was supposed to keep her quiet. They told her they had to put her under because the parents wanted to witness the birth. Then she came out of the anesthetic early and saw what they’d created. At least she had the sense to keep her mouth shut. Otherwise, I doubt she would have lived to tell.” Mulder shook his head and silently chewed his lip for a minute. “You know, this sounds like something you might read about in a comic book. I never thought I’d be investigating a case like this, but our old friends never cease to amaze me.”

“It’s only a theory, Mulder. I’ve had plenty of time to think since we got here.”

“How long until we can go home to check out your theory, Scully?”

“You shouldn’t do anything strenuous for at least another five weeks. Then you can start getting into shape again. So it’ll be a while.”

Mulder started to say something but apparently thought better of it and shut his mouth again.

“I know it seems like a long time, Mulder, but that might work to our advantage. Maybe they’ll think we’ve given up. Besides, there isn’t a huge rush. It takes nine months to gestate a baby and I’m assuming they’ll be trying again.”

“Oh, I’d put money on that, but wouldn’t the gestation period depend on what the humans were combined with?”

“I think they would be trying to keep them mostly human, but trying to boost their strength and endurance or something like that.”

Mulder nodded and seemed to be lost in thought for a minute.

“There’s one thing about your theory I don’t understand, Scully.”

“What’s that?”

“Why aren’t they working with adults, like they did with Cassandra Spender?”

“I guess it’s easier to create an army that is willing to do your bidding when you’ve had their whole lives to prepare them for it. I doubt Cassandra Spender would’ve made a good soldier.”

“I don’t know, Scully, she seemed pretty tough to me,” he chuckled.

The fire had burned low while we were talking, so I got up to bank it for the night.

“I need to go to bathroom again, Scully,” Mulder informed me apologetically.

“No problem. I’ll give you another dose of antibiotics first, and then I think we should call it a night.”

In no time I had Mulder back in bed. We were getting faster and faster. Tomorrow he would probably only need my help to get in and out of the bed. After I had my turn in the bathroom I asked him about his pain.

“There was barely even a twinge,” he assured me.

“Wake me up if you start to hurt or if you need to use the bathroom again.”

“I will,” he promised sleepily.

Even though I’d had a nap, my body hadn’t recovered from all of my lost sleep. I was almost dead on my feet. It wasn’t long after I crawled into bed beside Mulder that I fell into a deep sleep.


Chapter 4 : Mulder POV

The room was dark except for the faint light from the distant stars in the night sky when I woke. The air outside of the covers was cool and the only sound I could hear was Scully’s gentle breathing. It took me a few seconds to realize it was my bladder that had awakened me. The bed, with Scully beside me, was extremely comfortable. Instead of waking her I lay very still so I could enjoy the feeling of her body next to mine.

Some time after we’d fallen asleep she’d moved closer to me and was now clinging to my arm like a child holds a teddy bear. Lying on her side with her knees drawn up, she almost looked like a child, but the softness of her breasts against my arm betrayed her true age.

As my eyes became accustomed to the lack of light in the room, I was able to see the serene expression on her face. Her pale skin shimmered in the darkness; her eyes flitted behind almost translucent lids in the midst of what I hoped was a tranquil dream. Had it not been for the gash in my belly I would have rolled to my side and pressed a tender kiss against her full, slightly-parted lips.

Most of the time Scully seemed so remote; keeping her feelings closely guarded. But earlier, during the shave, for a split second I thought I’d finally seen how she felt about me. I could have been mistaken. I was probably only seeing her concern for my health, but it felt like something deeper. Maybe there was a chance, at long last, I might be able to break through to her. After she’d rebuffed me the last time I’d confessed my feelings, I was going to need more than a split second before I’d be willing to open myself up to her again.

When I decided my bladder wouldn’t stretch any further, I reached across my chest with my left hand, Scully was still clutching my right arm, and caressed her cheek. Her eyes fluttered open immediately.

“What’s wrong?” Her voice was sleep-roughened. She hadn’t noticed that she was hugging my arm.

“I have to use the bathroom again — sorry.”

“That’s okay.” I watched her face as she realized she was holding onto my arm. She looked vaguely embarrassed as she released it quickly and sat up. “By tomorrow night you might be able to do this on your own.”

She maneuvered me into position quickly. We’d done this so many times it was starting to get easy. Even though I hadn’t had any pain medication in a while there was no shot of burning pain when Scully helped me to my feet.

“I think I can walk on my own,” I ventured as I began to shuffle toward the bedroom door.

“Okay, but I’ll still go with you, just in case.”

The trip took almost no time at all, even without Scully’s help. I seemed to be improving rapidly. Before I got back into bed Scully inquired about my pain.

“Just a dull ache,” I shrugged it off.

“I’d like to give you a shot anyway, mostly in interest of making sure you get your rest. I don’t want you waking up an hour from now in agony. During the day tomorrow we can see how long you can last without a shot, okay?”

“If that’s what you think is best,” I acquiesced.

“Are you sure you’re all right? You aren’t generally this submissive.” She sounded more amused than concerned.

“I’m just agreeing — it would be better to test my endurance when I would normally be awake than when I should be sleeping.”

“I guess I’m not used to you agreeing with me,” she chuckled as she went to get the syringe.

“I agree with you when you’re right,” I muttered.

“You mean when you’ll admit I’m right,” she replied dryly, tugging my boxers down.

I almost expected a bit more of a jab from the needle in retaliation, but I should have known better from Scully. Even if she was a little ticked off, she would never let it interfere with the level of care she gave me.

Once she’d helped me back into bed, Scully went back to the bathroom, saying she might as well since she was up. By the time she returned I was already drifting off.

“Sleep well,” she said softly as she slid into the bed.

“I will with you beside me,” I said to myself, or thought I had.

“Do you sleep better with someone in the bed?” She sounded surprised.

“Depends on the someone.”

“Well I’m glad you’re comfortable enough with me that I can help you rest. You need it. Good night, Mulder.”

“Night, Scully.”

Before sleep overtook me I had to wonder what it was going to take to convince Scully she was special to me. Words obviously weren’t enough. I was going to have to give her what she was always asking for — hard evidence.

The next time I woke the bedroom was filled with early morning light. I was surprised to find Scully still in bed with me. I thought she would have been up at first light. She wasn’t clinging to me though — this time I was snuggled up to her. She was lying on her right side facing away from me. She was almost at the edge of the bed and my shoulder was pressed against her back. I’d assumed from the way she’d been holding my arm she was a snuggler. But it looked like she’d been trying to get away from me, so I guess I was wrong.

Thanks to the shot Scully’d given me in the middle of the night, I was completely pain free. Since she seemed to be sleeping so peacefully and I was feeling so good, I decided to try to get out of bed on my own.

After scooting back to my side of the bed, I rolled to my left side and started to ease myself into a sitting position by pushing up with my left arm. Expecting to feel at least some pain, I took my time and tried not to use my abdominal muscles. I was both relieved and surprised when I ended up on my feet and had experienced no pain at all.

It felt positively liberating to be heading to the bathroom on my own. I was feeling so energetic I took the time to brush my teeth before I left the bathroom. When I got back to the bedroom Scully was still sound asleep and it occurred to me that she probably needed as much as rest as I did — maybe more.

In an instant I decided to do something for Scully to show her how much I appreciated what she’d done for me. It wasn’t hard to find the kitchen in the small cottage. In the tiny refrigerator, which looked more like a beer fridge to me, I found some orange juice and after some rummaging I found the bread and butter.

In five minutes I’d whipped up a gourmet breakfast of toast and juice for Scully. After shuffling back to the bedroom, I set the plate and glass down on the nightstand on her side of the bed. The clinks of the dishes made her open her eyes. After blinking sleepily a few times, her eyes flew open.

“Mulder! What are you doing? How did you get out of bed?”

“I’m fine. I’ll get back into bed now.”

“I should have known you’d do something like this.” She pressed her lips tightly together and shook her head.

“I’m shuffling as fast as I can.” I didn’t want to admit to her that although I wasn’t feeling any pain, my legs were beginning to feel very rubbery. As I rounded the foot of the bed I felt so weak I had to stop and put my hand on the wall for balance. But it wasn’t enough. My legs wouldn’t support me anymore and I slowly sank to my knees. Scully was out of bed and at my side in a flash. After she’d helped me to my feet I had to lean on her heavily as I walked. She said nothing to me until she had me safely in the bed again, propped up by many pillows.

“Mulder, what were you thinking?” There was no amusement in her voice.

“I was trying to do something for you — to show you how much I appreciate what you’ve done for me. I wanted to say thank you.”

“Oh, Mulder.” Her face melted instantly and she sat down beside me. “If you felt like you had to thank me, I wish you’d have waited until you were stronger.” She had picked up my hand and was squeezing it gently.

“I felt really good when I woke up,” I tried to explain.

“That’s because you’ve been feeling so bad, as soon as you start to feel a little better you think you’ve completely recovered. You still have to take it easy.” Her hand was now brushing some hair off my forehead and I knew she wasn’t angry with my anymore.

“It was the last little bit that put me over the edge. Up until then I was fine.”

“If you promise to take it easy for a while, I’ll let you try again, but with me there, okay?”

“Okay. When?”

“After lunch I have to give you another sponge bath, maybe after that.”

I nodded distractedly, I was busy panicking about another sponge bath. How could I face that again? No number of horrific images running through my head would stop me from getting another erection. Just the thought of Scully washing me was enough to start my blood flowing south.

“Would you like some porridge for breakfast?” Her question interrupted my dismay.

“Actually, I’d like you to eat what I made for you first.”

“Okay,” she smiled softly down at me, her hand now resting on my shoulder. “And I knew you appreciated what I’d done. You didn’t have to risk setting yourself back to prove it to me, but thank you.”

“Does that mean I might be able to talk you into some bacon, eggs and toast?” I pleaded as best as I could with my eyes.

“Oh, so now the truth comes out,” she laughed as she got up and walked around to her side of the bed. “You were trying to bribe me with this breakfast.”

“Would I do something like that?” I gasped in righteous indignation.

“Yes, you would and no you can’t have bacon and eggs, but I could make you some scrambled eggs for lunch.”

“It a deal!” I grinned, patting my stomach in anticipation. “And I want to apologize for last night,” I added quickly.

“Last night?” she repeated as she picked up a piece of toast.

“Yeah, I didn’t know you didn’t like to be touched while you were sleeping. I almost pushed you off the bed.”

“Oh, it wasn’t that, Mulder. I was worried I was going to roll over and smack you in the stomach, but every time I moved, you inched your way over so you were pressed up against me again.”

“I like to snuggle,” I shrugged, but I felt myself blushing.

“I noticed, and I usually do too, whether the other person wants to or not. Missy used to hate sleeping with me. She’d either end up pressed up against the wall or hanging off the edge of the bed trying to get away from me.”

“That’s funny, I would’ve pegged Missy as the snuggler.”

“I think it was her independent nature, even then. As soon as my parents agreed, she moved to a room in the basement. Bill ended up building most of the room, since Ahab was at sea so much. It really pissed him off that she got the room. But she was the oldest and she never let him forget.”

“And you got your own room out of it,” I smiled. “Poor old Bill, no wonder he’s so bitter.” Scully rarely talked about her family, but I found the few glimpses she allowed me were very entertaining and enlightening. Even though she’d had a military upbringing, hers was a far more normal childhood than mine was.

Once Scully had finished her gourmet meal she made my breakfast. It was the best porridge I’d ever tasted. I was surprised to discover that she’d even drizzled some sort of syrup over it. When she caught me licking off my spoon, she chuckled.


“Delicious!” I gushed, still licking my lips.

“A starving man is easy to please,” she shrugged, but from the way her eyes shone and from the smile she was trying to suppress, I could tell my compliment had pleased her.

After breakfast I dozed on and off while Scully did some cleaning around the cottage. It didn’t seem like very long until I had to use the bathroom again. Since I could hear Scully in the kitchen washing dishes, I decided to get out of bed on my own again. It turned out to be even easier than the morning. When I reached the doorway I called out to Scully. She appeared in the kitchen doorway holding a dishtowel and a plate.

“Thought I’d let you know I was heading to the bathroom — again.”

“Okay,” she laughed. “Let me know if you need anything.”

I was feeling quite good again so I decided to stand to pee, but I made sure I put the seat down again. I didn’t want Scully to find out I wasn’t following the doctor’s orders. While I was washing my hands I looked at myself in the mirror. My skin seemed to have improved over the sallow shade it was the day before. It was a little pinker and my eyes seemed more alert. Although my face was bristly again, I decided I could wait until my hands were steadier before I tried to shave on my own. Having Scully shaving me was nice, but I didn’t want to torture myself by having her that close again, when I knew I wasn’t allowed to touch. Scully was too preoccupied with not cutting me to notice the effect she’d had on me. If she were to shave me again, I’m not sure if I’d be able to stop myself from kissing her. Her lips had been so close yesterday I could practically taste them — almost feel their lushness against mine. It had taken every ounce of my willpower not to pull her close and devour those lips. How was I going to make it through another sponge bath?

“Are you okay in there, Mulder?” Scully was just outside the door.

“Yeah, I was just looking at myself,” I told her as I opened the door.

“And?” she wondered, a hint of mirth in her voice.

“I look better than I did yesterday.”

“Yes, you do.” She fell in beside me as I headed back to the bedroom. “Now that you’re finally awake, you seem to be recovering quickly.”

“I feel a hundred percent better than yesterday.”

“Good,” she beamed. “How’s your pain?”

“Almost nonexistent — a slight ache maybe.” It was definitely an ache, but nothing I couldn’t deal with.

“Okay, but I’ll need to give you your antibiotics,” she explained as she helped me back into the bed.

I held up my hand like a good little boy while she hooked the needleless syringe up to the port in my hand and gave me the shot.

“Don’t be a hero about the pain, Mulder. You won’t heal as quickly if your body has to deal with pain, too.”

“It aches a little, Scully, but I don’t think it warrants medication. I wouldn’t take an aspirin for this if it was a muscle ache.”

Seemingly happy with my explanation Scully turned to leave the room again.

“Um, Scully?” I stopped her.

Eyebrows raised, she turned to face me again.

“Is there anything to read and did you bring my glasses?”

“Yes and yes. Hang on, I’ll be right back.”

So while Scully finished the dishes and did some laundry, I poured over a paper that was a few days old. Since it was The Daily Telegraph, my favorite paper while I’d been at Oxford, I didn’t care that it wasn’t today’s edition. Most of my classmates had carried around The Times, but I’d often catch them ogling ‘the page two girl’ in the stacks.

I immediately turned to the sports section. Although I hadn’t been intrigued by cricket, I’d followed football closely while I was here. Phoebe’s loyalties had shifted between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, depending on who was doing better at the time. I, on the other hand, had picked one team and stuck with them. Phoebe had scoffed at my choice of Everton, claiming the London clubs were better. I’d almost picked Liverpool, but I thought people would assume I’d picked them because of The Beatles. Everyone and his brother supported Manchester United and I wasn’t a big Rod Stewart fan, so I picked a team I’d never heard of. As it turned out, Everton was a Liverpool club, too, but by the time I found that out, I’d gotten to know most of the players. Besides, I hadn’t wanted to be thought of as a fair-weather fan. One in any relationship was enough.

One of my favourite memories with Phoebe was attending a match with her. Everton was in London playing Arsenal, whom Phoebe happened to be supporting at the time. She’d gotten tickets for us and we’d made a weekend out of it. She went wearing her Arsenal red and white, but I went in a typical oxford blue shirt. Just as we were approaching the gate I pulled my blue and white Everton jersey out of my backpack, knowing we wouldn’t be allowed to sit together. Phoebe watched in shocked disbelief as I was funneled off towards the visitor’s seating. She’d seethed for the rest of the weekend, partly because I’d had the nerve to want to support a different club, but mostly because Everton had ended up winning the match.

When Scully appeared in the bedroom with our lunch I was reading about Everton’s recent loss. They weren’t doing as well as they had been in the early eighties, but I’d never shift my loyalties.

“You even find sports to read about in English papers?” Scully peeked at what I was reading.

“I have some good memories associated with this club,” I smiled, but I didn’t go into the details.

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Pretty much any sport with a round ball huh, Mulder?” she laughed. “But if you want your lunch you’ll have to put the paper down.”

Once I’d folded the paper and set it down Scully presented me with my lunch; a plate of fluffy scrambled eggs and an entire piece of toast.

“Real food!” I was almost giddy.

Scully just smiled while she watched me devour the meal. She had a plate of eggs, too. In fact, I couldn’t recall seeing her eat anything she wouldn’t let me eat, aside from what I’d made her. Trust Scully to think about me first. Most people wouldn’t be so thoughtful.

After she’d cleared away our dishes, she announced it was time for the sponge bath. I’d been so caught up in the sports page I’d forgotten all about it.

“I was thinking, Scully,” I spoke up before she left the room. “If I’m going to get up and walk around, wouldn’t it be better to have the bath after? In case I get sweaty.”

“I doubt you’ll get sweaty, but we can do that,” she shrugged.

With Scully at my side, I did a slow turn around the cottage. It was tiny, but even so I was getting worn out by the time we circled around to the bathroom. After I made a quick pit stop, she helped me back to the bedroom. I’d managed to put off the inevitable for about fifteen minutes.

I stopped her again before she left to get the basin and towels.

“Why can’t I just take a bath — in the tub?”

“Because it’s upstairs and there is no way you’re strong enough to climb stairs yet.”

“There’s a shower stall in the downstairs bathroom,” I pointed out.

“You shouldn’t get your incision wet,” she paused for a second and looked at me sharply. “Are trying to avoid the sponge bath?”

I couldn’t meet her eyes, so I stared at my fingernails instead.

“What’s wrong?” her voice was gentle. “What are you afraid to say?”

My ears started to burn as I grew more embarrassed. How could I tell Scully I didn’t want her to see me get another huge hard-on?

“Are you embarrassed because you got an erection when I gave you that bath yesterday?” She cut right to the chase; not being one to pull her punches.

I nodded, still not looking at her.

“It’s a perfectly normal reaction, Mulder. In fact, I was happy to see it.” She laughed when I looked up with must have been a look of utter shock on my face.

“It proved I hadn’t injured you with the catheter. I know all of the techniques, Mulder, but it’s been a while since I’ve had to use them.” she reminded me.

“So other men you’ve had to bathe have had erections like mine?” I wanted to be sure.

“Well…I’ve never actually given anyone a sponge bath before. We were taught how to do it, but the nurses usually handle that part of patient care. The instructor said it was very common for men to get erections during sponge baths though.”

So Scully thought my erection was totally unrelated to her. I briefly considered letting her continue to think that, but I was terrified that if she touched my cock again, I might actually come.

“What is it, Mulder?” Scully sat down beside me. My indecision must have been apparent on my face.

“When you were told it was normal, Scully, I don’t think they meant the kind of hard-on I had,” I confessed, my ears burning again.

“What do you mean?” she furrowed her brow.

I took a deep breath. “I mean, your instructor probably meant ‘don’t get your panties in a twist if you see some reaction when you’re washing a man’s penis’.”

“Isn’t that what I just said?” she still looked confused.

“I had a raging hard-on, Scully, not a little bit of stirring.” My ears felt red-hot.

“So you reacted differently — I wasn’t offended.”

“What if there had been a different reason for my erection?” I’d had some strange conversations with Scully in the past, but this was, by far, the strangest.

“A different reason?”

I could tell she wasn’t following me. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to her that I was in love with her. I’d told her before and at the time she’d made it apparent the feeling was not mutual.

She did love me in her own way, but it wasn’t the way I wanted. If I’d been right that she’d started to feel something deeper, there was a chance this conversation might scare her off. I don’t think she had any idea about the depth of my feelings for her. My fear was she would react badly to finding out how thoroughly she aroused me. My being in love with her was one thing, being faced with the sexual reality of my feelings was a completely different matter. The only problem was I couldn’t think of any way to talk her out of this sponge bath, so I plunged forward. It was time to sink or swim.

She was sitting beside me waiting patiently for me to answer her question, so I took another long slow breath.

“What is the normal reason for an erection?”

I could see her start to formulate her ‘Dr. Scully’ answer when I saw by her face that she finally understood what I meant and her eyebrows skyrocketed.

“What are you saying exactly, Mulder?” Her cheeks had become flushed.

“I’m saying you caused my erection, Scully. You know how I feel about you. I couldn’t help it — I’m sorry.” My cheeks had probably become the same hue of pink hers had.

“How you feel about me? There’s been a lot of innuendo, Mulder, but nothing I’ve taken seriously. You behave that way with a lot of women.”

“I don’t tell a lot of women I love them,” I pointed out.

“But you were — you had a — I thought —” Her eyes grew wide.

“I knew exactly what I was saying.” I looked directly into her shocked blue eyes. My own expression must have soon mirrored hers as the distance between us began to close.

Before our lips actually met, I closed my eyes in anticipation. As soon as her mouth touched mine, I parted my lips. My heart leapt when I felt her tongue against mine. In an instant my hands were in her hair; my head rising off the pillow in order to get more contact. Our tongues, no longer tentative, were exploring, tasting and caressing. When we finally had to part to catch our breath, Scully drew back to look at me. Her pupils were dilated and her hair was messed up from my hands. Her cheeks were still pink and glowing and her lips seemed fuller and were slightly moist. Aside from the hair, I’m sure I looked the same.

“You didn’t slug me,” I grinned broadly at her.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Last time we kissed like that you slugged me.”

“Mulder, we have never kissed like that before,” she shook her head. “You must be thinking of someone else.”

“It was you, Scully; on the Queen Anne.” I told her in an even voice.

“Oh, the 1939 Scully?” she chuckled.

“Yeah, her,” I nodded. “I wonder why she hit me. Do I kiss that badly?”

“Well, I can only speak for myself,” Scully lowered her voice, “but I think you kiss quite well.”

“You think I’m a good kisser?” I suddenly felt very proud of myself.

“Well, let me double check,” she smiled slyly and leaned in to kiss me once more.

This kiss lasted a little longer, allowing me time to nibble and tug on her full lips. We were both practically panting when we pulled apart this time. My lips missed hers instantly.

“Definitely a great kisser,” her smile made my stomach flip- flop.

“They say third time’s the charm, Scully,” I waggled my eyebrows at her. “But come a little closer this time. I want to feel your body against mine.”

“I can’t Mulder; not with that incision. I might hurt you.”

Her words hit me like a bombshell. It hadn’t even occurred to me. How long was it going to be before Dr. Scully declared me fit for duty? Of course when Scully and I finally ended up on the same page, there had to be a brand new obstacle to overcome.


Chapter 5 : Scully POV

“Don’t look at me like that, Mulder! Walking to the bathroom is a challenge for you right now. Sex is out of the question.” I was sitting up again.

“Completely?” He looked like he might actually cry.

“Mulder,” I sighed. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would guess you tend to be — well — fairly exuberant during sex.”

A small smile wavered at the corners of his mouth. “Fairly,” he admitted.

“I think you would just end up hurting yourself before we got anywhere. Then we’d have to wait even longer and Mulder, I don’t want to wait any longer than we have to.” I tried to reason with him.

“What if — well — if you — um — were on top?”

I couldn’t help laughing at his hesitancy. Granted it was a little unusual to be discussing positions before we’d even attempted sex for the first time. From the way his eyebrows furrowed and his bottom lip protruded, I gathered he didn’t find it as funny as I did.

“I assumed all along we were talking about me on top, Mulder. If you could guarantee me that you would remain absolutely motionless underneath me, I might consider it.”

Mulder drew a breath to speak, but I cut him off before he got a chance.

“Don’t make any promises we both know you can’t keep.”

“Why did we have to wait until I was laid up like this before we confessed our love, Scully?” He looked more dejected than I’d ever seen him before. “You do love me don’t you? You never said,” he added quickly.

“Yes, Mulder, I do love you, more than I’ve ever loved any man, but I thought you knew that.” I reached out to caress his cheek with my thumb.

“How would I have known?” his expression became confused.

“Padgett told you. I assumed you never pursued it because you didn’t share my feelings.” I dropped my hand to my lap again.

“I thought he was talking about Skinner,” his voice was very quiet.

“Skinner?” I chortled. “What makes you think I was attracted to Skinner?”

“I do have e-mail at work, Scully.”

“Okay, you’ve lost me. What does e-mail have to do with any of this?”

“The footage, from the elevator camera, when you kissed him. Everyone’s seen it.”

“That?” I laughed. “Do you know when that was? In what context I kissed him?”

Mulder shook his head slightly; he had suddenly found his hands very interesting again.

“He had just given me the information I needed to save your sorry ass when you almost got yourself killed investigating the reappearance of the Queen Anne.” He slowly lifted his head to look at me, his eyes wide with amazement. “I love you, Mulder. I don’t know when it happened. One day you were my annoying but cute partner and the next you were my devastatingly handsome, incredibly sexy but annoying partner.”

“Devastatingly handsome?” he grinned.

“Love does strange things to one’s perception,” I rolled my eyes.

“Incredibly sexy?” he squirmed happily.

“Among other qualities, yes.” When I reached out to stroke his cheek once more he grabbed my hand and pulled it to his mouth.

“But we can’t have sex?” He was placing several soft, warm kisses on my palm. “You’re killing me here, Scully.”

The no sex route wasn’t thrilling me either; his kisses on my palm alone were sufficient enough to cause a tingling between my legs.

“There are a couple of other options.” The timbre of my voice reflected the effect of his kisses on me.

“What options?” His voice had deepened; it seemed our topic of conversation was having its effect on him as well.

“There are two alternatives I can think of, but you would have to promise to stay as still as possible.”

He nodded his head vigorously, his eyes wide in anticipation.

“Either manual or oral stimulation.”

He groaned as soon as I’d spoken the words.

“I think I’d prefer oral,” I continued. “Manual seems a little less intimate than I’d like.”

Mulder’s breathing had become distinctly ragged.

“Would that be okay — for the time being?” I wanted this decision to be mutual.

“Okay? Scully, that would be fantastic. But what about you?” Mulder looked at me earnestly.

“I’ll be okay, Mulder. I can wait. I’m not as badly off as you are,” I nodded toward the definite bulge in the sheet.

I was surprised to see a look of disappointment cross his face. It took me a few seconds to realize why.

“Mulder,” I began gently, “I didn’t mean that I could take or leave making love to you. All you had to do was kiss my palm and I got excited.”

His disappointed look was quickly replaced by an expression I’d never seen before. His eyes began to gleam; his lips were slightly parted. He looked like a ravenous man who had stumbled upon a feast. My heart started to beat rapidly in my chest.

“If I wasn’t so worried about your well-being, Mulder, I’d be all over you.” I hoped he couldn’t tell my heart was fluttering.

“Come here,” his voice had become husky.

Mesmerized by that voice and the look on his face, I did exactly as he asked and leaned closer to him. I was still several inches away when he took my face securely in his hands and quickly brought our lips together. I had to plant my hands on either side of him to stop myself from landing on his chest.

Moving his hands to grab handfuls of my hair, he plunged his tongue deeply into my mouth. There was nothing gentle about this kiss. I responded in kind. A kiss had never been this raw and wild for me before; nothing had. My body was craving more of him; my passion almost overwhelming my intellect. With each thrust of his tongue, I could feel the need in my body mounting. I knew I would have to retreat soon. Not only because I felt like I might fly apart at any second, but also because my arms couldn’t support my weight much longer. Reluctantly, I pulled back before I collapsed on top of him.

“I should give you that sponge bath, or part of it anyway.” My speech was impaired by my labored breathing.

“Um — Scully?” Despite his own ragged breathing, I could hear doubt in Mulder’s voice. “I don’t think I’ll make it through another sponge bath.”

“You’ll make it,” I promised. “I’ll be fast and I won’t be gentle.”

His eyebrows shot up in alarm.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” I chuckled as I stood up. “I’m not planning on making it a sensual experience.”

“Okay,” he still sounded uncertain.

Before I left the room, I started a small fire. I hadn’t lit one yet that day. Although the sun had finally decided to show its face, at halfway down to sunset it wasn’t warming up the room enough for me to bathe Mulder.

When I returned with my supplies I added more wood to the fire. Sitting partially propped up by pillows, Mulder watched my every move, still looking rather dubious.

“I’ll get you a clean pair of underwear later,” I explained as I pulled the top sheet down.

He nodded and lifted his hips off the bed so I could remove his boxers.

“Do you think you can move to the middle of the bed? I’ll move your pillows.”

Without a word he inched over. His fear of not lasting through the sponge seemed to have had a beneficial effect; his erection had waned somewhat. Once he was settled in the center of the bed, I wet the washcloth and dabbed some soap onto it.

Taking his penis firmly in my hand, I washed him quickly but thoroughly. He began to grow hard again, but he was in no danger of ejaculating. After rinsing him completely, I put the cloth back into the basin.

“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” I sat down beside him.

“Well, it still felt good, but not as good as last time,” he smiled.

“I think I’ll be able to take your stitches out tomorrow, so it won’t be an issue anymore. You’ll be able to shower.” I leaned in to kiss him softly.

“Are you going to shower with me? For safety reasons, of course. I might slip.” His head was lolling on the pillows as I placed kisses along his jaw; the bristles of his beard pleasantly tickling my lips.

“Of course,” I agreed solemnly. “We wouldn’t want to risk further injury.”

“Mmm,” he sighed as I pressed my lips to his chest.

As I was tracing circles around his nipple with my tongue, I lightly grazed the inside of his thigh with my fingernails.

“God, Scully, this feels so much better than the sponge bath,” his breathing had become shallow again.

“I hope so,” I lifted my lips from his skin to laugh.

He began to say something else, but when I dipped my tongue into his bellybutton, he inhaled sharply. When I began to kiss my way down the fine line of hair on his abdomen he started to moan softly. I was surprised to find myself extremely aroused simply knowing that I was giving him so much pleasure. My breathing had changed, but not to the same degree as his.

He groaned when I finally took his cock into my hand and slowly took the head into my mouth. When I swirled my tongue I discovered a drop of his salty lubricant.

“Mmm,” my voice sounded unfamiliar to my ears, almost sultry.

My pleasure increased when I felt Mulder’s hand gently stroking my hair. I was kneeling to the right of him, with one hand on his belly to remind him to keep still. With the other I began to massage his testicles. His cock, now fully engorged, was far too large for me to take into my mouth completely. Instead I moved my hand from his balls to his shaft and moved it in concert with my mouth.

His natural lubricant in combination with my saliva made him very slippery allowing my hand to slide easily along his length. It seemed like I had only just begun when I felt him tense as if he was about to come. I slowed down immediately, wanting his pleasure to last.

Kissing the head of cock gently, I caressed the inside of his thigh until he relaxed again. When I took him into my mouth again, I moved more leisurely, exploring every detail of his hardness with my tongue.

Mulder talked to me, or tried to, the whole time; telling me how much he loved me and how good it felt. As he drew closer to his climax his vocalizations were incoherent, but the lusty tone of his voice thrilled me. When I felt him tense again I tried to back off again, but he was too far-gone.

“No,” his voice was raspy and I knew he meant he wanted me to keep going.

After barely picking up my rhythm again he called my name hoarsely right before his cock pulsed. I continued to caress him as his orgasm rocked him. The muscles in his abdomen tightened, but his hips never left the bed. When he started to relax I gently released his softening cock and began to kiss my way up his belly.

“I tried to warn you,” he said softly as I nibbled on his collarbone.

“I could tell you were about to ejaculate, Mulder. You don’t have to warn me,” I moved my kisses to his neck.

“You didn’t mind?” he sounded surprised.

“Like I said,” I straightened up to look in his eyes. “I wanted this to be intimate. Aside from making love, I think this is about as intimate as we can get.

“Have I told you how much I love you, Scully?” he pulled me close and kissed me tenderly, almost reverently. When our lips parted I thought he was going to say something, but he hesitated.

“What is it, Mulder?” I prompted.

“It’s too selfish,” he shook his head.

“You aren’t being selfish by choice. What do you want?”

“That was the most incredible —” he paused.

“Blow job?” I filled in the blank for him. I thought it was endearing that he thought I might be offended by the terminology.

“Yeah, the most incredible blow job I’ve ever had —”


“I really want to be able to see you, to touch you,” he confessed breathily.

It was only then I realized that I’d stayed dressed in the jeans and t-shirt I’d quickly pulled on while the oatmeal was cooking.

“You think that’s selfish?” I pressed a kiss to his mouth again. “Do you have any idea how much I’ve craved your touch?”

“Probably not half as much as I’ve wanted to touch you,” his eyes began to gleam again and he started to pull my t-shirt out of my jeans.

“Slow down, Mulder,” I laughed, making him pull his hand away instantly. “I know you think I worry about trivial things,” I took his hand and put it back on my hip, “but I still have to finish your sponge bath, give you another dose of antibiotics, change your dressing, make some food for you and before you touch me, I’d really like to take a bath.”

“I don’t care if you have a bath or not,” he chuckled and squeezed my hip.

“I do, I want to be clean. It’ll make me feel more comfortable. I know it sounds weird.” I didn’t want to tell him that I hadn’t shaved since we got here.

“I want you to be comfortable, Scully. Do whatever you need to do,” he smiled softly at me.

After getting fresh water, I quickly finished Mulder’s bath and retrieved a clean pair of boxers for him. Once I’d given him his medication, I took the dressing off his incision and inspected it carefully. It appeared to be completely healed.

“I think I’m going to be able to take your stitches out tomorrow,” I was pleased with how well he’d recovered.

“All right!” he crowed.

“That doesn’t mean you’ll be ready for the sexual Olympics, Mulder. You’ll still have to take it easy, but we might be able to expand our repertoire a bit.”

“Will I be allowed to get in and out of bed without permission?”

“I guess, but no more cooking, not for a few days. Tomorrow you can try sitting in a chair for a while,” I suggested.

“Will you be in my lap?” he grinned lasciviously.

“And I thought the blow job might curb your libido,” I laughed. “Now for supper you have your choice of mashed potatoes and a cup of chicken broth with vegetables or some pasta.”

“Will I be able to have some meat in the sauce, like you promised?” he looked hopeful.

“Um, not unless every aspect of your digestive system has completely returned to normal.” I tried to put it delicately since discussions of this nature offended Mulder’s delicate sensibilities.

“Not yet,” he pursed his lips. “Is that bad?”

“No, but until things are functioning normally, I don’t want to tax your system. So nothing that is hard to digest for a few days. Don’t forget the bullet and the surgeon cut through your abdominal wall. Don’t expect to be back to one hundred percent in the blink of an eye.”

“I know,” he sighed. “But my brain thinks I’m ready for sex and steak.”

“Mulder, I’m sure your brain thought you were ready for sex and steak when you first opened your eyes here.” I shook my head.

He grinned sheepishly at me as I gathered up the bathing supplies and left to make supper. Once I was in the kitchen I realized Mulder hadn’t said whether he wanted the pasta or not. When I went to confirm he was on his way to the bathroom, almost walking completely upright.

“You did want the pasta, right?”

“Yes, please,” he nodded.

As I watched him walk to the bathroom, it struck me how thoroughly I loved him. He was still shuffling, and a bit hunched over, favoring his abdomen. He’d lost quite a bit of weight making his boxers hang loosely on his hips. But to me he was incredibly sexy. Yes, I definitely had it bad.

When I presented him with his spaghetti and meatless sauce half an hour later, I noticed immediately that he’d shaved.

“I could’ve done that for you,” I caressed his cheek.

“As much as I would’ve liked that, Scully, I didn’t want to waste any valuable time.”

“Oh,” was the only reply that came to mind as I was enthralled by how green his eyes had suddenly become.

“Eat up,” he nodded towards my plate.

Knowing Mulder was anxious to touch me created a fresh tingling between my legs and my appetite for food vanished. I ate without tasting anything and when Mulder was done, I took both plates to the kitchen, even though I hadn’t finished.

“I won’t be long,” I popped in to tell him before I headed upstairs.

He had picked up the paper again and turned on the small light beside the bed. Sitting on top of the sheets in nothing but his boxers and glasses, he smiled up at me. Realizing he was waiting patiently for me to present myself to him nearly made my knees buckle.

“I’ll be here,” he chuckled wryly. “Before you go maybe you should get the fire going again. It’s getting a bit cool in here. I’d do it myself, but my doctor would never let me hear the end of it.”

“You’re right, she wouldn’t,” I agreed with a smile as I stirred and stoked up the fire.

By the time I was on the stairs it had already started to crackle nicely. I didn’t linger in the bathroom. Before I filled the tub, I knelt to wash my hair under the tap. As the tub was filling, I wrapped my hair in a towel. I added some bath oil for the scent and to soften my skin. I’d considered using lotion after my bath, but knowing Mulder, he’d be tasting as well as touching and the lotion would not be very palatable. I sat down and shaved my legs before the tub had filled. After washing quickly, I stepped out of the tub and patted myself dry.

While the tub was draining, I blew my hair somewhat dry. Drying it completely would have taken far too long. After a few passes with a brush, I grabbed my robe from the back of the bathroom door and padded softly down the stairs. Mulder quickly set the paper back on the nightstand when I appeared in the doorway.

“I was thinking, Scully,” he began tentatively, “At first I was going to ask you to lay down next to me, but since being on my side isn’t comfortable yet — would you consider sitting on my lap?”

He was right. We had the choice of standing up or having me on his lap. Neither of us would last long on our feet, so his lap seemed like the only reasonable alternative.

“Okay,” I nodded as I approached the bed.

As soon as I was within his grasp, Mulder reached out and loosened the belt on my robe. When it fell open, I shrugged it off my shoulders and let it fall to the floor.

“Scully,” he breathed as his eyes traveled the length of my body.

Under Mulder’s gaze I felt beautiful. The way his eyes burned as they roamed over me spawned a new flood of heat in my belly. He held out his hand to steady me as I climbed into the bed. Although completely naked, once I was settled in his lap I felt extremely safe. It was a feeling of total trust I’d never known before.

“I love you,” Mulder whispered as he slid his hands into my hair and pulled me close; pressing his lips to mine.

As his tongue delved into my mouth, his hands eased out of my hair, grazed lightly over my shoulders and then glided over my back. My breasts suddenly began to feel engorged, aching for his touch. When he finally brought his hands around to cup them gently, I moaned into his open mouth and pushed myself more firmly into his hands. He needed no further prompting, immediately beginning to squeeze and caress me with added vigor.

I felt bereft when his mouth left mine, but when he started to kiss and nibble my neck I forgave him instantly. When his mouth reached my collarbone, his hands left my breasts and I soon felt him gently caressing my bottom.

I was surprised to feel his hands urging me up, but I quickly realized he needed me on my knees so his mouth could reach my breasts. For support I reached behind him and clung to the headboard. This position allowed him to lay back against the pillows with my breasts falling in front of his face.

When his mouth closed over my nipple, I inhaled sharply. As he drew it into his mouth and flicked it with his tongue, his hands were busy massaging my thighs. When he moved his mouth to my as yet untasted breast, one of his hands left my thigh. I groaned when I felt it between my legs. My breaths became short and sharp when his fingers first teased my lips and then parted them.

As he continued to explore he would certainly no longer doubt how much I wanted him. When he eased one long finger into me and grazed my clit with his thumb, I bucked against his hand.

“Scully,” he practically growled.

“That feels so good, Mulder,” my voice sounded breathy.

Out of my lusty haze I became aware that Mulder’s hands were no longer moving and his mouth had not returned to my breast. I dragged my eyes open to see what was wrong and was met by his piercing green eyes.

“It’s not enough,” his voice was still feral. “I need you to do something.”

“Anything,” I heard myself saying.

“I need to taste you. This isn’t enough.”

“How?” My thought processes were impaired by my desire.

“You stay like that, I’ll lie flat on the bed.”

It took a couple of seconds before I realized what he was suggesting. He wanted me to straddle his face. That was something I’d never done before. It had always seemed so crude, so porn-film.

“Mulder, I —” I hesitated.

“Scully,” he interrupted. “I want to be as intimate with you as you were with me. Using my hands isn’t the same. I know this position isn’t ideal, but I can’t think of another way.”

Had any other man I’d ever been with asked this of me, I would have denied him. But this was Mulder, and I’d never trusted anyone as thoroughly as I did him. This would be the most significant expression of that trust I could give him.


Chapter 6 : Mulder POV

As it turned out, I must not have survived the gunshot wound after all, because this had to be heaven. What could possibly be more perfect than a very naked, very aroused Dana Katherine Scully hovering above me? She still hadn’t agreed to my request to let me finish exploring her body, but having her breasts in my face while I awaited her answer made the wait very enjoyable. Finally she drew a shaky breath.

“All right, Mulder, but I’ve never done this before, so you might have to hold me up.”

“It would be my pleasure,” I tried to sound gallant, but I think my voice was a little too husky and it sounded more roguish than honorable. If Scully noticed she said nothing. “I think the easiest way to do this is for you to take away the pillows that are holding me up.”

“Okay,” she nodded, and when I’d pushed myself a little more upright she pulled out the pillows and set them beside us on the bed.

Then I slowly eased myself down until I was flat on the bed. As I gently caressed her thighs, I inched my way down the bed until I was directly underneath her legs. She repositioned herself so that she was on her right knee, but her left foot was on the bed and her left knee was bent. When I looked up, the significance of what I’d asked her to do finally became clear to me. My normally reserved partner, who rarely even let me see her emotions, had laid herself completely bare before me. I’d been too caught up in my own needs to recognize how much she would have to trust me to even consider doing this. Knowing Scully this was likely harder for her than telling me she loved me.

While I’d been reflecting I’d also been stroking her thighs and running my fingers lightly over her sex. It’s always easy for women to tell if a man is aroused, but I’d never been in the position to see any woman’s excitement so clearly. The profundity of what I was seeing didn’t escape me. I’d always thought that if Scully did ever fall in love with me, it would never be to the degree that I loved her. When I saw Scully engorged with blood and glistening because of me, I knew I’d been wrong and I was lost in my lust again.

I had intended to take things slowly and gently, but I couldn’t control my passion. With one hand on her hip, I was able to raise my head to reach her. The fingers of my free hand were soon inside of her. When she groaned and rotated her hips at the contact, my stomach fluttered. There is no more powerful aphrodisiac to a man than knowing he is getting it right. If Scully had looked over her shoulder she would have seen the effect she was having on me.

While my fingers were plunging into her, I began to lap at her clit. She was trying to match the rhythm of my fingers with her hips, but that kept taking her now swollen bundle of nerves out of my reach.

“Stay still.” My hoarse instruction was rewarded with another soft moan from Scully.

My lips and tongue return to her clit and as I kiss, suck and stroke it I feel something swell within her. My fingers were instinctively drawn to the dime-sized projection and I began to rub it. Above me, Scully groaned my name and shuddered violently. Thrilled, but not yet satisfied, I continued to stimulate her clit. It didn’t take long before her moans intensified and she was practically grinding herself against me. When she suddenly threw her head back and began to quake I had to hold onto her to keep her from toppling over backwards.

Every pulse and throb of her clit elicited another groan and shudder. It was a couple of minutes before she opened her eyes again and gazed down at me. I had seen many looks in Scully’s eyes, but satisfied was new to me, and quickly became my favorite.

“Mulder.” My name sounded exceedingly sensual when she sighed it.

I was still trying to process the strength of her orgasm, the look on her face and the sound of her voice when she quickly moved from above me and bent to kiss me. When she did, her hand brushed against my erection.

Without a word, she moved down the bed, released me from my boxers and took me into her mouth again. Her orgasm had left me very aroused and I came embarrassing fast. I was still recovering when I felt Scully snuggle up to my right side.

“Love you, Mulder,” she mumbled sleepily as she pulled the sheet over us.

Her orgasms seemed to have the same affect on her that mine did on me, and she was soundly asleep in no time. With her pressed up against me, I soon followed her and we slept through the night with lights in the cottage burning brightly.




When I woke in the grey light of early morning, I wasn’t sure what had woken me, my bladder or my stomach. It took a couple of seconds for me to realize that Scully was no longer beside me. It worried me momentarily, but the aroma of toast wafting in from the kitchen eased my fears. Since my bladder was the more pressing of my two concerns, I eased myself out of bed and walked, actually walked to the bathroom.

When I was through, I went to the kitchen, wanting to show Scully the improvement I’d made.

“Good morning,” her smile lit up her face when she saw me, sending a warm flush through me. “You’re looking well this morning.”

“I feel great,” I beamed. “And look,” I walked over to her.

“Hey, you’re lifting your feet.”

When I got to her, I pulled her into a tight hug. It seemed like a small thing, but I was excited with how quickly I seemed to be recovering.

“You still shouldn’t over do it though, Mulder. It won’t take much to set you back.” She settled into my arms.

“I know, baby steps,” I pressed my lips against her hair.

Lifting her head, she smiled at me and stood on her toes to kiss me. “I don’t want anything impeding your recovery.” The smokiness of her voice and haziness of her eyes told me this wasn’t Dr. Scully wanting me to recover quickly; she was speaking as my lover. I wrapped my arms around her further and returned her kiss passionately.

“Believe me, Scully, I don’t want to risk re-injuring myself.”

“If you take it easy, you’ll be fine,” she assured me. “Now if you want to sit at the table, breakfast is ready.”

“Good, because I’m starving.”

“Another good sign,” she chuckled as she went back to the stove.

“Um, Scully?”

“Yeah?” she turned to look at me.

“Do you have some thing about keeping your men next to naked? Because I’m kind of cold.” I was standing there in just my boxers. The bedroom was warm from our bodies and the fire, but the rest of the cottage was fairly cool.

I watched as an auburn eyebrow slowly crept toward her hairline. “Well, I’d prefer you totally naked, but if you’re cold, I guess you can have some clothes.” She kept her voice even and her face straight.

After flicking the burner off under the scrambled eggs she was cooking, she left the kitchen and I heard her pad up the stairs. She returned quickly with a pair of pajama bottoms and a hooded sweatshirt. As I pulled on the sweatshirt she put the food on the table.

“Let me help you with these,” she took the pajama bottoms out of my hand and held them for me while I stepped into them.

“I promise to go naked as soon as it warms up,” I grinned as I sat down. My smile was fleeting, because the way I had to fold my body to sit in the chair created a twinge in my belly.

“Okay?” Scully sounded worried.

“Yeah, it’s just the first discomfort I’ve felt in a while,” I admitted.

“Try to sit up straight — lean against the back of the chair. I’m surprised your shoulders haven’t bothered you more. They usually ache with an abdominal injury, because you use them more than you’re used to.”

“Well they did bother me a bit, but nothing worth mentioning.”

“Mulder,” Scully sighed. “Please mention everything. Let me decide if it’s worth it or not. How are your shoulders now?”

“It was yesterday that they were a bit sore. They’re fine now.”

“Probably because you overdid it yesterday morning. If you start to hurt again, get straight back into bed and let me know.” Dr. Scully had returned in full force.

“I will,” I assured her quietly and picked up my fork.

“Mulder,” Scully’s voice was softer, “I’m worried about you, not angry with you.”

“I think you just want to keep me naked and in the bed,” I tried to lighten the mood.

“Well, that too.” A smile twitched at the corners of her mouth.

After breakfast I stayed in the kitchen while Scully did the dishes. Then after needing her help to get out of the chair, I went back to the bedroom. I hadn’t realized how much sitting in a chair had taken out of me until I woke up several hours later. The room was bright and Scully had opened the small window and a fresh breeze was billowing the lace curtains.

Scully had gotten dressed and was sitting in the armchair reading the newspaper. She must not have been surprised that I’d fallen asleep, because she didn’t look worried.

“How long was I asleep?”

She looked up from the paper with a smile. “A few hours, 4 maybe. Your body is still healing, Mulder. You need the rest, I’m glad you aren’t fighting it.”

“I didn’t feel tired when I laid down,” I was amazed.

“You’d be surprised at how much energy sitting in a chair requires. But that is the best way to recover, Mulder. Do something that seems insignificant and then rest.”

“Well, I feel great,” I used my arms to pull myself to a semi- sitting position. “Isn’t it about time for more antibiotics?”

“I already gave them to you,” she smiled.

“Wow, I must have been out like a light,” I shook my head.

“You were,” Scully was still smiling. “Are you hungry? I had some bananas that were going black, so I made muffins.”

“I slept through muffins baking?”

“Is that a yes?” she chuckled.

“Please,” I nodded.

Not long after I enjoyed the muffin, Scully made lunch. It was nothing special, some mashed potatoes and vegetables, but it was delicious to me. After lunch Scully was in the kitchen cleaning up when I had to make another trip to the bathroom.

“Hey, Scully,” I called to her when I was finished.

“Yeah?” She stuck her head out the kitchen.

“Bring on the meat!”

“Everything’s back to normal?” she laughed.

“Well, not normal, but back,” I clarified.

“Okay, but we’re still going to start small. How about a stir- fry tonight? With chicken?”

“Hey, meat is meat. It’ll help me get stronger too, right?”

“It will, but no huge slabs of red meat quite yet, okay?”

“But soon?” I wanted to know.

“Maybe some ground beef tomorrow, would that be okay?”

“Oh yeah,” I waggled my eyebrows at her, making her laugh, before I headed back to the bed.

Scully followed me a few minutes later and announced it was time to remove my stitches. She had me sit up so I could remove the sweatshirt I’d fallen asleep in. I’d had my fair share of stitches removed, so I watched with little concern while she carefully removed each stitch. When she was done, she poked around the scar, asking me how it felt. I admitted it was a bit tender, but she said that was to be expected.

“So I can shower now?” I wanted to know; I was reclining on my pillows again.

“I thought after supper would be a good time,” she nodded.

“And you’ll come with me?” I grinned.

“Yes, but don’t get your hopes up, Mulder. You aren’t remotely close to ready for shower sex.”

“Yeah, but you’ll be wet and naked. That’s almost as good,” I lowered my voice.

“Are you planning to wash more than my back?” Her eyes were sparkling.

“Definitely and I’m really hoping you think I’m ready for more than oral sex,” I pleaded with her.

“We can try, Mulder, but if I decide you are getting carried away, I’ll stop immediately,” she warned.

“Define carried away.”

“You have to let me do all the work.”

“I don’t have a problem with that,” my grin was back.

“You might not realize you’re moving, Mulder. It’s instinctual, you know.”

“I’ll concentrate. If it means making love to you, I can do anything.”

“God, Mulder,” she leaned in from her position on the edge of the bed to kiss me.

My hands went to hair as I deepened the kiss. As I pulled her closer I felt her breast pressing against me. Suddenly after my shower wasn’t soon enough, I wanted Scully now. Taking one hand out of her hair, I slipped it under her sweater and began to knead her breast through her bra. When I did she started to thrust her tongue deeper into my mouth. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to wait.

“Mulder,” Scully pulled out of our kiss, panting. “If we make love now, that’s it for the day.”

“Okay,” I was working on the clasp of her bra.

“Then I guess I shouldn’t shower with you,” she leaned in to kiss my chin.

“Why not?”

“Well, I don’t know about you, but it’s going to get me aroused again.” Her voice was low and seductive.

“Aren’t you capable of controlling yourself, Scully?”

“I’ve been controlling myself for the better part of 5 years, tonight I think I can handle. I was more worried about you,” she informed me with a huff.

“5 years?” I repeated in shock.

“Yeah,” her cheeks started to grow pink.

“Wow, almost as long as me,” I grinned as I slid her sweater upward.

“Oh, you haven’t been in love with me longer than that,” she had raised her arms to let me remove her sweater.

“In love? A bit longer, I think. In lust, well let’s just say Frohike wasn’t the first one to notice that you were hot.” I tossed her top to the foot of the bed.

“You were thinking about me back then?” Her eyelids had grown heavy.

“Mmm hmm,” I eased the straps of her bra off her shoulders.

“Why are you smiling like that?” She straightened up to look at me.

“I didn’t realize I was. I guess it’s because I’m enjoying this — we’re so comfortable, talking while I undress you.”

Scully’s cheeks flushed a darker shade of pink. “I am comfortable with you, Mulder, very comfortable.”

“I never knew comfortable could be so sexy.” I reached up to stroke her cheek and she leaned into my palm.

“I love you, Mulder,” she whispered.

It was the first time she had said it unsolicited. It may have only been a whisper, but to me it was as if she had shouted it from a mountaintop. I slid my hand into her hair and pulled her into a kiss. Her bare breasts felt heavenly pressing into my chest. Both of my hands were soon fumbling with the button and zipper on her pants. She came to my rescue and swiftly removed them, only breaking our kiss for a few seconds. When I started to struggle with my flannel pajama bottoms, she broke our kiss again.

“I’ll do that,” she eased them off me quickly. “I’m going to warn you, Mulder. This won’t be as romantic as either of us would like. I’m not going to be able to bend over you. I’ll have to stay upright.”

“Okay.” At that point I would’ve agreed to practically anything. My eyes were glued to her as she moved to straddle me. When she took hold of my cock, I drew in a sharp breath.

“Are you all right?” She looked up at me in surprise.

“Oh yeah,” I chuckled.

“You’ll let me know if you experience any pain.”

I must have nodded because Scully began to concentrate on lowering herself onto me again. I could feel her heat before we actually made contact and when we did, we both groaned. The sound of her pleasure sent little chills through me. I still couldn’t reconcile the fact that she wanted this as much as I did. Our conversation and kissing must have been enough foreplay for Scully because she was very wet and I slid into her easily.

Scully was sitting atop me, her knees on the bed beside my hips. To balance herself, she leaned back and put her hands on my thighs. This position arched her back, making her breasts jut forward tantalizingly and my hands were instantly drawn to them. When she began to move I could see the pleasure on her face. She moved slowly at first, occasionally caressing my balls.

While I was still able to think clearly, I watched her every move. She only lifted her body marginally off mine with each stroke, but it felt fantastic. Her head was thrown back, and her eyes were closed. Her rosy nipples were standing out proudly, because I’d been teasing them, I assumed.

The feeling of being so deep inside of her was overwhelming. With each rise and fall of her hips I savored the sensation of being so close to her. I had never known what making love felt like. Everything else I’d ever experienced was simply sex, and was in a different universe from what Scully and I were sharing. When her fingertips passed lightly over my testicles again, I groaned. I’d never been with someone who took the time to make sure the sex was good for me too.

With Scully leaning back I realized I had more access to her than if she’d been leaning over me. I let one hand slowly drift over her belly. When it came to rest on her mons, she groaned and began to pick up her pace. Easing my thumb between her slick folds I quickly found her swollen clit. The contact made her buck her hips and she moved with more purpose; her hips rotating on every stroke.

As her speed increased, I lost the ability to focus on anything but the tingling sensation building up in my balls and the way her muscles tugged and pulled at my shaft. I knew my orgasm was imminent but I could do nothing to stop it. Then I heard Scully call my name and she began to quake above me. My own orgasm followed seconds after hers. When I stopped twitching I realized my thumb was still on her clit and I could feel it pulsing. I must have kept caressing her without being conscious of it.

Before she collapsed to the bed, Scully managed to disengage herself from me. Her body was covered by a thin sheen of perspiration. She wiggled around until her head was on my right shoulder. I wrapped my arm around her waist and pulled her to me. She sighed softly and snuggled against me.

“If that’s what it’s like when you aren’t moving, I can’t even imagine…” her voice trailed off.

“I’m looking forward to finding out just how extraordinary our sex is going to be,” I chuckled. “How long until I can participate in this worthwhile experiment?”

“It depends, Mulder. If you are comfortable on your right side, we might be able to try that tomorrow. That’s a fairly low-stress position, isn’t it?”

“I’d have to move my hips,” I tried to picture the position.

“Yeah, but you wouldn’t have to use your strength to hold yourself up,” she pointed out.

“True,” I was already looking forward to trying it.

“I don’t know about you, Mulder, but I need that shower now. Do you want to join me, or do you still want to shower later?”

“I’ll shower with you, but strictly for safety reasons,” I assured her.

“Right,” she laughed.

Thanks to my morning nap, I was able to safely shower with Scully until the water started to grow cool. Feeling the water streaming over me almost felt as good as Scully’s hands spreading the soapy lather over me did — almost. Dancing naked with Scully in the tiny stall proved to be one of the most sensual experiences of my life. I was glad we’d showered right after we made love, because if I’d had time to recharge, I would have been left in a most uncomfortable state.

For supper I sat at the kitchen table again, freshly showered and wearing clothes. I felt strangely more alive than I’d ever felt before. When Scully inquired about why I was smiling so much, all I could tell her was that I was extremely happy. For some reason that made her eyes well up. I was confused until she told me through her tears that she was very happy too.

After we ate it wasn’t long before I fell asleep again. This time I’d had the presence of mind to undress before I got into bed. As I drifted off, I heard the clink and splash of Scully doing the dishes.

It was dark in the room when I woke again. Scully was sleeping peacefully beside me. I wasn’t sure what had woken me until I heard a noise outside. Staying perfectly still, I listened to see if I would hear it again. It was a slight scuffing sound; something or someone was outside of the cottage.

Slipping out of bed quietly, I walked softly to the foyer. The front door had no windows, but I could see a window in the living room. As I tiptoed toward it, I didn’t notice the throw rug in front of the door. Before I knew what was happening I was flat on the floor. My head was full of white noise and I couldn’t catch my breath. I could barely make out Scully calling my name from the bedroom, but my attention was riveted on the slowly turning doorknob.


Chapter 7 : Scully POV

At first I didn’t realize why I was sitting bolt upright in bed, heart pounding in my chest. Then I saw the vacant spot beside me. I called Mulder’s name but he didn’t answer. Assuming he’d gotten up to go to the bathroom and now needed my help, I quickly got out of bed.

When I stepped out of the bedroom, I knew immediately that something was wrong — there was no light coming from the bathroom. It was then I heard a faint moan coming from the direction of the living room. I didn’t stop to wonder why Mulder had gone there, I simply started running toward the noise I’d heard.

I gasped in horror when I saw Mulder flat on his back in front of the door. His head was turned toward the door and I could see him struggling to breathe. He must have had the wind knocked out of him when he fell. When I shifted my gaze to see what he was looking at, my stomach fell and my heart began to flutter. The doorknob was moving.

When I looked back down, Mulder was looking up at me, eyes wide with fear. After putting a finger to my lips, I tiptoed to the living room to find out if I could see anything through the window. Taking a quick peek I managed to see a dark form hovering on the doorstep. I waited a few seconds and then looked again.

“It’s a man,” I whispered to Mulder. “He’s short and he’s still standing on the porch.”

The next time I stole a look out of the window our prowler looked briefly in my direction, but didn’t see me in the window. My heart was still beating wildly. If this man tried to break in I was almost powerless to stop him. The only thing in the house I had that could pass for a weapon was a butcher’s knife and that was in the kitchen.

“He’s wearing glasses and a dark watch cap — all of his clothes are black,” I reported to Mulder.

During my next quick glance I caught him looking at his watch. I wondered if he was waiting for an accomplice. I hoped so, that would buy me some time. I couldn’t see any weapons, but he did have a backpack slung over his shoulder.

“He’s really seedy looking, Mulder. His shoulders are sort of rounded and he looks like he hasn’t shaved in a week or two.”

With that account of our unwanted guest, Mulder’s brow furrowed. At the same time something struck me, making take a closer look. This time our visitor was hitching up his jeans in an all too familiar fashion.

“Frohike!” Mulder and I realized at the same time.

“What the hell is he doing here?” I whispered harshly.

“What the hell were they thinking?” Mulder was shaking his head.

“Well, let me check you out and get you back to bed. Then I’m going to kill him.”

“Now, Scully,” Mulder interjected. “That’s not fair. I want to help.”

“This isn’t funny, Mulder,” I clenched my teeth as I helped Mulder get to his feet. “All of the trouble they went to — for what? You might as well have stayed in D.C.”

Mulder only grunted in response, he was busy trying to straighten up.

“Are you hurt?” I started to panic. All we needed was for Mulder to have reopened his internal injury. If he had, I was going to make sure Frohike’s death was a long and painful affair.

“I think I mostly hurt my pride and maybe my tailbone,” he grimaced as he moved his other leg.

“No pain around your incision?” I poked at his abdomen.

“No, it feels okay.”

“Can you make it back on your own?”

“Yeah, I think so — let James Bond in. I want to hear what he has to say for himself.”

“When you’re back in bed. You need to be off your feet. A fall like that could have done some serious damage,” I reprimanded him.

“I feel fine, Scully,” he brushed off my concerns.

“I’ll decide when your fine,” I began to escort him back to the bedroom. “I can’t believe you’d put your health in jeopardy like this. Why didn’t you wake me?”

When I saw the look of remorse on Mulder’s face, I realized I must have sounded harsh.

“I guess I wasn’t thinking,” he looked at the floor.

“I’m sorry if I snapped at you, Mulder,” I told him gently, “But I worry about you. I have to, you never do. I know it’s part of your nature to react, to be curious, to investigate at any cost, but until I think you’re up to it, would you please leave the investigating to me?” I was helping him back into the bed.

“I’ll try,” he agreed as he laid down. It was the best he could give me; I understood that. I’d have to make sure I reminded him often. Promises like that tended to slip his mind.

“I’ll bring Frohike in here before I dress him down,” I gave Mulder a quick kiss before I left. The look of relief on his face made me smile to myself. I’d have to remember to explain to him that it would take a lot more than him acting like an idiot to put our relationship at risk. Otherwise we wouldn’t have lasted more than a couple of hours. I tried not to worry about how long we might have together now thanks to Frohike as I walked back to the front door.

“I thought I heard some noise in there,” Frohike grinned when I opened the door.

“Maybe because we heard someone prowling around,” I stood back to let him in.

“I didn’t mean to wake you,” he apologized. “I got here sooner than I planned. Maybe I should have stayed in London overnight,” Frohike speculated as he followed me.

“Maybe,” I agreed as I led him into the bedroom.

“Mulder!” Frohike’s exuberance made almost me smile in spite of myself. “You are looking far healthier than the last time I saw you.”

“Let’s hope I stay this way,” Mulder said curtly.

“What’s up? You look much better.” Apparently it still hadn’t occurred to Frohike that coming here might have been a bad idea.

“You tell me. What was so important that you’d risk our safety by coming here?”

I was sitting at the foot of the bed watching Frohike’s reaction. From the look of astonishment on his face, it was obvious he’d been expecting a warmer welcome.

“Hey man, what you take me for? I was careful. I know a thing or two about not being followed, even if I’m not a Fed. First Byers and Langly came with me to Baltimore. Once we were there we split up; Byers doubled back to D.C., Langly caught a flight to New York and I stayed in Baltimore for a day and then headed down to Atlanta. From there I flew to Paris and then I took a train here. I made sure no one was following me,” Frohike explained with an air of disdain.

“Did you buy tickets for more than one destination each time?” Mulder inquired.

“Uh — no. Why?”

“How do you know your picture wasn’t sent to someone who was waiting for you at each terminus?”

“Come on,” Frohike sighed. “Do you know how many people would have to be involved to be able to pull that off?”

“You’re right,” Mulder’s voice was hard. “It would have to be a global conspiracy.”

Frohike looked at me and then back at Mulder; realization evident on his face.

“I thought the cancer man and his buddies were all crispy critters.”

“Only a few of the American members of the consortium were in that hangar. The body count was so high because of their family members. The consortium’s tentacles have wormed their way into every corner of the world, Frohike. I thought you knew that. And we don’t know what happened to Spender. He told Scully he was dying, but I doubt it. He’s like a cockroach — he keeps mutating and getting stronger.”

Mulder’s mention of Spender made me shudder involuntarily. It was something we never talked about; we’d agreed to disagree. I’d never seen Mulder angrier than when I’d told him that given the same circumstances, I’d go with Spender again.

“I was careful, I swear,” Frohike was anxious to convince Mulder.

“I’m sure you thought you were,” Mulder began to sound more resigned than angry. “I’m assuming there is more to this visit than inquiring about my health.”

“Yeah, the shit really hit the fan when you left. That woman, the one who contacted you about this case —”

“Michelle Heath,” I interjected.

“Yeah, we saw on the news that she was dead — apparent suicide; she jumped off a building.”

“Shit,” Mulder hissed.

“The reporter said she’d been depressed about the death of her infant,” Frohike nodded slowly.

“Her family would’ve bought that.” The thoroughness of these men terrified me.

“Then when Byers went to feed Mulder’s fish, he found the apartment ransacked. Then we checked your place,” he looked over at me sympathetically.

“Great,” I rolled my eyes.

“We cleaned up both places as best we could. While we were at your place your mother showed up.”

“My mother? Oh my God, Mulder. They wouldn’t do anything to my mother, would they?”

“If she doesn’t know anything, she’ll be fine, Scully,” he tried to assure me.

I looked sharply at Frohike.

“Hey, that’s exactly what we told her. She was safer not knowing anything.”

“And no one came after you?” I was suspicious.

“Skinner did, but we told him nothing. His face turns an interesting shade of red when he’s pissed.”

“If no one else came after you it makes me even more sure you were followed,” Mulder chewed on his lip.

“I dunno,” Frohike shrugged. “I think the whole thing’s been sanitized. That address Scully gave us is empty now — spic and span.”

“They just moved,” Mulder’s tone was matter-of-fact.

“Yeah, but there won’t be any evidence to link any of this to them. So maybe they’ll ignore you. That’s what they’ve done in the past,” Frohike reminded him.

“Or maybe that’s what they wanted you to think, so you’d do this,” I interjected.

“You’ve been spending too much time with Mulder,” Frohike laughed. “You’re staring to sound just as paranoid as he is.”

“With good reason, Frohike,” Mulder’s voice was tight. “If sanitizing was going to be enough to make them happy, they would’ve done that rather than risking coming to the hospital to finish me off.”

“They might have chosen a clean-up once they couldn’t find you,” Frohike was grasping at straws.

“Mmm,” Mulder conceded nothing.

“Well talking about it isn’t going to change anything.” The tension in the room was starting to give me a headache. “It’s 3 a.m. and Mulder needs his rest.”

Mulder started to protest, but it only took a glance from me to quiet him. Our exchange didn’t escape Frohike’s attention and he gave Mulder a quick wink.

“Don’t argue with Dr. Scully,” he chuckled.

“If you’re just figuring that out now, Frohike, you’re a little late to the party,” Mulder smiled for the first time since Frohike’s arrival.

Frohike’s shoulders relaxed in obvious relief. It was plain to me that Mulder hadn’t relaxed, but having a jumpy gunmen around wouldn’t solve anything. If Frohike realized that Mulder was appeasing him, he made no indication.

“You can sleep on the couch,” I told Frohike as I led him out of the bedroom. “But you’ll have to use a rolled up blanket for a pillow — we don’t have any spares.”

“No problem. I just need to use the little boys’ room first,” he informed me a little hesitantly.

“The little boys’ room?” I couldn’t help laughing.

“I was trying to be polite,” he was more embarrassed.

“‘I need to use the bathroom’ or ‘where’s the bathroom?’ doesn’t usually offend me, Frohike,” I tried to suppress my smile.

“Yeah, but it’s better than Langly’s ‘I need to drain the lizard’,” he chuckled.

“Yup, you got me there,” I laughed with him.

While Frohike used the little boys’ room, I made up the couch for him.

“Is there another bedroom upstairs?” he wondered when he joined me in the living room.


The look of amazement on his face almost made me laugh again. I could feel his eyes following me as I left the living and returned to the bedroom. For the first time since we got to the cottage, I closed the bedroom door behind me.

Mulder sighed and shook his head. “Now what?”

“All we can do is wait and see. If they followed him, there’s no point in running now.”

“You may have noticed waiting and seeing isn’t my forte.”

“I know, and on top of that we have no way to defend ourselves.”

“We could hope Frohike was right and they’d assumed victory when we disappeared.”

“Do you really believe that, Mulder?”

“I said we could hope,” he pointed out.

“I think you should sleep now, Mulder. I’ll stay up now and catch a few hours when you get up.”

“Are you going to sing?” Mulder grinned.

“I don’t think so,” I reached over him to turn off the light.

“It works really well to keep the bad guys away, though.”

“Go to sleep, Mulder.”

“But I like that song, especially the second verse,” he lowered his voice.

“I’m not singing, Mulder. Is there anything else I can do to shut you up?”

“A goodnight kiss might work.” Even in the dark I could tell he was still grinning.

As I leaned over to kiss him, I realized he was trying to calm me down, as he had done with Frohike.

“I love you, Mulder,” I whispered just before our lips touched.

His hand slid into my hair to deepen the kiss. First his tongue slid over mine, then he pulled back slightly to nip at my lips. If he was trying to make sure I’d stay awake, he was doing a good job. The throbbing he’d created between my legs was sure to keep me vigilant until he woke up.

“If you start to feel sleepy, wake me. Okay?”

“I’ll be fine, Mulder. I only fall asleep when I know you’re awake.” My track record of dozing off must have been on his mind.

I was afraid that our new worries might keep him awake, but by running my fingers lightly through his hair I soon had him snoring. Watching him sleep was a far more pleasant experience than it had been the previous week. I spent the time trying to think of any other options we might have. All I could come up with was going home. With Mulder mostly recovered and assuming he hadn’t re-injured himself, we’d be able to protect ourselves better there. In England, without weapons, we were sitting ducks. Frohike may not have led anyone to us, but we couldn’t live not being sure.

I made a decision quickly. As soon as Mulder was up, we’d leave. Even if we couldn’t get a flight right away, an airport would be a safer place to wait than a cottage in the middle of nowhere.

A glance out of the window told me morning was approaching. The black of night was giving way to the grayness of dawn. I hadn’t heard any more sounds except Mulder’s soft snoring. I had almost convinced myself that Frohike was right and he hadn’t been followed when the stillness of the burgeoning dawn was shattered.


Chapter 8: Alternating POVs

Some slight noise had made me turn to look at the window. What I saw there in the early morning light made my heart grow cold — the muzzle of a gun. My first instinct was to put myself between Mulder and the bullet. I heard the tink of the bullet as it pierced the window without shattering it as I moved. While I was waiting for the familiar hot thud of the bullet puncturing my flesh, the bedside lamp shattered and fell to floor. I should have realized that once I’d heard the sound of the bullet going through the glass it was already too late — the bullet was travelling faster than the speed of sound.

I couldn’t, for the life of me, conceive of how the shooter had missed, but I wasn’t waiting for lightning to strike twice.

“Floor,” I hissed at Mulder and rolled to the other side of the bed.

As I hit the floor I was shocked the see the shooter’s gunned hand shattering the window. Then I heard something being pounded against the wall of the house. I had to see what was happening outside.

“What the —” Frohike burst into the room.

“Get down,” Mulder whispered harshly.

Since broken glass was littering the area, I had to pick my way carefully to the now open window. I could hear the sound of the struggle continuing. When I gingerly looked out of the window I was amazed to see Skinner with a belt around the shooter’s throat; smashing his hand against the plaster wall. I was just in time to see the gun falling to ground. Staying clear of both of the shooter’s flailing hands, Skinner managed to kick the gun under the hedge that surrounded the cottage. Then my skin grew cold in horror when I spotted another figure approaching from the corner of the house.

“Behind you,” I called a warning to Skinner.

Taking the would be assassin with him, Skinner spun around to face the new threat. A glint of steel drew my eyes to the second assailant’s hand. Still controlling the man with the belt, Skinner moved to use him as a shield against the second attacker, blocking my line of sight. A chill went through me when I heard Skinner gasp, I felt completely helpless. Then Skinner let go of the belt and backed away. The assassin slumped to the ground, a knife protruding from his eye; a wound that would have killed him instantly. I was stunned to see Alex Krycek bend over and retrieve his knife from the dead man’s eye. After wiping it off on his pants, he slipped it back into the sheath that was strapped to his prosthetic arm.

“What’s for breakfast, Dana?” He looked up at me, grinning.

“It’s Scully to you, Krycek.”

“That’s gratitude for you,” he huffed.

“God damn it, Krycek,” Skinner boomed. “What are we going to do with this body?”

“Drag it around to the back of the house. I’ll deal with it later. No one will miss him — he didn’t exist to begin with.”

After shooing a still-shaking Frohike out of the room, I described the events to Mulder as I cleaned up the glass and the broken lamp. I helped him dress. Before we left the room, I checked his temperature — it was normal. His fall had apparently only left him somewhat stiff.

When we got to the kitchen, the three men were sitting at the table. Frohike and Skinner were glaring at an oblivious Krycek.

“It’s about time,” Krycek complained when he saw us. “I’m starving.”

“You’re not serious?” I stared at him.

“Hey, this cloak and dagger business makes me hungry. I’d have made my own eggs, but I like them over easy, and ever since —” he held up his prosthesis, “I always break the yolks.”

“If I do this, will you leave when you’re done?”

“Remind me to send a copy of Emily Post’s ‘Etiquette’. I’m fairly sure it’s bad manners to be so hostile to the person who saved your life.”

“I had the situation under control, Krycek,” Skinner didn’t sound amused.

“Not from where I was standing,” Krycek contradicted.

“Enough,” I help up my hands to shut them up. “I’ll make the eggs, okay?” I wasn’t in the mood for a pissing contest. I just wanted Krycek gone. I didn’t care if he’d saved Mulder’s life or not, I would never trust the man. Fifteen minutes later I set the plate of eggs down in front of him.

“When are you going explain what’s going on?” Mulder scowled at him.

“Can’t a man enjoy his breakfast in peace?” he frowned back. “These are good eggs, Dana. I didn’t know you could cook.”

“You were asked not to call her that,” Skinner’s hand had flashed out to grab Krycek by the scruff of the neck.

“Does anyone want more coffee?” I got up to refill my cup, ignoring the commotion.

“Not me, thanks,” Krycek waved me off with his good hand, Skinner’s hand still at his throat.

“Yes, please,” Skinner released his grip on Krycek’s throat.

“Me, too,” Frohike nodded. “So I was that easy to follow?” he turned to Skinner.

“Wait until you grow up before you play with the big boys,” Krycek laughed with his mouth full.

“No one was talking to you, Flytrap,” Frohike snarled.

“Yes, you were that easy to follow,” Skinner’s face remained impassive. “This whole thing could have been avoided if you had told me where they were.”

“I told him not to,” I interjected. “I didn’t think it was safe. I also didn’t think he’d be stupid enough to come here himself.”

“Hey, I screwed up. I’m sorry.” Frohike said for about the tenth time.

“You did well to get him out of the country when you did, Day — Scully,” Krycek was inspecting his plate as his mopped it with a piece of toast.

No one spoke; everyone was looking at Krycek, waiting for him to explain himself.

“This project, Project Manticore, is being run by a select group of men. It’s new and they’re a little protective. Their recent actions were not endorsed by my associates.”

“Renegade Men in Black?” Mulder laughed.

“They aren’t Men in Black,” Krycek rolled his eyes. “They represent certain global interests.”

“Can’t you come up with a new line?” I snorted.

“I didn’t think you were working with them anymore — you no longer shared their interests,” Mulder was shifting on his chair. I would have preferred that he was still in bed.

“I work for them occasionally.”

“I still fail to see what this all has to do with me,” Mulder was getting impatient.

“You are an irritant,” Krycek shrugged. “But you’d be more of an irritant if you became a martyr. Killing you would only draw attention to your bizarre allegations. Alive you come off as just another nut.”

“I dunno,” Frohike said, warily. “Maybe this is all an elaborate ruse — maybe they’re trying to catch us off guard.”

“Why would I have announced my presence if I was trying to catch you off guard? Why wouldn’t I have let you all think that you’d gotten rid of the assassin?”

“Maybe that’s all part of your plan,” Frohike sounded doubtful.

“And the next part of my plan is to get that body out of here,” Krycek stood up from the table. “Poka,” he saluted us with his good hand and left through the back door.

“I don’t know or care what Krycek’s plan is,” I began as soon as he was gone, “but we’re getting out of here. Now that Mulder is on his feet, we’re safer at home.”

“Now?” Mulder looked at me in surprise.

“Now,” I repeated firmly.

Half an hour later Skinner came back into the cottage with a surprised look on his face. I’d sent him to put some bags into his rental car, but he’d been gone for about 20 minutes.

“Krycek is gone. So are the body and the gun. I have no idea how either one of them got here, but there are no other vehicles in the area that I can see.”

Before we left, I wrote the landlord a note to apologize for the damage and put 100 pounds in the envelope with the note. That would more than cover the damage to the lamp and the window. I was going to wait until we were safely on American soil to call him and tell him we were gone.

Everyone was more than surprised when I told them I wanted to fly out of Manchester this time. It would be a far longer drive, but I figured a different airport would be less risky, in case anyone recognized me at Heathrow.

“I know it’s a huge airport, but I made myself very obvious when we got here. I don’t want there to be any trouble when we try to leave,” I tried to explained my logic.

During the drive, I had to explain myself to Skinner. He seemed to understand my reasoning for taking Mulder out of the country, but he was still livid at being left out of the loop. Telling him that I’d do the same thing again in a heartbeat did little to lower his blood pressure.

Since it was midweek, we had no problem getting a flight. Soon after we took to the air all of the guys dozed off. But even though I’d only had a few hours sleep, I didn’t relax until our plane touched down at Baltimore/Washington International.

After waiting ages for our luggage, it took another age to get through customs. When we were finally ready to go I thanked Skinner for his help and apologized again for having to keep him in the dark. Then I herded Mulder into a cab and gave the driver my address.

As soon as we were inside of my apartment my body began to shut down. It was all I could do to get myself, never mind Mulder into bed. If Krycek had been lying, and Mulder was still at risk, there would be nothing I could do about it.


I think Scully slept for two days straight when we got home. I found it quite humorous that she tried to insist on taking care of me when she returned to the land of the living. I’m not sure what she thought I’d been doing while she slept.

“I’m fine,” I used her own phrase against her. “I’m not even stiff from my fall anymore,” I exaggerated the truth. I was only a little stiff.

“Still,” she protested, starting to get out of the bed.

“Stay put,” I instructed. “I’ll bring you breakfast in bed.”

“Mulder — ”

“I’m not taking no for an answer,” I stood resolutely with my hands on my hips.

“Do you have a catheter? Do you even know how to insert one?” her eyes were narrowed, her lips pursed.


“Can I get out of bed to use the bathroom?”

“Oh, right. Sorry, Scully,” I backed down.

When I returned to the bedroom with her bacon and eggs, the room was well lit. Scully had opened the curtains and cracked the window. A soft spring breeze was gently refreshing the room. Leaning back against the headboard with her eyes closed and a slight smile playing on her lips, Scully hadn’t looked that relaxed since — well, ever.

She’d brushed her hair and from the glow of her skin, I assumed she’d washed her face. When I approached the bed she opened her eyes, her smile blossoming.

“That smells goods.”

“I thought you were happy to see me,” I feigned hurt.

“I am. You were the one who insisted on cooking,” she pointed out.

When I bent to set the tray down, Scully took the opportunity to grace me with a kiss. Even though I’d been in bed with her for most of the time that we’d been back, my body responded immediately to this intimate touch. If she noticed or was offended, she said nothing.

“Aren’t you having any?” she asked, seeing only the one plate.

“I’ve already had breakfast and lunch,” I informed her with a smirk.

“So how long was I asleep?” she broke off a piece of her egg and looked at the clock. “3:30, that’s not too bad. We got home at what, 4 in the morning?”


“What?” her fork stopped in midair.

“It’s Friday afternoon, Scully.”

“I couldn’t have, there’s no way…”

“I don’t think you’d slept properly since I was shot, Scully. Your body was trying to make up for lost time. You did get up a couple of times to use the bathroom.”

“You shouldn’t have let me sleep so long. What if something had happened?”

“Nothing happened, Scully,” I assured her gently. “Well aside from the black car that’s been parked outside of your apartment since we got home.”

“What?” she sputtered through a mouthful of egg.

“Skinner insisted. He doesn’t trust Krycek. There’s someone watching the back door too.”

“And how long does he plan to keep that up?”

“I know,” I sighed. “I tried to convince Skinner to let it drop, but he’s like a bulldog that way.”

Once she’d finished her breakfast, Scully pleaded with me to shower her, or maybe it was the other way around. Then she begged me to come to bed with her; something about wanting to make love to me in her own bed. No matter how much I tried to convince her that I was completely recovered, she still insisted that the sex be slow and gentle. Not that I was complaining. Any sex with Scully was the best sex I’d ever had.

On Monday morning Scully phoned Dr. Steele, the surgeon who’d operated on me. I could only hear Scully’s side of the conversation, but since she wasn’t doing much talking, I assumed she was getting an earful. When she finally managed to get in a word, she explained the situation and it sounded like she was able to sway the Dr. Steele into accepting that she’d made the only decision she could given the circumstances.

“You have an appointment to see him on Thursday,” she smiled when she hung up.

“How many strips did he take off?”

“Oh, a few,” she shrugged. “He threw in ‘you should lose your license for this’ a couple of times in for good measure.”

“He wasn’t serious?” my stomach fell.

“Only a little, but I gather Skinner had already talked him out of it.”

“Having a bulldog on your side can be a good thing,” I let my breath out slowly.

“I’ve been on the wrong side of his bite often enough to want to stay on his good side,” Scully chuckled.

Spending down time with Scully turned out to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of my adult life. We went shopping for groceries and made love in the afternoon. We went for long walks in the spring sunshine and made love in the evening. We curled up in front of a fire on cool spring nights and made love in the morning. We sipped coffee at a sidewalk cafe and made love in the middle of the night.

My appointment with the Dr. Steele was right after lunch on Thursday; his mornings were apparently reserved for surgery. Scully stayed in the outer office while I got naked and was poked and prodded. The man basically said nothing to me except to tell me what state of dress he wanted me to be in. He didn’t even ask if anything he was doing was causing me any pain. He did seem to be watching my face for reactions. Being a surgeon, it seemed, didn’t require an outstanding bedside manner.

When he left the examination room after telling me to get dressed, he apparently went right out to talk to Scully. When I joined them in the outer office, Scully was thanking him. He then shook my hand briskly and disappeared through the door that led to the examination rooms.

“So?” I inquired.

“What?” Scully looked up at me as we walked out of the office.

“What did he say? He didn’t tell me anything.”

“Well, I won’t quote him exactly, but he said that you were ship- shape. Although you still shouldn’t offer to help anyone move for a few weeks yet,” she smiled.

“Is that all he said?”

“Well he did say he was amazed at how well you’d recovered considering the fact that I dragged you halfway around the world,” she chuckled.

“Was it a faster than normal recovery?”

“It’s on the early side for someone who’d had no complications, and hauling you out of the hospital so soon is a fairly big complication,” she winked.

“Then how do you explain my recovery?”

“Dr. Steele said ‘In amor, vis vires’.”

“I beg your pardon,” I furrowed my brow.

“In love, strength,” her voice was quiet.

In the hallway of the medical building I stopped, took her into my arms, and pressed a soft kiss against her lips. I don’t think Scully had any idea how often her love, even when it was platonic, had kept me alive.

We rode in a comfortable silence to the lobby. When we got to the parking lot a question that I hadn’t thought to ask Dr. Steele occurred to me.

“Does this mean I can go back to work?”

“No field work, but parking your ass behind a desk will be fine.”

“Woo hoo,” I tried to contain my enthusiasm.

“I could restrict you to bedrest for another week or two, if you’d rather.”

“I’m not all that good at resting in bed,” I winked at her.

“Or on the couch, or the floor, for that matter,” she laughed.

“I guess I can live with no field work for a while,” I consented.

“Good, because I was looking forward to even less rest in bed,” she lowered her voice.

“Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” I was practically breathless as I opened my car door.

“I’m saying you are free to do whatever your heart desires,” she grinned at me from the driver’s side. “But you can’t pick me up.”

“Because the doctor said I was okay?” I clarified once we were both in the car.

She nodded in response.

“You couldn’t decide that for yourself?” I laughed.

“I wanted a second, unbiased opinion,” a small smile was wavering at the corners of her mouth.

“You thought you might decide I was fit before I really was?” That thought was beginning to make my jeans feel tight.

“There is a reason doctor’s don’t see their own families, Mulder. You will quite often see what you want to see in a loved one.”

“So start the car, woman. I’m looking forward to far less rest in bed.”

The drive back to Scully’s apartment was silent, save the giggles from Scully every time she caught me waggling my eyebrows at her. Once we were inside, clothes littered the path to the bed.

“All fours,” I shook my head at Scully when she lay down on her back.

She arched an eyebrow at me, but said nothing. I’d asked to use this position before, but she’d said my abdominal muscles weren’t up to it yet. I watched intently as she got to her knees. When she looked back over her shoulder at me, my knees got weak. But then my animal instinct took over. I think there is something about this position that brings out the Neanderthal in every heterosexual male. I don’t doubt it has something to do with submission, but at that point, I wasn’t about to stop and analyze why seeing Scully like that made my cock painfully hard.

Since the only foreplay we’d engaged in had been verbal, the first thing I did when I climbed onto the bed was gently caress her ass. Then with my cock pressing into her thigh, I bent to kiss and nip her shoulders while I reached with hand beneath her to squeeze her breasts. In no time she was sighing and wiggling her ass against me.

Even though I wanted to fill her with one swift stoke, I didn’t want to hurt her, so I eased into her slowly. Once I was sure we were both well lubricated, I picked up my pace. As my thrusts got harder, Scully responded by groaning and pushing back against me with equal fervor.

“God, yes,” she moaned when I grabbed her firmly by the hips.

It hadn’t really occurred to me that Scully was as anxious for vigorous sex as I was, but her groaning and sighing was almost as loud as mine. I wondered briefly if any of Scully’s neighbors were home in the afternoon. That thought vanished as soon as Scully’s internal muscles began to tighten around me. I knew what it felt like when she was about to come, and that was it. It seemed like we’d only gotten started, but we’d never had such energetic sex before.

“Harder,” she managed to gasp.

I could only grunt and do as she asked. After a few of her desired thrusts she began to shake. Her orgasm made her muscles ripple in an entirely erotic fashion that I couldn’t withstand. As her climax was waning, mine began to surge through me, making my last stokes even more powerful.

When awareness began to filter into my consciousness again, I found that Scully and I were lying spooned up on her bed. I assumed we’d collapsed like that. Remembering my final thrusts, I was initially worried that I might have hurt her, but from the contented way she was sighing and pressing back against me, I quickly realized that she’d enjoyed every aspect of the exuberant sex as much as I had.



“Will you promise me something?”

“What’s that?”

“In our next incarnation, let’s not wait until one of us is at death’s door to confess our love. Let’s do it right away. We’ve wasted far too much time in this life already.”


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