Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2001 7:57 PM

TITLE: Axis Mundi 2

AUTHOR: Raindancer

SUMMARY: A continuation of Axis Mundi 1. Scully and Mulder continue to
deal with the ramifications of Scully’s jaunt across country and
Mulder’s near death.

DISCLAIMER: The X-Files and all related characters belong to Chris
Carter, Fox Television, 1013 Productions, God, The Goddess and whoever
else I might have missed. No copyright infringement intended. No harm no


SPOILERS: Here and there are a few minor ones. No
season 8. It did not happen!

RATING: PG 13 just to be safe.

ARCHIVE: Anywhere. Just make sure that my name and disclaimer stay

THANK YOU: Once again to Vickie Moseley. A wonderful author and friend.

FEEDBACK: Gosh, Golly, Gee Yes! Send comments, constructive criticisms,
and suggestions to


Scully silently giggled as she peeked around the corner into the living
room. Mulder, his leg in a cast up to his hip, was carefully trying to
reach his back to scratch an itch. The intense look of concentration on
his face was enough to cause her to break her silence. “Mulder, what are
you doing?”

Mulder rolled his eyes up at her. “Will you stop giggling like a maniac
and come over here and help me?”

Scully walked over to the couch and scratched at Mulder’s back. They
were staying at her mother’s until they both had time to recuperate. The
events of the past few weeks had been hard on them both.

“That better?” Scully gently rubbed his back.

“Much.” Moving carefully he wrapped his arms around her and brought her
to rest against him. He kissed the top of her head. “You tired?”

Scully shrugged her shoulders. She was trying to relax in his arms. She
wanted to forget her jaunt across country and his near death. Time was
moving on and she didn’t want to get left behind.

“What are you thinking about?”


Mulder frowned and squeezed her tighter. He knew that she had been
through an ordeal. His supposed death had just been the last straw. She
needed to discuss what she’d been through but he sensed that she was
trying to hide from her memories. “Okay.” He thought about it a minute.
A very real possibility occurred to him but he fought to keep his tone
light. “It’s my missing fingers isn’t it? You don’t want me now that I’m

Scully stiffened. “That’s not it! Mulder, nothing could ever make me
_not_ desire you!” She turned around to see the smirk on his face.

“So you admit it’s something. I see.”

Scully frowned at being caught in his trap. “Please, Mulder, I can’t
talk about it right now.”

Mulder nodded and started to knead her shoulders. “As long as you talk
to me sometime. You don’t have to handle everything yourself you know.”

Scully leaned back and let the tension flow out of her neck and upper

Just then Maggie Scully walked into the room carrying several shopping
bags. “Oh, there you two are.”

“Here Mom, let me help you.”

“No you don’t. Just sit there and relax. I’ll get lunch on and call you
two when it’s ready.” She left the room to start preparing the meal.

“Your mom’s really nice to let me stay here while I heal a bit.”

Scully laid her head on his shoulder and sighed contentedly. “You know
Mom. She wouldn’t have it any other way. She considers you part of her
family too you know.”

Mulder shrugged and then wrapped his arms back around her. “Maybe we can
make it official?”

Scully stiffened again but didn’t say anything.

Mulder loosened his arms from around her. “Of course, we don’t have to.
It was just a suggestion.”

Scully sighed. How did she explain what she was feeling? It scared her
that the “death” of this man had affected her so strongly. She wanted to
marry him, to never leave his side again. But if she did would she be
losing herself? “Let me think about it okay? It’s not that I don’t want
to but I have to work some things out first.”

Mulder relaxed against her. “That’s fine. I’ll wait as long as you need
me to.”

They sat in companionable silence for a while. Just relaxing and
enjoying being together until Mulder let out a hiss of pain.

“What? What is it?” Scully sat up and twisted around to look at him.

“It’s okay. My fingers are just hurting.” He picked up his left hand and
carefully wriggled his thumb and index finger. “That has got to be an X

Scully smiled in sympathy. “A lot of people have phantom pains. Is it

Mulder continued to work his hand. “Not really, startling mostly.
Speaking of my fingers I would like to go to the cemetery.”

Scully cocked her brow. “You’ve got to be kidding! You want to go visit
your fingers?”

Mulder looked a little embarrassed. “It’s more than that. I suppose I
have a sort of morbid curiosity about my own death.”

Scully shivered. “I should’ve known you weren’t really dead. Mr.
Bruckman didn’t mention anything about a bear. That is unless you were
too busy to notice the bear coming at you?” Scully pursed her lips to
keep from smiling.

Mulder drew back in mock horror. “You are evil, Woman! Besides, Clyde
Bruckman was full of shit. About that anyway. I haven’t indulged in that
particular style of self-satisfaction since college. All it ever did was
give me a headache.

Scully could hold it in no longer. She burst out laughing with a
ferocity that brought tears to her eyes.


In the kitchen Maggie Scully smiled at the sound of her daughter’s
laughter. It was good to hear her laugh. When she thought of how close
she had come to losing Dana a small shiver went down her back.

She returned to stirring the soup and then added the tarragon. She
checked the biscuits and started cutting up the chicken. It was good to
be home. It was good to have people in the house again. She had grown up
in a large family and had enjoyed having a moderate sized family of her

Stirring the soup again she added the chicken and a dollop of cream.
Cooking for people was one of the things she missed most. It had always
bee something that could take her mind off her troubles.

She listened to the muted conversation from the living room and a
feeling of contentment came over her.


Mulder was running through the forest. There was a great blackness
chasing him. He had to get away. His life depended on it. He sensed he
was almost to safety when he felt a burning pain swipe the side of his
head. Then the scene changed.

He was in a cavernous bathroom. On the other side there was a tub. He
felt in the pit of his stomach that he mustn’t go anywhere near that
tub. Still he was drawn to it. With lead in his feet he started toward
the tub.

Once beside it he could see the water inside was opaque with blood.
Swallowing the lump in his throat he reached in and pulled the plug. The
blood was so hot it burned him. With the tub draining he could see the
figure in the bottom.

He felt the bile rise in his throat as he recognized the figure as
Scully. She was naked and curled fetal. There were deep lacerations all
over her body. With a shaking hand he reached down and turned her body

Her skin stuck to his hands as he moved her body. Her lips were blue and
her eyes open and clouded. A great churning started in his stomach and
climbed out his mouth “Scully!”


The night was shattered by a scream and Scully sat bolt upright in bed.
Mulder! She grabbed her robe and bolted out of her room and down the
stairs. She ran into her mother on the landing.

“Dana, you heard it too?”

Scully nodded not taking the time to stop. “It was Mulder.” She
continued on to his room with her mother close behind. In the room she
turned on the light and climbed on the bed with the trembling man.

“Mom, why don’t you go heat some milk.” Scully winced at her lack of
subtlety but turned her attention back to her partner.

Once her mother left the room she started to rub Mulder’s back in
soothing circles. “You okay, Mulder?”

He grunted and turned to face her. His face was pale and sweat covered
his brow. “Mm a little dizzy.”

Scully checked his pulse then pushed him back onto the pillow. “Your
pulse is racing. Lay back a moment and rest.” She was silent a moment as
she stroked his brow. “That must have been a doozy.”

Mulder grunted and then started trembling in earnest once again as the
images flashed through his mind. Scully, sensing his rising unease, lay
down beside him. Careful of his leg she wrapped herself around him as if
she would hold in his trembling.


Maggie continued to stir the milk in the saucepan. She knew that Mulder
had nightmares but she had not been prepared for the scream that had
torn through her house at two o’ clock in the morning.

Turning off the stove she poured herself a glass of the warm milk and
went back to the downstairs bedroom. On the threshold she stopped and
considered her next move. Tiptoeing in she sat her milk down on the
bedside table, pulled the covers over the two sleeping figures and the
clicked off the lamp.


“We’re going to be late. Do you need any help?” Scully peered around the
corner into his bedroom. He was sitting on the bed trying to get his
pants on over the cast. His pants had been cut up the leg so he could
fit his cast in them. It was getting the opening down to his foot and
then pulling them up.

Mulder finally sat back on the bed out of breath. “Well don’t just stand
there, help me out, woman!”

Scully came into the room and helped him get his leg into the cast.
“Where’s your medicine? We need to take them with us.”

Mulder nodded his head in the direction of his bureau. “What about you?
You have everything you need for your appointment?”

Scully pulled a grimace and gathered up Mulder’s medicines. “Yes.” When
Scully turned around Mulder was standing by the door with his crutches.


Mulder grimaced at the scars on his hands and arms. Except for the one
where his ear had almost been taken off his face and neck had remained
mostly unscathed. They were in the car heading toward Scully’s doctors

“You know I could just call and reschedule for another time.”

Mulder looked over to where Scully was driving and frowned. “Why would
you do that? I don’t need to go home. I feel fine.”

Scully shrugged her shoulders and concentrated once more on the road

Mulder continued to look at her for a few moments then returned to
staring out the window. He knew she didn’t want to go to the doctor.
Each week a gloom descended over her and she always tried to come up
with some excuse to keep from going.

He understood. Hell, he even sympathized with her but the truth was that
there was something, some truth; she was trying to hide from. He worried
about the lengths she had gone to while he was gone.

He only knew bits and pieces about what went on during that time. What
he did know was that the conclusion to her little road trip had almost
been deadly.

She was always so depressed and worked up after one of these
appointments with the psychiatrist. “How about we rent some movies and
pick up a pizza after your appointment. That way your mother wouldn’t
have to cook tonight.” Using guilt over the work her mother was doing
for them was a dirty trick but one he knew would work.

Scully shrugged her shoulders. “Okay but none of those Alien movies.
They make me sick.”

Mulder stuck out his lip then grinned. “How can that make you sick after
all we’ve seen and done. Heck, you cut people open for a living.”

Scully shot a look over at him and tried to suppress a grin. “Dead
people, Mulder.”

He leaned back in the seat and silently congratulated himself on
lightening her mood.


Mrs. Scully upon seeing that the kids were going to be keeping
themselves occupied that night took off to enjoy and evening out with

Scully was sitting on the couch with Mulder sharing a bowl of popcorn
and laughing at the antics on the screen. “Oh God, who comes up with
this stuff?”

Mulder shrugged and hit the rewind button on the remote. “You didn’t
want to watch the credits did you?”

Scully shook her head and then got up and threw the pizza box in the
trash. Coming back into the living room she sat down on the couch and
remained quiet.

Mulder, noticing her sudden change in mood sat down beside her. “What?
You didn’t enjoy the movie?”

Scully shook her head and grasped his left hand. She traced over the
place where his fingers used to be attached to his hand. She could feel
Mulder tense up beside her but he didn’t pull his hand away. So she
continued to massage the area.

Mulder began to relax under her administrations. “I wish you’d talk to

Now it was time for Scully to tense up. “I need to clean up these
dishes.” She started to get up off the couch but Mulder gently pulled
her back down.

“You can’t run from this Scully. It won’t go away just because you
ignore it.”

Scully was getting angry at this point. “I don’t want to talk about
this. Can’t you ever just leave something alone!”

Mulder recoiled as if he’d been struck. “That’s our problem, Scully! I
will not let this become another _Ed Jerse_ between us!” He stopped and
looked at her stricken face. “Shit, Scully, I’m sorry.”

Tears were sliding down her face now and she started out of the room.

Mulder, hindered by his cast, stumbled after her. “Please, Scully, wait.
I didn’t mean it.”

Scully stopped and turned back toward him. “You’re right.” She stopped
and took a deep breath. “I just need to be alone right now.”

Mulder listened as at her stocking feet ran up the stairs. Then, before
Maggie Scully could get home, he grabbed his crutches and coat then took
off out the door.

Scully, up in her room, didn’t hear the door close as he left.


Once outside in the drive of Mrs. Scully’s house he stopped and looked
around. He was so _stupid_! How could he have brought up Jerse again? He
felt like kicking himself then laughed joylessly at the image of him
trying to kick himself with his cast up to his thigh. The phrase “Like a
one legged man in an ass kicking contest” came to his mind.

He didn’t blame Scully for getting angry. Hell, he wouldn’t blame her if
she never spoke to him again. It was a silent agreement between them, to
never speak of Jerse again. At least never out loud. But he was _so_
frustrated. He just wanted for her to talk to him about what was
bothering her.

He stepped up to the curb and then realized that there was no chance of
hailing a cab out there. He supposed he could try to walk it but he knew
that in his shape he’d never make it. It was hard enough to hold onto
his left crutch with only his index and thumb. Sighing he turned around
and made his way to the back porch and the chaise lounge. He needed room
to think.


It had felt good to get out of the house for a little while. She loved
having Dana and Fox in her house but she needed time to herself too. It
was late so she took extra care to be quiet and not wake the kids.

In the living room she picked up the dirty plates and took them into the
kitchen. Then before heading up the stairs she peeked into Fox’s room
and stopped short. His bed was empty and hadn’t been slept in. Frowning
she turned and made her way up the stairs.

In her daughter’s room she found Dana sound asleep on her bed. She was
still dressed and laying above the covers. For one moment the thought
that Dana may be dead entered into her mind. Shaking off the morbid
thought she shook her daughters shoulder. “Dana. Dana, honey, wake up.”

Scully turned over and peered up at her mother. “Mmhat is it?”

“Honey, where’s Fox?”

Scully stared about her room trying to remember the events of the night.
“What time is it?”

Maggie looked at her watch. “It’s about twelve.”

Scully sat up. “Isn’t he in his bed?” She was already up and headed out
of the room before Maggie could shake her head.

Maggie followed close behind as Scully first went into Mulder’s room and
then back out to search the rest of the house. After not turning up any
stray partners Scully picked up the phone and dialed *69 to see if he
had called a cab. She waited impatiently and then dialed 1 so it would
automatically call the last number dialed. When she got the recording
telling the pizza parlor’s operating hours she hung up and grabbed her
coat. “He didn’t call a cab. That means he has to be around here
somewhere. Surely to God he wouldn’t try to walk home.”

Maggie grabbed her coat and keys. “What do you want me to do?”

Scully paused a moment and took a moment to try and gather her thoughts.
“I’ll take the car and check for him on the roads. You wait for him here
in case he comes back. Call me on the cell if he gets back before I do.”

“Dana, I don’t understand why he would just leave in the middle of the
night like this.”

Scully looked back toward her mother a sad little smile twisting her
lips. “Let’s just find him first okay, Mom.”


Scully pounded the steering wheel as she continued to scan the
surroundings. He had probably blamed himself for her getting upset. When
was that man going to learn that he was not responsible for every bad
thing that happened? No matter what he’d been taught growing up.

She sighed as she made the turn onto the next street. Why did everything
have to be so hard for them? Scully sighed. She had to admit. This time
it was entirely her fault. She had been trying to hide from her feelings
and her weaknesses. She hated to admit it but sometimes she was just too
proud for her own good.

“Come on Mulder, where are you?”

Once again she picked up her cell phone and tried his apartment. Just in
the off chance that he somehow had managed to get there somehow. When
his machine finally picked up she hit end and threw the phone into the
passenger seat. He couldn’t have gotten very far on his crutches. He
could barely maintain a good grip on one of them.

She was so caught up in her search that she slammed on the brakes when
the phone rang. Glancing quickly to see that there was nothing behind
her she picked up the phone. “Scully.”

“He’s home.”


Scully came home to find a very cold Fox Mulder shivering on her
mother’s couch with a cup of hot tea in his hands. She couldn’t decide
if she was more angry or relieved. Finally, she settled for wrapping her
arms around him and laying her head on his shoulder.

Mulder quickly set his cup on the end table and encircled her with his
arms. “I’m sorry.”

Scully half sniffled and half laughed into his shoulder. “No. I’m
sorry.” She hesitated a moment and then made up her mind. “Mulder, I
think we need to talk but not tonight. I’m tired and you’re cold. Let’s
go to bed.”

Mulder nodded and Scully helped him up off the couch and into his room
and then into bed.


Mulder sat on the end of the bed and stared sullenly at his image in the
mirror on the bathroom door. He felt awful. His lungs, not having fully
recovered from being injured, were retaliating for his pajama party on
the back porch. They felt congested and his chest hurt.

He finished pulling the shirt over his head and then stared at his left
hand. He hated the sight of it. Sure he could joke about it with Scully
but in private he cringed every time he saw it. He looked like a
_freak_! Mulder stared at his hand in the mirror and tried making a
fist. His hand still felt stiff and well, strange. To look at it was
disconcerting. It was like a mirage. He kept thinking he would blink and
they would reappear.

Mulder suppressed an urge to cough and got up off the bed to finish
pulling his pants on. It seemed harder with his fingers missing. How
could Scully stand to look at him?

After he was dressed he found Scully and her mom in the kitchen fixing
breakfast. Scully looked up as he entered and gave him a look that was
part smile and part interrogation.

“How are you feeling, Mulder?”

“Fine. Do I smell bacon?”

Scully quirked her eyebrow and left the counter to feel his forehead.
“Well, you don’t feel warm but promise me you’ll tell me if you start to
feel bad. You don’t need to get sick while you’re still recovering.”

Mulder held his hands up in a gesture to ward her off. “Okay, okay! Just
please tell me I can have some of that bacon?”

“Okay; enough you two. Fox breakfast is almost ready. What do you want
to drink?”

Mulder shot a look toward Scully. “Coffee? _Real_ coffee?”

Scully looked like she would say no but at the pleading look on his face
gave in. “Okay, but only as long as you drink a full glass of orange

Mulder rolled his eyes but acquiesced.

After breakfast Maggie shoed both Mulder and Scully out of the kitchen
saying that doing dishes helped her to meditate so they went into the
living room and Mulder started flipping through the channels. When he
saw that nothing was on he turned off the TV and turned toward Scully.

“I need to get out of this house it’s driving me crazy!”

Scully put down the magazine down that she’d been looking at. “I’m
getting a little stir crazy myself but you are in no condition to go
traipsing around. Besides what would you do?”

Mulder reminded himself to relax. She wasn’t talking about his
appearance. He was just being paranoid. “I’d like to go into the office
. . . . . A sudden thought occurred to him. “Scully, my fish! Who’re
taking care of my fish?”

Scully blinked at him. “Mulder, you’re fish died while you were
missing.” At the downfallen look on his face she continued. “I’m sorry.
I know you had high hopes for this batch.”

Mulder leaned back against the couch. “This sucks. Couldn’t you drive me
to the office? I’ll even stay in the car. You can just grab some files
for me?”

Scully seriously thought about it a minute. “I would like to stop by my
place and pick some things up. You promise you’d stay in the car?”’

Mulder nodded his head and held his breath.

Scully thought about it for a moment. “Okay. But, Mulder, you have to
behave. I really don’t want you to overdo it.”

Mulder pulled his best ‘who me?’ face and then managed to get up off the
sofa to go get ready.


Scully was standing just inside the door to her apartment. In all the
excitement no one had thought to sweep up the glass and clean the place
up. There was the powder used to pick up fingerprints at all the
strategic points in her apartment.

Mulder was quiet behind her. He knew that she needed time to take it all
in. In a way he was impressed. He knew that the small size of his
partner was just camouflage for the hurricane packed inside. Still it
was impressive. Scully started to move through the apartment slowly and
he followed a discreet distance behind her.

The only room that wasn’t a mess was the kitchen. Scully came back in
and sat down at her dining table with her head in her hands. Mulder came
up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. “Do you need to

Scully shook her head. “You’re right. I’ve got to face up to this. The
longer I hide the larger it looms.”

Mulder patted her shoulders and then moved to sit in the next seat. His
lungs were really starting to hurt him now and he had had to suppress
the urge to cough several times in the last few hours. He suspected he
was starting to come down with something and knew he should tell Scully.
However, she needed to talk about this and he wasn’t about to take this
opportunity from her.

Scully smiled but didn’t say anything for a few minutes. She stood up
and started to make coffee. Decaf. “I felt so cheated.” She stopped and
grabbed a couple of mugs. She was grateful when Mulder didn’t press her
to go on.

Mulder wanted to encourage her to continue but was too busy trying to
swallow the wheezing sound that he’d started making several minutes ago.
Something told him this was going to end badly.

Scully sat back down with the cups of coffee. She wasn’t sure if she
wanted to look at Mulder as she told her story or stare at the tabletop.
Looking at Mulder made her feel vulnerable but looking at the tabletop
made her feel like she was twelve again. She finally settled on a
compromise and stared at the wall above Mulder’s head. Which is probably
why she missed the flush growing across his cheeks.

“We hadn’t gotten together too long ago and then you were snatched away
from me in an instant. I have to tell you, Mulder, I was pretty angry at
you for going out there by yourself.” She stopped for a moment and
swiped at her cheek.

Mulder would have gotten her a box of tissues but the room had decided
to tilt on it’s side and he didn’t think he could walk straight right
now anyway so he settled for nodding his head. “Go ahead, Scully. It’s

“I guess the last straw came when I couldn’t find any of your belongings
that you used to keep over here. I’m sure that Mom took them. Anyway, it
was like you had been erased completely from my life. I started to doubt
myself. What if I’d imagined the whole thing? What if you and me had
never gotten together in the first place? What if I was really crazy?”
This time she stood up and grabbed the roll of paper towels.

She still couldn’t look at Mulder. He was reassuring her but a part of
her was embarrassed. “But most of all I didn’t feel like my life fit me
anymore. I didn’t feel like there was anything left here for me. I had
to find out if I could belong somewhere again.”

Mulder wiped at his eyes. He was really starting to feel cold. “That’s
understandable Scully. God, if I lost you I don’t think I’d have the
strength to try to find somewhere else to belong.” Mulder held his
breath. That had come out sounding really breathy. Surely Scully would

“I traveled and I thought. I met some people and helped some people but
it wasn’t enough. Nothing would ever be enough again.” She stopped a
moment and swallowed. “I did things that I’m not proud of, Mulder. I
acted in ways that were totally alien to me. My God, Mulder, I tried to
_kill_ myself!”

Mulder was holding on to the edge of the table. “I’m sorry you went
through that. I’m sorry that I caused you so much pain.”

Scully finally looked at him. “You didn’t . . . Mulder, are you feeling
alright? You don’t look so good.”

Mulder heard what she was saying. He even understood it but it was like
it was coming in over a transistor radio. It sounded distant and fuzzy.
He closed his eyes for a moment and that was the last thing he

Scully jumped when she heard the thump on the table. “Oh God, Mulder!”


Scully sat by the hospital bed in the ER and rubbed Mulder’s hand in
small circles with her thumb. They had avoided intubation this time but
he was still getting oxygen through the nasal cannula. They had even
avoided ICU. If, when Mulder started responding to the IV antibiotic he
would be moved up to a normal room where he would spend the night. More
than likely they would release him in the morning.

Mulder started shifting around on the bed and Scully sat up on the edge
of her chair. “Come on, Mulder. Wakey, wakey.”

He took a few moments to orient himself and then groaned and tried to
pull the sheet up over his head.

“Oh no you don’t. It’s time to face up to the music. Mulder, why didn’t
you tell me you felt this bad?”

He shifted around and tried to get in a more comfortable position. “I
didn’t really start feeling crummy until we left the house. I didn’t
want to spoil our outing so I didn’t say anything.

Scully sighed but picked his hand back up and started rubbing it again.
“Well, now you’ve got to spend another night at the hospital.”

Mulder groaned. “Can’t you talk them into letting me go home? Come on.
You’re a doctor you can look after me.”

Scully shook her head. “Nothing doing. You need to make sure that this
antibiotic is going to do the job. Luckily we caught it in time. All you
have right now is a really bad case of Bronchitis. It could’ve easily
turned into Pneumonia.”

Mulder frowned. “I interrupted our talk.”

Scully could have laughed if he hadn’t been so serious. “I wish you’d
interrupted it earlier. _And_ I’m not just saying that because I wanted
out of it. We might have avoided the emergency room if you had.”

Mulder had the decency to look a little chagrined. “I hope you know that
just because I passed out doesn’t mean you can back out of the rest of
our talk?”

Scully squeezed his hand. “I’m not planning to. I’ve realized that we
can be stronger when we share things.”

Just then an orderly came in to move Mulder up to his room. Scully
trailed beside the bed, her hand still in Mulder’s.

“Scully, you’re not staying here tonight. Go home. I’ll be fine until
tomorrow.” He paused a moment. “I better be getting out tomorrow.”

Scully hid her smile behind her hand. “Maybe. I’ll just follow you up to
your room and see that you get settled. Are you sure you don’t want me
to stay?”

Mulder nodded.

“Okay but you better behave. I don’t want to come back tomorrow to find
that the nurses had to truss you up to keep you in line.”

“Aye, aye Captain.”


Mulder sat down on the couch and closed his eyes. The short walk from
the car to the living room had him winded. He hated feeling like this.
He was used to being active and to be sedentary about drove him crazy.
However, Scully was looking a little better today and he was glad to see
some color back in her cheeks.

“Mulder, you want anything to drink?”

He opened his eyes and sat up. “Yeah, is there any iced tea?”

“I’ll check.”

Mulder sat back again and picked up the remote. He _hated_ daytime TV.
He flipped the channel to ESPN. Maybe he could find a game on. He must
have dozed off cause the next thing he knew Scully was sitting beside
him, handing him his drink. He looked to where she threw something on
the coffee table. Sunflower Seeds! God bless her little heart.

Scully smiled as she watched him tear into the small bag of seeds. “Not
too many, Mulder. Dinner’s not too far away from now.”

Mulder responded with the bag still in his mouth and it came out all
jumbled. But to Scully it sounded suspiciously like he was saying that
was dinner. “What?”

“Nothing.” He sat back happily munching on seeds and sipping tea.

Scully took his hand and gave it a squeeze. “Mulder, I just wanted to
say that I appreciate what you did for me yesterday.”

Mulder looked over at her the expression on his face a little quizzical.
“What do you mean? What did I do?”

Scully smiled at him and then snuggled into his side. “For being with me
yesterday. For giving me room when I needed it. And even though it’s
misplaced, I want to thank you for trying to give me the opportunity to
talk things out.”

Mulder wrapped his arm around her and smiled. “Hey, what’s a friend

Scully smirked. “Well just make sure that this friend starts taking
better care of himself. I don’t want to ever have to go through that

Mulder couldn’t help the little flare of guilt that popped up. He’d
caused her so much pain but he knew that if he tried to talk her out of
having anything to do with him he might end up with a black eye. “I’m
sorry, Scully. I always seem to cause you pain. I don’t mean to it just
seems to happen that way.”

Scully sighed into his shirt. “You’re not the only one. I just kept
running my mouth yesterday until you passed out.” A small smile lit her
eyes. “Now that’s talent!”

Mulder laughed and kissed her on the top of the head.

Scully felt content for the first time in a long time. She had her
health and Mulder would have his if it killed her. For the first time
she didn’t have that nightmare of a week looming over her head. She had
started to face her fears and she was going to come out triumphant.

She felt she could take on the world and then decided it would be
enough of a battle just to get Mulder to eat properly. She smiled and
inhaled his scent. She was where she belonged.


Hope you enjoyed it!
Look for Axis Mundi 3.
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