Love Bites

Title : Love Bites

Author : Sally Bahnsen — rbahnsen@optusnet.com.au

Summary: Sometimes love just bites.

Rating – you should probably be able to cope with the occasional bad word and

implied sexual situations.

Written for Virtual Season 13’s Valentine Days Special

Disclaimer — Mulder and Scully belong to CC and 1013 productions. The dog belongs

in the pound.

Category: MT, MSR

Author’s notes at end.

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Love Bites

By Sally Bahnsen

******************

Georgetown

February 14

3.10 pm

Sometimes his life with Scully just felt perfect, so perfect that Mulder, even after all

this time, still worried that sooner or later his bubble would burst and Scully would

come to her senses. How did a guy like him end up with a woman like her? It was

something that never ceased to amaze him at least 100 times a day, and tonight he

had every intention of proving to Scully that she had made the right choice

committing to their relationship.

Mulder wouldn’t exactly call himself a romantic, but, heck today was Valentine’s Day

and why the hell shouldn’t he celebrate his extraordinarily good luck at finally

beating the odds and setting up house with the one person who meant more to him

than life itself? He’d decided weeks ago that he was going to make tonight special.

Nothing was going to come between him and the romantic evening they had

planned.

He had offered to accompany Scully to the grocery store while she bought supplies

for dinner but she had insisted she had everything under control.

So, who was he to argue?

As soon as the front door clicked shut behind her, Mulder pulled on his sweat pants

and sneakers and left the house for a nice relaxing run. He figured he’d be back long

before Scully would, and still have time to shower and change.

Checking his watch, he was damn pleased with himself; he’d made excellent time

and was now on the homeward stretch. He’d be back with plenty of time to spare. In

fact, if he made a shortcut through the park he’d be even quicker.

No Sireee, nothing was going to come between him and their much deserved

romantic dinner at home.

That was . . . until . . . .

“Oh crap.”

No, not now. Not today. He didn’t need this.

The dog stood between him and the end of the path, teeth bared and long pink jowls

dripping saliva as it growled — aggressively defending its territory. Mulder hadn’t

seen the animal until he was practically on top of it, his mind lost to the rhythmic

thud of his feet hitting pavement and the controlled breathing in his chest.

Scully was going to kill him if he messed up tonight.

“Nice doggy, good boy.” He crooned at the big, black, hairy monster. “No one’s going

to hurt you.”

The dog growled louder and Mulder had second thoughts about moving towards it.

Slowly, never taking his eyes off the dog, Mulder started to backtrack.

Maybe reconsidering his route through the park was the best option here instead of

trying to save 10 minutes via the shortcut. After all, death by Scully had to be better

than death by Pit Bull.

Steadily placing one foot behind the other, and still talking to the dog in a soft, even

tone, he didn’t notice the glass bottle behind his left foot until the heel of his sneaker

kicked against it and sent it spinning in an erratic circle along the path. “Double

crap,” he mumbled to himself.

The, dog, already feeling threatened, barked ferociously and then lunged at Mulder.

Sensing attack might have been on the dog’s mind, Mulder was already airborne,

diving to his right when the dog hit.

It was like being tackled by a 300 pound quarterback. Only this football player had

jaws of iron that locked around his left thigh with the finality of a bear trap.

Momentum and shock sent Mulder sprawling to the ground, the dog’s teeth still

firmly embedded in his left leg.

Instinct made Mulder lash out with his right leg, but all he made contact with was

empty space. It was only a split second later that his self-defense training kicked in

and he dug the fingers of both hands into the dog’s eyes. It had no effect. He could

feel the teeth sinking deeper into his thigh. He tried punching at its head, then chest,

still the dog hung on. The flesh, just above his knee started to tear, pushing an extra

burst of adrenaline into his blood stream.

Locked in a desperate struggle, Mulder flipped the dog over so it was beneath him.

The change of position allowed him get a better grip on the animal’s head and he

simultaneously brought his right knee up to make solid contact with its stomach. The

dog released its grip and Mulder scrambled backwards, reaching blindly behind him

for the glass bottle that had triggered the attack. He smashed the base of the bottle

against the ground and held it up in defense. This time when the dog came at him

he thrust the broken bottle up and in, just below the rib cage. Blood spurted from

the animal’s chest and it stopped mid-flight, hitting the ground on its side and

yelping loudly, before struggling to its feet and running from the park.

Mulder collapsed to ground. His stomach heaved but didn’t deliver. For a minute he

just lay there, numb, and shaking, trying to wrap his head around what had

happened. As the effects of the adrenaline subsided, he started to feel the pain in

his leg. He rolled over onto his side, closed his eyes and fought to get his breathing

under control. There was a loud buzzing in his head and he really, really didn’t want

to pass out. Not here in the park.

And then he heard voices.

“Hey mister, are you okay?”

He sensed a crowd gathering and hitched open an eye.

Kids. Three or four of them. Maybe between 8 and 12 years old. One of them

crouched beside him. A boy.

One of the younger ones pointed at him “Man, he’s bleeding like a stuck pig.”

The boy by his side put his hand on Mulder’s shoulder. “You want me to get you

some help?”

And spend Valentines’ Day in the ER? Shit no!

“No, no, I’m okay. I just need a minute.” He pushed up to a sitting position and

examined his leg. And then immediately wished he hadn’t.

The sweat pants were shredded just above his left knee and the dark patch of blood

around the torn material was spreading by the second.

“I could go get my mom.” The boy offered.

“Or the cops!” Said one of the younger ones.

“No, really, I’m fine. It’s just a scratch.”

*Good one, Mulder. They’re kids not complete imbeciles.*

He stretched out his arm. “Just give me a hand up.”

The boys gathered around and helped him to his feet.

Mulder swayed. The boys hung on. “You don’t look so good,” said the older one.

“Did you see where the dog went?” Mulder asked, trying to change the subject.

“Shot clear across the park. You won’t see him for dust!”

“Thanks for your help, now you boys better scoot off home in case he comes back.”

No more attention, he didn’t want to draw any more spectators.

“Nah, he won’t be back. You cut him real good. Look at the trail of blood he left

behind.” This from the blood-thirsty one.

But they were right. Mulder didn’t think the dog would be coming back any time

soon.

“Well, thanks guys. I guess I need to get home and clean up.” He looked dubiously

at his injured leg and prayed for a very long queue at the grocery store.

*************

Mulder and Scully Duplex

3.45 pm

The walk home had been living hell. Each step contracted the muscle above his

knee, and each contraction felt like the teeth were still embedded in his flesh. God,

how was he going to keep this from Scully? He’d promised nothing would go wrong

this year.

Once he was back at the duplex, he had one reprieve. Scully was still out. He knew

he was living on borrowed time, but with a little luck – and he figured he’d just used

up most of his bad luck – he’d have time to clean up and administer his own first aid.

First thing he needed was a shower.

He had thought the walk home was as bad as it was likely to get. Wrong! In fact,

compared to the shower – where the hot spray seared into his open wounds – the

walk home had been a peaceful little stroll. As a consequence the shower was over

and done with in a matter of minutes.

A quick search of the bathroom cabinet produced a healthy provision of medical

supplies. Betadine, butterfly clips, gauze pads and an ACE bandage. There had to be

some advantage to living with a doctor, right?

Mulder surreptitiously cracked the bathroom door and inch or two and listened for

any sign of incoming danger. All seemed to be quiet on the Western Front so he

snicked the door shut again.

Letting out a long sigh of relief, he sat himself on the closed toilet lid and began to

attend to his leg. By the time he’d applied the antiseptic and bandaged the wound

his stomach was again hovering awfully close to the back of his throat, and the

bathroom seemed to be circling itself. Swallowing hard, he eased himself down so

he was sitting on the floor and leaned his head against the edge of bath.

*I will not pass out. I will not pass out.* Eventually his body seemed convinced and

the nausea subsided about the same time the bathroom stopped spinning.

He stood up slowly. And swore mightily. His leg had stiffened up and now throbbed

in time to his pulse. This was not good. Not good at all.

Pain killers. Something strong and fast and very long lasting.

He made another sweep of the bathroom cabinet and found . . . nothing!

Shit!

How could Scully not have a supply of pain meds? Didn’t she know his propensity for

getting hurt? What kind of a doctor was she, anyway?

Okay, think, Mulder. Where would they be?

Another furtive glance from the bathroom told Mulder the coast was still clear. With

nothing more that the towel wrapped around his waist, he gathered up his bloody

clothing and headed for the bedroom.

At least if he was dressed he could cover his bandaged leg. The rest would be up to

him and sheer determination.

He thought about jeans and nearly threw up. No, he didn’t need leg hugging denim

right now and opted for a nice loose pair of corduroys. He added a long sleeved tee

and a sweat shirt. For some reason he was freezing. In fact, he couldn’t stop

shivering.

God damn.

Could it be . . . ?

Was he going into some kind of delayed shock? Limping heavily, he made a slow

dash to the bathroom and studied his reflection in the mirror. Pale, sweaty, glassy-

eyed.

Oh for fuck’s sake!

What did Scully usually do for shock?

Lie down, feet raised, snuggle under blankets, and sip sweet, hot tea.

No. That wasn’t going to happen.

He took off at a snail’s pace and made it to the kitchen. One good thing about stairs

was the fact they have a nice, strong banister to lean on. He was actually able to

keep the weight completely off his leg on the way down.

Okay, treatment for shock. The best he could come up with was a candy bar and a

bottle of iced tea. He snagged both, hobbled painfully to the living room and turned

up the heat to high.

Then he remembered his bloodied sweat pants.

Shit, the stairs again. Not so easy going up.

The pain was becoming unmanageable. He leaned heavily against the wall and

limped to the bedroom. He had to stash the sweats. But where the hell could he put

them?

Think Mulder! You’ve investigated enough crime scenes to learn from the best

criminal minds in the US.

Right.

Garbage disposal.

He made another trip to the kitchen and found a pair of scissors in the third drawer.

As fast as his trembling hands would allow, he snipped his pants into tiny pieces and

shoved them in the disposal unit. Flushing the system with water, he turned it on full

speed.

Mulder’s sweat pants disappeared into a whirring cloud of dust.

He sagged against the kitchen bench, feeling himself slide dangerously to the left.

He had to sit. He needed to get the weight off his leg. With slow, careful steps he

made it to the couch, huddled in a corner and snacked on Hershey’s and iced tea.

He’d barely finished the last bite of candy when he heard a key in the front door.

With more dexterity than he thought possible, he slid along the couch, laid flat on his

back and feigned sleep. Scully could never resist him when he slept. She hated to

wake him, and if he could just manage to pull it off until she’d unloaded the car, then

he might have a chance of avoiding detection.

“Mulder! I’m home.”

He didn’t move a muscle.

“Mul . . . ?”

He could imagine the look on her face. She was always telling him he should get

more rest. She’d be smiling to herself now and creeping quietly into the kitchen so as

not to wake him.

He thought he heard her mumble something about it being hotter than hell in there.

Then she came around and shut off the heat.

Damn it.

He must have actually fallen asleep because the next thing he knew, Scully was

tracing a finger along his cheek and there was a distinct aroma of coffee in the air.

“Mulder?” She spoke quietly. “Want some coffee?”

He stirred. Then froze. And bit back a groan. Then hastily replaced the grimace on

his face with a smile.

“Hey, Scully.” God he sounded like shit. A little bit of throat clearing helped the

problem and he carefully pulled himself up, leaving his left leg stretched along the

seat of the couch. He checked his watch. “You back already?”

“You must have really been out of it, I’ve been gone a couple of hours.” She tapped

on his left leg indicating he should move it to make room for her. When the room

came back into focus, and the sky rockets had quit launching themselves through his

head, he very gingerly lowered his leg to the ground. Scully scooted up next to him

and handed him a steamy mug of coffee.

He only spilled a few drops when he wrapped his trembling hands around it. Lucky

for him, Scully’s attention was elsewhere.

“What’s for dinner?” He asked, sipping tentatively at the warm liquid.

God, his leg hurt.

Scully leaned her head on his shoulder, “It’s a surprise, Mulder. I told you that.” She

looked up at him and smiled. “Can you believe we are finally spending Valentine’s

Day in our own place?” She snuggled closer.

Mulder grunted. But managed to lift his arm and pull her tight against him. He kissed

the top of her head, remembering last year’s promise of a romantic night in their

own home. He also remembered the subsequent bullet wound to his shoulder and

how Scully sat by his bed all night while he recovered from surgery.

He stroked her hair. “I love you, you know.”

She twisted in his embrace so she could see his face.

Mulder’s hand clenched involuntarily around her upper arm, and he barely held back

a yelp when her right elbow leaned into his left hip. His skin prickled and he could

feel sweat beading on his brow. But he fought valiantly to keep his expression

neutral.

Scully cupped his cheek, caressing gently with her thumb.” I love you, too. I love

you so much, Mulder.”

For a second the pain in his leg was forgotten. He leaned in and kissed her, a soft,

chaste meeting of their lips. Scully reached up behind his head, gently resting her

hand on the back of his neck and deepened the kiss. Mulder felt a gentle stirring in

his groin, and when Scully eventually pulled away, he was breathing heavily.

She smiled up at him. “More coffee, Mulder?”

“Caffeine wasn’t exactly what I had on my mind, Scully.”

“I’m going to start, dinner. You just stay there and relax.” She took the coffee cup

from his hand and headed down the hall to the kitchen. Mulder slumped against the

cushions and gingerly stretched out his leg. It ached, and throbbed and felt stiff and

bruised and his plan for a night of wild passionate love was slowly sinking into the

sunset. Along with another broken promise.

He needed pain killers and he need them *now*.

There had to be a way of getting his hands on some. But to search the house meant

walking. And walking equaled pain, which lead to limping which ultimately would lead

to detection and he just knew Scully would have him straight to the ER before he

could even blink.

Was there some way he could get out of the house and to a drug store without

creating suspicion?

“Scully?” He called to her in the kitchen. “Did you buy wine?”

She appeared in the archway, wiping her hands on a dish towel. The look on her face

said the answer was probably no.

“Dammit! I knew I forgot something.”

“Hey, no problem.”Mulder said, lightly. “I’ll run to the store and get some. Red or

white?”

“You don’t mind going?”

He gave her an ‘of course not’ look. “If I’m out of the house, I won’t be tempted to

come in and peek at what you’re cooking.”

She smiled at him. “Red.”

“Done deal.” He edged slowly off the couch, using every ounce of strength he had to

appear normal.

“The keys are on the sideboard.” And then, thankfully, Scully went back to the

kitchen.

Taking it slow, he headed towards the foyer. It was a full-blown, teeth-gritting

exercise just to walk at all. With the assistance of the walls, he eventually made it to

the front door, picking up the keys off the sideboard on the way.

Once he was seated in the car it took him a few minutes to clear his vision and calm

his stomach. Thank God for automatic transmission.

He drove to a small neighborhood shopping mall and parked as close as possible to

the entrance. The pharmacy was well-stocked, offering not only a large selection of

medications, but several grocery and department store lines as well. A middle-aged

man, perhaps in his 50’s manned the front counter.

Mulder knew exactly what he needed. He’d been well educated over the years as to

what pain meds worked best.

He purchased the Extra Strength Advil, a bottle of water, a box of chocolates for

Scully and struggled back to the car. There had been times when Scully had let him

pop more than the recommended one pill, times when the pain had been particularly

bad. He figured tonight qualified as extreme suffering so just to be on the safe side,

he shook 4 of the capsules into his hand and threw them back with a long slug of

water. If that didn’t get him through the night, nothing would.

He made one more stop for the wine and then drove the few blocks back to the

duplex. By the time he had pulled up in the garage, there was a soft buzz in his

head, a kind of numb tingling throughout his body and his leg was hardly bothering

him at all. At that point, he knew he’d made the right decision.

Inside, the house was warm and there was a delicious smell of home cooking. The

normalcy of it all actually made his chest ache. He tossed the car keys back on the

sideboard.

“Mulder, is that you?”

He smiled and headed towards the kitchen. “Wine m’lady?” He offered, holding the

brown paper bag in the air. His other hand hid the chocolates behind his back.

“Mulder! You’re not supposed to be peeking!”

She came towards him and wrapped her arms around his waist.” What took you so

long?”

He answered her with the box of chocolates.

“Who said chivalry was dead?” She teased.

“Are you sure I can’t help you in here?”

“Well, you could pour us both a glass of wine.”

“Consider it done.”

He was very impressed with the Advil. They’d completely taken the edge off the pain

in his leg. It was only when he took the first step after standing still that he had to

be careful.

He poured 2 glasses of wine and handed one to Scully. She held it up and he gently

chinked the side of her glass. “To us,” he said.

“To us.” Scully smiled at him over the rim of her glass.

Considering the bad start to the evening, Mulder thought things weren’t turning out

too badly. With the pain in his leg under control, the rest of the night should go as

planned. Detection at bed time was incidental to the equation. At least they would

have finally spent their first Valentine’s Day in their own home and his promise of a

drama-free evening would be honored.

Scully opened the oven to check on the progress of their meal.

“Come on Scully, what are you cooking?”

“Okay, it’s nearly done anyway. We’re having Beef Burgandy, mashed potato and

green beans. And, for dessert–”

Mulder reached his arms around her waist and pulled her against him. Leaning down,

he trailed a smooth path of feathery kisses just below her ear, before eventually

nuzzling his face in the juncture of her collarbone and neck.

He felt her shiver and push back against him.

He whispered seductively, “Let me tell you what we’re having for dessert, Scully.”

She turned in his embrace and kissed him hard on the lips. Her voice husky when

she eventually pulled away. “I think I can guess, Mulder.”

He stroked her hair, tilted her chin and touched his lips lightly to hers.

She drew a deep breath. “I think I better get back to cooking, or we’ll be having

dessert before the main meal.”

He’d drink to that!

Mulder finished his glass of wine and poured another. He topped Scully’s glass up,

even though she had barely touched it.

After the second glass of wine, he realized that his stomach was starting to burn.

And the soft buzzing in his ears of earlier seemed to be getting louder. The smell in

the kitchen, previously making his mouth water, was now making him feel nauseous.

And through the general numbness surrounding his body, he was sure the dull ache

in his leg had increased to a distinct throb again.

Maybe he should sit down.

Taking his third glass of wine with him, he carefully made his way back to the living

room. By the time he was seated on the couch, his stomach was really starting to

bother him and there was a thud in his head to match the one in his leg.

He propped his right arm on his right knee, leaned forward and cradled his aching

head in his hand. Maybe he just needed to lie down for a minute, have a little power

nap. But he couldn’t lift his left leg. The muscle had completely seized. Using both

hands he eased his leg onto the couch and slid along so his head was on the

armrest.

There was a constant ringing in his ears now and to top it off he wanted to throw up.

No, wrong choice of words, nobody actually wanted to throw up but, god, he felt as if

the only way to stop the burning in his stomach and chest was to just get rid of its

contents.

“Mulder?”

He could hear Scully calling him, but wasn’t sure he could respond.

“Mulder, are you all right?”

There was no doubting the concern in her voice.

“Mm, fine, Scully.”

But there was nothing fine about the way the words came out and he was having

trouble focusing on his surroundings.

She moved his legs so she could sit next to him. And his mind was too fuzzy to

control the gasp. “Shit!” He grabbed at his thigh.

“Mulder, what the hell is that?” She was touching his leg. And despite the heavy dose

of medication he’d taken, he slapped her hand away and nearly leapt out of the

chair.

“Oh my god, Mulder, you’re bleeding.”

Mulder craned his neck. She was right. There was a dark wet patch just above his

knee. He ran his fingertips lightly over the area, they came away damp and tinged

with red. He let out a quiet groan and slumped back against the armrest.

Scully’s hands seemed to be everywhere. Her palm touching his forehead, lifting his

eyelids and peering deeply at his pupils, two fingers rested against his neck. When

she spoke, he expected anger, but he heard panic.

“Mulder, sit up.” She had hold of his arm and was helping him to sit. “What the hell

happened to you?”

The room was graying out and he was having a hard time concentrating on her

words. And god, his stomach was on fire. He leaned over clutching his abdomen.

Scully scooted to the floor, kneeling between his legs; she tried to straighten him up.

“Mulder if you don’t answer me, I’m calling 911. Now, tell me what’s wrong?”

Pretense was no longer and option. He was dying.

“Dog bit me. Oh, god, Scully, my stomach.”

“Your stom– ” She laid him flat on his back along the couch and lifted his sweat

shirt and tee, lightly running her fingers over his rigid stomach muscles. When she

shifted her touch to his leg, he sprang up from the couch, and barely stifled a

scream.

“How the hell did this happen?” She asked as she deftly popped the button on his fly

and unzipped his pants. “Lift your hips.”

She lowered his pants to just below his knees. The sudden movement loosened his

pocket and the bottle of Advil fell to the floor.

Scully scooped them up. Looked at the blood-soaked bandage on his leg, the

grimace on his face, his pale sweaty complexion and his rigid stomach. “Jeezus.

Mulder, how many of these did you take?”

“Tonight had to be special, Scully. I didn’t want to screw up this year.”

“Bit late for that G-Man.”

“I promised you.”

He heard her sigh and then she clasped his face between her hands.”Mulder, look at

me. I need you to tell me exactly what happened.”

So, he went through the whole sorry story while Scully unwrapped the bandage on

his leg. When the wound was exposed, she gasped.

“Oh, my god!”

Mulder lifted his head to get a better look. Shit! The skin was puckered, and bruised,

and red and still oozing blood. The butterfly clips he’d applied earlier had split as his

leg swelled.

His stomach convulsed, and this time managed to follow through. He leaned over the

side of the couch and threw up on the floor. He was vaguely aware of Scully’s hand

on his shoulder for a brief second. There was a soft curse and then she disappeared.

A cool, wet wash cloth caressed his face, wiped his mouth. Scully pushed a glass

against his lips. “Rinse your mouth.” She’d even brought a bowl for him to spit in.

The mess on the floor she’d covered with towels.

“Mulder,” her tone was gentle;” I need to know how many Advil you took?”

“Scully, I’m sorry, I just didn’t want anything to interfere with our plans.”

“Dammit, Mulder, how many pills?”

“Four.”

His stomach burned and he heaved again. This time Scully caught it in the bowl.

“Oh, god, Mulder. You’re vomiting blood.”

Was he? It didn’t surprise him; it felt like his insides had ruptured.

“Okay, Mister, you’ve got 2 choices. We get in the car now and I take you to the

Emergency room, or I call 911. What’s it gonna be?”

“No, no, I’m not spending another Valentine’s Day in the hospital.”

“Yes, you are. Can you sit up?”

He tried, but every time he lifted his head the room spun, and his stomach

convulsed. He couldn’t do it.

“That settles it.” Approximately one minute later Mulder heard Scully reciting their

address to the 911 operator.

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

February 15

7.00 am

The nurse had disconnected the IV line, and heart monitor around 5.00am. Mulder

was moved from the step down unit to a private room and now — according to

medspeak — was resting comfortably. But in reality, he was not in the least bit

comfortable. Oh, they’d taken good care of him; done all the appropriate tests to

ensure there was no permanent damage to his stomach lining. They’d cleaned and

stitched the wounds to his leg, the slight throb in his buttock reminded him of the

tetanus shot he’d endured, and appropriate pain medication administered via the IV

had stopped his leg from hurting. And then there was the broad spectrum antibiotics

working on keeping infection away.

But he felt like shit, and seeing Scully dozing in the lounge chair next to his bed, her

head twisted awkwardly to one side, only exacerbated his discomfort.

He’d screwed up again. Big time. At least last year he’d been working a case. This

time it was just plain stupidity. If only he hadn’t gone for a run, if only he hadn’t cut

through the park, if only he could just get things to go his way for once.

“Mulder?”

Lost in self-recrimination, he hadn’t noticed Scully wake up.

“Hey, Scully.” His voice was croaky, his throat raw.

She came and sat on the edge of his bed. “How are you feeling?”

“I feel like a complete jerk.” He turned his head away from her. “I’ve done it to you

again.”

“Done what?” She pushed his hair back from his forehead.

“Screwed up the one day of the year where couples are supposed to make an extra

effort to show how much they love each other. I should have been making you feel

special, Scully. Not forcing you to spend another night camped in a hospital lounge.”

“Oh, Mulder.” She sighed, shaking her head. You idiot.” He turned to look at her

expecting anger, but she was smiling. “Don’t you get it?”

He arched an eyebrow.

“You make me feel special every day of my life. You have since the very first day we

started working together.”

“But . . .”

“No buts.” She took his hand. “I admit, it would have been nice to have our quiet

evening at home like we’d planned.” She brought his hand to her lips and kissed the

inside of his palm. “Mulder, there’s not too many men who would have gone to the

extremes you did last night so I wouldn’t be disappointed.” She squeezed his hand.

“I just wish you’d told me what had happened earlier and this might have been a lot

simpler to deal with. You know, pharmaceutical companies put recommended

dosage on their products for a reason.”

Obviously.

Scully was still speaking. “And of course there is the problem of an animal bite and

the chance of rabies . . .”

His eyes widened and his panic face was solidly in place.

She gave him a sympathetic smile and squeezed his hand. “It’s not as bad as the

horror stories. You’ll have to endure five injections over the course of the next

month.”

“In my stomach,” he whined.

“No, not any more. The treatment now is more effective and less painful than the

old days. Five injections, as I was saying, in your arm. As a matter of fact, they

gave you your first injection already. I have the schedule for the next four.”

“My arm itches,” he said, scratching absently at his left upper arm.

“Don’t scratch it! You’ll get it infected and you’ll be here even longer,” she warned.

“And I do want you home sometime in the near future.”

“Well, I plan to make it up to you, Scully.”

“You can make it up to me by behaving yourself when they spring you from here.

The doctor said you should be allowed to go home this afternoon.”

No malice, no ‘I’m -over- you- Mulder.’ No payback, no resentment. God, he’d really

hit the jackpot when he’d met Scully.

He reached up and cupped her cheek. “Have I told you lately how much I love you?”

She smiled, a soft gleam in her eyes. “I know it every time you look at me.”

She leaned down and kissed his lips and even in his dozy state, the effect was

immediate. His chest swelled, and when she worked her tongue into his mouth, so

did his groin. He pulled her against him, and she maneuvered herself so she was

stretched along the length of his body.

“Mr. Mulder!”

They both turned towards the nurse standing in the door way, a tray in her hand and

a smirk on her face.

“Looks like you’re feeling a lot better.” She smiled and backed out of the room. “I’ll

be back later to check your . . . um . . . vital signs.”

The door closed quietly behind her.

Mulder looked at Scully and grinned, then said in a low voice. “Would you like to

check my vitals, Agent Scully?”

She slapped him lightly on the shoulder and snuggled down next to him. “I’m

already well acquainted with all your vital signs, Mulder.”

Now that was something he knew to be true. And with thoughts of better things to

come, he wrapped both arms around her and pulled her tight against him.

THE END

rbahnsen@optusnet.com.au

Author’s Notes. — After writing nothing for over a year, I would like to thank Vickie

and Lisa for encouraging me to get back into it. Having to whip something up in 2

days was a little bit of a challenge after writing nothing for so long. But it’s been fun.

Thanks, guys.

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