Title:One step at a time
Author: Josie Marchant
Summary: A tragic incident leaves Mulder dependant on Scully for help
Rating: R

Scully looked at his face, she knew that he was still in there, somewhere, maybe far away,
but he was there. The sparkle was just hidden in his lifeless eyes. His dry wit and humour was
still underneath. It was just the hospital that made him seem so helpless.
"Come on Fox honey" she said to him "open your mouth" she put the spoon in and wiped the mess
as it dribbled down his chin. "Good boy, that's it" she smiled. "Are you going to talk to me
today Fox? hey?" she asked him. He looked at her with a puzzled expression. "O.k, maybe not
today then, but how about a cuddle?" she asked him, placing the bowl of food down she put her
hands on Mulder's shoulders, he leant in and rested his head on her pushing his face into her
neck, he let out a contented mumble. " I've got you Fox, I love you sweetheart" she sighed.
"We're gonna get through this Mulder, I promise you that"

Two weeks previously
A disused building Washington DC
Tuesday April 4th 1998 10:34pm

"Mulder, you sure this is the place?" Scully followed her partner with her gun at the ready,
she picked her way through the warehouse, it smelt bad, dead rats, urine and general garbage
odours reached the two agents noses.
"Smells like my apartment hey Scully?" Mulder giggled.
"No, the apartment is far worse" Scully laughed "Anyway Mulder, you didn't answer my first
question" she sighed.
"This is the place, I can guarantee that Losley is hiding here" he whispered.
They were on the trail of a killer, one identified as Kenneth Losley, he was suspected of
committing 8 murders, all of them teenage girls. Mulder had drawn up a profile of the man and
had traced him back to this building. He and Scully went there (without the knowledge of AD
Skinner) and were planning on his arrest.
"He's in there" Mulder murmured, he gestured to a room with the door shut, "cover me Scully,
I'm going in" he said to her, as he ran the door flew open and a man stood there with a shotgun.
"MULDER" Scully could only scream as her whole world catapulted into slow motion. Mulder
crumpled to the ground, making horrific gagging noises, another shot, blood flowed freely from
Mulder's head. Aiming her gun she fired, straight in the head, Losely fell to the floor
"Oh...God...Fox" Scully ran to him, she was amazed when feeling his neck that she felt a pulse.
"You're going to be all right Mulder, don't you dare die on me, don't you dare!" she shouted.
Punching in 911 on her cell phone she sat down on the floor, tears rolling down her cheeks.
Clutching Mulder's hand in hers she prayed that he wouldn't be taken from her.

1:25am Washington General hospital

The news was not good, a CAT scan showed extensive damage to the brain, which would lead to
loss of motor functions, i.e. speech and all other motor skills, loss of memory and attention
span. Scully listened numbly as the doctor reported the information to her. She couldn't quite
take in that they were talking about Mulder, her Mulder, Fox, her partner and best friend whom
she loved more than anything in the world.
"Can....I see..him?" she asked.
"He's still unconscious, we won't know the full extent of his injuries until he comes round,
but I can say that his prognosis is not good"
"I know that" Scully snapped. "I just want to see him"
"Of course, I'm sorry" the doctor led her to the ICU, she looked at the pale form lying on the
bed, tubes and monitors surrounding him. The only sound was of the cardiac beep and the
"Can I have a moment alone please" Scully looked at the doctor, he nodded. Slowly She walked
over to the bed, he looked the same as always, obviously a little pale, but he'd be all right,
he'd come through surgery, the CAT scan could have been wrong, it wasn't always right, she was
sure that when he woke up he'd be just fine. "Come on Fox, don't leave me in suspense, I want
to prove the doctors wrong don't you?" she whispered. "They say your brain is damaged, you've
got to show them that a Mulder skull is tough, nothing's gonna break through it" she took his
hand in hers and held it to her face. "I want you to fight Mulder, as hard as you can, don't
let me down"

Two days later

"Fox, it's me, it's Dana" she whispered to him, he stared at her blankly, a dribble escaped
from the corner of his mouth which she wiped with a tissue. "Listen to me buddy, and listen
good. I am going to help you, you understand me? You will get better, I know you can do it.
I'll be there for you every step of the way. It's just going to take some time that's all,
just a little time" She gently pushed a lock of hair away from his forehead.
"Agent Scully, a word please" AD Skinners voice came from the doorway. Scully kissed Mulder's
cheek gently. "I'll be right back" she whispered. "Sir?"
"Dana, I was told that you have decided to take Mulder home with you"
"Yes Sir, that is correct" Scully folded her arms defensively. "Why?"
"Dana, Fox is going to need constant care, it's a hell of a lot to undertake, are you sure
you know what you're doing...there are places he could..."
"Institutions?" Scully interrupted him "Sir, I am not about to sit back and watch them lock
Mulder up. He will get better, it's just going to take a hell of a lot of time that's all.
Time and work. I am not going to leave him Sir, he is my partner and he is my best friend. I
don't care what you say, I will take care of him. Now if that's all, I'd like to get back to
Mulder" she stated. Skinner nodded, he watched the diminutive Agent walk strongly back to
where Mulder lay. She sat down on is bed and took his hand in hers. Skinner sighed, it was a
sad sight. Fox Mulder had been one of the best young Agents in the bureau and now, so easily
he had had that taken away from him, so cruelly. It wasn't fair, life just wasn't fair.

Two weeks later

Scully was sitting talking to Mulder, or at him, she didn't get any response, he just stared at
her, he made the occasional noise, which signified pleasure or discomfort, but his basic
reactions were not there. Suddenly Scully was aware that his gaze shifted to behind her. And
to her surprise he opened his mouth.
"Mo..m..ma" he murmured. Scully turned to see Elizabeth Mulder walking towards them, Mulder
shifted in the bed, he eagerly looked at the woman.
"Fox honey" she said, sitting down on the bed. He threw himself into her arms, and rested his
head on her shoulder. Tears rolling down his cheeks. Mrs Mulder gently rocked him. "Shh,
all right baby, shh"
"He knows you?" Scully said, "he actually knows you...that's amazing, I'll get the doctor"
she got up and ran to find Mulder's surgeon. "He can remember..." she said out of breath, "he
knows his Mom"
"He does?"
"He said it, she came in and he said Momma, as clear as day" Scully had tears in her eyes.
"He's not as bad as you say, I told you he wasn't" she smiled.
"Dana, whoa, slow down. I need to assess Fox, I need to check what you're telling me here"
"Come on, come and see" she pulled on his hand, "please" the doctor followed Scully to the
room and went in. Mulder was still huddled up to his Mother. She looked up.
"Mrs Mulder?"
"Yes, hello" she smiled at the doctor.
"I'm Doctor Thomas Rauche, Fox's surgeon, I'd just like to take another look at him"
"Right, Fox sweetheart lie down honey" She laid him back on the bed, he whimpered and tried
to get back to the safety of her arms. "I'm here honey, it's all right Mommy's here" Elizabeth
whispered, she held onto his hand.
"Fox, can you tell me who this is?" Dr Rauche asked. He gestured towards Mrs Mulder.
"M..o.mmy" he murmured. Elizabeth smiled at him, gently stroking his arm.
"That's good, good" he smiled. "Fox, can you tell me how old you are son?" there was no
response, "Fox, would you like anyone else to be here?"
"Da..da" he said slowly. A distressed expression took over his face.
"All right, you're doing well, I'll leave you alone now" he beckoned Scully outside. "This is
a little odd" he said. "he seems to have reverted back to extremely early childhood"
"That has been known to happen" Scully said. "it could be due to a swelling"
"No, not looking at his brain scans. When I say early, I mean very early, maybe under a year
old, he knows his Mother and Father, but that's it, in all senses he's in the same position he
was before, except it may be better for him because he knows his Mom"
"So, what happens now?"
"We continue as we were, he has physio and speech sessions and we treat this as we treat all
brain damaged patients" Scully winced, she hated hearing that term.
"When can I take him home?"
"Oh...Dana not for a while yet, we have a lot of ground to cover, a lot. He has to relearn
everything, and it's going to be tough, really tough. He'll get frustrated and so will you"
"You have to let me help him" Scully wiped a stray tear from her eyes.
"Of course Dana, of course" Dr Rauche smiled. "Why don't you go and get some rest, you look
exhausted, besides his Mom's with him, he'll be all right" Scully nodded, she was tired, she
hadn't slept since the shooting.
"I'll um.....just go and say bye bye" she nodded. Walking into the room she was pleased to see
that Mulder's eyes acknowledged her. "I'm going home for a little while Fox, I'll be back soon
though promise" she kissed his cheek. "Be good for your Mom" she smiled.
"He will be" Elizabeth replied, she took Scully's arm. "Dana...thankyou so much for taking
care of him" she smiled warmly. "It's going to be hard"
"I know, he'll make it Mrs Mulder, Fox is a tough one" at that she had to leave, the tears
were about to overcome her, and she didn't want him to see her like that.
As she got to her apartment Scully threw herself onto her couch and sobbed, she cried hard
both for herself and for Mulder.

3 months later

"Hello Dana" Maggie Scully came into the hospital room.
"Mom, hi, how are you?" Scully walked over to her Mother and embraced her. Fox was still asleep,
he had been in some pain and the doctors had put him on some quite strong drugs.
"Good Dana, good. You look tired though honey"
"I'm fine Mom, really I am" Scully smiled.
"So, how's our boy doing?" Maggie went over to the bed and gently stroked Mulder's soft hair,
"he's dead to the world isn't he?"
"Yeah, they upped his painkillers a little earlier on, he was having a bad inter cranial
headache, poor thing. He's so much better though Mom, really he is. He walked yesterday" she
"Dana, that's fantastic"
"Yeah, not that far, and he got a bit fed up, but he still walked. And his speech is getting
much better too, he's going to get better Mom, I know he is"
There was suddenly movement from Mulder, he rubbed his eyes and whimpered.
"Hey there sleepyhead" Mrs Scully said. "How you doing?" he looked at her with drug hazed eyes
and reached up his hand. Mrs Scully took it in hers and smiled. "You're a sleepy one aren't
"Yeah" he said. "whe'..Mommy" he murmured.
"Gone home for a rest Fox, she was tired" Scully said. "Has your headache gone now?" he
looked at her and frowned, indicating that he didn't understand. Scully touched his forehead
"headache" she said slowly and clearly "gone away now?"
"Yeah" Mulder tried to sit up, Scully helped him, he rubbed his eyes again. "I wen' for walk"
he looked at Mrs Scully and smiled "an' ..Dana...powed" he said.
"That's right honey, I was very PRoud" she emphasised the letters. "You did very well didn't
you hey?" she stroked the back of his neck tenderly, "you're going to have another go soon
aren't you?"
"Mmm....wha' that?" he looked at the bag on the floor by Maggie's feet,
"You don't miss anything do you Fox?" Maggie smiled, she took out a t shirt, "it's a present
for you, a Knicks t shirt" she showed it to him, "when you're better you can have a go at a bit
of basketball hey?"
"Oh, he knows basketball don't you Fox?" Scully smiled "he's been watching the games on t.v"
"Mmm...thank...you" he smiled at Maggie.
"Oh that's all right sweetheart, no problem" she pecked him on the cheek. Mulder smiled at her,
he liked her and he liked Dana, they were so nice to him, giving him gifts and showering him
with so much love and attention. He couldn't understand what had happened to him, but whenever
he did something they liked he got a hug and a kiss, which to him made it worth trying.
They were interrupted by a nurse coming in with a tray of food. She put it down on the table,
Mulder looked at it, he hated eating, he couldn't do it, no matter how much he tried, the two
metal things he was given were no help in getting the food into his mouth.
"What have we got today then?" Scully took the lid off and thanked the nurse, "I'll help him
with it" she said to her.
"Sure" she smiled, and left the room.
"Fox, looks good huh?" he looked at the plate, he couldn't say he agreed, he didn't really
know what good food looked like, but he guessed better than that. "You give it a go then"
Scully pushed it toward him, he shook his head. "Fox come on, you have to learn, look I'll cut
it up for you, watch me" Scully cut up the non descript meat and the potatoes and vegetables,
then handed Mulder the fork, "come on, push the fork into the meat" he looked at it, then at
her. With all his concentration he stabbed the fork into the meat and slowly lifted it to his
mouth, just before it got there it fell off.
"Oh" he said, "oh...no" he looked at Maggie Scully.
"All right, doesn't matter Fox, try again" Scully said to him, she smiled, he tried again,
this time missing the meat completely, and stabbing at nothing. Tears of frustration were
welling in his tired eyes.
"Dana, he's tired" Maggie said, "let him try tomorrow"
"Mom, he has to learn"
"I know, but he's just getting upset Sweetheart, help him out tonight"
"Mom, he needs to try, if he doesn't try then he'll never progress!" Scully shouted and stood
up. Mulder looked at her, tears now were falling down his face, he pushed the tray away and
curled up into a foetal position hugging himself.
"Mom....Mom...Mommy" he murmured, rocking himself, "made...Dana...cross" he sniffed.
"Fox, shh it's all right honey, shh" Maggie sat down on the bed and lifted him into her arms,
holding him gently. "Dana's not cross with you, it's all right Fox" she looked at her daughter.
"Mom's right Fox, I'm not cross with you, I'm sorry I shouted, I know you're trying I know" she
put her hand on his back and gently rubbed it. "I'm sorry" she whispered in his ear, "I'm sorry,
I love you Fox, I love you" she whispered. He looked at her and went to her to be held. She
kissed his cheek and stroked his head. "Shh, I'm sorry, come on, I'll help you, sit back" she
got the fork and gently put the food to his mouth, he took it from her and chewed. Maggie sat
beside him rubbing the tears from his cheeks with her thumb. Mulder didn't eat much of his
dinner, the drugs hadn't given him much of an appetite and he felt so very sleepy.
The next day was to be a big one, Mulder was being moved to a private hospital, which really
a rehabilitation centre. Scully had wanted to take him home, but Dr Rauche had advised that
this was the best course of action while he was still suffering from raised inter cranial
pressure. He had assured her that the place was good and that Mulder would be comfortable
The move was scheduled for 11am the next day. Mrs Mulder, AD Skinner and Mrs Scully would all
be present as well.

24 hrs Later: Sparrows Lane rehab clinic.

"Right then here we are" Scully smiled at Mulder, he was sat in the back seat of the car with
his Mother and Maggie Scully. Walter Skinner was in the front. "You're hotel awaits you Fox"
she said. Walter got out of the car and opened the back door. Elizabeth Mulder unbuckled
Mulder's seat belt for him.
"I love you honey" she smiled at him , gently she kissed his cheek.
"Come on Fox, let's get you out" Skinner reached in and guided Mulder out of the car, "in we
get" he said, gently he guided him into the wheelchair.
"Dana.." he looked around worriedly.
"I'm right here Fox" she took his hand. "I'm with you all the way sweetheart, you know that"
The party went up the pathway where a smiling Dr Rauche greeted them.
"Hello, how are you all?"
"Good thanks" Scully smiled.
"Hey Fox, ready to see your room?" he didn't answer, but instead looked down.
"It's unnerving for him" Elizabeth said quietly. "He'll be all right when we get him settled"
she gently stroked his head. "won't you Fox?" again no reply.
They all traipsed up the long hallway until finally they came to a door marked 134, Dr Rauche
pushed open the door to reveal an almost self contained apartment. In one corner was a bedroom
type area, with a bedside table and wardrobe, in the other corner was a couch, and a
television. To be honest it was nicer than his own apartment which he lived in before.
"This is really nice" Skinner smiled. "Fox, you think you'll be all right living here?"
"On....my...own?" he murmured. "locke..d...in?"
"No, Fox" Scully bent down opposite him "honey, no one is locking you in anywhere, this is
just for a while, I told you.....I ...I promised you, I will take you home with me, when
you're ready. Now I will be here every day, I promise you that, you will never be alone, your
Mom's here, my Mom, Walter....we're all here" she took his hands in hers. "We are all here,
got it?" she smiled.
"Got...it" he repeated.
"Right then, I'll let you guys get settled , and I'll be back later to give Fox his meds" Dr
Rauche smiled.
Mulder was still on quite a cocktail of drugs, he was taking a regular anticonvulsant without
which he was prone to fits and seizures, commonplace with severe head traumas. The pills
sometimes made him a little groggy, and he didn't like to take them, but he knew that if Dana
told him that he should do, then they were helping.
"You want to have a lie down honey?" Elizabeth asked him "you look tired" she stroked his
"Yeah......Mom...watch...me" he said, looking at Scully he held his hands out.
"You want to walk it?" Scully asked him
"Mmm" he nodded slowly. Walter Skinner stood by his side, ready to support him if he fell.
Mulder very slowly pulled himself out of the chair, he shuffled very very slowly along to the
bed, he was exhausted when he got there. Elizabeth had tears in her eyes as she watched him.
"Good...huh" he looked at her as Scully swung his legs up onto the bed for him.
"I'm good...Mommy huh?"
"That's fantastic Fox sweetheart" Elizabeth smiled, she came over to him, "Well done my
clever boy" she kissed his forehead. "You rest now"
"He should wait for his meds before he takes a nap" Scully suggested. "Fox, you want to put
some posters up on the walls in here, the doctor said it was all right"
"Mmm" Mulder's eyelids were drooping. Scully came over to him, "Sleepy...Dana" he yawned.
"I know, but you have to take your medicine first hon, oh here's Dr Rauche now" she smiled.
"I'll give him those" she took the pills off the doctor. "Come on Fox, down they go" she
handed him the beaker, he held it with both hands (as a child does) and gulped the water down,
swallowing his tablets.
Within 10 minutes he was fast asleep. Elizabeth unlaced his sneakers and took them off,
pulling a comforter over him she sat by his bed, softly stroking his hair.
"My brave child" she whispered. "You're going to be just fine sweetheart. I promise"

Continued in part II: to follow

Well that's part one, comments if you please

Title: (One step at a time part II)Mommy's here
Author: Josie Marchant
Summary: Mulder's slow recovery continues.
Rating: R

Mulder had been in the rehab centre for three weeks now, and had settled in quite well. He got along well with all the doctors and nurses and was fairly coopertaive. His progress although slow was good. He had mastered taking a walk with a walking frame which he was delighted with, it felt good to have some form of independence.
It was the weekend, which was Mulder's time off rehab, it was a gruelling schedule and he did often get upset and frustrated, the weekend gave him a chance to relax a little and have some home comforts.
Elizabeth Mulder walked into her son's room, he was curled up on the couch watching television, if she hadn't have known, she would have said that there was nothing wrong with him. He looked up as she came in.
"Hello Fox" she said. "How are you today?" she came and sat down beside him. She was instantly alarmed at the pallour of his skin. "Honey, do you feel sick?" she felt his head, he was burning up. He nodded slightly, and patted his tummy,
"Hu..rts" he murmured.
"All right, I'll go and get Dr Rauche, hold on Fox" Elizabeth stood up just as Scully walked into the room. "Oh Dana, Fox isn't well"
"What's wrong?" Scully asked. "Fox?" she bent down by him "Fox what's wrong, can you tell me?"
"hurts....too..hot" his face creased in pain. Scully placed a cool hand on his forehead, "You're running a bit of a fever here Fox, I wonder what brought this on" she looked up at Mrs Mulder. "He'll be all right" she smiled. "We should just keep an eye on him"
"Won't it hinder his progress?" Mrs Mulder sighed, "he's been doing so well"
"Well yes, it may, but that doesn't matter does it?" Scully said quietly "he's getting better, but he's a bit sick. We should just make him as comfortable as we can that's all" she smiled at Mulder, he looked at her with sad eyes. "What is it?" she said to him "you o.k Fox?" she gently stroked his head, he nodded slowly. "I'll go and tell Dr Rauche that you're not feeling too good today sweetheart, all right?" Scully kissed his head, and left to find the doctor.

Five Hours Later

Mulder had become very congested and feverish throughout the day, he was very uncomfortable. Mrs Mulder had gone home to rest a while, she had been staying with Mrs Scully since Fox was shot, and still frail from her stroke she found the long hours at the clinic with Fox took their toll.
Scully was sat with Mulder on the couch, he was huddled against her shivering and wheezing. Every breath he took in hurt, and nomatter what he did he couldn't get warm.
"Feel ..sick....Dana...sick" he muttered. "Want......Momma...want...Momma"
"I know honey, I know" Scully kissed his sweaty head, "She'll be here soon sweetheart, she's resting. I'm here though Fox, I've got you" she rubbed his back as he coughed. "You'll feel better soon I promise, why don't you try and go to sleep?"
"No....Mommy......want.......MOMMY!" he screamed. The scream sent him into a huge body racking coughing fit. This made him cry out even more. Scully reached for her cell phone and dialled her Mother's house. Gently rubbing Mulder's back, trying to sooth him she waited for her Mother to answer *come on Mom, pick up*
"Mom, it's me"
"Dana, is that Fox crying?"
"Yeah, he's not too well Mom, you need to get Elizabeth here now, he's very feverish and he wants his Mom" Scully pulled Mulder into her side, rocking him gently. "Mom, hurry"
"I'm coming honey, I'll get Elizabeth now, see you soon"
"Bye Mom" Scully put the phone down. "Fox, Mommy's coming all right, she's coming"
"Gonn.a....be...sick..D..ana" he murmured.
"Are you? all right honey, come on" Scully rushed and grabbed the bin, Mulder bent double and was sick, quite violently. "O.k, it's all right Fox, I know it hurts...I know" she soothed gently as she rubbed his back in small circular motions. Mulder began to get more and more distressed, his sobs turning to screams so loud that the nurses came rushing in to see what was wrong.
"What's happening?" one nurse asked.
"He'll be all right" Scully looked up "he's sick, I've got it under control" she said quietly.
"With respect Miss Scully, I think Dr Rauche should be called"
"Dr Scully" Scully looked at her, "he's just sick, he doesn't need anything else, all right Fox, shh" she comforted, "he'll calm down in a minute, his Mother's on her way" Mulder let out another scream,
"MOMMY" he howled.
"Fox, she's coming darling, she's coming, shh sweetheart shh" with that last outburst several orderly's and Dr Rauche came rushing in, grabbing Mulder they pushed him towards the bed. "What the hell are you doing?" Scully demanded, she watched in horror as they put restraints on his wrists, strapping him to the bed, "No, don't!" she shouted, "he's just scared, leave him alone"
"This is just to calm him down , so he doesn't hurt himself" Dr Rauche produced a needle. "Fox, keep still" he said as he pulled his t shirt up and jabbed the needle into his hip. Fox screamed in pain, tears were streaming down his red cheeks.
"He's just frightened" Scully had tears in her own eyes. "He's just scared" she came over to him "what have you given him?" she asked angrily.
"It's a mix of drugs, it'll keep him calm, I can't allow outbursts like that Dana, he'll disturb the rest of the corridor.
"He's sick, he was crying for his Mother, that's all. He's scared and he's not well, how dare you do this to him, how dare you strap him down, remove those restraints at once!" she ordered. Dr Rauche nodded, he undid the buckles on the restraints. "I am not happy about this" Scully gently stroked Mulder's arm. His eyes were half open, and he stared at her, as the drug went into his system he got more and more vacant. "What the hell is that stuff, he's on another planet?" she grabbed a tissue and wiped Mulder's chin, "he's drooling, he's not done that since he first woke up!" she shouted. "I'll be writing a letter of complaint about this, I really will. This is a blatant violation of his rights, he was just crying, he wasn't doing anything wrong damn it. He's like a scared little boy, three months ago he woke up not knowing where he was, who he was, he didn't know how to do anything. Now he's come on so far, and you stick him with some drug that puts him right back where he was!" Scully's tears were flowing freely now. "I'm taking him home, as soon as he comes round from this, he is coming home with me"
"Dr Scully, I don't advise that, not yet"
"And I didn't advise you pump him with knock out drugs, but you still did it didn't you?" she sighed. "I'm taking him home in the morning, now if you'll leave us in peace Fox's Mother is on the way" she turned her attention back to Mulder. Dr Rauche nodded and left the room. "Fox, can you hear me sweetheart?" she whispered, she gently stroked his cheek with her thumb "Fox?" He stared at her, he could just about hear her, but he couldn't make out what she was saying, he went to answer her, but it came out as a incoherent mumble.
"What's happened?" Elizabeth Mulder came walking into the room, she put her handbag down on the chair and came over to Fox's bed, "what is it? what's happened, Fox?" she looked at him, he stared at his Mother. "Dana, what's wrong with him?"
"It was terrible" Scully shook her head, "he was crying, screaming out for you, it was the fever, he was in a lot of pain, I told him you were coming, but he kept crying. Then the doctor came in and restrained him, he gave him an injection, drugs to calm him down. We've got to take him out of here, he's not going to get any better if they treat him like this" Scully wiped her eyes. "He was so helpless, he just cried" she was choking on the words. "We've got to get him out of here" she looked up to see her Mother standing in the doorway. "Mom...he's got to come home with us" she walked into her Mother's arms and sobbed.
Elizabeth gently lifted her son into her arms and held him tightly, gently rocking him she kissed his head. He whimpered softly.
"Mommy's here Fox, shh Mommy's here" was all she whispered. "It's all right. Mommy's here"

End of part II
Part III to follow
mail me xfiler_uk@yahoo.com
Title: (One step at a time part III) Coming home
Author: Josie Marchant
Summary: Mulder returns home
Rating: R

"Dana.......can't walk" Mulder murmured from his bed. Scully sat beside him, gently stroking his hair back from his forehead. He was still sick with his fever and Scully had become concerned for him. Although she was sure of one thing, she wasn't about to let him stay in the hospital, the minute she saw that they had put restraints on his wrists, she wanted him out of there. The drug that they had given him to supposedly 'calm him down' was clearly still in his system. He didn't protest to being carried out to the car by Walter Skinner, and he lay with his head in Scully's lap for the whole journey back to her Mother's house.
"Fox, we're nearly there honey" Scully said to him, he looked up at her and gave her his traditional lop sided grin. "You pleased to be out of that place?"
"Yeah......where....where's....Mommy?" he asked quietly.
"She's at the house Fox, don't you worry" Mrs Scully called from the front seat. "Fox, you want to take a nap when you get in sweetheart?" she asked him.
"Maybe" he replied. "I....don't feel....well" he sniffled.
"No, I know you don't, we'll get you tucked up in bed in no time honey" Scully sighed. She was tired, tired physically and emotionally. She had spent nearly every waking hour with Mulder since the accident, it was draining and frustrating, he was trying very hard, and she knew that, but it was so difficult to see her once brilliant partner spilling his dinner down his front and then crying about it, she hated the fact that she had to bathe him, do up his laces and buttons. It seemed so unfair that the bastard Losely had sent him into a living hell, and he escaped by dying there and then. Of course Scully didn't hate Mulder for it, she loved him with all her heart and she knew that he wanted to get better, and that he couldn't do it without her help. He had progressed remarkably well in the last few months, but the recovery was going to be long, and it was going to be hard. She had been warned of that, the AD had told her that, as had the doctor as had Fox's Mother, but she wasn't about to prove them right, she would get Mulder back to full health, *Fuck how hard it's gonna be for me* she thought *it's harder for Mulder*
"O.K Dana?" her train of thought was broken as her Mother spoke to her, "let's get Fox in"
"Yeah, sure Mom, come on Fox, sit up" she helped him sit and he wriggled to the door, even that made him out of breath, he was still burning up badly.
"Come on, let me help you out there" Walter Skinner lifted Mulder up and carried him up the steps of the house, Elizabeth Mulder was standing in the doorway smiling.
"Hello" she said, "Fox honey" she kissed his cheek, Walter laid him down on the couch which had been made up as a bed. "He's still very hot" she looked up at Scully, "he'll be all right won't he Dana?"
"Yes, I should think so, it's just a little flu, he'll be fine, we'll just have to keep an eye on him that's all" Scully tucked the comforter around Mulder and gently stroked his forehead "You get some rest Fox, you'll feel better then" Mulder's eyes flickered shut and his breathing became more contented. "You'll be safe here, no one will hurt you here, I promise you that sweetheart"

Two Months Later
6:25pm Mrs Scully's Residence
Scully came in from the bureau, it had been a heavy paperwork day and she was tired, she had been doing all the paperwork that Mulder had never got to finish, that was a tiresome task and all she wanted now was to take a long hot bubble bath. She put her case down in the hall and went into the front room. Mulder was sat with a pad of paper and a pen. He looked up at her.
"Hello" he smiled.
"Hi" Scully sat down by him., "what are you up to?"
"Writing" he showed her some illegible scrawl. "Read it to me" he beamed, obviously proud of his efforts. Scully looked at it, she couldn't decipher it.
"What's it say Fox?" she tried to turn in around "can you read it to me?"
"It's...my name" he said slowly. "Can't you tell?" his face fell. Scully sighed,
"It's good Fox, it's good honey" she kissed his cheek "I'm going to take a bath" he pulled away from her. "What?" she asked him. "What's wrong?"
"You couldn't....read...it" his face dropped and he started to cry. "You.....you...didn't ..try...an'.
you...you..." he was getting more and more upset. Scully was not in the mood at all, she had a headache and was tired.
"It's messy Fox!" she shouted, "I couldn't read it if I tried. You need to try harder! For fuck's sake Fox you are useless! you're not a baby!" she stormed out of the room and slammed the door, running up to the bathroom.
Maggie Scully heard the shouts and came running in, she rushed to Fox who was huddled on the couch in tears. She gathered him into her arms.
"What is it?" she asked "Fox?"
"Dana....said....useless" he wheezed.
"Oh honey....I'm sure she didn't mean that. She doesn't think that"
"Does" he sobbed. "an' she's right"
"No, no Fox, don't you think that, you are doing so well, so well" she kissed his head. "Shh" she whispered. "Shh"
"What's happening?" Elizabeth Mulder walked into the room.
"The kids had a bit of a fight, that's all. I'll go and talk to Dana" Maggie kissed Mulder's head. "She wouldn't have meant it Fox, I promise you that, Dana loves you honey, we all do" she looked at him. "O.k?" she cupped his face with her hand. "Fox?"
"'K" he murmured. He looked up at his Mother. "Momma" he said quietly. "Sit with...me" he sniffed. Elizabeth nodded and sat down by her son, he lay down with his head in her lap.
Maggie went up the stairs to the bathroom and knocked softly on the door.
"Dana honey, can I come in?" she asked, a quiet 'yes' came from her daughter and Maggie went into the bathroom, Scully was in the bath, tears streaming down her face.
"Mom, I was so horrible to him" she cried, "I was so nasty and I didn't mean it. I called him useless Mom"
"I know, he told me. Dana you are tired honey. You have been doing two jobs in taking care of Fox and being back at work, no wonder you snapped at him. He'll be fine, he's tired too. He's had a hard day, he was a little resistant when he was doing his physio today. He's not been in the best mood" Maggie got a sponge and gently washed her daughter's back, "go and tell him you're sorry, he'll be fine. He knows you didn't mean it. I'm sure he does"
"Mom, of all the things I could have said, that had to be the worst, what if he really took it to heart? I'm meant to be his strength, then I say that to him" she got up and Maggie handed her a towel. "I have to apologise to him" she dried her eyes. "I love him Mom, I really do, I just lost it for a moment there. It's so hard you know? He was brilliant Mom, a genius, all his hard work, it's all gone, all his education, those years at Oxford, working at VCS, it's all been lost. The only good thing may be that he doesn't remember what happened to Samantha. But everything is lost"
"Not everything Dana" Maggie stated, Scully looked at her Mother quizzically. "He still has you, and that is what counts" she smiled. "As you just said, you're his strength, without you to help him, he wouldn't have come this far" She embraced her daughter, "go and make up with him, tell him how you love him, that's what's upset him, he things he's a burden to you, that's all. It was inevitable that he'd think it. Just go reassure him he's doing fine" she kissed Scully's head. "I'm very proud of you Dana, very proud"
Scully pulled her robe on and went down the stairs into the front room, she swallowed awkwardly, as Mrs Mulder looked at her icily.
"Can I have a minute with Fox please?" she asked her. Elizabeth got up and as she went past Scully she pulled her arm.
"I don't know what the hell you said, but if you dare upset him like that again..." she walked angrily out of the room. Mulder lay on the couch looking up at her, the tears had stained his face, and his eyes still looked bloodshot and watery. Scully bent down beside him and tried to bite back her own tears.
"Fox" she began, "You have to know that I didn't mean what I said" she took his hand in hers. "I was tired and I was angry"
"With me?"
"No, not with you, you didn't do anything wrong. I was in the wrong, I took out my anger on you, and I am sorry. Fox, I love you, you know that don't you?" he shrugged.
"You shouted" he murmured "at me"
"I know I did. I know, and I'm so sorry that I upset you. I didn't mean to, I am so sorry" she reached out and stroked his hair gently. "Please forgive me Fox, I know you have every right to be upset with me, and I know I don't deserve for you to talk to me, but please Fox, you have to know how sorry I am" she chewed on her bottom lip nervously. Mulder sat himself up and leant in to hug Scully, he nuzzled into her neck.
"Don't get...cross..again" he sniffed "don't like it" he tightened his grip on her.
"No sweetheart I promise I won't. You are not useless, I want you to forget I ever said it" she rubbed his back.
"Said..what?" he muttered. Scully smiled, there suddenly was a flash of the old Mulder. She kissed his cheek and smiled. "You want to get a movie out? my treat. You can have pizza" she sat down beside him on the couch. "That cool?"
"Yeah" he nodded. "What's this?" he picked up Scully's ID badge from the table, "that's you" he pointed to the picture and smiled.
"Yeah, that's my ID sweetie, gets me into places" she showed him. "This is FBI, it stands for Federal bureau of investigation"
"What do you do?" he asked her. *God this was painful*
"We catch the bad guys Fox" she smiled.
"Will I catch....bad guys someday?" he snuggled up to Scully and took the badge out of her hand, looking at it carefully.
"Someday Fox, someday you will, and you'll be the best at it in the world" she kissed the top of his head. "Right then, I'll go get a movie and order that pizza" she smiled.

The following day
Mrs Scully's residence.

"Elizabeth?" Maggie called, "I've got a cup of tea for you here" she slowly pushed open the spare bedroom door, the lights were off and Maggie was surprised to see Elizabeth still in bed. She must have been exhausted, she had after all suffered a stroke and with the stress of taking care of Fox an elderly lady would be quite ground down by it. "Elizabeth?" Maggie called, she went to shake her, she felt rigid. "Elizabeth?...oh..oh no" she drew the curtains and placed her hand over her mouth.
Elizabeth had her eyes open, but they were glazed over, her lips were slightly parted, there was a blueish tinge to her skin. It looked like she had died from a heart attack during the night. Maggie slowly got up and left the room, poking her head round the door she checked on Mulder, he was sleeping soundly. Picking up the telephone receiver Maggie hit the programmed number 1 in.
"Scully?" came the receiving voice.
"Dana, you have to come home honey, something's happened"

End of part III
IV to follow.
What do you reckon so far?

Title: (One step at a time part IV) Setback
Author: Josie Marchant
Summary: Fox's Mother's death has a profound effect
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I forgot to do this in the other parts, oops. Sorry Chris, don't sue me!! They're just on loan to me for my selfish purposes!

"How's he doing?" Maggie Scully came and sat down quietly on Mulder's bed, Scully had hold of him, just rocking him gently as he cried into her. He had been sobbing hard for two hours solidly since he was told about his Mother passing away. Now his sobs had been reduced to whimpers and sniffles. "Fox honey, would you like something to drink?" Maggie gently put her hand on his back. "Sweetheart?" he didn't look up from Scully's chest where he had his head nuzzled into her.
"He's still in shock Mom, this is a lot for him to take in" Scully whispered, she tenderly stroked Mulder's hair. "Fox" she tried to get him to answer. "Sit up a minute honey" she sat Mulder up, his eyes were streaming with tears and his cheeks were flushed. "Fox, listen to me sweetheart" Scully cupped his face in her hand. "Your Mom loved you very very much and she wouldn't want to see you tear yourself apart over her. She wouldn't" Scully gently stroked the side of his head. "You have to know that, it's o.k to cry honey, that's better than bottling it all up inside of you. But you've got to keep going, your Mom would want that" she whispered. "Come on downstairs and have something to eat hey" Scully smiled at him. He just stared at her. "Fox, don't do this, come on. Come downstairs" She stood up and held out her hand. He took it and pulled himself to his feet, slowly he followed her down the stairs. He shuffled to the couch and threw himself down on it, pulling his knees up to his chest he curled up in a foetal position, just staring into space. Scully went into the kitchen to fix him some lunch, his appetite wasn't huge and so she just set him a bowl of cereal and took it into him. He didn't acknowledge her when she went back in. "Fox, come on honey, try and eat something" she put the bowl on the table infront of him. "Sit up, you can't eat it lying down" she smiled. He looked at her, his eyes looked distant. "Come on, you don't need me to feed it to you now Fox, sit up" still no response. "O.k, come on" she sat down cross legged on the floor beside the couch and took the bowl, she filled the spoon with 'Captain Crunch' and put it to his mouth, he took it in, milk ran all down his chin, he made no effort to wipe it off. Scully was worried, the shock of his Mother's death appeared to have made him have some kind of a relapse. *but he walked down the stairs* she thought, *it must just be shock* She wasn't going to push him though, she knew that it was painful for him, his Mother was who he had first recognised, and she was a source of great comfort to him. Now she was gone, he had accepted his Father's death when told about it, but he hadn't had him there with him. Elizabeth Mulder had been there, to hold him, to help dress him, to comfort him. Now She was gone.
Scully put the bowl down and sat down beside Mulder, she lifted his head and placed it onto her lap. Gently she stroked his hair, silently cursing Elizabeth Mulder for leaving him when he most needed her. She had hardly been a model Mother to him when he was a child, but she had somewhat made up for that in the past six months. Now it seemed Mulder may have been catapulted right back to the beginning again.

Later that evening

Walter Skinner had come around to visit, he wanted to see how Mulder was doing, especially after he heard about Elizabeth. When he saw Mulder he had a shock, he looked worse than he had done in a long while, his eyes were bloodshot and his face was as white as the day he was brought into ICU. He looked up at Walter as he came into the room.
"Hey there fella, how you bearing up?" he sat down by him.
"Momma's....gone" those were the first words he had spoken since he had been told the news. Walter put his arm around Mulder's shoulder.
"I know Fox, I'm sorry" he gave him a comforting smile, "we're here for you, you know that don't you?"
"She's gone" Mulder repeated. "Like...Sam"
"Fox, what did you say?"
"Sam....Momma...gone...Sammy gone" he shut his eyes as tears rolled down his cheeks.
"Yeah, I know, you loved your sister didn't you?"
"Mmm...she...had..her hair in..braids...and...she...she..I tried to..stop them from...taking her..and" he broke down into sobs. Walter pulled him close to him and held the young man. Scully came in when she heard his tears. Walter looked at her.
"He's getting memories back Dana" he said.
"He just started talking about the night he lost Sam" Walter Skinner bit his lip. "I think we should tell the doctors about this on his next appointment. When is it?"
"Tomorrow actually, Elizabeth may have spoken to him about Sam Sir..Walter. It's extremely unlikely that he'd get memories back like that. Not after the extent of his injuries. Fox" Scully bent down by him. "Sweetheart, come on let's put you to bed. You look exhausted" Mulder looked at her through the torrent of tears.
"I'm...tired" he murmured.
"Come on" Walter stood up and hoisted Mulder into his arms, he carried him up to his bedroom and gently put him on the bed.
"I'll settle him, go and say hi to Mom" Scully smiled. She had noticed a strong friendship growing between the AD and her Mother.
"Sure" Walter nodded. "I'll see you later on Fox" he smiled. Mulder nodded slowly. Scully undid his shirt buttons and slipped it off him.
"We need to get some more food into you" she smiled gently stroking his tummy. "So thin" She unbuckled his jeans and helped him wriggle out of them. Gently pulling the comforter over him she leant in and kissed him. "You're going to be all right Fox, you hear me?" she stroked his hair back from his forehead. "You get some sleep, and tomorrow we'll go to the doctor's and show them how well you've been doing honey, all right?"
"Yes sweetheart?"
"I'm sorry" he wiped his teary eyes with the back of his hand. Scully looked at him with sad eyes.
"Fox, why are you sorry, you have nothing to be sorry for sweetheart"
"I.......I made you sick...once" he stated. "I don't know how...or when...but I did didn't I?" he sniffed. "Cancer" Scully stared at him.
"Fox, where did you get that from? did someone tell you?" Scully took his hand in hers and stroked it.
"No....just....remember" he wiped more tears away. "So..sad...I was so sad...I cried by your..bed and you...you...it was my fault....Bill...who's Bill"
"Fox, Bill's my brother honey, he's been at sea for the past few months. Listen to me, I was sick, yes. But it wasn't your fault o.k. Not at all. I don't blame you at all" She pulled him into her arms. "Fox, do you remember anything else, anything good?" she rocked him in her arms.
"I know...you've always...been there" he sniffed. "That's good" he nuzzled into her neck.
"I'll always be here Fox, always" she laid him back down again. "Get some sleep, big day tomorrow" She kissed him again. "Love you"
"Love...you too" he shut his eyes and within minutes he had gone off to sleep.
Scully went downstairs to the lounge where AD Skinner and her Mother were sitting. She sat down heavily in the armchair. She rubbed her eyes.
"He is getting memories back. He remembered my cancer, he remembers Bill telling him it was all his fault" she sighed. "Poor sweetheart, Fox doesn't need this now"
"Dana, it's good that he's remembering, it's very good honey" Maggie said.
"I know, but it's what he's remembering which is worrying me. He's getting bad memories back and it's upsetting him so much. All this on top of his Mother dying, it could really do some damage"
"It could do some good too" Walter said, "look, see what the doctor has to say tomorrow. For now let him rest"

Mrs Scully's residence.

Scully was awakened as her bedroom door was slowly pushed open. She fumbled for the light and turned it on. Mulder stood in her doorway, drenched in sweat, tears pouring down his face. His hair was stuck to his forehead and he was breathing hard.
"Fox, what's wrong?" She sat up in bed.
"Dana...can I sleep in here....had a bad...dream" he murmured.
"Come here" Scully held her hands out, he walked to her and she took them. "Come on then" she pulled her covers back and he climbed in. "Fox you're shaking" she put her arms around him and held him tightly. "It's all right, you want to talk about your dream?"
"No" he sniffed. "Scared" he buried his head in the crook of her neck. Scully nodded, she rubbed his back tenderly.
"You're safe now Fox. I've got you" she reached and turned the light off. Snuggling up to him she closed her eyes. "Go to sleep now honey, it's all right" She whispered. Mulder's breathing soon became more content and Scully realised he was asleep.


Scully had been awake for a while, Mulder still lay cuddled up to her, she just lay with him fondling his hair, and looking into his face. His sweet face, he looked so young and untormented in his sleep. Just like all the cares in the world didn't matter. He was safe when he was asleep. Safe from the approaching day of more hard work and pain for him.
Suddenly he awoke, he gave a sleepy whimper and rubbed his eyes, Scully looked at him with a smile. He opened his eyes slightly. "Hey there" Scully whispered "how are you feeling?" she stroked the side of his face. "You got back to sleep all right huh"
"Yeah....don't want to go to hospital" he buried his head back into her. Scully hugged him gently.
"It's just a check-up Fox. It's going to be all right. The doctor just wants to see how you're doing. It's all right" She kissed his head. "Come on, let's get you all clean and dressed" Scully got out of bed and came around Mulder's side, she helped him sit. He looked at her, tears were welling in his eyes again.
"What is it Fox?" Scully knelt down infront of him and gently put her hands on his thighs. "What's scaring you honey?"
"I keep....getting thoughts....I ....I...my Dad" he looked away. "blood, on my hands and...Dana.....what's happening to me?"
"Fox, I don't know how, but you're remembering things. It seems like you're remembering all the bad things. All in one go, now you dealt with these things. And although it may not seem like it, good things happened too. Really good things. I want to talk to the doctor today and see what he has to say. There is a chance that you may get your memory back, which will be a good thing. It'll mean that you'll get better sooner" She smiled.
"I'm....so....scared" Scully put her arms around Mulder and held him tight.
"I know you are sweetheart, but I'm here. I'm here. Come on, let's get you ready"
And so began the morning ritual. Mulder had recently become well enough to take a shower instead of being bathed by Scully, although she did stay present in the bathroom incase he fell. He wasn't embarrassed about being naked infront of her, he wasn't embarrassed about anything where Scully was concerned, she was his strength and he didn't know what he'd do without her.
Scully held open the warm fuzzy towel and Mulder stepped out of the shower into it. She wrapped it around him taking another opportunity to give him a cuddle. Then sitting him down on the edge of the bath she got his razor to shave him, he wasn't quite co-ordinated enough yet to manage that one. He also found cleaning his teeth hard, but with Scully's help he managed.
He could get as far as picking out his clothes, but his buttons and zip and belt buckle were a daunting task. He needed Scully's help for those. She helped him dress and then put a sweater over his head. He held his arms up helpfully. She combed his hair for him, slapped a little after shave on his cheeks and smiled.
"All handsome" she smiled.
"You think?" he gave a lopsided smile back.
"Well I love you" she kissed his head. "Come on, time to go Fox"

Washington General

"Hello Dana" Dr Rauche stood up as they came in, "Fox, standing tall I see. That's good, very good"
"He's doing very well" Scully took hold of Mulder's hand as they sat down.
"Yes, so I see, Fox I need for you to do some tests for me. Dana's going to have to wait here" Mulder's grip on her hand tightened. "It's nothing to be scared of, just a few mental tests. That's all" Scully looked at him with a smile.
"I'll be right here Fox, I'll wait here for you"
"Course I do honey. Now, the quicker you do this the quicker we get home for you to see that Nicks game"
"Yeah" he slowly got up and followed the doctor out to another room. When he went in he was told to sit down at a table. After twenty minutes of various tests, such as writing, pointing out shapes and verbal exercises he began to tire. His concentration span was not great at this time anyway, plus with the events of the past few days he was drained. So when it came to physio he wasn't too obliging.
"Come on Fox, lay down" the nurse said.
"I'm too tired" he muttered. "Where's Dana?"
"You can see her as soon as you've done your exercises"
"I DON'T WANT TO!" he suddenly screamed. "I WANT TO GO HOME" he got up and threw all the paper and pens on the floor and pushed the table over.
"Fox!" Dr Rauche shouted. "Come on, calm down"
"I...I...I don't like this" he got down on his knees and crawled to the corner of the room. "I don't want it" he cowered there. "I want....Mom...I want...Mom" he started to hug himself tightly.
"Get Miss Scully" Dr Rauche said, he turned to a tray and filled a syringe. Scully came in to the room to see him pushing the needle into Mulder's arm.
"NO! no drugs....what the hell are you doing?" she screamed.
"He's hysterical Miss Scully, he's obviously in need of medication. Strong medication too" Mulder stared at Scully, she began to blur infront of him, her words floated over to him, but he couldn't make them out. He slowly reached his hand out to her. She ran to him and took it. "Fox honey, stay with me, fight it, don't let it take you under, FIGHT IT FOX!" she screamed. His head dropped forward into her and he began to dribble again.

end of part IV

V coming asap.

comments please xfiler_uk@yahoo.com

Title: (One step at a time part V) Protected
Author: Josie Marchant
Summary: Scully's fights to keep Mulder safe
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I forgot to do this in the other parts, oops. Sorry Chris, don't sue me!! They're just on loan to me for my selfish purposes!

Scully looked up at the doctor, tears of anger and frustration ran down her face. Mulder lay in her arms just whimpering. The drug had completely debilitated him and he could barely move let alone communicate.
"That's it" she said calmly. "From now on, I am treating him at home, I will do his assessments and I won't let any of you near him, you got me?" she pulled out her cell phone and punched in number 3 speedial. Walter Skinner answered his phone.
"AD Skinner"
"It's Dana Walter" Scully said quietly, "I need for you to come to the hospital"
"Is Fox all right?" Walter became anxious.
"Uh....not really, I'll explain when you get here, I need your help. I'm in the rehab room, you know the one"
"Sure, be there as soon as I can" Walter put the phone down and grabbed all he needed to take with him from the office. Then rushing to his car he took the five minute drive to Washington general. Fighting his way through he got to the room where he saw Dr Rauche standing outside with his arms folded.
"That woman is insane" he said shaking his head.
"What the hell's happened here?"
"Fox had a panic session, I gave him a shot, Dana went crazy"
"She wouldn't have done without good reason" Walter pushed past into the room. "Dana?" he bent down by her. "Oh God" he looked at Mulder lying in her lap, his eyes weren't focused on anything and he was mumuring. "He's not there is he?" Scully shook her head slowly.
"No, he was crying, he was tired that's all. This isn't going to happen again, I'm not bringing him back here. I'll take care of the tests and assessments. For God's sake, I should have known he'd get upset, his Mom's only just died and he's so fragile Walter, this is my fault" she looked at Mulder and stroked his cheek. "You'll have to carry him Walter, I can't lift him"
"Okay, come on Fox, up we come" Walter bent down and lifted Mulder into his arms. He lay there limply, not able to respond or even to hold on. "How long will this last?" he asked Scully
"From anything like 8 hours to 24, I don't know what dosage he had, he's pretty out of it though. Fuck!" she cursed. "They don't care about him at all, they stuck that needle in him to quieten him down that's all. No other reason" Scully was furious.
They got Mulder to Walter's car and put him on the back seat, he wasn't able to sit so Scully rolled him onto his side, she was worried that the drug might make him vomit, and if he did then he may choke.
"Let's get him home" she sighed as she shut the door. "It's the funeral in two days, he's got to be lucid for that"

Late Afternoon
Mrs Scully's house

Mulder began to come around slightly, he felt very groggy and tired and didn't know what had happened to him. He was huddled up to Scully whimpering.
"It's all right Fox, it's ok now honey" She whispered.
"feel....dizzy" he muttered. Scully stroked his head gently and nodded.
"I know you do, try and go to sleep, you'll feel better when you wake up. I promise you will" she kissed his head softly.
"Yeah" he let out a sigh and went to sleep in her arms.
"I'll keep you safe Fox, I promise you that"

The Morning of the Funeral
Mrs Scully's Residence

Scully did up Mulder's tie for him and dusted off his suit jacket. He looked up at her, he was still feeling a little woozy after the drugs he had been given but he was a great deal more lucid. "How are you feeling?" Scully asked him.
"Bit sad" he looked down. "You'll stay with me won't you? at the church I mean?" Scully put her hands on his shoulders.
"I'll be with you Fox, all the way" she kissed his cheek. "come on, come and eat something"
"I'm not hungry Dana...my tummy feels like it's doing backflips...you know like they had on tv. The..Ci..Cir..what was it?"
"The circus" Scully smiled. Come on, just a cup of tea then" she took his hand and led him downstairs. She knew this was going to be hard on him, although he seemed to have calmed down about it a little. The service was only going to be a small one, just a few people from the bureau were coming to pay their respects more for Mulder's sake. He wouldn't know any of them , but it would make him feel better if there were other people there.
"Morning Fox" Maggie kissed his cheek and put some toast in front of him. "Eat that up now please, I know you won't be hungry, but it'll help you I promise" she kissed him again. Mulder smiled at her.
"I love you" he smiled.
"You too honey" Maggie smiled back "I'll go and get the tea" she went into the kitchen, Scully followed her. "How do you think he'll cope today Dana?"
"I don't know, he seems all right at the moment, but I think that may be because he doesn't really realise what's happening. I've talked to him about what's going on, but I don't know if he understands or not"
"I guess we'll see won't we" She hugged her Mother. "I hope he'll be all right"

St Peter's Church

Scully held onto Mulder's hand as they walked up the aisle of the church, they sat down at the front and sat quietly. Mulder turned his head to look as more people filed into the church, he tapped Scully's arm.
"Who are they?" he asked.
"Friends Fox, they're friends of ours" she smiled. She reached up and brushed a stray bit of hair from his face. "You be brave now" she whispered "I know this is very sad, but I want you to be strong, can you do that for me?"
"I can do anything for you Dana" he beamed. Scully smiled at him and brought his hand up to her mouth and kissed it.
"I love you Fox William Mulder" she stated.
"Love you too Dana...Katherine...Scully" he replied.
The service started and Scully felt Mulder's grip on her hand get tighter. The priest started the service. Suddenly the realisation of why they were there hit Mulder and he began to understand. Before this he hadn't really known what he was doing there. He knew he was going to say goodbye to his Mom, but in a funny way he thought that meant that he'd get to see her again. He pointed to the coffin like a child.
"Dana..." he said in a little voice.
"What is it honey?"
"I..is..Mommy there?" he asked.
"Yes sweetheart, that's right. Well her body is there, but she's gone to heaven, that's just the shell left now. She's in heaven with your Dad, and they're both sending lots of love down to you"
"Is it a good...place?"
"If it wasn't good Fox, people would come back wouldn't they?" she smiled.
"I...guess" Mulder shuffled over and huddled up to Scully, she put her arm around him and stroked his hair as he leant his head against her. She kissed the top of his head and then felt him start to shake as he cried. He was exhausted by the end of the service and fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Mrs Scully's residence
after the service

Walter Skinner carried him up to his bedroom and Scully put him to bed. When he was settled she went downstairs and flopped back into one of the chairs.
"He did well today" Skinner said, "it can't have been easy for him"
"No, I know" Scully sighed, "Walter, I was thinking of bringing him into work tomorrow, would that be all right? I just think if I show him the office it may help jog some memories"
"Sure, just bring his ID with you and that should be fine" Skinner smiled. "I hope it works"
"Yeah, he's getting so much better now, he really is"
"You know he'll never be able to come back to work Dana" Skinner looked at her.
"I know.....but he might be able to do something. You never know, he could reach a good fitness level"
"Maybe, but I don't know" Skinner sighed. "It's too much of a risk for him, he's got a long way to come yet"
"I know he has. But he's accomplished so much so far" Scully smiled. "He's so brave, he really has worked so hard" She ran a hand through her hair. "What a day, I'm exhausted too"
"Here we are" Maggie Scully came in with a tray of tea and some sandwiches. "Is he asleep Dana?"
"Yeah, out like a light Mom, I was just saying to Walter that I was going to take him into work tomorrow, just so he can have a look around"
"Is that a good idea Dana, is he up to spending the whole day out?"
"Mom, he'll be fine, I'll bring him home if he gets tired. Besides I think it may help him out a little to see it, his desk and his posters"
"Okay, if you think it'll help him Dana" Maggie smiled. "Eat some sandwiches honey, you must be starving"
"Yes, I am Mom, thanks" she smiled at her Mother.

Mrs Scully's residence
8:00am the next day

"Fox come on honey, up you get" Scully shook him, "you're coming with me today"
"No hospital NO" Mulder pulled himself into a ball and started to slowly rock himself.
"No honey, not hospital, shh it's all right. Shh" She gently rubbed his back, "Fox, remember I told you I'd take you to see where I work, hey? you remember?"
"Mmm" he looked up at her and nodded. "That's where we're going, it's all right, see. I'm not going to hurt you" She whispered. "I'll never let them hurt you in that hospital again Fox, you're not going back there" she kissed his head. "Come on hop in the shower, and we can get ready" she helped him sit up. "Fox, I wanted to tell you how proud I was of you yesterday" Scully looked him in the eye "you did so well" she gave him one of her best smiles. "come on, you get in the shower I'll sort your clothes out, deal?"
"Deal" Mulder got out of bed and went to the bathroom, he kept the door unlocked just incase and got into the shower. His head felt funny today, sort of fuzzy and he didn't understand what was happening, he didn't much understand anything. To all intents and purposes Mulder was like a five year old child, he didn't know how anything worked just under a year ago and he was learning all the time. Sometimes his attitude was of an adult, but most of the time he had a childlike innocence about him which was actually somewhat endearing, although quite difficult for Scully to observe. He got out of the shower and looked at his razor, he was going to do this one for himself he thought. So he squeezed some foam onto his hand and went to slap it on his cheeks as Dana had done for him every morning. But he ended up with some in his eye, it really did sting and he shouted out in pain. Within seconds Scully was there. She gently pushed Mulder's head down to the tap and let the cool water rinse his eye.
"Fox, you should have called me" she said gently "are you all right now?" she asked.
"Yeah" he held out his razor and gave it to her, "help me please" he said.
"Sure, here we go" she gently shaved him and then kissed his cheek. "All smooth" she noticed he looked suddenly sad. "What is it honey?"
"Why can't...I do stuff?" he asked slowly. "I can't..do lots of stuff" this was the first time Mulder had asked what had happened to him, and Scully was so wrapped up in his rehab that she never really thought to tell him much about it.
"Oh Fox, you were very brave honey, and you got hurt. I nearly lost you" Scully put her hand on his shoulder. "You know you woke up in the hospital?"
"Yeah" he nodded, they made their way to his room and Scully helped him with his shirt buttons. "Well you woke up then after you'd been hurt. And that's why you've had to do all this learning. Because you were hurt. But Fox, you know it doesn't matter honey, because you weren't taken away from me. I will always be here to help you. I still have you, and that is so important to me" she smiled at him.
"I'm glad I have you too" he beamed back at Scully. "So...um how old am I?"
"You're 35 honey" she did up his tie as they chatted.
"35...right" he repeated. "and....did I do the same as you?"
"Yes, you were in the FBI like me" Scully smiled, "and if you work hard you may be again"
"How hard?"
"Very hard, like you have been, now come on Mr, stop chatting, get those pants on" he stood up and pulled his pants up, he managed the zip but came unstuck at the button. "Okay, let me help, there we are" Scully went over to a draw and pulled out Mulder's ID wallet. "Look Fox, let me show you something. This is yours" he opened it and stared, then he looked at Scully and showed his ID
"I'm Special Agent Fox Mulder, I'm with the Federal bureau of investigation" the words rang in Scully's ears, looking at him standing in his suit and brandishing his badge he looked just like he always did. "Can I arrest you for not giving me a morning cuddle?" he asked with a giggle. Scully came towards him,
"No" she shook her head and held her arms out, she held him tightly, then reached up to kiss his forehead. "Come on sweetheart, let's go" she took his hand and they walked down the stairs.
"Look at you all smart" Maggie Scully smiled. "Fox, Dana, I've made you both some packed lunches to take" she handed Scully two lunch tins. "I'll see you both later, have a good day Fox" she kissed him. "And you honey" she kissed her daughter.
"Bye Mom"
"Bye Mom" Mulder echoed.

FBI building

"This is a big place" Mulder took hold of Scully's hand nervously. They walked along the corridor, Scully pointing out things to him as they went. Suddenly they were approached by a friendly looking guy.
"Hey look who's back" he said holding his hand out "how you doing Mulder?"
"Fox, this is Martin Gordon, say hi" Scully prompted him.
"Hi" Mulder looked at his hand as Martin shook it.
"How you doing man?" Martin smiled. "Looking good"
"Thanks....I'm okay" he smiled "I'm sorry....but I...I've been hurt" he was embarrassed not to recognise the man.
"I know Mulder, it's all right" he smiled as he still shook his hand firmly.
"My name's Fox" Mulder corrected him, Scully had to snigger slightly. "Mulder's my surname, my Dad was Mulder too"
"Yeah....all right" Martin became a bit uncomfortable. "I'll see you around 'Fox' buddy, good to see you back" he walked off. Scully took his hand again.
"Come on" she smiled.
"What's funny"
"You never let anyone call you Fox, you always insisted on Mulder"
"That's silly" Mulder giggled "I'm Fox"
"I know you are, come on. I'll take you to the office" She led him down to the basement office and got out the key. Mulder looked at the name stuck on the door, he traced it with his finger.
"F.o.x..Mu.lder" he read slowly "that's me" he smiled at her. "My office Dana?"
"Sure, it's our office, come on" she took him in and he looked around wide eyed, the office was full of clutter, but somehow it did look familiar to him. He went to his chair and sat down. "Sam" he said as his eyes fell on a photo on his desk, "this is me and Sam" he picked it up and showed Scully. "Where is...Sam Dana?" he had a single tear rolling down his face. Scully came and sat down by him.
"I don't know Fox, you have looked for her, you've searched very hard" she reached out and touched his cheek. "Come on honey, don't cry" she whispered. Touching Mulder had become so natural now, and he craved it as did she. Scully made him feel safe, it was a bond that they never had before but now would never be broken. Scully gently stroked his cheek with her thumb. "You all right?"
"Yeah" he sniffed and dried his eyes with the back of his hand. He swung himself round in the chair to look at the pinboard. Getting up he walked to his 'I want to believe' poster, staring at it for a moment, he looked back at Scully. "What does...it say?" he asked her. Scully walked up to him and pointed to the words.
"I want to believe" she said, then she looked at him, "that's always been here Fox"
"What do I want to believe?" he looked at her.
"Well, I don't know Fox, lots of things. Like one day you'll find Sam, and you want to believe that your Mom is looking over you. You can believe anything Fox, anything you want to"
"Can I believe in you?" he asked her.
"Well, I sure believe in you Fox" Scully smiled, she hugged him gently.
"What are you two up to" came a voice as AD Skinner came in.
"Hello Walter" Mulder smiled. Skinner looked at him, stood there in his suit and tie with his ID badge clipped on him he looked fine. Normal.
"How are you doing Fox?" Walter smiled.
"OK, Dana's showing me around" he walked over to the filing cabinet. "What's in here?" he asked.
"Those are case files" Scully opened the draw, "here we go, have a look if you want to" she handed him one. He opened it up and looked at it in confusion.
"I need...you to teach me reading" he said to Scully. "I want to read"
"Okay" Scully smiled "I can do that for you Fox" she smiled. He was now showing some determination and the trip to the office was having the desired effect.
"Agent Scully, can I have a word a minute?" Skinner asked. Mulder gave a laugh.
"Agent Scully" he said, "can't you call her Dana Walter?" he looked at him. Skinner shook his head.
"Not at work Fox, it's different from home"
"Oh...so I'm Agent Mulder" he stated proudly.
"That's right Agent Mulder" Skinner smiled. "Fox will you be all right here for about ten minutes, I just need to talk to Dana"
"Sure, I'll just sit quietly" Mulder sat down at his desk again and began flicking through a baseball magasine which was on there. He liked to look at the pictures, the text made no sense to him at all.
The time ticked on and Mulder became restless, he decided to take a wander along the corridors. It wasn't long before he was lost, his concentration wasn't excellent anyway and his memory was even worse, so as he looked around her began to panic. A man came wandering up to him with a sneaky grin on his face.
"Hey there 'spooky" he said "so you're back?" it was Tom Colton, Mulder's main enemy in the bureau. Of course Mulder didn't recognise him at all. "So, I heard that you got really shit up Spooky, that some son of a bitch blew half your head off" he tapped Mulder's head.
"I need to f_ind Dana...can you help me?" he said to him.
"Mulder, Mulder" Colton shook his head, "what's it like to be a fuckin' cripple man, Jesus, I mean have you looked in the mirror, you look like shit"
"I...I need Dana" Mulder was feeling his chest tighten, he didn't like this man, he was saying bad things to him, and he was upsetting him.
"You need Dana?" Colton smirked. "Let me tell you something buddy, you ruined Dana Scully, working down in that crappy basement with all your crazy ideas and blatent bad planning. That's why that guy managed to blow your brains out. By the looks of you he only left you with half of one!" he gave a snigger. "I heard that Dana even helps you go to the bathroom, has to hold your Dick!" he laughed out loud. Mulder stared at him.
"St_op it" he said, his breathing was laboured. "Stop it"
"Aw, can't you take it Mulder..."
"COLTON" came a shout, it was Scully, she marched down the corridor towards them, closely followed by Walter Skinner "leave him be, for Christ's sake" she put her hands on Mulder's arms. "You okay Fox?"
"I....I don't feel good Dana" he wheezed. "I got_lost and I c_couldn't find you" he was looking more and more upset.
"Fox, go with Walter, he'll take you back down to the office, I'll be there in five minutes okay?"
"Okay" Mulder nodded. He went off with Skinner.
"Jesus, that bullet fucked him up didn't it Dana?" Colton said "he's like some spastic kid"
"Colton, shut the hell up" Scully shook her head at him in disbelief "I can't believe I was ever friends with you. You are such a bastard. Mulder is lucky to be alive, when he was shot he suffered severe brain damage, the very fact he can walk around and talk is a fucking miracle. You don't have a clue do you? what he's been through?"
"He's a freak Dana"
"No, you're the freak Tom, I have never known anyone so void of emotions. Get out of my way, don't you dare come near Mulder again!" she pushed past him fighting her way back to the basement office. "My God Fox, are you going to have to fight so hard forever, why the hell are people so cold" she came into the office and took Mulder into her arms. "It's all right Fox, I'll take you home honey. We can go home" she kissed his cheek.

end of part V
Part VI (the final part, coming soon)
mail me xfiler_uk@yahoo.com

Title: (One step at a time part VI)
Author: Josie Marchant
Summary: Mulder continues to recuperate
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I forgot to do this in the other parts, oops. Sorry Chris, don't sue me!! They're just on loan to me for my selfish purposes!

The car drew up outside Mrs Scully's house and Scully and Mulder got out, he was silent all the way home, just staring at his badge in his wallet.
"Come on, lets get you inside" Scully gave him a warm smile.
"Dana" he said, "am I a cripple?"
"No honey, no you're not" Scully took his hand firmly, "you mustn't listen to a word that Tom Colton said to you. You're doing so well, I promise you that" she unlocked the front door and they went in. "Go and sit down Fox, I'll go get you a drink" Scully went into the kitchen where her Mother was cooking.
"Oh hello honey, how did it go" she kissed her daughter.
"Terrible, he was fine Mom, he was doing really well. Then Tom Colton had to ruin it all. He called him a cripple Mom, told him that he was a useless cripple"
"Oh my Goodness, poor Fox, how is he?"
"He's upset, I don't blame him. God Mom, how could anyone be so cruel" she flicked the kettle on and put some cocoa in a cup. "I mean, can't people understand how hard this is, he's had to relearn everything, and I think he's doing it so well" tears were threatening to fall as Scully talked.
"Dana, he knows he's doing well. We tell him enough, I think he'll rise above this honey, he will" she hugged her daughter. "Go on out to him, I'll bring the cocoa out"
"Thanks Mom" Scully smiled, she wandered back into the front room. Mulder looked up at her with sad eyes. "Hey there" she sat down by him. "Come here honey" she wrapped her arms around him and held him for a while. Kissing his head she said "I love you so much. Don't you ever forget that Fox, ever"
"I feel sad Dana" Mulder shifted so that he lay down with his head on her lap. "I really do" he started to cry softly. Scully pulled him into her and rubbed his back tenderly as he cried.
"It's all right Fox, have a cry that's all right to have a little cry" she looked at her Mother as she came in. Maggie bent down by him and gently stroked his neck.
"Fox honey" she whispered. He turned his head to look at her, his eyes were red and puffy and his nose was running. He looked like a lost little boy. "Oh Sweetheart" she put her hand gently on his cheek, "it's okay" she smiled softly. He sat up and flung his arms around Maggie, burying his head in the crook of her neck. Maggie looked at Scully as she held him. "I think we should put him to bed Dana, he's tired"
"Yeah, I guess so" Scully rubbed her eyes. "Come on Fox" she stood up and held out her hand, he let go of Maggie and looked back up at Scully.
"I'm....sorry" he sniffed.
"What for? Fox, you have nothing at all to be sorry about. Come on, come upstairs" he took her hand and followed her up the stairs to his room. He sat down on the bed and tried to take off his tie, he fumbled awkwardly with the knot and let out an anguished shout when he couldn't get it undone.
"I can't do anything" he sobbed. Scully gently helped him with it, "I am a cripple"
"Fox, stop it" she said, "stop it now, you're not a cripple, for goodness sake, stop this. You're getting into a right state" she pulled his shirt off him and laid him down on the bed, quickly she got his pants off him. He was still in tears. His breathing had become ragged with each sob and his face was blotchy and tear stained. Scully sat down on the bed by him. "Fox" she said.
"What?" he sniffed, he wiped his nose with the back of his hand.
"Oh, honey, don't do that" Scully got a tissue and wiped off his hand and then his nose. "Listen to me Fox, you are a very brave guy, you have done very well to come as far as you have, and Tom Colton did not know what he was talking about when he said those things to you. I want you to know that" she pulled a clean t shirt out and put it over Mulder's head. "Arms please" she stated, he helpfully put his arms through and looked at Scully through his teary eyes. "Fox, please" Scully reached out and stroked his cheek. "Don't beat yourself up over this, you know I love you don't you?"
"Yeah" he nodded.
"And Mom loves you, lots and lots too. Hell, even Walter Skinner loves you" she smiled. "So what some dumbass like Colton says to you doesn't matter does it?"
"I guess not" Mulder hiccupped slightly with his tears.
"See, there we are" she moved closer to him and gently smoothed his hair. "Come here" she whispered. He leant forward so that she could hold him. "Fox, we are going to get through this. Actually we are getting through this. You're doing good honey. Real good" she kissed his head. "Don't get discouraged because of other people Fox, you have to get better for yourself, it's nothing to do with anyone else. It's to do with you sweetheart" she pressed her lips against his forehead. "Now you get some sleep, you'll feel better after you've had a rest" she tucked him into bed and stroked his cheek gently. "No more tears now baby" she smiled softly at him. "No more tears Dana" he said as his eyes fluttered shut. Scully sat there until she heard his breathing become contented and then crept out, leaving the door slightly ajar"

December 24th Three weeks later
Mrs Scully's residence.

Mulder came wandering into the front room he looked at the christmas tree with all the gifts underneath it. He crept a little closer until he saw a box labelled Fox, he put his hand on the tag.
"Hey" came a voice, "you leave those alone" Scully laughed.
"Just looking" he smiled at her. "I've got you a nice present" he smiled. "Your Mom helped me pick it"
"I know honey, we have to wait till tomorrow though, then we all open them together" Scully sat down on the couch. "Fox come here a second" she patted the seat next to her. He came and sat with her. "How about we have another go at some reading, you said a few weeks ago you wanted to relearn it"
"Okay" he smiled. "Easy stuff though yeah?"
"Sure thing" Scully pulled out a couple of kids books. Mulder looked at them then at her.
"I am 35" he said with a smile.
"I know, but these are good books to learn by" Scully gently shifted in the seat and Mulder pulled his legs up onto the couch, he lay back in her arms and she rested the book on his chest.
After a while she noticed that Mulder had gone quiet, his breathing became contented and soon there was even signs of snoring. She smiled to herself, as he slept there in her arms. She moved around to get more comfortable and Mulder shifted in his sleep to accommodate her. He wrapped his arms around her and snuggled right up. Gently she played with a lock of his hair, stroking it gently. Her Mother came into the room and gave a soft smile.
"He looks dead to the world" she whispered.
"Yeah, we've been doing a little reading, he's getting on really well, I think bits of his photographic memory must still be here, which is excellent. He's excited about tomorrow, I caught him sneaking around the presents like a little kid" Scully giggled.
"Oh, well I guess he is just like a little boy really isn't he?" Maggie gently stroked his cheek with the back of her hand, "this is really like his first Christmas, has he been getting any more memories back?"
"No, not that I know of, he's just going on Mom, day by day. He was happy at the office Mom till Colton ruined everything. I mean that was three weeks ago but he's still upset about the fact he called him a cripple Mom"
"I know honey, but he's doing all right, he's getting so much better. He did up all his shirt buttons today"
"I know, that was pretty good" Scully smiled. "It's not fair Mom, what that man did to him. He was so strong before, he had a good career, and now I'm sitting here with 'I can read' books teaching him things he's known how to do since he was five"
"I know it's not fair Dana, but he's coming through it, it's been less than a year since the shooting, and we didn't lose him, that's what counts, he's still here. I know you love him very much Dana don't you?"
"Yes I do Mom. It's changed though from how I used to love him. I think because he's been so dependant on me, there's like an almost Motherly bond...but not really. I don't know, I know what I mean"
"I understand honey, he's a special young man. I love him like he was my son. Infact I wanted to ask you if you minded"
"Minded what?"
"I was going to ask Fox to call me Mom, do you think he would?"
"Yes, I do Mom" Scully smiled. "That's so nice of you"
"Well, I don't feel right having him call me Mrs Scully or Maggie, I think Mom would be better" Maggie smiled. "I'll talk to him about it later on"
"Okay" Scully smiled. "Mom, how do you think him and Bill will be with each other later on"
"I don't know Dana, Fox won't remember Bill. But Bill remembers Fox, but he should go easy on him shouldn't he"
"Well, I'll have a word with him Dana, I'm sure things will be fine. Maybe Tara will help keep the peace" she smiled. "Talking of Bill I'd better get going on dinner, he'll be here soon"
"I'll help you Mom, just give me a second" Scully got up and gently settled Mulder, he barely stirred. "He must be really sleepy" Scully thought to herself.


"Hello there little sister" Bill came in and hugged Scully, "how are you doing?"
"I'm fine Bill"
"How's Mulder?"
"He's um...he's doing okay" Scully smiled, "come say hi, but Bill, he won't remember you"
"Okay, that I can deal with" Bill followed his sister into the front room. Mulder looked up at him. "Hi there" Bill smiled. Mulder stared at him.
"Fox, this is my brother Bill" Scully smiled.
"Hi" Mulder eyed him up and down "it wasn't my fault" he said looking down at the ground nervously. "I...I tried to help Dana get better"
"Fox" Scully put her arm around him. "Bill's only come to say hi, it's okay, he's not saying anything is your fault"
"One..sorry...sonofabitch" Mulder looked up "that's what you think of me" he swiped tears away with his hand. Bill shifted uncomfortably.
"Mulder...that was a long time ago. I was upset, you were upset. Let's forget it Mulder"
"Bill he likes to be called Fox now" Scully rubbed Mulder's back. "Come upstairs with me Fox, come on" she got up and went to Mulder's room with him. "Fox, listen to me a minute. Bill said some pretty bad things to you once, and I know that you can remember them, can't you?" Mulder nodded slowly.
"But...he's apologised and he's willing to make an effort. That is a pretty big thing for Bill you know Fox? he's a stubborn man, and I know he was in the wrong when he said those things to you, he wasn't right to say them, but let him be nice to you okay" she stroked his cheek. "I know that all this is confusing to you, you keep getting scary memory flashes and it's all strange, but it's going to be okay, you know that don't you?"
"I guess" Mulder gave a cough. "Can I sleep for a bit" he lay down on the bed. "I'm really tired"
"Okay, are you feeling all right Fox?" Scully felt his forehead.
"Yeah, just sleepy" he shut his eyes.
"Well, I'm downstairs if you need me. Sleep well honey" she kissed his forehead. Scully closed the bedroom door and went downstairs to her family. She looked at Bill. "I can't believe you ever called him that Bill" she shook her head.
"Dana I..."
"Save it Bill, I don't want to know" Scully set about talking to her sister in law Tara and cooing over her little nephew Matthew. Maggie came up to her daughter and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Hi Mom" she smiled.
"Dana, is Fox okay?"
"He's sleeping, he's very tired, I think he's all right"
"I'll go check on him in a while" Maggie smiled. "I can have that chat with him if he's awake"
"Sure Mom" Scully smiled. "Want a hand chopping those vegetables?"
"Yes thanks honey" Maggie smiled. Scully took the knife and began chopping some carrots.

Once everyone was settled and the dinner was cooking, Maggie slipped upstairs to Mulder's room, she crept in so as not to wake him up if he were sleeping. She gently pulled the comforter over him, he stirred slightly.
"Shh Fox, it's only me sweetheart" Maggie whispered. His eyes flickered open and he gave a slight smile. "How are you feeling honey?" she asked. "Dinner will be ready soon"
"Okay" he sat up, "I'm really tired Maggie" he rubbed his eyes. He leant in and rested his head on her shoulder.
"Fox, I want you to call me Mom honey" Maggie stroked his back "if you want to that is?"
"Can I?" he said into her neck.
"Yes, you can Fox, I think of you as being my boy anyway, I want you to call me Mom"
"Okay Mom...I love you" Mulder coughed.
"You too honey. Fox, are you all right. You don't sound so good"
"I don't know...I feel a bit funny"
"How do you mean funny sweetheart?"
"My chest feels kind of....tight" Mulder sat up. "I'm okay" he smiled. "I'll wash up for dinner"
"You need any help?"
"Maybe with my buttons" he said.
"Okay, come on" Maggie helped him up and assisted him in getting ready for dinner.

Mrs Scully's residence

"That was lovely Mom, thanks for dinner" Bill said with a smile. "I think we'll turn in now, We'll see you in the morning" he kissed his Mother. "Night Dana" he kissed his sister. Mulder was asleep in Scully's arms.
"Yeah, I'm off to bed too" Scully smiled. "Fox, come on bedtime" she nudged him. Mulder opened his eyes and groggily looked up at her.
"Dana" he whispered.
"Yes Fox?"
"I..I...not well" he let out an almighty wheeze. "I...can't breathe" he winced.
"Fox sit up" she sat him up and made him put his head between his knees, she rubbed his back. "Take some breaths in honey"
"Can't.....do....it" he cried out, he fell into her arms, the world seemed to go into slow motion. He heard Scully shout for someone to call 911, but their voices sounded distant. He slowly held out his hand and looked at Maggie, his face turning an alarming shade of blue.
"Mom..my" he wheezed before his eyes flickered shut.

End of Part VI

I know I said this was the last part but there will be a VII


Title: (One step at a time part VII) Merry Christmas Mulder
Author: Josie Marchant
Summary: The family deal with Mulder's latest relapse.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I forgot to do this in the other parts, oops. Sorry Chris, don't sue me!! They're just on loan to me for my selfish purposes!

Washington General
25th December 12:30am

"Mom I don't understand what caused it" Scully had tears streaming down his face, "did he seem sick to you?"
"He said his chest was a little tight earlier Dana, but he said he was just a bit tired" Maggie held onto her daughter. "Here's the doctor now, how is he?" Maggie stood up.
"Well" Dr Rauche folded his arms. "He's been very lucky, he entered acute respiritory distress, God knows what could have happened" he was sharp in his tone.
"Is he okay?" Scully asked him. "Is Fox okay?"
"He'll be fine, I'd like to keep him in for a few days, he's still very weak and tired, it seems the attack was brought on by an infection. I'm surprised 'DR' Scully that you didn't notice it. With respect you did say when you took him from the hospital that you were going to take care of him yourself, less than a month goes by and he's back in here. I think you need to take a look at your priorities"
"I don't think you should blame Dana" Maggie said "She has been doing everything she can for Fox, I think this was just unfortunate. Now if you'd kindly let us see him"
"Yes, certainly. I've got him on an oxygen cannula for the moment, he was struggling a little with breathing, but I saw no need to put him on a ventilator" Dr Rauche sighed. "He's in room H19, go on in" he gestured and then made his exit.
"What a friendly man" Maggie shook her head.
"He thinks I was wrong to take Fox home Mom, but I wasn't. I was right to have him with me"
"Yes honey, you were, come on let's see him" they walked into the brightly lit hospital room. Mulder lay in the bed, his eyes closed, and oxygen tube was inserted into his nose, but apart from that he looked perfect.
"Fox" Scully came up to his side, "Fox, can you hear me?" she gently placed her hand on his cheek. He opened his eyes slightly.
"Hu.rts" he whispered hoarsely.
"Yeah I know honey, I know" she sat down on the chair by the bed and held his hand tightly in hers. "You gave us quite a scare there Fox"
"Scared me too" he whispered. "Dana...why am... I sick again?"
"You've got an infection, in your chest. It's going to clear up. The doctor says you can come home tomorrow"
"I don't..want...to stay here on my own" tears were welling in his eyes.
"I'll stay the night with you Fox" Maggie said quietly. "You won't be on your own"
"I'm scared" he blinked tears away from his eyes. Scully gently stroked his face.
"You're going to be fine honey" she whispered. "You'll be just fine" she looked at her Mother. "I can stay the night if you want Mom, you look tired"
"Honey, it's okay, I'll stay with Fox," Maggie smiled. "We'll be okay won't we Fox"
"Yeah...I'm sleepy" Mulder shut his eyes.
"Yes, that's the painkillers" Scully whispered. "Go to sleep Fox, shh" she stroked his hair back from his forehead. "I'll be in tomorrow to see you okay?"
" 'k...love you" he murmured.
"You too honey, you too" Scully kissed his cheek gently. "Be good for Mom won't you?"
"Yeah...I'll be good" he trailed off as he fell back to sleep.
"You sure you'll be okay Mom?" Scully hugged her Mother.
"Dana, go and get some sleep, I'll be fine. You look exhausted" she smiled. "He'll sleep for a while yet"
"Yeah. Thanks Mom, I'll see you later" Scully left the room. Maggie sat down by the bed. She looked at Fox lying there. He had come a long way since the shooting. It had been a hard journey, but he had overcome all the odds to get better, he had really become like another child to Maggie, she certainly felt a strong bond with him. Gently she reached out and stroked his hair, he had been through so much, and Elizabeth's death had been very hard for him to deal with. Her heart had felt like it had been ripped from her as she saw him reach out to her, gasping for breath, and when he uttered that 'Mommy' she had nearly cried.
"Oh Fox, I hope you know how much we love you" she whispered. "because we really do" her hand gently stroked his cheek, down his jawline. "You're a fine looking boy" she smiled. "And your Mom would be so proud if she could see how far you've come" she sighed, Mulder murmured in his sleep and reached his hand to Maggies, she took it in hers and stroked the back of it. "You know Fox, we're so proud of you honey, so very proud" she smiled. Mulder murmured and relaxed into his pillow. "Sleep tight sweetheart" Maggie whispered.

December 31st
Washington General

Mulder was allowed to come home, he hadn't been pleased about being in hospital over Christmas but he was happy that he could come out for new years. He was still weak and had again lost a lot of weight in the last few days, but he felt like he wanted to come home, and Scully and her Mother were not about to deny him that pleasure. He still had a bit of a chest infection, but that would clear up with antibiotics.
"You ready then?" Scully asked him.
"Yeah" he got off his bed and took hold of Scully's hand. "You won't make me go to bed early tonight will you Dana"
"No, not tonight honey" she smiled. "It's new years eve" she smiled. "You can stay up" she laughed. She really did feel like his Mother sometimes. "Come on, Mom's in the car waiting for us" She and Mulder made their way down to the car park and she put his bag in the trunk of the car. Mulder got into the front seat and smiled at Maggie.
"Hello there" she smiled "you're looking better"
"Hi Mom" he kissed her cheek. "I am better, Dana said as it's new years I can stay up"
"Yeah, I think we can allow that honey" she smiled. "You're a big guy now" she laughed.
"Yeah, I know, but I don't feel it" he rubbed his eyes. "Hospitals make me sleepy" he sighed.
"Well, you have to rest for a while Fox" Scully said, "I mean you've been pretty sick"
"I know...but I get bored Dana. I want to do something when we get home" he turned to look at her. "Can we do some baseball"
"Honey, you are not well enough to play baseball" Scully sighed. "You've just come out of hospital"
"Dana...I'm tired of sitting around" he whined.
"Fox, honey, you have to take it easy" Maggie said to him. "You have been very ill, you stopped breathing, do you know how serious that is?"
"Yeah..." Mulder looked down. "I'm okay now though" he pouted.
"Fox, you are okay now yes, but that's because you've been in hospital where people have taken care of you. Anyway it's too cold out to play baseball, you'll catch your death out in this weather" Scully sighed.
"Dana" he whined.
"I'm sorry Fox, the answer is no" Scully shook her head in disbelief. Here was the old Mulder coming back to her, he was started to infuriate her. He rested his head against the window and sulked, all the way back to Maggie's house.
They arrived and he got out of the car on his own accord and trudged up to the door, he shuffled his feet as he waited for Maggie to unlock it. He slowly walked in and went to the couch, it had been made up with bedding. He sighed as Scully came and pushed him down on it, tucking the comforter over him. He didn't say anything, just let her tuck him in. When she was walking away he muttered.
"I'm not a baby" it wasn't quiet enough as Scully turned to face him.
"Fox, I know that, but it's just not a good idea for you to go out and hit a ball about, you're sick"
"I'm always sick" he muttered again. "I'm sick of being sick"
"I know baby, I know" she bent down by him. "Fox, I know this is hard for you, but I'm only trying to take care of you, not to be nasty, but because I love you" she stroked his cheek.
"I know...but you have to understand for me...it's hard Dana" he sniffed. "I feel like a baby" he sighed. "And I'm not...a baby"
"Fox, I know that, and I'm sorry if you think I treat you like it" she gently ran her hand through his hair. "I don't think you're a baby honey" she kissed his lips. She was rather surprised at what happened next as Mulder's tongue found its way into her mouth. She responded by doing the same thing, and then pulled away. "Fox...I..."
"Dana...I'm sorry" he looked down. "I didn't mean.."
"Shh Fox, it's okay, I'm not cross...I just...I" she was lost for words.
"You kids want a drink?" Maggie came in. "Iced tea?"
"No thanks Mom" both Mulder and Scully stated. She looked at him and smiled.
"Fox....I love you honey, but I don't know....we can't do this" she took his hand. "We just can't"
"Okay...I know" he lay back down. "But why not?"
"It would just be a bit funny...just...Fox we'll talk about this later. For now get some sleep" she kissed him and got up.Making her way into the kitchen she leant against the cupboard. "Mom" she said, "Fox just kissed me"
"Well he's an affectionate man"
"No...I mean really kissed me" Scully looked at her.
"Did you kiss him back?"
"Well yes, for a second..Mom I don't know what I feel about this" Scully sighed. "It seems kind of sick in a way....like he's my kid or something"
"Dana, he's not though. He's a grown man, a man who I know you loved before he was hurt, there's no reason why you shouldn't love him just as much now, if not more" Maggie smiled. "There's nothing wrong in admitting how you feel Dana, just be sure it's what you both want" she smiled. "Make sure that what you feel is right, and then if you're sure of that, there is no reason at all why you and Fox shouldn't make a loving couple"
"I guess so" Scully sighed. "I'm tired Mom, would you mind if I went and had a lie down"
"No Dana, of course not" Maggie smiled. "Is Fox asleep?"
"Yeah, he's tired, maybe that's why he kissed me"
"Dana, he kissed you because he loves you honey" Maggie smiled. "Look, sleep on it and I'm sure it'll be okay"
"Yeah, I guess" Scully went on upstairs, she couldn't get Mulder out of her head at all.

Three days Later

"Come on then Fox, if you want to go to the park?" Scully called up the stairs.
"Yeah..coming" he came down the stairs in his sweat pants and sweater. He still looked way too thin for Scully's liking. He grinned at her as he came up to her. "You got the baseball bat?"
"Yes, I have, I still don't think you're well enough to play Fox" she stroked his cheek. "I just don't want you to get sick"
"Dana" Mulder sighed, "I'm not a baby, so don't treat me like one. You can't protect me all the time" he picked up the bat.
"Fox, damn it, do you know how close you came to dying? do you?" she shouted. "I nearly lost you. You had half your head blown off infront of me. I had to see you wake up in that hospital not knowing who I was, what we'd been through....you couldn't talk, you couldn't sit without dribbling...you..you don't get it do you?"
"Wh..at?" Mulder looked at her, tears threatening to fall.
"No Fox, don't start crying...you need to hear this" she was firm. "You have been so ill, I've nearly lost you so many times and I am not about to stand there and watch you put yourself in more danger, just because you think that you're ready. For fuck's sake Fox, you still need help with buttons. You are not well enough to play baseball, you're not well enough to do normal things! How can you even begin to think that you are?"
"Okay..." Mulder turned and went upstairs, he took of his yankees hat and dropped it on the stairs. He trudged up to his room and shut the door.
"Oh shit" Scully sat down on the stairs and put her head in her hands. "Shit, shit, shit...I can't believe I just did that to him"

Mulder lay on his bed, his arms wrapped protectively around himself as he sobbed. He felt so useless. He thought he was really trying, and he thought he was better.
"Mom thinks I'm better" he thought to himself. "Dana hates me"
His thoughts were cut short by a knock on his door. "Go away" he cried.
"Fox...honey let me in" Scully opened the door and came into the room. "Sweetheart...I'm sorry" she sat down on the bed. "I'm really sorry"
"Dana....I want to be okay again" he sobbed. He threw himself into her arms.
"Baby, you are okay" she hugged him tight. "Oh God I shouldn't have said that to you. I'm so sorry" she rocked him in her arms. He looked up at her, his tear stained face was pale. She gently wiped the tears from his cheeks. He looked at her and put his hand on her cheek.
"Dana" he said. "I..."
"Shh Fox, shh" Scully leant in and they kissed. The kiss grew deeper and they lay back on the bed. Mulder was so gentle in his touch, almost as if he was scared of hurting her. Scully's tongue entered his mouth and he responded. The kiss was deep and passionate. Mulder looked up at her and smiled. She gently reached for his t shirt and lifted it off him. He looked at her buttons awkwardly, he fumbled with them. "It's okay honey. I'll help" Scully slipped out of her blouse. He traced his fingers along her collarbone and stroked her soft skin.
"Feels nice" he smiled, she ran a hand through his hair and nodded.
"Yes, it does Fox" she reached up and kissed him again, "come on sweetheart" she smiled as she pulled the comforter over the both of them.

Later that afternoon:

Mulder lay fast asleep in Scully's arms, she gently stroked his chest. He shifted slightly and nuzzled his head into her breast.
"I love you so much" she whispered to him. Scully did however feel a little strange about what they had just done. She had wanted it, and clearly so had he, but it still felt a little odd. But as she looked down at him lying in her arms and it suddenly felt right.
"Dana..Fox, I'm home" Maggie Scully called up the stairs.
"Shit" Scully suddenly felt like a naughty teenager, she got out of the bed and pulled on her bathrobe. Mulder opened his eyes and looked at her.
"Wha's'up?" he asked sleepily.
"Mom's back. I just don't want her to know about this honey" she kissed him and went out of the room.
"Hi sweetheart" Maggie smiled "I've got chicken for dinner, were you about to take a bath?"
"Yes. Yes I was Mom. That's why I'm in my robe" she smiled.
"Okay" Maggie nodded. "I'll make a start on dinner, you get into the tub" she smiled.
"Yes, I will thanks" Scully went up the stairs and back into Mulder's room. He smiled at her.
"Hi" he said,
"Hi" she sat down on the bed and leant in to kiss him again. "What do you think about telling Mom about this?"
"I don't know" he looked down "are you ashamed of me?"
"No, don't be so silly" she stroked his cheek. "Fox, I'd never be ashamed of you honey. Don't ever think that" she kissed him again, "I just think we shouldn't tell Mom just yet"
"Okay..." he gave a cough.
"You okay honey?"
"Mmmm....chest is still sore" he winced.
"Yeah, I know" Scully gently rubbed his back. "You get some more rest, I'm going to take a bath"
"Can I come?" he grinned.
"Fox, you are getting better aren't you" she laughed. She smiled at him with her most beautiful smile. "See you soon" she whispered.

Three Months Later
J Edgar Hoover Building

Mulder put his feet up on the desk as he waited for Scully to come back from her meeting, he looked around the office as he waited. His concentration was broken by Scully as she came back in looking happy with herself.
"Why are you smiling?" he asked.
"I've had a pay rise" she beamed. "You ready to go and get some lunch honey?" she kissed him. Everyone now knew about their relationship and her Mother was very happy about it. She was waiting to be given the go ahead to organise a wedding.
"Yeah, Dana" he looked at her.
"Yeah?" she leant against the desk.
"I've got a real bad headache" he winced.
"Have you, where?"
"In my head" Mulder looked confused.
"No, baby I know" she smiled "where in your head? front, back. Behind your eyes?"
"All over" he rubbed his eyes. "I'll be okay, let's go and get some lunch" he smiled. He stood up and Scully took his hand, they headed out of the office to the car park.
"Where do you want to go?"
"I don't know, you pick" Mulder screwed his eyes tightly shut.
"Fox, take one of these honey" Scully rummaged in her bag and pulled out an Advil, he took it from her and swallowed it down. "That should clear it up sweetheart" she looked at him with concerned eyes. "You sure you don't want to go home?" she reached out and stroked the back of his neck.
"Maybe...it ...it's a good idea" he rested his head against the window. "It hurts so much"
"Okay, come on" Scully pulled out of the carpark and they made their way back to the house. Once they arrived Mulder went straight to the bedroom, which had now become theirs. He lay on the bed and waited for Scully to come up. She came in and sat down on the bed, gently she laid a warm wash cloth on his forehead. "That better?"
"Yeah...thanks" he shut his eyes. "Stay with me...please" he took hold of her hand. "It...hurts"
"I'm not going anywhere sweetheart. I promise" Scully lay down beside him and wrapped her arms around him. "It's okay honey, try and sleep" she kissed his neck.
"Okay...I will" Mulder shut his eyes, he felt the whole room move and his stomach lurched inside of him. "Dana.." he sat up. "Feel...sick" he put his hand over his mouth.
"Okay honey, come on, bathroom now" Scully rushed him to the bathroom where he fell to his knees by the toilet basin. He threw up the entire contents of his stomach. "Ooh Jesus, what did you eat Fox?"
"Don't know....oh Dana...my head" he cried. "It hurts...so much" he lay down with his head in his hands. "oh....oh....ow...Mom" he felt himself gag. Scully got him sitting up just quickly enough.
"Okay baby, it's okay shh" she rubbed his back. "It's okay"
"Where's Mom....want to see Mom...." he heaved.
"She's downstairs honey, I'd get her but I don't want to leave you on your own"
"Plea..se get her" he sobbed.
"Okay" Scully rushed to the stop of the stairs and shouted. "Mom, Fox is sick, please come quickly" she called. "She's coming honey, she's coming" she wiped his face with a wash cloth. "It's okay honey" she kissed his head. "It's okay"
Maggie Scully came into the bathroom and crouched by her daughter and 'son' he looked up at her with tears streaming.
"Honey, let's get you in bed" Maggie felt his head. "He is burning up Dana, my God" Scully felt his cheek, the heat radiating off him was alarming. "Come on, up we come Fox" she led him to the bedroom and got him on the bed.
"My...head" he whined again.
"Mom. I think he should go to hospital" Scully said. "He's really not well, I'm worried about pressure in his brain"
"Dana...no" he took her hand. "No...stay here with me"
"Fox?" she looked at his eyes, they appeared to glass over. "Fox honey, talk to me" she put her hand on his cheek. "Baby, talk to me"
"I'll be..with Momma.." he shut his eyes. "Momm..y...take..care..love Dana..an'...Mom" his grip in her hand loosened.
"Fox..." Scully shook him. "Fox, honey...Fox" a little harder. "Fox...wake up honey...Fox"
"Dana..." Maggie put her hand on her daughter's shoulder. "He's gone Dana"
"No" Scully shook her head. "No, he's okay...he's ....okay" she pulled him into her arms. "Momma he's sleeping that's all...he's sleeping" she kissed his head, he was still warm. "He's still warm Mom...he's still warm"
"Dana, he's gone baby" Maggie felt the tears running down her face.
"Bu...but how...wh..at?" tears were choking her now. "He was better...he was okay..Mommy...he was okay" she sobbed.
"Dana, I'll make some calls honey" Maggie got up and left the room. Scully held him in her arms and sobbed and sobbed.
"Please Fox, wake up honey, wake up. I love you, I need you" she stroked his cheek. "My brave boy...please" she cried. "Please...baby please"

Some hours later

"It was a heamorrage...in his brain" Scully tried to compose herself. "It...caused an inter..intercranial bleed and...and" she couldn't do it, she broke down in the hospital corridor. Her Mother gathered her into her arms and sobbed with her child. "He was so brave Mom.. all that work...and he was getting better...so much better..and I..I loved him so..so much"
"I know Dana, I know, I did too" Maggie closed her eyes. Maybe this was a horrible dream, and that when she opened her eyes her darling Dana and Fox would be there in each others arms. "Dana he was my baby too"
"Mom...I want to go home" Scully clung to her Mother.
"Okay, it's okay honey" she led her out of the hospital. "It's okay"

Three weeks after the funeral

"Well, um...I just thought I'd come and say hi" Scully laid the baseball by the headstone. "I love you so much Fox, and I miss you so much" tears streaming down her cheeks. "I slept in your nicks t shirt last night, you know the one that Mom bought you? it still smells of you, I'm never going to forget you Fox, you know that don't you......you have to kn.." she cut off as she broke down.
"Come on, let's get you home" strong hands were placed on her shoulders. She looked up at Walter Skinner.
"He...he was so brave"
"Yes, he was" Walter smiled. "And he loved you more than life itself Dana, remember that"
"I'll never forget that.....I felt the same way about him Walter...and..and.."
"Come on, let's go" Walter led her from the graveside, as she walked she heard a childlike voice of innocence say to her.
"No more tears Dana"


As ever comments appreciated