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Title Basement Blues 

Author? 

Fanfic rating: Some guidance needed.   

Category: MT and angst. 

Summary: Mulder is trapped. How will he escape? 

Written for the March Mulderís refuge Fanfic challenge.

*Necessity is the mother of invention. *

Feedback. After contest. 

Disclaimer: Fox and Cc own The X files and characters therein. 

 Basement Blues

He has to think carefully about his situation. But itís so hard, because heís cold, wet, and exhausted, he has know idea where he is and donít forget, heís hungry too. His stomach growls at its emptiness and the headache that heís been fermenting for hours is reaching meltdown. He is in such pain now but he canít afford the luxury of giving into its dark fingers. His right ankle is swollen, sending waves of agony up and down his leg; injured somehow when he was thrown into this dark abyss. How does he keep getting himself into these situations he wonders?  

He begins to laugh softly, half in stupefaction at his own stupidity and at some crushing level of despair, tears running down his face from his tired abused eyes. He could die here in this dark basement. Nobody at all knows that heís here, his cell phone is dead from the first fall and he has exhausted every possibility of climbing out, due to hours of exertion trying.  

If only heíd told his partner where he was going, who he was going to meet with. This could have been a lot different. Or maybe she would have been in danger too. That didnít bear thinking aboutÖno!   

Then it was good that this was his stupid fate alone. He chocked back at sob at the thought of Scully and her lovely face, turning to anguish as the time rolled by when they couldnít find him. Her anguish cascaded into grief when no trace of him could be discovered. Heíd keep trying to cry for help, but his voice was little more than a croak, his throat raspy and sore.  

Despite his last unfortunate attempts, he decides he canít just sit here and give in; he has to try again. 

He found something that passed as furniture near the musty wall, just below the dirty little window, after stacking it as high as he could he began to climb very cautiously. But the wood was rotten with damp and without warning, the furniture crumbles under him with his weight and the wet moldy ground comes up to greet him again in the most painful way. Heís soon soaked again as he rolls into a puddle of foul smelling water, coughing and trying to regain his breath. He doesnít want to think about what might be in it, trying to wipe the worst of the slime off on his pants. 

 His back is now killing him, and he is soaked through just to add to his overall misery and discomfort. Shaking his painful head, he takes a good look around him, trying to gather his thoughts.  

He needs to search another means of getting out of this hell. Shivering now in earnest, he rocks himself, his arms hugged tightly against his chest. The dim light begins to fade and he feels a strong slither of fear and loneliness; heís going to be in the dark in a few minutes.  

ĎCanít sit here. Just canít give up.í   

 Scullyís face haunts him behind his eyelids and spurs him on to act. Itís almost like sheís with him if he thinks about her and keeps her face in his minds eye, like she is guiding him, giving hi incentive and a fresh infusion of strength.  

He pulls himself up, and searches something, anything. His pace is frantic, almost manic. His heart is racing like a hammer against his ribcage, and he knows that Scully would say that heís wearing his panic face now. He canít panic.  Panic means he will almost certainly never get out of hereto see her again. Heís been through worst in the past. A fiery boxcar buried alive, Mutants. Conspiracy. Serial killers. He canít die here.  

He owes it to her to escape; to return to her side and continue their relentless search for the Truth.  

But maybe, he thinks ruefully, thatís what made him end up here. After the first blow, he saw very little of his attackers and they grabbed him from behind. 

Sweat is running down his forehead in spite of the cold. The shadows seems to want to swallow him. Old fear from his childhood threaten to resurface. The nightmare if his sisterís abduction left him a legacy of a thousand night terrors. Shadows eat children. Monsters hiding in damp dark corners. He shudders, suddenly frightened.  

ĎDonít be such a coward. Itís only a basement. A very cold, very dark and horrible smelling wet basement.  Itís okay. Keep your head Mulder. Youíre ok.  Think, think. You can do it. Try using force against this damn door again.í   

Dragging his hand on the floor, he searches for something like a crowbar. He eventually closes his eager fingers over a pipe in a dark corner. Holding it firmly in his trembling hands like a treasure, he climbs the old stairs leading to the basementís door.  

The pipe is rusty but seems solid enough. He holds it against the hinge-pin, takes a deep breath and pushes, hard with everything left in him.  But in spite of his exertions, nothing changes. The door doesnít budge a centimeter. He just succeeds to hurt his hands on the sharp splinters. They are bloody and hurt just like the rest of his body. When did he have his last tetanus shoot? His mind suddenly supplies as he sucks the sore fingers into his mouth, tasting blood.  

He collapses onto the stairs in a messy haze of fatigue, despair and frustration, and a sob rises from his chest.  

ĎCome on, Mulder! Use your mind! There has to be a solution. I have to get back toÖno need to get back to Scully. Before she gets pissed at me.í  

He has never been a practical man. His IQ isnít useful in a situation like this. Heís no MacGyver.   

That skinny little window is his only way to get out now that heís failed miserably with the door. He looks at it with mounting anxiety. The tiny slither of light mocking him as he stands there. So close but yet so far. 

How to reach it?  

 Despite his generous height, he still isnít tall enough to reach it without the help of standing on something. Even if was to jump up there he needs ropes. The window has cast iron rails. If he succeeds to reach them, maybe he can work them loose from the old fittings. He can climb against the wall. But there is nothing useful here for a foothold.  

He groans as he sees the light fade. His hands and the rest of his body throb like a base drum; thereís blood all over his fingers, slippery and slick. He can smell it in the dark, even over the damp decay all-round him and on him.  Wiping his hand on his pants again he cringes against the rough material, and then a thought occurs to him.  

 YES! Use it to make a rope. He removes his pants hastily, shivering when the cold hit his bare thighs. He tears them in two, using the rusty pipe and ties it together. Itís just long enough to reach the railings. Now he has to knot something heavy around his makeshift rope to wedge around the rails. He seizes the metal bar he used earlier. ĎAction Mulder, he muses with determination. You have to succeed!í 

He drinks in Scullyís face from his mind and breathes deeply. This has to work, for both their sakes.  

Several tries were necessary but finally the metal bar is wedged in-between the glistening bars with a satisfying clang. Mulder climbs painfully against the wall, ignoring his screaming body and when he reaches the window, he nearly sobs with relief. A loud crack announces that the rails have given way under the stress of his weight. He has just the time to grip the remaining bars to prevent him falling again. His situation is precarious at best as he hangs there panting, hanging on by his fingertips and his feet dangling in a dark void. He bangs his shoes against the musty wall, hoping to make a foothold in the sandstone. He grits his teeth against the pain, but after several attempts, he succeeds to gauge out a nook to get his footing. He feels like Spiderman just now.  

In the faint light he sees his car; tantalizingly close, waiting for him outside where his attackers must have left it after they had kidnapped him.

He is almost saved with his freedom almost palpable. He breaks the final barrier, the windowpane with his bare hand, adding several deeps slices across his knuckles, wincing against the pain. He feels the cold wind in his sweat soaked hair, and takes a sharp breath. The smell of snow is in the air and itís freezing outside. In the few days since heíd been forced to endure lodging here the weather had taken a wintry direction.  

The other rails donít prove too hard to remove and slip their moldings like old rotten teeth. He uses one of them to bash out the remaining glass shards, trying hard not to cut himself further. With a great deal of effort he manages to squeeze himself through the tight gap, scarcely daring to breathe less he get stuck.  Mercifully, he pulls his body clear and drops down with a painful thud onto cold gravel. He sneaks out with difficulty and almost collapses headfirst into the frigid grass, half way to the car in his haste to get away and not alert his captors. It seems that everything is going in slow motion and his body is at last giving up on the adrenalin thatís had kept him going through his escape so far. He falls heavily across the front of the car, panting and feeling sick and dizzy.  

Thank God heís out. Frozen, covered with blood all over him, but free at last. Wearing only his torn boxers and tee shirt, he shivers thinking he will die of exposure if he doesnít get out of the worsening weather soon. He pulls himself upright with difficulty only to discover that his car keys are in the remains of his jeans, inside the basement. He slaps his head, which hurts his hand, and he groans. He can't believe it.   He canít believe it. How can he be so stupid? The pain and the cold cloud his mind now. He hopes this isn't far from civilization and in the distance he thinks he sees a house on the horizon. He needs to walk. 

He is freezing to the bone now, which in one respect is keeping his mind off the pain. The wind sends out an icy embrace, making him blink and gasp. Itís so dark now around him now.  Adrenalin has worn off now that he is out, he can feel all his injuries. The pain of his ankle, twisted when he dropped from the window is excruciating, his back almost crippled by the suffering of his beating and repeated falls. His thighs are covered with tiny cuts, as are his hands. His teeth are chattering.  

ĎMove, a little voice in his head tells him. Sheís looking for you.í So he walks. 

He uses every last molecule of his strength to arrive at the little house and sobs with relief when he sees the front door. Itís snowing now and he is like a ice brick. Mercifully someone seems to be home and he almost collapses on the steps, out of breath. Thereís a light on and some sound from inside. And he knocks at the door, once, twice, and finally passes out when an old woman open it. Her kind smile is the last thing he registers.  

He awakes some time later, surprisingly feeling warm. There is a fleecy cover pulled up over his up his bare chest. Old eyes are looking at him, soft and caring. He tries to sit up, but old hands keeps him down gently under the cover. A warm cup is offered and he drinks greedily, savoring the heat in his painfully stiff body. His hands are bandaged and she seems to have taken care f all of his other woe too. He blushes when he sees he is just in his boxersÖbut they donít look like his. Hiding his embarrassment he expresses his thanks and asks for a phone call.  

ďScully? Itís me. I erÖhad a bit of a run in. Iím ok though. Can you give me a ride back?Ē 

******** 

Scully gives him a caring look and ruffles his hair with affection, almost as often as she sighs. She canít believe what he has done to himself in such a short period. Getting jumped on by his bogus informant and being dumped in a cold festering cellar when all he was doing is following a lead on some strange lights. Heís asleep now, covered in a thick blanket in her warm car, safe, no life threatening injury, only cuts and a sprained ankle, bruised pride and a chill. He would probably need some anti-congestant and some warm TLC later from the cold he will most certainly have. 

He had told her of his pitiful escape attempts, and his subsequent success and the only thing that kept him trying against all odds was the thought of seeing her again. Telling her what he was searching this old house for his informant when he was attacked and dumped miles from anywhere in some old run down farm property. She had smile, stroking his soft hair. Thanking the old lady and her husband she closed her car window, ready for the long trip home.. No lessons. No anger for his ditching. Not this time, he looked so pitiful and exhausted she didnít have the heart. It wasnít really his fault and he did sort of rescue himself. Maybe he would remember to let her know his plans before he went wandering again. It was time to comfort him now.  Time to take him home.

 

The end