Title: After the Ice
Classification: post-movie vignette
Movie: Fight the Future
Archive: No archive without permission.
Disclaimer: Though these characters don't belong
to me, I will continue to be fascinated by them
no matter how many years go by.
Notes: I've noticed that they've been showing Fight
the Future quite a few times lately on TV, and I've
been catching bits and pieces of the movie when I
can. I can't believe it's almost been 20 years since
it first hit the theaters! Oh, how I've missed seeing
*this* Mulder and Scully on a regular basis...which
is why I was inspired to write this little tale.:)
More notes: I'm not in the medical profession, but
I have had a lot of experiences with nurses in the
hospital. Some of them have been absolutely
wonderful like the nurse in this story. Some have
been all business, but in my opinion, both kinds
of nurses deserve all kinds of kudos for the job
they do. I figured after all that Mulder and Scully
had been through in Antarctica they deserved a
special nurse like Shelly to look out for them.
Closing thoughts at the end.
Summary: What happened after Mulder and Scully were
rescued in Antarctica and brought to the hospital?
Maybe something like this...
After the Ice
The first time he opened his eyes, his head felt like
it was going to explode.
Bringing his hand up to his forehead, he brushed his
sensitive fingers over the bandage there and closed
his eyes again. Though they'd most likely given him
something for the pain when he was first brought
into the hospital, he sure as hell wasn't feeling
the benefits of it now.
Along with the sharp pain he felt pulsating in his
head, every muscle in his body ached and screamed
Wanting to open his eyes again but finding it to be
way more trouble than it was worth, he went back to
The next time she woke up, she threw up.
Luckily, just as there was the other two times, there
was a pan on the table by her hospital bed that she
was able to grab. Not that it really made her feel
any better, but at least it kept her from making a
mess on the bed.
Pressing the call button for the nurse, she weakly
set the nearly overflowing pan back on the table,
then wiped her mouth and took a drink of water.
Although the cool water felt wonderful sliding down
her sore throat, it didn't take away the bitter
grass-like taste in her mouth.
"You okay, Dana?" asked the nurse, quickly picking
up the smelly pan, flushing its contents down the
toilet, and walking back to her bedside before she
could answer. "Judging from what I just disposed of,
it looks like your system's just about cleared out
now, which is good."
The no-nonsense nurse jotted some notes down on her
chart. "My name's Shelly, and I'll be your nurse
until the next shift comes in around 11:00," she said,
putting the blood pressure cuff around her arm. "You
probably don't remember me being here before, but you
look so much better than when I first saw you." She
smiled. "But I'm guessing you probably don't want to
hear that right now."
"No, I don't," she rasped. She waited until Shelly
removed the cuff, then took another sip of water and
"I know your throat feels pretty raw right now, but
Dr. Johnston said it's not permanently damaged so
that's good, and your blood pressure's 110 over 70,
and that's good too."
Those *were* good things, and she knew she had a lot
to be grateful for, but right now she didn't have the
energy or the desire to talk about any of it.
Nodding her head in agreement, she leaned back against
the pillow, turned away, and closed her eyes.
"That's okay, honey. I'll check on you again in a
little while," said Shelly, patting her on the leg.
"You just go ahead and rest. That's what you need
more than anything right now."
She opened her eyes and turned her head to say thank
you, but the kind-hearted nurse was already gone.
She's not breathing.
She's not moving and she's not breathing, but they
have to get out of there. They have to get out of
He lays her down on the cold hard surface while
angry creatures all around him are screaming and
clawing at the ice trying to find a way to escape
and he breathes into her mouth, presses on her
chest, then tries to catch his own breath as panic
sweeps over his entire body.
Wake up, Scully, Come on, Scully. Wake up, damn it.
"Scully!" he screamed, his eyes flying open as his
body jolted forward in the bed. The sudden movement
sent a sharp pain through his head, and he immediately
laid back again, trying to calm himself down.
The pain now morphing into a relentless pounding,
he lightly rubbed his forehead and felt the bandage
there, and it was then that he remembered.
Quickly pressing the call button, he waited anxiously
for the nurse as he tried to piece his thoughts
"Well hello there, Mr. Mulder. It's good to see you
awake," said the short, round-faced nurse. "My name
is Shelly, and I'll be your nurse until the next
shift comes in another few hours. So what can I do
Although she seemed nice enough, all he wanted was
answers, and he wanted them now.
"My partner. Agent Scully. Where is she?" he asked
anxiously, sitting up straighter and pressing his
hand to his forehead.
"Calm down, Mr. Mulder. She's right down the hall and
she's okay." She took hold of his wrist, found his
pulse and smiled. "You're not lookin' so hot though."
"But you don't understand..." he argued, jerking his
arm away from her and trying to pull the covers off
his legs. "I have to see her. I have to..."
His abrupt exertion sent another sharp pain through
his head, and suddenly it felt like the room was
Gently easing him back against the pillow, Shelly
calmly said, "Look, I understand that you're worried
about her, but I just checked on her a little while
ago, and I can honestly tell you that she's okay...
and that she's safe here. You both are."
Closing his eyes to try to get his dizziness to abate,
he let her words sink in.
*She's safe here. You both are.*
Relief flooded through him as he let out a long
breath and opened his eyes again. He still felt a
little dizzy, but at least the overhead light wasn't
"There, now that's better." Shelly took hold of his
wrist again, felt his pulse. "Just relax."
Satisfied with the result, she wrote his heart rate
down on his chart, then set the clipboard down. "I
know you're probably confused about a lot of things
right now, but getting all worked up isn't good for
She lifted his right hand, checked his fingers,
turned his hand over and checked his palm. "You're
lucky. The frostbite you had on your hands was
superficial and not severe," she stated as she
checked over his left hand. "A few blisters might
form on your fingers over the next 24 to 36 hours,
but if they're clear blisters and not cloudy or
filled with blood, they should heal nicely on their
own. And as for the gunshot wound on your head..."
A burst of light and shards of broken glass flashed
through his mind as he remembered the hot piece of
metal grazing the side of his head, then his body
falling onto the cold hard concrete outside his
apartment right before Scully was taken away from
He blinked several times, trying to get those images
out of his head and missing everything she just said
about his wound.
"You're sure she's okay?" he asked, his head still
pounding, his thoughts still fuzzy but a little
clearer than before.
"She's fine," reassured Shelly, lightly touching his
arm. "And considering what you were both like
when they brought you in, I'd say you're both doing
remarkably well. If Dr. Johnston says it's all right
later, I'll see what I can do about letting you see
The combination of his headache and his body's earlier
overexertion exhausted him, and it was all he could
do to keep his eyes open. "Thank you," he mumbled,
his head lolling to the side, his heavy lids closing.
The last thing she remembered was holding onto Mulder,
cradling his head in her arms and uncontrollably
shivering as she whispered words of encouragement to
him. She remembered the harsh sting of the cold against
her face, the numbness in her hands and feet and
wondering if this was how they were going to die.
She remembered struggling to shift his heavy body off
her leg and the fire she felt in her throat every time
And she remembered the ice.
There was nothing but bright white ice everywhere she
looked and the man who meant more to her than anyone
lying unconscious in her arms.
He remembered lying on the ice with Scully, his arm
around her while he watched in both disbelief and
wonder as the enormous craft slowly flew over them.
He remembered how hard his heart was pounding as he
watched it finally disappear into a swirl of gray
clouds and how Scully struggled to focus her eyes on
him while she said the words he so desperately wanted
"I saw it."
At least that's what he thought he heard her trying
to say, but it was then that his damaged body couldn't
hold on any longer and completely shut down.
He remembered nothing after that.
Scully raised the back of her bed up and looked down
at her feet. She was wearing the standard stockings
that the hospital gives all patients, but her feet
looked huge in them.
Leaning over, she carefully took off the stocking on
her right foot and saw that cotton balls had been put
in between each of her toes and that the rest of her
foot was wrapped in gauze. Her nurse had told her
that although she'd suffered some frostbite on both
feet, with time and care they would recover without
any permanent damage.
She also had suffered some damage to the skin on her
cheeks and her fingers, and although they weren't as
uncomfortable as they were before, they still felt
prickly and sensitive to the touch.
As for her throat, it felt as if was on fire the first
time she woke up, and now a couple hours later it felt
even worse. Something obviously happened to her that
caused the rawness in her throat, but she couldn't
quite remember what it was.
She wasn't sure she even wanted to.
Mulder looked over at the clock on the wall. It was
a little after 7:00, and he could tell by the lack
of light coming through the blind on the window that
it was getting dark outside.
How long had he been here anyway?
The last time he was awake, he felt as if he could
barely move, but now he was alert and ready to start
He also needed to pee.
Rolling over, he reached for the call button and
called the nurses' station.
"Well hello there again, Mr. Mulder. You look a lot
better than the last time I saw you," said Shelly,
smiling as she walked into the room. She adjusted
the pillow behind his back, then picked up his chart.
"How are you feeling?"
"Like I want to get out of this bed," he replied,
moving the covers off of him.
"Do you need to use the restroom?"
"That's what I was thinking, yeah," he said as he
looked down at the IV attached to his arm. "A little
help would be good though, I think."
He swung his legs over the bed and placed his feet
on the floor.
"Just take it easy now, okay. You might feel some
tingling and numbness in your feet and your legs
might feel weak when you first stand up, which
is why I'm going to be right here next to you,"
reassured Shelly as she took hold of his arm.
Although he would've preferred to walk to the
restroom on his own, he knew immediately why she
was holding onto his arm. His legs felt like both
jello and lead weights at the same time, most likely
from all the running in the snow and from carrying
and dragging Scully for what seemed like miles.
"You doin' okay?" asked Shelly.
"I think I got the hang of it," he replied as he
reached out to hold onto the door frame and rolled
the IV cart inside the bathroom. "Thanks for the
She closed the door behind him, but not all the way.
"I'll be right outside if you need help."
"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind." Quickly relieving
himself and washing his hands, he leaned over the
sink and looked at himself in the mirror.
He carefully lifted the bandage that was on his head
and brushed his fingers over the long brown and red
mark on his forehead. Though his head was no longer
pounding, he still felt a dull ache on that side of
his head. His left cheek was streaked with red too,
and there was a bruise along his jaw.
He had no idea how it got there, nor did he care. He
had survived something incredible, and a few minor
injuries on his face were nothing compared to what
could've happened to him.
So much had happened to her over the last few days,
cruel and unimaginable things, and though he knew
she was safe here now, thinking about just how close
he came to losing her made his chest feel tight, his
gut twist in knots.
"Hey, you okay in there?" called out Shelly, breaking
"Yeah, I'll be out in a minute."
He splashed some cool water over his face and blotted
it dry, then carefully pulled the bandage back over
his forehead and stared at himself in the mirror.
If he was going to make the case for being strong
enough to see Scully, he had to look like he hadn't
just been run over by a truck and move around like
someone who was 37, not 80.
Running his hand over his hair, he stood up a little
straighter, took hold of his IV stand, and pushed
the door open.
"I know. You missed me, right?" he asked, not only
hoping his nurse would appreciate his attempt at
humor, but also see that he was doing well enough
now to go to Scully's room.
Shelly smiled. "Of course I did. Feel better now?"
She walked beside him, this time without holding
onto his arm, then helped him back into bed.
"Yeah, actually I do."
And he did feel better, at least physically anyway.
Getting out of bed and moving around had loosened
up his muscles a bit and splashing some water on his
face had helped him feel a little better too.
Now he just needed to see Scully, to make sure that
she really was okay after their ordeal, and then he'd
feel even better.
She helped him back into bed and picked up his chart.
"When can I see Agent Scully?" he asked, stretching
out his legs on the bed and trying to get rid of the
tingling feeling in his feet by wiggling his toes.
Shelly put the blood pressure cuff on his arm. "That
"On what?" he asked anxiously.
"On whether or not you feel up to it and whether or
not *she* does," she said, jotting some notes down
on his chart.
"Have you checked on her lately? Is she getting
better?" he asked, trying to calm his breathing so
he'd get a good reading on his blood pressure.
"She is, and so are you," she remarked as she looked
at his reading and took the cuff off. "175 over 78.
Not bad, not bad at all."
She wrote down the numbers on his chart. "I don't see
any reason why you can't pay her a visit later, but I
want to check with Dr. Johnston first, and I'll also
find out if we can't take this IV out for you. Feel
like having a little something to eat?"
"I am kind of hungry," he admitted, trying to remember
when the last time he'd eaten was.
She patted his arm and smiled. "Well, I'll see what I
can do about that too."
"Thank you. I really appreciate it," he said, truly
grateful for her kindness towards him.
"You're welcome," she replied as she helped him put
the covers back over his legs. "Now just rest, and
I'll be back soon."
She'd been doing a lot of thinking about Mulder.
About how he'd carried her through those tunnels and
lifted her up to that vent, about how he'd dragged
her across the ice, about how he'd told her to keep
moving when she didn't think she could possibly take
About how he'd saved her.
The last time the nurse had checked on her, she told
her that Mulder was doing better and that he was going
to be able to come to her room for a short visit later.
That was an hour ago, and she'd waited long enough.
She needed to see him, to look into his eyes and make
sure that he really was okay. But more than that, she
needed to tell him just how much what he did for her
meant to her.
No, that wasn't true.
What she really needed to do was tell him was how
much *he* meant to her.
Whether or not she was actually ready to say the words
out loud was another story.
Though he still felt a dull ache in his head, getting
rid of the IV in his arm and having some actual solid
food to eat was definitely a step in the right
He'd also taken a short nap and was more than ready
to go see Scully now. "Ready to go?" asked Shelly,
holding out her arm to help him out of bed.
"As ready as I'm going to be," he replied, standing
up and checking to make sure the ties on his hospital
gown were tied securely. "Wouldn't want to give the
nurses a free show, you know," he remarked dryly.
"No, that's just reserved for me, right?" she laughed.
"Only you, Shelly," he replied, his mouth curving
into a smile, knowing she wouldn't be bothered by
He'd been in the hospital on more than one occasion
during his time on the X-Files and had a variety of
nurses take care of him over the years, but it was
the ones like Shelly that he'd appreciated the most,
the ones who got his sense of humor, the ones who
made him feel better without much effort.
"Agent Scully's room is four doors down from yours,
and we'll take it as fast or as slow as you need to.
You just let me know if you need to hold onto my
Feeling steadier than he did when he'd gone to the
bathroom before but not steady enough to go very
fast, he opted not to hold onto her arm.
His thigh muscles strained with each step, but the
more he walked, the stronger he felt. Knowing that
in just a few short minutes he was going to see
Scully also made the walk easier and by the time he
got to her room he was more than ready to see her.
Now he just had to figure out what to say when he
opened the door.
"Anybody home?" he asked, lightly knocking on her
Her pulse quickening at the sound of his voice, she
sat up straighter in bed and ran her fingers through
her hair. "Come in," she called out, adjusting the
covers over her legs.
The moment he stepped inside the room, it was as if
everything else around her faded away.
The nurse standing behind him. The low hum of the
television on the wall. The uncomfortable burning
in her throat and harsh sting in her cheeks.
All of those things just disappeared as he slowly
walked towards her bed. His eyes were dark, his jaw
bruised and hair sticking out in all directions above
the bandage on his head, but he never looked more
handsome to her.
Or more heroic.
The fact that he'd traveled thousands of miles to
Antarctica to find her suddenly hit her full force,
and it was all she could do to breathe.
Her eyes now swimming with tears, she felt her heart
beating faster as she looked up at the man who had
risked his life to save hers.
How could she possibly put into words how much what
he did meant to her?
"Mulder...I'm just...I'm so glad you're here," she
stuttered, her voice raspy as she wiped the moisture
from beneath her eyes.
"So am I," he said, carefully sitting down on the
edge of her bed and pulling her into his arms.
"I've been so worried about you," she said quietly,
her tears dampening his hospital gown as she pressed
her cheek against his chest.
"I'm okay, Scully," he whispered, his warm body
surrounding her, his hand gently rubbing her back.
"And so are you," he added, kissing the top of her
And she was okay, now that he was here.
Letting herself relax in the comfort of his arms,
she closed her eyes and breathed.
He never expected this.
He never expected her to fall apart in his arms,
never expected to see so many tears in her eyes or
for her to let him hold her like this.
And he intended to savor every moment of it.
Seeing her so emotional and so vulnerable made him
feel even more appreciative of the fact that he had
gotten to her in time, and though his body was now
paying the price for saving her, he would do it
again in a heartbeat.
He would do anything for her in a heartbeat.
Since he'd been in the hospital, he hadn't let himself
even think of the possibility that he might not have
succeeded, might not have gotten her out of that
spacecraft before it took off, and that she might've
died in that icy chamber alone.
And though he knew they'd eventually have to talk
about all that had happened to them out there, now
wasn't the time or the place.
For now he would just hold onto her, hold onto her as
tightly as he could.
"We're going to be okay, Scully," he said softly, his
hand still rubbing her back as he closed his eyes and
And as he felt her sink even further into his embrace,
he knew they would be.
Closing thoughts: I always wondered what it was
like for Mulder and Scully after they were rescued
and brought to the hospital. They'd just been
through an extremely intense ordeal, both physically
and emotionally, and I wanted to explore how they
might've felt about that a little bit.
Also, in my opinion, there was NO WAY Mulder was
coming back from Antarctica without Scully. That
wasn't even an option for him, despite the fact
that he had numerous obstacles to overcome, and
to me, that makes him a hero.:)
Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I
haven't written anything this long for quite some
time, and it felt really good to go back in time
and revisit my love for *this* Mulder and Scully.
Drop me a line by email or at my blog and let me
know if you miss them as much as I do...
Originally posted July 2017.