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Through a dog's eyes.

by Linda 61 l.vanmaanen@chello.nl
Written for the MR June fic Challenge.
Rating: Adult reading but nothing too strong.
Category: Angst MT
Disclaimer. Fox and CC get the Royalties so it 
must be their property.
Feedback. After contest.

George Suitor was working on a broken chair in his 
home when he heard a knock on the door. Realizing 
what he was trying to do wasn't working anyway he 
put down his tools with a sigh and walked to the 
front door.

He opened the door to find nothing. There was nobody
there. Confused he stepped outside and looked around,
there wasn't anybody in sight at all. All except a 
few yards away a scruffy old gray dog looked at him,
turned around and walked away. "Damn kids" he 
mumbled and was about to close the door when 
he saw the envelope. "What the ..." He looked around
again, thinking someone was laughing his ass off right
now, but he didn't see a soul. He picked up the
envelope and went back inside, wondering what to
do with it. There wasn't a name on it, but 
then again, it was on his doorstep.

'Oh what the heck' he thought and ripped the 
thing open. For a second he got scared when 
he saw what was written; in terrible handwriting
he  read: 'near one of the old trees a body is 
buried , please give him a proper burial'. As 
if the paper was on fire he shook it out of 
his hand. For a couple of minutes he just 
sat at the table staring at it, then he decided 
he didn't want anything to do with it, he grabbed
the piece of paper and threw it out. "Damn kids" 
he mumbled again. Grumbling he took up his tools 
and went back to work on his chair. Outside the 
old gray dog sat under a tree and kept staring 
at the front door. 

Waiting.

***********

Lying on his couch Mulder was reading. Not a book, 
no, much more interesting. He was reading the latest
'Lone Gunman' rag and was so engrossed by the story 
he didn't hear the knock on his door. Only when he 
heard the rattling of keys he called out "The door 
is open Scully, just push it". He sat up straight
and put the magazine down. His partner Agent Dana 
Scully walked in, her hands full with grocery bags. 
"Didn't you hear me knock Mulder?" she said. 

"Knock? No I'm sorry, I was reading."

"Thanks for helping me." She looked at the 
magazine on the table while putting 
the shopping bags down. "Something interesting?" 

"Yes!" Then he hesitated. "Well, I think it is, 
don't know about you though." 

Scully picked up the magazine. "Oh my god Mulder, 
don't you think it's time to read more intelligent
stuff than this? Geez, where do they find this 
nonsense."

"But it's really interesting Scully. Look at this.
This man claimed he got letters saying to dig up 
a body near his home. No name on the envelope, he 
found them left on his doorstep. And every time 
he looked up, this gray dog was staring at him. 
He lives in the country, both times there wasn't 
a soul around. He tried to find the body but the 
letter only said 'near the old trees' and there 
are many around."

"Mulder this is total bullshit!"

"Scully! Oohhhh, naughty words, you turn me on 
girl."

"Not now, I have a headache. No wonder after 
hearing this. And forget about it, 
we're not going to investigate this."

And with that she turned around to make some 
tea, she really needed a cup. Mulder stood up 
and followed her, as excited as a puppy. 

"Actually...." Mulder whispered in her ear, 
putting his arms around her waist. "Actually, 
that was my plan precisely. Come on Scully, we
can ask Skinner and if he doesn't give us the 
green light we can always take a few days off. 
It will be fun, it's an old fashioned X-file."

"I said no Mulder, it's just a story someone made
 up. Why waste time?"

"And since when is spending time together wasting
time?" He started to nibble her ear. "Come on 
Scully, pleeaaaase," he whined. 

She picked up her cup of tea. "Let me sleep on it 
ok?" She sipped her tea, knowing she'd already 
lost, staring into those bright hazel orbs. She
wouldn't give him what he wanted that easily 
though. 

"Cool, let's go to bed." Mulder tried to 
pick her up. "Mulder my tea --my tea!!" 
Scully giggled, as she spilt half the cup 
over the rim onto the floor. "And it's 
only 7pm, don't you think it's a bit 
early to go to sleep?"

"Who is talking about sleeping here Scully?" 
Then he grabbed her tea and made to 
take a sip.

"Careful it's h..."

"Ahh shit.."

"Right." Scully said, nodding and retrieved 
her cup. "That's what you get for 
stealing my tea."


==================

Skinner didn't sign off on the 302, as Scully
expected, so both of them asked a few days 
personal leave. He didn't really agree on 
their plans, but what his agents did in their
own time wasn't his problem. Well he did care 
of course. He liked them, but this was too 
ridiculous. "I know you're going to investigate 
this anyway, but I'll deny everything Mulder." 
And then to Scully: "Please keep him out of 
trouble." Skinner shook his head when he saw 
his agents leave, Mulder with a big smile on 
his face, his partner looking dubious. 

"I knew you would do it Scully" Mulder said. 
"Thanks". 

"It's just I don't want to hear that whining 
all week Mulder and well, after last night...., 
you kinda deserve it. Come on, let's go back 
to your apartment and find out exactly where 
that man lives and what's the easiest way to
get there." 

They found out the man was living a couple 
of hundred miles from Washington, deep forest
all around with the nearest town 10 miles away
and they decided just to drive there. Taking a
plane to the nearest airport and driving from 
there to the house probably was going to take 
just as much time, and with more hassle. 

They were in their own time, so not really in 
a hurry anyway; they could enjoy the scenery 
and hopefully it would be a nice relaxing trip.
Mulder packed his bags and then they drove to 
Scully's apartment to get her things. All in 
all it took about two hours before they were 
all packed and ready to go. 

After a seven hour drive they arrived in the 
general area that the man was supposed to live. 
But where? They hadn't seen a car, campers or 
any other people in ages and hardly any houses. 
This was the real boondocks alright. Looking at 
the map Scully sighed: "It has to be around here
Mulder, maybe we missed a road, or a path. A 
sign even." She looked up and stared out of 
the window when suddenly she yelled: "There, 
look Mulder there's a path, its the only one 
with a mail box, that must be it!"

Not having a choice Mulder drove up the rutted 
path, bouncing them around with every hole on 
the dirt track. "Looks like a car has driven 
this road not too long ago Scully, I think we 
might be at the right place." After five 
minutes an old farmhouse came into view. 
" Secluded place. At least he won't have to be 
afraid he'll get in trouble with his neighbors" 
Mulder laughed.

They got out of the car and Mulder immediately 
started to look around. He called out; "Mr. Sutor? 
Hello? Anybody there? Mr. Sutor!" Ever direct, 
Scully walked up to the front door and knocked. 

"Who are you?" A gruff voice came from behind them. 
Scully and Mulder turned around and Mulder asked; 
"Mr. Sutor?" The guy looked like a grizzly old hermit, 
not less than 60 years old. His eyes were steely and 
he didn't look that friendly.  

"Who wants to know?"

"I'm sorry sir, I'm Special Agent Fox Mulder 
and this is my partner Special Agent Dana 
Scully. We're with the FBI." Both showed their ID's. 

"FBI?"

"We're here because of those letters you received 
Mr. Sutor. Can we talk to you about those?"

"Well, if you think it's important enough for 
the FBI, yeah sure, come on in. News travels fast. 
Watch your step, its a bit downtrodden and rickety but
its home, and I don't get too many visitors."

Once inside Scully explained they were from a special 
department called the X-files and therefore they wanted
to find out what was going on. She didn't tell him how 
they got the information, just that they had it. Telling 
him Mulder had read about all this in some weird magazine 
was a bit too much for her. Also Sutor must have talked 
to someone about the whole thing, otherwise it wouldn't 
have been in there in the first place.

Mr. Sutor didn't seem to care and just nodded his head.
 "I threw the first letter out, but when I started 
getting more I took it out of the garbage can and 
saved it with the others. Got me a collection now." 

"I understand a dog brought them to you?" He wished 
Sutor would show them the letters, he was getting 
more curious by the minute.

"I never said that! I said there was a gray dog 
staring at me every time there was a new letter. 
Actually, that animal is giving me the creeps. 
I even thought of shooting it, putting the beggar 
out of his misery, but every time I tried to 
get near it disappeared. Damned if I know 
where the mutt came from."

"How many letters have you found so far?" 
Scully asked, eyeing the general shabbiness 
of the house.

"Twelve. I don't get them every day. Just 
spread out for a while over the last month. 
There all about the same though. Telling me 
to find a body and rebury it. But I can't find 
it. Maybe it's just a hoax, I don't know." Sutor
shrugged.

He stood up and opened an old closet. He reached 
in and came back with the letters. "Here, maybe you 
know what to do with these. I'm lost. I wished they, 
or it would just leave me alone. I don't want this. 
Damned fool pranksters." 

"Can we take these?" Mulder asked looking through 
the letters.

"You can keep them, I don't know what to do with 
them anyway. I rather not have 
them. 'S'cuse me, I need a drink." Sutor pointed 
at the bottle of whiskey. "Want some too?"

"No thanks Mr. Sutor. I guess that covers it for 
today until we get some test done on the paper 
these were written on. I think we'd better be 
going. We may be back later if we need more 
questions answered. Uhm, you don't happen to 
know a hotel around here do you?" Scully was 
afraid they never would be able to find a 
room. Not here in the wilds. 

"Yes, sure you can. Just go back to the main 
road and follow it the way you were going. Ten 
miles from here is a small town, there's a 
hotel, if you could call it that. Nothing fancy, 
but it's clean." 

"Thanks. OH one more  question Mr. Sutor; you 
said you thought it maybe was a hoax, why's 
that?"

"Sometimes kids from the town come here, nothing
better to do that scare an old man maybe. But I 
changed my mind, don't think this has to do with 
them though. I'm sure after so many letters I 
would've spotted them by now."

"Right. Well thank you Mr. Sutor. We'll be 
going now. Do you have telephone in 
here so we can reach you? "

"Of course" Sutor said, handing them a scarp of
paper that he wrote the number on while Mulder 
gave him his card. "Don't give up phoning too 
soon; when I'm outside I need some time to get 
it." Sutor laughed for the first time. "Maybe I 
should get me one of those modern things, a cell 
phone." He smiled again, revealing a mouth of 
broken teeth. He looked like he was relieved 
the agents were there to take charge of this 
bother. They shook hands and the agents left 
the house to find a room for the night. When 
they drove off, a gray dog stepped out of the 
shadow and followed the car with its eyes. 

"What do you think Scully?" Mulder asked once
they were back on the main road. "Mr. Sutor 
looks like an honest man, I don't think he made
this up."

"That doesn't mean it's real Mulder. It could 
be a kid's joke, or maybe one of the neighbors 
who thinks he's funny. There are all kinds of 
possibilities. It might just be a ruse for 
attention. He must get lonely out here. "

" I didn't get the impression he likes to 
entertain, but you heard Mr. Sutor Scully, 
he's convinced he should have seen them by 
now, after so many letters."

"He's an old man, maybe he just missed them. 
Oh I don't know. Let's find a hotel first, I 
can't think anymore. I'm too tired and I'm 
hungry enough to start gnawing on your leg 
Mulder. We've been on the road all day ", 
Scully yawned.

Mulder touched her cheek. "Promises promises," 
he waggled his eyebrows. "I'm sorry Scully. 
You're right, we find ourselves a nice room 
and get some food too. Tomorrow will be another
day." 

Once in the town it wasn't difficult to find the 
hotel. There was only one street. Mr. Sutor was 
right about it. Nothing fancy, but clean and it 
even had television. And when Mulder asked if 
they could get some food even that was possible. 
They couldn't be happier at that moment. In no 
time at all they were feasting on ribs and wings 
with some cool ice tea. It was the best they had 
tasted in a long while and they finished sated and 
full. 

"Tomorrow we should see if we can find the body the 
letters talk about. Maybe we can get the sheriff to 
help us with dogs. We're not on official business, 
so that could be a problem. On the other hand, we 
don't have to tell him that do we?" Mulder yelled 
to Scully who was taking a shower. 

"Does that mean I have to explain to Skinner 
again?" Scully asked when she stepped out of 
the bathroom. 

"I knew you loved me." Mulder took her hand and
kissed it then followed her arm to her shoulder, 
neck, ear, peppering little kisses as he went.

"Mmmm..." Scully moaned.

"Yeahhh..." Mulder answered while pushing her 
softly onto the bed. 

And while the two lovers had the best romantic 
night in ages,  Mr. Sutor had the weirdest dream. 


=============

They were still asleep when a phone rang. Mulder
recognized the goofy Jetson's ring tone and knew 
it was his. Trying to get slide out from Scully's 
arms without waking her, he grabbed his phone.

"Mulder."

"Agent Mulder. I'm sorry to bother you, but I'd like
 to talk to you if I can."

"Mr. Sutor, yes of course. Did something happen?"

"Well yes. First of all I found a new letter."

"And second?" Mulder asked, stifling a yawn. Sun 
was just streaking through the thin drapes which 
told him it was actually morning , if not very early.

"I'd like to talk with you and your partner about 
that in person about it, is that possible?" Sutor 
seemed to be nervous.

"It's quite early yet, let's say 10am?"

"Yes, yes, that's ok. Thank you. I see you later 
then." 

"Ok 10 am it is." And with that he disconnected the 
call and snuggled up to spoon against Scully's back. 

"Something wrong?" Scully's voice came from the bed.

"Scully! You're awake. Yeah, Sutor wants to talk to 
us."

Scully stretched her muscles, turned and kissed 
Mulder soundly on the lips, enjoying the warmth 
of his skin and then slowly climbed out of her 
bed, much to his dismay. "We're better get ready 
then." 

Mulder lay back, arms behind his head, savoring 
the view of her naked ass as she sauntered to 
the bathroom. A long moment of yawning and 
stretching passed before he too, climbed slowly
from the warm nest they had created.

---

Two hours later they drove up the path to Sutor's 
house again. When they reached the door it was
already open and Sutor was waiting for them.

"Come in please." Mr. Sutor said and turned 
around to walk inside.

"Please, please, take a seat." He seemed a bit 
upset.

"Mr. Sutor is there something wrong?" Scully asked 
while she took the letter Sutor gave her. 

"Well like I said this morning to Agent Mulder, I 
received another letter. But I...ahh...I..I had a 
dream. About the dog. I'm not sure what to think 
about it. It confuses me." 

"Why don't you tell us what your dream was Mr. 
Sutor, maybe we can help you." Mulder said. 

Scully gave Mulder the letter while Sutor took a 
deep breath. It was obvious he didn't know how to 
start, so the best way was to start at the 
beginning. He told them he found the last 
letter an hour after they left and spent all day 
wondering if he should call them again. In the end 
he gave in after a sleepless night.

Again the message was the same. Find the body. 
But he also saw the dog staring at him and it 
made him nervous. He closed the door and 
checked all the locks. After a big glass of 
whiskey he went to bed. It took a while but 
finally fell asleep and then the dream began. 

He saw the dog coming at him. It looked like 
an old one, but sturdy and menacing. Suddenly 
he realized there was something about the dog 
he recognized. Like he'd seen those eyes before. 
Not from the last few weeks, but from long 
ago. Then the dog was right in front of him. 
He opened his mouth and Sutor took a step back 
thinking the dog wanted to bite him. Instead he
heard a voice. The dog started to talk to him. 

"Hi George." 

He blinked and almost stumbled over a log. George
suddenly knew. That voice. Those eyes. His brother. 
The dog looked and sounded almost like his brother! 

"My god, how, who? David...you're a dog? How is 
this possible. But you're dead! God, I'm going
crazy, it must be the whiskey. I'll never drink
again. God..oh God." His hands were shaking and 
he trembled all over. 

"I'm here to pay my debt George and you have to
help me. I gave you these letters, hoping you 
would find the body belonging to the man I 
killed a long time ago. I buried him near 
one of the old trees, but I can't find it, 
and even if I could I wouldn't be able to 
rebury him. I need your help with that." 

"My brother never killed a man, I would have 
known." George reacted angrily.

"I did George. It was in the time you were out 
of the state for months. I saw the poor guy in 
the village a day before. He was driving a big 
car and I saw him spending a lot of money. The
next day I went looking for a deer to shoot , it 
was then I saw him alone, walking through the 
forest with his dog. I was greedy and didn't 
even hesitate. I shot him and his dog in a 
moment of madness and buried them. After I took 
the money of course. After a while I started to 
feel guilty, also because his family was looking
for him and I found out he had kids. 

I didn't even think about him having a family when
I killed him. I only saw the money. When I died I 
couldn't find my rest and I knew the only thing I 
could do was to give the remains back to his family 
so they could give him a proper burial. I just 
didn't know how. I roamed the area as a dog 
somehow and I watched you grow old. I've always 
been around you know. You just couldn't see me. 
Then I decided I needed your help. So I started 
to put letters on your doorstep. I thought them 
and they became solid. I even showed myself to you. 
But you weren't able to find the body either and 
then you talked to somebody about it and those 
two people showed up. I was afraid first, but I 
could feel I could trust them. They could help 
us to find the man I murdered. Please George, 
help me to find my rest." 

The dog started to howl.

Well and then I woke up" George said gingerly 
to Mulder and Scully who stared at him with mouths
open.

"Wow, that's quite a dream. And you think it's 
real?" Mulder asked.

"It has to be, I mean...what else can it be?"

"It might just be because all this has been 
playing on your mind, prophetic dreams and 
precognitive elements are usually quite rare. 
But then there's the new note. I guess the 
only way to find out is to find the remains 
of the murdered man, Mulder" Scully said. 

"Ok then. We're going back to the hotel and 
talk it over. I think we should take a look 
for ourselves first Scully. I'd like to wait 
calling the sheriff till we know a little 
bit more. Maybe Mr. Sutor here can show us 
the way, so we don't get lost?"

Sutor nodded. "No problem. Anything to get 
this solved."

The next day Mulder and Scully and George 
Sutor got on their way to find the remains 
of the man David Sutor murdered so long ago. 
There were so many different trees around 
but Sutor remembered he and his brother 
used to play near a group of hundreds of 
years old oak trees, a bit deeper into the 
forest. That could be the place. Sutor took
the lead and when they hiked further into the 
woods they didn't notice a dog following them. 

--------

For hours the three people looked for some 
evidence of a grave or some bones near the 
trees, Sutor thought were the 'old trees' his 
dog/ brother mentioned in his dream. After 
searching for a long time Sutor got a bit 
irritated and started to doubt all the things 
going on. Maybe it was just a dream he had 
unwittingly triggered by the letters arrival 
and the dog was just astray he'd been seeing 
for a while.  Maybe it was just an old dog 
trying to find some food. The more George 
thought about it, the more he was convinced
and the angrier he got. This was all in his 
mind and the fact these FBI agents took it 
seriously, or at least Agent Mulder did, didn't
make it any better. Then, but without telling 
the agents, he made up his mind. The moment 
he'd see the dog again he would shoot it. The 
old animal wouldn't survive the coming winter 
anyway and also he hoped it would end the whole 
weird story, and he could go back to working
on his wood in the deep solitude of the forest. 
Carefully he made sure the hunting rifle he 
brought was ready to shoot. Not knowing Sutor 
was doing behind their backs Mulder and Scully 
kept searching. 

"Mulder.."

"Yeah?" Mulder said while picking up a stick and 
throwing it away again. 

"Don't you think we should stop?"

"What?" Mulder stopped and turned to face 
her. "What do you mean?"

She looked exhausted from her day's trek, all 
that sex and fresh air was making 
him tired too.
 
"I mean Mulder, we're going through this forest 
for hours and hours already, we haven't a clue 
if we're on the right spot or if the grave or 
what we're looking for really exists. My feet 
hurt. I'm dirty, I'm thirsty and all I want now 
is a hot bubble bath. And after that, well, if 
I'm not too tired..." She looked at him with a 
tired smile but one that made him melt. 

"Yeah, I'm afraid you're right. Maybe we can 
contact the local office of the park rangers 
to see if they would led us a friendly hand with
all this, try to get the sniffer dogs out here 
tomorrow, but if we can't find the remains then, 
well, I hate to admit it, but then I think we 
should give up and forget about it. Break Fro's 
heart that once again, one of his headliners 
turned out to be horse puckey."

"Am I hearing that right Mulder? You agree with me? 
I could kiss you!"

"And what, my dear Agent Scully, is stopping you?" 
Mulder whispered in her ear. 

Right at the moment Scully wanted to give him 
what he was asking for, not even thinking 
about Sutor walking behind them, then they 
heard George shout.

"There! That damned dog again! I'm so sick and
tired of that animal! Giving me nightmares and 
making me think my brother killed someone. 
Well, no longer!!"

Mulder and Scully couldn't see the dog and 
turned to look at the direction Sutor was 
pointing. Scully turned back and could see 
Sutor lifting his rifle but with his usual 
great timing, Mulder wanted to see behind 
the tree and just at the moment Sutor 
pulled the trigger, Mulder took a step. 

As in slow motion Scully could see Mulder 
being hit and slammed against the tree and 
bang his head in a flurry of bark and blood 
spray. Not realizing what just happened and 
a confused expression on his face, he lost 
control over his legs and slithered down 
against the trunk. His ears were buzzing 
and all he could hear was someone yelling: 
"MULDER, NOOOOOO!!!" His head slid forward 
onto his chest, and just hung there before 
everything went black. Next to him a bone was 
sticking out of the ground and a part of a 
skull could be seen. He'd found the grave. 

"What did you do, what did you do! Oh my 
god!!" Scully grabbed the rifle and pulled 
it out of Sutor's shaking hands. Then she
ran to her unconscious partner, sinking to
the forest floor beside him. "Mulder? Can 
you hear me? Mulder!" 

Carefully shaking his shoulder she tried 
to get Mulder's attention but all she 
got was an: "Ohhhhh". Then his eyes opened 
for a second and looked at Scully; they were 
filled with agony. "Wha.. ha.." Then he hung 
his head again. Scully checked his body 
carefully with her hands and checked his 
head. A big bump at the back of his head 
would probably give him a hell of a 
headache but not more than that. But when 
Scully tried to lift his shirt she felt 
something wet and when she pulled back her 
hand it was red with blood. "Oh no, oh no, 
we need help." Hurriedly she, ripped off and 
bunched up his shirt against the chest 
wound, making him hold a fist against it to 
stem the bleeding. He was fading in and out 
of consciousness and not quite lucid but he 
seemed to manage to keep his hand pressed 
there. 

Scully ran back to George Sutor who was 
still standing there frozen where she left
him and started frantically shaking him. 
"We need an ambulance!! Phone, where's my 
phone!" She plunged her hand in her pocket 
and pulled out her cell phone. "Shit! No 
service. And of course I didn't bring a first
aid kit. Dammit, we have to bring Mulder to 
the house. Mr. Sutor. George. Please, you 
have to help us. My partner needs help. You 
have to help me carry him." Scully tried to
shake him out of his shock.

"Sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't want to shoot him. 
I'm sorry." He stammered. 

"Mr. Sutor!! Please!" Scully started to 
yell in panic.

"Yeah, yeah, of course. Help, he needs help."

Scully kneeled at Mulder's side. "Mulder?" 
She softly touched his shoulder. "Mulder, 
come on, wake up."

"Don'..wanna.. hurts.." Mulder stammered.

"I know sweetie, but we can't help you when 
you're unconscious, we need to get you back 
to the house. Do you think you can get on 
your feet?" 

"Dunno..help me." Then he tried to get up. He 
was wobblier than a colt. At first he couldn't 
manage but with help of Sutor and Scully he 
finally got on his feet. It took all the energy 
just to stay awake and he didn't think he could
make one step. Even with help, the pain was so 
intense. After standing for a few minutes, 
leaning heavily on Scully and Sutor he tried 
to move. He took a step.. "Oh god that hurts, 
oh shit." His last words were almost a sob, 
but still he stumbled on. One step after another.

Even though they'd been searching for hours for
the remains they weren't even that far from the 
house, probably going around in circles.  Sutor 
leaded them straight back and after a little 
more than an hour, almost dragging a sweaty 
blood soaked Mulder with them, they arrived 
at the house.

"We're here Mulder, just a few steps more." But 
when Mulder saw the house his legs just gave out 
and he couldn't do more than letting himself slip 
to the ground. "No more, Scully..please..no more."
Then he closed his eyes and if Scully hadn't caught
 him on time, he would have bashed his head again 
on the steps. Now she just held him in her arms, 
feeling the heat coming from him, while he was 
shaking with pain and each breath labored 
and wet sounding. Scully sent up a silent 
prayer for help to get its ass here soon.

"I'll try to call an ambulance" Sutor said while
running into the house.

Scully just nodded, tears in her eyes. Angry with
herself that she'd let Mulder again talk her into 
this. And for what? A couple of bones. She sighed. 
At least they found the grave, it wasn't all for 
nothing. Someone would be able to lay their loved 
one to rest and escape the terrible limbo of not 
knowing. But what a price, possibly at the expense 
of her dear partner's life. 

When Sutor came back out of the house he told 
Scully he also called the sheriff. He promised 
to take care of the remains later, but he'll 
be coming to the house too. It was a tragic 
accident but loose ends needed tying up 
over an FBI agent getting shot. Scully was 
happy with that. No more work for them now. 
As far as they know the murderer was long 
dead. Right now she just wanted Mulder safe 
and on good drugs  in the hospital and after 
that she just wanted to see his eyes and usual
smile, before going back to the hotel. Well 
maybe take a shower first while waiting for 
Mulder to come out of surgery, she thought 
when she took a look at her clothes and 
hands. She felt him stirring in her arms.

"Scully?" 

"Yeah Mulder?"

"I..I don't feel so good." He tried to sit 
up, but gave up immediately when the pain 
cut through him like a knife. "Ahhh."

"Lay still Mulder. You've been shot and you 
have a fever. Hold still and let me staunch 
the blood loss. The ambulance is on it's way.
Oh and Mulder? You found the remains you know, 
you almost sat on them."

"Yeah? Good.. What about.. the dog Scully? Did 
you get..to..see the dog?"

"Mulder, to be honest. I'm not even sure there 
is a dog, nor do I care. You are my primary 
concern now.. Remember we only heard the 
story, neither of us really saw the dog, 
or heard it for that matter. Maybe Mr. 
Sutor just made it up to get help, maybe 
he knew all along. I really don't know. 
Your trouble radar timing sucks as usual 
partner. "

he managed a grin through his pain. "But 
what.. about..the letters?"

"You really believe that dog wrote them?" 
Scully started to laugh. Come on Mulder, 
even for you that's a bit, well, Spooky."

"Maybe..maybe not..Doesn't matter really. 
As long as that family.. will be.. able 
to.. bury..him........Tired Scully." His
eyes started to close again. 

"The ambulance is here Mulder, you just let 
them do their job, you know it works. I need 
to take the car with me, I'll be following 
the ambulance okay? Don't worry, you'll be 
okay." 

Then she kissed him on the head and made room 
so the just arrived medics could do what they 
had to do to stabilize him. They worked on him 
for over an hour before they stopped the 
bleeding and prepped him for the ambulance 
drive.

The sheriff arrived and took Mr. Sutor back to 
his office to sort out all this mess, while the 
ambulance left. Scully watched the ambulance 
leave with a pit of worry in her stomach and 
walked to the car. She took one long look 
again and then stepped inside, hating to be 
separated from Mulder right now, but the 
paramedics seemed to have things under control 
and she would drive like the devil to catch up 
as soon as she could.  

She turned the key to start the engine when 
suddenly she heard a dog howl. "What the.." 
she said out loud. She killed the engine and 
listened again. Nothing. A shudder went 
through her body. "Dana, girl, you're starting
to hear things." Then she started the car again
and drove off. Again on her way to some hospital. 

Behind a thick tree a scruffy old gray dog 
watched the car drive away. Once again he 
howled but then he walked away to disappear 
into the dense forest. David Sutor had paid 
his debts.  

Mulder spent 6 hours in surgery, the doctors 
repairing the deep chest wound he sustained. 
He was lucky, if you could call being shot 
lucky; the doctors were amazed there was no 
internal organs damaged beyond repair from 
the force of such a full bore blast. If he'd 
been shot at closer range , he'd have been 
killed instantly.  

Scully held Mulder's hand and contemplated 
the two weeks he'd have to stay here while 
he healed. She planned to have a very long 
chat when he came around and was feeling 
better, regarding their leisure time 
pursuits. Next time, if she had her way 
they would go to Jamaica and Hawaii or 
somewhere equally romantic and do nothing 
more dangerous than drink cocktails with 
umbrellas, make love and swim. Exotic sunsets 
were what they needed not spooky ghost hunts 
and demon dogs that talked, or trigger happy 
hermits. 

His eyes opened slowly, made heavy by the 
drugs he was on for pain and he raised one
heavy hand onto the one she had laid against 
his heavily bandaged chest. She took his hand, 
and stroked his fingers trying not to cry in 
front of him. 

Slowly it all came back to him, and the smell 
and sounds that surrounded him were even more 
of a dead giveaway that he was once again on 
his back, in the hospital. That meant deep shit 
and a lot of pain. Scully smiled and a single tear 
slid down her face. Another nice trip to the 
forest ending in tears and Mulder in his favorite 
home from home lodgings. When would he ever learn?

"..How am...I? "  he croaked, not brave enough yet
 to take a deep breath. 

" You have a nice case of watering jug syndrome;
 by that I mean a hole in your right upper quadrant
the size of my fist, and a sizable lump on the back 
of your  head that will keep you seeing twittering 
little blue birds for a few hours yet. Other than 
that, the muscle damage and bone grafting you will 
need in the next few months, you are going to be 
fine. Again. It's like living with a cat Mulder, 
I keep wondering when you're going to use up all 
your nine lives. This was too close, and the guy 
never even meant to hurt you. "

"Ow , tell me about it. Sorry Scully.  I guess that
means desk duty for a while huh? "

She nodded and kissed his hand. "You can count on 
it, and add to that no more trips to the forest. 
We are strictly beach bunnies when we have a 
vacation in future. Got It?"

"Relax Scully, after this I'm inclined to get out
 my rubber ring and Speedos, you can bring the tan 
lotion."

"Only if I can apply it." 
The Demerol didn't stop the smile that escaped him. 
" Might be a while before we hit the sands but  
you have a deal. What about ole George, is he in 
trouble?"    
 
"Well not for shooting you. He did have an old 
still out back but its been years since it was 
in use. He received a stern lecture about 
shotgun safety and he has to take a proficiency 
and psychological test before he can have it back, 
but he seems content. They traced the bones back 
to a guy who was missing for 30 years. His family 
is being located as best we can. Seems they have 
scattered all around the country." She touched his
arm, rubbing it. " How you doing partner, you okay?" 

"Sore as hell, but the drugs are superb this time." 
he shifted awkwardly in his bed and Scully helped 
him sit a little up the bed.  "We will never know
about the dog for sure, seems like it served its
purpose."

"Yeah, somehow I think there was a connection 
subconsciously that George made. Maybe years ago 
he'd seen something he shouldn't regarding his 
brother and blanked it out, only now finding it 
coming to the surface again.  If there was a 
stray dog around, which is quite possible, it 
all might have gelled together in 
his dreams."

"I'll make a psychologist of you yet agent 
Scully!!"  he laughed, then tamped it down 
when it hurt too much.   

"I will leave that to you Mulder, but right 
now , the only thing you are going to be doing 
is going back to sleep so you can heal up and 
I can go find something to eat."

" Nothing wrong with my legs if you wanna 
chew on one Scully. As long as you feed me 
some Ice chips before you go."    

" I wanna do a lot of things to you Mulder, 
but since you got hurt again, I will have to 
wait and make do with appeasing my grumbling 
stomach. I'm not calling Skinner about all 
this until my blood sugar level is stable."
She leaned over to kiss him but he was almost 
asleep again. With that she stroked his hand 
and looked at him a long moment, savoring the
sight that he was alive and at least breathing. 
This could have turned out so tragic. "Night 
Scully... he slurred as she tucked his blanket 
up around his waist and let herself out. 

"Night Mulder...sweet dreams."

The dog stayed outside the hospital a long time, 
eyes fixed looking  up at the third floor window 
where the FBI agent lie.  

As night fell he faded back into the shadows. 
His work done.  


( The End?)