Axis Mundi 1 2/2
DISCLAIMER: The X-Files and all related characters belong to Chris
Carter, Fox Television, and 1013 Productions. No infringement intended
and no money made.
It had been touch and go in surgery for a while. Now she was sitting
with him in ICU. She looked up from the magazine she’d been staring at
for the past few minutes to the nurse’s desk outside of Fox’s room. She
was torn. She knew she had to be there for Fox but she was afraid that
Dana would try to call her at home.
She turned her attention to the man lying in the bed. There were deep
bruises underneath his eyes. His lashes lay sooty against his pale
cheeks. His face was drawn and his lips cracked and peeling. Above his
brow line his head was swathed in bandages. Bruises were seeping out to
color the ridge of his brow.
There were a multitude of cuts peppering his neck and jaw line. One ear
had almost been taken off and the surgeon had to reattach it. They had
assured her that they would try to keep scarring to a minimal.
There was a tube down his throat making sure that he kept getting air
into his lungs. A nasogastric tube was inserted into his nose.
His chest was swathed in bandages. She couldn’t see the damage done but
she winced at the thought of the pain the steady rise and fall of his
chest would cause. There was a chest tube draining off excess fluid that
was sticking out of the bandages like some obscene parasite.
His arms and hands were covered in stitches. His missing fingers on his
left hand gave that hand a malformed appearance, leaving him looking
On his right hand there were the IV’s and pulse oxometer. He was missing
a couple of fingernails and she knew that under the bandages his hands
would be open and raw. His right leg was in traction and the requisite
catheter was in place.
Maggie Scully felt the warmth prickle in her eyes. She couldn’t tell
whether she was crying more in sympathy or relief. Laying here was a man
she never thought to see again on this side of heaven. Now here he was,
real as life, if somewhat worse for the wear. She just wished Dana were
here to witness this miracle with her.
Her thoughts turned toward her daughter. She had always been strong
willed and very private. It was her nature to try to bear her pain by
herself. Maggie sighed. Out of all her children Dana worried her the
Missy had always been the wild child but she knew enough to take care of
herself. She knew when to ask for help. Bill jr. was just as stubborn as
Dana but he had always been somewhat sedate. Her baby, Charlie, had
always been practical. Never the one for wildness or outlandish ideas he
had always known he would follow in his father’s footsteps.
But Dana had always been different. God forbid you tell her she couldn’t
do something. She stopped counting her daughter’s broken bones that were
garnered by trying to climb the highest or jump the farthest.
She wasn’t saying that her Dana was foolish but sometimes her bravery
outweighed her common sense. It was for this reason that she had been
scared to death when Dana had announced she was joining the FBI.
However, it was this very same reason that she knew it would do no good
to object to the idea. It would just add fuel to the fire.
Thank goodness she had calmed some with age. Fox had a good affect on
her as well. Now, her daughter was adrift in a sea of emotions that
Maggie understood only to well.
She was brought out of her reverie by the long beep that sounded from
the other side of the bed. With one hand clutching at her chest she
brought her eyes to the heart monitor but didn’t know enough about it to
tell what was happening. She was about to press the nurse call button
when a nurse came bustling around the corner.
The nurse stopped at the entrance when she saw the pale face of the
older woman sitting by the bed. “It’s alright. It’s just his IV machine
letting us know that he needs a refill.”
Maggie let go of a breath she hadn’t known she was holding. She tried to
calm her racing heart. “Thank you. I was afraid that something had gone
The nurse smiled in sympathy as she changed out the bags of antibiotics.
“My name’s Nancy. Are you his mother?”
Margaret Scully gave a sad smile. “Not really but he sure feels like a
son. His mother passed away a few months ago.”
Nancy, finished changing the IV, focused on the man in the bed. She
began checking the bandages on the patient’s head and then chest. “You
look tired. Why don’t you go home and I’ll call you if there’s any
The offer was tempting especially with the fact that Dana might try to
call but she found herself shaking her head. “I need to be here. My
daughter usually stays with him but she’s not able to right now so I’m
taking up the slack.”
Nancy put her hands on her hips. “Okay but I don’t want two patients in
here. Why don’t you run down to the cafeteria for a few moments and grab
something to eat. I’m sure he’ll be fine for that long.”
Maggie pursed her lips. “I’ll go in a little bit. Thank you.”
Nancy nodded and then left the room.
Left alone once again Maggie gently patted Fox’s hand. “I bet you miss
Dana, don’t you, Fox? I do too.”
She leaned back into her chair to concentrate once more on the magazine
in her lap when a noise at the door caught her attention. “Mr. Skinner,
“How is he?”
“Still the same. He hasn’t woken up yet and the doctor hasn’t been in
yet to talk to me.”
Skinner sat down in the chair and took off his glasses to rub at his
eyes. “She was spotted in South Carolina.”
Maggie sat up straighter. “South Carolina? What’s she doing there?”
“Still heading south apparently. From what I hear some young hot shot
cop almost spooked her into bolting. I’ve made it clear they’re not to
pick her up.”
Maggie stared at the bed and the young man in it. “Maybe they should.”
Skinner looked at the bed and then back at Mrs. Scully. “Ma’am, don’t
give up hope yet. She’s just trying to work her way through some things.
You know that. And Mulder’s like a cat, he always lands on his feet.”
Margaret Scully smiled and took the Assistant Directors hand. “Please,
call me Maggie.”
The cigarette tip pulsed brighter as she put it to her lips and took a
draw. The clove flavored smoke made it’s way down into her lungs and she
rotated her neck while blowing it back out her nose.
It was her first cigarette since the case in Comity. She hadn’t had one
then since college. It was like riding a bike, you never forgot how. An
image flashed in her mind of Mulder lying in a hospital bed coughing up
She put the cigarette out with a vicious twist and then promptly lit
another. She coughed slightly and turned to better see the sun. It was
her second day on the road and her muscles protested some at the
She was stopped at a little town in South Carolina called Georgetown.
The irony of it appealed to her. It wasn’t quite time to be stopping but
for some reason she was content to just sit on the little bench in the
small park she found.
A couple yards away was a swing set where a little boy was pumping his
legs trying to swing higher. A few feet away a young mother sat with a
tow headed little girl in the sandbox.
Scully turned away. She didn’t want to be reminded of what she’d never
have. Stretching her legs she got up and walked to the car. She needed
to find something to eat before she moved on.
On her way to a small diner she saw in town she saw a large billowing
cloud of black smoke. Her curiosity aroused she drove toward the source
of the hanging blackness.
When she was closer she could hear the wail of sirens and the shouts of
people. When the smoke got so bad that she couldn’t see to drive she
pulled over to the side of the road and walked.
Through the smoke she got a glimpse of a raging fire in a building up
ahead. Closer still she could see that the building was a hospital.
Breaking into a run she made her way into the chaos.
“Wait a minute. Hey, you, you can’t go in there!”
Scully turned to see a man with soot streaking his face and an open fire
coat billowing around him. “I’m a doctor is there anything I can do to
The man pointed her to a place away from the fire where there was
another hub of commotion going on.
Scully took off in the direction until she came upon people lying on the
ground and others bustling around them. The first person she came to was
a little boy lying on a nest of blankets. His face was streaked with
soot broken only by the drying tear tracks that traced down his cheeks
and into his hairline.
Scully noted the oxygen mask over his nose and mouth and then turned her
attention to where the little boy held his arm protectively against his
“Hey there. My name’s Dana. What’s yours?” She bent down to hear the
little boys reply. “Daniel, that’s a good name. Daniel is your mother
The little boy looked ready to break into fresh tears. “It’s okay
Daniel. Tell me does your arm hurt?”
The little boy nodded his head and as Scully reached for it his eyes got
wide and he clutched at his arm tighter. She backed off.
“I know it hurts but I need to look at it okay? I’ll be as gentle as
Daniel debated it for a few minutes and then decided that the woman
seemed nice enough and maybe she could make it stop hurting. Finally, he
nodded his head and let go of his arm.
“That’s good, Daniel. Now I want you to tell me if something I do makes
it hurt worse okay?”
Daniel’s eyes got wider but he swallowed and nodded his head.
Scully manipulated his hand and arm with as much care as she possibly
could. When she finished she checked his pulse in that arm and then laid
it back down on his stomach.
“I want you to hold your arm real still for me okay. Don’t move it. I’m
going to go find somebody to help you.” She started to get up but then
knelt back down. “Daniel what’s your mom’s name?”
Scully smiled and then got up and started making her way through the
people milling around and those strewn across the ground until she came
across a man barking orders to other people. “Excuse me are you the
The man turned toward her and she stopped short for a moment at his
appearance. There was a rough looking scar trailing across the bridge of
his nose and down to the left side of his chin.
“I’m Dr. Harrison.”
“There’s a young boy over lying over there with a broken arm and
diminished pulse. He’s very scared. I don’t suppose you would know where
his mother is, a Rebecca Stevenson?”
The doctor frowned which seemed twisted because of the scar. “Yes, she
was one of my patients. She’s probably been taken to the hospital across
Just then there were a few explosions from the fire where the flames had
reached some oxygen tanks. Scully hit the ground pulling the doctor with
her in case they were close enough to catch any flying debris. Just then
a couple burning boards catapulted over them to land a few feet away.
“I’m sorry.” She got up dusting her pants off.
The doctor looked back toward the burning building with his frown
deepening. “Don’t apologize. I’d say you’ve just saved me from getting
“Listen, I’m a doctor is there anything I can do to help out.”
Dr. Harrison studied her for a moment, almost as if sizing her up. “Yes,
you can start by showing me where this young man that you’re talking
about is at.”
She stepped into the bathroom and stared at herself in the mirror. Her
face was covered in soot and even her hair had ash in it. She pulled off
her stained clothes and kicked them into the corner and turned on the
water in the hotel shower.
She stepped in and let the hot water wash away some of the tension she
was holding in her shoulders. For a while today she had felt like her
old self. She had immersed herself in the work and it had felt good.
She’d been a part of a team. She was making a difference in the lives of
those around her. Then without warning it had happened. The man had been
messed up pretty bad but his face was left unmarked.
It had been uncanny! If it hadn’t been for difference in body type she
would have sworn she was looking at Mulder. The world had started to
blacken and she’d almost toppled over.
Dr. Harrison had her toted off saying she’d worked herself into
exhaustion. And while the work had been hard it had been nowhere near
that draining. She knew it and so did Dr. Harrison. She’d tried to
protest but the worried glint in his eyes had silenced her.
The pain became too great and she sat down in the shower. Tears mixing
with soap and trailing down her face. She cried until finally the ache
became more of a dull throb than a stabbing wound. Then she passed out.
When she woke up it was in a bed with the soft beep that she’d heard
once too often. At first she thought that she was waiting to hear news
on Mulder’s condition but then she remembered the reality of it and she
sank back down into unconsciousness.
This time the first thing she was aware of was a burning itch in the
back of her hand. She opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling above
“You’re awake. It’s about time but then I guess you needed to catch up
on your sleep.” Dr. Harrison walked to the side of her bed.
“Mmph, what time is it?”
“Oh I’d say it’s about six in the morning.”
That brought her eyes back into focus. She sat up and took in the IV
stuck in the back of her hand and the heart monitor bleeping softly by
the side of the bed. “What am I doing here?”
Dr. Harrison sat down on the chair by her bed. “I was on my way home
when I saw your car at the motel. I was worried about you so I decided
to stop. You’re lucky I did. When was the last time you ate, or slept
for that matter?”
Scully pushed the blankets back and swung her legs over the side of the
bed. Except for some stiffness she felt fine.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Scully looked up into the angry face of the doctor. “I’m going on my
way. Thank you for your help. Now if you don’t mind I need to get
Dr. Harrison pushed her back onto the bed. “You are doing no such thing!
You probably need some time in a psych ward. What kind of person let’s
themselves get to this point of exhaustion and starvation? Besides your
boss is on his way down here. He said to keep you here until he could
Scully glared up at the man towering over her. “Back off buddy.”
Dr. Harrison shook his head in amazement. “Why won’t you just settle
down? From what I can tell you’re an intelligent young woman. Why don’t
you just wait until your boss gets here?”
Scully stood up and stepped around the doctor to the closet to get her
clothes. She didn’t care that her ass was hanging out the back of her
gown. She just felt an urgency, a pull to be somewhere else. She just
didn’t know where.
Inside the closet she found her duffel and all of her belongings.
Grabbing some fresh clothes she stepped into the bathroom to change
while the doctor stepped out into the hall to try to marshal forces to
keep her there.
Once changed she grabbed her stuff and walked into the hall and to the
elevator. A shout sounded down the hall and Scully turned to see a guard
running her way. Not wanting him to catch up with her she went through
the door and down the stairs. She could hear the sound of pursuit above
her and increased her pace.
She slipped and banged her arm on the handrail. Crying out she clutched
her numb hand to her midsection and continued down the stairs and out
into the lobby. She walked out the doors and hailed a taxi.
“What do you mean she got away!?” Skinner paced the hall. “Damn it! How
long ago did she leave?”
Dr. Harrison frowned up at the taller man. “She was determined to be out
of here. I don’t think a brick wall could’ve stopped her.” He stopped
and looked at his watch. “It’s been about five hours since she took
Skinner sighed and cursed the small redhead. Why couldn’t she just do
what she was told for once! “What about her physical condition? Is she
“She was exhausted and her blood sugar too low but we righted that
before she woke up. I don’t know what she’s running from but I hope she
gets over it.” Dr. Harrison turned back to the nurses station in effect
dismissing the other man.
Skinner sighed and made his way out of the hospital. He wanted to talk
to Maggie Scully before deciding what to do.
The prognosis wasn’t good and the longer he remained unconscious the
worse it looked. Maggie gathered his hand in hers, careful of the IV’s.
“Just hold on, Fox. Dana will be here soon.”
The danger proposed by the swelling in his brain had been eliminated by
the surgery. But still it remained to be seen what kind of brain damage
might be present. A broken rib had punctured one of his lungs but
luckily there had been no damage done to the heart.
Of course his left hand had some fingers missing and his leg was broken.
He still wasn’t breathing on his own and there was still quite a bit of
blood in his urine.
Maggie jumped slightly when the phone beside the bed rang. “Hello?”
“Maggie, It’s Walter Skinner. I’m afraid Dana’s not here at the
Maggie moaned inwardly. “Why not, Walter?”
“She woke up and took off. Apparently when she heard that I was coming
she panicked and fled.”
Maggie sighed. “How was her condition when she left?”
“The doctor here said she was fine. Over tired and low blood sugar but
that otherwise she was okay.”
“I suppose we just have to give her time, Walter. I don’t think she’ll
come home until she’s ready. Fox will just have to settle for me until
we hear from her.”
She had taken the cab back to the hotel where she grabbed her car and
hit the highway. Instead of heading further south as she planned she’d
turned and started heading west.
If she drove fast enough she might be able to make it into Missouri
before she had to stop and rest.
She was in Georgia now and heading north back into Tennessee. From there
she would travel until she could cross the state line into Missouri. She
laid her head back against the head rest and allowed the steady drone of
the tires to numb her mind.
The feeling had returned to her hand in increments. All things
considered, she would rather have it numb. However, as far as she could
tell lit wasn’t broken. She was thankful for that. The last thing she
wanted to do was go to another hospital.
She didn’t understand the panicky feeling she got when the doctor had
told her that Skinner was on his way. It was true that she didn’t want
to see anyone else that she knew and she wasn’t ready to go back. Not
yet, maybe never.
She glanced at the phone lying in the passenger seat and felt a little
guilty about not having called her mother. Scully knew she would be
worried but couldn’t bring herself to call and tell her that she was
fine. Because she wasn’t fine. She didn’t think she’d ever be fine
Scully flipped on the radio and found a station fitting her mood. The
music was something that she’d normally have never listened to. But the
driving guitars and heavy drums seemed to echo the desperation she was
feeling in her soul.
She reached into her jacket pocket and grabbed a cigarette. She knew she
would have to find food soon or she would end back up in the hospital
and this time she might not wake up before the cavalry arrived.
A few miles down the road she found an exit with a fast food joint just
off the road, it’s sign visible from the highway. She drove underneath
the golden arches and glared up at the smiling clown face with a mike in
it’s mouth asking for her order.
She ordered a meal that would make anything Mulder had ever eaten look
healthy and ate as she drove back out to the highway. Pretty soon she
entered into Tennessee and headed northwest.
Another day was dawning bright and early as Maggie Scully let herself
into the house. There had been no change in Mulder and she knew that if
she didn’t take a shower soon she could probably be labeled a health
Setting her keys down in the bowl on the table by the door she made her
way into the living room and checked her answering machine. There was
one message. Holding her breath she pushed the button.
“Mom, it’s Dana. I don’t want you to worry but I also can’t come back
right now. I hope you understand. I might not be in touch for a while so
don’t worry if you don’t hear from me. I love you, Mom.”
Maggie didn’t know whether to cry with relief or in frustration. She
checked the time date stamp and saw that the call had come in last
night. The caller ID box showed that the call came from Dana’s cell
phone so that wouldn’t be of help in locating her.
A part of her wanted to laugh at the absurdity of it. She had suspected
that the relationship between her daughter and her partner had no longer
been platonic. Dana’s reaction to his death just confirmed her
suspicions in her mind.
Her daughter was mourning the death of a lover who wasn’t dead. Maggie
leaned her head against the wall and allowed a few tears to escape. Dana
was in so much pain. Was her daughter really capable of taking her own
life? After hearing the despair in her voice she thought that maybe she
Dawn was peeping through the curtains. She had just made it into
Missouri as the sun set yesterday. She lay in the bed listening to the
shower run in the bathroom. She closed her eyes and drew the sheet up
over her breast.
In the bathroom the shower turned off and in a few moments the door
opened and her visitor stepped through fully clothed. He leaned over her
on the bed and pressed his mouth to hers. “That was nice, Babe. Let me
know if there’s anything else I can do for you.”
He let himself out of her room and Scully jumped out of the bed and ran
into the bathroom where she promptly wretched into the toilet. My God
what had she done?
It had been so late when she got in and her body had been so lonely.
She’d stopped in the local steak house to get a bite to eat. She had
just ordered dinner when Kevin had come over to her table. She didn’t
really want company but she was too tired to chase him off.
One thing led to another and the next thing she knew they’d been back in
her room. The thought made her stomach turn again and she put her face
back over the toilet. The events from the night before were becoming
clearer and clearer.
She had called her mother from the car before going into the restaurant.
Then. . . once again she heaved into the toilet. How could she have done
this to Mulder? An image of his face looking hurt flashed into her mind
and a sob tore from her throat.
She couldn’t do this anymore. She was tired and miserable. There was
nothing left here for her. If she went on then she wouldn’t feel
anything. Damn what the Catholic Church said. Surely God would not want
her to suffer this way.
Not thinking, only feeling Scully dug around in her bath bag and then
climbed into the tub. Turning on the water, ignoring the burning she
stopped up the tub and put the razor to her wrists. Without thinking of
the gun in the next room she pulled the razor down her wrist.
The call from Maggie Scully had alarmed him sufficiently enough that he
had an APB put out on Scully within the hour after receiving it. Now
with word from the Missouri police department. He dreaded making the
call back to Mrs. Scully.
He had been assured that his agent was still alive although barely. He
could only guess as to why she had decided to pull the plug now. She was
being stabilized there and then she was being airlifted back to DC. With
a final sigh he picked up the phone.
Maggie Scully could not sit still. Dana had been sedated and had not
been able to receive word about Fox yet. Maggie fingered the bandages on
her daughters wrist and tried to hold the anger in check.
It wasn’t her daughter that she was angry with but with herself. She
should’ve had them get Dana as soon as they found her. She shouldn’t
She eyed the IV carrying blood and antibiotics into the back of Dana’s
hand. Surely she would begin to wake up soon. They assured her that the
sedation hadn’t been that strong. As if hearing her mother’s thoughts
Dana began to stir on the bed.
“Dana, honey, it’s mom. Wake up, sweetie.”
Scully blinked her eyes and tried to focus on the room around her. She
couldn’t remember where she was. Had she been drinking again? Someone
was talking to her but she had to concentrate to understand what was
“Dana, can you hear me?”
“Mom? What are you doing here?”
Maggie smiled and as gently as possible picked up her daughter’s hand.
“You gave us all quite a scare you know.”
Scully searched around in her mind trying to remember what was
happening. That was when she remembered and tried to curl into a ball.
Maggie patted her daughter’s head. “Dana, I want you to listen to me.
I’m not upset at you. I understand what you’ve been going through but
you need to listen. There’s something you’ve got to hear.” Maggie waited
until she thought Dana was paying attention. “Dana, Fox is alive!”
Scully had stopped breathing. It couldn’t be. It was some cruel trick
used to get her to keep living. She turned slowly and eyed her mother.
Maggie gripped her daughter’s hand a little tighter only to release it
at Dana’s pained gasp. “It’s the truth. As soon as you are up to it I’m
going to take you to his room.”
Scully lay in bed thinking about what her mother said. “I have to see.”
She started to sit up but dizziness pushed her back down.
Maggie pursed her lips. “Not so fast. You’ve lost a lot of blood.” She
paused a moment. “I wish you could’ve talked to me.”
Scully looked away. “Please Mom, not right now. I can’t handle this
“Of course I’m sorry. Now if you want to try and sit up I’ll raise the
head of your bed a little bit.”
Scully’s heart was pounding furiously as her mom was wheeling her down
the corridor. She was still afraid that it was some cruel trick. That
they would roll her into a locked ward where she wouldn’t be able to
finish the job she had begun in Missouri.
There had already been talk of medication and counseling. Her mother
however, was not pushing her. It was either some elaborate scheme or
they were telling the truth.
They came to a room and stopped. She thought they were going to have to
defibrillate her. Could it really be true? Her mother opened the door
and wheeled her into the room.
Lying in the bed was the most beautiful sight she’d ever seen. He was
unconscious and hooked to a thousand machines but he was alive. He was
there and he was alive and Scully thought she’d weep.
“Oh my God! Oh Mulder. Please, Mom, roll me closer.”
Once she was at the side of the bed she took his hand and kissed it.
Home oh thank God she was home. She laid her head on his arm and cried.
Night had fallen from the sky turning the room dark. What little light
there was came from the nightlight above the bed. Some of the tubes had
been removed and Mulder was looking much more human.
He was breathing on his own and the tube from his chest had been
removed. The bandages on his head had been reduced and it was just a
matter of time.
Scully was chewing at the bit wanting to be with him but because of her
actions she ended up spending a week on the psych floor for evaluation.
Maggie was standing outside the doors of the unit with her daughter’s
clothes. The buzzer sounded and her daughter came walking out of the
“Come on. I can change in Mulder’s room.”
Down stairs in Mulder’s room Scully emerged from the bathroom still
brushing her hair. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the hazel
orbs open and directed her way.
Scully turned to see the sly smile on her mother’s face and the sheepish
one on Mulder’s. “How long have you been awake?”
“Honey, please don’t be upset. The doctors were afraid they wouldn’t be
able to keep you on the ward if you found out he was awake.”
Mulder reached out his hand to her. “I hear you had quite an adventure
without me.” He fingered the pink scars on her wrists. “Don’t do it
Scully looked down into the tears forming in his eyes. “As long as
you’re with me I won’t have to.”
End of Axis Mundi 1 2/2.
Look for Axis Mundi 2
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