Title: Natiruvaaq (Drifting snow)
Author: truthwebothknow1 email@example.com
Rated: Strong R for some bad words, strong imagery and occasional violence.
Category: MT, Mulder Angst, Scully Angst. Case file X
Summary: Lost in the woods. He tried to cut through the fog that left his mind
in a painful vice. So many questions and images leeched through his brain but
somehow it was like something brutal had invaded his mind and tidied them up,
hiding them away so he couldn't locate the answers.
Archive: Mulder's Refuge, then Gossamer, Ephemeral. If anyone else wants it,
Feedback: After the contest votes are in. We all love feedback.
Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, any other characters are mine, and The X-Files
belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen, and Fox Studios. Mo money made; no
copyright infringement intended.
Author's Note: Rising to Mulder's Refuge Challenge for September, Head's up
September challenge. (Winner)Some place names are real but the town and national
park names are made up. Some of the Inuit and Sioux folklore is accurate and
some is a mixture from the character's deranged POV. No offence intended.
Natiruvaaq *Inuit for drifting Snow.*
I am the weaver of dreams.
I am the dream keeper.
I gently walk thru your sleep
and place visions in your heart.
I travel on soft night winds
thru the land of Dream Spirits.
I protect you while you sleep.
I am the Guardian Spirit...
the Guardian of your dreams...
He awoke to an icy embrace and an upside down view of white and brown expanse.
Soft flakes like baby kisses fell against eyes that refused to focus, making him
blink. A chill wind howled like a demon in his ears and stirred the drifting
snow, blasting his hot cheeks with a million icy bites. He shivered right down
to his marrow and gasped, suddenly overwhelmed, the freezing pillows of snow
beneath his back trying to meld by osmosis with his skin.
Little by little the pain announced its hold on him in just about every molecule
of his body. Like the slow burn of the sun as it traverses the great divide of
mountains; slowly, silently; there for the duration. Lighting him up not with
warmth, but with agony.
He did burn now. Every muscle and fiber ached with intensity that the silent
crystalline tears of snow could not extinguish as they settled on fevered
Agony had built a fortress in his head and refused him entry when he tried to
gather his thoughts. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't permeate the
relentless pain as he was catapulted back to semi awareness. The air smelled of
snow and death, wild birds circled somewhere above the snow laden tree canopy
calling out a plaintive cry of desperation. Then silence; just his galloping
heartbeat echoing back off the trees.
He blinked once, then twice but his sight stubbornly remained in a blurred
reality, shafts of winter light stabbing his eyes with a wild dance of colors.
He couldn't even think of his own name.
Shaking fingers moved slowly across his face until they reached his hairline. It
was then that he realized that he had a head, somehow the deep penetrating ache
made him wonder dizzily why it was still attached to his shoulders. However he
ended up here had involved pinballing off of something hard and unyielding. A
tree, maybe a boulder, whatever he'd hit on the way down had shared his spilled
blood when it split open his temple.
What was that sickening smell? Gasoline? Smoke? Nothing wrong with his
olfactory senses at least, they confirmed that pervasive smell of trouble,
imminent danger lurking over the damp woodsy loam and sharp tang of snow.
Danger! Danger Will Robinson!
A mad little voice squeaked urgently in his head and a congested chuckle eased
its way out of his chest.
As he felt braver, he tried to obey the screaming lunatic inside his head and
get up. Easier said than done as his arms and legs flailed helplessly in the
frigid air, uncoordinated and divorced from the signals his brain sent out.
The struggle left him breathless and panting, ribs on fire like someone's boot
had used them like a xylophone.
Something warm and sticky washed over his face promptly followed by a tribal
dance starting up in his chest; he was in possession of a heart too, his
rational side pushed through to inform him.
He tried to cut through the fog that left his mind in a painful vice. So many
questions and images leeched through his brain but somehow it was like something
brutal had invaded his mind and tidied them up, hiding them away so he couldn't
locate the answers.
A sudden teeth chattering shudder slid the ground out from under him, rolling
him onto his front with his ass up in the air. Spitting out a cocktail of snow
and pine needles, he almost threw up and his shaking fingers slid forward and
connected with a tree. His eyes carefully sought the sky, blinking against the
growing silent blizzard, resting on the tree he had landed against initially. It
loomed over him like a sentinel of doom, its gnarled winter-bare arms
outstretched like claws as if it wanted to reclaim him and crush him into the
bark. Its thousand-year-old growth companions stood dense and foreboding around
At least now he was on his front and not upside down. He had the feeling he
often ended up in undignified positions, and this time was no exception. The
show drift tickling the end of his nose looked like an inviting pillow.
Somewhere to lay down and sleep. He so badly wanted to sleep. Shut out this
wintry nightmare and rest.
No you can't! Concussion, concussion! Her voice reached him through the sharp
updraft of wind rustling through the branches. The azure of her eyes reached
like warm fingers right into his heart, cracking the ice forming around it. His
drooping eyelids sprung open. She called to his soul but her name wouldn't
come.her lips, her body wrapped around his, her gentle touch and birdsong laugh
as she stroked his back.but not her name.
Scu..Scu. he choked back a sob but the whispers of truth were snatched away on a
tide of bitter wind, the rise of bile surging upwards in his throat.
Great fat tears slid into the snow with a frosty hiss, alongside the fascinating
patterns his blood spatters made as they marred the purity of the drifts beneath
his face. He probed one with a numb finger, the ruby stains sinking deep
towards the forest floor. He was alone, fundamentally frighteningly alone. And
the forest mocked his predicament.
His present position afforded him a flicker of warmth from somewhere off to his
left side. Then a sudden flash of noise and light that made his heart trip over.
Something that danced a riot of orange and red across his defective vision, and
sent him into a coughing fit. His body knew enough to panic without his brain's
consent and shifted him violently away and into a new frightening dimension of
hurt, but far enough away from the growing heat.
Or was it?
He craned his neck around, slowly, slowly; because slowly was probably the
buzzword of the day. Something was burning fiercely now, the plumes of smoke
and flame reaching higher to that elusive gap in the trees to choke out the
light, popping and cracking as it fed on the hungry snow filled air that whipped
it up and fanned it towards him.
His fear of fire was a sleeper rudely awoken and threatening to overwhelm him as
he realized his hair, his clothes were drenched in gasoline. He had to get
further away or go up like a tinderbox. Haunted flashes of another fire raced
through his mind. Smoke, screaming kids, a mask over his face and her worried
eyes full of compassion and kindness.her eyes..
So far from him now ..
Move. Breathe. Move. Breathe. Move, move, move. Arm over arm, pulling his belly
through the snow, ignoring the grating shift of ribs in his chest and the
wheezing from lack of air, knees bent, drag, pull, repeat, right knee, left
knee, on and on.. all of him on auto pilot, devoid of direction , ignoring the
'Just get away, got to...'
He hit fresh air and rolled down an incline, tumbling over rocks and drifts, low
branches tearing at his face and any exposed skin. He held his breath detached
himself from reason and repercussion of pain. It seemed like eternity before
his heart started beating again.and at the precise moment when a tree-shaking
boom exploded mercifully long behind him, feeling a shower of earth and snow
pelting him in the next. He lay still for a long time.
The sun was in a different position when he woke again. It was brighter through
the now trickling snow and hung low through the trees. A thick layer of snow
covered every inch of him like a shroud and he half sneezed, half brushed if
from his face. He was wet through and feverish, the rest of him like a human
Popsicle. Somehow through his exodus from a fiery death, his body had scrambled
one way and his knee had tried to go in the other direction. It hurt like the
fucking devil and took his breath away when he tried in vain to move it.
Something warm and sticky pooled around the inside of his jeans and for the
first time he let forth a barrage of profanity. A compound fracture to add to
all his other bodily woes was just what he needed. He shut his eyes to the
worsening pain and just let his body calm down.
A crinkling in his pocket caught his attention and his fingers closed over a
packet of some kind. Sunflower seeds, his brain told him. When was the last time
he'd eaten? And who the fuck ate sunflower seeds?
He lifted one to his mouth experimentally and bit down on the shell, cracking
it. His tongue lifted the salty kernel out and chewed, then he spat the shell
away. It wasn't much but the salt might sustain him a little. For liquid
refreshment, his cup runneth over; he could always swallow some snow. 'Just
make sure none of it is yellow', a disturbed chuckle somewhere inside his brain
pointed out. He grinned to himself then, but his cold chapped face made that
hurt and he quickly stopped, stuffing a palmful of soft flakes in his mouth
instead and sucking on them. He thought he might leave a trail with shells for
whomever, if anyone might be searching for him, but figured that the way it was
snowing again would soon disappear any of the tiny shells.
He had to get out of here. The sun set in the west and that's the way he would
go. He had no idea what was that way but there was a vague notion that it felt
right. Maybe he'd get lucky and find a hunters cabin or bivouac. He'd be
handicapped by his ribs and broken leg of course, not to mention his head felt
like it had entered an expanding warp bubble and he couldn't focus well, but
those were the least of his worries. He had to keep on the move or freeze to
death. He reckoned he had a few hours of daylight left if that, but it was rough
estimate with the gray mist and heavier snow flurries descending down through
Animals, predators. That was another consideration that came to mind. He was a
sitting duck for anything lurking about with claws that fancied a convenient
snack. The last thing he wanted was to shuffle off his mortal coil as a
grizzly's 'Happy meal' and have his demise immortalized as a case file on the
Animal planet channel. As to where he was, he was completely clueless, or indeed
how he even got here. And what the fuck had exploded? He hoped it would all
come back to him, sooner rather than later, anything that might give him some
clues as to who he was or how he could get out of here.
A sudden noise behind had him reaching towards his jeans belt.
'I carry a gun,' he realized with a sudden slither of clarity. 'But where is
it?' Something large was lumbering on the incline above him, crunching through
the undergrowth and sniffing the ground. He dared not breathe, not for a second
and kept stock still, his heart bouncing painfully against his cracked ribs. As
quickly as it came the sound receded into the distance and he left out his
breath in a wordless gasp that at least this time he wouldn't be the toy prize.
Despite his best efforts to remain awake and alert, his eyelids won their battle
to close. He drifted off to the soft padding of snow against his parka and the
erratic thumping of his heart.
He never heard the distant chopping of the helicopter blades in the distance as
they pushed their way through the early evening storm like a silver angel of
Something startled him awake and he suddenly found himself on all fours. He
coughed and tested forward momentum. He cursed himself for sleeping and felt a
sudden chill at the realization that he'd woken up at all under the precarious
circumstances. The final slithers of a nightmare clung to his senses and he
wondered if the vivid feeling that something had touched his face in the night
was part of that, or was real. He'd never know if the snow had been disturbed
around him, a fresh layer inches thick had covered up all but his startled
thrashing as he woke up. He did a quick check that none of his limbs had been
gnawed off while he'd been unconscious; being so cold he could barely feel
He scratched at his face absently as he lurched forward in the snow, his fingers
splayed in the frozen drifts in front of him. They were almost blue but he was
oddly divorced from feeling cold. A nagging voice told him that he must be
suffering from hypothermia or frostbite by now.hurried along by shock and blood
loss. He only had a few seeds left to keep his blood sugar up, but the rest of
his injuries would soon shut him down and that would be a moot point anyway.
Slowly he worked his way through chest high drifts, feeling the bite of cold
through his thin shirt, his parka was torn open, offering him very little
sanctuary of saving body heat. The raging wind was drying the moisture on his
skin in a chill caress all the way through him. Sometimes his vision doubled and
wigged out altogether as he pushed further and further through the forest, his
useless leg limp and throbbing, pointing at an oddly sickening angle and
dragging a bloody furrow behind him. A dinner call to every hungry predator
around, he mused bitterly.
His belly and arms did most of the work when he couldn't manage to stand and
before long he gave up trying. He stuck to crawling, or dragging his body along.
It was easier to rest if he needed to, being closer to the ground. A deep
shudder threw him forward again but his left knee hit a concealed rock and he
saw bright sparks dance before his eyes. It was then that the howl of a dying
animal rent the freezing mist that clung to the trees.
Much later he would realize that it had torn from his own raw throat and that
another pair of eyes tracked his arduous journey.
His head was bleeding again when he came to next time and there was something
else; the ice-cold bite and click of metal against the pulse point under his
"Don't fuckin move FBI!"
A hefty boot impacting his side threatened the integrity of his ribs again,
making him gasp and he flinched at the sound of the gun being cocked. A Sig, his
inner voice wailed despairingly. Probably his own.
Fear swept away the remaining curtains of confusion, the pain in his skull
reached a new high point but several starling moments of clarity followed.
Can you die now?
He almost smiled at an old ghost from Deadhorse, so long ago.
What was he doing out here again? -----Oh yes-a perp. Child killer of Tailspin,
North Dakota. A one-horse shithole in a small valley surrounded on all sides by
pine forest and mountains. Great. Nothing like having it all come back to him at
the business end of his own weapon and a flood of adrenalin.
So he was an FBI agent; still couldn't recall his damn name but the rest was
astonishingly clear. In some half assed moment of dutiful madness he had hopped
aboard a snow mobile and took off into the boondocks at breakneck speed in
pursuit of one Cleetus Ray Proudfoot, leaving his partner in a hail of frozen
mist. The fact that he'd never driven one before seemed so insubstantial at the
time, and was lost in the desire to catch the slippery son of a bitch before he
murdered he last victim, still missing.
He realized that this hadn't been one of brighter ideas, both the snow mobile or
the lack of armed backup. Sent by the VCU while kicking their heels for a
suitable X file case, they had flown to the inhospitable North Dakota hinterland
where they quickly made headway on the gruesome results of the killer. The
profile had taken him only days to complete but the subsequent gun battle in the
town's hotel where the perp was holed up had left 2 agents badly wounded and
several local cops dead.
A joint screw up by the local cops and foot dragging by local Native American
council, on which whose sacred land the killer had gone to ground. It was said
he was part Inuit; originally from Western Canada and skilled in evasion and
tracking. He could survive all winter in the dense valleys and mountains of the
Eaglespur National Forest. This might be their only window of opportunity to
catch him. He'd hardly slept since he'd read the file.
The child cases always tore at his soul. In his mind's eye he saw only the
broken bodies of the tortured children, twisted unnaturally and daubed in their
own blood with some kind of deranged shamanic symbolism, for reasons best know
to the killer. He was making a point from some mutated sense of his faith and
escalating. He'd killed 12 children so far and two days ago had dragged away
another. He was like a spirit that vanished in the dark of night, no one saw or
heard him and he left barely a trace. Some locals had finally spotted him
covered in blood on trails in the woods on the edge of town and that's when
they'd had a breakthrough.
He'd take them to a place he held sacred; even though he was a transplanted
native and it was there he killed them, taking a body part from each child to
send back to the earth in some ritualistic perversion. Later dumping them back
near the local mayor's many business interests in Turnpike, indicating his anger
at the growing town and sway from the old values of his spiritualism, and what
he saw as a defiling of the forest itself when plans had been announced for a
new dam to service the local towns. The last victim had been the Mayor's
youngest daughter. He was also the Sheriff.
Although he hated to think it, that last kidnapping had been the straw that
broke the camel's back and forced the hand of the Local native Sioux councils of
Knife River and Bismarck to grant Federal access.
The delay for permission had been interminable. Mulder hadn't waited, and gone
off ahead to run him to ground. By now the task force would have been mustered
but that wasn't going to do him any good, or Melody Swenson, Proudfoot's last
" Get up FBI." A kick to his bad leg made him double over, head first in the
snow. " Storms getting worse and I have some unfinished business." The Inuit
hissed and then spat something out in his own language. Something hit the side
of Mulder's head and he flinched at the pain. When he looked down he was staring
at his own FBI wallet and ID.
Special Agent, Fox William Mulder. So that was his name.
"For a Fox you're not a very good Scout.." Demented laughter bounced off the
surrounding peaks as he watched his injured hunter struggle against the pain in
"F.found you didn't I? And you are not a very good native. You know karma is a
bitch." Mulder finished on a cough. "Where's the girl. ..She still alive? She
better be. They are going to hunt you down like a dog, You do know that don't
you? Give yourself up and release the girl. Do one decent thing in your whole
fucking life." Mulder coughed at the end of his angry tirade. He was sick and
hurt and just about out of patience for following his psychologist training.
Another chuckle, this time by his ear. The Inuit killer's breath smelled of
incense and bad teeth. The gun pushed further into the throbbing flesh of his
neck. Squinting, Mulder could see he also had a sawn off shotgun tied to his
belt. A stained red lumberjack shirt and jeans was all he wore. Steel capped
high boots, which found their way into his ribs again when he didn't move.
Mulder coughed up blood; horror creasing his face as he watched it spatter all
over the snow and his hands.
" I found you Foxy boy. Who the hell do think shot out your tank. I had your
number. Seen you skimming along like fuckin Luke Sky- Walker on his Speedo. All
official like. This place is haunted you know, by my ancestors and my fellow
Native American's ancestors. All one tribe in the dreamtime. The winds hold
their soul and very soon you will meet them. Folk round here will learn not to
fuck with us."
"You wait till they get a load of what you have done to their sacred ground. Do
you think that somewhere in your twisted fucking mind that they will be
benevolent after you killed all these kids on their burial plains? I've been in
your head, this isn't about the dying forest or contractors cutting down ancient
forest, or some other dip shit reason that in your mind sanctions your lust for
cutting up little girls. I." Cleetus laughed again and his boot sank into
Mulder's mouth, spraying blood all over both of them. "I .guess you don't care
for the truth Tonto," he spat out bits of twig and blood, and tried to catch his
Although winded and silenced momentarily, the agent lifted two bloodshot eyes
to meet the evil in the other man's face. Whatever personal mission he had been
on, the guy's sense of reasoning was on another planet. Some beef he had with
growing expansionism and destruction of Indian lands had tipped his mind over
the edge of sanity, blurring reason and decency. This wasn't about some
altruistic concern for sacred burial places. This was about his own twisted
demons and evil radiated from his every pore.
"She's gone, you stupid sanctimonious cop...slit her up good and I'll do the
same to you before I let the spirits have you."
"You deranged bastard...no!" Cleetus's tooth empty mouth curled into a grin of
realization that the other man heart had dropped to his boots in defeat.
Suddenly seizing him by the hair, he dragged him along a rough track deeper into
the precipitous haunted mansions of the forest.
Mulder mourned silently for another lost child. There was fresh blood and blond
hairs coating the burley native's hunting knife and it clung like a thick red
indictment to his jeans.
His other thoughts turned to Scully, her memory thankfully and clear but
bittersweet, the love they had only begun to explore. Her lips, her touch and
the soft whisper of her voice in the night, calming his fears and soothing his
night terrors. How pissed she would be to find his snow logged decimated body.
'I love you Scully.you will never know how sorry I am for this ultimate ditch.'
His body was shutting down. He couldn't feel his feet anymore and the chances
that a rib had pierced through a lung had quadrupled with his captor's last
vicious assault, and the way he kept spewing up blood. His hair was being yanked
out by the roots as he was dragged without care through the dense undergrowth,
hitting logs and rocks. There was a mist around them that seemed unnatural,
swirling, frigid, howling like the cry of a hawk or at times, an almost
subliminal murmur that sounded like Wakanpi., wakampi,..over and over in his
brain as he was being dragged off to his certain death. Cleetus kept mumbling
on as only the truly insane can about sun dances and chanting loudly to
something he called Natiruvaaq. A sick plea or soliloquy he hoped would appease
the ancient ones.
Mulder realized from his research into Sioux burial grounds and folklore when
preparing his profile that the Sun Dance was one of the most important
ceremonies. Sun Dancers pierced the flesh on their breasts or backs with wooden
skewers. The ends of these skewers were attached, with leather thongs, to the
top of the Sun Dance Pole. Sun dancers would blow on special eagle-bone whistles
and pull the thongs until the skewers tore loose.
At the Sun Dance, holy men would seek visions and perform self-laceration.
Self-laceration and other similar practices were regarded as a type of offering
of one's flesh and blood to the Wakan Tanka.or Great spirit..and he thought with
some alarm that he was doomed for something similar that transposed into Inuit
styled torture. The last remake of that weird film starring Richard Harris, 'A
man called Horse' ..or Mulder in this care. Natiruvaaq he'd recognized had some
kind of connection to snow, of which the Inuit had at least 31 permutations of
words for. Was this how those kids died?
'I'm sorry Scully' he swallowed convulsively as his head lolled against a thick
branch, threatening to plummet him back into unconsciousness. He was haunted by
all the visions of her abductions, her brushes with death at the hands of Duane
Barry, Donnie Pfaster , Gerry Schnauz, Tooms and the shadowy men of the
consortium. They were always on the edge of something, never allowed to grab
those illusive strands of happiness that sometimes dangled in front of them.
His eidetic mind played it all back to him, his own near death experiences;
Deadhorse, Tunguska, Arecibo, the vile tobacco beetles devouring his lungs and
the indignity of accelerated ageing on a Norwegian ghost ship, all these images
swirled round him in the roiling mist almost like it was a living thing
surrounding them both and he prayed that Scully would go on and stay safe in his
absence.but more than ever, he wished to see her face again, place his lips one
last time against her soft smile. He could almost hear her voice carried to his
ears on the wind and his heart cried again for her absence.
Whacking a particular rough piece of ground tore his shirt open and a sharp
stick dug a gauge in his now exposed chest. He shrieked for his mad nemesis to
stop and tried to catch his breath. There was a cave up ahead and some kind of
pyre. Not Fire, his galloping heart begged him. Oh god.
He was too out of it to see what happened next but the whirlwind seemed to gain
form in front of them, barring the entrance to the cave, Mulder gasped at the
eye that glared out of the freezing wall of mist almost like it was a living
entity. It suddenly shot forward and barreled into them both, knocking Cleetus
off center until he lost his footing down a small bank. Mulder hear him scream
out to his gods as he hurtled out of sight, the entity of snow and wind
screaming after him, splitting in two and breaking away under some weird mitosis
to hurtle after him. The cries resonated down the valley and he was distantly
aware of flapping winds, violently swaying pines and a strong voice calling. He
opened his eyes amidst all the turmoil until they rested on something that made
his heart jump with joy.
'The gun', Mulder's mind yelled at his broken body, as he suddenly spied his
weapon protruding from the snowy outcrop where Cleetus had vanished. Summoning
all his remaining strength he fought his way through the funnel of freezing
blizzard that howled like a tornado around his head, and gratefully closed numb
fingers over the barrel. Another deep breath had him seizing it despite barely
feeling it and holding it up haphazardly in his dizziness in case Cleetus came
back. Expecting the murderous lunatic to suddenly reappear from the canyon at
any second. The sound like a great flapping bird and approaching horses hooves
on frozen ground grew louder and he coughed at the fresh fear that engulfed him,
his head fell back to the packed frozen earth and his body seemed to collapse in
on itself as adrenalin started to flee, slipping finally into unconsciousness
just as he heard her voice one last time.
" Mulder? C'mon G-man, It's me. Come on, open those gorgeous eyes..Jesus.. Give
me some oxygen here. He's hypothermic and in shock. God there's blood all over
him. Where's that IV? Mulder? Can you hear me. ...Jesus what's that... ? "
Scully pointed a way through the trees as the whirlwind of icy flakes receded
and then vanished on a chuckle of wind. Mulder was in her arms now and her
colleagues were working on him. Several paramedics, fought to stabilize his
breathing and Scully's attention was soon back on her injured partner and the
split second notion that she'd just seen the ghost of a buffalo vanish into the
trees was forgotten for the moment.
"I'm right here Mulder, just squeeze my hand. It's okay...you're going to be ok.
He's gone he can't hurt you anymore." Her hand were all over him, soft fingers
gentling making an inventory of his latest raft of bodily misfortune, while she
murmured soft reassurances and whatever comfort she could give him.
He opened one battered eye, barely able to stay focused on her face. He almost
cried when he saw her beautiful face. ".....The girl...Sculleeh.."
Bismarck District Hospital. ND.
The following day. 2.19 PM.
" A snow globe Scully? You shouldn't have. " She grinned as she leaned over and
kissed him, mindful of his cracked and bruised lips. They both smiled as her
fingers brushed his when he shook the little trinket and watched the swirling
snow settle on the tiny bear at the bottom of the scene encased within. He'd
woken again after several hours of emergency surgery after being rushed to the
ER the night before. All things considered, he hurt like hell but was fairly
comfortable. And a 100% improved now that Scully was perched on the end of his
bed, ready to sooth his many hurts.
" My very own Snowman is on the mend. How are you feeling Mulder?" He adored the
way her fingers ruffled through his hair, even if his head felt like it had been
used for target practice. A Mulder kilowatt smile beamed out of the raft of
bruises that currently decorated his face.
" Well apart from multiple broken bones, waking up this morning on a respirator
and the gazillion pine needle holes in my ass, not to mention the loss of my
retainer on that snowmobile, pretty stoked. How is the girl?"
"Umm..You must let me check out your gluteus maximus once your ribs are felling
better." She rubbed his good arm and then looked serious for a moment. " Melody
is fine.or soon will be. Mainly just shaken up, hungry scared and dehydrated. A
long haul of counseling and the support of her family hopefully will help her
put the ordeal behind her. Might take a lot longer. Teenagers are resilient. We
can but hope. She lost a lot of people she knew. You saved her life Mulder.
Her whole family send you their thanks and said they will be up to see how you
are in a day or so. Our friend Cleetus, who by the way we found wrapped around a
tree with no bone left intact, at the bottom of a ravine, was so busy stalking
you through the woods that he delayed killing her. If you hadn't have ditched me
when you did and gone off like Luke Skywalker on his Speedo..what?"
Mulder's face was pulled into a sour cringe. His ribs and legs were killing him
and he did need a fresh infusion of pain meds but that wasn't what made him
grimace. " You're the second person in 24 hours to describe me that way. I don't
think I will ever watch Star Wars again. Or go for a nice trek in the woods."
"Or ditch me? Thanks for that too. Don't think I've forgotten the punishment for
that I promised you. We talked about this before remember? Several times in
fact." At her classic raised eyebrow he let out a defensive chuckle, his eyes
shifting color as his eidetic memory served him well once more. He gave her a
sudden provocative look, as much as his chapped snow burned features would
" Or ditch you Agent Scully. I promise, Indian guide's honor," he held his
bandaged left hand awkwardly over his heart. The irony of that statement not
lost on him. " And I will hold to you that punishment if it includes a 5 star
room with ensuite and satin sheets, chilled champagne and you naked in my arms.
Just as soon as I blow this pop stand. How did ya find me anyhow?" His eyes
twinkled in the low light of the room as he beckoned her closer.
"I think you owe Frohike free cheeseburgers for the next month. The last time
you had a sleepover at the gunmen's, they had the foresight to put GPS in your
watch and your cell phone. Early Christmas gift to me for all those times you
get an attack of Mulder wanderlust. The Hendrickson case where you were lost at
sea in a kayak comes to mind. Don't think I could go through another one like
this though. You are lucky we found you at all. Your watch came was found
somewhere on the trail near the wreck of the speeder. The strap was broken and
it fell off. We just followed the blood trail after that."
"As much as I ought to kick their asses for tampering with my Rolex, yeah,
you're right. I guess I really do owe them something. Hopefully my enforced
lodgings here will give me time to think up something exceptional." He sighed
at feeling comfortable and dry again and in the presence of the woman he loved,
his fingers going up to explore the gash near his hairline that had been neatly
stitched. Luckily for him, despite that abuse his head had suffered recently on
this last fun hike, he'd managed to get away with just a hairline fracture. He
wouldn't be heading any basketballs for a while and desk duty was a given for
the next few months. Still he could spend those months making it up to Scully
and giving her a good time for once. What was a little plaster caste between
Her fingers closed over his and she gave him a long-suffering roll of her eyes.
"Don't touch it, stop picking at it, its all sewn up ands neat as a button so
none of that brilliant mind of yours will fall out."
"But it itches."
"Well stop it or I'll have to but some of those mittens like newborns wear to
stop them scratching their faces with their nails."
"Well hold off on the mittens, just get me some more seeds. besides," he waggled
his eyes at her, "I have the best pacifier of all."
Scully gave him her best smile, one that said she was glad he was alive but he
was going to pay for that last ditch.
Even sick and battered he managed to look sexy, damn him. And he had forgone the
usual hospital gown in deference to running a slight fever. Resting comfortably
against a stack of white pillows he managed to look devastating as her eyes
drifted over exposed parts of him and the quiet beauty of his eyes. She
literally believed he could bounce back from anything, hard to believe he'd been
circling the drain just a few hours.a life time ago as it seemed, when he'd been
life-flighted here. In shock, tachycardic and loosing so much blood, concussed
and posturing in the way a brain injury usually presents, not to mention half
frozen from exposure. She never thought he'd come through the surgery.
" When you feel better.. Sounds good. That leg may take some time to heal."
Scully flushed and was quiet for a moment, playing with edge of his bed sheets,
listening to his heart beating strong and even on the monitor above him. Mulder
suddenly realized the same thing she did. They had nearly lost each other
again. All joking aside, he knew it was the last time he could hare off into the
wide blue yonder without her by his side to watch his back. He took her hand
and raised it to his lips, kissing each of her fingers gently. He watched her
eyes fall sadly on his bruises, his casted broken leg and the thick webbing
supporting his devastated ribcage and felt every sorrow she felt at what she had
gone through while he was lost on the mountain. "You know I love you Mulder. I
couldn't bear to loose you now, not in the face of all we have yet to explore
with each other."
" I love you too, more than you could ever know or I can express and I'm sorry
Scully. For taking off like an impatient jackass. I thought I was doing the
right thing. All I.all I could think about while I was trapped out there
freezing and bleeding to death was you. You kept me whole, sane through all that
agony. I didn't even know who I was after crashing the snowmobile. I sensed you
with me though, even though I couldn't remember much. I was scared the head
injury would rob me of everything I'd known, even my own name. But most of all I
knew you were out there somewhere. And I would move hell and high water to find
you again. What he did to me. I know I saved the girl but look what I put you
through. Again.." His eyes lowered to an interesting spot in his lap then, and
she knew what he was going to say next as surely as she could see into his
gentle heart. "You will probably take out your gun and shoot me for this but I
want to go back out there Scully. Before we go back to DC. I.I saw
"An X file Mulder? " She let her eyes close and her forehead touched his
slightly fevered one, her hand smoothing over his two day old stubble, stroking
under his jaw with careful fingers.
"Something.I'm not sure what it was, manifested. .It saved my worthless ass. A
spirit maybe.I saw something."
She put a soft finger lightly to his lips to silence him and he let himself
fall into the spell of her loving blue gaze, the love they had just begun to
share reflected back in his hazel ones.
" You might need an Squaw Guide..I saw something too..."
Yes, I have danced with the wind...
the wind and I frolic
in fields of sunshine and tall grass.
We make dandelion spirits fly to the heavens
and watch as they gently returned to earth.
my wind and I are strong.
We danced headlong to unknown white places,
throwing caution aside.
These are the summers of seeking.
The wind and I dance a rebel's dance.
Soon the wind will softened
And I will dance to another song.
This dance brings a lover's kiss to my lips,
A gentle caress to my cheeks.
As we dance, I learn to love and be loved.
The wind whispers to me
And holds me close in its gentle arms.
The wind is a soft warm breeze and sings to me.
While we wait to dance our final dance...
Yes, I dance with the Wind...