Four More Miles
"Four more miles, Scully," I tell her, my eyes flashing between
the barren stretch of highway ahead and my partner's grimacing
face. She nods, but is too preoccupied with pain to offer any
words. I'm shaking as I drive the car, paying little mind to the
fact that I'm pushing this damn piece of crap rental at the
limits of its speedometer range.
We were over forty miles from the nearest hospital when Scully
took a bullet in pursuit of a suspect. I immediately called for
EMS help, only to be informed that the Lifeflight services were
unavailable - tied up with a three car pile up in the far north
end of the county. We'd have to wait for a ground ambulance to
leave from the hospital... no fucking way would she make it.
She'd taken the bullet in the chest and was bleeding like crazy.
I had to get her help fast. So I made the decision to drive her
myself. Scully agreed with me. She was scared, and that really
scared the shit out of me.
She's not doing well at all. Her face is a ghostly white, beads
of sweat glisten on her forehead. Her breathing is quick and
shallow. Despite the pressure she's holding on the wound, the
blood continues to flow freely, soaking her blouse, staining it a
nightmarish crimson. The first thirty or so miles of the trip,
she kept up with the conversation, the constant chatter I hounded
her with to reassure myself she was doing fine. But the last few
miles, she's grown quiet and she seems to be losing control, less
able to concentrate on what I'm saying to her.
And when her eyes flutter shut I panic. "Scully?!!!"
They flicker back open almost immediately, but I hold my breath
as she tries to focus on me, and until I hear her voice again.
"You gotta stay with me, Scully. Don't close your eyes."
The reply she manages is barely above a whisper. "I'm trying -
getting tired though."
Jesus, she's so pale. What the fuck good is a car that can only
do eighty? "I know, sweetheart, we're almost to the hospital.
You're doing great. You've made it all this way. It's not much
further. Just hang in there."
"I...can't." She's starting to fade again.
"God damn it! Yes, you can!" I hate yelling at her, but I'll do
anything I have to do to keep her alive. I'm torn between the
race to get Scully to the hospital before she bleeds to death,
and the overwhelming need to stop everything and hold her in my
"Mm-mulder, I..." As she reaches out to me across the console, I
grab her hand and squeeze it firmly. Her slight grip confirms
what I already know. She doesn't have much time left.
Another mile marker.
"Three, Scully! The exit's only three miles ahead. We'll be
there before you know it."
"Hold...me," she chokes out the request, fighting now for each
breath she takes.
"Sc-ully," my voice cracks, as I can no longer hold back the
tears. "I have to drive, honey. God, I wish I could hold you...
but I have to drive the damn car."
"Stop the car, Mulder... hold me a little while."
Another glance sideways, I don't like what I'm seeing in her
eyes. Death is looking back at me. She's giving up. Damn it,
she's giving up. My heart's pounding, racing faster than this
pathetic four cylinder engine, ready to explode from the overload
of adrenaline coursing through my veins. I can't let her go.
Scully is all that I have in this world. I wouldn't know how to
function without her in my life anymore. How could I face a day
without her companionship? Why would I want to even try?
We pass another miles marker and I'm already straining my eyes to
see ahead for the next one. "Only two more miles now." Shit,
I'm shaking so bad, it's no wonder I can even drive. "Are you
listening to me? We're almost there."
Her tongue slips out to moisten parched lips and she swallows
hard before she speaks to me. "Not gonna make it, partner.
Pulse... weak. Too much bleeding internal. Please hold me."
I hate refusing her, but I'm not about to pull this car over and
helplessly watch her die in my arms. I can't do that. I can't!
"No! I'm not giving up. And you're not either. Fight, Scully!
Do you hear me? You have to fight!"
She coughs. "C... cold."
Shock. She's going into shock. Eighty-five degrees outside and
I turn the heat on full blast. Wish I had a blanket or a coat or
something to wrap her in. "The hospital will have warm blankets,
Scully," I promise her.
She coughs again and dark red trickles from the corner of her
"Christ!" I nearly lose control of the car. Tires scream as I
wrestle with the wheel to keep us on the road. We're finally
hitting some traffic as we approach the small town, and I nearly
collide into a pickup and have to swerve around another sedan
before I can turn my attention back to my partner. Never once
during all of this have I let go of her hand. Needing that
connection, holding on to her life, refusing to let her slip away
"You're going to be okay, Scully." I say it with such certainty.
If I could only convince myself of that lie. In my mind, I know
it's a miracle, and a credit to this woman's amazing inner
strength, that she's made it this far; and that, in all
probability, she isn't going to survive - even if I do get her to
the hospital alive. But my heart defiantly rejects the facts of
the matter. If my will alone can save her, I have no reason to
be afraid. I'm not going to give up. Never. Not on Scully.
"You're going to be fine."
Watching her try to respond nearly tears me in two. Her mouth
moves, but there are no words... just another gush of blood. And
this time there's a frightening lot more of it.
I try not to let my horror show. I should stop. I should hold
her. She's not going to make it. I know that, but I can't bring
myself to let her go. "Hospital next exit. One mile," I read
the sign aloud as we speed past. She chokes and sputters,
battling to fill her damaged lungs with oxygen. Drowning in her
own blood, suffocating... dying; and all I can do is drive this
The frail grip of her left hand relaxes in mine, and her right
drops away from the wound.
My stomach lurches into my throat. "Don't leave me, Scully.
Scully?" I shake her arm. Nothing. "Dana?" She's
unresponsive. I'm suddenly cold, in this roasting car and my
insides turn to ice. "God! No, please! Please don't die." I
send the car careening off the exit ramp, praying that the
hospital isn't much further.
It's there. Just up ahead. I can barely make out the sign
through my tear-blurred vision. And as I swerve through traffic,
I rattle on nonstop; as long as I'm talking to her, as long as
the conversation doesn't end... she's still here with me. "Okay,
honey, it's okay. I can see the hospital from here. You're
going to be all right. Scully, do you hear me? Please hear me.
I need you, Scully. I... I love you. I need you to know that.
I love you more than I've ever loved anyone. Don't leave me.
Please don't leave me alone." I keep right on talking to her as
if my words can somehow keep her alive. When I run a red light
and swerve around a van, Scully's body slumps forward and I
struggle to right her, ignoring the fear clutching at my heart -
the fact that she's already dead, that it's too late.
The car screeches into the hospital parking lot and I don't hit
the brakes until we're smack in front of the emergency room
doors. In a heartbeat, I'm out of the vehicle and have Scully in
my arms. She's unconscious. I don't think she's breathing
anymore. Not dead. Never dead. Scully can't die. My legs are
numb as I run through the entrance screaming for someone to help
us... to help her... to save her so that I can live again too.
"My partner's been shot! I'm a Federal Agent! Someone please
Medical personnel descend upon us, pulling Scully out of my arms,
asking questions, trying to get me to submit to an exam as well.
"I'm fine, God damn it! Just take care of HER!"
"We are, sir. The trauma team has her." A nurse with the most
soothing voice I've ever heard places her warm hands over my cold
trembling ones. "Are you injured?"
"What? No." Looking down at myself for the first time since the
shooting, I'm sickened by what I see. Scully's blood. I look
like I've taken a bath in the stuff. If I had any hope left, now
it's gone. How could she possibly survive after losing so much?
I've lost her. I know it now. "Oh God! Oh God!" The nurse
searches my chest for a wound but I push her away. "It's not
mine! It's not my blood!" If only it were. I'd give anything
to have been the one hit, for it to be my blood spilling out
everywhere, my life draining away instead of Scully's. "Oh,
Jesus, Scully... I should have stopped like she wanted. I should
have held her and not been such a selfish bastard."
"Easy," the nurse tells me. "We'll get you into some clean
clothes. I'm going to need you to answer a few questions and
fill out some papers for the admitting attendant. But that can
wait until you've calmed down."
"No!" I pull away from her. "I want to see Scully. Where is
That same calm voice. "You're partner's being treated. She's in
"I want to be with her. Take me to her."
"Sir, I'm sorry, I can't do that. You'd be in the way back
Ignoring her warning, I race through the triage area, shoving my
way past the double doors and into the ER. The curtains are
pulled open in the first trauma room and there's a flurry of
activity as a team of doctors and nurses work frantically around
"Clear!" one of them shouts and they all move back from the
center, just enough that I catch a glimpse of fiery red hair and
the pale lifeless body that they're fighting to revive. And
that's it for me. My legs give out and I collapse to the floor.
The nurse who was with me before rushes to my side. "Sir!"
And everything goes black...
I wake up in a cold sweat. It's been six months since it
happened and I have the same damn nightmare to look forward to
every time I shut my eyes. Over and over I drive those last four
miles, watching Scully dying right beside me in the car. When
will it end? When will I be able to put it behind me and forget?
I bury my face in my hands and let the tears wash away some of
the blood that's stained everything in my life since that
horrible day last summer.
And suddenly she's there. Just like she's been every night since
I brought her home from the hospital. Wrapping her strong but
delicate arms around me, comforting me with her touch, making my
whole world right again. Scully. My partner. My friend. My
lover. My life. Right here in my bed, holding me close and
kissing away my tears.
"Scully?" I do this to her every time. She knows the routine.
God knows how she puts up with me. But I have to be sure she's
really there. That I'm not still imprisoned in a dream. That
I'm not going to wake up and find myself alone, with only my
memories of her to hold close and cherish for the rest of my
"I'm here, Mulder." Her beautiful voice, so strong now, so full
of life. When only a few moments ago I heard her utter her last
"But you died." In that moment I'm once again carrying her pale,
lifeless corpse into the hospital, begging for someone to help
"No. I didn't. You saved me." She pulls my hands away from my
face and I look up to see her smiling at me. My precious Scully,
blue eyes sparkling and alive with love for me. "Remember,
Mulder? You wouldn't give up." She laughs and it's the most
incredible sound. "You destroyed the damn engine on the rental
car... but somehow you did it, you outran death for me. You
saved my life. I'm right here because of you. And I'm never
going to leave."
Could it be true? Even with all her gentle and patient
reassurances, even though I sat with her round the clock through
her recovery, even though I hold her in my arms and make love to
her every night now, and even after months of therapy with the
Bureau psychologist... I still have doubts. I still have the
nightmare every night and I wonder... Is it true? Did I save
her? Scully says that I did. And I want to believe her, I
really do. Scully would never lie to me. But the trauma of that
day still haunts me in living color... in the vivid red of her
blood every time I shut my eyes.
Life is too short to drink bad wine.
There is NOT a character death in this story.