Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998

I would love feedback on my work!

TITLE: "To Follow the Gypsy Rover" (1/3)
BY: Ten

CATEGORY: S, A, MulderTorture, UST with an elbow into MSR
(to me, since nothing actually happens, but there is
possible romance in the future. I really didn't know how
to label this one - it did not induce nausea in my noromo
friend, Ainon, if that's any guide!)
RATING: PG-13 (Including more details on the logistics of
a long car trip with a sedated person than you probably
want to know!)
SUMMARY: Scully's point of view while helping Mulder the
night his father was shot in "Anasazi" and on the car
trip to New Mexico. She is relying on him as much as he
is on her...
TIMESPAN/SPOILER WARNING: Starts after "Syzygy", the core
is flashback to the Anasazi trilogy, with mention of
other episodes.

Note: My story "Trying To Catch The Fox" fills in the
periods after Mulder ran off from Scully's bed and after
Scully shot him (perhaps that's *why* she shot him!), and
this story ties in with that version of events, filling
in more. They can be read separately. "Trying" is
available through Gossamer and me.

Author's Notes and thanks at end.

DEDICATION: To Ainon - who sent feedback after "Trying",
who was more than willing to discuss the show's great
MT/angst moments, helped with med details, exhorts me to
take "really BAD care of our dear Mulder", makes me
laugh, and says that her friendshipper stance is a noble
one because it helps keep my writing from descending into
mush! Thank you...

DISCLAIMER: The X-Files and the characters of Mulder and
Scully belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions
and Fox Broadcasting, and are used without permission. No
copyright infringement is intended, no profit will be

The X-Files: "To Follow the Gypsy Rover" (1/3)
By Ten, posted June 1998

Scully was driving. Ever since Comity, he was handing her
the keys more or she would have them from the start.

As they drove through the countryside, Mulder reached
over and turned the radio on, surfing for a good station.
The car was suddenly filled with the sort of ballad that
only an alternative, non-commercial station would have on
its play-list. He went to twist the dial, only to stop at
Scully's exclamation.

"Oh! I used to love that song! Can you leave it on? You
can find some Elvis as soon as the last note fades."

"Sure." He sat back and listened, trying to work out if
he liked it. Not really. He kept quiet and let her enjoy

Mulder got wrapped up in thoughts of the completed case
and was slow to realise the ballad had ended. But as soon
as he heard the words of the next one, he stiffened in
his seat.

"The gypsy rover came over the hill
Bound through the valley so shady.
He whistled and he sang till the green woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lay-ay-ay-dy..."

He turned to Scully, who was staring straight ahead,
biting her lip. "You SANG this..."

"You remember?" Her voice trembled.

"Not much of that night, no..."

"I do."

Friday, April 14, 1995
Several hours before dawn:

"We gotta find out who killed my father!" Mulder called

She hurried back into her bedroom - Damn, he was up again
- and put an arm around him to ease him back down. "Well,
right now you need to rest, okay? Rest."

He was anything but happy with that, letting loose angry
little sighs and mutterings. But his eyes closed in
exhaustion over his glare as she put the wet cloth on his

"It's okay. It's okay." Scully touched his cheek.

His comment of yesterday came back to her: *Must be
running a fever. Maybe it's the threat of being burnt at
the stake.*

Oh God, she'd disregarded that earlier. She'd been too
angry with him - assault on Skinner, putting her job in
jeopardy for that stupid tape. Guiltily she watched him
shift on her bed.

"Mulder, I want you to stay put. I'll be back in a

She came back with the thermometer. Mulder was still
lying down, but was becoming increasingly restless, no
doubt gearing up for another attempt at sitting.

"I'm here, lie still." She removed the cloth, and his
eyes opened slightly. "I'm just going to get your

"No..." he muttered between pursed lips. One hand
clenched against the quilt, a fist.

Knowing Mulder, he didn't want proof that he was ill. But
going by the last few days, did she know her partner at

"Trust me," she said softly.

"Trust you," he whispered in agreeance.

She saw the spark of sanity in his eyes, but still had to
open his mouth with a gentle finger to his chin. Scully
glanced at her alarm clock and perched on the side of the
bed, waiting. She took hold of one of his hands and that
seemed to keep him comforted.

Temp of 102. That explained some of his behaviour and
irritability. But what had caused the fever? Illness,
stress, overwork? Or something more sinister...

She put the cloth back, patting it to his cheek and
forehead. Mulder responded to the welcome coolness,
moving his head to press up against it.

"Scully..." he said clearly, "Why's it so hot?" Then more
guilt-ridden, he pleaded, "What's the matter with me?"

His look was so desperate, trusting her totally. Even he
was bewildered by his behaviour of late.

"I'm going to go to the kitchen for a minute, to get you
some aspirin and water. They'll help you feel better. And
I want you to stay right there, okay?"

Aspirins, jug of water, a glass, a bowl - only wanting to
make the one trip, she put it all on a tray and carried
it back into the bedroom. And nearly collided with

"Get back to bed!" she practically shrieked.

"No, I have to - "

"Mulder!" Exasperated, she thunked the tray down on the
wooden chest and grabbed his arm. "You cannot go after
them now. You are going to lie back down even if I have
to handcuff or sedate you!"

He was easily held in her grip, but shuffled from foot to
foot. "Bathroom..."

"Oh...okay." She led him through. "But come straight

Scully kept watching the bathroom as she turned down the
bed. It was an invasion of privacy, but she couldn't
trust him not to wander or charge off. She folded the
quilt and sheets right back to the foot of the bed. The
second he was finished, she was there, ready to guide him

He halted and took a step in the other direction. "No,

"Mulder, I am not telling you again..." she threatened,
then promptly shut up as he returned to the toilet bowl.
Was he going to be sick? To her utter amazement, he put
the seat back down.

/Women would kill to marry him./

Task completed, he let her steer him back to sit on the
mattress edge.

When she gave him the water and aspirin, he put the glass
against his forehead. "Drink it," she said gently,
wanting to get his clothes off and settle him down. She
held back any feelings on the bizarreness of the
situation, forcing herself to remain in doctor mode.

He obeyed and drained another glass as she removed his
shoes and socks. She went on to unbutton his shirt. He
gazed thoughtfully at her hands and laughed faintly.
"This could be...misconstrued..."

Banter - that was her Mulder again. She smiled in relief
and amusement as their eyes met. "I'll try not to enjoy
it too much."

"Wish I could." Then Mulder frowned and stared at her

"What is it?"

"Something's wrong..."

Understatement of the year.

He kept staring at her, puzzled. It was too much for him
to place. His head slumped tiredly against his chest, all
the fight gone out of him.

She held him in place, getting the shirt off, trying not
to think about the bloodstains at the moment. She was
going to lie him down to pull his jeans off, but he
mustered enough energy to stand and help. A part of her
mind couldn't help but notice he was wearing cream cotton
boxers instead of a black silk pair.

Mulder smelt of blood and sweat, and heat was coming off
him. Scully changed her mind about bedding him and
instead took him back into the bathroom and manipulated
the taps to get a tepid shower going. The water needed to
be lukewarm - cold water would cool his skin and prevent
the heat loss he so badly needed. She removed his boxers
and stuck him under the water. He let it all happen
without comment.

/What long legs.../ was as far as she allowed her
thoughts to stray. He was eerily passive.

She tried to picture what had happened. Mulder was an FBI
agent carrying a weapon, and someone killed his father
regardless. Or to set him up *because* he had a gun. He
couldn't prevent it, just like Samantha's disappearance.
He was ill and in such shock that the first thing he did
was to call his partner, ignoring all his basic training
in favour of an extremely passive and slurred
announcement of: "He's dead". How Mulder managed to drive
back to D.C. was a miracle.

She got him out and towelled him off, then took him back
to her bedroom. She rummaged in a drawer and found a pair
of boxers.

He finally spoke. "Your brother's?" Some sign of life
scuttled through his eyes, and she could tell he wanted
to mention another one-word suspect that rhymed with

"No, these are yours." The dull green boxers he'd been
wearing in the ER room in Alaska - only that time,
ironically, he'd been nearly frozen... A nurse had given
them to her when Mulder was recovering. They were the
only item of his clothing that hadn't been cut off him or
ruined. Scully had never gotten around to giving them
back. ("Glad you're alive and awake - here's your
underwear." didn't seem appropriate somehow. But neither
did throwing them away.)

He put them on without further comment, balancing against
her. Mulder sat on the edge of the bed again as she
poured him another glass of water.

His distressed whimper pulled her out of her thoughts.
Mulder was holding his shirt, staring in glazed horror at
the dry bloodstains.

"Dad... Oh God, Dad!" He began to shake.

"Shhh, Mulder. I'm here for you." She gently pulled the
material from his fingers, replacing it with her own

He looked at her, then froze.


His hand reached up to the tiny bandaid at her hairline.
That had been the thing niggling at him.

*No, you can't come home. Somebody shot through your
window tonight - they almost killed me.*

Another inch... "Not the both of you..." he sobbed. "My

"No, it isn't." Her arms went around him. "I'm all right.
You're going to be -"

He slumped against her. "Too much blood! Too much pain,
Scully, there's too much pain! Please make it go away!"

His temperature and grief were spiking. She held and
rocked him as he cried, carefully manoeuvring them over
so she could wet the washcloth in the bowl, to keep
bathing his face and body.

And she sang as she did all this. Having run out of
reassuring words that did not seem to be reaching him,
she remembered what her mother used to do.

"The gypsy rover came over the hill
Bound through the valley so shady.
He whistled and he sang till the green woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady..."

His eyes opened, as if not believing his ears. She had
never sung in his presence before; she could not carry a
tune. But he responded to it, let it calm him. And that
was all that mattered.

The Gypsy Rover. They did not speak, listening as if
mesmerised. Scully pulled off the road.

It was a simple, lovely song. Scully had thought about it
a lot during that time, but hardly ever since. She could
not help drawing parallels in the words. A handsome,
different stranger, who came and claimed the heart...

Mulder's eyes held hers. It clearly affected him. He
whispered, "I remember you holding me and singing to me.
I felt so safe. So looked after - no one had cared for me
like that for a long time. Then when I woke up, you were
gone, and so was my gun..."

Friday, April 14, 1995

Scully looked down in the morning light. Mulder lay on
his back, at last in a deep sleep he'd finally
surrendered to at dawn after dozing lightly in her arms
and several hours of restless moving and babbling. She
had lain beside him for a while. She could have gone out
on the sofa, but wanted to be close by him. She napped,
keeping a hand on his chest. She told herself it was to
monitor his temperature, breathing, bad dreams and any
attempt at leaving.

His temperature seemed to be down a few degrees now. She
didn't want to wake him to check, and her ear thermometer
was out in the medical bag in her car.

Morning, and Mulder was in her bed. After one hell of a
night in her arms. A light sheen of sweat covered his
chest. Never in a million years had she thought he'd end
up there. Only in a million fantasies...

Trust reality to put an X-File twist to it.

In his delirium he had murmured her name more than his
father's or Samantha's...

Scully's gaze drifted down his body, then fell on his
shirt... For the hundredth time she stared at it. Should
she wash the blood out? That would be destroying
evidence... Reluctantly, she decided to leave it. There
was no time now anyway.

She stood there holding his gun. It had to be done. He
needed all the evidence she could secure to help him. She
had to have something to present to Skinner in their
meeting. Mulder would be still asleep when she got back.

Had she really expected an insomniac like her partner to
be capable of rest? She *should* have handcuffed him to
the bed.

The events of that day may have been sands through the
hourglass to a God, but to Scully each sand grain was a
boulder, and they were crashing down all around her:

"You took my gun. You think I did it, don't you?"

Her apartment empty. As was his.

An unmarked van delivering soft water.

Her phone call to the Gunmen. "Frohike, you have to keep
him there... I'm on my way..."

An incredulous Byers: "He asked us if we had a gun he
could borrow... He's tearing the place apart, saying
we're lying..."

"You sons of... She's a spy! ...Did she seduce you,
Frohike? You're all in this together..."

"Mulder, please -"

"I *trusted* you! I *loved* you!" He yelled at her, then
fled, punching Langly on the way.

/Time for the meeting with Skinner...but I can't - I have
to keep searching./

And at nightfall she found him. With Krycek. "He killed
my father, Scully!"

The bang of a gun. Hers.

The lady of the Gypsy Rover's heart now had to get them
away from the Hill. Far away.

After Krycek fled, Mulder fortunately came round long
enough to 'help' get himself to the car. /Otherwise I
would have had to develop telekinesis.../ He was not
fully aware of anything, which was a relief. She took him
to the Lone Gunmen.

The trio held Mulder down on a cot bed while Scully
injected him with sedative. Her partner watched with
horror and fury, struggling fiercely - even with his
shoulder wound. His panic and the sweat rolling off him
made it hard for them to keep their grips.

"Mulder, please stop!" Scully unconsciously echoed his
own begging words to her. "You're hurt and they drugged
you. We're trying to help."

"No, don't... No! Nooooooo!" His eyes kept darting
between her and the needle, as if to confirm this act was
by her hand. He was crying. So was she.

Due to the drugged water she had to give him far more
sedative than she expected before it worked. Finally he
was a limp heap under their hands. That did not ease
anyone's guilt. Scully tended to the gunshot and
explained to the Gunmen what was going on while they
slipped into 'nurse' roles. She listed items she would
need in order to take care of Mulder while he detoxed.
The trio promised to do what they could. Thank heavens
for all night convenience stores and contacts.


Soon she was sitting beside the cot, stroking Mulder's
forehead with a wet cloth, just like the night before.
The bandages on his shoulder made her feel awful. /No
choice, no choice.../ A check of the rest of his body for
damage showed that Mulder had gotten off lightly in his
fight with Krycek - until she stepped in...

Dana found she was unconsciously humming "Gypsy Rover" to
him. She glanced around to see if the others noticed.
They were too buried in their tasks. She hesitated, then
kept humming, hoping it was reaching her partner on some
level. Beyond the drugs and paranoia and fever.

/I've thought you were "hot" for quite a while, but I
really wish you'd turn your central heating down a few

What she was going to attempt was scary. The logistics
were daunting.

But it meant her Gypsy Rover's life.

*I trusted you. I LOVED you*

/And I am returning that trust. That love. I'll keep you
safe. And I'll get your answers for you./ She would risk
everything to smuggle him across the country. /I just
shot you to save you. The rest couldn't be any worse.../

Soon she would get a few hours sleep, enough to sustain
her for the coming ordeal.



The X-Files: "To Follow the Gypsy Rover" (2/3)
by Ten
Disclaimer in Part One

When Scully stripped Mulder of the remainder of his
clothes, his three friends immediately turned busily to
their computer screens. But she had to press them into
service to move him so she could put a blue absorbency
pad under him. She would manage on her own when she had
to. She also inserted a catheter.

The Gunmen worked industriously as Scully slept. And they
kept tending to Mulder. They took photocopies of the
pages Scully had managed to tap out on her laptop off
Mulder's office computer screen from the DAT tape - she
couldn't print from the tape or copy it - which was now
unreachable in the basement of FBI Headquarters. Scully
cursed herself for not retrieving it when she'd been
there with Mulder's gun. At least thanks to the ballistic
tests she knew it wasn't his gun that killed his father.
When Byers woke her, they had procured a car for her trip
and some cash and a wig and dark sunglasses. Scully
pulled a face at the wig - long wavy black hair. Perhaps
a bit like her mother's, but still...

She put it on, grateful that Mulder couldn't see her.

His temperature was better - hopefully over the drive he
would detox enough to allow his body time to fight back
and banish the fever once and for all.

Then the Gunmen carried Mulder out to the car for her. It
was in their private garage, which was just as well. D.C.
alleyways had seen their share of strange events, however
the sight of three weird men trying to fit an unconscious
male - wearing nothing but a Foley catheter, an IV, a pad
and a blanket - into the back seat of a car would be a
little much.

"Thank God he won't be able to remember this..." Frohike
muttered as they settled Mulder, curling him up on his
right side on the blanket and blue pad. Frohike had been
the one with the unenviable task of going and buying more
pads and some adult diapers.

"You want me to get *what*?"

"I'm sorry, Frohike, but he's going to need pads under
him on the trip as a precaution. I've only got the one.
Shouldn't need diapers, but having a few on hand won't
hurt. I've got a well-stocked Mulder medical bag, but not
that well stocked. A trial pack of Depends should do."
She told him the size. "Here's the money."

"Uhhhhh, Scully. Can't one of the others? I mean, if you
want a pair of night goggles or some electrical gizmo,
I'm your man, sure." He was nearly wringing his hat in
his hands. "You know I'd do anything for you or him,

She gave him a pleading look and off he went, muttering
that after all the bizarre things Mulder had requested
off them over the years, this topped the lot. "I'm only
doing it out of love..."

He also got D5NS IV solution from one of their doctor
subscribers, who wrote out a prescription and got it from
his hospital pharmacy for them, because they didn't want
Dana to be traced. She had inserted the needle into her
partner's right hand, whispering that she was sorry. He
hated them with a passion.

But after being shot, drugged, sick and feverish, he
needed to be kept hydrated. Flushing his system with
fluids was the best way to get rid of the drugs he'd been
given. Intramuscular shots of Valium would keep him out
and also prevent restlessness and convulsions - she'd be
distracted enough without him seizing in the backseat.

The baggage for this trip was a pain.

Scully secured the IV bag over the hook above the
passenger window, covering it with a thick, light-
coloured coat to disguise it and keep the sun from it.
She didn't want him inadvertently acting like a non-
housebroken puppy every few hours - which was a given
with the IV and the distance they were going - so the
catheter had to remain in the equation.

With the IV, a catheter would mean she wouldn't have to
change him... It could run the risk of a urinary tract
infection though. She didn't put him in a diaper - he
never ate when he was sick, so nothing much in the way of
solids would have passed his lips in the last few days.
That was one blessing. And due to the drugs she was
shooting him up with, he'd be constipated to some degree.
She would give him morphine painkillers when they were at
last in New Mexico and he was close to waking up. He was
healthy before all this, so he shouldn't have major
trouble with regaining his bowel motility.

And Mulder in a diaper would really ruin some great well as making her unable to look him in
the eye ever again...

/Oh, Mulder. You'd better not ever ask about this
roadtrip... I think you'll be too embarrassed anyway./

The catheter and IV were a nuisance in moving him, but at
least here she had the Gunmen to help, using the blanket
as a stretcher. She didn't want to think of what she
would do in New Mexico - she'd handle that when it

She placed the catheter bag on the back floor on the
interior of an unread newspaper. It was as sterile an
object as she could find, thanks to the heat of the
presses and machine folding. That trick had been picked
up the day she learned how to insert a catheter.

She covered Mulder with another blanket, from his neck
right down over his toes, after applying sunscreen to his
face, neck, and any other skin that might get exposed.

She prayed she wouldn't get pulled over by the law along
the way. Explaining her backseat passenger would not be
fun, even if she flashed her badge: "Well officer, we're
FBI agents and fugitives and I have to keep him naked,
not for my own thrills, but for convenience to detox him
from inadvertent drug taking. That bullet wound? I'm
responsible. Yes, I shot my own partner - he was about to
shoot another fugitive. An ex-FBI agent who killed his
father and set him up for the murder."

Sporting a livid bruise on the jaw where Mulder had
punched him, Langly transferred her overnight bag into
the trunk, and got Mulder's from his car too. The
hardcopy of the DAT tape went in, and food and drink and
maps and Scully's med bag.

The Gunmen then stood, an awkward trio, unsure of what to
say. They kept staring at her dark wig. She stared back
determinedly. "Now, I know *I'll* never tell about all
this, and I'm trusting you guys to do the same."

"Don't worry, Scully." Langly managed to grin. "We'll
never blab to Mulder about that wig."

She held in a very big sigh and kept her calm. "Good, and
I know the same goes for all the rest." She flicked her
eyes at the back seat. "Otherwise you'll find yourselves
handcuffed naked to a prominent bench on the Potomac. In
a line."

Langly swallowed. It was hard to tell if his grimace was
real or imagined pain. "Hey, I was only joking. We
wouldn't dare - I mean, hell, he's your partner and you
SHOT him... What would you do to someone who didn't mean
as much to you?"

She gave an evil smile and got behind the wheel. There
was still a lot of darkness left.

Time to go get the only leverage that might save Mulder -
the translation of the tape.

She drove Mulder out of D.C. without incident. "Hey
partner, I know this isn't as nice as riding over the
hills and through the valleys, and we're definitely not
heading for green woods, but I'm doing the best I can for
you. You have to believe that." Sharp tears suddenly dug
into her eyes, and she clenched down on the steering
wheel. "I'm *not* their little spy."

*You've been making reports on me since the beginning,
Scully. Taking your little notes!*

"How do I explain it to you? How do I make you see I'm
yours, not theirs? Even - even in the first year of our
partnership, if this happened then, I would have taken
the same risks for you, Mulder." She began singing The
Gypsy Rover softly, knowing anyone driving past would
think she was just singing along with the radio.

And when she reached the second verse, she couldn't help
repeating it:

"She left her father's castle gate,
She left her fair young lover.
She left her servants and her state,
To follow the gypsy rover."

Left her state, her country, her system of law. Risked
her ambitions, career. Life.

"Her father saddled his fastest steed,
He ranged the valleys over.
He sought his daughter at great speed,
And the whistling gypsy rover."

The manhunt they must have set off. She kept checking the
rear view mirror. Constantly tensed. When was Bill
Mulder's body discovered? There had been nothing on the

/Oh God - but what if it does come on? What if Mom sees
it? I can't risk contacting her. Please, God, let her
know I'm all right. I have to do this, Mom. I know the
risks. I know I could be sacrificing the job that means
so much to me. But I also know *why* the job means so
much to me. And he's being set up. Set up to die./

As the tires ate up the miles, she kept thinking about
her partnership with the helpless man in the back seat.
"I'd never do this for anyone else," she confessed to
him. "I never would have for Jack. I'm scared to think of
what that means. I'm turning my back on everything -"
/Not everything. Your everything is right behind you. And
I don't mean back in D.C./ "- and galloping away. If they
come after us and try to take you, I will kill them. I've
lied for you, Mulder. And not just in the last few days.
When Tooms framed you, when you raced off to Puerto Rico,
when... I can't bear to have you think your trust in me
wasn't justified. I know it's the drugs... God, I just
want you back..."

She retreated back into the safety of the song to balance

"The gypsy rover came over the hill
Bound through the valley so shady.
He whistled and he sang till the green woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady..."

Scully pictured herself and Mulder in period costume, on
beautiful horses, his black, hers white, galloping
through beautiful green forest. He called her Dana. He

She rolled her eyes. /I'm acting like a romantic
schoolgirl... I'm just tired from lack of sleep./ "I
can't say this is the most fun trip I've ever had with
you, Mulder... But at least I get to drive. Though I wish
you were at least in the passenger's seat. I mean, the
song says you're supposed to take *me* away!" She thought
back to their first meeting. "You've changed me so much."

*I trusted you. I LOVED you!*

She fed on that sentence, letting it sustain her.

/What if the drugs were LSD and he gets flashbacks? He'll
never be a field agent again./ She realised that was the
least of her worries now, but she had to think of
something to fill the gap.

She took every alternative route she could that wouldn't
add a heap of drive time and sped on deserted stretches
of road when she wasn't near towns. She hated doing it,
hated playing the risk that a policeman would pull her up
for a ticket and find much more. But if she didn't, it
would be 35 hours drive-time from DC to Albuquerque, NM,
then another four hours to Farmington.

She kept getting startled by her black-haired reflection
in the rear view mirror. She didn't dare stop at a motel.
Just getting gas was dangerous enough. She went to
restrooms at crumbling rest stops off the beaten path, to
attend to her own needs and empty the catheter bag. To
eat, check the maps, close her eyes for a few blessed
minutes to collect and steel herself. She gave him more
sedative, making that gorgeous rear even more bruised
than in his fight with Krycek. "Sorry, Mulder, but I
can't mix Valium with the D5NS - with the speed the IV's
going, it would OD you...and it needs to be shot *deep*."
She checked and changed the IV solution, keeping it
running at 200cc an hour, applied sunscreen, checked his
temperature, vitals and wounds regularly - no sign of
infection setting in. His fever was dissipating.

Every few hours she moved Mulder around - onto his back
or his side. /Couldn't the Gunmen have found a van?/ It
was more convenient to keep him on his side - she cursed
those long legs she'd so admired before - but what sort
of a care-giver would she be if she took care of
everything else only to let him get bedsores and stiff
bones? So she managed by pushing his knees up a bit to
fit him all on the seat when he was flat on his back.

/Am I doing the right thing? It is the *only* thing. But
taking him on such a long trip, he's bleeding from two
holes that I inflicted - why didn't I just scare him in
the alleyway? He might have startled and dropped the gun.
He loses them so easily - ha ha, Dana... The car's
jostling him around, I might not be able to control the
bleeding, I'm causing him pain./

The radio news said nothing about a murder in Martha's
Vineyard or two fugitive FBI agents. The Government must
be keeping this hushed up as they did their own search.
With deadly intent.

How long could she go without sleep? For as long as it
took to reach her goal. Mulder was doing the resting for
both of them. She had to do the carrying for now. Her
doctor training and her busy working life enabled her to
function on little sleep when necessary.

She thought of the dialysis filter, shrouded in two
evidence bags in the trunk of the car to keep the
incriminating contents from evaporating. His temperature
wasn't the only thing he was high on... /What a plan! Not
subtle now I have all the pieces, but they almost got
him. So close...and I didn't help him until it was almost
too late. He *said* he had a fever. What sort of doctor,
partner and friend am I to ignore that? And what would I
have done if I went into doctor mode? Checked his
temperature, got him to lie down again on that damn
couch, fetched him some aspirin and a glass of *more*
drugged water, and so still have not done any good!/

Mulder's bloody shirt was in a large evidence bag too.
She was sure the splatter pattern would be more proof
that Mulder hadn't shot his father. She had thought about
leaving it with the Gunmen for safety, but if the agents
were discovered she wanted to present all the evidence.
If given a chance. And not have the trio dragged in.
Dicey whichever way she chose to go. Destroy, hide,
neglect... She also had the rest of his clothes, stiff
with sweat, which she would wash at whatever motel they
ended up in. /And sew up the bullet holes, Dana?/

When they reached Albuquerque on Sunday, she discontinued
the IV in preparation of the later removal of the
catheter. His temperature was normal. She stopped at a
phonebox in Farmington. On wobbly legs she got out and
called Albert Holsteen. His voice was strong and
reassuring. He gave her the address of a motel and said
he would meet her there. Scully glanced at the back seat
and said she would appreciate that. He sounded elderly,
would have to be if he was an original code talker, but
he could get some help for her. Sure enough, he quickly
rounded up some men, and they carried Mulder and his
remaining attachments into the room Scully booked. The
men left her alone with Albert and Mulder.

She explained their situation, and found that Albert was
not surprised. He hadn't blinked when she removed her wig
either. "I knew this man would come. I know you wish to
expose the truth. We have found evidence on a reservation
close by of what these files detail." He looked over the
pages as she gave Mulder a final dose of sedative. "It's
been a long while since I saw these... I will translate
what I and others encoded."

She gave him full access to the documents and lay down to
sleep next to Mulder. She lay her hand on his chest - a
dangerous move with a stranger in the room, but she
trusted Albert. She went to sleep.

After she caught up on some rest, Albert left for a while
to give her privacy to have a shower and sort everything
out, including which way was up. He took some of the
hardcopy to keep working on. She gave Mulder a sponge
bath and shave, taping Saran Wrap temporarily over his
bandages to ensure she didn't get his wounds wet. /This
is some sort of penance. Mulder naked, but unconscious.
Not fair./ At least his wounds weren't bleeding much. She
gave him a painkiller in anticipation of him waking up.
Then she removed the catheter and dressed him in boxers
and jeans from his overnight bag.

/My very own Ken doll.../

She wanted him 'normal' for when he woke up. Then
hopefully he wouldn't twig as to the lengths she'd had to
go to. Though she did still keep a blue pad under him on
the bed for as long as she dared. Then Albert came back
with the translations of what he'd taken. And a whole new
set of worries kicked in.



The X-Files: "To Follow the Gypsy Rover" (3/3)
by Ten
Disclaimer in Part One

Her gypsy stood before her, a little unsteadily, and
barefoot. "Thank you. Thank you for taking care of me."

She had to tell him. "There's something else. My name is
in those files. It appears in the latest entries with
Duane Barry's."

The angry Mulder and the unconscious Mulder were both
long gone. "In what context?"

"It's not clear. But it has something to do with a test.
I want you to find out, Mulder. I need you to."

He nodded, alarmed and concerned. He shuffled slightly on
the faded carpet in the silence. "I'm sorry for
everything awful I did... What I *think* I did... I
yelled at you - didn't I? Langly...I punched Langly?" It
was hard to tell which he was more worried about.

"He's okay. It wasn't your fault. You didn't go running
off to them, telling them to drug you." She knew he
couldn't remember his accusations, her singing, his
admittance of his feelings. It was just as well. For the
moment there were urgent answers to find about those

His fingers skimmed over his chest as if he could still
feel her hand there. He gave that quick, quirky grin,
went into the bathroom and shut the door. Scully couldn't
help smiling - if he had any recollection of the shower
at her place or knew how 'intimate' they'd been on the
trip... All evidence was by now carefully stowed away in
her medical bag. If he did ever recall anything,
hopefully he would dismiss it as fever dreams. Though
after all his hospital stays he could probably tell he'd
been on a catheter. She doubted he would ever *ask* about

The toilet flushed. It seemed problems with UTIs had been
avoided. She'd keep an eye on him just in case. A few
minutes later she heard the shower start up. She hastily
went and knocked on the door.

He opened it only a crack to look out. He must have
gotten his pants and boxers off one handed. "Yeah? Oh,
sorry, did you want to -"

"You don't need a shower."

"Why not? I'll be careful not to get this love bite from
you wet or germy."

"No - I, um, I gave you a sponge bath a few hours ago."

Mulder blinked, stunned. "Albert wasn't around for that,
was he?"


"Oh. But you were?"

"No, I did it from out in the parking lot so I wouldn't
peep. Yes - strictly doctor/patient."

He hesitated, struggling with what to think of this
concept, and probably wondering just how thorough a bath
it had been. He took a sniff of his right armpit, then
shrugged and shut the door. The shower went off. A few
minutes later she heard a muffled curse.

"Do you need a hand?" /Since I rendered your other one

Reluctantly he came out. He'd gotten the boxers and jeans
back on, but was finding it hard to zip and button the
latter. She did the task briskly and professionally.

Mulder stared at the healing mark in her hair. "Are you

She knew he meant about more than that. She nodded.

He rubbed at his cheek. "You shaved me too?" Amused.

"Full service." It came out before she realised.

"How long did you say I was out for?"

"Since Friday night. It's Sunday afternoon now."

He stared at her, clearly wondering about certain aspects
of his care which would have needed to be dealt with
during that time. "How did - um..." He chickened out.
"How did Albert take to your story about us being on the

She was glad he had earlier accepted the lie about him
not having any water for over 36 hours. It was half-true.
Orally he had not. He unconsciously scratched at the site
the IV had been inserted.

Mulder sat down and promptly muttered, "Owwww..." He
wriggled on the chair uncomfortably and frowned, trying
to work out why his rear was sorer than his shoulder.

"Krycek slammed you against the wall or a car, didn't he?
That's probably why."

"Oh, right."

At least Krycek was useful for something...

Mulder drained all the water left in the jug, ate, and
said he was ready to go see the secrets on the
reservation. She didn't argue. She phoned Albert.

She produced a shirt from the bottom depths of his bag
that wasn't a dress shirt and helped him into it. It was
a lovely blue colour she thought really suited him. His
left arm was fairly useless - he tried to do up the
buttons one-handed. Scully stepped in and did it for him.
Straightened his collar automatically, just like a wife
would. Both felt the domesticity, the potential, saw it
in each other's eyes. For a long minute they stared at
each other, her hand still resting near his collar, both
*way* into each other's personal space, before hearing
the horn from Albert's arriving car.

His hand brushed over hers. He smiled and went out the

Then Mulder drove off towards his death. And she was left
with the knowledge that she'd taken him most of the way

Events turned into hourglass boulders again... One
jarring thud after another.

His phone call from the boxcar that was cut off. Her
nerve-wracking wait at the motel before setting off to
the Holsteen's house to find the family brutalised. She
listened to Eric's tale of Cancer Man and the helicopter.
'Father' had arrived.

"He came at last to a mansion fine,
Down by the river Clady,
And there was music and there was wine,
For the gypsy and his lady."

Her partner had been given a Viking funeral in a boxcar.
No - burned at the stake. In shock, she headed back
towards D.C., absently talking out loud, just as if he
was still in the car. She didn't even bother to hide the
files, just dumping them in the trunk.

The marines pulled her up during the lonely trek back and
took them. What did their loss matter?

The files which seemed to mean everything left only a
bitter taste in her mouth now. Why had she put them
before her partner? *I'm afraid you're on your own with
this.* Why draw the line there - after travelling so far
outside the boundaries, why not go a bit further? Why had
she let him go off a few hours after waking up - with an
injured shoulder?!

Yes, the files were something he wanted to pursue, but
she'd given him more urgency by bringing her abduction
into it.

Thank God he had forgiven her for the shooting and
drugging. "I trusted you - I loved you" had returned to
"I trust you, I love you" in their silent way. Would that
be enough to sustain her over the rest of her life?

"'He's no gypsy, my father,' she said,
'But lord of the freelands all over,
And I will stay 'til my dying day,
With my whistling gypsy rover.'"

Her return to D.C. To the OPC hearing. Defending the
unique man she thought was dead. But 'Father' hadn't
listened. The people who ran the FBI, ran the God-knows-
what that she and Mulder had come so close to exposing,
had censured him and suspended her.

After discovering that the DAT tape was gone from the
desk, she'd left in a daze, forgetting that she'd wanted
to take down and take home his "I WANT TO BELIEVE"
poster. The Lone Gunmen still had copies of her typed
notes, but without the tape to guarantee the authenticity
of the source... It could be merely dismissed as
fabricated reports. She could get Albert to swear they
were genuine, but to what purpose? His family could be
killed this time. And what was there to fight for...

All she had been left with, for those long, empty days,
was little more than that song going round in her head.

Lying in bed, hearing a whimper, automatically reaching
over to the other side - "It's okay, Mulder. I'm here." -
before her hand came down on the empty space and her
brain processed the whimper as her own.

The tears had flowed then, and she moved over to 'his'
side, burrowing her face into the pillow, trying to smell
even a hint of his aftershave. She could sense that for
months to come she would keep coming over to this side
for periods of time, for comfort. Wrapping her arms
around herself, Scully thought about calling her mother,
about asking if Mom had done this after Dad had died. A
watery smile came when she imagined the understandable
reaction to Mulder having been in her bed.

She *was* a widow. Mrs Spooky.

There was the surrealness of taking his overnight bag
back to his apartment, not knowing what to do with it.
The clothes washed - the last practical, useless act she
could do for him.

/I dressed my man and sent him out to battle. And I
didn't even give him a kiss goodbye.../

Then -

The dream. *I have returned from the dead to continue
with you...*

The reality. "I was a dead man; now I'm back."

Standing in front of the elevator, she had wanted to hug
him. But Skinner could come out of Mulder's apartment at
any time. So she fumblingly talked. As soon as the
elevator doors closed them off from the world, both
turned without a word and their arms went out. Mulder let
her go a second later, and then only enough to hit the
emergency stop so they could just stand and hold.

"I'm sorry I couldn't let you know sooner - " he said
into her shoulder.

"No, your own way, you did."

He'd survived somehow. Despite the amount of blood and
fluid he lost in the desert and during the ceremony, the
miracle of him lasting in all that rubble and heat and
the trauma of escaping the boxcar in the first
place...the wound bleeding, dirty and infected...doing
all that frantic digging and crawling... Thank God she
had kept him on the IV for the drive. It could have made
just enough difference to keep him alive.

He was here. Her face was pressed against the blue shirt,
the same one she wanted to hug against so many days ago.
The woods were green again and full of whistling.

The song had finished ages ago. Neither spoke in that
time. Scully reached out to turn off the radio. Mulder
stopped her, putting his hand over hers.

"No," he said gently, "I think I like this station after

Two people who had returned from the dead for each other
sat there holding hands. The Gypsy and his Lady.

Another song began, played, and ended as they remained
like that. Then a car drove by. Startled, Dana pulled her
hand back and looked out the window, trying to collect
her thoughts. "Um...we'd better get going."


They drove on. Twenty minutes passed, again unbroken by
words. Scully glanced at Mulder. He was wearing a very
puzzled frown. "What is it?"

"It just occurred to me - how'd I get my green boxers
back? I lost them for months, then they turned up in my
overnight bag..."

"Didn't you get a five pack special of them, Mulder?" she
said lightly.

He gave a mock glare, then turned away, muttering
something about colour blindness and probably being

A few more minutes of travelling went by. Her gaze
skimmed over rural fields. "Mulder, you know how
to ride a horse?"

"Yeah. I did at Oxford. And I have cousins who own a farm
and I ride while I'm there. Well - rode. It's been a few
years. I'm a bit rusty now."

"I have friends who own a riding stable. Would you like
to go there one weekend soon? For a break? I'll make sure
they give you a gentle horse and go over the riding
basics first."

"Sounds great." He sat back in the seat and closed his
eyes. She began telling him tales of the various horses
and their personalities, but when he began humming 'The
Gypsy Rover', she stopped.



His eyes were open, his voice quiet and serious. "I more
than trust you."

She smiled. "And I, you."


Author's Rambling:

This story does have a few minor differences to "Trying
to Catch the Fox"... They were at first completely
different standalone vignettes, and in "Trying" I was
more interested in the medical aspects than the timeline.
But with "Gypsy" a bit of tweaking had to take place to
account for the on-screen dates and the transporter beam
CC seems to have on tap for when Mulder and Scully travel
long distances in such short spaces of time!

"The Gypsy Rover" is a traditional ballad. The Highwaymen
did a lovely version of it.

Sheryl Martin wrote a brilliant piece called "Fever -
Anasazi" several years ago, which I have always loved. My
story may have a few parallels - after all, when an
upset, semi-delirious Mulder turns up on your doorstep,
there's only so much you can do: undress him and comfort
him lots!

Deep thanks to Debbie, Ainon and Suzanne Bickerstaffe for
information and hysterical discussions of just what this
car trip would entail. Our apologies to Mulder for the
indignities, but this was an attempt at realism... And
thanks to Crash, Gerry Hill, Lisa, Kristina J and Lili.