Disclaimer: Everyone you've heard of is CC's and 10-13's. Every one else is mine. All mine.
Author's Note: This is my first first-person attempt so be kind when you reply. And you WILL reply won't you? PLEASE?! XScout@hotmail.com
A DAY AT THE OFFICE
A DAY AT THE OFFICE
I got the call while I was eating breakfast.
I was amiably discussing the merits of Cheerios versus Shredded Wheat with my cat. True, she preferred the milk to the actual cereal but, being my only companion, I debated with her anyway. Just as I was pointing out the pros and cons of size and texture, the tones on my pager sounded.
It was for a 10-50, a category of emergency I had become all too familiar with in my years as an EMT - a car wreck. I immediately abandoned my half-eaten breakfast (which I'm sure the cat eagerly finished for me) and ran for the door, grabbing my ever-ready emergency gear as I rushed out of my apartment.
Now, it's usually odd to be called at home since only on-duty personnel are called into action, but all off-duty EMTs were on call due to the shortage of technicians caused by the building collapse on the other side of the city. So I jumped into my car without hesitation and flipped on the radio to request the location of the accident.
It was reported near the intersection of Lakeview and Liberty - one of those trouble intersections where people continually get into wrecks trying to make the light. It's only a few blocks away and I thanked the powers that be for that small consideration. The sooner emergency personnel arrived, the higher the chances of the victims' survival.
When I reached the scene I saw Jim and Terry's car pulled onto the shoulder. Both EMTs, the couple also lived nearby and had responded immediately. A patrolman was just getting out of his police car, which he'd parked in the center of the intersection, it's red and blue lights almost lost in the sunshine. I pulled by gear out of the back seat and jogged over to join my fellow technicians. As I came up to the pair I heard Jim mumble, "What a way to start a Sunday morning."
I grinned sympathetically. The couple was supposed to be on vacation but since all available trained hands were needed they had cut their holiday short, bless their souls. Never forgetting the reason for my presence here, my smile faded. A look of understanding flashed betweent he three of us and we all took deep preparatory breaths, bracing ourselves for what was to come. The officer from the car joined us, introduced himself as Sergeant Webster and told us to expect the ambulance within a few minutes.
"Should I radio for anyone else?" Webster asked as he peered over my much shorter head at the damaged vehicles.
Terry, who'd already had a bit of time to survey the scene, sighed in pained dismay. "Looks like we're gonna need the Jaws."
I turned around at her words and I grimaced inwardly as doubt roiled in my stomach. Would we even need the Jaws of Life, I mean how could anyone have survived? A silver Ford Taurus had been plowed into by a larger Jeep Cherokee, both cars almost unrecognizable but for their manufacturer's symbols. The maroon Jeep had smashed into the driver's side of the Taurus at full speed, propelling both vehicles across the intersection to collide with the base of the stoplight, probably screwing up the traffic lights for blocks. But, despite the time of day and the electrical damage of the signal, it was disturbingly quiet. No other drivers were in sight, the only sound was the hissing from the cars and the heavy feeling from the cloud of steam hovering above the wreckage. I knew that the reason for such silence was because, as standard operating procedure, traffic was being rerouted a few streets down by another patrolman.
Trying to find the fastest access into either car, I noticed that the Taurus had government plates and hoped whoever it was hadn't been some senator or congressman. No one deserved this but a dead politician always stirred things up. Inquiries were made about whether or not the EMTs had done everything possible and other such nonsense. Bureaucrats, go figure.
I could tell before I got there that I would be unable to reach the driver of the government car. The doors were jammed shut, one against the stoplight, the other against the Jeep's crushed front end. So I jogged around to assess the condition of the Jeep's driver. He was sitting in what remained of the front seat, his forehead resting against the mangled hood, which had been driven through the windshield. He looked to be in his late forties of early fifties, sandy blonde hair shaggy and unkempt around the collar of his plaid flannel shirt. His left arm lay outstretched across the stick shift, his hand open as if he had fallen asleep waiting for change and would awaken at the touch of cold coins on his palm.
Raising my hand to his unshaven face, I felt for a pulse. Nothing. His head had been spared, but the rest of his body had been crushed. The smell of alcohol assaulted my nose and a quick glance to the back seat revealed several empty whiskey bottles. A God damned drunk driver. I clenched my teeth in anger then took a deep calming breath. The other driver might still be alive, no time to waste regretting the stupidity of the human race.
Jim and Terry had seen the shake of my head as I stepped away from the Jeep and knew that there was no hope. We all circled the Taurus, looking for a way to reach the victim.
"We're going to have to get somebody into that car," Jim said. "Jo, can you climb in?"
"I'll try," I said. As Terry and I walked through the shards of glass and metal to the opposite side of the car, I added, "How come no one ever asks you to do this?"
Terry glanced at my slight frame; I am only five-foot-three. Though by no means short for other women my age I was still the smallest person on the scene. "Sometimes," she said as she patted my shoulder, "it pays to be tall."
When someone is trapped inside a vehicle following an accident, a squad member gets in to bandage and splint, monitor heart rhythm, start an IV, comfort, and to make the person feel less frightened when the harsh grinding noises of extrication explode around them.
In the meantime, Jim had inspected the wreckage and, satisfied that it was secure, he boosted me in through the minimal gap in the windshield. I had barely two feet of room and it was hard to maneuver around the victim; he was pinned under the steering wheel and blood was oozing from a gash in his forehead. He appeared to be in his early 30s and was wearing the standard nondescript suit of most government employees, accented by one of the most hideously colorful ties I had ever seen. His dark hair fell across his forehead, blood dripping down onto his high cheekbones and square jaw. Handsome, I mused, even marred by crimson stains.
I reached up to feel for a pulse and at my touch he jerked and his eyelids opened to reveal hazel orbs, clouded with pain.
"Scully?" he croaked.
Not sure if 'Scully' was a person, place, or thing, I simply shook my head. "Sir, can you hear me?"
His eyes finally focused slightly and I could see realization glimmer in them. He began to nod but stopped and groaned as the injudicious movement must have sent agony through his head.
"Don't try to move. Do you know what happened, sir?" I had to keep him calm, establish his coherency, and try to determine how badly he was injured.
"Car accident?" He looked to me for confirmation.
"Yes, you were hit by a drunk driver. But I'm here to help. My name is Josephine Nelson - you can call me Jo. Right now the other EMTs are working on a way to get you out of here. Everything's going to be all right." God, I hoped I wasn't lying. There was no room or leverage to insert an IV let alone splint any broken bones. He was firmly wedged beneath the steering wheel and his head wound hadn't ceased bleeding.
"Fox Mulder. Call me Mulder." He shrugged at his obvious dislike of his first name, gasping suddenly as I watched shivers of pain ripple across his chest and up his neck.
"Now, what did I saw about moving?" I good-naturedly admonished. "Nice to meet you...Mulder. Can't blame you, I hate Josephine. Too 'Little Women' for me." He smiled at that. I heard the siren of the fire truck grow louder and smiled at the injured man. "Cavalry's here. Looks like we're gonna have you out of here in no time. Until then, is there anyone you would like us to contact?"
"Scully. Call Scully," was his instant reply.
"Is this Scully a friend or a relative?" Getting as much information out of a victim before they lose conciousness is the best way to keep things from getting to complicated later. That and I had to keep him from succumbing to the shock that was sure to creep up on him at any moment.
"Partner... FBI... Friend... Family." He gave a soft smile as if these words were too simple to describe his relationship with the obviously important Scully.
I noticed his lack of sentence structure and realized it was due to his need for oxygen. His chest was lodged so tightly beneath the wheel there was a 90 percent chance that he had broken ribs. This of course led to the possibility of a punctured lung and that worried me more than a few broken bones. Without the proper equipment he would die in minutes if his lung collapsed. I tried to assess any further damage but I couldn't see if there was any damage below his torso because his waist and legs were hidden by the shattered dashboard. He seemed to be handling the pain pretty well and I randomly wondered if perhaps he had been in similar situations... He *was* an FBI Agent after all.
My thoughts were interrupted when his free right hand raised shakily to grab my shoulder. "Phone. Jacket. Back seat."
Phone? Ah yes, a federal agent was sure to have one, besides, who doesn't carry a cell phone nowadays? The likelihood of it being undamaged however was close to nil but I squeezed between the front seats and rummaged around in the back. I found his suit jacket and felt a heavy lump in the left breast. I reached into the inner pocket and pulled out the small portable phone. "Got it!" I grunted in triumph. Pulling myself back into shotgun position I flipped open the cell and was astonished yet grateful at the resultant *beep* it emitted.
Just then Jim shouted into the car. "There's no way to get him out, the door's got to come off." The Jaws of Life, powered by a generator, would have to be used to pry the door open. It was what we had expected but if there's ever an easier and gentler way to get someone out, we would take that option first.
"I know," I sighed heavily, trying to keep the worry and disappointment off my face. We didn't have time for this. Mulder was in critical condition and every second that passed made his chances of survival diminish.
"You okay?" Mulder asked in a harsh breathy tone.
My eyebrows raised in surprise that he was both aware enough to discern my hidden emotions and selfless enough to worry about someone else given the condition he was in. I gave him my best grin. "Sure. Nothing like a day at the office." He grunted in acceptance his eyes twinkling. Was it humor or tears of pain? Who the hell can laugh at a time like this?
Turning back to the phone in my hand I asked, "What's the number?" I leaned close to hear his answer.
I waited for the rest but he was apparently finished. One? What kind of number was that? I mean...oh right! God, I'm stupid sometimes. Speed dial one. I hastily put my thoughts into actions and was rewarded by a loud ringing.
"Scully," a strong feminine voice answered.
I was momentarily caught off guard at the idea that a woman was his FBI partner. Well, I guess the good ol' boys era in the Bureau was also affected by the women's movement. Good for her.
"Ms. Scully? This is Jo Nelson, an Emergency Medical Technician and..."
"Oh God. Mulder! Is he all right?? What happened??" Scully all but shouted into the phone.
I looked at my patient, a sardonic look on my face. "How did she know?"
"Get hurt a lot." He tried to tilt his head in a deprecating manner but the movement just made him suck in a breath against the discomfort.
I snorted in good-humored disgust. "Obviously." Into the phone I spoke firmly and calmly. "Ma'am? Ma'am, calm down. Mr. Mulder was in a car accident and we are working as fast as we can to get him out."
I could hear her take long soothing breaths and when she again spoke it was in that same strong tone she had used to answer the phone. "Is he okay? What is his condition?"
Telling her his condition would do nothing but give her more grief so I evaded the truth and gave her my best answer. "He needs to get to a hospital but I think his chances are good."
Maybe my voice wavered infinitesimally or perhaps I put too much inflection on the wrong word, but whatever the reason, she knew I wasn't telling her everything. "Please. I'm a doctor, I need to know, she insisted.
Why did it figure that his partner was a doc? I gave a silent sigh of resignation and lowered my voice so that Mulder wouldn't be able to hear the extent of his own injuries. "He has sustained a head wound which hasn't clotted, his chest is trapped under the steering wheel and I suspect broken ribs and possibly collarbone. I cannot see or reach anything below his chest so I'm unable to ascertain any other injuries."
The voice on the phone was thoughtful. "He could have a punctured lung or internal bleeding. He probably has a concussion but God knows his head is hard enough to take it. After how many times he's been hit it's amazing he isn't brain damaged. Then again..." She was talking to herself and I smiled inwardly as she rambled on. Despite her harsh words I could tell she cared a lot about Mulder. She had slowly trailed off into silence then suddenly snapped back and asked, "Is he conscious? Can I talk to him?"
"Let me see if he's up to it. Hold on." I leaned over to Mulder who was staring at me anxiously. "Mulder, she wants to talk to you. Do you think you can?"
"Okay, you can talk to him but he is having trouble speaking and I don't want him to strain himself. No point in taking any chances." Scully agreed with me whole-heartedly and with that I handed the phone to Mulder. With one arm free and unharmed he was able to hold the phone to his ear without any help.
"Scully?" His voice was getting weaker.
I turned away to give them what privacy I could but I was still able to hear both sides of the conversation.
"I'm here, Mulder. How're you doing?"
"Fine. Not gonna... make it to lunch."
"Don't worry about it, we'll just have to do it next Sunday okay? You weren't driving the Bureau's car were you? Skinner's going to flip at the expense report. And ANOTHER hospital stay for you. You know the receptionist has started to have all the forms already filled out, so that you just need to sign them. The nurses know your name and the security personnel are just dying to get you back in there." Her voice turned serious, "What happened?"
"Drunk driver." He coughed a bit and I saw red drops appear on his lower lip. Shit. Another sign pointing to a pierced lung. We were running out of time.
"Damn it! How people can be so stupid is beyond me. It's an X-File. It could be labeled as 'Morons Who Drink And Drive' and filed in the 'M's." She laughed half-heartedly with a alightly hysterical edge.
"Next to... Moth Men." Mulder replied.
As I was pondering the meaning of X-Files and Moth Men, a deafening screech shook me and the car lurched as the Jaws worked at the door.
Mulder gasped at the sudden movement, his eyes cramming shut to deal with the effects of the rough handling. Fear laced words shouted from the phone, "Mulder? Mulder! I'm coming! Don't worry, I'm coming!"
I had to pry the phone from his hand which immediately clenched into a fist as he struggled to deal with the pain. "Ms. Scully? We've almost got the door off."
"Where are you? I'm coming down there," she demanded.
I was not going to argue. "Corner of Lakeview and Liberty."
"I'll be there in fifteen minutes...PLEASE take care of him."
"I will." And I hung up. The car continued to pitch and groan its protest against the Jaws and I laid my hand on Mulder's arm. "She's coming." I reassured him.
"Hurts," he gasped. Another harsh cough wracked him and now the blood began to trickle down his chin. Icy splinters ran up my spine at the sight.
"I know it hurts but you have to hang on just a little longer okay? The door is almost off." His face was pale and his skin was cold, his pulse racing. He was going into shock - I had to do something and do it fast.
"Mulder, listen to me. You need to stay awake, okay? Why don't you tell me about Scully?" Getting his mind off of his agony would go a long way to counteract the shock.
"Scully? She's..." he paused to think of the appropriate word, "best friend." He frowned at that. "No. She's soul mate."
His tender smile brought tears to my eyes and I prayed that someday I could have a relationship like that. When he continued I listened intently.
"Work together, but more. Keeps me sane. Makes... me laugh. Strong. Stubborn. Skeptical...Beautiful." He closed his eyes and for a panicked second I thought he'd gone but he opened them again, tears glistening at the corners. "Love her. Never told her."
My own tears were steadily traveling down my cheeks as I listened to the love and anguish in his voice. His next words hit me like a brick.
"Tell her. For me. Please." His hazel eyes begged for reassurance.
"You can tell her yourself, Mulder. Don't give up on me now. You can tell her when she gets here." Please God let that be soon.
With that the driver's side door shrieked loudly and was torn from the rest of the car. Mulder groaned as his left side was suddenly free, his arm laying uselessly next to him, it's once straight planes at odd angles. Definitely broken I thought, had a nasty gash in it too, running lengthwise from elbow to shoulder. Jim's face came into view and I breathed a little easier.
He surveyed the situation and motioned to Terry to join him. "He's still pinned by the wheel, we'll have to use the Jaws again." Terry nodded and hurried off to aquire the assistance of the firefighters. They positioned the Jaws of Life so that it reached through the shattered windshield and clamped onto the steering wheel.
"Ready?" I asked, taking Mulder's hand.
He squeezed my hand in an affirmative and as a show of gratitude. I nodded to Jim who in turn gave the go ahead. The Jaws came to life and the car squealed and rocked as the steering wheel slowly lifted off the trapped man.
The sudden rush of blood and release of pressure must have been too much because Mulder screamed hoarsely and slumped against me.
A chill swept through me and my fingers automatically searched for a pulse. Finding a weak and thready sign of life I shouted to my fellow EMTs, "We're gonna lose him if he doesn't get to a hospital NOW!"
"We've got a chopper on the way!" Jim yelled as he secured a cervical collar around Mulder's neck before he and a fireman gently lifted the unconscious man from the wreckage. I quickly scrambled out after them, ignoring the cramps in my joints and the protests of stiff muscles.
Once we got Mulder out of the car we began to give him real medical care. He was bleeding internally, complicated by a concussion and broken bones in too many places, his blood pressure dangerously low. I started the IVs and we put MAST trousers on him to push the blood up from his legs and into his body. These amazing pants can save a person's life if there's internal bleeding, inflating slowly to keep the blood where it was needed most.
I was trying to ascertain whether or not his lung had been punctured when I saw a flash of red out of the corner of my eye. Something told me it was important and I turned to see a woman, no taller than me, running purposefully towards us. The look of utter despair and angst on her face told me without a doubt who this tiny woman was.
She had almost reached us when Jim intercepted her and started to herd her away from the scene. I called to Terry and motioned at our patient, "Watch him for a sec, I'll be right back." I ran over to Jim while shouting at him.
He turned around with a confused look and I skidded to a halt, breathless beside him. "S'Okay, let her through. She's with the victim." I managed to get out the sentence between gasps.
Jim released his hold on Scully who then looked directly at me. "Jo?"
I grinned. "C'mon, he'll be glad to see you." I grabbed her by the wrist and we raced back to her partner. Terry vacated the space next to the gurney and was replaced by Scully.
She reached out and took Mulder's limp hand. "Mulder?" Her voice trembled with unshed tears. I swear he responded to the sound of her voice, his eyes flickering open.
"Scully?" His voice was barely a whisper.
"Hey." She sniffed back the tears. "How you doin' partner?"
"Peachy." But his body betrayed his words and his lop-sided grin turned into a grimace.
I left Mulder in Scully's capable hands and jogged over to Terry. "We're cutting this awfully close. Where's the chopper?"
Terry pointed to the sky and it took a moment for me to spot the speck that was growing steadily larger. Thank God. I returned to the FBI agents and informed them of the good news. Scully gave me a hopeful smile but Mulder only had eyes for his partner.
The helicopter landed a few minutes after that and we loaded Mulder carefully into the aircraft. Scully was right behind, and I completed the crew.
That was one of the longest flights I have ever had to endure. Five minutes after we were airborne, Mulder went into cardiac arrest. Instantly 'Agent' Scully transformed into 'Dr.' Scully.
"Administer 100 milligrams of lidocaine and start a four-to-one drip," she ordered.
She said it with such confidence that I didn't even question her authority. I opened the drug box, removed a bag of lidocaine bolus and injected it into the IV port.
She grabbed the small defibrillator and rubbed the paddles together. "200."
I charged the machine to the indicated number and she reached over to place the paddles against her partner's chest. "Clear!"
Mulder's body jerked as the electrical current swept through him and we all stared at the heart monitor.
"Clear!" This time, after his body settled, a constant *beep beep* filled the air. There was a collective sigh of relief from all present.
A few minutes later we landed on the roof of Washington General. We unloaded our passenger and I updated the doctors who met us regarding the patient's condition. We followed them all the way down to the ER, each holding one of Mulder's hands. When we got to those metal doors the doctors told us to wait outside. Scully was about to protest but I laid a hand on her shoulder and shook my head. "You did your job, now let them do theirs."
Her shoulders slumped in defeat and she stumbled over to collapse into a hard plastic chair. I wandered over and settled down next to her. "He's going to be all right. He's strong, he'll make it."
My words of comfort only seemed to cause her more anxiety. She turned an accusatory look at me. "That's just it! He *was* strong but how many times?! He has been shot, stabbed, frozen, electrocuted, beaten, drugged, and poisoned. And he made it every single time. But what if this is one time too many?"
I was taken aback at her account of his past injuries. Was being an FBI agent that dangerous? No wonder he dealt with pain so well.
"He can't die, not like this! Not by the hand of a drunk driver! We've been through so much, too much. What will I do if he..." she trailed off, unwilling to finish her train of thought. Tears flowed freely down her cheeks to stain her collar.
I gathered her into my arms, turning her until her back was to the room where doctors were frantically trying to save her friend's life, and held her close. I held her until she ceased to cry and just rested, exhausted, against me.
A doctor came out and approached us, a neutral expression on his face. He looked like he couldn't be more than twenty-three. "Dr. Scully?" he asked.
She raised her head from my shoulder and gazed into the young man's face. "Yes?" Her voice broke with fear.
"Mr. Mulder is stable and is being moved to the OR as we speak. He gave us a scare when his lung collapsed but we managed. You should get something to eat and some rest, he'll be in surgery for a while." The doctor smiled his assurance and left the room to find another patient to attend to.
Scully turned her face to mine, our eyes level. "Thank you. You've done so much. Mulder told me how grateful he was for having you there with him. I'm sorry to take up so much of your time, you didn't have to stay."
I grinned toothily and chuckled. "You couldn't have dragged me away. And no need to thank me, just knowing that he's going to make it is thanks enough." I paused for a moment and made my decision. "I'll stay with you until he's out of surgery if you want."
She was shaking her head halfway through my offer. "Oh, I can't ask you to do that. You're on call and..."
"Actually," I interrupted, "I'm not. This is my day off but what with the building collapse they were a little short handed today. Beside, I have nowhere to go but home to my cat."
She laid her hands atop mine. "Thank you."
"I'll get us some coffee, looks like it's going to be a long afternoon." After obtaining some coffee from the breakroom, I managed to snag a nurse I knew and begged for the use of an empty room. She said I could take 42B but would have to leave if it was needed. I said that was fine by me and hurried back to the waiting room.
I handed the cup to Scully who took it gratefully, sniffing appreciatively. "Mmmm. Where'd you get this?"
"I snuck into the doctor's lounge, they always have better coffee then the nurses. C'mon I got us a room." She cocked an eyebrow at me in puzzlement. I just laughed and took her by the hand, pulling her after me.
We spent the next four hours in that room. We each properly introduced ourselves and then set off on several conversations to keep our minds off of painful thoughts. We shared the hardships of being women in male-dominated professions and then we discussed men in general. We then moved on to a specific man - Mulder. Scully told me about their relationship, about his good and bad traits, about his heart and his mind.
At one point she stopped, a shocked look on her face. "I can't believe I'm telling you all this." She waved her hands at the hurt look that passed across my features. "Oh, no offense. What I meant is that it has been so long since I was able to talk to someone like this. What few friends I have I rarely speak to due to the all consuming nature of my work. The thing is, I don't mind. I have Mulder to talk to and that's enough. But talking with you has felt so good. Especially since I can't talk 'girl talk' with Mulder."
I stared at her. Did she realize how love struck she was? The woman was absolutely head over heels in love with her partner. Only thing was, she didn't seem to know it. Or maybe she did and wouldn't admit it. I just smiled and nodded my understanding. Mulder had better tell her how he felt or *I* would have to do something about it.
Then Scully regaled me with tales of their adventures on the X-Files, which was a section of the FBI that dealt with the unexplained. I scoffed at some of the more 'extreme' theories and clutched my sides in laughter at others. She had just told me about a hilarious incident which involved pencils falling from the ceiling to hit Mulder on the head, when a doctor poked his head into the room.
"You the ladies waiting to hear about one Mr. Mulder?" he asked jovially.
Scully jumped up, her eagerness plainly showing. "How is he?"
"He's doing fine and resting comfortably in the recovery room. You can go in and see him. He should be out for another hour or so but it never hurts to hear a friendly voice." The doctor stepped aside as Scully and I rushed out of the room, anxious to see Mulder.
We followed so closely on the heels of the doctor as he led us to Mulder's room that when he stopped suddenly we both bumped into him. We mumbled our apologies and our thanks then scurried past him into the dimly lit room.
The object of our discussion and worry lay swathed in sheets and tubes but the monitors all showed strong vital signs. Scully pulled a chair over to the side and sank into it, her hand closing around Mulder's. Suddenly I felt superfluous and started backing towards the door.
"No. Please stay." She looked at me over her shoulder and I saw the light in her eyes.
I smiled slightly and slowly walked over to take a position on the other side of the bed. There we sat and waited in companionable silence for half an hour. That was when Mulder awoke. I was uncertain if this was a good sign or not until Scully reassured me that he was a fast healer and always woke earlier then the doctors anticipated.
"Hey." He didn't actually make a sound but we could tell what he said anyways. He cleared his throat with a painful sound and tried again. "Hey."
Scully squeezed his hand and gave him a radiant smile. "Hey. Nice of you to grace us with your presence."
It took him a second to catch the 'us' part. That was when his eyes searched the room to rest on me. I grinned apprehensively, unsure as to whether he'd remember me. People don't always remember what occurred to them while experiencing great pain or were in shock. But I saw recognition register on his face and he smiled back at me. "Jo."
"Just wanted to make sure you didn't get yourself in any more trouble. From what I hear you attract injuries like moths to a flame." I giggled girlishly as I remembered one of Scully's stories.
"Not true!" Mulder remarked indignantly, his voice a bit stronger this time. He glanced over at his partner and they exchanged a knowing look. That was my cue to leave.
"I think I'll let you two argue about it, I don't want to be here when the fur flies." I stood up decisively.
"You're leaving already?" Scully was obviously disappointed but I could tell she felt guilty about 'keeping' me there.
"Yeah I gotta make sure my cat didn't get into the cupboard. Little rascal gets real nosey when she's hungry. Besides, I'm sure you two have a lot to talk about." I gave him a pointed glare to remind him of our last words to each other.
"I guess." Scully reluctantly stood up also.
"Geez, if I'd known you'd grow so attached to me I'd have brought a crowbar," I said with my eyes wide. She giggled at that. "You have my number and can call anytime you want, night or day. I have no life so don't worry about interrupting me."
I gave Mulder a stern look. "And you are not to be the mean and nasty patient you usually are. I just happen to know the nurses very well and if I hear you've been misbehaving I'll make sure they treat you with the proper amount of... discipline. And don't give me that look! Not *that* kind of discipline! Get your mind out of the gutter." His hurt puppy expression wiped the look off my face and I burst out laughing. "You are absolutely incorrigible!"
I started to walk away but his hand reached out to catch me. I turned back and gazed down at him.
"Thank you...for everything." His words were full of earnest emotion.
Before I could reply I was pulled into the huge embrace of the woman standing next to me. "From both of us," she murmured.
I stepped back and gave them my best smile, trying to convey my feelings of gratitude and friendship. Then I nodded curtly and strode out of the room. As I was closing the door I heard Mulder say, "Scully, I need to tell you something."
My heart felt as though it would burst with happiness. There would be many more victims for me to rescue and many more thanks given, but those two would always have a special place in my heart.
I sighed contentedly and headed for the exit. A most satisfying day at the office.