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Author : ???

Written for May Mulder's Refuge contest:

In the wrong place at the wrong time

Spoilers : Closure, FPS, Brand X.

Category : MSR, MT

Rating : PG


"So, how was your weekend, Scully?"

They were sitting on their favorite bench behind the reflecting pool, a sandwich in each of their hands; Ham on rye for Mulder and salad for Scully. The sun slithers on cool waters danced in Mulder's eyes as he contemplated his lunch and his partner.

"It was good, Mulder. Mom and Tara says hello, by the way." She didn't mention her big brother, who lectured her again for working with this SOB. She didn't want Mulder's bright mood spoiled by hearing about Bill's detrimental opinion of him. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and she was enjoying it too much to dwell on such unpleasant subjects. She wanted to kick back and enjoy the companionship her partner gave her.

She smiled as she gave him gentle observation. He was healthier than she remembered, gone was the paleness and the thin, too lean frame he'd had for so long after his near-death experience with the tobacco bugs. He was munching with on his lunch with great enthusiasm and his gray-green eyes were smiling, the iridescent flecks picked out by the sun that gave them a warm twinkle.

"How was yours, Mulder? Have a good time with the boys?"

He shrugged, and put down his sandwich to wipe his sensual mouth with his long fingers.

"You know, Scully, they are really weird sometime. They wanted me to take part in another VR game, like the one whom get me really killed few months ago."

Scully felt her eyebrows rise and burst out laughing when she caught that look in her partner's mischievous eyes. She had ribbed him for his desire to get his Yayas out for ages after the FPS fiasco. She had never quite got over the predatory gleam he leered at her after her performance against Matreya.

"OMG, you can't possibly mean…."

Bloodied, beaten and exhausted by the evil digital temptress barely knocked a dent in his ardor at how hot he thought his partner was that day. He leered anew at the shocked look on her face and her sandwich poised in mid bite.

"It's a joke, Scully. We had only cheese steaks and bad videos on Saturday night. Beat the shit out of Langley and Fro playing 7-card stud. Sunk a few Shiners. I spent Sunday doing my laundry and thinking of you."

"You are thinking of me while doing your laundry, Mulder? Well, that is weird."

" Yeah just at point where I found your lipstick on the collar of my dress shirts. Wonder how that got there?"

"Oh really? …..I remember the other night. What can I say, Mulder, you hadn't shaved in a few days and you know the effect designer stubble has on me. "

He leered at her over the top of his lunch. "Yeah as long as you didn't mistake me for that guy in 'Kalifornia'…what's his name? Duck or Duke somebody? I know you have the hots for him and I also saw how much Zinfandel you polished off. "

Scully gave him a mock exasperated look. " Yeah Mulder, but you're better looking and he doesn't have that sexy Spooky factor you have."

They laughed together so hard there were soon tears in Mulder's eyes. Wiping his eyelids, still trying not to giggle, he rose and offered her to buy a drink.

Relaxed in the afternoon sun, she followed his tall and dark form along the way to the street market, smiling again about his bad joke, and checking out the muscle action his ass made in the well-cut dress pants. It was so good to laugh with him and it happened much more since his discovery of Samantha's destiny, like he'd given himself permission to be happy again, now that his search was over. Their relationship was more and more intimate these days, and she had discovered, although not really surprised to find he could be infinitely gentle, caring and yes, lovable if not high-maintenance. And she did love him. Now that she was finally willing to admit it, that had hit her like a train. Not Mulder though. His love for her had filled all four chambers of his gentle heart, waiting for her to catch up and set it free to fly.

Her daydream was interrupted by an earth shattering noise coming from across the street, followed immediately by what must have been a second explosion shattering the shop windows all around. A scream died in her throat when she realized that Mulder had just reached the café where there was now fire, dust and debris hurtling in all directions. She got up and ran along past the reflecting pool only to be stopped by a couple of cops who were trying to prevent curious onlookers from getting too close to the site of the explosion. Frantic, Scully tried to peer past the cops to the devastation and chaos that was going on, seeing hoards of screaming bystanders covered in blood running in all directions. The wail of paramedic sirens cutting into the sunny afternoon peace as they approached the crime scene, but where was Mulder? Her breathing labored, she produced her badge.

" Let me through please. My partner was in there! I'm an FBI agent and a medical doctor," she yelled at the men. "I have to get to him!"

Seeing she meant business, they let the angry woman cross the yellow police tape and she immediately went on a mission searching anxiously for Mulder.

She soon found him half buried under the demolished news kiosk. He was not moving.

Her heart in her throat as she knelt down by that familiar head, now all covered in white dust, she discovered him lying in a pool of blood, semi conscious but face distorted by pain, his clothes torn to shreds by the blast and covered in shattered splinters of wood and broken glass shards. He was bleeding profusely from various cuts and larger wounds from head to toe. He moaned as his hand moved within hers as she tried to assess how badly he was injured.

" Love…. love you Scully…"

" Mulder? Its okay G-man, love you too, don't move. Paramedics are coming!"

She stroked his hair and carefully checked for other major injuries. Thanks God, his beautiful face was almost untouched, only few superficial cuts on his forehead were visible, but what horrors lay beneath what was left of his clothes? There seemed to be blood all over him. She wanted to cry but had to be strong when she saw how frightened he was. His eyes were screaming that to her. They were glassy, thick with dust and she could see he was disorientated and panicky.

"God, Scully... What happened?" then he lost his next words to a cough. Nothing seemed to exist but the two of them as chaos ensued all around them. There weren't too many places on him that looked safe to touch.

"Don't know, Mulder. Just stay put, the paramedics are almost here. Just hold onto to my hand. It's going to be okay. "

" …What does a guy have to go through ….to get a drink these days…. Sorry Scully…think I just flattened your… ice tea "

She stroked at the tears on his face as he mumbled. " It's okay Mulder…. just lie still…drinking is overrated, just rather have you breathing."

She saw the paramedics racing towards then, all their gear and a gurney in tow. More sirens screamed out in the distance and sound of terrified people crying could be heard the length of the busy DC. Street. She winced when she found one piece of glass deep in Mulder's left forearm, and another huge jagged one embedded in his right hip. Fortunately, none of it seemed have nicked a major artery. She loosened his tie and ripped open his burnt bloody shirt to make it easier for him to breath. Then took off her jacket and rolled that up to place under his head. He stared up at her in all his patent apologetic misery, his lips trembling the words but making no sound.

Mulder started to shake violently from shock and pain and Scully bent over to whisper soft reassurances in his ears and she used his tie to apply pressure around the hip wound. He relaxed a bit but his agony was clearly visible on his face.

"The salesman, …inside café, Scully... He might be hurt too..."

Scully smiled in spite of her sorrow. Only Mulder could worry about a stranger when he was hurt himself. Her hand found its way into his hair again, teasing the soft strands. "I'm not leaving you, Mulder. You've lost a lot of blood and you're in shock. Someone is looking after him by now."

She lifted her head and saw several people around the destroyed shop front. Police were combing the area with sniffer dogs and members of the public were being kept back.

"It may have been a gas bottle that exploded, although I think they are treating it as a potential terrorist act. You were lucky you hadn't been in the shop already or the Mall behind it. I think that's where the worst of it was. "

"Lucky? I'm not feeling really lucky right now, Scully. Bad choice of words. Ow!! "

" I know it hurts partner. I'm just glad that you're alive. Those 9 lives of yours keep multiplying. And thank god they do. Someone up there likes you Mulder "

He coughed, making a sound like a week laugh, gripping her hand tighter. His pain threshold was being battered down by the second.

She fondled his thick brown hair and he smiled painfully. His eyes were clouded over and he slumped against her. Scully was concerned at the amount of blood he had lost, and sent up a silent prayer when the paramedics finally reached them. She shuddered with relief as she stood to let them through. She fought and won her place by his side in the ambulance and didn't realize she hadn't released her partner's hand until they reached the nearest E.R.

Doctors and nurses took charge of her now unconscious partner while she gave his insurance details and other information about him at the admission's desk. As soon as she could she was back by the trauma bay where they were fighting to stabilize Mulder. He'd been taken to triage along with many other victims of today's disaster. He wasn't as badly injured as some of the others brought in, but that didn't sooth Scully's nerves any. Hot tears streaked down her face as she waited for him. They wouldn't let her in with him despite flashing her badge and pulling her doctors rank. It was too chaotic and they were seeing to the injured as fast as they could. She thought back to this morning and what started out as a perfect day and couldn't believe she was here again; waiting for the outcome of yet another Mulder tragedy.

Worried sick when she heard his moans from beyond the cubical he was being seen in, she paced the hospital corridors, unsure where she had acquired the now cold coffee she was gripping like grim death. Skinner duly arrived, stone face but with worry leaking out of his every pore for his downed agent. She vaguely remembered nodding like an automaton at his monologue regarding this afternoon's events. It had been a bomb, reasonably sized one. She shut her eyes trying to assimilate in her tired brain how a bomb could possibly be reasonable in any way shape or form, especially when her partner was fighting for his life.

Hours later after he'd been taken up to the OR. She found herself pacing again until a lanky surgeon came towards her to give news about Mulder. He was smiling and she took a deep breath for the first time in five hours. It was hopeful news; it had to be. Scully and Skinner rose in unison, each holding their breath.

"Miss Scully? Doctor Fitton". He took the hand she offered and then shook Skinner 's.

" How is he doctor…erm, I'm a medical doctor myself so please give it to me straight. " Fitton smiled and began to fill them in on Mulder's condition." The good news is that he didn't hit any major arteries but as you were already the blood loss was substantial from the many nasty wounds he sustained. He has a cracked rib or two and a broken arm and a pretty hefty concussion. "

" Are you re-hydrating him for the blood loss? What about his lungs, he was recently admitted with a severe respiratory infestation and has only recently recovered. "

" Yes doctor Scully, I saw that in his quite substantial notes. I have him on a regime of therapy for his lungs and antibiotics as he did inhale some smoke this time and I will keep a close eye on his heart too. It's all in hand I assure you. He even has his usual room. "

His tone was reassuring but the adrenalin rush Scully was still experiencing had yet to catch up with her intellectually. She was vaguely aware of her boss's arm around her shoulder as she swayed a little.

" Thank god," she muttered weakly. She needed to sit down.

"The best place for her to be now is with her partner, doctor, can that be arranged?"

" Sure, I'm sure he will be delighted to have her with him and see a face he loves when he comes around." Skinner just grinned knowingly as he guided her to Mulder's room, Scully too dazed to realize that she and Mulder had just been outed. It's about time he thought.

" Great Agent Scully, Mr Skinner. I have cleared you two to stay with him as long as you want. Since he has such a predilection for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the nursing staff and myself are all for naming that room for him. " He chuckled as he took his leave of them. Scully was on a one track mission to be with her ailing partner and who was he was get in the way of two people who meant the world to each other. He knew he couldn't stay but he could call Dana's mother: That wonderful warm-hearted woman was a panacea for whatever ailed his two ill fated Agents and friends. Yes friends and that's how he had come to think of them. She regarded Mulder as her own he knew and what they both needed now was her love.

" You go in Dana, I have to meet with bomb squad a the downtown PD. I hate media circuses like this but it can't be avoided. I have to get back.. Give Agent Mulder a high five from me when he wakes up…. I will drop by later. Are you okay?"

" More than okay now thanks," she assured him, her mind elsewhere and eyes looking through the glass partition to where her partner lay still asleep from his surgery. She caught her breath at the sight of him. She bit down on the sting tears as she looked back to The AD, but he had already gone; long strides taking him down and out of the hospital.


A few hours later GMU :

"I can't take you anywhere, Mulder," she told him affectionately while tracing the un-bandaged part of his cheek and running her fingers through his sweat-drenched hair, a smile on her lips. He had so many bandages wrapped up over him he looked like an extra from 'The Mummy Returns'. She hadn't taken her eyes off him since she arrived, well apart from the frequent scanning of all his monitors when she thought he wasn't looking.

"It's not my fault, Scully. I just wanted to buy you a drink. I even got you iced tea!! I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. God... Hurts..."

Concerned, Scully looked at Mulder's face, his features screwed up by pain.

"You are due for your pain meds, Mulder. I am going to call the nurse. Hang in there. "

Few minutes later, the nurse was injecting morphine in the IV drip. Mulder's handsome features relaxed and a goofy grin appeared on his lips, whiles Scully stroked his hair.

"Guess it's the reallllllly good stuff, Scully. I feel really gooood now.. Think I could even stomach watching that Kalifornia movie if you bring it in. "

"Sleep, Mulder. I think that I will catch some sleep myself. I am pretty tired now. I will see if you can have a portable DVD brought in when I get back in here later. Gotta keep you out of mischief somehow. But…. I'll get the drinks this time…."

She relaxed on her chair beside his bed caressing his fingers, carefully avoiding the heavy bandage on his left forearm. Thanks to the myriad of stitches he'd received that numbered well over 100 all over his body and the blood loss, he would be enjoying several days under the watchful care of his favorite hospital nurses at GMU. Right now, even though he was back in hospital he was in the best place, which was any time he spent with Scully by his side.

One of these days he'd stay out of hospital and avoid bombs and calamities long enough to explore the strange new world of his budding intimacy with Scully. As if her mind had suddenly tuned into his, she smiled along with him, leaning into place her lips to his own.

"Yoohoo! " They flew apart like startled teens caught necking in the woods as Margaret Scully peered gingerly around the door. She had several bags in her hands, and a grin on her face from her lousy timing. " Oh don't mind me, always a good time for love and you two have to make up for lost time, Oh I brought you some goodies. Dana you need liquids here…." Scully and Mulder eyes widened as they saw her mother dig around in one of bags she had brought with her.

" Er, Mrs. Scully, that's not ice tea in that bag is it?" She looked suddenly puzzled at the unease of her two favorite people and Mulder's increased heart rate dinging away on his monitor. Her hand came all the way out of the bag and there was a sudden audible sigh of relief.

" No dears, root beer. "