by Decoyly
4 years ago
Title: After The End Author: Decoyly Disclaimer: You know the drill. Mulder and Scully aren't mine. Wish they were. :) Rating: PG-13 Classification: Post-ep (S10 finale), Vignette Summary: Where I'd like Season 11 to pick up. :) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Scully threw up an arm against the sudden blinding light. "What the--" she vaguely heard someone mutter next to her on the bridge as car horns ceased honking and people stopped shouting. Everyone turned their attention towards the sky. The world suddenly narrowed to that concentrated beam of past nightmares, and a sudden sense of deja vu and overwhelming dread froze Scully to the spot. No... No, this could not be happening, not now! Not again! "Scully?" Mulder's weak voice brought her back to the present, and forcing herself to look away from the--what? UFO? Helicopter? Did it really matter?--Scully spun back around to make sure he was still there. "It's okay, Mulder, I'm here." She took his hand, gripping it tightly and glancing over her shoulder at the silent hovering whatever-it-was. She didn't know who or what was up there, but they were not taking Mulder from her again. Ever. Swallowing hard, Scully pulled out her weapon, squeezing Mulder's hand and blocking the open car door with her body. Though weak and barely conscious, Mulder squeezed back. Neither of them spoke, but the truth needed no words. If this was to be the end, they were going out with a bang. Together. "Agent Scully?" Agent Miller called out anxiously, looking to her for instructions on how to proceed. Though his weapon was drawn, he looked like he was about to pass out. Before she could answer, the night and Agent Miller grew suddenly absolutely still, as if someone had pressed the pause button on life. The world went stale and silent as even sound was sucked away. For a long moment Scully existed in a vacuum of movement and sound, nothing but slow-moving dust particles in the frozen beam of bright light. The last thing Scully saw before she blacked out was Mulder, closing his eyes and letting out a final breath. *** Low voices. Rhythmic beeping. The slight smell of cedar and coffee, antiseptic and circulated air. Mulder opened his eyes and immediately closed them again, wondering what hospital he was in and why the lights were so bright. A throbbing pain at the back of his skull had him wishing for unconsciousness again. The thought lasted only as long as it took to remember what had brought it on in the first place. 'Scully!' Suddenly wide awake, Mulder's eyes shot wide with panic and fear. Where was she? He tried to sit up but couldn't move. His heavy eyelids slit shut again despite his best efforts to keep them open. Had he been hallucinating? Was it just the bright white light at the end of the tunnel that was his life? In his fevered state, Mulder had still been alert enough to find the ironic dark humor in the fact that his "bight light" resembled another unattainable, un-provable UFO. One that Scully would never--'Scully.' His fever, the Truth, the alien plague sweeping the world meant nothing to him if Scully had been taken from him again. He'd been willing to die knowing she would live. The real fear of leaving her alone in the hands of the impossibly still alive Cigarette Smoking Man gave Mulder the strength to open his eyes again. From where he lay the room looked empty save for his bed, an old wooden chair he could just see the top of, and the IV stand and medical monitors tracking his vitals and keeping him alive. He blinked against eyes that felt they had not seen light in days, tried to lift his hand to rub at them, and found even that slight movement to be impossible. Mulder stared at the ceiling, too weak to move his head yet, feeling like he was still recovering from a terrible bout of the flu. Despite whatever it was being pumped in through the IV, he felt much like a man who had been poisoned, thrown off a bridge into an oncoming train, and lit on fire. And that was being optimistic. He thought he heard movement outside the closed door, and strained to make out any voices, any clue to where he was or if Scully was there. The footsteps were getting closer. Tired... he was so very tired... If he could just... Mulder drifted off into dreamless sleep muttering one word. "Scully..." *** The next time he opened his eyes, Mulder found himself wrapped in ice. Or at least, that's what it felt like. Shivering uncontrollably, he glanced around, finding that he was still in the same room. And that he could turn his head a little. This good news had him spotting a window on the right side of the room he had not noticed before and a small table next to the chair. It was night outside. "Sully?" he tried again, but his hoarse voice barely carried to his own ears. Darkness came again like a blanket of softly falling snow. 'Scully...' *** "Mulder?" Scully winced at the desperate hope in her own voice as she opened the door, reentering a room she hadn't left for more than five minutes at a time in the past two weeks. A room she had not left at all for the first four days. Setting the tray containing a turkey sandwich, a bowl of vegetable soup, and a glass of water down on the small table next to the bed, she went to check her partner's vitals. He was still alive. Unconscious but alive and breathing on his own. That was something. Taking his hand in hers, Scully swallowed hard. Where he'd been burning up before, now he was cold. She tucked the blankets closer around him, testing the back of her hand to his forehead out of habit. "Hang in there Mulder," she whispered, brushing her lips against his temple before resting her forehead against his. "I'm here." And she wasn't going anywhere. As she sat down next to him, Scully offered up a silent prayer for her partner, knowing it was a miracle he was even still with her at all. Cut off from the rest of the world as they were, she had no idea if the same could be said of anyone else. Last she had heard, Skinner was okay and the Lone Gunmen, sequestered as they were in their new secret underground bunker were fine. But otherwise, she had no idea how the rest of the world was faring against the virus sweeping through the population at an alarmingly quick rate. The doctor and scientist in her knew she should be trying harder to find out. The rest of her, if she was being perfectly honest, was more concerned with the man in front of her. He'd come back from the dead for her before. She had no doubt that if anyone was stubborn enough to survive now, it was Mulder. If nothing else but to spite the man they had both thought was dead and gone forever. Scully considered the thought as she continued to hold her partner's hand, glancing wearily at the stack of files under the laptop at her feet. Once it appeared Mulder's vitals had stabilized, that he wasn't going to die before she could figure out what exactly was being used to treat him, Scully had insisted their new host tell her what was going on. She still couldn't believe how they'd gotten here in the first place. Wasn't entirely convinced that she knew where here was, despite being told they were somewhere in the Swiss Alps. Perhaps more alarming was the fact that she didn't remember getting there in the first place. And then there was the matter of their host. And his claim to the alien technology that was now Mulder's last hope. "Agent Scully?" A knock at the door had her turning to see said host step into the room. "How's he doing?" She glanced back at her sleeping partner, trying to convince herself of the words as she answered, "Better. His fever is gone but his core body temperature needs to be brought back up. How much longer until we can remove the cooling blankets?" It felt strange asking someone else. Although she was the one with the medical degree, it didn't seem to matter in this case. What they were dealing with would not be found in any medical or science book she knew off. She was putting Mulder's life in the hands of science fiction and a man who had tried to kill them both more times than she could count. A man who-- "Scully?" She jumped, her attention swinging to her partner's face, almost afraid to speak, afraid she'd imagined it. "Mulder?" Relief brought tears to her eyes as she saw that his eyes were open. Swallowing against the sudden exhaustive wave of emotion, Scully stood up to make it easier for him to look at her. "I..." he tried, voice rough as sandpaper. "I don't--" "It's okay," she interrupted, seeing the confused pain in his eyes. "Don't try to speak." "Cold," he managed to whisper, and then he was gone again. A tear slid down her cheek and Scully quickly brushed it away as she tried tucking the blankets even tighter around her partner, knowing it wouldn't help but needing to do something anyway. "It'll get better," the man at her side said. "We just have to wait." Scully would wait as long as it took. Unfortunately the rest of the world didn't have the same luxury. *** This time when his eyes opened, Mulder couldn't remember where he was. The room looked vaguely familiar. Cold. He could remember being cold... and... Scully. Scully was alive. Where was she? The door to the room opened and Mulder's gaze flung to the man entering the room. He was suddenly wide awake. "Now I know I must be dead," he said, voice still hoarse from lack of use. Either he was dead or hallucinating again, and at this point he wasn't quite sure which was worse. Next to him, Scully shot upright from where she'd been dozing in the chair next to the bed, drawing his attention and making him regret having spoken and waking her up. "Mulder?" His partner searched his gaze with a look full of relief and apprehension. It was not the first time he'd come back from the dead, and this time he knew better than to tease her about it. "How do you feel?" Scully asked, taking his hand in hers and squeezing gently. He tried to squeeze back and found his left hand weak. His gaze tracked slowly from her to the doorway and back, and Mulder said, "Scully, please tell me you're seeing what I'm seeing." Scully glanced over her shoulder to the man standing silently behind her as Mulder tried to sit up. She quickly stopped him, standing up to check his vitals. "Don't try to move," she said, eyes scanning the readouts for his heartrate and whatever else it was they were monitoring. His head hurt too much to turn to look. He had an IV in his arm and some kind of electrodes attached to his temples and chest. He should probably be alarmed about those last two, but Mulder just couldn't seem to muster up the energy to care at the moment. "Scully?" he finally asked, still waiting for an answer to his previous question, and from her hesitation it was an answer she was not looking forward to giving. "He saved your life, Mulder," she finally gave in, meeting his gaze. She didn't need to say the next part out loud. 'And I don't like it any more than you do.' After who he had just come from talking with--or, who he last remembered talking to--Mulder knew he shouldn't be surprised. The world was ending with an apocalyptic alien super virus. Was it really any surprise that while hundreds of thousands of innocent men and women were dying another one who was supposed to be dead already came back to life? His temples continued to pound, an icepick of a headache eating into his concentration as Mulder focused on keeping his eyes open. He did not want to slip back into unconsciousness and miss another, what? Day? Week? How long had he been out? "Remind me to send you a fruit basket," he finally muttered to the living ghost in the doorway, closing his eyes. Was this a dream? Could you be so exhausted when you were already asleep? "Mulder," Scully said gently, standing up to adjust one of his IV bags. "I'm going to give you something for the pain, okay?" He nodded, or thought he did, and soon a blessed warmth was washing through his body, soothing its way over the aches and pains that were still in the process of revealing themselves. After another few moments, he was able to look at her again and even raise an eyebrow. 'Scully?' 'You need to rest.' 'What's he doing here?' 'Mulder...' 'What are we doing here?' His partner studied him a long moment, and Mulder could see her fighting with the need to make him feel better versus his desire to know what was going on. Finally, Scully turned from their silent converstaion and nodded to the man in the doorway. He still hadn't said a word, and Mulder cursed the morphine in his system for dulling the anger he wanted to feel. "Long time no see, Mulder." A slight smirk ghosted across his face as the other man approached the bed. "We've got a lot of catching up to do." "Guess it's true what they say," Mulder answered, finding it harder to maneuver the words around the drugs trying to relax him. "At the end of the world only the cockroaches survive." Realizing Scully was standing next to him, he amended, "And the angels." "And which one of those are you, Agent Mulder? It is Agent again now, isn't it?" "Oh yeah," Mulder said, wincing as he tried to sit up again and failed. "Just like old times." "Mulder, you really need to relax," Scully said gently, laying a hand on his shoulder as a silent reminder not to try moving again. "Your body's been through a lot." "Too bad I don't seem to have the same healing abilities as some of us," he answered, glaring at the other man over Scully's shoulder. "I've been dead before, but surviving a bullet to the head point blank, now that's something special." "It wasn't as fun as it sounds." Dark hair was brushed across a forehead revealing a scar that looked pretty good considering the bullet that had been lodged inside the last time Mulder had looked. The body attached to the scarred forehead was older, they all were, but looked amazingly well, all things considered. Hating that he was too weak to have this conversation on his feet, or at least sitting up, Mulder cut to the chase before the drugs completely took over. "What do you want, Krycek?" "Get some sleep, Agent Mulder," the leather jacketed, not-so-dead-after-all Alex Krycek answered, avoiding the question and patting the bed. "We've got a lot of work to do." 'We?' he thought, too tired to say it out loud. 'What we?' Mulder felt Scully squeeze his hand again as he began slipping back into the sweet nothingness of drugged slumber. Krycek was right. When Mulder woke up again, they all had a lot of catching up to do. And he intended to be fully rested and able to get out of this bed when it happened. 'Well,' came Mulder's last thought before finally succumbing to his body's need for healing rest. It was a thought that gave him a slight tinge of satisfaction. Krycek may still be alive but, 'At least he's still missing an arm...' And that was something.