Author's Note: This is for season one's "Beyond the Sea." I really like this episode because we get to see a more personal side of Scully, a vulnerable side that with Scully is definitely not a given. Anyways, I hope I did it justice, and please review!
This has definitely not been her week.
It seems that every second of every day has been exhausting, every step a monumental task. And yet she can't sit still; if she stops moving, sits down for even a moment, then she knows she won't get up.
Mulder had told her to take a few days off, to not follow him to Raleigh. He doesn't understand her need to keep pace, to push it all to the back of her mind and do what she does best. It's the only way she can cope.
Dana Scully is known for he steely resolve. This week has done nothing but test that.
Liz Hawley is bound and gagged, but Scully can't see if Jim Summers is with her. She doesn't pause, but follows the path Mulder had sprinted down moments before. Lucas Henry must be somewhere ahead of him.
She thinks of Boggs' ominous warning—the spilling of Mulder's blood by a white cross. Yet another thing to worry about.
She can hear her own breathing, the sound of her shoes against the concrete floor. She can hear the voices of the other agents behind her, securing Hawley. Far ahead of her, there comes the sound of a gun shot, and then an engine, probably a boat by the generally geography of the lake, speeding away.
If possible, she quickens her pace.
She sees the boat pull away just as she breaks out onto the dock. At first, she doesn't see anything in the dark, except for something white in the corner of her eye. Then there's the softest of moans from next to her foot, and her eyes adjust.
"Mulder!" She kneels down, next to him, notes his already graying face.
She glances up once more, only to see the boat is long gone, and so is Lucas Henry. The flash of white catches her eye again, above her head, and she directs her eyes upwards.
Holy shit, she thinks, as the white cross stares down at her. Mulder groans again.
"Where?" she asks him.
He makes a weak hand gesture toward his lower half. She looks to his thigh, feels around until she hits the right spot and the pain is even more noticeable on his features. His entire pant leg is soaked in blood, and soon her hands are matching. With this much blood this fast, that can only mean one thing—the femoral artery's been knicked.
She places her palm over the bullet hole, and shifts her whole weight onto her arm. Mulder grits his teeth and his whole body flinches. There's no question now—going after Henry's not an option, Mulder would bleed out in minutes.
His eyelids are beginning to flicker alarmingly.
"Mulder!" she says sharply, and his head snaps up. "Stay awake. I need you to stay awake."
She shifts, keeping one hand pressed firmly on the wound and sliding the other arm under his head to keep it elevated.
A group of agents breaks out onto the dock, guns raised and expecting a fight. They quickly see Mulder and Scully, and lower their weapons.
"Call an ambulance!" Scully directs, not daring to leave Mulder and do it herself. "C'mon, Mulder, hold on."
"Eyelids...heavy..." His words are barely audible, weak from blood loss.
"I know. We're getting help. You'll be fine." Scully isn't the comforting type, but she's hoping Mulder might take some assurance in his dazed, half conscious state.
She doesn't realize she's been holding her breath until the ambulance pulls up. She flashes a badge and they let her ride with them.
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In this case, ignorance is definitely bliss.
The ambulance technicians wheel Mulder into the ER, and she stays to the sidelines. Hurried words are exchanged, requests shouted across the stretchers. She wishes she doesn't know what it all means. The average individual can't translate the abbreviations and anatomical references, and therefore can assume the best. She does not have that luxury.
She closes her eyes and tries to breathe evenly.
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At first, she thinks yelling at Boggs will help. And, at first, it does. Maybe she's just been needing to yell all week, or maybe seeing Mulder get gunned down has shaken something loose in her brain, but she screams at the prisoner and the tension in her back muscles release. For a few seconds, at least.
But then he has to go and bring her father up, and the moment of intense emotion turns against her. She shows weakness to the man whose orchestrated the kidnapping of two teenagers for his own advantage, this supposedly psychic man who seems to think he can channel her father. With the kind of visions she's been having this week, she can almost believe him, which is unsettling in itself.
She's pulled herself together, mostly, when she later goes to see Mulder, still pallid and hospital bound. He tells her that she can be Boggs' last victim, that dealing with him is not a good idea. And she believes him, too, she thinks.
There are so many things she wants to believe right now.
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When Henry raises the axe again, she's got her sights trained on his left breast and is in just the kind of mood that would move her tap him twice in the chest. But she readjusts at the last minute, and ends up planting a bullet in his shoulder. She immediately regrets it when he takes off down one of the dusty brewery halls.
She gives chase, speeding ahead of the larger agents and pursuing Henry down a wooden catwalk, until she sees something that makes her stop in her tracks.
There's a devil staring at her from the wall.
Boggs' voice echoes in her head, just as it did that night under the white cross. Before she can even to question whether to believe him or not, Lucas Henry disappears through the floor and plummets fifty feet to the concrete ground.
For a moment, she just stands there, looking at where he had just been. She finds herself on her knees, mouth slightly agape, the blue painted devil mocking her from across the cavernous room.
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Afterwards, she heads back to her motel room, because it's past hospital visiting hours. She'll have to tell Mulder later.
She drops her bag on a chair, crosses to the bed and plops down on the edge, deflated. After a moment, she slides to the floor, feeling the tear prick her eyes. She doesn't know where they came from, but she has a pretty good idea why they're there.
A year's worth of frustrations and fears and close encounters. A week's worth of near death experiences, psychic inmates and kidnapped children. Her father is the breaking point, though, that's what makes her grit her teeth against the tears falling down her cheeks.
Her mother used to tell her that sometimes you just need to let it out and cry for a while.
Scully always thought it weak, and unnecessary. Sure, she'd gotten teared up ever now and again, but never a full on sob, like the one that's beginning to rack her body now. It's so pathetic, it makes her want to cry harder.
Twenty minutes later, her breath comes in short gasps, but she's managed to get her legs to work again, and stumbles to the bathroom to clean herself up. The make-up has created gray streaks down her cheeks. What a waste.
Her hair is greasy with sweat and product and she has a killer headache, but she cleans her face with a cold wash cloth, changes out of work clothes, and crawls into bed.
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The nurse looks just a tad taken aback when Scully fixes her with that cold stare of hers, uttering a simple "thank you" for the directions.
"Don't worry, she doesn't hate you," Mulder explains to the nurse, amusement sparking in his eyes. "She just doesn't know how to smile."
"Ha, ha," Scully laughs humorlessly, and the nurse, still looking uncomfortable, takes her leave.
Some color has returned to Mulder's cheeks, and he's seems to have gained back his trademark sense of humor.
They talk for a while, and once again she feels that surprisingly lucidity that comes over her sometimes when she talks to Mulder. It's disturbing, but her tongue won't stop moving and it seems that by now he would know all of her secrets anyway.
When they come around to her father, her clear head stays in his presence. And she knows that she doesn't need what Boggs would have tried to tell her. She knows exactly what her father would've told her.
Mulder rubs her arm in comfort. She reaches out and squeezes his hand silently.