Can you do a story where Scully is sick and tearful and Mulder comforts her? I love vulnerable Scully, there is not enough fanfic like that. Or do you know any tumblers that do XF sick fic or Scully sick fic? I am new to tumblr so not very good at navigating it, thanks
I have a fairly long fic where Scully’s sick, Mulder wants to comfort her, and she learns little by little to accept it. It’s cancer arc, and it’s called Between Sorrow and Bliss.
As for vulnerable… this is an idea that’s been kicking around in my brain. Set in S2, immediately after Irresistible.
She stands frozen in the motel bathroom, unable to make herself walk towards the bathtub along the far wall. It’s like an open mouth threatening to swallow her whole, to finish the job that Donnie Pfaster had begun, hours before.
Scully had hoped hard that the motel would have rooms with just shower stalls, but they’d had no such luck, and she doesn’t want to go out into the room where Mulder is waiting and ask him to leave and find a different place to stay the night. If she does, he’ll want to know why, and the last thing she wants is for him to know how deeply all of this is still affecting her. It’s bad enough that she’d broken down in his arms at Pfaster’s house; she’s not willing for him to know she’s in here losing her mind over a bathtub.
You have to get clean, she tells herself sternly. You will feel much better once you’ve washed the dirt and blood out of your hair. She takes a single, tentative step towards the tub, and right away, her chest seizes up and she can’t breathe. The tightness in her lungs is painful, she’s lightheaded immediately, and she sinks back against the closed bathroom door with a loud thunk.
In seconds, Mulder is right outside, knocking at the door. “Scully? You okay in there?” She opens her mouth to call out yes, she’s fine, everything’s fine, stay out there, but her voice is strangled in her throat. She can’t draw enough breath to get the words out. “Scully?” Mulder’s sounding panicked now. She gives him about fifteen more seconds until he breaks the door down, and it’s the thought of having to explain to Skinner why the FBI is being billed for a destroyed bathroom doorframe that finally forces her to move.
Scully wraps a towel tightly around herself and unlocks the door. She opens it and steps back, looking down, still trying to force air into her stubborn, traitorous lungs, knowing that the moment she looks up at his face, he’ll see it in her eyes.
“The, uh….” She takes a deep breath, managing to keep it from sounding like a gasp. “The shower wouldn’t turn on.” She risks a look at his face to find he’s frowning at her skeptically. He crosses the bathroom, leans over and flicks the tap, which, of course, works immediately. But the deep booming of the water rushing into the tub sets Scully off again, and before she can stop herself she’s backed against the wall, sinking down to the floor. She’s dimly aware that her towel is slipping, but she can’t bring herself to care.
“Turn it off,” she hisses, and Mulder hastens to comply. He crouches down in front of her, concern written all over his face. He doesn’t need to ask what the problem is; he went through Pfaster’s entire house before they’d left the scene. He saw the tub that had been prepared for her. He reaches out and gently fixes her towel where it’s begun to gap at the bottom.
“Tell me what to do, Scully,” he urges her, his voice low and soothing. “How can I help?” She shakes her head.
“You can’t,” she says. “I wanted… I just wanted to shower, that’s all… but… I just froze.” She covers her face, ashamed, but Mulder’s having none of that. He reaches out and takes her hand.
“Scully,” he says, “there’s absolutely nothing for you to be embarrassed about here. I told you before, agents with way more experience in the field than you have folded on cases like this- and that’s without any of them having actually been abducted by the killer.”
“I just wanted to get clean,” she whispers, and she hates how weak her voice sounds. Mulder nods. He looks around, and, standing, he takes a small stack of washcloths down from the rack above the toilet. He reaches down and takes her hand, pulling her to her feet.
“How about this?” he suggests, leading her out of the bathroom. The motel room is the sort that has the tub and toilet in the bathroom proper, with a sink and vanity in a little area off the rest of the room. “You can fill up the sink and use the washcloths to bathe.” He shuts the bathroom door behind him. “You won’t even have to look at the bathtub at all. And if you want, I’ll go to my room and give you some privacy.”
“No!” The cry is out of her mouth before she can stop it, and she blushes. “I mean… you don’t have to go.” She hunches her shoulders. “I’m not ready to… I don’t want to….”
“You don’t want to be alone?” There’s no judgement in his voice, only kindness, and she nods. “Well… I’m not ready to leave you alone, so that works for me.” And looking at his face, at the fear that hasn’t yet fully left his eyes, she realizes: this has shaken him badly. He had to have been terrified when she’d gone missing, so soon after the last time.
“Okay,” she says. “It’s a good idea.” He nods and gives the hand he’s still holding a squeeze, then releases it.
“I’ll be right over here watching TV,” he says, and he leaves her to it.
Scully gets herself cleaned up quickly, taking extra care with the bruised and abraded patches, and she immediately begins to feel better. Once her body has been scrubbed clean, though, she’s presented with a problem: her hair. In order to wash it, she’ll have to somehow get her entire head into the sink, and it’s not very deep. She’s not sure how she’ll be able to rinse out the shampoo without dumping water over her head, and she’s likely to make a mess.
“Everything okay?” calls Mulder from his place on the bed. She wraps the towel back around herself and goes out to him.
“Yeah,” she says. “I think I’m just going to have to skip my hair, though. I can’t figure out how to do it without soaking the carpet.” Mulder looks thoughtful.
“I could help you, if you want,” he suggests, and as Scully blanches, he backtracks. “But if not, that’s okay,” he says quickly. “If it would make you uncomfortable-”
“It’s not that,” she says. “It’s just… he wanted to wash my hair.” Mulder nods, thinking. “I’m not sure how I’ll do with someone else doing it.”
“What if I talked to you, the whole time?” he offers tentatively. “So you would know it was me.” He goes over to the table by the window and seizes one of the chairs there, dragging it over. “You can sit in this, on a couple of pillows, and lean back against the counter. That way you can see my face the whole time.” Scully bites her lip, thinking, weighing the possibility of panicking with the potential relief of getting the blood and dirt out of her hair. And even if she does lose it, she realizes, Mulder isn’t going to judge her for it. She takes a deep breath.
“Okay,” she agrees. Mulder takes the pillows from the bed and puts them on the seat of the chair. He folds a towel and lays it across the counter to cushion her neck, and unwraps one of the plastic drinking cups from the counter. Scully sits down gingerly and leans back as he runs the water, fiddling with the hot and cold taps until he’s got the temperature right.
“Remember, you’re supposed to keep talking,” she prompts him, and he smiles down at her.
“My mom used to do this for me when I was a kid,” he tells her, as he uses the drinking cup to wet the hair around her hairline. “I swam all the time- in the ocean during the summer, in the pool for swim team the rest of the year- and I was always getting ear infections. So my mom would have me lie across the kitchen counter and she’d wash my hair in the sink to keep the water out of my ear.” He squeezes her shampoo onto his hand and begins to work up a lather. The scent wafts into her nostrils, and for a moment, her chest begins to constrict again. She trains her eyes on his face and does not look away.
This is Mulder, she tells herself. Mulder, who would never hurt you, who cares for you deeply, who doesn’t want to let you out of his sight tonight because he was so frightened of losing you. Gradually, her breathing returns to normal, and Mulder smiles encouragingly at her.
“Samantha, on the other hand, almost never got ear infections,” he continues, rinsing the shampoo out of her hair, studiously guarding her eyes with his other hand. “She didn’t do swim team, though, so she had less exposure to the water than I did. One time, though….” He smiles wryly. “She did get one, after a nasty cold. And my mother, for one reason or another, was out for the evening, and it was bath time, so I figured I’d wash her hair for her.” He rubs conditioner on his hands and spreads it through her hair, massaging her scalp in a way that has her nearly groaning with pleasure. “I had her lie on the counter, just like I always did… only, her hair was long, unlike mine, and I never thought to make sure to keep her hair out of the drain. It got caught in the gears of the garbage disposal, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t work it free.” He rinses out the conditioner. “So I went for the kitchen scissors, and… well… let’s just say our mother had to take Sam the the hairdresser’s first thing in the morning to fix the worst haircut she ever had.” Scully laughs, and most of the remaining tension leaves her chest.
“It’s a good thing you didn’t tell me that story before you offered to do this,” she says. “I might not have agreed.” Mulder laughs.
“Nah, there’s no garbage disposal in this sink,” Mulder says. He turns the water off and hands Scully a dry towel. “Okay, you’re all done.” She sits up and dries her hair off, smiling at him gratefully, shyly.
“Thank you,” she says. “I know hair-washing doesn’t really fall into the list of expectations partners should have for each other.” Mulder’s expression softens, and he reaches for her hand.
“Scully,” he says, “you can expect me to have your back, always. No matter what that entails. You need me to cover you while you’re charging in to save the day? You got it. You need me to play beauty shop late at night in a cheap motel room?” He reaches over, towel in hand, and catches a stream of water dripping from her hair down her neck before it reaches her shoulder. “I’m there. Whatever you need, Scully, I wanna be there for you. Always.”