Title: After The End
Disclaimer: You know the drill. Mulder and Scully aren't
mine. Wish they were. :)
Classification: Post-ep (S10 finale), Vignette
Summary: Where I'd like Season 11 to pick up. :)
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!
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.
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.
"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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
"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
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
"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--
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
"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
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
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
"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
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
'You need to rest.'
'What's he doing here?'
'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,
"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
'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
'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.