Title: Greenwich is Lovely in the Spring Author: Pattie Rated: PG Spoilers: None Set in Season 7. Summary: Greenwich is lovely in the spring; an early hurricane is not. Category: MT, MA, Archive: Gossamer, any other good home. Any others, please ask first. Feedback: email@example.com. Let me know how I can improve! Disclaimers: Yeah... my fingers are sore from typing the whole shebang, so: they belong to the creator, production company and the studio. No money for me; sorry if I invade your "space". Author's Note: This story was written for the Mulder's Refuge Golden Gurney Challenge For April: Acts of God.
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING,
MARCH 11, 1999
Mulder leafed through the mail as Scully printed out an article from the Journal of American Medicine. Lately, she found it more convenient to get pertinent updates on-line as they had been traveling so much. In fact, she had actually cancelled her subscription to the hard copy.
"Scully, how about a nice drive out to Mom's house?"
"Mulder, it's been an awfully busy few months. Can't we get at least one whole week at home once in a while? My travel clothes are getting more worn than my rug!" She was right, of course. They hadn't been in Washington more than three or four days n a row, lately, before some case took them off to the trenches.
"Well, we've both got some holiday time coming, Scully. And I really need your support. There are some loose ends with my mother's house, and I haven't quite... "
"Sure," she replied gently. "I understand. Look, why didn't you just say so?"
"I. uh, didn't want to look too needy. Anyhow, I think the attorney is doing a fine job, it's just the little stuff that needs taking care of, and I don't think I want to go back to that house alone. Not after... "
"I understand, Mulder. She didn't need to take her own life. She just didn't want to add to your pain with a long, incurable illness while you were looking for those little girls, and Samantha." Scully put her hand on Mulder's shoulder. "Your mother loved you."
"In her own way, I guess. I never knew how much her death affected me until she wasn't there to talk to. Even if only to check on her after her stroke." He put his hand on top of hers. "Please, will you come?"
"Sure, Mulder. Let's clear things with Skinner and Kersh and then see when we can leave. All I really need to do is get out a couple of reports to Quantico, and then I'm free."
"Thanks, Scully. I owe you one. Besides, I think you'd love a nice drive along the scenic route."
"Frankly, we both need the break, Mulder. You look stressed. You really do. All that fresh air will do you good. Greenwich is lovely in the spring, and I'm tired of planes and airport security."
Four days later, they were headed out on the road to Greenwich, Connecticut, with nothing but clear skies above and a warm day ahead.
"I told you a nice ride would do you good," Mulder remarked. "The color's coming back into your cheeks already."
She breathed in the warm, spring air. "Mmm, you're right. Nothing like a good long drive. No monkey business though, Mulder. We're going out there to sort through some of your mother's things and then coming right back when it's done."
"Yes, Sister Dana Katherine."
Her nose wrinkled at that remark. "Mind if I turn on some music?"
"Well, I guess there should be something from Boston within reach by now," Mulder said with a smile. "Give me that Oldies station."
Scully had to fight with the dial. "There's a lot of static, Mulder. Ahh, here's a clear station."
"...And in the weather, a severe hurricane warning for the East Coast, possibly hitting as far inland as Connecticut and Pennsylvania..."
Scully turned the volume down. "That, I had heard, was way down in Florida..."
"And not expected to travel very far north," Mulder agreed. "Well, let's hope it doesn't hit this far north."
The Greenwich house was so beautiful on the outside, with still well-manicured bushes and a lawn just beginning to green up from it's winter dormancy. Grape hyacinth waved their proud purple heads, and the tulips were scandalously scarlet amidst the fading daffodils. Oh, such beauty! And the sky was darkly threatening...
Mulder unlocked the door and carried their bags into the foyer of the home of the late Teena Mulder. "There's a nice guest room upstairs, Scully. I can take the room down here."
"Thanks. You CAN be a gentleman at times."
Thunder rumbled off in the distance as the wind picked up suddenly. "I think we'd better batten down the hatches, partner."
"I think if the place survived the winter, a hurricane isn't going to..."
Just then, a tree branch broke the living room window.
"I'll go out to the lumber yard and get a few things I have on my shopping list," he quipped. "There's a sizeable piece of particle board, hammer and nails somewhere in the basement, Scully. Would you mind?"
"What?" Scully had been sympathetic, was willing to help Mulder sort out his mother's belongings, but board up a window...? She was no handyman!
He pointed to the window. "I'll bring back food, too," Mulder did his best puppy face pout. Then you won't have to worry about starving while this thing blows itself out. I'll be back in an hour." He ran out the door and sped away.
After he convinced the police officer that he was in need of emergency repairs at the house, and that he had not intended to break the speed limit as an off-duty F.B.I. Agent, he headed for the lumber yard. It was closed due to the early rush for lumber to board windows.
The next best thing, Mulder decided, was a demolitions dump just across town. Well, that's what he thought.
The rain was teeming down when Mulder reached the house, carrying what groceries had been left to choose from in the stores, and limping into the kitchen.
"What happened to you?" Scully ran over to him and checked his right leg. "That is one nasty puncture wound. My bag's in the car, Mulder. You need a tetanus shot. Seems you're due for one this year, anyway."
"No kidding. It's a long story and believe me, four-inch nails are not painless when something drives them into your leg a full three inches. Can you get the wood while you're out there, too?" He noticed the look of annoyance she purposely gave him. "Pleeease?"
Scully gave him the glare and marched out to the car. "I'm being supportive... " she whispered to herself, "So damn patient, I should be up for canonization by now."
Scully ran back into the house with her medical bag just as rain began to pour. "Okay, down with the pants and bend over..."
"Do you want tetanus, Mulder?"
"I guess not. AHHHH! That hurt more than the nail, Scully!"
"Well, now I need to clean the wound. Then I'll get the food put away."
"Then can you go out and get the wood, Scully?"
She was tempted to get angry, but decided it was in poor taste. "Look, Mulder, I came out here to help you with your mother's affairs, not to do a home make-over. I already covered the front window. Now sit down while I get some water and a washcloth. Then, I want you to raise the leg and shut up for about an hour while I make dinner. Be thankful I won't make you do the cooking. Be thankful I left my bags packed. One of them contains my gun."
Just as everything had finished cooking, the electricity failed. The pair were fortunate enough to find candles and matches, and Mulder lit the fireplace. To his surprise, the batteries in an old radio were still good.
As they sat in the dark living room, dining on the couch, thunder and lightning fought over their senses. Blinding flashes led to monstrous rumblings. Several times, the house shook.
"I don't remember the hurricane in Florida being this strong," Scully mused. "Funny how nature seems to turn nasty on us."
"Not funny at all," Mulder replied. "I like to see what I'm eating, thank you. And my leg is giving me hell."
"Well, it's just chicken legs, mashed potatoes and corn, Mulder. It's not like it's going to look at you back!" she laughed. I'm sorry this had to happen when you were finally ready to come up here."
"Oh... my luck, I guess. I kind of miss trying to find some way to connect with her without getting on her bad side."
"She loved you. You know that."
"Yes. In her own way. Are you sure this isn't something besides corn?"
"Positive, Mulder. Why?"
"I just broke my tooth on..." He held the object up to a candle flame for closer inspection. "...a hexagonal nut. Damn hurricane." As he said that, water began pouring down through the living room ceiling.
"Did you leave anything running, Scully?"
"No. Let's go take a look, FAST!"
They scurried upstairs to discover a large tree branch poking into one of the bedroom windows, with a length of eaves trough running water right down onto the floor.
"So much for the old Persian carpet," Mulder whispered. "Bought it for her for fifteen-hundred when I worked in VCU." He lifted the eave back through the window. "I can see I'll be busy tonight."
"Look out!" Scully shouted. Before Mulder could turn, the eave poked back through the window and knocked him out cold.
"Not your average aluminum. Real steel," Scully sighed, as she attended to Mulder. "What a way to settle your Mom's estate," she whispered sympathetically, as she checked his vital signs. The bang on the head didn't seem to have done very much damage, but she had to be sure. She tried to rouse her partner. "Mulder. Mulder! I need you to open your eyes! Open you eyes!!"
"Mom," he moaned, then smiled. "Great. What happened?"
"You have a very nasty bump on your head, Mulder. I think you should call it a night and get into bed. I'm going to watch you in the guest room. And, I'll have to get you up every four hours just to make sure you don't have a serious concussion."
"Are you coming on to me again? Every four hours, huh. Guess I need to call it quits. But we need that window boarded up."
Scully stood and lent Mulder a hand. "I'll patch the window; you get into the guestroom and lie down. I'll get you some Tylenol for the leg, your broken tooth, and your head. C'mon."
As Scully helped Mulder limp into the guestroom and pulled the covers over him, Mulder said very contritely, "I'm sorry this had to happen, Scully. I didn't mean to put you through all this."
"Shh. Rest, Tylenol, and periodic waking. The storm seems to be dying down. I have a window to board up and a patient to look after. Don't feel guilty about asking for my moral support. Remember what you came out here for."
"Yeah. And I told you, Greenwich is lovely in the spring."
"I have a week to see it, Mulder. Thanks for asking me out here."
"Thanks for being here. I guess now I know what I am without you."
Scully couldn't help but chuckle. "With or without me, Mulder, you'd still be a klutz!"
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