Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999
TITLE: Broken (1/1)
ARCHIVE: MTA, Xemplary, Gossamer - others are fine,
just let me know
SPOILERS: Folie a Deux, minor reference to
KEYWORDS: Mulder/Scully UST, Scully POV
SUMMARY: Fill in the blank for Folie a Deux. What
happened at the hospital after Scully rescued Mulder, and
how did it influence her response to Skinner's questions?
DISCLAIMER: Of course they aren't mine. Scully and
Mulder belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. I've
only borrowed them and I promise to give them back when
AUTHOR'S NOTES: That cut-away in Mulder's room at the
end of Folie a Deux has always bothered me because we
didn't get to see any interaction between the two. I chose to
see Scully's declaration of "Folie a Deux" in a positive light,
taking a stand with Mulder. Here's what I would have liked
to see happen.
FEEDBACK: Is completely addictive and why I got hooked
writing fanfic. Please feed my habit!
Calumet Mercy Hospital
Though I pride myself on my scientific powers of
observation, even I can occasionally be as thick as a post --
my mom's expression, not mine. It honestly never occurs to
me that something is wrong with Mulder until he nearly
dozes off while giving his statement to the local PD.
In my own defense, the circumstances of the past hour have
left me shaken and distracted. First the inexplicable...
hallucination involving the floor nurse turned walking
corpse, and then bursting into my partner's room to the
accompaniment of his hysterical screams.
Let me clarify something here, Mulder does not do
hysterical. You can criticize many things about him, and
believe me, at one time or another I have. But staying calm
under pressure isn't one of them. The man has faced down
multiple serial killers and escaped from a Russian gulag.
You see what I mean?
When I barged into that hospital room, however, all traces of
my calm, collected partner had vanished. His eyes, a
foolproof indicator of his mood at any given moment, were
nearly black and so wide with terror they looked ready to
pop from his head. He'd broken into a panic induced sweat
and when I later released him from the restraints I saw he'd
actually drawn blood in his frenzied attempt to free himself.
But who could blame the man? Even now my mind refuses
to process what my eyes glimpsed skittering across the
ceiling above Mulder's bed -- because it isn't possible. It
*isn't*. Just as it isn't possible that it could be missing after
sustaining a gunshot wound and a three story plunge from
Mulder's window. It should be lying dead amid a puddle of
blood and shards of broken glass. Well, the glass is there
So if I have been less than observant about Mulder's
condition you'll have to forgive me. When I first released
him from the restraints he was trembling with fear and so
wired he could barely sit still. His nervous pacing provided
me with a rather interesting view until he remembered that
hospital gowns flap in the back and parked himself on the
edge of his bed. I used my cell to call the police, and once
they stormed onto the scene I lost track of Mulder in the
confused melee of forensics and rapid-fire questions.
Now I manage to tear myself away from the officer in
charge, a Detective Webster, and head back to where Mulder
is still perched on the mattress, obviously fielding questions
from another officer.
"I'm sure Scully must have hit it, she wouldn't have
that range," he says as I approach them. "It broke through the
window and then..."
His gaze drifts toward the window and I'm struck by how
slowly he is speaking. Mulder's brain normally functions like
a Pentium processor, and his mouth isn't far behind. I watch
as he stares blankly at the moonlight for a moment and then
his lids gradually start to slip shut.
My voice sharper than normal, I dart forward, insinuating
myself between Mulder and the cop. His eyes snap open at
the sound of his name and he gives me a bleary smile. I
detect the problem immediately. His pupils are so dilated
only a thin ring of hazel is still visible at the edges.
"Hey, Scully. You gonna spring me from this joint now?"
I offer him the small smile I use for one of his particularly
clever jokes or a minor injury, not the full blown, show my
teeth grin that I reserve for returning from the dead. That
might sound pathetic, but I'm smart enough to realize that my
emotions regarding this man are dangerous and must be kept
on a leash. The thing is, that leash grows longer and longer
as the years go by.
"Mulder, did they give you something?" I ask him in
voice, not wanting to broadcast the fact to the earnest young
rookie standing impatiently behind me.
Okay, now I know they must have hit him with the big guns.
Mulder is never that slow on the uptake.
"Drugs, Mulder," I say with exaggerated patience.
give you any drugs tonight?"
He blinks slowly and I can almost see when the little light
bulb over his head flicks on. His eyebrows draw together and
he sticks out his lower lip in that classic Mulder pout.
"Yeah. The nurse gave me something just before Pincus...
just before you got here. She wouldn't undo the restraints.
And she opened the window." He shudders and a mixture of
sympathy and shame rises like acid in the back of my throat.
I lean in closer so that my face is just inches from his and I
can feel his warm breath on my cheek. *He's alive!* Part of
me rejoices even as I carefully peel back one eyelid for a
"She injected you?" is what I say aloud.
Mulder nods and his eyes droop again as I step back a little.
"Don't know what it was but it hit me fast," he mumbles,
"If I had to venture a guess I'd say Thorazine -- a
of it," I tell him gently. "I'm surprised you're still functioning
at all." I turn around to face the now-thoroughly-irritated
officer. "Agent Mulder has been through quite an ordeal
tonight and is feeling under the weather. I'm taking him back
to the motel now. We'll come down to the station tomorrow
and you can finish asking your questions."
The kid can't be more than twenty-five, baby-faced and lacks
the self-assurance of Detective Webster. Still, he actually
scowls and opens his mouth to argue with me until I flash
him what Mulder refers to as "The Look." It's a little
expression I developed over years of living with Bill and
Charlie and have perfected since working in the boys club
that is the FBI. It nearly drops the rookie in his tracks and he
grudgingly agrees to my plan, though he looks less than
When I look back Mulder's eyes are mere slits and his chin is
beginning to tilt down toward his chest. I walk quickly over
to the small cupboard and remove the sweats, underwear,
and shoes that I brought for him when I visited earlier.
Crouching down in front of him I run my knuckles firmly
down the side of his face, placing the clothes in his lap. His
eyes struggle a little harder to open this time and I send up a
silent prayer that I won't wind up needing to dress him. A
girl can only take so much after all.
"What do you say, partner? There's a bathroom right
the hall. Can you get yourself dressed?"
Ah, he isn't that far gone. Mulder manages a leer, though it's
rather drunken. "What if I say no? You gonna help me,
Scully?" He waggles his eyebrows suggestively.
Playing my part, I roll my eyes, though secretly I find his
antics adorable. "Move it, Mulder, or you just might be
spending the night right here."
In his drugged condition he can't hide the emotion that
sweeps across his face at my words and I nearly bite my
tongue in disgust at my insensitivity. Rather than apologize
with words I take his hands and pull him gently to his feet,
steadying him when he sways a little. He answers my
questioning look with a small nod and makes his way
carefully out into the hall, listing a little to the right now and
then. This time he has the presence of mind to use his free
hand to hold the gown shut.
Detective Webster makes his way over to me, stopping
briefly to give the forensics person additional instructions.
"Officer Newton tells me you're taking Agent Mulder out
here," he says, obviously refraining from any further remarks
on what Newton may have told him. "You'll stop by
tomorrow to wrap things up?"
It's really more of an order than a question but I nod
agreeably. Unlike Mulder, I've learned how to play nice with
the local boys.
"What about the floor nurse -- the one who opened the
window for the... intruder?"
He shakes his head regretfully, and I wish I could say I'm
surprised by his answer.
"We've been over the entire building. No luck. I've put
APB on her as well as on this Pincus that you mentioned. I'll
let you know if I hear anything."
It's not enough, but it will have to do. Right now my first
priority is getting Mulder some sleep. As if summoned by
my thoughts he appears in the doorway, leaning heavily
against the jam and eyeing the room warily. I can't say I
blame him for not wanting to step back inside.
He's as wobbly as a newborn colt so I slip his arm around my
shoulders and mine around his waist as we make our way
carefully to my rental car. I settle him in the passenger seat
and watch him fumble comically with the seatbelt for a
moment before I lean in and fasten the buckle. He grins
sheepishly at me and to my surprise I find myself briefly
cupping his cheek, the stubble like sandpaper against my
palm, and returning the smile. Flustered by my own actions,
I straighten quickly and shut the door.
By the time we're on the road to my motel, his eyes are shut
and his breathing has begun to deepen. He looks so innocent,
like a little boy worn out from a day hard at play, but I'm
afraid once he slips under he'll be out for the count. Since I
really don't think I can get his 170 pounds from the car to a
bed, that just isn't an option.
"Talk to me, Mulder," I order, reaching over to
shoulder. "I need you to stay awake until we get to the
He opens glassy eyes and regards me wearily. "I'd tell
quit bugging me, Scully, but that expression has recently
taken on a whole new meaning."
The man is incredible. He was nearly killed tonight,
definitely scared out of his wits, and is presently stoned out
of his mind. Yet he never backs down, facing it all with that
amazing persistence and dry wit that leaves me in awe of the
depth of his courage. I smirk just a little at his cleverness,
efficiently hiding the lump in my throat. Before I can muster
a response, he speaks again.
"They find Nurse Zombie?"
A vivid image of her pallid face and hollowed eyes flits
through my thoughts and I barely repress the shiver that
follows. "No. Detective Webster told me they've issued an
APB on the nurse and Pincus. He'll let us know if anything
Mulder's voice is so soft it's barely audible over the
hum and the steady drone of tires on pavement. "They
I send him a questioning look before returning my eyes to
the road. He's silent for so long I begin to fear that he's dozed
off, but when my eyes find his face I can see he's groggy but
awake. Just as I pull into the motel parking lot, he speaks.
"I'm so tired, Scully."
The words from his lips are slow and thick as molasses,
followed by a deep sigh that seems to originate somewhere
around his toes. I pull into a parking spot directly in front of
my door, absurdly grateful for the small convenience.
Swiveling in my seat to face him, I'm totally unprepared for
the film of tears coating his eyes, shining under the harsh
fluorescent lighting over our heads.
"I know you are, Mulder," I tell him gently.
"Let's get you
inside and you can sleep. You'll feel much better once the
drug works its way out of your system."
He surprises me a second time by slowly shaking his head.
When he lifts his eyes to mine I catch my breath, biting hard
on my lip to stop its trembling. With abrupt clarity I
understand that the weariness Mulder confesses has nothing
at all to do with the Thorazine that Nurse Zombie gave him.
His gaze communicates an intensity of pain and sorrow that
nearly undoes me.
"Did you ever watch westerns, Scully?"
Now, it is my turn to shake my head, and I can't help
wondering if this is the drugs talking, encouraging his mind
to slip from one topic to the next without rhyme or reason. I
should know better.
"Sam and I used to watch them a lot when I was a kid. We
especially liked when the cowboys had to break a wild horse
because it was so exciting. Do you know how they did it?"
Mystified, I shrug.
"Here was this wild, untamed stallion that refused to be
ridden. The cowboy would get on its back and the stallion
would fight him, bucking and kicking with everything it had
until it managed to throw the cowboy off. But the cowboy
wouldn't let that stop him. He'd just turn around and climb
right back up into the saddle and stay there until the stallion
somehow threw him off again. And that's how it continued,
the stallion repeatedly tossing the cowboy from its back only
to have the cycle repeated over and over. Sometimes two
cowboys would even work together, one taking over if the
other got too tired or injured. Eventually, the stallion just
gave up. It came to see that resisting was futile, that no
matter how many times it would appear to defeat the
cowboy, the cowboy always came back. When the stallion
was finally too tired to keep fighting it would submit and
allow the cowboy to ride. Its spirit was broken."
My eyes burn. "Mulder..."
"I'm like that horse, Scully," he presses on,
ignoring me. "I'm
tired of fighting. Tired of being 'Monster Boy,' of people
more willing to lock me away in the nuthouse than believe
that I just might be right, of battling one enemy only to be
told that I've been duped by another. And any time I manage
to throw one off, another just climbs back on. I don't think I
can do it anymore."
My throat is so tight and clogged with tears that it's several
minutes before I can speak. As I do, I reach over to tangle
my fingers with his.
"I'm sorry, Mulder. I know I let you down when I didn't
believe you and I understand if you're hurt and angry. But
trust me when I say that you are *not* that horse. You're the
cowboy. And someday I'm certain *you* will break
*them*." I pause, waiting until his eyes seek out mine. "And
if you get too tired, or hurt, then I'll take over for a while
until you're ready to go on. Because no matter what you
might think, this is my fight too."
His eyes drop to our linked hands and the corners of his
mouth turn up just a little. "You're crazier than I am, Scully."
"Maybe I am," I reply, smiling a little myself as
heavy lifts from my heart. "Folie a Deux, Mulder. A madness
shared by two."
He's nearly sleepwalking when I steer him into the motel
room, dozing while I bandage his wrists, and by the time his
head hits the pillow he's out cold. I sit in the uncomfortable
chair and watch him sleep, appreciating the opportunity to
see his face relaxed and at peace. For now he can forget the
battle. God knows, it will still be there when he wakes up.
I'm not looking forward to tomorrow. It's one thing to
confess what I saw to Mulder and another to admit it to
Skinner. But I meant what I said when I told Mulder that I
intend to share his fight. And really, I wouldn't have it any