“I decided tonight that umm.. that I’m not going to let this thing beat me. I came into this hospital able to work, and that’s how I’m leaving.”
“Byers tell you about Doctor Scanlon?”
“He may very well have killed those women.”
“That will have to be proven if we find him.”
“When we find him. Scully, something was done to you- something that you are just beginning to remember. You can’t quite figure it out, but it can be explained and it will be explained. And no matter what you think as a scientist or a doctor, there is away and you will find it and save yourself.”
“Mulder, I can’t kid myself. People live with cancer. They carry on. And so will I. You know, I’ve got things to finish- to prove to myself to my family. But for my own reason.”
“Come on back. The truth will save you Scully. I think it’ll save us both.”
I stood there and watched Scully walk down the hall in her robe heading to her room. I hope she comes back with me. We have to find out what happened to her and how to save her. I cannot lose Scully again. I can’t. I cannot do that to her mother. Another Scully cannot be lost because of me and my cause. I won’t let it happen.
As I held the vial in my hand, I knew I could not tell her about that now. She was in no condition to take another blow. I couldn’t do that to her. How would I even tell her? What does one say? ‘Hey Scully, you remember when you were abducted? Well, they took your ova and left you baren. I found them in some lab and have them.’ That was not the way to do it. I will wait for a better time to tell her. A time when she is healthy and able to handle such news.
I should probably go see how Scully is doing. I don’t know what she wants to do or where she wants to go. I hope she wants to go back home. Scully is the toughest person I know but she needs her rest if she’s to beat this thing. She will beat it. If anyone can, it’s Scully.
I walked down the cold white hallway with the vial in my pocket. I needed to get them back on ice. I’d find a way. I’m sure I can find something even of it’s a cup with ice. We or I had a three and a half hour drive ahead of us. I hope they’ll last.
“Scully? Can I come in?”
I walked in and Scully was standing by the window looking out at nothing. It was dark all but the streetlamps. She looked so small and frail and lost. She knew I was there but she didn’t acknowledge me. I would wait for her. This was all on her terms. A few moments past before Scully spoke.
“Thank you for coming. I don’t know if I told you that before.”
“Scully, I’d do anything you asked. I hope you know that.”
“I do, Mulder. I do. You came here for me and went on some chase to find a way to help me. You want answers as much as I do.”
“We will find them, Scully. We will find a way to save you.”
She just gave me a little smile before turning to the dresser in the room.
“I want to leave. I don’t want to stay here any longer.”
“Ok. We’ll leave. We’ll go anywhere you want.”
“I’m going to go get changed. Then we can go. I have to sign myself out.”
“Ok. Do you need me to do anything? Want anything?”
“I think I’m good. I just have a few things on the end table. I never really unpacked anything.”
Scully disappeared into the small bathroom leaving me once again with my thoughts. It’s hard not to think about everything that has just happened. Scully just watched someone die knowing that is what lies ahead for her if we don’t find a cure or at least a treatment that would work and keep her alive until we did find a cure. I grabbed Scully’s overnight bag and the bag her mother had brought her and placed them on the bed. The only thing I noticed was her journal. I had already broken her trust when I read what I did before but something drew me to it. Scully is such a private person. It was hard to really know what she was thinking or feeling. Just a peak while Scully changed then we’d be out of here.
“For the first time, I feel time like a heartbeat- the seconds pumping in my breast like a reckoning; that the numinous mysteries that once seemed so distant and unreal threatening clarity in the presence of a truth entertained not in youth but only in its passage. I feel these words as if their meaning were weight being lifted from me, knowing that you will read them and share my burden, as I have come to trust no other. That you should know my heart, look into it, finding there the memory and experience that belong to you, that are you, is a comfort to me now, as I feel the tethers loose and the prospects darken for the continuance of a journey that began not so long ago, and which began again with a faith shaken and strengthened by your convictions. If not for which, I might never have been so strong now, as I cross to face you and look at you incomplete, hoping that you will forgive me for not making the rest of the journey with you.”
She’s worried about me? She has a terminal illness and she’s worried about me and if I’ll forgive her for not finishing this with me. I’m not supposed to be reading this but I can’t help it. She never lets me in but she did say that she wrote it knowing I would read it at some point. That’s good. Right? She’s still in the bathroom. Hope she’s alright. I should go check but I don’t want to make her feel weak. Oh hell.
“Scully? You alright in there?”
“Yeah. I’m fine. I’ll be out in a minute.”
The classic ‘I’m fine’ Scully answer. I’ve learned that means she is anything but fine but I say nothing. When she is ready, she’ll talk. She did after Home, Pennsylvania and good old Pusher. It took her a while after her sister but she did. I just need to give her time.
She’s standing in front of me looking smaller than ever but I know my Scully. She is one tough woman. She’s got her things and we are leaving. I have no idea where I’m taking her but she’ll let me know.
As she sits in the passenger seat of the car, I can’t help but wonder what the future holds for us. Her bags are in the trunk and we are set.
“Where do you want to go, Scully?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you want to get hotel rooms so you can rest and we drive home tomorrow or we can go now? It’s up to you, Scully. I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Thank you, Mulder. I like that idea. I’m really tired.”
“Not a problem. We’ll find a hotel and you can sleep. Do you want anything to eat?”
“No, I’m not hungry but thank you. If you want something stop. It’s fine.”
“Let’s just get to a hotel and we’ll go from there.”
She needs to eat something. Scully not hungry for French fries is not something I’m used to. We always eat on the road. I wonder if the treatments she had ruined her appetite. I don’t know. Maybe after she’s settled.
We’ve been on the road only about ten minutes or so. Scully is very quiet. Too quiet. I glance over at her and I can tell something is wrong.
“Scully? Are you alright?”
I pull off to the shoulder and park. Scully had the door open before I was fully stopped. She was facing away from me as she got out of the car and hunched over. I quickly got out of the car and ran over to her. I heard her before I got to her.
There she was hunched over vomiting on the side of the road. I knew what she would want from me; to leave her be but I couldn’t do that. I had to go to her. I knew she wouldn’t like it but too damn bad. I walked over and grabbed her hair for her and rubbed her back. Once she was finished and calming down, I went to the car and grabbed some napkins so she could clean up. I didn’t have any water. I made a mental note to keep somethings handy for her. Scully would have what she needed.
“Here, I got you some napkins.”
“Thank you. I’m sorry about that. It came out of nowhere.”
“You have no reason to apologize, Scully. Let’s just get you to the hotel.”
Ten minutes later, we pulled up to the first hotel I saw. Scully was half asleep next to me and I hated to wake her. I wanted to get her inside though.
“Scully, we’re here. Let’s get those rooms.”
After getting two conjoining rooms, we headed to the third floor. Scully was pale. I was worried she was going to vomit again. All I had were our go bags and some napkins. Luckily, we got to the floor quickly and headed to our rooms.
“I’ll just put your bag on the bed and let you get settled.”
“If you need anything, I’ll be next door. I’m gonna grab something to eat but then I’ll be back.”
I threw my bag in my room, used the bathroom and headed downstairs in search of somethings Scully would need. Twenty minutes later, I was knocking on her door.
“Mulder, what are you doing? Come in.”
“I know you said you didn’t want anything to eat but I got you somethings incase you changed your mind. I got you some ginger ale, seven up, water, crackers and some soup you just heat and drink.”
“Thank you. Just wish I wanted to eat it.”
“It’s alright. You have it for later.”
“You feeling ok? You look a little pale.”
“I’m just tired and my stomach is a little uneasy.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“No. It’s side effects from the treatments. Chemo makes you sick.”
“I’m sorry, Scully. I’m sorry you have to go through any of this.”
“Mulder, this is not your fault. None of this is. We both know that the answers to this illness are inside me. I may not win this battle but I’m going to fight.”
“Good. I’m going to let you get some rest. I’ll be next door if you need anything. My door will always be open for you.”
“Scully? Is everything alright? Are you ok?”
“I… I couldn’t sleep. I’m sorry I woke you.”
“No, it’s alright. You know I don’t really sleep anyway.”
I turn on the bedside lamp and Scully is standing in the doorway of the rooms. She looked exhausted. She was pale and looked not like Scully. I hated that look. I’ve seen that look enough in our time as partners.
“I… umm was in bed and the room started spinning. I closed my eyes and it stopped for a bit.”
“You feeling dizzy or lightheaded now?”
“No. I’m ok. I think it’s just from not eating or anything lately. I haven’t wanted to once the treatment started.”
“Scull, you have to eat or at least drink. You know that. You need to get some fluids in you. Is the ginger ale and stuff still in your room?”
“Did you have any of it?”
“Scully. Come sit down, I’ll get it for you. You want the ginger ale or seven up or the water?”
I have never moved so fast in my life. I was back in my room in a matter of seconds. Scully was sitting on the little chair by the table.
“Here, take this and drink slowly.”
“Thank you. I know how to drink soda, Mulder.”
“Yeah, well you could’ve fooled me. You haven’t had anything to drink in hours. You are dehydrated. You need to drink.”
“Mulder, I don’t need you telling me what I need to do. I am a doctor after all.”
“I know you are. I’m just worried about you. Can you please just drink something?”
“Will it make you happy?”
“Yes. I’ll just put the tv on low and we can find some crappy late late show or something to watch.”
I look over and Scully just looks at the tv. That was my answer. I was half watching the tv half watching her. She started to get some color back in her cheeks after a bit. The silence was comfortable with the only sounds from the tv. I thought Scully would be able to get some sleep soon but no.
She got antsy after about twenty minutes or so. I thought she was going to get up and go back to her room. She just sat there zoning out. It actually scared me.
“Scully, look at me. Please.”
I was over to her in a flash. Something was not right. Didn’t take a doctor to see that.
“I’m here, Scully. Talk to me. What’s wrong? Are you dizzy?”
“Are you lightheaded?”
“Let’s get you to the bed and lay down. That should help.”
I helped Scully stand and she was unsteady on her feet. She took a few easy steps with me holding on to her arm. She stopped after inly three steps and looked at me.
“Mulder, I don’t feel well.”
“You feel like you’re going to be sick?”
“Ok. Bathroom it is.”
We had just gotten to the bathroom door, when Scully lunged forward toward the toilet. She just about made it. I knew she would want me to leave her; to not see her like this but I couldn’t. I couldn’t just walk away from her. Not now. I walked over to her and grabbed her hair holding it back while she vomited. It wasn’t much but it was something. I rubbed her back with my other hand until she stopped. Once I knew she was alright, I got up and got her a wet washcloth.
“I’m going to go get your toothbrush. I’ll be right back.”
I helped her up before rushing to her room once again for the toothbrush. Scully was washing her hands when I got back.
“Here you go. One red toothbrush. I’ll be outside when you’re done.”
I left her there and headed into my room. I knew she needed time to calm herself. I gave her that. I paced the room for a few moments until I heard the door open. My little fighter was standing there. She looked pale again. I hated this. I helped her over to my bed and she got in. I covered her up and sat next to her.
“I’m here for you. You know that. You are not alone.”
“What? Scully, just tell me. I don’t want you to think you can’t tell me what’s on your mind. I want you to feel like you can tell me anything. Talk to me.”
“You have to understand, Mulder. This is hard for me. I tend to keep my feelings to myself. I don’t like people seeing me weak.”
“Scully, you are not weak. You have a disease. If anything, you are the strongest person I know. If there is anyone who can beat this thing, it’s you. I just want you to know that I am here for you. I will get you ginger ale, crackers, tissues, whatever. I’ll hold your hair back and get you washcloths. I’ll do whatever you need or want.”
“Mulder, you are a true friend. I don’t know what I’m going to need but I do know that I need my friend.”
“Then that you shall have.”
“And Mulder. I don’t want to be treated any differently. I want to work. I need something to keep me going. We both know the answers to what they did to me and this cancer are in there. I know you have it in your mind that you will find a cure.”
“We will. We will save you, Scully.”
She just gave a small smile. Her eyes were getting heavy.
“Close your eyes, Scully. Get some sleep.”
“It’s not my room or my bed. I need to get back to my room.”
“No, you don’t. Not right now. Just rest for a while now then you can go to your room. I’ll switch with you for now. Ok?”
“Ok. Mulder, can you stay? Please. I…umm……”
“Of course, I’ll stay. I’ll stay as long as you want me to.”
“Just close your eyes, Scully. I’ll be right here.”
She closed her eyes as I sat next to her. I held her hand and rubbed small circles with my thumb. It seemed to relax her more as time went on. I was glad I could offer her that small comfort. Once, I knew she was asleep, I withdrew my hand and covered her with the comforter. She was soo cold. She needed another blanket.
I quietly walked over to the closet but no extra blanket. Of course. I walked into Scully’s room to get an extra blanket. If there wasn’t one in the closet, I could at least take the one off her bed. I would not be sleeping tonight anyway. I was going to spend the night making sure Scully was ok. She had been through a lot in the last few days.
I noticed that the light was on in her bathroom. Going to turn it off, I saw that the sink was dripping. I walked over to turn it off and saw blood drops in the sink. In the garbage was a wad of tissues all bloody. Scully must have had a nose bleed before coming to my room. I wonder if that is why she couldn’t sleep. I starting cleaning the sink. Before long tears were dripping down my face and into the sink. I didn’t even realize I was crying. The emotions of the last few days getting to me.
Scully was sick. She had cancer, a naso-pharyngeal mass. It was a tumor between her sinus and cerebrum. If that pushed into her brain, she had no chance. She would die for sure. That was something that I refused to believe. Dana Scully was not going to die because some tumor pushed into her brain. Was not going to happen. Not on my watch.
I pulled myself together and walked back into the room. I pulled the blanket off the bed and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Scully’s journal. I already broke her trust once by reading it in the hospital but it was an insight to Scully. I picked up the leather bond book and sat on her bed. I’m pretty sure she’d kill me if she saw me doing this but I had to know. I opened the book and started reading.
“In med school, I learned that cancer arrives in the body unannounced-a dark stranger who takes up residence turning its new home against itself. This is the evil of cancer-that it starts as an invader, but soon becomes one with the invaded, forcing you to destroy it, but only at the risk of destroying yourself. It is science’s demon possession my treatments, science’s attempt at exorcism. Mulder, I hope that in these terms you might know it and know me and accept this stranger so many recognize but cannot ever completely cast out. And if the darkness should have swallowed me as you read this, you must never think there was the possibility of some secret intervention, something you might have done. And though we’ve traveled far together, this last distance must necessarily be traveled alone.”
The tears were pouring from my hazel eyes once more. My dear Scully. She was so fierce but she knows the odds are against us and still she thinks of me. she knows me well. I do blame myself for her illness and for everything else she’s been through. She was dying because of me. Her eggs were stolen because of me but I couldn’t tell her that now. She needed to fight this and I needed to find a cure. But right now, I needed to pull myself together and bring Scully this blanket.
I put the journal back, grabbed the blanket again and went to the table of stuff I got her. I decided to take the crackers and a can of ginger ale. If she needed it, I was ready. I walked back into my room and Scully still slept. Good. I placed the items on the bedside table and draped the blanket over Scully. She stirred a bit.
“It’s ok. Go back to sleep. I’m here. You just rest.”
“What about you?”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’m going to stay right here in the chair.”
“What happens now?”
“Right now, you sleep. Then we’ll head home and get you settled. We will find you doctors you trust and get treatment started. We will save you. But, I want you to get some sleep. I’ll be right here if you need me.”
“Ok. Night Mulder. Thank you.”