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TITLE: Unbelievable

AUTHOR: Gabi Fisher



SUMMARY: Mulder and Scully have to deal with the end of her cancer's remission.

DISCLAIMER: They aren't mine, and I never claimed they were. I'm just gonna borrow them for a while... I'll put them back where I found them when I'm done.

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Mulder sat at the edge of the reasonable small hospital bed. Scully’s left hand was between his two. He listened to the steady beep of the EKG as she slept. She looked so frail and helpless, lost in the sea of hospital sheets. Having gotten hardly any sleep for the past four days most likely left him looking almost as bad as she did. He had spent all his time at Scully’s side in her hospital room. Finally, she had fallen asleep, knowing that when she woke up, Mulder would still be there at her side.

At Mrs. Scully’s insistence, when Scully fell asleep, Mulder lay down in the room next door to get some sleep. "You won’t be any help to Dana if you are a zombie, Fox. Go and get some sleep. If anything happens, I promise I'll get you. You’ll just be next door," she had assured him.

As he settled on the bed, he wondered why he let Mrs. Scully call him Fox. He didn’t let anyone call him by his first name. Not even Scully. Maybe it was because in times of hardship, she acted more like his mother than his mother did, and mothers got to choose their child's nickname. It didn’t really matter at the moment anyway. Scully was who mattered. ‘The sooner I get to sleep,’ Mulder thought, ‘the sooner I will wake up and be able to go back and see Scully.’

He lay back on the bed, but had trouble falling asleep. His thoughts kept returning to the reason Scully was in the hospital.

He had insisted that they go to the hospital five days ago when she passed out. She attempted to tell him that she was just tired, but they both knew she was lying. Eventually Scully allowed herself to be checked in. Mulder didn’t know it then, but Scully had a good idea why she had gotten sick.

Two weeks before she passed out in Mulder’s apartment, Scully had been feeling ill--constantly tired, no energy, and frequent nosebleeds. She had made an appointment with her doctor to see what was going on. Several tests were run, but nothing really stood out as being wrong. Scully’s doctor then had a few more, specialized tests run.

A few days later, the results came back. It appeared that Scully’s cancer was back. Scully refused to believe that. Her cancer couldn’t be back, she argued. That part of her life was over. It couldn’t come back. She took a few days sick leave, and felt better.

Scully didn’t tell anyone what her doctor had said; she felt that maybe if she didn’t tell anyone, it wouldn’t be true that she was sick, and all it would be was the flu and too little sleep. She had even managed to convince herself that there was no possible way that her cancer could be back.

Mulder had kept a watchful, worried eye on Scully when she had returned to work until she got upset at him. She told him that there was no reason to worry. That she was fine. Honestly, she felt as good as new. All it took was a few days break from work, and she was better. He didn’t need to worry about her.

Mulder promised not to worry, and as far as Scully could tell, he had stopped. In actuality, he had worried about her just as much, if not more so due to her insistence that she was fine, but was just more careful about not letting her catch him worrying. Luckily, no big or important cases had made their way to the basement, and they basically hung around the office and did paperwork, finished expense reports, and played solitaire on their computers.

By the end of the week, Scully did appear to be fine, or at least better. She had kept her less frequent nose bleeds away from Mulder’s watchful glance. She wasn’t as tired anymore, and did her best to forget the doctor’s diagnosis. Every doctor made mistakes. Even she made mistakes. Her doctor’s diagnosis was just incorrect. It had to be.

The next week started with a reasonably small case that required the agents to fly out to Tennessee. When Scully felt vaguely tired, she just blamed jet lag and forced it out of her mind. Figuring that Scully was actually better, Mulder stopped worrying, and things went back to normal. Two days after they flew into Tennessee, they flew back to Washington, and then left for Maine for another three days.

The evening after they got back, Scully had driven to Mulder’s apartment to pick up a case file and had stayed for a short while to watch some television with him while eating the Chinese food she brought. She barely picked at hers before setting it down and settling back on the couch. After a while, Scully had gotten up for something, Mulder couldn’t remember what.

When she didn’t come back for several minutes, Mulder got up to see what was keeping her and saw that she had passed out in the kitchen. As soon as she came out of it, Mulder told her that he was taking her to the hospital. Scully protested, as he knew she would, but he ignored it. By the time they were halfway to the hospital, Scully had stopped telling him she was fine, and just sat back against the car seat and closed her eyes.

At the emergency room, Scully was told that she was dehydrated, which was why she fainted, and would need to stay for a few days. Mulder agreed to stay with her for a while, and once she was checked in told him what was really going on.

She had taken his hand and closed her eyes. Scully sighed and opened her eyes again. "I have to tell you something, Mulder. I kept assuring you I was fine, but that’s not true. I went to my doctor right before I took those days off and he told me it appeared that my cancer was back," Scully paused.

Mulder gasped slightly. "What!? Why didn’t you say anything?"

"I’m sorry," she looked at him apologetically. "I guess I thought that if I didn’t tell anyone when my doctor said, then it wasn’t really happening and I wasn’t really out of remission. I didn’t want to, couldn’t, believe it was back. I had told you I was tired, but I didn’t tell you just how tired I was. It was almost as if something had drained all my energy. I didn’t tell you about my nose bleeds either. I didn’t want you to worry about me."

"You should know by now that even though you pretend to be fine, I can tell that you really aren’t," Mulder protested.

Scully sighed. "I know. But it was so much easier to just push it to the back of my mind and pretend that nothing was going on. I didn’t have to fear a hospital stay if I pretended I was fine. I didn’t have to fear not getting better… no cure… death. It was just too much for me." Scully began crying. "I’m so sorry, Mulder."

"It’s alright. Everything is going to be OK," he whispered, arms wrapped protectively around her. He wasn’t sure he believed what he was saying and he knew Scully didn’t, but he said it anyway. To not do so would be to give up.

For the next four days he had stayed with her, offered empty assurances when she needed to hear them, offered some of his strength, and sat by her side so she would not have to be alone. Sometimes when she was awake they talked, other times they just sat, or they watched television. When Scully slept, Mulder watched her chest rising and falling rhythmically, the heart monitor beeping in the background. He found peace in watching her. He felt like he could just sit and watch her sleep forever. For as long as her chest continued to rise and fall and the beeps are steady and continuous in the background.

Scully worried when she saw that Mulder wasn’t sleeping, but he kept insisting that he did sleep when she did. He said he was just tired and stressed and that more sleep wouldn’t solve that. Silently, as not to worry her, he added that the only thing that would help him was for her to get out of the hospital. Mulder couldn’t tell if she believed his lie or not, but she offered no argument.

Over the short period of time Scully was in the hospital, she gradually got worse. She didn’t tell Mulder that, though. She didn’t want him to worry more. She didn’t need to add her burden on his shoulders. He already had enough weight of his own which he would carry around for the rest of his life. She would find a way to deal with her own problems. She had to.

Mulder finally fell asleep, his thoughts exhausting him. He woke up hours later and looked out the window when he sat up. The rising sun painted the sky beautifully. He found strength in the prospect of a new day. It was a new day, a new start, for the search for a cure for Scully. A new start for beginning to pay back Scully everything he owed by helping her survive another day. Anything was possible with a new day. He smiled, finding some hope in the rising sun. No matter what happened, it still rose to face another day. He and Scully would too. They had so far, and they would continue to do so.

He slowly returned to Scully’s room, and found her sleeping, Mrs. Scully in the chair by the bed that he usually occupied. He thought of waking her to show her the sunrise, but decided against it. He just settled in the chair at the foot of the bed and alternated watching the two Scully women and the sunrise.

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Some time in the future I may write a sequel. I don't know yet... Any comments or suggestions would be greatly accepted! :) Please? (My address is by the way...)


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