Talk about a lost weekend, he thought as he woke with a pounding headache and an overwhelming thirst. Nothing was coming back to him. He managed to roll to his hands and knees, but had to stop there, fighting nausea. What had happened to him?
Okay, last night he'd gone to a bar, just to get out of the apartment. And to keep from going over to Scully's like he wanted. He'd had a couple of beers. There was a woman at the bar. She'd gotten friendly, but she was Scully's height - hell something about every woman reminded him of her. Height, lipstick color, blue eyes, and heaven forbid red hair.
He had it bad for her. He had to keep his distance off duty. Hence, the bar. But he hadn't had that much to drink. Unless someone had drugged him.
He managed to reach his feet and swayed there, his hands on his knees. After several deep breaths he straightened up. Damn he felt horrible. And where the hell was he? Now that he was finally upright, he turned slowly. A large room, cement floor, metal walls, windows painted black - definitely a warehouse. He tried to work some moisture into his mouth as he continued to turn, searching for the door. There it was, would it be too much to hope his car was outside?
He patted his pockets. Shit! He stopped to check. All of his pockets were empty. No keys, no wallet, no ID. Great, he'd been rolled. At least he hadn't worn his gun. That's all he would have needed, to have to explain to Skinner; no to Kersh, why he'd lost a gun.
So now what? He didn't even have money for a cab. Where was he anyway? Hell, was it night or day? The door wasn't locked and he stumbled out into the dark. No watch, shit! He headed up the alley toward the street.
Okay, he was a lot closer to Scully's apartment than his own. She'd patch him up, scold him for his stupidity and make it better. And he had a decent excuse to see her now. He trudged off in that direction.
He finally passed one of those signs that told the time. It wasn't that late, just past ten. Good, maybe whoever had his keys hadn't gotten to his apartment. And Scully wouldn't kill him for waking her - she was probably still up.
He took a while to reach her place. His head was still killing him. At least the lights were still on. Good, he didn't have her key anymore either. That caused a pang in his gut. None of the other losses seemed nearly as important suddenly.
He knocked at her door, but there was no answer. He tried again, maybe she'd dozed off on the couch. Finally! He saw the knob turning and she opened the door slowly.
He took a step forward, but when she didn't move to let him in, he stopped.
"What do you want?" She spoke quietly, her voice sounded dead and flat.
"I want to come in. Are you okay?" He finally stopped to take in her appearance. He'd been so absorbed in himself and his aching head, but now he really looked at her.
She looked terrible. Her hair was limp, hanging uncombed and stringy around her face. Her face - it was blotched and swollen and her eyes were red and barely opened, and. . . and how could she have lost weight since this afternoon? She wasn't even standing straight. She was slumped and listless, like posture was too big a burden or her robe was too heavy to wear.
His hand automatically came up to touch her, "Scully? What. . . ?"
She stepped back and leveled her gun at him. He hadn't even realized she was armed.
"Who are you?"
His eyes widened and he automatically put his hands out from his sides to show he was not threatening her. Something terrible was going on here.
"Stop it! Don't call me that. Only Mu. . . no one calls me that."
Was she having a psychotic episode? Hell, was he? "Okay, okay. I'm not here to hurt you. I just. . . tell me what's wrong."
"Who the hell are you? Why are you here?"
"Scu. . ." he stopped as she raised the gun back into firing position and just looked at her again, "It's me, it's Mulder. What, what's wrong?"
Fresh tears had come to her eyes, even as they narrowed with her anger. "I don't know who sent you here to do this to me, but I should kill you for it now."
"Scul. . . Dana. Please, I don't know what's going on. Talk to me, tell me what's happened! Please."
"How do you know my name?" She had backed away from him, so he came farther into the room, closing the door behind him. She stiffened at that, but said nothing.
"I won't hurt you. Please, I don't know what's going on."
She dropped the gun to her side. "If you're here to kill me, go ahead. I don't care." She sat heavily in the chair and it was all he could do not to take her in his arms.
Okay, he was missing more than just a couple of hours at the bar. Scully didn't know who he was and now she was suicidal. His headache receded with the knowledge that she needed him this badly.
"Here's what I want you to do, are you listening Dana?" That name didn't come easily to his lips, but that was good. It made him think more clearly about what he wanted to say. "Get your cuffs. I want you to cuff me and let me sit on the couch. Then I'll tell you what I know and you'll tell me what's wrong. Okay?"
He had to make it work. She looked like she was completely devastated.
"You want me to cuff you?" Who was this mad man that had come to her apartment tonight of all nights?
"Yes. I need you to trust me, like I trust you. Please, Dana."
Why was she even listening to this man? How had she let him get inside of her apartment? Even now she was a better agent than that. What had he done to make her let him in? He had made no moves, no attempt to harm her. There was something about his eyes. She shook herself, she really was losing it. The cuffs, yes, she could do that. God, was she so far gone that even the company of a deranged homeless man was better than being alone?
Silently she rose and walked to her desk, not turning her back on him. He made no move to approach her, just watching her with what looked like sympathy and confusion in his eyes. His eyes.
She tossed the cuffs to him and he slipped them on himself as she held the gun slightly raised, not really pointed at him any longer.
"Will you listen to me now? Please?" He seated himself on her couch, in his normal seat. This was where he'd spent so many hours working with her, watching her when she wasn't paying attention, wishing he could spent even more hours. She nodded but did not speak.
"Dana, I don't know what's going on, but I am Fox Mulder." Her eyes narrowed and the gun she still wouldn't release trembled in her hand. "Please, let me finish. I came home from work earlier this evening and decided to go out for a beer at Kelly's. I had two beers, Scully, only two, but I don't know what happened after that. I woke up an hour ago in a warehouse on J Street. All my ID, my keys, my watch are gone. I thought this girl in the bar had rolled me, but something else has happened. I don't know what that is and I need you to tell me, please Scully."
She had flinched each time he had called her Scully, but had remained silent, letting him finish. She sat staring at him, not speaking. He didn't dare hurry her, he was already on thin ice here.
After several deep breaths she seem to come back to herself. She looked into his eyes for a second, then away as though she couldn't bear it.
"I don't know who you are or why you're doing this to me. I buried Mulder this morning. He was found in his apartment, shot six times in the chest and once in the head. They held the body for three days and finally released it for burial yesterday. I can't take anymore. I don't even want to know why you're here, I don't care. Just go, now, please."
He'd forgotten to breathe while she was speaking. Now he drew in a deep breath. "What day is it?"
"Thursday, May 27."
"No, it was Friday, May 21. I've been missing for a week? And you weren't looking for me, you thought I was dead." He fell silent, contemplating her words.
"Mulder is dead. I identified him myself and checked all the test results, the autopsy." Her voice was dead and flat again, all emotion leached from her. Her eyes were barely blue.
She thought he was dead. She believed it and it was killing her. She was in this pain because she thought he was gone. He wanted to be pleased by that, but not in the face of this kind of despair.
He rose slowly from the couch, his fingers spread to show her he was not a menace. He walked to the mirror she had on the wall beside the door. Well, he looked terrible, but he was recognizable. With a shower and shave. Oh come on, she'd seen him a lot worse than this and never not recognized him.
"Scully, what do you see when you look at me?"
She'd been watching him silently. Now her eyes questioned him.
"Please, Scully. Why don't you recognize me? I need you to look at me, see me. I'm not dead."
"Why? Why are you doing this? Were you sent here to drive me crazy? I can't take anymore. Whoever you are, I want you to leave."
"Scully, we've been through everything together. You attended my father's funeral for me when everyone but you thought I was dead. I wasn't then and I'm not now." She said nothing, just letting him talk.
"You shot me, Scully, so I wouldn't kill Krycek and convict myself for killing my father. You remember all that."
"Anyone could find out about that. It's all in the record."
"Okay," he was thinking frantically, "It's not in the record that you came to my room in Oregon, practically naked to have me check the marks on your back."
She drew back. "I don't know what they know about me."
"They don't know we opened Emily's casket and found only your necklace. The necklace I wore when you were missing."
She had grown pale at that. Why were his eyes so. . . she shook her head? "How do you know that?"
"Because I was there. After Tara and Bill came up to you with their son, they left the sanctuary with your mother and you decided we needed the proof of her illness. But she was gone. They would never let us have that kind of knowledge.
"Would anyone else know how much your brother Bill hates me? How he glowered at me the entire time I was in his home, even though you needed me."
"Why are you doing this! Mulder's dead! You aren't Mulder! I've lost him forever this time. Stop this! Stop it!!"
She'd dropped the gun and covered her face with her hands again. He was dying to go to her, but too scared to move. Why couldn't she see him? What had been done to them, to her? Had there really been a funeral? His mother! What was she thinking?
One thing at a time, Mulder. He rose slowly and went into her kitchen. When he stood she had jerked back and started to reach for her gun, but he had kept his distance, so she just watched him.
He went without hesitation to the cupboard and pulled out her favorite mug. He found her tea also, and again chose her favorite. How did he know these things? He fixed the tea exactly as she liked it, despite the handcuffs and brought it to her. He left it on the coffee table, not getting too close, then returned to his seat on the couch.
"Drink it, Scully. Try to relax a little."
She took a sip. He hadn't been out of her sight, so he couldn't have drugged it.
"Who are you?" Her voice was shaking.
He shook his head. "Just relax, Scully."
She almost protested the use of that name again, but instead sank back in the chair. Tears continued to leak from her eyes and occasionally she would wipe them away absentmindedly.
She was in such pain - he had never dreamed she would be this affected by his loss. Relieved maybe. No, this was no time to be flip. He'd known she cared for him - not like he loved her of course, but she'd kept this hidden from him.
He wanted to go to her, to comfort her. But she didn't know him. What was she seeing when she looked at him? Whose body had she so positively identified as his?
They were both startled by the knocking on her door. He rose and walked to the door to look through the peephole.
"It's Frohike." He whispered to her.
She rose and motioned him away from the door. She looked to confirm his words. "Go in the other room. Don't make a sound."
He nodded and headed into her bedroom. He didn't know why she wanted to keep his presence secret, but he wasn't about to argue with her. At least she hadn't thrown him out yet.
"Oh, Scully." Even Frohike was taken aback by her appearance. "You shouldn't be alone. Let me take you to your mother's." Mulder relaxed, at least he wasn't coming on to her. Maybe he had more class than they'd given him credit for.
"No Frohike. Thanks, but I need some time. I've been babysat since I found the. . . the body." She swallowed, trying not to break down again in front of him.
<"You've been strong too long. You can't handle everything alone - you planned the funeral, you looked after Mrs. Mulder, hell I heard Skinner himself had to stop you from doing the autopsy. Scully, you're human. We know how much you loved him, but you have to look after yourself now." Mulder eavesdropped, not sure how to react to what he was hearing.
"I'm. . . I'm okay. I just need some time alone."
"If it helps any, he loved you just as much. God, I can't believe he's gone either, Scully. We are here for you." How did Frohike know that? It was true, but how did he know?
"I know." It was just a whisper.
"Are you sure you don't want me to take you to your mother's. Of course, you know I'd stay, if you want." He didn't even make it sound like an advance.
"Thanks. I. . . I need some time."
"Okay. I understand. You've left the jammer on?" At her nod, "Look, we'll be over tomorrow. If you need anything before that, please call us."
She nodded, unable to speak and let the little man out. She didn't hear Mulder come back into the room.
"I didn't know Frohike could be a gentleman."
"How do you know him?"
"Scully, I've known the guys for years. We met on the Modeski case - I've told you about that. We've worked together ever since. They were with me when I broke into the Lombard Research Institute, when I found out Dr. Scanlon was on staff. I sent Byers to stop you from taking any more treatments."
"That's it! Shut up! I want you out of here. Now!" She threw the keys at him. He ducked, then turned to find where they had landed after bouncing off his shoulder.
He unlocked his hands and turned back to her. She had moved closer, to hurry him out. "Scully, you're shaking. Please let me. . . "
"Out!" She shoved him toward the door, making physical contact for the first time. Her eyes widened and all color left her face. He caught her in his arms before she could hit the floor.
She had lost weight. Had she not eaten at all since she'd "found" him?
"Scully, come on, come back to me." He laid her gently on her bed and hurried to get a damp cloth for her forehead. "Scully? Can you hear me?"
She stirred and he retreated to give her space. She opened her eyes and immediately drew back from him. "What are you?"
"I don't understand."
"For a minute I thought. . . no." He could feel her shudder from where he stood.
"What did you see? When you touched me, what did you see?" He asked anxiously.
"No." She cringed as he stepped toward her.
"I won't hurt you, Scully. I'd never hurt you. Take my hand, just for a minute. Please, Scully."
One tear escaped, she was obviously scared. But this was Scully. He felt her gather her strength and held out a shaking hand. He did the same, allowing her to take his hand. He made no move to grasp it, despite his need.
"Oh my god." She dropped his hand as though it had burnt her.
"What happened? Please, talk to me, Scully!"
"I've lost my mind."
"You saw me, didn't you. You know it's me now." He took the chance of moving closer to her and she did not draw away.
"I knew grief could do strange things to your mind. I never realized that I. . . " She was talking to herself, ignoring his presence.
"Its not you, Scully! They did something to you. Look at me." He laid his hand lightly on her arm. "Scully, I need you to think. Who else saw this body, who helped with the identification? Did my mother see the body? The guys? Skinner?"
"No. No only Kersh and I saw your body. But it was you. I saw the lab work. They wouldn't let me observe the autopsy, Skinner held me, held me back himself. I don't know how he knew, I didn't. . ." She finally met his eyes. "You're not dead?"
"No. I'm alive and I'm here. Rest now, Scully. We'll get to work on this tomorrow. When the guys come over, we'll let them see me. I'll stay hidden until then, if you'll let me stay."
She nodded mutely.
"I want you to get some rest. I'll be in the next room, just relax. Okay?" Again she nodded, not looking at him because they weren't touching. He backed out of the room and left the door opened a crack.
He desperately needed a shower and shave, but he would wait until she was asleep. He wanted to be where he could hear her in case she needed him. He sank onto the couch his mind trying to get a handle on what could have happened to her and to him for that matter. Only she and Kersh had seen his body, not his mother, not Skinner or the guys. He'd have to think about that one for awhile.
She did sleep, but not peacefully. He finally took a chair into the room just to be closer to her. He knew he shouldn't be in here but he couldn't leave her either. She was so restless, occasionally crying and even moaning a couple of times. What could he do to help her through this?
She jerked again and he thought she woke, but then he saw she was crying again. He eased his shoes off and laid down on the bed beside her, stroking her arm and murmuring to her, so that if she did open her eyes she would see him, not whatever they had placed in her mind.
When Scully woke the next morning her first thought was that something incredible had happened. She lay there with her eyes closed trying to gather her thoughts until she felt the bed move. Mulder! And it really was Mulder, lying fully clothed on top of the covers beside her. Giving her all of the room in the bed, but gently cradling her hand in his own to maintain contact, so that she would know it was him when she found him there.
Part of her wanted to laugh, only Mulder would take such pains to make sure she knew nothing had happened between them. She sobered quickly and experimentally removed her hand from his. No! She still saw someone else when she wasn't touching him. What had they done to her?
She eased from the bed carefully so she wouldn't disturb him and slipped into the bathroom to get ready to face the day. When she emerged he was no longer in the bed and she could smell the coffee coming from the kitchen. She headed that way and he met her at the door with her cup in his hand.
Looking at him wasn't an option until he took her hand and led her to the table. "You didn't get much rest." He offered.
"More than the last few days. Thanks for. . . being here."
"No place I'd rather be, Scully." He drank his coffee with his left hand in order to touch her with his right. "When you're ready, we need to call the guys. I've got to find out what's going on here."
"I'll do that now. Why don't you go ahead and shower."
"I guess I am pretty ripe by now. Will you be okay?"
"I'm getting better by the minute. Go on."
Her call to Byers was short and she volunteered no information. His comment, "We're already on the way," caused a smile to form. They had been so good to her, so much better than her own brother. That wiped her smile away.
Byers hadn't been kidding. They were at her door before Mulder was out of the bathroom. "How are you doing, Dana?"
"I need your help."
"You've got it."
The three of them turned as the bathroom door opened and Mulder walked out with a towel around his waist and one drying his hair. As one their mouths fell open and Byers took a step toward him. Frohike regained his voice first. "Mulder? Is that you?"
"You see me?"
"What Mulder?" Langly joined in, "You practicing invisibility?"
"How did you do it? All those tests - Scully ID'd you herself." Byers was beside him now. "Why did you do it?"
"It's a long story guys. Let me get dressed and we'll tell you what we know. Scully, do I have any clothes here? I don't think it's safe to go to my apartment yet."
"Oh my god!" Scully clapped her hand over her mouth. She glanced over at Byers. "Your apartment. . . Mulder, you don't have an apartment. Your landlord wanted your stuff out immediately. We," she glanced at the three men looking guilty along with her, "we cleaned it out."
"My couch? My clothes?"
"Most of your stuff is in Mom's garage. I, uh, I gave those videos you don't own to Frohike."
Mulder turned and glared at the smaller man.
"Hey! I haven't hurt them."
"There's some clothes in here." Scully turned to her bedroom. After another sharp glance at Frohike he turned to follow her.
He caught up with Scully as she was opening one of her drawers. He spotted some silky underwear, and there mixed in were his boxers.
Her chin went up, "I slept in them, okay?"
"You slept. . . " His voice faded away. Anything he said at this point would most likely get him slapped. He could do nothing about his eyes changing color and watched as her face reddened.
"Scully?" He drew her into his arms when he realized she was crying again.
"You really are alive?" She whispered into his chest.
"Oh yeah." He kissed the tears from her cheeks and lightly brushed her forehead with his lips. "You better let me get dressed, Scully. We've got company."
"Oh!" She drew back from him. He kept hold of one hand and didn't let her drop her eyes from his.
"I'll be out in a minute." She turned then and left the room, consciously not facing him when he let go of her hand.Believe Me 2
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris, 10-13 and Fox – Bless them for it!! No infringement intended.