Author's notes

Original posting date:Wed, 11 Feb 1998 03:23:06 GMT

Well, this is awkward. I wrote Partners I in early January, submitted in to the group and to Gossamer and waited. I eagerly went through Gossamer this morning looking for my story, and found that someone else had written a piece entitled " Partners" ! Theirs was there and mine wasn't! :-( Well, I'd already posted a Partners II, and therefore couldn't really change the title, so...I guess we're stuck. Maybe mine'll show up next time. Anyway, that's why this Partners story may not match with one you read on Gossamer (at least this month) - just check the author name. :-)

To be honest, this wasn't even meant to be a series, or serial, or anything like that. I thought I'd try my hand at a little vignette, and all of a sudden my computer and fingers have a combined mind of their own. This one's an odd one, something that sort of evolved tonight during a particularly rainy, busy ER shift. I've written of Scully and Mulder's thoughts from each of their perspectives, and got to thinking about all of those people in all of those hospital's we've seen them in.

What did they see.

Another thing. I don't buy, read or enjoy 'first-person' narrative type stories. So what's this? Well, like I said, it wandered into my head and wouldn't leave 'till I'd typed it out. Go figure.

I am an avowed 'shipper, and it was great to see CC admit to the attraction these two characters have. I still believe that eventually they will get together, perhaps despite CC's wishes. Many a good book has taken off, and characters developed differently than planned, much to the surprise of the creator. There are too many good writers out there to justify keeping them apart because of some groundless fear of the " Moonlighting syndrome." (Now there's a tired argument!). I've seen the topic handled successfully in the tons of fanfic I've read, and if you must cite a television show for an example, try " Mad About You" for a success story.

So, having said all of that, this is NOT and MSR per se, but a view of Scully, Mulder and their relationship through the eyes of someone who gets to know them via their stays in the hospital.

Enough of this nonsense. It's now rising 2:00 am and I'm still typing (y'know, three months ago I couldn't tell a Mulder from a Skinner...oh the bliss of ignorance!) time for bed!

Thanks to those who've taken the time to send their comments. I know the volume of fanfic I get everyday is daunting, let alone sending comments back. Feedback is welcomed, and I try to reply to each one! So, read on...

Category: S, UST (?)

Summary: A view of Scully, Mulder and their relationship through the eyes of someone who gets to know them via their stays in the hospital. (OK, so I cheated and copied this from my own intro, but I hate writing summaries!)

Archive: Gossamer, anywhere else you're interested, just let me know.

--

Partners III

I'll never forget when I first met them. It was my first night as a resident in the ER at Georgetown Hospital. ER rotations are required for all residents and I was excited about it. I'd made the decision to go to medical school late, 5 years after getting my college degree. My family had been surprised but supportive as I'd worked my way through four grueling years of school. I'd been accepted as a resident in DC, leaving behind my southern California home. The transition from a small, rural ranching community to the chaotic Georgetown Hospital in Washington DC was difficult, but everything I'd hoped for.

I'd just finished stitching up a seven-year-old who'd lost a battle with a toy truck when the ambulance bay doors crashed open.

There were at least seven other doctors or residents on duty that rainy night and we had patients packed in the waiting room. What caught my attention first was the woman following the gurney. Unlike the normal family member who usually followed faintly behind the EMT's and the patient, this tiny woman was issuing commands and instructions in a clear, clipped voice. Even more surprising to me was the speed with which my colleagues responded.

The tiny redhead shot a look at the resource nurse and took the first empty room she found. EMT's and nursing staff converged on the gurney, obscuring it's occupant from my view.

Curious about the woman and the patient I leaned into the room. The woman was quickly shedding her dark blue jacket. She was probably very pretty underneath all of the mud and dirt obscuring her face, but it was hard to tell. Without missing a beat she took the towel one of the nurses handed her and swiped it across her face, really just rearranging the mud splotches residing there. Her dark hair was plastered to her head, courtesy of the pounding rain outside. As the nurses cut away the clothing from the man on the table, I noticed he was wearing an FBI jacket similar to the woman's. Dr. Davis, my residency mentor, waved me in. Nodding to the redhead he introduced us. " Dr. Scully, Dr. Johansen." Doctor? Well, that explained the reaction of the staff–she wasn't a member of the patient's family, she was family, in the professional sense. She gave me a brief nod and continued her commentary.

"Adult male, 37 years old, three GSWs, one in the upper right quadrant of the chest and two in the right thigh..." I went to work even as she spoke.

I don't know about you, but when I'm working in a situation like this my mind sort of splits into two levels. On the one level I'm completely focused on the tasks at hand, dealing with it, letting my training take over. On another level, a deeper one, I assimilate the nuances of what's happening around me. I call that my 'humanity level'–that's where I tuck all of the shock and horror of what's happened to this amazing unit called a human being. Later, after the chaos settles down, I can begin to sort through what I've absorbed.

Even while working, with all the noise and rush around me, little details begin to filter through. The man was Special Agent Fox Mulder, Dr. Scully's partner. He'd been shot while on a case. He was probably about six feet tall and, I imagine, quite handsome when not covered with the same mud gracing his partner's face and figure. Slim and well muscled, there wasn't an ounce of extra weight on him. Actually, looking closely at both of them, I'd consider them both slightly underweight.

Once we got to work on Mulder, Dr. Scully's commands were peppered with comments directed at her partner. "C'mon Mulder...we're almost done here, then you can rest...hang on for a few more minutes..." And on and on.

Once we got him stabilized we moved to the OR. After her performance in the trauma room I fully expected Dr. Scully to scrub up and join us in the operating room. Instead, as Davis and I entered the scrubbing room I noticed Janie Halloway, our head nurse, leading Dr. Scully away despite her protests. "C'mon Doctor, I think you could use a shower."

When Dr. Davis and I finally emerged from the OR about 5 hours later, I found Dr. Scully asleep on the couch in the OR waiting room. She'd obviously given in to Janie's ministrations and had taken her shower. She was wearing the same muddy clothes she'd worn into the ER, but she looked better. Better, that is, if you didn't count the bruises starting to purple her face and neck, and the brutal scratches running the length of her left arm.

Asleep she looked even younger than I, and I am teased constantly about not looking all of my 30 years. Now that her hair was dry I could see that it was red, a much deeper color than my own strawberry blonde. Other than the difference in hair color, we could have been sisters.

Dr. Davis echoed my thoughts unknowingly, "You could be sisters, you look enough alike."

He was right, with similar height and build, we did resemble each other. I smiled and waited while he woke her and brought her up to date on her partner's condition. When Davis answered an emergency page I offered to walk Dr. Scully to the recovery room. She was silent for the trip to the floor, her thoughts elsewhere. Just before we entered the room she stopped me with a hand on my arm.

"Thank you Dr. Johansen. I..." she trailed off.

I smiled. "It's Carrie, Dr. Scully, and you're welcome."

She gave me a faint smile and entered the room where her partner lay, tubes extending from nearly every available point of entry. I heard her sigh as she approached the bed. Taking the chart from the nurse I glanced through it and handed it to Dr. Scully, who took it with a surprised expression.

I shrugged and said, "Why recite what you can read. You'll just go and get it when I leave anyway, right?" I smiled and moved toward the door. " Just make sure you return it to the nurse's station, or they'll have my hide."

"Carrie?" I turned and watched as she smoothed wisps of hair from Mulder's forehead.

"Yes, Doctor?" I waited as she settled into the chair near the bed, gripping her partner's left hand with her own, the chart resting on her knees.

She looked over her shoulder at me, her tired eyes catching mine. "It's Dana, and it's nice to meet you."

XxXxXxXxXxX

The next time we met was immediately after she was abducted. It was about a year and a half after her partner's shooting and I was in the ER again. The resource nurse from ICU phoned and began to chew me out for depositing an unidentified, critically ill patient in her unit without so much as a chart or a by-your-leave. Caught off-guard I raced up to the ICU and was stunned to recognize Dr. Dana Scully, pale and thin, tape across her eyes and tubes extending from her mouth and arms. After identifying her and asking the nurse to contact her family through the FBI, I waited until her mother appeared, breathless and pale in the doorway. As I was leaving I collided with her partner.

I'll never forget the look on his face when he entered that room. Shock, grief, relief, fear, disbelief. I understand he gave the ICU staff hell for days, demanding to know how she'd gotten there. It was as big a mystery to them as to me.

I kept tabs on Dana Scully, one of the many doctors on staff who did. Later, when I heard that her family was going make a decision regarding her living will, a will witnessed by her partner, I went to see her one last time. She'd impressed me so much in our one meeting, was so highly regarded by people I respected, that I felt a connection. She was someone I felt I could have been good friends with. I was saddened that such a vibrant and alive woman should be cut down so young.

It was late at night, long past visiting hours. Nodding to the agent standing guard near the door I slowly eased it open. Because it was so late I was surprised to see someone sitting at Dana's bedside. Leaning on the edge of the bed, perched on the edge of a chair was her partner. One hand clutching hers as if his very survival depended on it, the other gently stroking her forehead. He was speaking to her softly, his hand never ceasing it's movement across her pale brow.

I was struck by the similarity of the moment to the one I'd witnessed a year and half earlier, only that time it'd been Dana had been the whole person and Mulder had been the partner teetering on the brink of death. Swallowing hard, I left them alone.

A few days later, when she'd regained consciousness, I stopped in again at the end of my shift. It was the day after she'd awakened. Knocking softly, I poked my head in the door. Dana was asleep, her face turned toward the fading late afternoon sunlight, her left hand curled on the pillow next to her cheek.

There were flowers everywhere, cards and small gifts on every available flat surface. Dana's right hand, still host to IV tubes, lay at her side, resting on what looked like a video. I hadn't made it halfway across the room when she stirred.

"Mulder?" Her voice was faint, but strong.

"Nope, it's Carrie." I stopped where I was, unsure if she'd remember me, and not wanting to frighten her.

Her brow furrowed, she studied me, taking in my lab coat and hospital badge. "Carrie...Johansen?"

"Yeah. Welcome back, Dana." At her nod I settled in the chair that was pulled near the bed. "I just wanted to check on you, I'm not here 'officially'."

Dana nodded and smiled. "I'm glad you're here, I need the company."

I raised my eyebrows, teasing gently. "Really? This is the first time I've seen this room with just you in it. You seem to be a very popular person. I thought secret agents were supposed to be, I don't know, secret."

She chuckled gently and began to talk. I got the feeling that she just needed to hear the sounds of people, normal sounds. I didn't know the details yet of what happened to her, but I knew she'd been through a traumatic experience and needed an ear. Mine was as good as any. We talked for hours. Every time I made a move to leave she assured me that she was fine and would start a new thread in our conversation.

We spoke of everything and nothing. Her career and mine, not having a "life" outside of work. We swapped residency horror stories, discussed mutual acquaintances, traded anecdotes about our worst days, and so on. I confessed to having picked Dr. Davis' brain about her skills and career after our last meeting, and she then sheepishly admitted to having done the same regarding me.

We cemented our friendship during those quiet, late-night hours before dawn–two kindred spirits with a shared passion for medicine and hard work. I left when her partner entered the room, noticing how each of them seemed to light up in the presence of the other. I don't think either noticed I'd gone.

XxXxXxXxXxX

The next time I met them was again in the ER. Once again, they'd switched roles and it was Dana who was whole and healthy and her partner who was injured. Unlike the last time, he was at least conscious–and arguing. Loudly.

"Scully," Mulder complained, "I don't like hospitals."

Scully snorted as she wheeled his wheelchair into the exam room. "Then you shouldn't ditch me Mulder." She gave a frustrated sigh. "I'm tired of getting there in time to clean up after you, or take you to the ER!"

Her partner looked taken aback at her unexpected attack and sank back into the chair. I cleared my throat.

"Um, I hate to interrupt Dana, but..." Scully looked up and smiled grimly.

"Hi Carrie." Turning to Mulder, she introduced us. "You won't remember Carrie from your first visit, and she snuck out before I could introduce you last time I was here, but this is Dr. Carrie Johansen."

Mulder nodded briefly, his face closed.

Scully nudged him. "Mulder, she's the friend I told you about. Although we haven't really made good on the 'let's get together for lunch' thing yet, have we?" Mulder looked a little more friendly, but not much.

I laughed and got to work on her partner, who it seemed had had a run-in with a couple of steps. After the technician took the grumbling agent out for his x-rays, Dana and I grabbed some hot chocolate and waited for him to return. For once they were here for something non life-threatening, and it was a relief.

XxXxXxXxXxX

I was there again when her cancer began to take over and nearly won. By then Mulder knew me and knew he could rely on me for honest information regarding Dana's condition. I'll never know just how involved he was in her remission, but I do believe that if not for him I'd have lost a good friend, perhaps two.

XxXxXxXxXxX

They've both been in and out of my ER many times since then. Once or twice for overnight stays. I've since finished my residency and have taken a permanent position at Georgetown. Dana's dropped hints to me about a Bureau career several times, and has offered to make some inquiries if I'm interested. I may just do that.

XxXxXxXxXxX

Over the years Dana and I have become good friends. As for Mulder, I guess I'm about as close to him as anybody is, except for Dana. I've been in a unique position to observe both them and their relationship. When all the barriers are gone and there's nothing to hide behind, the truth will come out. The relationship they have is the kind that many couple aspire to and most never achieve. They have a companionship, each not complete without the other, two halves of a whole. There is a love there, and a deep abiding love and a respect for the others' abilities, beliefs and goals, along with an appreciation for and understanding of their individual weaknesses.

I know that they've been blessed in their relationship and I feel fortunate having been witness to it's growth.