TITLE : Peruvian Escapade
AUTHOR : PoorMulder
CATEGORY MSR, G
SPOILERS Detour, FTF
DISCLAIMER : they don't belong to me. yada yada yada.
Feedbacks : YES ! I live for it firstname.lastname@example.org
Written for the January fic challenge, OUT OF COUNTRY, 3th place.
Thanks to Lisa, my wonderful beta reader
In Peru, towards the South, at the edge of the Pacific, this Dark sea of Old is the driest desert in the world. Its made up of successive vast pampas whose names sing of a different age: pampa of Pisco, pampa of arid Ica... 250 kms of sand and broken rocks, where it did not rain since of the million years. There, in this desolate and odd place, the greatest archaeological enigma of the 21st century is: the lines of Nazca. Immense geometrical drawings, that travel for vast distances across the scorching barren plains; roads which do not start in a particular place then stop suddenly, casting among other, the gigantic birds wings of sand pictograms, a fairy-like bestiary of mysterious artistry including a lizard, a pelican, a monkey, a spider, an orc, even an iguana...These curious images that make no sense on the ground, only from the air can their full beauty and identity become clear. Images whose true meanings have vexed man for centuries.
In the South of Nazca:
The jeep had run for several hours on the stony, battered track. Scully pushed back the lock of damp hair that had fallen into her eyes for the 100th time. It seemed to her that the whole of her body and skin was covered with dust and her throat was burning. The sun was still high and it made her screw up her eyes in spite of her expensive Raybans.
Battling with the irregular ground, Mulder was gripping at the wheel, his knuckles white with the strain. Beads of sweat streamed down his face, his tee-shirt was soaked and stuck uncomfortably to his chest, but he continued to fight with the battered vehicle to arrive at his goal. Suddenly the jeep brutally left the track and Scully gasped with fear as Mulder was hurled violently from the jeep to the stony ground. The jeep narrowly missed rolling over his unmoving body before it smacked against a large rock. Shocked, but saved by the belt that still held her in her seat, Scully got clear and jumped down quickly to assess of the state of her partner. He was conscious, but his face was crumpled with pain and suffering. His handsome features were marred with abrasions, dust and blood coated his cheek and he clutch at his leg that was bent by the ankle at an unnatural angle, biting his lower lip to contain the pain.
"Mulder ! Are you all right?"
"Hell no. he groaned, spitting out dust. His movements were slow and worrying as he shuffled to a sitting position.. It's my leg. I think it's broken."
Scully carefully scanned Mulder's ankle and placed her hand on it, trying to cause him as little extra pain as she could. She removed the shoe delicately and then slowly rolled off the sock. His ankle was already hugely red and swollen. Mulder groaned as her fingers probed the external malleolus; the bony prominence either side of his ankle.
"It's undoubtedly a pretty bad fracture, Mulder. How is the pain?"
"It's bad, Scully. Just short of girlie scream 8."
She gave him a cautious smile. I see, as bad as that then.
His face was pale and he was gritting his teeth to hold the pain back, his breathing coming in fast pants.
" I'm going to immobilize your ankle with ace bandage. Thank god I remember the first aid kit in the jeep. That will relieve you a little. I can't do more out here. Are you going to be all right?"
She looked at him with concern. He was at the edge of fainting, face ashen and lips tightened by the pain.
"S'ok, Scully, Ow, remind me never to leave civilization again. I'm going to make it. Lets do it quick and see about getting back to our nice comfortable hotel."
His voice was rough with agony and his body language contradicted his brave words. His jaws pulled into a grimace as he forced himself still while scully gathered her medical supplies. Scully cleaned the few cuts on his face, wrapped his ankle as best she could and helped move him out of the direct blazing heat so he was more comfortable against the door of the car. The night started to descend on them and the temperature was falling quickly. Soon it would be freezing out here miles from anywhere on the lonely, eerie Pampa. She popped the jeep hood and inspected the workings, still emitting hissing tendrils of smoke. She sighed in defeat and cursed before approaching Mulder again, who seemed to be dozing.
"The radiator is cracked and I think the engine is screwed. Its as a hot as a furnace under that hood. In light of the fact that our transport out of here poses a huge problem, not least of which we might freeze, Im going to call for help. Just pray or send good funky vibes out that the radio still works." Mulder nodded, half unconscious with pain. She suspected that the broken ankle wasnt his only injury. Hed hit the ground like an egg and bounced. She just hoped that the suspected broken ribs hadnt caused more serious damage internally. Out here he could die really easily before help had hope of getting there.
She tuned into the frequency and was rewarded with a welcome signal of life, muttering her thanks to whatever god out here had smiled on their predicament; she started to transmit the mayday call.
Mulder rested his head against the door and tried to forget the pain, which rose up in strobes of agony waves through his right leg, leaving him with urge to vomit, while his ribs screamed their protest as he tucked both arms tightly against himself. It seemed to him that he heard Scully's voice through thick cotton.
"We cannot send help before day break. Came the disembodied voice across the airwaves. Scully counted to ten and rotated her aching neck muscles. This wasnt what she wanted to hear. Her partner was in no state to be out here the whole night.. We do not have any apparatus available.
"I have somebody here with me who needs urgent medical care. He could have life threatening internal injuries and thats if his condition doesnt deteriorate from exposure! Is there nothing you can do to help us get back, we have no shelter here, nothing beyond basic medical supplies. Please. "
"If there is not urgently vital, I can do nothing for you. It is necessary that you wait tomorrow. "
What? Dont you understand, the situation could turn serious very quickly under these circumstances? Jeez!
Scully hung up again steaming with rage, hurled against the administrative inertia of Peru. Mulder was going to suffer martyr with his fracture and there was nothing much she could do for him. She hadnt felt this helpless in a long time. She approached him and knelt at his level.
" I am sorry, Mulder. We are going to have wait until tomorrow morning. They didnt have any transport spare to come fetch us. Look, I know you wanted to spend some time out here, but this wasnt what we signed on for, not like this. Im sorry.
" I got that much Scully. You did everything you possibly could to get the assholes out here. I'm going to be just fine, don't worry for me."
"I always worry for you, Mulder." She stroked his face in a gentle way. His teeth were chattering from the cold and he was rocking his arms around his chest.
She shook her head and smiled slightly to him.
" Cant help it. You want to eat anything?"
"No...Think Id puke it right back up. I would rather go to sleep. So co old Hey, I dont suppose there are any sleeping bags in that heap of junk?"
Ill go see what I can rustle up, if not we can snuggle. Shared bodily warmth, you know.
But its . too . cold to get naked, Scully. Even though Id love to get naked with you and.. a cough suddenly cut off his words and Scully rubbed comforting circles on his back. He shifted into her touch. She found a couple of sleeping bags. They were old and musty but they would do fine. What was important was to preserve body heat and especially in an injured person. Truth be known, despite their daunting night ahead, she was looking forward to sharing her body heat with Mulder and keeping him safe. As long as he didnt ask her to sing ..
She sat down close to him, her arms embraced his shoulders, and then gently made him rock against her knees. The movement started a new wave of pain.
"Sorry, Mulder. Here let me try and get you comfortable."
She fondled his soft air gently with teasing fingers. He found finally that the situation was not so bad. He loved when Scully took care of him like this. All his stress and pain started to melt away and positioned himself carefully so that his head was in her lap, the way it had been in that cold Florida wood the night she sang to him. He closed the eyes, drinking in her essence, listening to the shifting sands tossed up with the light winds of the pampa, surrounded by her comforting softness softness.
She murmured to him, a smile at the corner of her lips.
Umm, Just hold me like this all night. Ill be fine as long as youre with me.
"Im stuck to you like glue until those bozos get here ad rescue us. I promise, but hear me, Mulder. I am not singing this evening, I dont want to offend any Gods that might be out here knowing our luck ."
He felt her smile in the darkness.
"Why, it wasn't so bad.
"No... but the weather is beautiful this evening. Look at the colors in that sunset.
Like painted by the hands of the ancient gods themselves. Mulder mumbled against her thighs under the sleeping bag.
Lets just make the best of a bad situation and enjoy this splendid sky. You see where your extravagant ideas lead us, Mulder? You can explain to me what were doing here, in this empty desert?"
"You don't want to see these famous lines of Nazca, Scully? Youre not even curious?"
"Yes, of course I am. But anybody else could have taken the normal, nice safe tourist excursion route. But instead we had to come this way, the special Fox Mulder National Geographic backpackers special. Had we waited, booked in advance and gone for the safe tour wouldnt have been thrown us into dire straights and had that dumb accident in what can only be described as a heap you rented. It must date back about 40 years and been through several coups. I counted 13 bullet holes and a panty hose of all things holding on the fender and some of the pipes in the engine.
"Ahhh lucky 13 Scully. Yep, but we wouldnt have seen these fabulous lines of the humming bird cresting a sacred hill. The only one pictogram you can really see from the ground."
"Out of agreement, Mulder, you are right. Its very cool. It would just be great if there was a 5 star hotel with Jacuzzi out here that wasnt part of a mirage our fevered minds may conjure up after a night out in the lap of the gods."
Despite my growing fever and my ever decreasing pain threshold, Im so turned on right now G woman you really have read Von Daniken.
He shivered suddenly and Scully accentuated the pressure of her arms against him.
" Shhh, We certainly rented no Chariot of the gods. One would be nice right now, not to mention some very strong Peruvian coffee. Are you cold?"
"I think that we have some more blankest in the jeep. Or a tarp of something"
Think theres a flask in the jeep with some of that coffee..
She kissed him on the cheek with gratitude. In the midst of everything hed had the foresight to packed some coffee, even if thats all he had foresight for on this trek from hell. She grabbed the flash and sat back next to him, producing some more Iibrufen for him.
Here, take some of these, sip the coffee gently, thats it. she held the cup to his lips and he managed awkwardly to swallow some. She could see that as the night drew in his pain was getting worse and he shivered almost endlessly against her legs. She snuggled closely and again started to stroke his head and back in little circles. He pressed his shivering body even tighter against hers, seeking her heat.
"Youre going into shock, Mulder. It's why you are so cold. Try to breathe deeply."
She felt him inhale and exhale with a lot of grunting and started to laugh. Careful Mulder, are your ribs hurting?
"Nothing. Try to sleep." Her fingers continued stroking his brow.
Morning couldnt come soon enough. She hoped that when they said first light, they actually meant First Light. She didnt think Mulder would be in great shape by then, but she couldnt show how scared she was.
.Happy birthday, Scully." She sighed at his
mumbling and occasional
coughing, now he was getting delirious too. It was May, not February.
Scully raised her head towards stars. She knew the stars well being Ahabs daughter. But the sky of the Southern hemisphere was so different that she had a devil of a job finding the reference points usual. The night had now fallen on the pampa and only the wind and scratchy scurrying of small nocturnal creatures kept vigil with them out here. It was inky black across the sky now with the stars so bright and clear, shooting stars peppered acroos the heavens like bright fireworks and the gods seems to come down to cover them with their celestial eyes. She shivered against the sand filled wind, and also the eeriness of these desolate planes, her fear for Mulder barely at bay.
Mulder, his head on her thighs, slackened gradually. His breathing became fuller but more raspy and wet and yet his face softened after the pain vanished with his consciousness. God how she hoped he would be okay until they got him to a medical facility. She loved to watch him sleep like this, minus the pain though, abandoned in her caress, completely released from all that troubled him when awake. His face changed then and she discovered another Mulder. A Mulder who she would know a lot more of one day... She loved him and realized for the first time it was inevitable. She felt part of him and cared for him with all her heart, her soul. Each line of his face, the plumpness of his inviting lower lips, the curve of his eyebrows. She knew him better that she knew herself even. She dreamed about him, cherished his soft and undisciplined hair, the damp nape of his neck and unique smell, the contour of his jaws and ears and that nose he hated but she loved. It made his face beautiful even if he considered it too large. Her hand, hesitant, was shaky as it hovered a hairs breath away from his fevered temple, almost apprehensive.
But what prevented them from going further with their relationship? The disapproving and potentially dangerous attention and glare of THEM, the FBI hierarchy? Many people at the office thought that they were already a couple. Moreover, even apart from the office, others they met mistook them for a couple. Whenever they went traveled in the field for investigations most of the hotels initially offered them one room, until smiling they had to point out that they were just work partners, the pang of regret she knew they both felt after changing the arrangements to two rooms. Even the local sheriffs they had to deal with thought they had to be husband and wife. What was all this trying to tell them? Everyone else could see it, why couldnt they throw caution to the wind and act on it?
The situation had almost become a game between them, and when theyd been on that last case out in California, they had pushed the game to newer and more daring levels. It was funny how they had almost become husband and wife the space of a few days. But nothing more than playful banter and petting had occurred. They skirted around the issue like a big elephant in the room and played tag around one and the other, as if they were afraid of their own feelings. Good God, she knew deep down she wished something would happen between them, it was enough to see his supported glances, to intend his voice which became more raucous sudden, to feel the touch of his hands on her body. They were afraid.
The crux of the absurd fear of pushing their relationship further is that it doesnt destroy the most formidable thing of all, the incredible friendship that linked them. They had come so close, skirted around the edges of intimacy but they did not dare to cross that final step. The point of no return.
"Are you asleep, Mulder?"
He didn't answer. He had fallen asleep. Curled up around her
awkwardly like a child. child. A dark lock of dusty sweat soaked
hair had fallen down over his eyes to complete that impression.
She smiled and hugged him close. To pass the time and quell her
fear she sought out the crystal clear sky and tried to mentally
list the constellations the way Ahab had taught her, all the time
listening, one ear cocked to Mulders breathing for any
Two days earlier:
Mulder entered the office assailed at once by the smell of paint and other noxious odors associated with decorating and greeted the workmen he found therein with a wan smile. Scully looked up and grinned back, trying to dodge paint cans and dust sheets as she watched her partner He looked rather mischievousness as he dangled two plane tickets at her.
" I take you away from this hell, Scully. The jig is up." He declared in his best Vincent Price accent.
"What are you talking about?"
"Ever wondered about the complexities and origins of the Nazca lines? Your carriage awaits and time is a wasting Scully? We leave in three hours.
"You are kidding, I suppose .. !"
"Listen, we can't work here under these conditions. The smell of paint thinners withers my chest hairs and lowers my sperm count. And as nobody seems ready to accommodate us elsewhere till Picasso here and his pal Mini me finish throwing this lovely shade of eggshell about, whenever that might be, I thought that we could take a few days off... It can be your birthday gift, Scully. Smile we are going to Peru!!!! Land of the Quetzecotl, myths of Machu Pichu and the cloud people. It will be fun. "
"Very funny, Mulder."
"Im not joking actually Scully. Go and pack home, I will take you to the airport."
Ohh well if you put it that way partner, how can I refuse? It would have been nice have have more than a few hours notice. A girl needs to carefully select her wardrobe for these far-flung trips. You sure this isnt an excuse to go poking into an X file?
You wound me Scully, he patted his chest in mock affront. Right here
Umm thats an option I reserve the right to keep open if this turns out to be one of your usual Treks from hell.
4 star hotel, Jacuzzi, spa. One of those whirlpool things that hit ya in all the right places
Well in that case, Lead the way Livingston.
Two hours later, they were at the airport. Mulder had left behind his usual slick Armani in favor of his preferred black Jean, a white tee shirt and his snug fitting leather jacket. Shed gone home packed in record time and had followed him without reflecting too much on the whirlwind trip, after all why not? She needed a holiday; she also wanted to be with him, far from away from all the tongue wagging, job stress and tastes something of a normal life for a change. He behaved differently with her as soon as they left the strict framework of the job. He was more... how to still say... more tempting, playful. His eyes dancing with mischief; it was a great look on him and she felt herself relaxing. The prospect of spending several days with him was suddenly very appealing.
During the flight, he pondered his theories on the nature and the source of the mysterious lines, once again proving the extent of his considerable knowledge to her. She could listen to him speak for hours, letting his semi-sparkling glance enfold her, rocked by the magic of his deep honeyed words. But she couldnt help contradicting him on the most eccentric assumptions, incompetent to contain her scientific and analytical spirit. It resulted in the usual verbal sparring matches which they loved to engage in which as usual, left them both exhausted but just as happy.. It was fun and familiar and aided by a few in flight cocktails put them in the holiday mood. They eventually gave in to fatigue falling asleep against each other like baby cats. Their hands entwining by sleepy consensus, his head against her shoulder, dreaming of adventures and the excitement of sharing them together.
At the Lima airport, Mulder showed that he hadn't completely forgotten his Spanish and enjoyed the look on Scullys face as he fluently managed to obtain two places on the interior route, which would lead them to Nazca, in the South of Lima, by the Pacific coastline. The landscape was splendid and in spite of the not very reliable and bumpy ride in the worrying twin prop aircraft, they appreciated the landscape.
Arrived at Nazca, exhausted by the journey the uncomfortable dusty journey, they took a room in the best hotel in town, courtesy of Mulders excellent taste and forethought in picking this hotel from the Internet. Scully had raised an eyebrow, small grin forming on her lips. One room.
"Scully, I assure you, Ive done this with most chivalrous of intentions. I doubt that they have here a decent police force and there have been raids here on American tourists. Thought it might be safer in a foreign country, for safeties sake, since we are also out of FBI jurisdiction here I prefer that we remain together."
"Mulder, I'm a big girl."
"You don't have your weapon, Scully. Its better to
be safe than sorry. I dont snore or selfishly hog all the
bedclothes and you can shower first every morning. Indian guides
honor " She touched his arm to reassure and he gave her a
Oh why not? She thought. She relaxed smiling back, amused at his enthusiasm and gentle face and soon they both settled into the comfortable room. They were on vacation now. Time to throw off the stress of DC and all that went with their jobs and busy dangerous lives. Time to have fun and it was long overdue. The bed was broad and they both leapt on it like excited children. In effect though they were exhausted, too exhausted to strip off their clothes first. Sun bled into the room with golden warmth and they slept curled up against each other for several hours.
Their awakening was brutal. A Motorbike passed in the street right under the rooms open window, and the raucous noise of its lack of silencer shattered their peace. They soon realized that there was loud music and people talking excitedly outside. Looked likes some kind of procession going on in town. They soon got up and showed in the small en suite and left to join the festival. Scully watched Mulder in a new light: Simply dressed with white trousers and a sporty dark blue shirt open to the waist, he was smiling looked more handsome than hed ever done before., if that were possible. He pulled her to his chest in a languorous dance, and they devoured each others glances. It was as if time had stopped, they were the only ones on the planet and she shuddered under the sudden swell of excitement that passed right through her. From the look on his face hed noticed that too. His smile was magic. She couldn't pull her eyes away from the greeny grey and hazel gaze that haunted most of her dreams and filled her days with hope and the enchantment of his sensual lips. His hands on her body burned her like fire, and she wanted nothing but kiss him, finally.
To finish what they had started again where theyd
stopped a few months ago, in the hallway of his building before
that damn bee ruined everything. They had never spoken again of
this moment. Not once, they hadn't evoked that precious moment
which could have sealed their love forever. But things were
different after Antarctica. Never the right time or opportunity,
too much of their job and a punishing schedule had got in the way
and repressing their desires, they had kept that side of their
feelings at bay. Perhaps that time was here again, and this time
it wouldnt go away.
Present time: Desert of Ica:
The night was sublime. The moonlight lit the pampa in a strange and fairy-like way. Each rock was detached; evoking forms in turn animal or human. Scully hadn't slept. She looked at her watch once again; more out of habit than lassitude. She felt perfectly good under the circumstances; the man that she cherished was lying in her arms, she hoped hed be okay till morning although his breathing was a cause for concern. He stirred, agitated suddenly in his sleep and raised his sleepy face towards her. A smile took shape on her lips.
"What time is it?"
"Almost 4am. The sun will rise in two hours. How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine, Scully. The pain isn't so bad... You slept a little?"
"Nope. But I'm fine. Im not tired."
"My Lioness. You are sure?"
"Yes. Im perfectly all right. The desert is strangely beautiful at night. Kind of mesmerizing." Like watching you sleep G-man, she added silently to herself.
In spite of waking up, he was just content to lie still in her arms, just as he had done in Florida, soaking up her warmth and relishing just being near her, the comfort of her touch. She had protected him through the night in this potentially deadly wilderness so he could rest, without a thought to her own comfort. He loved her so much he thought his heart would burst.
"I am too, Scully. My foot aches but I think Ill be ok till they get here."
She smiled at him, luminous and so beautiful.
"You want to know why you are so toasty, Scully? In spite of the cold, the stones under our buttocks are volcanic and retain our heat?
"Because we are together."
Her voice was hesitant but affirmative. It was a simple string of words but it made his heart tip over with affection and delight. Times were a changing and for the better.
" Because we are together and I love you." Mulder's voice was a low murmur, which made her shiver, she had heard him but she wasnt sure if he realized he had voiced that aloud.
There was a long silence, and then he rose delicately from the pressure of her arms, and reversed their positions. It might be hours before help reached them and she needed to sleep. Hed take no for an answer. A few more Tylenol and hed be good to go for a few more hours while she got some much needed rest. With slow and soft gestures, he took her in his arms, and cuddled her against his chest, burying his face in the nape of her neck, he hugged her tighter, despite his badly bruised ribs and she slumped against him, happy and panicked at the same time. Soon both of them slept under the watchful eyes of the Inca gods, their soft breaths mingling as one.
Together. A new dawn approaching in more ways than one.