Cold Case



Casefile MT,A, MSR  

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The X files belongs to CC and Fox as always. I'm just having fun torturing them and using copious amounts of medical supplies.



Cold Case



West Highway

Cedar River Road



Fox Mulder's lungs hurt from the cold.  His eyes fought away the darkness as he came to, but he didn't think there was anything he could do to rid himself of the searing pain in his head. The thermometer in the car had registered eight degrees before the crash, so before climbing from the wreckage he had pulled on his thick downy coat and wound a scarf around his neck.  But he couldn't protect against the cold wind he breathed in. It seared his throat and made his chest ache, his lungs spasm into rattling coughs. 

          The bare trees surrounding him were encased in ice, their branches glistening with their winter weight. The ground beneath him was snow covered and frozen so he took care as he tried to fins his way back to the road. Silently thanking god for all his working limbs, he tentatively put his hand up to his forehead where blood oozed from a small gash just beyond his hairline. 

          It took twice the effort to stay on his feet as his eyes dimmed and darkened under the strain. Second thoughts rummaged around his head as he wondered if he should have stayed with the car, but time was precious and he needed to find her.  

          The muscles in his legs were trembling as he leaned heavily against a thick tree trunk and dared to take a few breaths. Deep stinging pains speared his chest and his body was about ready to give up. As he pushed himself away from the tree his hands scraped off the sharp bark, but they were so numb with the cold he felt nothing. The sound of rushing water pierced the winter silence and he looked up to see the swollen banks of the river.  

His mind whirled with the thought he was going in the wrong direction and as he turned to go back through the forest, his feet slipped on the slick surface and he fell. Rolling down the snowy hill he fumbled for grip but there was nothing to grab, weeds and fallen branches accompanied him on his slide as he reached the bank and plunged feet first into the frozen water. He gasped.

           Immediately he was stung with the icy cold water as it found it's way around his clothes and gripped his skin with artic ferocity.  His body stiffened as his blood pulled away from his limbs and he lost all control of his fingers.  The current was powerful and it pulled him down stream twisting him and turning him relentlessly around the deep swells where he took in mouthfuls of frozen water. Gasping as his head emerged from its frosty grip, Mulder watched as the spinning world around him blackened out to nothing taking his pain and discomfort with it. 


24 Hours earlier.

FBI Basement Office

Washington DC 

Scully sat at the center desk with her glassed perched on the edge of her nose as she scanned her report. Signing the bottom she glanced at her watch and saw it was nearing six at last. Outside the fog had clung to the streets all day in a desperate attempt to keep the winter in Washington. First week in March and still it was foggy, she sighed as she pulled on her over coat and scarf. 

Snatching the file from the desk she walked out of the room and took the elevator up to the third floor. With most of the offices emptying for the evening she smiled politely to a few passing agents. Kimberly was just closing up when she walked into Skinner's office and gestured towards the door.  

"You just missed him Agent Scully." 

"Ok well I'll leave this here with you."

          Kim took the file and smiled as she placed it into a filing cabinet and locked it. Scully waved goodnight, made her way down and walked out the front door. With her car still in the garage form the last case where Mulder slammed it sideward into a tree, she walked down the street to where she knew she would find a cab. She pulled her scarf tighter around herself and looked up and down the street eagerly awaiting her paid savior to carry her home from the cold. A navy blue Lincoln town car pulled up alongside her and the window whirred down. 

"Agent Scully? Can I offer you a lift?" Bending at the waist Scully glanced into the car and saw Tim from the forensic lab smiling expectantly at her. 

"Eh, no thanks, that's ok."  

"Are you sure? I wanted to talk to you about something." 

          Glancing up and down the street again Scully saw it was free of most traffic let alone cabs so she smiled appreciably and stepped into the car, feeling the reassuring weight of her gun at her back as she belted up. 

          They drove in silence for a while before Tim glanced over at her nervously. Looking back to the road and concentration on his driving he seemed to struggle to start the conversation so she decided to throw him a lifeline. 

"What was it you wanted to talk about Tim?" she said smiling. He seemed at first surprised that she knew his name then delighted, so much so that it took him a full minute to answer her. 

"I should probably have come down to the office and spoken to both yourself and Agent Mulder but I'm not sure if that's...appropriate." 

          Interest piqued now, Scully turned towards him a bit more and urged him to continue. "What is it?" she said when he didn't. 

"It's about a case...possible case." Tim watched the road for a moment as the traffic in front of him slowed down and stopped. "Last week two agents came into our lab and cleared all data from every single PC. They took all files, books, samples and evidence in process at the time. The room was cleared of posters, notepads, and magazines...everything. All they left was our desks, tables and machinery." 


"Then the following day when we opened up everything was back. Everything." 

"What are you talking about?" 

"We were all working on evidence from the Martin case." 

"Martin Case? Judge Martin?" 

"Yes. Fingerprints, DNA samples and fibers were found and were being processed when they cleared up out. Now it's like we have a brand new lab and of course all our evidence was destroyed." 

"Did you report it?" Scully asked shocked at what he was telling her. 

"To who?" A driver behind them beeped their car horn angrily when they didn't move on with the traffic and Tim hurriedly drove on. 

"Was there any other case you were working on?" 

"No. We had cleared everything except for this case. Which as I'm sure you know is unusual. We've had more technicians around lately and it has made the difference." 

"Who else is working the Martin Case?" 

"Agent Dixon." 

"What did he say?" 

"I believe it was him who ordered the clear out."         


Alexandria Apartment


          Fox Mulder lay sprawled on his couch facing the TV screen, watching the basketball game. With the Knicks loosing by 40 points he didn't think there was much point in watching the rest of the game but some archaic sense of loyalty and hope glued him in the position he fell into when he arrived home at lunchtime.   

He had felt Scully's questioning gaze on his back after he announced he was going home at lunchtime, but to her credit she didn't mention anything and looking at the clock he saw it was just past seven pm and she still hadn't called. 

          Part of him smiled at her reserve but another part was childishly disappointed that she hadn't rang.  The klaxon rang to signal the end of the game but he still didn't move. Watching the cheerleaders take over the court as the players ran off he sighed deeply into the dark room and allowed his eyes to close over. 

          Sounds of sirens drifted up from the street but he tried to block it out, instead running over in his mind the torturous weekend he had spent by his mother's graveside. The rain fell hard but he didn't notice that or didn't care as he sat on the bench overlooking the cemetery. His clothes had soaked through and by the time he got back to the house he was sniffling and sneezing. His limbs shook with the cold and his chest hurt with every wheezing cough that rattled through him. 

          Scully noticed his fever this morning and tried to examine him but he brushed away her hands irritably. She watched him carefully from the safety of her own desk and wasn't surprised when he left at lunchtime. 

          Lying still he felt his chest wheezing and his body shivered but he was too tired and weak to move. The gamut of emotions spent over the weekend were too much for his body to take. As the newscasters on the TV analyzed the match his eyes fluttered open at the sound of a loud knock on his door. 

"Go away," he muttered knowing whoever it was wouldn't hear him. But the second knock followed his weak reply. "Go away!" he called out his time louder and angrier. 

"Mulder, it's me." 

          He said nothing, knowing she had her own keys and would let herself in when he didn't reply. Secretly delighted at the sound of her key rattling in her hand he was still dismayed at the thought of having to move, so he didn't.  Scully took in the dark room and his shadowy figure on the couch and walked over towards the light switch. 

"Leave it off." 

"You okay?" she asked, her fingers hovering over the switch for a second longer before she lowered them and set them by her side. Carefully approaching him she crouched by his head and gently touched his forehead. "Mulder, you're burning up." 

"I'm freezing." 

"You have a bad fever. Why didn't you call me?" Her voice took on an anger that he secretly liked. The authoritative Dana Scully who wasn't afraid to put him in his place, shove a gun under a perp's chin that was twice her size and stand up to a committee of Superiors who were negating her work with the X files. Her words were spoken clearly and loudly as she told him she was running a hot bath and ordered him into the bedroom to get warmer clothes.  

He toyed with the idea of ignoring her and facing her again, but instead he managed to pull himself off the couch and amble into his bedroom where he grabbed a pair of sweats a tee shirt and a Knicks hoodie. Peeling off his suit, he left on only his boxers as he walked into the bathroom that was already pleasantly warm with steam.  

          His skin was pale against the white tiles but she tried not to worry as she twisted the faucet's off and walked out of the room.  Mulder waited until the door closed before slinking down onto the toilet seat with little or no co-ordination. His elbows rested on his knees and his head fell into his hands. Feeling his sweat grimy and cold on his forehead he waited a moment longer before stepping into the hot water and sinking low to totally submerge his head and shoulders. 

          Scully searched the kitchen for food and came across a can of oxtail soup. It was almost ready when she heard Mulder stepping out of the bathroom and padding his way into the living room. An audible wumph reached her ears as he landed on the soft leather couch. She carried in a bowl of soup and placed it in front of him but with his head back and his eyes closed he didn't see her. 

"C'mon Mulder, eat something." 

"Not hungry." 

"You need to warm up." 

          Clasping his hands in hers, she rubbed them together and was surprised by their icy touch. Used to his warm skin she began to worry by the sudden cold and clamminess. 

          Pulling his head off the couch he looked down to her moving hands, the friction between their fingers generating little heat but the sensation of her skin against his warmed him up a little bit more. 

"I knew you should have let me come with you." She muttered as she went into the kitchen to get him some bread. When she came back he was huddled over the soup slurping it appreciatively. "How did it go?"  


"Did you get caught in the storm?" 


"And didn't bother to change out of your wet things when you got home," she chided knowingly shaking her head at his thoughtlessness. 

"I wasn't exactly thinking straight." 

"You should have let me come Mulder." She was angry again. He could tell. But it was nice angry. Not I can't believe you ditched me and nearly got yourself killed angry, more like, I cant believe you won't let me help you because I care about you angry. He liked that angry a lot. It meant she cared. he'd had precious little caring people in his life until he met Scully.  

"I wanted to be alone. I needed to face it alone." 

"No Mulder you didn't need to. I would have faced it with you. I would have gone with you...been there for you. " 

"Well its done now." He finished off the last piece of bread and soup and put the empty bowl back on the table.  "So what has you over here tonight? Worried about me?" 


"Just partly? And I thought you cared!" he joked. She smiled at his attempt to lift the mood but she knew he was feeling down and wouldn't bounce back as quick as he imagined. 

"I had an interesting conversation with Tim Halford." 

"From forensics?" 

"Last week the lab was cleared of all equipment and data." 

"What case were they working on?" 

"Martin Case. Agent Dixon." 

"That's a cold case. It's over 20 years old. Every agent has had a go at solving it." Intrigued Mulder sat up and walked over to his bookshelf where he pulled out a lever arch folder. Pulling it open he found the notes he wanted and showed her. Looking down she saw his very recognizable profiling notes. 

"Even you?" she teased as she flicked through the pages. 

"One of my first cases." 

"And you got nowhere?" 

"Well just as I was getting somewhere I was pulled off it and given a different case. At the time I thought it was strange that just as I was making progress I was pulled." 

"But you were young and wanted to impress," she finished for him with a wry smile. 

"Something like that." 

"So someone is actively removing evidence from the case. Covering up for someone?" 

"It seems a bit blatant to me. In the FBI HQ? To remove and destroy all evidence?" 

"What did Tim say?" 

"He said he thought Agent Dixon had ordered the removal. When he asked him about it he said it was going to a different department." 

"Maybe we should talk to Agent Dixon." 

"Maybe you should stay at home in bed tomorrow. I'll talk to Skinner for authorization. And if we get it then maybe we should talk to Agent Dixon. When you're feeling better." 

"Scully, I'm fine. I'll go with you into Skinner tomorrow." 

"I'd much rather if you didn't. Stay home, please Mulder. Rest. " She stood and pulled on her coat and scarf. "I'll call you in the morning." 

          He didn't say anything as she smiled and walked out of the room, but instead wandered into his bedroom and climbed into bed with his sweats still on. He set the alarm for 6.15 and rolled over to grab as much sleep as he could before then. 


Office of AD Skinner


"Agent Scully. What can I do for you?" AD Skinner glanced over the papers on his desk and made a few notes before shuffling them into a folder and filing it in a lower drawer. 

"I wanted to ask you about a case." 

"What case?" 

"The Martin case." 

"You too?" He locked the drawer by his knees and looked up to her for the first time. 

"Sir?" she asked confused wondering who else was showing interest in the case and why.  

"You're the third person today to ask me about the Martin case." 

"Has there been a breakthrough sir?" 

"I'm not sure after 20 years if anything on this case can be called a breakthrough. Apparently Agent Dixon has been working on this case for the past 15 months. Last month he followed a cold lead. It brought him to a person called Malcolm Nelson; a prior suspect in the Murder of Judge Martin. Somehow he managed to obtain fiber and hair samples from this man who had previously blocked all attempts for samples." 

"And now the samples have been mislaid or were destroyed." She concluded sourly. All too often the hindrance of a case was purposefully orchestrated. 

"Yes. How did you know?" Skinner leaned forward on his desk and clasped his hands in front. 

"The lab was sterilized and all evidence was destroyed." 

"Exactly. Agent Dixon is understandably outraged and asked to be removed from the case. He said he couldn't work under the conditions where someone was continually blocking his way." 

"You don't think he had anything to do with the destruction of the materials?" 

"No. Do you?" he asked, cleverly watching her carefully for a reaction. 

"Pure speculation sir, nothing more." He thought he caught the edge of a smile curving her lips upward but he couldn't be sure. 

"Well I'd be careful who you speak to about that case." 

"What do you mean?" 

"Agent Dixon said he received various threatening phone calls during his duration on the case and the destruction of his evidence was the final straw." 

"So the case is still open for investigation?" 

"Yes. But it's not your department Agent Scully." He stood up from the table pre-empting her continuance as he walked towards her. "It's not an X file." 

"It's an unsolved case isn't it?" she argued. 


"And essentially that's the X files." 

"In a way." He eyed her carefully. "Do you want it?" 

"The case file is confidential. Can I see it?" 

"Are you taking the case?" he challenged. 

"If I need to, to see the file." 

"Then I'll get it to you by lunch." 

"Thank you sir."         

          Skinner watched her leaving then as an afterthought, called after her and walked around the desk. Back towards his chair. "How is Agent Mulder this morning? He didn't look too well yesterday." 

"He's suffering from high fever and a strong case of stupidity."  Skinner raised his eyes at that. 

"Sorry?" Her words made him halt in his tracks and he turned to face her with a inquiring look in his eyes. 

"He got caught in a rain storm and didn't get dry as soon as he could. Now he's paying for it. He's got a pretty severe chest infection." 

"It was his mother's anniversary this weekend." He added somberly.  

"Yes sir." There were no more words. Nothing to share between two colleagues that had so easily passed into the realm of friendship. The silence offered enough. 

"Well send him my regards." He added before she closed the door behind her. 

          Scully walked over to the bank of elevators and took one up one more floor. Walking slowly through the busy bullpen she spotted Agent Dixon's desk but he was nowhere to be seen. Catching the eye of the agent next to him she smiled warmly. 

"Do you know where Agent Dixon is?" she asked, her trained eyes noting the lack of personal objects on the desk. No scattered papers, photos or discarded pens. 

"He's on a weeks vacation." 

"Since when?" Her query was instant and her disbelief was obvious but the other agent didn't seem to notice as he shrugged his shoulders haplessly. 

"This morning. He came in and collected some things before he took off." 

"Did he go anywhere nice?" she asked with a hint of sarcasm, still smiling while inside her mind whirred with thoughts and assumptions. 

"Not sure." He shrugged again before his phone rang and he pounced on it eagerly. 

          With a little smile Scully hurried back to the basement office. Sitting at Mulder's desk and logging into the FBI intranet she searched for Dixon's personal information. Finding his home and cell phone number she rang them both but got no reply on either of them. Just as she replaced the receiver in it's cradle it rang loudly making her jump. 


"Scully, it's me." Mulder's hoarse voice croaked painfully on the other end. 

"Mulder, how are you feeling?" 


"I'm glad you decided to stay at home. You shouldn't be out in this weather." 

"I didn't decide to stay at home." She heard him turn away from the phone and hurl his chest into a fit of coughing. "I just woke up. Slept through the alarm. Did you speak to Skinner?" 

"Yes. He's sending me down the case file to review at lunch." 

"We've taken the case?" his surprise was registered with another bout of violent coughing. 

"Well until you return to work I have." She could hear him wheezing on the other line. 

"I'll be there in half an hour." The bed creaked beneath him as he shuffled off the tousled sheets. 

"Mulder don't. Stay there. I'll bring it round to you this evening. You need some time to recuperate before that chest infection turns into something more serious." 

"C'mon Scully you know I hate to be idle," he whined with wheezy gasps over the phone. 

"Well I'm sure you can think of something to entertain yourself." 

"You know I'm too weak for any of that!" 

"I'll talk to you later Mulder," she said with a sigh. 

          When she hung up there was a quiet knock on the door. Tim pushed it open enough to see inside without stepping over the threshold of the doorframe. 

"Agent Scully?" he asked timidly afraid to enter without permission. 

"Tim, come in." she smiled up at him standing sheepishly at the door. 

"I heard you've taken the case." He stepped in and cast a quick glance around the room before sitting in the chair opposite her that she gestured towards. 

"I'm reviewing it. " 

"I thought you might like to see this." From between a pile of folders he pulled out a black and red hardback notebook. "I know you have a medical background so you'll understand it." 

"What is it?" She took the notebook from him and leafed though the writing inside. 

"All the notes I collected during the forensic study." 

"How did you get this?" she asked incredulously reading more closely the words inside. 

"I wasn't there the day they took the machinery away. I was offsite collecting evidence from a murder victim on South Boulevard. I hand write all my notes first for my reports, my theories and ideas and sift through them. Try to make sense of them" Scully recognized the method and remembered she used to use it too. "I always carry the notebook with me so it wasn't taken as part of the case." 

"Who knows you have this?" 

"As far as I know, no one does." 

"Okay, well lets keep it like that." 

"Do you think it's okay? I wont get in trouble will I?" 

"No not at all. Leave it with me and don't mention it to anyone." 

"I won't." He sat for a moment not sure what to do so she prompted him gently. 

"Thanks Tim." He stood and walked away with only a quick glance back before he shut the door behind him. 

          Scully looked through the notebook and read as much of it as she could. She was fully engrossed in it when Kim knocked gently on the door and left the case file on her desk. Without a word she left the room and Scully barley noticed her intrusion.  

          The day traveled in slow sunken absorption as she read through each agent's take on the murder case. Taking extra care when she came to Mulder's profile she read it over twice before moving on, noting the profile was dated over 8 years ago.  Most of the notations and theories were similar all pointing to the same suspect; Malcolm Nelson, but no arrest was ever made and what little evidence was collected had vanished. Each time the AIC came close to collecting enough evidence for a warrant something happened. 

          The first Agent on the case; Agent Simon was killed in a car accident, Agent Harding retired from the job, and two other agents left the case for promotions including Agent Mulder. The pattern was obvious to Scully so she decided to take a closer look. All too quickly the darkness outside found it's way in through the windows and lurked in the corners where the light couldn't reach. 

          When she spied the late hour on the old clock above the door she reached quickly for the phone to ring Mulder but there was no reply. She grabbed her stuff along with her coat and scarf as she rushed out of the office and into the garage where her car was parked. Juggling all her things she struggled with them to find her car keys when she heard the footsteps behind her. Twirling sharply she let everything fall and reached immediately for her gun. 

"Whoa! I was coming over to help, but it's not worth getting shot over." 

"Agent Dixon?" reholstering her weapon she bent with him to pick up her stuff but then noticed he was holding the notebook.  

"Where did you get this?" Dixon asked when he flicked through the pages and read some of the contents. 

"It's a confidential case agent. You know I'm not permitted to speak about it." 

"WHERE DID YOU GET IT???" he shouted suddenly. His anger both surprising and unlike him. 

"Give it back." she kept her voice low and calm trying not to anger him again but then she noticed his shoulders slumping and his face releasing all of its tensions. 

"This is it. This is my case. It means they can't protect him any longer."  

"Protect who?" 


"Malcolm Nelson?" Scully was confused. The suspect who was cleared. Then disappeared. "Who is protecting him?" 

"We are. The FBI."



Alexandria Apartment.


          Sweat stripped him of any comfort as he lay on the damp sheets. Willing himself to move off the bed so he could change them was more effort then he thought he had left to spend, but knowing that Scully would put him through the humiliation of changing his bed sheets for him when she got there was just enough to motivate his exhausted limbs. 

Mulder pulled the soaking bed sheets off the bed and spread out the clean one. He barely managed to tuck the fitted corners around the mattress before collapsing wearily over it and pulling the quilt back over his shivering body.  Sweating fiercely he had tossed his pajamas off and across the room hours ago but soon found that the little barrier of his flannel PJ's was offering more warmth then nothing. 

          He drifted in and out of sleep for most of the afternoon wondering where Scully was when he was awake, and dreaming of fiery hell when he slept.  His chest still wheezed and coughed with any exertion and he dammed his body for turning on him so violently. 

          He woke with a start, confused by the twilight in his bedroom when he noticed the phone was ringing annoyingly in the living room. Sure that he wouldn't make it in time he listened to the monotonous drone of the announcing bell until it rang off and his apartment was again plunged into an eerie silence.  His stomach growled with the insistence of being fed but Mulder chose to ignore it and instead rolled over and fell back into a deep slumber. 


Seattle Airport.

11.20PM (local time) 

"Yes sir." Scully spoke into the phone as she handed over her credit card to the car rental agency and signed the insurance form. "Sir I landed about twenty minutes ago. I have a lead and I wanted to follow it before it got cold." 

"Thank you," the receptionist said as she handed her a set of keys and a small map of the car park indicating where her car would be. Scully nodded with a smile as she walked over to the airport door and out into the cold biting night wind.  

"Sir I will call you back from the hotel, the reception here is terrible." 

          She switched off the phone and looked to her left where Gordon Dixon was pulling up the collar of his overcoat. His cheeks were pale and his eyes red rimmed as he hunched his shoulders and pushed the heavy door open. 

"Trouble?" he shouted over the roar of the snowy wind. 


"Want to go back?" he taunted with a crooked smile. 

"Not yet. No." 

          They both struggled on through the car park to the large family car and dumped their cases into the back. Climbing into the front Gordon spread out the map and found where they needed to go. He watched as Scully fixed the drivers chair to a more comfortable position then buckled her belt. 

"Ready?" she asked him before gunning the engine. 

"I've been ready for a long time!" 

          A light snow had started to dust the windshield but it was melting immediately and she hoped it would continue to do so.  Driving through the airport traffic took all her concentration so it wasn't until they reached the highway that Scully had a chance to ask the questions that had been biting her tongue since he convinced her to board the plane to Seattle.   

"How long has he been in the witness protection program?" 

"Nelson?" Dixon looked up from reading the map and glanced at her.  

"Since 1981." 

With a frown she risked a quick glance at him before pulling her eyes back to the road. "That's the year the murder took place." 


"Do you really think it as an assassination set up by the FBI?"  

"I know you probably think I'm a kook. But it's not like that. The evidence all fits." He argued turning towards her to see her fully. 

"I'm used to wild theories Gordon, that's not what worries me." 

"What is it then?" 

"If you are right...if the FBI did set up the assassination of Judge Martin then it opens up doors I'm not sure should be opened." 

"This case has already closed too many doors agent Scully. This has hurt too many people and I can't let it go." Gordon's voice lowered as he looked out to the flakes that were collecting over the wipers. 

"Okay. But you need to know when to drop out. You need to know when its time to say quit." She argued seeing the grim determination in his eyes that she recognized in Mulder at the start of every case. Silently he nodded and turned back to the map. 


Alexandria Apartment.


6.20AM (local Time) 

          The shadowy figure skulked across the hallway and into the bedroom where the still figure lay sprawled across the bed. He watched for a moment as his chest rose and fell in a rhythmic pattern with a shaky breath in and a loose rattle. Bolder now, he took a step closer in time to see Mulder's eyes flutter open and the shock register. Too late and too weak to react Mulder could do nothing. 

          He pounced onto his weak body and held Mulder sprawled beneath him. Without the energy to fight back all he could do was wait. The intruder pressed a knee into the back of Mulder's neck and pinned his arms out wide at awkward and twisted angles. 

"Who are you?" he wheezed trying to arch his back up to give his congested lungs room to expand. 

"A concerned citizen." 

"What do you want?" Mulder's cough shook the whole bed but the strangers grip only tightened. 

"Where is Scully?" 

          The question shocked and horrified him more then he wanted to admit. Scully?  

"I don't know." He answered honestly. The pressure increased on his neck painfully. 

"Where is she? She left the office at seven but never arrived home. Has she called you?" 


"Concern. Where is she?" The intruder pulled on Mulder's arm-twisting his shoulder socket into a white painful grip. Mulder held back his scream biting instead on his pillow. 

"I don't know." 

"In that case you better hope you find her before I do Agent Mulder." 

          Something blunt and heavy hit him on the back of the head as the weight was lifted of his back and his room spun in colorful swirls around him before plunging him into darkness. 


Office of AD Skinner


"Where did she go?" Mulder burst through the main door of Skinner's office ignoring Kim's hand on his arm as he pushed past her into the large open room. Skinner looked up calmly from his desk and waited for him to cross the room. "Where is she?" 


"What?" Mulder's outraged voice spasmed into a cough that doubled him over in pain. Kim rushed out to get a glass of water and returned as Skinner was easing him into a chair. 

"Take it easy Mulder...calm down." Skinner ran nimble fingers down his coat opening up all the buttons and pulling Mulder's collar loose. 

"What is she doing in Seattle?" he wheezed and sipped the water from the cold glass. 

"Following a lead." 

"On her own?" Glancing up with anxious eyes Mulder tried hard not to cough, choking instead on the air. 

"No. She is with Agent Gordon Dixon." 


"He was working the case before she took it. She said she was going out to interview a witness then returning later on today." 

"I have to find her. warn her. She's in more danger then she realizes." 

"What?" For the first time since Mulder bounded into his office Skinner looked worried. His calm demeanor remained but his eyes sparked with concern. 

"I had a visitor this evening in my flat. A man about 6 foot 3. Creepy. Broke into my apartment looking for Scully. He wasn't exactly friendly either," Mulder said as his hand reached up to feel the back of his head. Skinner looked around and saw a welt had rising up sore and angry under the agent's hand. 

"What did he say?" 

"That I should find her before he does." Mulder stated bluntly. 

"Kim get the Seattle branch on the phone." 

          Sitting back in the chair while Skinner called the Seattle bureau, Mulder tried to calm the twitching impulses of his lungs as they gasped for more air than his congested throat would allow. Sipping the water he was given he waited until Skinner was off the phone before standing and refastening the buttons on his coat. 

"Where are you going?" Skinner asked already knowing the answer before he uttered the words. 


"Mulder you are not fit enough to travel again." 

          With a sneer Mulder turned away from the door and looked at Skinner. "You know I'm going. I have to. "



Castleview Estate



          The estate was small and secluded. Most of the gardens displayed various kids toys and equipment but with the children at school at this early hour they were left unattended awaiting their return. Stepping through the hopscotch chalking on the path Scully smiled and followed Gordon to the front door of the house.  

          Plants adorned the porch, with evergreen branches still boasting their bright foliage proudly, bending slightly under the weight of the fallen snow. Gordon self-consciously fiddled with his tie and glanced over at Scully who nodded she was ready before he rapped lightly on the door. 

          Quickened footsteps hurried to the door and it was swung open wildly emitting a young woman in a home care nurses uniform.

"Oh I thought it was the doctor." She said dismayed then looked them both up and down and began to close the door. "What ever you are selling we don't want any." 

          Gordon put his hand out and stopped her from shutting the door fully. "Excuse me. We are looking for Neil Conner." Gordon asked using Nelsons pseudonym. 

"He is not allowed visitors." The nurse tried to close the door but again Gordon stopped her. 

"Excuse me, I'm a doctor, can I help?" 

"You are?" She eyes Scully suspiciously, glancing up and down her small stature. 

"Dana Scully, FBI actually," she flashed her badge. "But I am a fully trained doctor. Maybe I can help." 

          With worried glances up and down the street but seeing them empty she conceded her barrier and opened the door fully.  "He's down here. Experiencing respiratory trouble. I've given him the terbutaline sulphate injection but it doesn't see to have any effect." 

"Is he arresting?" Scully asked as they followed her down a well lit narrow hall into a smaller room that housed many cabinets of medical equipment. 

"No but since the operation in May he has rejected the lungs and he's not fighting any more." 

"He had a lung transplant?" 

"Yes. It wasn't a great success."     The nurse stood over the second door her hands poised over the handles as if she was having second thoughts.  

"He's angry and violent these days but he doesn't have the energy to keep it up...but be careful." she added. 

          The nurse pushed open the double doors and let them into the room. On a hospital bed that was situated in the center of the room surrounded by an oxygen tank and various medical machines was Malcolm Nelson. Without thought Scully approached the bed and saw his eyes had rolled back into his head. His mouth was open and gasping for air and on his throat was the scar from the tracheotomy.  

"He keeps pulling his tubes out." 

          The Nurse circled to the other side of the bed and retied the straps that were holding his hands in place.  She tightened the straps as Scully tried to reconnect the tube but as he ripped it off he damaged the tissue around the sunken connector. 

"I don't think this will fit in any longer." 

          At the sound of a new voice Nelsons eyes seemed to roll around before focusing on Scully's face. The gasping lips suddenly turned into a leery smile as he eyed her silky red hair that hung about her face as she tried to fix his tubing. His left hand that was still loose moved slowly away from the mattress and stealthily inched it's way towards the bottom of her skirt.  

 So intent on reattaching the tracheotomy tube Scully didn't notice his movement until his hand touched her leg and shot up her thigh beneath her skirt. 

With a start she jumped back and pushed his hand away. Nelson choked on a laugh that sent him into a spasm of coughs that couldn't hide his smile. 

"Neil!" the nurse called out angrily as she came around the bed and retied his hand to the railing. Still coughing Nelson kept his eyes on Scully as she smoothed down the front of her skirt. 

          Gordon stepped forward and put a hand on her arm as he led her from the room and out into the hallway. 

"You ok?" he asked standing a little closer then she would have liked with a hand on each of her arms. 

"Yeah, just caught me off guard." She shrugged away from him and ran an idle hand through her hair. 

"It doesn't look like we're going to get anywhere with this guy. Maybe we'll have some better luck with the local bureau." 

"I agree." Scully went back into the room as Gordon walked out to the car. Beside the bed now and double-checking his hands were still tied, Scully managed to the get respiratory tube reattached. The nurse switched on the machine and the humming hiss of the artificial lung filled the room. "That's only a temporary attachment. He will need a new tracheotomy point when the doctor gets here." 

"Thanks for your help." Then as if it was an afterthought she asked, "What was it you were calling for?" Scully looked down to the feeble frame of Malcolm Nelson. His eyes were closing over with the sleepy recession of the sick.  

"Never mind. We'll call back when he's feeling a little stronger." 

"You may be waiting a while." 

"We've been waiting a while already." 

          Scully walked calmly out to the car where Gordon was waiting, his frown encased deeply on his forehead. She slipped into the passenger seat and buckled her belt. Without a word Gordon put the car into gear and drove out of the estate. 

"He's dying." She said softly. "He wants to die." 

"He's taking it away." Gordon muttered as he pulled quickly away from the junction and onto the road. 

"Gordon, he's a very sick man on the verge of death. I don't think there is anything he could do to solve this case for you." 

"He could speak up. Point the finger to the men that put the gun in his hand." 

"The very men who have protected him all this time?" she queried, flinching as he crossed a speed bump without slowing. The car bounced roughly on the tarmac and he skidded around the corner onto the highway onramp. 

"The very men who pushed him into a life of hiding." 

"Gordon, listen to yourself. You've already made your mind up." Pulling her belt tighter around herself she sat a little straighter in her seat and watched the traffic that Gordon was obviously missing. 

"Look, Agent Scully," he said turning to face her. "You know I'm right. You don't see the links as clearly as I do. You didn't receive the threats as much as I did. You didn't loose anything over this case." 

"Gordon-" she argued but before she could continue the car was jolted forward with a sharp ram from behind. Glancing back they saw the black van with tinted windows closing in on them again. Gordon accelerated away from the van and veered through the traffic in an effort to get away.

"Watch out!" she yelled as he came dangerously close to a truck that sped alongside them.  

          But as they came out from behind the truck the van was practically stuck to their trunk, then she saw the second one, and the third. 

"Look!" she pointed to the left where the other van was closing in on them and forcing them off the road and into the lay-by. 

          Gordon was forced to stop the car and he pulled the keys out of the ignition with fury. One of the vans emptied and four dark suited men approached the car. 

"Agent Scully, Agent Dixon, step out of the vehicle." 

          As they both gingerly climbed out they were pushed away from the road over to a grassy hill that sloped downwards and out of sight of passing motorists. 

"ID." He demanded holding his hand out for their badges. 

"What's going on?" Scully demanded but she was silenced momentarily with an icy stare. She handed over her badge, as did Gordon.  

"You are in violation of your jurisdiction. You have no right to pursue any case in this state and continuance to do so will result in prosecution." 

"We do have a right. The murder of a federal judge is a federal offence." She argued trying to peer over his shoulder at the car, but all she could see was the top of the hill. "Who are you? CIA? NSA?" 

"You will return to your hotel and collect your belongings. You will return to DC immediately. Forget this case." 

"You can't do this." Gordon yelled his desperation blinding his better judgment and without warning, the stranger turned to him and planted a fist into his chest. Gordon doubled over in pain and fell to his knees. Scully bent to help him up, turning in time to see them leaving.   


          As quickly as they arrived they left skidding off the gravel in a shower of slush and pebbles. They struggled up the hill and Gordon sat into the back seat his arms wrapped protectively across his chest. 

"They took everything. They took the notebook even!" Scully yelled as she saw the empty boot where their cases had been. 

"We were so close..." Gordon gasped through the receding pain. 

"We have nothing now!" the sound of her phone ringing in the glove compartment halted her thoughts and she hurried to answer it.  


Seattle Airport


Mulder tore out of the rental car park leaving tire marks and curious glances behind. Coughing and wheezing still; he tried to calm his heart and lungs as he fumbled in his bag for his cell phone.  Dodging traffic and pulling onto the highway he dialed her number and held his breath as he pulled the phone up to his ear. It rang endlessly over and over the tedious shrill mocking his fears. 

"C'mon Scully...pick up pick up!" he urged veering dangerously across four lanes to pull off the highway and onto a Cedar River road where he knew her hotel was. Thankfully she had used her credit card and Langly was able to locate it for him. 

"Scully." She said stoically. 

"Scully, I glad to hear your voice." 

"Mulder?" she hardly recognized him with the wheeze disguising his normally soft tone. 

"Listen to me Scully, you have to get away from there." 


"Listen," he gasped and she heard him struggling to breathe. "Where are you?" 

"On Highway 113, just west of Mulberry Park." 

"I'm on Cedar road. Meet me at the hotel." 

"What? You're in Seattle?" Hearing her shock Gordon stood and came around to the side of the car where she was standing. 

"Scully meet me in-" The car was suddenly jerked to the left knocking the phone form his hand and forcing him to concentrate on the road ahead.  The black van that was trying to push him off the road was coming back for another hit and he braced himself against the impact. 



          Whatever chance he may have had on the highway where the morning frost had been salted away, here on the smaller side roads he was struggling to keep the car on the road. Tires slicked and skidded on the verge spinning on the ice with no grip and no option for turning. The road ahead and behind was empty as the black van turned towards his car hitting him once again and pushing him off the road completely. 

          Mulder held the steering wheel tightly as the car fell over the steep verge and skidded over the snow into the forest below. Somewhere in his mind he registered Scully's voice calling his name but it all seemed too dreamlike as the car turned and rolled over, hitting the tree on the passenger side. The airbag inflated cushioning the blow but not stopping him from cracking the glass with his head before plunging into darkness. 


West Highway

Cedar River Road


          Scully asked Gordon to drive slower as they approached Cedar River Road. She watched the verge for any sign of the car hoping against hope that they would make it all the way to the hotel without finding any disturbance. Hearing the phone clatter to the ground and Mulder shouting as the unmistakable clang of metal hitting metal coursed over the phone hit her panic button. Then suddenly she saw it. The verge collapsed under the weight of his car ploughing through it. The snow had been churned up and mud stained the other wise white blanket. 

          She yelled at Gordon to stop the car and had climbed out before he managed to pull over. Skidding and running over the ice and snow she followed the tracks to his car that had been imbedded into the tree. The passenger door was crushed but as she peered into the drivers window through the spider cracks she saw it was empty. Checking the ground she frantically searched for his footprints.  

          Heart thudding angrily against her ribs, she eased into the woods where the tracks from his car had lead her. Her ungloved hands were numb from the cold, from fear as she moved aside a branch and peered deeper into the woods. Behind her a twig snapped sharply. She spun around and saw Gordon running from their car towards her. 

"Can you see him?" 

"No. The car was damaged but he's not inside it. There's blood on the windshield but his footprints lead into the woods." 

          He stepped towards her though the ankle deep snow. "I called for an ambulance." 

"Do you hear that?" she said suddenly turning towards the trees. 


"Water. I hear water." She began to run, ducking under low branches and stumbling through the brush.  Mulder's footprints were weaving back and forth now as though he had been staggering. The snow was disturbed in a large patch where he had fallen. Too much blood loss she thought. 

          The sound of rushing water grew louder now. She broke out of a tangle of evergreens and emerged onto the bank of a creek.  Rain and melting snow had swollen the torrent to a dangerous level. Frantically she scanned the snow for his prints and spotted the rolling patch of crushed snow entering the creek to her right. 

"You see him?" Gordon asked. 

"He's gone into the water!" She splashed knee deep into the creek where his prints met the waters edge.  Reaching underwater, she blindly grabbed whatever her hands encountered.  She came up with bottles, branches and rubbish so she waded in deeper, to her thighs, but the water was moving too fast and was freezing cold and she felt the torrent pulling her downstream.  Stubbornly she braced her foot against a rock and plunged her arms deep into the icy water again. 

And found an arm. 

          At her scream Gordon came splashing over to her side. Mulder's jacket had been snagged on a branch and they had to rip it off him. Together they lifted him out of the creek and up the bank, onto the snow. His face was blue. He wasn't breathing, nor did he have a pulse.  The threw him on the bank and began to work.

          She began CPR. Three breaths, filling his lungs, then cardiac compressions. One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, the sequence automatic and well rehearsed. As she pumped on his chest blood gushed from his nostril and spilled to the snow. Re-establish circulation and the blood flows to the brain, to the vital organs, but it also means the body bleeds again. She saw a fresh stream of dark red trickle from the wound on his head. 

          Voices drew near, followed by footsteps running towards them. Scully stepped back wet and shivering as the ER personnel lifted Mulder onto a stretcher. She followed them back to the building and into a trauma room that was exploding with noise and chaos.  On the monitor behind Mulder the cardiac tracing showed a pattern of ventricular fibrillation. His heart was beating with rapid irregular contractions. A nurse hit the defibrillator charge button and slapped paddles on Mulder's bare chest. He jerked as the electrical current shot through his body. 

"Still in V.Fib," the ER doctor called out. "Resume compressions. Did you get the bretylium in?" 

"Going in now," a nurse replied, Scully wasn't sure which. Her body was shivering so much now that she didn't notice when a heavy blanket was draped over her shoulders. 

"Everyone back!" Another shock to his wildly uncoordinated heart. 

"Still in V.Fib," the doctor said. He glanced at Scully. "How long was he under water?" 

"I d-d-don't know. Possibly up to an hour. But the water was close to freezing." Even an apparently dead person could be revived after cold water submersion. They couldn't give up yet she pleaded with her eyes and her heart. 

"Core body temp's up to thirty two degrees centigrade," a nurse said.

"Maintain CPR and get him warmed up. We may have a chance."

"What's all the blood from his nose?" 

          A trickle of bright read slid down Mulder's cheek and stained the crisp white mattress sheet he was lying on. 

"He was bleeding when we pulled him out of the creek. There was a car crash before he went in to the water." 

"Only a small scalp trauma just beneath the hairline and no facial trauma." The ER doctor reached for the paddles. "Stand back, lets shock him again."

          Unable to watch his body jerking as they tried to get his heart under normal rhythm Scully buried her head into her chest and pulled the blanket up tighter around her shoulders. 'Come on Mulder , don't leave me now.' 

"We have a steady pulse Doctor," another nurse called out in triumph after what seemed like eternity. 

"Get the hypothermic blankets out and warm him up. I want spine, head and chest x-rays done as well to make sure of what else we are dealing with . And someone clean out this wound." 

         Scully felt an arm around her shoulders and glanced up to see Gordon gently guiding her away from the trauma room and over to an empty cubicle. 

"Here, it's all I could find." 

          She looked down to his outstretched hands and saw the medical scrubs he was carrying. Realizing suddenly how cold she was she felt her wet clothes stinging her skin and she smiled gratefully.  He stepped behind the curtain and held it closed for her as she peeled off her old wet clothes and pulled on the dry warm scrubs. 

"Is he going to be okay?" Gordon asked. 

"We can't tell yet. He seems to be recovering physically but there should still be brain damage from his lack of oxygen. Complications from the near drowning." 

"When will we know?" 

"When he wakes up." 

She stepped out from the curtain and brushed the wet tendrils of her hair from her face as the doctor approached them.  

"You came in with the drowning/crash victim?" he asked senselessly and Scully thought he'd win no points for his consideration. 

"Fox Mulder. Yes. I'm his physician." 

"Oh," genuinely surprised by her reply he seemed to reappraise what he was about to say. "He is no longer in fibrillation and seems to be warming up well. The trauma to his head," he continued pointing out the area with two straight fingers to his own forehead "is superficial and should heal nicely. We're going to send him upstairs now and monitor him closely for the next 24 hours. You should get some rest yourself before you see him. " 

"What about cerebral hypoxia?" she asked. 

"We wont know until he regains full consciousness. He is responding well to all sensory examinations thus far. Its going to be touch and go for a while. But you will already be aware of that." 

"Can I see him?" 

"He is being transferred to the ICU where his temperature heart and breathing can be rigorously monitored. If you want to you can come see him before we take him."  

          Scully started to walk with the doctor then turned back to face Gordon.  "Call Skinner. Tell him what's happened and I'll report later. When I know ...something." 

 "What about Nelson?" 

          A look of sorrow flitted past Scully's face but as soon as it had arrived it had disappeared. "Leave him. Don't mention to Skinner that we found him." 

"Agent Scully...I hope you realize what you are saying." 

" Yeah...I do. Some things are better left alone. no good outcome can come from this now. This almost killed us....and Mulder. It's time to let it go. "  With that she hurried after Doctor Kilburn and left Gordon standing in the hallway alone. *** 

Seattle General Hospital 

          After spending the day between Mulder's side and the hospital canteen with Gordon, Scully was ready to leave the city of Seattle behind and get back to DC. Too many arguments over too trivial amounts of circumstantial evidence. She hadn't been to see Mulder in over four hours and even though the nurse had come to inform her that the ventilator had been removed, he hadn't regained consciousness.          

"Look Gordon," Scully stood up and ran her hands through her hair. It felt grimy and stringy but there was little she could do with it. "I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just saying you've no proof. No proof, no case." 

"I had the proof." He protested weakly. Tiredness and frustration had burrowed its way into his brow. "They stole it from us." 

          With a rueful smile Scully turned his way. "Welcome to my world!" She dropped a hand onto his arm and gently squeezed. "Go home Gordon.  Send in you're report if you think it'll do any good. They will bury it. Too many have been hurt in the pursuit of this case. It's time to cut and run. For all our sakes. "

"What about you?" He covered her hand with his own and looked up to her resignedly.  

"I'll travel back with Mulder when he's better and ready to travel."  

          He sat in the canteen watching her as she strolled out of the room. Her limbs stiff from the cold water and her shoulders slumped with defeat. With great effort he grabbed the paper cups that held their cold coffee and tossed them into the trash before leaving the hospital. 

          In the ICU ward Scully walked over to Mulder's bed and quickly scanned the chart. His breathing was raspy and painful but she was glad it was under his own power. His temperature had risen slightly and was out of the danger zone and his vital signs were slowly returning to normal. The chances of any brain damage was minimum but she still worried and would do until she saw the crooked smile she loved so much curving his lips and  familiar the spark of humor brightening his eyes. 

"How is he doing?" she asked a nurse who was taking his vitals for the 15-minute check. 

"Very well. Considering the wringer he's been through." 

          After she left Scully pulled the seat closer to his bed and slipped her hand beneath the side barrier to clasp his lifeless one. His fingers were cold to touch but on his wrist she could feel his pulse beating steadily and it ebbed her tension away.  Letting her head fall back to the top of the chair she allowed her eyes to close and her mind to wander. It wasn't long before sleep claimed her into a heavy slumber.  

          Mulder felt hot searing pain with every breath he took. His lungs contracted against the air and burned at the slightest movement. Unable to open his eyes he was a prisoner to the darkness.  She was awake the first time he moaned and at the sign of consciousness she stood from the chair.           

          With one hand she caressed his cheek, gently encouraging him from the fitful trap.  He tossed his head from side to side and opened his mouth to gasp in air. He was still in his mind struggling to survive in the water that was no longer engulfing him.   

"Mulder...take a deep breath," she urged calmly speaking to him and stroking his hair away from his face. "Deep slow breaths."         

          His eyes shot open and he lurched with the need for air. Scully pressed his shoulders into the bed and put her face in his line of vision.  Then readjusted his oxygen mask, increasing the flow.

"Mulder...Mulder..." she said over and over. 

"Scully!" he gasped. At the sight of her before him he pushed himself up and took in a deep slow breath. His lungs contracted and he fought the cough but it won, sending him back into the bed.  He grasped his chest and waited for the paroxysms of agony to pass. 

"Hey." She stood over him with her hair hanging about her face, her cheeks flushed from her sleep and her eyes glistening with emotion. 

"Hey," he croaked. 

"How do you feel?" 

"Terrible. What happened?" His hand came up to his forehead where it found the bandage. 

"You're car came off the road...Ice?" she added uncertainly. 

"Ice?" he laughed softly trying not to aggravate his already tender throat. "More like unmarked vehicle ramming me." 

"Same thing happened to us." 


"They didn't specify." She grabbed a glass of water from the counter and held it to his lips for him to sip. 

"One of them broke into my apartment." He pushed himself up again. "He was looking for you. Said that I should find you before he did." 

"It's crazy Mulder." She sat back into the chair beside him and rested her head in her hands. "We spoke to Malcolm Nelson. But he's on his last legs. Agent Dixon wants to push him for a confession but I don't see the point." 

"If he was guilty of the assassination and now lives under US Government protection, don't you think that's important to find out?" Mulder argued gasping for breath between each word. 

"Yes I do but at what price?" She stood up and circled the bed. "You were attacked in your own home and run off the road in what could have been a fatal accident!" Back at his side she touched his arm gently. "We were interrogated and our files stolen. No one wants this case solved. Except us and they will kill for that prevention. They almost... killed you." 

          Mulder said nothing. He looked down at her fingers as they smoothed the hairs on his arm subconsciously. Her eyes were distant and clouded. 

"I'm okay Scully."  It took a minute for her to look up and when she did her fingers tightened around his arm. 

"I know. But you almost weren't. I... can't lose you. "  There was nothing he could say. Nothing to make her feel better about almost loosing him so he didn't. Covering her hand with his own, he pulled her closer to his head and sat up. Meeting her in a hug he reached his arms around her and held her tightly. 

"I thought I was going to loose you too," he murmured. She let him hug her for a moment longer then pried herself free.  

"Lets get the doctor in here so we can go back home." 

"I dunno Scully, the sunny climate here in Seattle is doing wonders for my lungs!"  

"Well maybe when we get back to DC and explain to Skinner how we got on out here, he'll spring for a vacation out to Hawaii!" she said smiling as she went towards the door to call a doctor. 

"Maybe Scully. Maybe. Stranger things have happened." He joked as he lay back down on to the bed and gently rubbed his aching chest. 

"That's why they invented the X files."





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