Title: A Nice Trip Into The Woods
Author: Xfairy
Author's page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3452/
Category: X-Files
Genre: Words: 4,113
Written: 03/19/1999
Words: 4113
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: The X-files belong to CC and Mulder and Scully belong to each other, not to me! No infringement intended!
Rating: PG
Category: UST, a bit of romance, but not much really
Spoilers: Slight reference to Detour, and the title is of course a reference to Darkness Falls...
Archive: Anywhere, with my name and addy, but please let me know!
Feedback: Please!

Summary: Actually, it all started with bigfoot...

Author's notes: I know that this idea is probably as old as the woods, but I had to do my own version...

On a small road in the woods

A very strange automobile screeched to a stop in front of them. It looked as if put together of parts of a hundred different cars. Mulder eyed it skeptically.

A man who reminded him not only a little of Langly leaned out the window. "Hey, wanna hop in, the two of you? It's a bit tight, but you look like you could use a ride!"

Mulder glanced down at Scully, and she nodded. "I can't stand on my leg anymore, Mulder."

When they climbed in they realized that it was indeed *very* tight.

"There place for one of us, Mulder, but not both," Scully stated.

"You can sit in my lap," Mulder offered. She sighed, but agreed. He took place in the seat and she sat on his knees. He buckled himself in and then tightly locked his arms around his partner's waist. "Relax, Scully. You can't sit up like that, your head's gonna hit the roof at the first pothole." He laid his head back. "All yours, partner."

Reluctantly, she leaned back against him. He smiled against her hair.

The guy next to them, who remarkably resembled the one who had asked them in, inquired, "What the hell happened to the two of you?"

Scully turned her head in his direction, "Don't ask, you don't wanna know."

On the road

3 days earlier

"Mulder, no! Don't tell me that this is about another one of your ridiculous Bigfoot stories! I don't know how you talked me into this!" She knew that *she* was being ridiculous, but she was angry, this had just happened to often.

Mulder squirmed. "But Scully, this time we have a real chance of..."

"So you admit all the other times it was a wild goose chase from the beginning on?" Her voice was biting.

"Scully..." he pleaded. She glanced at him. He smiled apologetically. Her face softened. She knew that all those times he had also believed it to be a real chance, "So where was the turn we have to take?"

And he knew he had been forgiven.

Half an hour later, they had reached their destination. The young guy who was the reason they were here was already waiting for them.

Scully grinned to herself. He seemed a bit too eager to show them what he had seen.

He introduced himself as Tom, and next explained that the place he wanted them to see was a few hours drive into the woods, but that his car was out of gas and that he'd have to drive with them.

The already darkening sky inspired Mulder to ask, "Don't we better wait till tomorrow?" But Tom absolutely wanted to go right now.

On the drive, Tom started a more detailed explanation of what he had seen. "You know what they say about Bigfoot, don't you? But it wasn't all that strange, the tracks didn't look like anything I haven't seen before, they looked more than anything like bear tracks, but the only problem is, there aren't any bears around here... Well, of course I followed them, and then I saw that... animal or whatever it is. From behind it still looked like a bear, until I saw the head, that looked more like an ape, and it also walked like an ape, you know, bent forward and with its arms dangling... and then it reached that cave and disappeared into it, and I wanted to go after it, but the cave goes quite deep, and I didn't want to get lost, so I turned around. And the next days I went to look for it and camped in the wood, and it always came out in the middle of the night, so I thought it would be best for you to go there at night..." He talked very fast, as if he had rehearsed that speech and wanted to get it out before he forgot it.

"So how far do we still have to go?" Scully, who was still driving, asked. They had been on their way for about one and a half hour now.

"We should be there in about two hours," Tom assured her.

An hour later, Scully was completely lost. Hadn't Tom been with them, she wouldn't have known where to go. They were deep into the woods by now, and to her every direction looked like any other. When they finally reached the cave, it was pitch-dark. Tom jumped out of the car and searched the backseat for his flashlight. Scully got one out of the trunk and pointed it at the cave. Tom seemed very excited. "It's not out yet! I was here this morning and put sand on the ground, and it's not disturbed!"

Mulder slipped his Sig out of his pocket. "I think you better stay here. We're gonna go in there."

"Oh, please! I wanna go with you!" Tom pleaded.

But he seemed somehow... unconvincing? He sounds like he wants us to believe that he wants to come with us, Scully thought. But that made very little sense. Either he wanted to go in, or he didn't want, but want use was it to make them believe that he wanted?

They entered alone and left Tom at the car. Scully too drew her gun when they got deeper into the cave. It just seemed safer. The tunnel wound deeper and deeper into the mountain, but they found neither a turn-off nor an end to this endless hole in the rock. When they had followed the tunnel for about a quarter of an hour, Scully heard a strange sound. "Mulder? Can you hear that?"

He listened, but the sound grew fainter and fainter, and it seemed to come from behind them, not from in front of them. It sounded like a car... What if...

"Tom! Mulder, we shouldn't have left him out there all alone!"

They run the whole way back, but saw no car when they reached the entrance of the cave, only the headlights of their car a few hundred yards down the road.

"Damn! You're right, Scully! We shouldn't have left him all alone *with the car*!"

"And what the hell was the use of this stupid maneuver of his? Why would he dump us out here?"

"Better question: How do we get back?"

"I guess we should wait till the morning to think about that. Have you ever passed a night in the woods, Mulder?"

"No. Have you?"

"My parents went camping all the time when I was a kid. And it didn't happen often that we had such a wonderful cave at hand when we had our tent blown away. Get out your pocket knife, we're gonna need some branches to sleep on."

Mulder searched his pockets, and his face grew longer and longer. " Ah, Scully... I don't have a pocket knife with me..." He squirmed.

"Oh my... I can't believe it! You knew we were driving into the woods, so WHY DIDN'T YOU BRING A POCKET KNIFE??" Scully dug hers out of her purse and threw it to him. "Lesson one, Mulder: Never, and I mean NEVER get near the woods without a knife." She searched again and found a second one with a broken blade, but the saw was intact. "Lesson two: How to build a bed out here." She went over to a pine-tree and started sawing one of the lower branches off. "We're gonna sleep in the cave, so we won't need as much, but too much is better than too less."

They worked for nearly an hour in silence, until they nearly fell asleep standing. Mulder carried the last branches in while his partner already started to pile them up to make a mattress. It wouldn't be very comfortable, but *something* to sleep on was always better than *nothing* to sleep on...

They had come to sweat quite a lot with their hard work, but now that only added to making them freeze when the wind hit their sweaty faces even as deep in the tunnel as they were. When they lay down, Scully's teeth were chattering. "A-a-a-re you-u-u as-s cold as I-I-I am-m, Mul-l-l-d-der-r?"

He was trembling a bit, but not half as much as she was.

"N-not quite, I think... Move over, Scully. " He put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer.

She grinned, "I heard the best way to regenerate body heat..."

"...and if it rains sleeping bags, we might get lucky." He smiled into her hair. As if it was the first time they passed a night in the woods... But this time they weren't prepared at all, they weren't dressed for it, and it was quite a bit colder. He wrapped her tightly into his arms, her head tucked under his chin.

She smiled and murmured against his chest, "G'night, Mulder."

When they awoke, they were both trembling in the chilly morning air.

"Care to go for a run, Mulder? 'Cause this time I'd come along!" Scully's teeth were chattering again.

"If we run, we can as well start in the right direction. I think the next road is westward from here," he looked at his watch that was fortunately equipped with a compass, "That would be nearly the opposite direction we came from yesterday. But it's still more than a day's worth of walk."

"In that case we better not lose any more time!" And before he could answer, she was gone, "Come get me if you can!"

He marveled at how she could be so quick with the shoes she was wearing, the heels were only half an inch, but still heels. After twenty minutes he still hadn't reached her, and was tempted to take his shoes off, as much as his feet hurt. "Scully! WAIT!"

She stopped, still a few hundred yards ahead of him, turned around and laughed. "Running no fun today, partner?"

"Like hell! These damn shoes are killing me!" Why the heck hadn't he brought... He *had* brought his goddamn running shoes, but they were still in his goddamn suitcase back in the goddamn car.

"C'mon over here, Mulder, a few yards from here I can see a fountain, the water's gonna help your feet!"

Two minutes and 200 painful yards later Mulder was sitting on a large boulder and taking his shoes off. His feet were black and blue. "Scully -- shoot me. How did I get to considering those shoes *comfortable* ?"

"Don't ask ME. But you're lucky, I've got a salve for your feet in my purse."

"What is it with this purse of yours, Scully? Are you hiding a black hole in there, or where do you store all that stuff?"

"Never read Mickey Mouse, Mulder? I stole Gamma's pants, I'd get a whole house in there!" She grinned.

They sat on the rocks at the fountain for quite some time, dangling their feet in the cool water. After a few minutes, Scully yawned.

"Tired, Scully?" Mulder patted his shoulder, "Here's your pillow."

While she dozed of, he smeared his feet with the salve and tried to put his shoes on again.

Scully was jerked awake when her partner screamed in agony. She was stiff from sitting on the hard rock and her feet were cold as hell. But before taking care of that, she looked her partner over. "What's wrong, Mulder?"

"These GODDAMN shoes! I can't put them back on, it hurts too much."

She lifted one of his feet into her lap and examined it closely. "Oh my god! How did you manage to move more than a hundred yards in those shoes, Mulder? Your feet look horrible! I don't think you'll be able to walk any further today." She put her own shoes on and jumped down of the boulder. "I'll go have a look where we can pass the night. You stay put, partner. And use as much of the salve as you want, I think you'll need it."

Mulder put his feet back in the chilly water. It was to cold for comfort, but it felt far better than having to walk on them. A few minutes later, he applied another layer of salve.

No more than fifty yards away, his partner was crouching down in front of a large pine tree. There wasn't much space under the lowest branches, but that also meant less air circulation and less chill. But she had no idea how to get her partner, who was probably twice her weight, down here without him having to walk on his own feet. She glanced back at the rock where he was sitting. It was only noon, he'd have to stay there till he'd be able to walk again.

Mulder turned around to look for Scully. He felt like he hadn't eaten for two days... Well, actually he *hadn't* eaten for two days... Yesterday's breakfast had been a single cup of coffee, they hadn't even gotten lunch on the plane since the freezer was defect, and since they'd been here... His last meal had been dinner two nights ago. He hoped his partner had eaten breakfast before their departure, she was so much smaller than him and would freeze even more... "Scully... When was the last time you saw anything eatable?"

"Ten minutes ago when I took the salve out of my purse... Gamma's pants, remember? Want a Hershey bar, partner?"

His eyes lit up. "Sounds too good to be true..."

She came to sit next to him again. "You'll have to share with me, I've only got three, and who knows how long we're gonna depend on them..." She peeled the wrapper off of one of the bars and broke it in two. "Which do you want?"

Mulder chose the shorter part, but she gave him the longer one anyway. "You're taller than me, you burn more energy, Mulder."

"You're smaller than me, you need more energy to keep warm," he objected.


He took the longer part and shoved it into her mouth. "Shut up and EAT IT, Scully!" His gaze dared her to disagree. She chewed and grinned, "If you make me eat your part, perhaps I should eat mine, too..." But a moment later she had stuffed it into his mouth. He swallowed frantically and coughed as if he were being suffocated. "You're out to kill me, Scully?"

She patted his head, "Good boy. And now let me see your feet!"

He swung his feet up to her lap, and she took a long look at them. "They're looking much better than before, but you'll need yet a bit more rest." She smeared more salve on them. "Either you'll be able to walk until tonight, or you're gonna sleep up here."

A few hours later, Mulder felt like he'd be able to stand on his feet again, but he couldn't get back into the shoes, his feet were too swollen.

"Well, this will require a bit of inventiveness... Give me your shoes, Mulder, and the socks too."

He handed her his shoes and socks and looked on curiously. She filled the socks with pine needles, and then got out her pocket knife.

"Scully...? What are you gonna do to my shoes...?"

Scully didn't answer, but instead opened the knife's sharpest blade and started to cut open the shoes. Then she put in the filled socks as padding.

"Scully...! Those are my most expensive shoes! Well, were..."

"Now they're the most comfortable ones you can get out here, so don't complain. Gimme your foot, the right one first." She put the... he didn't want to call it shoes anymore... on his foot, and he had to admit that for the first time since about six hours, he didn't feel like screaming while putting this shoe on.

"Okay, down here with you, partner."

He jumped down and was amazed. He was able to walk again!

"C'mon, we've gotta sleep now." Scully led her partner to the pine tree she had chosen as their night rest, and with an obligatory bit of groaning and complaining, he crawled down.

They slept snuggled against each other again, and this time they didn't freeze as much. Maybe the night was not as cold as the one before, or maybe there was just less air current in this place, but they didn't really care why, only *that* it was warmer.

In the morning, Mulder felt he'd be able to walk on. His new 'shoes' didn't fit well, and he wouldn't be going very fast, but they'd make a little progress towards civilization, and that was enough to try.

They shared another chocolate bar and then started. They walked in silence until noon, when Scully was running ahead a bit to look for a place to rest. She approached something that looked remarkably like a few walnut bushes. She walked forward while calling out to her partner. "Mulder, this looks like something. But since when do walnuts grow on..." And the next Mulder heard was a terrible scream. He started running towards her voice.

"Be careful, there's a cliff..."

He crouched down on the edge and searched the underbrush with his gaze. "Scully? Are you okay?"

"Don't think so... It feels like my ankle is broken, or at least sprained..."

"Well, isn't that fitting, two invalids alone in the woods." He started looking for a way down the cliff without harming more body parts. Finally he climbed down the walnut TREE that Scully had mistaken for a bush. His partner lay at the foot of the cliff, sprawled on her back. She was leaning against a tree trunk and fingering her left ankle. "It isn't broken, but I don't think I can stand up or walk."

" I'm gonna carry you."

"No, you won't. That's just gonna do your feet more harm. You can get out and come back to get me with some help."

But Mulder was not to be convinced. "No way, Scully. I won't go out of here without you."

Reluctantly, she agreed. He pulled her to a half standing position and put her arms around his waist. "Hold on tight, Scully. Can you stand on your good leg?"

Scully pushed herself up on her right leg and climbed onto his back and put her arms around his neck. Mulder gasped, "Not quite *that* tight, you're strangling me!"

They made only very slow progress, since Mulder couldn't walk very fast and had to set his partner down more often than he wanted to. But at dusk they had finally reached the road. Scully slumped down under a pine tree that seemed to be not a bit different from the one they had slept under the night before. Her ankle hurt so much that at this moment she would have given a month's salary for a hospital bed, a cast for her foot and a saline IV. She felt as if she hadn't eaten for a week. And at that moment she realized that she had lost her purse and with it the last Hershey bar...

"Get down here, Mulder. If I can't eat, I wanna sleep at least."

A few minutes later, Scully was curled up in her partner's arms and fast asleep.

Rain, rain, rain, damn the rain! It was early morning, and they were both soaking wet. Scully's teeth were chattering again, and this time Mulder's joined in.

"If-f-f we-e-e'r-r-re so-o-oaked-ed an-n-y-w-w-way, we c-c-can as-s well-l go out-t-t th-th-there...."

They crawled out from under the tree and started to look for a better protection. Mulder put an arm around his partner's waist so she could hop around on her good leg. And out on the street they found their car, driven against a tree, it was about a yard shorter than before. But at least it would be dry inside, and they'd have fresh clothes... a prospect that had seemed unattainable just moments ago.

Mulder helped his partner into the back seat and went to get their bags out of the trunk. They changed inside the car, not caring if anybody was watching. At that moment it simply didn't matter.

A few minutes later, they were snuggled up in the backseat under a few blankets, in their pajamas, they hadn't brought much else.

Scully smiled as her partner buried his face in her hair. "I'm fine, Mulder." And this time she meant it.

He chuckled and pulled her closer.

"You know, Mulder, Skinner wouldn't be thrilled if he saw us now..."

"I don't care about Skinner..." Mulder said softly. "Thank you, Scully. Thank you for everything. Thank you for being here with me." He dipped her head back and gently kissed her. Her first reaction was to stare at him in utter surprise, and he already feared he had gone too far when she smiled reassuringly. "No prob, partner."

He was impossibly relieved.

Scully moved even closer to her partner, although she wouldn't have thought that possible a moment before. She felt like melting into him. They were one soul anyway, so why not be one body, too? That brought to her mind a saying by Socrates: Friendship is one soul in two bodies. And with that thought, Scully fell asleep.

When she awoke the next morning, the rain had stopped and their clothes seemed fairly dry. She softly shook her partner, "Mulder, wake up!" But he didn't react at all. With a wicked grin she decided to pay him back for yesterday night. She took his face in her hands and kissed him softly. His eyes flew open, and at that moment she realized what had startled her so much the night before: It felt perfectly normal to be kissing him, as if it was simply an expression of the deep bond they shared. It was above mere friendship, it was above love, it was something so ethereal that she couldn't even begin to describe it...

"Earth to Scully..." Mulder waved a hand in front of her face. "We should get dressed and try to stop a car."

"In order for us to stop a car, there has to be one driving by, Mulder..."

But a few minutes later they stood out on the road watching for any cars. Scully could still only stay upright because of her arm around her partner's waist.

They had waited for nearly an hour, with her looking to the right and him to the left, when Scully's eyes went wide. "Am I imagining this, or are those headlights, Mulder?"

They were headlights.

Scully shook her head to get out of her thoughts about the last few days and said again, "Believe me, you don't really wanna know, but if you absolutely want... Mulder, you can tell them, I'm far too tired." She put her head on her partner's shoulder and was asleep almost instantly. Mulder grinned to himself. "Well, actually it all started with Bigfoot..."

The End!!

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