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Fan Fics

The Sand Syndrome
By ChandaK562@aol.com

This story is set during the fourth season of Men in Black: the Series and focuses on Agents Elle and X.

Elle slowly walked down the sandy beach keeping her eyes open for the Metan criminals they were searching for. Two days ago, the aliens had broken out of the JeeDang prison and now they had been traced to this beach in Florida. Luckily it was the off season so there weren't many tourists around to get in their way. Jay and Kay had taken the left side of the beach while she and X were handling the right side. Metans were small but strong creatures who looked a little like a crab so they had picked the perfect place to hide. She glanced back at her partner and wondered again what she had done wrong to get stuck with him. At least there was nothing here for him to blow up.
Suddenly, Elle felt the sand under her feet shift. She was struggling to regain her balance when suddenly a claw shot up out of the sand and grabbed her foot. It jerked her down with surprising strength. Elle only had time to let out a shriek before she found herself at least two feet underground.She struggled to move but the weight of the sand pinned her arms to her side, holding her in place. She could feel the sand running into her nose and ears, the weight of it on her chest crushing her. She couldn't breathe! She tried to take some comfort from the fact that she wasn't alone. Surely Jay and Kay would get her out before.... Then she remembered that the only person who might have seen the Metan grab her was X. 'I'm going to die,' she thought fatalistically. She had been trying to hold her breath but she couldn't any longer and gasped for air. Sand immediately poured into her mouth and down her throat, clogging it, seeping into her lungs. A moment later, it was over.
X looked around the beach curiously, wondering where his partner had disappeared to. He could have sworn that he had heard her shriek just a moment before the Metan popped out. He chuckled as he tapped the new ice sculpture on it's head. A easy capture.
He frowned as he noticed the disturbed sand right about where Elle had been standing when he last saw her. He knelt and started to curiously push the sand away, grimacing at the odd feel of the rough grains on his human disguise. Just like a human to get in trouble with such a small thing and need the alien to come to the rescue. He didn't know how they had survived as long as they had.
A few minutes later, he had cleared a sizable amount of the sand away without finding any sign of his partner. He pulled himself to his feet again and was about to look somewhere else when he suddenly noticed something He knelt down by the hole and brushed a bit of the sand away to reveal a dead white hand with dark blue nails.
"Blue nails?" he muttered as he continued to dig. "And Zed complains when I don't wear this ugly human disguise! I can't wait to see what he has to say to you about your choice of nail polish." He continued to shovel the sand away and within a few seconds he had her free. Her eyes were closed and he frowned at the sight of her blue lips. Humans were terribly ugly and he tried to avoid looking at them as much as possible but he was sure that he would have noticed if she had been wearing blue lipstick.
Elle slowly opened her eyes and blinked as the harsh sunlight blinded her. 'What happened?' she thought as she rolled over onto her side to get the light out of her eyes and saw X knelling in a hole in the sand. She pulled herself to her knees and slowly crawled over. She felt too sick to try to get to her feet.
Elle was shocked when she peered in the hole and saw X kneeling beside her body. He lifted her hand up and stared curiously at it for a second, flicking at her nail.
"That's not nail polish, you idiot!" Elle shrieked at him when she saw the blue tinge. "I'm not breathing! Do something!!"
Suddenly X looked up. "Agent Elle?" he said as he glanced from her to the body he was kneeling beside and back again. "I could have sworn there weren't two of you a little while ago."
"There aren't two of me," Elle muttered. This was just great. She was dying and she was stuck with this idiot! "Well, don't just stand there! Help me!"
"Help you with what? You seem fine to me," X said.
"Fine?! You really are insane, aren't you?" Elle cried. "I'm dying! Do something!"
"Dying? You look fine. Ugly of course but that's only to be expected with a human," X said as Elle slipped into the hole and knelt beside the body.
"Not me! Me!" she said as she pointed to her body. She was frightened to see how pale her skin was and the dark blue color of her lips. Not good at all and this alien was just sitting there wasting valuable time. "Do something!!"
Now X was beginning to notice something unusual about the Elle that was yelling at him. He could see right through her. "You weren't transparent before, were you?"
"No!" she spat at him. Why was he asking such stupid questions. "I'm having a near death experience or something!" She glanced down at her body again. "That's the real me. This is just my spirit. You have to do something now!"
"Fine," X said. He would do anything to stop her from complaining. "What do you want me to do?"
"Okay. First, get me out of this hole," Elle said as she climbed out with X following carrying her body. "and be careful! I'm very attached to that body! Don't hurt it!"
"Humans," X muttered as he laid Elle on the ground and knelt beside her.
Elle glared at her partner as she dropped to the ground beside her body. She was suddenly thinking she should have wrote out a will before leaving headquarters. She looked at X again. Why was he just sitting there? They didn't have time to waste. Suddenly, a horrifying thought occurred to her. "You don't know first aid, do you?"
"For humans? No," X said as Elle slumped miserably to the ground. She really really wished she had wrote that will.
"Okay," Elle said as she straightened up. She wasn't going to go down without a fight. "I'll tell you what to do and you do it! Exactly! Do you understand that?!"
"Humans and their egos," X said with a chuckle.
"Stop laughing! Who has the medical degree here, you or me?" Elle cried as she glared at him. "Now listen to me and do what I tell you! If you don't and I die, I swear I will haunt you for the rest of your miserable life!"
"Fine. What do you want me to do?"
"Okay," Elle said as she stretched out a hand to try to examine her body but her fingers passed right through. It looked like she would have to depend on X to tell her everything. What a frightening thought. "The first thing I need you to do is open the airway. Put one hand on my forehead and tilt my head back and use the other hand to raise my chin."
"I'm going to get human germs," X grumbled as he followed his partner's instructions. "So, what did you do? Try to inhale all of the sand on the beach? Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought humans breathed oxygen."
Elle glared at X. She wasn't even going to try responding to that. "You're going to need to get some of that sand out of my mouth and throat before you do anything else. Take a couple of fingers and see if you can scoop some of it out," she said as he reluctantly put his fingers into her mouth and started to try to remove the sand. "Just be careful. You don't want to force it any further down!"
"Human germs for sure," X grumbled as he finished clearing the sand. "There. Does that make you happy?"
"I hope so," Elle murmured. She had no idea how much of the sand might be in her lungs and there was nothing she could do to remove that. She frowned as she looked at her body. Definitely not breathing. "Now I need you to give me two breaths. Lean down, pinch my nose closed and make a tight seal over my lips. Then blow, not too hard but enough to make my chest rise. Got that?"
"Got it. You know this is very unpleasant," X said as he followed her instructions. She had told him not to blow too hard but it was hard to judge what force to use with these humans. They were so fragile. If she objected, she could just find someone else to help her. "Did you know you are truly hideous?"
"Like you're a prince among whatever you are?" Elle muttered as she watched what her partner was doing. At least he seemed to be getting it halfway right. "Okay. You need to feel for a pulse now." She moved her hand to the side of her neck to show him where to feel. "Put two fingers right there and tell me if you feel something. It should feel like a weak throbbing."
X followed her instructions with a grimace. "Do you know what a throbbing in the neck means among my people?"
"No and I don't want to know! Do you feel anything?" Elle demanded.
"No," X noticed Elle seemed to turn a paler shade of transparent at that news. "I gather that isn't good?"
"Of course it isn't good!" Elle cried in frustration. Where in the world were Jay and Kay? They would know exactly what to do! She shook her head and started to try to explain what to do. "You're going to have to do chest compressions now." She put her hand on the proper position. "I need you to put your hands here, one on top of the other. That's right," she said as she watched X follow her instructions. "Be careful not to let your fingers touch my chest. I really DON'T want a broken rib! Now push straight down about two inches fifteen times in ten seconds. I'll do the counting for you. Got that?"
"You are really very annoying," X said as he started the compressions. "Did you know that on my world touching a female like this would signify engagement?"
"Well, in case you haven't figured it out after all this time, you aren't on your world anymore! Here, engagement is signified by a ring and flowers!" Elle cried as X finished the compressions. "Now I need you to give me two more breaths just like you did before and then start the compressions again."
"And exactly how long do you expect me to do this?" X asked as he continued follow her instructions.
"As long as it takes! I do not want to die!" Elle muttered. At least X was doing CPR right, probably the only thing he had done right since arriving on the planet, so maybe there was a little hope. "Just keep repeating that cycle. Two breaths and fifteen compressions. "I'm going to go and try to find Jay and Kay. They can help."
"Wait!" X called as Elle started to get up. "You're a doctor, right? I seem to recall something about doctors not being allowed to leave their patients."
"That hardly applies considering the fact I am the patient," Elle muttered. She dropped back down beside her body again though. It probably wasn't a very good idea for her to leave and count on X to handle things while she was gone.
A couple of minutes later, Elle frowned when X abruptly stopped the CPR. "What do you think you're doing?" she cried. "I told you to keep doing that!"
"I felt something," X muttered as suddenly Elle's body twitched and she begin to choke up sand.
"Side! Turn me on my side quick!" Elle called as her partner rolled her over. "Now check and see if there's a pulse."
"Weak throbbing? Got it," X said as he put his fingers against her neck and quickly found a beat.
"Well, what do you want me to do now?" X asked as Elle examined her body as best she could in her transparent state. "Should you even be here? You aren't dead anymore."
"I don't know what's going on," Elle murmured as she looked down worriedly. Her color wasn't good at all. There was still a blue tinge around her lips. She wasn't happy with her labored breathing either. Who knows how much sand she had inhaled and what sort of damage it could be doing to her lungs? "I need you to pick me up and get me over to Jay and Kay. We have to get back to headquarters now!"
"Fine," X grumbled as he gathered Elle's body into his arms and started off with Elle following right beside him to keep an eye on her condition. "Did you know that you're very heavy?"
"Did you know that when I wake up, I'm going to kill you?" Elle said sweetly as she looked at herself. "Be careful! Support my head! I can't breathe right like that!" He was letting her head sag back, blocking her airway again.
"Fine. Is this better?" X asked as he adjusted his hold so Elle's head was resting against his shoulder.
"Much better," Elle said just as Jay and Kay came over a rise. The two agents rushed over when they saw Elle still and silent in X's arms.
"What happened to her?" Jay asked as he looked at X suspiciously. Everyone knew that he and Elle didn't get along at all. He quickly reached out and took her from him, holding her close.
"Well, at least someone who might know what to do has me now," Elle muttered as she moved to Jay's side so she could keep watching herself. "I do not like how I'm breathing."
"I don't like anything about you," X muttered causing Jay and Kay to look at him curiously. "The Metan got her and pulled her under the sand.
She's making a rather big fuss about getting her back to headquarters. I really don't see the rush. She only looks a little bit worse than usual."
"Oh, you are so dead!" Elle cried as she glared at her partner before turning to Jay and Kay. "Guys, listen to me! You really need to get me back to headquarters and into the medical lab pronto!" Just then she realized that the two men hadn't reacted to her presence at all. "Jay? Kay?" She walked back in forth in front of them. They didn't even blink.
"I don't think they can see you," X said.
"Who are you talking to?" Jay asked.
"Agent Elle. She's standing right in front of you. She claims she's having some sort of near death experience or something although I don't see how that's possible since she isn't dead."
"Right," Jay muttered. Just their luck. The alien had lost it.
"Let's get her back to headquarters. A containment crew's on the way to handle the prisoners," Kay said as they started for the LTD.
Jay carefully laid Elle down in the back seat and then slid in beside her, holding her head and shoulders against his chest to try to help her breathe better. Elle slipped in on the other side of her body and stared down sadly at it. She just hoped that there was something they could do once they got her home.
As soon as they arrived at headquarters, Jay gathered Elle up and hurried over to the medics, who had just arrived with a stretcher.
"What happened?" Zed demanded as they followed the stretcher down to the medical lab. He looked at X suspiciously. Surely what he was thinking was wrong.
"The human couldn't handle one little Metan by herself. It yanked her under the sand," X said in an unconcerned tone. He really didn't know why all of these humans were getting so upset.
Just then Dr. Zeeltor came in. "How is she?" Kay asked.
"She's going to be alright, right?" Jay said.
"Oh, my, no! She needs immediate surgery to clear her lungs. Very nasty, all of that sand," Zeeltor said with a chuckle as he turned and left the room again.
"Surgery? I do not like the sound of that!" Elle muttered as she headed down the hall after Zeeltor. "Wait! I want to talk to you!"

*****

X was sound asleep when he heard shouting outside of his room.
"Open this door!!" Elle screamed.
"Why don't you be a good ghost and go away?" X grumbled as he pulled himself out of bed and headed for the door. What did she want this time? He had done what she had asked. She was getting medical treatment. What more did she want? These humans were never satisfied. He opened the door and Elle stormed in.
"Well, I'm in a coma and I would like to think you for all of your concern!" she shouted as she glared at him. "You couldn't even bother to stay five minutes! Jay and Kay are still down there with me!"
"Good. Why don't you go and bother them. I was trying to get some sleep here."
"Two reasons! Number one, they can't see me! Number two, some idiot shut the door to the medical lab and I can't get in! Apparently whoever said spirits could walk through walls was an idiot! A relative of yours, perhaps?" Elle said.
"Whatever," X grumbled. "Now did you want something? I want to go back to bed."
"Bed's the problem. I'll be borrowing yours tonight," Elle said with a smile as she walked past him and through the open door into the bed room.
"You will not! Sleep in your own room!" X shouted as he stormed in after her. Elle was sitting on the bed testing it for softness as best as she could in her state.
"I would if I could get to my own bed but unfortunately I can't and I'm not about to sleep in the hallway," Elle said as she laid back.
"Get off of my bed!" X demanded as he went over and grabbed at her but her hands passed right through her.
"The only positive thing about this. Goodnight, X," Elle said with a smile. "Don't forget to turn the lights out on your way out."
"X?" Elle called a few minutes later.
"What do you want now?" X grumbled. "You took my bed! Do you want my pajamas now?"
"Absolutely not!" Elle called with a frown as a queasy feeling washed over her at the thought of her partner in his pajamas. Not something she wanted to think about. "I just can't touch the blankets to cover up. It's kind of cold. Can you come and tuck me in?"
"Tuck you in?" X grumbled as he stormed in and pulled the blankets up, pushing them down firmly around her shoulders. "Why did I ever come to this planet? Now are you happy?"
"Yes," Elle murmured as her eyelids started to slip shut. "Don't get so upset, X. We'll probably wake up tomorrow and find out this was all a nightmare."
X sat up with a moan as he heard the knock on his door. "You said this was going to turn out to be a nightmare!" he yelled when he saw that he was laying on his much to small couch instead of in his bed.
"Oh, be quiet!" Elle called. "I'm not having a good day either! I'm still stuck here!"
"I think I'm suffering the worst," X grumbled as he got up and went over to the door. He opened it to find Jay standing there.
"Who were you yelling at?" Jay asked as he looked curiously over X's shoulder and saw that the room was empty. Then he noticed the rumpled couch. "Did you sleep on your couch last night?"
"Yes, I slept on my too small couch last night because Agent Elle showed up and evicted me from my own bed! Why can't that woman be a good ghost and disappear?!" X muttered as he glared towards the bedroom. "Did you want something?"
"Yeah. I wanted to let your partner's in a coma in case you were interested," Jay said as he stared suspiciously at X. His uncaring attitude towards Elle's injuries combined with his insistence that he was seeing her everywhere made Jay more sure than ever that his suspicions about how Elle got hurt were right. "Oh, and Zed wants to see you pronto."
"Fine, tell him I'll be there in five minutes, that is if Agent Elle doesn't have anything else planned for me," X grumbled as he shut the door. "Tucking her in, Honestly!"
"What are you doing?" Elle said as X opened his closet and started to pull out a clean suit. "I certainly hope you aren't thinking of changing clothes in here!"
"Right. Wouldn't want to offend the human, would we?" X muttered under his breath as he headed for the bathroom to change. He didn't know how he was going to manage in there. The room was much too small.
A little while later, X came into Zed's office with the entire left side of his suit soaking wet.
"You're late," Zed said as he looked up, "and what happened to your suit?"
"It's Agent Elle's fault! First I had to get dressed in the bathroom to avoid offending her "delicant human sensibilities!" I slipped and fell into the shower and knocked it own! I would have changed again but I got a bit distracted when SHE demanded that I fluff her pillows! Apparently Elle's planning to sleep in this morning! In my bed! I swear I'm going to kill her! So, what did you want?" X said as he finally finished his tirade.
"Well, I wanted to tell you that since your partner's been injured, you're being removed from field duty until she recovers. You'll be helping out Agent U until further notice."
"Agent U? Can this day get any worse?" X moaned as he turned and stormed out of Zed's office.
"Where have you been?" Elle asked as X came in and proceeded to collapse on the couch with a loud moan.
"Where have I been?! I'll tell you where I've been! I've been spending the day with Agent U, my new partner, who happens to be a stunning example of everything that is terrible about humans magnified to the tenth power! That's where I've been and it's all your fault!!!"
"What?! It most certainly is not although I do wish I had suggested it," Elle muttered under her breath. Maybe a few days with U would shape X up and teach him to appreciate her.
"Of course it's your fault! If you had paid attention to what you were doing, you would never have been hurt and I wouldn't have been assigned U until you recover!! He's even more hideous than you! I'll never survive!!"
"Oh, I don't know. You might find you have a lot in common. You're both annoying and no one wants to be anywhere near you for instance," Elle said with a laugh as X glared at her.
"Oh, go away!!" X moaned as he buried his head in the couch. He really didn't know how long he could take this.

******

Late that night, X was struggling to sleep on the couch when he heard Elle calling. "What do you want?" he grumbled. "Haven't you caused me enough trouble for the day?"
"I'm hungry!" Elle called from the bedroom. "Not to mention cold! Can you come and tuck me in and then bring me some pudding? Chocolate, and not that instant stuff either!"
"What?" X moaned as he looked at the clock before dragging himself to his feet and stumbling into the bedroom. "Are you aware that it is three in the morning! You expect me to go and find chocolate pudding at three in the morning?!"
"There's some in the kitchenette," Elle said with a smile as X pulled the covers up around her shoulders.
"I must be loosing my mind," X grumbled as he headed for the door. He supposed it was better to fetch the pudding than spend the rest of the night listening to her complain that he was starving her, though.
A little bit later, Jay wandered into the kitchenette to find X standing over the stove stirring a pot.
"What are you doing in here at this time of night?" he asked as he went over to the fridge and got out the milk. Even the worms were in bed this late.
"I am making pudding," X muttered as he stirred the pot wishing that the disgusting smelling stuff would hurry and cook so he could try to go back to sleep.
"Pudding? Why?"
"Because Agent Elle got hungry, that's why!" X said as he glared down at the pudding. It finally looked done. He got out a bowl and proceeded to pour it in, then added a spoon.
Jay watched as X stormed out. The alien had definitely lost it this time.

********

"Your pudding! I'm going to sleep!" X shouted as he stormed into the bedroom, deposited the pudding on the bedside table and started to stalk back out again.
"X, wait a minute!" Elle called as she reached for the spoon and her fingers went right through it. "I can't touch anything, remember. You're going to have to feed me."
"Feed you?!! Absolutely not! I have to draw the line somewhere!" X cried as he went back over to the bed.
"X, if I don't eat I'm never going to get better! I can't recover without food you know! So if you don't want to be stuck with U for the rest of your life...." Elle trailed off.
"I get the idea," X grumbled as he sat down on the bed beside Elle and picked up the pudding. He couldn't believe what he was about to do.

 

 

 

 

"Aren't you back a bit early?" Elle said as X darted in and quickly slammed the door. "So, how was your second day with Agent U?"
"Don't mention that name!" X moaned. "I'm trying to avoid him!"
"You ditched your partner?" Elle said with a chuckle. "Zed is not going to be happy about that!"
"You would ditch him too," X grumbled. "So, why are you still here? Surely your body's feeling better. Shouldn't you be getting back into it?"
"Believe me, I would if I could," Elle murmured as she dropped down onto the couch, suddenly depressed at the thought of her injuries. "So, have you been to see me today?"
"When do you think I had time?! I just spent the last four hours fleeing U! He tried to make me dress up in this stupid costume and entertain a batch of alien children!!" X cried as Elle chuckled at the thought. "Besides, what good would it do to go and visit your body? If I wanted to see you, which I don't but for some reason I am anyway, I can just come home and there you are!"
"True," Elle murmured. "You know, X, it's boring in here."
"Well, if you're so bored, you can just leave! I want my bed back!!" X grumbled as he glared at her. "Maybe you can go and stay with Agent Jay or Agent Kay." His voice quickly took on a coaxing tone. "I think they're doing something interesting."
"It wouldn't matter if they were, since they can't see me. Believe me, I'm no happier about being here than you. So, do you have any movies?"
"You mean movies about humans, I suppose? Why would I have anything with them? I don't like horror!"
"Well, I suppose you'll just have to make a run to the video store, now won't you?" Elle said with a smile. "Better go and get a pencil. I have a very long list for you!"
A little while later, X came staggering down the hall loaded down with a pile of tapes, several large bags of popcorn and a gallon of ice cream. Jay spotted him just as X reached his rooms and hurried over.
"Agent U's looking for you," he said as he followed X into his rooms. "What are you doing with all of that stuff?"
"Agent Elle was bored," X grumbled as he deposited the videos on his coffee table and then started to put some of the ice cream in a bowl.
"Yeah. Right." Jay murmured as he started edging towards the door. The alien had seriously lost it. He had to go and get Kay fast.
"What's this?" Elle said as she looked at the stack of movies that were spread out on the table. "Ghostbusters? This wasn't on my list!"
"That one's mine. It sounded like a very educational film," X grumbled as a glared at his ghostly houseguest. "Maybe it will show how to get rid of unwanted ghosts!"
"Only if the ghost happens to be the Pilsbury Doughboy," Elle said with a chuckle as she pointed at her movie selection. "I'll start with that one. You might like it, X. There's someone green in it and as I recall, she has a rather big nose just like you!"
"It's a distinguished nose and who are you to talk, Beady Eyes?" X shouted as he staled over to the couch with the video in one hand and balancing the ice cream and a bag of popcorn in the other.
"Better beady eyes than those big ones of yours." Elle said with a smile as she sat down and waited for him to get the movie going. "You know, X, I just noticed something. You match the description of the Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood perfectly. Big eyes, big nose, big teeth. Eaten any grandmothers lately?"
"Oh, be quiet!" he grumbled as he stormed into the bedroom and came back with a blanket and a couple of pillows. He stuffed the pillows in one corner of the couch and then tucked the blanket around Elle's legs. "Here. You would undoubtedly demand them later and I do not want to get up and miss half of the movie!"

******

"See?! I told you! The alien's gone insane!" Jay whispered as he and Kay looked through X's door which hadn't been closed all the way. The alien agent was sitting on the couch watching a movie, which wasn't the strange part. What was odd was the fact that he was talking to himself and every few minutes he would hold up a piece of popcorn like he was giving it to someone but no one was there.
The two agents backed away from the door and hurried off down the hall. "We've got to talk to Zed!" Jay said. "First X hurts Elle and now he's hallucinating! Who knows what he could do next?"
"That movie was entirely too cheerful," X grumbled as they waited for the tape to rewind. "And why did those people sound like the worms after a triple espresso?"
"They're Munchkins. They're supposed to sound like that," Elle murmured as she leaned back on the couch and moved her feet so they were resting in X's lap. "I think I want to see Ghost next."
"Ghost. What an appropriate movie," X muttered as he glanced down and saw where she had put her feet. "Exactly when did I tell you you could use me as a footstool?"
Just then, there was a knock at the door. "Move it," X said as Elle slipped her feet off of his lap and he hurried over to the door. He opened it to find Zed, Jay and Kay standing there.
"Agent X, could I ask why you're here instead of helping Agent U like I assigned you to do?" Zed asked.
"Have you seen the costume he wanted to stuff me in?" X grumbled. "It was hideous and it smelled like human!"
"Like aliens smell so great?" Elle said with a chuckle as she came over and walked back and forth in front of the three men. They didn't even blink though.
"Oh, pipe down!' X said as he glared at her.
"What did you just say?!" Zed demanded as he looked sharply at X.
"I wasn't talking to you! I was talking to her!" X tried to explain as he pointed at Elle.
"I told you so," Jay said.
"And who is this 'her' that you're talking to?" Zed asked.
"Agent Elle. She's right over there," X said as he pointed in her direction again. "I don't suppose I could interest you in taking her off of my hands, could I?"
"You're seeing Elle? Are you aware that Elle's in the infirmary in a coma?" Zed asked.
"Of course I'm aware of that. She woke me up screaming at midnight to share that news with me, right before she kicked me out of my own bed! Are you sure you of you wouldn't like to take her? She's no trouble, that is as long as you enjoy sleeping on couches and spending every moment waiting on her hand and foot," he muttered under his breath.
"I want you to pay a visit to Dr. Zeeltor tomorrow Zed said. "I'm sure he would be very interested in hearing all about these little Elle sightings you seem to be having. Until he gives you a clean bill of health, mental and physical, you're confined to your rooms."
"Oh, you are in so much trouble!" Elle chuckled the moment the three agents left. "They think you're loosing your mind! I wonder how you'll look in a straight jacket?"
"Pipe down," X grumbled as he stalked over to the tv and switched the videotapes. "We're watching my movie first! This has to have some information on how to get rid of you!"
"So, off to be declared insane?" Elle chuckled the next morning as X came out of the bathroom fumbling with his tie.
"Oh, pipe down!" X grumbled as he glared at his partner. This mess was entirely her fault! He couldn't believe that that movie hadn't offered some hints for getting rid of her. If he wasn't thrown into the MiB mental ward, he was going to have to sneak out later and find a book on ghosts. Surely someone had wrote something about getting rid of them!
"Better be nice to me, X," Elle said with a smile. "Don't you want me to wake up and tell everyone that you aren't crazy? If you don't shape up, I'm going to have to complain to Zed about you abusing me."
X glared at her but didn't say anything this time. All he needed was for her to come out of that coma and then tell Zed that he had been mean to her. Of course, everyone would be on the human's side and wouldn't bother listening to how she had tormented him. He turned and stalked out the door, heading for the medical lab.
"Wait up!" Elle called as she hurried after him.
"What are you doing here? Why aren't you sleeping in like you've done for the last two days?" X muttered.
"I didn't want to get stuck in your room if you got committed Elle said.
"I could starve!"
"I highly doubt that would happen. I've lifted you before. You could stand to loose a few pounds! Just don't go into the medical lab! Go visit yourself or something!" X said as he stalked away from Elle and hurried into the lab, shutting the door so she couldn't follow him. All he needed was to have that ghost lurking around, making him look crazier than ever.

*****

A little while later, Elle followed Jay into Zed's office. She had already visited her body and there really wasn't much else for her to do in her current state. Oh, she wished that someone besides X could see her!
"So, have you decided what to do about X yet?" Jay asked Zed.
"Yes. He's going to be sent back to the Jeedang galaxy as soon as I can arrange transport. I don't care how much the Alien Rights Commission complains! An agent hurting their partner is totally unacceptable!"
"Hurting....? Wait a minute! You can't think X hurt me!" Elle cried as she stared at them in shock. "Are you all out of your minds? Maybe you better get down to the medical lab and let Zeeltor check you out too!"
"So, what's going to happen to Elle now that she doesn't have a partner?"
"She'll be assigned to the lab again," Zed told Jay.
"The lab!!" Elle shrieked. "No way!! You people are crazier than you think X is!! You can't just get rid of my partner and stuff me back into the lab without even consulting me!!" She stormed around the office grabbing at things, hoping to make them notice her. When that didn't work, she stalked over to the door and stormed out. "I'm going to get X!!"
"Open up!" Elle yelled as she stalked back and forth in front of the door to the medical lab. "X, I know you're in there! Open this door right now!! We have to talk!!"
X shook his head as he looked at the door again. She had been yelling for five minutes already. He had done his best to ignore her, hoping she would go away, but he just couldn't take it any longer. He stood and hurried over to the door, opening it so she could come in.
"Why did you just open that door?" Zeeltor asked curiously.
"To let Agent Elle in," X muttered. Why not tell the truth? Everyone already thought he was crazy anyway. He idly wondered what the beds were like in the mental ward. They had to be better than his couch. "So, did you need something or did you just want to make sure that I'm locked up?"
"We have a serious problem! Have they decided you're insane yet? We should probably go back to your rooms to talk," Elle said.
"Fine. Am I free to go?" X asked Zeeltor.
"Of course, Run along, Agent X," Zeeltor said with a smile as he took a rubber stamp out and quickly applied the word "INSANE" to X's hand in bright red letters.
"I can't believe this," X grumbled as he stalked down the hall staring at the mark on his hand while Elle followed behind him. "I'm green! This looks terrible on me!"
"Oh, X, stop complaining!" Elle said as they entered his room. "We have much worse problems! I was just in Zed's office and I found out that they're planning to break us up!"
"Couldn't they have done that three days ago? Then we wouldn't be in this mess," X said as he headed for the bathroom. Maybe he could wash the annoying stamp off. "So, which one of us is going to be stuck with Agent U?"
"Neither one of us! You're being shipped back home and I'm being sent back to the lab!" Elle grumbled. "I know you might not have a problem with that but I worked too hard to become a field agent to go back to the lab now!"
"They're sending me home?" X said as he darted out of the bathroom, the stamp on his hand forgotten.
"You don't have to act so thrilled," Elle muttered as she flopped down onto his bed.
"Uh, there's something that you don't know," X muttered. He really didn't want anyone to find out about this. "It's about my job back home."
"You were suspended six times. I already know that," Elle said.
"I was a little more than suspended the last time," X mumbled. "Try fired."
"Fired? You were fired?" Elle cried as she sat up. She hadn't expected to hear this!
"Sort of. I believe that they had a giant party to celebrate when I got on the transport to leave the planet!" X muttered as he sat down on the bed beside her. "At least you'll still have a job. I'll probably have to move in with my mother!"
"We can't just sit here and take this lying down!" Elle cried as looked over at X. "There has to be something that we can do to stay partners! Uh, you do want to stay partners, don't you?"
"Of course I want to stay partners," X muttered. "You are hideous and annoying but you're definitely better than living with my mother! I don't see what we can do though. They'll never listen to me."
"I'll say," Elle muttered. "They actually think that you hurt me!"
"What?" X stared at her in shock, not believing what he had just heard.
"They think that I...."
"I know. Stupid, isn't it?" Elle said as she laid back down on the bed. "I mean, you're a wreckless idiot but you're not that stupid! So, what are we going to do about it?"
Elle sat up when X didn't answer her. "What do you think you're doing?"
she demanded when she saw him getting his bags out of the closet and starting to stuff things in.
"What does it look like? I'm packing," X grumbled. "No reason to put it off until the last minute."
"Packing?" Elle whispered. She couldn't believe that he was doing this. "Wait a minute! You're just going to give up and let them ship you back home? You didn't do anything!" She jumped off the bed and stormed over to him. "We can demand a trial or something! If the worms could have one then...."
"Elle, give it up," X muttered. He didn't even turned to look at her, just continued to methodically pack. "They aren't going to change their minds, especially not if they find out my history back home."
"So what if you got fired! Big deal!" Elle cried. Why was he just giving up like this?
"Elle, I got fired for hitting my partner," X whispered.
"What? Why did you do that?" Elle asked softly.
"Personal reasons," X muttered. "Believe me, he deserved it but no one else is going to see things that way."
"X, so what if you hit your old partner? You would never hurt me! We can fight this!"
"Elle, give it up," X told her in a surprisingly gentle tone. "I'm sure that if you ask, Zed will find another partner for you. Probably a lot nicer one than I was."
"That isn't it," Elle whispered. She shot an angry look at him. "Just get out, X! Get out and leave me alone!"
X stalked into the living room heading for the door. He didn't know why in the world Elle was so upset. After all, she wasn't the one who was going to have to live with his mother!
He was halfway out the door when he heard the sobs. He stopped, debating whether or not to go back in and risk Elle's wrath. He finally turned with a sigh and went back into the bedroom. "What's wrong with you now?" he demanded as he looked down at Elle, who was laying on the bed crying.
"Just go away, X," Elle whispered. "You don't care! Just go away!"
"Oh, for.... Why are you crying?" X demanded as he sat down on the bed beside her. "You know that you won't be stuck in the lab forever. Zed will find a new partner for you."
"It's not that," Elle whispered. "Just go away and leave me alone!!"
"And listen to you sobbing and sniffling all night? I'll never get any sleep! Not to mention the fact that you're sure to report this entire mess when you wake up and that's all I need. I can just see what will go on my records this time. The big bad alien made the poor little human cry!"
"You don't have to worry about my reporting you because I'm not going to wake up!" Elle cried before starting to sob harder. "Now go away and leave me alone!"
"Wait a minute." X said as he stared at her in shock. "What do you mean you're not going to wake up? Of course you're going to wake up! That Metan didn't hurt you that bad!"
"No, I'm not," Elle whispered. "It's been three days and my body hasn't improved at all. The longer that I'm in that coma, the less likely it is that I'll wake up. I'm going to be like this forever and when you're gone, I'll be all alone. No one else can see me and.... I don't want to be alone. Please don't leave me alone like that. No one to talk to. Please don't leave me alone!"
X hesitantly reached out and wrapped his arms around her insubstantial form He couldn't really touch her but he had to do something. She looked so sad and frightened. "We'll fix it," he murmured to her. "You won't have to be alone. I promise."
Suddenly X heard footsteps and looked up just as Jay came into the bedroom. Apparently, he forgot to close the door when he had heard Elle crying.
"What do you want?" he demanded as her glared at Jay. How could Jay be stupid enough to believe that he would actually hurt his partner?
"Zed wants to see you in his office now," Jay couldn't wait until this alien was gone for good. Just then he noticed what X was doing. "What are you doing hugging empty space like that?"
"I was trying to calm Elle down! You can tell Zed that I'll come and see him after my PARTNER stops crying!" X said as he got up and quickly shoved Jay out the door. He stalked back into the bedroom muttering about humans and their lack of common sense.
At least it seemed like Elle was calming down a bit. She wasn't crying as hard anyway. He sat down beside her again and wrapped his arms around in what would have been a hug if she had been solid. "I'm willing to try fighting, but you know they aren't going to believe me, especially after they find out why I was fired. Isn't there some way we could wake you up? They would have to believe you."
"There's no way to reverse a coma that I..... Wait a minute! You!" Elle cried as something occurred to her.
"Don't mention that name around me!" X moaned.
"No, not Agent U, you!" Elle said as she pointed at him. "I can't fix this myself but maybe you can. There has to be a reason that you can see me when no one else can!"
"Bad karma, perhaps?" X asked with a chuckle.
"Oh, be quiet," Elle muttered. She was starting to get excited about her idea. "Let's go down to the infirmary. Maybe whatever is causing you to be able to see me can be used to wake me up somehow!"

******

X quietly slipped into the infirmary followed by his ghostly partner and tiptoed over to Elle's bed. "What now?" he asked as he stared down at her unmoving body.
"I...." Now that they were here, Elle wasn't really sure what she wanted to do. "Try touching me. Just take my hand and see if anything happens."
"Holding a human's hand. How embarrassing," X muttered as he reached out and took her hand in his. As he touched her, the monitors she was hooked to started to beep erratically. "Are you sure we should be doing this? That doesn't sound good!"
"It will be alright. Now, try touching me with your other hand," Elle said as she held out her hand to him.
X reached out and was shocked when he came into contact with something. Elle didn't feel totally solid, she was more of the consistency of Jello, but he could definitely feel her. "I feel you," he whispered in astonishment.
"Push us together now!" Elle eagerly told him. She couldn't wait to get into her body.
X reached out, raising Elle's head and shoulders with one hand. The monitors' beeping became even more erratic but he ignored it. As soon as Elle was back where she belonged, everything would be fine. He pulled her forward, bringing her into contact with her body again. As soon as they touched, the ghostly Elle disappeared. X looked down eagerly expecting her to have her eyes open but to his surprise, her condition hadn't changed at all. Just then, the monitors begin to emit a shrill whine. He looked up and his face became a mask of horror when he saw the flat line on them.

 

 

 

 

X sat on the floor of the holding cell, his mind totally numb. How could it have happened? How could Elle be dead? She was supposed to get better!
He didn't remember much that had happened after the monitors went flatline. Other agents had came rushing in, grabbed him and drug him out. He vaguely recalled Jay taking a swing at him before anyone could stop him. The skin around his eye was tender and swollen from the hit. They had taken him down to lock-up and shoved him into this cell after making him change into a jail uniform. He didn't say a word the entire time. What could he say? Elle was gone and it was his fault.
He couldn't bring himself to sit on the cell's bed. It reminded him too much of her. What he wouldn't give at that moment if she would appear, yelling and shrieking at him, demanding that he wait on her. He reached up and curiously touched his face. It was wet. Such an unusual sensation. He had never cried before.
The Alien Rights Commission had sent someone to visit him, of course. They wanted him to claim some sort of impaired judgement, saying that he could get off since he was supposedly insane at the time. He had yelled at them, telling them to get out and leave him alone. His judgement hadn't been impaired in the least. He knew what he was doing and now an innocent woman was dead because of him.
His friend was dead. Friend. That was a strange word to him. He had never actually had a friend before, not even on his own planet. A week ago, he would never have imagined a small eared, beady eyed human being a friend but the few days that he had spent with Elle had changed things. He started to cry harder as he thought about it. His only friend was dead and it was all his fault. It just wasn't fair. Why had he finally found a friend only to loose her so quickly?
He wanted to call out to the guards, to beg someone to stay with Elle so she wouldn't be alone. She had been so frightened of that. He was sure that no one would listen to him though. He shuddered at the thought of Elle being alone and scared. She didn't deserve that. He stood, took the blanket from the bed and begin to methodically tear it into strips. He had done this to her. The least he could do was make sure she wasn't alone.
X finished braiding the sheets into a thick rope and started to work on the noose. He didn't want the rope to be too thin and break before the job was done. Oh, how he wished Elle was there. She was a doctor. She would know how to do this thing right.
He attached one end of the rope to the room's lighting fixture, standing on the bed to do so. He hoped that the drop from the bed would be enough to end things quickly. That was the only comfort he could take from what happened to Elle. At least it was over for her fast. One moment she was there and the next she was.... He begin to sob again as he thought about that. It just wasn't fair. Sure Elle was annoying and hideous looking but.... Why couldn't it have been him instead?
He tested the weight of the rope carefully. The fixture seemed sturdy enough to hold him. As he fastened the rope around his neck, he idly wondered what would happen once it was all over. Would Elle be there waiting for him and if she was, would she ever forgive him for killing her? What if they didn't even end up in the same place? Surely fate couldn't be that cruel, to force her to be alone forever when he wanted to join her so badly.He stepped off of the bed. Felt the noose tightening around his neck. Bright spots flew past his eyes before his vision started to dim. Just before everything went black, he thought he saw something, a familiar figure, standing there. 'Elle,' he thought as it finally ended.
A few minutes later, Kay came into the holding area and after waving the guards away, stepped into X's cell. There was no light in the room and he looked up to see what was wrong. That was when he saw X, hanging from the lighting fixture by a thick rope, his eyes closed and his face an ugly dark green color.
Elle's eyelids slowly fluttered open and she looked around the room for a minute trying to figure out where in the world she was. Definitely not X's room. The bed wasn't nearly as comfortable as his, not to mention the fact that she was cold. Just then she remembered what they had done and realized that she was back in her body in the med lab.
'Now where is that alien?' she thought as she looked around for her partner but he had apparently pulled a disappearing act on her. How could he have vanished so fast? She didn't think she had been unconscious for more than a few seconds. She pulled herself up and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her legs wobbled and threatened to collapse on her as she tried to stand, but she somehow managed to hold herself up.
Elle had just managed to detach herself from all of the monitors and IVs and was staggering towards the door when it opened and Kay came in.
"Elle?" he cried when he saw her. He rushed to her side and scooped her into his arms, carrying her back to the bed. "What are you doing out of bed?" he asked as he tucked a blanket around her.
"I was going to see where in the world that idiot partner of mine vanished to. You know, I didn't think that I needed to tell him to wait right here until I woke up. I just assumed that he would figure that out on his own! That will teach me to never assume anything with that alien! So, where is he?" Elle demanded.
"Wait a minute," Kay said stopping her from asking further questions about X. "Elle, what's the last thing you remember before waking up in here?
Do you remember being on the beach, hunting the Metan?"
"Of course. It grabbed me and drug me under the sand," Elle said. "X
had to dig me out and give me CPR. I really ought to sign him up for a human first aid class. I had to walk him through the entire thing."
"X gave you CPR? How do you know that?" Kay asked her.
"Because I was there! I told you I had to walk him through the entire thing. I would have to be there to do that, wouldn't I?" She noticed the skeptically look on Kay's face. "Kay, I was there! I saw Jay take me from X and hold me in the car on the way back so I could breathe better! I saw Zeeltor doing surgery to clear my lungs and I saw you and Jay sitting with me afterwards!"
"What happened after that?" Kay asked.
"I went down to X's room. I didn't really have any other place to go since he was the only one who could see or hear me. I made him let me in and then I evicted him from his bed."
"And you made him bring you videos and popcorn and ice cream?"
"Right. And pudding." Elle was glad that Kay seemed to believe what she was telling him now. "So, where is X? He was the one that got me back into my body. I'm surprised that he just left."
"How did he get you back into your body?" Kay asked.
"He took my body's hand and then he took my spirit's hand and kind of pushed us back together. Kay, what's going on? Where is X?"
"Elle, your heart stopped. The medics came in and they found X with you. They thought he did something."
"What?!! Are they as insane as Zed and Jay thought X was? He wasn't hurting me! He was helping me! Where is he!!!!"
"They took him down to holding. That was almost twelve hours ago." Kay informed her.
"WHAT?!! Well, go and get him!! Better yet," Elle muttered as she started to get up from the bed again, "I will go and get him!! And then I intend to have a few words with Zed and Jay!! Thinking X would hurt me!!! Honestly! He's annoying, not stupid!!"
"Elle, I think you better stay still. There's something that you need to know." Kay said as he eased her back onto the bed again. "I went to talk to X a few hours ago and.... He had torn up the blanket from the bed and used it to make a rope. He hung himself."
"No," Elle whispered as tears started to flow. This couldn't be happening. "No."
"No," Elle whispered. Why would X do something like that? Why would he try to kill himself? "Didn't he know that I was okay?" she demanded.
"I don't know," Kay told her. "I'm sure that they tried to tell him but he was so upset by then.... He snapped after your heart stopped, Elle. Slick hit him after they drug him out and he didn't even flinch. He threw the person the Alien Rights Commission sent to talk to him out. When I found him, his entire face was soaked with tears."
"No. No, no, no!!!" Elle sobbed as she threw herself into Kay's arms and clung to him. It wasn't fair! She and X were finally friends after months of partnership and arguing and now he was gone. Why in the world would he have done something so stupid when.... Just then she remembered the scene in his bedroom, when he had came back at the sound of her tears and she had broke down and begged him not to leave her alone.
"He promised not to leave me alone," she whispered. "I thought that he was going to leave and I would be all alone with no one else would could see or hear me. He was trying to keep his promise." She started to sob harder. It was all her fault that X was gone.
"Where is he?" she whispered a few minutes later when her tears had finally slowed enough for her to talk again.
"He's in the other room. Do you want to go and see him?" Kay asked and when Elle slowly nodded, he scooped her into his arms and carried her in.Elle started to cry harder when she saw X's body laid out on the table, clad in that prison uniform. She reached out, touching the dark bruise on his face and the bruises on his neck, sobbing as her fingers came into contact with his cold skin. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I'm so, so sorry." She reached out, wrapping her arms around him, holding him against her as if she could somehow infuse his lifeless body with some of her warmth, as if she could somehow bring him back.
"Kay, what's going on?" Jay asked as he appeared in the door with Zed behind him. He stopped in shock when he saw Elle. "Elle?" he cried as he darted over to her. He couldn't believe that she was finally awake. He reached out a hand but Elle angrily slapped it away.
"Get away from me!" she cried as she glared at Jay and Zed. This was all their.... She staggered to her feet and stumbled for the door. "I can't take this anymore! Just stay away from me!! I hate you both!!"
"What happened?" Jay demanded. He didn't understand why Elle was so upset. X was the one who hurt her, not them.
"X didn't hurt her, Slick. He was trying to help her," Kay told him as he headed out the door to find Elle.
A little bit later, Kay came into X's room. "Elle?" he called as he pushed the bedroom door open. Elle was laying there on the bed, clinging to one of X's precious crystals and sobbing hysterically.
She turned as he approached her, looking up with him with empty, dead eyes. "Kay, I need you to do something for me," she whispered.
"Anything," he said as he gathered her in his arms to try to soothe her."Neuralyze me. I can't stay here. Not after this."
"Elle...."
"Please!" she begged him. "If you're really my friend, do this one thing for me. Neuralyze me!"
"I can't believe this," Jay muttered. He couldn't get the memory of Elle's brokenhearted expression and then her anger when she saw him and Zed out of his mind. "We messed up bad this time."
"Beyond bad," Zed murmured as he looked sadly at X's body. It had just been so easy to believe that X had hurt Elle with how much he seemed to hate her. If they had just not jumped to conclusions and waited for Elle to wake up and explain what happened.... Now X was gone and Elle was.... Zed didn't even want to think about what was going to happen to her. She rightly blamed them for causing her partner's death. How could that be fixed? He doubted very seriously that it could be.
Just then Dr. Zeeltor came in humming 'Pop Goes the Weasel,' earning him a glare from Zed and Jay. "Doctor, could you please not act so cheerful right now? We're in the midst of a crisis!"
"Of course. I'll just take Agent X along for his autopsy now. Wouldn't want to delay that." Zeeltor said as he got out an instrument and started to examine X. "Just have to check something and then it's off he goes."
"Wait a minute," Zed asked as he saw what Zeeltor was doing. The instrument he was using looked suspiciously like a stethoscope. Why would he need one of those now? X had been dead for over ten hours. "What are you doing with that thing?"
"Oh, sometimes the members of his species can go into a kind of suspended animation. Wouldn't want to start his autopsy prematurely," Zeeltor said with a chuckle as he finished his exam. "Fascinating! Well, I suppose I'll have to wait a bit on that autopsy now."
"Wait a minute! Are you saying that the dude's still alive?" Jay demanded. "How can that be? He hasn't been breathing for ten hours!"
"His species is fairly hardy. Don't worry, though. He'll be gone soon." Zeeltor reassured them.
"What?" Zed said. "What do you mean he'll be gone soon? Do something! Save him!"
"I'm afraid that it's a little late for that. The longest time on record for a member of his species to survive this is nine hours, fifty-nine minutes. The oxygen deprivation should be kicking in about now. I would say that he probably has five or ten minutes left."
"Well, do something!" Zed demanded again.
"There isn't much that I can do," Zeeltor said. "No one's ever figured out how to snap his species out of this suspended animation. The ones that lived came out on their own. Why are you wanting me to help him? I thought you were upset with him."
"He's innocent. He didn't hurt Elle. He was trying to help her!" Zed muttered as a thought suddenly flashed into his mind. "Elle! Maybe she could.... Jay, go find her and get her back down here fast!"
"Me? No way am I facing Elle with how upset she is! The woman used to cut people up for a living!"
"That's an order, son! Find her now!" Zed shouted.
"I ought to have wrote out a will," Jay muttered as he hurried out of the room. Elle was going to kill him when she saw him. He just knew it.
"I'm ready," Elle whispered as she got up from the bed, depositing the crystal on the bedside table as she stood. "Let's get this over with."
"Here," Kay said as he pressed the crystal back into her hands as he wrapped an arm around her and started to lead her to the door. "I think under the circumstances, X would want you to have it."
"I would say that I'll never forget him but I'm about to," Elle wept as she buried her face in Kay's shoulder. "Stupid alien. Why did he have to do that? I miss him so much!"
"It's never easy loosing a partner," Kay said as he wrapped his arms around her, hugging her.
"It just isn't fair," Elle sobbed. "We had finally gotten things worked out. I thought that when I woke up we were going to be a real team, like partners should be. Why did he have to die?" She clung to Kay as tears poured down her cheeks, soaking the front of his jacket. "Please. Let's just get this over with. I can't stand it anymore!"
Just then they heard the door open and a second later Jay called, "Elle? Kay?"
"Go away! I hate you! I never want to see you again!" Elle screamed when she heard Jay's voice. She looked up at Kay with a pleading expression. "Make him go away! Please make him go away!"
"Slick, I think that you better get out of here now," Kay called. "Elle really doesn't want to see you."
"No can do," Jay said as he appeared in the bedroom doorway, cautiously poking his head in to see if Elle might be armed with anything before coming in the rest of the way. "Zed sent me to get her. There's a little problem down in the infirmary. Seems that X isn't as dead as we thought he was. He's in suspended animation or something. Of course it took Zeeltor ten hours to get around to checking and telling us that! That alien is mental!!"
"He's.... he's alive?" Elle whispered as she turned to face Jay. It still hurt to look at him after what he had done but.... If he would just be right!
"He's in bad shape though. Zed wants you down there now," Jay said.
Elle didn't wait for Jay to finish talking. She pushed her way past him and rushed out of the room. Luckily her legs were a bit more stable now so she could move faster. X had to be alright. 'Just hold on,' she thought as she hurried through the halls. 'I'm coming!'
Elle hurried into the medical lab and over to X's side, not even bothering to glance at Zed. She was still too upset to want to talk to him. She motioned to Zeeltor to hand her the stethoscope and carefully checked, hoping to hear a heartbeat. A moment later, she sighed when she heard a faint beat. It was so slow, though, and who knows what the lack of oxygen could be doing to his brain? Even an alien could only stand that for so long before permanent damage was done.
Elle leaned down, getting as close to one of his big ears as she could.
"X, with those ears, I know you can hear me! Start breathing now! That's an order! Start breathing!!"
"How does she think that's going to help?" Jay whispered as he stood with Zed and Kay watching to see what would happen. Just then, to the agents' surprise, X trembled a bit and his chest slowly rose as he drew in a breath of air.
"Good," Elle murmured as she watched him breathing for a moment. He wasn't breathing very well but at least he was getting a little bit of oxygen into his system. "Now you just listen to me and we won't have anymore problems, now will we? Can we get a stretcher in here? I want to get him back to his room. I don't think it's a good idea for him to wake up in here after what happened."
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Zed asked. Surely they could do more for him in the medical lab than Elle could do down in his room.
"He doesn't need to be in here when he wakes up," Elle said as she glared at Zed. "He doesn't need to be upset right now. Now will someone please see about getting a stretcher?"
A little while later, Elle had X safely tucked into his bed. Jay and Zed had wanted to stay to make sure that he was alright after offering apology after apology but she had ordered them out. Maybe she would forgive them later, but she didn't even want to think about those two until after she had seen that her partner was going to be alright.
She carefully rubbed his hands and arms, trying to get some circulation going. His skin was still really cold and clammy but at least his color seemed back to normal except for the bruises on his face and neck.
"Come on," she murmured as she rubbed, stopping every couple of minutes to check his heartbeat with the stethoscope. A pulse was too hard to find with how sick he was. "Time to wake up and face the music. I promise not to yell at you too much."
X could hear a voice coming from somewhere far away, too distant to make out any words. He felt himself drifting up through a fog. His hand twitched and reached out a little, coming into contact with something solid.
"That's it. Come on, Cowboy. Time to wake up now," he heard the voice say as he felt his lips being eased open and some sort of warm, sweet liquid being coaxed down his throat. "I promise not to yell at you too much. Just open your eyes now."
X slowly blinked, seeing the vague outline or a person, a human, sitting beside him before his eyes slid shut again.
"Uh, uh! Open those eyes and keep them open," he heard the voice insist as more of the liquid slipped down his throat.
X slowly opened his eyes again and looked up to see who was talking to him. He was shocked to see Elle sitting there beside him looking perfectly fine.
"Elle?" he whispered as he forced himself to sit up even though waves of pain shot through his body at the movement. He could feel tears starting to fall as he reached out and touched her. She was real and not a dream. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight and hugging her as if he would never let go. "I thought I lost you," he murmured as he buried his face in her hair.
"Tell me about it. I ought to kill you for the scare that you gave me," she said as she eased him back down onto the bed. "Now stay still. You don't need to be moving around too much right now. What in the world were you thinking? You're lucky that you didn't break your neck!" Elle critically examined the bruising on X's face again and then turned going into the living room, coming back a moment later with some ice wrapped in a washcloth she had snatched from the bathroom on her way out.
"Here. This should help with that eye. Maybe get rid of some of the bruising," she muttered as she sat down beside him and pressed the cloth against his face. 'You'll have to wait awhile before I can do anything about your neck. You're really lucky you didn't do permanent damage. What in the world were you thinking?!"
"I thought that I killed you," X whispered as he tried to sit up and hug her again but she pushed him back down onto the bed. "I didn't want you to be alone. I killed you. Joining you seemed like the least that I could do."
"Well, if I had been dead, you would have been only a few minutes away from joining me," Elle said as she checked his neck, prodding the bruises. "If the lighting fixture hadn't given some.... X, I never would have wanted you to do something like that, no matter what happened to me!"
"I'm sorry," he whispered. He had really done it this time. He had tried to end things so he wouldn't loose his only friend and now he was going to anyway. He rolled over in bed, his body burning from pain as he did so. He couldn't bear to look at her. He was sure that she must hate him now. Tears started to roll down his cheeks again as he realized that.
"Oh, for.... Don't you turn your back on me!" Elle said as she moved to the other side of the bed and grabbed him to keep him from turning away again. As soon as she had trapped hi, she started working again, rubbing his arms and hands to get the circulation going and to hopefully get him to calm down. She just couldn't make herself yell at him right now, with how sad he looked. "So what if I'm mad at you? I've been constantly mad at you ever since Zed stuck me with you for a partner and it never bothered you before."
"We weren't friends before," X murmured. He really wished she would let him go and go away. He didn't want her to see him like this.
"X, we're still friends," she sad. "Honestly! Just because I'm mad, and very justifiably so, I might add, doesn't mean that I'm not going to be your friend anymore! You know, maybe I ought to have them come back and lag you back to the lab for tests. I think that you might have some damage from the oxygen deprivation after all!" She chuckled at that.
"I upset you," X said.
"X, you've constantly upset me for months. This is just another thing to add to the list. Granted, it's going to replace trying to feed me to an alien at the top but...."
"Your own fault about that," X said with a small laugh. "You told me to protect and serve. I was just trying to do what you said."
"You just have to take things to the extreme, don't you?" Elle muttered. At least he didn't seem as upset anymore. She carefully reached behind him, adjusting the pillows a bit. "So, do you want to watch a video or something? We never did finish all of those movies, you know, and I made Jay lag the tv in here before I kicked him out. I figured it was the least that he could do."
"Fine," X said as he settled back. "I suppose you better pick. Goodness knows how you'll complain if you don't get to."
"Well, I see you're beginning to feel better. That charming attitude is starting to come back," Elle said with a laugh as she stuck a tape in and then went back to the bed.
"You might want to check the back of that gown too," X said. "I think they forgot to fasten a few things when you were down in the infirmary"What?!!" Elle cried as she reached behind her back and felt for the ties on the hospital gown. The entire thing was wide open and.... Elle's hands slipped lower, moving down to her hips as she felt and found that she was missing a rather essential undergarment. "I'm going to kill Zeeltor!" She quickly pulled the gown closed and jumped onto the bed next to X. "Looks like you're stuck with me for a little bit longer, Cowboy, because I am not going anywhere until I get someone to bring me some decent clothes!"

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