TITLE: Corrigenda (part 13/?)
GENRE: WIP, MSR, A, Post-IWTBSUMMARY: see part I
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Corrigenda is a Latin phrase
meaning “things to be corrected";
sorry for all the grammatical errors,
I am posting this as fast as I write it
so there is ZERO editing done...consider yourself warned! :)
St. Mary's Hospital
Dana Scully stood, arms folded, dressed in the jeans and green sweater she had arrived at the Emergency Room in and listened politely to the nurse who was giving her a list of counselors located at the local YWCA. The nurse was a tall woman in her late-fifties with a very mellow, mothering quality about her that did nothing to ease the exhaustion of the tiny ginger charge before her.
Scully nodded, trying not to shiver as the cold seeped through the cotton layers she wore, and accepted the list with what she hoped was a heartfelt "thank you". The nurse, whose name she didn't care to learn for Scully wanted no memory of anything related to what had happened to her, smiled sympathetically.
"Your husband has taken care of your discharge, so you're free to leave as soon as you are ready." She paused, wishing as she always did when she was called in for such duty that there was something more she could say. But there wasn't. With another tight-lipped smile, she left Scully to her thoughts.
As the door clicked shut, Scully collapsed into the chair behind her. One thin hand reached up to pinch the bridge of her nose, warding off the tears that were screaming to burst free, and wrapped her other arm around her waist.
God, why do they keep hospitals so cold? she thought, rocking back and forth in the ghastly orange vinyl seat she had refused to sit in with the nurse there. She didn't want to feel any smaller or more vulnerable than she already did. She glanced at the door, ironically thankful that a room had been vacant for them to perform the invasive and humiliating tests that had to be done for legal purposes.
Mulder. Mulder's out there...waiting. Probably killing himself with worry and guilt. A maniacal, hard laugh sounded in the room occupied solely by herself and the tremors got stronger. With vicious ferocity she rubbed the heels of her hands into her closed eyes, the pain of the action glorious. How long am I going to make him wait? He loves me and God knows I love him...more than anything...but...but...but what? What do I do now? What is going to think of me now?
He thinks you were sexually assaulted, Dana, a voice in her head said absolutely. Mulder wants to comfort you. He's dealt with rape victims -- Scully shuddered at the term which now would forever apply to her -- before, but not one that he was this close to. He loves you. You can trust him. He won't hurt you.
Scully shivered. He's not going to hurt me.
But despite this realization, the tears that she had fought all night -- tears of anger, of loss, of horror, and even those of joy for being free -- exploded from her in sobs that racked her so violently that she slid off the chair and onto the floor to pull her legs into her chest.
Mulder looked at his watch for the tenth time since the nurse had left Scully's room. It had been ten minutes. He pushed himself off the wall and began pacing the same five feet of tile that he had off-and-on for the two hours. Every fiber of his being longed to open the heavy steel door, scoop her into his arms, and run like hell until they were in their car, racing towards home.
We're two people who come home at night. To a home. I don't want that darkness in my home.
Shit.Thinking of her words again brought into glaring focus what lay in wait at that "home". Darkness. Scully had been there with her kidnapper. The man who raped her, Mulder seethed, wishing for the thousandth time that he had shot the man when he'd had the chance. Oh, it wouldn't have killed him. No, death was too good for someone like him, Mulder mused. His shot would have been aimed lower...much lower--
His thoughts came to an abrupt end as the sound of the door handle turning caused him to jump. Mulder dug his hands into his pockets for what he hoped was a nonchalant pose.
Scully smiled weakly up at him. "They said I can go now."
He nodded and realized he had no earthly idea what to do next. Normally, he would have guided her down the hall and back to their car. But would she be put off by a man's -- even Mulder's -- touch so soon after? He was aware of how natural that reaction might be, but it still didn't mean he understood what was expected of him.
So he just stood there and waited for her to lead the way.
She wrapped her arms around herself more closely and glanced down at the floor. "I have a favor to ask."
Oh God, anything. Anything, Scully! He took a deep, shuddering breath. "Yeah?"
"Do you mind if I borrow your phone first?"
The question was not what he had been expecting and he stood there frozen for a half-second; long enough that she could see the confusion on his face and misinterpreted it as unwillingness. "Mine, uh, mine is back at..."
"Oh, no, no, Scully. It's not that...I just..." Get a grip, man. Give her the damn phone already. He pulled his hand from his pocket, producing the object she desired.
"Thanks," she said, taking the phone but making no move to do anything resembling a phone call with it. She did, however, raise her eyebrows, glimpse down at the disinfected tile floor and back up at him.
"Oh." So she wanted some privacy. That was a very easy and uncomplicated request, he reasoned. Except for the fact that he never wanted her further than arm's length away from him until the day he died. Very easy, indeed.
Maybe it could work like it did on television, when people would have what would appear like a very private, important conversation that no one else around them seemed to hear despite the fact that they were less than five feet away with nothing but dim background noises to keep them from supposedly hearing what was being said. Could he just turn around and pretend to busy himself with the lint in his pockets and hope that she would feel he was too involved in pocket cleaning to hear what apparently was going to be a very exclusive conversation?
Her expression held the answer. No.
Cursing inwardly, he looked over her shoulder and saw a small alcove. It wasn't far, but so much could happen...
Mulder gave her a nod and half of an understanding smile and headed for the small room.
Three of the longest, most panic-stricken minutes in his life passed before she found him, pressed to the very edge of the closest wall to where he'd left her.
"We can go now."
"Okay," he said to her back as she was already three steps down the corridor that reeked of antiseptic.
When they arrived in the lobby of the emergency room, she froze two steps from the automatic doors and her whole body seemed to deflate. Mulder again suppressed the urge to touch her.
"God, I can't believe...I didn't even think..."
He was alarmed when she finally took notice of his presence beside her. There were tears in her eyes.
"Your car," she began, her tone angry. Mulder was infinitely grateful that his ability to translate her body language told him that she was only frustrated with herself for being what she -- not he -- perceived as weak. Crying was never easy for her. Even in -- no, Mulder thought, especially in -- a situation such as this.
"Uh, yeah. Skinner brought it by. Knew we'd need it."
"What about your keys?"
"I forgot to take them with me, actually."
Under normal circumstances she might have laughed or, at least, ribbed him about it. But nothing was normal at the moment. Mulder also noticed, as she continued out to the parking garage, that she didn't care to question him about why or how Skinner had been involved. And this was something of which Mulder was one-hundred percent relieved. Finally Mulder, having never taken his eyes from her face, saw with apprehension that her eyes darted non-stop around them in the early morning darkness of the concrete structure: a hospital parking garage.
Fucking Patterson. I fucking knew it.
Four steps out, Scully let him take the lead and they reached the spot where Skinner had told Mulder he'd left the car. He opened the door for her and loped quickly to the other side -- the arm's length thing again. He maneuvered them out of the lot and they idled at the stop light.
"Mulder," she said and cleared her throat. "That favor I asked you about before..."
"I know it's a three-hour drive, but I was hoping you wouldn't mind if we stayed with my mom tonight...well, this morning, today I guess."
Was that who you were on the phone with? "No, not at all. But are you sure you don't want to get a flight--"
Out of the corner of his eye he saw her head shaking back and forth as she pinched the bridge of her nose with between her thumb and forefinger and he dropped the end of his question. Mulder didn't even know why he suggested it. To make her more comfortable, he supposed. But, being in an airport with random crowds of people and then sitting with some of those people for an hour was probably not her idea of comfort, he gathered.
As he pulled onto the highway a short five minutes later, he smiled for the first time in over a week. For when Mulder passed under an overpass that read "I-95 Washington DC Baltimore next right", the demure woman beside him reached across the arm rest and took his hand in hers.
She didn't let go until he got out of the car in front of her mother's house.
END PART 13/?