Rating: PG-13

Schreck Mansion

Mulder came to, lying on the floor of the kitchen without any recollection of how he had gotten there. He jerked up, pushing himself up with both hands and let out a yelp when he bent his broken fingers. Holding his wrist in a hard grip, he sat up and glanced around the kitchen.

"How the hell did I get in here?" he whispered. He'd been out for a while, he realized, because it was light outside. Struggling to his feet, he tried to remember what had happened when the chandelier had attacked him, but couldn't remember anything beyond the terror he had felt at being dragged across the floor toward the waiting corpse.

The memory of that made him looked around quickly to make sure that he was alone in the kitchen. And even though he realized that he was alone, he still felt anything but safe. His broken fingers throbbed away with a pulse of their own, but he barely noticed them in his current state of mind. Fear was a remarkable painkiller and he would have marveled at it if his mind had been in one piece.

All he wanted was to find a corner where he could hide. Preferably underneath something, which would shield him. A part of his mind, which was still marginally attached to his common sense, found the whole thing intriguing, but the majority of his consciousness wanted him to get out of this house. And fast.

He spotted a corner which seemed adequate to his needs and started toward it. It was underneath the water heater, which was suspended by powerful looking iron bands on the wall. There was a cupboard on one side and a closet on the other, forming a tight little niche which he believed he would fit into.

Before he could get that far, though, the door to the basement sprang open, slamming into him and knocking him off his feet. He landed hard on his back and banged the back of his head against the stone floor hard enough to make his vision waver. It steadied immediately again, though, to reveal what had opened the door. The corpse stood in the open doorway. "It won't let you go," it whispered to him, reached out to grab his ankles and started hauling him toward the staircase leading down to the basement.

"NO," he screamed, lashed out and grabbed the leg of the long table with his left hand. Despite the debilitating pain, he wrapped his right hand around it, too, and held on for dear life. But the table's weight was no match for the corpse and it started scraping over the stone floor as it was dragged toward the door as well.

"It won't let you go," the corpse repeated.

Something snapped in Mulder's mind and he started putting up one hell of a fight, struggling to get out of the dead man's grip. When he managed to wrench his right foot free, he kicked hard out at the decaying head and hit it full force. All that did was destroy the remains of the face, which fell off and spilled maggots onto his leg.

With a howl of terror and disgust, he intensified his struggle, but to no avail. The decaying fingers would not let go of him. The fear of having to end up down in that basement, in the dark, with that slime oozing around down there and the corpse dragging itself around, too, he just knew that the last remains of his sanity would evaporate. He could not allow this thing to drag him down there. He would die like that boy had. He would become a part of this place, preying on other unfortunate souls who got lost in this house of horrors.

Letting go of the table leg, he grabbed a hold of the doorframe and started pulling himself back into the kitchen, using his right foot to push away from the stairs. He heard a hoarse rattle from the corpse when his left foot finally slipped free and he hurriedly hauled himself back into the kitchen and kicked the door shut. Getting to his feet instantly, he grabbed the long table and used every ounce of strength he had in him to push it over in front of the door, blocking the thing's reentry. With feverish intensity, he started piling anything he could find onto the table and eventually was content that it couldn't get into the kitchen that way.

Before he had finished that thought, though, transparent slime oozed out from under the door, heading toward him. Terrified, he ran for the closest door and ripped it open, nearly falling backward with the force of his actions. He caught himself in time, though, and ran as fast as he could down the corridor, away from the bubbling sound of that stuff. He was not going to let it get him again. No way. So he ran until he rammed full force into a pair of frosted glass doors. They swung open when he hit them and his forward momentum carried him into the center of the room before he managed to stop. Glancing around, his sluggish mind took a moment to reveal to him where he was. The winter garden.

The memory of his last encounter with the winter garden was still vivid in his mind. The vines hung limply from their supports up under the glass ceiling, shriveled and brown, dead leaves still attached to the stems. The stink of rotten vegetation hung in the air, which was heavy with moisture. His gaze darted around, searching for the movement he was certain would be there, but nothing happened. The vines hung there, dead and unmoving. There was no indication that they had ever been alive, either.

Slowly, he started forward, intent on getting to the other side of the room where there was another door. He had to force himself to move and his motions were jerky at best. It was as if his joints were frozen, making it difficult for him to move at all. If he had been able to think rationally at that time, if his mind had not been set to pure self-preservation and terror, he would have realized that moving quickly through the room might be better. But he moved on instinct and instinct told him to take it slow. That the slower he moved, the less likely it might be that the entity of the house would detect him.

He was halfway through the room when he heard the first rustle. Jerking around, he scanned the immediate area rapidly, searching for and finding no sign of movement. His breath came in shallow puffs, leaving him light headed and slightly dizzy.

What happened next nearly cost him his mental faculties altogether. Six heavy vines suddenly started moving and they were all heading for him. They came from all directions, giving him no chance of escape. In his already depleted state of mind, the moving vines nearly scared the life out of him. Withered vines wrapped around him hard enough to break the skin, drawing blood along his arms, ripping his t shirt, his jeans. He struggled against them, trying to break them, but for every one that broke, another took its place. It was an unwinnable fight. He screamed then. Not so much in pain as in total terror. He couldn't control his fear, couldn't maintain his composure. And he couldn't think clearly enough to find a way out of this fix.

The slithering vines raised him off the floor, continuously wrapping around him, scoring him, squeezing him until he could barely breathe. His screams tapered off to halfhearted sobs and his movements slowed down the more the vines tightened around his limbs.


Outside the Schreck Mansion grounds

Scully had asked Skinner to take a tour past the house before going to the Crane's residence. She wanted to check something which had not occurred to her earlier.

"What are we doing here, Scully?" Skinner wanted to know. "We can't get in there without the Cranes' help."

"I know," Scully said, staring intently at the heavy looking gates. "Could we just drive over to the parking lot? I just want to make sure his car isn't there," she added, pointing toward the driveway Mrs. Crane had shown her.

Skinner sighed, then pulled the car around and drove up the short path to the parking lot. He stomped his foot down on the brake rather suddenly when he caught sight of the dark blue Taurus sitting there, all alone. "Shit," he mumbled. He didn't have to ask Scully if that was Mulder's car. He knew it was. "Looks like you were right. He's still here," he added after a moment.

"Yeah, looks that way," Scully agreed quietly. "I wish I'd been wrong, though."

"Well, let's get over to the Crane's residence and get them to open the gates for us," Skinner said and turned the car around.

Scully remained silent, her eyes on the Taurus until it disappeared from sight. Then she settled back in her seat and folded her arms over her chest, suddenly feeling cold.


The Crane Residence

Skinner glanced at Scully when she reached out to knock on the front door to the caretaker's house, aware that she was uneasy. The further they had driven, the more uneasy she had become and she downright jumpy at this point. Not that he blamed her. Not after seeing Mulder's Taurus sitting in that parking lot.

Before he could say something, though, the door in front of them opened and Mrs. Crane gave Scully a surprised look. "You're back," she stated.

"Yes, Mrs. Crane. I'm sorry to bother you. You must think I'm completely out of my mind here, but could we take a more thorough look at the mansion?"

Mrs. Crane looked sort of perplexed by her request, then glanced at Skinner, who remained silent. "But he wasn't there. Why would he be there now?" she wanted to know, looking back at Scully again.

"We checked the parking lot outside the mansion and his car is still there. Apart from that, I can't explain it, Mrs. Crane. I just have this feeling that he's still in the mansion and I would really like to take a look around again. Just in case. I know I'm imposing on you and I'm very sorry, but..."

"That's all right," Mrs. Crane said, her tone somewhat overbearing. "Let me get my coat."

Scully gave Skinner a nervous glance. "She's very cooperative," she said.

"Yes, very," Skinner agreed. "How urgent is it?" he asked after a moment of silence.

"I don't know. I just have the distinct feeling that we need to go there right now. That we're almost too late," she said and shook her head at her own words.

Skinner's only reply to that was a raised eyebrow since Mrs. Crane joined them then and they returned to the car to drive back to the old mansion.

Skinner's immediate impression of the mansion was the same Scully had felt. There was something utterly wrong with that house. It was with the greatest control that he did not step on the brake when he saw it. The looming mansion rose almost threateningly toward the heavily overcast afternoon sky.

After parking the car in front of the house, Skinner let Scully and Mrs. Crane go ahead. He looked up at the building, feeling a foreboding sense of dread he had not experienced even in Vietnam. There was something forbidding about this house and he figured a person would have to be dead not to notice it. The atmosphere was heavy with bad vibes.

Scully stopped in the now open doorway and glanced back at him. "Are you coming, sir?" she asked him, not unaware of that he perceived the house in the same way she did. As threatening.

Skinner nodded and followed the women inside only to be swept by the sensation that they were anything but welcome in this house. Far be it beyond him to show such feelings, though. He hesitated for a second, then frowned. "What the hell is wrong with this place?" he asked after a moment.

It was with no small amount of willpower that Scully refrained from gaping at him. It was the first time she had ever heard him comment on something which was beyond her realm of explanations. "I don't know," she replied. "But the atmosphere is definitely hostile," she added, wondering how he would perceive that.

Skinner glanced at her, maintaining a cool exterior, but feeling slightly surprised at her comment. "Yeah," he agreed. "Let's take a look around. I don't want us to stay here any longer than we have to."

"There's an unusual amount of activity today," Mrs. Crane observed, glancing around the huge entrance hall. Both Scully and Skinner stared at her for a second and she smiled almost benevolently. "The house is haunted, of course. It's not just a gimmick to attract visitors. It really is haunted," she added.

Scully's reaction to that was fueled by her concern for her partner. Turning, she looked up at the ceiling for a second, then focused on a corridor leading away from the entrance hall. "MULDER," she yelled.

Her voice carried in the old house and it was answered with a resounding thud, which made all of them freeze for a second. Scully was the one who regained her mobility first and she raced down the corridor toward the source of the sound. She rounded a corner and pushed through a pair of swinging glass doors, ending up the winter garden. For a moment, she stood still, her eyes trailing over the dead growths in this room, then she caught sight of something from the corner of her eyes and turned to face the center of the room. "Oh, my God," she whispered and hurried over her partner's side.

He lay curled up on the floor, shivering, bloodied and completely unresponsive at first. Scully gave him a visual examination, noting that the blood came from abrasions on his arms, torso and legs. His jeans were in tatters and that was all he was wearing. He was also absolutely rancid, but that was beyond the point for Scully. "Mulder," she said, grabbing his arm in a fairly unharmed place. His instant reaction was to try and get out of her grip, but she held on, shocked to see him so scared. "Mulder, it's me, Scully," she urged him, wishing he would let go of his head so she could see his face. "Mulder, damn it. Look at me," she insisted.

Something about her tone of voice made him slowly uncoil and raise his head. He was still shivering badly and the fear in his eyes was overwhelming, but he did raise his head and he did look at her.

At first, he thought it was a dream, his imagination playing games with him. Or maybe it was even a cruel plan devised by the house itself to break him completely. Certain that this would be the case, he ripped free of Scully's grip and pushed himself backward until his back connected painfully hard with the edge of one of the flowerbeds and he let out a yelp of pain.

"Mulder," Scully exclaimed, rose and followed him. "It's me. It's Scully. Look at me. Can't you tell it's me?" She was deeply shaken by the terror in his eyes and the state he was in.

Shaking his head with jerky motions, he didn't take his eyes off her. "No, you're not real," he croaked, his voice all but gone.

Scully crouched down in front of him and reached a hand out to him, palm up. "I'm real. I'm here," she said quietly, trying to convey her reality to him by just looking at him. Saddened by his state of mind as much as she was frightened by it, she continuously held out her hand. "I'm sorry I didn't come sooner. I... didn't know anything was wrong."

His expression mellowed a little at her words. He was convinced that if this was trickery, the apparition in front of him would not say those things. Blinking for the first time since she had turned up, he stared hard at her, willing her to either change into that horrible corpse or to just disappear. When she did neither after what he considered an appropriate amount of time, he gingerly leaned forward, but still kept his distance. "Scully?" he almost whispered, not daring to hope that she had finally come to end his nightmare.

"Yes, Mulder, it's me," she agreed with a weak smile, her hand still stretched out to him. Carefully, she edged a little closer, but froze when he drew back, the look in his eyes darkening. Sending a brief glance over one shoulder, she became aware of Skinner's presence, but also knew that he understood the situation and stayed back. Returning her attention to her partner and friend, she edged forward. "Mulder, what happened to you?" she wanted to know.

For a moment longer, he just stared at her, still not trusting that she was real. Then his gaze jerked over the interior of the winter garden. He saw Skinner and Mrs. Crane standing by the door, but didn't really register them as being present. Then he looked back at Scully, who was still crouching in front of him, hand outstretched, a small smile on her lips and concern in her eyes and things just became too much for him. Moving shakily, he closed the distance between them simply by leaning forward and pulling her into his embrace.

Scully heard him hiss when she locked her arms around him, but he didn't pull back and he didn't tell her to let go. Instead she could feel his hot, rapid breath on her ear and felt the brush of his stubble against her cheek. "Get me out of here," he whispered hoarsely into her ear.

She nodded and helped him stand, finding it a little difficult to get her balance while he was holding onto her that harshly. With an arm around his back, she managed to turn them both toward the door and Skinner, who was still waiting patiently. Scully met his eyes and saw the deep concern there and hoped that he wouldn't do something to spook Mulder.

"Should I call an ambulance?" he asked when they slowly approached him, his eyes on the bloodied younger man.

"No, I don't think that's necessary. He has abrasions from what I can see and nothing more," she replied and returned her attention to Mulder. "Do you need to see a doctor, Mulder?" she asked him quietly and he instantly shook his head in a jerky motion, not saying anything. He was looking sternly at the floor in front of his feet. The reason for that had nothing to do with embarrassment. He was beyond that at the moment. He just did not dare to look around out of fear that he might see something which scared him.

Skinner wasn't happy about the situation, considering that he thought Mulder looked to be in worse shape than any of his mates in the army had after heavy battle, but he was not inclined to make a fuss about it right then. It was obvious that Mulder did not want to go to the hospital and Skinner had seen enough shell-shocked men to know what it would do to him if he was forced to do anything against his will right now. During the days he had spent in this mansion, he had been bombed back to being a frightened, little kid and it would take a lot of patience and a lot of care to get him back to normal. Instead of commenting further on it, he turned and led the way back to the entrance hall.


Getting out to the car didn't take as long as Scully had feared it might. Mulder was very eager to leave despite the fact that he was wearing nothing but his torn jeans and it was cold outside. He didn't say a word, but she felt the increasing shiver going through him when the cold air from the open door hit him. Before she had a chance to ask Skinner if he had a blanket in the car, he had shrugged out of his coat and draped it over Mulder's shoulders.

Scully slipped into the back of the car with Mulder, who hardly let go of her long enough for her to get into the car. Mrs. Crane, who kept glancing at Mulder with deep concern, slipped into the passenger seat as Skinner settled behind the wheel. "We'll just drop you off on the way, Mrs. Crane," Skinner said.

She nodded and gave Skinner an almost anguished look. "Will there be an investigation?" she asked timidly.

"Yes, there will," he agreed. "I'm going to open a case file on this house the minute we get back to D.C. But don't worry, Mrs. Crane, you and your husband will not be blamed for this," he added, instantly picking up on her greatest concern.

Mrs. Crane almost sighed, then glanced back at Mulder. "I hope he gets well. Schreck Mansion has a tendency to alter people's minds," she said quietly.

Scully stared at her and wondered for a moment if she was right. Then she adjusted Skinner's coat around Mulder, pulling it together so he wouldn't freeze, and looked down at him. He had curled up on the backseat, his head resting on her lap, his left hand almost cramped around hers. She tightened her own grip on his shoulder and settled back for the long ride home. She knew that it would take time for him to recover from this one. He never really showed his feelings and for him to get this far out, it had to have been pretty bad.


Mulder couldn't really focus his mind beyond the point that he was out of that house and on his way home. The warmth of Scully's hand on his shoulder and the hum of the wheels of the car on the asphalt was soothing to the extreme. But the terror stuck with him, making him close his eyes hard and pray that Scully would still be there when he opened them again, that he wouldn't find himself in the basement of Schreck Mansion, alone, cold and scared to death.

Scully gently caressed his shoulder, brushing her palm over it in a monotonous motion which was aimed at calming him down while she regarded him thoughtfully, trying to make sense of what had happened to him. She knew up front that it would be hard for her to believe it, whatever it was.

Skinner drove in silence, not making any attempt at conversation. He didn't know what to say anyway. It was against his better judgement that he had agreed to drive them back to Scully's apartment rather than straight to the hospital, but Scully was convinced she could deal with Mulder's state of mind and he wasn't about to argue that point.

Glancing in the rear-view mirror, he caught sight of Scully's concerned expression while she stared down at Mulder. He was concerned about the man himself, but also figured that a professional should handle it. And, as far as he knew, Scully had no education in psychology. Making a face, he returned his attention to the road.


Scully's residence

After picking up Mulder's overnight bag at his place at Scully's request, Skinner drove to Arlington and helped Scully get Mulder inside. They got him as far as the couch before his shaky legs gave way beneath him and they had to leave him there.

Skinner grabbed Scully's arm and pulled her out into the corridor where they could talk in peace. "Listen to me and listen good, Scully. Mulder's mental state is equal to zilch right now. He's vegetating. If you can't get him to respond properly to you within the next few days, I insist that you get him some professional help. I don't think I have to tell you that I've taken you both here against my better judgement."

Nodding, Scully indicated that she was aware of that. "I know that, sir, and I appreciate that you did it anyway. But putting him in a hospital right now might cause him to withdraw further. He's scared senseless. But I believe I can reach him."

Still rather unhappy about the situation, Skinner sighed. "All right, but keep in mind what I've said. If he doesn't start recovering quickly, he will need some professional help. I've never seen him like this before and I don't like it."

"Neither do I. Believe me. But I do not want to put him through more than he's gone through already," Scully insisted.

"That's just the point, isn't it, Scully? We don't know what he's gone through. Where the hell did he get those abrasions? He was alone in the house, wasn't he?" he asked in a hushed, rather harsh tone of voice.

Scully almost nervously ran the tip of her tongue along the inside of her lower lip. "As far as we know he was. I'll try and see if I can't get him to tell me what happened. But, the state he's in right now doesn't give me much hope of that. I think he needs to sleep. He's exhausted. I don't think he's slept much. And there are a million places in that house where he could have gotten abrasions. There are stairs everywhere from what I could see. And some of them probably aren't carpeted, either," she said, trying to soothe Skinner into letting her do this her way.

"Okay, fine, maybe he fell down some stairs, Scully. But can you tell me why the hell he would take most of his clothes off? I don't know much about what Mulder does in his spare time, but I've never taken him for an exhibitionist," Skinner replied, still not convinced he was doing the right thing.

"That's what I'm going to try and find out, sir," Scully promised. "After a good night's sleep, I'm sure he'll feel a lot better in the morning. He's probably also going to be embarrassed like hell about the whole thing," she added with a vague smile. She didn't believe it herself, but it was essential for her to convince Skinner that she was on top of things. Otherwise he might change his mind and insist on taking Mulder to the hospital.

For a moment, Skinner just stared at her, then he shook his head in defeat. "All right. Do it your way. But if that doesn't work, I'm personally going to take him to North West Georgetown. I'll drop by tomorrow after work to check up on him."

Scully nodded. "All right. I'm sure he'll be a lot more responsive tomorrow," she said, hoping that would be true. Judging by Skinner's expression, she knew the man was anything but convinced, but he left anyway.

With a sigh, she returned to her apartment and after closing and locking the front door, she walked over to the couch and sat down on the coffee table in front of Mulder, who was still shivering and seemed to be far away. "Mulder?" He blinked and focused on her, but made no move to speak. "Mulder, what happened?" she wanted to know, wondering if he was even hearing her. He stared at her, eyes still wide and full of fear, his expression strained.

"Look, Mulder, you're going to have to talk to me. If you don't, Skinner will have you admitted to the hospital. You don't want to go there right now, do you?" she asked him. He shook his head vaguely, thereby indicating that he understood her all right. That was always a good sign. "Right," she added and glanced down at his left hand, which was wrapped almost convulsively around the edges of the coat, holding it together. For the first time since they had found him, she realized that he wasn't using his right hand at all. Frowning, she reached out for it, but he yanked it back, hiding what she thought had to be a sprain.

Holding out her hand, she looked him in the eye. "Let me have a look at your hand," she said and he instantly shook his head. "Come one, Mulder. Don't make this any harder than it has to be," she added somewhat sternly. She wasn't able to force as much authority into her voice as she would have liked mainly because she was so worried about his state of mind. When he didn't respond in any way to that, she leaned back a little. "What do you want to do now?"

He swallowed, almost as if he was attempting to speak, but changed his mind again. Glancing sideways, he tried to force himself to calm down. This was Scully talking to him. She was offering him help and he would have to accept it. Very slowly, he brought his right hand out and placed his wrist almost gingerly in her still outstretched hand.

Scully took one look at the swollen digits and knew that this was not a sprain. "Broken fingers again, huh?" she asked him with a vague smile, trying to make him calm down some more. She carefully felt over the digits, finding that the breaks were pretty straight forward and would not need setting. But the way he jerked when she touched his fingers told her that they were pretty sore. "I'll get some ice for that," she added and rose to go to the kitchen.

After placing an ice pack on his hand, she once again became aware of how rancid he smelled. There was more to that smell than dirt, though. There was something else involved in it. It smelled like old oil, but he had no traces of oil on him. She carefully wrapped a dishtowel around his hand to keep the ice pack in place, but before she could finish, his left hand suddenly cupped her cheek. Raising her gaze to his face, she met his eyes and placed a hand over his. "You okay?" she asked quietly.

Again, he made an attempt at speaking and this time it came out. His voice was rather hoarse, though. "I need a bath," he whispered.

Scully smiled at that. "Yes, you do. I think you need to soak in the tub for a while," she replied, happy that he was speaking to her. Her comment actually pulled a very small smile from him and that made a whole world of difference to her. She was slowly beginning to believe that he would actually be doing a whole lot better the following day. All he needed was a good night's sleep and a bath, of course.

After filling the tub with warm water, Scully had to coax him to move, but once he got moving, it wasn't so hard. First of all, she pulled Skinner's coat off his shoulders and once again wondered about those abrasions. It was hard to see how bad they were with all the dried blood and grime on him, though. Reminding herself that she would have to give Skinner his coat back, she put it aside and then became aware that all activity has ceased. Mulder was just standing there, looking a little lost, a little unsteady. "Do you need some help?" she asked him, not wanting to push him.

For a moment, he just stood there and stared at her, then he swallowed and nodded. His rationality was slowly resurfacing and with it came the embarrassment. He wasn't happy about the situation, but found himself in a position where he couldn't make the next move. His limbs simply did not respond to what he wanted to do. Embarrassing as it was, he would have to rely on Scully to get him out of what remained of his clothes and into the tub. "I... can't open the button with one hand," he croaked.

Scully raised an eyebrow, then smiled a little uncertainly. This was a tricky situation. "Okay," she said and reached out to undo the button on his jeans. "Can you manage the rest?" she asked and glanced up at his face. Somehow this situation was becoming somewhat embarrassing for both of them and if he hadn't been in such dire need of help, she would have found it funny. As it were, there was fairly little to laugh about.

He halfway nodded and she stepped around him, turning her back to him to give him a little privacy. It took time and she more than once considered to just turn around and help him, but he didn't ask for it and she didn't want to increase his obvious embarrassment. When she heard his pants drop to the floor, she reached out for a towel and handed it back to him without turning. He took it without a word and then cleared his throat. "I... don't know..." he began, but trailed off.

Scully glanced at him over one shoulder, noticing that he had the towel wrapped around his mid section and was holding it together with one hand. "What?" she asked him.

He gave her a wavering glance, still looking pretty much spooked, then sighed heavily. "I don't think I can get into to tub," he finally said, his voice sounding almost as if he dirt in his throat.

Smiling, still feeling as if this should have been handled by a professional nurse, she turned fully toward him. "Of course you can. I'll help you," she told him.

With a bit of effort and a near slip, he finally managed to settle himself into the hot water. At first it stung in the scrapes and scratches on his body, but he soon felt revitalized by it. Scully asked him only once if he wanted to be alone, but the nearly panicky look in his eyes made her soothe him instantly. Instead she took it upon herself to make sure he got as clean as he could get. This included washing his hair, which he couldn't do with only one hand anyway. It took her three tries before she was able to wash some sticky stuff out of his hair, but eventually she brushed both hands through it, pushing it away from his forehead and was satisfied with the result.

In the meantime, the water had removed most of the grime and dried blood from his arms and torso and Scully frowned deeply at the strange abrasions he had. It looked like something rough had been wrapped around his arms and his chest, which had scuffed his skin. At first, she considered asking him about it, but decided that it could wait until the following morning.

Using a soft, natural sponge, she washed his back, doing her bit to make sure he was clean. Despite the warm water and the fact that she thought it was rather hot in the bathroom, he was still shivering and she knew for a fact that it wasn't because he was cold. The constant, low key jitter running through him was an indication of how scared he really was and she knew it had to be a struggle without measure for him to keep up appearances as well as he did at present.