"Director Skinner please."
"Yes. Who is this?"
"John Byers. I'm a friend of Mulder's."
"Yes." He remembered him from the memorial service, what did he want now?
"I need you to meet me at the hospital. I need to get in to see him."
"He's not having visitors." Skinner was trying to keep his condition out of the records and it wasn't easy. Talking to this guy wouldn't help things.
"He'll want this one. Look, I can't go into this on an open line." Besides he was exhausted beyond belief. Getting back had been as hard as getting there. He wasn't sure how Scully had stood it, but she was here beside him, anxious for the next move.
Skinner sighed. He didn't need this.
"Please, Mr. Skinner. I'm in the parking lot of his location now."
"I'll be there in twenty minutes. This better be good."
The line went dead. "Dana, your boss is on the way over. We'll need him to get in to see Mulder."
"You still haven't told me Mulder's condition."
"The people that took you wanted to hurt him as much as possible. Sending him what he thought was your heart caused a breakdown. He blamed himself and, well, became a danger to himself."
"My heart? I thought we were talking about clothes or a watch or something. Why the hell were you even looking for me?"
"Mulder just couldn't believe it was really your heart. That's what sent him over the edge."
"But there are tests! Byers are you sure I can help? I mean, since I don't remember him."
"Seeing you alive is the only thing that can help him. Believe me."
She still had hundreds of questions but wasn't comfortable asking them. Byers left the car when Skinner arrived.
"I don't know how to tell you this. . . "
"Come on, Byers, I don't have a lot of time. I. . . "
"I found Scully."
"What did you say?" Skinner's eyes narrowed and he took another step toward him. Byers held his ground.
"She's in the car. Mulder was right, the heart was cloned. It had to be."
Skinner advanced on him now, ready to tear him apart if this was some kind of joke. "If you're lying to me. . . " He left the threat unspoken.
Dana opened the door to the car and emerged. Skinner froze, unable to speak or move. Finally he reached out for her, but she stepped back away from him.
"It's really her, but they've taken her memories. She doesn't know you."
"Taken her. . . you sound like Mulder. Wait, are you saying she doesn't remember him?"
"She has a feeling she was happily married and her medical training seems to be intact."
"How would you describe their relationship?"
Skinner decided not to answer that. "Are we making a mistake here?"
"They can help each other. He'll know she's alive, so he'll want to live. He can help her get well. We have to let him know."
"Jesus, I don't know how to. . . "
"Can you let me see him?" She finally spoke, "I don't want to make it worse, but I need to know who I am. I need to know what's happened to me."
Skinner wiped his hand across his brow. "Yeah, yeah we have to."
He took her elbow and motioned for Byers to stay at her side.
They paused just outside of his door.
"Are you sure you're okay with this?"
"I have to know." Well, that was the Scully he knew. He pushed open the door and the three of them entered.
Mulder turned his head when they entered. Her eyes were on the restraints on his wrists. She hadn't realized how much she feared this, he had become a "danger to himself". Was he also a danger to her? Everything hinged on this, what if she still didn't remember? They had walked a couple more steps into the room before she forced herself to look up at him.
When their eyes locked she staggered under the impact and would have fallen if they hadn't been holding her. The memories assaulted her and she desperately wanted to close her eyes and succumb to them, but she couldn't look away. He, however, seemed to have no reaction to her presence.
Damn his hallucinations were getting good. She was back and he could actually smell her, the Scully scent he used to appreciate in the office. He hadn't had visions of Skinner or Byers before, wonder what that was about.
"Mu. . . Mulder? Oh God, Mulder!" She broke from them and threw her arms around him.
"Release his hands! Byers, release him!"
Skinner already had the attendant fumbling with the straps.
His hands were trembling when he touched her face. He couldn't believe she was here. He didn't dare. If he believed he'd be put in the other room with a full body suit, not just restraints. But this was a great hallucination, he'd added the tactile. Shit, he could feel her!
His hands sought out the buttons on her blouse and he pulled it apart, his hand on her chest, feeling for the scar. She allowed it, pushing the hair off his forehead.
"I'm alive, Mulder. You were right."
She leaned in and whispered, "I was wearing less than this that night in your hotel room on our first case. That's when I learned you were the only one I could trust."
His eyes glistened, but he wasn't going to cry, not now. She was alive. . . alive, so he could be too.
He pulled her closer into his arms, his hand resting tenderly on her left breast, his thumb caressing where the scar didn't exist.
Byers and Skinner retreated quietly from the room.