Barryville Howard Johnson's
Someone was pounding on the door. I didn't know where I was
"Dr. Dana! Wake up!"
Keesha. Barryville. Right. I stumbled out of bed and
dragged on a robe.
"Coming. Who is it?"
Walter Skinner, wearing only pajama pants, was on the other
"Thank God you're awake. Dana, it's Fox. I think...I think
he's got it." I never thought I'd hear Walter's voice crack
that way. I grabbed the room key and my medical bag.
"Keesha, you stay right where you are!"
Walter had indeed gotten a king-sized bed. Mulder was lying
on the left side of the bed, in a fetal position. He was
covered only by a sheet. I took out my stethoscope. His
heart was beating very, very slowly.
Walter sat down on the other side of the bed and buried his
head in his hands.
"Walter, I need details."
"Starting when? And how much?" He glanced at the night
table. I saw a crumpled condom wrapper and a squeeze tube.
"Starting from when we parted. And you can leave out the
gorier details. But...it's probably a good thing that there
are gory details."
"I know. I'm grateful we took the time. Very well. We
went back to the room and got ready for bed - you know,
tooth brushing, things like that. Fox really was tired, so
I figured we'd just sleep last night, which would have been
fine." He grinned ruefully. "Mulder has a mind of his own,
"I know. What he doesn't have is common sense."
"That's where we come in, except that mine flies out the
window around him. Anyway, no sooner are we in bed than
he...well, you can guess." I could, indeed. I forced that
picture to the back of my mind.
"He fell right to sleep. I put back on my pajamas and
curled up next to him - sort of the way Keesha treats that
rag doll of hers. I could hear him breathing and feel his
heart beat. He was just fine. I went to sleep. I don't
know how long it was but I started having a nightmare - Fox
was calling on me to hold on. It's a common enough dream,
but usually I have it when you two are across the continent
chasing God knows what, not when he's in my arms. As soon
as I recognized it, I forced myself awake. The three of us
and our nightmares. Someone should do a case study."
"Maybe Mulder, if - when - he wakes up."
"Fox use his PhD? That'll be the day. And he will wake up.
After all, Dr. Dana is on the case."
"I think he really believes it."
"So do I. I *have* to." I didn't know whether there was
challenge or trust in his face or his voice.
"Anyway, when I woke up, he was like this. I couldn't wake
him at all, and his skin felt cold."
"His metabolism has been lowered. They all feel cold. We
have to get hi