She seemed dazed and disoriented; a far cry from the resourceful, confident Dana Scully who had entered the house mere hours before. Mulder kept a protective arm around her as he steered her away from the Kindred farm and helped her to remain balanced as she stumbled over the damp earth.
“What happened back there?” Mulder demanded, hoping she wouldn’t notice the worry in his voice.
“I dunno…” Scully slurred, her eyes glassy and unfocused.
“You don’t know?!” He echoed incredulously.
“I…” She could taste the bile rising in the back of her throat as she struggled to talk. She turned quickly as she began coughing, but only made it a few strides from her partner before she threw up.
As she was sick, Scully became vaguely aware of Mulder holding back her hair with one hand and rubbing circles up and down her back with the other.
Scully didn’t respond, she simply coughed one final time and drew the back of her hand across her mouth. Mulder sighed heavily, drawing Scully close to his side once more as they began the long hike back to where they had left their car. Between Mulder supporting a good third of his partner’s weight and Scully tripping over every root, rock and stump; the going was quite slow. Similarly, whatever Brother Andrew had done to Scully was taking its sweet time in wearing off.
Deciding he didn’t want to spend the rest of the night in the damp, chilly forest, Mulder took the liberty of sweeping his partner off her feet, bridal style. She was a bit heavier than her slight frame would suggest, but even so, it was much quicker this way; and they made their way back to the car in a matter of minutes.
Depositing the petite redhead in the passenger seat, Mulder took one last look at the dark woods before putting them in the rearview mirror.
The further from the Kindred farms they got, the more coherent and alert Scully became. Be that as it was, she hadn’t said much, besides admitting that she still didn’t feel too good. She didn’t look it either, her complexion was devoid of its normal peachy tones and dark shadows hung under her eyes like storm clouds.
As soon as they were back in town, Mulder pulled into the parking lot of the first café he spotted. It was warm and bright inside the little shop, helping dispel any lingering uneasiness from his experiences in the past few hours. He ordered a coffee for himself, and peppermint tea for Scully, hoping it might help settle her upset stomach.
Back inside the car once again, Mulder handed Scully the steaming cup of tea and she accepted it gratefully. They sat in silence for a few moments, before Mulder finally asked:
“How’re you feeling?”
“Better…” She said quietly. She certainly appeared to be in better health than before, her face was no longer drained of color and her eyes had regained their customary brightness. “A little embarrassed…”