Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999
TITLE: Restored (1 of 1)
ARCHIVE: MTA, Xemplary, Gossamer - others are fine, just let me know
SPOILERS: Folie a Deux
KEYWORDS: Mulder/Scully UST, Mulder POV
SUMMARY: Fill in the blank for Folie a Deux. Mulder has lost the desire
to continue. Can Scully restore it?
DISCLAIMER: They all belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. I
promise I won't get carried away and forget that.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is a companion piece to "Broken." You don't have to
read that to understand or appreciate this, but it will give you
Scully's POV and an enhanced appreciation of these events. Thanks to
everyone who sent such kind feedback for Broken. Here's the flip side.
FEEDBACK: Please. I love hearing your thoughts and comments.
Calumet Mercy Hospital
I'm the eye of the tornado. The thought strikes me as I sit
the edge of my hospital bed and watch the flurry of activity around me.
One cop, ranking officer by the look of him, is firing questions at
Scully with the speed of a machine gun. Forensics people swarm over
every surface, busily gathering samples in plastic baggies and dusting
for prints -- like the Roach That Ate Detroit is going to leave any. In
the middle of this orchestrated chaos is me, alone. Well, that's nothing
new, now is it?
I'm watching the flame of Scully's hair flicker around the
single bright spot of color in my drab surroundings, when someone
nervously clears his throat. I reluctantly drag my eyes from their
contemplation to see another of the local cops fidgeting to my left.
The kid looks about twelve. All right, maybe that's an exaggeration, but
he's certainly a rookie and obviously uneasy about confronting a
lunatic. That would be me, of course.
"Ah...I, um, need to ask you a few questions, Mr.
Mulder," he stammers,
eyes flirting briefly with mine before they slide away to a spot on the
wall. It must be fascinating from the attention he's focusing on it.
"Agent," I sigh, suddenly overwhelmed by a nearly paralyzing weariness.
Obviously the Chicago PD is now hiring rocket scientists.
"My name," I explain as if he is an exceptionally
slow-witted child --
no comment. "It's *Agent* Mulder. I'm FBI."
If I weren't so depressed his expression would be hysterical.
almost see his thoughts. *They let psychotics work for the FBI*? If only
you knew, kid.
He rallies and clears his throat again. "Well, uh, Agent
Mulder, can you
tell me in your own words exactly what happened here tonight?"
Images assault me with a violence that only truly horrifying
can possess and I involuntarily squeeze my eyelids tightly shut, my
breath speeding up to short, harsh pants for air.
*The unwelcome sting of a needle...sinking down toward sleep
to full awareness by a low buzzing and the shadow of antennae...pleading
with the nurse to release me only to watch her open the window...an
unspeakable shape skittering above my bed as I fight to free my
hands...Helpless...I'm going to die...*
The kid's looking at me like *I'm* the bug, and I realize I've
completely lost track of time and the question. If he thinks I'm crazy
now, wait until he hears my answer. With mild surprise, I notice I'm not
really amused by the idea. Somehow, messing with his head doesn't hold
its usual appeal.
"There was an intruder," I reply. "It came in
through the window. I
think it was a man by the name of Greg Pincus. He works for VinylRight
Corporation." My tongue feels strangely thick and uncooperative, the
words like clay that must be shaped carefully before arriving at a
Doogie Howser -- all right, his nametag says Officer Newton,
the police department's equivalent -- frowns in concentration. "Can you
Here it comes.
"He looked like a giant bug," I mumble, plucking at
the thin fabric of
the hospital gown and wishing for my sweats. I'm sure I saw Scully carry
in a pair when she visited earlier.
Kid's got a mind like a steel trap.
"I *said*, it looked like a giant bug -- a cockroach if
you want me to
be more specific," I repeat. My frustration with appearing an idiot is
only exacerbated when my tongue tangles up on the word "specific" and I
slur it badly. "It crawled in the window and up the wall by my bed.
Agent Scully entered at that point and shot it."
Doogie ponders my statement while I struggle to suppress an
"Did Agent Scully manage to hit this..." He trails off helplessly.
"I'm sure Scully must have hit it, she wouldn't have
missed at that
range. It broke through the window and then..."
My eyes find the shattered opening and I'm mesmerized by the
moonlight that spills through. That same moonlight had bathed Scully's
face so that it glowed in the darkness, turning her into an angel --
*my* angel, my one in five billion.
Scully's voice, not exactly angelic, startles me from my
musings and I
realize with chagrin that I started to doze off. She insinuates herself
between me and Officer Doogie, her blue eyes narrowed with concern.
Scully has the most incredible blue eyes. I could get lost in them, but
what a way to go.
"Hey, Scully. You gonna spring me from this joint now?"
I get a smile -- not the blinding one I woke up to in Alaska,
small curve of her lips she allows when I tell a bad joke. It might
sound pathetic, but I live for those smiles. The fact that Scully tends
to carefully control her displays of emotion makes them all the more
precious. Sometimes I catch myself acting like a complete moron just to
see if I can make her grin.
"Mulder, did they give you something?" she asks me quietly.
I draw a complete blank. Who? And exactly what would they have
"Huh?" I respond. Great. I'm starting to sound like Doogie now.
"Drugs, Mulder. Did they give you any drugs tonight?"
Comprehension gradually leaks in. Drugs. Nurse Zombie injected
something right before this whole nightmare came to a head. No wonder my
brain feels like it's been run through a blender.
"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."
The images cascade through my mind again and I can't stop the shudder.
I've never felt that kind of terror, not in Russia, not even when they
took Sam. I was completely defenseless.
Scully gently pries open one of my eyes and I see both
shame written in her own. Her touch, as always, is gentle and I can feel
her breath feathering across my cheek. Wonder what she'd do if I...
"She injected you?"
I nod. "Don't know what it was but it hit me fast."
Now released, both eyelids feel as if they've donned lead
another yawn slips out. I feel disconnected and only vaguely hear her
saying something about Thorazine. I guess the adrenaline rush is
beginning to wear off because the only thing I can think about is sleep
-- that and the fact that I'm incredibly tired of playing the part of a
Fingers brush my cheek and then a soft bundle is placed into
my lap. I
concentrate on cranking my eyes open as I hear Scully ask if I can get
myself dressed. Okay, I may be drugged but I'm not dead. There's
absolutely no way I can let that one slide.
"What if I say no? You gonna help me, Scully?" I
ask. I try really hard
to give her my most lecherous leer, but it feels as if someone has
loosened the bolts holding my face together and I can't get the
expression quite right.
Scully dutifully rolls her eyes and says, "Move it,
Mulder, or you just
might be spending the night right here."
Unexpectedly, the terror slams into me again and I blanch.
draws me to my feet, her face apologetic. Everything wavers in and out
of focus and I sway slightly, but Scully is right there to steady me. I
nod reassuringly and navigate my way carefully out of the room and
across the hall to the bathroom, unable to keep from weaving like a
The soft fleece is comforting on my skin, though I momentarily
when I can't seem to work out where my legs fit into the pants. Yep, I'm
definitely stoned. I splash a little water onto my face and lean on a
sink, staring into the mirror. What it reveals only deepens my feelings
I see Monster Boy. Spooky. I see a joke to my colleagues and
the pawn of
my enemies, the guy who was gullible enough to be duped into believing
in aliens by a bunch of old men. I'm tired of swimming upstream, of
fighting a faceless threat when those closest to me don't even believe
in me. It seems easier for them to think I've finally lost my marbles
than to entertain the possibility that I'm right -- even Scully. A
white-hot poker pierces my heart with that thought.
I know she'll worry if I take too long, so I bury these
feelings deep in
the dark place where I hide the things in my life that have hurt me the
most -- things like Sam's abduction, my mother's emotional withdrawal,
and my father's silent blame. Mask firmly in place, I return to my room
only to find that I can't bring myself to enter. Instead I hover at the
doorway and lean against the jam for support. As she does so often,
Scully seems to read my mind, slipping an arm around my waist to anchor
me as we make our way slowly to her car.
My anchor -- that's the way I've thought of Scully for years
addition to some very unpartnerly thoughts that I'd rather not share.
Maybe that's why her refusal to believe my claims about Pincus cut so
deeply. I've accepted the fact that she grounds me, keeps me honest.
Can't she accept something from me in return? If she can anchor me, why
can't I -- just occasionally -- help her to spread her wings, to stretch
for that extreme possibility? My God, haven't I proven myself? I was
right about Linda Bowman, about Marti Glenn. When will it be enough?
Scully helps me into the passenger seat and grins a little
intricacies of the shoulder belt completely escape me. I muster a rueful
smile in return as she buckles me like a small child. When she pauses to
cup my cheek it takes all my willpower not to turn my face and press a
kiss into the silky skin of her palm. As powerful as my feelings of hurt
and anger may be, they pale in comparison to my love for her.
The low hum of the engine is soothing and I let myself drift
Scully nudges me.
"Talk to me, Mulder. I need you to stay awake until we
get to the
She must be kidding. I crack open one eye and glare. "I'd
tell you to
quit bugging me, Scully, but that expression has recently taken on a
whole new meaning."
She actually smirks and my heart leaps a little in response. I
I'm pathetic when it comes to Scully smiles. The little flicker of joy
dies quickly, however, leaving only weariness in its wake.
"They find Nurse Zombie?" I ask her.
Obviously I'm not the only one shaken by tonight's events,
Scully visibly pales at my question. Her voice, when she answers, holds
just the barest edge of a tremor. "No. Detective Webster told me they've
issued an APB on the nurse and Pincus. He'll let us know if anything
Yeah, they'll turn up. In another town, in another state where
carry on as if nothing ever happened. The black despondency that hits me
is crushing and I can barely whisper, "They won't," by way of a reply.
I am so tired. I don't even realize I've said the words aloud
hear Scully trying to reassure me, telling me it's the drugs and I'll
feel better soon. If only it were that simple or that easy. The tears
that flood my eyes are unwelcome but undeniable. I don't know how to
make her understand what I'm feeling, but I know I have to try.
"Did you ever watch westerns, Scully?"
Now where did *that* come from? But I can't shake the imagery,
clearest way I can think of to communicate the nuances of this numbing
fatigue of spirit.
"Sam and I used to watch them a lot when I was a kid. We
liked when the cowboys had to break a wild horse because it was so
exciting. Do you know how they did it?"
Scully shrugs, but has the good grace not to turn the car
take me back to the nuthouse.
I launch into an explanation, my eidetic memory vividly
repeated attempts of the wild stallion to rid itself of the cowboy --
bucking, kicking, sometimes even rolling onto the ground in a desperate
ploy to dislodge him. But it didn't matter what the stallion tried, that
cowboy always came back. And even if the stallion somehow managed to
inflict an injury on its tormentor, another cowboy was waiting to take
his place. Eventually, they wore that horse down and he just didn't feel
like fighting anymore. It just didn't seem worth it. Maybe it was even
difficult to remember why he'd been fighting in the first place.
"I'm like that horse, Scully," I tell her, though I
can see from the
tears in her eyes that she doesn't want to hear me say it. "I'm tired of
fighting. And even when I do manage to throw one off, another just
climbs back on. I don't think I can do this anymore."
Her fingers weave with mine, the simple action bringing
words restore me.
"You are *not* that horse. You are the cowboy. And
someday I'm certain
*you* will break *them*. 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."
How does she understand what only my heart knew I needed to
hear? In a
few short sentences she's given me something beyond price. My spirit is
still tattered and torn, but I feel a tiny ember of hope I'd thought
extinguished. Amazingly, my lips curve a little.
"You're crazier than I am, Scully."
"Maybe I am," she admits, and the ember glows a
little more brightly
with her smile. "Folie a Deux, Mulder. A madness shared by two."
Scully maneuvers me into her motel room and onto the bed. By
I'm so out of it that I grope only briefly for innuendo before giving
up. She insists on cleaning and bandaging my raw wrists and I'm too
tired to argue. My last thought before her ministrations lull me into
slumber is to wonder what she'll tell Skinner. *Folie a Deux* I think,
smiling. After all, isn't that what the X-Files have become?
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