Sent: Monday, April 16, 2001 10:47 PM

His Best Foot Forward 1/2
By Mary Kleinsmith (

Category: Challenge
Spoilers: everything up to season 7
Summary: Mulder suffers a most embarrassing accident, but it's even more
embarrassing for Scully.
Rating: PG-13
Classification: MTA, MSR
Archive: Yes, anywhere
Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, and everything related to them belong to Chris
Carter (the jerk!) and 10-13, with magic added by David and Gillian. I'm
only borrowing them, especially since the fic writers have a better sense of
what to do with Mulder and Scully than CC and Company does. Still, I'm not
making any money on this.
Acknowledgments: Thanks to Vickie, my most wonderful Beta, and for Sally and
Dawn for being there when I needed a little encouragement and/or a big kick
in the pants. This one took a little longer than I'd hoped, but I pray it
was worth it.
Author's Note: This story is in response to a challenge issued by Sally
awhile back for stories where Mulder sprains an ankle. I had only barely
come up with the idea for this story when a second challenge came out
(forgive me, but I don't know who issued it) for broken-leg stories. It just
fit, so I decided to kill two challenges with one stone. I hope you all
enjoy it!
Feedback: Please, please, please, please, please, please, please?

His Best Foot Forward
By Mary Kleinsmith (

Okay, okay. I know I'm overstepping my boundaries in epic proportions by
being here, but I couldn't possibly stay away. Scully left work at half day
today for a doctor's appointment. And not just any doctor's appointment, but
her two-year remission checkup. How am I supposed to sit in that dark, empty
apartment with nothing significant enough to distract me from what could be
happening in that medical office just thirty minutes away. Nothing in my
life is as significant as that.

I offered to go with her, can you believe that? Of course you can believe
that. You know me, heart on my sleeve and all. I'd go with her over a
cliff, why not to the doctor's office. But she turned me down - said it was
something she had to do herself. So I sat alone in the basement office for a
few hours, then another half hour in my car, only to spend another hour in my
apartment before finally coming here. If Scully wants to beat the crap out
of me, I'll plead temporary insanity.

Cripes, where the hell is she? It's been dark outside forever. When I sat
down here on the couch, the setting sun shone through her windows. I didn't
bother turning on the lights since the sun was there and the television added
light to the room as well. But the hours dragged on and there was and is
absolutely nothing worth watching on the tube.

It shouldn't be happening. I mean, jeez, I haven't gone to bed before
midnight for over twenty years. But I can't seem to resist the pull as my
eyes droop. I know I'd be more comfortable lying down, but I'm not going
home until I hear what Scully's doctor had to say, good or bad. I'll just
rest my eyes here on the couch. Scully has the most comfortable couch . . .


Okay, shoot me for staying out late on a work night, but I just had to stop
by Mom's and give her the latest and greatest news on the medical front. God
knows they put me through every possible test and then some, but it was worth
it when the doctor spoke those final words: continued remission. I knew
she'd be thrilled. Mom's always been the "early to bed, early to rise" type,
but she sure didn't mind when she opened the door to me, standing there with
a smile as wide as the one I had the very first day the remission came upon

We sat, talked for a bit over the hot cocoa I always loved so much as a
child. My mother is by no means a saint, but if every mother could be half
the mother she is, there'd be some wonderful children in this world. And
while the chocolate made me more alert than I expected to be, it was quickly
putting Mom to sleep. I left her to head home, figuring that a hot bath and
a good book would do the job of getting the "wired" quality from my body, if
not from my soul. I was healthy!

Little was I to know that the "high" I'd been on would quickly subside in the
light of the long, lonely drive from Mom's house to my apartment. The radio
wasn't much company, and while I let my mind wander, I'm embarrassed to think
now that it hadn't even dawned on me to call Mulder. I'd promised him I
would - how horrible of me to have forgotten my promise to call just as soon
as I left the doctor. I have no excuse for my thoughtlessness. If I know
Mulder, he's sitting up, even this late, practically on top of the phone
waiting for my call.

I know it hurt him when I wouldn't let him drive me, and while I seem to keep
hurting him over and over, as often realizing it as not, I just couldn't
allow it. If the news was bad, I needed time to compose myself before having
to tell him. He whose eyes reflected every bit of my own pain, mental as
well as physical, as well as his own. Some day I'll tell him how much he
means to me, the way he did a few years ago in his hallway.

It doesn't matter how late it is, I need to let him know what happened today.
I owe him that much, no matter how tired I am. "Be it ever so humble," I
think as I hang up my coat and reach for the cordless phone I know I left on
the table near the door. Turning on a light would be intrusive, especially
since I had no intention of doing so until morning. A bath by candlelight
and a snuggle in my warm bed is all I want right now. In the darkness, I can
make out the silhouette of my sofa. I'll tell you a secret: I love that sofa
almost as much as Mulder loves his. It's just the right combination of
softness and firmness. Maybe it's a mistake, but I plan to relish in that
comfort while calling my partner, even if I am risking falling asleep right

"Yeowwwww!" The shriek registers in my ears before I realize the object I'm
sitting on is too firm to be my sofa. I hear a whimper as I reach to turn on
the light I'd previously chosen not to.

"Oh, Mulder!" I cry in astonishment. He's writhing on the sofa in a reclined
position and obviously in pain. "Are you okay?" He's panting to the point
that he can't really speak, but he grabs my hand and squeezes gently while
his pulse settles closer to normal.

He can't seem to form the words to make a complete sentence, but he manages
to point to the place where I'd sat and where his legs are still crossed at
the ankles. Crossed and very definitely misshapen, I observe. "Oh, my God,
Mulder . . ."

A few deep breaths and he can speak a little more. "How can somebody so
little weigh so much?" he asks, incredulous. I know it's a rhetorical,
smart-aleck remark and pay it no heed. I also know he's hurting.

"Mulder, how bad is it? Can you stand?"

"Yeah, I think so," he grinds out between clenched teeth, but as he pulls
himself to a sitting position - he was previously reclining - he releases a
gasp that borders on a scream.

When he continues to try to move, I have to say something. "Mulder, stop.

"No, Scully. I can do this."

"I can't let you do this, Mulder. Just give me a chance to look at your legs
first." Mulder gives a sigh of resignation, and I know I've won for the
moment. My first move is to separate his crossed ankles. Admirably, he
keeps from calling out again while I conduct my examination. It only takes a
second, and I bend to pick up the phone where it unceremoniously landed when
I dropped it.

"Who are you calling at a time like this?" Mulder asked incredulously. The
pain has obviously affected his thinking processes.

"I'm calling for an ambulance!"

"No ambulance, Scully. Absolutely not. No way.." It really has affected
him if he can't figure this one out.

"We have to have one," I reason with him. "You're hurt, Mulder. Sprains,
maybe breaks, and in both ankles. I can't carry you to the car to drive you
myself, so unless you want me to call Skinner and have him carry you there
like a baby, an ambulance is the only answer." I knew that would get him.
He likes Skinner. Heck, we both do. But he's got an image to maintain in
front of the man, and that doesn't include being helpless.

"Okay, okay. Call the damn ambulance. But Skinner does not hear about this
until it's over." I know he means the treatment, not the final healing time
which, by my doctor's opinion, could be quite awhile. He waits while I make
the call and then disconnect from the 911 Operator. The lack of any movement
seems to have eased the pain slightly, and Mulder is now wearing an acutely
embarrassed look.

"What's wrong?" I ask gently, taking his hand.

"How in the hell are we going to explain this, Scully? We can't go around
telling people you sat on me!" His blush is now more embarrassment than pain.

"We have to tell the doctor the truth - it could affect your treatment. As
for the rest of the world, why do we have to tell them anything?" I know
this won't defer him for long - a cat's sense of curiosity is nothing
compared to your average Bureau employee - but he doesn't need to be bothered
with this unnecessarily. Unfortunately, it doesn't work, dammit.

"People at the office are going to ask. They're going to want to know and
they're not going to let up until they've gotten an answer."

"So use the method I use on my nephews. Tell them the truth, just not the
whole truth. You were asleep in a dark apartment and something accidentally
fell on your legs. They don't have to know it was my apartment, nor that the
object was me. We can worry about it more later."

"Would you do something for me before they get here?" Mulder asks timidly. I
can't help but be suspicious of his intentions when he gets that tone.

"Depends, Mulder. No, I'm not helping you sneak out of here, and no, I'm not
going to convince the doctor that you're hurt any less than you really and
truly are."

"That's not what I wanted," he responds with an air of frustration. "Do you
have a pair of those really, really sharp scissors that they use on bandages
and clothes?

Without responding, I go quickly to the bathroom and return with just the
kind he means. "What do you want them for?"

"I want you to cut the legs off these jeans," Mulder says, surprising the
daylights out of me.

"Why do you want me to do that?!"

"If they're not in the way when we get to the hospital, the doctor won't
order them removed. And if he has to do that, they'll destroy them and leave
me nothing but my shorts to go home in! Please, Scully. Let me keep my
dignity." His pleading voice is one of many things about Mulder I could
never resist, even if the thought of him running around in his underwear does
make my heart beat faster. I kneel beside the sofa, knowing there's little
time to waste if I'm going to do this.

"Are you sure, Mulder? It's going to hurt."

"I can handle it. Just do it." And good to his word, he's silent but for
some soft gasps as I run the blade up his legs and then around midway between
his knee and thigh. And what a nice thigh it is. I realize that I'm
staring, and not at the parts of his legs that are injured.

Shaking all thoughts but Mulder's pain from my mind, I try to make him as
comfortable as possible while we wait. I know that this isn't a
life-threatening emergency, but while I slide a pillow under his head and
upper back, I find myself a little annoyed that it's taking so long for help
to arrive. A man spends his life helping others as a law enforcement officer
and this is the thanks he gets?

"Take it easy, Scully," Mulder says, reclaiming my hand. "I'm sure they're
getting here as fast as they can." Once again, the man has managed to read
my mind. I'd never use the nickname because of the pain he experiences when
somebody does, but my partner really is spooky at times.

We sit in silence, holding hands, until a pounding finally arrives at my
door. I admit the paramedics who came with the ambulance, suppressing my
guilty feelings when they splint both legs from Mulder's calves to his toes.
How could I have been so careless? What had previously been a gleeful
evening has changed into anything but. They start an IV and give Mulder a
dose of Morphine for pain and then move him to the gurney they'd brought.
"I'm coming with you," is all I say as I grab my purse and keys and follow


Why is it that I can find trouble even when I'm asleep? One minute I'm
quietly asleep on Scully's couch, and the next I'm on my way to the hospital
with splints on my legs. I'm never as accident prone as I am when Scully's
around - I wonder why that is. I play basketball at the park or the Bureau
gymnasium twice a week and never a scratch. Basketball and baseball all
through high school and never once had to see a doctor. And I played Rugby,
possibly the most dangerous sport on earth, if the press is to be believed,
for four years and was the epitome of health. Scully comes within ten feet
and I turn into Bobby Goldsboro. Remember that guy? Had to have stitches in
his foot one time because he cut his toe on a corn flake! It was an ongoing
joke back in the 70's when I was growing up, but I never dreamed I'd turn
into him.

I'll grant you, some of the time I bring it on myself in a way. I'm so
careful to try to do everything right so she won't leave me that I end up
doing something stupid. Like falling through that floor in Chicago. I
should have noticed that the saturated boards had become weak, but I was
concentrating on helping the woman and didn't. And the truth is, I just
wanted to look good for Scully.

Sheesh, when they talk about your mind wandering, they're not kidding.
Whatever they shot into this damn IV is definitely making it all fade into
the background. All but my Scully, who's sitting next to me in the ambulance
with that adorably guilty look on her face. "It's okay, Scully. Please
don't look like that," I entreat her.

"Like what, Mulder?" she asks, keeping it simple because she knows I'm in no
condition to get into an intelligent conversation at the moment.

"Like you just lost your best friend, through your own fault. This was an
accident - nothing more, nothing less. So don't blame yourself."

"I don't think it can be much more my responsibility. Mulder, I sat on

I do my best to put her at ease, and the drugs let me say something I haven't
had the courage to say before. "Scully, you don't know how long I've been
wishing you'd do just that." I try my lascivious grin, but I'm not sure I
pull it off. Still, I'm rewarded when I get to see her blush a deep crimson.

Suddenly, before I can enjoy it for too long, the surroundings grow dark
again and before I know it, I'm asleep.

I come to with a bolt of agony through both legs as the gurney is lowered
less than gently to the emergency room entrance floor. What the hell is
wrong with them that they can't understand when something is going to cause a
person pain?

Scully hears my gasp, though, and is defending me in a fraction of a second.
"Take it easy, will you? There's a federal agent in pain here, and I won't
have his discomfort inflated because of your stupidity." Wow, I've never
heard Scully quite so harsh to somebody besides me.

"Take it easy yourself, lady. We're just doing our jobs," I hear a deep, but
less than intelligent, voice respond rudely.

"And so will I be when I place you under arrest for assault on an agent of
the FBI," Scully responds sharply while wiping the tears from my eyelashes as
the gurney continues to roll. "And don't think I won't do it," she adds

The men are silent to her threat, but I do feel like the ride is suddenly
much more smooth. With a comfortable ride and Scully at my side to protect
me, I drift off once again. I'm sure they'll wake me when they need anything.


I'm glad to see that it's a slow night in the ER, and a doctor comes to the
cubicle where they've put Mulder fairly quickly.

"Good evening, I'm Dr. Susan Troop," the woman in the white coat says as she
enters. I've already given the nurse all Mulder's medical information, and I
see that the tall brunette has what is surely his chart tucked under one arm.

"Dana Scully, I'm Agent Mulder's partner," I say, shaking her hand. She has
a kind smile, which bolsters my confidence a bit. "I'm a forensic
pathologist, so feel free to be as medically specific as you want." I smile
as she laughs lightly at my joke, but takes it to heart and scribbles a note
on the chart.

"Can you tell me what happened to your partner, Dr Scully?" The moment of
truth. What do I tell her?

"Something heavy fell on his legs while he was in a reclining position. I
know I'm out of practice, but I'm pretty sure there's one break, possibly a
second on the other leg."

"How heavy was the object that fell on him?"

"About 110 pounds," I say, thanking God that she didn't ask specifically what
it was.

"Ouch," she responds simply, going to the foot of Mulder's gurney. She
gently removes the splints, being sure to keep both his legs immobile.
Running her hands over the affected area, she speaks to a woman who pokes her
head through the curtain. "Sally, could you call for a mobile x-ray machine?
I don't think I want to move this one any more than necessary." Sally nods
and leaves as silently as she arrived.

I'm impressed by the efficiency of the staff here, as the machine arrives
faster than I ever thought possible. Dr. Troop and I leave the room while
the x-ray technician does her job. I keep my ears open, hoping that Mulder
will sleep through the procedure if for no other reason than to limit the
amount of time he'll be in pain. The minute the technician leaves, I return
to Mulder, taking his hand in my own. He's showing signs of consciousness,
and I definitely don't want him to feel alone. I can't believe I did this to

"Scully," he says drowsily. "How long was I out?"

"Not long," I respond. "That morphine really hit you hard. But luckily, you
slept through the x-rays, and now we just have to wait until we get the
results. We'll know more then."

A worried look settles over his features, and my heart aches. "How'm I going
to work like this?" he asks. He must still be a little out of it if he's
even thinking about the office.

"Obviously, you aren't. You're going to rest up and stay home until you're
fully healed." I make a mental note to myself that I did not say whose home,
just so it can't come back to haunt me later.

I notice Mulder's breathing has sped up suddenly. "Are you okay?" I ask,
laying a hand on his forehead.

"I think that morphine you were talking about has worn off," he grimaces,
closing his eyes. I massage his temples and try to speak soothingly, telling
him that the doctor will be back soon and we'll have a better idea of what he
needs to make him better. It works, and the time flows surprisingly quickly.

to be continued in part 2

His Best Foot Forward 2/2
By Mary Kleinsmith (

Before I know it, Dr. Troop is back with a large envelope in her hand. I
watch her as she pulls out what I presume are Mulder's x-rays and slides them
onto the wall before flicking a switch to illuminate them. Even if I hadn't
had eight years of medical school I'd be able to recognize the break in the
x-ray of his right ankle. The other x-ray of the left looks odd, but I don't
see any breaks.

To confirm my own diagnoses, the doctor pronounces Mulder's right ankle very
thoroughly broken. His left leg, while not necessarily okay, shows no
fractures. Dr. Troop returns to Mulder, running gentle hands over his ankle
that make him wince. "Mmmm hmmmm," is all she says while I'm on pins and
needles waiting for the verdict.

Before she speaks to either of us, though, she speaks to somebody outside the
cubicle, presumably the same nurse. "Sally, would you get me a dose of
Propofol and call the resident from orthopedics?"

I hear a quiet, softly accented, "yes, doctor" before Troop turns back to us.

"Mr. Mulder, I'm going to hand you over to our orthopedic resident, but what
you have here is a clean break in your right leg, and pretty bad sprain of
your left ankle." Mulder's face falls like a little boy who's just been told
that there is no Santa Claus. "Don't worry, though," she tries to encourage.
"The damage is relatively minor, and we'll have you fixed up in no time."

"Yippee," says my partner in a tone that definitely does not normally
accompany that word. "So what next?" Just at that moment, the brunette
nurse returns carrying a tray holding a rather large hypodermic containing a
cloudy, milky-white colored liquid. I breathe a sigh of relief as I realize
that it'll be going into his IV port and not into his tanned skin.

Dr. Troop takes the needle from Sally's tray, preparing to administer the
drug. "I'm going to put this into your IV to help relax you. Once we're
sure you won't be suffering any pain from the procedure, Sally here will take
you where they'll set and cast your leg. When you're done, I'll wrap the
sprain myself."

"Excuse me, doctor," I say, trying not to get in the way, but curious. "Why
don't you wrap the sprain now? It seems like it would be easier than your
having to come back to treat Mulder again later."

She answers while she depresses the plunger. "There really isn't any reason
I couldn't, but this sprain is pretty bad. It's going to take a firm
wrapping. I just figured Mr. Mulder could use whatever time he can get to be
comfortable." I mentally confirm then how laid up Mulder is going to be for
the next several weeks. He's not going to be able to go home, that's for
sure. But Mulder, as usual, is only thinking about one thing.

"How long before I can go back to work, Doc?"

"Depending on how you're feeling, but you could theoretically go back to desk
duty tomorrow. As for field work, why don't we just wait and see what the
orthopedist says." She pats Mulder on the arm as she assures him that
somebody will be in to collect him soon, and that she has other patients to

"Is there anything I can get you while you wait?" the nurse, Sally, asks
politely. I realize that the accent I'd be trying so very hard to place is
Australian. It's soft, though, and gentle. Thank God not everyone sounds
like the Crocodile Hunter.

"Coffee would be great, thanks," I say as I watch Mulder's eyes slide shut.
"I think what he's already having is plenty for him." We exchange smiles as
she quickly leaves to get me a cup of steaming brew. I realize that it's now
what most would consider the middle of the night. Guess neither one of us is
going to make it to the office tomorrow, partner.

When Sally returns with my coffee, she informs me that there's a slight
backup in orthopedics, but that we'll be headed down there in fifteen or
twenty minutes. Not so long, and Mulder is still sawing logs, so I wait.
And wait.

It's been just long enough that I've immersed myself in a medical journal I
found on one of the nearby carts when a long, slow groan draws my attention.
I'd know that voice anywhere, even if I wasn't standing here watching him
sleep. The groans continue, but his rapid eye movement beneath the lids tell
me that he's only dreaming. I doubt I'd be able to wake him with the drug in
his system anyway, so I decide not to try.

Before I know it, his arms are moving beneath the sheet Dr. Troop pulled up
around his shoulders before she left. Concerned that he's going to pull out
his IV, I begin to reach under the thin piece of linen.

"Mmmmm. . . Scully . . ." he utters unclearly.

"I'm here, Mulder," I answer. Maybe the medication is wearing off

My thoughts are contradicted drastically when I hear the sound of a zipper
echo through the curtained room. "Oh, Scully. . ." he says again, and I feel
myself turning beet red at what I now realize he's doing beneath the sheet.
"Love you, Scully . . ." he says, and my previous shock escalates by leaps
and bounds.

"Just relax, Mulder," I say, doing my best to calm him without getting my
hands anyplace they shouldn't be. Okay, I'd be a liar if I said I'd never
thought about what it would be like to be with Mulder, but this is a hospital
and he's injured. Now is not the time, even for dreams.

"It's okay, Dr. Scully," Sally says with a smile and a gleam in her eye. I
hadn't even realized she'd entered the room. "The Propofol is notorious for
causing this reaction - he probably doesn't even know what he's doing." I do
my best to hide my blush while thanking her for the information just the
same. Just when I think I'll be left to calm myself in private, she adds,
"they called and are ready for him. Would you like to come along?"

"Absolutely," I add, relieved to put my mind toward more medical matters as I
follow the rolling gurney through the halls.

The young resident is encasing my partner's right leg in plaster before he
begins to show signs that he's more coherent. He watches bleary-eyed as the
finishing touches are put on his cast. He was in no position to ask, and
when the doctor asked what color he'd like for his cast, I felt for a moment
tempted to get even with him for some of his past infamous ditches. They
come in colors now, can you believe it? And despite the temptation, Mulder
is not now sporting a new, neon pink cast . . .

It's neon orange.

I'm sincerely hoping that I'll get Mulder home, or at least in a cab toward
home, before he realizes what I've done. Not that he doesn't have a sense of
humor - he's got a great one - but he generally finds mine a little
indistinguishable. Before I can give it much more thought, I take a closer
look at the orange bulk adorning the lower half of my partner's leg.

"You put on a walking cast?"

"Yes, ma'am. Is there a problem?" the orthopedist asks innocently.

"Perhaps you didn't realize that Agent Mulder's other ankle is sprained.
He's not going to be doing any walking for awhile."

"Yes, but once the sprain heals, I have a feeling he's going to be a lot more
agreeable if he can walk around on the cast rather than resort to crutches."
He smiles at me as if he's known Mulder all his life.

"How'd you know. . ."

"I've treated federal agents before, Dr. Scully. And despite each of their
claims that they are unique, I do find they have certain . . . similarities."
We exchange another smile before he turns to the orderly who has been
assisting him. "Why don't you take Agent Mulder back to the ER so these nice
people can get out of here. I'm sure they've seen more than enough of the
hospital for one night."

One very long night, I think, as I realize it's almost dawn. And I know that
the fight has barely begun.

"Nice to see you back, Mr. Mulder," Sally greets with a friendly squeeze to
Mulder's arm as he is settled back in the same ER cubicle, and I'm surprised
to realize that I'm not feeling jealous, as I sometimes do. I know she's
just trying to help. "Dr. Troop will be back in to see you in just a minute
- she's just finishing bandaging a laceration in the next room."

For a change, we don't have to wait, and the doctor arrives quickly. She's
been wrapping Mulder's sprained left ankle for a few minutes before she
decides he's coherent enough to give him his instructions. This is generally
where a typical visit to the hospital with Mulder goes south - big time.

"Mr. Mulder, I need you to keep this wrapped securely for two weeks. You can
take the bandage off for showers or baths, but it should be re-wrapped as
soon as is practical afterwards, and you should put absolutely no pressure on
it whatsoever. I'm going to give Dr. Scully a prescription for some Tylenol
3 in case the pain from the break gets too severe, but I doubt it'll be a
problem. The hospital will be happy to lend you a wheelchair until you're
back on your feet. Heaven knows, given your record, we owe you at least that
much." She'd obviously been perusing his file while we were down in

"I don't need a wheelchair," I hear Mulder's voice say, strong and clear, and
I realize he's back. One hundred percent. And he's raring to make a
nuisance of himself.

"Mulder, I can't carry you out of here . . ."

"Mr. Mulder, what do you plan to do? Crawl on your hands and knees?"

"No, of course not. If I'm not mistaken, that's a walking cast. I intend to

"It takes two legs to walk, Mulder."

"So? You take the wheelchair and trade it in on a pair of crutches. It only
takes one leg to use crutches," he adds petulantly.

"Mr. Mulder," Dr. Troop begins exasperatedly. "What do you think you're
going to do? Walk on the cast while keeping your sprained ankle off the
floor until it heals, then using your healed leg and the crutches while the
break heals?" You didn't have to be as familiar with my partner as I am to
see that she'd nailed it in one. "I'm sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Mulder,
but it just doesn't work that way. If you walk on that cast this early in
the game, you could permanently debilitate yourself. Would you like to find
yourself out of a job because you could no longer run or walk or even stand?
Don't underestimate the importance of taking proper care of what seems like a
simple sprain and break. Your life - your lifestyle - depends on it."

Mulder seems properly chastised, and while he still eyes the wheelchair with
disdain, he lets Dr. Troop and I get him settled in it with only a little
difficulty. "Scully, how am I going to maneuver this thing around my
apartment?" he asks as I wheel him out to the cab they've so graciously
summoned. It occurs to me that I haven't called Skinner yet to report we
won't be in today, but I figure I'll do it when I get home. When we get home.

"You're not going back to your apartment," I say, waiting for the explosion
that never comes. I wonder if he heard me correctly. "I'm going to take you
home with me, Mulder. My home is easier to get around, and in a couple days
when we go back to work, it'll be easier to drive there and back if we go
together. I can help you rewrap your ankle, too. I promise, Mulder, it
won't be as bad as you think."

"I don't think it's bad at all," he says, taking me completely off guard. "I
mean, after all, you do owe me after that," he waves at the cast.

"I already told you I was sorry, Mulder. How can I make you believe that I
didn't see you!"

"It's not the break I'm talking about," he exclaims. "It's the cast! That
horrible, fluorescent orange cast. You did that to me - I know it! They
wouldn't have put that color on without being told." And despite the angry
words, he can't help but stifle a grin.

"Well, look at it this way. There's not a chance in the world it'll happen
again with that glowing in the dark!" We laugh, and I'm relieved to know
that Mulder, despite being laid up yet again, is okay with it.

Despite everything, once Mulder is settled in the Scully household, he
behaves himself quite well. Who'd have thought it? To be honest, I think
he's feeling guilty over how guilty I was feeling. The little weasel even
manages to get around the obstacle of the horrible color of his cast, aided
and abetted by somebody I never suspect but should: my own beloved mother.

The first day we are home, I call to let her know what's going on, and she
insistes on bringing over a lasagna for us since I would "be too busy taking
care of poor Fox to even think about cooking." Believe me, I'm not
complaining. For a pure-bred Irish, my mother makes a hell of a lasagna. I
invite her to stay, an invitation which she graciously accepts. I seriously
don't know how she figured it out, but the next day while I'm at work, she
apparently paid my partner a visit because, upon returning home, he has a
cozy-looking, home-knitted black cover that runs from his knee down. He says
it's just to keep his toes from getting cold, but I know better, and I know
where it came from. Darn the woman for spoiling my fun.

That was the only day of work Mulder missed, and I admit, I'm proud of him.
Despite the embarrassment involved, he makes the trip through the Bureau to
our basement office with dignity. It never ceases to amaze me how he can do
that. The entire Hoover building can be laughing at him, but Mulder keeps
his cool. It's one of the many things I love about him.


It's been a week and a half of having Mulder around my apartment, and every
time there's a moment of silence, I remember Mulder's promise . . . or
Mulder's jest, depending on how one takes it. He's been throwing innuendoes
at me for seven years, and for seven years I've been letting them fly by me
like an out-of-bounds serve in a tennis match. It's about time I returned
one, I think.


Despite the fact that I'm sitting here with both legs essentially useless, I
have more energy than I know what to do with at the moment. Normally, when I
feel like this, I go for a run around the neighborhood or head to the gym to
shoot some hoops with whoever may be hanging around, but neither of those are
going to do it at this point. I suppose I could go to the Y and do some
weight lifting if I can convince Scully to take me. But it's late, and I
seriously don't think she's about to drive me anywhere after 9:00 pm on a
work night. So I sit here, seeing how quickly I can flick through the
channels on the TV she's graciously moved into the guest room in deference to
my comfort. Sure, I could prop my useless legs on her coffee table, but I
think she prefers this.

Suddenly, she's standing in the doorway in her robe, watching me with serious
eyes. I wonder what's wrong, and ask her so, not truly expecting her to
reveal her innermost thoughts. Scully keeps her cards closely guarded, and
her emotions even more so. Yet I'm surprised when she walks over to the bed
and reaches for the remote, shutting off the TV. Our eyes meet, and she
speaks with a quiet, phantom-like voice.

"Mulder, you've never heard the words from me, but you do know that I love
you, don't you?"

I'm taken totally aback by her confession - she's never been so open before.
Not that it's such a surprise that she admits it. We've been admitting it
with everything short of saying the actual words for a long time now. Guess
she just got tired of mincing words. When she repeats, "don't you?" I slowly
nod my head.

"Good," she says, smiling devilishly, and I realize this is a Scully I've
never seen before. I admit, I like it. "Because you asked for something
when you were hurt, and since this mess is entirely my fault, I intend to see
that you get it."

"What did I ask for?" I inquire, not remembering anything of that night but
the pain in my legs.

Her answer is completely non-verbal, as her robe floats its way to the floor,
revealing creamy flesh and nothing else. I watch in stunned silence as I
hear our own words repeated in my mind:

"Mulder, I sat on you!"

"Scully, you don't know how long I've been wishing you'd do just that."

I guess she knows. And I'm going to know very soon as well, as she pushes
the bedroom door shut, cutting us off from the outside world in our own haven
of warmth.

The End

- Mary : )
Keep Duchovny & Lea - Get rid of CC!