Title: Do You See Them?
Summary: Mulder is the only one who can see them. But is he willing to sacrifice anything to help them?
Do you see them?
"Do you see them? You have to see them."
"Mulder, you're delirious. You'll be fine. Don't push yourself."
"I see them. It's okay. They're not bad. They're fine. They just want to spend Thanksgiving with us."
Twelve Hours Earlier
Approaching the house, you couldn't tell from the outside there could be anything wrong with it. Well, not as much haunted as challenged, Scully shrugged. They'd been in haunted houses before, and they all looked quite innocent. Well, except for a few, of course.
This one, however, was different. Not because it was new and finished only six months ago, but because it was built in Idaho, of all places. Had anyone ever heard of a haunted house in Idaho?
"There were Indians in Idaho, Scully," Mulder told her during the long drive
that brought them through corn fields and farmer properties. Everything looked so unspoiled here, so unlike the city they both lived in. Scully had never been much of a country girl, and frankly she ached for more houses and apartment buildings that would make her feel less isolated. Yet she tried to get the feel of the place. A farmer's house sat in the middle of nowhere, with his cornfields wrapped around it like a blanket.
"Yeah, you told me," she replied absent-mindedly. "The Nez Perce Indians."
"Indeed. They lived here for thousands of years before the Europeans came. After decades of wars, they made peace with the new American government and now live in a reservation southeast of Lewiston."
"So, if they were the friendly type, why this house haunted?"
"The Gable's were not very lucky when they decided to make guesthouses out of the old house and build a new one two hundred feet away. Of all places they picked, they chose an ancient Indian burial ground."
"Oh boy," Scully shuddered. "Are we going to see 'Pet Sematary' now?"
She knew Stephen King's book and had seen the horrifying movie. In it, a family that found an ancient burial ground buried their pet and then their deceased child after it was killed. It was one of the scariest movies she'd ever seen.
"Or how about Poltergeist? Their house was built on a cemetery too."
"You know I don't believe in ghosts and poltergeists. And now don't go saying that, after all we've seen, blah blah blah. I know the stories, Mulder. I know what we've seen, and I still don't believe it."
He laughed. "I wasn't going to say anything. But now that you mention it -"
She whacked, or hit him hard in the side, almost swerving the car off the road. "Hey, get back in your seat! You know you're not supposed to disturb the driver."
"Whatever. Please don't tell me we're going out there on the day before Thanksgiving to investigate ghosts."
"No, we're not."
"We're investigating Indians."
Lovely house, Scully thought. Let's just hope the car doesn't break down or we're not trapped in some sort of winter storm. She was not eager to have to spend Thanksgiving here. The cornfields that were now empty and ready for spring planting seemed to stretch on forever. An eerie silence. No horses, no dogs.
"We're spending one night here, Scully. That's all. I promised Mark that."
"Mark Gable. The owner of this house."
"Mulder, you said we would go for a new case. You never said you knew this man."
"I don't. He came to see me."
"Who is he, then?"
"Believe it or not, he's an FBI-agent."
"An agent? Living here? That can't be."
"Oh yes, it is. His wife keeps the farm and he works from home or in the field office. He's brilliant, by the way. Very clever mind. He's worked on Waco and a couple of other hostage situations. He's been working on the 9-11 investigations, too."
She shrugged. "If he's so brilliant, then why did he come to you?"
"Ouch. Touch. Because Indians are not his forte. Neither are legends and ghosts."
"Thought we weren't doing ghosts?"
"I lied." Mulder grinned wryly and raised his hand to knock on the door. It swung open. The agent almost kicked the tall man standing in the doorway in the face. Mark Gable laughed, stepping backwards.
"Mulder! Good to see you. This must be your partner. Hi, I'm Mark Gable. Pleased to meet you."
"No relation to -?"
He laughed and shook his head. "Not at all. Come in. Come in. Did you find it okay?"
"Your directions were clear."
"I'm used to guiding people through the Idaho wastelands. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea? Hot cocoa?"
"Coffee is fine," Scully said, instantly growing a liking to the man standing before them. "Thank you."
A few moments later Scully had taken in the house's dcor and decided she loved it. Large, bright rooms. A huge kitchen with a cooking island. Open living room with separate study, an enormous hallway leading to upstairs rooms that were probably just as large as the downstairs area.
Everything had been decorated with attention and the touch of a female hand. It was gorgeous. Now if she could only transfer this house to D.C. she'd have her dream place. Her thoughts were interrupted by Mulder who moved closer to her and whispered, "I know you're not a country girl, but wouldn't you just kill for this place?"
They sat around the large table in the kitchen area and drank their coffees while Mark chattered away about a case he'd done just recently and that Mulder had obviously heard of. An old pal of him, she should have known, she thought with a smile.
"My wife will be home early tomorrow morning. She's staying at her parents tonight with our daughter, Molly. We were kind of hoping you might find a solution to our problem."
"What exactly is your problem, sir?" Scully asked.
"Please, call me Mark. Colleagues and all that. Well, believe it or not but I never thought I'd say this but lately I've come to believe that there might be ghosts wandering about this place and I don't like it at all. I cannot explain what is happening any other way."
"Start at the beginning," Mulder insisted. "Take your time."
"Well, okay. About a year and a half ago we got the permits to build our dream house on this exact spot. When they started excavating for the house's foundations, the construction company stumbled upon a couple of very, very old skeletons. Museum officials came over and removed the skeletons which came from an old Indian tribe. We received permission to keep on digging because there were just four skeletons and no other signs of a burial site. They had been buried separately from another gravesite apparently."
Mark poured another coffee and sat down again. "Anyhow, we thought that would be the end of it. There was nothing extraordinary at first. Then last week, things started happening. Molly had fevers and she kept on insisting there was someone in the room talking to her. Then things started moving around. My car keys, for example, kept on disappearing. Doors opening and closing. Noises in the basement. Lila hasn't been able to go down there for an entire week. The odd thing is that I don't feel endangered. Even if there is something in this house, I don't feel like it's threatening me. But I am certain that, whatever it is, it must have come from that burial site."
"Mark asked us to spend the night here, Scully," Mulder said. "To see if we saw anything out of the ordinary, too."
"And what if we do?" Scully asked.
"I don't know," Mark shrugged. "Try to communicate with them, see what they want, and how we can get rid of them. I'm not eager to have my daughter grow up in a haunted house, god forbid. I just want to make sure that there is nothing wrong and that we are perfectly safe."
"I see," Scully said. "Well, I guess there's no harm in staying overnight and do some ghost hunting. But you do realize that tomorrow night we can't stay. It's Thanksgiving after all."
"Of course. Of course." Mark shrugged again. "I'm certain it's nothing, you know. I just want to make sure. Now, if you'll come upstairs with me, I'll show you to your room."
"Our room?" Scully hissed at her partner. "Did you tell him - you know - ?"
"Relax, Scully. There's just one spare bedroom. He asked if we would mind sharing it. I said, of course not."
"I do mind," she retorted with an evil grin.
"The couch sleeps fine, too."
The spare bedroom was superb. When Mark left the room and Mulder closed the door, she hopped on the bed. "Oh, I like this place."
"Let's see if you still like it tonight," Mulder grinned and coughed behind his hand, trying to get rid of the itch that had been struggling in his throat when they arrived at the house. He hated aching throats. Always a foreboding for a nasty cold, flu or whatever else bug that roamed the world.
Outside, the dark clouds finally turned into the predicted storm that roamed the Idaho lands.
Mark Gable was the perfect host, inviting them for a great dinner he prepared himself. He shrugged. "If you live this far out in the middle of nowhere, you have to cook decently. No takeouts around."
"It's fabulous," Scully muttered as her tongue savored the taste of roasted potatoes with the best mushroom cream sauce she'd ever eaten in her life. And the chicken! It melted in her mouth. Good thing they were spending only one evening here. She'd gain pounds just by having dinner here.
The storm broke out in full , sending lightning bolts through the skies. They seemed to be everywhere: a stunning view that pierced through the world and made the agents think in awe of the forces of nature that were too strong to control by any man. When thick drops of rain started clattering against the windows, the three agents finished their dinner.
Mulder had hardly touched anything, numb by the thickness building up in his throat. He had done his best to cover it up though after being thrown curious glances by Scully.
"Shouldn't have had that big lunch," he retorted. She gave him a frowning look but didn't comment.
When they retreated for coffee in the living room, Scully whispered, "No ghosts yet."
Mulder coughed. "Perhaps they know there's a skeptic in the house."
"Funny, Mulder. Funny. Are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah. It's just -" He coughed a raw cough starting in the back of his threat. "I've got this itch. I'm coming down with something."
"Let me see." She put her hand on his forehead. "You feel warm. When did this itch start?"
"A couple of hours ago. I'm fine, really. I'll be sniffling all day tomorrow, that's all."
"Okay. You might want to take something, just to be on the safe side."
"I'll be alright. It's just a cold."
But even then Mulder knew that it wasn't. He could feel the warmth of the clothes he wore, and shivers of cold ran through his body. He felt frozen to the core, despite the fireplace.
He brushed off the itch and tried to listen to Mark telling a hilarious story about one of his colleagues who had poured salt in A.D. Skinner's coffee by accident and almost got the sack for it. Mark's voice drawled in and out of his head, and every word pounded on his skull like a sledgehammer, despite his soft voice.
He started feeling weary. Why was it so warm in here? He couldn't be sick during Thanksgiving, now could he? He had a marathon of classic movies set up while
eating a takeout turkey dinner with Scully. He had a fabulous night planned ahead, with all the romance they so lacked during their working hours. This throat ache could not ruin that.
He stood up and removed his sweater, struggling with the sleeves and his long arms that just would not get out of the piece of fabric. He almost suffocated as the collar got stuck around his head. He struggled with it, trying to stay put. Then hands helped him pull the sweater off him and he looked directly into Scully's worrying eyes. He froze as his eyes strayed away from her and onto the man standing behind her.
It was not Mark Gable who looked at him with weary eyes. It was a Native American.
"Oh brother, I need to sit down," Mulder muttered.
Next thing Scully and Gable knew, the agent lost his footing and slipped down, not on the couch but on the ground. His legs buckled from underneath him, gliding his body onto the cold floor.
There, on his side, Mulder remained lying.
"Mulder!" Scully called out his name and he could see her form it, but he didn't hear what she said. Her calls were deaf to his ears, almost scaring him. Yet he couldn't care less. Gable knelt down too and he said something but there was no comprehending of that either.
Through the thick fog that controlled his ears, the agent said with heavy voice, "Do you see him?"
Then he closed his eyes.
Scully hardly ever felt despair rushing over her when her partner was sick, but this time she felt her body tremble as the seriousness of the situation. Outside, the storm was making a serious effort to trap them inside the house. Not a single man would dare to come out with this weather. It was risking the gods.
"What's wrong with him?" Mark asked, obviously startled at the sight of Mulder lying on the floor.
"He's burning up. Jesus, this is not just a bug," Scully replied. "We have to get his fever down. Help me get him on the couch. Can you go upstairs and grab my weekend bag? I've got medication in there."
"I'll call my doctor, too."
Mark reached for the phone. "Dead."
So will Mulder be if we can't help him, a thought rushed through Scully's mind. Then she shook her head. It couldn't be *that* serious, could it? Then she tried to recall what could cause such high fevers in such short notice: a massive food poisoning - impossible because they'd had the same for lunch and dinner, a serious bout of the flu, meningitis, appendix, ...
No, no appendix. He hadn't complained about his abdomen. In fact, he'd merely complained about an itching throat. She placed his head in a good position to be able to look into his throat. There seemed to be nothing wrong with it. No swollen glands either. Damn it. Frustration overwhelmed her.
Mulder murmured in his semi consciousness, his head suddenly swaying to the left and his eyes opening. He stared at her without seeing her. She could actually see the fever coming through his expression. He was in pain, yet not. He seemed to have difficulty taking deep breaths, sucking in the air.
"Do you see them?" he asked, grasping her hand so tightly tears of pain sprung in her eyes. "They're right there."
"Mulder, there's no one here but Mark and I. Don't try to talk and stay calm. I'm going to give you a dose of analgesic to bring down the fever, okay? Don't talk." She soothed the soaking wet hairs from his face and tried to calm him down, realizing he was in a state of despair and she didn't know why. His fever was already causing hallucinations. She took his temperature using the ear thermometer she always had on her. 103. She held her breath. This was not good. Any higher and he could go into convulsions. What the hell was happening here?
With Mark's help she gave him a dose of extra strength liquid Tylenol. He didn't even wince and was out cold.
"What is wrong with him?" Mark asked anxiously. "This is not normal, is it?"
"No, it's not. I'm worried." Her words sounded calm but her voice spoke of a
despair she could no longer hide. "You can't get in touch with anyone?"
"No. My cell doesn't work here and the phones are dead. I hate to risk driving him into town, but if he stays here, he might -" Mark stopped, realizing his
words hit a sore spot.
"We have to," she agreed. "He needs to be properly examined. I don't have the means or facility to do that here."
"What do you think it is?"
She sighed, rubbing her head. "I'm so afraid it's meningitis, even though that takes longer to manifest itself."
"So what else can it be?"
"I'm hoping it will be *just* the flu. At least then the analgesics can do their work. Who knows, he might be better in a few hours, but I just don't want to risk that. I'd like to take him into town and see a doctor as fast as we
can. Is there a hospital nearby?"
"Yeah, about twenty miles from here in Lewiston. It's a tricky drive but I know the way."
"Let's go then."
"I'll go fetch the car." Mark grasped his rain coat from the hallway and pulled it over his body.
Scully watched Mark open the door and rush outside towards the garage box. She was just about to close the door when a loud crash of thunder shook the house. To the right of Mark, a large oak tree came crashing down, directly into the garage. Mark could barely jump aside as the tree branches dropped on the
vehicles and part of the building. The agent turned around and rushed back to the house, cursing as he did so.
"Are you okay?" Scully asked, checking him for injuries.
"Yeah," he sighed out of breath. "That was a close one. What the hell was that?"
"It looks like we're staying." Scully's heavy heart fell as she looked into the living room and found her partner still lying there. "We're isolated now, aren't we?"
"I'm afraid so."
Scully groaned and let hopelessness finally take over completely. For the first time since their evening ended up in hell, she felt tears sprung freely into her eyes. She returned to the living room to take care of Mulder, only to find the couch empty and her partner gone.
A loud bang coming from upstairs startled the two of them. Mark rushed upstairs first, finding the guest bedroom locked and sealed.
"Mulder, open up!" he yelled.
"I don't think Mulder could have gone up here on his own," Scully answered anxiously. "He was too sick."
"Are you telling me there's someone else in the house?" Mark asked.
Scully startled. That couldn't be, could it? Surely they would have noticed it. Yet, as Mark had stated earlier, strange things had happened in the house. What if someone was playing tricks on them, hiding in the large rooms in one of the many closets? No, it couldn't be true.
"Mulder, open the door," Scully said, knocking on the door. "It's me, Scully. Please, if you can hear me, open up."
"I'll try to get in from the outside," Mark suggested. "There's a large ladder in the shed behind the house. Stay here and try to get him to talk to you."
"Okay." She grasped the man's sleeve. "Be careful, Mark. We're not having much luck today."
He nodded, understand what she was saying.
Scully continued knocking on the door, hoping that whoever was in that room with Mulder, would see some sense and help.
Mulder woke to pitch-black darkness. He was in a room he didn't know, a place he didn't remember. Odd, he was feeling fine. Or was he?
He raised his head, only to sink it back into the soft, thick pillows. Through the darkness in his mind he recalled where he was. This was the guest bedroom in Gable's house. He remembered the soft bed and the beautiful dcor. But why was he alone? Where was Scully?
He couldn't hear her, or her knocking. His hand felt for a lamp or light switch. He found a lamp and switched it on while turning on his side. He had to be careful: his head spun constantly. A deep shock overtook him as he saw a woman standing next to the bed. She was not alone. Behind her were a man and two children. They stared at him silently.
"Who are you?" he asked, taking in their clothes and appearance. They were Native Americans, but not the modern kind. They wore clothing that would have suited them centuries ago. The man had tattoos on his arms. His face was painted. The woman was beautiful. The children were innocents standing barefoot in the room.
They didn't respond to him. "Who are you?" he asked again.
As he watched, they didn't move. They didn't touch him or try to harm him. They just stood there. Mulder rose up carefully, slipped off the bed and stumbled to the door, passing the Native Americans within inches. They didn't do anything to stop him, but as he tried the door handle it didn't give in. Nothing happened.
Mulder turned. "I don't know what you want," he groaned, "but I'm feeling sick. Let me go."
The man stepped forward. "We want to show you something," he spoke in a language that was not English yet completely understandable by the agent. "Do you trust us enough to come with us, Fox?"
"My name is Mulder. Everyone calls me that."
"You have an Indian name, as has been said to you in the past. And you have Indian bonds. Have you not experienced the Blessing Way Chant?"
Mulder froze to the core, staring at the man. "How do you know that?"
"We all know it. We are the same people, sharing the same blood even though our tribes are different. I want you to come with me, and I will show you what we have. But I must warn you that you will hurt your friends."
"Why would I want to go with you? What will I do to my friends?"
"They will think you have left this life and moved onto the next. I promise you that it is worth it. It has been shown to you in the past and I want you to see it again. Please, I beg of you. We mean no harm."
All the time the man had spoken with the woman and two children standing behind him. Only now Mulder saw the sadness in their eyes. How long had they been here, waiting for someone who would be willing to listen to them? Had their souls roamed the Earth for centuries? Was he, as a result of the Blessing Way Chant the only the one who could talk to them?
"Alright," Mulder said. "I place my life in your hands. It seems that you have meddled with it anyhow."
The man slowly nodded. "Only the open-minded can see us. Only the ones who have experienced what we have experienced. You will not regret it."
"So, what do I do?"
"Just let your mind go freely. And I will be your Guide. Only on this level of your illness will you be able to see us. Or, if your mind is open enough for
Before he could even say or do another thing, Mulder felt his body slip into a certain oblivion where he no longer had control over his mind or motions. He had been there before, resting his fate in the hands of Albert Hosteen. And he knew somehow, that he would be safe.
Scully's hard knocks on the door were to no avail. And then, as she had the doorknob in her hand for another firm push against the wood, she heard a click. It unlocked.
"Mulder." Relief surged through her as she opened the door and found the room pitch black. Her fingers touched the switch and flicked it on. Her body simply stopped breathing when she noticed the man on the floor, lying face down and crumbled before her.
"Mark!" Her cry was loud enough to be heard outside of the house, through the storm that was finally dying down.
"Mulder, oh god, don't do this to me." She turned him around and found him lying motionless and very still. His eyes were closed. His chest had stopped moving. Her fingers frantically went for his throat. No response. No heartbeat. Not a single breath.
Frantically she tore at her partner's T-shirt, pulling it up so she could touch his bare chest. She brought his face into the right position to breathe into his mouth. She started compressions on his chest. One - two - three - breath. More. One - two - three - breath!
Mulder, fuck you. Don't you die on me now. More. Mark! Mark, help.
Their newfound friend rushed into the room as if he had heard her silent, unspoken cries for help. He took over the chest compressions, pushing life into Mulder. She kept on breathing air into his lungs, frantically searching for a sign that there was still some life in him.
Nothing worked. Ten minutes they worked like fanatics, trying to bring Mulder back to the living. Nothing.
After fifteen minutes, Mark grasped her arm and stopped her from forcing more air into her partner's unwilling lungs. She looked up in sheer anger, staring at him as if he'd gone mad. "Leave me alone," she growled, still going for it.
"He's gone, Dana. It's over."
"It can't be." She shoved Mark out of the way and continued her frantic breathing. She took over the heart massage too. Mark stared at her from a distance, suddenly realizing there was much more to her behavior than just the simply colleague-to-colleague politeness and care. They were a couple. He could tell now, how serious her desperation was.
"Dana, please." Mark, who had never even met her until four hours ago, took her in his arms and pulled her head against his chest, holding her tight while she hit him on the chest. He didn't want to let go of her and he heard her cries and whimpers.
"I have to help him -" she muttered angrily, forcing herself free again. "I have to!"
"He's dead! Dana, he's dead."
The words shot through her heart like knifes. He could not be dead. He could not be. But he lay deadly still on the ground and nothing proved that he would ever return to her. His body was an empty shell with a soul roaming around the universe.
She felt a cry escape her throat coming from so deep that it hurt her stomach. She stared at Mark and then at the man on the ground. She knelt by Mulder, and touched his face. It was still very warm, still hot.
And she nodded. "Yes," she spoke with a very hoarse voice. He's dead."
I have been here before.
It was the first thought that roamed through Mulder's mind as he opened his eyes and stared into the stars. He had seen his father here, and the man they called Deep Throat. Only this time he wasn't lying on a bed of pine boughs and there was no one trying to save his life.
Or was there?
He kept on hearing Scully's frantic voice. Her cries. He felt sorry for her. He regretted that he had agreed to this, not knowing what would happen next. Why had he gone here? He had hoped not to come to this place again until his time had come for good.
"You are afraid," the man next to him said. "But do not fear me. I am your Guide."
"What is your name?"
"They called me Wisdom Speaker. I was part of the tribe that lived here a long time ago. My people are still here but in modern forms. They now live amongst the white who have taken over the lands and made peace. They are happy because they have good lives."
"But you didn't?"
"I was here when they arrived with their boats and started taking over the lands. I fought for the preservation of our lands for over twenty years. I was the Tribe's counselor and I wanted no peace. I knew only after death and that was wrong. The moments of peace are much more important. My wife and children were the victims of the warfare I have caused. I cannot take that back now and I roam the Earth forever, waiting for someone to make peace with what I have done. Someone who can show me how to give my soul to eternity and make amends."
"I have no recollection of time or place. My mortal body has been gone forever. My soul has been here forever too, with my family. They need rest. I want you to give them that."
"How can I?" Mulder asked. "I don't know anything about your past or your future. All I know is that you have stirred the house that is now inhabited by a new family."
"I wanted to make contact with them. I made a connection to the girl. I do not wish to hurt them. All I want, is to find peace for my soul."
"How?" Mulder repeated. "I don't know how I can help you."
"You have been given a second mortal chance through my brothers who have saved your life. They have performed a ritual on you that was always preserved for our own. You have the connection that I need between life and death. I tested you. Once you became ill, you saw me."
"So you made me sick?"
He slowly nodded.
"My greatest problem has been the connection between my people and yours. I want one chance to make that connection."
The Guide nodded again.
"I will try to find you your peace," Mulder said. "But I cannot make you promises. I don't own the key to anything."
"Yes, you do. You just don't know it."
As the stars grew larger, Mulder looked at what seemed to be a thousand people. They were everywhere around them, forming a circle that locked them in. Spirits of the deceased in all colors, forms and gender. Now he understood his connection. They had locked on him once before, giving him the choice between life and death. How many times had they been here for him?
"I will try."
The stars grew larger to form one white blanket brushing over him. Mulder knew that his body and mind would return to one again. And somehow, the belief that he had a very strong guardian strengthened him. It was a good feeling.
"The phone's are up again. I've called for help."
Mark stepped into the dining room where Scully sat bleakly on a chair. She had ran out of tears or anything to say. Ten minutes ago, she had lost Mulder and it felt like it had already been forever. She just couldn't stop staring at her
hands that trembled and felt extremely cold.
She didn't reply. Mark shoved a chair closer to her, so she wouldn't be able to see into the hallway where the staircase lead to the room where her partner's body lay. Mark had moved him onto the bed in a last token of appreciation and care. He had then closed the door quietly, switching off the lights. He had practically forced Scully to go downstairs, eager as she was to stay and pray for her partner's well-being.
"Dana, can I get you anything?"
She looked up at him. "Do you know he never called me Dana? Only when I was hurt or very sick. Please, call me Scully. I can't bear it."
"Scully. I wish I knew what to say. I wish I could turn back the clock and live in some goddamn crowded city where we could find doctors and help easily. I -" He stopped when she placed her hand on his arm.
"It wasn't your fault. It wasn't anybody's fault. It just happened."
"I wish -"
He stopped when he saw her face grow extremely white. She clutched her hand before her mouth, uttering out a horrid cry he would forever remember. Then she moved past him, rushing towards the hallway , despite Mark's eagerness to block her view.
Mark rose and turned and then heard a similar cry escape his throat.
On the staircase, grasping the wood hard, stood Mulder. He tried to stand up but couldn't. He was weak as a puppy, sitting down on the steps while still holding on.
"Scully -" he just said, watching her approach him with the awe of someone who had just seen a miracle. "What's going on? I feel strange."
She touched his arm first and then his face. His cool face. She stared at him, not believing what she was seeing. Neither could Mark. Before the agent could say something, Scully shot him a warning glance and then returned to Mulder.
"It's okay," she soothed him. "You were very sick. But it's alright now. I'm
here. Let's get you back upstairs."
Mulder allowed her to wrap her arm around him. Leaning on her for support, the two of them made their way back to the room, followed by Mark. In the far distance, the sound of sirens was clearly heard.
The Lewiston hospital never dealt with miracles before. Not that they knew they were facing one. All they knew was that a man had been brought in who'd had a high fever throughout the night and a sudden recovery when he woke out of a deep coma.
The only ones who knew the truth were Mark and Scully.
Pacing in the hospital corridor, Scully waited until news came from the test
results. They had taken Mulder upstairs for scans, blood tests and the works. She was still waiting for him to return.
When the ambulance arrived at the Gable house, Mulder was doing relatively fine. He was very tired and kept on telling her that he had been to another place and talked to the people roaming the house and that they were fine, and that they just wanted peace of mind. She had to use all of her calm to sooth him and get him to calm down. He kept on touching her face and telling her how sorry he was that he had to do this to her.
It was as if he had indeed gone to the dead and then returned. She didn't want to believe it. She knew he'd had the Blessing Way ritual in the past. She knew he believed in the after death. So did she. She had seen her father when he died. She knew what it was like to die and come back. To dwell between the living and the others. But Mulder had been dead. Certifiably dead. There was
no doubt of that. It shook her up.
The gurney came back. Mulder was being taken upstairs by two nurses and spoke to them in a clear voice. Scully still could not believe that her man was in that bed talking and making jokes.
The fever was as good as gone. His vitals were almost back to normal. No one
would have known that the man on the bed had been legally dead less than an hour and a half ago.
"So, what now?" Mulder asked, leaning back tiredly on the bed in the ER. Mark and Scully were both there, watching him intently. Scully had begged her colleague not to mention anything to Mulder about their attempts to revive him.
"I don't want him shook up more than he is already," she had said.
"Dana - Scully, he was dead. Please don't tell me I was dreaming that."
"No, you weren't. But what point has it to dwell on that, Mark? I'd rather forget this has ever happened."
"But I still live in that house. I have a very good idea to get rid of it all together."
"Don't do anything rash just yet," Scully had replied. "We'll stay in the area for the time being. Let's talk about this later. Mulder is too weak to travel anyhow. Even though he'll probably be fine in a day or two, I don't want him
going through a plane ride and a trip home right now."
"You can stay at my place. I don't want you in some hotel."
"So? After all we've been through tonight, I consider you family. I want you to come back to the house with me."
"Thank you, Mark."
Mark now looked at the man in the bed and then realized he had just seen something he'd never see again in his life. A second chance. Or a third, as Scully had explained while waiting for Mulder.
"You are going to stay overnight," Dr. Miller said who walked into the room with the test results. "You did run a high fever earlier and seem okay now, but you've obviously been through a lot. You've lost a lot of fluids that we'll be bringing into you through an IV. You can leave tomorrow morning, providing everything's normal then."
Mulder nodded, to Scully's surprise, not eager to argue about it. "Thanks, doctor."
"I'll stay, too," Scully said determinedly.
"No, you go with Mark," Mulder replied. "I want you have a good night's rest." He turned to Mark then. "You shouldn't worry too much about your house. I'm fairly certain all the oddities are gone now."
Mark opened his mouth.
"All they ever wanted was to make even with their past but they couldn't connect to the living. Your daughter's high fever was caused by them, so was mine. But they didn't mean any harm. Spend Thanksgiving as you have planned to do and let them be part of it."
Mark didn't know what to say, and then simply shrugged. "I will. Hell, I've seen enough tonight to make me believe in anything."
Mulder smiled. "That's the way it goes."
The family sat around the table with two extra guests. Mulder, still weak but getting better by the hour, took in the fabulous scents of turkey and yams and all the lovely foods that were cooked by Mark's wife Lila. The television set played. Molly toyed with her new doll and couldn't stop staring at Mulder. It was as if she felt they had a connection.
The discussions at the table went from fun to serious to fun again. And as the turkey was served on the best china and Mark told his daughter the Thanksgiving story, which he did every year, Mulder couldn't help but smile at the sight of the four ghosts standing in between the humans. They looked at the table and at the family enjoying themselves and the girl playing with her new doll, and they nodded in contentment.
The Guide took his wife by the hand, and she grasped the two children with their smiling faces and they embraced. And then they were gone.
"Mulder? Are you okay?" Scully turned to him, grabbing his fingers. He pulled her towards him and kissed her long and gently.
"I am now," he said.